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Internet Freedom Threatened

September 19th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Digital democracy is the last frontier of free and open expression, the only reliable independent space for real news, information and analysis - enabling anyone to freely express views on any topics.

Government censorship remains an ominous possibility. Last spring, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Tory Manifesto called for Britain becoming “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the Internet.”

She urged government control over what people write, post and share online, the end of UK digital democracy if enacted into law.

Britain’s Investigatory Powers Act requires Internet companies to maintain records on customers’ browsing histories, along with ministerial power to breach online privacy, including encrypted content – on the phony pretext of assuring no “safe space for terrorists to be able to communicate online.”

Her scheme isn’t about “protect(ing) the security of people and ensur(ing) the fairness of the rules by which people and businesses (must) abide.”

It’s a sinister plan to control online content, prohibiting what Tories want suppressed, government acting as gatekeeper.

Full story »

Lavrov/Tillerson Meeting at UN

September 19th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Both officials had numerous conversations in person and by phone accomplishing nothing.

US relations with Russia remain irreconcilably hostile, more dismal than any time post WW II. The geopolitical aims of both countries are polar opposite.

Russia pursues world peace, stability, multi-world polarity and mutual cooperation among all nations. Washington seeks unchallenged global dominance - aggressive wars and color revolutions its favored strategies. Possible confrontation between these powers is ominously real by accident or US design. The threat of nuclear war between them should terrify everyone.

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Monday Trump/Netanyahu Meeting

September 19th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

They’ll meet on the sidelines of the UN’s 72nd session in New York.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, he’ll propose America either renege on the Iran nuclear deal or revise it to serve Israeli interests, rendering worthless.

Either way, US noncompliance with its terms could sabotage it altogether, depending on how other P5+1 countries act.

In New York where he’ll address the UN General Assembly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blasted the notion of Washington reneging on its international responsibility, saying it would “mean trampling on a clear political obligation that a government has. This is nothing to be proud of,” adding:

“We will never initiate a violation of the international agreement, but if the other side wishes to assault the rights of the Iranian people, Iran will certainly give the due response.”

Whether Washington fulfills its obligation or not, the nuclear deal remains an important international dialogue triumph, he stressed.

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Shinzo Abe: Japan’s US Controlled Puppet Prime Minister

September 19th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Japan remains occupied US territory 72 years after WW II ended.

Around 50,000 US forces operate on dozens of military bases, about half on Okinawa, the country’s Puerto Rico, its poorest prefecture, dominated by America’s presence under conditions no responsible government would tolerate.

A US-Japan Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) stipulates terms under which American forces remain and operate.

The late Chalmers Johnson called SOFAs a modern-day version of 19th century China’s “extraterritoriality,” denying host countries jurisdiction over US military and civilian personnel.

America’s military presence usurps, distorts and subverts local authority, preventing host countries from enforcing their laws against crimes committed by US personnel, unacceptable noise, pollution, environmental contamination, and use of valued public land.

Japan is a US vassal state. Nonexistent North Korean and Chinese threats are used as pretexts for permitting America’s disruptive military presence.

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Is it really true that America’s richest 1% are ‘overwhelmingly Jewish’?

September 19th, 2017

Eric Zuesse

On September 8th, an article I wrote for Strategic Culture Foundation, “What America’s Aristocracy Want,” was republished at the Donbass (far-eastern formerly Ukrainian) website, “South Front”. The article blamed a lot on America’s billionaires and centi-millionaires, “the American aristocracy” (as I referred to it), who own controlling blocs of stock in America’s largest corporations, and whose political donations control the U.S. federal Government. It defined the powerful Americans whose agenda is harmful for the world, as consisting of the very few richest Americans (and their agents who run their international corporations, ‘nonprofits’, ‘news’media, and lobbying). But the most-heavily up-voted reader-comments there, were from people who clearly received a very different message from that article. They blamed ‘Jews’ — and all of them (not merely the super-rich ones). America’s billionaires who aren’t ‘Jews’ were set aside from blame, in their comments. The first (the most popular) reader-comment was “No, the reason they think they're superior isn't being Aryan (quite the opposite) or especially cunning or whatever. They think so because it's their religion – [the richest] american ‘1%' is overwhelmingly jewish.” The second-most-favored comment was “America is NOT ruled by an aristocracy. It is ruled by a plutocracy. To be more precise it is ruled by a Judeo-pluto-kleptocracy.” The third-most-favored comment was “A better title would be 'What America's Jews Want'.”

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Hostile US Actions Against RT and Sputnik News

September 18th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

The latest US hostile action against Russia requires a company providing services for RT America to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), along with an FBI probe of Sputnik News to check for FARA violations.

Enacted in 1938 one year before WW II began, it requires agents representing foreign powers politically or quasi-politically to disclose their relationship with other governments, along with information about their activities and finances. Originally administered by the State Department, FARA later came under Justice Department jurisdiction.

From 1938 until amended in 1966, enforcement focused on foreign propagandists, during WW II used in 23 criminal cases, the last time America had an enemy, none since then except invented ones to justify unjustifiable imperial wars.

Since 1966, FARA focused on foreign lobbying instead of propaganda. From then to now, no one was convicted of violating the law.

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Liberals Don’t Respect a Nation’s Sovereignty

September 18th, 2017

Eric Zuesse

When the United States and some of its allies in 2003 invaded and destroyed Iraq on false pretenses — and without Iraq having ever invaded (much less destroyed) any of the invading countries — this was actually within the scope of the invaders being liberal countries, because a nation’s sovereignty isn’t at all respected in traditional liberal thought. This also is the reason why some of the same nations invaded and destroyed Libya in 2011, and Syria since 2012. Neither of those two invaded countries had ever invaded — much less destroyed — any of their invaders; but, in all of these cases, such invasions were accepted by the populace within each of the invading countries, all of which invading countries considered themselves to be liberal nations. Why do liberals (and not only conservatives) so routinely accept barbaric aggressions by their own country? Here is the reason (and it needs to be read slowly and carefully, in order to become understood, because what follows is densely packed with meaning; the subject here is sufficiently deep to reach the core of things, like drilling through hard rock — it’s necessarily slow going):

A nation’s sovereignty means that the residents in a land possess the ultimate authority over that land, regardless of what its ‘owner’ might happen to be: a foreign king, an international corporation, or even a domestic person who is one of the people who live there. Consequently, whereas an authentic revolution by the residents within a country, to overthrow and replace their government — or else a vote to secede — is acceptable in the concept of national sovereignty (and is recognized as “the right of self-determination”), no foreign invasion is (and this includes any internal invasion to defeat a secession), unless the invasion is authentically a response to a real and present danger of, or else in direct response to, an invasion by the country (or region) that's being invaded. This is the concept of national sovereignty: the residents rule — no foreigner does. However, the concept of national sovereignty is fundamentally alien to liberals.

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North Korea Responds to Unacceptable Sanctions

September 17th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

The right of self-defense is sacrosanct. International law affirms it, including in the UN Charter.

North Korea is threatened by possible US aggression. Without powerful deterrent weapons, it’s defenseless, an unacceptable situation no responsible leadership would permit.

That’s why it continues developing its nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities - for defense, not offense. Pyongyang never preemptively attacked another country in its entire history. It threatens none now despite phony US accusations otherwise. Washington needs to claim the fiction of a North Korean threat to maintain its northeast Asia military presence. The DPRK is a convenient punching bag, China and Russia the real targets.

If North Korea didn’t exist, it would have to be invented. Creating nonexistent threats is how America justifies its menacing military presence worldwide - the US, NATO, Israel and their rogue allies the only legitimate threats to humanity.

On Friday, Pyongyang conducted its latest ballistic missile test, a clear response to new Security Council sanctions it rejects.

Full story »

Another Killer Cop Exonerated

September 17th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Wearing a badge in America provides a virtual license to kill with impunity. Incidents happen nationwide with disturbing regularity.

Driving, walking, shopping, and engaging in other entirely legal activities publicly or privately at home while Black is hazardous to their life and welfare.

Anthony Lamar Smith, aged 24, was one of many victims - in December 2011 lethally shot seven times at point-blank range in his car, murdered by former killer cop Jason Stockley after a three-minute high-speed chase.

While ongoing, Stockley was recorded saying: “Gonna kill this (expletive), don’t you know it.” After stopping Smith’s car, Stockley ordered him to open the door, according to witnesses and dashcam footage.

Before he had a chance to comply, Smith was murdered in cold blood. Cell phone video then showed Stockley planting a gun in his car taken from the police vehicle, a common stunt to justify cop killings, unjustifiably claiming self-defense.

Full story »

The Politics of Military Ascendancy

September 17th, 2017

James Petras

Introduction

Clearly the US has escalated the pivotal role of the military in the making of foreign and, by extension, domestic policy. The rise of ‘the Generals’ to strategic positions in the Trump regime is evident, deepening its role as a highly autonomous force determining US strategic policy agendas.

In this paper we will discuss the advantages that the military elite accumulate from the war agenda and the reasons why ‘the Generals’ have been able to impose their definition of international realities. We will discuss the military’s ascendancy over Trump’s civilian regime as a result of the relentless degradation of his presidency by his political opposition.

The Prelude to Militarization: Obama’s Multi-War Strategy and Its Aftermath

The central role of the military in deciding US foreign policy has its roots in the strategic decisions taken during the Obama-Clinton Presidency. Several policies were decisive in the rise of unprecedented military-political power.

Full story »

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