Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:44:05 GMT Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:44:05 GMT Governor Kucinich? Adam Dick

Might Dennis Kucinich, who represented an Ohio district as a Democrat in the US House of Representatives for eight terms, be elected the next governor of Ohio? Henry J. Gomez reported Friday at that “the names of more than a dozen Ohio Democrats swirl in the speculation about the 2018 race for governor.” It will be an open contest, with term limits preventing current Ohio Governor John Kasich from seeking reelection. And, writes Gomez, the potential of Kucinich entering the Democratic primary contest is “the subject of increasing chatter among party insiders.”

So far, Kucinich is neither ruling out nor committing to a run for governor. Gomez writes:
Kucinich, when asked this week about running for governor, did not offer a direct answer.

'I'll certainly get back to you,' he wrote in an email, 'if I have anything to say which would be worth your time.'
Three years ago there was also speculation that Kucinich may enter the 2014 Ohio governor race. But, Kucinich stayed out of the race. Maybe he will decide otherwise this time. Indeed, in 2015, Kucinich suggested he has an interest in running for office in Ohio again, saying the following in an interview:
…I think that I’ll probably be back in elected office. I don’t have any immediate plans, but you know, as I make my way around the Cleveland area and around Ohio, I have people who keep asking, well, when are you going next? And I just tell them, stay tuned.
While many people know of Kucinich because of his work in the US House and his two runs for president in the Democratic primary, Kucinich’s earlier involvement in politics includes holding office in Ohio as a Cleveland City Council Member, Cleveland Mayor, and Ohio State Senator.

Kucinich is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board.]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 15:44:05 GMT
The Cancer of War: US Used Depleted Uranium in Syria Daniel McAdams

Despite vowing not to use depleted uranium (DU) weapons in its military action in Syria, the US government has now admitted that it has fired thousands of the deadly rounds into Syrian territory. As Foreign Policy Magazine reports:
US Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman Maj. Josh Jacques told Airwars and Foreign Policy that 5,265 armor-piercing 30 mm rounds containing depleted uranium (DU) were shot from Air Force A-10 fixed-wing aircraft on Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, 2015, destroying about 350 vehicles in the country’s eastern desert.
Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman John Moore said in 2015 that:
US and coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.
Now we know that is not true. 

Numerous studies have found that depleted uranium is particularly harmful when the dust is inhaled by the victim. A University of Southern Maine study discovered that:
...DU damages DNA in human lung cells. The team, led by John Pierce Wise, exposed cultures of the cells to uranium compounds at different concentrations.

The compounds caused breaks in the chromosomes within cells and stopped them from growing and dividing healthily. 'These data suggest that exposure to particulate DU may pose a significant [DNA damage] risk and could possibly result in lung cancer,' the team wrote in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.
We should remember that the United States is engaged in military activities in Syria in violation of international and US law. There is no Congressional authorization for US military action against ISIS in Syria and the United Nations has not authorized military force in violation of Syria's sovereignty either. 

The innocent citizens of Syria will be forced to endure increased risks of cancer, birth defects, and other disease related to exposure to radioactive materials. Depleted uranium is the byproduct of the enrichment of uranium to fuel nuclear power plants and has a half-life in the hundreds of millions of years. Damage to Syrian territory will thus continue long after anyone involved in current hostilities is dead.]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 22:13:05 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Poking Russia, Flynn Fuss, Protest Violence, US Killers, Wall Costs Adam Dick Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

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.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I talked about the Trump administration apparently continuing the Obama administration’s confrontation policy concerning Russia via rotating new United States troops into Estonia and Latvia. News came this week that new US troops have arrived in Bulgaria and Romania. Both countries, like Russia, border the Black Sea.

A confrontation policy is also being expressed in words. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declared in a Tuesday press briefing that Trump “has been incredibly tough on Russia.” Spicer then said that Trump “continues to raise the issue of Crimea, which the previous administration had allowed to be seized by Russia.” Trump backed up Spicer’s comments the next morning, writing at Twitter:
Crimea was TAKEN by Russia during the Obama Administration. Was Obama too soft on Russia?
What, I wonder, would Trump have done, had he been president, to stop Crimea from joining Russia?

May it be that the threat of war with Russia that many people feared would exist with a Hillary Clinton presidency is just as great, or even greater, with Trump as president?

Issue two.

The big fuss about Michael Flynn this week was about whether, after being picked by Donald Trump to be national security advisor but before Trump was sworn in as president, Flynn may have talked on the phone with the Russian ambassador to the US about US sanctions on Russia. Yeah, that’s it.

Here is a bigger issue to worry about. People in the US government spied on Flynn’s communication with the ambassador and, then, apparent information from that snooping was shared with the Washington Post. Here we have the surveillance state using tactics it has employed against government leaders of other nations to attack the new US presidential administration.

Issue three.

It is troubling watching videos of wanton attacks on individuals and property destruction during the Berkeley, California protest earlier this month and the Washington, DC protest the day of Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration. Police did not prevent these actions. This serves as an important reminder that you have to rely on yourself to ensure your safety.

Issue four.

Many people reacted with shock and dismay after, earlier this month, President Trump said that there are “a lot of killers” and asked “you think our country’s so innocent?” Trump’s statement was in response to Bill O’Reilly telling Trump in an interview that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a killer.”

Of course, Trump put himself among the ranks of killers by authorizing fatal attacks overseas in his early days in office.

Justin Raimondo provided at a concise and reasoned reaction to Trump’s comments. Raimondo wrote:
What Trump said is something that every ordinary person recognizes – that the US government is not and has not been a conclave of angels. He echoes what every libertarian certainly takes as given: that government is coercion, naked force, and that it routinely kills.
Issue five.

Julia Edwards Ainsley reported last week at Reuters that a US Department of Homeland Security internal report suggests building a wall along the US-Mexico border will cost up to $21.6 billion. That amount, Ainsley writes, “is much higher than a $12-billion figure cited by Trump in his campaign and estimates as high as $15 billion from Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.”

This should come as no surprise. Neither should future reports of the wall’s costs moving higher and higher. The wall is, after all, a US government project.

Americans should not worry about only the financial cost of building and maintaining the wall. As Ron Paul warned in a September of 2016 editorial, the new wall can be used as a government tool, as was the Berlin Wall, to prevent people from leaving.


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 20:48:07 GMT
Soros-Founded Group Seeks Trump Overthrow Daniel McAdams

The organization known as AVAAZ is best recognized for its involvement in regime-change actions overseas. The organization was founded in 2007 by ResPublica and, two groups funded in the millions of dollars by billionaire troublemaker George Soros. Since then it has never seen a (US government-favored) overthrow overseas that it didn't actively participate in.

When the "Green Revolution" broke out in Iran in 2009, AVAAZ was right there, acting as one would expect from covert foreign intelligence operatives rather than NGOs:
During the 2009 Green Movement uprising in Iran, for example, Avaaz set up a network of proxy servers to allow protesters to post videos from the streets.
AVAAZ has been a key player in establishing false narratives that push the US government toward intervention in places like Libya and Syria. The organization does this by spending millions on the ground in these countries targeted for US "regime change" smuggling in video equipment to create propaganda videos of questionable authenticity, which are then widely distributed by a mainstream media that never looks at motives.

In Syria, the group's efforts were coordinated with and praised by armed opposition groups. As Time Magazine reported on the videos produced with equipment provided by AVAAZ:
Such imagery has been used by the Syrian opposition in their efforts to spur Western governments to action against the regime.
It is designed to make the case for regime change and for US military action overseas.

In Libya, AVAAZ was a leading voice mobilizing people to demand a no-fly zone, which set the stage for the eventual US intervention and destruction of the country.

It is important to understand that many thousands of innocent people have been killed worldwide when the policies espoused by AVAAZ have been followed.

Lately, AVAAZ has set its sights on the United States. It is pushing on its members a petition to the US House and Senate urging that President Trump be impeached and removed from office. The text of the petition reads as follows:
From the moment he’s taken office, Donald Trump and members of his family have been profiteering off the presidency at the expense of our democracy, and in violation of the Constitution. We call on you to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump immediately.

The petition has collected just short of a million signatures. The "regime change" operation has moved onshore and no matter what one thinks of Donald Trump, representative government is undermined far more by organizations like AVAAZ than a president subject to the vote of the American people.]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:46:13 GMT
Andrew Napolitano: Donald Trump Has to ‘Fear the Intelligence Community’ Adam Dick
Looking to Trump’s situation now with the intelligence community, Napolitano, who is the Fox News senior judicial analyst and a Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board member, states:
Now the president is confronted with this problem, Neil: Will the intelligence community truthfully and accurately tell the president what they know about threats to the United States, or do they not trust the president and will they keep vital information from him? “They” [being] the same people who leaked this stuff about General Flynn.
Watch Napolitano’s short and powerful interview here:

UPDATE: Napolitano discussed the intelligence community threat to Trump more in a new video commentary. In the commentary, Napolitano declares:
There are obviously elements in the United States government, in the intelligence community, that want to frustrate Donald Trump. They want to frustrate his presidency because he is a threat to their power center, because he knows that they wish them ill and they have caused him harm, and now they are striking back.
Napolitano concludes his commentary with this advice for Trump: “There are elements in the government — executive branch of the government that works for you, Mr. President — that you need to get rid of.”

Watch Napolitano’s video commentary here:

]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 18:46:24 GMT
Praise for the Ron Paul Institute Adam Dick

In a Monday The Duran article titled “5 real news sites you should read,” Adam Garrie praised, and included in the title-referenced list, the website of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

Garrie writes:
Ron Paul may have quit Congress but he is more involved in the political debate than ever before. His Ron Paul Institute website and his Liberty Report videos offer fresh views challenging mainstream American politics from a broadly libertarian and anti-war perspective.

Dr. Paul’s frequent contributions, as well as that of his colleagues and supporters, provides invaluable information on an increasingly popular political perspective from America’s heartland that continues to be ignored by the old failing media establishment.
Read Garrie’s complete article here.

Sign up for free Ron Paul Institute exclusive updates here.]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 22:19:15 GMT
Dennis Kucinich: Push for ‘New Cold War’ Behind Effort Against Michael Flynn Adam Dick
But why take such an action? Kucinich answers that the effort against Flynn is part of an effort to ensure that the “military-industrial-intel axis can cash in” from the deterioration of relations between the US and Russia and, potentially, a new cold war. As Kucinich notes, “the American people forked over billions of dollars” for the previous US-Soviet Union cold war. Kucinich elaborates:
This isn’t about whether you are for or against Donald Trump. Hello — this is about whether or not the American people are bystanders in a power play inside the intelligence committee, the outcome of which could determine our relationship with Russia and whether or not billions of dollars are going to be spent in a new cold war.
If Trump does not gain control over “his own intelligence apparatus,” Kucinich says that the resulting danger extends beyond a new cold war. Trump, Kucinich warns, “will never know the truth, the American people won’t know the truth, and we could be set at war with almost any country.”

Watch Kucinich’s complete interview here:

Kucinich is a Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board member.]]> Tue, 14 Feb 2017 20:05:49 GMT
David Stockman: People’s Drug Use is ‘None of the Government’s Business’ Adam Dick
Addressing further the right to use drugs, Stockman, who has worked in Washington, DC in jobs including as the director of the Office of Management and Budget and as a member of the US House of Representatives, says:
If we accept that in a free society people have a fundamental liberty to make choices for the better or for worse as long as they do not directly harm third parties or other people in terms of their safety, lives, and property, that is a fundamental principle that you really need to sort of implant right in the center of your thinking, because once you deviate from that principle, where does it stop? What I learned over my period in Washington is that, once you deviate from that principle, there are always advocacy groups that can come along and make a heck of a case that skydiving is a highly dangerous sport, and it needs to be banned — or any other endeavors of that sort that would be easy to name.

So, I think it is very clear: People have to have the liberty in a free society to make good choices, productive choices, for themselves, their families. But, also, if they make questionable choices or bad choices, that’s all part of the freedom business. Once we deviate very far from that, we have a government that can’t help itself, a government that becomes as a lot of people call it, and I strongly believe it’s the case, the nanny state that has the potential for endless meddling and interference in our lives.
In addition to presenting a rights-based condemnation of the drug war in the interview, Stockman argues that the roughly $1.5 trillion spent by the US, state, and local governments on the drug war since President Richard Nixon’s 1971 announcement of the war on drugs has had “no impact whatsoever” in achieving the drug war’s stated goals of reducing the rates of drug use and serious drug addiction. Also, argues Stockman, the drug war has created “collateral damage and really destructive effects,” some of which Stockman discusses in the interview.

Watch Stockman’s complete interview here:

Stockman is a member of the Ron Paul Institute Advisory Board.]]> Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:07:53 GMT
What Do You Think About Sending Thousands More Troops to Afghanistan? Dennis J. Kucinich undefined

Earlier this week the commander of the US military forces in Afghanistan told Congress that the US needs to send a few thousand more troops into America’s longest war, which has already cost the lives of nearly 2,400 US soldiers, with over 20,049 wounded. 

Currently 63 percent of troops in combat are Americans. More than 100,000 persons, many civilians, have been killed in Afghanistan since the war began fifteen years ago. 

The cost to US taxpayers is over $700 billion dollars, and rising. Some members of Congress still want the US to try to win the war. 

Nearly six years ago, on March 17, 2011, I forced a debate in the House of Representatives, to try to get the US out of Afghanistan. Here is a link to the Congressional Record, the debate and the vote on the resolution.

Reprinted from author's Facebook page.

]]> Sat, 11 Feb 2017 23:34:45 GMT
Hope and Worry about the New President Adam Dick
Looking forward to the Trump presidency, I predicted, pointing to something similar that happened with President Ronald Reagan, that Trump would trade away following through on his stated desire to reduce spending in some areas in order to gain support in Congress for increased spending in other areas such as infrastructure and the military. The result, I concluded, would be a “compromise” of “increasing spending across-the-board.”

Continuing with predictions for a Trump presidency, I pointed to policing as an area where I expected “Trump as president would seek to expand government very likely.” In support of this conclusion, I referenced Trump’s support for New York City-style stop-and-frisk, the rolling back of restrictions on the US government supplying military weapons to local police, surveillance of Muslims in America, and the building of a wall between the US and Mexico. Trump talks about using the wall, I noted, for fighting the drug war in addition to preventing illegal immigration.

Regarding Trump’s potential foreign policy, the discussion turned to matters including Trump’s back-and-forth position on torture, his support for imprisoning people at Guantanamo, and his desire to reverse much or all the détente with Iran and Cuba that the Obama administration obtained. A foreign policy bright spot was the potential that Trump would take action to reduce the US government’s animosity toward Russia.

While the radio show discussion addressed several actions the Trump administration may take to threaten liberty and increase foreign intervention, I held out some hope, saying, “I’m always hopeful that there is a chance that we’ll have a president that at the end of his time in office the political system is better than it was before, that liberty is respected more.”

At the completion of Trump’s presidency, it would be great to inform Bennett that my hope had been fulfilled. But, the early days of the Trump administration are not boosting my optimism.

Listen to the complete interview here:

]]> Sat, 11 Feb 2017 22:43:55 GMT
Ron Paul Calls Potential Deputy Secretary of State Elliott Abrams ‘the Neocon’s Neocon’ Adam Dick appointing Elliott Abrams to be deputy secretary of state. Paul says Abrams has a “lousy” record. Continuing, Paul calls Abrams “the neocon’s neocon,” noting that “there has never been an intervention overseas that he didn’t seem to enjoy.”

Paul says in the interview that all of these interventions that Abrams supports did not “work.” Victory may be claimed in a sense from these interventions, Paul suggests, if they “remade the Middle East” so “we had thriving democracies there where civil liberties are being protected and [each country] had a constitution somewhat leaning toward ours.” But, in fact, Paul says “that isn’t the case” as the wars have caused more harm than good.

Indeed, Trump has discussed this failure of US intervention in regard to the Iraq War. Throughout the presidential campaign, Trump brought up his opposition to the United States starting the Iraq War in 2003. In a February of 2016 debate, Trump called the Iraq War a “big, fat mistake,” a mistake that, Trump continued, cost two trillion dollars and thousands of lives. In addition, Trump asserted that “Iran is taking over Iraq, with the second-largest oil reserves in the world.” Concluding, Trump said:
George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes, but that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.
Therefore, it surprises many people that reports suggest Trump is considering Abrams for a State Department appointment. Abrams continues to support President George W. Bush’s decision to wage war on Iraq.

Watch Paul’s complete interview here:

Paul, along with co-host Daniel McAdams, discussed in detail the potentiality of Abrams as deputy secretary of state in the Tuesday episode of the Ron Paul Liberty Report:

In the Ron Paul Liberty Report discussion, Paul argues that Abrams could be one of the most important Trump appointments, and McAdams offers a possible big reason why Trump would want to consider appointing Abrams to the State Department position. McAdams explains that, while people will say that Abrams “is so different from Trump,” regarding Iran “they are in lockstep: Elliott Abrams agrees with Trump and with [Secretary of Defense James Mattis] and with [National Security Advisor Michael Flynn] that Iran is the number one sponsor of terrorism, which is absolutely not true.”

For an in-depth discussion by Paul of his views regarding neoconservatism, read here Paul’s July 10, 2003 US House of Representatives speech “Neo-Conned.”]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 14:40:54 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Russia Confrontation, Murder Rate, Revoking Passports, Airstrikes, RPI Event Adam Dick Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

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.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In the final days of the Obama administration, United States troops, equipment, and weapons arrived in Poland and Norway. These deployments near Russia further escalated tensions between the US and Russian governments.

Many advocates of nonintervention and the avoiding of military conflict with Russia hoped that Donald Trump would, as president, end such military deployments. Trump said during the campaign and since that he wants a “good relationship” with Russia. But, in the last few days, new rotations of US troops have arrived in Estonia and Latvia, also on Russia’s doorstep. This suggests the Obama administration’s confrontation policy is still in force.

Issue two.

On Tuesday, President Trump, at a White House meeting with police from around the country, said the murder rate in America is the highest it has been in 45 to 47 years. However, Eric Boehm wrote at Reason that Trump’s assertion is “completely false.” Looking to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics, Boehm notes that the murder rate now is less than half what it was in 1980, when the murder rate was at its peak over the last 45 years.

You may be tempted to view Trump’s misstatement of the facts as of little importance. But, Trump supported in his campaign liberty-threatening policing policies of expanding the use of New York City-style stop-and-frisk and reinstating the full flow of military weapons from the US government to local cops. Also, on Wednesday, Trump said, in a speech to the Major Cities Chiefs police organization, that his administration will be “ruthless” in its war on drugs. Extraordinary overstatements of murder rates is one way to generate the fear needed to lead people to support suppressing liberty in the hope of obtaining safety.

Issue three.

In November of 2015, I wrote at the Ron Paul Institute website about a provision included in HR 22, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act, that would authorize the US State Department to deny passport requests by and revoke the passports of Americans who have $50,000 or more of unpaid federal taxes, including penalties and interest. President Barack Obama signed that bill into law the next month.

Robert W. Wood related at Forbes last week that the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) has announced that early this year it will begin informing the State Department about individuals who have unpaid, legally enforceable tax debt of over $50,000 and for which a levy has been issued or a tax lien has been filed and administrative remedies are exhausted or lapsed. There are a few exceptions in the IRS process, including for some people making timely payments on their taxes. The State Department will rely on this IRS information to revoke existing passports and block the issuing of new passports.

Issue four.

For years, and maybe back to the beginning of the War on Terror, Department of Defense public disclosures have significantly understated the number of airstrikes by the US military in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. Andrew deGrandpre and Shawn Snow reported Sunday at the Military Times that “potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes” by US Army-operated helicopters and drones have not been included in the disclosures. They write that at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan alone were left out last year.

Issue five.

The Ron Paul Institute is joining the Ludwig von Mises Institute in hosting a symposium in Lake Jackson, south of Houston, Texas, on April 8. The topic for the symposium is “War and Peace in the Age of Trump.” Speakers at the event will include Lew Rockwell and Jeff Deist of the Mises Institute and Ron Paul and Daniel McAdams of RPI.

To find out more about the April 8 event and purchase tickets, open the Mises Institute website at — that’s M-I-S-E-S dot org — and click on the “events” tab at the top of the page. [event link]


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.]]> Fri, 10 Feb 2017 02:06:15 GMT
'Democrats Have Made Common Cause with Neocons by Baiting Russia' Daniel McAdams
The idea that Congress is some great deliberative body -- or even a mediocre deliberative body -- is one of the great myths of our time. Congress is, with a few exceptions, nothing but an echo chamber for conventional wisdom. That is how such mindless accusations like Trump being in some sort of "bromance" (as the New York Times so idiotically put it yesterday) ricochet along and become part of the Washington canon. I was interviewed on RT to discuss the embarrassing Maxine Waters statement and the unholy anti-Russia alliance between Democrats who cannot come to terms with losing the presidency so they all scream "PUTIN!" and neocons panting for Cold War 2.0 against Russia:

]]> Thu, 09 Feb 2017 00:15:38 GMT
Rep. Maxine Waters: Trump Must Be Impeached Because Putin Invaded Korea! Daniel McAdams It is often not fully understood just how ignorant most US Representatives are when it comes to the finer details of foreign policy. Members get their news from an even narrower pool of information than many Americans, who are by and large abandoning the mainstream media. They read the Washington Post or they rely on their staffers, who read the Washington Post. Most Members enjoy being considered experts in the issues upon which they are voting, but the fact is they are very poorly informed.

However, there are gradations of moderately badly informed to "whaaat??!?? Did she really say that???" badly informed.

Those are the murky waters we often navigate when we sample the wit and wisdom of Rep. Maxine Waters, a 13 term Democrat from Los Angeles.

In a press conference last Friday, Rep. Waters did not disappoint. Asked by the media why she called for the impeachment of President Trump when he has not yet been a month in office, Rep. Waters replied, "I am not calling for the impeachment yet. He's doing it himself."

She continued:

Let me just say the statement I made was a statement in response to questions and pleas that I am getting from many citizens across this country. What are we going to do? How can a president, who is acting in the manner that he's acting, whether he's talking about the travel ban, the way that he's talking to Muslims, or whether he's talking about his relationship to Putin, and the Kremlin -- and knowing that they have hacked our D-triple-C  -- DNC, and knowing that he is responsible for supplying the bombs that killed innocent children and families in, um – in, um– yeah, in Aleppo.

And the fact that he is wrapping his arms around Putin while Putin is continuing to advance into Korea -- I think that he is leading himself into that kind of position where folks will begin to ask, what are we going to do? And the answer is going to be, eventually, we've got to do something about him. We cannot continue to have a president who's acting in this manner.  It's dangerous to the United States of America.

Watching the video, the word "Aleppo" was thrown at her from the press corps when she couldn't remember where she was (falsely) accusing Putin of killing innocent women and children.

But what was a real attention-getter was her accusation that President Trump must be impeached because President Putin invaded Korea. The conspiracy theorists angry about Hillary's loss have invented all manner of bizarre explanations accusing Putin of masterminding the Trump victory, but thus far no one has accused Putin of invading Korea.

She meant "Crimea" you might say. Don't be so sure. Members should be given a blank map whenever they talk with presumed authority about anywhere abroad. They should be forced to find the place they are about to start talking about before the microphone is switched on. If they can't, they shouldn't. 

Watch for yourself:

]]> Mon, 06 Feb 2017 23:53:20 GMT
David Stockman Challenges Trump Administration’s Militarism and Drug War Adam Dick
Stockman explains that “we’re bombing, droning, we’ve destroyed the whole Middle East,” resulting in blowback against Americans, increased terrorism, and the creation of refugees. He further criticizes the immediate Trump administration action to expand the militarism inherited from the Obama administration — instead of curtailing it — by “huffing and puffing” toward, and “drawing red lines” regarding, Iran. Stockman succinctly summarizes the problem: “We have too many wars.”

Turning to the war on drugs, Stockman refers to Trump’s reported comments about “bad hombres” in Mexico during a phone call with Mexico President Enrique Peña Nieto. Stockman says:
That’s the war on drugs. The problem is the policy. Get rid of the war on drugs. If you got rid of the war on drugs, you wouldn’t have half the problem, or most of the problem, you have on the border today.
Stockman also argues in the interview that the Trump administration should focus on taking action to fix the American economy, including by countering problems caused by the Federal Reserve, instead of being tied up with “digressions and diversions.”

Watch Stockman’s complete interview here:

]]> Mon, 06 Feb 2017 20:46:28 GMT
About That Intel 'Treasure Trove' From Trump's Yemen Raid... Daniel McAdams

Shortly after the President Trump-authorized commando raid on Yemen, Fox News led the mainstream media in reporting on the great "treasure trove" of intelligence that was seized at the compound. With the claimed killing of a senior al-Qaeda official, the mission was proclaimed a success. 

Soon the initial triumphalist reporting on the raid gave way to a much darker reality: an American was killed, millions of dollars in US military equipment destroyed, at least a dozen innocent women and children were killed, US military cover had been blown before the attack, the mission was poorly planned, the mission had been turned down twice by President Obama only to be dusted off by President Trump, and so on.

Worse, the raid was probably not on a hardened al-Qaeda compound, as Centcom claimed, but, as the Telegraph writes, on a ramshackle, impoverished village:
But information from US military officials speaking on condition of anonymity, human rights groups and sources on the ground build a different, contradictory, picture, in which massive fire power was brought to bear on a ramshackle village against targets of limited importance in the so called 'war on terror.'

By this account, the reinforced al-Qaeda 'headquarters' was a two room residence crammed in among other houses in the village; the 'determined enemies.' which the Pentagon said included women in 'prepared fighting positions' were scared residents firing weapons into the night in panic; and the value of the intelligence gathered is still being assessed. 
And what about that treasure trove of intelligence? Facing increasing pressure over the botched raid, the Pentagon earlier today released a video titled “Courses for Destroying The Cross,” to prove just how important was the cache that had been seized.

But the botched part of the botched raid kept botching. It turns out that, as the Telegraph put it, the "video released by Pentagon to prove Donald Trump's deadly Yemen raid was successful is a decade old and available online."

So this valuable information could have been been retrieved by a guy with a laptop on YouTube and tens of millions of dollars as well as scores of innocent lives spared. That is why US interventionism is a bad idea. It produces bad results.

We can only hope that the young Trump Administration will learn from this black eye and very quickly retreat from its increasingly aggressive positioning in the Middle East. A president elected on the promise that he would start no new wars is swaggering us into something his panting advisors cannot, in their blind enthusiasm, even imagine.]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2017 21:44:16 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Saudi Friend, Targeting Americans, War Escalation, Regulations EO, Exclude Congressmen Adam Dick Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

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.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

The White House issued a press release Sunday regarding President Donald Trump’s phone call that day with King Salman of Saudi Arabia. The press release begins by saying that the two men “reaffirmed the longstanding friendship and strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia.” Then, it says they “agreed on the importance of strengthening joint efforts to fight the spread of radical Islamic terrorism and also on the importance of working jointly to address challenges to regional peace and security, including the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.”

The two governments’ common goal, however, has been to overthrow the governments of Syria and Yemen. And the intervention to accomplish this goal threatens escalation with the imposing of so-called safe zones in Syria and Yemen that the press release says Trump requested in the phone call and King Salman agreed to support.

On the same day as the phone call, Trump announced that the US had conducted a raid in Yemen. At The Intercept, Glenn Greenwald describes the US military action as a drone-supported commando raid.

Issue two.

In answering a question that mentioned an eight-year-old American girl killed in the US military attack in Yemen that President Trump announced on Sunday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that "no American citizen will ever be targeted" in attacks. As noted by Steven Nelson at US News and World Report, Spicer’s statement seemed to indicate a “departure from Obama administration policy” that explicitly allowed so-called targeted killings of US citizens.

Then, later in the day, it was made clear that Spicer had not stated the Trump administration’s actual policy. Another person in the White House Press Office issued a statement saying that "U.S. policy regarding the possible targeting of American citizens has not changed."

Issue three.

Prepare for the escalation of US intervention in Yemen. Intervention has included bombings and the aiding of Saudi Arabia in its war on the country, including through extensive aerial refueling of military aircraft. Spencer Ackerman, Jason Burke, and Julian Borger wrote the following in a Wednesday the Guardian article:
One proposal under discussion, at Central Command and elsewhere, is to designate Yemen a formal battlefield for US forces, alongside Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. That move would permit swifter decision-making, expanded authorities and an intensified pace of operations, rather than one-off raids or drone strikes.
Issue four.

On Monday, President Trump issued an executive order that on first glance may seem to promise a significant reduction in US government power. The executive order declares that, “whenever an executive department or agency (agency) publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed.”

But, instead of the seeming promise of a double regulatory burden reduction for each increase, the executive order says the goal is just to have no net increase in costs imposed by regulations. As stated in the executive order, “the heads of all agencies are directed that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized” in fiscal year 2017 “shall be no greater than zero.” Even that limit may be disregarded, the executive order states, as “required by law or consistent with advice provided in writing by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director).”

The executive order also completely exempts from its restraints a huge chunk of US government actions, namely, “regulations issued with respect to a military, national security, or foreign affairs function of the United States.”

Issue five.

Last week President Trump signed an executive order barring some people from entering America. The executive order starts with a section offering reasons for the executive order. One offered reason is that the US “cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution.”

In response to this purported reason for the executive order, author James Bovard asked, “So most congressmen will be prohibited from re-entering the U.S.?”


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.

]]> Fri, 03 Feb 2017 18:52:48 GMT
Pentagon Finally Admits it Killed Women and Children in Yemen Daniel McAdams
Daughter of American citizen Anwar Awlaki, killed in US airstrike Jan. 29th

President Trump eluded the White House press corps today to helicopter off to Dover Air Force Base for the arrival of the body of Chief Petty Officer William (Ryan) Owens, who was killed in a US commando raid in Yemen over the weekend. It was the first on-the-ground US military operation authorized by President Trump since he took office on January 20th. 

While Trump was mourning the first American military casualty of his presidency, families in Yemen were mourning the deaths of their civilian relatives in the US raid. At least 16 women and children were killed in the US military attack on Yemen.

The Pentagon at first did not admit any civilian casualties in the raid. Then, when pictures (caution) made their way to the Internet of slaughtered women and children, the Pentagon adjusted its story to make the outlandish claim that al-Qaeda had recruited women into its fighting ranks and it was those women who were killed in combat.

The women killed in the raid were not innocent civilians, claimed Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis, “there were a lot of female combatants who were part of this.” The spokesman further stated, “take reports of female casualties with a grain of salt. Not all female casualties are civilian casualties. In many cases, and certainly in this one, females can be legitimate combatants."

The excuse fell flat. In fact just last September, al-Qaeda criticized ISIS in its online magazine for allowing women to take part in combat.

Finally, after rounds of denial and cockamamie stories, the Pentagon came clean. In a statement late this afternoon, the US Central Command admitted that "a team designated by the operational task force commander has concluded regrettably that civilian non-combatants were likely killed in the midst of a firefight during a raid in Yemen Jan. 20. Casualties may include children."

The Pentagon continued to insist, however, that there were women engaged in combat during the firefight.

We should recall that while the US claims it is attacking Yemen because of al-Qaeda's presence in the country, the US has strongly backed Saudi Arabia's war on the Shia-related Houthis who are mortal enemies of the Sunni jihadist al-Qaeda.

In fact, the US war in Yemen looks more like a US proxy war against Iran - a proxy war that may soon become a real war. Just today the President Trump's National Security Advisor warned Iran over a Houthi retaliatory strike on a Saudi warship off of Yemen's coast. Blaming Iran for the Houthi attack on a Saudi warship is bogus: as investigative reporter Gareth Porter pointed out today, even the US intelligence community has rejected the notion that the Houthis are an Iran proxy.

War goes on it never ends...

]]> Thu, 02 Feb 2017 01:03:21 GMT
War Drums: Trump's National Security Advisor Threatens Iran Daniel McAdams

It wasn't hard to see this coming. President Trump's National Security Advisor, Gen. Michael Flynn, delivered a clear threat to the government of Iran today, ominously stating that "as of this day, we are officially putting Iran on notice." What is less clear is the the General's rationale for issuing the threat. 

Flynn cites two justifications for bringing the US on war footing against Iran. Both are dubious. First, he blames Iran for a recent attack on a Saudi naval vessel carried out by Houthi forces in Yemen. According to Flynn, because the Houthis are backed by Iran -- itself a specious claim -- it is Iran that is actually responsible for the attack.

Even if it were true that the Houthis are Iranian proxies, this kind of guilt-by-association reasoning gets quite awkward when considering what some US-backed rebels in Syria have done with US-provided weapons and training. Like beheading young boys.

What Flynn fails to mention is that Saudi Arabia has been attacking neighboring Yemen since 2015, with US assistance, leaving tens of thousands killed and injured and the Middle East's poorest country in the midst of devastating famine. Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen was unprovoked, initiated only to force Riyadh's preferred leader onto its southern neighbor. Under Flynn's logic, it is perfectly fine for Saudi Arabia to initiate a genocidal war of aggression against another country. But the victim of the attack had better not fight back or the United States will blame yet a third country that has nothing to do with it. 

And these are the experts?

The second reason for putting Iran at the top of Flynn's hit list: Over the weekend Iran tested a medium-range ballistic missile which Flynn claims violates the P5+1 negotiated and UN-backed Iran nuclear deal. UN Security Council Resolution 2231 "calls on" Iran to not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, but this section has been interpreted as a request rather than a prohibition. There are no specific provisions in the nuclear deal that explicitly prevent Iran from testing a missile.

In fact, Iran has tested several ballistic missiles since the nuclear agreement was signed but this time the US reaction is far different. Iran has been "emboldened," said General Flynn, by an Obama Administration that was "weak and ineffective" in its dealings with Iran. He went on to lament that Iran has not been "thankful to the United States for these agreements."

Flynn's subordinates have long complained of his aggressive style, including a demand after the 2012 Benghazi attack on a CIA facility that analysts find some link to Iran. This pressure to "stove-pipe" intelligence to suit a pre-determined policy is eerily reminiscent of the methods used to push the 2003 Iraq war. He was fired from his previous job as Defense Intelligence Agency chief for, reportedly, his extremely hostile views toward Iran.

Adding together President Trump's call to the Saudi king, where they discussed Iran's "destabilizing" actions, and a pre-emptive war authorization bill languishing in the US House, the current danger of a US strike on Iran is just an accident -- or a false flag -- away.]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 19:32:26 GMT
The Washington Post's War on Peacemakers Dennis J. Kucinich
Kucinich and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard in Aleppo, Syria

I have dedicated my life to peace. As a member of Congress I led efforts to avert conflict and end wars in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and Iran. And yet those of us who work for peace are put under false scrutiny to protect Washington’s war machine. Those who undermine our national security by promoting military attacks and destroying other nations are held up as national leaders to admire.

Recently Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and I took a Congressional Ethics-approved fact finding trip to Lebanon and Syria, where we visited Aleppo and refugee camps, and met with religious leaders, governmental leaders and people from all sides of the conflict, including political opposition to the Syrian government.

Since that time we have been under constant attack on false grounds. The media and the war establishment are desperate to keep hold of their false narrative for world-wide war, interventionism and regime change, which is a profitable business for Washington insiders and which impoverishes our own country.

Today, Rep. Gabbard came under attack yet again by the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin who has been on a tear trying to ruin the reputations of the people and the organization who sponsored our humanitarian, fact-finding mission of peace to the Middle East. Rogin just claimed in a tweet that a community organization I have been associated with for twenty years does not exist.

The organization is in my neighborhood. Here’s photos I took yesterday of AACCESS-Ohio’s marquee. It clearly exists, despite the base, condescending assertions of Mr. Rogin. 

Enough of this dangerous pettiness. Let’s dig in to what is really going on, inside Syria, in the State Department, the CIA and the Pentagon. In the words of President Eisenhower, let’s beware (and scrutinize) the military-industrial-complex. It is time to be vigilant for our democracy.

Reprinted with permission from author's Facebook page.]]> Wed, 01 Feb 2017 16:28:54 GMT