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Commentary

Anti-Israeli Rage in Egypt

 Anti-Israeli Rage in Egypt - by Stephen Lendman

 

On August 18, Israel aggressively entered Sinai, killing five Egyptian security force members and injuring seven others. 

 

At issue was allegedly looking for unnamed attackers held responsible for eight same day Israeli deaths.

 

Filing an official protest, Egypt demanded an "urgent investigation," explaining reasons and circumstances surrounding the incident. Withdrawing its ambassador from Tel Aviv also was threatened. 

 

Refusing to apologize, Israel claimed militants responsible for killing Israelis came from Gaza through Sinai. No corroborating evidence was cited because there is none. 

 

Israel lied about what has all the earmarks of another false flag to divert public attention from more pressing issues, including unmet social justice demands!

 

Egypt began its own inquiry.

 

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak blamed the victim, saying the incident "reflects the weakening of Egypt's hold in the Sinai and the broadening of activities by terror elements."

 

Egyptian officials responded angrily. Sinai governor Khaled Fouda rejected Barak's comments, saying:

 

"We refute such statements and have increased security patrolling and checkpoints in Sinai."

 

The incident also sparked public anger, noticeably in Cairo where protests rallied outside Israel's embassy and continue. They denounced the attack, demanding authorities expel Israel's ambassador, and end its 1979 peace treaty, following the 1978 Camp David Accords.

 

To diffuse tensions, Egypt walled off Israel's embassy in recent days. It didn't help. Protesters sprayed the two and a half meter high barrier with comments like:

 

"The people want the fall of the wall."

 

Protests grew louder and angrier. On September 4, an unidentified man told Egyptian radio:

 

"Why would we protect a state that is killing our people? This is wrong, unfair and irritating."

 

Visceral street anger expressed the same sentiment. On September 9, it erupted. New York Times writers David Kirkpatrick and Heba Afify headlined, "Protest of Thousands in Cairo Turns Violent," saying:

 

Demonstrators Friday in Tahrir Square turned violent  when "thousands....tore down a protective wall around the Israeli Embassy, while others defaced the headquarters of the Egyptian Interior Ministry," expressing anger over lack of social justice progress and military junta repression.

 

Egypt's state news agency said hundreds were injured and numerous arrests made. In fact, since Mubarak's February ouster, thousands have been terrorized, tried in military tribunals, and imprisoned. 

 

On Friday, protesters "scaled the walls of the Israeli Embassy," removing Israel's flag for the second time in less than a month. The earlier incident replaced it with an Egyptian one.

 

Using wooden poles and hammers, they tore down the restraining wall while chanting, singing and carrying Egyptian flags. They also broke into offices, tossed documents out windows, and allegedly attacked an employee inside.

 

Egyptian soldiers and security police finally stopped them, but by 3:00AM Saturday, thousands still battled security forces in streets. "Demonstrators threw rocks and gasoline bombs at the officers, sometimes forcing them to retreat, and the police fired back with tear gas."

 

In response, Israeli ambassador Yitzhak Levanon, his family, and most embassy staff were flown out of the country for their safety.

 

Haaretz said an Israeli Air Force plane evacuated over 80 diplomats and their families. 

 

Later reports said three protesters were killed. 

 

Press TV reported that Egypt's Information Minister Osama Heikal said Cairo will enforce "all articles of the emergency law to ensure safety."

 

Egyptian political analyst Nabil Abdel Fattah said:

 

"This action shows the state of anger and frustration the young Egyptian revolutionaries feel against Israel, especially after the recent Israeli attacks on the Egyptian borders that led to the killing of Egyptian soldiers."

 

Haaretz said an unnamed senior Israeli official denounced the overnight attack, calling it a "grave violation" of diplomatic norms and a "blow to peaceful relations" between both countries.

 

Netanyahu said Israel won't compromise its peace treaty with Egypt, adding that regional turmoil shows he's right to insist on security assurances in any future peace deal.

 

He also bogusly linked events in Cairo to stalled Middle East peace negotiations, pointing fingers away from who deserves blame. Instead, he insisted Israel must "defend its interests in the region." 

 

Left unsaid always is its belligerent way of doing it, making enemies, not allies, especially on Arab streets.

 

On September 10, New York Times writer Ethan Bronner headlined, "Beyond Cairo, Israel Sensing a Wider Siege," saying:

 

"With its Cairo embassy ransacked, its ambassador to Turkey expelled and the Palestinians seeking statehood recognition at the United Nation, Israel found itself on Saturday increasingly isolated and grappling with a radically transformed Middle East where it believes its options are limited and poor."

 

Context was entirely missing from his article, including:

 

-- longstanding below-the-surface Arab street anger over years of Israeli crimes of war and against humanity, as well as 44 years of illegal military occupation;

 

-- Israel's premeditated May 31, 2010 murder of nine unarmed Turkish nationals aboard the Mavi Marmara humanitarian ship, bringing vital aid to besieged Gaza;

 

-- Israel's refusal ever to apologize for its most grievous crimes; and

 

-- its collusion with Washington to block long overdue Palestinian statehood within 1967 borders (22% of historic Palestine), East Jerusalem as its capital, and full de jure UN membership.

 

Israel, in fact, is lucky Arab anger didn't erupt sooner. So far, it's on a low boil in Egypt, but it's only a matter of time before it engulfs the entire region and beyond. 

 

When it does, its Washington paymaster/partner will also be affected, and well it should for much greater cause than just supporting Israel.

 

Keep that in mind on 9/11's tenth anniversary. Honor the millions of Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Pakistanis, Somalis, Yemenis, Bahrainis, Palestinians, and other global victims of US lawlessness, in partnership with NATO allies and Israel.

 

Think of them in the aftermath of the duplicitous 9/11 weekend commemorations, especially on what passes for US television.

 

Understand 9/11 truth, and condemn the criminal class in Washington, complicit Western capitals, and Israel for partnering in a global state terror war for the spoils of imperial triumphs.

 

Then get mad enough to do something about it!

 

Anti-Military Protests Across Egypt

 

Besides anti-Israeli anger, rage against Egypt's military junta erupted again in cities across Egypt, including a new wave of strikes for better pay and working conditions among other grievances.

 

Despite Egyptian security forces occupying Tahrir's central island since August 1, thousands massed in the square. Another demonstration started on Cairo University's Giza campus.

 

Protesters also rallied in Cairo's Shubra neighborhood, carrying banners saying:

 

"A minimum wage for those who live in cemeteries," and "A maximum wage for those who live in palaces."

 

Farmers joined in as well, marching past Dokki's agriculture ministry on the Nile's Western bank, directly across from downtown Cairo in Giza.

 

In addition, protesters denounced repressive mass arrests and military trials, calling for "purging the judiciary of all of Mubarak's supporters."

 

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of Egypt's ruling junta, was also condemned, including by protesters chanting "A word in your ear, marshal. The revolution in Tahrir," and "Tantawi is Mubarack."

 

Alexandria demonstrators demanded all members Egypt's military junta be put on trial, saying "Everything is the same even after the revolution."

 

Earlier strikes paralyzed the country. Since Ramadan ended in late August, they erupted again. Workers demand social justice, including better pay and benefits, ending corruption, and Mubarak-era officials purged from top posts in factories and institutions.

 

Egypt's state-owned Al-Ahram said striking postal  workers reflect "wider disillusionment of many public sector employees with the lack of progress" under the ruling junta.

 

Other strikes and industrial actions targeted the High Dam Electrical and Industrial Company, as well as auto, chemical, textile, and other workers demanding their rights.

 

In addition, law students protested against judicial system nepotism in front of Egypt's Supreme Court, and Beheira Governate residents blocked a highway in Edku, protesting Egypt's collaborating with Big Oil giant BP.

 

Beginning September 10, an open-ended textile workers strike was planned in Mahalla, home of Egypt's largest textile factory. Besides their own grievances, they also want working conditions for all Egyptians improved.

 

At the 11th hour, negotiations with labor minister Ahmed Borai stopped it. An agreement was reached to accept monthly meal and other incentive increases. Discussions about other grievances were also delayed, pending a meeting of the Holding Company for Cotton, Spinning and Textiles.

 

At the same time, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his cabinet discussed the "deteriorating security situation," issuing directives relating to new Satellite television state licenses, legal procedures reviewing those issued to stations with programming accused of inciting violence and protests. 

 

In other words, airing views of street protestors and strikers, as well as others calling for democratic reforms won't be tolerated.

 

Other directives related to halting and criminalizing politically and economically disrupting strikes, saying Sharaf won't "negotiate with strikers over any demands until workers halt their workplace actions."

 

Nonetheless, as evidenced by continuing street protests, Egyptians know ousting Mubarak changed nothing. 

 

A previous article discussed an Arab spring yet to bloom, saying throughout the region, people want jobs, decent pay, better services, ending corruption and repression, as well as liberating democratic change in a part of the world where poverty, unemployment and despotism reflect daily life for tens of millions repressively.

 

Access it through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/04/arab-spring-yet-to-bloom.html

 

Another headlined, "Hold the Celebration: Egypt's Struggle Just Began," saying everything changed but stayed the same, calling it a common bait and switch scheme. 

 

In this instance, a military junta replaced Mubarak, assuring no possibility of democracy and social justice without sustained heroic pressure forcing it.

 

Indeed, Egypt's liberating struggle just began, as it has across the region in Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Qatar, other Gulf States, and elsewhere in the region - notably in Occupied Palestine, seeking statehood and full de jure UN membership later this month. 

 

Its 11th hour draws near.

 

Virtually everywhere, moreover, the struggle for liberation never ends.

 

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

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Riots in England/Uprising of the unheard

 


Palestinian Statehood: Now's the Time

 Palestinian Statehood: Now's the Time - by Stephen Lendman

 

Palestinians worldwide want it. So do supporters and up to 140 countries. They comprise more than enough to ensure it and full de jure UN membership.

 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) can petition the General Assembly directly. It has sole admittance power, not the Security Council only able to recommend.

 

UN Charter Article 80(1) and others empower the General Assembly to recognize Palestinian statehood and take all necessary measures to end Israel's illegal occupation.

 

If Washington invokes its Security Council veto, the GA can override it under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution 377. 

 

The choice is in Mahmoud Abbas' hands. Later this month, he can either support his own people or don his collaborationist hat. His recent comments and body language suggest the latter, whatever his next moves. 

 

Hopefully enough pressure will push him in the right direction to back long denied recognition and justice for millions deserving more than they're now getting. 

 

On September 8, Mohamed Elshinnawi headlined his Voice of America article, "Palestinians and UN - Statehood or Stalemate?" saying:

 

Palestinians seek General Assembly recognition, "but the final vote could fall short of the two-thirds majority required for final passage."

 

False! As explained above, up to 140 countries express support, including China, Russia, Brazil, India, Japan, and most others, well more than enough needed for a simple two-thirds majority of voting members. Abstentions and no-shows don't count.

 

Abbas is expected to address the General Assembly on September 23 when he'll submit his request. Law Professor Francis Boyle explains practical membership benefits, saying:

 

“With admitting the Palestinian state as a full member in the UN, it will be able to file formal state-to-state complaints against Israeli officials...." If it "ratif(ies) the Genocide Convention, (it can) sue Israel at the International Court” for redress.

 

Theoretically it may be able to halt settlement construction entirely, and automatically make all diaspora Palestinians citizens of a new state they're free to return to as international law mandates, including Resolution 194's Article 11, stating:

 

"Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible." 

He said Palestine's upgraded status would provide a strong incentive for Israel to negotiate in good faith and reach the much promoted two-state solution to end the conflict. 

 

He also argued that statehood would incentivize Israel to negotiate in good faith, to end years of conflict and agree to an equitable two state solution within 1967 borders as Palestinians demand - 22% of sovereign Palestine.

 

Former Israeli UN ambassador Gabriela Shalev said Israel should understand invoking Resolution 377 is possible. In 1956, when France and Britain vetoed a Security Council resolution, condemning their attack on Egypt, General Assembly members used the measure to override.

 

Passed in 1950 during the Korean War, it came when Washington wanted power to circumvent Soviet Russia's Security Council veto power.

 

It lets the General Assembly recommend various "collective measures," including sanctions and use of force if permanent Security Council members can't reach unanimity, and “there appears to be a threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression.”

 

Former US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Schifter said General Assembly members involved Resolution 377 in 1981 to advance Namibian independence. It called on member states:

 

"to render increased and sustained support and material, financial, military and other assistance to the South West Africa People’s Organization to enable it to intensify its struggle for the liberation of Namibia.”

 

It also urged members to cease “all dealings with South Africa in order totally to isolate it politically, economically, militarily and culturally.”

 

Why not do the same for Palestine if America invokes its veto. The power is there to be used for long overdue rights too important to kick down the road and delay, even if risk US and Israeli hostility. 

 

Many other allies are supportive, so the power of numbers may compensate, especially for the world's newest state, millions don't want to end up stillborn.

 

On September 9, Ma'an News said Palestinians "on Thursday began a campaign in support of their UN membership bid, as their senior leaders met to fine-tune the plan to become the UN's 194th member state."

 

Abbas met with senior Palestinian representatives including Fatah central committee members, the PLO's executive committee, and leaders of various Palestinian political parties.

 

At issue is finalizing details of the likely bid to be submitted to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon later this month.

 

In Ramallah, a solidarity march to UN headquarters was held to present a letter, requesting his support. Campaign coordinator Ahmed Assaf said:

 

"Today we began our campaign on the ground and we chose the UN building because it represents the United Nations and we expect them to respond to our demands."

 

"We are no less important than the other 193 states in the United Nations, and our message will ask for our state to be 194."

 

He added that campaigning for statehood will continue until "Palestine is finally admitted as member state number 194."

 

Latifa Abu Hamid, mother of seven sons who spent time in Israeli prisons (Israeli forces killed her eighth one), said:

 

"I'm delivering this message to the UN to say we have a right to our own state just like everyone else in the world and we have a right to see the end of the occupation." 

 

The letter called on Ban to "stand by justice and do right by our people."

 

"The admission of the state of Palestine to the UN is an important step towards ending the occupation and achieving Palestinian independence and realizing a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East." 

 

"We hope that you will join the international consensus and support the Palestinian bid for its long overdue recognition."

 

About 100 marchers chanted, "We want our identity. We want a state." We want as many supportive states globally as possible.

 

On September 9, Ban Ki-moon said it. Does he mean it, affirming support for Palestinian statehood, but added that member states must decide.

 

Washington will invoke its veto. According to State Department spokesman Victoria Noland:

 

“It is not a surprise that the US will veto the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN in the city of New York. A Palestinian state can only be established through direct peace talks with Israel. So, yes! We are going to use the veto against the Palestinian bid.”

On September 8, New York Times writer Isabel Kershner headlined, "Palestinian Leader Says US Is 'Too Late' on UN Bid," saying:

Abbas said America's last-ditch efforts "to prevent the Palestinians from applying for membership in the United Nations this month were 'too late.' "

As of now, they'll petition the Security Council first. If America invokes its veto, General Assembly affirmation will be sought. 

However, if the quartet arranges a settlement construction freeze and agreement on using pre-1967 borders based on land swaps, Palestinians "will go to the United Nations and we will return back to talks."

Israel offered them with no preconditions, meaning they're stillborn before getting started and worthless.

It's time to move forward for full recognition, whether or not Washington and Israel approve. 

The power of numbers solidly backs what's long been denied. This time perhaps it's enough for full recognition by invoking Resolution 377 if necessary.

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

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Allegedly Foiling Jerusalem Terrorist Attacks

 Allegedly Foiling Jerusalem Terrorist Attacks - by Stephen Lendman

 

Here we go again. We've seen it all before strategically timed, especially in America. A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/05/false-flags-american-tradition.html

 

It said:

 

With or without bin Laden, bogymen threats are plentiful. Since WW II alone, America's had numerous ones, including communists, Al Qaeda, Saddam, WMDs, the Taliban, Gaddafi, and a host others yet unnamed, as well as numerous "foiled" domestic ones. 

 

Among others, they include:

 

-- a fake shoe bomber;

 

-- fake underwear bomber;

 

-- fake Times Square bomber;

 

-- an earlier one there;

 

-- fake shampoo bombers;

 

-- fake Al Qaeda woman planning fake mass casualty attacks on New York landmarks;

 

-- fake Oregon bomber;

 

-- fake armed forces recruiting station bomber;

 

-- fake synagogue bombers;

 

-- fake Chicago Sears Tower bombers;

 

-- fake FBI and other building bombers;

 

-- fake National Guard, Fort Dix and Quantico marine base attackers;

 

-- fake 9/11 bombers; and 

 

-- others to enlist public support for the fake war on terror and very real ones it spawned.

 

Israel, of course, uses the same tactics. In this instance, it's strategically timed ahead of the upcoming General Assembly vote for Palestinian statehood and full de jure membership.

 

Israel's also wants Syria blamed for giving safe haven to Hamas leaders to intensify pressure on Assad's government during ongoing internal strife.

 

On September 7, US Middle East envoy David Hale and special State Department advisor Dennis Ross (a notorious pro-Israeli hardliner) met with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah to pressure him to drop his UN bid.

 

On September 6, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned him to give it up, saying "continue (instead) to work hard with us to avoid a negative scenario in New York at the end of the month."

 

In other words, save Washington the embarrassment of a Security Council veto. In fact, it's without teeth as only the General Assembly admits new members. The Security Council can only recommend.

 

Nonetheless, in recent days, Abbas statements indicate he's waffling, suggesting he'll again prove collaborationist by seeking less than statehood and full de jure membership.

 

Saying a final course of action has yet to be decided suggests a strong undertone of surrender. Hopefully it's not so, but don't bet on it at the moment of truth. 

 

The Latest Israeli False Flag?

 

On September 7, Haaretz writer Anshel Pfeffer headlined, "Israel security forces foil multiple terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, arrest dozens of Hamas militants," saying:

 

Sin Bet security forces "foiled a suicide terrorist attack last month in Jerusalem, it emerged Wednesday." 

 

If so, why wait until now to announce it? 

 

Allegedly "an explosive belt was seized only 24 hours before the planned attack, after it was smuggled into Jerusalem," according to Israeli officials.

 

They claimed foiling the attack "was part of a large-scale operation by Shin Bet, the IDF and the police against the Hamas military infrastructure in the West Bank and Jerusalem."

 

Israel said they operated from 13 separate cells, the main one in Hebron. The full Shin Bet report can be accessed through the following link:

 

http://www.shabak.gov.il/SiteCollectionImages/english/TerrorInfo/reports/shotef070911-en.pdf

 

Read it with caution. It's a thinly veiled propaganda piece, not legitimate information about terror cells planning attacks on West Bank and Jerusalem locations. 

 

It claims the main Hebron cell and Hamas headquarters in Syria set August 21 for the attack. Allegedly it involved a fire extinguisher, containing six kilograms of explosives, supposedly to be carried by a suicide bomber on a bus for use in the Jerusalem Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood.

 

Shin Bet said the device was discovered in Azhak Arrafa's East Jerusalem's Ras al-Amud neighborhood home, a man called a Hamas operative. The alleged suicide bomber was identified as Hebron-based Said Qawasmeh.

 

Israel blamed the same cell for a March 23 attack at Jerusalem's central bus station, killing a British tourist and wounding 47 others. No evidence proves it.

 

Shin Bet said Hamas wanted to restore its West Bank infrastructure to launch terrorist attacks. Notably, alleged reasons behind the "scheme" and verifiable proof weren't given, except to say kidnapping an Israeli soldier was planned to negotiate Palestinian prisoner releases.

 

Shin Bet's account wreaks of illegitimacy, including why an elaborate terror plot would be needed to capture an Israeli soldier when doing so, if intended, could be done by other means. 

 

Notably at issue is why Hamas would risk it when success or failure carries such a big price, entirely benefitting Israel.

 

Yet, according to Shin Bet, discovering Hamas terror cells proved its Damascus leadership plans  rehabilitating its West Bank infrastructure to attack Israel. 

 

Take it with a grain of salt, but expect Israel to exploit what appears to be bogus accusations fully. 

 

They include claiming a terror cell operated out of Ketziot prison, without explaining how, and accusing Hebron resident Ahmad Madhoun of getting $10,000 in Saudi Arabia to buy weapons for the operation.

 

Unsubstantiated accusations were made. No information was given on how he got there and back undetected or who allegedly funded him.

 

Israel also said militants received orders and money from a Syrian official through Jordanian national Iman al-Adm. Israel arrested him. Expect him to be tortured to confess, whether or not he did anything.

 

In fact, Ynet News said interrogations learned he'd "undergone extensive military training in Syria and was involved in Hamas operations worldwide, including in Syria, Turkey and China."

 

Under torture, of course, suspects say anything to stop it. Israel writes confessions it wants signed, usually in Hebrew detainees don't understand or well enough. 

 

Information obtained by torture lacks legitimacy, yet it's used by Israel, America and other nations to convict. Guilt or innocence doesn't matter.

 

Ynet added that Israeli intelligence sources said the Hamas "West Bank infrastructure was partially funded by Gaza-based Hamas elements."

 

In June, Israeli security forces arrested alleged Hamas operative Shaher Skaphi in Hebron. Under torture, he admitted being being part of a terror cell instructed to kidnap an Israeli soldier to be used in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

 

Shin Bet also claimed Hamas tries to launder money in China. In addition, its members living in Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey try funneling funds to West Bank operatives.

 

Shin Bet's account reads more like a B movie scrip than an elaborate terror plot when, in fact, only the victim would benefit.

 

Again, Israel saying it doesn't make it so. All governments lie. Believe nothing they say - ever.

 

Hamas Al-Qassam Brigades spokesman, Abu Ubayda, emphatically denied Israel's accusations, calling them politically motivated, "express(ing) a hostile point of view."

 

He added it may involve increasing Israel's bargaining power in negotiations for a Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, the captured Israeli soldier. 

 

Nonetheless, Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff headlined their September 8 article, "IDF raids prove Hamas growing more active in West Bank," saying:

 

Arrests of dozens of "Hamas militants from the West Bank....points to a significant uptick in the activity of (its) military wing...."

 

"In the past five years, these militants had lowered their profile, carrying out few terror attacks. Most of the organization's leaders....had been killed or jailed by Israel, while others were pursued by (collaborationist) Palestinian security forces."

 

In fact, both writers made inflammatory unsubstantiated accusations, acting more government spokesmen than journalists, who'd demand proof before publishing Shin Bet's version of events.

 

Even they, however, admitted only one alleged Hamas attack was carried out in recent years. Notably, no evidence links it to them. Claiming it doesn't make it so. 

 

Both writers should say so, but they didn't. It represents a serious lapse of journalistic ethics, especially about something as important as terror attacks claiming lives.

 

Nonetheless, they added the following:

 

-- a Hamas terror infrastructure "was maintained in part by activists who did time in Israeli prisons;"

 

-- there they learned about terror operations;

 

-- Hamas terror reflects operational as well as policy considerations;

 

-- while Hamas leaders want no confrontation with Israel in Gaza, they "apparently (have) no objection in principle to suicide attacks and abductions" in the West Bank and Jerusalem; and

 

-- "Shin Bet officials believe the attacks were approved by" Damascus-based Hamas leaders though no evidence proves it.

 

A Final Comment

 

Israel is pulling out all the stops to deny legitimate Palestinian rights. The August 18 bus and other attacks, killing and wounding Israelis, appeared very likely to be another strategically timed Israeli false flag.

 

An earlier article explained why, saying Israel benefits if it they help derail Palestinian statehood and full UN membership, as well as diffuse and end social justice protests by changing the subject.

 

So far, achieving the former one only appears likely but not certain. Last weekend, up to half a million Israelis rallied across the country for rights they seem committed to keep working for until gotten.

 

At the same time, both Israelis and Palestinians have miles to go to achieve what they've been long denied. Perhaps if they joined forces their chances would improve. 

 

The power of coming together for social and political justice might be just what's needed, but never accomplished easily or quickly.

 

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

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Systematic Israeli State Terror

 Systematic Israeli State Terror - by Stephen Lendman

 

Despite his own cross to bear, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan got it right calling Israel responsible for "state terror."

 

In fact, it's official policy, ongoing for decades against non-Jews, especially Palestinians without letup.

 

According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), from August 18 - 24 alone, Israel launched 41 air strikes against Gaza, killing 17 Palestinians, including two children and a doctor, wounding 20 others, and destroying or damaging a number of facilities attacked.

 

During the same period, Israeli forces conducted at least 27 military incursions into Palestinian West Bank communities, arresting 77 civilians.

 

On September 5, Press TV said Israeli settlers torched a mosque in Qusra village near Nablus "when they threw burning tires inside it." 

 

As a result, fire damaged the walls and ceiling. They also broke windows, threw rocks at Palestinian vehicles, wrote insulting graffiti about the Prophet Mohammed and Israeli social justice protestors, and drew the Star of David on the wall of Ayman Tayseer Omran's house, located near the mosque.

 

Condemning the incident, PCHR this and others "are carried out in the context of incitement practiced by the Israeli government against the Palestinian people, which encourages settlers to continue their attacks."

 

It's not the first time mosques have been attacked and for sure not the last, nor many other ways extremist settlers vandalize Palestinian property with impunity, and commit acts of violence, including murder.

 

None of this gets reported by Western media, especially America's, or when done, one-sided bias for Israel is expressed, and/or reports are sanitized, omitting key facts. 

 

For example, New York Times writer Fares Akram headlined his September 6 article, "Gaza: Israelis Kill Militant," saying:

 

An Israeli attack helicopter killed Khaled Sahmoud "after (its) forces carried out an incursion into Gaza....and clashed with members of a small militant group, shooting at them and receiving mortar fire back, according to the Israeli military and officials of....the Popular Resistance Committees."

 

Israel accused him and other militants of "carr(ying) out the terrorist attack from the Sinai region of Egypt on southern Israel last month that killed eight Israelis."

 

Akram's article was little more than a propaganda piece, a virtual IDF press handout, presenting its version of events as fact.

 

A previous article contradicted the official account, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/another-israeli-false-flag.html

 

It cited compelling reasons to hold Israel responsible for killing its own citizens to incite fear, ahead of the September General Assembly vote on Palestinian statehood and full UN membership, as well as because of weeks of social justice protests Netanyahu very much wants diffused and ended. What better way than to change the subject.

 

Like America, Israel doesn't hesitate killing Jews as well as enemies when its purpose is served. That's one definition of terrorism. Webster's Collegiate Dictionary calls it "an intense, overpowering fear....the use of terrorizing methods of governing or resisting a government."  

 

The US Code defines it as involving:

 

(A) "violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or of any State;"

 

(B) are intended to -

 

  (i) "intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

 

  (ii) influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

 

  (iii) affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

 

(C) occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States...."

 

The US Army Operational Concept for Terrorism (TRADOC Pamphlet No. 525-37, 1984) shortens the above definition to be "the calculated use of violence or threat of violence to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature....through intimidation, coercion, or instilling fear."

 

It's state terrorism when committed by nations against anyone - other states, groups or individuals, including state-sponsored assassinations.

 

It's also illegal violence to influence behavior, inflict punishment, take revenge, or accomplish other illegal aims. Israel commits it regularly - terrorism, in one form or other, against Palestinian civilians.

 

Last April, a masked gunman killed General Director of Jenin's (2006-founded) Freedom Theater, Juliano Mer-Khamis, inside his car after leaving the building. A woman with him was wounded. Whether or not Israel was responsible isn't known.

 

Haaretz writer Avi Issacharoff quoted former resistance leader/now co-theater manager Zakarya Zubeidi calling it a "well-planned assassination. There is one organization or body, central, big, behind this act. This was not a simple operation. There is a big hand" behind it.

 

Two previous times, the theater was torched because of the type drama it produces. 

 

In remembering a man he admired, Gideon Levy called his documentary "Arna's Children" the best film about the occupation he ever saw. Nothing "approaches its emotional impact or captures the way in which the trasher of the occupation methodically destroys the lives of everyone in its path - and (yet) those in its way resist it no matter what."

 

Levy called it a work of genius, as well as representing the inspirational courage of Mer-Khamis' mother and the humanity of Jenin's children.

 

Whether or not Israel killed him or ordered his death, it certainly had motive to silence a powerful voice against occupation and injustice.

 

Despite his death, the theater remains threatened. In late July, Israeli forces targeted it. A press release recounted what happened, saying:

 

The sound of "heavy blocks of stone" hurled at the building's entrance woke night guard/technician student Ahmad Nasser Matahen. "As he opened the door, he found masked and heavily armed Israeli Special Forces around the theater."

 

He thought they'd kill him. Location manager Adnan Naghnaghiye "was arrested and taken away to an unknown location together with Bilal Saadi," a theater board member.

 

When its general manager, Jacob Gough, and co-founder, Jonatan Stanczak "arrived on the scene, they were forced to squat next to a family of four small children surrounded by about 50 heavily armed Israeli soldiers."

 

When Stanzak and others tried explaining they were attacking a cultural venue and arresting its members, they were told to shut up and were threatened. When they later tried contacting Israel's civil administration, the person answering hung up. No explanation of why this happened was gotten.

 

On August 25, Israeli forces again surrounded the theater around 2:00AM, beat the security guard, ransacked his home, then abducted him and two others.

 

Stanczak called Israel's behavior "systematical harassment (and) scandalous. This proves that the Israeli army and security apparatus is either lost in their investigation or that they have the actual intention of damaging the theater. It also seems that after the murder of (Mer Khamis, the theater) is no longer exempted from the kind of oppression (Palestinians are) subjected to in general."

 

Twice earlier, the theater was torched. On April 16, 2009, a press release headlined, "The Freedom Theatre Under Attack!" saying:

 

"In the morning of April 15, 2009, an unknown individual set fire to The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, Occupied Palestine. The main door of the theatre was completely burned, but the fire did not spread inside the building and the theatre remains largely unharmed."

 

"This was the second (arson) attempt....On the night when Al Kamandjati Music Centre in Jenin was devastatingly set on fire three weeks ago, there was also a failed attempt to destroy The Freedom Theatre."

 

In addition, for weeks, Israeli security forces have systematically harassed and raided The Freedom Theater on the pretext of investigating Mer-Khamis' assassination.

 

General manager Gough called it "tactics to damage us," adding:

 

"An investigation into murder should be done in certain ways, not kidnapping people, torturing them and trying to make them confess."

 

It suggests something more sinister is involved. Perhaps Israel wants Palestinians blamed for its own crime. It wouldn't be the first time.

 

Access the theater's web site through the following link:

 

http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/

 

Calling itself "the only professional venue for theatre and multimedia in the north of the West Bank, (it) offers children, youth and young adults in the Jenin area a safe space (to) express themselves, to explore their creativity and emotions through culture and arts."

 

"It provides them with opportunities to develop the skills, self-knowledge and confidence which can empower them to challenge present realities and to speak out in their own society and beyond."

 

For these and other reasons, Israel wants documentaries like "Arna's Children" and other productions silenced. It wants militarized occupation  continued, land theft through settlement expansions unchallenged, voices for liberation suppressed, and others resisting occupation imprisoned or killed.

 

It wants no opposition to its worst crimes, including terrorizing and virtually imprisoning an entire population  for the crime of not being Jews. It wants the myth of its victimhood believed, to be able to commit crimes of war and against humanity with impunity. It wants the right to do any damn thing it pleases and get away with it, within or outside the law.

 

It wants the power of creative expression eliminated to remove a motivating voice for popular resistance. As a result, The Freedom Theatre threatens what no longer is tolerable to allow - preventing freedom for all Palestinians on their own land in their own unoccupied sovereign country.

 

It's an idea whose time has come. It's a threat Israel will use any means to stop. It's the obligation of everyone to stand for what's right over wrong. It's time 44 years of occupation ended so Palestinians again can be free. 

 

It's what everyone everywhere deserves in peace under governments representing all their people, not just the privileged few. It's an idea worth fighting for. It's why all popular struggles exist and deserve universal support because nothing is more important.

 

A Final Comment

 

Mer-Khamis' mother, Arna, the inspiration for his "Arna's Children" documentary, founded the original theater in 1988 after witnessing the first Intifada's devastation.

 

On February 24, 2006, Maureen Clare Murphy's Electronic Intifada article headlined, "Photostory: Freedom Theatre in Jenin aims to plant the seeds of dignity," saying:

 

The theater's opening the previous week showed "(t)he spirit of resistance has not been beaten out of Jenin..."

 

"Calls by speakers for the Palestinians to stand firm despite Israeli and American pressure resonated with the crowd, men on one side of the hall and women and children on the other."

 

Adorning the theater's walls were photos of the original theater Arna Mer-Khamis created, a Jew from a Zionist family, married to a Palestinian. Her picture is displayed inspirationally in the middle of the arranged montage.

 

In 1993, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, called the Alternative Nobel Prize presented annually "for outstanding vision and work on behalf of our planet and its people."

 

She donated her $50,000 award to the original Jenin camp Stone theater she founded.

 

In 2002, it was destroyed during Israel's attack on Jenin, killing dozens, cutting it off from outside help, destroying hundreds of buildings (many with people buried inside under rubble), cutting off power and availability of food and water from the outside, and refusing to let help come in (including medical aid).

 

Despite the recurrent threat of Israeli violence, "the forces behind The Freedom Theatre are undeterred" in their mission to use "(c)culture (to plant) the seed of human dignity" and inspiration to resist.

 

Why else would Israel want Theater principals silenced and their vision stopped by whatever means it takes.

 

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

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Israeli Oppression Continues While Talking Peace

 Israeli Oppression Continues While Talking Peace - by Stephen Lendman

 

No wonder Palestinians want and deserve statehood, as well as full UN membership to be able to seek World Court redress, and be able to sue under Genocide Convention provisions, and why not. 

 

Israel's lawless hypocrisy is shameless given what goes on daily - bombings, killings, mass arrests, settlement expansions, dispossessions, and other civil and human rights abuses on an ongoing basis. More on that below.

 

On September 5, ahead of the September General Assembly meeting, Netanuyahu predictably said he wants peace talks restarted with no chance whatever of succeeding like all previous attempts for decades because Israeli violence is official policy.

 

Nonetheless, after meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Yyves Leterme, he said:

 

Abbas "can come to Jerusalem. I could go to Ramallah, or we could both go to Brussels." In fact, the proper response to a man spurning peace is go to hell, in diplomatic language, of course.

 

Netanyahu's gambit is another attempt to pressure Abbas to back off from seeking statehood and full UN membership. 

 

Plans to petition the General Assembly still stand, though perhaps with less resolve than earlier based on recent comments and a new "strategy."  

 

Instead of seeking recognition within 1967 borders, 22% of sovereign Palestine, a new proposal seeks statehood with permanent borders to be determined in later negotiations with Israel. It still wants them as originally drafted, but with more flexibility. 

 

In other words, with enough wiggle room for Israel to maneuver Palestine into an unacceptable position it can't refuse, the way Oslo turned out. It left Palestinian rights entirely out of the final agreement at the same time Israeli terror attacks continued then and now.

 

Overnight Monday, Israeli planes raided an area west of the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. No injuries were reported. In recent weeks, numerous others killed or wounded scores of Gazans. 

 

The same day, Israeli forces detained 20 West Bank "wanted Palestinians," for the crime perhaps of wanting freedom.

 

Palestinian lawmaker Mohammed Abu Teir was also arrested and his home ransacked. Former PA Jerusalem affairs minister Khalid Abu Arafa expressed concern after Israel earlier revoked his city ID card. 

 

Then in December an Israeli court expelled him to Ramallah for the second time after imprisoning him for four months for ignoring a previous ban. At issue is his Hamas affiliation, Palestine's legitimate government, wrongfully designated a terrorist organization.

 

An August 30 B'Tselem report discussed earlier in the month incidents. On August 19, an Israeli missile killed Gaza City's Mu'ataz Kreqa', his two-year old son and brother Munzar. Others nearby were wounded.

 

On August 19, a Gaza wastewater treatment facility, its main one, was bombed north of the Nuseirat refugee camp. It was one of many Israeli acts of vengeance against people for the crime of not being Jews.

 

On August 25, the Beit Lahiya a-Salam Sports Club was bombed, belonging to Islamic Jihad. Two civilians were killed, another 20 wounded, and the attack destroyed much of the building used as a kindergarten and school. Nearby houses were also damaged.

 

These and many other attacks are serious breaches of international law, yet Israel gets off every time with impunity.

 

Israeli Mistreatment of Jews

 

Growing numbers of Israeli Jews are also treated with disdain. An August 29 Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) report explained headlined, "Putting Israel's Periphery in the Center," saying:

 

"The gaps between" Israel's center and its so-called periphery "have reached an all-time high, as a result of government policy."

 

For example, the number of people with diabetes is four times higher among periphery located poor than wealthier center of Israel residents. The rate of families living in poverty is three times higher, and job seeker rate in the southern city of Kiryat Gat is triple the Tel Aviv figure.

 

As a result, besides weeks of social justice protests in cities across Israel, an August 28 march left from the Yeruham local council in Israel's south heading towards Netanyahu's Jerusalem residence.

 

Yeruham Local Council head Michael Bitton and Amram Mitzna led it. Its purpose was to raise public awareness of extreme social injustice in Israel's periphery.

 

ACRI attorney Tali Nir, Director of its Social and Economic Rights Department, said:

 

"(T)he economic logic, upon witch the Israeli economy is  founded, is based on the assumption that market forces will generate a trickle-down effect from the rich to the rest of Israel's citizens. But this trickling is limited and meager."

 

"Thanks to the economic growth, wealth has been" concentrated in a few hands in Israeli's center, "and does not reach the south, the north, or" even most Israelis in the center.

 

"This is an inequality-promoting policy. The current socioeconomic policy helps those who are powerful to become even more powerful, and those who are weak to become even weaker."

 

Moreover, those in the middle keep getting weaker and are gradually "vanishing. Unfortunately, in recent years the term 'periphery' has begun to serve as a euphemism for the term 'the majority of the citizens of Israel.' "

 

How wide is the gap, ACRI asked?

 

In 2008, Tel Aviv had 5.5 doctors per 1,000 persons compared to 1.6 in the North and 2.1 in the South per 1,000 population.

 

In Israel's center, the rate of "expert physicians" among doctors was 72%, 82% in Tel Aviv. In the North and South respectively, it was 58% and 57%.

 

In Israel's center, individuals with no private or supplementary health insurance was 11%. In Jerusalem it's 31% and 23% in Israel's North (except for less adequate public coverage).

 

In Israel center, 6% of its residents skipped a doctor appointment because of cost. In Israel's North, it was 16%, 12% in Jerusalem, and 10% in the South.

 

Diabetes among wealthy Israeli is 4%. Among Ethiopian immigrants, it's 17%. In Ethiopia, it was zero. Among Israel's poor, it's 16%.

 

Average life expectancy in the wealthy city of Raanana is 83.7 years. In Nazareth, a northern Arab city, it's 75.7 years.

 

In 2009, those eligible for a high school diploma was 66%. In Raanana, it's 76% In poorer areas, it's 47.3% and among Arab Israelis it's 34.4%. In Lod, it's 37%.

 

For the 2008-09 academic year, the college graduate rate among 20 - 29 year olds in Tel Aviv was about 20%. In Or Yehuda, it was about 9%.

 

In 2009, poverty in Israel's center was 13%. In Jerusalem it was 33.7%, 32.3% in the North and 23.6% in the South.

 

In 2009, the percent of workers paid less than minimum wage was 35.5% in Israel's center and 38% in Tel Aviv. In Jerusalem it was 45.7%, 44.9% in the North and 44.1% in the South.

 

In 2010, 3.1% of Tel Aviv residents were job seekers. In Kiryat Gar, it was 10.4%.

 

In 2007, 57% of workers in high tech jobs lived in Tel Aviv and other Israeli center cities. Only 5% live in Jerusalem and its surroundings.

 

In 2008, 0.83% of Tel Aviv area residents got income support. In Kiryat Malachi, it was 3.83%.

 

In 2008, 140.7 applications per 1,000 population sought social services help in Israel's center. In its periphery, it was 184.2.

 

In the past decade, Israel's high tech industry thrived mainly in its center. Not only don't periphery residents benefit, they aren't getting the required education or training to do it.

 

As a result, a self-perpetuating socio-economic gap defines the two areas. According to University of Haifa Dean of the education faculty Ofra Mayseless:

 

"You have a shortage of good teachers, a lack of laboratories and facilities, less choice of subjects, and it translates to lower levels of opportunities" in periphery areas.

 

Despite various efforts to improve opportunities through special programs outside of conventional classrooms, most education leading to high tech and other good employment takes place in them.

 

As a result, for periphery areas to keep up, resources must be allocated for them. Efforts are being made to do it, but much more needs to be done.

 

So far, Israel's wealth gap and privileges with it remain extreme, leaving most Jews socially and economically deprived.

 

It's shown up for weeks with hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting for long denied social justice they'll have a long struggle ahead to get because Netanyahu and other officials will go to extremes to deny them.

 

Only continued pressure may turn the tide. It remains to be seen if most Israelis are in the struggle for the long haul. It's their only chance.

 

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

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Is Syria Next?

 Is Syria Next? - by Stephen Lendman

 

America's business isn't just war and grand theft. It's also regime change by whatever means.

 

A previous article mentioned General Wesley Clark, from his book, "Winning Modern Wars," saying that Pentagon sources told him two months after 9/11 that war plans were being prepared against Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Somalia, Sudan and Libya. Months earlier, they were finalized against Afghanistan.

 

Clark added:

 

"And what about the real sources of terrorists - US allies in the region like Egypt, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia? Wasn't it repressive policies of the first, and the corruption and poverty of the second, that were generating many of the angry young men who became terrorists? And what of the radical ideology and direct funding spewing from Saudi Arabia?"

 

"It seemed that we were being taken into a strategy more likely to make us the enemy - encouraging what could look like a 'clash of civilizations' - not a good strategy for winning the war on terror."

 

On September 5, Nil Nikandrov's Global Research.ca article asked if "After Libya: Is Venezuela Next?" saying:

 

NATO insurgents attack on Venezuela's Tripoli embassy and compound narrowly missed claiming casualties as "ambassador Afif Tajeldine and the embassy staff moved to a safer location at the last moment and left Libya shortly thereafter."

 

Nikandrov added that Venezuela's embassy was the only one looted, suggesting perhaps a message threatening Chavez as America's next target.

 

He certainly was in April 2002 for two days by a Washington instigated coup, aborted by mass street protests and support from many in Venezuela's military, especially from its middle-ranking officer corp.

 

Later in December 2002 and early 2003, he was again by a general strike and oil management lockout, causing severe economic disruption, and by an August 2004 national recall referendum he won handily with 59% of the vote.

 

Chavez knows Washington targets him for removal, yet he remains Venezuela's democratically elected president since first taking office on February 2, 1999, and still popular.

 

Nonetheless, last June, the Republican controlled House Foreign Relations Committee wanted the Obama administration to aggressively "contain (his) dangerous influence (and) his relations with Iran," according to Rep. Connie Mack (R. FL), chairman of the Subcommittee on Foreign Affairs for the Western Hemisphere.

 

He and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R. FL), another right-wing extremist, got the White House to impose sanctions on Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), its state oil company even though America relies on imported oil it supplies.

 

They and others also want Venezuela designated a supporter of state terrorism with greater consequences if they succeed, unfriendly to US business interests very much opposed.

 

As a result, whether other actions follow bears close watching. Moreover, Venezuela's late 2012 presidential election is important, especially with Chavez recovering from cancer, so perhaps is more vulnerable than earlier.

 

Ahead of the precise date to be announced, Washington is funding his opposition as done previously, meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign country, what's illegal in US elections.

 

Since 2002, in fact, America's State Department-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) directed over $100 million to anti-Chavez groups, candidates, and media campaigns.

 

Despite America's debt and budget problems, it continues perhaps in amounts greater than known, and may increase substantially next year as part of a greater regime change campaign. 

 

Are more aggressive actions planned? Only the fullness of time will tell, but given the Obama's penchant for regime change, events ahead bear close watching.

 

In Syria also since externally generated uprisings began last March, then intensified, suggesting regime change there as in Libya. Both countries were targeted with violence, so far, however, without NATO intervening against the Assad government or able to get a Security Council resolution passed to facilitate it. 

 

However, according to National Security Council director of strategic communications Ben Rhodes, the Libya model is a template for future US/NATO interventions, but "(h)ow much we translate to Syria remains to be seen. The Syrian opposition doesn't want foreign military forces but do want more countries to cut of trade with the regime and break with it politically."

 

By opposition perhaps he means Washington, NATO allies, and supportive regional regimes, not Syrians or its business leaders, harmed most by sanctions and other tactics.

 

On August 31, Corbett Report editor James Corbett told Russia Today that manipulated video footage is being used to falsify events on the ground, saying:

 

"There's even been the implication that some of the images being shown have been digitally manipulated," online reports discussing it. One instance cited video footage from Bahrain. Claimed to be from Hama, various stations airing it used different digitally "dropped in backgrounds."

 

"So there are some very strange things going on, and unfortunately we live in an age when media manipulation is so easy." 

 

It's thus harder to distinguish between reality and fiction. It was true in Tripoli when alleged rebel-supportive euphoric celebrations were, in fact, produced at a Doha, Qatar Green Square Hollywood-style sound stage mockup. In other words, they were staged and untrue. Apparently, the same deception is now repeated in Syria.

 

A September 3 Corbett Report video with Michel Chossudovsky focused on destabilizing Syria, suggesting a greater global war could result, involving Russia and China.

 

"Whatever the nature of the Syrian government," he said, falsely intervening based on "the doctrine of the responsibility to protect is a derogation of the sovereign rights of a country," according to fundamental international law prohibiting it.

 

In fact, Western media suppress reports of well armed insurgents, brought in from the outside, stoking violence since last March. At the same time, Assad's forces were blamed for responding.

 

In all anti-government demonstrations, disruptive "Islamists, snipers, and armed gangs are involved in acts of arson directed against government buildings," including a "court house and the agricultural bank in Hama."

 

At the same time, nonviolent civilians, legitimately protesting grievances, are trapped between waring sides, resulting in deaths and other casualties.

 

At issue, however, is "an armed insurrection, spreading from one city to another. We now have very firm evidence that both Turkey and Israel are" supporting militia groups (financially and with weapons), some of them, in fact, used as death squads. 

 

At the same time, "they're using this a pretext to demonize the Syrian regime, and demand the resignation of Bashar al-Assad," perhaps heading toward NATO intervention and greater war.

 

On September 2, Chossudovsky's Global Research.ca article headlined, "The Al Qaeda Insurgency in Syria: Recruiting Jihadists to Wage NATO's 'Humanitarian Wars,' Part III," saying:

 

Despite its authoritarian nature, Assad's government is "the only (remaining) independent secular state in the Arab world. Its populist, anti-Imperialist and secular base is inherited from the dominant Baath party," supportive of Occupied Palestinians as is Iran and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

 

At issue is the US/NATO plan to "displace and destroy the Syrian secular State, displace or co-opt the national economic elites and eventually replace the" current government "with an Arab sheikdom, a pro-US Islamic republic" or US-style democracy meaning one in name only.

 

As always, America's pack journalism produces one-sided falsified report, supporting US imperial wars and disruptive insurgencies preceding them. 

 

As a result, accounts and commentaries suppress information about efforts to recruit thousands of jihadist "freedom fighters" like earlier in Afghanistan against Soviet Russia, and currently a de facto NATO invasion force in Libya, massacring anyone thought to be pro-Gaddafi.

 

Already battling an outside instigated insurrection, is Syria's turn next, a topic MK Bhadrakumar addressed in his August 30 article, saying:

 

If earlier events in Iraq and current ones in Libya are "any indication, the future of (Syria's) sovereignty might be hanging by a thread." In fact, as he and others believe, regime change in one form or other is core regional US policy for strategic gains against rivals Russia and China.

 

Images from Syria now are all too familiar, including falsified reports hyping them, as well as claims about people yearning for Western liberators to free them.

 

As a result, expect Libya to replicate post-Iraq and Afghanistan occupations, highlighted by protracted conflict and violence, including insurgent forces warring amonst themselves, innocent civilians harmed most as a result.

 

Moreover, British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg ominously said:

 

"I want to make it absolutely clear: the UK will not turn its back on the millions of Arab states looking to open up their societies, looking for a better life?"

 

After destroying and preparing to loot Libya, did he mean Syria is next? Surely not Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, other Gulf States, Yemen, or other loyal regional allies, according to Bhadrakumar and other analysts.

 

Although accomplishing regime change in Syria may be harder than in Libya, never underestimate the ability of Western plotters to find a way. Perhaps what's now ongoing mere prelude to greater planned disruption politically, financially or by direct military intervention.

 

"Sustained efforts are afoot to bring about a unified Syrian opposition." A Turkey-held meeting, "third in a row, finally elected a 'council' ostensibly representing the voice of the Syrian people."

 

In fact, it represents predominantly Western interests as well as Turkey's and Israel's. "The fig-leaf of Arab League support is also available," pro-West autocratic regimes now "in the forefront" for regime change in Syria.

 

Key ahead is getting another Security Council mandate for intervention. "The heart of the matter is that regime change in Syria is imperative for the advancement of" America's Middle East strategy.

 

It includes delinking Syria from Iran, then Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, isolating the Islamic Republic, while at the same time, strengthening Israel's position, and weakening that of Russia and China.

 

Portraying both countries as being on the "wrong side of history," Bhadrakumar calls the strategy a "clever ideological twist to the hugely successful Cold-War era blueprint that pitted communism against Islam."

 

Western body language and supportive media rhetoric suggest "no conceivable way the US would let go the opportunity (for regime change) in Syria."

 

Whether it's coming, only time will tell. In the meantime, regional violence continues subverting Arab spring aspirations everywhere from blooming.

 

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

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Lawlessness and Injustice Define America and Israel

 Lawlessness and Injustice Define America and Israel - by Stephen Lendman

 

Rogue state lawlessness and contempt for humanity define both nations.

 

At home, America is plagued by police state laws, contempt for human and civil rights, out-of-control corruption, banker occupation, corporate control of Washington, record budget and national debt levels, as well as depression-sized unemployment, poverty, homelessness, hunger and despair.

 

Abroad, America wages permanent wars on humanity, killing millions for wealth, power, and unchallengeable  global dominance at the expense of suffering billions.

 

The rancid stench of Washington's war on the world permeates everywhere, threatening human and environmental survival.

 

It's no better in Israel, a nation believing only Jews have rights, and increasingly less of them under neoliberalized harshness, favoring the few at the expense of most others.

 

Like America and other Western states, Israeli policies disproportionately favor the rich. Since at least the mid-1980s, they've caused extreme wealth disparities, unemployment, poverty, hunger, homelessness and gradual loss of social benefits, heading toward ending them entirely.

 

Israelis finally reacted, protesting for weeks about unaffordable housing, high food and energy prices, onerous taxes on working households, lack of free education and better healthcare benefits, weak labor rights, and a nation no longer fit to live in for Jews. 

 

It never was for Arabs comprising one-fifth of the population. Yet they're treated more like fifth column threats than citizens with equal rights.

 

On September 3, Haaretz writer Ilan Lior headlined, "Hundreds of thousands of Israelis expected (Saturday night) at massive 'March of the Million' rallies," later saying in a follow-up article:

 

At 9:30PM, Tel Aviv's Kikar Hamedina plaza filled for the main event, preceded by a march from Habima Square via Marmorek, Ibn Gvirol and Jabotinsky streets.

 

Protest leaders and supporters addressed eager crowds. Featured entertainers heightened the popular spirit for change. Earlier, student union head Yuval Bdolah expected the rally's size to be unprecedented in Israeli history.

 

It didn't disappoint as around half a million Israelis massed in cities nationwide. Over 300,000 filled Kikar Hamedina. Protest leader Yonatan Levy said the atmosphere was like "a second Independence Day."

 

National Student Union Chairman Itzik Shmuli addressed the crowd, saying:

 

"Mr. Prime Minister, the new Israelis have a dream and it is simple: to weave the story of our lives into Israel. We expect you to let us live in this country. The new Israelis will not give up. They demand change. They demand change and will not stop until real solutions come."

 

Protest leader Daphni Leef added:

 

"My generation always felt as though we were alone in this world, but now we feel the solidarity. They try to dismiss us as stupid children, and as extreme leftists," but hundreds of thousands rallying for social justice prove otherwise.

 

Over 50,000 massed in Jerusalem's Paris Square, double the previous largest number. Actress Orna Banai addressed the crowd, saying:

 

"I am not amused that there are hungry children here, that we have a soldier rotting in captivity for five years, (and) that Israel is one of the poorest examples there (is for) human rights."

 

Others also spoke across the country for long denied social justice. Their common theme was keeping up enough pressure to succeed, and in Haifa to end discrimination against Arabs.

 

Shahin Nasser, Haifa's Arab Wadi Nisnas representative, addressed protesters, saying:

 

"Today we are changing the rules of the game. No more coexistence based on hummus and fava beans. What is happening here is true coexistence, when Arabs and Jews march together shoulder to shoulder calling for social justice and peace."

 

"We've had it. Bibi, go home. Steinitz (Israel's finance minister), go and don't come back. Atias (Israel's housing minister), goodbye and good riddance."

 

Rallying for social justice across Israel since mid-July so far shows no signs of ebbing. Succeeding, of course, depends on sustaining enough energy disruptively for change. Though never easy, it's the only way.

 

Approaching Zero Hour for Palestinian Statehood

 

Sovereign independence and full de jure UN membership is the only acceptable alternative for Palestine. However, dark Israeli and Washington forces aim to subvert it.

 

In February, Washington vetoed a Security Council resolution denouncing expanding Israeli settlements. In a White House statement, Obama "emphasized that a vote at the United Nations will never create an independent Palestinian state," even if the General Assembly grants it by a simple two-thirds majority.

 

Moreover, Congress near unanimously condemned Palestine's legitimate right to independence. In addition, it threatens to withhold support and perhaps impose sanctions if achieved. 

 

In fact, political Washington contemptuously spurns universal rights, especially everywhere not under its control. As a result, whether democrat or despot, regime change threatens all independent leaders by one means or other, including naked aggression.

 

Ask Iraqis, Afghans, Haitians, and Libyans among others. They'll explain.

 

A previous article discussed The New York Times opposition to Palestinian statehood, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/new-york-times-opposition-to.html

 

In fact, its longstanding policy staunchly supported Israel's occupation, belligerence, and right to reign terror on Palestinian civilians with impunity, in less than so many words.

 

On September 3, Steven Lee Myers and Mark Landler headlined, "US Appeals to Palestinians to Stall UN Vote on Statehood," saying:

 

"The Obama administration has initiated a last-ditch diplomatic campaign to avert a confrontation this month over" Palestinian statehood and full UN membership.

 

Once again it's playing the peace talks game even though past efforts for decades proved stillborn. Moreover, how can Palestinians negotiate without a willing partner, especially since its legitimate government is entirely shut out. 

 

Both writers omitted these and other key facts, focusing instead on worrying whether "Obama would be put in the position of threatening (a) veto (or going along and) risk alienating Israel and its (US) political supporters...."

 

They also suggested support for Obama "trying to translate the broad principles (he) outlined in May into a concrete road map for talks that would succeed where past efforts have failed...."

 

In fact, as both writers know or should, equitable peace talks are impossible because Washington and Israel never tolerated them and don't now. Neither country negotiates. They demand. For Occupied Palestinians, it's stay that way, or else.

 

At the same time, past articles explained that Washington earlier provisionally recognized Palestine as an independent nation. According to UN Charter Article 80(1), it can't reverse its position by vetoing a Security Council (SC) resolution calling for Palestine's UN admission. 

 

Doing so is illegal, subject to further SC action under the Charter's Chapter VI. Ultimately, the SC only recommends admissions. The General Assembly affirms them by a two-thirds majority. At this time, enough support exists to get it.

 

Moreover, if Washington does, in fact, play its veto card, the General Assembly can circumvent it under the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution. 

 

Abbas Holds the Wild Card

 

Ultimately, long-time Israeli collaborationist Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may prove the wild card. Ahead of petitioning the General Assembly, he's expected to explain his strategy, according to presidential aide Nabil Abu Rudaineh, saying:

 

"The president will define all the political moves which will be taken before submitting the UN bid, so as to make clear where the Palestinian cause is headed."

 

He'll "address the Palestinian people, telling them exactly why the (PA) will go to the UN, and what caused the current political situation after negotiations stopped, and after the international community failed to work out solutions to the question of Palestine, and to move the negotiation process forward based on clear foundations."

 

Abu Rudaineh added:

 

Palestinian leaders will petition the UN "as long as negotiations have not started, and Israel has not committed to clear references to start" them. 

 

"We will go to the UN Security Council in coordination with all Arab countries. Going to the UN will be the only way to gain our rights and to maintain our gains."

 

Clearly, Abbas left himself wiggle room to avoid confronting Washington and Israel by backing down at the 11th hour, despite enough world support and international law on his side to succeed.

 

If so, millions of Palestinians will be betrayed by their own president, proving again his collaborationist ties to to Israel and Western interests for whatever personal benefits he's afforded.

 

Planned Settler West Bank/East Jerusalem Belligerence

 

According to International Middle East Media Center writer Saed Bannoura, Palestinians also face another threat.

 

On September 2, he headlined, "Settlers Plan Attacks Against Palestinians In September," saying:

 

Armed by Israel's military with tear gas, stun grenades and other weapons, "extremist right wing factions (are) preparing (to) respond to any popular Palestinian move" to petition the UN for statehood and full membership.

 

Already, settlers are heavily armed with automatic weapons and "unlimited amounts of ammunition." Using them and other weapons, they prepared a plan called "children against children, women and women" to attack unnamed West Bank and East Jerusalem populations.

 

Extremist MK Michael Ben-Ari heads the scheme along with militant settlers, apparently spoiling for a fight and using Palestinian statehood efforts as a pretext.

 

"The eight-page plan includes instructions regarding operations in Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. Its main slogan is 'let's transform September from a threat to a historic opportunity to change the rules of the game.' "

 

It adds:

 

"should the UN officially recognize a Palestinian independent state, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians will take off to the streets, to celebrate, and they might approach the settlements." 

 

"Unarmed Palestinian women and children will lead the processions heading to the settlements. This will push the Israeli soldiers to open fire at them, and this issue will lead to a full collapse in the security situation, and the Palestinians will resume their attacks against the settlements."

 

The plan calls for Israeli children to confront their Palestinian counterparts, Israeli women and men doing the same thing.

 

Palestinian settlers have a long history of attacking Palestinians with impunity, including acts of vandalism, desecrating mosques, and murder. 

 

Their most extremist elements now see a chance to escalate violence to the next level, aided and abetted by Israel's military, operating under Operation Summer Seeds provisions.

 

A previous article explained, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/08/israels-operation-summer-seeds.html

 

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

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Libya, Inc: Coming Waste, Fraud and Other Forms of Plunder on a Grand Scale

 Libya, Inc.: Coming Waste, Fraud and Other Forms of Plunder on a Grand Scale - by Stephen Lendman

 

Like in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, wherever America and its Western allies show up, pillaging is sure to follow. 

 

Libya is no exception, earmarked as another profit center to be exploited. A previous article discussed it, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/09/carving-up-libya-corpse-for-profit.html

 

It explained the process now begun to carve up the Libyan corpse for profit at the expense of millions of people who deserve better. 

 

However, they're entirely left out of America's imperial agenda going forward with rich spoils at stake, including the usual waste, fraud and other pickings on an enormous scale.

 

A new congressional "Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan" investigation highlighted what Libya can expect. Titled, "Transforming Wartime Contracting: Controlling costs, reducing risks," it documented plunder on a grand scale.

 

Access the full report through the following link:

 

http://www.wartimecontracting.gov/docs/CWC_FinalReport-lowres.pdf

 

It begins, saying:

 

"At least $31 billion, and possibly as much as $60 billion, has been lost to contract waste and fraud in America's contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan."

 

Calling its estimates conservative, it suggested the true amount is far greater than congressional investigators admit.

 

A previous article covered a decade of US war costs, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011/07/decade-of-us-war-costs.html

 

It discussed a June Brown University Watson Institute for International Studies (WIIS) "Cost of War" report, estimating (post-9/11) around $5,444 trillion spent and projected with all related expenses and obligations included. 

 

In fact, including all related categories, America now spends around $1.5 trillion annually, suggesting a conservative post-9/11 total double or more Watson's figure.

 

It constitutes a shocking waste of national resources at a time vital homeland needs go begging, including essential social services being systematically reduced or ended. It also suggests a level of fraud and waste multiple times higher than congressional investigators reported.

 

In fact, as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld admitted on September 10, 2001:

 

"According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions" because the books are cooked to facilitate rampant Pentagon and defense contractor corruption.

 

It's theft on the grandest scale, stealing unknown trillions, dwarfed only by much greater stolen Wall Street amounts.

 

On August 31, AP headlined, "Independent panel warns failure to make contracting reforms risks more wartime waste and fraud," saying:

 

In Iraq and Afghanistan alone, America "lost billions of dollars to waste and fraud....and stands to repeat that in future wars without big changes in how the government awards and manages contracts for battlefield support and reconstruction projects, independent investigators said...."

 

Established in 2008, the Commission on Wartime Contracting (CWC) included four members from each party, created to investigate scandalous contractor malfeasance.

 

Calling its findings "sobering," it said much of what was found could have been avoided. Moreover, "(u)nless changes are made, continued waste and fraud will undercut the effectiveness of money spent in future operations, whether they involve hostile threats overseas or national emergencies here at home requiring military participation and interagency response."

 

Complicit with Wall Street's controlled Fed, war profiteers can order up all the ready cash it wants to steal. With Congress, the White House, federal departments, and the Pentagon involved in the dirty game, who'll take the lead to end a deal too sweet to stop.

 

Reports like CWC's proliferate through Washington, followed by inaction or too little of it. Why expect change now, even in an investigation, saying:

 

"Fraud associated with federal government contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan has been widespread." It includes "bribery, gratuities, kickbacks, and conflicts of interest, as well as false claims and statements, cost/labor mischarging, bid rigging, and undelivered, defective and counterfeit products."

 

In fact, the level of war profiteering sweetheart deals and kickbacks going back decades suggests trillions of dollars stolen because of militarism gone mad. Expect no independent investigations to uncover how much or that officials at the highest levels are involved.

 

In his 2005 book titled, "Grand Theft Pentagon: Tales of Corruption and Profiteering in the War on Terror," Jeff St. Clair documented an explosive account of how contractors like Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Bechtel and the Bush family-connected Carlyle Group among others scam multi-billions at taxpayer expense. 

 

Though out-of-control by any measure, it's largely unreported in the mainstream. 

 

In addition, much grand theft since the Gulf War (exacerbated post-9/11) happened because functions formally performed by service personnel are now outsourced to private military contractors (PMCs). 

 

Operating freely, they rip off the system absent checks and balances in place to stop them. Moreover, the total contract workforce in Iraq and Afghanistan exceeds the number of troops and civilian employees. 

 

A previous article discussed America's growing use of PMCs, accessed through the following link:

 

http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2010/01/outsourcing-war-rise-of-private.html

 

It described those performing security functions as unprincipled paramilitary hired guns. Operating freely from criminal or civil accountability, they're unchecked to kill or steal and get away with it, besides handsome amounts they're paid.

 

Since the Cold War's 1991 end, the Pentagon downsized to about two-thirds its former size, a process former defense secretary Dick Cheney called BRAC - Base Realignment and Closure, followed by privatizing military functions. 

 

Ways wars are fought also changed. Earlier distinctions between soldiers and civilians broke down, the result of low-intensity conflicts against drug cartels, warlords and persons or groups aggressor nations call "terrorists." 

 

When employed for imperial purposes (like so-called Libyan "rebels"), they're called "freedom fighters," not rogue gangs given license to kill and loot freely.

 

High-intensity warfare also changed. So sailors aboard guided missile ships, for example, serve alongside weapons and technology company personal, needed for their specialized expertise. 

 

Moreover, political thinking changed to believe whatever governments can do, business does better so let it. As a result, privatizing the military followed, piercing the last frontier to let PMC mercenaries serve in place of conventional forces.

 

They're used as combatants and consultants, as well as for support services, intelligence and personal security, reaping enormous profits besides what they're able to steal that may, in fact, be greater because checks and balances aren't in place to stop them.

 

The CWC report covered various examples resulting from:

 

(1) Contractors managing other ones.

 

(2) Awarding no-bid long-term deals.

 

(3) Extending contracts well past their expiration dates.

 

(4) Using cost-plus instead of fixed-price contracts.

 

(5) Increasing ceilings on fixed-price contracts.

 

(6) Organizing work through multiple subcontractor tiers, making effective oversight impossible.

 

Notably, four large companies accounted for 40% of total contract dollars. Another 22 companies got deals of at least $1 billion, accounting for 52% of amounts awarded.

 

The concentration produced a "too big to fail" syndrome, affording vitally needed companies virtual immunity from accountability. It opened up a chasm for them to exploit in "the form of lower-quality materials, reduced training, and lower performance standards," as well as numerous other ways to commit grand theft.

 

In fact, given license to steal, how many opportunists can resist, especially that when caught, penalties exacted pale compared to enormous profits and personal gain.

 

The report also admits that relying heavily on contractors contributed greatly to sustaining insurgents fighting against US/NATO occupation, saying:

 

"The largest source of funding for the insurgency is commonly recognized to be money from the drug trade. During a March 2011 trip to Afghanistan, experts told the Commission that extortion of funds from US construction projects and transportation contracts is the insurgents' second-largest funding source."

 

Drugs trafficking, in fact, proliferates because the CIA and Western financial interests benefit greatly from it. For Wall Street banks, it constitutes a major profit center. 

 

Years ago, Max Keiser worked on Wall Street. On his Russia Today program, he once remarked that every Friday afternoon, limousines drove up to major banks to deposit suitcases of drug money to be laundered. 

 

It's one of many open Wall Street secrets, showing the corrupting power of money on a grand scale in amounts beyond comprehension.

 

The report also noted that in the last half century, America undertook 56 foreign interventions, including 10 land-based ones lasting a year or more. They include Southeast Asia (1960s-70s), Lebanon (1982-83), Panama (1989), Iraq (1990-91), Somalia (1992-93), Haiti (1993-96), Bosnia/Kosovo (1995-99), East Timor (1999-2000), Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

Libya now heads toward membership in a club Groucho Marx once described on a personal level, explaining one he wanted no part of willing to have him as a member.

 

Nonetheless, CWC called the current geopolitical environment disturbing enough "to plan for the possibility that the United States may again become involved in overseas contingency operations that require extensive contractor support," citing Libya as a case in point.

 

In fact, because the business of America is war, permanent war, multiple wars, what CWC called possible is guaranteed, because war profiteers want it no other way.

 

Unless militarism and grand theft at current levels cease, neither humanity or planet earth may survive the toll that keeps growing exponentially, because multiple US wars may increase to a global catastrophic one.

 

That prospect too grim to imagine is real because enough good people aren't committed to stop it.

 

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

 

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

 

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/.

Libya: Coming Waste, Fraud and Other Forms of Plunder on a Grand Scale

 How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War

 

by Stephen Lendman 

 

ISBN: 978-0-9833539-4-2 192 pp. $16.95 2011 

 

SYNOPSIS 

 

The 1913 Federal Reserve Act let powerful bankers usurp money creation authority in violation of the Constitution's Article I, Section 8, giving only Congress the power to "coin Money (and) regulate the Value thereof...." 

 

Thereafter, powerful bankers used their control over money, credit and debt for private self-enrichment, bankrolling and colluding with Congress and administrations to implement laws favoring them. 

 

As a result, decades of deregulation, outsourcing, economic financialization, 

and casino capitalism followed, producing asset bubbles, record budget and national debt levels, and depression-sized unemployment far higher than reported numbers, albeit manipulated to look better. 

 

After the financial crisis erupted in late 2007, even harder times have left Main Street in the early stages of a depression, with recovery pure illusion. Today's contagion has spread out of control, globally. Wall Street got trillions of 

dollars in a desperate attempt to socialize losses, privatize profits, and pump life back into the corpses by blowing public wealth into a moribund financial sector, failing corporate favorites, and America's aristocracy. 

 

While Wall Street boasts it has recovered, industrial America keeps imploding. High-paying jobs are exported. Economic prospects are eroding. Austerity is being imposed, with no one sure how to revive stable, sustainable long-term growth. 

 

This book provides a powerful tool for showing angry Americans how they've been fleeced, and includes a plan for constructive change. 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

 

Dirty Secrets of the Temple 

Capitalism and Freedom Unmasked 

 

Greenspan's Dark Legacy 

 

A Short History of Government Handouts to Bankers and Other Corporate Favorites 

 

Quantitative Easing: Elixir or Poison? 

 

Fraud in Washington 

 

Obama's Anti-Populist Budget and Deficit Fix 

 

The Recession Is Over, the Depression Is Just Beginning 

 

Manipulation: How Markets Really Work 

 

Goldman Sachs: Master of the Universe 

 

Financialization: The Rise of Casino Capitalism 

 

Class Warfare Jeopardizing American Workers' Security 

 

Waging War on America's Workers 

 

Permanent Debt Bondage from America's Student Loan Racket 

 

On the Chopping Block: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid 

 

The Federal Reserve Abolition Act 

 

Public Banking: An Idea Whose Time Has Come. 

 

AUTHOR 

 

Stephen Lendman is a writer and broadcaster. His work is exceedingly widely distributed online, with his articles carried on numerous listservs and websites such as OpEd News, Cyrano's Journal, Information Clearing House, Countercurrents, Rense, AltNews, Uruknet, Global Research, Counterpunch, and more. 

 

In early 2007, he began regular radio hosting, and now hosts The Progressive Radio News Hour on The Progressive Radio Network. 

 

He's the co-author with J.J. Asongu of The Iraq 

Quagmire:The Price of Imperial Arrogance. 

 

He holds a BA from Harvard and an MBA from Wharton. 

 

Available directly from Clarity Press, amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or our distributors in the USA, UK/Europe/ Middle East, 

Malaysia/Singapore, World Clarity Press, Inc. 

http://www.claritypress.com. 

 

REVIEWS 

 

"Stephen Lendman has been tireless in exposing the hidden forces behind the news, on everything from political economy and human rights to social justice and workers’ rights. His writings draw from a wealth of knowledge and deep conviction. I’m delighted to see him tackle the problem of private banking and government collusion and what I believe is the key to the solution—public banking." 

 

ELLEN BROWN, Web of Debt 

 

"Steve Lendman is one of America’s leading critics,whether it involves exposing collusion between Wall Street and Washington, the Obama regime’s support of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, or the frame-up of Muslim citizens by the attorney general. Fearless,thoroughly documented and judicious in his judgement, Lendman’s essays are a major contribution to the struggle for social justice in America." 

 

JAMES PETRAS 

 

"I think this text is terrific, just what is needed, very clear, informative beyond most people’s ken, easy to read, and of ultimate importance to steering economic and political recovery. The Capitalism and Freedom chapter is right in biopsy. The book just keeps on going with brilliant full exposure." 

 

JOHN McMURTRY 

Unequal Freedoms: The Global Market as an Ethical System 

 

"A comprehensive understanding of Wall Street's manipulations of markets, money and power to the detriment of working people everywhere is badly needed. Stephen Lendman's new book "How Wall Street Fleeces America, is the 

answer." 

 

PETER PHILLIPS 

President Media Freedom Foundation/Project Censored 

 

"Stephen Lendman has written a brilliant, passionate, and humane analysis of the current economic disarray in which we now live. Picking up where Thorstein Veblen left off, Lendman links our catastrophic economic situation to the robber- baron mentality in corporations and the failure of government to act as the enforcer of morality. His analysis is full of concrete illustrations of this latter-day barbarism, and is accessible to the everyday person, as well as intellectuals. This book should be required reading in business schools as well as 

Congress." 

 

STJEPAN G. MESTROVIC 

Professor of Sociology, Texas A&M University 

 

"Stephen Lendman’s latest work covers a great many interconnected subjects that affect not only the United States but everyone in the world. The aspect of investment in America today is shown to be nothing less then the robbing of the 

American people by a criminal syndicate, known as Wall Street, banking and the Federal Reserve. A good deal of this is based upon the Federal Reserve Act and the ability of major private banks to control American society. The players have turned the financial world into one vast casino and when the players lose large amounts of money the public is allowed to bail them out. This book digs deeply into many of the contributing parts of what is wrong with the financial system of America and the world today. Stephen Lendman has a great gift for writing and 

research and all his readers are the 

 

BOB CHAPMAN 

Editor of the International Forecaster 

 

"Stephen Lendman has a breadth and depth of understanding of world and national affairs virtually unmatched among other public intellectuals today. With this exceptional collection of reflections upon our financial and budgetary crises, he clarifies and illuminates the dark and obscure recesses of policies and 

programs that, although ostensibly intended to promote the interests of the people, all too often have the opposite effect, enriching and strengthening the wealthy at the taxpayer's expense. Let us hope this book will be followed by many more!" 

 

JAMES H. FETZER 

McKnight Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota Duluth 

 

""Stephen Lendman is a true citizen journalist and scholar. After a long and successful business career, Lendman took it upon himself to use his retirement as a springboard for a new career as an analyst of political economy. With great 

acumen, Lendman calls out economic charlatans and cuts straight through the core of so-called bull markets to tell the truth about how the powerful fleece the public on a daily basis. Lendman not only traces the history of the current financial calamity, he offers common sense advice on what we can do about it. A solid, fact-based read for anyone trying to make heads or tails of what's happening in today's economy." 

 

MICKEY HUFF 

Associate Professor of History, Diablo Valley College, Director, Project Censored 

 

"There are many descriptive, narrative accounts about Wall St. and the current economic crisis available to readers today. But Stephen Lendman's new book takes the analysis far deeper than a simple narrative. Lendman emphasizes and focuses on the connections between Wall St. actions and the political system in Washington. How money operates on both sides of the street -- the banking and the political--is described in detail. The reader is left with a broader, deeper understanding of why the recent crisis happened and where it may well be 

headed. Most importantly, the author does not shirk from calling the outcomes of the Wall St.-Washington alliance for what it represents: the emergence of a new kind of class war in America. Readers will find of special interest his innovative views on banking and public banking. Lendman's book is definitely one not to be 

missed." 

 

DR. JACK RASMUS 

Professor of Economics, Santa Clara University 

Author: Epic Recession: Prelude to Global Depression 

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