Peace and Prosperity Ron Paul Institute's flagship blog Copyright Ron Paul Institute http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/peace-and-prosperity/rss.aspx?blogid=3 Thu, 23 Jun 2022 13:39:22 GMT Thu, 23 Jun 2022 13:39:22 GMT Anatomy of a Police State Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/anatomy-of-a-police-state/ undefined

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/anatomy-of-a-police-state/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/anatomy-of-a-police-state/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 13:39:22 GMT
The Federal Bureau of Tweets: Twitter is Hiring an Alarming Number of FBI Agents Alan MacLeod http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/the-federal-bureau-of-tweets-twitter-is-hiring-an-alarming-number-of-fbi-agents/

Twitter has been on a recruitment drive of late, hiring a host of former feds and spies. Studying a number of employment and recruitment websites, MintPress has ascertained that the social media giant has, in recent years, recruited dozens of individuals from the national security state to work in the fields of security, trust, safety and content.

Chief amongst these is the Federal Bureau of Investigations. The FBI is generally known as a domestic security and intelligence force. However, it has recently expanded its remit into cyberspace. “The FBI’s investigative authority is the broadest of all federal law enforcement agencies,” the “About” section of its website informs readers. “The FBI has divided its investigations into a number of programs, such as domestic and international terrorism, foreign counterintelligence [and] cyber crime,” it adds.

For example, in 2019, Dawn Burton (the former director of Washington operations for Lockheed Martin) was poached from her job as senior innovation advisor to the director at the FBI to become senior director of strategy and operations for legal, public policy, trust and safety at Twitter. The following year, Karen Walsh went straight from 21 years at the bureau to become director of corporate resilience at the silicon valley giant. Twitter’s deputy general counsel and vice president of legal, Jim Baker, also spent four years at the FBI between 2014 and 2018, where his resumé notes he rose to the role of senior strategic advisor.

Meanwhile, Mark Jaroszewski ended his 21-year posting as a supervisory special agent in the Bay Area to take up a position at Twitter, rising to become director of corporate security and risk. And Douglas Turner spent 14 years as a senior special agent and SWAT Team leader before being recruited to serve in Twitter’s corporate and executive security services. Previously, Turner had also spent seven years as a secret service special agent with the Department of Homeland Security.

When asked to comment by MintPress, former FBI agent and whistleblower Coleen Rowley said that she was “not surprised at all” to see FBI agents now working for the very tech companies the agency polices, stating that there now exists a “revolving door” between the FBI and the areas they are trying to regulate. This created a serious conflict of interests in her mind, as many agents have one eye on post-retirement jobs. “The truth is that at the FBI 50% of all the normal conversations that people had were about how you were going to make money after retirement,” she said.

Many former FBI officials hold influential roles within Twitter. For instance, in 2020, Matthew W. left a 15-year career as an intelligence program manager at the FBI to take up the post of senior director of product trust at Twitter. Patrick G., a 23-year FBI supervisory special agent, is now head of corporate security. And Twitter’s director of insider risk and security investigations, Bruce A., was headhunted from his role as a supervisory special agent at the bureau. His resumé notes that at the FBI he held “[v]arious intelligence and law enforcement roles in the US, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East” and was a “human intelligence and counterintelligence regional specialist.” (On employment sites such as LinkedIn, many users choose not to reveal their full names.)

Meanwhile, between 2007 and 2021 Jeff Carlton built up a distinguished career in the United States Marine Corps, rising to become a senior intelligence analyst. Between 2014 and 2017, his LinkedIn profile notes, he worked for both the CIA and FBI, authored dozens of official reports, some of which were read by President Barack Obama. Carlton describes his role as a “problem-solver” and claims to have worked in many “dynamic, high-pressure environments” such as Iraq and Korea. In May 2021, he left official service to become a senior program manager at Twitter, responsible for dealing with the company’s “highest-profile trust and safety escalations.”

Other former FBI staff are employed by Twitter, such as Cherrelle Y. as a policy domain specialist and Laura D. as a senior analyst in global risk intelligence.

Many of those listed above were active in the FBI’s public outreach programs, a practice sold as a community trust-building initiative. According to Rowley, however, these also function as “ways for officials to meet the important people that would give them jobs after retirement.” “It basically inserts a huge conflict of interest,” she told MintPress. “It warps and perverts the criminal investigative work that agents do when they are still working as agents because they anticipate getting lucrative jobs after retiring or leaving the FBI.”

Rowley – who in 2002 was named, along with two other whistleblowers, as Time magazine’s Person of the Year – was skeptical that there was anything seriously nefarious about the hiring of so many FBI agents, suggesting that Twitter could be using them as sources of information and intelligence. She stated:

Retired agents often maintained good relationships and networks with current agents. So they can call up their old buddy and find out stuff… There were certainly instances of retired agents for example trying to find out if there was an investigation of so and so. And if you are working for a company, that company is going to like that influence.”

Rowley also suggested that hiring people from various three-letter agencies gave them a credibility boost. “These [tech] companies are using the mythical aura of the FBI. They can point to somebody and say ‘oh, you can trust us; our CEO or CFO is FBI,’” she explained.

Twitter certainly has endorsed the FBI as a credible actor, allowing the organization to play a part in regulating the global dissemination of information on its platform. In September 2020, it put out a statement thanking the federal agency. “We wish to express our gratitude to the FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force for their close collaboration and continued support of our work to protect the public conversation at this critical time,” the statement read.

One month later, the company announced that the FBI was feeding it intelligence and that it was complying with their requests for deletion of accounts. “Based on intel provided by the FBI, last night we removed approximately 130 accounts that appeared to originate in Iran. They were attempting to disrupt the public conversation during the first 2020 US Presidential Debate,” Twitter’s safety team wrote.

Yet the evidence they supplied of this supposed threat to American democracy was notably weak. All four of the messages from this Iranian operation that Twitter itself shared showed that none of them garnered any likes or retweets whatsoever, meaning that essentially nobody saw them. This was, in other words, a completely routine cleanup operation of insignificant troll accounts. Yet the announcement allowed Twitter to present the FBI as on the side of democracy and place the idea into the public psyche that the election was under threat from foreign actors.
Iran has been a favorite Twitter target in the past. In 2009, at the behest of the US government, it postponed routine maintenance of the site, which would have required taking it offline. This was because an anti-government protest movement in Tehran was using the app to communicate and the US did not want the demonstrations’ regime-change potential to be stymied.

A CARNIVAL OF SPOOKS

The FBI is far from the only state security agency filling Twitter’s ranks. Shortly after leaving a 10-year career as a CIA analyst, Michael Scott Robinson was hired to become a senior policy manager for site integrity, trust and safety.

The California-based app has also recruited heavily from the Atlantic Council, a NATO cutout organization that serves as the military alliance’s think tank. The council is sponsored by NATO, led by senior NATO generals and regularly plays out regime-change scenarios in enemy states, such as China.

The Atlantic Council has been associated with many of the most egregious fake news plants of the last few years. It published a series of lurid reports alleging that virtually every political group in Europe challenging the status quo – from the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn and UKIP in Great Britain to PODEMOS and Vox in Spain and Syriza and Golden Dawn in Greece – were all secretly “the Kremlin’s Trojan Horses.” Atlantic Council employee Michael Weiss was also very likely the creator of the shadowy organization PropOrNot, a group that anonymously published a list of fake-news websites that regularly peddled Kremlin disinformation. Included in this list was virtually every anti-war alternative media outlet one could think of – from MintPress to Truthout, TruthDig and The Black Agenda Report. Also included were pro-Trump websites like The Drudge Report, and liberatarian ventures like Antiwar.com and The Ron Paul Institute.

PropOrNot’s list was immediately heralded in the corporate press, and was the basis for a wholescale algorithm shift at Google and other big tech platforms, a shift that saw traffic to alternative media sites crash overnight, never to recover. Thus, the allegation of a huge (Russian) state-sponsored attempt to influence the media was itself an intelligence op by the US national security state.

In 2020, Kanishk Karan left his job as a research associate at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research (DFR) Lab to join Twitter as information integrity and safety specialist – essentially helping to control what Twitter sees as legitimate information and nefarious disinformation. Another DFR Lab graduate turned Twitter employee is Daniel Weimert, who is now a senior public policy associate for Russia – a key target of the Atlantic Council. Meanwhile, Sarah Oh is simultaneously an Atlantic Council DFR Lab non-resident senior fellow and a Twitter advisor, her social media bio noting she works on “high risk trust and safety issues.”

In 2019, Twitter also hired Greg Andersen straight from NATO to work on cybercrime policy. There is sparse information on what Andersen did at NATO, but, alarmingly, his own LinkedIn profile stated simply that he worked on “psychological operations” for the military alliance. After MintPress highlighted this fact in an article in April, he removed all mention of “psychological operations” from his profile, claiming now to have merely worked as a NATO “researcher.” Andersen left Twitter in the summer of last year to work as a product policy manager for the popular video platform TikTok.

Twitter also directly employs active army officers. In 2019, Gordon Macmillan, the head of editorial for the entire Europe, Middle East and Africa region was revealed to be an officer in the British Army’s notorious 77th Brigade – a unit dedicated to online warfare and psychological operations. This bombshell news was steadfastly ignored across the media.

POSITIONS OF POWER AND CONTROL

With nearly 400 million global users, there is no doubt that Twitter has grown to become a platform large and influential enough to necessitate extensive security measures, as actors of all stripes attempt to use the service to influence public opinion and political actions. There is also no doubt that there is a limited pool of people qualified in these sorts of fields.

But recruiting largely from the US national security state fundamentally undermines claims Twitter makes about its neutrality. The US government is the source of some of the largest and most extensive influence operations in the world. As far back as 2011, The Guardian reported on the existence of a massive, worldwide US military online influence campaign in which it had designed software that allowed its personnel to “secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.” The program boasts that the background of these personas is so convincing that psychological operations soldiers can be sure to work “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries.” Yet Twitter appears to be recruiting from the source of the problem.

These former national security state officials are not being employed in politically neutral departments such as sales or customer service, but in security, trust and content, meaning that some hold considerable sway over what messages and information are promoted, and what is suppressed, demoted or deleted.

It could be said that poachers-turned-gamekeepers often play a crucial role in safety and protection, as they know how bad actors think and operate. But there exists little evidence that any of these national security state operatives have changed their stances. Twitter is not hiring whistleblowers or dissidents. It appears, then, that some of these people are essentially doing the same job they were doing before, but now in the private sector. And few are even acknowledging that there is anything wrong with moving from big government to big tech, as if the US national security state and the fourth estate are allies, rather than adversaries.

That Twitter is already working so closely with the FBI and other agencies makes it easy for them to recruit from the federal pool. As Rowley said, “over a period of time these people will be totally in sync with the mindset of Twitter and other social media platforms. So from the company’s standpoint, they are not hiring somebody new. They already know this person. They know where they stand on things.”

IS THERE A PROBLEM?

Some might ask “What is the problem with Twitter actively recruiting from the FBI, CIA and other three-letter agencies?” They, after all, are experts in studying online disinformation and propaganda. One is optical. If a Russian-owned social media app’s trust, security and content moderation was run by former KGB or FSB agents and still insisted it was a politically neutral platform, the entire world would laugh.

But apart from this, the huge influx of security state personnel into Twitter’s decision-making ranks means that the company will start to view every problem in the same manner as the US government does – and act accordingly. “In terms of their outlooks on the world and on the question of misinformation and internet security, you couldn’t get a better field of professionals who are almost inherently going to be more in tune with the government’s perspective,” Rowley said.

Thus, when policing the platform for disinformation and influence campaigns, the former FBI and CIA agents and Atlantic Council fellows only ever seem to find them emanating from enemy states and never from the US government itself. This is because their backgrounds and outlooks condition them to consider Washington to be a unique force for good.

This one-sided view of disinformation can be seen by studying the reports Twitter has published on state-linked information operations. The entire list of countries it has identified as engaging in these campaigns are as follows: Russia (in 7 reports), Iran (in 5 reports), China (4 reports), Saudi Arabia (4 reports), Venezuela (3 reports), Egypt (2 reports), Cuba, Serbia, Bangladesh, the UAE, Ecuador, Ghana, Nigeria, Honduras, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, Armenia, Spain, Tanzania, Mexico and Uganda.

One cannot help noticing that this list correlates quite closely to a hit list of US government adversaries. All countries carry out disinfo campaigns to a certain extent. But these “former” spooks and feds are unlikely to point the finger at their former colleagues or sister organizations or investigate their operations.

THE COLD (CYBER)WAR

Twitter has mirrored US hostility towards states like Russia, China, Iran and Cuba, attempting to suppress the reach and influence of their state media by adding warning messages to the tweets of journalists and accounts affiliated with those governments. “State-affiliated media is defined as outlets where the state exercises control over editorial content through financial resources, direct or indirect political pressures, and/or control over production and distribution,” it noted.

In a rather bizarre addendum, it explained that it would not be doing the same to state-affiliated media or personalities from other countries, least of all the US “State-financed media organizations with editorial independence, like the BBC in the U.K. or NPR in the US for example, are not defined as state-affiliated media for the purposes of this policy,” it wrote. It did not explain how it decided that Cuban, Russian, Chinese or Iranian journalists did not have editorial independence, but British and American ones did – this was taken for granted. The effect of the action has been a throttling of ideas and narratives from enemy states and an amplification of those coming from Western state media.

As the US ramps up tensions with Beijing, so too has Twitter aggressively shut down pro-China voices on its platform. In 2020, it banned 170,000 accounts it said were “spreading geopolitical narratives favorable to the Communist Party of China,” such as praising its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic or expressing opposition to the Hong Kong protests, both of which are majority views in China. Importantly, the Silicon Valley company did not claim that these accounts were controlled by the government; merely sharing these opinions was grounds enough for deletion.

The group behind Twitter’s decision to ban those Chinese accounts was the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a deeply controversial think tank funded by the Pentagon, the State Department and a host of weapons manufacturers. ASPI has constantly peddled conspiracy theories about China and called for ramping up tensions with the Asian nation.

Perhaps most notable, however, was Twitter’s announcement last year that it was deleting dozens of accounts for the new violation of “undermining faith in the NATO alliance.” The statement was widely ridiculed online by users. But few noted that the decision was based upon a partnership with the Stanford Internet Observatory, a counter-disinformation think tank filled with former spooks and state officials and headed by an individual who is on the advisory board of NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. That Twitter is working so closely with organizations that are clearly intelligence industry catspaws should concern all users.

NOT JUST TWITTER

While some might be alarmed that Twitter is cultivating such an intimate relationship with the FBI and other groups belonging to the secret state, it is perhaps unfair to single it out, as many social media platforms are doing the same. Facebook, for example, has entered into a formal partnership with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab, whereby the latter holds significant influence over 2.9 billion users’ news feeds, helping to decide what content to promote and what content to suppress. The NATO cutout organization now serves as Facebook’s “eyes and ears,” according to a Facebook press release. Anti-war and anti-establishment voices across the world have reported massive drops in traffic on the platform.

The social media giant also hired former NATO Press Secretary Ben Nimmo to be its head of intelligence. Nimmo subsequently used his power to attempt to swing the election in Nicaragua away from the leftist Sandinista Party and towards the far-right, pro-US candidate, deleting hundreds of left-wing voices in the week of the election, claiming they were engaging in “inauthentic behavior.” When these individuals (including some well-known personalities) poured onto Twitter, recording video messages proving they were not bots, Twitter deleted those accounts too, in what one commentator called a Silicon Valley “double tap strike.”

An April MintPress study revealed how TikTok, too, has been filling its organization with alumni of the Atlantic Council, NATO, the CIA and the State Department. As with Twitter, these new TikTok employees largely work in highly politically sensitive fields such as trust, safety, security and content moderation, meaning these state operatives hold influence over the direction of the company and what content is promoted and what is demoted.

Likewise, in 2017, content aggregation site Reddit plucked Jessica Ashooh from the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force to become its new director of policy, despite the fact that she had few relevant qualifications or experience in the field.

In corporate media too, we have seen a widespread infiltration of former security officials into the upper echelons of news organizations. So normalized is the penetration of the national security state into the media that is supposed to be holding it to account, that few reacted in 2015 when Dawn Scalici left her job as national intelligence manager for the Western hemisphere at the Director of National Intelligence to become the global business director of international news conglomerate Thomson Reuters. Scalici, a 33-year CIA veteran who had worked her way up to become a director in the organization, was open about what her role was. In a blog post on the Reuters website, she wrote that she was there to “meet the disparate needs of the US Government” – a statement that is at odds with even the most basic journalistic concepts of impartiality and holding the powerful to account.

Meanwhile, cable news outlets routinely employ a wide range of “former” agents and mandarins as trusted personalities and experts. These include former CIA Directors John Brennan (NBC, MSNBC) and Michael Hayden (CNN), ex-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (CNN), and former Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend (CBS). And news for so many Americans comes delivered through ex-CIA interns like Anderson Cooper (CNN), CIA-applicants like Tucker Carlson (Fox), or by Mika Brzezinski (MSNBC), the daughter of a powerful national security advisor. The FBI has its own former agents on TV as well, with talking heads such as James Gagliano (Fox), Asha Rangappa (CNN) and Frank Figliuzzi (NBC, MSNBC) becoming household names. In short, then, the national security state once used to infiltrate the media. Today, however, the national security state is the media.

Social media holds enormous influence in today’s society. While this article is not alleging that anyone mentioned is a bad actor or does not genuinely care about the spread of disinformation, it is highlighting a glaring conflict of interest. Through its agencies, the US government regularly plants fake news and false information. Therefore, social media hiring individuals straight from the FBI, CIA, NATO and other groups to work on regulating disinformation is a fundamentally flawed practice. One of media’s primary functions is to serve as a fourth estate; a force that works to hold the government and its agencies to account. Yet instead of doing that, increasingly it is collaborating with them. Such are these increasing interlocking connections that it is becoming increasingly difficult to see where big government ends and big media begins.

Reprinted with permission from MintPressNews.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/the-federal-bureau-of-tweets-twitter-is-hiring-an-alarming-number-of-fbi-agents/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/the-federal-bureau-of-tweets-twitter-is-hiring-an-alarming-number-of-fbi-agents/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 13:04:27 GMT
Joe Biden’s Political Future in Europe Adam Dick http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/joe-biden-s-political-future-in-europe/

President Joe Biden’s popularity among American voters has been in descent since he took the oath of office in January of 2021. Indeed, by May 25 of this year, Biden’s approval rating, as related by Paul Bedard in a Washington Examiner editorial, had fallen below that of every president back through Harry Truman at that point in their presidencies. And Biden’s approval rating has continued to drop since then.

What is Biden to do? From within his Democratic Party, the message is increasingly put out that Biden should not seek reelection in 2024.

Suppose Biden takes that advice and announces he will not seek a second term. What will he do then? He has been in political office nearly nonstop since joining the United States Senate in 1973 at the age of 30 — the minimum age required under the US Constitution.

One option for the career politician who may not want to step away from the political power just yet is to look for opportunity in Europe. Less than 4 in 10 Americans polled say they support Biden, and a majority disapprove. In at least some countries in Europe, in contrast, polling suggests majority support for Biden.

Spring polling numbers from Pew Research Center indicate confidence in Biden was at 53 percent in France, 56 percent in both Spain and Great Britain, and a whopping 64 percent in Germany. It should be noted, though, that those numbers came in lower than numbers from the beginning of Biden’s presidency.

Europe may be a land of political opportunity for Biden after so many people in his home country electorate and even in his own party have soured on the prospect of him seeking reelection as US president. If Biden wants to stay in high office, now is the time for his campaign people to poll across Europe and research where he may qualify to seek high office on the continent.

Maybe Biden could even hold a high government office in Ukraine. He has experience as a vice president and senator in America, so maybe he’d be willing to take something other than the top job in Ukraine. As vice president, Biden even handled plenty of Ukraine policy work. Here is some of the discussion, from a Max Blumenthal article, of Biden’s Ukraine-related work around the time of the 2014 US-supported overthrow of the Ukraine government:
By Feb. 2014, the Maidan revolt had succeeded in overthrowing [Ukraine President Victor] Yanukovich with the help of far-right ultra-nationalist street muscle. With a new, US-approved government in power, Biden assumed a personal role in dictating Ukraine’s day-to-day affairs. 

'No one in the US government has wielded more influence over Ukraine than Vice President Joe Biden,' Foreign Policy noted. The Atlantic Council also described Biden as “the point person on Ukraine in the Obama administration.” 

'Ukraine was the top, or one of the top three, foreign policy issues we were concentrating on,' said [Michael] Carpenter, Biden’s foreign policy advisor. '[Biden] was front and center.'
Of course, since becoming president, Biden has been shoveling money and weapons as fast as he can over to current Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. So Zelensky really owes Biden. Maybe Biden can find a better opportunity elsewhere in Europe. But, it is always good to have a backup plan.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/joe-biden-s-political-future-in-europe/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/23/joe-biden-s-political-future-in-europe/ Thu, 23 Jun 2022 12:39:47 GMT
Biden's Gas Tax Holiday - Spitting In The Wind? Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/22/bidens-gas-tax-holiday-spitting-in-the-wind/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/22/bidens-gas-tax-holiday-spitting-in-the-wind/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/22/bidens-gas-tax-holiday-spitting-in-the-wind/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 17:02:54 GMT
Boston University Professor: Second Amendment is Based on 'Freedom to Enslave' Jonathan Turley http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/22/boston-university-professor-second-amendment-is-based-on-freedom-to-enslave/

As we wait for the release of the most significant Second Amendment case in over a decade from the Supreme Court (as early as tomorrow), CBS featured Ibram X. Kendi on Face the Nation on gun rights. Host Margaret Brennan discussed with the Boston University professor the “freedom to enslave” was linked to the “freedom to have guns.” There was no push back on that controversial claim or the underlying suggestion that gun ownership is largely a white impulse or practice.

Kendi is the director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University. He has a history of controversial statements like his claim that Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s adoption of two Haitian children raised the image of a “white colonizer” and she appears to use the children as little more than props. He has also declared that terms like “legal vote” are racist. He was recently in the news after explaining why he took a white doll away from this daughter to prevent her from breathing in “the ‘smog’ of white superiority.”

However,  this is a historical and constitutional claim that should not go without some factual discussion or response.

Kendi portrayed gun ownership in strictly racial terms:
Enslaved people were fighting for freedom from slavery, and enslavers were fighting for the freedom to enslave, and in many ways, that sort of contrast still exists today. There are people who are fighting for freedom from assault rifles, freedom from poverty, freedom from exploitation, and there are others who are fighting for freedom to exploit, freedom to have guns, freedom to maintain inequality,.
The portrayal of gun owners are “fighting for freedom to exploit, freedom to have guns, freedom to maintain inequality” received no follow up question or challenge in the interview.

Other academics have made this same historical claim. Historian Carol Anderson claims that...
...the Second Amendment 'provided the cover, the assurances that Patrick Henry and George Mason needed, that the militias would not be controlled by the federal government, but that they would be controlled by the states and at the beck and call of the states to be able to put down these uprisings.'
The ACLU has echoed such views.  NPR breathlessly billed its interview as “Historian Carol Anderson Uncovers The Racist Roots Of The Second Amendment.”

However, the history of the Second Amendment contradicts these claims. States opposed to slavery, like Vermont, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, had precursor state constitutional provisions recognizing the right to bear arms. In his famous 1770 defense of Capt. Thomas Preston in the Boston Massacre trial, John Adams declared that British soldiers had a right to defend themselves since “here every private person is authorized to arm himself.” His second cousin and co-Founding Father, Samuel Adams, was vehemently anti-slavery and equally supportive of the right to bear arms.

Samuel Adams proclaimed “the said Constitution shall never be construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of The United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms…”

Guns were viewed as essential in much of America, which was then a frontier nation, needed for food — but also to protect a free people from tyranny and other threats. (The Minutemen at Concord, after all, were not running to a Klan meeting in 1775.) Law enforcement was relatively scarce at the time, even in the more populous states.

This argument is maintained despite the fact that a quarter of African Americans are gun owners (compared with 36 percent of whites) and gun sales have been increasing in the African American community. Some African Americans have long viewed guns as an equalizer, including escaped slave and famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who, in an editorial, heralded the power of “a good revolver, a steady hand.” Gun ownership has a long, fiercely defended tradition in the Black community. Indeed, Ida B. Wells, one of the most prominent anti-lynching activists, declared: “The Winchester Rifle deserves a place of honor in every Black home.”

Here is the interview:



Reprinted with permission from JonathanTurley.org.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/22/boston-university-professor-second-amendment-is-based-on-freedom-to-enslave/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/22/boston-university-professor-second-amendment-is-based-on-freedom-to-enslave/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 13:05:39 GMT
What’s So Great About Democracy? Jacob G. Hornberger http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/22/what-s-so-great-about-democracy/

At the recent Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles, President Biden refused to permit Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua to attend because they aren’t democracies. As everyone knows, for the past several decades, the US government has made democracy its shibboleth. It’s as if democracy is something sacred.

Yet, what’s so great about democracy? It’s really nothing more than people selecting their rulers by votes rather than rulers selecting themselves. What’s so sacred about voters? US officials promote the notion that voters select the best people to public office, as if they always elect saints.

Given that this is the 50th anniversary of the Watergate scandal, why not apply the democracy test to Richard Nixon, a president who was forced to leave office because of his criminal activity?

And then there was Lyndon Johnson, the president that Nixon succeeded. Many years after he had died, it was determined that LBJ cheated his way to victory in his 1948 race for US Senate. If he hadn’t had his political cronies illegally stuff the ballot box in a county in South Texas, he would have lost that race and undoubtedly would never have become president. 

Supporters of Donald Trump point to Biden as another example of how voters can make serious mistakes in who they elect to office. Biden supporters say the same thing about Donald Trump. In fact, Biden supporters are doing everything they can to use legislation to ban Trump from running again so that voters won’t have the chance to vote him back into office. 

Democracy is often confused with the concept of freedom. If a system is democratic, the argument goes, that shows that people are free. 

That’s ludicrous. Freedom has nothing to do with how people elect their rulers. Consider Latin America, for example, the part of the world that was the focus of that recent Summit of the Americas. It’s often said, with validity, that people in Latin America have the freedom to elect their dictators every four or six years. That’s because their rulers wield and exercise dictatorial powers. So, whoever gets the most votes is the one who gets to be the dictator. 

Democracy is not even mentioned in the Constitution. That’s because the Framers knew better. They understood that democracy was not only not freedom, it actually poses a grave threat to freedom. That’s why they severely limited the powers of the federal government. It’s also why our ancestors demanded the enactment of the Bill of Rights — to protect the people from democracy. 

For the first hundred years of American history, the US had a mixed record with respect to liberty. There were the bad things, such as slavery and women’s rights. But there was also the good things, such as: No Social Security, income taxation, Medicare, public schooling, drug war, immigration controls, Pentagon, CIA, NSA, FBI, foreign wars, coups, and interventions, and the countless bureaucratic agencies and departments that now pervade the federal government. 

With the conversion of the federal government to a welfare state, with the adoption of a paper-money system, which replaced the nation’s gold-coin, silver-coin system, and with the enactment of a federal income tax, everything changed. Democratically elected public officials now wielded and exercised the power to destroy the economic prosperity of the nation.

The conversion of the federal government to a national-security state changed everything in a much more dramatic way. The national-security branch of the government — i.e., the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA — was given omnipotent powers — the same types of powers that are wielded and exercised by totalitarian, dictatorial regimes, such as Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, the three Latin Americans countries excluded from the recent Summit of the Americas. Such powers include assassination, torture, and indefinite detention. 

Thus, America ended up with a system in which the powers of some public officials are still fairly limited but where an entire section of the federal government wields omnipotent, totalitarian-like, dark-side powers. And that section of the government — the national-security section — consists entirely of people who have not been voted into office. 

Finally, there is something else to note about America’s democratic system: the power of the president to rule by executive decree. Consider President Biden, for example. He wields the power to send US taxpayer money and US-funded weaponry to Ukraine on his own initiative. For his part, President Trump used executive decrees to start a destructive trade war with China, without congressional authorization. 

As Ludwig von Mises pointed out, the only real advantage of democracy is that it enables people to change their rulers and even their systems without a violent revolution. But it certainly does not guarantee freedom and, in fact, oftentimes ends up destroying freedom. Genuine freedom turns on the limitation of power of those in public office, not on how people end up in public office. 

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.]]>
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Global Elites Starve Africa To 'Punish' Russia Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/21/global-elites-starve-africa-to-punish-russia/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/21/global-elites-starve-africa-to-punish-russia/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/21/global-elites-starve-africa-to-punish-russia/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 16:33:32 GMT
We Can All Be Evil and the Germans Were Nothing Special Paul Frijters, Gigi Foster, and Michael Baker http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/21/we-can-all-be-evil-and-the-germans-were-nothing-special/

For more than two years, the world has been swept up in covid mania. Ordinary people of almost every nationality have accepted the covid ‘story’, applauding as strong men and women have assumed dictatorial powers, suspended normal human rights and political processes, pretended that covid deaths were the only ones that mattered, closed schools, closed businesses, prevented people from earning livelihoods, and caused mass misery, poverty, and starvation.

The more these strong men and women did these things, the louder the applause, and the greater the disapprobation and abuse levelled at those who decried such actions. Police bullying of those speaking out against the covid story was cheered on by populations keen to see the naysayers brought to justice.

The past two years have proved that the Germans of the National Socialist period were really nothing special.

Lest we forget

The West refused to learn, or by now has forgotten, the central lesson of the Nazi period (1930-1945) despite the plethora of eyewitness voices in post-WWII art and science that made it abundantly clear what had happened – from Hannah Arendt to the Milgram experiments to the fabulous play, ‘Rhinoceros’. The key point made by the top intellectuals writing about the Nazi period was that anyone could become a Nazi: there was absolutely nothing odd about the Germans who became Nazis.

They did not become Nazis because their mothers did not love them enough, or because they had rejected God in their life, or because of something inherent in German culture. They simply got seduced by a story and swept off their feet and out of their minds by the herd, making up their reasons as they went along. The brutal lesson that the intellectuals of that era wanted to pass on was that pretty much everyone would have done the same under the circumstances. Evil, in a word, is banal.

As Hannah Arendt pointed out, the most committed Nazis were the ‘Gutmensch’: Germans who genuinely saw themselves as good people. They had been loved by their mothers, were dutiful followers of the local faith, paid their taxes, had ancestors who died for Germany, and were in loving family relationships. They thought they were doing the right thing, and were roundly validated and supported in that belief by friends, family, the church, and the media.

The intellectual class had come face to face with this truth in the 1950s, but the relentless wish of humanity to look away from uncomfortable truths made societies, and over time even scholarly circles, forget. We told lies about the Nazis to feel good about ourselves. This self-rejecting cowardice grew over time and fed into today’s debilitated, self-hating woke culture in which you can hardly reference the Nazi period at all in polite company, much less try to open people’s minds to its lessons, without being accused of being a Nazi deep down yourself.

The Germans forgot not because the information about the Nazi period was hidden. On the contrary, young German schoolchildren were forced to read books and watch documentaries almost constantly. They forgot the central lesson because they could not live with the idea that the behaviour they were told about was normal. So, like everyone else, they pretended that the Nazi period was totally abnormal, led and supported by people who were innately more evil than others. 

Yet since nearly everyone succumbed to the Nazi madness, this lie created a problem across the generations. Within families, the young would ask their grandparents how they could possibly not have seen, how they could possibly have abided, how they could possibly have participated. These are the questions of someone who refuses to engage with the radical and awful truth that they would very probably have done the same. They did not want to think that way about themselves, and their parents didn’t want that burden on them either, which is understandable. Who doesn’t want their children to believe they will forever be as pure as snow?

What a young German should have asked was, “what do we need to change about our society today to prevent me from facing the same pressures, to which I recognise that I too would succumb?” This question is very hard and very unpleasant. It also is a response of compassion rather than of rejection of the grandparents. It is much easier and simpler instead to blame the grandparents, to put their evil in a box and condemn it, to grandstand and appear highly ethical, while dismissing one’s grandparents as not really human but some kind of monster.

Which is worse for humanity in the long run: the Nazi sympathiser, or the observer of the Nazi sympathiser who condemns him as a monster?

Externalising evil

Outside of Germany, people forgot the lesson much sooner. A young German wanting to look away from the awful truth that anyone can be a Nazi at least needs to pay the price for her cowardice of condemning her own family as monsters. A typical young French, Thai, or American person need make no such sacrifice. For them it is far easier still to blame the Nazi episode on something alien to them. 

The further away the actual memory, the more books emerged about how unique Germans had been for centuries when it came to Jews, or about how Hitler was a one-off marketing genius whose siren call was too rare to emerge ever again, or about how the brutality of the Nazi period was something uniquely Western. The most valuable lesson was quickly forgotten for very understandable reasons. It really is a horrible thought.

The same desire to look away from the awful truth is evident today, even among the minority that has seen the vast majority of their own neighbours and family go berserk. The desire to find a new Hitler who can be blamed, in the form of Klaus Schwab or in the form of a cleverly conniving Chinese leadership. The desire to blame a lack of God in society, or a lack of intelligence, or the apathy of a generation addicted to social media, for the stampeding herd all around us. “If only they had read my book!” “If only they had not brushed with fluoride!” “If only they had not lost their faith!”

Every personal desire is pushed into an explanation for today’s horror that boils down to the fantasy that “they can be fixed if they become more like me,” or said another way, “a snake wormed its way into paradise and we will be fine if we cut off its head.”

One of the basic messages of our book, The Great Covid Panic, is that this is not true – and that we cannot learn the lessons of this period if we indulge in the weakness of thinking that way. There is no snake whose head we can cut off. There is no other quick fix. If we are serious about preventing a recurrence, we must proceed on the basic understanding that the mad herd we see stampeding in front of us is made up of normal people. The future will have people just like them, who will also stampede madly in similar circumstances. We must think hard about how to prevent similar circumstances, rather than about the attributes of this or that leader or the initial state of mind of populations.

Progress starts with sober self-awareness

What is then our explanation for why strong religious groups and maverick personalities within our countries were less affected by the madness? Our explanation is that those most strongly immune to the madness from the very start were already somewhat disconnected from the mainstream, often not even having a television or social media connection to mainstream society. Being outliers at the start protected them from being swept up in the madness of the mainstream crowd.

Yet this is no recipe for the future, because a society of outliers is no society at all. Any social group has a core constituency of those who truly belong. The strong religious groups standing outside of the social mainstream may be inoculated from the madness of the mainstream, but they are just as prone to follow a wave of madness within their own group. 

Ditto for any other ‘maverick’ group. Within whatever group they belong to – and all humans belong to groups – humans get swept along when that group goes mad. Hope lies not in a society of outliers, but in a society with better ways of recognising and countering emerging madness, or at least more quickly snapping out of madness when it inevitably emerges.

For young Germans, the covid period has a bittersweet silver lining. It has become clear, again, that the Nazis of the 1930s were entirely normal people, and that everyone else in the world can be a Nazi too. The Germans can release themselves from the belief that there is anything abnormally evil about being German. There is a potential Nazi in all of us. 

Reprinted with permission from Brownstone Institute.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/21/we-can-all-be-evil-and-the-germans-were-nothing-special/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/21/we-can-all-be-evil-and-the-germans-were-nothing-special/ Tue, 21 Jun 2022 13:31:45 GMT
Explain It to Me, Please Philip Giraldi http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/21/explain-it-to-me-please/

So Honest Joe Biden is now going to give another $1.2 billion to the Ukrainians on top of the sixty or so billion that is already in the pipeline, but who’s counting, particularly as Congress refused to approve having an inspector general to monitor whose pockets will be lined. The money will be printed up without any collateral or “borrowed” and the American taxpayer will somehow have to bear the burden of this latest folly that is ipso facto driving much of the world into recession. And it will no doubt be blamed on Vladimir Putin, a process that is already well under way from president mumbles. But you have to wonder why no one has told Joe that the whole exercise in pushing much of the world towards a catastrophic war is a fool’s errand. But then again, the clowns that the president has surrounded himself with might not be very big on speaking the truth even if they know what that means.

Having followed the Ukraine problem since the United States and its poodles refused to negotiate seriously with Vladimir Putin in the real world, I have had to wonder what is wrong with Washington. We have had the ignorant and impulsive Donald Trump supported by a cast of characters that included the mentally unstable Mike Pompeo and John Bolton followed by Biden with the usual bunch of Democratic Party rejects. By that I mean deep thinkers about social issues who would not be able to run a hot dog stand if that were what they were forced to do to make a living. But they are real good at shouting “freedom” and “democracy” whenever questioned concerning their motives.

Indeed, opinion polls suggest that there is a great deal of unrest among middle and working class Americans who see a reversion to Jimmy Carter era financial instability, at that time caused by the oil embargo. Well, there is a new energy embargo in place brought about by the Biden Administration’s desire to wage proxy war to “weaken” Russia. Analysts predict that the costs for all forms of energy will double in the next several months and surging energy costs will impact the prices of other essentials, including food. Given all that, the fundamental issue plaguing both Democrats and Republicans is their inability to actually explain to the American people why the country’s foreign and national security policy always seems to be on the boil, searching for enemies and also creating them when they do not exist, even when the results are damaging to the interests of actual Americans.

That a serious discussion of why the United States needs to have a military that costs as much as the next nine nations in that ranking combined is long overdue and rarely addressed outside the alternative media. The 2023 military budget has been increased from this year’s, totaling $858 billion, and, if one includes the constantly growing largesse to Ukraine, approaching a hitherto unimaginable trillion dollars. The military budget has become a major driver of the country’s unsustainable deficits. The deaths of millions of people directly and indirectly in the wars started in 9/11 aside, the wars of choice have cost an estimated $8 trillion.

The Constitution of the United States makes it clear that a national army was only acceptable to the Founders when it was dedicated to defending the country from foreign threats. Do Americans really believe that bearing the burden of having something like 1,000 military bases scattered around the world really makes them safer? The recent rapid collapse of the security situation in Afghanistan suggests that having such bases turns soldiers and bureaucrats into potential hostages and is therefore a liability. One might also suggest that the insecurity currently prevailing in the country can in large part be attributed to the government’s depiction of numerous “threats” in order to justify both the commitment and the expense.

So where does all the money go? And what are the threats? Starting with a war that the United States is de facto though not de jure involved in, Ukraine, what was the Russian threat that demanded Washington’s intervention? Well, if one discards the nonsense of a “rules based international order” or a plucky little democracy Ukraine fighting valiantly against the Russian bear, Moscow did not threaten the United States in any way before the missiles starting flying. Putin sought to negotiate a settlement with Ukraine based on a number of perceived existential Russian national security interests, all of which were negotiable, but the US and its friends were uninterested in compromise while also plying the corrupt Zelensky regime with weapons, money and political support. The final result is a conflict that will likely only end when the last Ukrainian is dead and it includes the possibility that a misstep by the United States and Russia could lead to a nuclear holocaust. To put it succinctly, what is going on does not enhance US national security, nor does it benefit Americans economically.

And then there is China. Biden let the cat out of the bag on his recent trip to the Far East. He stated that the United States would defend Taiwan if China were to attempt to annex it. In saying that, Biden demonstrated that he does not understand the strategic ambiguity that the US and the Chinese have preferred over the past fifty years as an alternative to war. The White House for its part quickly issued a correction to the Biden statement, explaining that it was not true that Washington is obligated to defend Taiwan. Some uber hawkish congressmen have apparently found the Biden gaffe appealing and are promoting a firm US commitment to defend Taiwan, coupled with a $4.5 billion military assistance package, of course.

At the same time, some officials in the Pentagon and the usual gaggle of congressmen also keep warning about the over the horizon threat from China as an excuse to boost defense spending. Most recently, there was alarm over Chinese participation in a meeting in May in Fiji to consider a China-Pacific Islands free trade pact! In reality, the only serious current threat from China is as an economic competitor. A trade war with China would be a disaster for the US economy, which is heavily dependent on Chinese manufactured goods, but Beijing, with its relatively small military budget, does not pose a physical threat to the United States.

And let’s not ignore Iran which has been hammered by economic sanctions and also through the covert killing of its officials and scientists. The US/Israeli war on Iran has also spilled over into neighboring Syria, where Washington actually has troops on the ground occupying the country’s oil producing region and stealing the oil. Iran’s possible expansion of its nuclear program to produce a weapon was effectively impeded through monitoring connected to a multilateral 2015 agreement called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) but Donald Trump, unwisely and acting against actual American interests, withdrew from it. Joe Biden has been warned by Israel not to re-enter the agreement, so he will no doubt comply with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s determination to have Washington continue to apply “extreme pressure” on the Islamic Republic. Does either Iran or its ally Syria threaten the United States in any way? No. Their crime is that they are in the same neighborhood as the Jewish state, which finds the US government easy to manipulate into acting against its own interests.

Finally, in America’s own hemisphere there is Venezuela, which has been elevated to the status of Washington’s most hated nation in the region. Venezuelans have been subjected to increasingly punitive US sanctions, including some new ones just last week, which hurt the poorer citizens disproportionately but have not brought about regime change. Why the animosity? Because the country’s leader Nicolas Maduro is still in power in spite of a US assertion that the country’s opposition leader Juan Guaido should rightfully and legitimately be in charge after a possibly fraudulent election in 2018. The latest therapy applied by the United States on Caracas consisted of blocking the country as well as Nicaragua and Cuba from participating in the recent meeting of the Ninth Summit of the Americas which was held in Los Angeles. A State Department spokesman explained that the move was due to the three countries “lacking democratic governances.”

Mexican President Lopez Obrador protested against the move and removed himself from his country’s delegation, saying “There can’t be a Summit of the Americas if not all countries of the American continent are taking part.” The despicable US Senator Robert Menendez of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee then felt compelled to add his two cents, criticizing the Mexican president and warning that his “decision to stand with dictators and despots” would hurt US-Mexico relations. So where was the threat from Venezuela (and Cuba and Nicaragua) and why is the US involved at all? Beats me.

What all of this means is that there is absolutely no standard of genuine national security that motivates the US’s completely illegal aggression in many parts of the world. What occurs may be linked to a desire to dominate or a madness sometimes described as “exceptionalism” and/or “leadership of the free world,” neither of which has anything to do with actual security. And the American people are paying the price both in terms of decline in standards of living due to the upheaval created in Ukraine and elsewhere as well as a completely understandable loss of faith in the US system of government. By all means, let us shrink the US military until it is responsive to actual identifiable threats. Let’s elect a president who will follow the sage advice of President John Quincy Adams, who declared that “Americans should not go abroad to slay dragons they do not understand in the name of spreading democracy.” At this point, one can only imagine an America that is at peace with itself and with what it represents while also being considered a friend to the rest of the world.

Reprinted with permission from Unz Review.]]>
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Sen. Cornyn's 'Red Flag' Gun Compromise...Is A Red Flag! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/sen-cornyns-red-flag-gun-compromiseis-a-red-flag/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/sen-cornyns-red-flag-gun-compromiseis-a-red-flag/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/sen-cornyns-red-flag-gun-compromiseis-a-red-flag/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 17:19:56 GMT
Assange Should Put the Pentagon and the CIA on Trial Jacob G. Hornberger http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/assange-should-put-the-pentagon-and-the-cia-on-trial/

With the recent decision by British Home Secretary Priti Patel to approve the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States, it is now a virtual certainty that Assange will soon be brought to the US for trial.

Let’s hope that he uses the opportunity to put the Pentagon and the CIA on trial. Yes, I know that whichever federal judge is appointed to preside over the trial will do his best to not permit that to happen, but what’s wrong with a little civil disobedience in what will inevitably be a rigged kangaroo court whose outcome of guilt will be preordained?

Let’s not forget, after all, that Assange isn’t the criminal here. He’s the guy who disclosed the criminal conduct to the world through his organization WikiLeaks. That criminal conduct was committed by the Pentagon and the CIA, supported by their enablers in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. 

In a just society, the people who disclose criminal conduct would be hailed as heroes and the people who engage in criminal conduct would be going to jail. But in the Bizarro world of a national-security state, it’s the exact opposite — the criminals are the accusers and jailers and the opponents of their criminal conduct are the ones who are punished, tortured, and sent to jail.

One of the big things that Assange’s attorneys could do during the trial is to restate and reemphasize every dark-side action in which US personnel engaged that WikiLeaks disclosed, plus ones that WikiLeaks did not disclose. While that wouldn’t necessarily change the outcome of the kangaroo proceeding, at least it would show the world why they are going after Assange. 

When the US government was converted from its founding structure of a limited-government republic to a national-security state to fight the Cold War against “godless communism” and the Soviet Union as part of the extreme anti-Russia animus of that era, there was an implicit bargain struck between the national-security establishment and American people: the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA would be empowered to engage in totalitarian-like dark-side powers but they would keep their unsavory actions secret from the American people so that people’s consciences wouldn’t be bothered.

Assange interfered with that pact by disclosing to the world some of those dark-side practices. For that matter, so did Edward Snowden. For that, they both needed to be punished, if for no other reason than to send a message to everyone else: This is what will happen to you if you reveal our dark-side criminal practices to the world.

Be prepared for a judicial spectacle when Assange, who is an Australian citizen, is forcibly brought to the United States for trial for disclosing the criminal conduct of the US government. Just don’t expect anything remotely resembling justice in the process.

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/assange-should-put-the-pentagon-and-the-cia-on-trial/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/assange-should-put-the-pentagon-and-the-cia-on-trial/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 13:12:12 GMT
Some Hard Thoughts About Post Ukraine Graham E. Fuller http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/some-hard-thoughts-about-post-ukraine/

The war in Ukraine has dragged on long enough now to reveal certain clear trajectories. First, two fundamental realities:

1) Putin is to be condemned for launching this war– as is virtually any leader who launches any war. Putin can be termed a war criminal–in good company with George W. Bush who has killed vastly greater numbers than Putin.

2) secondary condemnation belongs to the US (NATO) in deliberately provoking a war with Russia by implacably pushing its hostile military organization, despite Moscow’s repeated notifications about crossing red lines, right up to the gates of Russia. This war did not have to be if Ukranian neutrality, á la Finland and Austria, had been accepted. Instead Washington has called for clear Russian defeat.

As the war grinds to a close, where will things go?

Contrary to Washington’s triumphalist pronouncements, Russia is winning the war, Ukraine has lost the war. Any longer-term damage to Russia is open to debate.

American sanctions against Russia have turned out to be far more devastating to Europe than to Russia. The global economy has slowed and many developing nations face serious food shortages and risk of broad starvation.

There are already deep cracks in the European façade of so-called “NATO unity.” Western Europe will increasingly rue the day that it blindly followed the American Pied Piper to war against Russia. Indeed, this is not a Ukrainian-Russian war but an American-Russian war fought by proxy to the last Ukrainian.

Contrary to optimistic declarations, NATO may in fact ultimately emerge weakened. Western Europeans will think long and hard about the wisdom and deep costs of provoking deeper long term confrontations with Russia or other “competitors”of the US.

Europe will sooner or later return to the purchase of inexpensive Russian energy. Russia lies on the doorstep and a natural economic relationship with Russia will possess overwhelming logic in the end. 

Europe already perceives the US as a declining power with an erratic and hypocritical foreign policy “vision” premised upon the desperate need to preserve “American leadership” in the world. America’s willingness to go to war to this end is increasingly dangerous to others.

Washington has also made it clear that Europe must sign on to an “ideological” struggle against China as well in some kind of protean struggle of “democracy against authoritarianism”. Yet, if anything this is a classic struggle for power across the globe. And Europe can even less afford to blunder into confrontation with China–a “threat” perceived primarily by Washington yet unconvincing to many European states and much of the world..

China’s Belt and Road initiative is perhaps the most ambitious economic and geopolitical project in world history. It is already linking China with Europe by rail and sea. European exclusion from the Belt and Road project will cost it dearly. Note that the Belt and Road runs right through Russia. It is impossible for Europe to close its doors to Russia while maintaining access to this Eurasian mega project. Thus a Europe that perceives the US already in decline has a little incentive to join the bandwagon against China. The end of the Ukraine war will bring serious reconsideration in Europe about the benefits of propping up Washington’s desperate bid to maintain its global hegemony.

Europe will undergo increasing identity crisis in determining its future global role. Western Europeans will tire of subservience to the 75 year American domination of European foreign policy. Right now NATO is European foreign policy and Europe remains inexplicably timid in asserting any independent voice. How long will that prevail?

We now see how massive US sanctions against Russia, including confiscation of Russian funds in western banks, is causing most of the world to reconsider the wisdom of banking entirely on the US dollar into the future. Diversification of international economic instruments is already in the cards and will only act to weaken Washington’s once dominant economic position and its unilateral weaponisation of the dollar.

One of the most disturbing features of this US-Russian struggle in Ukraine has been the utter corruption of independent media. Indeed Washington has won the information and propaganda war hands down, orchestrating all Western media to sing from the same hymnbook in characterizing the Ukraine war. The West has never before witnessed such a blanket imposition by one country’s ideologically-driven geopolitical perspective at home. Nor, of course, is the Russian press to be trusted either. In the midst of a virulent anti-Russian propaganda barrage whose likes I have never seen during my Cold Warrior days, serious analysts must dig deep these days to gain some objective understanding of what is actually taking place in Ukraine.

Would that this American media dominance that denies nearly all alternative voices were merely a blip occasioned by Ukraine events. But European elites are perhaps slowly coming to the realization that they have been stampeded into this position of total “unanimity”; cracks are already beginning to appear in the façade of “EU and NATO unity.” But the more dangerous implication is that as we head into future global crises, a genuine independent free press is largely disappearing, falling into the hands of corporate-dominated media close to policy circles , and now bolstered by electronic social media, all manipulating the narrative to its own ends. As we move into a predictably greater and more dangerous crises of instability through global warming, refugee flows, natural disasters, and likely new pandemics, rigorous state and corporate domination of the western media becomes very dangerous indeed to the future of democracy. We no longer hear alternative voices on Ukraine today.

Finally, Russia’s geopolitical character has very likely now decisively tilted towards Eurasia. Russians have sought for centuries to be accepted within Europe but have been consistently held at arms length. The West will not discuss a new strategic and security architecture. Ukraine has simply intensified this trend. Russian elites now no longer possess an alternative to accepting that its economic future lies in the Pacific where Vladivostok lies only one or two hours away by air from the vast economies of Beijing, Tokyo, and Seoul. China and Russia have now been decisively pushed ever more closely together specifically out of common concern to block unfettered US freedom of unilateral military and economic intervention around the world. That the US can split US-induced Russian and Chinese cooperation is a fantasy. Russia has scientific brilliance, abundant energy, rich rare minerals and metals, while global warming will increase the agricultural potential of Siberia. China has the capital, the markets, and the manpower to contribute to what becomes a natural partnership across Eurasia.

Sadly for Washington, nearly every single one of its expectations about this war are turning out to be incorrect. Indeed the West may come to look back at this moment as the final argument against following Washington’s quest for global dominance into ever newer and more dangerous and damaging confrontations with Eurasia. And most of the rest of the world–Latin America, India, the Middle East and Africa– find few national interests in this fundamentally American war against Russia.

Graham E. Fuller is a former Vice Chair of the National Intelligence Council at CIA with responsibility for global intelligence estimates. 

Reprinted with permission from GrahamFuller.com.

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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/some-hard-thoughts-about-post-ukraine/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/some-hard-thoughts-about-post-ukraine/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 12:51:03 GMT
Federal Reserve’s Rate Increases: Too Little Too Late? Ron Paul http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/federal-reserve-s-rate-increases-too-little-too-late/

The Federal Reserve’s recent 0.75 percent increase in its “benchmark” interest rate is the Fed’s highest rate increase since 1994. This increase is a sign that the Fed has finally realized that price inflation is more persistent and widespread than the Fed initially believed.

Stocks have fallen much lately. This is in part because of fears rate hikes will push the economy into recession. The Fed itself seems to believe that the economy is going to slow down in the near future, as it has reduced its projection of 2.2 percent economic growth in 2022 to 1.7 percent. Even more ominously, the Atlanta Fed’s GDP tracker fell to zero for the second quarter of 2022, due in part to May’s weak retail sales.

The Fed claims it will reduce inflation without significantly increasing unemployment or causing a recession. This is likely to be as accurate as the Fed’s prediction that inflation was “transitory.”

This latest rate increase will only raise rates to where they were before the lockdowns led the Fed to embark on a historic money-creating spree. The Federal Reserve cannot increase rates to anywhere near the level they would be in a free market because doing so would increase interest payments to unsustainable levels for debt-ridden consumers, businesses, and the federal government.

Increases of a couple percent or less in interest rates can cause big increases in federal debt payments. The resulting new spending puts pressure on the supposedly “independent” Fed to maintain low rates, making it more likely the Fed will fail to tame inflation but succeed in resurrecting stagflation, combining price inflation with a recession. This new stagflation will make the 1970s look like a golden era.

Despite the skyrocketing debt and the Fed’s role in creating inflation, there are few in Washington committed to spending cuts. Congress is currently getting ready to authorize an across-the-board spending increase for next year. Meanwhile, the US government is spending tens of billions of dollars this year related to Ukraine, and the Biden administration is still pushing for massive new domestic programs.

The return of stagflation will increase the growing movement to replace the dollar as the world reserve currency. This will be the final nail in the welfare-warfare-fiat money regime’s coffin. History shows that such a crisis usually results in people embracing some form of authoritarianism. However, if those of us who know the truth are effective in spreading the ideas of liberty, this crisis can result in a turning to the principles of minimal government and maximum liberty.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/federal-reserve-s-rate-increases-too-little-too-late/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/20/federal-reserve-s-rate-increases-too-little-too-late/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 12:29:58 GMT
The UK's Decision to Extradite Assange Shows Why The US/UK's Freedom Lectures Are a Farce Glenn Greenwald http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/18/the-uks-decision-to-extradite-assange-shows-why-the-usuks-freedom-lectures-are-a-farce/

The eleven-year persecution of Julian Assange was extended and escalated on Friday morning. The British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, approved the US's extradition request to send Julian Assange to Virginia to stand trial on eighteen felony charges under the 1917 Espionage Act and other statutes in connection with the 2010 publication by WikiLeaks of thousands of documents showing widespread corruption, deceit, and war crimes by American and British authorities along with their close dictatorial allies in the Middle East.

This decision is unsurprising — it has been obvious for years that the US and UK are determined to destroy Assange as punishment for his journalism exposing their crimes — yet it nonetheless further highlights the utter sham of American and British sermons about freedom, democracy and a free press. Those performative self-glorifying spectacles are constantly deployed to justify these two countries’ interference in and attacks on other nations, and to allow their citizens to feel a sense of superiority about the nature of their governments. After all, if the US and UK stand for freedom and against tyranny, who could possibly oppose their wars and interventions in the name of advancing such lofty goals and noble values?

Having reported on the Assange case for years, on countless occasions I've laid out the detailed background that led Assange and the US to this point. There is thus no need to recount all of that again; those interested can read the granular trajectory of this persecution here or here. Suffice to say, Assange — without having been convicted of any crime other than bail jumping, for which he long ago served out his fifty-week sentence — has been in effective imprisonment for more than a decade.

In 2012, Ecuador granted Assange legal asylum from political persecution. It did so after the Swedish government refused to pledge that it would not exploit the WikiLeaks founder's travel to Sweden to answer sex assault accusations as a pretext to turn him over to the US Fearing what of course ended up happening — that the US was determined to do everything possible to drag Assange back to US soil despite his not being a US citizen and never having spent more than a few days on US soil, and intending to pressure their long-time-submissive Swedish allies to turn him over once he was on Swedish soil — the government of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa concluded Assange's core civic rights were being denied and thus gave him refuge in the tiny Ecuadorian Embassy in London: the classic reason political asylum exists.

When Trump officials led by CIA Director Mike Pompeo bullied Correa's meek successor, ex-President Lenin Moreno, to withdraw that asylum in 2019, the London Police entered the embassy, arrested Assange, and put him in the high-security Belmarsh prison (which the BBC in 2004 dubbed “the British Guantanamo”), where he has remained ever since.

After the lowest-level British court in early 2021 rejected the US extradition request on the ground that Assange's physical and mental health could not endure the US prison system, Assange has lost every subsequent appeal. Last year, he was permitted to marry his long-time girlfriend, the British human rights lawyer Stella Morris Assange, who is also the mother of their two young children. An extremely unusual unanimity among press freedom and civil liberties groups was formed in early 2021 to urge the Biden administration to cease its prosecution of Assange, but Biden officials — despite spending the Trump years masquerading as press freedom advocates — ignored them (an interview conducted last week with Stella Assange by my husband, the Brazilian Congressman David Miranda, on Brazil's Press Freedom Day, regarding the latest developments and toll this has taken on the Assange family, can be seen here).

The Home Secretary's decision this morning — characteristically subservient and obedient of the British when it comes to the demands of the US — does not mean that Assange's presence on US soil is imminent. Under British law, Assange has the right to pursue a series of appeals contesting the Home Secretary's decision, and will likely do so. Given that the British judiciary has more or less announced in advance their determination to follow the orders of their American masters, it is difficult to see how these further proceedings will have any effect other than to delay the inevitable.

Read the whole article here.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/18/the-uks-decision-to-extradite-assange-shows-why-the-usuks-freedom-lectures-are-a-farce/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/18/the-uks-decision-to-extradite-assange-shows-why-the-usuks-freedom-lectures-are-a-farce/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 14:57:42 GMT
When The Lies Come Home Douglas Macgregor http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/18/when-the-lies-come-home/

Diogenes, one of the ancient world’s illustrious philosophers, believed that lies were the currency of politics, and those lies were the ones he sought to expose and debase. To make his point, Diogenes occasionally carried a lit lantern through the streets of Athens in the daylight. If asked why, Diogenes would say he was searching for an honest man.

Finding an honest man today in Washington, D.C., is equally challenging. Diogenes would need a Xenon Searchlight in each hand.

Still, there are brief moments of clarity inside the Washington establishment. Having lied prolifically for months to the American public about the origins and conduct of the war in Ukraine, the media are now preparing the American, British, and other Western publics for Ukraine’s military collapse. It is long overdue.

The Western media did everything in its power to give the Ukrainian defense the appearance of far greater strength than it really possessed. Careful observers noted that the same video clips of Russian tanks under attack were shown repeatedly. Local counterattacks were reported as though they were operational maneuvers.

Russian errors were exaggerated out of all proportion to their significance. Russian losses and the true extent of Ukraine’s own losses were distorted, fabricated, or simply ignored. But conditions on the battlefield changed little over time. Once Ukrainian forces immobilized themselves in static defensive positions inside urban areas and the central Donbas, the Ukrainian position was hopeless. But this development was portrayed as failure by the Russians to gain “their objectives.”

Ground-combat forces that immobilize soldiers in prepared defenses will be identified, targeted, and destroyed from a distance. When persistent overhead intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance assets, whether manned or unmanned, are linked to precision guided-strike weapons or modern artillery systems informed by accurate targeting data, “holding ground” is fatal to any ground force. This is all the more true in Ukraine, because it was apparent from the first action that Moscow focused on the destruction of Ukrainian forces, not on the occupation of cities or the capture of Ukrainian territory west of the Dnieper River.

The result has been the piecemeal annihilation of Ukrainian forces. Only the episodic infusion of US and allied weapons kept Kiev’s battered legions in the field; legions that are now dying in great numbers thanks to Washington’s proxy war.

Kiev’s war with Moscow is lost. Ukrainian forces are being bled white. Trained replacements do not exist in sufficient numbers to influence the battle, and the situation grows more desperate by the hour. No amount of US and allied military aid or assistance short of direct military intervention by US and NATO ground forces can change this harsh reality.

The problem today is not ceding territory and population to Moscow in Eastern Ukraine that Moscow already controls. The future of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions along with the Donbas is decided. Moscow is also likely to secure Kharkov and Odessa, two cities that are historically Russian and Russian-speaking, as well as the territory that adjoins them. These operations will extend the conflict through the summer. The problem now is how to stop the fighting.

Whether the fighting stops in the early fall will depend on two key factors. The first involves the leadership in Kiev. Will the Zelensky government consent to the Biden program for perpetual conflict with Russia?

If the Biden administration has its way, Kiev will continue to operate as a base for the buildup of new forces poised to threaten Moscow. In practice, this means Kiev must commit national suicide by exposing the Ukrainian heartland west of the Dnieper River to massive, devastating strikes by Russia’s long-range missile and rocket forces.

Read the whole article here.]]>
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The Ukraine Walk-Back? RT http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/17/the-ukraine-walk-back/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/17/the-ukraine-walk-back/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/17/the-ukraine-walk-back/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 13:35:24 GMT
An Endless Stream of Scary Official Enemies Jacob G. Hornberger http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/17/an-endless-stream-of-scary-official-enemies/

Any government that is a national-security state needs big official enemies — scary ones, ones that will cause the citizenry to continue supporting not only the continued existence of a national-security state form of government but also ever-growing budgets for it and its army of voracious “defense” contractors.

That’s, of course, what the current brouhaha about Russia is all about. It’s really a replay of the Cold War decades, when Americans were made to believe that the Reds were coming to get them, take over the federal government and the public schools, and indoctrinate everyone into loving communism and socialism. 

In those Cold War years, Americans citizens were so scared of the Reds that they were willing to ignore — or even support — the dark-side powers that were being wielded and exercised by the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, which are the three principal components of the national-security establishment. The idea was that if the U..S. government failed to adopt the same dark-side totalitarian-type powers, such as assassination and torture, that the Soviet Union and Red China were wielding and exercising, the United States would end up falling to the Reds and becoming communist.

The Cold War notion was that there was an international communist conspiracy to take over the world that was supposedly based in Moscow — yes, the same Moscow that is now being used, once again, to scare the dickens out of the American people. 

Ironically, however, the American right wing, which was the leader of America’s anti-communist crusade during the Cold War, was teaching that socialism was an inherently defective paradigm. They would cite free-market economists like Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and Milton Friedman to show that socialism was doomed to fail.

Alas, American conservatives were never able to see the contradiction in their position. On the one hand, they were claiming that socialism was an inherently defective system that was doomed to fail. On the other hand, they were claiming that America and the rest of the world was in grave danger of falling to the supposed international communist/socialist conspiracy to take over the world that was supposedly based in Moscow.

The fact is that there was never any danger whatsoever of a Soviet or Chinese invasion and takeover of the United States. It was always an overblown threat designed to keep Americans afraid — and to keep the national-security establishment and its voracious army of “defense” contractors in power and in “high cotton.”

Oh sure, there was always the possibility of nuclear war, but that was the last thing that China or Russia wanted, especially given the vast superiority of America’s nuclear arsenal. It’s worth mentioning though that the Pentagon and the CIA constantly claimed, falsely, that the Soviet nuclear arsenal was vastly superior to that of the United States. Again, they had to keep Americans afraid as a way to maintain their power and their budgets.

When the Cold War was suddenly over, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA freaked out. That was the last thing they expected or wanted. They needed the Cold War. How else could they keep Americans afraid? What if Americans began demanding the restoration of their founding governmental system of a limited-government republic, which would necessarily entail the dismantling of the national-security state form of governmental structure?

That’s when they turned on their old partner and ally, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Throughout the 1990s, Saddam became the new official enemy. Day after day, it was “Saddam! Saddam! Saddam! He is the new Hitler! He is coming to get us with his WMDs!” And the vast majority of Americans bought into the new official scaremongering, no matter how ridiculous it was.

Meanwhile, however, the Pentagon and the CIA were going into the Middle East with a campaign of death and destruction, one that would end up producing another big scary official enemy — terrorism — and, to a certain extent, Islam. Even though commentators continually warned the Pentagon and the CIA that their deadly and destructive interventionist campaign would produce terrorist blowback, the Pentagon and the CIA continued pressing forward, with the result being the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993, the USS Cole, the US embassies in East Africa, the 9/11 attacks, and the post-9/11 attacks. Americans now had a new official enemy — possibly one than was scarier than communism — and the national-security state was off to the races with more power and more money.

Then came the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the Global War on Terrorism. They milked that for some 20 years, keeping Americans deathly afraid of the terrorists and the Muslims, who had supposedly been planning the takeover of America as part of a centuries-old conspiracy to establish a worldwide caliphate, one that would require every American citizen to live under Sharia law.

But throughout the entire war on terrorism and war on Islam, they never gave up on restoring China and Russia as big, scary official Cold War enemies. That’s what is going on today. The Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA know that Americans are losing some of their fear of the terrorists and the Muslims, especially now that the Pentagon and the CIA are no longer killing people in Afghanistan. 

Their big problem, however, is that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is proving that Russia is a second-rate military power, one that can’t even conquer a third-rate power like Ukraine. At the risk of belaboring the obvious, it’s hard to convince people that America is in grave danger of falling to the Reds — I mean, the Russians — when a crooked and corrupt third-rate regime in Ukraine isn’t even falling to the Russians. 

Where do the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA go from here? They will undoubtedly continue indoctrinating Americans into living in deep fear of the Russkies and the Chinese Reds. Don’t be surprised if they gin up another crisis with North Korea, which is always a good-standby official enemy. There is always Iran, of course, or Cuba, Venezuela, or Nicaragua — maybe even (communist) Vietnam again — given that fear of the Reds is always a good one on which to rely. And since they are still killing people in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, as well as in Africa, there is always the possibility of terrorist blowback that will reinvigorate the Global War on Terrorism and Islam.

The solution to all this official-enemy mayhem? Americans need to overcome the fear of official enemies that has been inculcated into them by the national-security establishment as part of their decades-old crooked and corrupt racket. Once that happens, it will be possible to restore America’s founding governmental system of a limited-government republic and get back on the road to liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world. 

Reprinted with permission from Future of Freedom Foundation.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/17/an-endless-stream-of-scary-official-enemies/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/17/an-endless-stream-of-scary-official-enemies/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 13:04:06 GMT
NATO Summit Demands: More Weapons For Ukraine! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/16/nato-summit-demands-more-weapons-for-ukraine/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/16/nato-summit-demands-more-weapons-for-ukraine/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/16/nato-summit-demands-more-weapons-for-ukraine/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 16:41:03 GMT
The Road to Nuclear Armageddon Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/16/the-road-to-nuclear-armageddon/

*This speech was delivered at the Ron Paul Institute's June 4, 2022 Houston Conference.


Ladies and gentlemen, we face a grave danger. The leader of a major European power wants to make territorial revisions. He is surrounded by hostile powers who threaten him. He does not seek war with other countries but if the hostile powers continue to encircle him, he will fight. A European war looms.

You probably think I’m talking about the current crisis between Russia and the Ukraine, but I’m not. I’m talking about Europe just before World War II began in September 1939. At that time, Hitler wanted small territorial revisions with its Polish neighbor. East Prussia was cut off from the rest of Poland by a band of territory called the Polish Corridor.

As the great British historian A.J. P. Taylor explains, “The losses of territory to Poland were, for most Germans, the indelible grievance against Versailles. Hitler undertook a daring operation over this grievance when he planned co-operation with Poland. But there was a way out. The actual Germans under Polish rule might be forgotten—or withdrawn; what could not be forgiven was the ‘Polish corridor’ which divided East Prussia from the Reich. Here, too, there was a possible compromise. Germany might be satisfied with a corridor across the corridor—a complicated idea for which there were however many precedents in German history. German feeling could be appeased by the recovery of Danzig.

This seemed easy. Danzig was not part of Poland. It was a Free City, with its own autonomous administration under a High Commissioner, appointed by the League of Nations. The Poles themselves, in their false pride as a Great Power, had taken the lead in challenging the League’s authority. Surely, therefore, they would not object if Germany took the League’s place. Moreover, the problem had changed since 1919. Then the port of Danzig had been essential to Poland. Now, with the creation of Gdynia by the Poles, Danzig needed Poland more than the Poles needed Danzig. It should then be easy to arrange for the safeguarding of Poland’s economic interests, and yet to recover Danzig for the Reich.”

The British responded by guaranteeing Poland’s western boundary against Germany. They also issued a guarantee to Romania, even though there had been no threat to that country. As a result of the guarantee, Poland refused to negotiate with Germany. War broke out, and Poland was destroyed. The great Murray Rothbard tells us what happened: “And as a direct result, Poland was destroyed. Hitler’s ‘demands’ on the Poles were almost non-existent; as Taylor points out, the Weimar Republic would have scorned the terms as a sell-out of vital German interests. Hitler at most wanted a ‘corridor through the Corridor’ and the return of heavily-German (and pro-German) Danzig; in return for which he would guarantee the rest. Poland resolutely refused to yield’ one inch of Polish soil,’ and refused even to negotiate with the Germans, and this down to the last minute.”

Murray draws an important lesson from what happened then. This lesson provides the key to keeping us out of a nuclear war today. And of course a nuclear war would destroy the world. Here is what Murray says: “[Polish Foreign Minister Józef] Beck clearly knew that Britain and France could not actually save Poland from attack. He relied to the end on those great shibboleths of all ‘hard-liners’ and other ‘crackpot realists’ everywhere: X is ‘bluffing’; X will back down if met by toughness, resolution, and the resolve not to give an inch. (Just as in the case of Finland, when the ‘X is bluffing’ line of the hard-liners is shown to be sheer absurdity, and X has already attacked, the ‘hard-liner’ turns, self-contradictorily, to the dictum that not ‘one inch of sacred soil’ will be given up, no peace while the enemy is on our soil, etc., which completes the ruin of the country by its ‘hard-line’ rulers. This is what Beck did to Poland.) As Taylor shows, Hitler had originally not the slightest intention to invade or conquer Poland; instead, Danzig and other minor rectifications would be gotten out of the way, and then Poland would be a comfortable ally, perhaps for an eventual invasion of Soviet Russia. But Beck’s irrational toughness blocked the path.”

Now we have the background we need to understand what’s going on today. Russia is surrounded by a hostile NATO alliance. The propagandists for brain-dead Biden like to say that Putin had Ukraine surrounded. But in fact, the US and its NATO satellites had Russia surrounded. In the years before the current crisis, we had ample opportunity to reach a compromise settlement. Instead, we kept the option of membership in NATO open to Ukraine and overthrew a Ukrainian President who was pro-Russian. “At the Kremlin. . . in November 2021] Putin drew his red line:

‘The threat on our western borders is … rising, as we have said multiple times. … In our dialogue with the United States and its allies, we will insist on developing concrete agreements prohibiting any further eastward expansion of NATO and the placement there of weapons systems in the immediate vicinity of Russian territory.’

A story in The New York Times exposes what brain-dead Biden and the gang of neo-cons that controls him have in store for us. According to an item that was published April 26, “When Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III declared Monday at the end of a stealth visit to Ukraine that America’s goal is to see Russia so ‘weakened’ that it would no longer have the power to invade a neighboring state, he was acknowledging a transformation of the conflict, from a battle over control of Ukraine to one that pits Washington more directly against Moscow. . . in word and deed, the United States has been gradually pushing in the direction of undercutting the Russian military.

It has imposed sanctions that were explicitly designed to stop Russia’s military from developing and manufacturing new weapons. It has worked — with mixed success — to cut off the oil and gas revenues that drive its war machine. . . over the longer term, Mr. Austin’s description of America’s strategic goal is bound to reinforce President Vladimir V. Putin’s oft-stated belief that the war is really about the West’s desire to choke off Russian power and destabilize his government. And by casting the American goal as a weakened Russian military, Mr. Austin and others in the Biden administration are becoming more explicit about the future they see: years of continuous contest for power and influence with Moscow that in some ways resembles what President John F. Kennedy termed the ‘long twilight struggle’ of the Cold War.

Mr. Austin’s comments, bolstered by statements by Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken about the various ways in which Mr. Putin has ‘already lost’ in the struggle over Ukraine, reflect a decision made by the Biden administration and its closest allies, several officials said on Monday, to talk more openly and optimistically about the possibility of Ukrainian victory in the next few months as the battle moves to the Russian-speaking south and east, where Mr. Putin’s military should, in theory, have an advantage.

At a moment when American intelligence officials are reporting that Mr. Putin thinks he is winning the war, the strategy is to drive home the narrative that Russia’s military adventure will be ruinous, and that it is a conflict Mr. Putin cannot afford to sustain.”

Let’s make sure we understand this. Critics of US policy have pointed out for a long time that America has surrounded Russia with nuclear bases. It helped overthrow a pro-Russian government in the Ukraine. Naturally, this made Putin nervous. He does not want an invasion of Russia though the Ukraine, as happened in World War II, when Russia lost millions of lives. Now, the brain dead Biden gang of neocons is saying to Putin, “You are exactly right! We do want to degrade Russia to a minor power and use the Ukraine as a base for attack!”

Nothing could be more certain to lead to nuclear disaster. The Russians warn us about this A story in The Guardian says: “Russia’s foreign minister has accused Nato of fighting a proxy war by supplying military aid to Ukraine, as defence ministers gathered in Germany for US-hosted talks on supporting Ukraine through what one US general called a ‘very critical’ few weeks.

Sergei Lavrov told Russian state media: ‘Nato, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war.’

He also warned that the risks of nuclear conflict were now ‘considerable’. . . When asked about the importance of avoiding a third world war, Lavrov said: ‘I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.’”

If it weren’t for the US arms shipments to the Ukraine, Russia and the Ukraine would quickly arrange a settlement that would protect Russia’s security interests. Those in control know this, but they don’t want a peaceful settlement along these lines. They want to rule the world. They don’t want countries that reject US supremacy to have a role in the world. “Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Tuesday that the entire ‘global international security order’ put in place after World War II is at stake if Russia gets away ‘cost-free’ following its invasion of Ukraine. . . ‘What’s at stake is the global international security order that was put in place in 1945. That international order has lasted 78 years. . . Milley’s warning about the potential global implications of Russia’s actions in Ukraine also underscores the current sense of urgency felt by the US and its allies as the war enters what they say is a critical juncture.. . Shortly after Milley’s interview, [Defense Secretary]Austin also stressed the importance of moving quickly to provide Ukraine with the military aid it needs, saying during a news conference that the US and other allies and partners ‘don’t have any time to waste’ when it comes to providing crucial assistance to counter Russia as their invasion continues.

‘We don’t have any time to waste. The briefings today laid out clearly why the coming weeks will be so crucial for Ukraine, so we’ve got to move at the speed of war. . . Austin also said that he thought Ukraine ‘will seek to once again apply to become a member of NATO in the future.’”

Is there anything we can do to de-escalate the situation? The greatest Congressman in American history, Dr. Ron Paul, whom we are here today to honor, has the answer. American should end its encirclement of Russia and disband NATO. Let’s look at his vital message to us:
When the Bush Administration announced in 2008 that Ukraine and Georgia would be eligible for NATO membership, I knew it was a terrible idea. Nearly two decades after the end of both the Warsaw Pact and the Cold War, expanding NATO made no sense. NATO itself made no sense.

Explaining my ‘no’ vote on a bill to endorse the expansion, I said at the time:
NATO is an organization whose purpose ended with the end of its Warsaw Pact adversary… This current round of NATO expansion is a political reward to governments in Georgia and Ukraine that came to power as a result of US-supported revolutions, the so-called Orange Revolution and Rose Revolution.

Providing US military guarantees to Ukraine and Georgia can only further strain our military. This NATO expansion may well involve the US military in conflicts unrelated to our national interest…
Unfortunately,. . . , my fears have come true. One does not need to approve of Russia’s military actions to analyze its stated motivation: NATO membership for Ukraine was a red line it was not willing to see crossed. As we find ourselves at risk of a terrible escalation, we should remind ourselves that it didn’t have to happen this way. There was no advantage to the United States to expand and threaten to expand NATO to Russia’s doorstep. There is no way to argue that we are any safer for it.

NATO itself was a huge mistake. . . I believe as strongly today as I did back in my 2008 House Floor speech that, ‘NATO should be disbanded, not expanded.’ In the meantime, expansion should be off the table. The risks do not outweigh the benefits!”
The saddest part of this whole manufactured crisis is that it should make absolutely no difference to us whether Russia controls Ukraine. How is that a threat to the United States? Whatever Biden and his neocon advisers say, America should stay out of conflicts that are none of our business. As usual, Murray Rothbard put it best. “In the context of the 1980 Afghan war, he quoted Canon Sydney Smith – a great classical liberal in early 19th century England who wrote to his warmongering Prime Minister, thus: 
For God’s sake, do not drag me into another war!

I am worn down, and worn out, with crusading and defending Europe, and protecting mankind; I must think a little of myself.

I am sorry for the Spaniards – I am sorry for the Greeks – I deplore the fate of the Jews; the people of the Sandwich Islands are groaning under the most detestable tyranny; Baghdad is oppressed, I do not like the present state of the Delta; Tibet is not comfortable. Am I to fight for all these people?

The world is bursting with sin and sorrow. Am I to be champion of the Decalogue, and to be eternally raising fleets and armies to make all men good and happy?

We have just done saving Europe, and I am afraid the consequence will be, that we shall cut each other’s throats. No war, dear Lady Grey! – No eloquence; but apathy, selfishness, common sense, arithmetic!
The same people who imposed Covid-tyranny on us now want us to risk war with Russia. Let’s stop them before it’s too late.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwell.com.]]>
http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/16/the-road-to-nuclear-armageddon/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/16/the-road-to-nuclear-armageddon/ Thu, 16 Jun 2022 12:45:17 GMT
Green Reversal? Biden Screams At Oil Companies For NOT Drilling! Daniel McAdams http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/15/green-reversal-biden-screams-at-oil-companies-for-not-drilling/
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http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/15/green-reversal-biden-screams-at-oil-companies-for-not-drilling/ http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/june/15/green-reversal-biden-screams-at-oil-companies-for-not-drilling/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 16:45:10 GMT