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Obama Challenges China on Human Rights - by Stephen Lendman
During Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit, a US - China Joint Statement said:
"The United States stressed that the promotion of human rights and democracy is an important part of its foreign policy. China stressed that there should be no interference in any country's internal affairs."
Washington often chides other nations about their abuses and injustices at home and abroad. In fact, no other nation matches America's disdain for human and civil rights, yet as Washington Post writers John Pomfret and Scott Wilson said in their January 20 article headlined, "Obama hosts Hu Jintao on state visit, presses China on human rights:"
"President Obama used his summit Wednesday with Chinese President Hu Jintao to place human rights front and center in the US relationship with the world's preeminent ascending power."
Political Prisoner Jalil Muntaqim Update - by Stephen Lendman
A previous article discussed his case, accessed through the following link:
For centuries in America, mass incarceration has been used for social control. In the 1600s, laws distinguished Blacks from Whites. Slavery existed until 1865. After the 13th Amendment abolished it, Blacks, like other people of color, were still denied due process. They still are, victimized by prosecutorial harshness, judicial unfairness, repressive drug laws, get tough on crime policies, guilt by accusation, three strikes and you're out, and poverty preventing a competent defense.
Muntaqim, formerly Anthony Bottom, is one of many thousands of victims, wrongfully imprisoned since 1971 for a crime he didn't commit.
Duvalier in the Dock - by Stephen Lendman
Don't bet on it, or at most expect prosecutorial pretense, theater, with Baby Doc Duvalier free to return to his luxury French villa, though perhaps later than planned. A previous article discussed his arrival and 15 dictatorial years of rule (plus his father's), accessed through the following link:
On January 18, New York Times writer Ginger Thompson headlined, "Former Haitian Dictator to Face Charges," saying:
"Haitian prosecutors presented formal charges of corruption and embezzlement against the former dictator Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier on Tuesday, raising the level of uncertainty surrounding his abrupt emergence from exile this week."
Haiti's Chief Magistrate, Marycidas Auguste, announced charges of "government corruption, embezzlement of funds, money laundering, and assassination."
Israeli Racism - by Stephen Lendman
Merriam-Webster defines racism as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race." It was the basis of South African apartheid and Nazi "master race" superiority above others, especially Jews.
Israel has no constitution. Basic Laws substitute, including statutes affirming exclusive rights for Jews. One is the right of return, granting them automatic citizenship. Goyim are denigrated and not wanted, especially Arabs. David Ben-Gurion once said:
"This is not only a Jewish state, where the majority of the inhabitants are Jews, but a state for all Jews, wherever they are, and for every Jew who wants to be here....This right is inherent in being a Jew." It applies to no one else.
Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti - by Stephen Lendman
With more troubles than Job, Haitians now have another after former dictator Jean-Claude Baby Doc's arrival. On January 16, Air France flew him back, New York Times writer Randal Archibold headlining, "A Former Dictator Reappears in Haiti," saying:
"Haitian television and radio stations reported that Mr. Duvalier....landed shortly after 6PM in Port-au-Prince," telling reporters he was there "to help Haiti."
He's most unwelcome. As Haitian dictator from April 21, 1971 - February 7, 1986, he ruled brutally after succeeding his father, Francois Papa Doc, another infamous thug in charge from October 22, 1957 until his April 21,1971 death.
For nearly 30 years, they reigned terror, using Tonton Macoute killers to murder up to 100,000 Haitians, yet America backed their rule. When military strongman Paul Magloire was deposed, rigged elections brought Papa Doc to power. More on his rule and son Baby Doc below.
Turmoil in Tunisia - by Stephen Lendman
Earlier turmoil began in 2000, the first protests since 1984 bread riots, including a three-day professional drivers strike in Tunis. Demonstrations followed in over a dozen cities by students, unemployed youths and others. Protestors attacked government symbols, including public buildings. Poverty, rising food and energy prices, high unemployment, and political repression were proximate causes. Le Monde, at the time, called the turmoil "the first warning shots aimed at President (Zine al-Abidine) Ben Ali."
Protests then erupted in mid-December after Mohammed Bouazizi, an unemployed graduate working as a vegetable seller set himself on fire in front of government offices in Sidi Bouzid, protesting police confiscation of his merchandise for operating without a permit. At his January 4 funeral, marchers chanted, "Farewell, Mohammed, we will avenge you. We weep for you today. We will make those who caused your death weep."
Updates on Two Political Prisoners - by Stephen Lendman
Earlier articles addressed them, accessed through the following links:
Pakistani Canadians Mahboob Khawaja, his son Momin, and family were wrongfully targeted for alleged involvement in terrorism. Mahboob is an "academic specializing in Strategic Studies with special interests in Western-Islamic Civilizations, Change and Conflict Resolution."
While working in Saudi Arabia, dozens of Royal Canadian Mounted police arrested his family at gunpoint in Ottawa. They blew open his door, then searched his home lawlessly with no warrant and found nothing. At the same time, Mahboob was arrested in Saudi Arabia, jailed for two weeks, then released. The affair ruined his academic career as a professor of global politics, and Momin's as a software developer and free man.
Banking in Venezuela - by Stephen Lendman
The Banco Central de Venezuela's web site (Venezuela's Central Bank) relates BCV history from its September 8, 1939 inception. At the time, conservative forces feared monetary instability under uncontrolled Central Bank spending. As a result, opponents (unsuccessfully) said giving it exclusive money creation power was unconstitutional.
Thereafter BCV reforms occurred in 1943, 1960, 1974, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1992, 2001, and most recently making banking a "public service" in 2010. More on that below.
In 1992, legislation established "administrative autonomy," in part transforming the bank into a "public legal entity. Until then, (it was solely) corporate in nature." Thereafter, Venezuela's president appointed "a collegiate body of seven members, a president and six directors," requiring two-thirds Senate approval for a six-year term. Its mandate is "monetary stability, economic balance and well-ordered economic development."
Turmoil in Lebanon - by Stephen Lendman
Reportedly, 19th century Mexican dictator Porfirio Diaz once remarked: "Poor Mexico, So far from God, So close to the United States." His proximity comment applies to Lebanon. Bordering Israel, it experienced decades of belligerent interventions as early as 1954 when Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion proposed supporting the establishment of a Maronite-dominated Christian mini-state.
In 1978, Israel attacked Lebanon and occupied the country up to the Litani River before withdrawing under US pressure, letting UN Blue Helmets (UNIFIL) replace its own forces.
Earlier, during Lebanon's 1975-76 civil war, Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin reportedly spent $150 million equipping and training right-wing Maronite Phalange fighters. In September 1982, during Israel's invasion, they massacred thousands of Palestinian Sabra and Shatila camp residents, an appalling atrocity Israeli forces permitted when Ariel Sharon was defense minister.
Netanyahu's Government: Israel's Worst Ever - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous previous articles explained Israel's extremism, notably under Netanyahu exceeding the worst of Ariel Sharon. Both men, of course, are war criminals by any standard. So are complicit Knesset members - roguish, racist and hard-line, comprising a voting majority that co-opt a weak-kneed opposition going along most often to get along.
Access several relevant previous articles through these links:
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyep Recep Erdogan agrees. On January 13, Haaretz Service headlined, "Turkey PM: Netanyahu has worst government in history of Israel," saying:
America Replicating Japan - by Stephen Lendman
An except from Franck Biancheri's new book titled, "World Crisis: The Path to the World Afterwards" states:
"The (current) financial and economic crisis....marks the end of the world order established after 1945." In 1991, the Soviet Union dissolved, and since fall 2007, we've "witness(ed) the accelerated decomposition of the 'Western pillar' with" America advancing disintegration.
After decades "spent living in the myth of an 'ended history' in which" Western ideology was triumphant, "it is almost impossible to imagine 'a world after' " without Washington/Wall Street dominance, "where 'Anglo-American' would not necessarily mean 'modern,' and where the dollar would no longer be king."
Salam Fayyad: Israel's Man in Palestine - by Stephen Lendman
His resume includes a University of Texas economics Ph.D., a teaching position at Jordan's Yarmouk University, and economic research at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank. From 1987 - 1995, he also served as a World Bank and IMF official, and until 2001, was IMF's man in Palestine, serving as Yasser Arafat's finance minister.
In Palestine's 2006 legislative elections, his Third Way party got 2.4% of the votes, a clear renunciation. Yet after Fatah's coup d'etat co-opted the PLO, PA and West Bank, President Mahmoud Abbas illegitimately appointed him prime minister.
Obama in Tucson: Shame, Hypocrisy and Deceit - by Stephen Lendman
Like all politicians, Obama shills for power, plays to the crowd, and hides ugly truths the public has a right to know. His Tucson remarks were no different, displaying intellectual bankruptcy by invoking scripture, heroism, and patriotism, while avoiding what most needed saying - the real cause of January 8th's violence. A previous article discussed it, accessed through the following link:
America's longstanding culture of violence deserves blame. A deranged gunman is merely systematic of a society off the rails, malignant from imperial wars, extremist politicians, demagogic media hosts and pundits, the proliferation of guns, a faux democracy, and deep-seated lawlessness and corruption too far gone to fix.
Not on January 12 for Wall Street Journal editorial writers headlining, "Consolation in Tucson," saying:
Hard Times in Illinois - by Stephen Lendman
With America's worst budget crisis per capita, Illinois reflects the crushing nationwide burden facing most states. As a result since 2008, they raised taxes, made big cuts in health care (including Medicaid), education and other social services. They also laid off thousands of state workers, cut pay and benefits for others, and plan more of the same going forward.
Collectively in FY 2011, state governments face about a $140 billion deficit, besides major shortfalls in large and small cities. In fact, according to Nick Johnson of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this year "will actually be the most difficult budget year for states ever," and 2012 may be as or more challenging.
Moreover, unlike 2010, little or no federal aid is planned with Washington in discretionary spending austerity mode. It means states and working Americans will largely be on their own to cope.
Post-Quake Haiti: One Year Later - by Stephen Lendman
On January 12, 2010 at 21:53 GMT, 4:53PM in Haiti, the earth massively shook. For affected Haitians, it never stopped. The combination of initial shock, devastating destruction, vast loss of life, injuries, suffering, and human misery disrupted millions of Haitians already overwhelmed by crushing hardships.
A year ago, people wandered the streets dazed, searching for loved ones. Lost power cut communications except by satellite phone. Haiti's quake vulnerability was well known but little reported, and no advance precautions were taken.
Roots of Arizona's Violence - by Stephen Lendman
As expected, America's major media won't explain it. Nation magazine editor Katrina vanden Heuvel ducked the issue, saying it's "a time for grief, not grievance." Blaming a "crazed act of a clearly unstable man," she called it "an assassination of democracy....shut(ting) down speech to slay those seeking its exercise," then added "we still don't know whether (violent rhetoric) was responsible for last weekend's horror."
A Wall Street Journal "Murder in Tucson" editorial deflected blame from hard right extremists, and rejected political reasons for the attack, saying:
"....Loughner is a mentally disturbed man who targeted Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and anyone near here....because she was prominent and they were tragically accessible....Whatever confused political motives he expressed seem merely to be part of the maelstrom of his mental sickness."
Obama's New Chief of Staff and Economic Team - by Stephen Lendman
On January 7, New York Time writer Jackie Calmes headlined, "Obama Promises Full Recovery for Employment," saying:
Visiting a window-manufacturing plant "to promote his economic policies and his new team of advisers," he said:
"We will not rest until we have fully recovered from this recession."
Another promise, another to be broken by a scheme to create ruler-serf societies globally, especially in America and the West. Obama's citing a "foundation" for growth is political blather, his specialty like other key team players around him.
Yet Calmes called his new appointees "pragmatic liberals with experience in the policy-making bureaucracy - and negotiating with Republicans in Congress."
Britain's War on Islam - by Stephen Lendman
Western vilification of Islam is longstanding, cruel, and unjustifiable. In his 1978 book "Orientalism," Edward Said explained a pattern of Western misinterpretation of the East, especially the Middle East. In "Culture and Imperialism" (1993), he broadened Orientalism's core argument to show the complex relationships between East and West by referring to colonizers and the colonized, "the familiar (Europe, West, us) and the strange (the Orient, East, them)."
He explained Western high-minded/moral superiority notions compared to culturally inferior Muslims. They're now portrayed as dangerous bomb-throwing terrorists, making them easy prey to wrongfully victimize.
Ramsey Clark is a former US Attorney General and International Action Center (IAC) founder. He's also a committed activist for social, economic, political, and racial justice. In his new year's message, he expressed worry and hope looking ahead, saying:
Daily Israeli Crimes Against Humanity - by Stephen Lendman
Daily accounts can be followed on important sites such as Palestine Chronicle.com, Palestine Telegraph.com, and the Electronic Intifada.net as well as others like Israel's oldest daily newspaper, Haaretz, available online in English.
They and others document harrowing crimes virtually ignored in the West, especially by America's media offering one-sided pro-Israeli reports with imperfect exceptions like Isabel Kershner's January 7 New York Times article headlined, "Israeli Soldiers Kill Palestinian, 65, in His Bedroom," saying:
"Israeli soldiers shot and killed an unarmed 65-year-old Palestinian man....in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. The man's wife said he was sleeping and she was praying when soldiers burst into the apartment before dawn, entered the bedroom and immediately opened fire."
Drugging Guantanamo Detainees - by Stephen Lendman
From inception, most Guantanamo detainees were uncharged. On January 5, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) said:
"....the vast majority of the men at Guantanamo should never have been detained in the first place, and that over 550 have been released and are peacefully rebuilding their lives." Most of the 800 captured and brought there were lawlessly "seized in broad sweeps and sold to the US (for) substantial bounties." From the Pentagon's own records, "most (have) no link to terrorism."
For over seven years, CCR "organiz(ed) and coordinat(ed) more than 500 pro bono lawyers across the country" to represent detainees, and helped to resettle about 60 others still at Guantanamo "because they cannot return to their country of origin for fear of persecution and torture."
Shield Act Targets First Amendment Freedoms - by Stephen Lendman
For decades, America's freedoms have eroded, notably post-9/11 with:
-- a president declaring unconstitutional unitary executive powers to rule unilaterally;
-- his successor embracing the doctrine;
-- checks and balances and separation of powers virtually ended;
-- passage of the USA Patriot Act;
-- Homeland Security Act;
-- other repressive laws;
-- annual renewals of coup d'etat continuity of government (COG) authority to rule unconstitutionally, including by martial law;
-- repressive national and homeland security presidential directives (NSPDs & HSPDs);
-- unconstitutional executive and other unilateral presidential directives;
-- the recent FCC ruling compromising Net Neutrality; and
-- the proposed Shield Act - S. 4004: Securing Human Intelligence and Enforcing Lawful Dissemination Act.
Waging War on American Workers - by Stephen Lendman
Target one is America's middle class, endangered after decades of wealth shifts to super-rich elites besides most high-pay, good benefit jobs, offshored to cheap labor markets - a policy Washington's duopoly endorses. It's the most serious threat to middle America since attacks began in the 1970s.
On December 23, 1957, The Dan Smoot Report published novelist Taylor Caldwell's (1900 - 1985) article, titled "Honoria," the true story of a former great nation and lessons to be learned from its demise.
She explained how men seeking freedom became Pilgrims, endured terrible hardships, yet survived, prospered, and gained power. They established colonies, believed in God, hard work, public education, and transformed villages into towns and cities.
Lanny Davis: Lobbyist for Despots - by Stephen Lendman
On October 2, 2009, Legal Times writer Jeff Jeffrey headlined, "Lanny Davis Leaves Orrick for McDermott Will & Emery," saying:
Former Clinton White House special counsel "left Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe to join McDermott Will & Emery's regulatory and government strategies practice." At Orrick, he "led a rather unusual practice that included litigation....related media strategies, (and) advis(ing) clients on crisis management."
In fact, he then and now he lobbies for despots and predatory corporate clients.
"More recently, (he lobbied) on behalf of Honduran business leaders to convince members of Congress to support the removal of" democratically elected former President Manuel Zelaya.
Israel's Knesset Targets Leftist Organizations - by Stephen Lendman
Numerous previous articles explained Israel's hardline anti-democratic agenda, several accessed through the following links:
Now the latest. On January 5, Israel's Knesset, by a 47 - 16 vote, approved forming a parliamentary committee to investigate leftist Israeli organizations. Among them, B'Tselem issuing a same day press release headlined, "B'Tselem proud of its activities and completely transparent. The Knesset's decision is what harms Israel's international status," adding:
Permanent Debt Bondage from America's Student Loan Racket - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article compared the 1950s to today, saying:
It was a different time, good and bad. Elected in 1952, Eisenhower was still president. Unemployment was low. Anyone wanting work found it. Most years the economy grew during a post-WW II expansion. Inflation was low. The average new car cost $1,500, a typical home under $10,000. College was affordable. Harvard's 1952 full year tuition was $600. Four years later it was $1,000 - for a full, two-semester year. During the period, anyone could attend evenings at $5 a course and get a Harvard degree for about $175, astonishing but true.
Annabel Melongo: Victimized and Imprisoned - by Stephen Lendman
In May 2006, Melongo was bogusly charged and arrested for computer tampering and eavesdropping without consent - the former accusation based solely on Save-A-Life Foundation (SALF) founder, Carol Spizzirri, a woman exposed as a liar. More about her and SALF below.
Melongo justifiably claims she was framed "to cover up SALF's longstanding relationships with powerful political cronies and funders." Originally indicted on January 17, 2007, she was re-indicted on May 28, 2008 on two alleged charges for:
(1) Eavesdropping without consent:
Besieged Gaza Two Years After Cast Lead - by Stephen Lendman
December 28 was Cast Lead's second anniversary, a three week onslaught inflicting an appalling human, destructive and environmental toll. The war ended. Regular attacks continued, and Gaza remains suffocating under siege. Yet world leaders are doing nothing to end it or hold Israeli war criminals accountable.
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) said "Gaza remains sealed-off from the outside world (after) the single most brutal event in" the occupation's history, and "impunity for war crimes prevails."
Electromagnetic Frequency Mind Control Weapons - by Stephen Lendman
Directed energy weapons include lasers, high power microwave, and millimeter wave ones among others. A relevant December 2007 Department of Defense (DOD) report called them a "transformational game changer in military operations, able to augment and improve operational capabilities in many areas," for both lethal and non-lethal purposes.
Access the full text through the following link:
Among other applications, EMF weapons/devices are used for harassment, surveillance and mind control. Agencies like the Pentagon, CIA and NSA use them to monitor people, manipulate their minds, harm, and at times kill them. The Navy Times called them the "most feared and controversial weapon(s) of (the) modern age."
Human experiments in America go back decades, an earlier article addressed MK-ULTRA (and others), accessed through the following link:
Israel's Barbaric Solitary Confinement - by Stephen Lendman
An earlier article explained its harmful effects, accessed through the following link:
Social psychologist Hans Toch coined the term "isolation panic" to describe symptoms he observed in men he interviewed, including panic, rage, a sense of total loss of control, emotional breakdown, regressive behavior, and self-mutiliation. He distinguished between difficult but tolerable incarceration and intolerable long-term isolation, how America and Israel treat thousands, subjecting them to barbaric torture. If sustained long enough, it destroys the human spirit, psyche, mind and body.
Over time, it causes:
-- severe anxiety;
-- panic attacks;
-- irrational anger, at time uncontrollable;
-- social withdrawal;
-- memory and appetite loss;
Islamophobia in Western Media - by Stephen Lendman
Post-9/11, Western media, especially in America and Britain, describe Muslims as fundamentalists, extremists, terrorists, and fanatics. Throughout the West, Islam is identified with violence, when, in fact it has common roots with Christianity and Judaism. Their tenets are based on love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not exploitation; and a just, fair society for people of all faiths. You'd never know it from Islamophobic media reports.
The Runnymede Trust identifies eight components, characterizing Islam as:
-- monolithic, static, and unresponsive to change;
-- having differing values from other cultures and religions;
-- being inferior to Western societies;
-- barbaric, irrational, primitive, sexist, violent, aggressive, threatening, supporting terrorism, and clashing with Western civilization;
-- an ideology used for political or military advantage;