Washington has devised a dual strategy toward Latin America. This involves a new set of ambitious imperial initiatives designed to undermine the principal anti-imperialist governments (Venezuela), social movements and armed insurgency (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), while dismantling Latin America-centered integration and regional alliances, such as ALBA, Petro-Caribe, UNASUR and MERCOSUR. At the same time the US seeks to establish an alternative US-centered ‘integration scheme’ through the Latin America and Asia-the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which encourages closer ties among neo-liberal states, like Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile with their energy and mining sector-dependent development strategies.
by Stephen Lendman
Obama's cabinet, national security team, and other close advisors reflect a virtual rogues gallery of scoundrels. Susan Rice as National Security Advisor and Samantha Power as UN envoy are on board in new capacities.
Rice shifts from UN ambassador to the White House. A previous article quoted the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity saying "she belongs in the big house, not in the White House."
Given her notion of humanitarian intervention, Power belongs there with her. On June 5, a href="http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/06/05/remarks-president-personnel-announcement" target="_blank">Obama announced both appointments.
He was right calling Power "a relentless advocate for American interests and values." He was wrong saying doing so reflects "building partnerships on behalf of democracy and human rights."
by Stephen Lendman
Since early 2011, ongoing blame game strategy holds Syria responsible for Western-enlisted death squad crimes.
In August 2011, the Human Rights Council (HRC) appointed a so-called Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria (COI). Paulo Pinheiro heads it.
His mandate is pro-Western propaganda. Credibility isn't his long suit. His reports bear testimony to his bias. He wrongfully blames Assad for insurgent crimes. He's done so throughout his tenure.
Washington calls the shots. Pinheiro and other COI members salute and obey. So do HRC officials. Truth is verboten. False reports up the stakes for full-blown US-led NATO intervention.
On June 4, 1,000 US marines arrived in Jordan. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved them along with deployment of F-16s, Patriot missiles and other weapons.
by Stephen Lendman
Previous articles discussed her. Calling her controversial stops short of accurately characterizing her. Moral depravity explains best. Vishay Prashad calls her the "queen of interventionist hawks."
South African journalist Getahune Bekele said she's a "consummate ally of grubby despots."
Ray McGovern says she believes "hawkishness" is "safer" for career advancement than "thoughtful diplomacy." Reuters called her "sharp-tongued."
Others condemn her bloody hands. Banality of evil describes her. Death and destruction don't bother her. She was quoted once saying, "The only thing we have to do is look the other way."
From Jennifer Carnig
There are gaping racial disparities in low-level marijuana arrests in counties across New York State, according to a New York Civil Liberties Union analysis released today of federal crime reporting data from 2010.
The greatest racial disparities occur in Kings County (Brooklyn) and New York County (Manhattan), where black New Yorkers are more than 9 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possessing marijuana. But the problem is not limited to New York City. Enormous racial disparities exist in counties throughout the state, including several of the state’s most populous counties, such as Onondaga (7.75 times more likely), Niagara (7.56 times more likely), Monroe (6.5 times more likely) and Erie (5.66 times more likely).
“In all corners of New York State, police are targeting people of color for marijuana possession arrests,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “Arresting and jailing thousands of people for possessing small amounts of marijuana does not make safer streets. It only needlessly disrupts people’s lives and fosters distrust between the police and the communities they are sworn to serve.”
But how many would you ‘blue-pencil’?
Australian federal and state MPs have been indulging in an orgy of anti-anti-semitism by signing en masse the London Declaration on Combating Anti-Semitism. Over 100 have put their mark on it.
Haaretz reports http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/australian-mps-pick-up-torch-in-fight-against-global-anti-semitism.premium-1.525198 that even more of the nation’s 226 federal parliamentarians in Canberra are expected to sign up, and all 105 federal Liberal MPs and senators have done so.
About 300 other lawmakers from some 60 countries have also signed, according to a spokesperson from the Inter-parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism. 50 of these are Canadians, 18 are British, 6 are Israeli and 2 are American (what, only two?).
Syrian troops along with their Hezbollah allies are in control of the key city of al-Qusayr. The battle began three weeks ago with initial victories by the Syrian government in and around the city of 30,000. Rebel fighters sought reinforcements with some predicting a protracted battle. The reinforcements came, "hundreds of rebel reinforcements professing close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood," but the effort was to no avail. The professional Syrian Army with its best troops and the urban warfare specialists, Hezbollah, prevailed just hours ago.
Due to this victory, the Syrians are readying for major battles in Aleppo. Up to 4,000 Hezbollah fighters moved north to Aleppo before fighting was complete in Qusayr. This was a clue that government forces were confident of a quick victory in the besieged city and a clear indication of the next objective. Aleppo, a city of 2 million, is Syria's commercial center and vital to any retention of national integrity for a Syrian state.
Events are breaking in the direction of the government over the past few days. The Lebanon rebel supply route is closed for now. This corridor was the "principal transit point for weapons and fighters from Lebanon."
By Nancy Spannaus
On May 16, the 80th anniversary of the introduction of Franklin Roosevelt’s Glass-Steagall bill in the House of Representatives, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Ia) introduced S. 985, the Return to Prudent Banking Act, into the U.S. Senate. S. 985 is an almost precise replica of a bill already introduced into the House by Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Walter Jones (R-NC), HR 129, which currently has a total of 63 sponsors.
Senator Harkin’s action represents a major step forward in the fight to restore FDR’s Glass-Steagall, which the LaRouche political movement has been demanding since the fall of 2008, and which has taken on a head of steam among local constituency leaders, and even Congress over recent years. In 2010, the Senate was on the verge of passing an amendment to Dodd-Frank reinstituting Glass-Steagall standards of separating commercial and investment (gambling) banking. President Barack Obama and the Senate leadership refused to let the amendment come to a vote.
by Stephen Lendman
Previous articles discussed his war on whistleblowers, free expression and dissent.
Sibel Edmonds founded the National Security Whistleblowers Coalition (NSWBC). She did so to aid "national security whistleblowers through a variety of methods."
The ACLU called her "the most gagged person in the history of the United States."
Since 1977, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) calls itself "the nation's leading whistleblower protection and advocacy organization."
"What is a Whistleblower," it asks?
by Stephen Lendman
America honors its worst. It persecutes its best. Manning is heroic. He risked great personal harm. He did so to reveal vital truths. People have a right to know. Washington has no right to conceal them.
Secrecy, lawlessness, and contempt for humanity define US policy. Evidence vital to Manning's defense is prohibited. Information refuting charges of "aiding the enemy" is barred from trial proceedings.
Claiming it's not relevant or harmful to national security doesn't wash. Excluding it reflects police state justice.
On June 3, United States v. Bradley Manning court-martial proceedings began. Pre-trial, Obama pronounced him guilty by accusation. Doing so denies any possibility of judicial fairness. His word is final.
Walking into any “court” of late one might have a distinct impression that one has walked into a monarch's domain. The rule of law only applies at the discretion of the monarch. And that would be the judge sitting in that particular court.
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