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Cautious Outrage Over Alleged Foley Execution

Foley

The alleged beheading of freelance journalist James Foley by the shadowy ISIS (or Islamic State) has sparked outrage and horror around the globe.

I say “alleged” because we are not sure if the decapitation was real or faked.

After three decades of covering wars in the Mideast, Africa, Latin America, and Afghanistan, my reaction as a journalist was also outrage – but cautious outrage.

We westerners have a charming and quaint belief that killing people from the air by using bombs, rockets, shells, napalm and cluster munitions – or even nuclear weapons – is somehow not really as bad as ramming a bayonet into an enemy, blowing him to pieces with heavy artillery, or slashing his throat the way sheep are killed

Air warfare is clean. Air warfare is the American way of war.


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US/NATO Slam Russian Aid to Eastern Ukraine

Russia Aid Truck

After waiting more than a week on the border with Ukraine while the Kiev government's cooperation then condemnation switched several times, Moscow gave the green light for its humanitarian convoy of 280 trucks to enter war-torn Lugansk today. Civilians in breakaway areas of Ukraine have suffered without food and water for weeks and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) agreed that the situation was desperate.

As if in waiting, the moment Russian humanitarian aid crossed into Ukraine, NATO and US officials raced to condemn the action. NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who just days ago falsely claimed that a Russian military convoy had entered Ukraine, was first out of the gate:
I condemn the entry of a Russian so-called humanitarian convoy into Ukrainian territory without the consent of the Ukrainian authorities and without any involvement of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Though the ICRC and the Russian Red Cross had supported and participated in the mission, they declined to accompany the aid convoy into Ukraine, citing ongoing fighting in the area and a lack of a force to protect the convoy and ICRC personnel. In other words, Rasmussen's own allies in Kiev had prevented ICRC involvement in the mission by their shelling of Lugansk. And the Ukrainian authorities had consented — several times — before they unconsented!
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Hagel and Dempsey: We Must Attack Syria! Get Ready!

Hagel

The Islamist ISIS/ISIL gang is providing the pretext for another major US war in the Middle East. Top US administration officials are turning up the war and atrocity rhetoric to full volume. Something is happening.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel turned up the fear machine Thursday, telling NBC news that ISIS poses an "imminent threat" to the United States. 

Hagel seemed in a panic as he essentially warned that an attack was on the way:
ISIL poses a threat greater than 9/11. ISIL is as sophisticated and well funded as any group we have seen. They're beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology with a sophisticated strategic and tactical military prowess and they're tremendously well-funded. This is way beyond anything we have seen. We must prepare for everything. Get Ready! ... They are an imminent threat to every interest we have.
Not to be outdone, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey said that to defeat ISIS, the US would need to invade Syria!
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Obama, Democrats, Republicans, and NATO: Still Playing the Islamists’ Foil

ISIS Killing

Listening to President Obama speak of Iraq on 18 August 2014 underscores the point made above by Polybius, and it also validates the brilliant diplomat George F. Kennan’s argument that America is virtually incapable of conducting an effective foreign policy because of our leaders’ minimal knowledge of how the world works and the dominance of domestic considerations on the policies they pursue overseas. In Obama’s short statement on Iraq both of these negative factors were clearly evident.

Obama — as well as his lieutenants, the leaders of both parties, and much of the media — continue to call the Sunni Islamic State (IS) organization a “terrorist group.” In the 25-plus years since al-Qaeda initiated what has become a worldwide armed Islamist movement, U.S. leaders have never once tried to explain to Americans that we are fighting a growing international insurgency that can never be defeated by using counter-terrorism tactics such as Special Forces raids, drone and aircraft strikes, and capture and interrogation operations. 

If you use these tools to kill the insurgents one at a time you end up where we are today; that is, with a nice and well-publicized body count but also with an enormously bigger threat than we faced in 2001. Indeed, Americans ought to be told that there are indications that the IS insurgents are evolving into what the great guerrilla-war theorist Mao Tse Tung called the final stage of insurgency, the point at which elements of the insurgent forces begin to transition into units that are battle-hardened, well trained and led, well armed, and resemble conventional force units.
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Ron Paul, the Gateway Drug

Peace Prosperity Ron Paul

On the occasion of his 79th birthday, I thought it appropriate to share how Dr. Ron Paul has impacted my life in a very personal manner. Ron Paul (and more importantly, the philosophy of liberty that he champions) has inspired me to make life-altering decisions, the most consequential of which is to leave the military as a conscientious objector. Throw in homeschooling, sound money, economics, and non-aggression, and you’ve got a completely new outlook on life. It has not been an easy path, but this is the price for discovering a worldview that is coherent, consistent, and compelling enough to act on.

It all started with the 2012 presidential debates, in which my husband took a large interest. We began to discuss between ourselves what Dr. Paul espoused — never before had I heard someone whose words were completely aligned with what I had experienced overseas. His discussions regarding interventionism and blowback were spot-on. 

At that point, Hubby and I had more than six deployments between us, so we were credible listeners. Even more impressive: here was a guy who wasn’t toeing the party line, wasn’t kowtowing to pressure, and was actually speaking common sense! Look up any video of any presidential debate in which Dr. Paul takes part, and it’s abundantly clear that he is no politician (this is a compliment in my book). It’s safe to say that listening to his position on foreign policy was the first step down the rabbit hole; I didn’t fully understand every issue that he spoke about, but his words came through like a clear bell. Who was this guy? Where did he come from? What did he know? I was hooked.
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It's Ron Paul's Birthday. Guess What He Wants?

Today Ron Paul, the Founder and CEO of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, celebrates his birthday with a plea for assistance to his Institute. He is concerned about the strong neocon push to war with Russia and is determined to fight back. He is alarmed at the level of war propaganda that otherwise goes unchallenged. His Institute was founded to debunk the lies that lead us to war and has had great success in its short life, he notes. He asks for help to continue the mission of the Ron Paul Institute.
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Ukraine Crisis Continues

Donetsk Bomb

Having served Washington’s propaganda purposes, the downed Malaysian airliner and the alleged Russian armored column that entered Ukraine and was allegedly destroyed have dropped out of the news even though both stories remain completely and totally unresolved.

Washington’s stooge government in Ukraine has not released the records of communications between Ukrainian air traffic control and Malaysian flight 17, and Washington has not released the photos from its satellite which was directly overhead at the time of the airliner’s demise.

We can safely and conclusively conclude from this purposeful withholding of evidence that the evidence does not support Washington’s and Kiev’s propaganda.

We can also safely and conclusively conclude that the Western media’s sudden disinterest in the unresolved story and failure to demand the evidence kept secret by Washington and Kiev is in keeping with the Western media’s role as a Ministry of Propaganda.
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The Terrorists Fighting Us Now? We Just Finished Training Them.

ISIS Guns

In recent years, President Obama, his European friends, and even some Middle Eastern allies, have supported “rebel groups” in Libya and Syria. Some received training, financial and military support to overthrow Muammar Gadhafi and battle Bashar al Assad. It’s a strategy that follows the old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and it has been the American and allied approach for decades in deciding whether to support opposition groups and movements.

The problem is that it is completely unreliable — and often far worse than other strategies. Every year there are more cases in which this approach backfires. The most glaring and famous failure was in Afghanistan, where some of the groups taught (and supplied) to fight the Soviet Army later became stridently anti-Western. In that environment, Al Qaeda flourished and established the camps where perpetrators of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were trained. Yet instead of learning from its mistakes, the United States keeps making them.

Washington and its allies empowered groups whose members had either begun with anti-American or anti-Western views or found themselves lured to those ideas in the process of fighting. According to interviews with members of militant groups, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s Al Nusra Front (which is aligned with al Qaeda),  that is exactly what happened with some of the fighters in Libya  and even with factions of the Free Syrian Army.
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What Have We Accomplished in Iraq?

We have been at war with Iraq for 24 years, starting with Operations Desert Shield and Storm in 1990. Shortly after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait that year, the propaganda machine began Rp Weekly Buttonagitating for a US attack on Iraq. We all remember the appearance before Congress of a young Kuwaiti woman claiming that the Iraqis were ripping Kuwaiti babies from incubators. The woman turned out to be the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US and the story was false, but it was enough to turn US opposition in favor of an attack.
 
This month, yet another US president – the fourth in a row – began bombing Iraq. He is also placing US troops on the ground despite promising not to do so.
 
The second Iraq war in 2003 cost the US some two trillion dollars. According to estimates, more than one million deaths have occurred as a result of that war. Millions of tons of US bombs have fallen in Iraq almost steadily since 1991.
 
What have we accomplished? Where are we now, 24 years later? We are back where we started, at war in Iraq!
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