Monday, May 22, 2017

Trump's Draconian Budget

Trump’s Draconian Budget

by Stephen Lendman

Supported by congressional hardliners, his agenda is all about benefitting Wall Street, war-profiteers and other corporate predators more than ever - at the expense of America’s most vulnerable.

His FY 2018 budget proposes enormous Medicaid and food stamp cuts, along with letting states cut safety net programs on their own.

His plan follows House members passing legislation to cut Medicaid spending by more than $800 billion over the next decade, ending benefits for at least 10 million impoverished Americans, endangering their lives.

Media reports suggest he wants $193 billion cut from the Supplemental Nutrition (food stamp) Assistance Program over the next 10 years, more than a 25% reduction in aid - on top of earlier Obama administration cuts, assuring food insecure households will have to be dependent on charity for much of their sustenance.

Many safety net programs run jointly by Washington and states require recipients to be employed to qualify - at a time of protracted Main Street Depression conditions, nearly a fourth of working-age Americans without jobs.

After entering office, Trump said “(w)e want to get our people off welfare and back to work…It’s out of control.” It’s because of federal thirdworldizing policies, compounded by force-fed austerity, creating an unprecedented wealth disparity, one of many national outrages.

Trump’s agenda, if passed by Congress, assures nightmarish conditions for tens of millions of Americans, better times than ever for business and high-net worth individuals.

Authorizing states on their own to cut or eliminate safety net programs jeopardizes the viability of what remains of social justice in America.

Will big Medicare and Social Security cuts follow? Both are insurance programs, not welfare, funded by worker/employer payroll tax deductions. They’re contractual federal programs for eligible recipients.

Hardliners in Washington want all social programs drastically cut or ended, Trump willing to go along. His proposed tax cuts, if enacted, will create a far greater wealth disparity than already.

According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities president Robert Greenstein, “(t)he indications are strong this budget will feature Robin-Hood-in-reverse policies on an unprecedented scale.”

Trump saying his budget proposal enables balancing the federal budget in 10 years by tax cuts for the rich stimulating economic growth is utter nonsense.

Enough Republicans may join with Democrats in blocking parts of his draconian plan.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Trump's Son-in-Law a Person of Interest in Witch-Hunt Russia Probe

Trump’s Son-in-Law a Person of Interest in Witch-Hunt Russia Probe

by Stephen Lendman

On Saturday, New York magazine contributor Yashar Ali tweeted “(i)t’s Jared Kushner. Have confirmed this with four people.”

Contacts between Kushner and Russian officials took place, Ali claimed, adding he agreed to cooperate with the ongoing probe. Trump calls it the “single greatest political witch-hunt” in US history - true about a witch-hunt. He’s never shy about exaggeration and hyperbole.

Reportedly involved in negotiating the arms deal Trump announced in Riyadh, Kushner allegedly met with the CEO of an illegally US sanctioned Russian bank, regarding financing of Trump International Hotel and Tower in Toronto.

Security Council members alone may impose sanctions on countries, not individual ones on others the way Washington operates, using this tool illegally to serve its geopolitical agenda.

The probe into alleged Russia US election hacking and Trump team contacts or dealings with Russian nationals is a scheme to denigrate, weaken, delegitimize, and oust him from office.

No Russian hacking occurred, no improper or illegal Trump team dealings with Russian nationals. Nothing suggests otherwise after months of investigation, nothing likely ahead because there’s nothing incriminating to discover.

Whatever dealings Kushner may have had in Russia were likely no different from the activities of other businessmen and women.

Naming him a person of interest in the ongoing probe, along with appointing Robert Mueller as special council keeps the anti-Trump pot boiling for the wrong reasons, not the right ones.

Last week, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said “(a)s the president has stated before, a thorough investigation will confirm that there was no collusion between the campaign and any foreign entity.”

No evidence proves him wrong. Kushner is married to Trump’s daughter Ivanka. He’s a real estate investor, developer, publisher and senior advisor to the president.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

The Riyadh Declaration of Escalated Regional War

The Riyadh Declaration of Escalated Regional War

by Stephen Lendman

On the phony pretext of combating ISIS, the scourge America and its rogue regional allies support, a so-called Riyadh Declaration was agreed to by 55 Muslim countries in the Saudi capital on Sunday.

Claiming it’s “to combat terrorism in all its forms, address its intellectual roots, dry up its sources of funding, and take all necessary measures to prevent and combat terrorist crimes in close cooperation among their states” is a statement of mass deception.

Saudi Arabia, Israel and America’s regional presence constitute the epicenter of regional and global state terrorism - supporting its scourge, not combating it.

The Saudi Press Agency, saying “a global center for countering extremist thought…combating intellectual, media and digital extremism, and promoting coexistence and tolerance among peoples” based in Riyadh would be laughable if the threat posed by Washington, the Saudis and other regional rogue states wasn’t so grave.

Riyadh Declaration signatory countries committed to provide “a reserve force of 34,000 troops” -  not “to support operations against terrorist organizations in Iraq and Syria when needed,” as claimed. 

They’ll partner with Washington’s destructive imperial agenda, a plot to eliminate Syrian and Iranian sovereignty, assuring endless Middle East wars. 

Iran was especially singled out, the document saying signatories “confirmed their absolute rejection of the practices of the Iranian regime designed to destabilize the security and stability of the region and the world at large and for its continuing support for terrorism and extremism” - polar opposite Tehran’s agenda.

It’s targeted for its sovereign independence, a nation America doesn’t control, a Saudi rival. Imperial plans call for regime change.

On Sunday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted “Iran - fresh from real elections - attacked by @POTUS in that bastion of democracy & moderation (Saudi Arabia). Foreign Policy or simply milking KSA of $480 billion?”

Separately in a London-based al-Araby al-Jadeed news network op-ed, Zarif said Trump “must enter into dialogue with (the Saudis) about ways to prevent terrorists and Takfiris from continuing to fuel the fire in the region and repeating the likes of the September 11 incident by their sponsors in Western countries.”

“(T)he Iranophobia project (was) initiated and promoted by the Zionist regime for years…Iran (seeks) stability in the entire region because it knows that achieving security at home at the expense of insecurity among neighbors is basically 

Sadly as Zarif knows, US and Saudi policies foster terrorism, using ISIS and likeminded groups to further their imperial agendas.

Trump’s Sunday Muslim world address was an exercise in deception - exposed by longstanding US policies, its endless wars of aggression, and announced deal to sell Riyadh hundreds of billions of dollars worth of powerful weapons over the next decade, entirely for offense, not defense.

Washington’s goal isn’t “stamping out (terrorist) extremism,” as Trump claimed, it’s supporting and encouraging it to further US aims for unchallenged global dominance.

The Riyadh Declaration is part of the scheme to pursue this objective, polar opposite what its signatories claim.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

North Korea Acts of Self-Defense

North Korea Acts of Self-Defense

by Stephen Lendman

When America or Israel test nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, the international community and Western media silence is deafening.

These countries and their rogue allies constitute the greatest threat to world peace - yet are unthreatened by anyone. 

Claims otherwise represent fear-mongering to justify the unjustifiable, including out-of-control militarism and belligerence, notably ongoing wars of aggression in multiple theaters.

North Korea is hugely threatened by America’s rage for regional and global dominance. Its nuclear and ballistic missile programs are solely defensive, fearing possible US naked aggression, threatening its existence as a sovereign state.

Yet each time it tests weapons America, East Asia countries and others call unacceptable, criticism and threats follow.

In response to Pyongyang’s Sunday ballistic missile test, a May 23 Security Council emergency session will convene, at the request of Washington, South Korea and Japan, certain to discuss tougher sanctions, perhaps other measures short of war on the peninsula, a looming future possibility.

From Riyadh, Secretary of State Tillerson said “(w)e’re early in the stages of applying the economic pressure as well as the diplomatic pressure to the regime in North Korea.”

“Hopefully they will get the message that the path of continuing their nuclear arms program is not a pathway to security or certainly prosperity. The ongoing testing is disappointing. It’s disturbing.”

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesman Roh Jae-cheon said “Seoul and Washington believe Sunday’s test provided North Korea with unspecified ‘meaningful data’ on its push to improve the credibility of missile technology.”

Following Sunday’s test, South Korea held a National Security Council meeting - hours after President Moon Jae-in announced his new foreign minister choice, as well as top security and foreign policy advisors.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called Sunday’s launch a “challenge to the world.” It’ll be discussed later this week by G7 leaders in Sicily.

Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) confirmed Sunday’s launch of a ground-to-ground medium-range Pukguksong-2 ballistic missile, saying:

The test “aimed to finally verify all the technical indexes of the weapon system and thoroughly examine its adaptability under various battle conditions, before its deployment at military units for action.”

The launch followed a week-ago long-medium-range Hwasong 12 test-firing. According to the KCNA, Kim Jong-un said the Pukguksong-2 is ready for mass-production and deployment. It’s able to strike targets up to 500km away.

South Korean military officials said it’s a solid-fuel missile - more complex but more stable, providing greater longterm military capability.

US Pacific Command tracked the missile in flight to splashdown. Its spokesman called Pyongyang’s ballistic missile tests “reckless, irresponsible and destabilizing” - a dubious distinction applying to America and its rogue allies, not the DPRK threatening no one.

The core issue is Washington’s refusal to deal with North Korea diplomatically, recognizing its government, ending longstanding hostility, lifting sanctions, treating the DPRK like other regional nations, guaranteeing its security, precluding its need for powerful defensive weapons.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Trump in Israel

Trump in Israel

by Stephen Lendman

He arrived at midday, there to pay homage to Zionist extremism. America and Israel partner in regional state terrorism, their axis constituting the greatest threat to world peace.

Israel is in lockdown, thousands of police and other security forces deployed, main roads blocked, activities for Israelis and Palestinians disrupted.

In Bethlehem where Trump and Abbas will meet, a duplicitous banner was displayed, bearing their images, saying “The city of peace welcomes the man of peace.” 

Nothing could be further from the truth. US imperial wars rage on Trump’s watch, heading for greater escalation than already.

In Jerusalem, billboards state “Trump is a Friend of Zion,” and “Trump Make Israel Great.” They’re located so he’ll spot them when his motorcade drives through the city.

After embracing a rogue’s gallery of despotic regimes in Riyadh, his Israel visit is all about supporting Zionist extremism, paying lip service alone to helping Palestinians - what no US administration ever gave a damn about, certainly not now, the illusion of concessions alone to be suggested during his visit.

On arrival, Trump stressed America’s “unbreakable bond” with Israel. Saying “let us build together a future where the nations of the region are at peace, and all our children can grow up strong and free from terrorism and violence” belies Washington’s imperial aims, allied with Israel’s for regional dominance.

In welcoming him, Netanyahu lied claiming Israel “man(s) the front lines” of combating terrorism, a scourge it supports, its longstanding agenda terrorizing defenseless Palestinians with US support.

Coincidentally with Trump’s visit, Palestinians across the West Bank are observing a general strike in solidarity with hundreds of hunger strikers, political prisoners. 

Businesses, banks, institutions, schools, and public transportation closed for the day, roads heading to Ramallah blocked.

A Freedom and Dignity hunger strike media committee statement said Monday’s action is “the first time since the First Palestinian Intifada (1987-1993) that a general strike was observed in occupied West Bank…”

It called on Palestinians to fast from 10AM to 10PM on Monday in solidarity with hunger strikers. It urged them to continue public support.

A Day of Rage across the West Bank was called for Tuesday - expressing rejection of worthless peace talks controlled by Israel and Washington.

Separately, Hamas accused Trump of pro-Israeli bias at the expense of Palestinian rights - in response of his equating the group with ISIS and al-Qaeda during his Sunday Muslim world address in Riyadh - Abbas deplorably an attendee and Riyadh Declaration signatory.

“Trump’s remarks will not thwart our goal of liberating Palestine, nor will they hinder our people’s steadfastness and resistance,” the Hamas statement stressed.

Trump’s Israeli visit will do nothing to help long-suffering Palestinians. They’re on their own in their liberating struggle.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

America: Serial Aggressor, Sponsor of Global Terrorism

America: Serial Aggressor, Sponsor of Global Terrorism

by Stephen Lendman

Trump’s Sunday Muslim world address in Riyadh, portraying America as a force to stamp out terrorist extremism belies its diabolical imperial agenda, supporting this scourge, aiming for unchallenged global dominance no matter the human cost.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi blasted Washington, saying “under the hostile and aggressive policies of the American statesmen, we are witnessing a renewed strengthening of terrorist groups in the region and miscalculation of the dictatorships which support these groups.”

A photo-op of Trump, Saudi King Salman, and Egyptian despot Fattah el-Sisi touching a glowing orb to inaugurate a farcical Riyadh “anti-extremism” center was justifiably ridiculed on social media.

The three leaders support terrorism. Riyadh’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology reflects subterfuge to conceal their true agenda.

On Sunday in Damascus, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Fayssal Mikdad accused Western and regional countries of supporting terrorism, saying they flagrantly violate core international law, their agenda responsible for committing high crimes of war and against humanity.

“(W)e have not heard anyone condemn (their) crimes,” Mikdad stressed, adding:

“We are working…to educate our people about the dangers of crimes committed in armed conflicts, which no one talks about, especially those committed by armed terrorist organizations which are supported externally.”

Now in its seventh year, war continues raging despite all-out efforts by Russia, Syria and Iran for conflict resolution. Half a million of more Syrians perished, more dying daily, millions internally and externally displaced, extreme human suffering beyond comprehension.

Mass disinformation furthers conflict - Washington, NATO, Israel, the Saudis and their rogue allies wanting it continued, not resolved.

Falsely portraying Assad as a tyrannical leader, using CWs on his own people, is part of the mass deception. 

So is calling conflict civil, pretending imported death squads are moderates, and ignoring Washington’s support for terrorist groups, along with waging war for regime change.

Multiple rounds of peace talks in Geneva and Astana, Kazakhstan achieved no breakthroughs because America and its rogue allies want endless war, Syrian sovereignty destroyed, pro-Western puppet rule replacing overwhelmingly popular Assad.

Russian and US agendas in Syria are world’s apart, risking possible confrontation between the world’s leading nuclear powers, a potentially nightmarish possibility.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trump's Muslim World Address

Trump’s Muslim World Address

by Stephen Lendman

In Saudi Arabia Sunday night, Trump addressed the Muslim world - after sealing a $110 billion arms deal, signing a memorandum of intent to supply Riyadh with weapons worth around $350 billion over the next decade.

He exuded deplorable gratitude to his despotic host, falsely claiming he chose “the heart of the Muslim world” for his first foreign trip “to deliver a message of friendship and hope.”

Hardly by agreeing to supply Riyadh with hundreds of billions of dollars of powerful weapons for regional wars and domestic repression.

Claiming is “vision is one of peace, security and prosperity” in the Middle East and worldwide belies America’s destructive agenda, endless imperial wars, escalating on his watch.

Trump: “Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future…”

Fact: Reality is polar opposite - in America, EU countries, and most others.

During protracted US Main Street Depression, unabated on his watch, Trump turned truth on its head, claiming a “new spirit of optimism is sweeping our countries…”

He recited a laundry list of claimed accomplishments, policies serving privileged interests exclusively at the expense of the general welfare. He lied claiming otherwise.

He boasted about concluding an enormous arms agreement, weapons his host intends for mass slaughter and destruction, along with crushing resistance to tyrannical rule.

Trump: America’s “first priority is always the security of our citizens.”

Fact: Its privileged few alone, its most vulnerable increasingly harmed. Policies Trump wants instituted assure greater hardships on many millions.

Trump: “Here at this summit we will discuss many interests we share together. But above all we must be united in pursuing the one goal that transcends every other consideration. That goal is to meet history’s great test - to conquer extremism and vanquish the forces of terrorism.”

Fact: America created and supports the scourge of terrorism Trump falsely claims it opposes - using imported death squads as imperial foot soldiers wherever they’re deployed.

Trump: A future of peace and stability “can only be achieved through defeating terrorism and the ideology that drives it.”

Fact: An unattainable goal without ending US-led foreign support.

Trump: “We now face a humanitarian and security disaster in” the Middle East and elsewhere.

Fact: True because of America’s rage to dominate, its endless imperial wars, its abhorrence of peace and stability, its wanting US-controlled puppet regimes replacing all sovereign independent governments.

Trump: “If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism’s devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.”

Fact: Terrorism thrives from US and other foreign support, showing no signs of abating.

Trump: “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between good and evil.”

Fact: Neocons infesting Washington are the most sinister “barbaric criminals” of all - nuclear armed and dangerous, pursuing world dominance no matter the human cost and devastation caused.

Trump: “Above all, America seeks peace, not war.”

Fact: “Above all, America seeks” endless imperial wars of conquest, not peace, stability and security for people everywhere.

The Saudis and other Muslim states invited to Riyadh are allied with America’s destructive imperial agenda.

The two regional Muslim states committed to peace and stability weren’t invited to participate - Iran and Syria.

Trump lied about Assad using CWs on his own people. He lied about attacking Syria’s Shayrat airbase, claiming it’s “where that murderous attack originated.”

He lied saying “Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists…and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region.”

He lied accusing Iran of “fuel(ing) the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.”

He lied claiming its “government…speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel” and other regional states.

He lied saying “Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria.”

He lied accusing Iran of “reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.”

Repeated lies make nothing he says credible. His first two foreign trip destinations are Saudi Arabia and Israel - the region’s most tyrannical regimes, demanding denunciation, not wholehearted US support.

One rogue state supports the others, partnering in high crimes of war and against humanity.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Deep State Leaks Aim to Undermine Trump

Deep State Leaks Aim to Undermine Trump

by Stephen Lendman

Disclosing national security or other classified information is a federal offense, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

Deep state leaks to media aim to influence government policies. They sought to undermine Richard Nixon, forcing his resignation to avoid impeachment and removal from office.

He requested Justice Department and FBI help to investigate, uncover, and prosecute leakers. Nothing happened. A torrent continued. The so-called administration Plumbers Unit couldn’t plug them.

Bush/Cheney went after whistleblowers and leakers their own way, Obama most aggressively of all, more than all his predecessors combined.

Almost daily leaks target Trump, a campaign to undermine and force him from office - a not-so-subtle coup attempt, driven by media scoundrels, creating hysteria, criticizing him for the wrong reasons, not the right ones, making stuff up, using diabolical deep state anonymous sources.

We’ve seen it all before, successfully against Nixon, heading toward ousting another president, a deplorable situation most Americans don’t understand.

Trump should be held accountable for appalling war crimes; infesting his administration with neocon extremists; putting Goldman Sachs in charge of economic and financial policies; letting Big Oil make energy decisions, risking ecocide; targeting immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from the wrong countries viciously; and lots more outrageous domestic and foreign policies serving privileged interests exclusively.

No matter. Sinister dark forces want him removed from office by forced resignation, impeachment or assassination if other methods fail.

He’s unacceptable to America’s military/industrial complex, despite furthering its imperial agenda, continuing endless wars, escalating them, likely intending new ones, challenging all independent states for regime change, and pursuing corporate-friendly policies.

Once in office, his anti-NATO, pro-Russia rhetoric changed. Policies instituted continue longstanding US policy.

Yet deep state concerns remain, perhaps believing he’ll improve US/Russia relations, anathema to virtually everyone in Washington.

The nonexistent Russian menace and fabricated war on terror are used to justify outrageous amounts of military spending at a time America’s only enemies are invented ones.

Trump’s advocacy for increased militarism, endless belligerence, fealty to Wall Street, and support for other corporate interests aren’t enough to allay concerns about what he may do ahead.

His outsized ego, bombast, bravado, arrogance, lack of political experience, and unpredictability make it easy to bash him. It shows in his record-low approval rating for a president this early in his tenure.

With diabolical deep state long knives out to force him from office, he’s fighting for his political life - losing the battle, perhaps haunted by buyer’s remorse, wishing he stayed out of politics, headed for a short tenure, harming his business at the same time.

A defrocked president is damaged goods. The Trump brand making him super-rich may never be the same again if he's ousted.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Trump Feted by Rogue Saudi Regime

Trump Feted by Rogue Saudi Regime

by Stephen Lendman

It’s despotically ruled, viciously repressive, super-rich from vast oil reserves, used for pure evil, partnered with America’s imperial agenda, waging terror-war on Syria, Yemen and its own people.

Its appalling human rights record doesn’t deter close ties with America, Britain and other EU countries - allied rogue states. 

Trump’s visit cashed in big on Saudi wealth, sealing a $110 billion arms deal, signing a memorandum of intent to supply Riyadh with weapons worth around $350 billion over the next decade.

They’ll be used for regional wars and domestic repression, its agenda like America’s, waging war on humanity, both countries partnering in high crimes.

US and Saudi officials signed a separate memorandum between the Saudi Corporation for the Development of Information Technologies and Apple, other agreements for cooperation in electricity projects, mining and air transportation, the latter deal for Boeing to supply Saudi Arabian Airlines with commercial aircraft.

Saudi Aramco agreed to deals worth around $50 billion. Projects were approved for joint investments in US technology, infrastructure and housing, along with Riyadh’s petrochemical industry.

Continuation of longterm US/Saudi economic, political and military partnership was affirmed, the latter on the phony pretext of combatting terrorism both countries support.

All of the above explains why Trump made Saudi Arabia his first foreign visit, officials from about 50 US corporations accompanying him, concluding agreements with dozens of Saudi companies.

Together with his Saudi counterpart, Rex Tillerson expressed “pr(ide) (in) strengthening of the US-Saudi partnership and relationship” - calling Trump’s visit “a historic moment in (bilateral) relations.”

Claiming both countries intend “charting a renewed path toward a peaceful Middle East” was a bald-faced lie - plans in place for escalated wars, not resolving them diplomatically.

Tillerson stressed “new initiatives will bolster our joint efforts to deter regional threats from Iran in Syria (and) Yemen…” No threats exist.

Tehran’s president was noticeably excluded from joining dozens of other Muslim heads of state from Middle East, African and Asian countries, the snub part of wanting Iran isolated, its government toppled.

Ahead of his trip, Trump tweeted “(g)etting ready for my big foreign trip. Will be protecting American interests - that’s what I like to do!”

On day one in Riyadh, he made few public comments, one tweet saying “(g)reat to be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Looking forward to the afternoon and evening ahead.”

On Sunday, he’ll address Muslim leaders and participate in a Twitter forum. Photo-ops and images will mostly define his entire trip for US and other Western audiences.

Saudi Arabia is a family dictatorship, responsible for horrendous civil and human rights abuses.

Monarchal rule is despotic, lawless and ruthless, enforced by police state terror. Human rights defenders, political reform activists, and religions other than Sunni Islam aren’t tolerated.

So-called Wahhabi Muslims persecute and denigrate Shias, the deplorable way Israel treats Palestinians.

Unreported by Western media scoundrels, Saudi forces have been terror-bombing and shelling Awamiya Shias, killing and injuring its own citizens, Trump oblivious or silent about what’s gone on.

Nor did he comment on genocidal Saudi war on Yemen, joint US/Riyadh aggression.

Washington has close ties to numerous despotic regimes, partners in imperial lawlessness, enriching war-profiteers enormously - the more raging conflicts, the more lucrative arms deals sealed.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Long Sought US Regime Change in Venezuela

Long Sought US Regime Change in Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman

Venezuela’s sovereign independence, Bolivarian fairness, and world’s largest oil reserves make it a prime US target for regime change - wanting pro-Western puppet rule replacing democratic governance.

In mid-February, before taking office as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson said “(i)f confirmed, I would urge close cooperation with our friends in the hemisphere, particularly Venezuela’s neighbors Brazil and Colombia, as well as multilateral bodies such as the OAS, to seek a negotiated transition to democratic rule in Venezuela” - code language for lawless regime change.

He ignored raging US political and economic war, bashing President Nicolas Maduro, calling current made-in-the-USA conditions “largely a product of its incompetent and dysfunctional government, first under Hugo Chavez, and now under his designated successor…”

He outrageously urged imposition of tougher sanctions for what he called human rights abuses and “anti-democratic practices.”

In early May, National Security Advisor HR McMaster met with opposition National Assembly president Julio Borges, agreeing on restoring stability as quickly as possible - by regime change they failed to explain.

According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, they discussed “the need for the government to adhere to the Venezuelan Constitution, release political prisoners, respect the National Assembly, and hold free and democratic elections” - code language for Washington’s regime change intention.

Despite government calls for dialogue and negotiations to resolve things, manipulated violent protests continue - at least 52 deaths since early April, hundreds more injured, many arrested. 

Telesur explained only six victims were killed by police, another six by security forces, others during looting, at barricades, by criminals, a bystander and “other cases.”

Deaths occurred in three of Venezuela’s 23 states along with the Caracas Capital District. Most parts of the country are violence-free. Internal and foreign dark forces manipulated what’s ongoing, destabilizing the country, wanting Maduro ousted.

Opposition elements called for “shak(ing) up the country.” On Thursday, Maduro announced a major deal with Russia. In exchange for monthly wheat imports, Moscow will establish five new industrial vehicle manufacturing companies.

We are ready. All trade agreements have already been signed, and very soon Russia will supply Venezuela with 60,000 tons of wheat per month on a stable basis starting from this year,” Maduro explained.

A Kremlin statement said Putin “wished the Venezuelan government success in their efforts to return the situation in the country to normal, and stressed the importance of resolving the current problems by acting within the law and in accordance with Venezuela’s legislation.”

Both leaders discussed “current matters regarding the strategic partnership between the two countries and implementation of mutually advantageous projects in various areas.”

Russia is a valued Venezuelan ally, another reason for imperial economic war and weeks of street violence.

Before leaving for Saudi Arabia on Friday, Trump issued a veiled threat, saying “we will do whatever is necessary, and we’ll work together to do whatever is necessary - to” fix Venezuela.

Claiming he means “on a humanitarian level” belies longstanding US regime change plans, previous coup attempts foiled, more intervention to replace Maduro with US-controlled puppet rule virtually certain.

Calling what’s happening “a disgrace to humanity” ignores dirty US hands all over stoked violence and years of economic war.

Maduro, like Hugo Chavez before him, accused Washington numerous times of destabilizing Venezuela. 

In response to new illegal US sanctions, outrageously imposed on eight Supreme Court justices, Maduro responded saying “(e)nough meddling…Go home Donald Trump. Get out of Venezuela. Get your dirty hands out of here.” US viciousness “surpassed all limits.”

What’s ongoing looks like prelude for another coup attempt. The fate of Venezuelan sovereignty, its model democracy, and Bolivarian fairness are at stake.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Phony US Plan to Smash ISIS

Phony US Plan to Smash ISIS

by Stephen Lendman

Washington intends escalated Middle East aggression on the phony pretext of annihilating ISIS, supporting the scourge it claims to oppose, including al-Nusra and likeminded terrorist groups.

On Friday, Defense Secretary Mattis’ announced “accelerated operation” to defeat ISIS was willful deception, saying:

Trump “delegated authority to the right level to aggressively and in a timely manner move against enemy vulnerabilities.”

“(H)e directed a tactical shift from shoving ISIS out of safe locations in an attrition fight to surrounding the enemy in their strongholds so we can annihilate ISIS. The intent is to prevent the return home of escaped foreign fighters.”

Fact: America uses ISIS and other terrorist groups as imperial foot soldiers.

Fact: It’s backing them, not combating them.

Fact: The way to defeat them is by halting support. Without foreign-supplied weapons, training, funding and direction, these groups can’t exist.

Fact: Mattis’ announced shift in tactics means escalated war in Syria for regime change, not cooperation with Russia to responsibly end it.

Mattis: “(T)here has been no change to our rules of engagement, and there has been no change to our continued extraordinary efforts to avoid innocent civilian casualties…(W)e continue all possible efforts to protect the innocent.”

Fact: Unstated US rules of engagement permit anything goes.

Fact: In all its wars, Washington massacres civilians indiscriminately, responsible for countless numbers killed and injured. Claims otherwise are bald-faced lies.

Fact: US drone warfare alone mostly kills noncombatant men, women, children, the elderly and infirm, few so-called “high value” individuals eliminated.

Mattis: “We have fought ISIS elements from Southeast Asia to Africa. Collaboration among many nations’ intelligence services continues to complicate and blunt ISIS operations even as ISIS continues to pursue and conduct attacks against the United States and our allies through centralize directed plots, but also through inspired attacks.”

Fact: So-called high-profile ISIS and other alleged terrorist attacks in America and Europe were state-sponsored false flags - incidents used for fear-mongering to justify police state harshness, a pretext for increased military spending and wars of aggression against invented enemies.

Fact: The so-called global war on terrorism and Israeli/Palestinian peace process are the two greatest hoaxes in modern times - letting America, Israel and their rogue allies get away with mass murder.

Fact: So-called Syrian Democratic Forces America supports are cold-blooded killers, terrorists committing gruesome atrocities, mostly harming civilians - with weapons supplied by Washington, NATO, Israel and their rogue allies.

Mattis’ announced “comprehensive international campaign to crush” ISIS is cover for escalated US aggression.

Likely it means increased numbers of US combat troops illegally deployed to Syria, others in regional states to be used as needed.

Russia, government and its allied forces, along with Iranian advisors alone are combating ISIS and other terrorist groups effectively in Syria.

America and its rogue partners in high crimes oppose all sovereign independent states, waging wars of aggression to eliminate them.

Russia is the world’s leading advocate of world peace and stability among major powers - America, NATO, Israel and allied rogue states their mortal enemies.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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

Trump's Israel Visit: Bad News for Palestinians

Trump’s Israel Visit: Bad News for Palestinians

by Stephen Lendman

He’s scheduled to arrive at Ben-Gurion airport around midday Monday - from there to Netanyahu’s Jerusalem residence.

He’ll meet with Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem during his stay. His agenda is entirely one-sided, serving Israeli interests, scorning Palestinian rights, the way it’s always been by America throughout Israel’s sordid history.

Palestinians called for a Tuesday day of rage during his West Bank visit, demonstrations unlikely to be close to where he’ll be - so he won’t see firsthand how they feel, America their enemy, not ally.

In a Saturday “call for unity and assimilation with our brave (political) prisoners,” West Bank Palestinian groups called for public rallies to reject resumption of dead-on-arrival peace talks.

They’re orchestrated and controlled by Israel and Washington, a worthless exercise each time initiated, always ending the same way, Palestinians offered nothing but continued subjugation under occupation harshness.

A Palestinian statement called for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday strike action, coinciding with Trump’s visit.

Higher Follow-Up Committee Citizens of Israel members expressed support - including for hundreds of courageous hunger strikers, Sunday their 35th day of grueling abstinance.

Activists in West Bank towns and villages were urged to block roads in solidarity with strikers. They expressed outrage over longstanding one-sided US support for Israel, Palestinian rights ignored.

Trump earlier saying concluding a peace agreement isn’t “as difficult as people have thought over the years” shows profound ignorance and contempt for long-suffering Palestinians.

During his visit, media reports suggest he won’t announce moving Washington’s embassy to Jerusalem. 

If authorized, America would be the only country recognizing Israel with its embassy in the UN-designated international city  - a relocation fiercely opposed by Palestinians and Arab countries.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

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

Visit his blog site at 

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