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Turkey's High Risk Game

October 12th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Turkey is Washington's lead anti-Syrian belligerent. It's playing with fire. It may end up burned. For good reason, Assad blames Ankara for heightened tensions and border confrontations.

On October 11, he told the Turkish daily Aydinlik he has "no difficulties with either Turkish people or its army, only with its government."

Syria was never hostile to Turkey, he added. Belligerent confrontations make relations tense. Ankara plays Washington's lead attack dog. Doing so heightens them further. On October 11, Hurriyet Daily News headlined "Gov't puts army into 'high state of readiness,' " saying: According to an unnamed "high-ranking official:"

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Holy Land Foundation Case Goes to Supreme Court

October 12th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Post-9/11, America declared war on Islam. Injustice triumphed. So did hate and fear. Innocent Muslims became fair game. Guilt by accusation became policy.

Many innocent men and women were bogusly charged with terrorism or conspiracy to commit it. They languish unjustly in gulag hell.

They became Washington's enemy of choice. All Muslims have reason to fear being in America at the wrong time.

Ignored is that Islam teaches love, not hate; peace, not violence; charity, not selfishness; and tolerance, not terrorism. Islam, Christianity and Judaism have common roots.

In today's hate-filled climate, you'd never know it. Praying to the wrong God became criminalized. Numerous injustice examples explain US ruthlessness. Among many egregious cases, the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) charity is notable.

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War or No War on Iran?

October 12th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

In Shakespearean terms, indeed that's the question. Longstanding regime change plans are known. Means to achieve them have been ongoing for years.

A previous article put it this way:

Red lines, timelines, deadlines, sanctions, sabotage, subversion, cyber attacks, assassinations, saber rattling, falsified IAEA hype, ad nauseam warmongering, Netanyahu/Barak bluster, spurious accusations, manipulated to fail P5+1 talks, and inflammatory headlines up the stakes for war.

Washington also uses color revolutions. Some work. Others don't. Iran's so-called "green" one was made in America.

After Iran's June 12, 2009 election, days of street protests and clashes with security forces followed. Washington stirred the pot and caused them. They replicated previous efforts elsewhere. Regime change is the common thread.

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Passengers report abuse as Turkey intercepts Syria jet

October 11th, 2012

Re-posted By Michael Collins, Creative Commons

Image: A Syrian passenger plane which was forced to land sits at Esenboga airport in Ankara October 10, 2012. Turkey scrambled fighter planes to force a Syrian passenger plane en route from Moscow to land in Ankara on Wednesday and banned Turkish civilian aircraft from flying in Syrian airspace, state-run TRT television said. REUTERS/Cem Oksuz/Anadolu Agency

(Beirut, Alakhbar, October 11) Passengers inside a Syrian plane intercepted by Turkish jets Thursday told Russia Today security forces forced the crew and passengers to sign papers suggesting the plane made an emergency landing and that no Turkish military were part of the incident.

“Four people onboard have been beaten up, two crew and two passengers, as they tried to force them to sign documents,” Sherin Azis, a flight attendant told RT by phone.

“If we do not agree to these terms, they will take the captain kind of hostage,” Fatima al-Salman, a passenger and mother of three told RT.

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Cooked or Accurate US Employment Numbers?

October 11th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

For over a decade, US job prospects have been dismal. Since crisis conditions erupted in 2008, they've been dire for millions wanting work.

Since Obama took office in January 2009, job creation has been pathetic. Numbers reported during the weakest US recovery on record largely failed to compensate for others lost.

Monthly Labor Department (BLS) data report inaccurately. America's broken jobs engine isn't explained. The latest 7.8% unemployment rate is blarney. Based on the 1980s calculation model, real unemployment approaches 23%.

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NATO Edges Closer to War on Syria

October 10th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Waging war is easy. Instigate provocative incidents. Blame them on targeted countries. False flags work as planned. So do Big Lies repeated enough times to get most people to believe them.

Stoking fear is a common thread. So is claiming good v. evil. Mix well with misinformation and duplicity. Sun Tzu was right saying wars depend on deception. It's been that way since antiquity. Modern technology makes it easier.

Churchill said lies get halfway around the world before truths get their pants on. Global communication today is instant. Sending hawkish information everywhere is as simple as ready, aim, fire.

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Venezuelan Electoral Postmortems

October 10th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Chavistas celebrated Sunday's victory. Bolivarianism triumphed over exploitive neoliberal harshness. In open, free, and fair elections, Venezuelans got to choose. It's constitutionally mandated. Every vote counts equally.

Americans don't have that right. On November 6, choice won't be the ballot. Column A matches Column B. Money power chooses candidates and winners. Some election! No wonder half the electorate ops out.

On October 7, Venezuelans turned out in record numbers. Over 80% of registered voters showed up. Turnout was so great, many waited hours to exercise their franchise. It's important because what they say matters. They wanted Chavez for another six years and got him. They want Bolivarianism sustained and deepened.

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Cynthia McKinney On Leadership

October 10th, 2012

by Paul Craig Roberts

Those who have followed the Republican campaign for the presidential nomination and current contest between Romney and Obama know that the United States has no political leadership in Washington.

Billions of dollars have been spent on political propaganda, but not a single important issue has been addressed. The closest the campaign has come to a political issue is which candidate can grovel the lowest at the feet of Israeli prime minister Netanyahu. Romney won that contest. But for the rest, well, it is like two elementary school children sticking their tongues out at one another.

The question of US political leadership has been on my mind for some time. I can remember when political leadership still existed and when bipartisan cooperation could be mustered on enough issues to keep the country and the government functioning.

But no more. It might have been Newt Gingrich who, as Speaker of the House, destroyed bipartisan cooperation by making war on the Democratic Party, warfare that Karl Rove has taken to a new height.

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Chavez Win Strengthens Bolivarianism

October 9th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Several previous articles said Venezuelans won't tolerate going back to their ugly past. On Sunday, they proved it. They voted in record numbers.

Long lines queued hours before dawn. Polls stayed open well into the night so everyone coming out could vote.

Turnout was nearly 81% of Venezuela's 19,119,809 registered voters. US elections usually get around 50%. Off-year congressional races average under 40%.

From 1960 - 2010, the highest percentage participation was 63.1%. It was in 1960 when Kennedy defeated Nixon. The lowest turnout was 49.1% in 1996 when Clinton bested Bob Dole.

In the off-year 2010 congressional election, a meager 37.8% participated. America's electoral process lacks credibility. Duopoly power permits no choice. Big Money always wins.

Venezuelans get the real thing. Their electoral process is the best in the world. It's independently judged open, free and fair. Every vote counts. They're tabulated fully and honestly.

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Worrisome Middle East Developments

October 9th, 2012

by Stephen Lendman

Days of Syrian/Turkish border incidents threaten further escalation into something more serious. Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants fired mortar rounds on Turkish territory from Syrian locations they control.

Assad was wrongfully blamed for their provocation. Syria has been very circumspect. It wants tensions cooled. Turkey's Erdogan made hostile threats. Events bear watching.

On Sunday, Israel launched air strikes on Gaza. It wasn't the first time, and won't be the last. One death was reported. Around 10 Palestinians were wounded. Injuries affecting two victims are serious.

In response, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired rockets into southern Israel. No casualties were reported. Israel retaliated in force. Its provocation started things. It wrongfully blamed Palestinians. It bears full responsibility for its crimes.

Full story »

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