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How US Diplomatic Strategy Gave Netanyahu Leverage

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The latest public spat between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government centers on Israeli leaks of details of the US negotiating position in the Iran nuclear talks and the US consequently reducing its consultation with Israel on the talks.

Washington Post columnist David Ignatius divulged some of the details of the quarrel this week. It involves the alleged leak to an Israeli journalist of an Obama administration proposal that would “allow Iran to enrich uranium with 6,500 or more centrifuges as part of a final deal,” according to Ignatius.

The immediate issue was White House anger over Netanyahu’s taking advantage of the information on the US negotiating stance to interfere - again - in US domestic politics. But the Ignatius account also provides further evidence that the Obama administration still feels it necessary to clear every significant diplomatic move on Iran with Netanyahu, whose openly declared aim is to prevent any agreement from being reached.

The real reason for Obama’s continued appeasement of Netanyahu on the talks is that the White House believes Israel’s minions in Congress pose a serious threat to the administration’s diplomatic strategy on Iran.
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Operation Iraqi 'Freedom'

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The most important thing about Operation Iraqi Freedom is how it demonstrates how US national-security state officials view the concept of freedom. In their minds, the 11 years of brutal occupation on the part of the US military brought freedom to the Iraqi people. In fact, that mindset also pervades many Americans in the private sector, including veterans, who are absolutely convinced that the US invasion, war of aggression, and occupation of Iraq brought freedom to Iraq.

Keep in mind that once US military officials succeeded in effecting regime change in Iraq, they had carte blanche to establish any type of government they wanted as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Give that wide latitude, what type of government did US officials establish in Iraq? They established what they considered was an ideal form of government, one that was consistent with their view of a free society.
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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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Libya: A Perfect Storm of Interventionist Failure

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Libya is the perfect storm example of the failure of US interventionist policy in the Middle East.

The Obama-Clinton Model

In 2011, Libya was to be the centerpiece of Middle East Intervention 2.0, the Obama-Clinton version.

Unlike the Bush model, that of Texas-sized land armies, multi-year campaigns and expensive reconstruction efforts, the Obama-Clinton version would use American air power above, special forces and CIA on the ground, and coordinate local “freedom fighters” to overthrow the evil dictator/terrorist/super-villain of the moment. “We Came, We Saw, He Died,” cackled then-Secretary of State Clinton as Libyan leader Moamar Quaddafi was sodomized by rebels on TV.

The idea was that the US would dip in, unleash hell, and dip out, leaving it to the local folks to create a new government from scratch. So how’d that strategy work out in Libya?
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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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Putin Heads Off a US-Russia War

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Has Russia’s Vladimir Putin pulled Barack Obama’s chestnuts out of the fire for a second time?

Will the shaky cease-fire in Ukraine that began this weekend hold up and end a conflict that was threatening a nuclear war between the United States and Russia?

The answer to the first question is yes. Remember back in 2013 when the Obama White House was threatening to attack Syria over allegations it was using poison gas?

As it turned out, the UN found it was the US-backed Syrian rebels who were likely to have used chemical weapons rather than the Damascus regime.

Noble Peace Prize Winner Obama and his lady strategists almost got the US into a war in Syria that could have led to direct clashes with Russia, which was backing the Damascus government.

Along came that unlikely man of peace, Russia’s Vlad Putin, who charted a diplomatic course out of the Syria mess for the bumbling White House which had talked itself into corner.
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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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Ron Paul: 'I Am Not Pro-Putin, I Am Not Pro-Russia, I Am Pro-Facts'

Ron Paul was a keynote speaker at the International Students for Liberty Conference in Washington, D.C. this weekend, where he enjoyed his usual enthusiastic reception among America's youth, but found himself grilled by several east European visitors about his position on the civil war in Ukraine. "Why are you pro-Putin," asked the foreign participants in the conference, who seek a more robust US military "solution" against the secession movement in east Ukraine. Dr. Paul replied with his usual, consistent position on these foreign conflicts: "I Am Not Pro-Putin, I Am Not Pro-Russia, I Am Pro-Facts," he said. "The Ukraine coup was planned by NATO and EU... The best thing we can do for Ukraine is get the foreigners out," he explained.
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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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What You Should Know About the New Defense Secretary

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When President Dwight D. Eisenhower on January 17, 1961 delivered his farewell address and warned about the Military-Industrial Complex, he surely was thinking of men like Ashton Carter, the new Secretary of Defense.

Carter appears to move easily between the higher echelons of the military and the business world.

From October 2011 to December 2013, he served as the Department of Defense’s Chief Operating Officer overseeing more than $600 billion per year. During the Bush administration, he was a member of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's International Security Advisory Board; co-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Policy Advisory Group; a consultant to the Defense Science Board; a member of the National Missile Defense White Team, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on International Security and Arms Control.

When not working in a military capacity and doling out of billions, he has worked in the private sector for many of the firms that have benefited handsomely from the billions spent by the Defense Department.
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