Saturday, June 25, 2016

Brexit Postmortems

Brexit Postmortems

by Stephen Lendman

Disruptive Brexit reverberations will be around a long time - even though in the end Britain isn’t likely to leave the EU, not as long as powerful monied interests oppose it.

How things play out in the months ahead remain to be seen. Expect surprises along the way, maybe a major false flag diverting attention from separation, enlisting public support for unity against an invented enemy.

Confrontation with Russia and/or China would serve the same purpose. So would manufactured economic and financial turmoil, perhaps likely given inflated asset valuations, gold resurfacing as a safe haven. 

Crisis focuses public attention away from where power brokers don’t want it to go to where they want it directed. Shock waves work the same way every time. They’ve begun. 

Meanwhile, UK and US media commented in the aftermath of Brexit voting. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted, saying the EU must not fall into “depression and paralysis” going forward, adding “(w)e won’t let this Europe be taken away from us.”

On Saturday, founding EU members Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands are meeting in Berlin - Steinmeier hosting his counterparts, discussing what’s next after Brits voted for Brexit.

On Monday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host EU President Donald Tusk, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and French President Francois Hollande - ahead of 27 EU leaders (excluding Britain’s Cameron) meeting in Brussels for two days.

The BBC commented on what other European media said. France’s Le Monde headlined “Brexit wins, the markets fall.”

Weekly news magazine Le Point called Thursday’s vote “an earthquake in Europe.” Le Figaro headlined “the result is irreversible,” quoting Serge Gainsbourg’s song title “je t’aime…moi non plus (I love you…me neither).”

Liberation declared “Europe will never be the same again.” Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung said Europe “may be plunged into the worst crisis in its history.” Maybe its editors forgot about WW I and II.

Der Tagesspiegel fears a “worst-case scenario” - a “chain reaction” of other countries following Britain’s lead.

Italy’s La Stampa reported on “24 hours in which the world has changed.” Spain’s El Paos said Brexit “requires reconstruction of the EU,” citing an “accumulation of threats…”

According to La Razon, Thursday’s vote “obliges Brussels to redefine a common project that is now in crisis,” claiming possible “Brexit epidemic.”

The BBC said Brexit “reverberations…are felt beyond Europe.” Ahead of Thursday’s vote, London’s Guardian claimed “running wild risks is not British…The EU referendum is like a vote taking place in another country entirely…”

In the vote’s aftermath, London’s Independent headlined “Britain’s future now hangs in the balance - and unfortunately there’s little room for optimism.”

The London-based Financial Times said “Britain turns its back on Europe…swe(eping) away 50 years of foreign policy,” calling the Brexit vote “a moment of extraordinary political upheaval.”

Anti-Brexit NYT editors criticized Thursday’s vote, saying “(d)efying the warnings of every major economic and political institution in Britain, Europe and the United States, millions of voters across Britain concluded that a gamble on a dangerous unknown was better than staying with a present over which they felt they had lost control.” 

Neocon Washington Post editors stressed “(s)topping dark forces in our post-Brexit world,” wondering what’s next for Europe?

The Wall Street Journal said “ ’Brexit’ sen(t) shockwaves across Europe…spark(ing) an immediate political crisis in Britain…”

When all is said and done in the months ahead, Brexit won’t likely happen because powerful interests oppose it. 

Thursday’s referendum was non-binding. Parliamentarians representing entrenched interests have final say.

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.

Trump Endorses Israeli Land Theft, Opposes Palestinian Statehood

Trump Endorses Israeli Land Theft, Opposes Palestinian Statehood

by Stephen Lendman

Trump and Clinton agree more than disagree on major issues, despite both presidential aspirants and media scoundrels suggesting otherwise, serving as a collective mouthpiece for a she devil, war criminal, racketeer menace.

Trump’s only redeeming quality is he’s not her, hardly a reason to support him. The presidential contest between two deplorable candidates should encourage groundswell campaigning for none of the above - urging voters choose from among independent aspirants or opt out.

Their one-sided support for Israel, contemptuous of Palestinian rights, is one of many reasons to reject them.

Clinton is like Obama - backing unlimited settlement expansions while claiming otherwise, rejecting peace while faking support, and opposing Palestinian statehood while pretending to back it.

Trump is much the same - one-sidedly pro-Israel, anti-Palestinian, clear in an interview his co-advisor on Israeli affairs David Friedman gave Haaretz.

As president, he’d support lawless Israeli annexation of West Bank land, rejecting Palestinian statehood as a US national security interest, according to Friedman, likely to become Trump’s ambassador to Israel if he defeats Clinton.

His policy on Israel/Palestine is contradictory, incompatible with conflict resolution - saying he’ll try to achieve peace while undermining it by supporting unlimited settlement expansions on stolen Palestinian land, a formula for endless conflict.

He’ll only endorse Palestinian statehood with Israel’s consent on its terms, mindless of the rights of a long-suffering people under illegal occupation harshness.

“This is an issue that Israel has to deal with on its own because it will have to deal with the consequences,” said Friedman. Trump’s “feeling about Israel is that it is a robust democracy” - ignoring its Zionist zealotry, its apartheid viciousness, its contempt for rule of law principles. 

“The Israelis have to make the decision on whether or not to give up land to create a Palestinian state,” Trump insists, according to Friedman. “If (they) don’t want to do it, he doesn’t think they should do it. It is their choice…He does not think it is an American imperative for it to be an independent Palestinian state.”

All that matter for Trump is what Israel wants. If it deems a Palestinian state desirable “to enhance (its) longterm security - which I think we are very skeptical about…we will respect this decision,” Friedman explained.

What Palestinians want and deserve doesn’t matter. Friedman saying Trump “has no doubt that Israel wants peace” runs counter to hard, indisputable facts. He has things backwards.

Like America, Israel needs invented enemies, confrontation, instability and state-sponsored terror to advance its imperial agenda. Peace and stability defeat it.

As president, Trump would offer one-sided support like previous US leaders, fundamental Palestinian rights considered unimportant.

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.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Trump, Clinton and Sanders on Brexit

Trump, Clinton and Sanders on Brexit

by Stephen Lendman

During his April London visit, Obama opposed Brexit, touting nonexistent “single market” benefits.

Trump backed Brexit, saying in response to Thursday’s vote “they took back their country. It’s a great thing…fantastic.” 

“People are angry all over the world,” suggesting other EU countries may follow Britain’s lead.

He failed to explain what’s most important. Thursday’s Brexit vote was non-binding. Parliament alone has final say on whether Britain remains in the EU or leaves - a lengthy process to unfold slowly over the coming months, likely well into a new US administration.

The jury is out but looks virtually certain to reject Brexit. Money-controlled special interests want EU unity remaining intact.

Clinton opposes Brexit, her senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan weeks earlier, saying she “believes that transatlantic cooperation is essential, and the cooperation is strongest when Europe is united.”

She has always valued a strong United Kingdom in a strong EU. And she values a strong British voice in the EU.”

She and others like her want Europe remaining a de facto US colony, sovereign independent countries prevented.

Sanders tried having things both ways, in late April saying “let the British people make their own decisions,” then adding:

“I think the European Union obviously is a very, very important institution. I would hope that they stay in” - lending imperial support like always.

In a previous article, I said union, not Brexit, threatens world peace and stability. Sovereign independence is sacred. Sacrificing it to an external authority is incompatible with democratic freedoms, societies left vulnerable to tyranny.

US-dominated NATO is the main source of global conflicts, related violence, instability, chaos and human misery.

I suggested if all 50 US states never united to create America, we’d likely have world peace, not permanent wars.

Paul Craig Roberts calls the EU and NATO “evil institutions.” Breaking them up may be the only way to prevent WW III, a major threat if Clinton succeeds Obama.

Putin was quoted, saying “(f)irst there was Bush senior in power, then Bush junior. (Bill) Clinton was (US president) two times in a row.”

“Now his wife has ambitions. (T)he family might stay in power. As they say in Russia, a husband and wife are the same Satan.”

In response to David Cameron, saying he “might be happy” with Brexit, he responded sharply, saying “I believe that this is nothing but a bad attempt to influence the public opinion in one’s own country.”

“But, as we have seen, it failed to achieve the expected effect. Still more so, after the voting nobody has the right to say anything about Russia’s position. This is nothing but evidence of a low level of political culture.”

“The way I see it, we have been very decent all the way. We closely followed what was happening, but in no way influenced that process or even tried to do that” - calling Cameron’s claim entirely baseless.

People are dissatisfied with policies harming their welfare. They “want to be more independent.” 

Putin expects nothing catastrophic following Thursday’s vote, fear-mongering misplaced despite current market turbulence.

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.

Blaming Putin for Brexit Vote

Blaming Putin for Brexit Vote

by Stephen Lendman

Irresponsible Putin bashing is a virtual cottage industry, blaming him for almost anything a constant Western headline theme.

Following Brits voting for Brexit, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said Putin and ISIS “might be happy” with the outcome. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond accused him welcoming a British exit.

Ahead of Thursday’s vote, US-supported Putin antagonist Garry Kasparov called Brexit “the perfect gift for Vladimir Putin. An EU without Britain is exactly what the Russian president wants, a weakened institution with less power to confront his assaults on Europe’s borders.”

Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted “(s)hocked by Brexit vote! Losers: EU, UK, US, those that believe in unity of a strong, united, democratic (sic) Europe. Winners: Putin.”

“I genuinely complement Putin for his victory tonight on Brexit. Tonight is a giant victory for Putin’s foreign policy objectives.”

Astonishing comments - out of line, irresponsible, offensive and plain wrong! Whatever his personal views, Putin, of course, had nothing to do with Brexit voting.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented, calling Thursday’s vote “a purely intra-British and intra-EU problem.”

“It is evident that the British people should make a difficult, fateful choice. Its decision will surely seriously affect the future of Great Britain and the EU on the whole.”

“At that, really respecting the choice of the people of this or that country, we proceed from the fact that the choice should take place without any pressure, all the more so from outside.”

“So we are respectfully watching the Britons holding this important referendum. When its results are summed up, it will be possible to make relevant assessments.”

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(w)e have already got(ten) accustomed to the Russian factor (as) one of persistent tools in the US election campaign. But (its) use or (injecting) President Putin in the Brexit issue is new for us.”

He noted how many times Russia’s leader stressed having cooperative relations with the EU and its member countries, adding:

“In speaking about Britain in particular, then of course we are interested that our relations, which are rather deplorable now, (be) revived and become…mutually beneficial.”

“Russia has repeatedly signaled its readiness to show the necessary flexibility, but (it) has its limits. It is not boundless.”

“We welcome the wish of the (British) parliamentarians to talk as the way out of those difficult situations in which we get involved sometimes can be found only in dialogue.”

US pressure created Western adversarial relations with Russia, a reckless policy risking eventual confrontation - perhaps likely if Clinton succeeds Obama.

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.

Brexit Surprise

Brexit Surprise

by Stephen Lendman

Polls predicted a close vote. London bookmakers put odds strongly against Brexit. State controlled BBC and other major UK media one-sidedly promoted remaining in the EU, suggesting disaster otherwise.

The final vote, announced early Friday morning, was leave 51.9%, stay 48.1%. Turnout was 71.8%, 30 million Brits voting, the highest electoral participation rate since 1992.

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage hailed what he called Britain’s “independence day.” The Tory-led remain camp called it a “catastrophe.”

Farage called for Cameron’s immediate replacement, saying “(w)e have to have a Brexit prime minister.” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty should be invoked straightaway, the legally binding mechanism for permitting the lengthy Brexit process to begin. A previous article explained. 

In the cold light of day, nothing so far changed or likely will - despite a hugely negative market reaction, including sterling plunging to a 30-year low.

The Bank of England said it’s working with other central banks to preserve financial stability as markets plunged following the Brexit vote.

ECB president Mario Draghi earlier said he was “ready for all contingencies.” UK Prime Minister David Cameron said he’ll resign in October.

“I will do everything I can…to steady the ship over the coming weeks and months, but I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” he announced. 

In my view we should aim to have a new prime minister in place by the start of the Conservative Party conference in October.”

A negotiation with the European Union will need to begin under a new prime minister, and I think it's right that this new prime minister takes the decision about when to trigger Article 50 and start the formal and legal process of leaving the EU.”

Former Tory London mayor Boris Johnson reportedly wants his job. Claims about a historic divorce, Britain in “unchartered territory” are wildly exaggerated. 

Thursday’s vote was non-binding. Parliament alone has final say on Brexit or remaining in the EU - the latter extremely likely as things settle down in the weeks and months ahead.

Invoking Article 50 begins the legal process for Brexit, a lengthy procedure lasting up to two years maximum unless extended by unanimous agreement.

Money-controlled special interests will decide what happens ahead, not a popular majority calling for Brexit. Ordinary people have no say over affairs of state. Believing otherwise is foolhardy. 

Odds strongly favor Britain remaining in the EU. Rupturing the union is unlikely in the cards.

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.

Sanders in New York

Sanders in New York

by Stephen Lendman

His so-called “where we go from here speech” fell short, repeating warmed-over themes highlighted throughout his campaign - ones he largely failed to support during 30 years in public office.

His record shows a deplorable habit of saying one thing, then doing another, destroying his credibility. His populist rhetoric rings hollow.

Days earlier, he acknowledged Clinton becoming Democrat party presumptive standard bearer, saying “(i)t doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee, so I’m not going to be determining the scope of the convention.”

Endorsing her is virtually certain. He’ll choose the time and place to announce it - betraying his loyal supporters, backing an unindicted war criminal/racketeer, proving beyond a shadow of a doubt his so-called crusade for change is phony.

“We have got to work tirelessly to make sure Donald Trump is not president,” he ranted - code language for supporting Clinton, the most recklessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history, WW III a coin flip if she’s elected, Sanders ignoring the major threat of our time. World peace hangs in the balance.

Throughout Obama’s tenure, Sanders supported his deplorable agenda, including endless wars of aggression, corporate favoritism and police state harshness - a Clinton administration likely to exceed the worst of his policies.

His issue isn’t stopping Trump. It’s loyalty to Democrat party bosses, supporting its presumptive presidential nominee, opposing any GOP one.

He sounded buffoon-like, saying “I’ll run around the entire country if I have to. It is hard to imagine a man who has such limited capabilities becoming president.”

He’s a billionaire businessman. His disturbing rhetoric aside, no public record exists to judge him. Clinton’s agenda as me-first lady, US senator and secretary of state is too deplorably lawless to tolerate - a rage for power and super-wealth, representing what Sanders claims to oppose.

Ignore his rhetoric. Examine his House and Senate voting record - on the wrong side of major issues time and again, notably supporting imperial lawlessness.

Maintaining the myth of his so-called “political revolution” persists, smoke and mirrors without substance, rhetoric without follow-through.

America needs real anti-war, populist champions. Duopoly power governance excludes them, Sanders a loyal soldier, supporting what demands committed resistance. 

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.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Strategic Sino/Russian Relations

Strategic Sino/Russian Relations

by Stephen Lendman

Ahead of Putin’s June 25 state visit to China to discuss growing bilateral ties and issues of mutual concern with his counterpart Xi Jinping, he was interviewed by Xinhua at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) last week.

After Soviet Russia’s dissolution in 1991, both countries established “constructive partnership” relations in 1992, followed by a 1996 “strategic partnership,” and a treaty of “friendship and cooperation” in 2001.

Putin earlier remarked about special Sino/Russian relations, telling Xinhua last week both countries “see each other as close allies, so, of course, we always listen to each other. By this I mean we keep in mind each other’s interests.”

Last year, he met with Xi five times, collaborating closely on matters of mutual interest and concern. He told Xinhau Sino/Russian relations are “at a very high level…an unprecedented level of mutual trust (and) collaboration.” 

“To say we have strategic cooperation is not enough anymore,” he explained. “This is why we have started talking about a comprehensive partnership and strategic collaboration.” 

“ ‘Comprehensive’ means that we work virtually on all major avenues. ‘Strategic’ means that we attach enormous inter‑governmental importance to this work.”

He called Xi his “good friend and a reliable partner.” Both leaders share similar views on vital issues. “This similarity or coincidence is backed by concrete work, including efforts on the technical level,” he explained. “We are in constant contact, and we consult on global and regional issues.”

Over two dozen Sino/Russian subcommittees and intergovernmental commissions operate the same way, their goal to foster mutual cooperation and find solutions to matters of mutual interest, Putin explained.

Both countries are moving in the right direction, he stressed, including diversifying their ties, “making them more sophisticated, and paying more attention to the high-tech area of our collaboration.”

“I am looking forward to substantive negotiations, intensive ones. They are always held in an atmosphere of amity and mutual trust.”

He noted Xi launched a new Silk Road initiative, “aimed at increasing cooperation with all countries of the world” - mainly with Russia and other neighboring ones “because wherever the road goes, it first runs through” these nations.

He noted talks are on two tracks - bilateral and with the Eurasian Economic Union, five nations comprising an integrated single market.

China intends increasing its involvement in Russia’s energy market, its investments furthering mutual ties, Putin explained.

Sino/Russian collaboration in international affairs contributes to the stability of world affairs,” he stressed, a vital counterweight to America’s drive for world hegemony, the greatest threat to world peace - my words, not his. I doubt he’d disagree.

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.

Another Cold-Blooded Israeli Murder with Impunity

Another Cold-Blooded Israeli Murder with Impunity

by Stephen Lendman

Racist US and Israeli policies bear striking similarities. Cops in America turned Black and Latino communities into battlegrounds, virtual war theaters, killing with impunity - rarely ever held accountable for cold-blooded murder and other forms of brutality.

Israel operates the same way, soldiers, police and other security forces authorized to kill or brutalize Palestinians for any reason or none at all. Investigations when conducted are farcical, whitewashed, justice systematically denied.

Mahmoud Badran, aged 15, is Israel’s latest victim, murdered by Israeli soldiers, the unprovoked attack wounding four of his cousins. Three others with them were unharmed.

Initially an IDF spokesperson lied, saying live fire was used against “terrorists” throwing stones. Badran and his cousins were driving home from late night swimming, threatening no one.

A revised IDF statement said they were “mistakenly” fired on, an investigation into the incident underway, whitewash certain, accountability a nonstarter.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry turned truth on its head, saying “(i)f it were not for the difficult security situation which is entirely the result of incitement and Palestinian terror, Israel would not be forced to use force in order to protect its civilians.”

B’Tselem called the incident “a direct result of military policy which enables, despite the official prohibition in the open-fire regulations, to use deadly fire even in cases where there is no threat to life and even when the soldiers have other, non-lethal, means at their disposal.”

Its field researcher Iyad Hadad said soldiers used heavy fire at a moving vehicle without justification. Badran was killed instantly. Wounded cousin Hadi Badran said the following:

“I was sitting in the middle seat. We came up to the underpass under the Road 443 bridge. Everything was normal and there was nothing suspicious. Suddenly we were under fire.” 

“I looked at the direction the fire was coming from and saw a white civilian car. There were two people there, in civilian clothing, and they were the ones shooting at us.” 

“There were a lot of shots. The bullets hit the car and shattered the windows. We got hit and started screaming. I put my head down between the seats. Immediately after that, the driver crashed into the underpass supporting wall.”

His wounded cousin Dawood Badran gave a similar account. B’Tselem said Israeli soldiers obstructed medical help from aiding the wounded, adding:

“(S)oldiers unlawfully fired at the moving car, in violation of the open-fire regulations, which permit use of deadly fire only in circumstance of a clear and immediate threat to life, which was not the case in this incident.”

Witnesses reported massive live fire at a non-threatening vehicle - in the wrong place at the wrong time, all too commonplace in Occupied Palestine, residents at risk of injury, death or kidnapping at all times, denied judicial redress for state-sponsored crimes.

B’Tselem explained what happened “is a direct result of military policy (enabling) use of deadly fire…even when soldiers have other, non-lethal, means at their disposal.”

Regime officials at the highest levels support cold-blooded murder - on the phony pretext of fighting terrorism. State-sponsored high crimes are considered self-defense.

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.

Brexit Referendum Is Non-Binding

Brexit Referendum Is Non-Binding 

by Stephen Lendman

All the fuss and bother about Brexit largely ignores its non-binding status - parliament, not voters deciding if Britain stays or leaves the EU, the latter extremely unlikely.

Writing in the Financial Times, British lawyer David Allen Green explained Brexit voting is “advisory,” not “mandatory.” Parliament has final say.

MPs can legally disregard the public’s will either way, they alone empowered to decide the path Britain chooses. 

What happens ahead is “a matter of politics not law. It will come down to what is politically expedient and practicable,” said Green.

Various options exist, including supporting Thursday’s outcome, ignoring it, or “re-negotiating another deal and put(ting) that to another referendum” - repeating the process “until voters eventually vote the ‘right’ way,” what’s best for monied interests, not them.

Invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty is another matter entirely, legally binding, unlike Thursday’s vote. It states as follows:

“1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. 

That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.”

Green highlighted key points. Member states can choose how to vote on withdrawal - by referendum, parliament or other means.

The withdrawal process begins with formal notification. Once “given, the member state and the EU are stuck with it.”

Member states wishing to withdraw have up to two years maximum to complete the process “unless this period is extended by unanimous agreement.”

Once withdrawal intentions are announced and initiated, there’s no going back. At the same time, what’s “created by international agreement can be undone” the same way.

Brussels could “come up with some muddling fudge which holds off the two year deadline,” or a new treaty amendment could be adopted.

Politics alone will drive what happens ahead, not the will of the people. Britain is no more democratic than America - nor are any other EU countries.

Special interests decide things. Whatever they want they get. However voting turns out, government policy “is to remain in the EU,” said Green.

Leaving would require Prime Minister David Cameron invoking Article 50, unlikely given his vocal opposition to Brexit.

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.

Ad Hominem Campaigning

Ad Hominem Campaigning

by Stephen Lendman

Candidates attacking each other goes with the territory. Trump and Clinton appear heading for new mean-spirited lows.

The race for the White House promises perhaps to be the nastiest in memory - back-and-forth ad hominem bashing in lieu of straight talk on issues mattering most.

America is a hugely corrupted money-controlled one-party state with two wings, governance serving everyone equitably a nonstarter, democracy pure fantasy. 

Voters in November get to choose between the most widely ever reviled presidential aspirants in US history - unfit for any public office.

However things turn out, America’s deplorable state will worsen. Pure evil best describes it, humanity’s greatest threat. 

Endless wars will continue, wealth, power and privilege exclusively served, popular needs and interests be damned - likely more than ever before, nonbelievers facing police state harshness.

Dueling Trump and Clinton addresses bashing each other (he on Wednesday, she on Tuesday) showed what voters can look forward to during summer/fall campaigning, everything carefully pre-scripted, designed to deceive. 

Candidates worthy of support discussing real issues are nowhere in sight - both presidential aspirants self-serving, seeking power and greater wealth, assuring four more deplorable years whoever wins. Ordinary people already lost.

Does anyone with any sensibility believe Trump claiming he’s “running to give back to this country which has been so good to” him. He spent his entire business career amassing super-wealth without concern for popular interests.

All candidates hype jobs creation - full-time industrial and other high-pay, good-benefit ones largely gone, rotten part-time/temp ones replacing them.

America increasingly resembles Guatemala, thirdworldized, privileged few benefitting at the expense of most others. Protracted Main Street Depression conditions exist by design, popular needs going begging, bipartisan complicity ignoring them.

Poverty is a growth industry, households one missed paycheck away from homelessness, hunger and desperation.

Trump is wrong saying “it’s not the political system that’s rigged.” He’s right saying “(i)t’s the whole economy…rigged by big donors who want to keep down wages…businesses…leav(ing) our country…bureaucrats…trapping kids in failing schools.”

He’s right calling Clinton “a world class liar,” failing to explain all politicians and would-be ones operate the same way.

Claiming he’s running to put American workers first is pure rubbish. The less they’re paid, the fewer their benefits, the more corporate predators profit, his businesses like others.

“This election will decide whether we are ruled by the people or by the politicians,” he ranted. “If I am elected president, I will end the special interest monopoly in Washington, DC.” 

Does anyone take him seriously? Billionaires aren’t ordinary people. Special interests run America. Clinton bashing followed, “politics of personal profit and theft” her specialty, he said.

True enough, Trump right saying she cashed in big from government service, she and husband Bill making millions - at the same time, ignoring their high crimes, waging war on humanity at home and abroad, an agenda he’ll continue as president.

He won’t explain. I just did, he and Clinton cut out of the same cloth, differing largely in style. No one becomes presidential material without being part of the dirty system.

Trump claiming he wants to “mak(e) America great again for all Americans” belies his dirty business as usual intentions. He’s like all the rest, making promises he’ll break straightaway if elected.

Clinton attacked his economic agenda, ignoring her own deplorable record, beholden solely to Wall Street, war profiteers and other big monied interests, calling his ideas ill-considered, offering none of her own beyond rhetoric without substance.

She’s been bought over by special interests too many times to count throughout her public life.

“We cannot put a person like this, with all his empty promises, in a position of power over our lives,” she ranted. “We can’t let him bankrupt America like we are one of his failed casinos.”

The nation was morally, ethically and politically bankrupt from inception, a democracy in name only. 

Today we’d call its founders a Wall Street crowd - including self-serving bankers, lawyers, politicians, as well as wealthy land and slave owners - conditions since the 1990s worst of all.

Trump or Clinton succeeding Obama assures four more years of war, greater corporate favoritism at the expense of popular needs and interests, along with ending what remains of constitutional protections.

The state of America already is too deplorable to bear, a nation unfit and unsafe to live in, threatening world peace and stability - worse ahead whether Trump or Clinton succeeds Obama.

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.