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The Sham Rebrand of al-Qaeda's Nusra Front

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The Nusra Front’s adoption of the new name Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and claim that it has separated itself from al-Qaeda was designed to influence US policy, not to make the group any more independent of al-Qaeda. 

The objective of the manoeuvre was to head off US-Russian military cooperation against the jihadist group, renamed last week, based at least in part on the hope that the US bureaucratic and political elite, who are lining up against a new US-Russian agreement, may block or reverse the Obama administration’s intention to target the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria. 

The leader of the Syrian jihadist organisation Mohammad al-Golani and al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri both made a great deal of the public encouragement that Zawahiri gave to separation from the parent organisation. The idea was that the newly rebranded and supposedly independent jihadist organisation in Syria would be better able to fulfill its role in the Syrian revolution.

But to anyone who has followed the politics of Nusra Front’s role in the Syrian war, the idea that Zawahiri would actually allow its Syrian franchise to cut loose from the central leadership and function with full independence is obviously part of a political sham.
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Kerry's And Al-Qaeda's 'Very Different Track' Attack On Aleppo Fails

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Early May US Secretary of State Kerry set a deadline for "voluntary" regime change in Syria:

[He] said “the target date for the transition is 1st of August” in Syria or else the Assad government and its allies “are asking for a very different track.” Hoping that “something happens in these next few months,” he said the political transition would not include President Assad because “as long as Assad is there, the opposition is not going to stop fighting.”

Kerry made those remarks after meeting with the UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura and Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. They agreed to establish a monitoring ceasefire center in Geneva, Switzerland, ...

By the time of that statement al-Qaeda in Syria and US supported insurgents had already broken the February ceasefire announced by Russia and attacked Syrian government positions in the rural area south of Aleppo city.

Negotiations since May between Russia and the US over Syria have not led to any tangible results. In retrospect the US tactic seems to have been willful delay. The US made some laughable offer to Russia and Syria to effectively accept defeat in exchange for common attacks on al-Qaeda. This was rejected without much comments.


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McCain's Nightmare - Dr. Kelli Ward For US Senate

When she fired back at Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the policies he has supported directly led to the rise of ISIS, Senate hopeful Dr. Kelli Ward set off alarm bells in interventionist circles. Sen. McCain's policy of backing every US war and incursion into the Middle East has helped spur the rise of ISIS and thereby made us all less safe, she explained. The interventionists want us to believe that they only support these foreign wars to keep us safe, but more and more Americans are coming to believe that they only make us weaker and more vulnerable. Dr. Ward joins us to talk foreign policy and civil liberties in today's Liberty Report...
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Milosevic Exonerated, as the NATO War Machine Moves On

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The ICTY’s exoneration of the late Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia, for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war, proves again we should take NATO claims regarding its “official enemies” not with a pinch of salt, but a huge lorry load.

For the past twenty odd years, neocon commentators and “liberal interventionist” pundits have been telling us at every possible opportunity, that Milosevic (a democratically elected leader in a country where over 20 political parties freely operated) was an evil genocidal dictator who was to blame for ALL the deaths in the Balkans in the 1990s. Repeat after me in a robotic voice (while making robotic arm movements): “Milosevic's genocidal aggression” “Milosevic's genocidal aggression”.

But the official narrative, just like the one that told us that in 2003, Iraq had WMDs which could be launched within 45 minutes, was a deceitful one, designed to justify a regime change-op which the Western elites had long desired.

The ICTY’s conclusion, that one of the most demonized figures of the modern era was innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of, really should have made headlines across the world. But it hasn‘t. Even the ICTY buried it, deep in its 2,590 page verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who was convicted in March of genocide (at Srebrenica), war crimes and crimes against humanity.
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Should The IMF Director Be Fired...And Does It Matter?

A recent report by the IMF's internal Independent Evaluation Office concluded that the organization had disregarded its own rules and regulation to support the European elites and the political aims of the European project. The Greeks were waterboarded with austerity measures while the German and French banks were bailed out. The IMF Managing Director faces trial in France for mismanagement when she was finance minister there. Why should we tolerate such a corrupt body making foreign policy and economic policy with no oversight? More in today's Liberty Report...
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Captain Khan Was Waging an Unconstitutional War

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Amidst the fury over the exchanges between Donald Trump and Khizr and Ghazala Khan, the couple who lost their son in Iraq, the mainstream media and mainstream political commentators are missing some important elements in the controversy.

In his speech at the Democratic national convention, Khizr Khan asked if Donald Trump had read the Constitution. That question raises a related question, one that arises within the context of the US government’s war on Iraq: What difference does it make whether Trump or anyone else has read the Constitution when the president and the national-security state branch of the federal government don’t comply with it anyway and the federal judiciary doesn’t enforce it against them?

The Constitution is the higher law that the American people have enacted that controls the actions of federal officials, including those in the Pentagon, the CIA, the NSA, and other parts of the national-security state branch of the federal government. When it called the federal government into existence, it set forth the powers it would be permitted to exercise. The Constitution tells the federal government what it can and cannot do.

The Constitution is clear on the matter of war: The president, the Pentagon, and the CIA are prohibited from waging war without a declaration of war from Congress.
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Libya War Escalates - Congress AWOL

The Obama Administration announced yesterday that it would begin a sustained bombing campaign against ISIS in Libya. The Administration said it was acting in response to a request by the Libyan "Government of National Accord," which was created by the UN rather than voted in by the Libyan people. Asked about the scope of this new US war on Libya, Pentagon Spokesman Peter Cook said, "We don't have an end point." Thus far Congress has been silent on this new war. We are not silent, however. Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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As Israel Prospers, Obama Set to Give Billions More in Aid While Netanyahu Demands Even More

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For all the chatter about animosity between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Washington Post reports that “a senior Israeli official will arrive in Washington next week for a final round of negotiations involving the largest military aid package the United States has ever given any country and that will last more than a decade after President Obama leaves office.” The US already transfers $3.1 billion in taxpayer money every year to Israel — more than any other country by far — but the new agreement Obama is set to sign “significantly raises” that amount, and guarantees it for 10 years.

In response to this massive windfall, Netanyahu is angry that he is not getting even more. For some time, “Netanyahu was holding out for as much as $5 billion a year.” Also, Israel has been opposed to efforts to direct more of that aid to US military contractors rather than Israeli ones (so this “aid” package is as much a transfer of US taxpayer money to weapons manufacturers in both countries as it is to Israel itself). Moreover, “Israelis are also said to be displeased with a US position that whatever amount of money they agree on will be final and that Israel will not go to Congress requesting more money.”
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Capt. Humayun Khan: Sacrifice Or Victim?

Democratic Party presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's team invited the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, killed in Iraq in 2004, to speak at the convention and criticize Republican nominee Donald Trump's policy on Muslim immigration. It was a classic trap and Trump bumbled into it. The ensuing blow-up may have made great ratings for the media, but what is unsaid is that both sides agreed that Khan's death was a great sacrifice for our liberties and freedoms back home in the US. The media went along with this view. But being killed in a war started by government and media lies does not make one a heroic sacrifice. In fact, it makes on a victim. Khan was a victim of both Republicans and Democrats who supported the war in 2002 and he is victim again today.
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Can Hillary Clinton Be Pro-War and a Progressive?

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Despite Hillary Clinton obtaining the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination last week, many people, including many Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) delegates who publicly dissented throughout the Democratic National Convention and even walked off the convention floor in protest, dispute the claim that Clinton is a progressive. Reasons people offer for opposing the applicability of the progressive label to Clinton are many — from Clinton’s support for international managed trade deals to her close relationship with big financial institutions to her support for “law and order” policies that trample on individual rights.

Yet, maybe the greatest ire of people who define themselves as progressives or on the left toward Clinton arises in reaction to Clinton’s pro-war beliefs and actions. Former Greece Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis well described the objection earlier this year. Varoufakis, in a short video at Business Insider, concludes that Clinton “ruled herself out of progressive politics” when she backed the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the war that followed, as well as when, as US Secretary of State, she participated in the US government’s war on Libya and even “celebrated” the mutilation and killing of Libyan government leader Muammar Gaddafi.
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