Category Archives: Stephen Lendman

America’s the world’s leading human rights abuser

Globalized Torture

by Stephen Lendman
America’s the world’s leading human rights abuser. State terror is official policy. So is waging war on humanity. 
Guantanamo operates lawlessly. It’s America’s public face. It’s the tip of the iceberg. More on that below.
Gitmo detainees gave few ways to resist. Refusing food challenges injustice. Around 130 haven’t eaten in over two months. They’re hunger striking for justice. 

Russia Today reports regularly on what’s happening. On April 12, it headlined “Day of Action to Close Guantanamo: US Cities protest Obama’s inaction.”
Activists and people of conscience rallied in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and other US cities. Media scoundrels ignored them. They turn a blind eye to Guantanamo atrocities. They support imperial lawlessness.
Protesters wore orange jump suits. Some had on black hoods. They did so to attract attention. 
Two dozen human rights organization signed an open letter to Obama. In part it said:
“The situation is the predictable result of continuing to hold prisoners indefinitely without charge for more than 11 years.”
“We urge you to begin working to transfer the remaining detained men to their home countries or other countries for resettlement, or to charge them in a court that comports with fair trial standards.”
The Center for Constitutional Rights calls Guantanamo a “notorious example” of US lawlessness.
The ACLU says it “symbolizes our nation’s failure to adhere to the rule of law and human rights….”
Straightaway in office, Obama promised to close Guantanamo. He lied. He’s a serial liar. Gitmo remains open. It’s one of many US torture prisons. They operate globally. They do so lawlessly.
Torture is official US policy. George Bush approved it. Obama operates the same.
On September 17, 2001, Bush signed a secret finding. It authorized the CIA to capture, kill or interrogate Al-Qaeda leaders. It established a secret global network. It operates extrajudicially.
On November 13, 2001, Bush issued Military Order Number 1. It was a watershed coup d’etat action.
It “determined that an extraordinary emergency exists for national defense purposes, that this emergency constitutes an urgent and compelling government interest and that issuance of this order is necessary to meet the emergency.”
It authorized the capture, kidnapping, or otherwise arrest of non-citizens anywhere in the world. It did so based on unproved international terrorism allegations. 
It approved holding detainees indefinitely without charge, evidence or due process rights. The order later applied to US citizens.
Secret military commissions were authorized. Habeas rights and judicial fairness are denied. Torture obtained evidence is used. Appeals were ruled out. International, constitutional and US statute laws don’t apply.
Secret memos followed. Torture was officially authorized. War on terror priorities override rule of law protections. George Bush got “complete discretion in the exercise of his authority in conducting operations against hostile forces.”
Obama operates the same way. He takes full advantage. Horrendous crimes of war and against humanity continue. Don’t expect media scoundrels to explain.
On February 5, the Open Society Foundations (OSF) published a report titled “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition.”
It’s “the story the CIA doesn’t want you to (know of or) talk about.”
“Snatching people off the streets” is policy. So is “hanging people from the ceiling (and) freezing (them) to death on a concrete floor.”
“This is the story of how the United States used its position to cajole, persuade, and strong-arm 54 other countries to take part in the CIA’s post-9/11 campaign of secret detention and torture.”
Post-9/11, the gloves came off. “Black sites” were established. Suspected “terrorists” were lawlessly abducted. Extraordinary rendition followed. Torture became official policy. It remains so.
On September 16, 2001, Dick Cheney said:
“We have to work, sort of on the dark side, if you will.”
“We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world.”
“A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies, if we’re going to be successful.”
“That’s the world these folks operate in, and so it’s going to be vital for us to use any means at our disposal, basically, to achieve our objective.”
Rule of law principles no longer applied. They still don’t. Anything goes became policy. CIA black sites were established. “Enhanced interrogation techniques” became code language for torture and other forms of abuse.
Suspects were snatched and disappeared. Foreign governments are complicit. The “full scale and scope of (their) participation – as well as the number of victims – remains unknown.”
It’s “largely because” of extreme secrecy. Washington refuses to admit involvement. Nor do participating foreign governments.
OSF’s report provides comprehensive documentation of what’s known. It identified 136 victims. It named 54 complicit countries.
They include Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Yemen. 
They host CIA prisons on their territories. They permit indefinite detention, interrogations, torture and other forms of abuse. They assist in capturing and transporting detainees. They allow use of their domestic airspace. They provide intelligence information.
Torture is illegal at all times, under all circumstances, with no allowed exceptions. It’s morally and ethically repugnant. It’s ineffective. No reliable information is gained. Detainees say anything to stop pain. 
It’s used against them. It’s done so illegally. It’s used to justify America’s war on terror. It continues without end. 
Investigations aren’t conducted. Crimes of war and against humanity go unpunished. Canada is the only country to issue an apology. It did so reluctantly. It pertained to Maher Arar.
He was abducted and extraordinarily renditioned to Syria. He was held uncharged. He was brutally tortured. He committed no crime. Syria later said he was “completely innocent.”
Canada publicly cleared him. He received millions in compensation for his ordeal. 
He filed suit under the Torture Victims Protection Act: Arar v. Ashcroft et al. 
He charged Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI Director Robert Mueller, then Homeland Security head Tom Ridge, and various US immigration officials with violating his due process right. 
The Center for Constitutional Rights represented him. Washington invoked the State Secrets Privilege. It filed a motion to dismiss. The US District Court for the Eastern District of New York did so on national security grounds.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld it. The US Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Justice remains denied.
The Obama administration “continues to withhold documents relating to the CIA Office of Inspector General investigations into extraordinary rendition and secret detention.”
They continue lawlessly. Despite efforts to conceal information, it “continue(s) to find its way into the public domain.”
Victims’ rights in America are denied. Challenging complicit governments “are being heard in courts around the world.”
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Macedonia’s involvement violated Khaled el-Masri’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights. His ill-treatment amounted to torture.
Italy’s highest court upheld convictions of US and complicit Italian officials. It did so for their involvement in extraordinarily renditioning Abu Omar to Egypt.
The UN Convention against Torture prohibits “refoulement.” It pertains to “expelling, returning, or extraditing a person to another country where there are substantial grounds to believe he (or she) would be in danger of being tortured.”
A former CIA agent once said:
“If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear, you send them to Egypt.”
Many other countries operate the same way. They include America, Western allies, Israel, and other Middle East nations. They operate extrajudicially, unchecked and unaccountably.
Other legal challenges continue. They’re ongoing against Poland, Lithuania, Romania, Italy, Djibouti, Egypt, Hong Kong and Britain. 
America bears most responsibility. It’s the world’s leading human rights abuser. It’s out-of-control and unaccountable. Justice delayed is denied. It’s long overdue.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at 
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Playing the North Korea Card

by Stephen Lendman

My PhotoFor decades, North Korea’s wanted normalized relations with Washington. It’s been repeatedly rebuffed. Promises made were broken. America needs enemies.

North Korea’s straight from central casting. Media scoundrels take full advantage. On April 2, Washington Post editors headlined “Answer North Korea with financial sanctions,” saying:
Kim Jong Un “managed to concoct a fresh provocative announcement aimed at Washington.” He declared both Koreas “were back to a ‘state of war.’ ”

“Could this untested, 30-year-old dictator be preparing to start a war with the United States or South Korea? The worrying reality is that it is virtually impossible for outsiders to know for sure.”
Most likely he’s “rally(ing) support behind the regime and to pressure the United States and its allies into opening negotiations.”

“As previous US administrations have learned the hard way, answering provocations with diplomacy will not lead to concessions by North Korea – only to another round of provocations.”

Hit ‘em again harder, urge Post editors. Pile new sanctions on current ones. Escalate tensions higher. Play the blame game. Denounce Pyongyang for Washington’s bellicosity and provocations. Point fingers the wrong way.

Wall Street Journal editors headlined “Calling Kim’s Bluff,” saying:

He’s “manufacturing a crisis to secure high-level talks with the US, as his father and grandfather did.”

“The wonder is that the North’s bluster-for-cash strategy still gets taken seriously.”

“The Obama Administration has so far avoided the Bush-Clinton negotiations trap, and we hope that continues. While an accident or miscalculation could restart the Korean War, there are also reasons to think the North’s acting up is all a bluff.”

Washington “efforts pressure Kim into better behavior will come to nothing if it caves now and grants formal talks. (It’s) no time to go wobbly.”

Journal editors omitted demands for more sanctions. Otherwise, they marched in lockstep with Post ones. Blame North Korea for Washington’s imperial aims.

Hold it responsible for acting in response to justifiable fears. Increase America’s regional presence. Prioritize gunboat diplomacy. Intensify saber rattling. Escalate tensions. Avoid dialogue. Show Pyongyang Washington won’t be bullied. It’s standard media scoundrel policy.

North Korea poses no threat. It wants normalized relations. America needs enemies. Pyongyang’s used for that purpose.

“It’s North Korea, Again,” headlined The New York Times.

“Recent weeks of saber-rattling and military escalation have affirmed a harsh truth: North Korea – which is much closer to putting a nuclear warhead on a missile than Iran and has threatened to strike the United States and its allies – is the more urgent challenge. The major powers still haven’t figured out how to solve it.”

“The Obama administration was prudent to bolster its forces in the region.”

“….Washington has an obligation (to) defend the homeland (and) reassure South Korea and Japan that America’s defense commitments remain firm.”

As usual, Times editors twisted truth. North Korea threatens no one. It wants peace, not war. It wants its sovereign rights respected. It wants US provocations to stop.

It opposes Obama’s Asia pivot. It does so for good reason. America’s greater military presence threatens its security. It compromises regional peace.

Gunboat diplomacy escalates tensions. It’s done for that purpose. It causes instability. It creates problems. It doesn’t solve them.

North Korea’s justifiably concerned. America’s military presence is menacing. Its exercises are provocative. Key Resolve began in February. It’s now completed. Eagle Fold runs through April 30.
Overall, around 13,000 US forces and 200,000 South Korean ones are involved. So are nuclear capable B-2 stealth bombers, F-22 stealth fighters, and B-52s. San Diego-based USS Decatur was heading home. It was re-missioned. It’s on alert in western Pacific waters.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said a second guided missile destroyer, the USS John McCain, was deployed. It arrived at a “pre-determined location.” It’s positioned off the Korean peninsula.
Both ships are prepared “to perform a missile defense operations as assigned by our combatant commander. (They’re) poised to respond to any missile threats to our allies or our territory.”

Missile defense systems will be installed in Guam. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said it’s to defend it from a “real and clear danger” from North Korea. Others were installed in Alaska and America’s west coast.

Pyongyang raised concerns. It said “North-South relations will be entering a state of war and all issues raised between the North and the South will be handled accordingly.”

“The long-standing situation of the Korean Peninsula being neither at peace nor at war is finally over.”

If Washington and/or Seoul attack, conflict “will not be limited to a local war. (It will) develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”

It bears repeating. North Korea wants peace, not war. Conflict assures losers, not winners. Heated rhetoric hopes to get America’s attention.

It bears full responsibility for rising tensions. According to Russian former chief of staff General Yuri Baluyevsky, Washington and NATO may preemptively attack Russia and China.

Nuclear weapons may be used. NATO’s missile shield intends to protect against retaliatory strikes.
“They expect that their opponents will respond with up to 100 missiles, not with 1,500 or 2,000. They are dreaming of being able to intercept the whole bulk of a hundred missiles and make themselves invulnerable after their first strike,” he added.

Little wonder North Korea expresses concerns. Normalized relations could have been restored decades ago. Instead, Pyongyang’s used as Washington’s regional punching bag.

At issue is justifying Obama’s Asia pivot. It involves advancing America’s military footprint. It targets China and Russia.

North Korea’s a convenient pretext. If it didn’t exist, it’d be invented. Claiming it threatens South Korea and Japan doesn’t wash. Washington’s the sole regional menace. It’s greater presence bodes ill.

Last June, then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said around 60% of US naval forces will be based in the Pacific by 2020.

Strengthening America’s presence is part of its new imperial strategy. Challenging China is prioritized. At issue is isolating Beijing regionally and undermining its influence. It’s a recipe for heightened tensions and potential confrontation.

Comparable Chinese or Russian presence in US waters would be pretext for war. So would their bases in neighboring regional countries.

America believes global territories and waters are its own. It works because other nations don’t object. Japan and South Korea go along. They accept what they should reject.

Last May, Obama met with then Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda in Washington. Strengthening strategic ties and boosting military activities were discussed.

A joint statement pledged to “further enhance our bilateral security and defense cooperation.” A commitment was affirmed to “US strategic rebalancing to the Asia Pacific.”
Plans are to establish “a more geographically distributed and operationally resilient force posture in the region.”

Washington has been “rebalancing” in East Asia for years. Strategy calls for strengthening military, economic, and political ties with Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.

China and Russia are targeted. Doing so risks potential confrontation. Beating up on North Korea increases the possibility. Conflict isn’t likely now. Ahead, anything is possible.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Playing the Venezuelan Anti-Semitism Card

My PhotoThroughout his tenure, Washington officials vilified Chavez unjustifiably. So did media scoundrels.
He was America top hemispheric enemy. Donald Rumsfeld once likened him to Hitler. Pat Robertson called for his assassination. Anti-semitism accusations surfaced often.
His December 2005 Christmas Eve address was held against him. He said nothing offensive. His comments were maliciously taken the wrong way. He said:
“The world is for all of us, then, but it so happens that a minority, the descendants of the same ones that crucified Christ, the descendants of the same ones that kicked Bolivar out of here and also crucified him in their own way over there in Santa Marta, in Colombia.”
“A minority has taken possession of all the wealth of the world. A minority has taken ownership of all of the gold of the planet, of the silver, of the minerals, the waters, the good lands, oil, of the wealth, and have concentrated the wealth in a few hands.”
“Less than 10 percent of the population of the world owns more than half of the wealth of the world, more than the population of the planet is poor, and each day there are more poor people in the whole world.”
Days later, the Simon Wisenthal Center played the anti-Semitism card. It demanded an apology. Media scoundrels piled on.
Weekly Standard contributor Aaron Mannes said “Hugo Chavez veers into anti-Semitism while explaining how to create a workers’ paradise.”
The Wall Street Journal‘s Mary O’Grady called Chavez’s address an “ugly anti-Semitic swipe.” It followed “an insidious assault over the past several years on the country’s Jewish community.”
She spuriously claimed “heavily armed Chavez commandos raided a Caracas Jewish school, terrifying children and parents.”
It was “part of (his) political strategy of fomenting class hatred – an agenda that finds a vulnerable target in the country’s Jewish minority.” Saying so turned truth on its head.
The Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela (CAIV) responded to baseless Simon Wiesenthal accusations. Former president Fred Pressner said:
“You have acted on your own, without consulting us, on issues that you don’t know or understand.”
“We believe the president was not talking about Jews, and that the Jewish world must learn to work together.”
Separately he said no anti-Semitic violence was committed against Venezuela’s Jewish community. Claims otherwise are canards. Chavista anti-imperialism is misportrayed as government-sponsored anti-Semitism.
Anti-Defamation League demagoguery is longstanding. It’s notorious. It played the Venezuelan anti-Semitism card numerous times. It’s on the rise, it claimed. Chavez scapegoats Jews for political advantage.
It alleged “classical anti-Semitism” ahead of 2006 Venezuelan presidential elections.” It repeated false charges after the 2010 Mavi Marmara massacre. It did so many other times.
Ahead of October 2012 elections, it claimed Chavez tried to portray opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski “as being tainted by his Jewish lineage.” He did no such thing.
Capriles is a self-professed Catholic. He’s the son of Jewish holocaust survivors. Chavez mocked no one’s religion. He justifiably condemned Israeli crimes. He did so many times.
He maintained cordial relations with Caracas Jewish community leaders. In 2008, Latin American Jewish Congress president Jack Terpins said:
“The Jewish community is more at ease now with President Hugo Chavez, who demonstrated that he is a great friend of the Jewish community and who wants to fight anti-Semitism in Latin America.”
At the same time, Argentina’s US ambassador Hector Timerman said Chavez works “with (Brazil’s Lula and Argentina’s Kirchner) to achieve total eradication of anti-Semitism in Latin America.”
“This is a gesture that speaks about the leadership and opinions of President Chavez regarding the need to end all types of discrimination in our region.”
Venezuela’s constitution prohibits discrimination. Indigenous rights are guaranteed. So are human rights, peaceful cooperation, participatory democracy, and social justice.
In September 2010, Chavez met with Jewish community representatives. He dispelled alleged hostility, saying:
Opposition forces “tried to wage a little campaign that I’m anti-Jew, an enemy of the Jews.”
“The reality is we respect and care about the Jewish community.”
Then Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said Jewish community relations were in “optimum shape,” adding:
“We respect the customs of all our communities and the religious customs of all the groups who, in Venezuela, have freedom of equality.”
Venezuelan Jews are largely in Caracas. Some live in Maracaibo. They number around 16,000.
In late January 2009, vandals desecrated a Caracas Sephardic synagogue. They threw sacred scrolls on the floor. They wrote “Death to the Jews” and other anti-Semitic epithets on walls.
They stole artifacts and computer equipment. Media scoundrels linked what happened to strained Venezuelan/Israeli relations post-Cast Lead.
Commentaries suggested official anti-Semitic policy. Chavez was wrongfully criticized. He condemned what happened. He did so publicly.
A Caracas police investigation determined that synagogue fencing was cut from the inside. The attack was robbery. It was disguised as anti-Semitic vandalism.
Private synagogue security team members were arrested. Eleven were charged. They confessed. Desecration and graffiti were meant to deceive.
Anti-Semitism charges surface often. In his book, “Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History,” Norman Finkelstein said:

“Whenever Israel comes under international pressure to resolve its conflicts with the Palestinians diplomatically or faces a public relations debacle, its apologists mount a campaign alleging that the world is awash in a new anti-Semitism.”
On March 5, Chavez died. Maligning him continues. On March 6, JTA (The Global News Service of the Jewish People) headlined, “Long the bane of Venezuelan Jews, Chavez is gone. Now What?”
“For more than a decade, Venezuelan Jews (held) their breath,” it claimed. He “used his bully pulpit to intimidate, rail against Israel and embrace Iran.”
“While (he) never explicitly threatened the Jews of Venezuela, his frequent harassment and staunchly anti-Israel positions kept them continually on edge.”
How JTA didn’t explain. It unjustifiably conflated legitimate Israeli criticism with anti-Jewishness. Doing so turns truth on its head.
Ben Cohen did the same thing. He’s a New York-based writer. He comments on Jewish and international affairs.
On March 6, his Haaretz article headlined “Will Venezuelan anti-Semitism die with Hugo Chavez,” saying:
“Under Chavez, Venezuela became a source of incendiary anti-Israel rhetoric that spilled over into open hostility towards the dwindling Venezuelan Jewish community, and his successors seem likely to continue to stoke anti-Semitism as a useful political tool.”
Will “Jew-baiting” persist or subside, he asked? “(T)here is little reason for optimism on this front,” he claimed.
Anti-Chavismo US Zionist organizations say so. They wrongfully maligned Chavez throughout his tenure.
According to Cohen, “anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism (were) critical element(s) of the Chavez regime’s bid to become the ideological center of the world’s radical states.”
“Chavistas….may decide that lowering the volume on anti-Jewish rhetoric is, for the time being, a compromise too far.”
Haaretz knows better. Yet it published what demands condemnation. A follow-up report was no better.
On March 29, it headlined “Leaked Documents: Venezuelan intelligence spying on local Jewish community.”
“Venezuelan agents follow, photograph and keep track of the movements of various leaders and rabbis of the local Jewish community, as well as collect information on them, their activaties and their meetings.”
They’re “working on the assumption that the country’s Jews are the bridgehead for attempts by the United States, Israel, to destabilize the country.”
Alleged leaked documents were published. Unnamed Buenos Aires “experts” claim they’re credible.
“(M)any fear an outbreak of violent anti-Semitic acts directed by the government to use Jews as scapegoats.”
It bears repeating. Former Confederation of Jewish Associations of Venezuela (CAIV) president Fred Pressner says no anti-Semitic violence was committed against Venezuela’s Jewish community. It wasn’t earlier. There’s none now.
Venezuela has justifiable national security concerns. Washington destabilization efforts continue. They persisted throughout Chavez’s tenure.
They’re allied with hostile internal right-wing elements. Evidence suggests Mossad’s involved. CIA operatives infest Venezuela. America’s Caracas embassy is a hotbed of anti-Chavista subversion.
Failure to take protective measures would be irresponsible. Credible evidence warrants police searches. National intelligence operatives try to prevent trouble before it erupts.
Groups aren’t targeted for being Jewish. Anti-Semitic accusations don’t wash. Repeating them is irresponsible. Why Haaretz did so, it must explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

posted by Steve Lendman @ 12:42 AM

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Unbreakable US – Israeli Ties

Global Research, March 22, 2013

Longstanding US/Israeli ties remain firm. Obama’s visit reinforces them. It does more.
It assures continued support. It endorses hardline extremism. It affirms occupation harshness. It lets Israel do what it pleases.

America’s special relationship does more harm than good. It’s wrongheaded. Israel is more strategic liability than asset. So are other regional allies.

U.S. President Obama and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu shake hands at a joint news conference at the Prime Minister's residence in JerusalemFlynt and Hillary Leverett are former insiders. Their views matter. Their book titled “Going to Iran” discusses why Washington “must come to terms with the Islamic Republic.”

It shows no signs of doing so. It’s decades overdue. An entirely new approach is needed, they argue. America’s regional position is disastrous. It’s delusional.

After “failed wars-cum-occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan; a war on terror that has turned Muslim societies ever more firmly against U.S. policy; and de facto support for open-ended Israeli occupation of Arab populations, America’s (regional) position is in free fall.”
Attacking Iran is madness, they argue. Current strategy suggests it’s likely. Engaging Tehran is essential. Candidate Obama promised to do so. Saying his efforts failed doesn’t wash.

He never tried. It’s high time he did. He refuses to acknowledge Iran’s peaceful nuclear program. Harsh sanctions tell Iranians America’s a strategic enemy.

Iranian leaders want better relations with Washington. They’ve wanted it for decades. They want it based on “mutual respect, equality, and American acceptance of the Islamic Republic.”

Engaging Iran responsibly is Obama’s greatest foreign policy challenge. He’s fallen woefully short. His one-sided Israeli support is wrongheaded.

He’s heading America for greater trouble. He’s making world public opinion more anti-American. His agenda is strategically disastrous. He refuses to do the right thing. He shows no signs of changing.

Fyodor Lukyanov chairs Russia’s Council on Foreign and Defense Policy. He’s also editor of Russia in Global Affairs. His views matter. He believes Washington’s gripped by “strategic insanity.”

His Al-Monitor article explains. He discussed America’s Iraq war. He said Russia believes US foreign policy reflects madness. He wrote as follows:

“The conclusions drawn by Putin from the situation surrounding Iraq were concerned less with Russian-American relations, and more with general idea of how the world works in the twenty-first century.”

“The strong do what they want: they don’t contemplate international law, global reality or the costs incurred by themselves and others.”

“In the 10 years since the Iraq war, Putin’s worldview has only strengthened and expanded. Now he believes that the strong not only do what they want, but also fail to understand what they do.”
“From Russian leadership’s point of view, the Iraq War now looks like the beginning of the accelerated destruction of regional and global stability, undermining the last principles of sustainable world order.”

“Everything that’s happened since – including flirting with Islamists during the Arab Spring, US policies in Libya and its current policies in Syria – serve as evidence of strategic insanity that has taken over the last remaining superpower.”

He says Moscow’s view on Syria reflects realpolitik. It believes targeting governments it opposes assures dangerous destabilization. Doing so affects Russia. Resisting might makes right is essential.

On the tenth Iraq war anniversary, America shows no remorse, no lessons learned. Expect more wars to follow. Allying with Israel assures it.

War rages in Syria. It’s Washington’s war. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus. Peace prospects are dead. Washington and Israel are in lockstep on Iran. Tactics and timing alone differ.

Palestinians are entirely shut out. Their rights don’t matter. During Obama’s visit, Israeli security forces violently arrested dozens of Palestinian children. Some were aged 10 or younger.

They’re held on baseless charges. They were on their way to school. Israel’s Youth Law requires parents or an adult be present during interrogations. Shin Bet pays it no heed. Children are isolated from parents. Obama’s visit continues.

Haaretz said he “must make clear to Israel” that continued occupation harms bilateral relations. It compromises America’s regional position.

Without US pressure, Israeli policies won’t change. They’re hardline. They’re longstanding. They’re lawless. They spurn peace.

On March 19, an Institute for Middle East Studies (IMEU) fact sheet explained.

In the 1990s, Likud opposition leader Netanyahu criticized Oslo. After becoming prime minister in 1996, he dragged out ongoing negotiations.

He delayed or refused to implement signed agreements. According to aides, Bill Clinton reacted angrily saying: “Who the f..k does he think he is? Who’s the f….ing superpower here?”

Netanyahu increased settlement construction. Yitzhak Shamir advised him to do so. Had he remained prime minister, he said, he’d “have conducted negotiations on autonomy for 10 years, and in the meantime we would have reached half a million” settlers.

In the past 20 years, Israel’s settler population doubled. It numbers 600,000. It increases daily. It’s on stolen Palestinian land.

In 2001, Netanyahu bragged about “put(ting) an end to the Oslo Accords.” Regarding US pressure, he said: “America is a thing you can move very easily.”

He told settlers that the best way to deal with Palestinians is to “beat them up, not once but repeatedly. Beat them up so it hurts so badly, until it’s unbearable.”

In 2005, he resigned from Sharon’s government. He protested his Gaza disengagement. He ignored Sharon’s explanation. He said withdrawal helps prevent Palestinian self-determination. It relieves world pressure to permit it.

Sharon advisor Dov Weisglass said disengaging provides the “formaldehyde necessary so there will not be a political process with the Palestinians until (they) turn into Finns.”

As prime minister in 2009, Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan University speech affirmed support for Palestinian self-determination. It did so with impossible conditions. They included:

  • demilitarization;

  • border, air space, and East Jerusalem under Israeli control;

  • Palestinians recognizing Israel as the “state of the Jewish people;” and

  • no right of return.

In May 2011, Netanyahu addressed a joint congressional session. He reiterated his views on Palestinian self-determination. He refused to accept pre-1967 borders.

He said Israel would retain and expand large settlements in and around East Jerusalem. Doing so cuts the West Bank in half.

He added that Israel will maintain “a longterm military (Jordan Valley) presence.” Doing so controls Palestine’s most fertile land. It also controls all entry and exit points.

During Netanyahu’s two terms as prime minister, he accelerated settlement construction. He continues doing so now. He wants “facts on the ground” established. Doing so prevents Palestinian self-determination.

In January 2013, Israel’s Peace Now said Netanyahu’s policies “disclose a clear intention to use settlements to systematically undermine and render impossible a realistic, viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Years ago it was possible. No longer. Israel controls over half the West Bank. It has much of East Jerusalem. It steals more Palestinian land daily.

Netanyahu and likeminded hardliners want all valued parts. They’re hellbent on getting it. Palestinian rights don’t matter. They never did.

On March 21, Press TV headlined “Obama gives fresh boost to Western media war against Iran.”
He repeated baseless accusations. He cited its nuclear program. He did so at a joint press conference with Netanyahu. He said “all options are on the table.”

Washington “will do what is necessary to prevent Iran from obtaining the world’s worst weapons.”
He endorsed a unilateral Israeli attack, saying:

“Each country has to make its own decisions when it comes to the awesome decision to engage in any kind of military action.”

“I would not expect (Israel’s) prime minister (to) make a decision and defer (it) to any another country any more than the United States would defer our decisions about what was important for our national security.”

Expect nothing positive from his visit. He’s reckless. He’s militantly hardline. He’s unbending. He defends the status quo, said Amira Hass.

If America’s first Black president can’t change things at home, “why should anyone expect him to do anything against the Jewish separation regime that has been created here between the river and the sea?”

Obama ignores reality at home and abroad. He’s silent as “Israel devours more Palestinian land, expels, destroys, arrests, obstructs, divides and appropriates.”

He blames Palestinians for Israeli crimes. They have no friend in Washington. World leaders pay them only lip service. They’re on their own to survive. Hopefully they’re up to the challenge.

About the Author: Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at He writes for and
He is also author of the celebrated books “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity” and “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War“.
Lendman also hosts his own blog at
He is host of a progressive radio show with cutting-edge discussions and distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Obama Killed Chavez

Chavez Accuses CIA of Backing Plot to Kill Him

By Stephen Lendman – Posted on 14 March 2013

Most likely he was either poisoned or infected with cancer causing substances. Four cancer surgeries in 18 months raise suspicions.
Chavez knew he was marked for death. He said so numerous times. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez believes Washington and Israel conspired to kill him.
He called it similar to how Israel murdered Yasser Arafat. Radioactive polonium poisoning killed him. Forensic evidence proved it.
On March 12, acting President Nicolas Marudo said a state commission will investigate his death. “(I)mportant scientists from different countries” will be involved.
Maduro believes forensic evidence will show Chavez was “injected by imperialist forces.”
He “was poisoned by dark forces in order to hit at the Venezuelan people and Latin America,” he stressed.
More information on his cancer will be explained later. It “didn’t correspond with any of the normal behaviors of the illness.”
“He received (lots) of death threats. Maybe they didn’t manage to it through a direct attempt” on his life.
“Everything seems to indicate that they managed to affect his health using the most advanced techniques.”
For decades, America experimented with cancer causing substances. Expert technologies exist. Assassination by bullet, bomb, slit throat, or plane crash reflects policy. Why not incurable diseases?
William Blum’s done some of the best research on America’s successful and failed political assassinations. On March 12, he headlined “I Personally Believe That Hugo Chavez Was Murdered By The United States.”
He thinks CIA operatives may have been involved. Post-WW II, they targeted over 50 foreign leaders for removal. Some died. Others lived.
Fidel Castro survived hundreds of assassination attempts. He knows better than anyone how Washington operates.
Chavez replaced him as its number one enemy. He spoke truth to power. He did so more forthrightly and eloquently than anyone.
He touched important nerves. He denounced US imperialism. He did so at home and abroad. He said what everyone needs to know. Washington menaces humanity. He said it loud and clear.
It’s “well known,” said Blum, “that during the Cold War, the CIA worked diligently to develop substances that could kill without leaving a trace.”
“I would like to see the Venezuelan government pursue every avenue of investigation in having an autopsy performed.”
Expert forensic pathologists will be involved. Maduro has that in mind. Chavez’s death wasn’t accidental. It reflects foul play. Hopefully clear evidence will prove it.
America had opportunity and motive. It does so globally. CIA rogues know how to kill. They’ve had decades of experience.
Investigative journalist Wayne Madsen said the Agency “pioneered” cancer-causing agent experiments. Focus was on infecting victims multiple ways. They include “injection, inhalation, (and) skin contact through contaminated clothing, especially underwear.”
Chavez’s aggressive cancer raises red flags. Possibly he was targeted through “contaminated food, drink, and even toothpaste.”
Extensive documentation of CIA use of cancer-causing agents exists. They’re used against figures Washington wants eliminated. At issue for Venezuela, says Madsen, is determining how Chavez was infected and by whom.
Bush administration officials pursued a secret biowarfare agenda. It rescinded and subverted the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).
It renounced the 1989 US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act. It prohibits developing, producing, and stockpiling bacteriological/biological/toxic weapons. It worked covertly on developing illegal bioweapons.
At least since the 1940s, America pursued active biological weapons development. It’s been largely secret and unreported. Experiments have been conducted on human subjects.
Toxic chemical, biological and other substances are used. Germ warfare is official US policy. Bacteria’s been covertly released in US cities. Pneumonia and other diseases followed.
Bush spent billions on bioweapons development. Obama continues what he began. Multiple federal agencies are involved. CIA operates covertly. Its agenda includes “scientific assassinations.”
Chemical, biological and radiation experiments involve human subjects. Secrecy persists.
Francis Boyle’s “Biowarfare and Terrorism” discusses America’s lawless biological weapons development, production and buildup. It’s potential endangers humanity.
It’s part of America’s war on terror. It reflects an extremist agenda. It’s about unchallenged power. It includes biological, chemical, nuclear and other toxins. They kill selectively or en masse.
Obama prioritizes killing. He does it daily in multiple theaters. He targets independent leaders for removal. Smart money says he killed Chavez. Believe it! Hopefully forensic evidence will prove it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Serial Killer Heads CIA


March 10th, 2013
by Stephen Lendman

Chalmers Johnson called the CIA the president’s private army. Imperial Rome had its praetorian guard. It served and protected emperors.

CIA rogues work the same way. They do lots more than that. Extrajudicial killing is prioritized. Much that goes on is secret. Unaccountability keeps Congress and ordinary people uninformed.

Johnson said US presidents have “untrammeled control of the CIA.” It’s “probably (their) single most extraordinary power.”

It puts them beyond checks and balances. What’s constitutionally mandated doesn’t exist.
CIA originally had five missions. Four dealt with collection, coordination and dissemination of intelligence.

The fifth is vague. It lets agency operatives “perform such other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security as the National Security Council may direct.”

This mandate turned “CIA into the personal, secret, unaccountable army of the president.” Doing so prioritizes lawless covert operations.

They include overthrowing democratically elected governments, assassinating heads of state and key officials, propping up friendly despots, snatching individuals for “extraordinary rendition,” treating them harshly in torture prisons, and using drones as instruments of state terror.

CIA is more active than ever, said Johnson. It’s mostly a global Mafia hit squad. It’s incompatible with democracy.

Its “bag of dirty tricks (reflects) a defining characteristic of the imperial presidency.”

Its “unchecked power” threatens freedom. Its existence “shorten(s) the life of the American republic.” It “menace(s) democratic rule.”

On March 8, rogue senators approved John Brennan. They did so 63 – 34. He’s new CIA chief. Voting followed Rand Paul’s filibuster. After 13 hours, he caved.

He omitted explaining what’s most important. He refused to condemn drone killing. He ignored Brennan’s previous and current role. He focused solely on killing Americans. He stressed doing it domestically.

He took issue with Attorney General Eric Holder. He wrote Paul. He said it’s OK to kill Americans domestically under “extraordinary” circumstances.

A brief follow-up letter assuaged Paul, saying:

“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’ “

“The answer to that question is no.”

He lied. So did Press Secretary Jay Carney. He said Obama “has not and would not use drone strikes against American citizens on American soil.”

Targeted assassinations reflect official US policy. They’re longstanding. They occur worldwide. No one’s safe anywhere. Heads of state are vulnerable. So are US citizens.

A bathroom break ended Paul’s filibuster. Serial killer Brennan now heads CIA. He’s Obama’s maestro of murder. His mandate is kill, kill, kill. Expect him to take full advantage. No one’s safe anywhere.

In January, the New York Daily News headlined “Pull back the curtain on drones,” saying:
“Brennan, more than any other single official, represents” Washington’s lethal drone policy.

“No politically appointed official in US history has played such a prominent role in killing so many people outside of a war zone as John Brennan.”

He was heavily involved in Bush/Cheney’s torture policy. A classified Senate Intelligence Committee report includes lawless interrogation practices.

Committee chairwoman Diane Feinstein (D. CA) called it “one of the most significant oversight efforts in the history of the United States Senate, and by far the most important oversight activity ever conducted by this committee.”

“The report uncovers startling details about the CIA detention and interrogation program and raises critical questions about intelligence operations and oversight.”

“I?.believe this report will settle the debate once and for all over whether our nation should ever employ coercive interrogation techniques such as those detailed in this report.”

She added that creating “longterm, clandestine ‘black sites’ and (using) ‘enhanced-interrogation techniques’ were terrible mistakes.”

Neither she nor other congressional members do anything to stop them. They continue aggressively under Obama. Feinstein knows but won’t say.

Straightaway in office, Obama planned to name Brennan CIA head. At the time, The New York Times called it “politically difficult” to do so.

He chose Leon Panetta and David Petraeus instead. Michael Morell twice served as acting head. On March 8, Brennan took office.

Most Democrats support him. So do some Republicans. Congressional profiles in courage are few and far between. They’re practically non-existent.

Obama said “the the Senate has recognized in John the qualities I value so much – his determination to keep America safe, his commitment to working with Congress, his ability to build relationships with foreign partners, and his fidelity to the values that define us as a nation.”

He added that CIA’s now headed by one of its own. Under Brennan, Murder, Inc. elevates to a higher level. He reflects ideological extremism. He’s comfortable committing state terror.

Appointing him sanitizes crimes of war and against humanity. They’re too grave to ignore. Committing them is official US policy.

Expect drone wars to continue. They’ll expand worldwide. So will targeted assassinations.
Rule of law principles don’t matter. Imperial priorities take precedence. Counterterrorism takes no prisoners.

State-sponsored terror’s in good hands with John Brennan. Obama authorized him to kill.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity

Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

Chavez: Visionary Leader Extraordinaire


by Stephen Lendman

He and Castro matter most. They don’t come any better. They transformed their countries responsibly. Doing so made the impossible possible. They did it against long odds. They won over hearts and minds.

Castro did it his way. Chavez chose a Venezuelan model. He envisioned socialism for the 21st century. He wanted it based on “solidarity, fraternity, love, justice, liberty and equality.”
He wanted it built bottom up. He deplored top down. Popular protagonism over bureaucracy was policy.
He abhorred neoliberal harshness. He called it incompatible with democracy. He wanted another way. His legacy reflects his accomplishments.
Eva Golinger knew Chavez. She called him a “grandiose visionary” “dream maker.”
Venezuelans loved him. So did millions worldwide. They did so for good reason. He cared. He made a difference. His achievements are remarkable. They can’t be ignored.
He was honest, said Golinger. His roots were humble. He grew up in a mud hut. He sold candies on streets. He did so to earn money for his family.
He “dreamed of building a strong, sovereign nation, independent of foreign influence….He dreamed of improving the lives of his people….”
He wanted poverty eradicated. He wanted a better life for Venezuelans. He called it el buenvivir (the good life).
He made dreams come true. He achieved remarkable changes. They’re more than just numbers. He transformed one of Latin America’s most unequal countries into its most equitable. At the same time, he achieved impressive economic growth.
He did so in 14 years. He spoke truth to power. He did it because it matters.
He cared about Venezuela’s most disadvantaged. He lifted them from poverty. He provided education, healthcare, affordable food, housing, and hope.
“He recognized the rights of the disabled, of indigenous peoples, all genders and sexualities. He broke down barriers of racism and classism and declared himself a socialist feminist.”
“He not only made his own dreams come true, but he inspired us all to achieve our fullest potential.”
“I am just a soldier,” he said. America wanted him dead. Bush failed several times to remove him. Obama likely killed him.
Toppling foreign leaders by coups or assassinations is longstanding US policy. William Blum’s done some of the best research. His books include “Rogue State.” They’re must reading.
He documented dozens of successful and failed post-WW II US interventions. They include: 
  • toppling Iran’s Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953; it was the CIA’s first successful coup after an initial failure;
  • ousting Guatemala’s Jacobo Arbenz in 1954;
  • failing to kill China’s Chou En-Lai in 1955; 
  • failing hundreds times to kill Fidel Castro; 
  • failing to kill France’s Charles de Gaulle;  
  • plotting Gaddafi’s assassination for decades;  
  • killing him in 2011; and
  • very likely killing Chavez.
Obama wanted him dead.
Extrajudicial killings are indefensible. They’re morally abhorrent. They’re illegal under international and US laws.
Article 23b of the 1907 Hague Regulations prohibits “assassination, proscription, or outlawry of an enemy, or putting a price upon an enemy’s head, as well as offering a reward for any enemy ‘dead or alive.’ “
In 1980, the Sixth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders condemned “the practice of killing and executing political opponents or suspected offenders carried out by armed forces, law enforcement or other governmental agencies or by paramilitary or political groups.”
On December 15, 1980, the General Assembly adopted resolution 35/172.
It urged “member states to abide by the provisions of Articles 6, 14 and 15 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights.”
They address right to life issues. They include safeguards guaranteeing fair and impartial judicial proceedings.
The first provision of the 1989 UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions states:
“Governments shall prohibit by law all extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions and shall ensure that any such executions are recognized as offenses under their criminal laws, and are punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account the seriousness of such offenses.”
“Exceptional circumstances, including a state of war or threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may not be invoked as a justification of such executions.”
They “shall not be carried out under any circumstances including, but not limited to, situations of internal armed conflict, excessive or illegal use of force by a public official or other person acting in an official capacity or by a person acting at the instigation, or with the consent or acquiescence of such person, and situations in which deaths occur in custody.”
“This prohibition shall prevail over decrees issued by governmental authority.”
The International Criminal Court’s Rome Statute prohibits extrajudicial killings.
In 1976, Gerald Ford’s Executive Order (EO) 11905 said:
“No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.”
In 1981, Ronald Reagan’s EO 12333 said:
“No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.”
Post-9/11, Bush reinstituted them. Targeted assassinations again became official policy. US presidents lawlessly kill. They have diktat authority to do so. They take full advantage.
Assassinating foreign leaders and others is official US policy. Obama’s kill list reflects it. Anyone can be targeted for any reason or none at all. Independent head of state are especially vulnerable.
Obama takes full advantage. He murdered Gaddafi. He likely killed Chavez.
On March 6, RIA Novosti headlined “Chavez Death Could be US Plot – Russian Communist Leader,” saying:
Russia’s Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov believes Washington may have killed Chavez. Suspicious cancers affected half a dozen Latin American leaders.
“How did it happen that six leaders of Latin American countries which had criticized US policies and tried to create an influential alliance in order to be independent and sovereign states, fell ill simultaneously with the same disease,” asked Zyuganov?
“In my view, this was far from a coincidence.” He urged an internationally controlled investigation.
Interim Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is suspicious. He suspects an “imperialist” plot. “The old enemies of our fatherland looked for way to harm (Chavez’s) health,” he said.
Washington wanted Chavez dead. Kurt Nimmo addressed the issue. Previous attempts failed.
Blum asked: “How do we know that the CIA was behind the” failed April two-day coup?
“Same way we know that the sun will rise tomorrow morning.”
CIA assassins never rest. Chavez knew he was marked for death. He believed it. He said so numerous times.
Michel Chossudovsky asked if he was “the object of a targeted assassination by the Obama administration?”
“In this context, the CIA would receive orders to assassinate foreign leaders directly from the US President.”
“There are secret lists of names as confirmed by US government sources.”
“The orders carried out by the CIA to kill a foreign leader emanate from the US president.”
Civil rights groups want answers. An FOIA request was filed.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, ANSWER Coalition, and Liberation Newspaper want records and documents that “relate to or reference or discuss any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate” Chavez.
They seek “(a)ll records and documents, including but not limited to, emails, letters, cables or other communications, memoranda, notes, minutes, photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, digital recordings, intelligence assessments, communications, records or other data that relate to or reference or discuss any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, who has just died.”
“This request in made in light of the US government’s acknowledged history of knowledge and possession of information regarding, and/or participation in, attempts to assassinate foreign leaders.”
People have an “urgent and compelling” right to know. At best, heavily redacted documents will follow.
Regardless of what’s gotten, what known suggests direct US involvement. Bush and Obama want Chavez ousted. They wanted him dead.
He’s gone but not forgotten. His legacy lives. Friday state funeral ceremonies were held. Dozens of high-level international delegations attended.
Around 33 heads of state were present. In alphabetical order they include:
  • Antigua and Barbuda: Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer 
  • Aruba: Prime Minister Michiel Godfried Eman 
  • Belarus: President Alexander Lukashenko 
  • Bolivia: President Evo Morales 
  • Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff 
  • Chile: President Sebastian Pinera 
  • Colombia: Juan Manuel Santos 
  • Cuba: Raul Castro 
  • Curacao: Prime Minister Daniel Hodge 
  • Dominica: Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit 
  • Dominican Republic: President Danilo Medina 
  • Ecuador: President Rafael Correa 
  • El Salvador: President Mauricio Funes 
  • Guyana: President Donald Ramotar 
  • Haiti: President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe 
  • Honduras: President Porfirio Lobo 
  • Iran: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad 
  • Jamaica: Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller 
  • Mexico: President Enrique Pena Nieto 
  • Nicaragua: President Daniel Ortega 
  • Panama: President Ricardo Martinelli 
  • Peru: President Ollanta Humala 
  • St. Kitts and Nevis: Prime Minister Denzil Douglas 
  • St. Lucia: Prime Minister Kenny Anthony 
  • St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves 
  • Suriname: President Desi Bouterse 
  • Trinidad and Tobago: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar 
  • Uruguay: President Jose Mujica 
  • Argentina President Christina Fernandez was one of the first high-profile mourners to arrive. On Thursday, she flew home to Buenos Aires.
Spurious reports suggested Chavez’s last words were “I don’t want to die. Please don’t let me die.”
US media headlined it. So did Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman. Presidential guard General Jose Ornella was quoted.
Allegedly he said Chavez “couldn’t speak but he said it with his lips.”
Reuters reported otherwise. It said “Chavez slipped into a coma on Monday before dying the following day of respiratory failure.” An unnamed source said cancer spread to his lungs.
Venezuelans mourn. Chavez lay in state. Over two million filed past him. Many weep. Some salute. Others cross themselves. Their love and admiration are palpable.
Raul Castro said Chavez “left undefeated.” He was elected overwhelmingly four times.
“He was invincible. He left victorious, and no one can take that away. It is fixed in history.”
He represented a threat of a good example. He was the rarest of rare leaders. He was a people’s president. He broke the chains that bind.
Latin America no longer is America’s backyard. Venezuelans won’t ever go back. Believe it. Bolivariarism is institutionalized. It’s part of the national culture. It’s here to stay.
My PhotoStephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!