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The Cuban Embargo is an Attack on Both Cubans And Americans

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Sen. Robert Menendez

In its October 11 Sunday edition, the New York Times published an editorial calling for the lifting of the 45-year-old Cold War-era economic embargo against Cuba. The Times pointed out:

Over the decades, it became clear to many American policy makers that the embargo was an utter failure. But any proposal to end the embargo angered Cuban-American voters, a constituency that has had an outsize role in national elections.

Among those who got upset this time by the proposal to lift the embargo was Robert Menendez, the senior senator from New Jersey and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who wrote a letter of objection to the editor.

Mendendez says that President Obama shouldn’t “waste finite diplomatic resources on a country that abuses human rights and diametrically opposes our democratic ideals, at a time when the Islamic State is waging brutal war and Russia continues to undermine all international norms through its continuing invasion of Ukraine.”


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National Service is Anti-Liberty and Un-American

Rp Weekly Button

Former Clinton Administration Labor Secretary Robert Reich recently called on the government to force young people to spend two years either “serving” in the military or performing some other type of government-directed “community service.” Neoconservative Senator John McCain has introduced legislation creating a mandatory national service program very similar to Reich’s proposal. It is not surprising that both a prominent progressive and a leading neocon would support mandatory national service, as this is an issue that has long united authoritarians on the left and right. 

Proponents of national service claim that young people have a moral obligation to give something back to society. But giving the government power to decide our moral obligations is an invitation to totalitarianism. 


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The Real Secret of Iraq's Germ Weapons

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Back in the 1990’s, journalists used to joke, “Of course we know Iraq has chemical weapons. We have the delivery receipts to prove it!”

The joke turned out to be the exact truth.

While covering Iraq in 1990 – just before the first massive US bombing campaign – I discovered the US and Britain had secretly built a germ weapons arsenal for Iraq to use against Iran in the eight year-Iran-Iraq War.

This while both the US and Britain were fulminating with breathtaking hypocrisy against the alleged dangers of Iraq’s supposed WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) that never existed. Some years later, the two leading apostles of attacking Iraq, George W. Bush and Tony Blair, delivered Philippics against Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs while never mentioning that high level of western support for Iraq’s late leader.

Last week the widely read “New York Times” ran a multi-page exposé entitled “Abandoned Chemical Weapons and Secret Casualties in Iraq.”


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The Neocons — Masters of Chaos

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If you’re nervously watching the stock market gyrations and worrying about your declining portfolio or pension fund, part of the blame should go to America’s neocons who continue to be masters of chaos, endangering the world’s economy by instigating geopolitical confrontations in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. 

Of course, there are other factors pushing Europe’s economy to the brink of a triple-dip recession and threatening to stop America’s fragile recovery, too. But the neocons’ “regime change” strategies, which have unleashed violence and confrontations across Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran and most recently Ukraine, have added to the economic uncertainty. 

This neocon destabilization of the world economy began with the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 under President George W. Bush who squandered some $1 trillion on the bloody folly. But the neocons’ strategies have continued through their still-pervasive influence in Official Washington during President Barack Obama’s administration. 


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Warmongering Washington Hunting for Ebola, Russia and Islamic State

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The US Secretary of Defense Secretary categorized Russia as a global threat – much like Obama in his UN address last month - in the same breath as Ebola and Islamic State.

For anybody who took at face value the Obama administration’s past commitment for a “reset” with Russia, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel’s speech on Wednesday should dispel those grand illusions once and for all.

But first, there’s the deadly Ebola virus for the US military to contend with.

In commemorating the US military’s “global presence and engagement,” Hagel said the US Army, “will soon deploy as a key part of America’s contribution to the global effort to stop the spread of Ebola before it becomes an even more of a grave threat.”

The activation of the US Army into the epicenter of a viral epidemic may strike some as an actual dereliction of military duty, not to mention a reckless risk to soldiers. Moreover, judging by the Obama administration’s apparent lack of preparedness to handle a few Ebola cases in Dallas, Texas, how will the US Army fare in the midst of a full-blown epidemic in Africa?


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Ron Paul Blasts 'Deeply Flawed' US Foreign Policy - Interview With Larry King

RPI Chairman Ron Paul appeared on Larry King's "Politiking" program this week to discuss Ebola, Obama, foreign policy and so much more.

A big "thank you" to Larry King for mentioning the Ron Paul Institute in his introduction!

Dr. Paul and Mr. King hit on a wide variety of issues that will be of interest to RPI readers.

On Ebola, which is on everybody's mind, Dr. Paul is asked whether he believes the current outbreak is serious or overplayed. Dr. Paul responds that it is very serious and he is very worried about the outbreak. But, he adds, he is also worried about the media's obsession with Ebola, particularly when there are so many other even more serious diseases like tuberculosis and HIV that claim far more lives each year. 


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The Politicians Are Scaring You Again

Fear Twisted

They are doing it again. “They” are the war-party politicians, Democrats and Republicans. “It” is scaring you into supporting another war in the Middle East.

When will the American people learn? If in a republic the people are the ultimate check on government power, a gullible, easily frightened public is a disaster waiting to happen. Where is the derisive skepticism Americans are reputed to feel toward politicians? A high-ranking official and, say, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour need only say “Boogeyman!” and Americans line up for orders.

“Americans are increasingly concerned that ISIS represents a direct terror threat, fearful that ISIS agents are living in the United States, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll. Most now support military action against the terrorist group,” CNN reported in September. “Seven in 10 Americans believe ISIS has the resources to launch an attack against the United States.”

Administration officials leave the impression that the Islamic State (ISIS), which holds territory in Iraq and Syria, directly threatens Americans at home, although when pressed, these officials won’t say this outright. In interviews President Obama says there is no “immediate intelligence” concerning a threat, but he insists the U.S. military must strike ISIS now or else…
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Seven Worst-Case Scenarios in the Battle With the Islamic State

You know the joke? You describe something obviously heading for disaster -- a friend crossing Worst CaseDeath Valley with next to no gas in his car -- and then add, “What could possibly go wrong?”

Such is the Middle East today. The U.S. is again at war there, bombing freely across Iraq and Syria, advising here, droning there, coalition-building in the region to loop in a little more firepower from a collection of recalcitrant allies, and searching desperately for some non-American boots to put on the ground.

Here, then, are seven worst-case scenarios in a part of the world where the worst case has regularly been the best that’s on offer. After all, with all that military power being brought to bear on the planet’s most volatile region, what could possibly go wrong?
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Committing Highway Robbery to Fund Police Militarization

Seized

The militarization of local police in the United States is not being fueled just by the federal government providing military equipment, including machine guns, grenade launchers, and armored vehicles, to local police departments. The police are also funding the rise of SWAT with billions of dollars obtained through asset seizures that amount to highway robbery under the guise of law enforcement.

In an October 11 Washington Post article, Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Steven Rich offer some revealing details concerning how state and local police have raised billions of dollars since 2008 via asset seizures associated with the US Department of Justice Equitable Sharing Program that allows state and local police departments to take 80 percent of the proceeds of seizures conducted in cooperation with US government agencies. In addition, much more police revenue has been gained through asset seizures outside the program and without direct US government involvement.

What do the state and local police do with the money obtained through asset forfeitures? As the Post article explains, much of it is pumped into expanding surveillance and police militarization...
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Where Did Iraq Get Its Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Nyt Iraq


In April 2003, when U.S. officials were still celebrating their invasion and occupation of Iraq as a fantastic success, I wrote an article entitled, “Where Did Iraq Get Its Weapons of Mass Destruction?” Actually though, it wasn’t actually an article but rather a list of articles, with links to the listed articles.

One purpose of compiling that list of articles was to show why President Bush, the Pentagon, and the CIA were so certain that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction when their military forces invaded the country: Because they had the receipts for them.

That’s correct: That list of articles I compiled was to make the shocking suggestion that the United States and other Western powers had furnished chemical weapons and other WMDs to Saddam Hussein, the brutal dictator who U.S. officials were comparing to Hitler in their run-up to their military invasion of the country.

Think back to the months leading up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. There was no talk whatsoever about invading Iraq out of a sense of love for the Iraqi people and the wish to “liberate” them from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.
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