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Goodbye, Janet

As Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano departs her post for the fairer climes of the University of California, she leaves behind a government monstrosity that not only is not in better shape than when she arrived, but is teetering on the verge of total collapse. The woman whose husky voice reminded us -- in the Metro, in Walmart, everywhere -- to say something if we see something, has left behind a workplace where the employees have the lowest morale anywhere in government -- despite pay boosts and numerous colorful special recognition awards programs.

In all fairness, it would be wrong to blame only Ms. Napolitano for the fact that most DHS employees would rather get a root canal than go to work. Imagine the humiliation of working for the Transportation Security Administration, for example, where days are spent either irradiating innocent Americans or groping them. Snatching an iPad from someone's bag may give a temporary boost, but in all it is miserable work.
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Obama's Second Term Foreign Policy: A Full Tank or Running on Empty?

At the Ron Paul Institute, our job is to look critically at US foreign policy and point out the disasters of successive interventionist and empire-building administrations. But asked to more clearly define what this Administration is really up to thus far in its second term -- what are its goals, what values does it seek to convey worldwide, what are its motivations -- we often feel at a profound loss.

What does the president want to see happen in Egypt? Syria? What happens next in Afghanistan, Obama's "good war"? Russia re-set?
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A 'Salafi Shindig': Obama's Middle East Disaster

The jihadis in Syria have now declared that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are as much the enemy as the Syrian government. They have backed that up by killing one of the senior leaders of the FSA and declaring in telephone calls that they intend to kill all the leaders of the FSA in order to insure the creation of an Islamic emirate in Syria. The Afghan Taliban have set up a base in Syria. Jihadis are pouring into the country.
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Reflections on the Egyptian Coup

Egypt is the big story this week, and the way things are going it is going to become an even bigger story. RPI is concentrating on these important events in this extremely important country of more than 80 million people. The evolving situation is complex, with very many different interest groups and pivot points, as well as the always-present US foreign policy apparatus jockeying for a position.
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Congress to Obama: Punish Iranians!

The House Foreign Affairs Committee plays hide and go seek with Iran's imaginary nuclear weapons programs this week, demonstrating the utter futility in hoping for any sort of foreign policy intelligence coming from the "People's Branch" of government. As Professor Rozeff points out in a recent LRC blog post, all but one member of the House Foreign Relations Committee signed a letter "urging President Obama to increase the pressure on Iran to dismantle its nuclear weapons programs."
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Roll Call Announces New National Security Blogger ... Boeing!

Roll Call announced this week the launch of its new blog, Topic A: Defense, for the "national security community." The blog is sponsored by Boeing—one of the highest dollar value US government contractors both overall and in the defense category.

As explained in the blog launch announcement, Boeing creates some of the blog's posts. The announcement assures us that "sponsor-generated content is clearly marked as such." So let's inaugurate a new game, "Independent Blog Post or Boeing Advertisement." Without peeking, is the blog post that begins with the following paragraph an independent blog post or Boeing advertisement?
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Father Francois Murad Beheaded By US-Allies in Syria

Thanks to RPI contributor Pat Lang for putting a face to the victim of the US-backed Syrian rebels' latest ghastly atrocity. Father Francois Murad was a Franciscan priest who had been in hiding since the monastery he was building in Syria came under attack from the US-allied rebels. Accused of collaborating with the Syrian government, Father Murad was beheaded with what appears a small kitchen knife, as his attackers yelled "Allah Akbar."
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Obama's Syrian Allies

The Washington Times is reporting that the US shift in favor of overtly arming the Syrian rebels was celebrated by the rebels with an orgy of innocent blood. According to the Times, a Christian priest and another Christian believer were beheaded by the US-allied radicals after claiming that the two Christians were siding with Syrian president Bashar Assad.

Writes the Times:
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What Can One Person Do Versus the Leviathan?

Over at Lew Rockwell's blog, RPI Academic Board Member Butler Shaffer has written a thought-provoking piece on how the (thus far) successful escape of NSA leaker Edward Snowden reveals how the individual with his innumerable complex and ever-changing calculations and perceptions based on self-interest can triumph over the lumbering bureaucracy, which huffs and puffs and in the end falls back on its own weaknesses and contradictions. It is an uplifting tale for those of us feeling a bit saggy under the weight of the immensity of exposed leviathan.
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