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Global Peace Index: Where Do We Rank...And Why?

The new world ranking of peaceful and non-peaceful countries is out, and the results present the best case imaginable against US interventionism overseas. Of the ten least peaceful countries, nine of them have been on the receiving end of US destabilization, "regime change," or "liberation" efforts over the past decade or so. While US interventions are sold to the public as in our national security interest or to promote humanitarianism, the interventions all have one thing in common: they make things worse for the recipient country. So why do we keep doing it? Tune in to today's program...
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Liars Lying About Nearly Everything

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The United States has been using lies to go to war since 1846, when Americans who believed in manifest destiny sought to expand to the Pacific Ocean at the expense of Mexico, acquiring by force of arms California and what were to become the southwestern states. In 1898 the US picked up the pieces of a dying Spanish Empire in a war that was driven by American imperialists and the yellow dog reporting of the Hearst Newspaper chain. And then came World War 1, World War 2, and Korea, all avoidable and all enabled by deliberate lying coming out of Washington.

More recently, we have seen Vietnam with its Gulf of Tonkin fabrication, Granada and Panama with palpably ridiculous pretexts for war, Iraq with its nonexistent weapons of mass destruction, Afghanistan with its lies about bin Laden, Libya and its false claims about Gaddafi, and most recently Syria and Iran with allegations of an Iranian threat to the United States and lies about Syrian use of barrel bombs and chemical weapons. And if one adds in the warnings to Russia over Ukraine, a conflict generated by Washington when it brought about regime change in Kiev, you have a tissue of lies that span the globe and bring with them never-ending conflict to advance the American imperium.

So lies go with the American Way of War, but the latest twist and turns in the Middle East are bizarre even by Washington’s admittedly low standards of rectitude. On the 5th of June, Saudi Arabia led a gaggle of Arab and Muslim nations that included the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain to cut off all diplomatic, commercial and transport links with Qatar, effectively blockading it. Qatar is currently isolated from its neighbors, subject to sanctions, and there have even been Saudi threats of going to war against its tiny neighbor. Salman al-Ansari, the president of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee, even tweeted: “To the emir of Qatar, regarding your alignment with the extremist government of Iran and your abuse of the Custodian of the two sacred mosques, I would like to remind you that Mohammed Morsi [of Egypt] did exactly the same and was then toppled and imprisoned.”
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Qatar Chaos: Washington's Middle East Mass Confusion

Shortly after President Trump returned from his Middle East trip, Saudi Arabia and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) broke diplomatic relations with fellow GCC member Qatar and established a blockade around the tiny country. The Saudi pretext was that Qatar supported terrorism and interfered in the affairs of other countries -- something the Saudis do in spades. President Trump initially signaled support for the Saudi move, but his Secretary of State and Defense Secretary, likely understanding that the largest US military base in the Middle East is in Qatar, have urged the countries to patch up their differences. US interventionism has backed us into a corner in that corner of the world. We discuss options in today's Liberty Report...
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Understanding the Cost of War: Moral Injury

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“My guilt will never go away,” former Marine Matthew Hoh explained to me. “There is a significant portion of me that doesn’t believe it should be allowed to go away, that this pain is fair.”

If America accepts the idea of fighting endless wars, it will have to accept something else as well: that the costs of war are similarly endless. I’m thinking about the trillions of dollars, the million or more “enemy” dead (including civilians of every imaginable sort), the tens of thousands of American combat casualties, those 20 veteran suicides each day, and the diminished lives of those who survive them all. There’s that pain, carried by an unknown number of women and men, that won’t go away, ever, and that goes by the label “moral injury.”

The Lasting Pain of War

When I started my new novel, Hooper’s War, a what-if about the end of World War II in the Pacific, I had in mind just that pain. I was thinking — couldn’t stop thinking, in fact — about what really happens to people in war, combatants and civilians alike. The need to tell that story grew in large part out of my own experiences in Iraq, where I spent a year embedded with a combat unit as a US State Department employee, and where I witnessed, among so many other horrors, two soldier suicides.

The new book began one day when Facebook retrieved photos of Iraqi children I had posted years ago, with a cheery “See Your Memories” caption on them. Oh yes, I remembered. Then, on the news, I began seeing places in Iraq familiar to me, but this time being overrun by Islamic State militants or later being re-retaken with the help of another generation of young Americans. And I kept running into people who’d been involved in my war and were all too ready to share too many drinks and tell me too much about what I was already up all too many nights thinking about.

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Why Are We Attacking the Syrians Who Are Fighting ISIS?

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Just when you thought our Syria policy could not get any worse, last week it did. The US military twice attacked Syrian government forces from a military base it illegally occupies inside Syria. According to the Pentagon, the attacks on Syrian government-backed forces were “defensive” because the Syrian fighters were approaching a US self-declared “de-confliction” zone inside Syria. The Syrian forces were pursuing ISIS in the area, but the US attacked anyway.

The US is training yet another rebel group fighting from that base, located near the border of Iraq at al-Tanf, and it claims that Syrian government forces pose a threat to the US military presence there. But the Pentagon has forgotten one thing: it has no authority to be in Syria in the first place! Neither the US Congress nor the UN Security Council has authorized a US military presence inside Syria.
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Saudi Arabia is Destabilizing the World

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Just a few months ago, the governor of Indonesia’s largest city, Jakarta, seemed headed for easy re-election despite the fact that he is a Christian in a mostly Muslim country. Suddenly everything went violently wrong. Using the pretext of an offhand remark the governor made about the Koran, masses of enraged Muslims took to the streets to denounce him. In short order he lost the election, was arrested, charged with blasphemy, and sentenced to two years in prison.
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Can Gaddafi Save Libya?

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Politically dramatic news emerged on Saturday 10th June when it was announced that Saif Al-Islam, was freed from Zintan and had arrived in eastern Libya, to Al-Bayda. This is a very significant turn of events on the ground politically in so many different ways. One of these is described below.

The Libyan National Army (LNA) liberation of the Jufra AFB is also connected to Libyan "militias'" in Tripoli releasing last week some Gaddafi era VIPs including Saif's brother, Saadi and former prime minister Baghdadi Mahmudi from prison. 

These developments are part of a new dynamic that seems to be entering the Libyan stage. The idea is to establish a Truth and Reconciliation Tribunal, similar to Mandela's South Africa’s, in order to bring unity to the country. 

Specific Libyan tribes are starting to back Saif Gaddafi and with the backing of Libya's House of Representatives and LNA head Khalifa Haftar, a new and hopefully peaceful attempt at unification may appear when the fighting stops and Saif can play a most important and historic part in this.
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The Surveillance State and Big Brother Trump

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Despite his opposition to surveillance during the campaign, Trump has flip-flopped once again and now supports the surveillance state.

His Homeland Security advisor, Tom Bossert, who worked with the Bush administration, penned an editorial for The New York Times this week calling for a reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Section 702 allows for vacuuming up emails, instant messages, Facebook messages, web browsing history, and more in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.

“Cabinet officials and security professionals from different agencies will testify on this matter on Wednesday,” writes Bossert. “President Trump stands with them 100 percent on the need for permanent reauthorization of Section 702. Officials from the past two administrations also agree that we cannot have a blind spot in our defenses simply because a foreign terrorist on foreign land chooses an American email provider.”

Former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers have repeatedly claimed NSA snooping has thwarted 54 terrorist attacks. This claim has been completely debunked. Like the baseless and politically motivated claim Russia hacked the election, the 54 terrorists claim is little more than fiction. It’s propaganda to justify a surveillance state.
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Terror in Tehran, Qatar Spat, and Race for Syria-Iraq Border: the Washington ‘Swamp’ Gives Green Light for Saudi Arabia’s Jihad Agenda

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This week’s attacks in Tehran, for which the Islamic State (ISIS) promptly claimed responsibility, are at this writing the latest incidents to roil the troubled waters in an increasingly turbulent “Broader Middle East.” They will not be the last.

The terror in Tehran comes as the threats from Saudi Arabia against Qatar on the surreal charge of supporting terrorism have reached a fever pitch. Observers openly discuss the possibility of a coup against the ruling Sheikh Tamim bin Hamаd al-Thani, or even a Saudi invasion. Regarding a possible regime change, Saudi media note that Tamim’s father, Hamаd, came to power in a coup against his father; coups are not rare in Qatari history, and there’s always another al-Thani brother, cousin, or nephew who could be installed as a suitable puppet for Riyadh.

As for an invasion, keep in mind that Qatar was a part of the first and second Saudi states (defunct in 1818 and 1891, respectively) and could end up that way again. Given depressed oil prices and Qatar’s massive natural gas reserves, the Saudis would welcome a quick and lucrative diversification of their portfolio. Qatar has placed its armed forces on the highest state of alert.

Meanwhile, in Syria, on June 6, US planes for the second time put in an airstrike on pro-government forces near the al-Tanf border crossing with Iraq, near Jordan. The stated purpose was to protect U.S.-supported “moderate” jihadists in a “de-confliction zone” unilaterally declared by Washington. The US also has reportedly established a presence at al-Zkuf, another border point to the north and east, with the obvious aim of blocking any link-up of Syrian and Iraqi forces fighting against ISIS.
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Russia-gate’s Mythical ‘Heroes’

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Mainstream commentators display amnesia when they describe former FBI Directors Robert Mueller and James Comey as stellar and credible law enforcement figures. Perhaps if they included J. Edgar Hoover, such fulsome praise could be put into proper perspective.
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