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Syria: Obama's War, Now Trump's

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 25/05/2017 - 21:36
Syria: Obama’s War, Now Trump’s
by Stephen Lendman
Moscow and Washington are world’s apart on Syria. Russia continues going all-out for diplomatic conflict resolution.
America pursues endless war. Trump escalated aggression Obama began, undermining peace efforts, seeking regime change and sovereign Syria’s destruction, including by balkanizing the country, separating northern, southern and other areas from Damascus.
On Tuesday, Sergey Lavrov warned against compromising Syria’s territorial integrity, explaining conflict resolution can’t be achieved if this objective is pursued.
US-led coalition terror-bombing continues massacring civilians on the phony pretext of combating terrorism, many thousands killed since its aerial operations began in September 2014.
The Pentagon and Western media suppress what’s going on. Independent sources and eyewitness survivors explain the horror of US aggression, mostly defenseless civilians harmed by Pentagon terror-bombing and terrorist foot soldiers.
Casualties mount daily. Endless conflict continues. Russia’s good faith resolution efforts achieved no breakthroughs because Washington undermined them.
Ahead of Trump’s Thursday meeting with other NATO leaders in Brussels, an unnamed Western diplomat was quoted, saying alliance “ambassadors decided this evening on an action plan on terrorism for the summit.” 
“It includes the accession of NATO to the global coalition against IS. This means that the AWACS will not just do airspace surveillance but airspace management.”
“They are going to coordinate the flights and direct airplanes over Syria and Iraq” - allegedly “only for flights which are not related to bombings.”
On Thursday in Brussels, Trump and other NATO leaders will announce the move - meaning alliance members will formally ally with US aggression in Syria and Iraq on the phony pretext of combating terrorism.
Separately, heavy US weapons reached Kurdish-controlled northern Syria areas. 
Washington uses their fighters to help separate the territory from Damascus control, supporting them by terror-bombing vital infrastructure and government targets on the pretext of combating ISIS.
Weapons supplied YPG fighers include heavy mortars and grenade launchers, anti-tank missiles, armored vehicles, and rocket launchers.
Trump’s enormous arms deal with Saudi Arabia assures escalated regional conflicts, not ending them.
It’s more evidence that his noninterventionist campaign rhetoric was hollow. He’s America’s latest warrior president - a boon for imperialists and war-profiteers, disastrous for world peace and stability.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Russian Special Forces in Syria

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 25/05/2017 - 04:20
Russian Special Forces in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
They’ve been active since Russia began combating terrorism in the country in September 2015 - greatly aiding Syrian and allied ground forces turn the tide of battle in many areas.
They’re mainly involved in directing Russian aircraft to targets, according to General Alexander Dvornikov, commander of Moscow’s Syria campaign.
Last year, he said “I am not going to conceal the fact that our (elite Spetsnaz) special operations forces (KSO) are working in the territory of Syria. They are doing reconnaissance checks prior to the Russian air strikes, heading the planes to targets in remote regions as well as fulfilling other special tasks.”
They help “their Syrian colleagues plan and conduct” anti-terrorist operations, along with teaching them how to use Russian weapons.
They operate legally along with Russian aerial operations at the request of Assad’s government.
US special forces and marines in northern Syria, along with Pentagon-led coalition aerial operations, operate illegally without Damascus permission or Security Council authorization.
Russian aerial and Spetsnaz ground operations played a vital role in liberating Aleppo, Palmyra and other areas. They’re active in southern Syria near Iraqi and Jordanian border areas.
On May 24, Vladimir Putin “presented government awards to a group of Russian commandoes for holding back advancing terrorists in Syria’s Aleppo province for two days running,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained, adding: 
“Due to lack of coordination, Syrian troops had retreated in that area, leaving our military outpost on the frontline.”
“The group’s commander, a colonel and three of his officers, were invited to Moscow” to be decorated for their courageous actions.
“The colonel, referred to only by his first name, Danila, was awarded the title of the Hero of Russia. All other officers receive(d) combat decorations” without disclosing their names to protect them. 
Sixteen commandoes were involved in directing aerial operations against terrorist positions. Others are deployed for the same purpose in various parts of Syria.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Trump Praises Despotic Bahraini Regime

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 25/05/2017 - 02:18
Trump Praises Despotic Bahraini Regime
by Stephen Lendman
Despotic Bahraini authorities terrorize majority Shias in a Sunni-run state, along with anyone challenging their ruthlessness.
During a photo-op session with king Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa in Riyadh last weekend, Trump said “(o)ur countries have a wonderful relationship together…(T)here won’t be strain with this administration.”
During his Sunday Muslim world address, he assured despotic regimes participating that “our friends will never question our support.”
Bahraini authorities took his remarks to mean he’ll look the other way no matter how harshly they crack down on resisters.
On Tuesday, they launched a deadly raid against nonviolent regime critics, following the wrongful sentencing of Sheikh Isa Qasim, Bahrain’s leading Shia cleric, killing at least five, injuring others, arresting and detaining hundreds.
An interior ministry statement called the attack an action to “preserve law and order.” Activists consider it police state terror.
London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy director of advocacy Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei said “(t)he killing of five protesters is a heinous crime enabled by the unconditional support of the Bahraini rulers’ key allies in Riyadh, Washington and London.”
“The bloodshed, the blood that’s on their hands, will only continue unless it is met with severe consequences from the international community.”
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denounced Bahrain and Washington, calling Tuesday’s raid the “(f)irst concrete result of POTUS cozying up to despots in Riyadh: Deadly attack on peaceful protesters by the emboldened Rahrain regime.”
Washington and its rogue allies turn a blind eye, tacitly going along with regional police state harshness, above all by Israel against defenseless Palestinians.
Following the revocation of Sheikh Qasim’s citizenship in June 2016, his village of Duraz has been under siege.
Residents staged open-ended peaceful sit-ins in front of his house, participants viciously persecuted for their activism, facing arrests, detentions and assaults like on Tuesday.
In early April, seven US-based human rights groups, including Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), wrote king Hamad, expressing concern for the persecution and arbitrary denaturalization of Sheikh Qassim - asking for all charges and actions against him to be dropped, along with restoring his nationality.
No response followed. Persecution continued, then wrongful conviction and sentencing.
His sham trial occurred while Trump was in Riyadh, ADHRB executive director Hunain Abdulla, saying while the US president spoke to Muslim leaders about religious tolerance, despotic Bahraini officials practice “religious intolerance.”
“(B)y denaturalizing and prosecuting Sheikh Isa Qassim for religious practices, (they) have shown they will criminalize actions of individuals based solely on religion. This will only continue to cause further instability in the country.”
Commenting on Qassim’s show trial, Sheikh Maytham al-Salman explained he’s “solely being punished for supporting democratic and human rights reforms in Bahrain.” 
His “trial for practicing religious rituals is baseless and could lead to further instability in Bahrain and in an already tense region.”
Since mid-2016 alone, scores of Shia clerics were harassed and persecuted, at least nine arrested, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned by exercising their assembly and expression rights.
Like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain is a fascist police state, a major human rights abuser, a valued US ally, ignoring its high crimes.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Disturbing Manchester Blast Aftermath

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 24/05/2017 - 21:43
Disturbing Manchester Blast Aftermath
by Stephen Lendman
UK police state laws already are some of Europe’s most draconian before Monday’s Manchester blast, including the 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act, eviscerating longstanding legal protections. 
Perhaps tougher legislation is coming. Following an emergency meeting, Prime Minister Theresa May acted as expected - elevating Britain’s threat level from severe to critical, without explaining the greatest threat is state-sponsored, not from ISIS or other terrorist groups the UK supports.
Claiming another attack “may be imminent” is part of her fear-mongering strategy, an effort to convince Brits they’ll be safer by sacrificing fundamental freedoms.
The opposite is true. When government is the enemy of the people, police state authority rules, the way things are in America, Britain, France, elsewhere in Europe and Israel - rogue states claiming to be democratic.
Thousands of UK armed forces personnel are being deployed in key public areas, Britain turned into an armed camp - perhaps permanently.
So-called Operation Temperer came in January 2015, following the Paris Charlie Hebdo and kosher market false flags.
It authorizes deployment of thousands of soldiers to “augment armed police officers engaged in protective security duties” in key UK areas.
Other European countries have similar plans to guard against alleged terror threats, Britain and the continent becoming armed camps, democratic rights disappearing in plain sight.
Incidents like Manchester, Charlie Hebdo, the July 2016 Nice, France false flag ISIS claimed responsibility for, others in Europe, and similar ones in America are used to enforce police state harshness - deception to convince ordinary people to accept what harms their fundamental rights and welfare.
ISIS claiming responsibility for Manchester and similar incidents is part of the deception. Claims without verifiable proof are baseless.
Anyone can claim anything for any reason and make it appear credible when it’s not. 
For now, a Manchester police witch hunt is ongoing to round up convenient patsies, possibly connected to suspected “bomber” Salman Abedi.
Perishing in Monday’s blast, he’ll tell no tales, the official account alone reported - no witnesses or others so far available to refute it.
Skepticism is always warranted about government actions that harm the rights and welfare of ordinary people while claiming otherwise.
The Manchester incident appears something other than what’s officially reported. It was carefully planned against a high-profile target, timed ahead of Britain’s June 8 snap elections with Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn narrowing Theresa May’s lead.
Hindsight when more is known will explain best what the attack was all about.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Resisting Tyranny: A Fundamental Human Right

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 24/05/2017 - 21:24
Resisting Tyranny: A Fundamental Human Right
by Stephen Lendman
It’s arguably the most fundamental human right of all.
America’s Declaration of Independence states “whenever any form of government becomes destructive…it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it.”
Palestinian resistance is their only way to achieve long sought liberation. Nothing else can work - not Israeli-controlled elections installing puppets like Abbas, not peace talks accomplishing nothing every time initiated.
In its annual report on human rights in Israel and the Occupied Territories, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said “2016 brought very little good news when it comes to human rights.” 
“The wave of violence that has been dubbed the ‘intifada of individuals,’ which began in the fall of 2015, continued throughout 2016, at varying levels of intensity.” 
“Acts of (state-sponsored) violence violated the basic (Palestinian) right to life and personal security, spread terror among the public, destabilized everyday life, and left mourning families and broken communities.” 
“During this difficult period, the authorities often tended to select extreme means in their response to the situation, including the unnecessary violation of rights and liberties and the disproportionate use of force.”
In response to Trump’s visit to Israel and Bethlehem, an ACRI statement, aimed at Israeli oppression, said “(w)e will not be distracted by the celebrations or your lofty declarations.”
“We will resist your attempts to limit civil society by silencing the media and disenfranchising the public that elected you.”
The “unbreakable bond…between Israel and the United States” Trump stressed bears full responsibility for devastating regional conflicts, related violence, and human misery.
During a press conference with Abbas in Bethlehem, Trump lied saying “peace is a choice we must make each day, and the US is here to make that dream possible for young Jewish, Muslim and Christian children.”
“I truly believe if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process for peace in the Middle East.” 
“Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith, and Netanyahu has promised the same. I look forward to working with these leaders toward a lasting peace.”
Fact: Chances for achieving peace affording Palestinians rights they’ve been denied throughout Israel’s existence are nil - because Israel and Washington reject it, demanding Palestinian subjugation under occupation harshness.
Public pronouncements otherwise are acts of deception. Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator, installed to serve its interests, part of the problem, not a leader seeking Palestinian liberation.
Trump one-sidedly supports Israel like all his predecessors. He’s notoriously anti-Islamic. Escalating wars against multiple Muslim countries shows where he stands.
Palestinians have no friends in Washington, no one championing their rights, no one committed to end their suffering under oppressive occupation - apartheid viciousness worse than South Africa’s.
Separately, hundreds of Palestinian Freedom and Dignity hunger strikers began a 37th day of abstinence, dozens in critical condition, denied medical care, prison authorities refusing to negotiate with strike leaders.
Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs head Issa Qaraqe issued a statement, accusing Israel of “disdaining the lives and health of hunger strikers in favor of causing deaths among them,” adding:
“If something happens to any prisoner, nobody will be able to control the anger of the Palestinian people.”
During his visit, Trump ignored their suffering, said nothing about their mistreatment, did nothing to demand justice Israel denies.
Through his lawyer, hunger striker Karim Yunis released a moving letter saying the following:
“Our resisting people
I address you from behind the barbed wire on the 37th day of the battle for freedom and dignity to inform you that our bodies may be weakened and barely able to move, but our spirits reach the sky, and despite the stretch of the battle and its ferocity, we are determined to continue until we achieve victory, not only for us but for all of our people.
The prison and security authorities have tried through several meetings offered to us to suspend the strike and discuss our demands after that, but we refused and have categorically rejected this approach.
We are determined to complete the mission to the fullest. This battle is not only a battle of prisoners and their demands, but it is the battle of the people and their dignity.
It is no secret that weakness and fatigue have hit our bodies, but our will and determination have grown and strengthened above the ability of our bodies.
On the 37th day, we assure you that we will not retreat before the escalation and arrogance of the occupier. 
We will escalate our steps of struggle in the days to come, at the forefront of these steps to refrain from taking salt water.
This requires a parallel escalation of our people and our supporters to expand and take the battle everywhere.
The occupation and its jailers have imprisoned our bodies, but our souls remain resisting and free.
We will not retreat, will not retreat, will not retreat.
Either victory or martyrdom.
Karim YounesIsolation cells, Ramle Ayalon prison”
He and hundreds of other Freedom and Dignity hunger strikers deserve universal support against a brutal occupier Trump and others in Washington unconditionally support.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Trump in Rome

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 24/05/2017 - 21:04
Trump in Rome
by Stephen Lendman
On Wednesday, he arrived following his Riyadh and Israel visits. He and the pontiff are more alike than dissimilar, despite Vatican pretense.
Papal history isn’t pretty. Pontiffs notoriously meddle where they don’t belong. Liberation theology supporting social justice is verboten. 
Pope Francis’ high-minded rhetoric belies papal tradition, supporting wealth and power interests, paying lip service alone to popular needs and welfare.
The papacy is notoriously ultraconservative. In his book titled “God and His Demons,” Michael Parenti exposed the myth of organized religions being above reproach, criticizing Old and New Testament dogma.
He challenged notable religious figures, exposing their dark side. Author John Allen blasted Pope Benedict XVI, saying he “believe(d) the best antidote to political totalitarianism is ecclesial totalitarianism.”
He and other pontiffs exercised dictatorial powers, governing as they wished, their decrees having final say.
Pope John Paul II was involved in counter-revolutionary activities, supporting right-wing dictatorships, calling them “bulwarks against communis(m).”
Greed isn’t just good on Wall Street. Holy See self-enrichment comes at the expense of the faithful. Papal policies pursue reactionary goals.
Mixing religion with politics, Roman Catholicism and other hard-right faiths spread ideological extremism to mass audiences, claiming to serve God’s will. Fundamentalism dominates, liberal theology favoring equity and justice for everyone shut out.
Before becoming archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998, then a cardinal in 2001, Jorge Mario Bergoglio (Pope Francis) supported Argentina's military dictatorship (March 1976 - December 1983) - a brutal dirty war period backed by Washington.
Thousands were disappeared, held in detention centers, tortured and killed. Anyone expressing dissent or considered an ideological or political threat was vulnerable.
Communists, socialists, independent journalists, human rights supporters, trade unionists, priests endorsing social justice, and students were targeted. 
In his earlier capacity, Pope Francis was complicit in what went on, supporting instead of denouncing it responsibly.
His rhetoric belies his business as usual agenda. Welcoming Trump to the Vatican for a private audience ignores his war on humanity at home and abroad.
Later on Wednesday, he’ll fly to Brussels to meet with EU and NATO leaders, then a Sicily G7 summit on Friday before heading home over the weekend.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Former CIA Chief Lies to Congress

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 24/05/2017 - 20:50
Former CIA Chief Lies to Congress
by Stephen Lendman
The alleged Trump-Russia connection is one of the biggest hyped deceptions of our time - nothing suggesting anything improper or criminal by him, his team or Moscow.
Yet accusations persist, yesterday by former CIA director John Brennan before House Intelligence Committee members - an exercise in disinformation, not responsible truth-telling.
As Obama’s CIA director, he said it’s OK to kill Americans domestically under “extraordinary” circumstances - without further elaboration.
Brennan is a world-class scoundrel, a former crime boss as CIA head. Obama praised “his determination to keep America safe, his commitment to working with Congress, his ability to build relationships with foreign partners, and his fidelity to the values that define us as a nation.”
He and his CIA director partnered in criminal activity, including murder and torturing innocent Muslim victims in agency black sites still operating globally.
During his tenure as CIA chief, state terror was in good hands. As a private citizen, he remains unaccountable for high crimes, ignored by Congress and the Trump administration.
In Tuesday House testimony, he lied, saying “I know what the Russians try to do. They try to suborn individuals and try to get individuals, including US individuals, to act on their behalf, wittingly or unwittingly.”
“I ha(ve) unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting US persons involved in the (Trump) campaign or not to work on their behalf.”
Admitting no evidence of Trump team colluding with Russia, he lied claiming Putin tried to undermine Hillary. Nothing remotely suggests it.
No Russian interference with America’s election occurred - yet the Big Lie persists, Brennan’s Tuesday testimony the latest example.
In response, a White House statement said “(t)his morning’s hearings back up what we’ve been saying all along: that despite a year of investigation, there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump campaign collusion.”
Claims otherwise with no credible proof are groundless. So was Brennan’s claim about improper Moscow geopolitical activities to further its interests - rogue actions a CIA specialty.
Operating unaccountably, no one is safe from its long arm, illegal operations its main function.
Notoriously its mandate includes toppling democratically elected governments, assassinating independent foreign heads of state and key officials Washington doesn’t control, propping up friendly despots, and operating black site torture prisons, along with numerous other dirty tricks and high crimes.
It’s a global hit squad. The late Chalmers Johnson called its “bag of dirty tricks (the) defining characteristic of the imperial presidency…a source of unchecked power…threat(ening) the nation,” rule of law principles, democratic values and humanity.
Neocon Mike Pompeo now heads the agency, continuing its diabolical agenda, no one safe as long as the CIA exists.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Comey's Upcoming Senate Testimony Much Ado About Nothing

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 24/05/2017 - 20:37
Comey’s Upcoming Senate Testimony Much Ado About Nothing
by Stephen Lendman
He’ll testify in open Senate hearing about investigations into nonexistent Russia US election hacking and alleged improper Trump team connections to Russia.
Months of investigations found nothing - so what is there for Comey to explain? Democrats, media scoundrels and Republicans want Trump weakened, delegitimized and ousted from office.
Comey is a prop toward this objective, wanting him used to advance Trump’s political demise, heading like a moving train in this direction.
His testimony is scheduled after the Memorial Day holiday weekend, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R. NC), saying:
“The Committee looks forward to receiving testimony from the former Director on his role in the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, and I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media.”
Committee vice-chairman Mark Warner (R. VA) said Comey “deserves an opportunity to tell his story…(T)he American people deserve an opportunity to hear it.”
What has he got to tell? No evidence suggests Russia US election meddling, despite baseless claims otherwise.
Nothing indicates improper or wrongdoing Trump team connections with Russia. Allegations and accusations are part of a fabricated hoax to continue longstanding Russia bashing and replace Trump with easily-controlled Pence, a right-wing hardliner, a deep state puppet, a coup d’etat president-in-waiting.
Warner added he hopes Comey will clarify why he was sacked. Does it matter? Presidents have a right to choose administration officials, some subject to Senate confirmation like a new FBI director.
Firing Comey didn’t obstruct justice as the deplorable New York Times and other media scoundrels claimed. It didn’t impede or undermine continuing investigations going nowhere because nothing improper exists to be found.
On Friday, commenting on Comey’s firing, press secretary Sean Spicer said “(b)y grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia.”
“The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”
He referred to last week’s spurious NYT and WaPo reports, coincidental with Trump leaving on a 9-day foreign trip, sending him off on a sour note.
Putin has proof no secret classified information was shared by Trump with Sergey Lavrov and ambassador Sergey Kislyak during their Oval Office visit. Congress declined to see it. He blasted what’s going on in Washington as “political schizophrenia.”
It’s mostly a sinister coup d’etat plot to oust a sitting president - what goes on in banana republics, never in democratic ones - America very much the former, not the latter.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

ISIS Claiming Responsibility for Manchester Blast Is Likely Baloney

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 24/05/2017 - 02:54
ISIS Claiming Responsibility for Manchester Blast Is Likely Baloney
by Stephen Lendman
Announcements are one thing, reality another. Like America, France, Israel, the Saudis and other regional rogue states, Britain supports ISIS and likeminded terrorist groups.
Why would one of their own bite the hand feeding it? These groups can’t exist without foreign support. 
The Amaq news outlet allegedly linked to ISIS, claiming one of its members carried out Monday’s attack is meaningless without corroborating evidence entirely lacking.
A statement without attribution could be made by anyone. Manchester police blaming a suicide bomber for what happened presented no proof. 
If the person or persons responsible for what happened perished, no tales will be told other than the official account.
The alleged ISIS statement of responsibility, saying the attack was “in response to…transgressions against the lands of the Muslims” ignores the involvement of their fighters in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and elsewhere as imperial foot soldier “transgress(ors).”
Though too early to lay blame where it belongs, the attack and its timing resemble numerous previous high-profile US and European state-sponsored false flags - most likely this one the latest. 
In time, we’ll likely know if Monday’s incident was state terrorism, a lone wolf attack or something else.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump's Fawning Address in Israel

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 24/05/2017 - 02:51
Trump’s Fawning Address in Israel
by Stephen Lendman
It made disturbing listening and reading from the transcript. He “reaffirm(ed) the unshakable bond between the United States and Israel” - unshakably partnered in high crimes of war and against humanity he failed to explain.
Sounding like Netanyahu, he said “(t)he ties of the Jewish people to this holy land are ancient and eternal.”
“Israel is a testament to the unbreakable spirit of the Jewish people” - at the expense of millions of brutalized Palestinians and harm done to regional states.
“My administration will always stand with Israel,” he blustered. “Through your hardships, you have created one of the most abundant lands in the world.”
It’s been unaccountable throughout its sordid history because of US-led Western support, getting away with slow-motion genocide for decades.
Trump: “While evil forces seeks to kill innocents of all faiths, your nation has responded with compassion, charity, and generosity.”
Fact: Its agenda is polar opposite. Its Machiavellian alliance with America is the greatest threat to world peace.
Trump: “We must build a coalition of partners who share the aim of stamping out extremism and violence, and providing our children with a peaceful and hopeful future.”
It “requires the world to fully recognize the vital role of the state of Israel.”
Fact: America and Israel are the world’s leading perpetrators of state terror, promoting extremism and violence to serve their interests.
Reinventing history, Trump turned truth on its head, claiming “Israelis have experienced firsthand the hatred and terror of radical violence.” 
“Israelis are murdered by terrorists wielding knifes and bombs. Hamas and Hezbollah launch rockets into Israeli communities where schoolchildren have to be trained to hear the sirens and run to bomb shelters.” 
“ISIS targets Jewish neighborhoods, synagogues, and storefronts. And Iran’s leaders routinely call for Israel’s destruction.”
Fact: Israelis mass murder Palestinians, not the other way around. Hamas and Hezbollah never preemptively attacked Israel, only responded defensively to its aggression.
Iran never called for Israel’s destruction. The Big Lie has been around for a long time, one of many ways the Islamic Republic is vilified.
Former Deputy Israeli Prime Minister Dan Meridor admitted former Iranian President Ahmadinijad never said Israel should be “wipe(d) off the face of the face off the map” - actually saying its regime would collapse on its own. 
Yet the false claim persists, Trump in his Israeli address disgracefully repeating it. 
Saying “let us pray for…peace, and for a more hopeful future across the Middle East” belies the US/Israeli axis, waging endless wars, wanting sovereign Syrian and Iranian independence destroyed, their governments ousted, pro-Western rule replacing them.
Trump: “ All decent people want to live in peace, and all humanity is threatened by the evils of terrorism.”
Fact: Peace is unattainable as long as America, Israel and their rogue allies wage endless wars. State terrorism is the evil Trump ignored.
Trump: “As I have repeatedly said, I am personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians reach that mutual commitment comprehensive peace agreement, and I had a great meeting this morning with President Mahmoud Abbas and I can tell you that he is ready to reach a peace deal.”
Fact: The only so-called “peace agreement” acceptable to Washington and Israel is unconditional Palestinian surrender, continued subjugation under occupation harshness.
Trump: “The United States is firmly committed to keeping Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and halting their support of terrorists and militias that are causing so much suffering and chaos throughout the Middle East.”
Fact: Iran’s nuclear program has no military component - not now or earlier, likely never given its abhorrence of these weapons, wanting the region free from them.
Fact: Iran is a victim of terrorism, not a sponsor or perpetrator like Washington and Israel.
As long as both countries pursue imperial objectives, endless wars will rage. Peace, stability and security will remain unattainable.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Russian Forces in Southern Syria

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Wed, 24/05/2017 - 02:44
Russian Forces in Southern Syria
by Stephen Lendman
In response to US terror-bombing Syrian and allied forces last Thursday near the Iraqi and Jordanian borders, along with reports of a possible US-orchestrated southern invasion,  Russian paratroopers and special forces were deployed to Dara’a and Sweida provinces.
They’ll aid government and allied troops defend against possible southern Syria aggression - fortifying border areas with Jordan and Iraq, perhaps engaging enemy forces if necessary.
Their presence sends a message to Washington, showing added Moscow resolve to combat terrorism, along with respecting Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Unverified reports suggested Russia plans a military base near Jordan’s border. US warplanes attacked Syrian and allied forces last week to prevent their securing control over southern border areas.
Involvement of Russian forces helps achieve this objective. Protected by air cover, US warplanes aren’t likely to risk direct confrontation, though anything ahead is possible, given Washington’s rage to destroy Syrian sovereignty and oust Assad.
US strategy involves dividing northern and southern areas from Damascus. It’s also about severing Syrian transportation routes to Iraq and Iran.
Russian conflict resolution efforts so far achieved no breakthroughs. Washington wants war, not peace. On the phony pretext of combating terrorism, larger numbers of US forces may be deployed to the region.
Separately, former CIA officer Philip Giraldi warned that America and its rogue allies may be heading for war on Iran, saying it may happen “before too long as it is clear Trump and his advisers are already completely in the Israeli and Saudi pockets on this issue.”
Putting Iran on notice along with hostile rhetoric from Trump and other administration officials are ominous signs of what may be coming.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Manchester Blast: Terrorism or False Flag?

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 23/05/2017 - 21:52
Manchester Blast: Terrorism or False Flag?
by Stephen Lendman
Though too early to know what’s behind it, the incident’s timing raises suspicions.
It comes two-and-a-half weeks before UK June 8 snap elections. A Sunday Times YouGov poll showed Tory leader Theresa May’s lead over Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn at nine points, half her last week’s advantage, enough time left perhaps to further shrink it sufficiently to make for a close race. 
Other polls show Corbyn gaining at May’s expense. Labour’s social justice manifesto contrasts markedly with Tory indifference to human needs.
The party is noticeably on the defensive over plans for elderly Brits to pay for home care for the first time. Some observers say it’s the largest stealth tax in UK history.
A People’s Assembly anti-austerity group launched a billboard campaign in battleground areas, displaying May’s image, saying:
“I am a threat to your local hospital, to your child’s education, to your living standards, to your job security, to your pension, to your peace and security.”
Labour’s social justice manifesto titled “For the Many, Not the Few” calls for an economy working for everyone, not just privileged Brits like now.
It advocates improved worker rights, a national education service, social security for pensioners, dignity for Brits unable to work, secure homes, help for the homeless, healthcare for all the way it used to be, safer communities, real democracy, equity for everyone, and more.
The manifesto states “(f)aced with falling living standards, growing job insecurity and shrinking public services, people are under increasing strain.” 
“Young people are held back by debt and the cost of housing. Whole families are being held back from the life they have worked towards.” 
“Britain is the fifth richest country in the world. But that means little when many people don’t share in that wealth. Many feel the system is rigged against them. And this manifesto sets out exactly what can be done about it.”
Corbyn-led Labour calls for real change, polar opposite Tory-supported Thatcherism. Her 1980s corporatist revolution headed Britain down a slippery slope toward unfettered predatory capitalism, transferring public wealth to private hands, including privatizing key industries Labour wants re-nationalized.
She force-fed deregulation, cut social benefits, enacted corporate-friendly tax cuts, cracked down hard on non-believers, and waged war on labor.
Her Tory and Labour successors worsened conditions for ordinary Brits. May represents continuity. Corbyn wants responsible change.
Elections weren’t due until May 7, 2020. Way ahead in polls with strong media backing, May called for June 8 snap elections, aiming to defeat Labour while Tories are strongly favored to win, before public anger over their draconian agenda erupts.
Monday evening’s Manchester Arena’s blast killed 22 people, injuring dozens of others. A police statement said “(t)he attacker…died at the arena.”
“We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device which he detonated causing this atrocity. We believe…the attack was conducted by one man.”
Police are treating the blast as a “terrorist incident.” Numerous previous high-profile attacks in America and Europe were false flags, reported as terrorism.
Fear-mongering follows these incidents to enlist public support for policies harming public welfare, safety and fundamental rights too precious to lose - on the phony pretext of assuring greater security.
Was Monday’s blast an attempt to shore up public support for May-led Tories, a false flag aiming to assure their hold on power, portraying them as tougher on alleged terrorism than Corbyn-led Labour?
At this stage, we don’t know, yet the incident has a familiar foul odor. 
Parties competing in the June elections suspended campaigning until further notice, likely helping Tories look tough on crime in public pronouncements they’ll make.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Palestine Burns While Trump Lauds Zionist Extremism

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 23/05/2017 - 21:36
Palestine Burns While Trump Lauds Zionist Extremism
by Stephen Lendman
Palestine is a virtual open-air prison, besieged Gaza worst of all, Trump oblivious and uncaring about deplorable conditions. More on this below.
Together with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, he “reaffirmed the unbreakable bond of friendship between Israel and the United States…built on our shared love of freedom, our shared belief in human dignity, and our shared hope for…Israel to have peace.”
Fact: America and Israel deplore peace and stability, partnering in endless wars, seeking unchallenged dominance, wanting the Middle East map redrawn to their advantage, eliminating Syrian and Iranian sovereign independence, keeping Palestinians subjugated under occupation harshness.
Trump: “(W)e must (defeat) the evils of terrorism and…threat of an Iranian regime that is threatening the region and causing so much violence and suffering.”
Fact: Iran and Syria threaten no one, alone among Middle East states supporting peace and stability - polar opposite policies America, Israel and their rogue allies pursue, partners in naked aggression.
Trump: “America welcomes the action and support of any nation willing to do the hard but vital work in eradicating the violent ideologies that have caused so much needless bloodshed and killing here and all over the world.”
Fact: US policy is the root cause of “violent ideologies.” Its rage for endless wars and dominance is the greatest threat to world peace.
Trump: “…I thank…Prime Minister (Netanyahu) for his commitment to pursuing the peace process. He’s working very hard at it…I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually.”
Fact: All Israeli regimes since the nation’s founding rejected peace with Palestinians - Netanyahu and hardliners infesting his governing coalition most of all.
Fact: No viable peace process is possible - not earlier, now or ahead as long as a US/Israeli axis of evil exists.
During his visit, Israeli state terror rages against defenseless Palestinians, Trump oblivious to what’s going on.
Israeli security forces lethally shot a Palestinian teenager in cold blood. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, they prevented an ambulance from reaching the boy, letting him bleed to death unattended on the ground.
In Gaza, Israeli soldiers attacked protesters in solidarity with hundreds of Palestinian hunger strikers against deplorable prison conditions.
In Ramallah and Hebron, at least 20 demonstrators were injured from tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live fire during a solidarity general strike and outrage over Trump’s visit.
Witnesses said soldiers fired on protestors from rooftops. Other regime attacks occurred elsewhere in the West Bank.
On Monday night, clashes erupted between soldiers and Palestinians after thousands of extremist Israelis arrived at Joseph’s Tomb east of Nablus in heavily armed buses. 
Former neocon Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was among them. Several Palestinians were injured, others arrested. In Nablus, extremist settlers set an olive grove ablaze.
In a video statement to Trump, Palestinian MK Ayman Odeh mocked Netanyahu, saying “(f)or Bibi, when it comes to occupation, the best deal is no deal.”
He urged Trump to visit Negev areas “where 100,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel live with no infrastructure for water or electricity, no paved roads, and no healthcare system,” adding:
“(W)hile you two are trading tips for racist campaigns and legislation, know this. We, the Palestinian minority in Israel, together with many Jewish partners, will continue fighting for a future of peace, equality, and democracy.”
Palestinian human rights activist Issa Amro blasted Israeli viciousness, saying its forces “raid, assault, and expel us in the middle of the night, and tell the world they will help (us) the next day.”
On Tuesday, Zionist Trump and longstanding Israeli collaborator Abbas met in Bethlehem, a photo-op opportunity alone, accomplishing nothing else - nor will peace talks if resumed, dead-on-arrival each time initiated.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Anti-Trump Accusations Persist While He's Abroad

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 23/05/2017 - 21:23
Anti-Trump Accusations Persist While He’s Abroad
by Stephen Lendman
The one issue dominating all others in Washington is the plot to denigrate, weaken, and delegitimize Trump, dark forces wanting him ousted.
The NYT discussed a House committee involved in investigating nonexistent Russian US election hacking, claiming “a near-daily barrage of new details,” failing to explain no evidence indicates any hacking occurred.
On Tuesday, Obama’s CIA director John Brennan is scheduled to testify. In December, he said “there is strong consensus (in the intelligence community) on the scope, nature, and intent of Russian interference in our presidential election” - even though there was none.
In Tuesday testimony, he’ll repeat the Big Lie, earlier claiming Russia worked to elect Trump. Former DNI James Clapper disagrees, telling Senate Intelligence Committee members “we did not see evidence of the Russians altering vote tallies.”
The Times: Vladimir Putin “personally ordered an ‘influence campaign’ targeting the presidential election.”
Fact: The accusation is a bald-faced lie. Not a shred of evidence suggests otherwise.
On Tuesday, a spurious-sounding Washington Post report accused Trump of “push(ing) back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials” - likely Obama holdovers, part of the campaign to oust Trump from office.
According to WaPo, “Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.”
No evidence exists to deny. A White House statement denied any attempt by Trump or others in his administration to interfere in the FBI’s investigation.
Trump called what’s going on a “witch hunt.” The NSA and DNI declined to comment on WaPo’s report.
“The White House does not confirm or deny unsubstantiated claims based on illegal leaks from anonymous individuals,” according to a spokesman, adding “(t)he president will continue to focus on his agenda that he was elected to pursue by the American people.”
Nothing suggests Trump team’s collusion with Russia. Accusations without credible evidence by dubious unnamed sources are baseless - unless conclusively proved otherwise. Nothing close so far.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Trump's Draconian Budget

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 23/05/2017 - 03:22
Trump’s Draconian Budget
by Stephen Lendman
Supported by congressional hardliners, his agenda is all about benefitting Wall Street, war-profiteers and other corporate predators more than ever - at the expense of America’s most vulnerable.
His FY 2018 budget proposes enormous Medicaid and food stamp cuts, along with letting states cut safety net programs on their own.
His plan follows House members passing legislation to cut Medicaid spending by more than $800 billion over the next decade, ending benefits for at least 10 million impoverished Americans, endangering their lives.
Media reports suggest he wants $193 billion cut from the Supplemental Nutrition (food stamp) Assistance Program over the next 10 years, more than a 25% reduction in aid - on top of earlier Obama administration cuts, assuring food insecure households will have to be dependent on charity for much of their sustenance.
Many safety net programs run jointly by Washington and states require recipients to be employed to qualify - at a time of protracted Main Street Depression conditions, nearly a fourth of working-age Americans without jobs.
After entering office, Trump said “(w)e want to get our people off welfare and back to work…It’s out of control.” It’s because of federal thirdworldizing policies, compounded by force-fed austerity, creating an unprecedented wealth disparity, one of many national outrages.
Trump’s agenda, if passed by Congress, assures nightmarish conditions for tens of millions of Americans, better times than ever for business and high-net worth individuals.
Authorizing states on their own to cut or eliminate safety net programs jeopardizes the viability of what remains of social justice in America.
Will big Medicare and Social Security cuts follow? Both are insurance programs, not welfare, funded by worker/employer payroll tax deductions. They’re contractual federal programs for eligible recipients.
Hardliners in Washington want all social programs drastically cut or ended, Trump willing to go along. His proposed tax cuts, if enacted, will create a far greater wealth disparity than already.
According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities president Robert Greenstein, “(t)he indications are strong this budget will feature Robin-Hood-in-reverse policies on an unprecedented scale.”
Trump saying his budget proposal enables balancing the federal budget in 10 years by tax cuts for the rich stimulating economic growth is utter nonsense.
Enough Republicans may join with Democrats in blocking parts of his draconian plan.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Trump's Son-in-Law a Person of Interest in Witch-Hunt Russia Probe

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Tue, 23/05/2017 - 03:14
Trump’s Son-in-Law a Person of Interest in Witch-Hunt Russia Probe
by Stephen Lendman
On Saturday, New York magazine contributor Yashar Ali tweeted “(i)t’s Jared Kushner. Have confirmed this with four people.”
Contacts between Kushner and Russian officials took place, Ali claimed, adding he agreed to cooperate with the ongoing probe. Trump calls it the “single greatest political witch-hunt” in US history - true about a witch-hunt. He’s never shy about exaggeration and hyperbole.
Reportedly involved in negotiating the arms deal Trump announced in Riyadh, Kushner allegedly met with the CEO of an illegally US sanctioned Russian bank, regarding financing of Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto.
Security Council members alone may impose sanctions on countries, not individual ones on others the way Washington operates, using this tool illegally to serve its geopolitical agenda.
The probe into alleged Russia US election hacking and Trump team contacts or dealings with Russian nationals is a scheme to denigrate, weaken, delegitimize, and oust him from office.
No Russian hacking occurred, no improper or illegal Trump team dealings with Russian nationals. Nothing suggests otherwise after months of investigation, nothing likely ahead because there’s nothing incriminating to discover.
Whatever dealings Kushner may have had in Russia were likely no different from the activities of other businessmen and women.
Naming him a person of interest in the ongoing probe, along with appointing Robert Mueller as special council keeps the anti-Trump pot boiling for the wrong reasons, not the right ones.
Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said “(a)s the president has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity.”
No evidence proves him wrong. Kushner is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka. He’s a real estate investor, developer, publisher and senior advisor to the president.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

The Riyadh Declaration of Escalated Regional War

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 22/05/2017 - 22:20
The Riyadh Declaration of Escalated Regional War
by Stephen Lendman
On the phony pretext of combating ISIS, the scourge America and its rogue regional allies support, a so-called Riyadh Declaration was agreed to by 55 Muslim countries in the Saudi capital on Sunday.
Claiming it’s “to combat terrorism in all its forms, address its intellectual roots, dry up its sources of funding, and take all necessary measures to prevent and combat terrorist crimes in close cooperation among their states” is a statement of mass deception.
Saudi Arabia, Israel and America’s regional presence constitute the epicenter of regional and global state terrorism - supporting its scourge, not combating it.
The Saudi Press Agency, saying “a global center for countering extremist thought…combating intellectual, media and digital extremism, and promoting coexistence and tolerance among peoples” based in Riyadh would be laughable if the threat posed by Washington, the Saudis and other regional rogue states wasn’t so grave.
Riyadh Declaration signatory countries committed to provide “a reserve force of 34,000 troops” -  not “to support operations against terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria when needed,” as claimed. 
They’ll partner with Washington’s destructive imperial agenda, a plot to eliminate Syrian and Iranian sovereignty, assuring endless Middle East wars. 
Iran was especially singled out, the document saying signatories “confirmed their absolute rejection of the practices of the Iranian regime designed to destabilize the security and stability of the region and the world at large and for its continuing support for terrorism and extremism” - polar opposite Tehran’s agenda.
It’s targeted for its sovereign independence, a nation America doesn’t control, a Saudi rival. Imperial plans call for regime change.
On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted “Iran - fresh from real elections - attacked by @POTUS in that bastion of democracy & moderation (Saudi Arabia). Foreign Policy or simply milking KSA of $480 billion?”
Separately in a London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed news network op-ed, Zarif said Trump “must enter into dialogue with (the Saudis) about ways to prevent terrorists and Takfiris from continuing to fuel the fire in the region and repeating the likes of the September 11 incident by their sponsors in Western countries.”
“(T)he Iranophobia project (was) initiated and promoted by the Zionist regime for years…Iran (seeks) stability in the entire region because it knows that achieving security at home at the expense of insecurity among neighbors is basically impossible.”
Sadly as Zarif knows, US and Saudi policies foster terrorism, using ISIS and likeminded groups to further their imperial agendas.
Trump’s Sunday Muslim world address was an exercise in deception - exposed by longstanding US policies, its endless wars of aggression, and announced deal to sell Riyadh hundreds of billions of dollars worth of powerful weapons over the next decade, entirely for offense, not defense.
Washington’s goal isn’t “stamping out (terrorist) extremism,” as Trump claimed, it’s supporting and encouraging it to further US aims for unchallenged global dominance.
The Riyadh Declaration is part of the scheme to pursue this objective, polar opposite what its signatories claim.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

North Korea Acts of Self-Defense

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 22/05/2017 - 22:07
North Korea Acts of Self-Defense
by Stephen Lendman
When America or Israel test nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, the international community and Western media silence is deafening.
These countries and their rogue allies constitute the greatest threat to world peace - yet are unthreatened by anyone. 
Claims otherwise represent fear-mongering to justify the unjustifiable, including out-of-control militarism and belligerence, notably ongoing wars of aggression in multiple theaters.
North Korea is hugely threatened by America’s rage for regional and global dominance. Its nuclear and ballistic missile programs are solely defensive, fearing possible US naked aggression, threatening its existence as a sovereign state.
Yet each time it tests weapons America, East Asia countries and others call unacceptable, criticism and threats follow.
In response to Pyongyang’s Sunday ballistic missile test, a May 23 Security Council emergency session will convene, at the request of Washington, South Korea and Japan, certain to discuss tougher sanctions, perhaps other measures short of war on the peninsula, a looming future possibility.
From Riyadh, Secretary of State Tillerson said “(w)e’re early in the stages of applying the economic pressure as well as the diplomatic pressure to the regime in North Korea.”
“Hopefully they will get the message that the path of continuing their nuclear arms program is not a pathway to security or certainly prosperity. The ongoing testing is disappointing. It’s disturbing.”
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon said “Seoul and Washington believe Sunday’s test provided North Korea with unspecified ‘meaningful data’ on its push to improve the credibility of missile technology.”
Following Sunday’s test, South Korea held a National Security Council meeting - hours after President Moon Jae-in announced his new foreign minister choice, as well as top security and foreign policy advisors.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Sunday’s launch a “challenge to the world.” It’ll be discussed later this week by G7 leaders in Sicily.
Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed Sunday’s launch of a ground-to-ground medium-range Pukguksong-2 ballistic missile, saying:
The test “aimed to finally verify all the technical indexes of the weapon system and thoroughly examine its adaptability under various battle conditions, before its deployment at military units for action.”
The launch followed a week-ago long-medium-range Hwasong 12 test-firing. According to the KCNA, Kim Jong-un said the Pukguksong-2 is ready for mass-production and deployment. It’s able to strike targets up to 500km away.
South Korean military officials said it’s a solid-fuel missile - more complex but more stable, providing greater longterm military capability.
US Pacific Command tracked the missile in flight to splashdown. Its spokesman called Pyongyang’s ballistic missile tests “reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing” - a dubious distinction applying to America and its rogue allies, not the DPRK threatening no one.
The core issue is Washington’s refusal to deal with North Korea diplomatically, recognizing its government, ending longstanding hostility, lifting sanctions, treating the DPRK like other regional nations, guaranteeing its security, precluding its need for powerful defensive weapons.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Trump in Israel

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 22/05/2017 - 22:00
Trump in Israel
by Stephen Lendman
He arrived at midday, there to pay homage to Zionist extremism. America and Israel partner in regional state terrorism, their axis constituting the greatest threat to world peace.
Israel is in lockdown, thousands of police and other security forces deployed, main roads blocked, activities for Israelis and Palestinians disrupted.
In Bethlehem where Trump and Abbas will meet, a duplicitous banner was displayed, bearing their images, saying “The city of peace welcomes the man of peace.” 
Nothing could be further from the truth. US imperial wars rage on Trump’s watch, heading for greater escalation than already.
In Jerusalem, billboards state “Trump is a Friend of Zion,” and “Trump Make Israel Great.” They’re located so he’ll spot them when his motorcade drives through the city.
After embracing a rogue’s gallery of despotic regimes in Riyadh, his Israel visit is all about supporting Zionist extremism, paying lip service alone to helping Palestinians - what no US administration ever gave a damn about, certainly not now, the illusion of concessions alone to be suggested during his visit.
On arrival, Trump stressed America’s “unbreakable bond” with Israel. Saying “let us build together a future where the nations of the region are at peace, and all our children can grow up strong and free from terrorism and violence” belies Washington’s imperial aims, allied with Israel’s for regional dominance.
In welcoming him, Netanyahu lied claiming Israel “man(s) the front lines” of combating terrorism, a scourge it supports, its longstanding agenda terrorizing defenseless Palestinians with US support.
Coincidentally with Trump’s visit, Palestinians across the West Bank are observing a general strike in solidarity with hundreds of hunger strikers, political prisoners. 
Businesses, banks, institutions, schools, and public transportation closed for the day, roads heading to Ramallah blocked.
A Freedom and Dignity hunger strike media committee statement said Monday’s action is “the first time since the First Palestinian Intifada (1987-1993) that a general strike was observed in occupied West Bank…”
It called on Palestinians to fast from 10AM to 10PM on Monday in solidarity with hunger strikers. It urged them to continue public support.
A Day of Rage across the West Bank was called for Tuesday - expressing rejection of worthless peace talks controlled by Israel and Washington.
Separately, Hamas accused Trump of pro-Israeli bias at the expense of Palestinian rights - in response of his equating the group with ISIS and al-Qaeda during his Sunday Muslim world address in Riyadh - Abbas deplorably an attendee and Riyadh Declaration signatory.
“Trump’s remarks will not thwart our goal of liberating Palestine, nor will they hinder our people’s steadfastness and resistance,” the Hamas statement stressed.
Trump’s Israeli visit will do nothing to help long-suffering Palestinians. They’re on their own in their liberating struggle.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

America: Serial Aggressor, Sponsor of Global Terrorism

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Mon, 22/05/2017 - 21:50
America: Serial Aggressor, Sponsor of Global Terrorism
by Stephen Lendman
Trump’s Sunday Muslim world address in Riyadh, portraying America as a force to stamp out terrorist extremism belies its diabolical imperial agenda, supporting this scourge, aiming for unchallenged global dominance no matter the human cost.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi blasted Washington, saying “under the hostile and aggressive policies of the American statesmen, we are witnessing a renewed strengthening of terrorist groups in the region and miscalculation of the dictatorships which support these groups.”
A photo-op of Trump, Saudi King Salman, and Egyptian despot Fattah el-Sisi touching a glowing orb to inaugurate a farcical Riyadh “anti-extremism” center was justifiably ridiculed on social media.
The three leaders support terrorism. Riyadh’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology reflects subterfuge to conceal their true agenda.
On Sunday in Damascus, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad accused Western and regional countries of supporting terrorism, saying they flagrantly violate core international law, their agenda responsible for committing high crimes of war and against humanity.
“(W)e have not heard anyone condemn (their) crimes,” Mikdad stressed, adding:
“We are working…to educate our people about the dangers of crimes committed in armed conflicts, which no one talks about, especially those committed by armed terrorist organizations which are supported externally.”
Now in its seventh year, war continues raging despite all-out efforts by Russia, Syria and Iran for conflict resolution. Half a million of more Syrians perished, more dying daily, millions internally and externally displaced, extreme human suffering beyond comprehension.
Mass disinformation furthers conflict - Washington, NATO, Israel, the Saudis and their rogue allies wanting it continued, not resolved.
Falsely portraying Assad as a tyrannical leader, using CWs on his own people, is part of the mass deception. 
So is calling conflict civil, pretending imported death squads are moderates, and ignoring Washington’s support for terrorist groups, along with waging war for regime change.
Multiple rounds of peace talks in Geneva and Astana, Kazakhstan achieved no breakthroughs because America and its rogue allies want endless war, Syrian sovereignty destroyed, pro-Western puppet rule replacing overwhelmingly popular Assad.
Russian and US agendas in Syria are world’s apart, risking possible confrontation between the world’s leading nuclear powers, a potentially nightmarish possibility.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

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