Thursday, February 23, 2017

John McCain Again Meets with Terrorists in Syria

John McCain Again Meets with Terrorists in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

In May 2013, ISIS elements posted photos they took with neocon John McCain, during his Syria visit to meet with anti-government terrorists.

On return, he said “it was a very moving experience to meet these fighters who have been struggling now for over two years.” 

He called cutthroat killers moderate rebels. “I know who they are. I was in Syria and I met with them,” he said - explaining nothing about America’s war of aggression against a sovereign independent country threatening no one, using imported terrorists as imperial foot soldiers.

Last weekend, McCain returned to Syria, showing support for US-backed death squads, committing gruesome atrocities, wanting regime change. A statement by his spokeswoman said:

He “traveled to northern Syria…to visit with US forces…and to discuss the (so-called) counter-ISIL campaign…(His) visit was a valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq.”

H “looks forward to working with the administration and military leaders to optimize our approach for accomplishing ISIL’s lasting defeat.

He met with Saudi King Salman, UAE crown prince Al Nahyan, and Turkish President Erdogan on the same trip, saying discussions focused on Syria and defeating ISIS.

Obama earlier pledged to defeat ISIS without putting US boots on the ground. His actions were polar opposite - supporting ISIS, not combating it, sending 1000s of US troops to Iraq, at least hundreds of special forces to Syria. Their duties include engaging in combat, against whom is uncertain.

Trump promised to defeat international terrorism. He may deploy more US troops to Syria, Afghanistan and perhaps elsewhere.

So far, it’s unknown whether he’ll combat terrorist groups or support them like his predecessors.

Given how much he backtracked on promises so far, chances for cooperating with Russia in combating terrorism looks like another pledge to be broken.

All politicians lie. Believe nothing they say. Follow only what they do, the only way to judge them.

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.

Arizona Bill Threatens Protesters

Arizona Bill Threatens Protesters

by Stephen Lendman

Tyranny stalks Americans at the federal, state and local levels - fundamental freedoms fast disappearing.

On Wednesday, Arizona’s Senate passed legislation targeting anyone orchestrating or participating in legitimate protests turned violent, even if through no fault of their own.

The measure expands state racketeering laws to including rioting - defining it as actions resulting in damage or destruction of property.

The measure authorizes RICO criminal prosecution and asset seizures from anyone involved, including peaceful protestors. Police may arrest protest organizers even if they didn’t commit violence.

According to State Senator John Kavanagh, “(y)ou now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder.

Asking “(w)ouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts” sounds like the bill’s intend is to abolish First Amendment free speech, assembly, and right to petition government for redress of grievance.

If the measure passes Arizona’s House, it remains to be seen if Republican Governor Doug Ducey supports it. In 2010, then Governor Jan Brewer signed controversial legislation, requiring police to determine if people are in America illegally.

The measure legalizes unchecked racial profiling of anyone suspected of being undocumented, largely by their skin color.

It criminalizes undocumented immigrants as “trespassers,” subjecting them to misdemeanor or felony charges.

Police can stop anyone for any reason, question their residency right, and demand proof of legal entry or citizenship. Without it, they may be arrested, fined, jailed, and/or deported without cause, including US citizens.

Immigrants must carry authorization papers at all times. Failure to do so is a criminal offense. Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable searches and seizures” are null and void in the state, Latinos looking like possible undocumented immigrants especially vulnerable.

Police may make warrantless arrests without just cause. Anyone may be challenged to prove citizenship, right of residence and identity. 

Aliens must proved they’re in the country legally. Anyone transporting or in any way aiding undocumented immigrants are in violation of state law.

Employers are prohibited from hiring them. Landlords are forbidden from renting them apartments or rooms. Systematic abuse is commonplace in Arizona and elsewhere nationwide - at all levels of government.

Trump’s war on immigrants promises to make things worse.

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.

War on Digital Democracy

War on Digital Democracy

by Stephen Lendman

Powerful interests are waging war to control our minds. Online freedom is threatened.

I’ve been hacked and banished from Facebook for truth-telling. Google is suppressing content - removing sites from its search engine, censoring others, actions violating First Amendment rights.

Google and Facebook changed their advertising policy to counter what they call “fake news.” They’re at war with digital democracy, increasingly wanting media scoundrel managed news misinformation and Big Lies featured over alternative content.

During the US presidential election campaign, Google supported Hillary, rigged searches for her with positive news to sway undecided voters in her favor.

Trump’s new FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Net Neutrality’s days are “numbered.” He’s taking steps to undermine digital democracy, letting users access all content without restrictions, limitations, or discrimination, an online level playing field for everyone. 

What’s ongoing began before Trump’s ascension to power. Obama was obsessed with secrecy. Famed journalist Helen Thomas blasted what she called his press-controlling efforts, saying his actions were “blatant.”

Net Neutrality is the last frontier of press freedom. Obama prioritized secret monitoring, targeted dissent, aimed to suppress truth and full disclosure, wanted digital democracy curbed.

He elevated information control to an unprecedented level, targeted more whistleblowers than all his predecessors combined, and shunned transparency he pledged to prioritize if elected.

He monitored journalists, accessed their phone records, read their emails, tracked their personal movements, sought to assure nothing he wanted suppressed was made public.

The war on digital freedom continues. Efforts are being made to silence Infowars, the Alex Jones web site. The ad agency AdRoll providing a major source of its revenue pulled the plug on him, jeopardizing the operation’s viability.

Its web site blasted online censorship, saying “(i)n an attempt to damage the power of our message, they have tried to hit us where it hurts by removing an important pillar of our income that keeps the Infowar funded.”

The Mike Adams Natural News (NS) web site in being attacked for promoting alternative ways of staying healthy.

Blacklisted by Google, 140,000 pages were removed from its search index, including material on harmful vaccines, “pharma corruption, and fraudulent science,” NS saying:

Google’s delisting “instantly wip(ed) out a treasure trove of truly lifesaving knowledge about disease prevention, nutritional therapies, avoidance of toxins and the dangers of chemical medications (among other topics that also include opinion pieces, political analysis, health warnings and more).”

Google, Facebook and other online gatekeepers are part of a modern-day Orwellian ministry of truth, featuring mainstream fake news, filtering out alternative sources of the real thing.

Free societies depend on speech, press and academic freedoms. Without them all other rights are endangered.

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.

Geneva IV Peace Talks on Syria Begin

Geneva IV Peace Talks on Syria Begin

by Stephen Lendman

Three previous rounds failed because Washington undermined them. Will this time be different?

Pro-Western UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said he’s “not expecting a breakthrough” - not a good sign as new peace talks begin after six years of devastating war, launched by Obama for regime change.

Nor was opposition delegation spokesman Salem al-Muslet encouraging, saying Syrian representatives aren’t “here to negotiate about a political transition, but they're here to buy time and commit more crimes…There's no trust” in Damascus.

According to opposition Syrian National Coalition head Anas al-Abdah “(w)e cannot address the profound security threats…while Assad remains in power.”

Opposition High Negotiations Committee representative Munzar Mahus wants “transition of power (regime change)” discussed “first and foremost,” calling what’s off the table except for open, free and fair elections “the main issue.”

UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutteres struck an added note of pessimism, saying “(p)eace is only possible when none of the parties to the conflict think they can win. I’m not sure we are yet there.”

Geneva talks will focus on political issues, de Mistura believes for two weeks - guided by Security Council Resolution 2254, calling for ceasefire and diplomatic conflict resolution. 

More rounds of Astana, Kazakhstan talks will deal with cessation of hostilities and related humanitarian issues. How Geneva discussions will proceed is unclear - whether face-to-face or both sides in separate rooms, UN officials shuttling between them.

One or more low-level US representatives are in Geneva as observers, another negative sign. De Mistura downplayed it, saying the “new administration requires some time before devising a new strategy.”

Does Trump intend combating ISIS (and by inference other terrorist groups) as promised or will US support continue? Pentagon warplanes continue bombing Syrian infrastructure, massacring civilians at the same time. 

Reports suggest unknown numbers of US combat troops may be deployed to northern Syria, besides hundreds of special forces already there - operating illegally.

Trump wants so-called safe zones established. Damascus opposes them. So does Russia without Assad’s permission. 

Resolving Syria’s conflict depends on Trump. His actions so far suggest support for continued war, not resolving it diplomatically.

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.

NYT Editors Promote Hazardous Vaccines

NYT Editors Promote Hazardous Vaccines

by Stephen Lendman

Global vaccines are big business - estimated to reach nearly $60 billion in annual revenue by 2020, because of widespread use and escalating prices, a boon for Big Phama’s bottom line performance at the expense of human health.

Vaccines contain toxic mercury and other heavy metals well above environmental safety levels, risking neurological damage.

Distinguished vaccine expert Viera Scheibner calls them biological weapons. They can damage internal organs and leave children or adults vulnerable to severe autoimmune diseases - including diabetes, arthritis, hepatitis, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, polio and numerous others.

Vaccines are dangerous and unreliable. Thousands of severe adverse reactions occur annually - including permanent disabilities, at times deaths. 

None of this gets reported. Instead, the myth of safe vaccines and importance of getting them persists.

Scheibner minced no words, saying “there is no evidence whatsoever of the ability of vaccines to prevent any diseases. To the contrary, there is a great wealth of evidence that they cause serious side effects,” harming human health.

Government promotion of vaccines is driven by politics, not science, not public welfare. Big Pharma urges their use because they’re so profitable. All countries are potential buyers.

Health and safety concerns are ignored for the sake of a profit bonanza increasing annually. In January, Trump appointed Robert F. Kennedy Jr as head of a new commission to study vaccine safety.

He’s not anti-vaccine. He wants them to be safe. He’s against thiomersal, a preservative, containing toxic mercury, Kennedy saying: 

“(T)he evidence of thimerosal’s neurotoxicity is so overwhelming and the lack of any safety data so complete that anyone who is willing to read science and who believes in the capacity for scientific methods to determine empirical truths must conclude that thimerosal causes serious brain damage.”

NYT editors ridiculed clear proof of vaccine hazards. They lied claiming “there is no evidence whatsoever that vaccines or a preservative (thirerosal) cause autism.”

They blasted what they called Kennedy’s “pseudoscience about immunizations.” They cited industry sponsored studies claiming vaccine safety. What else would they say?

They noted scores of so-called industry affiliated “health groups” touting them. They called clear concerns about vaccine hazards “antiscience.”

It’s fair to ask: Is Big Pharma subsidizing The Times to promote its toxic vaccines?

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.

Russia Foiled America's Middle East Strategy

Russia Foiled America’s Middle East Strategy

by Stephen Lendman

After US-led NATO’s rape and destruction of Libya in 2011, Syria’s fall was supposed to be next.

Things didn’t turn out this way. Not so far at least. Russia’s intervention on September 30, 2015 turned the tide of battle in favor of government and allied forces.

On Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said “(t)he deployment of our group (to) the Syrian Arab Republic helped solve the geopolitical task of breaking the chain of (US instigated) ‘color revolutions’ replicated in the Middle East and Africa.”

At the same time, he warned of the high likelihood that this regime change strategy will continue, explaining:

“Their implementation allows for a minimal cost of resources and the limited use of own weapons and armed forces to crush regional powers while achieving political and economic goals.”

“Relations between states are becoming increasingly strained. The struggle for resources and control of the routes of their transportation intensifies. Attempts by the West, led by the United States, to slow down the process of establishing a new and more just world order lead to growing chaos, anarchy and encounter rejection on the part of many states.”

Military force is the main tool Washington uses to advance its agenda, he stressed - state-sponsored terror, far worse than what’s carried out by various groups.

On Wednesday, Vladimir Putin promoted a number of generals involved in combating terrorism in Syria for a job well, the task continuing until these elements are defeated.

Defense Minister Shoigu praised the performance of Russia’s Syria mission, saying “(s)pecial operations forces have demonstrated their high efficiency.” 

“They have played a key role in liquidating the terrorists, destroying critically important enemy facilities and directing airstrikes.”

Russia tested 162 new weapons, including air and sea-based long-range cruise missiles. So far, its aircraft flew 1,760 sorties and conducted 5,682 airstrikes.

Shoigu said over 3,100 terrorists were killed, many more wounded. Its warplanes destroyed 40 training camps, 475 command posts and 45 ammunition plants.

Nearly 90% of Russian pilots gained combat experience during ongoing operations. Moscow’s intervention preserved Syria’s territorial integrity, gave government and allied forces a distinct advantage.

Still the struggle against ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups continues. Shoigu indicated Moscow awaits US proposals for cooperating with Russia in combating this scourge.

“(W)e are ready to talk,” he said. (W)e are waiting for clarification from Washington. We are ready to review any other proposals on” resolving conflict in Syria. 

On Thursday, another round of peace talks began in Geneva. Previous ones failed. It’s unclear if this time will fare better.

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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trump: America's Latest Warrior President


Trump: America’s Latest Warrior President

by Stephen Lendman

Trump’s first month in office proved nothing he said campaigning holds water. All politicians lie, saying whatever it takes to get elected, doing whatever they please once in office.

In short order, America’s 45th president surrendered to Wall Street and war-profiteers, gorging at the public trough - at the expense of humanity at home and abroad.

The hoped for antidote to Hillary appears no different on policymaking - both subservient to monied interests at the expense of popular ones, both warriors, not peacemakers, both intolerant of challenges to America’s hegemonic aims, both hostile to all sovereign independent states, a deplorable situation, a dangerous one risking possible nuclear war.

Hillary’s defeat didn’t dodge a nuclear bullet. It gave Trump the trigger, perhaps as willing to squeeze it to prove his machismo. 

Both aspirants appear near two sides of the same coin, much alike on issues mattering most. It’s a tough judgment this soon into Trump’s tenure. Things sometimes change, though rarely, except for the worst, not better.

Trump calling NATO “obsolete” on the stump proved deceptive hyperbole. He fully supports the alliance, according to Vice President Pence, Defense Secretary Mattis, for sure hawkish National Security Advisor McMaster, and UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

Trump’s South China Sea saber-rattling risks confrontation with Beijing. Other administration figures speaking for him, demanding Russia end Kiev’s war on Donbass and relinquish its Crimea territory, is a prescription for no change in hostile US policy toward Moscow.

Threats made against Iran, North Korea and Venezuela risk more trouble, thinly veiled ones for regime change. All this going on in a few short weeks into Trump’s tenure is breathtaking and disturbing for a White House aspirant promising a different way.

There’s more. Additional US combat troops may be sent to Afghanistan to continue America’s longest war - instead of ending what never should have been waged in the first place.

Bipartisan members of Congress want a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to wage phony war on terrorism - instead of demanding recision of the September 14, 2001 measure, three days post-9/11.

US Central Command head General Joseph Votel wants more US combat troops for Syria - not to fight terrorism, to support it.

The way to defeat ISIS and likeminded groups is by no longer providing them with weapons, funding, training and direction. They exist because of foreign backing. Without it, they’re a spent force once exhausting their supplies.

Trump directing “mad dog” Mattis to develop a preliminary plan on how to defeat ISIS appears more about designing a way to use these foot soldiers more effectively - continuing America’s war OF terror on humanity, not waging peace instead.

His campaign hoopla about draining the swamp was deceptive hyperbole. His agenda continues serving privileged interests at the expense of most others. 

US imperial madness remains unchanged - world peace and stability as threatened as ever.

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.

US Hostility Toward China

US Hostility Toward China

by Stephen Lendman

America is hostile toward all sovereign independent states, especially Russia, China and all resource rich ones.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported information provided by two unnamed US officials, saying Beijing nearly finished building “almost two dozen structures” on islands on man-made islands in its own waters.

Trump officials believe they may be for long-range surface-to-air missiles. Reuters failed to explain China threatens no one. International law affirms its right of self-defense on its islands or mainland territory.

Obama and Trump administration officials unjustifiably consider its island development illegal.

According to an unnamed US intelligence official, “(i)t is not like the Chinese to build anything in the South China Sea just to build it, and these structures resemble others that house SAM batteries, so the logical conclusion is that's what they are for.”

A Pentagon spokesman ignored US militarization on every continent, outrageously saying Washington is committed to “non-militarization in the South China Sea” - other than what it does to threaten or pressure other countries to be subservient to its wishes.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said his government is “carrying out normal construction activities on its own territory, including deploying necessary and appropriate territorial defense facilities, is a normal right under international law for sovereign nations.”

During his Senate confirmation hearing, Secretary of state Rex Tillerson provocatively told Senate Foreign Relations Committee members “(w)e are going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”

He unjustifiably accused China of “declaring control of territories …not rightfully” its own. He called Moscow “danger(ous),” saying “(o)ur allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia.”

Last month, Defense Secretary James (“mad dog”) Mattis said “I think (the world order) is under the biggest attack since world war two…and that is from Russia, from terrorist groups, and with what China is doing in the South China Sea.”

America consistently meddles in parts of the world not its own. In response to its latest provocative South China Sea incursion,  Beijing’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said “China always respects the freedom of navigation and overflight all countries enjoy under international law.”

“But we are consistently opposed to relevant countries threatening and damaging the sovereignty and security of littoral countries under the flag of freedom of navigation and overflight. We hope relevant countries can do more to safeguard regional peace and stability.”

Separately, Beijing warned Washington to stay out of its waters, saying it “has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters.”

Relations between both countries are strained. Trump earlier said he’ll “instruct the US trade representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the World Trade Organization.”

What he may intend militarily is of far greater concern.

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.

Warriors Running Defense, National and Homeland Security Assure No End of US Phony War on Terror


Warriors Running Defense, National and Homeland Security Assure No End of US Phony War on Terror

by Stephen Lendman

So-called Israeli/Palestinian peace talks and America’s global war on terror are the two greatest hoaxes in modern times. 

Washington’s scheme is all about advancing its hegemonic agenda, benefitting privileged interests at the expense of most others, along with replacing fundamental freedoms with police state rule - tyranny by any standard.

Trump so far seems bent on continuing deplorable policies of his predecessors, wanting a more muscular military, a stronger nuclear capability, increased use of combat troops in US war theaters, greater domestic police state toughness, mass deportations of unwanted people, and who knows what else.

Instead of draining the swamp, he’s filling it. Putting generals in charge of key defense and national security posts is cause for alarm. Warriors earned stars by being hawks, not doves, benefitting from endless wars of aggression, hostile toward peace and stability.

Unknown numbers of US special forces operate in northern Syria illegally, aiding anti-government terrorists. Reports indicate Trump may deploy conventional forces - escalating conflict, not defusing it.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called sending US combat troops to Syria “a recipe” for fueling greater conflict, adding:

The same people who armed ISIS, armed (other) terrorist groups, were the same people who armed Saddam Hussein (in the 1980s), were the same people who created and armed al-Qaeda.”

“We should not continue to repeat history and then blame people who were on the right side.”

It’s unclear if Washington intends participating in Syria peace talks, a new round beginning in Geneva on Thursday. US commitment for peace is essential to have any hope for achieving it.

Last Sunday, UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura questioned Washington’s role in resolving the conflict, asking “(w)here is the US in all this? I can’t tell you because I don’t know.”

US combat troops are on the front lines of conflict in Syria and Iraq - on the phony pretext of combating terrorism, elements America created and supports.

Saudi Arabia said it’s ready to send troops to Syria, according to its foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir, saying consultations were held with Washington regarding joint operations.

Other Gulf countries are “ready to allocate forces to fight on the US side,” he added - with no further elaboration.

These nations actively support ISIS and other terrorist groups. They’re part of the problem, not the solution. Their involvement would assure escalated war, not resolving it diplomatically.

Upcoming Geneva talks look shaky, Jubeir saying they’re to agree on establishing a “new Syria without Assad.”

It’s unclear where Trump stands on this other than wanting US combat troops involved and illegal safe zones established Damascus rejects. So does Russia without Assad’s authorization, not forthcoming.

At home, Trump’s executive orders on fight(ing) crime, gangs, and drugs; restor(ing) law and order; and support(ing) the dedicated men and women of law enforcement” sound ominously like increasing police state toughness.

US communities may become more battlegrounds than already. His mass deportations scheme leaves millions of immigrants vulnerable.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents have sweeping authority to round up, detain and deport aliens for being in America illegally, abusing public benefits, or committing offenses as minor as traffic violations.

Latinos are most vulnerable. So are Haitian asylum-seekers and immigrants, Institute for Democracy & Justice in Haiti director Brian Concannon explained. Hundreds are being deported weekly, their fundamental rights violated.

In office less than five weeks in office, Trump’s agenda looks different from his predecessors largely in style, not substance. Dirty business as usual appears safe in his hands.

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.

Failed State Ukraine Wants Russia's Security Council Veto Power Curbed

Failed State Ukraine Wants Russia’s Security Council Veto Power Curbed

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is an illegitimate Nazi-infested police state, a failed state politically and economically, a US puppet state in Europe’s heartland, sharing a 1,400 km border with Russia.

It’s at war with its own people. Its US-installed president has a 7% approval rating. He and other regime officials are despised.

Last Sunday, anti-regime protesters clashed with police in Kiev, angry about deplorable conditions. In 2014, Donbass activists established the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, wanting democratic governance, rejecting fascist rule.

During a Tuesday Security Council session, Ukraine’s illegitimate foreign minister Pavel Klimkin sounded buffoon-like - calling for denying Russia’s SC veto power on issues regarding Ukraine, falsely claiming it’s a party to the conflict in Donbass, saying:

“We need urgently to reform the Security Council in order to remove the veto power abuses. The Security Council should be capable of efficiently addressing ‘bloody conflicts’ regardless of the possible presence of a party to the conflict at this table as the SC permanent member.”

He cited UN Charter Article 27, paragraph 3, stating “a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.” Since Ukraine launched naked aggression on its own people in 2014, Russia has gone all-out for diplomatic conflict resolution - to no avail because Washington and Kiev undermined its good faith efforts.

Klimkin blamed Russia for high crimes of the regime he represents.

Article 27 of the UN Charter states: 

“1. Each member of the Security Council shall have one vote. 

2. Decisions of the Security Council on procedural matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members. 

3. Decisions of the Security Council on all other matters shall be made by an affirmative vote of nine members including the concurring votes of the permanent members; provided that, in decisions under Chapter VI, and under paragraph 3 of Article 52, a party to a dispute shall abstain from voting.” 

America, Britain, China, France and Russia have Security Council veto power over proposed resolutions.

During a 2015 General Assembly session, Kiev fascists called for changing UN Charter rules, wanting Russia stripped of its Security Council right of dissent.

Charter revisions require approval by a two-thirds member state majority - including all P5 countries with veto power. It’s unlikely any intend limiting authority they believe essential.

Washington earlier claimed Russian vetoes threaten Security Council legitimacy. Moscow responsibly challenges its hegemonic agenda.

Russia’s deceased UN envoy Vitaly Churkin earlier said without his nation’s veto power, the Security Council would “lose its relevance.”

It would “simply…rubber-stamp decisions…made in Washington, Paris, London, (and) Brussels…(It would prevent SC members from) do(ing) the important work of bringing about consensus decisions.” 

Klimkin’s proposal was pure political posturing going nowhere. Russia and China represent an important alliance against US imperial madness.

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.

Standing Rock Water Protectors Face Eviction

Standing Rock Water Protectors Face Eviction

by Stephen Lendman

Courageous Standing Rock Sioux tribe members and supporters face eviction, along with possible police brutality and arrest for defending sacred ancestral land from environmentally destructive pipeline construction.

They’ve struggled for justice since last April, not about to quit now. The stakes are too high.

Surrounded by police and Bureau of Indian Affairs agents, a video they produced on Monday said “(w)e have 48 hours before militarized law enforcement raid Oceti Sakowin camp. Elders and children need protection.”

“After the deadline for February 22 at 2PM, we are all at risk of facing arrest, police brutality, federal charges and prison time. In the history of colonization, they’ve always given us two options.”

“Give up our land or go to jail. Give up our rights or go to jail. And now, give up our water, or go to jail. We are not criminals. We need your help.”

On February 15, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum issued an emergency evacuation order for the main Oceti Sakowin camp, its sister Rosebud site, and portions of the Sacred Stone Camp.

The order called for establishing police checkpoints into and out of the campsites, along with clearing the land for development.

The Army Corps of Engineers refused to extend Wednesday’s deadline. Violence may follow later today - much like earlier with tear gas, beatings, water cannons in temperatures around the freeing mark, and attack dogs, police state America in action.

North Dakota senators approved legislation, calling for stiffer penalties on anyone inciting or participating in what they called riots. Others call these actions legitimate protests.

Another measure criminalized demonstrations in “public safety zones” declared by the state governor. Activists allegedly posing a threat risk imprisonment.

Legislation targets Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) water protectors. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Kelly Armstrong said “I have no doubt that the vast majority of the people at the DAPL protest are peaceful.”

But there is a strong minority and contingent that has not always acted peacefully and our laws have proven to be inadequate down there in regards to felony prosecution.”

Resistance continues in court and on the ground. The struggle for Standing Rock justice continues - despite Trump authorizing the completion of DAPL construction.

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.

Israel Again Terror-Bombs Syria

Israel Again Terror-Bombs Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Israel wants war on Syria continued, Assad removed, pro-Western governance installed, and Iran isolated ahead of targeting its sovereignty the same way.

Does Trump support this agenda? It’s unknown. Yet US warplanes continue terror-bombing Syrian infrastructure sites, and reports suggest he may deploy combat troops, escalating conflict, not working to resolve it diplomatically if he gets America more involved this way.

On Wednesday, Lebanon’s Al-Jadeed television reported one or more Israeli warplanes terror-bombed targets in Syria’s al-Qatifa mountains, located near Damascus.

The attack occurred from Lebanese airspace. Another report said a convoy transporting weapons was targeted.

Launching preemptive attacks on the sovereign territory of another nation constitutes naked aggression, Israel guilty numerous times before. The IDF said it doesn’t respond to foreign reports. 

Israel’s Golani Brigade is notorious for ruthlessness, Ariel Sharon one of its first commanders.

Earlier, an unidentified soldier said it attracts the most criminal elements in Israeli society - including “psychopaths, the poor, orphans, Israelis who live in small towns, immigrants, illiterates, people with mental problems, drug and alcohol abusers, and people with criminal records.”

On Tuesday, Israeli ultranationalist war minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Hezbollah during a Golani exercise, saying:

“(T)his might be the best answer to all the threats and all the fiction that we hear from across the border. Those who haven’t seen the Golani Brigade exercise – better carry on hiding in an underground bunker.”

On Tuesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel against attacking Lebanon, saying its fighters will strike sensitive sites in response - including the Dimona nuclear reactor and a huge ammonia storage tank in Haifa.

“In the face of Israel’s threats to destroy Lebanon’s infrastructure, we will not abide by red lines,” he stressed. “We are not advocates of war. We are in the defense position,” he added.

Israeli intelligence minister Yisrael Katz threatened to target “all of Lebanon” in response to a Hezbollah attack.

Israel is a ruthless rogue state, the region’s biggest threat, especially with strong US 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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Trump Plans Mass Deportations

Trump Plans Mass Deportations

by Stephen Lendman

Obama was notoriously called America’s “deporter-in-chief” for conducting sweeping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids nationwide - expelling record numbers, more than all his predecessors combined.

He largely targeted undocumented Mexicans and Central Americans, averaging over 1,000 deportations daily - people in the United States because destructive NAFTA and DR-CAFTA trade deals destroyed their jobs at home, or sought asylum from domestic violence and chaos.

Trump appears bent on exceeding Obama’s viciousness. Thousands of new ICE and border patrol agents are being hired. Stepped up sweeping raids will follow, more than already.

Family members will be separated, including spouses from each other and children from parents. 

Under new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) guidelines, ICE agents have broad latitude to arrest and detain undocumented and legal immigrants with offenses on their record as minor as traffic violations or alleged long ago inconsequential misdemeanors.

New guidelines cover interior and border enforcement. Immigrants of color have cause for concern, especially Latinos.

According to the Migration Policy Institute, over half of nearly two million immigrants legally in America have past offenses on their records - in many cases minor infractions or wrongful charges.

US prisons hold mostly nonviolent offenders - either wrongfully convicted, incarcerated for illicit drug related charges, or other minor ones  most developed countries punish by small fines or community service, not hard time locked in cages.

DHS guidelines prioritize deporting immigrants who’ve allegedly abused public benefits, or “in the judgment of an immigration officer,” misrepresented themselves or “otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”

ICE agents are being given sweeping authority to target, arrest, detain and abuse immigrants for their ethnicity and race ahead of mass deportations.

Millions are vulnerable to police state mistreatment. DHS will “no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.”

“The Department will no longer afford Privacy Act rights and protections to persons who are neither US citizens nor lawful permanent residents.”

“…ICE is committed to arresting and processing all removable aliens.” Many details remain to be determined. Roundups and deportations will be expedited.

Expect lots of immigrants to be harmed, including many here lawfully, because sweeping arrests grab legal and undocumented individuals alike, besides separating family members.

How dozens of so-called sanctuary cities will be affected remains to be seen. Their authorities refuse to help round up undocumented immigrants.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals still protects them from deportation - young people referred to as Dreamers.

Trump promised an enhanced get tough on immigrants policy. Millions potentially are vulnerable.

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.