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Irresponsibly Calling Russia's Greatest Threat - Tue, 03/11/2015 - 21:45
Irresponsibly Calling Russia America’s Greatest Threat
by Stephen Lendman
Shameless fear-mongering along with bashing independent countries and their leaders is longstanding US practice. Russophobia rages out-of-control in America. Propaganda substitutes for hard truths. 
How many times have we heard US officials and go-along media irresponsibly accuse Putin of “Russian aggression,” “hybrid” or non-traditional warfare, “cyberwar,” invading Ukraine using (nonexistent) “little green men,” and engaging in other destabilizing, hostile acts.
Obama earlier called ebola, Russia and ISIS America’s greatest threats, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter saying Moscow is a “very, very significant threat,” and Joint Chiefs Chairman General Joseph (“Fighting Joe”) Dunford calling Russia’s “behavior…alarming…an existential threat.”
Big Lies repeated ad nauseam get most people to believe them. Propaganda wars rage because they work. America is the greatest threat to world peace and stability, Russia its best hope to avoid the ravages of catastrophic global war, with weapons able to end life on earth.
Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley is another top US official to bash Russia. Last July, he told Senate Armed Services Committee members its activities are “very, very stressful.”
It’s “the only country on earth that retains a nuclear capability to destroy the United States, so it's an existential threat.” 
On Monday, addressing the Defense One summit in Washington, he repeated the baseless accusation - citing nonexistent Russian “aggressi(on), adversarial to the interests of the United States (as well as) aggressive” ground, air and naval exercises.
He failed to mention they’re all within its own territory, unlike US-led NATO ones provocatively near its borders.
“Russia bears close watching,” Milley warned. He urged contesting nonexistent “Russian aggression” with sanctions and NATO exercises - at the same working with Moscow on matters of mutual interest.
Former US Assistant Defense Secretary for International Security Affairs/Deputy NATO Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow runs things, Jens Stoltenberg a Pentagon-controlled front man.
Vershbow is extremely hawkish, calling Russia “more an enemy than partner.” On October 28, he addressed a NATO conference in Madrid, updating participants on the Alliance’s show of strength - including ongoing Trident Juncture exercises.
They’re NATO’s largest since 2002, involving around 35,000 troops, over 140 aircraft and 60 naval vessels from 30 participating countries - a major anti-Russian provocation, unrelated to protecting European security as claimed.
Vershbow repeated the long ago discredited Big Lie, claiming NATO and allied nations “face a newly assertive Russia.” Ignoring Washington’s coup, replacing democrats with fascists in Kiev, he called Ukraine a “wake-up call.”
“The world woke up to Russia’s actions when it took Crimea by force early last year, denying the actions of its ‘little green men’ every step of the way until the peninsula was firmly under its control,” he blustered like he’s done before.  
“Since then, it has supported separatist fighters in the east of Ukraine with men and with arms - including heavy weaponry - and now effectively controls those forces on the battlefield while implausibly denying that Russian forces are there, hiding in plain sight.”
Fact: The whole world knows Crimeans voted overwhelmingly on their own by referendum to rejoin Russia, correcting a long overdue historic mistake.
Fact: No forceful seizure occurred. No “little green men” invaded Ukraine. No Russian troops are there now. 
Fact: No evidence suggests Moscow supplied Donbass freedom fighters with heavy or other weapons. Hard facts show it continues supplying generous amounts of humanitarian aid - defying Washington and Kiev wanting it blocked.
Vershbow: “Moscow seems to think that Russia can only be secure if its neighbors are unstable, or even dismembered.”
Fact: America prioritizes endless wars of aggression, instability, and chaos globally. Russia is the greatest force for world peace, stability and mutual cooperation among all nations.
Vershbow: “Now Russia has turned its attention to Syria.  But rather than fighting ISIL alongside the US-led coalition of regional countries and NATO Allies, Russia is focussing its firepower on shoring up the position of its client, the regime of President Assad.”  
“In theory, Russia has an opportunity to help destroy ISIL and to end the war in Syria, bringing much needed stability to the region.  But in reality, its actions are only prolonging the war and exacerbating the suffering of its people.”
Fact: Syria is Obama’s war, US aggression against a nation threatening no others, using imported proxy terrorist foot soldiers.
Fact: America’s air campaigns in Syria and Iraq support ISIS and other takfiris, targeting infrastructure and other government targets in both countries, supplying heavy weapons to terrorists on the ground.
Fact: Russia is waging real war on ISIS and other terrorist groups. It supports Syria’s sovereign independence and right of its people to decide who’ll lead them.
Fact: Washington’s agenda is polar opposite, raping and destroying another country it wants dominion over, responsible for millions of deaths and vast destruction post-9/11 alone.
Vershbow lied saying US-dominated NATO’s “primary aim (is) collective defense.” Naked aggression is Washington’s main strategy to achieve unchallenged global dominance, ravaging one country after another, recklessly confronting Russia and China, risking nuclear war if not stopped.
Clearly, America is Russia's greatest threat. To his credit, Putin doesn't stoop to fear-mongering.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

Israel's War on Truth - Tue, 03/11/2015 - 21:08
Israel’s War on Truth
by Stephen Lendman
Israel is an apartheid police state, waging war without mercy on fundamental freedoms - politically and belligerently, Palestinians targeted for not being Jews.
Human rights groups blasted new legislation its racist justice minister Ayelet (“little snakes”) Shaked introduced, requiring foreign-funded NGOs to mark their documents, indicating which “foreign entities” finance them, as well as wear badges identifying their backers when visiting the Knesset - the way Nazis forced Jews to wear Star of David patches on their clothing.
Failure to comply would result in a NIS 29,000 ($7,500) fine. The so-called Transparency Bill targets groups critical of Israeli policies. Shaklet said the measure will stop “the blatant intervention of foreign countries in the state of Israel’s affairs.”
Palestinian youth organization Baladna director Nadim Nashif said the bill “is only the most recent attempt to crack down on watchdogs,” groups documenting Israeli high crimes and other human rights abuses.
B’Tselem accused Shaked of “unprecedented…cynicism. (She) uses the word ‘transparency’ to camouflage her (real) objective: maligning and defaming organizations critical of the occupation and opposed to government policy.”
If Shaked and Netanyahu "are so concerned over foreign intervention in Israeli politics, they ought to start by waiving the millions (of dollars gotten) from foreign business tycoons they receive for the benefit of primary elections.”
They “constitute the overwhelming bulk of contributions received by the heads of the (fascist) Likud and Jewish Home parties.”
Shaked’s measure targets Israeli critics, human rights groups exposing its high crimes, aiming to discredit and delegitimize them - one step removed from banning them altogether, the way all fascist regimes operate.
On Tuesday, Israeli soldiers stormed Al-Huriya Radio’s offices, ransacked it, damaged and confiscated equipment, shut it down for a reported six months, perhaps altogether once the period expires.
Staff were warned their facility will be demolished if anyone enters it. Other Palestinian media operations are attacked the same way, at times arrests made, part of Israel’s war on truth.
On Monday, the Palestinian Ministry of Information-Government Media Office (GMO) released a report, documenting Israeli abuses against Palestinian journalists in October - resulting in one death, two arrests, two others harshly interrogated, and dozens injured.
A total of 89 attacks were documented (67 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 27 in Gaza) - incidents involving live fire, potentially lethal rubber/plastic-coated steel bullets, beatings and arrests - journalists targeted for doing their job, revealing information Israel wants suppressed, especially video evidence of its high crimes.
Israel’s war on Palestine continued Monday into Tuesday - more all-out brutality against a people wanting to live free, a right viciously denied them.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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. 

Chilling Video Shows Israeli Soldier Assassinating a Wounded Palestinian - Tue, 03/11/2015 - 04:06
Chilling Video Shows Israeli Soldier Assassinating a Wounded Palestinian
by Stephen Lendman
The self-styled world’s most moral army is a mobilized gang of assassins, ignoring fundamental rule of law principles, operating by their own exclusively, killing and brutalizing ruthlessly.
On October 31, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) showed video evidence of an Israeli soldier assassinating 23-year-old Jabal Johar as he lay wounded, bleeding, helpless on the ground.
Two days before the incident, Amnesty International said “Israeli forces have carried out a series of unlawful killings of Palestinians using intentional lethal force without justification.”
“Willful killings of Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories are grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention, over which all states can exercise universal jurisdiction” to prosecute offenders when nations where they reside can’t or fail to do so.
“Mahdi Mohtaseb, who is survived by four brothers, four sisters, and many grieving family and loved ones, joins the daily rising death toll of mostly Palestinian youths gunned down by Israeli forces and Israeli settlers since October 1st,” said ISM.
The video circulated online. Muhtasib was murdered close to the Salaymeh checkpoint in Hebron’s old city, a flashpoint area for numerous Israeli atrocities.
He lay helpless still moving his arms and legs. An Israeli soldier lethally shot him in the back at point blank range. ISM volunteers said he was supposed to meet his fiancee later that day (October 29).
An IDF spokesman lied, claiming the soldier foiled a stabbing attack. Video evidence showed otherwise. Daily cold blooded murders continue. Israel’s racist killing fields show no mercy.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

US Warplanes Kill Defecting ISIS Field Commanders - Tue, 03/11/2015 - 02:57

US Warplanes Kill Defecting ISIS Field Commanders
by Stephen Lendman
On Sunday, Fars News said US warplanes killed 27 ISIS field commanders - 26 in a bombing raid on a Raqqa, Syria command center, the sole survivor eliminated separately.
According to Fars, they “sought to break allegiance with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the…main (ISIS) ringleader, a move (looked on as) surprising (and) suspicious.”
It’s more evidence of ISIS in disarray since Russia’s Syrian air campaign began, as well as Washington unable to do anything about it.
Putin’s determination to smash ISIS has been devastatingly effective. The Pentagon has no counter-strategy able to challenge it.
Syrian ground forces liberated dozens of towns and villages since September 30. They continue making impressive gains.
John Kerry’s scheme in Vienna to get Russia to halt its air campaign, focus instead on diplomacy to resolve years of war (Obama’s proxy aggression), and agree to remove Assad failed.
Moscow wanted things resolved diplomatically all along. Washington obstructed its best efforts. Putin and Sergey Lavrov remain committed to restoring peace and stability politically. 
Defeating the scourge of terrorism comes first. Restoring normality and rebuilding Syria are impossible without eliminating the root cause of conflict on the ground. and getting the Obama administration to stop supporting it.
Iraqi intelligence knows Washington backs ISIS fighters. US helicopters airdrop them weapons, munitions and other supplies.
An unnamed Iraqi official told Fars: “The fighters present at the forefront of fighting against ISIL always see US helicopters flying over the (their) controlled areas and dropping weapons and urgent aids for them.”
They also transport their wounded to hospitals to ISIS controlled areas Syrian areas, Israel and other regional countries for treatment.
Iraqi parliamentary security and defense committee chief, Hakem al-Zameli, said his government has video evidence of its military downing a US and two UK aircraft carrying weapons for ISIS terrorists in Anbar province.
America is Iraq’s enemy in the battle to defeat ISIS and other takfiri terrorists. Russia is a reliable ally.
Separately, polls when taken in Syria indicate Assad is overwhelmingly popular. RT International cited a recent Le Figaro one showing at least 72% of Syrians want him remaining in office as president.
It understates his strong popular support, likely well over 80%. If a new open, free and fair election was held today, he’d win easily hands down.
It’s why Washington wants him eliminated otherwise - either stepping down voluntarily (not as long as he remains popular), or murdered like Saddam and Gaddafi, with a convenient stooge ready to step in and replace him.
In Vienna, John Kerry affirmed Washington’s position, saying “(t)here is no way (he) can unite and govern Syria.” No one can do it better. Syrians would reject a pretender, especially a foreign imposed one. 
Russia opposes US regime change plans. Syrians alone must decide who’ll lead them, free from foreign interference.
A Final Comment
The first twin casualties of war are truth and journalism. Censorship and Big Lies substitute. On Monday, Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said claims about Russian air strikes killing civilians and hitting hospitals are false. 
No evidence suggests otherwise. Five out of six hospitals mentioned in fabricated media reports don’t exist. “We’ve checked this information. It turned out that a hospital is only present in the village Sarmin,” Konashenkov explained.
No medical facilities or staff are present in the other villages named. An October 31 photo of Sarmin hospital showed it undamaged. Propaganda reports claimed it was totally destroyed, killing 12 people. 
Russia’s devastating air campaign continues. In the last two days alone, 131 sorties were flown, striking 237 terrorist targets. They’re being systematically battered relentlessly. So are Washington’s hegemonic aims.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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. 

New Book Rips Hillary Clinton - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 21:50
New Book Rips Hillary Clinton
by Stephen Lendman
Make no mistake. A Clinton presidency would be disastrous - the worst of all possible deplorable choices, none worthy of any public office, all aspirants beholden to wealth, power and privilege exclusively. 
Don’t let their duplicitous rhetoric fool you. They’re all cut out of the same cloth. Otherwise, they wouldn’t get public attention. Populist Green Party aspirant Jill Stein gets none. 
A Clinton presidency would be nightmarish for the vast majority of Americans and world peace. It’ll combine the worst of George Bush and Obama, an agenda of endless wars of aggression, maybe targeting Russia, China, and/or Iran, corporate favoritism, destroying social justice, and full-blown tyranny against resisters.
Doug Henwood is editor and publisher of the Left Business Observer. It covers “economics and politics in the broadest sense,” discussing what everyone needs to know, suppressed in mainstream reporting.
In November 2014, his Harpers article headlined “Stop Hillary! Vote no to a Clinton dynasty.” It bears repeating. A second Clinton presidency is the worst of all deplorable choices.
Her qualifications “boil down to this,” says Henwood. “She has experience, she’s a woman, and it’s her turn. It’s hard to find any substantive political argument in her favor.”
As first lady, she pushed husband Bill to bomb Belgrade in 1999. The rape of Yugoslavia raged throughout the 1990s, culminating with 78 days of lawless US-led NATO aggression from March 24 - June 10, 1999.
She encouraged her husband to end welfare for needy households. Vital Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) ended. The so-called Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation (PRWORA) followed, changing eligibility rules. 
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) set a five-year time limit - leaving millions of needy households (many with single mothers) on their own when aid was most needed.
As New York senator and Secretary of State, she “bec(ame) increasingly hawkish on foreign policy,” Henwood explained.
“What Hillary will deliver (as president) is more of the same. And that shouldn’t surprise us…American politics has an amazing stability and continuity about it.”
No matter who’s elected president, business as usual always continues, hardening, not softening deplorably during Bill Clinton’s presidency, worse than ever post-9/11 under Bush II and Obama - certain to be worse than ever no matter who gets the top job next November, especially if it’s Hillary, a neocon, anti-populist war goddess.
Her self-proclaimed progressivism is pure fantasy. Her record as first lady and in public office exposes her real agenda, warranting condemnation, not praise.
She “has a long history of being economical with the truth,” said Henwood. As New York senator, “she voted for the Iraq war, and continued to defend it long after others had thrown in the towel.”
She echoed the Big Lies about Saddam’s nonexistent WMDs and ties to Al Qaeda. She cozied up to right-wing Republicans to ward off criticism. As Secretary of State, she was “less of a diplomat and more of a hawk,” Henwood explained.
She backed escalated war on Afghanistan, pushed for continued US military presence in Iraq, helped orchestrate lawless aggression on Libya, and urged Obama to bomb Syria without required Security Council authorization.
She was involved in developing “pivot to Asia” strategy. “Since leaving the State Department, (she) devoted herself to…Clinton, Inc…(a) fund-raising, favor-dispensing machine” together with husband Bill, said Henwood.
Their style is self-promotion, including “huge book advances and fat speaking fees… And with an eye to the presidency, (she) kept up her line of neocon patter, while carefully separating herself from Obama.”
She deplorably supports Netanyahu’s high crimes - from naked aggression on Gaza to current war throughout the Territories. Palestinian bloodshed and horrific suffering are of no consequence. Israeli imperial interests alone matter.
Henwood concluded his lengthy article, saying “Eight years of Hill? Four, even? To borrow her anti-McCain jab from the 2008 Democratic convention: No way, no how!”
His new book titled “My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency” covers in greater detail what his article discussed. The cover shows her hawkish image, pointing a gun with her arm outstretched.
Her agenda is pure evil, an anti-populist neocon war goddess corporate shill, pretending otherwise. 
With Biden out as a potential candidate, she looks like a shoe-in Democrat nominee, despite all the exposed baggage about her. WW III looks increasingly likely with her in the White House.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

Israeli State Terror Rages - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 19:36
Israeli State Terror Rages
by Stephen Lendman
Palestine is a war zone, pitting an Israeli aggressor against millions of defenseless Palestinians. State-sponsored terror continues unabated.
The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) reported at least 2,617 Palestinians shot with live fire or potentially lethal rubber or plastic coated steel bullets in October, used indiscriminately - around 760 struck with live fire, 1,857 with rubber bullets often causing injuries, some serious or fatal.
Another 5,400 needed treatment for toxic tear gas inhalation. An 8-month-old infant was suffocated to death from exposure. Through Sunday, 72 Palestinians were murdered in cold blood, around 8,300 injured.
Video evidence in some cases showed premeditated assassinations, knives then planted beside victims to claim attempted stabbing incidents - Big Lies blaming them for Israeli cold blooded murder.
October was the deadliest month in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since the Second Intifada - from September 2000 to February 2005.
Its horrific toll included:
  • 4,166 Palestinians killed, including 886 children and 271 women;

  • 554 extra-judicial assassinations, including 253 bystanders;

  • 3,530 Palestinians disabled, maimed, or otherwise horrifically injured;

  • 8,600 imprisoned, including 288 children and 115 women;

  • 576 students killed, including 199 university-level ones and 32 academics;

  • another 4,713 students injured and 1,389 detained;

  • 2,329,659 dunums of land confiscated;

  • another 73,613 dunums razed plus 1,355,290 uprooted trees; and

  • 7,761 demolished homes plus 93,842 others damaged.

Conditions are much worse now under Netanyahu than then under Sharon. Whether years of committed resistance met by Israeli atrocities lie ahead remain to be seen.
Extreme brutality, including extrajudicial assassinations, reflect official Israeli policy - with full support and encouragement from Washington, generously funding its killing machine, partnering in its wars of aggression.
Ramallah-based Birzeit University Political Science Professor Saeed Nimer told Press TV Palestinians are being “killed just on suspicion and without threatening even the Israeli soldiers.”
“They think if they face the Palestinians with more aggression that will bring down the Intifada while it is to the contrary.” 
“The more killing every day by the Israelis and the more atrocities by the Israeli occupation, will bring the Palestinians even more and more and aggravate the Palestinians and give them the ability to fight back against the Israeli occupation.”
“We know the Israelis do not want peace…They left the Palestinians with nothing…Palestinian factions are supporting the Intifada but it is quite clear that on the streets the youngsters are managing themselves so far, and we cannot see that there is a clear leadership…in a political way.”
A combination of justifiable pent up anger against a ruthless occupier, spontaneity, and young people wanting freedom they’re denied drives the resistance.
It’s heroic by any standard - met by Israeli viciousness continuing into November, another Palestinian death reported on Sunday, one more on Monday so far, the total now 74.
Eight Israeli deaths are known, the last one on October 18 - only two from stabbing incidents. Daily claims of knife wielding Palestinians are Big Lies, blaming victims for Israeli high crimes.
Overnight Saturday, soldiers stormed Qusra village south of Nablus, invaded Mayor Hussein Abu Reida’s home, ransacked it, then arrested him and his son, Tariq.
Palestinian officials often are arrested and imprisoned for belonging to the wrong political parties. On October 20, Hamas affiliated lawmaker Hassan Youssef was arrested at home in a pre-dawn raid.
Four PLC members are currently imprisoned, all for political reasons, including Khalida Jarrar, targeted for her courageous activism. A previous article discussed her persecution.
The Addameer prisoner support group called her arrest and imprisonment “vengeful, arbitrary and political, with an aim to punish her for her political opinions and activism for Palestinian human rights.”
One-sided Israeli media reports feature daily fabricated stabbing incidents, including sensationalist commentaries like from right-wing columnist David Horowitz saying to Abbas “you need to tell (your people) to stop stabbing us.”
Not a word about premeditated assassinations of Palestinians threatening no one - legitimately resisting a brutal occupier. Nothing about indiscriminate use of live fire, potentially lethal rubber bullets and toxic tear gas, as well as Palestinians being bludgeoned by batons and rifle butts.
Israel is a ruthless apartheid regime, Palestinians on their own, heroically struggling for freedom, deserving universal support.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

Israel Murdering Unarmed "Knife Wielding" Palestinians Daily - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 02:41
Israel Murdering Unarmed “Knife Wielding” Palestinians Daily
by Stephen Lendman
Israel’s endless war on Palestine continues unabated - pitting one of the world’s most powerful militaries against defenseless youths, children, women and others joining their liberating struggle. 
State terrorism rages against courageous freedom fighters, an apartheid rogue state operating mercilessly, victims blamed for its high crimes.
On Saturday, another Palestinian youth died, murdered by Israel in cold blood, alleging another stabbing attempt, fabricated like most others - during what Israeli authorities called a “violent riot,” what Palestinians call resisting tyranny. They alone were injured during the incident, no Israelis.
Palestinian medics were blocked at gunpoint from aiding the victim, forced to leave. A witness told Maan News he saw multiple live rounds fired at a “young man…far from the main street.”
He threatened no one. Soldiers removed his body to an unknown location. Journalists witnessing what happened were assaulted, ordered out of the area. 
As of Sunday morning local time, the Palestinian death toll stands at 72, including 12 children, two infants and a pregnant woman, other female fatalities included in the overall total - everyone victimized by Israeli viciousness.
Scores more resistance victims are being crammed into  overcrowded Israeli prisons, already filled with thousands of Palestinian political prisoners.
Human rights groups condemned Israel’s “shoot-to-kill” policy, adopted by Netanyahu security cabinet officials in September. Palestinian freedom fighters are being ruthlessly gunned down in cold blood.
Others are being beaten and arbitrarily arrested, guilty of protesting for freedom. East Jerusalem neighborhoods are blockaded - no one let in or out without authorization and intrusive searches.
Open warfare against defenseless civilians is virtually ignored by Western officials, one-sidedly supporting Israeli viciousness, mindless of how many Palestinians die, how many others suffer horrifically.
Haaretz shamelessly published former Israeli defense minister/US ambassador Moshe Arens’ Big Lie, rubbish calling Palestinian “violence” another example of “worldwide Islamic terror,” adding “terrorists cannot be appeased’ - outrageously blaming victims for state-sponsored high crimes.
Israeli media have been disgracefully one-sided throughout weeks of state-sponsored brutality. Most everything they report lacks credibility, mimicking US media scoundrels.
Virtually claiming all Palestinian youths are “knife wielding terrorists.” Brave Israeli soldiers murdering defenseless protesters are national heroes - decades of brutal occupation harshness entirely ignored, along with the right of long-oppressed people to live free from apartheid ruthlessness.
Washington’s partnership with Israel is the root cause of regional violence and instability - oppressive Israeli occupation harshness responsible for ongoing heroic resistance. We’re all Palestinians in a common struggle for freedom.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

NYT Editors Support US Hegemony Over Chinese Waters - Mon, 02/11/2015 - 01:36
NYT Editors Support US Hegemony over Chinese Waters
by Stephen Lendman
The Times is a voice of empire, ignoring international, constitutional and US statute laws, one-sidedly supporting America’s hegemonic aim for unchallenged global dominance - no matter the cost in endless carnage and human suffering.
On October 30, its editors headlined “America Challenges Beijing’s Ambitions in the South China Sea,” offensively saying US policy “consider(s) freedom of navigation a vital national interest,” ignoring the Pentagon saying its warships will enter Chinese waters freely - a dangerous provocation risking direct confrontation.
China is within its rights to challenge any vessel entering its waters without permission. Not according to Times editors, claiming “Beijing has been trying to rewrite the rules” of free navigation. They apply only to international waters, not sovereign areas of any country.
America considers all global waters its own. China justifiably considers Nansha (Spratly) as well as three other South China Sea archipelago islands and surrounding waters its historical sovereign territory - no different from America claiming Mexico Gulf, east and west coast waters its own.
An unnamed Pentagon official said US patrols will enter Chinese waters freely. Expect Beijing to respond appropriately.
On October 29, Washington got the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) to rule in its favor - in response to US officials getting the Philippines to file suit in 2013 over alleged disputed South China Sea waters. Hearings will follow.
Beijing accused Manilla of “a political provocation under the cloak of law.” The Washington-based law firm Foley Hoag represents the Philippine government.
China claims a historical right to Nansha (Spratly), Dongsha (Patras), Xisha (Paracel) and Zhongsha archipelago islands, as well as surrounding waters. It rejects the PCA ruling, pressured by Washington, a provocative act fooling no one.
Beijing responded sharply to its ruling, its Foreign Ministry saying “China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea Islands and the adjacent waters, (calling PCA’s action) a political provocation under the cloak of law.” 
“It is in essence not an effort to settle disputes but an attempt to negate China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea.” PCA has “no jurisdiction” to act.
Along with Washington and the Philippines, it accused the court of “abus(ing) relevant procedures and obstinately forc(ing) ahead with the arbitration, and as a result, severely violat(ing) the legitimate rights that China enjoys as a State Party to the UNCLOS (UN Law of the Sea), completely deviat(ing) from the purposes and objectives of the UNCLOS, and erod(ing) (its) integrity and authority…”
Beijing rejects its ruling and any to follow. Last week, Chinese Admiral Wu Shengli warned Washington in no uncertain terms, saying:
“If the United States continues with these kinds of dangerous, provocative acts, there could well be a seriously pressing situation between frontline forces from both sides on the sea and in the air, or even a minor incident that sparks war.”
Times editors reject China’s sovereign rights, supporting Washington’s reckless Asia pivot, asserting its right to dominate territory not its own, expanding its military footprint aggressively.
It’s risking direct confrontation on two fronts:
  • Russia in Eastern Europe with hostile military exercises along with deploying increasing numbers of NATO troops belligerently near its borders; and

  • China in its own waters provocatively - both actions hostile belligerent acts, risking nuclear war able to end life on earth.

Times editors ignored what demands featuring, instead accused China of violating “its commitments under international law,” a reckless accusation - mindless of longstanding US policy breaching rule of law principles globally, hegemonic recklessness risking WW III.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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. 

Russian Airliner Crash: Phony ISIS Claim of Responsibility - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 21:10
Russian Airliner Crash: Phony ISIS Claim of Responsibility
by Stephen Lendman
On October 31, Kolavia Metrojet (commercial airliner) Flight 7K9268 crashed 23 minutes after takeoff from Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, heading for St. Petersburg, Russia - killing all 217 passengers and seven crew members aboard, including 25 children.
News reports called the crash the worst aviation disaster in Russian history. Putin declared Sunday a day of mourning for its victims.
A criminal investigation began by searching operator Kogalymavia’s offices, checking for possible violations of Russian airliner safety standards.
A separate investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash, most likely a technical failure. Russia’s Air Transport won’t speculate on what happened until more is known - including decoding the recovered black boxes, containing invaluable information.
A Sinai, Egypt based group connected to ISIS claimed responsibility, saying:
“Soldiers of the Caliphate were able to bring down a Russian plane above Sinai Province with at least 220 Russian crusaders aboard.”
“They were all killed, praise be to God. O Russians, you and your allies take note that you are not safe in Muslims lands or their skies.”
“The killing of dozens daily in Syria with bombs from your planes will bring woe to you. Just as you are killing others, you too will be killed, God willing.”
Russian Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov dismissed the claim, saying it “cannot be considered credible. We are in a close contact with our Egyptian colleagues, with the aviation authorities of this country. At the moment, they have no information that would confirm such fabrications.”
Air France and Lufthansa said they’ll reroute their flights around Sinai until further notice, a temporary precautionary move.
The Russian aircraft was flying at an altitude of 31,000 feet - way above the ability of ground-based terrorist groups to down it. Their shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles (SAMS), known as Manpads, threaten low-flying aircraft only, mainly helicopters - debunking their spurious claim. Expect investigation results to prove it.
French obtained weapons manuals recovered from North African Al Qaeda elements in 2013 showed they may have SA-7 and SA-7b SAMS - able to down taking off and landing aircraft, not the range to strike high-flying ones.
Reports from the crash site indicated debris scattered over at least a four mile area. It’s being closely examined to help determine the cause of the disaster.
Most passengers were Russian, three from Ukraine and one from Belarus. Sharm El-Sheikh is a popular resort town. Most likely they were tourists heading home.
Air traffic control said the plane began descending rapidly at 6,000 feet per minute before it disappeared from radar. Airline officials issued a statement, saying “(i)n 2014, the airplane has undergone factory maintenance in accordance with the factory specifications. All requirements of preflight technical maintenance were fulfilled in full and on time.”
Russian news reports said crew members recently complained about problems with one of the plane’s engines - so far without official confirmation.
RT International interviewed UK security/counterterrorism expert Charles Shoebridge. “As far as it’s known, Islamic State and its affiliate groups don’t have the capability to bring down aircraft flying at the height that this aircraft reportedly was, which is something around 10,000 meters,” he explained.
“That doesn't mean to say though that at least theoretically they couldn't bring the plane down by other means, for example by sabotage at the departing airport or a bomb on board.” 
Most likely,“mechanical failure of some sort (was) the most likely cause, as with most air accidents.” Terrorists like claiming responsibility for propaganda purposes, he added, especially targeting Russia for its ongoing Syrian campaign.
Egypt’s former civil aviation minister, Wail al-Madawi, told RT “(o)nly a state (has) such resources” to strike high-flying aircraft. Asked if a SAM could have downed the Russian plane he said: “No, it is out of the question.”
“I am a former air force officer, and I have the expert knowledge that taking down a plane flying so high requires the kind of capacities only a state can have.”
“It requires some very significant resources: One would need search (three types of) radars, radars to locate the plane, radars to control the fire. Only a state can have such resources. No militant group like that can.”
Addressing reports indicating the plane broke in two, he said “it’s impossible to define how exactly the ground impact occurred. It all depends on the kind of terrain at the impact site.” 
“For instance, if an aircraft were to hit some ridge on the ground, this could cause the plane to break into halves. So it all depends on the terrain.”
“The main thing, however, is to establish why the plane started to lose altitude when it was flying so high. There is a database of air crashes with proven causes of the crash.” 
“Some were due to technical malfunction, some to human error, some even to the psychological state of the crew. So that means there are a lot of possibilities to study.”
Once results of the ongoing investigation are revealed, we’ll know precisely what happened and why.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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. 

Deplorable Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Speeches - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 20:38
Deplorable Yitzhak Rabin Memorial Speeches
by Stephen Lendman
Rabin was a career Israeli warrior before serving twice as prime minister - from June 1974 to April 1977, then a second term from July 1992 until his November 4, 1995 assassination.
As Chief of General Staff, he was in charge of Israel’s June 1967 Six-Day War of aggression - premeditated, planned months in advance, falsely claimed to be fought in self-defense.
He may have ordered the June 8, 1967 USS Liberty attack - a clearly identified American intelligence gathering ship in international waters, killing 34 crew members, wounding 171 others, causing major vessel damage, failing to sink it as intended. Lyndon Johnson took no action against this heinous act.
Rabin’s war seized the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, dramatically changing the dynamic on the ground for Palestinians, placing them under brutalizing occupation harshness, continuing today worse than ever - oppressed by slow-motion genocide, suffocating an entire population unaccountably, waging war on Palestine today.
As prime minister, Rabin’s agreed to September 1993 Oslo Accords was a Palestinian Versailles - unconditional surrender. Theft and colonization of their land followed, continuing unabated today. 
Persecuted people got nothing in return for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. They're still waiting - while being oppressed, murdered and brutalized daily.
Rabin, Arafat and Bill Clinton bear full responsibility for an atrocity against long-suffering people.
On October 31, the 20th anniversary of Rabin’s assassination was commemorated at a Tel Aviv memorial rally. Tens of thousands attended, bombarded by deplorable addresses, delivered behind a bullet-proof glass screen.
President Reuven Rivlin vowed to continue waging war on Palestine. Israel is “in the crosshairs,” he said. We’re “all…the target. We will not become a sacrifice on your alter of violence and fear.” Thousands cheered in response.
“To those who seek to silence others, to those who threaten, to those who raise their clenched fists, to those who design pictures of SS uniforms, to those who threaten members of the legislature and judiciary, to those who threaten ministers and prime ministers, I want to say to them all: We do not fear you,” he added.
“Even in the midst of the current bloodshed, even in the face of the heinous terrorism…Israel’s democracy has not ceased to realize its strength and resilience, and for this we are today filled with pride” - code language for saying unrestrained slaughter of Palestinian freedom fighters will continue no-holds-barred.
Israel is no democracy. Its fascist police state policies are clear for all to see, left unexplained in Rivlin’s remarks.
Throughout his tenure, Bill Clinton one-sidedly supported Israel, Oslo betrayal the lead example. As a 1991 presidential candidate, he openly supported moving America’s embassy to Jerusalem (not acted on in office). It’s an international city under a UN protectorate, its responsibility ignored as mandated.
As president, Clinton did nothing to support an equitable Israeli/Palestinian peace process - backing then Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s impossible to accept “final agreement,” with no written offer, documents or maps presented, proposed in 2000, one-sidedly benefitting Israel.
Arafat was unfairly blamed for rejecting what no responsible leaders would accept - enslaving Palestinians more than already, assuring continuing conflict, not peace.
Clinton addressed the Rabin memorial crowd, saying “Yitzhak Rabin defended this country, but more importantly, he advanced the values that are fundamental to Israel. He stood for freedom, for peace, acceptance of those different from of us and the preservation of democracy.”
It bears repeating. He was a warrior, not peacemaker. No leader in Israel’s history supported or now supports an equitable, lasting peace, granting Palestinians rights everyone deserves.
“We will (continue to) fight terrorism,” Clinton added, code language for blaming Palestinians for Israeli high crimes.
All Obama remarks make painful listening. He addressed the Tel Aviv crowd by video message, turning truth on its head, claiming Rabin’s “dream of peace will never die.” 
It’s “the only way to ensure true lasting security for Israelis and Palestinians.” - code language for wanting long-suffering people to accept permanent subjugation at the hands of a ruthless occupier, depriving them of all fundamental rights.
Their liberating struggle continues, a generation of youths refusing to be slaves, beholden to a brutal Israeli master.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

Israel Imprisoning Palestinian Children Uncharged - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 01:40
Israel Imprisoning Palestinian Children Uncharged
by Stephen Lendman
Israeli viciousness is unrestrained, young children treated as brutally as adults. On October 19, soldiers lawlessly abducted three Palestinian children from their homes pre-dawn. They’re being held uncharged for at least six months, an unprecedented move in East Jerusalem according to human rights groups.
Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP) accountability program director Ayed Abu Eqtaish expressed outrage, saying:
“We are deeply disturbed that Israeli authorities have approved the detention of these three boys without charge or trial. Administrative detention must never be used as a substitute for criminal prosecution where there is insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction.”
“We believe this is unprecedented by Israeli authorities to put children from East Jerusalem under administrative detention. It’s part and parcel of the ideology and policies of Israeli authorities to suppress the Palestinian people who are living there.”
Abducted were Fadi Hasan Abassi, Kathem Mahmound Sbaih and Mohammad Saleh Ghaith (all aged 17). They’ve undergone brutal interrogations amounting to torture - accused without formal charges lodged of stone-throwing, accusations they deny, no evidence proving them.
Automatic guilt by accusation for Palestinians suffices. The three youths are indefinitely detained. Israel can hold them interminably. if it wishes - uncharged and untried.
In 1948, a state of emergency was declared, remaining in force, authorizing arbitrary detentions of Palestinians based on secret evidence or none at all. 
East Jerusalem’s Emergency Powers law permits them. Anyone Israel calls a threat to public order and security is vulnerable, no evidence required, a classic police state practice.
According to Maan News, “at least 94 administrative detention orders (were) issued against Palestinians” since October 1, 24 in East Jerusalem - a futile attempt to curb justifiable resistance. An entire generation of youths is involved, demanding freedom, accepting nothing less.
Israel denied the three youths the right to counsel during brutal interrogations, keeping them isolated from outside contacts, including family members, customary police state policy.
Every Palestinian youth and child is suspect, subject to harassment and/or arrest any time for any reason. Police absurdly claimed the three children arrested posed an “immediate and severe threat to the national security of Israel.”
DCIP’s advocacy officer Bashar Jamal said “Israel is trying to restore security, but children are losing their freedom and are being denied liberty and their human rights. It violates Israel’s international and domestic obligations.” 
“Children are falling victim to the situation. It’s an escalation in the violation of children’s rights. Their rights are violated on a regular basis, but there has been an escalation in October.”
It’s open season on targeting them, soldiers and police involved. They’re either being injured, killed or abducted and imprisoned - uncharged, untried, on their own under horrific conditions, including denial of treatment for any wounds sustained.
Israeli Military Order 1651 permits administrative detentions of Palestinians for up to six months. Indefinite renewals may follow.
Israel flagrantly violates the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. It prohibits depriving children of their liberty arbitrarily, longstanding Israeli practice, assuring greater resistance than already.
Jewish lives and welfare alone matter. It’s always open season on brutalizing Palestinians, especially a new generation of youths and children wanting freedom from occupation harshness.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

Shaker Aamer: Free at Last - Sun, 01/11/2015 - 00:23
Shaker Aamer: Free at Last
by Stephen Lendman
Aamer was lawlessly held in Guantanamo for 13 hellish years, nearly 14 in US captivity - uncharged and untried. He committed no crimes.
US captors knew it all along, but kept him imprisoned anyway - torturing and abusing him, forcing him to confess to things he never did.
He’s a Saudi-born, UK national since 1996, in Afghanistan doing volunteer charity work when abducted and sold for bounty to US authorities, victimized by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, taken to Guantanamo on the same day his youngest child was born.
He hunger struck many times for justice. In retaliation, guards brutally beat and isolated him in solitary confinement. Bush administration officials cleared him for release in 2007. Obama held him captive until Friday.
Over 117,000 supporters signed a petition on his behalf. He’s now home in London, arriving Friday on a private jet aircraft. Amnesty International said “(g)iven the time involved, the lengthy spells in solitary confinement and the torture used against him, Shaker Aamer's plight has been one of the worst of all the detainees held at Guantanamo.”
The UK-based Reprieve human rights group represents him. After the Obama administration announced plans to release him on September 24, its founder attorney Clive Stafford Smith said expect slurs to start once he’s home, Washington’s way of justifying the unjustifiable.
Shaker’s US attorney/Reprieve strategic director Cori Crider said “(w)e are, of course, delighted that Shaker is on his way back to his home and his family here in the UK. It is long, long past time. Shaker now needs to see a doctor, and then get to spend time alone with his family as soon as possible.”
Reprieve explained it took “six US government agencies to agree that he posed no threat to the US or its allies and could be released” - even though it was well known since his abduction in 2001.
He arrived at Guantanamo on Valentine’s Day 2002, unaware of the horrendous ordeal to follow. His first letter home in 2003 said the following:
“My dear wife and lovely kids,
I don’t know when I am coming out but pray for me that it will be soon. I cried a lot when you told me about how the kids talk to their cars and toys as if I am talking to them on the phone. Please try to be easy on them. 
Don’t send any pictures of the kids - it will make it hard on me here in jail. Whatever happens to me be with Allah. I love you all.”
In 2005, he said “I am dying here every day, mentally and physically. We have been ignored, locked up in the middle of the ocean.”
He’s dealing with painful arthritis and other health issues, requiring treatment denied him at Guantanamo, enduring what few can imagine.
He now faces the enormous challenge of rebuilding his shattered life - how after what he’s been through will tax all his mental and physical strength. He’ll get no help from Washington or Britain, Clive Stafford Smith saying:
“You’ve got to remember that the overwhelming majority of people who have been held for many years without trial in Guantanamo Bay by the United States received not one penny of compensation.” 
“And Shaker will never receive a single penny of compensation from the United State for everything that he has gone through.”
“Shaker’s interest is one thing and one thing only - beyond his family and his health - and that is that the world should know the truth.” 
“He does not want to prosecute people. He simply wants people to know what happened to him, the torture he went through. And he hopes that other people can avoid going through that themselves.”
He hopes to set up a Peace and Philanthropy Center - to share his experience with others. On arrival in London Friday, he issued a statement through his lawyers, expressing thanks to everyone helping to bring his Guantanamo ordeal to an end.
“My thanks go to Allah first, second to my wife, my family, to my kids and then to my lawyers who did everything they could to carry the word to the world,” he said. 
“I am overwhelmed by what people have done by their actions, their thoughts and their prayers, and without their devotion to justice I would not be here in Britain now.”
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

Agreement to Disagree in Vienna on Syria - Sat, 31/10/2015 - 20:03
Agreement to Disagree in Vienna on Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Russia’s intervention in Syria changed the dynamic on the ground and regionally, potentially with global implications, a major geopolitical development, the most important one in decades. 
Washington is desperate to keep its imperial agenda on track and unchallenged - why John Kerry met with 17 of his counterparts plus EU and UN envoys in Vienna on Friday, following US, Russian, Turkish and Saudi foreign ministers meeting there on Thursday, Syria so far excluded from discussing its own future.
Washington’s intentions remain unchanged - replacing Assad with a US controlled puppet. Sending special forces to northern Syria (illegally without Security Council or Damascus authorization) with likely more to follow, solely to aid terrorist elements against Assad, along with continued lawless bombing of infrastructure targets, not ISIS as claimed.
It shows Obama wants war, not peace, Washington’s usual solution to everything, a pure evil agenda for global conquest.
More Vienna talks planned for  mid-November may go nowhere, a thinly veiled scheme to convince Russia Washington turned a new leaf - aiming to stop its air campaign, devastating ISIS and other takfiri terrorists, wrecking US hegemonic plans, Moscow determined to defeat the scourge of terrorism, not about to be pressured by America to back off.
Putin is forthright and straightforward, no ambiguity in his comments. Defeating terrorism in Syria and the region is prioritized - then a hoped for political solution once this goal is accomplished, Syrians alone deciding who’ll lead them, not foreign powers, polar opposite US plans.
Hegemons wants things exclusively their way, installing puppets running vassal states they control. Washington and Russia are at loggerheads.
Putin believes sovereign independence is inviolable. Neocon infested Washington rejects it everywhere, waging endless wars of aggression against it, wanting unchallenged US global dominance - two opposing ideologies, a classic good v. pure evil struggle. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance.
Sergey Lavrov clearly stated Russia’s position, saying “(w)e have a common enemy, and we must not let this enemy gain power in Syria nor in any other state.”
“If a ceasefire is declared, no terrorist organizations should be subjected to it” - combating them to continue until they’re neutralized and destroyed.
Russia remains fully committed to fighting their scourge in full accord with international law principles, polar opposite how America operates, ignoring them altogether, risking global war in the process.
Moscow rejects US demands for Assad to go, Lavrov clearly saying “(t)he Syrian people (alone) should define the future of their country, including Assad’s fate.”
He’s overwhelmingly popular. Syrians want no one else leading them. Expect Washington to keep the Syrian pot boiling no matter what comes out of Vienna.
The statement issued following Friday’s meeting was largely meaningless rhetoric - sounding very much like earlier high-minded Geneva communiques accomplishing nothing.
A Final Comment
In one month of bombing ISIS and other terrorists in Syria, Russia flew around 1,400 sorties, destroying over 1,600 targeted sites - including 249 command posts, 51 training camps, 131 ammunition and fuel depots, and 786 field bases, according to General Staff Col. Gen. Andrey Kartapolov.
Air strikes killed 28 “most odious” terrorist leaders, he added. Syrian ground forces liberated over 50 towns and villages, comprising about 350 square km.
ISIS losses are massive, their forces in disarray, “complete victory” not yet achieved. Much work remains. Terrorists are clearly on the defensive - pummelled by Russian air power and Syrian ground forces.
Moscow’s overtures to Washington to cooperate jointly against ISIS and other takfiris were spurned. America continues supporting them. Defeating them is all the more urgent.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

Israel Tear Gases 8-Month-Old Palestinian Infant to Death - Sat, 31/10/2015 - 19:41
Israel Tear Gases 8-Month-Old Palestinian Infant to Death
by Stephen Lendman
Daily Israeli atrocities continue, fully supported by Washington, other Western nations, rogue regional ones and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - complicit with high crimes against peace.
Palestinians are being murdered daily - the latest victim an 8-month-old baby boy. The PA health ministry said Ramadan Mohammad Faisal Thawabta died from toxic tear gas inhalation  - another victim of Israeli state terror.
Since October 1, Israeli forces murdered 71 Palestinians in cold blood, including women (one pregnant), over a dozen children and two infants.
Three died on Friday alone:
  • the 8-month-old infant;

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

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

Stop the Wall activist Jamal Juma said Israel’s ethnic cleansing scheme and plan to judaize al-Quds (Jerusalem) is being “hit strongly in the heart by the Palestinian youth uprising.”
“It changed the whole equation. The whole Israeli calculation toward what is happening in the West Bank (and East Jerusalem) has been hit in the heart.”
Israel never learns from history, Juma explained. “In all the Intifadas…the thing that makes (them) bigger and bigger…is Israeli violence.”
“This is not going to stop the Palestinians. The more there’s crime, the more the Palestinians will go out to the streets and their resistance will be increasing.”
Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahhar urged all Palestinians to unite against Israeli state terror. Ongoing resistance restores the stature of the Palestinian cause, he said.
“The Al-Quds intifada has ended all the occupation's attempts to divide the Aqsa Mosque temporally and spatially,” he added.
Israel’s Channel 10 said Israeli Tel Aviv-Ariel line bus drivers prohibit Palestinians from boarding. Passengers without Israeli IDs are diverted elsewhere.
Segregation thrives in Israel. Even in US Jim Crow south, African Americans travelled on the same buses as whites, consigned to back row seats.
One Israeli driver was heard telling a Palestinian: “I’m not negotiating with you. Go down” - later saying “(t)here’s no such thing as a good Arab. Even one who looks so nice, so quiet, he isn’t. There’s no such thing.”
Ariel settlement mayor Eliyahu Shaviro agreed with keeping Palestinians off buses with Jews, saying:
“Today we're in a reality that anyone can pick up a knife and stab. Would you, or anyone else who watches us, would any father or mother who have a boy or a girl and on a certain bus there are 90 percent Palestinians, would he send his kid on that bus?”
Last May, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon suspended plans to have Jews and Palestinians travel on different West Bank buses after high-level criticism.
President Reuven Rivlin called the proposal “unthinkable.” Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said separation presented legal challenges. Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog called “separating Palestinians and Jews on public buses a warrantless humiliation, (fanning the flames) of hatred toward Israel around the world.”
All Netanyahu ministers and Jewish Knesset members support ongoing Israeli state terror, collectively punishing an entire population - bus segregation minor compared to mass murder and other atrocities.
Palestinian resistance is heroic, challenging a ruthless occupier, a pure evil force.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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. 

Crypto Is For Everyone—and American History Proves It - Sat, 31/10/2015 - 09:07

Over the last year, law enforcement officials around the world have been pressing hard on the notion that without a magical "backdoor" to access the content of any and all encrypted communications by ordinary people, they’ll be totally incapable of fulfilling their duties to investigate crime and protect the public. EFF and many others have pushed back—including launching a petition with our friends to SaveCrypto, which this week reached 100,000 signatures, forcing a response from President Obama. 

This is in addition to multiple findings that the government’s “going dark” concern has proven completely unfounded in the past, along with former national security officers disavowing the concern all together. And given law enforcement’s continuing attacks on the public’s use of encryption, we think it’s time for a quick look at the long tradition of encryption use by some ordinary, and some not so ordinary, Americans.

Of course most folks know that cryptography is a critical military tool. In one of NSA’s own published histories [pdf] of cryptology, the government touts its significance, and many folks believe, reasonably, that cryptography played a significant role in the Allies winning WWII. But law enforcement officials have recently made clear that they believe the government—and only the government—should benefit from the routine use of the most secure encryption technologies. And they are currently endeavoring to restrict the widespread use of secure encryption technologies by the public.

But cryptography has always been far more than just a military or government tool. Government officials were never the only ones spending time and resources using and developing new encryption techniques. Indeed, far from being something that has been employed only by reigning officials, encryption has been used by civilians, businesspeople, and revolutionaries—including the Founding Fathers of the United States—for centuries.

One of the earliest (and still unsolved) known encrypted works is the Voynich manuscript, an illustrated codex that has been carbon-dated to the early 15th century. And the first known English-language book on cryptology was published in 1641, entitled Mercury, or The Secret and Swift Messenger by John Wilkins. By the 1800s, knowledge of various ways to conceal the contents of a message was widespread—and many ordinary individuals used cryptology for everything from business communications to love letters.

We’ve noted in previous posts how the Founding Fathers were big users of encryption. You have probably heard of the codes employed by Paul Revere—his “one if by land, two if by sea” lanterns and the warning disseminated during his midnight ride that “the Regulars [were] coming out,” alerting the colonial militia to the approach of British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord. But the leaders of the young country used not only codes and signals but also ciphers and other techniques to preserve the confidentiality of their communications should a dispatch fall into the hands of the enemy.

As one law review piece published during the first crypto wars noted, “secret communication methods” were widely used in England in the 17th and 18th centuries and “[f]rom the beginnings of the American Revolution in 1775 until the adoption of the United States Constitution, Americans used codes, ciphers and other secret writings to foment, support, and carry to completion a rebellion against the British government.” The article includes numerous examples of civilians, businesspeople, and revolutionaries using encryption to secure the contents of their communications. And no one questioned their right to do so—no matter the context or rationale behind their use of encryption.

One example is the Continental Congress, which recognized the need for secrecy and passed a resolution ordering the use ciphers for all messages that could not otherwise be safely transmitted. And many of the individual founding fathers you likely learned about in grade school used encryption to secure their personal communications:

  • James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights and the country’s fourth president, was a big user of enciphered communications—and numerous examples from his correspondence demonstrate that. The text of one letter from Madison to Joseph Jones, a member of the Continental Congress from Virginia, dated May 2, 1782, was almost completely encrypted via cipher. And on May 27, 1789, Madison sent a partially encrypted letter to Thomas Jefferson describing his plan to introduce a Bill of Rights.
  • Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence and the country’s third president, is known to be one of the most prolific users of secret communications methods. He even invented his own cipher system—the “wheel cypher” as named by Jefferson or the “Jefferson disk” as it is now commonly referred. He also presented a special cipher to Meriwether Lewis for use in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
  • Benjamin Franklin invented ciphers used by the Continental Congress and in 1748, years before the American Revolution, published a book on encryption written by George Fisher, The American Instructor.
  • George Washington, the first president of the United States, frequently dealt with encryption and espionage issues as the commander of the Continental Army. He is known to have given his intelligence officers detailed instructions on methods for maintaining the secrecy of messages and for using decryption to uncover British spies.
  • John Adams, the second U.S. president, used a cipher provided by James Lovell—a member of the Continental Congress Committee on Foreign Affairs and an early advocate of cipher systems—for correspondence with his wife, Abigail Adams, while traveling.
  • John Jay, the first Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, used ciphers for all diplomatic correspondence made while outside the United States. And John Jay’s brother, Sir James Jay, invited a special invisible ink, also known as sympathetic ink, and sent a supply from London to both his brother and then-General Washington.

The list goes on.

Our founding fathers were not using encryption as reigning governing officials. They were revolutionaries and activists. They were using encryption as a tool to fight for freedom from a repressive governing body and to protect their correspondence from government snooping. And it is well documented that many of them used encryption to protect the secrecy of not only their work-related communications during the revolution, but also their personal letters throughout their lives.

And lots of other folks entirely outside of the government also used codebooks and other forms of early cryptographic technology to protect their business and personal communications—especially communications sent via mail or telegram—since the founding of the United States. Yet, before 1960, there is no evidence that the federal government believed it should exercise its powers to restrict the use of encryption technology by private citizens.

Any suggestion by government officials that encryption is a tool that, until now, has been in the exclusive province of the government is a misconception that furthers an anti-privacy and anti-security agenda. Encryption is—and has always been—a tool for everyone, researched and deployed by people from all walks of life for many purposes, from concealing the contents of private love letters to protecting stock market trades, diplomacy, or political activism. And given the routine security breaches and rampant government surveillance we face today, ensuring the privacy and security of our private communications is as important now as ever—or even more so.

Please join us in acting to SaveCrypto and urge President Obama to commit to supporting strong cryptography for everyone.

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6 Spooky Ways Local Law Enforcement Is Watching You - Sat, 31/10/2015 - 05:30
A day in the life of the surveillance state

Often, the discussion on government surveillance in the US is all about the NSA or the FBI. But the feds aren’t the only ones spying on you. Local law enforcement has been getting in on the action, and it’s not good.

If you’re planning on dressing up and enjoying yourself this weekend, you might think that a layer of paint and a wig is enough to make you unrecognizable. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case. Government spending on surveillance technologies for domestic law enforcement—like IMSI catchers, biometrics, and cameras of all kinds—has increased exponentially in recent years, despite the fact that in the last 20 years, crime rates in the United States have steadily and significantly declined (PDF).

Invasive street level surveillance technologies are popping up in towns across the US—and around the globe. A Halloween costume is no match for these technologies when it comes to protecting your privacy. Here are a few of the disturbing surveillance technologies that local law enforcement is increasingly adding to its arsenal, and how you might encounter them on a typical day. As we walk through these technologies, try to imagine what you’d have to do to go a single day without surveillance.

Social Media Monitoring

Did you RSVP to any Halloween parties on Facebook? Maybe tweet about your plans? Posted an Instagram of your costume? These days, when you’re reading tweets or looking at your friends’ photos, you might be joined by cops.

That’s right. It’s not just the NSA or FBI looking at your Facebook. Local law enforcement does extensive monitoring of social media too, and so do private companies working for the government—all without even reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing. Officials engage in fishing expeditions on social media, gathering data about your location and who’s there with you—just as they’ve done to Black Lives Matter activists and protests.

And don’t assume that marking a post as “private” will keep it from law enforcement. Officers have created fake accounts and even pressured friends of people they’re keeping tabs on to share their login credentials. In a highly-publicized New York case, the DEA had to pay a woman $134,000 for creating a fake Facebook account using her identity.

There is some good news on the social media front. With a few common sense steps, you can make yourself a lot harder to spy on.

Automated License Plate Readers

Once you get in your car, get ready to be tracked, no matter how well your face is disguised. Law enforcement agencies all over the country use ALPRs (automated license plate readers) to track drivers’ locations and activities. ALPRs are cameras—mounted on police cars or placed in stationary locations like light poles—that detect when a car passes, capture a picture of that car, and record its license plate number. Accumulated location data creates a history of drivers’ movements that can provide private and intimate details on people’s lives, like where they work, where they live, where they worship, where they go throughout their day, and who they associate with. Law enforcement agencies like the NYPD have used ALPRs in exactly this way, trying to map out the entire Arab and Muslim community of New York and Newark. The Los Angeles Police Department and the LA County Sheriff's Department scan three million plates every week.

The privacy implications of ALPRs alone are shocking, but the way they’ve been implemented poses even further security risks. EFF recently discovered that many law enforcement agencies hadn’t taken basic steps to secure the feeds. Some can be accessed publicly over the web, without any passwords or other basic security measures—placing the location information of thousands of people at risk.

EFF has been trying to find more information about how and where law enforcement agencies use ALPRs, but our attempts are often stymied by the courts. Along with the ACLU, we recently asked the California Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that ALPR data could be withheld from the public.

Automatic Toll Readers

Speaking of driving, do you go through any tolls on your commute? Many cities have switched to electronic tolls, either via an RFID chip in your car or via an account tied to your license plate number. In 2013, we noted that the San Francisco Bay Area had switched to all electronic tolls, making it functionally impossible to cross the Golden Gate Bridge without authorities knowing about it. And the Bay Area isn’t alone; other major urban areas like New York and even some states, like Washington, have moved to all (or nearly all) electronic tolling.

You could take public transportation to avoid the privacy threats when driving—but don’t buy your ticket with a credit card. Transit agencies in the US, Canada, and South Africa “hand over private information about travelers gathered by electronic ticketing systems to law enforcement agencies on a voluntary basis.”

Surveillance Cameras

You may escape tracking by not driving and by purchasing a transit ticket in cash, but you’ll still be captured by ubiquitous surveillance cameras. In many US cities, there are now surveillance cameras on every block. In San Francisco, you could appear on security cameras dozens of times in one day. In New York, “[t]he NYPD can tap into roughly 6,000 street cameras, two-thirds of which are privately owned. There are another 7,000 in public housing and more than 4,000 in the city’s subway stations.”

These cameras are a mix of private and government owned, but in some cities, law enforcement asks private owners for access—or even to register their cameras so that law enforcement knows who to ask for footage from any particular camera.


You’ve probably noticed that Facebook recognizes yourself and your friends in your photos. A mask might not be enough, though: facial recognition technology has gotten so good that Facebook can even recognize the back of your head.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in biometrics, a growing field in identifying people based on every aspect of their appearance and behavior. Even if you succeed in hiding your face from all those surveillance cameras, you can give yourself away with your voice, the way you walk (PDF), the shape and size of your hands, and even the way you type. And if you have any visible scars or tattoos, it’s privacy game over.

IMSI Catchers

Planning on using your cell phone today? The police don’t need an NSA-style agreement with the phone company to know where you are. They can just use an IMSI catcher.

International Mobile Subscriber Identity catchers (commonly known as Stingrays, after a popular brand of catcher) trick cell phones into revealing their locations by masquerading as cell phone towers. When your phone connects to a Stingray, officers know that you’re near it. While law enforcement says it uses IMSI catchers to locate suspects, they can sweep up the signals of people in a wide radius—for example, at a demonstration.

There’s good news. As of September, federal law enforcement agents can no longer use IMSI catchers without a warrant. And in California, recently passed bills SB 741 and CalECPA limit the acquisition and use of IMSI catchers. Unfortunately, most states treat them as fair game for local enforcement.

Speak Out

As scary as all these tactics are, there’s a bright side: unlike the lawmakers that have failed to oversee the NSA, local lawmakers are often more responsive to pressure. When people speak out, local governments listen. Just a few weeks ago, California passed one of the best digital privacy laws in the United States, largely thanks to pressure from voters. And at the city and county level, we’ve seen communities successfully fight aggregated surveillance cameras, IMSI catchers, drones, and more. 

EFF has a new online hub called Street Level Surveillance (SLS) to help activists do just that. SLS unites our past and future work on domestic surveillance technologies into one portal. It has information on how surveillance technologies work and how you can fight back. If you’re spooked by pervasive surveillance of your every move, we hope you will.

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Stupid Patent of the Month: Precision Trolling Says It Owns The Idea of Putting Lure Data on a Device - Sat, 31/10/2015 - 03:53

We’ve long been concerned about “patent trolls”—companies that don’t produce anything themselves but buy patents, then make their money by threatening and even suing companies that are producing products. But today we’re going to discuss a different kind of trolling: running fishing lures through the water. That’s because this October’s Stupid Patent of the Month, US Patent No. 7,113,449, involves putting data about trolling—the fishing kind—on a computer.

What a minute, you say, how can simply putting some data on a computer be original enough to be patentable? That’s a very good question. The Patent Office is only supposed to issue patents for new, original, nonobvious ideas, and each patent application is individually reviewed to ensure it meets those qualifications. In practice, however, the Patent Office often does a cursory job reviewing patent applications, and sometimes fails to apply common sense. This is how Amazon recently got a patent on white-background photography. Or how a yoga studio got a patent on filming a yoga class.

Turning back to this month’s stupid patent: it relates to an electronic device with searchable data about lure depths. Different kinds of fishing lures run at different depths depending on the kind of line used. It can be useful for anglers to have this information accessible. For many years, a company called Precision Trolling painstakingly collected data about lure depths and published this information in books. In late 2003, the company filed a patent application suggesting putting its data on a computer and making it searchable. This is a decent, useful idea, but should it be patentable? Of course not. Lots of people have digitized information from books. They don’t all deserve a patent.

We think the 7,113,449 Patent is clearly invalid. If it was ever litigated, the court should throw it out as obvious. Putting data (of any kind) on a computer and making it searchable by the user was already mundane decades before Precision Trolling filed its patent application. The patent is also likely invalid under Alice v. CLS Bank—this is a recent Supreme Court decision that holds that an abstract idea (like making data—even specific types of data, like trolling data—searchable) doesn’t become eligible for a patent simply because it is implemented using generic computer technology.

We can see how silly this patent is by looking at its broadest claim (the claims are the part of the patent that’s supposed to outline the boundaries of the invention). Claim 1 of the patent reads:

1. An electronic fishing aid comprising:

      a user interface having user inputs and a display;

      a data structure containing data relating to variables including lures, depths and line lengths;

      a processor for controlling the display, to provide information to a user identifying a lure, depth and line length combination as a function of user inputs and data from the data structure.

It’s worth going through this claim element by element. First we have a “user interface” with “inputs” and a “display.” Okay, so that covers almost every computer since the punch card era. Second, we have a “data structure” with data relating to variables like lure type and line length. As the patent explains, this is a database. These have also been around for a while. Finally, we have a “processor” that makes sure data is displayed in response to inputs from the user. In other words, a basic computer with a searchable database. To call this mundane, even back in 2003, is to understate how obvious it is.

Consider the following example. Down the street from EFF is a restaurant called Curry Up Now that serves Indian/Mexican fusion cuisine. Suppose Curry Up Now installs a mobile payment system like Square or Apple Pay. Did the restaurant just invent “a mobile payment system for Indian/Mexican fusion cuisine transactions.” Of course not. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first restaurant of its kind to use mobile payments. All it has done is apply common technology to a particular business. Precision Trolling’s patent is like that.

Precision Trolling has never been foolish enough to assert its silly patent in court. But it does wave it around to deter competition. The company’s page in Google’s app store includes the following statement:

Precision Trolling Data LLC owns a patent U.S. Patent No. 7,113,449 entitled “Marine Electronics With Lure Depth Analyzer” issued September 26, 2006 which prevents other companies/individuals from providing lure data on an electronic device.

So, while Precision Trolling has not gotten into the patent trolling business, its patent could easily chill innovation and competition. Another company may want to collect lure data and make its own app. Even though the 7,113,449 Patent is almost surely invalid, they might worry about being dragged into an expensive lawsuit. This risk could easily be enough to deter a small business from entering the space. Stupid Patents don’t have to be litigated to cause harm.

For more information about the challenges facing innovators under the current patent regime, as well as concrete measures that policymakers must take to fix it, check out EFF’s Defend Innovation whitepaper.

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Russia to Critics: Put Up or Shut Up - Sat, 31/10/2015 - 03:36
Russia to Critics: Put Up or Shut Up
by Stephen Lendman
Western officials and go-along media scoundrels make baseless accusations about Russia - from nonexistent Ukraine aggression to bombing hospitals and residential areas in Syria, killing civilians.
Corroborating evidence is absent, except for notable fabricated attempts, including videos unrelated to incidents cited, manufactured deception, no end to the lengths Washington will go to proliferate Big Lies, propaganda at its worst, repeated by media scoundrels as gospel, knowing they’re spreading false misinformation.
On Wednesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry summoned military attaches from America, various NATO countries and Saudi Arabia to explain their allegations.
They “were asked either to give evidences on their statements or refute what has been stated,” Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said, calling their allegations “outrageous,” vicious propaganda war.
“This move comes to put more pressure on Russia by Western media and officials of the US Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ashton Carton, NATO’s Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg and the UK’s Defense Secretary Michael Fallon,” he added.
On Friday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov blasted Western propaganda, repeated by subservient media scoundrels, taking specific aim at Reuters, saying:
“For a whole week, we have seen the…news agency pushing someone's conclusion that 80% of the Russian airstrikes were allegedly not ‘ISIL-targeted.’ This misinforming report was commented on promptly, the day it emerged.”
US embassy in Moscow spokesman Will Stevens repeated the same Big Lie - Washington’s only way to counter Russia’s effective air campaign against ISIS, destroying its weapons, munitions, facilities, underground bunkers and command and control centers, routing his forces, throwing them into disarray, letting Syria’s army regain lost territory.
Putin prioritizes defeating them, spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters in Moscow. “After that, we could talk in concrete detail about the political settlement.”
Throughout years of conflict, Moscow stressed resolving it diplomatically, bringing opposing sides together for talks, ending in failure each time because Washington obstructed its efforts.
Obama’s Syrian agenda is in disarray. For the first time, it’s letting Iran participate in talks - in Vienna, aimed at finding “common space” for resolving the ongoing conflict.
Representatives from over a dozen countries are participating - including Russia, China, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, America, France, Germany, Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE - as well as EU and UN envoys.
Given Washington’s rage for regime change in all independent countries, it’s unclear what’ll be accomplished. Most important is its odious deal-making history - systematically breaching terms agreed on.
Keep this in mind as talks continue and whatever follows. Russia knows America can’t be trusted. It aims to regain the initiative in Syria it lost. Moscow’s campaign against ISIS prevents it - no matter what comes out of Vienna.
Syria wasn’t invited to participate. Its government has final say on whatever discussions yield. Riyadh objected to Iran’s involvement. Iranian armed forces head General Hassan Firouzabadi said “(t)he Saudi regime has committed war crimes, and its presence in the multilateral Vienna talks on Syria is dubious and illegitimate.”
Former UNESCO official Somar Wilayadasa believes Washington “recognizes its massive failures in the Middle East, and it has no choice but to include Iran in the negotiations.”
“The US has no willing partners to engage in Syria - or even in the Middle East for that matter. (It) should take its hands off Syrian operations. (It’s) an unreliable and untrustworthy partner who would undermine Russia's genuine interest to find a resolution in Syria.”
Russia, China, Iran and other countries recognize Assad as Syria’s legitimate leader. They’re committed to eliminate the scourge of terrorism. 
They won’t let Washington sabotage their aim or decide who’ll govern Syria. That’s for its citizens alone to decide. Putin stresses it.
Whatever comes out of Vienna, Russian airstrikes will continue. Restoring peace and stability to war-torn Syria depends on defeating terrorism and stopping Washington and rogue allies from supporting it.
It’ll take more than two days of talks to resolve the unresolvable so far. Key is Russia’s air campaign - a direct challenge to Washington’s hegemonic agenda.
Its regional grip is slipping, in disarray. Putin has the high moral ground and determination to hold it. Washington won’t stop his righteous mission to defeat the scourge of terrorism.
A Final Comment
An unnamed Western source in Vienna said Washington and its allies pressed Russia to cease its air campaign, a futile effort to undermine Putin’s righteous mission. 
The source indicated more talks may follow next week on November 3 and 4 with Syrian and opposition representatives joining them - once John Kerry completes a Central Asian trip scheduled to begin later on Friday.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

US Sending Special Forces to Aid ISIS in Syria - Sat, 31/10/2015 - 03:14
US Sending Special Forces to Aid ISIS in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Washington is desperate to find ways of countering Russia’s effective Middle East agenda - combining formidable military might against terrorism with trustworthy diplomacy, proving Moscow is a valued partner, polar opposite Washington, a rogue bully.
Obama’s pledge about no “American combat troops fighting on foreign soil” proved another of his many Big Lies. Thousands of US combat troops already operate in Iraq, along with Special Forces and CIA operatives.
On October 27, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced greater numbers being sent to join them for “direct action on the ground,” he said. “We won’t hold back” - what’s already ongoing, now heading for Syria. US Special Forces will be deployed to northern areas - illegally without Damascus or Security Council authorization.
Unannounced greater numbers may join them. Their mission: aiding ISIS and other takfiri terrorists, putting them in harm’s way. 
What if some are killed by Russian air strikes? How many more US forces are in Syria covertly? Maybe large unannounced numbers, likely operating in unmarked uniforms to conceal their identity.
Their presence won’t change Putin’s mission - over 1,600 terrorist targets already struck with devastating effectiveness, many more to come. 
Washington seeks new provocations. Thousands more NATO troops are being deployed near Russia’s borders. Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said these development(s) (aren’t new) as we've been talking about how undesirable and dangerous this move is for a long time” - undermining regional and global security, threatening world peace.
Upping the anti in Iraq and Syria raises great cause for concern. It suggests US talks in Vienna to resolve Syria’s conflict aren’t serious. Washington deplores peace and stability, waging endless wars of aggression for unchallenged dominance.
Putin’s intervention changed things. He’s not about to lose the initiative he gained. Expect US efforts to aid ISIS to fail the way its regional agenda is faltering, a major turn of events for the better. 
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

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

Genocide in Palestine - Sat, 31/10/2015 - 01:19
Genocide in Palestine
by Stephen Lendman
Longstanding Israeli policy calls for inflicting maximum pain and suffering on the entire Palestinian population - collective punishment, making conditions unbearable, a shocking indictment of a vicious Arab-hating state, waging war against defenseless people.
Since October 1, deaths and injuries increased daily. According to the PA Health Ministry, the toll through Thursday includes:
  • 68 Palestinians murdered in cold blood, including 13 children;

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

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

  • 14 burned from tear gas and concussion grenades; and

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

On Thursday, Israeli forces stormed Palestine’s Al-Makassed Hospital for the third time this week - this time using tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets inside the premises, turning a medical facility into a war zone.
Dozens of patients and medical staff were injured. Witnesses said soldiers fired “indiscriminately” inside the hospital compound. Director Rafis al-Hussieni said undercover Israeli forces rampaged throughout the facility - insulting patients and staff before demanding medical records.
He refused, saying “(i)t is not our job to give any information about anyone who comes to hospital or to take any personal information. Our job is only to help them and provide them with medical treatment.”
Many times Palestinians are treated for injuries without collecting information on them or creating files. 
Al-Husseini expressed outrage, adding “(t)he hospital has become desecrated by Israeli troops. Israeli violations against the Palestinian hospital are against the law, and…we cannot find anyone to protect the hospital, the patients, and the staff.”
On Friday, an Israeli jeep struck a Palestinian youth. Soldiers were prevented from reaching him. Journalists attempting to film areas violence were assaulted. Israel wants its high crimes concealed.
It continues blaming Palestinians unjustly. More draconian measures are being imposed, certain to increase violence, not curb it, why action is being taken.
Palestinian males aged 15 - 25 are being targeted, their movements more greatly restricted, forced to endure more intrusive security checks - measures designed to intimidate and terrorize, escalate resistance so Israeli forces can strike back harder. 
Israel claims it’s instituting tougher measures because of many stabbing attacks. Since October 1, eight Israelis died, only two from stabbings. Sweeping accusations of knife wielding Palestinians are willful Big Lies, made to justify daily killings and other abuses.
More ruthless draconian measures imposed on Palestinians is part of longstanding Israeli apartheid policies, separating Jews from Arabs, forced segregation, violently enforced, including with shoot-to-kill orders.
Israeli media reported Netanyahu may establish a special court for security issues, perhaps a military one - handling arbitrary revocations of citizenship, illegal administrative detentions, punitive home demolitions, and anything Israeli officials call “terrorism.”
His scheme, if implemented, is about persecuting Palestinians more viciously than already - longstanding police state practice - brutalizing people for political reasons, fabricating charges, wrongfully imprisoning targeted individuals.
On Friday, Maan News reported Israel’s Jerusalem District Court indicted 13-year-old Palestinian Ahmad Manasra with attempted murder for an alleged stabbing incident.
He was seriously injured at the scene of the alleged crime, kicked and beaten, run over by a car, no charges filed against his assailants.
A video showing him lying injured and bloody on the ground went viral online. An Israeli is heard shouting: “Die, son of a whore! Die!” Another Israeli is heard telling a soldier to shoot Ahmad. 
It’s unclear what, if anything, he did. At a hearing, lawyers representing him, Tareq Barghout and Lea Tsemel, said he had a knife but stabbed no one. When arrested, he told investigators he “didn’t stab anyone because I don’t like blood.”
While hospitalized, Barghout said he’s been treated badly. Israeli security guarding him threatened to kill him. They constantly yell at him.
Treatment of Palestinians is notoriously harsh, guilt by accusation assured. Military courts afford no justice. Ahmad could be imprisoned for years, once tried and convicted when he turns 14 in January.
He’ll be held at a closed facility until prosecuted. The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines childhood as anyone under age 18.
So do UN Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty. Israel willfully breaches all international laws, treating children like adults, brutally and inhumanely, including imprisoning them unjustly.
Israeli initiated violence continues raging throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Soldiers stormed the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem.
Residents were threatened over a loud speaker, one soldier yelling in Arabic: “We will gas you all until you die.”
Customer outrage got Walmart to pull its Israeli soldier kids costume and Sheik Fagin Nose, being sold for Halloween. 
Author Max Blumenthal tweeted “Walmart is promoting occupation and the killing of innocent children this Halloween” - along with a photo of a Palestinian child receiving emergency medical care.
The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (AAADC) blasted Walmart, calling the costumes “offensive and racist,” saying “(s)uch…symbol(s) of fear and violence…should not be used for entertainment purposes.”
Anything for a buck in America - no matter how outrageous.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at 
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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