http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/rss.aspx?blogid=3 Fri, 26 May 2017 14:11:33 GMT Fri, 26 May 2017 14:11:33 GMT Blame David Cameron for Manchester Bombing! James George Jatras http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/blame-david-cameron-for-manchester-bombing/

Whenever you see the mainstream media in the United States take time out from trashing President Donald Trump to give him neutral or even grudgingly favorable coverage, be on your guard. It’s a sure sign he’s taken a step away from his campaign pledge to drain the Washington swamp and instead has done something to please the swamp critters.

A smug New York Times, the virulent enemy of Trump and of the deplorable people who elected him, clucked its patronizing approval of his speech to the leaders of over 50 Muslim-majority countries – pointedly excluding Iran and Syria – as a repudiation of his earlier views:
President Trump on Sunday pivoted away from his strident assessment of Islam as a religion of hatred as he sought to redefine US leadership in the Mideast and rally the Muslim world to join him in a renewed campaign against extremism...

The president’s overall tone in Saudi Arabia was a far cry from his incendiary language on the campaign trail last year, when he said that ‘Islam hates us’ and called for a ‘total and complete shutdown’ of Muslims entering the United States.

Throughout his visit here, a less volatile president emerged, disciplined and on message in a way he is often not at home.
The centerpiece of the Saudi leg of Trump’s maiden foreign voyage as president was the joint U.S.-Saudi inauguration of a "Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology," to be located in Riyadh. The selection of venue and partner is nothing less than surreal. Where better to plant a center devoted to combating violent Islamic ideology than in the capital of the country where that very ideology is officially established by the state?

A "European Center for Combating Genocidal Ideology" just as well might have been set up in 1942 in Berlin. Or Zagreb. Just think how much work it would have had!

It’s possible there’s simply been a misunderstanding. Perhaps Trump’s Saudi hosts thought he meant a center for promoting extremist ideology. No doubt it will all be cleared up soon.

It hardly needs to be detailed what Trump and his advisers are well aware of: that in terms of promoting, not combating, jihad ideology, Saudi Arabia is the global epicenter. The Islamic State, al-Qaeda and its many offshoots and affiliates (such as the Imam Shamil Battalion, which claimed "credit" for the April 2017 St. Petersburg Metro bombing, which western media ignore on lists of terror attacks since the victims were only Russians, not real human beings), al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Abu Sayyaf – all profess Wahhabist doctrines care of the so-called "Kingdom." Tens if not hundreds of thousands of little boys in madrassas around the world, including in areas of Syria and Iraq controlled by the Islamic State, study their homicidal catechism from Saudi official textbooks. Funding and weaponry to these groups would dry up without benefactors from Saudi Arabia and Gulf states.

For the umpteenth time, our Wahhabist "allies" have promised an American president they will get serious about cracking down on supposedly unauthorized terror-funding by private parties. For the umpteenth time, an American president pretends to believe them.

In an inversion of reality, Trump assigned the blame for global terrorism explicitly on Iran and Syria – and implicitly on Russia – which are fighting against al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. He also announced over $100 billion in arms sales to the Saudis to counter Iran in places like Yemen, where the Iranians have no presence and little influence but where the Saudis are committing genocide in collaboration with al-Qaeda.

Turning a blind eye to the real sponsors of jihad in order to destroy countries targeted by Riyadh’s Wahhabists doesn’t only mean inflicting atrocities on those countries – it comes back to bite us here at home too. Consider the recent Manchester bombing that killed 22 people and wounded scores of others. As pointed out by Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute, it would not have happened if the Saudis, American, and British governments had not turned Libya and Syria into jihadist playpens for the likes of mass murderer Salman Abedi:
According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied ‘liberation’ of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil. 

Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad. 

In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also travelled to Syria to become one of the 'Syria rebels' fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don't know, but it certainly is possible.
Britons should hold David Cameron guilty of the innocent blood staining Manchester. No less guilty are Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama. Likewise Hillary Clinton of "We came, we saw, he died" infamy, who reportedly was the driving force for America’s role, without which regime change in Libya would not have occurred. Let that self-anointed champion of women and girls answer for Manchester.

When on the Last Day the books are opened and all accounts settled, Salman Abedi will have to face the judgment he escaped in this life. But add to that reckoning before the Dread Judge the names of those who helped the Saudis and their confederates do their dirty work.

Donald Trump needs to think long and hard before going further down the same path.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/blame-david-cameron-for-manchester-bombing/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/blame-david-cameron-for-manchester-bombing/ Fri, 26 May 2017 14:11:33 GMT
Lying DEA Officials Get a Pass (Just Like Clapper) Jacob G. Hornberger http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/lying-dea-officials-get-a-pass-just-like-clapper/

Why is there one set of criminal laws for the private sector and another set for U.S. officials?

The inspectors general for the State Department and the Justice Department have released a report that states that DEA officials lied to Congress about an episode in Honduras in which DEA agents killed innocent people. According to the report, the DEA falsely told Congress that its agents had shot drug smugglers in self-defense during  a nighttime shootout after a boat containing the victims had collided with a boat containing the DEA agents. The truth was that the boat containing the victims was nothing more than a commercial passenger vehicle that had the misfortune of colliding into the DEA boat.

You can read all the details in this New York Times article and this article from the Intercept.

Obvious, the DEA killings of those innocent people raise an important question: Under what constitutional authority does the DEA or any other U.S. official wage the drug war in Honduras or any other foreign country? Do you see anything in the Constitution that empowers them to do that?

In fact, I don’t see anything in the Constitution that empowers them to enact drug laws here at home? Do you? After all, if it took a constitutional amendment to empower the feds to criminalize the possession and distribution of alcohol, why doesn’t the same principle apply to drugs?

Another question is: Why aren’t those DEA officials who lied to Congress being criminally prosecuted for lying to Congress? Isn’t that still a criminal offense? Wasn’t that what CIA Director Richard Helms was convicted of doing?

Actually, though, Helms is a good example of the immunity phenomenon for U.S. officials because in actuality he was guilty of perjury, which is a felony. Since he was a CIA agent, however, they gave him a sweetheart deal in which he pled guilty to a misdemeanor and received a moderate fine.

They certainly didn’t do that with Martha Stewart, a private citizen who was convicted of lying to a federal investigator about some stock transaction. And she wasn’t even under oath. Do you remember all the moral preaching and speechifying that federal prosecutors engaged in as they prosecuted and jailed Stewart? How come federal prosecutors aren’t prosecuting and jailing those DEA agents who lied to Congress?

I suppose it’s just a sign of the times in which we now live, times that give immunity to federal officials who break the law in the process of enforcing the law against private citizens.

Many decades ago, a man named Bruno Hauptmann was prosecuted and convicted of kidnapping the Lindbergh baby. A few years ago, CIA agents kidnapped a man in Italy and forcibly removed him against his will to Egypt so that he could be tortured. Italy prosecuted and convicted those CIA agents for the felony crime of kidnapping, just as U.S. officials had prosecuted and convicted Hauptmann. But not the U.S. government. The Justice Department didn’t lift a finger against those felons because they were CIA, which, as everyone knows, is a much more powerful and influential agency than the Justice Department. As Congressman Charles Schumer recently put it, rather bluntly, it’s “really dumb” to take on the CIA because “they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”

Consider James Clapper Jr, the former director of national intelligence. He also lied to Congress, telling them that the U.S. government wasn’t secretly gathering data on the American people. Lo and behold, Edward Snowden showed that he was lying. The U.S. conclusion: Go after Snowden for revealing the truth and give Clapper a pass on his lying. Maybe even thank him for his service.

After Helms returned to CIA headquarters after being convicted of misleading Congress, his fellow CIA officials celebrated his misdemeanor “victory” and honored him by passing a hat around to collect the money to pay his fine for him. His conviction for misleading Congress was considered a badge of honor.

Consider other crimes that the national-security state has engaged in over the years. Just one example: Chile. There was the conspiracy to meddle in the Chilean national election in 1970 (which is somewhat ironic given the big brouhaha about so-called meddling in the recent U.S. presidential election), which included bribery Chilean congressmen. Also, the conspiracy to kidnap and murder Gen. Rene Schneider, the overall commander of Chile’s armed forces. Also, the conspiracy to inflict economic harm on the Chilean people by bribing truck drivers to not deliver food across the country. Also, the conspiracy to oust the democratically elected president of the country from office and replace him with an unelected military regime, a conspiracy that resulted in the death of the president. Also, the conspiracy to murder two American men living in Chile at the time, Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi. Also, the conspiracy to become a partner in Operation Condor, which assassinated (i.e., murdered) two people on the streets of Washington, D.C., Orlando Letelier and his young assistant Ronni Moffitt.

Those are the crimes that Richard Helms (and the CIA) tried to keep secret from Congress (and the American people) when he lied to Congress about whether the CIA was meddling in Chile’s presidential election. Although Helms later got slapped on the wrist for lying about the matter, not one single U.S. official has ever been criminally prosecuted for any of those felonies involving Chile, including the murders of Schneider, Horman, Teruggi, Letelier, and Moffitt.

Like I say, a sign of the times in which we live, which is why those DEA agents who lied to Congress will go scot free, while private citizens continue to get punished for doing things for which federal receive a pass.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/lying-dea-officials-get-a-pass-just-like-clapper/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/lying-dea-officials-get-a-pass-just-like-clapper/ Fri, 26 May 2017 05:59:38 GMT
Rebels 'Went to Libya With MI5 Blessing' Amid Abedi Probe Gareth Davies http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/rebels-went-to-libya-with-mi5-blessing-amid-abedi-probe/

Rebels living in England have claimed the UK Government waived travel bans to let them fight Colonel Gaddafi in Libya as investigators probe the Manchester bomber's visits to Tripoli. 

Fighters which included Libyan exiles and British-Libyan residents have described how MI5 operated an open door policy for those willing to travel to North Africa to topple the dictator. 

It comes as Home Secretary Amber Rudd admitted Salman Abedi, who killed 22 and injured at least 119 people when he blew himself up at Manchester Arena, was known to counter-terror authorities. 

Those who travelled to Libya to fight alongside Islamic rebel groups have described how, even though they were subject to counter-terror orders banning them from leaving their homes because they posed a security threat, they were allowed to travel to the hostile warzone.

When they returned to the UK, having spent months alongside groups thought by British intelligence to have links with Al-Qaeda, rebels were said to have been allowed back into the country without hesitation. 

Libyan officials have backed up the claims, saying the British government were "fully aware" of young men being sent to fight, turning the North African country into an "exporter of terror."

Abedi's father Ramadan and younger brother Hashem were in custody in Libya last night after being arrested by counter-terror police a day after elder brother Ismail, 23, was detained in Manchester. 

Detectives said Hashem had links to ISIS and was planning to carry out a terror attack in Tripoli.

Hashem was accused of having known about his brother's murderous plans for more than a month, while it emerged his father had been a revolutionary fighter against Gaddafi who publicly voiced support for an Al Qaeda-linked group in Syria.

In the wake of Monday night's atrocity, former rebel fighters have talked of how easily they were able to slip free from their travel bans and leap into battle.

Sources, some of whom met Abedi and described him as a hothead, told the Middle Eastern Eye claim these trips were facilitated by the British government, something the Home Office said it could not comment on when contacted by MailOnline.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read the whole article here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/rebels-went-to-libya-with-mi5-blessing-amid-abedi-probe/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/26/rebels-went-to-libya-with-mi5-blessing-amid-abedi-probe/ Fri, 26 May 2017 05:18:23 GMT
NSA Spying On Americans 'Widespread' - Let Sec. 702 Expire! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/25/nsa-spying-on-americans-widespread-let-sec-702-expire/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/25/nsa-spying-on-americans-widespread-let-sec-702-expire/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/25/nsa-spying-on-americans-widespread-let-sec-702-expire/ Thu, 25 May 2017 20:07:54 GMT
Was Manchester Blowback? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/was-manchester-blowback/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/was-manchester-blowback/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/was-manchester-blowback/ Wed, 24 May 2017 19:19:18 GMT
Slovakia: NATO Exit Idea Gains Momentum Alex Gorka http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/slovakia-nato-exit-idea-gains-momentum/

Montenegro is to be officially admitted into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on June 5. The Montenegrin parliament has approved becoming NATO 29th member country amid a certain degree of popular rejection shared by most of the political opposition, who demanded a public referendum in order to ratify its membership of the military alliance.

The organization has grown from twelve founding members in 1949 to 28 today. The most recent new members, Albania and Croatia, joined in 2009.

There are three officially recognized aspiring members: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, and Macedonia. Extending membership is currently a topic of debate, including Sweden, Finland. Ukraine and is less likely to join but the membership is not excluded, it’s on the agenda.

The alliance appears to be constantly expanding with new aspiring nations knocking at the door. This fact is often adduced to demonstrate success. With Montenegro to join soon, the bloc’s expansion grabs media headlines. At the same time, little is said about the emerging trend in the opposite direction.

Over 150,000 people have already signed the petition to kick off a referendum on Slovakia’s withdrawal from NATO. The initiative has been launched by the opposition anti-NATO, anti-EU Kotleba – People's Party Our Slovakia. The petition needs 350 thousand signatures to start the process.

The country joined the bloc in 2004. No referendum was held. The recent surveys have shown negative attitude to the idea of membership. According to a Globsec agency’s poll conducted in 2016, 47 percent of Slovaks answered that neutrality would be better than membership in the alliance. "As many as 59 percent of Slovaks see the role of the USA in Europe and in the world in a negative light." the SITA newswire quoted the poll. "And 60 percent of them believe the idea that the USA uses NATO to control small countries." The survey found that there was considerable opposition towards the NATO infrastructure. In total, 56 percent of Czechs, 55 percent of Slovaks and 34 percent of Hungarians are against building allied bases on their territories.

Last year, anti-NATO protests inflamed Bratislava. On May 18, 2017 protesters hit the streets in opposition to the plans on stationing NATO facilities on Slovak soil. Support for the alliance membership is apparently dwindling. Slovakia can become the first member to leave it by 2020.

It’s not Slovakia only. Still a member, Turkey is definitely shifting away from the alliance to implement independent foreign policy. The possibility of its exit from the bloc is widely debated. The German aircraft and military personnel are preparing to leave Turkish İncirlik air base as the relations between Berlin and Ankara have greatly deteriorated. It takes place against the background of cracks emerging to undermine the unity of the alliance.

With Brexit gaining momentum, Scotland is pushing for an independence referendum. If the vote is in favor of leaving, it will automatically lose NATO membership. There are voices raised in Greece calling to withdraw from the alliance.

The organization is deeply divided on many issues. During so many years it has failed to bridge the gap between Greece and Turkey - the two members balancing on the brink of conflict. The bloc is far from being unanimous on Russia.

The idea of an independent European deterrent is a top issue on the agenda. Last July, the EU strategy document titled European Union Global Strategy stated that the bloc should look to create greater military autonomy from NATO. The plans foresee the development of new European military and operational structures, including joint headquarters. Sweden and Finland, EU members outside NATO, might prefer an EU alliance to the North Atlantic bloc. If the concept comes to fruition, the raison d’etre for NATO will be put into question.

Concerns have been expressed by NATO officials over creating rivalry and challenging the North Atlantic Alliance’s primacy as the main defence structure. A European independent capability to carry out its own military operations will greatly weaken NATO and put an end to the Old Continent’s dependence on the United States.

The alliance has demonstrated its ineffectiveness. It is not involved in the most important conflict regarding the future of Europe – the war in Syria, and demonstrates that it is not ready to respond to new threats and challenges, such as the fight against terrorism. No NATO operation is conducted there. Some members take very limited part in the conflict as members of the US-led coalition of the willing. Europe is facing multiple threats in its strategic neighborhood coming from the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, through the Middle East, the Caucasus and up to the new frontlines in Eastern Europe. The US has other threats to fend off. North Korea is a real threat to the US but not to Europe. Their interests do not match.

All in all, the exalted NATO unity is more of a myth than a real thing. There are deep divisions and unsettled problems undermining the organization. No doubt, all these issues will be kept out of spotlight during the May 25 NATO summit. But the highfalutin speeches to be delivered do not change the fact that the bloc is in the lurch and the events in Slovakia confirm the trend.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/slovakia-nato-exit-idea-gains-momentum/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/slovakia-nato-exit-idea-gains-momentum/ Wed, 24 May 2017 12:42:43 GMT
The ‘War On Terrorism’ Isn’t Working Justin Raimondo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/the-war-on-terrorism-isn-t-working/

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over in the expectation of a different result, then our foreign policy surely qualifies as madness. Since 2001, in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks, the United States has been in a state of constant warfare: the Afghan conflict has been ongoing since that time, the longest sustained combat in our history. From Iraq to Syria to Somalia and beyond, US forces and their proxies are engaged in a “war on terrorism” that shows no signs of slowing down, only expanding.

And where has it gotten us?

In Afghanistan, more than half the country is under the control of the Taliban, the radical Islamist group that sheltered Osama bin Laden – and they are now joined by ISIS, which has extended its tentacles into that country.

In Iraq, after our war of “liberation,” a civil war pitting Shi’ites against Sunnis is raging, and terrorist attacks are the norm. The Iranians have extended their sphere of influence into the country, and US troops are still fighting there, despite the much-heralded “withdrawal.”

The focus of US military action in the Middle East has now shifted to Syria, where a multi-sided civil war has been raging ever since the so-called Arab Spring. There we have managed to destabilize the regime of Bashar al-Assad by supporting alleged “moderate” Islamists, while we simultaneously fight ISIS – which is tacitly supported by our “moderate” proxies. The result has been a disaster of epic proportions: hundreds of thousands dead, as refugees pour out of the country and into Europe.

Far from winding down, the “war on terrorism” is constantly expanding. The latest front is in Yemen – arguably the poorest country on earth – where our Saudi allies, aided by the US, are slaughtering civilians, bombing funeral processions, and setting off a famine that will kill many thousands more. And while al-Qaeda does indeed have an active franchise in Yemen, the Saudis aren’t targeting them – they’re going after the Houthis, a religious sect that is neither Sunni nor Shi’ite, whose adherents are fighting both the Saudis and al-Qaeda. The Houthi-Saudi war started because Saudi missionaries were spreading Sunni fundamentalism in their historic homeland:  in short, the Houthis are resisting the very extremism that provides terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS with their base of support. Yet we are aiding Saudi Arabia – the epicenter of global terrorism – in their merciless war of aggression.

All this frenzied military action – the bombs, the proxy armies, the “surges” – has led to precisely the opposite of its intended result. If our “war on terrorism” was supposed to end or even reduce the incidents of terrorism in the West, it must be judged an absolute failure.

All across Europe, terrorists are swarming like termites after a rain. We saw what happened yesterday [Monday] in Manchester: the biggest attack in Britain since 2005, and the culmination of a series of prior incidents. In France and Germany it’s the same story.

And in the United States, the trail of post-9/11 terror follows the same pattern: far from diminishing, the number of terrorist incidents is on the upswing. Sixteen years after the twin towers fells, we are less safe – and less free. Draconian security measures are now taken for granted, and that includes not only cumbersome rules and restrictions around airline flights but also universal surveillance. Engulfed in a quagmire of perpetual war, we are fast approaching the condition of a police state – with not even the benefit of increased security.

Most ominously, the ranks of the terrorist armies are swelling, as hatred of America and the West is incorporated into the religious tenets of Islam. Some argue that Islam was always antithetical to Western values and norms, but this debate is now rendered irrelevant as the cycle of violence and repression makes this proposition a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The roots of this disaster are in the presidency of George W. Bush: he and his neoconservative advisors launched a war that was supposed to transform the Middle East into a laboratory of “democracy” – exported by force of arms. The idea, as expressed by neoconservative ideologues, was to “drain the swamp” of the Middle East, so altering the environment in which the “mosquitoes” of terrorism lived and flourished that they would be unable to produce a second generation. Yet we are now into the third generation – and they are more numerous than ever, buzzing around Europe and even the US, stinging at will.

So what’s the solution?

Let’s start by acknowledging that what we’re doing isn’t working.

That’s half the battle right there.

The other half involves winding down the multiple conflicts we’re presently engaged in. Afghanistan is a hopelessly Sisyphean conflict that can never be “won” – it’s long past time to get out. If the Iraqi government we put in place is incapable of defending itself, then let them fall – we can no more prevent that than King Canute could stop the tide from coming in. Syria is a catastrophe made in Washington: our “regime change” policy doomed that country to perdition. We should have the decency to recognize that, and stay out of their internal affairs: let Assad and the Russians take care of their terrorist problem.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/the-war-on-terrorism-isn-t-working/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/24/the-war-on-terrorism-isn-t-working/ Wed, 24 May 2017 12:16:25 GMT
The Republic Has Fallen: The Deep State’s Plot to Take Over America Has Succeeded John W. Whitehead http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/the-republic-has-fallen-the-deep-state-s-plot-to-take-over-america-has-succeeded/

“You have such a fervent, passionate, evangelical faith in this country…why in the name of God don’t you have any faith in the system of government you’re so hell-bent to protect? You want to defend the United States of America, then defend it with the tools it supplies you with—its Constitution. You ask for a mandate, General, from a ballot box. You don’t steal it after midnight, when the country has its back turned.”—Seven Days in May (1964)
No doubt about it.

The coup d’etat has been successful.

The Deep State—a.k.a. the police state a.k.a. the military industrial complex—has taken over.

The American system of representative government has been overthrown by a profit-driven, militaristic corporate state bent on total control and global domination through the imposition of martial law here at home and by fomenting wars abroad.

When in doubt, follow the money trail.

It always points the way.

Every successive president starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt has been bought—lock, stock and barrel—and made to dance to the tune of the Deep State.

Even Dwight D. Eisenhower, the retired five-star Army general -turned-president who warned against the disastrous rise of misplaced power by the military industrial complex was complicit in contributing to the build-up of the military’s role in dictating national and international policy.

Enter Donald Trump, the candidate who swore to drain the swamp in Washington DC.

Instead of putting an end to the corruption, however, Trump has paved the way for lobbyists, corporations, the military industrial complex, and the Deep State to feast on the carcass of the dying American republic.

Just recently, for instance, Trump—boasting about the “purchase of lots of beautiful military equipment because nobody makes it like the United States—agreed to sell Saudi Arabia more than $110 billion in military weapons and “tanks and helicopters for border security, ships for coastal security, intelligence-gathering aircraft, a missile-defense radar system, and cybersecurity tools.”

Meanwhile, Trump—purportedly in an effort to balance the budget in 10 years—wants to slash government funding for programs for the poor, ranging from health care and food stamps to student loans and disability payments.

The military doesn’t have to worry about tightening its belt, however. No, the military’s budget—with its trillion dollar wars, its $125 billion in administrative waste, and its contractor-driven price gouging that hits the American taxpayer where it hurts the most—will continue to grow, thanks to Trump.

This is how you keep the Deep State in power.

The rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, the military will get more militaristic, America’s endless wars will get more endless, and the prospect of peace will grow ever dimmer.

As for the terrorists, they will keep on being played for pawns as long as Saudi Arabia remains their breeding ground and America remains the source of their weapons, training and know-how (15 of the 19 terrorists—including Osama bin Laden—who carried out the 9/11 attacks were from Saudi Arabia).

Follow the money.  It always points the way.

As Bertram Gross noted in Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America, “evil now wears a friendlier face than ever before in American history.”

Writing in 1980, Gross predicted a future in which he saw:
…a new despotism creeping slowly across America. Faceless oligarchs sit at command posts of a corporate-government complex that has been slowly evolving over many decades. In efforts to enlarge their own powers and privileges, they are willing to have others suffer the intended or unintended consequences of their institutional or personal greed. For Americans, these consequences include chronic inflation, recurring recession, open and hidden unemployment, the poisoning of air, water, soil and bodies, and, more important, the subversion of our constitution. More broadly, consequences include widespread intervention in international politics through economic manipulation, covert action, or military invasion...
This stealthy, creeping, silent coup that Gross prophesied is the same danger that writer Rod Serling warned against in the 1964 political thriller Seven Days in May, which put the military in charge of a coup that would institute martial law packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.

On the big screen, the military coup is foiled and the republic is saved in a matter of hours. In the real world, however, the plot thickens and spreads out over the past half century.

We’ve been losing our freedoms so incrementally for so long—sold to us in the name of national security and global peace, maintained by way of martial law disguised as law and order, and enforced by a standing army of militarized police and a political elite determined to maintain their powers at all costs—that it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it all started going downhill, but we’re certainly on that downward trajectory now, and things are moving fast.

The question is no longer whether the U.S. government will be preyed upon and taken over by the military industrial complex. That’s a done deal.

The “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has perished.

It will not be revived or restored without a true revolution of values and a people’s rebellion the likes of which we may not see for a very long time.

America is a profitable business interest for a very select few, and war—wars waged abroad against shadowy enemies and wars waged at home against the American people—has become the Deep State’s primary means of income.

If America has been at war more than we’ve been at peace over the past half century, it’s because the country is in the clutches of a greedy military empire with a gargantuan, profit-driven appetite for war. Indeed, the U.S. has been involved in an average of at least one significant military action per year, “ranging from significant fighting in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan to lesser incursions in such far-flung countries as Kuwait, Bosnia, Pakistan, Libya, Grenada, Haiti and Panama… That total does not count more limited U.S. actions, such as drone strikes.”

War is big business.

In order to maintain a profit margin when there are no more wars to be fought abroad, one would either have to find new enemies abroad or focus on fighting a war at home, against the American people, and that’s exactly what we’re dealing with today.

  • Local police transformed into a standing army in the American homeland through millions of dollars’ worth of grants to local police agencies for military weapons, vehicles, training and assistance.
  • The citizenry taught to fear and distrust each other and to welcome the metal detectors and pat downs in their schools, bag searches in their train stations, tanks and military weaponry used by their small town police forces, surveillance cameras in their traffic lights, police strip searches on their public roads, unwarranted blood draws at drunk driving checkpoints, whole body scanners in their airports, and government agents monitoring their communications.


Had the government tried to ram such a state of affairs down our throats suddenly, it might have had a rebellion on its hands.

Instead, the American people have been given the boiling frog treatment, immersed in water that slowly is heated up—degree by degree—so that they’ve fail to notice that they’re being trapped and cooked and killed.

“We the people” are in hot water now.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the Constitution doesn’t stand a chance against a federalized, globalized standing army protected by legislative, judicial and executive branches that are all on the same side, no matter what political views they subscribe to: suffice it to say, they are not on our side or the side of freedom.

From Clinton to Bush, then Obama and now Trump, it’s as if we’ve been caught in a time loop, forced to re-live the same thing over and over again: the same assaults on our freedoms, the same disregard for the rule of law, the same subservience to the Deep State, and the same corrupt, self-serving government that exists only to amass power, enrich its shareholders and ensure its continued domination.

The republic has fallen to fascism with a smile.

As Bertram Gross wrote in what may have been his most prescient warning:
In 1935 Sinclair Lewis wrote a popular novel in which a racist, anti-Semitic, flag-waving, army-backed demagogue wins the 1936 presidential election and proceeds to establish an Americanized version of Nazi Germany. The title, It Can't Happen Here, was a tongue-in-cheek warning that it might. But the "it" Lewis referred to is unlikely to happen again any place... Anyone looking for black shirts, mass parties, or men on horseback will miss the telltale clues of creeping fascism. In any First World country of advanced capitalism, the new fascism will be colored by national and cultural heritage, ethnic and religious composition, formal political structure, and geopolitical environment... In America, it would be supermodern and multi-ethnic-as American as Madison Avenue, executive luncheons, credit cards, and apple pie. It would be fascism with a smile. As a warning against its cosmetic facade, subtle manipulation, and velvet gloves, I call it friendly fascism. What scares me most is its subtle appeal.

I am worried by those who fail to remember-or have never learned -that Big Business-Big Government partnerships, backed up by other elements, were the central facts behind the power structures of old fascism in the days of Mussolini, Hitler, and the Japanese empire builders. I am worried by those who quibble about labels… I am upset with those who prefer to remain spectators until it may be too late… I am appalled by those who stiffly maintain that nothing can be done until things get worse or the system has been changed. I am afraid of inaction. I am afraid of those who will heed no warnings and who wait for some revelation, research, or technology to offer a perfect solution. I am afraid of those who do not see that some of the best in America has been the product of promises and that the promises of the past are not enough for the future. I am dismayed by those who will not hope, who will not commit themselves to something larger than themselves, of those who are afraid of true democracy or even its pursuit.
Elections will not save us.

Learn the treacherous lessons of 2008 and 2016:  presidential elections have made a mockery of our constitutional system of government, suggesting that our votes can make a difference when, in fact, they merely serve to maintain the status quo.

Don’t delay.

Start now—in your own communities, in your schools, at your city council meetings, in newspaper editorials, at protests—by pushing back against laws that are unjust, police departments that overreach, politicians that don’t listen to their constituents, and a system of government that grows more tyrannical by the day.

If you wait until 2020 to rescue our republic from the clutches of the Deep State, it will be too late.

Reprinted with permission from the Rutherford Institute.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/the-republic-has-fallen-the-deep-state-s-plot-to-take-over-america-has-succeeded/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/the-republic-has-fallen-the-deep-state-s-plot-to-take-over-america-has-succeeded/ Tue, 23 May 2017 19:46:31 GMT
Manchester Tragedy: Understanding The Big Picture Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/manchester-tragedy-understanding-the-big-picture/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/manchester-tragedy-understanding-the-big-picture/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/23/manchester-tragedy-understanding-the-big-picture/ Tue, 23 May 2017 17:59:17 GMT
Trump In Saudi Arabia - 'Peace In Our Time?' Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/trump-in-saudi-arabia-peace-in-our-time/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/trump-in-saudi-arabia-peace-in-our-time/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/trump-in-saudi-arabia-peace-in-our-time/ Mon, 22 May 2017 17:37:26 GMT
Donald of Arabia: A Disgusting Spectacle Justin Raimondo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/donald-of-arabia-a-disgusting-spectacle/

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.

Most tellingly, it was Trump who made a campaign issue out of the missing 28 pages redacted from the Joint congressional report on the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In calling for their release, he painted a scenario in which the Saudi royals assisted the hijackers and said:
“You know, it’s sort of nice to know who your friends are, and perhaps who your enemies are.”
Does Trump know who are our friends and who are our enemies?

While the US government, under both Trump and Obama, has routinely maintained that Iran is the biggest exporter of terrorism, that is utter nonsense: the Saudis easily outdo the mullahs of Tehran. Riyadh funds radical madrassas throughout the world that preach pure hatred of the West: they are incubators of terrorism, and have been wreaking havoc from one end of the globe to the other for decades. The terrorist groups that have destroyed Syria are the progeny of the Saudis, and their allies among the Gulf states.

Most shameful of all, the Saudis have invaded nearby Yemen, slaughtering children and women with impunity, bombing funeral processions, and causing a famine that will kill hundreds of thousands of noncombatants: the very young, the sick, and the old. And they’re doing it with US assistance, a pact signed in blood under the Obama administration, now continued and beefed up under Trump.

In all fairness, this is nothing new as far as the US is concerned: our relationship with the Saudi monarchy goes all the way back to Franklin Roosevelt, who cemented the alliance in 1943 by declaring that the defense of their medieval dictatorship was “vital” to our national security: US taxpayer dollars flowed into the Saudi treasury via the Lend-Lease giveaway. The flow hasn’t stopped since that time: indeed, it has only increased.

And the flow will turn into a torrent if Trump’s wacky idea of an Arab NATO ever comes to fruition. We’ll be paying their “defense” bills unto eternity, while they send their army of head-chopping assassins out to murder infidels on a global scale – and US arms dealers rake in cash hand over fist.

Yes, the US-Saudi relationship is one of the central pillars of our globalist foreign policy – but wasn’t Trump supposed to be different? Wasn’t he supposed to be putting America first? Of all the betrayals we’ve had to endure since he took the White House, his pilgrimage to the epicenter of world terrorism has got to be the absolute worst. As he kneels before the Saudi king, he humiliates all of us.

Trump’s next stop is Israel, and that’s no accident: the Jewish state is Saudi Arabia’s main ally in the region, although the relationship is supposed to be covert. They don’t even bother to keep it under wraps anymore. While the Saudis fund the head-chopping barbarians who have destroyed Syria, the Israelis succor them in their hospitals and then set them free to kill and maim again. Israeli officials openly state their preference for ISIS over Bashar al-Assad. If and when Trump’s loopy “Arab NATO” ever comes to pass, Israel will be a silent partner.

The third leg of Trump’s trip will be the Vatican, and there an ambush awaits him. This Pope is no friend of the White House, and he is likely to issue a public rebuke on the immigration issue, at the very least. The whole thing is a public relations disaster waiting to happen, and a testament to the very bad advice Trump is getting from his clueless advisors.

The mawkish idea of visiting the sites of the world’s three major religions is more appropriate for a television special than for a President on his first major trip abroad. Quite aside from the fact that it leaves out the Hindus, the Greek Orthodox, and the Buddhists, the whole concept is typical of the way this administration thinks in terms of mindless clichés, catchphrases without context or real meaning.

Speaking of which, the less said about Trump’s speech in Riyadh the better: it was a farrago of falsehood, kowtowing, and brazen hypocrisy. To top it off, he announced that a new “Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology” is to be opened in the Kingdom – which is, itself, the world capital of extremist ideology, having done more to spread religious hatred than any country on earth.

Of all Trump’s many betrayals – and they’re piling up at such a rate that he’s creating a veritable Mountain of Mendacity – this Saudi trip has got to be the one that will demoralize and alienate even his hardcore supporters. After rising to power on the strength of portraying Islam as inherently violent and dangerous, he’s now joining hands with the leaders of what he once described as “the hateful ideology of radical Islam.” It’s as if Mother Theresa had embraced the Church of Satan.

It’s been a very long four months – that seems more like four years. In voting for Trump, many of his supporters – some of whom are now among Antiwar.com’s regular readers and supporters – were hoping for a return to normalcy. What they got instead was a descent into Bizarro World.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/donald-of-arabia-a-disgusting-spectacle/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/donald-of-arabia-a-disgusting-spectacle/ Mon, 22 May 2017 13:28:02 GMT
Will the Trump Administration Overdose on Authoritarianism? Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/will-the-trump-administration-overdose-on-authoritarianism/

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!

As was the case with alcohol prohibition, the drug war has empowered criminal gangs and even terrorists to take advantage of the opportunity presented by prohibition to profit by meeting the continued demand for drugs. Drug prohibition enables these criminal enterprises to make profits far above the potential profits if drugs where legalized. Ironically, the so-called “law-and-order” politicians who support the drug war are helping enrich the very criminals they claim to oppose!

The war on drugs also makes street drugs more lethal by incentivizing the creation of more potent and, thus, more dangerous drugs. Of course, even as Sessions himself admits, the war on drugs also leads to increased violence, as drug dealers cannot go to the courts to settle disputes among themselves or with their customers.

Before 9/11, the war on drugs was the go-to excuse used to justify new infringements on liberty. For example, laws limiting our ability to withdraw, or even carry, large sums of cash and laws authorizing civil asset forfeiture were justified by the need to crack down on drug dealers and users. The war on drugs is also the root cause of the criminal justice system’s disparate treatment of minorities and the militarization of local police.

The war on drugs is a war on the Constitution as well. The Constitution does not give the federal government authority to regulate, much less ban, drugs. People who doubt this should ask themselves why it was necessary to amend the Constitution to allow the federal government to criminalize drinking alcohol but not necessary to amend the Constitution to criminalize drug use.

Today, a majority of states have legalized medical marijuana, and a growing number are legalizing recreational marijuana use. Enforcement of federal laws outlawing marijuana in those states is the type of federal interference with state laws that conservatives usually oppose. Hopefully, in this area the Trump administration will exercise restraint and respect state marijuana laws.

Sessions’ announcement was not the only pro-drug war announcement made by the administration this week. President Trump himself, in a meeting with the president of Columbia, promised to continue US intervention in South and Central America to eliminate drug cartels. President Trump, like his attorney general, seems to not understand that the rise of foreign drug cartels, like the rise of domestic drug gangs, is a consequence of US drug policy.

The use of government force to stop adults from putting certain substances into their bodies — whether marijuana, saturated fats, or raw milk — violates the nonaggression principle that is the bedrock of a free society. Therefore, all those who care about protecting individual liberty and limiting government power should support ending the drug war. Those with moral objections to drug use should realize that education and persuasion, carried out through voluntary institutions like churches and schools, is a more moral and effective way to discourage drug use than relying on government force.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/will-the-trump-administration-overdose-on-authoritarianism/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/22/will-the-trump-administration-overdose-on-authoritarianism/ Mon, 22 May 2017 12:42:06 GMT
US Attacks Syrian Government Forces - It Now Has To Make Its Choice Moon of Alabama http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/21/us-attacks-syrian-government-forces-it-now-has-to-make-its-choice/ undefined

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. They were about 23 kilometers away from the border station when they were attack by U.S. aircraft coming in low from Jordan. The U.S. jets directly fired at the convoy, allegedly after earlier giving some "warning shots". At least one Syrian tank and several other vehicles were destroyed. Six Syrian government forces were reported killed and more were wounded.

The U.S. command claimed that this was a "defensive" move to "protect" its soldiers at the al-Tanf station. There are U.S. and British special forcesstationed near the station who lead and train the NSA contingent - all together a few 100 men.

The U.S. attack was clearly a willful, illegal attack on Syrian ground against legitimate forces of the sovereign Syrian government. (The Iraqi PMU contingent in Syria is a legitimate allied force under control of the Iraqi prime minister.) There is no clause in international law, no UNSC resolution or anything similar, that could justify such an attack. The U.S. military has no right at all to be at al-Tanf or anywhere else in Syria. There is nothing to "defend" for it. If it dislikes regular Syrian and Iraqi forces moving in their own countries  towards their own border station and retaking it from Jihadi "rebels", it can and should move out and go home. Moreover - the U.S. claims it is "fighting ISIS" in Syria. Why then is it attacking the Syrian government forces while these launch a large operation against the very same enemy?

The coalition led by the U.S. military claimed it asked Russia to intervene and that Russia tried to deter the Syrian force to move towards al-Tanf. I am told that this claim is incorrect. Russia supports the Syrian move to the east and the retaking of the border. The move will be reinforced and continue. The revamped Syrian air defense will actively protect it. Russia will support it with its own forces if needed.

The illegitimate occupation forces, the U.S. and British forces and their proxies, will have to move out of al-Tanf or they will have to directly fight the Syrian government forces and all its allies. They have no right to be there at all. The Iraqi PMU in Syria, some of which were hurt in yesterday's U.S. attack, are an active part of the coalition against ISIS in Iraq. If the U.S. fights it in Syria it will also have to fight it in Iraq (and elsewhere). Russia is able and willing to reinforce its own contingent in Syria to help the government to regain the Syrian east.

The U.S. has no legitimate aim in Syria. It is somewhat tolerated in the north-east where it helps Syrian-Kurdish forces to fight ISIS and to liberate Raqqa. That does not give it ANY right to occupy Syria's east or to attack Syrian government forces. When Raqqa is done all U.S. forces in the north-east will have to again move out.

Together with its many subordinate NATO and Gulf allies the U.S. has the military and economic power to destroy the Syrian military. It can eliminate the Syrian government under President Assad and occupy the whole country. That would be a large war which would probably escalate into a global fight against Russia, Iran and other countries. It would necessitate a several decades long follow-up occupation for "nation building" while constantly fighting against a large al-Qaeda aligned Takfiri insurgency in Syria and all its neighboring countries (especially in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey where U.S. friendly governments would fall). The war would cost several trillion U.S. dollars, a large number of casualties and cause decades long chaos in a geo-politically sensitive region.

The U.S. has a simple choice: Either go in with full force and bear the above consequences, or concede to the sovereign Syrian government and its allies and coordinate with them to retake the country from ISIS and al-Qaeda. This will have to be done as they, not the U.S., see it proper to do. To believe that the U.S. can take the east and convert into some peaceful vassal statelet is pure fantasy. Way too many regional forces and interests are strung against that. There is little grey between these black and white alternatives.

The only tactically thinking U.S. military and intelligence services will try to avoid to choose between these. They will use their Jihadist proxy forces in west-Syria to break their current ceasefire with the Syrian government side and launch a diversion for their moves into the Syrian east. The Syrian government would then probably have to delay its larger operations in the east. 

But that would not change the strategic situation. The choice the U.S. people and their government have to make will still be the same. The point in time to finally accept it may move out a few month while the fighting escalates and causes more damage on all sides. The choice would still be the same. It is all-in or out. The best time to take it is now.

Addendum:

There are some maps flowing around which assert that Iran is seeking a military land communication route via Iraq into Syria and beyond. They show some fantasy route up north through Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish territory as the "current route" and the roads between Damascus and Baghdad as "future route". The claim is that military equipment moves along these roads.

It is nonsense. Iran did not and does not need such land routes for military exchanges with its allies in Syria and Lebanon. Where was that Iranian land route in 2006 when the U.S. occupied Iraq while Israel attacked Lebanon? Where was that land route when ISIS occupied half of Iraq and Syria? There was no such route and Iranian support still reached Hizbullah in 2006 and later Syria. It came by air, by ship and, most important, by other means.

By holding up such fantasy maps certain interests want to insinuate that the area is "strategically important" for the U.S. and that the U.S. must therefore occupy south-east Syria. It is true that the road network between Syria and Iraq has some economical importance. Like all roads these are used for local commerce. But history demonstrates that they are not militarily strategic asset in the sense of an essential, overarching need.

Reprinted with permission from Moon of Alabama.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/21/us-attacks-syrian-government-forces-it-now-has-to-make-its-choice/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/21/us-attacks-syrian-government-forces-it-now-has-to-make-its-choice/ Sun, 21 May 2017 18:27:36 GMT
The Russian Obsession Goes Back Decades Jacob G. Hornberger http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/the-russian-obsession-goes-back-decades/

Just consider the accusations that have been leveled at the president:
  1. He has betrayed the Constitution, which he swore to uphold.
  2. He has committed treason by befriending Russia and other enemies of America.
  3. He has subjugated America’s interests to Moscow.
  4. He has been caught in fantastic lies to the American people, including personal ones, like his previous marriage and divorce.
President Donald Trump?

No, President John F. Kennedy.

What lots of Americans don’t realize, because it was kept secret from them for so long, is that what Trump has been enduring from the national-security establishment, the mainstream press, and the American right-wing for his outreach to, or “collusion with,” Russia pales compared to what Kennedy had to endure for committing the heinous “crime” of reaching out to Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union in a spirit of peace and friendship.

They hated him for it. They abused him. They insulted him. They belittled him. They called him naïve. They said he was a traitor.

All of the nasties listed above, plus more, were contained in an advertisement and a flier that appeared in Dallas on the morning of November 22, 1963, the day that Kennedy was assassinated. They can be read here and here.

Ever since then, some people have tried to make it seem like the advertisement and flier expressed only the feelings of extreme right-wingers in Dallas. That’s nonsense. They expressed the deeply held convictions of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CIA, the conservative movement, and many people within the mainstream media and Washington establishment.

In June 1963, Kennedy threw down the gauntlet in a speech he delivered at American University, now entitled the “Peace Speech.” It was one of the most remarkable speeches ever delivered by an American president. It was broadcast all across the communist Soviet Union, the first time that had ever been done.

In the speech, Kennedy announced that he was bringing an end to the Cold War and the mindset of hostility toward Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union that the U.S. national-security establishment had inculcated in the minds of the American people ever since the end of World War II.

It was a radical notion and, as Kennedy well understood, a very dangerous one insofar as he was concerned. The Cold War against America’s World War II partner and ally had been used to convert the United States from a limited-government republic to a national-security state, one consisting of a vast, permanent military establishment, the CIA, and the NSA, along with their broad array of totalitarian-like powers, such as assassination, regime change, coups, invasions, torture, surveillance, and the like. Everyone was convinced that the Cold War — and the so-called threat from the international communist conspiracy that was supposedly based in Russia — would last forever, which would naturally mean permanent and ever-increasing largess for what Kennedy’s predecessor, President Dwight Eisenhower, had  called the “military-industrial complex.”

Suddenly, Kennedy was upending the Cold War apple cart by threatening to establish a relationship of friendship and peaceful coexistence with Russia, the rest of the Soviet Union, and Cuba.

Kennedy knew full well that his actions were considered by some to be a grave threat to “national security.” After all, don’t forget that it was Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him ousted from power by the CIA and presumably targeted for assassination as part of that regime-change operation. It was Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that made him the target of Pentagon and CIA regime-change operations, including through invasion, assassination, and sanctions. It was Congo leader’s Patrice Lamumba’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted for assassination by the CIA. It would be Chilean President Salvador Allende’s outreach to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship that got him targeted in a CIA-instigated coup in Chile that resulted in Allende’s death.

Kennedy wasn’t dumb. He knew what he was up against. He had heard Eisenhower warn the American people in his Farewell Address about the dangers to their freedom and democratic way of life posed by the military establishment. After Kennedy had read the novel Seven Days in May,which posited the danger of a military coup in America, he asked friends in Hollywood to make it into a movie to serve as a warning to the American people. In the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the Pentagon and the CIA were exerting extreme pressure on Kennedy to bomb and invade Cuba, his brother Bobby told a Soviet official with whom he was negotiating that the president was under a severe threat of being ousted in a coup. And, of course, Kennedy was fully mindful of what had happened to Arbenz, Lamumba, and Castro for doing what Kennedy was now doing — reaching out to the Soviets in a spirit of friendship.

In the eyes of the national-security establishment, one simply did not reach out to Russia, Cuba, or any other “enemy” of America. Doing so, in their eyes, made Kennedy an appeaser, betrayer, traitor, and a threat to “national security.”

Kennedy didn’t stop with his Peace Speech. He also began negotiating a treaty with the Soviets to end above-ground nuclear testing, an action that incurred even more anger and ire within the Pentagon and the CIA. Yes, that’s right — they said that “national security” depended on the U.S. government’s continuing to do what they object to North Korea doing today — conducting nuclear tests, both above ground and below ground.

Kennedy mobilized public opinion to overcome fierce opposition in the military, CIA, Congress, and the Washington establishment to secure passage of his Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

He then ordered a partial withdrawal of troops from Vietnam, and told close aides that he would order a complete pull-out after winning the 1964 election. In the eyes of the U.S. national-security establishment, leaving Vietnam subject to a communist takeover would pose a grave threat to national security here in the United States.

Worst of all, from the standpoint of the national-security establishment, Kennedy began secret personal negotiations with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro to bring an end to America’s Cold War against them. That was considered to be a grave threat to “national security” as well as a grave threat to all the military and intelligence largess that depended on the Cold War.

By this time, Kennedy’s war with the national-security establishment was in full swing. He had already vowed to tear the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds after its perfidious conduct in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. By this time, he had also lost all confidence in the military after it proposed an all-out surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, much as Japan had done at Pearl Harbor, after the infamous plan known as Operation Northwoods, which proposed terrorist attacks and plane hijackings carried out by U.S. agents posing as Cuban communists, so as to provide a pretext for invading Cuba, and after the Cuban Missile Crisis, when the military establishment accused him of appeasement and treason for agreeing not to ever invade Cuba again.

What Kennedy didn’t know was that his “secret” negotiations with the Soviet and Cuban communists weren’t so secret after all. As it turns out, it was a virtual certainty that the CIA (or NSA) was listening in on telephone conversations of Cuban officials at the UN in New York City, much as the CIA and NSA still do today, during which they would have learned what the president was secretly doing behind their backs.

Kennedy’s feelings toward the people who were calling him a traitor for befriending Moscow and other “enemies” of America? In response to the things that were said in that advertisement and flier about him being a traitor for befriending Russia, he told his wife Jackie on the morning he was assassinated: “We are heading into nut country today.” Of course, as he well knew, the nuts weren’t located only in Dallas. They were also situated throughout the U.S. national-security establishment.

For more information, attend The Future of Freedom Foundation’s one-day conference on June 3, 2017, entitled “The National Security State and JFK” at the Washington Dulles Marriott Hotel.

Reprinted with permission from the Future of Freedom Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/the-russian-obsession-goes-back-decades/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/the-russian-obsession-goes-back-decades/ Sat, 20 May 2017 20:17:48 GMT
The Assault on Trump Paul Craig Roberts http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/the-assault-on-trump/
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We are witnessing an assault by the national security state and its liberal media on a President of the United States that is unprecedented.

Wild and unsupported accusations of treasonous or illegal Russian connections have been the mainstay of the news since Trump’s campaign for president. These accusations have reached the point that there is an impeachment movement driven by the national security state and its liberal media and endorsed by Democrats, the American leftwing which has turned against the working class as “Trump deplorables,” and luminaries such as Harvard Law Professor Larry Tribe. The Washington Post, which was not present at the meeting of President Trump with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, purports to know that Trump gave Lavrov US national security information.

The Russian government has offered the presstitute media a transcript of the meeting, but, of course, the pressitutes are not interested.

The latest story is that Trump tried to bribe FBI Director Comey, before he fired him, not to investigate Trump as part of the “Russian investigation.” Clearly there is no intelligence left in the American media. The President doesn’t need to bribe someone he can fire.

What we are witnessing is the determination of the national security state to keep their prized “Russian Threat” in its assigned role as the Number One Threat to the US. The liberal media, owned by the CIA since the 1950s is in accord with this goal.

The American media is so accustomed to its enslavement by the national security state that it does not think of the consequences. But Professor Stephen Cohen does. I agree with him that the greatest threat to national security “is this assault on President Trump.”

Cohen said that there is a 4th branch of government, the intelligence community, which obstruts the management of American foreign affairs by the executive branch and Congress.

As an example, he reminded us that “In 2016, President Obama worked out a deal with Russian President Putin for military cooperation in Syria. He said he was going to share intelligence with Russia, just like Trump and the Russians were supposed to do the other day. Our department of defense said it wouldn’t share intelligence. And a few days later, they killed Syrian soldiers, violating the agreement, and that was the end of that. So, we can ask, who is making our foreign policy in Washington today?”

In the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy thought he was in charge, and he was assassinated for his belief. JFK blocked an invasion of Cuba, the Northwoods project, a preemptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union, and spoke of ending the Cold War.

In the 1970s President Nixon was driven from office, because he thought he was in charge of foreign policy. Like Kennedy, Nixon was a threat to the national security state. Nixon pushed through SALT 1 and the anti-ABM Treaty, and he opened to China, defusing those tensions as well. The military/security complex saw its budget dwindling as the threat dwindled. Nixon also determined to withdraw from Vietnam, but was constrained by the national security state. Nixon, the most knowledgeable president about foreign affairs, was forced from office, because his efforts in behalf of peace constituted a threat to the power and profit of the military/security complex.

It is important to understand that there is no evidence whatsoever against Nixon in the Washington Post “investigation.” The Post’s reporters simply put together a collection of inuendoes that cast aspersion on Nixon, whose “crime” was to say that he learned of the Watergate buglary at a later date than he actually did. Nixon kept the burglary quiet until after his reelection, because he knew that the CIA’s Washington Post would use it in an effort to prevent his reelection.

The “crime” for which Nixon was really removed was his success in establishing more peaceful and stable relations with Russia and China.

Trump, being in real estate and entertainment, was unaware of the landmines on which he was stepping when he said it was time to normalize relations with Russia and to rethink the purpose of NATO.

The US military/security complex sits on a budget extracted from very hard-pressed American taxpayers of $1,000 billion dollars annually. By threatening to normalize relations with the enemy which was created in order to justify this vast budget, Trump presented as the major threat to the American National Security State’s power and profit.

This is why Trump will be broken and/or removed as President of the United States.

Once again democracy in American is proving to be powerless. There is no one in Washington who can help Trump. Those who could help him, such as myself, cannot be confirmed by the US Senate, which is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military/security complex, Wall Street, and the Israel Lobby.

Trump tried to connect the suffering American people to their government, an act of treason against the oligarchy, who are making an example of Trump that will dissuade politicians in the future from making populist appeals to the people.

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/the-assault-on-trump/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/the-assault-on-trump/ Sat, 20 May 2017 18:59:20 GMT
Seth Rich, Craig Murray and the Sinister Stewards of the National Security State Mike Whitney http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/seth-rich-craig-murray-and-the-sinister-stewards-of-the-national-security-state/

Why is it a “conspiracy theory” to think that a disgruntled Democratic National Committee staffer gave WikiLeaks the DNC emails, but not a conspiracy theory to think the emails were provided by Russia?

Why?

Which is the more likely scenario: That a frustrated employee leaked damaging emails to embarrass his bosses or a that foreign government hacked DNC computers for some still-unknown reason?

That’s a no-brainer, isn’t it?

Former-DNC employee, Seth Rich, not only had access to the emails, but also a motive. He was pissed about the way the Clinton crowd was “sandbagging” Bernie Sanders. In contrast, there’s neither evidence nor motive connecting Russia to the emails. On top of that,  WikiLeaks founder, Julien Assange (a man of impeccable integrity) has repeatedly denied that Russia gave him the emails which suggests the government investigation is completely misdirected. The logical course of action, would be to pursue the leads that are most likely to bear fruit, not those that originate from one’s own political bias. But, of course, logic has nothing to do with the current investigation, it’s all about politics and geopolitics.

We don’t know who killed Seth Rich and we’re not going to speculate on the matter here.  But we find it very strange that neither the media nor the FBI have pursued leads in the case that challenge the prevailing narrative on the Russia hacking issue. Why is that? Why is the media so eager to blame Russia when Rich looks like the much more probable suspect?

And why have the mainstream news organizations put so much energy into discrediting the latest Fox News report, when– for the last 10 months– they’ve showed absolutely zero interest in Rich’s death at all?

According to Fox News:

“The Democratic National Committee staffer who was gunned down on July 10 on a Washington, D.C., street just steps from his home had leaked thousands of internal emails to WikiLeaks, law enforcement sources told Fox News.
A federal investigator who reviewed an FBI forensic report detailing the contents of DNC staffer Seth Rich’s computer generated within 96 hours after his murder, said Rich made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time….

Rod Wheeler, a retired Washington homicide detective and Fox News contributor investigating the case on behalf of the Rich family, made the WikiLeaks claim, which was corroborated by a federal investigator who spoke to Fox News….

“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and Wikileaks,” the federal investigator told Fox News, confirming the MacFadyen connection. He said the emails are in possession of the FBI, while the stalled case is in the hands of the Washington Police Department.” (“Family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich blasts detective over report of WikiLeaks link”, Fox News)
Okay, so where’s the computer? Who’s got Rich’s computer? Let’s do the forensic work and get on with it.

But the Washington Post and the other bogus news organizations aren’t interested in such matters because it doesn’t fit with their political agenda. They’d rather take pot-shots at Fox for running an article that doesn’t square with their goofy Russia hacking story. This is a statement on the abysmal condition of journalism today. Headline news has become the province of perception mandarins who use the venue to shape information to their own malign specifications, and any facts that conflict with their dubious storyline, are savagely attacked and discredited. Journalists are no longer investigators that keep the public informed, but paid assassins who liquidate views that veer from the party-line.

WikiLeaks never divulges the names of the people who provide them with information. Even so, Assange has not only shown an active interest in the Seth Rich case, but also offered a $20,000 reward for anyone providing information leading to the arrest and conviction of Rich’s murder. Why? And why did he post a link to the Fox News article on his Twitter account on Tuesday?

I don’t know, but if I worked for the FBI or the Washington Post, I’d sure as hell be beating the bushes to find out. And not just because it might help in Rich’s murder investigation, but also, because it could shed light on the Russia fiasco which is being used to lay the groundwork for impeachment proceedings. So any information that challenges the government version of events, could actually change the course of history.

Have you ever heard of Craig Murray?

Murray should be the government’s star witness in the DNC hacking scandal, instead, no one even knows who he is. But if we trust what Murray has to say, then we can see that the Russia hacking story is baloney. The emails were “leaked” by insiders not “hacked” by a foreign government. Here’s the scoop from Robert Parry at Consortium News:
“Former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray, has suggested that the DNC leak came from a “disgruntled” Democrat upset with the DNC’s sandbagging of the Sanders campaign and that the Podesta leak came from the U.S. intelligence community….He (Murray) appears to have undertaken a mission for WikiLeaks to contact one of the sources (or a representative) during a Sept. 25 visit to Washington where he says he met with a person in a wooded area of American University. ….

Though Murray has declined to say exactly what the meeting in the woods was about, he may have been passing along messages about ways to protect the source from possible retaliation, maybe even an extraction plan if the source was in some legal or physical danger…Murray also suggested that the DNC leak and the Podesta leak came from two different sources, neither of them the Russian government.

“The Podesta emails and the DNC emails are, of course, two separate things and we shouldn’t conclude that they both have the same source,” Murray said. “In both cases we’re talking of a leak, not a hack, in that the person who was responsible for getting that information out had legal access to that information…

Scott Horton then asked, “Is it fair to say that you’re saying that the Podesta leak came from inside the intelligence services, NSA [the electronic spying National Security Agency] or another agency?”

“I think what I said was certainly compatible with that kind of interpretation, yeah,” Murray responded. “In both cases they are leaks by Americans.”

(“A Spy Coup in America?”, Robert Parry, Consortium News)
With all the hullabaloo surrounding the Russia hacking case, you’d think that Murray’s eyewitness account would be headline news, but not in Homeland Amerika where the truth is kept as far from the front page as humanly possible.

Bottom line: The government has a reliable witness (Murray) who can positively identify the person who hacked the DNC emails and, so far, they’ve showed no interest in his testimony at all.  Doesn’t that strike you as a bit weird?

Did you know that after a 10 month-long investigation, there’s still no hard evidence that Russia hacked the 2016 elections?  In fact, when the Intelligence agencies were pressed on the matter, they promised to release a report that would provide iron-clad proof of Russian meddling.  On January 6, 2017, theDirector of National Intelligence, James Clapper, released that report. It was called The Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA).  Unfortunately, the report fell far-short of the public’s expectations. Instead of a smoking gun, Clapper produced a tedious 25-page compilation of speculation, hearsay, innuendo and gobbledygook.  Here’s how veteran journalist Robert Parry summed it up:
“The report contained no direct evidence that Russia delivered hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta to WikiLeaks….The DNI report…as presented, is one-sided and lacks any actual proof. Further, the continued use of the word “assesses”….suggests that the underlying classified information also may be less than conclusive because, in intelligence-world-speak, “assesses” often means “guesses.” (“US Report Still Lacks Proof on Russia ‘Hack’”, Robert Parry, Consortium News)
Repeat: “the report contained no direct evidence”, no “actual proof”, and a heckuva a lot of “guessing”. That’s some “smoking gun”, eh?

If this ‘thin gruel’ sounds like insufficient grounds for removing a sitting president and his administration, that’s because it is.  But the situation is even worse than it looks,  mainly because the information in the assessment is not reliable. The ICA was corrupted by higher-ups in the Intel food-chain who selected particular analysts who could be trusted to produce a document that served their broader political agenda. Think I’m kidding? Take a look at this excerpt from an article at Fox News:
“On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Intelligence Community issued an “Intelligence Community Assessment” (ICA) that found Russia deliberately interfered in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump’s candidacy…  (but) there are compelling reasons to believe this ICA was actually a politicized analysis that violated normal rules for crafting intelligence assessments…… to ensure this one reached the bottom line conclusion that the Obama administration was looking for. …

….Director of National Intelligence James Clapper explained in his testimony that two dozen or so “seasoned experts” were “handpicked” from the contributing agencies” and drafted the ICA “under the aegis of his former office” …  While Clapper claimed these analysts were given “complete independence” to reach their findings, he added that their conclusions “were thoroughly vetted and then approved by the directors of the three agencies and me.”

This process drastically differed from the Intelligence Community’s normal procedures.  Hand-picking a handful of analysts from just three intelligence agencies to write such a controversial assessment went against standing rules to vet such analyses throughout the Intelligence Community within its existing structure.  The idea of using hand-picked intelligence analysts selected through some unknown process to write an assessment on such a politically sensitive topic carries a strong stench of politicization….

A major problem with this process is that it gave John Brennan, CIA’s hyper-partisan former director, enormous influence over the drafting of the ICA.  Given Brennan’s scathing criticism of Mr. Trump before and after the election, he should have had no role whatsoever in the drafting of this assessment.  Instead, Brennan probably selected the CIA analysts who worked on the ICA and reviewed and approved their conclusions….

The unusual way that the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment was drafted raises major questions as to whether it was rigged by the Obama administration to produce conclusions that would discredit the election outcome and Mr. Trump’s presidency.”

(“More indications Intel assessment of Russian interference in election was rigged”, Fox News)
Repeat: “A politicized analysis that violated normal rules for crafting intelligence assessments.” That says it all, doesn’t it?

Let’s take a minute and review the main points in the article:

1–Was the Intelligence Community Assessment the summary work of all 17 US Intelligence Agencies?

No, it was not. “In his May 8 testimony to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, Clapper confirmed …(that) the ICA reflected the views of only three intelligence agencies — CIA, NSA and FBI – not all 17.”

2–Did any of the analysts challenge the findings in the ICA?

No, the document failed to acknowledge any dissenting views, which suggests that the analysts were screened in order to create consensus.

3– Were particular analysts chosen to produce the ICA?

Yes, they were “handpicked from the contributing agencies” and drafted the ICA “under the aegis of his former office” (the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.)

4– Was their collaborative work released to the public in its original form?

No,  their conclusions “were thoroughly vetted and then approved by the directors of the three agencies and me.” (Clapper) This of course suggests that the document was political in nature and crafted to deliver a particular message.

5–Were Clapper’s methods “normal” by Intelligence agency standards?

Definitely not. “This process drastically differed from the Intelligence Community’s normal procedures.”

6–Are Clapper and Brennan partisans who have expressed their opposition to Trump many times in the past calling into question their ability to be objective in executing their duties as heads of their respective agencies?

Absolutely. Check out this clip from Monday’s Arkansas online:
“I think, in many ways, our institutions are under assault, both externally — and that’s the big news here, is the Russian interference in our election system,” said James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence. “I think as well our institutions are under assault internally.”

When he was asked, “Internally, from the president?” Clapper said, “Exactly.” (Clapper calls Trump democracy assailant”, arkansasonline)
Brennan has made numerous similar statements. (Note: It is particularly jarring that Clapper– who oversaw the implementation of the modern surveillance police state– feels free to talk about “the assault on our institutions.”)

7–Does the ICA prove that anyone on the Trump campaign colluded with Russia or that Russia meddled in the 2016 elections?

No, it doesn’t.  What it shows is that –even while Clapper and Brennan may have been trying to produce an assessment that would ‘kill two birds with one stone’, (incriminate Russia and smear Trump at the same time) the ICA achieved neither. So far, there’s no proof of anything.   Now take a look at this list I found in an article at The American Thinker:
“12 prominent public statements by those on both sides of the aisle who reviewed the evidence or been briefed on it confirmed there was no evidence of Russia trying to help Trump in the election or colluding with him:

The New York Times (Nov 1, 2016);
House Speaker Paul Ryan (Feb, 26, 2017);
Former DNI James Clapper , March 5, 2017);
Devin Nunes Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, March 20, 2017);
James Comey, March 20, 2017;
Rep. Chris Stewart, House Intelligence Committee, March 20, 2017;
Rep. Adam Schiff, House Intelligence committee, April 2, 2017);
Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senate Intelligence Committee, May 3, 2017);
Sen. Joe Manchin  Senate Intelligence Committee, May 8, 2017;
James Clapper (again) (May 8, 2017);
Rep. Maxine Waters, May 9, 2017);
President Donald Trump,(May 9, 2017).
Senator Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, indicated that his briefing confirmed Dianne Feinstein’s view that the President was not under investigation for colluding with the Russians.”
(“Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table”, American Thinker)
Keep in mind, this is a list of the people who actually “reviewed the evidence”, and even they are not convinced. It just goes to show that the media blitz is not based on any compelling proof, but on the determination of  behind-the-scenes elites who want to destroy their political rivals. Isn’t that what’s really going on?

How does former FBI Director James Comey fit into all this?

First of all, we need to set the record straight on Comey so readers don’t get the impression that he’s the devoted civil servant and all-around stand-up guy he’s made out to be in the media. Here’s a short clip from an article by Human Rights First that will help to put things into perspective:
“Five former FBI agents…raised concerns about his (Comey’s) support for a legal memorandum justifying torture and his defense of holding an American citizen indefinitely without charge. They note that Comey concurred with a May 10, 2005, Office of Legal Counsel opinion that authorized torture. While the agents credited Comey for opposing torture tactics in combination and on policy grounds, they note that Comey still approved the legal basis for use of specific torture tactics.

“These techniques include cramped confinement, wall-standing, water dousing, extended sleep deprivation, and waterboarding, all of which constitute torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in contravention of domestic and international law,” the letter states.

Those signing the letter to the committee also objected to Comey’s defense of detaining Americans without charge or trial and observed, “Further, Mr. Comey vigorously defended the Bush administration’s decision to hold Jose Padilla, a United States citizen apprehended on U.S. soil, indefinitely without charge or trial for years in a military brig in Charleston, South Carolina.” (“FBI Agents Urge Senate Judiciary Committee to Question Comey on Torture, Indefinite Detention”, Human Rights First)
Get the picture?

Comey is a vicious political opportunist who doesn’t mind breaking a few legs if it’ll advance his career plans. I wouldn’t trust the man as far as I could throw him. Which isn’t far.

American Thinker’s Clarice  Feldman explains why Comey launched his counter-intel investigation in July 2016 but failed to notify Congress until March 2017, a full eight months later. Here’s what she said:
“There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes — wittingly, or unwittingly.” (“Russian Hacking and Collusion: Put the Cards on the Table”, American Thinker)
Are we suggesting that the heads of the so called Intelligence Community are at war with the Trump Administration and paving the way for impeachment  proceedings?

Yep, we sure are. The Russia hacking fiasco is a regime change operation no different than the CIA’s 50-or-so other oustings in the last 70 years. The only difference is that this operation is on the home field which is why everyone is so flustered. These things are only suppose to happen in those “other” countries.

Does this analysis make me a Donald Trump supporter?

Never.  The idea is ridiculous. Trump might be the worst US president of all time, in fact, he probably is. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other nefarious forces at work behind the smokescreen of democratic government. There are. In fact, this whole flap suggests that there’s an alternate power-structure that operates completely off the public’s radar and has the elected-government in its death-grip. This largely invisible group of elites controls the likes of  Brennan, Clapper and Comey. And, apparently,  they have enough influence to challenge and maybe even remove an elected president from office. (We’ll see.)

And what’s more surprising, is that the Democrats have aligned themselves with these deep state puppetmasters.  They’ve cast their lot with the sinister stewards of the national security state and hopped on the impeachment bandwagon. But is that a wise choice for the Dems?

Author Michael J. Glennon doesn’t think so. Here’s what he says in the May edition of Harper’s Magazine:
“Those who would counter the illiberalism of Trump with the illiberalism of unfettered bureaucrats would do well to contemplate the precedent their victory would set. …

American history is not silent about the proclivities of unchecked security forces, a short list of which includes the Palmer Raids, the FBI’s blackmailing of civil rights leaders, Army surveillance of the antiwar movement, the NSA’s watch lists, and the CIA’s waterboarding. …. Who would trust the authors of past episodes of repression as a reliable safeguard against future repression?”

(“Security Breach– Trump’s tussle with the bureaucratic state”, Michael J. Glennon, Harper’s Magazine)
“Who?”

The Democrats, that’s who.

Reprinted with author's permission from Counterpunch.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/seth-rich-craig-murray-and-the-sinister-stewards-of-the-national-security-state/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/20/seth-rich-craig-murray-and-the-sinister-stewards-of-the-national-security-state/ Sat, 20 May 2017 12:50:15 GMT
Black Swans And Interventionistas...With Special Guest Nassim Nicholas Taleb Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/19/black-swans-and-interventionistaswith-special-guest-nassim-nicholas-taleb/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/19/black-swans-and-interventionistaswith-special-guest-nassim-nicholas-taleb/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/19/black-swans-and-interventionistaswith-special-guest-nassim-nicholas-taleb/ Fri, 19 May 2017 16:23:09 GMT
The Special Counsel Comes to Town: It’s the Moscow Trials, Revisited Justin Raimondo http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/19/the-special-counsel-comes-to-town-it-s-the-moscow-trials-revisited/

Donald Trump ran on a platform of improving relations with Russia: his victory was a mandate for that policy. Yet the real power in this country doesn’t reside within the ballot box, and that reality was brought home when the Justice Department appointed a “special counsel” to investigate “any links and/or coordination with the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”

After months of leaks coming from the intelligence agencies, who bitterly oppose the new policy, and a barrage of innuendo, smears, and character assassination in the media, the will of the people has been abrogated: the Deep State has the last word. The denizens of Langley, and the career spooks within our seventeen intelligence agencies, have exercised their veto power – a power that is not written into the Constitution, but is nevertheless very real.

Their goal is to not only make détente with Russia impossible – and Trump’s goal of “getting along with Russia” will surely not be implemented now that the regime of the special counsel has trumped him – but also to overthrow a democratically elected chief executive, and perhaps prosecute him for “high crimes and misdemeanors” in the process.

No matter what you think of Trump, this is an ominous development for all those who care about the future of our republic. Because the warning to our politicians could not be clearer: So you want to effect a fundamental change in US foreign policy? You dare to question the permanence of NATO? Let this be a lesson to you.

This goes way beyond the Trump administration: the potential targets of the investigation are potentially unlimited. Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein’s letter to the Special Counsel – Bush era  FBI Director Robert Mueller – also states that the counsel’s purview includes “any matters that arose directly from the investigation,” as well as “any other matters within the scope of 28 CFR 600.4 (a),” which refers to anyone who might conceivably be involved in obstructing the Special Counsel’s probe.

In short, Mueller has virtually unlimited power to expand his investigation, and, given the history of Special Counsels, you can be sure that this one will wander far afield and become a general probe into “Russian influence” on the election – a matter already taken up by at least two congressional committees.

Any politician, especially one who supported Trump, who advocates peaceful and productive relations with Russia is a likely target. The War Party has already got Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) in its sights for his fearless questioning of the anti-Russian propaganda campaign.

Furthermore, any media outlets that either supported Trump, had a good word to say about Trump, and/or dissented from the Russophobic hysteria that has gripped the “mainstream” media are liable to be scrutinized. Journalists with “Russian ties” – no matter how tenuous – will be caught up in the witch-hunt. The Washington Post gave front page prominence to a group of anonymous “researchers” that calls itself “PropOrNot,” which has compiled a lengthy list of “pro-Russian” media outlets and web sites – including the Drudge Report, and Antiwar.com.

The dynamics of the witch-hunt will play out in the manner in which it has operated up until this point, only more so: the “mainstream” media will act as the research department of DOJ investigators, “uncovering” the “pro-Russian” network in the US, inviting Mueller to move in for the kill. Politicians, journalists, academics, and even ordinary folks will be targeted by the government in the hunt for “Putin’s puppets.”

We haven’t seen this kind of thing since the 1950s. Indeed, the history of these political lynchings goes all the way back to the Moscow Trials conducted by Stalin and his henchmen, who consolidated their power by prosecuting “Trotskyite wreckers” and other “enemies of the people” – to the applause of Western “liberals.”

What we are witnessing is a “regime-change” operation, such as our intelligence agencies have routinely carried out abroad, right here in the United States. Yet it is more – and worse – than that.

This pernicious campaign is an attempt to criminalize dissent from the foreign policy “consensus.” It is an effort by powerful groups within the national security bureaucracy, the media, and the military-industrial complex to stamp out any opposition to their program of perpetual war. It is, in effect, political terrorism – that is, an attempt to achieve political-ideological goals by the threat of force, i.e. the threat of State coercion. The police state methods utilized by law enforcement agencies in this country since 9/11 – universal surveillance, and the whole menu of cyber-spying techniques exposed by Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks – will be deployed. And it won’t just be our own American spooks doing the eavesdropping.

The involvement of the British and other European intelligence agencies in this regime-change operation on American soil is well-known: it was a “former” MI6 agent, one Christopher Steele, who authored and circulated the infamous “dirty dossier” on Trump. The Ukrainians, in particular, are in the forefront of this campaign: their targeting of Paul Manafort is out in the open. And a recent article in the Washington Post which relates a conversation between GOP House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, and others, has McCarthy saying he thinks both Trump and Rep. Rohrabacher are “paid by Putin.” The exchange took place on Capitol Hill, after a meeting with the Ukrainian envoy – and the Post, in a story datelined Kiev, reports that it was “recorded.” So who did the recording? My bet is on the Ukrainians

Oh, but that kind of “foreign influence” on our politics is just fine and dandy. You won’t ever see a Special Counsel appointed to investigate it.

The reign of terror is about to begin: anyone who opposes our interventionist foreign policy is liable to be labeled a “Kremlin tool” – and could face legal sanctions. Because you can be sure that ancillary efforts, apart from the office of the Special Counsel, are already in motion to make sure dissent is muzzled. They intend to move against the Internet, in the name of guarding against “Russian influence”: the phony campaign against “fake news” is already well-advanced, along with legislative efforts to fund a “push back” campaign against “Russia propaganda.”  And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if some attempt is made to abridge the right to publish material deemed “pro-Russian,” either with direct legal sanctions or indirect methods, such as stopping or inhibiting the funding of “suspicious” web sites.

Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.]]>
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While the Deep State ‘Death Star’ Seeks to Finish Off Trump, ‘Mr. Massacre’ Returns Pushing for Greater Albania James George Jatras http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/19/while-the-deep-state-death-star-seeks-to-finish-off-trump-mr-massacre-returns-pushing-for-greater-albania/
Amb. William Walker, instigator of US attack on Yugoslavia

The fake news is flying thick and fast in Washington this week. On the heels of Donald Trump’s Oval Office visit with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other American and Russian officials, it finally seemed the fledgling US administration was turning the corner and beginning to focus on moving forward on cooperation with Moscow against radical Islamic terrorism, particularly in Syria.

Then the Deep State and mainstream media (MSM) counterattacked. First, they questioned why a TASS photographer was allowed access to the meeting while the American fake news purveyors were not. Then they speculated that maybe Lavrov or Ambassador Sergey Kislyak had planted a bug in the president’s office. Then they charged that Trump had compromised sensitive intelligence (received from Israel) by revealing it to the Russians. Finally they accused Trump of obstruction of justice – an impeachable offense – by his reportedly suggesting to now-fired FBI Director James Comey that he should go easy on short-lived National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, whose scalp was the first the Deep State/MSM gang had nailed to the wall.

The whole anti-Trump campaign has been based on criminal leaks of classified or privileged material from within the government. Still, there is no sign of a counterattack. Perhaps Attorney General Jeff Sessions has secretly empanelled a grand jury and indictments of leakers are forthcoming. More likely he has not and is more concerned with whether prosecutors are using too much discretion in the severity of offenses they choose to charge criminal suspects with, or whether states are playing fast and loose with federal marijuana laws.

The only brief respite Trump has received against this onslaught has been when he launched cruise missiles against Syria over a false flag chemical attack by jihadists in Idlib, for which the MSM and Deep Staters applauded him. There is reason to fear that Trump, guided by advisers whose policy proclivities mirror those of his critics, may seek the path of least resistance by further bellicose measures. These could take place in Korea, against Russia (for example in Ukraine), or in the broader Middle East. For example, while in Saudi Arabia – surreally touted by National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster as a paragon of a moderate, tolerant, peaceful Islamic ally – Trump is set to announce a coalition against Iran characterized as an “Arab NATO.” As though one NATO weren’t bad enough.

The icing on the cake is the baseless allegation this week that the Syrian government is running a crematorium adjoining Saydnaya prison north of Damascus, where, the State Department’s Stuart Jones claims, up to 50 inmates’ bodies are burned daily. But even Jones admits he doesn’t know the facility is a crematorium at all. The offered “proof”? On satellite images the snow melts faster on that roof than on others nearby...

Nonetheless Holocaust rhetoric, the 800-pound gorilla of atrocity porn, was unleashed. A Google News search of Syria, crematorium, Holocaust yields over 6,000 hits. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called the unproven accusation “reminiscent of the 20th century’s worst offenses against humanity.” An Israel cabinet minister has called for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s assassination.

Which brings us to the Balkans and William Walker.

For those old enough to remember, nothing we are now hearing about Syria is new. (Not even anything in Syria is new – remember “Aleppo Boy”?) The art and science of manipulating events and images to “justify” attacks on other countries may have cut its teeth in the first Gulf War (“incubator babies” in Kuwait) but reached a perfect level of sophistication in the dissolution of Yugoslavia: the Omarska “death camp” that wasn’t, the Srebrenica “genocide,” “boxcars” transporting Albanian civilians (not to death camps but away from the fighting), the tens of thousands of Albanian men falsely reported held at a stadium in Pristina.

One of the most vivid cases was of course the “Racak massacre” of Albanian civilians by Yugoslav police in January 1999. As I wrote five months before the events at Racak in an analysis for the US Senate Republican leadership, the administration of Bill Clinton had already decided on an attack and was only waiting for a suitable “trigger”:
As of this writing, planning for a US-led NATO intervention in Kosovo is now largely in place, while the Clinton Administration's apparent willingness to intervene has ebbed and flowed on an almost weekly basis. The only missing element appears to be an event – with suitably vivid media coverage – that would make intervention politically salable, even imperative, in the same way that a dithering Administration finally decided on intervention in Bosnia in 1995 after a series of ‘Serb mortar attacks’ took the lives of dozens of civilians – attacks, which, upon closer examination, may in fact have been the work of the Muslim regime in Sarajevo, the main beneficiary of the intervention... That the Administration is waiting for a similar ‘trigger’ in Kosovo is increasingly obvious: ‘A senior US Defense Department official who briefed reporters on July 15 noted that “we‘re not anywhere near making a decision for any kind of armed intervention in Kosovo right now.” He listed only one thing that might trigger a policy change: “I think if some levels of atrocities were reached that would be intolerable, that would probably be a trigger.”’ [Washington Post, August 4, 1998]. The recent conflicting reports regarding a purported mass grave containing (depending on the report) hundreds of murdered Albanian civilians or dozens of KLA fighters killed in battle should be seen in this light. [“Bosnia II: The Clinton Administration Sets Course for NATO Intervention in Kosovo”, United States Senate Republican Policy Committee, August 1998]
The key figure in selling the Racak trigger was of course William Walker, a top contender for the “Worst Job of Not Looking Like a Spook Award.” As described by Mark Ames and Matt Taibbi in “Meet Mr. Massacre,” published in the now-defunct The Exile of February 10, 2000:
Years from now, when the war in Serbia is over and the dust has settled, historians will point to January 15, 1999 as the day the American Death Star became fully operational.

That was the date on which an American diplomat named William Walker brought his OSCE war crimes verification team to a tiny Kosovar village called Racak to investigate an alleged Serb massacre of ethnic Albanian peasants. After a brief review of the town's 40-odd bullet-ridden corpses, Walker searched out the nearest television camera and essentially fired the starting gun for the war.

‘From what I saw, I do not hesitate to describe the crime as a massacre, a crime against humanity,’ he said. ‘Nor do I hesitate to accuse the government security forces of responsibility.’

We all know how Washington responded to Walker’s verdict; it quickly set its military machine in motion, and started sending out menacing invitations to its NATO friends to join the upcoming war party. [NOTE: For anyone who assumes the Internet is forever, it appears there has been a concerted effort to throw the Mr. Massacre article into the Memory Hole. It is still available here.]
Walker recently returned to the scene of his 1999 handiwork to promote what any reasonable person took as a call for forming a Greater Albania:
This project that I'm working on is meant for all Albanians in Kosovo, in diaspora, in Albania. I'm working on a joint project, on their unification. Albanians worldwide were united in the 1990s with the sole purpose of the liberation of Kosovo. I was with them when they declared independence. Albanians have won and they came to celebrate together, now is the time after the independence, for the final step, for us all to be together, to accomplish this achievement.
Walker’s words prompted a vocal response even from the usually passive authorities in Belgrade, with Serbian Prime Minister and President-elect Aleksandar Vucic denouncing Walker’s words and false depiction of Racak:
...it was a pretext for war. It all started with William Walker’s lies. This is a man who now openly shows that he is in fact a Greater Albania lobbyist. This is the same man because of whom (NATO) carried out an aggression against the Republic of Serbia. This is the same man. This is a man who now stands for the ‘Greater Albania’ and says so openly. He is no longer even hiding it.
Walker, whose statue today presides over Racak, claims that he was in no way advocating for Greater Albania, in a response that sounded as much a confirmation of the accusation as a refutation: “I meant that Albanians in Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia, would be in far better position if they work together.” He has also established a Kosovo-based “Walker Foundation”, to “to help Kosovo citizens for a better future.” If the numbers of migrants from Kosovo (and Albania) flooding into the European Union along with people from places like war-torn Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan are any indication, he has his work cut out for him.

Meanwhile, the “Death Star”, whose activation Ames and Taibbi warned of in 1999 Kosovo, remains fully operational. Its media and Deep State custodians perceive Trump as a threat and hope first to break him to their yoke, then remove him. At this point, they seem to have the upper hand.

Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.]]>
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US Thinking on Arming the Kurds: Complex, Intricate, Nuanced, or Just Plain Stupid? Michael Scheuer http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2017/may/18/us-thinking-on-arming-the-kurds-complex-intricate-nuanced-or-just-plain-stupid/

We are halfway through May, 2017, and it seems to be a month that again highlights the dearth of commonsense in the minds of most of those who are responsible for conducting the republic’s foreign and domestic affairs. On this score, one event merits special notice, namely, the arming of the Kurds.

This decision will eventually have such a widespread and disastrous impact on the Middle East region that the interventionist diplomats, media, generals, and academics who advised President Trump to arm the Kurds will have to fall back on a paraphrase of that old Iraq-War, Bush lie, “We did our best and the calamity that resulted from our decision to arm the Kurds is a case of unintended consequences.” When the worst occurs, anyone with a bit of commonsense will recognize that the failure, destabilization, and additional war that has resulted from arming the Kurds was something that (a) was perfectly and easily predictable and (b) another long step into a fatal swamp in which America has nothing at stake save the feelings, sensitivities, and ardor for lucre of the already rich American governing elite. But first, take a quick look at these two maps.

As can be seen, there are substantial Kurdish populations in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, and, at least in Iraq, Kurdish territories sit upon enormous oil and natural gas reserves. Each of those four nations has long feared the Kurds’ strident demands for an independent Kurdish state, their fighting abilities, and their fiery nationalism. As fear always does, the nations’ fear of the Kurds has led to their economic, social, linguistic, and – at times — military oppression by each government. In short, Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran have long seen their Kurdish populations as malcontents bent on independence and so a threat to their territorial integrity.

Now along comes Uncle Sam, having been assigned by the interventionists to again stick the republic’ already badly bloodied nose into other peoples’ wars. He brings in his pack, the media report, weapons that are probably superior to any the Kurds have had in their modern history, as well as top-of-the-line military vehicles. Uncle Sam also brings Special Forces trainers/advisers, and ongoing air support from the US-led, anti-Islamic State (IS) coalition. Lastly, he brings the US national government’s okay for the Kurds’ military forces to advance out of the areas that they have traditionally dominated and engage IS mujahedin in areas that have little or no Kurdish population. In other words, they have the okay of the United States to occupy territory that historically, ethnically, and/or religiously belongs to non-Kurds, and there is no indication that our genius diplomats and generals have given much thought to the problem of how to affect their eviction from those territories and get them to return home when/if the battle against IS is won.

Quite obviously, this is another case of mindless US interventionism running amok. Of the four states coping with restive Kurdish populations, only the Turks have publicly denounced Washington’s policy of arming and training their Kurdish enemies. It is difficult to imagine, however, that the Syrian, Iraqi, and Iranian regimes are any more pleased than the Turks with the republic’s intervention in the Kurdish problem that it manifestly does not understand, and which will make a much more effective and battle-hardened military force of the separatist-minded Kurds. None of those states could possibly believe that the Kurds assistance in taking ar-Raqqaa is worth the future war it is breeding between them and the Kurds.

The question, as usual, is why do the national government’s supposedly world-class political, economic, and military brains continue to prove themselves so absolutely ignorant of the way the world works, how others live and govern, and of what genuine US national interests look like. Since the start of the Arab Spring, US involvement in Syria, under both parties, has been based on ignoring reality and disabling the Washington’s policy community’s commonsense function.

The unnecessary, arrogant mistake that over-arches the Syria issue was the Obama administration’s declaration – which was supported by most Republicans — that the so-called “Arab Spring” marked the success of US policy in the Middle East, and the  launching of an unstoppable surge of secular democracy across the region. I recall being on a FOX News panel on the day Mubarak resigned and saying that the Arab Spring could only yield a telling victory for Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the international Islamist movement. I was virtually hooted off the set by the other panelists, and this for saying something that was crystal clear to anyone but an arrogant deluded interventionist. Simply put, calling the Arab Spring a huge victory for Islamism and the mujahedin was just about the most easy and rudimentary piece of accurate analysis that can be imagined.

Why, after all, would tens of millions of North African and Levantine Muslims celebrate the fall of dictators – in which they surely saw God’s hand delivering the answer to their prayers — by turning their back on a deeply held faith in the God that sustained them during decades of dictatorial rule? The argument that secular democracy was at hand because of the Arab Spring could only come from a lying interventionist or someone educated in the US university system and who never challenged the leftist, anti-religious, and pacifist nonsense imparted to him as historically accurate knowledge.

The Republican-media-academy supported Obama/Clinton lie about the Arab Spring, the policies it still informs, and the implementation of those policies have produced the following:

–The US-Western coalition’s knowing consignment of more than a million Syrian Alawites to annihilation if its main goal of destroying Asaad’s government is attained.

–That coalition’s false claim that non-Islamic State, Islamist insurgent groups are less radical, less bloodthirsty, and more pro-western than IS, al-Qaeda, and other mujahedin groups.

–That coalition’s decision to fund, arm, and train these supposedly “moderate” groups, which – if Russia does not save the day and Asaad’s regime is eradicated — did nothing but ensure the ultimate Islamization of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.

–The expansion of Iran’s influence throughout Iraq and across Syria via its own military and intelligence forces and Iraq’s Shia militia force, which are now also operating in much of Syria. The “Shia Arc” the Sunni world long feared is now complete. It ranges from Iran’s border with Afghanistan all the way to Shia Hizballah’s bastion on the Mediterranean’s waters, and all built by the US-Western interventionist coalition.

–The same coalition is now expanding its military presence in the Syria-Iraq theater. It is focused on capturing cities – as if it was the drive from Normandy toward Berlin – which will do nothing but free all Islamist forces to wage insurgent warfare against all of their foes. The war that the coalition generals have always said “is like no other” has turned into World War II’s European Theater, but with no plausible expectation of crippling IS and the other Islamists, let alone final victory.

It would be hard to think of another measure that could worsen the situation which has been produced by the five actions above, but the interventionists’ blanket stupidity should never be underestimated. They have now come up with such a measure by rubbing the genie’s lamp and freeing – and arming — the lethal genie of Kurdish independence-seeking and territory-grabbing, a genie that Syria, Iran, Iraq, and Turkey have kept in check at great cost to each nation, and especially to the Turks.

Today, the US-armed Kurds are advancing in several directions out of their traditional homelands and into new territory. If ar Raqqa is taken by the US-led coalition, with the Kurds in the van, do our generals believe that they can simply say to the Kurdish leaders, “Thanks a lot. Now, bury your dead and go home”? That may happen, but the odds are that the only way the Kurdish genie can be put back into the lamp is if they are militarily forced into it and the lid is sealed permanently.

And if the US-led coalition does not move to evict the Kurds from non-Kurd territory, and instead supports the creation of an independent Kurdish nation, do US forces fight alongside the Kurds against the Syrian, Iranian, Turkish, Iraqi regimes, and most of the Islamists, none of whom will stand for an independent Kurdish state, let alone one that annexes pieces of Arab or Persian territory? If that is what our national government decides, it will also be signing on to help the Kurds conquer more territory.

Why? Take a second to again look at the maps above. Clearly an independent Kurdish nation limited to its historic territory would be landlocked. It would be sitting on huge reserves in oil and natural gas, but could never be sure that those resources would get to market because the pipelines needed to move them would be controlled by its enemies. The only possible answer to this problem would be to annex a territorial corridor – almost certainly through Syria — that would allow the Kurds to reliably move their energy resources to the Mediterranean for export.

Another war to kill US Marines and soldiers for oil we do not need, anyone?

Reprinted with permission from Non-Intervention.com.]]>
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