Saturday, December 31, 2016

Is Obama Trying to Undermine Ceasefire in Syria?

Is Obama Trying to Undermine Ceasefire in Syria?

by Stephen Lendman

It took effect at midnight local time on December 30. Yet fighting continues in some areas not controlled by ISIS and al-Nusra - UN designated terrorist groups.

So-called Free Syrian Army terrorists (allied with al-Nusra) and Jund al-Aqsa (Salafist jihadists) launched an offensive against government forces in northern Hama straightaway at the onset of ceasefire.

The attack was repelled. Others were launched along the Damascus/Homs highway and in Dara’a province areas.

The Arabic language Al-Ahd broadsheet said a Turkish aircraft transferred al-Nusra terrorists from Aleppo province to Aden, Yemen - then evacuated wounded anti-Houthi fighters to Turkey for medical treatment. 

Attacks at the onset of ceasefire show it’s shaky, especially if America and its rogue allies want it undermined - at least through Obama’s remaining few weeks in office.

He has plenty of time to disrupt and obstruct arrangements agreed on by Russia, Turkey and Iran.

Seven opposition groups accepted the deal. Others haven’t with about half the number of anti-government fighters, including ISIS and al-Nusra elements.

Others agreeing to ceasefire threatened to end it, accusing government and allied forces of violations. A statement signed by various opposition groups said:

“Continued violations by the regime and bombardment and attempts to attack areas under the control of the revolutionary factions will made the agreement null and void.”

According to Russia’s reconciliation center, in the last 24 hours, 12 shellings by anti-government forces occurred - in Damascus, Aleppo and Hama provinces.

“Russian Aerospace Defense Forces and Syrian Air Force did not deliver airstrikes at opposition armed groups that declared cessation of hostilities and informed the Russian or US reconciliation centers about their locations.”

If Obama’s dirty hands are behind ongoing fighting, aiming to undermine ceasefire, hopefully Trump will stop disruption once in office. 

It may not be easily or quickly accomplished, given CIA and allied rogue elements on the ground supporting terrorist fighters.

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: How the 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.

Israel's Brutal Response to SC Res. 2334

Israel’s Brutal Response to SC Res. 2334

by Stephen Lendman

The December 23 Security Council resolution affirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements, well-known for nearly half a century with no world community action taken to stop them.

Aside from the shameful bombast of its officials, blasting the resolution, supported by congressional members, Trump and AIPAC, Israel punished Palestinians viciously, unleashing state terror on them vengefully. 

In the week ending December 28, Israeli forces killed a Palestinian civilian, wounding 14 others, including three children and a journalist during peaceful protests.

Security forces rampaged through multiple West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinian communities daily - kidnapping 52 civilians, including 16 children and one woman, terrorizing families, traumatizing young children.

Five Silwan village agricultural and commercial facilities were demolished, privately owned Palestinian property vengefully destroyed.

The walls of a Kufor Aqeb village Palestinian home were demolished, the property closed, its residents expelled.

Peaceful Gaza protesters were attacked. Israeli soldiers opened fire at Palestinian farmers in their fields threatening no one. Around 80% of Gazans require humanitarian aid to survive.

Multiple demolition orders were issued against Palestinian homes on property belonging to their owners.

Soldiers attacked Palestinians and human rights workers, peacefully protesting northeast of Qalqiliyah, using live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas,  stun grenades and physical beatings. Two civilians were wounded, one by gun shots to the chest and foot.

Other peaceful protests in East Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Bil’in, Ni’lin and al-Nabi Seleh village were attacked the same way. Tear gas inhilation affected many civilians. Others were beaten by soldiers.

On Christmas day along Gaza’s border with Israel, soldiers opened fire with live rounds and tear gas. At least one Palestinian was wounded by gunfire. 

On New Year’s eve, Israeli rampaging continued like most days. Multiple Palestinian communities were invaded - civilians attacked, adults, youths and children abducted.

The West Bank and East Jerusalem are under virtual siege like Gaza. Palestinian civilians don’t know where Israel’s iron fist will strike next.

Likely lots more brutality is coming on New Year’s day, indicating what Palestinians can expect for the rest of the year.

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: How the 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.

Trump's Praise for Putin's Moral High Ground Exposed Obama's Vindictiveness

Trump’s Praise for Putin’s Moral High Ground Exposed Obama’s Vindictiveness

by Stephen Lendman

In response to Obama’s new sanctions on Russia, illegal by any standard, Trump praised how Putin handled his action, tweeting “(g)reat move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart.”

A follow-up related tweet said “Russians are playing #CNN and @NBCNews for such fools…they don’t have a clue! @FoxNews totally gets it.”

Senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway called Obama’s new sanctions “a political response” at the behest of “Team Hillary,” aiming to “box in…Trump” because he favors improved relations with Russia, getting along with Putin, both leaders cooperating in combating terrorism - anathema to neocon infested Washington.

Obama’s 11th hour action in the waning days of his deplorable presidency was based on fabricated claims of Russian US election hacking.

It was a thinly veiled political stunt, reflecting sour grapes for Trump’s electoral triumph, wanting him delegitimized, along with an attempt to prevent normalization of Russia/US relations after his tenure ends - favoring continued confrontation instead.

Accusations of Russian US election hacking are groundless. No evidence exists proving it. Long after America’s intelligence community claimed it, Congress has yet to be briefed.

In mid-December, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson (R. WI) said “(i)t is disappointing that the CIA would provide information on this issue to the Washington Post and NBC but will not provide information to elected members of Congress.”

Media scoundrels regurgitate what they’re told without due diligence checking. Congressional members, especially Republicans, might openly question administration claims without credible truth supporting them. None exists.

The whole sordid business was made up for reasons cited above, Obama perhaps taking a final shot at Russia before leaving office - at Trump as well by trying to delegitimize his election triumph.

So far everything tried to prevent him from becoming America’s 45th president failed. It’s unknown how he’ll govern after taking office.

Will he be a mensch like Putin or a menace like Obama? Humanity holds its breath to find out.

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: How the 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.

US Dirty Tricks in Syria?

US Dirty Tricks in Syria?

by Stephen Lendman

With three weeks left in office, Obama apparently intends continued US-led naked aggression on Syria, supporting ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups - adding more war crimes to his blood-drenched legacy.

Days earlier, RT reported Damascus was without water for five days. US-supported terrorists poisoned the Ein al Fija reservoir with diesel fuel and other toxins.

The supply had to be shut off to avoid a potential city-wide catastrophe. Residents able to obtain uncontaminated well water weren’t affected. Others are dependent on Water Authority distributed supplies or exorbitantly priced private sources.

Government help prevented disaster. After having no safe water for five days, one city resident said things now are easier.

On December 30, the Syrian Arab News Agency(SANA) reported the following:

ISIS terrorists cut off water for Aleppo from its main source which is the treatment centers on the Euphrates River.”

“Director of Aleppo Water Company Fakher al-Hamdo said that at 6 AM on Friday, ISIS terrorists cut off water supplies to Aleppo city from the main source which is the Euphrates and al-Khafsa stations on the Euphrates River.”

“He said that Aleppo Governorate and the Water Company, in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and civil sides, are working to address the situation and resume pumping water to the city as soon as possible.”

CIA operatives and their counterparts from NATO, Israel and other regional rogue states have been active on the ground throughout years of conflict - aiding ISIS, al-Nusra and other terrorist groups.

Are America and/or its rogue allies responsible for poisoning Damascus’ water supply and cutting it off for Aleppo?

Despite Putin’s announced ceasefire, conflict resolution has miles to go before any hope of achieving it. Much depends on Trump’s geopolitical agenda once in office.

If he’s against regime change and allies with Putin in combating terrorism, Syria’s liberation will be virtually certain. It’ll just take 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: How the 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.

Israeli Hardliner Urges Annexing Over 60% of West Bank Land

Israeli Hardliner Urges Annexing Over 60% of West Bank Land

by Stephen Lendman

Extremist Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett urges annexation of most West Bank land, saying “(t)he time has come to say Israel is ours to go from strategic defense to a process of initiating the implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the territories under Israeli control in Judea and Samaria.” 

“We need to mark this as a strategic objective and stop the misunderstood message sent from Israel abroad.”

Earlier in December, he said “(t)he approach that I’m promoting is reasonable, sane. In the Middle East, we don’t have the luxury to indulge in fantasy.” 

“If it were up to me, I would not wait. I would start with the Etzion bloc (near Jerusalem), and apply Israeli law and sovereignty on (the area) first.”

“We did this twice before, both times unilaterally: in Jerusalem in 1967 and with the Golan in 1981.” He urges doing it again now.

Seeing no prospect of Israeli/Palestinian peace, Bennett called for “realism” on what’s achievable - regardless of world opinion, international law and fundamental Palestinian rights.

He opposes Palestinian self-determination, wanting occupation harshness maintained. Likudnik communications minister Gilad Erdan called for initiating “prepar(ations) for the annexation of Area C,” comprising around 60% of West Bank land.

Israeli Committee Against House Demolition director Jeff Halper believes a “bi-national, democratic state is the only (viable) option for Israelis and Palestinians” - calling the two-state solution a “defunct” option.

“Why is Israel allowed to keep the (occupied territories), he asked? As long as the international community permits it, “Israel wins.”

A two-state solution failed because nothing was done for decades to prevent Israel from stealing Palestinian land unaccountably. Lip service opposing settlement expansions is meaningless without teeth.

If outrageous Israeli practices are cost-free, they’ll continue unobstructed. If land theft isn’t stopped, Israel will grab all it can until Palestinians are left with isolated pockets of worthless scrubland alone, surrounded by hostile Israeli settlements - mini-open-air prisons along with the world’s largest in blockaded Gaza.

“Israel has expanded onto 85% of historic Palestine,” Halper explained - Palestinians “locked into enclaves on only 10% of the land…lack(ing) all civil, national and human rights.”

Justifiable Palestinian resistance is called “violence” and “terrorism.” Israeli ruthlessness is called “legitimate security measures” and self-defense.

One state for all its people with equal rights is the only viable conflict resolution option. Nothing else can work.

A Final Comment

Opposition Zionist Union head Isaac Herzog urges a national referendum to decide if Israel should or shouldn’t annex most West Bank land unilaterally.

Palestinians comprise one-fifth of Israel’s population so presumably they’d be allowed to vote. Millions of occupied Palestinians aren’t Israeli citizens with no say over regime policy.

Referenda on issues violating international law are illegitimate. Herzog’s scheme is as outrageous as Bennett’s.

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: How the 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.

WaPo Bashes Trump on Russia

WaPo Bashes Trump on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post is frantic over Trump wanting normalized relations with Russia, including cooperating with Putin in combating terrorism.

Its editors blasted him for saying “it’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things,” days earlier claiming the “whole age of computer(s) has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on.”

WaPo: “No, Mr. Trump, it is not time to move on. US intelligence agencies are in agreement about ‘what is going on’: a brazen and unprecedented attempt by a hostile power to covertly sway the outcome of a US presidential election through the theft and release of material damaging to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.” 

“The president-elect’s dismissive response only deepens unanswered questions about his ties to Russia in the past and his plans for cooperation with Vladimir Putin.”

Fact: The CIA, NSA, DNI, DHS and FBI blatantly lied - knowing no Russian US electoral hacking occurred. No evidence suggests it, no Russian attempt to “sway” the election’s outcome.

Fact: Information on Hillary, the DNC and John Podesta was leaked by one or more Democrat insiders, upset over her stealing her party’s nomination, not winning it fairly.

Fact: Trump wanting better relations with Russia should be universally praised, not denounced - perhaps the only way to avoid confrontation between the world’s dominant nuclear powers.

Fact: WaPo and likeminded editors should be condemned for supporting continued Russia/US adversarial relations - a path to eventual disaster if not reversed.

WaPo editors outrageously called nonexistent Russian US election hacking a “cyber-Pearl Harbor” - incendiary hyperbole blocking out hard truths. 

They support tougher anti-Russia measures. Maybe nothing short of war will satisfy them. “Why is Mr. Trump so dismissive of Russia’s dangerous behavior,” they asked?

Why does WaPo report malicious fake news about Russia and most everything else of importance? Why does it consistently lie to readers? Why does it ban truth-telling?

Why does it support America’s imperial agenda, its killing machine, waging war on humanity at home and abroad? Why does anyone waste time reading its rubbish?

I have to - to critique and debunk it, to expose its misinformation and Big Lies, to set the record straight, to represent what journalism is supposed to be.

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: How the 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.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Facebook Banished Me for Truth-Telling

Facebook Banished Me for Truth-Telling

by Stephen Lendman

America’s deep state declared war on truth-telling, wanting views opposing its own censored or banished altogether.

Perhaps criminalizing writers like myself and others comes next. Google and Facebook are involved, perhaps other social media operations, conspiring with dark forces in Washington in flagrant violation of First Amendment rights.

Facebook informed me by email that I’m banished unless willing to “erase” articles I posted. I’m being asked to renounce truth-telling to gain access to my page or any others on its site - what I’ll never do, of course, not for Facebook or anyone else.

During WW II’s Battle of the Bulge, when Germans asked 101st Airborne Division commanding General Anthony McAuliffe to surrender, telling him Bastogne was surrounded and his forces would be annihilated otherwise, his English language reply stated:

“December 22, 1944

To the German Commander,

NUTS!

The American Commander”

With attribution to General McAulliffe, my response to Facebook is NUTS!! What better way to express my contempt for its deplorable action.

I won’t be censored. I’ll continue telling hard truths to the best of my ability. 

Banishing me is Facebook’s shame - its CEO Mark Zukerberg and minions doing his bidding in cahoots with US dark forces, waging war on humanity at home and abroad. 

Banishment from their site is my badge of honor. I wear it proudly!

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: How the 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.

Putin's Response to Obama's New Sanctions

Putin’s Response to Obama’s New Sanctions

by Stephen Lendman

Both leaders are polar opposites - a mensch in Moscow on the right side of history compared to a US menace waging war on humanity.

In response to Obama’s new sanctions, a same day article quoted Sergey Lavrov, saying Russia “cannot leave unanswered the insults of the kind, reciprocity is the law of diplomacy and foreign relations.”

He recommended Putin respond tit for tat while blasting Obama’s deplorable action. It seemed certain, but didn’t happen. Putin took the high ground, in stark contrast to his disgraceful US counterpart, issuing a statement, saying:

“We regard the recent unfriendly steps taken by the outgoing US administration as provocative and aimed at further weakening the Russia-US relationship.” 

“This runs contrary to the fundamental interests of both the Russian and American people. Considering the global security responsibilities of Russia and the United States, this is also damaging to international relations as a whole.”

“As it proceeds from international practice, Russia has reasons to respond in kind. Although we have the right to retaliate, we will not resort to irresponsible ‘kitchen’ diplomacy but will plan our further steps to restore Russian-US relations based on the policies of the Trump Administration.”

“The diplomats who are returning to Russia will spend the New Year’s holidays with their families and friends. We will not create any problems for US diplomats.” 

“We will not expel anyone. We will not prevent their families and children from using their traditional leisure sites during the New Year’s holidays.” 

“Moreover, I invite all children of US diplomats accredited in Russia to the New Year and Christmas children’s parties in the Kremlin.”

“It is regrettable that the Obama Administration is ending its term in this manner. Nevertheless, I offer my New Year greetings to President Obama and his family.”

“My season’s greetings also to President-elect Donald Trump and the American people.”

“I wish all of you happiness and prosperity.”

Judge for yourself. Who’s the mensch and who’s the menace? Which way will Trump go?

My personal yearend greetings and thanks to President Putin for for doing the right thing consistently on major geopolitical issues. I proudly support his preeminent world leadership.

A Final Comment

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova explained Obama’s expulsion order disrupts the lives of 96 Russian nationals - 35 diplomats and family members.

Some targeted diplomats only arrived in America two months ago. “It is not clear how they could have participated in (alleged) activities that, according to the secret services, took place in the spring of 2016,” Zakharova explained.

The have until January 1 to leave - Obama’s happy new year greeting.

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: How the 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.

Security Council Session on Syria Ceasefire

Security Council Session on Syria Ceasefire

by Stephen Lendman

At Russia’s request, Security Council members will meet in closed session Friday afternoon to discuss Syria ceasefire terms - agreed on by Russia, Iran, Turkey and Damascus.

According to Reuters, a draft resolution will be considered, announced by Moscow and Ankara on Thursday, a possible Saturday vote to follow.

If SC members recommend changes, most likely they “can be easily absorbed into the draft,” Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin explained.

Seven major opposition groups agreed to the ceasefire. Others aren’t on board yet. Sergey Lavrov said groups failing to comply will be considered terrorists and dealt with appropriately.

According to the Istanbul-based Daily Sabah, draft resolution terms to be considered, subject to revisions, state the following:

1. Ceasefire will be declared throughout Syria except in areas controlled by UN-designated terrorist groups and others where terms are violated - to continue as long as the political process remains ongoing.

2. Turkey guarantees compliance in all areas controlled by opposition elements agreeing to the deal.

3. Russia guarantees to cease aerial bombardments in these areas. Syrian ground and air operations will halt except in areas controlled by UN-designated terrorist groups.

4. Russia and Turkey will assure opposition groups make no attempt to seize new territory while ceasefire remains in force.

5. Both countries will decide on proper monitoring arrangements.

6. If after one month ceasefire holds, conflict resolution talks will begin.

7. Russia and Turkey guarantee delivery of humanitarian aid to all war-torn areas in need.

Putin and Erdogan discussed arrangements by phone a numerous times before Russia’s president’s announced the ceasefire and Friday’s afternoon Security Council session.

Will Obama use his waning days in office disruptively? Will he denigrate his legacy more than already? 

Will Trump go another way geopolitically once in office? Will he prioritize diplomacy over belligerence or continue dirty business as usual? A lot depends on what he decides.

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: How the 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.

Obama Illegally Sanctions Russia for Nonexistent US Election Hacking

Obama Illegally Sanctions Russia for Nonexistent US Election Hacking

by Stephen Lendman

Throughout his deplorable tenure, thankfully near ending, Obama exceeded Star Wars, going where no previous US president dared go before - for ill, not good.

He disgraced the office he holds. His legacy reflects failure domestically and geopolitically, infamy, deceit, moral cowardice, lawlessness and contempt for humanity.

He accelerated America’s longterm decline, EU states following suit, while Russia and China are rising. The 21st century belongs to them, not the USA, not NATO, not their rogue allies - providing thermonuclear immolation doesn’t take us all.

Fake news hype about nonexistent “Russian aggression” wore thin long ago. Does any sensible person think Russia threatens any nation when clear evidence shows otherwise?

The Russians aren’t coming - except in the satirical 1966 Hollywood film few remember. Menacing Russian hordes don’t exist. Nor does claiming its government hacked America’s election hold up to scrutiny. 

Despite repeated claims, echoed by media scoundrels ad nauseam, most Americans don’t believe it because no evidence was presented proving it. Trump was right calling the charge “ridiculous.”

Illegal sanctions on Russia made it more self-sufficient. On December 29, Obama announced more - as counterproductive and outrageous as earlier ones imposed, perhaps the last gasp of a failed presidency, one that will live in infamy!

Obama acted spitefully, maliciously and lawlessly, trying to delegitimize Trump’s election, make it hard for him to work cooperatively with Putin, and punish Russia one last time before leaving office.

His action made him more of a laughing stock than already, his presidency ending in a blaze of infamy, I said earlier. His parting shots (including whatever additional malevolence he has in mind) harmed himself and his administration, not Russia. Putin hopes Trump will improve bilateral relations once in office.

Perhaps he’ll rescind illegal sanctions and other harmful Obama actions. According to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, he promised to revoke up to 70% of Obama’s executive orders straightaway in office.

After signing his latest one, he said he took “additional steps to deal with the national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities…in view of the increasing use of such activities to undermine democratic processes or institutions.”

Fact: No national emergency exists. Obama lied claiming otherwise.

Fact: No Russian US election hacking occurred. One or more disgruntled Democrat insiders, hostile to Hillary over stealing her party’s nomination, leaked volumes of material to WikiLeaks.

Obama’s EO, shutting down Russia’s Long Island, New York and Centreville, Maryland compounds, along with expelling 35 of its diplomats (on phony espionage charges) will be responded to in kind by Moscow.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented, saying “(i)n our point of view, such actions of the US current administration are a manifestation of an unpredictable and even aggressive foreign policy.”

“We regret the fact that this decision was taken by the US administration and President Obama personally. (W)e consider this decision and these sanctions unjustified and illegal under international law.”

True! Security Council members alone may impose sanctions on countries, not individual or allied ones on others. Obama’s sanctions reflect reprehensible political and economic war on Russia.

Peskov promised “adequate, reciprocal (actions) that will deliver significant discomfort to the US side in the same areas.” He expressed hope for better relations once Trump succeeds Obama.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman minced no words, saying “…America (and) the American people were humiliated by their own president.” 

“Not by international terrorists, not by enemy’s troops. This time Washington was slapped by (its) own master, who has complicated the urgent tasks for the incoming team in the extreme.”

Separately, the FBI and DHS released a joint report, accusing Russian civilian and military intelligence of US election hacking - citing no corroborating evidence.

It begins with a “DISCLAIMER,” mocking its legitimacy, stating “(t)his report is provided ‘as is’ for informational purposes only. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within. DHS does not endorse any commercial product or service referenced in this advisory or otherwise.” 

“This document is distributed as TLP:WHITE: Subject to standard copyright rules, TLP:WHITE information may be distributed without restriction. For more information on the Traffic Light Protocol, see https://www.us-cert.gov/tlp.”

“This activity by RIS (Russian civilian and military intelligence Services) is part of an ongoing campaign of cyber-enabled operations directed at the US government and its citizens,” the report states.

It claims so-called “confirm(ation) that two different RIS actors participated in the intrusion into a US political party” - despite clear evidence showing no hacking occurred. Leaks came from one or more Democrat party insiders, not Russian mischief.

Commenting on the report, the White House said it includes data “enabl(ing) cyber security firms and other network defenders to identify certain malware that the Russian intelligence services use.”

Yet it refuses to reveal so-called evidence supporting its claims because none exists.

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: How the 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.

NYT Editors Cheerlead Obama's Illegal Sanctions on Russia

NYT Editors Cheerlead Obama’s Illegal Sanctions on Russia

by Stephen Lendman

Commenting on Obama’s newly imposed sanctions on Russia, The Times editorial reads like an administration press release - cheerleading flagrant lawlessness instead of forthrightly denouncing it.

Calling Obama’s action “too little” and “too late,” Times editors disgracefully said “there should be no doubt about the correctness of (Obama’s) decision to retaliate against Russia for hacking American computers and trying to influence the 2016 presidential election” - even though charges were falsified.

No hacking occurred. One or more Democrat party insiders leaked the information. WikiLeaks published it. Times editors know it. 

Most Americans don’t believe fake claims of Russian hacking for good reason. Trump justifiably called the accusation “ridiculous.” 

On Wednesday, he tweeted “(d)oing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!”

Times editors disgracefully claimed “(i)t would have been irresponsible for (Obama) to leave office next month and allow President Vladimir Putin to think that he could with impunity try to undermine American democracy.” 

“That would have been a particularly dangerous legacy given President-elect Donald Trump’s alarming affinity for Mr. Putin and stubborn refusal to accept the conclusion of American intelligence agencies that Russia’s cyberattacks were aimed at helping him and hurting Hillary Clinton.”

Fact: “American democracy” is pure fantasy. How could Putin “impun(e)” what doesn’t exist. 

Fact: Russia didn’t interfere in the electoral process of America or any other countries. Claims alleging cyberattacks to help Trump defeat Hillary are Big Lies.

Times editors admitted multiple rounds of US sanctions on Russia failed to accomplish their purpose - my words, not theirs. A same day article said they made Russia more self-sufficient.

Obama shot himself in the foot, again on Thursday with new sanctions imposed. Yet Times editors urged “possible covert actions” short of cyberwar, nonsensically adding:

It “would reinforce his public responses to further drive home the point that attacks on American elections, by Russia or any other country, cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Fact: No evidence suggests any foreign government ever interfered with a US election. In contrast, Washington does it repeatedly to assure installation of regimes serving its interests.

Tactics include wars of aggression, color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, assassinations and other dirty tricks - occurring with disturbing regularity, the hallmark of a rogue state.

To its shame, The Times cheerleads its high crimes - operating as an administration and Pentagon press agent.

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: How the 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.

Russia Expels 35 US Diplomats

Russia Expels 35 US Diplomats

by Stephen Lendman

Responding to new US sanctions, Russia declared 35 US diplomats persona non grata, expelling them from the country once approved by Putin - the same number of Russian officials Obama ordered out of America for fraudulent reasons the previous day.

On Friday, Sergey Lavrov issued a statement, saying “(w)e, of course, cannot leave unanswered the insults of the kind, reciprocity is the law of diplomacy and foreign relations.”

“Thus, the Russian Foreign Ministry and officials of other authorities have presented to the Russian president suggestions regarding announcing persona non grata 31 personnel of the US Embassy in Moscow and four diplomats from the Consulate General in St. Petersburg.”

He’ll likely approve the move straightaway, along with a proposal to ban US diplomats from using two facilities in Moscow - a Serebryany Bor vacation house and a Dorozhnaya Street warehouse.

Explaining further, Lavrov added  “Obama accusing Russia of all mortal sins, trying to blame us for the failure of its foreign policy initiatives, among other things, has put forward additional accusations without any grounds whatsoever that the Russian state was behind attempts to meddle in the US election campaign, which led to the defeat of” Hillary Clinton.

“Yesterday, the US administration, without providing any facts or evidence announced a new wave of sanctions against the Russian Federation.”

“Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), some other Russian agencies and individuals were sanctioned. The sanctions also covered our diplomats. Thirty-five people working in Washington and San Francisco (31 in Washington and four in San Francisco) have to leave the US before the end of the day on January 1.”

Russian New York and Maryland compounds Obama ordered closed were used by Russian children during the winter holiday period.

“We are forbidden to use the property that is the state property of the Russian Federation,” Lavrov explained. 

“This is one dacha for the recreation of our staff members in Washington and the second dacha for the recreation of our staff members in the Russian mission to the UN.”

Lavrov blasted Obama for his deplorable actions, including absurdly calling Russian compounds used for recreation spy nests.

Moscow didn’t interfere in America’s election. Claims otherwise are disgraceful Big Lies. A days earlier Foreign Ministry statement accused Washington of supporting terrorists in Syria while punishing Russia for combating them.

Putin should declare Washington’s entire neocon infested diplomatic core persona non grata and expel the lot of them - awaiting to see how Trump intends operating.

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: How the 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.

Assad Hopes Conflict Resolution Possible When Trump Succeeds Obama

Assad Hopes Conflict Resolution Possible When Trump Succeeds Obama

by Stephen Lendman

Throughout his deplorable tenure, Obama raped and destroyed one country after another - deploring peace, systematically rejecting it. Millions of casualties attest to his barbarity. He remains unaccountable for appalling high crimes.

Trump is untested. He’s yet to take office. It’s unknown what geopolitical course he’ll follow. Will he continue America’s longstanding imperial policy or go another way?

Will he be a warrior or peace president? Will his tenure be historic or disastrous? Will he do the right thing or continue the horrors of Obama, Bush/Cheney and the Clintons?

Humanity holds its breath to find out. Interviewed by Italy’s Canale 5, Assad expressed “cautious optimism” because it’s unknown what geopolitical way Trump will choose.

He’s hopeful for better Russia/US ties, saying “(g)ood relations between these two superpowers will benefit almost the entire world, including small states like Syria. In this regard, we can say that a solution for Syria is possible.”

Defeating terrorism remains the task at hand, supported by Obama and his rogue allies. “If you want to solve the problem of (modern) terrorism, you need to destroy its core, the (Saudi-based) ideology of Wahhabism,” he stressed.

In a separate Italian Il Giornale broadsheet statement, he blamed Western and rogue regional states for supporting terrorism. Halting its threat requires ceasing what they currently back, he stressed.

On December 29, Assad met with European Parliament and Russian upper house Federation Council MPs - in Damascus to show support for the Syrian people, congratulate them for liberating Aleppo, and stress their rejection of foreign interference in Syrian affairs.

Assad said their visit showed Syria, Russia and European countries have common interests. If EU ones want conflict resolution, it’s crucial they stop backing terrorists and rescind illegal sanctions, mostly harming ordinary Syrians.

It’s vital they support the right of the Syrian people to resolve their own internal issues, free from foreign interference, Assad stressed.

Russia and Iran are valued allies. It’s time for America and the West to get on board for peace, renouncing war, allying to eliminate the region’s terrorist threat by no longer supporting it.

That’ll be Trump’s challenge once  in office. Will he prove up to it or be just another dirty politician?

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: How the 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.