An American businessman is elected to head a bankrupt government. Instead of using business sense, the new president decides to increase both government spending and debt! Meanwhile, even though spending is increasing, his opponents are hysterically up in arms about "unconscionable cuts"! Ron Paul speaks truth about the insanity on today's Myth-Busters.
The NSA admitted last October that its monitoring of Americans was far more widespread than believed. Even the normally compliant FISA Court was shocked. Will "reform" do the job? Or should the authority to spy on us without a warrant be totally removed?
By Jacob G. Hornberger
The latest terrorist attack in England, which has killed or injured dozens of teenagers, raises a question for every British, French, and American parent: Is continued interventionism in the Middle East and Afghanistan worth it?
In 1996 Leslie Stahl of CBS’s 60 Minutes, asked that question of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright.
We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.
What Stahl was referring to the massive death toll among Iraqi children caused by U.S. interventionism in Iraq during the 1990s, specifically the attempt by the U.S. government to remove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power and replace him with a U.S.-approved ruler.
To accomplish that end, the U.S. government employed a brutal system of sanctions that operated against the Iraqi citizenry. The idea was that by bringing maximum economic suffering to the Iraqi people, Iraqis would rise up and remove their ruler from power without the U.S. military having to invade the country and suffer casualties among the troops.
As Joy Gordon detailed in her Harper’s Magazine article “Cruel War: Economic Sanctions as a Weapon of Mass Destruction” and her excellent book Invisible War: The United States and Iraq Sanctions, the Iraq sanctions were tremendously successful in bringing economic harm to the Iraqi people. The entire country was squeezed into extreme poverty, with Iraq’s middle class being entirely destroyed.
That wasn’t the biggest success of the sanctions, however. The biggest success was the massive death toll that it brought to Iraqi children, with deaths mounting into the hundreds of thousands, especially from infectious illnesses. That’s partly because during the Persian Gulf intervention, the Pentagon, after concluding that the destruction of Iraqi’s water and sewage plants would help spread infectious illnesses among the Iraqi populace, issued the order to destroy the plants, an order that U.S. military pilots carried out, notwithstanding the clear and obvious war crimes implications. After the war was concluded, Iraqi officials were unable to repair the plants because of the sanctions, which then succeeded in bringing the high death toll among Iraqi children.
While successful in bringing economic harm and death to the Iraqi people, the sanctions, however, failed in removing Saddam from power. It would be another 7 years of death and destruction before the U.S. government finally gave up on the sanctions and just decided to resort to a military invasion in 2003 to oust Saddam from power and replace him with a U.S.-approved regime.
The essence of the question posed to Albright in 1996 was: Were the deaths of those estimated half-a-million children worth U.S. interventionism in Iraq? That is, were they worth the U.S. attempt to bring regime change to Iraq by ousting Saddam from power and replacing him with a U.S.-approved regime?
What Albright was essentially doing was weighing the deaths of the children against the interventionism. At the time she answered the question, she was essentially saying that the interventionism was, in fact, worth the deaths of those half-a-million children.
In the wake of the latest terrorist attack in England, a variation of the question 60 Minutes posed to Albright is one that confronts every American parent and every parent of children whose government is partnering with the U.S. government’s interventionism in the Middle East and Afghanistan: Is continued interventionism worth the deaths of children who are killed as a result of terrorist retaliation?
Not surprisingly, that’s not a question that British officials are asking or requesting their citizens to ask. Like U.S. officials, they don’t want people to be questioning or challenging the U.S. and British interventionism. Thus, British officials are responding to the terrorist attack in the same way that U.S. officials and the U.S. mainstream press respond to anti-American terrorist attacks. They’re saying the terrorists are evil and cowardly, that people shouldn’t succumb to fear, and that the government is going to have to take some measures that infringe on liberty in order to keep people safe.
We can concede that British and U.S. officials are right in their assessment of the terrorists — that they are evil and cowardly and that they have no right to engage in terrorism in retaliation for the death and destruction that the U.S. government has wreaked and continues to wreak in Iraq, Libya (where the suspected British bomber’s parents were from), Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
But isn’t that all besides the point? The point is that no matter how evil and cowardly the terrorist retaliation is and even if we concede that people don’t any right to retaliate against U.S. interventionism with terrorism, the fact is that it’s going to happen.
“But Jacob, I want the U.S. government to be able to continue killing people in the Middle East and Afghanistan without terrorist retaliation!”
Okay. I understand that that’s what you want. But that’s not what you’re going to get. That’s like saying, “But Jacob, I want lightning but I don’t want thunder.” No matter how much you want lightning without thunder, you’re going to get thunder with lightning. And no matter how much you want U.S. interventionism without terrorist retaliation, you’re going to get terrorist retaliation with continued U.S. interventionism.
Here is something else to keep in mind: The government cannot keep you safe and it can’t keep your children safe from terrorist retaliation. Go ahead — put metal detectors at the entryways for sports events and concerts. What’s to prevent suicide bombers from waiting outside the exits when crowds of people are leaving the venues? Indeed, what’s to prevent suicide bombers from hitting crowded malls or subway stations? What’s to prevent them from striking at Sunday church services, given that churches are mandatory gun-free zones? They can’t put metal detectors everywhere.
For more than 25 years, U.S. officials have said that the terrorists are coming to get us and that they have to kill them over there before they come over here. That’s sheer nonsense. The terrorists are not coming to get us. They never were coming to get us. The terrorists come to retaliate for U.S. interventionism in the Middle East, which, interestingly enough, began when the U.S. national-security establishment lost its old official enemy, communism, when the Cold War suddenly and unexpectedly ended in 1989.
Is all the death and destruction worth continued U.S. interventionism? That’s the question facing the American people, including every single parent. It’s the question facing the British people. It’s the question facing the French people. It’s not a question facing the Swiss people because they’re not partnering with the U.S. government’s interventionism and, therefore, are not the targets of terrorist retaliation.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
By Liberty Report Staff
It's well known that the United Kingdom is the number one surveillance state in the West. They recently passed a bill that was labelled as "the most sweeping surveillance powers in the western world." Virtually everything is monitored in the U.K.
Yet, despite this extraordinary surveillance, look at the tragedy that occurred in Manchester:
1) The UK police and intelligence services both knew about the suicide bomber.
2) Family members in the UK warned officials that he was dangerous.
3) He traveled to both Libya and Syria. These trips had to have been known to intelligence services.
4) The suicide bomber flew a terrorist flag from the roof of his house.
All individuals in the UK gave up their liberty for security, and as Ben Franklin warned, they ended up with neither.
Are we expected to believe that the number one surveillance state does not have enough surveillance powers? Or are we merely watching the same mistakes being repeated over and over again, while expecting a different result?
Foreign policy must be addressed and changed. Pre-emptive invasions and wars generate hatred and blowback. The answer is not give more power over to the government over our lives and privacy.
An electronic prison state, where every move is watched an monitored is not the solution. The Manchester tragedy just proves that point.
It's time to change foreign policy!
Ron Paul has said time and again that we should NEVER give up our liberty for the promise of safety from the government.
We are always less safe when we give up our liberties.
The Manchester bomber greatly benefitted from the chaos and Islamist extremism that resulted from the US/UK "liberation" of Libya and destabilization of Syria using proxy Islamist forces. He travelled to both countries and reportedly even trained in Syria. Blowback?
By Liberty Report Staff
Yesterday, President Trump held a telephone conversation with the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte’s government has been gunning down drug suspects in the streets, by the thousands.
No arrests. No trials.
While affairs in the Philippines are not the business of the U.S. federal government, it is nevertheless very degrading to us Americans to find out that our President actually heaps praise on such ruthless brutality.
According to a transcript of the call, Trump said that Duterte was doing:
“unbelievable job on the drug problem.”
Duterte’s policy, according to his own words, is as follows:
"More people will be killed, plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets. Until the (last) drug manufacturer is killed, we will continue and I will continue,"
Oh, and this one:
"Hitler massacred three million Jews ... there's three million drug addicts. There are. I'd be happy to slaughter them"
Actually, Hitler massacred six million Jews. But let’s not give Duterte any more ideas.
The war on drugs is a violent and direct assault on freedom and individual liberty.
Trump should heed the words of Ron Paul instead:
The use of government force to stop adults from putting certain substances into their bodies - whether marijuana, saturated fats, or raw milk - violates the nonaggression principle that is the bedrock of a free society. Therefore, all those who care about protecting individual liberty and limiting government power should support ending the drug war. Those with moral objections to drug use should realize that education and persuasion, carried out through voluntary institutions like churches and schools, is a more moral and effective way to discourage drug use than relying on government force.
By Daniel McAdams
Here's what the media and politicians don't want you to know about the Manchester, UK, suicide attack: Salman Abedi, the 22 year old who killed nearly two dozen concert-goers in Manchester, UK, was the product of the US and UK overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya and "regime change" policy in Syria. He was a radicalized Libyan whose family fled Gaddafi's secular Libya, and later he trained to be an armed "rebel" in Syria, fighting for the US and UK "regime change" policy toward the secular Assad government.
The suicide attacker was the direct product of US and UK interventions in the greater Middle East.
According to the London Telegraph, Abedi, a son of Libyan immigrants living in a radicalized Muslim neighborhood in Manchester had returned to Libya several times after the overthrow of Muamar Gaddafi, most recently just weeks ago. After the US/UK and allied "liberation" of Libya, all manner of previously outlawed and fiercely suppressed radical jihadist groups suddenly found they had free rein to operate in Libya. This is the Libya that Abedi returned to and where he likely prepared for his suicide attack on pop concert attendees. Before the US-led attack on Libya in 2011, there was no al-Qaeda, ISIS, or any other related terrorist organization operating (at least with impunity) on Libyan soil.
Gaddafi himself warned Europe in January 2011 that if they overthrew his government the result would be radical Islamist attacks on Europe, but European governments paid no heed to the warnings. Post-Gaddafi Libya became an incubator of Islamist terrorists and terrorism, including prime recruiting ground for extremists to fight jihad in Syria against the also-secular Bashar Assad.
In Salman Abedi we have the convergence of both these disastrous US/UK and allied interventions, however: it turns out that not only did Abedi make trips to Libya to radicalize and train for terror, but he also travelled to Syria to become one of the "Syria rebels" fighting on the same side as the US and UK to overthrow the Assad government. Was he perhaps even trained in a CIA program? We don't know, but it certainly is possible.
While the mainstream media and opportunistic politicians will argue that the only solution is more western intervention in the Middle East, the plain truth is that at least partial responsibility for this attack lies at the feet of those who pushed and pursued western intervention in Libya and Syria.
There would have been no jihadist training camps in Libya had Gaddafi not been overthrown by the US/UK and allies. There would have been no explosion of ISIS or al-Qaeda in Syria had it not been for the US/UK and allied policy of "regime change" in that country.
When thinking about Abedi's guilt for this heinous act of murder, do not forget those interventionists who lit the fuse that started this conflagration. The guilt rests squarely on their shoulders as well.
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.
By Liberty Report Staff
Undermining the Federal Reserve received a major boost yesterday. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a bill that eliminates capital gains taxes on gold and silver, thus allowing Arizona residents to use precious metals as currency instead of Federal Reserve notes.
Currency competition against the monopolist Fed is starting to unfold. Let's hope that other states follow in Arizona's heroic footsteps. There's no reason to wait for another severe financial crisis to act.
Read Ron Paul's statement via The Campaign For Liberty below:
Campaign for Liberty Chairman Ron Paul and Campaign for Liberty President Norman Singleton issued the following statements regarding the Arizona Legislature's passage -- and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey's signing -- of HB 2014.
By Liberty Report Staff
George Washington said that "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force”.
Basic questions: What types of people do you think are attracted to such an institution? Those who believe in "live and let live"? Or those who have a lust to dominate others?
It's pretty self-evident.
The great economist F.A. Hayek once wrote an essay on why the worst rise to the top in government. You can read it here.
But for a more modern treatment of the subject, we can look to Jeff Thomas, who gives us the following thoughts:
In 1979, Saddam Hussein, having acceded to the presidency of Iraq, held a meeting of the Ba’ath party leadership. With hundreds of senior party delegates in the audience, he announced that some had been identified as being disloyal. One after the other, he pointed them out and, as each was named, was led off for execution. Those still in the room became more nervous with every removal, knowing that any one of them could be taken away. Did they condemn their leader? No, they began spontaneously standing up to praise the removals and to praise Saddam for the purge. At the end of the meeting, Saddam invited those who were most loyal to volunteer to become the executioners, thereby ensuring that they share the guilt of the purge.
In the ensuing years, stories were sometimes told of Saddam asking his top people who amongst them should become his successor. It became apparent that, if a name was put forward as someone who was favoured to be the next leader, he was certain to be executed. Thus he made it clear that there would be no pretenders to the throne.