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Obama Fails to Make the Strategic Case for an Iran Nuclear Deal

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The Iran nuclear talks may be getting close to some sort of conclusion in Vienna, but American political and policy elites remain, to an appallingly large extent, clueless as to what is really at stake in the negotiations. And, while the headline from a recent NBC News poll notes that Americans favor an Iran nuclear deal by a “2 to 1” margin, in fact, the polls shows that a plurality of Americans say they don’t know what to think about a possible Iran nuclear deal.

These observations underscore a point that we have been making for some time: President Obama has yet to make the case to his fellow Americans for why an Iran nuclear deal—and, beyond that, a potential realignment of US relations with the Islamic Republic—is not just profoundly in American interests, but is strategically imperative for the United States.

This failure will almost certainly make it more difficult for Obama (and his successor) to implement a deal.

Furthermore, this failure will severely circumscribe the strategic benefits that the United States can accrue from a deal.
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Government Warmongering Criminals: Where Are They Now?

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The United States already has by far the per capita largest prison population of any developed country but I am probably one of the few Americans who on this Independence Day would like to see a lot more people in prison, mostly drawn from politicians and senior bureaucrats who have long believed that their status makes them untouchable, giving them license to steal and even to kill. The sad fact is that while whistleblowers have been imprisoned for revealing government criminality, no one in the federal bureaucracy has ever actually been punished for the crimes of torture, kidnapping and assassination committed during the George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama presidencies.

Why is accountability important? After the Second World War, the victorious allies believed it was important to establish responsibility for the crimes that had been committed by officials of the Axis powers. The judges at the Nuremberg Trials called the initiation of a war of aggression the ultimate war crime because it inevitably unleashed so many other evils. Ten leading Nazis were executed at Nuremberg and ninety-three Japanese officials at similar trials staged in Asia, including several guilty of waterboarding. Those who were not executed for being complicit in the actual launching of war were tried for torture of both military personnel and civilians and crimes against humanity, including the mass killing of civilians as well as of soldiers who had surrendered or been captured.
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Jade Helm, Terrorist Attacks, Surveillance, and Other Fairy Tales for a Gullible Nation

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Once upon a time, there was a nation of people who believed everything they were told by their government.

When terrorists attacked the country, and government officials claimed to have been caught by surprise, the people believed them. And when the government passed massive laws aimed at locking down the nation and opening the door to total government surveillance, the people believed it was done merely to keep them safe. The few who disagreed were labeled traitors.

When the government waged costly preemptive wars on foreign countries, insisting it was necessary to protect the nation, the citizens believed it. And when the government brought the weapons and tactics of war home to use against the populace, claiming it was just a way to recycle old equipment, the people believed that too. The few who disagreed were labeled unpatriotic.
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For Normal Relations With Cuba, End US Interventionism

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Last week we saw an encouraging sign that the 50 year cold war between the US and Cuba was finally coming to an end. President Obama announced on Wednesday that the US and Cuba would restore full diplomatic relations and that embassies could be re-opened in each country by the end of the month.


For this achievement, which was resisted by vested interests in the US, Obama should be praised. However we shouldn¹t be too optimistic about truly establishing normal relations until we understand how relations became so abnormal in the first place. The destruction of relations between the two countries was preceded by US intervention on behalf of a hated Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista, which had turned the Cuban people against the United States and set the stage for the emergence of Fidel Castro.
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ISIS Makes the British Lion a De-Clawed and Shabby Cat

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The recent and rapid successes of the Islamic State (IS) in seizing Palmyra in Syria and Ramadi in Iraq, together with its three successful same-day strikes on 26 June 2015 in Kuwait, France, and Tunisia seem to have left British Prime Minister David Cameron rather panicky — like a twitchy kitten experiencing its first thunder-and lightning storm.

In response to these events, Cameron has come somewhat unglued. The leader of a once mighty, respected, and feared nation has responded to IS’s offensive operations by (a) calling on the UK Muslim leaders to perform a miracle and control the thoughts, sympathies, and actions of all members of the Muslim community; (b) predicting that IS was on the verge of “terrible” attacks in Britain, without offering any sign of the backbone needed to credibly warn IS of “terrible” British retribution if its forces attack in the UK; and (c) demanding that the BBC stop identifying the Islamic State as the Islamic State and instead call it “ISIL” because it is “death cult” and has nothing to do with Islam. On the latter point, Cameron sounds like an Oxford-educated version of Barack Obama.
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Independence Day: Celebration or Sadness?

Do the fires of liberty still burn in an America that revolted against the British crown in 1776? Perhaps the majority have opted for a new overlord, the omnipotent state and its accompanying American exceptionalism, but there remains, in the words of Samuel Adams, a "tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men." Today's Ron Paul Liberty Report on the spirit of revolt against tyranny...
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Greek Crisis Awaits Other NATO Partners

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One notable consequence of the Ukraine conflict and the ongoing confrontational stand-off between the West and Russia is the dramatic surge in military spending among several European countries.


However, this unprecedented militarisation of economies across Europe portends a disastrous Greek-style future of crippling debt for these same countries. Those most at risk from a future hangover of military overspend in the years ahead include the Baltic states, Poland and the Scandinavian countries.

This outcome may indeed explain why Washington and its closest NATO allies have embarked on what appears to be a reckless geopolitical confrontation with Russia. The tensions being stoked from the alleged Russian threat – mainly by Washington – are in turn leading to lucrative weapons sales for the Pentagon and its military-industrial complex.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recentlyassured that the US-led military alliance “would not get dragged into an arms race with Russia”. But that’s exactly what appears to be underway, at least for the eastern European and Scandinavian members or partners of NATO.
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What It Really Takes For a US-Iran Deal

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Forget the mad spinning. Here it is, in a nutshell, what it really takes for Iran and the P5+1 to clinch a game-changing nuclear deal before the new July 7 deadline.

Iran and the P5+1 agreed in Lausanne on a “comprehensive plan of action,” taking into account delicate constitutional considerations in both the US and Iran. A crucial part of the plan is the mechanism to get rid of sanctions. Lausanne – and now Vienna – is not a treaty; it’s an action plan. There will be a declaration when a deal is reached. But there won’t be a signing ceremony.

The next important step is what happens at the UN Security Council (UNSC). All the concerned parties at the UNSC will endorse a declaration, and a resolution - which is still being negotiated – will render null and void all previous sanctions resolutions.
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California's 'Corporate Fascist' Vaccine Law

California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law one of the nation's strongest mandatory vaccination laws. If a California resident does not agree to have her child jabbed some 48 times by school-age, the child cannot attend school. The exemption loopholes have been all but closed. Today the Ron Paul Liberty Report looks at both the medical and the civil liberties implications of this move -- a move comedian Jim Carrey called "corporate fascist."
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Greece Shows Why Banks & Governments Hate Cash: Bank Runs

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The photos from Greece showing long lines at ATMs are astonishing. Even after the deposit outflows from Greek banks over the past weeks, there are still large numbers of people who are trying to get their money out of the banking system. With the banks closed, ATMs are the only way for people to get any cash. Let’s not beat around the bush in describing what is happening: this is a bank run. Even though Greece has a deposit insurance scheme that covers up to €100,000 in savings accounts, trust in the banking sector is declining and people are trying to get their money out. Cash is the ultimate means by which consumers can restrain the behavior of governments and banks, which is why governments and banks are doing everything they can to do away with cash.

The problem with the banking system is that banks today operate as fractional reserve banks. Money deposited into savings accounts is loaned out up to the bank’s reserve requirement. If the reserve requirement is 10%, then 90% of the money in savings accounts is loaned out. If the reserve requirement is 3%, then 97% of the money in savings accounts is loaned out. 

The problem comes about in that the bank simultaneously gives the full use of that money to borrowers, often lending at long terms up to 30 years in the case of mortgages, while still telling depositors that they can withdraw their money at any time. So what happens when depositors want to withdraw more money than the bank has on reserve? The bank tries to refuse to honor withdrawal requests. Then the public loses confidence in the bank, depositors line up to demand their money, and you have a scene out of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
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