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Kerry In Kenya - Spreading 'American Exceptionalism'

Secretary of State John Kerry was in Africa earlier this week. He visited Nigeria and promised more US military aid to the country as it struggles with an increase of activity by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Of course it was the 2011 US attack on Libya that provided a windfall of weapons for Boko Haram and enabled them to dramatically expand. Kerry said he'd look into selling Nigeria some military planes as well. He also promised a few million dollars to Kenya to help them with their elections. As usual, that money will likely help ensure that the "right" people (i.e. US puppets) win the elections. He also discussed the additional UN troops that would be trying to sort out the bloody chaos in South Sudan, another US intervention "success story." The country was essentially created by the US to try to deny Chinese oil interests in Sudan. The result has been nothing but chaos and mayhem. Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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The Alternate Reality of Anders Fogh Rasmussen

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Reading through a recent interview with former NATO secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen, it becomes clear that his world is one in which US foreign policy has only ever made us all safer and the biggest risk we now face is diminished US power.

The entire premise of his argument throughout the interview is that if the US steps back from playing global policeman, the “bad guys” will win. Simple as that.

Tempting Putin

The interview, which focuses on Donald Trump, opens with a question about Trump’s views regarding the NATO alliance and how the candidate sees the US’s role in the world. Rasmussen immediately declares he is “not taking sides” in the US election, but his attempt at neutrality goes swiftly out the window moments later when he complains that Trump is undermining “the credibility of the United States” and putting at stake America’s “role as the global superpower”. If Trump were to be elected, he laments, that could usher in “the end of the American-led world order”.

This would be very bad, he says, because if NATO is undermined by a Trump victory, then Vladimir Putin would “open a bottle of champagne” and be “tempted to test” the alliance. This assumes that Putin has simply been waiting in the wings for the 16 years that he has held positions of power for Donald Trump to come along so that he can invade Estonia for no reason. Because Rasmussen doesn’t give us a reason and we’re not supposed to ask. We’re just supposed to assume invading the Baltics is on Putin’s to-do list.
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America's Communist Program

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Throughout the Cold War, the US national-security state told the American people that it was necessary for America to go over to the dark side in order to combat the threat of communism and the Soviet Union. By that, they meant adopting policies and practices employed by the communists. It was a mindset akin to fighting fire with fire.

That’s how America ended up with a formal program of assassination, whereby US agents wielded the power to assassinate people around the world who were suspected of being communists, despite the fact that the victims had never initiated any force against the United States. It was essentially a system of legalized murder or, as President Lyndon Johnson termed the program, “Murder, Inc.”

It’s also how the national-security state ended up with the authority to oust democratically elected regimes in which people had elected the “wrong” people (i.e., communists or communist sympathizers) to be their president or prime minister.
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Turkey/US Invade Syria - Hillary Gets 'No-Fly' Zone

Just three years after promising the American people that he would not put American boots on the ground in Syria, President Obama has directed the US military to participate in an invasion of northern Syria alongside NATO-ally Turkey. This in addition to establishing de facto US bases in eastern Syria from which US Special Forces are operating. The Syrian territory conquered today and the area around the US bases should be considered "no-fly" zones to Syrian and Russian combat aircraft. From here we can expect areas of US control to expand. Russia's move? We don't know. More today in the Liberty Report...
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The Blessing of Cash

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Starting today, the Royal Bank of Scotland will become the first bank in the U.K. to impose a negative interest rate on depositors. The negative rate will apply only to corporate customers, including mutual fund managers and pension funds, holding deposits of certain foreign currencies including euros. This means that RBS—in which the U.K. government still maintains a majority ownership stake since its 2008 bailout—will actually charge these customers to “borrow” their deposits. A few weeks ago, RBS notified more than one million small-business customers that they could also be charged for deposits if the Bank of England lowered the target interest rate, which now stands at .25%, into negative territory. Experts are warning that the latest move by RBS would “set alarm bells ringing” among small businesses and ordinary customers. The stage is set for a glorious and long overdue old-fashioned bank run if the BOE ventures to push rates into negative territory. 

Meanwhile in the eurozone, since the ECB rate cut the interest rate in March to minus 0.4%, banks have paid a total of about 2.64 billion euros to keep their funds on deposit at the eurozone’s 19 central banks. With European central bankers threatening further rate cuts, private financial institutions are exploring the feasibility of circumventing the charges by converting central bank electronic deposit credits into cash and storing it in nonbank facilities. The German insurance company Munich Re is reportedly already storing tens of millions of euros at “a manageable cost,” and Commerzbank, Germany’s second  biggest lender, is considering a similar option.

Of course any significant movement to convert bank reserves into cash would undermine the goal of central-bank rate cutting, because the cost of holding bank reserves in cold hard cash would not respond to a change in interest rates, short circuiting central bank efforts to stimulate further bank lending. More significant, if the movement to convert deposits into cash spreads to the nonbank public, it would bring down the fractional-reserve banking system in short order.
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The Neoconservatives, the War on Iraq, and the National Interest of Israel

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The neoconservatives were the driving force in the George W. Bush administration’s war on Iraq and, in so doing, went a long way toward forming US policy in the Middle East that has continued under Obama. 

Neoconservatism emerged at the tail end of the 1960s as some individuals, predominantly pro-Zionist Jewish intellectuals, became disenchanted with the more radical turn of mainstream liberalism, which among other things, they believed, had become threatening to Jewish interests, including Israel. 

After failing in efforts to convert the Democratic Party to their thinking, the neocons would switch from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party as Ronald Reagan became president in 1980 and would play a significant role in pushing the Reagan administration’s hardline anti-Soviet foreign policy. With the demise of Soviet Communism, the neocons’ foremost concern became Israel and the Middle East. 

 Before the beginning of the George W. Bush administration in 2001, the neocons had developed plans for reconfiguring the Middle East, involving the use of military force to replace dictatorial regimes with democracies. Not by happenstance, the targeted dictatorial regimes were staunch enemies of Israel, and included Iraq, Iran, Syria, and even Saudi Arabia. The neocons planned to begin with Saddam’s Iraq, seen as the weakest link, the elimination of which would pave the way for regime change elsewhere.
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What's Iran Up To; Fed Plans New $4 Trillion QE

Is the US mainstream media spreading disinformation about Russia's use of an airbase in Iran? Yesterday the New York Times reported that Iran had revoked permission for Russia to use the base due to Russia's "ungentlemanly behavior" in discussing use of the base in public. What is strange about the story is that it is completely without a source for the claim that the permission was revoked. In fact, the speaker of the Iranian parliament today said the opposite, that Russia has not stopped using the base for refueling. So what's going on here? More on the tense Syria/Iran/Russia/US situation in today's Liberty Report
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Children of the American Police State: Just Another Brick in the Wall

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The nation’s young people have been given front-row seats for an unfolding police drama that is rated R for profanity, violence and adult content.

In Arizona, a 7-year-old girl watched panic-stricken as a state trooper pointed his gun at her and her father during a traffic stop and reportedly threated to shoot her father in the back (twice) based on the mistaken belief that they were driving a stolen rental car.

In Oklahoma, a 5-year-old boy watched as a police officer used a high-powered rifle to shoot his dog Opie multiple timesin his family’s backyard while other children were also present. The police officer was mistakenly attempting to deliver a warrant on a 10-year-old case for someone who hadn’t lived at that address in a decade.

In Maryland, a 5-year-old boy was shot when police exchanged gunfire with the child’s mother—eventually killing her—over a dispute that began when Korryn Gaines refused to accept a traffic ticket for driving without a license plate on her car.

It’s difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty and hate, but when you add the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to guard against the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms.
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US Policy Shift In Syria; Pentagon's Lost Trillions

Why is the US warning Syria not to shoot back at Kurdish militia members who are firing on Syrian military positions? Because US Special Forces troops are fighting alongside the Kurds. But it also may be a shift in US policy away from its stated focus on ISIS and toward a focus on removing Assad. House Speaker Paul Ryan inexplicably released a statement at the end of last week castigating the Obama Administration for failing to attack the Assad government after the 2013 chemical attack in Ghouta. That all evidence points to a false flag rather than Syrian government culpability means little to Ryan's propaganda team. With US-backed militants facing the possibility of a crushing defeat at Aleppo, it looks as if the US may be shifting toward direct confrontation with Assad (and by default also with Russia). This and more in today's Liberty Report...
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Follow the Money Trail for Source of 'Russian Threat' Paranoia

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You’d have to have been locked in a wardrobe if you live in the West not to have heard ominous phrases like “The Russian threat”, “Russian aggression in Europe” and “Russia set to invade Poland/Estonia/ Ukraine/Finland.”

Certain people are trying to scare us witless about Russia and the “threat” the country apparently poses. The hysteria reminds one to the build up to the Iraq war, when we were warned every day about the “threat” of Saddam’s deadly WMDs, which - surprise, surprise - turned out not to exist.

Now, we can talk for hours about grand, highfalutin theories in the field of geopolitics and international relations in attempts to explain why this is happening.

But “follow the money” trail is all we really have to do. Ask yourself who benefits financially from all this scaremongering and then you’ll understand it.

This week, The Intercept revealed how US defense contractors have been telling investors that the so-called “Russian threat” was good for business.
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