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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.
CONTACT MR LENDMAN AT :  [email protected]

'Russian Foreign Ministry on Syria and Venezuela '

by Stephen Lendman
Freelance Journalism

Syria remains an unresolved festering sore because of US support for anti-government jihadists and terror-bombing, wanting endless war, not resolution.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova (MZ below) discussed the fake CW attack in Douma, Syria last April.

Damascus was falsely blamed for what it had nothing to do with – or real CW attacks throughout years of war, carried out by US supported cutthroat killers.

Al-Qaeda-linked White Helmet terrorists were involved in the Douma incident. So-called graphic images shown were staged – readied in advance from an unrelated US-supported CW incident elsewhere, maybe in another country, presented to falsely claim Syrian responsibility for the incident.

MZ called it “a fake event” followed by US-led terror-bombing – based on a Big Lie. “The masks have been removed and continue to be removed,” she stressed, adding:

So-called “eyewitnesses were…White Helmets terrorists,” accomplices in the scheme, ignored by Western governments and their media press agents, reporting the falsified narrative, suppressing hard truths about the incident.

MZ: “The facts of the matter were totally ignored. Instead, the information space was filled with bellicose rhetoric by the same politicians…officials (and media) who demanded, as always, to severely punish Bashar al-Assad and Russia which supports him.”

Claims about use of toxic sarin were Big Lies. “(F)ootage from the Douma hospital that served as the basis for a military strike on Syria was fabricated,” adding:

The whole ugly business “culminated (with) BBC producer Riam Dalati who, based on his research, confirmed the staged nature of the footage with the direct participation of White Helmets.”

“We would like to hear what the BBC has to say about this, as it actively covered these events” – reporting bald-faced lies, suppressing hard truths.

All wars are based on Big Lies and deception. Truth-telling would destroy pretexts for waging them. All US post-WW II wars were and continue to be naked aggression against nations threatening no one – millions of lives lost in pursuit of its imperial objectives, high crimes, accountability never forthcoming.

Commenting on the Trump regime’s attempted coup in Venezuela, MZ blasted its aim “to overthrow the legitimate government of a sovereign state, disregarding the norms and principles of international law…”

Trump regime hardliners are fixated on demanding that Maduro “must go,” ignoring his democratic election and reelection last May – along with international and US constitutional law, prohibiting a nation from interfering in the internal affairs of other sovereign states.

The Trump regime’s concocted alternative government has no legitimacy under international or Venezuelan constitutional law.

MZ: “There is every indication that the White House has opted in Venezuela for a scenario of an acute confrontation with the use of force.”

Why haven’t Russia and China offered military aid. I support sending thousands of peacekeepers as a deterrent against war.

Russia alone among major anti-imperial nations in involved in Syria, combatting US-supported terrorists.

Why not Venezuela to prevent the scourge of US state terrorism from toppling Venezuela’s democratic government. The same goes for supporting Iran against a similar US scheme to replace its government with a puppet regime – likely by brute force if ongoing tactics fail.

If Russia and China do nothing while independent governments fall like dominoes, they’ll be next against the scourge of a US takeover attempt – wanting their governments toppled.

Events in Venezuela are taking place against the backdrop of political, economic, financial, and sanctions war – aimed at inflicting pain and suffering on ordinary people, establishment media pretending it’s for a good cause, supporting what demands denunciation.

MZ: The Trump regime’s scheme, notably wanting control over Venezuelan oil and other resources, amounts to the attempted “seizure of the century.”

It’s “a clear signal to everyone: the US can do what it feels like doing with the property and assets of any country at its own discretion.”

“This is the market economy for you, free trade and opposition to protectionism. In this case we are seeing the raid of an entire state” – repeating the rape of Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and other countries earlier, along with scores of successful and unsuccessful US coups post-WW II.

“We categorically object to any attempts to politicize the issue of humanitarian aid to Venezuela and to use it to cover up the manipulation of public opinion and to mobilize anti-government forces for a coup,” said MZ, adding:

“We know what goals the Americans are pursuing in handing out their cookies and what tragic consequences this could lead to. There are many examples to this effect.”

Sergey Lavrov warned Mike Pompeo “against any external interference in Venezuelan affairs.” Whatever he said fell on deaf ears.

Intervention is fully underway short of hot war perhaps coming if Russia doesn’t go all out to prevent it – by direct involvement to preserve and protect Venezuelan sovereignty from the scourge of a US takeover.

'Dow Chemical’s Toxic Legacy'

by Stephen Lendman
Freelance Journalism

Dow is the world’s second largest chemical company, a producer of chemicals, agrochemicals, hydrocarbons, plastics, GMO seeds and other products.

Its Union Carbide subsidiary was responsible for the 1984 Bhopal, India toxic gas leak, considered the world’s worst industrial disaster, killing thousands, responsible for hundreds of thousands of non-fatal injuries, causing longterm health problems for victims.

Dow refuses to pay them and families of the deceased compensation. It considers Union Carbide’s 1989 $470 million settlement adequate – hardly for over half a million people adversely affected, suffering from health problems.

During the Vietnam War, Dow was criticized by anti-war protesters for the production of napalm and Agent Orange.

The former incendiary weapon was first used during WW II – developed secretly in the early 1940s by my freshman chemistry professor Louis Fieser. He once said “I have no right to judge the morality of napalm just because I invented it.”

It sticks to the skin, causing severe burns and painful deaths in many cases. It’s called the “wonder weapon” for its ability to incinerate anything in its path.

Agent Orange is a dioxin-containing defoliant, one of the deadliest substances known, a potent carcinogenic human immune system suppressant. Minute amounts can cause serious health problems and death.

It remains toxic for decades, contaminating soil, foliage, air and water – poisoning crops, plants, animals, sea life and humans.

In 2004 the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA) sued Dow and other companies on behalf of Vietnamese victims – in vain. A federal district and appeals court dismissed the claim.

Separate lawsuits against Dow on behalf of US veterans and other companies were settled out of court.

Toxic emissions from Dow’s Midland, MI operations became serious health hazards for area residents. Its 2,4,5-T dioxin-containing herbicide remains in use in America.

A Bush/Cheney administration EPA official was forced to resign because of her efforts to demand Dow remediate its dioxin contamination.

In 2009, a Midland cleanup plan was announced. In 2011, the company agreed to an absurdly minor $2.5 million settlement for violating the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

In the 1980s, Dow Corning was sued by thousands of women, claiming leakage from the company’s breast implants caused autoimmune diseases. In 1992, the company stopped making them, later admitting it falsified data on their safety.

In 1995, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, later agreeing to pay $3.2 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits.

In the 1980s, hundreds of women sued Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, claiming its Bendectin morning sickness drug caused birth defects. The case was dismissed, the drug later discontinued.

Dow plant workers reported illnesses from exposure to toxic chemicals, the company reluctant to assume responsibility.

Dow’s toxic history dates from 1897. Trump chose its chairman Andrew Liveris to head his American Manufacturing Council (now dissolved) – Liveris heading it a conflict of interest, hazardous to farmers, the environment and public health.

The council serves as a liaison between US manufacturers and the federal government. Friends of the Earth responded, saying Liveris “should be disqualified…due to his likely conflicts of interests.”

“Serving as head of the American Manufacturing Council could allow (him) to use a government post to benefit Dow Chemical and to line his own pockets.”

In December 2015, Dow and DuPont announced the decision by their boards of directors to merge – the combined company named DowDuPont, the merger completed on September 1, 2017.

Plans are to split the new entity into three separate publicly traded companies, expected within 18 – 24 months following the merger (agriculture, materials science, and specialty products) – subject to regulatory and board approval.

Currently six agrichemical/GMO seed companies are negotiating mergers, creating three giant multinational corporations controlling this industry if concluded as planned.

The other mergers involve Monsanto and Bayer, along with Syngenta and ChemChina. They’ll dominate the GMO seed and pesticide market.

According to Friends of the Earth, Trump “rubber stamps these mega-mergers, limiting farming and food options and increasing prices for farmers and consumers.”

They “tilt the balance of power away from independent science and the health and safety of the American people towards the influence of chemical corporations.”

'High Healthcare Expenses: The Leading Cause of US Consumer Bankruptcies'

by Stephen Lendman
Freelance Journalism

The US is the only developed nation without some form of universal coverage. The world’s richest nation doesn’t give a hoot about its ordinary people, serving its privileged class exclusively.

It’s no different whether Republicans or undemocratic Dems are in charge, their agendas similar on major issues, differences between them largely rhetorical or what’s pursued for political advantage.

Along with food, shelter and clothing, healthcare is a fundamental human right. Yet it’s commodified and unaffordable for growing millions of Americans because of its high cost – around double what people in other developed countries pay, an untenable situation.

In America, healthcare is rationed based on the ability to pay. It’s a boon to enrich insurers, drug companies and large hospital chains – at the expense of unaffordability for countless millions.

Around 30 million Americans are uninsured, most others way underinsured – for countless numbers one high-cost illness away from medical bankruptcy.

Around two million Americans are faced with it annually because of unaffordable medical expenses, including insured individuals.

Obamacare was a bandaid solution, written by healthcare industry providers, serving their interests, not patients, making a dysfunctional system worse. It’s why medical bankruptcies are a festering issue.

Even when avoiding the nuclear option, an estimated 56 million Americans suffer from the ravages of unaffordable medical expenses annually – at times forced to choose between paying rent or servicing mortgages and high medical expenses.

The problem is worsening as incomes fail to keep pace with medical costs, rising faster than inflation, notably insurance and prescription drugs. Once cheap in America long ago, they’re exorbitantly priced today.

In 2017, 45% of Americans said they’d be hard-pressed to pay an unexpected $500 medical expense unless able to get loan help, either repaying it over time or not at all, according to one study.

Most insured Americans use all or most of their savings to pay medical expenses. A common way to cut costs is by skipping medications. It risks making a bad situation worse.

Yet tens of millions of Americans choose this option because of affordability, including individuals with prescription drug coverage, struggling with the high cost of co-payments.

For patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and/or other major illnesses, skipping medications can be fatal. Delaying them can make overall health worse.

A Pew Research study found “a substantial majority (of Americans) consider quality health care unaffordable.”

According to, “(m)edical bankruptcy is only available to those individuals who are considered a ‘medically distressed’ debtor.”

It applies to individuals with at least 25% of their annual income going for medical or related expenses.

Individuals accruing the same percentage through lost wages or unpaid leave for at least a month because of illness or injury also qualify.

The US Bankruptcy Code makes no distinction between medical and other type debts – mortgage, student loans and credit cards the major categories.

Most often, student loans are not dischargeable through bankruptcy. Over 44 million borrowers have a collective $1.5 trillion debt obligation, $37,172 on average for the class of 2016.

Outstanding student loans are the second highest consumer debt category after mortgages – most individuals unable to qualify for relief through bankruptcy.

The so-called Brunner standard is the legal test in circuit court proceedings. It requires proving extreme hardship likely to continue for the term of indebtedness, along with having shown good faith efforts to repay.

Most often, student loans must be repaid as long as they remain outstanding. Federal laws mandate it, the extreme hardship exception aside.

If future federal legislation affects medical indebtedness the same way, millions of Americans may be unable to discharge their debt through bankruptcy.

Medical bankruptcy is a major issue, worsening as healthcare becomes more unaffordable for millions of Americans.

A study published by the American Public Health Association (APHA) showed medical expenses contributed to two-thirds of all bankruptcies in America.

The figure is virtually unchanged since enactment of Obamacare in 2010. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act left healthcare unaffordable for tens of millions of Americans.

The APHA study found middle-Americans must vulnerable to medical bankruptcy, Obamacare not helping them.

Poor Americans are less likely to seek bankruptcy as an option for relief from unpayable medical expenses because they have few, if any, assets to protect. They also can’t afford legal help for court proceedings.

Bankruptcy filers for medical reasons are in worse health and more likely to skip needed treatments and medications, according to the study findings.

Americans can have whatever they want based on the ability to pay. Millions can’t afford essentials to life like proper healthcare.

The only solution is universal coverage, Medicare for all – everyone in, no one left out.

According to Physicians for a National Health Program, eliminating insurers, providing no one with healthcare, will save about $500 billion annually – relieving physicians and hospitals of a bureaucratic nightmare.

It would also free up this money for universal coverage, the only equitable option.

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].

Report: No Evidence of Trump Team/Russia Collusion

by Stephen Lendman 

Months of Russiagate House and Senate probes begun in January 2017, along with special counsel Mueller’s investigation since May 2017 found no evidence of Russian collusion with Trump to help him triumph over Hillary.

Not a shred of evidence suggests Russian meddling in America’s electoral process or any others. If any existed, it would have been revealed long ago.

Continuing Russiagate probes are exercises in mass deception, including the reopened House investigation and special counsel Mueller’s witch hunt.

They’re all about wrongfully vilifying Russia and delegitimizing Trump for triumphing over media darling Hillary, the most ruthlessly dangerous presidential aspirant in US history – DLT proving no different as things turned out.

His deplorable record speaks for itself, disgracing the office he holds, escalating wars of aggression he inherited, maybe plotting new ones against Iran and Venezuela.

He’s going all-out to topple their legitimate governments, flagrantly violating international and US constitutional law, serving privileged interests exclusively, at the expense of most others everywhere – lying to Americans about his pure evil agenda.

Interviewed by CBS News last week, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr said “(i)f we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.”

He told NBC News that “(t)here is no factual evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.”

Ranking undemocratic Dem Senate Intelligence Committee member Mark Warner disagreed with Burr, saying:

“I’m not going to get into any conclusions I’ve reached because my basis of this has been that I’m not going to reach any conclusion until we finish the investigation. And we still have a number of the key witnesses to come back,” adding:

(T)here’s never been a campaign in American history…that people affiliated with the campaign had as many ties with Russia as the Trump campaign did.”

An unnamed Dem said “(w)e were never going to find a contract signed in blood saying, ‘Hey Vlad, we’re going to collude.’ ”

The above remarks aside, it’ll likely be months or longer before a final Senate report is prepared. Its Intelligence Committee reportedly conducted over 200 interviews, and reviewed countless thousands of documents for over two years.

No evidence of Trump team/Russia collusion was found by the House, Senate or Mueller – no evidence of Kremlin US election meddling. Yet the politicized witch hunt over nothing continues.

Dems hostile to Trump for political reasons, ignoring his imperial crimes, claim he and his associates had over 100 contacts with Russian nationals before DLT’s inauguration – no evidence suggesting illegal or improper conduct.

Mueller’s indictments of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, and others have nothing to do with his mandate, nothing connected to the phony allegation of possible Trump team/Russia collusion – no reason to continue a probe that never should have been initiated.

The Senate investigation and reopened House one may continue throughout the year, maybe through or beyond the 2020 federal elections.

There’s plenty to criticize Trump about, mostly policies Republicans and Dems support, ones inflicting enormous harm on countless millions of people at home and abroad.

Bipartisan supported high crimes will never be investigated, no one ever held accountable for what matters most.

The ongoing politicized witch hunt may continue as long as Trump remains in office – diverting attention from state terror and other US high crimes against humanity.

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].

Dueling Russian/US Resolutions on Venezuela
by Stephen Lendman
Freelance Journalism

Russia and the US presented draft resolutions on Venezuela to the Security Council, yet to be voted on – neither with a chance for adoption.

The US draft is all about supporting its coup d’etat attempt to destroy Bolivarian social democracy, wanting fascist tyranny replacing it.

Falsely calling “the National Assembly…the only democratically elected institution in Venezuela,” the draft ignored Maduro’s legitimacy as the country’s president, certified by international observers last May. It also ignored the illegal seating of four anti-Bolivarian MPs, accused of electoral fraud in defeating opponents.

Government security forces are countering it to protect Venezuelans wanting calm, peace and stability, free from foreign interference.

The US resolution falsely accused Venezuelan security forces of “violence and excessive force…against unarmed, peaceful protesters.”

There’s nothing “peaceful” about US orchestrated violence and chaos, part of the Trump aim to steal and plunder the nation.

It wants its will overriding Venezuelan democracy, refusing to recognize the will of its people last May in reelecting Maduro, demanding a new election, the results only to be accepted if an opposition candidate it supports wins.

Russia is on the right side of history. Its draft resolution supports Venezuelan territorial integrity and political independence, free from illegal foreign interference.

It slams (US) “attempts to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of Venezuela.”

It calls for “resolving the political tensions in Venezuela through ‘peaceful measures’ based on a ‘political settlement’ without any preconditions or outside interference.”

It “express(es) concern over the threats to use force against the territorial integrity and political independence of Venezuela.”

Russia vowed full support for Maduro, Sergey Lavrov saying Moscow will do everything in its power to support the lawful authorities in Caracas – with no further elaboration.

He slammed the Trump administration, saying the US and its imperial partners “are creating the most serious obstacles to the possibility of international assistance in resolving the crisis in Venezuela.”

He denounced “cynical sanctions” imposed by the Trump administration on state-owned oil giant PDVSA, adding:

“The US…has experience in such illegitimate handling of other’s money. Such freezing was applied at one time to Iraq, Libya, Iran, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Panama.”

“(T)his freezing essentially resulted in the confiscation of assets from another government. The British authorities are doing the same thing…by…confiscating” Venezuelan gold stored in London.

US companies operating in Venezuela are excluded from Trump administration sanctions, further evidence that imposing them is all about trying to topple Maduro by coup d’etat.

Separately, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said “(t)he (National Assembly) radical right wing (backs street violence).”

“This color scenario is not new,” a longstanding US strategy, orchestrating violence in one country after another to topple sovereign independent governments unwilling to subordinate the rights and well-being of their people to US interests.

Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed support for Maduro’s legitimacy, “rejec(ing) statements by the self-proclaimed Juan Guaido who welcomes a US military intervention in Venezuela.”

Over concern about possible US military intervention, Venezuela’s military began what Maduro called the “most important” drills in the country’s history, continuing through February 15.

“We must prepare to defend (Venezuelan) sovereignty, territorial integrity, (and) independence,” Maduro stressed.

Earlier Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino said the nation’s military is prepared to defend the homeland if attacked by a foreign aggressor. Maduro stressed the importance of preparing for possible war by the US to destroy Venezuelan sovereignty.

Contact at [email protected].

" Protests in Haiti Over Hunger and Repressive Rule"
by Stephen Lendman

US controlled Haiti endured over 500 years of severe repression, slavery, despotism, colonization, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, unrepayable debt, overwhelming human suffering, and destructive natural disasters.

Elections when held are farcical, democracy pure fantasy, Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s tenure the exception to the longstanding rule.

He once said “(t)he people of Haiti want life, not death. They want peace, not violence. They want democracy, not repression.”

US colonization of the country denies them their fundamental rights – an entire population subjugated by Washington, suffering under its imperial boot.

Haiti is the region’s poorest country, its per capita income a small fraction of the Latin and Central American average, the vast majority of its people deeply impoverished, living on less than $2 a day, many less than $1.25 a day, affected by malnutrition, diarrheal and other diseases, along with overall severe deprivation.

Instead of improving, things keep deteriorating. Life expectancy is 57 years – compared to the Latin and Central American average of 69 years.

Most Haitians are illiterate. Only about one-fifth of secondary-age children attend school. One-fourth or less of the population has access to safe water.

Millions of Haitians are food insecure. According to Mission Belem’s Renata Lopez, “(t)here are many, many problems in Haiti (including) lack of good water, lack of electricity, and hunger,” adding:

Hunger is most serious “because most of the people (have no jobs), and if they don’t work, there aren’t enough meals in a day. They can’t manage the situation with their families.”

Hunger, malnutrition, slow starvation for many, mass unemployment, and repression are state-sponsored national calamities. Mission Belem calls the country “chronically hungry.”

According to the World Food Program’s State of Food Insecurity in the World report, over half of Haitians are malnourished, many severely. It’s the key contributing factor to low life expectancy, along with untreated or poorly treated illnesses and diseases.

What’s heard daily in Haiti is people saying “I am hungry,” the misery most of its people endure.

In February 2017, Jovenel Moise succeeded US puppet/provisional Haitian president Jocelerme Privert. Turnout was 18%. The vast majority of Haitians boycotted the farcical process.

Moise is Washington’s man in Port-au-Prince. Reviled by Haitians, many thousands are protesting against him, demanding he resign, public anger in the country continuing since last summer over intolerable conditions, deep corruption, and repressive rule.

One protestor earlier said if the president refuses to resign, “we will cut off the roads and burn everything, because we have nothing else to lose.”

Ongoing protests in Port-au-Prince and other cities caused at least eight deaths since January, hundreds injured, scores arrested, vehicles burned, a police station and businesses attacked, parts of the nation paralyzed – forcing closure of public offices, schools and enterprises.

February 7 marked the second anniversary of Moise’s tenure. He may not be around for a third of his five-year term.

Last year he survived an assassination attempt during a public event. Violence rocked Haiti last summer and fall, expressing public anger over Moise’s rule – millions taking to the streets nationwide.

They began over so-called PetroCaribe account plundering of around $3.8 billion, a fund established to finance schools, hospitals, clinics, and roads, lost to massive corruption.

Opposition leader Moise Jean Charles said “protests will continue until Moise resigns. If (he) does not…step down from power, we are going to name an interim president in the coming days.”

A so-called Core Group comprised of the UN special representative in Haiti, envoys from the US, EU, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and OAS sided with the despotic Moise regime over long-suffering Haitians, saying:

It “deplores the loss of life and property damage caused by the unacceptable acts of violence that took place on the margins of the rallies, while acknowledging the professionalism demonstrated by the Haitian National Police” – ignoring how repressively they operate, serving privileged interests over beneficial social change.

Protests show no signs of ebbing. Moise’s days may be numbered. Staying or leaving won’t change a thing.

Haitians suffer under Washington’s imperial grip and despotic rule, Aristide’s tenure the exception to the rule.

The nation’s ruling authorities are installed to serving Western interests, ordinary Haitians exploited for profit, suffering from the scourge of imperial dominance.

A Final Comment

In February 2017, the administration turned truth on its head, saying the “inauguration of a democratically-elected president allows Haiti to return to democratic and constitutional rule.”

The hypocrisy needs no elaboration. Rigged Haitian elections have no legitimacy, a reality ignored by Republicans and undemocratic Dems.

The contrast with what’s going on in Venezuela is stark, its democratically elected and reelected President Maduro declared illegitimate by Trump regime hardliners – going all-out to topple him, perhaps by military intervention if ongoing tactics fail.

Note: What have the NYT and rest of US major media reported about Venezuela – plenty almost daily since Trump illegally recognized usurper in waiting Guaido interim (puppet) president, their reporting entirely one-sided, supporting the coup attempt.

What have they reported about Haitian suffering, rigged elections and despotic rule – practically nothing. Rare reports repeat the official narrative.

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].

The Great GOP Tax Cut Heist a Year Later

by Stephen Lendman 

The Trump promoted GOP scam was all about benefitting corporate interests and high-net-worth households.

Wage hikes attributed to tax cuts have been mostly hype. Big business gained hundreds of billions of dollars from the law – used mostly for stock buybacks and generous handouts to executives, workers getting shortchanged.

Thousands got pink slips. The federal deficit is ballooning by over a trillion dollars annually, social benefits slashed to help pay for the tax cuts, a transparent wealth transfer scheme.

Analyzing the tax cut scam a year later, Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) said the following:

Corporations were the big winners. So were high-net worth households. “(S)old as a boon to the (disappearing) middle-class,(cuts) primarily benefit(ted) the wealthy.”

“By 2027 when the law is fully implemented, 83% of the tax cuts will go to the top 1%.” Little was done to end profit shifting to offshore tax shelters.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, about $300 annually is moved abroad to avoid taxes.

Corporations with accumulated offshore earnings got “a tax cut of over $400 billion on those profits.”

The GOP legislation encourages offshoring of US jobs and production by taxing foreign profits of American companies “at half the rate on domestic earnings.”

The so-called “small-business” tax cut has gone mostly to “wealthy owners of big firms. Most owners of pass-through businesses—sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations—are now generally allowed to exclude 20% of their business income from taxation,” ATF explained.

By 2024, 60% of the tax breaks will go to America’s 1%. The weakened estate tax widens the wealth gap. David Stockman estimates the great GOP tax cut heist will increase the federal debt to around $35 trillion by 2028.

Today it’s $22 trillion, rising exponentially. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin lied claiming the tax cuts would pay for themselves through through increased economic growth generating more tax revenues from lower rates.

“(I)nstead the deficit is increasing considerably due to the tax cuts,” said ATF – mostly because corporate tax revenue dropped by about one-third, almost $100 billion year-over-year since the December 2017 law took effect.

The GOP plan for checking the spiraling debt is by cutting social services for ordinary Americans – notably Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Increased corporate profits went mostly to shareholders and corporate executives, not workers.

Trump lied saying corporate America would use the windfall tax breaks by giving the average US household a $4,000 pay raise, “shower(ing) workers with bonuses,” along with generating “massive investments.”

A year later, “corporations are mostly using their actual and anticipated tax cuts and their rising profits to buy back their own stock, which principally further enriches wealthy shareholders and top corporate executives,” ATF explained.

According to its database, “$853 billion in share repurchases” were announced in 2018 – “120 times more” than workers got in pay increases last year, a slim “$7.1 billion” for the entire 128.5 million US workforce – about $55 per worker if my math is right.

Contrary to Trump’s promise, “worker wages are getting no boost from the tax cuts,” said ATF. “(O)nly 4.4%” of them received a monetary benefit ascribed to the measure.

Year-over-year-through December, inflation-adjusted “average real hourly wages for all workers rose just 0.8%, while average weekly wages actually fell, because employees were working fewer hours,” ATF explained, adding:

“Special interests are the GOP tax law’s big winners” – what was predicted before the law was enacted at yearend 2017.

Polls show most Americans know they were scammed. Benefits gotten are too meager to matter, and it gets worse. Millions of US workers expecting tax refunds either aren’t getting them or will receive much less than they anticipated.

Last week, the IRS said around 30 million US taxpayers will owe the agency money, three million more than before the GOP tax cut.

Average refunds going out are down 8.4% year-over-year so far. The American Institute of CPAs vice president Edward Karl said “(t)here are going to be a lot of unhappy people over the next month. Taxpayers want a large refund.” Millions will be sorely disappointed.

Last April, Trump falsely said not only will Americans “save a lot of money,” but the filing process will be simplified on “one page, one card,” adding:

“You’ll have a nice, simple form next year. This will be the last year (under the old system). So take pictures of it and enjoy it. This is the last time you’ll have to file a very complex and big tax form. It will be much easier starting next April.”

Tax code changes made things more complicated, along with ordinary Americans benefitting little from the great GOP tax cut heist.

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].

'Flagrant Illegality of Interfering in Affairs of Other Nations'

Stephen Lendman
Global News Aruba

International law is clear and unequivocal. International laws, treaties, conventions, and agreements are automatically US law under the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause (Article VI, Clause 2).

No nation may legally interfere in the internal affairs of others except in self-defense if attacked – provided Security Council member states authorize military action. Acting otherwise is flagrantly illegal.

The US uses NATO as an imperial tool for illegal intervention against targeted nations.

The International Court of Justice ruled that the “element of coercion” by one state against another in any form is “the very essence of prohibited intervention.”

The UN Charter Article 2 states “(a)ll Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state…”

Article 15 of the Covenant of the League of Nations prohibited intervention by one country against others.

Article 8 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention of Rights and Duties states: “No state has the right to intervene in the internal or external affairs of another.”

Under Article 10, differences between states “should be settled by recognized pacific methods.”

Article 11 calls sovereign state territory “inviolable…” Other charters and agreements affirm non-intervention, including:

the Organization of American States;

Organization of African Unity;

League of Arab States;

the 1936 Buenos Aires Conference;

the Chapultepec Peace Agreement;

First Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries in Belgrade; and

the 1965 UN Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty, among others.

A 1915 definition states that non-intervention is the absence of “interference by a state or states in the external affairs of another state without its consent, or in its internal affairs with or without its consent.”

In his farewell address, George Washington called for avoiding entangling foreign alliances.

Thomas Jefferson called for “(p)eace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations —entangling alliances with none.”

Except for Panama, Washington pursued treaty and other alliances with no other nations until post-WW II, part of its strategy to dominate them, notably Europe with the creation of the EU by the CIA.

The 1823 Monroe Doctrine was non-interventionist, stating: “In the wars of the European powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken part, nor does it comport with our policy, so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded, or seriously menaced that we resent injuries, or make preparations for our defense.”

In the mid-19th century, Secretary of State William Seward defended “our policy of non-intervention — straight, absolute, and peculiar as it may seem to other nations,” adding:

“(T)he American people must be content to recommend the cause of human progress by the wisdom with which they should exercise the powers of self-government, forbearing at all times, and in every way, from foreign alliances, intervention, and interference.”

From inception, US authorities meddled in the internal affairs of Native Americans, in the name of “progress,” stealing their land, massacring their people to expand the country “from sea to shining sea.”

Throughout its history, the US interfered in the lives and welfare of its ordinary people, exploiting them to benefit the privileged few – Native and Black Americans harmed most of all, African Americans commodified as property, transformed from chattel to wage slavery today, from Jim Crow to its modern-day version, from freedom to mass incarceration.

President Grant failed to get congressional support to annex the Dominican Republic. The principle of non-intervention was ignored during the 1899 – 1902 Spanish American War.

The US colonized Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. Expressing outrage in 1900, Mark Twain said “I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of the Philippines.”

“We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem…And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagle put its talons on any other land…We have pacified some thousands of the islanders and buried them; destroyed their fields, burned their villages, turned their widows and orphans out-of-doors, (and) subjugated the remaining ten million by Benevolent Assimilation, which is the pious new name of the musket…”

He proposed a new American flag “with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones” — appalled that General Jacob Smith ordered his troops to:

“Kill and burn…this is no time to take prisoners…the more you kill and burn, the better. Kill all above the age of ten…turn (the country into) a howling wilderness.”

Half of Mexico was seized in the mid-19th century. In the early 20th century, the US colonized Central American countries, the hemisphere considered America’s backyard for the past 200 years.

Ordinary Americans opposed US involvement in both world wars. The power of propaganda turned them into raging German haters in 1917, letting Woodrow Wilson get the war he wanted after campaigning against involvement.

Franklin Roosevelt got the war he wanted by forcing the Japanese to attack Pearl Harbor by waging economic war on the country, nothing surprising about what happened.

US intelligence broke Japan’s codes, knew what was coming. The Japanese fleet was tracked across the Pacific. Pearl Harbor’s Admiral HE Kimmel wasn’t warned.

Waging war then demanded mass casualties to transform a pacifist Congress and public into raging Japan haters. WW II followed. Inventing nonexistent threats work the same way today.

WW I waged to end all future ones made the second global war inevitable. There was nothing good about the misnamed “good war,” the scourge of fascism relocated from Berlin and Tokyo to Washington.

The rest as they say is history. Beginning in June 1950, endless US wars on humanity were waged, along with color revolutions and old-fashioned coup d’etats – aiming to colonize planet earth, control its resources and exploit its people.

Venezuela is in the eye of the storm. Since establishment of social democracy in the country 20 years ago, Republicans and undemocratic Dems aimed to replace it with fascist tyranny, wanting sovereign independent governance eliminated, the US gaining control over the country’s oil reserves, the world’s largest, and its other valued resources.

That is what’s in play now, the fate of the nation at stake – to remain free and independent or controlled by the scourge of Washington’s aim to rule the world.

Non-interventionism is a well-established principle of international law. Time and again, the US flouts it unaccountably, operating by its own rules alone, humanity paying the price at home and abroad.

Intervening on the pretext of democracy building, humanitarian intervention or responsibility to protect have no legal standing in international or US constitutional law.

The stakes are huge: freedom or fascism, democracy or rule by monied interests, war or peace, social justice or eliminating it altogether, governance of, by, and for everyone equitably or just for the privileged few – in America, Venezuela and everywhere else.

Contact at [email protected].

Contact 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.

( Google Image )

China Preparing for Economic, Financial, 
Trade and Hot War
Stephen Lendman Contributor
Global News Aruba
Beijing knows what it’s up against in dealing with Washington. It’s planning for possible confrontation. Last fall, President Xi Jinping ordered the country’s military to boost its capability against potential threats to the nation’s security, saying: “It’s necessary (for China’s armed forces) to strengthen (their capability), concentrat(ing) preparations for fighting a war,” adding: “We need to take all complex situations into consideration and make emergency plans accordingly.”

“We have to step up combat readiness exercises, joint exercises and confrontational exercises to enhance servicemen’s capabilities and preparation for war.”

Addressing China’s Central Military Commission in early January, Xi said “(a)ll military units must correctly understand major national security and development trends, and strengthen their sense of unexpected hardship, crisis and battle.”

“The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development.”

Xi ordered stepped up military training and exercises, saying China’s armed forces must “prepare for a comprehensive military struggle from a new starting point”, adding:

“Preparation for war and combat must be deepened to ensure an efficient response in times of emergency.”

Last week, senior Chinese officials expressed concern about threats to the country’s security over economic and trade war with the US, no breakthroughs achieved in resolving major differences.

First Secretary of the Central Secretariat of the Communist Party of China, Central Policy Research director Wang Huning stressed a “tough battle” ahead in dealing with security risks.

He and Xi said policymakers must develop “bottom-line thinking,” preparing for the “worst-case situation” that may threaten the nation’s security and stability.

According to Xi, China faces “unpredictable international developments and a complicated and sensitive external environment” over economic, trade, and other disagreements with the US, issues weighing on the country in the year ahead and beyond.

Chinese Academy of Governance official Zhu Lijia warned that fallout over trade war with the US may weigh heavily on China’s economy this year.

Confrontation with EU and other US allies is possible. As long as Washington considers China a rival power, the nation will remain threatened by its rage to dominate.

According to political analyst Zhang Lifan, “there’s nothing that does not constitute a risk” to China.

Last week, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross explained what’s understood by both countries, saying the US and China “are miles from getting a resolution.”

Resolving trade differences is relatively easy compared to structural issues. Washington wants China and all other countries subordinated to its interests.

It wants Beijing’s industrial, economic, and technological growth and development aims undermined. It intends expanding its military footprint in the Indo/Pacific region where it doesn’t belong – or anywhere else uninvited.

The risk of US confrontation with China, Russia, Iran, and other sovereign states is too great to ignore – the risk of potentially catastrophic nuclear war.

Contact at [email protected].

Contact 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.

( image courtesy of Defense News )

'Deal to End US Government Shutdown'

by Stephen Lendman 

Freelance Contributor

Global News Aruba

Did Trump blink? Did undemocratic Dems win the 35-day standoff?

On Friday, DLT announced a deal to reopen government for three weeks without having gotten congressional border wall funding.

He vowed to build a “wall or steel barrier (in) predetermined high-risk locations” with or without congressional funding, saying if Dems don’t approve it by February 15, he’ll use executive power to address a (non-emergency) emergency.

The Trump/Dem battle over whether to build or not to build a border wall has nothing to do with national security, nothing to do with stopping criminal gangs from entering the country, a DLT perpetuated myth, nothing to do with stopping the flow of illicit drugs into the country.

They pore in through all its borders, by land, sea, and air – supported by the CIA and Wall Street, profiting hugely from what’s gone on for decades, what politicians and major media never explain.

Late Friday, Trump signed congressional legislation to reopen government, effective immediately, saying if Dems don’t approve border wall funding by mid-February, “the government will either shut down” again or he’ll act on his own to authorize funding by executive power.

Battle lines remain drawn. Things came to a head for Trump over polls showing popular sentiment against him, his approval rating dropping below 40%, along with major US airport delays because many unpaid personnel called in sick and aren’t working, an untenable situation for travelers.

A bipartisan conference committee will reportedly be established to debate the politicized issue – Trump demanding border wall funding, Dems opposing him for political advantage.

A late Friday White House statement said DLT “signed into law: HJ Res. 28, the ‘Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019,’ which includes a short-term continuing resolution that provides fiscal year 2019 appropriations through February 15, 2019, for continuing projects and activities of the Federal Government included in the remaining seven appropriations bills.”

“Also included in the enrolled bill are provisions regarding retroactive pay and reimbursement, and extensions of certain authorities.”

The White House is preparing a draft proclamation, declaring an invented national emergency along the southern border with Mexico, earmarking $7 billion in potential funds from existing programs, draft language saying:

“The massive amount of aliens who unlawfully enter the United States each day is a direct threat to the safety and security of our nation and constitutes a national emergency” – even though it’s invented, not real, adding:

“Now, therefore, I, Donald J. Trump, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the National Emergencies Act (50 USC 1601, et seq.), hereby declare that a national emergency exists at the southern border of the United States.”

An unnamed US official said Trump may authorize use of $681 million from Treasury forfeiture funds, $3.6 billion for military construction, $3 billion for Pentagon civil works, and $200 million of Department of Homeland Security funds for border wall construction.

Dems will surely challenge him for political advantage if he moves this way – along with its continuing agenda to delegitimize, undermine, and weaken him overall, wanting him removed from office or defeated for reelection in 2020.

With Dems controlling the House, the period ahead will likely be more tumultuous than what’s gone on since Trump’s election – a process he was supposed to lose, not win, the price for defeating media darling Hillary.

For now, partial government shutdown since December 22 is over at least until mid-February. What then remains to unfold – Dems so far ahead in the battle for political advantage, Trump weakened as planned.

Contact at [email protected].

Contact 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.

Juan Guaido: Designated US Puppet in Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman 

Nicolas Marduro is Venezuela’s legitimate democratically elected and reelected president.

The country’s process is scrupulously open, free, and fair, the world’s best, a model for other nations – polar opposite America’s fantasy democracy, the best money can buy.

Coup d’etats reflect longstanding US policy since the 19th century, numerous Latin American countries (among many others) targeted successfully and unsuccessfully.

They include Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, British Guiana, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ecuador, Guatemala, Grenada, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, Suriname, along with Venezuela earlier and in progress.

The late William Blum explained why there will never be a coup in Washington – because there’s no US embassy there, infested with CIA operatives up to no good.

It’s not a pretty picture, “enough to give imperialism a bad name,” Blum stressed. The US interferes in the internal affairs of virtually all other countries, including their elections, independent ones like Venezuela targeted for regime change – by naked aggression, color revolutions, or old-fashioned coups.

US attempts to topple sitting governments are planned well in advance, on the shelf, updated as needed, ready to be implemented when ordered.

Juan Guaido is Washington’s latest designated puppet to serve its interests in Venezuela, a little known National Assembly head outside of the country, catapulted from obscurity to international prominence.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “(t)he night before (he illegitimately) declared himself interim president of Venezuela, (he) received a phone call from Vice President Mike Pence” – pledging to back his illegal power grab.

“That late-night call set in motion a plan that had been developed in secret” earlier by Trump regime hardliners, “culminat(ing) in Guaido’s” unconstitutional self-declaration as Venezuela’s (US designed illegitimate) interim president.

Pence reportedly told Guaido if the National Assembly invoked Article 233 of Venezuela’s Constitution (to usurp interim power), the Trump regime would back him. The article states the following:

“The President of the Republic shall become permanently unavailable to serve by reason of any of the following events: death; resignation; removal from office by decision of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice; permanent physical or mental disability certified by a medical board designated by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice with the approval of the National Assembly; abandonment of his position, duly declared by the National Assembly; and recall by popular vote.”

“When an elected President becomes permanently unavailable to serve prior to his inauguration, a new election by universal suffrage and direct ballot shall be held within 30 consecutive days. Pending election and inauguration of the new President, the President of the National Assembly shall take charge of the Presidency of the Republic.”

Nothing stated above applies to Maduro – democratically elected and reelected by a process independent monitors called open, free, and fair – his legitimacy affirmed judicially, an attempt by a foreign power to replace him a flagrant breach of international law.

Trump straightaway recognized Guaido, planned and orchestrated in advance of his announcement, most Latin and Central American countries, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, and other nations going along with the attempted coup.

Russia, China, and other states expressed opposition the attempted coup. Putin phoned Maduro, offering support, a Kremlin statement saying:

“The President of Russia expressed support for the legitimate Venezuelan authorities amid the worsening of the internal political crisis provoked from outside the country.”

“He emphasized that destructive external interference is a gross violation of the fundamental norms of international law.”

“He spoke in favor of searching for solutions within the constitutional framework and overcoming differences in Venezuelan society through peaceful dialogue.”

The statement failed to name the US or condemn the Trump regime’s coup d’etat attempt against a sovereign government and its leadership.

Nothing was said about how Putin intends supporting Maduro’s legitimacy. Rhetorically alone is meaningless when toughness against imperial lawlessness is needed – in Venezuela, Syria and elsewhere.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev incorrectly called an old-fashioned US coup d’etat attempt in Venezuela a “quasi” one. There’s nothing remotely “quasi” about it.

So far it’s an attempt short of succeeding. Washington has lots of ways to push its agenda with toughness, military force an option, implemented many times before.

On Friday, Maduro showed weakness, not strength, saying he’s willing to meet with Guaido to try resolving differences through dialogue.

“If I have to go to talk with him I am willing because I believe in the truth. I am a democrat. I am a man of my word. Hopefully sooner rather than later the opposition will get out of the way of extremism and open a sincere dialogue,” he said.

Note: If a US official or other citizen colluded with a foreign power, declaring himself or herself interim US president, they’d likely be arrested and charged with sedition or treason.

An individual charged and convicted of seditious conspiracy to topple a sitting US president or government would face up to 20 years imprisonment.

The Constitution’s Article III, Section 3 calls treason “giving aid and comfort” to the nation’s enemies, a crime more serious than sedition. The punishment for treason in America is life imprisonment, parole possible only after incarceration for 40 years.

What’s going on in Venezuela was and remains orchestrated and controlled by Washington, Guaido following orders, Trump regime hardliners calling the shots.

Convicted neocon Iran/Contra co-conspirator, death squad supporter, Elliot Abrams was appointed DLT’s point man for regime change in Venezuela. Pompeo turned truth on its head, saying he’ll “help the Venezuelan people fully restore democracy and prosperity to their country.”

Abrams never met a tinpot despot, allied with US interests, he didn’t fully embrace and support. Convicted of lying to Congress, GHW Bush shamefully pardoned him.

He was a founding Project for a New American Century (PNAC) member – its “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” a scheme promoting US global hegemony by endless wars and other means.

Abrams was involved in Bush/Cheney’s aborted April 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela, and the regime’s 2003 war on Iraq – based on Big Lies like all wars of aggression.

He expressed eagerness “to get to work on” transforming Venezuela into another US vassal state. Controlling the country’s oil reserves, the world’s largest, is a key objective behind what’s going on – so Big Oil can exploit them.

On Friday, Trump’s Treasury Department said it won’t freeze whatever Venezuelan assets the US controls.

Instead, it’ll assure that “commercial transactions by the Venezuelan government, including those involving its state-owned enterprises and international reserves, are consistent” with Washington’s recognition of Guaido as (illegitimate) interim (puppet) president.

At stake going forward is preserving and protecting the hemisphere’s most vibrant social democracy – governance of, by, and for all Venezuelans equitably, a system Republicans and Dems abhor at home and abroad.

Venezuela’s military supports Maduro’s legitimacy as president, opposing Trump coup attempt.

Keeping its support is key, the best chance of defeating the latest US regime change attempt – preventing Washington from gaining another imperial trophy.

A Final Comment

On Friday, Reuters headlined “Exclusive: Kremlin-linked contractors help guard Venezuela’s Maduro – (unnamed) sources,” saying:

“Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela in the past few days to beef up security for President Nicolas Maduro in the face of US-backed opposition protests, according to two (unnamed) people close to them” – and a “third (unnamed) source,” saying:

“The contractors are associated with the so-called Wagner group whose members (are) mostly ex-service personnel…”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov debunked the claim, saying “(w)e have no such information.”

Russia’s envoy to Venezuela Vladimir Zaemsky slammed the report, saying “I don’t know about the presence of any Russian private military companies in Venezuela. This is another hoax.”

Contact at [email protected].

Contact 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.

'Greater Than Ever Super-Wealth Fuels Increasing Inequality'

by Stephen Lendman 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economies are broken,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact 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.

Theresa May’s Plan B

by Stephen Lendman 

It’s Plan A with a rhetorical face lift, practically the same, no-Brexit/Brexit. May pretends to want what she opposes, clearly stating opposition to leaving the EU as home secretary.

She wasted over two-and-half years accomplishing nothing, cutting a deal with Brussels to be rejected by parliament. Only the margin of defeat surprised, the greatest one for a UK leader’s legislative aim in modern times.

Her Plan B to parliament on Monday was deja vu all over again, compounding the embarrassment of her week ago defeat. Tory MP Sarah Wollaston slammed her, saying Monday was “like last week’s vote never happened. Plan B is Plan A.”

She held firm on key points parliamentarians overwhelmingly reject. Claiming a no-deal Brexit should be avoided, she failed to explain MPs strongly reject the option. Based on how things are going, Britain appears likely to stay in the EU, the popular will be damned.

Referenda are meaningless when ruling authorities do what they please no matter how they turn out.

If May and majority parliamentarians favored Brexit, it would have been achieved long ago. Delay was a tactic to remain, not leave.

If held, a second referendum won’t matter any more than the first one. Western elections turn out the same way. Regardless of public sentiment, ruling authorities do what they please.

Voters in America, Britain, and other European countries never supported endless wars against one country after another, nor neoliberal harshness, brutal crackdowns on nonbelievers, or government serving privileged interests exclusively – but that’s what they’ve gotten no matter which parties control things.

The only certainties ahead on Brexit are uncertainties and virtual certainty of no hard Brexit. What’s most likely is no deal, Britain remaining an EU member – what May, her loyalists and Brussels wanted all along.

Her so-called cross-party talks for consensus were practically none at all, Labor Leader Jeremy Corbyn calling her alleged outreach a “sham,” adding May hasn’t come to terms with her historic week ago defeat, irreparably damaging her most likely.

Tory MP Anna Soubry accused her of turning Britain “into a laughing stock” – her no-deal/deal resoundingly defeated last week, her repeat performance on Monday faring no better. Perhaps one more strike and she’s out.

She ought to be after to-ing and fro-ing since June 2016, accomplishing nothing. Something has to give by March 29, a decision-day deadline.

Likely no agreement on a deal would mean either Brussels delays things further, or things revert to square one, Britain remaining an EU member, and that’s the end of it.

That’s my take on things. The option of Britain crashing out of the EU with no deal is highly unlikely – given MPs overwhelmingly against this option.

Anti-Brexit Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s scare-mongering was way over-the-top, warning of a protracted financial crisis under a no-deal Brexit, claiming an economic decline of up to 8% year-over-year, a 25% decline in sterling, inflation spiking to 6.5%, house prices falling by 30%, interest rates rising sharply, and GPD to be around 10.5% lower by end of 2023.

His scare talk is all about wanting Britain to remain an EU member, an artificial CIA-created post-WW II construct for greater US control over European countries.

Their ruling authorities never should have agreed to the flawed arrangement, a failed system, a sinking ship, a union likely to dissolve eventually.

Further talks with MPs and Brussels won’t likely change where things now stand.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Corbyn echoed the sentiment, saying things “feel like Groundhog Day.”

Contact 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.

China Warns Against Extraditing Huawei’s CFO to US

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article explained that the Trump administration will formally request Canada to extradite Huawei’s chief financial officer Sabrina Meng Wanzhou to the US.

Arrested by Canadian authorities in Vancouver on December 1, Ottawa acting as a US proxy, she’s currently under house arrest in the city, awaiting the judicial disposition of her case.

Washington’s pretext for wanting her extradited is Huawei’s alleged circumvention of (illegally imposed) US sanctions on Iran – for political reasons, part of longstanding US hostility toward the country over its sovereign independence in a part of the world where Washington and Israel have hegemonic aims.

What’s really behind what’s going on is the diabolical aim by Republicans and undemocratic Dems to undermine China’s aim to become an economic, industrial, and technological powerhouse, well along toward achieving its objectives, challenging longstanding US supremacy, what its hardliners are going all-out to prevent, risking something far more serious than major political, economic, financial, and trade differences.

On Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Huawei chairman Liang Hua urged resolving the unacceptable detention of Meng as quickly as possible – despite the Trump regime intending to formally request her extradition to the US by end of January or sooner.

Liang stressed that Huawei “operate(s) globally, and in every country…fully compl(ing) with local laws and regulations.

Separately on Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying warned of retaliation against Canada and the US if Meng is extradited to America, saying:

“China will take action in response to measures taken by the US. Everyone has to be held responsible for their own actions. Both the US and Canada should be aware of the seriousness of the case and take steps to rectify the mistake.”

Meng can appeal a judicially ordered extradition to America, a final decision to be made by Canada’s Minister of Justice/Attorney General David Lametti if judicial proceedings go this far.

Given Meng’s highly politicized arrest, detention, then house arrest, unable to leave Vancouver while a case against her proceeds, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may serve as final arbiter – unless Trump intervenes at some point on Meng’s behalf. His unpredictability makes anything possible.

Under the terms of the US/Canada extradition treaty, alleged offenses in question must be crimes in both countries, referred to as “double criminality.”

Proceedings and appeals in cases like Meng’s can drag on for months or years. Her arrest and detention occurred on the same day that Trump and China’s Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, DLT likely unaware of what happened at the time.

On Tuesday, China’s Global Times (GT) headlined “Canada must not extradite Meng Wanzhou,” saying:

She “was arrested by the Canadian side without violating any Canadian law. Canada, being a henchman for the US and abiding by the so-called extradition treaty between the US and Canada, persecutes senior executives of Chinese companies regardless of international law and friendly ties with China.”

“How can Canada be detached from the case if Meng is extradited? “(I)f Meng is extradited to the US, Canada will face a severe backlash from China that puts bilateral ties in jeopardy” – the same true about Sino/US relations.

No nation should tolerate the unlawful arrest and mistreatment of any of its citizens by a foreign power. Meng’s high profile status makes what’s going on especially unacceptable for China.

Her mistreatment is all about “an assault on China’s high-tech enterprises under the guise of law,” said GT, Canada a willing US accomplice.

China clearly won’t tolerate what’s going on, Meng’s arrest an affront to its sovereignty, an act of political and economic war.

If Meng isn’t freed to resume her normal activities, Sino/US and Sino/Canadian relations will suffer a major body blow. Beijing will surely retaliate appropriately, its only option.

It showed it can be tough with the US before. Clearly its authorities will go all-out for Meng’s unconditional release. They’re highly unlikely to accept anything less.

Contact 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.

'Dems Reject Trump’s Proposed Deal to End Government Shutdown'

by Stephen Lendman

Freelance Journalism Reports

Global News Aruba

On day 30 and counting, it’s the longest partial government shutdown in US history, surpassing the previous record 21-day shutdown in 1995-96.

It began over Republicans’ pledge to balance the budget, part of the so-called Newt Gingrich/Dick Armey “Contract with America.” It ended when polls showed public opinion turned against the GOP, blaming Republicans more than Dems.

Things are similar today, polls showing the same thing – over half of Americans blaming Republicans and Trump for the shutdown, less than a third blaming Dems, around 13% blaming both parties.

What’s going on is a political standoff unrelated to national security. No border crisis exist. Nothing ever justifies shutting down government in whole or in part.

It’s left hundreds of thousands of civil servants and other government workers unemployed or forced to work without pay while shutdown continues – backpay to come when things end.

Both sides of the aisle and Trump share blame for what’s going on – no quick resolution coming without compromise, the way most disputes end.

Shutdown harms millions of ordinary Americans. Over 40 million food stamp recipients may stop receiving benefits without resolution. Women, Infants, and Children benefits expire next month in most states.

Other vital services are jeopardized. Unpaid workers face a greater struggle to get by, many living from paycheck to paycheck. The longer shutdown continues, the worse things get for millions of Americans with no dog in this fight.

On Saturday, Trump partially blinked, proposing an end to shutdown. In exchange for what’s explained, he offered three-year protection for aliens given Temporary Protected Status, as well as hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants entering America as minors, so-called “Dreamers” – a version of so-called Bridge Act legislation, introduced in the 115th Congress but not enacted.

Around 800,000 are enrolled in the program created by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation. Trump’s proposal includes the following:

$5.7 billion for 230 miles border wall construction 230 in high-priority areas;

$800 million in urgent humanitarian aid;

$805 million for drug detection technology along the southern border with Mexico;

2,750 more border agents and law enforcement professionals;

75 new immigration judge teams;

DACA and TPS extensions explained above; and

family reunification for unaccompanied alien minors.

Ahead of his Saturday address, House Speaker Pelosi rejected his proposal, a statement, saying in part:

“Democrats were hopeful that the President was finally willing to re-open government and proceed with a much-needed discussion to protect the border.”

“Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable and in total, do not represent a good faith effort to restore certainty to people’s lives.”

“It is unlikely that any one of these provisions alone would pass the House, and taken together, they are a non-starter. For one thing, this proposal does not include the permanent solution for the Dreamers and TPS recipients that our country needs and supports.”

Stalemate continues, both sides seeking political advantage at the expense of ordinary Americans and the economy if things drag on too long.

Dems complained they weren’t consulted about Trump’s proposal, reportedly something he, Pence, son-in-law Kushner, and congressional leaders cooked up.

With polls favoring where Dems stand on the shutdown, they’re benefitting at the expense of Trump and Republicans, why they’re unwilling to compromise.

They’re doing whatever it takes to undermine him, aiming to defeat his 2020 reelection bid or remove him earlier by impeachment – requiring proof of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

No US president was ever removed from office this way. John Adams once said taking this step would cause a national convulsion.

Efforts to remove a sitting president are politically motivated, unrelated to the rule of law. The Dem controlled House may or may not impeach Trump. The GOP Senate won’t likely oust him.

Actions by members of both parties aim for an advantage in 2020. Of immediate concern is ending partial government shutdown.

Dems aren’t willing to compromise as long as polls favor them in this fight over Trump and Republicans. Shutdown may drag on much longer.

Contact at [email protected].

The views, writing and news reports of Mr Stephen Lendman are only from Mr Lendman.

"US/North Korea Summit 2.0"

by Stephen Lendman

Freelance Journalism Reports

Global News Aruba

Over seven months after Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held summit talks in Singapore, the US failed to take any meaningful good will steps toward fulfilling mutually agreed on principles.

Washington doesn’t negotiate in good faith, failing to deal with other countries fairly, seeking global dominance over all other nations, not mutually cooperative relations.

Republicans and undemocratic Dems are two sides of one-party rule, demanding everything in return for empty promises. Nothing suggests a new leaf toward North Korea turned since last June – nor is change for the better likely coming in the new year or beyond.

Hardliners in charge of Trump’s geopolitical agenda seek DPRK subservience, denuclearization a step toward achieving it, wanting the country defenseless against Korean War 2.0 if launched.

Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile deterrents are solely for defense. Throughout its history, it never attacked another country. It threatens none now.

In return for denuclearizing and agreeing to other US demands, it justifiably seeks durable peace and stability on the peninsula, iron-clad guarantees for its security, unacceptable sanctions lifted, a formal end to the 1950s war agreed to by South Korea and America, as well as normalized relations with the US, the West, and regional nations for the first time in its history.

It requires a giant leap of faith to think what’s always been unattainable throughout the entire post-WW II era is within reach now in dealing with the most extremist regime in US history – unrelentingly hostile toward all sovereign independent nations, wanting their governments replaced by pro-Western puppet rule.

Despite nothing positive achieved in US/DPRK bilateral relations since last June, a White House statement said Trump and Vice Chairman Kim Young-chol agreed on another summit to take place in late February on a date and at a location to be announced.

Deputy State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said Pompeo and special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun met with Kim for working-level talks ahead of a follow-up summit.

Make no mistake. Lofty rhetoric by US officials belie the imperial policy initiatives they pursue. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said DLT “looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim” for more summit talks, adding:

“The United States is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea until we see fully and verified denuclearization.”

“We’ve had very good steps and good faith from the North Koreans in releasing the hostages and other moves. And so we’re going to continue those conversations and the president looks forward to the next meeting.”

Washington hasn’t reciprocated in kind to good will steps taken by North Korea. Ahead of Kim’s arrival in Washington, Trump’s just released Missile Defense Review called the DPRK an “extraordinary threat” to US security – a bald-faced Big Lie.

It’s been the other way around since the Korean peninsula was divided post-WW II, Pyongyang a longstanding victim of US imperial aims.

Washington continues exerting heavy pressure on North Korea, demanding full, verifiable denuclearization and compliance with its other demands before agreeing to ease unjustifiable restrictions.

Hardliners Pompeo and Bolton continue treating North Korea disdainfully, the way they abuse all sovereign independent states.

Things began unravelling straightaway after June summit talks. Last year, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry slammed the Trump regime for increasing pressure on the country, “attempting to invent a pretext for increased sanctions,” adding:

“As long as the US denies even the basic decorum for its dialogue partner and clings to the outdated acting script which the previous administrations have all tried and failed, one cannot expect any progress in the implementation of the DPRK-US joint statement, including the denuclearization.”

The DPRK showed good faith by ceasing its nuclear and ballistic missile tests, along with dismantling its nuclear test site.

The Trump regime offered nothing in return but unacceptable hardline demands, proving it can never be trusted.

Its Missile Defense Review falsely claimed “North Korea has acquired Russian missile defense technology,” the accusation refuted by Moscow’s envoy to the DPRK, Alexander Matsegora, saying:

“The possibility that North Korea might obtain Russian missile and air defense technologies either officially or via some illegal channels is absolutely ruled out. I can state this categorically as a person who has thorough information on this score.”

“Washington is feverishly looking for another pretext for continuing and stepping up the pressure of sanctions on North Korea. The Americans’ allegations that North Korea has obtained new mobile-based missile interceptors may well turn out one of such excuses.”

“The charges against Russia are aimed at discrediting us on the platform of non-proliferation of missile technologies and in the UN Security Council, where we keep pressing for gradual easing of sanctions against North Korea in response to the measures that country’s leadership has been taking for the sake of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and easing tensions in the region.”

The US has unilaterally imposed illegal sanctions on the DPRK since 1950, the Security Council since the early 1990s, Russia, China and other nations going along with US harshness instead of vigorously opposing it.

Nations resisting Washington’s toughness are targeted for retaliation, including by restricting or denying access to the US market.

Unified opposition is the most effective way to break free. Washington remains adversarial toward North Korea because of its sovereign independence – how it mistreats all nations refusing to bend to its will.

Summit principles agreed on last year remain unfulfilled. Talks were more about advancing America’s imperium than stepping back from the brink on the Korean peninsula for regional peace – a notion bipartisan US hardliners reject everywhere.

Further rounds of US/DPRK summit talks won’t change a thing.

Contact at [email protected].

The views, writing and news reports of Mr Stephen Lendman are only from Mr Lendman. 

'Trump to Restrict Imports of Chinese Tech Producers?'

by Stephen Lendman

Freelance Journalism Reports

Global News Aruba

Trump is reportedly preparing an executive order to restrict imports of designated Chinese telecom companies like Huawei – on the phony pretext of national security if he goes this far.

What’s in play is wanting US companies to have a leg up over Chinese competitors, especially over high-tech giants like Huawei and ZTE. Huawei is leading the race to roll out 5G technology. The company also refused to install NSA backdoors for intelligence gathering.

The Trump executive order reportedly being prepared would authorize the Commerce Department to decide which imports to restrict or ban – from countries considered US adversaries, notably China.

Washington seeks to marginalize, weaken, contain, and isolate the country, wanting its aim to become an economic, industrial and technological powerhouse undermined.

Trade war is cover for the real issue. Beijing will surely respond with toughness if its companies are unfairly treated by the US and other countries.

Sino/US tensions could escalate in the new year, depending on how far Trump regime hardliners intend pushing China.

They falsely claim equipment produced by Huawei and ZTE can be used to spy on US government and private entities. Both firms deny they’re controlled by Beijing or involved in espionage.

Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei and company chairman Ken Hu strongly denied involvement in any activities intended to harm other countries, Ren saying “Huawei firmly stands on the side of customers when it comes to cyber security and privacy.”

Key is the race for global 5G leadership, the latest state-of-the-art generation of cellular mobile communications, technology business seeks, operating much faster than what’s now available for greater efficiency.

The US and China are competing for which country will be the leader in this technology that’ll define the next generation of mobile Internet use.

It’s much more than high speed, touted as what can support the next generation of Internet-connected devices infrastructure to smart cities and driverless cars.

It’s part of Trump’s pledge to “make America great again.” China hopes to a technological world leader. Washington’s aim to prevent it matching or overtaking US firms lies at the heart of economic differences between both countries.

Mobile Internet requires agreed on global standards, 5G specifications agreed on in December. The race is on between Chinese, US, and European firms for who’ll emerge the 5G leader.

According to communications company Rivada Networks’ CEO Declan Ganley, the international race is “about who is going to define and control the model, the architecture, and the agenda of 5G, and why that matters is because 5G is the deep blue ocean of the cyber domain,” adding:

“(T)here is a big strategic play here. It’s more important than shipping lanes and being able to control your own airspace. It’s one of the most important domains that exists.”

Controlling it is what the international race is all about, trillions of dollars of economic value at stake. London-based global information provider IHS Markit estimates $12.3 trillion of global economic output by 2035.

The stakes are huge. Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE are major players. Trump regime hardliners fear they’ll win the 5G race over US companies, why an executive order may restrict or ban their imports, perhaps along with sales of US technology able to help them.

America’s trade deficit is a minor issue by comparison, distracting from the major one, China heading toward becoming the world’s largest economy along with becoming a technological powerhouse, what Washington aims to prevent.

Trump’s National Security Council communications spokesman Garrett Marquis wouldn’t confirm if an executive order is in the works targeting Beijing, saying only the following:

“The United States is working across government and with our allies and likeminded partners to mitigate risk in the deployment of 5G and other communications infrastructure.”

“Communications networks form the backbone of our society and underpin every aspect of modern life. The United States will ensure that our networks are secure and reliable.”

Sino/US tensions will surely escalate if Trump moves to restrict or ban imports from Huawei and other Chinese tech giants, along with urging other countries to do the same thing.

Contact at [email protected].

The views, writing and news reports of Mr Stephen Lendman are only from Mr Lendman. 

Suspicious Killing of 

US Forces by ISIS

by Stephen Lendman

Washington created and supports ISIS, along with likeminded terrorist groups, arming, funding, training, and directing them, using them as proxy forces, deploying them to areas in active war theaters – in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.

Why would these jihadists bite the hand feeding them? According to CENTCOM, two US soldiers, a war department civilian, a private military contractor, and others were killed by jihadists on Tuesday in the northern Syrian town of Manbij – others injured by the attack.

ISIS claimed responsibility, saying a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a local restaurant, the area patrolled by US forces, a statement saying:

“A martyrdom attacker with an explosive vest stuck a patrol of the international coalition in the city of Manbij in northeastern Aleppo.”

CENTCOM said “(i)nitial reports indicate an explosion caused the casualties, and the incident is under investigation.”

An Operation Inherent Resolve statement said it’s “aware of open source reports regarding an explosion in Syria. Coalition (sic) forces conducted a routine patrol in Syria today. We are still gathering information and will share additional details at a later time.”

The incident is suspicious at a time when Trump regime hardliners and Pentagon commanders strongly oppose his announced troop withdrawal from Syria.

He and Pence falsely proclaimed the defeat of ISIS, on Wednesday, the vice president saying “ISIS has been defeated (and) the caliphate has crumbled” – ignoring the incident explained above, along with US support for the terrorist group and others.

In Syria and Iraq alone, thousands of ISIS and other jihadists remain, their ranks increased by recruiting of new foot soldiers.

Bolton and Pompeo effectively overruled Trump, saying US forces will remain in Syria until ISIS is defeated and the safety Kurdish YPG fighters is guaranteed.

A State Department official said “(w)e have no timeline for our military forces to withdraw from” Syria, delay likely to be not at all.

Commenting on the Manbij attack, Senator Lindsey Graham said “(m)y concern by the statements made by president Trump is that you have set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we are fighting” – supporting the scourge while pretending to oppose it, he failed to explain.

Was the message of Tuesday’s incident the reality of ISIS and other jihadists remaining a major threat in Syria?

Was the attack orchestrated by the Pentagon and/or CIA, a way to halt the withdrawal of US forces, claiming the no-battle/battle to defeat the scourge Washington supports is far from over?

The US came to all its war theaters to stay. According to the Arabic-language Al-Maaloumeh news website, citing an Iraqi official, US forces in the country’s al-Anbar province opened passageways for ISIS fighters to move freely through.

A separate report said the Pentagon is providing ISIS jihadists with intelligence help, along with heavy weapons supplied them.

Their fighters are trained at Pentagon bases in Syria and Iraq by US special forces. Erdogan said he doesn’t believe the Manbij attack will affect Trump’s announced pullout from Syria.

His view is likely to be polar opposite what unfolds ahead. In all its active and past war theaters since Soviet Russia dissolved, US forces came to stay, Syria no different than others.

Contact 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.

UK Parliament Rejects Theresa May’s No-Brexit/Brexit Deal

by Stephen Lendman

Tuesday, January 15, at Westminster will long be remembered, a historic day, one for the record books.

Prime Minister Theresa May’s no-Brexit/Brexit deal was thunderously defeated by a 432 – 202 margin – the greatest rejection of a UK leader’s legislative aim in modern times.

Defeat of her no-deal/deal was certain ahead of Tuesday’s vote. The only uncertainty was by how much. The overwhelming margin surprised some observers – including 118 Tories opposing it from the party’s Leave and Remain wings.

Over two-and-a-half years since a majority of Britain’s electorate voted to leave the EU were wasted. The union was and remains a CIA-created construct, Western European countries agreeing to subordinate their sovereignty to America.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, 13 US states were UK colonies, an intolerable arrangement – ended when America’s constitutional framers declared their independence from Britain on July 4, 1776.

Now it’s the other way around. Post-WW II, 28 Western European countries became US colonies, controlled by Washington, what none of them should have agreed to, betraying their people.

Leaving the union, dissolving it altogether, should be a no-brainer. No sitting governments should allow a foreign authority to control their affairs on vital issues.

After the Soviet Union dissolved in December 1991, all Western and most Eastern European countries became virtual US colonies, the shame of their authorities for going this way – agreeing to go along with Washington’s aim to subordinate the sovereignty of all nations worldwide to its own.

After Tuesday’s vote, where things go from here in Britain is uncertain. At least five factions in parliament have different views on whether to leave or not to leave the EU, including on what terms by Brexit supporters.

A majority for one way doesn’t exist. No Brexit may follow, or delaying a resolution of the issue months longer, perhaps a second referendum later this year.

A previous article explained that Theresa May only pretended to support Brexit publicly, an idea she opposed instead.

Her earlier remarks about “Brexit means Brexit.” Britain won’t remain “half-in (and) half-out” of the EU were hollow.

Mostly in and partly out is precisely what she agreed to with Brussels, opposite of what Britain’s electorate voted for, a colossal betrayal while pretending otherwise.

In 2016 as home secretary, she stated her real position on Brexit, saying “the economic arguments are clear…(B)eing part of a 500-million trading bloc is significant for us.”

“…(A) lot of people will invest here in the UK because it is the UK in Europe…(T)here…are definite benefits for us in economic terms.”

“There are definitely things we can do as members of the European Union that I think keep us more safe.”

Her real position as home secretary revealed her sham one as PM, pretending to support what she opposed, why she delayed resolution of the issue for over two-and-a-half years, then capitulated to Brussels’ demands – a clear attempt to keep Britain largely in the EU.

Immediately following Tuesday’s vote, Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn tabled a no-confidence vote against May’s leadership – to be debated on Wednesday evening local time, Corbyn saying:

“This is a catastrophic defeat. The house has delivered its verdict on her deal. Delay and denial has reached the end of the line.”

The no-confidence vote is highly unlikely to succeed. Tories support May’s leadership to retain power. The pro-Brexit European Research Group (ERG) and Democratic Unionist party (DUP) said they’ll support May remaining PM.

A new election is possible but unlikely. Most often following the type of parliamentary defeat occurring on Tuesday, a sitting PM would resign.

For now at least, May intends to press on despite having no plan B. She’ll hold meetings with senior parliamentarians from all parties to “identify what would be required to secure the backing of the house,” she announced, what hasn’t happened since June 2016, what’s most unlikely ahead.

It’s unclear when she’ll head to Brussels. It’s very clear she’ll get no more than minor concessions, most likely none at all, surely nothing to make a difference in how things stand now.

She pretends to support Brexit she opposed all along. Early next week, she’ll announce her intentions going forward. There’s no better deal awaiting her in Brussels that former foreign minister Boris Johnson urged her to seek.

As of now, Britain faces a March 29 deadline on whether to leave, with or without a deal, or stay in the EU. The European Court of Justice ruled that the UK can cancel the Lisbon Treaty’s Article 50 process unilaterally, or it can be extended if all 28 EU member-states agree.

The Treaty states that “(a)ny Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”

May earlier said MPs have a choice between her deal or “no Brexit at all.” Both options offered no-deal based on what she and Brussels agreed to.

Corbyn wants a general election. If held and Labor wins, he’ll renegotiate a new Brexit deal with Brussels, he said. The March 29 deadline would need to be extended under this arrangement.

If unable to get a general election, Corbyn supports a second referendum, exactly how the issue would be put to voters not indicated so far.

May’s no-deal/deal is dead. The fullness of time will reveal what’ll be presented to replace it. As of now, it’s very uncertain how things will play out.

Contact 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.

Trump Regime Arrests Iranian Journalist Without Just Cause

by Stephen Lendman

Thousands of political prisoners languish in America’s gulag prison system domestically and abroad. The shame of the nation operates globally.

America is obsessed with mass imprisonment, punishment, commodifying targeted individuals to fill beds for its prison/industrial complex, a multi-billion dollar industry, a racist system harming the nation’s most vulnerable, mainly poor Blacks and Latinos, along with being Muslim in America at the wrong and/or from the wrong countries.

Others are targeted for supporting ethnic justice, racial emancipation, political, economic and social equality across gender and color lines, or being unwanted aliens of the wrong race, religion, and/or ethnicity.

The nation’s most vulnerable are victimized by judicial unfairness, get tough on crime policies, a guilty unless proved innocent system, three strikes and you’re out, or being too poor to afford a proper defense with a competent attorney representing them.

The so-called “land of the free” is a fascist police state, breaching rule of law principles, mocking democratic values, terrorizing nations, groups and individuals opposed to its aim for global dominance.

Nearly two-and-a-half million human beings are locked in cages by the US, many in emotionally destructive isolation – held in federal and state facilities, local jails, Indian, juvenile, and military ones, US territories, as well as thousands of unwanted aliens held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Most targeted individuals are imprisoned for nonviolent offenses, often illicit drug related, many guilty of no more than minor misdemeanors, many others wrongfully convicted, along with countless numbers for political reasons.

Born in New Orleans, a US citizen, dividing her time between the US and the Islamic Republic, Iranian Press TV journalist/anchor Marzieh Hashemi was unlawfully arrested and jailed on arrival at St. Louis Lambert International Airport – in America to visit her ill brother and other family members.

Reportedly she’s in FBI custody, held in Washington. She’s a friend. I’ve known Marzieh and been interviewed by her many times through the years on Press TV.

She’s a superb professional I greatly respect. I’m appalled about her unjust arrest and abusive mistreatment, another example of a nation contemptuous of fundamental rights, norms and standards.

It’s unknown why she was arrested, handcuffed, shackled, and otherwise mistreated like a criminal which she is not – likely because she’s a Muslim from the wrong country in America at the wrong time, not for any criminal offense or wrongdoing of any kind.

A Muslim convert, she’s been living in Iran for years. In custody, her hijab head covering was forcibly removed, photographed without it on arrival in detention.

She’s only been given pork to eat, what Islamic law forbids, a likely willful affront for offering it, denying her bread and other halal food after she refused to eat what religious Muslims won’t consume.

For 48 hours, she had a packet of crackers alone. A Press TV statement said the following, repeating some of the above information:

The broadcaster “would like to hereby express its strong protest at the recent apprehension and violent treatment of Ms. Marzieh Hashemi, born Melanie Franklin in the United States, who is currently serving as an anchor for the English-language television news network.

A female African-American international journalist, a mother and a grandmother, Ms. Hashemi has traveled to the United States to visit her family members, including her brother, who is suffering from cancer.

She was, however, arrested at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, Missouri on January 13, 2019 by US police, and transferred by FBI agents to a detention center in Washington, DC.

Ms. Hashemi has told her family in a phone conversation last night that she has been subjected to violent and abusive treatment from the very onset as described below:

Ms. Hashemi is yet to be arraigned or given a reason for her detention and imprisonment. She, herself, is at a loss to know why she should ever face apprehension.

Her family members were kept completely in the dark about her situation for two straight days following the arrest.

Immediately after arrest, she was forced to remove her hijab (the head covering for Muslim women) even though the authorities knew about her being a Muslim.

They allowed her only a T-shirt to wear, with her forearms being exposed against Islamic law. She was even photographed in that state.

The authorities running the detention facility have paid no heed to her religious preferences, despite her repeated protests.

She has been forced to use another T-shirt to cover her head so as to remain observant of Islamic values.

She has been denied halal food (food permissible under Islamic law), being offered only pork as meal and not even bread, which she has requested to avoid the meat.

Ms. Hashemi has had nothing to eat other than a packet of crackers since her apprehension. The resulting malnutrition, compounded by cold weather conditions, has made her weak and infirm.

Her current feeble health condition necessitates urgent medical attention.

The United States government is accountable for any potential harm or hazard that would affect Ms. Hashemi’s mental or physical condition.

Accordingly, as part of the media community, we expect that all international media outlets set about relaying this affair without delay.

We, further, call for the immediate and unconditional release of Ms. Hashemi, and for the US government to apologize to both the journalist and the international media community for her treatment.”

Two Twitter pages were launched to support her:

#FreeMarziehHashemi and


I tweeted the following message to the #FreeMarziehHashemi page:

I was appalled to learn about Marzieh’s shocking arrest and mistreatment on arrival in America. I intend to inform my readers about the grave affront to her dignity and fundamental rights. I pray for her speedy release.

I condemn the brutal actions of a ruthless nation, things the same under Republicans and undemocratic Dems, two wings of America’s war party, threatening humanity at home and abroad.

Add your thoughts by expressing support for Marzieh on the Twitter pages set up on her behalf.

A Final Comment

On Wednesday, the Switzerland-based Journalist Support Committee (JSC) called for the Trump regime to immediately release Press TV journalist Marzieh Hashemi, saying:

“The United States of America must release Marzieh Hashemi who is suffering a clear violation of human rights on the basis of unspecified charges,” adding:

“This is an assault on freedom of expression, undoubtedly her profession, and her religion have come into play as US authorities continue to treat her in such an inhumane and degrading manner.”

“The Journalist Support Committee calls on the international community to speak out against the maltreatment of Marzieh Hashemi which is indicative of a worrying trend in this current Trump administration towards increased persecution of journalists.”

Her son Hussein, a University of Colorado research fellow, said “(w)e have no idea what’s going on. My siblings and I…have been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury. We don’t know what this is about or how it’s unfolding,” adding:

His mother “is harassed regularly. Every time she travels using air travel, she is pulled to the side. Each time it’s an hour-long, even two-hour-long interview, interrogation. This has been going on for almost a decade now.”

Unlawfully detained by the FBI since Sunday, the bureau failed to explain its action against a law-abiding figure guilty of no wrongdoing, no charges indicated against her.

Deputy chief of Iran’s IRIB broadcaster Paiman Jebeli said “(w)e will not spare any legal action” to help her.

Her brother Milton Leroy Franklin expressed great concern for her welfare, saying “(t)here’s no way of getting any word to her and she can’t send any out. We’re all in the dark and just waiting and praying that they release her.”

According to Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasem, Marzieh’s arrest reflects the Trump regime’s “apartheid and racist policy,” adding: “We hope that the innocent person will be released without any condition.”

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) issued a statement, demanding unlawfully arrested and detained Marzieh Hahsemi be released. The organization urged the UN Rapporteur on Arbitrary Detention to intervene on her behalf.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif slammed the Trump regime, saying its action “is an unacceptable political move and a violation of freedom of speech. On that basis, the Americans should immediately end this political game.”

Several Americans are imprisoned in Iran on legitimate charges, including espionage. Perhaps Marzieh’s arrest and detention is part of a scheme to demand their release, holding her unlawfully until the Trump regime gets its way.

Contact 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. 

Trump and Turkey Exchange Hostile Remarks

by Stephen Lendman

Freelance Journalism

Global News Aruba

The US pretends to be combatting the scourge of ISIS it created and supports. The same goes for al-Qaeda, its al-Nusra offshoot, and other terrorist groups, used as imperial foot soldiers.

US officials pretend concern for Kurds they don’t care a hoot about, using its fighters as proxy forces in northern Syria, to be abandoned when no longer needed, the way Washington always operates.

Via Twitter, Trump warned Ankara against attacking Kurds in northern Syria, saying: “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds. Create 20 mile safe zone,” adding:

“(D)o not want the Kurds to provoke Turkey. Russia, Iran and Syria have been the biggest beneficiaries of the long term US policy of destroying ISIS in Syria…”

A geopolitical know-nothing, aware only of what his handlers feed him, along with Fox News misinformation and disinformation, his favorite TV channel, Trump may actually believe the US is combating the scourge of ISIS it supports.

If he followed reliable independent media, he’d know what’s going on. He’d know the US has 30 or more bases in Syria and Iraq, building new ones, supplying them with a steady supply of heavy weapons, munitions and equipment, showing Pentagon forces intend staying in both countries.

Erdogan’s aide Ibrahim Kalin responded to his remarks, tweeting: “Mr @realDonaldTrump Terrorists can’t be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honor our strategic partnership and doesn’t want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda. There is no difference between DAESH, PKK, PYD and YPG. We will continue to fight against them all.”

Separately, Turkey’s Erdogan and Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said a military operation against Kurdish YPG fighters east of the Euphrates River will be launched whether US forces stay or leave northern Syria.

Turkish forces are mobilized along the border with Syria, their numbers increasing ahead of cross-border aggression. According to the Arabic-language Al-Manar news site, Turkey’s army shelled YPG positions in the town of Raas in northwestern Hasaka, Syria, likely prelude for the coming offensive.

Ahead of its launch, Syria’s Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said “we have recently stepped up contacts with the Kurdish side and intensified them to reflect the challenges that threaten the region,” adding:

He’s “optimistic…(W)e encourage these political groups to be sincere in dialogue that is happening now between the Syrian state and these groups, taking into account that there is no alternative to that.”

Weeks earlier, Syrian YPG leader Sipan Hemo offered Damascus control over Kurdish territory in return for local autonomy, perhaps an idea whose time has come.

So far, Damascus is unwilling to change its constitution to permit it. At the same time, Syrian Foreign Ministry official Ayman Soussan said “(t)he Kurds are an integral part of the Syrian nation.”

“We are sure that we are able to resolve a number of difficult issues through a dialogue, and this is guaranteed as long as the dialogue is based on the principle of territorial integrity of Syria and the unity of its people.”

A Final Comment

On Monday, Pompeo met with Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh. According to Middle East Eye (MEE), he “delivered…a roadmap” for shielding him from responsibility for ordering Jamal Kashoggi’s murder last October.

“The plan includes an option to pin the Saudi journalist’s murder on an innocent member of the ruling al-Saud family in order to insulate those at the very top,” said MEE – a designated patsy yet to be chosen.

The State Department denied the allegation, calling it “a complete misrepresentation of the secretary’s diplomatic mission to Saudi Arabia.”

Pompeo presented the plan to MBS earlier, apparently again on Monday before returning to Washington.

Contact 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.

Trump Colluding and Chummy with Putin?

by Stephen Lendman

Freelance Journalism

Global News Aruba

Make no mistake. Trump disgraces the office he holds. So do the vast majority of Republicans and undemocratic Dems.

US political profiles in courage are rare exceptions to the rule – practically none on both sides of the aisle today. The nation is run by and for its ruling class exclusively, mocking what democracy is supposed to be all about – not in America, not earlier, for sure not now.

The nation’s dismal state continues to worsen, not improve, over time. Americans are ill-governed and ill-served by one-party rule with two right wings at the federal, state and local levels – pols and bureaucrats betraying the constituents they’re sworn to serve.

They oppose peace, equity and justice, favor forever wars on humanity, wanting all nations subjugated as vassal states, ordinary people exploited and otherwise abused.

America’s major media function as a collective mouthpiece for the imperial state, Wall Street, and other corporate interests – journalism the way it should be long ago abandoned.

They and powerful interests they represent are the shame of the nation – an increasingly totalitarian plutocracy, oligarchy and kleptocracy, not a democracy.

A separate article discussed the farcical notion of Trump operating as a Russian spy, wittingly or unwittingly working for the Kremlin against his own country over private conversations with Vladimir Putin.

Virtually all heads of state do the same thing with their counterparts in other countries, nothing sinister, improper or illegal about it.

Yet the self-styled newspaper of record NYT took the lead in promoting the falsified claim, followed by the neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post and other establishment media – absurdly suggesting Trump may be working for the Kremlin against US interests.

An implausible notion is top-featured in print and electronic media reports, more evidence of how low the nation’s dominant fourth estate has sunk, more proof of its worthlessness – to be shunned, not followed.

Times disinformation was discussed in a separate article. WaPo accused Trump of “conceal(ing) details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin,” adding:

He went to “extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former US officials said.”

At best, the above remarks are a gross exaggeration, at worst bald-faced lies, part of longstanding media collusion with undemocratic Dems and other anti-Trump dark forces to weaken and delegitimize him – attacking him for the wrong reasons, ignoring the most important right ones.

Russia is Washington’s enemy No. 1 for its sovereign independence, opposition to US imperial wars, supporting vitally needed multi-world polarity, aiding Syria defeat US-supported ISIS and other terrorists, preventing the imperial state from gaining another trophy, among other hostile reasons.

Longstanding US plans call for regime change in Russia, China, Iran, and all other sovereign independent countries, naked aggression the favored strategy of Republicans and Dems, demanded by America’s military, industrial, security, media complex.

Notably since WW II, the business of America is war, a national addiction, today with super-weapons able to end life on earth if used in enough numbers.

Eisenhower’s warning against military, industrial complex dangers went unheeded. “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist,” he stressed.

US militarism and belligerence today represent a far greater threat than his warning nearly six decades ago.

Carte blanche executive and congressional warmaking authority makes world peace and stability unattainable.

So does empowering war-profiteers to gorge at the public trough, countless trillions of dollars spent for smashing one country after another, along with maintaining and increasing the Pentagon’s global empire of bases – used as platforms for warmaking.

Trump is no exception to the rule. All US presidents are hostage to dark forces running America, front men for their diabolical interests.

He’s a businessman. Throughout his private life, he focused on revenues and profit-making. As president, he’s co-opted by imperial interests.

Along with serving corporate America, US presidents, lawmakers, and the courts prioritize pursuing the nation’s imperial agenda, Trump like all his predecessors.

No evidence suggests he’s secretly colluding with Russia or any other foreign power against US imperial interests. So-called bombshell NYT, WaPo, and other media reports laid an egg.

So did undemocratic Dem Senator Richard Durbin, shamefully accusing Trump of being “so chummy” with Putin, adding:

“This man who is a former KGB agent, has never been a friend of the United States, invaded our allies, threatens us around the world, and tries his damnedest to undermine our elections. Why is this President Trump’s best buddy? I don’t get it.”

Durbin is one of countless congressional Russophobic mudslingers, Big Lies, deception, and character assassination their modus operandi, supporting an agenda hostile to ordinary people everywhere, backing endless wars of aggression, serving the imperial state and monied interests.

Durbin, Schumer, and other undemocratic Dems called for Senate hearings into Trump’s so-called relationship with Putin, Schumer earlier saying:

“Our Republican colleagues need to join us in demanding testimony from the president’s national security team that was in Helsinki, and we need to do that immediately.”

“We need hearings, as soon as possible, to assess what President Trump might have committed to President Putin in secret. The Senate needs to know what happened behind closed doors.”

Trump responded to accusations against him, saying “I’m not keeping anything under wraps. I couldn’t care less” about releasing details of his conversations with Putin.

“I had a conversation like every president does,” Trump said Saturday. “You sit with the president of various countries. I do it with all countries.”

Stuff being reported about his meetings with Putin is “so ridiculous…making up” things that didn’t happen. A White House statement slammed the accusations, calling them “inaccurate…insulting, (and) ridiculous.”

Most often Trump’s public remarks combine bombast, hyperbole, and gross exaggeration with turning truth on its head.

Not on the above accusations, fabricated as part of a diabolical plot to discredit, delegitimize, and remove him from office – either by impeachment for the wrong reasons or at the polls in 2020.

That’s what’s been going on relentlessly since his triumph over Hillary and inauguration. He won an election he was supposed to lose.

Hostile dark forces and most establishment media are unforgiving, going all-out against him. Falsely suggesting he’s a witting or unwitting Manchurian candidate, serving Russian interests against America is the latest fabricated broadside against him.

The next two years look certain to be some of the most politically tumultuous in US history – clearer evidence than already that American exceptionalism, moral superiority, and the indispensable state don’t exist.

Contact at lendman[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.