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The New Militarism: Who Profits?

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Militarism and military spending are everywhere on the rise, as the new Cold War propaganda seems to be paying off. The new “threats” that are being hyped bring big profits to military contractors and the network of think tanks they pay to produce pro-war propaganda. 
 
Here are just a few examples:

The German government announced last week that it would purchase 100 more “Leopard” tanks – a 45 percent increase in the country’s inventory. Germany had greatly reduced its inventory of tanks as the end of the Cold War meant the end of any threat of a Soviet ground invasion of Europe. The German government now claims these 100 new tanks, which may cost nearly half a billion dollars, are necessary to respond to the new Russian assertiveness in the region. Never mind that Russia has neither invaded nor threatened any country in the region, much less a NATO member country.
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What Was US Defense Secretary Doing in Japan?

The Obama Administration's "pivot to Asia" seems to only have a military component. Unfortunately it is not a pivot toward more trade or more peaceful exchanges. This past week US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter went to Tokyo to celebrate a shift in Japan's defense policy that would allow them to engage militarily should their friends and allies come under attack. It is a slippery slope toward involvement in Washington's regime change operations worldwide. What Carter did not count on, however, was that the opposition to the 70 year US occupation of Okinawa to take center stage. Ron Paul takes on this Asian pivot in his latest Liberty Report...
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Obama Should Rescind Sanctions Against Venezuela

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This week regional leaders from 35 Latin American and Caribbean nations meet at the Seventh Summit of the Americas. The meeting in Panama will be a historical encounter ending the 50-year exclusion of Cuba from the Organization of American States.

Both presidents Obama and Raul Castro will be present and a highly-anticipated meet and greet between them has the potential to rapidly advance a thaw in relations and an end to the unpopular US embargo against Cuba.

While Latin American governments have applauded the Obama administration’s efforts to reestablish ties with Cuba, hope for a renewed relationship with the region has been tainted by the US government’s recent actions against Venezuela. A unanimous statement from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), which represents all 33 countries in the region, has firmly condemned the March 9, 2015 Executive Order issued by President Obama declaring Venezuela “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States.” The CELAC statement also rejected the corresponding sanctions imposed by the US government against Venezuelan officials, considering them “coercive measures contrary to international law.”
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Obama Inherits Saudi Arabia’s Yemeni War

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The US-backed Saudi military intervention in Yemen is entering a dangerous phase. Clearly, the Saudi air attacks, guided by US intelligence and logistics support, have not had any worthwhile impact so far on the Houthi campaign to seize control of southern Yemeni port city of Aden. But it is Pakistan that may have dealt a lethal blow to the US-Saudi campaign today.

The country’s parliament has unanimously called for Pakistan staying neutral in the Yemen conflict except in the highly improbable eventuality of Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity being violated. In operative terms, this means that Pakistan will not join any ground attacks on Yemen. Which in turn means that the Saudi intervention will be severely cramped, since military experts and analysts doubt the efficacy of the Saudis achieving any worthwhile results through the air attacks alone.

Without Pakistan, the much-touted Saudi “coalition” becomes a macabre joke. Read a Guardian report, here, on the actual composition of the Saudis’ so-called coalition. It is out of the question that Egypt’s Field marshal Abdel Fatah Al-Sissi has forgotten that Egypt under Nasser once burnt its fingers very badly in Yemen.
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Does The Government Make Us Safe?

The police brutality evident in the recent shooting of the unarmed Walter Scott is a symptom of a bigger problem, which is blind trust that the government exists to make us safer. After 9/11, Americans were told they must give up their liberty at home and endorse endless wars abroad in order for the government to save them from terrorism. But instead of safety Americans have gotten in return a government that is increasingly brutal toward them and increasingly sees them as the enemy. Watch the Ron Paul Liberty Report for more on this disturbing phenomenon...
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Kick Open the Doorway to Liberty: What Are We Waiting For?

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Free speech, religious expression, privacy, due process, bodily integrity, the sanctity of human life, the sovereignty of the family, individuality, the right to self-defense, protection against police abuses, representative government, private property, human rights—the very ideals that once made this nation great—have become casualties of a politically correct, misguided, materialistic, amoral, militaristic culture.

Indeed, I’m having a hard time reconciling the America I know and love with the America being depicted in the daily news headlines, where corruption, cronyism and abuse have taken precedence over the rights of the citizenry and the rule of law.

What kind of country do we live in where it’s acceptable for police to shoot unarmed citizens, for homeowners to be jailed for having overgrown lawns (a Texas homeowner was actually sentenced to 17 days in jail and fined $1700 for having an overgrown lawn), for kids to be tasered and pepper sprayed for acting like kids at school (many are left with health problems ranging from comas and asthma to cardiac arrest), and for local governments to rake in hefty profits under the guise of traffic safety (NPR reports that police departments across the country continue to require quotas for arrests and tickets, a practice that is illegal but in effect)?
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More Weapons for the Yemen War

Washington announced this week that it is getting much more involved in the Saudi bombing of Yemen. The Saudis want to re-install ousted Yemeni president Hadi, who himself had taken power in a coup. US Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced yesterday that the US would be expediting its shipments of bombs to Saudi Arabia where they would be used to blow up more of that country's citizens and infrastructure. Meanwhile Iran has sent a couple of naval vessels to the increasingly volatile area. Can anyone say why exactly the US is rapidly becoming involved in yet another war in the Middle East? Tune in to the Ron Paul Liberty Report for more...
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$416 Million Afghan Program to Empower Women: No ‘Tangible Benefit’

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The American reconstruction campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan have, and continue, to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on pointless projects seemingly designed solely to funnel money into the pockets of US government contractors.


Empowering Women

These projects (Iraq War examples are detailed in my book We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People seem to bounce between the merely pointless, such as dams that are never completed and roads to nowhere, to the absurdly pointless.

One ongoing theme under the absurdly pointless category has been the “empowerment of women.” In both countries, the US has acted on the assumption that the women there want to throw off their hijabs and burkas and become entrepreneurs, if… only… they knew how. Leaving aside the idea that many women throughout the Middle East and beyond prefer the life they have been living for some 2000 years before the arrival of the United States, the empowerment concept has become a standard.
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All Praise To The Iranian Nuclear Framework—It Finally Exposes The War Party’s Big Lie

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The Iranian framework agreement is an astonishingly good deal, and has the potential to become a historic game-changer. As Robert Parry astutely observed, its about much more than sheaving the threat that Iran will get the bomb:
The April 2 framework agreement with Iran represents more than just a diplomatic deal to prevent nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. It marks a crossroad that offers a possible path for the American Republic to regain its footing and turn away from endless war.
The saliency of that observation lies in the fact that there is virtually nothing in the substance of the deal for the War Party to attack. So what they are doing is desperately hurtling the Iranian axis-of-evil narrative at the agreement, claiming that the regime is so untrustworthy, diabolical and existentially dangerous that no product of mere diplomacy is valid. The Iranians are by axiom hell-bent on evil and no mere “scrap of paper” will stop them.
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Mysterious Deaths in Ukraine

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Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on Feb. 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of a Kremlin-directed political murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Russian President Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.

US Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Barack Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia.
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