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More Weapons for the Yemen War

Washington announced this week that it is getting much more involved in the Saudi bombing of Yemen. The Saudis want to re-install ousted Yemeni president Hadi, who himself had taken power in a coup. US Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced yesterday that the US would be expediting its shipments of bombs to Saudi Arabia where they would be used to blow up more of that country's citizens and infrastructure. Meanwhile Iran has sent a couple of naval vessels to the increasingly volatile area. Can anyone say why exactly the US is rapidly becoming involved in yet another war in the Middle East? Tune in to the Ron Paul Liberty Report for more...
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$416 Million Afghan Program to Empower Women: No ‘Tangible Benefit’

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The American reconstruction campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have, and continue, to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on pointless projects seemingly designed solely to funnel money into the pockets of US government contractors.


Empowering Women

These projects (Iraq War examples are detailed in my book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People seem to bounce between the merely pointless, such as dams that are never completed and roads to nowhere, to the absurdly pointless.

One ongoing theme under the absurdly pointless category has been the “empowerment of women.” In both countries, the US has acted on the assumption that the women there want to throw off their hijabs and burkas and become entrepreneurs, if… only… they knew how. Leaving aside the idea that many women throughout the Middle East and beyond prefer the life they have been living for some 2000 years before the arrival of the United States, the empowerment concept has become a standard.
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All Praise To The Iranian Nuclear Framework—It Finally Exposes The War Party’s Big Lie

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The Iranian framework agreement is an astonishingly good deal, and has the potential to become a historic game-changer. As Robert Parry astutely observed, its about much more than sheaving the threat that Iran will get the bomb:
The April 2 framework agreement with Iran represents more than just a diplomatic deal to prevent nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. It marks a crossroad that offers a possible path for the American Republic to regain its footing and turn away from endless war.
The saliency of that observation lies in the fact that there is virtually nothing in the substance of the deal for the War Party to attack. So what they are doing is desperately hurtling the Iranian axis-of-evil narrative at the agreement, claiming that the regime is so untrustworthy, diabolical and existentially dangerous that no product of mere diplomacy is valid. The Iranians are by axiom hell-bent on evil and no mere “scrap of paper” will stop them.
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Mysterious Deaths in Ukraine

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Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on Feb. 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of a Kremlin-directed political murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Russian President Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.

US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Barack Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia.
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Reality Check: America Needs Iran

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Since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was announced last week, the Obama administration—echoing previous pledges that nuclear talks with Tehran do not presage a US-Iranian “grand bargain”—has assiduously reaffirmed that progress on the nuclear issue does not signal a wider diplomatic opening.

Such a posture ignores an overwhelming strategic reality: America’s position in the Middle East is in free fall, and the only way out is to realign US relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Washington must do this as purposefully as it realigned relations with the People’s Republic of China in the 1970s, when it struggled to extricate America from the self-inflicted debacle of the Vietnam War and to renew its diplomatic options, for the Cold War’s last phase and beyond. By not using nuclear diplomacy as a catalyst for broader, “Nixon to China” rapprochement with Iran, Obama and his team ensure further erosion of America’s standing as a great power, in the Middle East and globally.

US engagement in the Middle East over the past quarter century is a textbook example of what Paul Kennedy famously described as “imperial overstretch”—a great power’s expansion of strategic ambitions and commitments beyond its capacity to sustain them.
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Lawrence Wilkerson: Iran ‘Win-Win’ Announced but Many Congressional Republicans Still Want War

Speaking Friday on MSNBC with host Ed Schultz, Lawrence Wilkerson described the announced framework for a nuclear agreement with Iran as setting up a “win-win” agreement for the parties with importance on the level of the opening of relations between China and the United States during the Nixon administration. But, Wilkerson, a Ron Paul Institute advisor who served as chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, cautions that many congressional Republicans are still seeking war on Iran. If the agreement unravels, Wilkerson predicts the region around Iran will become much more dangerous.
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The IRS and Congress Both Hold Our Liberty in Contempt

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This week the Justice Department announced it would not charge former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress. Some members of Congress requested that Lerner be charged with contempt after she refused to testify at a congressional hearing investigating her role in denying or delaying the applications for tax-exempt status of “tea party” and pro-limited government organizations.

Cynics might suggest it is not surprising that a former government official would avoid prosecution for refusing to tell Congress about how federal employees abused their power to help the incumbent administration. These cynics have a point, but the problem goes beyond mere partisanship. Government officials are rarely prosecuted for even the most blatant violations of our liberties. In contrast, federal prosecutors routinely pursue criminal charges against whistleblowers. For example, the only American prosecuted and imprisoned in relation to the government's use of torture was whistleblower John Kiriakou!
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Soros Looks to Co-Own Ukraine

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Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros has proposed a $1 billion contribution of a combined $50 billion investment package in the Ukraine in order to form an economic barrier to Russia’s entry to the war torn nation. In an interview with an Austrian newspaper, Soros said, “The West can help Ukraine by increasing attractiveness for investors.” The Hungarian-born economic hitman may be more interested in helping his, and other investors', pockets, rather than the people of Ukraine. The speculation here could undermine any truly democratic action in Ukraine. By using low EU Central Bank interest rates to achieve his investments, Soros’s plans begin to bear marked similarities to speculations that destroyed the British Pound and took severe tolls in places like Argentina.

The business model is nothing new for Soros, who has engaged in similar investment projects in West Africa. He continues, “There are concrete investment ideas, for example in agriculture and infrastructure projects. I would put in $1 billion. This must generate a profit. My foundation would benefit from this … Private engagement needs strong political leadership.” 

In Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, and elsewhere, Soros has leveraged his political connections to protect his business interests in those nations. Revenue Watch International, a Soros firm, assisted Uganda in the development of its fossil fuel drilling regulations. Open Society Institute, another Soros non-governmental organization, has recently been responsible for setting up and later overthrowing presidents of Senegal and Congo. Soros maintains significant oil, gold, and diamond drilling operations in these nations. The International Crisis Group, yet another Soros NGO, has repeatedly advised the US Government to provide American military intervention in these fragile societies heavy in natural resources.
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NATO is Building Up for War

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The German city of Frankfurt is continental Europe’s largest financial center and host to the country’s Stock Exchange, countless other financial institutions, and the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) which is responsible for administering the monetary policy of the 18-nation Eurozone. The place is awash with money, as demonstrated by the plush new ECB office building which is costing a fortune.

The original price of the bank’s enormous palace was supposed to be 500 million euros, about 550 million dollars, but the bill has now been admitted as €1.3 billion (£930 m; $1.4 bn). This absurdly over-expensive fiasco was directed by the people who are supposed to steer the financial courses of 18 nations and their half billion unfortunate citizens. If the ECB displays similar skill sets in looking after Europe’s money as it has in controlling the cost of constructing its huge twin-tower headquarters, then Europe is in for a rocky time.

Intriguingly, the Bank isn’t alone in contributing to Europe’s bureaucratic building boom. There is another Europe-based organization of equal ambition, pomposity and incompetence which is building a majestically expensive and luxurious headquarters with a mammoth cost overrun about which it is keeping very quiet indeed.
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America’s Warfare State Revolution

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It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of the warfare-state revolution that transformed the federal government and American society after World War II. The roots of America’s foreign-policy crises today, along with the massive infringements on civil liberties and privacy and the federal government’s program of secret indefinite incarceration, torture, assassination, and extra-judicial executions can all be traced to the grafting of a national-security apparatus onto America’s federal governmental system in the 1940s.

Certainly, the seeds for what happened in the post-WWII era were sown prior to that time, specifically in the move toward empire, which, interestingly enough, occurred during the same period of time that Progressives were inducing Americans to abandon their system of economic liberty and free markets in favor of socialism and interventionism in the form of a welfare state and regulated economy.

I’m referring to the year 1898, when the US government intervened in the Spanish American War, with the ostensible aim of helping the Cuban and Filipino people win their independence. It was a false and fraudulent intervention, one that was actually designed to place Cuba and the Philippines under the control of the US government. The result was a brutal war in the Philippines between US forces and the Filipino people, along with a never-ending obsession to control Cuba, one that would end up becoming a central focus of the national-security state.
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