Pearl Harbor Revisited: Dispelling Surprise Attack Mythology 

Image result for Pearl Harbor Attack

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

December 7, 2019 is the 70th anniversary of what Franklin Roosevelt called “a date which will live in infamy (when) the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

“I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”

Around one hour after Roosevelt’s December 8 address before a joint congressional session, the body declared war on Japan with one dissenting vote, signed into law by FDR the same day.

All wars are unjustifiably justified based on Big Lies and deception, WW II no exception. Roosevelt wanted involvement in Europe’s war. He wanted legislation requiring US neutrality reversed.

On July 4, 1941, he said: “(S)olemnly (understand) that the United States will never survive as a happy and fertile oasis of liberty surrounded by a cruel desert of dictatorship.” 

His July 25 Executive Order froze Japanese assets, claiming it was “(t)o prevent the use of the financial facilities of the United States in trade between Japan and the United States in ways harmful to national defense and American interests, to prevent the liquidation in the United States of assets obtained by duress or conquest, and to curb subversive activities in the United States.”

In 1937, he planned a naval blockade of Japan, the idea dropped because of opposition. In 1938, it resurfaced because he knew strangling Japan economically assured war he wanted.

From 1933 to late 1941, he spurned Japanese peace overtures that would have protected all American interests in the Pacific. 

By November 25, 1941, the die was cast. War Secretary Henry Stimson said war depended only on how to maneuver Japan to attack with the lowest number of US casualties.

Roosevelt encouraged an attack on Pearl Harbor by stationing the Pacific Fleet there — against the advice of its commander and chief of naval operations.

After the Japanese code was broken, intercepted cables confirmed an attack was coming. The US tracked its fleet from the Kurile Islands to its North Pacific refueling point en route to Pearl Harbor on or about December 7.

At a December 5 cabinet meeting, Navy Secretary Frank Knox said: “Well, you know Mr. President, we know where the Japanese fleet is?” 

“Yes, I know,” said Roosevelt, adding: “Well, you tell them what it is Frank.” Naval intelligence reports indicated it was in Pacific waters heading toward Hawaii. On December 6, the attack was imminent. It came the next morning at 7:55AM Hawaii time.

Pearl Harbor commander Admiral HE Kimmel got no intelligence about what was coming. Roosevelt wanted isolationist congressional members and the public transformed into raging Japan haters. He got the war he wanted.

Ahead of the attack, Red Cross officials were secretly told to send large amounts of medical supplies and personnel to Hawaii. By November 1941, they were in place.

Japan’s December 7 “surprise attack” was no surprise. On November 29, Secretary of State Cordell Hull told the UK envoy to Washington that “the diplomatic part of our relations with Japan was virtually over and the matter will now go to the officials of the Army and Navy.”

Ahead of the attack, three US Pacific Fleet aircraft carriers were at sea on maneuvers to avoid the coming attack.

Around 3,500 US military personnel were killed or wounded, 68 civilians killed, others wounded.

Nineteen US warships were destroyed or damaged, including eight battleships, along with 188 aircraft destroyed, another 159 damaged.

US blockade and embargo toughness on Japan during the preceding months pushed its ruling authorities to war.

In his book, “The Good War: An Oral History of World War II,” the late Studs Terkel explained its good and bad sides through people experiencing it.

The good was America “was the only country among the combatants that was neither invaded nor bombed. Ours were the only cities not blasted to rubble,” said Terkel.

The bad was WW II “warped our view of how we look at things today, (seeing them) in terms of war” and the notion that they’re good or why else fight them. 

This “twisted memory…encourages (people) to be willing, almost eager, to use military force” to solve problems, never mind how they exacerbate them.

Wars are never just or good. In the nuclear age they’re “lunatic” acts – horrific by any standard. 

December 8, 1941 was the last time the US waged war legally, declared by Congress as constitutionally required. 

Today, Security Council members alone may authorize war by one nation against others — not heads of state, legislatures or courts. 

It’s permitted only in self-defense if attacked, never preemptively, how all US post-WW II wars were and continue to be waged — flagrant UN Charter and constitutional violations under its Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2).

Commenting on WW II, the late historian Howard Zinn, who served aboard a US bomber in Europe during the war, said “war brutalizes everyone involved, begets a fanaticism in which the original moral factor (like fighting fascism) is buried at the bottom of a heap of atrocities committed by all sides,” later adding:

“(W)hile there are certainly vicious enemies of liberty and human rights in the world, war itself is the most vicious of” all.

“And that while some societies can rightly claim to be more liberal, more democratic, more humane than others, the difference is not great enough to justify the massive, indiscriminate slaughter of modern warfare.”

Atrocities are weapons of war. In his book titled “War Without Mercy,” John Dower documented viciousness by both sides in the Pacific — the US as unprincipled as the Japanese.

US forces mutilated its war dead for body part souvenirs. They sank hospital ships, shooting sailors abandoning them.

Japanese pilots bailing out of warplanes were killed in cold blood. So were wounded enemy soldiers. 

Prisoners were tortured and killed, other combatants buried alive, civilians slaughtered as mercilessly as military personnel. 

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were two of history’s greatest crimes — gratuitous mass murder months after Japan sought surrender, the war lost to superior US military might.

The Big Lie that won’t die is that nuking both cities hastened war’s end and saved many lives. Harry Truman falsely claimed that bombing Hiroshima “destroyed its usefulness to the enemy,” adding:

“It was to spare the Japanese people from (further) utter destruction…If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the likes of which has never been seen on this earth.”

Ignored by Truman was War Secretary Stimson saying “Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary.”

Calling the atomic bomb “a barbarous weapon” after the attacks, Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral William Leahy said: “The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.”

WW II launched Washington’s permanent war policy, an agenda contributing to its decline.

In his book titled “The World in Crisis,” Gabriel Kolko said it “began after the Korean War, was continued in relation to Cuba, and was greatly accelerated in Vietnam – but (Bush/Cheney did) much to exacerbate it further,” the Obama and Trump regimes escalating what they inherited.

US power is declining, said Kolko, “the world…no longer dependent on its economic might.” At the same time, China, Russia, India and other nations are rising.

America’s “century of domination is now ending,” Kolko added. Others share similar views.

The US was at the height of its power post-WW II, maintained for some years in the post-war era, decline beginning and continuing in recent decades, notably post-9/11.

It’s the same dynamic that doomed other empires – a nation in decline because of its imperial arrogance and rage for dominance, waging endless wars against invented enemies, and its unwillingness to change.

VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.

 My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Nonbelligerent Iran v. Nuclear Armed and Dangerous Israel

By Stephen Lendman

Source

The agenda of both countries are world’s apart. Iran is the region’s leading advocate of peace, stability, and mutual cooperations with other nations.

It fully observes its JCPOA and NPT obligations. It resists major power pressures, maintains its sovereign independence, and opposes neocolonialism, especially US-led Western domination.

It’s been a Non-Aligned Movement member since its 1979 revolution. At the NAM summit in Havana that year, Fidel Castro said the following:

The NAM’s purpose is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of non-aligned countries (in their) struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as as against great power and bloc politic.”

Like Cuba, Bolivarian Venezuela, and other nations unwilling to abandon their sovereign independence to a higher power in Washington, the Islamic Republic of Iran’s adherence to these principles made it a prime US target for regime change — notably because of its world’s third largest oil reserves and second largest natural gas deposits, along with being Israel’s main regional rival and challenging its revanchist aims.

Israel is nuclear-armed and dangerous, developing these weapons since the mid-1950s, its well-known open secret the official narrative conceals.

Its ruling authorities refused to sign the NPT or abide by its provisions. Nor do they permit IAEA inspections of their nuclear facilities.

According to the Federation of American Scientists and other experts, its nuke warheads can be launched by air, ground, sea, or sub-surface — able to strike targets in the Middle East and elsewhere.

It’s believed the Jewish state also has 100 or more laser-guided mini-nuke bunker-buster bombs — able to penetrate and destroy underground targets.

According to the establishment front organization Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), “US inspections of Israeli nuclear sites in the 1960s proved largely fruitless because of restrictions placed on the inspectors.”

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Joseph Circincione earlier said (e)veryone knows about Israel’s bombs in the closet.”

Yet the West fails to contest their threat to regional peace and security.

Iran’s nuclear program has no military component and never did, its ruling authorities wanting these weapons eliminated everywhere.

Unlike the US and Israel, permitting no inspections of their nuclear weapons sites, Iran’s legitimate nuclear facilities are the world’s most heavily monitored, its ruling authorities fully cooperating with IAEA inspectors.

Iran’s ballistic, cruise, and other missiles are solely for self-defense, its program fully complying with its obligations under Security Council Res. 2231, unanimously affirming the JCPOA nuclear deal.

No Iranian ballistic or other missiles are designed to carry nuclear warheads, conventional ones alone. No evidence suggests otherwise.

Neither SC 2231 or any other SC resolutions prohibit Tehran’s legitimate ballistic missile development, testing and production. 

The right to self-defense is inviolable under international law, UN Charter Article 51 stating:

“Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.”

The right of self-defense pertains solely to deterring armed attacks, preventing future ones after initial assaults, or reversing the consequences of enemy aggression.

At the same time, force must conform to the principles of necessity, distinction, and proportionality — what US-dominated NATO and Israel ignore when waging preemptive wars.

Necessity permits only attacking military targets. Distinction pertains to distinguishing between civilian and military ones.

Proportionality prohibits disproportionate force, likely to damage nonmilitary sites and/or harm civilian lives.

A fourth consideration requires prevention of unnecessary suffering, especially affecting noncombatants.

Anticipatory self-defense is permitted when compelling evidence shows likely imminent threats or further attacks after initial ones.

Iran hasn’t attacked another country in centuries — what US-dominated NATO and Israel do repeatedly.

According to Israeli media Friday, the IDF conducted a missile test, launched from a military base in central Israel, a statement saying:

“The defense establishment (sic) conducted a launch test a few minutes ago of a rocket propulsion system from (its  Palmachim airbase south of Tel Aviv). The test was scheduled in advance and was carried out as planned.”

The Times of Israel reported the following:

“Israel does not publicly acknowledge having ballistic missiles in its arsenals, though according to foreign reports, the Jewish state possesses a nuclear-capable variety known as the Jericho that has a multi-stage engine, a 5,000-kilometer range and is capable of carrying a 1,000-kilogram warhead.”

According to Haaretz, Friday’s test came “amid increasing tension between Israel and Iran and was intended to send a clear message.”

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif slammed Israel’s test, saying the following:

“Israel today tested a nuke-missile, aimed at Iran. E3 (UK, France, and Germany) and US never complain about the only nuclear arsenal in West Asia – armed with missiles actually DESIGNED to be capable of carrying nukes.”

The West has “fits of apoplexy over our conventional and defensive” missiles, capable of carrying conventional warheads alone.

In response to Britain, France, and Germany falsely accusing Iran of breaching SC Res. 2231 by developing “nuclear-capable ballistic missiles” by letter to UN Secretary General Guterres, Zarif responded sharply, tweeting:

“Latest E3 (Britain, France and Germany) letter to UNSG on missiles is a desperate falsehood to cover up their miserable incompetence in fulfilling bare minimum of their own #JCPOA obligations.”

“If E3 want a modicum of global credibility, they can begin by exerting sovereignty rather than bowing to US bullying.”

On Monday, he tweeted: “@SecPompeo once again admits that US #Economic Terrorism on Iran is designed to starve, and in the case of medical supplies, kill our innocent citizens.”

Earlier to the E3 and EU, he tweeted: “To my EU/E3 Colleagues 

“Fully upheld commitments under JCPOA…YOU? Really?

Just show ONE that you’ve upheld in the last 18 months”

On Wednesday, US under secretary of war for policy John Rood falsely accused Iran of building up a “hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq,” adding:

“We also continue to see indications, and for obvious reasons I won’t go into the details, that potential Iranian aggression could occur.”

A Wednesday NYT report, reading like a Pentagon press release, said:

“Iran has used the continuing chaos in Iraq to build up a hidden arsenal of short-range ballistic missiles in Iraq (sic), part of a widening effort to try to intimidate the Middle East and assert its power (sic)” — citing unnamed US military and intelligence officials, adding: 

Iran “pose(s) a threat to American allies and partners in the region, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, and could endanger American troops (sic).”

Phony claims about any Iranian nuclear and regional threat posed by the nation were debunked time and again.

Tehran has military advisors in Syria and Iraq at the behest of their ruling authorities. They’re involved in combatting US-supported ISIS and likeminded jihadists.

The Islamic Republic threatens no other nations. US-dominated NATO and Israel threaten humanity.

 

Presidential Pardon for Netanyahu?

Global Research, December 06, 2019

Is a deal in the works for Netanyahu to step down as prime minister in return for a presidential pardon — with the aim of avoiding a third election next year? More on this below.

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Netanyahu faces prosecution for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Israeli attorney general Avichai Mendelblit said he “damaged the image of the public service and public trust in it (by abusing his office), knowingly “taking a bribe as a public servant in exchange for actions related to (his) position.”

Charges against him are over arranging favorable news site coverage and accepting lavish gifts in return for political favors.

He remains prime minister because his Likud party and Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party failed to cobble together a majority 61-seat ruling coalition after elections in April and September.

An unprecedented third one looms next year without deadlock resolution. Netanyahu vowed to stay in office despite charges against him. Israeli law only requires a sitting prime minister to step down if convicted.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin accused political leaders of preferring “to go crazy” rather than agree on coalition rule.

If impasse is unresolved by December 11, a third election will be called for next year, late February the earliest possible date, according to a Knesset legal official.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu’s latest meeting with challenger Benny Gantz failed to resolve differences, Gantz reportedly saying he distrusts the prime minister more than ever.

Israel’s Channel 13 said Netanyahu seeks a deal to let him remain prime minister for another three to six months in return for Gantz’s Blue and White party getting key ministries.

Gantz reportedly rejected the offer and earlier ones because Netanyahu can’t be trusted to fulfill promises made. Reportedly he said: “I believe him less today.”

On Wednesday, Netanyahu said he’s “ready for (new) elections,” adding: “They’re not moving one millimeter. One nano-meter, they’re not moving.”

“We made all kinds of proposals, with all kinds of ways to make sure that this unity government will be stable, but they are simply refusing.”

Gantz responded saying: Netanyahu “has been digging in his heels and has not been offering anything new,” adding:

“That is not how you conduct negotiations. He needs to look me — and Israeli citizens — in the eye and say what he thinks and wants instead of shirking responsibility.”

According to the Jerusalem Post (JP), Israeli President Rivlin “will consider pardoning Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in exchange for the PM retiring from political life and confessing to the crimes of which he is accused, Channel 12 reported Wednesday night.”

Earlier he rejected a plea bargain or pardon. So far, he hasn’t responded to the latest offer. According to the JP, his former lawyer Jacob Weinroth failed to convince him to take a similar deal earlier.

In June 2018, the JP said Mendelblit supports the above deal. No formal offers have been reported so far.

At the same time, Rivlin has been exerting heavy pressure on Netanyahu and Gantz to avoid a third election — the outcome likely to be similar to April and September results if held, leaving impasse unresolved.

As things now stand, the best chance, maybe the only one, to resolve things and be able to form a new government is for Netanyahu to resign.

It remains to be seen if he’ll accept Rivlin’s reported offer — stepping down, admitting guilt, and accepting public humiliation in return for avoiding prosecution, likely conviction and imprisonment.

Charges against him omit his highest of high crimes of war, against humanity, and slow-motion genocide against long-suffering Palestinians.

For over a decade, Gazans have been harmed most of all under suffocating medieval siege, an entire population held hostage for political reasons.

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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.

Criminalizing Speech and Press Freedoms. Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning

Global Research, December 01, 2019

The persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning is all about waging war on truth-telling.

Chelsea Manning remains imprisoned for invoking her constitutional right to remain silent — for refusing to testify against Assange.

Her First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendment rights were violated.

Since her ordeal began in 2010, she was imprisoned for courageously revealing US high crimes of war and against humanity in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Subjecting her to unreasonable searches and seizures violated her Fourth Amendment rights.

Her Fifth Amendment rights of due process, protection from self-incrimination, and possible double jeopardy were violated.

So was her Sixth Amendment right of a public trial represented by counsel, an impartial jury, and evidence explaining charges against her.

Subjecting her to cruel and unusual punishments, including the threat to her freedom and well-being by demanding she testify before a grand jury in secret without counsel violated her Fifth, Sixth, and Eight Amendment rights.

Instead of being a shield against oppressive, arbitrary authority, the US grand jury system is a sword against fundamental constitutional rights because of its manipulative practices, prosecutors doing whatever it takes to get indictments.

Wrongfully imprisoned in London at the behest of the Trump regime, Assange faces extradition to the US for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism the way it’s supposed to be — putting other independent journalists at risk in the West and elsewhere.

Weeks earlier, Assange’s father John Shipton said his son is “subjected to every kind of torment” imaginable by UK authorities in London’s high-security Belmarsh prison.

His physical and emotional health fast-deteriorating, he’s being slowly assassinated.

“The only people who are breaking the law are the UK government and the Crown Prosecution Service,” said Shipton — in cahoots with the Trump regime, adding:

The intensity of his mistreatment increased since forcefully dragged from London’s Ecuadorian embassy in April.

UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer earlier said

“(i)n 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution, I have never seen a group of (so-called) democratic states ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonize and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law.”

We’re all Julian Assange. His fate is ours. At stake is the fate of speech, media and academic freedoms. Losing them jeopardizes all other fundamental rights.

What’s happening to Assange and Chelsea Manning puts everyone publicly expressing views that differ from the official narrative at risk — fascism triumphing over freedom, the rule of law rendered null and void.

Candidate Trump said “I love WikiLeaks.” Calling its site “amazing,” he added “I love reading those WikiLeaks.”

As president, he called Assange “disgraceful,” adding he deserves the “death penalty.” Following his April arrest, DJT turned truth on its head, saying “I know nothing about Wikileaks. It’s not my thing.”

Exposing government wrongdoing, truth-telling journalism, dissent, doing the right things despite risk of great personal harm are the highest forms of patriotism.

When whistleblowers and journalists are criminalized for exposing government wrongdoing on the phony pretext of protecting national security or other fabricated reasons, fundamental freedoms no longer exist.

Thomas Jefferson once said speech “cannot be limited without being lost” — the fundamental right upheld by Supreme Court rulings.

WikiLeaks earlier published an open letter to Trump, saying the following:

“We are journalists, activists and citizens from the United States and around the world who care about press freedom and are writing to you in response to the latest threat of prosecution against WikiLeaks for its journalistic work.”

“We ask you to immediately close the grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks and drop any charges against Julian Assange and other Wikileaks staff members…”

“This threat to WikiLeaks escalates a long-running war of attrition against the great virtue of the United States — free speech.”

Obama “prosecuted more whistleblowers than all (former US) presidents combined and opened a grand jury investigation into WikiLeaks that had no precedent.”

“It now appears the US is preparing to take the next step — prosecuting publishers who provide the ‘currency’ of free speech, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson.”

Wrongful “charges (against Assange), including conspiracy, theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act” were fabricated to frame him.

“A threat to WikiLeaks’ work — which is publishing information protected under the First Amendment — is a threat to all free journalism. If the DOJ is able to convict a publisher for its journalistic work, all free journalism can be criminalized.”

“We call on you as president of the United States to close the Grand Jury investigation into WikiLeaks and drop” all charges against Assange and WikiLeaks.

“It was a free and robust press that provided you with a platform on which to run for president.”

“Defending a truly free press requires freedom from fear and favor and the support of journalists and citizens everywhere; for the kind of threat now facing WikiLeaks — and all publishers and journalists — is a step into the darkness.”

At a November 24 UK launch of the book titled “In Defense of Julian Assange,” John Pilger said the following:

Assange’s revelations represent “(a)ll the people whose lives were devastated in Iraq, the people whose lives were devastated in Afghanistan, and Yemen, all over the world that WikiLeaks had told us so much about.”

His unjust persecution is all about robbing people of their freedom and other fundamental rights.

“If they can come for Julian they can come for the rest of us, unless we stand up, speak, make sure our voices are heard,” Pilger stressed.

Assange is a political prisoner, “guilty” of truth-telling investigative journalism the way it’s supposed to be.

In 2015, life-sized bronze statutes of Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden were unveiled in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz.

Their sculptor Davide Dormino said he wanted to “represent three contemporary heroes who have lost their freedom for the truth,” adding: “Their work is reminder of “how important it is to know the truth.”

On Thursday at a large gathering in London for Assange, Australian journalist Kerry O’Brien warned that he’s unjustly “mouldering in a British prison awaiting extradition to the United States.”

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance head Paul Murphy slammed Western media for failing to support Assange, siding with his persecutors.

Historian, former UK ambassador, human rights activist Craig Murray explained that “(d)espite the lack of coverage or biased coverage in mainstream media, there is now an understanding that Julian is being extradited to the United States for nothing except for publishing the truth,” adding:

He believes “we will see one of the largest campaigns (in support of Assange) of our time” next year.

UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer warned that “(i)f Assange gets extradited to the United States and if he gets punished for exposing the truth, then essentially what’s happening is that telling the truth becomes a crime,” adding:

“He’s going to be sentenced by the same judge that sentences all of these whistleblowers in a closed court in East Virginia, and he’ll disappear in a high security prison in inhumane conditions for the rest of his life…if he makes it that far.”

Assange faces either longterm US gulag hell imprisonment or death before arrival from UK brutal mistreatment designed to kill him.

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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.

Featured image is from TruePublica

Israel’s Netanyahu: Dead Man Walking Politically and Judicially

By Stephen Lendman

Source

He’s charged with fraud, bribery and breach of trust, Israel’s first ever sitting prime minister to face prosecution for these serious offenses.

Hard evidence against him is damning. His scourge appears coming to an end once the legal process expected to take time plays out.

Make no mistake. He’s a world-class thug Time magazine called “King Bibi” in May 2012.

Saying he conquered Israel suppressed his high crimes of war, against humanity, and other offenses — compounded since then. 

The puff piece also ignored his deep-seated corruption, his governance of, by, and for privileged Israelis exclusively, his persecution of Palestinians for not being Jewish, his tenure exceeding Sharonian evil.

Arundhati Roy once called India a “limbless, headless, soulless torso left bleeding under the butcher’s clever with a flag driven deep into her mutilated heart.” 

The above describes Israeli regimes throughout the country’s history, notably during Netanyahu’s time in office — his agenda pockmarked with malign viciousness, institutionalized racism, militarism and belligerence, exploitive cruelty, occupation harshness, neoliberal rapaciousness, and wars at his discretion without declaring them.

Governing anti-democratically with an iron fist, he spurns regional peace, stability, equity, justice, and the rule of law — notions he abhors.

He once called no-peace/peace talks with Palestinians “a waste of time.” He wants all valued parts of Judea and Samaria unlawfully annexed, Palestinians dispossessed for Jews-only development.

He’s losing the fight for his political life and ability to remain free from incarceration.

A psychopathological liar, he falsely called criminal charges against him fabricated, “an attempted government coup against the prime minister through blood libels and a biased investigation process (sic).”

According to Israel’s Channel 12, he’s losing Likud support, saying senior party members admit that “the Netanyahu era is over,” plotting behind the scenes to remove him as party leader following AG Mandelbit’s indictment.

A Channel 13 report was similar, Likudniks saying: “We are trying to figure out how to wrest the party from his hands.”

Senior party members reportedly are seeking consensus on who should replace him.

Channel 12 and 13 said Mandelblit won’t demand he resign as prime minister unless convicted, but will insist he relinquish four ministerial posts he holds — agriculture, health, social and diaspora affairs.

Until recently, he also held the foreign affairs and war ministry portfolios.

On Friday, Ynet News said Mandelblit will likely issue a legal opinion, saying “significant legal difficulties” stand in the way of affording him a mandate to form a new government — given serious charges he faces.

Though Israeli law permits an indicted prime minister to remain in office unless convicted, the issue was never judicially ruled on in Israeli history.

Its Supreme Court may have final say on it given serious wrongdoing Netanyahu is charged with, making him politically damaged goods.

According to a Friday published poll, 56% of Israelis want Netanyahu to resign. Only 35% support his staying on as prime minister.

According to Israeli Law Professor Suzie Navot: “All of the questions that we are dealing with now are new questions for Israel. We’ve never been in this situation. It’s unprecedented.”

Labor party leader Amir Peretz said lawyers representing the party will petition Israel’s Supreme Court to order Netanyahu’s removal as prime minister because he’s an obstacle to resolving the election standoff while under indictment.

He may be losing US establishment media support. The NYT accused him of “attack(ing) his country’s institutions,” adding:

“(H)e turned viciously on the police and prosecutors, urging Israelis to ‘investigate the investigators,’ warning of an ‘attempted coup’ and vowing not to step down.” 

“It was a hard conspiracy theory to swallow, as the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, had been appointed by Mr. Netanyahu and had once been his cabinet secretary.”

Separately, the Times said if Netanyahu’s “allies don’t make him stand down, we are headed for chaos,” adding:

“The right way out of this sorry situation is for Mr. Netanyahu’s party and his allies to step up — and tell the prime minister it is time to step down.”

“Some (Netanyahu) supporters are sticking by him, while others are wavering.”

“(S)ome rock-solid Netanyahu voters who expressed doubts about the criminal charges said that it was untenable for him to try to continue in office while he defends himself in court.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that “Netanyahu faces growing frustrations in his Likud party,” adding:

Members are “increasingly calling for a leadership vote as they question Mr. Netanyahu’s ability to lead them to victory in a new vote.” 

“On Friday, some members of Likud’s governing body said the party should hold primaries to choose a new leader that could try to form a new government to avert a third election and give Mr. Netanyahu time to address his legal issues.”

He can’t deal with legal proceedings against him, run Likud, and govern as Israeli prime minister at the same time.

The Journal cited Likudnik MK Yoav Kisch, saying primaries are inevitable to decide who leads the party ahead.

“Other Likud members also acknowledged a growing frustration with Mr. Netanyahu’s legal struggles and its harm to the party’s electoral fortunes,” the Journal reported.

“Other Likud members also acknowledged a growing frustration with Mr. Netanyahu’s legal struggles and its harm to the party’s electoral fortunes.”

Haaretz editors called for him to “go home now,” adding: “Anyone who expected a modicum of proper conduct from the prime minister saw once again his colossal irresponsibility,” adding: 

“Netanyahu proved that Israel is not his top priority, but rather a means for him to continue in office.”

Separately, Haaretz said he “won’t go quietly and will opt for the burning torches.”

Resolving his political and legal status has a long way to go, the likelihood of his remaining PM and prevailing judicially weak at best.

Israel’s Supreme Court — Upholding “Targeted Assassinations” and Torture

Global Research, November 08, 2019

Time and again, Israel’s high court upholds human and civil rights abuses committed by the state.

In 2006, the court upheld its targeted assassinations policy, claiming they’re OK when no other choices exist to protect against dangers to national security — that don’t exist it failed to say.

The policy contravenes Israeli law, the laws of war, and human rights law. Time and again, Israel falsely calls legitimate self-defense by Palestinians “terrorism,” unjustifiably justifying its lawless actions, most often upheld by its high court.

In Public Committee against Torture in Israel et al v. the Government of Israel et al (1999), Israel’s Supreme Court banned the practice it earlier OK’d, ruling “psychological pressure (and) a moderate degree of physical pressure” are permissible.

Israel’s 1987 Landau Commission condemned harsh interrogations amounting to torture, but approved the practice to obtain evidence for convictions in criminal proceedings, saying these tactics are necessary against “hostile (threats or acts of) terrorist activity and all expressions of Palestinian nationalism.”

Despite calling the 1984 UN Convention against Torture “absolute (with) no exceptions and no balances,” Israel’s high court OK’d coercive interrogations in three cases.

It permitted violent shaking, painful shackling, hooding, playing deafeningly loud music, sleep deprivation, and lengthly detainments.

Loopholes in the high court’s 1999 ruling OK’d abusive practices amounting to torture despite banning the practice.

It notably allowed physical force in so-called “ticking bomb” cases, giving Israeli interrogators and others wide latitude on their actions.

The court effectively ruled both ways, approving torture and other abusive practices despite banning it.

International law is clear and unequivocal on this issue, banning it at all times, under all circumstances with no allowed exceptions.

In 2015, Israel’s Supreme Court rejected a petition by human rights groups and political movements that called for overturning the Anti-Boycott Law.

At the time, the Global BDS Movement and Coalition for Women for Peace called the bill “one of the most dangerous anti-democratic laws promoted” by Knesset members, adding:

“Boycott is a nonviolent, legal and legitimate means to promote social and political aims that are protected in civil rights of freedom of expression, opinion and assembly. The bill constitutes a fatal blow to all these civil rights.”

The police state law punishes entities or individuals that call for boycotting Israel, or an economic, cultural, or academic boycott of its illegal settlements.

According to the Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, Israel’s Supreme Court “ignored the chilling effect of this law, and missed the opportunity to tell legislators that there are limits to their anti-human rights actions. This law encourages discrimination against the Arabs in Israel.”

The 2012 Nakba Law “harms both the freedom of expression and the civil rights of Arab citizens, even before its implementation.”

“Because the law’s formulation is so broad and vague, many institutions have already begun and will self-censor in order not to risk incurring penalties.”

Israel’s high court upheld the law, falsely claiming it “does not raise difficult and complex questions.”

It violates Arab history, culture, heritage, and the right to express, teach, or disseminate it freely.

Arab intellectual Constantin Zureiq earlier called the Nakba “the worst catastrophe in the deepest sense of the word, to have befallen the Arabs in their long and disaster-ridden history.”

Compromising their ability to publicly denounce what happened compounds the high crime against them.

Speech, press, and academic freedoms in Israel are gravely endangered. In 2017, legislation was enacted that banned foreign nationals who support BDS from entering the country.

Last April, Israel’s Jerusalem district court ruled against Human Rights Watch’s Israeli office director Omar Shakir, a US citizen, ordering him deported for supporting the global BDS movement, his lawful free expression right.

HRW appealed the ruling, petitioning Israel’s Supreme Court to overturn the injustice. It got an injunction to let Shakir stay in the country until the high court heard his case.

On Tuesday, the court ruled against him, Shakir tweeting:

“Breaking: Israeli Supreme Court upholds my deportation over my rights advocacy. Decision now shifts back to Israeli gov; if it proceeds, I have 20 days to leave…(W)e won’t be the last.”

Critic of Israeli human rights abuses Amnesty International said

“the court has made it explicitly clear that those who dare to speak out about human rights violations by the Israeli authorities will be treated as enemies of the state.”

Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against free expression. Without it, all other rights are jeopardized.

Compromising speech, press, and academic freedoms is the hallmark of totalitarian rule — the new normal in the US, other Western societies and Israel, affirmed by its high court.

Is is just a matter of time before Western ones rule the same way?

Is digital democracy in the West and Israel endangered?

Are abuses against Chelsea Manning, other whistleblowers, Julian Assange, and other independent journalists prelude for much more severe crackdowns against fundamental freedoms ahead?

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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.

Featured image is from IMEMC


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Haaretz Criticizes Russia, Supports US/Israeli Aggression

By Stephen Lendman

Source

Among major powers, Russia is the leading proponent of peace and stability worldwide — its geopolitical agenda polar opposite how the US, NATO, Israel, and their imperial partners operate, an unprecedented global menace Haaretz and Western media support. 

According to the Israeli broadsheet, Dems have little appetite for “Middle East entanglements and many of them have little love for Israel.”

Fact: On issues of war and peace, corporate empowerment, serving privileged interests exclusively, neoliberal harshness for ordinary Americans, and cracking down hard on resisters, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between both right wings of the US war party.

Fact: As for virtually anything involving Israel, nearly the entire Congress and executive branch support the Jewish state one-sidedly, uncaring about Palestinian rights. Rare exceptions prove the rule.

Haaretz: “The days of unconditional US defense aid may be numbered. In the future Israel will have to give something back.”

Haaretz has things backwards for the near and longer-term. The power of the Jewish lobby in the US and West assures continued support for the worst of Israeli high crimes. The Jewish state partners with the US and NATO in waging them. 

Haaretz claiming “Putin is the new king of the Middle East” greatly exaggerates Russia’s regional influence, gaining on the West, way short of surpassing it so far.

Saying he has “economic goals” is true of all nations. Russia pursues its geopolitical aims without attacking or exploiting other nations and their people — seeking peace, stability, mutual cooperation with other countries, and multi-world polarity.

Washington’s agenda is polar opposite, the same true for NATO and Israel — at war with other nations while exploiting their own ordinary people for maximum wealth and power.

Haaretz repeated the Big Lie that won’t die about Russian US election meddling no credible evidence proved happened because none exists, adding:

“Moscow operates hacker teams specializing in political interference in ways that leave no trace of official involvement.”

Like Western media, accusations against Russia by Haaretz include no evidence proving them, showing they’re groundless.

The broadsheet quoted an unnamed Israeli official claiming with no corroborating evidence that Russia “engage(s) in political subversion all over the world. They see it as legitimate and Israel is no exception,” adding:

“Like the Chinese, the Russians want to show that the democratic system doesn’t work anywhere. They prefer to deal with leaders and hierarchical systems without institutions that balance and restrain power.” 

“So they challenge democratic structures everywhere, interfere in elections and create economic pressure via investments by oligarchs that serve the Kremlin.”

Fact: Russian democracy is real, polar opposite US-led Western and Israeli fantasy versions.

Fact: Israel spies on allies and adversaries alike, notably the US.  Washington’s Government Accountability Office (GAO) earlier accused Israel of “conduct(ing) the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally.”

The Pentagon accused Israel of “actively engag(ing) in military and industrial espionage in the United States.”

An unnamed US official once said “(i)t is one thing for the US and Israel to spy on each other.”

“It is another thing for Israel to steal (its) secrets and play them back to (congressional) legislators to undermine US diplomacy.”

I’ve stressed that the nuclear armed and dangerous Jewish state is run by fascist extremists, Zionist ideologues, and religious fundamentalists — representing an unprecedented regional menace along with Washington’s pernicious presence.

No “challenge from Russia” to Israel exists, no “Russian sheriff in town,” no Kremlin threat to any countries.

Polar opposite is true. Moscow seeks cooperative relations with other nations, not confrontation or exploitive designs.

Haaretz a broadsheet producing credible reports at times on some issues, usually domestic ones — spoiled by the above rubbish appearing much too often.

As for all things geopolitical, the broadsheet supports US, NATO, and Israeli aggression. 

It pretends the Jewish state faces cross-border threats — despite none since the October 1973 Yom Kippur war.

It’s militantly hostile to Iran, Syria, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Palestinian liberation organizations — nonbelligerent states and groups threatening no one.

Except at times by noteworthy columnists, it hasn’t come to terms with Israeli apartheid ruthlessness, its fantasy democracy, fascist rule, neoliberal harshness, and imperial aims.

All of the above pose a regional and global menace — second only to US-dominated NATO.

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