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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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The Real War on the Middle Class

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One of the great ironies of American politics is that most politicians who talk about helping the middle class support policies that, by expanding the welfare-warfare state, are harmful to middle-class Americans. Eliminating the welfare-warfare state would benefit middle-class Americans by freeing them from exorbitant federal taxes, including the Federal Reserve’s inflation tax.

Politicians serious about helping middle-class Americans should allow individuals to opt out of Social Security and Medicare by not having to pay payroll taxes if they agree to never accept federal retirement or health care benefits. Individuals are quite capable of meeting their own unique retirement and health care needs if the government stops forcing them into one-size-fits-all plans.
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Morsi Jailed: Another Mission Accomplished

.In 2011 the US backed the "Arab Spring" which overthrew military dictator Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, in the name of democracy. But US officials soon soured on the democratically-elected Muhammad Morsi so they supported a military dictator who overthrew him, al-Sisi. Now the elected Morsi is going to jail for arresting some protestors, while Sisi retains US support after killing more than a thousand of his political opponents. As usual, the Ron Paul Liberty Report brings a different perspective
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Libya Migrant Crisis: Whose Fault?

Thousands are desperate to escape from a Libya that is increasingly in the hands of ISIS and other murderous gangs. This past week more than a thousand drowned in the Mediterranean on rickety boats. The mainstream media will never report the real cause of this mass exodus, the 2011 NATO attack on Libya. As usual, the case to bomb the country was largely manufactured by special interests. Today's Ron Paul Liberty Report takes a look at who is really at fault for this crisis.
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Obama's Drone Strike: A Targeted Assassination

Today President Obama held an extraordinary event to announce that in January the US had killed two hostages in Pakistan. One was an American, a USAID contractor, the other an Italian aid worker. Presumably these two were killed by a drone strike as the US targeted what it believed was an al-Qaeda headquarters building. This was big news, but what was really interesting -- but not as covered by the mainstream media -- is that other drone strikes in that time period killed two other American citizens who were accused of joining al-Qaeda. These Americans were not tried and found guilty of terrorism. They were executed on orders from the president. The Ron Paul Liberty Report today takes a look at this disturbing development.
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First They Came for the Anti-Vaxxers

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Earlier this year I spent a few days at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center with my daughter who was having an EEG done. On our way home, I learned that there had been an outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant bacteria while we were there, that it had infected seven people and killed two of them. My daughter and I were fine – the infection having been limited to people using a particular kind of duodenoscope.

When the story hit the news, I fully expected nationwide outcry similar to that inspired by the recent measles “epidemic” that began at Disneyland. That outbreak killed no-one, yet set the country on fire with calls for mandatory vaccination and even prison sentences for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children. Drug-resistant “superbugs” kill nearly 15,000 people a year in the US and a recent report predicts that they could kill as many as 300 million people by 2050. Surely this far more deadly health threat would lead to similar widespread outrage and calls for those even remotely responsible to be held accountable.
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Houthi Arms Bonanza Came From Saleh, Not Iran

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As the Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi targets in Yemen continues, notwithstanding a temporary pause, the corporate media narrative about the conflict in Yemen is organised decisively around the idea that it is a proxy war between Iran on one side and the Saudis and United States on the other.


USA Today responded like Pavlov’s dog this week to a leak by Pentagon officials that it was sending the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt to the waters off Yemen, supposedly to intercept Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthis. It turned out that the warship was being sent primarily to symbolise US support for the Saudis, and the Pentagon made no mention of Iranian arms when it announced the move. But the story of the US navy intercepting Iranian arms was irresistible, because it fit so neatly into the larger theme of Iran arming and training the Houthis as its proxy military force in Yemen.

News stories on Yemen in recent months have increasingly incorporated a sentence or even a paragraph invoking the accusation that Iran has been arming the Houthis and using them to gain power in the Gulf. The State Department’s principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Gerald Feierstein nourished that narrative in Congressional testimony last week depicting Iran as having provided “financial support, weapons, training and intelligence” to the Houthis. Feierstein acknowledged that the Houthi movement is “not controlled directly by Iran”, but claimed a “significant growth in Iranian engagement” with the Houthis in the past year.
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US-backed Criminal Slaughter in Yemen Revealed

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Former UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, has given an undiplomatic assessment of the crisis in that country, in which he rhetorically explodes Saudi myths “justifying” the US-backed aerial bombing campaign. The Moroccan diplomat told media at the weekend that the ongoing conflict was a direct result of Houthi rebels having been excluded from the political process last year. 

Furthermore, Benomar went on to say unequivocally that during his tenure as UN envoy in Yemen he saw no evidence of Iranian involvement stirring the country’s strife. 

That testimony debunks the Western media-contrived whitewash of the continuing Saudi slaughter in Yemen – a slaughter that is being aided and abetted, politically and militarily, by Washington. 

Benomar resigned from his diplomatic post last week after three years of being charged with facilitating political talks between Yemeni rebels and the US, Saudi-backed regime of now-ousted president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Benomar’s task had always been a futile one because the foreign sponsors of the Hadi regime were never interested in a genuine transition to a more democratic, representative government in the Arab Peninsula country.
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Protecting the Vicious, Punishing the Virtuous: Marijuana Prohibition and Idaho's Prison-Industrial Complex

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Josh Tewalt has a drug problem that led to several arrests. Like many others afflicted with that weakness, Tewalt eventually wound up in prison. Unlike most of them, however, he landed on the right side of the bars in the very lucrative position of Deputy Chief of Corrections for the State of Idaho. 

Without the dubious benefit of a college degree or substantial experience in law enforcement apart from his own time in jail, Tewalt receives a base salary of at least $83,000 a year to manage the human inventory of Idaho’s prison-industrial complex. 

Under Idaho’s state code, Tewalt’s repeated DUIs constituted an aggregate felony. Many – perhaps most – of the people whose lives he now controls committed offenses less serious than his. More than a few of them were convicted of felonies under Idaho’s pre-medieval laws against marijuana possession. The inmate population over which Tewalt presides may soon include desperate parents of children suffering from conditions for which non-intoxicating cannabis oil (CBD) is the only effective treatment
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Biased Reporting on Syria in the Service of War

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NBC's Richard Engel in 'false flag' kidnapping.

It has been confirmed that TV journalist Richard Engel’s kidnapping/rescue in norther Syria in late 2012 was a hoax. NBC management knew the story was probably false but proceeded to broadcast it anyway.

There are at least two good things about “Engelgate”:

* It is clear evidence of mainstream media bias in their reporting and characterization of the conflict in Syria. The kidnapping was meant to show that “bad” Assad supporters had kidnapped Richard Engel only to be rescued by the Western/Turkey/Gulf supported “good” rebels. NBC management knew the scenario was dubious but promoted it anyway.

* Engelgate is also proof that Syrian anti-government rebels consciously manipulated western media for political gain. An elaborate ruse was performed to demonize the Syrian government & supporters and to encourage more support for the anti-government rebels.

Some analysts have noted that the Engel/NBC deception is more serious than that of Brian Williams. In the Williams case a TV journalist was puffing himself up; in the Engel deception, public policy involving war and bloodshed was being influenced.
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