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The Murder of James Foley

James Foley Wallpapers1

In response to the Islamic State’s execution of American journalist James Foley, President Obama referred to Foley’s killers as a “cancer.” That, of course, implies that anti-American terrorism is like a disease, one that strikes at nations willy nilly, without rhyme or reason.

Obama’s cancer metaphor for ISIS brings to mind what President Bush said about al Qaeda after the 9/11 attacks — that the terrorists were motivated by hatred for America’s freedom and values.

Under either formulation — cancer or hatred for America’s freedom and values — the war on terrorism is going to last a very long time, which naturally means an ongoing presence and ever-increasing budgets for the Cold War-era national-security establishment, i.e., the military and the CIA.

But the truth is that anti-American terrorism is not like cancer and it’s not motivated by hatred for America’s freedom and values. It is instead a direct result of the U.S. government’s interventionist foreign policy. Interventionism generates the rage within foreigners that motivates them to respond with acts of anti-American terrorism.
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Ron Paul and Mark Spitznagel Talk Freedom, Farming, and the Fed

Ron Paul and Mark Spitznagel share a passion for non-interventionism, free markets, and Austrian economics. Congressman Paul served many years as a U.S. Representative from Texas, spanning 1976 to 2013, and was a Republican presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012. He has written extensively on liberty and politics, including The Revolution: A Manifesto and End the Fed. Spitznagel is the founder of Universa Investments, an investment advisor that specializes in tail-hedging, and is the author of The Dao of Capital, for which Paul wrote the Foreword. The two friends sat down recently to discuss topics ranging from the liberty movement and agricultural policy, to the consequences of Federal Reserve monetary policy. 

Here is a transcript of their conversation:

Mark Spitznagel: Ron, you have been the galvanizing force of a resurgent liberty movement in the United States. Yet, we find ourselves in this world where interventionism is on the rise, and much of America remains complacent about it. For instance, I think we would agree that today’s crony-capitalism and monetary-interventionism by central banks is at an unprecedented scale that will once again leave destruction in its wake. Why is America letting this happen, and moving away from its Jeffersonian ideals? Moreover, I have to ask you, has the liberty movement stalled, or even failed?
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Peace President Plots War on Syria

O Obama Syria Facebook

The Obama administration is reportedly preparing to begin air strikes on Syrian territory without the consent of the Syrian government. The pretext is the rapidly expanding US war on ISIS, but in fact this is the long-desired US attack on Syria that was temporarily thwarted, reportedly by popular opposition last year (but more likely by US knowledge that its claims the Assad government was behind the chemical attacks at Ghouta had no basis in reality and would not stand up to even superficial scrutiny).

Though it makes for a compelling story, the idea that popular opposition to Obama's plans to attack Syria last year stopped the bombs seems more wishful thinking than reality. Consider how easy it has been these past two weeks to obliterate any opposition among the American people to the same US attack plan regurgitated almost exactly one year later. 

A series of salacious stories about ISIS slaughtering a Yazidi minority that no one had even heard of mobilized US public opinion in favor of initial US strikes and even ground troops in Iraq. Never mind that the stories were hyped up and mostly false. Never mind that the US and its allies had armed and trained the individuals who now call themselves ISIS (now simply "IS") for a number of years. Another "babies thrown from incubators" story and even self-identified non-interventionists were screaming for bombing runs.
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The Syrian Arab Government and ISIS Have Always Been Enemies

ISIS Enforcer

There is all kinds of nonsense circulating in the mainstream media and in the wilder reaches of the internet galaxy concerning ISIS (IS) and the Syrian government (SAG). There are also an amazing number of stories on the web that claim that "The Caliph Ibrahim" (Baghdadi) is actually an Israeli Jew, born in Israel to Jewish parents. Whoa! That's a great one! It has its origins in Iranian media that is selling the idea that Snowden says so. OK. Let's see the intercepts that Snowden is said to have on that subject.

The US and European foreign policy establishments are trapped in a situation in which they have declared themselves to be the enemies of the Government of Syria, dedicated to its overthrow in a world in which the Government of Syria has survived very well, thank you.

There are a multitude of rebel groups in Syria. The only effective ones are the Islamic ones. This was inevitably going to be the case. The pro-government forces are fighting an existential fight against Sunni Syrian Arabs and jihadi internationals who very much want to put the Alawis, Shia, Christians, Druze and the like either back in their kennels or in their graves. The Free Syrian Army (the fave of the US children's crusade run from the NSC and State Department), has proven itself to be an "army" that does not want to fight. Why should it? These "moderate" seculars and other sane people want to live, not die for the faith, any faith. The serious opposition are the tough guys who DO want to die for the faith. There are many such groups.
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Missed Ron Paul's Birthday? It's Not Too Late To Claim Your Gift!

Thanks to so many of you who responded to Ron Paul's birthday fundraising appeal. Your contribution helps us continue to promote Dr. Paul's views worldwide. Guess what: we have only just begun! With your help we will take the message of liberty and non-interventionism straight to the neocon camp! We have them on the ropes! Please help us finish the job!

If you missed the appeal, it is not too late to take advantage of Dr. Paul's offer to personally sign his "Foreign Policy of Freedom" book to you as a gift for your minimum $100 donation. Please click here for more details.
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Ferguson: The War Comes Home

America’s attention recently turned away from the violence in Iraq and Gaza toward the violence in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting of Michael Brown. While all the facts Rp Weekly Buttonsurrounding the shooing have yet to come to light, the shock of seeing police using tear gas (a substance banned in warfare), and other military-style weapons against American citizens including journalists exercising their First Amendment rights, has started a much-needed debate on police militarization.

The increasing use of military equipment by local police is a symptom of growing authoritarianism, not the cause. The cause is policies that encourage police to see Americans as enemies to subjugate, rather than as citizens to "protect and serve.” This attitude is on display not only in Ferguson, but in the police lockdown following the Boston Marathon bombing and in the Americans killed and injured in “no-knock” raids conducted by militarized SWAT teams.
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Obama's Skewed Policy Priorities in Middle East

ISIS

The US State Department has maintained that continuity rather than change in the American policy is what should be expected in the aftermath of the killing of photojournalist James Foley by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria early this week. 

The State Department’s media briefings insisted that there has been an “ongoing policy initiative”, an “ongoing effort” on the part of Washington to meet the ISIL threat and “we will continue doing what we’re doing in Iraq.” So, on Wednesday, the US military took an additional 14 air strikes around the Mosul Dam. 

Second, the US reserves the right to take action against Foley’s killer and won’t be “ruling anything in or out” – including military operations inside Syria. That is to say, the “principles that guide” will be the same that guided earlier occasions of a similar kind such as in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. 

Third, the Syrian regime remains a "pariah," no matter its hostility towards the ISIL, insofar as the US cannot forget that Damascus “allowed this group to flourish” and “facilitated their movement to Iraq.” Therefore, the US would rather focus on building “capable partners” in Iraq and among the “moderate opposition” in Syria that can take on the ISIL and will continue to seek the replacement of President Bashar al-Assad.
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Cautious Outrage Over Alleged Foley Execution

Foley

The alleged beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by the shadowy ISIS (or Islamic State) has sparked outrage and horror around the globe.

I say “alleged” because we are not sure if the decapitation was real or faked.

After three decades of covering wars in the Mideast, Africa, Latin America, and Afghanistan, my reaction as a journalist was also outrage – but cautious outrage.

We westerners have a charming and quaint belief that killing people from the air by using bombs, rockets, shells, napalm and cluster munitions – or even nuclear weapons – is somehow not really as bad as ramming a bayonet into an enemy, blowing him to pieces with heavy artillery, or slashing his throat the way sheep are killed

Air warfare is clean. Air warfare is the American way of war.


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US/NATO Slam Russian Aid to Eastern Ukraine

Russia Aid Truck

After waiting more than a week on the border with Ukraine while the Kiev government's cooperation then condemnation switched several times, Moscow gave the green light for its humanitarian convoy of 280 trucks to enter war-torn Lugansk today. Civilians in breakaway areas of Ukraine have suffered without food and water for weeks and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) agreed that the situation was desperate.

As if in waiting, the moment Russian humanitarian aid crossed into Ukraine, NATO and US officials raced to condemn the action. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who just days ago falsely claimed that a Russian military convoy had entered Ukraine, was first out of the gate:
I condemn the entry of a Russian so-called humanitarian convoy into Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities and without any involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Though the ICRC and the Russian Red Cross had supported and participated in the mission, they declined to accompany the aid convoy into Ukraine, citing ongoing fighting in the area and a lack of a force to protect the convoy and ICRC personnel. In other words, Rasmussen's own allies in Kiev had prevented ICRC involvement in the mission by their shelling of Lugansk. And the Ukrainian authorities had consented — several times — before they unconsented!
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Hagel and Dempsey: We Must Attack Syria! Get Ready!

Hagel

The Islamist ISIS/ISIL gang is providing the pretext for another major US war in the Middle East. Top US administration officials are turning up the war and atrocity rhetoric to full volume. Something is happening.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel turned up the fear machine Thursday, telling NBC news that ISIS poses an "imminent threat" to the United States. 

Hagel seemed in a panic as he essentially warned that an attack was on the way:
ISIL poses a threat greater than 9/11. ISIL is as sophisticated and well funded as any group we have seen. They're beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology with a sophisticated strategic and tactical military prowess and they're tremendously well-funded. This is way beyond anything we have seen. We must prepare for everything. Get Ready! ... They are an imminent threat to every interest we have.
Not to be outdone, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey said that to defeat ISIS, the US would need to invade Syria!
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