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ISIS Makes the British Lion a De-Clawed and Shabby Cat

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The recent and rapid successes of the Islamic State (IS) in seizing Palmyra in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq, together with its three successful same-day strikes on 26 June 2015 in Kuwait, France, and Tunisia seem to have left British Prime Minister David Cameron rather panicky — like a twitchy kitten experiencing its first thunder-and lightning storm.

In response to these events, Cameron has come somewhat unglued. The leader of a once mighty, respected, and feared nation has responded to IS’s offensive operations by (a) calling on the UK Muslim leaders to perform a miracle and control the thoughts, sympathies, and actions of all members of the Muslim community; (b) predicting that IS was on the verge of “terrible” attacks in Britain, without offering any sign of the backbone needed to credibly warn IS of “terrible” British retribution if its forces attack in the UK; and (c) demanding that the BBC stop identifying the Islamic State as the Islamic State and instead call it “ISIL” because it is “death cult” and has nothing to do with Islam. On the latter point, Cameron sounds like an Oxford-educated version of Barack Obama.
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Independence Day: Celebration or Sadness?

Do the fires of liberty still burn in an America that revolted against the British crown in 1776? Perhaps the majority have opted for a new overlord, the omnipotent state and its accompanying American exceptionalism, but there remains, in the words of Samuel Adams, a "tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." Today's Ron Paul Liberty Report on the spirit of revolt against tyranny...
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Greek Crisis Awaits Other NATO Partners

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One notable consequence of the Ukraine conflict and the ongoing confrontational stand-off between the West and Russia is the dramatic surge in military spending among several European countries.


However, this unprecedented militarisation of economies across Europe portends a disastrous Greek-style future of crippling debt for these same countries. Those most at risk from a future hangover of military overspend in the years ahead include the Baltic states, Poland and the Scandinavian countries.

This outcome may indeed explain why Washington and its closest NATO allies have embarked on what appears to be a reckless geopolitical confrontation with Russia. The tensions being stoked from the alleged Russian threat – mainly by Washington – are in turn leading to lucrative weapons sales for the Pentagon and its military-industrial complex.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recentlyassured that the US-led military alliance “would not get dragged into an arms race with Russia”. But that’s exactly what appears to be underway, at least for the eastern European and Scandinavian members or partners of NATO.
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What It Really Takes For a US-Iran Deal

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Forget the mad spinning. Here it is, in a nutshell, what it really takes for Iran and the P5+1 to clinch a game-changing nuclear deal before the new July 7 deadline.

Iran and the P5+1 agreed in Lausanne on a “comprehensive plan of action,” taking into account delicate constitutional considerations in both the US and Iran. A crucial part of the plan is the mechanism to get rid of sanctions. Lausanne – and now Vienna – is not a treaty; it’s an action plan. There will be a declaration when a deal is reached. But there won’t be a signing ceremony.

The next important step is what happens at the UN Security Council (UNSC). All the concerned parties at the UNSC will endorse a declaration, and a resolution - which is still being negotiated – will render null and void all previous sanctions resolutions.
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California's 'Corporate Fascist' Vaccine Law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law one of the nation's strongest mandatory vaccination laws. If a California resident does not agree to have her child jabbed some 48 times by school-age, the child cannot attend school. The exemption loopholes have been all but closed. Today the Ron Paul Liberty Report looks at both the medical and the civil liberties implications of this move -- a move comedian Jim Carrey called "corporate fascist."
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Greece Shows Why Banks & Governments Hate Cash: Bank Runs

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The photos from Greece showing long lines at ATMs are astonishing. Even after the deposit outflows from Greek banks over the past weeks, there are still large numbers of people who are trying to get their money out of the banking system. With the banks closed, ATMs are the only way for people to get any cash. Let’s not beat around the bush in describing what is happening: this is a bank run. Even though Greece has a deposit insurance scheme that covers up to €100,000 in savings accounts, trust in the banking sector is declining and people are trying to get their money out. Cash is the ultimate means by which consumers can restrain the behavior of governments and banks, which is why governments and banks are doing everything they can to do away with cash.

The problem with the banking system is that banks today operate as fractional reserve banks. Money deposited into savings accounts is loaned out up to the bank’s reserve requirement. If the reserve requirement is 10%, then 90% of the money in savings accounts is loaned out. If the reserve requirement is 3%, then 97% of the money in savings accounts is loaned out. 

The problem comes about in that the bank simultaneously gives the full use of that money to borrowers, often lending at long terms up to 30 years in the case of mortgages, while still telling depositors that they can withdraw their money at any time. So what happens when depositors want to withdraw more money than the bank has on reserve? The bank tries to refuse to honor withdrawal requests. Then the public loses confidence in the bank, depositors line up to demand their money, and you have a scene out of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
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New Embassy in Cuba - But Will Congress Kill the Deal?

President Obama will officially restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba today, in what is one bright spot in his otherwise not very encouraging foreign policy. Talks with Iran are the other positive. But as always, the devil is in the details. State-to-state relations are one thing, but for really "normal" relations what is needed is person-to-person relations. That means an end to the embargo and the travel ban. Let's hope that is on its way soon and that Congress doesn't obstruct the reversal of this half-century disaster. More on US-Cuba relations on today's Ron Paul Liberty Report...
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Clean Break to Dirty Wars

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To understand today’s crises in Iraq, Syria, and Iran, one must grasp their shared Lebanese connection. This assertion may seem odd. After all, what’s the big deal about Lebanon? That little country hasn’t had top headlines since Israel deigned to bomb and invade it in 2006. Yet, to a large extent, the roots of the bloody tangle now enmeshing the Middle East lie in Lebanon: or to be more precise, in the Lebanon policy of Israel.

Rewind to the era before the War on Terror. In 1995, Yitzhak Rabin, Israel’s “dovish” Prime Minister, was assassinated by a right-wing zealot. This precipitated an early election in which Rabin’s Labor Party was defeated by the ultra-hawkish Likud, lifting hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu to his first Premiership in 1996.

That year, an elite study group produced a foreign policy document for the incipient administration titled, “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” The membership of the Clean Break study group is highly significant, as it included American neoconservatives who would later hold high offices in the Bush Administration and play driving roles in its Middle East policy.
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Are Neocons Embracing Al-Qaeda?

With their plans for regime change in Syria not working out as planned, the neocons are desperately looking around for another hare-brained scheme to sell. From recently floated trial balloons, it looks like they are looking to push a tactical alliance with al-Qaeda to defeat Assad and ISIS. Did they forget about 9/11? More in today's Liberty Report...
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Electric Yerevan and Lessons on the Color-Spring Tactic

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The Electric Yerevan protest provides us with an excellent opportunity to review some of the basic underlying mechanics and psychology of the Color-Spring tactic. It is important to share these publicly, for it is indeed probable that the Color-Spring tactic will be increasingly applied in the world as a "hybrid soft-power/hard-power tactic". 


A moral principle held by Gene Sharp, who was one of the tactic's main developers, was that violence is not necessary for revolution. What is strange, contradictory, even dishonest here is that violence is reduced taxonomically to the physical violence of the state's gendarmes against the civilians. But we know that violence comes in many forms.

We live in a time of great violence; physical, psychological, legal, economic, spiritual violence. Not only has the Color Revolution tactic engendered the latter four, but its mutation into the Arab Spring tactic also employs heinous physical violence. We can see today, tens of thousands dead in Libya, hundreds of thousands in Syria, and a mounting figure in Ukraine which threatens to surpass the precedents. 
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