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Trump Critics of Syria Withdrawal Fueled Rise of ISIS

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President Donald Trump’s announcement of an imminent withdrawal of US troops from northeastern Syria summoned a predictable paroxysm of outrage from Washington’s foreign policy establishment. Former Secretary of State and self-described “hair icon” Hillary Clinton perfectly distilled the bipartisan freakout into a single tweet, accusing Trump of “isolationism” and “playing into Russia and Iran’s hands.”

Michelle Flournoy, the DC apparatchik who would have been Hillary’s Secretary of Defense, slammed the pull-out as “foreign policy malpractice,” while Hillary’s successor at the State Department, John Kerry, threw bits of red meat to the Russiagate-crazed Democratic base by branding Trump’s decision “a Christmas gift to Putin.” From the halls of Congress to the K Street corridors of Gulf-funded think tanks, a chorus of protest proclaimed that removing US troops from Syria would simultaneously abet Iran and bring ISIS back from the grave.

Yet few of those thundering condemnations of the president’s move seemed able to explain just why a few thousand US troops had been deployed to the Syrian hinterlands in the first place. If the mission was to destroy ISIS, then why did ISIS rise in the first place? And why was the jihadist organization still festering right in the midst of the US military occupation?

Too many critics of withdrawal had played central roles in the Syrian crisis to answer these questions honestly. They had either served as media cheerleaders for intervention, or crafted the policies aimed at collapsing Syria’s government that fueled the rise of ISIS. The Syrian catastrophe was their legacy, and they were out to defend it at any cost.
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Rough Times Ahead, But Liberty Can Still Win

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While Congress and the president fight over funding a border wall, they continue to ignore the coming economic tsunami caused by the approximately 22 trillion dollars (and rapidly increasing) federal debt. President Trump may not be troubled by the debt’s effect on the economy because he believes he will be out of office before it becomes a major problem. However, the crisis may come sooner than he, or most people in DC, expects.
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Good Riddance To General Mattis And The Rest Of Washington's Mad Dogs Of War

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From the wailing and gnashing of teeth among the mainstream media and officialdom over General Mattis' (welcome) departure, you would think that the Rapture had come and Washington's ruling class was being unjustly left behind to eternal perdition. And if not that, then the Mattis Affair is alleged to be at least its secular equivalent— an unwarranted and unforgivable affront to the good and the brave of the Imperial City.

Then again, exactly what was so existentially harmful to America's security about Trump's decision to get out of Syria—the apparent reason for Mattis' ballyhooed resignation?

The fact is, you can't find a trace of threat to America on the map. Syria is now a tiny, broken country of ruin and rubble with a vastly diminished religiously and ethnically fractured population of 18 million; GDP of barely $60 billion; per capita income of only $3,000; a trickle of oil production (25k barrel/day); and a depleted and battle-ravaged military that cannot possibly operate outside of its own borders and barely controls the lands inside them.

In short, Syria has no economic, strategic or military relevance whatsoever to the safety and security of the American homeland. And that's as in none, nada, nichts and nugatory.
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Newsweek Gets Russia Experts from the Atlantic Council, the Atlantic Council & the Atlantic Council

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Sources are everything to a journalist. Without them, their stories would be hollow. Imagine there was a ready-made list of experts always willing to bring that crucial air of credibility to any story about...Russia, for example.

Well, it turns out there is — and that list can be found on the website of the Atlantic Council — a think tank well-known for its ceaseless and enormous hostility toward Russia. Wherever there is an opportunity to throw balance and fairness to the wind in a story concerning Russia, an Atlantic Council analyst will always show up to lend a hand.

You see, experts and analysts bring the believability and legitimacy to a story; if the expert said it, that must count for something, is the general theory. These ‘experts’ provide journalists with insight into the issues and places they report on — so a journalist covering, say, Eastern Europe and Russia would make it their business to cultivate a list of people who know a little something about that region’s political, economic, social and cultural landscape who they can then approach for analysis on various stories and topics. Usually, it’s a good idea, too, to take these experts from a broad spectrum of society and political thought, so that readers are given a well-rounded and balanced view of a particular issue.

Or, you could scrap all that and just choose from the same pool of people who think exactly the same way — in this case, the Atlantic Council — over and over again. Much handier...and sure, who’s going to notice, anyway? That seems to be the modus operandi for a number of journalists on the Russia beat. Atlantic Council ‘analysis’ is prevalent across the entire Russia-focused Western media, but Newsweek seems to have a particular problem with over-reliance on the US-government and arms manufacturer-funded think tank.
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LinkedIn Billionaire ‘Sorry’ for Funding ‘Russian bot’ Disinformation Campaign Against Roy Moore

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The co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, has apologized to Republican Roy Moore for funding an organisation that faked a "Russian bot" involvement to mar his election campaign in Alabama.

American Engagement Technologies (AET), which Hoffman gave $750,000 to, put $100,000 of the entrepreneur’s money towards New Knowledge, a cybersecurity firm which fabricated some 1,000 Russian language Twitter accounts to follow Moore.

The company used the tactic to link the controversial Republican to so-called Russian influence campaigns and then fed it to the mainstream media. They also created misleading Facebook pages urging Republicans to support a "write-in" candidate instead of supporting Moore. The ploy was revealed by New York Times earlier this month.

“I find the tactics that have been recently reported highly disturbing,” Hoffman told the Washington Post. “For that reason, I am embarrassed by my failure to track AET — the organization I did support — more diligently as it made its own decisions to perhaps fund projects that I would reject.”
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The Mattis Dilemma

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The resignation letter of Secretary of Defense James Mattis that was published last Thursday revealed much of the Deep State mindset that has produced the foreign policy catastrophes of the past seventeen years. Mattis, an active duty general in the Marine Corps who reportedly occasionally reads books, received a lot of good press during his time at Defense, sometimes being referred to as “the only adult in the room” when President Donald Trump’s national security and foreign policy team was meeting. Conveniently forgotten are Mattis comments relating to how to “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” His sobriquet in the Corps was “Mad Dog.”

In the media firestorm that has followed upon General Mattis’s resignation, he has been generally lauded as a highly experienced and respected leader who has numerous friends on both sides of the aisle in Congress. Of course, the press coverage should be taken with a grain of salt as it is designed less to praise Mattis and more to get at Trump over the decision to leave Syria, which is being assailed by both neoliberals and neoconservatives who believe that war is the health of the state.

The arguments against the Trump decisions to depart from Syria and downsize in Afghanistan are contrived for the most part and based on the premise that American intervention in places that Washington deems not to be sufficiently promoting democracy, rule of law and free trade is a good thing. Peter Ford, former British Ambassador to Syria, put it nicely when discussing the reaction in the media: “Trump's critics…will have the vapors about 'losing ground to Russia', 'making Iran's day', and 'abdicating influence,' but their criticism is ill-founded. Contrary to their apparent belief, the US does not have a God-given right to send its forces anywhere on the planet it deems fit. Withdrawal will see the US in one respect at least follow the international rules-based system we are so fond of enjoining on others, and will therefore be a victory of sorts for upholders of international law.”
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Looking To 2019 At The Ron Paul Liberty Report

Thanks to President Trump's surprise announcement, all of a sudden America is talking about ending wars! Naysayers may tell us that the president won't follow through with his decision to remove all US troops from Syria and several thousand from Afghanistan. They miss the point! The neocons, mainstream media, and even some progressives suddenly find themselves defending endless and pointless wars. Our non-interventionist views are being actively debated. We believe 2019 may be the most exciting year yet for the ideas of peace and prosperity. Join today's Liberty Report to hear some of our plans...and how you can be a part of it...
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Senate Report on Russian Interference Was Written by Information Warriors Behind Alabama 'False Flag' Operation

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On December 17, two reports detailing ongoing Russian interference operations commissioned by the Senate Intelligence Committee were made public. They generated a week’s worth of headlines and sent members of Congress and cable news pundits into a Cold War frenzy. According to the report, everything from the Green Party’s Jill Stein to Instagram to Pokemon Go to the African American population had been used and confused by the deceptive Facebook pages of a private Russian troll farm called the Internet Research Agency.

Never mind that 56 percent of the troll farm’s pages appeared after the election, that 25 percent of them were seen by no one, or that their miniscule online presence paled in comparison to the millions of dollars spent on social media by the two major presidential campaigns and their supporters to sway voters. This was an act of war that demanded immediate government action.

According to Sen. Mark Warner, the Democratic chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the reports were “a wake up call” and a “bombshell” that was certain to bring “long-overdue guardrails when it comes to social media.” His Republican counterpart on the committee, North Carolina Senator Richard Burr, hailed the research papers as “proof positive that one of the most important things we can do is increase information sharing between the social media companies who can identify disinformation campaigns and the third-party experts who can analyze them.”
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Syria Withdrawal Enrages the Chickenhawks

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President Donald Trump’s order to withdraw from Syria has been greeted, predictably, with an avalanche of condemnation culminating in last Thursday’s resignation by Defense Secretary James Mattis. The Mattis resignation letter focused on the betrayal of allies, though it was inevitably light on details, suggesting that the Marine Corps General was having some difficulty in discerning that American interests might be somewhat different than those of feckless and faux allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia that are adept at manipulating the levers of power in Washington and in the media.
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