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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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James Clapper Denies Obama Wiretapped Trump

The former Director of National Intelligence under the Obama administration, James Clapper, denied there was a secret court order for surveillance at Trump Tower. Speaking on NBC's Meet The Press, Clapper said that in the national intelligence activity he oversaw, "there was no such wiretap activity mounted against the president, the president-elect at the time, as a candidate or against his campaign."

Clapper was asked if he would be aware if something like that had happened. "I would certainly hope so ... Obviously I can't speak officially anymore," "But I will say that for the part of the national security apparatus that I oversaw as DNI, there was no such wiretap activity." Clapper said that as intelligence director he would have known about a "FISA court order on something like this. Absolutely, I can deny it."

Clapper also said he would know if a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court order existed for "something like this."

"And at this point you can't confirm or deny whether that exists?" host Chuck Todd asked.
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NATO’s scaremongering about ‘Russia threat’ to Baltic States ‘is all about money’

The US security establishment is trying to justify its existence, says Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, commenting on a new report which lists how NATO can help the Baltic States counter Russian "hybrid warfare."

The American global policy think-tank, the RAND Corporation, published a report that claims NATO should do more to counter the potential Russian threat and strengthen the Baltic countries' forces. The US government-funded body issued a report titled, “Hybrid Warfare in the Baltics: Threats and Potential Responses.”

The document raises concern over “Russian use of “hybrid warfare” best understood as covert or deniable activities, supported by conventional or nuclear forces, to influence the domestic politics of target countries.”
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Winning Wars?

“We have to start winning wars again,” President Trump told the nation’s governors today. No, Mr. President, America must stop military interventionism. As you have said America spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas when we should have been spending it here at home, to create jobs and rebuild infrastructure, for example.
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Al-Qaeda Gets An Oscar

Hollywood is all about fake. That is what movies are - fake depictions of a fake reality that only exist in the mind of scriptwriters, directors and a usually gullible audience. (Disclosure: I do like some movies.)

Hollywood has never been shy of plagiarizing. Every idea, tale of cinematographic trick that made a splash somewhere - and is thereby a potential money generator - will get copied again and again. Every successful make gets a remake. And another one.

In 2015 the promoting host of the Miss Universe franchise "misread" the name of the winner. He announced "Columbia" when the chosen winner was "Philippines." After a few minutes he "corrected" himself. That "mistake" brought a lot of additional media attention - and financial value - to the event owner.
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