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Middle East Not Going According To Empire Plan

How are things going in the Middle East? Has the Russian entrance into the Syria disaster changed the equation at all? And what really is a libertarian, non-interventionist foreign policy? RPI Director Daniel McAdams joins Jason Burack of Wall St for Main St and editor of The News Doctors, Eric Dubin for an hour long salon on US foreign policy's "big picture." Pop some popcorn and listen to the podcast here...
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Ron Paul Classic: No War in Syria

Since our Nobel Peace Prize winning President is sending "a few" special operations forces to Syria, it seems like a great time to revisit one of Ron Paul's columns from 2013. In it, Dr. Paul asked if war with Syria was justified even if President Obama sought and received a declaration of war (spoiler alert: it's not!).

Of course, this is a theoretical question since Obama, the former Constitutional Law Professor, did not seek Congressional approval before sending American troops to Syria.
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Is Israel Bombing Syrian Military to Benefit ISIS Near Lebanon?

The neoconservative Washington Free Beacon is reporting that the Israeli air force has attacked a Syrian government-controlled missile base near Syria's border with Lebanon. The Beacon cites a pro-rebel website that claims:
Israeli planes breached Lebanese and Syrian airspace and bombed the Syrian regime’s 155th Brigade [base] in the Qutayfa area, destroying a number of missile warehouses.
If the report is accurate it would suggest that Israel is attacking military facilities of the Syrian government to the benefit of ISIS and the al-Qaeda franchise in Syria, at least according to the latest battle map released by the Institute for the Study of War (when coordinated with a Google map search for Qutayfah, Syria).
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Peter Van Buren Got it Right: Killed Delta Force Member Used to Build PR for US Ground Troops Announcement

Always question why people in government suddenly do something they just about never do. Your questioning may well provide insight into what the government will do next.

On Tuesday, author Peter Van Buren, who worked at the United States Department of State for 24 years, engaged in just such questioning. Van Buren noted, in his article “About That Delta Force Guy Killed in Iraq…,” the oddity of the “very public attention given at the highest levels in Washington” to the death of Delta Force Member Joshua Wheeler in a strike mission in Iraq given that the “United States does not formally acknowledge the existence of Delta Force, and rarely mentions the names of any of its members, even after they leave the service.”
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Iraq to Washington: We Don't Want Your Troops

What a difference a day makes. Just 24 hours ago US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was telling the Senate Armed Services Committee all about the Obama Administration's new military strategy for the Middle East. The headline grabber from his testimony was the revelation that the US military would begin "direct action on the ground" in Iraq and Syria. 

"We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL (ISIS)," he told the Committee. The new strategy would consist of "three R's," he said: more US action, including on the ground, with Syrian opposition "partners" to take ISIS stronghold in Raqqa, Syria; more intense cooperation with the Iraqi army including with US-embedded soldiers to retake Ramadi from ISIS in Iraq; and the beginning of US military raids, "whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground.”
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Niya Kenny is a Brave Young Lady

Sometimes parents exaggerate in praising their children. But the mother of Niya Kenny, an 18-year-old student at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina, is spot-on when she describes as brave Kenny’s actions in response to school cop Ben Fields on Monday roughing up and arresting a fellow student. "My child, and I'm not mad at her, she was brave enough to speak out against what was going on and didn't back down and it resulted in her being arrested," says Kenny’s mother.

In militarized American schools, small discipline matters can quickly result in school-based or called-in cops roughing up and arresting students. Such was the case in Kenny’s math class this week when Fields responded to a complaint of a student’s failure to either participate or leave the class by yanking the student out of her seat and attached desk, hurling her across the classroom floor, and arresting her.
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Breaking: Sec Def Tells Congress US to Begin 'Direct Action on the Ground' in Syria and Iraq

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee today that United States military forces would soon begin "direct action on the ground" in Iraq and Syria, promising more missions like the recent operation to free hostages in Iraq that cost the life of US special forces member Sgt. Joshua Wheeler last week.

“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” he added.

This signals the beginning of both Iraq War 3.0 and Syria War 1.5. It is unclear whether Iraq would welcome more US troops on the ground, but it is certain that US military operations on Syrian territory are a violation of Syrian sovereignty and therefore illegal under international law.
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Washington: Assad Still Must Go

At the State Department's daily briefing today, Spokesman John Kirby conceded that the Syrian government led by President Assad may have a role to play in a "political transition" of the country. 

The apparent shift was in response to a reporter who pointed out that Assad is not opposed by the entire population of Syria:
...the Assad regime definitely represents a certain constituency in Syria. The minorities, Christians, even a portion of the Sunnis look at the Syrian regime as their representative, in particular at Bashar al-Assad. Why should Bashar al-Assad be complex nixed out of the process, considering that he controls the larger portion on the ground, proudly asserting themselves as the major power in that conflict on the ground? Why should Assad be nixed out of the process?
State Spokesman Kirby replied:
Nobody said that there wouldn’t be a role for Assad or for the institution of his – institutions of his government in the transition.
It appears to be a slight step back from the previous position that no talks could be held on Syria's future until Assad is out of power. In fact, however, this "shift" is more cosmetic than substantive, as Kirby reiterated that, "nothing’s changed about our position on Bashar al-Assad."
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The Benghazi Tragedy Is A Result of Bad Ideology

The tragedy of Benghazi can be attributed to stupidity and bad ideology. The much talked about Hillary Clinton testimony does not challenge the ideology of interventionism. The hearing is merely a challenging of the management of interventionism. So both sides agree on intervening in foreign countries, they merely disagree on how it is to be managed.

I believe that the argument must be ideological and the notion of interventionism itself must be challenged. The problem of Benghazi is not one of management. Both sides endorsed and supported the intervention in Libya. Since that time, there has been an expansion into Syria and other parts of the Middle East.
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Why Is The US Silently Bombing Syria's Electricity Network?

The Aleppo power plant is a 1,000 megawatt thermal plant in five units build by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in 1995-1998. It is situated some 25 kilometers east of Aleppo city center.  During the fighting around Aleppo various electricity distribution stations were damaged and electricity in parts of the city has become scarce and unpredictable. But the main power station had so far not been hit.

The plant is in the hands of the Islamic State but there is an informal agreement between the government, which controls the distribution network, and those who hold the power generating station:

[T]he agreement of understanding pertains to the division of the electricity supply between the parties, whereby ISIS will receive 60 percent of the quota and the Syrian regime will receive 40 percent.
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