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Obama’s Drone Wars Undermine American Values

Earlier this month, CIA-operated drones killed as many as 55 people in Yemen in several separate strikes. Although it was claimed that those killed were “militants,” according to press reports at least three civilians were killed and at least five others wounded. That makes at least 92 US drone attacks against Yemen during the Obama administration, which have killed nearly 1,000 people including many civilians.
 
The latest strikes seem to contradict President Obama’s revised guidelines for targeted killings, which he announced last May. At the time he claimed that drones would only be used against those who posed a “continuing and imminent threat to the American people,” that there must be a “near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured,” and that safeguards to prevent civilian casualties were at “the highest standard we can set.”
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The Dirty Hand of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) in Venezuela

NEDCIA

Anti-government protests in Venezuela that seek regime change have been led by several individuals and organizations with close ties to the US government. Leopoldo Lopez and Maria Corina Machado  two of the public leaders behind the violent protests that started in February  have long histories as collaborators, grantees and agents of Washington.

The National Endowment for Democracy “NED” and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) have channeled multi-million dollar funding to Lopez’s political parties Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular, and Machado’s NGO Sumate and her electoral campaigns.

These Washington agencies have also filtered more than $14 million to opposition groups in Venezuela between 2013 and 2014, including funding for their political campaigns in 2013 and for the current anti-government protests in 2014. This continues the pattern of financing from the US government to anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela since 2001, when millions of dollars were given to organizations from so-called “civil society” to execute a coup d’etat against President Chavez in April 2002. After their failure days later, USAID opened an Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) in Caracas to, together with the NED, inject more than $100 million in efforts to undermine the Chavez government and reinforce the opposition during the following 8 years.
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Ron Paul Rewind: A Warning Against Arming the BLM...in 1997!

Speaking on the House of Representatives floor on September 17, 1997, then-Rep. Ron Paul warned of the “massive buildup of a virtual army of armed regulators.” Paul, the chairman and founder of RPI, proceeded to comment in his speech that, with the number of armed federal employees approaching 60,000, the Secretary of the Interior was pushing for even the Bureau of Land Management to be armed.

With the continuing rise of SWAT over the following 16 years, the number of armed US government employees continued to grow. According to the bulletin Federal Law Enforcement Officers, 2008 of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, by September of 2008 “federal agencies employed approximately 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers who were authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the United States,” with 255 of them working for BLM.
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Obama Wants Parents to be Snitches, Terrorism Recruiters, and Target-Spotters

DHS See Something

According to Lisa Monaco, Barack Obama’s Security and Counter-terrorism adviser, parents have a duty to monitor the attitudes and enthusiasms of their children, and report them to law enforcement if they display symptoms of incipient extremism.

In an address to Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Monaco suggested that “sudden personality changes” in children, including a “confrontational” attitude, might betoken terrorist tendencies. Monaco lamented that “The government is rarely in a position to observe these early signals, so we need to do more to help communities understand the warning signs, and then work together to intervene before an incident can occur.”

This is exactly what was done by Osman Barre, a Somali-born software engineer living in Portland, Oregon, when he became concerned that his teenage son Mohamed Osman Mohamud was being radicalized by exposure to jihadist literature.
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US Botches Ukraine: 'Who's Sorry Now?'

Obamayatssmile

On 21 February, the day the Yanukovich government collapsed, cocktail hour at the U.S. State Department must have been one rip roaring, hours-long, high-five fiesta. The many billions the US had invested in a string of attempts to undermine an elected government in a former Soviet republic had finally paid off.

Since the targeted government was Ukraine’s, the possibility of new NATO bases and the eviction of the Russians from the Black Sea naval base in Crimea were back in play. So too was control of Russian oil and gas transported via Ukrainian pipelines and the certain joy of another country-wide looting operation courtesy of the IMF.

The additional satisfaction of having delivered Vladimir Putin a bitch-slap for refusing to recognize Kosovo as a nation independent of Serbia, for having deflected a 2008 attack on Russia’s “soft underbelly” in Georgia, for having smudged Obama’s Syrian “red line,” and for having given shelter to NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden, must have been immense.
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Obama Plays With Fire in Ukraine

How many American parents would proudly send their sons and daughters off to kill or be killed in Slovyansk or Donetsk?  How many young men and women aspire to be the first American to fall in Kramatorsk?

Those towns are in eastern Ukraine. President Obama says the “military option” — war, that is — is not on the table in his effort to oppose Russia in the Ukraine crisis, but can we trust him? As pressure mounts on him from America’s war hawks, what will he do when sanctions fail to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to acquiesce? Will the military option then find its way onto that infamous table?
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Shocking Photos From Bundy Raid

Many thanks to Shannon Bushman for his superb work documenting the truly shocking assault by armed federal agents on the Bundy Ranch, and many thanks for him sending them to us at the Ron Paul Institute with his permission to reprint. Looking at some of these photos it almost seems as if we are in Egypt or Ukraine, where a heavily-armed military turns its guns on its own peaceful citizens. While neocons, humanitarian interventionists, and even some who call themselves libertarian are so eager for the US government to spread liberty (by force) overseas, they seem to show little concern for government's relentless assault on liberty at home.
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The Bundy Paradigm: Will You Be a Rebel, Revolutionary or a Slave?

Bundyraid

Those tempted to write off the standoff at the Bundy Ranch as little more than a show of force by militia-minded citizens would do well to reconsider their easy dismissal of this brewing rebellion. This goes far beyond concerns about grazing rights or the tension between the state and the federal government.

Few conflicts are ever black and white, and the Bundy situation, with its abundance of gray areas, is no exception. Yet the question is not whether Cliven Bundy and his supporters are domestic terrorists, as Harry Reid claims, or patriots, or something in between. Nor is it a question of whether the Nevada rancher is illegally grazing his cattle on federal land or whether that land should rightfully belong to the government. Nor is it even a question of who’s winning the showdown— the government with its arsenal of SWAT teams, firepower and assault vehicles, or Bundy’s militia supporters with their assortment of weapons—because if such altercations end in bloodshed, everyone loses.

What we’re really faced with, and what we’ll see more of before long, is a growing dissatisfaction with the government and its heavy-handed tactics by people who are tired of being used and abused and are ready to say “enough is enough.” And it won’t matter what the issue is—whether it’s a rancher standing his ground over grazing rights, a minister jailed for holding a Bible study in his own home, or a community outraged over police shootings of unarmed citizens—these are the building blocks of a political powder keg. Now all that remains is a spark, and it need not be a very big one, to set the whole powder keg aflame.
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The Smoking Pop-Gun: Obama Endorses a Forgery

Obamayats

On Friday, April 18, President Obama voiced his righteous indignation over anti-Semitic fliers pasted on synagogue walls in the pro-Russian eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk.  The fliers, calling on all Jews to register or face expulsion, had appeared the day before and were instantly denounced by Donetsk leaders as a gross provocation and a forgery.

The next day, however, Obama “expressed his disgust quite bluntly”.  At least, that is what his hawkish national security advisor, Susan Rice, told the public. “I think we all found word of those pamphlets to be utterly sickening, and they have no place in the 21st century,” she declared.

This presidential reaction occurred 24 hours after the pamphlet in question had been thoroughly denounced as a fake, not only by the Donetsk leader, Denis Pushilin, who said his signature on the document had been forged, but by local Jewish community leaders and even by The New Republic, which cannot be accused of indifference to anti-Semitism.
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Amateur Hour in Ukraine

Bismarck

Marbella, Spain – Here in Spain’s sunny south, you wouldn’t know that a new world war over Eastern Europe threatens. In fact, rumor has it that none other than Vlad Putin is house-shopping in this glamorous resort.

Easter is Europe’s most important holiday. While churches are empty, restaurants, clubs and boutiques are packed with visitors and residents. Northern Spain is racked by record unemployment and a deep recession, but armies of British, French and German tourists are back in the south and the mood is upbeat.

To Spaniards, the dangerous fracas over Ukraine seems remote and unimportant. Western Europeans are taking this nasty business calmly. There is none of the media hysteria and patriotic drum beating found in North America. No one that I’ve met thinks Ukraine is worth a war, even a small one.

To paraphrase the great statesman Bismarck, Ukraine is not worth the life of a single Prussian grenadier. I recalled this famous maxim at dinner the other night here in Marbella where I’m a house guest of the Bismarck family, which is reunited here for Easter.
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