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GOP Congressman: Trump Losing Me on Foreign Policy

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A few days before the 2000 elections, I hosted the Duncan Family Barbecue at the Knoxville Civic Coliseum, which aside from free food, always features bands, choirs, and top names from the Country music and Oldies worlds, drawing upwards of 10,000 people.

Governor George W. Bush, then the Republican Presidential nominee, walked out to the podium to the sound of the University of Tennessee Pep Band. After his speech, I walked him back to his vehicle parked in the bowels of the coliseum, and I told him “Governor, you are going to carry Tennessee.” He replied: “If I do, I will win the election,” and that is exactly what happened.
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Interventionism and the Korean Crisis

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If war ends up breaking out in Korea, President Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA will be announcing that it was all North Korea's fault. They’ll say that North Korea was “begging for war,” and that the United States was “forced” to act to protect “national security.” Of course, in the process they will be ignoring the interventionist sanctions that the United States and the United Nations have imposed on North Korea for decades, an indirect act of war that has targeted and killed countless North Korean citizens.

In the event of war, Trump and his national-security establishment will be speaking falsely and disingenuously. In fact, the root cause of another war in Korea will be interventionism, the philosophy of foreign policy that has held the United States in its grip for more than a century.

Notice something important about North Korea’s behavior: None of it is aimed at Switzerland, notwithstanding the fact that Korea is about 1,000 miles closer to Switzerland than the United States.
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What Michael Moore Gets Right and Wrong about the Police State

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Documentarian Michael Moore, in a Friday post at Twitter, linked to video of Alex Wubbels, a nurse at a Salt Lake City, Utah hospital, being arrested for refusing to comply with a police demand that she draw blood from an unconscious patient at the hospital without first the patient consenting, the patient being arrested, or a warrant being issued. While Moore admirably alerted people to what he termed the “authoritarian police state” in America and provided them with a vivid example of that police state in action, he clouded the issue by wrongly suggesting that the police state is a new creation caused by Donald Trump being president of the United States.

Moore, in his tweet, included a link to video of some of the encounter between Wubbels and police preceded by this comment:
Here's what it looks like now in Trump's America. The authoritarian police state he so loves is now everywhere. Please watch this video.
Moore’s sharing of the video and his cautioning regarding an authoritarian police state do a service for liberty. The decades-in-the-making expansion of police invincibility when cops assault or kill people needs to be seen and understood by Americans so it can be rolled back.
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American Jackboot Diplomacy

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The latest extraordinary roughshod violation of Russian diplomatic rights by the American authorities shows that the US doesn’t want to restore normal bilateral relations. Indeed, it has now resorted publicly to jackboot diplomacy.

The rapid ordering of Russia to vacate three of its diplomatic properties – in a matter of hours – amid reported threats from the American authorities that they would smash down entrance doors if the orders were not complied with, shows a reckless disregard for Russia’s sovereign rights. Not just Russia’s sovereign rights, but the rights of all nations, as far as America is concerned.

There were also reports that US secret service agents conducted inspections of the properties while Russian officials were deprived access to the building. Such conduct marks not only provocative contempt for Russian authorities, it also raises concerns that US agents were attempting to plant incriminating evidence which might be subsequently "uncovered" by the ongoing probes into alleged Russian interference in the American presidential election last year.
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Trump Bumbling Into Unnecessary War With North Korea

President Trump's Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, told the UN Security Council today that North Korea was "begging" for a war with the US. Apparently to Haley and the rest of the neocons, if you don't do exactly what Washington demands you are "begging for war." Will the president be manipulated into a catastrophic war in Asia by the generals and neocons surrounding him? We look at the disturbing factors in today's Liberty Report...
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Government ‘Aid’ Makes Disasters Worse

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Texans affected by Hurricane Harvey, including my family and me, appreciate the outpouring of support from across the country. President Donald Trump has even pledged to donate one million dollars to relief efforts. These private donations will be much more valuable than the as much as 100 billion dollars the federal government is expected to spend on relief and recovery. Federal disaster assistance hinders effective recovery efforts, while federal insurance subsidies increase the damage caused by natural disasters.
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Russia Responds to Netanyahu’s Ultimatum in Syria With a Warning to Israel

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Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Russian President Vladimir Putin in person that Israel will not tolerate an Iranian military presence in Syria that threatens Israeli interests. Netanyahu also stated that Israel is prepared to take action in Syria to curb the alleged threat.

At the time, Putin did not respond specifically to Israel’s issue with Iran. This provided some uncertainty regarding Russia’s position on the current conflict given Russia views Iran as a strategic ally. At the same time, however, Russia would likely not want to be dragged into a regional spat between Israel and the Islamic Republic.

However, according to the Washington Examiner, a conservative news outlet, Russia has responded by warning Israel not to authorize any attack on Iranian military positions in Syria.
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Three Dangerous Delusions about Korea

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They say that most of the world’s real dangers arise not because of what people don’t know but because of what they do "know" that just ain’t so.

As a case in point, consider three things about Korea that the bipartisan Washington establishment seems quite sure of but are far removed from reality:

Delusion 1: All options, including U.S. military force, are "on the table."

- Everyone knows there are no military "options" the U.S. could use against North Korea that don’t result in disaster. The prospect that a "surgical strike" could "take out" (a muscular-sounding term much loved by laptop bombardiers) Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile capabilities is a fiction. Already impractical when considered against a country like Iran, no one believes a limited attack could eliminate North Korea’s ability to strike back, hard. At risk would be not only almost 30,000 U.S. troops in Korea but 25 million people in the Seoul metropolitan area, not to mention many more lives at risk in the rest of South Korea and perhaps Japan.
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Always Planning Never Winning: While US Wins Some Battles, Insurgents Win the Wars

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General John F Campbell, commander of all foreign forces in Afghanistan 2014-2016, said in a speech in Kabul on December 28, 2014 that "The insurgents are losing, they’re desperate." But they weren’t and they aren’t.

On August 21 President Trump outlined his plan for continuation of the 16-year US-NATO war in Afghanistan, in which there is supposedly a new strategy. Strangely, his speech included the announcement that "Our troops will fight to win. We will fight to win," which tends to beg the question — don’t armies always fight to win? If not, we might wonder what all the US-NATO-"Coalition" soldiers died for, over these blood-soaked years in which United States taxpayers have had to pay over a trillion dollars for the cost of fighting an unwinnable war.

The other foreign countries involved in the war have not had to pay anything like that amount. The cost to Britain, for example, before it reduced its forces to a small training team in 2015, was 27 billion pounds — 35 billion dollars. And only 453 soldiers killed. Peanuts, so far as the politicians are concerned. And there are very few people in the UK who know or care about Britain’s disastrous Fourth Afghan War.
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Time To Listen to Our Korean Allies

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Old Chinese saying: "when elephants battle, ants get crushed." Think of the current crisis on the Korean Peninsula in which the government in Seoul has been all but ignored. South Korea’s newly elected president, Moon Jae-in, keeps insisting that the US must not launch war against North Korea without South Korea’s agreement. 

President Donald Trump and the US media appear not to have heard Moon’s pleas, or are simply disregarding them. Amazingly, six decades after the end of the 1950 Korean War, South Korea’s 650,000-man active armed forces and 4.2 million-man reserves remain under the command of a US four-star general. 

This neo-colonial arrangement was supposed to have ended years ago, but successive conservative South Korean governments maintained their nation’s acceptance of Washington’s Asian Raj. So does Japan. The most recent South Korean rightist leader, Park Guen-hye, was ousted for alleged corruption and is now in jail awaiting trial.
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