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Libertarianism and War: The Rothbard Rule

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The year was 1956: the icy winds of the cold war were blowing across the political landscape. And it was a presidential election year, pitting the internationalist Republican Dwight Eisenhower against Adlai Stevenson, the darling of the Democratic party’s left wing. The “isolationist” faction of the GOP, led by Sen. Robert A. Taft, had been finally defeated by what Phyllis Schlafly later called the Republican “kingmakers” of the Eastern Establishment. And the looming menace of the cold war turning hot was everywhere in the headlines. While Eisenhower was rallying the nation against the alleged Communist “threat,” Stevenson was calling for a nuclear test ban, negotiations with the Soviet Union, and an end to the military draft.
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Russia-US relations: Increased Tensions

A confrontation between Russia and the US over Syria seems all but inevitable after the end of a ceasefire early this month, a US attack on Syrian forces, an attack on a humanitarian aid convoy, and a renewed push by the Syrian army to re-take eastern Aleppo from al-Nusra Front troops. In the waning days of the Obama Administration, with forces beyond the president's control force a military exchange with Russia over the failed US regime-chance policy for Syria? RPI Director Daniel McAdams appears on RT's Crosstalk program to discuss...
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Syria - The US Propaganda Shams Now Openly Fail

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The Obama administration, and especially the CIA and the State Department, seem to be in trouble. They shout everything they can against Russia and allege that the cleansing of east-Aleppo of al-Qaeda terrorist is genocidal. Meanwhile no mention is ever made of the famine of the Houthis in Yemen which the US and Saudi bombing and their blockade directly causes.

But more and more major news accounts support the Russian allegation that the "moderate rebels" the US is coddling in Syria are actually in cahoots with al-Qaeda if not al-Qaeda itself.

Reuters reports (though only at the end of a longer story):
In Aleppo, rebels in the Free Syrian Army are sharing operational planning with Jaish al-Fatah, an alliance of Islamist groups that includes the former Syrian wing of al Qaeda.

Meanwhile, in nearby Hama province, FSA groups armed with US-made anti-tank missiles are taking part in a major offensive with the al Qaeda-inspired Jund al-Aqsa group.

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The US is Your Know-it-All Friend Who Should Just Keep His Mouth Shut

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When makers of American foreign policy dream of an ideal world, they fixate on one word: primacy. It used to be called “full-spectrum dominance.” On the street, it comes out as “Don’t even think about it.” Tough guys in Western movies put it differently: “This town ain’t big enough for both of us.”

However it is phrased, “primacy” is the view that the United States rules and all must accept our power. It is the new buzz word in Washington. Nothing about the idea, though, is new. The drive for global primacy is what sunk us into Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and all of our other overseas disasters. This pernicious doctrine — now summed up in a single word — has sapped American power and palpably weakened the United States. Nonetheless, it is widely accepted in the corridors of American power. That guarantees future failures on the scale of those that have already cost us dearly in blood and treasure.

Primacy is the demon spawn of “exceptionalism.” It is based on the belief that the United States is the “indispensable nation,” the only force standing between civilization and barbarism. Wherever there is conflict or trouble or upheaval in the world — and even where there is none — the pursuit of primacy requires that the United States intervene.
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Why Everything You Hear About Aleppo Is Wrong

The mainstream media portrays the fight for Aleppo as one between Syrian President Assad and the people, painting Assad as someone killing his citizens for the fun of it. In other words, as they did with Iraq and Libya, etc. the mainstream media again happily takes up the role of mouthpiece of the US government. The reality is quite different, in fact. Today's Liberty Report speaks with independent journalist Vanessa Beeley, who has recently returned from an investigative trip to Syria including in Aleppo. What's really going on there? Tune in!
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Obama Humiliated: For The First Time, Congress Votes To Override President's ‘Sept 11’ Bill Veto

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The US Congress, first the Senate and then the House, humiliated the president when it voted on Wednesday to override Obama for the first time in his eight-year tenure, as the House voted 348-77 to reject a veto of legislation allowing families of terrorist victims to sue Saudi Arabia. The House easily cleared the two-thirds threshold to push back against the veto. The Senate voted 97-1 in favor of the override earlier in the day, with only Democratic Leader Harry Reid voting to sustain the president’s veto.

“We can no longer allow those who injure and kill Americans to hide behind legal loopholes denying justice to the victims of terror,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

The White House immediately slammed lawmakers following the Senate vote.

“I would venture to say that this is the single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done possibly since 1983,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters aboard Air Force One, an apparent reference to a 95-0 vote to override President Ronald Reagan that year.
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Al-Qaeda: 'America Is On Our Side'

In an interview with a prominent German newspaper, the commander of al-Qaeda's Nusra Front in Aleppo, Syria claims that the US government and its allies are providing it with weapons and training. It may seem preposterous, but the US did the same thing with the mujahideen in Afghanistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion. And we all know what that led to... History repeats? Today on the Liberty Report...
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The Symbiotic Relationship Between Central Banking and Total War

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I am here today to talk about one of the most important, but also most overlooked, issues of our day: the relationship between central banking and total war. When you focus on central banking and the problems that result from it, it’s very easy to see how central banks enable larger, more centralized, and more pervasive governments. But it isn’t always easy for those who oppose war to see how central banks enable war. So I’ll go ahead and give you kind of the 10,000 foot view of the symbiotic relationship between central banking and war.

One of the primary activities that states engage in is fighting wars. But wars cost money. Armies march on their stomachs, and someone has to buy the necessary food and transport it. Weapons and armament cost money too, all of which has to be paid for. So where have kings and governments historically gotten that money from, particularly when their own treasuries ran out? As Willie Sutton could have told them – banks.
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Israel's $38 Billion Scam

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As an American it is difficult to imagine a more unseemly bit of political theater playing out than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s appearance before his cabinet to claim that he had gotten every last dollar of military assistance out of the Obama Administration. Netanyahu argued that he had obtained all that was on the table, adding that his bad blood with President Barack Obama had not proven to be detrimental in the bilateral negotiations that had been ongoing for more than a year. The Prime Minister was on the defensive because some of his critics claimed that he might have gotten $100 million more per annum, admittedly chump change on top of the $38 billion over ten years that the Memorandum of Understand will provide Netanyahu from the U.S. Treasury.

The critics also argued that the “real money” obtained from Washington was less than it seemed because of inflation, but the gift of $38 billion to Israel was nevertheless a considerable increase over the roughly $3.3 billion per year that Israel is currently receiving. The protracted negotiations over the exact sum to be handed over were reportedly due to Netanyahu’s demanding much more money, possibly as much as $5 billion per year. The deal did come with a minor problem for the Israeli defense industries, which had become accustomed to skimming 26% off the top of the annual U.S. grant to build and market their own weapons. 

Someone in Washington finally figured out that the U.S. taxpayer was directly funding foreign competition for its own defense industries, costing thousands of American jobs. But not to worry, the Israeli companies are now setting up U.S. subsidiaries, so the gravy train will almost certainly continue to deliver.
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The 'Great Debate' - Who Won?

Although we obviously take no position on who should be (or should not be) the next US president, the issues that we face in foreign policy, civil liberties, and monetary policy are of great concern to us. Last night's debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is of interest because of what was said, what was not said, and what should have been said. Today's Liberty Report looks at the issues rather than the candidates...
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