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Catalans Choose Independence from Fascist Spain

October 4th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Sunday was a day to remember, a remarkable display of people power, overwhelmingly choosing independence from despotic Madrid governance by a resounding 90% majority - despite state-sponsored violence unleashed against them.

Catalonia’s government said “(o)ut of the 2,262,424 ballots that were not seized, 2,020,144 were YES votes, 176,566 were NO votes, 45,586 in blank and 20,129 null votes.”

Police attired like combat troops, imported from other parts of Spain, turned Barcelona and other areas into battlegrounds - a futile attempt to prevent Catalans from exercising their democratic right to vote, the UN Charter and other international law affirming their right of self-determination, the right of all people everywhere.

Nearly 900 people were injured, some seriously, the final tally perhaps higher. Police used rubber-coated steel bullets, brutal beatings with batons, and other forms of state-sponsored violence - viciousness on display for the whole world to see.

Full story »

Deplorable US Envoy to Israel

October 2nd, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Zionist zealot, unlimited settlement construction and annexation of Palestinian land supporter David Friedman is a longtime close Trump ally.

In an interview with the Hebrew language publication Walla, he disgracefully lied, claiming Israel only occupies 2% of West Bank land.

Israel occupies over two-thirds of the West Bank, controlling the Occupied Territories entirely. Areas off-limits to Palestinians include:

• settlements and regional councils;

• state land;

• closed military zones;

• nature reserves;

• national parks;

• area for Israel’s Separation Wall;

• free-firing zones;

• commercial locations;

• no-go areas;

• Jews-only roads;

• checkpoints;

• other barriers, along with exclusively Jewish areas.

Occupied Palestine reflects militarized colonization and discriminatory apartheid - worse than South Africa’s. Separate and unequal is official Israeli policy. Viciousness defines it.

Full story »

HHS Secretary Tom Price Sacked

October 2nd, 2017

Stephen Lendman

In response to Health and Human Services Secretary Price spending hundreds of thousands of dollars at taxpayers’ expense on at least 24 private charter plane flights, Trump expressed outrage, saying he’s “very very unhappy” about it.

Asked if he’d fire Price, he sternly said “we’ll see,” adding “I am not happy about it. I’m going to look at it. I’ll let him know it.”

On Friday, the hammer fell. Trump asked Price to resign, a polite way of sacking him, a White House statement saying HHS Secretary “Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted.”

In 2009 as a House member, he called a proposal to spend $550 million on government planes for federal officials and congressional members “fiscal irresponsibility” - except for his own luxury travel, as things turned out.

Full story »

Russia Effectively Smashing US-Supported Terrorists in Syria

October 2nd, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Russia’s military intervention in Syria at the request of its government began two years ago today - September 30.

It dramatically changed the dynamic on the ground, turning sure defeat into eventual triumph.

Thousands of square miles of Syrian territory were liberated from the scourge of US-supported terrorists, defeating Washington’s imperial aims, wanting regime change, the country transformed into another vassal state.

Tass reviewed Russian operations
over the past two years, saying “victory over terrorism is near.” Its efforts transformed armed opposition conflicting groups into “a common front in the struggle against terrorists.”What began two years ago today “is entering its final phase,” Russian air power enabling Syrian and allied forces to regain control over “85% of the country’s territory,” a remarkable turnaround from conditions before Moscow’s involvement.

Full story »

Trump’s Support for ISIS Angers Readers

October 1st, 2017

Eric Zuesse

A September 26th news-report at the most reliable news-site that specializes on the war in Syria, Almasdar News, headlined “Breaking video: ISIS fighter admits that ISIS is forbidden to attack Kurdish forces in Deir Ezzor”, and Andrew Illingworth reported from Lebanon, that, “A video has just been released on social media showing the interview of an ISIS fighter from Deir Ezzor [Syria’s oil-producing region] who admits that the terrorist group’s forces in the region are forbidden by their commanders from attacking US-backed, Kurdish-led militias.” The report ends: “Mohammed [the disenchanted ISIS jihadist] finishes the interview by saying that he knows for a fact that the US is attempting to establish an alliance between Kurdish forces and ISIS in Deir Ezzor province in order to undermine government-led military efforts to liberate the region.”

Reader-comments thus far have been furious, mostly against the U.S. Government, which now is under President Donald Trump, who had promised to end, instead of to continue, his predecessor, Barack Obama’s, war to overthrow and to replace Syria’s Government. Some of the reader-comments are instead against Israel, because Israel is the country that has for the longest time been publicly known to want to overthrow Syria’s Government. However, ever since 1949, the U.S. Government has been unsuccessfully trying to overthrow Syria’s Government but hiding the fact from the public. Other comments claim that the U.S. now is like the Soviet Union’s Government was: e.g., "USA doing today what Soviet Union used to sometimes do: establishing puppet governments and claiming they represent 'the people'. Oh, just by chance they all are pushing US (Israel) geopolitical interest.”

Full story »

Sunday’s Catalonia Independence Referendum

September 29th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s regime is going all-out to block it.

He governs like a tinpot despot, waging class war, enforcing police state repression, arresting Catalan officials, threatening others with criminal prosecution for supporting the autonomous region’s self-determination right, affirmed under the UN Charter and other international law.

He’s no democrat. A modern-day Francisco Franco defines his policies. Spaniards nationwide should revolt against his right-wing extremism.

Spain’s Gag Law enacted on his watch lets police be judge, jury and collector of spurious fines, including for photographing an illegally-parked police car.

Anti-austerity demonstrations are severely repressed, regime critics arrested. Heavy-handed police tactics continue terrorizing Catalan officials and referendum supporters.

Full story »

Economic Sanctions Against Russia Flop: The first comprehensive study of anti-Russia sanctions shows they hit EU much more than Russia.

September 29th, 2017

Eric Zuesse

Did U.S. President Barack Obama create the anti-Russia sanctions in order to weaken the EU in its competition against America? If so, the policy has been a huge success — it has enormously damaged the EU’s economy. But, if Russia was the actual target — as Obama claimed — then it’s been a total flop: It has produced $100 billion loss to the EU, thus far — almost twice as much as the $55 billion total hit to Russia, and the hit to Russia might be even less than that, maybe even zero, because the harms to Russia included the harms from the plunging oil-prices, which weren’t at all due to the sanctions. Furthermore, the sanctions strongly helped Russia’s economy, in ways that don’t yet show up in the economic data but that constitute long-delayed reforms whose pay-offs will start only during the years to come. Washington’s economic sanctions against Russia could thus end up producing a net plus for Russia, on a long-term basis.

The deal that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry culminated with King Saud on 11 September 2014 (after his having started those negotiations on 27 June 2014) to flood the market with oil to bring the oil price down and so harm Russia, which is a giant oil&gas-exporter, has hit Russia very hard, costing the Russian economy perhaps all of the $55 billion hit to Russia’s economy, measured thus far.

Full story »

Jimmy Carter Blasts US Domestic and Foreign Policies

September 28th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

As president, the Carter Doctrine pledged Middle East military intervention if US interests were threatened. His administration considered invading Iran and seizing its oil fields. He encouraged Saddam Hussein to attack Iran.

He supported Salvadoran and Nicaraguan fascists, Iran’s ruthless Shah until he fell out of favor, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, despotic South Korean leadership, Indonesia’s ruthless regime, CIA recruitment of mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan against Soviet Russia, including Osama bin Laden, and other disturbing policies tarnishing his presidency.

At the same time, his post-tenure is America’s best in modern memory, vastly different from the deplorable Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama, cashing in on their prominence, continuing to back horrors they pursued in office.

Not Carter! He’s an outspoken critic of Israeli apartheid, calls conditions in Gaza intolerable, a worsening humanitarian crisis.

He hoped his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” would “stimulate a debate, which has not existed in this country.”

“There’s never been any debate on this issue of any significance,” he explained - not in Israel or America.

Full story »

Trump Set to Ease Restrictions on Terror-Bombing by Drones

September 28th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

US terror-bombing by drones, warplanes and attack helicopters largely massacres civilians - on the phony pretext of combating ISIS and other jihadists America supports.

Obama’s drone war was lawless and despicable by any standard, picking up where Bush/Cheney left off, increasing the carnage they caused.

Rarely were so-called high-value targets hit, most often defenseless civilian men, women and children in harm’s way - massacred indiscriminately. Trump intends authorizing greater carnage in all US war theaters, supporting terrorists, not combating them, field commanders given greater latitude to attack targets at their discretion.

The CIA reportedly intends expanding its own drone warfare, unacknowledged covert operations.

Full story »

Netanyahu’s UN Demagoguery

September 28th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

He’s Trump’s alter ego, two despicable rogue actors, threatening world peace, belonging in prison, not high office.

Their deplorable UN General Assembly addresses made painful listening, remarks responsible leaders wouldn’t touch, disgraceful hate-filled demagoguery.

Netanyahu failed attempting to portray rogue state Israel as a responsible nation. The whole world knows otherwise, terrorizing Palestinians for decades, threatening neighboring states, at war with Syria without declaring it. As long as its ruthless policies continue, no one is safe regionally or anywhere else. Israel is nuclear armed and dangerous.

It maintains stockpiles of banned chemical and biological weapons. Its ICBM capability can strike nations far distant from its undeclared borders, kept that way to expand them.

Netanyahu’s claim about the world “embracing Israel” rang hollow. Over 30 nations have no diplomatic relations with its regime - Bolivia, Cuba, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, North Korea, Pakistan, Syria, Venezuela, and most Arab League ones among them.

Full story »

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