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Russia Sanctions and Shifting Cuba Policy - McAdams and Taylor's Week in Review
President Obama has admitted that sanctions do not work, as he announced a major US policy shift toward Cuba. But he turned around and immediately signed a bill authorizing more sanctions on Russia. There is a big disconnect between rhetoric and actions in the US Administration. The sanctions bill is a huge boost for the US military industrial complex, a $350 million Christmas gift for the Beltway death dealers. Listen to RPI's Daniel McAdams and Jay Taylor discuss the main foreign policy events of the week below, or download the MP3 here.

20 December 2014read on...

Report: Afghanistan War Reaches $1 Trillion And Will Require Hundreds of Billions More
Despite the public pledge of President Obama to pull out of Afghanistan, we continue to spend huge amounts of money in the war and the Obama Administration has fought to keep U.S. troops in the country. Now an estimate from the Financial Times and independent researchers put the cost of the war at roughly $1 trillion with a commitment of hundreds of billions more in the coming years. There continues to be no serious debate over our ongoing losses both in personnel and money in this war.

15 December 2014read on...

New US Bill Arms Ukraine, Adds Sanctions — RPI's McAdams on RT
The House and Senate late last week passed legislation authorizing $350 million in US lethal aid to Ukraine and imposing a new round of sanctions on Russia. Co-author of the bill, Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), claims the bill is in response to the "Russian invasion of Ukraine." RPI's Daniel McAdams appeared on RT over the weekend to discuss the new legislation as US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov held a hastily-arranged meeting Sunday in Rome...

15 December 2014read on...

Meaning of Torture Report: Simply a Catharsis? - Daniel McAdams and Jay Taylor
What is the final meaning of the Senate's recent release of its report on CIA torture activities? We know that no one will be prosecuted, as they have already been given immunity by the president. We have no reason to believe the out-of-control CIA will have its wings clipped after release of the report. Just as the NSA did not cease, but rather increased, its spying on the rest of us after the Snowden revelations.

14 December 2014read on...

Rep. Walter Jones: Omnibus Bill? Are You Kidding? I Don't Even Know What's In It!
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC), an RPI Board Member, again demonstrates why he is one of the few exemplary Members of Congress left in the House. Asked by CNSNews whether he would be voting for the monstrous omnibus continuing resolution on the House this past week, he replied...

13 December 2014read on...

The US Must Purge Itself
CIA Director Brennan's self administered auto-de-fé fell flat.  He met with the president this morning and was evidently told to get his statement in line with the president's position "or else." The "else" is pretty clear. He could easily find himself doing the "Hagel Two Step."  As a result the gospel according to Brennan backed away from any real defense of the deeds of CIA in its tormented and torturing history since 9/11.

11 December 2014read on...

House Russia Bill, New SecDef, Hungary Regime Change: Foreign Policy Week in Review
RPI's Daniel McAdams joins Jay Taylor again to look back over the top foreign policy stories of the past week. Why is Ukraine naming a former State Department employee to head its finance ministry? Is Ukraine the 51st state? What about Congress flexing its muscles at Russia? What is the origin of the notion of "color revolution," and why does it seem Hungary is next on the US list for regime change?

7 December 2014read on...

The Anatomy of Regime Change
What do all regime change operations have in common? RPI Board Member John Laughland explains to the "World Public Forum – Dialogue of Civilizations" conference last month that all such interventions essentially include the criminal prosecution of the vanquished party. We have seen this most recently in Ukraine, Libya, Ivory Coast, against ISIS, and elsewhere.

6 December 2014read on...

State Spokesperson: 'Our Line is Ridiculous...'
Every time State Department spokespersons proclaim the Department position on critical trouble spots like Ukraine, Syria, Libya, Russia, we have the feeling they are shoveling a line of bovine excrement and well know it. And know we know it. And don't care.

5 December 2014read on...

What Would SecDef Ashton Carter Mean for the Military?
We know from RPI Chairman Ron Paul that President Obama's choice to be the next Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter, will mean no big changes in current US foreign and military policy.

4 December 2014read on...

Peace and Prosperity

Senate Votes Unanimously Toward War Against Iran


Today the US Senate voted unanimously in favor of a Lindsey Graham resolution, S.Res.65, which "[s]trongly support(s) the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urg[es] the President to continue to strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation."

The legislation, as expected from a Lindsey Graham product, is full of misstatements, historical revisionism, and war-drum-beating hyperbole. Particularly revolting is the distortion and lies about Iran's not being in compliance with IAEA nuclear safeguards requirements and the irony of Graham's using Iran's refusal to implement UN resolutions as evidence of its rogue status. Also deceptive is the sleight of hand claiming that Iran pursuing a "nuclear weapons capability" is the real violation, rather than an Iranian failure to uphold its agreed upon obligation to not actually divert fissile material to build a nuclear weapon. It is a unilateral lowering of the bar, which is in fact itself a US violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Most alarming, however, is that this resolution contains among the clearest legislative language to date promising that should Israel decide to attack Iran, the US would back Israel militarily. It is breathtakingly foolhardy for the US Senate to give such carte blanche permission to any foreign country to attack another nation as it sees fit with the promise of the backing of the United States military. The move will likely embolden Israel to continue recent escalation of military action in the region and will likely propel Israel closer to an attack on Iran. In economic theory this is known as "moral hazard."

The resolved clauses of the resolution must be seen to be believed, so I reproduce them here (see especially the original point (8), which was apparently even too over-the-top for the Senators -- the substitute language is just as bad but it adds a layer of vagueness as a fig leaf):

Congress--
(1) reaffirms the special bonds of friendship and cooperation that have existed between the United States and the State of Israel for more than sixty years and that enjoy overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress and among the people of the United States;

(2) strongly supports the close military, intelligence, and security cooperation that President Obama has pursued with Israel and urges this cooperation to continue and deepen;

(3) deplores and condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the reprehensible statements and policies of the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran threatening the security and existence of Israel;

(4) recognizes the tremendous threat posed to the United States, the West, and Israel by the Government of Iran's continuing pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability;

(5) reiterates that the policy of the United States is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon capability and to take such action as may be necessary to implement this policy;

(6) reaffirms its strong support for the full implementation of United States and international sanctions on Iran and urges the President to continue and strengthen enforcement of sanctions legislation;

(7) declares that the United States has a vital national interest in, and unbreakable commitment to, ensuring the existence, survival, and security of the State of Israel, and reaffirms United States support for Israel's right to self-defense; and

[Struck out->] (8) urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in self-defense, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence. [< -Struck out]

(8) urges that, if the Government of Israel is compelled to take military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran's nuclear weapons program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in accordance with United States law and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic, military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence.

A meaningless statement is added at the end which likely guaranteed unanimous support:

SEC. 2. RULES OF CONSTRUCTION.

Nothing in this resolution shall be construed as an authorization for the use of force or a declaration of war.

This last part is Congressional weasel language, as the point was not to declare war but rather to define the circumstances under which war would be authorized. Point (8) lays down those circumstances, which is a trap for any Senator who voted for this bill. Imagine if the criteria in point (8) are satisfied by an Israeli attack on Iran claiming self-defense. Any Senator hesitating to authorize the US military to join Israel's war would be shown his vote on this resolution and told that he is already on record supporting war in these circumstances. That is how it works on the Hill.

This is an important vote.


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