Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trump Talks Tough on North Korea

Trump Talks Tough on North Korea

by Stephen Lendman

On Monday, he called on Security Council members to impose “stronger sanctions” on North Korea, heightening tensions by claiming the DPRK “is a real threat to the world…and it’s a problem that we have to finally solve.”

Pyongyang called the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group deployed off the Korean peninsula “an extremely dangerous act by those who plan a nuclear war to invade.”

China’s President Xi Jinping called for all sides to show “restraint, and avoid doing anything to worsen the tense situation on the peninsula.”

On Wednesday afternoon, Trump will hold a briefing for all 100 senators on North Korea. Reportedly a similar session is planned for House members - both meetings to be held in a “sensitive compartmented information facility” in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

Secretary of Defense Mattis, Joint Chiefs Chairman Dunford, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates, and Secretary of State Tillerson will conduct the briefing.

On April 25, marking the anniversary of the founding of its army, North Korea held live-fire drills, involving hundreds of artillery pieces - instead of a sixth nuclear test some observers expected.

According to China Foundation for International and Strategic Studies Foreign Policy director Zhang Tuosheng, pressure from China, Washington, South Korea and Japan got Pyongyang to show restraint - whether short or longer-term remains to be seen.

“Beijing sent a clear message to Kim Jong-un that a nuclear test would lead to an impasse,” Tuosheng explained.

Its Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said “(w)e hope that all parties, including Japan, can work with China to promote an early peaceful resolution of the issue…”

Knowfar Institute for Strategic and Defense Studies Zhou Chenming believes Pyongyang will delay another nuclear test at least until after South Korea’s May 9 presidential election, hoping to discourage voters from choosing a hardline leader.

In a US show of force, the guided-missile nuclear submarine USS Michigan arrived in Busan, South Korea - the same day Pyongyang’s People’s Army celebrated its 85th anniversary.

On Tuesday, China’s Global Times, representing Beijing’s position, stressed “(s)ticks alone are not enough to prompt North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile activities. The international community should acknowledge the importance of the carrot.”

Pyongyang understands “the consequences if it continues to act recklessly. What it is uncertain about, though, is what benefit it will get if it stops nuclear and missile activities.”

Washington broke earlier promises to its government, undermining trust, making resolution of the current crisis much harder.

Pyongyang justifiably believes America wants its government toppled, knowing it’s vulnerable if it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile deterrents.

Trump’s rage for war heightens concerns. Waging it on the Korean peninsula risks possible nuclear confrontation - what all regional nations want avoided above all else.

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 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Brussels, Washington and French Aristocracy for Macron

Brussels, Washington and French Aristocracy for Macron

by Stephen Lendman

European and US elites consider Le Pen forbidden fruit - for wanting French sovereignty restored through Frexit, the country out of NATO, and improved relations with Russia - anathema notions for globalists and warmakers.

Macron as president assures continuity, favoring imperial and monied interests, harming humanity. Washington calls the shots. France, other EU/NATO countries, and most others salute and obey.

Outgoing French President Francois Hollande called on voters to support Macron in runoff voting. So did French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Losing conservative candidate Francois Fillon jumped on the Macron bandwagon before official results were announced, urging his supporters to renounce Le Pen.

So did (right-wing) Socialist party’s Benoit Hamon. Leftist Jean-Luc Melenchon isn’t endorsing either runoff candidate. Republican People’s Union candidate Francois Asselineau  blasted Macron, calling him “a puppet of the financial oligarchy.”

They and Christian Democratic Party’s Jean-Federic Poisson are exceptions. France’s aristocracy strongly supports Macron. 

Le Pen as president is their worst nightmare - even though she’d likely renege on anti-establishment positions if elected president, the way things virtually always work. Rare exceptions prove the rule.

On Sunday evening, Macron was way over-the-top bellowing “(i)n one year, we have changed the face of French politics. I want to be the president of patriots against the threat of nationalists.”

He represents continuity and privilege. Expect nothing benefitting ordinary French people if he’s elected on May 7, as expected.

Through her spokesman, Germany’s Angela Merkel wished him “all the best.” Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel congratulated him, expressing support for his European project.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker wished him the best. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini hailed him as “the hope and future of our generation.”

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier called him a “patriot and European…France must stay European.”

EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Macron “carries the flag for all democrats and pro-Europeans. No vote should fail him. He will have mine.”

German Foreign Minister/Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said “I am certain that Emmanuel Macron will be the next president of France - great for Europe.”

Western media scoundrels overwhelmingly support him. They’re fiercely anti-Le Pen.

Supportive messages from other EU establishment figures poured in for him - the best reason for voters to support Le Pen.

In post-round one election comments, she said “survival of France” as a sovereign state is at stake in May 7 runoff voting. She called on “sincere patriots” for support.

“(S)how unity, unity with our project to get France on its feet again…Charles De Gaulle (earlier) said the grandeur of the people only comes from the people themselves.”

“The principle I will implement, uniting the French people, can only be done on the basis of love for France.”

“I accept the responsibility of taking part in the second round of voting with humility and gratitude.”

Polls show Macron heavily favored to be France’s next president. The country’s future of remains grim for its ordinary people with establishment figures in charge.

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.

Will War Follow Another North Korean Nuclear Test?

Will War Follow Another North Korea Nuclear Test?

by Stephen Lendman

On Monday, Xi Jinping and Trump spoke for the second time by phone on North Korea since the Chinese president’s visit to Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.

Instead of stressing peaceful resolution of the issue alone, Xi said all parties must “shoulder their due responsibilities and meet each other halfway.”

Yet he called for “restraint,” avoiding “provocative actions,” and strictly observing Security Council resolutions to resolve things.

Both leaders want the Korean peninsula denuclearized, Beijing justifiably concerned if conflict erupts, its national security will be threatened.

Preventing it by pressuring Pyongyang to halt further nuclear and ICBM tests appears to be China’s red line. It’s the only country able to get concessions from the DPRK - whether on its nuclear and missile programs remains a test for its leadership.

Separately, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country will not be swayed by the various statements (made by parties involved), and will not renounce its due responsibility.”

“China will continue maintaining dialogue and consultation with all sides and continue playing a constructive role in solving the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.”

Last week, Beijing endorsed a US-proposed Security Council statement, condemning Pyongyang’s failed April 16 ballistic missile test.

It demanded halting all activities in violation of SC resolutions. The DPRK responded by threatening “catastrophic consequence” if Beijing sides with Washington on these issues.

Last Friday, the Beijing-linked Global Times (GT) called for a “realistic solution (to) the NK nuke issue” - expecting another nuclear and ICBM test, warning of an “emergency situation” if they’re conducted.

China’s situation is delicate. So far, it’s unsuccessfully tried getting Pyongyang to halt its tests in return for Washington and South Korea calling off or suspending their joint large-scale military exercises - ones the DPRK believes is preparation for war.

According to GT, “the only remaining option for Beijing is to take only one step first, and then look around before taking another. Beijing will do what it should do, instead of doing something it does not want to do, or is unable to do.”

Above all, China wants war prevented, potentially catastrophic if erupts, especially pitting two nuclear powers against each other on Beijing’s border.

China opposes Pyongyang’s nuclear and ICBM programs - short of resolving the situation militarily.

On Tuesday, GT asked if Pyongyang will wisely step back from the brink. If not, a “point of no return may be crossed,” it said, risking another Korean peninsula war, the North suffering most of all.

A best case scenario under dire conditions is stiffer sanctions, including by China, short of crippling ones. If Washington launches attacks, Pyongyang “will be forced to make a life-or-death decision,” said GT.

Failure to retaliate will let America take whatever steps it wishes, knowing the DPRK alone will pay the price. If it launches its own attacks, possible nuclear war could follow.

The stakes are huge. Once the die is cast, there may be no turning back, the entire region paying a price.

Washington wants Beijing to constrain Pyongyang. China can do only so much. It can’t satisfy everyone. It’s going all-out to avoid potentially catastrophic war.

North Korea has every right to protect its national security short of conflict risking the lives of millions of its people.

Diplomatic solutions to tough issues aren’t easy, the payoff huge if accomplished.

Are Pyongyang and Washington wise enough to see war isn’t the answer?

Things could come to a head quickly in the coming days. Will madness of war no one can win get both sides to step back from the brink?

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 Wants Regime Change in Syria

Trump Wants Regime Change in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

In March 2011, Obama launched war on Syria to destroy its sovereignty and replace Assad with pro-Western puppet rule.

Trump upped the stakes. He escalated war, increased US terror-bombing, and doubled the number of US forces on the ground ahead of likely larger numbers coming.

His hugely dangerous war plan risks direct confrontation with Russia. Instead of governing responsibly, he’s recklessly risking possible nuclear war in the Middle East and on the Korean peninsula.

In northern Syria, hundreds of thousands of civilians are threatened by US terror-bombing - targeting infrastructure and government sites on the phony pretext of combating ISIS America created and supports.

On Monday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ spokesman Staphane Dujarric issued a briefing on catastrophic humanitarian conditions in Yemen, Mosul, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and the safety of over 400,000 Syrians in Raqqa.

Around 10 million Yemenis “require immediate assistance to save or sustain their lives,” he stressed. The country is “the largest food security emergency in the world…on the brink of (catastrophic) famine.”

Fighting and terror-bombing of Mosul continues, up to 400,000 displaced so far - in desperate need of aid. The lives and welfare of around two million Iraqis are endangered by ongoing conflict. The civilian death toll keeps mounting.

“(D)etainees in Afghanistan continue to face torture and ill-treatment in government detention facilities.” America’s longest war continues endlessly with no prospect for resolution.

In South Sudan, “lack of accountability for crimes perpetrated during the conflict remains one of the country’s biggest challenges.”

Syrians in and around Raqqa are exposed to daily ground fighting and US-led terror-bombing - including against infrastructure, hospitals, schools, mosques, markets and residential areas.

Unknown numbers of civilians are being killed daily, perhaps thousands before the campaign ends.

According to Dujarric, “(i)n past weeks, civilians have been exposed to daily fighting and airstrikes which resulted in an escalating number of civilian deaths and injuries…”

“Some 39,000 (were) newly displaced,” most in open areas without shelter or protection from fighting and bombing. Desperate people are without humanitarian aid.

Russia’s intervention in Syria improved conditions greatly for its people - liberated from hundreds of areas previously controlled by US-supported terrorists, provided with humanitarian aid by Moscow and Syria to sustain them.

Separately on Monday, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions on 271 Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center personnel - on the phony pretext of involvement in chemical weapons development.

Washington holds them responsible for developing the toxic agent used in Kahn Sheikhoun on April 4 - an incident  Syria had nothing to do with, a false flag irresponsibly blamed on its military and Bashar al-Assad.

Last Friday, Sergey Lavrov said Russia’s call for an independent, unbiased on-site investigation was “blocked by Western delegations without any explanations.”

“(O)bvious false information” is being used by America and its rogue allies to topple Assad - likely by escalated war, involving larger numbers of US forces.

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.

Tillerson Vows Forever Sanctions on Russia

Tillerson Vows Forever Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

According to acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner, Tillerson spoke to (illegitimate US-installed putschist) Ukraine (puppet) president Petro Poroshenko on Monday.

He reiterated Washington’s firm commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity - saying sanctions will remain in place until Russia returns control of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine and fully implements its Minsk agreement commitments.

Fact: The Republic of Crimea is sovereign Russian Federation territory. The overwhelming will of its people by national referendum wants it no other way. 

Fact: In February, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said “Crimea…belong(s) to the Russian Federation. We don’t give back our own territory.”

Fact: Russia and Donbass freedom fighters alone observe Minsk terms. Kiev putschists consistently violate them unaccountably.

Fact: As ExxonMobil CEO, Tillerson opposed sanctions, calling them counterproductive and ineffective.

On Monday after meeting with Sergey Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini called Russian and EU strategic partnership “surreal” with sanctions in place.

The “full implementation of the Minsk Agreements by all sides” is a precondition for lifting them, she said - a pretext for maintaining them. Kiev is a serial violator.

Lavrov blasted its regime, saying “(t)he apparent sabotage by (its) leadership of everything that is written in the Minsk agreements should meet some (responsible) reaction from those who patronize this” rogue state.

Kiev ignores its responsibility under Minsk, pursuing its own agenda - with support and encouragement from Washington and key European nations.

Why is Russia sanctioned for observing Minsk, not Kiev despite its daily violations, Lavrov asked? 

EU states are subservient to US imperial interests - maintaining a permanent state of war in multiple theaters, supporting putschists running Ukraine.

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. 

Blaming Assad for US War Crimes in Syria

Blaming Assad for US War Crimes in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

In September 2011, Paulo Pinheiro was appointed Chairman of a three-member International Commission of Inquiry for Syria (COI). 

Its mandate is investigating war crimes and human rights abuses - charged with blaming Syria for high crimes committed against its sovereignty and people.

Pinheiro is a US imperial tool, wanting Assad held responsible for years of war ravaging the country. Syria was invaded by US-backed terrorists, supported by so-called coalition terror-bombing on the phony pretext of combating ISIS Washington created and supports.

The main job of any leader is defending his or her country’s national security, especially in times of war.

Assad responsibly serves his nation and people. He’s overwhelmingly popular, wants ongoing conflict resolved diplomatically - unattainable because Washington and its rogue allies want war, regime change, and Syrian sovereignty destroyed.

They want Iran isolated ahead of wanting its government toppled - by war, color revolution or other ways.

Pinheiro is a scoundrel, an imperial agent against peace, rule of law principles and democratic values.

Assad rightfully denies him and other COI members entry into Syria. They’re complicit with America’s regime change scheme.

He claims information collected from so-called witnesses and victims of war, along with photos, videos, satellite imagery, forensic and medical reports from other governments and NGOs provide “grounds” to hold Assad responsible for war crimes.

His so-called evidence is manufactured to blame victimized Syria for US-orchestrated imperial crimes committed against the country - by terrorist foot soldiers and supportive terror-bombing.

Claiming he’s unbiased is a bald-faced lie. A phony case is being manufactured to hold Assad and other Syrian officials accountable for high crimes committed by America, NATO, Israel, other rogue regional states and terrorist foot soldiers.

Will International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutions follow? Not as long as certain Russia veto power blocks it.

Could prosecutions occur in other countries? Last December, the General Assembly voted to create a panel, charged with preparing for possible prosecutions of war crimes in Syria outside the country - panel members to “closely cooperate” with Pinheiro.

Endless war continues. Syrians are grateful for liberating efforts by government and allied forces, along with vital help from Russia.

Conflict resolution remains unattainable as long as Washington and its rogue allies want war and regime change.

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.

Are More US-Orchestrated CW False Flags Likely in Syria?

Are More US-Orchestrated CW False Flags Likely in Syria?

by Stephen Lendman

The April 4 Kahn Sheikhoun CW attack was a likely CIA-orchestrated incident, carried out by US-supported terrorists - supplied chemical weapons by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, trained in their use by Pentagon contractors.

Assad had nothing to do with what happened, wrongfully blamed as part of a Trump administration regime change plot to oust him.

Are more US-orchestrated CW false flags likely? Senior Russian Foreign Ministry official in charge of non-proliferation and arms control Mikhail Ulyanov believes so, saying:

The major threat now is that Syrian militants have made certain they can use chemical weapons, and (US-led) Western (nations) will immediately point their fingers at Damascus.”

“Without any investigation, Damascus will be accused of using chemical weapons against its own people. Further (CW false flags) will follow.” 

“Quite probably, they will be staged in Damascus’ suburbs in the coming days. The (rogue) policy pursued by Western countries is fraught with such incidents that might be followed by more airstrikes and the use of force” to oust Assad and replace him with a pro-Western puppet.

“Terrorists in Syria…have chemical weapons, and…Western (nations) are well aware of that.” Foreign regimes wanting Assad ousted supply them. Some toxins are made on their own. When used, Damascus is wrongfully blamed.

Last Friday, Sergey Lavrov calling conditions in Syria “very serious,” saying “it is evident that the false information about chemical weapons use by the Syrian state is being used (to breach Security Council) Resolution 2254,” calling for resolving conflict diplomatically.

Washington wants regime change. “(W)e must prevent it,” Lavrov stressed.

On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov denounced new US sanctions on Syrians, stressing no grounds justify imposing them. “(T)here aren’t any facts” suggesting their involvement in using them.

On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said Washington and Moscow are (irreconcilably) divided over Syria.

Conflict resolution is unattainable as long as the Trump administration wants regime change - something Russia won’t tolerate.

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.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Elitism and Far-Right Advance to Runoff in France

Elitism and Far-Right Advance to Runoff in France

by Stephen Lendman

Former Rothschild & Cie Banque investment banker; Hollande economy, industry and digital affairs minister Emmanuel Macron is strongly favored to become France’s next president.

A self-styled centrist, an elitist establishment favorite, he ran as an En Marche! (forward) candidate, the party he formed in April 2016 - favoring continuity, not responsible change.

His pledge to address high unemployment and social injustice, improve relations between French youths and police, stress education, promote gender equality socially and politically, among other domestic issues he discussed are promises made to be ignored if elected.

Internationally, he said “Europe is at the heart of our project. Our responsibility…is to be able to rebuild the European dream” - unattainable for ordinary people under Brussels control, French sovereignty abandoned.

An Opinionway poll published last week showed him defeating Le Pen with a 63% majority - strengthened by his Sunday victory.

Preliminary results had him winning 23.75% of the vote to Le Pen’s 21.5%, a disappointing result for her despite moving on to May 7’s runoff.

A previous article discussed her far-right platform, including France leaving the EU and NATO - opposed by Macron.

As a Hollande Socialist Party minister, he supported its neoliberal and belligerent agenda, policies similar to how America, Britain, Germany and most other European countries are governed.

His anti-establishment-sounding pledge “to serve the public interest” resembled Trump’s rhetoric and other US politicians - a platform to get elected, then abandoned if successful.

Earlier he said France needs a more “balanced” policy toward Syria, included talks with Assad. In April, he proposed military intervention to oust him.

He’s pro-business, pro-banking monied interests, pro-Israel, anti-BDS, and hostile to Palestinian interests.

In June 2015, he and his then-German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel (currently Foreign Affairs Minister and Vice Chancellor) published a platform, advocating continued European integration.

For the first time since Charles de Gaulle established France’s Fifth Republic in 1958, no major center-right or center-left candidates qualified for runoff voting.

It hardly matters. Macron’s likely May 7 triumph will assure French political continuity - dirty business as usual again winning, ordinary people losing, along with a lost chance for France to regain its sovereignty.

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.

Media Scoundrels Support Macron Over Le Pen

Media Scoundrels Support Macron over Le Pen

by Stephen Lendman

They always support dirty business as usual over anything disrupting continuity.

NYT editors were especially appalling. Headlining “Emmanuel Macron Mounts a Patriot’s Challenge to Marine Le Pen,” they shamefully said:

“Defenders of liberal democracy in France and elsewhere sighed with relief after Sunday’s first-round vote in France’s presidential election.”

“Polls have predicted that Mr. Macron will beat Ms. Le Pen handily, though…France remains deeply divided and its politics unsteady.”

Fact: So-called “liberal democracy in France and elsewhere” in the West is pure fantasy. None exists, especially in America, a one-party state with two right wings.

Fact: France, Britain, Germany and other other European countries have more parties. Their major ones are like US Republicans and Democrats, largely in lockstep on issues mattering most.

Fact: Macron is an elitist, a Rothschild banker, an establishment favorite, assuring deplorable continuity if elected, not responsible change.

Despite her hard-right views, Le Pen responsibly favors leaving NATO, restoring French sovereignty, and improving relations with Russia.

The Times: “Certainly, if Mr. Macron prevails on May 7, that will be good news for Europe…”

Fact: It would be bad news for French sovereign independence, currently lost to Brussels.

The Times: “(V)oters spurned the mainstream center-left Socialist Party and center-right Les Republicains party that have dominated the landscape for decades.”

Fact: True enough - but Macron represents their interests under his En Marche! (forward) banner - a new party, same old dirty policies.

The Times: French “voters showed that they remained receptive to Mr. Macron’s hopeful message…”

Fact: 76% of French voters rejected him, hardly a ringing endorsement.

The Times quoted him saying he wants to be the “president of patriots, to face the threat of nationalists” - “holding himself out as France’s true agent of change after decades of government failure,” The Times blustered.

Fact: He represents continuity, dirty business as usual, sure to be despised, if elected, once his deplorable agenda unfolds.

The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post supports Macron like The Times, saying he wants “to strip away even more barriers with the rest of the world” compared with Le Pen, wanting France “seal(ed) tight against the tides of globalization.”

The Wall Street Journal said France will now “decide between two very different visions of French nationalism” - dirty business as usual vs. restoration of French sovereignty, it failed to explain.

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.

AP News Interviews Trump

AP News Interviews Trump

by Stephen Lendman

Interviewed on Friday, here are some highlights.

Trump gave himself “very high marks” - nearing completion of his first 100 days in office.

Others strongly disagree. He broke every promise made for ordinary people, escalated Obama wars, threatened North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, along with worsening relations with Russia instead of improving them as pledged.

Changed Senate voting rules, preventing a filibuster, got right-wing extremist Neil Gorsuch appointed a Supreme Court justice.

Trump has no legislative achievements so far - good news because of hard-right policies he favors, harming most people.

He’s governing like the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama never left - ruthlessly, lawlessly and irresponsibly, including welcoming foreign despots for White House photo-op visits.

He wants America’s resources used for militarism and warmaking, along with policies benefitting Wall Street and other corporate favorites - at the expense of ordinary people.

His first 100 days in office this Friday have been disastrous - the worst likely ahead.

He loves NATO, wants tax cuts for business and rich households, intends wasting billions of dollars on border wall with Mexico construction, and his healthcare proposal makes a bad system far worse if enacted.

He had no comment on France’s election, except saying Le Pen is “strongest on borders and…strongest on what’s been going on in France.”

If Attorney General Sessions wants to Julian Assange arrested, “it’s OK with me,” he said - failing to explain targeting him is an attack on free expression, a free press, and whistleblowers exposing government wrongdoing.

He wrongfully accused Iran of breaking “the spirit of the (nuclear) agreement.” Asked if he’d opt out of the deal, he said it’s “possible.”

He continues supporting the scourge of terrorism he rhetorically opposes. He expects more US combat troops will be sent to current war theaters - but “not many,” he said.

Among other issues discussed, he blasted major media fake news. He’s right about that, especially TV news - worthless and insulting.

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.

Russia and America: World's Apart on Key Issues

Russia and America: World’s Apart on Key Issues

by Stephen Lendman

Trump promised improved relations with Moscow. Bilateral ones are dismal on his watch, US hostility worse than any time in recent memory.

Russia wants peaceful conflict resolution in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine and elsewhere. Washington wants endless wars, escalating ongoing ones, threatening North Korea and Iran.

Are Russia and China on its target list? Will unthinkable nuclear war erupt on the Korean peninsula, in the Middle East or elsewhere?

Lavrov and Tillerson agreed on launching a joint working group to seek ways of improving bilateral relations, according to Russia’s Foreign Ministry.

Moscow is sincere. It’s word is its bond. America can never be trusted, saying one thing, doing another consistently on key issues, especially geopolitical ones, notably in relations with sovereign independent nations like Russia and China.

On Friday, Lavrov and Tillerson spoke by phone, following their dismal April 11 - 12 meeting in Moscow, accomplishing nothing, irreconcilable differences separating both countries.

According to acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner, “(t)he Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed a range of other topics, including the OPCW investigation into Syria’s use of chemical weapons on April 4.” 

“The Secretary reiterated his support for the OPCW’s existing investigative mechanism” - irreparably biased, stacked with pro-Western elements, blaming Syria for the April 4 Kahn Sheikhoun CW attack it had nothing to do with.

Russia wants a reliable, independent investigation, its own investigators involved along with ones from other countries.

According to its Foreign Ministry, Lavrov “expressed regret over the US opposition to Russia’s initiative in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to dispatch inspectors to Syria for verifying the reports on the use of sarin nerve gas in the town of Khan Sheykhun on April 4 and the presence of poison chemicals on the Shayrat airbase.”

“Lavrov and Tillerson agreed to issue instructions for pondering a possibility to organize an independent investigation of the incident under the aegis of the OPCW.”

Washington won’t permit anything it doesn’t control. Proper investigation will prove Syria had nothing to do with what happened - showing Trump administration and media scoundrel claims otherwise were Big Lies.

So far, no credible steps were taken to investigate the Khan Sheikhoun CW attack. Nearly three weeks after the incident, OPCW inspectors haven’t visited the crime scene.

America and Britain claiming absolute certainty about Syrian culpability is a bald-faced lie, a scheme to further demonize Assad unjustly, along with enlisting public support for regime change, including greater US involvement toward achieving it.

Russia is the world’s leading major power force for peace and stability. America and its rogue allies wage endless wars of aggression - humanity’s survival up for grabs if their ruthlessness isn’t stopped.

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.

UK Defense Secretary Loves War, Abhors Peace

UK Defense Secretary Loves War, Abhors Peace

by Stephen Lendman

Michael Fallon supports arms sales to despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia, Britain complicit in its aggression on Yemen - Obama’s war, now Trump’s. 

He’s escalating it recklessly, the UK complicit in US/Saudi high crimes of war and against humanity in Yemen and other regional war theaters.

Fallon praised missile maker MBDA, calling the company a “role model” for business Britain seeks post-Brexit.

It’s “strengthening the reputation of this country,” he blustered. It has “a great reputation (for providing) sterling service.”

Its expertise is mass slaughter and destruction, profiting from doing business with the devil, despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia - using terror weapons and toxic agents, supplying them to terrorists, raping Yemen, brutalizing its own people.

MBDA missiles are used to terror-bomb Yemeni schools, hospitals, mosques, food storage facilities and residential communities.

Defense companies profit from warmaking, conspiring with tyrants, aiding their high crimes. 

According to Fallon, MBDA built “a great reputation manufacturing missiles that keep us safe” - from invented enemies, he failed to explain.

At the company’s Stevenage headquarters, he said “we are leaving the European Union, but in leaving…we are going to become an even more global country, reaching out to our friends and allies across the world.”

“If you want to know what that means in practice, look at yourselves, look at your company here.” 

“A partnership that already combines British, French, German, Italian skills in one company, forming the only European group that is capable of creating these kinds of missile systems that meet the multiple demands of all the different domains: land, sea, and air.”

“You are a role model here for the kind of partnerships we’ll be seeking in future: for our defense, for our manufacturing, and for our country.”

Asked about Britain permitting arms sales to rogue states, Fallon lied claiming “our arms export criteria are some of the strictest…in the world, and we take very good care to look at every single license application to make sure they conform to the criteria.”

Also asked about selling missiles and other weapons to Saudi Arabia, using them to massacre Yemeni civilians, Fallon again lied, claiming Rihadh “has the right to defend itself,” falsely saying it was attacked, ignoring its genocidal naked aggression.

“Are we supporting” UK arms makers and regimes like Riyadh? Absolutely,” Fallon blustered. According to London’s Independent, “Britain has sold weapons to 22 of the 30 countries on its own human rights watch list since 2010” - rogue states responsible for horrendous high crimes.

It’s policies are being judicially challenged by anti-war activists, maintaining it consistently violates its own arms exporting criteria by doing business with despotic regimes.

According to Campaign Against the Arms Trade’s Andrew Smith, “(i)f Fallon believes MBDA is a role model, then it says very worrying things about how he sees the UK’s post-Brexit future.”

“MBDA is a company that profits from war and arms tyrants, it is among the last companies Fallon should be encouraging others to replicate.”

“If the UK is to play a positive role on the world stage, then arms companies like MBDA need to be condemned, not celebrated and glorified by Government ministers.”

Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Tom Brake called Fallon’s Tory party an “arms dealer of choice for the world’s most repressive regimes.”

“If this is Theresa May’s vision of a global Britain, it is one which millions of people across the country are disgusted by and want nothing to do with.”

The same goes for US duopoly governance, Republicans and Democrats in bed with a rogue’s gallery of despotic regimes.

In January, Fallon said banned cluster munitions sold by Britain to Riyadh were used in terror-bombing Yemen.

America, Britain, NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other regional rogue states are responsible for horrific high crimes of war and against humanity in the Middle East, North Africa, Asia and elsewhere.

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 

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