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In Syria, US Rejects Russia Call to Name al-Qaeda Allies 'Terrorist'

The total muddle that is US policy toward Syria continues to astonish. This week we saw the spectacle of a State Department Spokesman telling us that President Obama's promise to not put US boots on the ground in Syria, was never a promise not to put boots on the ground in Syria. Yes, it was funny to see him squirm, but there is nothing funny about the past five years of disastrous policy in Syria. Particularly considering the thousands killed once the US decided that "Assad must go" and began sending in fighters to make that happen.

Now we see the extraordinary situation where the US government admits that the militia groups Jaish al-Islam and Ahrar al-Sham are fighting alongside and are "intermingled with" al-Qaeda's Nusra Front, but resoundingly rejects the Russian request to therefore classify these two groups terrorist.
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State Department Jokesman: 'Obama Never Said No Boots on Ground in Syria!'

Watching State Department Spokesman John Kirby spar with one of Washington's last real journalists, AP diplomatic correspondent Matt Lee, is one of the best tickets in town. From his claims that "the entire international community" is demanding that Syria's Assad step down -- which earned a guffaw from Lee -- to his claim that the Syrian people have the right to live any way they choose as long as Washington agrees with their choice, John Kirby is the absolute epitome of the clueless Washington foreign policy establishment. He is the Baghdad Bob of the US State Department.
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Breaking: Obama to Announce Major US Escalation in Syria

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that tomorrow (Monday) President Obama will announce that he is quintupling the number of US troops inside Syria. From the current 50 troops the US admits are operating in Syria, the US will raise the total to 300 under the guise of increasing efforts against ISIS in the country. 

The Journal reports that Obama has been "persuaded by his top military advisers and others that additional U.S. personnel would allow the Pentagon to extend recent gains against Islamic State." He will make the announcement while in Germany.
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'How the War Party Works': RPI's Daniel McAdams on Mises Weekends

Washington, D.C. is a foreign policy bubble, where big money rules and coloring outside the interventionist lines is forbidden. Does the rest of the country buy into the idea that we must run the world? RPI Director Daniel McAdams speaks with his former colleague in Ron Paul's Congressional office, now President of the Mises Institute, Jeff Deist on just how war rules the roost among the Beltway powerbrokers. What happens to young and idealistic newly-elected Members of Congress to turn them into parrots war party propaganda? How are the sucked into the machine? They are sucked in by the "deep state" -- the permanent government. How do the neocons like Bill Kristol continue to dominate the airwaves when they are so consistently wrong? Listen to the whole interview here.
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White House ‘Concerned’ as Russia Moves Equipment to North Syria

White House officials are complaining of being “concerned” by recent media reports of Russia shifting its artillery further north in Syria, with suggestions they were moving to back the Syrian military in renewed offensives against al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

Even though al-Qaeda was deliberately not included in the Syrian ceasefire, the rebels have presented Syrian strikes on them as “violations” of the truce, and the US seems to be siding with them, suggesting the latest moves are “aggression” on the part of the Russians.
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Ron Paul on the Military-Industrial Complex’s Role in US Militarism from Latin America to Europe

Speaking last week with host Scott Horton on the Scott Horton Show, three-time presidential candidate and former Republican member of the US House of Representatives Ron Paul discussed the military-industrial complex’s role in US militarism across the world, including in Latin America and Europe.

After Horton introduced Paul as “the greatest American hero,” Paul and Horton entered a fascinating discussion of US foreign policy. Their wide-ranging discussion concerns matters including US intervention in Iraq and Ukraine, a potential “Brexit” — exit of Great Britain from the European Union (EU), and Paul’s preference for free trade over international trade deals that Paul says put in place “managed trade to serve the interests of some special interests.”
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Why Don’t the Candidates Talk About Afghanistan?

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Heading into its sixteenth year, with no endpoint in sight, America’s longest war is its least talked about.

Afghanistan has not come up in any Republican or Democratic debate, except perhaps as one of a list of countries where Islamic State must be destroyed (left out is the reality that no Islamic State existed in 2001 when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban, who, by the way, are still not defeated.)
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'Humanitarian Interventionist' Convoy Kills Kid in Cameroon

While it would be inappropriate to directly blame US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power for the tragic death of a little boy in Cameroon today, it would also be inappropriate to exculpate the ambassador.  

The US Ambassador, who is the embodiment of the "humanitarian" interventionist cult that makes up the Left Wing faction of the Church of Neoconservativism, was speeding in her heavily-armed motorcade through the Cameroonian countryside at speeds over 60 miles per hour to make it to a photo-op with a group of victims of the Islamist Boko Haram organization.
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