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STEPHEN LENDMAN

Mr. 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.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MR STEPHEN LENDMAN  CONTACT MR LENDMAN AT :  [email protected]

Iran Responsible for Ukraine Airline Crash?


JANUARY 10, 2020

BY STEPHEN LENDMAN REPORTS


On January 8, Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 crashed minutes after departing from Tehran’s International Airport. All 167 passengers and nine crew members perished.

Tasnim News cited “Iranian emergency service officials (saying that) the passengers of the doomed plane included 147 Iranians and 32 foreign nationals.”

Iran’s Transportation Minister Mohammad Eslami said the following in response to what happened:

Iran’s “Accidents Commission in Civil Aviation Organization has been tasked with the accurate probe of the crash and will issue the final report to prevent similar incidents in the future.”

Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization said “(t)he aircraft caught fire during the flight,” shortly after takeoff. “Eye witnesses say they saw flames engulfing the plane,” adding:

“The plane’s trajectory, which was initially heading westwards from the airport, suggests that it made a U-turn after a technical malfunction emerged.”

“The plane was returning to the airport at the time of the crash.”

No evidence suggests foul play, an engine fire seen from the ground after takeoff the possible cause of the crash.

Citing unnamed US, EU, and Canadian security sources, Reuters said “the initial assessment of Western intelligence agencies was that the plane had suffered a technical malfunction and had not been brought down by a missile.”

“There was evidence (that) one of the jet’s engines had overheated.”

Some establishment media suggested Iranian responsibility for downing the aircraft.

What possible motive could its authorities or military have to want the commercial airliner destroyed, its passengers killed, most of them Iranian nationals?

None whatever! Clearly what happened was a tragic accident, involving a Boeing 737, the latest incident involving one of the company’s airliners, numerous others preceding it.

Most recent ones involved Boeing 737 MAX airliners, two crashes last year killing 346 passengers and crew — civil aviation authorities worldwide grounding these planes until technical issues are resolved and they’re safe to fly.

Establishment media hostility to Iran is unabated. The NYT suggested possible foul play behind the crash of Ukraine Airlines Flight 752, headlining:

“Little Clarity, Many Theories in Ukraine Airline Crash in Iran,” saying:

“The immediate aftermath of the crash brought confusing and contradictory statements from Ukraine and Iran (sic),” adding:

“The crash’s timing raised immediate suspicions (sic)” — coming on the same day that Iran fired multiple missiles on two US bases in Iraq in retaliation of the Trump regime’s ordered assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Both issues were unrelated. All Iranian missiles struck their intended targets. They were fired hours before the Ukrainian airliner took off, what the Times didn’t explain.

Iranian IRGC spokesman Abolfazl Shekarchi debunked false accusations, saying:

Western sources “are spreading propaganda that the Ukrainian flight was targeted. This is ridiculous,” adding:

“Most of the passengers on this flight were our valued young Iranian men and women. Whatever we do, we do it for the protection and defense of our country and our people.”

The neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post falsely reported 60 Canadians onboard the Ukrainian airliner. Only 32 foreign nationals were on the flight.

WaPo quoted a US source saying the crash appeared to have “all the earmarks of an intentional act” — no evidence cited suggesting it.

Ukrainian authorities ruled out terrorism, suggesting likely engine failure, what analysis of the crash site and black boxes aboard the doomed aircraft will likely determine.

The Wall Street Journal said “investigators should consider a hostile act.” The aircraft was on fire before crashing, according to witnesses on the ground.

Nothing suggests it was struck by a missile in flight. Iranian official Mohammad Eslami debunked “rumors about the incident being a terrorist attack, explosion or shooting at the plane.”

Plane crash investigators will cover all possibilities of what happened. Ukrainian experts together with their Iranian counterparts will determine what brought the plane down.

The Journal falsely claimed that “tensions between the US and Iran…complicat(e)” the investigation.

Not so, both issues unrelated. Iran and Ukraine intend learning the cause of the crash — what always follows these incidents to avoid repeats of the same thing.

When commercial airliners crash in Western and most other countries, accusations of terrorism or other foul play rarely follow.

Because the Ukraine airliner crashed in Iran, the usual unreliable sources hostile to country suggest blaming its authorities — despite no evidence suggesting their responsibility for what happened.



Middle East Peace Unattainable Under Foreign Occupation



JANUARY 10, 2020

BY STEPHEN LENDMAN REPORTS


The goal of Iran, its allies, and the Arab street is freeing the Middle East from hostile US and other foreign forces.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stressed the importance of this objective, saying, “(w)e believe that the US should receive its chief response from the nations of the region,” adding:

The Trump regime murdered General Soleimani. “The revenge for this is for us to sever and cut off the US’s feet from this region” — expelling them, preventing their return.

Foreign Minister Zarif made similar comments, saying anti-US rage is growing. It’s “spending its last days in our region.”

Iran “had to show a military reaction to the US…The end will be the withdrawal of the US” from the region.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran has declared that if the US makes a mistake, it will definitely be given a response.”

Zarif stressed that Iran’s response to Soleimani’s assassination was “proportionate” in compliance with international law — polar opposite how the US operates.

Iran “does not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” he added.

Wherever US forces show up in parts of the world with sovereign nations it doesn’t control, mass slaughter, vast destruction and human misery follow.

The US is a violent culture, how it’s been from inception, today with super-weapons able to kill us all.

The scourge of its imperial rage threatens global war, endless war a US addiction.

In 1982 congressional testimony, father of the US nuclear navy Admiral Hyman Rickover said “(t)he lesson of history is when a war starts every nation will ultimately use whatever weapons it has available” to win.

US war with Iran could set the Middle East ablaze far more than already. US war with Russia, China, or another nuclear power could kill us all.

What’s coming by the Trump regime in response to Iranian missile strikes on two US bases in Iraq remains to be seen.

What’s ahead most likely will be continued US economic terrorism against Tehran and other hostile actions, short of attacking Iranian territory.

Tehran vowed to respond proportionately to US aggression in whatever form it comes.

On Wednesday, Iran’s Tasnim News said IRGC missiles used against the US in retaliation for General Soleimani’s murder were “Fateh-313 and Qiam missiles, with a range of 500 km and 800 km, respectively,” adding:

They have such “high velocity that the American defense systems (were) unable to intercept any of the projectiles.”

Qiam missiles are “equipped with radar jamming systems and fragmentation warheads” — the first time the IRGC used these advanced weapons.

The Qiam missiles “caused tens of explosions at the American airbase,” Tasnim reported, adding:

“(O)nly the Ain al-Assad base” was attacked” with these advanced weapons. “The Americans (were told) that any (unacceptable) reaction to the strike would have sparked a very harsh response from Tehran.”

Separately, Iran’s Armed Forces chief of staff General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri warned that further US aggression will be met with a “stronger, more crushing and broader” response, adding:

“The time has come for the evil authorities of the United States to realize the Islamic Republic of Iran’s capabilities in a greater extent of global geography, adopt a principled approach, and pull the forces of their terrorist army out of the region as soon as possible.”

Iran’s Mehr News cited an “informed (IRGC) source” saying the US suffered numerous casualties, the wounded evacuated “immediately…by helicopters.”

Iraq reported no casualties to its personnel on the base. US and other Western countries made similar statements.

Most likely there were no deaths, some injuries. It’s hard imagining that multiple detonations and shrapnel from them failed to wound anyone.

Mehr News said around “20 critical points of the (Ain al-Assad) base were hit by 15 missiles, and a significant number of UAVs and helicopters were destroyed,” citing an IRGC source, adding:

“Despite the fact that Americans had been on high alert, their air defense was unable to respond.” No Iranian missiles were intercepted.

Press TV reported that countries with military or other personnel in Iraq are preparing them for evacuation.

Various countries issued warnings to their nationals against traveling to Iraq and Iran, fearing escalated conflict.

The US FAA restricted American civil aviation flights over Iranian, Iraqi, Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman airspace — “due to heightened military activities and increased political tensions in the Middle East.”

The ball is in the Trump regime’s court. What’s coming is its call.

On Wednesday, Trump claimed there were no casualties overnight from Iran’s strikes on US bases in Iraq.

The IRGC maintains otherwise. Key is what’s coming next.

The US has tens of thousands of military forces in the region, its bases used as platforms for endless wars of aggression.

The only chance for restoration of Middle East peace and stability is by expelling US forces from the region.

On Wednesday, Trump said he’s asking NATO countries to get more involved in the Middle East — polar opposite what’s needed.

He said nothing about US retaliation against Iran for its pre-dawn Wednesday strikes on US bases in Iraq, a positive sign.

As he says time and again: “We’ll see what happens” ahead.

I expect continued Trump regime hostilities against Iran short of war the US can’t win if launched.



US Designated Puppet Guaido Replaced as Venezuelan National Assembly Head


JANUARY 10, 2020

BY STEPHEN LENDMAN REPORTS


Widely despised Guaido, the Trump regime’s usurper in waiting, a figure with no legitimacy, was ousted as Venezuela’s National Assembly (AN) head by majority vote.

According to Venezuela’s Constitution, AN leadership is renewed annually on January 5.

Opposition deputy Luis Parra replaced Guaido, Franklin Duarte and Jose Noriega elected first and second parliamentary vice presidents.

Former Guaido ally turned opponent Jose Brito slammed him, saying:

“In 2019, you represented the hopes of the nation, but today you’re its biggest deception. You’re a dream converted into a nightmare whose time has run out.”

“Guaido lied to the country and to the international community. He also repeatedly denied to everyone that he was not in talks with (President) Maduro, and the truth is that (he) ran back to (his) main international allies.”

He “used the people to consolidate not the forces of change, but their own position of power.”

Henceforth, he represents only himself. Reportedly Trump regime hardliners soured on him — despite public comments claiming otherwise, unwilling to admit defeat.

Under his leadership, the plot to topple Maduro failed. Everything he threw at legitimate Venezuelan governance was thwarted.

On Sunday, Telesur reported that opposition parliamentarians chose to move forward without him — because “his corruption and failures have worsened their cause.”

For illegally swearing in three contested legislators in January 2016, Venezuela’s Supreme Court held the opposition-controlled National Assembly in contempt, its decisions ruled null and void.

The judiciary acts in its place because of its “contempt” and “incapacitation” to carry out its constitutional duties.

Venezuela’s National Constituent Assembly was democratically elected to revise the nation’s Constitution, subject to the popular will up or down by democratic referendum.

Article 349 of Venezuela’s constitution states no other power can “in any way impede the decisions of the National Constituent Assembly” – not the president, National Assembly legislators or Supreme Court justices.

When its work is completed and Bolivarian social democracy preserved, including a revised constitution approved by national referendum, the Constituent Assembly will disband.

Guaido’s involvement in corruption and overwhelming unpopularity led to his rejection by opposition deputies.

According to Venezuela Analysis, “31 opposition deputies joined the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela and other Chavista parties in electing the new (National Assembly) leadership.”

Guaido established an illegitimate “parallel parliament” with him as illegitimate leader.

Maduro recognized new National Assembly leadership. Parra said he’ll select a new National Electoral Council supervisory board so Venezuelans can decide on their deputies when new legislative elections are held this year.

“He also vowed to pursue the ‘path of reconciliation,’ ” adding: “More than 80% of Venezuelans want to live in peace,” Venezuela Analysis reported


The views of this news report are from Mr Stephen Lendman Only and not those of Global News Aruba and its associates or the Editor in Chief, read our disclaimer and contact the News Reporter Stephen Lendman.  Contact at [email protected]

Mr. 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. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MR STEPHEN LENDMAN  CONTACT MR LENDMAN AT : [email protected]


The views of this news report are from Mr Stephen Lendman Only and not those of Global News Aruba and its associates or the Editor in Chief, read our disclaimer and contact the News Reporter Stephen Lendman.  Contact at [email protected] [email protected]

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