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Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia

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The Nuclear Question is becoming increasingly obfuscated by spin and lobbying as the West sleepwalks into Cold War II — a walk made all the more dangerous when the loose lips of the US tweeter-in-chief announced that another nuclear arms race is a great idea (see linklink,link). Two Cold War II issues are central and almost never addressed: What will be the Russians' understanding of all the propaganda surrounding the Nuclear Question and the looming American defense spendup? And how might they act on this understanding? 

Background

Barack Obama first outlined his vision for nuclear disarmament in a speech in Prague on 5 April 2009, less than three months after becoming President. This speech became the basis for what eventually became the New Start nuclear arms limitation treaty. But Mr. Obama also opened the door for the modernization of our nuclear forces with this pregnant statement:
“To put an end to Cold War thinking, we will reduce the role of nuclear weapons in our national security strategy, and urge others to do the same. Make no mistake: As long as these weapons exist, the United States will maintain a safe, secure and effective arsenal to deter any adversary, and guarantee that defense to our allies –- including the Czech Republic.”
Why call for nuclear disarmament while opening the door to nuclear rearmament? 

Obama’s speech paved the way to his Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009, but he was also trying to manipulate the domestic politics of the Military - Industrial - Congressional Complex (MICC). By 15 December 2009, 41 Senators sent a letter to President Obama saying that further reductions of the nuclear arsenal would be acceptable only if accompanied by "a significant program to modernize our nuclear deterrent."

Viewed in retrospect, it is clear that the new President — either naively or cynically — acquiesced to that senatorial spending demand in ord
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The Futility and Corruption of the Drug War

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I just finished watching the much-acclaimed series “Narcos” on Netflix. What a fantastic program. And what an excellent depiction of the futility and corruption of the war on drugs.

The series is a true-life account of Pablo Escobar, a Colombian drug lord who headed up the Medellin drug cartel, a black-market drug group that smuggled hundreds of tons of cocaine into the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. Smuggling an estimated 80 percent of the cocaine into the United States, Escobar became known as the “King of Cocaine,” attaining in the process a net worth of $30 billion by the early 1990s. According to Wikipedia, Escobar was the wealthiest criminal in history.

Amidst much acclaim and publicity, the U.S. government and the Colombian government, working together, targeted Escobar with arrest or killing. Escobar retaliated by effectively declaring war on the government, a war that consisted of assassinations and bombings. Every time the DEA (which was operating in Colombia, along with the U.S. military and the CIA) and Colombian officials tightened the noose on Escobar’s operation, Escobar responded with bullets and bombs, killing a multitude of government officials and private citizens.

The logic of the drug-war crackdown was clear: By eradicating Escobar, officials thought they would be eradicating 80 percent of the cocaine being shipped into the United States. So, all the death and destruction resulting from the crackdown on Escobar was considered worth it in the long run.
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Shock Poll: Is Russia Friend Or Foe?

According to a recent NBC News poll, two-thirds of Americans are worried about a major war breaking out, and while among all respondents Russia is considered a foe, young people by a near three-fourth's majority do not believe Russia to be a foe. The propaganda of the mainstream media has less of an effect on younger Americans, who have tuned out network news. What does this mean for the pro-peace movement? It's good news, as we discuss in the Liberty Report...
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Trump's First Terror Arrest: A Broke Stoner The FBI Threatened at Knifepoint

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The Department of Justice proudly announced the first FBI terror arrest of the the Trump administration on Tuesday: An elaborate sting operation that snared a 25-year old Missouri man who had no terrorism contacts besides the two undercover FBI agents who paid him to buy hardware supplies they said was for a bomb — and who at one point pulled a knife on him and threatened his family.

Robert Lorenzo Hester of Columbia, Missouri, didn’t have the $20 he needed to buy the 9-volt batteries, duct tape, and roofing nails his new FBI friends wanted him to get, so they gave him the money. The agents noted in acriminal complaint that Hester, who at one point brought his two small children to a meeting because he didn’t have child care, continued smoking marijuana despite professing to be a devout Muslim.

One of the social media posts that initially caught the FBI’s attention referred to a group called “The Lion Guard”. Hester told one of the undercover agents the name came from “a cartoon my children watch.”

But according to the DOJ press release, Hester had plans to conduct an “ISIS-sponsored terrorist attack” on President’s Day that would have resulted in mass casualties had it succeeded.

News reports breathlessly echoed the government’s depiction of Hester as a foiled would-be terrorist. But the only contact Hester had with ISIS was with the two undercover agents who suggested to him that they had connections with the group. The agents, who were in contact with him for five months, provided him with money and rides home from work as he dealt with the personal fallout of an unrelated arrest stemming from an altercation at a local grocery store.
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The Sacrifice of Tulsi Gabbard

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The media continues to be an increasingly petty, insecure clique as it mimetically parrots its own echo chamber talking points against any person who challenges their preferred leftist-corporatist brand of state hegemony. Think of political ideologies like denominations of a religion. They agree on fundamental dogma, that the statist form of governance is self-evident and unquestioned in its necessity. But not all denominations are equally powerful and entrenched.

The politically correct leftist denomination of the state continues to be the entrenched institutional religion of the state. Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood, music, academia, and the vast majority of media corporations continue to speak its credo and police its doctrinal purity across their platforms. They do this policing in the guise of victimism: they alone are the guardians of truth and they alone protect victims with it.

Except they don’t. A perfect example of this is what the media continues to do with Democratic Congresswoman from Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard. An independent thinking veteran and advocate for peace, she continues to be shunned by an envious leftist establishment.

She recently visited Syria to see the people on the ground and speak with Syrian leaders including the hegemonic leftist media’s new Hussein, I mean Gaddafi, I mean Bashar Assad. Any media parrot you read or hear on TV will always dutifully use the marketing term “butcher” to preface his name. That’s how vapid their reporting is. Of course, Assad is guilty of very violent things. But so are the terrorists our government created to initiate a coup in Syria.
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CIA Weapons Pause In Syria - Are We Backing Off...Or Escalating?

For the past couple of weeks the CIA weapons smuggling operation to Syrian rebels has been on hold, according to press reports. Does this mean Trump's sensible "we don't know who these people are" statement during the campaign has become policy? We hope that is the case. However, the current Commander of the US Central Command said recently that Washington may be sending regular units of the US military into Syria, which would be a significant escalation. Which is it going to be: wisdom or folly? We discuss in today's Liberty Report...
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Why Do 'Progressives' Like War?

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Liberals are supposed to be antiwar, right? I went to college in the 1960s, when students nationwide were rising up in opposition to the Vietnam War. I was a Young Republican back then and supported the war through sheer ignorance and dislike of the sanctimoniousness of the protesters, some of whom were surely making their way to Canada to live in exile on daddy’s money while I was on a bus going to Fort Leonard Wood for basic combat training. I can’t even claim that I had some grudging respect for the antiwar crowd because I didn’t, but I did believe that at least some of them who were not being motivated by being personally afraid of getting hurt were actually sincere in their opposition to the awful things that were happening in Southeast Asia.

As I look around now, however, I see something quite different. The lefties I knew in college are now part of the Establishment and generally speaking are retired limousine liberals. And they now call themselves progressives, of course, because it sounds more educated and sends a better message, implying as it does that troglodytic conservatives are anti-progress. But they also have done a flip on the issue of war and peace. In its most recent incarnation some of this might be attributed to a desperate desire to relate to the Hillary Clinton campaign with its bellicosity towards Russia, Syria and Iran, but I suspect that the inclination to identify enemies goes much deeper than that, back as far as the Bill Clinton Administration with its sanctions on Iraq and the Balkan adventure, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and the creation of a terror-narco state in the heart of Europe. And more recently we have seen the Obama meddling in Libya, Yemen and Syria in so called humanitarian interventions which have turned out to be largely fraudulent. Yes, under the Obama Dems it was “responsibility to protect time” (r2p) and all the world trembled as the drones were let loose.

Last Friday I started to read an op-ed in The Washington Post by David Ignatius that blew me away. It began “President Trump confronts complicated problems as the investigation widens into Russia’s attack on our political system.” It then proceeded to lay out the case for an “aggressive Russia” in the terms that have been repeated ad nauseam in the mainstream media. And it was, of course, lacking in any evidence, as if the opinions of coopted journalists and the highly politicized senior officials in the intelligence community should be regarded as sacrosanct. These are, not coincidentally, the same people who have reportedly recently been working together to undercut the White House by leaking and then reporting highly sensitive transcripts of phone calls with Russian officials.
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McMaster To NSC - More Troops To Middle East?

President Trump's pick for National Security Advisor, Gen. H.R. McMaster, holds some views on Russia that seem to be at odds with the policy positions of his boss. He believes that Russian "aggression" began when the US began to withdraw from the world militarily, around 2008. He believes the US military needs to be more forward deployed. He has also stated publicly that Russia invaded Georgia in 2008, which is factually incorrect. What are his views on why radicals in the Middle East seek to do us harm? Join us for today's Liberty Report...
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Veterans Being Misled On JASTA, Says International Law Expert

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As Saudi lobbyists continue to fly U.S. military veterans to Washington to oppose a recently-passed law that cleared the way for 9/11 families and victims to sue the kingdom for its alleged assistance to the hijackers, an expert on international law says the principal argument motivating the veterans’ participation is false.

Lobbyists are persuading veterans to call for the amendment or repeal of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) by claiming that, if other countries reciprocate and pass similar laws, individual military service members and veterans will be exposed to lawsuits in foreign courts.

William S. Dodge, a former counselor on international law at the U.S. State Department, tells 28Pages.org that notion is fundamentally at odds with the actual language of JASTA itself and the principles of international law.

JASTA poses no risk of exposing U.S. service members to lawsuits in foreign courts. JASTA deals only with the immunity of foreign states, not individuals,” says Dodge, a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law.
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The 'Blind Sheik' And The CIA - Media Bury US Support For Radical Islamism

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Two days ago the Takfiri Islamist leader Omar Abdul-Rahman , the so called "Blind Sheik", died in a US prison. He had been found guilty of involvement in the 1993 attempt to bring down the World Trade Center in New York and of other crimes.

The obituaries of Omar Abdul-Rahman in US media are an example of white washing of the US exploitation of radical Islamism for its imperial purposes. While extensively documented in earlier media and official reports the CIA's facilitation and involvement with Abdul-Rahman is seemingly stricken from history.

Since the 1970s Omar Abdul-Rahman was involved in the growth of radical Sunni Islamism:
Founded in 1976, Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt (FIBE) is part of the banking empire built by Saudi Prince Mohammed al-Faisal. Several of the founding members are leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, including the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman.
Financed by Saudi sources Abdul-Rahman created various groups of radicals in Egypt and gets deeply involved with Al-Qaeda, recruiting fighters for Afghanistan in cooperation with the CIA and the Pakistani secret services. He was the ideological leader of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, an Islamic radical organization in Egypt responsible for several terrorist attacks.
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