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Turkish Plane Reported Shot Down in Syrian Airspace

June 24th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

On June 22, Reuters headlined "Turkish jet downed by Syria air defenses: report," saying:

According to Lebanon's Al-Manar television, "Syrian air defenses shot down a Turkish military aircraft, quoting Syrian security sources."

Reportedly it was an F-4 Phantom fighter bomber. First introduced in 1960, McDonnell Aircraft produced it. It was used extensively during the Vietnam war. More advanced aircraft replaced it long ago.

A pilot and navigator were on board.

Turkey regularly patrols airspace close to Syria's border.

Full story »

Cold War Politics Redux

June 23rd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Following Soviet Russia's dissolution, everything changed but stayed the same. US aims remained hard-wired. Today it's back to the future.

Cold War politics were reinvented. Russia's again the Evil Empire. Today's stakes are much greater. World peace is threatened.

Preemptive aggression is official US policy. America's duopoly power wages permanent wars. Israeli Lobby and Christian Right extremists support them. The fuse is lit for trouble.

Beating up on Russia is relentless. Putin is fast emerging as public enemy number one. Intense propaganda vilifies him. His opposition to America's imperial agenda draws rebukes.

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American hypocrisy on Iran's nuclear program can't be clearer: Noah Gimbel

June 23rd, 2012

Kourosh Ziabari

It's been almost a decade that the United States, Israel and their European allies have been pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear program. Economic sanctions, threats of military strike, assassinations and cyber attacks were all the options which they have resorted to in order to ruin Iran's nuclear program. At the same time, Israel, which admittedly possesses up to 200 atomic warheads, has been unconditionally supported by the United States and Europe and every effort to investigate Israel's nuclear arsenal by the international organization has been stalled by Washington.

Simultaneously, the ever-increasing animosity between Iran and Israel has embittered the Iran-West relations more than before.

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CIA Arming Syrian Insurgents

June 23rd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

On June 21, The New York Times headlined "CIA Said to Aid in Steering Arms to Syrian Opposition," saying:

Operating covertly from southern Turkey, CIA operatives are "decid(ing) which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms to fight the Syrian government, according to American officials and Arab intelligence officers."

Weapons supplied include "automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition, (and) antitank weapons...."

They're smuggled across Turkey's border through "a shadowy network of intermediaries...."

They're also entering through Lebanon.

Muslim Brotherhood officials are involved. So are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, other Gulf States, Jordan and Israel.

Full story »

Ed Milliband And His Phony Populism

June 23rd, 2012

By Gilad Atzmon

In a desperate attempt to capture the imagination of patriots and nationalists, Labour leader Ed Miliband today promised new measures to prevent the British people being "locked out" of their own jobs by foreign workers. But what jobs is he talking about? Everyone knows there are no jobs. For forty years now, all British governments have gone out of their way to dismantle any manufacturing in this country and with devastating results - British industry and engineering belong to the past and the British governments have done little to change the situation.

Desperate to maintain his political relevance, Milliband distances himself from his predecessor, Gordon Brown’s, rhetoric. He (Brown) went on record saying: "I am not going to promise 'British jobs for British workers'”. Here, I must mention, that the reference to ‘British workers’, used so often by Labour politicians, is obviously and completely out of date. Our elected politicians care nothing for the ‘worker’. They are far more interested in transforming those who used to be workers, into consumers. In fact, all Western governments are there to regulate consumption and are therefore, openly and completely submissive to big monopolies and global interests. Accordingly the rest of us, immigrant or a native, have but one simple role in life: to buy, or more accurately, to spend money we don’t have.

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Western Hypocrisy on Iran's Nuclear Rights

June 23rd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

According to senior Iranian legislator Esmayeel Kosari:

Western nations recognize Iran's legitimate "nuclear rights, and they have no way out but to continue negotiati(ing)."

Nonetheless, multiple rounds achieved nothing. Moscow June 18 and 19 talks ended in failure. Washington and Israel are obstructionist. Britain, France and other Western states agree to policies harming their own interests.

They demand Iran relinquish rights enjoyed by dozens of other nations with commercial nuclear programs.

On June 19, The New York Times headlined "Setback in Talks on Iran's Nuclear Program in a 'Gulf of Mistrust,' " saying:

"Talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear program descended into mistrust and frustration in Moscow on Tuesday, casting doubt on whether the two sides can negotiate a way out of the escalating crisis."

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Hamas heartened by apparent Mursi victory

June 23rd, 2012

Khaled Amayreh in Ramallah

Palestinians and Israelis react to the possible victory of Islamists in Egypt's presidential race, with Fatah and Tel Aviv left worried.

Palestinian Islamists, who closely followed this week's Egyptian presidential elections run-off, reacted with deep satisfaction to the apparent victory of the Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Mursi over his secular opponent Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister under ex-president Hosni Mubarak.

Prior to the elections, Hamas leaders commented tersely and diplomatically on political developments in Egypt, saying they were standing at the same distance from all political players in the Egyptian arena. However, it was clear beneath such words what party and candidate Hamas and other Islamist groups were favouring.

Full story »

Occupy Is Not Dead, Occupy Continues to Work for Justice, United Nations Tells U.S. to Respect the Rights of Occupiers

June 22nd, 2012

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese

The U.S. media has been writing an obituary for Occupy, but in fact Occupy is active all over the country and is just being ignored by the corporate media. This weekly installment of Occupy news highlights families occupying schools in Oakland to prevent their closure, Occupiers across the country working to prevent evictions and foreclosures, Occupiers confronting Jamie Dimon about JPMorgan Chase's foreclosure policies and Occupy SEC asking Dimon some tough questions.

One big news story this week was the United States being called out by the international community for its inhumane behavior. Two United Nations envoys have asked the US to respect the rights of Occupy protesters and to protect them. In their four page letter to Secretary of State Clinton, they describe specific examples of abusive police behavior. The US, which often admonishes countries like Russia, China, Iran and Egypt for the way they treat protesters (while selling them tear gas and other weapons) has not responded. So far, rather than protecting our rights, federal officials secretly coordinated with law enforcement in the occupy crackdowns.

Full story »

Struggling on Empty Stomachs for Justice

June 22nd, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Rare Palestinian battles are won. Liberating struggles continue.

Hunger strikers Khader Adnan and Hana Shalabi were released. After 92 days without food, Israel agreed to free footballer Mahmoud Sarsak.

He'll leave prison on July 10. He's been held nearly three years uncharged and untried.

Doing so constitutes gulag justice.

In the presence of prison officials and his lawyer, he ceremonially broke his fast by eating a piece of chocolate.

Full story »

Election Fraud in Egypt

June 21st, 2012

By Michael Collins

One goal of Egypt's 2010 union inspired Tahrir Square protests was fulfilled during the December, 2011 parliamentary elections. Nearly 65% of the nation's fifty million eligible voters turned out to vote. Turnout for the June 16 and 17, 2012 presidential election dropped to an estimated 15%* according to local and press observers. What happened?

Three factors contributed to the exponential decline in voting. Egypt's courts took leading candidates off of the final presidential ballot. The disappeared candidates had the support of 68% of the electorate according to a major preelection poll in early May. Egyptian courts also disqualified one third of the recently elected parliament. Just a day before the election, military commander Mohamed Hussein Tantawi announced that the constitution had been annexed. This was a nice way of saying that the military was assuming most of the powers of the presidency, leaving the newly elected chief executive with little to do.

The entire foundation of the election vanished in plain sight. There was no point in voting. The preelection actions by the courts and military represented the most fundamental form of election fraud by making the elections meaningless.

Why vote?

Full story »

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