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So...Assad Can Stay?

In Washington DC, consistency is considered a vice, never a virtue. It is for this reason that many in Washington, especially the neoconservatives, consider their foreign policy one of virtue. You would think that our political leaders, both in the Republican and Democratic parties, would learn something from the devastating effects of our very inconsistent foreign policy, especially after the last 15 years. The chaos that we have brought to Iraq and Afghanistan should be a loud and clear message to anyone who has ears to hear.

We now get the message from our current Secretary of State John Kerry that it’s time to “reignite” negotiations with Assad for the purpose of ending the conflict in Syria. I guess it’s better late than never, but after more than four years of us needlessly meddling in the internal affairs of Syria, it’s about time. Of course we as Americans, as well as the entire Middle East, would have been better off if we had never adopted the policy in August 2011 that “Assad must go.” What is never realized is that, no matter whether we’re intervening with good intentions or not, our involvement in countries halfway around the world only makes things worse.
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Roll Call on Ron Paul's '76 Swagger

As part of its 60 year anniversary, Roll Call newspaper is looking back on its coverage over the years. Have a look at how they covered Ron Paul when he was first elected to Congress in 1976:

Roll Call Question: What freshman lawmaker was described as “somewhat cocky and questioning” in 1976?

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NATO's Massive Show of Force in Latvia - What's the Endgame?

This week NATO delivered more than 100 tanks and heavy armored units, and several thousand soldiers including US troops, to Latvia, on the border with Russia, in its "Operation Atlantic Resolve." US Army General John O'Conner made no secret that the military operation was aimed at fighting Russia, stating that the delivery of the heavy weapons to Latvia would "demonstrate resolve to President Putin and Russia that collectively we can come together." The tanks would stay, he added, "for as long as required to deter Russian aggression.” 

As the western tanks and soldiers arrived, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the US Senate that she could "confirm" that new Russian weapons were being delivered to Ukraine, but she provided no details or evidence and the OSCE monitors on the ground have not reported any such movement.
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Al-Qaeda, Our Ally?

Generally speaking, if one were to argue that the US foreign policy elites secretly back al-Qaeda, that person would be accused of extreme stupidity and of wallowing in the conspiracy theory mud.

But what happens when a writer in the flagship journal of the foreign policy elites writes that we need to re-assess our 15 year war on the organization that attacked New York and Washington on 9/11, and instead start "accepting al-Qaeda"?

Writing in Foreign Affairs, the Council on Foreign Relations' publication, Barak Mendelsohn argues that because the United States has been (ill-advisedly in his opinion) reluctant to place a full contingent of US boots on the ground for Iraq-War-III-Plus-Syria against ISIS and Assad, the only remaining option is to embrace (and presumably provide assistance to) al-Qaeda in its dual fight against ISIS and the secular Assad government in Syria. 
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War as a Crime Against Civilization

In her current article at Antiwar.com, Lucy Steigerwald reminds us that, while the deaths of tens of millions of innocent men, women, and children provide the strongest indictment of war, there are other costs that need to be accounted for; costs that can only be calculated in terms of the adverse consequences to peaceful, productive, and decent society — i.e., to civilization itself. Among the earliest casualties of the American attack on Iraq were the destruction and looting of archeological sites, museums, libraries, and other cultural locations that help a nation to define itself. The United States did not invent such ruinous forms of barbarism, nor has the practice abated in such cities as Mosul, where ISIS forces have eagerly and intentionally looted the local museum of its important collections. The fourth century burning of the library at Alexandria — then considered to be the greatest collection of the world’s literature – reveals the depths of insanity that inhere in the war system.
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German Intel: Breedlove is Bonkers!

What happens when a close friend starts acting so bizarrely that you need to gently extract yourself from his ravings lest you be tarred with the same brush -- or worse? That is the position in which Germany is increasingly finding itself, as the US government's strange pronouncements about Ukraine are getting too much to bear. The German establishment magazine Der Spiegel has just published a very important article, "Breedlove's Bellicosity: Berlin Alarmed by Aggressive NATO Stance on Ukraine," that lifts the lid on what official Germany really thinks about the US neocon push to war with Russia over Ukraine.

Der Spiegel starts by recalling an event last Wednesday. It was a time when the "Minsk II" ceasefire agreement had produced relative calm throughout eastern Ukraine. The weaponry was being withdrawn and an encouraging, if imperfect, ceasefire was holding. The deal, brokered personally by the German, French, Russian, and Ukrainian leadership, was producing results. Yet on that very day, NATO's Supreme Allied Commander for Europe (SACEUR), the American General Philip Breedlove, was spinning a completely different yarn.
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Nuland's Neocon Lies and McCain's Agony - McAdams and Taylor Week in Review

Victoria Nuland distorts the US role in the Ukraine coup before Congress. Isn't it supposed to be frowned upon to lie to Congress? Also Iran joins the fight against ISIS and John McCain is troubled by the development. He would rather have Americans on the ground fighting. RPI Director Daniel McAdams again joins Jay Taylor to look back on the main foreign policy events of the week.
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Hillary Mann Leverett on Netanyahu’s Nearly 20 Years of Scaremongering Americans

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday speech to the United States Congress is a continuation of his nearly 20 years of scaremongering the US government to encourage both US intervention in the Middle East and US military aid for Israel says Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Hillary Mann Leverett in a new CCTV interview. Instead of falling for the scare tactics again, Mann Leverett suggests the US move toward a policy approach that would include pulling back from repeated military invasions and occupations designed to achieve dominance in the Middle East.
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