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Escalation Without Representation: Syria, Iraq, and Black Sea

According to the Washington Post, President Obama had promised the US public no fewer than eight times that he would not put US troops on the ground in Syria and would not mount ground opreations in Syria. Then the pretext of a rescue operation of the Yazidi minority was cooked up in 2014 and the president began military operations in Syria. He expanded them under the also false narrative that a "Khorasan Group" had emerged that was a direct threat to the United States. Then he used ISIS as a pretext to further expand US military operations in Syria. Today President Obama announced that he was quintupling the number of US troops on the ground in Syria to help create a Sunni-Kurd alliance against ISIS (and presumably against Assad). Meanwhile, US has decided to ramp up its naval presence in the Black Sea by using proxies Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria to get around Montreux Convention restrictions. Also, more US troops to Iraq and to eastern Europe. Through all these escalations everywhere, Congress remains completely silent. What is the endgame? The Liberty Report provides some perspective...
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Yes, Prince Faisal, We Need to ‘Recalibrate’ Our Relationship

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For decades the US and Saudi Arabia have shared a peculiar relationship: the Saudis sell relatively cheap oil to the United States for which they accept our fiat currency. They then recycle those paper dollars into the US military-industrial complex through the purchase of billions of dollars worth of military equipment, and the US guarantees the security of the Saudi monarchy.

By accepting only dollars for the sale of its oil, the Saudis help the dollar remain the world’s reserve currency. This has meant that we can export inflation, finance the warfare/welfare state, and delay our day of financial reckoning.
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Defending Democracy to the Last Drop of Oil

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Poor President Barack Obama flew to Saudi Arabia this past week but its ruler, King Salman, was too busy to greet him at Riyadh’s airport.

This snub was seen across the Arab world as a huge insult and violation of traditional desert hospitality. Obama should have refused to deplane and flown home.

Alas, he did not. Obama went to kow-tow to the new Saudi monarch and his hot-headed son, Crown Prince Muhammed bin Nayef. They are furious that Obama has refused to attack Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Syria’s Assad regime.

They are also angry as hornets that the US may allow relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi royal family, which is widely suspected of being involved in the attack.

Interestingly, survivors of the 34 American sailors killed aboard the USS Liberty when it was attacked by Israeli warplanes in 1967, have been denied any legal recourse.
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Ron Paul Rewind: 'You're Painting an Overly Optimistic Picture of Afghanistan Success' (2004)

It was yet another in a periodic series of House International Relations Committee hearings where the "experts" were trotted out to tell us how incredibly well the US intervention in Afghanistan was going and that if only Congress would keep the money train at full throttle, one hundred flowers would bloom where US bombs planted the seeds. This date was 2004, a hearing titled "US Security Police in Afghanistan on the Eve of National Elections," featuring Lieutenant General Walter L. Sharp, Director, Strategic Plans and Policy, The Joint Staff.
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US-Saudi Relations: Yesteryear Days are Gone Forever

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President Barack Obama’s visit to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday has boomeranged. His good intentions were never in doubt – mend fences between the two countries. But what emerges is that it will need much more than one visit – maybe, even one full presidency cannot fulfill such a mission. According to Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men cannot put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Turki told CNN’s Christian Amanpour that there is going to have to be “a recalibration of our (Saudi) relationship with America. How far we can go with our dependence on America, how much can we rely on steadfastness from American leadership, what is it that makes for our joint benefits to come together. These are things that we have to recalibrate.”

He then added, “I don’t think that we should expect any new president in America to go back to, as I said, the yesteryear days when things were different.”

When a close longstanding relationship unravels, it is always a painful sight to watch, leave alone experience. Obama experienced a humiliation in Riyadh that has probably no parallel in recent international diplomacy. He was received on arrival in Riyadh on Wednesday by a relatively less important Saudi functionary – the governor of Riyadh.
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US Assaults British Sovereignty

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The Washington elite believe that the British people should serve Washington’s interest and not their own. To this end, President Obama has been sent to London to emphasize that the UK must remain in the EU.

Does this make you wonder why it is important to Washington for the British people to surrender their national sovereignty to the European Union? If not, it should.

It is easier and less expensive for Washington to control the EU government than to control 28 seperate governments. For example, if Washington wants to open up Europe to Monsanto, it is easier for Washington to bribe one EU government than to deal with 28 governments, especially as the European Commission is not accountable to the European people, whereas the individual populations of the countries would make their objections known to the national governments. The EU can open the door to Monsanto without accountability.


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US Protects Saudis From Terror Suits, Yet Backs Suits Against Iran

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Intense debate and international diplomatic blackmail has dominated the discussion of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, a bipartisan bill which would open up civil lawsuits against any foreign nations if they are found to be involved in the funding of a terrorist attack occurring on US soil.

It’s not totally clear what the bill’s authors initially had in mind, but with the text explicitly started the liability under the act at 9/11/01, it is quite clear that the September 11 attacks in New York City are the big, obvious use of this bill, particularly since there aren’t exactly a lot of major terror attacks within the US since then, lat alone ones in which foreign nations are implicated.

The bill puts a big target on Saudi Arabia’s back, however, and the Saudis don’t like that. Foreign Minister Adel Jubeir was reported to have informed administration officials on Sunday that, if the bill was allowed to pass, Saudi Arabia would immediately move to sell $750 billion in US treasury assets, an amount which would cause US interest rates to spike, badly damaging the US dollar and the American economy.

It was all the Saudis had to do, it seems, because by Monday the White House was talking about vetoing the bill to protect "taxpayers," and there was growing opposition within Congress, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC), a co-sponsor, putting a hold on the bill, citing concern that the bill would come back to "bite us."
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Saudis To Kerry: We Created ISIS...And CIA Knew

It was US intervention in the Middle East, say the Saudis, that led us to create first al-Qaeda and then ISIS. The US attack on Iraq tipped the balance in the region in favor of Iran and counter-measures needed to be taken. This is nothing new. The CIA helped create and back the Mujahideen in Afghanistan to counter the 1979 Soviet invasion. And the CIA knew about (at the least) Saudi plans to counter Iran's rise in the region and the uncertainty produced by US-instigated "Arab Spring" beginning in 2011. The lesson? Interventionism has consequences, some intended and some unintended. Usually counter to the stated objectives. Trying to order the world, the central planners have only created chaos...
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Collateral Damage - Obama OKs More Civilian Drone Deaths

Civilians will continue to pay a heavy price in the ongoing US war on at least seven other countries. According to a recent article, the Pentagon has issued new rules permitting a strike on a target even if up to ten innocent civilians may also get killed. Additionally, the "signature strikes" (whereby any male of military age is considered a target regardless of his actions) that were supposed to be phased out, have continued unabated. Will all this killing of innocents overseas make us more, or less, safe?
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Sue Saudis for 9/11…and the US For All its Wars

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President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry 
say that allowing family members of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its complicity in that crime would set a terrible precedent that would open the United States up to lawsuits from abroad.

Wonderful! Let the lawsuits rain down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream!

Suing Saudis over 9/11 will only set a precedent if it succeeds, which is to say if there is evidence of Saudi complicity. We know that there is, according to former Senator Bob Graham and others who have read 28 pages censored from a US Senate report. Pressure is building in Congress both to reveal those 28 pages and to allow lawsuits. And yet another Senate bill gaining support would block further US arming of Saudi Arabia.

The precedent of allowing international victims to sue those complicit in murder would not place you, dear reader, or I at risk of any lawsuits. It would, however, put numerous top US officials and former officials at risk of suits from many corners of the globe, including from the seven nations that President Obama has bragged about bombing: Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya. It's not as if any of these wars is legal under Kellogg-Briand or the UN Charter.
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