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Arming The Kurds - A Dangerous Idea

The Turks are not at all happy about President Trump's plan to provide heavy weapons to the Kurds fighting as US proxies against ISIS in Syria. The Turks bombed some 20 Kurdish fighters in Syria just weeks ago but with US advanced weapons in Kurdish hands, future such missions may be risky. Would the Kurds use American weapons to attack the Turks? And why does President Trump believe that digging up President Obama's already-failed strategy for eastern Syria will work this time? We take a look in today's Liberty Report...
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Syria Doesn’t Need Our Help Against Terrorists

What was the real reason for the Lavrov/Tillerson/Trump meeting in Washington today? Likely it was to work out the new facts on the ground in Syria, where the "safe zones" that President Trump called for not long ago have actually been established through cooperation between Russia, Iran, and Turkey. Though the US was not a party to the agreement that created the "de-escalation" zones, it is important for Washington to understand what they mean and how the matter will proceed. Is this a sign that the Trump Administration is looking for a way out of the seemingly intractable Syrian mess created by Obama's interventionism? It is possible and would be a good sign that realism has once again entered US foreign policy decisions. I am interviewed on the implications of today's dramatic events:
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Comey Fired...Now Fire The FBI!

While everyone is talking about President Trump firing James Comey, Director of the FBI, what we should be talking about is whether we should even have an FBI. Look at the track record of this organization -- putting Americans in jail for opposing war, spying on Americans for being in peace groups, incinerating Americans at Waco, manufacturing terrorist plots and taking credit for thwarting them, and so on -- and ask whether the FBI has been a benefit to our liberty and safety or not. Forget about Comey -- it's the whole system that needs to be fired!
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McCain Hammers Tillerson On Human Rights: Why The Panic?

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) published an op-ed in the New York Times yesterday taking Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to task for Tillerson's recent comment that our national security goals overseas may on some occasions preclude the export of our human rights values. In McCain's view, it is our duty always and everywhere to export American values and help "liberate" oppressed masses overseas. But what about McCain's own record? How are the people doing in those countries "liberated" by the policies he has endorsed? Is the average Iraqi, or Libyan, or Syrian better off now, after US military intervention to "promote our values"? Most likely McCain's article is meant to scuttle tomorrow's meeting between Tillerson and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Will McCain succeed? We discuss in today's Liberty Report...
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On That Day Began Lies

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Like many other mainstream political commentators, Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum is outraged and indignant over Donald Trump’s public praise and open embrace of foreign dictators who are allied or friendly with the US government. In an op-ed in the Post’s Sunday edition entitled “How Trump Makes Dictators Stronger,” Applebaum argues that Trump’s words and actions constitute a “paradigm shift” for the United States because they are now, she asserts, going to solidify pro-US dictators, justify their brutality, and reinforce their power.

That’s sheer nonsense. It’s not Trump’s words or actions that are solidifying and reinforcing the brutal, tyrannical rule of these regimes. It is US foreign aid — money and weaponry — that does that. Trump’s words and actions simply confirm the truth.

As I pointed out in last week’s article entitled “The National-Security State’s Tradition of Embracing Dictators,” the US government has been providing cash and weaponry to dictatorial regimes ever since the federal government was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II.

What is the purpose of such aid, which naturally comes from US taxpayers, compliments of the IRS? To help those pro-US dictatorial regimes maintain their power over their citizenry in exchange for their loyalty to the US government. The US-provided money funds the troops, intelligence agents, police, jails, and torture centers that enable the dictatorships to retain power over their citizenry. The US-provided weaponry provides the pro-US regimes with the ability to kill people who dissent or object or to take them into custody for punishment, indoctrination, torture, or execution.
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Trump's First Trip: Will He 'Stabilize' The Middle East?

President Trump is off to Saudi Arabia and Israel later this month, with stops at the Vatican and at a NATO summit. Since the election, a once-critical Trump has flip-flopped on Saudi Arabia, now he's expected to provide further US assistance to the ongoing Saudi war on Yemen. But much of the Saudi visit will no-doubt focus on something Trump shares with the Saudi leadership: violent antipathy toward Iran. We preview the President's trip in today's Liberty Report...
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ProPublica Attacks First Amendment, Cloudflare Edition

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You’re almost certainly interacting with Cloudflare right now. Feel OK?

Cloudflare is a web services company that, among other things, protects sites against various malicious attacks and hacks. They don’t “host” data in most cases, but work as a kind of middleman between you and the server out there somewhere on the web that has the actual data. Cloudflare processes more web traffic than Twitter, Amazon, Apple, Instagram, and Wikipedia combined, because it handles data for most of those places at the same time. On average, you have interacted with a Cloudflare service 500 times today. This blog uses Cloudflare, as does the FBI, OKCupid and The Daily Stormer.

You may not be as familiar with The Daily Stormer, but it is a nasty white supremacist site. They feature all sorts of hate, with a particular focus on anti-Semitism. Real garbage. But garbage fully protected under America’s long tradition of free speech (and yes, I understand the legal side of the First Amendment applies to government and not private businesses, but the broader concept of free speech underlies every democracy and has been the cornerstone of our inalienable rights in America. America at its best has always sought ways to broaden speech and access to ideas, not game ways to block them.)

Yet in another example of assault on free speech from the left, investigative journalists ProPublica are now “outing” Cloudflare for providing business services to The Daily Stormer.
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President Trump: Cancel Your Saudi Trip, Play More Golf

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President Trump is about to embark on his first foreign trip, where he will stop in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Vatican, before attending a NATO meeting in Brussels and the G-7 summit in Sicily. The media and pundits have loudly wondered why hasn’t he gone on a foreign trip sooner. I wonder why go at all?


What does the president hope to achieve with these meetings? This is a president who came into office with promises that we would finally start to mind our own business overseas. In December, he said that the policy of US “intervention and chaos” overseas must come to an end. Instead, he is jumping into a region – the Middle East – that has consumed the presidencies of numerous of his predecessors.
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How Berkeley and NYU’s Anti-Free Speech Actions are as Unconstitutional as Hell

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Ann Coulter will not speak at Berkeley this week because the threat of mob violence lead campus authorities to claim they could not protect her. The same threats led New York University (NYU) to cancel Milo Yiannopoulos’ appearance in February. These are shameful actions by two universities, and they are unconstitutional as hell.

Previous violence at Berkeley directed against Yiannopoulos, as well as the current threats, originated with a coalition of so-called antifa’s, anti-fascists, persons who believe in Trump’s America violence to silence speech they do not agree with is justified. They probably are unaware their tactics were once used to silence civil rights marchers, anti-war protesters, abortion rights advocates and the women’s movement. Because the law that now shames Berkeley and NYU comes from earlier efforts to protect those groups’ right to speak.

The idea that a university cannot assure a speaker’s safety, or that the speaker’s presence may provoke violent protests, or that the institution just doesn’t have to go to the trouble of protecting a controversial speaker, has become the go-to justification for persons on the left restricting speech from the right. Coulter and Yiannopoulos were singled out specifically for the content of their speech, which is indeed offensive to students and faculty who see danger in unpopular ideas. The universities’ actions are not content-neutral, the base requirement to restrict speech.

But what those offended people think is irrelevant, because the Constitution is clear even when their minds are muddied. While institutions do have an obligation to public safety, that obligation must be balanced against the public’s greater right to engage with free speech. The answer is not to ban speech outright simply to maintain order. But don’t believe me; it’s the law.
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Pre-emptive War Is A Pandora's Box

"We have to fight them over there, so we won't have to fight them here." Was it George W. Bush? Nope. The statement goes all the way back to President Truman, who warned that if we didn't fight the Korean war we'd have to fight commies in Wichita. The whole idea of pre-emptive war is nothing more than false propaganda. Today's Liberty Report takes on the myths that lead us to war...
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