Permalink 'West attempts to convert Syria into client state' - Video & Text

A prominent writer commenting on the Syria crisis tells Press TV that Washington has a longstanding plan to replace sovereign states with client states that serve its interests. Press TV has talked to Stephen Lendman, writer and radio host from Chicago to further discuss the issue.

Press TV: Mr. Lendman, first of all tell us about Annan’s initiative. How much of an impact could it have on efforts to end the unrest in Syria?

Lendman: Well, it will have no effects whatsoever. In fact it was not intended to have an effect. When I heard Annan was appointed the envoy to settle this crisis, I just blanched, because I knew his record as UN Secretary General for a decade, he did nothing whatsoever to end Washington’s imperial rampaging for an entire decade. He was not appointed to establish peace and stability, he was appointed to do exactly the opposite. His plan really is not a peace plan at all, it sounds like a peace plan, but he puts the onus on Assad. Assad is a victim, he is not the perpetrator of the violence and listen to his language all the time, he is pressuring Assad to stop the violence. Assad is responding to the violence, the insurgent violence, the violence is armed, funded, trained by Washington, by Britain, by France, by Saudi Arabia, by Qatar, by Turkey. Turkey being the home of a lot of the insurgents that literally just crossed the border and then when Syria confronts them, Syria gets blamed for defending itself. Same thing that happens in Palestine; defend yourself, you are called a terrorist. Defend yourself against insurgents in Syria and you are called an aggressor. In other words, everything is upside down or backwards or turned on its head. Nothing will be accomplished. I do not know what Annan hopes to accomplish in Tehran. Tehran does not support Washington’s imperial project neither do I.

Permalink China sends 3rd ship in standoff with Philippines

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — China deployed a third ship Thursday in an area of the disputed South China Sea where a tense standoff with Philippine vessels has dragged on, sparking alarm in Manila. - Chinese and Filipino diplomats have been scrambling to resolve the dangerous impasse at the Scarborough Shoal off the northwestern Philippines that erupted Tuesday. A Philippine warship attempted to arrest several Chinese fishermen accused of illegal entry and poaching, but was prevented by the arrival of two Chinese surveillance ships. One of the Chinese ships blocked the entrance to a lagoon at the shoal, where at least eight Chinese fishing vessels were anchored. The Chinese ships also ordered the Philippine warship to leave Scarborough, claiming Chinese sovereignty over the rich fishing ground. But the warship has stayed put, arguing it is Philippine territory.

Chicago Tribune: China, Philippines both send ships as dispute simmers
Indian Express: China asks Philippines to remove ships from disputed island

Permalink David Cameron urges Russia and China to 'tighten the noose' around Syria

David Cameron has urged Russia and China today to join the world in "tightening the noose" around the Syrian regime as a UN-backed ceasefire appeared to be holding on Thursday morning. - The Prime Minister said Bashar al-Assad's "deliberate flouting" of the latest peace plan showed that further action was needed. Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan has secured commitments from Damascus to pull its troops out of cities and halt all violence.

PressTV: China, Russia welcome Syria ceasefire, Annan peace plan
PressTV: Syrian people urge Army not to withdraw under Annan deal
Stephen Lendman: George Soros Targets Syria
Bill Van Auken: US, NATO powers intensify threats against Syria

Permalink CIA and FBI win blackout on rendition claims

Intelligence services in the US have won a legal ruling to allow them to withhold evidence about suspected British involvement in the arrest and torture of terror suspects from MPs in the UK, it was reported. - A judge in Washington DC has allowed the CIA, FBI and National Security Agency to use a loophole to keep information from MPs that might include information about the complicity of UK authorities in extraordinary rendition. Under US freedom of information laws, the release of documents to anyone representing a foreign government can be blocked. According to the Independent, the CIA won the ruling after the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Extraordinary Rendition made a number of requests for information while members investigated the UK's knowledge of torture against terror suspects. Tony Lloyd, vice-chairman of the cross-party group, told the newspaper the judgment was "disappointing" and had been sought to avoid embarrassment.

Permalink Israeli troops blockade Palestinian town near Jerusalem

Beginning Sunday evening and continuing through Wednesday, Israeli soldiers set up a blockade around the town of Al-Ram, east of Jerusalem, preventing vehicles from entering or leaving the town. According to the Israeli military spokesperson, the town of 60,000 people is being collectively punished due to a recent increase in stone throwing by area youth. The blockade has prevented teachers and students from getting to school, workers from getting to their workplace, and patients from getting to the hospital via ambulance.

Permalink Deir Yassin Remembered

Early in the morning of April 9, 1948, commandos of the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir Yassin, a village with about 750 Palestinian residents. The village lay outside of the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish State; it had a peaceful reputation. But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Deir Yassin was slated for occupation under Plan Dalet and the mainstream Jewish defense force, the Haganah, authorized the irregular terrorist forces of the Irgun and the Stern Gang to perform the takeover. In all over 100 men, women, and children were systematically murdered. Fifty-three orphaned children were literally dumped along the wall of the Old City, where they were found by Miss Hind Husseini and brought behind the American Colony Hotel to her home, which was to become the Dar El-Tifl El-Arabi orphanage.

Permalink Israel must understand it cannot be like America

This must be said: For the sake of hegemony, Israel is mortgaging the well-being of its children and the lives of its grandchildren, together with the well-being and lives of children and grandchildren throughout the region. - The real question is not whether the solution is "two states" or "one state." History in any case does not recognize end points - every stage leads to another. Visions are also not lacking. The visions must develop and change during the struggle for equality and justice, otherwise they will become gulags. The question was, and is, how much more bloodshed, suffering and disasters will be needed until the Jewish regime of discrimination and separation, which we have created here over the past 64 years, crumbles.

Philip Weiss: Amira Hass explains why Israel’s U.S. model of ethnic cleansing failed, and why ‘Jewish regime’ will ‘crumble’

Gilad Atzmon: The Devil Sings Again - Israel National News published today a poem by Itamar Yaoz-Kest, a Holocaust survivor. The poem is presented as “letter-poem in reply to German Günter Grass’ attack.” The poem is a clear reminder of horrific danger that is embedded within Jewish identity politics and contemporary Jewish nationalism. It is a glimpse into unique psychotic genocidal sense of retribution. [...] The message for the rest of us is clear- Israel is the biggest threat to world peace. Time is overdue to discharge the Jewish State of its destructive power.

Permalink Romney defines hawkish yet murky foreign policy

As he locks down the Republican nomination for U.S. president, Mitt Romney is framing what looks to be a decidedly hawkish foreign policy. - But should the former Massachusetts governor defeat Democratic President Barack Obama in November, it remains far from clear how he actually would tackle what his own website describes as a "bewildering array of threats and opportunities." More clear is the strategy that Romney plans to use to try to diminish Obama's record on foreign policy. Obama, whose own foreign policy inexperience was widely viewed as a weakness four years ago, now generally gets high marks in polls on the topic - particularly since the [unproven] killing of Osama bin Laden last year.

Deseret News: As race shifts, Biden gets task of scuffing Romney

Patrick Martin: Santorum withdrawal cedes Republican nomination to Romney - Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum announced Tuesday he was suspending his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, effectively ceding the party’s nomination to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the wealthiest of the candidates seeking the nomination and the one with the most backing from Wall Street and the party establishment. [...] The main function of the Santorum campaign was to consolidate the Christian fundamentalist wing of the Republicans behind a single candidate and push the Republican Party and its eventual nominee even further to the right. He is expected to demand significant influence on the Republican platform and a major speaking role at the Republican National Convention in Tampa four months from now as the price of his eventual support for Romney as the nominee.

Permalink Tsunami alerts pass Indonesia quake test, with luck

It was nothing like December 2004. Sirens wailed, warnings blared and police moved people away from coastlines around the Indian Ocean as a powerful earthquake off northern Indonesia sparked fears of another devastating tsunami. - Damage was light and big waves never came in the wake of Wednesday's quake, not like nearly eight years ago when walls of water roared across the Indian Ocean and ploughed into coastal communities in 13 countries without warning.

Permalink Murder charge brought in Trayvon Martin case

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Amid furious public pressure to make an arrest in the killing of Trayvon Martin, the special prosecutor on the case went for the maximum Wednesday, bringing a second-degree murder charge against the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot the unarmed black teenager. - George Zimmerman, 28, was jailed in Sanford -- the site of the shooting Feb. 26 that set off a nationwide debate over racial profiling and self-defense -- on a charge that carries a minimum of 25 years in prison and a maximum sentence that could put him in prison for life. In announcing the arrest, prosecutor Angela Corey would not discuss how she reconciled the conflicting accounts of what happened or explain how she arrived at the charges, saying too much information had been made public already. But she made it clear she was not influenced by the uproar over the past six weeks.

WSWS: Prosecutor files charges in killing of Trayvon Martin

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