Middle East in Turmoil

Stephen Lendman

Again my great thanks to the many friends, colleagues and readers welcoming me back, sending me get well wishes from around the world. It means so much to me. I thanked everyone and will ahead. Support messages mean so much emotionally and physically. I continue my recovery as an outpatient. It's my top priority. I hope to write and do media work as able. It's what I love best. - Stephen Lendman

It was agonizing being silenced during the worst of Israel's genocidal slaughter of non-combatant men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm. The mass destruction of their neighborhoods, homes, property, vital infrastructure, loved ones and everything they hold dear. The cruel, calculated, premeditated state-sponsored aggression by one of the world's most powerful, ruthless military killing machines against near defenseless people is indefensible. The murder of nonviolent West Bank protesters compounded the outrage.

Israel is a rogue terror state. It thrives on violence and instability. It aims to be the sole regional power. It's the only country without fixed borders. It wants them expanded. It wants regional lines redrawn. It wants current Middle East states balkanized. It wants added territory at the expense of other nations. It's mindless of international law, norms and standards. US tax dollars support its lawless agenda.

The sham ceasefire and go nowhere peace talks were dead on arrival. Longterm all talk, no give, is official Israeli policy. Israel's only enemies are ones it invents. The same is true for America.

Gazans want long denied justice. They won't tolerate more of the same. Nor should they. All Palestinians want the same thing - lifting the lawless siege Israel by its own admission says is political, not security related. Palestinians are systematically denied. They want Gaza's siege lifted. They want occupation ended. They deserve real, universally recognized self-determination. The right of return. Jerusalem as Palestine's exclusive capital. The release of thousands of political prisoners. The end of future mass arrests, torture, imprisonment, and land theft.

It bears repeating. Palestinians want what everyone deserves - peace, equity and justice. They want what Israel categorically refuses to give. Countless others may be injured. Some seriously. Others maimed for life. Israel remains unaccountable for unspeakable crimes of war, against humanity and slow-motion genocide.

It bears repeating. Cairo talks were dead on arrival. Resumed war may result. Hundreds more Palestinians my die. Maybe thousands. Cairo talks went nowhere as expected. Israel yields nothing. America and Western allies one-sidedly support its killing machine.

Hamas and other Palestinian groups in Cairo are not terrorist organizations. Hamas was democratically elected Palestine's government in January 2006. It and similar groups are legitimate resistance organizations. They're afforded the right of self-defense against Israeli premeditated aggression under international law.

Israel bears full responsibility for all violent outbreaks. Hamas and others are wrongfully blamed. They justifiably respond when attacked. The disturbing pattern repeats ad nauseam.

Israel willfully attacked UN refuge centers. It outrageously suggested Hamas responsibility. Civilians were deliberately targeted and murdered in cold blood.

Israel's terror war against non-combatants is called Dahiya or the Dahiya Doctrine. It's named after a Beirut suburb IDF forces attacked and destroyed in the 2006 Lebanon war. IDF Northern Commander Gabi Eisenkot explained, saying: "What happened in the Dahiya quarter of Beirut in 2006 will happen in every village from which Israel is fired on. We will apply disproportionate force at the heart of the enemy's weak spot (civilians) and cause great damage and destruction. From our standpoint, these are not civilian villages (towns or cities), they are military bases."

Israel prioritizes damaging or destroying power and other vital infrastructure, assets, economic interests, and centers of civilian power and influence. Doing so requires longterm reconstruction. It's hard to accomplish in Gaza because of the siege.

International law protects civilians, their property and non-military targets. Collective punishment is strictly prohibited. Israel ignores all international laws with impunity. It repeatedly commits mass murder and destruction unaccountably. The world community able to act does nothing. Washington generously funds Israel's killing machine. Both countries are partners in unspeakable crimes. Afghans, Palestinians, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Lebanese and others throughout the region suffer from crimes America, Israel and their rogue allies commit.

After Israel refused to agree to fundamental Palestinian demands in Gaza, the sham ceasefire ended for now. Bombing and shelling resumed. Where things end, who knows.

Israel's so-called Operation Protective Edge reflects premeditated mass murder and destruction. Civilians are willfully targeted. Hamas uses no human shields. Gaza is small and densely populated. Not one square inch of space is free from Israeli targeting. Every IDF attack is planned. They're deliberate. None are accidental. Israel has precision weapons. They can accurately strike chosen targets.

Gazans are trapped in the world's largest open air prison. They're stuck. They can't leave. There's no place to seek safety. Israeli mass murder is like shooting fish in a barrel. IDF forces take full advantage.

It bears close watching where things go from here. Given longstanding history, things ahead look grim. Injustice remains. Death, destruction and human misery haunts millions of Palestinians.

The PA speaks piously. It does precious little to help its own people. Abbas and other longtime Israeli collaborators are traitors. They're Israeli enforcers. Abbas sided with Israel against Hamas in Operation Cast Lead. It's hard believing his pro-Israeli policy changed now. He's not gone public condemning Israeli crimes in the strongest possible way. His attitude reflects continued siding with the enemy against his own people.

Israel's current Operation Protective Edge is Cast Lead on steroids. It could continue much longer. Generous US tax dollars fund it. More money, weapons and political support come on request.

Trapped Palestinians remain on their own. They're struggling to survive against one of the world's most ruthless, lawless regimes. It's the most one-sided mismatch anywhere. America, Western allies, Saudi Arabia and most other Gulf states support Israel.

So do Jordan and other regional Arab states. Palestinians are treated like Hitler's Untermenschen - nonpersons, yesterday's garbage and much worse. Israel treats Palestinians the way Nazis treated Jews. Nothing in prospect look encouraging. Long denied justice remains light years away.

♣ ♣ ♣

The other vital remaining regional issue is Obama's lawlessly authorizing resumed US war on Iraq. Air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) elements began. At the same time, ISIS is an Al Qaeda offshoot. Washington uses it strategically as both enemy and ally.

It's longstanding US policy unreported by Western media scoundrels. On the one hand, Washington supports ISIS and likeminded groups. On the other, it declares them enemies and attacks.
It's unknown if air strikes approach shock-and-awe intensity or will ahead. Or if US troops will be involved on the ground.
It's unclear what, how many, and locations of targets.
It's uncertain how long the campaign will last. The objective is Iraqi oil and overall control. It has nothing to do with humanitarian intervention.

Post-9/11, America murdered many millions of Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, and conspired with Israel against Palestinians. Proxy wars rage in Somalia, Yemen and elsewhere. America's killing machine operates globally. It's lawless and ruthless. Western media scoundrels afford it unconditional support. Unspeakable war crimes are sanitized, ignored and cheerled. Truth and full disclosure are systematically buried.

International law is clear and unequivocal. No nation may attack another except in self defense until the Security Council acts. It alone has final say. It failed to authorize America's post 9/11 wars. Failure means lawless aggression against non-threatening nations in all cases. Bush and Obama are war criminals multiple times over. Attacking Iraq again is the latest example. It's entirely unjustified and illegal.

It doesn't matter. Laws are for other nations. Not for America or Israel. Both countries consider themselves above international norms and standards. Both get away with mass murder and destruction. Both remain unaccountable. Both plan lots more death, destruction as well as unspeakable human misery against defenseless populations.

Permanent wars without end persist. Media scoundrels feature all pro-Western/pro Israeli propaganda all the time. Viewers and readers are systematically lied to daily. Outrageous human suffering is considered just cause. Justice is upside down. US tax dollars fund unspeakable crimes. At the same time, vital homeland needs go begging.

The Middle East threatens to boil over again. Gaza did, paused briefly, and threatens more of the same with no end of conflict in sight. Resumed air war on Iraq may expand to something greater. It bears close watching to see what follows initial attacks. Libya remains on the boil. Its a cauldron of violence thanks to 2011 US-led NATO naked aggression against a nonbelligerent leader and government supported by the great majority of their people. The same holds in Syria. Assad was democratically reelected with a near 89% majority. Syrians want no one else leading them. Washington's war of aggression continues. Syria was invaded by US enlisted extremist elements. Obama bears full responsibility. Syria's war without end continues. Millions were displaced. Many tens of thousands died. Many others were injured. Civilians most of all are affected. No end sight looms.

The prospect of resumed war in Palestine, continued West Bank persecution, land theft and more, as well as Obama unleashing America's war machine in Iraq bodes ill for the region and world peace.

Dire Ukrainian conditions persist. US-led NATO lawlessly installed an illegitimate fascist government. Freedom fighting Southeastern Ukrainians reject tyranny. They want real democracy. They're willing to sacrifice life and limb for it. They define the essence of courage and commitment. They deserve universal support, not condemnation. Instead they're wrongfully vilified. Billionaire anointed president Petro Poroshenko awarded US-led NATO Ukraine's highest award for foreigners - the Order of Freedom. It's a notion of fairness and lawfulness America categorically opposes. It thrives on violence, lawlessness and permanent wars. The notions of stability and peace are repugnant. World turmoil persists. Much is Middle East Centered.

US and Israeli wars against humanity compound a continuing deplorable situation. No end in sight looms. Continued death and destruction persist. The short and longer term outlooks appear grim. Expect continued turmoil throughout the region with no end in sight. Expect unspeakable human suffering no populations should have to endure.

Blame Washington and Israel. They're partners in crime. They bear full responsibility for the worst high crimes against peace. The US and Israeli killing machines continue rampaging unchallenged. Justice remains denied. Innocent civilians suffer most.

It bears repeating. Israel considers them legitimate targets. So does Washington. Unspeakable crimes persist without end.

While ill, offline and physically impaired, I was unable to comment on these and other vital issues. It was painful to be sidelined when I wanted my voice heard - no punches pulled. Now it can be again if not as intensively as pre-illness for until I regain my full health and vigor. Writing and media work will come as able. Every effort will be made to tell readers, listeners, and viewers what's essential to know - the truth, all of it, free from media scoundrel propaganda. - SL


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He has devoted his time and efforts to progressive causes and organizations, all involved in working for a more humane and just world for all people everywhere, but especially for the most needy, disadvantaged and oppressed. His efforts since summer 2005 have included writing on a broad range of vital topics ranging from war and peace; social, economic and political equity for all; and justice for all the oppressed peoples of the world like the long-suffering people of Haiti and the Palestinians. He also co-hosts The Global Research News Hour, gives occasional public talks, and appears frequently on radio and at times television. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. Also visit his blog and listen to The Lendman News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening. His new book "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War" can be ordered here. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Image: Dees Illustration. URL: http://www.a-w-i-p.com/index.php/2014/08/09/middle-east-in-turmoil


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