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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 North Korea was earlier designated a state sponsor of terrorism, rescinded by the State Department in 2008.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


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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Military Coup in Zimbabwe

November 16th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Robert Mugabe ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, heading the nation’s ZANU-PF party, earlier as prime minister, for the last 30 years as president. He’s now aged-93 in poor health.

On Wednesday, Zimbabwe’s military took control of the country’s state-run ZBC television.

Addressing the nation, spokesman General SB Moyo said criminals “committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country” were targeted “in order to bring them to justice,” adding:

The military is seeking to “pacify a degenerating, social, and economic situation.” He ludicrously denied a coup occurred, saying “Mugabe and his family are safe and sound and their safety is guaranteed.”

On November 14, ZANU-PF accused the army chief of “treasonable conduct” after he challenged Mugabe’s sacking of Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa for disloyalty, a former intelligence chief, seen as his successor.

Ruling party members believe a “bloodless transition” of power is underway, Mubabe heavily guarded under house arrest, preparing to announce his resignation.

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China and the US: Comparing Leadership Selection

November 15th, 2017

James Petras

The US selection of leaders has virtually nothing to do with democratic processes and outcomes. It is useful to contrast this with the process in China. In most instances, China’s selection of leaders is far more meritocratic, successful and performance-based. In both the US and China, the process lacks transparency.

US Economic, Political and Cultural Leadership

The selection of US economic, political and cultural leaders is based on several undemocratic procedures.

1. Inheritance via family ties

2. Personal access to credit and financing

3. Political patronage

4. Lobby and elite sale and purchase of office and favors

5. Media links

6. Political repression and manipulation of electoral procedures

7. Incumbency and use of state resources

8. Ethno-religious nepotism

9. Internal party hierarchy

10. Closed party decisions (opacity)

11. Ability to keep secrets

Leaders, whether appointed, self-appointed and selected through money, media, elite networks, turn the electoral process into virtual afterthoughts in the US system. US economic leaders have increased the flow from productive profits and investments upward to the financial sector and/or outwardly overseas to tax havens.

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Theresa May’s Anti-Russia Rant

November 15th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Addressing a Monday lord mayor’s banquet, May shamefully bashed Russia viciously, falsely accusing the Kremlin of “weaponiz(ing) information,” saying it’s “threatening the international order on which we all depend.”

She provided no evidence backing her claims because there is none, adding:

“I have a very simple message for Russia. We know what you are doing. And you will not succeed.”

“Because you underestimate the resilience of our democracies (sic), the enduring attraction of free and open societies, and the commitment of western nations to the alliances that bind us.”

“The UK will do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise.”

What’s going on? Britain partners with Washington’s imperial agenda. It’s allied with its wars of aggression and anti-Russia propaganda.

May is in trouble politically, her tenure as prime minister faltering. Reportedly, 40 Tory MPs prepared a letter of no confidence in her leadership, calling for her to step down - eight short of the number needed to trigger a contest to replace her.

Full story »

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