Five Minutes Five Issues: Yemen Blockade, Israelgate, Cop Sentenced, Military Spending, Execution Capital
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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.
Starting in five four three two one.
Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.
On Wednesday, United States President Donald Trump issued the following written statement:
I have directed officials in my Administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it. This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately.Hopefully the action described in Trump’s statement will help improve conditions in Yemen.
But what Trump did not say is as important as what he did say. He did not say that he will take action to ensure the US government discontinues the significant role it plays in providing military assistance for the Saudi Arabia coalition’s war on Yemen — a war that has created the terrible conditions in Yemen.
Many people excited about so-called Russiagate are concerned that Donald Trump and his presidential campaign or transition team may have colluded with Russia. The rather nebulous collusion allegation seems often to suggest either working with the Russian government to ensure Trump was elected president or acting as an agent of the Russian government. While Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiagate investigation has not revealed evidence of such conduct, the investigation did present an allegation in its indictment of Michael Flynn that seems to deal with the Trump transition team, upon the request of the Israel government, seeking to encourage several governments to oppose in the United Nations a resolution critical of Israel.
Considering this development, antiwar.com writer Justin Raimondo asked in an article this week, “Has Russia-gate morphed into Israel-gate?”
On Thursday, a US judge in South Carolina sentenced Michael Slager to 20 years in prison for, in 2015, killing Walter Scott. Slager shot Scott in the back as Scott was fleeing from Slager who had attempted to physically restrain Scott.
The punishment does not sound unusual until the fact is thrown in that Slager was a cop who had pulled over Scott’s vehicle for a broken tail light.
The shooting was caught on video as also was Slager afterward placing his stun gun by Scott in an apparent attempt to bolster Slager’s claim that Scott had tried to use it against Slager.
Interviewed Thursday by host Neil Cavuto at Fox Business, Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) pointed to the over 20 trillion-dollars national debt and the 666 billion-dollars deficit for the last fiscal year before saying he thinks the US government needs “some fiscal conservatism in every department, even in the defense department.” Duncan, who is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board as well as a US House of Representatives member, explains that, while he believes that “national defense is probably the most legitimate function of our national government,” he also thinks the Department of Defense should operate frugally. Duncan indicates the US has gone “ridiculously overboard” with defense spending more than doubling since the year 2000.
One way Duncan often suggests cutting military spending is by ending wars. For example, Duncan in a June House floor speech called for ending what he termed the “permanent, forever, endless war in the Middle East.”
In the January 7 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about there being less executions in America in 2016 than in any year since 1991.
Harris County, the Texas county in which the city of Houston is located, has been referred to as the “capital of capital punishment” due to the many people convicted in the county who have been executed over the last few decades. But, Keri Blakinger reported Monday at the Houston Chronicle that 2017 is the first year since 1985 in which nobody convicted of murder in Harris County has been executed.
That’s a wrap.
Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.
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