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Can New Syria Ceasefire Hold?

The "new" ceasefire in Syria seems a lot like the one from earlier this year. This time, according to John Kerry, the Syrian government has to ask permission from the US before it bombs rebels in the country. In exchange the US has agreed (or not, depending on which official you listen to) to finally demand that the rebels it backs and arms separate themselves from al-Qaeda. While any cessation of hostilities is good, especially for civilians caught up in the tragedy, this agreement does not tackle the real underlying issues in Syria. Can it hold? We consider the possibilities in today's Liberty Report...
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Israel Wins in November - It Doesn't Matter Who is Elected

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There is considerable chatter about who will win in some of the hotly contested congressional races around the country, but one thing is certain: whoever triumphs will soon be receiving a nice all expenses paid luxury trip to Israel to learn all about Benjamin Netanyahu’s views regarding what more Washington can do to support him and his government. The “educational seminars” are organized by the Israel Lobby, more specifically by a tax exempt entity referred to as the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), which is a part of the hardline American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

Participation in the journey by all freshman congressman is not mandatory but is advisable if one wants to stay on the right side of the Lobby. In August 2015 the class of 2014 only had three abstentions out of 53 new congressmen when it traveled to Israel along partisan lines with a Democratic group followed shortly thereafter by a GOP contingent.

These orientation trips are in addition to the frequent taxpayer funded visits made by congressmen to update themselves on Israel’s expanding list of “needs.” One such recent excursion involved Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina, who enthused that “in a region consumed by terrorism and oppression, Israel stands out as a shining beacon of hope and freedom.” Congressman David Rouzer, also from North Carolina, observed that “Any attack on Israel of any kind is an attack on the American people. It was an honor for us to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
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Republic Not Empire

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On the Fourth of July in 1821, John Quincy Adams delivered one of the most remarkable speeches in American history. The speech is entitled, “In Search of Monsters to Destroy.” In his speech, Adams described America’s founding principles on foreign policy. He pointed out that there are lots of bad, monstrous things that go on in the world — dictatorships, tyranny, famines, starvation, wars, discord, corruption, and the like. America, however, does not go abroad in search of such monsters and attempt to save people from them. Instead, Adams said, Americans would strive to build a model society of freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony here at home for the world to emulate and also to serve as a sanctuary for people who flee such monsters.

Adams was building on the ideas and the philosophy of people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who had spoken against America’s ever entering into alliances with other countries or being part of blocs to serve as counterweights to other blocs and against bearing enmity against particular nations.

America’s founding governmental structure did not permit it to go abroad and intervene in the affairs of other nations. The Constitution had called into existence a limited-government republic, one that had a basic military force but nothing like the enormous military-intelligence establishment that we have today. That’s because of the deep antipathy that our American ancestors had toward standing armies, which, they believed, posed a giant threat to the citizens of a nation, directly as well as indirectly through the incessant wars in which standing armies inevitably embroil a nation. As James Madison, the father of the Constitution had pointed out, of all the enemies to liberty, war is the biggest because it encompasses all the other ones, including centralization of power and ever-increasing debts and taxes.

Adams added an admonition in his speech. He said that if America were ever to abandon its non-interventionism foreign policy, she would become like a “dictatress” — that is, a government that would wield and exercise dictatorial powers, both at home and abroad, and that would begin behaving like a dictator. The point was clear: To remain free, America would have to keep a constitutionally limited-government republic. Abandoning that governmental structure would mean abandoning a free society.
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The Truth About War and the State

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Not long ago I was thinking about the legacy of Murray N. Rothbard, the brilliant scholar and the creator of the libertarian movement, as well as a dear friend to both Ron and me. Would that movement have come into existence without Murray? I don’t think so. And whatever might have developed in its place would undoubtedly have been less pro-peace, and more willing to reach an accord with the warfare state, than Murray ever was.

“I am getting more and more convinced,” he wrote privately in 1956, “that the war-peace question is the key to the whole libertarian business.”

Murray refused to stop talking about war and peace even when, by the late 1960s, his antiwar views had alienated him completely from the mainstream right wing and had left him with a vastly smaller audience. It reminds me of how Ron himself, despite all the conservatives who pleaded with him to leave foreign policy out of his speeches in order to win more support and influence, refused to do so. The issue was too important – morally, economically, and in every other way – and these men were too principled.
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Truth About 9/11

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As Americans enter the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on their nation, they still have not understood the true cause of these dreadful attacks.

Who can blame them? Our politicians and media have totally obscured the truth behind these and subsequent attacks that we call ‘terrorism.’ While we mourn 9/11, US B-52 heavy bombers are raining bombs on what’s left of Afghanistan in a futile attempt to crush tribal forces (aka Taliban) fighting western occupation.

We did the same thing in Laos in the 1980’s, as President Barack Obama properly noted during his visit there last week. Laos has never recovered and Afghanistan won’t either.

Since 2015, the US has dropped at least 32,000 – 1,000-2,000 lb. bombs on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan – all Muslim nations. US bomb inventories are running critically low as arms makers work overtime.
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The Fed Plans for the Next Crisis

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In her recent address at the Jackson Hole monetary policy conference, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen suggested that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates by the end of the year. Markets reacted favorably to Yellen’s suggested rate increase. This is surprising, as, except for one small increase last year, the Federal Reserve has not followed through on the numerous suggestions of rate increases that Yellen and other Fed officials have made over the past several years.
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The Trumpillary War Machine Is Bad News

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I was fortunate enough to view a screening of the new Snowden movie Wednesday evening with some of the whistleblowers who have cameos in it and with its director Oliver Stone. I'm not allowed to review it until Saturday night, but it is a truly great movie and has the potential to be the most widely seen, heard, or read thing of any political decency or truth in the world this year. That's not, however, why I'm glad I saw it.

I'm glad I watched Snowden because it gave me an extra several hours of living on earth without having yet seen the NBC special on the Trumpillary war machine, in which first Hillary Clinton and then Donald Trump promised NBC they'd wage plenty of wars. Earlier, on Wednesday I had posted this on my Facebook page:
Here are a few of my favorite facts that you will not learn tonight from NBC, Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton: Nonviolent resistance is more effective than violence and its victories longer lasting. Peaceful spending or even tax cuts for working people is economically superior to military spending. The war on terrorism has increased terrorism, including in the seven nations the United States has bombed this year.

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Top 10 Western Lies About Syrian Conflict

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Here are 10 of the worst lies that have been peddled by the West regarding Syria, with the aim of giving people living in Western countries an entirely false view of the conflict that has been raging in the Middle East country since 2011.

As in the case of previous US-led wars against Yugoslavia, Iraq and Libya the lies told in relation to the ongoing conflict in Syria have been quite outrageous.

1. The West has failed to intervene in Syria - and that's been the problem

This oft-repeated claim (only last week the Washington Post was lamenting "the disastrous non-intervention in Syria") is a complete inversion of the truth.
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Iran: The Inside Story

In a very special Liberty Report, today we speak with Benjamin Ahdoot, an Iranian-American of Jewish heritage who just spent three months in Iran. Are the neocons telling us the truth about Iran? Benjamin sets them straight! Don't miss this interview!
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Newly Released FBI Records Raise Questions of Intentional Destruction of Evidence By Clinton Contractor

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One of the most troubling aspects of the recently released documents from the FBI is a timeline established for when Clinton staffers used BleachBit to try to eradicate emails and prevent them from ever being recovered. It appears that staff may have deleted the email archive after the staff received a subpoena to preserve all such evidence. The staffer working for Platte River Networks (PRN) in Denver, Colorado reportedly had what was described as an “Oh Sh*t” moment when they realized that the archive could be used to uncover what the Clinton staff deleted.

PRN was a contractor working directly with the Clinton staff in the handling of the email material and has been the subject of long controversy over its lack of security to handle the classified information that was found on the emails.

The date line is troubling. In February, 2013, Clinton resigned as Secretary of State after making the decision to use the personal server for all of her email communications. Throughout 2014, Clinton staff order PRN to make a series of transfers and to wipe clean computers with emails.
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