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Happy Kosovo Independence Day?

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Kosovars are celebrating the seventh anniversary of Kosovo’s independence – by leaving in record numbers. By some estimates as many as 100,000 have fled the country in the past few months. Germany is dispatching policemen to the Hungary-Serbia border to stem the rising tide, since most wind up there so they can apply for asylum.

It’s a tragic end to a long and difficult journey, however, as more than 99 percent of asylum applications from Kosovars are rejected. Germany, which supported the US-backed Kosovo "Liberation" Army (KLA), wanted an independent Kosovo: the Kosovars, not so much….

Fourteen years after the end of the Kosovo war, the "liberation" of the Kosovars has delivered them into the hands of a despotic clan of thugs who have turned the country into the crime capital of Europe, and the continent’s major source of heroin smuggling and human trafficking – a place where the former President has been credibly accused of organ harvesting. The Albanian Mafia has ruled the country ever since the "liberation," and Kosovo’s government has taken its place among the most corrupt in the world. The unemployment rate is close to 50 percent.
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Ron Paul Liberty Report: President's Day and Washington, D.C. Speech

Ron Paul returns for another episode of his Liberty Report. This time he discusses his favorite president and why. Also he tells us about his recent speech at the International Students for Liberty conference in Washington, D.C. Dr. Paul discusses the great importance of non-interventionism even as some European guests at the conference disagreed on the need for US involvement in Ukraine. Dr. Paul also dispenses with the idea recently put out in the media that inflation is dead and buried..
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How Many More Wars?

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Last week President Obama sent Congress legislation to authorize him to use force against ISIS “and associated persons and forces” anywhere in the world for the next three years. This is a blank check for the president to start as many new wars as he wishes, and it appears Congress will go along with this dangerous and costly scheme.
 
Already the military budget for next year is equal to all but the very peak spending levels during the Vietnam war and the Reagan military build-up, according to the Project on Defense Alternatives. Does anyone want to guess how much will be added to military spending as a result of this new war authorization?
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The Real Problem of 'Getting to Yes' With Iran

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Talking to reporters Monday, President Obama asked rhetorically, “[D]oes Iran have the political will and desire to get a deal done?” Iran “should be able to get to yes,” Obama said. “But we don’t know if that is going to happen. They have their hard-liners, they have their politics….”

The idea that Iranian agreement to US negotiating demands is being held back by “politics” is a familiar theme in US public pronouncements on these negotiations. The only reason Iran has not accepted the deal offered by the United States, according to the standard official view, is that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is a hardliner who is constraining the more reasonable Iranian negotiating team from making the necessary compromises.

But that is a self-serving understanding of the problem, and it reflects a much more profoundly distorted view of US - Iran relations on the nuclear issue. The premise of Obama’s remark was that US demands are purely rational and technical in nature, when nothing could be further from the truth. The US proposal on enrichment capacity is justified by the concept of “breakout”, which experts acknowledge is based on a completely implausible scenario. But Iran has now had a “breakout” capability – meaning the capability to enrich enough uranium at weapons grade level for a single bomb - for six years. So the US insistence on reducing its capability so that the breakout timeline is a few months longer clearly has nothing to do with denying a nuclear weapons capability.
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The Seduction of Brian Williams: Embedded with the Military

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Brian Williams was seduced.

He is a liar of course, someone who did not tell the truth no matter the reason or excuse, a bad trait for a journalist. Williams lied about being RPG’ed in a helicopter over Iraq; he did not see any variant of what you can see in this photo. And that’s not a hard thing to “misremember.”

But if there is any reason to forgive Williams, it was that he was seduced by both his own conflation of his sad little life as a talking head and the “brave troops,” and, more clearly, by the process of embedding with the military. I know. I saw it.

Journalists into Liars

What is it about the military that turns many normally thoughtful journalists into liars? A reporter who would otherwise make it through the day sober spends a little time with some unit of the US military and promptly loses himself in ever more dramatic language about bravery and sacrifice, stolen in equal parts from Thucydides, Henry V, and Sergeant Rock comics.

I’m neither a soldier nor a journalist. I was a diplomat who spent 12 months as a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) leader, embedded with the military in Iraq, and let me tell you that nobody laughed harder at the turgid prose reporters used to describe their lives than the soldiers themselves. They knew they were trading hours of boredom for maybe minutes of craziness that only in retrospect seemed “exciting,” as opposed to scary, confusing, and chaotic. That said, the laziest private knew from growing up watching TV exactly what flavor to feed a visiting reporter.
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