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Greatest Terror Attack In Modern History - Guess Where?

The media focuses like a laser on terror attacks like we saw in Brussels last week. The endless news cycle pores over every detail, every angle. But what happens when US-backed Saudi jets bomb a market in Yemen, killing five times as many as died in Brussels? Silence. What about the million people who died directly or indirectly because of the US-led attack on Iraq, which was illegal and based on lies? One million people. Is this the greatest terrorist attack in modern times -- and why is it not looked at in this manner? Shouldn't those responsible for the carnage be brought to justice? More on the media's selective coverage of terrorism in today's Liberty Report...
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Iraq Invasion – Anniversary of The Biggest Terrorist Attack in Modern History

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Since terrorism’s tragedy is again in the news, it is timely to revisit perhaps one of the biggest acts of terrorism in modern history – the illegal invasion and destruction – ongoing – of Iraq.

March 20th marked the thirteenth anniversary of an action resulting in the equivalent of a Paris, Brussels, London 7th July 2005, often multiple times daily in Iraq ever since. As for 11th September 2001, there has frequently been that death toll and heart break every several weeks, also ongoing.

America and Britain have arguably engaged in and generated the legacy of one of the longest recorded attacks of terrorism since World War Two.

There are no minutes silences or Eiffel Tower bathed in the colours of the Iraqi flag – or indeed those of the other ongoing Western engineered catastrophes, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, or for the US-UK complicity in the human carnage in Yemen, or for the forty three dead and two hundred and thirty nine injured in Beirut in November, reportedly by ISIS, the day before the Paris attack.
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All Quiet on Western Front After Syrian Forces Recapture Palmyra From ISIS

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The recapture of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra was the single biggest defeat for ISIS since it declared its caliphate, but the West does not seem interested. Why? Because then they’d have to give some credit to Russia.

Indeed, it must have been a tough weekend for Western media’s favorite Syria pundits. It’s hard to fathom that any observer — regardless of their particular leanings — could feel anything other than relief at such a victory.

Yet, there’s a strange sense that some pundits might actually be a little bit disappointed. Not to see the back of ISIS in the city, of course, but to be faced with the uncomfortable reality that their narrative is quickly unraveling.

No word from the grand coalition

Given the monumental importance of this latest victory in Syria’s war, you would expect at least a comment or two from Barack Obama, who more than a year and a half ago solemnly swore that his grand coalition would “degrade and destroy” the terror group. You might also expect a few words from David Cameron, who, like Obama, has seemed so terribly concerned by the humanitarian situation in Syria and so determined to “defeat” ISIS. But the two of them must have been having a bit too much fun this past Easter weekend, because there wasn’t a peep out of them. In a way, they’ve done us a favor, because their silence speaks far louder than their words ever could.
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No Matter How You Vote, The Insiders Decide

We know for certain that the CIA and other elements of the "deep state" are deeply involved in rigging and influencing elections overseas. Decades of history have shown us this much. But how much might they be involved in our elections at home? And with the US telling the rest of the world how to hold elections, what rules to adopt, how to count the votes, etc., how does our system of Democrat "super-delegates" and secret GOP back-room "rules committee" changes stack up? And the media? They can be counted on to focus on the most banal aspects of elections. More on this -- and some Ron Paul stories of the 2012 rules committee rip-off -- in today's Liberty Report...
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A European PATRIOT Act Will Not Keep People Safe

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It was not long after last week’s horrifying bombings in Brussels that the so-called security experts were out warning that Europeans must give up more of their liberty so government can keep them secure from terrorism. I guess people are not supposed to notice that every terrorist attack represents a major government failure and that rewarding failure with more of the same policies only invites more failure.

I am sure a frightened population will find government promises of perfect security attractive and may be willing to allow more surveillance of their personal lives. They should pause a little beforehand and consider what their governments have done so far to keep them “safe.”
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Back to the Future: The Unanswered Questions from the Debates

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The nuances of foreign policy do not feature heavily in the ongoing presidential campaign. Every candidate intends to “destroy” the Islamic State; each has concerns about Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korea, and China; every one of them will defend Israel; and no one wants to talk much about anything else — except, in the case of the Republicans, who rattle their sabers against Iran.

In that light, here’s a little trip down memory lane: in October 2012, I considered five critical foreign policy questions — they form the section headings below — that were not being discussed by then-candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Romney today is a sideshow actfor the current Republican circus, and Obama has started packing up his tent at the White House and producing his own foreign policy obituary.

And sadly, those five questions of 2012 remain as pertinent and unraised today as they were four years ago. Unlike then, however, answers may be at hand, and believe me, that’s not good news.  Now, let’s consider them four years later, one by one.
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Ukraine is Turning into Liberia

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Earlier this month while delivering a public lecture in Kiev, “The Challenges of an Ever-Changing World,” former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made an inspiring remark for anyone who might have been thinking that life in Ukraine was bad:

“You should go to Liberia where the standard of living is much lower, and then you will be thankful.”

Ironically, Forbes Ukraine reacted to this with a slightly perplexed analysis that nonetheless led to a conclusion of flawless logic: “Although Liberia has one of the weakest economies in the world, it lags only slightly behind Ukraine with respect to a number of macroeconomic parameters,” and the magazine supported its argument with some anemic statistics (failing however to mention that Liberia’s 85 percent unemployment rate is far worse than Ukraine’s, even today).

The rapid deterioration of the Ukrainian economy over the past two post-Maidan years is no longer a taboo topic in the international press (the prominent US academic and former diplomat Nicolai Petro’s recent article in the Guardian made that crystal clear). But to make a long story short, the full picture looks even more depressing...
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Should Europeans Sacrifice Liberty For Promises Of Security?

No sooner had the smoke cleared in Brussels than the security "experts" began telling the Europeans they must sacrifice more of their liberty for the promise that their governments would keep them safe. Never mind that the big lesson from Brussels is that their governments have not kept them safe, the answer is always to do more of what clearly is not working. Those are the "experts" and the Europeans will probably listen to them. But what if there is another way? What if something could be done differently that would not promise a perfect world, but might deliver a better one? We discuss that possibility in today's Liberty Report...
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How Narratives Killed the Syrian People

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On March 23, 2011, at the very start of what we now call the ‘Syrian conflict,’ two young men - Sa’er Yahya Merhej and Habeel Anis Dayoub - were gunned down in the southern Syrian city of Daraa.

Merhej and Dayoub were neither civilians, nor were they in opposition to the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. They were two regular soldiers in the ranks of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA).

Shot by unknown gunmen, Merhej and Dayoub were the first of eighty-eight soldiers killed throughout Syria in the first month of this conflict– in Daraa, Latakia, Douma, Banyas, Homs, Moadamiyah, Idlib, Harasta, Suweida, Talkalakh and the suburbs of Damascus.

According to the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, the combined death toll for Syrian government forces was 2,569 by March 2012, the first year of the conflict. At that time, the UN’s total casualty count for all victims of political violence in Syria was 5,000.

These numbers paint an entirely different picture of events in Syria. This was decidedly not the conflict we were reading about in our headlines – if anything, the ‘parity’ in deaths on both sides even suggests that the government used ‘proportionate’ force in thwarting the violence.
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A Better Approach To Terrorism

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People of goodwill naturally attempt to make sense of terrible events like yesterday's bombings in Brussels, to help themselves address the psychological discomfort that occurs when seemingly incomprehensible violence occurs. We have a hard time processing a world where random bombs go off and kill peaceful travelers in airports or subway stations, because it threatens our equilibrium and sense of personal well-being. This discomfort has intensified in our era of 24 hour global news, whereas just a few generations ago our ancestors simply didn’t know about all the trouble in the greater world. The world seems more dangerous today,regardless of whether it actually is more dangerous

Just as politicians and media attempt to create a narrative that explains and influences events, individuals reflexively apply their personal narrative to the world around them. It’s human nature to want reality to comport with our personal worldview or ideology.

Needless to say, the news channels today are full of ideological perspectives regarding what should be done. Western conservatives generally advocate a more rigorous prosecution of the “war on terror” as the solution to Muslim terrorism, accompanied by the dilution of civil liberties as needed to assist that in prosecution. Western progressives generally advocate humanitarian aid, open borders, and greater assimilation of Muslims by making countries more tolerant and multicultural (i.e., the same welfare/education/housing arguments they make to address homegrown criminality). Both of these approaches reflect certain inherent biases which are fundamentally incorrect, to put it mildly.
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