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Israel Indicts Vanunu - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 21:29
Israel Indicts Vanunu
by Stephen Lendman
Israel finds ways of giving the term rogue state new meaning - former nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu a victim of its viciousness.
He’s a heroic whistleblower - 30 years ago revealing Israel was and remains nuclear armed and dangerous.
He was kidnapped, beaten, drugged, secretly tried, and politically imprisoned for 18 years, mostly in harsh solitary confinement - for revealing what everyone has a right to know.
Since release in 2004, he’s been constantly hounded and monitored, imprisoned without confinement, his fundamental freedoms denied, reimprisoned several times, virtually certain again after his latest indictment.
He’s irresponsibly accused of violating the terms of his release, including:
  • meeting with two US nationals in East Jerusalem in 2013 without permission;

  • moving to a new apartment in the same building in 2014 without notifying Israeli authorities; and

  • appearing on Israel’s Channel 2 television on September 4, 2015, discussing his 1986 arrest and imprisonment, as well as dangers of Israel’s nuclear program, including its Dimona plant hazards.

At the time, Channel 2 said all material discussed was cleared for broadcast by Israel’s military censor. Police questioned Vanunu anyway. A Jerusalem court ordered a week of house arrest - with no Internet or contact with journalists.
He has no updated knowledge of Israel’s nuclear program since arrested and imprisoned in 1986 - saying in his Channel 2 interview, he has no new secrets to reveal.
He wants the right to renounce his Israeli citizenship and join his wife in Norway, Theology Professor Kristin Joachimsen. They were married last year in a Jerusalem Lutheran church.
He’s barred from emigrating solely to continue longstanding harassment. Claiming he poses a national security threat is a fabricated pretext.
Israel continues endless repressive treatment. Perhaps Netanyahu intends eliminating him the way Sharon murdered Arafat. Polonium poisoning from something he ate killed him.
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.

Australian Productivity Commission Slams Protectionist Copyright and Patent Laws - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 20:34

Last month we wrote about a discredited industry report that spread misinformation about the supposed costs of Australia adopting fair use into its copyright law. That document, commissioned by media and entertainment giants, had been written in anticipation of a recommendation for the adoption of fair use by the Australian Productivity Commission, a government agency tasked with improving Australia's capacity for production and innovation.

The Productivity Commission's 600 page draft report was in fact released ten days later, and apart from recommending the adoption of a fair use right, it also makes a number of other recommendations for the reform of copyright and patent laws. Amongst its key recommendations are:

  • Making it harder for obvious inventions to be patented, by raising the standard for the inventor to demonstrate an “inventive step” to the slightly higher level that already exists in Europe. Since even this would still allow too many low-quality patents through, the Commission recommends pursuing multilateral discussions about raising the threshold further.
  • Restricting the availability of patents for software and business method inventions, which are an impediment to further innovation. As regards software, the Commission notes that software development cycles of around 5 years are far shorter than the 20 year term of protection granted by patents, and that other incentives for software development (among them copyright) also exist.
  • Copyright should be supplemented with a fair use right, that would allow works to be freely used in ways that are socially beneficial and cause minimal harm to the copyright owner, using a U.S.-style four factor balancing test. Anticipating the rightsholders' objection that this would create legal uncertainty, the Commission suggests that a range of illustrative uses could be included in the legislation, and notes that U.S. case law will provide further guidance to Australian courts.
  • The law should clarify that users are entitled to bypass geoblocks that lock lawfully available online content away from Australian users, or require them to pay higher prices to local content distributors. As the Commission notes, this practice harms Australian users and only encourages them to engage in unlawful downloading of content.

A recurring theme throughout the report is that many of the costs and restrictions that Australian users face have been imposed on them through bilateral and plurilateral agreements such as Australia's Free Trade Agreement with the United States, and most recently the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). As the report notes, Australia is a large net importer of goods and services protected by copyright and patents, which means that these heightened protections are not in the country's interest. The Commission recommends a change of course by Australia's trade negotiators, recommending that they stand up for their citizens' own interests, rather than capitulating to foreign demands.

Predictably, the response from the media and entertainment industry has been swift and hyperbolic, including the dire warning that fair use “would be a wrecking ball to Australian writers, creators, publishers and the local creative industries”, and the odd and evidence-free assertion that fair use “has led to the erosion of rights of authors and artists in North America”. The discredited industry report that placed a $1bn price tag on fair use has also been falsely repeated, along with claims that the Commission proposes to reduce Australia's copyright term to 15-25 years (in fact the Commission found that, whilst a good idea, Australia's current international obligations make this impossible).

The Commission should take this fearmongering and misrepresentation in its stride, recognizing it as the self-serving rhetoric of a coddled industry sector that doesn't represent Australia's broader public interest. The Commission is calling for further comments on its draft report by June 3, to enable it to submit its final report to the government on August 18.

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Categories: Aggregated News

Senate Judiciary Committee Begins Review of Mass Surveillance Statute - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 14:05

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act Tuesday May 10. The Act, passed in 2008, created what is now known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). 

Section 702 is used for mass spying, and government surveillance conducted under the law unconstitutionally searches and seizes Fourth Amendment-protected communications. Indeed, in 2011, a judge on the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) acknowledged the programs store more than 250 million communications annually in NSA repositories and that tens of thousands of wholly domestic emails were being collected under the statute. A report by the Washington Post revealed more: hundreds of thousands of Americans' emails were being collected and nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations were not the intended surveillance targets. The section is one of the core statutes at issue in our lawsuit against the NSA. 

The Judiciary Committee hearing begins the first formal review of the statute by the Senate this year and comes in light of Section 702's expiration in December 2017.

EFF submitted a letter for the record outlining some of the fundamental problems with the statute. The letter urges the Committee to:

  • Limit the scope of surveillance or stop it entirely
  • Require the government to submit surveillance targets for judicial review
  • Prohibit backdoor searches
  • Mandate transparency and oversight

The full letter can be found here and the introduction is below:

Dear Chair Grassley and Ranking Member Leahy:

We submit this letter for the record in connection with the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on May 10, 2016 titled “Oversight and Reauthorization of the FISA Amendments Act: The Balance between National Security, Privacy, and Civil Liberties.”

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has strongly opposed Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“Section 702”) since its enactment because the statute is used to conduct unconstitutional and warrantless surveillance.

The Judiciary Committee is uniquely positioned to foster a much-needed national conversation on surveillance conducted under the statute. Key questions about the government’s use of Section 702 remain unanswered despite the declassification of documents and helpful reporting by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. For instance, the public still does not know the number of Americans' communications or the number of innocent foreigners' communications collected under the statute. The public does not know the procedures used by the Department of Justice to notify criminal defendants that Section 702-derived information was used in a prosecution. And the public does not know how often the FBI searches Section 702 data for non-national security purposes. These questions must be publicly answered well before Section 702’s expiration in December 2017.

Given what is known about Section 702's invasive surveillance, we urge the Committee to, at minimum:

  1. Limit the Scope of Surveillance or Stop It Entirely
  2. Require the Government to Submit Surveillance Targets for Judicial Review
  3. Prohibit Backdoor Searches
  4. Mandate Transparency and Oversight


Related Cases: Jewel v. NSAFirst Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA
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Categories: Aggregated News

Russia's Experiment with Diplomacy in Syria Failed - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 02:23
Russia’s Experiment with Diplomacy in Syria Failed
by Stephen Lendman
In mid-March, Putin announced the withdrawal of most Russian forces from Syria, saying:
“I consider the objectives that have been set for the Defense Ministry to be generally accomplished. That is why I order to start withdrawal of the main part of our military group from the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic starting from tomorrow, (March 15, coinciding with the beginning of dead-on-arrival peace talks).”
“In a short period of time, Russia has created a small but very effective military group in Syria. The effective work of our military forces allowed the peace process to begin.”
“Russian government troops and (Syrian) patriotic forces have changed the situation in the fight with international terrorism and have seized the initiative.”
Moscow maintains a military presence at the Khmeymin airbase in Latakia and its Tartus naval facility. Its mission to defeat the scourge of terrorism remains unchanged.
It hopes diplomatic efforts can be more successful than earlier. History shows America doesn’t negotiate in good faith.
Washington undermined Geneva I and II peace talks. Current ones collapsed. Another round later in May won’t be more successful. Ceasefire is more fantasy than real. 
Terrorists Washington calls “moderate rebels” took full advantage to replenish depleted ranks, regroup, rearm and regain lost territory around Aleppo - aided by US-led Western special forces and paramilitary mercenaries.
The strategic village of Khan Touman in Aleppo province held by government forces since December was retaken by US-supported takfiri terrorists.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said reoccupying the area shows foreign-backed terrorists intend continuing military operations, rejecting diplomatic conflict resolution.
“We believe that the solution to the Syrian crisis is political, and the terrorists…should be denounced and crushed by (a united) international community” effort, Amir-Abdollahian stressed.
Government forces intend liberating Khan Touman again, a Syrian military source, saying:
“Thousands of fresh soldiers and a large number of the Iraqi and Lebanese Hezbollah, deployed near the small town of Homeireh, are ready to launch a joint large-scale anti-terrorism operation to drive the terrorist groups back from the positions they captured on Thursday inside and outside the town of Kahn Touman.”
They’ll face thousands of heavily armed Western and regional-backed terrorists. Government forces aided by Russian air power began attacking them to gain a battlefield advantage - in preparation for a large-scale ground assault to retake the village.
Ceasefire gives terrorists the advantage, government troops having to regain earlier held territory lost during a pause in fighting.
Conflict won’t be resolved through diplomacy with America - committed to ousting Assad and replacing Syrian sovereign independence with pro-Western puppet governance.
How long will it take before Putin resumes full-scale aerial operations proved so successful while they continued? The language Washington understands best is 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.

Erdogan Family's Ill-Gotten Wealth - Mon, 09/05/2016 - 02:19
Erdogan Family’s Ill-Gotten Wealth
by Stephen Lendman
Earlier reports said he and son Bilal amassed tens of millions of dollars from colluding with ISIS to sell stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil, along with other dubious activities.
Germany’s Bild newspaper asked how he and family members amassed great wealth. His annual salary is modest, Bild saying:
“While their father earns some 50,000 euros per year, his children bathe in luxury. Where does it come from?” No “official data” explain it.
His son Ahmet’s estimated net worth is around $80 million. How was it gotten, asked Bild? “(D)oes he get support from (his father’s) government?”
His younger son, Bilal, reportedly is involved in “shady and criminal deals.” Last fall, he fled to Italy, accompanied by armed guards, on the pretext of completing his doctoral dissertation.
At the time, he denied involvement in a corruption and bribery scandal involving his father’s inner circle. Bugged conversations revealed it - Erdogan telling Bilal to quietly conceal 30 million euros.
Opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet reported Erdogan family members involved in various business dealings, perhaps regime connected.
Russia earlier revealed documented evidence of Turkey colluding with ISIS to sell stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil - Erdogan, his son Bilal, and regime officials involved.
At the time, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov minced no words, saying:
“Maybe I'm being too blunt, but one can only entrust control over this thieving business to one’s closest associates.” 
“In the West, no one has asked questions about the fact that the Turkish president's son heads one of the biggest energy companies, or that his son-in-law has been appointed energy minister. What a marvelous family business.”
“The cynicism of the Turkish leadership knows no limits. Look what they're doing. They went into (other countries - Syria and Iraq). They are robbing (them) without compunction.”
According to Russian military General Staff Deputy Head Sergei Rudskoy, “(o)ur reliable intelligence data (show) Turkey has been carrying out such operations for a long period and on a regular basis. And most importantly, it does not plan to stop them,” lying to cover up its criminal enterprise.
Turkey is the main buyer of stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil - Erdogan, his family and regime officials directly involved.
He lied saying he’d resign if evidence proved it. Russia has clear documentation. He remains in power, eliminating opposition, hardening his dictatorial rule - Western leaders ignoring his high crimes.
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.

NYT Endorses US-Sponsored Coup Attempt in Venezuela - Sun, 08/05/2016 - 22:22
NYT Endorses US-Sponsored Coup Attempt in Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman
The Times is a longstanding mouthpiece for wealth, power and privilege. Its record is deplorable - pro-business, anti-populist, endorsing all US wars of aggression, color revolutions and coups by other means against sovereign independent states.
It denigrated Hugo Chavez throughout his tenure, calling him “a would-be dictator…a populist demagogue…an authoritarian caudillo (strongman),” among other pejoratives.
It bashes President Nicolas Maduro the same way. Its history shows a consistent record of supporting despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia, other repressive Gulf States, Egypt, Turkey and Israel among others, while opposing sovereign independent democratic governments Washington doesn’t control.
Majority US supported Venezuelan National Assembly fascists openly call for ousting democratically elected President Maduro. 
Their strategy includes economic war, reducing presidential terms from six to four years, rewriting Venezuela’s model Bolivarian constitution, mobilizing violent street protests, and ousting Maduro by recall referendum.
Earlier US sponsored coups failed. Another is being hatched by constitutionally permitted recall. A previous article discussed it.
If constitutional requirements are met, Maduro can be ousted if over 50.6% of Venezuelans supporting his 2013 election vote to remove him.
A US supported fascist could replace him by yearend. NYT editors endorse it, disgracefully calling populist democrat Maduro “an incompetent autocrat (with) no sound ideas for addressing the crisis…largely of his making” - a shameless perversion of truth.
National Assembly fascists obstruct his efforts to address economic crisis conditions legislatively, including stimulative spending proposals.
Instead, they want public housing privatized, other anti-populist pro-business “reforms,” and prisoners convicted of sedition freed. Times editors support these outrageous policies.
They accused Chavez and Maduro of “weaken(ing) the country’s democratic institutions” instead of acknowledging the hemisphere’s most free and open state - polar opposite sham US democracy in name only, governance of, by and for its privileged few alone, shamelessly endorsed by NYT editors.
US orchestrated efforts to replace Bolivarian fairness with neoliberal harshness leaves the fate of the nation and welfare of its people up for grabs.
An earlier article said Chavismo lives. Bolivarianism is institutionalized. Venezuelans expect no less. 
They put their bodies on the line earlier to protect it. Now more than ever it’s vital they do it again. At stake is freedom or fascist rule.
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.

Endless War on Syria Rages - Sun, 08/05/2016 - 22:13
Endless War on Syria Rages
by Stephen Lendman
So-called ceasefire is more illusion than real. Washington rejects peaceful conflict resolution. Obama didn’t turn a new leaf from aggressor to peacemaker.
He wants Assad forcibly ousted, US controlled puppet governance replacing sovereign Syrian independence.
Hordes of newly recruited US supported terrorists continue replacing depleted ranks of anti-Assad death squads, entering Syria through Turkey, Jordan and Israeli-controlled Golan.
Ceasefire gives them time to regroup and rearm ahead of new attacks on government troops. Unknown numbers of US-led Western special forces and paramilitaries actively aid terrorist fighters.
On Saturday, Assad accused Western and regional rogue states of fueling anti-government terrorism, actively supporting it, and undermining diplomatic conflict resolution efforts.
In letters sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Security Council members, Syria’s Foreign Ministry said “(a)rmed terrorist groups breached a truce in Aleppo that culminated tough efforts to which the Syrian Arab Army has fully committed since Thursday morning May 5, 2016 as agreed.”
Straightaway after truce began, terrorists launched attacks on civilian neighborhoods in Aleppo and surrounding areas - using “rocket shells, explosive gas cylinders (Hell cannon) and mortar shells…”
Ceasefire violations “reveal the real face of the terrorist armed groups,” backed by rogue Western and regional regimes, killing civilians, raping Syria. Washington call them “moderate” opposition rebels.
Independent observers call them imported cold-blooded killers, serving US imperial interests, wanting another independent nation raped and destroyed.
Syria and Russia are committed to defeat this universal scourge. Washington and its rogue allies want it sustained.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorist groups continue attacks in and around Aleppo - in the last 24 hours alone shelling Sheikh Maqsood district and Al-Nayrab airport, using multiple rocket launchers.
Senior Iranian international affairs official Ali Akbar Velayati expressed his government’s support for sovereign Syrian independence and Assad’s legitimacy as president, saying:
“Friends and enemies of Syria know that no foreign option can be imposed on the Syrian nation.” 
Iran’s red line is supporting overwhelmingly popular Bashar al-Assad’s legitimacy as president for the duration of his democratically elected term.
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.

Israel Waging Undeclared War on Gaza - Sun, 08/05/2016 - 21:54
Israel Waging Undeclared War on Gaza
by Stephen Lendman
It’s been ongoing since Hamas was democratically elected Palestine’s legitimate government in January 2006 - followed by blockade in mid-2007, an act of war under international law.
The PA is an Israeli creation, a puppet government exclusively serving its interests, led by its illegitimate president Mahmoud Abbas, a longstanding Judas, betraying his people for special benefits he’s afforded.
Slow-motion genocide is official Israeli policy - intending maximum Jews and minimum Arabs. Vicious persecution, collective punishment, extrajudicial killings, isolating Palestinians from Jews, besieging Gaza, and intermittent wars on its defenseless people further its objective.
For days, Israel has been bombing and shelling Gaza on the fabricated pretext of responding to Hamas rockets - the same phony reason used to launch summer 2014 naked aggression. They’re used for self-defense after repeated Israeli attacks or other illegal provocations too grave to ignore.
On Sunday morning, Israeli forces used live fire on defenseless Palestinian farmers, preventing their from working their fields.
Large parts of Gaza remain in ruins from Israel’s devastating summer 2014 war. Does it intend more widespread carnage now? Is it creating a phony pretext for mass murder and destruction again?
During a Security Council session on protecting Palestinian civilians, Venezuela’s UN envoy Rafael Ramirez asked “(w)hat does Israel plan to do with the Palestinians?”
“Will they disappear? Does Israel seek…a final solution,” the way Nazis exterminated Jews? Criticizing Ramirez’s remarks can’t erase the horrors inflicted on Palestinians since Israel’s genocidal war of independence.
An entire population is held hostage to its viciousness. Palestinian lives and welfare don’t matter - nor does international law protecting their rights.
Israel bombed and shelled Gaza for four consecutive days - unjustifiably claiming the right to target Hamas’ “terrorist infrastructure” and hold it accountable for attacks not launched.
Lawless Israeli bombing and shelling began Wednesday night, continuing into Saturday, terrorizing the entire population. Deputy Hamas political head Ismail Haniyeh addressed an assembled group in central Gaza’s Abu Salim mosque, saying:
“We do not call for a new war, but we will not allow these incursions or for new realities to be imposed on our people in Gaza. We call for lifting the siege. Enough of this historical injustice suffered by 2 million of our people.”
Israeli incursions and abuses occur on a regular basis along, within, and beyond its imposed “buffer zone” - including bulldozing Palestinian land, property and possessions, shooting children for target practice and attacking defenseless fishermen at sea.
Haniyeh called these acts grave violations of agreed on 2014 ceasefire terms. Israel breached them straightaway.
Negotiating with its Arab-hating fascist regime is futile. Deals it strikes aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
Former London Mayor Ken Livingstone minced no words, calling Israel’s creation “a great catastrophe.” Its existence threatens Jews and non-Jews alike - a flashpoint for regional and potential global war.
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.

America Talks Peace While Waging Endless Wars - Sun, 08/05/2016 - 02:10
America Talks Peace While Waging Endless Wars
by Stephen Lendman
Wars serve America’s imperial agenda. Peace and stability defeat it. 
As long as neocons infesting Washington wants unchallenged global dominance, endless conflicts will continue - heading for a showdown with Russia and China, the unthinkable possibility of devastating nuclear war, assuring losers, not winners.
Washington uses ISIS and other terrorist groups it created to advance its imperium, a hugely dangerous phenomenon, US-sponsored death squads likely to show up anywhere.
Millions of extremists worldwide make willing recruits, for whatever benefits they believe makes it worth risking their lives.
Addressing Security Council members on Friday on unstable, chaotic conditions in Iraq, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin sounded the alarm, saying ISIS (and by implication similar groups) are “uncontrollably expanding…into Libya, Afghanistan and Europe.”
He stopped short of explaining America uses these groups as imperial foot soldiers. Millions of potential recruits are available worldwide.
He said Moscow “completely support(s) the Iraqi government’s efforts against Islamic State and note(s) certain progress, but the upsurge in terrorist activities, especially in Baghdad, makes us grow wary and question the efficiency of the activities of the (so-called) ‘coalition’ which has been calling itself ‘global’ “ because it’s done nothing to halt the spread of this scourge while pretending otherwise.
Only unity in the fight against it, along with “strict observance of international law, may produce a desirable result” - what’s entirely absent today.
Irresponsible international community members allow this monster to exist and flourish - beaten back in Syria because of Russian and government efforts. Thriving elsewhere with US-led Western and regional support.
Chemical and other banned weapons are smuggled into Iraq and Syria through Turkey, Churkin explained, terrorists using munitions containing toxic substances.
“Chemical warfare agents are rapidly spreading across the region and are used by terrorists, whereas some (UN) member states…turn a blind eye” on what’s happening…blaming” Syria for their crimes, he added.
“(A)nalysis of core chemical components of explosive compounds seized from Islamists near the city of Tikrit (showed) these compounds were either manufactured in Turkey or sold there without the right of re-export.”
In April, US-led Western Security Council members blocked a Sino/Russian draft resolution to check the production and spread of chemical weapons in Syria, Iraq and surrounding areas by terrorist groups.
It called on member states to report to the Security Council and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) in Syria any activities aimed at developing, obtaining, possessing, transporting, transferring or using CWs and means of their delivery.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia are notorious suppliers of toxic agents to known terrorist groups. CIA operatives and Pentagon contractors train their fighters to use CWs at secret Jordanian, Turkish, Saudi and Qatari locations.
Endless US imperial wars rage, prospects for peace nonexistent.
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.

Washington's War on Yemen - Sun, 08/05/2016 - 01:55
Washington’s War on Yemen
by Stephen Lendman
Obama waged naked aggression on Yemen throughout his tenure, along with bombing half a dozen other countries illegally, exceeding the worst of George Bush.
He’s a constitutional lawyer. In 2008, he admitted presidents don’t “have power under the Constitution (and international law) to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.”
None existed throughout his time in office. Every country America attacked since WW II posed no threat to the nation’s security. Yet endless US wars of aggression rage in multiple theaters.
Yemen is Obama’s war, partnered with Saudi Arabia, other Gulf States and Israel, orchestrating terror-bombing, choosing targets to strike, committing slow-motion genocide against millions of affected Yemenis.
What’s ongoing is largely unreported, 24 million people at risk ignored, thousands dying from war, related violence, preventable diseases and starvation.
Official numbers way undercount reality on the ground. Media scoundrels ignore Washington’s responsibility for appalling carnage, an entire population at risk.
On May 2, Press TV reported US special forces “arrived in Yemen (on April 25) to fight alongside Emirati forces” on the phony pretext of combating Al-Qaeda terrorists - created and supported by Washington.
On May 6, the Pentagon for the first time publicly admitted US combat troops are operating in Yemen. US warplanes are terror-bombing targets along with Riyadh’s aerial campaign.
Claiming its operations are separate from war on Houthis belies Washington’s aim to defeat them and re-install its former Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi puppet regime.
Despite over a year of intense conflict, Houthi resistance remains resilient. It’s unclear how many US combat troops were deployed so far or if something much larger is planned.
A US naval Amphibious Ready Group is positioned offshore, including the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Is a larger invasion coming, backed by naval and air power?
Is greater US war than ever about to be initiated against an already devastated country, the region’s poorest in normal times, its people victimized by US imperial lawlessness.
Millions of Yemenis are trapped by war, desperate for help and refuge, over 80% of the population in dire need for humanitarian aid in short supply or unavailable for many.
Endless war continues - perhaps for years as long as Washington rejects peace. To no avail, Amnesty International called on Washington and Britain to halt the “reckless” deliveries of “arms for use in” waging war, civilians harmed most.
They’re “flooding the region with arms,” said AI, including cluster munitions and other banned weapons. On May 4, Human Rights Watch accused all sides of war crimes.
It blamed Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries for “indiscriminate airstrikes against residential neighborhoods, markets, and other civilian structures,” massacring defenseless Yemenis in cold blood.
UN-backed peace talks in Kuwait since April 21 accomplished nothing, unlikely to ahead because Washington wants endless wars throughout the region and beyond.
It’s a national sickness, an addiction, an incurable disease threatening humanity’s survival.
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.

Syrian Martyrs' Day Centennial Commemoration - Sat, 07/05/2016 - 23:12
Syrian Martyrs’ Day Centennial Commemoration
by Stephen Lendman
On May 6, 1916, Ottoman military leader Jamal Pasha (The Butcher) executed Syrian and Lebanese nationalists and intellectuals in Damascus and Beirut.
Plazas in both cities where executions took place were renamed Martyrs’ Square. May 6 marked the 100th anniversary of what happened.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said the “occasion holds very special significance for the Syrian people who stress their determination to make sacrifices and offer more martyrs in order to defending their homeland’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.”
“On this day, the Syrian people salute those who sacrificed their souls for the sake of protecting their homeland and the Syrian army soldiers who are fighting in the battlefields.”
Commemorative events were held in various Syrian cities. Martyrs giving their lives for their homeland were honored - today committed to defeat the scourge of US-sponsored terrorism.
The fate of the nation again is at stake, its enemy far more formidable than ruthless Ottomans. Imperial America wants dominion over planet earth, no matter the cost in human lives, misery and mass destruction.
The latest example was the Syrian al-Kammouneh refugee camp massacre. Government and/or Russian forces had nothing to do with it, despite fabricated reports suggesting otherwise.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported no air activity over the area at the time of the attack. US-supported terrorists were responsible. 
According to Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov, “damage shown in photographs and video (indicates) the camp (was) shelled…by multiple rocket launchers, which are currently being used very actively in this area by terrorists from al-Nusra.”
No bomb craters or other signs of an airstrike were visible. Syria’s military dismissed fabricated allegations of its involvement, saying “(t)here is no truth to reports” suggesting it.
The attack appeared strategically timed, occurring during the May 5 Prayer from Palmyra concert, amidst the ruins of its ancient theater, in remembrance of US-sponsored terrorist victims - an attempt to divert attention from this moving event on hallowed ground.
Ceasefire in Aleppo is more illusion than reality. Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said terrorist provocations continue.
US-supported Jabhat al-Nusra is “recoup(ing) its losses through the inflow of new militants and weapons via the Turkish-Syrian border.”
They’re indiscriminately killing civilians. Fighting continues despite the announced “regime of silence.”
Fars News reported Syrian and Russian warplanes bombed terrorist-held areas in southern Aleppo province, inflicting heavy losses and damage.
Endless conflict rages in other areas. Farcical peace talks collapsed. Attempting another round later in May won’t prove more successful.
America’s push for ceasefire masks its intent to give terrorists it supports time to regroup and rearm.
War continues because neocons infesting Washington reject peace. They want another imperial trophy, Syria entirely ravaged, destroyed and dismembered.
The fate of the nation hangs in the balance.
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.

Two Turkish Newspapermen Convicted of the Crime of Journalism - Sat, 07/05/2016 - 23:00
Two Turkish Newspapermen Convicted of the Crime of Journalism
by Stephen Lendman
A rubber-stamp Istanbul court sentenced Cumhuriyet’s editor-in-chief Can Dundar and its Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul to five years, ten months and five years imprisonment respectively on the phony charge of revealing state secrets.
Acquitted of espionage and plotting to overthrow the regime, they remain free pending appeal, Dundar saying “(w)e will continue to do our job as journalists, despite all these attempts to silence us. We have to preserve courage in our country.”
They reported hard truths of regime wrongdoing, high crimes against peace, evidence proving Ankara intelligence smuggled weapons to ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria.
Last November in court, Dundar said he and Gul “came to defend journalism…to defend the right of the public to obtain the news and their right to know if their government is feeding them lies.” 
“We came here to show and to prove that governments cannot engage in illegal activity and defend this.”
Erdogan tolerates no criticism, no dissent, no revelations about his criminal activities. Both men were imprisoned pending trial, held three months largely in solitary confinement.
In late February, Turkey’s constitutional court (its highest judicial authority) ordered them released, ruling their rights were violated.
Erdogan said they’d be tried anyway, promising they’d “pay a heavy price.” At the time, Dundar said he and Gul would challenge his war on press and judicial freedom “till the end (so) people…learn the truth.”
Hours before sentencing, he survived an attempt on his life outside the court. A likely regime hitman opened fire on him several times before police intervened - either attempting to kill or intimidate him.
Dundar was unharmed. NTV reporter Yagiz Senkal was lightly wounded. In response to the day’s events, Dundar said “(i)n the space of two hours, we have experienced two assassination attempts: one…with a gun, the other…judicial.”
“The jail sentences we received are not just to silence us. The bullet was not just to silence us. This was done to all of us, to scare us into silence, to make us stop talking.”
Both men face a separate trial on charges of “assist(ing) an armed terror organization.” They’re accused of collaborating with exiled former Erdogan ally turned critic Fethullah Gulen.
Regime critics and journalists exposing its high crimes risk imprisonment or assassination.
Turkey is a NATO member, Erdogan a valued US and EU ally - his high crimes overlooked. Imperial priorities matter more.
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.

Erdogan's Fascist Dictatorship - Sat, 07/05/2016 - 22:49
Erdogan’s Fascist Dictatorship
by Stephen Lendman
He’s been solidifying unchallenged power since becoming Turkey’s 12th president in August 2014 - previously serving as prime minister since 2003.
He founded and heads the Justice and Development Party (AKP), using it as an instrument for dictatorial rule.
On May 5, he ousted Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu effective May 22, reports indicating he’ll install his son-in-law to replace him, current energy minister Berat Albayrak.
He plans constitutional changes, “institutionaliz(ing)” dictatorial rule, on Friday saying “there is no turning back,” claiming his scheme has popular support.
Turkish citizens want a “strong presidency,” he asserted. “(D)espite elections…there is not and will not be a vacuum in the country’s administration…”
While acknowledging concern expressed about his cronies and allies running things unopposed, he claimed “(w)hat can be more natural.”
He rejected EU demands for  revising Turkey’s unacceptable antiterrorism and anti-corruption laws - required along with other so-called reforms for granting its citizens visa-free travel as part of the deal involving Ankara agreeing to warehouse refugees fleeing war zones European nations don’t want.
Erdogan insists on no deal unless the European Commission ends its demand for Turkey to change its repressive laws - ludicrously claiming the nation is under attack.
“We will go our way, and you can go your way,” he blustered unless Brussels lets Ankara run its internal affairs unobstructed.
Germany’s Angela Merkel called his backtracking on commitments “certainly not good news for us. (He’d) be very ill-advised to throw this out the window and think this is now a matter of horse-trading.”
“He thinks (negotiating is) 50% wriggle room, and the rest is all arm-wrestling.” Davutoglu was her main Turkish ally. His ouster creates uncertainty.
Despots don’t negotiate. They demand. Erdogan’s top priority is transforming Turkey from a parliamentary system to a dictatorial presidency - requiring constitutional change to accomplish.
His ruling AKP party lacks the required 330 seat 60% majority without help from opposition parties. They oppose his scheme. How he intends pulling it off remains to be seen.
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.

La Suprema Corte de México no frena la retención de datos, pero activistas llevarán el caso a Corte internacional - Sat, 07/05/2016 - 11:04

En una decisión decepcionante, la segunda sala de la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación (SCJN) rechazó la impugnación a los mandatos de retención de datos establecidos por la Ley Federal de Telecomunicaciones (Ley Telecom o LFTR) y la carencia de salvaguardas legales. El amparo -un recurso a disposición de cualquier persona cuyos derechos han sido violados- fue interpuesto por la Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (, ONG defensora de los derechos digitales que, en representación de activistas, estudiantes y periodistas argumentaron que los artículos 189 y 190 de la Ley Telecom violan el derecho a la privacidad de los ciudadanos mexicanos. Estos artículos obligan a las operadoras de telefonía e internet a retener en forma masiva los metadatos – e incluso la geolocalización precisa – de sus usuarios por un periodo de 24 meses.

En un comunicado, nuestros colegas de, quienes presentaron el caso, manifestaron que la SCJN “ha desaprovechado una oportunidad histórica para sentar un precedente en favor de la privacidad y la seguridad de todas las personas usuarias de servicios de telecomunicaciones”.

Sin embargo, mantienen las esperanzas de que en la decisión íntegra, que todavía no ha sido publicada, todavía se puedan establecer restricciones sobre cómo el gobierno obtiene los datos. Carlos Brito, director de incidencia de, comentó a EFF: 

“[S]egún el comunicado que ha difundido la propia Corte, varios de nuestros argumentos a favor de controles democráticos para la vigilancia, lograron influir en la decisión final. Esta decisión final, no la podremos conocer hasta dentro de unas semanas cuando sea publicada”.

R3D reiteró la preocupación de esta decisión sigue permitiendo el acceso en tiempo real de los datos de ubicación por las fuerzas del orden sin supervisión o autorización judicial.

Pero esta sentencia no termina aquí para aquellos que luchan contra la retención de datos o el acceso descontrolado del gobierno a los datos personales. Ahora que R3D y sus aliados han agotado todas las instancias de derecho interno, ellos anunciaron que entablarán una demanda al Estado Mexicano ante la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. Este nuevo litigio será extenso, pero con éxito, podrá sentar un precedente positivo no solo para México sino para toda la región. La Gran Sala del Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea ya ha determinado que la retención de datos es una interferencia de amplio alcance y particularmente grave de los derechos fundamentales”; incluso con este revés, aguardamos que el sistema de derechos humanos del continente americano llegue a las mismas conclusiones.

Infografía de Artículo 19 México.

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Categories: Aggregated News

Mexico's Supreme Court Won’t Halt Data Retention: Activists Plan to Take Case to International Court - Sat, 07/05/2016 - 11:00

In a disappointing decision, Mexico’s Supreme Court rejected a challenge to Mexico’s Ley Telecom data retention mandates and its lack of legal safeguards. The challenge, or writ of amparo—a remedy available to any person whose rights have been violated—was filed by on behalf of a coalition of journalists, human rights NGOs, students arguing that Articles 189 and 190 of Ley Telcom violate the privacy rights of Mexican citizens. The articles compel the country’s telephone operators and ISPs, to retain a massive amount of metadata — including the precise location of its users — for 24 months.

In a statement, our colleagues at Red en Defensa de los Derechos Digitales (, who filed the case, declared that the court “missed an historic opportunity to establish a precedent for the privacy and safety of all users of telecommunications services.”

They remain hopeful, however, that the full decision, which has not yet been published, might still put some constraints on how the government obtains the data. Carlos Brito, R3D’s Advocacy Director, told EFF:

 [A]ccording to the statement that the Court has published, several of our arguments in favor of democratic controls for surveillance did influence their final decision, but we’ll only know for sure in a few weeks.

R3D remains most concerned that the ruling will still allow real-time access to location data by law enforcement without judicial oversight or a warrant.

It’s not the end of the road for those fighting data retention or uncontrolled government access to personal data. Now that and their colleagues have exhausted potential challenges under domestic law, they intend to file a lawsuit against the Mexican State before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This new litigation will be lengthy, but if successful, it will set a positive precedent not only for Mexico but for the entire region. Europe’s highest courts have already determined that data retention is a “wide-ranging and particularly serious interference” with fundamental rights; even with this setback, we hope that the Americas’ human rights system will come to the same conclusions.

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Categories: Aggregated News

House Speaker Ryan Withholds Trump Endorsement - Sat, 07/05/2016 - 02:16
House Speaker Ryan Withholds Trump Endorsement
by Stephen Lendman
Neocon House Speaker Paul Ryan’s agenda should scare everyone. Last October, he succeeded John Boehner in a palace coup. 
The former speaker wasn’t hardline enough for tea party Republicans. Ryan’s ascendancy lurched Washington further to the right. 
He wants more spending for militarism and wars, less for social programs - endorsed privatizing Social Security and Medicare en route to ending them altogether.
He favors abolishing America’s social contract, everyone on their own sink or swim, tax cuts for the rich, and more generous corporate handouts.
His ideal America is government and monied interests partnering for self-enrichment at the public’s expense, producing greater inequality than already, while cracking down hard on nonbelievers. 
He and likeminded neocons infest Congress. Their best of all possible worlds is unfit to live in, wanting America’s privileged class alone served.
On Thursday, Ryan said he’s “not ready” to endorse Trump as GOP nominee. “What Republicans want to see is that we have a standard bearer that bears our standards,” he said.
“(C)onservatives want to know (if) he share(s) our values and principles.” Ryan’s agenda demands universal condemnation.
In a written statement, Trump responded, saying he’s “not ready” to support it. “Perhaps in the future we can work together and come to an agreement about what is best for the American people. They have been treated so badly for so long that it is about time for politicians to put them first.”
What he has in mind is unclear. He’s no populist champion or peacemaker. Earlier he said Ryan will “pay a big price” for withholding support. Presidential nominees virtually always get it from top party officials. 
Powerful monied interests run America. Government officials serve them. Elections are farcical when held, meaningless theater.
Democracy is pure fantasy. America’s political process is too corrupted and venal to fix. Nothing short of revolution can change things.
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.

Sweatshop Turkey - Sat, 07/05/2016 - 02:05
Sweatshop Turkey
by Stephen Lendman
Turkey shamelessly exploits its Syrian refugee population. Hundreds of thousands of adults and children work for sub-poverty wages under deplorable conditions.
State-authorized sweatshops exist in many parts of the world, Turkey a notorious example, a hugely repressive police state, profiting from human misery.
London’s Guardian reported on Syrian child refugees in Turkey, many unable to go to school, forced to choose between harsh sweatshop labor or war at home.
They work 12 hours a day, six days a week, earning sub-minimum wage pay and no benefits. Syrian Relief Network (SRN) director Kais al-Dairi explained “irreversible” harm done to vast numbers of young Syrian refugee children.
“Even if everything stopped now and we had peace, we would just be doing damage control. We have lost a generation. We are trying not to lose a second one.”
Children in Turkish refugee camps are forced to work to help their families survive. They earn less than $10 a day. Syrian families in Turkey spend more than they earn, so are forced to borrow to get by and have their children work.
They’re victims of laws benefitting employers at workers’ expense, denied rights afforded Turkish nationals.
Sub-poverty pay prevents adult workers from caring for family members properly. It gets worse.
Many adults can’t find work. Research shows in nearly half of Hatay, Turkey, Syrian refugee families, a child is the only breadwinner, earning far too little for members to survive.
Many employers prefer hiring easily exploitable children at less pay than adults for maximum profits. They’re entitled to education in Turkey but don’t get it.
The Guardian said legal loopholes “give headmasters the right not to admit Syrians if their presence would conceivably affect the learning of Turkish students.”
Child workers are often ill-treated. Sexual and physical abuse are common, SRN’s Kais al-Dairi saying “I have interviewed kids and they say in their innocent way, ‘this guy held my hand. This guy tried to lead me here. This guy tried to touch me here.’ “
One child reported his sweatshop boss “beat(ing) (him) with a screwdriver, metal, whatever is in his hand. Once…he threw a bottle at me.”
UNICEF said Syrian “(c)hildren report being actively encouraged to join the war” at home at much higher pay than from sweatshop labor. According to al-Dairi, child soldiers have no futures, able only to fight and die as warriors.
Despite enormous hardships most people can’t imagine, many Syrians see Europe as their best option - for themselves and their children. Disappointment awaits 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.

FCC Approves Horrible Merger, Hurting Consumers Nationwide - Sat, 07/05/2016 - 01:44
FCC Approves Horrible Merger, Hurting Consumers NationwideMary Alice CrimMay 6, 2016Instead of standing with the people who use the Internet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sided with the companies that want to control it.
Categories: Aggregated News

Moving Prayer From Palmyra Concert - Fri, 06/05/2016 - 22:22
Moving Prayer From Palmyra Concert
by Stephen Lendman
On May 5 at 5:00PM Moscow time, renowned Russian conductor Valery Gergiev with musicians from St. Petersburg’s Mariinsky Theater orchestra performed a moving concert amidst the ruins of Palmyra’s ancient theater in remembrance of its US-sponsored terrorist victims.
Syrian forces greatly aided by Russian air power and intelligence liberated the historic city in March, ISIS suffering a strategic defeat.
Putin spoke by videoconference, expressing thanks “for this wonderful humanitarian event today, this concert in Palmyra, now liberated from the terrorists. I see this event as a symbol of gratitude, memory and hope.”
“It expresses gratitude to all who fight terrorism at the cost of even their own lives, memory for all victims of terror, no matter where or when these crimes against humanity are committed, and, of course, hope, hope not only to restore Palmyra as part of humanity’s heritage, but to free today’s world from this terrible scourge of international terrorism.”
“To do this, each and every one of us must look at any success in the fight against terrorism as a common victory, and always, everywhere, must see any victim of terror as a personal loss and sorrow. Only with this attitude to this absolute evil will we be able to defeat it once and for all.”
“I know that today’s event involves great inconveniences and dangers for all taking part, the dangers associated with being in a country at war, and with military operations still going on not so far away. This demands great strength and effort on your part and certainly great courage.”
Titled With a Prayer from Palmyra: Music Revives the Ancient Walls, maestro Gergiev was joined by cellist Sergei Roldugin, St. Petersburg’s House of Music artistic director.
Works by Prokofiev, Bach and Schedrin were performed. Audience members included Syrian and Russian soldiers, invited dignitaries, along with area residents including children. Gergiev addressed them, saying:
“We protest against barbarians who destroyed wonderful monuments of world culture. We protest against the execution of people here on this great stage.”
The memory of Senior Russian Lieutenant Alexander Prokhorenko was honored. Surrounded by ISIS terrorists in Homs governorate in mid-March, he called in an airstrike on himself to help eliminate them. 
He was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Russian Federation, the nation’s highest honor, for exceptional courage and heroism. He gave his life to save others.
The concert can be heard through the following link:
The deeply moving event on hallowed ground in a war zone had special significance. Russian media deservedly gave it extensive coverage. In America, it got short shrift.
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.

Suspect Airstrike Near Aleppo After Temporary Ceasefire Announced - Fri, 06/05/2016 - 21:52
Suspect Airstrike Near Aleppo After Temporary Ceasefire Announced
by Stephen Lendman
On May 5, reports without verification said Syria’s al-Kammouneh refugee camp in Sarmada near Aleppo, close to Turkey’s border, was bombed - dozens killed or injured.
US-supported terrorists control the area. No party claimed responsibility. Witnesses allegedly reported tents on fire, widespread debris and scattered body parts.
An dubious unnamed source claimed “many martyrs and body parts…a very bloody scene. There are absolutely no armed men there. They’re all civilian refugees, homeless people living on the street.”
UK government owned and operated BBC suggested Syrian or Russian responsibility while admitting “this has not been confirmed.”
Anti-government video released raises questions - showing some tents burned, smoldering and destroyed, nearby ones unaffected. 
No casualties are visible, no body parts, no bomb craters, no munitions debris. Was the incident staged anti-Assad propaganda to provide greater justification for regime change?
Were US, UK, French, Turkish, Saudi, and/or Israeli dirty hands involved? Were terrorists they support responsible for what happened? Was what happened committed on the ground, not from an aerial bombardment as reported?
The incident like many others is a war crime. Why would Syrian or Russian warplanes bomb a civilian site when their mission is liberating the country and protecting its people?
Deputy State Department spokesman Mark Toner pointed fingers the wrong way, saying “(w)e’ve seen early claims that this was a regime strike…” Backtracking he added “we want to be absolutely sure before we level blame at somebody.”
UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond unjustifiably blamed Syria’s military, shamelessly saying “(t)he Assad’s regime contempt for efforts to restore the cessation of hostilities is clear for all to see.”
Fighting in Aleppo province continues despite the temporary declared ceasefire. In a cable to Vladimir Putin, Assad thanked him for his courageous support, comparing the battle for Aleppo to Stalingrad during WW II, saying:
“Despite the brutality and cruelty of the enemy, and the great sacrifices and pains, our cities, towns, people and army will not be satisfied until they defeat the enemy and achieve victory serving the interests of Syria, the region and the world.”
Expressing typical American arrogance, Toner called Assad’s statement “totally unacceptable,” demanding he observe ceasefire despite continued US-supported terrorist attacks.
Russia blocked a one-way UK-drafted Security Council resolution, blaming Syria for terrorist violence in Aleppo.
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.



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