The US response to the Qatar crisis has been completely confused, with President Trump contradicting his own Secretary of State and vice-versa. Is America's largest military base in the Middle East at risk?
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By Ron Paul
Just when you thought our Syria policy could not get any worse, last week it did. The US military twice attacked Syrian government forces from a military base it illegally occupies inside Syria. According to the Pentagon, the attacks on Syrian government-backed forces were “defensive” because the Syrian fighters were approaching a US self-declared “de-confliction” zone inside Syria. The Syrian forces were pursuing ISIS in the area, but the US attacked anyway.
The US is training yet another rebel group fighting from that base, located near the border of Iraq at al-Tanf, and it claims that Syrian government forces pose a threat to the US military presence there. But the Pentagon has forgotten one thing: it has no authority to be in Syria in the first place! Neither the US Congress nor the UN Security Council has authorized a US military presence inside Syria.
So what gives the Trump Administration the right to set up military bases on foreign soil without the permission of that government? Why are we violating the sovereignty of Syria and attacking its military as they are fighting ISIS? Why does Washington claim that its primary mission in Syria is to defeat ISIS while taking military actions that benefit ISIS?
The Pentagon issued a statement saying its presence in Syria is necessary because the Syrian government is not strong enough to defeat ISIS on its own. But the “de-escalation zones” agreed upon by the Syrians, Russians, Iranians, and Turks have led to a reduction in fighting and a possible end to the six-year war. Even if true that the Syrian military is weakened, its weakness is due to six years of US-sponsored rebels fighting to overthrow it!
What is this really all about? Why does the US military occupy this base inside Syria? It’s partly about preventing the Syrians and Iraqis from working together to fight ISIS, but I think it’s mostly about Iran. If the Syrians and Iraqis join up to fight ISIS with the help of Iranian-allied Shia militia, the US believes it will strengthen Iran’s hand in the region. President Trump has recently returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia where he swore he would not allow that to happen.
But is this policy really in our interest, or are we just doing the bidding of our Middle East “allies,” who seem desperate for war with Iran? Saudi Arabia exports its radical form of Islam worldwide, including recently into moderate Asian Muslim countries like Indonesia. Iran does not. That is not to say that Iran is perfect, but does it make any sense to jump into the Sunni/Shia conflict on either side? The Syrians, along with their Russian and Iranian allies, are defeating ISIS and al-Qaeda. As candidate Trump said, what’s so bad about that?
We were told that if the Syrian government was allowed to liberate Aleppo from al-Qaeda, Assad would kill thousands who were trapped there. But the opposite has happened: life is returning to normal in Aleppo. The Christian minority there celebrated Easter for the first time in several years. They are rebuilding. Can’t we finally just leave the Syrians alone?
When you get to the point where your actions are actually helping ISIS, whether intended or not, perhaps it’s time to stop. It’s past time for the US to abandon its dangerous and counterproductive Syria policy and just bring the troops home.
By Chris Rossini
If it isn't bad enough that innocent people die in terrorist attacks, the events also provide an opportunity for governments to strengthen their power over everyone else. People are very understandably scared, so their "I cherish my freedom" instincts are dealt a severe blow.
Unfortunately, Fear and Power are two sides to the same coin.
Government, which has a monopoly to use violent force in a certain geographic area, is always ready to expand that use of force. They don't want to hear about limits to what they can do, and it should be no surprise that they love to have more power granted to them. It's like getting a promotion if they were to have a private sector and productive job.
It's always a mistake to think that the solution to any problem is to increase government force, but it's a mistake that gets made over...and over...and over again.
Benjamin Franklin had it right: "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
Isn't that what is happening to the Western World? We're ending up with neither security, nor liberty! As Ron Paul has said countless times: "You never need to sacrifice your liberty for security."
The nature of man is the same today as it was in Franklin's day. Those who have an insatiable lust for power will take every last liberty that exists, if they can. This is not a new phenomenon. The lust for power is a lust that is never satisfied.
When America's Founders wrote the Articles of Confederation, and even The U.S. Constitution, their goal was to "chain down" this power lust as best as they could. They obviously failed, as power would ultimately tear the Constitution apart little by little. But it worked fairly well for awhile, at least until around 1898.
We've been heading in the opposite direction ever since. Power is no longer on the run, as it was in early America. Instead, it is liberty that is decreasing by the day.
The result of granting government more power is always the same. It makes the initial problem worse, and it leads to new unanticipated problems that everyone now has to deal with. As government power increases, the crises multiply faster and faster.
But it doesn't seem to matter. The fact that the problems keep snowballing and getting bigger isn't looked at critically.
The go-to response remains: "What will government do?"
This is in addition to what it's already doing. It's always assumed that government have to do more. The assumption is never that it should do much less, or that it has to stop doing just about everything. It's always a desire to keep piling on.
The latest catastrophe was in one of the birthplaces of the ideas of liberty --- England. Sadly, England is today the world's leading surveillance state. Despite surveillance that surpasses the rest of the world, three terror attacks have occurred recently.
The go-to response? You got it!
It doesn't matter that every intrusion of privacy has done nothing (the TSA comes to mind here) the push is for government to do more!
Read the following words from Prime Minister Theresa May from June 6 following the latest attack:
When I stood on the steps of Downing Street after the London attack I said enough is enough and things have got to change…
Talk about an increase of government power...
That's like opening the floodgates.
The bottom line is that the attitude of every civilian in the Western World has to change. This carte blanche attitude of "Do whatever you have to do" will go on until total serfdom is reached.
Imagine if you had a lust for power. Wouldn't you like your subjects just handing it all over to you?
Just as in Ben Franklin's time, rulers who desire total domination are a everywhere. Making matters even more challenging are the scores of people who don't care one way or another if there's a police and surveillance state and if every action occurs under a government microscope.
The ideas of liberty have been shut out from their lives. They surely won't hear them in government's schools, they won't hear them in government's mainstream media, and they won't hear them unless they're looking for them on the Internet.
These individuals need to at least hear the ideas of liberty, whether they agree with them or not.
Many, sadly, will not.
But, if enough people hear the ideas of liberty, enough will come to agree.
By Daniel McAdams
This week the US has conducted two military strikes against Syrian government-allied military forces as they attempted to engage ISIS in southeastern Syria. The US has set up a military base inside Syrian territory at al-Tanf on the border with Iraq and declared it a "de-confliction" zone. Any Syrian government or government-allied forces entering a 50km buffer zone around the base would be attacked, Washington warned.
Ironically, US Defense Secretary James Mattis claimed that US attacks on Syrian government forces operating against ISIS inside Syria were in "self-defense." But it is the US military that is trespassing on Syrian soil. Imagine an intruder claiming self-defense after shooting a homeowner in his own house! That is how absurd the US argument is.
Mattis is heavily involved in spinning the US presence in Syria near the Iraqi border as a US fight against Iranian proxies. These are "Iranian-directed" forces, he claimed yesterday. The anti-Iran propaganda from government and the mainstream media may fool the American public on this, but in fact these are the same Shia militias who have been fighting on the same side as the US in its siege of Mosul in Iraq. And what are they doing in that part of Syria? Also fighting ISIS. The same ISIS that took "credit" for the deadly terrorist attacks in Iran this week.
What's going on here? The US is desperate to keep the Syrian government forces from hooking up with the Iraqi military to tackle ISIS in its last strongholds, even though such a move would no-doubt make sense if the real goal was to defeat ISIS. Why? Iran. Closer cooperation between Syria and Iraq is seen by Washington to benefit Iran, and the Trump Administration has already made it clear that it is firmly in the Saudi and Israeli anti-Iran camp.
Despite US efforts, Syrian and Iraqi forces are said to have met up northeast of the US "base" at al-Tanf today and are moving to lift the years-long ISIS siege of Deir Ezzor on the road to Raqqa.
By Kurt Nimmo
Despite his opposition to surveillance during the campaign, Trump has flip-flopped once again and now supports the surveillance state.
His Homeland Security advisor, Tom Bossert, who worked with the Bush administration, penned an editorial for The New York Times this week calling for a reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Section 702 allows for vacuuming up emails, instant messages, Facebook messages, web browsing history, and more in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment.
“Cabinet officials and security professionals from different agencies will testify on this matter on Wednesday,” writes Bossert. “President Trump stands with them 100 percent on the need for permanent reauthorization of Section 702. Officials from the past two administrations also agree that we cannot have a blind spot in our defenses simply because a foreign terrorist on foreign land chooses an American email provider.”
Former NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander and Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers have repeatedly claimed NSA snooping has thwarted 54 terrorist attacks. This claim has been completely debunked. Like the baseless and politically motivated claim Russia hacked the election, the 54 terrorists claim is little more than fiction. It’s propaganda to justify a surveillance state.
Jenna McLaughlin writes “the reason there haven’t been any large-scale terror attacks by ISIS in the U.S. is not because they were averted by the intelligence community, but because—with the possible exception of one that was foiled by local police—none were actually planned.”
The NSA and the government insist they only conduct surveillance overseas but this was dispelled after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union showed the NSA intentionally violated the law and spied on American citizens.
The surveillance state was created not to protect Americans from terrorists. It was created to spy on political targets in the United States. Evidence of this arose in 2014.
“Inside NSA there are a set of people who are—and we got this from another NSA whistleblower who witnessed some of this—they’re inside there, they are targeting and looking at all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House,” NSA whistleblower William Binney said in March.
Binney said nothing will change “until we put people in jail, because they have violated laws and the Constitution, as well as the Constitution and laws in Europe and around the world. Until we start putting people in jail to make sure they don’t do this again, and start cleaning up what is going on, I don’t see this changing.”
Trump and his advisers will make sure nothing changes and the surveillance state continues to grow until it becomes the sort of totalitarian leviathan portrayed in George Orwell’s dystopian novel Nineteen-Eighty Four.
Finally, is the move to make Section 702 permanent supported by Trump loyalists and the alt-right? Thus far, they have supported everything Trump has done, including killing people in Syria and Iraq. Trump’s pathological lies made during the election do not seem to bother them in the least.
Besides, the alt-right is too busy attacking the left and vice versa in a never-ending ideological running battle that serves as a huge distraction.
That’s why I call Trump Republicans and the alt-right neo-neocons. They are continuing the forever war and police and surveillance state agenda of the Bush neocons.
This article was originally published at Another Day In The Empire.
Over the last several decades, The Fed has created many trillions of dollars out-of-thin-air, but consumer prices have not spiraled out of control. Do the same economic laws that have destroyed countless currencies throughout history apply to the Fed? Have they avoided their day of reckoning? Have they outsmarted supply and demand? Are they really Masters of the Universe? Don’t miss Ron Paul on today’s edition of Myth-Busters!
By Liberty Report Staff
America's foreign policy is a twisted mess. Recently in Syria (another country that poses no threat to the United States) the U.S. created a 'de-confliction' zone in the country without the permission of the Syrian government, and that is operating outside of the law.
Bizarrely, instead of de-escalation, there has been escalation in a battle that we should have no part in.
Ron Paul discusses below:
By Ron Paul
The United States Constitution makes no provision for a national police force. Unfortunately, Congress is unlikely to dismantle the FBI any time soon, so the best we can hope for is an FBI Director committed to ensuring the bureau does not violate our constitutionally-protected rights.
Christopher Wray's work on the Bush Administration's torture program, and his history of defending the PATRIOT Act, suggests he does not understand the limits placed on the government by the Constitution, the philosophy of individual liberty that forms the basis of our system of government, and even basic human decency.
There is also little in his record shedding light on his stance on federal preemption of state laws concerning things like online (and other forms of) gaming.
If, during the confirmation process, Mr. Wray indicates he will continue sacrificing our liberty for security, or use federal power to stop individuals from engaging in peaceful activities like Internet gaming, U.S. Senators owe it to their oaths to uphold the Constitution to reject his nomination.
This statement was originally published at The Campaign for Liberty.
Everyone's watching what former FBI Director James Comey tells the Senate today. Was he pressured? Was he fearful? Or is he just playing politics?
By Liberty Report Staff
Because Americans have become so conditioned to dependence on the government, they do not look to the free market to solve the huge mess that government and politically-connected corporations have created in health care.
Dependence has become so ingrained that the free market is actually feared! So government will continue to do what it does best....make the problems worse.
Ron Paul discusses with Kennedy on Fox Business: