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Architects of Disastrous Iraq War Still at Large

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Bombs going off in Iraq? Well, it happens all the time — what's there to see? Let’s all move along shall we?

On Thursday, at least 13 people were killed in a ISIS attack on a café in Baghdad for the “crime” of watching a football match. The day before at least 88 people were killed in three explosions across Baghdad; scores were injured. 

Yes, these events got some coverage on Western news channels, but they weren’t the main stories.

The neocon war lobby, who, remember, couldn’t stop talking about Iraq in 2002/3, and telling what a terrible threat the country’s WMDs posed to us, would of course like us to forget the country all together now. They’ve told us lots of times we need to “move on” from talking about the 2003 invasion and instead focus on more important things — like how we can topple a secular Syrian president who’s fighting the very same terrorists who are bombing Baghdad.
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The Civil War Inside the US Military

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In early April, a battalion of senior military officials appeared before a Senate panel and testified that the US Army is “outranged and outgunned,” particularly in any future conflict with Russia. Arguing for a much bigger budget for the Army, they claimed that, absent a substantial increase in funding, the Russians would overtake us and, even scarier, “the army of the future will be too small to secure the nation.”

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! And before you know it, Brooklyn will be renamed Putingrad.

Of course it was pure coincidence that, shortly after these alarm bells were rung, a piece appeared in Politico magazine purportedly showing that the Russians were breathing down our necks: it revealed a “secret study” – revealed for the first time! – that supposedly detailed Russia’s deadly new capabilities as demonstrated in Ukraine. Included in this potpourri of propaganda was the assertion by none other than Gen. Wesley Clark, former presidential candidate and well-known Russophobe, that Moscow had developed a tank that is for all intents and purposes “invulnerable.”
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Kurd Fighter in Iraq Destroys U.S.-Made Turkish Helo With Russian-Model Missile

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There’s no past in Washington. There is no sense that actions taken today will exist past today, even though in reality they often echo for decades.

A video making the rounds online shows a fighter from a Kurdish group known as Kurdish Workers Party, or, more commonly, the PKK. Using what appears to be a Russian model shoulder fired portable air-to-air missile, the fighter is shooting down a Turkish military, American-made Cobra attack helicopter.

The missile is of Russian design but could have been made and could have come from nearly anywhere in Eastern Europe. However, such weapons were flooded into the Middle East after the United States deposed Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Many such weapons simply entered the black market when the Libyan army more or less dissolved, but many appear to have been sent into the Middle East by the CIA as part of a broader anti-ISIS strategy. Some say one of the functions of the CIA station overrun in Benghazi was to a facilitate that process.
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NDAA 2017: Military Industrial Complex Wins, People Lose

The Defense Authorization bill is supposed to be an opportunity for Congress to shape national defense priorities and share the responsibility with the president when it comes to foreign policy. Generally the president has significant authority to make his mark on foreign and defense policy and the authorization process for both the Defense and State Departments is the Constitution's way to make sure the co-equal Legislative Branch of government is properly part of the process. Sadly though this is what was intended, current reality no longer resembles what was meant to be. Instead, Congress abrogates its authority to set defense spending priorities to the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex, and to special interests in their districts. The result is a mess that has very little to do with defending this country and a whole lot to do with enriching those in position to feed from the trough. This week the House will vote on the Defense Authorization Act for 2017. Today's Liberty Report explains the process and previews the result...
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Defense Bill Coming This Week: A Boost for War and Tyranny

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For many of us concerned with liberty, the letters “NDAA” have come to symbolize Washington’s ongoing effort to undermine the US Constitution in the pursuit of constant war overseas. It was the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2012 that introduced into law the idea that American citizens could be indefinitely detained without warrant or charge if a government bureaucrat decides they had assisted al-Qaeda or “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States.” No charges, no trial, just disappeared Americans.

The National Defense Authorization bill should be a Congressional mechanism to bind the president to spend national defense money in the way Congress wishes. It is the nuts and bolts of the defense budget and as such is an important oversight tool preventing the imperial executive from treating the military as his own private army. Unfortunately that is no longer the case these days.
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Ellen Brown Scripps Would Have Been Proud

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An interesting controversy has broken out at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Several students and professors are protesting the selection of former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, as the commencement speaker.

The controversy at the small liberal arts college in California has sent the Los Angeles Times into emotional hyper-drive, causing the paper to weigh in on the controversy with an editorial and an op-ed criticizing the students and faculty who are doing the protesting. (Also publishing an article on the controversy.)

The title of the Times editorial was “Students Need to Stop Being So Sensitive and Let Madeleine Albright Speak,” which was a bit misleading since the students are not threatening to prevent Albright from speaking or threatening to interrupt her talk with protests.

The students are simply expressing their objections to the selection of Albright as their commencement speaker and, at most, simply expressing a preference for someone else.
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Washington Coup in Brazil? Was Incoming President US Embassy Informant?

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Adding to suspicions of a US role in the ouster of independent-minded Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff is a revelation making the rounds today that Michel Temer, the opposition leader who will step in as interim president, had met with US embassy officials in Sau Paulo to provide his assessment and spin on the domestic political situation in Brazil. Thanks to Wikileaks, we have the US embassy cable that resulted from the incoming president's visit to US political officers.

Acting president Temer will hold office for up to six months while impeached president Rousseff stands trial in the Brazilian senate. If her impeachment is finalized by a two-thirds vote, Temer will remain in office until elections in 2018.
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Showdown: Poland Refuses To Accept Any Refugees, Will Not Comply With European ‘Blackmail’

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Seemingly unfazed by the recent European Commission proposal to punish countries which refuse to comply with "fair" refugee allocation quotas with fines as high as €250,000 per asylum seeker, the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party and former PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski said that no refugees will be accepted in Poland "as they pose a threat to security" adding that Poland will oppose any law forcing EU members to pay €250,000 per refused refugee.

"After recent events connected with acts of terror [Poland] will not accept refugees because there is no mechanism that would ensure security," Law and Justice (PiS) chair Kaczynski said on Saturday, as quoted by Radio Poland. Needless to say, Poland is also vocally opposed to the abovementioned proposal, announced last week, which would force EU member states to pay €250,000 per refused refugee. The common complaint voiced not only by Poland, but all Eastern European nations who would suffer the most from Europe's aggressive refugee reallocation proposal is that the goal of the EC is to redistribute the weight of the refugee crisis from countries such as Greece by introducing automatic asylum quotas for each EU member state. 

"Such a decision would abolish the sovereignty of EU member states – of course, the weaker ones. We don’t agree to that, we have to oppose that, because we are and we will be in charge in our own country,” Kaczynski said adding that "this is the position of the prime minister and the whole of PiS… From the beginning we felt that this issue should be resolved, assisting refugees outside the EU."
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US Asia 'Rebalance' Threatened With Meltdown

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Elections in the Philippines can be very funny. The candidates often try to connect with their electorate by taking recourse to singing and dancing. Cutting bawdy jokes and making funny faces or dressing outrageously comes very readily to politicians in their eagerness to get through to voters. There are no sacred cows on the campaign trail in the Philippines.

Yet, the front-runner who got elected Monday as the next president, Rodrigo Duterte, also known as the "Donald Trump of the Philippines," may have crossed all limits when he branded the Pope a “son of a whore,” told the American and Australian ambassadors to “shut their mouths,” recounted how he had personally killed inmates during a prison riot in Davao in 1989 where he used to be Mayor, or boasted about his mistresses and sexual prowess.

The nadir was reached when he said in the aftermath of the prison riot, that he came to know that an Australian missionary had been raped and murdered. Duterte joked, “I was mad she was raped. But she was so beautiful. I thought, ‘The Mayor should have been the first.’ ” That was when the US and Australian envoys took serious exception, whereupon Duterte raised the prospect of cutting diplomatic relations with the countries they represented.
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America's War For The Greater Middle East

"Why has the world’s mightiest military achieved so little even while absorbing very considerable losses and inflicting even greater damage on the subjects of America’s supposed beneficence?" This is the question asked by Professor Andrew Bacevich, a retired US Army colonel, in a must-read recent article. It is an excellent question that no one in the mainstream dares ask. But this is critical when considering our interventionist foreign policy: why are the constant wars not working? Why has 30 years of constant US warfare in the greater Middle East produced less peace, less harmony, less democracy, and less economic development than before we started? If war is so critical to peace and prosperity in the world, why has constant war produced less of it? The neocons would say that we simply have not waged enough of it. But that's like going to a doctor after a bad reaction to medicine and having him tell you to double up. In today's Ron Paul Liberty Report we are delighted to have Professor Bacevich, author of the excellent new book, America's War For The Greater Middle East, join us to trace the history of our failed foreign policy and plot a new course.
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