Thursday, December 31, 2015

Israeli Inflicted Holy Land Horrors

Israeli Inflicted Holy Land Horrors

by Stephen Lendman

Palestinians are suffering, not celebrating new year festivities. State-sponsored terror haunts them throughout the holiday period and all other times of year without respite.

Daily reports are grim. Palestine’s Health Ministry reported 142 Palestinians extrajudicially killed since October 1, including 27 children and seven women, perhaps several others before midnight December 31 - many more in the new year.

Israel’s killing machine never rests. Over 15,600 Palestinians were injured, around 10,000 others harmed from toxic tear gas inhalation, thousands from live fire, thousands more arbitrarily arrested. Police state viciousness continues round-the-clock daily without letup.

Palestinians aren’t sure each day if they’ll live or die, remain free or be arrested, stay whole or become badly injured - or if they’ll see their loved ones suffer horrifically from Israeli barbarism.

Maybe their homes will be destroyed to make way for exclusive Jewish development. Through New Year’s eve, Israel demolished 478 Palestinian houses, structures, medical facilities and other sites - without just cause in all cases, acting out of pure viciousness.

According to international lawyer Hanna Issa, “(t)he Israeli authorities destroy the houses under different pretexts…includ(ing) security reasons, a lack of building licenses, being built near the settlements or across the settlement roads, being built on state lands or being built on green areas.”

What’s happening reflects longstanding ethnic cleansing - displacing Palestinians, stealing their land, calling them terrorists for justifiably resisting.

On December 29, Israeli forces ransacked the PA-run charitable work committee’s Bethlehem headquarters - along with a prisoners’ rights group Nablus office.

Charity treasurer Mahmoud Khalifa said “occupation forces broke (in) at 2:40AM and ravaged the place, breaking down the doors of administrative and accounting offices” - confiscating computers, files, and other materials.

The organization serves 1,200 Bethlehem-area Palestinian orphans - mostly children whose parents Israel murdered or eliminated in other ways.

“The committee does social duties only, and we have nothing to do with political issues,” Khalifa explained.

Separately, Israeli forces stormed the Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights - confiscating computers and other materials related to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody.

The group was ordered to stay closed on the pretext of it posing a security threat - Israel wanting information exposing its high crimes entirely suppressed, including voices courageous enough to speak out.

Palestinian physician, political activist and staunch human rights supporter Mustafa Barghouti calls ongoing Palestinian resistance “a real popular uprising” - not popular unrest the way some describe it.

“It is an intifada that came as a result of Palestinians losing faith in the agreements with Israel, with negotiations doing nothing except providing cover for the expansion of settlement activities throughout the past 23 years,” Barghouti explained. 

“This uprising was caused by the failure of the Oslo Accord and the Palestinian youth’s realization that their future prospects were limited” or nonexistent. 

Palestinians lack leadership, unity and common objectives, Barghouti believes - success impossible without them.

As long as Israel prevents Palestinian self-determination by expanding its settlement enterprise, the only alternative is one state for two peoples, living together in the same land in peace, treated equally, Barghouti maintains.

He believes in the right of oppressed people to “resist occupation by any means” - as long as in compliance with international human rights laws.

Status quo conditions are unacceptable. US-led Western nations along with UN authorities “are blatantly negligent” when it comes to fundamental Palestinian rights. 

Double-standard hypocrisy is standard practice. Israel was “given the right to act above international law,” Barghouti stressed - a reality vital to overcome by whatever means necessary, continuing for as long as it takes against a vicious occupier.

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. 

Hezbollah Chief Vows Retaliation for Israeli Assassination

Hezbollah Chief Vows Retaliation for Israeli Assassination

by Stephen Lendman

Targeted assassinations are an Israeli specialty - cold-blooded murder by any standard.

On December 19, Lebanese Palestine Liberation Front commander Samir Kuntar was at his Jaramana, Syria home, east of Damascus. An Israeli airstrike murdered him.

His younger brother Bassam tweeted the news, saying “(w)ith honor, we mourn Cmdr. Samir Kuntar, and we proudly join the cavalcade of the martyr’s families.”

Kuntar knew his time would come, earlier saying “(t)he most important thing is that even if Israel assassinated me, the path of resistance in Syria started and nobody can stop it.”

He’s a former Israeli political prisoner. Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah said “Israeli threats on martyr Kuntar’s life existed from the day he was released, even before the issue of the popular resistance in the Golan Heights was discussed.”

Mourning the man he respected, he called him “one of us,” at the same time saying “(i)t’s our right to seek revenge and we will practice this right. Let this be known to everyone.”

He minced no words accusing Israel of “carr(ying) out the assassination. It was a roaring military operation, not a silent ambiguous intelligence attack.”

“I repeat what I said in January 2015. Whenever any cadre from the Islamic resistance is killed, we will hold Israel responsible and we will respond” in our own way at a time and place of our choosing.

Kuntar was part of the Syrian resistance for the liberation of occupied Golan, working in coordination with Hezbollah, aided by Nasrallah and Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani, successfully enlisting supporters, providing funding, weapons and training.

An unnamed Syrian source said “Israel’s efforts to hit the Syrian resistance before it gets bigger and stronger indicates how much they (fear) this front.”

“Israel can’t tolerate seeing this resistance embryo grow and become a real threat.” The operation to execute Kuntar was OK’d in Washington. Both nations notoriously partner in each other’s high crimes.

Responding to Israel’s request, the State Department declared Kuntar a “specially designated global terrorist” - equating justifiable freedom fighting with criminality.

Nasrallah reportedly rejected an unnamed German official’s attempt to dissuade him from retaliating. The decision to act was made, and there’s no turning back, he said, regardless of Israel’s likely response.

“The Israelis are worried, and they should be worried along the border, inside Israel and outside of it. (They’re) hiding like rats along the border.”

He discounted typical Israeli threats, adding he “cannot tolerate that the blood of our jihadist fighters and brothers be shed anywhere in this world.”

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. General Gadi Eisenkot warned Israel is “ready for every challenge,” vowing “harsh results” if Hezbollah retaliates.

The airstrike killing Kuntar and eight of his associates was the latest in a long line of Israeli extrajudicial executions  throughout its sordid history, continuing daily against defenseless Palestinians, reflecting rogue state viciousness, fully supported by Washington and key NATO partners.

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. 

Grim New Year Tidings

Grim New Year Tidings

by Stephen Lendman

The new year traditionally is a time for hope and change, a new beginning, a shift from policies causing so much harm to many millions worldwide - nameless, faceless victims of imperial ruthlessness.

New Year’s day and each successive ones assure more of the same, business as usual - a continued menu of endless imperial wars, neoliberal harshness, government serving elitist interests exclusively, and harsh crackdowns on nonbelievers, America heading toward full-blown tyranny in the name of combating terrorism - the greatest hoax in modern times.

The larger issue is whether humanity can survive the ravages of US-led pure evil - the greatest threat it ever faced in world history, power-crazed lunatics in Washington willing to risk destroying planet earth to own it.

Instead of sounding the alarm and urging a call to action, presstitutes masquerading as journalists support what demands condemnation.

Ordinary people are manipulated by bread, circuses, and daily misinformation - mindless of the dangers they face, indifferent to the risk of ending life on earth, ignorant of the pure evil Washington represents, complicit with its rogue partners.

Each new year begins with the threat of US-launched nuclear war, the unthinkable possibility able to kill us all. Power-crazed lunatics make ruthless choices. 

Witness them in one war theater after another - endless mass slaughter and destruction, making the world safe for monied interests. 

Madness defines US policies. Its criminal class is bipartisan. Whoever succeeds Obama in January 2017 will exceed the worst of his homeland and geopolitical agenda. 

America already is thirdworldized, on a fast track toward a ruler-serf society, unfit and unsafe to live in, fundamental freedoms eliminated in plain sight, run by a gangster class serving its own interests exclusively. 

It devotes more resources to homeland and foreign militarism, belligerence and confrontational policies than the rest of the world combined.

Expect more of the same in the new year, likely more than ever before, maybe looked back on as the year WW III began - if anyone survives the onslaught, a long shot at best.

Another holiday season brings no joy to the vast majority of people worldwide. Human suffering remains extreme.

US policymakers consider it a small price to pay, nothing too outlandish in serving their interests. 

The horrors of their maniacal agenda are airbrushed from official and scoundrel media reports - on New Year’s and every other day.

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. 

Business As Usual Chicago Police Reform

Business As Usual Chicago Police Reform

by Stephen Lendman

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s announced police overhaul plan to stem cop killings and violence smacks of pure subterfuge. Living in Chicago for nearly half a century, I’ve heard numerous horror stories about police misconduct and abuse, several from affected victims. 

Expect meaningless cosmetic changes only, nothing addressing an out-of-control law enforcement culture in Chicago and nationwide, letting cops operate like vigilantes - armed, dangerous, ready to use live fire or other violent tactics indiscriminately with hair-trigger quickness.

Emanuel’s scheme follows the fatal shooting of two Chicago Blacks threatening no one last weekend, along with continued outrage over video footage showing 17-year-old Lanquan McDonald’s extrajudicial execution - another Black youth’s life extinguished, cops knowing they can operate unaccountably, including getting away with cold-blooded murder.

Emanuel’s plan isn’t about changing longstanding business as usual. It’s to create the illusion of altering current practices, hoping public outrage will subside - how possible when the next cop killing or act of brutality can happen any time.

Emanuel’s words rang hollow, saying “(a)ll of us will accept nothing less than complete and total reform of both the system and policing culture here in the city of Chicago.”

“Just because you train that you can use force doesn’t mean you should, and helping officers have that distinction ‒ and the training that goes with it ‒ is essential.”

He praised police authorities for “owning, embracing and publishing one of the most meaningful policy changes in (city) history.”

Police brutality in America is endemic. Studies show cops are likely to be authoritarian and mean-spirited, prone to aggressive acts, preoccupied with dominance, able to assert strength and toughness unaccountably. 

A badge is a license for anything goes, especially in exerting authority over people of color by any means chosen. Jim Crow never died. It evolved to its present form.

America’s criminal injustice system is unaccountably racist - evident in the nation’s gulag prison system. Two-thirds in it are Blacks and Latinos.

Most are nonviolent. Over half are for illicit drug charges. America's most vulnerable are victimized by racism, poverty, judicial unfairness, get tough on crime policies, a guilty unless proved innocent mentality, three strikes and you're out, and bigoted drug laws.

When cops lethally shoot Blacks or Latinos, it’s virtually automatic to blame victims for state-sponsored criminality.

Emanuel saying “we are taking additional steps to create more time and distance in these (violent) situations and other encounters to make environments safe and safer for all” is pure double-talk.

“We will improve communication between officers and individuals to make (future) encounters less confrontational and more conversational,” he added.

Double the number of potentially lethal tasers will be issued, instead of banning this dangerous weapon altogether - in police hands, license for indiscriminate use.

“We want to make sure that our officers…respond appropriately to each individual situation, where force can be the last option, not the first choice,” Emanuel claimed.

His promise to rebuild trust with city residents mocks reality on mean Chicago streets. Black and Latino communities are virtual war zones - willful cop misconduct and criminality standard practice, extrajudicial executions the norm.

Emanuel’s high-minded rhetoric changes nothing. Heading into the new year, things are no different from earlier. Business as usual remains official policy.

Cops in America serve wealth and power interests exclusively, protecting them from beneficial social change.

A peer-reviewed Princeton/Northwestern University report titled “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens,” using data from 1981 - 2002 said:

“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”

Policies at all levels of US governance rarely represent the interests of ordinary Americans. Special ones are routinely served.

According to the report, “(w)hen a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose.” 

“Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the US political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it.”

When interests of affluent/influential Americans align with ordinary ones, it’s mere coincidence. 

The nation is run by the privileged few for their interests alone. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies serve them exclusively. Equity, justice and other democratic values are pure fantasy.

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. 

Big Lies About Russia's Anti-Terrorism Campaign

Big Lies About Russia’s Anti-Terrorism Campaign

by Stephen Lendman

It’s been devastatingly effective in Syria, conducted with powerful weapons and precision accuracy, exclusively targeting ISIS and other terrorist groups.

Big Lies persist otherwise. Media scoundrels willfully proliferate misinformation. Russia bashing continues without letup - because Putin respects sovereign independent rights and inviolable international laws, polar opposite US-led Western policy, waging endless wars of aggression, serving elitist interests exclusively.

The London-based Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) fronts for Western interests - funded to proliferate daily streams of misinformation, headed by con man Rami Abdul Rahman, reporting what his handlers tell him to say, truth and full disclosure entirely absent.

SOHR regularly claims Russian airstrikes kill civilians, absent any verifiable evidence proving it. None exists.

Moscow has photographic evidence of every target struck, showing terrorist sites alone are hit. On December 30, London’s Guardian published an Agence France-Presse report citing SOHR, claiming, without justification, Russian airstrikes caused 792 civilian deaths, including 180 children - overall 2,300 fatalities, including nonexistent moderate rebels.

Days earlier, Amnesty International (AI) published a thinly veiled propaganda report, irresponsibly accusing Russia of killing civilians in Syria - using pro-Western sources or unnamed ones, no verifiable evidence.

Russia’s Defense Minstry spokesman Igor Konashenkov responded harshly, saying “(o)nce again nothing concrete or new was published, only the same cliches and fakes that we have already debunked repeatedly.”

AI used “a lot of assumptions without any evidence. The barrage of lies was aimed at accusing Russian forces of bombing Syrian hospitals. We immediately rejected these claims, presenting comprehensive photographic and video evidence to the public.” 

“A characteristic feature of all these allegations is the lack of concrete evidence and references to anonymous witnesses. As for cluster munitions, Russian (aircraft don’t) us(e) them.”

No visual or other evidence proves it “because there are no such weapons at our base.” Konashenkov challenged AI, asking why it “kept silent and turn(ed) a blind eye to material, undeniable real evidence” of Ukrainian forces using cluster munitions and other banned weapons against its own citizens in Donbass - willfully murdering civilians.

Why does it fail to denounce US-led imperial wars? Why is it attacking the one nation above others in the forefront for restoring peace and stability to troubled Ukraine and Syria?

The latest from SOHR on New Year’s eve claims Russian airstrikes displaced over 130,000 Syrians. The source: State Department spokesman/exposed serial liar Mark Toner, claiming hospitals, schools and markets were struck, adding:

“We’re deeply, deeply concerned about these reports of high civilian casualties,” citing nonexistent “indiscriminate” strikes.

Irresponsible accusations of Russian airstrikes killing civilians began surfacing almost straightaway after anti-terrorist intervention began on September 30 - proliferated by the usual anti-Moscow sources.

Managed news misinformation consistently substitutes for truth and full disclosure - media scoundrels proliferating it daily.

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, December 30, 2015

Russia and America: Competing Strategies on Terrorism

Russia and America: Competing Strategies on Terrorism

by Stephen Lendman

Each nation has polar opposite objectives. Russia is committed to combating the scourge of ISIS and other takfiri terrorist groups - its Syrian campaign remarkably successful in a few short months, intending continued operations until its objectives are accomplished.

Washington supports the scourge it claims to oppose, failing to strike terrorist targets in well over a year of Iraqi and Syrian bombing, supplemented by covert ground operations, infrastructure and government positions alone hit.

Media scoundrels perpetuate the myth of America’s war on terror, repeating official Big Lies and misinformation, ordinary people unaware of how they’re betrayed.

When I occasionally explain these things to people I meet, glazed eyes follow, Americans hopelessly uninformed and indifferent - letting Washington get away with mass murder and much more.

The United States of America is the world’s lead enemy of peace, stability and security. Yet most people haven’t a clue, perhaps believing purveyors of ugly hard truths are nuts, maybe unpatriotic, surely wrong in their assessments, despite clear evidence proving otherwise.

Russia’s Syrian anti-terrorist campaign is awesome, daily pummeling of ISIS and other terrorist targets - 121 sorties in the last 48 hours alone, smashing 424 targets, according to its Defense Ministry, with photographic evidence supporting its claims.

Careful intelligence assessments and planning precede aerial strikes. One target was “constantly surveyed from the air for two days,” its Ministry said, ahead of destroying a building ISIS commanders used for a meeting after they arrived, one of many devastating blows inflicted.

Moscow is irresponsibly accused of killing civilians and striking non-terrorist targets - despite no credible evidence proving it, malicious propaganda substituting. 

Russian Air and Space Forces head Col. General Viktor Bondarenk categorically said “(n)ot a single time did my pilots hit any ‘no-go’ sensitive targets, such as schools, hospitals, mosques” or residential areas. Claims otherwise are willful lies.

America’s campaign is polar opposite, supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups vital to eliminate - their viability dependent on outside support. Without it, they’d gradually wither and fade away.

After months of conflict and stiff resistance, Iraqi forces recaptured Ramadi this week, seizing the government complex in the city’s center, ISIS’ last stronghold in the area. 

Pockets of resistance continue being encountered, Iraq’s military solidifying its hold on the strategic city, intending a campaign to retake Mosul and surrounding areas, freeing them from ISIS and illegal Turkish troops.

Ahead of Ramadi’s liberation, Fars News reported a US plot to rescue ISIS commanders from the city, quoting Imam Khamenei Battalion commander Haider al-Hosseini al-Ardavi, saying:

“The delay in operations to liberate Ramadi and Fallujah cities in al-Anbar province is the result of the US interference.”

“It seems that the US intends to evacuate the ISIL terrorist group's infamous ringleaders secretly (with helicopters) from Ramadi to unknown places.”

Washington wants its investment protected. Good commanders aren’t easily replaced, including its own elements and Israeli ones actively aiding ISIS on the ground - part of longstanding US war on humanity.

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. 

Russia's Awesome Military Power

Russia’s Awesome Military Power

by Stephen Lendman

Russia’s military is a formidable force to be reckoned with, matching America’s best at a small fraction of the cost, using its resources judiciously, prompting US Air Forces in Europe commander General Frank Forenc to call its qualitative and quantitative capability “alarming.”

Its competency is exceptional, using powerful state-of-the-art weapons with precision accuracy, including from hundreds of miles away.

They’re able to launch them from aerial, ground, sea and subsurface locations, maybe space, with ability to destroy what’s aimed at. 

Pentagon commanders are forced to admit respect, perhaps with second thoughts on ever confronting a force equalling or exceeding its own capability.

Russia’s effective Syrian anti-terrorism enters its fourth month this week, devastating ISIS positions, facilities, operations and personnel - Putin proving his longterm commitment to combat a common scourge.

He wants ISIS and other takfiri terrorists groups battled abroad, preventing them from gaining a foothold on Russian territory, his main reason for getting involved, intent on staying the course, no matter the duration.

Obama initially mocked him disgracefully, saying “(a)n attempt by Russia and Iran to prop up Assad and try to pacify the population is just going to get them stuck in a quagmire and it won’t work.”

He’s waging real war on terror, polar opposite Obama’s phony campaign, supporting the scourge he claims to oppose, aiming for regional hegemonic control, Russian influence shut out - a losing strategy after three months of Moscow successes.

Except for Turkey’s Erdogan ordering the downing of a Russian bomber, complicit with Washington, Moscow’s campaign has been casualty-free after conducting 5,240 sorties since September 30.

Moscow-based analyst Vasily Kashin notes the relatively moderate $1 - 2 billion annual cost, easily sustainable indefinitely, as long as it takes to get the job done.

A newly released Pentagon report reveals its astonishment at the success of Moscow’s campaign, saying:

“Russia has begun, and over the next decade will make large strides in fielding a 21st century navy capable of a dependable national defense (and) an impressive but limited presence in more distant global areas of interest…”

Its current aerial and naval prowess is awesome, proved effective in combat. Pentagon commanders are worried. Have they met their match? Will they dare confront an adversary able to defeat them, humiliating the world’s self-styled sole super-power?

Since the end of the Cold War, notably post-9/11, the Pentagon consistently underestimated Russia’s military capabilities - no longer.

Its navy once derisively called “more rust than ready,” now commands respect - as do its formidable air and ground forces, structured for defense, able to effectively counter any offensive threat.

Pentagon commanders are awestruck. America’s NATO allies can’t match its impressive Syrian campaign. 

Moscow continues proving its critics wrong. The best strategy against it is waging peace, not war, anathema to US imperial objectives. An eventual showdown increasingly looms, the devastating possibility of nuclear war.

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. 

Brazil Rejects Deplorable Israeli Envoy Choice

Brazil Rejects Deplorable Israeli Envoy Choice

by Stephen Lendman

Last August, Netanyahu announced former settler leader Dani Dayan as new Israeli ambassador to Brazil, without consulting its Foreign Ministry, a simple courtesy. 

Dayan is a hardline racist, former settler Yesha Council leader, ideologically over-the-top, committed to ethnic cleansing for exclusive Jewish development - earlier calling the B’Tselem human rights group “an anti-Zionist tool for the destruction of Israel,” his likely view about all groups supporting Palestinian rights.

The New York Times one-sidedly supports Israel, earlier calling Dayan “worldly and pragmatic,” claiming “by living in the West Bank rather than yielding it to become a Palestinian state,” he’s protecting it as a “shield…and the survival of Israel itself” - ignoring settlement illegality under international law.

On December 30, a Brazil press statement said its government “objected to Israel’s appointment of Israeli Ambassador Dani Dayan because of his former role as the head of an Israeli settler movement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, and his continued residence in an Israeli settlement.”

“Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law.”

“In response, Israel has threatened Brazil that it will downgrade diplomatic relations unless it accepts Dayan, an Israeli settler, as its ambassador.” 

“Relations between the two countries have been tense since 2010. They soured further last year when Brazil withdrew its ambassador from Israel in diplomatic protest against what it called the ‘disproportionate use of force’ by Israel in its attacks on the Palestinian Gaza Strip” - committing major war crimes unaccountably.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff reportedly rejects Dayan over concerns of it “be(ing) understood as support for Israeli settlements.”

She remains angry about Netanyahu’s choice. He shows no signs of backing down, Dayan saying it would set a precedent, unwilling to step aside responsibly and end the current controversy.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Dayan won’t be replaced. She claims an “action plan” to pressure Brazil to accept an envoy it rejects - hardly proper diplomatic protocol, commonplace Israeli practice, demanding its way without compromise.

According to Haaretz, she’ll summon “the Brazilian ambassador in Israel immediately after the first of the year, when he would be told that the failure to grant consent to Dayan’s appointment would result in a severe crisis between the two countries.”

“At the same time, the Israeli embassy in Brasilia (will) initiate activity vis-a-vis the Jewish community and friends of Israel in Brazil to enlist their support for Dayan’s appointment.” 

“The embassy (will) also work with Brazilian members of parliament, urging them to publicly support Dayan as ambassador.” 

“One of the messages that will be conveyed to the Brazilians is that Dayan’s nomination has support from across the political spectrum in Israel, Hotovely noted.”

“The Foreign Ministry will use all the tools at its disposal to have Dani Dayan’s appointment go through. The state of Israel will not accept the phenomenon of disqualifying an ambassador over (his) ideological background, and we will act through diplomatic means to make that known in the clearest fashion.”

So far, neither side is yielding. More than disrupted diplomacy is at stake. Brazil is Israel’s second largest South American trading partner. Business ties are up for grabs perhaps if Netanyahu stays hardline.

After Brazil recalled its ambassador during the height of Israeli summer 2014 naked aggression, Israel called its government an “irrelevant diplomatic partner…a diplomatic dwarf.”

Israel needs Brazil much more than the other way around - its products and technology easily gotten elsewhere, high time Rousseff called Netanyahu’s bluff and moved on, leaving him the diplomatic squabble loser, another black mark on his rap sheet.

If she holds firm, Israel will be represented by its current second in command to its present ambassador Raed Mansour, back home since last week, not planning to return.

Dayan told Israeli television viewers the issue reflects BDS activism, adding there’s “an optical illusion here” on whether any Judea and Samaria resident can become an Israeli envoy - failing to explain he lives on stolen Palestinian land, earlier representing all Israeli settlers grievously violating international law.

He urged “the government (and) state to take a (hardline) stand on this issue.” It’s Rousseff’s responsibility to stay firm. Principles matter. So does the rule of law.

Slapping Israel down hard and much more makes it easier for other nations to do the same thing - the way great victories are won, one successful battle at a time.

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. 

Russia: America's Main Geopolitical Adversary

Russia: America’s Main Geopolitical Adversary

by Stephen Lendman

At least from when the Soviet Union replaced Tsarist Russia, Washington and Britain wanted regime change, officials installed they controlled.

Three months before WW I ended, Britain led a multi-nation force. At the time, Lloyd George was Prime Minister. Churchill was UK Minister of War and Air. Woodrow Wilson was US president.

Thousands of US marines were involved. They invaded Russia,  intervening against Bolshevik forces, remaining until April 1920, an early example of imperial American lawlessness.

On the one hand, Soviet Russia and today’s Russian Federation land mass represents a huge prize, rich in valued resources, America perhaps willing to go to war for control.

On the other, Russia today is a far cry from Soviet days:

  • hugely powerful militarily with state-of-the-art weapons, likely important ones kept under wraps; and a thermonuclear arsenal matching America’s capability - able to strike targets worldwide with precision accuracy and hugely destructive force;

  • spending judiciously - a small fraction (maybe 10%) of Washington’s bloated defense budget, wasting trillions of dollars in recent decades, money literally down the drain, one of many examples of wrongheaded US policies;

  • able to match US might, perhaps exceeding it in some respects;

  • technologically sophisticated, the equal of any potential adversary;

  • advancing politically and economically at America’s expense, a slow, steady process under Putin’s stewardship, one nation rising, the other declining, some observers believe significantly in the post-9/11 era, a process begun years earlier.

America’s rage for power is delusional, showing it failed to learn the lesson of past empires, gone on the rocks of their hubris and arrogance, the eventual fate for the self-styled “indispensable nation,” increasingly seen more as a liability than asset in the eyes of growing numbers of nations, wanting peace, stability and prosperity, not endless wars of conquest, one nation after another systematically destroyed.

America has interests, not allies, using nation states to serve its imperial agenda, mainly Pentagon controlled NATO, Israel and rogue Arab states, an alliance for endless wars of conquest, mass slaughter and destruction, countries systematically ravaged, their resources stolen, their people exploited.

Major flashpoint areas risk igniting global thermonuclear war - Ukraine, Syria, and other Middle East areas where US/Russian interests clash.

Washington transformed Ukraine into a Nazi-infested fascist dictatorship - used as a dagger targeting Russia’s heartland, along with other Eastern countries close to its border, pressured to play America’s dirty game, no matter the harm to their interests.

Preserving Syrian sovereignty is key to preventing Iran’s isolation, and the entire region becoming a US/Israeli colony, partnered with Saudi tyrants and the Erdogan-led international criminal organization running Turkey.

Riyadh and Ankara are ruthless rogue states, threatening regional peace, stability and security. They’re creating a so-called “strategic cooperation council,” focusing on military, political and economic issues.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir announced the scheme, omitting explanation of the imperial aims of both nations - saying things were arranged this week during discussions between Erdogan and Saudi King Salman in Riyadh - meeting for the third time this year, united against Syria’s Assad. 

Wanting him ousted is consistent with US objectives, using these and other countries as instruments of anti-Russian policies, wanting its sovereign independence destroyed, risking possible thermonuclear confrontation to achieve its maniacal aims - a clear agenda of madness.

In a letter to the world body, Syria’s UN envoy Bashar al-Ja’afari accused Erdogan of high crimes against the Syrian Arab Republic - covertly supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, warning of his delusional goal to “revive” the Ottoman Empire.

“Since 2011, an unprecedented terrorist war has been waged against the Syrian Arab Republic by armed terrorist groups, the members of which come from more than 100 countries,” Ja'afari explained.”

“Those groups are being provided with funding, weapons, materiel and logistical support by states and regimes from the region and beyond.”

Bordering on Syria and Iraq, Turkey is playing a leading role, Ja’afari stressed. It’s “interference in Syria’s internal affairs t(akes) many forms including direct involvement of the regime of Erdogan, the Turkish armed forces in offensive military operations in support of terrorists.”

They’re “providing covering fire for the terrorists’ movements inside Syrian territory or along (border areas) to facilitate the infiltration of terrorist mercenaries from Turkish (to) Syrian territory.”

Erdogan continues committing heinous high crimes - with full support and encouragement from Washington. Russia’s anti-terrorism intervention foiled his northern Syria no-fly zone/safe haven scheme.

His designs on Mosul, Iraq oil fields remain, Baghdad committed to liberate the area from ISIS control and get world support against Turkish forces operating illegally cross-border.

Ja’afari’s call for the UN “to take a firm stand (to) put end to (Ankara) violations and crimes falls on deaf ears with Washington calling the shots. Its Security Council veto power lets it continue pursuing its regional agenda without official world body condemnation.

At the same time, Russia’s intervention changed things dramatically. Syrian forces continue making slow, steady gains, ISIS and other terrorist groups very much on the back foot.

Defeating them is another issue, no simple task as long as US and other outside support continue. They control Iraqi and Libyan territory, infiltrated into Central Asia, have safe havens outside Syrian territory, new recruits apparently keep coming, and their revenue sources keep supplying millions of dollars daily.

Cut them off and everything changes - along with Russia’s firm commitment to combat a scourge vital to eliminate.

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. 

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