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Syria: The Micro World War

Wow, who knew that the Israeli air force was running ops in Syria? In the news Friday, Israel is bragging that they intercepted and downed a Syrian SAM that was sent up after one of its planes. Israel says they’re in Syria to hit Hezbollah’s version of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Okay, now we’ve got Israel running its own airstrikes in there, Turkey also from time to time, Russia we know, the United States we know, and Iran when they find spare parts for their F-4 Phantoms. Plus the Syrian air force, of course. Hmmm…several nations involved in one war. Sounds like a micro world war to me.
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Lawrence Wilkerson Warns US Generating Enemies Beyond its Capacity to Deal With

Lawrence Wilkerson, a former Army colonel and chief of staff for Colin Powell at the United States Department of State, expressed this week strong criticism of the US government adding more and more nations to its enemies list. Speaking with host Paul Jay at the Real News Network this week, Wilkerson, who is a professor at the College of William & Mary, concludes that, even with the large amount of money the US spends on the military, it is “utterly beyond our capacity to deal with all these enemies” that the US has generated.
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Raqqa and Manjib Not Central to Assad

The Syrian military strategy of President Assad is well-known. It is explained hereand here. This strategy has succeeded. The Assad coalition of forces is defeating his opponents. They are continuing steadily to clear remaining opposition forces from Syria.

Raqqa has not been central to Assad. Neither has Manjib. They remain to be “cleaned up”, but they were not of strategic importance to Assad and still aren’t.
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Ron Paul Calls WikiLeaks Revelation of CIA Documents ‘Fantastic’

Ron Paul, the prominent libertarian communicator and three-time US presidential candidate, declared this week in a Fox Business interview that it is “fantastic” that WikiLeaks revealed on Tuesday thousands of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents and files. Speaking with host Kennedy, Paul further says that the information exposed “indicates that liberty is in big trouble” and states his concern about there having been insufficient media coverage of the information.
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'Bomb the Sh*t Out Of Them!' - Trump Drones Yemen More in One Week Than Obama in a Year

Undeterred by his disastrous commando raid on Yemen in the first days of his Administration, where plenty of civilians were killed but the target got away, President Donald Trump has escalated US military involvement in the tragic Yemen conflict to an unprecedented level. In fact as Foreign Policy reports, the US President has bombed Yemen more in the past week than President Obama (no peacenik) has bombed it in a year.
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Trump Invades Syria

Although the Syrian army, with its ally Russia, has made significant gains against ISIS over the past week or so, the Washington Post is reporting tonight that President Trump has for the first time sent regular US military personnel into that country in combat positions. This is an unprecedented escalation of US involvement in the Syrian war and it comes without Congressional authorization, without UN authorization, and without the authorization of the government of Syria. In short it is three ways illegal.

According to the Post, US Marines have departed their ships in the Mediterranean and have established an outpost on Syrian soil from where they will fire artillery toward the ISIS "headquarters" of Raqqa. The Post continues:
The Marines on the ground include part of an artillery battery that can fire powerful 155-millimeter shells from M777 Howitzers, two officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the deployment. The expeditionary unit’s ground force, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, will man the guns and deliver fire support for U.S.-backed local forces who are preparing an assault on the city. Additional infantrymen from the unit are likely to provide security.
On March 5th, RT ran footage of a US military convoy entering Syria near Manbij. The US mainstream media initially blacked out the story, but the Post today confirmed that the troops were from the Army’s 75th Ranger Regiment in Stryker vehicles.
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Can Public Opinion Check Presidential Power?

The concentration of power in the United States presidency has had a good run over the last few decades. This concentration of power is evident in presidents pursuing war after war without the constitutionally-required congressional declaration of war or even a congressional vote on an authorization for use of military force (AUMF). It is also evident in presidents using executive orders and regulations to bypass the legislative process.

President Barack Obama was up-front about his desire to use expansive executive power to bypass the Congress when he said before a Cabinet meeting in January of 2014, “I've got a pen, and I've got a phone.” The pen, Obama explained, he could use to “sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions” without any involvement of Congress. The phone, he said, he could use to build support for his unilateral actions.
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US Airstrikes Continue in Yemen, Killing Former Gitmo Detainee

Heavy US airstrikes that began Thursday and continued through the weekend have not halted yet, with at least one strike reported on Monday, with the drone strike destroying a car and killing both people within, labeled “suspected terrorists,” though both were burned beyond recognition and unidentified.

On the other hand, we finally do have one identified victim among the flurry of strikes in the past five days, with reports that former Gitmo detainee Yasir al-Silmi was slain. Officials say they think he was part of al-Qaeda, though they say he was not a “high-value” target.
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