Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Amnesty International Misreporting on Obama's War on Syria

Amnesty International Misreporting on Obama’s War on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

At various times throughout years of US-launched aggression on Syria, using terrorists as proxy foot soldiers, Amnesty International (AI) pointed fingers the wrong way.

Last December, without justification, it turned truth on its head, claiming “Russian air strikes in Syria have killed hundreds of civilians and caused massive destruction in residential areas, striking homes, a mosque and a busy market, as well as medical facilities, in a pattern of attacks that show evidence of violations of international humanitarian law.”

It irresponsibly blamed Moscow for high crimes committed by imported death squads and US-led coalition warplanes.

Despite no corroborating evidence, it claimed “Russian authorities may have lied to cover up civilian damage to a mosque from one air strike and a field hospital in another.” 

“It also documents evidence suggesting Russia’s use of internationally banned cluster munitions and of unguided bombs in populated residential areas.”

According to its Middle East/North Africa director Philip Luther, “(s)ome Russian air strikes appear to have directly attacked civilians or civilian objects by striking residential areas with no evident military target and even medical facilities, resulting in deaths and injuries to civilians. Such attacks may amount to war crimes.”

Russia uses precision weapons. It scrupulously avoids striking civilian targets. It has verifiable photographic proof of all its airstrikes.

AI claiming its warplanes bomb civilian targets amounts to malicious lying. US warplanes and terrorists it supports consistently attack residential communities, hospitals, schools and other nonmilitary sites.

AI blaming Russia and Syria for these high crimes falsifies reality on the ground, including saying they used “internationally banned deadly cluster munitions.”

In late February, AI falsely accused Russia of some of the most “egregious” war crimes in decades, its crisis response director, Tirana Hassan, saying “(w)e’ve documented (sic) strikes on schools, strikes on hospitals and civilian homes.”

“One of the most egregious parts of what Russia and the Syrian forces are doing is they’re bombing these civilian targets when it itself is a war crime.”

“But then they’ve been looping around - and this is a consistent report that there are second bombardments - which then have been injuring and killing humanitarian workers and just civilians who are going in to actually evacuate the wounded and the dead.”

Moscow categorically rejects these falsified accusations. In early May, AI was at it again, claiming “Russian and Syrian government forces systematically targeted hospitals in opposition-controlled areas around Aleppo as a strategy of war. As the ceasefire unravels, such blatant breaches of international law must not be allowed to continue.”

Throughout over five years of Obama’s war, civilians and nonmilitary sites were repeatedly targeted, including with chemical and other banned weapons.

Washington, its Western and regional rogue partners, as well as terrorists groups they support bear full responsibility. AI lacks credibility claiming otherwise.

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: 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.

B'Tselem Stops Filing Complaints, Calls Israeli Law Enforcement a Whitewash Mechanism

B’Tselem Stops Filing Complaints, Calls Israeli Law Enforcement a Whitewash Mechanism

by Stephen Lendman

With rare exceptions, Israel violates the letter and spirit of international law and its own when it comes to Palestinian rights.

Extremist settlers commit assaults and vandalism against them with virtual impunity. Occupied Palestinians and Arab citizens are treated one way, Jews another, justice entirely denied, things today worse than ever.

Arab-hating fascists running Israel created hellish conditions for Palestinians, treating them the way Hitler treated Jews.

For over 25 years, B’Tselem reported abusive treatment to Israel’s Military Advocate General (MAG), a fruitless effort for justice, its noblel one now ended, the group saying “there is no longer any point” in seeking judicial redress under a system whitewashing crimes of Jews against Palestinians.

Military law enforcement only investigates incidents involving soldiers 'breach(ing) orders or directives” given them. A crime is only a crime when Israel says so.

Otherwise, it’s considered justifiable action, Palestinian rights entirely ignored. Even under its narrowly defined system, it consistently fails badly..

Since the second intifada began in September 2000, B’Tselem said it “demanded an investigation in 739 cases in which soldiers killed, injured, or beat Palestinians, used them as human shields, or damaged (their) property.”

A 3% conviction rate followed, punishment most often only hand-slaps. Virtually never are higher ranking soldiers held accountable, even when clear evidence shows guilt of cold-blooded murder.

Israeli torturers of Palestinians during interrogations freely commit high crimes against humanity with impunity. The system is too racist and corrupted to fix, accountability nearly always unattainable.

Israeli criminality against Palestinians is whitewashed, virtually no effort made to collect evidence and seek justice. What soldiers say alone matters, statements by witnesses explaining crimes against Palestinians ignored.

Investigations into serious offenses are routinely compromised, soldiers granted sweeping immunity, international law systematically violated.

Abused Palestinians and/or their families are denied their right to file complaints with Israel’s Military Police Investigations Unit (MPIU).

Human rights groups or attorneys must do it for them. Processing takes months, at times years, outcomes virtually always the same.

Israeli claims about MPIU doing all it can to investigate properly and bring offenders to justice is polar opposite truth. According to B’Tselem “report after report, committee after committee, the discourse in itself creates the illusion of movement toward changing and improving the system.”

“This illusory movement allows officials both inside and outside the system to make statements about the importance of the stated goal of enforcing the law on soldiers, while the substantive failures remain as they were and most cases continue to be closed with no measures taken.”

Justice is afforded Jews alone, denied Palestinians virtually always. B’Tselem’s best efforts achieved little at best, nothing changing an institutionalized racist system.

It “will no longer play a part in the pretense posed by the military law enforcement system and will no longer refer complaints to it.” 

“The experience we have gained, on which we base the conclusions presented in this report, has brought us to the realization that there is no longer any point in pursuing justice and defending human rights by working with a system whose real function is measured by its ability to continue to successfully cover up unlawful acts and protect perpetrators.”

Documenting and reporting on Israeli human rights abuses in Occupied Palestine will continue. “The fight for human rights will be better served by denouncing this system and exposing it for what it is,” B’Tselem stressed.

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: 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.

Chelsea Manning Seeks Overturn of Wrongful Conviction

Chelsea Manning Seeks Overturn of Wrongful Conviction

by Stephen Lendman

Manning was wrongfully imprisoned for courageously revealing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan Pentagon officials want suppressed.

Responsible parties got medals and promotions. Manning got prison. Show trial proceedings sentenced her to 35 years behind bars. 

Rogue states honor their worst, persecute their best, Manning one of thousands of US political prisoners.

Lawyers representing her filed a motion before the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals, calling her 2013 conviction unconstitutional, arguing it should be overturned.

One count was based on allegedly violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), aimed at holding individuals involved in breaking into computer systems responsible, what Manning didn’t do.

She was convicted on 19 counts, including one under CFAA. In a 209-page filing, lawyers argued her punishment is grossly unfair and unprecedented.

Government prosecutors portraying her as a traitor and endangering American lives was a gross perversion of truth.

Whistleblowers revealing government wrongdoing deserve praise, not prosecution. At the time of her conviction, ACLU lawyer Ben Wizner called prosecuting her largely under the Espionage Act unjustified.

It’s a long ago outdated WW I relic with no justifiable relevancy today. It should have been declared null and void long ago.

Her appeal states she revealed evidence of US war crimes “because under the circumstances she thought it was the right thing to do.”

“She believed the public had a right to know about the toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the loss of life, and the extent to which the government sought to hide embarrassing information of its wrongdoing.”

One of her attorneys, Nancy Hollander, called her “a very brave courageous young woman to have done what she did and to write about it.” 

“She did what she believed was right in a very difficult situation. What happened with her is really an outrageous sentence, especially when you compare it to others.”

She’s currently imprisoned at Fort Leavenworth, KS. Last week, her legal team comprised of Nancy Hollander, Vincent Ward and US Army Captain David Hammond, filed a brief, taking “nearly three years of hard work pouring over the tens of thousands of pages of transcript and court filings to put this magnum opus together,” Manning explained.

It asked for dismissal of all charges, or a much shorter sentence imposed. Reasons cited included:

  • pre-trial harsh solitary confinement conditions amounting to torture;

  • sentencing based on vague evidence;

  • no evidence of theft of information;

  • “the vagueness of the definition of ‘exceeding authorized access’ “ under CFAA; and

  • no evidence that information released harmed US national security.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Open Society Justice Initiative, ACLU and Amnesty International filed separate amicus briefs on Manning’s behalf.

She said “(a)ll in all, rather than this being the end, (it’s) only the beginning.” She’s gotten thousands of letters from supporters.

“I’m so thankful for all of your support,” she said. “I’m staying strong (in the struggle for justice) because of you.”

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: 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 DID NOT down MH17, Sued Anyway

Russia DID NOT Down MH17, Sued Anyway

by Stephen Lendman

On July 14, 2014, a Ukrainian warplane downed Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) with an air-to-air missile. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board perished.

Russia and Vladimir Putin remain wrongfully blamed for what they had nothing to do with. What happened was a classic false flag - likely cooked up in Washington, using US installed Kiev putschists to do its dirty work.

No credible evidence suggests Russian responsibility. The obvious question remains unanswered. What could Moscow possibly gain from downing a commercial airliner, unrelated to combat in Donbass or its interests anywhere?

Washington, NATO and Kiev gained plenty, benefitting from wrongfully bashing Russia. Eyewitnesses on the ground saw a Ukrainian warplane trailing MH17. 

Russian radar tracked a Ukrainian SU-25 jet fighter within three km of the fated aircraft. Why did Ukrainian air traffic control let MH17 overfly a war zone? Other commercial airliners avoided it for obvious reasons.

Did Kiev authorities deliberately put MH17 in harm’s way to down it, then point fingers the wrong way at Russia? 

Did Washington and Ukrainian fascists jointly plan the incident? Further US and EU sanctions followed plus relentless, irresponsible Putin-bashing.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) investigating the incident is a front for US imperial policy. Joint Investigation Team (JIT) countries include the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine - conspiratorially allied against Russia, Washington pulling the strings behind the scene.

DSB’s final report stopped short of naming perpetrators,  suggesting Russia and Donbass freedom fighters were responsible without saying so while indicating no evidence proves it.

On Monday, Australian law firm Leitch Hasson & Dent (LHD) and its special counsel Jerry Skinner filed suit in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against Russia and Vladimir Putin on behalf of relatives of MH17 victims - seeking $10 million per passenger in damages.

The action followed New South Wales coroner Michael Barnes and Sydney, Australia lawyers fabricating charges of Russian involvement in what happened. So-called evidence alleging it is phony.

Some legal experts believe it’s unlikely the ECHR will accept the case without plaintiffs first seeking redress in Ukraine or Russia.

Kiev is an illegitimate US-installed Nazi-infested putschist regime - responsible for waging naked aggression on its own people in Donbass. Suing there or in Russia would be a farcical attempt to shift blame from where it belongs.

The incident has been entirely politicized, a thinly veiled scheme to continue bashing Russia irresponsibly. 

Expect the LHD lawsuit to go nowhere. No legitimate court would accept it.

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: 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 Obstructing Raqqa Liberation Campaign

US Obstructing Raqqa Liberation Campaign

by Stephen Lendman

Days earlier, US CENTCOM commanding General Joseph Votel secretly visited Syria. He met with Kurdish fighters and terrorist groups to coordinate strategy on preventing government forces from retaking ISIS stronghold Raqqa.

According to retired Syrian Col. Elias Ebrahim, operations to liberate Raqqa were obstructed to save ISIS fighters from being routed, wanting them preserved for future US-planned attacks.

The main reason Washington touts a political solution is to avoid joint US/Russian anti-terrorism operations.

America's demanded political transition is code language for regime change. Assad got a choice. Step down voluntarily or be forced out militarily.

According to Ebrahim, Kurdish forces said ISIS shifting fighters and military hardware from Raqqa to Deir Ezzur and oil-rich areas suggest US-led Western dirty hands manipulating things.

ISIS is transferring large numbers of its heavily armed forces to Eastern Syria, “mainly in Deir Ezzur and Eastern Homs, to save its revenues from smuggling of oil and gas,” according to Kurdish sources.

It “previously made such decisions, including retreating from al-Houl and al-Shadadi in Hasaka where the terrorist group left the battlefields without any resistance against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).”

Its decision to move from Raqqa “is in line with the US policy…which opposes the Syrian government force’ rule and control over the country's energy-rich regions in Deir Ezzur and Homs.”

So far, it transferred “12 Hummer vehicles from Raqqa to Albu Kamal in Deir Ezzur and has deployed several US-made Abrams artilleries to the village of al-Hosseiniyeh Northwestern of Deir Ezzur.”

Government forces together with Kurdish fighters launched a large-scale campaign to liberate Raqqa. Operations began Tuesday. US warplanes are protecting ISIS elements on the phony pretext of combating them.

Civilians are prevented from leaving the city. They’re used as human shields. Conditions on the ground are deplorable - inadequate or unavailable food, water, medical care and safe havens from fighting.

Sergey Lavrov called liberating Raqqa a major anti-terrorism goal. It could have been accomplished earlier if Washington hadn’t obstructed it.

Lavrov believing coordinated US/Russian military operations ahead are possible is wishful thinking. Numerous times, Pentagon and State Department spokesmen ruled it out.

Washington wants joint Russian, Syrian and Kurdish forces defeated, not aided. In 2013, ISIS captured Raqqa, declared its capital the following year.

America and its rogue partners continue aiding their fighters, along with all other anti-Assad groups.

No so-called moderate rebels exist. All anti-government forces are US-supported death squads, imported from dozens of countries.

War won’t end as long as Assad remains president and Syrian sovereign independence exists.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: 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, May 24, 2016

New Turkish Prime Minister: Longtime Erdogan Crony

New Turkish Prime Minister: Longtime Erdogan Crony

by Stephen Lendman

In early May, former Justice and Development Party (AKP) prime minister Ahmet Davugtolu was ousted in a palace coup, Erdogan removing him to solidify power. On May 22, his tenure ended.

Longtime Erdogan ally Binali Yildirim succeeds him. Previously he served as Transport, Maritime and Communication minister. In 2014 and 2015, he was a senior Erdogan advisor.

Earlier, he was Istanbul Fast Ferries Company chairman when Erdogan was city mayor - before elected to parliament in 2002. 

On May 19, Erdogan’s controlled AKP Central Executive Committee and all 1,405 members of its second Extraordinary Congress unanimously elected him prime minister during its session.

He formed Turkey’s 65th government, officially becoming prime minister on May 24 - chosen to spearhead transition from a parliamentary system to despotic presidential rule under Erdogan.

In his first address as prime minister, he said his “priority is to render the constitution more in harmony with the de-facto situation regarding our president’s ties to the people” - code language for giving him dictatorial powers.

Nine new ministers were named, retained ones known Erdogan loyalists. Yildirim promised to push ahead with his hardline agenda, including war on Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian Kurds, along his involvement in wanting Syria’s Bashar al-Assad ousted.

“We will increase the number of our friends,” he said. “We will decrease the number of our enemies,” a virtual endless war pledge.

He left no doubt where he stands, calling AKP members “comrades of Erdogan,” saying his “passion is our passion, (his) cause our cause, (his) path our path.”

“The new constitution (Erdogan wants) will be on an executive system.” So-called “anti-terror operations (sic) will end when all our citizens are safe” - when all opposition forces are eliminated.

Independent Cumhuriyet newspaper said he owns at least 28 ships, two super-yachts and 17 companies. At least one family member faced fraud and bribery charges. Earlier corruption allegations against him were later dropped.

His communications ministerial portfolio involved cracking down on free expression online, increasing Big Brother surveillance.

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: 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.

Turkish Refugee Camps: Unsafe Havens, Children Raped, Organs Sold

Turkish Refugee Camps: Unsafe Havens, Children Raped, Organs Sold

by Stephen Lendman

Last month, Germany’s Angela Merkel urged EU support for Turkish refugee camps, saying her country intends providing its own. 

She praised Turkey for “not only…provid(ing) a safe haven for millions of refugees, but also…provid(ing) them with opportunities and perspectives” -  an outrageous perversion of truth.

Her photo-op with former Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu was willful staged deception, covering up regime crimes against humanity against defenseless, largely Syrian, refugees.

European Council president Donald Tusk called “Turkey…the best example for the whole world for how we should treat refugees. Nobody should lecture Turkey on what to do.”

Amnesty International accused EU officials of ignoring horrific abuses refugees receive in Turkey - facilities more like concentration camps than safe havens, hellholes of mistreatment.

Turkish media reported about 30 boys, aged 8 - 14, were raped or sexually abused by a Nizip refugee camp worker - the country’s so-called model facility Merkel and Tusk were shown during their visit last month.

What they were allowed to see was polar opposite reality, an illusory snapshot unrelated to horrors refugees face. Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Elif Dogan Turkman called child abuse in the camp the tip of the iceberg.

Soldiers obstructed a CHP investigation team member and her colleagues from freely examining camp conditions, he said. They prevented them from speaking to parents of victimized children.

He accused Erdogan’s regime of “tolerat(ing) bribery, poverty, the threat of terrorism, and now, depravity and immorality…”

BirGun newspaper journalist Erik Acarer broke the story of mass rapes at Nizip by one camp worker identified only as “EE.” He was indicted and faces longterm imprisonment if convicted.

How many others like him remain to be outed perhaps in all Turkish camps?

On May 24, Fars News reported on Turkish refugee camps “turned into centers for raping children and selling refugees’ body organs.”

BirGun’s Ankara correspondent Yashar Idan reported on mass rapes and sexual abuse at Nizip, organs of a number of refugees sold for profit.

Ankara knows what’s going on in its “model” Nizip camp, yet does virtually nothing to stop it, EE’s indictment an exception proving the rule.

The Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) in charge of refugee camps turns a blind eye to rape and other crimes against defenseless refugees.

Brussels has no interest in protecting their rights, just keeping as many as possible out of Europe.

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: 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.

Brazil's Coup Plotters Aimed to Block Corruption Investigation


Brazil’s Coup Plotters Aimed to Block Corruption Investigation

by Stephen Lendman

US-supported coup plotters had multiple aims in mind - replacing democracy with tyranny, weakening or ending social justice programs, instituting neoliberal harshness, and undermining corruption investigations involving 303 of Brazil’s lower house members, 49 of 81 senators, and 37 of the 65-member impeachment commission.

Specifically, Brazil’s largest newspaper, Folha de Sao Paulo, obtained a taped phone conversation between Senator Romero Juca, now planning minister, and former Petrobras Transporte SA (Transperto, Brazil’s largest oil and gas transportation company) president Sergio Machado.

It took place weeks before President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment proceedings - involving bribery and money laundering Operation Car Wash corruption investigations related to the state-run Petrobras Oil giant.

Machado, Juca, and dozens of other politicians are accused of taking bribes in return for contracts awarded Petrobras at inflated prices. 

“We have to stop this shit,” Juca told Machado. “(T)he easiest solution is to” replace Rousseff with “Michel (Temer).”

Investigations “will never stop” with her in power, he said. The BBC reported he’s stepping down over the leak.

At the same time, he was quoted, saying “I want to repeal the interpretation made by Folha de Sao Paulo…I was speaking of putting an end to the paralysis of Brazil…”

According to the Intercept.com, the taped phone call reveals “profoundly incriminating statements about the real goals of impeachment and who was behind it.” 

“The crux of this plot is what Juca calls ‘a national pact’ - involving all of Brazil’s most powerful institutions  - to leave Michel Temer in place as president (notwithstanding his multiple corruption scandals) and to kill the corruption investigation once Dilma is removed.”

Juca said discussions with Brazil’s military commanders and Supreme Court justices indicated they’d support Rousseff’s removal - and deny action against her was a coup. Only one justice she appointed, Teori Zavascki, refused to go along.

Rousseff’s impeachment has “nothing to do with preserving Brazilian democracy and everything to do with destroying it,” the Intercept said.

Seven of Temer’s newly appointed ministers are being investigated for involvement in Operation Car Wash. He faces corruption charges, barring him from seeking public office for eight years.

Polls show he has near-zero public support. Brazilians want him impeached and removed. Juca admits his taped comments are authentic, while claiming they were taken out of context.

Impeaching Rousseff represents a giant leap backwards. Prospects for reversing injustice are practically nil.

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: 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 Judge Exonerates Killer Cop

US Judge Exonerates Killer Cop

by Stephen Lendman

Unaccountable killer cops nationwide turn US streets and minority communities into battlegrounds - killing 1,000 or more largely innocent victims annually, brutalizing and injuring many thousands more.

On April 12, 2015, six Baltimore cops were involved in Freddie Gray’s murder. He committed no crimes, was arrested on bogus charges, brutalized too severely in custody to save him.

His spine was 80% severed at his neck. He suffered three fractured vertebrae. His larynx was injured.

He lapsed into a coma. On April 19, 2015, he died - a week after his arrest. Street protests followed. Authorities and militarized cops responded violently as expected.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency. A curfew was imposed. 

Around 2,000 combat trained National Guard troops were deployed on Baltimore streets. After ignoring the incident and initial peaceful protests, Obama blamed victims for killer cop violence, urging justifiably angry area protesters be “treated as criminals.”

He's done nothing to address major nationwide grievances affecting America's most disadvantaged - especially persecuted, neglected and exploited Blacks and Latinos.

On May 23, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams (in a bench trial) exonerated officer Edward Nero of all charges in 25-year-old Freddie Gray’s death - including second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct.

He faces a likely whitewash police department administrative review. He was one of six cops involved in Gray’s brutalization and murder. 

William Porter’s trial last December ended in a hung jury. On June 6, officer Ceasar Goodson will be tried, followed by Brian Rice on July 5, Garrett Miller on July 27, Porter’s retrial on September 6, and Alicia White on October 13 - each on charges ranging from assault to manslaughter to murder.

Black Lives Matter figure De-Ray Mckesson twittered “#FreddieGray should be alive today.”

New York Daily News columnist Shaun King minced no words, twittering “(w)ith yet another clearance of an officer in the death of #FreddieGray - the justice system completely fails us.”

The New York Times downplayed Monday’s ruling, saying Judge Williams considered officer Nero “a bit player.” He was an accessory to cold-blooded murder, yet got off scot-free.

Cops in America kill with impunity - protecting privilege from beneficial social change. Freddie Gray’s lawless arrest and cold-blooded killing would never happen to a member of an upscale white community. 

Inner city Black ones nationwide are virtual war zones - as violent and hostile to civil and human rights as Occupied Palestine.

Change is only possible through revolutionary activism. Things are too corrupted to fix any other way.

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: 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.

Known Terrorist Visited Washington

Known Terrorist Visited Washington

by Stephen Lendman

Ahrar al-Sham operates like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra. The latter two are Security Council designated terrorist groups.

America, Britain and France blocked Ahrah al-Sham’s inclusion, providing the group with direct support along with likeminded regional ones.

On May 21, McClatchy DC headlined senior “Syrian rebel whose group is linked to al Qaida visited US,” saying he was granted permission to come, “raising questions” about the Obama administration’s choice of regional partners - and credibility for letting a known terrorist visit Washington.

Labib al Nahhas calls himself Ahrar al Sham’s foreign affairs director. Apparently he’s a valued US ally. It’s unknown who he met with.

State Department spokesman admiral John Kirby lied claim no US knowledge of his presence in Washington. He tried dismissing well-known Obama administration involvement with and direct support for terrorist groups in Syria, the region and beyond.

“We don’t discuss visa records,” he said. “In general, US officials have engaged with a range of Syrian opposition groups, including Ahrar al Sham…However, we are not going to get into the details of any such discussions.”

Ahrar al Sham is one of the largest and most ruthless terrorist groups in Syria - used along with likeminded ones as US imperial foot soldiers, Washington wanting Assad ousted, Syrian sovereignty destroyed.

The group was involved in numerous terrorist attacks, massacring defenseless civilians - with full US support and encouragement.

According to McClatchy, Nahhas freely travels to Western capitals. Media scoundrels publish his op-eds, claiming his views are moderate. No regional moderate terrorist groups exist.

Washington’s absurd reason for not wanting Ahrar al Sham designated a terrorist organization is “it would do more harm than good on the ground.”

On May 11, Washington, Britain and France blocked a Russian proposal to include Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh-al-Islam among Security Council terrorist groups.

America and its rogue allies support them in Syria and elsewhere. They undermine peace and stability while claiming otherwise.

They want endless war continued to oust Assad and destroy Syrian sovereign. Russia’s best efforts for diplomatic conflict resolution are unattainable because Washington rejects 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: 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.

Monday, May 23, 2016

America Wants a World of Vassal States

America Wants a World of Vassal States

by Stephen Lendman

America’s deplorable dark side reflects pure evil, an agenda, including:

  • endless wars on humanity, raping one country after another, murdering millions of helpless victims, creating nightmarish dystopian conditions everywhere it shows up;

  • supporting monied interests exclusively at the expense of beneficial social change, transforming America into a nation of paupers, run by super-rich elites;

  • criminalizing whistleblowers and activists for justice, systematically destroying fundamental freedoms at home and abroad, tolerating nothing interfering with its hegemonic agenda.

Lunatics in Washington fear real democracy, governance serving everyone equitably and fairly, peace and stability, nation-state sovereign independence, and mutual cooperation among all nations, a level playing field benefitting everyone.

They want a world of subservient vassal states, serving their interests exclusively, controlling global resources, exploiting populations as serfs.

Regime change is longstanding US policy - targeting all sovereign independent states, war its usual strategy of choice, other times coups, installing puppets like in Ukraine, many times assassinating “uncooperative” leaders, replacing them with convenient stooges.

America demands its choices run key world institutions - the Bank of International Settlements (the central bank for central banks), all other central banks, the IMF, World Bank and other financial institutions, the UN, the World Trade Organization, labor groups, the OECD, judicial bodies, academia, the clergy, everything everywhere.

Hegemons demand everyone worldwide march to the same drummer. Washington insists its rules alone apply, obedience demanded. Deviants are punished, independent thought and reasoning not tolerated.

Orwell’s envisioned future “imagine(d) a boot stamping on a human face forever” - Big Brother watching everyone. Huxley’s dystopian, totalitarian Brave New World portrayed one controlled by mind manipulation and soma (a narcotic drug), people assigned to certain roles, conditioned to accept them docilely.

America combines characteristics of both worlds - including a permanent state of war against invented enemies combined with police state repression, targeting nonbelievers, along with bread and circuses (soma) distracting people from what matters most.

The narcotic of weekend football, other popular sports, shopping, television with nothing to watch but watched anyway, and other favored diversions manipulate people to ignore their own welfare, accept a miserable status quo instead of demanding something better.

The courage of persecuted Palestinians is absent in America. Societies where serfs love their masters or cower under their boot aren’t fit to live in - the deplorable state of today’s America, a warrior police state, threatening humanity’s survival.

The political philosopher Montesquieu (1689 - 1755) said “(t)here is no greater tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.”

Rule of law principles no long matter in America. State terror replaced them, disguised as humanitarian intervention and democracy building, as well as maintaining order and security.

A permanent state of war exists. US streets are battlegrounds. Lunatics run things. Washington’s criminal class is bipartisan. The unthinkable is more possible than ever - humanity-destroying nuclear war.

Humans may become the first species ever to destroy themselves, exterminated by arrogance, hubris and overreach - emanating from Washington, partnered with Israel, Britain and other rogue states, ending life on earth, returning it to its state before bacteria emerged or however things began.

We’re our own worst enemies as long as lunatics in Washington run things. They’ll kill us all if not stopped.

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: 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.

CENTCOM Commander Plots Escalated War in Syria

CENTCOM Commander Plots Escalated War in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Obama waged war on Syria for regime change. Washington tolerates no sovereign independent countries.

Longstanding plans call for replacing them all with US vassal states, stealing their resources, exploiting their people.

So-called cessation of hostilities and peace talks in Syria represent willful deception, orchestrated to fail, not succeed. America intends ousting legitimate/overwhelmingly popular Bashar al-Assad forcefully.

Together with rogue NATO and regional allies, it continues arming, training, funding and directing ISIS and other terrorist groups.

US and allied combat troops together with CIA agents and hired gun paramilitaries operate on the ground illegally, aiding terrorist fighters while pretending to oppose them.

General Joseph Votel heads US CENTCOM, in charge of American Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia combat operations - launched against nations threatening no others.

Command operations are a sinkhole of endless US aggression, raping and destroying one country after another - heading toward a potentially cataclysmic showdown with Russia and China.

It’s just a matter of time before these major powers clash militarily. WW III may follow with nuclear weapons able to end life on earth.

Neocons infesting Washington intend almost anything to achieve unchallenged US global dominance. Planet earth’s survival hangs in the balance.

On Friday, Votel secretly and illegally visited Syria, meeting with Kurdish fighters and terrorist groups. Talks involved coordinating US strategy to prevent government forces from taking ISIS stronghold Raqqa - not eliminate their fighters from the area as reported.

Votel expressed confidence in accomplishing US plans, stopping short of explaining America’s goal is ousting Assad, imported death squads used as imperial foot soldiers.

When a senior US general visits a war theater, expect something big to follow. America is aiding ISIS and other terrorist groups, not combatting them.

Diplomats discuss peaceful conflict resolution. Warriors making policy in Washington, Brussels and rogue regional states plan escalated war - endless fighting until Assad is ousted, Syrian sovereignty destroyed.

Russia alone has the power, and hopefully the sustained will, to stop them. The stakes are too great for anything less.

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: 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.

Near-End to Another Dreadful US Primary Season


Near-End to Another Dreadful US Primary Season

by Stephen Lendman

Each electoral cycle, theater and deception triumph over straight talk and substance. Duopoly power candidates are virtual cookie cutouts of each other, rhetoric alone differentiating them.

Believing any Republican or Democrat candidate offers responsible change is pure fantasy.

Obama’s successor will likely accelerate policies causing so much harm to so many at home and abroad. It’s been this way since Jack Kennedy’s state-sponsored assassination.

Primary Tuesday this week is quiet, a Republican one alone in Washington signifying nothing - Trump already the presumptive party nominee.

Including her overwhelming super-delegate lead over Sanders (525 - 39), Clinton is less than 100 delegates from securing her party’s nomination.

Six primaries on June 7 should give her far more than she needs - California and New Jersey the big ones with 688 delegates at stake.

A Trump/Clinton race in November is virtually certain. Americans get to choose between a billionaire demagogue and unindicted neocon war criminal/Wall Street tool.

Expect perhaps the most rough-and-tumble, no-holds barred race in memory, candidates making promises to be broken, telling voters everything except what they need to know.

Most polls show a close race, Trump narrowing a larger lead Clinton held earlier. A new ABC News Washington Post (Langer Research conducted) poll has him ahead by two points.

According to LR, his “enhanced competitiveness reflects consolidation in his support since his primary opponents dropped out.”

The poll is the fifth in recent weeks showing he’s ahead of or tied with Clinton. He’s been steadily narrowing her lead. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows her earlier 11 point lead cut to a three-point advantage.

Both candidates are widely disliked by most voters for good reason. Whoever wins in November will likely be the most unpopular US president elect in memory.

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: 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.

Obama in Hanoi Targets China

Obama in Hanoi Targets China

by Stephen Lendman

At a Monday joint press conference with Vietnam’s President Tran Dai Quang in Hanoi, Obama announced the full lifting of a 50-year-old arms embargo, saying:

“The United States is fully lifting the ban on the sale of military equipment to Vietnam…” In 2014, the embargo was partly lifted. Hanoi hasn’t bought US weapons. It wants restrictions entirely removed to more fully normalize relations.

Obama said decisions on weapons sales will be made on a case-by-case basis. China’s state news agency Xinhua commented, saying:

“Efforts for the improvement of U.S.-Vietnam ties should be driven by common pursuit to benefit the Asia-Pacific region while generating interests to both sides, rather than a one-sided, selfish agenda that would add risks to regional peace and stability.”

America “is motivated by an insincere agenda,” using nations as tool(s) to threaten or even damage the strategic interests of a third country.”

Obama’s visit is largely about using Vietnam to America’s advantage against China. He lied claiming otherwise.

US relations with Pacific Rim nations aim to isolate Beijing, heightening tensions, escalating the risk of direct confrontation, heading things almost inevitably toward eventual war.

Washington wants access to Cam Ranh Bay and Danang ports. Both were major US bases during years of Southeast Asian war. It wants Russian regional influence curtailed. 

Vietnam allows its warships unlimited Cam Ranh Bay visits. Its aircraft have refueling rights. It provides 90% of Hanoi’s arms. Washington wants its own replacing them.

Obama’s Asia pivot aims to advance America’s military footprint aggressively - challenging China’s growing economic, political and military strength, along with checking Russia.

Beijing is increasingly concerned about Washington’s increasing militarization of the South China Sea - on the phony pretext of freedom of navigation.

Provocative US air and naval military patrols near Chinese territorial waters and airspace, along with joint exercises with area allies, increase regional tensions and instability.

Washington wants dominion over part of the world not its own. Eventual Sino-US confrontation seems inevitable.

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: 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.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Obama Visiting Scenes of US High Crimes in Asia

Obama Visiting Scenes of US High Crimes in Asia

by Stephen Lendman

On Saturday, he left Washington on a weeklong visit to Vietnam and Japan, part of his Asia pivot strategy, challenging China where America doesn’t belong.

On Monday, he’ll meet with Vietnamese officials in Hanoi, discuss trade and other bilateral relations, deliver a demagogic address, while ignoring devastating US Southeast Asia bombing, its use of Agent Orange and other banned terror weapons, killing up to four million, mostly civilians - genocide by any standard.

Vietnamese can’t ever forgive or forget, still suffering from US aggression - part of their post-WW II 30-year liberating war, ending with America’s April 1975 humiliating departure. 

Undeservedly, Obama will be treated cordially as America’s head of state. On May 25, he’ll leave for Japan, participate in his final G-7 summit in Ise-Shima, then visit Hiroshima on Friday - the first sitting US president to return to the scene of one of America’s great crimes.

The war was over, Japan in process of surrendering. Days apart, America gratuitously incinerated Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and 9, 1945).

At least 200,000 died, many others later from injuries and radiation poisoning, generations to this day harmed by radiologically caused birth defects and other serious health problems.

Truman lied, claiming both bombings hastened war’s end and saved many lives. He authorized using America’s new super-weapon in real time, testing its destructive power, displaying US strength to Soviet Russia, well along in developing its own atom bomb.

At age 11, I was too young to understand the advent of the nuclear age and potential peril it represents.

Today’s fusion thermonuclear weapons are infinitely more powerful than fission ones used on Japan, putting humanity at risk of extinction if used in future US wars.

Obama won’t apologize during his May 27 visit. According to deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes, “(h)e will not revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb…Instead, he will offer a forward-looking vision focused on our shared future.”

It includes permanent US-led wars of aggression, raping one country after another, heading for perhaps inevitable confrontation with Russia and China. If with thermonuclear weapons, humanity’s extinction is likely.

America won’t curb its militarism, its imperial madness, its intention to spend trillions of dollars upgrading its nuclear arsenal and other destructive weapons, heightening the risk of humanity destroying nuclear war.

The lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were never learned. Obama lies claiming he seeks a world without these destructive weapons.

He consistently says one thing, pursues another. The risk of catastrophic nuclear war on his watch was and remains greater than during tenures of any of his predecessors - a far greater danger if Hillary Clinton succeeds him.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: 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.

Washington Rejects Joint US/Russian Coalition Against Terrorists

Washington Rejects Joint US/Russian Coalition Against Terrorists

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s proposal for US/Russian joint operations against ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other terrorists in Syria not supporting ceasefire - as well as on convoys from Turkey supplying them with arms and munitions.

If America spurns unity against a universal scourge, Shoigu said Russia intends operating unilaterally against armed groups continuing to wage war on Syria and its people.

Surprising no one, Washington rejected Moscow’s offer, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis, saying America’s military doesn’t “collaborate or coordinate with the Russians on any operations in Syria.”

He lied claiming Moscow focuses on “supporting and enabling” Assad while America’s interest is “degrading and defeating ISIL” - the monster it created and supports.

State Department spokesman admiral John Kirby said discussions with Moscow only involve “proposals for a sustainable mechanism to better monitor and enforce the cessation of hostilities.”

He turned truth on its head blaming Syrian forces for the “vast majority” of violations. Virtually all are carried out by US supported terrorist groups.

Washington won’t ally with Russia against terrorists in Syria and elsewhere for obvious reasons. It backs the scourge it claims to oppose, providing arms, munitions, funding, training, direction and other material support.

Partnered with NATO, Saudi Arabia, Israel and other despotic regional regimes, it wants Syria transformed into another US vassal state - why Obama launched naked aggression in the first place, using terrorists as imperial foot soldiers. Moscow respects Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity.

America’s longstanding relations with Russia are adversarial. They’re enemies, not partners. Despite Moscow’s best efforts to normalize relations, top US officials and Pentagon commanders call Russia America’s leading threat, a recklessly dangerous perversion of truth.

Putin and Obama are geopolitical opposites - the world’s preeminent peace maker v. its leading aggression, both leaders promoting agendas opposite the other’s.

Washington won’t ever agree to policies diverging from its imperial objectives - achieving dominion over planet earth, its resources and populations.

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: 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.