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Crisis, What Crisis?—The al-Qaeda Takeover of Syria

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This weekend it was reported that al-Qaeda affiliated rebels were “almost completely in control” of the last major government held city in the Idlib province in northern Syria.

This is really big news as it means that the Syrian government’s coastal heartlands including the important port of Latakia, a Baathist stronghold are under direct threat. It’s a major advance for the cause of al-Qaeda, yet what is most revealing is the lack of reaction or any concern from Western leaders.

You‘d think that Western leaders would be alarmed at the al-Qaeda advances given how much they warn us of the “threat” from radical Islamists and how many Western troops were lost in the “war on terror” in Afghanistan.

In fact, the lack of concern regarding the militants’ gains in Syria exposes the fundamental deceit at the heart of Western foreign policy. The elites claim to be fighting radical Islamists, yet in Syria they’re doing everything they possibly can to ensure that the side that’s fighting radical Islamists, the secular Syrian government, is weakened and eventually defeated.
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Morsi Jailed: Another Mission Accomplished

.In 2011 the US backed the "Arab Spring" which overthrew military dictator Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, in the name of democracy. But US officials soon soured on the democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi so they supported a military dictator who overthrew him, al-Sisi. Now the elected Morsi is going to jail for arresting some protestors, while Sisi retains US support after killing more than a thousand of his political opponents. As usual, the Ron Paul Liberty Report brings a different perspective
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Houthi Arms Bonanza Came From Saleh, Not Iran

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As the Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi targets in Yemen continues, notwithstanding a temporary pause, the corporate media narrative about the conflict in Yemen is organised decisively around the idea that it is a proxy war between Iran on one side and the Saudis and United States on the other.


USA Today responded like Pavlov’s dog this week to a leak by Pentagon officials that it was sending the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to the waters off Yemen, supposedly to intercept Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthis. It turned out that the warship was being sent primarily to symbolise US support for the Saudis, and the Pentagon made no mention of Iranian arms when it announced the move. But the story of the US navy intercepting Iranian arms was irresistible, because it fit so neatly into the larger theme of Iran arming and training the Houthis as its proxy military force in Yemen.

News stories on Yemen in recent months have increasingly incorporated a sentence or even a paragraph invoking the accusation that Iran has been arming the Houthis and using them to gain power in the Gulf. The State Department’s principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Gerald Feierstein nourished that narrative in Congressional testimony last week depicting Iran as having provided “financial support, weapons, training and intelligence” to the Houthis. Feierstein acknowledged that the Houthi movement is “not controlled directly by Iran”, but claimed a “significant growth in Iranian engagement” with the Houthis in the past year.
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US-backed Criminal Slaughter in Yemen Revealed

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Former UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has given an undiplomatic assessment of the crisis in that country, in which he rhetorically explodes Saudi myths “justifying” the US-backed aerial bombing campaign. The Moroccan diplomat told media at the weekend that the ongoing conflict was a direct result of Houthi rebels having been excluded from the political process last year. 

Furthermore, Benomar went on to say unequivocally that during his tenure as UN envoy in Yemen he saw no evidence of Iranian involvement stirring the country’s strife. 

That testimony debunks the Western media-contrived whitewash of the continuing Saudi slaughter in Yemen – a slaughter that is being aided and abetted, politically and militarily, by Washington. 

Benomar resigned from his diplomatic post last week after three years of being charged with facilitating political talks between Yemeni rebels and the US, Saudi-backed regime of now-ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Benomar’s task had always been a futile one because the foreign sponsors of the Hadi regime were never interested in a genuine transition to a more democratic, representative government in the Arab Peninsula country.
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Protecting the Vicious, Punishing the Virtuous: Marijuana Prohibition and Idaho's Prison-Industrial Complex

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Josh Tewalt has a drug problem that led to several arrests. Like many others afflicted with that weakness, Tewalt eventually wound up in prison. Unlike most of them, however, he landed on the right side of the bars in the very lucrative position of Deputy Chief of Corrections for the State of Idaho. 

Without the dubious benefit of a college degree or substantial experience in law enforcement apart from his own time in jail, Tewalt receives a base salary of at least $83,000 a year to manage the human inventory of Idaho’s prison-industrial complex. 

Under Idaho’s state code, Tewalt’s repeated DUIs constituted an aggregate felony. Many – perhaps most – of the people whose lives he now controls committed offenses less serious than his. More than a few of them were convicted of felonies under Idaho’s pre-medieval laws against marijuana possession. The inmate population over which Tewalt presides may soon include desperate parents of children suffering from conditions for which non-intoxicating cannabis oil (CBD) is the only effective treatment
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