The media is reporting today that the US will send 500 troops to Saudi Arabia to confront the Iran "threat" to the region. Just over a decade ago, the US pulled its troops out of Saudi Arabia after acknowledging what Bin Laden had said about his motivation for the 9/11 attack: US troops on Saudi soil. Is it really a good idea to put troops back in?
By Liberty Report Staff
What was it like being the absolute most hardcore opponent of the drug war way back in the 1988 US presidential race? Ron Paul! Looking back 31 years later, most of the things Ron Paul advocated as a 1988 Libertarian Party candidate for president have now come to pass. Watch Ron Paul's keynote speech at the Ron Paul Institute's May 2019 "War on Drugs" conference in Houston! And come join us next month in Washington DC for another GREAT Ron Paul Institute conference! RonPaulInstitute.org/conference
By Chris Rossini
Did you ever build a house, and when it was completed say to yourself: "I have a great idea. I should build a house."
Of course not!
The idea always comes first.
The actions, the circumstances, the effects never precede the idea. So if circumstances are bad, it necessarily means that bad ideas preceded them. Somewhere, the truth has been missed, or ignored, or neglected. This is why true advocates for Liberty are always hyper-focused on sharing the ideas of freedom.
Not "spreading" freedom.
Not "imposing" freedom.
Not "granting" freedom.
Liberty already is. It's the natural condition of every individual. The bad ideas of power have merely concealed it from view.
The ideas of Liberty are incredibly simple. Everyone is born free, but that freedom has some very simple limitations -- the person and property of other individuals.
To put it bluntly: Keep your hands off other people and their stuff.
No aggressive force. Just voluntary interactions and exchanges with others.
Force (if it is ever to be used) is to defend yourself and your property from others who may decide to aggress against you. That's the purpose of force --- to repel aggression.
There are no exceptions for aggression either. You can't call a gang of people "government" and just give them permission use force against others on your behalf.
No contracting out of your tyranny.
Obviously, one look at all the circumstances happening in the world, and you find out very quickly that the ideas of Liberty have many competitors. Force is the name of the game all over the world. The only question is who wields it, and who is on the receiving end.
Bad ideas. Bad results.
The worst of humanity is put on display every single day....all for the purpose of gaining control of the reins of power.
It should not surprise you that the peddlers of the ideas of power take a different route. They seek to force their ideas on everyone else. Everyone must comply because they say so. There are so many examples that one can write a whole book on the repeated failures of this approach.
But whether it be the Jacobins of the 1700's, the Bolsheviks of the 1900's, or modern-day Neoconservatives, they all seek to forcefully re-make others, and they all fail spectacularly despite all the precedents set before them.
This is not the road for the advocate of Liberty. The libertarian merely expresses and explains what it means to live a life of freedom and then leaves it up to the listeners to decide. What the listeners decide to believe is 100% up to them.
It's up to everyone individually to embrace the ideas of Liberty. There is no magic wand. There is no white knight who is going to gallop in on his white horse to set everyone straight. For that would be tyranny as well.
Liberty is a FAR superior idea to power.
That truth is sufficient.
Turkey's decision to purchase a Russian-made missile defense system has led the Trump Administration to cancel its planned sale of 100 F-35 fighters to Turkey. Also under a 2017 law to punish Russia for "meddling" in US elections, Trump will be obligated to apply sanctions to Turkey - a NATO ally!
By Jacob G. Hornberger
In a tiff over whether Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his delegation would be permitted to enter the United States as part of a meeting of the United Nations and over whether they would be free to travel freely around New York City, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a whopper, one that might have even embarrassed Pinocchio. Expressing a desire to be invited to appear on Iranian television, Pompeo said that he would tell Iranians that “we care deeply about them, that we’re supportive of the Iranian people, that we understand that the revolutionary theocracy is not acting in a way that is in their best interest.”
Why, that’s just a lie, a plain old, downright, old-fashioned lie.
When Pompeo is using the pronoun “we,” he is referring to U.S. officials. And the fact is that U.S. officials, from President Trump on down, couldn’t care less about the well-being of the Iranian people. All that U.S. officials care about is re-installing a pro-U.S. dictatorship in Iran, no different from that of the Shah, who U.S. officials made Iran’s brutal dictator in 1953.
After all, look at the U.S. sanctions on Iran. They target the Iranian people for economic impoverishment and even death. The idea is that if the U.S. government can squeeze the life out of the Iranian people, they will rise up in a violent revolution against the ruling regime and replace it with one that is acceptable to U.S. officials.
There is no maximum limit on the impoverishment or death toll that would cause U.S. officials to lift their sanctions. That is, even if sanctions were causing thousands of people to die every week from starvation, illness, or plane crashes owing to the sanctions, U.S. officials would not lift the sanctions. No price in terms of suffering or death of the Iranian people could be high enough to cause U.S. officials to cease and desist.
Moreover, even though a violent revolution would cost the lives of thousands of Iranians, U.S. officials couldn’t care less. All that matters to them is regime change. If thousands of Iranians have to be sacrificed for that goal, so be it.
How in the world can such a cruel and brutal policy be reconciled with Pompeo’s claim that he and his cohorts “care deeply” about the Iranian people? It can’t be. It’s a flat-out lie.
We saw this same phenomenon when U.S. officials, with the same banality-of-evil mindset, enforced their system of sanctions against the Iraqi people for 11 years. Every year, the sanctions were killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, mostly children. Keep in mind that during the Persian Gulf War, the Pentagon ordered U.S. bombers to destroy Iraq’s water-and-sewage treatment plants, with the aim of spreading infectious illnesses among the Iraqi populace. After the war was over, U.S. officials used their sanctions to prevent the plants from being repaired. The sewage-infested waters were one of the factors leading to the massive annual death toll among the Iraqi people.
Did U.S. officials care about the well-being of the Iraqi people? Are you kidding? No more so than they care about the well-being of Iranians. When Sixty Minutes asked U.S. Ambassador Madeleine Albright in 1995 whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were “worth it,” she responded that while it was a difficult issue, the deaths were, in fact, “worth it.” By “it,” she meant the attempt to remove Saddam Hussein from power and replace him with a pro-U.S. dictator, the same goal that U.S. officials have in Iran. The sanctions on Iraq continued for another six years, until U.S. officials used the 9/11 attacks as the excuse for invading Iraq and ousting Saddam from power, something they had failed to accomplish with 11 years of sanctions and hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis.
When an American named Bert Sacks took medicine to Iraq to help the Iraqi people, U.S. officials went after him with a vengeance, first fining him and then spending many years in an obsessive quest to get their money from him. Make no mistake about it: If any American violates U.S. sanctions against Iran by trying to help the Iranian people, U.S. officials will go after him with all guns blaring, this time with both harsh criminal and civil penalties.
Think about what U.S. officials did to the Iranian people in 1953. The CIA knowingly, intentionally, deliberately, and secretly ousted Iran’s democratically elected prime minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, from office and vested full dictatorial power in the Shah of Iran. The CIA trained the Shah and his secretive SAVAK police force, which was a combination Pentagon, CIA, and NSA, into one of the most tyrannical agencies in history. Torture. Assassination. Indefinite detention. Secret surveillance. Arbitrary arrests. Suppression of free speech. All of the things that were in the U.S. national-security state’s playbook were vested in the Shah and his SAVAK.
After around 26 years of suffering under this horrific U.S.-installed and U.S. trained tyranny, the Iranian people finally violently revolted. The shame, however, was that they were unable to replace the Shah with the democratic regime that U.S. officials had destroyed in 1953. They ended up with a theocratic tyranny.
Thus, it was with great ironic hypocrisy that Pompeo also recently derided the Iranian regime for its tyrannical practices. The irony and hypocrisy are three-fold: One, U.S. officials are responsible for the theocratic tyranny under which the Iranian now suffer. Two, the U.S.-installed Shah was every bit as tyrannical as the current Iranian regime is. And three, U.S. officials have adopted some of the same dark-side practices here in the United States, e.g., torture, assassination, indefinite detention, denial of trial by jury, denial of due process of law, and denial of speedy trial, that are engaged in by dictatorial regimes.
U.S. officials caring about and supporting the Iranian people? Don’t make me laugh. Just more lies from a deeply hypocritical interventionist and imperialist regime, one that targets the innocent with death and impoverishment with the aim of achieving a political goal.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
We all know the financial crisis is coming. What to do about it? Author, financial expert, and investment advisor Jim Rickards joins today's Liberty Report to discuss his upcoming book, "Aftermath: Seven Secrets of Wealth Preservation in the Coming Chaos."
By Ron Paul
Recently several prominent social and populist conservatives have attacked libertarianism. These conservatives, some of whom are allies in the fight against our hyper-interventionist foreign policy, blame libertarianism for a variety of social and economic ills. The conservative attack on libertarianism — like the attack on the freedom philosophy launched by leftists — is rooted in factual, economic, and philosophical errors.
Libertarianism’s right-wing critics claim libertarianism is the dominant ideology of the Republican establishment. This is an odd claim since the Republican leadership embraces anti-libertarian policies like endless wars, restrictions on civil liberties, government interference in our personal lives, and massive spending increases on welfare as well as warfare.
Anti-libertarian conservatives confuse libertarianism with the authoritarian “neoliberalism” embraced by both major parties. This confusion may be why these conservatives blame libertarians for the American middle class’s eroding standard of living. Conservatives are correct to be concerned about the economic challenges facing the average American, but they are mistaken to place the blame on the free market.
The American people are not suffering from an excess of free markets. They suffer from an excess of taxes, regulations, and, especially, fiat money. Therefore, populist conservatives should join libertarians in seeking to eliminate federal regulations, repeal the 16th Amendment, and restore a free-market monetary system.
Instead of fighting to end the welfare-regulatory system that benefits economic and political elites at the expense of average Americans, populist conservatives are promoting increased economic interventionism. For example, many populist conservatives support increased infrastructure spending and tariffs and other forms of protectionism.
Like all forms of central planning, these schemes prevent goods and services from being used for the purposes most valued by consumers. This distorts the marketplace and lowers living standards — including of people whose jobs are temporally saved or created by these government interventions. Those workers would be better off in the long term finding new jobs in a free market.
Anti-free-market conservatives ignore how their policies harm those they claim to care about. For example, protectionism harms farmers and others working in businesses depending on international trade.
The most common complaint of social conservatives is that libertarianism promotes immorality. These conservatives confuse a libertarian’s opposition to outlawing drugs, for example, with moral approval of drug use. Many libertarians condemn drug use and other destructive behaviors. However, libertarians reject the use of government force to prevent individuals from choosing to engage in these behaviors. Instead, libertarians support the right of individuals to use peaceful means to persuade others not to engage in destructive or immoral behaviors.
Libertarians also support the right of individuals not to associate with, or to subsidize in any way, those whose lifestyles or beliefs they find objectionable. Social conservatives object to libertarians because social conservatives wish to use government power to force people to be good. This is the worst type of statism because it seeks to control our minds and souls.
Most people accept the idea that it is wrong to initiate force against those engaging in peaceful behaviors. Libertarians apply this nonaggression principle to government. Making government follow the nonaggression principle would end unjust wars, income and inflation taxes, and the destruction caused by the use of force to control what we do with our property, how we raise our children, who we associate with, and what we put into our bodies. Making governments abide by the nonaggression principle is the only way to restore a society that is free, prosperous, and moral.
By Liberty Report Staff
Ron Paul joins CNBC's Squawk Alley:
House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) told Fox News over the weekend that the repeal of the 2001 war authorization after 9/11 and the 2002 war authorization for Iraq would "illegalize" the entire war on terror. Are we in a time warp?
By Adam Dick
Starting off a new interview with Ron Paul at the Wall Street for Main Street show, host Jason Burack asked Paul, who served in the United States House of Representatives as a Republican from Texas and ran three times for US president promoting a noninterventionist foreign policy, about the extent of influence in favor of militarism in Washington, DC.
Burack queries: “How much influence does the Pentagon and the military-industrial-and-information complex have over Congress, both political parties, whoever is US president, and the bureaucracy here in the DC metro area?” In response, Paul comments:
Well, it’s one of the biggest, if not the biggest. And there’s a good reason for that. It’s because they have the biggest budget for one individual group of people.
Paul continues that the support for the military-industrial complex is “very bipartisan” even though Democrats have some reputation for being less supportive of starting wars. As an example, Paul mentions Bernie Sanders, the independent US Senator from Vermont who is seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination. Paul comments, “if some weaponry is being built in Vermont, he was able to support this.”
For some more information related to Paul’s comment concerning Sanders, check out Daniel Bukszpan’s July of 2016 CNBC article that examines Sanders’ support for the F-35 aircraft. Listen to Paul’s complete interview here.
In Paul’s interview, Burack mentions that Paul’s Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity will soon be holding a conference in the heart of the military-industrial complex near Washington, DC. The conference titled “Breaking Washington’s Addiction to War” will take place Saturday, August 24 near the Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia.
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute.