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Beating Up on Russia, Syria and Iran

Beating Up on Russia, Syria and Iran


by Stephen Lendman


Russia is slandered for doing the right thing. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland calls Putin’s government “morally bankrupt.”


Moscow’s gone all out to prevent proxy war on Syria exploding into full-scale conflict. Putin/Medvedev know the potentially catastrophic consequences. Washington vilifies efforts against its global imperial ravaging. Humanity everywhere is targeted.


In September, Moscow was again attacked. At issue was expelling USAID. It’s an imperial tool. A Foreign Ministry statement said:


“The decision was taken mainly because the work of the agency’s officials far from always responded to the stated goals of development and humanitarian cooperation. We are talking about attempts to influence political processes through its grants.”


Indeed so. USAID, NED, NDI, ISI, and other US agencies meddle subversively in the internal affairs of other countries. One way is by interfering in foreign elections. Russia’s 2011 State Duma elections were targeted. So was its 2012 presidential one.


Anti-Putin/majority party United Russia protests were organized. Pro-Western self-styled electoral watchdog Golos got USAID and other State Department funding. Its mission is subversion, not impartiality and democracy promotion.


Russia and other targeted countries have every right to object. Expelling USAID was long overdue. Victoria Nuland said what you’d expect. She lied because she’s paid to do so.


“We completely reject the notion that our support for civil society, democracy, human rights in any way interferes with elections,” she claimed.


“We make no secret of the fact that when we are supporting free, transparent elections that’s what we want to see.”


“This is not about how you win. This is about how you manage campaigns, about how you work with civil society.”


Fact check


Washington abhors democracy at home or abroad. Far and away, America is the world’s leading human rights abuser. Interfering in the internal affairs of other countries is longstanding policy.


So are efforts to replace independent governments with pro-Western ones. Wars against humanity are waged to further America’s imperium. Russia and China have other interests. They include halting Washington’s quest for global dominance at their expense.


US media scoundrels vilify Putin. They’re relentless. They grab every chance. On October 17, a New York Times editorial headlined “Mr. Putin’s Gift to Terrorists.”


At issue is the so-called 1992 Nunn/Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. It’s based on a Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DRRA) initiative. Its to “secure and dismantle weapons of mass destruction and their associated infrastructure in former Soviet Union states.”


In May 2009, Russia opened a facility to decommission chemical weapons. Earlier in 2012, efforts ended. On October 10, CTR ones did entirely. Itar Tass explained, saying:


“Russia intends to dispose the nuclear arsenals by its own forces. Russia explains this decision by the fact that the country does not need any allocations any longer, but needs to curb the leaking of the classified information.”


Nunn/Lugar “is discriminatory for Russia and does not take into account….changes, which took place since its signing in the hard 90s for our country.”


Moscow doesn’t oppose Russia/Washington cooperation. At issue is updating and negotiating fair terms. Nunn/Lugar ends in May 2013. US deals are heavily skewed one-way. A Foreign Ministry statement said new arrangements should be “based on the principles of equal rights and mutual respect.”


Not good enough, claims the NYT. “There will be plenty of losers from Russia’s recent decision to end two decades of cooperation with Washington on cleaning up nuclear and chemical weapons sites left over from the cold war.”


“….the world must watch as Russia’s unsecured weapons and materials remain a temptation for terrorists of all varieties to buy or steal for use in future attacks.”


Ending Nunn/Lugar “is perverse and reckless,” claimed The Times. (It’s) all too typical of President Putin’s sour, xenophobic and self-isolating worldview.”


It followed “expell(ing)” USAID. It “sponsor(s) human rights, civil society and public health programs….” Perhaps they were “too successful,” said The Times….”too threatening to Mr. Putin.”


“Paranoia and xenophobia in the Kremlin predates communism and has now outlasted it by more than two decades.”


Times readers are systematically lied to. Truth and full disclosure are verboten. All propaganda all the time best describes its editorial policy. So is beating up on US enemies, adversaries, and challengers.


Washington denies Russia the respect it deserves. So do media scoundrels. Putin is vilified for speaking truth to power. Times editors support destructive imperial policies.


They embarrass themselves with attack pieces like this one. To borrow an old Mike Royko phrase, no respectable fish would want to be wrapped in the paper it’s printed on.


On October 17, Mossad-connected DEBKAfile (DF) had its say. It bashed Russia for supporting Syria. At issue now is deploying advanced S-400 interceptor missiles near Turkey.


It quoted Moscow military spokesman Col. Igor Gorbul saying they’re “targeting Turkey” against its involvement in Washington’s missile shield.


He said S-400s can destroy all type aircraft, as well as ultra-stratospheric and ballistic missiles. DF added that “Moscow is relaying a double warning to Ankara on two additional scores:”


(1) “(A)ny more interceptions of Syria-bound aircraft coming from Russia….would bring forth a Russian response;” and


(2) Moscow won’t “tolerate aerial intrusion in the Syrian conflict by Turkey or any other NATO member.” At issue is imposing no-fly zone intervention. Perhaps Russia is also concerned about lawless safe havens in Syrian territory if established.


Hopefully DF is right. Preventing full-scale war on Syria requires drawing red lines to be challenged if crossed. Washington prefers soft targets.


Tougher adversaries give Pentagon planners pause. Ones able give as much as they take may halt further war entirely. It’s time to act and find out. Prioritizing Syria makes sense.


Since March 2011, Washington-led efforts ravaged the country relentlessly. Signs suggest imminent full-scale intervention. Perhaps it’s coming after US November elections. They’re less than three weeks away.


Turkish troops are mobilized on Syria’s northern border. US and UK special forces are in Jordan on its southern border. Congressman Dennis Kucinich thinks they’re up to no good.


“Without notifying Congress,” he said, Washington is “immeasurably” closer to full-scale involvement. He told US News:


“I can see in a moment how it happens: we’re a few dozen miles from the Syrian border and all of a sudden we are within the reach of physical danger. All it takes is a single incident.”


“Putting U.S. troops on that border draws the U.S. much closer to war in Syria, which is a nightmare already and can be more of a nightmare for our country.”


“There’s a trail of causality here….Once you position U.S troops on the border of a conflict area, it immeasurably increases the possibility of the US getting drawn into the conflict - because we’re there.”


Provocations are easy to instigate. False flags are often used. When Washington wants war, reasons are simple to manufacture as justification. Plans likely await the moment to strike. It could happen any time.


False accusations target Assad repeatedly. The latest involves use of cluster bombs Syria’s military doesn’t have. Claims are they’re Russian made. Moscow denies supplying any.


Human Rights Watch, BBC, and other scoundrel media falsified reports. Perhaps fake videos were used. It wouldn’t be the first time.


Destructive weapons, of course, can turn up anywhere. At issue is who’s using them or responsible for planting so-called evidence of their use. Western-recruited mercenaries can be armed any way Washington wishes.


Dirty tactics are a US specialty. So is use of illegal weapons. Depleted uranium ones irradiates all Pentagon war theaters. Media scoundrels say nothing. Subsequent cancer epidemics and other ill effects are ignored.


On October 17, retired Russian Lt. Gen. Gennady Yevstafiev told Voice of Russia he believes Turkey is playing a dangerous game. Perhaps it’s for greater regional dominance, gaining EU admission, and/or special favors from Washington.


Ankara’s taking great risks. “(N)body is going to care about Turkey in spite of all its contributions to the grand American design.” It won’t get the recognition it seeks.


Gaining regional dominance “sooner or later (means) hav(ing) to destroy Saudi Arabia and these kingdoms of the Gulf and of course Iran. This would never happen.”


Ankara officials “don’t even understand to what extent they are making a tragic mistake….Instead of making peace” and cooperating politically and economically with Russia, they’re going the wrong way. They hope America offers support. “This is absolutely wrong.”


It has much more to lose than gain. Internally, “Turkey (could) seriously deteriorate and we could see in the future, not in a distant future, a very different Turkey on the map of the world.” It may not be what Ankara wants.


Washington, EU nations, and Israel ruthlessly vilify Iran, hammer it with lawless sanctions, falsely make existential threat claims, deny its legitimate media European satellite distribution, and threaten imperial war.


Expect the worst ahead in some form because it’s planned. Waging war on free expression alone shows the moral depravity of EU states.


On October 17, Press TV headlined “Ban on Iran channels driven by fear of truth: Top IRIB official.”


Deputy Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) Mohammad Sarafraz said, “They think by silencing those outlets (free alternative media), they would be able to control the flow of news and information and at the same time, cover up the events as they see fit.”


“They are now facing all (sorts of) challenges. On the one hand, they face domestic threats and on the other, they fear independent entities who pose a threat to their existence. That’s why they are seeking to mute them.”


Bet on dirty Washington and Israeli hands involved in what happened. At the same time, anti-Iranian terrorists were brought in from the cold.


The State Department delisted the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO or MEK). Formerly it was designated a foreign terrorist organization (FTO). Known assassins are now valued US allies - openly, not covertly.


Perhaps they’ll get US funding, arms and training. Reports suggest that Washington, NATO partners, regional allies, and Israel supplied them for some time.


Maybe a White House invitation is coming like Reagan afforded Mujahideen fighters in the 1980s. They and Contra killers were called freedom fighters. Perhaps MKO assassins will be described the same way.


Press TV said MKO operatives “murdered over 17,000 Iranians since” the 1979 revolution. In the 1980s, they operated from Iraq near Iran’s border. They cooperated with Saddam in massacring Kurds.


Tehran “repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group.” US pressure keeps them there.


UN bodies willingly serve US imperial interests. Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan spurned inviolable UN Charter provisions for Washington. Ban Ki-moon does it repeatedly.


So does the Human Rights Council and UN Special rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Ahmed Shaheed. He lied, distorted, or greatly exaggerated in a report to the General Assembly. He made spurious accusations.


He cited alleged human rights violations. He claimed they “provide a deeply troubling picture of the overall human rights situation in (Iran), including many concerns which are systemic in nature.”


He also said “some elements of the Press Law and more recent legal developments undermine the rights to freedom of expression and to information.”


His information comes from anti-Iranian sources. Expect Washington and Israeli involvement.


Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani responded. On October 17, the Tehran Times headlined “No one is executed in Iran for their political convictions….”


He stressed that Shaheed’s information comes from anti-Iranian elements.


On October 15, Press TV headlined “Iranian officials say Ahmed Shaheed’s latest report politically motivated,” saying:


“The report is solely based on claims of 221 people that were questioned from November 2011 to July 2012. Based on those (one-sided) claims, Shaheed has accused Iran of human rights violations.”


“In a part of the report it states that Iran’s penal code contradicts with International law.” Iran’s General Prosecutor denied Shaheed’s accusation as spurious distortions of truth.


Iran’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression, religion, assembly and association. Tehran denied criticisms of its human rights record.


Shaheed, of course, wouldn’t dare report accurately on America’s human rights record or Israel’s. Doing so would cost him his job. The same goes for media scoundrels. In service to Washington and other Western states, they skew their accounts one-way.


A Final Comment


Press TV published ways to watch its broadcasts in Europe. It’s accessible through the following links:


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PressTV Smart Phone Applications





Windows Phone:




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Watch daily for real news, information and analysis. It shames what’s available through scoundrel media sources. Avoid them. Watch Press TV.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]


His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”


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.

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About The Author

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, remaining there until retiring at year end 1999.   Supporting progressive causes and organizations, he began writing in summer 2005 on a broad range of issues. Topics regularly addressed include war and peace; social, economic and political equity; and justice for long-suffering peoples globally - notably, victims of America's imperial wars, Occupied Palestinians and Haitians.In early 2007, he began hosting his own radio program. Currently he hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. Airing three times weekly, it features distinguished guests discussing vital world and national issues in depth.Today perhaps more than ever, vital social, political and economic change is needed. What better way to spend retirement years than working for it. We owe at least that much to our loved ones, friends and humanity.

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