Monday, November 30, 2015

Turkey Refines and Sells Stolen Syrian and Iraqi Oil for ISIS

Turkey Refines and Sells Stolen Syrian and Iraqi Oil for ISIS

by Stephen Lendman

Erdogan is an international outlaw, allied with America’s rogue imperial enterprise, waging endless wars of aggression, responsible for millions of deaths, vast destruction and a human refugee flood desperate to find safe havens.

He’s supporting ISIS, US proxy foot soldiers in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, directly involved in their oil smuggling, refining and sales worth hundreds of millions of dollars on the black market.

America and other Western  nations are well aware of what’s going on, doing nothing to stop it, aiding it by inaction and/or direct support - Russia alone intervening responsibly by bombing ISIS’ truck pipeline, transporting oil along with its facilities in Syria, aiming to destroy its operations entirely.

Mowaffak al Rubaie is a former Iraqi Governing Council member/national security advisor. Interviewed by RT International, he explained “(i)n the last eight months (alone), ISIS (sold) $800 million dollars worth of (stolen) oil on the black market of Turkey.” 

“This is Iraqi oil and Syrian oil, carried by trucks from Iraq, from Syria through the borders to Turkey and sold (at) less than 50 percent of the international oil price.”

“Now this either gets consumed inside, the crude refined on Turkish territory by the Turkish refineries, and sold in the Turkish market or it goes to Jihan and then in the pipelines from Jihan to the Mediterranean and sold to the international market.”

“Money and dollars generated by selling Iraqi and Syrian oil on the Turkish black market is like the oxygen supply to ISIS and it’s operation. Once you cut the oxygen then ISIS will suffocate.”

Al Rubaie stressed “no shadow of  a doubt” about Turkey’s full knowledge and involvement in what’s ongoing. Responsibility goes right to the top. Evidence shows Erdogan’s son, Bilal, is actively engaged in illegal smuggling, selling and profiting from stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil, facilitated by Turkey’s security apparatus and intelligence.

Erdogan’s regime treats wounded ISIS terrorists in Turkish hospitals in border areas and Istanbul. Daesh recruits are trained in Turkey by CIA operatives and US special forces. They move freely cross-border to and from Syria and Iraq.

Al Rubaie said “no terrorist organization…can stand alone without a neighboring country helping it.” Complicit with Washington, Turkey is directly involved along with other NATO countries, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan and Israel.

Without this type backing, ISIS and other terrorist groups couldn’t exist. America bears full responsibility for creating them - complicit nations aiding its imperial enterprise.

Putin prioritizes crippling ISIS’ oil smuggling operations, destroying its ability to generate enormous revenues from black market  sales. None of this could go on without direct Erdogan regime involvement.

Russian pilots and drones observed and photographed a “living oil pipeline” - transporting vehicles moving as far as the eye can see and beyond the horizon, round-the-clock, heading for Turkey, returning empty to reload and head out again.

Since Russian air operations began targeting ISIS’ financial lifeline, over 1,000 oil transporting trucks were destroyed along with with depots and other facilities in Syria.

Assad’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said “Turkey continues to maintain export and transportation of oil stolen in Iraq and Syria by ISIL militants. Then, the oil is transported to ports abroad.”

Sergey Lavrov explained high-level Turkish officials “carefully protect any information about their oil smuggling deals. (It’s) transported (in) the area where the Russian plane was shot down, and (where) the terrorist infrastructure, arms and munitions depots and control centers” are located.

Retired French General Dominique Trinquand accused Turkey of “either not fighting ISIL at all or very little, and does not interfere with different types of smuggling that takes place on its border, be it oil, phosphate, cotton or people.”

On Saturday, Turkish police arrested Ankara Gendarmerie Regional Commander Major General Ibrahim Aydin, former Adana Gendarmerie Regional Commander Brigadier General Hamza Celepoglu and former Gendarmerie Criminal Laboratory Head Colonel Burhanettin Cihangiroglu on charges of treason and espionage - for revealing information about regime authorities transporting weapons cross-border to ISIS terrorists in Syria.

Charges relate to a January 2014 incident when they were involved in intercepting weapons-filled trucks belonging to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

In May 2015, Turkish Cumhuriyet media published information about it, posting photos of MIT trucks being inspected by security officers. 

Large amounts of heavy and other weapons were heading cross-border to Syria. The publication’s editor-in-chief and Ankara bureau chief now face treason and espionage charges for exposing regime criminality.

An international warrant should be issued for Erdogan’s arrest on charges of high crimes of war and against humanity. The same goes for Obama, other US officials and ones from nations complicit with his criminal enterprise.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

NYT Ignores US Support for ISIS

NYT Ignores US Support for ISIS

by Stephen Lendman

In an article discussing ISIS’ revenue sources, The Times reported nothing about Washington’s involvement in creating the terror group, arming, funding, training and directing its fighters, as well as facilitating its revenue producing sources, largely from stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil - typical of how the self-styled “newspaper of record” deceives and betrays its readers.

ISIS “wrings every last American dollar, Iraqi dinar and Syrian pound it can from those who live under its control or pass through its territory,” said The Times.

Interviews with individuals aware of its operations “describe the group as exacting tolls and traffic tickets; rent for government buildings; utility bills for water and electricity; taxes on income, crops and cattle; and fines for smoking or wearing the wrong clothes.”

It derives revenues from “smuggling oil, plundering bank vaults, looting antiquities, ransoming kidnapped foreigners and drumming up donations from wealthy supporters in the Persian Gulf…”

Stolen Iraqi and Syrian oil provide its main revenue source. The Times claims it’s from “the people it rules and the businesses it controls.”

It lied saying Washington now “more aggressively target(s) (its) oil production and smuggling operations” in the wake of the November 13 Paris false flag - ludicrously claiming it “held off (earlier) for fear of inflicting long-term damage to the Iraqi and Syrian economies.”

Fact: US airstrikes in Syria and Iraq exclusively target infrastructure and government facilities, including oil areas under Syrian control and power stations. 

Fact: Since US bombing began last year, zero ISIS targets were struck in both countries. Claims otherwise are Big Lies.

Fact: ISIS strength depends on support gotten from America, Turkey, other NATO countries, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel, and other regional rogue states - along with oil and other sources of revenues these countries facilitate by not intervening against them.

Fact: Without external support and ability to generate large amounts of illegal revenues, ISIS would shrivel to no more than an irritant or nuisance.

Instead of explaining ISIS’ origin and outside support as well as continually enlisting new recruits, The Times perpetuates the myth of “American and European (countries) struggling to cut the group’s revenues.”

Truth is polar opposite. Defeating ISIS depends on stopping US-led Western and regional support. Don’t expect The Times to explain - supporting all US imperial wars and others planned, ignoring the horrors they inflict.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Rogue State Britain

Rogue State Britain

by Stephen Lendman

Britain proves time and again it’s a loyal imperial partner, participating in all US wars of aggression overtly or covertly, rule of law principles be damned.

Washington wants the November 13 Paris false flag along with Brussels violence and lockdown used as a pretext for escalated bombing of Syrian targets, not ISIS and other terrorists. Britain’s David Cameron intends holding a parliamentary vote on greater UK involvement in Obama’s war on Assad - likely this week.

He lied claiming an imminent ISIS threat to Britain’s homeland when the only thing its people need fear is state-sponsored terrorism, a false flag like in Paris.

Defense Secretary Michael Fallon lied like Cameron, saying “(t)he threat to the UK is extremely high. An attack is highly likely so we have to respond. What happened in Paris and Brussels could easily happen in London” or other UK cities.

“These aren’t people you can negotiate with. You can only deal with them by force.” False! The simple way to defeat them is stop supporting them. Without Western and regional help, they’ll shrivel to no more than a pest or nuisance.

Fallon claiming UK bombing in Iraq and covertly in Syria is “making a big difference” is polar opposite truth. Partnered with Washington, zero ISIS and other terrorists targets have been hit in over a year of bombing in both countries - just infrastructure and government sites.

Fallon ranting about “need(ing) to hit ISIL harder and deal with this death cult once and for all” ignores his government’s support for its elements. Britain like America is hell bent on ousting Assad and opposing Russia’s real war on terrorism, having a major effect.

Cameron, Obama and rogue partners perpetuate the myth about supporting so-called “moderate” rebels when none exist. Britain’s leader lied “about 70,000 Syrian opposition fighters on the ground who do not belong to extremist groups.”

No one can find them for obvious reasons. All anti-Assad elements are terrorists - imported from scores of countries, supported by Washington, Britain, France, Turkey, other NATO members, Israel and regional rogue states, armed and taught how to commit gruesome atrocities.

Sovereign Syria is fighting for its existence, Russian support crucial. UK Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn strongly opposes Cameron’s rage for war. Bombing will make things “worse, not better,” he explains.

He’ll decide whether to impose the whip on Labour MPs, he said. “It’s the leader who decides. I will make up my mind in due course. “Labour membership must have a voice. Labour MPs need to listen to that voice and try to understand where they are coming from.”

He questions Cameron’s Big Lie about 70,000 moderates. Resolving Syria’s conflict requires ending support for ISIS, halting their oil revenue source, and working toward a political settlement.

He’s urging Labour’s ruling national executive committee to back his efforts to persuade party MPs to support him.

Russia allied with Syrian ground forces are the best hope to defeat America’s imperial agenda, aiming to make the world safe for Western monied interests at the expense of peace and stability.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Moscow Says US Knows Who Killed Russian Pilot

Moscow Says US Knows Who Killed Russian Pilot

by Stephen Lendman

Sputnik News reports Russia’s Defense Ministry says its “Su-24 pilot died because of an attack from the ground when he was landing," adding that "during a rescue operation, (a) Russian marine was also killed.”

Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said “Moscow has all grounds to suggest that the US has obtained the exact data (about individuals on the ground involved in) firing…on the Russian pilot.”

A US Defense Ministry spokesman lied, claiming “(w)e don’t have anything on this issue.” Putin remains justifiably livid about what happened, compounded by Erdogan’s refusal to apologize. Fascist despots never say they’re sorry.

On Friday, Russian Security Council members “discussed the increased tensions around Syria amid the aggressive and unpredictable actions of the Republic of Turkey,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained.

Erdogan’s recklessness was the first time a NATO country downed a Russian aircraft since November 18, 1952 - during the Korean War, near the end of the Stalin era, months before his March 5, 1953 death.

Putin so far refuses to accept his counterpart’s phone calls. His punitive response with likely more measures to come shows his justifiable anger against what he calls an “accomplice of terrorists.”

“I cannot qualify what happened today in any other way,” he stressed. He’s delivering on his promised “significant consequences” in relations between both countries - allies, now adversaries overnight.

Expect little or nothing smoothing things over any time soon. Both leaders have polar opposite agendas - Putin committed against the scourge of terrorism, Erdogan supporting it complicit with Washington, Israel and other rogue partners.

Erdogan compounded his crime by lying about it, including outrageously claiming a clear premeditated act was unintentional.

Sergey Lavrov blasted him, saying he “crossed the line of what’s acceptable and risks putting Turkey in a difficult situation, both from the perspective of long-term national interests and from the perspective of its position in the region.”

Downing Russia’s aircraft was “a preplanned provocation,” he stressed - complicit with Washington, the likely orchestrator of what happened, Erdogan a convenient hitman. 

Obama deplorably said Turkey “has a right to defend its territory and its airspace” - ignoring his likely involvement in a deliberate act of war against Russia.

Putin demands an apology for a criminal act not forthcoming. Rogue states never say they’re sorry. Erdogan threatened a repeat incident. His relationship with Russia will never be the same again.

So far it’s a war of words along with Russian sanctions, newly protected Syrian airspace with the world’s most sophisticated S-400 air defense system, and Putin’s vow to target any threat to Russian air or ground forces. He says nothing he doesn’t mean.

Anything related to Turkey is now anathema for many, perhaps most, Russians. Ulyanovsk city residents tore down a Turkish flag, replacing it with a Russian Airborne Troops one. Heightened tensions aren’t likely to ease any time soon.

Putin has no intention of going to war over what happened. Does Washington intend a greater provocation to push him to change his mind? Are things on a slippery slope toward WW III?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Russia Imposes Economic Sanctions on Turkey

Russia Imposes Economic Sanctions on Turkey

by Stephen Lendman

Antagonizing Russia is foolhardy. Erdogan’s reckless act is proving costly. Putin’s promised payback is proceeding.

On Saturday, responding to Erdogan’s aggression, he signed an “Executive Order on measures to ensure Russia’s national security and protection of Russian citizens against criminal and other illegal acts and on the application of special economic measures against Turkey.”

It “restricts foreign economic operations envisaging imports to the Russian Federation of certain goods originating in the Turkish Republic in line with a register determined by the government of the Russian Federation (exclusive of the goods brought into the Russian Federation for individual use in the amounts permitted by the laws of Eurasian Economic Union).”

It bans or restricts Turkish organizations from conducting certain types of activity in Russia. Effective January 1, Russian employers are prohibited from hiring Turkish nationals. Current Turkish employees aren’t affected.

Charter flights to Turkey are banned. Travel agencies suspended arranging tours. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said some current and planned joint projects are frozen.

Illegal presence and movement of Turkish vessels in the Sea of Azov and Black Sea are prohibited. Visa free travel for Turkish nationals visiting Russia is suspended effective January 1. Turkish diplomats and their families aren’t affected. Sergey Lavrov announced the action - calling it “not an empty threat but a real warning.”

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry advised its nationals to avoid all non-essential travel to Russia. Tourism accounts for 11% of Turkey’s GDP - around $170 billion.

Restricted Russian travel could cost its economy about $30 billion annually - a stiff price for Erdogan’s recklessness plus other measures costly him dearly.

Loss of revenue from frozen joint projects and prohibited new ones will hit Turkey’s economy hard. So will banning its companies from involvement in Russian construction if ordered.

Other punitive measures are being considered - including a full or partial food embargo, restrictions on customs duties and financial transactions, as well as on overall trade, services and investments.

Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukaev said the major Turkish Stream pipeline project to deliver natural gas through Turkey to Europe and planned construction of a nuclear power plant may be cancelled.

Erdogan complicit with Washington committed an act of war against Russia - then was caught red-handed lying about the incident, falsely claiming the Su-24 bomber violated Turkish airspace and failed to respond to “10 warnings.”

Moscow has clear evidence otherwise. The surviving navigator explained the incident occurred in Syrian airspace and no warnings were given. The air-to-air missile struck the back of his plane “out of nowhere,” leaving no time for evasive maneuvers.

Erdogan committed a war crime against the wrong country. His action achieved nothing but the enmity of an important neighbor. Rashness has a price. He’s beginning to pay dearly for his recklessness.

Allied with Washington, he supports ISIS and other terrorist groups in Turkey. RT International interviewed journalists from the Turkish newpaper Cumhuriyet. 

Its editor-in-chief and Ankara bureau chief face longterm imprisonment on bogus charges of treason and espionage for publishing photos of Turkish intelligence agents transporting heavy weapons cross-border to terrorist elements in Syria.

According to one Cumhuriyet journalist unidentified for his safety, Turkish officials knew weapons sent “end(ed) (up) in ISIS hands.” Its “flag (could be seen) very clearly (from the) Turkish (side of the) border…”

Radicalized Turkmen fighters no different from ISIS were sent arms and munitions. Turkey is directly involved in aiding terrorists fighting the Assad government. Claiming it’s helping the so-called Free Syrian Army is a Big Lie. It exists in name only.

Another Cumhuriyet journalist said “ISIS is smuggling oil to Turkey” cross-border from Syria. It’s “common knowledge” Ankara disingenuously denies. Russian aerial surveillance exposed its Big Lie.

On Saturday, mortars were fired on Syrian armed forces from Turkish territory. According to Syrian army spokesman General Ali Mayhoub, “(l)ast night, there was intense mortar fire on Syrian government forces' positions fire from the Mount Jebel Aqra area, which is on the Turkish side” of the border between both countries.

“Taking advantage of the fact the border is de facto controlled by terrorists, Ankara, without obstruction, supplies them with weapons and other resources for their criminal activity.”

In return, it’s getting “oil at bargain prices, cultural treasures looted by bandits (in Syria and Iraq, as well as) other contraband.”

Wounded ISIS and other terrorist fighters are taken cross-border for treatment in Turkish hospitals. Russia urges steps taken to close the border between both countries, an important step to halt aid reaching terrorists in Syria.

A Syrian General Armed Forces Command statement said: “We have certain information that the Turkish government recently increased support for terrorists and the level of supplying them with arms, ammunition and munitions to continue their criminal acts in exchange for oil and antiquities stolen from Syria and Iraq at low prices, taking advantage of the presence of terrorists whom it enabled to control border areas.”

Cross-border traffic both ways continues unhindered. Ankara’s claims about supplying humanitarian aid are a complete fabrication. 

Erdogan is a major part of the problem in Syria, not the solution. His criminality is exposed for the world to see - complicit with his US puppet-master, both countries partnered in high crimes against peace, along with other NATO members, Israel, and rogue Arab states.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Israel's War on Press Freedom Continues

Israel’s War on Press Freedom Continues

by Stephen Lendman

Rogue states want their message alone reported, evidence of their high crimes suppressed.

On Sunday morning, Israeli forces stormed Hebron-based Dream Radio, damaging or confiscating its equipment, shutting it down on fabricated charges of “incitement against Israel” - the third Hebron station closed in November.

Station director Talab Al-Jaabri said Israeli soldiers rampaged through his offices, damaging them, shutting down operations to prevent accurate reporting on security force high crimes.

He called on PA officials to intervene against the gross “violation” - a futile effort, Abbas a longtime Israeli collaborator, a Judas.

An IDF spokesperson had no comment. After Hebron’s Al-Khalil Radio was shut down last week on phony incitement grounds, Palestinian cabinet secretary-general Ali Abu Diak disingenuously said Israel “oppress(es) the voice of Palestinian rights, (committing) ugly crimes…against (its) people - while PA officials do nothing to intervene on their behalf, siding with Netanyahu without admitting it.

After shutting down Hebron’s Freedom Tribune radio earlier this month, the IDF falsely accused the station of encouraging “stabbing attacks” and “violent riots,” as well as reporting “false and malicious claims of security forces executing and kidnapping Palestinians in order to provoke violence.”

Weeks earlier, the Palestinian Center for Development & Media Freedoms (MADA) reported over 450 Israeli media freedoms violations since January - well over one a day on average.

Palestinian reporters, photojournalists and other members of the press are regularly assaulted to suppress vital news and information about Israeli atrocities everyone has a right to know.

According to MADA, PA security forces are complicit with Israel in waging war on Palestinian press freedom, hugely escalated in times of conflict.

During summer 2014 war on Gaza, Israel murdered 17 Palestinian journalists in 51 days. They’re prime targets now - at risk of beatings, arrests, imprisonments or assassinations.

Pre-dawn Sunday, the Palestine Information Center reported “mass-abduction sweep(s) and…arbitrary home break-ins (by Israeli soldiers) across the West Bank” - the same pattern continuing daily, terrorizing the entire population while the world community yawns and does nothing to intervene responsibly, supporting Israeli state terror.

On Saturday evening, Israeli soldiers stormed the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlement (YAS) activist group, kidnapping two of its members - falsely accusing them of “disturbing the soldiers (and) hiding a terrorist…”

Israeli forces regularly harass YAS members for nonviolently resisting occupation harshness. Weeks earlier, their facility was lawlessly commandeered for military post use, their media equipment at the time destroyed or confiscated. Extremist settlers repeatedly attack their members unaccountably.

Southern West Bank current affairs commentator Khalid Amayreh calls Israel the “world’s premier producer and generator of terror.” It represents “a gigantic crime against humanity by any moral standard imaginable,” he said.

“(E)very hour and every day (throughout) the West Bank, Palestinians are are assaulted, humiliated (or) killed,” victims of Zionist viciousness.

“(T)error (is) the official” policy of Israel’s racist regime. Longstanding Palestinian suffering continues.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Did Erdogan Order Prominent Turkish Lawyer's Assassination?

Did Erdogan Order Prominent Turkish Lawyer’s Assassination?

by Stephen Lendman

Turkey under Erdogan is a fascist police state. Anyone criticizing regime policy risks harassment, arrest, indictment on phony charges, imprisonment or death. Fundamental freedoms don’t exist.

Prominent Turkish attorney/Kurdish rights supporter Tahir Elci headed southeastern Diyarbakir province’s bar association.

On Saturday, local hospital sources confirmed he died from gunshot wounds to his head, a clear indication he was assassinated. In October, he was detained for publicly saying the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) isn’t a terrorist organization - then released awaiting trial.

He faced imprisonment for speaking freely - the most fundamental right in all free and open societies without which all others are endangered.

Regime-controlled prosecutors accused him of spreading terrorist propaganda. He was killed while making a statement to the press. 

Was it state-sponsored to silence him? Turkey is unsafe to live in for anyone criticizing regime policies. Opposing Erdogan’s agenda publicly is considered treason. Following Elci’s murder, protests erupted, attacked violently by police, continuing into the night as this is written.

Separately, Turkish police in Ankara pepper-sprayed supporters of wrongfully arrested journalists Can Dunbar and Erdem Gul for doing their jobs. Criticizing rogue regime policy subjects anyone to arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.

About 1,000 protesters chanted: “Shoulder-to-shoulder against fascism.” Large crowds gathered near Dunbar’s Cumhuriyet Istanbul office in solidarity with both journalists. “Free press cannot be silenced,” they chanted.

Some accused Erdogan and complicit AKP officials of supporting ISIS terrorists. Clear evidence proves it.

Dunbar is Cumhuriyet editor-and-chief, Gul its Ankara bureau chief - both men arrested and imprisoned awaiting trial for publishing photographic evidence of Turkish intelligence smuggling heavy weapons to ISIS and other terrorist groups in Syria.

They’re charged with treason and espionage for reporting important truths the whole world has a right to know. Not in police state Turkey, tolerating no opposition or exposure of state crimes.

Opposition People’s Republican Party (CHP) deputy Utki Calorpzer said “(j)ournalism is being put on trial with these arrests and the Turkish press is being intimidated.”

Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party co-chairwoman Figen Yuksekdag said “(a)ll opposition press organizations that are abiding by the ethics of journalism and trying to do their journalism are under threat and under attack.” 

“This dark operation aimed at covering the crimes that those trucks carried and the crimes which are continuing to be committed will not be successful.”

Opposition lawmaker Baris Yarkadas said Erdogan “does not want any journalist to see what kind of a calamity (he created) for Turkey…”Cumhuriyet’s Friday headline read: “Black day for the press.”

Erdogan said both men would “pay a heavy price.” Arriving for his court appearance, Dundar spoke candidly, saying “(t)here is a crime that has been committed by the state that they are trying to cover up.”

“We are being charged with being spies. The president is saying that we are traitors to the state. We are not spies. We are not traitors. We are not heroes. We are journalists.”

Interviewed by RT International, Haberdar newspaper editor-in-chief Said Sefa said “(w)e as journalists can no longer investigate.”

According to opposition lawmaker Mehmet Ali Edeboglu, “(e)vents covered in the international media can be completely underreported in Turkey. The reason for that is a crackdown on journalism. If a media company criticizes the government it is seen as treason.”

A Final Comment

CNN interviewed Erdogan instead of refusing to give him airtime, letting him rant freely, including lying about the downed Russian aircraft entering Turkish airspace.

“(I)f there is a party that needs to apologize, it is not us,” he blustered.” He vowed to down any Russian aircraft allegedly entering Turkish airspace - lunacy if he pulls this stunt again, unlikely with S-400 defense systems deployed, able to target and destroy any threat to Russian air or ground forces.

Erdogan vowed an automatic military response if Russia downs a Turkish aircraft in Syrian airspace. He recklessly ordered one once. Putin won’t tolerate a repeat incident.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Kerry in Israel

Kerry in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

Washington is the enemy of all persecuted and exploited people everywhere, including at home, clear whenever Kerry visits Israel, most recently on November 24.

He ignored long-suffering Palestinians, now struggling valiantly for rights they’re denied - brutalized daily for wanting freedom from occupation harshness. Kerry met with Netanyahu, partners in high crimes, his disdain for Palestinian rights apparent.

Pointing fingers at defenseless victims while ignoring Israeli high crimes, he said “it is very clear to us that the terrorism – these acts of terrorism which have been taking place – have deserved the condemnation that they are receiving.” 

“And today, I expressed my complete condemnation for any act of terror that takes innocent lives and disrupts the day-to-day life of a nation. Israel has every right in the world to defend itself and it has an obligation to defend itself, and it will and it is.”

Fact: Since October 1, Israeli soldiers and police extrajudicially assassinated 104 Palestinians, including over two dozen children and five women.

Fact: Thousands were injured from live fire and potentially lethal rubber/plastic coated steel bullets. Many thousands more from toxic tear gas, beatings, burns from gas bombs, and other state-sponsored atrocities - children treated as viciously as adults.

Premeditated war rages throughout the territories, civilians targeted ruthlessly. Entire communities are  terrorized, homes broken into pre-dawn, dozens of arrests made daily - over 2,000 since October 1, including around 800 children.

Seventeen Israelis died - only five from stabbings, exposing the Big Lie about knife-wielding Palestinian terrorists, Western and Israeli media scoundrels repeating state-sponsored propaganda, ignoring their journalistic obligation to report accurately and fully instead of being mouthpieces for power.

Kerry said he came to work with Netanyahu on “push(ing) back against terrorism…against senseless violence…to restore calm…”

Fact: The only solution to Israeli state-sponsored terrorism is resistance against brutalizing occupation - a fundamental international law guaranteed right.

Fact: Nothing else can work. Negotiations with a criminal state are a waste of time, the so-called peace process a complete hoax.

Fact: Palestinians are on their own. No one represents their interests. The PA is in bed with Israel against its own people, Abbas a longtime collaborator.

Fact: Until occupation ends unconditionally and Palestinians achieve self-determination, longterm struggle is their only alternative.

Fact: A new generation of youths is leading the way, risking their lives for freedom, unwilling to accept less - facing enemies in Washington, Tel Aviv and Ramallah, on their own with no outside support.

Activist Jamal Juma calls for building political space to support ongoing resistance, vital to sustain. Youth anger is directed as much against PA officials as Israeli and Western ones.

Abbas and likeminded Israeli collaborators won’t help because of special benefits they derive. Betrayal pays well. They oppose resistance, support unconditional Palestinian surrender, continuing occupation harshness and theft of all land Israel wishes. Ignore disingenuous rhetoric. PA actions speak for themselves.

Israeli viciousness in response to legitimate resistance exposes the emptiness of PA leadership, doing nothing to help their people, allying with the enemy against them while claiming otherwise.

Palestinians are on their own, struggling for the future they deserve, up against enormous odds. US-led Western powers oppose them. Israel policy cuts them no slack.

IDF commanders urging Netanyahu ease harsh conditions to calm things ignores the root cause of conflict.

Suspending curfews, curbing community incursions, easing checkpoint restrictions, releasing a few prisoners easily rearrested, increasing numbers of permits for Palestinians to work in Israel and other measures amount to returning things to square one, failing to grant Palestinians what they want and deserve - unconditional freedom, not meaningless sops to be ended at Israel’s discretion.

Its sordid history shows its promises are meaningless - breached once agreed on. Operation Protective Edge ceasefire terms were violated straightaway. 

Gaza remains isolated in ruins, attacked intermittently at Israel’s discretion. Rogue states don’t negotiate. They demand. Enforcement is ruthless.

Palestinians don’t need meaningless gestures. They need fundamental rights gotten unconditionally - free at last from occupation harshness. Nothing less is acceptable.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Jeremy Corbyn Opposes Britain Bombing Syria

Jeremy Corbyn Opposes Britain Bombing Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Britain already is bombing Syrian targets covertly. Prime Minister David Cameron ordered it illegally despite parliamentary majority opposition in August 2013.

Freedom of Information (FOI) documents obtained by the UK-based Reprieve human rights group revealed illegal British aerial operations in Syria - striking infrastructure and government targets, not ISIS and other terrorist elements as Cameron later claimed, a liar and unindicted war criminal like Obama.

In response to Reprieve's FOI request, Britain's Defense Ministry lied, saying:

“UK military personnel embedded with the USA, French and Canadian armed forces have been authorized to deploy with their units to participate in coalition operations against ISIL.”

US, UK, French, Canadian, Australian and Israeli warplanes are involved in bombing Syrian targets illegally. Russia alone, working cooperatively with Syrian ground forces, is effectively combating ISIS and other terrorist groups.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn opposes Cameron’s plans for escalated UK bombing in Syria. Many of his shadow cabinet members oppose his righteous position - notably shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn and deputy party leader Tom Watson, disgracefully claiming a “compelling case” for involvement.

Corbyn is holding firm, telling Labour MPs he “cannot support” Cameron’s plan to bomb Syria, knowing it has nothing to do with targeting ISIS and other terrorist groups - everything to do with weakening Assad, supporting Washington’s agenda to oust him.

In a memorandum to Britain’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Cameron lied, claiming involvement in Syria is “vital…to keep this country safe” - despite no evidence suggesting Assad threatens Britain now, earlier or ahead, or a credible terrorist threat exists.

US-created ISIS is supported by Cameron’s government as well as other NATO and regional countries, notably Israel, Saudi Arabia and other rogue Gulf states.

Cameron claiming ISIS poses a “direct” threat to Britain is one of his many bald-faced lies. “The longer ISIL is allowed to grow in Syria, the greater the threat it will pose,” he ranted.

“It is wrong for the United Kingdom to sub-contract its security to other countries, and to expect the aircrews of other nations to carry the burdens and the risks of striking ISIL in Syria to stop terrorism here in Britain.”

The only terrorist threats the UK and other European countries face are state-sponsored. Exhibit A was the false flag November 13 Paris incident, a well-planned military operation, not ISIS terrorism.

Cameron like Obama, France’s Hollande and other NATO leaders want Assad replaced by a pro-Western puppet leader - something Russia forthrightly opposes. So does Corbyn.

He urges Labour opposition to bombing Syria. He formerly headed the UK-based Stop the War coalition. On November 26, it posted a “7-point rebuttal (to) Cameron’s case for war on Syria,” saying:

1. Cameron’s so-called plan includes no “coherent strategy to defeat Isis” - nothing any more effective than America’s phony campaign, supporting its terrorist foot soldiers, using them to try ousting Assad, striking Syrian targets exclusively.

2. Bombing Syria without UN Charter Chapter 7 Security Council authorization is flagrantly illegal.

3. All US-led bombing campaigns cause horrendous numbers of civilian casualties, far more in number than alleged militants.

4. Cameron duplicitously argues for “prioritising a ‘ceasefire’ (while) advocating military intervention” - without just cause for what he has in mind.

5. His alleged concern about terrorism offers no evidence suggesting any threat to Britain, especially related to conflict in Syria.

6. Arguing for bombing Syria to create a safer world is ludicrous on its face.

7. Sensible foreign policy objectives should be pursued - including ending US-led support for ISIS and other terrorist groups. Stop recruiting, arming, funding, training and directing them as imperial foot soldiers against regional peace and stability.

Corbyn seeks grassroots support in an effort to convince Labour MPs to oppose Cameron’s rage for war and overcome opposition within his own shadow cabinet, most supporting military action in Syria.

He addressed Labour MPs by letter, saying “I do not believe the prime minister’s current proposal for airstrikes in Syria will protect our security and therefore cannot support it.”

According to London’s Guardian, he’s “expected to go over the heads of MPs who disagree by seeking the backing of the national executive committee for his position and has begun canvassing members for support, sending them an email on Friday night that read: ‘I am writing to consult you on what you think Britain should do. Should parliament vote to authorise the bombing of Syria?’ “

Thousands of Brits were enlisted to lobby their MPs against Cameron’s scheme. Large Saturday anti-war protests are planned. Britain’s Stop the War coalition said “(t)he proposed vote in Parliament on bombing Syria by British forces is likely to take place within the next week.”

Approval “is more likely following the terrible events in Paris. Yet this bombing will not stop terror attacks. Stop the War is opposed to this military response. Protests will take place this Saturday around the country” - in London and other UK cities.

Unite and Unison labor union leaders support Corbyn’s position, saying no legitimate case for war was made. French President Hollande showed which side he’s on, urging UK MPs to support war - on Syria, not ISIS and other terrorists as he claims.

The Guardian said his intervention “appeared to be carefully choreographed with Downing Street…” It came a day after Cameron submitted his proposal for war.

Pressure on Corbyn to resign is increasing. He’s holding firm, making the case against Britain’s greater involvement in Washington’s imperial adventurism.

It has nothing to do with defeating terrorism, everything to do with destroying Syrian sovereignty, isolating Iran, then targeting the Islamic Republic the same way.

It’s how Washington operates globally, using NATO and other countries to advance its imperial agenda, risking global war by potentially challenging Russia and China - what everything now ongoing seems headed toward.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Russian S-400s Protect Syrian Airspace

Russian S-400s Protect Syrian Airspace

by Stephen Lendman

Deploying Russia’s S-400 air defense system to Syria warns Washington, Turkey and other potential NATO or regional adversaries it will destroy anything seen threatening its aircraft or ground personnel. 

Its technology is unmatched - the world’s most sophisticated state-of-the-art anti-aircraft/anti-missile system capability able to strike targets up to 400 km away at altitudes up to 90,000 feet, including fifth generation warplanes, as well as ballistic and cruise missiles.

It’s protected against electronic warfare and able to hit targets beyond the horizon. No other country has anything matching it, including America.

It can distinguish between airborne and ground-based targets. Its sophisticated radar spots everything within its range, including tiny aircraft and stealth ones at low or high-flying altitudes.

It renders stealth aircraft obsolete, able to destroy them with pinpoint accuracy. It can simultaneously engage up to 36 targets with up to 72 missiles. 

Three separate types are used - extremely long range 40N6, long range 48N6 and medium range 9M96 missiles. They’re fitted with homing devices able to lock onto and destroy targets. 

Unlike America’s capability, S-400s don’t need to track targets. Their effectiveness neutralizes US-led NATO air power. 

They’re now deployed at Khmeymin Air Base in Syria to protect Russian aircraft and ground personnel - installed the day after a Turkish F-16 purchased from Lockheed Martin downed Russia’s Su-24 bomber in Syrian airspace, an incident Putin rightfully called a “stab on the back,” specifically blasting Turkey’s Erdogan, indirectly accusing Washington of involvement.

Russia’s Moskva guided missile cruiser stationed near Syria’s coast is equipped with the S-300F Fort (SA-N-6 Grumble) air defense system - nearly as effective as S-400s, able to strike half a dozen targets with up to 12 missiles simultaneously at a distance of up to 95 miles at altitudes up to 90,000 feet.

Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Genera-Major Igor Konashenkov announced the deployment, saying:

“In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Armed Forces, today (on Monday) an S-400 air defense missile system has been promptly delivered, deployed and already began combat duty to provide cover for the area around the Russian Khmeimim air base in Syria.”

Putin commented, explaining “no one (earlier) imagined the Russian aircraft could be in danger. Russia would've brought S-400s to Syria a long time ago to protect its warplanes, if it entertained the possibility of a traitorous backstab.”

They’re now protected during aerial combat missions against ISIS and other terrorist groups. Khmeymin Air Base is protected by state-of-the-art air defense systems and radars. It’s fully equipped to accommodate fixed and rotor-wing aircraft, as well as provide logistical help to pilots.

In November 2014, Moscow agreed to supply Beijing with six S-400 battalions, significantly boosting China’s air defense capability against potentially hostile US or allied nations’ attacks - unlikely with this capability installed once delivered.

S-400s effectively tip the balance of power in any war theater. Khmeymin Air Base installed systems can strike targets in neighboring countries, including Israel in less than two minutes once launched - why Netanyahu lobbied hard against their installation anywhere in the Middle East, to no avail.

S-400s can destroy or render inoperable any weapon in America’s arsenal - including state-of-the-art aircraft carriers and F-35 warplanes, so far plagued by shortcomings despite over $1 trillion spent on development, a potential white elephant if making it work as designed isn’t accomplished. 

Weapons experts Bill Sweetman and Bill Gunston say S-400s are “programmed to enter the correct Pentagon window” with deadly effectiveness, making F-35s and all other sophisticated US weapons ineffective against them.

Russia holds the balance of power advantage, intending to keep it, despite a military budget around 10% of what America spends, wisely directed, not wasted the way US military planners operate, unable to account for many trillions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse at taxpayers expense along with a threat to world peace.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Erdogan's Treachery

Erdogan’s Treachery

by Stephen Lendman

Downing Russia’s aircraft was an act of war and treachery - Erdogan revealing his rogue credentials for the whole world to see, compounded by his Big Lie about invoking Turkish rules of engagement against the plane entering its territory.

Russia has clear evidence proving otherwise, including exposing his fraudulent claims about issuing “10 warnings.” Lies compounding other lies produce Bigger Lies. 

Turkey was caught red-handed. No explanations came from Western media scoundrels, supporting what demands condemnation, especially US imperial wars.

Surviving navigator Konstantin Murakhtin told RT International: “It’s impossible that we violated (Turkish) airspace even for a second. We were flying at an altitude of 6,000 meters in completely clear weather, and I had total control of our flight path throughout.”

“In actual fact, there were no warnings at all. Neither through the radio, nor visually, so we did not at any point adjust our course.” 

“You need to understand the difference in speed between a tactical bomber like a Su-24, and that of the F16. If they wanted to warn us, they could have sat on our wing.”

“(T)he missile hit the back of our plane out of nowhere. We didn’t even have time to make an evasive maneuver.”

Both crew members ejected on impact. Pilot Sergey Rumyantsev was killed. A Turkmen terrorist allied with Ankara claimed  he was shot while parachuting.

RT said a 12-hour search operation by Russian and Syrian special forces rescued Murakhtin. In Russian military flying competition last year, he won Top Navigator” award honors.

He wants to return to frontline service as soon as he’s declared fit to fly. “I must pay back the debt for my captain,” he said. Russia called what happened a “planned provocation,” stopping short of explaining all it knows.

Washington’s dirty hands were involved, the likely orchestrator of what happened, Erdogan acting as a convenient hitman. Putin straightaway suspended military cooperation between both countries.

Expect more payback coming, including likely canceling the multi-billion dollar Turkish Stream pipeline project, enabling Turkey to become a major transit country for Russian natural gas exports to European markets - gone at least for now, perhaps as long as Erdogan is around, a blow to Turkey’s economy.

Moscow suspended visa-free travel from Turkey to Russia, beginning January 1. Expect other measures to follow. Russians are an important part of Turkey’s tourism industry. They’ve been warned to stay away because of internal dangers to their safety.

Russia’s biggest tour operators terminated relations with Turkish hotels and resorts. Russian imports of Turkish products may suffer. Hundreds of trucks were stopped at the Georgian/Russian border. Slow inspections followed. Customs officials suggested a possible terrorist threat from goods being transported.

Dozens of Turkish businessmen attending an agricultural exhibition were detained for entering Russia on tourist, not business visas. They’re being deported, maybe others prevented from coming.

Moscow cancelled planned 2016 cultural exchanges between both  countries. A Turkish nuclear power plant project may be scrubbed. Its military issued an absurd, hugely offensive statement, claiming it didn’t know the downed aircraft was Russian.

It knew perfectly well what it was doing - a well-planned provocation, Washington’s dirty hands involved. Erdogan now says he wants to “meet Putin face-to-face in Paris…to bring the issue to a reasonable point…disturbed that the issue has been escalated.”

His duplicitous remark likely fell on deaf ears in Moscow. His criminal act won’t soothe the anguish of family members of the Russian pilot he murdered - nor Moscow officials justifiably enraged, betrayed by a phony ally turned open adversary.

Putin said the incident seriously jeopardizes joint cooperation in the war on terrorism, none involving Turkey. Downing the aircraft and killing its pilot created a major international incident - unacceptable by any standard. Phony explanations don’t wash.

Well-known Russian analyst John Helmer tweeted: “Never before has the personal animosity of the heads of state of the United States and Turkey towards the President of Russia been so sharp and expressed so obviously. The (likely) consequences, too.”

Statements Putin made Thursday expressed his usual straightforwardness, saying:

“I would like to remind you that it was the passive position of a number of countries, and often their direct collusion with terrorists that actually led to the rise of the terrible phenomenon known as the Islamic State.” 

“They not only cover up for the terrorists, their illicit trafficking in oil, people, drugs, works of art and arms, but also benefit from it, making hundreds of millions, even billions of dollars.”

“I have to say that we find absolutely inexplicable the treacherous stabs in our back dealt by those we thought to be our partners and allies in the antiterrorist struggle.” 

“I am referring to the incident with the Russian bomber hit by Turkish air defence forces.”

Later the same day, he added: “Those who apply double standards when dealing with terrorists, using them to achieve their own political aims and engaging in unlawful business with them, are playing with fire. History shows that sooner or later such actions will backfire against those who abet criminals.”

“Look, we informed our American partners in advance when our pilots were going into action and where, in what air corridors. The American side, which leads the coalition, to which Turkey is also a party, knew about the location and time of our operation.” 

“And this is precisely where we were hit. The question is, why did we pass this information to the Americans? Either they are not in control of what their allies are doing or they hand out this information every which way without understanding the implications.”

“We are ready to operate in a different format that would be acceptable for our partners. We are ready to work together with the US-led coalition.” 

“It goes without saying that incidents like the downing of a Russian jet and the death of Russian servicemen, a pilot and a marine trying to rescue his brothers in arms, are absolutely unacceptable. We assume that this won’t happen again.” 

“Otherwise, we don’t need such teamwork with anyone, with any coalition or any countries. If Turkey is destroying it, we don’t see any smoke or flames from burning oil.” 

“Again, we’re talking about amounts on an industrial scale. A plant would have to be built to destroy that much oil. None of that is really happening. If top level leaders in Turkey know nothing about this, then tell them now.” 

“I admit that there may be some elements of corruption or collusion. Let them figure it out. However, we have no doubt about this oil going straight to Turkey. We can see it from the air: fully laden trucks go there and come back empty.” 

“Then again, they leave terrorist-held Syria for Turkey fully loaded, and return empty. We see it every day. Regarding Turkey’s Air Force allegedly failing to recognise Russian aircraft, this is simply not possible!” 

“The aircraft have insignia that are clearly visible, indicating that they are Russian aircraft, not anything else. This is the first thing I wanted to say.”

“Second, I’ve already said, and will say again: under our agreement with the United States, we have shared information on where our pilots will fly, at what flight levels, where and when. As we understand it, this is an operating coalition.” 

“Turkey is a part of this coalition. Thus, they should have been informed that the Russian Air Force was operating in the area. Who else could it be? How would they act if they knew it was an American jet? Would they hit it? This is all nonsense.” 

“These are just excuses. It’s highly regrettable that instead of seriously analysing this issue and making sure that such incidents never happen again, we are hearing inconclusive explanations and statements that they don’t have anything to apologise for. Anyway, this is Turkey’s choice, not ours.”

Putin chooses his words carefully, always speaking forthrightly, in contrast to rogue NATO members, notably America, Britain (a US appendage) and Turkey.

Are lunatics in Washington behind virtually all these type major international incidents bent on starting WW III?

A Final Comment

Moscow’s sincere efforts to work constructively with Ankara failed. Erdogan didn’t reciprocate in kind - just the opposite, a major black mark against his rogue agenda, a high crime.

Sergey Lavrov explained bilateral Russian/Turkish relations will be seriously revised in the wake of what happened. Russian officials won’t visit Turkey or receive their counterparts in Moscow.

“We cannot (let what) happened (go) unanswered,” he stressed. It was “a planned provocation (by no means) unintentional…an obvious ambush.”

We know what top Russian officials said publicly. Imagine their private discussions given how justifiably angry they are about what happened.

How can Moscow have normal relations with any country actively supporting terrorist enemies it’s combating - especially Turkey and Washington!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.