Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump Declares War on Regulations and Offshoring Jobs

Trump Declares War on Regulations and Offshoring Jobs

by Stephen Lendman

On his first Monday in office, Trump hit the ground running, convening an advisory panel on manufacturing led by Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris.

Other business leaders from Dell, Whirlpool, Ford, Johnson and Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Arconic, US Steel, Telsa Motors, Under Armour Inc, International Paper and Corning were present.

Trump promised regulatory reductions of 75% or more, significant corporate tax cuts, and a “very major” border tax on products imported by US companies made abroad, saying:

“If you go to another country and you decide that you are going to close (a US factory) and get rid of 2,000 people or 5,000 people, we are going to be imposing a very major border tax on the product when it comes in, which I think is fair.”

“Buy American and hire American” is what his America first policy is all about.

He told business leaders if they plan new domestic plant construction or expansions, they’ll get “approvals really fast.” 

He signed executive orders withdrawing from job-killing, anti-consumer TPP and on renegotiating NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, ahead of planned afternoon meetings with labor leaders and workers.

His Friday inaugural address highlighted “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation. (America) “made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has disappeared over the horizon,” he said, vowing to turn things around.

In earlier campaign addresses to the Detroit and New York Economic Clubs, he outlined the following regulatory steps he’d take if elected:

  • ask all department heads to submit lists of regulations impeding jobs creation for elimination, providing public safety isn’t compromised.

  • revamp the entire regulatory code to keep jobs and wealth at home.

  • end regulations destroying jobs in US communities and inner cities. “We will stop punishing Americans for working and doing business in the United States,” he said.

  • temporarily halt new agency regulations not urged by Congress or needed for public safety - to incentivize US companies to invest domestically and create jobs. “We will no longer regulate our companies and our jobs out of existence,” he said.

  • immediately cancel all “illegal and overreaching executive orders.”

  • eliminate “our most intrusive regulations…”

  • reduce “the size of our already bloated government after a thorough agency review.”

His immediate priority is getting Senate confirmation for his agency heads and other officials. Democrats slowed the process instead of letting it move ahead smoothly.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

The Battle for Deir Ezzor, Syria

The Battle for Deir Ezzor, Syria

by Stephen Lendman

With peace talks underway in Astana, Kazakhstan, excluding UN-designated terrorists groups, the battle for Deir Ezzor rages.

Government and allied ground forces, greatly aided by Russian air power, are battling to defeat thousands of heavily foreign-armed ISIS terrorists - mostly fighters the Obama administration helped relocate from Mosul, Iraq to Syria.

The province in eastern Syria, Deir Ezzor city centrally located, borders Iraq, movement back and forth relatively unimpeded.

Two days after an earlier strike, Tass reported Russian long-range strategic bombers “delivered a massive strike against control posts, ammunition and arms depots of militants of the Islamic State terrorist organization” in areas around Deir Ezzor city.

All designated targets were destroyed. Sukhoi Sy-30SM and Su-35S fighter aircraft were involved with Russia’s strategic bombers on the mission. All aircraft returned safely after completing it, according to Russia’s Defense Ministry.

Russia’s General Staff Main Operations chief General Sergei Rudskoi said government forces are outnumbered by heavily armed ISIS fighters. He fears mass slaughter of civilians if they seize control of Deir Ezzor city.

The battle began in mid-January. It’ll likely continue for some time. Russia’s aim is to degrade the ability of ISIS terrorists to fight by destroying their weapons, ammunition dumps, supply depots, along with their ability replenish their ranks and rearm, the same strategy used to liberate Aleppo.

According to South Front, over the weekend, Syrian forces “retook the strategic Harabesh Mountain in the city of Deir Ezzor, besieging ISIS units in the workers housing area and in Jiraya which allow controlling the road to the Deir Ezzor Airport.” 

“If the army seizes control over Jabal (mountain) al-Amal, it will have a fire control over the whole supply line. This could become a turning point in repelling the ongoing ISIS offensive operation inside the city.”

“Separately, the army repelled an ISIS attack on the Panorama Roundabout, inflicting major casualties to the terrorist group. Abu Yousef, a top member of ISIS, was reportedly killed during the clashes. The total number of ISIS casualties during the operation in Deir Ezzor is over 600 killed and wounded.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump v. America's Media Deplorables

Trump v. America’s Media Deplorables

by Stephen Lendman

America’s media declared war on Trump straightaway after his mid-June 2015 announced White House candidacy - a glaring example of outrageous irresponsibility - advocacy, not credible journalism.

Anti-Trumpism raged throughout the campaign season, continued after his electoral triumph, and remains relentless even though he’s only been POTUS for a few days.

During an impromptu Saturday news conference, Trump press secretary blasted the White House press corp justifiably, accusing some of its members of deliberately lying.

“There’s been a lot of talk in the media about holding President Trump accountable. Well, I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways,” Spicer explained.

“We’re going to hold the press accountable as well. The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger of this incredible movement, he will take this message directly to the American people where his focus will always be.” 

That’s the way it should be when fake news substitutes for the real thing, when orchestrated character assassination rages instead of fair and balanced reporting

Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Counselor to the President/senior Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway minced no words saying “I think that we're going to have to rethink our relationship here.” 

“I want to have a great open relationship with our press. But look what happened the day before talking about falsehoods. We allowed the press…to come into the Oval Office and witness President Trump signing executive orders.” 

“And what happens almost immediately? A falsehood is told about removing the bust of Martin Luther King Junior from the Oval Office. No, that’s just flat out false.”

The fake news story was widely reported, one of numerous daily examples of irresponsible Trump bashing. Conway blasted unreported deplorable governance under Obama, saying:

“(D)o do you think it's a fact or not that millions of people have lost their plans or health insurance and their doctors under President Obama?” 

“Do you think it's a fact that everything we heard from these women yesterday happened on the watch of President Obama? He was president for eight years. Donald Trump's been here for about eight hours.”

“Do you think it's a fact that millions of women, 16.1 million women, as I stand here before you today, are in poverty along with their kids? Do you think it's a fact that millions don't have health care?” 

“Do you think it's a fact that we spent billions of dollars on education in the last eight years only to have millions of kids still stuck in schools that fail them every single day? These are the facts that I want the press corps to cover.”

She stopped short of blasting Obama’s imperial wars in multiple theaters, bombing seven countries in eight years, raping and destroying them, along with governance for America’s privileged exclusively, most others exploited and abused.

She blasted NBC News and other media scoundrels for disgraceful misreporting on Trump, before and after his election - “mock(ing) (him) daily…”

Trump had over 1,000 requests from CIA personnel to attend his Saturday Langley address. There was only space for several hundred. After concluding his remarks, he got an astonishing 5-minute standing ovation.

Media interviews with US officials are usually love affairs, hosts failing to hold guests accountable for complicity in high crimes - geopolitically and domestically.

Conway’s interview at NBC’s Meet the Press was refreshingly raucous, blasting America’s media for irresponsible reporting.

It’s high time it was held accountable by top officials in or out of government, especially by the President of the United States and his top advisors.

Expect open warfare to continue - Trump via Twitter alone reaching millions, able to hit back hard against fake news masquerading as journalism.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

White House Chief of Staff Blasts Dishonest Media

White House Chief of Staff Blasts Dishonest Media

by Stephen Lendman

Media scoundrels are at war with Trump. As POTUS, he has a bully pulpit to fire back. He’s not shy about using it, nor administration officials.

A separate article discussed his press secretary Sean Spicer and senior advisor Kellyanne Conway blasting media misinformation.

On Fox News Sunday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus had his turn, criticizing media dishonesty, among other issues discussed, saying:

“(T)he media, from day one, (have) been talking about delegitimizing the election, talking about the Russians, talking about everything you can imagine, except the fact that we need to move this country forward.”

“Now, we get done with the inauguration. First thing out of the media is that president Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. out of the Oval Office.” 

“This is an explosive accusation which could have had incredible ramifications, given the history of the press and on this subject matter.”

“It turns out, it’s completely false.  I walked back into the Oval Office, saw the MLK bust to there, and what did the media say? The media said, oh, our bad, someone was standing in front of the bust. We didn't see it.”  

“Can you imagine tweeting that President Trump removed the MLK bust? So, that’s the first day. Day one. Not even day - I mean, day like hour three.”  

“Then, the next day, they put a picture, big story, before the speech actually began, showing all of this white space. It wasn't true.”

The point isn’t crowd size, said Priebus. It’s dishonest media, attacking Trump relentlessly - whatever he does or doesn’t do, making stuff up, at other times grossly distorting facts, anything to denigrate him instead of sticking to factual reporting.

Based on what he does as president, he’s fair game for criticism when deserved. Consistent media bashing is disgraceful.

It’s virtually certain to continue ahead, part of a plot to delegitimize him, perhaps setting him up for impeachment or assassination.

Priebus: “(W)e’re not going to sit around and take it…(T)here’s an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president…We’re going to fight back tooth and nail every day, and twice on Sunday.”

The battle lines are drawn, the power of the US presidency and his key aides v. deplorable media scoundrels - a campaign I wage regularly, The New York Times my favorite target because of its influence and global reach.

The self-styled newspaper of record is a national disgrace - fake news its specialty. The same goes for the rest of America’s major media establishment.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Hacked NYT Tweet Warns of Russian Attack on America

Hacked NYT Tweet Warns of Russian Attack on America

by Stephen Lendman

Various media reports, including by RT, reported the hacked Times Video Twitter account tweeting: “BREAKING: leaked statement from Vladimir Putin says: Russia will attack the United States with Missiles.”

Sunday morning, a series of related tweets, including the above one, were removed, replaced with a hacker group OurMine statement, claiming it co-opted The Times’ Twitter page, saying the above tweet was posted by a different hacker.

The Times is militantly anti-Russia, anti-Putin, publishing fake news about nonexistent “Russian aggression” and other disgraceful misinformation about its government and leadership.

Yet it’s hard imagining it would be part of a stunt even the administration, Pentagon and US intelligence community would deny.

Around mid-Sunday morning, The Times tweeted “(w)e deleted a series of tweets published from this account earlier today without our authorization. We are investigating the situation” - without further elaboration.

Obama, virtually the entire 113th Congress and new 114th one, as well as US media scoundrels are recklessly anti-Russia.

The fake Times tweet symbolizes its dismal domestic and geopolitical misreporting on issues mattering most - notably its irresponsible press agent journalism for powerful interests, maliciousness toward Trump, and reckless Russia bashing.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump Pledges to Address Nonexistent Iranian Threats

Trump Pledges to Address Nonexistent Iranian Threats

by Stephen Lendman

Trump has a worrisome blind spot on Iran, a nation threatening no one, Israel’s main rival for regional supremacy, wanting regime change, pro-Western governance replacing its sovereign independence.

Candidate Trump called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (Iran nuclear deal) disastrous, urged its revocation - even though it’s an important international agreement, taking years to complete and implement.

What he’ll do as president remains unknown. Campaign rhetoric is one thing, policymaking another.

In his first post-inaugural conversation with Netanyahu, Sunday evening by phone Israeli time, he pledged to address nonexistent “threats posed by Iran,” along with offering unwavering US support for Israeli security, and efforts to resolve decades of conflict with the Palestinians.

He invited Netanyahu to the White House in early February. Nothing was said about moving Washington’s embassy to Jerusalem. 

Ahead of his conversation with Netanyahu, his press secretary said the administration was “at the beginning stages of even discussing” this explosive issue - sure to rile the Arab world and put conflict resolution more out of reach than already if undertaken.

According to a White House statement, Trump and Netanyahu discussed ways to “advance and strengthen the US-Israel special relationship,” along with enhancing regional security and stability.

Trump stressed “the importance the United States places on our close military, intelligence and security cooperation with Israel, which reflects the deep and abiding partnership between our countries.”

He prioritized waging war on ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups, while claiming Israeli/Palestinian peace “can only be negotiated directly between the two parties, and that the United States will work closely with Israel to make progress towards that goal.” 

Following through as stated assures no possibility of conflict resolution. Israel doesn’t negotiate. It demands. It considers a Palestinian Versailles alone acceptable - a prescription for endless conflict.

Trump’s one-sided support for Israel, a rogue terror state, assures continued pain, persecution and misery ahead for long-suffering Palestinians.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Manipulated Anti-Trump Protests

Manipulated Anti-Trump Protests

by Stephen Lendman

Americans need shoving to take to the streets and protest for or against anything or anyone. It doesn’t happen spontaneously.

With few exceptions at most, various groups from activists to anarchists aren’t behind anti-Trump protests. Nor were women turning out in large numbers nationwide and abroad.

Dark forces in Washington, corporate boardrooms and other centers of power manipulated Americans to turn out in large numbers, before, during and after Trump’s inauguration - part of a plot to delegitimize and undermine him.

It began to prevent his nomination, later based on the phony pretext of Russian US election hacking, along with sure-thing Hillary’s convincing loss and political demise.

Anyone knowing anything about her high crimes and evil intent should be dancing in the streets - not engaged in anti-Trump protests, in some cases smashing windows, committing other forms of vandalism and making damn fools of themselves for the wrong reasons.

Unknown numbers were paid to protest, international con man George Soros involved, along with other pro-Hillary political and corporate interests like him, notably Wall Street and war-profiteers. 

Wouldn’t suspicious money spread around to enlist protesters alert any sensible person to know something rotten is going on, wanting no part of being used.

Sadly not given how easily ill-and-misinformed Americans are easy marks to manipulate - no matter how many times they were fooled before.

Is WMD lying so quickly forgotten, and numerous other dirty tricks like it going back endlessly in time, all with the same common denominator - deep state deception, manipulating public opinion to go along with what demands denunciation.

Countless thousands of women turning out across America thinking Hillary represents them, not Trump, likely think fantasy democracy in America is real, a model for other countries to emulate - astonishing given so much evidence disproving them.

Interviewed by BBC, William and Mary College Assistant Professor of Government Debra Shushan said “Americans are very proud of our democracy.” She should have been asked what country she really meant because America is a plutocracy, not a democracy, never was from inception. 

As an academic at an esteemed university, she should know that. She’s no dummy - a Harvard summa cum laude graduate, a Phi Beta Kappa member, a Yale PhD, impressive credentials, and yet she protested for the wrong reasons based on her BBC comments.

She railed about “creeping tyranny and authoritarian tendencies that are being shown by the new (US) administration.”

The BBC interviewer said nothing about Trump being in office around a scant 24 hours with no record on which to judge him when she denigrated him unfairly, based only on what she thinks he’ll do, nothing he’s done except sign an executive order on day one in office.

If she doesn’t understand what’s going on, a woman of high intellect, how could far less educated individuals than she know they’re being had.

America became tyrannical, authoritarian, neoliberal and neocon since the Clinton co-presidency, hardened under Bush/Cheney, worst of all under Obama.

Based on his rhetoric alone, Trump showed signs of stepping back from the brink geopolitically, a major change in US foreign policy if his actions back what he said - something to support and cheer about, not denounce and rail against in the streets.

For the most part, we don’t know what’s coming under his stewardship. Once his policies become known, he’ll prove himself for good or ill, but not until then.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. 

Assad on Astana Peace Talks

Assad on Astana Peace Talks

by Stephen Lendman

Discussed in a same day article, talks are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, longer if necessary.

Because of US obstructionism under Obama, multiple rounds of earlier talks failed, despite Russia’s good faith efforts for cessation of hostilities and conflict resolution.

Will this time be different? It’s hard being optimistic after years of failure. Maybe Trump succeeding Obama will bring positive change for Syria. Millions of its people and anti-war activists worldwide hope so.

Interviewed on Japan’s TBS TV channel, Assad said “(w)e don’t have expectations. Let’s say we have hopes from Astana…”

Government and terrorist groups (excluding ISIS and al-Nusra) will meet face-to-face for the first time - aiming for “ceasefire and to allow (these) groups to join the reconciliation in Syria, which means giving up (their) armaments and (receiving) amnesty” in return.

Any political discussion must conform to Syria’s constitution, Assad stressed. There’s nothing in it about transitional government. Different political parties representing different interests are permitted.

Assad can only judge Trump by his rhetoric so far. His policy on Syria is unknown until formulated. He said he intends to fight ISIS.

What about other terrorist groups in Syria? “(W)e expect, and we hope, (he’ll) be genuine in implementing (his) rhetoric regarding terrorism and help not only Syria, because terrorism today is not a Syrian problem. It’s a Middle Eastern and global problem.”

Under Obama, America aided ISIS and other terrorist groups, Assad made clear. So did Turkey and other US allies. Russia and Syria were wrongfully blamed for crimes they and their terrorist foot soldiers committed.

Assad: “We did our utmost not to have (civilian) casualties, but those who’ve been out crying for the civilians, did they present any shred of evidence about Syria killing civilians, or Russia?” 

“The other question: how can a government morally kill its own people? And if we kill our own people, the civilians, how can we withstand six years, as a government or as army or as President? This is not logical, this is not realistic. We are here because we have the public support.”

Asked if he’d consider resigning as a step toward reconciliation, he stressed “(t)he president’s departure or staying in office can only be decided through the ballot boxes,” not by elements outside the country.

Rebuilding in liberated areas began, Assad explained. It’ll take time, lots of money and help from valued allies.

He’s most concerned about ending the war and “rebuild(ing) the minds of the people that have been under the control of ISIS and al-Nusra for many years.”

They’ve been grievously harmed. They saw friends and family members murdered, along with other gruesome atrocities.

“How can we rebuild…or rehabilitate (the) minds” of so many so brutally mistreated,” Assad asked? “That’s our big concern after the crisis.”

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump at Langley

Trump at Langley

by Stephen Lendman

On Saturday, Trump entered the lion’s den, visiting and speaking at CIA headquarters.

The agency under departed director John Brennan wanted his scalp - delegitimized and undermined, based on phony claims of Russian US election hacking, helping him defeat Hillary.

He’s now America’s 45th president. His incoming CIA director Mike Pompeo has yet to be confirmed. Senate Democrats Ron Wyden (OR), Patrick Leahy (VT) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) delayed his confirmation, solely for political reasons.

It was scheduled for Friday, Trump’s inaugural day. A joint statement said “in these dangerous times, (his) nomination (must) be thoroughly vetted, questioned and debated.”

With or without Pompeo in charge, the CIA constitutes a major threat to Trump, all other prominent figures challenging dirty business as usual - and most important world peace.

The late Chalmers Johnson called the agency incompatible with democratic freedoms. Its “unchecked power” threatens everyone everywhere. Its existence “shorten(s) the life of the American republic.”

At Langley, Trump spoke to around 400 CIA personnel, coming in on their day off to hear him. With Pompeo accompanying him, he criticized Senate Democrats for delaying his confirmation, saying they’re “playing little political games.”

Trump wants him heading the agency posing his greatest threat, saying he was the only one he interviewed for the job. “I didn’t want to meet anybody else. I said cancel them, cancel them.”

He told House Speaker Paul Ryan “I don’t want to lose this guy.” Does he believe Pompeo as his man heading the CIA can protect him from potential agency anti-Trump long knives?

Does he believe a peace offering by showing up as his “first (post-inaugural) stop,” and saying he’s “behind you 1000%…(N)obody…feels stronger about the intelligence community and CIA than Donald Trump” can save him if agency dark forces want him eliminated?

Last week, he blasted now departed CIA head John Brennan for being “the leaker of (anti-Trump) fake news”- referring the fabricated dodgy dossier, claiming Russia has compromising information about him, alleging it could be used for manipulative purposes.

No one is afforded a honeymoon with America’s leading rogue agency without playing by its rules, established by America’s deep state.

If Trump goes his own way, contrary to longstanding US practices, especially geopolitically, he’ll be vulnerable to impeachment or assassination.

Peacemaking at Langley, with his man in charge once confirmed, won’t help if he’s targeted for removal.

His vulnerability, or lack of it, will be better known once his policies become clear. Unprecedented vilification throughout the political season and post-election aftermath isn’t an encouraging sign.

The best advice he should heed is watch your back. Even that won’t help if America’s deep state wants him removed and replaced. Rough and tumble times ahead seem likely.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Relentless Media War on Trump

Relentless Media War on Trump

by Stephen Lendman

Throughout his campaign and post-election triumph, media scoundrels bashed him relentlessly - an unprecedented war, aimed at delegitimizing and undermining him, continuing post-inauguration.

Earlier The New York Times claimed his candidacy caused “serious damage…to the country (and) its reputation overseas” - ignoring 24 horrific Clinton co-presidency, Bush/Cheney and Obama years, their relentless war on humanity at home and abroad harming millions.

Trump antagonists aren’t about to go quietly and gently into the good night. Rage against him is unrelenting, uncompromising, hugely emotional, furious over Hillary’s political demise, hopefully once and for all - her war crimes, racketing and perjury unpunished, ignored by supportive media scoundrels.

On Saturday, incoming Trump press secretary Sean Spicer briefed the White House press corp, blasting them for “egregious” and “deliberately false reporting” of Trump’s inauguration, his straight talk powerful address, and first day in office.

Spicer: “Some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting.” One reporter “falsely tweeted out that the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed form the Oval Office…This was just plain wrong.” 

Separately, Spicer tweeted “(a) reminder of the media danger of tweet first check facts later”

Continuing during his press briefing, he said “(p)hotographs of the Inauguration proceeding were intentionally framed in a way to minimize the enormous support it had gathered on the National Mall.”

“Inaccurate numbers regarding crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers, because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall does not put any out.”

The same goes for Saturday’s women’s march. “There’s been a lot of talk in the media about holding President Trump accountable. Well, I’m here to tell you that it goes two ways,” Spicer roared. 

“We’re going to hold the press accountable as well. The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger of this incredible movement, he will take this message directly to the American people where his focus will always be.” 

How refreshing to have the White House (Trump and Spicer) bash America’s deplorable media scoundrels, proliferators of fake news, presstitution, not what journalism is supposed to be. Keep bashing!

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Syria Peace Talks to Begin Monday

Syria Peace Talks to Begin Monday

by Stephen Lendman

During six years of Obama’s war, three rounds of Geneva talks failed - because of US obstructionism.

Neocons infesting Obama’s administration wanted endless war for regime change, not peace; mass slaughter and destruction, not conflict resolution; chaos, not calm.

Will Trump go a different way? It’ll take a while to find out. Much depends on what he decides. Sunday is his third day in office.

Though active pre-inauguration, Friday and Saturday, he won’t hit the ground running until Monday - even though working days are every day for presidents.

Russia extended an invitation to his administration to participate in Astana, Kazakhstan Syria peace talks - specifically National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Delegations from Syria, Russia, Iran, Turkey, an umbrella group representing opposition terrorists (excluding ISIS and al-Nusra), and pro-Western UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura are attending.

According to acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner, “(g)iven our presidential inauguration and the immediate demands of the transition, a delegation from Washington” won’t be participating.

Trump’s secretary of state designee Rex Tillerson hasn’t yet been confirmed. On Monday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee members will vote on his nomination.

Republicans hold a one seat majority. Neocon senators Marco Rubio (FL) and John McCain (AZ) haven’t said if they’ll support or oppose him.

With or without majority Foreign Relations Committee approval, he’s likely to get the needed 50 or more full Senate votes to become Trump’s chief foreign policy official.

Until then, the office of secretary of state is being run by lower-level bureaucrats, including Obama holdover Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, Jr. 

US ambassador to Kazakhstan George Krol will attend Syria peace talks as an observer. On February 8, follow-up discussions will be held in Geneva, hopefully with full US participation, committed for conflict resolution - not rage for endless war like Obama.

Astana talks will focus on confirming ceasefire terms agreed to by Russia, Iran and Turkey, based on the provisions of Security Council Resolution 2254 - effective midnight December 29, ISIS and al-Nusra excluded.

According to an unnamed source close to the talks, no new initiatives are planned. “The key task is to confirm” ceasefire agreement terms.

“From the opposition’s side at the talks will be exclusively representatives of armed groups, who can undertake straight obligations to observe truce.”

For the first time, Syrian officials and opposition group representatives will hold face-to-face talks. Whether success is possible this time, unlike earlier, remains to be seen.

Astana was chosen as a neutral venue. Talks are scheduled for January 23 and 24, maybe longer if necessary - to be followed by a news conference when completed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Trump and Netanyahu to Speak on Sunday

Trump and Netanyahu to Speak on Sunday

by Stephen Lendman

They both met face-to-face before. Sunday’s phone conversation will be their first post-inauguration, Netanyahu eager to work with America’s new president.

Last March, at AIPAC’s annual conference, he said he’s “a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel.” He shamefully called the important Iran nuclear deal “catastrophic for America, for Israel and the whole Middle East.”

Iran’s nuclear program doesn’t now nor did it earlier have a military component. The Iranian “problem” Trump and others hype is its sovereign independence. Its government poses no threat to Israel, the region or other nations elsewhere.

Reportedly America’s new president and Netanyahu will discuss Palestine, Syria, Iran and perhaps other issues. Israel rejects Palestinian statehood. It wants regime change in Iran and Syria.

Netanyahu calls rescinding the Iran nuclear deal one of his top priorities - unlikely to be achieved with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China strongly supporting it, no matter which way Trump goes.

On Friday, Israeli intelligence officials warned Netanyahu against pressuring him to abandon the deal - fearing a possible “chasm between Washington and other signatories, most importantly Moscow and Beijing.”

Saturday on his Facebook page, Netanyahu said he and Trump will discuss “ways to oppose the threat of the Iranian regime, which calls for the destruction of Israel” - a bald-faced lie.

Separately, hardline Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett called the next few weeks “a unique window of opportunity” for Netanyahu to tell Trump what he wants from Washington.

He wants annexation of so-called Area C, around 60% of West Bank territory Israel controls - a prescription for possible explosive violence if undertaken. 

Hours after Trump’s electoral triumph, he said “the era of a Palestinian state is over,” claiming “the settler agenda is defining the future of Israel.”

It destroys any chance for Palestinian liberation. “If someone wants to launch an intifada, that’s their decision,” he ranted. “We cannot capitulate to violence or threat of violence.”

Bennett, Netanyahu and many others are part of Israel’s lunatic fringe. Defying international law, they claim East Jerusalem and the West Bank aren’t occupied, land-grabbing what belongs to Palestinians isn’t theft, and historic Palestine belongs to Israel.

If Trump accepts this ideological extremism, a potential incendiary environment will be created - especially if he defies international law by moving America’s embassy to Jerusalem - an international city under a UN protectorate.

After years of endless US imperial wars, the region is hugely unstable already. Will Trump step back from the brink or risk turning bad to worse by wrongheaded US policy toward Israel/Palestine?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Israel Intends Large-Scale Palestinian Land Theft

Israel Intends Large-Scale Palestinian Land Theft

by Stephen Lendman

Israeli settlements flagrantly violate international law. Over 600,000 settlers occupy stolen Palestinian land.

Fourth Geneva prohibits an occupying power from transferring its citizens to the territory it occupies, as well as displacing people from their land to permit it. 

Israel wants historic Palestine exclusively for Jews, Palestinians denied their fundamental rights - terrorized for decades with no international support.

Ma’aleh Adumim is Israel’s third largest settlement, home to over 37,500 residents. Extremist settlers and Knesset hardliners want it annexed.

On January 22, Knesset Ministerial Committee members will consider annexation legislation, believing Washington will wink and nod with Trump in power, one-sidedly supporting Israel.

Last Tuesday, Knesset Land of Israel Caucus co-chair Bezalet Smotrich arrogantly said “I believe that this is the present the nation of Israel deserves in the wake of Trump’s inauguration and in advance of the policy change with respect to Judea and Samaria.”

“On Sunday we will submit to the Ministerial Committee on Legislation a bill to apply sovereignty on Ma’aleh Adumim.”

Last month, Security Council Resolution 2334 reaffirmed the illegality of Israeli settlements. On Friday, Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said “(a)ny Israeli decision regarding annexing the settlement of Maale Adumim will be looked at as dangerous escalation and will not be accepted.”

Don’t bet on it. Abbas is a longstanding Israeli collaborator, installed as Palestinian president to serve its interests - largely avoiding the wrath of his people by saying one thing publicly, going along with Israel privately, amassing illicit wealth in the process.

Israeli extremists consider Maale Adumin part of suburban Jerusalem. Annexing it would further Judaize the city, part of Netanyahu’s divide, conquer, steal and ethnically cleanse strategy.

He believes Jews are entitled to Judea and Samaria, Palestinians confined to isolated pockets of worthless land.

Hardline Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett introduced legislation to annex Maale Adumim, believing now’s the time to seize it with Trump in office.

He’s ideologically dangerous, saying “(n)o (Security Council) resolution can change the fact that this land, Jerusalem, is our capital. And no people can be a conqueror in their own land. That’s why this resolution, like many of the earlier resolutions, will be thrown into the dustbin of history.”

Security Council resolutions are binding - changes or rescission of Res. 2334 not forthcoming given Russian and Chinese veto power.

With strong Western support, Israel breaches international law with impunity. Bennett believes the Trump administration will end notions of Palestinian statehood, leaving Israel free to steal all occupied land it wishes.

Maale Adumin constitutes a large area Israeli extremists want annexed. With no opposition from Washington, they’re counting on it ahead of seizing all valued Judea and Samaria territory.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.