Thursday, November 26, 2015

Erdogan Megalomania

Erdogan Megalomania

by Stephen Lendman

He’s a despotic loose cannon, a close US imperial ally, one of 28 NATO members - part of its killing machine war on humanity.

Downing Russia’s aircraft was an act of war - Washington the likely orchestrator, both nations acting conspiratorially - part of longstanding US-led Putin-bashing, the one world leader above all others challenging America’s imperial agenda forthrightly, deserving universal praise and support.

On Thursday, Erdogan brashly, recklessly and defiantly said he’ll continue downing Russian aircraft on the phony pretext of Turkish airspace violations - bluster without proof.

“If another violation of our aerial border happens, we(‘ll) respond in the same way,” he raved - lying by claiming Russia’s plane was shot down “within the rules of engagement announced earlier.”

Russia has proof its aircraft never entered Turkish airspace. Erdogan has none backing up his reckless bravado - a US imperial tool, his action an act of war along with shooting himself in the foot. He turned a valued ally into an adversary, having major political, economic and military implications for his country, the region and beyond.

Putin justifiably called him an “accomplice of terrorists” - aiding ISIS, Al Qaeda and other groups in cahoots with Washington, two rogue states supporting each other.

Turkish publication Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dundar faces imprisonment for publishing photos of Ankara intelligence smuggling weapons to ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria - including artillery and mortar shells, along with heavy and regular machine gun rounds.

In court, he said he “came to defend journalism. We came here to defend the right of the public to obtain the news and their right to know if their government is feeding them lies. We came here to show and to prove that governments cannot engage in illegal activity and defend this.”

Dundar faces serious charges - treason and espionage for exposing Erdogan’s lawlessness - what the whole world needs to know.

Putin blasted him, saying he got no apology or proposed compensation for what happened - nor was anything said about holding state terrorists responsible for their crimes.

A Russian pilot was savagely killed by Ankara-supported terrorists after he parachuted to safety. So was a marine sent to rescue the downed crew. A helicopter dispatched was forced down, then destroyed by an anti-tank missile.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu repeats Big Lies emanating from Washington - outrageously claiming Russia is “attack(ing) civilians…under the guise of fighting IS. These attacks must be stopped,” he ranted.

Unlike Washington’s war on civilians in all its conflicts, Russian airstrikes target terrorist sites only - with photographic evidence proving it. Anti-Putin propaganda war disgracefully claims otherwise.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev called Turkey’s actions “de facto protection of the Islamic State. This is no surprise, considering the information we have about the direct financial interest of some Turkish officials relating to the supply of oil products refined by plants controlled by ISIS.”

Erdogan’s reckless act seriously ruptured Turkish/Russian relations, not likely to heal any time soon.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Did Washington Order Russian Aircraft Shot Down?

Did Washington Order Russian Aircraft Shot Down?

by Stephen Lendman

A personal note. I’m not writing from my usual location, comfortably at home on my desktop - currently hospitalized, hopefully released soon. 

I’ll be briefer than usual, conserving strength - thankful to maintain daily communication with readers, best as able when less than par.

Let’s not mince words. Washington is no Russian partner. Its policy is adversarially hostile, notably during the Cold War, especially throughout Putin’s leadership years - a preeminent world leader/peace champion polar opposite rogues running America, perhaps one day able to turn the tide against their hegemonic agenda.

Saving humanity from the scourge of another devastating global war - potential nuclear armageddon - depends on his efforts to prevent it. 

Washington’s rage for endless wars threatens world peace, security and humanity’s survival. Bipartisan US policymakers tolerate no independent countries, especially Russia, China and resource rich ones like Iraq, Libya, Iran and Venezuela - two down, two to go plus others. 

Rogue empires never rest. New plots follow older ones. The worst may be yet to come. Lunatics in Washington want endless wars for unchallenged global dominance even at the risk of killing us all.

Russian analyst John Helmer says “Turkey never makes a military move without getting Pentagon approval first.” More importantly, did Washington plan and orchestrate Ankara’s aggression against Russia - letting it pull the trigger to execute its policy.

If so, why? Russia’s effective war on ISIS and other terrorists in Syria challenges America’s hegemonic agenda - decisively disrupting its ruthless aims, changing the dynamic in one area, likely more to come politically, economically and perhaps militarily allied with China, Iran, various Central Asian countries and perhaps others.

Washington has no effective way to challenge Putin’s righteous mission - waging Security Council authorized real war on terrorism, Syrian government’s request for help on its territory, acting in full accord with international law, polar opposite US phony war, supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups as proxy imperial foot soldiers, not combatting them.

Putin urges world unity against a common scourge. Washington wants his efforts foiled, perhaps disrupting them by using Turkey to down Russia’s aircraft. Dirty stunts reflect longtime US practice.

America’s agenda is endless war, instability and chaos. World peace defeats it. Expect more dirty tricks ahead. Russia will get no help from Washington in combating terrorism - its adversary, not partner.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Another Bout of Illness Struck

Heading for Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago shortly, hopefully just for a few days or less. Stuff happens, this time out of the blue.

Selling Fear

Selling Fear

by Stephen Lendman

Fear-mongering is longstanding US policy, facilitated by false flags - state-sponsored terrorism, 9/11 Exhibit A, perpetrated with an agenda in mind.

When well-executed, these schemes always convince a naive public to believe what they’re told, not realizing they’re being duped, manipulated to support what harms their security  and well-being.

Various polls conducted days after the Paris attacks showed most Americans support using US combat troops against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. A Gallup poll conducted six days before the attacks revealed majority opposition to direct US involvement on the ground.

Polling data also show most Americans willing to sacrifice fundamental freedoms for greater security, including Big Brother watching everyone more intrusively - not realizing that sacrificing one for the other assures losing both.

Post-9/11 domestic and geopolitical horrors are well-documented. War on humanity followed, specifically targeting Islam at home and abroad. Repressive laws enacted straightaway and other totalitarian measures turned America into a police state.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, worse than ever policies may follow - greater unrestricted war without mercy along with perhaps eliminating the fading remnants of fundamental freedoms at home in America and across Europe.

Most Americans get so-called news from television, unaware they’re fed a daily diet of state-sponsored propaganda - now selling fear on steroids, manipulating the public to accept likely planned horrors to come, mindless that terrorists “R” us.

On the one hand, war is terrorism, the late Howard Zinn explained, notably when waged against invented enemies, nations threatening no one. 

America’s war on terrorism, about to be escalated, is a complete fabrication. It gives US neocons “a perpetual war and a perpetual atmosphere of repression,” Zinn explained.

War profiteers cash in hugely. Terrorism replaced communism as the pretext for militarizing America, waging endless wars, and destroying constitutional freedoms.

US statute law calls “international terrorism” activities involving:

“(A) violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;

(B) are intended to -

(i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States…”

The US Army Operational Concept for Terrorism (TRADOC Pamphlet No. 525-37, 1984) called it “the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature...through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear.”

During the Vietnam War, Martin Luther King called America “the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.” Now more menacing than ever. Humanity’s survival is at stake.

Enemies are invented to serve US imperial interests, letting it use its war machine freely. Endless conflicts rage. Nations are destroyed to liberate them. Orwell’s dark vision of a boot stamping on a human face - forever” is today’s reality.

America’s Global War OF Terrorism reflects it. Things today ominously resemble events preceding WW II. The threat of another global war is greater than any time since the late 1930s.

Washington wants nothing standing in the way of achieving its imperial objectives - world domination by eliminating all independent governments, notably Iran, Russia and China, replacing them with US-controlled puppet regimes.

Vladimir Putin is the preeminent world geopolitical leader, overwhelmingly supported by Russians, a peace champion, wanting the scourge of terrorism eliminated, the best hope to beat Washington at its dirty game. 

Obama officials are duplicitously challenging him, drawing him into a so-called an anti-ISIS coalition, Paul Craig Roberts explained, Obama, John Kerry and others pretending they want the scourge they created eliminated.

On the one hand, America, Britain and France blocked a Russian Security Council resolution, calling for cooperating with Syrian ground forces against ISIS. 

On the other, they got a French-introduced SC resolution unanimously passed - “call(ing) upon member states that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measure…on the territory under the control of ISIL…in Syria and Iraq,” omitting the importance of working jointly with Syrian forces.

Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said “attempts by several members of the UN Security Council (namely America, Britain and France with veto power) to block our work on the project is politically shortsighted. You (can’t) fight terroris(ts) with one hand and with the other practically play along with them.”

Obama launched preemptive proxy war on Syria in March 2011 to oust Assad the way Saddam and Gaddafi were removed, along with ending the sovereign independence of their countries.

Roberts fears Putin may agree “to turn Assad’s fate over to the West” in return for a free hand to neutralize, contain and eliminate the threat of ISIS spreading to Central Asia and Russia - his main objective.

Hopefully he’s too savvy to fall for the scheme. Russian and Syrian sovereignty depend on it. So does world peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Western Media Fail to Condemn Turkish Aggression

Western Media Fail to Condemn Turkish Aggression

by Stephen Lendman

Failure to condemn clear aggression shows support. Turkey’s act of war was clear and unambiguous - recklessness against Russia’s real war on terror, polar opposite America’s phony war, backing ISIS and other terrorist groups, not combatting them.

Media headlines should accuse Turkey of naked aggression against Russia, acting recklessly, upping the stakes for potential global war. Instead they suppress what’s vital to know.

New York Times editors cited the risk of “wider confrontation,” falsely calling Obama’s proxy aggression on Syria a “civil war.”

Saying Tuesday’s incident “adds to tensions between Ankara and Moscow, which support different factions in Syria, and threatens to worsen relations between Russia and Turkey’s NATO allies, which have been going downhill since Russia invaded Ukraine.”

Fact: Times editors lied, claiming “Russia invaded Ukraine,” the Big Lie they’ve repeated many times, never citing evidence because none exists - other than phony videos unrelated to conflict in Donbass.

Times editors: “The only winner in a confrontation between Russia and the West is the Islamic State.”

False! Moscow’s campaign continues neutralizing,  significantly weakening and destroying its forces, the goal being to prevent their spread to Central Asia and its own territory.

Times and other scoundrel media editors never explain Washington’s full responsibility for creating ISIS, Al Qaeda, Jabhat al-Nusra and other splinter terrorist groups, deploying them as imperial foot soldiers, waging endless wars of aggression.

“(A)n unnamed American official told The Times it appears that at least one Russian jet crossed into Turkish airspace,” they said.

False! Verifiable Russian evidence proves otherwise. US officials know what they won’t explain. Times editors repeated comments from Obama and other Western officials, saying “Turkey has a right to defend itself” - instead of forthrightly condemning its bandit act.

“It’s time for a better approach,” they blustered, “like having NATO and Russia tighten the rules of engagement to better avoid incidents like the one on Tuesday.”

Russian operations are in full compliance with international law - polar opposite US aggression against one country after another, vital information Western media suppress.

The Washington Post sided with NATO, saying it “faces (a) new Mideast crisis…” It lied claiming “Russia back(s) the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (in contrast to) a US-led coalition conducting airstrikes against the Islamic State.”

Russia supports Syrian sovereignty and the right of its people alone to decide who’ll lead them, free from outside interference. 

Times editors failed to explain why after bombing Iraq and Syria since last year, US warplanes failed to destroy a single ISIS target. Its operations support the scourge of terrorism. Russia continues combating it effectively.

WaPo cited an unnamed “US military spokesman(’s) (Big Lie, claiming) Turkish pilots issued 10 notifications to their Russian counterparts, warning that they were in Turkish airspace and that the Russians did not respond.”

False! No warnings were given or needed. No evidence shows Russian aircraft entered Turkish airspace. Claiming otherwise is part of longstanding Russia-bashing.

Neocon Wall Street Journal editors headlined “Turkey’s Warning Shot,” saying “Putin may be testing NATO’s resolve, and the Turks need US support.”

They repeated Big Lies blasted throughout Western media - claiming Russian aircraft entered Turkish airspace illegally and didn’t heed 10 warnings - failing to explain Moscow poses no threat to Turkey or any other nation, or say no evidence support’s Ankara’s claim about Russian aircraft entering its territory.

Journal editors turned truth on its head, saying Tuesday’s incident “fits the Russian pattern of bombing enemies of the Assad regime except Islamic State - a useful reminder that Mr. Putin is not a fit partner in the coalition to fight ISIS.”

Then ludicrously asked “why Mr. Putin would risk provoking Turkey” - when no provocation occurred Tuesday or earlier. Absurdly saying Moscow’s alliance with Iran and its Shiite Muslim proxies in Damascus and Beirut, who see themselves as competing with the Sunni Turks for regional dominance,” may explain what happened - along with Putin “testing NATO cohesion.”

“If Russia continues to prick Turkey and NATO fails to support Ankara, it will expose the hollowness of NATO’s Article 5 collective-defense obligations.” Are Journal editors urging WW III?

Western media are notoriously scurrilous, mouthpieces for imperial power, suppressing what’s vital to report - in lockstep with all US wars of aggression and others planned.

What follows Turkey’s clear act of war against Russia remains to be seen. Putin won’t let it pass without appropriate responses, already being implemented, likely other measures to come.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

US-Dominated NATO Supports Turkish Aggression Against Russia

US-Dominated NATO Supports Turkish Aggression Against Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Make no mistake. Downing Russia’s aircraft was provocative Turkish aggression - a clear act of war against a nonthreatening nation.

A previous article explained it’s inconceivable President Erdogan acted alone, unilaterally deciding to attack the Russian plane - then lying about it entering Turkish airspace, warning “10 times” (an absurdity on its face) before downing it with one or more air-to-air missiles.

Following the incident, he outrageously said he acted in accordance with Turkey’s rules of engagement. “Nobody should doubt that we made our best efforts to avoid this latest incident,” adding he harbors no “enmity” toward Russia. Naked aggression speaks for itself.

Washington dominates NATO policy, including appointing its secretary general and other top officials. Alliance statements reflect US interests.

After an Ankara-called “extraordinary” Tuesday meeting, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg expressed support for clear Turkish aggression, saying:

“I have previously expressed my concerns about the implications of the military actions of the Russian Federation close to NATO’s borders.”

Fact: He ignored their legitimacy in combating the scourge of terrorism - approved by the UN Security Council in urging all UN members take “all necessary measures” in fighting ISIS, explaining:

“The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant constitutes a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security.”

Fact: US-dominated NATO maintains Alliance combat troops provocatively close to Russia’s borders, along with saber-rattling/tension-provoking military exercises in the same areas - recklessness risking direct East-West confrontation.

Stoltenberg: “As we have repeatedly made clear, we stand in solidarity with Turkey and support the territorial integrity of our NATO Ally, Turkey.”

Speaking for Washington, his statement explicitly endorsed Erdogan’s act of war on Russia - instead of condemning it unequivocally.

Longtime imperial tool UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon effectively endorsed what happened by failing to condemn it outright.

His spokesman Stephane Dujarric said he urged all parties to de-escalate tensions, adding he hopes “a credible and thorough review of the incident will clarify the events and help to prevent future recurrences.”

Fact: It’s crystal clear what happened. No ambiguity exists. One or more Turkish warplanes downed Russia’s aircraft in Syrian airspace - a double crime: aggression against Russia and violating Syrian airspace either by entering it or firing one or more missiles into its territory.

Meeting with French President Francois Hollande in Washington, Obama revealed his dirty hands, saying “Turkey, like every other country, has a right to defend itself.” He called Erdogan, expressing support for what demands clear condemnation - at the same time, accusing Russia of attacking nonexistent “moderate” rebels in Syria and propping up Assad.

“If Russia (directed) its energies towards Daesh and ISIL, some of those conflicts or potentials for mistakes or escalation are less likely to occur,” he blustered. 

His double-standard hypocrisy is breathtaking - waging naked aggression against one country after another, supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, outrageously criticizing Putin’s righteous mission, real war on terrorism.

Hollande showed which side he’s on, refusing to condemn Turkish naked aggression, urging efforts to prevent escalation.

Fact: In contrast to US-led NATO’s support for Daesh, Russia is effectively combatting it, routing US foot soldiers in Syria since September 30, changing the dynamic dramatically on the ground - challenging America’s regional hegemonic objectives.

Instead of condemning Turkish aggression, British Foreign Secretary expressed support for Ankara as an “important (UK) ally. It holds the key to a number of important questions both in relation to the battle against ISIL but also in relation to the migration challenge that Europe faces, and it will remain a very important partner for this country and for the European Union,” he claimed.

In response to Erdogan’s aggression, Putin suspended military and maybe economic cooperation with Ankara. Russia’s General Staff said a Moskva guided missile cruiser off Syria’s coast was ordered to destroy any target posing a danger to Russian operations in Syria.

General Staff official Sergey Rudskoy said a Turkish warplane attacked Russia’s aircraft after illegally entering Syrian airspace. Its pilot “made no attempts to communicate or establish visual contact with our crew that our equipment would have registered.”

“The Su-24 was hit by a missile over Syrian territory,” not cross-border as Ankara claimed. Henceforth “(e)very target posing a potential threat will be destroyed.”

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev blasted Erdogan, saying “Turkey’s actions are de facto protection (for the) Islamic State. This is no surprise, considering the information we have about direct financial interest of some Turkish officials relating to the supply of oil products refined by plants controlled by ISIS.”

“The reckless and criminal actions of the Turkish authorities…have caused a dangerous escalation of relations between Russia and NATO, which cannot be justified by any interest, including protection of state borders.”

Putin, Medvedev and other Russian officials know Turkey is complicit with Washington in recruiting, arming, funding, training and directing ISIS elements along with other terrorists on its territory, aiding their free movement cross-border into Syria and Iraq and back.

Moscow may cancel joint economic projects with Turkey, including a pipeline, letting it become a major transit country for Russian gas and construction of its first nuclear power plant.

Russia’s ambassador to France, Aleksandr Orlov, said Syrian forces rescued one of its two downed pilots. “One on board was wounded when he parachuted down and killed in a savage way on the ground by jihadists in the area,” he explained. 

“The other managed to escape. According to the latest information, he has been picked up by the Syrian Army and should be going back to the Russian Air Force base.”

Erdogan’s reckless act, with virtually certain US support, destroys chances for East-West cooperation against terrorism - at the same time, upping the stakes for direct confrontation. The Doomsday Clock inched closer to midnight.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Was Washington Complicit with Turkey in Downing Russia's Aircraft?

Was Washington Complicit with Turkey in Downing Russia’s Aircraft?

by Stephen Lendman

Both countries are NATO allies, united against Assad, wanting him toppled, actively complicit in supporting and using ISIS, as well as other terrorist groups as proxy foot soldiers in the war Obama launched in March 2011.

It’s inconceivable Turkey acted on its own, independent of US-dominated NATO. Its action is a major geopolitical incident - a premeditated act of war against Russia in Syrian airspace. 

Ankara claiming the aircraft entered Turkish airspace, ignoring multiple warnings, has the distinct aroma of a bald-faced lied to cover up a hostile act.

Erdogan’s recklessness ruptured Turkish/Russian relations, at least for the time being. Sergey Lavrov cancelled his scheduled Wednesday trip to Istanbul, saying “(a) decision has been made to cancel the meeting at the level of Russian and Turkish foreign ministers…”

He urged Russian citizens avoid visiting Turkey, leaving themselves vulnerable to terrorism, adding: “It’s necessary to emphasize that the terror threats with their roots in Turkey have been aggravated. And that’s true even if we don’t take into account what happened today. We estimate the threats to be no less than in Egypt.”

Russia’s state tourism agency Rostourism recommended suspending tour package sales to Turkey. Moscow-based Natalie tours already did so.

Putin minced no words blasting Erdogan, saying “(t)his incident stands out against the usual fight against terrorism.” 

“Our troops are fighting heroically against terrorists, risking their lives. But the loss we suffered today came from a stab in the back delivered by accomplices of the terrorists.” He warned of grave consequence for Russian/Turkish relations.

A Turkish Lockheed-Martin produced F-16 warplane willfully and without provocation downed Russia’s aircraft posing no threat to Ankara’s national security, Putin explained.

He’s well aware of Erdogan’s complicity with terrorists Russia is combating in Syria - at the request of its government, its actions entirely legal and heroic against a common scourge.

“IS has big money, hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars, from selling (stolen Syrian) oil. In addition they are protected by the military of an entire nation,” Putin stressed - leaving no doubt he means Turkey, well aware of Washington using ISIS and other takfiri terrorists as proxy foot soldiers against Assad’s legitimate government. 

“One can understand why they are acting so boldly and blatantly,” said Putin. “Why they kill people in such atrocious ways. Why they commit terrorist acts across the world, including in the heart of Europe.”

Recalling Russia’s ambassador may come next. Expect Putin to react appropriately to what happened. It’s too serious to ignore or smooth over through normal diplomatic channels between both nations.

Putin explained Ankara didn’t contact Russia after what happened, instead outrageously called an emergency late afternoon Tuesday NATO meeting - apparently wanting the Alliance to serve the interests of ISIS, he added. Its actions won’t be tolerated, he stressed.

Washington backed Turkey’s absurd claim about issuing “10 warnings” before downing Russia’s aircraft. Was it directly complicit with what happened? 

It bears repeating. It’s inconceivable Turkey acted alone without permission or direct complicity with NATO’s highest authority. America provides 75% of its budget. It calls the shots - deciding whether, when, where and how to act or react.

Erdogan’s action was reckless. Obama is playing with fire if his involvement with what happened is determined. Putin won’t let it pass without appropriate actions in response, already begun.

An official protest was lodged with Turkey military attache. A Russian Defense Ministry statement said “(w)e are considering actions of the Turkish air forces as an unfriendly act.”

Moscow’s anti-terrorist campaign in Syria will continue as planned, maybe intensified further after what happened - Turkey now clearly and openly an adversary in the war on terrorism, risking direct confrontation with Russia. 

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

CNN Turkey Reports Ankara Downed Russian Aircraft

CNN Turkey Reports Ankara Downed Russian Aircraft

by Stephen Lendman

CNN Turkish television cited local and Syrian sources, saying Turkish aircraft intercepted the Russian plane after it allegedly crossed into Turkish airspace (something Moscow categorically denies), downing the plane in response.

If accurate, Ankara committed an act of war against Russia, its agenda polar opposite Moscow’s on Syria - allied with Washington’s regime change plan, along with seeking annexation of bordering Syrian territory. 

Both Russian pilots ejected after the incident. Turkish video footage showed the crash site, about five km from Turkey’s border - inside Syrian territory.

The area is populated by Syrian ethnic Turkmens. Clashes between government troops and terrorists are ongoing nearby. Video footage shows the plane caught fire, then crashed.

Western media picked up the story, saying Turkish warplanes downed the Russian aircraft. Reuters headlined “Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border, Moscow denies airspace violation,” saying:

“Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border on Tuesday after repeated warnings over airspace violations, but Moscow said it could prove the jet had not left Syrian air space.”

“It was the first time a NATO member's armed forces have downed a Russian or Soviet military aircraft since the 1950s…” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the incident “very serious,” adding more information is needed before concluding precisely what happened.

A hostile Ankara statement said “(t)he data we have is very clear. There were two planes approaching our border. We warned them as they were getting too close.”

“We warned them to avoid entering Turkish airspace before they did, and we warned them many times. Our findings show clearly that Turkish airspace was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.”

Moscow categorically denies the accusation. Russian military helicopters are looking for the downed pilots. RT International reported one is believed dead, the other in the hands of Turkmen forces in Syria.

A Russian Defense Ministry statement said “(d)uring the flight, the aircraft was flying within the borders of Syria, which was registered by objective monitoring data,” adding it was “supposedly shot down from the ground.”

More information is needed before drawing conclusions on precisely what happened. An accompanying article said if an anti-Assad nation was responsible, expect an appropriate Russian response.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Putin in Tehran

Putin in Tehran

by Stephen Lendman

On Monday, Putin attended the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) summit in Tehran - an important visit showing bilateral cooperation on major geopolitical issues between both countries, notably the Syria conflict.

He met with Iranian leaders on the sidelines of the conference, his main reason for attending, including President Hassan Rohani and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

“The Americans have a long-term plot and are trying to dominate Syria and then the whole region,” Khamenei stressed. “This is a threat to all countries, especially Russia and Iran.” 

“The United States is now trying to achieve its failed military objectives in Syria by political means” - at the same escalating airstrikes against Syrian infrastructure and other government targets, not ISIS as claimed.

Fars News reported seven Memoranda of Understanding agreements concluded between both countries - Iranian and Russian foreign ministers (Mohammad Javad Zarif and Sergey Lavrov respectively) signing them in the presence of Rohani and Putin.

They “relate to the health, railway, banking, insurance, electricity, power plant, water and energy sectors,” Fars News explained.

Earlier in November, Iranian and Russian officials met in Moscow, discussing increased economic cooperation between both countries, including establishing a joint bank and bilateral trade in their national currencies, bypassing the US dollar.

In Moscow, Iranian ambassador to Russia, Mehdi Sanayee, said both “countries are serious about implementing an economic memorandum of understanding…amount(ing) to $70 billion” in bilateral trade.

In August 2014, a major economic, trade and energy agreement was signed, a step toward increasing commerce between both countries.

In March, an agreement was concluded on having central banks of both countries supervise financial operations of both nations’ banks. 

Other agreements were concluded earlier this year, expanding economic, financial and political relations between both countries.

Putin signed a decree lifting restrictions on enriched uranium imports from Iran. Tass said the agreement effectively “cancels all previous restrictions imposed on cooperation with Iran in nuclear energy and gives a go-ahead to the development of cooperation with Iran in the nuclear field, in particular, in the area of enriched uranium imports from Iran, including equipment supplies.”

Activities between both countries will comply fully with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iran’s nuclear program.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he held detained discussions with Khamenei, lasting over 90 minutes, more than planned. “The conversation was quite positive,” Peskov explained.” 

“The leaders exchanged views on the current state of bilateral relations, including in the trade and economic cooperation as they noted presence of a big number of particular projects in the energy sector and other fields on agenda.”

Talks “mostly focused on crisis situations in the whole region, first of all the situation in Syria was discussed. A highly detailed exchange of view was in place, and unanimity of views of Moscow and Tehran was stressed regarding unacceptability of dictation of options of political settlement from outside, and lack of options to implement this political tool by the Syrian people” themselves.

Meeting with Iranian President Rohani, Putin praised Iran’s regional anti-terrorism efforts, stressing Tehran’s cooperation aided Russia’s successful air campaign in Syria.

It involves coordinating Russian, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi anti-terrorist efforts. Rohani stressed both countries agreed to pursue their joint efforts against a common scourge, as well as further develop “cooperation on regional issues, (notably) the fight against terrorism” vital to defeat.

“Terrorism today is a formidable challenge for the region and for the whole world,” Rohani stressed. “Whereas some countries are only indulging in anti-terrorist oratory and taking demonstrative actions, our two countries have proved that this issue can be addressed seriously.”

Putin praised courageous Russian pilots, calling their actions “quite positive,” adding:

“With regard to the actions of our military, it is a complex operation - involving a large space grouping, diverse air forces: attack aircraft, bombers, strategic missile bombers and fighters jets covering them.”

He again stressed the importance of resolving Syria’s conflict politically - aside from continuing to wage war against the scourge of terrorism, Western-sponsored he understands well but diplomatically stopped short of explaining.

Russia considers Iran a “reliable ally in the region and the world,” Putin stressed, an important statement in contrast to longstanding US hostility, even after consummating the nuclear deal.

“Unlike certain parties (leaving no doubt he meant Washington), we are committed to never stab our partners in the back or take any behind-the-stage move against our friends and to resolve any differences that may arise through dialogue.”

A Final Comment

On Tuesday, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported: “Today, as most likely a result of a strike from the ground, an Su-24 plane from the Russian aviation group in the Syrian Arab Republic crashed in the territory of Syria” - Russia’s first downed aircraft since beginning aerial operations on September 30.

“The plane was located at an altitude of 6,000 meters (approximately 19,600 feet),” Russia’s Defense Ministry explained. “The fate of the pilots is being determined. According to the preliminary data, the pilots were able to eject.” 

“The circumstances of the plane's crash are under investigation. The Russian Ministry of Defense notes that during the flight the plane stayed strictly within Syrian airspace and the flight was logged.”

Responsibility for downing the aircraft remains to be determined. Whether ISIS was supplied with surface-to-air capability at this altitude is unclear, something it didn’t previously have.

Washington supplied shoulder-launched, man-portable, surface-to-air missiles (SAMS) defense systems (Manpads) - effective against low-flying aircraft, mainly helicopters, along with fixed-wing planes during takeoffs, landings and at low altitudes.

If Washington, Turkey or another anti-Assad nation is determined to be responsible for the incident, expect an appropriate Russian response.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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

Netanyahu Escalates State Terror Against Palestinians

Netanyahu Escalates State Terror Against Palestinians

by Stephen Lendman

John Kerry arrives in Israel later on Tuesday as this is written. He’ll meet with Netanyahu to express full support for raging state terror against millions of defenseless Palestinian civilians - including harsh new measures being imposed.

Kerry's rhetoric belies his agenda. On Monday from Abu Dhabi, meeting with despotic Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zahed al-Nahyan and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, he said talks in Israel will try to “get some concrete steps in place (to) calm things down…(T)oo many Israelis have been killed and stabbed…”

Washington and Israel partner in each other’s high crimes, raging daily against Palestinians, Kerry indifferent to their longstanding suffering - US policy everywhere, supporting powerful Western interests exclusively at the expense of ordinary people, at home and abroad.

On Monday, Netanyahu said the IDF will escalate operations against Palestinians intensively. “(W)e’re going into every site. We’re entering (Palestinian) villages. We’re entering towns. We’re entering homes and conducting widespread arrests” - with “no restrictions.”

He authorized greater police state terror than before. Expect many more Palestinian casualties, more mass arrests for political reasons - war against an entire population with full US support.

Israel must “take additional action to counter” nonexistent threats, Netanyahu blustered - youths and children with stones, their bare hands and indomitable spirit against one of the world’s most ruthless regimes, fascism the equivalent of Nazism.

New harsh measures include punishing family members of alleged Palestinian “terrorists,” destroying their homes, greatly restricting their movements and denying them work permit permission to enter Israel or hold jobs in settlements.

Extended family members will be barred from entering Israel for jobs currently held. IDF reservists will be activated to bolster regular army rampaging against Palestinians throughout the Territories. Measures are being “prepar(ed) to take care of the social networks using various means,” Netanyahu warned.

Mass arrests of Hamas members and supporters are planned. Forced deportations are being considered. Israel calls legitimate Palestinian self-defense and resistance against longstanding Israeli viciousness “terrorism.”

Gaza was again bombed overnight, in response to an alleged rocket fired, harming no one, doing no damage. Hamas is automatically blamed for anything in Gaza Israel opposes. Regular attacks on the territory occur - civilians constantly in harm’s way.

New York Times Jerusalem correspondent Jodi Rudoren reports one-sidedly from Israel, her latest on new measures Netanyahu plans - ignoring vicious Israeli state terror against defenseless Palestinians, highlighting alleged dangers Israelis face, ignoring horrific state-sponsored crimes committed against an entire population.

Saying Netanyahu “me(t) with local commanders ‘to step up our war against the terrorists (including seeking) pinpoint solutions,’ “

Not a word about legitimate Palestinian resistance against nearly half a century of ruthless occupation. Nothing about stolen Palestinian land, bulldozed homes, mass imprisonments for political reasons, children treated as brutally as adults, or ongoing state terror against a defenseless population.

Palestinians suffer hugely under Israel’s repressive boot. Their liberating struggle deserves universal support.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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

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