Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Congressional Hawks Want More Defense Spending Than Trump Seeks

Congressional Hawks Want More Defense Spending Than Trump Seeks

by Stephen Lendman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Democrats won’t likely agree without non-defense discretionary spending increases matching defense ones. Whether things work out this way remains to be seen.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Obama, Hillary and GW Bush on Trump

Obama, Hillary and GW Bush on Trump

by Stephen Lendman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Trump's Wartime Budget


Trump’s Wartime Budget

by Stephen Lendman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

False!

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

False!

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

False!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Mass Slaughter and Destruction in Mosul

Mass Slaughter and Destruction in Mosul

by Stephen Lendman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Pentagon Plan to Defeat ISIS?

Pentagon Plan to Defeat ISIS?

by Stephen Lendman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

The Latest NYT Fake News on Russia

The Latest NYT Fake News on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Trying to Heal a Sick World No Easy Task

Trying to Heal a Sick World No Easy Task

by Stephen Lendman

US ruthlessness makes it more like mission impossible, yet what’s more vital to achieve. 

I and my doctors are in the same line of work - their job helping sick patients heal and be well again to live normal, productive lives. My job is helping to heal a sick world.

They have lots of success stories. I have none. Failure doesn’t deter me. I’m determined to try harder.

We’re all united in a struggle for survival. Bipartisan neocon lunatics infesting Washington intend letting nothing stand in their way for unchallenged global dominance. Trump is part of the problem, not the solution. The fullness of time will explain more.

Neocons infesting Congress, Wall Street, corporate funded think tanks and other centers of power are willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it - the madness of imperial hubris and arrogance, humanity’s fate up for grabs, especially if nuclear war is waged, the ultimate act of insanity.

America was never beautiful except for its privileged few. Today, an ruthless criminal cabal runs things, wanting all sovereign independent governments toppled, replaced by US-controlled puppet regimes - war America’s favorite strategy of choice.

In his book “Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic,” the late Chalmers Johnson argued that maintaining America’s empire “requires resources and commitments that will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and in the end produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent.” 

“The founders of our nation understood this well and tried to create a form of government - a republic - that would prevent this from occurring.” 

“But the combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, military Keynesianism, and ruinous military expenses have destroyed our republican structure in favor of an imperial presidency.” 

“We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation is started down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play -  isolation, overstretch, the uniting of forces opposed to imperialism, and bankruptcy. Nemesis stalks our life as a free nation.”    

Like myself, Johnson remained hopeful Americans one day will rise up and change things. It’s too late for tinkering around the edges. Revolutionary change is our only chance.

The alternative is “a military dictatorship…its civilian equivalent” (virtually established), or humanity’s doom from nuclear war. “History teaches us that the capacity for things to get worse is limitless,” Johnson explained.

Americans never experienced war firsthand. They don’t know what millions in US targeted countries face, surrounded by death, destruction, chaos, deprivation and misery, their lives threatened daily. 

Except for youths foolish enough to voluntarily join America’s military, believing promises made to be broken, risking their lives in US-instigated war theaters, the public is mindless and dismissive about what’s going on.

Libertarian presidential aspirant Gary Johnson’s display of geopolitical ignorance about Aleppo symbolizes widespread public unawareness of vital world and national issues affecting their lives and welfare.

In my 9th decade. I’ve had a good life with opportunities unavailable for today’s youths. I’ll keep at what I’m doing, fighting the good fight for long denied peace, equity and justice, as long as my health and stamina hold out.

Lots of others are involved like myself, hopefully many more to follow. Committed grassroots activism is the only chance for responsible change, nothing else. Survival depends on it.

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

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: 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.

Hollywood Honors Terrorism

Hollywood Honors Terrorism

by Stephen Lendman

Hollywood Academy Awards are all about film promotion for profits, unrelated to the industry’s best, way too little of it around.

They also reflect longstanding Tinseltown ties to Washington. Scripts feature pro-Western propaganda. 

Studio bosses are well compensated for colluding in glorifying America’s wars and demonizing its enemies - including “Islamic terrorists” and Russia.

Washington has final say on content and characters in propaganda films. It wants its agenda promoted, most people none the wiser.

History is reinvented. The state-sponsored 9/11 event is exploited. Rogue CIA agents are portrayed as heroes. Supporting America’s imperial agenda is more important than truth.

In 2013, Argo was chosen Hollywood’s top film. It should have been denounced instead of honored - reinventing a 1979/1980 Iranian hostage crisis episode.

The film was malicious, unjust and one-sided, Hollywood propaganda at its worst, ignoring what should have been featured, stereotypically portraying Iran according to Western misinformation.

At Hollywood’s 89th Academy Awards on Sunday, The White Helmets propaganda film was honored as the past year’s best documentary short - portraying terrorists as heroes.

The group has nothing to do with civil defense as claimed, everything to do with supporting terrorism against sovereign independent Syria.

Its personnel operate in al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) controlled areas. Calling themselves volunteer rescue workers responsible for saving tens of thousands of lives is rubbish.

America and Britain support the group. So does the Soros Open Society Foundation and likeminded pro-Western interests.

White Helmets have been photographed and videotaped together with al-Nusra terrorists during beheadings and other atrocities. They support creation of a no-fly zone to prevent Syrian aerial self-defense.

The Syria Solidarity Movement calls them al Qaeda “with a facelift,” fostering terrorism and imperial ravaging on the pretext of humanitarianism.

People associated with the group are enemies of fundamental freedoms - warriors, not peacemakers, foreign-supported dark forces wanting tyranny replacing Syrian sovereign independence.

They were nominated for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. Instead it went to narco-state terrorist Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia’s president. As Alvaro Uribe’s defense minister, he was notorious for massacring “entire population centers,” James Petras explained.

Nobel committee members honored state terrorism. So did Hollywood last night in naming The White Helmets last year’s best documentary short.

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.

Hillary Planning a 2020 White House Run?

Hillary Planning a 2020 White House Run?

by Stephen Lendman

She tried and failed twice. Does she have another run in mind?

Reports suggest she may launch a TV talk show, featuring her as host, perhaps intending it to be platform for a third presidential campaign.

She considers herself party leader in exile, likely seeks revenge for losing to Trump. A TV show would be a way to bash him and serve as a self-promotion vehicle. 

She no doubt thinks she can beat Trump in 2020. Will she again seek her party’s nomination? It’s too early to know, but at this stage no other Democrat has popular support for the nation’s highest office.

One thing seems sure. She’s not going away gently into the good night. We’re stuck with the menace she represents - the specter of possible nuclear annihilation if she gets her finger on the nuclear trigger as America’s military commander-in-chief.

On Friday, she released a short video on the Democrat You Tube channel, saying:

Hello Democrats. Thank you all for coming together to represent our party at its best. United, energized and ready to wage and win the battles ahead.”

She lied calling her 2016 campaign platform “the most progressive…in history.” She ludicrously claimed her ideas “inspir(ed) leaders and activists across the country.”

She absurdly said support for her campaign “fuel(ed) grassroots energy and activism,” adding “everywhere people are marching, protesting, tweeting, speaking out and working for an America that is hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted.”

Fact: Throughout the presidential campaign, post-election, and since Trump’s inauguration, dark forces orchestrated protests against him. 

There’s little or no grassroots activism about most of it.

Hillary: “From the Women’s March, to airports where communities are welcoming immigrants, refugees and people of every faith, to town hall meetings where people are speaking up for healthcare, the environment, good jobs and all the other issues that deserve our passionate support.”

Fact: Hillary supports Wall Street, war-profiteers and other predatory corporate interests. Most voters despise her for good reason.

She urged supporters to “stay engaged in the field and online,” adding “(l)et resistance, plus persistence equal progress for our party and our country.”

She wants Trump delegitimized, his agenda undermined, perhaps positioning herself for another run against 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: 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 Superior Air Defense Systems

Russia’s Superior Air Defense Systems

by Stephen Lendman

US-dominated NATO threatens Russian security. State-of-the-art air defenses are vital.

Russia has the world’s best - better ones coming by 2020 or sooner. More on this below.

Its S-400 air defense system is unmatched - the world’s most sophisticated technology, able to strike targets up to 400 km away at altitudes up to 90,000 feet, including fifth generation warplanes, as well as ballistic and cruise missiles.

It’s protected against electronic warfare, able to hit targets beyond the horizon. No other country has anything like it, including America.

It can distinguish between airborne and ground-based targets. Its sophisticated radar spots everything within its range, including tiny aircraft and stealth ones at low or high-flying altitudes.

It renders stealth aircraft obsolete, able to destroy them with pinpoint accuracy. It can simultaneously engage up to 36 targets with up to 72 missiles. 

Three separate types are used - extremely long range 40N6, long range 48N6 and medium range 9M96 missiles. They’re fitted with homing devices able to lock onto and destroy targets. 

Unlike America’s capability, S-400s don’t need to track targets. Their effectiveness neutralizes US-led NATO air power.

Development of Russia’s more sophisticated surface-to-air defense system is well underway - called the S-500 Prometey (Prometheus), also referred to as the 55R6M Tiumfactor-M.

When operational, it’ll protect Russia from hypersonic and intercontinental ballistic missiles. According to defense analyst Viktor Murakhovsky, “(t)his is the next step. These are air defense capabilities on operational and strategic levels.”

They let “us to protect entire regions from intercontinental ballistic missiles and other advanced weapons, including hypersonic glide vehicles currently under development in the United States.”

They’ll be able to hit targets near space, including satellites outfitted with electro-optical surveillance systems.

The S-500 effectively counters Pentagon plans for a so-called Prompt Global Strike (PGS) system to deliver precision-guided weapons anywhere in one hour or less - using surface, sub-surface and air-launched hypersonic missiles.

According to Murakovsky, “hundreds of billions of (US) dollars…have gone down the drain.”

S-500 missiles are mobile. They’ll have a range of up to 600 kilometers. They can simultaneously intercept up to 10 ballistic and hypersonic missiles traveling at speeds of seven km per second.

They can strike targets up to an altitude of 200 km. They can neutralize America’s most sophisticated aerial capability. They’re strictly for defense - giving Pentagon planners pause about attacking Russia.

Reportedly, development of an even more sophisticated S-1000 system is underway.

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. 

France's Le Pen Gains in Polls

France’s Le Pen Gains in Polls

by Stephen Lendman

Polls show Le Pen ahead of her two main rivals in France’s presidential race less than two months before first round April 23 voting.

Her support rose to 27%, Francois Fillon and Emmanuel Macron each at 20%. Polls so far show her losing in May 7 run-off voting, but she’s closing the gap on her rivals.

Macron leads her by a 58 - 42% margin, his lead halved in less than two weeks. Can Le Pen pull even with him and Fillon, maybe achieve a stunning upset, becoming a long-shot winner like Trump in America? 

If elected in May, she vowed to hold a national Frexit vote and pull France out of NATO, saying it solely “serve(s) Washington’s objectives.”

A longtime Eurosceptic, she said “Frexit will be a part of my policy. The people must have the opportunity to vote for the liberation from slavery and blackmail imposed by technocrats in Brussels to return sovereignty to the country.”

She favors closed borders, returning to the franc as France’s currency, abandoning Eurozone control over the country’s monetary and fiscal policy.

“Other people have shown the way,” she said, referring to Trump’s triumph and last June’s UK Brexit vote.

Her manifesto reflects right-wing, nationalist, Eurosceptic policies the National Front (FN) advocated since her father, Jean-Marie, founded the party in 1972.

In 2011, Marine Le Pen assumed party leadership, her father expelled in 2015 over ideological differences. “Voluntarily or not, he gave ammunition to our adversaries,” she said. “Today (they) no longer have that ammunition.”

Obstacles to her chance for leadership go beyond winning a second round run-off. The FN holds only two parliamentary seats, likely making it impossible to fulfill campaign promises.

She’s limited in what she can accomplish by decree. She has little common ground with other parties. Dominant center-left and center-right ones oppose her agenda.

Rebranding the FN helped her, including promoting women’s rights, gay and lesbian rights, opposing anti-Semitism and Muslim immigration, saying “(w)e do not want to live under the rule or threat of Islamic fundamentalism.”

She accused Muslim immigrants of “looking to impose on us gender discrimination in public places, full body veils or not, prayer rooms in the workplace, prayers in the streets, huge mosques.”

She praised Trump, supports detente with Russia, rejects the notion of it invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea, at the same time calling sanctions “stupid.”

Like America, France never had a female president. If Le Pen defies long odds and wins, it’ll be a stunning upset few expect.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Mass Grave Discovered Near Mosul, Iraq

Mass Grave Discovered Near Mosul, Iraq

by Stephen Lendman

Pentagon aerial terror-bombing is ravaging Mosul, destroying its infrastructure, massacring its people - on the phony pretext of liberating the city from US-supported ISIS terrorists.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians are threatened. A bloodbath already claimed many lives. Endless horrors continue - including atrocities committed by CIA-trained and supported ISIS fighters.

On February 25, London’s Telegraph headlined “Horror of Mosul where sinkhole became mass grave for 4,000 of Isil’s victims,” saying:

The location was discovered about “five miles outside Mosul…believed to be the biggest mass grave in Iraq…bodies of thousands of security personnel” dumped after US-supported ISIS terrorists took control of the city in 2014.

According to witnesses, victims were shot and dumped into a huge pit, “others perished in vehicles driven over the edge,” a witness identified only as Mahmoud saying:

Daesh would drive the victims to Khasfa in convoys of minibuses, trucks and pick ups. The men had their hands bound and their eyes blindfolded.”

“They were taken to the sinkhole and shot in the back of the head,” others shoved over the edge. A Daily Telegraph reporter visited the site after Iraqi forces recaptured the area.

The Khasfa body count exceeds the mass-murder of about 1,700 Iraqi air force cadets in a June 2014 ISIS attack on Camp Speicher military base near Tikrit.

The sinkhole is huge, about 400 meters deep. According to Mahmoud, “(i)n the beginning, you couldn’t see the corpses at the bottom of the hole. Only later, when it began to fill up, you could see the bodies.”

ISIS massacred around 2,000 Iraqi police and soldiers in one day alone, he explained.

The battle for Mosul continues, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians in harm’s way.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said US-led so-called coalition bombing,”conducted in conditions of absolute information blockade” created a “medieval massacre” of civilians.

Unlike humanitarian corridors Russia established for the evacuation of Aleppo civilians, America did nothing similar for Mosul residents.

The city is Iraq’s second largest with a population of around 1.3 million. Reportedly around 800,000 civilians remain trapped.

The western part of the city is cut off from food, water, fuel, electricity and medical aid. UNICEF said most residents are forced to drink untreated water from polluted sources.

A US-created disaster continues unfolding in plain sight - deplorably misreported by media scoundrels.

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.