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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.
2010 US State Department Human Rights Report on Bahrain - by Stephen Lendman
In April, 19 human rights organizations condemned Bahrain as one of the world's leading terror states, the Al Khalifa monarchy having lost all legitimacy.
In a joint press release, they said:
The undersigned "severely condemn the authorities' crackdown on prominent human rights defenders Abdulhadi Al Khawaja and Nabeel Rajab in Bahrain. We are gravely concerned for the safety and well-being of both human rights defenders who are being targeted for their human rights work."
Both were lawlessly arrested, beaten, detained, and brutally tortured as were hundreds of others for supporting democracy, human rights and equal justice.
Remote Control Killing Like Sport - by Stephen Lendman
Defense contractor giants like Boeing, Lockeed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and others, as well as smaller rivals compete for growing demand for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). They include remote control operated killer drones, also called unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs).
It's America's newest sport. From distant command centers, far from target sights, sounds, and smells, operators dismissively ignore human carnage showing up as computer screen blips little different from video game images. The difference, of course, is people die, mostly noncombatants. More on that below.
On March 10, 2010, Der Spiegel writer Marc Pitzke headlined, "How Drone Pilots Wage War," saying:
They "sit in air-conditioned rooms far away from (America's wars). They guide their weapons with joysticks and monitors. The remote warriors work with a high degree of precision - at a fraction of the cost of a fighter jet," but just as deadly.
Mountaintop Removal: Environmental and Human Destruction for Profit - by Stephen Lendman
Activists call it "strip mining on steroids." So did John Mitchell in his March 2006 National Geographic article titled, "Mining the Summits: When Mountains Move," saying:
Julia 'Judy' Bonds, "(a) coal miner's daughter....no longer (could) tolerate the blasting that rattled her windows, the coal soot that she suspected was clotting her grandson's lungs, and the blackwater spills that bellied-up fish in a nearby stream."
As a result, she moved downstream and joined Coal River Mountain Watch (CRMW), an activist group against mountaintop removal.
CRMW is an initiative "to stop the destruction of our communities and environment by mountaintop removal, to improve the quality of life in our area, and to help rebuild sustainable communities."
Access its web site through the following link:
Obama's Sinking Popularity - by Stephen Lendman
Except for bankers, war profiteers, other corporate favorites, and America's super-rich, it's hard imagining why anyone supports a president backing policies harming so many at home and abroad.
The good news perhaps is that growing numbers are awakening, the latest June 7 - 9 Zogby International poll showing recent lows in Obama's popularity:
-- 56% disapprove of his job as president; 43% approve;
-- 39% say he deserves reelection; 52% want change;
-- congressional approval also dropped to 17%, a testimony to mass public disdain; and
-- given America's direction, waging multiple imperial wars at the expense of vital homeland needs, expect an angrier public reaction ahead as pain levels rise.
The Obama Doctrine: Lawless Imperial Aggression (Part II) - by Stephen Lendman
Previous articles discussed America's permanent war agenda, culture of violence, imperial lawlessness, daily atrocities, blood-drenched history, glorification of killing in the name of peace, and support for the world's worst despots, as well as contempt for democratic values, rule of law principles, and human and civil rights abroad and at home.
Obama continues the odious tradition, governing repressively while waging global imperial wars, brazenly claiming humanitarian intentions he doesn't give a damn about, never did, and won't tolerate.
Americans foot the bill and pay the price. Global millions suffer. Earlier articles addressed America's wars against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as proxy ones in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, and at home against Muslims, Latino immigrants, and working households.
Palestinian Divisions on Statehood - by Stephen Lendman
On June 9, Haaretz writer Barak Ravid headlined, "Palestinian leadership divided over plan to seek UN recognition," saying:
Senior Palestinian Authority (PA) officials are "sharply divided over the unilateral move to seek" UN General Assembly recognition in September. Abbas wants it. Others don't "because they believe (it) could do more harm than good to their cause," hurting Israel perhaps but not helping themselves.
Those opposed include Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (a former World Bank/IMF official closely tied to Israeli/Washington/Western interests), former Prime Minister Ahmed Qureia, and former Palestinian UN envoy Nasser al-Qudwa.
Ravid said al-Qudwa's "opposition is particularly significant because he is considered the most experienced Palestinian official (in) dealing with the United Nations." He's also a possible presidential candidate.
The Obama Doctrine: Lawless Imperial Aggression - by Stephen Lendman
Wikipedia says US presidential doctrines state "key goals, attitudes, or stances for United States foreign affairs." Except for James Monroe in 1823 asserting a declaration of regional dominance, later ones reflected Cold War and imperial politics since Harry Truman.
On March 29, eight New York Times contributors asked "Is There an Obama Doctrine," preceded by an introduction saying his previous day America's role in Libya speech asserted unilateral authority to intervene abroad "when our interests and values are at stake," an illegal position under international and constitutional law, unmentioned in the debate.
On April 13, Times writer Peter Baker headlined, "Obama Puts His Own Mark on Foreign Policy Issues," saying:
Global Economic Crisis Deepening - by Stephen Lendman
In the 1960s, economist Arthur Okum began calculated America's Misery Index by adding the unemployment and inflation rates for a sense of public pain or lack of it in good times.
In May, it hit a record high exceeding 25, surpassing the earlier June 1980 21.98 top, based on how both measures were then calculated, not today's methodology, manipulated to hide painful truths.
At issue is:
-- over 22% unemployment, including discouraged workers and the so-called "birth-death model" estimate of net non-reported jobs from new businesses minus losses from ones no longer operating; during hard times, painful truths are hidden by creating non-existent jobs out of whole cloth instead of subtracting them to reflect fewer, not additional new businesses;
-- double digit inflation, including soaring food, energy, healthcare, college tuition, and other costs omitted or understated in core figures;
IMF Financial Terrorism - by Stephen Lendman
In July 1944, the IMF and Bank for Reconstruction and Development (now the World Bank) were established to integrate developing nations into the Global North-dominated world economy in ways other than initially mandated.
Under a new post-war monetary system, the IMF was created to stabilize exchange rates linked to the dollar and bridge temporary payment imbalances. The World Bank was to provide credit to war-torn developing countries. Both bodies, in fact, proved hugely exploitive, using debt entrapment to transfer public wealth to Western bankers and other corporate predators.
On a grander scale today, the scheme destructively obligates indebted nations to take new loans to service old ones, assuring rising indebtedness and structural adjustment harshness, including:
-- privatization of state enterprises, many sold for a fraction of their real worth;
-- mass layoffs;
-- deep social spending cuts;
Torturing Bahraini Doctors - by Stephen Lendman
For months, courageous Bahrainis protested peacefully against the Al Khalifa monarchy's repressive brutality, corruption, and discrimination, as well as unemployment, poverty, and other unaddressed social justice issues.
The response has been ruthless state terrorism against anyone challenging regime control, no matter how lawless, barbaric, and unresponsive to basic human rights and needs.
Since the mid-February uprising began, America's media largely ignored it, especially extreme repression Washington supports. Complicit in helping a key ally, Bahrain is home to the Navy's Fifth Fleet, strategically located in the heart of the Persian Gulf.
On June 6, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) highlighted the mistreatment of doctors and nurses, explaining their arrests, detentions, torture and upcoming military trials for doing their job.
Internet Censorship Bill Introduced - by Stephen Lendman
During his presidential campaign, Obama pledged to "(s)upport the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet."
In fact, he failed to deliver on every major promise made, including the last frontier of press freedom, protected from censorship and corporate control.
Post-9/11, both he and Bush expanded intrusive government surveillance, including Internet monitoring of personal communications. On April 1, 2009 the Senate introduced two bills, endangering a free and open Internet - S. 773: Cybersecurity Act of 2009 and S. 778 to establish a White House cybersecurity czar.
Both measures included provisions to give federal authorities unprecedented Internet control by:
-- federalizing critical infrastructure, shifting power away from providers and users to Washington; and
Humala Wins Peru's Presidential Runoff - by Stephen Lendman
On April 10, Ollanta Humala received most support among five presidential candidates, but not a majority. Eliminated were former neoliberal President Alejandro Toledo, his former economic minister and Lima mayor Luis Castaneda Lossio, and former Prime Minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
Discredited and now imprisoned former President Alberto Fujimori's daughter Keiko proceeded to a runoff with him.
On June 6, New York Times writer Simon Romero headlined, "Ex-Officer Set to Win Narrow Victory in Peru," saying:
Incomplete returns show him heading for victory, rebuking Peru's "economic model that has driven (its) robust growth, (but left) millions of (its) citizens....mired in poverty...."
America's Imperial War on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Obama's claimed humanitarian intervention, if fact, is lawless imperialism by any standard, America's latest target to be conquered, colonized, controlled and pillaged for greater power and profit.
As a result, daily NATO atrocities continue, a shocking display of imperial arrogance against another nonbelligerent state, targeted for other than declared reasons.
Begun on March 19, NATO announced June 1 that Operation Unified Protector (the renamed Operation Odyssey Dawn) will continue unabated through September to inflict mass casualties and turn Libya to rubble like Serbia/Kosovo in 1999, Iraq in 1991 and 2003, Afghanistan in 2001, and earlier campaigns since (and during) WW II by bombing, killing and destroying gratuitously. In fact, doing so violates international law and moral principles, ones Western powers long ago abandoned, especially Washington.
Naksa Day Commemorates Decades of Israeli State Terror - by Stephen Lendman
Supported, funded and armed by Washington, Israelis terrorize Palestinians daily. From late May to early June alone, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), Palestine News Network, and others reported:
-- an Iraq Bourin village child wounded;
-- in Bil'in village, one resident wounded, another 15 arrested, including eight international human rights activists against Israel's illegal Separation Wall, stealing up to 12% of Palestinian land when completed;
-- on May 29 at 1AM, Israeli forces stormed Bil'in village, panicking residents with sound bombs while they slept;
-- on June 3, IDF troops attacked weekly Bil'in anti-Wall protesters with tear gas, sound bombs, rubber bullets, and sprayed sewage water, injuring six and many others from asphyxiating fumes;
Continuing Bahraini State Terror - by Stephen Lendman
For months, Bahraini and Saudi security forces targeted nonviolent protesters and activists wanting the repressive Al Khalifa monarchy replaced by constitutionally elected government, political freedom, and social justice, what Bahrainis never had and don't now.
Three previous articles discussed it, accessed through the following links:
Still functioning despite authorities terrorizing people brutally, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) provides regular updates on the ground, expressing great concern about King Hamad's ruthless: