Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:57:47 GMT Thu, 17 Aug 2017 22:57:47 GMT Five Minutes Five Issues: Racism, Venezuela, Saving Animals, Yemen Cholera, Roy Moore Adam Dick A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Thursday. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at 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.

Enough with all the complaints that United States President Donald Trump has not denounced racism sufficiently. What a president should do is stand up for the Constitution and ensure the government does not violate individual rights. One of those rights is the right to be racist.

Issue two.

In last week’s episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, while discussing President Trump’s declaration that he may use a “military option” against the Venezuela government, I said, “Nobody is even suggesting Venezuela poses any threat to America.”

Then, this week, two “somebodies” from the Trump administration did suggest it.

In a joint press conference with the president of Columbia, US Vice President Mice Pence said this:

A failed state in Venezuela will drive more illegal drug trafficking, with its murderous criminal consequences, radiating outward. A failed state in Venezuela will drive more illegal migration, compromising our borders, damaging our economies. And ultimately, a failed state in Venezuela will endanger the wellbeing of all who call this hemisphere home.

Also, when host Chris Wallace asked at Fox News why a “civil war” or “terrible situation” in Venezuela is “our problem” and could justify US military intervention, US Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo gave the following answer:

Oh, look, Venezuela could very much become a risk to the United States of America. The Cubans are there. The Russians are there. The Iranians, Hezbollah are there.

This is something that has a risk of getting to a very, very bad place. And so, America needs to take this very seriously.

Pence and Pompeo’s statements are reminiscent of the lead up to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, when George W. Bush administration officials ran from microphone to microphone to promote fear of the Iraq government and scare Americans into supporting war.

Issue three.

You have likely read some of Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Eric Margolis’ informative articles regarding conflicts and politics around the world.

Here is something you may not know about Margolis. Allan Hall reported at the Daily Mail that Margolis was the major financial backer for saving this month “[t]hree lions, two tigers, two Asian black bears, two Husky dogs, and two hyenas.” The animals had experienced dire conditions at an Aleppo, Syria zoo devastated in the country’s ongoing war.

Hall reports that, after many other animals had died in the zoo, these surviving animals have made it to a sanctuary in Jordan.

Issue four.

In a Monday press release, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there have been half a million suspected cholera cases in Yemen this year. The WHO notes that the rapid spread of the disease in Yemen is due to “deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions and disruptions to the water supply across the country.” Further, treating cholera is inhibited by a shortage of medical supplies, medical facilities, and medical workers in the country.

The US-supported war on Yemen has created the conditions for this calamity. As I said when talking about cholera in Yemen in the June 17 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, “Diseases can be as destructive as bullets and bombs in war.”

Issue five.

In the July 8 episode of Five Minutes Five Issues, I said the August 15 US Senate special election primary in Alabama “could disturb many US politicians and powerbrokers” should former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore win.

On Tuesday, Moore came in first with 39 percent of the vote.

Moore will compete next in a run-off election against second-place finisher Luther Strange, who the state governor appointed to the Senate to temporarily fill the seat vacated when Jeff Sessions left to become US Attorney General. Strange was also endorsed by President Trump.

Commenting on the primary election results, Moore said, “The attempt by the silk-stocking Washington elitists to control the vote of the people of Alabama has failed.”


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.


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The Truth About Yemen - With Vanessa Beeley Daniel McAdams
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Is Hate Speech Free Speech? Daniel McAdams
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Libya Update: Russia Changes the Game Richard Galustian

A totally unexpected strategy emerged on the Russian side after yesterday's meeting with Field Marshall Haftar in Moscow. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's announced shift in Russian policy, couched in appropriate diplomatic language as shown in his Press Release below, changed Russia's game plan at a stroke. It appears that the Russian government has totally endorsed the United Nations track on Libya, saying it was was the right and only way to go and that the dodgy Paris Accord of the 25 July was the basis for peace. 

The Russian diplomat expressed his desire that the next and hopefully final round of UN Peace talks take place in a city in Russia or Chechnya, which would of course to be Russia's advantage. The Russians are planning to invite the UN-backed Government of National Accord Prime Minister Serraj to Moscow in the near future to fill him in on their position as well.

The fact that the Paris Accord produced a document co-signed by Haftar and Serraj that was broken within 24 hours of its signing suggests the event was more a farce than a road map to a peaceful settlement to six years of deadly unrest.

Here is Russia's Press release below. It's worth reading between the lines of what Lavrov says:
14.08.17 - 15:18
Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar

On August 14, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had a meeting at the Foreign Ministry with Libyan National Army Commander Khalifa Haftar, who is paying a working visit to Moscow.

During the talks, the parties in particular focused on the current military and political situation in Libya with an emphasis on the measures being taken to resolve the intra-Libyan crisis through mediation of the international community as well as under the auspices of the UN. In this context, the parties discussed prospects of the intra-Libyan settlement in light of the meeting between Khalifa Haftar and Chairman of the Presidential Council and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya Fayez al-Sarraj, held on July 25 in a Parisian suburb.

Russia confirmed the importance of the continuation of the inclusive intra-Libyan dialogue involving members of all major political forces, tribes and regions of the country in order to reach mutually acceptable solutions and to ensure conditions for Libya’s sustainable development as a united, sovereign and independent state. It was also confirmed that Russia is ready to provide further assistance in promoting the political process, in contact with all Libyan parties.
So what has caused Russia to change its strategy and embrace the United Nations Support Mission in Libya's (UNSMIL) past five years of failed talks? What happened and why did Lavrov tell Haftar he should comply with the outdated and defunct UNSMIL Skhirat agreement? Why is Qatari backed Misratan Militia in Doha and all happening at the same time?

Here's my assessment: Moscow sees an opportunity to advance many objectives: to play to the multilateral card but in a slightly different way; to gain bonus points with Europeans and America; and, I think, also to slow down the rush to Libya.

Why do I conclude this? Looking at some of the numbers for their, Libya's, grand plan, it's clear that they can't implement it right away, more like in five years or so. Therefore I deduce that in the meantime, by delaying all progress, the Russians have decided they can manipulate the situation and adapt to inevitable changing circumstances. 

It should be noted that Al-Buyan and Haftar's LNA have clashed many times in various Libyan cities.

So it seems the international game goes on with only the Libyan people not participating.

Galustian is a business and security analyst who has lived in Libya since 2011.]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 21:32:05 GMT
Trump Administration Demands Information On Over A Million Visitors To Anti-Trump Website Jonathan Turley

A web host called “DreamHost” has gone to court to challenge a demand from the Trump Administration for information on more than 1 million visitors to an anti-Trump website. The demand would covered 1.3 million IP addresses and raises highly troubling free speech and associational concerns. At a minimum, the demand appears wildly too broad and could easily chill political speech for those who oppose this Administration.

DreamHost was hit by the demand after  the Justice Department filed a motion in late July in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. According to the host’s filing, the resulting July 12th warrant demands “names, addresses, telephone numbers and other identifiers, e-mail addresses, business information, the length of service (including start date), means and source of payment for services (including any credit card or bank account number), and information about any domain name registration.” The company had a valid stated concern:
The request from the [Justice Department] demands that DreamHost hand over 1.3 million visitor IP addresses — in addition to contact information, email content, and photos of thousands of people — in an effort to determine who simply visited the website. That information could be used to identify any individuals who used this site to exercise and express political speech protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment. That should be enough to set alarm bells off in anyone’s mind.
The website helped coordinate demonstrations against President Trump in Washington, D.C., on Inauguration Day in January. Some of those protesters turned violent and have faced indictments.  It is clear that the government has a right to investigate those individuals but the government also has a duty to tailor such demands in light of the powerful free speech interests involved in such demonstrations. I see no evidence of such tailoring in this demand and the court should give the warrant close scrutiny in light of its obvious impact on political speech.

A hearing is scheduled in Washington before District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz on Friday about the information request.

Here is the company’s filing: DreamHost filing the United States response to the filing: DreamHost/US filing.

Reprinted with permission from]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:43:16 GMT
End Of Iran Nuke Deal? What Comes Next... Daniel McAdams
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Lew Rockwell: US Should Butt Out and Let South Korea Deal with North Korea Adam Dick
One may expect that President Donald Trump, who ran for president promising to put “America First” and criticizing the US government’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, would be pursuing most or all of the actions Rockwell suggests. However, the Trump administration is moving in the opposite direction — ramping up threats against North Korea, imposing more sanctions on the country, increasing US military activities in the area, and pushing to the side potential peace efforts from South Korea.

Watch Rockwell’s complete interview here:

Rockwell is a member of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Advisory Board and he will be speaking at the Institute’s Peace and Prosperity 2017 conference next month in Washington.]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 12:52:00 GMT
War Drums Beating For Venezuela? Daniel McAdams
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Five Minutes Five Issues: Invading Venezuela, Shona Banda, American Fear, Benghazi Emails, RPI Conference 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.

Last month, United States Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin announced new US sanctions on Venezuela, stating that “As President Trump has made clear, the United States will not ignore the Maduro regime’s ongoing efforts to undermine democracy, freedom and the rule of law.”

A noninterventionist may respond, “Why not?” Indeed, it sounds like Mnuchin is doing just what then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams warned against in an 1821 speech — going “abroad in search of monsters to destroy.” Nobody is even suggesting Venezuela poses any threat to America.

Mnuchin’s statement is in line with the “democracy promotion” and “humanitarian intervention” rationales the Obama administration used for meddling in countries including Libya and Syria.

And sanctions may not be the end of US hostile action toward the South American country. Responding to a reporter’s question of Friday, President Donald Trump said, “We have many options for Venezuela, and, by the way, I am not going to rule out a military option.”

Trump said this with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with whom Trump had just had a meeting, standing next to him. Tillerson had recently brought hope to some nonintervention supporters by suggesting democracy promotion would be removed from the State Department mission.

The empire plods on.

Issue two.

Shona Banda has had the threat of decades in prison hanging over her for over two years for charges for a stack of drug law violations in Kansas. The charges arise from Banda’s use of medical marijuana. Banda explained in a January Ron Paul Liberty Report interview that using cannabis oil helped her with her very debilitating Crohn’s disease so that, as she put it, “I was able to get my life back.”

There is some good news for Banda. Mark Minton reported Thursday in the Garden City Telegram that a plea agreement was finalized this week where Banda would plead no contest to one of the charges in return for the dropping all other charges and that the prosecution will recommend Banda receive probation that Banda may satisfy in Washington state where she may legally use marijuana.

Issue three.

Interviewed Thursday on the Ron Paul Liberty Report, Ludwig von Mises Institute Chairman Lew Rockwell made a keen observation regarding Americans’ fears of potential attacks from overseas. Rockwell asserted the big danger is instead from our own government.

“Who,” Rockwell asks, “is threatening our liberties here in the United States … is taxing us … is spying on us … is wanting to control our speech … regulates our businesses … wants to control how our schools are operated” and “controls our neighborhoods.” The answer, Rockwell says, is the US government — not the Russian, Chinese, North Korean, or any other foreign government.

Issue four.

Due to an order this week from US District Court Judge Amit Mehta arising from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, we may learn more about the killing in Benghazi, Libya in 2012 of the US ambassador to Libya, another diplomat, and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) contractors.

As related by Jason Le Miere at Newsweek, the judge ordered the State Department to search its email system for emails related to the matter. The search could yield information beyond what was found in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server emails and emails from some of her aides.

Issue five.

If you are attending the Ron Paul Institute’s September 9 conference at the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott, you may save money by reserving your hotel guest room right away. The hotel has available a few more guest rooms for conference participants at a special reduced price. The last special reduced price rooms may be taken soon.

You can find out more about the conference and purchase tickets to the conference at


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.

]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:26:37 GMT
Breaking: Donald Trump Considers War on Venezuela Adam Garrie

Donald Trump has stated that he is considering military action against Venezuela. The oil rich South American country has just sworn in its new Constituent Assembly which President Nicholas Maduro’s supporters control after July’s election for the new chamber.

The United States continues to fund the right wing opposition who are opposed to Maduro’s reforms.

Today, when asked about his plans for Venezuela, Donald Trump responded in the following way:
We have many options for Venezuela… the people are suffering and they’re dying. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military option if necessary.
The realistic prospect is that a US led war on Venezuela is highly more likely than one of North Korea. As I wrote recently in The Duran:
From a propaganda angle, a so-called regime change war on Venezuela would be far less impactful than one on North Korea. Fewer Americans see Venezuela as a cartoon villain vis-a-vis North Korea and furthermore, much of the US based Latin American community would resent a war against a smaller Latin American country, especially a war waged by Donald Trump who has terrible PR among Latin Americans.

From a military point of view as well as a political perspective, it would however be a safe option. Venezuela’s armed forces cannot complete with those of the US and since Russia closed its base in Cuba in the year 2002, Latin America is from a military point of view, an American peninsula, even though politically the United States has lost tremendous amounts of clout over the last decades as many far-right dictatorships across Latin America have fallen to democratic socialist governments.

While Russia and China would likely condemn such a war, they would not participate in the conflict as they might do in Korea.
Reprinted with permission from The Duran.]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 22:44:20 GMT
EXPOSED: The Regime Change Efforts Of Federally-Backed Corporate Libertarians Shane Trejo

While libertarians are typically known for their opposition to foreign intervention, a recent exposé published by The Intercept showed that libertarians are quietly engaging in missions – with assistance from the federal and corporate partners – to foment regime change throughout the world.

“When there is an opening, you have a crisis, and there is some demand for change, you have people who are trained to push for certain policies,” Atlas Network president Alejandro Chafuen said. “And in our case, we tend to favor to private solutions to public problems.”

Chafuen has been hard at work remaking politics throughout Latin America, where socialism has waned in recent years. He has many successes to point towards including Argentinian ministers, Bolivian senators, and a “Free Brazil Movement” that was largely responsible for disposing socialist president Dilma Rousseff.

While all of this may seem terrific from a libertarian perspective, the fact that the Atlas Network is a long-time partner of the federal government should raise some eyebrows. Since the 1980’s, the Atlas Network has been hand-in-hand with federal partners – such as the U.S. Agency for International Development and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – to meddle in the affairs of other nations.

In addition to the federal assistance, the Atlas Network receives a great deal of corporate funding. Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been a frequent funder, giving the organization regular donations including a massive $50,000 contribution in 1994. Additionally, the Atlas Network has received funding from ExxonMobil and MasterCard as well as major support from the unofficial barons of the libertarian movement, the Koch brothers. The network has ties to government officials throughout the United States at all levels, including many close associates in the White House.

Chafuen is most proud of the fact that Judy Shelton, an Atlas Network senior fellow, was made the head of the NED. The NED’s mission statement is to manipulate governments around the world into supporting democracy, similar to the rationale President Bush used to invade Iraq. Because of the work of Atlas, a libertarian will now help to shape the future of American interventionist policy.

Reprinted with author's permission from The Liberty Conservative.]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 16:37:28 GMT
US 'Greatest Threat To World Peace'? With Lew Rockwell Daniel McAdams peace and prosperity conference!

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Only Morons Believe What The US Government Says About North Korea Daniel McAdams

Usually foreign analysts of the American political scene are either sycophantic or just annoying, but no one would dare say that about Aussie observer Caitlin Johnstone, whose punk rock style of cutting to the chase is as refreshing as it can be shocking (I am not a fan of the strong language, but I get it). Since President Trump's "fire and fury" explosion yesterday Americans have to an unsettling degree once again rallied 'round the (false) flag of war propaganda. Today Ms. Johnstone provided a much-needed slap in the face to the mind-numbed masses once again clamoring for US bombs on a country they could not find on a map if their lives depended on it.

As even many soi-disant libertarians reverted back to playing war commander on their keyboards -- "I'm all for a non-interventionist foreign policy, but THIS GUY'S GONNA KILL US!!!" -- Johnstone reminded anyone with half a brain of one eternal truth: Governments and their house servants (the mainstream media, neocons, deep state, etc) are murderous liars and the only way they dare flush a few hundred billion dollars -- and oceans of blood -- down the toilet of war is to first lie their brains out to the people they are confident will swallow the poison pills and call them candy.

Of course the United States government and its minions are lying about North Korea, Johnstone reminds us. They ALWAYS lie!

She writes:
The United States power establishment has an extensive history of using lies, false flags and propaganda to manipulate its hundreds of millions of citizens into supporting needless military interventionism. From the Gulf of Tonkin incident to the false Nayirah testimony to the amazing network of lies spun about Saddam Hussein to the 'humanitarian' intervention in Libya to the unconscionable Bana Alabed psy-op in Syria, there is no depth to which the US war machine will not stoop in deceiving the public about the need to unload the military-industrial complex’s expensive inventory onto some third world country overseas, no limit to the evils that America’s unelected power establishment will commit in order to secure geopolitical dominance, and no end to the mass media propaganda machine’s willingness to report war propaganda as objective fact.

It is quite literally impossible to be too paranoid about these people. If you had an acquaintance who was a known compulsive liar with an extensive history of duping people into fighting one another for his own sociopathic amusement, how would you react if he handed you a gun and told you that your neighbor is getting ready to attack you?
This might prove shocking even to some "libertarians" caught up in the frenzy of manufactured threats. But the US government lies. They lie day and night. All the time about everything.

Johnstone concludes:
There is one government in the mix here that has proven itself completely sociopathic and untrustworthy in such matters, and it ain’t the DPRK. Stay skeptical, stay watchful, and stay woke.
"Oh no," people squeal! "THIS time they're telling the truth!"

Good luck with that. Blood's on your hands, not ours.]]> Wed, 09 Aug 2017 23:30:37 GMT
Fire And Fury...And Profits! Korea Crisis Great For The War Industry Daniel McAdams
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Rep. Walter Jones’ Tireless Effort to End the Afghanistan War Adam Dick

United States House of Representatives Member Walter Jones (R-NC) has for years ardently advocated terminating US involvement in the Afghanistan War. Jones’ efforts in this regard include his legislation introduced in the House, letters to US presidents and congressional leaders, interviews, and House floor speeches.

What often most surprises people is that this prominent proponent of ending the war represents a district with a population largely composed of current and retired US military members and their families. In such a district, people may suppose that advocating for peace would be unpopular. Yet, Jones has continued winning reelection despite well-funded efforts to defeat him.

The military nature of Jones’ district is set out in an intriguing Saturday article by Ned Barnett at the News & Observer, as is Jones’ suggestion that many military people support his position on the Afghanistan War, Barnett writes:
Jones’ Eastern North Carolina district includes three Marine bases, Cherry Point, New River and Camp Lejeune, and his constituents include 80,000 retired military personnel, but he said he encounters little opposition to his call to get out of Afghanistan. That includes, he said, Marines who have completed multiple tours there. He said, 'You ask them is it changing and they say, "No, nothing is changing."'
A reminder of the costs of war measured in American military members’ lives lost is visible on the wall outside Jones’ House office in Washington, DC. There, Barnett relates, are hung photographs of 566 US military personnel form Eastern North Carolina who have died in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

Jones, who is an Advisory Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, will be joining his former House colleague Ron Paul and other speakers to address issues of war and peace at the institute’s September 9 conference. Tickets for the conference, to be held near the Washington Dulles Airport, are available here.]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 19:18:17 GMT
War Drums Beating: North Korea Tops The List Daniel McAdams
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Libya Update: Western Governments Still Eyeing Libyan 'Prize' Richard Galustian

More than six years after the US-led "liberation" of Libya, that North African country remains an open wound symbolizing the abject failure of US and European interventionist foreign policy.

The obsession of the US neocons, whether Democrat or Republican, for "regime change" and other frivolous foreign military interventions has been consistently and eloquently criticized by the likes of Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and not least by former Congressman Ron Paul, to name but a handful.

Since our last Libya report of 27th July over a week ago, the ceasefire "brokered" by French President Macron at his Paris Summit with Libyan National Army head Khalifa Haftar and UN-backed prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj is in reality nowhere to be found.

In fact on July 30th in the eastern Libyan city of al-Bayda, armed protesters forced their way into the Constitutional Drafting Assembly (CDA) headquarters to challenge the draft constitution they feared would both unfairly favor the government in Tripoli and also disqualify Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar from participation in the 2018 general and presidential elections – even though Haftar has not confirmed his intention to enter the political arena.

By the evening of July 31st, multiple local Libyan news sources confirmed revisions to the draft constitution would now not prevent Haftar from seeking Libya’s highest office. However, that draft constitution must first successfully pass through the Libyan House of Representatives (HoR) which is scheduled to vote later this month.

With Macron acting as master of ceremonies at the spectacle in Paris, there was much fanfare and very little result. The UN-selected Prime Minister Serraj and Field Marshall Haftar’s joint-declaration via a press conference called for two main things: One, a "conditional" nationwide cease-fire, with the exception of "counter-terrorism" operations; and, two, early general and presidential elections in 2018.

But the much-vaunted ceasefire never occurred, and neither has there been any ceasefire reports in any newspapers since. Quite the contrary.

There is still lingering one very controversial issue: the release of Gaddafi's son from imprisonment amid calls for his attendance at the ICC in The Hague. On that front, the Alwasat Arabic Newspaper last week reconfirmed that Haftar had stated: "We welcome Saif Gaddafi’s participation in a political process. He is free and in a safe location."

The Paris Summit was a continuation of the past four years of failed UN "talks" and from a Libyan's perspective is described as a Western conspiracy against the people and country of Libya.

Before the talks even began, more and embarrassing evidence of this conspiracy came to light: A joint declaration, a ten point document of what Hafter and Serraj agreed to in Paris, was emailed to French media by mistake the morning before talks even started!

The French Government office that mistakenly leaked it to the media in advance then advised all media that this was only a working document and the agreement would be different. But the final agreement was no different than the leaked draft. So the conclusion of the "negotiation" was written before either Serraj or Haftar set foot in Paris.

It's hard not to conclude that the Paris Summit was a farce, a charade, a lie.

The "agreement" unravelled quickly thereafter. Just days later, the UN-backed Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj was in Italy for an announcement that Italian naval vessels would operate in Libyan waters. Serraj denied that he agreed to such a move, but his denial rang hollow.

Haftar's camp reacted quickly to the news. The Libyan National Army spokesperson on the morning of 2nd August announced that "Serraj's invitation to Italy's Navy into Libya's territorial waters is reckless and endangers Libya's national security."

On that same afternoon Haftar's order to the LNA Navy to destroy Italian warships if they sailed into Libyan waters announced by the Media Office of LNA written on their official Facebook page.

The call of Haftar came after the Tobruk-based House of Representatives (HoR) announced in its statement their rejection of the UN appointed PM Fayez Serraj invitation to Italy.

"We reject Serraj's request to Italy which can violate the sovereignty of Libya under the pretext of fighting illegal immigration." The spokesman of the HoR Abdullah Belheeq said.

Despite all of this, on August 2nd the Italian parliament voted to send a naval mission to Libya's waters.

This inspired the first public response from Saif Gaddafi, still in hiding in Libya since his prison release, who told an Italian newspaper that unrealistically Italy "yearned for its fascist past."

So when will countries, specifically including members of the EU, with varying vested interests, stop interfering in the affairs of Libya? And why do the mainstream media and Western governments, including the US Administration, continue to report that the Paris Summit was a successful demonstration that the Libyans are united? Are they trying to fool us...or themselves?]]> Tue, 08 Aug 2017 11:41:08 GMT
The Antiwar Conservatives, With Rep. John Duncan, Jr. Daniel McAdams
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US Airstrikes Kill at Least 43 Civilians in Syria’s Raqqa Jason Ditz

New reports out of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa say US airstrikes hit a number of residential districts in the city over the course of Saturday, killing at least 43 civilians and wounding an unknown, but substantial number of others.

There was no obvious specific target for the strikes, though the US has been generally targeting ISIS forces within the city to try to back the Kurdish-led invasion. The casualties in this case, however, appear to be overwhelmingly civilians.

Dina Asa’ad, a Raqqa-based Red Crescent official, was also quoted saying that US coalition airstrikes had targeted the National Hospital in Raqqa just days ago, saying the bombs damaged the electricity generator and forced the closure of damaged wards.

Though the Syrian government had broadly been fine with the Kurdish YPG invading ISIS territory, they have complained to the UN Security Council about the US airstrikes, saying they are excessively targeting civilians and basic infrastructure.

Reprinted with permission from
]]> Sun, 06 Aug 2017 20:44:17 GMT
Five Minutes Five Issues: Trump’s Oath, Renouncing Citizenship, North Korea, Syria Goal, Trump Crime 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.

On Wednesday, United States President Donald Trump signed into law HR 3364, legislation expanding and strengthening sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. The same day, Trump issued a so-called signing statement in which he wrote that “Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions” in the bill.

Trump also did not oppose the bill as it made its way through the House of Representatives and Senate, though, in another Wednesday statement, Trump said his administration worked with Congress to “make this bill better.”

Shouldn’t Trump veto legislation he thinks is unconstitutional? Trump has an obligation beyond just working to make bills “better.” That obligation, defined in the oath of office he swore on January 20, includes acting to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Issue two.

Robert W. Wood wrote Friday at Forbes regarding the increased number of people renouncing their US citizenship.

One fact in Wood’s report struck me as particularly outrageous: An individual is required to pay the US government a $2,350 fee to renounce his citizenship.

Most people who are US citizens did not choose to be such. They had that citizenship thrust on them as a matter of law upon their birth. To make people pay to give up citizenship for which they never asked is an abomination.

Issue three.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared in a Tuesday press briefing that the US government would talk with the North Korea government, but only if “there is no future where North Korea holds nuclear weapons or the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons to anyone in the region, much less the [American] homeland.”

That sounds much like what the US said to the Libya government years back. After Libya gave up its nuclear and other weapons programs, the US helped overthrow the Libya government and bring about the continuing dangerous chaos in the country.

Issue four.

In his Tuesday statement to reporters, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared, “it continues to be our view that the Assad regime has no role in the future governing of Syria.”

At Twitter, Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams noted that Tillerson’s comment makes clear that the US government has not given up on the idea of regime change and is just pursuing this goal, familiar from the Obama administration, via other means.

Issue five.

In a Friday article, Jacob Hornberger of the Future of Freedom Foundation offered an interesting speculation concerning the investigation into purported US election meddling by the Russia government.

Hornberger proposes that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is pursuing “a giant wide-ranging fishing expedition in which he and his cohorts are examining evidence in which they hope to find a crime — any crime — on which to get Trump.”

In this fishing expedition, Hornberger argues that Trump will be in particular danger because, as a businessman and builder, Trump has operated for decades under extensive and complex US regulations and tax provisions. Further, Hornberger notes, involvement by Trump in any bribes overseas to advance a building project could violate US law even though such bribes are a common practice.

Suppose no strong evidence of a legal violation by Trump is uncovered, Hornberger writes that a subordinate threatened with prosecution “might readily be willing to perjure himself and incriminate Trump to get off the hook as part of the types of sweetheart deals that the feds often offer people to catch bigger fish.”


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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