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The Economic 'Success' of US Interventionism

The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal recently released their 2014 Index of Economic Freedom. Usually, such lists never really catch my attention. I have little interest in them, considering the sources especially.

However, Ron Paul, in a recent episode on The Ron Paul Channel, pointed out a real takeaway from the most recent Index of Economic Freedom.

First of all, 178 countries are ranked. The most free, according to this index is Hong Kong, with the US coming in at #12. (Again, this is Heritage & WSJ, so take that #12 ranking with the same seriousness that you take the 2% inflation number). Coming in at the very bottom are Cuba at #177 & North Korea at #178.
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Iran, Syria and the Tragicomedy of U.S. Foreign Policy

As the Joint Plan of Action and Geneva II diplomatic initiatives, dealing with Iran and Syria, respectively, RPI academic advisor Hillary Mann Leverett speaks with Scott Horton for Pacifica Radio with words of caution to those who think the new Senate bill imposing more sanctions on Iran is dead and buried.
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How Dare They Invite Iran to The Syria Peace Conference!

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had the temerity Monday to invite Iran to participate in the "Geneva II" conference on the ongoing crisis in Syria. Though one might believe Iran has a legitimate interest in a conflict right in its neighborhood, the US refused to allow Iran to participate unless its leadership agreed to the pre-condition that Assad must be driven from power. For the US, the result of the conference must be decided before the conference commences. It is Queen of Hearts diplomacy: sentence first, verdict afterward!

Mexico was invited to participate, but Iran, whose border with Syria is some 100 miles away, was forbidden by the US from attending.

So Monday's unexpected invitation from Ban Ki Moon to Iran sent shockwaves through Foggy Bottom.
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Ron Paul: Congress’ Failure to Check Executive Branch Would Astound Founders

"I’m sure the Founders would be astounded," says RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul, "that this responsibility of the Congress to keep the executive branch in check was given up so easily."

Speaking with Charles Goyette on Friday during their weekly podcast, Paul explains that the subordination of the US Congress to the executive branch began largely in foreign policy where “it was always conceded that you have to have a strong president.” Paul describes the abandoning of power to the president in foreign policy as “contagious” to other policy areas. Paul also addresses motivations he witnessed in fellow Congress members that encouraged them to give up to the executive branch Congress’ authority under the US Constitution.
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Kerry's Geneva II Delusions

Secretary of State John Kerry is in a bind. The US claims that the purpose of its two-plus year covert and overt support for rebels in Syria is to establish democracy in that country. But to get there the US has backed an artificially cemented together gaggle of expatriate oppositionists who are less supported in Syria than was US-backed Ahmad Chalabi and his Iraqi National Congress in Iraq. On the ground in Syria the "moderate" rebels the US has supported have turned out to be allied with -- and in some cases a PR front for -- Islamic fundamentalists of the al-Qaeda variety.

To get to "democracy" in Syria, the US has allied with the most undemocratic forces in a "we must destroy the village to save the village" strategy.
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Ron Paul on the “Total Failure” of US Intervention in Iraq

Speaking with Charles Goyette during their weekly podcast conversation on Friday, RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul details the “total failure” of the United States government’s decades-long intervention in Iraq.

Paul also addresses the George W. Bush Administration’s machinations to use the September 11, 2001 attacks as a “Pearl Harbor event” to justify the second invasion of Iraq, as well as the beating of “drums of war” in Congress to approve that 2003 invasion.
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Most Egyptians Oppose Messianic American Democratizers

It is comical to watch American TV anchors question reporters on the ground in Cairo concerning the sentiment of the Egyptian masses with regard to the army backed government that replaced Muslim Brotherhood rule. The anchors are sure that the masses must be hostile to the military's rule and they question the reporters in the field with the obvious intention of eliciting reponses that will confirm the expected narrative.

They seem befuddled when the most they can tease out of reporters is an admission that there still exists a sizable minority in the population who back the Salafists including the Muslim Brotherhood in their desire to create a sharia law state in Egypt.

The truth is that most Egyptians want a continuation of the long tradition of a semi-westernized, mildly Islamic culture in Egypt. That culture extends back in history to the Muhammad Ali dynasty and the middle of the 19th Century. The khedival government in Egypt at that time was an extension of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman government of that time followed a path called the "tanzimaat" (reorganization).
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Gates Too Kind About Biden?

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates thinks Vice President Biden is a decent guy but a bit loopy. In his new book, Duty, Gates writes on Biden that:
...he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.
The interventionist foreign policy establishment collectively gasped that one of their own could be criticized -- how could it possibly be wrong to want so badly to project American power worldwide? We are the indispensable nation, after all.
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