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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.
Fukushima Elevated to Level 7 - by Stephen Lendman
Fukushima's disaster will scar much, perhaps all of Japan for generations, including fetuses and newborns to be genetically harmed by radiation poisoning.
Kyodo News announced the latest news headlining, "Japan ups Fukushima nuke crisis severity to 7, same as Chernobyl," saying:
"The government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) upgraded its provisional evaluation based on an estimate that radioactive materials far exceeding the criteria for level 7 have so far been released into the external environment...."
NISA and Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission (NSC) estimate that 370,000 - 630,000 terabecquerels of radioactive materials have been released from Units 1, 2 and 3. One terabecquerel equals one trillion becquerels.
Bretton Woods 2.0: Soros New World Order Conference - by Stephen Lendman
In July 1944, 730 delegates from 44 nations met at the Mount Washington Hotel in Bretton Woods, NH for a UN Monetary and Financial Conference. Its purpose was to establish a post-war international monetary system of convertible currencies, fixed exchange rates, free trade, the US dollar as the world's reserve currency linked to gold, and those of other nations fixed to the dollar.
It also designed an institutional framework for market-based capital accumulation to assure newly liberated colonies would pursue capitalist economic development beneficial to victorious allies, mainly America.
In addition, the IMF and World Bank were established to integrate developing nations into the Global North-dominated world economy, using debt entrapment as the way to transfer their wealth to powerful Western bankers.
Avigdor Lieberman to Be Indicted - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article profiled him in-depth, accessed through the following link:
It explained he represents the worst of Israel's lunatic fringe, sort of a combination Dick Cheney/John McCain/Joe Lieberman, too extremist to be entrusted with power, but he's got it.
Robert Fisk once said he "out-Sharons even Ariel Sharon. (He's) talked of drowning Palestinians in the Dead Sea or executing Israeli Palestinians who talked to Hamas. (His) incendiary language (promotes) executions....drownings....hell and loyalty oaths," perfect for the role he assumed, allied with Israel's most extremist ever Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who also out-Sharons Sharon, no easy feat by any means.
Planned Libyan Invasion - by Stephen Lendman
In his book, "Winning Modern Wars," General Wesley Clark said Pentagon sources told him two months after 9/11 that war plans were being prepared against Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. Months earlier, they were finalized against Afghanistan.
"And what about the real sources of terrorists - US allies in the region like Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia? Wasn't it repressive policies of the first, and the corruption and poverty of the second, that were generating many of the angry young men who became terrorists? And what of the radical ideology and direct funding spewing from Saudi Arabia?"
"It seemed that we were being taken into a strategy more likely to make us the enemy - encouraging what could look like a 'clash of civilizations' - not a good strategy for winning the war on terror."
Police Brutality in Honduras - by Stephen Lendman
On June 28, 2009, a coordinated State Department-Pentagon project allied with Honduran military commanders and top opposition figures ousted President Manuel Zelaya, establishing the current fascist dictatorship, supported, armed, and funded by Washington.
In fact, all Honduran officers from captains on up are trained at the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly the School of the Americas (SOA), popularly known as the "School of Assassins."
Established in 1946, SOA Watch calls it "a combat training school," teaching soldiers how to torture, repress, exterminate poor and indigenous people, overthrow democratically elected governments, assassinate targeted leaders, and suppress popular resistance when it erupts.
Icelanders Vote on Predatory Bailout: Nyet - by Stephen Lendman
In his April 8 article headlined, "The Economic Crisis in Iceland: 'IMF Medicine' is not the Solution," Michael Hudson asked:
"Will Iceland Vote 'No' on April 9, or commit financial suicide," their choice being:
Reject debt bondage or "subject their economy to decades of poverty, bankruptcy and emigration of their work force."
In other words, destroying the nation for profit, extorting its wealth, selling off its natural resources and public enterprises, raising taxes on working Icelanders, and transforming the country into a dystopian nightmare, what Merriam-Webster calls "an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives," the opposite of utopia under conditions of deprivation, poverty, disease, violence, oppression, and terror, like in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Suppressing Truth and Promoting War: A New York Times Tradition - by Stephen Lendman
According to media scholar/critic Robert McChesney, today's corporate journalism is co-opted, corrupted, gutted, and virtually worthless as a source of real news, information and analysis.
As a result, a free and open society is at risk because fiction substitutes for fact. News is carefully managed. Dissent is marginalized, and supporting wealth and power interests replace full disclosure and accurate reporting. No wonder imperial wars are called liberating one. Civil liberties are suppressed for our own good, and patriotism means going along with lawless governments. America's under both parties certainly qualifies.
A previous article explained that for many decades, The Times has been America's closest equivalent to an official ministry of information and propaganda, masquerading as real news, commentary, analysis and opinion.
Obama Again Capitulates - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article explained his sellout to Republicans last year on extending tax cuts to America's aristocracy, accessed through the following link:
It shouldn't surprise that on April 8, he repeated what's become a habit - breaking every major campaign pledge by backing reactionary Republican measures, harming working Americans most, besides governing lawlessly at home and abroad and much more, hurtling the nation dangerously far right, tipping it toward neoserfdom enforced by repressive harshness.
Last December he said:
Israel: Spoiling for Another Fight? - by Stephen Lendman
Throughout its history, Israel intimidated as a regional menace, preemptively attacking Palestinians and regional neighbors for any reason or none at all. Each time, it's claimed self-righteousness and "self-defense," what scoundrels always say.
Until his death, Edward Said passionately defended Palestinian rights. He accused Israel of turning Palestine into an isolated prison, suffocating an entire population, impoverishing and slaughtering them, blaming them for its own state terror, and creating a wasteland of destruction and human misery.
Moreover, he said Israeli regimes sanctioned torture, targeted assassinations, and mass killing as official policy, besides committing every imaginable human indignity and degradation against people for their faith, ethnicity and presence.
Powerful Aftershock Rocks Japan - by Stephen Lendman
Measuring 7.1 (one or more other reports said 7.4), rocked northeast Japan, causing more damage and disruption to a devastated area. It cut electricity to four million homes, disrupted power at two nuclear facilities, and according to Kyodo News:
"Radioactive water spilled from pools holding spent nuclear fuel rods at the Onagawa power plant in Miyagi Prefecture," according to Japan's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA).
For up to 80 minutes, power was lost at Onagawa and the Higashidori nuclear facility. "A small amount of contaminated water spilled on the floor (inside) all three (Onagawa) reactors....In all, water spilled or leaked at eight sections of the plant," also run by Tokyo Electric (TEPCO). In addition, blowout panels designed to control pressure were damaged in reactor number three's turbine building, TEPCO saying a complete damage assessment was ongoing.
Fukushima Meltdown Confirmed - by Stephen Lendman
On April 6, Reuters reported that "the core at Japan's Fukushima nuclear reactor has melted through the reactor pressure vessel," Rep. Edward Markey told a House hearing on the disaster, saying:
"I have been informed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) that the core has gotten so hot that part of it has probably melted through the reactor pressure vessel."
Recklessly promoting nuclear proliferation, America's NRC is notorious for coverup and denial of its harmful effects. As a result, their rare admission virtually confirms a full core meltdown in one or more reactors, meaning vast amounts of radiation are being uncontrollably released into the atmosphere, water and soil, spreading over a vast area. It's the ultimate nightmare scenario now unfolding, but don't expect major media reports or government officials to explain.
Military Commissions Will Try 9/11 Suspects - by Stephen Lendman
On April 4, New York Times writer Charlie Savage headlined, "In a Reversal, Military Trials for 9/11 Cases," saying:
After months of indecision, the Obama administration "will prosecute Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) and four other (suspects) accused of plotting the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks before a military commission and not a civilian court, as it once planned."
In fact, candidate Obama pledged:
"As president, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act, and adhere to the Geneva Conventions...."
On January 22, 2009, he signed an Executive Order (EO) to close Guantanamo in one year.
More promises made. More broken. Obama's record is near-perfect showing nothing he says can be believed.
On April 4, Attorney General Holder broke the news, saying:
Republican Plan to End Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid - by Stephen Lendman
Public rhetoric obscures important facts about these plans politicians won't discuss in their zeal to end them incrementally.
Medicaid is welfare for low-income beneficiaries, jointly funded by the states and Washington, managed at the state level.
Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs, funded by worker-employer payroll tax deductions. They're contractual federal obligations to eligible recipients who qualify. However, you'd never know it the way both programs are publicly discussed, explaining everything but the truth.
Increasing Fukushima Radiation Dangers - by Stephen Lendman
Daily reports on efforts to contain Fukushima's disaster remain worrisome. On April 5, New York Times writers Andrew Pollack and Kevin Drew headlined, "Plant Operator Measures Higher Radiation in Sea," saying:
"(C)ompany officials said that seawater collected near the facility contained radiation several million times the legal limit."
According to Tokyo Electric (TEPCO), radioactive iodine-131 in samples collected measured 200,000 becquerels per cubic centimeter, or five million times above normal. Cesium-137's elevated level was 1.1 million times. No information on uranium and plutonium concentrations were given. Clearly, however, growing dangers are worrisome, yet official reports downplay them. Coverup and denial persist. According to TEPCO,
radiation levels have "no immediate impact" on the environment or human health. In fact, it's catastrophic. More on that below.
Richard Goldstone's Fall from Grace - by Stephen Lendman
The line from Gilbert & Sullivan's HMS Pinafor explains, saying: "Things are seldom as they seem. Skim milk masquerades as cream."
Goldstone's shameless reversal exposes the true man, a Judas, not what most people believed. Why is at issue? More on that below.
Two previous articles articles discussed his retraction, accessed through the following links:
On April 1, his Washington Post op-ed headlined, "Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and war crimes," saying:
"Our report found evidence potential war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity by both Israel and Hamas." The latter ones, in fact, were minor by comparison, responding only to Israeli provocations.
Remember Libya: One of History's Terror Bombing Victims - by Stephen Lendman
Like Cast Lead against Gaza, Odyssey Dawn is criminal imperial war, willfully attacking non-combatants and civilian targets, including vital infrastructure, hospitals, non-military airports and buildings, ports, power generating facilities, and other sites unrelated to military necessity.
These and more besides so-called rebels killing hundreds on the ground, targeting anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi, including African guest workers there for employment, not political allegiance.
In his article titled, "Libya and Obama's Defense of the 'Rebel Uprising,' " James Petras said:
Lynne Stewart's Appeal Brief - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous previous articles discussed her case, character, honor, and dedication to justice as the law demands, what it didn't afford her. Two of them covered her imprisonment and re-sentencing, accessed through the following links:
A brief timeline of her case was as follows:
-- indicted on April 9, 2002;
-- on February 10, 2005, convicted on all counts;
-- on October, 17, 2006, sentenced to 28 months;
Obama's Terror War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Since WW II, America's gone to war as much to wage as win them because so many profiteers benefit. The prospect of peace, in fact, terrifies government, military officials, and corporate predators, so new enemies are invented when old ones are vanquished, are no longer of interest, or conflicts end for other reasons.
Wars are solely for wealth and power, never humanitarian intervention to liberate oppressed people or promote democracy. They're notions, in fact, US leaders won't tolerate, notably Obama, doubling down on Bush, waging his Iraq and Afghan wars, fighting two others in Pakistan and Libya, another allied with Israel against Palestine, as well as proxy wars in Somalia, Central Africa, Yemen, Bahrain, Haiti, Honduras, Colombia, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working Americans.
Revisiting Israel's Terror War on Gaza - by Stephen Lendman
Despite no legitimate provocation, Israel began terror bombing Gaza on December 27, 2008. Invasion followed, attacking innocent civilian men, women and children for over three weeks, using missiles, bombs, shells, and illegal weapons against defenseless people. Mass slaughter and destruction ensued.
Brazen crimes of war and against humanity were committed. No culpable officials were held responsible. Security Council no-fly zone protection wasn't ordered. International community leaders approved or were silent. Washington was complicit by supplying Israel with weapons, munitions, and encouragement. Obama acts the same as Bush, waging a quartet of lawless wars and using proxies in others.
Operation Cast Lead remains one of history's greatest crimes. Yet Israel was green-lighted to wage it with impunity, what it's done numerous times in its history, besides terrorizing Palestinians by:
Russell Defreitas: Terrorist or Political Prisoner? - by Stephen Lendman
Many hundreds of wrongfully convicted men and women languish unjustly in US federal and state prisons, victims of judicial unfairness, get tough on crime policies, a guilty unless proved innocent mentality, three strikes and you're out, and America's bogus war on terror, entrapping law-abiding people for political advantage, especially Muslim's, Washington's target of choice.
Russell Defreitas is one of many, victimized by what the Innocence Project (IP) calls "McJustice - the crisis of indigent defense," or in Defreitas' case, FBI entrapment. No wonder IP tries to free "the staggering numbers of innocent people who remain incarcerated and to bring substantive reform to the system responsible for their unjust imprisonment."
Prosecutorial misconduct includes:
-- targeting the innocent;
-- using bogus charges to indict;
-- coercing false confessions;
Japan's Apocalypse - by Stephen Lendman
Despite a disaster multiples worse than Chernobyl, major media reports all along downplayed it. Now they largely ignore it, moving on to more important things like celebrity features and baseball's opening day, besides pretending American-led Libya bombing is well-intended when, in fact, it's another brazen power grab - an imperial war of conquest, explained in numerous previous articles.
The horror of all wars aside, waged solely for wealth and power, never humanity, Japan deserves regular top billing, given its global implications and potential millions of lives affected. Ignoring it is scandalous, yet it's practically disappeared from television where most people get news, unaware only managed reports are aired omitting vital truths.
America's Permanent War Agenda: Military Keynesianism on Steroids - by Stephen Lendman
Previous articles discussed America's culture of violence at home and abroad. Its entire history, in fact, is blood-drenched, glorifying conflicts in the name of peace, waging them every year in US history against one or more domestic and/or foreign adversaries.
Moreover, since WW II, America's had a permanent war agenda for unchallengeable global dominance throughout decades without enemies since Japan surrendered on August 15, 1945.
The Pentagon calls it a "long war." Obama is the latest warrior president following Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, F. Roosevelt, Truman, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II preceding him, as well as all others in between.
In his 2002 book, "Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace," Gore Vidal said:
Obama on Libya: Defending the Indefensible - by Stephen Lendman
Obama's March 28 television address wreaked of hypocrisy, lies and disdain for basic democratic values, making an indefensible case for naked aggression against a non-belligerent country. America's media approved.
On March 28, New Times writer Helene Cooper headlined, "Obama Cites Limits of US Role in Libya," saying:
Obama "defended the American-led military assault in Libya on Monday, saying it was in the national interest of the United States to stop a potential massacre that would have 'stained the conscience of the world,' " even though no threat existed until:
-- Washington showed up with co-belligerents France and Britain;
-- beginning in 2010, armed and funded so-called "rebels" who, in fact, are cutthroat killers, rapists and marauders, terrorizing every area they control, including their Benghazi stronghold; and