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The Evil of Sanctions

Free trade is essential to prosperity, peace, and civilization. But free trade does not mean State-managed trade of the Nafta sort. It means businesses and individuals able to deal across international borders as easily as across town borders. Many things hamper free trade, such as fluctuating fiat currencies, which reintroduce barter, as Hoppe notes. But trade sanctions are also damaging and dangerous, and multiplying. Sanctions, which are acts of war, seek to sicken and impoverish civilians in a hated foreign country. Any GOP neocon or con claiming to believe in free trade and sanctions is a fraud. Of course, that’s hardly news. But we can know that anyone championing trade barriers against Russia, Iran, Cuba, or any place else is an enemy of capitalism,  freedom, and peace.
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Oliver Stone: CIA Fingerprints All Over Ukraine Coup

Famed Hollywood director Oliver Stone created a media storm this week with his statements about the February coup that ousted democratically elected Ukrainian leader Victor Yanukovych. Stone has concluded that the mysterious sniper fire that killed dozens and ultimately led to the overthrow was the work of outside agitators rather than of Yanukovich's security forces.  The mainstream media and the US government claimed immediately that the horrific attacks were the work of Yanukovych's security personnel, underscoring the Western narrative that the Ukrainian president was a ruthless killer who lost all legitimacy when he ordered troops to fire on his own people. 
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Students for Liberty: The 'Regime Change' Libertarians

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The Students for Liberty are at it again, mainstreaming deviationism with a reckless fervor. While it is a generally accepted tenet of libertarian thought that state involvement in regime change operations overseas is anathema, there are those who claim that US government-funded regime change is actually quite a libertarian idea. 

Thus, coming in at number five on the Students for Liberty (SFL) list of "Top 10 Libertarian Moments of 2014" are three regime-change operations that owe their organization and funding to the United States government. How could a decidedly un-libertarian US government be a promoter of liberty abroad, one might ask. It requires a good deal of philosophical contortionism, but the well-funded Students for Liberty has long advocated such acrobatics. 

So protests and regime change in Venezuela, Ukraine, and Hong Kong have made the top ten list of libertarian events of 2014, even though the Students admit that, "some of the factions and demands were far from libertarian." That last bit may refer to the slightly embarrassing (for regime change supporters) nature of the regime changers in places like Ukraine.
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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.
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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.
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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...
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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.
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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 Floor this past week, he replied:
I am not voting for the bill. I have been very outspoken on this. How can you take a 1,600 page bill, get the rule on it today, and expect Members to cast a sensible vote on that kind of bill? You can't do it. I don't even know what's in the bill.
If only the other Member adopted Rep. Jones' position on bills that could not be read, could not be understood, but were deemed so critical by House leadership that to vote "no" was to constitute a serious violation. Rep. Jones has paid for his independence and his willingness to stand up for America rather than just the Republican Party. He deserves our thanks.
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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.

On the one hand, he told us that information derived from torture was, at times, useful. On the other hand he told us that it is "unknowable" if the information so derived had any real value. He said that some of the things done by CIA officials were "abhorrent" but in answer to a question was ambiguous and non-committal as to whether or not it might be necessary to do the same kind of things in the future.
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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?
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