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Putin's Annual Marathon Press Conference Tour De Force

December 19th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

On December, 18, Putin held his annual Q & A marathon. Discussing vital issues.

Wide-ranging ones. Responding forthrightly to questions. Giving straight-talk honest answers.

Polar opposite Obama. Making him look buffoon-like by comparison. A serial liar. With no credibility whatever.

His latest Cuba gambit more stunt than policy change. Expect Cubans soon enough to realize they were had.

Likely smart enough to know already. The devil they've known for over half a century is more villainous now than ever. Fidel is right saying he "harbor(s) (not) the slightest doubt that the United States is about to commit, and lead the world toward, the greatest error in its history."

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Torture in Israeli Prisons

December 19th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

Washington and Israel replicate each other's worst crimes. A previous article discussed a UN Committee Against Torture report.

Citing grave US civil and human rights abuses. Including systematic use of torture. Senate Intelligence Committee members confirmed it. In highly redacted form.

Constituting appalling breaches of fundamental rule of law principles. At home and abroad. In US prisons. Global black sites. Out of sight and mind.

Israel operates the same way. Brutalizing Palestinians horrifically. The Middle East Monitor discussed a UN report. Covering around 200 torture methods.

B'Tselem lists around half this number. Including against children. Torture and other forms of abuse reflect the worst of occupation harshness.

Palestinians want them ended. On Wednesday, PLO officials submitted draft Security Council text language. Jointly with Jordan Detailing terms for peace.

Setting a 12-month deadline. December 2017 for ending Israel's occupation. Saying they're open to negotiations on text language.

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Thaw in US/Cuban Relations?

December 19th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

On December 17, the Havana Times headlined "Obama Announces New US Approach on Cuba," saying:

"In a surprise announcement today US President Obama has taken sweeping steps to re-launch US relations with Cuba."

"Talks between Washington and Havana have actually been going on secretly in Canada for a year and a half with mediation assistance from Pope Francis."

More on this below.

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Why is Near Term Human Extinction Inevitable?

December 18th, 2014

Robert J. Burrowes

If you hadn't previously heard the expression 'near term human extinction', you have now. And you will get used to hearing it soon unless you insulate yourself from reality with greater effectiveness than you are doing by reading this article.

The expression 'near term human extinction' is relatively new in the scientific literature but, unlike other truths that have been successfully suppressed by national elites and their corporate media, this one will keep filtering out until you start to hear the expression routinely. Why? Because this truth is simply too big to suppress permanently and the planetary environment delivers its feedback directly to us in the form of catastrophic environmental events, climatic and otherwise, whether or not these are reported by the corporate media.

It is now widely accepted that we are living through the sixth mass extinction in planetary history. The last one occurred 65 million years ago, when the dinosaurs vanished. We are now losing biodiversity at a rate similar to that time. But this mass extinction is driven by us. And we will be one of the casualties. The only real debate is when. And this debate is predicated on the unstated and highly problematic assumption that we can continue to avoid nuclear war.

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Imperialism and the Politics of Torture

December 18th, 2014

James Petras

Introduction

The US Senate Report documenting CIA torture of alleged terrorist suspects raises a number of fundamental questions about the nature and operations of the State, the relationship and the responsibility of the Executive Branch and Congress to the vast secret police networks which span the globe – including the United States.

CIA: The Politics of a Global Secret Police Force

The Senate Report’s revelations of CIA torture of suspects following the 9/11 bombing is only the tip of the iceberg. The Report omits the history and wider scope of violent activity in which the CIA has been and continues to be involved. CIA organized large scale deathsquad activities and extreme torture in Vietnam (Phoenix Project); multiple assassinations of political leaders in the Congo, Chile, Dominican Republic, Vietnam, the Middle East, Central America and elsewhere; the kidnapping and disappearance of suspected activists in Iraq and Afghanistan; massive drug-running and narco-trafficking in the “Golden Triangle” in Southeast Asia and Central America (the Iran-Contra war).

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EU Parliament Recognizes Palestinian Statehood

December 18th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

On Wednesday, European parliamentarians endorsed Palestinian statehood. Symbolically. In principle. A compromise motion.

Carrying overwhelmingly - 498 to 88 with 111 abstentions. More on this below.

A previous article said the following:

An estimated 134 nations recognize Palestinian statehood. Sweden the latest to join ranks with others. The first EU country to do so.

Britain, France, Spain and Portugal extended unofficial/symbolic parliamentary recognition. So did Ireland.

Denmark surprised. It was expected to followed suit. Not now. Maybe later. Along with perhaps other European countries.

Has the train left the station? Is Israel’s tide going out? Is Palestine headed for official statehood recognition? Despite strong Israeli/US objections?

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Kiev Anti-Russian False Flag Planned?

December 18th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article discussed Russian economist/political analyst Mikhail Delyagin expecting a possible anti-Russian nuclear false flag.

Fort Russ now cites intelligence "about impending terrorist attacks on Ukrainian strategic objects, which will justify an attack on Donbass."

Foreign nationals and relatives of senior Ukrainian officials were evacuated from border areas, it says.

Armored vehicles with Russian and Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) symbols and flags were seen in Donbas territory controlled by Ukraine's military.

Suggesting a planned provocation. Other intelligence "confirmed the arrival of large numbers of mercenaries, equipment and machinery from NATO countries."

Ukraine's general staff press service head, Vladislav Seleznev, announced possible resumed hostilities in so-called ATO (anti-terrorist operations) areas.

As well as "possible terrorist attacks by the militia on the objects of strategic importance." Because socio/political/humanitarian conditions remain tense, he said. In ATO and bordering areas.

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At What Point Will Putin Bend Under Obama’s Ukraine Extortion?

December 18th, 2014

by Peter Chamberlin

Have we reached the point where American economic warfare against Russia has become so painful that Putin has to stop standing in between Bashar Assad and Obama? With the “one-two punch” of punitive banking and oil industry sanctions, followed by plunging oil prices, the American aggression is starting to bear evil fruit.

Further economic sanctions of similar severity and as yet to be identified legal sanctions will severely compound Putin’s problems, across the board. This would probably be enough to crash the ruble, even before any military provocations are carried out. So, as is the way of geostrategic thinkers, Putin can easily see the endgame of Obama’s gambit, meaning that the military contest will decide everything in the end, so why not go there now? Thus explaining the resurgence of Russian apocalyptic references to the humiliation being forced upon it. If we get past all of the diplomatic B.S., who will blink first, when it comes to pulling the nuclear trigger?

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Jeb Bush Exploring White House Bid

December 18th, 2014

by Stephen Lendman

Another possible Bush presidency should rile freedom-lovers everywhere. He's forming a leadership political action committee.

On Facebook, he said he's doing so to "discuss the most critical challenges facing our exceptional nation."

With "support leaders…" Exploring "ideas and policies that will expand opportunity and prosperity for all Americans." More on his bid below.

The Bush family dynasty reflects a legacy of crime. Deceit. Serial lying. Public betrayal. Neocon extremism. Serving wealth, power and privilege exclusively. At the expense of social justice.

Disdain for human and civil rights. Mindless of rule of law principles. Imperial wars called liberating ones. Mass murder and destruction. Anti-democratic color revolutions. Torture as official US policy. Operating the world's largest gulag. At home and abroad. Waging war on humanity. For unchallenged world dominance.

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Israeli role in Syrian conflict brought into the open

December 18th, 2014

By Nicola Nasser*

Overtly, the Israeli superpower of the Middle East has been keen to posture as having no role whatsoever in the four-year old devastating conflict in Syria, where all major regional and international powers are politically and militarily deeply involved and settling scores by Syrian blood. In his geopolitical weekly analysis, entitled “The Islamic State Reshapes the Middle East,” on November 25 Stratfor’s George Friedman raised eyebrows when he reviewed the effects which the terrorist group had on all regional powers, but seemed unaware of the existence of the Israeli regional superpower.

It was an instructive omission that says a lot about the no more discreet role Israel is playing to maintain what the Israeli commentator Amos Harel described as the “stable instability” in Syria and the region, from the Israeli perspective of course.

Read more »

Tags: israel, syria

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