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'Pay Up You NATO Deadbeats...Or Else!'

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"We are the schmucks" thundered President Donald Trump, using a favorite New York City Yiddish term for penis. The object of Trump’s wrath at his Make America Great Again’ rally in Great Falls, Montana was the craven, stingy European members of NATO, only 16 of 22 members are on budget for their US-commanded military spending. Trump wants them to spend much more. 

Trump and his fellow neocons want NATO to serve as a sort of US foreign legion in Third World wars in Africa and Asia. NATO was formed as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to defend western Europe, not to fight in Afghanistan and who knows where else?

Equally bad, according to Trump, is that the US runs a whopping trade deficit with the European Union which is busy shipping high-end cars and fine wines to the US. The wicked foreigners don’t buy enough American bourbon, corn, and terribly abused pigs.
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'No Nerve Agents' In Douma: OPCW Report Demolishes White House Sarin Narrative

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A preliminary report published Friday by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found no traces of any nerve agent at the site of a suspected chemical attack in the Syrian city of Douma. The OPCW report states this unambiguously as follows:
"No organophosphorous nerve agents or their degradation products were detected in the environmental samples or in the plasma samples taken from alleged casualties."
Compare the newly published official OPCW findings with the 5-page White House assessment released on April 13th, just days after the alleged attack. Now contradicted by the new OPCW findings, the White House asserted that sarin was used at Douma:
A significant body of information points to the regime using chlorine in its bombardment of Duma, while some additional information points to the regime also using the nerve agent sarin.
Firebrand British MP George Galloway responded as follows moments after the OPCW's findings were made public...
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Why Trump’s Iran Isolation Plan May Backfire

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In May, President Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal despite Iran living up to its obligations and the deal working as planned. While the US kept in place most sanctions against Tehran, China and Russia - along with many European countries - had begun reaping the benefits of trade with an Iran eager to do business with the world.
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Skripal 2.0: It’s High Time for the British Government to Explain Itself – Here’s 10 Easy Questions to Help Them Out

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In his statement to the House of Commons on 5th July, the British Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, stated the following:
“The use of chemical weapons anywhere is barbaric and inhumane. The decision taken by the Russian government to deploy these in Salisbury on March 4 was reckless and callous – there is no plausible alternative explanation to the events in March other than the Russian state was responsible. The eyes of the world are on Russia, not least because of the World Cup. It is now time the Russian state comes forward and explains exactly what has gone on.”
Anyone with their wits about them will immediately notice the cognitive dissonance in Mr Javid’s statement.
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Diplomacy 101 Case Study: Singapore Summit

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While I can say there isn’t a formal class at the American State Department called Diplomacy 101, some training offered to new hires comes pretty close. Those basic tenets of statecraft, largely unchanged from Thucydides to Bismarck to Pompeo, are important to review in light of the widespread criticism of the Singapore Summit.

You make peace by talking to your adversaries. Diplomacy is almost always a process and rarely a big-bang scale event. Steps backward are expected along with steps forward. Realizing America’s foreign policy goals often means dealing with bad people. As an American diplomat I purposely flattered and befriended gangsters in Japan to help American citizens in trouble, Irish Republican Army terrorists when a change in administration in Washington saw them eligible for visas, and militia leaders in Iraq who sought deals during the Surge. So has every diplomat, along with most intelligence officers and military officers. Many in the media have done exactly the same things to cultivate sources.

The Etruscans, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Eritreans, and Everyone else from A-Z have been conducting diplomacy with adversaries of all flavors, titles, and moral standards since before the word was even invented by the French. A leader whose family has been the sole ruler of his nation for seven some decades, who controls nuclear weapons, whose nation has a seat at the United Nations and embassies in multiple countries around the world already meets any practical test of “legitimacy.” Kim’s nuclear weapons exist whether or not he meets a sitting American president, or ex-presidents Clinton and Carter, though the only chance those weapons may someday be gone rests in such meetings.
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Syria: 'Rebels Played Russian Roulette, And Lost'

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Middle East analysts are appropriately noting, "Rebels played Russian roulette, and lost" after Syrian Army ground forces accompanied by overwhelming Russian airstrikes in Syria's contested southwest region have collapsed anti-government lines with rapid speed. 

Early Friday a major strategic victory was announced as government forces took the Nassib border crossing after recapturing a string of over 8 border outposts in Daraa province.

The Nassib crossing is among Syria's most important and busiest international border crossings, and sits along the Damascus-Amman international highway. Prior to the war it was a main artery for Syrian exports to GCC countries. 

Opposition leaders have confirmed the crossing will now be controlled by Syrian government and Jordanian authorities for the first time after the FSA flag long flew over the outpost since anti-Assad militants captured it in 2015. 

The ongoing major offensive to take back Daraa and Al-Quneitra provinces from long entrenched FSA, al-Qaeda, and ISIS groups began last month, and though predicted by many to be a long and grinding affair that held the potential for external state military intervention, the unexpectedly rapid advance of pro-government forces has stunned observers.
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CIA Plots Iran Coup - Partners With Terrorist Group

The Iranian (People's Mojahedin) MeK had been on the US terrorism list for more than 15 years...until Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to remove them from the list in 2012. They've killed plenty of Americans, including high-ranking US military officers. Now the CIA, along with neoconservatives and many US politicians, has embraced the MeK as the best "democratic" alternative to Iran's current government. Did you know the "former" terrorist MeK paid current Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao $50,000 for a five minute speech in 2015? Crazy? Her husband is the Senate Majority Leader. In Washington that's money well-spent. The CIA's incredibly stupid plan for Iranian regime change in today's Liberty Report...
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Imperial Hubris Redefined

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There have been two developments in the past month that illustrate clearly what is wrong with the White House’s perception of America’s place in the world. Going far beyond the oft-repeated nonsense that the United States is somehow the “leader of the free world,” the Trump Administration has taken several positions that sustain the bizarre view that such leadership can only be exercised if the United States is completely dominant in all relevant areas. Beyond that, Washington is now also asserting that those who do not go along with the charade and abide by the rules laid down will be subject to punishment to force compliance.
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NED Pursues Regime Change By Playing The Long Game

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During a recent congressional hearing, the heads of three influential non-profit organizations that operate in numerous countries around the world revealed the subtle ways in which the United States meddles in the internal affairs of other countries by playing what the officials called “the long game.”

The three officials — Carl Gershman, Daniel Twining, and Kenneth Wollack—told Congress about their long-term efforts to empower the opponents of US enemies and boasted about their ability to change foreign governments. They said that they had recently helped their political allies gain political power in Malaysia, acknowledged that they have helped train thousands of activists in Nicaragua, and speculated about the potential to create new governments in China, Russia, and North Korea.

All three men strongly defended their activities, insisting that they are critically important to the advancement of democracy in the world.

“We’re not asking people to do anything that they don’t want to do,” Gershman said. “We’re supporting their own aspirations and giving them some of the tools to realize those aspirations.”

Gershman is the president of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a US taxpayer-funded nonprofit created by the US government in 1983. As the president of NED, Gershman oversees the issuance of grants to its political-party-associated organizations, including the International Republican Institute (IRI), which is headed by Twining, and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which is headed by Wollack.
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Happy Independence Day!

What did the Founders really mean with their Declaration of Independence? Ron Paul offers an important history lesson on the origins of our independence and what may be its future in this special edition of the Liberty Report...
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