Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Anti-Russia, Saber-Rattling NATO Commander

Anti-Russia, Saber-Rattling NATO Commander

by Stephen Lendman

US belligerence seems heading inevitably toward confrontation with Russia - despite no threat from its government or any others.

In Tuesday testimony to House Armed Services Committee members, US NATO commander General Curtis Scaparrotti said he needs more combat troops, increased naval strength, and greater numbers of heavy weapons to deter nonexistent Russian aggression.

“I am suggesting an additional division because…I need armored and mechanized brigades,” he said.

The reason a division is so important is at that level you can then have the command and control, communications capability to integrate the different domains in the way we fight.” 

“And that division brings the enablers like appropriate artillery, engineers, air defense, etc. that fill out a proper defense.”

He wants more naval power to deter “anti-submarine warfare. It would be wonderful to have a carrier support group with amphibious forces, more than I have now.”

Claiming a Russian threat is a longstanding canard for increased military spending when  large cuts are needed.

The Pentagon gave new meaning to waste, fraud and abuse. In the last 20 years since the mid-1990s, an astonishing $10 trillion went unaccounted for - hundreds of billions of dollars down a black hole annually. Yet Congress and the Pentagon want more.

If wasteful spending for militarism and endless wars of aggression was available for domestic needs, enough funding would be available to provide all Americans with free first-class healthcare, free education to the highest levels, housing for the homeless, sustenance for the food insecure, and all other vital social services.

Instead, monetary and fiscal policies are out-of-control. Epic waste reveals massive corruption. Grand theft Pentagon reflects a black hole of unaccountability.

War-profiteers never had things better. Most Americans endure hard times during unacknowledged Main Street Depression conditions, neoliberal harshness when stimulus needed making conditions worse.

Eisenhower’s farewell address message went unheeded, warning “against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

Warriors running America hold everyone hostage to their belligerent agenda. 

Their phony war on terror is used to enlist public support for endless wars on humanity at the expense of peace, equity and justice for all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Marine Le Pen Peacenik?

Marine Le Pen Peacenik?

by Stephen Lendman

Her anti-establishment-sounding comments rankle Western politicians.

Her March 24 meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow reflected support for closer ties with Russia. 

With first round presidential voting scheduled for April 23, she hopes her meeting and calls lifting sanctions will boost her popularity among undecided French voters.

“The fight against terrorism can only be effective if the largest nations stand side by side and join forces,” she said.

If elected president, she pledged withdrawal from the EU and NATO. French citizens “must have the opportunity to vote for the liberation from slavery and blackmail imposed by technocrats in Brussels to return sovereignty to the country,” she stressed.

NATO exists “to serve Washington’s (imperial) objectives.” Le Pen wants French sovereign independence restored, free from alliances harming its interests.

In February 2015, she called Brussels an “American lackey” over EU policy on Ukraine - at the time, accusing Washington of wanting “war in Europe,” along with provocatively expanding NATO to Russia’s borders, risking East-West confrontation.

EU nations “do not have the wisdom to refuse to be dependent on” America’s geopolitical agenda, she said. Europe has no sovereign independent states. 

Washington dominates them. Brussels “blackmailed” them “to choose between Europe and Russia.” War on the continent will be catastrophic, she stressed.

Last June, she called Brexit “the most important moment since the fall of the Berlin Wall.” She blasted what she called “lies of the European elites.”

“For four years, I’ve been demanding that a referendum be organized in France, to ask the French people what they think of the EU - if they want to leave,” she said. 

“The Brits got the first shot in, so to speak. If I win the presidential election, there will be a referendum...The question should be asked in every EU country.”

She blasted Obama for telling 
Brits what to do, calling his actions “shameful.”

“We paid a high price to defend our freedom…We made a lot of sacrifices to get where we are today. We didn’t do it to obey Obama or Merkel.”

Yesterday on the BBC, she accused Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis of war-mongering, saying “(y)ou want war at all costs.”

“What is your problem? You want to go to war. Do you like war? You want conflicts. You want us to start WW III.

She blasted Washington for “put(ting) the Berlin Wall on wheels, and push(ing) it back to Russia’s borders.”

She called for resolving disputes diplomatically. “I think France’s voice has weight as long as France is France, not a region of the EU,” not subservient to Washington, she said.

She blasted the notion of Russia posing a threat to Europe or countries elsewhere, calling the notion “mistaken.”

Russia deserves to be treated with respect, not “prejudice…Putin’s government must be pretty popular (to) constantly (be) reelected” overwhelmingly.

Calling herself the “anti-Merkel,” she said “(t)he EU is almost over. Rather than waiting for its chaotic collapse, I suggest we organize its transformation to a Europe of nations, while respecting the (sovereign) wishes of” its people.

She’s favored to win first round April voting, then fall short in a May runoff - unless able to enlist enough support from undecided voters to achieve an Alfred Hitchcock ending to France’s presidential election.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

US War Without Mercy in Mosul

US War Without Mercy in Mosul

by Stephen Lendman

The battle for Mosul began last October - conducted by Iraqi ground forces and US-led warplanes.

Relentless terror-bombing killed thousands of civilians, war crimes by any standard. Residents told to remain inside were buried under the rubble of their destroyed homes.

US-installed Iraqi puppet president Haider al-Abadi lied, calling civilian deaths “miscalculations (and) unintended mistakes.”

Indiscriminate US-led terror-bombing and ground shelling destroyed or badly damaged almost every structure in western Mosul where fighting still rages.

The area resembles a moonscape with no visible life. The horror of what continues can’t be overstated. Residents still in western Mosul risk death or serious injury.

Essentials to life are absent - scant food, no potable water or medical services, no electricity or way to communicate. 

People are dead, badly injured, trapped if alive and devastated - with no government, UN or other support systems available to help.

East Aleppo during last year’s campaign was paradise by comparison. Russia and Syria provided aid to residents. A humanitarian corridor was established for fortunate ones to escape, humanitarian aid awaiting those making it out safely.

None of this exists in Mosul, no government or US-led coalition help for desperate civilians - trapped in a war without mercy zone, doom awaiting many.

The Trump administration bears full responsibility for mass slaughter and destruction in Mosul, continuing without letup - shocking contempt for the lives, safety and welfare of its residents.

They fear US-led terror-bombing and ground shelling more than ISIS. That’s how bad things are, what the Pentagon and media scoundrels want suppressed.

The March 17 US terror-bombing incident claimed 531 lives - the shocking body count numbers pulled from rubble so far, according to the Iraqi Civil Defense Department.

Initially, CENTCOM lied claiming no responsibility, now admitting US-led warplanes “probably had a role” in what happened, according to Iraq and Syria commander General Stephen Townsend.

Still he lied, claiming ISIS “had a hand in this,” adding the incident “was an unintentional accident of war.”

False! It was indiscriminate terror-bombing, unconcerned about loss of civilian lives, thousands of noncombatants slaughtered during months of fighting. 

Shifting blame on others for US high crimes is the last refuge of a rogue state - responsible for mass murder in multiple war theaters, civilians paying the highest price, entire families in some buildings buried under rubble.

Despite the horror of what’s gone on so far, the US-led campaign continues. Rules of engagement permittng anything goes remain unchanged, according to Townsend.

Who’ll compensate surviving Iraqi civilians for mass slaughter and destruction? Who’ll hold US war criminals accountable?

What can be done to restore peace to a war-torn region? No Nuremberg trials or Marshall Plans are forthcoming.

Devastated survivors in all US war theaters are on their own - except in Syria where its government, Russia and Iran are providing humanitarian aid, nothing from America, other countries or the UN.

The horror of endless US wars of aggression continues - the human toll of biblical proportions.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

US War Crimes in Iraq and Syria

US War Crimes in Iraq and Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Wherever US forces show up, mass slaughter and destruction follow - notably ongoing in Iraq and Syria.

Russia requested a special Security Council session so members can be briefed on US terror-bombing of Mosul, specifically the March 17 strike, massacring hundreds of civilians.

Sergey Lavrov criticized what’s ongoing, harming noncombatants most, noting the March 17 incident “because of its scale,” he said.

“If one cannot establish for hours that the airstrikes are hitting the wrong targets, then such actions of the US military startle me, as” its technology can strike targets with pinpoint accuracy, hitting what it aims at, Lavrov explained.

What’s ongoing is irresponsible, polar opposite Aleppo’s liberation.

“A corridor was organized for all the militants, including the members of the terrorist groups” to leave the city safely, Lavrov explained. 

“Many (militants) seized this opportunity, thus reducing the need for the use of military force for the liberation of that part of the city” - life-saving measures prioritized.

US-led operations ignore them, daily war crimes committed. Russia is closely monitoring what’s ongoing. Indiscriminate US terror-bombing and Iraqi ground shelling are responsible for massacring large numbers of civilians.

Separately, head of Russia’s General Staff Main Operations Department General Sergey Rudskoy said “(w)e continue observing the international coalition’s actions on the territory of Iraq and Syria.”

The US-led coalition’s aim seems bent on “fully destroying critically important infrastructure facilities (in both countries), maximally complicating…postwar reconstruction.”

“The biggest concern is caused by (US-led) air strikes on the Euphrates Dam west of Raqqa” - the latest one on March 26.

Four area bridges were destroyed weeks earlier - two in Raqqa, two others in al-Kalta and al-Abbara.

Communications were cut off between northern and southern parts of the city.

US and Iraqi forces let over 800 ISIS terrorists leave Mosul. According to Rudskoy, “(w)hile the coalition keeps claiming that Mosul has been sealed off tightly, militants continue to leave the city to infiltrate into the area of Syria’s Deir Ezzor.”

US terror-bombing of Mosul has nothing to do with liberating the city or combating terrorism, everything to do with destroying it, blasting it to rubble, civilians harmed most of all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Online Privacy Protections Gone

Online Privacy Protections Gone

by Stephen Lendman

Last Thursday, majority Senate Republican members passed SJ Res. 34, a joint resolution, rescinding FCC broadband privacy rules.

On Tuesday, House members followed suit, Trump sure to sign the measure into law, letting telecommunications and cable companies sell private customer information for profit without their permission - an infringement of their privacy rights.

Free Press Action Fund head Craig Aaron said the following:

“Ignoring calls from thousands of their constituents, House Republicans just joined their colleagues in the Senate in violating internet users’ privacy rights.” 

“Apparently they see no problem with cable and phone companies snooping on your private medical and financial information, your religious activities or your sex life.” 

“They voted to take away the privacy rights of hundreds of millions of Americans just so a few giant companies could pad their already considerable profits. Facing a growing public outcry, they rushed through this vote before more people could find out what was at stake.”

Essential online protections are gone, with no prospect for replacing them by this Congress and administration. Personal information is now a commodity to be sold for profit. Our private lives don’t matter.

Congress and the administration side with predatory profiteers, ignoring the rights of ordinary people.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) blasted the move, saying telecommunications and cable companies “will have free rein to hijack your (online) searches, sell your data, and hammer you with unwanted advertisements.” 

“Worst yet, consumers will now have to pay a privacy tax by relying on VPNs to safeguard their information. That is a poor substitute for legal protections.”

ISPs will have “new powers to harvest your personal information…” They’ll monitor customers online, create personal/sensitive profiles, selling them for profit.

EFF vowed to contest the new measure in court, along with preparations to demand a future Congress reverse what this one passed.

On March 28, a White House office of the press secretary statement said “(t)he administration strongly supports House passage of S.J.Res. 34.”

When presented to Trump, “his advisors (will) recommend that he sign the bill into law.” 

Public sentiment opposing it doesn’t matter. Business prioritizes override it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the 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's Energy Independence EO

Trump’s Energy Independence EO

by Stephen Lendman

America already is energy independent. 

According to the American Petroleum Institute, it has enough oil and natural gas reserves alone to provide US energy needs for many decades to come, along with vast amounts of coal.

So why was an energy independence EO issued?

It has nothing to do with “promot(ing) clean and safe development of our Nation’s vast energy resources,” nothing about assuring “affordable, reliable, safe, secure, and clean” electricity, nothing to do with “promot(ing) clean air and clean water,” nothing about environmental safety, as claimed.

It has everything to do with unrestrained profit-making, consumer rights and ecosanity ignored.

It orders elimination of regulations and other actions “potentially burden(ing) the development or use of domestically produced energy resources, with particular attention to oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy…”

NYT editors blasted the EO for the wrong reason, claiming it “risks the planet” by “demoli(shing) most of (Obama’s) policies to combat climate change.”

It “repudiate(s)” the so-called 2015 Paris Climate Agreement without formal US withdrawal, pledging greenhouse gas reductions - without fulfillment.

Serious Paris COP21 discussions among hundreds of representatives from 196 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) countries were dead on arrival.

They fell short of a whimper, let alone a bang, environmental and other civil society groups hoped for.

Meaningful results were absent - impossible to achieve because America and its key allies refused to address a potentially catastrophic future problem without constructive action taken now.

Friends of the Earth International (FEI) accused America and other “(r)ich countries (of) mov(ing) the goal posts” to serve their monied interests - calling the Paris agreement “a sham.”

Hype and deception substituted for vitally needed tough measures. America and other rich countries refused to cut their fossil fuel use enough to matter.

Tokenism won’t prevent an inevitable eco-disaster without meaningful action to prevent it - not forthcoming in Paris, no prospect in the foreseeable future.

Thousands of environmental activists protested in Paris, their numbers stretching over two km - from the Arc de Triomphe to the city’s business district.

At the time, media scoundrels lied, claiming a historic breakthrough deal, promising a green future, The New York Times among them, praising what didn’t happen.

No meaningful change in fossil fuel use was agreed on, nothing addressing climate change or planetary pollution.

Dirty business as usual prevailed, no historical ecological triumph.

Times editors justifiably criticized Trump’s Tuesday EO. Providing misinformation about the Paris agreement destroyed the arguments it made.

Ecosanity depends on replacing fossil fuels and nuclear energy with clean, green, renewable alternatives - along with eliminating all other harmful to human health/environmentally destructive toxins.

Humanity’s survival depends on it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Deplorable Western Hypocrisy

Deplorable Western Hypocrisy

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed orchestrated Sunday street protests in Moscow and other Russian cities - staged to create the illusion of anti-Putin sentiment.

Convicted embezzler, pro-Western stooge Alexey Navalny was involved - arrested, fined and ordered detained for 15 days for participating in an unauthorized rally.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia respects civil activism when “expressed in accordance with the law and in places where the law prescribes.”

It “cannot respect those who deliberately misguide people and who instigated these illegal activities yesterday.”

“We cannot respect those who deliberately misled underage minors promising them some payment in return for participating in an unauthorized protest, thereby exposing them to danger. We cannot accept, nor respect this.”

The orchestrated demonstrations were staged to attract Western headlines and remarks from their anti-Russian officials.

They did nothing to build domestic opposition to Putin. His overwhelming popularity is far greater than what any Western leader enjoys - notably in America, Britain, France and Germany.

State Department Obama holdover spokesman Mark Toner “condemn(ed) the detention of hundreds of peaceful protesters throughout Russia on Sunday.” 

“Detaining peaceful protesters, human rights observers, and journalists is an affront to core democratic values,” he blustered. 

“We were troubled to hear of the arrest of opposition figure Alexei Navalny upon arrival at the demonstration, as well as the police raids on the anti-corruption organization he heads.”

“The United States will monitor this situation, and we call on the government of Russia to immediately release all peaceful protesters.” 

“The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.”

America repeatedly meddles in the internal affairs of other nations illegally. Its human rights abuses exceed the worst of any other country.

Its imperial agenda is the greatest threat to world peace and stability. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blasted what he called “infamous (Western) double standards, saying:

When similar events occur in America and European countries, reactions of their officials are far different. 

“I cannot remember when somebody expressed a strong public reaction regarding the decisions recently made in Austria, Holland, Germany (and Switzerland) where the authorities banned holding certain protests. It did not concern anyone and nobody said anything about it.”

“Considering the detentions, I remember how in a number of European capitals and in the United States, police dealt with such violators resorting, among other means, to the use of batons and tear gas, in case protesters gathered in locations, which they were banned from, and followed among the routes, which were not sanctioned.”

“Russian journalists were also in such situations, particularly an RT (Russian Today) crew in the United States were detained for trying to deliver a report on some sort of unrest connected with protest.”

Whenever Palestinians protest against occupation harshness, Israeli security forces attack them violently, at times resulting in injuries or deaths, always unlawful arrests and detentions, young children treated as abusively as adults.

Western countries are largely silent on oppressive Israeli actions against defenseless Palestinian civilians.

When American and European officials complain about affronts to free expression, assembly and other democratic values, they ignore their own horrendous high crimes and other human rights abuses.

Criticizing Russia is all about irresponsibly wanting its sovereignty weakened and leadership denigrated.

The New York Times notoriously supports all US wars of aggression and others planned. It’s viciously anti-Russia, anti-Putin.

In response to Sunday protests, it turned truth on its head, saying he “ranks high for ruthlessness and repression,” adding:

He “failed to crush the spirit and courage of Russian citizens who are willing to risk retribution to resist the excesses of his regime.”

Orchestrated demonstrations like Sunday’s have no adverse effects on his leadership. They’re much ado about nothing, a whimper, not a bang.

Most everything of importance The Times reports about Putin is misinformation and fake news.

No “Russian aggression” exists, no unlawful annexation of Crimea, no “killing (of) journalists and opponents,” no US election hacking to aid Trump’s triumph, no collusion with his administration, no suppression of peaceful, lawful demonstrations, no high crimes against peace like America and its rogue allies commit repeatedly.

The Times is a notorious lying machine, proved daily in fake news reports, masquerading as journalism the way it’s supposed to be - banned on its pages.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Nikki Haley at AIPAC

Nikki Haley at AIPAC

by Stephen Lendman

Instead of an address, she was interviewed by neocon Dan Senor, Foreign Policy Institute member (formerly the Project for the New American Century).

PNAC/now FPI shuns diplomacy. It promotes endless imperial wars, waged for US global dominance, raping and destroying one independent country after another the best strategy, it believes.

Together with Senor at AIPAC shows her extremism likely matches his. No self-respecting diplomat would have anything to do with him.

Haley’s actions and remarks since becoming Trump’s UN envoy make it seem like neocon Samantha Power never left.

She shamelessly calls rogue state Israel “the only true democracy in the Middle East,” ignoring it apartheid viciousness, its imperial wars, its menacing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons arsenals, its threat to world peace.

She raged against legitimate Israeli criticism. She lied, citing a nonexistent Iranian threat, saying “it’s concerning…because when the Iran deal took place, all it did was empower Iran, and it empowered Russia.” 

“And it emboldened Iran to feel like they could get away with more. It is - you can put sanctions on a country. To take sanctions away, it’s very hard to go back and put sanctions back on. 

“So what we have said is we’re going to watch them like a hawk. We’re going to make sure that every single thing they do is watched, processed, and dealt with.” 

“But my concern is, you are seeing a lot of love for the Iran deal in the Security Council. And that’s unfortunate. And why that was ever allowed to go through, why that was ever passed, is beyond me. I mean, it’s terrible.” 

Fact: False on all counts! Iran’s nuclear program was legitimate from inception, in full compliance with Nuclear Non-Proliferation principles - unlike America’s numerous violations.

Fact: Straightaway after the nuclear deal’s implementation, Obama breached it unilaterally, imposing new sanctions illegally, more later by him and Trump.

Fact: The IAEA praised Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal’s provisions. It was a landmark agreement even though not needed. Tehran observes international law, unlike how America, NATO and Israel operate.

Haley railed against passage of Security Council Resolution 2334,  America abstaining, affirming the illegality of Israeli settlements, though changing nothing on the ground - nor will it any time ahead as far as it’s reasonable to predict.

She called it “embarrassing (and) hurtful,” saying it’ll “never happen again.” It was truth-telling Israel and the Trump administration don’t want to hear - or have vital UN reports published, calling Israel an apartheid regime.

“I wear heels,” said Haley…”not (as) a fashion statement…because if I see something wrong (sic), we’re going to kick them every single time.”

“We’re kicking by…putting everybody on notice…(T)he days of Israel-bashing are over.”

“So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the UN, we said no and we had him booted out.”

She referred to former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad. America’s veto denied him the position of UN special representative to Libya - unrelated to Israeli/Palestinian issues.

Former Obama administration ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro called the decision “stunningly dumb” - solely for Fayyad’s nationality.

A PLO statement said it was “blatant discrimination…on the basis of his nationality.” Israel’s UN mission praised the move.

Haley: “(T)hey tested us again” with the Falk/Tilley apartheid report. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was ordered to delete it. He saluted and dutifully obeyed - to no avail.

It’s in the public domain for anyone to access and read. Most important, its truth-telling is indisputable - neither Trump, Haley or any other administration official can refute it.

“(T)here’s a new sheriff in town,” Haley roared. Her predecessor was despicable. She’s worse - a disgrace to the world body and free societies everywhere!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Lies and Coverup of US War Crimes in Syria and Iraq

Lies and Coverup of US War Crimes in Syria and Iraq

by Stephen Lendman

Early in his administration, Trump is guilty of horrendous crimes of war and against humanity in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere - governing lawlessly like his predecessors, escalating aggression, not ending it.

Delegating authority for military operations to Defense Secretary Mattis, National Security Advisor McMaster, Joint Chiefs chairman Dunford and other Pentagon commanders doesn’t shift responsibility of the buck stopping with him on all administration policies, none more serious than waging war.

Civilians in harm’s way pay the greatest price in all US war theaters. Pentagon terror-bombing massacres them indiscriminately in Syria and Iraq, all targets considered legitimate ones, including residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals, mosques with worshipers at prayer, and others.

Pentagon claims about taking great care to avoid or minimize civilian casualties are bald-faced lies. High crimes are either denied or blamed on others. So-called investigations when conducted are whitewashed to absolve US forces of accountability.

Most Americans have no idea about high crimes committed in their name, with their tax dollars, in all US war theaters because media scoundrels are part of the cover-up - either reporting nothing or sanitizing what’s ongoing.

A lengthy New York Times report on Mosul carnage focused largely on tactics, not accountability - no explanation of US war crimes, nothing about indiscriminate terror-bombing, silence on the rape and destruction of the city.

Liberation isn’t the objective. Iraqi ground forces are as vicious as ISIS, shelling and killing their own people indiscriminately. 

Nothing from The Times about the disturbing reality on the ground, including America’s responsibility for creating and supporting ISIS, along with other terrorist groups.

Addressing the March 17 Mosul attack, The Times understated the carnage - at least 237 civilians slaughtered in cold-blood, likely many more once bodies are pulled from rubble, in some cases entire families.

The Times cited US military officials, “insist(ing) there have been no changes to its rules of engagement that lessen the risk for civilians.”

It quoted Defense Secretary James (“mad dog”) Mattis’ Big Lie, claiming “(w)e go out of our way to always do everything humanly possible to reduce loss of life or injury among innocent people.”

In all US war theaters, the truth is polar opposite. Overwhelming evidence, from WW II, Korea, Southeast Asia, Yugoslavia, and all post-9/11 wars of aggression, proves  Washington’s culpability for horrendous mass slaughter and destruction, affecting civilians and combatants alike.

America is the most vicious, unaccountable aggressor in world history, responsible for millions of casualties, civilians harmed most of all - directly from war, related violence, preventable diseases, starvation, displacement, along with overall deprivation and desperation.

Government and military officials ignore responsibility for the appalling human toll in all US wars. Nuremberg-level high crimes are committed in all theaters - accountability never forthcoming.

Discussing military operations in Mosul, neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post editors lied, accusing Russian and Syrian forces of “deliberate(ly) bombing…civilian targets, including hospitals, food stores and aid convoys, at the cost of thousands of lives,” claiming:

“In Mosul…Iraqi counterterrorism forces…limit(ed) the use of artillery and airstrikes to avoid civilian deaths, winning praise from humanitarian groups,” adding:

“A (March 17) US airstrike (on) Mosul may now tarnish that record…Confusion still surrounds the incident. 

“Iraqi military authorities” were cited, claiming ISIS booby traps or car-bombing responsibility for what happened.

Fact: Russian and Syrian forces scrupulous try avoiding civilian casualties - why liberating Aleppo entirely from US-supported al-Nusra terrorists took so long.

Fact: No Russian or Syrian airstrikes targeted hospitals, aid convoys or other nonmilitary sites. Claims otherwise are Big Lies.

Fact: US terror-bombing was responsible for devastating carnage in Mosul. It was no isolated incident.

Fact: Since US-led Iraq and Syria terror-bombing began in 2014, thousands of civilians in harm’s way were massacred in cold-blood. 

Fact: Coverup and/or denial follow all reported incidents of US-led airstrikes, killing civilians in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere.

The vast majority of attacks go unreported - responsible for millions of post-9/11 casualties, an incomprehensible human toll.

US rules of engagement ignore international law. Washington rules override them. Claims otherwise are Big Lies.

GW Bush bragged about being a wartime president. So did Obama throughout every day of his tenure.

So far, Trump is following the same pattern, responsible for devastating carnage on his watch on the phony pretext of combating terrorism Washington supports - likely continuing without letup, perhaps new wars planned against other nations.

America’s permanent war agenda threatens humanity’s survival. Is catastrophic thermonuclear confrontation just a matter of time?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Mike Pence Represented Trump at AIPAC

Mike Pence Represented Trump at AIPAC

by Stephen Lendman

Last March, candidate Trump addressed AIPAC, saying he came “as a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel.”

Its high crimes and threat to world peace didn’t matter then or now.

Railing against the Iran nuclear deal he hadn’t read or understood, he lied calling the Islamic Republic is “a problem in Iraq, a problem in Syria, a problem in Lebanon, a problem in Yemen and will be a very, very major problem for Saudi Arabia.”

The “problem” he didn’t explain is its sovereign independence. It threatens no countries regionally or elsewhere.

Trump let Mike Pence speak for him at AIPAC’s ongoing conference. Like virtually everyone in Washington, he said he and Trump “stand with Israel for the same reason every freedom loving American stands with Israel, because her cause is our cause. Her values are our values.”

Fact: Growing numbers of Jewish Americans and many others oppose Israeli ruthlessness, its imperial partnership with America, one rogue state supporting another - threatening world peace, stability and security.

Pence: “…Trump (intends) finding an equitable and just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Fact: Chances are virtually zero, especially with a US administration one-sidedly for Israel, disdainful of fundamental Palestinian rights - putting Zionist zealots in charge of peace talks if they’re held, again assuring they’re dead on arrival.

Pence: “…Trump will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel.”

Fact: No nations, groups or individuals threaten Israel except ones it invents - fantasy enemies, not real ones.

Pence: Israel is “a beacon of freedom and prosperity for all the world to see.”

Fact: It’s polar opposite, a ruthless apartheid regime, state terror its geopolitical and domestic strategy.

Pence: “…Trump is working with our military and the American people can know this, we will hunt down and destroy ISIS at its source so it can no longer threaten our people, our allies or our most cherished ally, Israel. And finally, under President Donald Trump, America will stand strong in the face of the leading state sponsor of terrorism. This administration has put Iran on notice.”

Fact: America created and supports ISIS, along with other terrorist groups. It’s alleged war on terrorism is a fabricated hoax.

Fact: America and Israel are the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism. Russia, Iran, Syria and Hezbollah are its committed opponents.

Pence is Trump’s bridge to the establishment, a militant Christian fascist, a Blackwater USA supporter, a heartbeat from the nation’s highest office. 

He’s anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT and women’s rights, anti-equity and justice, Islamophobic, militantly pro-war and corporate favoritism at the expense of social justice.

He’s part of the lunatic fringe infesting Washington, a bigoted Christian white supremacist, a far-right religious fundamentalist, serving in the nation’s second highest office.

He’s for virtually everything free societies abhor. Americans have just cause to fear him and other extremists holding top Trump administration positions.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Settlements Opponent Challenges Israel

Settlements Opponent Challenges Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli ruthlessness harms Jews and non-Jews alike. The late Palestinian/American scholar/activist Edward Said once called its agenda “refined viciousness” against Occupied Palestine and Arab Israeli citizens.

Its sordid history reflects a pattern of appalling high crimes - why BDS activism flourishes, important resistance against what’s too intolerable to ignore.

On March 6, Israeli legislation banned foreign BDS supporters from entering its territory and areas it controls.

US-based Jewish Voices for Peace executive director Rebecca Vilkomerson issued a strong statement, saying:

“On the same day as the Trump administration signed the second version of an unconstitutional and discriminatory executive order barring visitors from specific Muslim countries, Israel just passed its own discriminatory travel ban barring supporters of nonviolent tactics to end Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights.”

“My grandparents are buried in Israel, my husband and kids are citizens, and I lived there for three years, but this bill would bar me from visiting because of my work in support of Palestinian rights.” 

The new law also bans supporters involved in advocating boycotts of settlement products - produced on stolen Palestinian land.

Australian settlements opponent Judy Bamberger defied Israeli authorities to arrest her on arrival at Ben Gurion airport last week.

They didn’t. Her publicized challenge perhaps gave them pause about highlighting the deplorable legislation.

In a letter to the Canberra Times, published by Haaretz, she wrote:

I’m Jewish, American, Australian.

I urge those able to boycott all things economic, cultural, and academic originating from all Israeli settlements in West Bank and East Jerusalem (to do so).

From 1973, I volunteered in Israel; beginning 2001, I volunteered in Palestine. 

From Israeli kibbutzim to Palestinian villages, I work with moms, dads, kids helping them survive wars, incursions, rockets, occupation. Now a ‘sister’ and ‘auntie’ to many on the West Bank, I know they want the same things you and I want: security, safety, stability, hope, a decent life and a future for their next generations.

Settlements and the occupation deny these things to Palestinians and Israelis both. Financial, social, economic, cultural, psychological damage devastates both occupy-er and occupy-ee.

I write this fully ‘aware of (the) possibility’ that my call has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott.

I arrive (at) Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday, 21 March, UA954. Arrest me.”

Haaretz sent a journalist and photographer to meet her on arrival. The broadsheet cited her saying if she had been detained or deported, it would have been worth it.

“I’m hoping more people will push against this law. I’m hoping more people will have the courage and capacity to do civil disobedience, to bring to light discriminatory laws,” she said.

“(I)f I shine enough of a light on myself when I do this, hopefully I won’t get harassed. And if I do get harassed even with the light shining, well, then I get the opportunity to tell a story. And it’s the story that’s important, not me.”

Anti-BDS legislation is one of numerous Israeli laws, revealing contempt for equity and justice - enacted with full US support and encouragement.

A groundswell of domestic and foreign activists like Bamberger are needed to challenge what’s too intolerable to accept.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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