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The Ghosts of Vietnam Should Haunt Us – But Don’t

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It was 1967. The war in Vietnam was raging. 


I was 24 years old, just out of graduate school in New York City. Cambridge University had accepted me to do a doctorate history. 

But no. In a burst of youthful patriotism, I concluded it was every citizen’s duty to join the armed forces in wartime. So I enlisted as an infantry officer candidate in the US Army and was packed off to basic training.

Life can only be understood in retrospect. With the wisdom of hindsight, most people consider the 20-year long Vietnam War a terrible mistake, even a crime. But at the time, US military involvement in Indochina appeared to make sense.  It certainly did to me. I was proud to wear my nation’s uniform. 
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Patriot Act Reform: A Hoax

With key provisions of the PATRIOT Act expiring at the end of this month, Congress is scrambling to keep these provisions on the books while making it seem like they are reforming the original Act to better protect our civil liberties. The USA FREEDOM Act is being advertised as a compromise between those who want to keep the PATRIOT Act in tact and those who want to repeal it. It is not a compromise. It is a fig leaf. The Ron Paul Liberty Report is joined by Dr. Paul's former legislative director, Norman Singleton, to get to the bottom of the smoke and mirrors called "reform."
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Saudi Succession Struggles: Who’s on Top and Why

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What we are seeing in Saudi Arabia is the seizure of power by one section of the Sudeiri faction in the Saudi Royal family. The late King Abdullah was not a Sudeiri and relations between him and the Sudeiris were always a bit tense. King Salman, who is reputed to be a bit gaga (kharaf) is seeking to ensure the succession for his part of The Family. He, like all the Sudeiris, are much influenced and obliged to the Wahhabi, Hanbali ulema. Abdullah, with his half rwalla bedawi descent was less so. The new crew seem to be listening to the ulema desire for Sunni triumphalism in the Levant. 

To that end they, along with their pals in the Gulf Cooperation Council, (notably Qatar) and Erdogan (the semi-crypto Turko-Islamist), have convinced themselves that Assad's government has lost the war and will soon fall. They have conjured this image from Syrian government reverses in the north and a profound hope. There is also a supposedly effective combat alliance (including al-Nusra) that is thought to be Assad's bane. We will see if they are correct. In any event the professional bits of the US government are fearful that if the present Syrian government goes down, chaos will ensue that will end in an Islamist government. I agree.
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Jade Helm: A Military Takeover?

Why are US special forces holding a massive exercise in the US southwest this summer? Is it something civil libertarians should be worried about? The Texas governor announced that the Texas State Guard would be monitoring US military moves in Texas. Was it a smart move? Tune in to the Ron Paul Liberty Report...
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General Dempsey Errs by Telling The Truth, But Quickly Recants

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During his term as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey has shown a decided inability to differentiate between truth and falsehood when talking to Americans and their congressional representatives, more often than not erring on the side of the latter. Those paying attention, for example, will recall General Dempsey repeatedly telling the media, the citizenry, and the Congress that the US military’s training of the Afghan National Army (ANA) had gone splendidly and the ANA would be ready to operate on its own when President Obama’s withdrawal date arrived. 

Now, we see that Obama’s deadline has been extended and the stay-behind force increased. General Dempsey, unless he has learned nothing in a long taxpayer-funded military career or is plainly brain dead, knew that what he was saying about the ANA was an absurd lie, but he tugged his forelock and lied for the administration.

This month, however, General Dempsey let slip a snippet of truth and then had to scramble to re-establish the lie that — sooner or later — all parents of America’s military personnel will have to accept, cope with, and, perhaps, avenge. In reaction to the Islamic State’s (IS) advance toward the city of Ramadi in Iraq’s Anbar Province, General Dempsey said that he was not worried about IS taking the city because it was of little importance to the overall war that is occurring in Iraq.
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Who's Starving Yemen's Children?

This week Saudi Arabia bombed an airfield in Yemen to prevent an Iranian aid plane from landing. Yemen's population is suffering severe food and water shortages after five weeks of US-backed Saudi bombing. As Ron Paul says in his latest Liberty Report below, this is reminiscent of the terrible civilian toll taken by US sanctions against Iraq before the US attack...
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Unending War on Terror

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The admission by the White House that two western hostages were killed by an errant drone strike in Pakistan serves as only an ugly little footnote to what has been nearly fifteen years of undeclared war waged by Washington against a large part of the world. The New York Times notes that “…most individuals killed [by drones] are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names,” adding that “the proliferating mistakes have given drones a sinister reputation in Pakistan and Yemen and have provoked a powerful anti-American backlash in the Muslim world.”

The most recent ex-judicial killings come on the heels of a report by the highly respected Nobel prize winning Physicians for Social Responsibility that reveals that more than 1.3 million people were killed during the first ten years post 9/11 as part of the so-called “global war on terror” (GWOT) in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan alone. The GWOT has been euphemized by the current Administration as “overseas contingency operations,” which has a nicer sound and does not appear to be so preemptive or premeditated. The relabeling also suggests that the process is both responsive and occasional, which it is not as it has been the driving component of American foreign policy since 2001 until the present day.
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A Return to the Peace Party

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A few weeks ago, I spoke to about 200 people at the famous Willard Hotel in Washington in a program put on by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. I had been told that this was a group of CEOs and owners of major companies in Southern California, obviously a very upper-income group.

I got to a point in my speech where I said: “It is long past the time when we need to stop trying to run the whole world and start putting our own people and our own Country first once again.”

Much to my surprise, the audience broke into applause. Middle- and lower-income groups have applauded when I have said similar things in my district and around the country. But many upper-income people claim to be moderates, and, contrary to popular belief, conservatives lose most very wealthy areas two-to-one or worse.

I have spoken to a very wide variety of groups in Washington, around the country, and in my district, and I have gotten an overwhelmingly positive response every time I have said that it has been a horrible mistake to spend trillions on unnecessary wars in the Middle East.
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Ron Paul: Why Are US Special Forces in 81 Countries?

US special operations forces are operating in 81 countries according to the Wall Street Journal. Their budget has increased five-fold since 2001 and their personnel have doubled. They operate in secret, most often without Congressional oversight or even knowledge. Is it dangerous for the president to have what is de facto a personal army like this? Tune in to the Ron Paul Liberty Report...
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Crisis, What Crisis?—The al-Qaeda Takeover of Syria

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This weekend it was reported that al-Qaeda affiliated rebels were “almost completely in control” of the last major government held city in the Idlib province in northern Syria.

This is really big news as it means that the Syrian government’s coastal heartlands including the important port of Latakia, a Baathist stronghold are under direct threat. It’s a major advance for the cause of al-Qaeda, yet what is most revealing is the lack of reaction or any concern from Western leaders.

You‘d think that Western leaders would be alarmed at the al-Qaeda advances given how much they warn us of the “threat” from radical Islamists and how many Western troops were lost in the “war on terror” in Afghanistan.

In fact, the lack of concern regarding the militants’ gains in Syria exposes the fundamental deceit at the heart of Western foreign policy. The elites claim to be fighting radical Islamists, yet in Syria they’re doing everything they possibly can to ensure that the side that’s fighting radical Islamists, the secular Syrian government, is weakened and eventually defeated.
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