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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
Political Prisoners in America: A Shocking Example of Mistreatment - by Stephen Lendman
A personal note. Writing about America's political prisoners is essential to defend freedom, justice, and other democratic values, especially wrongfully persecuted Muslims for political advantage. I communicate directly with five notable victims, all of whom I greatly respect, including:
-- attorneys Lynne Stewart and Paul Bergrin;
-- Yassin Aref;
-- Dr. Rafil Dhafir; and
-- Shukri Abu-Baker.
I've also written about them all, discussed them on the Progressive Radio News Hour, and am committed to help achieve justice so far denied them.
This article concerns Abu-Baker, after Rafil Dhafir emailed me the following from Terre Haute, IN federal prison Communications Management Unit's (CMU) segregation section where Muslims receive excessively punitive treatment:
Japan's Leaking Water Radiation 100,000 Times Above Normal - by Stephen Lendman
Initial March 27 Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) reports detected Fukushima Daiichi Unit 2 radioactive water readings at ten million times normal levels, including:
-- 2.9 billion becquerels of iodine-134;
-- 13 million becquerels of iodine-131; and
-- 2.3 million becquerels (each) of cesium-134 and 137 per cubic centimeter of water in the turbine building's basement.
This measure was 1,000 times above water readings in Units 1 and 3. Emissions happen during nuclear fission. Tokyo University Professor Naoto Sekimura said the leak came from Unit 2's damaged suppression chamber, designed to contain radioactive substance overflows. French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety's Olivier Isnard believes high readings are "proof that the reactor core (at least) partially melted." Others suggest a likely full meltdown, covered up and downplayed.
BBC: Imperial US and UK Tool - by Stephen Lendman
One blogger put it this way:
"Let me get this straight. The US is broke, borrowing money from China, and we will be funding the BBC to broadcast in China?"
On March 20, the London Guardian's Ben Dowell broke the news, headlining, "BBC World Service to sign funding deal with US State Department," saying:
Britain's government funded BBC will "receive a 'significant" sum of money from the US government to help (circumvent) the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China," as well as develop early warning software to more easily detect jamming.
According to Jim Egan, BBC's controller of strategy and business:
Effective software will help "monitor dips in traffic which act as an early warning of jamming, and can be more effective than relying on people contacting us and telling us they cannot access the services."
Planned Regime Change in Libya - by Stephen Lendman
A March 25 White House press release announced Obama's planned March 28 national TV speech:
"to update the American people on the situation in Libya, including the actions we've taken with allies and partners to protect the Libyan people from the brutality of Moammar Qaddafi, the transition to NATO command and control, and our policy going forward."
Imagine the hypocrisy. US-style "humanitarian intervention" reigns death and destruction "to protect the Libyan people." Recall how "shock and awe" protected Iraqis, how war on Afghanistan helps Afghans and neighboring Pakistanis from predatory drone and ground attacks. Libyans are now tasting imperial viciousness firsthand.
Updating Japan's Nuclear Disaster - by Stephen Lendman
Japan's March 11 earthquake/tsunami-caused nuclear disaster affects millions of people regionally and throughout the Northern Hemisphere. But you'd never know it from most major media reports, downplaying an unfolding catastrophe.
In fact, distinguished experts like Helen Caldicott long ago warned of inevitable nuclear disasters, especially in seismically active areas. On May 23, 2004, The Japan Times contributor Leuren Moret headlined, "Japan's deadly game of nuclear roulette," saying:
"Of all the places in all the world no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list."
"Japan sits on top of four tectonic plates....and is one of the most tectonically active regions of the world. (There) is almost no geologic setting in the world more dangerous for nuclear power than Japan."
US-Led Libyan Ground Assault Planned - by Stephen Lendman
In his weekly March 26 address, Obama said:
"As I pledged at the outset, the role of American forces has been limited. We are not putting any ground forces into Libya....And as agreed this week, responsibility for this operation is being transferred from the United States to our NATO allies and partners."
Earlier he said:
"United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster."
NATO: America's Imperial Tool - by Stephen Lendman
In 1999, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter called America's bombing and dismemberment of Yugoslavia "barbaric (and despicable), another blatant and brutal assertion of US power using NATO as its missile (to consolidate) American domination of Europe."
Against Iraq and Afghanistan it's to dominate Eurasia, and against Libya for greater regional hegemony, including resource control, privatization of state industries, new Pentagon bases for future imperial wars, and deterring any democratic spark from emerging.
Obama lied saying:
"United States forces are conducting a limited and well-defined mission in support of international efforts to protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster."
In fact, he caused a humanitarian crisis by killing civilians, the situation worsening daily as deaths and destruction increase.
Venezuela's New Social Responsibility Law - by Stephen Lendman
On December 20, Venezuela's National Assembly (AN) passed a new Law of Social Responsibility in Radio, Television and Digital Media. Contrary to harsh criticism, it doesn't impose censorship. It expands on existing legislation to promote responsible programming, including online. More on it below.
Whatever socially responsible laws the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) led government passes, unfair criticism follows.
On December 20, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in Residence Joel D. Hirst called it an "attack on freedom of speech," saying:
It "place(s) severe restrictions on the Internet, centralizing access under the control of a government server. They require the airwaves as a 'public good' and set in place harsh penalties for arcane and obtuse violations of the law."
False, like more examples below.
Target Israel, not Libya - by Stephen Lendman
On April 9, 1986, Ronald Reagan called Muammar el Gaddafi the "mad dog of the Middle East." Today, after an imposed no-fly zone, war rages to remove him. For decades, he ruled despotically, punishing enemies, rewarding friends. His days may now be numbered. Washington won't quit until he's gone, no matter how many corpses it takes to achieve it.
In fact, however, a far greater Middle East menace threatens the entire region, the Israeli war machine based in Jerusalem. Besides illegally occupying Palestine, brutalizing Palestinians daily, persecuting Israeli Arabs, threatening and attacking its neighbors, its longstanding plan calls for dividing and dominating the region.
Cheerleading for War - by Stephen Lendman
When America goes to war, managed news goes with it spreading rumors, half-truths, misinformation, and willful deception about targeted nations, regimes and leaders, whether despots or democrats. Whoever first said it, the first casualty of war is truth, and then some as John Pilger once observed saying:
"Journalism is the first casualty. Not only that: it has become a weapon of war, a virulent censorship (and willful misreporting) that goes unrecognised in the United States, Britain and other democracies; censorship by omission, whose power is such that, in war, it can mean the difference between life and death for people in faraway countries...."
Western Aggression on Libya - by Stephen Lendman
Make no mistake. Another Washington-led resource war targets Libya's riches, besides wanting new US base locations for greater regional dominance.
America doesn't covet regional sun, sand and sea. "Humanitarian intervention" is a lie. So are notions about peace, not war, liberation, equity, justice, and other democratic values. Washington tolerates none of them abroad or at home, plundering the world roguishly.
All US presidents are war criminals. Obama is one of the worst, doubling Bush's lawlessness, adding Pakistan and Libya aggression to Iraq and Afghanistan, spending $1.5 trillion annually for militarism plus multi-trillion dollar handouts to Wall Street crooks, while pleading poverty to cut essential homeland social benefits.
Lies, Damn Lies, and Humanitarian Intervention - by Stephen Lendman
Masquerading as "humanitarian intervention," Washington launched full-force barbarism on six million Libyans, all endangered by America's latest intervention. More on how below.
Beginning March 19, it was visible. However, months of planning preceded it, including US and UK special forces and intelligence operatives on the ground enlisting, inciting, funding, arming and supporting violent insurrection to oust Gaddafi and replace him with a Washington-controlled puppet like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
The scrip is familiar, playing out now in Libya - full-scale "imperial barbarism," a term James Petras used in a September 2010 article titled, "Imperialism and Imperial Barbarism," saying:
"The organizing principle of imperial barbarism is the idea of total war," including:
-- use of mass destruction weapons, unleashed on Libya as explained below;