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The Long Ordeal of One of Bahrain’s Leading Human Rights Activists

August 10th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Nabeel Rajab is president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR).

For years, he’s been hounded, harassed, persecuted, beaten, and imprisoned for supporting fundamental human and civil right in a nation denying them to its citizens, the Al Khalifa monarchy ruling despotically, justice entirely absent.

He’s facing trial, automatic conviction, sentencing and likely imprisonment again for his heroic activism, not for any criminal activity he abhors.

He’s accused of publicly expressing views via Twitter considered harmful to regime interests. On August 8, a Bahraini kangaroo court postponed action on his case until September 11.

Full story »

Democracy: What America Fears Most

August 10th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Throughout its history, America has been run by the people who own it - its privileged class for its own self-interest.

The nation’s first Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay explained US governance works this way. John Adams called America’s ruling class its “rich, well-born and able.”

Today, one party rule with two right wings runs things, each taking turns in charge, in lockstep on issues mattering most - notably supporting imperial wars, corporate empowerment, police state harshness against nonbelievers, and eliminating all sovereign independent states by color revolutions or naked aggression.

In Latin America, Venezuela is in the eye of the storm, US-waged economic and political war, along with months of street violence aiming for regime change - maybe by force if current methods fail, including imposition of sanctions, often prelude to something more sinister.

Its Bolivarian social democracy represents an unacceptable threat of a good example, perhaps to spread.

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Polls: U.S. Is 'the Greatest Threat to Peace in the World Today'

August 10th, 2017

Eric Zuesse

It has happened again: yet another international poll finds that the U.S. is viewed by peoples around the world to be the biggest threat to world peace.

But, to start, let’s summarize the first-ever poll that had been done on this, back in 2013, which was the only prior poll on this entire issue, and it was the best-performed such poll: "An end-of-the-year WIN/Gallup International survey found that people in 65 countries believe the United States is the greatest threat to world peace”, as the N.Y. Post reported on 5 January 2014.

On 30 December 2013, the BBC had reported of that poll: "This year, first [meaning here, ‘for’] the first time, Win/Gallup agreed to include three questions submitted by listeners to [BBC’s] Radio 4's Today programme.” And, one of those three listener-asked questions was phrased there by the BBC, as having been “Which country is the biggest threat to peace?” The way that WIN/Gallup International itself had actually asked this open-ended question, to 67,806 respondents from 65 countries, was: “Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?” #1, 24% of respondents, worldwide, volunteered that the U.S. was “the greatest threat.” #2 (the second-most-frequently volunteered ‘greatest threat’) was Pakistan, volunteered by 8%. #3 was China, with 6%. #s 4-7 were a four-way tie, at 5% each, for: Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, and North Korea. #s 8-10 were a three-way tie, at 4% each, for: India, Iraq, and Japan. #11 was Syria, with 3%. #12 was Russia, with 2%. #s 13-20 were a seven-way tie, at 1% each, for: Australia, Germany, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Korea, and UK.

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Israel’s War on Al Jazeera

August 9th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Owned and operated by the Qatari government, it functions much like Western media, featuring content the Al Thani monarchy wants aired.

It’s sympathy toward Palestinian suffering is why Israel wants it shut down. Earlier it considered declaring the news agency a hostile entity. Instead, it restricted its activities in the country.

It no longer renews visas for its staff or issues new ones. Its journalists are denied access to government briefings, limited access alone to political and military officials - only to spokespersons of the prime minister, foreign ministry and IDF. In August 2011, Al Jazeera (AJ) journalist Samer Allawi was arrested and detained for making contact with Hamas’ military wing.

Jerusalem is its headquarters in Israel, perhaps not much longer. According to Israeli communications director Ayoub Kara, “professional discussions” were initiated to draft legislation, shutting down the network.

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72nd Anniversary of Hiroshima’s Gratuitous Mass Murder

August 9th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

War in the Pacific was won months before Franklin Roosevelt’s April 12, 1945 death.

He declined to accept the Japanese offer of surrender. So did Harry Truman when he became president.

War continued for months unnecessarily, countless more casualties inflicted, mainly Japanese civilians - notably from fire-bombing Toyko in March 1945, an estimated 100,000 perishing in the firestorm, many more injured, over a million left homeless.

Around the same time, five dozen other Japanese cities were fire-bombed. Most structures in the country were wooden and easily consumed.

The attacks amounting to war crimes achieved no strategic advantage. In early 1945, Japan offered to surrender. In February, Douglas McArthur sent Roosevelt a 40-page summary of its terms. They were nearly unconditional. The Japanese would accept an occupation, would cease hostilities, surrender its arms, remove all troops from occupied territories, submit to criminal war trials, and allow its industries to be regulated. In return, they asked only that their emperor be retained in an honorable capacity.

Roosevelt spurned the offer as did Truman. Hiroshima and Nagasaki followed on August 6 and 9 respectively.

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Why China and Russia Agreed to Tough New Sanctions on North Korea

August 9th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

On Saturday, Security Council members imposed sanctions on North Korea for the seventh time since its first 2006 nuclear test.

New ones aim to deprive Pyongyang of around one-third of its export revenues, cutting them by about $1 billion.

They ban DPRK exports of coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood. They prohibit all new joint ventures, ban new investments in current ones, and prohibit sending more workers abroad for jobs. They tighten restrictions on technology to prevent Pyongyang from acquiring military related items. North Korean vessels caught violating SC resolutions will be banned from entering foreign ports.

Imposing sanctions is one thing, enforcing them another. North Korea is adept at exploiting loopholes in restrictions and minimizing them other ways.

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US and China World’s Apart on North Korea

August 9th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Following tough new Security Council sanctions on Pyongyang, China urged diplomatic outreach to resolve contentious Korean peninsula issues.

It called for mutual respect over Washington’s attempt to impose its will unilaterally. Without responsibly addressing the DPRK’s legitimate security concerns, resolving things will remain unattainable.

On the sidelines of the Asean ministerial meetings in Manila, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on Washington, Pyongyang and Seoul to exercise restraint, working cooperatively together to resolve divisive issues.

Full story »

US Forces in Yemen

August 8th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

US special forces have been operating illegally in Yemen at least since spring 2016.

Along with Saudi terror-bombing and blockade, they’re supporting Al Qaeda terrorists, not combating them.

The campaign against Houthi rebels aims to restore puppet president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power - no matter the human cost.

Throughout his tenure, Obama waged drone war on Yemen, continuing what Bush/Cheney began - indiscriminately massacring defenseless victims, mostly civilians, Trump continuing what his predecessors began.

Humanitarian crisis conditions in Yemen are the gravest anywhere since WW II, the lives and welfare of millions endangered by malnutrition, famine, diseases, and US-orchestrated aggression - Saudi terror-bombing doing most of the dirty work.

Full story »

How Mainstream U.S. ‘News’ Media Pump their Government’s Lies to Deceive the Public

August 8th, 2017

Eric Zuesse

Now that finally the U.S. government has officially terminated its arming and training of the jihadist gangs that are fighting to overthrow and replace Syria’s government, the neoconservative mainstream U.S. ‘news’ media are disagreeing with each other over how to communicate this fact to the American people without contradicting, or otherwise violating, the false ‘history’ they’ve all been presenting and preserving, throughout the past five years, which has described the U.S. government as being opposed to the jihadists in Syria, instead of as the U.S. government’s arming and training jihadists to overthrow and replace Syria’s government. That’s a pretty blatant ‘historical’ lie, which they’ve all been maintaining, now, for five years; and, they’re at loggerheads over whether or how they’ll deal with it, now that the program (whose very existence they’ve helped the government to hide from the public) has been so publicly and suddenly ordered to end.

Full story »

Sunday Coup Attempt in Venezuela?

August 8th, 2017

Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org (Home - Stephen Lendman)

Washington bears full responsibility for political and economic war on the country, along with months of street violence - wanting fascist tyranny replacing Bolivarian social democracy.

On Sunday, Venezuela’s military thwarted a terrorist attack on Fort Paramacay in Carbobo state, according to President Nicolas Maduro, saying:

“I cannot describe it in any other way. It is a terrorist attack against the Bolivarian National Armed Forces and the Armed Forces has reacted in a united way, with morality, with decisiveness.”

The incident occurred two days after the Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly was inaugurated - tasked with revising or rewriting the country’s constitution. It’s primary aims are to restore order and preserve Bolivarian social democracy.

Full story »

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