The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Subscribe to the Institute View Us on YouTube Follow Us On Twitter Join Us on Facebook Join Us at Google Plus

Search Results


Sharmine Narwani

  • Prev
  • 1
  • Next

WikiLeaks: The Two Faces of Hillary Clinton on Syria


“People don’t trust Hillary Clinton, and no one can agree on why,” begins a sympathetic piece on the Democratic Party presidential candidate in Fast Company last July.

In a CNN poll that same month, only 30 percent of Americans believed Clinton to be “honest and trustworthy.” 

If voters don’t know what to make of Clinton or how to read her, the blame may lie directly with the candidate herself. In an April 2013 speech made public by WikiLeaks last week, Clinton confided:

Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.

That last "public vs. private" comment quickly made the media rounds, and confirmed – for her critics - Clinton’s deliberate duplicity on a number of policy positions.

read on...

How Narratives Killed the Syrian People


On March 23, 2011, at the very start of what we now call the ‘Syrian conflict,’ two young men - Sa’er Yahya Merhej and Habeel Anis Dayoub - were gunned down in the southern Syrian city of Daraa.

Merhej and Dayoub were neither civilians, nor were they in opposition to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They were two regular soldiers in the ranks of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

Shot by unknown gunmen, Merhej and Dayoub were the first of eighty-eight soldiers killed throughout Syria in the first month of this conflict– in Daraa, Latakia, Douma, Banyas, Homs, Moadamiyah, Idlib, Harasta, Suweida, Talkalakh and the suburbs of Damascus.

According to the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the combined death toll for Syrian government forces was 2,569 by March 2012, the first year of the conflict. At that time, the UN’s total casualty count for all victims of political violence in Syria was 5,000.

These numbers paint an entirely different picture of events in Syria. This was decidedly not the conflict we were reading about in our headlines – if anything, the ‘parity’ in deaths on both sides even suggests that the government used ‘proportionate’ force in thwarting the violence.
read on...

Will Geneva Talks Lead Right Back to Assad’s 2011 Reforms?


Syrian peace talks have already stalled. The opposition refused to be in the same room as the government delegation, while the latter blamed opposition “preconditions” and the organizers’ inability to produce a “list of designated terrorists.”

The UN’s special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura has now promised talks will reconvene on February 25, but how will he achieve this?

So much has shifted on the global political stage and in the Syrian military theater since this negotiation process first began gaining steam.

In just the past few weeks, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allies have recaptured key areas in Latakia, Idlib, Daraa, Homs and Aleppo, and are making their way up to the Turkish border, cutting off supply lines and exits for opposition militants along the way.

While analysts and politicians on both sides of the fence have warned that a “military solution” to the Syrian crisis is not feasible, the SAA’s gains are starting to look very much like one. And with each subsequent victory, the ability for the opposition to raise demands looks to be diminished.
read on...

Iran Nuclear Deal: Why Empire Blinked First


We’ve now spent three weeks watching American politicians argue needlessly over the Iran nuclear deal. For or against, they all miss this one salient point: It is the US that needed to end this standoff with Iran – not the other way around.

For years we have been hearing that US sanctions “were biting” and had “teeth.” Sanctions, it was said, would “change Iranian behaviors,” whether in regards to the Islamic Republic’s “support of terrorism,” its “calculations” over its nuclear program, or by turning popular Iranian sentiment against its government.

Here is US President Obama spinning the fairytale at full volume:
“We put in place an unprecedented regime of sanctions that has crippled Iran’s economy…And it is precisely because of the international sanctions and the coalition that we were able to build internationally that the Iranian people responded by saying, we need a new direction in how we interact with the international community and how we deal with this sanctions regime. And that’s what brought President Rouhani to power.”
There is, of course, scant evidence that any of this is true.

read on...

To Beat ISIS, Kick Out US-Led Coalition


It’s been a bad time for foes of ISIS. Islamic State (IS) scored a neat hat-trick by invading strategic Ramadi in Iraq’s mainly Sunni Anbar province, occupying Syria’s historic gem Palmyra, and taking over Al-Tanf, the last remaining border crossing with Iraq.

The multinational, American-led "Coalition" launched last August to thwart Islamic State’s (IS, formerly ISIS) march across Syria and Iraq…did nothing.

And so Baghdad and Washington are pointing fingers, each accusing the other of being asleep on the job.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter struck a low blow on Sunday in a CNN interview: 
What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me… that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight and defend themselves.
Carter must have forgotten that Iraqis staved off an ISIS occupation of Ramadi for almost 18 months.
read on...

The Airwaves Are Still Heaving With Spin Two Days After US Airstrikes Against Syria

Kerry Arab Saudi

Undoubtedly the attacks were timed to occur on the eve of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations, so “Coalition” partners could cluster behind the decision to bomb a sovereign state, uninvited.

The irony, of course, is that they are doing so at the UN – the global political body that pledges to uphold international law, peace and stability, and the sanctity of the nation-state unit.

The goal this week will be to keep the “momentum” on a “narrative” until it sinks in.

On day one, heads of state from Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, the UK and France were paraded onto the podium to drum in the urgency of American strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Jabhat al-Nusra and other militant groups inside Syria.

Every American official – past and present - in the White House rolodex was hooked up to a microphone to deliver canned sound bites and drive home those “messages.” In between, video-game-quality footage of US strikes hitting their targets was aired on the hour; clips of sleek fighter jets refueling midair and the lone Arab female fighter pilot were dropped calculatingly into social media networks.

The global crew of journalists that descends annually on the UN for this star-studded political event, enthused over US President Barak Obama”s ability to forge a coalition that included five Arab Sunni states – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Bahrain and the UAE.
read on...

Syria: The Hidden Massacre


The attack took place shortly after the first stirrings of trouble in the southern Syrian city of Daraa in March 2011.

Several old Russian-made military trucks packed with Syrian security forces rolled onto a hard slope on a valley road between Daraa al-Mahata and Daraa al-Balad. Unbeknown to the passengers, the sloping road was slick with oil poured by gunmen waiting to ambush the troops.

Brakes were pumped as the trucks slid into each other, but the shooting started even before the vehicles managed to roll to a stop. According to several different opposition sources, up to 60 Syrian security forces were killed that day in a massacre that has been hidden by both the Syrian government and residents of Daraa.

One Daraa native explains: “At that time, the government did not want to show they are weak and the opposition did not want to show they are armed.”
read on...

Syria’s Mother Agnes Mariam: In Her Own Words

Mother Agnes Church

American national security journalist Jeremy Scahill and leftist British columnist Owen Jones announced recently that they would not share a platform with a Palestinian-Lebanese nun at the Stop The War Coalition’s November 30 UK conference.

Neither Scahill nor Jones provided any reason for their harsh “indictment” of Mother Agnes Mariam, who has worked tirelessly for the past few years on reconciliation in war-torn Syria, where she has lived for two decades.

The journalists – neither of whom have produced any notable body of work on Syria – appear to have followed the lead of a breed of Syria “activists” who have given us doozies like “Assad is about to fall,” “Assad has no support,” “the opposition is peaceful,” “the opposition is unarmed,” “this is a popular revolution,” “the revolution is not foreign-backed,” “there is no Al Qaeda in Syria,” “the dead are mostly civilians,” and other such gems.

For some of these activists, anything short of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s departure is no solution of any kind. Mother Agnes Mariam, whose Mussalaha (Reconciliation) movement inside Syria works specifically on mediation, dialogue, and the promotion of non-violence, is unmoved by black-and-white solutions: Reconciliation, after all, is a series of political settlements forged on both local and national levels. There are only compromises there, not absolute gain. She doesn’t actually care who leads Syria and who wins or loses, providing the choice comes from a Syrian majority.
read on...