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The U.S. Aristocracy’s Smear-Russia Campaign: Big Brother at Work

December 2nd, 2017

Eric Zuesse

Billionaires, both liberal and conservative ones, own, and their corporations advertise in and their ‘charities’ donate to, America’s mainstream (and also many ‘alternative news’) media. They do this not so as to profit directly from the national ‘news’media (a money-losing business, in itself), but so as to control the ’news’ that the voting public (right and left) are exposed to and thus will accept as being “mainstream” and will reject all else as being “fringe” or even ‘fake news’, even if what’s actually fake is, in fact, the billionaires' own mainstream ’news’, such as their ’news'media had most famously ‘reported’ about ’Saddam’s WMD’ (but the’news’media never changed after that scandal — even after having pumped uncritically that blatant lie to the public).

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How Iran Came to Be Called ‘The Top State Sponsor of Terrorism’

November 28th, 2017

Eric Zuesse

While I happened to be researching another subject, a central question in the investigation came to be how Iran — which supplied none of the 9/11 terrorists and no financing to them and no organizing of them, and which hasn’t been connected with nearly as many terrorist incidents globally as Saudi Arabia has — came to be officially called by the U.S.the top state sponsor of terrorism.” The following is the portion of my resulting article that happens to concern this very question, and it’s modified slightly here, so as to focus only on this exact question:

The lie about this matter began, actually, with the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment complex in the Saudi city of Khobar, which killed 19 U.S. military, who worked at the Dharan air base three miles away.

Prior to that incident, I am not able to find any such reference as “Iran is the top state sponsor of terrorism” or “Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism” or anything like it.

This incident — the Khobar Towers bombing — became the lynchpin of the accusation by the Saudi royal family, the U.S. State Department, and the CIA, that Iran is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism. Both Robert Mueller and his longtime ally James Comey (the latter of whose firing as the FBI chief, by U.S. President Trump, had sparked the appointment of Mueller to become the Special Counsel investigating the U.S. President) had performed crucial roles in establishing that the Khobar Towers bombing was a Hezbollah operation run by the Iranian Government — and, starting upon this basis, in helping to develop the case that Iran “is the foremost state sponsor of terrorism.” However, as has been made clear by several great independent investigative journalists, on the basis of far more-solid documentation than the official account, the Khobar Towers bombing was instead entirely a fundamentalist-Sunni operation, specifically perpetrated by Al Qaeda, which hates Shia and which also hates America’s military presence in the Middle East. Osama bin Laden’s claim of the bombing's having been done by Al Qaeda, was, in fact, entirely honest and accurate.

America’s “Deep State,” which extends to Saudi Arabia and to a number of other Governments — it’s an international network — is deeply committed to supporting the fundamentalist-Sunni war to conquer and destroy Shia Islam, and not merely to conquer the leading Shia nation, which is Iran. The U.S. Government has intensely taken a side in the Sunni-Shia religious war. That war is comparable in some respects to the 30 Years’ War (1618-1648) between Catholics and Protestants, which killed an estimated eight million Europeans; and, both the United States and Israel have clearly joined with the fundamentalist-Sunni leaders, against Iran, and against Shia generally.

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Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman on Syria, Lebanon and Other Issues

November 28th, 2017

Stephen Lendman


Foreign Ministry
spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) believes the “presence of ISIS in Syria is coming to an end” - maybe so but the US-supported terrorist threat in the country remains, not ending as long as Washington wants war, not peace.

MZ stressed that US-led forces “provid(e) cover to the extremists, ISIS in particular.” Surprisingly, the BBC reported their evacuation from Raqqa under US-led “supervision.”

Russia’s Defense Ministry accused Washington of supporting ISIS and other terrorists while claiming to be combating them.

“(N)ot only (did US-led aerial operations refuse) to launch strikes on the terrorists, but also created obstacles for the Russian Aerospace Forces as they tried to attack the targets in the specified area,” MZ explained.

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Putin/Assad Meeting

November 28th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

On Monday, both leaders met in Sochi, Russia, not announced for 24 hours to assure Assad’s safe return to Damascus.

Knowledge of his travels outside Syria would risk his assassination, perhaps by a US air-to-air or ground-to-air missile, targeting his aircraft.

Washington ignores rule of law principles, pursuing its imperial agenda extrajudicially, including by assassinating independent foreign leaders. Post-WW II, the US tried to assassinate dozens of foreign leaders. Many attempts succeeded. Others failed, notably hundreds of failed attempts to kill Fidel Castro.

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Trump Disgracefully Declares North Korea a State Sponsor of Terrorism

November 28th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

America, NATO, Israel, Saudi Arabia and their rogue partners in high crimes are the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism - not Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Hamas, Yemeni Houthis or North Korea.

They support world peace and stability, their agendas polar opposite what America and its rogue allies pursue.

On Monday, Trump said “(w)e will be instituting a very critical step and that will start right now. Today, the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should have happened a long time ago. Should have happened years ago.”

US sanctions against the DPRK will be elevated to “the highest level.” North Korea was earlier designated a state sponsor of terrorism, rescinded by the State Department in 2008.

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US Enemy List: Prospects and Perspectives

November 28th, 2017

James Petras

Introduction

For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow. This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations: the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation.

The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay. We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial options.

Prioritizing US Adversaries

Imperial strategists consider military, economic and political criteria in identifying high priority adversaries.

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Massive Keystone 1 Pipeline Oil Spill

November 20th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

All pipelines spill, when transporting oil or gas, environmental damage to land, waterways and human health is inevitable.

On Thursday, Friends of the Earth issued the following statement, saying:

“Today, TransCanada’s Keystone 1 pipeline spilled more than 200,000 gallons of tar sands - the world’s dirtiest oil - in South Dakota. This spill will contaminate the environment and threaten local communities.”“This is a sign of what’s to come if Trump succeeds in forcing construction of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone XL would carry 830,000 barrels of the world’s dirtiest oil every day from Alberta, Canada to the US Gulf Coast.”

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Nikki Haley Rage

November 20th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Long ago, Washington had respectable UN ambassadors, including Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Adlai Stevenson, Arthur Goldberg, and Andrew Young.

Few Americans likely remember GHW Bush’s tenure in the post - from March 1, 1971 - January 18, 1973.

Earlier days are long gone, notably post-9/11 with neocons John Negroponte, John Bolton, Zalmay Khalilzad, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, and likeminded others serving as UN envoys.

Current incumbent Nikki Haley is the worst of the lot, an embarrassment to the office she holds, an over-the-top loose cannon, an imperial lunatic, a geopolitical know-nothing, a Russophobic extremist - representing America’s ugly face, its ruthless agenda, its imperial madness.


Addressing the Security Council on Friday
, she dispensed with diplomatic niceties and hard truths, devoting her remarks entirely to an anti-Russia tirade in response to its veto of Washington’s unacceptable resolution on extending the OPCW/UN Joint Investigation Mechanism (JIM).

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Special Counsel Investigation Into Clinton Foundation Shenanigans?

November 16th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

It’s high time it happened. The foundation is a notorious money-laundering, pay-to-play, self-enrichment racket for the Clintons, masquerading as a charitable NGO, RICO crimes if taken that far.

In a November 13 letter to House Judiciary Committee members, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he directed senior federal prosecutors to recommend whether appointing a special counsel is warranted to investigate alleged Uranium One “unlawful dealings related to the Clinton Foundation and other matters,” adding:

“These senior prosecutors will report directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

“This will better enable the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General to more effectively evaluate and manage the caseload.”

Sessions responded to House Judiciary Committee Republicans, holding an oversight hearing into the issue

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Trump Picks Drug Industry Bandit for HHS Secretary

November 16th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Trump’s choice for Health and Human Services director is corporate predator Alex Azar - former president of Lilly USA LLC, Eli Lilly’s largest affiliate company.

In 2012, he headed Lilly’s US operations, was also involved in its international and government affairs work.

Earlier he was GW Bush’s deputy HHS secretary. In 1991, he earned a law degree from Yale, clerked for an appeals court justice, then Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia from 1992 - 1993. During Ken Starr’s Whitewater investigation, he served in his Office of the Independent Counsel. He practiced law for Washington-based Wiley, Rein and Fielding until 2001, becoming a partner in the firm.

From 2001 - 2005, he was HHS general counsel - for two more years in the department as deputy HHS secretary in an administrative capacity - supervising operations for food and drugs, Medicare, Medicaid, medical research, public health, welfare, child and family services, disease prevention, Indian health, mental health services, emergency preparedness and response.

The FDA, Medicare and Medicaid Services, National Institutes of Health, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported to him.

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