Monday, September 01, 2014

Israel's Latest Land Grab

Israel's Latest Land Grab

by Stephen Lendman

On Sunday, Israel's Civil Administration announced confiscation of around 1,000 acres of privately owned Palestinian land. 

It lawlessly declared it State Land. It's to establish a Gva'ot settlement. It's located south of Bethlehem. It's in the Southern West Bank.

Peace Now calls itself "the leading voice of Israeli public pressure for peace." It called Israel's action "unprecedented."

In 1984, Gva'ot was established as a military base. Earlier, Israel's Housing Ministry planned to build 15,000 units. The idea was to establish a city in Gva'ot.

Smaller plans substituted. The new announcement expands Gva'ot. It'll become a new settlement. It may connect to the Green Line.

Peace Now called Sunday's announcement "proof (that) Netanyahu does not (want) a new 'Diplomatic Horizon' but" intends blocking Palestinian self-determination.

He and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon bear full responsibility for Sunday's declaration. It "cannot pass without their approval," said Peace Now.

By confiscating another 1,000 acres of privately owned Palestinian land, they "prove(d) again that violence delivers Israeli concessions while nonviolence results in settlement expansion(s)."

Peace Now official Hagit Ofran believes "Netanyahu will carry out a lot of expansion(s) because of the pressure he feels from his right wing and the feeling that the (Gaza) war did not end up with many successes."

Confiscated land belongs to five Palestinian villages. They include Jaba, Surif, Wadi Fukin, Husan and Nahalin. They lie between the Etzion settlement bloc and Jerusalem.

At issue is connecting Etzion to Jerusalem and its surrounding area. Last year, Israel sought bids for 1,000 housing units on the site.

Over 500 are being built. Ten families reside on the site. Many more will follow.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh urged Israel to cancel the takeover. "This decision will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza," he said.

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi called Sunday's announcement a "deliberate intent to wipe out any Palestinian presence on the land and to willfully impose a de facto one-state solution."

Since mid-June, Israel announced nearly 1,500 new settlement units. They're intended for about 6,000 West Bank settlers.

They're generally built on hills. They're located in and around Palestinian towns and villages.

They encircle them. They isolate them. They make a viable Palestinian state impossible. 

Official Israeli policy goes all-out to prevent it. It intends confiscating all valued parts of Judea and Samaria.

It wants maximum Jews and minimum Arabs. It ignores international law in the process.

Fourth Geneva's Article 49 prohibits occupying powers from transferring its citizens from its own territory to land it occupies.

Hague Regulations ban occupying powers from making permanent changes in occupied areas they control unless what's done benefits the entire local population. 

An exception is made in cases of verifiable military necessity. None exists in this case.

Establishing settlements violate fundamental Palestinian rights. They're enshrined in international human rights law.

Settlements prevent self-determination. They deny equality. They block free movement. They benefit the occupying power at the expense of the local population.

By legal, military and administrative means, Israel prohibits Palestinian construction and development on about 40% of West Bank land.

It includes about 70% of Area C where Israel maintains full control. 

Off-limit areas include:

  • settlements and regional councils;

  • state land;

  • closed military zones; 

  • nature reserves;

  • national parks; 

  • area for Israel's Separation Wall;

  • free-firing zones;

  • commercial locations; 

  • no-go areas;

  • Jews-only roads;

  • checkpoints;

  • other barriers; and other exclusively Jewish areas.

Since 1967, Israel established 125 West Bank settlements, 100 outposts, and 12 neighborhoods.

Settler enclaves were built in East Jerusalem areas. They include the Old City's Muslim Quarter, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrach, Mount of Olives, Ras al-Amud, Abu Dis, and Jabal al-Mukabber.

In 2005, 16 Gaza settlements were dismantled as part of Israel's disengagement plan. Residents were shifted to other settlement locations.

Occupied Palestine reflects militarized colonization and discriminatory apartheid. It's worse than what South Africa experienced. Separate and unequal is official Israeli policy. 

Civil law governs settlers. Military orders deprive Palestinians of all fundamental rights. They have no control over their daily lives. Their land is systematically stolen. 

Since Oslo, settler population tripled from around 200,000 in 1993 to about 600,000 today. 

It's growing exponentially. It's on stolen Palestinian land. It doesn't matter. Israel operates unaccountably.

Palestinian rights don't matter. They're denied free expression and movement. Their homes are bulldozed and destroyed. They're uprooted and displaced.

They're forbidden from returning to land once theirs. They're denied redress. 

West Bank reconfiguration plans intend to isolate them in ghettoized bantustans. Sovereign viability is impossible.

Two states once were possible. No longer. Israel controls around 60% of the West Bank. 

It has much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily. When completed, Israel's Annexation Wall will control over 10% of Palestine.

One state comprised of Israel and Occupied Palestine alone works now. Nothing else is viable. 

Conditions for Palestinians are intolerable. Occupation, land theft, dispossessions, inequality, a permanent non-Jewish underclass, instability, and conflict reflect daily life.

Peace, equity and justice remain pure fantasy. Permanent militarized occupation is official Israeli policy.

From 1967 to 1977, around 30 settlements were established. They were mainly in Jordan Valley locations. Population numbered about 5,000.

Under Prime Minister Menachem Begin (1977 - 1983), things changed dramatically. A new pattern emerged.

Heartland/central ridge West Bank settlements were established. Construction tempo increased.

Dozens of new settlements were added. Increasing amounts of Palestinian land were stolen. 

Construction today continues unabated. Palestinians are driven from their own land. 

What they most value is being systematically confiscated. Self-determination remains a distant dream.

Separately, Netanyahu appeared on three Israeli television networks over the weekend. He defended the indefensible.

He called Operation Protective Edge successful. Palestinians must choose between "Hamas or peace." Toppling Hamas remains an option, he said.

"I never removed the goal of toppling Hamas, and I am not doing that now," he stressed.

"When I look around and see al-Qaida on the (Israeli/Syrian border), ISIS moving toward Jordan and already in Lebanon, with Hezbollah there already, supported by Iran, I defined the goal in the cabinet of delivering a hard blow to Hamas, and we did that."

"I can not rule out the occupation of Gaza,” he added. “I don't know if we will get to that." 

"I thought the best thing is to crush (Hamas). It might be that they are still there, but they are crushed, isolated and unable to smuggle in arms." 

"I think that creates a chance for prolonged quiet, but if not, I won't bear a drizzle of rockets."

Netanyahu left unexplained they're virtually never preemptive. They follow Israeli aggression in self-defense. 

It doesn't matter. Palestinians are blamed for Israeli crimes. They repeat multiple times daily. 

Western media ignore them. israel operates extrajudicially with impunity. 

During the late stages of Operation Protective Edge alone, Israel conducted dozens of military incursions into Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem communities.

Civilian homes were raided pre-dawn. They were ransacked. Families were terrorized.

Dozens of Palestinians were arrested despite having committed no crimes.

In August, nearly 600 West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians were arrested. The Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA) called what happened "the cruelest arrest operations launched since mid-June."

Since July 12, Israel kidnapped more than 2,000 Palestinians. They followed the killing of three settlers. 

Despite no corroborating evidence, Israel automatically blamed Hamas. Mass West Bank and East Jerusalem arrests followed. So did Operation Protective Edge.

Collective punishment is official Israeli policy. The Hague Regulations, Geneva III, Geneva IV, Additional Protocols I and II as well as other international laws strictly prohibit it.

It doesn't matter. Israeli accountability never follows.

Around 7,000 Palestinians languish in Israel's gulag. It's one of the world's worst. The vast majority are political prisoners.

They include around 250 children and 19 women. Nearly 500 are serving life terms for wanting to live free on their own land in their own country.

Around 500 others are administratively detained without charges or trial. Six former Palestinian ministers are imprisoned. So are 36 legislators for belonging to the wrong political parties.

Healthcare provided Palestinian prisoners is deplorable. Around 1,500 suffer from serious illnesses and diseases.

They include cancer, heart disease, liver ailments and paralysis. Since 1967, 205 Palestinian prisoners died from torture, medical neglect, or cold-blooded murder.

Dozens more more died shortly after release. They did so from illnesses contracted in prison.

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Israel is a lawless rogue terror state. Decades of Palestinian suffering attest to its brutality.

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Russia's Foreign Ministry on Ukraine

Russia's Foreign Ministry on Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman

Russia's efforts to end Ukrainian crisis conditions are heroic. Washington obstructionism prevents it. 

Complicit EU states share blame. So does Kiev's illegitimate putschist government.

Daily Western propaganda rages out-of-control. It represents upside reality. Truth is repeatedly suppressed. Big Lies substitute.

Russian Federation Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov is a world class diplomat. He deplores war. He champions peace.

He tirelessly pursues it. His heroic efforts to end Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts stand out.

He's done it despite ruthless US-led Western opposition. He deserves Nobel Peace Prize recognition.

War criminals most often get it. Obama is Exhibit A. Nobel committee members believe war is peace. They disgrace themselves in the process.

On August 29, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) addressed ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

It debunked spurious claims about Russian aggression. About so-called cross-border incursions of its troops and armored vehicles.

"(S)erious questions" are raised, it said.

"Why do those clamouring for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council consistently block our proposals for a comprehensive discussion of the origins of the Ukrainian tragedy and for collective action on a solution that serves the interests of all Ukrainian people, and instead treat Ukraine like a bargaining chip in unilateral geopolitical schemes?"

"Why do our partners in the UN Security Council, the OSCE and other international organisations consistently refuse to discuss the aerial bombardment and shelling of Ukrainian cities and towns, where entire neighbourhoods, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and Orthodox churches are destroyed and civilians continue to be killed?"

"Why do the Western capitals continue only to urge the Kiev government to use 'proportionate' force instead of denouncing these crimes?"

Why does Western rhetoric belie its policies? Why do its leaders block efforts to end actions harming civilians?

Why do they choose war over peace? Why do they consistently, violate core international laws? Why repeatedly? Why flagrantly?

Western nations "surely understand that the military objective of the self-defence forces in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions is to push back Ukrainian forces to a distance where they are unable to use heavy weaponry, including multiple-launch rocket systems and ballistic missiles, against cities, killing innocent civilians and destroying critical infrastructure," said Russia's MFA.

When Kiev demands "capitulation" as a precondition for negotiations, self-defense forces have "no choice but to keep fighting to defend their homes and families."

Parts of the Russian/Ukrainian border aren't clearly demarcated. Nationals and military personnel on both sides often cross over unwittingly.

Russian authorities avoid incidents. They "expect Ukraine to act in a reciprocal way and without delay," said Russia's MFA.

Ten Russian detained paratroopers were finally returned home. It was days after very difficult negotiations. 

Airborne Forces deputy commander Major-General Aleksey Ragozin said "we never abandon our own."

At the same time, he "consider(s) it unacceptable that for so many days our soldiers were held by the Ukrainian side and, moreover, were transferred to Kiev."

"(H)undreds of Ukrainian soldiers who found themselves on the territory of Russia, after the provision of comprehensive care by the relevant authorities were immediately transferred back to Ukraine."

Most recently, 63 Kiev troops crossed into Russia this week. They were transported to the Ukrainian side without incident.

Russia's MFA "call(ed) on Kiev to end provocations against Russian diplomatic missions and staff in Ukraine." 

The latest outrage occurred on 28 August in Kiev. Russian Embassy security staff were involved, "including the bodyguard of the Russian Ambassador." 

"They were detained while exiting a cafe under the patently fabricated charge of carrying grenades, even though they showed their diplomatic passports." 

"We insist on the immediate release of all Russian Embassy staff and urge Kiev to refrain from further violations of international conventions on diplomatic immunity."

Regarding combatants in Southeastern Ukraine, foreign volunteers fight for both sides.

Those supporting self-defense forces are wrongfully called Russian troops. Kiev volunteers and mercenaries go unmentioned.

Russia's MFA "repeatedly inquired about specific media reports on this matter with our partners, including the 'work' of retired US Special Forces soldiers in Ukraine and the role of US advisers and instructors in planning the operations of Ukrainian forces."

The international community's "selective outrage" over this issue won't help end crisis conditions.

Key is what's most important, said Russia's MFA: "the need for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire followed quickly by an inclusive national dialogue in Ukraine."

All sides agreed on this earlier. Russia honored its agreement. Kiev violated it straightaway. Washington and key EU partners "torpedo(ed)" implementation.

Ukraine's multiethnic population "depends on national reconciliation."

Russia is committed to keep "work(ing) persistently to create conditions for negotiations by fostering trust between the opposing sides and taking practical measures to de-escalate the situation and help people who are suffering from the humanitarian crisis." 

"This is the message expressed by President Vladimir Putin in his address on 29 August." 

"We are urging all sides in Ukraine and all Western partners to show the good will to find a purely peaceful solution to the problems we face."

Good will isn't a Washington attribute. Or EU one. Or what characterizes Kiev fascists.

War without mercy takes precedence. So does advancing America's imperium. 

It includes making the world safe for Western monied interests. It lets popular needs go begging. It's raping and pillaging nations for profit.

It's stealing their resources. It's exploiting their people. It's risking humanity ending nuclear war to achieve imperial objectives. 

It's madness. It's official US policy. It's longstanding. It risks the unthinkable if not stopped.

Separately, Russia's MFA addressed a new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report on Ukraine.

Despite "hundreds of thousands" of Southeastern Ukrainians fleeing cross border to Russia for safety, Moscow's efforts to help them are ignored.

So is blocking an investigation to learn Kiev's responsibility for downing MH17. "(S)elf-defense fighters (were) falsely accused of barring the access of experts to the crash site."

"…Ukrainian security forces…directed tank fire at roads leading to (it) to keep the experts out."

UN report authors regurgitated "propaganda of Kiev and the West," said Russia's MFA.

They "spread false allegations about the self-defence forces of Donetsk and Lugansk and heap praise on the efforts of the Kiev authorities in 'liberated' areas."

At the same time, the human death, injury, displacement and destruction tolls are so "horrifying," it's impossible to let it go unmentioned.

The report partially addresses Kiev's high crimes against peace. 

They include air, artillery, ground forces and mercenary battalion attacks, as well as "mass abduction(s), detention(s), torture and murder of people and in cleansing operations targeting dissenters."

The report notes "the absence of any progress in" investigating the Odessa and Mariupol massacres.

Since May, Russia called for genuine independent investigations to no avail. Or to who bears responsibility for Maidan violence.

Culpable neo-Nazi thugs are called heroes. They "enjoy complete immunity."

"Kiev continues its witch hunt," said Russia's MFA. It includes "harsh media censorship, a ban on Russian TV channels, the suppression of any dissent, and growing hate speech."

Kiev has done nothing to ease tensions. "It has not carried out promised constitutional reforms, nor has it passed a law protecting minority rights…"

Socio-economic conditions are deplorable. They keep deteriorating.

Calls by human rights observers on Kiev to end hostilities comes too late. It's "after thousands of civilian deaths."

Casualties mount daily. Moscow demands accountability. Kiev's war without mercy continues. Washington supports and encourages it. 

Russia bashing persists. Putin is public enemy No. 1. Conflict resolution hopes look grim. 

Expect worse ahead, not better. EU leaders and Ukraine's Poroshenko call things heading for a "point of no return."

They omit acknowledging complete responsibility complicit with Washington.

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Hard Truths on Ukraine MSM Suppress

Hard Truths on Ukraine MSM Suppress

by Stephen Lendman

On September 4 and 5, Britain will host a summit meeting of NATO heads of state. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will chair the proceedings.

At issue is justifying the unjustifiable. It's doing so based on Big Lies. It's wrongfully accusing Russia of "illegal actions in Ukraine."

It's suppressing polar opposite truths. It's supporting Washington's imperial agenda. It's presenting a unified anti-Russian front. 

t's deploying thousands of combat-ready forces closer to Russia's border. It's "sustain(ing) a robust (Eastern European) presence…" 

It's risking the unthinkable. It's risking open East/West confrontation. it's risking global war. 

It's risking the use of nuclear weapons able to extinguish life on earth. If enacted, Senate bill 2277: Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) increases the possibility.

It's called "(a) bill to prevent Russian aggression toward Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia, and for other purposes."

It's madness. It wrongfully considers Russia an existential threat. It barely stops short of declaring war. 

It provides "major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services."

It effectively incorporates these countries into NATO. It makes its killing machine more formidable. It lets Washington establish bases on Russia's borders. 

Wrongfully accusing Moscow of invading Ukraine provides added justification for challenging Russia politically, economically and belligerently.

This writer's book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

It explains what everyone needs to know. It provides thorough cutting-edge analysis of the gravest geopolitical crisis since WW II. 

James Petras called what happened "the biggest power grab since George Bush seized Eastern Europe and converted it into a NATO bastion confronting Russia…"

Paul Craig Roberts accused Washington of "set(ting) the world on a path to war."

Andrew Kolin discussed how Washington's orchestrated coup transformed Ukraine from a democracy to a police state.

Rodney Shakespeare asked if Ukraine is "a turning point in history." Is imperial America "riding for a fall?"

Will it go the way of other empires? Will arrogance, hubris and overreach bring it down? Will a safer, healthier world follow?

Or is WW III more likely? Russia and China prevent US world hegemony, says Paul Craig Roberts.

Unless Washington's longstanding geopolitical ambitions end, "nuclear war is the likely outcome," he believes.

Rick Rozoff explained Ukraine's geostrategic significance of US-led NATO's imperial advance east.

He calls Ukraine "the decisive linchpin in plans by the US and its NATO allies to effect a military cordon sanitaire severing Russia from Europe."

Its NATO membership is planned. At issue is marginalizing, containing and isolating Russia.

It's positioning new NATO bases on its border. It's threatening its security. 

It's risking East/West confrontation. Humanity's fate hangs in the balance.

John McMurtry calls conditions in Ukraine "another variation on the great crisis of the world - the undeclared global war of transnational corporate money sequences to multiply themselves through human societies and life on earth in the diagnosable form of an invasive cancer."

What's different is Southeastern Ukrainian resistance. Rejecting fascist repression. 

Demanding real democracy. Courageous freedom fighters putting their bodies on the line to achieve it. Risking all for what's too important to lose.

Will Ukraine "be a new turning point against the Great Sickness of our world," McMurtry asked? Or will imperialim's dark side worsen?

The fullness of time will tell. In the meantime, anti-Russian propaganda war rages. Cold War geopolitics never ended.

Since Soviet Russia's 1991 dissolution, Western policy remained hard-wired in place. 

Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's 2009 "fresh start" "reset" was a convenient illusion.

Putin's overwhelming March 2012 reelection heightened tensions. Relentless bashing followed. 

He's public enemy No. 1. He's targeted for supporting multi-world polarity. For defending Russian sovereignty. 

For opposing imperial lawlessness. For deploring war. For championing peaceful conflict resolution.

Distinguished contributors make "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III" must reading.

Its thorough analysis is polar opposite MSM rubbish. Escalating crisis conditions risk global conflict.

Obama bears full responsibility. Complicit EU partners share it. Putin is wrongfully blamed for their crimes.

Washington stops at nothing to advance its imperium. Millions of corpses attest to its barbarity. 

Replacing independent governments with subservient pro-Western ones is longstanding US policy.

Washington-supported Kiev putschists staged the most brazen coup since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome. Claims otherwise don't wash.

Obama's new friends represent mob rule. They include a rogue's gallery of societal misfits. They're illegitimate putschists. 

They're xenophobic, hate-mongering, ultranationalist anti-Semites.

They're militant fascists. Many are neo-Nazi thugs. They openly display swastikas, Iron Crosses, SS insignia, other Nazi symbols and Sieg Heil salutes.

For the first time since WW II, overt fascists have real power. They hold key government posts. They mock democratic values.

Washington elevated them to power. It did so by ousting a democratically elected government.

Rule by intimidation is policy. So is waging dirty war on its own citizens.

Ukraine matters. It’s strategically located. It’s in Europe’s geographic center. 

It borders seven countries. They include Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Russia. 

After Western/Central Russia, it’s Europe’s largest country territorially.

Kiev putschists reveal fascism's dark side. Ukraine is its re-emergent epicenter. 

Ruling authorities want all opposition elements crushed. They want fascist rule institutionalized. They want democracy prevented at all costs.

A Russian “White Book” contains documented hard evidence. It reveals appalling Kiev human rights violations. 

It covers them from late November 2013 through March 2014. They include:

(1) Violations of human rights.

(2) Interference by the European Union and United States.

(3) Weapons and violent methods used by protesters.

(4) Restrictions on basic freedoms and crackdown on dissidents.

(5) Discrimination based on ethnic background.

(6) Religious persecution.

According to Moscow's press service, content is "based on reports in the Russian and Western media, as well as statements by representatives of the current Kiev authorities and their supporters, eyewitness testimon(ies), observations and on-site interviews collected by Russian nongovernmental organizations."

A second White Paper covers the period April through July 2014. It calls conditions "aggravated in all areas." They're worse than ever.

Evidence indicts illegitimate putschists. It includes ultranationalist extremists, Nazism’s reemergence, brazen pressure and threats, severe repression, physical violence, and suppressing press freedom. 

Kiev fascists banned Russian TV channels. They suppressed independent news sources. They want their message alone getting out.

They harass, beat, and terrorize independent journalists. They brutalize anti-fascist activists.

They're waging war on freedom. They enjoy full US support and encouragement.

No-holds-barred brutality is official policy. Ukraine is unsafe to live in.

It's reminiscent of 1930s Nazi Germany. History has a disturbing way of repeating.

Its core elements are unchanged. They include waging war on freedom. Anti-Semitism is rife.

Thousands of Jews left. Others prepare to do so. They're vulnerable. They're justifiably scared.

Fascism gives no quarter. Things may become as horrific as before.  Ukrainians have just cause for concern. They're on their own. 

Washington bears full responsibility for conditions. Expect worse ahead, not better.

On Saturday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso promised "very strong and clear (anti-Russian) measures" without change in Southeastern Ukraine or if conditions worsen.

Barroso lied claiming the "opening of new fronts and the use of Russian regular forces against Kiev. It's "not acceptable and represents a grave transgression," he said.

More sanctions are planned. Washington intends imposing additional ones.

Sergey Lavrov responded, saying:

"It’s not the first time we've heard wild guesses, though facts have never been presented so far."

"There have been reports about satellite imagery exposing Russian troop movements. They turned out to be images from video games. The latest accusations happen to be much the same quality."

"We’ll react by remaining persistent in our policies to stay bloodshed and give a start to the nationwide dialogue and negotiations about the future of Ukraine, with participation of all Ukrainian regions and political forces, something that was agreed upon in Geneva back in April and in Berlin (in August), yet what is being so deliberately evaded by our Western partners now."

"From a military point of view, self-defense militia are doing a very simple thing." 

"They are driving Ukrainian troops and National Guards from their positions used to shell peaceful cities, destroying kindergartens, schools, hospitals, Orthodox churches and infrastructure, and killing a large number of civilians."

"Definitely, to stop all this given the conditions of Kiev and its sponsors unwillingness to fulfill unconditional ceasefire obligations, the only way to save lives of civilians and diminish the number of casualties is to force the Kiev forces out of their positions used for bombardment."

Vladimir Putin called on Kiev to begin constructive dialogue. Deescalate conflict, he urged. "We have agreed on a plan, so its realization must be pursued," he said.

Kiev "must immediately start substantial talks - not a technical discussion - on the political organization of society and the state in southeast Ukraine so that the interests of people who live there are protected," he added.

Putin's plan prioritizes constructive peace talks. It's up to Kiev. 

At the same time, self-defense freedom fighters won't patiently await what so far hasn't materialized.

Not while Kiev's military bombs and shells their "cities and towns…to the ground…"

Not while innocent civilians are murdered. Not while hundreds of thousands flee for safety. Not while war without mercy rages.

Putin believes it's impossible to know when crisis conditions will end or under what circumstances.

As long as Washington encourages and orchestrates them, expect conditions ahead to worsen, not improve.

Expect Russia to be wrongfully blamed. Expect war without mercy to continue. Expect innocent civilians to suffer most.

Sanctions wars cut both ways. Putin advised his counterparts to reconsider what they're planning.

"What are the so-called European values," he asked? "Support for an armed coup, suppression of opponents with armed forces?"

"So these are 'European values?' I believe our colleagues should be reminded of their own ideals," he added.

Their policies belie their rhetoric. At issue is marginalizing, weakening, isolating, containing and co-opting Russia.

It's smashing its sovereign independence. It's replacing it with pro-Western stooge governance.

It's turning Russia into another US colony. It's stealing its resources. It's exploiting its people. It's eliminating a major rival.

It's isolating China. It's attempting to replicate the same strategy. 

It's recklessly pursuing unchallenged global dominance. It's risking global war in the process.

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sellling NATO's Killing Machine

Selling Nato's Killing Machine

by Stephen Lendman

On August 17, the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post featured op-eds selling NATO at a time when its existence more than ever threatens humanity's survival. More on them below.

Claiming NATO is a "political and military alliance for peace and security" is farcical on its face. Its mission is polar opposite.

US-led NATO is an imperial tool. It's a global killing machine. It prioritizes war. It deplores peace. Humanity's survival hangs in the balance.

NATO includes 28 member nations, 22 Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) ones, seven Mediterranean Dialogue countries, and four Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) states.

They comprise nearly one-third of world nations. NATO plans exponential expansion. It wants new members and partners.

It wants them on all continents. It wants them virtually everywhere. It wants a global military established.

It wants unchallenged control. It wants all outliers eliminated. It wants pro-Western vassal states replacing them.

Its strategy prioritizes war on humanity. It's ravaging and destroying one country after another. 

Its 1999 78-day rape of Yugoslavia was one of history's great crimes. So is its involvement in Washington's post-9/11 wars. 

Naked aggression against countries posing no threat to America, other Western nations and its neighbors defines them. 

Millions were ruthlessly slaughtered to advance Washington's imperium. NATO's confrontation with Russia alone risks global conflict.

Humanity's survival depends on stopping this monster before it's too late. Belligerence and destabilizing events in Eurasia perhaps leaves precious little time left to do it.

US-led NATO bears full responsibility for today's dangerous world. Not according to NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and its supreme allied commander, General Philip Breedlove.

Their Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined "A NATO for a Dangerous World." They ludicrously claimed NATO "kept the Cold War from getting hot," and made "an unprecedented period of peace" following WW II possible.

False! War with Nazi Germany devastated Soviet Russia. It needed years to rebuild its shattered country. It wanted peace, not more war.

Claiming a post-WW II period of peace runs counter to actual events. The Vietnam War began.

Wars raged in Indochina, Greece, Paraguay, between India and Pakistan, Palestine, the Korean peninsula, and elsewhere.

What Americans call the Korean War began in 1950. Various others raged at the same time.

Peace was elusive then. Today it looks almost entirely out of reach. Washington bears full responsibility for many of the world's hot spots.

Claiming peace is "challenged by Russia's aggression against Ukraine" turns truth on its head.

Rasmussen and Breedlove lied saying "(f)or the first time since the end of World War II, a European country has grabbed part of another's land by force." 

Claiming Russia invaded Ukraine is polar opposite truth. Suggesting it took Crimea by force ignores near popular unanimity to rejoin Russia.

Calling non-threatening Russian military exercises near Ukraine border disruptive ignores all-out Kremlin efforts to resolve Ukrainian crisis conditions peacefully.

Saying Russian humanitarian aid is cynical leaves unexplained why America and other Western countries haven't provided their own.

Suggesting Russian involvement in downing MH17 ignores clear evidence of Kiev's responsibility.

Rasmussen and Breedlove falsely accuse Russia of "resorting to a hybrid war, with snap exercises, secret commandos and smuggled missiles."

They do so despite no evidence whatever supporting them.

At the same time, they claim NATO's mission is to "defend the territory, populations and shared values of all its members (against) any threat."

The only ones they face are invented as pretexts for America's rage to ravage one country after another.

To deploy NATO forces close to Russian and Chinese borders. To surround them. To target their heartlands with nuclear-armed missiles.

To make the world safe for war profiteers, corporate America and its Western counterparts.

To replace independent governments with pro-Western stooge ones. To achieve unchallenged control worldwide. To risk global conflict to achieve it. 

At the same time, America bears full responsibility for threatening humanity's survival. Rogue NATO states and Israel share it.

Rasmussen and Breedlove say they "continue to urge Russia to make the responsible choice: to pull back its troops, stop using hybrid-warfare tactics, and engage with the international community and the Ukrainian government to find a political solution to the crisis."

Fact: Russia deplores war.

Fact: It goes all-out for peaceful conflict resolution.

Fact: It respects the sovereignty of other nations.

Fact: It believes rule of law principles are inviolable.

Fact: It's committed to resolving Ukraine's crisis diplomatically.

Fact: Washington bears full responsibility for generating it. Rogue NATO members share it.

Fact: It bears repeating. US-led NATO is a global killing machine.

Fact: It's for offense, not defense.

Fact: World peace depends on putting this monster of of business.

Fact: Failure to do so risks the worst of all possible outcomes.

On August 17, former US officials Brent Scowcroft, Stephen Hadley and Franklin Miller headlined their Washington Post op-ed "NATO-based nuclear weapons are an advantage in a dangerous world."

They irresponsibly accused Russia of "adventurism in Ukraine and elsewhere in Eastern Europe."

They want destabilizing US nuclear weapons maintained in Europe because of "calls for the United States to unilaterally withdraw" its arsenal.

They call arguments to do so "shopworn, familiar - and wrong."

Fact: Nuclear weapons in the hands of imperial America, its rogue NATO allies and Israel are the greatest threat to humanity's survival.

Fact: Peace, stability and security depends on eliminating nuclear weapons altogether.

Fact: Failure to do so is madness.

Scowcroft, Hadley and Miller call these weapons "a visible symbol to friend and potential foe of the US commitment to defend NATO with all of the military power it possesses."

NATO's only enemies are ones it invents. It does so to replace sovereign independent governments with pro-Western subservient ones.  

It wages premeditated wars of aggression to do so. Don't expect Scowcroft, Hadley and Miller to explain.

Instead they claim "newer members joined NATO in large part to get under this nuclear umbrella, and they have been vocal in expressing their concern that withdrawing the weapons would symbolize a diminution in the US commitment to defend them?"

Claiming a recidivist Russian threat doesn't wash. Moscow has no territorial ambitions. It doesn't threaten its neighbors. 

It respects their sovereignty. It deplores war. It goes all-out for peace and stability. It wants crisis conditions resolved diplomatically.

US-led NATO wages one war of aggression after another. It does so to resolve crises it creates. 

Scowcroft, Hadley and Miller turn truth on its head claiming "NATO's principal role is deterring aggression rather than having to defeat it."

It bears repeating. NATO is a global killing machine. It's for offense, not defense. 

Its threatens humanity's survival. World peace and stability depend on dismantling this monster once and for all. Nothing less is acceptable.

NATO members saying "(n)uclear weapons are a core component of NATO's overall capabilities for deterrence and defense alongside conventional and missile defense" runs counter to the clear and present danger these WMDs pose.

Accusing Russia of "seeking to destabilize Ukraine and tak(e) unsettling actions in both the Baltics and the Balkans" is polar opposite truth.

Claiming "this is no time to destabilize the NATO alliance and traumatize our NATO allies by withdrawing our nuclear weapons from Europe" is ludicrous on its face.

It bears repeating. Nuclear weapons in the hands of imperial America, its rogue NATO allies and Israel are humanity's greatest threat.

World peace, stability and survival depends on eliminating them altogether.

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Ravaging and Destroying Syria

Ravaging and Destroying Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Advancing America's imperium matters most. Core international, constitutional and US statute laws aren't important.

Nor high crimes against peace. On geopolitical issues mattering most, MSM editors, correspondents, columnists and contributors support what demands condemnation.

Syria is Obama's war. He launched it. He continues it. He’s guilty of horrendous high crimes against peace.

He bears full responsibility for what UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres calls "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era." Nearly half of all Syrians are affected.

No end of conflict looms. Takfiri extremists serve as US proxies. They're imported from dozens of countries.

Islamic State fighters capture today's headlines. Washington funds, arms, trains and directs them. They serve as allies and enemies in different war theaters.

According to Progressive Radio News Hour guest Professor Rodney Shakespeare, Washington, Saudi Arabia and Israel created, armed and trained Takfiri extremist groups.

At issue is balkanizing Iraq. It's destroying Syrian sovereignty. It's "smash(ing) up any independent Middle East state" challenging Israel's Greater Middle East agenda.

The business of America is war. Enemies are invented. One nation after another is targeted.

Permanent war is official US policy. It's a national addiction. It's been this way from inception.

America's history reflects violence. Policymakers glorify war. Peace remains elusive. Humanity's survival is up for grabs.

Don't expect The New York Times to explain. It's on the wrong side of history. It supports imperial wars.

Cold and hot warriors get feature op-ed space. They include irresponsible government officials.

On August 29, John Kerry headlined "To Defeat Terror, We Need the World's Help. The threat of ISIS (the Islamic State - IS) Demands a Global Coalition."

A previous article called Kerry's posturing bullying, bluster and Big Lies. He's no diplomat. He's a world class thug.

He disgraces the office he holds. He represents the worst of Washington's dark side.

He calls America's own creation "a unifying threat to a broad array of countries, including the United States."

He wants partners for America's wars. Another US-led coalition of the willing. IS is the pretext. At issue is unchallenged regional control.

Attacking Iraq has nothing to do with external or internal threats. Or humanitarian concerns. Or spreading democratic values. 

It has everything to do with serving Big Oil. It's about benefitting monied interests. It's feeding America's addiction for war.

It bears repeating. When enemies don't exist, they're created. Wars without end rage. Battlefields shift from one theater to another.

Don't expect Kerry to explain. He deplores peace. He promotes war. He supports ravaging and destroying one nation after another.

He hypes fear. He claims IS fighters threaten America. Not according to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

After Britain raised its international terrorism threat level, he discounted a domestic one.

So does Joint Chiefs Chairman Martin Dempsey. He considers IS a regional threat. He's not aware of any plots against America or Europe.

On Thursday, Obama said he has no strategy to confront IS. Kerry calls them "a rising threat not just in the region, but anywhere they could manage to travel undetected - including to America."

Post-9/11, Bush officials hyped fake domestic terrorism threats. They featured color-coded alerts.

They ranged from Green (low), Blue (guarded), Yellow (elevated), Orange (high) to Red (severe).

On April 26, 2011, a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) replaced them. Then Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said:

"Today I announce the end of the old system of color-coded alerts. In its place, we will implement a new system that's built on a clear and simple premise: When a threat develops that could impact you - the public - we will tell you." 

"We will provide whatever information we can so you know how to protect yourselves, your families, and your communities."

Every post-9/11 terror alert was fake. Alleged ones didn't exist. They don't now. Not according to Kerry.

He urges a US-led "united response…and the broadest possible coalition of nations (to keep what he calls) the cancer of ISIS (from) spread(ing) to other countries."

"Airstrikes alone" aren't enough, he says. "A much fuller response is demanded from the world." 

He wants proxy ground forces involved. He wants regime change in Syria. He wants pro-Western stooge governance replacing its sovereign independence.

On August 15, 2014, SC Resolution 2170 was unanimously adopted. It "condemn(s) gross, widespread abuse of human rights by extremist groups in Iraq (and) Syria."

It "called on Member States to take national measures to prevent fighters from traveling from their soil to join (terrorist) groups…"

"It expressed readiness to consider putting on the sanctions list those who facilitated the recruitment and travel of foreign fighters."

Damascus supports confronting terrorism "within the framework of (its) sovereignty and independence."

SC 2170 prohibits external unilateral action. International law forbids interfering in the internal affairs of other nations. It includes unauthorized surveillance flights.

Attacking other countries or elements therein without Security Council authorization constitutes naked aggression.

In September, Washington holds the Security Council's presidency. Kerry intends taking full advantage.

"We will use that opportunity to continue to build a broad coalition and highlight the danger posed by foreign terrorist fighters, including those who have joined ISIS," he said.

Obama will lead a Security Council summit meeting "to put forward a plan to deal with" another hyped threat.

Former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski calls for a coalition of US partners "patched together, someone ad hoc, with maybe some sort of informal an even clandestine agreements on who does what."

Russia's Foreign Ministry called on Washington to respect international law with regard to whatever it plans in Syria.

Sergey Lavrov said there's "no alternative for settling the crisis other than the political and diplomatic solution."

He cited the 2012 Geneva Communique. He called it a "solid international reference" to resolve conflict responsibly.

It agreed on guidelines and principles for a political transition that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people. 

Syrians alone may decide who'll lead them. Other nations, groups or elements have no say.

Efforts going forward require "facilitat(ing) a Syrian-led political process." It must represent all its citizens.

Transitional government must be "genuinely democratic and pluralistic." 

It must comply with "international standards on human rights." 

It must include an independent judiciary. It must respect rule of law principles.

It must offer "equal opportunities and chances for all."

Ending conflict depends on establishing "a transitional governing body" with "full executive powers." 

"It could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent."

Syrians alone must "determine the future of the country." 

All groups and segments of society must be able "to participate in a National Dialogue" process. Outcomes achieved "must be implemented."

"The result of the constitutional drafting would be subject to popular approval."

Once established, "free and fair multi-party elections" must be held. Women must be "represented in all aspects of the transition."

"The sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria must be respected."

Conflict resolution must be achieved through peaceful dialogue and negotiation. Force is ruled out. 

Washington ignores Geneva provisions. It violates them repeatedly. It breaches core international law.

It wants Assad ousted. It's waging dirty proxy war to remove him. It's heading for direct intervention.

The Islamic state is the pretext. Syrian sovereign independence is the target.

Popular support is sought when polls show most Americans want ongoing wars ended. They want peace. They want US resources going for domestic needs.

Extremists they should fear reside in Washington, other Western capitals and Israel. Don't expect Kerry to explain.

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. 


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour