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Jacob G. Hornberger

Understanding Why Iranians Bash the US Government

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Two days ago, the New York Times carried an article by Times’ journalist Thomas Erdbrink entitled, “For Iran, a Grand Occasion to Bash the US,” which was about Iran’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of its revolution in 1979. The article included the following sentence, “And like some evil doppelgänger, the United States was omnipresent, despite having broken all ties with Iran in 1981.”
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Donald Trump, Dictator

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It is supremely ironic. To respond to the dictatorial mindset and policies of Venezuelan ruler Nicolas Maduro, President Trump has adopted his own dictatorial mindset and policies. Trump obviously believes that the way to fight foreign dictatorship is by adopting dictatorship here at home.
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The US Government's Love of Foreign Dictatorships

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Lest anyone be tempted to believe that President Trump and other US interventionists are intervening in Venezuela because of some purported concern for the Venezuelan people, let’s examining just a few examples that will bring a dose of reality to the situation. This latest intervention is nothing more than another interventionist power play, one intended to replace one dictatorial regime with another.

Egypt comes to mind. It is ruled by one of the most brutal and tyrannical military dictatorships in the world. The US government loves it, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for the Egyptian citizenry, who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Saudi Arabia also comes to mind. It too is a brutal and tyrannical dictatorship, also a murderous one. The US government loves it too, supports it, and partners with it. There is no concern for Saudi citizens who have to suffer under this brutal tyranny and oppression.

Historically, this has been the case as well. Some examples:

1. Iran under the Shah. In 1953, the US national-security establishment destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy by ousting the democratically elected prime minister, Mohamad Mossadegh, from power and installed in his stead the Shah of Iran, one of the world’s most brutal tyrants. Even worse, they helped train his national-security establishment in the arts of torture, tyranny, and oppression. There was no concern for the well-being or liberty of the Iranian people. Even today, the US aim is to oust the current tyrannical regime and replace it with a pro-US tyrannical regime.
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US Policy Toward Cuba Attacked America's Freedom and Values

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The decades-long US interventionist policy against Cuba failed to achieve its goal of removing Fidel Castro from power and replacing him with a pro-US regime, similar to the pro-US Batista regime that the Cuban revolution ousted from power in 1959. More important, interventionism against Cuba ended up attacking the freedom and values of the American people.

During the Cold War, US officials claimed that their interventionist policy against Cuba was justified because Cuba posed a grave threat to US national security. Yet not once did Cuba ever attack or invade the United States or even threaten to do so. Moreover, there was never any possibility that the Cuban military could defeat US military forces in a full-scale war. Throughout the Cold War years, it was always the US government, especially the Pentagon and the CIA, that was the aggressor in the conflict with Cuba.

Consider the brutal economic embargo against Cuba, which exists to this day, more than 25 years after the Cold War supposedly ended. In combination with Cuba’s socialist system, the embargo has squeezed the economic life out of the Cuban people, helping consign them to extreme poverty verging on starvation.

Americans have become so accustomed to economic sanctions and embargoes as a tool of US foreign policy that many of them hardly give a thought to how they operate. Sanctions and embargoes target the population of a foreign country with economic suffering, with the aim of bringing about a change in their government or in how their government operates. The idea is that if the civilian population can be made to significantly suffer, either their regime will abdicate in favor of one that is acceptable to US officials, the regime will agree to comply with US dictates, a military coup will take place, or the civilian population will initiate a violent revolution.
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The Disgrace of Maria Butina's Prosecution

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Some anti-Russianites and Trump critics are saying that the guilty plea by 30-year-old Russian citizen Maria Butina confirms that the Russian government was meddling in the 2016 presidential election. It’s true that Russia might well have been helping Donald Trump, who was committed to establishing friendly relations with Russia, defeat Hillary Clinton, who was committed to maintaining a relationship of anger, animosity, and hatred toward Russia. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that Butina’s guilty plea to agreeing to fail to register as a foreign agent establishes that she was knowingly part of a conspiracy within the Russian government to meddle in the presidential election. 

Anyone who believes that has a genuinely naïve and innocent way of viewing the federal criminal justice system, which is akin to how sausage and congressional laws are made, which many people would rather not see or know about.

Here’s how the federal criminal-justice system works.

When the feds decide to target someone, they charge them with every conceivable crime that even remotely relates to the targeted person’s conduct. The potential time in jail, if convicted on all counts, usually adds up to several decades or even to life in prison.
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Celebrating another Regulatory Conviction in the Anti-Russia Brouhaha

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The mainstream press is tipping its glasses in exultation over the latest regulatory conviction in the anti-Trump, anti-Russia brouhaha. This one comes in form of a upcoming guilty plea by a 28-year-old Russian woman named Maria Butina. Her crime? Failing to register as a foreign agent of the Russian government.

The press is reporting how Butina has infiltrated the conservative movement by dating a GOP operative, making contacts with the Heritage Foundation, the NRA, the National Prayer Breakfast, CPAC, the Trump administration, and others conservative organizations and people.

This is obviously very scary stuff. I mean, just think about it: The entire conservative movement facing the danger of going Red, or at least pro-Russia. Then it’s just a matter of time before the U.S. government falls to the commies, or least the Russkies under former KGB officer Vladimir Putin.

Pardon the Red slip but all this anti-Russia brouhaha really does remind me of the Cold War, when the U.S. national-security establishment was warning Americans of the danger of communist infiltration within our nation. The main danger, the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA maintained, was that posed by the Soviet Union, of which the principal member was Russia.
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Why Can the CIA Assassinate People?

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Given that we have all been born and raised under a regime that has the CIA, hardly anyone questions the power of the CIA to assassinate people. The CIA’s power of assassination has become a deeply established part of American life.

Yet, the Constitution, which called the federal government into existence and established its powers, does not authorize the federal government to assassinate people.

If the proponents of the Constitution had told the American people that the Constitution was bringing into existence a government that wielded the power to assassinate people, there is no way that Americans would have approved the deal, in which case they would have continued operating under the Articles of Confederation.

Under the Articles, the powers of the federal government were so weak, it didn’t even have the power to tax, much less the power to assassinate people. That’s because our American ancestors wanted it that way. The last thing they wanted was a federal government with vast powers.

In fact, the purpose of the Constitutional Convention was simply to amend the Articles of Confederation. During the 13 years of operating under the Articles, problems had arisen, such as trade wars between the states. The convention was intended to fix those problems with amendments to the Articles.
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The Reason for Killing Iranians

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While US sanctions technically permit Iran to import medicines, it is actually just a ruse to make it look like US officials are kind, compassionate, and benevolent. In actuality, the way the sanctions work will mean that the Iranian people will inevitably be deprived of much-needed medicines. That’s because the US extends its sanctions system to banks that process payments to Iran, which is likely to inhibit the importation of medicines into Iran.

But that’s the point behind the sanctions: to kill as many Iranians as possible in the hope that they will rise up in a violent revolution, oust Iran’s anti-US regime from power, and install another pro-US regime, like that of the Shah of Iran, who the CIA installed into power in its 1953 coup that destroyed Iran’s experiment with democracy.

Never mind that the Iranians, who live in a country that has strict gun control, lack the means to violently overthrow their government. And never mind that hundreds of thousands of Iranians would likely die in such a revolution, just like what has happened in the US-supported revolution in Syria.


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The Korean War: The Moral Bankruptcy of Interventionism

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An article in Sunday’s New York Times entitled “Remembering the Forgotten War” demonstrates perfectly the moral bankruptcy of the philosophy of foreign interventionism. Calling for the Korean War to become more highly remembered, the author, Hampton Sides, extols some of the popular justifications for subjecting US troops to death, injury, and maiming in the Korean War.
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Did the Russians Influence My Vote?

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I voted Libertarian yesterday, and the New York Times has me really worried. In an article yesterday entitled “Russians Meddling in the Midterms? Here’s the Data,” the authors, Jonathan Morgan and Ryan Fox, state that while Russian meddling in the midterm election was not as extensive as it purportedly was in the 2016 election, it was nonetheless still pervasive. Morgan and Fox, who run a cybersecurity company, pointed out, “Indeed, our company is currently detecting more overall activity in real time from continuing Russian online influence operations targeting the midterm elections than has been disclosed by social media platforms or detected by researchers during the same period before the election in 2016.”
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