The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
Subscribe to the Institute View Us on YouTube Follow Us On Twitter Join Us on Facebook Join Us at Google Plus

Search Results

for:

How Narratives Killed the Syrian People

undefined

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.
read on...

A Better Approach To Terrorism

undefined

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.
read on...

Trump vs. Clinton on Foreign Policy

Between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, whose foreign policy would most likely lead to war? Which one has a better track record in foreign policy? Are either of them any good? RPI Director Daniel McAdams finds himself in the middle between a Donald Trump supporter and a Hillary Clinton supporter in this edition of RT's Crosstalk...
read on...

Reporting (or Not) the Ties Between US-Armed Syrian Rebels and Al Qaeda’s Affiliate

undefined

A crucial problem in news media coverage of the Syrian civil war has been how to characterize the relationship between the so-called “moderate” opposition forces armed by the CIA, on one hand, and the Al Qaeda franchise Al Nusra Front (and its close ally Ahrar al Sham), on the other. But it is a politically sensitive issue for US policy, which seeks to overthrow Syria’s government without seeming to make common cause with the movement responsible for 9/11, and the system of news production has worked effectively to prevent the news media from reporting it fully and accurately.

The Obama administration has long portrayed the opposition groups it has been arming with anti-tank weapons as independent of Nusra Front.  In reality, the administration has been relying on the close cooperation of these “moderate” groups with Nusra Front  to put pressure on the Syrian government. The United States and its allies–especially Saudi Arabia and Turkey–want the civil war to end with the dissolution of the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by US rivals like Russia and Iran.

Reflecting the fact that Nusra Front was created by Al Qaeda and has confirmed its loyalty to it, the administration designated Nusra as a terrorist organization in 2013.  But the US has carried out very few airstrikes against it since then, in contrast to the other offspring of Al Qaeda, the Islamic State or ISIS (Daesh), which has been the subject of intense air attacks from the US and its European allies.  The US has remained silent about Nusra Front’s leading role in the military effort against Assad, concealing the fact that Nusra’s success in northwest Syria has been a key element in Secretary of State John Kerry’s diplomatic strategy for Syria.
read on...

My Too-Intimate Relations With The TSA

undefined

Airport security or Gitmo? Transportation security requires competence not sexual assault.

The Transportation Security Administration finally obeyed a 2011 federal court order March 3 and issued a 157 page Federal Register notice justifying its controversial full-body scanners and other checkpoint procedures. TSA’s notice ignored the fact that the “nudie” scanners are utterly unreliable; TSA failed to detect 95% of weapons and mock bombs that Inspector General testers smuggled past them last year while the agency continues to mislead the public about its heavy-handed treatment of travelers.

The Federal Register notice is full of soothing pablum about how travelers have no reason to fear the TSA, declaring that “passengers can obtain information before they leave for the airport on what items are prohibited.” But it neglects to mention that TSA can invoke ludicrous pretexts to treat innocent travelers as suspicious terrorist suspects.

Flying home from Portland, Ore., on Thanksgiving morning, I had a too-close encounter with TSA agents that spurred me to file a Freedom of Information Act request. On March 5, I finally received a bevy of TSA documents and video footage with a grope-by-grope timeline.
read on...

Brussels Attack, Back To Iraq - What Would Reagan Do?

What does today's bombing in Brussels have to do with ISIS in Iraq? Both feed the usual calls for military escalation in response to a problem created by military escalation in the first place. If ISIS is in Iraq as a result of the ill-fated 2003 US military action in Iraq, how can more military action in Iraq solve the problem? Likewise, if Europe's slavish adherence to the Washington-led interventionist foreign policy has resulted in blowback attacks, how does signing on to more of what the Beltway neocons have to offer going to remedy the problem? Perhaps, strangely enough, we can learn from what President Reagan did in a similar situation...
read on...

Obama in Cuba - Too Soon Or Too Late?

President Obama's trip to Cuba is making history: it has been nearly a century since an American president set foot on Cuban soil. But if the trip is to lead to a real normalization in relations, both governments need to back off and let people-to-people diplomacy take over. Today's Liberty Report on the good news and bad news of Obama's Cuban visit...
read on...

Google This! Hillary Clinton and the Syrian Regime-Change Conspiracy

undefined

If you’d have said a year ago that the US State Department, Google, and Al Jazeera had been collaborating in pursuance of regime change in Syria, chances are you’d have been casually dismissed as a "crank" and a ‘conspiracy theorist."

Syria was a people’s uprising against a wicked genocidal Russian-backed dictator and the West had nothing to do with the bloodshed which engulfed the country. If you thought otherwise then you were considered an "Assad apologist."

However, thanks to Wikileaks, the Freedom of Information Act, and Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private, non-secure email server, we can see what was really going on behind the curtain.

Overall, 30,322 emails and attachments dating from June 30, 2010 to August 12, 2014, including 7,570 written by Clinton herself, have been published.

They haven’t made much of an impact in the mainstream media, which is not surprising considering their explosive content.

The emails reveal how the US State Department, "independent" media, and Silicon Valley have worked together to try and achieve foreign policy goals.



read on...

Soros Disruption: American-Style

undefined

Eastern Europeans and Arabs are all-too-familiar with the political street hooliganism sponsored by global “provocateur” George Soros and his minions. Lately, middle-class Americans have had a taste of the type of violent protest provocations during the current US presidential campaign that have previously been visited upon governments from Macedonia and Moldova to Syria and Libya. 

Recently, Donald Trump campaign rallies have seen highly-coordinated and well-planned political demonstrations in Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis, Dayton, and other cities. The rallies were disrupted by highly-coordinated and well-planned protesters waving freshly-printed protest signs before awaiting television cameras. Such “rent-a-mob” actions are trademark signs of the involvement of George Soros and the “godfather” of political street violence, Gene Sharp, in disrupting the normal political process. 

One of the favored methods proposed by Sharp and embraced by Soros-financed groups is the taunting of individuals. Sharp’s advice to taunt speakers is being played out in the US presidential campaign: “instead of predominantly silent and dignified behavior... people may mock and insult officials, either at a certain place or by following them for a period.” Sharp suggests that taunting individuals, such as presidential candidates, be combined with a refusal to disperse when either asked or ordered to do so. Sharp claims that these methods are “non-violent.” However, when the US Secret Service, charged with protecting presidential candidates from assassination or bodily harm, order protesters to leave a campaign venue and there is a subsequent refusal to do so, violence is a certainty.
read on...

Beltway Conservative Budget Plans Are Big Spending and Anti-Liberty

undefined

According to a recent poll, 73 percent of all Americans oppose increases in federal spending. Since this anti-government spending sentiment is a major reason Republicans control the House and Senate, one would expect the Republican Congress to hold the line on, or even cut, government spending. Yet, despite the Republican leadership’s rhetoric about "fiscal responsibility," this year’s House Republican budget spends $104 billion more than the GOP’s 2013 budget.

Some conservatives, most notably the Heritage Foundation, have criticized the GOP budget. Heritage and the conservative House Republican Study Committee (RSC) have both prepared conservative alternatives to the official Republican budgets. Unfortunately, neither the Heritage nor the RSC budgets meaningfully reduce federal spending.
read on...


Authors

Tags