Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Dollar as World's Reserve Currency Threatened

Dollar As World’s Reserve Currency Threatened

by Stephen Lendman

US dollar dominance finances Washington’s reckless spending, global militarism, its empire of bases, endless wars, corporate takeovers, as well as speculative excess creating bubbles and economic crises - at the expense of democratic freedoms and beneficial social change.

China, Russia and other nations increasingly trading in their own currencies pose a significant threat to dollar dominance. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya explained Washington’s currency war on China, saying:

“The Chinese are in the process of displacing the monopoly of the US dollar. They are dropping their US Treasury bonds, stockpiling gold reserves, and opening regional distribution banks for their own national currency.” 

“This will give them easier access to capital markets and insulate them from financial manipulation by Washington and Wall Street.”

China bashing by public and private US officials is part of a campaign to denigrate its government - making inflammatory accusations without proof about hacking, defying its legitimate right to do what it wishes in its own waters, and threatening sanctions - legal only by Security Council members, never by individual countries against others, Washington’s longstanding weapon against independent governments.

“As the financial architecture of the world is being altered by China and Russia, the US dollar is gradually being neutralized as one of Washington’s weapon of choice,” Nazemroaya explained.

The post-WW II US-dominated international monetary system is threatened with unraveling. Washington is fighting back with propaganda, energy, financial, economic and currency wars against China and Russia, said Nazemroaya.

Russia sold a fifth of its $125 billion in US Treasuries holdings last March. China’s US Treasuries holdings exceed $1 trillion dollars. It’s been aggressively dumping them.

It’s gone from the world’s largest buyer to its biggest seller. Will other countries follow suit? Nations are increasingly trading in their own currencies. Weakening America’s financial strength is the best way curb its imperial ambitions.

Russia drafted legislation aimed at eliminating dollars and euros in 
trade between Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Russia, and other former Soviet republics.

A Kremlin statement said “(t)his would help expand the use of national currencies in foreign trade payments and financial services and thus create preconditions for greater liquidity of domestic currency markets.”

It would facilitate regional trade and help achieve economic stability. It would reduce dependency on the world’s two dominant currencies.

China’s central bank launched a Heilongjiang Province yuan/ruble program - Russia’s currency replacing the dollar.

Both countries are increasingly trading in their own currencies - bypassing dollar transactions. If enough other countries follow suit, dollar strength will weaken. Its hegemonic ambitions will be curbed - how much, how soon remains to be seen.

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: 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.


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

More Lawless US Sanctions on Russia

More Lawless US Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Nations unilaterally or collectively may not impose sanctions on other countries, individuals, businesses or organizations. International law permits only Security Council members to impose them.

America’s odious history reflects abuse of power on an unprecedented scale. Illegally imposing sanctions is one of its many crimes - again against Russia for the fourth time since March 2014, for fabricated reasons relating to Ukraine, not legitimate ones.

Design Bureau, Rosoboronexport, Russian Aircraft Corporation and other companies were targeted. Russia’s Foreign Ministry responded sharply to Washington’s latest salvo, saying:

“The expansion of sanctions list announced by Washington on September 2 which includes Russian companies and organizations, as well as several legal entities with Russian participation outside of our country, is not just another demonstration of US administration’s inability to appropriately assess the situation in Ukraine.” 

“This is a reflection of a mindset rooted in the US ruling circles set on conscious and consistent destruction of basis for normalizing Russian-American relations.”

Obama’s war on Donbass letting Kiev junta proxy forces do its fighting and dying “is used by the US administration as a pretext for imposing on us the unacceptable ‘behavior model.’ “

“This time, in addition to incessant attempts to ‘link’ sanctions against Russian individuals and legal entities to the tragic developments in Ukraine, it was announced that illegal restrictions will be used against us in the framework of American legislation on Iran, Syria and North Korea.”

Washington rejects “easing tensions in ‘hot spots,’ but rather by irritation toward Russia’s independent position on the international arena and desire to ‘punish’ us for consistent defense of national interests, for free choice of residents of Crimea and Sevastopol, and thus to inflict damage on the Russian economy.”

New sanctions after three previous rounds reflects “another element in a whole series of hostile actions made by the US toward Russia lately in different spheres, including military, economic and visa aspects.”

“Washington’s unacceptable rhetoric is overboard. Such a reckless course arouses growing concern even among US allies. It can result in serious costs for international stability and will undoubtedly hit back at American interests.”

“Washington’s actions devalue its own signals about being interested in cooperation with us on several pressing international problems.”

“Futile attempts to exert sanctions pressure on us, as it seems, have not taught Washington strategists anything.”

“The United States should not harbor illusions about the possibility to continue this line without negative consequences for themselves. Reciprocal measures from us will definitely follow, and they will not necessarily be ‘mirrored.’ “

The US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security said sanctioned Russian companies added to its Entity List act “contrary to the national security of foreign policy interests of the United States” - code language for opposing its hegemonic agenda.

Moscow should harbor no illusion about partnership with America. Lunatics in Washington want regime change - by color revolution or war. 

They’re hellbent for letting nothing stop their maniacal drive for global dominance. Eliminating key rivals Russia and China is Washington’s top goal - even at the risk of unthinkable nuclear war.

In his latest article, Paul Craig Roberts said “(o)nce a country descends into evil, it doesn’t emerge.” America is the real evil empire, an unparalleled one in human history. Its arrogance and hubris may destroy us 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: 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.


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

New Israeli Police State Measure

New Israeli Police State Measure

by Stephen Lendman

Israel is a racist police state - run by criminal thugs. Numerous earlier measures violated the letter and spirit of fundamental international humanitarian laws.

Justice Minister Ayelet (“little snakes”) Shaked heads the Israeli Legislation Ministerial Committee. It drafted the new police state measure - solely targeting Palestinians despite claims otherwise.

It broadens the definition of terrorism, related activities and terrorist organizations - to more severely brutalize Palestinians than already, for political reasons, not criminality.

It mandates longer prison terms and stiffer conditions for releasing detainees. Israel’s definition of “terrorism” is any Palestinian protesting for international law guaranteed rights everyone deserves.

The measure is expected to pass its first reading straightaway - even though Knesset members got no time to review its provisions.

Israel’s phony pretext was the firebombing of the Dawabsha family home. Responsible extremist settlers have yet to be identified and held accountable, weeks after the July 31 attack - immolating 18-month-old Ali, later claiming his father’s life, too badly burned to be saved.

Senior opposition Zionist Union party members support Netanyahu’s coalition government bill. An unnamed one said “(h)ow could we explain to the public that we voted against a comprehensive, updated bill whose purpose is fighting terror.”

US-led NATO and Israeli war on terror are complete fabrications, justifying a war OF terror on humanity - in Israel’s case, brutally terrorizing millions of defenseless Palestinians, helpless against its killing machine.

Left-of-center Meretz party leader Zahava Gal-on strongly opposes the new measure, saying:

“Everyone wants to fight terrorism, but also when fighting terrorism it is forbidden to sacrifice basic values of state law and basic human rights.”

“It is unacceptable to anchor in legislation totalitarian powers such as administrative detentions and restraining orders, and use undemocratic means such as confidential information and confidential evidence.”

The new bill equates anyone allegedly intending terrorist acts with individuals or groups committing them. Punishment is doubled - up to 30 years imprisonment, even in cases where proof of intent is absent.

Anyone expressing support for freedom fighting groups involved in what Israel calls terrorist activity faces three years in prison for stating their views - including members of charitable organizations.

Anyone aged 12 or older can be prosecuted for anything Israel calls terrorism or terrorist related activity - including wearing a shirt or other garment bearing the name of a designated organization.

Mass surveillance and other police state practices are authorized - to monitor virtually everyone, mirroring NSA and other spy agencies in America.

Anti-terrorism legislation was introduced five years ago. The current measure is more draconian than earlier versions.

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: 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.


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

Gaza: A Socioeconomic Dead Zone

Gaza: A Socioeconomic Dead Zone

by Stephen Lendman

Gaza is ground zero for Israel’s longstanding ethnic cleansing policy to achieve maximum Jews and minimum Arabs - on stolen Palestinian land, acquired by mass slaughter and displacement, a ruthless, racist, rogue state agenda, violating the letter and spirit of core international laws with impunity.

The world community is complicit with its high crimes - doing nothing to stop them, ongoing for nearly seven decades with no letup, raping millions of Palestinians, defenseless against its killing machine.

The UN Conference on Trade and Development’s (UNCTAD) annual report says “Gaza could become uninhabitable by 2020 if current economic trends persist.”

Blockade since mid-2007 and three Israeli wars of aggression against 1.8 million defenseless people trapped in the world’s largest open-air prison “shattered (the Strip’s) ability to export and produce for the domestic market, ravaged its already debilitated infrastructure, (prevents) reconstruction and economic recovery, and accelerated the de-development of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, a process by which development is not merely hindered but reversed.”

“The social, health and security-related ramifications of the high population density and overcrowding are among the factors that may render Gaza unlivable by 2020.”

Gaza already is “unlivable.” Israeli inflicted pain, suffering and deprivation is suffocating an entire population - slow-motion genocide by any standard, while the world community yawns and does nothing to stop one of history’s great crimes.

It’s just a matter of time before another Israeli war, premeditated aggression - on whatever pretext it invents to justify the unjustifiable.

Gaza’s 225 square miles is home to one of the world’s highest population densities. Wars of aggression at Israel’s discretion, intermittent ground and air attacks, as well as blockade created nightmarish conditions for its people.

Deplorable socioeconomic conditions are at their worst level since Israel’s so called war of independence - naked aggression stealing 78% of historic Palestinian, taking the rest in June 1967, committing high crimes against millions of Palestinians, Gazans suffering most of all.

UNCTAD’s report highlights the Strip’s water and electricity crisis, as well as destruction of vital infrastructure last summer.

Its population largely relies on coastal aquifers for water - 95% of it is unsafe to drink. Economic losses from three devastating wars since December 2008 almost equals three times the size of Gaza’s GDP.

“The total cost may be substantially higher once indirect economic losses are included and lost future income streams from destroyed productive capacities are added,” said UNCTAD.

Nearly 250 factories and 300 commercial centers for entirely or partly destroyed. Gaza’s sole power plant was hugely damaged. Before last summer’s war, its capacity met less than 40% of what’s needed.

The socioeconomic crisis is exacerbated by Israel’s grand theft of offshore oil and gas in Gazan waters - depriving Palestinians of the right to develop their own resources and earn desperately needed revenues for economic growth and sustainability.

Nearly half of working aged Gazans are unemployed, many others hugely underemployed earning sub-poverty wages. Food insecurity affects nearly three-fourths of the population.

Gazan exports are blocked - imports and cash transfers extremely restricted. Israel prevents “the flow of all but the most basic humanitarian goods,” said UNCTAD - and not enough of them.

Advisor to former prime minister/convicted felon Ehud Olmert, Dov Weisglass, commenting on Gaza’s siege once said “(t)he idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”

In other words, bring Gazans to the point of malnutrition and starvation without crossing the line - or at least make it appear this way.

Gazans are dependent on outside aid to survive. Last month UN Relief and Works Agency (UNWRA) staff protested the agency’s rolling back vital services it provides, including schooling and healthcare.

UNCTAD warned that donor aid remains essential - but not enough to sustain Gaza, offset Israel’s blockade, or be able to reverse de-development conditions. 

Nothing in prospect suggests constructive change. Gazans remain isolated on their own - abandoned by world leaders, save for meaningless lip service.

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: 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.


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

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Discrimination Against Russian Jews in Israel

Discrimination Against Russian Jews in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

America is the developed world’s most unequal country economically. Israel is close behind - a chasm in both nations exists between rich and most others, growing exponentially. Social injustice is rife.

US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis (1956 - 1941) once said nations have a choice - democracy or concentrated wealth in few hands, never both. America and Israel were never democracies, for sure not now.

Beginning in the late 1980s under Mikhail Gorbachev, hundreds of thousands of Russian Jews emigrated to Israel - for large numbers, failing to find what they came for, driving many to leave.

On August 29, the Jerusalem Post headlined 26 years of Russian aliya: Segregation, poverty and police brutality,” saying:

Since the late 1980s, “(o)ver a million repatriates from the former Soviet Union came to Israel, where they became ‘Russians.’ “

New arrivals included doctors, engineers, scientists and other professionals. Despite contributing to Israel’s economy and culture, “their problems aren’t addressed but rather keep piling up, while being completely overlooked.”

Russians face discrimination. “(R)acist slurs and stereotypes” taunt them…The glass ceiling is more impenetrable than ever.”

“(T)he percentage of ‘Russians’ in senior positions and public office is much lower in proportion to their percentage within the Israeli society. There are no ‘Russian’ CEO’s in the ministries, which means that they are being ignored and not considered for promotions.”

They’re harassed, beaten by police and wrongfully detained - children treated as abusively as adults. Authorities admit harsh treatment, even though they’re good, law-abiding citizens.

Around 200,000 elderly Russians will “get peanuts for pensions” at retirement - even though they spent up to a generation in Israel’s workforce. 

They’ll get the equivalent of around $750 dollars a month maximum - sub-poverty in Israel’s high cost of living economy if they have no other sources of income or enough savings.

Otherwise, they’ll have to rely on children for support. A newly created Forum of Russian-speaking Israelis includes “journalists, researchers, sociologists and PR professionals,” said the JP.

They “united to work on solving all the problems mentioned above before” - raising awareness, organizing protests and seeking ways to “ease the burden” of elderly Russian nationals approaching retirement.

They intend pressuring Netanyahu for help. Various MKs support them. Media coverage helps their cause. They got results. A government commission will look for ways to solve their problem - including stopping police brutality discussed above.

Forum members want Russian Jews treated as equal citizens. About 720,000 Russians now live in Israel. Their numbers are shrinking as many vote with their feet and leave.

At one time, 20 Russian nationals held Knesset seats. Today it’s 13 out a 120-seat body. The Russian immigrant tide left for a better life in Israel. Most were hugely disappointed.

They’re frustrated and angry for good reason. They were sold a bill of goods to come - empty promises they discovered. For many, the cost of living is overwhelming. Low pay and dwindling benefits make it hard to make ends meet. They pay high taxes and get little back in return.

Widespread emigration is an ongoing process getting little media attention. It’s a politically charged topic. Departing Russians either go home or head to Western countries willing to accept them.

Ex-pats leaving way outnumber new arrivals. Life in Israel rewards its privileged few. Russian immigrants get short shrift.

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: 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.


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

California School District Serves Organic Meals

California School District Serves Organic Meals

by Stephen Lendman

The scientific and world community know GMOs harm human health. So why does Washington and other governments permit their use - and in America, ban labeling, suppressing vital consumer information?

Ecowatch asked: “What if we could feed our students the nutritious, delicious and sustainably sourced food they truly deserve?”

Sausalito, California Marin City School District is the nation’s first one offering “100 percent organic and non-GMO” foods to children. Why aren’t all US school districts doing the same thing?

Why aren’t only foods and ingredients safe to eat allowed to be sold in America? The Conscious Kitchen says it’s dedicated to a systematic transformation of school dining, to the health and well being of our children, and to a thriving future for our planet.”

It’s contracted to supply meals for Marin County’s Bayside MLK Jr Academy and Willow Creek Academy. 

The student-led Turning Green global movement for “conscious living” and a healthy planet launched the project in August 2013 - together with Cavallo Point Lodge, Sausalito Marin City School District, Whole Foods Market and Good Earth Natural Foods.

Ecowatch said since initiated, “the program saw a steep decrease in disciplinary cases, increased attendance and a greater sense of community.”

Turning Green founder Judi Shils said “(s)tudents everywhere are vulnerable to pesticide residues and unsafe environmental toxins. Not only does this program far exceed USDA nutritional standards, but it ties the health of our children to the health of our planet. It’s the first program to say that fundamentally, you cannot have one without the other.”

Offering children safe, nutritious, toxin-free foods, is the best way to develop their young bodies and promote health.

Conscious Kitchen-supplied schools accompany their meals with nutrition and gardening education. It explains the dangers of GMO consumption.

It uses the acronym FLOSN to explain foods it supplies - Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal and Non-GMO. What if every food supplier in America operated by the same standard? 

Imagine a food supply fit to eat. Imagine the way it was long ago before agribusiness became dominant - mass marketing toxins masquerading as wholesome, nutritious foods.

Cavallo Point Lodge’s consulting chef for The Conscious Kitchen. Justin Everett, says “(b)y embracing fresh, local, organic, non-GMO food, this program successfully disrupts the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, heat and serve meals that dominate school kitchens” - junk foods unfit to eat by anyone.

The Conscious Kitchen says foods are safest, best and of highest nutritional value when come “straight from farm to fork.” It uses no processed, preserved or frozen ingredients. Above all, no GMO or chemically contaminated foods and ingredients.

It calls its policy “a no-exceptions rule.” Imagine if governments operated by the same standard. Imagine a healthy America - not one plagued by epidemic levels of illness, obesity, depression and other public health issues.

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: 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.


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

Venezuela Reveals New Evidence Against Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez

Venezuela Reveals New Evidence Against Opposition Leader Leopoldo Lopez

by Stephen Lendman

Lopez is a US-funded anti-Bolivarian fascist politician. In January 2014, he and defrocked former National Assembly member Maria Corina Machado launched a La Salida (the Exit) campaign, openly calling for replacing Venezuela’s government.

Street violence followed for months. Dozens died, many others injured and arrested. February 2014, Lopez was detained. 

At the time, prosecutors held him responsible for murder, terrorism, conspiracy, incitement to crime, setting fire to a public building, damaging public property, public intimidation, and inflicting serious injuries. 

President Nicholas Maduro compared him to 2002 coup plotters. “There you have the face of fascism,” he said. “They should go behind bars. For us, what's important is to govern and to make sure that groups like these don't do any more damage to the country.”

Last December, Venezuela's state prosecutor's office indicted Machado - charging her with conspiracy in a plot to assassinate Maduro. 

Email evidence was damning - Machado saying "I believe the time has come to join forces, make the necessary calls, and obtain the financing to annihilate Maduro…and the rest will come falling down." 

Venezuela's public prosecutor's office said: 

“Whoever, from inside or outside the national territory, conspires to destroy the nation's republican political style will be punished by eight to 16 years in prison.”

In July 2014, Lopez’s trial began, punctuated by delays. It remains ongoing. On August 31, Telesur said Venezuela’s Public Prosecutor’s office issued a statement saying exhaustive investigation proved Lopez’s guilt.

“After 70 hearings in the case and 108 examined evidence, the Prosecutor's Office concluded that Lopez publicly called upon his supporters to attack the government building, an event in which six government vehicles and the building's library were set on fire, in February 2014,” Telesur explained.

He posted over 700 Twitter messages - promoting protests and opposition to Venezuelan authorities.

The Public Prosecutor said evidence showed his aim “was to alter the peaceful coexistence between Venezuelans, defy the authority of the country’s institutions and disregard the law.”

His trial may be nearing an end. Sentencing could come in weeks. He was involved in the aborted 2002 two-day coup against Chavez - saved from prosecution by a presidential general amnesty. He’s gotten National Endowment of Democracy (NED) funding since the Bush administration.

He, likeminded Venezuelan fascists and Washington want Bolivarian fairness ended - replaced by governance for privileged interests exclusively, returning the nation to US client state status.

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: 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.


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

Violence and Instability on Russia's Border

Violence and Instability on Russia’s Border

by Stephen Lendman

Events in Ukraine (and Eastern Europe) target Russia - part of Washington’s longstanding regime change agenda, wanting US-controlled puppet governance replacing Russian sovereignty, eliminating a key rival power, giving America access to a huge new source of vital resources.

Perhaps Victoria Nuland’s dirty hands were involved in Monday Kiev riots, previous unrest this year and likely more to come. Washington is displeased with Poroshenko. Former Ukrainian MP Vadim Kolesnichenko said US officials are considering two replacements:

Valentin Nalivaichenko, former Ukrainian security service head, or Sergei Levochkin, former Yanukovych chief of staff. A previous article explained Ukrainians overwhelmingly despise Poroshenko. Calls persist for him to step down. Replacing him won’t surprise anyone.

Meanwhile, war on Donbass rages. Western media largely ignore daily shelling by junta forces - including attacks on residential areas, hospitals, schools and other nonmilitary targets.

An unverified late August report from an unnamed source said the following:

“(C)ylinders of toxic gases and containers of poisonous substances were delivered to the technological facilities of high-voltage insulators plant in Kramatorsk street, town of Slavyansk.”

“There's chlorine in cylinders, not less than five covered wagons, also other containers with contents I know nothing about labeled with words and signs “poison,” “danger,” “do not touch without protection.” 

“All of it was brought in under the guise of varnishes and paints, but I know the look of the packaging of both, and whatever was brought here last week has got nothing to do with it. It looks like a chemical weapon.” 

“They don't let anyone in the warehouse. There is round-the-clock guard in military uniform without insignia. All the time there's been some strange hustle and bustle.” 

Soldiers “boasted that separatists will be given a big washing, from which they will puke blood. Our guerrillas have verified this information. There is understanding that the Ukrainian military and Security Service are preparing a provocation against the Novorossiya militias having intent to show them use chemical weapons against civilians.”

“Harm as many civilians as possible. Show dead bodies on TV for Europe and America to intervene. This is actually why I am calling from Slavyansk, we don't want to be Guinea pigs and die for Poroshenko or America.” 

“Tell everyone that Kiev is preparing a provocation with chemical weapons…This information was confirmed by at least one source in the region, an employee of a major transportation company engaged in the transshipment of cargo from rail to road.” 

“According to this source, the dangerous cargo was jointly accompanied by intelligence services of Ukraine and military, and in full cooperation with the central and local authorities.”

If a major chemical weapons attack on Donbass occurs, the source will be proved right. It won’t be the first time. Kiev used toxic substances and cluster munitions against area freedom fighters earlier. Western media ignored what happened.

On August 30, Voice of Sevastopol (VOS) headlined “ ‘Moscow Must Burn!’ Right-Wing Extremists in Ukraine Mobilize,” saying:

“(R)ight-wing volunteer militia leader Dmytro Korchynsky” has a large following in Ukraine. “I want to lead a crusade against Russia,” he said.

“Our goal is not only the expulsion of the occupiers, but also vengeance. Moscow must burn.”

Reuters said Korchynsky wants to create a Christian “Taliban movement.” VOS reported 40 (right-wing, ultranationalist) volunteer militia groups active in Ukraine.

Many of their members were Maidan protesters involved in ousting the former Yanukovych government. VOS said they pose a serious threat to the current regime - especially if they have US backing over dissatisfaction with Poroshenko, prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and other Kiev officials.

They demand Poroshenko’s ouster, imposition of martial law, full-scale war on Donbass,  “unity” of Ukraine by any means necessary, and perhaps disruptive activities against Russia.

On Monday, Moscow’s EU envoy Vladimir Chizhov said Ukraine’s constitutional changes violate the letter and spirit of Minsk - calling for Donbass “special status” self-governance.

Poroshenko rejects it - saying constitutional amendments he proposed prohibit “special status.” Chizhov accused him of introducing changes without consulting Donbass officials as required by Minsk, excluding their rights, flagrantly violating ceasefire terms.

“I think the core of the problem is the inability, or unwillingness, or both, of the Ukrainian government and President Poroshenko to sit down and negotiate directly with representatives of Donetsk and Lugansk,” Chizhov explained.

Donetsk Parliament Speaker Denis Pushilin said “(w)e do not recognize what is going on now in the Rada (parliament) as we know for sure that the amendments proposed by Poroshenko are just an imitation of the Minsk agreements implementation.”

The rights of Donbass residents are excluded from Kiev’s parliamentary debates. Policies directed by Washington call for continued war, defeating Donbass freedom fighters and maintaining instability on Russia’s border. 

America’s agenda heightens the possibility of direct confrontation - a reckless policy risking the use of nuclear weapons for the first time since WW II.

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: 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.


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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Abbas Building Lavish West Bank Presidential Palace

Abbas Building Lavish West Bank Presidential Palace

by Stephen Lendman

Palestinians under PA governance are ill-served, abused, lied to and exploited. Abbas is an illegitimate president - installed by Israel in a 2005 rigged election. His term expired in January 2009. He refuses to step down.

He’s a longtime Israeli collaborator - enforcing its harshness against his own people. Betrayal pays well. Reportedly he amassed a fortune worth hundreds of millions of dollars - profiting from secret land deals, other investments and grand theft.

US and EU funds were stolen. Operations are opaque. Irregularities are rampant - transparency nonexistent.

While Palestinians endure enormous economic and financial hardships struggling to survive, Abbas is spending millions of dollars building a lavish presidential palace near Ramallah. It’s reported $13 million cost may end up double or triple that amount before completion.

According to the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR):

“The goal of this project is to establish the Presidential Guest Palace in Surda, Ramallah within an area of 4,700m2, along with a building for the Presidential Administration and Guards with an area of 4,000m2, the construction process includes also preparing the surrounding area and two helipads, the project will be constructed over a land area of 27,000m2.”

PA finances are strapped. Last March, an emergency budget was approved after countries pledging aid reneged. Spending enormous sums on wasteful luxury shows greater contempt for Palestinian needs than already.

Abbas’ staged PLO head resignation along with five other Executive Committee members was a ruse - a thinly veiled scheme to tighten his grip on power.

Former PA legal advisor Diana Buttu criticized the move, saying he’s “trying to make it seem as though he is actually legitimate by having one of the Palestinians’ policy bodies re-elect him, and he is trying to get rid of those who openly dissent.” 

“He is using an illegitimate mechanism to make himself legitimate. We have no idea what will happen next when this man will finally decide to say goodbye. We are getting to the point where everything is consolidated to him.” 

Committee member Ghassan Shaka’ah lied claiming “(t)here resignations are needed to renew the work and legitimacy of the PLO Executive Committee.” 

“They are needed to inject new blood in the PLO. The dangerous conditions in the region require that we all strengthen our internal situation to confront Israeli aggression and escalation.”

Abbas and close PA cronies support Israel’s war on Palestine, including naked aggression on Gaza three times since December 2008. They’re longtime Israeli enforcers - terrorizing their own people in return for special benefits derived.

Former PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo removed by Abbas to eliminate a rival called the mass resignations a “silly charade” - subterfuge to consolidate power, continue business as usual.

Hamas called it an Abbas power play - undermining chances for unity governance, playing into Israel’s hands, assuring harder times ahead for Palestinians, including maintaining Gaza’s siege. 

Nothing in prospect suggests relief for long-suffering Palestinians - especially under Abbas-run Judas governance.

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: 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.


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

Maidan 2.0 Erupting in Ukraine?

Maidan 2.0 Erupting in Ukraine?

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained overwhelming anti-regime opposition. Ordinary people are fed up with economic conditions creating enormous hardships - ignored to enrich privileged interests and wage war on Donbass.

Sporadic protests erupted various times before - again Monday in front of parliament violently after police stopped thousands from storming the building, led by Right Sector Nazis, likeminded Svoboda party extremists and other ultranationalist elements. 

Whether Monday’s violence signals the beginning of Maidan 2.0 remains to be seen. Elements involved include the most extremists segments of Ukrainian society - hooligan supporters of Nazi-era Stepan Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN-B). He collaborated in mass executions and ethnic cleansing.

If these elements gain power, fascist Ukraine on steroids will follow. The entire country could explode in violence - a reign of terror in Europe’s heartland, perhaps spilling cross-border, affecting neighboring countries Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Russia, potentially embroiling the entire continent in conflict.

Live fire and a grenade thrown at police exploded during Monday clashes. Reports indicated five or more security forces killed, 10 hospitalized in serious condition, and scores of people wounded.

Internal affairs minister Arsen Avakov reported 100 or more injured, likely many more casualties if disruptions continue.

Dozens of arrests were made. “Investigation and punishment are inevitable,” said Avakov. “Around 30 people are detained. There will be more. The person who threw the grenade has been caught. Grenades have been seized, including an F1 maximum destruction grenade.”

Russia’s lower house State Duma International Affairs Committee chairman Alexey Pushkov commented on Monday’s riot saying:

“(Ultra)nationalists in Ukraine want to assert full and unquestionable power of radical forces. (N)either  Merkel nor Hollande nor the Minsk agreements will help.”

Poroshenko “has to maneuver. He has to show Europe that he controls the situation in the country. However, I think that he can manage it less and less. And today’s events in Kiev demonstrate that (he) does not have complete control over the situation.” 

He may be losing it altogether. He’s an impotent puppet taking orders from Washington. Pushkov expects continued deterioration.

“The Kiev regime will try to prove that Ukraine is a European country ready to accept the so-called European values,” he said. “But the Right Sector and the Svoboda party and other ultra-nationalist groups using Nazi ideas are not ready to accept the so-called European values.” 

“They are ready to fight only for ultra-nationalist dictatorship in Ukraine. Here, I see a considerable conflict potential between Poroshenko and” and anti-regime elements.

Their alleged anger over constitutional decentralization amendments is misguided. They reject special status for Donbass. Poroshenko was clear in opposing it - flagrantly violating Minsk terms. 

Whether turbulence in Kiev can be contained remains to be seen. Maybe Monday’s eruption is the start of something bigger.

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: 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.


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

US Presidential Aspirants Irresponsibly Bash Putin

US Presidential Aspirants Irresponsibly Bash Putin

by Stephen Lendman

Putin’s advocacy for peace, stability and multi-world polarity along with opposing US imperial lawlessness makes him America’s public enemy number one - recklessly bashed at a time US/Russian cooperation is vitally needed to avoid the unthinkable, a possible devastating nuclear confrontation.

US presidential aspirants represent America’s lunatic fringe - pro-war neocons talking tough on Russia, proliferating Big Lies, ignoring good sense. 

Jeb Bush irresponsibly called Putin a “bully. Ultimately I think to deal with (him) you need to deal from strength,” he said.

“He’s a bully. You enable bad behavior when you're nuanced with a guy like that. I'm not talking about being bellicose - but saying 'here are the consequences of your actions,’ that would deter the kind of bad outcome we don't want to see.”

“Who can doubt that Russia will do what it pleases if its (nonexistent) aggression goes unanswered?”

Bush urges stiffer sanctions and a muscular military response (including “more robust”  exercises near Russia’s border) short of war.

In contrast, Donald Trump says “I’ll get along well with Vladimir Putin.” Asked to elaborate, he explained “I didn’t say I admire him.”

At the same time, he claimed “(t)he problem we have is the people running China, Mexico, Japan. All of the leaders of those countries are much sharper, smarter, more cunning than our leaders and they're taking advantage of us.”

Marco Rubio calls Putin a “gangster” - “an organized crime figure who controls a government and a large territory.”

He “kills people because they're his political enemies. If you're a political adversary of Vladimir Putin, you wind up with plutonium in your drink or shot in the street.”

He calls Russia a major threat to US security. “We have a gangster running the largest nuclear stockpile in the world.”

Scott Walker absurdly calls his anti-union agenda a signal of his toughness against Putin. Lindsey Graham accused him of “mucl(ing) (his) way around Europe.” 

“What (he’s) trying to do is market the strongman concept. He has a brand and (it’s) to be in your face and say, ‘(w)e’re not going to be pushed around by the West.’ “

Ted Cruz calls Putin a “thug.” The “only negotiation that can be effective with (him) is from strength.” Chris Christie claims his brash style is needed to deal with Russia. “Vladimir Putin would never have to wonder what I thought was acceptable and what was unacceptable,” he said.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina calls Putin a “bad dude.” Rick Perry claims he “uses his energy to hold our allies hostage. If energy is going to be used as a weapon, I say America must have the largest arsenal.”

Mike Huckabee doesn’t know Palestine is occupied. He knows less about Russia, China and geopolitics. Rand Paul tries having things both ways. Earlier he distanced himself from Putin bashing. More recently he said “(i)f I were president, I wouldn’t let (him) get away with” anything.

Hillary Clinton believes EU leaders are “too wimpy” with Putin. Last year, she outrageously compared him to Hitler and Russia to Nazi Germany.

Paul Craig Roberts believes if elected president, she’d be “more likely to go to war with Russia” than any other aspirant.

Bernie Sanders brags about being more anti-Russian than Obama. “You’ve got to totally isolate them politically,” he says. 

“You’ve got to totally isolate them economically…You freeze assets that the Russian government has all over the world…International corporations have huge investments in Russia…You could pull them out…”

All Republican and Democrat presidential aspirants represent America’s lunatic fringe. Reject them all. None deserve popular support.

All endorse dirty business as usual - endless wars, corporatism over populism, and harsh crackdowns on resistance.

America is a money-controlled fascist police state. Expect worse than ever governance no matter who succeeds Obama in January 2017.

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: 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.


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