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Gun Violence - More Control Needed?

What do the recent school shooting in Oregon and the US bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan have in common? President Obama is taking advantage of one tragedy to push for more government control of our guns. The other tragedy shows us that what we really need is more control over government guns. More today in the Liberty Report...
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The Russian Bear Growls

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Frankfurt, Germany –Could anyone in the Obama administration have been so slow-witted to imagine that Russia wouldn’t move hard to counter US efforts to overthrow Moscow’s ally, Syria? 

The Syrian war began almost five years ago by the US, France, Britain and Saudi Arabia to overthrow Syria’s Iranian and Russian-backed government. The result so far: 250,000 dead, 9.5 million refugees flooding Europe and Syria shattered. 

This is nothing new: the first CIA coup attempt to overthrow a Syrian ruler Gen. Husni Zaim was in 1949.

A combination of imperial hubris and ignorance has led Washington to believe it could overthrow any government that was disobedient or uncooperative. Syria was chosen as the latest target of regime change because the Assad regime – a recognized, legitimate government and UN member –was a close ally of America’s Great Satan, Iran. Formerly it had been cooperating with Washington.

After watching Syria be slowly destroyed, Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, moved his rook onto the Syrian chessboard. For the first time since 1991, Moscow sent a small expeditionary unit of 50 warplanes to Syria both to shore up the Assad regime and to reaffirm that Russia has long-standing strategic interests in Syria.
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I Wish Nobody Was Bombing Syria

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The US regime change policy for Syria has been a catastrophe. More than 200,000 killed and an entire country reduced to rubble at least partly because President Obama decided that “Assad has lost his legitimacy.” How is it that the president of a country 6,000 miles away has the authority to decide whether another leader belongs in office or not? What if Rouhani in Iran decided that Obama had lost his legitimacy for killing a number of American citizens by drone without charge or trial? Would we accept that?

At least three years of US efforts to train rebels to overthrow the Syrian government has produced, as General Lloyd Austin, Commander of US Central Command, testified last month, “four or five” trained and vetted “moderates” in Syria. The $500 million appropriated for this purpose has disappeared.
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A Useful Prep-Sheet on Syria for Media Propagandists

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State Department talking points on Syria for cable news anchors:


1) Keep mentioning the barrel bombs. Do not mention how their use was pioneered by the Israeli Air Force in 1948, and how they were used by the US Air Force in Vietnam in Operation Inferno in 1968. Keep repeating, “barrel bombs, barrel bombs” and stating with a straight face that the Syrian regime is using them “against its own people.” Against its own people. Against its own people. Against its own people.

2) Keep mentioning “200,000.” (The UN estimates that 220,000 have been killed in the conflict since 2011.) Declare like you really believe it that this is the number of civilians the Syrian government of Bashar Assad has killed during the war. (Do not be concerned about any need to back the figure up. No one is ever going to call you on it publicly.)

Do NOT mention that around half of the war dead (estimates range from 84,000 to 133,000) are Syrian government forces waging war against an overwhelmingly Islamist opposition, and an additional 73,000 to 114,000 are anti-government combatants.

Do not discuss these figures because they would call into question the claim that the Syrian government is targeting and killing tens of thousands of civilians willy-nilly. (If feeling any qualms of conscience, recall Karl Rove’s immortal dictum that “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.”)
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On The Ropes: 60 % Don't Trust Media

According to a recent Gallup Poll survey, the majority of Americans do not trust the mainstream media. Among younger Americans the numbers for the MSM are even worse. According to the Washington Post, this is a "terrible thing" because it means publications like the Washington Post are less able to serve as "referees" guiding us through what we should think about events and what we dare not think. Today in a special edition of the Liberty Report, we look at the declining mainstream media and the alternatives...
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War Party Hates Putin and Loves al-Qaeda

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As Russian fighter jets target al-Qaeda and ISIS in Syria, the Western media is up in arms – and in denial. They deny the Russians are taking on ISIS – and they are indignant that Putin is targeting al-Qaeda, which is almost never referred to by its actual name, but is instead described as “al-Nusra,” or the more inclusive “Army of Conquest,” which are alternate names for the heirs of Osama bin Laden.

And there are no ideological lines being drawn in this information war: both the left and the right – e.g. the left-liberal Vox and the Fox News network – are utilizing a map put out by the neoconservative “Institute for the Study of War” to “prove” that Putin isn’t really attacking ISIS – he’s actually only concerned with destroying the “non-ISIS” rebels and propping up the faltering regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The premise behind this kind of propaganda is that there really is some difference between ISIS and the multitude of Islamist groups proliferating like wasps in the region: and that, furthermore, al-Qaeda is “relatively” moderate when compared to the Islamic State. Yes, incredibly, the US and British media are pushing the line that the al-Qaeda fighters in Syria, known as al-Nusra, are really the Good Guys.

Didn’t you know that we have always been at war with Eastasia?
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Obama’s Ludicrous ‘Barrel Bomb’ Theme

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The US government has dropped hundreds of thousands of tons of bombs on Iraq alone in the last dozen years – and even hailed the start of the bombing campaign in 2003 as “shock and awe” – but now has coyly and repeatedly decried the Syrian government’s supposed use of crude “barrel bombs.”


This hyper-hypocritical propaganda theme was given voice in President Barack Obama’s Sept. 28 speech to the United Nations General Assembly when he denounced anyone who doesn’t favor “regime change” in Syria as advocating “support [for] tyrants like Bashar al-Assad, who drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent children.”

Yet, Obama offered no criticism of various US administrations and American allies that have leveled whole cities, killing countless men, women and children. That slaughter has included two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945 and the devastation of Indochina during the 1960s and 1970s with more bomb tonnage than was dropped in all of World War II. Millions, including countless children, were killed in these bombing campaigns.

More recently, Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush ordered the devastation of Fallujah and other Iraqi cities to suppress resistance to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Obama himself has boasted of ordering military strikes in seven countries, mostly aerial bombardments with many confirmed civilian dead.

This hyper-hypocritical propaganda theme was given voice in President Barack Obama’s Sept. 28 speech to the United Nations General Assembly when he denounced anyone who doesn’t favor “regime change” in Syria as advocating “support [for] tyrants like Bashar al-Assad, who drops barrel bombs to massacre innocent children.”

Yet, Obama offered no criticism of various US administrations and American allies that have leveled whole cities, killing countless men, women and children. That slaughter has included two atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan in 1945 and the devastation of Indochina during the 1960s and 1970s with more bomb tonnage than was dropped in all of World War II. Millions, including countless children, were killed in these bombing campaigns.

More recently, Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush ordered the devastation of Fallujah and other Iraqi cities to suppress resistance to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. Obama himself has boasted of ordering military strikes in seven countries, mostly aerial bombardments with many confirmed civilian dead.
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Assad Must Go; Assad Must Stay. Who's Right?

With Russian planes bombing ISIS and al-Qaeda targets this week, the air traffic on a piece of land smaller than the state of Oregon is getting crowded. The danger of a tragic accident that could escalate in unknown directions is ever-greater. The US and its Gulf allies are warning the Russians against bombing the terrorists without also trying to overthrow Assad. Saudi Arabia is warning Russia against civilian casualties in Syria even as the Saudis have killed nearly 3,000 innocent Yemeni civilians over the past five months. US-paid NGOs are pumping out the anti-Russian propaganda. What could possibly go wrong? Today's Liberty Report is on the Syrian powder keg...
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Will Migrant Crisis Kill EU?

The massive wave of migrants flooding Europe is a man-made catastrophe, to be sure. It is the product of US and EU interventionist foreign policy and the obsession with regime change that is particularly pernicious in Washington. Hungary was originally blamed for trying to hold back the floodgates, but as Austria and Germany saw what was coming it appears Hungary was trying to do them a favor. Today's Liberty Report is joined by UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage to discuss the impact of the migration crisis on the EU and also whether a UK referendum on EU membership has any chance of passing...
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The Government We Deserve?

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The problem with the twenty-four hour news cycle is that everything being reported comes and goes too quickly to connect the dots. I noted a number of stories during the past several weeks that should have raised all kinds of red flags, particularly if considered together, but they frequently received such limited media coverage and were gone so quickly that there was hardly any reaction to them, which is precisely what the government relies on. People concerned about the state of permanent war overseas coupled with the decline of civil liberties within the United States should be looking at how the National Security State is evolving as it is happening right out in the open. But they should also be concerned about the collusion of the media with the government propaganda organs to shape a narrative designed to have a short shelf life, knowing that the story will quickly disappear and there will be little or no feedback.

There were a large number of stories relating to reported Russian support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. For those who have not been following it, Moscow has begun airlifting what it initially described as humanitarian supplies to a military airfield it prepared in Latakia, near its naval base at Tarsus. The materiel in question inevitably included some military equipment together with advisers, but the underlying assumption made by both Washington and the compliant media was that the Russian involvement in Syria constituted some kind of “threat.” That assessment was based on the presumption that the United States has a right to do whatever it wishes to overthrow Syria’s government while the Russians have no right whatsoever to attempt to support it.

Syria is not exactly on Russia’s doorstep but it is not that far away from Russia’s troubled Central Asian region while Damascus and Moscow have had treaty arrangements going back many years. After the initial “how dare they” shock, insider reports emanating from the White House suggested that there was a battle going on internally between those in the National Security Council who wanted to tighten the screws on the Russians to force them to back down and those who wanted to take advantage of Moscow’s initiative to seek a negotiated settlement that would permit Bashar al-Assad to gracefully retire to Dubai and create a unity government of sorts that could resist the real bad guys represented by ISIS and al-Qaeda.
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