Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Is TPP Dead or Dormant?

Is TPP Dead or Dormant?

by Stephen Lendman

The Obama administration went all out for its approval - a hugely secretive anti-consumer, anti-freedom, anti-environment, jobs-killing corporate giveaway race to the bottom.

It’s all about greater than ever corporate empowerment under its rules, overriding domestic laws for maximum profit-making. 

Obama lied, claiming it aims to “promote economic growth; support the creation and retention of jobs; enhance innovation, productivity and competitiveness; raise living standards; reduce poverty in the signatories’ countries; and promote transparency, good governance, and enhanced labor and environmental protections.”

It’s polar opposite on all counts. Secret negotiations went on for years, owing to TPP’s controversial provisions. Congress never ratified it.

Trump’s opposition to the deal greatly aided his electoral triumph. Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach explained Obama’s support “signaled to those whose lives have been turned upside down by the trade policies of the past 25 years that (Democrats don’t) care about them.”

Candidate Obama in 2008 campaigned against unfair trade deals. President Obama betrayed US workers by supporting them. Trump’s memorandum killed TPP on his watch.

He didn’t end talks on TTIP - TPP’s transatlantic equivalent or the secretive Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) - though his January 23 memorandum said his administration will “deal directly with individual countries on a one-on-one (or bilateral) basis in negotiating future trade deals.”

Wallach explained TISA “roll(s) back the improvements made after the global financial crisis to safeguard consumers and financial stability and cement us into the extreme deregulatory model of the 1990s that led to the crisis in the first place and the billions in losses to consumers and governments.”

She said “NAFTA is so packed with incentives for job offshoring and protections for…corporate interests” that Trump’s only responsible action is abandoning it altogether, not tweaking or renegotiating a measure too flawed to fix.

Is TPP dead or will a new administration and Congress revive it or something similar under a different name to disguise its hellishness?

Commenting on Trump’s executive order, the Electronic Freedom Foundation said his reasons for killing TPP aren’t in line with its opposition.

In his inaugural address, he said for too long, US trade policies “enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry.” He said nothing about TPP’s secrecy “and its impacts on digital rights.”

His “withdrawal from the TPP may not have achieved a long-lasting victory on those underlying issues.” Future trade deals under his stewardship “may be just as secretive, and equally harmful to Internet users’ rights,” EFF explained.

It urged a whole new approach to future negotiations, featuring “public transparency and openness.” Trump said “every decision on trade…will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

Abandoning all one-sidedly pro-business, anti-consumer, anti-worker, anti-environment free trade deals for fair ones is the only way to keep his public pledge.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

The NYT Furious Over Trump Killing TPP

The NYT Furious Over Trump Killing TPP

by Stephen Lendman

On his first Monday in office, Trump fulfilled his campaign pledge to kill TPP, his memorandum saying future trade deals will be negotiated one-on-one with individual countries.

He’s off to a good start in saving US jobs, his action and whatever follows hopefully helping to staunch their offshoring - transforming America into a nation of low-paid service workers, its manufacturing base largely abroad.

“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” he said, calling pulling out of TPP a “great thing for the American worker” and US manufacturing.

Union leaders he met with on Monday applauded his move. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka issued the following statement, saying:

“Last year, a powerful coalition of labor, environmental, consumer, public health and allied groups came together to stop the TPP. Today's announcement that the US is withdrawing from TPP and seeking a reopening of NAFTA is an important first step toward a trade policy that works for working people.” 

“While these are necessary actions, they aren’t enough. They are just the first in a series of necessary policy changes required to build a fair and just global economy.” 

“We will continue our relentless campaign to create new trade and economic rules that end special privileges for foreign investors and Big Pharma, protect our planet’s precious natural resources and ensure fair pay, safe conditions and a voice in the workplace for all workers.” 

The New York Times supports pro-business, anti-democratic, anti-consumer, anti-labor, anti-ecosanity trade deals - along with endorsing all US imperial wars, silent on their mass slaughter and destruction, other than blaming victims for crimes committed against them.

During the great debate over NAFTA, it effusively praised what cost over a million US jobs, claiming ones “lost to cheaper Mexican labor…would be gained because American exports would increase as Mexico’s high tariffs gradually disappeared” - a Big Lie.

Times editors endorsed TPP throughout long drawn out talks, turning truth on its head, saying America’s relations with Asian countries would be strengthened. The Electronic Freedom Foundation blasted its endorsement, calling it “an act of extraordinary subservience” to monied interests at the expense of American workers.

Last November, Times editors said abandoning TPP “would empower China.” It was mainly concerned about Obama not getting his key economic scheme adopted, along with monied interests failing to achieve what they’ve long sought.

In response to Trump killing TPP, The Times accused him of “upend(ing) America’s traditional, bipartisan trade policy” - ignoring its enormous harm since NAFTA’s adoption.

Instead it said “he demonstrated that he would not follow old rules, effectively discarding longstanding Republican orthodoxy that expanding global trade was good for the world and America - and that the United States should help write the rules of international commerce.”

Nothing said about jobs destruction, shifting America’s manufacturing base abroad. Nothing about TPP constituting destructive NAFTA on steroids.

Nothing about letting corporate interests override domestic law for greater profit-making. Nothing about TPP’s anti-consumer, anti-labor, anti-environmental provisions.

The Times is a house organ for wealth, power and privileged interests, consistently against peace, equity and justice for all.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Astana Syria Peace Talks Conclude

Astana Syria Peace Talks Conclude

by Stephen Lendman

Negotiating with terrorists is risky under any circumstances, especially with Turkey one of the key players involved.

Throughout six years of conflict, it supported ISIS, al-Nusra and likeminded groups it now says it opposes. Has Erdogan turned a page or is he engaged in a grand deception for his own self-interest?

He’s long sought annexation of northern Syrian territory. He profited hugely from sale of stolen Syrian oil. He proved many times he can’t be trusted. 

Saying he now seeks peaceful conflict resolution can’t be accepted at face value without lots of proving on his part - much more needed than agreements reached with Russia and Iran.

Day one in Astana resolved nothing. Day two concluded with a joint statement, saying Russia, Iran and Turkey will establish a trilateral mechanism for monitoring ceasefire.

They agreed to continue combating ISIS and al-Nusra, as well as other groups breaching the ceasefire, stressing conflict resolution is only possible diplomatically.

Opposition delegation spokesman Yahya al-Aridi said “(t)here will be no signing. The guarantor countries (Russia, Iran and Turkey) will just release a document.”

An unnamed Syrian delegation source said his delegation won’t sign the document. It’s “being drawn up by the guarantor countries in order to present it to other talks participants.”

Astana set the stage for further discussions in Geneva next month. Three previous efforts there failed because of Obama obstructionism.

With Trump rhetorically opposed to US interventionism, hopefully a better outcome is possible this time - by no means certain given Western and regional opposition to Syrian sovereignty, Obama’s war waged for regime change, wanting puppet governance replacing Assad.

If Trump follows through responsibly on what he’s said, he’ll focus solely on combating terrorism. Doing it requires ending US support and cooperating jointly with Russia for a common objective.

From Astana, Putin’s special envoy to Syria Aleksandr Lavrentiev predicted a “good outcome” despite no direct talks between Syrian delegates and their Saudi cobbled together High Negotiations Committee counterparts, representing anti-Assad terrorist groups (excluding ISIS and al-Nusra).

Lavrentiev called day one “fruitful” - diplomatic code language for nothing achieved toward conflict resolution. Monday talks excluded discussions on “such relevant topics as the ceasefire regime, the distinction of opposition forces from Daesh and Al-Nusra Front, and the joint fight against terrorism,” he explained.

On Turkey’s insistence, Kurdish YPG representatives weren’t invited to Astana. On Monday, a statement said they’re “not bound” by decisions reached, if any.

It’s too early to call Astana a major breakthrough. Key is what Trump decides, unknown so far. Tuesday is only his fifth day in office.

Senate members haven’t yet confirmed his secretary of state designee Rex Tillerson. On Monday, he got Senate Foreign Relations Committee approval, assuring his confirmation in short order with Republicans holding a Senate majority.

In a Monday Astana meeting opening statement, Syrian delegation head Bashar al-Jaafari explained hordes of anti-government terrorist fighters were recruited, trained, funded, armed, and deployed cross-border from neighboring countries (mainly Turkey) to wage war on Syrian sovereignty and its people.

“Astana hosting the intra-Syrian meeting represents the mediation policy and the openness of Kazakhstan, and is the fruit of the joint efforts exerted by several parties, particularly Russia and Iran, with the aim of fixing the decision of cessation of hostilities all over Syria except for the areas where terrorist organizations such as ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra and others which rejected to join the agreement are active,” he said. 

He blasted the Obama administration and its rogue allies for using terrorist foot soldiers as weapons to destroy Syrian independence.

He hopes talks in Astana and Geneva next month will advance the cause of conflict resolution and peace.

“Syria which we love is the homeland of diversity in all its forms, a homeland where the Syrians believe in the basis and principles of their independent democratic secular state based upon political pluralism, the rule of law, independence of the judiciary system, equality among citizens in rights and duties, guaranteeing cultural and social variety among all spectrum of the Syrian people, as well as maintaining the continuation of the work of the state institutions,” he said.

He called on all parties to work responsibly for ending six years of devastating carnage - while criticizing opposition representatives for inappropriate, undiplomatic, inflammatory remarks at the start of Monday’s session.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Senate Bill to Block Trump Easing Sanctions on Russia

Senate Bill to Block Trump Easing Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Senate Russophobes Chuck Schumer (NY) and Ben Cardin (MD) proposed it. Lunatic fringe neocons John McCain (AZ) and Lindsey Graham (SC) support it.

Proposed legislation prohibits lifting sanctions on Russia without congressional approval, blocking Trump from acting by executive order in the interest of better bilateral relations, along with improved chances for world peace and stability - notions bipartisan congressional lunatics reject.

Other Democrats will likely support the anti-Russia measure overwhelming. How many Republicans go along remains to be seen. It’ll be Trump’s first big test on Russia if the measure passes both houses.

Will he responsibly veto it or go along? His action will show if his rhetoric about getting along with Vladimir Putin was serious or meaningless.

Hopefully he’ll do the right thing if legislation comes to his desk. He called US relations with Russia “horrible.” He said Americans against good relations with Moscow are “stupid.”

“Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing,” he stressed. “Only stupid people or fools would think it is bad. We have enough problems around the world without yet another one.”

At his January 11 press conference, he said “if Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.” Both leaders can cooperate in defeating ISIS, he stressed often.

He signaled numerous times about wanting better relations with Russia, both countries cooperating in combating terrorism. Post-inauguration, it’s show me time.

On Monday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said a phone call between both leaders “is being agreed on. We expect that the date…will be agreed very soon.” 

A summit remains a way’s off. No preparations are being discussed so far. Putin indicated he’s willing when Trump believes the time is right. 

According to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, “we see a lot of overlapping points on fundamental issues relating to the view of foreign policy objectives set out by Donald Trump.” They’re “closely intertwined with the way President Putin sees the foreign policy goals of the Russian Federation.”

Improving bilateral relations is only possible “on the basis of equality, on the basis of respect for each other’s interests and on the basis of a search for a balance of those interests,” Lavrov stressed.

Trump has many issues on his plate. Positive overtures to Putin would be an important turnaround from Obama’s provocative policy - reckless brinksmanship, pushing things toward direct confrontation.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump Declares War on Regulations and Offshoring Jobs

Trump Declares War on Regulations and Offshoring Jobs

by Stephen Lendman

On his first Monday in office, Trump hit the ground running, convening an advisory panel on manufacturing led by Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris.

Other business leaders from Dell, Whirlpool, Ford, Johnson and Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Arconic, US Steel, Telsa Motors, Under Armour Inc, International Paper and Corning were present.

Trump promised regulatory reductions of 75% or more, significant corporate tax cuts, and a “very major” border tax on products imported by US companies made abroad, saying:

“If you go to another country and you decide that you are going to close (a US factory) and get rid of 2,000 people or 5,000 people, we are going to be imposing a very major border tax on the product when it comes in, which I think is fair.”

“Buy American and hire American” is what his America first policy is all about.

He told business leaders if they plan new domestic plant construction or expansions, they’ll get “approvals really fast.” 

He signed executive orders withdrawing from job-killing, anti-consumer TPP and on renegotiating NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, ahead of planned afternoon meetings with labor leaders and workers.

His Friday inaugural address highlighted “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation. (America) “made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon,” he said, vowing to turn things around.

In earlier campaign addresses to the Detroit and New York Economic Clubs, he outlined the following regulatory steps he’d take if elected:

  • ask all department heads to submit lists of regulations impeding jobs creation for elimination, providing public safety isn’t compromised.

  • revamp the entire regulatory code to keep jobs and wealth at home.

  • end regulations destroying jobs in US communities and inner cities. “We will stop punishing Americans for working and doing business in the United States,” he said.

  • temporarily halt new agency regulations not urged by Congress or needed for public safety - to incentivize US companies to invest domestically and create jobs. “We will no longer regulate our companies and our jobs out of existence,” he said.

  • immediately cancel all “illegal and overreaching executive orders.”

  • eliminate “our most intrusive regulations…”

  • reduce “the size of our already bloated government after a thorough agency review.”

His immediate priority is getting Senate confirmation for his agency heads and other officials. Democrats slowed the process instead of letting it move ahead smoothly.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

The Battle for Deir Ezzor, Syria

The Battle for Deir Ezzor, Syria

by Stephen Lendman

With peace talks underway in Astana, Kazakhstan, excluding UN-designated terrorists groups, the battle for Deir Ezzor rages.

Government and allied ground forces, greatly aided by Russian air power, are battling to defeat thousands of heavily foreign-armed ISIS terrorists - mostly fighters the Obama administration helped relocate from Mosul, Iraq to Syria.

The province in eastern Syria, Deir Ezzor city centrally located, borders Iraq, movement back and forth relatively unimpeded.

Two days after an earlier strike, Tass reported Russian long-range strategic bombers “delivered a massive strike against control posts, ammunition and arms depots of militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization” in areas around Deir Ezzor city.

All designated targets were destroyed. Sukhoi Sy-30SM and Su-35S fighter aircraft were involved with Russia’s strategic bombers on the mission. All aircraft returned safely after completing it, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Russia’s General Staff Main Operations chief General Sergei Rudskoi said government forces are outnumbered by heavily armed ISIS fighters. He fears mass slaughter of civilians if they seize control of Deir Ezzor city.

The battle began in mid-January. It’ll likely continue for some time. Russia’s aim is to degrade the ability of ISIS terrorists to fight by destroying their weapons, ammunition dumps, supply depots, along with their ability replenish their ranks and rearm, the same strategy used to liberate Aleppo.

According to South Front, over the weekend, Syrian forces “retook the strategic Harabesh Mountain in the city of Deir Ezzor, besieging ISIS units in the workers housing area and in Jiraya which allow controlling the road to the Deir Ezzor Airport.” 

“If the army seizes control over Jabal (mountain) al-Amal, it will have a fire control over the whole supply line. This could become a turning point in repelling the ongoing ISIS offensive operation inside the city.”

“Separately, the army repelled an ISIS attack on the Panorama Roundabout, inflicting major casualties to the terrorist group. Abu Yousef, a top member of ISIS, was reportedly killed during the clashes. The total number of ISIS casualties during the operation in Deir Ezzor is over 600 killed and wounded.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump v. America's Media Deplorables

Trump v. America’s Media Deplorables

by Stephen Lendman

America’s media declared war on Trump straightaway after his mid-June 2015 announced White House candidacy - a glaring example of outrageous irresponsibility - advocacy, not credible journalism.

Anti-Trumpism raged throughout the campaign season, continued after his electoral triumph, and remains relentless even though he’s only been POTUS for a few days.

During an impromptu Saturday news conference, Trump press secretary blasted the White House press corp justifiably, accusing some of its members of deliberately lying.

“There’s been a lot of talk in the media about holding President Trump accountable. Well, I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways,” Spicer explained.

“We’re going to hold the press accountable as well. The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger of this incredible movement, he will take this message directly to the American people where his focus will always be.” 

That’s the way it should be when fake news substitutes for the real thing, when orchestrated character assassination rages instead of fair and balanced reporting

Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Counselor to the President/senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway minced no words saying “I think that we're going to have to rethink our relationship here.” 

“I want to have a great open relationship with our press. But look what happened the day before talking about falsehoods. We allowed the press…to come into the Oval Office and witness President Trump signing executive orders.” 

“And what happens almost immediately? A falsehood is told about removing the bust of Martin Luther King Junior from the Oval Office. No, that’s just flat out false.”

The fake news story was widely reported, one of numerous daily examples of irresponsible Trump bashing. Conway blasted unreported deplorable governance under Obama, saying:

“(D)o do you think it's a fact or not that millions of people have lost their plans or health insurance and their doctors under President Obama?” 

“Do you think it's a fact that everything we heard from these women yesterday happened on the watch of President Obama? He was president for eight years. Donald Trump's been here for about eight hours.”

“Do you think it's a fact that millions of women, 16.1 million women, as I stand here before you today, are in poverty along with their kids? Do you think it's a fact that millions don't have health care?” 

“Do you think it's a fact that we spent billions of dollars on education in the last eight years only to have millions of kids still stuck in schools that fail them every single day? These are the facts that I want the press corps to cover.”

She stopped short of blasting Obama’s imperial wars in multiple theaters, bombing seven countries in eight years, raping and destroying them, along with governance for America’s privileged exclusively, most others exploited and abused.

She blasted NBC News and other media scoundrels for disgraceful misreporting on Trump, before and after his election - “mock(ing) (him) daily…”

Trump had over 1,000 requests from CIA personnel to attend his Saturday Langley address. There was only space for several hundred. After concluding his remarks, he got an astonishing 5-minute standing ovation.

Media interviews with US officials are usually love affairs, hosts failing to hold guests accountable for complicity in high crimes - geopolitically and domestically.

Conway’s interview at NBC’s Meet the Press was refreshingly raucous, blasting America’s media for irresponsible reporting.

It’s high time it was held accountable by top officials in or out of government, especially by the President of the United States and his top advisors.

Expect open warfare to continue - Trump via Twitter alone reaching millions, able to hit back hard against fake news masquerading as journalism.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

White House Chief of Staff Blasts Dishonest Media

White House Chief of Staff Blasts Dishonest Media

by Stephen Lendman

Media scoundrels are at war with Trump. As POTUS, he has a bully pulpit to fire back. He’s not shy about using it, nor administration officials.

A separate article discussed his press secretary Sean Spicer and senior advisor Kellyanne Conway blasting media misinformation.

On Fox News Sunday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus had his turn, criticizing media dishonesty, among other issues discussed, saying:

“(T)he media, from day one, (have) been talking about delegitimizing the election, talking about the Russians, talking about everything you can imagine, except the fact that we need to move this country forward.”

“Now, we get done with the inauguration. First thing out of the media is that president Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. out of the Oval Office.” 

“This is an explosive accusation which could have had incredible ramifications, given the history of the press and on this subject matter.”

“It turns out, it’s completely false.  I walked back into the Oval Office, saw the MLK bust to there, and what did the media say? The media said, oh, our bad, someone was standing in front of the bust. We didn't see it.”  

“Can you imagine tweeting that President Trump removed the MLK bust? So, that’s the first day. Day one. Not even day - I mean, day like hour three.”  

“Then, the next day, they put a picture, big story, before the speech actually began, showing all of this white space. It wasn't true.”

The point isn’t crowd size, said Priebus. It’s dishonest media, attacking Trump relentlessly - whatever he does or doesn’t do, making stuff up, at other times grossly distorting facts, anything to denigrate him instead of sticking to factual reporting.

Based on what he does as president, he’s fair game for criticism when deserved. Consistent media bashing is disgraceful.

It’s virtually certain to continue ahead, part of a plot to delegitimize him, perhaps setting him up for impeachment or assassination.

Priebus: “(W)e’re not going to sit around and take it…(T)here’s an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president…We’re going to fight back tooth and nail every day, and twice on Sunday.”

The battle lines are drawn, the power of the US presidency and his key aides v. deplorable media scoundrels - a campaign I wage regularly, The New York Times my favorite target because of its influence and global reach.

The self-styled newspaper of record is a national disgrace - fake news its specialty. The same goes for the rest of America’s major media establishment.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Hacked NYT Tweet Warns of Russian Attack on America

Hacked NYT Tweet Warns of Russian Attack on America

by Stephen Lendman

Various media reports, including by RT, reported the hacked Times Video Twitter account tweeting: “BREAKING: leaked statement from Vladimir Putin says: Russia will attack the United States with Missiles.”

Sunday morning, a series of related tweets, including the above one, were removed, replaced with a hacker group OurMine statement, claiming it co-opted The Times’ Twitter page, saying the above tweet was posted by a different hacker.

The Times is militantly anti-Russia, anti-Putin, publishing fake news about nonexistent “Russian aggression” and other disgraceful misinformation about its government and leadership.

Yet it’s hard imagining it would be part of a stunt even the administration, Pentagon and US intelligence community would deny.

Around mid-Sunday morning, The Times tweeted “(w)e deleted a series of tweets published from this account earlier today without our authorization. We are investigating the situation” - without further elaboration.

Obama, virtually the entire 113th Congress and new 114th one, as well as US media scoundrels are recklessly anti-Russia.

The fake Times tweet symbolizes its dismal domestic and geopolitical misreporting on issues mattering most - notably its irresponsible press agent journalism for powerful interests, maliciousness toward Trump, and reckless Russia bashing.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump Pledges to Address Nonexistent Iranian Threats

Trump Pledges to Address Nonexistent Iranian Threats

by Stephen Lendman

Trump has a worrisome blind spot on Iran, a nation threatening no one, Israel’s main rival for regional supremacy, wanting regime change, pro-Western governance replacing its sovereign independence.

Candidate Trump called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal) disastrous, urged its revocation - even though it’s an important international agreement, taking years to complete and implement.

What he’ll do as president remains unknown. Campaign rhetoric is one thing, policymaking another.

In his first post-inaugural conversation with Netanyahu, Sunday evening by phone Israeli time, he pledged to address nonexistent “threats posed by Iran,” along with offering unwavering US support for Israeli security, and efforts to resolve decades of conflict with the Palestinians.

He invited Netanyahu to the White House in early February. Nothing was said about moving Washington’s embassy to Jerusalem. 

Ahead of his conversation with Netanyahu, his press secretary said the administration was “at the beginning stages of even discussing” this explosive issue - sure to rile the Arab world and put conflict resolution more out of reach than already if undertaken.

According to a White House statement, Trump and Netanyahu discussed ways to “advance and strengthen the US-Israel special relationship,” along with enhancing regional security and stability.

Trump stressed “the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between our countries.”

He prioritized waging war on ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups, while claiming Israeli/Palestinian peace “can only be negotiated directly between the two parties, and that the United States will work closely with Israel to make progress towards that goal.” 

Following through as stated assures no possibility of conflict resolution. Israel doesn’t negotiate. It demands. It considers a Palestinian Versailles alone acceptable - a prescription for endless conflict.

Trump’s one-sided support for Israel, a rogue terror state, assures continued pain, persecution and misery ahead for long-suffering Palestinians.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Manipulated Anti-Trump Protests

Manipulated Anti-Trump Protests

by Stephen Lendman

Americans need shoving to take to the streets and protest for or against anything or anyone. It doesn’t happen spontaneously.

With few exceptions at most, various groups from activists to anarchists aren’t behind anti-Trump protests. Nor were women turning out in large numbers nationwide and abroad.

Dark forces in Washington, corporate boardrooms and other centers of power manipulated Americans to turn out in large numbers, before, during and after Trump’s inauguration - part of a plot to delegitimize and undermine him.

It began to prevent his nomination, later based on the phony pretext of Russian US election hacking, along with sure-thing Hillary’s convincing loss and political demise.

Anyone knowing anything about her high crimes and evil intent should be dancing in the streets - not engaged in anti-Trump protests, in some cases smashing windows, committing other forms of vandalism and making damn fools of themselves for the wrong reasons.

Unknown numbers were paid to protest, international con man George Soros involved, along with other pro-Hillary political and corporate interests like him, notably Wall Street and war-profiteers. 

Wouldn’t suspicious money spread around to enlist protesters alert any sensible person to know something rotten is going on, wanting no part of being used.

Sadly not given how easily ill-and-misinformed Americans are easy marks to manipulate - no matter how many times they were fooled before.

Is WMD lying so quickly forgotten, and numerous other dirty tricks like it going back endlessly in time, all with the same common denominator - deep state deception, manipulating public opinion to go along with what demands denunciation.

Countless thousands of women turning out across America thinking Hillary represents them, not Trump, likely think fantasy democracy in America is real, a model for other countries to emulate - astonishing given so much evidence disproving them.

Interviewed by BBC, William and Mary College Assistant Professor of Government Debra Shushan said “Americans are very proud of our democracy.” She should have been asked what country she really meant because America is a plutocracy, not a democracy, never was from inception. 

As an academic at an esteemed university, she should know that. She’s no dummy - a Harvard summa cum laude graduate, a Phi Beta Kappa member, a Yale PhD, impressive credentials, and yet she protested for the wrong reasons based on her BBC comments.

She railed about “creeping tyranny and authoritarian tendencies that are being shown by the new (US) administration.”

The BBC interviewer said nothing about Trump being in office around a scant 24 hours with no record on which to judge him when she denigrated him unfairly, based only on what she thinks he’ll do, nothing he’s done except sign an executive order on day one in office.

If she doesn’t understand what’s going on, a woman of high intellect, how could far less educated individuals than she know they’re being had.

America became tyrannical, authoritarian, neoliberal and neocon since the Clinton co-presidency, hardened under Bush/Cheney, worst of all under Obama.

Based on his rhetoric alone, Trump showed signs of stepping back from the brink geopolitically, a major change in US foreign policy if his actions back what he said - something to support and cheer about, not denounce and rail against in the streets.

For the most part, we don’t know what’s coming under his stewardship. Once his policies become known, he’ll prove himself for good or ill, but not until then.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. 

Assad on Astana Peace Talks

Assad on Astana Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

Discussed in a same day article, talks are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, longer if necessary.

Because of US obstructionism under Obama, multiple rounds of earlier talks failed, despite Russia’s good faith efforts for cessation of hostilities and conflict resolution.

Will this time be different? It’s hard being optimistic after years of failure. Maybe Trump succeeding Obama will bring positive change for Syria. Millions of its people and anti-war activists worldwide hope so.

Interviewed on Japan’s TBS TV channel, Assad said “(w)e don’t have expectations. Let’s say we have hopes from Astana…”

Government and terrorist groups (excluding ISIS and al-Nusra) will meet face-to-face for the first time - aiming for “ceasefire and to allow (these) groups to join the reconciliation in Syria, which means giving up (their) armaments and (receiving) amnesty” in return.

Any political discussion must conform to Syria’s constitution, Assad stressed. There’s nothing in it about transitional government. Different political parties representing different interests are permitted.

Assad can only judge Trump by his rhetoric so far. His policy on Syria is unknown until formulated. He said he intends to fight ISIS.

What about other terrorist groups in Syria? “(W)e expect, and we hope, (he’ll) be genuine in implementing (his) rhetoric regarding terrorism and help not only Syria, because terrorism today is not a Syrian problem. It’s a Middle Eastern and global problem.”

Under Obama, America aided ISIS and other terrorist groups, Assad made clear. So did Turkey and other US allies. Russia and Syria were wrongfully blamed for crimes they and their terrorist foot soldiers committed.

Assad: “We did our utmost not to have (civilian) casualties, but those who’ve been out crying for the civilians, did they present any shred of evidence about Syria killing civilians, or Russia?” 

“The other question: how can a government morally kill its own people? And if we kill our own people, the civilians, how can we withstand six years, as a government or as army or as President? This is not logical, this is not realistic. We are here because we have the public support.”

Asked if he’d consider resigning as a step toward reconciliation, he stressed “(t)he president’s departure or staying in office can only be decided through the ballot boxes,” not by elements outside the country.

Rebuilding in liberated areas began, Assad explained. It’ll take time, lots of money and help from valued allies.

He’s most concerned about ending the war and “rebuild(ing) the minds of the people that have been under the control of ISIS and al-Nusra for many years.”

They’ve been grievously harmed. They saw friends and family members murdered, along with other gruesome atrocities.

“How can we rebuild…or rehabilitate (the) minds” of so many so brutally mistreated,” Assad asked? “That’s our big concern after the crisis.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.