Yesterday US forces inside a self-declared "deconfliction zone" in Syria bombed forces allied to the Syrian government. The Assad-allied forces were about to conduct an attack on ISIS. The US has declared this zone unilaterally despite the fact that US troops are on Syrian soil illegally. Russia does not view the US-declared "deconfliction zone" to be legitimate, as Damascus has not approved it.
By Daniel McAdams
Rep. Walter Jones, Jr. (R-NC) has looked at war from both sides. As he has readily shared with us, he was hoodwinked by the US intelligence community in the run-up to the Iraq war. He attended the briefings and he trusted the "professionals." As the neocon promised "cakewalk" turned out to be a slaughterhouse, he began to think hard about what he had been told about Iraq and terrorism and 9/11.
He soon realized it was all a fake. He became one of the most important conservative opponents of the wars for the US empire. How many conservatives did his passionate commitment to truth turn against the war? Scores.
Rep. Jones now is convinced that we must end the 16 year US war on Afghanistan. In a recent interview with PJ Media, he pulled no punches in outlining his opposition to the expected Trump Administration military escalation -- "surge 3.0" -- in Afghanistan.
Said Rep. Jones:
I’m absolutely opposed to [the planned US military escalation], because if you increase the number of American troops that means the number of Americans to be killed and wounded goes up. And again, I come back to the point, what have we accomplished? We spent over $800 billion dollars. We are very close to $1 trillion in the past 16 years.
Jones has introduced legislation, HR 1666, which would “prohibit funds for activities in Afghanistan.” This is the only way we will see an end to the idiotic and slow-motion disaster called "US intervention in Afghanistan."
Though the US Congressman stands behind his 2001 vote to go into Afghanistan to pursue those who might have been behind the 9/11 attacks, he now realizes that that era has passed and that there is no compelling US national security interest in endlessly prolonging this war.
Let us hope -- and help -- that the Congressman (who is a Ron Paul Institute Board Member) gains some traction with this important piece of legislation. Only the grassroots can pressure Congressmen to co-sponsor and push this legislation through. But it is eminently do-able!
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute.
By Chris Rossini
Ron Paul fans understood that something was very fishy about America's mainstream media back in 2008 and 2012. But the understanding was limited and remained on a very localized scale.
Well, after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the rest of America has finally caught up.
There's no hiding it now.
America's mainstream media walks in virtual lockstep in their opposition to President Trump and they're not afraid of everyone knowing it. You don't need to wear a tinfoil hat to notice.
As usual Ron Paul himself was way ahead of the game, even before his fans were able to see reporting like this when he ran for president:
Here's Ron Paul back in 2006, which was two years before his first presidential campaign. He describes the one-party state and its mainstream media megaphone:
"Though there’s little difference between the two parties, the partisan fights are real...True policy debates are rare; power struggles are real and ruthless…This is especially noticeable when the establishment seeks to unify the people behind an illegal, unwise war. The propaganda is well-coordinated by the media/government/military/industrial complex."
The same holds up today.
The mainstream media is anti-Trump 24 hours per day, except when Trump unconstitutionally uses the military overseas. When Trump dropped the "mother of all bombs" and attacked a runway in Syria, the media took a breather from bashing him. They fell in love with the illegal military actions.
However, once the bombing stopped and it was clear that more wasn't coming, it was back to around-the-clock Trump bashing.
Dr. Paul continued in 2006 to describe the danger of government's megaphone:
This collusion is worse than when state–owned media do the same thing. In countries where everyone knows the media produces government propaganda, people remain wary of what they hear. In the United States the media are considered free and independent, thus the propaganda is accepted with less questioning.
Should the American mainstream media continue to be considered free and independent?
Usually freedom and independence produces variety and a wide-range of opinions and options. Conformity, on the other hand, comes from the iron grip of control and power.
Isn't it peculiar that arguments that don't fall into the narrative of the mainstream media are supposed to be considered "fake news"?
Isn't it peculiar that services like Facebook and Google are appointing members of the mainstream media to act as monitors and censors?
The same people that portrayed Ron Paul as "Someone Else" are going to tell us that something is "fake news"?
Ron Paul had it right, before it was cool to ignore the mainstream media.
This is important to keep in mind when they're trying to sell us on the next illegal and unconstitutional war.
By Robert Wenzel
The word privatization is used in two different ways.
One meaning of the word refers to when the government leaves a sector and leaves it up to free markets and free enterprise to fill any void---with no direction from government.
The other use of the term is dishonest. It is not about the government leaving a sector but rather the government still setting the rules for the sector, but the "services" provided are provided by non-government organizations and employees. It, in essence, is just a different government structure for payments to be made in the bureaucratic government run operation.
Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced the "privatization" of the air traffic controller system. He used the word in the dishonest sense.
The government remains in the sector as the ruling body.
Consider what the President said when he announced the privatization:
At its core, our new plan will dramatically improve America’s air traffic control system by turning it over to a self-financing, non-profit organization.
A real privatization wouldn't have any government plan or government-created non-profit organization. We have no idea what a private sector air traffic control system would look like. Private sector innovation always tends to surprise and provide creativity in ways that no individual person, or team, could imagine.
This is not going to happen under Trump's plan.
Under real privatization, the President would simply announce to the airlines and the world:
One-year from now the government is getting out of the air-traffic control business. Good luck with coming up with your own system(s). I look forward to seeing how creative and innovative you will get.
Trump did nothing like this. He is keeping the old shell bureaucratic system The tell is that the entire old bureaucratic system supports Trump's "privatization."
Read the rest of this article at EconomicPolicyJournal.com
This episode focuses on the financial bubbles in our current Economic system, with a brief history of how we got here and what's to come.
Yesterday's terror attack in London is the third UK attack in three months. The British government wants more surveillance and more attacks on ISIS and al-Qaeda overseas. President Trump has again demanded a travel ban. Why do both governments refuse to discuss foreign policy?
By Justin Raimondo
Will there ever be an end to the war in Afghanistan? Apparently not if our generals have anything to say about it – and they do. President Trump has turned over the prosecution of our perpetual “war on terrorism” to the Pentagon, claiming that they’ve been held back by previous administrations. The new policy is to turn them loose.
We saw what this means when the so-called “Mother of All Bombs” was dropped in a remote location where ISIS was said to be hiding: 92 “militants” were said to have been killed. Contrary to the triumphalist reports in US media, the biggest non-nuclear bomb ever deployed in combat had a minimal effect. And the cost, at $16 million for a single MOAB, came to around $174,000 per “militant.”
With anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, let’s take the median number of 2,000 and estimate that getting rid of all of them will cost around $348 million, give or take $10 million or so.
And you’ll note that we’re just talking about ISIS here. The Taliban is not only still in the mix, they’re actually in a better position than ever. In March, the Taliban claimed that 211 administrative districts of the country were either under their control or else contested: this isn’t far off the report of the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, which put the number at 171. The Taliban control more of Afghanistan than at any time since the war started, and they continue to make major gains, such as in Helmland province. The pace and severity of Taliban/ISIS attacks has recently escalated, with a suicide bombing in Kabul that killed 100 people, the culmination of 8 major attacks just in the month of May.
After 16 years of fighting, the US is no closer to defeating the radical Islamist insurgency than it was at the very beginning. The original rationale for the invasion – the presence of Osama bin Laden – is long since gone.
The justification for continuing the Afghan war, you’ll recall, was that we couldn’t allow any “safe havens” where the terrorists could plan and carry out attacks on the US and Western Europe. The logic of this is difficult to follow, however, since a “safe haven” can be defined as anywhere terrorists gather – which can occur just as easily in Hamburg, Germany, than in some mountain cave in Afghanistan. Furthermore, we are now told that the primary locus of terrorist activities is in territory controlled by ISIS, which has few strongholds and little support in Afghanistan.
The reality is that terrorist plots are more likely to be hatched in Western Europe and right here in the United States than in the Afghan wilds.
Yet that hasn’t stopped our generals from requesting thousands more US troops to be sent to fight the longest war in our history: news reports tell us they want “a few thousand” more, but it’s hard to imagine this will make much difference. It’s also hard to imagine that the American people support this: while no recent polls have been taken — for some mysterious reason they stopped measuring support for the war in 2015 – the last time anyone looked opposition was over fifty percent.
Naturally, given the current atmosphere in Washington, there’s an anti-Russian angle to all this: General John Nicholson recently testified before Congress that Moscow is pushing a “false narrative” that the Taliban is fighting ISIS while the Afghan government army is sitting on its haunches, collecting bribes and managing the drug harvest. Russia’s goal, he said, is to “undermine the United States and NATO.”
Yet the Taliban is not the same as ISIS, and the latter has largely alienated Afghan civilians, just as al-Qaeda did in Iraq: foreign fighters, no matter their religion, are not popular in Afghanistan. The Taliban, for all its theological pretensions, is essentially a nationalist movement fighting a foreign invader: ISIS, however, is quite a different story.
The Trump campaign told us that all foreign commitments were going to be judged by new criteria: how does this serve American interests? And the question of how continuing to fight this war serves our interests has yet to be answered by the Trump administration. They have simply taken the war as a given.
In a 2009 speech at Tennessee State University, I asked my audience to “remember the fate of the previous would-be conquerors of the proud Afghan people: the Russians, the British, the Golden Horde, and even Alexander the Great. They all failed, and the bones of their centurions are dust beneath the feet of a warrior people. In that kind of terrain, against that kind of enemy, there is no such thing as victory – there is only a question of how long it will take for them to drive us out – or whether we go bankrupt before that happens.”
Even earlier, in 2001, I predicted that the Afghan war would be a quagmire, a mistake we would eventually come to regret – an opinion for which David Frum, then National Review’s neocon enforcer of ideological correctness, saw cause to label me “anti-American.”
When the truth is considered “anti-American,” then we know we’re in trouble. Indeed, we’ve been in some pretty serious trouble for the past 16 years. Now is the time to reverse course and make it right.
It’s time to acknowledge that truth. It’s time to get the hell out of Afghanistan – now.
This article was originally published at Antiwar.com
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By Ron Paul
President Donald Trump's proposed budget has generated hysteria among the American left. Prominent progressives have accused the president and his allies of wanting to kill children, senior citizens, and other vulnerable Americans. The reaction of the president’s allies — including some conservatives who should know better — is equally detached from reality as they hail Trump for launching a major assault on the welfare state and making the hard choices necessary to balance the budget.
President Trump’s budget does eliminate some unnecessary and unconstitutional programs such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. However, it largely leaves the welfare-warfare state intact. In fact, this so-called “radical” budget does not even cut domestic spending! Instead, it plays the old DC game of reducing “the projected rate of growth.” For example, under Trump’s budget, Medicaid spending increases from $378 billion this year to $525 billion in 2027. Only in the bizzaro world of Washington, DC can a 38 percent increase be considered a cut.
President Trump's budget combines phony cuts in domestic spending with real increases in military spending. Specifically, the budget increases the military budget by $23 billion over the next ten years. Trump claims that the increase is necessary to reverse the damage done to our military by sequestration. But, despite the claims of the military-industrial complex and its defenders in Congress, on K Street, and in the media, military spending has increased over the past several years, especially when the "off-budget" Overseas Contingency Operations funding is added to the "official" budget.
The restrained American Frist policy promoted by candidate Trump does not require a large and expansive military that literally spans the globe. This budget is the latest indication that President Trump is embracing the neocon foreign policy that candidate Trump correctly denounced.
The budget also relies on rosy scenario economic projections of three percent growth without even a mild economic recession to justify the claim that the federal budget will achieve balance in a decade. This claim bears little or no resemblance to reality.
It certainly is true that some of Trump’s proposed tax and regulatory reforms can increase economic growth. However, the benefits of these pro-liberty policies will not offset the continued drag on the economy caused by the continued growth of federal spending, and the resulting monetization of debt by the Federal Reserve. Far from bringing about endless prosperity, Trump’s big-spending budget increases the odds that Americans will face a Greece-style crisis in the next few years, while the Federal Reserve’s inflation tax evaporates the benefits of any tax reductions passed as part of tax reform.
Some of President Trump’s apologists claim his proposed $1 trillion infrastructure spending plan will help create jobs and grow the economy. But government spending programs do not create real wealth; they only redistribute resources from the private sector to the (much more inefficient) government sector. Therefore, any short-term gains from these programs are illusionary and outweighed by the long-term damage the expansion of government inflicts on the economy. Trump's proposed new parental leave mandate will also hurt the economy, as well as the job prospects of the new entitlement's supposed beneficiaries.
Far from presenting a radial challenge to the status quo, President Trump’s budget grows the welfare-warfare state, albeit with more emphasis on the warfare. This budget is thus more evidence that, for a pro-liberty political revolution to succeed, it must be preceded by an intellectual revolution that reignites the people’s desire and demand for liberty.
By Liberty Report Staff
In this special report, Ron Paul discusses the history of The Fed, and how the marriage of banking and the state would create a monopoly of money and power in the U.S.
This monopoly would finance the welfare state at home and a military empire abroad. It would also tilt the scales of the American economy to crony and politically-connected corporations.
It's time to End The Fed, and Ron Paul explains why: