Thursday, August 25, 2016

NYT Suppresses Escalated US/Turkish Aggression in Syria

NYT Suppresses Escalated US/Turkish Aggression in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

One of the best ways to be misinformed and stay that way is by following deplorable Times propaganda - a longtime imperial mouthpiece, supporting all US wars of aggression, pretending they’re humanitarian missions.

On Wednesday, Turkish military forces supported by US warplanes and hundreds of US-backed terrorists falsely called “moderate rebels” launched naked aggression on northern Syria.

Separate articles on the Lendman blog and other sites posting my work explain what’s going on - entirely different from what The Times reported, beginning with a deceptive headline, saying “Turkey’s Military Plunges Into Syria, Enabling Rebels to Capture ISIS Stronghold.”

Fact: Washington and Turkey jointly escalated naked aggression in Syria, making peace prospects distant at best.

Fact: No so-called “rebels” exist. All anti-Syrian fighters are terrorists, most imported from scores of countries, supported by Washington and its rogue allies, including Turkey.

Fact: Turkey’s current aggression has nothing to do with combating ISIS, its ally, everything to do with battling Kurds and seizing northern Syrian territory with likely designs on annexing it.

Nothing in The Times report explains any of the above - instead falsely claiming Ankara’s invasion with US support “is a significant escalation of Turkey’s role in the fight against the Islamic State…”

Utter rubbish! Washington and Ankara support ISIS. Its fighters were informed in advance about the impending aggression, letting them leave without taking a single casualty.

Ludicrously calling Turkey’s lawless invasion an indication of its “more aggressive diplomatic role in Syria,” The Times claims its “offensive” has “two immediate goals: To clear (ISIS) from (border areas) and roll back recent advances by” Kurdish fighters.

Fact: It has nothing to do with combating ISIS as already explained. Turkey was given a green light to combat Kurdish fighters America claims to support - only while needed, then betrayed, Washington’s way of doing business.

Fact: Erdogan’s main aim is annexing northern Syrian and Iraqi territory, part of his Ottoman empire recreation scheme.

Fact: America approved his aggression and provided direct support. White House spokesman Josh Earnest lied, calling Turkish forces invading Syria “an indication of important progress” in combating ISIS.

The Times consistently misreports - pretending Turkish aggression is stepped up diplomacy. It ignores Washington’s support for ISIS and all other terrorist groups in Syria. 

It fails to explain no so-called “moderate rebels” exist. It calls US naked aggression against a sovereign independent nonbelligerent nation civil war. There’s nothing civil about it.

Throughout the conflict, some of the most despicable propaganda in memory substituted for honest accounts in all scoundrel media print and electronic reports - The Times its lead source, supporting all US wars of aggression.

Its August 24 report ended by quoting Erdogan’s Big Lie, saying “Turkey is determined for Syria to retain its territorial integrity and will take matters into its own hands if required to protect that territorial unity.” 

“We have only ever sought to help the people of Syria and have no other intentions” - by arming and otherwise aiding ISIS and other terrorist fighters massacre its people with US support and encouragement!

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Territorial Waters Off Iran's Coast Are Persian, Not American

Territorial Waters off Iran’s Coast Are Persian, Not American

by Stephen Lendman

You’d never know it based on how Washington operates globally, seeking dominion over planet earth, its resources, populations and space - naked aggression its main strategy of choice.

On Wednesday, the USS Nitze and USS Mason guided missile destroyers provocatively entered Iranian waters in the Strait of Hormuz - admitted by US Central Command spokesman Commander Kyle Raines.

Four Iranian small vessels interdicted them, both US warships changing course to avoid confrontation. The US Navy called the incident “unsafe and unprofessional.”

What legal right have US warships to sail in Iranian waters or those of any other country like Beijing’s in the South China Sea or Russia’s in the Black Sea.

Iran’s Defense Minister Hossein Dehqan said “(i)f any foreign vessel enters our waters, we will given them a warning and it is an act of aggression, we will confront them.”

Iranian vessels monitor all movements in Persian Gulf waters. America maintains a strong naval presence there, including occasional provocative war games. Its Fifth Fleet based in Bahrain includes a formidable array of warships and support vessels - too close to Iranian waters and coastline for comfort. 

Iran’s Defense Minister Dehqan earlier said “(t)he Iranian Armed Forces are an intertwined and coherent complex that can give a decisive response to any threat at any level and any place under the command of the Commander-in-Chief.”

“The enemy can never assess and think of the range of the response given by the powerful and mighty Armed Forces of the Islamic Iran.”

He vowed a strong response to counter any US provocations. America acts irresponsibly, then blames Iran for “unsafe and unprofessional actions (risking) escalation and miscalculation” - claiming US forces “have an inherent obligation for self-defense.”

Longtime US policy calls for regime change in Iran. Perhaps a provocative action instigated by Fifth Fleet warships one day will be a Gulf of Tonkin type incident used to declare war.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Reality in Syria

Reality in Syria

by Stephen Lendman

As a longtime peace, stability, human and civil rights activist, I’m appalled about what’s happening in Syria.

It’s one of numerous US targeted countries, ravaged and destroyed one after another, responsible for millions of casualties gone unreported by deplorable media scoundrels - supporting America’s imperial ruthlessness.  

It’s waging naked aggression against nonbelligerent nations to transform their sovereign independence into US colonies. 

Israel’s regional agenda is served. Regime change in Syria if achieved isolates Iran, next in America’s queue to be targeted by war or color revolution.

Syria is in the eye of the storm, a hugely dangerous flashpoint risking East/West confrontation - likely anyway if Hillary succeeds Obama, a neocon lunatic wanting US-dominated NATO used aggressively “to defend our way of life,” including use of nuclear weapons.

Paul Craig Roberts believes her presidency would mean “nuclear war before her first term is over. A vote for Hillary is a vote for nuclear war,” he stresses.

Several times I’ve said US nuclear war (with Russia and perhaps China) is a coin flip with her as commander-in-chief of America’s military, her finger on the nuclear trigger.

Russia deserves credit for intervening in Syria responsibly to combat terrorism last September, though it hasn’t done enough. It continues going all-out for peaceful conflict resolution despite the futility of getting Washington to agree.

Its leaders going back to Soviet days know America can’t be trusted. It doesn’t negotiate. It demands. Its agenda is uncompromisingly ruthless.

Things it agrees to aren’t worth the paper they’re written on - principles systematically breached to achieve unchallenged global dominance.

Strategies employed include color revolutions and naked aggression, raping one country after another or in multiples.

Endless Sergey Lavrov discussions with John Kerry accomplish nothing. On Wednesday, they spoke by phone during US-supported Turkish aggression on northern Syria. 

Yet it wasn’t the main topic of concern, maybe not even discussed. Talks instead focused on fighting in Aleppo along with providing humanitarian aid for its beleaguered residents.

Russia again tried getting America to cooperate in combating terrorists in Syria it supports - to no avail.

These type discussions accomplish nothing. Washington is committed to regime change. Obama didn’t launch naked aggression using terrorists as proxy foot soldiers to quit.

It’s hard understanding what Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov had in mind, claiming progress in US/Moscow talks when nothing significant was achieved bilaterally throughout years of conflict.

It rages endlessly, perhaps permanently as long as Syrians redoubtably refuse to surrender to US imperial viciousness.

Or maybe things will end with horrific US shock-and-awe intervention if Hillary succeeds Obama. 

Or maybe nuclear denouement. When lunatics run the asylum, anything is possible - including WW III.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

US Supports Turkey's Invasion of Syria

US Supports Turkey’s Invasion of Syria

by Stephen Lendman

There’s no delicate way of putting it. Throughout Obama’s rape of Syria, Turkey partnered with America for its own self-interest. 

It profits from selling stolen ISIS oil, covets annexation of northern Syrian and Iraqi territory. Erdogan’s primary aim is establishing a new Ottoman empire, naked aggression his strategy.

His meeting with Putin in St. Petersburg on August 9 achieved nothing toward resolving Syria’s conflict - just the opposite based on events since Wednesday.

Days earlier comments by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim were duplicitous in promising to work with Russia and Iran for conflict resolution. Just the opposite is happening.

Partnered with US-supported terrorists called “moderate rebels,” Turkish forces invaded northern Syria in force on the phony pretext of combating ISIS, its ally throughout the conflict.

Its fighters left the city of Jarablus, likely notified in advance to get out of harm’s way. Turkish aggression with US-supported air cover was a walkover, no resistance encountered.

Erdogan’s dual aim was combating Kurdish YPG fighters and seizing Syrian territory - whether short-term or permanently remains to be seen. His government announced it intends taking the town of Manbij.

Joe Biden conveniently visiting Ankara expressed US support for Turkish aggression, saying “(w)e have made it clear to Kurdish forces that they must move back across the (Euphrates) river.”

“They cannot and will not get American support if they do not keep that commitment. Period.”

In other words, it’s OK for Turkey to seize and occupy northern Syrian territory - how all aggressors operate, notably America.

A Syrian Foreign Ministry statement “condemn(ed) the intrusion of Turkish tanks into Syrian territory under the cover of air support provided by the US-led international coalition. Syria regards such actions as outright violation of its sovereignty.”

Resisting terror “is not confined to driving out militants of the terrorist group calling itself Islamic State only to replace them with other extremist groups supported from Turkey.”

Russia’s response to Erdogan’s aggression was muted, its Foreign Ministry saying “Moscow is deeply worried over the ongoing events in the area of the Syrian-Turkish border.”

“First and foremost, very worrisome is the risk of a further deterioration of the situation in the zone of the conflict, including the possibility of civilian casualties it may entail and the soaring inter-ethnic contradictions between the Kurds and the Arabs.”

It added conflict resolution can only be achieved through constructive dialogue, involving all Syrian ethnic and religious groups. What’s the point. It’s not happening this way and won’t because Washington obstructs efforts toward peace.

Instead of steps toward resolution, things just escalated, Washington’s dirty hands involved - letting Erdogan pursue his territorial ambitions and war on area Kurds, allied with US-supported terrorists against the territorial integrity of Syria and its long-suffering people.

Russia’s muted response to what’s happening begs these questions. Why hasn’t Moscow unreservedly condemned Turkish aggression with US support?

Why doesn’t it forthrightly denounced all heavily armed anti-government forces as terrorists and declare henceforth it’ll attack them freely?

Turkey occupying parts of northern Syria perhaps intending to stay is a significant setback in efforts to liberate the country from US-backed foreign invaders.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Trump and Others Call for Clinton Foundation to Shut Down

Trump and Others Call for Clinton Foundation to Shut Down

by Stephen Lendman

Trump isn’t alone. Voices on the left and right agree. More on this below. 

The foundation is a Bill and Hillary money-laundering self-enrichment racket posing as a charitable NGO.

To make a point, Trump says it’s “the most corrupt enterprise in political history,” calling for it to cease operations immediately, stressing:

“Hillary Clinton is the defender of the corrupt and rigged status quo. The Clintons have spent decades as insiders lining their own pockets and taking care of donors instead of the American people.” 

“What they were doing during Crooked Hillary’s time as Secretary of State was wrong then, and it is wrong now. It must be shut down immediately.”

Last week, the foundation said it’ll stop accepting foreign and corporate donations if Hillary succeeds Obama. On Monday, Trump said pay-to-play donations from “a lot of countries that we shouldn't be taking and they shouldn't be taking money from” should be returned.

“Countries that influenced her totally and also countries that discriminate against women and gays and everybody else. I mean, that money - it should be given back. They should not take that money.”

On August 24, a feature Wall Street Journal story suggests Bill and Hillary intend continuing dirty business as usual regardless of how things turn out in November, saying:

“The Clinton Foundation is considering exceptions to its plan to stop accepting corporate and foreign donations and reduce family involvement” if Hillary succeeds Obama.

On Wednesday, foundation spokesman Craig Minassian said Chelsea plans to stay on its board. In other words, she’ll represent her parents’ interests so they’ll continue being served seamlessly.

The so-called Clinton Health Access Initiative, part of the foundation’s racket, will likely keep accepting foreign and corporate donations - elevating pay-to-pay to a higher level under a third Clinton co-presidency, selling influence in return for likely billions of dollars in donations, much diverted to enrich Bill and Hillary, their family members and cronies.

Chelsea’s spokeswoman fooled no one, saying she’ll stay on the board because she’s “committed to ensuring that those benefitting from the foundation’s work will…continue” being served.

Beneficiaries are largely the Clintons and co-conspirators. Racketeering enriches them hugely on phony pretext charitable do-gooding, a minor part of the racketeering operation as cover to conceal its real purpose.

Neocon Washington Post editors said if Hillary succeeds Obama, “all of the foundation’s assets should be spun off to an organization with no ties to the first family.”

USA Today editors said “the only way to eliminate the odor surrounding the foundation is to wind it down and put it in mothballs, starting today, and transfer its important charitable work to another large American charity…”

The New Yorker urged turning the foundation into an independent charity (sic) “at least for the duration of a Clinton presidency.”

Boston Globe editors called for ending donations and shutting the foundation down in November. A growing chorus of voices urge the same thing.

Will it happen? Unlikely based on developments discussed above - Bill, Hillary, Chelsea and others benefitting hugely not about to give up the gift that keeps on giving, the stuff that dreams are made of!

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sanders' Dubious Our Revolution Initiative

Sanders’ Dubious Our Revolution Initiative

by Stephen Lendman

He’s no more a progressive revolutionary than any other member of Congress, nor Washington’s bipartisan criminal class, bureaucrats included - Sanders a card-carrying member throughout his deplorable political career.

Endorsing Hillary Clinton after rhetorically campaigning against what she represents exposed his duplicity - a progressive in name only. An opportunist for his own self-interest, he wants his extended 15 minutes of fame made more long-lasting.

Claiming his new initiative “will fight to transform America and advance the progressive agenda (he) believe(s) in” belies his deplorable House and Senate voting records, on the wrong side of most major issues, especially supporting most US wars of aggression.

A separate Sanders Institute intends operating like his Our Revolution initiative. Maybe his real aim is cashing in on his high-profile persona - including a new book due out in mid-November titled “Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In.”

Save your money. Its contents are clear without reading it - the same mumbo jumbo rubbish he used while campaigning.

It excludes his deplorable history of promising one thing, doing another, going along with Washington scoundrels like Hillary to get along, betraying his loyal supporters - the real Sanders he wants concealed.

On August 24, The New York Times said his Our Revolution initiative “has been met with criticism and controversy over its financing and management.”

It’s “draw(ing) from the same pool of ‘dark money’ (he) condemned” while campaigning. After his former campaign manager Jeff Weaver was hired to lead the group, “the majority of its staff resigned,” said The Times - described as “eight core staff members…”

“The group’s entire organizing department quit this week, along with people working in digital and data positions.” They refused to reconsider after Sanders urged them to stay on.

A major concern is the group’s tax status as a 501(c)(4) organization able to get large donations from anonymous sources - meaning the usual ones buying influence, letting Sanders pretend to be progressive and revolutionary while operating otherwise.

Claire Sandberg was the initiative’s organizing director. “I left and others left because we were alarmed that Jeff (Weaver) would mismanage this organization as he mismanaged the campaign,” she explained.

She fears Weaver will “betray its core purpose by accepting money from billionaires and not remaining grassroots funded and plowing that billionaire cash into TV instead of investing it in building a genuine movement.” 

Vermont GOP vice chairman Brady Toensing blasted Sanders for “preach(ing) transparency and then tr(ying) to set up the most shadowy of shadowy fund-raising organization to support” what he claims to endorse.

“What I’m seeing here is a senator who is against big money in politics, but only when” it applies to others, not himself, Toensing added.

Campaign Legal Center’s Paul S. Ryan said “(t)here are definitely some red flags with respect to the formation of this group…We’re in a murky area.”

Is Sanders’ real aim self-promotion and enrichment? Is his Our Revolution more a scheme than an honest initiative? 

Is it sort of like the Clinton Foundation, Sanders wanting to grab all he can - only much less able to match the kind of super-wealth Bill and Hillary amassed?

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Student Teachers and Research Assistants Win Right to Organize at US Private Universities


Student Teachers and Research Assistants Win Right to Organize at US Private Universities

by Stephen Lendman

They’re workers like all others, their profession teaching and related activities. On Tuesday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB - a shadow of its New Deal origination under the 1935 Wagner Act) ruled on a case Columbia graduate students initiated.

They’ll now have collective bargaining rights like other workers. The decision extends beyond graduate students to the doctoral level. Undergraduate teaching and research assistants are included.

They’ll be able to bargain collectively for all rights they consider important. Administrators at my alma mater opposed unionization. Harvard University president Drew Faust said it would change the student/faculty relationship to an employer/worker one.

Last February, Harvard and other universities filed a joint amicus brief to the NLRB, arguing against collective bargaining rights - wanting management alone to have them.

Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Science spokeswoman Anna Cowenhoven likely spoke for others, saying “the relationship between students and the university is primarily about education…”

True enough. She absurdly and arrogantly added that “unionization will disrupt academic programs and freedoms, mentoring and research at Harvard.” 

How she didn’t explain. Fundamental collective bargaining rights don’t disrupt the academic environment or conflict with it in any way. They give new meaning to academic freedom Harvard and most other Western colleges and universities claim to support.

Columbia grad student Paul Katz involved in the organizing effort said “(w)hat we’re fundamentally concerned about isn’t the money. It’s a question of power and democracy in (academia) that’s increasingly corporatized (and) hierarchical.”

Majority NLRB members overturned a 2004 board decision involving Brown University student assistants - ruling they couldn’t be considered employees because they “are primarily students and have a primarily educational, not economic, relationship with their university.”

One doesn’t conflict with the other. Fundamental rights matter  under all relationships between management and members of businesses and organizations, including academic ones.

Grad students at various public universities won the right to organize under state laws. It should be universal for all types of workers - blue and white collar ones in all lines of work.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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

Russia Patient with America to a Fault

Russia Patient with America to a Fault

by Stephen Lendman

Despite Russia’s best efforts to have things otherwise, relations with America are adversarial.

They’ve been this way for the past century despite a short-term alliance of convenience to defeat Nazi Germany in WW II - Russia deserving most of the credit, America a junior partner.

Nothing in prospect suggests improved bilateral relations. Washington remains committed to regime change, wanting Russia transformed into a US colony, its huge land mass partitioned for easier control, its resources looted, its people exploited as serfs, letting Wall Street and other American monied interests profit from their misery.

Paul Craig Roberts asked if Russia can survive Washington’s challenge, saying its “real danger…lies in (its) desire for Western acceptance.” Their people are “doomed” as long as their leaders maintain this mindset.

It’s refreshing when some of their officials blast US policy and likely intensions, straight talk using largely diplomatic rhetoric.

On August 24, its Foreign Ministry said Washington’s “attempt to flirt with Jabhat al-Nusra is fraught with fostering another terrorist monster.”

“We…consider the American line in Syrian affairs to be slightly inconsistent and illogical. The Americans are putting up new conditions with an aim to give a respite to Jabhat al-Nusra and its combat allies to enable them to continue an armed confrontation with the government troops.”

“Suggesting that American and other partners give up destructive rhetoric, we once again confirm readiness for responsible and efficient cooperation in fight against a universal terrorist threat in Syria and in the region.”

Separately during a Security Council meeting, Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin urged America and its imperial partners to “look itself in the mirror” before criticizing Moscow’s policy in Syria.

He minced no words, saying “(u)nfortunately, some of the Council’s members (meaning America, Britain and France) tend to hold incorrect or, frankly speaking, dishonest discussion.” 

“They drag provocative insinuations into the Security Council concerning the work of Russian air forces while remaining silent over their own unjustifiable actions.”

He accused Washington and its so-called “coalition” partners of killing and injuring hundreds of Syrian civilians, along with using its terrorist foot soldiers to obstruct delivery of humanitarian aid.

He said “drop your rhetoric…deal with your actions…Then the number of tragedies in the world will diminish.”

The problem with these type comments and others like them is Russia courts favor in the West to a fault, harming its own self-interest.

On the one hand, it’s sound policy stressing diplomacy over belligerent confrontation - especially between the world’s two dominant nuclear powers. 

On the other, it’s fruitless to believe America will ever treat sovereign independent Russia with the respect and normalized relations it deserves.

With this in mind, Moscow should act appropriately, serving its own interests responsibly, fostering peace, stability and cooperative relations with all nations, while refusing to be bullied by any of them - especially America.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Turkish Forces Enter Syria on Phony Pretext of Combating ISIS

Turkish Forces Enter Syria on Phony Pretext of Combating ISIS

by Stephen Lendman

Turkey supports ISIS and other terrorist groups operating in Syria and Iraq. At the same time, it’s waging war on Kurds in both countries as well as at home.

On August 24, its forces entered Syria pre-dawn as part of its war to prevent a Kurdistan formation on its border, perhaps eventually including southeastern Turkish and northern Iraqi territory, areas with large Kurdish populations.

Below is how Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) reported what happened with a caveat. Most media in Turkey are state influenced, restricted, directly or indirectly controlled.

Here’s the timeline as reported for what Turkish Armed Forces call cross-border Euphrates Shield. HDN reported it in reverse order through 10:39AM local time:

“10:39 a.m. - TSK howitzers and rocket launchers carry out 294 strikes on 81 ISIL targets.

10:30 a.m. - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrives in Ankara on Aug. 24 hours after a joint operation by the Turkish military and the coalition forces launched in the ISIL-held Jarablus region in Syria.

9:27 a.m. - Mortar shells fired across the border from Jarablus by ISIL militants have dropped onto a empty field in central Karkamış. No casualties are reported. 

9:05 a.m. - According to military sources, howitzers have directly hit 70 ISIL targets. 

8:36 a.m. - The Doğan News Agency live broadcast shows Turkish tanks approaching the Syrian border and passage opening operations reach an end. 

8:07 a.m. - According to Reuters, Turkish tanks have begun its strikes on ISIL targets. 

7:50 a.m. - According to military sources, 12 ISIL targets have been directly hit.

7:48 a.m. - Doğan News Agency reports that Turkish tanks have arrived at the Syrian border. 

7:25 a.m. - Some parts of the border province of Gaziantep, from where the operation was initiated, are declared a special security region. 

7:15 a.m. - Military sources deny the claims that ground operations have begun and say operations to open passages through the border were still ongoing. 

6:30 a.m. - Jarablus is hit by Turkish Armed Forces.  

6:10 a.m. - Turkish F-16 jets carry out another operation on ISIL targets. 

6:08 a.m. - For the first time since Nov. 24, 2015, when Turkey downed a Russian jet above Syria, Turkish Armed Forces carry out aerial operations in Syria. They shoot targets that have been designated by ground special forces. 

5:55 a.m. - Turkish special forces enter Syria. 

5:45 a.m.  - Howitzer and rocket launcher attacks conclude. Until this hour some 224 launches were conducted on 63 targets. 

4:05 a.m.  - TSK begin using construction machines to carry out passages through the Turkish-Syrian border from points that been chosen beforehand. 

4:00 a.m.  - TSK howitzers and rockets launchers begin to strike at ISIL targets in Jarablus.” 

Tass said Ankara informed Russia about its operation in advance. Turkey’s military is operating jointly with US-backed anti-Syrian terrorists and reportedly with Pentagon warplanes, alone enough to raise red flags about the mission’s objective - perhaps conveniently timed with Joe Biden arriving in Ankara on Wednesday for talks with President Erdogan and Prime Minister Yildirim.

Turkish military sources said operations to control Jarablus may take two weeks. How large a ground operation is planned remains to be seen, along with how Washington intends using Ankara’s incursion to aid its terrorist foot soldiers battle Syrian government forces.

The operation isn’t about “ensur(ing) border security and Syria’s territorial integrity while supporting the US-led coalition against the Islamic State” as Turkey’s military claims.

It’s day one of its mission. It remains to be seen how things develop. On Tuesday, Syria’s UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari accused Ankara, Riyadh and Qatar of providing military, financial and other support to ISIS and other US-backed terrorists battling government forces, massacring civilians, committing other atrocities.

Separately from Nairobi, Kenya on Monday, John Kerry said talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov may end soon. Both sides remain intractably apart.

Moscow’s best efforts for conflict resolution accomplished nothing. Washington wants war, not peace, Assad forcefully or otherwise ousted, Syria transformed into another US colony.

Russia remains committed to its sovereign independence, territorial integrity and right of its people alone to decide who’ll lead them - free from foreign interference.

Endless war could continue for years. If Hillary succeeds Obama, expect escalation, not diminution of conflict, risking possible East/West confrontation she seems itching for.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Paralympics Should Reflect the Best of the Human Spirit

Paralympics Should Reflect the Best of the Human Spirit

by Stephen Lendman

Athletes competing in Olympic or other contests, despite all sorts of physical impairments and disabilities, reflect the best of sport - individuals with courage to go on with their lives, not letting physical or other limitations stop them from being the best they can be.

For them, competing alone is winning. Showing up is its own reward. Banning numerous Russian athletes from Rio 2016 and its entire Paralympian team because of US pressure further disgraces already hugely tarnished Olympism - more about spectacle, profiteering and exploitation than sport at its finest.

In early August, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) banned Russian athletes from participating in Paralympian competition next month - following a World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recommendation, under heavy pressure from Washington to act, perhaps the lowest form of Russia bashing, its courageous Paralympians victimized by US imperial arrogance.

Russia’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was rejected. Hundreds of Russian Paralympians are being wrongfully denied their right to compete.

Russian sporting legend, three-time Olympian gold medalist Irina Rodnina, current lower house State Duma parliamentarian, spoke for others, saying:

I am more than sure that it is a wrongful decision, but the main thing is that it is inhumane. Taking it out on physically challenged people, on people for whom it is not just sports of highest achievement, not a profession, but a possibility to feel they are individuals…to take part in competitions. Sport has become raison d’etre for many of them.”

Rio 2016 will long be remembered as Olympism at its worst for wrongfully banishing Russian athletes and Paralympians.

Unjustly banning them reflects disgraceful collective punishment, talented athletes deserving the right to compete used as geopolitical pawns.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Adolph Trump?

Adolph Trump?

by Stephen Lendman

Make no mistake. He’s a deplorable choice for president. The problem is Hillary’s worse, a despicable character I call the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history based on her deplorable public record.

Comparisons with Trump aren’t straightforward as he’s never held public office - so it’s only possible judging him from his rhetoric and what’s known about how he does business as it relates to how he might govern.

Billionaires are shady characters by nature. Getting super-rich requires operating and getting away with dealings far different from someone like myself in small family business for many years - playing by the rules, observing the law, cheating no one, earning an honest living by providing an honest service without connections in high places providing an unfair advantage.

Trump’s foreign policy, by his own admission, will be hawkish if elected president. Yet psychologist Kevin Dutton calling him more psychopathic than Hitler creates the appearance of fronting for Hillary’s campaign. Was he hired to demonize Trump?

Notable independent leaders refusing to bow to Washington’s will, like Vladmir Putin and Hugo Chavez, are deplorably compared to Hitler - US officials and supportive media scoundrels willfully lying.

Dutton’s Psychopathic Personality Inventory - Revised (PPI-R) methodology is imperfect under the best of circumstances. Yet he based his analysis on Trump without direct personal contact. Practicing psychologists and psychiatrists operating this way would likely be called quacks.

Dutton says traits constituting psychopathy include fearlessness, cold-heartedness, egocentricity, ruthlessness, self-confidence, charisma, and dishonesty with deficits in empathy and conscience.

Some are positive, others not, Dutton saying “great and terrible leaders score higher than the general population for psychopathic traits, but it is the mix of those traits that determines success.”

“For example, someone who scores highly for being influential, fearless and cold hearted could be a decisive leader who can make dispassionate decisions. If those traits are accompanied by a high score on blaming others, they might be a genocidal demagogue.”

Psychoanalysis is an imperfect science at best - qualitative, not quantitative without lab and other tests needed to diagnose disease. Conducting it without direct personal contact with a subject makes it highly suspect.

In the case of a presidential aspirant like Trump, overwhelmingly opposed by establishment interests, including media scoundrels assailing him relentlessly, claiming he’s more Hitlerian than Hitler frames him based on dubious circumstantial evidence - over-the-top bashing in service to Hillary.

Both candidates are unfit to serve, she the worst of the two. Arms-length psychological evaluation is no way to judge how deplorable they’ll be, especially since presidents and other high office holders represent the interests of their backers, governing accordingly.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 


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