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Jacob G. Hornberger

Korea and Venezuela: Flip Sides of the Same Coin

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By suggesting that he might order a US regime-change invasion of Venezuela, President Trump has inadvertently shown why North Korea has been desperately trying to develop nuclear weapons — to serve as a deterrent or defense against one of the US national-security state storied regime-change operations. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Venezuela and, for that matter, other Third World countries who stand up to the US Empire, also seeking to put their hands on nuclear weapons. What better way to deter a US regime-change operation against them?

Think back to the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US national-security establishment had initiated a military invasion of the Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, had exhorted President Kennedy to bomb Cuba during that invasion, and then had recommended that the president implement a fraudulent pretext (i.e., Operation Northwoods) for a full-scale military invasion of Cuba.

That’s why Cuba, which had never initiated any acts of aggression against the United States, wanted Soviet nuclear missiles installed in Cuba. Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro knew that there was no way that Cuba could defeat the United States in a regular, conventional war. Everyone knows that the military establishment in the United States is so large and so powerful that it can easily smash any Third World nation, including Cuba, North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Venezuela.
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Bring the Troops Home From Korea

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There is one good solution to the Korean crisis, one that the mainstream press commentators simply will not confront. It’s not a solution that is likely to be adopted, especially by a blustery and bellicose president and a national-security establishment that has a Cold War anti-communist mindset. Nonetheless, it bears pointing out.

What is the solution to the Korean crisis: For all U.S. troops to vacate South Korea immediately and come home. No more threats. No more bluster. No more regime-change activity. No more anti-communist crusade. Just exit the country and come home.

There is one — and only one — reason that North Korea has been spending years trying to get nuclear weapons — to deter a U.S. regime-change operation in North Korea or to defend itself from a U.S. regime-change operation in North Korea. The North Koreans have learned that that’s the best way to deter the Pentagon and the CIA from initiating one of their storied regime-change operations against North Korea.

North Korea’s actions are entirely rational. The U.S. national-security establishment has been committed to regime-change in North Korea for almost 70 years. That’s what U.S. intervention in Korea’s civil war in the early 1950s was all about — removing the North Korean communist regime from power and putting it under the control of South Korea, which was ruled by a pro-U.S. regime. It’s why the Pentagon and the CIA remained in South Korea for the next six decades. It’s why U.S. officials have imposed ever-increasing sanctions on North Korea, in the hopes that a starving populace will overthrow their regime and install a pro-U.S. regime in its stead.
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Where Trump Might Be Vulnerable

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It’s still not clear to me the particular crime for which special prosecutor Robert Mueller is investigating President Trump.

Was it illegal for Vladimir Putin to support Trump for president instead of Hillary Clinton?

Nope.

Was it illegal for Trump to receive advice, support, and consultation from Vladimir Putin or any other Russian politico on how best to defeat Clinton?

Nope.

In fact, imagine if George W. Bush and his English poodle Tony Blair had “colluded” to defeat Bush’s presidential opponent, Al Gore. Would the Pentagon, the CIA, and their assets in the mainstream press be making the same brouhaha that they’re making today about Trump’s supposed “collusion” with Russia to defeat Clinton? We all know they wouldn’t have. It’s the anti-Russia obsession that the Pentagon and the CIA instilled in the American people throughout the Cold War that is driving the current anti-Russia brouhaha.

Ordinarily, a special prosecutor would have evidence that a certain crime has been committed and would be investigating whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant an indictment for that crime.
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Don't Be Surprised to See Trump Bomb North Korea

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After the in-your-face Fourth of July “gift” that North Korea delivered to President Trump in the form of an intercontinental ballistic missile test, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see President Trump and the Pentagon retaliate by bombing North Korea. The reason goes not only to Trump’s erratic behavior, especially when teased or taunted, but also because a bombing attack would reflect the Cold War mentality that unfortunately still holds the Pentagon in its grip.

I’ll bet that most Americans today do not realize that during the Kennedy administration, the Joint Chiefs of Staff were recommending that the president initiate a surprise nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, much like the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. 

Why no congressional declaration of war against the Soviet Union first, as the US Constitution requires?

The Pentagon’s reasoning was that a surprise attack was necessary to knock out the Soviet Union’s nuclear first-strike capability and most of its retaliatory capability. If they were forewarned that such an attack was coming, such as with a congressional declaration of war, that would enable them to strike first with a nuclear attack on the United States.
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Tyranny at Home to Fight Tyranny Abroad

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President Trump has reminded us of how the US government destroyed the liberty of the American people in the name of fighting tyranny abroad. Exercising the same dictatorial method that his predecessors have employed — executive decrees — he has made it illegal again for most Americans to travel to Cuba and spend money there.

Trump’s justification? The communist regime in Cuba is tyrannical and engages in human-rights abuses.

Think about that for a moment: A foreign regime is tyrannical and so what does a US president do? Through a decree-law, he imposes his own tyranny on his own citizenry by punishing Americans who travel to Cuba or do business there.

Let’s not forget, after all, that the US embargo on Cuba is, first and foremost, an attack on the freedom of the American people. That’s the way it has been since the very beginning of the embargo more than 50 years ago. If an American traveled to Cuba and spent money there, he didn’t need to fear the communists. He needed to fear federal investigators, prosecutors, and judges, who would have him indicted, prosecuted, convicted, and sent to federal jail for a long time.

Who’s the tyrant here?

After all, freedom of travel has always been considered one of the most fundamental natural, God-given rights of man. And as we libertarians have long held, so is economic liberty — the natural, God-given right of people to dispose of their own money any way they want.
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Tyranny Over There but Not Over Here

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One of the fascinating aspects of tyranny is that people can recognize it when it happens in other countries but are blind about it when it happens at home. The American people, especially the US mainstream press, are a perfect demonstration of this phenomenon.

Consider the following article from last Sunday’s New York Times: “Dilemma for Uber and Rival: Egypt’s Demand for Data on Their Riders.” It details a request by the military dictatorship that governs Egypt that Uber provide government officials with all of its data about customers and their Uber rides.

The purpose of the request?

To monitor the activities of the citizenry, of course. Or as the Times puts it, “The software would be a powerful tool in the hands of Egypt’s security services, which, under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, have ramped up spying on citizens as part of an effort to stifle dissent and entrench Mr. Sisi power.”

See how easy the Times recognizes tyranny … when it’s in Egypt?

That’s not all. The Times writes: “The security services can already track Egyptians through their cellphones. But ride-share spying speaks volumes about Mr. Sisi’s ambitions for electronic surveillance, at a time when his government has already imprisoned citizens for social media posts, has hacked activitists using fake emails and has blocked encrypted messaging applications….”
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Punishing People for Helping Dying Children is Evil Too

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In my article “The Evil of Killing Children,” I pointed out how the US government, in an attempt to achieve regime change in Iraq, knowingly and intentionally killed hundreds of thousands of innocent children in Iraq.

Unfortunately, killing those innocent Iraqi children was not the only evil action taken by US officials regarding the Iraq sanctions. They also went after an American man for trying to help the children that US officials were trying to kill with their sanctions.

The man’s name is Bert Sacks. They didn’t try to kill him but they did prosecute him both criminally and civilly for trying to help the Iraqi children who US officials were killing.

What specifically did Sacks do that caused US officials to put him in their sights? He took medicine to Iraq. That infuriated US officials because the medicine that Sacks took into Iraq interfered with their ability to kill more Iraqi children, which in turn, impeded their ability to achieve regime change in Iraq.

In a 2003 article entitled “Sanctions in Iraq Hurt the Innocent in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer,Sacks explained the origins and consequences of the US government’s system of sanctions against Iraq.

He began the article by focusing on the large number of Iraqi children that that the US government killed with the sanctions. Quoting an article from the New York Times magazine, he wrote: “American officials may quarrel with the numbers but there is little doubt that at least several hundred thousand children who could reasonably have been expected to live died before their fifth birthdays.” Sacks then cited Richard Garfield, a health specialist at Columbia University, who estimated the death toll among the Iraqi children to be 400,000.
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Bring the Troops Home, Mr. President

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Another terrorist attack in London, and more predictable responses from President Trump, British Prime Minister May, other public officials, and the mainstream press. We have to crack down on terrorism. The problem is with extremist Muslims. They hate us for our freedom and values. Don’t be afraid. Go about your daily lives as if nothing has happened.

And, of course, not one single word of the US government’s interventionist foreign policy in the Middle East and Afghanistan, which has entailed killing Muslims and other for at least 25 years and which continues unabated to this day, a policy with which the British government has partnered and supported since its inception.

Why not even a peep about more terrorist retaliation from US foreign interventionism?

Isn’t the answer obvious? If they mentioned that, that would cause people to ask a very basic question: Is the interventionism worth the death and destruction that comes as “blowback,” the term that the noted scholar Chalmers Johnson used to title his excellent and profound book: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire?
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The Troops Don't Defend Our Freedoms


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How often do we hear the claim that American troops “defend our freedoms”? The claim is made often by U.S. officials and is echoed far and wide across the land by television commentators, newspaper columnists, public-school teachers, and many others. It's even a common assertion that emanates on Sundays from many church pulpits. 

Unfortunately, it just isn't so. In fact, the situation is the exact opposite — the troops serve as the primary instrument by which both our freedoms and well-being are threatened. 

Let's examine the three potential threats to our freedoms and the role that the troops play in them: 

1. Foreign regimes

Every competent military analyst would tell us that the threat of a foreign invasion and conquest of America is nonexistent. No nation has the military capability of invading and conquering the United States. Not China, not Russia, not Iran, not North Korea, not Syria. Not anyone. To invade the United States with sufficient forces to conquer and “pacify” the entire nation would take millions of foreign troops and tens of thousands of ships and planes to transport them across the Atlantic or Pacific ocean. No foreign nation has such resources or military capabilities and no nation will have them for the foreseeable future.
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Lying DEA Officials Get a Pass (Just Like Clapper)

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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?
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