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Reality Check: America Needs Iran

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Since the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was announced last week, the Obama administration—echoing previous pledges that nuclear talks with Tehran do not presage a US-Iranian “grand bargain”—has assiduously reaffirmed that progress on the nuclear issue does not signal a wider diplomatic opening.

Such a posture ignores an overwhelming strategic reality: America’s position in the Middle East is in free fall, and the only way out is to realign US relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Washington must do this as purposefully as it realigned relations with the People’s Republic of China in the 1970s, when it struggled to extricate America from the self-inflicted debacle of the Vietnam War and to renew its diplomatic options, for the Cold War’s last phase and beyond. By not using nuclear diplomacy as a catalyst for broader, “Nixon to China” rapprochement with Iran, Obama and his team ensure further erosion of America’s standing as a great power, in the Middle East and globally.

US engagement in the Middle East over the past quarter century is a textbook example of what Paul Kennedy famously described as “imperial overstretch”—a great power’s expansion of strategic ambitions and commitments beyond its capacity to sustain them.
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Lawrence Wilkerson: Iran ‘Win-Win’ Announced but Many Congressional Republicans Still Want War

Speaking Friday on MSNBC with host Ed Schultz, Lawrence Wilkerson described the announced framework for a nuclear agreement with Iran as setting up a “win-win” agreement for the parties with importance on the level of the opening of relations between China and the United States during the Nixon administration. But, Wilkerson, a Ron Paul Institute advisor who served as chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, cautions that many congressional Republicans are still seeking war on Iran. If the agreement unravels, Wilkerson predicts the region around Iran will become much more dangerous.
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The IRS and Congress Both Hold Our Liberty in Contempt

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This week the Justice Department announced it would not charge former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress. Some members of Congress requested that Lerner be charged with contempt after she refused to testify at a congressional hearing investigating her role in denying or delaying the applications for tax-exempt status of “tea party” and pro-limited government organizations.

Cynics might suggest it is not surprising that a former government official would avoid prosecution for refusing to tell Congress about how federal employees abused their power to help the incumbent administration. These cynics have a point, but the problem goes beyond mere partisanship. Government officials are rarely prosecuted for even the most blatant violations of our liberties. In contrast, federal prosecutors routinely pursue criminal charges against whistleblowers. For example, the only American prosecuted and imprisoned in relation to the government's use of torture was whistleblower John Kiriakou!
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Soros Looks to Co-Own Ukraine

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Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros has proposed a $1 billion contribution of a combined $50 billion investment package in the Ukraine in order to form an economic barrier to Russia’s entry to the war torn nation. In an interview with an Austrian newspaper, Soros said, “The West can help Ukraine by increasing attractiveness for investors.” The Hungarian-born economic hitman may be more interested in helping his, and other investors', pockets, rather than the people of Ukraine. The speculation here could undermine any truly democratic action in Ukraine. By using low EU Central Bank interest rates to achieve his investments, Soros’s plans begin to bear marked similarities to speculations that destroyed the British Pound and took severe tolls in places like Argentina.

The business model is nothing new for Soros, who has engaged in similar investment projects in West Africa. He continues, “There are concrete investment ideas, for example in agriculture and infrastructure projects. I would put in $1 billion. This must generate a profit. My foundation would benefit from this … Private engagement needs strong political leadership.” 

In Nigeria, Cameroon, Uganda, and elsewhere, Soros has leveraged his political connections to protect his business interests in those nations. Revenue Watch International, a Soros firm, assisted Uganda in the development of its fossil fuel drilling regulations. Open Society Institute, another Soros non-governmental organization, has recently been responsible for setting up and later overthrowing presidents of Senegal and Congo. Soros maintains significant oil, gold, and diamond drilling operations in these nations. The International Crisis Group, yet another Soros NGO, has repeatedly advised the US Government to provide American military intervention in these fragile societies heavy in natural resources.
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NATO is Building Up for War

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The German city of Frankfurt is continental Europe’s largest financial center and host to the country’s Stock Exchange, countless other financial institutions, and the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) which is responsible for administering the monetary policy of the 18-nation Eurozone. The place is awash with money, as demonstrated by the plush new ECB office building which is costing a fortune.

The original price of the bank’s enormous palace was supposed to be 500 million euros, about 550 million dollars, but the bill has now been admitted as €1.3 billion (£930 m; $1.4 bn). This absurdly over-expensive fiasco was directed by the people who are supposed to steer the financial courses of 18 nations and their half billion unfortunate citizens. If the ECB displays similar skill sets in looking after Europe’s money as it has in controlling the cost of constructing its huge twin-tower headquarters, then Europe is in for a rocky time.

Intriguingly, the Bank isn’t alone in contributing to Europe’s bureaucratic building boom. There is another Europe-based organization of equal ambition, pomposity and incompetence which is building a majestically expensive and luxurious headquarters with a mammoth cost overrun about which it is keeping very quiet indeed.
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America’s Warfare State Revolution

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It is impossible to overstate the magnitude of the warfare-state revolution that transformed the federal government and American society after World War II. The roots of America’s foreign-policy crises today, along with the massive infringements on civil liberties and privacy and the federal government’s program of secret indefinite incarceration, torture, assassination, and extra-judicial executions can all be traced to the grafting of a national-security apparatus onto America’s federal governmental system in the 1940s.

Certainly, the seeds for what happened in the post-WWII era were sown prior to that time, specifically in the move toward empire, which, interestingly enough, occurred during the same period of time that Progressives were inducing Americans to abandon their system of economic liberty and free markets in favor of socialism and interventionism in the form of a welfare state and regulated economy.

I’m referring to the year 1898, when the US government intervened in the Spanish American War, with the ostensible aim of helping the Cuban and Filipino people win their independence. It was a false and fraudulent intervention, one that was actually designed to place Cuba and the Philippines under the control of the US government. The result was a brutal war in the Philippines between US forces and the Filipino people, along with a never-ending obsession to control Cuba, one that would end up becoming a central focus of the national-security state.
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Yemen: The Stage is Set

As the US-backed Saudi attack on neighboring Yemen continues to expand, the biggest question is why and to what purpose? Is one of the least democratic countries on earth, Saudi Arabia, claiming to restore democracy in Yemen, where the president was elected with 99 percent of the vote? "Well there are dictators and there are dictators," says Ron Paul as his Liberty Report takes a look at the incredibly dangerous situation in Yemen...
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Ron Paul: Why Can't the US Let Go of Iranian Sanctions?

With the P5+1 talks extending beyond the March 31st deadline, it appears the main impediment to a deal is the refusal to lift sanctions on Iran even if Iran begins implementing its part of the agreement. Some on the other side are holding out for a delay of up to several years before Iran sees substantial sanctions relief. What are the origins of the sanctions on Iran? The 1979 revolution that overthrew a dictator. Unfortunately for Iran, it was the US's dictator so instead of praise they got sanctions. Ron Paul takes a look at the very important Iran discussions and gives his take on what to expect...
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Iran Demands Lifting of Sanctions for 'Irreversible' Moves, Says Insider

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As the P5+1 and Iran agree to continue talks on a possible joint statement past a midnight deadline into Wednesday, the most contentious issue in Lausanne still appears to be how and when sanctions on Iran will be lifted.

Virtually all the details of the negotiating positions of the two sides remain cloaked in secrecy. However, Middle East Eye has learned from an informed source in contact with negotiators in Lausanne that the core issue remaining to be resolved is whether the P5+1 will end some sanctions as soon as Iran has taken what it is calling “irreversible’ actions to implement the agreement.

Iran has already made some significant concessions on the sanctions issue, the source revealed. Iran and the six-nation group, led by the US, have agreed that unilateral US and European sanctions as UN Security Council sanctions that related to Iran’s nuclear programme could be “suspended” rather than being lifted permanently at the beginning of the implementation of the agreement. The Iranian delegation is also not contesting that the UN Security Council resolutions that forbid assistance to Iran’s ballistic missile program and other military programs can stay in place, the source said.
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The Biggest Threat to American Liberty

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George Washington pointed out, “Overgrown military establishments, which under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty."

Wise words by the father of our country, but ones, unfortunately, rejected by modern-day Americans, who love and idolize the enormously overgrown military establishment that now characterizes our federal governmental system.

Eastern Europeans are getting a gander at America’s overgrown military establishment. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that a huge contingent of US military forces is winding its way through Eastern Europe as some sort of good-will tour and also to serve as a message to Russia that the United States is ready to go to war to protect Eastern Europe from Russia’s aggressive designs.

Never mind that it is America’s overgrown military establishment that gave rise to Russia’s so-called aggressive designs. Ever since the end of the Cold War, NATO has been absorbing Eastern European countries with the ultimate aim of absorbing Ukraine, which would enable the US military to place bases and missiles on Russia’s borders.
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