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Will the Trump Administration Overdose on Authoritarianism?

Ron Paul May 22, 2017

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Last week Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered federal prosecutors in drug cases to seek the maximum penalty authorized by federal mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Sessions’ order represents a setback to the progress made toward restoring compassion and common sense to the sentencing process over the past few years. Sessions’ action also guarantees that many nonviolent drug law offenders will continue spending more time in prison than murderers.

Sessions’ support for mandatory minimums is no surprise, as he has a history of fanatical devotion to the drug war. Sessions’ pro-drug war stance is at odds with the reality of the drug war’s failure. Over forty years after President Nixon declared war on drugs, the government cannot even keep drugs out of prisons!
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US Attacks Syrian Government Forces - It Now Has To Make Its Choice

Moon of Alabama May 21, 2017

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The Syrian army is on the way to liberate the ISIS besieged city of some 100,000 and garrison of Deir Ezzor in the east of the country. The U.S. has trained a few thousand "New Syrian Army" insurgents in Jordan and is reportedly prepared to march these and its own forces from Jordan through the east-Syrian desert all the way up to Raqqa and Deir Ezzor. About a year ago it occupied the al-Tanf (al-Tanaf) border station which consists of only a few buildings in the mid of the desert. The station between Syria and Iraq near the Jordan border triangle was previously held by a small ISIS group.

A U.S. move from the south up towards the Euphrates would cut off the Syrian government from the whole south-east of the country and from its people in Deir Ezzor. While that area is sparsely populated it also has medium size oil and gas fields and is the land connection to the Syrian allies in Iraq.

With the western part of the country relatively quiet, the Syrian government and its allies decided to finally retake the south-eastern provinces from ISIS. They want to lift the ISIS siege on Deir Ezzor and close the border between Syria and Iraq with its own forces. The move will also block any potential U.S. invasion from the south by retaking the road to al-Tanf and the Syrian-Iraqi border (red arrows). The sovereign Syrian state will not give up half of the country to an illegal occupation by ISIS or the U.S. At the same time as the eastern operations are running consolidation and clearing operations against ISIS in the middle and west of the countries will take place (green arrows).

Yesterday a small battalion size force (~2-300 men) of the regular Syrian army, Syrian National Defense Organization volunteers and Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF/PMU of the Kata'ib al-Imam Ali) marched on the road from the west towards al-Tanf.
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Donald of Arabia: A Disgusting Spectacle

Justin Raimondo May 22, 2017

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Has there been a more disgusting spectacle during the four months of this presidency than the sight of Donald Trump slobbering all over the barbarous Saudi monarch and his murderous family of petty princelings? It’s enough to make any normal American retch, especially when one remembers what Trump said about them during the election:

“Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”
And then there was this tweet:
“Tell Saudi Arabia and others that we want (demand!) free oil for the next ten years or we will not protect their private Boeing 747s. Pay up!”
Now Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner, is calling up Lockheed-Martin to get a discount for the Saudis, personally brokering the biggest arms deal in US history. What a difference a presidency makes!

The old Trump told us that the Saudis were “mouth pieces, bullies, cowards,” who were “paying ISIS,” but now they’re our partners in the “war on terrorism.” Why it seems like only yesterday that he was calling out Saudi princes like Alwaleed bin Talal for thinking they can “control our US politicians” – today he’s kowtowing to them.
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Trump In Saudi Arabia - 'Peace In Our Time?'

May 22 - President Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia was perhaps one of the most bizarre spectacles of our time. Just months ago he accused the Saudi government of being behind the 9/11 attack on the US, yet over the weekend he stood on Saudi soil and discussed the virtues of religious diversity (something illegal in Saudi Arabia). Was it all about " the art of the deal" -- inking a hugely lucrative (for some) mega weapons deal? Or was it about calling for war on Iran and Syria (and maybe Russia)? We pick apart the trip and the speech in today's Liberty Report:



WHAT?

A Peace and Prosperity Blog


Trump Advisers Want at Least 50,000 US Troops in Afghanistan
While publicly US strategy in the Afghan War has been based around the conceit that the conflict is in a “stalemate,” despite mounting losses by the Afghan government. Advisers have offered a classified assessment on the conflict recently, however, conceding that the Ghani government’s survival is at risk, and that the war is being “slowly” lost.
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Why Washington Took al-Qaeda in Syria off the Terrorist List
It might come as a surprise to many Americans that their government does not classify al-Qaeda in Syria as a terrorist organization. The reason it refuses to make the determination would shock them even more.
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NATO's Biggest Challenge -- Make 'Frightened' Europe Pay Up!
The Baltic countries, and some of their Scandinavian neighbors, are mortally terrified of Russia. Or so they would have us believe. They clamored to join NATO as soon as the Soviet Union collapsed and are currently among the most shrill anti-Russian voices outside of Hillary campaign hangers-on and their newfound neocon allies. Just this week, the Lithuanian president begged Washington to permanently station troops on its soil to "not only deter but to defend" against the great Russian "threat" across their border.
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Saudis Plan $40 Billion US Investment To 'Cement Ties With Trump'
Having gone all-in on a Hillary Clinton victory ahead of the elections, Saudi Arabia has quickly pivoted in its "appreciation" of the Trump administration, and having realized that the fastest way to Trump's heart is through the US Treasury's bank account, it is preparing to invest an "unprecedented" amount of money in the US. According to Bloomberg, the Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund will announce plans to "deploy as much as $40 billion into U.S. infrastructure." The investment will likely be unveiled as early as next week when Trump is scheduled to visit the kingdom.
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The War on the First Amendment Didn’t Start Last Week
For those who woke a week ago to discover the First Amendment is under attack, I lost my job at the Obama/Clinton State Department in 2012 for writing We Meant Well, a book the government did not like, and needed the help of lawyer Jesselyn Radack and the ACLU to push back the threat of jail.
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