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The International Criminal Court: An Imperial Tool

The International Criminal Court: An Imperial Tool - by Stephen Lendman

Established by the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on July 1, 2002, it's mandated to prosecute individuals for genocide and aggression, as well as crimes or war and against humanity.

Much earlier, the UN Charter was created "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our life time has brought untold sorrow to mankind." Its Chapter I states:

"To maintain international peace and security, (member states shall respect the) principle of the sovereign equality (of other members), settle their international disputes by peaceful means, (and) refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state."

Killing Rachel Corrie Twice

Killing Rachel Corrie Twice - by Stephen Lendman

On May 16, at 6:54AM Gaza time (3:54AM GMT), in international waters, an Israeli naval vessel attacked the Malaysian owned Spirit of Rachel Corrie ship (officially the MV Finch), carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. More details below.

Lawless Monday followed Nakba Day's bloody Sunday, Israeli security forces assaulting unprecedented numbers of nonviolent demonstrators in Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and along the Lebanese/Syrian borders.

Egypt was complicit, blocking activists from reaching Rafah. So was Jordan, forcefully preventing Palestinian supporters from approaching the King Hussein Jordan River Crossing Point.

Nonetheless, the day was potentially historic. Activists hope it will inspire greater global support for Palestinian liberation and justice, what only hindsight will show.

Israeli Violence Marks Nakba Day

Israeli Violence Marks Nakba Day - by Stephen Lendman

For Palestinians worldwide and millions supporting them, Nakba Day commemorates loss of their homeland, initially 78% in 1948, then the rest 19 years later in 1967.

Speaking for many, Audeh Rantisi recounted the horror, saying:

"I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July 1948," weeks after Israel's May 14 Yom Ha'atzmaut, its Declaration of Independence at the expense of displaced and slaughtered Palestinians.

"The pain sears my memory," he said, "and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try."

Many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians endured brutality, harassment, humiliation, and loss of their entire world, what Edward Said called "a slow death," shattered lives, and the incalculable horror of it all.

Explaining the horrific toll, Rantisi added:

Solidarity with Palestine

Solidarity with Palestine - by Stephen Lendman

Ahead of May 15 Nakba commemorations, massive crowds assembled in Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square in solidarity. They displayed banners, proclaiming, "The People want the Rafah Crossing opened," and "Palestine is a Arab state."

They also waved Palestinian flags, chanting "Solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada" and "National Unity" ahead of a planned weekend march to Gaza. More on that below.

Domestic issues were also addressed, including ending recent sectarian violence and concerns about popular unaddressed issues under military junta rule. After Friday prayers, Sheikh Safwat Hegazy addressed the crowd, saying:

"(Appointed prime minister) Essam Sharaf: this is not your government. This is the revolution's government. You should kick out the six former (NDP ruling party) ministers from the cabinet. We won't accept (deputy prime minister) Yehia El-Gamal who's part of the former regime...."

Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed

Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed - by Stephen Lendman

Visual evidence now confirms what earlier was known: namely, that Tokyo Electric's (TEPCO) Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station experienced at least one core nuclear meltdown, perhaps much worse than now admitted.

An earlier article explained, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/fukushima-meltdown-confirmed.html

Nuclear expert Karl Grossman calls it the ultimate nuclear nightmare, a real time China Syndrome, portrayed fictionally in the 1979 film by the same name.

On May 12, Hiroshima Peace Institute Professor Robert Jacobs told Russia Today TV that plant conditions "are much more serious than we were told earlier."

In fact, confirming a coverup, he explained:

Resurrecting the Bogus FARC-EP Files/Venezuela Connection

Resurrecting the Bogus FARC-EP Files/Venezuela Connection - by Stephen Lendman

The story surfaced in March 2008 after Colombia's military, with US Special Forces help, attacked a FARC-EP rebel camp in Ecuador. Over 20 people were killed, including 16 or more FARC-EP members while they slept. Key among them was Paul Reyes, the FARC-EP's second-in-command, their peace negotiator, public voice, and lead figure in the Chavez-led hostage negotiations with Colombia at the time.

Tensions rose when Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos Calderon said three laptops and other materials were found at the FARC-EP camp. Containing provocative evidence, he said, it showed a Chavez/Ecuadorean President Raphael Correa link to FARC-EP rebels, including Venezuela providing them weapons, munitions, and about $300 million.

Bahraini State Terror Continues

Bahraini State Terror Continues - by Stephen Lendman

Bahraini and Saudi security forces continue daily terror in Bahrain, human rights groups condemning the violence, including Amnesty International (AI), providing regular updates.

On May 11, AI reported more than 47 health professionals, including doctors and nurses, have been arrested, charged and may face trial before a military court for doing their job. All are Shias in a Sunni-run state.

Entirely bogus charges against them include:

-- refusing to help people in need;

-- embezzling public funds;

-- assaults causing deaths;

-- unauthorized possession of weapons and ammunition;

-- refusing to perform duties;

-- putting people's lives and health at risk;

-- illegal detention;

-- abusing authority;

-- attempting to forcefully occupy buildings;

-- incitement to forcibly overthrow the Khalifa monarchy;

-- incitement of regime hatred;

-- incitement of the hatred of a segment of society;

Human Trafficking in Israel

Human Trafficking in Israel - by Stephen Lendman

In February 2003, the Tel Aviv-based Hotline for Migrant Workers (HMW) published a report titled, "Modern Slavery and Trafficking in Human Beings in Israel," saying:

"In September 2002, a new 'Deportation Police' (Immigration Administration) was set up (to) expel 50,000 migrant workers" by year end 2003. Unprecedented in scope at the time, it reflected Israel's longstanding "official policy towards migrant labor."

HMW's report showed a pattern of denying migrant workers basic rights "to such an extent as to result in modern slavery and trafficking in human beings."

Ever since Israel allowed non-Palestinian migrant workers entry in the early 1990s, their rights steadily eroded. More recently, HMW said:

"Its primary manifestations include debt bondage, restrictions and violations of basic human freedoms, and renting and selling of workers," policies ongoing today.

Libyan Rebels Killing Civilians in Benghazi

Libyan Rebels Killing Civilians in Benghazi - by Stephen Lendman

In London, at a June 1999 anti-Yugoslavia war rally, Nobel Laureate Harold Pinter scathed US and UK leaders, saying:

"Let us face the truth....(N)either Clinton nor Blair gives a damn about the Kosovar Albanians. This action has been another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile....to consolidate....American domination of Europe."

Today, Obama doesn't give a damn about Libyans, any more than about Iraqis, Afghans or working Americans. At issue only is Washington wanting unchallenged dominance everywhere, including over the Mediterranean Basin, using two missiles - NATO and so-called rebels, enlisted, funded, trained and armed well before bombing began on March 19.

East Jerusalem Palestinians: Lawlessly Revoking Their Status

East Jerusalem Residents: Lawlessly Revoking Their Status - by Stephen Lendman

On April 7, 2011, HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) filed a petition, demanding that Israel's Interior Ministry stop revoking residency permits given East Jerusalem Palestinians.

After its June 1967 annexation, life for Palestinian residents became an ongoing cycle of neglect, discrimination, poverty, shortages, and persecution, compounded by the encircling Separation Wall and worsening daily hardships.

Commemorating Palestine's Nakba

Commemorating Palestine's Nakba - by Stephen Lendman

What Ilan Pappe described as "the ethnic cleaning of Palestine," Edward Said called its "holocaust," saying:

"Every human calamity is different, but there is value in seeing analogies and perhaps hidden similarities." He called Nazi extermination "the lowest point of (Jewish) collective existence." Occupied Palestinians today "are as powerless as Jews were" under Hitler, devastated by "power used for evil purposes," not self-defense.

As a result, they hang onto life by a thread, while Israel's military juggernaut systematically reigns terror against them, no one intervening to help. "Is this the Zionist goal for which hundreds of thousands have died," Said asked? Isn't it time for justice advocates to demand for Palestinians what Jews spent decades to achieve.

In his book titled, "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," Pappe documented Israel's master plan D (Dalet in Hebrew), a war without mercy:

Democracy, Haitian Style

Democracy, Haitian Style - by Stephen Lendman

Except for Aristide's tenure, what passes for Haitian democracy would make a despot blush, thanks to America's imperial grip on the hemisphere's poorest, long-suffering people.

As a result, last November's presidential and legislative elections might best be called a cruel joke. The entire process was rigged to exclude 15 parties, including by far the most popular, Aristide's Fanmi Lavalas.

Moreover, the election was so tainted by brazen disenfranchisement and fraud, including ballot box stuffing and other irregularities, that legitimate independent observers would have demanded throwing out the results and starting over.

Most Haitians, however, weren't fooled. A scant 22%, in fact, voted, a hemispheric low since record keeping began over 60 years ago.

Troy Anthony Davis: Unjustly Sentenced to Death

Troy Anthony Davis: Unjustly Sentenced to Death - by Stephen Lendman

Capital punishment is barbaric, unjust, and unacceptable for any reason in modern societies. No wonder Amnesty International (AI) calls it "the ultimate denial of human rights. It is premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice."

In fact, there's nothing just about state-sponsored murder, especially against falsely accused victims. In America, they're mostly poor Black or Latinos denied due process and judicial fairness by a corrupted prosecutorial system rigged to convict even known innocent defendants like Troy Anthony Davis.

New Bin Laden Tapes Appear Fake Like Earlier Ones

New Bin Laden Tapes Appear Fake Like Earlier Ones - by Stephen Lendman

On May 2, AP writer Matt Apuzzo headlined, "US Official: New bin Laden tape, recorded shortly before death, expected to surface soon," saying:

"US intelligence officials believe (he) made a propaganda recording shortly before his death and expect that tape to surface soon....A new recording (would) provide a final word from beyond the grave...."

On May 7, New York Times writer Elisabeth Bumiller headlined, "Videos From Bin Laden's Hide-Out Released," saying:

On May 7, the administration "released five videos recovered from" his alleged hideout, showing him "threatening the United States, condemning capitalism and at some points flubbing his lines and missing a cue."

Phantom Jobs and Economic Recovery in America

Phantom Jobs and Economic Recovery in America - by Stephen Lendman

On May 6, headlines cheered the new jobs report, New York Times writer Motoko Rich headlining, "Payrolls Show Strong Growth but Jobless Rate Rises," saying:

"For three straight months, the nation's employers have delivered solid job growth, easing some concerns that the economy could be slowing."

Bloomberg.com's Timothy Homan said:

At 244,000, "American employers in April added more jobs than forecast....indicating the world's largest economy is weathering the impact of higher fuel prices."

Wall Street Journal writer Sara Murray wrote:

"Job engine shifts to higher gear (as) companies cranked up hiring in April to the fastest pace in five years...."

False Flags: An American Tradition

False Flags: An American Tradition - by Stephen Lendman

Wikipedia defines false or black flags as "covert operations designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as though they are being carried out by other entities."

They're "big lies," defined by Merriam-Webster as "deliberate gross distortion(s) of the truth used especially as a propaganda tactic."

America's decade from September 11, 2001 to May 1, 2011 was punctuated by the (big) lie of our time and (big) lie of the moment.

Put another way, the official stories are falsified, myths, widely believed fantasies contrary to reality.

In his exhaustive research and writings, David Ray Griffin provided convincing evidence that 9/11 was an inside job and that bin Laden died of natural causes in mid-December 2001.

Staged Bin Laden Killing Hokum

Staged Bin Laden Killing Hokum - by Stephen Lendman

As reported, it sounded more like bad fiction than eliminating "Enemy Number One," especially with no visuals, corpse, independent proof, and shifting official accounts.

In Hollywood, it's called rewrite. In politics, it's lying, a Washington bipartisan specialty, notably on issues mattering most.

Also at issue is conducting lawless operations for any purpose. More on that below.

Two previous articles discussed the staged May Day hokum, accessed through the following links:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/05/lies-damn-lies-and-bin-ladens-deat...

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/05/media-lies-and-misinformation-on-b...

Palestinian Unity: Done Deal or Wobbly?

Palestinian Unity: Done Deal or Wobbly? - by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained the announced deal, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/palestinian-unity-deal-announced.html

In late April, Fatah and Hamas announced a reconciliation draft agreement, including a transitional government and planned presidential and legislative elections within a year.

It signaled hope for rapprochement between the two sides, as well as better prospects for Palestinian independence within 1967 borders, UN membership, achieving peace, and ending Israel's 44 year occupation. However, fulfillment faces long odds without strong Western backing, unlikely to surface given determined Israeli and Washington pressure to subvert it.

Despite unresolved issues between the two sides, AFP writer Nasser Abu Bakr headlined on May 3, "Palestinian factions sign unity deal in Cairo," saying:

New Israeli Discriminatory Laws

New Israeli Discriminatory Laws - by Stephen Lendman

In April, the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel discussed six new laws passed during the Knesset's 2011 winter term "that directly or indirectly target the rights of Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel."

Overall, they're treated like a fifth column, denied equal rights as Jews in a country just as much theirs. More so, in fact, as their forebears lived there for centuries or longer.

Each new law is discussed briefly below.

(1) "Duty of disclosure for recipients of support from a foreign political entity - 2011"

Imposing restrictions on foreign funding of human rights organizations, it established two parliamentary committees of inquiry to investigate them, "a tactic commonly used by authoritarian regimes to control the activities of" groups they target.

Media Lies and Misinformation on Bin Laden

Media Lies and Misinformation on Bin Laden - by Stephen Lendman

Corporate media manipulators love a big story they can hype, distort and falsify to attract large audiences, unaware they're getting managed news, not truth.

Moreover, the bigger the event, the worse the reporting, and no matter how often they're fooled, madding crowds rely on proved unreliable sources like US cable and broadcast TV, as well as corporate broadsheets and popular magazines publishing rubbish not fit to print.

After Obama's May day announcement, round-the-clock coverage now features "story one" ad nauseam, cheerleading the death of a dead man with no one allowed on to refute it.

A previous article did, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/05/lies-damn-lies-and-bin-ladens-deat...

Separating fact from fiction, it explained:

"1st Great War of the 21st Century"

"1st Great War of the 21st Century" - by Stephen Lendman

In 1980, pioneer trends strategist Gerald Celente founded The Trends Research Institute. He also authored Trends 2000 and publishes quarterly Trends Journal updates, providing timely, comprehensive, accurate business, economic, political, social, technology, and other forecasts on "over 300 different trend categories."

His "1st Great War of the 21st Century" was just released, a comprehensive analysis discussed below, including facts like "(o)nly 45.4 percent of Americans had jobs in 2010, the lowest rate since 1983 and down from a 49.3 percent in 2000. Last year, just 66.8 percent of American men had jobs, the lowest on record."

Because of high unemployment and rising prices, especially affecting food, energy and healthcare, "the natives were more than just restless, they were in revolt." No longer believing rosy scenarios, "they took to the streets and manned the barricades," more abroad than at home.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Bin Laden's Death

Lies, Damn Lies, and Bin Laden's Death - by Stephen Lendman

Winston Churchill rightly explained that "(a) lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on." He said it perhaps before television. For sure before 24-hour cable TV and modern technology instantly communicating globally.

It applies to Obama's latest lie, announced at 11:35PM EDT on bin Laden, saying:

"Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children."

Highlighting 9/11, he painstakingly discussed everything but the truth. America's media repeated it. Celebratory crowds in front of the White House, in Times Square, and at "ground zero" cheered it past midnight, mindlessly believing a lie. More on that below.

Oppressing West Bank Palestinian Children

Oppressing West Bank Palestinian Children - by Stephen Lendman

The Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations is a Beirut, Lebanon-based organization engaged in "strategic and futuristic studies on the Arab and Muslim worlds, (highlighting) the Palestinian issue."

In spring 2010, it published a Britain-Palestine All Party Parliamentary Group (BPAPPG) study, including the widespread detention of Palestinian children titled, "Under Occupation: A Report on the West Bank," discussed below.

Under military occupation, Palestinian children are treated like adults. Each year, about 700 are arrested, brutally interrogated, and prosecuted in military courts, denying them justice.

Since 2000 alone, over 7,000 have been brutalized. On January 31, 2011, 222 Palestinian children were imprisoned, 34 aged 12 - 15. Some at times are 10 or younger. At age 16, they're considered adults in violation of international law.

Al Jazeera's War on Syria

Al Jazeera's War on Syria - by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed Al Jazeera's war on Gaddafi, accessed through the following link:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/al-jazeeras-war-on-gaddafi.html

Discussing its recent programming, it explained how compromised it's become. For example on Libya, it's been largely Western/Qatari propaganda, not legitimate news, information, and analysis.

It's Syria coverage has been similar, providing its host country regime friendly reporting. Qatar is part of the Washington-led NATO anti-Gaddafi coalition. Shamelessly, Al Jazeera News channel (JNC) is on board supporting it.

Like America's media and BBC, JNC's biased reporting got one of its prominent journalists to resign in late April - its Beirut chief and host of the popular Hiwar Muftuh (open dialogue) program, Ghassan Bin Jiddo.

According to the Lebanon newspaper, As-Safir, it was to protest its recent coverage of Arab uprisings, saying:

America's New Middle East Agenda

America's New Middle East Agenda - by Stephen Lendman

A previous article on Syria quoted Middle East analyst Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, explaining Washington's longstanding plan to "creat(e) an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syria to Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, and the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan."

He explained it also includes redrawing the Eurasian map, balkanizing or reconfiguring countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, perhaps Baltic states, the entire Persian Gulf, Syria, Lebanon, and, of course, Libya to assure Western control of its valued resources, besides already having created three Iraqs. The strategy involves "divid(ing) and conquer(ing to serve) Anglo-American and Israeli interests in the broader region."

US Intervention in Syria

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

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

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

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:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/04/targeting-academic-and-speech-free...

His "(a)rticles and entries about activist teaching and radical pedagogy" can be followed daily on his blog site, accessed as follows:

http://activistteacher.blogspot.com/

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

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:

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2008/07/supreme-court-inc-supremely-pro.html

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.

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