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Manchester Blast: Likely State-Sponsored Terrorism

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 27/05/2017 - 21:44
Manchester Blast: Likely State-Sponsored Terrorism
by Stephen Lendman
Evidence known so far strongly indicates state-sponsored responsibility for the May 22 Manchester blast. 
ISIS claiming responsibility is baloney. Like al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, it’s supported by America, Britain, other NATO nations, Israel and other regional rogue states. Why would it bite one of the hands feeding it?
Alleged suicide bomber Salman Abedi perished so is unable to tell tales. He’s a convenient patsy to blame for what happened. So are others arrested as suspected accomplices. 
The pattern is familiar, ordinary people unaware they’re being duped. Incidents like Manchester are conveniently timed against strategically chosen targets for maximum effect and what’s planned to follow.
Post-9/11 horrors are well documented. America declared endless war on humanity, targeting one sovereign independent nation after another for regime change, others yet to come.
The 9/11 incident provided a treasure trove of giveaways, showing what happened was other than the official narrative. 
The most obvious was how could a handful of terrorists outwit America’s 16 intelligence agencies, including sophisticated NSA eavesdropping on anyone or anything suspicious back then and now?
No evidence implicates ISIS, al-Qaeda or other likeminded groups for any high-profile US or European terrorist incidents - all of them false flags.
The official 9/11 story was beginning-to-end contradictions, disinformation and Big Lies - still supported by media scoundrels despite volumes of evidence proving otherwise.
Bin Laden was dying of natural causes in a Pakistan hospital, reported by CBS on 9/10/01. The New York Times and other sources reported his death in December 2001. Obama did not kill Osama. The Big Lie persists. 
The 9/11 mother of all false flags still links so-called Arab terrorists to what happened. Most named were discovered alive and well in their home countries, mainly Saudi Arabia.
Claims about Mohamed Atta’s luggage found at Boston’s Logan Airport containing “decisive evidence” about Al Qaeda’s responsibility were fake - including a Saudi passport, an alleged letter saying he planned martyrdom to go to heaven, video instructions on flying Boeing airliners, and other belongings. They were planted to blame Al Qaeda for what happened.
A key unanswered question was why Atta’s alleged luggage wasn’t on the flight he was accused of hijacking and piloting. Travelers don’t leave belongings behind when boarding flights or disembarking to reach destinations.
No one ever explained why Atta went to Portland, ME from Boston on September 10, necessitating an early return the next day to be on Flight 11.
Another passport allegedly belonging to one of the hijackers was mysteriously found near the Twin Towers site, miraculously not burned by ignited jet fuel. 
While the events of 9/11 were unfolding, Secret Service agents let George Bush remain at a Sarasota, FL school for 30 minutes after learning about the second twin tower strike. Standard procedure calls for immediately securing the president’s safety in case of potential danger.
Architects, structural engineers and other knowledgeable professionals know it’s scientifically impossible for jet fuel to heat high enough to melt or cause rigid steel columns to crumble.
Controlled demolitions destroyed both towers. Building 7 fell the same way. A likely cruise missile, not an aircraft, struck the Pentagon. No bodies or aircraft parts were found at the site.
Numerous other Big Lies and contradictions completely destroyed the official 9/11 narrative.
False flags are a longstanding Western tradition - Manchester likely the latest, the official account already beginning to unravel like explanations of similar earlier incidents.
Following a previous false flag attack, an independent media-published cartoon showed an individual dressed in black, a suicide vest strapped to his chest, his finger on the triggering mechanism, saying “s..t, I forgot my passport” - mocking the absurdity of a criminal leaving identifying documents at the scene of a crime, making it easy to be named as a convenient patsy.
Alleged Manchester suicide bomber Salman Abedi’s bankcard was found in his pocket, an obvious red flag, suggesting something rotten in the official narrative of what happened and who was responsible.
Abedi was ID’d by anonymous US officials hours before UK police, the most obvious red flag. Whenever a violent domestic incident makes headlines for days, drowning out other news, be very suspicious.
What happened is likely something other than what’s officially reported. Was the Manchester blast jointly planned by US and British intelligence? Was Israel’s Mossad involved?
The incident happened ahead of June 8 snap UK elections. A previous article cited a Sunday Times YouGov poll, showing 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. 
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? 
It appears so, along with likely creating another pretext for pursuing diabolical policies. Will it work? We’ll know if Tories benefit in less than two weeks and escalated imperial wars follow. 
On Friday, G7 leaders in Sicily (including Theresa May and Trump) signed a joint declaration on countering terrorism and violent extremism.
It “priorit(izes)” the fight,  pledging to elevate efforts “to a higher effort by relentlessly preventing, investigating and prosecuting terrorist acts, the perpetrators and supporters.”
The only terrorist threat ordinary people should fear is state-sponsored - including endless imperial wars, imposition of draconian state of emergency conditions and repressive laws, resulting in loss of fundamental freedoms on the phony pretext of assuring greater security.
Who benefits from incidents like Manchester is obvious - governments able to usurp greater powers to pursue diabolical policies at home and abroad by deceiving ordinary people to believe it’s for their safety and security.
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.

Another AUMF Introduced

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 27/05/2017 - 21:23
Another AUMF Introduced
by Stephen Lendman
Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) empowering the president to use all “necessary and appropriate force” in response to 9/11 unleashed endless wars on humanity at home and abroad.
Senators Jeff Flake (R. AZ) and Tim Kaine (D. VA) introduced new AUMF legislation on the phony pretext of combating ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Earlier, Rep. Adam Schiff (D. CA) introduced a similar House measure. So did Flake and Kaine in mid-2015.
On Thursday, a joint statement by both senators claimed “numerous terrorist organizations” like ISIS didn’t exist in 2001 - without explaining US responsibility for creating them to serves its imperial interests.
Their draft AUMF legislation “authoriz(ing) military action against (ISIS, al-Qaeda and the Taliban), gives Congress an oversight role it currently lacks over who can be considered to be ‘associated’ with the terrorist groups and in which countries military action can take place, and provides an expedited process for Congress to re-authorize this AUMF in five years. Lastly, it repeals the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs.”
Flake: “Congressional authorization for the use of military force against ISIS, Al-Qaeda, and the Taliban will make clear to our allies and our adversaries that we are united in our resolve.”
Kaine: “We owe it to the American public to define the scope of the US mission against terrorist organizations, including ISIS, and we owe it to our troops to show we’re behind them in their mission.”
If congressionally passed and signed into law by Trump, another AUMF will assure escalating and expanding US wars of aggression on the phony pretext of combating terrorism.
America created and supports ISIS, al-Qaeda and likeminded terrorist groups. Taliban roots go back to CIA-recruited, armed and supported Mujahideen fighters against Afghanistan’s Soviet Russia occupiers in the 1980s.
Ronald Reagan called them “the moral equivalent of our founding fathers.” Today they’re Taliban fighters, combating illegal US war, occupation and plunder of their country.
Flake/Kaine’s draft AUMF calls for waging phony war on terror anywhere globally, beyond current US war theaters.
If passed by both houses and signed into law by Trump, another AUMF will assure greater war on humanity than already - including likely escalated NATO involvement in US aggression to destroy Syrian sovereignty and oust Assad.
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.

Hawkish Russophobe Zbigniew Brzezinski Passes

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 27/05/2017 - 21:06
Hawkish Russophobe Zbigniew Brzezinski Passes
by Stephen Lendman
He served as geopolitical counselor to Lyndon Johnson, later as Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor.
At Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, he was Robert E. Osgood Professor of American Foreign Policy.
He was a Center for Strategic and International Studies counselor, trustee, and advisory board member. 
He directed master spider David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, created to address the crisis of democracy - too much of it, along with pursuing America’s imperial agenda.
His 1997 book titled “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives” was a blueprint for advancing America’s imperium.
He was militantly Russophobic. In an earlier Washington Quarterly article titled “Putin and Beyond,” he said “(t)he West’s strategy should not be built upon making things pleasant or convenient for Russia. Making Russia a partner at any cost is not what the West needs today.”
In 1979, he got Jimmy Carter to sign a secret directive, authorizing aid for Afghanistan Mujahadeen fighters (today’s Taliban) combating the pro-Soviet Russia government in Kabul, aiming to induce Moscow’s military intervention which followed, what he called “the Afghan trap.”
He later explained, saying “(a)ccording to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979.” 
“But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise: Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul.” 
“And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.”
“We didn’t push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.”
Asked in hindsight if he regretted his action, he responded saying:
“Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?” 
“The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter: We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.” 
“Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.”
“What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?”
Supporting Afghan Mujahadeen fighters was prelude to America’s global war on terror, creating and supporting ISIS, al-Qaeda and likeminded groups, using them as imperial foot soldiers in multiple US war theaters.
Brzezinski’s “Afghan trap” began it all. What he had no regrets for led to millions of casualties in US imperial wars - ongoing in multiple theaters, raping and destroying countries, risking possible cataclysmic nuclear war.
On May 26, Brzezinski died at age 89. A special place in hell awaits him.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

G7 Summit Excludes Russia and China

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 27/05/2017 - 03:01
G7 Summit Excludes Russia and China
by Stephen Lendman
The self-styled seven major industrialized democracies are profoundly undemocratic - Russia excluded since 2014 over nonexistent aggression in Ukraine.
The world’s second largest economy, China, certain to become its dominant one, isn’t invited. Since the 1980s, the EU has been represented as a “nonenumerated” participant. 
It’s Trump’s maidan G7 involvement, his last stop on a foreign trip begun last weekend, ending with two days in Sicily.
He and other G7 leaders will discuss phony war on terrorism, aggressive ones on Syria and other targeted nations, possible one on North Korea, environment policies, trade and other economic and financial issues.
White House chief economic advisor/former Goldman Sachs president and CEO Gary Cohn acknowledged Trump calling Germany “very bad” for flooding America with its cars.
Der Spiegel quoted him in Brussels with NATO leaders, saying “(t)he Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US…(W)e’ll stop that.”
In a January interview with German broadsheet Bild, he said “(y)ou can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay a 35% tax.”
Germany has a huge trade surplus with America. So do China, Japan and other countries. Trump isn’t likely to change things despite his rhetoric. 
It’s not an issue with US corporate giants operating globally, locating plants in low-wage countries, why America’s manufacturing base eroded to where it is now.
In 2016, the US trade deficit in goods was $734 billion. Cohn said expect “robust discussion” on this issue with other G7 leaders.
Last year, Russia bashing was featured, irresponsibly blaming Putin for US-orchestrated/Kiev aggression on Donbass.
G7 countries are belligerents, Russia the world’s preeminent peacemaker - against violence and instability, going all-out for resolving conflicts diplomatically, bashed for opposing America’s imperial agenda.
This year’s summit began ceremonially at an ancient Greek theater. Warships patrolled. Fighter jets flew overhead.
Talks are being held in San Domenico Palace, a one-time Dominican monastery, now a luxury five-star hotel.
G7 summits produce lots of talk and photo-ops, little action, this year likely little different from previous ones.
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.

Appeals Court Rules Revised Trump Travel Ban Unconstitutional

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Sat, 27/05/2017 - 02:49
Appeals Court Rules Revised Trump Travel Ban Unconstitutional
by Stephen Lendman
Straightaway in office, Trump continued war on Islam begun by his predecessors - waging naked aggression abroad, along with banning Muslim immigration from seven countries on the phony pretext of preventing terrorist attacks.
High-profile ones attributed to Muslims were state-sponsored false flags, including 9/11, the mother of them all.
America needs enemies to justify imperial wars, Muslim Arabs its designated one of choice, wrongfully portrayed as violent, fanatical and dangerous.
Trump’s travel ban was struck down at the federal and appeals court levels. A revised one followed - as Islamophobic as the initial one.
Both versions have nothing to do with border control and keeping the nation safe from foreign terrorists, as claimed - everything to do with fear-mongering and waging war on Islam.
On Thursday, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a district court injunction blocking Trump’s travel ban, saying it “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.”
Chief circuit judge Roger Gregory added: “Congress granted the President broad power to deny entry to aliens, but that power is not absolute.” 
“It cannot go unchecked when, as here, the President wields it through an executive edict that stands to cause irreparable harm to individuals across this nation.”
Trump’s ban targets people on the basis of their religious beliefs in nations ravaged by US aggression and/or opposed to its imperial agenda - not for any threat its population poses to national security.
In response to Thursday’s ruling, Attorney General Sessions said “(t)his Department of Justice will continue to vigorously defend the power and duty of the Executive Branch to protect the people of this country from danger, and will seek review of this case in the United States Supreme Court.”
It’ll have final say. However it rules, this issue will be around for a long time. Trump’s order ignited a firestorm of opposition.
If upheld by the Supreme Court, a future Congress may strike it down legislatively - by a veto-proof margin if necessary or with a new administration in power.
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.

Thumbs Down CBO Score on Trumpcare 2.0

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 22:28
Thumbs Down CBO Score on Trumpcare 2.0
by Stephen Lendman
House passed Trumpcare is heartless legislation, designed to deny millions of Americans the most fundamental of human rights, along with food, shelter and clothing, so business and high-net worth individuals can get huge tax cuts - including Trump family members and cronies.
According to CBO scoring, at least 23 million of America’s most vulnerable will lose coverage, many millions more forced to be way underinsured.
Instead of everyone covered at lower cost, Trumpcare 2.0 assures higher premiums with skimpier coverage than under deplorable Obamacare - through stiffer deductibles and higher out-of-pocket costs.
Individuals with pre-existing conditions and older Americans will be especially hard hit. Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republicans lied, claiming the GOP plan assures coverage for all costing less than now.
The CBO estimates Trumpcare 2.0 will cut around $300 billion in subsidies to low and moderate income Americans now available through Obamacare.
States waiving ACA consumer protections let insurers shut out individuals with serious pre-existing conditions - unable to buy coverage at any price, according to CBO’s analysis. Insurers won’t take them unless legislation mandates otherwise.
Less healthy individuals will face “extremely high premiums…continu(ing) to increase rapidly” ahead, according to CBO.
Some plans won’t cover major medical risks, and won’t “provide enough financial protection in the event of a serious and costly illness to be considered insurance,” CBO explained.
Along with individuals with pre-existing conditions and older Americans, others most at risk are those needing maternity care, mental health and substance use treatment, or requiring expensive drugs.
Even in states maintaining consumer protections, coverage will cost more than now, except for younger healthier people.
Slashing over $800 billion from Medicaid over the next decade is a major step toward ending the program altogether - Medicare and Social Security eventual targets.
America works for its rich and powerful, increasingly nightmarish for the vast majority.
Americans for Tax Fairness executive director Frank Clemente put it this way:
“(B)etween Trump’s healthcare bill and his budget, (he’s) breaking three core promises he made to his supporters over and over again: that he wouldn’t cut Medicaid, that he wouldn’t cut Social Security, and no one would lose their health insurance.” 
“Why? So that millionaires, billionaires, and corporations can get giant tax cuts. Does the president think it’s worth breaking core promises to his working-class voters in order to deliver giant bags of cash to his CEO friends” and high-net-worth ones like himself?
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 Phony War on Terror

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 22:11
Trump’s Phony War on Terror
by Stephen Lendman
America’s war on terror is a colossal hoax. None exists, not now or earlier. 
At least since Reagan declared war on international terrorism, US administrations supported, and continue supporting, the scourge they claim to oppose - notably post-9/11.
State-sponsored scoundrel media disinformation deceives the public to believe otherwise. 
Propaganda works. Most Americans don’t know they’ve been had - lied to by their government, deceived by media scoundrels, unaware of what’s going on and what’s ominously at stake.
Today is the most perilous time in world history. Daily events should scare everyone. Endless wars rage, new ones likely planned. 
America’s crusade for global dominance risks possible catastrophic nuclear confrontation - on the Korean peninsula, in the Middle East, and/or against Russia, maybe China. 
Neocons infesting Washington make the unthinkable possible, believing they can win a nuclear war, madness if launched.
On Thursday, Trump came to NATO headquarters in Brussels to enlist greater alliance support for America’s imperial project - on the phony pretext of combating terrorism its members support. 
He now loves what he called “obsolete” before elected president. Addressing other alliance leaders, he ignored ongoing US wars on humanity - instead saying the May 22 Manchester blast “demonstrates the depths of the evil we face with terrorism.”
It’s headquartered in Washington, supported by European, Middle East and other countries, likely heading for greater conflicts than already - ISIS and other terrorist groups used as imperial foot soldiers.
Trump claiming Middle East leaders he met with in Riyadh “agreed…to stop funding this” scourge was willful deception.
America, NATO, Israel, and other rogue regional nations support what Trump called “a common threat to all of humanity.”
“Terrorism (won’t be) stopped in its tracks” as long as Washington uses its death squads to advance its imperium.
Nor are improved relations with Moscow likely, Trump saying “(t)he NATO of the future (must) focus on…threats from Russia and on (the alliance’s) eastern and southern borders” - despite none existing except invented ones to continue waging wars of aggression.
Trump wants NATO members spending more on militarism and belligerence, aiding America’s imperial agenda, diverting resources for warmaking instead of social justice priorities.
It’s “not fair to the people and taxpayers of the United States” to spend less than he demands. His “bare minimum” 2% of GDP goal is resisted by other alliance members.
“Twenty-three of 28 member nations are still not paying what they should be paying,” he blustered - ludicrously claiming many alliance members “owe massive amounts of money from past years…”
NATO is a US-dominated killing machine, an imperial tool comprising around one-third of world nations as members and partners.
Washington wants participation on every continent serving US interests - prioritizing endless wars, wanting all independent governments eliminated.
World peace, stability and survival depend on eliminating the threat US-dominated NATO represents. Its existence hangs like a sword of Damocles over humanity.
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 NYT Reinvents NATO's Killing Machine

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 22:02
The NYT Reinvents NATO’s Killing Machine
by Stephen Lendman
NATO’s existence prevents world peace and stability. Serving America’s imperial agenda, it’s humanity’s greatest threat.
Not according to NYT editors, disgracefully calling the alliance “the anchor of Western security…(its) nations mostly democracies with vibrant free markets…have helped America keep enemies at bay…”
Fantasy democracies comprise NATO, not legitimate ones. So-called “free markets” aren’t fair, serving monied interests exclusively at the expense of general welfare, exploiting people for profit.
America’s only enemies are ones it invents. No others exist - except truth-telling exposing its sinister agenda.
Times editors criticized Trump for not “endorsing the mutual defense pledge at the heart of the alliance.”
Responsible editors would urge disbanding NATO, what should have happened after Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution.
Instead, it expanded east, provocatively encroaching on Russia’s borders, a reckless policy heading perhaps for direct confrontation by accident or design.
Times editors: NATO is “an indisputably important alliance that has kept the peace for 70 years…”
Fact: So-called peace includes US-led NATO aggression since the 1990s, escalated dramatically post-9/11. The alliance is all about warmaking, not fostering peace and stability.
Times editors: NATO’s importance is “more pressing in view of Mr. Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of countless autocrats, among them Vladimir Putin and king Salman of Saudi Arabia…”
Fact: Democratic governance under Putin shames America’s sham version.
Fact: US “enthusiastic embrace” of rogue regimes is longstanding - notably allying with Israel and oil-rich Middle East ones.
Times editors: Trump failed to express “a robust endorsement of the NATO Treaty’s Article 5” - considering an armed attack (real or contrived) against one or more members an attack against all, collective self-defense called for.
Virtually no chance of an attack on any NATO country exists - surely not by Russia, China or Iran.
Not according to Times editors, hyping the long ago discredited canard about nonexistent “Russian aggression,” along with phony accusations of Kremlin meddling in US and European elections.
Times editors: “…Mr. Trump’s commitment to NATO and America’s tradition of leadership remain very much up in the air. Should the president abdicate both, no one would be happier than Vladimir Putin.”
Instead of responsible journalism, The Times operates as a virtual press agent for wealth, power and privilege, featuring disinformation and fake news, suppressing truth-telling on vital issues.
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.

Electricity Crisis in Gaza

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 21:41
Electricity Crisis in Gaza
by Stephen Lendman
Gaza’s chronic electricity shortage endangers its two million residents - ruthlessly besieged by Israel for the past decade, their suffering ignored by Trump on his trip to Israel.
In late April, the Palestinian Authority (PA) notified Netanyahu’s regime it would stop paying for electricity supplied to the Strip, its cost deducted from taxes Israel collects from Palestinians.
Fatah-run PA and Hamas disagree over cost, at times forcing Gaza’s sole power plant to curtail operations.
About 80% of Gaza’s electricity comes from Israel, the rest from Egypt. When all power sources are delivering at optimal levels, demand is double the amount of electricity supplied.
Gazans get only about about 12 hours or less daily, worsening humanitarian crisis conditions, disrupting water pumping stations, sewage disposal and treatment facilities, along with compromising the ability of hospitals to operate properly.
Farmers haven’t enough water to irrigate crops. Factories, other business and residential households can’t function properly.
Lack of adequate sanitation and sewage disposal polluted offshore waters, increasing chances of illnesses and diseases.
The PA and Hamas are at loggerheads at the expense of millions of suffering Gazans. Israel remains punitive, the PA and international community dismissive of severe crisis conditions.
Israel intends reducing already dangerously inadequate amounts of electricity to Gaza - at the PA’s request over a dispute with Hamas, and the Abbas-led regime wanting a significant cost reduction.
After earlier saying it would stop paying for Gaza’s electricity altogether, the PA now indicates it’ll cover what Israel and Egypt supply.
Weeks earlier, Gaza’s sole power plant shut down after Turkish and Qatari funding stopped, the Strip left with less than eight hours of power daily.
The ICRC and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned of devastating crisis conditions if things aren’t responsibly resolved.
Earlier the UN warned Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020 if Israeli siege continues, along with wars at its discretion.
The Strip already is unfit and unsafe to live in. Nothing in prospect suggests positive change.
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.

What Next After Manchester?

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 02:39
What Next After Manchester?
by Stephen Lendman
Incidents like Manchester create opportunities for nations and allies to pursue disturbing policies not easily possible during stable times.
America, its Western allies and Israel notably take full advantage - cracking down hard on fundamental freedoms, convincing people they’ll be safer under draconian state of emergency conditions and imposition of repressive laws.
Post-9/11, US-led NATO launched imperial wars on humanity, raping and destroying one country after another.
Is more of the same ahead now? UK Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly intends urging NATO to escalate war on ISIS.
It’ll be discussed on Thursday in Brussels during Trump’s meeting with other NATO leaders, continued with G7 ones in Sicily on May 26 and 27.
It remains to be seen what’s coming. For sure, it won’t be unanimity for world peace and stability.
Trump and May urging escalated war on ISIS is pure subterfuge, ignoring their support for the scourge they claim to oppose.
What’s ahead likely includes greater NATO involvement in warmaking, perhaps stepped up terror-bombing and increased numbers of special forces on the ground. 
Syria is in the eye of the storm. Iran may be next. Washington, other NATO nations and Israel want their governments toppled, pro-Western puppet regimes replacing them.
Will Manchester trigger escalated US-led regional aggression toward these ends? May expressed gratitude for “support and solidarity shown by all our NATO allies.”
“A strong and united NATO is at the heart of the security of each and every one of our nations” is her message. 
“Unity in responding to common threats is our most potent weapon…We must redouble our resolve to meet threats to our shared society whether from terrorism or Russia.”
Post-9/11, Dick Cheney said “the gloves are off. (It’s) vital for us to use any means at our disposal…to achieve our objective(s).”
War on humanity followed at home and abroad, escalated under Obama, revved up further under Trump.
Is greater war than already planned? Will Manchester be used as justification, perhaps along with another major false flag in America, enlisting public support for what demands opposition?
America is addicted to war, waging endless ones in the name of peace. Neocons infesting Washington believe they can win a nuclear war.
A doomsday scenario could follow launching one. US presidents are warriors, not peacemakers, Trump obsessed with making the world’s mightiest nation mightier than ever.
America’s imperial agenda threatens humanity’s survival. If its endless wars aren’t stopped, they’ll end us.
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 Administration Iran Bashing

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Fri, 26/05/2017 - 02:22
Trump Administration Iran Bashing
by Stephen Lendman
Decades of US hostility toward Iran escalated under Trump’s ZioCon-infested administration.
In February, it breached the letter and spirit of the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal by unilaterally imposing illegal sanctions on Iranian companies and individuals.
At the time, Trump accused Tehran of “playing with fire,” referring to its legitimate missile program. US claims otherwise are spurious.
More sanctions are coming, according to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, telling House Ways and Means Committee members “(w)e will use everything within our power to put additional sanctions on Iran, Syria and North Korea to protect American lives.” 
“I can assure you that’s a big focus of mine, and I discuss it with the president.” He’s looking into ways to revoke Boeing and Airbus licenses to sell commercial aircraft and parts to Iran, an agreed on component of sanctions relief under JCPOA terms.
Separately from Riyadh last weekend, Secretary of State Tillerson outrageously accused Iran of supporting regional “destabilizing forces,” along with demanding it end its legitimate ballistic missile program and “dismantl(e) (its nonexistent) network of terrorism.”
In his last Sunday Muslim world address, Trump bashed Iran irresponsibly. He lied saying “Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists…and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.”
He lied accusing Iran of “fuel(ing) the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.”
He lied claiming its “government…speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel.” 
He lied saying “Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria.”
He lied accusing Iran of “reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.” His repeated lies make nothing he says credible.
His agenda exclusively serving Wall Street, war-profiteers, and other privileged interests at the expense of peace, equity and justice threatens world peace, stability and security.
In response to his deplorable weapons deal with Riyadh, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said “(o)nce again, by his repetitive and baseless claims about Iran, (Trump) tried to encourage (regional countries) to purchase more arms by spreading Iranophobia.”
Instead of combating terrorism, America’s agenda fosters it, Qassemi stressed. Iran and Syria are the region’s leading proponents of peace, stability and security.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan and America’s presence are its mortal enemies.
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.

NATO: America's Long Arm

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 25/05/2017 - 22:21
NATO: America’s Long Arm
by Stephen Lendman
The North Atlantic Alliance became obsolete after Soviet Russia dissolved in 1991 and should have been disbanded.
Instead it expanded, its aim to have members and partners on every continent, serving US imperial interests.
America dominates alliance policy, other member states and partners subservient to its objectives.
In 1989, GHW Bush promised Mikhail Gorbachev NATO wouldn't expand East. It wouldn't encroach on Russia's borders provided Moscow let its former republics become independent.
Another promise made, another broken. Former Russian republics Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are NATO members. 
Other Eastern European ones include Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia - tiny Montenegro the latest country pressured to join.
Washington wants all remaining Eastern European nations co-opted to be part of NATO. 
US bases menacingly encircle Russian and Chinese borders. So-called missile defense systems intended for offense target their heartlands.
Neither country threatens America - or any others. Provocatively positioning strategic weapons shows Washington’s real intent - all independent governments targeted for regime change by any means necessary including war.
Russia’s only buffer zones against complete NATO encirclement on its western border are Finland, Belarus and Ukraine.
Eventual US plans to make Georgia and Ukraine alliance members crosses a red line for Russia.
NATO’s existence as a US imperial tool threatens world peace. Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and other sovereign independent states have just cause for concern.
On May 24, US-installed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg previewed the meeting of alliance leaders in Brussels with Trump.
What a difference an election made. He no longer calls the alliance obsolete. A year ago, he suggested “let(ting) NATO go” if elected president.
Nearly straightaway in office, he flip-flopped. As commander-in-chief of America’s military, he loves NATO, wants other member states increasing their military spending at a time no threats exist except invented ones - to justify militarism and warmaking.
At an April 12 White House press conference with Stoltenberg, Trump turned truth on its head calling NATO “the bulwark of international peace and security.”
It’s the most destructive military alliance in world history, raping and destroying one country after another, responsible for millions of casualties and appalling human suffering in multiple theaters.
America calls the shots. Other alliance members subserviently go along. World peace, stability and security are unattainable as long as NATO exists, Stoltenberg a figurehead puppet serving US imperial interests.
From Brussels, he said “(o)ur meeting (with Trump) will show that all NATO allies remain united in the fight against terrorism in all its forms.”
Fact: The so-called global war on terrorism is a fabricated hoax, a pretext for endless imperial wars.
Stoltenberg: On Thursday, “NATO leaders will take decisions to increase the alliance’s support to the global coalition to defeat ISIS.”
Fact: America created and supports ISIS. Other NATO countries go along, pretending opposition against the scourge of terrorism.
Stoltenberg: “NATO’s strength allows us to defend our nations at home, to train partners abroad, and to engage in difficult but important dialogue.”
Fact: No threats exist to defend against - not Russia, China, Iran, Syria or other independent countries. The way to defeat ISIS and other terrorist groups is by ending US and other foreign support.
Stoltenberg: “(W)e have accomplished a lot. And we continue to adapt to the future. This is what (Thursday’s) meeting is all about.”
Trump’s meeting with other NATO members is all about continuing America’s quest for unchallenged global dominance - waging endless wars of aggression on the pretext of combating the scourge of terrorism US-led alliance members 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.

Anti-Trump Media Bias

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 25/05/2017 - 22:10
Anti-Trump Media Bias
by Stephen Lendman
Trump’s complaint about unprecedented media bias is justified.
Campaigning he said “I’m not running against crooked Hillary. I’m running against the crooked media.” 
As president, he criticized “dishonest media…fake news…publish(ing) one false story after another, with no sources, even though they pretend to have them.”
“They just don’t want to report the truth…They’re…part of the problem. (They’re) part of the corrupt system.”
A new Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy report, analyzing news coverage of his first 100 days, bears him out.
Analysis was based on NYT, WaPo, and WSJ broadsheet reports, plus ones from CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC, the BBC, Financial Times and Germany’s ARD.
Reports about Trump were overwhelmingly negative, 98% of the time from one news sources, significantly more hostile than the last three administrations, bias more extreme than any administration since Nixon’s second term.
Here’s the scorecard:
CNN: 93% negative
NBC: 93% negative
CBS: 91% negative
NYT: 87% negative
WaPo: 83% negative
WSJ: 70% negative
Fox News : 52% negative
Germany’s ARD: 98% negative
The Financial Times: 84% negative
The BBC: 74% negative
In covering Trump, Fox News alone was balanced, a near-50-50 split between positive and negative stories. The report stated:
“President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories - three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents. He was also the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds of his coverage.
Republican voices accounted for 80 percent of what newsmakers said about the Trump presidency, compared to only 6 percent for Democrats and 3 percent for those involved in anti-Trumpprotests.
European reporters were more likely than American journalists to directly question Trump’ fitness for office.
Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single  major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.
Fox was the only news outlet in the study that came close to giving Trump positive coverage overall, however, there was variation in the tone of Fox’s coverage depending on the topic.”
Media scoundrels despise Trump, few exceptions supporting or at least giving him balanced coverage. He’s right challenging unfair media bias, inventing ways to bash him - for the wrong reasons, not the right ones.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

The Latest Deceptive NYT Deep State Press Release

sjlendman.blogspot.com - Thu, 25/05/2017 - 21:55
The Latest Deceptive NYT Deep State Press Release
by Stephen Lendman
Deep state fake news and press releases are NYT specialties. 
They’re daily features, instead of legitimate journalism, absent on major issues, mainly geopolitical ones, notably on US imperial policies, especially anything about Russia and phony allegations of its ties to Trump.
Made up stuff, or claims without credible evidence from the usual dubious unnamed sources, substitute for scrupulous truth-telling - verboten in Times reports, publishing propaganda, not real news, information and analysis.
On May 24, it headlined “Top Russian Officials Discussed How to Influence Trump Aides Last Summer,” saying:
“American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to” unnamed US sources.
NYT accusations without evidence are baseless, part of its diabolical campaign to delegitimize Trump, wanting him ousted from office for the wrong reasons.
It’s so-called sources are likely Obama administration holdovers, leaking or inventing things to bash Trump relentlessly.
If solid evidence existed, it would have been revealed long ago. Instead, strategy appears to be a plot to destroy his presidency by a steady drip of denigrating claims - nothing credible supporting them.
No evidence suggests Russian US election hacking. Nothing indicates improper or criminal Trump team’s ties to Moscow. Nothing proves any Russian activities to influence America’s political system.
The Times claimed information in its latest report was “collected last summer,” allegedly “pass(ed) to the FBI.” Yet nothing published until now suggests it’s just the latest distorted accusation to bash Trump and Russia.
In Tuesday testimony before House Intelligence Committee members, former FBI director John Brennan 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.”
He lied accusing Putin of trying to influence the outcome of America’s 2016 presidential election - in his entire testimony presenting no evidence supporting his spurious accusations.
Trump correctly calls what’s going on a “witch hunt” featuring “fake news,” insisting no improper contacts between his team and Russia occurred - nothing disproving him.
Contacts by officials of one country with others is standard practice, certainly not improper or illegal. 
Claims otherwise attempting to connect Trump’s team nefariously with Russia are entirely spurious, without credible evidence proving otherwise. 
None exists or it would have been revealed long ago - just baseless accusations and allegations, a steady drumbeat of Russia and Trump bashing, the self-styled newspaper of record the leading scoundrel media culprit.
According to The Times, its dubious unnamed sources “agreed to discuss (their claims) only on the condition of anonymity because much of it remains highly classified, and they could be prosecuted for disclosing it.”
What rubbish! No one with any sense would leak classified information, risking prosecution. 
Making baseless accusations to bash Russia and Trump is another matter entirely - The Times conspiratorially involved in the denigrating plot.
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.

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. 

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