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Jacob G. Hornberger

US Violence Abroad Begets Violence at Home

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Although ISIS is claiming that Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock was one of theirs and was acting on its behalf, so far no independent evidence has surfaced to confirm ISIS’s claim. If such evidence does emerge, it will be one more of a long series of deadly “blowback” occurrences arising from US interventionism abroad.

But even if Paddock’s mass killing spree turns out to have no rational explanation, I continue to contend that these bizarre, unexplainable acts of violence are also rooted in the US government’s decades-long killing spree abroad.

Here is the critical question: If the Pentagon and the CIA are killing masses of people abroad, will that have an adverse effect on people here at home?

The standard answer is no. Ever since the US national-security establishment began killing people in foreign countries, the mindset has been that as long as the death and destruction is “over there,” there would be no adverse impact on American society. As US military and intelligence personnel wreaked death and destruction in faraway lands, Americans would continue to go to work, go on vacation, take their kids to soccer practice, attend sports events where they express thanks to troops, and just continue to live their lives in their regular ways.

The US media has played its part in all this by declining to display photographs of dead bodies and body parts that are the result of US shootings, bombings, or missile attacks. The notion has been that there is simply no good reason why Americans should be exposed to the effects of US violence abroad.
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America: The Dictatress of the World

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On July 21, 1821, John Quincy Adams, who would go on to become the sixth president of the United States, warned that if America were ever to abandon its founding principle of non-interventionism in foreign affairs, she might well become the dictatress of the world.

Adams issued his warning in a speech he delivered to Congress, a speech that has gone down in history with the title “In Search of Monsters to Destroy.”

Adams was referring to the fact that the United States was founded as a constitutional republic, one whose military forces did not go around the world helping people who were suffering the horrors of dictators, despots, civil wars, revolutions, famines, oppression, or anything else. That’s not to say that America didn’t sympathize with people struggling to experience lives of freedom, peace, and prosperity. It was simply that the US government would not go abroad to slay such monsters.

Here is how Adams expressed it:
Wherever the standard of freedom and independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own. She will recommend the general cause, by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.
Adams was summing up the founding foreign policy of the United States, a policy of non-interventionism in the affairs of other nations, specifically Europe and Asia.
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North Korea Would Be Stupid to Trust the US

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To many mainstream pundits, the solution to the crisis in Korea is for US officials to sit down and “talk” to North Korea in the hopes of negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement. While it won’t guarantee that a deal will be worked out, they say, “talking” is the only chance there is to resolve the crisis.

They ignore an important point: Any deal that would be reached would involve trusting the US  government to keep its end of the bargain. And trusting the US government would be the stupidest thing North Korea could ever do. That’s because as soon as US officials found it advantageous, they would break the deal and pounce on North Korea, with the aim of achieving the regime change they have sought ever since the dawn of the Cold War more than 70 years ago.

Look at what US officials did to Libya. Its dictator, Muammar Qaddafi, agreed to give up his nuclear-weapons program in return for regime security. That turned out to be stupid move. As soon as US officials saw an opening, they pounced with a regime-change operation. Today, Qaddafi is dead and Libya is in perpetual crisis and turmoil. That wouldn’t have happened if Qaddafi had a nuclear deterrent to a US regime-change operation.
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The Worst Mistake in US History

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The worst mistake in US history was the conversion after World War II of the US government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the US military.
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Interventionism and the Korean Crisis

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If war ends up breaking out in Korea, President Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA will be announcing that it was all North Korea's fault. They’ll say that North Korea was “begging for war,” and that the United States was “forced” to act to protect “national security.” Of course, in the process they will be ignoring the interventionist sanctions that the United States and the United Nations have imposed on North Korea for decades, an indirect act of war that has targeted and killed countless North Korean citizens.

In the event of war, Trump and his national-security establishment will be speaking falsely and disingenuously. In fact, the root cause of another war in Korea will be interventionism, the philosophy of foreign policy that has held the United States in its grip for more than a century.

Notice something important about North Korea’s behavior: None of it is aimed at Switzerland, notwithstanding the fact that Korea is about 1,000 miles closer to Switzerland than the United States.
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One Way to End Drug War Violence

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Two police officers in Kissimmee, Florida, were recently shot and killed while investigating illegal drug activity in a dangerous part of town. According to the New York Times, government officials praised the officers for their service and asked Floridians to pray for other law-enforcement personnel. President Trump weighed in with a tweet in which he offered his thoughts and prayers for the Kissimmee police and their families.

There is one big thing about that picture, however: It is the drug war itself, which Trump and, no doubt, most of the Kissimmee police department, favor, that is the reason that those two police officers are dead. If drugs were legal, those two dead police officers would not have been investigating illegal drug activity because there would be no illegal drug activity.

Take a look at this very interesting and revealing article in yesterday’s New York Times about a DEA agent named Enrique Camarena. He too is dead, having been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered in 1985 by a Mexican drug gang. Not surprisingly, the DEA went ballistic over the murder and pulled out all the stops, including violent kidnapping, to bring the malefactors to justice.

One big thing to notice, however: It is the drug war itself, which most DEA agents favor, that brought about Camarena’s death. If drugs had been legal, Camarena wouldn’t have been in Mexico investigating illegal drug activity because there wouldn’t have been any illegal drug activity.
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Unlike Trump, JFK Didn't Bend the Knee

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Like President Trump, President Kennedy was subjected to the same type of pressure by the Pentagon and the CIA to engage in military action overseas. Unlike President Trump, however, Kennedy stood his ground and refused to succumb to the will of the national-security establishment. In fact, Kennedy is the only president in the post-World War II era who has stood up to the demands of what President Eisenhower called the “military-industrial complex.”

After the CIA’s regime-change debacle at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, Kennedy never trusted the CIA again. It didn’t take long for him to have the same sentiment toward the Pentagon.

Like the CIA, the Pentagon was obsessed with regime change in Cuba. The national-security establishment was convinced that the United States would cease to exist with a communist “dagger” pointed at it from only 90 miles away. In the eyes of the Pentagon and the CIA, there was only one thing that could be done to save America — oust the communist regime in Cuba and replace it with a pro-US dictatorship, much like the Batista regime that that Fidel Castro had ousted from power in the Cuban Revolution.

The Pentagon understood the political and diplomatic problems associated with initiating a military attack another country, especially one that had never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so. After all, that’s what Japan had done with its undeclared surprise attack on US forces at Pearl Harbor, an act that US officials had vehemently condemned.

The CIA had tried to get around that problem with its Bay of Pigs invasion by trying to make it look like the invaders were simply an independent group of Cuban exiles rather than trained agents of the CIA.

The Pentagon got around the problem by coming up with a plan that would make it look like Cuba had started a war with the United States and that the United States was simply acting in self-defense. That’s what Operation Northwoods was all about. Unanimously approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the plan called for terrorist attacks to be carried out here in the United States and for hijackings of American planes.
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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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