Friday, April 28, 2017

100 US Senators Want Israeli High Crimes Suppressed

100 US Senators Want Israeli High Crimes Suppressed

by Stephen Lendman

In an April 27 letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, all US senators demanded the world body ignore Israeli high crimes, calling truth-telling “anti-Semiti(c).”

“Too often, the UN is exploited as a vehicle for targeting Israel,” they said.

Fact: Much more needs to be done to hold Israel accountable for high crimes of war and against humanity - for decades of ruthlessly persecuting Palestinians, for committing slow-motion genocide, for attacking its neighbors.

The letter quoted neocon US UN envoy Nikki Haley, saying “(i)t is the UN’s anti-Israel bias that is long overdue for change” - an outrageous perversion of truth.

The senators praised the world body “for disavowing” the important Richard Falk/Virginia Tilley report, calling Israel a racist apartheid regime - “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The entire US Senate urged the UN “to improve (its) treatment of Israel…” It demands no world body support for the vital global BDS initiative - or any other actions hostile to Israeli interests.

It wants information about its human rights abuses suppressed. It demands support for US interests. It calls truth-telling anti-Israeli “bias.”

All 100 US senators disgracefully signed the letter. Washington and Israel partner in each other’s high crimes - a ruthless axis of evil threatening humanity.

Last week, Haley accused the world body of holding “Israel-bashing sessions.” Ignoring US wars in multiple theaters, she lied claiming “Iran is using Hezbollah to advance its regional aspirations.”

“They are working together to expand extremist ideologies in the Middle East. That is a threat that should be dominating our discussion at the Security Council.”

Iran threatens no one. Neither does Hezbollah. Haley turned truth on its head. So did Tillerson days earlier, irresponsibly accusing Tehran of “alarming ongoing provocations” to destabilize regional countries.

Iranian UN envoy Gholamali Khoshroo debunked his remarks, calling them “misleading propaganda…”

Last week Washington asked which Middle East countries benefit from regional chaos, “and what are the connections between terrorist groups and these states?”

Israel, of course, benefits most. So does America by its belligerent presence in a part of the world not its own - waging endless wars of aggression, supporting terrorist groups it created, wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing all sovereign independent governments.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Cashing In: Obama's Post-Presidency Bonanza

Cashing In: Obama’s Post-Presidency Bonanza

by Stephen Lendman

The benefits of being a former US president are limitless. Most former incumbents take full advantage.

Obama is using his political celebrity to cash in hugely. He moved into a reported $5.3 million, 8,200-square foot luxury mansion, two miles from the White House.

He spent weeks vacationing in Tahiti, including aboard a $300 million yacht. He and wife Michelle got a stunning $65 million book deal, ghost written for them.

He’s already wealthy from earlier book deals. He earned $400,000 annually as US president, $200,000 each year in pension benefits - plus $150,000 a year for two-and-a-half years, then $96,000 annually for life, adjusted for inflation.

Nice deal if you can get it. There’s potentially much more, including $400,000 for paid speeches to lots of corporations and groups willing to pay it.

He’s getting this amount to keynote a September healthcare conference, organized by Wall Street firm Cantor Fitzgerald.

Hillary was paid over $25 million in speaking fees since January 2014. Husband Bill cashed in the same way.

So did former Wall Street-controlled Fed chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. Political figures notoriously cash in big while in office and after leaving, Obama taking full advantage like many others.

The Los Angeles Times called it “(t)acky but not corrupt.” The NYT said he “balances civic-minded(ness) with the lure of” big bucks.

Concern for America’s poor and disadvantaged was never an Obama attribute. During his Chicago years, he supported ethnic cleansing gentrification.

Real estate and other financials interests profited hugely at the expense of ordinary people. His disdain for populism continued as a state and US senator.

He consistently promised one thing and delivered another - at the local, state and federal levels, mostly after becoming president.

Now a private citizen in his mid-50s, he’s got lots of years to get super-rich - living the good life, anti-progressive in office and since leaving, unaccountable for war crimes in multiple theaters, along with waging war on freedom domestically.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Trump's Deplorable First 100 Days

Trump’s Deplorable First 100 Days

by Stephen Lendman

Saturday, April 29, is his 100th day in office. He’s off to a deplorable start, the worst likely ahead.

A White House press release (WHPR) turned truth on its head, praising what demands condemnation.

WHPR: Trump prioritized “putting America first (and) protecting national security…”

Fact: He’s consistently put America first for its wealthy, powerful and privileged exclusively - no one else.

Fact: National security needs no special protection at a time America’s only enemies are ones it invents - to destructively advance its imperium.

WHPR: Trump wants an additional $54 billion for so-called “defense.”

Fact: He wants it for warmaking, toppling independent governments, and enriching war-profiteers.

WHPR: He “stood up to countries that have threatened our national security after years of failed diplomacy.”

Fact: No countries anywhere threaten America. Washington’s rogue agenda threatens humanity’s survival.

WHPR: Trump “(s)ent a message to the world with his swift and decisive order to strike the Syrian air base that launched a horrific chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.”

Fact: Trump authorized naked aggression against a sovereign state based on a Big Lie. At no time throughout over six years of war, did Syria use CWs. No evidence suggests otherwise.

WHPR: Trump “(f)urther isolated Syria and Russia at the United Nations through successful diplomacy with President Xi Jinping of China.”

Fact: Both countries have an enduring partnership. China’s Xi Jinping calls it unbreakable. According to his chief of staff Li Zhanshu, “Chinese-Russian relations are going through their best period in our history.”

Fact: Bilateral ties are solid, despite serious international challenges and efforts by rogue US officials to disrupt them. Trump’s White House lied claiming otherwise.

WHPR: He “(i)mposed sanctions on Syria for its use of chemical weapons against innocent civilians.”

Fact: Illegal sanctions were unilaterally imposed based on a Big Lie. No Syrian use of CWs occurred.

WHPR: He “(i)mposed sanctions on Iran for violating an international agreement that restricts its ballistic missile program.”

Fact: Iran’s ballistic missile program is entirely legitimate, violating no international or any other agreement.

WHPR: He “(w)orked to isolate North Korea and repositioned military assets to confront the regime’s provocative missile tests.”

Fact: His Korean peninsula brinksmanship risks unthinkable nuclear war, the ultimate nightmarish scenario.

The White House boasted about meeting with an array of world leaders - including brutal Israeli, Saudi and Egyptian despots.

Trump’s so-called border protection scheme is racist and illegitimate. His proposed southern border wall offends Mexico, will cost billions of dollars if built, and will accomplish little.

His domestic policies aim to make America more of a police state than already. He supports monied interests exclusively. His foreign policy risks humanity-destroying nuclear war.

His deplorable first 100 days suggests greater horrors ahead. He’s a rogue actor, serving wealth, power and privilege at the expense of most others at home and abroad - at the same time, threatening world peace.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

China v. US on North Korea

China v. US on North Korea

by Stephen Lendman

On April 26, a Trump administration statement said he “aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our Allies and regional partners.”

Instead of a military option, it said he seeks dialogue and diplomacy to achieve “peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Interviewed by Reuters on Thursday, his comments were disturbingly different, saying “(t)here is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”

We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it's very difficult.” He called the DPRK his biggest global challenge - “an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority,” according to administration officials.

On April 28, China’s People’s Daily headlined “China draws red line for North Korea issue: war is not allowed,” saying:

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi talked tough on the North Korea issue, ruling out war. It’s “not acceptable,” he said.

“The Korean Peninsula is not the Middle East. If war breaks out, the consequences would be unimaginable.”

China’s position is firm, Korean peninsula denuclearization its aim, diplomacy and dialogue its way of resolving things.

Provocative US/South Korean military exercises violate “the spirit of (Security) Council resolutions,” Wang stressed.

Beijing will continue playing a constructive role in dealing with all parties. Its “red line” is war is unacceptable.

On April 27, China’s Global Times (GT) said Pyongyang’s nuclear tests “100 kilometers from (its) border…threatens” its northeast region.

Its nuclear and ballistic missile programs “giv(e) Washington an excuse to enhance its military deployment in the region…China cannot be a bystander.”

Beijing and Washington are world’s apart on resolving things. “(T)hey share common interests in opposing Pyongyang developing nuclear and missile technologies,” said GT.

If the “nuclear issue boils over…war…is unavoidable…If China does not tackle the conundrum now, it will face more difficult choices in the future.”

Its government wants cooperation by all parties - Pyongyang suspending its nuclear tests, Washington and South Korea halting provocative joint military exercises, diplomacy and dialogue over military confrontation.

If Beijing fails to achieve its objectives, it’s able “to strike back at any side that crosses (its) red line,” GT stressed.

The Korean peninsula remains a dangerous flashpoint. Trump’s rage for war makes anything possible.

A Final Comment

On Friday, Secretary of State Tillerson will chair a special Security Council session on North Korea.

According to acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner on Monday (now succeeded by Fox News host Heather Nauert):

The meeting will give Security Council members an opportunity to discuss ways to maximize the impact of existing Security Council measures and show their resolve to respond to further provocations with appropriate new measures.”

“The DPRK poses one of the gravest threats to international peace and security through its pursuit of nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other weapons of mass destruction as well as its other prohibited activities.”

America and its rogue allies alone pose regional and global threats. The North Korean “conundrum” isn’t going away any time soon.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite in France?

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite in France?

by Stephen Lendman

Its deplorable policies belie its national motto - first declared during its 1789 - 99 revolution, overthrowing monarchal rule, establishing the First French Republic in 1792.

When the 1848 Constitution was drafted, it was considered a “principle of the Republic.” July 14, Bastille Day, represents transferring power from the monarchy to the people.

The national motto was written into the 1946 and 1958 Constitutions. It’s part of France’s national heritage, inscribed on the pediments of public buildings, appearing on coins, postage stamps and elsewhere.

Modern French governance is deplorable, its sovereignty sacrificed to Brussels, a US-dominated NATO member, an imperial American partner.

After its May 7 runoff election, it’s likely to stay that way - establishment favorite Emmanuel Macron heavily favored to win.

French aristocracy loves him, strongly opposes Le Pen for wanting national sovereignty regained, an anathema notion for globalists, a scheme to enrich privileged elites at the expense of most others.

Hoping to distance herself from unpopular National Front policies, she announced she’s no longer its president, stressing “I am the candidate for the French presidency.”

Explaining her move, she said it’s to be “above partisan considerations.” She faces a daunting task of winning over enough undecided voters and others supporting defeated candidates.

Polls aren’t encouraging, showing Macron heavily favored. On May 7, voters will choose a new president.

Hugely unpopular Francois Hollande’s tenure will end days later, continuity under Macron likely to follow.

French media and establishment figures already proclaimed him the winner. Le Pen warned he’ll “destroy (the) entire (French) social and economic structure.”

It’s already in shambles after five disastrous Hollande years. Under him, his recent predecessors, with Macron likely France’s next president, dirty business as usual should replace its Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite national motto.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Most House Democrats Support Medicare for All

Most House Democrats Support Medicare for All

by Stephen Lendman

Healthcare is a fundamental human right - not a commodity to be sold for maximum profits, based on the ability to pay, the deplorable way America’s system works.

On January 24, Rep. John Conyers introduced HR 676: Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act. 

Referred to committee for consideration, it calls for providing “comprehensive health insurance coverage for all United States resident, improved health care delivery, and for other purposes.”

The measure has a record number of co-sponsors - 104, including 28 new ones in April, all Democrats, no Republicans.

If enacted, it would achieve about $500 billion in annual administrative savings. It would immediately cover all uninsured American citizens, none excluded.

It would achieve Trump’s rhetorical goal of greater coverage, better benefits and lower costs - a win for all Americans except for the following:

Predatory industry profiteers oppose it. So do their House and Senate allies along with Trump - fundamentally against equitable, affordable universal healthcare.

According to Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) president Dr. Carol Paris, Americans are fed up with an inhumane, profit-driven health system that leaves millions without care.” 

“Quality health care is not a luxury, nor is it a commodity that can be bought and sold in a marketplace. It is a social good that can be best delivered through a single-payer national health program.”

Most Americans support it. Momentum builds for it, Paris added. “Now is the time” to enact the only equitable system. 

Proposed Trumpcare is an abomination, worse than initially introduced in revised form - costing more, providing much less. 

It lets states opt out of federal mandates at their discretion, permits insurers to charge elderly Americans and ones with pre-existing conditions much higher premiums.

They could exclude essential services from coverage, including maternity care and expensive treatments for various illnesses, diseases and injuries.

Subsidies for low-income households would be slashed, making vital healthcare unaffordable for millions.

Currently under Obamacare, 19 states refused to expand Medicaid even though most costs are federally funded.

According to the American Medical Association, Trumpcare 2.0 “could effectively make coverage completely unaffordable to people with pre-existing conditions.”

So far, Republicans haven’t enough House vote to pass it. No vote is planned this week.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane,” Martin Luther King stressed.

US administrations and most congressional members oppose assuring all Americans have access to affordable healthcare.

Universal, government-sponsored single-payer coverage is the only equitable system - no others.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Grand Jury Investigated Hillary

Grand Jury Investigated Hillary

by Stephen Lendman

According to Judicial Watch (JW), newly released State Department documents revealed she “was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.”

Released information followed JW’s lawsuit, “seeking to force Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to take steps to ‘recover emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’ “ - along with those of other State Department employees.

JW’s lawsuit was initially filed against John Kerry. “The Trump State Department filing includes details of the agency’s continuing refusal to refer the Clinton email issue to the Justice Department, as the law requires,” JW explained.

Its lawsuit was dismissed at the district court level, revived on appeal by a US District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on December 27, 2016.

As secretary of state, Hillary improperly used her unsecured email server and accounts for official government business. So did her top aides and advisors.

JW president Tom Fitton issued a statement, saying “(t)he FBI convened a grand jury to investigate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Why is this information being released only now?” 

It’s “disturbing that the State Department, Justice Department and FBI are still trying to protect Hillary Clinton. President Trump needs to clean house at all these agencies.”

Separately, JW sued to obtain records showing US government funding of George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, saying:

One reason he’s so politically active is because “he is handed a lot of our tax dollars to fund his (destructive) activities.”

He’s gotten millions of USAID dollars. JW sued because the State Department and the agency ignored its February 2017 request, seeking “records (and communications) related to any grants, contracts, or disbursements of funds by the State Department” and USAID to Soros.

In February, JW’s Corruption Chronicles said Washington “quietly spent millions of taxpayer dollars to destabilize the democratically elected, center-right government in Macedonia by colluding with…billionaire…George Soros, records obtained by Judicial Watch show.” 

Barack Obama’s US Ambassador to Macedonia, Jess L. Baily, has worked behind the scenes with Soros’ Open Society Foundation to funnel large sums of American dollars for the cause, constituting an interference of the US Ambassador in (the country’s) domestic political affairs in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.”

“It’s clear from what we have already learned that the Obama administration freely used our tax dollars for political purposes, including support of the Soros operation.”

Trump’s State Department and USAID operate the same way in multiple countries, violating international law - US taxpayers none the wiser.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Trump's Tax Cut Giveaway for Monied Interests

Trump’s Tax Cut Giveaway for Monied Interests

by Stephen Lendman

Trump proved he’s a reliable imperial/corporate/privileged class tool. 

Nearing his 100th day in office on Saturday, a White House statement turned truth on its head, saying:

He “has taken bold action to restore prosperity, keep Americans safe and secure, and hold government accountable.” 

“At an historic pace, this President has enacted more legislation and signed more executive orders than any other president in over a half century.” 

“With a focus on rebuilding the military, ending illegal immigration, and restoring confidence in our economy, the President is keeping his promises to the American people.”

Fact: He’s done nothing to “restore prosperity” for ordinary Americans, suffering under protracted Main Street Depression conditions.

Fact: Nearly a fourth of US working-age Americans are unemployed, most others way underemployed.

Fact: The most notable US growth industry is poverty.

Fact: Trump’s rage for war endangers Americans and humanity.

Fact: “(T)his president” has no legislative achievements. He signed a blizzard of executive orders, largely doing harm, not good.

Fact: His focus on militarism diverts vital resources to warmaking, not domestic issues benefitting all Americans.

Fact: He’s waging greater war on undocumented immigrants than any of his predecessors - including Obama, infamously called America’s “Deporter-in-Chief.”

Fact: He’s beholden exclusively to monied interests.

Fact: He’s broken every positive promise made to ordinary Americans.

His sketchy tax-cut proposal favors business, large investors, and high-net-worth households, crumbs for most others.

It’s barebones with no explanation on how it’ll be financed. He proposed cutting taxes for large and small business to 15%.

Few, if any, large companies pay the current 35% rate. Most pay around half that amount. Many pay little, nothing or get large rebates.

Trump wants trillions more dollars handed to corporate America, large investors and high-net worth individuals.

His plan is the same neoliberal dirty business as usual transference of wealth from low and middle income households to monied interests around for decades, ordinary people stiff-armed so privileged ones can benefit.

He proposed compressing individual income tax brackets from seven to three: 10, 25 and 35%. The income range for each wasn’t explained.

He wants estate and alternative minimum taxes eliminated, mainly benefitting wealthy households - notably super-rich ones like himself and his working-age family members.

US corporations will be offered a one-time chance to return foreign-held profits home at an undisclosed low tax rate, no strings attached.

He’ll double the standard deduction for individuals, eliminating taxes on $24,000 of a couple’s income. Most itemized deductions would be eliminated, including state taxes for residents of high-tax states like California and New York.

Mortgage interest, charitable giving and retirement savings deductions would remain unchanged.

Tax cuts for business and other monied interests don’t stimulate economic growth as Trump claims.

What’s needed is helicopter money dropped on Main Street. When ordinary people have it, they spend it, generating economic growth, creating jobs, and a virtuous circle of prosperity lifting all boats equitably.

Trump’s scheme is polar opposite what’s needed - a boon for monied interests, a bust for most others.

It’s hugely not revenue neutral. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin claiming it’ll “grow the economy and create massive amounts of revenues” is what GHW Bush once called “voodoo economics.”

Economic Outlook’s chief global economist Bernard Baumohl blasted Trump’s scheme, saying “the bare bones plan we saw unveiled today is already conceptually flawed and unlikely to go far in Congress.” 

“The final product will bear no resemblance to the principal points highlighted in today’s meager release. Certainly, the first step in this process was unimpressive.”

Whatever tax cut emerges in final form, if any, will look much different than Trump’s initial proposal. 

Take whatever he and other administration officials say with a grain of salt.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Trump Reneges on Abandoning NAFTA

Trump Reneges on Abandoning NAFTA 

by Stephen Lendman

On Wednesday, the White House said Trump will renegotiate what he once called “one of the worst deals ever.”

Twenty years after its 1994 enactment, Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach said she “remember(ed) crying” on the day NAFTA took effect - January 1, 1994.

“Not only did promises made by NAFTA’s proponents not materialize, but many results are exactly the opposite,” she explained.

Around a million US jobs were lost. A “staggering $181 billion US trade deficit with…Mexico and Canada” was incurred. 

Over a million small Mexican farmers were displaced. Immigration to America doubled. Undocumented millions came north, desperate for work lost at home.

Predatory corporations were paid over $360 million by so-called “investor-state” tribunals, serving monied interests exclusively.

NAFTA and similar deals contributed to growing income inequality in all three countries. “NAFTA’s outcomes (20 years later shows) how damaging this type trade agreement is for most people,” said Wallach.

The only equitable solution is fair, not free trade, benefitting everyone equitably, not business and large investors exclusively.

On Wednesday, Trump broke another promise to ordinary Americans, saying “(i)t is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation.”

“It is an honor to deal with both President Pena Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”

Whatever is agreed on almost surely will be worse, not better, for workers in all three countries, better for monied interests alone.

In early April, the White House notified Congress of its intent to renegotiate NAFTA. Material leaked showed it largely replicates TPP’s final text, including:

  • favoring investors over consumers;

  • reneging on halting jobs offshored to low-wage countries;

  • instead of buy and hire American, his plan maintains jobs-destroying NAFTA rules.

Trump’s trade policy is corporate/investor-friendly at the expense of worker rights and consumer protections.

Virtually all his pledges to working-class Americans were abandoned. Like his predecessors, he’s an anti-democratic corporatist/warmaker, a reckless scoundrel.

He’s only just begun, the worst likely ahead.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Russia Condemns Israeli Aggression and Al-Qaeda-Linked White Helmets

Russia Condemns Israeli Aggression and Al-Qaeda-Linked White Helmets

by Stephen Lendman

Commenting on Israel’s overnight aggression near the Damascus international airport, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said:

Moscow condemns acts of aggression against Syria and regards them as impermissible and running counter to international law.”

“We are urging all to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria, a UN member-state.”

It’ll take much more than “urging” to halt Israeli aggression, supported and encouraged by Washington, NATO, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other regional rogue states.

Following Netanyahu’s March visit to Moscow, Sergey Lavrov said he agreed on military cooperation with Russia, explaining:

“We will judge by deeds and not by statements in order to figure out if our Israeli counterparts abide by these agreement.”

Clearly they haven’t and won’t. They do what they want with impunity, knowing Washington backs its high crimes. Both countries partner in committing them.

Separately, Zakharova explained what’s widely known - never reported by media scoundrels. So-called White Helmets are linked to ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.

They “not only feel at home on territories controlled by Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State, but also openly express positive attitude towards them, provide information and even financial assistance to them,” Zakharova explained. 

“There is documentary evidence proving that White Helmets members participated in some operations carried out by Jabhat al-Nusra, as well as covered up the signs of civilian executions.”

It’s a Western-supported terrorist group, not a humanitarian one as falsely claimed. Their members were conveniently deployed to Khan Sheikhoun ahead of the April 4 CW attack.

According to Zakharova, their phony “irrefutable evidence…gave the US a pretext to carry out an act of aggression against the Syrian Shayrat airbase on April 7.”

Swedish Doctors for Human Rights accused the group of willfully falsifying information. Staged videos were produced.

Analysis showed people in them “were dealing with kids…under the influence of drugs, rather than trying to provide medical assistance,” said Zakharova.

Separately, Syria’s Foreign Ministry blasted French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault for “fabricating allegations” about what happened in Khan Sheikhoun - part of his country’s complicity with US aggression on Syria, Israel a willing partner.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Shift in Trump Policy on North Korea

Shift in Trump Policy on North Korea

by Stephen Lendman

Following heavy-handed threats, saber-rattling, and Wednesday’s administration meeting with all Senate members, a joint statement by Defense Secretary Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Coates and Secretary of State Tillerson announced a shift in US policy toward North Korea.

On the one hand, it called Pyongyang’s “pursuit of nuclear weapons…an urgent national security and top foreign policy priority.”

On the other, it said Trump “aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our Allies and regional partners.”

Instead of a military option, the Trump administration now seeks dialogue and diplomacy to achieve “peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

At the same time, it may designate the DPRK as a state sponsor of terrorism, maintaining hostility towards its government over responsible outreach.

On Wednesday, Pyongyang’s Permanent Mission to the UN said “(t)he DPRK, as a peace-loving socialist state, highly values the sustaining of the peace most of all, but it neither fears a war nor wants to avoid it,” adding:

“The DPRK has access to a powerful nuclear deterrent to protect itself from the US nuclear threat…The DPRK will react to a total war with an all-out war, a nuclear war with nuclear strikes of its own style and surely win a victory in the death-defying struggle against the US imperialists.”

“It is an unshakable will of the DPRK to go to the end if the US wants to remain unchanged in its confrontational stance.”

Separately on Wednesday, US Pacific Command chief Admiral Harry Harris told House Armed Services Committee members that North Korea remains the most “immediate threat” to US regional security, adding it’s trying to develop a “preemptive nuclear strike capability” against US cities.

Fact: Throughout its history, the DPRK never attacked another nation. It threatens none now. If attacked, it’ll surely respond with all the military force it believes necessary.  

China, Russia and Pyongyang consider US deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-ballistic missile systems in South Korea highly provocative.

In January, Moscow and Beijing announced unspecified measures to counter them, warning of escalating tensions and instigating an arms race.

Harris said the THAAD system will be operational “in the coming days.” China again expressed “grave concern,” saying THAAD breaks the region’s strategic balance, along with heightening tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Urging cancellation of the deployment, Beijing warned it’ll take all necessary measures “to safeguard its own interests.”

Despite the threat of imminent war abating, regional tensions remain. Trump’s rage for warmaking endangers all independent nations.

On Wednesday after midnight, the Pentagon launched an unarmed Minuteman 3 ICBM from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Col. John Moss said “(t)onight’s launch was an important demonstration of our nation’s nuclear deterrent capability.”

America’s only enemies are ones it invents - no others. America’s homeland hasn’t been attacked by a foreign power since the War of 1812 with Britain.

Hawaii didn’t become a US state until March 1959. During WW II, Japan occupied the remote, sparsely inhabited islands of Attu and Kiska in the Aleutians off Alaska from June 1942 until summer 1943.

America’s homeland faces no threats except in response to US aggression on a nation able to retaliate in kind. Otherwise, none exist.

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

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

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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