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Obama, Democrats, Republicans, and NATO: Still Playing the Islamists’ Foil

ISIS Killing

Listening to President Obama speak of Iraq on 18 August 2014 underscores the point made above by Polybius, and it also validates the brilliant diplomat George F. Kennan’s argument that America is virtually incapable of conducting an effective foreign policy because of our leaders’ minimal knowledge of how the world works and the dominance of domestic considerations on the policies they pursue overseas. In Obama’s short statement on Iraq both of these negative factors were clearly evident.

Obama — as well as his lieutenants, the leaders of both parties, and much of the media — continue to call the Sunni Islamic State (IS) organization a “terrorist group.” In the 25-plus years since al-Qaeda initiated what has become a worldwide armed Islamist movement, U.S. leaders have never once tried to explain to Americans that we are fighting a growing international insurgency that can never be defeated by using counter-terrorism tactics such as Special Forces raids, drone and aircraft strikes, and capture and interrogation operations. 

If you use these tools to kill the insurgents one at a time you end up where we are today; that is, with a nice and well-publicized body count but also with an enormously bigger threat than we faced in 2001. Indeed, Americans ought to be told that there are indications that the IS insurgents are evolving into what the great guerrilla-war theorist Mao Tse Tung called the final stage of insurgency, the point at which elements of the insurgent forces begin to transition into units that are battle-hardened, well trained and led, well armed, and resemble conventional force units.
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Ron Paul, the Gateway Drug

Peace Prosperity Ron Paul

On the occasion of his 79th birthday, I thought it appropriate to share how Dr. Ron Paul has impacted my life in a very personal manner. Ron Paul (and more importantly, the philosophy of liberty that he champions) has inspired me to make life-altering decisions, the most consequential of which is to leave the military as a conscientious objector. Throw in homeschooling, sound money, economics, and non-aggression, and you’ve got a completely new outlook on life. It has not been an easy path, but this is the price for discovering a worldview that is coherent, consistent, and compelling enough to act on.

It all started with the 2012 presidential debates, in which my husband took a large interest. We began to discuss between ourselves what Dr. Paul espoused — never before had I heard someone whose words were completely aligned with what I had experienced overseas. His discussions regarding interventionism and blowback were spot-on. 

At that point, Hubby and I had more than six deployments between us, so we were credible listeners. Even more impressive: here was a guy who wasn’t toeing the party line, wasn’t kowtowing to pressure, and was actually speaking common sense! Look up any video of any presidential debate in which Dr. Paul takes part, and it’s abundantly clear that he is no politician (this is a compliment in my book). It’s safe to say that listening to his position on foreign policy was the first step down the rabbit hole; I didn’t fully understand every issue that he spoke about, but his words came through like a clear bell. Who was this guy? Where did he come from? What did he know? I was hooked.
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It's Ron Paul's Birthday. Guess What He Wants?

Today Ron Paul, the Founder and CEO of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, celebrates his birthday with a plea for assistance to his Institute. He is concerned about the strong neocon push to war with Russia and is determined to fight back. He is alarmed at the level of war propaganda that otherwise goes unchallenged. His Institute was founded to debunk the lies that lead us to war and has had great success in its short life, he notes. He asks for help to continue the mission of the Ron Paul Institute.
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Ukraine Crisis Continues

Donetsk Bomb

Having served Washington’s propaganda purposes, the downed Malaysian airliner and the alleged Russian armored column that entered Ukraine and was allegedly destroyed have dropped out of the news even though both stories remain completely and totally unresolved.

Washington’s stooge government in Ukraine has not released the records of communications between Ukrainian air traffic control and Malaysian flight 17, and Washington has not released the photos from its satellite which was directly overhead at the time of the airliner’s demise.

We can safely and conclusively conclude from this purposeful withholding of evidence that the evidence does not support Washington’s and Kiev’s propaganda.

We can also safely and conclusively conclude that the Western media’s sudden disinterest in the unresolved story and failure to demand the evidence kept secret by Washington and Kiev is in keeping with the Western media’s role as a Ministry of Propaganda.
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The Terrorists Fighting Us Now? We Just Finished Training Them.

ISIS Guns

In recent years, President Obama, his European friends, and even some Middle Eastern allies, have supported “rebel groups” in Libya and Syria. Some received training, financial and military support to overthrow Muammar Gadhafi and battle Bashar al Assad. It’s a strategy that follows the old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and it has been the American and allied approach for decades in deciding whether to support opposition groups and movements.

The problem is that it is completely unreliable — and often far worse than other strategies. Every year there are more cases in which this approach backfires. The most glaring and famous failure was in Afghanistan, where some of the groups taught (and supplied) to fight the Soviet Army later became stridently anti-Western. In that environment, Al Qaeda flourished and established the camps where perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were trained. Yet instead of learning from its mistakes, the United States keeps making them.

Washington and its allies empowered groups whose members had either begun with anti-American or anti-Western views or found themselves lured to those ideas in the process of fighting. According to interviews with members of militant groups, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s Al Nusra Front (which is aligned with al Qaeda),  that is exactly what happened with some of the fighters in Libya  and even with factions of the Free Syrian Army.
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What Have We Accomplished in Iraq?

We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began Rp Weekly Buttonagitating for a US attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and the story was false, but it was enough to turn US opposition in favor of an attack.
 
This month, yet another US president – the fourth in a row – began bombing Iraq. He is also placing US troops on the ground despite promising not to do so.
 
The second Iraq war in 2003 cost the US some two trillion dollars. According to estimates, more than one million deaths have occurred as a result of that war. Millions of tons of US bombs have fallen in Iraq almost steadily since 1991.
 
What have we accomplished? Where are we now, 24 years later? We are back where we started, at war in Iraq!
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Police Have No Right to Shoot Someone Running Away

Ferguson

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, in a press conference notable for its brevity, identified the officer who shot Michael Brown as Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of his department. Information distributed to the media included reports suggesting that Brown was a suspect in a strong-arm robbery of a package of cigars at a local convenience store. Still photographs, reportedly of the incident in the local QuikTrip, show a large young man resembling Brown involved in what appeared to be an assault on a much smaller individual in the store.

If Brown was a suspect in a crime of that kind, this case would have uncanny similarities to the 1974 incident in which another teenaged suspect, Edward Garner, was fatally shot while attempting to flee from a Memphis police officer following a burglary. As noted previously, that case went before the Supreme Court a decade later, resulting in the 1985 Tennessee v. Garner ruling in which the Court held that “The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable.” This was a rejection of the “Any Felony Rule” under which officers in many states, including Tennessee, were authorized to use deadly force to stop a fleeing or resisting suspect.

The “Any Felony Rule,” it should be pointed out, didn’t enjoy universal approval, even in the supposedly barbarous 19th Century. In an 1858 editorial, the New York Times expressed alarm over the promiscuous use of lethal force by officers of the newly created NYPD against fleeing suspects: “The pistols are not used in self-defense, but to stop the men who are running away. They are considered substitutes for swift feet and long arms… [W]e doubt the propriety of employing them for such a purpose. A Policeman has no right to shoot a man for running away from him.”
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From Boston to Ferguson: Have We Reached a Tipping Point in the Police State?

Ferguson

The difference between what happened in Boston in the wake of the Boston Marathon explosion and what is happening now in Ferguson, Missouri, is not in the government’s response but in the community’s response.

This is what happens when you ignore the warning signs.

This is what happens when you fail to take alarm at the first experiment on your liberties.

This is what happens when you fail to challenge injustice and government overreach until the prison doors clang shut behind you.

Consider that it was just a little over a year ago that the city of Boston was locked down while police carried out a military-style manhunt for the suspects in the Boston Marathon explosion. At the time, Americans welcomed the city-wide lockdown, the routine invasion of their privacy, and the dismantling of every constitutional right intended to serve as a bulwark against government abuses.

Fast forward 14 months, and Americans are shocked at the tactics being employed to quell citizen unrest in Ferguson, Missouri—a massive SWAT team, an armored personnel carrier, men in camouflage pointing heavy artillery at the crowd, smoke bombs and tear gas—where residents are outraged and in the streets in response to a recent police shooting of one of their own: a young, unarmed college-bound black teenager who had the misfortune of being in the wrong time at the wrong place.
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Iraq Policy: Washington’s Puzzle Palace Keeps Getting Curiouser

Obama Maliki

Let’s count the ways. It goes without saying that Obama is now busily bombing American military equipment. Some of that equipment is pretty high tech gear and especially lethal — not the kind that jihadists ordinarily train with in their desert lairs or mountain redoubts.

But then again, ISIS got provisioned by none other than the Iraqi Army. The latter not only dropped its uniforms for civvies during the battle for Mosul, but also left behind armored Humvees, heavy artillery, night vision systems, state of the art firearms and much else of like and similar nature. Nor was this the first time that the Iraqi Army disarmed itself unilaterally. A while back they also surrendered their uniforms and guns when another American President — George W. Bush — bombed them.

That was called “shock and awe.” Afterwards, the remnants of the Iraqi army must have found it indeed shocking and awesome that Washington immediately pivoted — after hanging the country’s leader — and spent $25 billion re-equipping and training them in brand new uniforms and with far better weapons.

Fast-forward to 2014. The hasty hand-off of these American weapons to ISIS during its June blitzkrieg was easy enough to explain. On their way out of Baghdad, the Washington “nation builders” had equipped and trained a native army so that it could defend a “nation” which did not exist. What passed for “Iraq” was some very long, straight lines drawn on a map exactly 98 years ago by the British and French foreign offices as they carved up their winnings from the Ottoman Empire. What passed for governance within these so-called Sykes-Picot boundaries was a series of kings, generals and dictators — culminating in Saddam Hussein — who ruled from the barrel of whatever gun had been supplied by the highest bidder among the Great Powers.
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