Monday, February 20, 2017

US Political Prisoner Omar Abdel Rahman Martyred in Captivity

US Political Prisoner Omar Abdel Rahman Martyred in Captivity

by Stephen Lendman

Known as the “blind sheikh,” he was unjustly framed in a 1995 show trial connected to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing he had nothing to do with.

Clear evidence proved his innocence. It didn’t matter. He was sentenced to life in prison plus 15 years for seditious conspiracy and terrorism, a shocking miscarriage of justice so common in America, especially against people of color and Muslims.

Sheikh Rahman was targeted for his anti-Western views, not any crime committed. He was connected to the Egyptian-based Al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya (Islamic Group) - a 1997 State Department designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO). 

In the 1980s, he was used as a CIA asset, involved in recruiting Mujahadeen fighters against the Soviets in Afghanistan. 

He was rewarded with a US visa, green card and State Department/CIA protection for as long as he was valued. When no longer, he was unjustly arrested, prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned.

At the request of former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, human rights attorney Lynne Stewart joined him in representing Rahman in his appeal. Her involvement got her targeted, prosecuted and imprisoned on phony charges for defending a figure authorities wanted incarcerated.

Her best efforts were no match against federal viciousness. Rahman was aged 78, his death attributed to diabetes and heart disease.

Muslim activist Nadrat Siddique called his passing “a dismal day in the history of the United States,” saying he was “left to die a slow painful death from untreated medical conditions.”

He opposed Egyptian dictatorship under Hosni Mubarak long before the made-in-the-USA Arab spring. He sought political asylum in America. Instead of freedom, he faced cruel and unusual punishment.

Siddique “lament(ed) his tragic death under clearly dehumanizing conditions,” much of it in brutal solitary confinement. 

Michael Mukasey was his sentencing judge. He later served as Bush/Cheney’s attorney general from November 9, 2007 - January 20, 2009.”

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, February 19, 2017

US Terror-Bombed Syria Toxic DU Munitions

US Terror-Bombed Syria with Toxic DU Munitions

by Stephen Lendman

America uses banned depleted uranium (DU) weapons in all its wars, ongoing since first developed during the Vietnam era.

The 1925 Geneva Protocol and succeeding Geneva Weapons Conventions prohibited use of chemical and biological agents in any form as weapons of war.

Although no Geneva Convention or other treaty specifically bans radioactive uranium weapons, including DU ones, they’re illegal de facto and de jure under the 1907 Hague Convention, prohibiting use of any “poison or poisoned weapons.”

DU munitions are radioactive, chemically toxic and poisonous. America is a signatory to the Hague and Geneva Conventions. Using these weapons in combat is a war crime.

US Code, Title 50, Chapter 40, Section 2302 defines a WMD as "any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of (A) toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors, (B) a disease organism, or (C) radiation or radioactivity.”

Armor-piercing DU munitions enable their ability to penetrate targets, enhancing their destructive capability. On detonation, depleted uranium aerializes, contaminating land, air and water, acting as a miniature dirty bomb.

It caused an epidemic of cancer, numerous other diseases and serious birth defects in Iraq - including children born with two heads, one eye, and legs grown together.

Miscarriages are frequent. Hundreds of newborns had cleft pallets, elongated heads, overgrown or short limbs, and other malformed body parts.

Iraq remains a toxic wasteland. So do other US war theaters. The Pentagon admitted using thousands of DU rounds in Syria in 2015, falsely claiming attacks were against ISIS, imperial foot soldiers America created and supports.

Pentagon warplanes began terror-bombing Syria in September 2014, conducting thousands of airstrikes, continuing under Trump against infrastructure and government targets.

It’s unknown if DU weapons were used throughout this period, as well as against Iraq since US terror-bombing began in June 2014 - on the phony pretext of combating ISIS.

Whatever the Pentagon admitted to is likely a small fraction of what it’s done. Its high crimes are notoriously whitewashed.

In March 2015, US-led coalition spokesman John Moore lied, saying its warplanes “have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria…”

Now we know part of the truth. Most of it remains hidden.

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.

Senate Neocons Vow New Anti-Russia Measures

Senate Neocons Vow New Anti-Russia Measures

by Stephen Lendman

Bipartisan lunatics infesting Washington intend preventing improved relations with Russia - whether or not Trump follows through on his pledge to try getting along with Vladimir Putin.

John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and other bipartisan Senate neocons want Trump blocked from lifting sanctions on Russia without congressional approval.

McCain and Graham are rabid Russia haters, urging more sanctions than already - Graham saying “2017 is going to be the year of kicking Russia in the ass in Congress,” adding:

My biggest concern with President Trump…is that he’s never really looked a camera in the eye and said that even though it was the (Democrats) that suffered from Russian interference, I am now the leader of the free world…and I can assure you that (Russia is) going to pay the price on my watch for trying to interfere in our election.

Fabricated claims of Russia US election hacking was a CIA led- intelligence community plot to prevent improved relations with Mosow, wanting adversarial ones maintained.

Graham serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee McCain chairs. When post-election infighting subsides, Congress “will move on to other things, and top of the list will be (more) sanctions against Russia,” he said, adding he hopes Trump will “embrace the idea…that he should be working with us to punish Russia.”

Separately, Secretary of State Tillerson said Washington won’t cooperate with Moscow in Syria unless it stops calling all opposition groups terrorists - a signal the Trump administration intends supporting some, perhaps all its terrorist foot soldiers, possibly suggesting continued conflict, not resolution as hoped for with Obama gone.

Two rounds of Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan achieved no breakthroughs, not auguring well for Geneva later this week - especially with no US representation or at best involvement by one or more low-level delegates.

It’s unclear what Trump intends. Even pro-Western UN envoy to Syria peace talks Staffan de Mistura asked “(w)here is the US in all this? I can’t tell you because I don’t know.”

On Press TV this morning, I was asked to comment on his remarks. I said I rarely, if ever, agree with anything he says, but this time is an exception.

I don’t know what Trump intends. Washington didn’t participate in Astana talks. It’s unclear if it’ll be involved in Geneva, and if so, at what level.

One thing is clear. If Trump and his key people want conflict resolution in Syria, it’ll happen. If not, it won’t, regardless of Russia’s good faith efforts.

So far geopolitically, it largely looks like Obama never left. America’s imperial wars keep raging, prospects for resolving any slim at best. 

Trump wants a more robust military with enhanced nuclear capability, not a responsible scaling back.

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 Power v. Trump

Deep State Power v. Trump

by Stephen Lendman

America’s deep state is divided on Trump. He couldn’t have been elected without enough support. 

Post-inauguration, things changed. The balance of power shifted against him, leaving him vulnerable, already weakened this early in his tenure, unprecedented for a US president.

His record so far in office is another matter, though too soon to judge him definitively. Still, disturbing signs aren’t encouraging. More on this below. 

Jack Kennedy transformed himself from a warrior to a peacemaker. He paid the supreme price.

Trump is no Jack Kennedy - never was, never will be. JFK surrounded himself with young intellectuals as advisors, a cadre he called “the best and the brightest.”

He advocated progressive taxation, increased social welfare including more low-cost public housing, civil rights legislation, medical care for the elderly at a time it was affordable, and federal aid for public and higher education.

He wanted nuclear weapons abolished, the Cold War ended, followed by a “general and complete disarmament.” Heady stuff!

He opposed imperial wars, notably in Southeast Asia. He wanted all US forces out of Vietnam by December 1965.

He believed America should no longer use its might to enforce Pax Americana worldwide. He fired CIA director Allen Dulles and his assistant general Charles Cabell. He wanted to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds,” reason enough to kill him.

He supported Palestinian rights. He opposed Israel’s nuclear weapons program. He offended energy giants, wanting their oil depletion allowance cut or eliminated.

Throughout the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, he said he “never had the slightest intention of attacking” the island state.

He favored Federal Reserve reform. His Executive Order 11110 authorized replacing central bank notes with silver certificates.

It’s believed he wanted United States notes issued, returning money creation power to Congress as the Constitution mandates.

Had he lived and won reelection, imagine the possibilities of a transformational administration, unlike any before or since in US history.

Trump’s first month in office wasn’t encouraging. Killing TPP and likely TTIP leaves the proposed Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) unaddressed.

Covering over two-thirds of world trade in services, it aims for deregulating global financial services markets more than already - allowing unrestricted exchange of personal and financial data.

Global Trade Watch director Lori Wallach explained it’ll “roll back the improvements made after the global financial crisis to safeguard consumers and financial stability and cement us into the extreme deregulatory model of the 1990s that led to the crisis in the first place and the billions in losses to consumers and governments.”

Lawyers and lobbyists for bankers and other financial interests wrote the legislation - a wish list for them at the expense of the general welfare, including supranational rules overriding national laws.

Imperial wars still rage in multiple theaters, continuing the horrors under the Clintons, Bush/Cheney and Obama. Trump’s war on immigrants is all about politics, unrelated to protecting America’s borders and national security.

Accomplishing these objectives requires no longer attacking other countries, ending support for ISIS and other terrorist groups, waging peace, not war, as well as fair, not free, trade - creating, not destroying jobs.

Firing Michael Flynn eliminated his key foreign policy advisor, leaving others in his administration vulnerable including himself.

It likely shattered hopes for improved ties with Russia other than possible changes to minor to matter. 

Hostile comments from Mike Pence, Nikki Haley and Sean Spicer aren’t what turning a new leaf in bilateral relations is all about - especially given a hostile Congress and major media.

Trump and key administration officials expressed disturbing hostility toward China and Iran. He wants increased spending for America’s bloated military, including boosting its nuclear capability. 

After bashing NATO earlier, he now calls himself a “fan” of the alliance. He wants so-called safe zones in Syria Bashar al-Assad opposes. So does Russia without his authorization.

He wants Wall Street deregulated, enabling financial giants to be more predatory than already.

His executive orders on crime fighting and keeping America safe sound ominously like increasing police state powers. 

His new FCC chairman said Net Neutrality’s days are numbered. His education secretary wants public education destroyed. His plan to repeal and replace Obamacare promises something worse instead.

His defense secretary is a hardened warrior. James Mattis didn’t earn four stars by waging peace. He and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed hostility toward Russia, China and Iran.

Trump’s first few weeks in office were disturbing, likely indicating what’s to come. 

Lofty rhetoric is one thing, policymaking another. America should be great for everyone. 

Rising equity prices suggest Trump wants things better for the privileged few - the way it’s always been.

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.

Mocking Vladimir Putin

Mocking Vladimir Putin

by Stephen Lendman

Dark forces in America consider him public enemy number one. So do media scoundrels, notably The New York Times, bashing him relentlessly, again on Sunday, comparing him to Trump.

On December 31, 1999, he became acting president after Boris Yeltsin resigned, his deplorable tenure finally over, wrecking the country, transforming it into a shock therapy laboratory, creating dystopian harshness for most Russians.

In 2000, Putin was elected president, reelected in 2004 with a 72% majority, succeeded by Dmitry Medvedev in 2008, then elected again overwhelmingly in 2012.

He’s been Russia’s president for nearly 14 years. The Times erroneously said 17. He’s by far the nation’s most popular politician, enjoying an approval rating of around 80%.

In 2015, Time magazine called him the world’s most influential person. Since 2013, Forbes ranked him the most powerful.

He deplores war, supports peace and stability, seeks mutual cooperation with all nations, believes rule of law principles are inviolate.

He’s polar opposite US warrior leaders, deserving universal praise, not criticism. Not according to The Times, falsely claiming he ordered US election hacking despite no evidence suggesting it.

Its fake news story accused Trump associates of having pre-election contacts with Russian intelligence - again no evidence proving it.

The Times blasted him and Trump in the same article, accusing America’s president of having an “unseemly embrace of the Russian tough guy,” suggesting something rotten going on, adding:

Trump’s “rhetoric and actions as president bear more than a passing resemblance to those of Mr. Putin…”

Fact: Their rhetorical styles differ markedly. Trump is animated, boisterous and populist-sounding. Putin is measured and reserved. Each leader communicates effectively.

Fact: Trump’s actions so far differ greatly from Putin’s - a businessman turned politician v. a preeminent statesman. A warrior v. a peacemaker. 

Trump saying he wants to make America great again so far is just political rhetoric. Putin revitalized Russia from the devastating neoliberal 90s.

He made great progress despite lots more remaining to be accomplished. Overcoming a lost decade takes time. 

He governs democratically, unlike how he’s falsely portrayed. His anti-terrorism mission in Syria changed the dynamic on the ground, an antidote to America’s imperial agenda - on the right side of history morally, ethically and legally.

He never attacked another country. Claims of so-called “Russian aggression” are falsified. In contrast, America’s war on terrorism is a complete fabrication, Trump yet to prove he intends changing things.

Putin is arguably the most important world leader, a true peace champion, unlike bipartisan neocons infesting Washington.

The Times: America has a (long) record of success with constitutional democracy that should outlive the Trump era.”

Fact: Democracy in America is pure illusion. Powerful interests run things, not “we the people.”

The Times lied calling governance in Russia “no-longer-existing democracy…” Its system shames how America is run, bordering on tyranny approaching full-blown.

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 Back on the Stump

Trump Back on the Stump

by Stephen Lendman

On Saturday, he addressed supporters in Melbourne, FL, his wife Melania introducing him.

He’s most comfortable in this element, saying he wanted to speak “without the filter of fake news - the dishonest media…publishing one false story after another with no sources…”

He came to tout his agenda without explaining his disturbing start, his first 30 days in office far from encouraging.

He justifiably went on a rampage against media scoundrels. They’re “a big part of the problem,” he said. “They are part of the corrupt system…They have their own agenda…(W)e will continue to expose them for what they are…”

He’s right about inheriting an enormous mess. He hasn’t improved things so far, despite claiming otherwise. He’s filling the swamp, not draining it.

He made lots of lofty promises earlier and yesterday with little to show for them so far - deserving more justifiable criticism than praise.

He bragged about authorizing environmentally destructive Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, exaggerating the number of jobs they’ll create, failing to explain they’re short-term, most no longer needed once construction is completed. The damage they’ll cause is forever.

His touted war on regulations is great for big business, bad for consumer rights and ecosanity. His EPA chief Scott Pruitt has deep ties to America’s energy industry, including billionaires Charles and David Koch.

He won’t be “environmentally friendly,” as Trump claimed - nor a “great secretary.” He’ll make “a big difference (moving away from) clogging up the veins of our country with environmental impact statements and all of the rules and regulations,” Trump added.

What’s vitally needed, Trump opposes. Letting companies “navigate” freely assures greater environmental destruction than already - polluting land, air, and water, Americans getting unsafe foods to eat.

“…I’ve taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he roared. Not a word about ending US support for these elements. Nothing about halting America’s imperial wars or wasting trillions of dollars waging them.

The best way to keep the nation safe is by no longer harming people worldwide, waging peace, not war, aiding the poor and disadvantaged at home, treating everyone everywhere equitably, serving all Americans, not just its privileged few.

So far, Trump is long on lofty promises, short on fulfilling what matters most to ordinary people.

Will things improve in the weeks and months ahead? Can he survive attacks intending to weaken and likely remove him from office?

Whatever his good intentions, if any, he’s no match against dark forces wanting things run their way.

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.

Rallying for Peace in Donbass, Putin Extends Outreach

Rallying for Peace in Donbass, Putin Extends Outreach

by Stephen Lendman

On the second anniversary of the Minsk II peace agreement, thousands of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) residents rallied against Kiev’s aggression.

A moment of silence honoring regime victims proceeded a march and rally for conflict resolution.

Addressing the crowd, DPR deputy chairwoman Olga Makeeva said “(d)uring the Minsk talks the world has heard us, and they know the truth. They talk more and more that it’s Ukraine who’s guilty in deaths of innocent people…”

Since Washington’s February 2014 coup, Russia was falsely accused of “aggression” in Ukraine, committed by Kiev forces, escalated in late January. Trump said nothing to condemn it.

On Saturday, Putin signed a decree, recognizing documents and license plates of vehicles registered to Donbass citizens and residents.

According to the Kremlin press service, Putin acted “to protect rights and freedoms of a person and a citizen and in accordance with generally accepted principles and norms of international humanitarian law.”

His decree is provisional until conflict resolution is achieved, nowhere in sight so far. It states:

“The Russian Federation recognizes the identity documents, education and/or qualification documents; certificates of birth, marriage (divorce), change of name, death; vehicle ownership certificates and license plates of vehicles issued by relevant bodies (organizations), de facto operating in the given areas, to citizens of Ukraine and persons without citizenship permanently residing in those areas.”

Donbass residents are free to enter Russia without visas, required only to present ID documents. The decree became effective with Putin’s signature, extending responsible outreach to the region’s people, suffering from Kiev’s aggression.

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.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Russia Denies Violating INF Treaty Provisions

Russia Denies Violating INF Treaty Provisions

by Stephen Lendman

Historic US/Russia (Reagan/Gorbachev) 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty provisions required the elimination of all nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 310 - 620 miles (short-range) and 620 - 3,420 miles (intermediate range), along with their launchers.

Compliance is monitored by technical means, on site inspections and cooperative measures. The agreement was the first bilateral treaty designed to reduce nuclear arms. Previous ones only established ceilings.

Last Tuesday, acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner (an Obama holdover) wrongfully accused Russia of violating its INF Treaty obligations - alleging a 2014 violation.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov debunked Toner’s comments, saying “Russia has been and remains committed to its international commitments, including to the treaty in question. Nobody has formally accused Russia of violating the treaty.”

US media scoundrels accused Moscow of breaching the INF Treaty, citing no credible evidence proving it. None exists.

According to Russian upper house Federation Council International Relations chairman Konstantin Kosachev, “(t)he main objective of this campaign is to prevent (Trump) from making a U-turn over the Atlantic, I mean, to prevent him from reconsidering the transatlantic policies of the United States that are set at establishing the monopolar model of the world order.”

The aim is keeping Americans fearful over an imagined Russian threat. It doesn’t exist so must be invented.

Neocon, CIA-connected Washington Post editors hyped the nonexistent threat, falsely claiming a Russian INF violation, urging Trump to confront Moscow, “holding out the possibility of military countermeasures…”

WaPo deplores peace and stability, craves wars and other belligerent confrontations, promoting its agenda with fake news.

America and other Western nations need leadership courageous enough to go another way. Campaigning as a peace president, Obama later bragged about being at war throughout his entire tenure.

Trump complained about spending trillions of dollars on wasteful foreign wars instead of using the resources for vital homeland needs.

He also promised to “rebuild” America’s military, continuing wasteful spending if he follows through.

The nation needs lots more butter, far less guns. No leadership is willing to wage world peace and stability instead of endless imperial wars.

Russia has cause for concern. So does 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.

The Cold War Never Ended, Says Lavrov

The Cold War Never Ended, Says Lavrov

by Stephen Lendman

Longstanding US policy aims to keep Russia marginalized, weakened, destabilized, contained and isolated.

Regime change is Washington’s ultimate aim, a prescription for continued adversarial relations, heightened under Obama, Trump’s intentions yet to be revealed, other than lip service promises for improving things - not so far, likely not at all in ways mattering most.

Speaking at the Munich Conference on Security Policy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Cold War never ended. 

Indeed not with Vice President Pence telling Munich conference participants Washington will “hold Russia accountable” - a clear expression of continued adversarial relations.

US-dominated NATO remains hostile, unwilling to resume military cooperation with Moscow, a “regretful” situation fraught with risks.

Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg takes orders from Washington. Meeting with Lavrov on Friday, he declined to east tensions between member states and Moscow.

At the Munich conference in 2007, Vladimir Putin explained disastrous US unipolar policies. Lavrov said a unipolar world system isn’t viable longterm.

The world community must make responsible choices. Present conditions are untenable.

We do not agree categorically with those, who accuse Russia and new centers of global influence of attempts to undermine the so-called liberal world order,” said Lavrov. 

“Crisis of this model of the world was programmed even when the concept of economic and political globalization was invented mostly as an instrument to provide growth of the elite club of countries and its dominating all the others.”

Lavrov said Moscow abhors Europe’s failure to overcome Russophobia, common sense sacrificed, mutual cooperation impossible under these conditions.

He stressed the importance of pressuring Kiev to observe Minsk ceasefire terms. Diplomacy is the only way to resolve ongoing conflict.

“What relations are we expecting with the US,” he asked? “Potential of cooperation in politics, economy, humanitarian sphere is huge, but it is still to be used. We are open to it as much as the US is ready.”

No credible evidence corroborates accusations made against Russia. Plenty “point(s) to the other direction to the source of that illegal activity.”

His comment needs no further elaboration. Russia seeks confrontation with no one, Lavrov stressed. At the same time, it’s prepared to protect its security and interests as needed.

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.

Putin's 2007 Straight Talk on Disastrous US Unipolarity

Putin’s 2007 Straight Talk on Disastrous US Unipolarity

by Stephen Lendman

Annual Munich security conferences have been held since 1963. It’s the most important world forum on current and future security issues and challenges.

Numerous heads of state, other senior government officials, high-ranking military ones, along with business, media and other private sectors figures attend.

This year’s conference began Friday, continuing on Saturday. Sergey Lavrov will speak later today, presenting Russia’s views on international security, followed by a Q & A session.

Foreign ministers from Normandy contact group members Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine will discuss renewed conflict in Donbass on the sidelines of the conference. 

Lavrov will also hold several bilateral meetings. On Friday, he met with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. The US dominated alliance maintains adversarial relations with Russia. 

Bilateral cooperation was suspended over Ukraine. Hostile policy toward Russia remains in place. Trump so far hasn’t changed things - other than express lip service intentions.

In February 2007, Vladimir Putin delivered a memorable straight talk address at the 43rd Munich Conference on Security Policy.

“(S)ecurity for one is security for all,” he said, quoting Franklin Roosevelt at the onset of WW II, saying “(w)hen peace has been broken anywhere, the peace of all countries everywhere is in danger.”

Cold War thinking remains, he explained - at the same time denouncing unipolarity, saying “it refers to one type of situation, namely one centre of authority, one centre of force, one centre of decision-making.”

“It is world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.”

“And this certainly has nothing in common with democracy. Because, as you know, democracy is the power of the majority in light of the interests and opinions of the minority.”

“…Russia - we - are are constantly being taught about democracy. But for some reason those who teach us do not want to learn themselves. I consider that the unipolar model is not only unacceptable but also impossible in today’s world.”

He said Washington turned the OSCE “into a vulgar instrument of ensuring the foreign policy interests of one country.”

Powerful words not going down well in Washington or other Western capitals. Putin called unipolarity flawed, unacceptable in today’s world, creating global human tragedies and tensions.

Endless wars rage. “Today we are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of (military) force,” a world of permanent conflicts, making political settlements difficult to impossible.

Fundamental principles of international law are violated, Putin explained, naming America as the world’s leading offender, leaving humanity unsafe.

Putin stressed the urgency to step back from the brink, reduce nuclear weapons stockpiles, wage peace, not war.

He stressed the importance of multi-world polarity, warned against the militarization of space. He called NATO expansion “a serious provocation that reduces the level of mutual trust.”

“(A)gainst whom is this expansion intended,” he asked? Russia seeks cooperative relations with all other countries, “a fair and democratic world order that would ensure security and prosperity not only for a select few, but for all,” he concluded.

Since he spoke, Washington raped and destroyed Libya, Syria and Yemen. It continued endless aggression in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, along with partnering with three Israeli wars on Gaza and aiding Kiev putschists wage war on Donbass.

The world is less safe today than when he spoke. His warnings went unheeded. Bilateral relations with America are as fraught with dangers as at any time during the Cold War era.

The risk of nuclear war by design or accident remains real.

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 at War with Media Scoundrels

Trump at War with Media Scoundrels

by Stephen Lendman

He’s right calling them “the most dishonest human beings on earth.” Well, almost.

The same goes for most US and other Western politicians. They lie and deceive. They betray their constituents. 

They serve privileged interests exclusively at the expense of ordinary people. They support endless wars of aggression responsible for millions of casualties.

Trump campaigned as anti-establishment. So far, he looks like all the rest, differing largely in style, on display during his February 16 press conference.

“I’m keeping my promises to the American people,” he said. What’s initiated and proposed so far largely helps monied interests. He’s done more to fill the swamp than drain it, though in fairness he’s only been in office 30 days.

He blasted leaks, likely from Obama administration holdovers, calling them “absolutely real,” adding “(t)he news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”

“I can handle a bad story…as long as it’s true,” he said, “not…when it is fake. I mean, I watch CNN. It’s so much anger and hatred.”

Media “have a lower approval rating than Congress.” With reliable sources available online, millions get their news and information this way - the only way to stay informed.

Trump’s first press conference as president ran about 90 minutes. It was unlike any previous one held by a US leader in memory. His free-wheeling style pleases supporters, irritates opponents.

NYT editors mocked him, calling him “an inept White House…celebrity apprentice.” They lied, saying he “did not inherit ‘a mess’ “ - claiming the “nation recovered from recession,” ignoring protracted Main Street Depression conditions affecting most Americans.

Around 100 million working-age ones have no jobs. Millions more are way underemployed, many earning poverty wages, countless numbers one missed paycheck away from destitution, homelessness and despair - in the world’s richest country ignoring their needs, prioritizing warmaking and corporate favoritism.

Times editors claimed Trump’s “creating a mess of his own.” Most examples cited are fake news - like “cozying up to Moscow” and blaming him for congressional failure to approve his officials expeditiously.

Justifiable criticism of Trump’s policies is warranted. The Times is part of a media campaign to delegitimize and undermine him - perhaps ahead of an effort to remove him from office or force his resignation.

This is what US-style democracy looks like - a deplorable perversion of the real thing.

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.

Syria Condemns Turkish War Crimes, US Keeps Killing Civilians

Syria Condemns Turkish War Crimes, US Keeps Killing Civilians

by Stephen Lendman

Syrian Foreign Ministry letters to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Security Council president Volodmyr Yelchenko condemned Turkey’s “repeated crimes and attacks” on defenseless civilians, along with violations of its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It called for UN intervention to halt its aggression. According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), Ankara’s war on Syria remains ongoing for nearly six years.

It “includes providing various forms of military, material and logistic support to the terrorist organizations, bringing foreign terrorists, facilitating their entry into Syria and setting up training camps for them on Turkish soil under direct Turkish intelligence supervision and providing arms and fire cover to the terrorist groups fighting inside Syria.”

Turkish attacks on Al Bab killed scores of Syrian civilians, injuring many more. Current operations are part of what Ankara calls Operation Euphrates Shield, begun last August to occupy parts of northern Syria with likely intent to annex it illegally.

On the pretext of combating ISIS, Turkish forces are battling Kurdish YPG fighters. According to Syrian UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari, bilateral talks with Ankara in Geneva next week are “impossible” unless it halts its aggression and withdraws its forces from Syrian territory.

He demanded Erdogan’s regime stop facilitating the flow of terrorists into Syria, along with arming and providing them safe haven in Turkey.

Russia, Iran and Turkey allied to sponsor two rounds of Astana, Kazakhstan peace talks between Syria and opposition forces (excluding UN designated terrorist groups) - to be followed by more comprehensive negotiations in Geneva next week.

Russia and Iran are committed for conflict resolution. Turkey’s intentions are suspect. So are Washington’s - responsible for six years of devastating war.

US-led so-called “coalition” war planes continue terror-bombing Syrian infrastructure and government targets. Thousands of civilians in harm’s way were slaughtered in Syria and Iraq, according to Russia’s defense ministry, last November saying:

The US Central Command “does not consider…thousands of peaceful Syrians and Iraqis killed by US airstrikes as ‘humans.’ ”

The slaughter continues with no letup since Trump took office, Pentagon high crimes whitewashed - the latest atrocity yesterday near Raqqa.

US terror-bombing killed a dozen or more civilians, injuring others, the death toll likely to rise. Others were killed by US warplanes in al-Thawrah, a district in the Raqqa governorate.

On the pretext of combating ISIS, US-led “coalition” warplanes kill civilians in targeted areas struck.

Syria is now Trump’s war. After 30 days in office, he’s continuing what Obama began - committing 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 

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