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Breaking: Washington Airdrops Tons of Weapons to Rebels in Syria

Hopeful news at the end of last week that the Obama Administration was considering disengaging from its schizophrenic war in Syria  has given way to the ugly reality that Washington's neocons in charge will never back away from a fight (as long as they are not doing the fighting). 

First bit of bad news, we saw the policy shift away from vetting and training rebels. The Administration announced that because the $500 million plan to train and equip vetted "moderate" rebels has been an obvious failure, the solution was to remove the training and vetting part of the project and simply send military equipment. From now on only leaders of the rebel groups would be vetted. The fighters would simply be armed, no questions asked.
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Defense Spending Bill: $600 Million More to Train "Moderates" in Syria

Last year's National Defense Authorization Act allocated half a billion dollars to train "vetted," "moderate" rebels to attack ISIS in Syria and also to overthrow the country's sovereign government. This schizophrenic policy goal not surprisingly produced a total (after the others were killed, captured, or willingly gave their weapons to ISIS) of four or five fighters. Even this micro force of five ultimately found itself in the depths of embarrassment as it was carjacked by al-Qaeda. Half a billion dollars to have five guys carjacked! Put ten plumbers in a room and they could craft a more workable foreign policy than the entirety of the US foreign policy establishment.

So how does Capitol Hill respond to such a total failure? Reassess the policy and cut the losses? Welcome the Russian entry into the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria? Look at Iraq and Libya and decide that regime change is just an illicit fantasy of the perpetual adolescents of the neoconservative movement?
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Ron Paul’s Swords into Plowshares Soundtrack


Each chapter of Ron Paul’s latest book Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity is preceded by song lyrics that help communicate the antiwar ideas Paul expresses in the book. That makes 21 songs for 21 chapters. Metallica, Willie Nelson, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, and Pete Seeger are among the performers featured in the song collection.
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Lawrence Wilkerson on the 70 Years Old and Counting US National Security State

On occasion a college professor answers an interview question in such a way that it creates in some listeners a sudden, if fleeting, urge to drop everything, move across the country, and sign up for a course. College of William & Mary Professor Lawrence Wilkerson, whose background includes being a colonel in the United States Army and chief of staff for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, provided such an answer at the end of a 12-minute interview on RT this week.

In his answer, Wilkerson, who is a Ron Paul Institute Academic Board member, provides an introduction to the 70 years-in-building US national security state that makes US foreign policy very focused on militarism. It certainly would be interesting to see this introduction fleshed out over a semester in a college course.
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Russia's Campaign To Snuff Off The CIA's Al-Qaeda Forces

With some 125 strikes in three days the Russian bombing campaign continues to build. The US media is now obsessed with the idea that Russia may be using "dumb bombs" instead of Syrian "barrel bombs". This is becoming a new propaganda meme. But videos from the Russian airbase show that at least some of the planes are armed with KAB-500S-E satellite (GLONAST) guided bombs which are precise "smart" bombs. (Other pictures and video from the Russian air base show a quite comfortable life including air conditioned quarters, a mess tent, Gulaschkanonen, a bakery, a laundry etc. This base is not an improvised short-term installation.)

Besides that how is it more humane to kill by a precise bomb than by a "dumb bomb" or "barrel bomb". Gaza was bombed by the Israelis with (US produced) smart bombs. That did not lead to less destruction or killing. The recent Saudi (US produced) bomb on the Yemen wedding that killed 130 people was also "smart" and hit right where it was targeted at.
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Eric Margolis: US Fight Against ‘Covert Western Asset’ ISIS is a ‘Big Charade’

Eric Margolis returned to the Scott Horton Show on Wednesday for another intriguing interview regarding international relations and war. In the interview, Margolis, a Ron Paul Institute Academic Board member and international affairs writer, lifted the lid on the ongoing fight of the United States and coalition members against the Islamic State (ISIS), referring to ISIS as a “covert western asset” and the US-supported fight against ISIS as a “big charade.”
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Why is Washington Against Russia Bombing ISIS and Al-Qaeda?

On Wednesday the Russian military became active in the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria. Pursuant to a request from the Syrian government, Moscow first began deploying military equipment and trainers as well as humanitarian assistance. Then the Russian parliament approved the use of force, and force was indeed used on Wednesday. 

The Obama Administration is not happy about this development. 

The US has been bombing Syria for a year without permission from the Syrian government and without a UN Security Council resolution authorizing an attack on a sovereign nation. That means US strikes on Syrian soil are illegal according to international law. However the first US response to the Russian strikes against ISIS in Syria was to condemn the Russian government for not coordinating its strikes with the US.
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End the Marijuana ‘Sin Taxes’

Legal marijuana in Colorado has been a boon for freedom, allowing people to make, transfer, and consume marijuana products free from the threat of arrest by state or local police. At the same time, there is an unfortunate side-effect of the liberalization of marijuana laws in the state — the government scooping up great amounts of money via marijuana “sin taxes.”

The high marijuana taxes punish people who purchase marijuana by depriving them of money to save, to give away, or to spend on other goods or services. The sin taxes also are a means of controlling people’s behavior. Facing high taxes, some people will forgo or reduce their purchases of products containing the plant.
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US Exploited Assad's Fight Against Al-Qaeda

The US government has been relying on its standard narrative that the Syria crisis emerged spontaneously after an "Arab Spring" inspired protest was violently suppressed by the Syrian government. The entire US intervention was justified on these grounds. In other words, the "Assad must go" position of the US government was simply a reflection of his decision to attack his own citizens in 2011. Thus the Obama Administration, as it did in Ukraine, has attempted to disavow any role in fomenting the uprising and thus any responsibility for the violence that ensued.

But like much else in US foreign policy the narrative is wholly false, constructed to propagandize the American people in favor of US intervention and shield the US government from any fallout.

In fact the US government had long had its sights on regime change in Syria, starting at least with the Project for a New American Century's plan peddled to George W. Bush to overthrow five countries in five years and remake the entire Middle East. The neocons always like to think big, but like any slimy salesman they never deliver as promised. Their Iraq "cakewalk" proved a deathwalk.
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