Friday, May 22, 2015

Obama's War on Yemen Rages

Obama's War on Yemen Rages

by Stephen Lendman

Washington announced new weapons sales to its rogue Middle East allies - notably Israel and Saudi Arabia.

They're replenishing supplies for more war, including deadly weapons designed for mass slaughter and destruction. Claiming they're for self-defense mocks their real purpose.

A region awash with powerful weapons is getting more - a bonanza for US defense companies, a nightmare for people throughout the Middle East.

Riyadh continues using its weapons for naked aggression on Yemen - ongoing terror-bombing and shelling.

Civilian neighborhoods and other nonmilitary sites are regularly targeted. On Thursday, a northern Hajjah province-based international humanitarian office was struck. At least five deaths and 10 injuries were reported.

UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Johannes van der Klaauw blasted Riyadh saying "indiscriminate bombing of populated areas, with or without prior warning, is in contravention of international humanitarian law."

Attacking another country without Security Council authorization is naked aggression. It's permitted only in self-defense if SC members OK it. Otherwise it blatantly violates core international law.

US, Saudi and other involved regional authorities are war criminals. 

Obama's rap sheet includes naked aggression against seven countries - plus subversion against numerous others, a kill list deciding who dies on his say, and injustice under a homeland police state apparatus coordinated with state and local authorities.

Saudi Arabia, other Gulf nations, Morocco, Egypt and Jordan are hugely repressive regimes. Democracy is strictly verboten.

So are human and civil rights. Crimes against humanity are longstanding practice. 

Israel operates the same way - partnering in all US wars, nuclear armed and able to wage devastating ones, waging perpetual war on Palestine.

On Wednesday, Ban Ki-moon announced so-called peace talks in Geneva beginning on May 28.

It's unclear who'll show up or what can be accomplished given Obama's rage for war - wanting it continued until Yemeni sovereign independence is destroyed.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam said "(w)e can't accept going to negotiation and dialogue in Geneva while the aggression and shelling of our country continues."

"Any place we want to hit inside the Saudi enemy we will hit at a time of our choosing," he added.

Reports indicate Houthi Ansarullah fighters attacked Saudi positions cross-border. They took control of al-Tuwal heights in southwestern Saudi Jizan region.

They forced Riyadh troops to withdraw. Yemeni al-Masirah TV reported Yemeni tribesmen attacking Saudi soldiers in Najran and Dhahran al-Janub border areas in southern Saudi Arabia - killing at least 18.

Dozens of Saudi troops have been killed or injured so far. Riyadh's condition for peace is reinstating business as usual.

According to its ambassador to Russia Abhulrahman al-Rassi:

"From our side we will exercise efforts to create best conditions for achieving the national reconciliation between the Yemeni brothers and the beginning of the reconstruction in Yemen under the legitimate leadership of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi."

He has no legitimacy whatever. He's a US stooge - anointed in a farcical election facing no other candidates.

Most Yemenis oppose him for good reason. He serves Western interests, not theirs.

Separately, Fars News reported Yemeni Cyber Army hackers gained "full control" of Riyadh's foreign, interior and defense ministry computers, they said.

They issued a statement saying they "gained access to the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) network and have full control over more than 3,000 computers and servers, and thousands of users." 

"We also have access to the emails, personal and secret information of hundreds of thousands of their staff and diplomats in different missions around the world."

"We publish only few portions of the vital information we have, just to let them know that 'truly the flimsiest of houses is the spider’s house.' "

More "visa secret information, thousands of documents from the Saudi Foreign Ministry automation system and secret emails will be published gradually so as to keep Saudi puppets always in fear of their identity disclosure," the group added.

So will interior and defense ministry documents and other information. The group vowed to wipe out Saudi Foreign Ministry servers as of midnight Wednesday.

It warned of greater damage if Riyadh keeps attacking "Muslims in Yemen." Saudi terror-bombing continues unabated. Thousands have been killed or wounded, around a million displaced.

US/Saudi blockade prevents enough food, fuel, medical supplies and other essentials from reaching millions of desperate Yemenis. Expect many to perish out of sight and mind.

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. 

Heading Toward Financial Maidan in Ukraine?

Heading Toward Financial Maidan in Ukraine?

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine's economy is a sinkhole of economic Depression. It's teetering toward collapse.

Its Q I GDP plunged 17.6% year-over-year. It's down 6.1% from Q IV 2014. Ten of the last 11 quarters saw economic contraction. Kiev depends on outside aid to keep operating.

Inflation is out-of-control. The Financial Times reported it reaching 61% in April. Its hryvnia currency is headed toward becoming worthless toilet paper. It's worth less than 5 cents to the dollar. Adjusted for its decline, real inflation tops 270% year-over-year.

Living standards are plunging. Poverty is a growth industry. So are unemployment,  underemployment and human misery.

Most Ukrainians struggle to get by. They can't make ends meet. Skyrocketing prices makes basic goods and services unaffordable.

IMF diktats exacerbate already untenable conditions. They include laying off government employees, wage cuts, abolishing pensions for some retired workers, freezing them for others, and major cuts in other social benefits en route to eliminating them altogether - a prescription for economic collapse and perhaps Maidan II.

Corruption is out-of-control. Grand theft is standard practice. Government, military and business officials are on the take. Lucrative schemes are created to plunder the state budget.

Ordinary Ukrainians suffer hugely. An billionaire oligarch class amassed enormous wealth - gotten the old-fashioned way by stealing it.

At the same time, millions of dollars are spent daily waging war on Donbass. Ukraine budgeted $5.4 billion for so-called defense and national security at a time it's bankrupt and can't pay creditors. 

A previous article discussed its declared debt moratorium - a step toward default except for IMF loans.

Growing numbers of Ukrainians are justifiably angry. Intermittent protests erupted since late last year - the latest this week.

Crowds demonstrated outside parliament in Kiev. They burnt tires. They tried breaking into the building. Clashes with police erupted. Arrests and injuries followed.

Ukrainians are angry over economic crisis conditions affecting them hugely - including soaring prices, rising unemployment, poverty or sub-poverty wages for workers lucky to have jobs, lost social benefits, unchecked rampant corruption, and regime officials doing nothing to alleviate things responsibly.

At the same time, taxes are rising, hiked gas prices are unaffordable for millions, and tuition fees were imposed for the first time.

Protesters oppose regime cost-cutting measures. They want legislation regulating bank credit and deposits. They want refunds on depreciated deposits in banks hard hit by economic crisis conditions. 

They demand legislation allowing loan repayments at the same exchange rate in place when gotten - 5 hryvnas to the dollar instead of over 20 currently.

Parliament so far failed to pass legislation mandating it - or anything else helping ordinary people.

They demand National Bank of Ukraine chairman Valeriya Hontareva resign. They want prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and finance minister Natalya Yaresko replaced.

"Out with the gang," protesters shouted. Some vowed to stay the course until their demands are met.

During a December 2014 anti-regime demonstration, one participant said "(i)f our demands are ignored, we are ready to take radical measures."

"We are addressing you, the servants of the people. You have already done everything, so that we don't have anything more to lose."

Viktor Medvedchuk is a former Leonid Kuchma regime head of presidential administration. He heads the Ukrainian Choice political organization. He opposes EU membership. Putin is his daughter Darina's godfather.

Months earlier, he said Kiev "authorities have failed to learn anything from the Maidan. The government and the people are again on the opposite sides of the barricades."

Moscow-based Institute for Social and Political Research Sergey Markov believes Kiev won't let protests reach critical mass.

Legislation passed late last year permits "isolat(ing) trade union leaders and organizers of protests from society, while the protests will be suppressed violently," he said.

Police states operate this way. Polls show growing dissatisfaction with Poroshenko.

Kiev-based Center for Social and Labor Research sociologist Volodymyr Ischenko says "(m)any people are starting to speak quietly about the idea of another Maidan - maybe not at the senior political level, but by regular people in everyday discussions." 

"The economy will deteriorate more and we are about to see huge energy price increases. This will affect not just the poor but the middle class as well, and the question is how long society will tolerate this?"

The ingredients for social upheaval are evident. Another Maidan may be just a matter of time - with perhaps no better outcome next time than in February 2014.

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. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ukraine Provoking Confrontation with Russia

Ukraine Provoking Confrontation with Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is a proxy US dagger targeting Russia's heartland - run by fascist putschists, headed by an illegitimate Washington-approved oligarch president.

It's waging war on its own people. It tolerates no opposition. Its economy nears collapse. Growing numbers of its population are impoverished, unemployed and angry.

In a Wednesday BBC interview, Poroshenko sounded deranged saying Ukraine is in a "real war" with Russia. "I think (Moscow is) preparing for an offensive" this summer.

"I think we should be ready, and I think that we do not give them any tiny chance for provocation. That will totally be their responsibility."

Russian officials accused Ukraine of "broken commitments" - making agreements, then breaching them straightaway.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there's a "serious lack of trust" between both countries for good reason. Kiev officials say one thing and do another consistently. Their word is meaningless.

Addressing Russia's upper house Federation Council on Wednesday, Sergey Lavrov condemned "radicals in Kiev and some other capitals" for provoking "further escalation" of conflict in Donbass.

He warned of "terrible consequences both for Ukraine and the entire European security system."

Washington directs Ukraine's geopolitical agenda. Donbass is Obama's war using Kiev forces as proxy foot soldiers.

Despite months of all-out Russian efforts to resolve things diplomatically, Lavrov said "we are back at the point where we were a year and a half ago."

Nothing was accomplished. Obama didn't wage war on Donbass to quit. Peace and stability defeat Washington's agenda. Endless conflict continues.

Kiev upped the ante. It terminated its military cooperation treaty with Moscow. It was signed on November 25, 1995 - ratified by Ukraine's parliament in 2002.

Lawmakers claimed termination aims at "protecting Ukraine's national interests, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity."

They lied saying Russia "unilaterally violated the norms and principles of the international law and carried out armed aggression against Ukraine" - despite no evidence proving Kiev's blatant Big Lie, repeated in Washington, other anti-Russian European capitals, and NATO headquarters in Brussels.

Kiev further damaged relations with Moscow. It scrapped an agreement permitting military transportation between both countries.

It cancelled another one on military transit to Moldova through Ukrainian territory. It was signed in 1995.

Joint forces from Russia, Moldova and Transdniestria along with Ukrainian military observers maintain peace on both sides of the Dniester River.

Their presence prevents violence. No outbreaks occurred during their deployment. It lets Chisinau and Tiraspol negotiate disputes peacefully.

Moldova called for involving OSCE observers. Transdniestria says Russia's presence guarantees their unrecognized republic's security.

Last October, Russian Vice-Premier Dmitry Rogozin said Moscow won't let Kiev meddle in the breakaway region's internal affairs. Russian citizens in Transdniestria will be protected, he explained.

On May 19, illegitimate Ukrainian prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said "(w)e are terminating the operation of the 1993 agreement on military-technological cooperation with Russia."

It pledged mutual cooperation to preserve and develop military products and provide military services.

It prohibits selling or transferring these products and services to foreign individuals, entities or international organizations without their original owner's prior consent.

In March 2014, Ukraine suspended military sales to Russia. In mid-June, Poroshenko prohibited cooperation with Russia in military-related activities.

In late August, Kiev's national security and defense council directed its cabinet of ministers to terminate exports of military and dual use products to Russia.

On Thursday, Kiev's parliament terminated agreement with Russia on mutual protection of classified information. It's been in force since 2002.

At the same time, Kiev refused to guarantee protection of human rights and other fundamental freedoms of Donbass residents.

It rescinded its commitment required as a signatory to various international law treaties and conventions - including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and UN Charter.

An explanatory note said "the objective need to take measures to repel armed aggression of the Russian Federation, Ukraine has to temporarily rescind its commitments to upholding certain human rights (in Donbass) within the limits permitted by relevant international agreements."

Throughout months of conflict, Kiev forces committed horrific crimes of war and against humanity. Its Thursday parliamentary ruling changed nothing on the ground.

Endless war continues. Relations with Russia remain hostile. Kiev risks initiating direct confrontation. 

Perhaps Washington has this strategy in mind. US diplomatic overtures changed nothing. Follow policies, not diplomatic rhetoric or niceties. 

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. 

Saudi Arabia: Headed Toward Becoming Nuclear Armed and Dangerous?

Saudi Arabia: Headed Toward Becoming Nuclear Armed and Dangerous?

by Stephen Lendman

Saudi Arabia is a radicalized Islamist police state threatening the entire region with terrorism and belligerence.

Reports indicate Riyadh wants or intends becoming nuclear armed - on the bogus pretext of countering Iran's known peaceful nuclear program. 

Last November, BBC diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban said months earlier "a senior NATO decision maker told me that he had seen intelligence reporting that nuclear weapons made in Pakistan on behalf of Saudi Arabia are now sitting ready for delivery."

They're paid for - ready to be shipped on request. A WikiLeaks reported State Department cable called it "logical for the Saudis to step in as the physical 'protector' of the Arab world by seeking nuclear weapons."

Former Israeli military intelligence chief retired general Amos Yadlin calls the Saudi threat to acquire nuclear weapons "very credible an imminent."

So far, Riyadh prefers having them held in Pakistan. It provides plausible deniability. It avoids challenging Iran provocatively - besides further destabilizing the entire region already reeling from US imperial marauding and Israeli aggression.

At the same time, intelligence officials believe Riyadh can deploy nuclear weapons and effective delivery systems faster than previously imagined.

RT International reported the story. Nuclear armed Saudi Arabia should scare everyone.

"For the Saudis the moment has come," RT quoted a former unnamed US defense official.

He told London's Sunday Times "(t)here has been a longstanding agreement in place with the Pakistanis, and the House of Saud has now made its strategic decision to move forward."

No weapons delivery occurred so far - but "the Saudis means what they say and they will do what they say," the former US defense official was quoted as saying.

At an April South-Korea-based Asan Institute for Policy Studies conference, former Saudi intelligence chief prince Turki bin Faisal expressed Riyadh's desire for nuclear weapons.

"Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too," he said - knowing Tehran neither has nor wants nuclear weapons. It's the region's leading advocate for abolishing them altogether.

An anonymous UK official said Western military leaders "all assume the Saudis have made the decision to go nuclear."

"The fear is that other Middle Eastern powers - Turkey and Egypt - may feel compelled to do the same, and we will see a new, even more dangerous, arms race."

Whether Pakistan intends honoring its obligation to Riyadh remains to be seen.

Former State Department official Mark Fitzpatrick is a non-proliferation expert. On the one hand, Riyadh bankrolled Pakistan's nuclear program, he said.

On the other, its reputation suffered greatly when it allegedly helped North Korea and perhaps other countries with nuclear weapons development, he added.

Fitzpatrick doubts Pakistan intends supplying Riyadh with these weapons. It knows doing so entails "huge diplomatic and reputational costs," he explained.

The whole world knows Iran neither has or intends developing nuclear weapons. No evidence suggests otherwise.

Perhaps leaking information about a potential Saudi bomb is Riyadh's way to get Washington to stay hardline on Tehran.

Nothing indicates softening US policy. Relations between both countries remain hostile. 

P5+1 talks haven't changed Washington's longstanding regime change aims. 

It wants control regained over its former client state - perhaps by war if other options fail.

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. 

Israeli Defense Minister Threatens to Nuke Iran

Israeli Defense Minister Threatens to Nuke Iran

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon is a holdover from Netanyahu's previous extremist coalition regime.

He's part of Israel's lunatic fringe running things. He addressed a Shurat Hadin (Israel Law Center) conference in Jerusalem titled Toward a New Law of War.

The organization includes anti-Palestinian Israeli lawyers advocating judicial action worldwide to absolve Israeli war crimes. 

It conducts irresponsible law suits. It maintains close ties to Israel's security establishment. It's a de facto Mossad proxy.

"I can still look at myself in the mirror," Ya'alon said trying to justify the unjustifiable - naked Israeli aggression on Gaza last summer, including willfully targeting civilians.

Ya'alon suggested premeditated war is morally right. He vilified BDS as "another tool" used against Israel by its enemies.

He called international criticism of Israel "war after the war…We should fight them back," he stressed. 

He rejected investigations of Israeli war crimes. He made a thinly veiled threat to attack Iran - referring to "cases in which we feel like we don't have the answer by surgical operations (so) we might take certain steps that we believe…should be taken in order to defend ourselves."

"Of course, we should be sure that we can look at the mirror after the decision, or the operation." 

"Of course, we should be sure that it is a military necessity. We should consider cost and benefit, of course. But, at the end, we might take certain steps."

He said he was reminded of Harry Truman when "asked, (h)ow do you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000, casualties?"

Truman claimed it was a moral decision - nuking Japan after rejecting its surrender offer so US generals could use their new weapon in real time and display America's might to Soviet Russia. 

"We are not there yet," Ya'alon added. In other words, war on Iran isn't imminent - with nuclear or conventional weapons.

Tehran's UN envoy Gholam Ali Khoshrou sent letters to Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council saying Ya'alon's comment effectively admitted Israel's possession of nuclear weapons and willingness to use them.

"Moshe Ya'alon’s recent remarks and the Zionist official's implied reference to the possibility of using nuclear weapons against the Islamic Republic like what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki…shows more than ever the regime's aggressive nature," Khoshrou said.

"The impudent remarks have challenged the primary principles ruling the armed conflicts and the international humanitarian rights and weaken the international peace and security and therefore, the UNSC is expected to condemn these irresponsible remarks and clear threats of using nuclear bomb and massacre of civilians."

Israel maintains nuclear ambiguity. It doesn't officially admit to what's well known. It's nuclear armed and dangerous. It reveals nothing about its longstanding nuclearization publicly.

A February Pentagon released report dated April 1987 followed Institute for Research: Middle East Policy director Grant Smith's FOIA suit.

DOD's release is the first official US confirmation of Israel's longstanding nuclear weapons program - dating from the Ben-Gurion era.

Whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu's revelations cost him 18 years in prison - mostly in solitary confinement.

Israeli thermonuclear weapons today can destroy entire cities. Washington aided their development.

Israeli anti-Iranian saber-rattling is longstanding. Its only enemies are ones it invents. It claims the right to defend itself by whatever means it deems necessary.

Iranian Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi responded to Ya'alon's remarks, saying:

"The Zionists and the US are aware of the power of Iran and Hezbollah, and they know that over 80,000 (Iranian) missiles are ready to rain down on Tel Aviv and Haifa." 

"Iran is a powerful country which will give a crushing response to them. We have displayed part of our military capabilities while we have kept many of our achievements and capabilities hidden to outsiders."

"Our response will be crushing not just to the Zionist regime, but to any other aggressor who intends to take action against us" - a reference to Washington and Saudi Arabia.

Longstanding US/Israeli plans call for regime change in Iran - by whatever means necessary. It remains to be seen if more regional war follows.

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. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Russia Calls for International Resolution of Yemen War

Russia Calls for International Resolution of Yemen War

by Stephen Lendman

Obama's war on Yemen using Saudi and other regional rogue states as convenient proxies continues after nearly eight weeks.

Riaydh's 3-day May 17 - 19 sham peace conference was thinly veiled PR subterfuge. Terror-bombing and offshore shelling slowed. It didn't stop.

On Wednesday, it resumed full-force. Civilian neighbors and infrastructure as well as other nonmilitary related sites continue being prime targets.

Israel is involved. Fars News said Riyadh hired IDF experts to "supervise (its aggression) against Yemen…in addition to (providing) intelligence and military coordination…"

Head of Yemen's High Revolutionary Council Mohammad al-Houthi said "Saudi Arabia attacked us because we had become a cause of concern for Israel and it was meant to soothe Israel's concerns."

He stressed war on his country is directly at the behest of Washington and Israel.

Thousands so far died, many more injured, mostly civilians, almost a million displaced.

On Monday during so-called Riyadh peace talks, Yemeni media reported Saudi warplanes terror-bombing UNICEF ships carrying humanitarian aid.

They were headed for Saada province, according to Iranian media. Separately, UNICEF director for Yeman Julien Harneis said aid it's been able to deliver "cannot replace the needs of 26 million people who have been cut off from a regular supply of commercial imports of food and fuel."

"Hundreds of adults and children have already died during this conflict, many of whom could have been saved had we got supplies to them on time." 

"We need to do everything we can to prevent any more of these unnecessary deaths."

On Saturday, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Johannes van der Klaauw said Riyadh's blockade and harsh inspection process willfully obstructs aid Yemenis desperately need.

Commercial goods shipped by air or sea no longer get in, he stressed. Yemen's Freedom House Foundation estimates over 4,000 Yemenis killed, another 7,000 or more wounded.

The true casualty count is likely much higher - including Yemenis dying from malnutrition, starvation or untreated illnesses and wounds.

Russia says resolving things can only be done diplomatically. Its Foreign Ministry urges international action through responsible Security Council resolutions.

It said air strikes and ground fighting continue. "Armed confrontations have been observed near the Yemeni-Saudi border and in the provinces of Ma'rib, Aden, al-Abyan, ad-Dali and Shabwah." 

"(T)he ceasefire appeals actively supported by Russia have not been heard. The humanitarian situation has been degrading." 

"UN representatives say that the five-day humanitarian pause is obviously insufficient for the delivery of aid to most Yemeni provinces."

Millions of Yemenis desperately need aid not forthcoming or arriving in woefully inadequate amounts.

"(A) diplomatic process based on a broad inter-Yemeni dialogue and relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and the previous agreements between the Yemeni political forces are the only real chance to stop the bloodshed and to achieve lasting settlement of the Yemen conflict," Russia's MFA stressed.

"It is important to carry on the search for ways of a lasting political settlement in Yemen based on the interests of all citizens without exception and independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of this friendly country."

"Together with other members of the international community, Russia will continue its energetic assistance in the convocation of an international forum to promote the peace process in Yemen under the UN aegis," its MFA stressed.

Obama didn't wage war on Yemen to quit. A previous article said he wants it bombed back to the 19th century.

He wants extreme pain and suffering inflicted - to force unconditional Houth surrender, to regain control over a former client state and send a message to other independent governments their turn awaits.

On May 20, a statement issued by Ban Ki-moon's spokesman said:

He announced "inclusive consultations" on Yemen aimed at achieving a Yemeni-led political transition process - code language for regime change, reinstating illegitimate US-approved figures to power.

Talks are scheduled for May 28 in Geneva. "The secretary-general urges all the participants to engage in these United Nations consultations in good faith and without preconditions," his spokesman said.

It's unclear who intends coming or what can be accomplished. Most Yemenis reject illegitimate US-imposed Hadi governance.

Houthis demand respect for Yemeni sovereign independence, free from imperial control. Washington, Israel, and complicit Saudis want unconditional surrender - return to unacceptable business as usual. 

Unresolved conflict continues. Saudi-led terror-bombing keeps slaughtering noncombatant men, women and children. 

Blockade kills them other ways. Western leaders able to intervene responsibly do nothing to stop Obama's latest atrocity.

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. 

Kiev to Prosecute Two Russian Nationals As Terrorists

Kiev to Prosecute Two Russian Nationals As Terrorists

by Stephen Lendman

Perhaps the biggest Big Lie throughout months of Obama's proxy war on Donbass is nonexistent "Russian aggression."

Repeatedly, Moscow is accused of arming Donbass freedom fighters and aiding them with Russian combat troops.

No credible evidence surfaced at any time proving allegations the whole world knows are false.

At the same time, foreign nationals from many countries voluntarily help both sides - including non-or-former Russian military personnel aiding Donbass.

They weren't dispatched from Moscow - nor has Russia shown any inclination to get directly involved in Ukraine's war militarily. It’s gone all-out to end it diplomatically.

On Monday, Kiev claimed it captured two Russian soldiers in Donbass. Its military spokesman Andrey Lysenko said "(t)wo Russian servicemen have been arrested. Our investigators are interrogating them."

"The leadership of the Russian Federation will have difficulty saying these guys just got lost."

Kiev security official Markiyan Lubkivsky repeated the Big Lie, adding:

"We are completely certain and can state that these are citizens an servicemen of the Russian Federation."

The only evidence are torture-extracted confessions. Both men are held incommunicado at an unknown location. They were captured on May 17.

Lugansk People's Republic  officials said they were LPR militia members, not members of Russia's military. They displayed IDs proving it.

Russia denies all allegations about its forces involved in Ukraine's war on Donbass. No evidence suggests otherwise.

On Monday, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said "(w)e and the Defense Ministry have stated on numerous occasions that there are no Russian troops in Donbass."

Kiev, Washington and rogue NATO partners repeatedly lie claiming otherwise. Ukraine intends using captured Russian nationals as fabricated evidence of Moscow's nonexistent involvement.

"We have been informed about today's show, jointly staged by the armed forces of Ukraine and the SBU (security service) in regard to the detention of the two alleged Russian soldiers in the Lugansk region," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

"At the time of their arrest on May 17, the captured Russian individuals, Aleksandr Alexandrov and Yevgeni Yerofeeov, were not active members of the armed forces of the Russian Federation."

On Monday, Kiev alleged they were from the Russian General Staff main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) assigned to the 3rd Special Purpose Brigade in Tolyatti, Russia.

Both men are former Russian military personnel. They're now civilians. Russia's Defense Ministry said Kiev must stop extracting false confessions through torture.

Russia's Veterans Association of Special Forces demanded Kiev "stop SBU's abuse of the wounded to get a favorable testimony."

During months of conflict since April 2014, hundreds of Ukrainian forces crossed into Russia for safety. All were treated humanely. Those wishing to return home did so freely.

"We are counting on the good sense of the Ukrainian leadership and the speedy release of" both nationals, Russia's Defense Ministry added.

Kiev announced both men would be prosecuted for "terrorist activity and terrorist crimes." A video-taped torture-extracted confession showed Alexandrov saying he was on a spying mission in Ukraine as part of a 14-member Russian special forces group.

"We were discovered," he said. "I was wounded in the leg as I tried to get away…We've been here 4 - 5 days."

Vitoria Nuland "welcome(d) the Ukraine's government public statements that (both men) are being well taken care of" - despite evidence indicating they were tortured to confess to actions they didn't commit.

Confess or perhaps die, they were likely told while being severely beaten and otherwise abused.

Clear evidence of Kiev torture surfaced earlier - including graphic accounts of horrendous Kiev war crimes Western media ignore.

Surviving torture victims lucky enough to be released told harrowing accounts of their captivity. 

They endured brutal beatings, broken bones, teeth ripped out, fractured skulls, electro-shocking, stabbings, branding with red-hot objects, held in freezing temperatures, mock executions, and no food and medical treatment.

It remains to be seen if both Russian nationals survive their ordeal and manage to return home.

A Final Comment

Moscow's embassy in Kiev demanded its consular staff have access to both detained Russian nationals - to help them as international law requires.

LPR's first deputy militia commander Sergey Kozlov demanded the immediate release of both men.

"Mistreatment of our (militia members) will not be left without consequences," he said. LPR forces "have always been humane towards all captives."

Kiev treats its prisoners brutally - civilians the same as militants. Russian nationals are especially mistreated. Survivors know Kiev ruthlessness best of 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. 

Kiev Reneges On Its Debt Obligations

Kiev Reneges On Its Debt Obligations

by Stephen Lendman

Kiev's parliamentary debt moratorium authorization suggests impending default. MP Viktor Dondar calls it "technical default."

Henceforth, foreign creditors will be scared off, he said. The IMF remains Kiev's sole funding source - on terms no responsible government should accept, loan shark of last resort ones.

Bondar said authorization came without serious parliamentary consideration or debate. Most MPs didn't understand what they supported, he added.

The measure passed 246 - 4 - a few hours after submission to parliament. A Cabinet of Ministers statement said:

"To protect the interests of Ukrainian people, the Government of Ukraine submits to the Verkhovna Rada today the draft laws, those enabling the Government to suspend payments on certain external public debts and guaranteed by the government debts, as specified in the Annex to the relevant Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers." 

"And in case of an attack from unscrupulous creditors to Ukraine, the moratorium will protect the assets of the state and of the public sector."

"It should be noted that granting such a right to the Government of Ukraine will affect neither the stability of the banking system of the country nor the exchange rate of the Ukrainian hryvnia." 

"But by adopting this law we appeal to our foreign lenders with a request to support Ukraine and share the heavy burden with us."

Moratorium excludes IMF loans. Ukraine is bankrupt. Its economy is in free-fall. Its Q I 2015 GDP plunged 17.6% year-over-year. It's a virtual sinkhole of Depression - dependent on outside financial aid to prevent collapse.

On May 20, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russian officials don't trust Poroshenko.

"The serious lack of trust is based on the specific facts, specific non-fulfilled obligations and breaking of the clauses of signed documents," he said.

Poroshenko is waging war on his own people - naked aggression by any standard. His claim about being in a state of war with Russia is over-the-top lunacy and then some.

Peskov called Kiev's debt moratorium "a step toward default."

Russia's lower house State Duma Financial Markets Committee First Deputy Chairman Vladislav Reznik agreed, adding default requires declaring it.

"(S)erious consequences" would follow. Russia expects Kiev to honor its debt obligation - $3 billion Eurobonds repayment is due in December plus monthly debt service.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said Moscow won't participate in Ukraine's debt restructuring. It expects Kiev to make its next   payment in June - $75 million is due.

Otherwise, Russia will sue Ukraine in the International Court of Justice (ICJ), according to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov. Moscow wasn't informed about debt moratorium legislation, he added.

Kiev claiming it needs protection from "unscrupulous" creditors doesn't wash. Nor saying it intends upholding "the rights of the Ukrainian people" it persecutes ruthlessly.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian debt obligations slumped to 45 cents to the dollar. Values look virtually certain to head lower.

According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, "(t)here is still some way for the bonds to fall if the government takes a tough stance."

A debt restructuring deal is being discussed ahead next month's deadline. London-based Capital Economics William Jackson expects talks to "go right down to the wire, and there is a significant chance of an altogether messier outcome," he said.

Ukraine is holding talks to restructure is sovereign and state-guaranteed debt. It has a $15 billion funding gap to resolve.

Bondholders reject Ukraine's lack of good faith. Kiev proposed extending maturity on its bonds and reducing the coupon it pays.

"We want to pay, but (only) under the terms proposed by the Ukrainian government," its illegitimate prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk blustered.

A creditor committee spokesman declined to comment. According to Deutsche Bank chief emerging markets economist Robert Burgess:

"A lot of the debt that is subject to restructuring discussions is governed by international law rather than domestic, so there are limits as to what the government can do to protect itself. It's a question of jurisdiction."

While approaching default on its debt, Kiev continues spending millions of dollars daily waging war on Donbass. Creditor outrage is justified.

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. 

Ukraine: A Cancer in Europe's Heartland

Ukraine: A Cancer in Europe's Heartland

by Stephen Lendman

Ukraine is an example of what happens when lunatics run the asylum. It's a US-installed Nazi-infested fascist police state headed by an illegitimate anointed oligarch mega-crook.

It tolerates no opposition. Free expression is banned. Independent journalists risk harassment, assault, arrest, imprisonment, even death.

Ukraine is a dagger pointed at Russia's heartland. It's bankrupt. It's perhaps headed toward defaulting on its debt. 

It declared a moratorium on repayments, legislatively authorized. It's step one toward default, short of declaring it.

Yet Kiev continues spending millions of dollars daily waging low-level aggression on Donbass ahead of escalating it full-blown.

Since taking office last year, Poroshenko increased military spending four times. It's budgeted fourfold more than in 2014.

He wants war, not peace. He ludicrously claims Russia intends a summer offensive against Ukraine.

He lied claiming Russia has 50,000 troops on Ukraine's border. A "Russian invasion" is coming, he blustered.

Since Minsk II ceasefire terms were agreed on, Ukraine systematically violated virtually all its provisions - key ones straightaway.

Yet Poroshenko turned truth on its head claiming "(t)here is convincing evidence that Ukraine strictly complies with the Minsk agreements and militants constantly violate them."

"Militants regularly shoot Ukrainian positions, engage in reconnaissance and subversive activity and provoke armed confrontations in order to disrupt peaceful settlement of the conflict."

False! Clear evidence shows Kiev forces systematically violate Minsk multiple times daily. Claiming otherwise is state propaganda amounting to Big Lies - blaming victims for its own crimes.

Kiev propaganda reads like bad fiction. Fabricated regime data published in the state-controlled Kiev Post claim complete or partial loss of 28 towns and villages since Minsk II in February.

Members of its so-called "cabinet of ministers" said so. They claim "a powerful strike force" of Russian and "separatist" soldiers target Mariupol.

Poroshenko irresponsibly accused Russia of "aggression" numerous times since conflict erupted in April 2014 - despite no evidence whatever proving it.

His baseless accusations wore thin long ago. They continue while his forces continue shelling Donbass daily.

According to Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin:

"Over the last 24 hours (alone), 33 shellings from Ukraine’s Armed Forces were registered. The enemy continues to use heavy weaponry."

It includes artillery, tank guns, armored vehicles, mortars, anti-aircraft weapons, grenade launchers and small arms.

Heavy shelling continues daily - virtually ignored in the West. Propaganda reports blame Donbass freedom fighters for Kiev crimes.

Ukraine's military wants increased funding for war. US combat troops continue training its forces for escalated aggression on Donbass. Launching it could begin any time.

Fascist regimes operate this way.  Many of Washington's close allies are rogue police states - notably Ukraine.

Fort Russ published damning information of its viciousness, including:

  • thousands of political prisoners - 4,023 "for support of separatism," 753 for opposing mobilization and war, or alleged collection of information about a military base;

  • former opposition MP/anti-Maidan activist Oleg Kalashnikov murdered in cold blood;

  • eight other former officials murdered to silence them;

  • dozens of journalists arrested, disappeared or murdered - 215 openly attacked; about 100 Russian journalists deported and/or threatened with death;

  • institutionalized torture of political prisoners; many Donbass rebels and civilians tortured to death;

  • evidence of Nazi-infested National Guard and likeminded volunteer battalion members committing rapes, robberies and other crimes;

  • terminating former Yanukovych government civil servants without just cause - some openly assaulted;

  • taking control of more than 20 Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate churches;

  • dozens of priests and parishioners attacked - many forced to flee cross-border following death threats;

  • banning Russian media, films, communism and its symbols - mandating imprisonment for performing Soviet Russia's national anthem;

  • state control of media - regime propaganda alone allowed;

  • police state prosecutions, convictions and imprisonment of regime opponents.

Obama's Ukrainian allies are xenophobic, ultranationalist, anti-Semitic, hate-mongering over-the-top Nazi-infested war-mongering fascists.

One rogue state supports another - partners in high crimes!

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, May 19, 2015

Netanyahu Appoints Hardline Peace Negotiator

Netanyahu Appoints Hardline Peace Negotiator

by Stephen Lendman

So-called Israeli/Palestinian peace talks are farcical when held - the greatest hoax in modern times, dead on arrival every time.

Netanyahu deplores peace. He opposes Palestinian self-determination. So does his new chief negotiator - hardline Likudnik Silvan Shalom.

He's interior minister and deputy prime minister. Appointing him peace negotiator underscores Netanyahu's contempt for Palestinian rights.

State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke downplayed what demands outrage saying "(w)e continue to believe that a two-state solution in vital."

"It is not a secret that the new Israeli government includes cabinet members who do not necessarily believe in that premise."

In 2012, Shalom said Likud officials "are all against a Palestinian state. There is no question about it."

They urge continued settlement construction on stolen Palestinian land. PA officials blasted his appointment - a willful affront, a clear rejection of peace and Palestinian statehood.

A dismissive Obama administration statement reflects longstanding one-sided US support for Israel.

Palestinian officials say there's no point in meeting with Shalom unless he accepts Palestinian statehood within June 1967 borders.

Putting him in charge of talks shows no change in racist/ruthless business as usual. An unnamed Israeli official said Netanyahu "charged (him) with conducting in his name the negotiations with the Palestinians."

He lied claiming his "appointment indicates the desire of the prime minister and Israel to have negotiations with the Palestinians, in contrast to the accusations that Israel refuses peace, and in contrast to the Palestinian claims that they cannot avoid unilateral actions in order to advance the establishment of a Palestinian state."

There are no serious talks - not earlier, now or ahead. Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands.

It's all take and no give. Chances for agreeing to Palestinian statehood are zero - except perhaps one day in meaningless name only.

Naftali Bennett is Netanyahu's main coalition partner. He's zealously pro-settlers.

He opposes Palestinian statehood. His Jewish Home party platform states Jerusalem "is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the state of Israeli solely, and will not be divided." Likudniks endorse the same lawless policy.

Bennett wants status quo extremism hardened. He wants non-Jews excluded from Israel. He's against hiring "foreigners."

He calls them "infiltrators," a "time bomb." He criticizes all forms of "excessive activism" - code language for opposing doing the right thing. 

He endorses hardline governance. He's against giving Arabs equal rights. He believes they should be "water carriers and wood hewers," biblical racist terminology.

He's responsible for Judaizing the Negev - meaning dispossessing Bedouins. "I've killed many Arabs in my life. There's no problem with that," he said. He believes murdering Palestinians is morally right.

Hardcore Zionists believe no less. They infest Israel's coalition regime - racists, belligerents, murderers, child torturers.

This year marks the 67th anniversary of ongoing Nakba. The catastrophe never ended.

Institutionalized racism, forced displacement, land and resources theft, homes demolished, self-determination denied, mass incarceration, no right of return, wars at Israel's discretion, a permanent state of suffering, and multiple daily breaches of fundamental international laws continue.

Israel's most extremist  government in history assures greater than ever ruthlessness. 

As long as Western leaders able to make a difference do nothing, Palestinian rights will continue to be denied. Liberation is an illusion. It remains a distant dream.

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. 

UK Whistleblower Says Britain's Nuclear Deterrent a Disaster Waiting to Happen

UK Whistleblower Says Britain's Nuclear Deterrent a Disaster Waiting to Happen

by Stephen Lendman

Britain's media are all over the story. Royal Navy whistleblower William McNeilly published an 18-page report called "The Secret Nuclear Threat."

He's an engineering technician weapons engineer submariner for Britain's Trident II D5 strategic weapons system aboard the HMS Victorious. He faces imprisonment for violating Britain's Official Secrets Act. 

"The worst fear for me isn't prison or being assassinated," he said. "(I)t's the fear of sacrificing everything I have just to warn the public and yet never be heard."

"We are so close to a nuclear disaster it is shocking," he maintains. "(A)nd yet everybody is accepting the risk to the public."

"If we don't act now, lives could be lost for generations." He calls Britain's nuclear weapons systems "extreme" because of negligent security lapses.

His top secret clearance gives him access to sensitive information. He revealed how easy it is for intruders, terrorists, contractors and others to enter secured areas - easier than entering "most nightclubs," he said.

"You can carry anything through the security checkpoints without it being checked," he claimed.

He maintains "a complete lack of security" exists. "If airport security and nuclear weapons security were both compared to prisons, the airport would be Alcatraz and base security would be house arrest."

His key claims include:

  • missile launch tests failed on three occasions;

  • collision with French nuclear submarine covered up;

  • failure to carry out security checks on bags and other personal belongings;

  • computer waste representing a major fire risk;

  • missile safety alarms muted and ignored;

  • accidental flooding of torpedo compartment; and

  • failure to question recording of top secret information.

McNeilly calls lack of Trident security "the biggest threat the UK faces." He released "selected information only to avoid damaging security further."

He published his report because "it's the only way (he could) make sure it gets out." He "raised concerns through the chain of command on multiple occasions" and got nowhere.

A UK Defense Ministry statement said "(t)he Royal Navy takes security and nuclear safety extremely seriously and we are fully investigating both the issue of the unauthorised release of this document and its contents."

"The naval service operates its submarine fleet under the most stringent safety regime and submarines do not go to sea unless they are completely safe to do so."

Not according to McNeilly. He stands by claiming Trident is a "disaster waiting to happen." Others agree, he says, but haven't gone public.

He went AWOL after publishing his report. On Monday, UK media said he'd turn himself in within hours. He's done so. He's held at a military base in Scotland.

On Monday, he posted a Facebook comment saying he "moved between countries, changed location almost every day, (now) lacks the resources to remain undetected. I will be handing myself into the police today."

"(O)ther people need to start coming forward," he said in his report - the only way to avoid a major disaster, he believes.

"It's just a matter of time before we're infiltrated by a psychopath or a terrorist," he said. "There were some people that I served with on patrol who showed clear psychopathic tendencies."

Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament co-coordinator John Ainslie said "(h)e should be commended for his action, not hounded by the Royal Navy." 

"He has exposed the fact that Trident is a catastrophe waiting to happen - by accident, an act of terrorism or sabotage."

Scottish National Party MP Angus Robertson called for a full Royal Navy explanation and remedial action, saying:

"These revelations, if true, are extremely concerning. It reads as a nightmare catalogue of serious safety breaches." 

"Failure to follow standard safety procedures is unacceptable in any workplace but on a Trident submarine on patrol it could result in extreme tragedy, not just for those on board but indeed for the entire planet."

If McNeilly is right, what does it say about nuclear weapons systems of other nations - notably America's deployed worldwide.

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.