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Independence Day Hypocrisy - by Stephen Lendman
All US federal holidays wreak of hypocrisy, representing notions and events other than what they commemorate. Besides Christmas, none perhaps is more celebrated than when America became independent from Britain on July 4, 1776.
Coming in the summer, parades, outings, barbecues, other celebratory events, and baseball highlight the day for many - relaxing, not reflecting on the same independence we deny nations globally, waging imperial wars and other ways to prevent it.
July 4 also commemorates America's history, liberation and traditions most people don't know, never learned, or forgot. Instead - in school to the highest levels and through media managed news - they've been force fed distortions, half truths and illusions to believe what, in fact, isn't true now and never was, a sanitized rewritten history, what historian Howard Zinn corrected in his "People's History of the United States."
Israeli Freedom Flotilla II Terrorism - by Stephen Lendman
Daily, Israel keeps proving its lawless rogue credentials, notably by blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza. As a result, it finds new ways to show contempt for human rights, rule of law standards, civility, fundamental Judaic tenets, and its very legitimacy as a nation state, established by mass slaughter and displacement of indigenous Palestinians from their homeland.
Today, its war against humanity dirty tricks/state terrorism arsenal includes propaganda, intimidating lawsuits, pressure on other governments, sabotage, subversion, cold-blodded murder, and whatever else it takes to ruthlessly commit slow-motion genocide against nearly 1.7 million Gazans, besides daily crimes against others in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
No wonder growing numbers of fed up Jews are leaving, voting with their feet, including studies showing half or more there actively consider it, and why not.
Pack Journalism Anti-Gaddafi Propaganda - by Stephen Lendman
Western media, especially America's, mostly ignore multiple Obama wars (including against Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia), focusing mainly on promoting terror bombing Libya, slaughtering civilians to save them.
Ongoing since March 19, killing and destruction continue daily. NATO's second in command, US Admiral Samuel Locklear, told Congress that Washington wants Gaddafi assassinated. Earlier, one of his sons and three grandchildren were murdered, as well as around 40 Libyan imans, attending a peace conference to end the carnage. Ruthlessly, Obama, the peace candidate, wants it continued, claiming lawless executive privilege to do it.
On the Progressive Radio News Hour, live Tripoli reports discussed hospitals, schools, residential homes, and other non-military targets bombed, civilians killed, anti-NATO anger, and growing popular Gaddafi support, including a million Libyans rallying in Tripoli on his behalf.
Targeting Professor Terri Ginsberg's Academic and Speech Freedoms - by Stephen Lendman
Post-9/11, anyone challenging America's war on terrorism faces possible recrimination, especially vulnerable Muslims, targeted for political advantage to incite fear to justify war.
Moreover, anyone critical of Israel leaves them vulnerable to vilification, intimidation and persecution. Even university professors are targeted, including distinguished tenured ones - censured, suspended and/or fired unjustly.
Yet America's First Amendment states:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Of all Bill of Rights freedoms, this one's most important because without it all others are at risk.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Safe Nuclear Power - by Stephen Lendman
In any form, nuclear power is inherently unsafe. For decades, nuclear expert Helen Caldicott warned it must be abandoned, saying:
"As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced."
Anti-nuclear activist/expert Professor Karl Grossman agrees, calling "Atomic Energy: Unsafe in the Real World" in his June 29 article, saying:
"Nuclear power requires perfection and no acts of God" to avoid accidents that may become catastrophes. Humans and technology aren't perfect. Natural and other type disasters happen. "(W)e can't eliminate them. But we can - and must eliminate atomic energy" or it will eliminate us.
Meaner Tougher IMF with Lagarde - by Stephen Lendman
On June 28, New York Times writer Liz Alderman headlined, "France's Lagarde Named New Head of IMF," saying:
She'll assume "one of the most powerful positions in global finance as a worsening crisis in Greece threatens the euro currency union and rattles financial markets worldwide."
Washington's choice all along, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner endorsed her over Mexico's central bank governor Agustin Carsten, her only competitor after IMF board of directors excluded Israeli central bank governor Stanley Fischer. Allegedly because of age, he, in fact, lacked support outside Israel, and US officials stuck with traditional IMF policy of a European in charge.
An American always heads the World Bank, yet Washington dominates all international lending agencies, assuring it anoints officials heading them, public discourse notwithstanding.
On June 28, a brief IMF statement announced Lagarde's appointment, saying:
Israeli Anti-Freedom Flotilla II Propaganda - by Stephen Lendman
On June 27, its press release headlined, "GAZA, WE ARE COMING. Despite pressure and threats of violence, flotilla will sail."
On June 27, A US Boat to Gaza Audacity of Hope press conference reiterated a determination to sail despite threats, pressure and other measures used to stop it.
Participants on board all 10 ships haven't come this far to turn back or let imperial viciousness deter them, especially when their mission is vital and just.
In response to spurious claims that passengers may have chemicals to attack Israeli commandos, perhaps the same ones responsible for the May 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre, Flotilla participants signed a declaration of nonviolence. Spokesman Dror Feiler told Army Radio that if Israel has other information, it should inform Flotilla organizers.
The Business of America is War - by Stephen Lendman
Noted trends analyst Gerald Celente said it, and it's true. In fact, America's business is war, more war, multiple wars, permanent wars, pillaging one nation after another for wealth, power, and dominance, while homeland needs go begging.
America never was and isn't now the "land of the free and home of the brave." In fact, it's become a "Let 'em eat cake" society.
Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually said it, France's 1789-99 revolution was very real, delivering guillotine justice, not promised "Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite," a status now destroying what's left of American freedom, heading for the trash bin of history if not already there.
Earlier articles discussed Washington's wars against Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and Yemen, as well as numerous proxy ones in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working households.
FBI Entraps Two More Muslims - by Stephen Lendman
By now, the familiar storyline sounds more like a film plot than criminal indictment, especially when Muslims are involved, and the most recent case repeats the same scenario used last December.
Then it involved Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, accused of plotting to attack an armed forces recruiting center. An undercover FBI agent lawlessly entrapped him, supplying an inert bomb, then stopping him after he allegedly tried to detonate it by remote control. A previous article discussed him, accessed through the following link:
Breaching Gaza's Siege Update - by Stephen Lendman
Israel keeps exerting pressure to block humanitarian efforts to deliver vital to life and other essential aid to besieged Gazans.
Endorsing Israeli lawlessness, the State Department issued a June 22 "Travel Warning - Israel, the West Bank and Gaza," saying in part:
"The Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of traveling to Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, and about threats to themselves and to US interests in those locations," adding "avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip."
Access the full statement through the following link:
On June 23, Secretary of State Clinton added:
Israel Toughening Conditions for Palestinian Detainees - by Stephen Lendman
On June 24, Haaretz writers Barak Ravid and Revital Hoval headlined, "Netanyahu: Israel to toughen conditions for Palestinian prisoners," saying:
On June 23, Netanyahu announced plans "to toughen the conditions of Palestinian security prisoners," meaning all of them wanting Palestine to be free, yet few committed crimes warranting imprisonment.
During his Jerusalem Israeli Presidential Conference, he said:
"We will give them all that they deserve according to international law, but nothing beyond that," despite systematically brutalizing detainees ruthlessly. More on that below. He added that:
"We will stop, among other things, the absurd practice in which terrorists who murdered innocent people enroll in academic studies. There will be no more 'doctors of terror' - the celebration is over."
Banker Occupation of Greece - by Stephen Lendman
Economist Michael Hudson calls it "Replacing Economic Democracy with Financial Oligarchy" in a June 5 article by that title, saying:
After being debt entrapped, or perhaps acquiescing to entrapment, the Papandreou government needs bailout help to pay bankers that entrapped them. Doing so, however, requires "initiat(ing) a class war by raising its taxes (harming working households most), lowering its standard of living - and even private-sector pensions - and sell off public land, tourist sites, islands, ports, water and sewer facilities" - in fact, all the country's crown jewels, lock, stock and barrel, strip-mining it of everything of worth at fire sale prices.
Violating Palestinian Rights - by Stephen Lendman
Besides its Knesset, security forces and intelligence services, Israel's High Court and Civil Administration ravage Palestinian civil society repressively. Two examples illustrate the problem.
On June 22, a B'Tselem press release headlined, "Sharp increase in West Bank home demolitions," saying:
Through late June, Israel's Civil Administration, its Judea/Samaria (West Bank) governing body, illegally "demolished more Palestinians homes....than in all of last year." Most often, soldiers and Border Police accompany them, forcefully evicting longtime residents.
Over the most recent seven day period, 33 residential buildings were demolished in Jordan Valley Fasayil, al-Hadidiyeh, and Yarza communities, as well as southern Hebron Hills Khirbet Bir al-'Id. As a result, 238 Palestinians, including 129 minors, lost homes.
Breaching Gaza's Siege - by Stephen Lendman
Suffocating besieged Gazans, Israel is committing slow-motion genocide. Global activists are determined to stop it and hold Israeli officials accountable for decades of crimes of war and against humanity - unspeakable atrocities financed by criminal co-conspirators in Washington.
In May 2010, Israeli commandos illegally interdicted six Freedom Flotilla ships in international waters, massacring nine activists aboard the Mavi Marmara mother ship.
Nonetheless, global activists are determined to break Gaza's siege, the first step to ending it altogether and freeing nearly 1.7 million people, isolated in the world's largest open-air prison.
Turkish - Israeli Relations - by Stephen Lendman
In May 2010, Israel's Gaza Freedom Flotilla Mavi Marmara mother ship attack, killing nine Turkish citizens, stoked tensions between the two countries.
At the time, Turkey warned it might sever diplomatic relations unless Israel apologized, consented to an independent international investigation, and ended its Gaza siege.
Israel, however, refused and stonewalled. Frayed ties followed. In fact, they began deteriorating earlier in the new millennium despite years of closer military, economic, political, technological, cultural, academic, and practical relations.
The 1993 Oslo Accords, in fact, facilitated them based on (false) notions that Israel sought peace. Even so, relations were less than entirely cordial. Underlying tensions persisted that grew as peace proved illusive, Israel choosing confrontation that erupted during the September 2000 Al-Aqsa (second) Intifada.
Permanent US Iraq and Afghanistan Occupations Planned - by Stephen Lendman
Nothing reveals Washington's imperial agenda better than its global empire of bases. Sixty-six years post-WW II, America maintains dozens in Germany, Japan, Italy, and South Korea alone.
In total, known Pentagon bases way exceed 1,000, as well as perhaps hundreds of other shared and secret ones in about 150 countries on every continent despite no enemies anywhere justifying them.
In his 2006 book, "Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic," Chalmers Johnson discussed the known numbers at the time by size and branch of service. He also highlighted the fallout, including oppressive noise, pollution, environmental destruction, expropriation of valuable public and private land, and drunken, disorderly, abusive soldiers committing rape, murder, and other crimes, often unpunished under provisions of US-imposed Status of Forces Agreements (SOFAs).
McCain/Kerry Support Imperial War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
On November 6, 1971, a remorseful John Kerry told Washington, DC's WRC-TV that "I gave back, I can't remember, six, seven, eight, nine medals," protesting against America's Vietnam War involvement.
On April 22, 1971, Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), saying in part:
He came to discuss an investigation involving "over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans," who admitted committing Southeast Asian war crimes, explaining:
US-Led Terror Bombings Target Civilians - by Stephen Lendman
US air and ground operations strategically target civilians, Pentagon (and NATO) denials notwithstanding. They lie despite clear evidence refuting them. Their latest crime claimed 19 Libyans, all civilians, including women and eight children, apologies not forthcoming and deceitful when they do.
NATO (code for the Pentagon) duplicitously called it a "precision strike on a legitimate military target - a command-and-control node which was directly involved in coordinating systematic attacks on the Libyan people."
False! It targeted Gaddafi ally Khweildy al-Hamidy's private estate, murdering civilians inside beneath the rubble, government spokesman Moussa ibrahim saying:
"This is very twisted logic. So you kill children. You kill mothers. You kill fathers, aunts and uncles, and then you try to explain it by twisted political military logic."
America's Barbaric Death Penalty - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous organizations oppose capital punishment, including the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP), an alliance of about 60 NGOs, bar associations, local bodies and unions, founded in May 2002. In 2003, it established October 10 as the World Day Against the Death Penalty.
On October 10, 2011, the 9th World Day seeks to raise awareness of the inhumanity of capital punishment from sentencing to execution. In fact, death row inmates endure horrific emotional and physical suffering under appalling conditions with little regard for their well-being.
Last year, the 8th World Day was "dedicated to the USA which executed 52 people and handed down 106 death sentences in 2009." America is one of the few federalists countries empowering states with this right. Presently, 34 use it. The others opt out, Illinois the latest one abolishing it, although 10 retentionist states haven't executed anyone for 10 or more years.
Bahrain Sues to Suppress Police State Terror Truths - by Stephen Lendman
On June 14, London Independent writer Robert Fisk headlined, "I saw these brave doctors trying to save lives - these charges are a pack of lies," saying:
The Khalifa monarchy "started an utterly fraudulent trial of 48 surgeons, doctors, paramedics and nurses, accusing them of trying to topple the tin-pot monarchy of this Sunni minority emirate."
One of many Bahrain articles addressed this topic, accessed through the following link:
Fisk said he witnessed medical heroism firsthand, "drenched in their patients' blood, desperately trying to staunch the bullet wounds of pro-democracy demonstrators, shot in cold blood" by state security force thugs, a Khalifa monarchy specialty.
Wrongfully Banishing Professor David Protess - by Stephen Lendman
On March 18, Chicago Tribune writers Matthew Walberg and Dan Hinkel headlined, "Northwestern at odds with star professor," saying:
"Cook County prosecutors sparked a media firestorm nearly two years ago when they subpoenaed notes, recordings, and even grades of (his) students (because of their work proving) Anthony McKinney had wrongly been convicted of a 1978 murder."
The battle sparked a feud between Northwestern and Protess, whose Medill Innocence Project uncovered numerous wrongful murder convictions, culminating when former Illinois Gov. George Ryan declared a moratorium on capital punishment in 2000 after 13 prisoners were found innocent and released.
Remembering Brian Haw - by Stephen Lendman
Early morning June 18, lung cancer claimed 62 year old UK anti-war activist Haw after a long battle, a man London Independent contributor Mark Wallinger called "the conscience of the nation grown quiescent."
His family left a message, saying: "He left us in his sleep and in no pain, after a long, hard fight," ending three months of treatment in Germany. His long vigil, in fact, contributed to his poor heath. It also led to a divorce and largely separated him from his seven children.
After others stopped protesting America's Afghan and Iraq wars, Brian was steadfast against his own government's complicity. In fact, from June 2001, months before 9/11, he camped out in London's Parliament Square against the UN's appalling economic sanctions. They got former UN representative for Iraq's Oil and Food program Denis Halliday to resign for being asked to commit the equivalent of genocide, killing 5,000 children monthly.
Medical Care in Gaza (Part II) - by Stephen Lendman
On March 25, 2008, Time magazine writer Tim McGirk headlined "Israelis Blocking Medical Care in Gaza," saying:
"Since Gaza is denied (most everything under siege), many complicated surgeries are no longer done there." Those permitted abroad for them, like Bassam al-Wahedi, endure a gauntlet through Israel's "security maze."
Entering Egypt through Erez Crossing, "(h)e fumbled along tunnels, steel doors that opened and slammed as he passed along, entered a strange cylinder that fired a whoosh of air at him before he finally reached a large hall with an Israeli soldier sitting inside a bulletproof glass booth."
He showed his permit for scheduled surgery that afternoon. "(T)hree plainclothed Israelis with pistols and walkie-talkies led him past cages with growling dogs to a room where he was strip searched and interrogated by a man who identified himself as a" Shin Bet captain.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Liberating Wars - by Stephen Lendman
America's imperial wars are for wealth, power, and unchallenged dominance, never for humanitarian concerns or liberation, notions Washington contemptuously spurns.
Yet rhetorical posturing claims otherwise. In April 1986, Ronald Reagan arrogantly said US air and naval forces "launched a series of strikes against (Gaddafi's) headquarters, terrorist facilities, and military assets, (carefully) targeted to minimize casualties among the Libyan people with whom we have no quarrel. From initial reports, our forces have succeeded in their mission."
Wrong! The BBC reported "at least 100 people died after USA planes bombed targets in" Libya. In fact, over 100 were killed, mostly civilians, including Gaddafi's infant daughter when his personal compound was bombed, trying to kill him.
Duplicitous Congressional Posturing on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
In Washington, hypocrisy and duplicity substitute for resolute action to obey international and constitutional law. In fact, they're mere artifacts long ago discarded to advance America's imperium.
All Washington's wars are illegal. International law permits them only in self-defense. Constitutional law only lets Congress, not the president, declare or wage them overtly, covertly or any other way for any reason unless America was attacked.
Moreover, the principle of non-intervention (a cornerstone of international law pertaining to national sovereignty) prohibits meddling in the internal affairs of other countries as stipulated in the UN Charter's Article 2 (7), stating:
Medical Care in Gaza Under Siege - by Stephen Lendman
Under siege, Israel continues to strangle Gaza. Poverty and unemployment are extremely high. Over 70% of the population requires humanitarian aid. Virtually everything is in short supply. Except for minimal amounts of some fruits, vegetables and flowers, exports are prohibited. Israel prevents access by sea and air. It's blockade is illegal but persists because Western powers and regional neighbors allow it.
Egypt's recent Rafah Crossing opening falls short of meeting Gaza's needs. On June 16, Gaza Gateway listed 10 reason why:
Crossings to Egypt remain limited, several hundred daily while 10,000 wish to travel. Moreover, it's for designated people only, not goods. Those allowed enter through Kerem Shalom Crossing.
The situation on both sides of the border is uncertain and unstable, including whether or not the opening will continue and under what conditions.
Working America's Dismal State - by Stephen Lendman
Two recent studies documented it, both discussed below. In May 2011, Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies (NECLMS) headlined, "The 'Jobless and Wageless' Recovery from the Great Recession of 2007 - 2009: The Magnitude and Sources of Economic Growth Through 2011 (Q I) and Their Impacts on Workers, Profits, and Stock Values."
From 2007 - 2009, private sector wages and salaries declined sharply, while unemployment, underemployment, and their median and mean durations skyrocketed.
According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER: the official US business cycle arbiter), the recession ended in June 2009. Public opinion polls sharply disagree. Two by ABC in May and June 2010 found 88 - 90% of respondents rating the economy "not so good" or "poor." They should know. They feel it.
"The Politics of Cancer" - by Stephen Lendman
University of Illinois School of Public Health and Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition Professor Emeritus Samuel S. Epstein chose the above title for his award-winning 1978 book, updated 20 years later in his important work titled, "The Politics of Cancer Revisited." More about both books below.
Epstein is an internationally recognized cancer expert and its avoidable causes, especially exposure to industrial carcinogens in air, water, food, consumer products, pesticides, prescription drugs, and workplace environments.
His decades of activities, public advocacy, awards, and distinctions are too numerous to mention. He also authored or co-authored a dozen books, as well as hundreds of peer reviewed articles on public health related issues, ones seldom getting enough mainstream attention if any.
Dismissively Ignoring Hard Times - by Stephen Lendman
Despite a deepening global depression, Washington, Wall Street and America's media remain largely in denial, for how much longer isn't certain as hard times get tougher for growing millions worldwide.
Tough enough, in fact, for angry demonstrators to strike and protest austerity measures across Europe in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Georgia, and elsewhere, as well as others scattered across America against budget cuts, tax and tuition hikes, and layoffs when workers more than ever need jobs.
Trends expert Gerald Celente calls it "the greatest depression," warning months ago that when anger erupts, unrest will cause governments to "take draconian measures to prevent total economic collapse and panic." Nonetheless, he expects massive bank failures, bank runs, and a bank holiday, preventing easy access to deposits as dire conditions worsen.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Reinstates Anti-Union Law - by Stephen Lendman
At the state and federal levels, pro-business/anti-worker rulings are nothing new. US Supreme Court history is rife with them since the 19th century, and no wonder.
From inception, America was always ruled by men, not laws, who lie, connive, misinterpret, and pretty much do what they please for their own self-interest.
In 1787 in Philadelphia, "the people" who mattered most were elitists. America's revolution substituted new management for old. Everything changed but stayed the same under a system establishing illusory democracy at the federal, state and local levels.
Today, all three branches of government prove it's more corrupt, ruthless, and indifferent to fundamental freedoms and human needs than ever, including worker rights to bargain collectively with management on equal terms. Forget it. They're going, going, gone.