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The Only Way Donald Trump Can Truly Put America First

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Intentionally or not, President Donald Trump filled many of his top national security and foreign-policy positions with Neo-Wilsonian, Bush-Obama era Liberal Interventionists; an action that became a source of endless frustration for the president. On issues ranging from preventing transgender people from serving in the armed forces to disengaging US forces from Afghanistan and Syria , Trump’s own national-security team has actively obstructed the president’s defense- and foreign-policy agenda.
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'Imminent Russian Threat'? Ukraine And NATO Launch Joint Military Exercises

"Clear Sky 2018" was launched yesterday in Ukraine, bringing in hundreds of NATO troops along with US fighter and transport planes. The large show of NATO military force on Russia's border is meant to send a message to "aggressive" Russia. But the ongoing conflict over eastern Ukraine is a leftover from Obama's disastrous 2014 coup that overthrew the elected government. President Trump appears to be continuing Obama's foolish policy. More in today's Liberty Report...
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Saudi 'Critic' Khashoggi Disappears - How Will Washington React?

What happened to Jamal Khashoggi? The Washington Post writer and friend of long-time Saudi intelligence head has been hailed as a "critic" of Saudi policy, but that reputation is not very well-deserved. Was he killed by the Saudis? Kidnapped? What might it mean for US/Saudi relations? Tune in to today's Liberty Report...
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US-Saudi Relations Enter Unchartered Waters

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The disappearance of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in mysterious circumstances while on a visit to his country’s consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday still remains unexplained. The plot is thickening by the day. The latest reports suggest that he may not even be alive.

The Istanbul Prosecutor has ordered an investigation. President Recep Erdogan has called Khashoggi a “journalist and friend”. Turkey has a troubled relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has a complicated history dating back to the Ottoman era and is entangled with Erdogan’s brand of Islamism. A serious diplomatic rupture may ensue, depending on the outcome of the Turkish investigation.

So far, the Khashoggi affair has been a matter between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. But Khashoggi has influential backers in the Washington Beltway too. A chorus of condemnation of the Saudi regime is building up to a crescendo in the US, portraying Khashoggi as a human rights activist meeting a tragic end.

The US takes a selective approach to human rights. Which way will it act? In the present civil war conditions in the US, President Trump’s opponents will use the Khashoggi issue to draw attention to his erratic behavior – wildly swinging from obsequiousness to the Saudi ruler to rank contempt.

But, there is also a lavishly funded Saudi lobby, which can pull strings among the American elites. Trump chose Riyadh for his visit abroad and son-in-law Jared Kushner is reputed to be a close confidante of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
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Aux Barricades Mes Enfants!

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On October 21st there will be a Women’s March on the Pentagon hosted by the Global Women’s Peace Action. My wife and many of our friends will be going and even I will tag along in support in spite of my gender. We participate with some reservations as we have only demonstrated publicly twice since 9/11, once opposing the then about to start Iraq War and once against the annual meeting of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). All too often demonstrations morph into progressive exercises in flagellation of what are now referred to as “deplorable” values with little being accomplished either before, during or afterwards, apart from the piles of debris left behind to be cleaned up by the Park Service. And such events are rarely even covered by the media in Washington, where the Post generally adheres closely to a neocon foreign policy tactic, which means that if you ignore something distasteful it will eventually go away.

Hopefully on this occasion it will be different because the time for talking politics is rapidly being rendered irrelevant by the speed of Washington’s disengagement from reality and Americans of all political persuasions must begin to take to the streets to object to what their government is doing in their name. I am mildly optimistic that change is coming as I find it difficult to imagine that in spite of the relentless flood of mainstream media propaganda there is even a plurality of Americans that supports with any actual conviction what the United States is doing in Syria and what it intends to do in Iran. And apart from a desire to make voting in America safer and insofar as possible interference free, I also believe that most think that Russiagate is a load of hooey and would prefer to be friends with Moscow.

Why now? “Now” is a whole new ballgame, as the expression goes, because the utter insanity coming out of Washington could easily wind up killing most of us here in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. Specifically, in a press conference on Tuesday, Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former Senator from Texas who is currently the United States’ ambassador to NATO, declared that Washington was prepared to launch a preemptive attack on Russian military installations as a response to alleged treaty violations on the part of Moscow. Note particularly what Hutchison actually said: “At that point, we would be looking at the capability to take out a missile that could hit any of our countries. Counter measures would be to take out the missiles that are in development by Russia in violation of the treaty. They are on notice.”
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'Operation Endless War'? 17 Years In Afghanistan

We have passed the 17 year mark on the Afghan war and the Taliban control more territory than they have at any time since the launch. So for trillions of dollars, thousands of deaths, and 17 years of US government effort, "victory" is no closer than at day one. Does President Trump want out? Perhaps. But his neocon advisors have other ideas...
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NAFTA 2.0: Free Trade or Central Planning?

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Last week the United States, Mexico, and Canada agreed to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with a new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Sadly, instead of replacing NAFTA’s managed trade with true free trade, the new USMCA expands government’s control over trade.
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The Final Truth of Russia-gate

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The conspiracy to overthrow a sitting US President extends far beyond our own “Deep State.” As I’ve been saying in this space for quite some time, it’s been an international team effort from the beginning. Setting aside the British origins of the obscene “dossier” compiled by “ex”-MI6 agent Christopher Steele, we now have further confirmation of foreign involvement in President Trump’s decision to delay (perhaps indefinitely) the declassification of key Russia-gate documents. While US intelligence officials were expected to oppose the move, “Trump was also swayed by foreign allies, including Britain, in deciding to reverse course, these people said. It wasn’t immediately clear what other governments may have raised concerns to the White House.”

But of course the Washington Post knows perfectly well which other governments would have reason to raise “concerns” to the White House. It’s clear from the public record that the following “allies” have rendered the “Resistance” essential assistance at one time or another:

United Kingdom – This entire episode has Her Majesty’s Secret Service’s fingerprints all over it. Steele’s key role is plain enough: here was a British spook who was not only hired by the Clinton campaign to dig up dirt on Trump but was unusually passionate about his work – almost as if he’d have done it for free. And then there was the earliest approach to the Trump campaign, made by Cambridge professor and longtime spook Stefan Halper to Carter Page. And then there’s the mysterious alleged “link” to Russian intelligence, Professor Joseph Mifsud, whose murky British-based thinktank managed to operate openly despite later claims it was a Russian covert operation.
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Trump’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad National Security Team

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Gareth Porter paints a dismal picture. Time and again, President Donald Trump indicates he wants to do the right thing: get out Afghanistan, get out of Syria, get out of South Korea.

Every time, his national security team – the people he appointed – sends him to “the tank” and hotboxes him with all the reasons he’s wrong and why the US needs to “stay the course” in multiple wars and absurd deployments.

If the account of Bob Woodward is to be believed, Trump’s flailing against his own appointees is nothing less than pathetic, that of a pitiable Gulliver roped down by Lilliputians of his own installation. As described by Tom Engelhardt...
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NATO’s Manipulation Of The Macedonian Vote Exposes Its Modus Operandi

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NATO membership used to be motivated by a shared fear, however exploited, of a so-called “Soviet/communist threat” which made joining the military bloc a seemingly “natural” decision for the countries that did so during the Old Cold War. The US certainly pressured many of them behind the scenes, however, and it also exploited their membership for clandestine purposes such as embedding Gladio squads into their societies. The Soviet dissolution of 1991 removed the very reason for NATO’s existence, yet the organization survived and has been progressively reinventing itself throughout the subsequent two and a half decades.

At this point in time, it still functions as an anti-Russian alliance after the recent Western-initiated provocations of the New Cold War, but it’s also taken on so-called “anti-terrorist” functions by becoming what de-facto amounts to a recruitment center for American-backed mercenaries. Tiny European states that would otherwise have no interests in far-away battlefields such as Afghanistan have contributed a comparatively significant amount of their troops to this and other conflicts in order to advance America’s grand strategic interests, the success of which they’re told they also have a stake in.

The interim period between the Old and New Cold Wars from the 1990s until the early 2010s was marked by the rapid expansion of NATO eastward towards Russia’s borders as the bloc sought to partially rebrand itself as an “unquestionable” “rite of passage” for the EU-aspiring former communist countries of the former Warsaw Treaty. This was never anything more than an excuse for preparing the geopolitical ground in advance of the preplanned New Cold War, during which time the US would already have freedom of military operability all throughout Central and Eastern Europe up to the Russian frontier.
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