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It’s Official: ISIS is No Threat to the US Homeland

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During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that took place earlier this week, Air Force nominee for Vice-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Paul Selva, stated that the "Islamic State" was currently "no threat to the US homeland."

Asked to prioritize the list of threats the US was actually facing, Gen. Selva gave the following answer: "Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and all of the organizations that have grown around ideology that was articulated by al Qaeda".

While the merits of listing China — one of America's top trading partners, but also a potential global rival — may be worth a discussion, and probably a few raised eyebrows both in DC and in Beijing, the fact that Russia and Iran feature prominently in this list says quite a lot about the level of confusion there is in the US military and political establishment as to the difference between strategic (structural and long term) opponents, and short/medium term rivalries that could be bridged through possible engagement, negotiation, and fair settlement of contentious issues.
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Freedom or the Slaughterhouse? The American Police State from A to Z

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Despite the best efforts of some to sound the alarm, the nation is being locked down into a militarized, mechanized, hypersensitive, legalistic, self-righteous, goose-stepping antithesis of every principle upon which this nation was founded.

All the while, the nation’s citizens seem content to buy into a carefully constructed, benevolent vision of life in America that bears little resemblance to the gritty, pain-etched reality that plagues those unfortunate enough to not belong to the rarefied elite.

For those whose minds have been short-circuited into believing the candy-coated propaganda peddled by the politicians, here is an A-to-Z, back-to-the-basics primer of what life in the United States of America is really all about.
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‘EU Periphery Countries Taking Brunt of US/EU Interventionist Policies in Ukraine’

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The EU and the US are the ones who created the chaos in Ukraine, said Daniel McAdams, of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. The countries on the EU periphery like Hungary have to take on the burden receiving thousands of refugees, he added.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has called for a crackdown on paramilitary units working in the country, saying no political force should have armed squads at its disposal. The statement came after a violent stand-off in the western town of Mukachevo, between far-right extremists from the Right Sector group and the police.

RT: What is the Right Sector to Ukraine, do you think? And what’s the Western attitude now to the radical groups in Ukraine?

Daniel McAdams: I think the Right Sector, and I don’t want to overemphasize this, but I think the Right Sector troops are to Ukraine what Al-Qaeda is in Syria. They’ve been necessary and they’ve been supported by the US and the EU because they are the best fighters. We just saw [yesterday] that a tank battalion in the regular Ukrainian army made a video saying “we’re not going to fight anymore.”You’ve had problems with morale in the conscripted Ukrainian army. They don’t want to be there, they would rather be home.
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MH17: The Blaming Putin Game Goes On

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Once upon a time CIA Stations overseas received what was referred to as an “Operating Directive” which prioritized intelligence targets for the upcoming year based on their importance vis-à-vis national security. Prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, penetrating Moscow and preventing the KGB’s repaying the favor in kind loomed large as Russia and its allies represented the only genuine threat that could in fact destroy much of the United States. Today’s Russia retains much of that military capability but somehow the perception that you have to deal with what is important first has been lost on our policymakers, possibly due to a false impression inside the beltway that Moscow no longer matters.

A working relationship with Moscow that seeks to mitigate potential areas of conflict is not just important, it is essential. Russian willingness to cooperate with the west in key areas to include the Middle East is highly desirable in and of itself but the bottom line continues to be Moscow’s capability to go nuclear against Washington if it is backed into a corner. Unfortunately, US administrations since Bill Clinton have done their best to do just that, placing Russia on the defensive by encroaching on its legitimate sphere of influence through the expansion of NATO. Washington’s meddling has also led to interfering in Russia’s domestic politics as part of a misguided policy of “democracy building” as well as second guessing its judiciary and imposing sanctions through the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012. The damage to relations has been aggravated by the ill-advised commentary from American politicians on the make, including Senator John McCain’s dismissal of Russia as “a gas station masquerading as a country.”
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Greece Today, America Tomorrow?

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The drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines. As this column is being written, a deal may have been reached providing Greece with yet another bailout if the Greek government adopts new “austerity” measures. The deal will allow all sides to brag about how they came together to save the Greek economy and the European Monetary Union. However, this deal is merely a Band-Aid, not a permanent fix to Greece’s problems. So another crisis is inevitable.


The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union.
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Destroying Syria to Make it Safe for American Values

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“The Turks have passed by here; all is in ruins and mourning. “


So wrote France’s great writer, Victor Hugo, of the horrors he had witnessed during the Balkan liberation wars of the 1880’s. If Hugo were alive today, he might well have used the same haunting lines to describe the smoking wreckage of the Mideast. Except this time it was the United States, France, and Britain who wrought havoc in the Arab world, assisted by modern Turkey. 

The UN’s refugee czar, Antonio Guterres, just asserted that there are now 4,013,000 Syrian refugees outside their homeland, and another 7.6 million as internal refugees from the war raging there since 2011.

That total’s some 11.6 million refugees – a staggering 50 percent of Syria’s population. Over a quarter million are refugees in Europe; the rest spread across the Mideast with the largest numbers in Lebanon and Jordan. 
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Do Flags Kill People?

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No sooner had a sociopath carried out the murder of nine black people at a South Carolina church, than the voice of Boobus Americanus rose up, as one, to get to the cause of the slayings: the Confederate battle flag! The South Carolina legislature hurriedly passed a bill to remove this flag from the capitol grounds. Not content with so limited a measure, it was decided to also cut down the flagpole that had flown it, the pole having been tainted by the flag’s presence thereon. 


Proponents of the anti-flag proposals dismissed concerns for “Southern heritage,” ignoring the fact that the real issue was one of causation. If otherwise intelligent minds want to focus on the interconnection between “flags” and “racism,” they would be better advised to go after the federal flag, a symbol behind which the Ku Klux Klan carried out its parades, as well as the federal “Fugitive Slave Act” which forced the return of runaway slaves from Northern states to their slave-masters!

Not wanting to be left out of the frenzied madness that was giving the South Carolina legislature so much media attention, Congress’ House of Representatives has been considering a bill to make it unlawful for people to display the Confederate flag in federal cemeteries. If your great-great-grandfather had fought for the South in the Civil War, and was now buried in a federal cemetery, you might become a politically-incorrect criminal by placing a small Confederate flag beside his gravestone.
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Demanding What You Can’t Get: Obama’s Gamble with the Iran Talks in Vienna

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As nuclear talks between the P5+1 and Iran in Vienna extend past yet another (largely US-imposed) deadline, the dysfunctionality of the Obama administration’s approach becomes increasingly apparent. Since April, when the parties announced a set of “parameters” for a final deal, senior administration officials have staked out public positions on the most important unresolved issues that, frankly, are inconsistent with what was agreed in April. These include a US demand for open-ended retention of a conventional arms embargo and other aspects of the United Nations Security Council-authorized sanctions regime.

There has never been any serious prospect that these US positions could actually provide bases for negotiated outcomes. Take, for example, the Obama administration’s demand for open-ended retention of a conventional arms embargo and other aspects of the United Nations Security Council-authorized sanctions regime against Iran. Not only does Tehran object to this demand; Russia and China—like the United States, veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council—do, too.

The Obama administration defined stark stances on the future of UN sanctions and some of the other outstanding issues ostensibly to rebut charges of “weakness” from domestic opponents and to deflect criticism from traditional US allies Israel and Saudi Arabia that it is “appeasing” Iran.
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When Money Dies

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“When Money Dies” is the title of a 1975 book by Adam Fergusson, in which he describes the downfall of the Reichsmark in Weimar Germany. A fascinating look at that period of history, one can glean quite a few useful pieces of advice on how to survive a currency crisis. But “when money dies” could also describe the current currency crisis in Greece, in which many Greeks seem to have taken those lessons from Fergusson’s account of the Weimar hyperinflation to heart.

Even though the Greek currency crisis isn’t a traditional hyperinflationary crisis, many Greeks are trying to get their hands on, and then spend, cash. One of the fears is that bank depositors will be forced to take losses on their accounts, the so-called “haircut”. This happened in Cyprus to some larger depositors, but the fear in Greece is that people with even just a few thousand euros in their accounts might be forced to take losses of 30-50% or more. Just imagine that you have $10,000 in your bank account and overnight the government says, “Sorry, your account balance is now $5,000.” Overnight, the purchasing power of your bank account has been cut in half.
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Pentagon Concludes America Not Safe Unless It Conquers The World

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The Pentagon has released its “National Military Strategy of the United States of America 2015” in June, 2015.  The document announces a shift in focus from terrorists to “state actors” that “are challenging international norms.” It is important to understand what these words mean. Governments that challenge international norms are sovereign countries that pursue policies independently of Washington’s policies.

These “revisionist states” are threats, not because they plan to attack the US, which the Pentagon admits neither Russia nor China intend, but because they are independent. In other words, the norm is dependence on Washington.

Be sure to grasp the point: The threat is the existence of sovereign states, whose independence of action makes them “revisionist states.” In other words, their independence is out of step with the neoconservative Uni-power doctrine that declares independence to be the right of Washington alone. Washington’s History-given hegemony precludes any other country being independent in its actions.
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