Friday, December 09, 2016

Americans Should Follow the Example of South Koreans

Americans Should Follow the Example of South Koreans

by Stephen Lendman

Post WW II, when America and Soviet Russia divided Korea into north and south countries. Government in Seoul became a US vassal state, a fascist dictatorship.

Initially it was headed by Washington’s installed puppet Syngman Rhee, a brutal despot. Other pro-Western leaders followed - political repression, corruption, and US subservience standard practice.

For weeks, mass protests involving hundreds of thousands in Seoul and other cities demanded President Park Geun-hye resign for abusing her power, involving influencing-peddling, bribery and other offenses.

She’s former general Park Chung-hee’s daughter, South Korea’s despotic president from 1961 until his 1979 assassination - thrust into power by a military coup, ruling with an iron fist.

On Friday, South Korean MPs impeached Park Geun-hye by an overwhelming 234 - 56 margin, many of her own party members wanting her removed, making it likely she’ll be the nation’s first elected leader expelled from office in disgrace.

During a cabinet meeting, she said “I solemnly accept the voice of the parliament and the people and sincerely hope this confusion is soundly resolved.”

South Korea’s Constitutional Court now must decide whether to uphold her impeachment, likely not ruling until well into next year.

With her approval rating at 5% and overwhelming parliamentary disapproval, she’s now suspended as of Friday evening Seoul time, her duties assumed by Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on an interim basis until the Constitutional Court rules.

Crowds celebrated, holding signs saying “Victory for the People.” Park’s single five-year term was set to end in February 2018. Once removed from office, a new election must be held in 60 days.

US imperial tool Ban Ki-moon is one of the leading candidates to succeed her, ending his UN general-secretariat position on December 31. So far, he hasn’t officially announced his candidacy, likely awaiting an appropriate moment.

Out of office, Park loses presidential immunity, making her vulnerable to prosecution for abuse of power, influence-peddling, bribery and other potential charges.

Weeks of public anger erupted in mass protests for weeks, at times involving up to two million in Seoul and other cities, led to her downfall.

South Koreans wanted change and they’ll get it. Whether for better or worse remains to be seen. If they can do it, why not Americans.

They’ve been far more deplorably treated, especially since the neoliberal 90s under the Bill and Hillary co-presidency, followed by post-9/11 war on humanity at home and abroad under Bush and Obama.

America's Declaration of Independence states:

 "(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, (it's the right of the people, it's) their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Straightaway as presidents, the Clintons, Bush and Obama violated their sacred trust, betraying their constituents, breaching all major promises made, institutionalizing tyranny, heading toward becoming full-blown if not challenged and stopped.

What’s coming under Trump is unknown. His choices so far for cabinet positions and others in his administration aren’t encouraging. 

They include wealthy establishment figures and retired generals, likely more of the same coming, indicating wealth, power and privileged interests will be served above all others - maybe exclusively despite his pledge to “give power back to the citizens” and “break-up (Washington’s) special interest monopoly.”

He also promised to get along with Vladimir Putin, cooperate with Russia in combating terrorism, end America’s regime change policy, kill TPP and other jobs-killing trade deals and seek a new role for NATO.

If he delivers on these key pledges, his tenure will be historic. If he continues dirty business as usual, mass protests should demand his impeachment and removal from office - hard as it is to do, never successful in the history of the republic.

There’s always a first time! When leadership violates its mandate, it loses its right to serve. Removal from office should follow as constitutionally permitted for “Treason, Bribery, or other Crimes and Misdemeanors (Article II, Section 4).

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

Latest From Russia on Aleppo

Latest From Russia on Aleppo

by Stephen Lendman

According to Russia’s General Staff Main Operations Department head Gen. Sergei Rudskoi, as of December 9, “government forces and militia units continue the operation to liberate Aleppo’s eastern districts from terrorists.”

“After a successful offensive, 52 neighborhoods in east Aleppo have been recaptured from militants. In the past four days alone, the area held by gunmen has decreased by one-third. The Syrian army now controls 93% of the city’s territory.”

Since October 18, no Russian or Syrian warplanes were involved, courageous ground forces doing the job themselves, now close to triumph.

Obama’s rage to hold Aleppo failed, defeated by Syrian and allied forces’ heroism - right defeating imperial might.

Russian and Syrian humanitarian aid is pouring into liberated areas, including medical care - nothing from America, nothing from NATO, nothing from rogue regional states.

Damascus is committed to granting amnesty to all fighters surrendering their arms and ceasing to continue fighting. Since Thursday, over 10,000 Syrian civilians were liberated, including over 4,000 children.

Many confirmed so-called 
“moderate rebels” brutalized them in captivity, forcibly holding them as human shields, committing torture, public executions, and “wanton killings.”

Obama’s good friends are cold-blooded cutthroats, animals, monsters, vermin to be eliminated. 

From Hamburg on Friday at the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting Sergey Lavrov expressed hope for a weekend agreement with Washington on withdrawal of all terrorists from Aleppo, ending fighting entirely.

Familiar with numerous earlier US deceptions, he’s likely dubious about responsible talks this time. Whatever is agreed to virtually always is breached sooner or later. Believing this time is different is virtually nil.

Lavrov called it a “weird peculiarity of US policy toward Syria and Aleppo. That is when the left hand is doing something (allegedly) constructive…the right hand…open(s) the sluice gate for pumping weapons to militants.”

It all over but the postmortems in Aleppo, US-supported terrorists decisively defeated. Arming them elsewhere in Syria means endless fighting - unless Trump calls a halt once in office.

Military operations were suspended to let thousands of civilians flee to safety in government controlled areas. They’re weren’t stopped, Lavrov explained. They’ll continue in Aleppo and throughout Syria until US-supported terrorists are defeated.

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.

She's Back: Hillary Hyping Fake News

She’s Back: Hillary Hyping Fake News

by Stephen Lendman

People should only be concerned about government and media scoundrels’ news, information and opinion - all fake, all the time, Big Lies and deception, toxic stuff on issues mattering most.

Reliable sources were denigrated on the PropOrNot hit list, considered fake news sites or Kremlin agents, disgracefully hyped by the neocon/CIA connected Washington Post, a leading proliferator of fake news, a disgrace to professional journalism - banned at WaPo, banned at the NYT, banned by other leading broadsheets and magazines, banned on mainstream TV and radio news.

There’s a war on against the most fundamental of fundamental rights in America and Europe. Speech, media and academic freedoms are being attacked. They’re too vital to lose, yet are slipping away with too few people noticing, way too few acting to stop it.

Yesterday on Capitol Hill, Hillary was back, an exposed war criminal, racketeer, pathological liar - railing against what she called “epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year” - hers excluded, of course. “It’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences,”she added.

“This is not about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk, lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities. It is a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly.”

Omitted was her support for all US wars of aggression since the 1990s, including direct involvement in the rape of Yugoslavia, Libya and Syria, along with drone wars on Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere, as well as backing Israeli high crimes.

She urged protecting nonexistent “American democracy and innocent lives” it massacres in one war theater after another from truth-telling, found only through alternative media sources, including social media. 

The scourge she and husband Bill represent still hasn’t gone away. Maybe the only way is by locking them both up longterm.

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.

Obama Formally Approves Arming Terrorists in Syria


Obama Formally Approves Arming Terrorists in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

They’ve been armed with heavy weapons from America and its rogue allies all along - on the phony pretext of supporting nonexistent “moderate rebels.” 

All anti-government fighters are cutthroat killers, death squad terrorists, largely recruited from scores of countries - armed, funded, trained and directed by CIA operatives, US special forces and their NATO counterparts.

Russia/US talks in Geneva on removing all terrorists from Aleppo reflect the latest US deception. Obama has no intention of abandoning his naked aggression on millions of Syrians.

He’s already responsible for displacing half the population internally or abroad, along with massacring over half a million mostly civilian men, women and children, injuring countless others, traumatizing an entire nation to advance America’s imperium and satisfy his blood lust.

A White House press release announced his intention to continue aggression on Syria on the phony pretext of “combat(ting) terrorism.”

On December 8, a so-called Presidential Determination said:

“I hereby determine that the transaction, encompassing the provision of defense articles and services to foreign forces, irregular forces, groups, or individuals engaged in supporting or facilitating ongoing US military operations to counter terrorism in Syria, is essential to the national security interests of the United States.”

Syria is Obama’s war, flagrantly violating international, constitutional and US statute laws. Obama lied claiming “authority vested in me as president by the Constitution and the laws of the United States…”

Fact: Only Security Council members can declare war - not Congress, presidents or anyone else. Nations may only attack another in self-defense, or in case of imminent threat when SC members authorize it. Anything else is naked aggression.

Russia is systematically betrayed every time it negotiates with Washington. Deceit is its longstanding practice. Upcoming Geneva talks on Aleppo are certain to go the same way.

Russia, Syria and allied forces should focus solely on smashing all anti-government forces infesting Syria, not wasting time and energy dealing with Washington - knowing the outcome in advance, maybe a chance for change under Trump, never while Obama and his neocon infested administration remains in power.

The 1976 Arms Export Control Act (AECA) lets presidents authorize arms and munitions sales solely for legitimate self-defense, no other purpose. 

It requires presidents to report to Congress on any violations. America consistently sells weapons and munitions for war-making against nations posing no threat. 

It doesn’t combat terrorism. It created and support elements acting as imperial foot soldiers. AECA waivers flagrantly violate the letter and spirit of the law - notably when based on a Big Lie.

Separately, reports indicate advances by Syrian and allied forces in eastern Aleppo left only around seven square km still in terrorists’ hands.

Despite a temporary halt in military operations so civilians can leave safely for government controlled areas, liberating Aleppo entirely is expected in days.

Miles to go remain in the struggle to free Syrian entirely from its US-supported terrorist threat.

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.

Tulsi Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act

Tulsi Gabbard’s Stop Arming Terrorists Act

by Stephen Lendman

Among the reported eight or so candidates Trump is considering for secretary of state, one possible choice more deserving than names mentioned is omitted - Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the state’s most popular politician.

“(W)hen it comes to the war against terrorists, I’m a hawk,” she said. “When it comes to counterproductive wars of regime change, I’m a dove."

She opposed condemning Bashar al-Assad, saying targeting him was “a thinly veiled attempt to use the rationale of ‘humanitarianism’ as a justification to escalate our illegal, counterproductive war” - its aim to topple him and his government.

If Trump is serious about wanting more diplomacy and less war, his choice for secretary of state should be someone with likeminded views. A refreshing new face would be welcome, a woman polar opposite war goddess Hillary.

On December 8, a press release from her office said the following:

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard…introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act today. The legislation would prohibit the US government from using American taxpayer dollars to provide funding, weapons, training, and intelligence support to groups like the Levant Front, Fursan al Ha and other allies of Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda and ISIS, or to countries who are providing direct or indirect support to those same groups.”

“The legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Peter Welch (D-VT-AL), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA-48), and Thomas Massie (R-KT-04), and supported by the Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) and the US Peace Council.”

On the House floor, Gabbard said “(u)nder US law it is illegal for any American to provide money or assistance to al-Qaeda, ISIS or other terrorist groups.” 

“If you or I gave money, weapons or support to al-Qaeda or ISIS, we would be thrown in jail. Yet the US government has been violating this law for years, quietly supporting allies and partners of al-Qaeda, ISIL, Jabhat Fateh al Sham and other terrorist groups with money, weapons, and intelligence support, in their fight to overthrow the Syrian government.”

“The CIA has also been funneling weapons and money through Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and others who provide direct and indirect support to groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda.” 

“This support has allowed al-Qaeda and their fellow terrorist organizations to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo.”

“That is why I’ve introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists bill - legislation based on congressional action during the Iran-Contra affair to stop the CIA’s illegal arming of rebels in Nicaragua.”

Gabbard’s legislation requires the Director of National Intelligence to identify nations, groups and individuals involved in terrorist activities or supporting them. 

She endorses ending US interventionist practices against nations like Syria threatening no one. Her measure is a courageous act with no chance for congressional passage.

It’s also a shot across the bow to the incoming Trump administration to stop US wars of aggression on humanity.

Will it work, even partially? The fullness of time will tell.

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.

Disruptive Forces Intend Raining on Trump's Parade

Disruptive Forces Intend Raining on Trump’s Parade

by Stephen Lendman

On January 21, 2005, GW Bush’s second term inaugural day, thousands lined Pennsylvania Avenue, booing and jeering as his limousine went by. 

“Not our president,” some chanted, expressing anger over his imperial wars of aggression. Sporadic clashes with police erupted, met by tear gas, pepper spray and other harsh tactics.

Thousands of military forces and police, from DC and other cities, were deployed, along with helicopters and snipers positioned on rooftops. 

The nation’s capital was virtually closed to normal activities. Events of the day were unprecedented. Will they be repeated on January 20 for Trump’s inauguration? Or something worse?

Under the hashtag #DISRUPTJ20, a so-called DC Counter-Inaugural Welcoming Committee intends trying to “shut down the inauguration of Donald Trump,” urging supporters to “(j)oin us on December 11 to participate in shaping our actions, strategies, and goals.” Its announcement continued, saying:

“On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will be inaugurated as President of the United States. We call on all people of conscience to shut down the ceremonies.” 

“If Trump is inaugurated at all, let it happen behind closed doors, showing the world that the vast majority of people in the US do not support his presidency or consent to his rule.”

“This spokescouncil is open to individual activists, organization staff, affinity groups, collectives, artists, medics and healers, and anyone else who wants to help shut down the inauguration. Law enforcement and media are not welcome.”

“We are planning to shut down the January 20, 2017, presidential inauguration ceremonies through a mass mobilization of people from across the United States and a series of coordinated direct actions.” 

“This mobilization will set the tone of resistance for the next four years, and will focus on training, political education, and building grassroots activist networks among communities who will bear the brunt of Trump’s right-wing assault.”

“Trump stands for tyranny, greed, racism, and misogyny. He is the champion of neo-nazis and white nationalists, of police who kill Black, Brown and poor people on a daily basis, of racist border agents and sadistic prison guards, of the FBI and NSA who tap your phone and read your email.” 

“He is the harbinger of even more climate catastrophe, deportation, discrimination, and endless war.”

Fact: Trump is a billionaire businessman, involved in real estate and other enterprises.

Fact: He’s never held public office so has no federal, state or local record to judge him on.

Fact: He’s still a private citizen. He hasn’t done anything yet in Washington, except announce cabinet and other appointments.

Fact: It’s unknown if he’ll continue dirty business as usual or go his own way. It’s unfair to judge him before he takes office. There’s plenty of time later if he betrays the public trust like the Clintons, GW Bush and Obama.

On Wednesday, documentary filmmaker, wannabe showman, shameful war criminal/racketeer/perjurer Hillary supporter Michael Moore disgracefully tweeted: 

“Disrupt the Inauguration. The Majority have spoken - by nearly 2.7 million votes&counting. Silence is not an option disruptj20.org”

Separately, he said “(i)t is the responsibility of this minority of Democrats in Congress to block, obstruct, disrupt, and do whatever they can to prevent the onslaught that is going to happen with Donald Trump, that the American people do not support.”

Moore, his twitter followers and most Americans know nothing about the nation’s political process - fantasy democracy, duopoly governance, a one-party state with two right wings exclusively serving wealth, power and privilege, waging endless wars on humanity at home and abroad.

If Trump is strong-willed enough favor more diplomacy, less war, killing TPP and jobs-killing trade deals, along with finding a new role for NATO and cooperating with Russia in combating terrorism, his tenure will be historic.

If his key pledges are breached, there’s plenty of time later for disruptive protests. Doing it before he’s begun serving smells of dark forces manipulating things, not people exercising their First Amendment rights.

I’m a harsh critic of governance of, by and for America’s privileged alone. Trump pledged to “end the special interest monopoly in Washington (along with) giv(ing) working people a voice for the first time in a very, very long time.”

Will he deliver or continue dirty business as usual? We won’t know until he’s in office. I’m waiting to find out before judging him.

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

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

Neocon Senators Urge Trump to Send More Lethal Aid to Ukraine Than Already

Neocon Senators Urge Trump to Send More Lethal Aid to Ukraine Than Already

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is an illegitimate US-installed putschist police state, fascism in Europe’s heartland, at war with its own people, encouraged by Washington, supplying its regime with lethal aid all along.

Bipartisan neocon senators want more. Led by minority whip Dick Durbin (D. IL) and Rob Portman (R. OH), they disgracefully lied to Trump in a letter, saying:

“Russia has launched a military land-grab in Ukraine that is unprecedented in modern European history.”

Fact: Utter rubbish! No “land-grab” occurred nor is any planned. Crimeans overwhelmingly voted to rejoin Russian. Putin accommodated their wish to correct a historic mistake.

Fact: US and EU sanctions imposed on Russia are illegal - permissible only by Security Council authorization. None exists.

Senators: “We believe it is in our vital national security interest to uphold these norms and values, and prevent America’s commitment to its allies and ideals from being called into question.”

Fact: Observing democratic values and rule of law principles with no deviations “is in our vital national security interest,” not the other way around.

Fact: Trump should support Ukrainian sovereign independence, free from its putschist scourge - ending all US military, economic and political support until democracy is restored.

Senators: “In light of Russia’s continued aggression and repeated refusal to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereign right to choose its own destiny, we also renew our call for the United States to increase political, economic, and military support for Ukraine.” 

“This includes defensive lethal assistance as part of a broader effort to help Ukrainians better defend themselves, deter future aggression and implement key structural reform.”

Fact: So-called “Russian aggression” never happened, a Big Lie claiming otherwise. So is saying Moscow disrespects Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereign independence.

Senators calling for Washington “to increase political, economic and military support for Ukraine (to) deter future (Russian) aggression” is code language for wanting them given greater help to crush courageous Donbass freedom-fighters deserving universal support. They deserve aid, not fascists in Kiev.

Washington and its rogue allies repeatedly spurned Russia’s good faith efforts for resolving conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

If Trump is serious about curtailing America’s imperial madness, he should straightaway renounce the above request and work cooperatively with Russia in restoring peace in Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere.

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, December 08, 2016

Lavrov on Russia/US Relations and Aleppo Update

Lavrov on Russia/US Relations and Aleppo Update

by Stephen Lendman

On the sidelines of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Hamburg, Sergey Lavrov denounced US policy, saying “the Obama administration continues taking unfriendly steps in an attempt to undermine the basis of normal cooperation between Russia and the US before leaving.”

He and Kerry met again - days after the US official reneged on an Aleppo proposal in line with Russia’s views.

Aleppo was again discussed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said both officials agreed on a need to resume talks under the UN auspices. The key condition for resolution is combating terrorism until it’s eliminated.

“Based on the US side’s declared readiness to facilitate the withdrawal of militants from that city, the sides agreed to look into practical details of this process at the expert level in the nearest future,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry added, knowing Obama continues undermining Moscow’s good faith efforts for cessation of hostilities and conflict resolution.

With Aleppo nearly liberated, Lavrov said Syrian and allied forces suspended “active military activities” so civilians could safely leave the city, free from US-backed terrorists’ captivity.

At the same time, he blasted pro-Western UN envoy to Syria, Staffan de Mistura, demanding he “stop sabotaging” Geneva peace talks. He’s deplorably one-sided, supporting war while claiming he’s for conflict resolution.

While agreeing to cooperate with America on withdrawing terrorists from Aleppo, Lavrov stressed Moscow will continue combating terrorism in Syria until it’s eliminated.

“Our strategy is very simple,” he said. “It is entirely based on…UN Security Council Resolution (2254), which envisions to mercilessly fight terrorists till their complete destruction, while at the same time solving humanitarian problems of the civilian population and starting a political process.”

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 Debunks Notion of Russia Interfering in America's Electoral Process

Trump Debunks Notion of Russia Interfering in America’s Electoral Process

by Stephen Lendman

Claiming it is utter nonsense. Not a shred of evidence suggests it. Irresponsibly blaming Moscow for hacking DNC emails or any other type interference in America’s electoral process reflects longstanding Russia bashing.

In response to being named Time magazine’s person of the year, Trump told the publication that accusing Russia is politically motivated. “I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered,” he said, adding:

“I believe that it could have been…any one of many other people…It could have been some guy in his home in New Jersey.” 

DHS, DNI and Hillary’s claims weren’t supported by evidence because none exists. Accusations without proof are baseless. Legitimate tribunals would dismiss cases without it.

DHS and DNI claiming Russia tried influencing America’s presidential election outcome was hokum. Utter rubbish! Shameless Big Lies. Responsible parties knew it all along. Media scoundrels promoted what they should have condemned.

Russia is a convenient punching bag, vilified for its sovereign independence and Putin’s anti-imperial, anti-war, multi-world polarity agenda.

Ranking House Intelligence Committee Democrat member Adam Schiff shamefully criticized Trump for “contradict(ing) our intelligence professional and carry(ing) water for the Kremlin.”

Republican House Homeland Security chairman Michael McCaul, a member of Trump’s national security team, lied about nonexistent Russian cyberattacks, nonsensically claiming interference with America’s electoral process, saying: 

Its (nonexistent) “hacks and attacks should be a wake-up call and a call to action. There needs to be consequences to these actions. On the international stage, if we don’t respond and show them that there are consequences, the bad behavior will continue.”

Obama indicated a “proportional” response was coming. Nothing so far. Hopefully Trump will extend outreach to Putin, following through on saying both countries should cooperate in combating terrorism and find ways to get along.

McCaul is part of Washington’s neocon infestation, rabidly anti-Russia. “We can’t allow foreign governments to interfere in our democracy, and when they do so we must call them out on it and respond forcefully, publicly, and decisively,” he ranted. 

“The United States should respond to cyber attacks in a way that will make our adversaries think twice before they do it.” again.”

His committee plans introducing what he calls “serious (cybersecurity) reform,” without further elaboration on what he intends.

Russia bashing won’t end once Trump succeeds Obama. Hopefully he’ll go the other way and seek normalized ties - in the interest of world peace and stability.

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.

US and Rogue Allies Frantic Over Losing Aleppo

US and Rogue Allies Frantic Over Losing Aleppo

by Stephen Lendman

The crucially important battle for Aleppo and surrounding areas is nearly won - Syria, Russia and allied forces prevailing over America, NATO, Israel and other Middle East rogue allies.

Liberating Syria entirely has miles to go, but things are heading in the right direction, Obama’s imperial agenda sustaining a major body blow, not going down easily.

On December 7, a joint US, UK French, German and Canadian statement on Aleppo expressed frustration over imperial defeat, saying:

“A humanitarian disaster is taking place before our very eyes.”

Fact: It’s not Syria’s fault, or Russia’s, or Iran’s. Responsibility lies entirely with Washington and its rogue allies - in Aleppo, nationwide, and all other US war theaters.

Statement: Eastern Aleppo “civilians…are cut off from food and medicine supplies.”

Fact: Russia and Syria alone supply them. America and its rogue allies send them only to terrorists, not civilians in need.

Statement: “Aleppo is being subjected to daily bombings and artillery attacks by the Syrian regime, supported by Russia and Iran.” 

“Hospitals and schools have not been spared. Rather, they appear to be the targets of attack in an attempt to wear people down.” 

“The images of dying children are heart breaking. We condemn the actions of the Syrian regime and its foreign backers, especially Russia, for their obstruction of humanitarian aid, and strongly condemn the Syrian regime's attacks that have devastated civilians and medical facilities and use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons.”

Fact: What rubbish! Syrian, Russian and allied forces are combating terrorism. America and its rogue allies support the scourge they claim to oppose. 

No evidence suggests Syria or Russia targeted civilians or nonmilitary targets, certainly not intentionally. US and so-called “coalition” warplanes strike them repeatedly, the way rogue state America operates in all its wars of aggression, waging them without mercy in flagrant violation of international law.

US-supported terrorists alone used chemical and other banned weapons. Wrongfully blaming Syria is one of many Big Lies about ongoing conflict.

The statement goes on to urge “an immediate ceasefire” - so US-backed terrorists can regroup, replenish their ranks, rearm and continue fighting, not “provide humanitarian aid,” as claimed.

Statement: “We urge all parties in Syria to adhere to international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Conventions.”

Fact: America, its rogue allies and terrorist foot soldiers systematically breach Geneva and other international laws pertaining to war.

Statement: “We are ready to consider additional restrictive measures against individuals and entities that act for or on behalf of the Syrian regime.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Washington and EU allies may impose new economic and political sanctions on Russia and Syria.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov responded, saying “(t)he continuation of the sanctions rhetoric causes regret. We also regret that our partners (sic) don’t want and are not ready to understand the essence of the situation.” 

“We don’t understand attempts to cover inability and unreadiness to help the Syrian settlement by absolutely groundless threats to impose sanctions.”

“Instead of helping settle the Syrian crisis, our partners (sic) don’t do anything effectively and just continue threatening to impose some new absurd sanctions.”

Washington and its rogue allies claim only diplomatic resolution can restore peace in Syria while continuing support for terrorist proxies waging war.

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.

An Anti-Interventionist Trump Agenda?

An Anti-Interventionist Trump Agenda?

by Stephen Lendman

Will Trump follow through responsibly on what he told supporters in Fayetteville, NC, saying: 

“We seek harmony and good will among the nations of the world, and we believe that respect for mutual sovereignty helps form the basis of trust and understanding.” 

“But we don't want people taking advantage of us anymore…We don't want that…We want to be the smart people. We don't want to be what we've been over the last long period of time.” 

“We build up our military not as an act of aggression, but as an act of prevention. We pursue and build up arms not in order to seek conflict, but in order to avoid conflict. We want to be strong. In short, we seek peace through strength.”

His remarks sent mixed messages. On the one hand, suggesting an anti-interventionist agenda. On the other, wanting greater US military strength at a time America’s only enemies are ones it invents to keep waging endless wars of aggression.

Saying “(w)e will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with” sends a positive message, adding: Instead, our focus must be on defeating terrorism and destroying ISIS, and we will.”

He may want more than he’s able to deliver, prioritizing guns and butter, saying he’ll spend greater amounts on America’s military while fixing its neglected infrastructure.

“We don’t want to have a depleted military because we’re all over the place fighting in areas that we shouldn’t be fighting in,” he said. “It’s not going to be depleted any longer,” while adding US policy of “intervention and chaos” must end.

How he didn’t explain. America’s empire of bases operates globally in scores of countries, its military footprint and imperial agenda the greatest threat to world peace, stability and security.

To what extent, if any, Trump intends diverging from longstanding policy is unclear. He’s under enormous pressure to continue dirty business as usual.

Is he strong-willed enough to go his own way? Will he end regime change practices, as pledged, or continue them?

Fighting terrorism first of all requires cutting off all support - by America and its allies. Without it, ISIS and other groups can’t exist. 

Their guns, tanks, artillery, missiles and other weapons don’t materialize out of thin air. They’re supplied by Washington, NATO, Israel and other rogue Middle East states - along with training and direction on their use.

Most often, political promises are breached once candidates take office. Obama broke every major one he made, his tenure reflecting deplorable rogue governance.

Will things be different under Trump? Judge him on his actions once inaugurated, not by his rhetorical pledges.

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.

Israel's Illegal Land Grab Formalization Bill

Israel’s Illegal Land Grab Formalization Bill

by Stephen Lendman

The so-called formalization bill passed its first Knesset reading, a measure designed to illegitimately legalize annexation of Palestinian land. 

It calls for recognizing 55 illegal settlement outposts on private Palestinian land as officially belonging to Israel. Enactment will steal over 8,000 dunums, including 3,067 where 55 outposts are situated, along with furthering far more land theft ahead.

Peace Now calls the scheme “grand theft robbery.” Under international law, all Israeli settlements are illegal, land on which they’re built stolen from Palestine.

Israeli attorney Avichai Mandelblit general opposes the measure, calling it indefensible if challenged in court. It contravenes Israeli and international law, he said. Passage is expected anyway.

In revised form, it excludes the Amona outpost. Israel’s High Court ordered it demolished. The measure gives settlers “usage right” to privately owned Palestinian land, a slippery slope toward grand theft, Israeli practice from inception, already controlling over 60% of historic Palestine, heading toward stealing it all.

Commenting on the new bill, B’Tselem said “(d)ispossession of Palestinians was never a matter contingent on this legislation. It has been integral to the settlement enterprise from its very inception and is one of the most consistent trends in Israeli policy over the decades.”

B’Tselem’s new report titled “Expel and Exploit: The Israeli Practice of Taking over Rural Palestinian Land explains the disturbing history of three Nablus District Palestinian villages - ‘Azmut, Deir al-Hatab and Salem. Similar actions harmed hundreds of other Palestinian communities since Israel’s 1967 occupation.

Palestinian land is stolen, used for settlements and other illegal development. Dispossession follows, fundamental international law breached every time.

B’Tselem: “The separation Israel has created between the Palestinian residents and their farmland and pastureland allows settlers to build houses, establish outposts, dig pathways, plant crops and groves, graze flocks, and take over natural water sources on that land. Meanwhile, villagers are also regularly subjected to physical attacks.”

These practices are flagrantly lawless, “based on a skewed and manipulative interpretation of the laws that Israel itself applies in the West Bank.”

Forced separation of Palestinians from their land, water and other resources violates their fundamental rights. Israel “devastated the local economy, and propelled (Palestinians) into poverty and dependence on external bodies. Villagers were left in a state of insecurity on multiple levels: financial, food and social insecurity.”

“…Israel utterly ignores the needs of the millions of Palestinians living under the strict military regime in the West Bank that denies these residents the option of taking part in determining their future, robs them of their rights and their assets, and bars them from any possibility of maintaining an ordinary routine.”

As Israel increasingly encroaches on Palestinian land, Palestinians are left isolated on scores of bantustans in so-called Areas A and B.

They’re deprived of virtually all fundamental rights under brutal militarized occupation. The world community ignores them, complicit with Israeli viciousness.

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.