Thursday, April 24, 2014

Veterans Languish, Die On A VA's Secret List

Obama, Shinseki responsible for deplorable VA hospital conditions as Obama gives away 70 MILLION to Ukraine fascists 

By Scott Bronstein and Drew Griffin

At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.
The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

For six months extended delays in health care appointments were suffered by veterans across the country and who died while waiting for appointments and care. But the new revelations about the Phoenix VA are perhaps the most disturbing and striking to come to light thus far.

Internal e-mails show that top management at the VA hospital in Arizona knew about the practice and even defended it.

Dr. Sam Foote just retired after spending 24 years with the VA system in Phoenix. The veteran doctor said that the Phoenix VA works off two lists for patient appointments:

There's an "official" list that's shared with officials in Washington and shows the VA has been providing timely appointments, which Foote calls a sham list. And then there's the real list that's hidden from outsiders, where wait times can last more than a year.

Deliberate Scheme, Shredded Evidence

"The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA's own internal rules," said Foote in Phoenix. "They developed the secret waiting list," said Foote, a respected local physician.
Criminal traitor VA Secretary Eric Shinseki responsible
The VA requires its hospitals to provide care to patients in a timely manner, typically within 14 to 30 days, Foote said.

According to Foote, the elaborate scheme in Phoenix involved shredding evidence to hide the long list of veterans waiting for appointments and care. Officials at the VA, Foote says, instructed their staff to not actually make doctor's appointments for veterans within the computer system.

Instead, Foote says, when a veteran comes in seeking an appointment, "they enter information into the computer and do a screen capture hard copy printout. They then do not save what was put into the computer so there's no record that you were ever here," he said.

According to Foote, the information was gathered on the secret electronic list and then the information that would show when veterans first began waiting for an appointment was actually destroyed.

"That hard copy, if you will, that has the patient demographic information is then taken and placed onto a secret electronic waiting list, and then the data that is on that paper is shredded," Foote said.
"So the only record that you have ever been there requesting care was on that secret list," he said. "And they wouldn't take you off that secret list until you had an appointment time that was less than 14 days so it would give the appearance that they were improving greatly the waiting times, when in fact they were not."

Foote estimates right now the number of veterans waiting on the "secret list" to see a primary care physician is somewhere between 1,400 and 1,600.

"I feel very sorry for the people who work at the Phoenix VA," said Foote. "They're all frustrated. They're all upset. They all wish they could leave 'cause they know what they're doing is wrong.

"But they have families, they have mortgages and if they speak out or say anything to anybody about it, they will be fired and they know that."

Several other high-level VA staff confirmed Foote's description to CNN and confirmed this is exactly how the secret list works in Phoenix.

Foote says the Phoenix wait times reported back to Washington were entirely fictitious. "So then when they did that, they would report to Washington, 'Oh yeah. We're makin' our appointments within -- within 10 days, within the 14-day frame,' when in reality it had been six, nine, in some cases 21 months," he said.

In the case of 71-year-old Navy veteran Thomas Breen, the wait on the secret list ended much sooner.

"We had noticed that he started to have bleeding in his urine," said Teddy Barnes-Breen, his son. "So I was like, 'Listen, we gotta get you to the doctor.' "
Teddy says his Brooklyn-raised father was so proud of his military service that he would go nowhere but the VA for treatment. On September 28, 2013, with blood in his urine and a history of cancer, Teddy and his wife, Sally, rushed his father to the Phoenix VA emergency room, where he was examined and sent home to wait. 

"They wrote on his chart that it was urgent," said Sally, her father-in-law's main caretaker. The family has obtained the chart from the VA that clearly states the "urgency" as "one week" for Breen to see a primary care doctor or at least a urologist, for the concerns about the blood in the urine.

"And they sent him home," says Teddy, incredulously.

Sally and Teddy say Thomas Breen was given an appointment with a rheumatologist to look at his prosthetic leg but was given no appointment for the main reason he went in.

The Breens wait ... and wait ... and wait ...

No one called from the VA with a primary care appointment. Sally says she and her father-in-law called "numerous times" in an effort to try to get an urgent appointment for him. She says the response they got was less than helpful. 
"Well, you know, we have other patients that are critical as well," Sally says she was told. "It's a seven-month waiting list. And you're gonna have to have patience."

Sally says she kept calling, day after day, from late September to October. 
She kept up the calls through November. But then she no longer had reason to call.

Thomas Breen died on November 30. The death certificate shows that he died from Stage 4 bladder cancer. Months after the initial visit, Sally says she finally did get a call.

"They called me December 6. He's dead already."

Sally says the VA official told her, "We finally have that appointment. We have a primary for him.' I said, 'Really, you're a little too late, sweetheart.' "

Sally says her father-in-law realized toward the end he was not getting the care he needed.

"At the end is when he suffered. He screamed. He cried. And that's somethin' I'd never seen him do before, was cry. Never. Never. He cried in the kitchen right here. 'Don't let me die.' "

Teddy added his father said: "Why is this happening to me? Why won't anybody help me?"

Teddy added: "They didn't do the right thing." Sally said: "No. They neglected Pop."

First hidden -- and then removed.

Foote says Breen is a perfect example of a veteran who needed an urgent appointment with a primary doctor and who was instead put on the secret waiting list -- where he remained hidden.
Foote adds that when veterans waiting on the secret list die, they are simply removed.

"They could just remove you from that list, and there's no record that you ever came to the VA and presented for care. ... It's pretty sad."

Foote said that the number of dead veterans who died waiting for care is at least 40. 

"That's correct. The number's actually higher. ... I would say that 40, there's more than that that I know of, but 40's probably a good number."
E-mails from July 2013 show that top management, including Phoenix VA Director Sharon Helman, was well-aware about the actual wait times, knew about the electronic off-the-books list and even defended its use to her staff.

In one internal Phoenix VA e-mail dated July 3, 2013, one staffer raised concerns about the secret electronic list and raised alarms that Phoenix VA officials were praising its use.

"I have to say, I think it's unfair to call any of this a success when Veterans are waiting 6 weeks on an electronic waiting list before they're called to schedule their first PCP (primary care physician) appointment," the e-mail states. "Sure, when their appointment is created, it can be 14 days out, but we're making them wait 6-20 weeks to create that appointment."

The e-mail adds pointedly: "That is unethical and a disservice to our Veterans."

Last year and earlier this year, Foote also sent letters to officials at the VA Office of the Inspector General with details about the secret electronic waiting list and about the large number of veterans who died waiting for care, many hidden on the secret list. Foote and several other sources inside the Phoenix VA confirmed that IG inspectors have interviewed them about the allegations.

VA: 'It is disheartening to hear allegations'

A statement from VA officials in Texas, quoting Helman read:

"It is disheartening to hear allegations about Veterans care being compromised," the statement from Helman reads, "and we are open to any collaborative discussion that assists in our goal to continually improve patient care."

Just before deadline Wednesday, the VA sent an additional comment.  It stated, in part: "We have conducted robust internal reviews since these allegations surfaced and welcome the results from the Office of Inspector General's review. We take these allegations seriously."
THESE are the Kiev fascists Obama just gave 70 MILLION to
The VA statement added: "To ensure new Veterans waiting for appointments are managed appropriately, we maintain an Electronic Wait List (EWL) in accordance with the national VHA Scheduling Directive. The ability of new and established patients to get more timely care has showed significant improvement in the last two years which is attributable to increased budget, staffing, efficiency and infrastructure."

Foote says Helman's response in the first statement is stunning, explaining the entire secret list and the reason for its existence was planned and created by top management at the Phoenix VA, specifically to avoid detection of the long wait times by veterans there.

"This was a plan that involved the Pentad, which includes the director, the associate director, the assistant director, the chief of nursing, along with the medical chief of staff -- in collaboration with the chief of H.A.S."

Traitor John McCain gives U.S. taxpayer money to fascists
The Phoenix VA's "off the books" waiting list has now gotten the attention of the U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee in Washington, whose chairman has been investigating delays in care at veterans hospitals across the country.
According to Rep. Jeff Miller, chairman of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, what was happening in Phoenix is even worse than veterans dying while waiting for care.

Even as CNN was working to report this story, the Florida Republican demanded the VA preserve all records in anticipation of a congressional investigation.

In a hearing on April 9, Miller learned even the undersecretary of health for the VA wasn't being told the truth about the secret list:

"It appears as though there could be as many as 40 veterans whose deaths could be related to delays in care. Were you made aware of these unofficial lists in any part of your look back?" asked Miller.

"Mr. Chairman, I was not," replied Dr. Thomas Lynch, assistant deputy undersecretary, Veterans Health Administration.

Congress has now ordered all records in Phoenix, secret or not, be preserved.

That would include the record of a 71-year-old Navy veteran named Thomas Breen.

Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.



U.S. Paratroopers Deploy to Poland And Baltics

Obama once again uses our military as pawns in desperate gambit to spark WWIII in order to save his own ass from impeachment

By Philip Ewing

The U.S. is sending about 600 ground troops to Eastern Europe this week to “reassure” allies there as Washington resumes its campaign of pressure on Russia over the Ukraine standoff.
Traitor Breedlove will be responsible for military deaths
About 150 soldiers from the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), based in Italy, are heading to each of four countries — Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — in rotational deployments that the Pentagon says will be sustained until further notice.

The paratroopers will take weapons and ammunition for “infantry exercises” and be in place by the end of the week, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters at the Pentagon. 
The roughly company-sized units will remain in place for about a month, and then new ones will follow them until at least the end of the year.
While President Barack Obama has ruled out the use of force to resolve Russia’s military incursions into Ukraine, the Army deployments are a way to show America’s European allies, as well as Moscow, the level of its concern about what Kirby called “Russian aggression.”

“We take our obligations very, very seriously on the continent of Europe,” Kirby said. 
Americans had better prepare themselves for a lot more of THIS
He said the Sky Soldiers of the 173rd would take part in bilateral exercises with the militaries of their host countries, as opposed to having been deployed under the auspices of NATO. But he said that more deployments or operations involving NATO could be in the works and urged reporters against concluding that bilateral action by the Defense Department was a sign of some NATO members’ unwillingness to make deployments of their own. 
The Pentagon will not send additional soldiers to Europe to replace the troops rotating into Eastern Europe, Kirby said.

The Obama administration appears to have all but concluded that a diplomatic agreement struck last week to try to deescalate the Ukraine crisis isn’t working. 
The White House already has announced more new non-lethal assistance to Kiev, and the next step could be new rounds of sanctions on Russian leaders.

The White House said earlier Tuesday the U.S. would provide another $50 million in aid “to help Ukraine pursue political and economic reform and strengthen the partnership between the United States and Ukraine.” Included in that package is more non-lethal military material, including bomb disposal equipment, radios, “vehicles” and “individual tactical gear,” such as armor or protective shields, for Ukraine’s border guard. 
Vice President Joe Biden, who appeared in Kiev on Tuesday with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk make clear that Washington was prepared to continue its assistance and to keep up its isolation of Moscow.

“We call on Russia to stop supporting men hiding behind masks in unmarked uniforms, sowing unrest in Eastern Ukraine,” Biden said. “And we have been clear that more provocative behavior by Russia will lead to more costs and to greater isolation.”

But military action is off the table, the White House says. So this week’s ground troop deployments to Eastern Europe are only the latest example of the administration attempting to rattle its saber having said it would not draw it.

More Air Force fighters are rotating into Poland and the Baltic countries, and Kirby said the U.S. Navy’s presence in the Black Sea would also continue. 

The destroyer USS Donald Cook, which was buzzed by an unarmed Russian attack jet soon after its arrival, will be replaced by the frigate USS Taylor, he said.

American commanders originally sent the Taylor to the Black Sea to provide additional security for the Winter Olympics in Russia, but the ship ran aground in a port in Turkey and destroyed its propeller. Tugs moved it to a U.S. naval base in Crete, where the ship was repaired, and Kirby said it would take the Donald Cook’s place as part of the American desire to “reassure” allies there.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Kiev Regime Orders Crackdown As U.S. Steps Up Threats Against Moscow

Ukraine fascists draw aid and comfort from Biden presence; Obama gives away further 70 MILLION U.S. taxpayer bribe money as Food Stamp cuts go into effect and Americans continue to starve on the streets of the United States

By bill Van Auken

Vice President Joseph Biden’s two-day visit to Ukraine has ended with a resumption of the Kiev regime’s military crackdown against its political opponents in the southeast of the country and a dangerous escalation of US threats against Russia.
Biden encourages, incites Ukrainian fascists to war
Oleksandr Turchynov, who is both acting president and chairman of the parliament following the US-backed, fascist-led coup of February 22, announced Tuesday that he had ordered the country’s security forces to “carry out effective counterterrorist activities aimed at defending Ukrainian citizens living in the country’s east from terrorists.”

Troops have reportedly been massed in the town of Izyum, on the border between Ukraine’s Kharkov region and Donetsk, the country’s most industrialized region. Donetsk has been the center of protests against the US-backed ultranationalists who seized power in Kiev.

Government buildings and police stations have been seized in over a dozen cities and towns. Local councils that have been elected are demanding autonomy for the region and a federalized form of government. In Lugansk, a local popular assembly has announced it will hold a two-stage referendum on May 11 and May 18, asking voters whether the region should be autonomous in the first round and, in the second, whether it should be independent or seek annexation by Russia.
Biden assures fascists U.S. will come to their "aid" if attacked 
Other areas are preparing similar votes.
Izyum is about 50 kilometers northeast of Slavyansk, a center of the protests in Donetsk. 
The troops that have been deployed there reportedly include National Guard units that are heavily populated by fascist thugs from the Right Sector.
The Kiev regime initially launched its “antiterrorist” offensive early last week, seizing control of a military airfield in Kramatorsk and sending an armored column rolling toward Slovyansk. Halted by a crowd of local people, however, the Ukrainian soldiers refused to take action against them, instead turning over their armored vehicles and weapons to anti-Kiev militiamen.

It was in the aftermath of this humiliating fiasco that the Ukrainian regime’s foreign minister joined his counterparts from the US, Russia and the European Union in drafting an agreement in Geneva to halt all violence and de-escalate tensions by disarming illegal groups, ending occupations of public buildings and spaces, freeing political prisoners and initiating a dialogue between the regions.
"Easter truce" goes up in smoke
Shortly afterwards, the regime in Kiev added that it was observing an “Easter truce.” 
It was during this supposed truce that a column of four cars carrying Right Sector gunmen attacked a roadblock on the outskirts of Slovyansk on Easter Sunday, killing three local men.

It is now apparent that the Kiev regime and its patrons in Washington were only playing for time with the negotiations in Geneva. It hardly seems a coincidence that the first abortive “counterterrorist” offensive was launched after a secret visit to Kiev by CIA Director John Brennan, while the second attempt was initiated immediately after Vice President Biden’s trip to the country.

Turchynov claimed the resumption of the crackdown was triggered by the discovery in Slovyansk of the body of a local politician and member of his own right-wing Batkivshchyna, or “Fatherland,” party, who had been abducted earlier. Another body found in the town has yet to be identified. Turchynov charged that “these crimes are being committed with the full support and connivance” of Russia. This is all merely a pretext for an aggressive operation planned and directed from Washington.
Personification of evil:  Brennan led CIA fascist coup in Kiev
This was made clear in an interview published by the Washington Post Tuesday with the Kiev regime’s minister of internal affairs, Arsen Avakov. Asked by the Post whether the regime was going “to fight the terrorists,” Avakov replied, “Tomorrow the holidays will be finished and the announced Easter truce will be finished… We will act… We will start liberating people from the terrorists.”

The US-backed crackdown against the population of southeastern Ukraine threatens to plunge the country into a bloody civil war. At the same time, the launching of such an operation within miles of the Russian border poses the immediate threat of a catastrophic conflict between a nuclear-armed Russia and the Western powers.

In tandem with the turn toward armed repression in Ukraine, Washington is escalating its reckless and provocative military actions in the region directed against Russia. The Pentagon announced Tuesday that a first contingent of US paratroopers will arrive in Poland today to begin months of joint infantry exercises with Polish troops. Similar company-sized units will be dispatched to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in the coming days in what the US military describes as “land force training activities in the Baltic region scheduled to take place this year and possibly into next year.”

“Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has renewed our resolve to strengthening NATO’s defense plans and capabilities, and to demonstrate our continued commitment to collective defense in reinforcing our NATO allies in Central and Eastern Europe,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said.
EU will be consumed in flames with NATO aggression
Also announced was the dispatch of another warship to the Black Sea in what is being described as a “reassurance mission.”

This supposed response only points to the real motivation behind the US-backed coup in Ukraine: to escalate the military encirclement of Russia, bringing NATO to its borders and eliminating Moscow as an impediment to US geostrategic hegemony over the Eurasian landmass.

Victoria Nuland, the US undersecretary of state for Eurasian affairs and the designated “point person” on operations in Ukraine, made clear the scale of the US investment in the drive to impose a US puppet regime in Kiev in an interview Monday on CNN news.
CIA whore Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland
Nuland is a former chief of staff to Dick Cheney and the wife of Robert Kagan, the founding chairman of the Project for a New American Century, the rightwing think tank that was the leading advocate for wars for regime change in Iraq and elsewhere. 
She boasted to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Washington has “invested” $5 billion in promoting “democracy” in Ukraine. She followed this admission with the preposterous claim that no US aid had been funneled to the fascist-led violence in Kiev’s Maidan, which she described as “a spontaneous movement.”

Nuland concluded by issuing marching orders to the Kiev regime, insisting that it must “negotiate a deal with the IMF, where they would institute real reform,” i.e., austerity measures that will spell mass unemployment and a devastating decline in living standards for Ukrainian workers. She also affirmed Washington’s backing for elections being staged by the illegitimate regime in Kiev on May 25 and demanded that the regime “ensure that the country is peaceful enough for those elections to go forward.” This was a clear directive to launch bloody repression against those in southeastern Ukraine who have opposed the US-orchestrated coup.
Drooling doofus Kerry no match for Lavrov
Moscow responded to the latest US threats and provocations in a Tuesday telephone conversation between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of State John Kerry that had been initiated from Washington. Lavrov insisted that the US-backed Ukrainian regime had to take “urgent steps” to implement the April 17 agreement reached in Geneva. This meant reversing the order to send troops into southeastern Ukraine and freeing dissidents arrested there. He also demanded that the regime disarm neo-fascist groups such as the Right Sector.

What has become clear is that while Russia’s regime, representing the interests of the country’s capitalist oligarchs, hoped that Geneva could prove a path to peaceful accommodation with US imperialism, Washington saw the agreement as a means to an entirely different end. It used it to gain time to reorganize a military crackdown in Ukraine, while at the same time claiming that Russia was in violation of the deal because of the refusal of the opponents of the Kiev regime in southeastern Ukraine to halt their protests. This provides the pretext for intensified sanctions and stepped-up military provocations against Moscow.

As for disarming the Right Sector, neither Washington nor its puppets in Kiev had the intention of doing any such thing. They recognize the need to use these fascist elements as a battering ram against not only the anti-Kiev protests, but also against resistance from the working class as a whole to the drastic IMF-dictated social and economic attacks that are to come.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


U.S. Losing Positions In The Middle East Due To Ukrainian Crisis

Obama criminals attempting to spark global "crises" in order to save themselves from the ongoing, devastating Snowden revelations of IRSGate, NSAGate, SyriaGate, CIAGate and now KievGate

By Alexander Orlov

By taking an extremely hostile position against Russia in the Ukrainian crisis Washington has managed to hasten the reorientation of Moscow towards the East, especially the Middle one. 
And Iran is among the states that can expect the future development of bilateral relations with Russia, since it is one of the most influential countries in the region. 
The stability of the Persian Gulf along with the whole Middle East largely depends on Iran, on top of all Iran is indispensable for the US strategic interests. Russian media has recently reported that Moscow and Tehran had signed a $ 20 billion worth deal.
 Russia agreed to buy Iranian oil, and Iran in return would buy Russian goods. The preparation of this Oil-for-Goods deal began in December of the last year. In essence the oil would be sold at a price of a few percent lower than the market for a wide range of Russian products — from agriculture to engineering ones, additionally Russia will participate in Iranian industrial projects. Thus Iran would obtain a guaranteed sale of its oil, and Russia — an access to the Iranian market . The contract is mutually beneficial and does not affect the interests of any other country. 
Obama shill, war whore Wendy Sherman
Washington’s response to this Russian- Iranian rapprochement has been voiced by Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman : “We are very crystal clear that anything like such an agreement between Russia and Iran might have potential sanctionable action and would likely create tremendous rifts within the P5+1 which would make coming to a comprehensive agreement all the more difficult if not impossible.”Along the way, Washington has accused Russia of violating the sanctions regime against Iran. 
Which is, of course, a blatant nonsense and the Russian Foreign Ministry was quick to underline that fact. Especially if one is to take in consideration the fact that this contract is but another step into the strengthening partnership between Moscow and Tehran and the expansion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation of the two countries. 
The current bilateral turnover is a little more than 2.5 billion dollars a year, which is completely inadequate since it is not reflecting the potential of the two economies. As for the policy of the Russian Federation and Iran, the two share a common position over a variety of problems – from the Syrian conflict to the foreign presence in Afghanistan. 
At present the United States is trying to limit the growth of Tehran’s influence in the regional and international stages. Which does not meet the interests of the Russian Federation, since the latter is starting to increasingly support Iran, Syria and Iraq, the states of the so-called “Shiite arc”, through promoting its positions in region, gradually pushing the US out of it. And the greater Washington’s involvement in the Ukrainian events, the less influence it would have in the Middle East, the region that can boast 2/3 of world’s oil reserves and significant gas ones.

Cooperation with Tehran is advantageous for Moscow economically, especially in the energy and military domains, a major focus of this partnership is in the nuclear field. The gas industry has a strategic component to it, after all, Russia and Iran could build a gas pipeline to India, which is the fastest growing consumer of gas in the world, thus limiting the supply of gas to Europe. And then let the EU call the US shale gas bluff as a potential substitute for Russian gas.
Shale gas deposits in Europe
But at present the major concern of Washington is the possible Russian-Iranian cooperation in the nuclear field. That is why reports about the signed Oil-for-Goods agreement caused great concern in the United States, which has always been bothered by the Russian position in the negotiations on the Iranian nuclear programme . Given the rising tensions in Russian-American relations because of Russia’s reunification with Crimea with, the above mentioned agreement will further aggravate the confrontation between Moscow and Washington. So almost immediately Washington went on with the string of threats to impose new sanctions against Moscow and Tehran due to the bilateral agreement. One could have the impression that the Western leaders have forgotten all other words in their foreign policy other than “sanctions”. Washington is clearly weakened, since it fails to face the fact that sanctions no longer work, especially when it comes to large states.

One should recall when sanctions against Iran were first introduced, the US feared that the implementation of these would be jeopardised by the economic ties Iran had with other countries. And it was back in 1980, when the Islamic Revolution won in the country, and since then, for decades the US had been adding more restrictions to them. But a number of states was not able to stop using Iranian oil, and thus they virtually ignored the US threats. However, during the last three years the United States have made every effort to persuade its potential competitors in the global and regional stage to recognize these sanctions, sometimes by blackmailing other states.
Love those fascists:  Tymoshenko with CIA whore Nuland
Russia has also agreed to partially accede to these sanctions. 
But now it has began revisioning its policy, given the hostility the US and EU has been demonstrating to Moscow over Ukraine. 
The credibility of the US and its policy is gone, so on can say that Washington has brought it on itself. 
Sanctions have finally become nothing but an American tool to push other countries around in the eyes of the Russian policy makers, and they are imposed due to the loss of the US military and political domination in many regions.

The White House clearly ignores the fact that Iran’s relations with Russia are based on a legal basis and are quickly developing into a strategic partnership, despite by the attempts made by the West and especially the United States try to make this look as a temporary interaction .

Regarding the above-mentioned agreement between Iran and Russia, one can state that the US is not simply afraid of some country being able to bypass sanctions and thus achieve a sharp decline in external pressure on Iran, it’s terrified by it. Washington policy makers are really panicking over the Oil-for-Goods agreement since it creates favorable conditions for lifting the sanctions against Iran.

The West was interested in putting as much pressure on Iran over its nuclear programme as it possibly can. Now both the US and EU are concerned that Russia would be more in favour of Iran on the negotiations over the nuclear programme of Iran in order to put more pressure on the West over the peaceful resolution of the Ukrainian crisis. 
U.S. traitor John Kerry incites fascists to riot, burn in Kiev
For that Washington policy makers got only themselves to blame, since it would be silly to assume that they could put pressure on Moscow over one international issue, and expect it to show them support them in others, especially when it comes to the strategic interests of Russia. The post-Soviet space and the Middle East — are two zones of high priority for Moscow today. 
Therefore it is quite natural that in case of an Oil-for-Goods agreement between Russia and Iran the United States sanctions would automatically lose all power, and the effect of anti-Iranian policies pursued by the US policy makers would gradually come to naught.

Apparently, the White House authorities have forgotten that in its foreign and domestic policy other countries’ leaders pursue the national interests of their countries. But Washington think tanks have assumed that other states should act accordingly with the American interests. Therefore, the US leaders should not be surprised if they are to lose positions in the areas of the world where there the United States used to be dominant because of its stupid standing in Ukraine.

Alexander Orlov, political scientist, expert in Oriental Studies, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


“Crimes Against Peace” : Historic Class Action Law Suit Against George W. Bush

Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Petraeus, Perle, Franks, Feith, Wolfowitz, Rove, Perino et al will be prosecuted and imprisoned for their war crimes regardless of which court presides over their trials

By Inder Comar

On March 13, 2013, my client, an Iraqi single mother and refugee now living in Jordan, filed a class action lawsuit against George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz in a federal court in California. 
She alleges that these six defendants planned and waged the Iraq War in violation of international law by waging a “war of aggression,” as defined by the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg, more than sixty years ago. (The current complaint can be found here).

At the Nuremberg Trials, American chief prosecutor and associate justice of the US Supreme Court Robert H. Jackson focused his prosecution on the planning and execution of the various wars committed by the Third Reich. Jackson aimed to show that German leaders committed “crimes against peace,” and specifically, that they “planned, prepared, initiated wars of aggression, which were also wars in violation of international treaties, agreements, or assurances.”

For Jackson, the Nuremberg Trials were a high watermark of legalism. 
MSM has failed to sanitize Bush war criminals
In his report regarding the negotiations of the treaty that would set up the Nuremberg Tribunal, Jackson wrote that the Tribunal “ushers international law into a new era where it is in accord with the common sense of mankind that a war of deliberate and unprovoked attack deserves universal condemnation and its authors condign penalties.” He concluded, “all who have shared in this work have been united and inspired in the belief that at long last the law is now unequivocal in classifying armed aggression as an international crime instead of a national right.”

The Nuremberg Tribunal agreed with Jackson. In its famous judgment in 1946, the Tribunal wrote,

“War is essentially an evil thing . . . to initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” 

The case against Bush is based on the conduct of members of the administration prior to coming into office as well as conduct taking place on and after 9/11. Years before their appointment to the Bush Administration, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz were vocal advocates of a militant neoconservative ideology that called for the United States to use its armed forces in the Middle East and elsewhere. 

They openly chronicled their desire for aggressive wars through a non-profit called The Project for the New American Century (or PNAC). In 1998, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz would personally sign a letter to then-President Clinton, urging the president to implement a “strategy for removing Saddam’s regime from power,” which included a “willingness to undertake military action as diplomacy is clearly failing.” 
"Time to get that Paraguay real estate renovated"
On 9/11, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz openly pressed for the United States to invade Iraq, even though intelligence at the time confirmed that it was al Qaeda, and not Saddam, that was responsible. Richard Clarke, former National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection and Counter-terrorism, famously told President Bush that attacking Iraq for 9/11 would be like invading Mexico after Pearl Harbor.

We now know that the Bush Administration began a concerted effort to scare and mislead the American public in order to obtain support for the Iraq War. As alleged in the complaint, this included the famous phrase that “the smoking gun could not be a mushroom cloud,” which was used repeatedly by Administration officials on news shows as a way of equating non-action with the vaporization of a United States city. The Administration used bogus and false intelligence to make the case for weapons of mass destruction, and also falsely linked al Qaeda to Iraq, despite the fact that there has never been any evidence of any operational linkages between the two. These were not simple mistakes: this was an intentional campaign by Administration officials to use faulty data to garner support for a war. 
Headed for prison:  Cheney, Bush, Rice, Powell, Albright
The crime of aggression was completed when these officials failed to secure proper authorization for the war. So concerned with their invasion, the Administration dismissed any need for a formal Security Council mandate. Today, Kofi Annan, an official Dutch inquiry, the Costa Rican Supreme Court, a former law lord from the House of Lords (Lord Steyn) and a former chief prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials (Benjamin Ferencz) have all concluded the Iraq War was illegal under international law. 
Bush/Obama war criminals responsible for all military deaths
After months of briefing, the Northern District of California will issue its order any day as to whether it will recognize the crime of aggression, and whether my client may pursue a civil case against the Bush-era defendants based on that crime. In August of last year, the Obama Department of Justice requested that the district court immunize Bush and his high officials from civil charges on the basis that they were acting “within the scope of their authority.” This issue also remains pending before the court, but it should be noted that both Nuremberg, as well as the more recent Pinochet decision, reject the idea of immunity for leaders when they step outside the appropriate scope of their authority. 
MSM war criminals headed for prison with their masters
We need your support and attention to this case. We cannot let the crime of aggression disappear into history; indeed, even the International Criminal Court has now provided its own definition for aggression, with jurisdiction for this crime being enabled after 2017. We must affirm Jackson’s belief that, “law is not only to govern the conduct of little men, but that even rulers are, as Lord Chief Justice Coke put it to King James, under God and the law.”

For most of the post-war period, this notion — that leaders must be held accountable for their decisions to go to war — has gathered dust. This must change, or else the legacy of Nuremberg, and its foundation for the post-war international legal regime, will be tossed aside in favor of the state of anarchic international relations that led to the Second World War itself. It is time to fulfill Jackson’s dream of a global order governed by law, not war. And it is time for accountability over the Iraq War and for the millions of people who lost their lives or who were affected by it. 

Inder Comar is counsel of record for Sundus Shaker Saleh in her case against members of the Bush Administration. The case is Saleh v. Bush, Case No. 3:13-cv-1124 JST (N.D. Cal. March 13, 2013). The firm is providing case updates at and is representing Saleh pro bono.

This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Doomed U.S. Targets China, Russia

ASEAN members need only to look at Afghanistan and Iraq to see just what it means to be "friends" with Obama, White House criminals; MSM swine CNN, CIA Al Jazeera, Euronews, Fox News shriek for WWIII

By Finian Cunningham

U.S. President Barack Obama kicks off his East Asia tour this week with a threat of military aggression towards China at the same time that vice president Joe Biden was stepping up similar provocations to Russia over the Ukraine crisis. 
That is because the so-called American "pivot to Asia" is intimately connected with the crisis in Ukraine and the increasing tensions between Washington and Moscow. Both cases are the result of US imperialist aggression aimed at postponing the collapse of American global hegemony. Although in the laughable way that the Western corporate media invert reality Washington's vice is turned into a virtue.

The Wall Street Journal tells us: "The US [Asian] pivot has repeatedly been thrown off-balance as Washington turned its attention to Syria, Iran, Middle East peace talks and now Ukraine."

This is a version of America being the noble "global policeman". Notice the way the WSJ implies that Washington is a benevolent force in several conflicts around the world, when in reality it is Washington that is actually the very source of conflict in every scenario cited. This is a textbook example of the Western "news media" - more accurately "brainwashing propaganda system" - at work. 
The US is inflaming insecurity in Asia between China and its neighbors; it is Washington that is the chief sponsor of the covert terrorist war in Syria; Iran continues to be subjected to criminal US-led sanctions on the basis of trumped-up nuclear claims; the Middle East "peace process" in Palestine is deadlocked because the US supports the genocidal Israeli regime; and on Ukraine it was Washington's illegal coup d'├ętat in Kiev that has pushed that country to the brink of civil war and may even ignite a global war with Russia.

When Obama touched down in Japan this week at the start of his tour of four Asian countries, including South Korea, Philippines and Malaysia, it was tellingly significant that upon his arrival in Tokyo a keynote remark was that America backs Japan in its territorial dispute with China. Obama said that military support is part of the so-called "defense pact" with between the US and Japan. 
How the Americans can claim to be "defending" a country that it dropped atomic bombs on defies any intelligent reasoning.
Abe welcomes any diversion from Fukushima - even WWIII
That's the power of brainwashing.

Nevertheless, Obama's blatant meddling in the dispute between China and Japan was obviously a calculated provocation that will lead to more regional tensions, which in turn gives Washington further pretext to maintain tens of thousands of its troops, missiles, warplanes and warships there. 

What Washington is saying to China is: your territorial claims against Japan are null and void and if you attempt to use military force in support of your grievances then the US reserves the right to launch a "defensive" war.

Never mind that the long running row between Tokyo and Beijing over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands is very arguably in favor of China's claims. The islands are proximate to China's southeast coast and hundreds of kilometers away from Japan. Japan continues to occupy the islands stemming from its imperialist war of aggression against China nearly seven decades ago. Also earlier this month saw the first expansion of Japanese military installations in Okinawa in more than 40 years, which signals an end to Japan's postwar pacification vows. 
Japan has forgotten recent past; sufficiently provoked, China would turn Abe's country into a smoking rock as Obama draws "red lines" all the way back to Hawaii
Considering the appalling destruction that Japan wrought on China and other Asian neighbors during its imperialist expansion, within living memory, any such moves by Tokyo are bound to cause grave alarm. Yet, Washington barges in with hobnail boots to trample all over China's sensitivities. What's more, Washington and the supine Western media invert reality again by portraying China as behaving provocatively in the region.

America's Asian pivot, which Obama launched back in 2011, is all about stoking military aggression with China under the guise of offering defense to neighboring countries - in the same way that a gangster boss sets up a protection racket. 
The real purpose is to stymie China's strategic economic importance and to thwart the inexorable shift in the global economy away from Washington's hegemony. That shift spells doom for the bankrupt US dollar and its hollowed-out capitalist system.

While the conceited Western media make out that Obama is touring Asia at "an unfortunate" time of "crisis management" over Ukraine, the reality is that the two issues are deeply connected.

As former World Bank economist Peter Koenig points out it is Russia and China that are the key players in shaping the new Eurasian axis of the global economy. A significant portent of the future was given last month, when on a state visit to Germany Chinese President Xi Jinping unveiled plans to re-open the famous Silk Road - one of the world's oldest and most strategic trade routes. 
CNN war whore Christiane Amanpour shrieks for China confrontation
Says Koenig: "China will re-open the old Silk Road as a new trading route linking Germany, Russia and China, allowing to connect and develop new markets along the road, especially in Central Asia, where this new project will bring economic and political stability." 

That development will also be good news for Iran, a preview of which was the major oil deal reported earlier this month between Moscow and Tehran - much to the ire of Washington.

The tectonic movement in the global economy towards a Eurasian axis has been under way for several years and is integrated with the emergence of the so-called BRICS nations, which also include India and Brazil. This paradigm shift is also integrated with these nations extricating themselves from using the American dollar as international reserve currency. 
Fox News geriatric loon Bill O'Reilly takes time out from selling his t-shirts and coffee mugs made in China to double down on warmongering in Ukraine and ASEAN; MSM White House propagandists will be held personally accountable and responsible for their war-shilling along with their corporate masters when the first nuke impacts a U.S. city
As Koenig notes Russia dropped "a bombshell" this month when it announced that it was going to conduct all its future international trade in the Russian ruble or in other national currencies. That decision by Moscow - which the Western media avoided to report - was prompted by Washington's provocative sanctions towards Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Russia's dropping of the dollar will hasten the dynamic against the US currency.

This why China and Russia are now being targeted - almost in desperation by Washington. Their rise portends the fall of America's bankrupt empire.

While Western media launder hackneyed propaganda about Washington's selfless role as global policeman, the real story is one of a dying American hegemonic thug trying to postpone its demise - by striking out at both China and Russia even if that means igniting a catastrophic global war.


Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is now located in East Africa as a freelance journalist, where he is writing a book on Bahrain and the Arab Spring, based on eyewitness experience working in the Persian Gulf as an editor of a business magazine and subsequently as a freelance news correspondent. The author was deported from Bahrain in June 2011 because of his critical journalism in which he highlighted systematic human rights violations by regime forces. He is now a columnist on international politics for Press TV and the Strategic Culture Foundation. More articles by Finian Cunningham
This news bureau contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.




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