The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Subscribe to the Institute View Us on YouTube Follow Us On Twitter Join Us on Facebook Join Us at Google Plus

Search Results

for:

Justin Raimondo

Our Rush to War in Syria -- It’s a Disaster in the Making

undefined

The downing of a Syrian fighter jet by the United States – and, more recently, of an Iranian drone – augurs a confrontation that could take us down the road to World War III. The US media is echoing the Pentagon’s explanation, which is that the Syrian jet bombed (or was threatening to bomb) units of the US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) around the town of Tanf. The Syrians say they were attacking forces aligned with ISIS, which both the US and the Syrian government are supposedly fighting.

The reality is that there is no such entity as the “Syrian Democratic Forces.” There are only loosely aligned groups, factions and splinters of factions, which proliferate seemingly on a daily basis in a mosaic of ethno-religious-ideological conflicts that reflect the chaos that has enveloped that country. The failure of the US to unite these various factions into the so-called Free Syrian Army – large units of which kept defecting to the various radical Islamist groups, including ISIS and al-Qaeda – led to an explosion of smaller groups centered around local, tribal, ethnic, and religious affiliations. The SDF is an attempt to solder these groups together in a military force capable of fighting and defeating the “Caliphate” established by ISIS – an effort that is far less successful than it seems.

The main military component of the SDF is the People’s Protection Units (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel/YPG), consisting of about 45,000 fighters, including the all-female unit. The YPG is the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, a far-leftist formation which adheres to the “democratic confederalist” vision of Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) founder Abdullah Ocalan, who in turn credits anarcho-communist theoretician Murray Bookchin as his inspiration. The YPG is the official army of “Rojava,” a non-contiguous union of Kurdish-controlled territories that is supposedly secular, egalitarian, and socialist.
read on...

Hodgkinson’s Disease: Politics and Paranoia in the Age of Trump

undefined

James T. Hodgkinson, the would-be assassin of Republican congressmen, wasn’t a radical. If you look at his published output – a series of letters to his local newspaper in Belleville, Illinois, as well as the majority of his Internet postings – it’s mostly about matters nearly every progressive cares about: taxes (the rich don’t pay enough), healthcare (the government must provide), income inequality (it’s all a Republican plot). All in all, a pretty unremarkable worldview that any partisan Democrat – either a Bernie Sanders supporter, as Hodginkinson was, or a Hillary fan – could sign on to.

So what drove him over the edge?

One of his more recent Facebook posts was a link to a petition that called for “the legal removal of the President and Vice-President, et. al., for Misprision of Treason.” Hodgkinson had signed it and he was asking his readers to follow suit: “Trump is a Traitor,” he wrote, “Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”  He was also a big fan of Rachel Maddow, who – incredibly — has spent the majority of her airtime ranting about “The Russian Connection,” as this Intercept piece documents. Hodgkinson was also a member of a Facebook group ominously dubbing itself “Terminate the Republican Party,” an appellation Hodgkinson apparently took quite literally. The group has over 13,000 members. The main page of the Terminators is adorned with a cartoon of Putin manipulating Trump like a puppet.

When Hodgkinson left his home and his job to travel to Alexandria, Virginia, he told his wife he was going to “work on tax issues.” But is that what motivated his murderous spree? Do “tax issues” really seem like something that would inspire someone to plan and carry out an assassination attempt that, but for the presence of Capitol police on the scene, would have certainly resulted in a massacre?

Hodgkinson clearly believed that the President of the United States was an agent of a foreign power. He had signed on to the idea that Trump not only benefited from a Russian campaign to discredit Hillary Clinton, but that he is engaged in a war against his own country.
read on...

The Saudi War Against Qatar

undefined

What in the name of Allah is going on with the spat between Qatar, on one side, and the Saudis, the United Arab Emirates, and most of the rest of the Arab states on the other? Accusations that Qatar is the fulcrum of “terrorism” in the region, emanating from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi – the twin epicenters of Islamic extremism on earth – seemed to have been broadcast from Bizarro World. And the incident that sparked the controversy — in which much of the Arab world, led by the Saudis, blockaded tiny Qatar — added the extra-hot spice of cyber-espionage to an already indigestible dish.

Shortly after President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where he announced his “anti-terrorist” initiative, the web site of the Qatar News Agency, run by the Qatari government, was hacked. A “fake news” story was posted by the hackers, purporting to describe a speech given by the current Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani, in which he called for better relations with Iran, praised Hamas and Hezbollah, and predicted that Trump’s term in the White House would be short.

Despite the Qataris’ claim – since verified by the FBI, according to Qatar’s foreign minister – that the Qatar News Agency site had been hacked, and that the Emir had given no such speech, both the Saudis and the UAE, through their official media outlets, launched a campaign targeting Qatar. Overflight rights were revoked: diplomatic contacts ended: Qatar citizens were forbidden to enter Saudi/UAE territory even to change planes. And in a public statementdelivered in the rose garden of the White House President Trump clearly sided with the Saudi/UAE consortium, complementing a series of remarkably stupid tweets that basically said the same thing.
read on...

Beyond ‘Blowback’: Islam and Terror

undefined

The latest attack in London – the third to hit Britain within seventy-five days – is once again provoking a debate about the relationship between Islam and terrorism. On one side we have those who say Islam is inherently violent, and is incompatible with the basic canons of Western civilization. On the other side, we have liberals who say that this is a libel on an entire religion, and that advocates of religious violence are a distinct minority within the Muslim faith.

These two views have distinct policy implications: the former would impose what amounts to a Muslim ban on travel to Western countries, and would furthermore mandate State surveillance of mosques and other religious institutions of that faith. The latter stance would oppose these measures, and proceed as if Muslims posed the same danger to us as, say, Presbyterians, i.e. none at all.

Both views are simplistic nonsense. Furthermore, neither offers an effective policy to deal with the problem as defined.
read on...

Haven’t We Had Enough of Afghanistan?

undefined

Will there ever be an end to the war in Afghanistan? Apparently not if our generals have anything to say about it – and they do. President Trump has turned over the prosecution of our perpetual “war on terrorism” to the Pentagon, claiming that they’ve been held back by previous administrations. The new policy is to turn them loose.

We saw what this means when the so-called “Mother of All Bombs” was dropped in a remote location where ISIS was said to be hiding: 92 “militants”were said to have been killed. Contrary to the triumphalist reports in US media, the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat had a minimal effect. And the cost, at $16 million for a single MOAB, came to around $174,000 per “militant.”

With anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, let’s take the median number of 2,000 and estimate that getting rid of all of them will cost around $348 million, give or take $10 million or so.

And you’ll note that we’re just talking about ISIS here. The Taliban is not only still in the mix, they’re actually in a better position than ever. In March, the Taliban claimed that 211 administrative districts of the country were either under their control or else contested: this isn’t far off the report of the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which put the number at 171.
read on...

The ‘War On Terrorism’ Isn’t Working

undefined

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.
read on...

Donald of Arabia: A Disgusting Spectacle

undefined

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.
read on...

The Special Counsel Comes to Town: It’s the Moscow Trials, Revisited

undefined

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.
read on...

Shut Down the ‘Russia-gate’ Farce

undefined

The level of lunacy we’ve reached can be measured by the brouhaha over the presence of Russian photographers in the Oval Office during Sergey Lavrov’s visit: no US photographers were allowed, but the Russians somehow got in and the Paranoid Brigade went into overdrive. They may have planted “bugs” there! No, this wasn’tnutjob Louise Mensch, the queen of the Russia-haters, but “former intelligence officials,” including the former deputy director of the CIA, David Cohen.

Given this kind of paranoia, why allow Lavrov in the Oval Office? After all, he could slip a bug into that sanctum just as easily as somehow who works for Tass – indeed, it would be far easier for him to do so, since photographers are routinely searched before they enter, and I doubt the Russian Foreign Minister is subjected to the same procedure.

Aside from that, the same people who are making a fuss about this are convinced the Trump administration is a cabal of Kremlin agents: so why would the Russians even need to plant a bug in the Oval Office? After all, according to the conspiracy theorists, they’re getting the same intelligence directly from the White House.

Yes, folks, I’m really writing about this nonsense. Because that’s where we’re at these days.

Now the conspiracy theorists who have taken over the Democratic party are screaming that the firing of James Comey is all a part of the plot: Trump did it to scotch the year-long investigation into “Russia-gate,” which has so far yielded nothing. The White House denies this, although we’re now hearing a different and probably far more accurate account: the President was pissed off that Comey wasn’t investigating leaks of classified information, and was paying too much attention to the Russia probe.
read on...

Phony Hysterics Over North Korea

undefined

A lot of my job as editorial director of Antiwar.com is cutting through the veil of obfuscation with which the War Party masks its ill intentions. But sometimes you don’t even have to read between the lines to see what our conniving rulers are up to. Such is the case with the current war scare around North Korea. President Trump is playing this for all it’s worth, summoning the Senate to a special conclave at the White House to inform them of the supposedly dire threat. This ostentatious display was preceded by a hearing before the House Armed Services Committee at which Admiral Harry Harris, in charge of the US Pacific Command, sounded the alarm...
read on...


Authors

Tags