Stephen Lendman: Douma Chemical Incident a US-NATO False Flag… OPCW Is a US Imperial Tool

ST

Sunday, 19 May 2019

The chemical watchdog group is mandated “to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention to achieve a world free of” CWs.

Its mission includes conducting “credible and transparent” on-site inspections to verify use of and destruction of these weapons.

Time and again, it flagrantly breaches its mandate, serving US-led Western interests, producing dubious reports with falsified, distorted rubbish, suppressing vital information.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova earlier slammed the group for failing to discharge its duties as mandated by the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Last March, its falsified Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) report on the alleged April 7, 2018 CW incident in Douma, Syria said the following:

“Regarding the alleged use of toxic chemicals as a weapon in Douma (Syria)…evaluation and analysis…of information gathered by the FFM (gathered much too late to matter) provide(s) reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on April 7, 2018. This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine. The toxic chemical was likely molecular chlorine.”

The incident was a US/NATO false flag, Syria wrongfully blamed for a victimless nonevent – no one killed, hospitalized or ill from exposure to toxins, not chlorine or any other banned substance, nothing. The OPCW lied suggesting otherwise.

Douma eyewitnesses and local medical personnel debunked the falsified narrative. Visiting the site days after the alleged incident, Russian technical experts found no evidence of chemical or other toxins in soil samples and other analysis.

Like many other times, Damascus was falsely blamed for what it had nothing to do with. At the time, Russia’s envoy to the OPCW Alexander Shulgin said testimonies from 17 witnesses, including physicians who were right at the scene on that day…recount(ed) the true story of the (false flag) incident.”

“We had no doubt that the allegations of chemical use in Douma are a fabricated and provocative play staged by the so called White Helmets and Western media outlets.”

We can prove that the video of the White Helmets is fabricated, and therefore there is no basis or validity to the signals of Western countries that this material is evidence of a chemical attack in the city of Douma.”

Instead of reporting accurately on what happened, the OPCW bowed to US interests, delivering a falsified report months later.

Damascus slammed the report, saying it “does not differ from the previous mission reports filled with distorted facts” — falsely blaming Syrian forces for CW incidents staged by US-supported terrorists.

Regarding the Douma incident, Syria’s Foreign Ministry blasted the OPCW’s “lack of professionalism,” adding: “It was easy for the Syrian specialists to discover that the OPCW experts were lying when claiming that they investigated the (Douma) incident in the report from various aspects.”

The organization “ignored the possession of toxic chemicals by terrorist groups, although the mission found those substances in the warehouses of terrorists when they visited them.”

The independent Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media obtained an unpublished OPCW report on the Douma incident — indicating it was staged, Damascus having nothing to do with it.

According to the group’s Piers Robinson,”We have confirmation from multiple sources that (the unpublished OPCW report) is authentic.”

Chlorine cylinders found on the scene were placed next to a pre-existing crater — by Western funded, al-Qaeda connected White Helmets. They were not dropped by Syrian aircraft or helicopters as falsely claimed.

Expert independent evaluation determined that two chlorine cylinders were manually placed at the scene to falsely blame Damascus for what it had nothing to do with.

The OPCW’s unpublished report refuted the findings of its published one last March. Ahead of the April 2018 incident, Moscow and Damascus warned of an impending false flag CW attack by US supported terrorists to be wrongfully blamed on Syrian forces.

On Friday, Russia presented a draft Security Council resolution, calling for the OPCW to fulfill its mandate, saying the following:

The Security Council “emphasizes the need to unite the efforts of States Parties to the (chemical weapons) Convention in order to enhance strict compliance with their obligations under the Convention avoiding politicization,” adding: The SC “calls on the States Parties to the Convention to cooperate with each other in a constructive manner and seek to restore the spirit of consensus in the OPCW for the sake of preserving the integrity and inviolability of the Convention.”

Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia accused the OPCW of being “hijacked by politics,” adding: “We are trying to get the (organization) back on track because (it’s) off track and now it is so politicized.”

“It was always a technical organ where consensus prevailed, and now we see that it is completely politicized, with politicized agenda from various parties” — its credibility lost.

Throughout years of US launched aggression on the Syrian Arab Republic since March 2011, not a shred of credible evidence indicates CW use by government forces. Indisputable evidence shows US supported terrorists used banned toxins numerous times, incidents falsely blamed on Damascus.

A Trump regime veto of Russia’s draft resolution is likely, supported by Britain and France, wanting nothing interfering with their ability to manipulate the OPCW to serve their interests.

Source: Global Research

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Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning: Martyred Behind Bars for Truth-Telling

By Stephen Lendman
Source

In 2013, Assange said “(Chelsea) Manning has become a martyr, adding:

She “didn’t choose to be a martyr. I don’t think it’s a proper way for activists to behave to choose to be martyrs, but these (individuals, Manning, Edward Snowden and others) have risked their freedom, risked their lives, for all of us. That makes them heroes.”

He’s one of them, elevated to martyrdom in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison, likely in punishing solitary confinement – ahead of extradition to the US for the crime of truth-telling journalism the way it’s supposed to be. 

Indefinitely detained for invoking her constitutional right to remain silent, her right not to testify before a witch-hunt grand jury, a notorious manipulative process designed to indict, the Trump regime wants Manning (and Assange) punished for doing the right thing.

Will it elevate them both to martyrdom, modern-day Joan of Arc figures? The 19-year-old 15th century French heroin was burned at the stake on false charges, a martyr declared a national symbol of France by Napoleon Bonaparte – beatified in 1909, canonized in 1920.

Will imprisonment of Manning and Assange assure their martyrdom for a just cause, for revealing what’s vital for everyone to know?

At a time of universal deceit, notably in the West, truth-telling is a revolutionary act – with attribution to Orwell. Not according to Hillary Clinton, an unindicted war criminal multiple times over.

Infamous for saying: “We came. We saw. He died” about Muammar Gaddafi’s sodomized death in October 2011, following US-led aggression on Libya she helped orchestrate, she mocked Julian Assange the same way, saying “it’s a little ironic that he may be the only foreigner that (Trump) would welcome in the United States,” adding:

His “indictment (is) not about punishing journalism (sic). It’s about assisting the hacking of the military computer to steal information from the US government (sic).” 

“The bottom line is that he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it’s been charged.” She and husband Bill belong in prison for high crimes gone unpunished. So do their successors and countless others in the imperial state and allied ones.

Led by establishment media, smearing Assange is in high gear. The NYT lied claiming WikiLeaks hacked Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno’s phones, revealing personal information about him, published on an anonymous website.

It lied repeating Moreno’s Big Lie, falsely accusing Assange of “installing electronic distortion equipment in (Ecuador’s London) embassy, blocking security cameras, confronting and mistreating guards and gaining access to security files without permission.”

It lied claiming WikiLeaks hacked DNC and John Podesta emails, material leaked by a Dem insider published by WikiLeaks.

It repeated the US intelligence community Big Lie, accusing WikiLeaks of acting as a Russian agent.

The neocon/CIA house organ Washington Post published an op-ed by London Guardian editor Alan Rushbridger, an anti-Assange hatchet job, saying:

“(M)aybe his greatest gift is the ability to make enemies (sic). He trusts, likes and respects almost no one (sic). He falls out with his friends and disgusts his opponents (sic).” 

“Now that he has been dragged kicking and shouting (sic) from the Ecuadoran Embassy in London — where he was, by all accounts, the house guest from hell (sic) — he may find few allies in the world outside (sic).”

Fact: The above rubbish and what followed is typical Guardian disinformation, numerous times caught red-handed reporting bald-faced Big Lies.

Rushbridger lied calling Assange “a useful idiot to Russian President Vladimir Putin and an enabler to President Trump.”

He lied saying Assange is “rude, aggressive, pompous, self-regarding, unreasonable and…smelly” – disgraceful stuff.

He lied claiming there’s “not much to love about Julian Assange” – Rushbridger serving as a press agent for the May and Trump regimes, disgracing himself at the same time.

The Boston Globe newspaper I grew up with as a boy, adolescent and youth in the 1940s and 50s was far from what journalism is supposed to be back then.

Owned by the NYT today, it publishes similar rubbish – misinformation and disinformation instead of real news, information and opinion.

“Julian Assange shouldn’t be a free speech martyr,” it roared, falsely claiming Trump regime charges are unrelated to violations of speech and media freedoms – precisely what they’re all about, wanting truth-telling silence, why Manning and Assange were and remain targeted.

Separately, the Globe called Assange “a bad guy (sic)…a Russian pawn who helped elected Donald Trump (sic).”

When endlessly repeated, Big Lies take on a life of their own. Ecuadorian envoy to the UK Jaime Marchan shamefully accused Assange of “put(ting) put excrement on the (embassy) walls.”

His lawyer called the charge “outrageous,” one of many phony reasons for handing him over to UK authorities.

In cahoots with the Trump regime, Ecuador, Britain and the US are elevating Assange to martyrdom by declaring him guilty by false accusation and holding him behind bars in punishing high security confinement.

Resisting the scourge of tyranny is a universal right and obligation.

When governments fail their people, the way things are today in the West and elsewhere globally, they forfeit their right to rule. 

Civil disobedience becomes an essential tool for change, popular revolution the only solution. Nothing else can work.

America Needs a Stronger Defense Industry? Trillions Down the Hole of Military Spending

Global Research, March 20, 2019

Post-WW II, America’s only enemies were and remain invented ones. 

No real ones existed since Nazi Germany and imperial Japan were defeated – none anywhere, clearly none today!

Yet the US consistently pours countless trillions of dollars down a black hole of endless waste, fraud and abuse – global militarism and belligerence supported by the vast majority of Republicans and undemocratic Dems, at the expense of world peace, equity and justice.

Trump regime director of trade and industrial policy Peter Navarro is a militant right-wing.

He’s part of the cabal in Washington, wanting US-controlled puppet rule replacing independent governments in China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and elsewhere.

He favors whatever it takes for the US to achieve dominance. The NYT gave him feature op-ed spaceto promote greater military spending at a time it should be slashed.

He lied claiming “(i)nvesting in the (defense) sector means more jobs at home and improved security abroad. He lied saying “(i)n terms of economic security, the Trump defense budget is helping to create good manufacturing jobs at good wages.”

He lied claiming increased “arms sales (abroad) not only help create good jobs at good wages in America…they also enhance America’s capacity to bolster and stabilize our regional alliances, even as they may reduce the need to deploy more American soldiers overseas.”

He lied saying “our defense industrial base (is) the unshakable foundation of both economic and national security.”

Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about military-industrial complex dangers went unheeded, saying:

“The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

He called it a “potential enemy of the national interest…a distorted use of the nation’s resources…fail(ing) to comprehend its grave implication…(affecting our) livelihood (and) the very structure of our society,” adding:

“Every gun that is made, every war ship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and not clothed.”

In an article titled “The War Business,” the late Chalmers Johnson said the following:

“(M)unitions and war profiteering have (become) the most efficient means for well-connected capitalists to engorge themselves at the public trough.”

“To call these companies ‘private,’ though, is mere ideology. (Weapons and) munitions making in the United States today (and related industries profiting from them are) not really private enterprise. It is state socialism,” adding:

“When war becomes the most profitable course of action, we can certainly expect more of it,” sacrificing a free society for private interests reaping short-term gains.

George Washington warned about “overgrown military establishments,” calling them “inauspicious to liberty.”

Perpetual wars now rage for illusory peace, what ruling authorities in Washington abhor – along with democratic governance they tolerate nowhere, especially at home.

US elections are farcical when held. With attribution to redoubtable activist Emma Goldman, if they changed anything, they’d be outlawed.

Economist, activist writer opponent of the military, industrial, security complex, Seymour Melman wrote extensively on the topic, dispelling state-sponsored/media promoted myths.

Discussing what he called “the Grip of a Permanent War Economy,” he explained the following:

“(A)t the start of the twenty-first century, every major aspect of American life (has been) shaped by our Permanent War Economy.” Its horrific toll includes:

  • a de-industrialized nation, the result of decades of shifting production abroad, leaving unions, US workers and communities “decimated;”
  • government financing, promoting and pursuing “every kind of war industry and foreign investing by US firms” – war priorities taking precedence over essential homeland needs;
  • America’s “permanent war economy…has endured since the end of World War II…Since then, the US has been at war – somewhere – every year, in Korea, Nicaragua, Vietnam, the Balkans, – all this to the accompaniment of shorter military forays in Africa, Chile, Grenada, Panama,” and endless aggression in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Palestine, Somalia, Yemen, Central Africa, and increasingly against perceived homeland threats;
  • “How to make war” takes precedence over everything, leaving no “public space (for) improv(ing) the quality of our lives;”
  • “Shortages of housing have caused a swelling of the homeless population in every major city (because) state and city governments across the country have become trained to bend to the needs of the military…;”

The nation’s deplorable state is characterized by growing millions of poor, disadvantaged, low income, uneducated, and “disconnected (people) from society’s mainstream, restless and unhappy, frustrated, angry, and sad;”

“State Capitalism” characterizes America’s agenda – partnering with business, running a permanent war economy for greater power and wealth, ill-served by pure evil leadership, at war on humanity at home and abroad.

US rage for global dominance comes at the expense of a nation in decline, lost industrialization, crumbling infrastructure, millions of lost jobs offshored to low-wage  countries, growing millions at home uncared for, unwanted, ignored, and forgotten to assure steady funding for bankers, warmaking, and other corporate predation – at the expense of ordinary people everywhere.

Melman explained that investing in domestic needs, developing the nation and its people, achieves a far greater bang for the buck than resources spent for militarism and warmaking.

They’re parasitic, unjustifiable, illegal, immoral, and eventually self-destructive – why the US has been in decline for decades while China, Russia, and other nations are growing and developing productively.

Unlike America’s permanent war agenda, wanting its will forcefully imposed on other nations, they wage peace and mutual cooperation with other nations.

Along with equity and justice for all everywhere, what’s more important than that!

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

US uses banned weapons in all its wars of aggression: Analyst

 

Political analyst Stephen Lendman speaks to Press TV in an exclusive interview on March 3, 2019.
Political analyst Stephen Lendman speaks to Press TV in an exclusive interview on March 3, 2019.

Source

Sun Mar 3, 2019 06

A political analyst has told Press TV that regardless of who rules at the White House, the US government has always used banned, including chemical, weapons in all its wars of aggression, especially in the Middle East region.

Stephen Lendman made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Press TV on Sunday, when asked about a recent attack on the town of Baghouz in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr by the US-led military coalition, which is purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the country.

According to Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources, the US-led military aircraft conducted a bombing attack on the Syrian town using white phosphorus munitions against people’s farmlands.

Lendman said, “[In] all of these [US wars of aggression], [including] aggression against the Palestinians [and] in Syria … they are using banned weapons, [and chemical] compounds to [commit] high crimes.”

“It doesn’t matter whether Republicans or what I call undemocratic Dems are in power in Washington. They are all on the same page in waging illegal wars of aggression, of color revolutions, of old-fashioned coups … This just goes on endlessly,” he added.

Referring to the US-led coalition’s recent attack on the Syrian town, the analyst said, “The US supports these terrorists, pretending that it is combating them, but among the things that the US does in Syria … is to use illegal weapons and one of them is called white phosphorous. What does white phosphorous do? It is a terror weapon, a devastating weapon. Anyone exposed to it, it burns flesh to the bone … So literally it is like being tortured to death slowly.”

“This is what the US is using in Syria and the Saudis are doing the same thing in Yemen. The US in all its wars that has fought … has used banned weapons. It did it in North Korea, it did it in Southeast Asia Vietnam, Cambodia, it has done it in …Yugoslavia, it has done it in all post-9/11 wars,” Lendman added.

Read more:

Elsewhere in his remarks, the analyst also took the US to task for attacking civilian population across the world, saying, “The US [forces are] not only waging wars of aggression but …. they are targeting civilians. The US and Israel literally consider civilians legitimate targets in the nations they go to war against.”

The US-led coalition and the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is supported by Washington, claim that they are fighting against the Daesh militants in the Arab country and that Baghouz, which is the last pocket of territory controlled by remnants of the terror group, is constantly under their fire and expected to be liberated soon.

The flashpoint town is located in the eastern Euphrates River region.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. Washington has long been providing the SDF — a predominantly Kurdish alliance of militants — with arms and militants, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against Daesh.

In its latest report released on Friday, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said chlorine was likely used in a suspected gas attack in Syria’s Douma in 2018, stressing that it found no evidence of nerve agent at the site.

The Hague-based chemical weapons watchdog said there were “reasonable grounds that the use of a toxic chemical as a weapon has taken place on 7 April 2018” and added, “This toxic chemical contained reactive chlorine.”

IIhan Omar’s Criticism of Israel Unrelated to Anti-Semitism

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Israel is a nation-state. Criticizing its apartheid ruthlessness is unrelated to anti-Semitism. Claims otherwise turn truth on its head.

Before elected to Congress, Ilhan Omar tweeted: “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

She supports vital BDS activism despite expressing “reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.” It’s the single most effective initiative against Israeli viciousness, she fails to recognize.

She’s been unjustifiably called anti-Semitic for criticizing Israel. When asked how she’d respond to US Jews offended by her views, she said: 

“I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans. My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza War, and I’m clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”

She should have gone further and condemned daily Israeli brutality against Palestinians throughout the territories – state terror against an entire population for not being Jewish.

Days earlier, she said “(i)t’s all about the Benjamins baby,” referring to Benjamin Franklin’s image on US $100 bills, US politicians bought by AIPAC and rest of the Israeli lobby.

Indeed! It’s how the money-controlled US political system works. Politicians are bought like toothpaste, the Israeli lobby doing a lot of the buying. 

Big money from corporations and interest groups are the mother’s milk of the deeply corrupted system, polar opposite what democracy is supposed to be.

It’s governance of, by and for the privileged few exclusively at the expense of most others. When it comes to Israel, criticizing its aggression and brutality against defenseless Palestinians is the third rail of politics, touch it and get burned.

Rarely ever does anyone in Washington go this way, nearly always paying the ultimate political price, vilified and defeated at the polls by Big Money, loads of it from the Israeli lobby.

On this issue alone, a cutting edge one, there are virtually no profiles in courage in Washington. The rarest of rare exceptions prove the rule. It’s almost the same for political anti-war activism.

The vast majority in Congress support endless US wars of aggression, color revolutions, old-fashioned coups, and political assassinations – instead of taking a strong righteous stand against them.

There’s nothing controversial about Omar’s criticism of Israel, the right thing to do, including for saying “we are finally able to have conversations that we werent really willing to” have before – “to get a different lens about what peace in that region could look like…”

Her statement is untrue. Earlier House and Senate members criticized Israel, the political careers for the few who dared shortened for doing the right thing.

Omar and Rashida Tlaib are the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress. They have a public platform to say and do the right things.

Omar showed weakness in pulling back from her criticism of Israel that has nothing to do with anti-Semitism, saying:

“Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes” – which hers were not, adding:

“My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole. We have to always be willing to step back and think through criticism, just as I expect people to hear me when others attack me for my identity. This is why I unequivocally apologize.” 

There’s nothing to apologize for. She should have stuck to her guns with added criticism of Israel.

To her credit she “reaffirm(ed) the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA, or the fossil fuel industry. It’s gone on too long and we must be willing to address it.”

But her statement should have been tougher, including a stand against US wars of aggression and other attempts topple sitting governments – flagrant violations of international and constitutional law.

Undemocratic Dem House minority leader Kevin McCarthy shamed himself for saying he intends investigating Omar and Tlaib – for what?

For exercising their First Amendment rights? For Tlaid saying “(i)t’s stunning how much time US political leaders spend defending a foreign nation even if it means attacking free speech rights of Americans?”

For supporting BDS activism? For truth-telling about Israel – a fascist Arab-hating police state, masquerading as democratic! For supporting right over wrong?

Former DNC chair/former National Governors Association chair on the wrong side of most all key issues Howard Dean slammed Omar for going “too far.”

She failed to go far enough. The same goes for Tlaid. On issues of right v. wrong, there’s no in between.

It’s a badge of honor to be slammed for doing the right thing, its own reward when going this way.

A Final Comment

Trump finds new ways to disgrace himself, saying “Omar is terrible, what she said. (S)he should either resign from congress or she should certainly resign from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.”

Her criticism of Israel was important. She should stand tall, revoke her apology, and keep pushing the issue in public comments and on the House floor.

She should especially call for ending all US funding for an apartheid state worse than South Africa’s – a nation responsible for the highest of high crimes of war and against humanity.

Of course, the same goes for the US in spades, waging endless wars of aggression against nations threatening no one, along with wanting all sovereign independent countries transformed into US vassal states, brute force is favored strategy.

 

Making the World More Dangerous Based on US Big Lies

By Stephen Lendman
Source

US rage for unchallenged global dominance threatens world peace, stability and security. 

Officially withdrawing from the landmark INF Treaty on Friday by the Trump regime was the latest major body blow, based on Big Lies, suppressing hard truths, part of Washington’s permanent war agenda, wanting all nations colonized as US vassal states, notably Russia, China and Iran.

Trump is a businessman/TV personality, a geopolitical know-nothing, manipulated by extremist hardliners in charge of his geopolitical agenda, co-opted to serve the destructive interests of America’s military, industrial, security, media complex – along with Wall Street on domestic issues.

His entire agenda is hostile to the rights and welfare of ordinary people everywhere. On Friday, he tried defending the indefensible, based on Big Lies, saying:

“For far too long, Russia has violated the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with impunity, covertly developing and fielding a prohibited missile system that poses a direct threat to our allies and troops abroad.”

False! The US is a serial violator of international treaties, conventions, agreements, and the rule of law – not Russia.

Trump: “Tomorrow (February 2), the United States will suspend its obligations under the INF Treaty and begin the process of withdrawing from the INF Treaty, which will be completed in 6 months unless Russia comes back into compliance by destroying all of its violating missiles, launchers, and associated equipment.”

Fact: Russia fully complies with its international obligations under treaties, conventions, agreements. The US is a serial violator, consistently blaming other countries for its own wrongdoing.

Trump: “Our NATO Allies fully support us, because they understand the threat posed by Russia’s violation and the risks to arms control posed by ignoring treaty violations.”

Fact: NATO is a US-created imperial tool, a Pentagon-appendage for naked aggression, not defense, since Soviet Russia dissolved in December 1991. Its member states operate as US satellites, taking orders from Washington, saluting and obeying, harming their own self-interest.

Trump: “The United States has fully adhered to the INF Treaty for more than 30 years…”

False! The US operates by its own rules alone, no others.

Trump: “We will move forward with developing our own military response options and will work with NATO and our other allies and partners to deny Russia any military advantage from its unlawful conduct.”

Fact: “Unlawful conduct” is a longstanding US speciality, not Russia’s. Its Defense Ministry will respond to US actions by continuing to develop and produce weapons superior to any in the Pentagon’s arsenal. 

They include hypersonic weapons, developed to carry multiple nuclear warheads, able to strike targets thousands of miles away with pinpoint accuracy – nothing the US or NATO has able to intercept them.

According to Tass, these weapons are “capable of flying at hypersonic speed in the dense layers of the atmosphere, maneuvering by its flight path and its altitude and breaching any anti-missile defense.”

Trump falsely claimed his regime is “committed to effective arms control” – what hardliners Bolton, Pompeo and Pentagon commanders reject, wanting nothing restricting US weapons development and deployment.

In August 2011, private citizen John Bolton and former Bush/Cheney regime assistant secretary for verification, compliance and implementation Paula DeSutter co-wrote an article opposing the INF Treaty, saying:

It “far outlived its usefulness in its current form—so it should either be changed or thrown out” – falsely claiming strategic US threats from China, Iran, and North Korea,” omitting Russia at the time, adding:

“If the INF Treaty isn’t expanded, we can expect Moscow to suspend its compliance,” falsely claiming it breached the 1990 Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty.”

In 2007, Russia suspended compliance with CFE terms, withdrawing from the treaty in March 2015 because US-led NATO breached its provisions by expanding the alliance closer to its borders, a major threat to its security.

At the time, head of Russia’s delegation to Vienna negotiations on military security and arms control Anton Mazur said the following:

“For years, (Russia did) its best to maintain viability of the regime of control over conventional arms. It initiated talks on adapting the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.” 

“It ratified the agreement on Adapted CFE Treaty. Regrettably, NATO countries have preferred to dodge CFE provisions by means of the alliance’s expansion and use any pretexts to prevent the Agreement on Adapted CFE Treaty from coming into effect.” 

“This course pursued despite our repeated warning about its harmful impacts on the regime of control over conventional weapons led to the unavoidable result – Russia’s suspen(sion)” and withdrawal from the treaty.

What goes around comes around. The US consistently ignores its international obligations, doing what it pleases, breaching the rule of law time and again.

In 2011, Bolton urged “thinking…about how to ramp up our INF-range missile capabilities.” As Trump’s national security advisor, he orchestrated the regime’s INF pullout, together with Pompeo, based on Big Lies.

A US-controlled NATO statement unsurprisingly said its members support Trump’s withdrawal, adding:

“NATO continues to closely review the security implications of Russian intermediate-range missiles and will continue to take steps necessary to ensure the credibility and effectiveness of the Alliance’s overall deterrence and defense posture” – prioritizing endless wars over world peace.

 

Greater Than Ever Super-Wealth Fuels Increasing Inequality

By Stephen Lendman
Source

Super-rich individuals never had things better, benefitting at the expense of increased impoverishment – engineered by governments complicit with their privileged class, a high crime against humanity, ongoing worldwide.

According to its latest report last March, Forbes magazine said it identified 2,208 billionaires in 72 countries – their combined super-wealth a staggering $9.1 trillion, their average net worth $4.1 billion. 

Their ranks doubled in the past decade. It’s the world’s most exclusive club, the super-wealth of its members likely made the old-fashioned way. Balzac once said “(b)ehind every great fortune lies a great crime.”

America leads the world with 585 billionaires, China second with 373. According to an Oxfam report titled “Private Good or Public Wealth,” 26 billionaires have as much wealth as the world’s poorest 3.8 billion people combined – a disturbing indictment of governments allowing extreme inequality to exist and grow.

Former US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said “(w)e can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Democracy in America was always pure fantasy from inception, the disparity between rich and poor in the country today unprecedented, worsening, not improving because of policies supported by both wings of the nation’s war party.

Economies are broken,  

“hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty while huge rewards go to those at the very top,” said Oxfam.

Concentrated super-wealth increased exponentially in the past decade, fortunes of the world’s super-rich growing by $2.5 billion a day.

Yet millionaires, billionaires, and corporations get tax breaks to avoid paying their fair share. The human cost keeps growing, including “children without teachers, clinics without medicines,” along with higher education and healthcare the way it should be increasingly unaffordable for growing millions.

The wealth of the world’s billionaire class increased by $900 billion last year, extreme poverty moving in the opposite direction.

Around 3.4 billion people, nearly half of humanity, struggle to survive on less that $5.50 a day. “Taxing the world’s richest 1% an extra 0.5% would raise enough money to educate 262 million children lacking education, along with providing enough healthcare to save 3.3 million lives,” said Oxfam.

How many millions and billions of dollars does anyone need to live comfortably to luxuriously virtually anywhere? How many expensive homes, cars, yachts, or other luxuries are too many?

While super-wealth increased exponentially last year alone, the wealth of the world’s poorest people declined by around $500 million daily, loosing 11% of their meager resources.

Oxfam’s report “shows the growing gap between rich and poor is undermining the fight against poverty, damaging our economies and fueling public anger across the globe.”

In America, it was greatly aided by the great GOP tax cut heist, benefitting the rich and big business, using their added wealth to create more of it.

Governments worldwide are part of the problem, “exacerbating inequality by underfunding public services, such as healthcare and education,” Oxfam explained, adding:

“(W)omen and girls are hardest hit by rising economic inequality,” along with people of color in America and elsewhere. Oxfam America’s vice president for policy and campaigns Paul O’Brien said the following:

“The last ten years clearly shows that we have learned nothing. Since the global economy collapsed, the number of billionaires has doubled, with a new billionaire being minted every other day.”

“While corporations and the super-rich enjoy the lowest tax bills, millions of girls around the world have no access to a decent education, and women are dying due to a lack of maternity care.”

“The recent US tax law is a master class on how to favor massive corporations and the richest citizens.”

“The law rewards US companies that have trillions stashed offshore, encourages US companies to dodge foreign taxes on their foreign profits, and fuels a global race to the bottom that benefits big business and wealthy individuals at the expense of poor people everywhere.”

Since the neoliberal 90s, the race to the bottom accelerated markedly, especially in the past decade. Public services are increasingly underfunded, especially in developing countries, increasingly in wealthy ones, notably in the West.

Around 10,000 people die daily for lack of affordable healthcare, Oxfam explained. The race to the bottom in the West and everywhere else benefits super-wealth at the expense of the most vulnerable.

Instead of governments serving everyone equitably, they largely benefit their privileged class exclusively, things progressively worsening, not improving.

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