The United States has just made an exceptionally dangerous, even reckless decision over Ukraine. Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader who ended the Cold War, warns it may lead to a nuclear confrontation with Russia.
Rule number one of geopolitics: nuclear-armed powers must never, ever fight.
Yet Washington just announced that by spring, it will deploy unspecified numbers of military “trainers” to Ukraine to help build Kiev’s ramshackle national guard. Also being sent are significant numbers of US special heavy, mine resistant armored vehicles that have been widely used in Afghanistan and Iraq. The US and Poland are currently covertly supplying Ukraine with some weapons.
The US soldiers will just be for training, and the number of GI’s will be modest, claim US military sources. Of course. Just like those small numbers of American “advisors” and “trainers” in Vietnam that eventually grew to 550,000. Just as there are now US special forces in over 100 countries. We call it “mission creep.”
According to our civic folklore, Americans are more devoted to freedom than any other nationality on earth. But it is increasingly appears that this dogma is a relic of bygone times.
A Gallup poll last July asked a thousand Americans: “Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what to do with your life?” Only twenty-one percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied.
Admittedly, the percentage of Americans who say they don’t have sufficient freedom has doubled since the previous Gallup poll on this question in 2006, when only 9% complained. That number was stunningly low, considering the controversies back then over the Patriot Act and repressive “free speech zones,” and the first round of explosive revelations of National Security Agency illegal wiretaps on thousands of Americans. Obama in 2008 exploited the Bush administration’s dreadful civil liberties record to portray himself as America’s constitutional savior.
Jon Clifton, the managing director of the Gallup World Poll, observed last summer that the 2006 freedom poll “ numbers make sense in terms of our classic self-perception. The recent numbers do not.” But has the “classic self-perception” been bogus for decades?
The Horrible Foolishness of Sanctions: Ron Paul Talks to Lew Rockwell
The momentum in the United States government seems to be behind piling more and more sanctions on countries with abandon. In opposition to this trend, Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Founder and Chairman Ron Paul and RPI Advisory Board Member Lew Rockwell present in Rockwell’s latest podcast an in-depth discussion of the dangers sanctions pose.
Sharia Law in Texas?
Addressing the news that a non-profit Muslim organization in Texas is offering to privately settle disputes on a voluntary basis between those who see Sharia law as binding, Judge Andrew Napolitano points out that privatized justice should be welcomed in the United States among those who reject state meddling in private affairs.
To Stop Tracking of Car Movements, States Can End License Plate Requirement
Despite Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Patrick Leahy (D-VT) of the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing concern about the US government using a license plate tracking system to monitor vehicle movements in America, we should not expect the US Congress to pass any significant rollback of the mass spying program. As we have seen with the US government’s telecommunications mass spying program administered largely by the National Security Agency, a large-scale effort to defeat any significant rights-protecting legislative response should be expected. Further, only insignificant to counterproductive “reform” legislation — portrayed deceptively as a major rollback — will likely be pushed through the legislative process.
Yemen Coup and the Week in Review -- McAdams and Taylor
A quick review of the Sunni vs. Shia split and how that drives violence in the Middle East. What does the ascendence of a Shia insurgency to power in Yemen last week mean for the balance in the region, especially with the death of the Saudi king?
Foreign Troops in Ukraine? You Bet!
US-backed president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, was among the elites gathering in Davos, Switzerland this week to attend the 2015 World Economic Forum. During his speech he made the remarkable claim that 9,000 Russian troops were currently fighting in Ukraine on behalf of the independence-seeking areas of the country. These 9,000 troops have brought with them tanks, heavy artillery, and armored vehicles, he claimed. "Is this not aggression?" he asked the gathered elites.