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Obama's New War In Africa: Do We Need It?

The Obama Administration's disastrous invasion of Libya scattered well-armed jihadists throughout Africa and the Middle East, including to Syria and Cameroon. After emptying out Gaddafi's arsenals, these groups proceeded to spread their mayhem. Yesterday, President Obama announced that he was sending US troops into Cameroon to help defeat one of the groups who benefitted from the US-led intervention in Libya, the ISIS-affiliated Boko Haram. Today's Liberty Report look at whether another US intervention can solve the problems created by intervention in the first place...
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How Can Anyone Still Be An Interventionist?

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Given the ongoing disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and the rest of the Middle East, how can anyone in his right mind still be an interventionist?

Look at Iraq. The US invasion and multi-year occupation of that country was supposed to bring a paradise of peace, prosperity, and harmony to the country. That’s what killing all those Iraqis was about — sacrificing them for the greater good of a beautiful society. Wasn’t it called Operation Iraqi Freedom?
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MH-17 Final Report: Who Shot Down The Plane?

The long-awaited final report of the Dutch Safety Board on the 2014 shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over Ukraine came out yesterday, but it offered very little in terms of what actually happened. With the most powerful intelligence apparatus on earth, how is it that the US cannot bring forth evidence to back its claims about Russian responsibility? As Liberty Report guest, former CIA analyst Ray McGovern says today, it's not that the US does not have the information but rather that the evidence it has does not match the US propaganda line...
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The New McCarthyism

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Cold War II is upon us. Once again, to write the phrase “the Kremlin” is to evoke images of an Oriental despotism both ominous and inscrutable, only slightly less sinister than the Dark Tower. Russia, once thought to have been liberated from its Soviet chains, is now the new Mordor. And, of course, Vladimir Putin is the new Sauron: cunning, amoral, inhumanly ruthless, he is routinely likened to Joseph Stalin, the Soviet dictator who murdered millions and imprisoned many more in the gulags.

Not that Putin has murdered millions, or even as many as a dozen, but the ethics of the new McCarthyites – yes, they’re back – aren’t overly punctilious. Their polemics are even less exacting than their forebears’ for the simple reason that Communism, as an organized international movement with its epicenter in Russia, is dead, and will doubtless remain so. Furthermore, “Putinism,” if such an ideological creature can be said to exist – a problematic proposition – is not a global movement, let alone an international conspiracy: there are no “Putinist” parties outside of Russia, assiduously subverting the moral and political foundations of the West and harboring the 21stcentury version of the Rosenbergs. No Whittaker Chambers will emerge to reveal the dark secrets of these saboteurs of democracy and shine a bright light on their moral espionage – but never fear, because we have Cathy Young.

A columnist for various and sundry outlets, and long associated with Reason magazine, Young – born Ekaterina Jung – came to the US when she was 17 and became a naturalized citizen in 1989, the year her book, Growing Up in Moscow: Memories of a Soviet Girlhood was published. The book, which details life under the totalitarian rule of the Communists, might have ensured her a career as a defected Soviet dissident, perhaps a female version of Natan Sharanksy, but – alas – the Soviet Union fell before such promise could be fulfilled and she had to find another ideological niche, eventually zeroing in on the absurdities of radical feminism in her second book, and promoting a movement known as “Women Against Feminism.”
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The "A" Word That Terrifies Washington

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Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter has declared that there will be a thorough investigation of the recent US destruction of a hospital in Afghanistan that killed 22, including 12 of the medical staff, with more than thirty still missing in the rubble. The hospital, run by Geneva-based Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), had informed the US headed international military force of both its location and its activities in order to avoid becoming a target for either side in fighting around Kunduz but that apparently was not enough. The US military command in Afghanistan approved the bombing, which reportedly included multiple attacks from a C-130 gunship and lasted over half an hour, though there is some confusion over what constituted the “threat” that was being responded to, MSF claiming that there were no Taliban militants anywhere near their building either using it for shelter or as a firing point. Both MSF and some senior United Nations officials regard the attack as a war crime. President Barack Obama uncharacteristically apologized for a “mistake” though he took pains not to blame the US military.

Ashton might be a brilliant physicist but he has never been a soldier in spite of his long service in the Department of Defense. I don’t doubt his good intentions when it comes to declaring United States government willingness to let the chips fall where they may but he has no idea what he is up against. The uniformed military will stonewall, run circles around him and work hard to construct a narrative that ultimately blames no one but the Afghans for what happened. In the unlikely event that they fail in that, a soldier at the low end of the process will be punished with a slap on the wrist to demonstrate that military justice works while pari passu protecting the senior commanders. And the report will not even appear until long after Kunduz is forgotten. At that point Congress and the White House will have no stomach for going after our valiant warriors so the buck will ultimately stop with a toothless report that accomplishes nothing at all.

The Secretary of Defense, who reportedly had a dual major at Yale that included medieval history, might well consider the historical precedents for his initiating an investigation. He should appreciate above all that the “A” word that must never be spoken inside the United States government is “accountability,” which is by design as the government must never be made to look bad. Without demanding accountability even meticulous investigations into possible war crimes have no meaning and are literally not worth the paper they are written on.
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Syria Quagmire? Copyright Tyranny. Weird Politics. Around the World With Lew Rockwell

Why is the US trying to destroy Syria, the bulwark against jihadists and protector of the Middle East's Christians? Because, says Lew Rockwell in today's Liberty Report, like all empires the US pursues a divide and conquer strategy. More on Lew's take on Syria events as well as a look at the GOP presidential race thus far in today's Liberty Report...
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Global Freedom Index: We're Number 20!

The Cato Institute and partners have released a new survey of global economic and civic freedom. The results are not too good for those who adhere to the philosophy of American Exceptionalism: the US is not even in the top 10 when it comes to economic and personal freedom. Despite the many problems with indexes of this kind -- we cannot agree with many of the criteria and others are skewed in one or another direction -- it is healthy to pause and look at our own deficiencies. Today's Ron Paul Liberty Report does just that...
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Politicians Exploit School Shooting While Ignoring Bombing Victims

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Following the recent Oregon school shooting, many politicians rushed to the microphones to call for new gun control laws. President Obama even called on gun control supporters to “politicize” the shooting, while some members of Congress worked to establish a special commission on gun violence.

The reaction to the shooting stands in stark contrast to the reaction to the US military’s bombing of an Afghanistan hospital run by the international humanitarian (and Nobel Peace Prize winning) group Doctors Without Borders.
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Two Minutes of Hate For Belarus

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With Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko elected to a fifth term in office on Sunday, the ritual western hate-fest against the former Soviet Republic shifts into high gear. 

The regular march of western journalists to Minsk to report on "Europe's last dictatorship," has already begun, with Buzzfeed's Max Seddon being neither the first nor the last. But like the others, he ticks all the right boxes that keep him in a rare paid journalism job these days.

In Buzzfeed's foray into foreign reporting, Seddon acknowledges that Lukashenko has the support of the majority of the population (in a democracy that translates to election victory), while absurdly asserting that, "experts say he is likely to continue falsifying the results anyway."

Who are these "experts"? Well, they are the US-backed NGOs, of course! Seddon cites Dzyanis Melyantsou at the Belarusian Institute for Strategic Studies (located in Lithuania) who asserts that falsifying election results are just a game for Belarus. If the leader of Kazakhstan gets 80 percent, Lukashenko must falsify to get 85% just to one-up his fellow dictator, says Melyantsou.
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A Decisive Shift In The Power Balance Has Occurred

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The world is beginning to realize that a sea-change in world affairs occurred on September 28 when President Putin of Russia stated in his UN speech that Russia can no longer tolerate Washington’s vicious, stupid, and failed policies that have unleashed chaos, which is engulfing the Middle East and now Europe. Two days later, Russia took over the military situation in Syria and began the destruction of the Islamic State forces.

Perhaps among Obama’s advisors there are a few who are not drowning in hubris and can understand this sea-change. Sputnik news reports that some high-level security advisors to Obama have advised him to withdraw US military forces from Syria and give up his plan to overthrow Assad. They advised Obama to cooperate with Russia in order to stop the refugee flow that is overwhelming Washington’s vassals in Europe. The influx of unwanted peoples is making Europeans aware of the high cost of enabling US foreign policy. Advisors have told Obama that the idiocy of the neoconservatives’ policies threaten Washington’s empire in Europe.

Several commentators, such as Mike Whitney and Stephen Lendman, have concluded, correctly, that there is nothing that Washington can do about Russian actions against the Islamic State. The neoconservatives’ plan for a UN no-fly zone over Syria in order to push out the Russians is a pipe-dream. No such resolution will come out of the UN. Indeed, the Russians have already established a de facto no-fly zone.
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