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US Intervention in Syria - by Stephen Lendman
Despite genuine popular Middle East/North Africa uprisings, Washington's dirty hands orchestrated regime change plans in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Jordan, and Syria as part of its "New Middle East" project.
On November 18, 2006, Middle East analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya's Global Research article headlined, "Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a 'New Middle East,' " saying:
In June 2006 in Tel Aviv, "US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice (first) coin(ed) the term" in place of the former "Greater Middle East" project, a shift in rhetoric only for Washington's longstanding imperial aims.
Palestinian Unity Deal Announced - by Stephen Lendman
On April 27, the International Middle East Media Center headlined, "Rival Palestinian Factions Reach Reconciliation Agreement," saying:
Meeting in Cairo, Palestinian media sources announced a Hamas - Fatah reconciliation draft agreement, signaling hope for rapprochement between the two sides.
Both parties agreed to form a transitional government soon. The two delegations, headed by Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal discussed security issues and ways to coordinate forces on both sides. They also chose an election date, but didn't disclose it.
"A Hamas official (Izzat Ar-Rishiq) reported that all points of differences with Fatah have been overcome....Egyptian sources said that the two parties will be invited into Egypt soon (for an) official signing ceremony."
America's Terminal Decline - by Stephen Lendman
What distinguished experts long knew (timetables aside), the IMF just recognized, saying China's economy will surpass America's in 2016. If so, it will signal an end to the "Age of America," and no wonder after decades of heedless profligacy. More on that below.
The IMF's 2011 World Economic Outlook shows China overtaking America in five years based on purchasing power parity (PPP) - a criterion for an appropriate exchange rate between currencies as measured by the cost of a representative basket of goods in one country v. another.
IMF's 2016 PPP GDP estimate:
-- China - $18,975.7 trillion
-- America - $18,807.5 trillion
In current dollar terms, America retains its lead, but it's slipping noticeably.
IMF's 2016 dollar GDP estimate:
-- America - $18,807.5 trillion
-- China - $11,220.2 trillion
Professor Hassan Diab: Unjustly Victimized - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article discussed the case of Canadian Professor Denis Rancourt. In March 2009, the University of Ottawa unjustly fired him for heroically supporting Palestinian liberation and justice. Access it through the following link:
His "(a)rticles and entries about activist teaching and radical pedagogy" can be followed daily on his blog site, accessed as follows:
Depending on how events unfold, the case of former University of Ottawa and Carleton University Professor Hassan Diab is more disturbing and shocking. A November 13, 2008 Ottawa Citizen article explained, headlining:
"Ottawa university instructor arrested in 1980 blast at Paris synagogue," saying:
Supreme Court Lets Corporations Ban Class Actions - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article discussed hurdles ordinary people face before America's High Court, accessed through the following link:
Saying pro-business rulings aren't new, it suggested the most damaging one occurred in 1886. In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railway, the High Court granted corporations legal personhood. Ever since, they've had the same rights as people without the responsibilities. Their limited liability status exempts them.
As a result, they've profited hugely and continue winning favorable rulings. Today more than ever from the Roberts Court, one observer calling its first full (2006-07) term a "blockbuster" with the Court's conservative wing prevailing most often.
Israel's Lawless Arrest of Ahmad Qatamish - by Stephen Lendman
On April 21, the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association expressed grave concern about Qatamish's arrest:
"not only because (it's) motivated by his political opinions and beliefs and as such should be considered a case of arbitrary detention, but also because (he's) been (targeted by) Israeli authorities before on numerous occasions, notably" for long incarcerations without charge.
As a result, Addameer feels he'll again be administratively detained "without proper recourse to justice and without any legitimate means to defend himself."
Speaking on his behalf, Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Dr. Mustafa Barghouti called Israel's arrest "a shameless attempt at muzzling him in an unjustifiable attack on his freedom of expression."
Lies, Damn Lies, and Misreporting about Gitmo Detainees - by Stephen Lendman
Post-9/11, The New York Times became the lead misreporting source about Guantanamo detainees, largely characterizing them as dangerous terrorists threatening US security.
For example, on July 25, 2007, (like its many other reports) William Glaberson headlined, "New US study calls Guantanamo captives dangerous," saying:
A new Pentagon study "argues that large numbers of detainees were a direct threat to United States forces, including Al Qaeda fighters, terrorism-training camp veterans and men who had experience with explosives, sniper rifles and rocket-propelled grenades."
"It paints a chilling portrait of the Guantanamo detainees, (saying) 95 percent were at the least a 'potential threat,' including detainees who had played a supporting role in terrorist groups or had expressed a commitment to pursuing violent jihadist goals."
More on The Times' reassessment below.
Systematic Injustice Against Sundiata Acoli - by Stephen Lendman
In her book titled "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," Michelle Alexander cites Martin Luther King in 1968 highlighting the need to shift from civil to human rights advocacy, saying initiatives for it just began. In fact, it's truer now than then with Blacks and Hispanics comprising two-thirds of America's prison population, by far the world's largest at around 2.4 million, most incarcerated for nonviolent or political reasons.
Focusing on the war on drugs, Alexander characterizes the New Jim Crow as a modern-day racial caste system designed by elitists who embrace colorblindness. Believing poor Blacks are dangerous and economically superfluous, America's gulag became an instrument of control. According to Alexander:
Brutal State Terror in Bahrain - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed police state terror in Bahrain, accessed through the following link:
Saying sporadic protests began last summer, major ones began for regime change on February 14, the tenth anniversary of the public referendum on the Bahrain National Action Charter - a monarchy reform initiative to end years of 1990s political unrest.
Wanting constitutionally mandated elected government, greater parliamentary authority, political freedom, social justice, and ending discrimination against majority Shias, many thousands defied government demands for weeks, braving police attacks with tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets, live fire, arrests, torture, and disappearances until March 14 when over 1,500 Saudi Arabia-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) military and police security forces invaded Bahrain guns blazing.
2010 State Department Human Rights Report on Haiti - by Stephen Lendman
Haiti's human rights history is long and abusive, alleviated only during Jean-Bertrand Aristide's tenure. Besides achieving impressive social, economic and political gains, he respected and promoted justice and human rights initiatives.
For the first time ever, those arrested had formal hearings before a judge in two days. In 1995, a school for magistrates was opened. Courthouses and police stations were constructed and refurbished. Protecting children became paramount, including laws prohibiting all forms of corporal punishment.
BP Stonewalling Compensation to Gulf Residents - by Stephen Lendman
On April 23, a New York Times editorial headlined, "Quick Help for the Gulf," mocking grave environmental damage as well as affected communities and residents in typical Times cavalier fashion, saying:
BP's April 21 announced "$1 billion down payment on its obligation to restore the Gulf of Mexico to good health is such welcome news that it seems almost churlish to offer caveats" or question its motives.
In fact, BP committed America's greatest ever environmental crime, destroying the entire Gulf, as well as the welfare, livelihoods, health and futures of millions of coastal residents, a disaster perhaps no amount of money can restore, but don't expect BP even to try.
Commemorating Palestinian Political Prisoners - by Stephen Lendman
Since 1979, April 17 annually is Palestinian Prisoners Day, commemorating Mahmoud Hijazi's 1974 release - the first ever prisoner swap with Israel.
Acknowledging the day, the Addameer Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association highlighted the thousands of persecuted prisoners, launching a new campaign on their behalf "to raise awareness of specific cases....whose detention (pose) serious risks."
Ayed Dudeen is one of many affected, incarcerated without charge or trial since October 2007, the longest interned administrative detainee. A father of six, he's, in fact, been held for most of the past 19 years unjustly like so many others for shorter or longer periods.
Addressing Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, Military Judge Advocate General Avihai Mandelblit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Israel's Permanent UN Mission in Geneva, Addameer expressed "strong concerns" on his behalf.
Pernicious Koch Brothers Political Influence - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article on America's Tea Party discussed its backers, including David and Charles Koch, billionaire owners of Koch Industries, a privately owned energy conglomerate with interests in manufacturing, ranching, forestry, finance, and numerous other ventures in 60 countries and 45 states.
In 2009, Forbes called it America's second largest private company after Cargill with annual revenues of $100 billion. Donating generously to recruit, educate, fund, and organize Tea Party protests, they helped turn their private agenda into a mass movement of working Americans backing policies oppositie their own self-interest, added proof of the power of persuasion to deceive and betray.
On April 4, Center for American Progress (CAP) Action Fund contributor Tony Carrk published a report headlined, "The Koch Brothers: What You Need to Know About the Financiers of the Radical Right," saying:
Al Jazeera's War on Gaddafi - by Stephen Lendman
Based on its recent Libyan and Gulf states reporting (or lack thereof), Qatar-based Al Jazeera's credibility appears extremely compromised.
A previous article said the following:
Overall, its Libya misreporting has been deceitful, functioning more as a propaganda arm for Washington, NATO and insurgents, indistinguishable from US and other western media, representing imperial conquest, colonization, and pillaging of another non-belligerent country.
In late March, moreover, Front Page writer Mohammed al-Kibsi accused Al Jazeera of airing old Iraqi prisoner abuse video, broadcast by Al-Arabiya in 2007, in fabricating news about Yemen.
2010 State Department Human Rights Report on Egypt - by Stephen Lendman
In her book, "Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law," Marjorie Cohn quoted a former CIA agent saying:
"If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear....you send them to Egypt."
In fact, Egypt under Mubarak and current military leadership is proficient in all of the above. These practices go on daily but unmentioned in US media reports, claiming September elections promise democracy, when, in fact, everything changed but stayed the same.
Each year, the State Department publishes human rights reports on over 190 countries. Its complete one on Egypt can be accessed through the following link:
Poisoning Mother Earth: America's Gulf and Fukushima - by Stephen Lendman
As best we know it, the shocking truth is that preventable disasters keep proliferating life destroying contamination globally. Yet news about them is suppressed, so few people everywhere are unaware how calamitously they're being harmed.
As a result, distinguished environmental researcher, Dr. Ilya Perlingieri, now warns to stay out of rain because it's likely radioactive. So is drinking water, food and air with unknown levels because governments like America and Japan won't say.
However, Norwegian Institute for Air Research static and dynamic maps show radiation contamination across the Northern Hemisphere with estimates of potential releases, increasing daily. Access them through the following link:
Also, Radiation Network.com gives levels across America, accessed through the following link:
Mission Creep in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Escalated intervention keeps incrementally building toward sending combat troops against Gaddafi, French and UK leaders signaling what may, in fact, have been planned all along, perhaps including US marines. More on that below.
On April 16, New York Times writer Rod Nordland admitted what's already known headlining, "Libyan Rebels Say They're Being Sent Weapons," saying:
Interviewed by Al Arabiya on Saturday, rebel military leader General Abdel Gattah Younas said "his forces had received weapons supplies from unidentified nations that supported their uprising." National Transitional Council spokesman Mustafa Gheriani confirmed it without naming sources thought to be Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and NATO members directly.
Gheriani also said that rebels had "professional training centers," adding:
"We have a lot of people being trained, real professional training, that we don't talk to the world about."
S & P's Downgrade Targets Entitlements - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed the dirty game, accessed through the following link:
It explained bipartisan support for incrementally ending Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, no matter that:
-- Medicaid provides essential healthcare for low-income beneficiaries, jointly funded by the states and Washington, managed at the state level.
-- In contrast, Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs, funded by worker-employer payroll tax deductions. They're contractual federal obligations to eligible recipients who qualify.
What Next in Libya? - by Stephen Lendman
So far, weeks of conflict produced more stalemate than resolution, policy disagreement among NATO partners, and hawkish US broadsheets like The New York Times and Washington Post calling for escalated conflict to oust Gaddafi.
In its April 14 editorial headlined, "Stop the Blame Game," The Times called for stepped up bombing, arming so-called rebels, and saying, "No political settlement in which the dictator remains in place will work. The West and its partners must be ready to maintain political, economic and military pressure until (he's) gone."
On April 16, a Washington Post editorial headlined, "The Libya stalemate," saying:
"THE CONTRADICTIONS at the heart of US policy in Libya are becoming more acute." On the one hand, Obama, France's Sarkozy, and Britain's Cameron said bombing will continue until Gaddafi's gone. On the other, Obama "acknowledged that the war between rebels and (Gaddafi's forces) is stalemated."
The Israeli Lobby's Poisonous Influence on US Policy - by Stephen Lendman
In his powerful 2006 book titled, "The Power of Israel in the United States," James Petras explained the enormous Jewish Lobby influence on US Middle East policies. Often harming American interests, they're pursued anyway because of its grassroots and high-level control over government, business leaders, academia, the clergy and mass media since at least the 1960s.
As a result, anyone challenging Israeli policy risks being intimidated, blackmailed, smeared, pressured, removed from positions of authority, or called a national security or terrorist threat, leaving them vulnerable to unprincipled ostracization, persecution or worse.
Among America's 52 Conference of Major American Jewish Organization(s) (CPMAJO), the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is the oldest, founded in 1897.
Established by B'nai Brith in 1913, perhaps the Anti-Definition League is best known.
Remembering Vittorio Arrigoni - by Stephen Lendman
On April 15, International Solidarity Movement (ISM) members grieved for one of their own, their press release headlining, "Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank unite in mourning of slain activist Vittorio Arrigoni," saying:
"People will gather in Al Manara square in Ramallah and at Al Jundi al Majhull, (Gaza's) unknown soldier park," honoring the death of their comrade, slain and abandoned in a house north of Gaza. More on his death below.
Other events took place throughout Palestine, including protests following Friday's prayers across from the UN's Gaza headquarters. Bil'in and Al Masara also dedicated their weekly demonstrations to Vittorio, Vic to his friends.
On Saturday, the Popular Committee in Nablus held a commemoration with political parties in Nablus center, celebrating his work and condemning his killing.
Alarming New Fukushima Reports - by Stephen Lendman
Five weeks after Japan's disaster, reports suggest worse, not improved conditions. It portends serious regional and global trouble ahead, besides what's already happened.
On April 16, AP headlined, "Radioactivity Rises in Sea Off Japan Nuclear Plant," saying:
"Levels of radioactivity have risen sharply in seawater near (Fukushima), signaling the possibility of new leaks at the facility, the government said Saturday."
The announcement followed a 5.9 level aftershock rocking the country early Saturday. So far, no additional damage reports were issued. However, seawater radioactive Iodine-131 spiked to 6,500 times above normal, up from 1,100 times Friday, and Cesium-134 and 137 rose nearly fourfold.
Prospects for a Palestinian Spring - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article headlined, "Arab Spring Yet to Bloom," explaining that despite months of heroic Middle East/North African uprisings in over a dozen countries from Morocco to Syria to Oman, none so far achieved change. It suggested that months, perhaps years, of sustained struggles lie ahead.
Access it in full through the following link:
Liberating struggles, in fact, never come easily, quickly, or without pain against entrenched power determined to keep it. However, social movements at times succeed when ordinary people sustain heroic determined efforts. In America, abolitionists, suffragettes, unionists, and civil rights champions proved it against imposing power forced to yield.
In her book, "Challenging Authority," Professor Frances Fox Piven said:
Palestinian Statehood and Other Political Issues - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article addressed an independent Palestinian state within 1967 borders, accessed through the following link:
It explained a likely September UN vote on recognition, establishing de jure General Assembly membership despite strong Washington and Israeli opposition. The implications are stunning.
Haaretz reported that Netanyahu privately said he doesn't take the possibility "lightly, but we should also not exaggerate its" importance....Perhaps the Palestinians will have a majority in the UN, but what matters is not only the quantity but also the quality," adding "no one can impose a solution on Israel," suggesting non-compliance or hostile action will follow.
Arab Spring Yet to Bloom - by Stephen Lendman
Despite months of heroic Middle East/North African uprisings in over a dozen countries from Morocco to Syria to Oman, none so far achieved changed, suggesting months, perhaps years, of sustained struggles lie ahead.
Media commentators first used term Arab Spring in March 2005 to suggest a beneficial Iraq war spinoff, what, of course, never happened nor could it, given Washington's intent to prevent any emerging democracies.
However, it partly succeeded in Lebanon after Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri's February 14, 2005 assassination. Afterwards, "Cedar Revolution" anger erupted, ending Syria's occupation, reducing, but not eliminating the Bashar al-Assad regime's influence in the country.
In late 2010, the term resurfaced to reflect regional uprisings still ongoing, on and off, across the Middle East/North Africa. In recent days, notably they've occurred in Yemen, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt.
Libya's Great Man-Made River - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article explained that America's led NATO war on Libya was long-planned. All military interventions require months of preparation, including:
-- strategy and conflict objectives;
-- enlisting coalition partners;
-- selecting targets;
-- promoting political and public support;
-- deploying troops;
-- in Libya, recruiting, funding, and arming so-called rebels; and
-- post-conflict imperial plans.
Washington wants one despot replaced with another, a useful puppet to salute and obey orders, not independent-minded ones like Gaddafi who went along most often but not always on all issues, some major enough to want him ousted. An important overlooked one is discussed below.
Obamanomics: Waging War on American Workers - by Stephen Lendman
Since taking office, Obama shamelessly betrayed his constituents by:
-- ignoring popular needs during America's greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression;
-- giving Wall Street crooks trillions of taxpayer dollars;
-- spending another $1.5 trillion annually on militarism, imperial wars, and related policies at a time America has no enemies;
-- waging war on organized labor and public education, as well as civil and human rights; and
-- claiming "tough choices" demand class warfare through neoliberal austerity for working Americans, mainly middle and lower income ones least able to afford it.
On April 13, he announced his latest plan through $4 trillion in largely social spending budget cuts over the next 12 years. More on them below.
The same day, New York Times writers Mark Landler and Michael Shear headlined, "Obama's Debt Plan Sets Stage for Long Battle Over Spending," saying:
Goldstone Commission Members Affirm Study Findings - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article addressed chairman Richard Goldstone's fall from grace, accessed through the following link:
It discussed his shameless retraction of irrefutable evidence he and other commission members found - namely, that Israel willfully committed crimes of war and against humanity by attacking Gazan civilians and non-military targets in clear violation of international law. Moreover, it was done disproportionately to cause mass deaths, injuries and destruction.
Shockingly, however, Goldstone accepted Israel's internal investigation findings, knowing facts were suppressed and distorted to justify policies. For whatever reasons, he capitulated, selling his soul at the expense of his honor, character, dignity, and high-mindedness, erased in his April 1 Washington Post op-ed too late to retract.
Border and Community Vigilantism - by Stephen Lendman
Founded by long-time human rights activist/former baseball executive Enrique Morones in 1986, Border Angels.org tries to save lives by "stop(ping) unnecessary deaths of individuals traveling through the Imperial Valley desert (and mountain) areas....surrounding San Diego County, as well (locations) around the" US-Mexican border.
Extreme heat and cold conditions take lives. Desert summer temperatures reach 127 degrees so water is crucial to survive. Volunteers provide it throughout the spring and summer months, in violation of US law. In fall and winter, life-saving stations are maintained in mountain areas, providing warm clothes, food, and water.
A recent article covered Obama's immigration agenda, accessed through the following link:
Police State Terror in Bahrain - by Stephen Lendman
Last summer sporadic protests began. By mid-February, major ones erupted. Demonstrators held firm against King Sheikh Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa's regime. Repression and several deaths were reported from live fire.
Anti-government protesters occupied Manama's Pearl Roundabout, Bahrain's equivalent of Cairo's Tahrir Square. They demanded democratic elections, ending sectarian discrimination favoring Sunnis over Shias, equitable distribution of the country's oil wealth, and resignation of the king's uncle, Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa, prime minister since 1971. They also want political prisoners released and state terror ended.
For weeks, many thousands defied government demands, braving police attacks with tear gas, beatings, rubber bullets, live fire, arrests, torture, and disappearances.