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Zombie NATO

Where is NATO in 2014? The debate continues on just why, more than 20 years after the communist threat it was created to defend against has disappeared, NATO continues to nudge its way into smaller conflicts and end up making them bigger ones. RPI academic advisor, Mark Almond, debates the past and future of NATO in this fascinating short Voice of Russia radio broadcast. Sadly this is the kind of intelligent debate that you will not see among the blow-dried talking heads in the US media.

Highlights include the point made by host Peter Lavelle that the current crisis over Ukraine has proven a perfect opportunity for opportunists like Poland's foreign minister Radek Sikorski to demand NATO boots on their own soil. Also newer NATO members that may feel threatened by the presence of Russian minorities on their soil -- for example, the Baltics -- may well use this crisis opportunity to demand of NATO, "We joined, you are now supposed to protect us. Now cough up some money and put some bases on our soil. The soldiers based here will help our economy as well."
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Ron Paul: US and IMF Bailout of Ukraine is a Bankers Bailout

Speaking Wednesday on the Ron Paul Channel, RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul challenges the United States and International Monetary Fund bailout of Ukraine, calling the bailout “criminal.” Paul explains:

All this nonsense we hear now of bailing out Ukraine -- it’s going to the bankers; it’s going for the politicians; it’s not really even going to help the people in Ukraine. It’s criminal. And yet the people here in this country are going to suffer.
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These bailouts are always designed to bail out the banks. They are not designed to help the people -- just like our bailouts were in ’08 and ’09. They were there to bail out the rich, the bankers, and the military industrial complex.

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Daddy Warbucks Seeks President

Much is made of money in politics and how the process is shaped by big donors. While RPI does not concern itself with politics or elections, there is a disturbing related phenomenon that does indeed concern our mission: big money purchasing war. 

Take casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, for example. As Pat Buchanan points out today, the pro-war billionaire snapped his fingers last week and potential Republican presidential candidates came running to his self-styled "Sheldon" primary. Their purpose was to out-compete each other on Adelson's favorite issues so as to curry favor and thereby earn his millions for their campaign coffers. And Adelson's biggest issue is not even in the US -- it's Israel.
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Infantile Diplomacy and Double Standards

Frank Furedi at Spiked Online has published one of the best pieces we have seen on the remarkable inability of American and Western diplomats, NGO employees, and others to see US foreign policy as those on the receiving end might see it. 

In the toxic religion of "American exceptionalism" the key liturgical feature is no matter what is done to others by US policy it is only for their own good. The US knows best how to manage the affairs of others, and if you happen to be one of those "others" and disagree, well you simply hate America and are therefore "against us." 

How remarkable that George W. Bush's bluster "either you are with us or you are with the terrorists" has become our national motto all these years later -- even as the author of the global war aphorism remains an embarrassment in exile. More ironic even, those "sophisticates" who laughed at the inarticulate Bush now have adopted his core values as their own in the mad push to war with Russia.
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Obama's War On History

President Obama's speech in Brussels this week was a shocking mélange of ignorance and arrogance masquerading as foreign policy. 

Attempting to justify placing the US on war footing with Russia over the recent referendum in Crimea, the president stated:
Kosovo only left Serbia after a referendum was organized not outside the boundaries of international law, but in careful cooperation with the United Nations and with Kosovo’s neighbors. None of that even came close to happening in Crimea.
Of course anyone who followed the Kosovo fiasco knows that never happened. There was no such thing. Made up. The Kosovo parliament declared independence unilaterally backed up by US/NATO military power to ensure the change of borders.
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Col. Wilkerson: 'What American Wants to Die for Kiev?'

RPI academic advisor Col. Lawrence Wilkerson appears in a thought-provoking interview on MSNBC, where he expresses his hopes that President Obama can find a way to walk back from the increasing US/Russia war footing. Asked by the host about the neocons who are increasingly critical of the president over what they see as his lack of aggression toward Russia, Wilkerson replies with a blast.
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The TSA PreCheck Extortion Racket

Transportation Security Administration Administrator John Pistole touted on Tuesday the expansion of TSA's extortion racket-style program known as the PreCheck. Pistole’s comments were part of his testimony at the US House of Representatives before the Homeland Security Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.

Under PreCheck, travelers in airports who have taken steps including paying $85, giving over their fingerprints, and obtaining TSA approval of their background checks have a chance -- but no guarantee -- that TSA employees will, over a five year term, harass them a bit less than other travelers.
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