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Afghanistan: War Without End, Permanent US Occupation

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 24/11/2014 - 00:42
Afghanistan: War Without End, Permanent US Occupation
by Stephen Lendman
On November 21, The New York Times headlined "In a Shift, Obama Extends US Role in Afghan Conflict," saying:
"(A)uthoriz(ing) a more expansive mission for (America's) military than originally planned…(A) move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year." 
More on this below. On October 28, 2007, candidate Obama said:
"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do." 
"I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank."
On December 1, 2009, President Obama said:
"(A)s Commander-in-Chief, I have determined that it is in our vital national interest to send an additional 30,000 US troops to Afghanistan."  
America came to stay. Obama saying "(w)e will bring America's longest war to a responsible end" is false. One of his many Big Lies.
Including saying "(w)e went into Afghanistan out of necessity…"
False! Premeditated war was planned long before 9/11. Conflicts require months of planning. George Bush authorized it four weeks post-9/11. Readied plans were implemented.
International law is clear and unequivocal. No nation may attack another except in self-defense. Doing so without Security Council authorization is prohibited.
It didn't matter. Naked aggression was launched. Lawless by any standard. Against a nation posing no threat to America. 
Without congressional authorization. No declaration of war. No Security Council approval. Bush acted anyway. Through dubious War Powers Resolution (WPR) authority.
Letting presidents act unilaterally for 60 days. Another 30 for disengagement. Short of required Security Council authorization. Congressional approval. Via a formal declaration of war.
WPR is clear and unequivocal, stating:
"The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to… 
(1) a declaration of war,
(2) specific statutory authorization, or 
(3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces."
No declaration of war exists to this day. No Security Council or congressional authorization. No national emergency from any threat to America. Or any other reason.
It bears repeating. Bush's war was lawless aggression. Obama continued it illegally for six years. It remains ongoing. America's longest war. Without end.
Washington's last legal war was WW II. All wars are based on misinformation, deception and Big Lies. Drowning out hard truths. Including multiple Obama direct and proxy conflicts.
Official reasons for waging them don't wash. They have nothing to do with protecting national security. Defeating Al Qaeda. Or Taliban forces.
Or capturing and killing bin Laden. Or humanitarian intervention.Responsibility to protect. 
Safeguarding US personnel. Spreading democratic values. Championing right over wrong.
Truth is polar opposite. They're for unchallenged control. Prioritizing capital's divine right to use money to make more of it. 
Making the world safe for war-profiteers. Controlling world resources. Pillage on a grand scale. 
Exploiting whole populations. Turning workers into serfs. Profiting from human misery. Millions of corpses don't matter. A small price to pay.
On May 27, Obama lied saying:
"Together with our allies and the Afghan government, we have agreed that this is the year we will conclude our combat mission in Afghanistan." 
"America’s combat mission will be over by the end of this year. Starting next year, Afghans will be fully responsible for securing their country."  
"American personnel will be in an advisory role. We will no longer patrol Afghan cities or towns, mountains or valleys. That is a task for the Afghan people."
That was then. This is now. Another promise made. Another broken. Operations Infinite Justice (OIJ) became Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). 
Now renamed Operation Resolute Support (ORS). Operation War Without End by any other name.
Naked aggression. Secretly authorized. At least through 2015. Virtually certain to continue through Obama's second term. Likely long thereafter. Public rage should demand all US wars end.
America's AfPak/Iraq involvement the costliest in world history. Up to $6 trillion. Including longterm medical care and disability compensation for vets and families. 
Other veterans' benefits. Military replenishment. Social and economic costs.
Over $2 trillion borrowed to finance AfPak/Iraq. Heading for much more. Plus hundreds of billions more for other direct and proxy wars. New ones planned.
Debt service is huge. Even at low interest rates. Human and financial costs staggering. So are trillions more in waste, fraud and abuse.
Enormous amounts of money down a black hole. For genocidal wars without end. At the expense of popular needs gone begging. Other vital homeland ones.
At a time polls show most Americans want US wars ended, Obama orders fight on. With no end in sight. According to The Times:
"Mr. Obama’s order allows American forces to carry out missions against the Taliban and other militant groups threatening American troops or the Afghan government…" 
"(A) broader mission than the president described to the public earlier this year, according to several administration, military and congressional officials with knowledge of the decision." 
"The new authorization also allows American jets, bombers and drones to support Afghan troops on combat missions."
Some Obama officials claim Pentagon pressure forced his hand. Military commanders say he acted with domestic politics in mind.
His order authorizes continued air strikes and ground combat operations. Same old, same old. Maybe for another 13 years. Perhaps America's forever war.
Unrelated to national security. Other bogus reasons cited. All about advancing America's imperium. 
Colonizing a strategic territory. Controlling it. With pro-Western stooge governance doing Washington's bidding. A previous article explained the following:
Afghanistan is a geopolitical prize. At issue is controlling Eurasia's vast oil, gas and other resources. 
The world's largest opium supply. Flooding global markets with heroin. 
Providing enormous profits for Wall Street. Giving CIA bosses access to billions of dollars in illicit drug money.
Affording Washington with a strategically located land-based aircraft carrier. Part of its plan to encroach on Sino/Russian borders. 
Encircle them with bases. Target their heartlands. Advance longterm regime change plans. Against the only two countries able to challenge US hegemony.
9/11 was a convenient pretext. The mother of all Big Lies. Wars without end followed. No legal or moral justification exists.
America's presence exacerbates horrific conditions. Death, destruction, violence and human depravation haunt daily life.
Human misery is extreme. Peace, stability and freedom are pure fantasy. So are democratic values.
America came to Afghanistan to stay. Permanent occupation  planned. Combat troops remain. Drone wars continue daily.
Mostly killing noncombatant men, women and children. Claims otherwise are Big Lies. 
US special forces and CIA elements infest Afghanistan. Search and destroy missions are prioritized.
Throughout his tenure, Obama repeatedly lied. About ending America's combat mission. Transitioning to new mission priorities. "(T)raining, advising and assisting Afghan forces only," he said.
"(A)n historic moment. (A)nother step toward full Afghan sovereignty. Afghanistan (has) a long-term partner in the United States of America."
Ruler/vassal state describes things best. Kabul stooge governance serves US interests. 
Profiting hugely from out-of-control corruption. Drug trafficking on a grand scale. Worth hundreds of billions of dollars annually.
None trickles down to ordinary Afghans. Except minimal crop grower underpayments. Human need goes unaddressed. A growth industry and then some.
America came to conquer, colonize, occupy, plunder and control a strategic part of the world. 
War without end rages. No end in sight looms. Don't expect media scoundrels to explain.
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. 

Sham Bahraini Elections

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 23/11/2014 - 20:33
Sham Bahraini Elections
by Stephen Lendman
On November 22, sham parliamentary elections were held for the first time since 2011. Majority Shias boycotted as expected. Turnout was low.
Main opposition party Al-Wefaq refused to participate. Its Secretary-General, Ali Salman, said "turnout (was) no more than 30%" of around 350,000 eligible voters.
Most participating were military as well as security and public sector personnel.
"The popular will has triumphed for the sake of the homeland. What a failure it is for the government to beg for a vote from a people who are marginalised by them," said Salman.
London-based Al-Wefaq member Khalil Al-Marzooq said opposition members had nothing to gain. Bahraini elections are farcical. Illegitimate by any standard.
"There's no justice in Bahrain. (N)o independence of the judiciary, " said Al-Marzooq
"Unless we agree on the system that represents people and make officials accountable and save people and protect their rights, we can't participate."
"We participated in 2006 and 2010 with a high turnout with the aim of changing the political system to protect the people's rights and interests but we couldn't achieve anything."
Bahraini governance reflects state terror writ large. A case study of despotism. In summer 2010, sporadic protests began. By mid-February 2011, major ones erupted. Continuing sporadically.
Challenging repressive rule nonviolently. At issue is King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa's repressive rule. Ruthless by any standard.
Bahrainis want what everyone deserves. Real democratic change. Majority Shia discrimination ended.
Equitable distribution of state wealth. Political prisoners released. Torture no longer tolerated. 
Popularly elected leaders replacing Al-Khalifa rule. Despotic. Ruthless. Intolerable.
Thousands of peaceful Bahraini protesters face brutalizing treatment. Including tear gas. Beatings. Rubber-coated steel bullets.
Live fire. Mass arrests. Torture. Imprisonments. Disappearances. Cold-blooded murder. State-sponsored terror writ large.
Women and children are brutalized like men. So are students, doctors, nurses, other medical personnel, journalists, human rights activists and foreign observers.
Sham elections resolve nothing. Longstanding business as usual persists. Some 419 candidates participated - 266 for 40 Council of Representatives (lower parliamentary house) seats. 
Another 153 for municipal councils. The ruling monarchy appoints 40 upper house Consultative Council members.
Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) president/provisionally released political prisoner Nabeel Rajab expects election results to deepen crisis conditions.
Government/opposition disputes remain unresolved. State terror targets human rights activists and regime opponents. Democracy is pure fantasy. None whatever exists.
Parliamentary members have no power. "(T)o legislate or monitor," says Rajab. Expect no change whatever post-election.
Holding them with almost half of opposition leaders in prison have no legitimacy. 
"You can’t have an election with no compromise with opposition. You can’t have a one-sided decision," Rajab explains.
"We need real reform." Parliament with power to legislate. Representing all Bahrainis. Equitably and justly.
Thousands of political prisoners released. Real dialogue. Reconciliation. "Then we should have an election," says Rajab.
Bahrain is a dictatorship "where you can't speak. You can't talk. You can't make a statement that criticizes any institution or government official." 
"(T)hings have much deteriorated because of the abandonment of the international community of our struggle for democracy and social justice in this country." 
"(W)e've been ignored. Many countries - like the UK, specifically - have ignored our struggle, seeing their interests, seeing their arms trade has more priority than our rights, our struggle for democracy." 
"But we're more determined. We're more committed to continue our struggle, and I'm more confident and optimistic that if we do continue, we're going to have a democratic country one day."
In September 2010, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights commented on longstanding repressive conditions. Things remain unchanged. BCHR's criticism remains relevant. Saying in part:
It "condemn(s) the persistence of the constant campaign of suppressing public liberties, at a time where the country is living an undeclared state of emergency with the arrest of hundred of activists, human rights defenders and opposition religious figures, and the continuity of kidnappings of youth while physically abusing and sexually harassing them."
BCHR "continually receiv(es) information about the increase of torture crimes and sexual harassment against detained Shiite clerics and stripping several detainees who are human right defenders off their clothes."
Ruling authorities carry "out collective punishment against the detainees and their families by announcing that they have been dismissed from their jobs and deprive them of the medical, educational and housing services provided by the State as part of its responsibility."
Detainees are brutally tortured. Others disappeared. Some murdered in cold blood.
Opposition figures targeted. So are human rights workers. Journalists daring to report accurately. Students, medical workers and others.
Civil and human rights don't matter. Nor international laws. Democracy is a convenient illusion. Tyranny institutionalized.
Courts rigged to convict. Guilt by accusation suffices. Horrific prison conditions persist. 
Thousands wrongfully incarcerated suffer horrendously. World leaders able to make a difference do nothing.
Freedom is a four-letter word. Fundamental rights don't exist. It bears repeating. Elections when held are farcical. With no legitimacy whatever.
Manama's Pearl Roundabout is ground zero for Bahraini peaceful anti-regime protests. In March 2011, al-Khalifa security forces tore down the movement's defining symbol.
A 300-foot sculpture. A stone pearl atop six sweeping arches. Reported at the time as a "face-lift." To "boost the flow of traffic."
Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, cut to the chase saying: 
"We did it to remove a bad memory. The whole thing caused our society to be polarized." 
"We don't want a monument to be a bad memory. We are not waging war. We are restoring law and order."
On election eve, hundreds of angry Bahrainis marched to the site peacefully. Security forces attacked them with tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades and beatings.
Many injuries and arrests followed. Majority Shias believe their country is under siege. 
They're excluded from high-level government, military and police positions. They want it freed from repressive regime rule.
In over four years of protests, scores died. Including women and children. By live fire, beatings, asphyxiation from tear gas, and torture in police custody or prison.
BCHR along with two dozen other human rights groups issued a joint statement saying in part: 
Elections "must not be use to cover human rights violations."
"Peaceful protesters, human rights defenders and democracy advocates continue to face extrajudicial detentions, imprisonment, ill treatment and torture in detention centres."
"The 2014 elections will certainly be used as a cover for the ongoing human rights crisis." 
"These elections are sure to be considered neither inclusive, with the opposition societies feeling unable to participate, nor a sign of political reform, in a country that continues to be plagued by flagrant abuses of human rights."
Security forces continue targeting majority Shias, their religious sites and peaceful protesters.
The State Department's 2013 human rights report on Bahrain cited "serious human rights problems…"
Including "citizens' inability to change their government peacefully." 
"(A)rrest and detention of protesters on vague charges, in some cases leading to their torture in detention." 
"(L)ack of due process in trials of political and human rights activists, medical personnel, teachers, and students, with some trials resulting in harsh sentences." 
"Other significant human rights problems included arbitrary deprivation of life." 
"(L)ack of consistent accountability for security officers accused of committing human rights violations." 
"(A)rrest of individuals on charges relating to freedom of expression." 
"(V)iolations of privacy."
"Restrictions on civil liberties, including freedom of speech, press, assembly, association, and some religious practices."
A September 2014 BCHR report said regime authorities arbitrarily stripped over 2,000 residents of their nationality. 
Including dozens of Bahrainis. On bogus charges. So-called crimes "threaten(ing) national security."
Nationality revocations target political opponents. Including former MPs, activists and lawyers. They and family members are affected. Leaving them stateless in Bahrain.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) calls its justice system unfair. Unaccountable. Its deputy Middle East director Joe Stork saying:
"Bahrain's problem is not a dysfunctional justice system, but rather a highly functional injustice system."
The UN Refugee Agency launched a recent campaign called "I belong." To combat statelessness.
An open letter signed by high commissioners, presidents, Nobel Peace laureates and human rights defenders saying:
"Statelessness is inhuman. We believe it is time to end this injustice." International law requires it. Including reinstating nationalities for affected individuals.
Sham Bahraini elections changed nothing. Authorities continue terrorizing majority Shias. Regime opponents. 
Human rights supporters. Anyone demanding democratic rights. Nothing in prospect looks hopeful. Business as usual persists.
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. 

Lavrov: West Wants Regime Change in Russia

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 23/11/2014 - 05:50

Lavrov: West Wants Regime Change in Russia
by Stephen Lendman
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is highly respected and then some. Representing Russia honorably. Forthrightly. Responsibly.
Saying what he means. Meaning what he says. Telling participants at the Moscow-based advisory Foreign and Defense Policy Council:
"As for the concept behind to the use of coercive measures, the West is making clear it does not want to force Russia to change policy but wants to secure regime change."
Western leaders publically "say there is a need to impose sanctions that will destroy the economy and cause public protests."
Tensions between Russia and Western countries were brewing long before Ukrainian crisis conditions, he explained.
EU countries succumbed to US pressure. Decided to go for broke. Play chicken with Russia.
Ukraine reflects a moment of truth. Moscow won't instigate breaking ties with Europe. At the same time, it won't tolerate post-Soviet 1990s business as usual.
"The EU is our largest partner. Nobody is going to shoot himself in the foot and reject cooperation with Europe, but everyone understands that it won't be business as usual anymore."
"(W)e don’t need the" way things were before. Saying 'Russia must do this and must do that…(W)e want to cooperate as equals.
US-led "aggressive minority" Western nations bear full responsibility for escalating tensions. Led by ideologically over-the-top officials.
Pursuing Eastern European power grabs. Instead of mutual cooperation. Joint mutual problem-solving efforts. Prioritizing peace. Rejecting war.
Lavrov blamed Washington for usurping global leadership. Bullying other nations to observe its rules.
When its resources and skills are declining. Waging war to achieve hegemonic goals. Letting politics trump reason.
"We cannot accept the position of those who tell us: 'Put up with it. Everyone has to suffer from America having elections every two years, and nothing should be done about it.' " 
" 'Relax and take it as a given.' This won't do. We won't take it because the stakes are too high."
"It's not about anti-Americanism or forming some sort of anti-American coalition." 
"It's about the natural desire of an increasing number of nations to ensure their vital interests and doing it in a way they see right, not the way they are being told by a foreign party."
If Washington assumes leadership for world peace and stability. Mutual cooperation. Respecting sovereign rights of all nations. 
Observing international laws, norms and standards. Moscow will be first to express support. Bullying will produce polar opposite reactions.
Addressing Russia's Security Council on Thursday, Putin warned against US-led "modern world extremism…used as a geopolitical instrument to rearrange spheres of influence." 
"We see the tragic consequences of the wave of so-called 'colour revolutions,' the turmoil in the countries that have undergone the irresponsible experiments of covert and sometimes blatant interference in their lives." 
"We take this as a lesson and a warning, and we must do everything necessary to ensure this never happens in Russia."
"(W)e must consistently and persistently work to prevent extremism, to remove even its prerequisites and to reveal in a timely fashion the causes that can provoke ethnic, social or religious conflicts."
"(W)e need to take a complex approach to countering extremism. (T)his job requires thorough knowledge of the situation in each specific region and federal district."
"Countering extremism has nothing to do with intolerance towards dissenters." 
"Russia is a free democratic country and its citizens have the right to their opinion, the right to voice it and to be in opposition to the authorities.
"All people have the right to propose their solutions to pressing issues, they have a right to form parties and public organisations, and take part in elections." 
"It is important that they exercise their rights, express their political preferences, positions and views in a civilised and legal manner."
"As we assert our freedom of choice, the right to hold meetings, marches and rallies, we should not forget that we are responsible for our words and deeds." 
"We must know and bear in mind that breeding conflict between people of different ethnicity and religion, propaganda of nationalist ideology, mass violations of public order on these grounds and particularly calls for a violent overthrow of the existing regime are direct manifestations of anti-national thinking and extremism."
"All of us must bear in mind the destructive consequences of such actions." 
"Leaders of public movements should remember this. They should know that such actions are punishable by law."
Putin prioritized three ways to address extremism:
  • better focus on inter-ethnic relations;

  • awareness promotion work with youths; and

  • improved migration policies.

Russia must be mindful US-instigated post-9/11 color revolutions, said Putin. Taking measures to prevent them domestically.
Freedom can't be taken for granted. Nor sovereign rights. Keep them requires constant vigilance. Working daily for what's vital to preserve. 
Mindful of ever present threats. Hegemons stop at nothing to achieve goals. Not at Russia's expense, Putin asserts.
He's more popular than ever. For resoluteness. Straight talk. Defending sovereign Russian rights. Going all-out for regional peace and stability.
Not yielding to US pressure. Opposing its imperial agenda. Mindful of Obama toppling Ukraine's democratically elected president. 
Replacing him and parliamentary members with pro-Western stooge governance. 
Determined to challenge US unipolarity. New World Order dominance. Demanding all nations bow to its will.
Russia under Putin/Medvedev/Lavrov and other resolute officials is back. Proud and reassertive. Not about to roll over for Washington. Or rogue EU partners. Or US-led NATO threats.
It's back to the future in Washington. Cold War 2.0. For greater stakes. Threats to world peace. Reinventing the Evil Empire.
The real one resides in Washington. Infested with neocons. Continuing destructive business as usual policies. 
Essential to stop while there's time. All bets are off otherwise. Humanity's fate hangs in the balance.
A Final Comment
The General Assembly's Third Committee deals with a range of social, humanitarian and human rights issues. Ones affecting populations worldwide.
Others advancing women's rights. Protecting children. Indigenous issues. Treatment of refugees. Promoting fundamental freedoms.
Confronting racial discrimination. Addressing social development issues. Supporting self-determination rights.
During the General Assembly's 68th session (Sept. 17, 2013 - Sept. 15, 2014), Third Committee members considered over 70 draft resolutions. Over half related to human rights.
It's expected to consider a similar number in its current session. Including one passed Friday. Condemning attempts to glorify Nazism. Deny its war crimes.
The resolution passed overwhelmingly - 115 to three. With 55 nations abstaining. America, Canada and Ukraine alone voted nay.
Effectively endorsing Nazism. Denying it committed war crimes. The measure voiced concern over racist-driven crimes. 
Extremist ideologies and agendas. Commonplace in America, Ukraine and elsewhere.
It called for universally adopting the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Washington signed it. Without enforcement measures. Effectively rejecting what it endorsed.
Russia submitted the draft resolution. Its Foreign Ministry saying:
"The fact that the US, Canada and Ukraine voted against, while delegations from EU member states abstained in the vote on this draft resolution, which was supported by an overwhelming majority of the UN member states, is extremely regrettable."
"Ukraine's position is particularly dispiriting and alarming. One can hardly understand how a country, the people of which suffered their full share of the horrors of Nazism and contributed significantly to our common victory against it, can vote against a resolution condemning its glorification."
In December, the General Assembly will formally adopt the resolution. No thanks to America, Canada and Ukraine. On the wrong side of one issue after another.
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. 

Russia Bans GMOs

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sun, 23/11/2014 - 02:00
Russia Bans GMOs
by Stephen Lendman
Genetically engineered foods and ingredients harm human health. Russia banned them. Wants more organic food produced. More on this below.
GMO expert Jeffrey Smith calls GMO foods and ingredients "inherently unsafe. The GM process creates collateral damage in the plant, which can cause (disturbing) side effects."
Independent studies prove it. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) reported "animal studies indicat(ing) health risks associated with GM foods."
Including numerous illnesses, infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, gastrointestinal abnormalities, and major organ changes.
AAEM urged physicians to tell patients to avoid GMOs. Unlike clinical drug evaluations, none are conducted for these products.
The only published human feeding experiment showed genetic material in GM soy becomes hazardous intestinal bacteria.
Continuing to function long after these products are eaten. Potentially causing super-diseases. Resistant to antibiotics.
Able to turn intestinal bacteria into pesticide factories. Recent independent studies show GM corn damages livers and kidneys.
Animals raised on GM feed are inherently different from safely fed ones. Rats ingestind GM potatoes had smaller livers, hearts, testicles and brains, damaged immune systems, and abnormal white cell changes.
Making them more vulnerable to infections and diseases than other rats fed non-GMO potatoes.
Thymus and spleen damage showed up. Enlarged tissues. Including the pancreas and intestines.
Liver atrophy. Significant proliferation of stomach and intestines cells. A sign of greater future risk of cancer.
Roundup pesticide used for GM crops causes birth defects. GM soy causes sterility.
Americans don't know what they're eating. Labeling is prohibited. Violating First Amendment rights.
Monsanto, Dow, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association has teamed up with Koch brothers-backed Congressman Mike Pompeo (R. KS).
Planning legislation denying Americans the right to know what they're eating. Smith calls it the "Deny Americans the Right-to-Know Act (DARK Act)."
Provisions will prevent states from labeling GM foods and ingredients.Prohibit them from calling natural labeling illegal for GMOs. Prevent the FDA from requiring food companies to label them.
The Center for Food Safety (CFS) calls GM plants and animals "one of the greatest and most intractable environmental challenges of the 21st century."
Over 90% of US soybeans are genetically engineered. Around 85% of corn. About 88% of cotton. Cottonseed oil often used in processed foods.
Over 80% of them contain GM ingredients. From soda pop to soup to salad dressings. Crackers to condiments. Potatoes to "super" pigs. Bananas to baked beans.
Despite known harm to human health, no congressional legislation regulates GM foods and ingredients.
According to CFS:
"The haphazard and negligent agency regulation of biotechnology has been a disaster for consumers and the environment."
"Unsuspecting consumers by the tens of millions are purchasing and consuming unlabeled GE foods, despite a finding by US Food & Drug Administration scientists that these foods could pose serious risks."
Americans are human guinea pigs without knowing it. Part of an unregulated mass experiment, Entailing enormous risks.
Once GM seeds are planted, nothing known to science can reverse their contamination. It spread over two-thirds of arable US farmland.
Despite known human health risks. In America, politics trumps science. Unsafe foods and ingredients are declared fit to eat.
Whatever agribusiness wants it gets. Profits alone matter. Human health be damned. Genetic manipulation is fraught with danger.
It works by forcibly inserting a single gene from one species' DNA into another. Unnatural pseudo-science.
Smith explains as follows, saying:
"A pig can mate with a pig and a tomato can mate with a tomato. But this is no way that a pig can mate with a tomato and vice versa."
Doing so transfers genes across natural barriers. Ones separating species over millions of evolutionary years.
Biotech manipulators want us to believe they can do nature one better. Calling genetic engineering an extension or superior alternative to natural breeding.
With no corroborating evidence. Plenty showing genetic manipulation harms human health.
China banned GMO corn. Dozens of countries require labeling. Despite exemptions and inadequate enforcement.
No international standards exist. Industry claims about GMOs being substantially equivalent to natural foods are Big Lies.
EU countries require labeling. Unrelated to safety. For commercial purposes only.
Distinguishing among GM, conventional and organic foods. So consumers can choose or avoid products they wish.
Since 2007, foods sold in Russia required special labeling if contained 0.9% or more of GM ingredients.
Last March, Putin said Russia is obligated to protect its citizens from GMOs. In April, Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev ordered new controls.
Last February, Russian upper house Federation Council members introduced legislation temporarily banning GMOs.
Until studies evaluate the safety of each one by various scientific standards. Or prove them unsafe to eat.
Polls show over 80% of Russians want them banned. Only 9% approve them.
Russia's National Association for Genetic Security (RNAGS) wants them banned.
Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology researcher Irina Ermakova showed six-fold higher mortality rates/lower body weight among young rats whose mothers were fed herbicide resistant GM soybeans.
Her findings raised serious concerns about human health risks from GMOs. "It is necessary to ban (them), to impose moratorium for 10 years," she said.
"While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed."
"It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous."
"Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect. (A)t this stage, all GMOs are dangerous. Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals."
"Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop (them) from spreading."
Days earlier, Russian media reported Prime Minister Medvedev announcing a complete GM import ban.
"If Americans like to eat GMO products, let them," he said." We don't need to do that. We have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food."
GMOs will be banned for 10 years. So reliable research can evaluate their human health effects.
Russia's decision is important. Along with China banning GM corn. Perhaps other countries will follow.
Foods, ingredients and other human ingested products should be unconditionally banned. False narratives about safety don't wash.
Polls show Monsanto is one of the world's most hated companies for good reason. For slow-poisoning us.
Its former executives run the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). An obvious conflict of interest.
Anti-GMO activists urge buying organic foods. Boycotting Monsanto-owned companies.
Repealing Monsanto Protection Act harmful provisions. Permitting "continued cultivation, commercialization, and other specifically enumerated activities."
Human health be damned. Letting the Secretary of Agriculture ignore public safety. Corporate interests own Obama.
He's their man in Washington. Supporting hazardous GMOs. Other products and services harming human health and welfare.
Congress operating the same way. Letting corporate lawyers and lobbyists write legislation.
Concerned only about bottom line issues. Making the world safe for profiteers. Harming public welfare at the same time.
Monsanto is no stranger to controversy. Spending millions of dollars annually. Buying politicians like toothpaste.
Millions more spent investigating possible farmer patent violations. Targeting anti-GMO state referenda and legislation.
Wanting all plant and animal products genetically modified. Wanting worldwide food control.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) lists 20 countries banning one or more GM product.
North Dakota and Montana introduced legislation prohibiting GM wheat. Several US cities and municipalities want restrictions or bans imposed. Previous efforts failed.
Vermont wants a moratorium on GMOs. Enacted legislation requiring GM food and ingredient labeling by July 2016.
In response, Monsanto sued. Ludicrously claiming burdensome speech requirements and restrictions.
Vermont Public Interest Research Group's consumer protection advocate Falko Schilling said:
The people of Vermont have said loud and clear they have a right to know what is in their food. So putting labels on is a reasonable and prudent thing so people can decide for themselves."
Organic Consumers Association's National Director Ronnie Cummins praised the new law, stating:
"After years of good old-fashioned work, and playing by the rules, the grassroots labeling movement achieved its first real victory this year, when Vermont passed the first no-strings-attached law requiring mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs)."
He blasted Monsanto's suit. Calling it a desperate attempt to protect corporate shareholder profits at the expense of consumers' rights and health."
The struggle for food safety continues. Hopefully other states, cities and municipalities will follow Vermont's lead.
Ideally banning GMOs altogether. Based on independent research proving them unsafe to eat.
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.

Biden in Ukraine

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 19:56
Biden in Ukraine
by Stephen Lendman
On Friday, puppet masters Vice President Joe Biden and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland arrived in Ukraine.
Visiting America's newest colony. Delivering marching orders. Discussing Big Lies about Russia encroaching on Ukrainian territory.
Sending troops cross border. Supplying Donbas self-defense forces with weapons and munitions.
Discussing plans for escalated conflict. All-out war. Assuring US political and military support. 
Regardless of Geneva and Minsk agreements. Outrageously blaming conflict conditions on Russia and Donbas fighters.
Oligarch president Petro Poroshenko earlier vowed to crush them. Mobilizing Ukrainian forces aggressively. 
Intending full-scale war. Perhaps greater than ever mass slaughter and destruction. Wanting hardline rule replacing Donbas democracy. 
Fascist viciousness writ large. Planning eventual NATO membership. What Russia absolutely won't tolerate.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov weeks earlier warning against attempts to end Ukraine's non-aligned status. 
Saying it'll "derail all efforts at initiating dialogue with the aim of ensuring national security," he said.
Washington made Russia a strategic adversary. Fast-tracking toward direct confrontation. Ongoing events uncomfortably similar to those preceding WW I. History has a way of repeating.
On November 19, Lavrov addressed Russia's lower house State Duma. Saying things are changing.
"(I)nternational relations are going through a transition as a new multipolar international order continues to emerge for objective reasons." 
"A fundamentally different picture of the world is taking shape right before our eyes." Not easily or quickly.
"The end of one era and the start of the next is never a straightforward process, and it's usually marked by series of intense local conflicts, if not global clashes." 
"We face challenges of truly historic proportions whose complexity cannot be underestimated." 
"At the same time, clearly, Russia has every opportunity to consolidate its position as one of the centres of the new multipolar system, have a positive influence on the international situation, strengthen security and stability, and create favourable external conditions for the internal development of our country and sustainable economic growth - all to improve the quality of life of our citizens." 
"Russia's traditionally independent policy is in synch with the times, and is becoming increasingly popular in the world and attracting a wide range of partners in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe."
"The Ukraine crisis was the result of the policy pursued by Western countries over the course of the last 25 years, whereby they sought to strengthen their own security at the expense of others and to expand the geopolitical space under their control." 
"This revealed itself in successive waves of NATO enlargement despite assurances to the contrary given at the highest levels and in violation of solemn declarations to create a system of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic zone."
"With the support of the United States and several European countries, an unconstitutional armed coup was staged in Ukraine." 
"Nationalist radicals brought the country to the brink of a schism and pushed it into civil war. The chances of de-escalating the conflict have been repeatedly torpedoed by the West."
Washington bears full responsibility. Rogue EU partners share it. Fascist Kiev governance threatens regional peace and stability.
Russia won't look on passively as events of great importance occur on its border. Western countries should stop supporting Kiev's "war party," Lavrov said.
"(T)urning a blind eye to (its) flagrant human rights violations, lawlessness and war crimes."
Blaming Russia won't work, Lavrov stressed. Hard truths have a way of exposing Big Lies. 
Sanctions "undermine efforts to stabilise the global economy and don't bring us any closer to resolving the Ukraine crisis."
Russia prioritizes peaceful conflict resolution. Grounded in international law. Excluding Western-style double standards and hidden agendas. 
Urging other nations to operate the same way. World peace depends on it. Threatened because of Ukrainian flashpoint conditions.
Incendiary by any standard. The gravest geopolitical crisis since WW II. Fueled by Washington's rage for war.
Madness in Europe's heartland. Heightened by provocative NATO exercises. Preparing for possible war with Russia. Waged for unchallenged dominance.
Irresponsibly accusing Moscow of violating NATO airspace. Provocative drills. Big Lies. Hard truths expose them.
Numerous false reports claimed Russia invaded Ukraine. With troops and heavy weapons.
On Friday, NATO officials admitted no credible evidence proves it. According to Russia's NATO envoy Alexander Grushko:
"As far as I remember, even NATO officials themselves admit they have no credible materials confirming that Russian weaponry and military vehicles cross the border and that Russian troops are being amassed along the border with Ukraine."
It bears repeating. Claims otherwise are Big Lies. NATO turned Baltic states "into an area of some kind of military confrontation with Russia, and this is a dead-end track," said Grushko.
Russia remains concerned about NATO's eastward expansion. Encroaching on its borders. Planning Ukrainian Alliance membership. Despite claims otherwise.
"It should be clear to NATO that the deployment of a significant military force along our borders, constant drills and exercises, will undoubtedly push us into taking certain precautions," Grushko said.
Madness defines US-led NATO policy. Risking the unthinkable. James Petras explains what's going on as an " 'all-or-nothing campaign…' "
"(T)o seize all of Ukraine or, failing that, destroy the restive southeast, obliterate its population and productive capacity and engage in an all-out economic (and possibly shooting) war with Russia."
Lunacy writ large. Threatening humanity. At the same time, Russia continues going all-out for peaceful conflict resolution.
No nation works harder at it. Putin and Lavrov true peace champions. Polar opposite Obama. Neocons influencing him. 
Fascists in Kiev. Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Commonwealth of Independent States, Leonid Slutsky, calling its Verkhovana Rada governing coalition "a marionette parliament."
"(D)eclaring (an intention to join) NATO." Prospects ahead look grim. War winds head toward gale force. 
Decades after WW II's end, another potential global conflict looms. With weapons making earlier ones look like toys.
On November 22, US-controlled Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty headlined "New Ukraine Coalition Agreed, Sets NATO as Priority."
Its "major goal." Pro-Western/anti-Russian coalition member parties include the Poroshenko bloc, Popular Front, Samoponich (Self-Rule), Radical Party and Batkivshchyna (Fatherland).
Their agenda includes returning Crimea to Ukraine. Poroshenko saying "Crimea is and will be Ukrainian."
Last March, Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia. An astonishing 96.77%. With an 82% turnout. 
Moscow accommodated their wishes. In compliance with international law. Self-determination is a universal right. 
"(B)ased on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples," according to the UN Charter, Article 1.
A fundamental human right. "Everyone…entitled to all Universal Declaration of Human Rights " 'freedoms…' "
"(W)ithout distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status." 
"(O)n the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty."
At the time, Obama ludicrously called Crimean self-determination a "threat to US national security."
For sure the threat of a good example. Running counter to Washington's imperial ambitions.
Other Kiev goals include joining NATO. Protecting Ukrainians living in "occupied territories."
EU membership. Permanent bases in Donbas. Investigating February 2014 Maidan (Independence Square) killings. 
Whitewashing putschists direct responsibility. The way coverup suppressed their involvement in Odessa's May 2014 massacre.
Doubled military spending. Despite Ukraine's bankrupt economy. A basket case and then some. Zombie-like. 
Parts of its economy in free fall. Under severe Depression conditions. Headed for collapse without greater financial aid than already received. 
Punishing Ukrainians with force-fed austerity. When government aid desperately needed.
At the same time, US-led bullying Russia continues. Threatening new sanctions. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke saying:
"We have a broad understanding and a similar point of view with our European partners with respect to the steps Russia needs to take and the ways in which the costs to Russia should increase if they fail to abide by the agreements."
Russia alone continues going all-out for peaceful conflict resolution. Washington sabotages its best efforts.
Kiev's dirty war without mercy continues. Heading for greater conflict than earlier. Naked aggression. Putting many thousands of lives at risk.
Potentially spreading cross-border. Pitting Washington and rogue EU states against Russia. Making the unthinkable possible.
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. 

EFF Joins the Call for a NIST We Can Trust

eff.org - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 09:03

It’s looking like we might be on the brink of another crypto war. The first one, in the 90s, was a misguided attempt to limit the public’s access to strong, secure cryptography. And since then, the reasons we need the good security provided by strong crypto have only multiplied. That’s why EFF has joined 20 civil society organizations and companies in sending a letter to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to “re-emphasize the importance of creating a process for establishing secure and resilient encryption standards, free from back doors or other known vulnerabilities.”

As the letter points out, in September 2013, ProPublica, the Guardian, and the New York Times revealed that the NSA had systematically “circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling” that protects the Internet, “collaborating with technology companies in the United States and abroad to build entry points into their products.” As ProPublica explained,

[T]he agency used its influence as the world’s most experienced code maker to covertly introduce weaknesses into the encryption standards followed by hardware and software developers around the world.

And these broken standards appear to have led to a serious impact on U.S. technology companies, which "may lose as much as $35 billion in the next three years from foreign customers choosing not to buy their products over concern they cooperate with spy programs.”

Although NIST has taken some steps to remedy these problems, more is needed “to rectify NIST’s trust deficit.” The letter lists specific recommendations to improve transparency, strengthen NIST’s cryptography work, and increase public understanding and engagement. For example:

NIST should establish a policy wherein the Agency publicly explains the extent and nature of the NSA’s consultation on future standards and any modifications thereto made at NSA’s request.and NIST should begin a review process to ensure that wherever possible the same information is published for standards that are currently in use.

The coalition’s recommendations were “heavily echoed in the reports submitted by the members of NIST’s appointed Committee of Visitors (CoV). The CoV is a distinguished panel of experts appointed by NIST. . .” The CoV also made recommendations to NIST, several of which are emphasized in the letter:

NIST must expand to include independent full-time technical expertise and additional funding in order to decrease reliance on the NSA and other members of the Intelligence Community.

We hope that NIST will take the recommendations seriously. U.S. businesses are suffering, and the NSA’s actions have made the Internet less safe for everyone. Serious action is needed to restore trust in NIST— and to protect the public good. 

You can read the full text of the letter and see the signatories here

Files:  coalition-nist-nov2014.pdfRelated Issues: Export ControlsPrivacyEncrypting the WebNSA Spying
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Categories: Aggregated News

Obama's Sham Immigration Reform

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 22/11/2014 - 06:10
Obama's Sham Immigration Reform
by Stephen Lendman
Throughout his tenure, Obama waged war on immigrants. Mocking notions of welcoming tired, poor, wretched masses yearning to breathe free.
Immigration rights activists call him the "Deporter-in-Chief" for good reason. Enforcing white supremacist policies. 
Poor, desperate arrivals aren't welcome. People of color scorned. America never was beautiful. For sure not now.
Obama reflects the worst of rogue leadership. So-called immigration reform is more pretense than real.
He's responsible for deporting more immigrants than all his predecessors combined. 
On average over 1,000 a day. In total, over 2.2 million. With two years left in office, likely hundreds of thousands more before departing.
His legacy will be hard to top. Wanting tough congressional legislation enacted.
According to National Day Laborer Organizing Network executive director Pablo Alvarado:
"Unless (he) alters course, he risks cementing his legacy as having presided over the most anti-immigration administration in history."
Rule by presidential executive order diktats alone raises questions. No constitutional authority specifically permits them. 
Other than stating "executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America (Article 2, Section 1)."
Abused by bypassing Congress. "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives (Article 1, Section 1.)."
Constitutional checks and balances prevent empowering one governmental branch over another.
Diktat power borders on tyranny. Even though executive orders are legal. Not permanent. Future presidents can annul them with a stroke of a pen. Not how democracy is supposed to work.
In 2012, Obama exempted about one million undocumented immigrants arriving in America as children. So-called "DREAMers."
Using prosecutorial discretion. Letting presidents decline them on a case-by-case basis. Abusing his power at times.
Latinos are longstanding prime targets. Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm (ICE) scapegoats them for political advantage.
Dehumanizing them. Gestapo-like warrantless raids target them. Neighborhoods, workplaces, and other locations are raided.
Targeted with shotguns and automatic weapons. Done without just cause. Extrajudicially. Terrorizing families. 
Immigrants pulled from their beds. Rousted from workplaces.Confronted at gunpoint. Without explanation. 
Mistakes are made. Wrong homes or workplaces are targeted. Unapologetically. ICE agents permitted to terrorize. Freely. Unaccountably.
Brutalizing immigrants. Rounding them up. Holding them in dehumanizing detention.
Separated from family members. Criminalized. Treated like terrorist threats. Summarily deported. Given no right of appeal.
Independent studies show ICE agents operate with no legal authority. Arresting people randomly.
Conducting lawless searches and seizures. Making arrests based on ethnicity, race, appearance and English proficiency.
Neighborhoods targeted pre-dawn. Local police cooperate. Homes broken into lawlessly. Innocent victims harmed. 
Family members terrorized. Imagine spouses and young children seeing a parent taken away in handcuffs. Unable to understand why.
Misconduct is rife. Rule of law principles don't matter. Or democratic values. Or doing the right thing. 
Raids occur nationwide. Virtually daily. Unannounced. Using excessive force. Constitutional protections don't matter. 
Police state lawlessness substitutes. Most immigrants transferred from local jails to ICE have no criminal records. Or traffic violations.
Obama bears full responsibility. Blaming Congress for his own duplicitous policy. Immigration reform activists want real change. Not sham pretense.
Not with Obama in Washington. Promising one thing. Doing  another. An earlier open letter said the following in part:
Congratulations, Mr. President. You're the latest in a long line of lawless leaders. Achieving rogue status without really trying.
Contempt for rule of law principles, duplicity and moral cowardice define your administration. Pretense otherwise doesn't wash.
Instead of improving lives of ordinary Americans, you made things worse than ever.
Made America a gangster state. A pariah one and then some.  Presiding over a homeland police state apparatus.
Stealing public wealth. Handing it to Wall Street crooks and other corporate favorites. War profiteers gorge at the public trough.
Growing millions impoverished in the world's richest country.  Its wealth disparity unprecedented. 
Tens of millions of working age Americans unemployed. Most others underemployed. One missed paycheck away from homelessness, hunger and despair.
Essential needs ignored. Homelessness, hunger and human misery don't matter.
Middle class society systematically destroyed. America on a fast track toward thirdworldization.
Heading toward full-blown tyranny. Promised hope and change is pure rubbish. Peace a convenient illusion. Direct and proxy wars rage in multiple theaters.
Promised US forces out of Afghanistan within 12 months in office a willful ruse.
Pledged Palestinian sovereignty free from occupation harshness a Big Lie. Decades without fundamental civil and human rights persist. Worse than ever currently.
Guantanamo closure once and for all. Within one year of taking office.
Promised accountability for Bush administration war criminals. Torture ending by decree. 
Indefinite detentions no longer tolerated. Lawless military commission trials prohibited.
Labor rights supported. Public education better than ever. And you can keep your doctor, Obama said. 
Guaranteed universal healthcare with a public option. More affordable than before, he claimed. 
No more rule by diktat. Promised help for Americans facing home foreclosures.
Patriot Act provisions revisited. "(U)nconstitutional executive decisions during the past eight years…overturn(ed)."
All Americans served equitably, justly, fairly and honorably.
"It's time to turn a page," Obama said. "We'll restore our values." The "days of compromising them are over." 
We'll "secure a more resilient homeland." We'll "adhere to the Geneva Conventions." 
Freedom is too precious to lose. Obama goes all-out to destroy it. At home and abroad.
Promised administration openness and transparency. Increased whistleblower protections to encourage exposing government wrongdoing.
Big Brother banished. "(N)o more illegal wiretapping of American citizens," Obama pledged.
No more "spy(ing) on citizens who are not suspected of a crime." No more privacy invasions.
No more human and civil rights violations. "No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient."
No more extrajudicial operations. Or favoring monied interests over popular ones. No more wars for power and profit.
Or treating anyone less than equitably and justly than others. No more defending the indefensible.
Obama's policies belie his rhetoric. Making America more unfit to live in than ever in modern times. Risking the unthinkable.
Possible global war. Against invented enemies. Independent governments. For unchallenged dominance. 
Destroying humanity one plundered nation at a time. Genocide against unwanted people. "Useless eaters," according to Henry Kissinger.
Turning America into a militarized armed camp. Destroying fundamental freedoms one police state law at a time.
Diktat power. Deciding who'll live or die. Be free or locked indefinitely in America's gulag. At home or abroad.
Undocumented immigrants in virtual concentration camps. On Thursday, Obama's demagogic doublespeak drowned out truth.
Explaining his so-called immigration reform. Covering less than half the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants. 
Others subject to lawless detention. Brutalizing treatment. Like criminals. Deportation with no right of appeal.
Immigrants qualifying for residency and work permits must have lived here for five years. Have US citizen or legal resident children.
Must register with ICE. Have no criminal record. Or minor misdemeanors too insignificant to matter. Pay back taxes owed if any. 
Get no Obamacare subsidies, Medicaid, food stamps or other benefits afforded citizens and some legal residents. Farm workers entirely excluded. 
Others qualifying can stay temporarily. Perhaps until a new president reverses Obama's policy. Or dictates entirely new rules and regulations.
Unfairness and then some defines US immigration policy. The National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR) earlier called it "a brutal system of immigration control and policing that criminalizes immigration status, normalizes the forcible separation of families, destabilizes communities and workplaces, and fuels widespread civil rights violations."
Abuses are rife. Criminalizing undocumented immigrants. Linking immigration policy to national security.
Based on racial, ethnic, nationality profiling. Militarizing border communities. Scapegoating immigrants unfairly.
Deporting record numbers. Separating family members. Institutionalizing brutal treatment. Denying immigrants international law guaranteed civil and human rights.
Substituting police state repression. Immigrants vulnerable to exploitation and ill-treatment. Unable to fight for their rights.
Making racial profiling and other discriminatory practices national policy. Studies show horrific ICE abuses.
Including warrantless searches. Indiscriminate arrests. Forced detentions. Separating family members. Husbands from wives. Children from parents. 
Traumatizing them. Abusing women. Beating men. Destabilizing communities. Due process and judicial fairness pure fantasy.
Expropriating indigenous land. Building virtual and other border fences. Ill-spending hundreds of millions of dollars besieging affected communities.
Harming natural habitat and wildlife migration in the process. America treats aliens like criminals. Especially Latinos and Muslims.
Obama's so-called immigration reform leaves longstanding injustices unchanged. Denying rights everyone deserves.
International law affirmed. Constitutionally protected under the Supremacy Clause. Making all treaties and conventions Washington signs the supreme law of the land.
In name only. Emma Lazarus' Lady Liberty words once had meaning. No longer in a nation hostile to its tired, poor, huddled masses.
Welcome sign don't greet them. Scorn, abuse and exploitation substitute. Deportation. Discarded like yesterday's garbage.
Unwanted for being the wrong color. From wrong parts of the world. Valued only for low-pay/no benefits hard labor others eschew. 
Persecuted. Denied all rights. Underpaid. With few or no benefits. Hung out to dry when not wanted. 
Longstanding US practice. Worse than ever under Obama. 
Immigration policy by diktat ignores what's most important to address. Equity and justice for 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: 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. 

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