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Iraq War 3.0: What Could Possibly Go Right?

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Karl von Clausewitz, the famed Prussian military thinker, is best known for his aphorism “War is the continuation of state policy by other means.” But what happens to a war in the absence of coherent state policy?

Actually, we now know. Washington’s Iraq War 3.0, Operation Inherent Resolve, is what happens. In its early stages, I asked sarcastically, “What could possibly go wrong?” As the mission enters its fourth month, the answer to that question is already grimly clear: just about everything. It may be time to ask, in all seriousness: What could possibly go right?

Knowing Right from Wrong

The latest American war was launched as a humanitarian mission. The goal of its first bombing runs was to save the Yazidis, a group few Americans had heard of until then, from genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (IS). Within weeks, however, a full-scale bombing campaign was underway against IS across Iraq and Syria with its own “coalition of the willing” and 1,600 U.S. military personnel on the ground. Slippery slope? It was Teflon-coated. Think of what transpired as several years of early Vietnam-era escalation compressed into a semester.
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What The Mid-Term Elections Really Mean For Peace and Liberty

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Did the election last week really mean that much? I took to my Twitter account on Tuesday to point out that the change in control of the Senate from Democrat to Republican actually means very little, despite efforts by politicians and the mainstream media to convince us otherwise. Yes, power shifted, I wrote. But the philosophy on Capitol Hill changed very little. The warfare/welfare state is still alive and well in Washington.

Some were critical of my comment that, “Republican control of the Senate equals expanded neo-con wars in Syria and Iraq. Boots on the ground are coming!”

But unfortunately my fears were confirmed even sooner than I thought. Shortly after the vote, President Obama announced that he would double the number of US troops on the ground in Iraq and request another $5.6 billion to fight his war in the Middle East.
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NYPD Union Leader: Reducing Marijuana Arrests is “Beginning of the Breakdown of a Civilized Society”

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Reported efforts to begin following through on New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2013 election promise to reduce marijuana arrests in the city has distressed Sergeants Benevolent Association police union President Ed Mullins. Mullins is quoted Wednesday in the New York Post lamenting that “If the current practice of making arrests for both possession and sale of marijuana is, in fact, abandoned, then this is clearly the beginning of the breakdown of a civilized society.”

The city’s apparent move to reduce the number of marijuana arrests comes soon after an October joint report of the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Arrest Research Project publicized that the number of marijuana possession arrests in New York City were on track to remain the same under de Blasio’s leadership, or even increase, compared to arrests under Michael Bloomberg, the preceding mayor.

Of course, the truth is that there is nothing civilized about arresting people and throwing them in jail for making the choice to use, buy, or sell marijuana. Such choices have been tolerated or accepted in much of the world for centuries and were legal under United States law for the majority of the nation’s history. US legal prohibitions and punishments were imposed in the 20th century, including with the enactment of laws such as the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 and marijuana’s inclusion in schedule one of Controlled Substances Act of 1970, thus applying the most expansive level of prohibition to actions involving the plant. In contrast, looking further back to the origins of the US, we find that Founding Fathers grew hemp on their farms, including George Washington at Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson at Monticello.
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Dennis Kucinich: 'The US Must Work to Reestablish Friendly Relations With Russia'

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Rossiya Segodnya sat down recently with Dennis Kucinich, Former US Representative from Ohio and two-time candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Hello Dennis, Thank You for speaking with us, one of your most recent political drives has been “Redefining National Security From Terror to Peace”. What does the Republicans' victory in midterm elections mean for US national security?

Dennis Kucinich: American people define national security as human security, as a security of a job, decent wages, healthcare that is not determined by insurance companies. They determine national security in terms of human security with respect to education of the children, safe neighborhoods, clean air, clean water. They talk of national security in terms of the protection of their civil liberties, the right to be free from government spying, intrusion into private communications. And they speak of national security in very personal terms that again can be described as human security. When Washington speaks of national security, Washington means perpetual war and the rise of a national security state with the military industrial complex determining the priorities of the country, and the intelligence agencies getting more and more money to reach more deeply into the personal lives of American people. So, there is a great divide here.
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Obama Demands Another 1,500 Troops and $5.6 Billion for War Expansion

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Just three days after RPI Chairman Ron Paul Tweeted that the US elections would result in more war in the Middle East, President Obama today announced that he would be sending 1,500 more troops into Iraq. This will bring the total to over 3,000 US troops in an undeclared and unauthorized deployment. It was just September when President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry swore that no US ground troops would be sent to Iraq. Did anyone believe them?

Any argument that these troops are not "combat" troops is disingenuous, as any troops sent into a combat zone are combat troops. Fifty years ago this week, then-Defense Secretary McNamara similarly vowed that no US combat troops would be sent into Vietnam. The 58k dead Americans and millions of dead Vietnamese can attest to the hollowness of such promises.

After Dr. Paul tweeted that the Republican victory Tuesday would result in more neocon wars and even boots on the ground in Iraq, neocon godfather Bill Kristol hopefully agreed, “I think Ron Paul told the truth,” Kristol said on Wednesday.
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Why US Anti-ISIS Videos Don't Work

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The U.S., via the State Department, is spending considerable effort and money producing anti-ISIS videos and other media (actual example, above), the goal of which is to convince American and other would-be jihadis not to join ISIS. The efforts won’t work, almost can’t work. They fail to understand the way ISIS recruits and as such, can’t counter it.

Alcoholics Anonymous

The starting point is oddly Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). AA does not recruit per se; instead, they rely on attraction, not promotion. The difference is subtle but crucial. Long experience suggests people lured in any spur-of-the-moment, impulse decisions that actually require long-term commitment will almost certainly fail. AA won’t create a commitment, but rather relies on you to make a commitment. Ads for the organization never try to seduce or seek out members. Instead, the focus is on what AA is, and what it does for you if you participate. If you want what we have, sobriety, they say, then join us. Otherwise, thanks for listening.
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Ron Paul’s Take on the 2014 Midterm Elections

Former United States House of Representatives member and presidential candidate Ron Paul is not mincing words in presenting his take on the Tuesday midterm elections. Speaking with hosts Ben Swann and Erin Ade on RT, Paul argues that the US effectively has “a monopoly of a one party system” in which the candidate elections are not bringing about fundamental change. Yet, Paul does express hope that marijuana ballot measures approved by voters in the election are a sign of how respect for liberty may be advanced in America.
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Washington-backed 'Rebels' Surrender US Arms to Al Qaeda in Syria

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Washington’s strategy in its three-month-old war in Iraq and Syria appeared to suffer another humiliating blow over the weekend as one of the last remaining strongholds of US-backed “moderate rebels” in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib fell to the Nusra Front, the Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda.

The collapse of the US-backed force in Syria came amid reported plans for a major retraining of the Iraqi army in preparation for a US-orchestrated offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq sometime next year.

Both developments underscore the unreliability of the proxy forces the Obama administration has indicated are to serve as the “boots on the ground” in the two countries and point to the inevitable expansion of the number and role of US troops deployed to prosecute the new Middle East war.

Washington Post correspondent Liz Sly, who has been one of the most enthusiastic media propagandists for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the so-called “moderate rebels,” questioned whether the FSA would “manage to survive the trouncing inflicted in recent days” by the Nusra Front. She described the events in Idlib as “throwing the rebels into disarray and upending the Obama administration’s hopes for a moderate alternative to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.”
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The FBI: America’s Secret Police

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Secret police. Secret courts. Secret government agencies. Surveillance. Intimidation tactics. Harassment. Torture. Brutality. Widespread corruption. Entrapment schemes.

These are the hallmarks of every authoritarian regime from the Roman Empire to modern-day America, yet it’s the secret police—tasked with silencing dissidents, ensuring compliance, and maintaining a climate of fear—who sound the death knell for freedom in every age.

Every regime has its own name for its secret police: Mussolini’s OVRA carried out phone surveillance on government officials. Stalin’s NKVD carried out large-scale purges, terror and depopulation. Hitler’s Gestapo went door to door ferreting out dissidents and other political “enemies” of the state. And in the U.S., it’s the Federal Bureau of Investigation that does the dirty work of ensuring compliance, keeping tabs on potential dissidents, and punishing those who dare to challenge the status quo.

Whether the FBI is planting undercover agents in churches, synagogues and mosques; issuing fake emergency letters to gain access to Americans’ phone records; using intimidation tactics to silence Americans who are critical of the government, or persuading impressionable individuals to plot acts of terror and then entrapping them, the overall impression of the nation’s secret police force is that of a well-dressed thug, flexing its muscles and doing the boss’ dirty work.
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US Destroying Syria’s Oil Infrastructure Under Guise of Fighting ISIS

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The US is considering bombing pipelines in Syria, which it claims is in an attempt to cut off the huge profits being made by ISIS from captured oilfields. 

The Independent quotes Julieta Valls Noyes, the deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs during a visit to London, that ISIS was making $2 million a day off oil sales and that the US would consider airstrikes as well as “kinetic strikes against some pipelines” and “actual physical action to stop the flow”.

The trouble with this justification for destroying Syria’s oil pipelines, is that ISIS does not have the capability to use the pipelines to transfer oil. ISIS transports the stolen oil on the back of trucks, and sells it on the black market in Turkey.

This is admitted in the same Independent article that quoted Ms. Noyes.

The Independent claims:

Isis has sold some of the fuel from seized facilities back to the Damascus regime through local deals, while shipments had been sent into Turkey for the black market, with the Erdogan government accused of turning a blind eye to the illicit transactions. 

If the US truly intended to stop ISIS oil profits, they would bomb these oil convoys, which are easily spotted via conventional surveillance flights already allegedly taking place as part of ongoing Western operations.


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