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Saddam Hussein at 80: Iraq Without its ‘Liberation’

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What would have happened had there been no Iraq War in 2003 and Saddam Hussein had stayed in power? Where would we be today? It’s the 28th of April 2017. Saddam Hussein, president of Iraq, now a member state of the newly reconstituted United Arab Republic (with Syria and Egypt), is celebrating his 80th birthday. There are big processions on a gloriously sunny and very hot day in Baghdad. Among visiting foreign heads of state was Zimbabwe’s 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe, who joked that if Saddam gave up smoking Cohibas and started drinking herbal teas he might even live to be as old as him...
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Gen Mattis' Syria Chemical Claim Smacks of Politicized Intelligence

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AN OPEN MEMORANDUM FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE

From: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
Subject: Mattis ‘No Doubt’ Stance on Alleged Syrian CW Smacks of Politicized Intelligence

Donald Trump’s new Secretary of Defense, retired Marine General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, during a recent trip to Israel, commented on the issue of Syria’s retention and use of chemical weapons in violation of its obligations to dispose of the totality of its declared chemical weapons capability in accordance with the provisions of both the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.

“There can be no doubt,” Secretary Mattis said during a April 21, 2017 joint news conference with his Israeli counterpart, Minister of Defense Avigdor Lieberman, “in the international community’s mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all.” To the contrary, Mattis noted, “I can say authoritatively they have retained some.”

Lieberman joined Mattis in his assessment, noting that Israel had “100 percent information that [the] Assad regime used chemical weapons against [Syrian] rebels.”

Both Mattis and Lieberman seemed to be channeling assessments offered to reporters two days prior, on April 19, 2017, by anonymous Israeli defense officials that the April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack on the Syrian village of Khan Shaykhun was ordered by Syrian military commanders, with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s personal knowledge, and that Syria retained a stock of “between one and three tons” of chemical weapons.
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Julian Assange Speaks Out: The War On The Truth

Are Wikileaks and other similar organizations "hostile foreign agencies," as CIA Director Mike Pompeo asserted recently? He's looking at a way to punish media organizations for telling their readers the truth while being able to avoid going after the mainstream media companies that publish materials provided by Wikileaks. It is all about stripping some organizations and individuals from First Amendment protection. Don't miss this exclusive Ron Paul Liberty Report with Wikileaks Founder, Julian Assange...
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Phony Hysterics Over North Korea

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A lot of my job as editorial director of Antiwar.com is cutting through the veil of obfuscation with which the War Party masks its ill intentions. But sometimes you don’t even have to read between the lines to see what our conniving rulers are up to. Such is the case with the current war scare around North Korea. President Trump is playing this for all it’s worth, summoning the Senate to a special conclave at the White House to inform them of the supposedly dire threat. This ostentatious display was preceded by a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee at which Admiral Harry Harris, in charge of the US Pacific Command, sounded the alarm...
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Trump’s Foreign Policy after 100 Days: Tweeting with Bombs?

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As US President Donald Trump prepares to mark 100 days in office, the administration’s foreign policy approach has become a painful disappointment to anyone with mildly optimistic expectations Washington would take a more realist approach to its role in the world. 

In no time at all, Trump has strayed from the 'America First’ rhetoric on the campaign trail and reversed course in a remarkable way. His decision to launch cruise missile strikes against Syria’s government on painfully a pretense, humiliatingly revealed to China’s leader over a piece of chocolate cake, is the picture of volatility.

Establishment pundits who had bogusly derided Trump as a Russian stooge christened him "presidential." Buoyed by this bipartisan support for militarism, the Pentagon dropped the largest non-nuclear bomb in a distant corner of Afghanistan, likely without Trump’s direct approval as part of his policy of giving the military a freer hand to act.

Far from "isolationism" or a realist repositioning of American foreign policy, Trump represents the continuity of endless warfare and US militarism’s pursuit of global hegemony, different in perhaps only it’s cruder, more impulsive presentation and televised set pieces with higher explosive yields.

A pragmatic US-Russia détente remains as elusive as ever, for obvious reasons. It is extremely disconcerting that Trump, whose approval ratings have hit historic lows, was so enthusiastically supported by the US political and media establishment for his display of military muscle.
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Do American Airports Suck? Yes, Yes They Do

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Traveling by air in America is one of the best ways to see the country, although it is not always the nicest view. I recently took a fresh look, with the goal of advising my foreign friends what to expect when they drop by the United States.

Our Air Palaces

You’ll enjoy our older airports’ retro-touches, which evoke the Golden Age of air travel of the 1950s and 1960s. The typical lack of free WiFi, just like when your parents first visited America, the two electrical outlets serving an entire wing of the airport, the toilets which have not been cleaned since when your parents first visited America, and the “Welcome Home Troops” signs reminiscent of those displayed for soldiers coming home from that war where America invaded your country, all quaintly harken back to simpler times.

Your chances of finding public transportation to and from the airport are slim. Maybe if you look around there’ll be an old city bus for the workers (live like a local!) And stop standing out as a “tourist,” looking for trains that connect to the city center as you’ll find nearly everywhere else in the developed world. As you pay a month’s salary out to the cab driver who is cheating you just like in Cairo, or the Uber guy 23 hours into a shift trying to feed his family, think of it all as a great only-in-the-developing world story to tell if you survive to get back home.
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A Libertarian Laughs At The State, With Dave Smith

Dave Smith knows how to have fun and be funny...while making a good point! He is not only a libertarian stand-up comic, but he is host of the very popular Part of the Problem podcast. How did Dave come around to embrace the libertarian movement? The Giuliani Moment! Dave Smith dropped by the Ron Paul Liberty Report studio to talk about his conversion to libertarianism and what he's doing with it on this very special episode of the program...
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CIA Director Pompeo Doesn't Understand the First Amendment

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You would think that by the time a person becomes the Director of the CIA, he would have a correct understanding of the Constitution, which is the founding document of the federal government, which the CIA is part of. This should be especially true when the CIA Director is a former member of Congress, a graduate of West Point, and the holder of a law degree from Harvard.

Embarrassingly, such is not the case with CIA Director and former U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo. In a speech delivered at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Pompeo demonstrated a woeful lack of understanding of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, specifically the First Amendment.

Referring to his belief that WikiLeaks official Julian Assange, who is a citizen of Australia, should be indicted and prosecuted by the U.S. government for revealing secrets of the U.S. national-security establishment, Pompeo stated:
Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms. He’s sitting in an Embassy in London. He’s not a US citizen.
That is quite an amazing statement. It’s also a misleading and fallacious one.
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Our Turk Allies Just Attacked Our Kurd Allies - Whose Side Are We On?

Here's a perfect example of how convoluted our Middle East policy is: our Turkish NATO allies attacked our Kurdish anti-ISIS ground forces in Iraq and Syria this week, killing as many as 70 fighters. The Kurdish YPG fighters make up the bulk of the US-backed "Syrian Democratic Forces" who are leading the US fight against ISIS in eastern Syria. How will the Kurds respond to the fact that their chief sponsor's close ally keeps killing them? And how does the US expect the Kurds to take over Raqqa once it's "liberated" when the Turks keep killing them? And how will the Turks respond to the US at least tacitly pushing the Kurds toward de facto statehood? And...what is our Syria policy? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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What Comes After the US Missile Strike in Syria?

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After experiencing a lot of hype after the missile strike, we have reached a point where the US seems to have nothing to offer to the people of Syria except support for the powers that have played a central role in fomenting the crisis in the first place. While the US president’s response to the so-called chemical attack did boost his domestic ratings and introduced a sense of conflict with Russia, he is yet to offer a practical strategy to wipe out real terrorist groups operating in Syria.

By now, we all know that Trump’s one strike, although initially over-praised as the beginning of a new era of US military engagement in the Middle East, was a lonely act and that such lonely acts achieve nothing but only escalate tension and allow the ruling elites to maintain a semblance of seriousness and firm resolve to fight the “evil” and restore the “good.” In geo-political terms, however, his resolve implies an absence of both a clear-cut strategy and refined political objectives.

No strategy!

Even in the words of former defense secretary William Cohen, “One strike doesn’t make a strategy”, and that the “US policy on Syria remains unclear”, arguing further that the US “strike does leave one with the impression that foreign policy in the Trump administration is not being made by carefully evaluating a situation, assessing various options, weighing costs and benefits, and choosing a path. Instead, it is a collection of reflexes responding instinctively to the crisis at hand.”
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