The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Subscribe to the Institute View Us on YouTube Follow Us On Twitter Join Us on Facebook Join Us at Google Plus

Search Results

for:

Standard Narrative on Syria Conflict Whitewashes US Role

undefined

The standard mainstream narrative of the war in Syria is that President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents only took up arms after his regime cracked down brutally on peaceful protesters in March 2011. The New York Times, for example, in a piece this week on ISIS reminds that “after a brutal crackdown by government forces, Syrian protest groups morphed into fighters”.

The problem with this narrative is that it is false.

Here’s what the Times is referring to: On March 25, 2011, it described how tens of thousands of peaceful protesters took to the streets and were met with regime violence that killed a reported 38. The protests had begun seven days before (March 18), according to the Times.

Likewise, CNN begins its timeline of events in March 2011 with the killing of dozens of protesters in Daraa, and Reuters pinpoints it a couple days before the Times, on March 16, when security forces broke up a protest in Damascus and arrested 30.

It was only after this mid-March crackdown, according to the Times and the rest of the media, that the regime’s opponents took up arms.

Yet already on March 21, Israel’s Arutz Sheva reported that in addition to four protesters, seven police were killed and a courthouse and the Ba’ath party headquarters in Daraa were torched.Arutz Sheva described how the police “opened fire on armed protesters” (emphasis added).
read on...

The Morality of Conscientious Objection

What happens when a young person joins the US military out of patriotism to defend the country, but finds himself or herself being sent back time and time again to immoral, illegal, and undeclared conflicts that have nothing to do with our national security? Some of them decide they must quit. They cannot continue their military service when they feel the government has violated its end of the contract by going to war in an unconstitutional manner. Though it may bring back memories of the 1960s and the Vietnam war, the fact is there are many who have a change of heart upon seeing the wars the US empire has become engaged in. Today's Liberty Report is joined by special guest Justin Pavoni, formerly a USAF fighter pilot who came to realize that he could not continue to fight the empire's wars.
read on...

Who Should Pay For the Syrian Refugees?

undefined

Last week the US House dealt a blow to President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrians fleeing their war-torn homeland. On a vote of 289-137, including 47 Democrats, the House voted to require the FBI to closely vet any applicant from Syria and to guarantee that none of them pose a threat to the US. Effectively this will shut down the program.

The House legislation was brought to the Floor after last week’s attacks in Paris that left more than 120 people dead, and for which ISIS claimed responsibility. With the year-long US bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, there is a good deal of concern that among those 10,000 to be settled here there might be some who wish to do us harm. Even though it looks as though the Paris attackers were all EU citizens, polling in the US shows record opposition to allowing Syrian refugees entry.
read on...

How Terror in Paris Calls for Revising US Syria Policy

undefined

In the wake of the ISIS terrorist attack on Paris, President Barack Obama declared that his administration has the right strategy on ISIS and will “see it through”. But the administration is already shifting its policy to cooperate more closely with the Russians on Syria, and an influential former senior intelligence official has suggested that the administration needs to give more weight to the Assad government and army as the main barrier to ISIS and other jihadist forces in Syria. 

Obama’s Europeans allies as well as US national security officials have urged the United States to downgrade the official US aim of achieving the departure of Bashar al-Assad from Syria in the international negotiations begun last month and continued last weekend. Such a shift in policy, however, would make the contradictions between the US interests and those of the Saudis, who continue to support jihadist forces fighting with al-Qaeda’s Syria branch, al-Nusra Front, increasingly clear.
read on...

Hillary Clinton’s Road to War

undefined

Hillary Clinton promised us a speech on what she’d do to destroy ISIS, but what she gave us was a speech detailing how she would destroy Syria – and drag the US down the road to another unwinnable war. What she essentially proposes is that we fight a three-sided battle – against ISIS, on the one hand, and against Bashar al-Assad, Russia, and Iran on the other.

She elaborated on her “no-fly zone” scheme, saying she wanted to set it up only in the north. This means not only that the US air force will be protecting the “moderate” Syrian rebels – a coalition of US-supported head-choppers and al-Nusra, the Syrian affiliate of al-Qaeda – but also preventing Russian warplanes from flying over the huge swath of territory in the north controlled by the Islamic State – including Raqqa, their capital. So how does she intend to keep Putin out of the skies over Raqqa – by shooting down Russian planes, Chris Christie-style?

Signaling that her main focus is still overthrowing Assad, rather than fighting ISIS, Clinton averred that Putin is “making things somewhat worse.” Yet the Russians have been pulverizing ISIS, pushing them back on every front – and there is evidence that the terrorists’ increasing desperation in the face of this merciless onslaught provoked the Paris attacks. The snake lashes out one more time before it is decapitated. Francois Hollande seems to understand the importance of enlisting Russia in the anti-ISIS coalition, but Hillary is intransigent on the subject of Assad, thus ruling out any real cooperation with Moscow.
read on...

Ron Paul: Foreign Intervention Will Motivate 'A Lot More' Blowback Like in Paris

Interviewed Thursday on Fox Business, Ron Paul predicted that there will be “a lot more” blowback along the lines of the killings in Paris last week if the US, France, and other nations do not cease their interventionist, militaristic foreign policies. In particular, Paul criticizes the United States government’s “foreign policy of constant occupation, bombing, and killing people, and eliciting this hatred toward us.” Terminating such a foreign policy, Paul explains, is the key to preventing violent retaliation.
read on...

US Special Forces in Combat: Nothing New for Iraq and Syria

undefined

The United States recently unveiled a new approach in Iraq and Syria it insists is not new at all: Special Forces will be sent into direct combat. “The fact is that our strategy… hasn’t changed,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said. “This is an intensification of a strategy that the president announced more than a year ago.”

The press secretary is right if you take him at his exact words: the deployment of Special Forces does not change America’s grand strategy, it only changes the on-the-ground tactics.

Something tactically new, something strategically old

Tactically, downplaying these moves as intensification, or as somehow not boots on the ground (one imagines American Special Forces hopping from foot to foot to protect Washington’s rhetoric) is silly. America has entered a new stage, active ground combat, and anyone who thinks a handful of Special Forces is the end of this is probably among the same group who believed air power alone would resolve matters a year ago.
read on...

The Most Important Question About ISIS That Nobody Is Asking

undefined

The question of how the Islamic State funds its sprawling caliphate has been discussed in the past: we first broke down the primary driver of ISIS revenue well over a year ago, in September 2014, when we explained that "ISIS uses oil wealth to help finance its terror operations."

Daily Signal's Kelsey Harkness explained the breakdown as follows:
According to the Iraq Energy Institute, an independent, nonprofit policy organization focused on Iraq’s energy sector, the army of radical Islamists controls production of 30,000 barrels of oil a day in Iraq and 50,000 barrels in Syria. By selling the oil on the black market at a discounted price of $40 per barrel (compared to about $93 per barrel in the free market), ISIS takes in $3.2 million a day.
The oil revenue, which amounts to nearly $100 million each month, allows ISIS to fund its military and terrorist attacks — and to attract more recruits from around the world, including America.

Most importantly, we added that to be successful in counterterrorism efforts, "the US and its allies must “push the Islamic State out of the oil fields it has captured and disrupt its ability to smuggle the oil to foreign markets."
read on...

Does ISIS Exist? Some Say No

Many observers believe that ISIS is simply a creation of the US government as a radical and violent force to further US policy goals in the Middle East. It seems farfetched, but of course the US did back bin Laden and the Mujahideen to take down the Soviets in Afghanistan. Also, back in 1988 it was thought to be a benefit for Israel and the US to create and back Hamas. So there is a precedent. Does the US foreign policy establishment back an enemy to do its bidding with the intent of destroying that enemy once it has served its purpose? Possible, but horribly wrongheaded and cynical. More on ISIS today in the Liberty Report...

read on...


Authors

Tags