Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has forced a debate and vote on his amendment to repeal the authorization for the 2001 war on Afghanistan and 2002 authorization for war on Iraq. His colleagues in the Senate are pulling out all stops to avoid even a debate on the issue. Why?
By Liberty Report Staff
You know things are backwards when the police are stealing more from American citizens than actual burglars.
Police shouldn't steal at all, but actually stealing more than thieves? Come on!
Have you ever wondered what "civil asset forfeiture" looks like when it happens? Well, someone recently caught a police officer on camera taking a hot dog vendor's wallet, and literally grabbing the cash right out of it.
The hot dog vendor's crime in the "land of the free"?
He didn't have the necessary permit .... which in itself speaks volumes about the bureaucratic Leviathan that currently exists.
Steve Bannon was recently on 60 Minutes waxing nostalgic about the "American System" of Hamilton, Clay, Lincoln and The Roosevelts. These were all proponents of central banking, corporate welfare, and endless debt. These are the problems that we face today, not the solution. Does Trump agree that we need the status quo?
By Jacob G. Hornberger
If the Pentagon suddenly bombed North Korea, killing thousands of North Korean citizens, that would clearly be considered an act of war. Yet, when the U.S. government intentionally targets North Korea with economic sanctions that kill thousands of North Koreans through starvation or illness, that’s considered to be simply a peaceful diplomatic measure. That’s odd because from a practical standpoint, people are dead either way — from bombs or sanctions.
Americans have become so accustomed to the concept of sanctions that the policy has become hum-drum and commonplace. Since the violence associated with sanctions is indirect and difficult to see, people don’t put them in the same category as bombs. But the reality is that sanctions, by virtue of their targeting foreign citizens for death, are every bit an act of war as dropping bombs on them.
North Korea is quite possibly the most impoverished nation on earth. Suffering for decades under a brutal socialist economic system (one in which the government takes care of everyone with guaranteed retirement pensions, healthcare, education, employment, housing, and food), the populace is always starving or on the verge of starvation.
What do U.S. sanctions do? They make the economic suffering of the North Korean people even worse. And that’s what they are designed to do — to inflict maximum harm on North Koreans in the hopes of starving them and their children to death.
The idea is twofold: (1) If the North Koreans are dying or watching their children die, they will do what is necessary to oust the North Korean regime and replace it with a regime that is pro-U.S. or (2) the North Korean regime, faced with a rising death toll among the North Korean people from starvation of illness, will abdicate in favor of a pro-U.S. regime or simply agree to do the bidding of U.S. officials.
Either way, the North Korean people are the pawns in all this. They are the ones who are targeted for death by U.S. officials and their sanctions.
Of course, this is not the only time that U.S. officials have targeted the civilian populace of a nation as a way to achieve a political goal. Sanctions have become a popular foreign-policy tool of U.S. officials, especially against Third World nations, which lack the ability to retaliate.
Recall the U.S. regime-change operation in Chile from 1970 to 1973. Somehow concluding that the Chilean people’s election of a self-avowed Marxist as president was a threat to U.S. “national security,” U.S. officials targeted Chile for a U.S. regime-change operation. As part of the regime-change plan, the CIA did everything it could to make the Chilean economy “scream.”
What that meant was that the CIA secretly engaged in actions designed to bring maximum economic suffering to the Chilean people, including starvation, as reflected by a scheme by which the CIA secretly bribed the nation’s truckers into going on strike, thereby preventing the delivery of food to people all across the country. The idea was that by killing the Chilean people or their children, that would make them more amenable to a military coup, which ultimately came in 1973.
Recall the 11 years of brutal U.S. sanctions on Iraq. They targeted and killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children. Yes, children, not one of whom ever initiated any violence against the United States. The goal? Again, regime change. The idea was that if the Iraqi people wanted to avoid the ever-increasing death toll of their children, they could oust Saddam Hussein from power and install a regime that was acceptable to U.S. officials. Alternatively, the idea was that Saddam Hussein, if he cared about the Iraqi children, would abdicate in favor of a pro-U.S. regime or simply agree to comply with U.S. dictates.
One of the fascinating aspects of the Iraqi sanctions was the indifference among U.S. officials to the death toll among children. It just didn’t matter to them that they were killing children. In their minds, they were just enforcing sanctions — i.e., rules and regulations. Their mindsets were a perfect demonstration of what Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil.”
When U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Madeleine Albright was asked whether the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children were worth it, she responded that while the matter was a difficult one, yes, the deaths were in fact “worth it.” No U.S. official, including her boss Bill Clinton, who some perceived as a great humanitarian, condemned Albright’s position. For that matter, neither did very many editorial or op-ed writers in the U.S. mainstream press.
In fact, the position of U.S. officials was that the deaths of those Iraqi children were actually the fault of Iraqi parents and Saddam Hussein. Their reasoning was that since the Iraqi people could revolt at any time and since Saddam Hussein could comply with U.S. dictates at any time, their failure to do so placed responsibility for the children’s deaths in their hands, not the hands of the U.S. bureaucrats who were enforcing their sanctions.
Consider the decades-long U.S. economic embargo against Cuba. It is targeted against the Cuban people, with the aim of achieving regime change on the island. U.S. officials sometimes point out that the suffering of the Cuban people is a direct result of their government’s socialist economic policies, as if that somehow negates the fact that U.S. officials are trying to make their suffering even worse with their embargo.
If any Third World nations targeted by U.S. sanctions or embargoes were First World nations, there is little doubt that they would respond with a military counterattack against the United States. Few nations are going to permit another nation to intentionally target and kill their citizenry, either by bombs or sanctions.
But poor, impoverished Third World nations know that they don’t stand a chance in a war with the United States. That’s why they inevitably fail to respond militarily to the U.S. sanctions attacks on their citizenry. But even Third World nations, if squeezed hard enough with an ever-increasing death toll among its citizenry, can potentially get to a point of such desperation that they finally decide to go for broke and retaliate. They might well figure that since they’re going down anyway because of the sanctions, they might as well take a lot of people down with them.
This article was originally published at The Future of Freedom Foundation.
Press Play to hear Ron Paul deliver his Weekly Update:
By Ron Paul
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel famously counseled politicians to never let a crisis go to waste. Sadly, this week President Trump and congressional leaders of both parties showed that they have taken this advice to heart when they attached a debt ceiling increase and an extension of government spending to the over 15 billion dollars Hurricane Harvey relief bill.
This maneuver enabled Congress to avoid a contentious debate over whether to pass a clean debt ceiling increase or to pair it with spending cuts. After all, few members of Congress want to be accused of blocking a bipartisan deal to help those suffering from Harvey over what the media will spin as a “right-wing anti-government” crusade.
Combining hurricane relief with a debt ceiling increase and an extension of government funding had bipartisan support. Days before President Trump sat down with Democrats to hammer out a deal, Capitol Hill was abuzz with talk about a Senate GOP plan to attach a debt ceiling increase and an extension of government funding to the hurricane bill.
If, as was reported in the media, the GOP leadership objected to Trump’s deal, they could have refused to bring it up for a vote. After all, as Senator John McCain wrote this week, Congress does not work for President Trump. But, the deal quickly passed in the House and the Senate with large bipartisan majorities. As is common in DC, the parties agreed on the principle, and they only squabbled over the details.
A refusal to raise the debt ceiling would not cause the government to default; it would simply force Congress to set spending priorities and make real spending cuts. In contrast, raising the debt ceiling allows Congress to continue to run up more debt in order to grow the government. The American people will pay for these deficits either directly through an increase in the income tax and other federal taxes, or indirectly through the inflation tax.
The inflation tax results from the Federal Reserve’s monetization of the federal debt, which devalues the currency. At some point, probably sooner than most expect, this continued dollar devaluation will cause a global revolt against the dollar’s world reserve currency status. The result will be an economic crisis that could make the Great Depression seem like a mild downturn.
There are reports that President Trump may soon seek legislation abolishing the debt ceiling. This would put the growth of government spending and debt on autopilot and make a mockery of his promise to drain the swamp. It would also hasten America’s economic day of reckoning.
No one in his right mind would think it responsible to continuously increase a deadbeat shopaholic’s credit limit, much less eliminate the limit altogether. So why is it considered responsible for the ultimate deadbeat — the US government — to continuously increase its own credit limit and even propose giving itself unlimited credit, especially given the dire consequences of unchecked growth in federal spending and debt?
We are running out of time to avoid a major economic crisis. Congress must immediately begin cutting spending. New spending for legitimate emergencies must be paid for with spending cuts. Overseas militarism and corporate welfare should be the first items on the chopping block. Domestic welfare spending should be gradually deceased so as not to hurt those dependent on the programs. Reducing the size and scope of government is the only way to stop the swamp from draining our prosperity and our liberty.
The federal debt ceiling has been raised about 100 times. Obviously, the ceiling was never real, but the debt certainly is. Chatter of the debt ceiling repeal indicates that government doesn't even want restriction of debt to cross anyone's mind anymore. Have they discovered financial nirvana?
As we prepare for our yearly Peace Conference hosted by The Ron Paul Institute, please enjoy this flashback speech on America moving from a foreign policy of peace to military empire.
Despite flooding in Texas, Ron Paul was able to call in an audio Liberty Report. The crooked monetary system and Federal Reserve are in the spotlight.
By Liberty Report Staff
South Koreans are very much aware that they would pay a tremendous price (in lives lost) should war between America and North Korea breakout.
One can only imagine the fear that goes through their minds when they hear American politicians talk about 'all options being on the table' and 'the time for talking is over.'
How powerless South Koreans must feel when a country located 6000 miles away is making such threats.
As the U.S. shipped even more war materials into South Korea, protests against these maneuvers turned violent:
By Liberty Report Staff
One of the persistent challenges that individuals who desire to live freely face are other individuals (who presume to know things that they cannot know) and then who use aggressive force via government power.
For example, the Federal Reserve fixes interest rates. They can't possibly know what they're doing, yet they do it anyway, and cause unbelievable economic damage all the time.
The federal government (instead of protecting the liberty of American citizens) succumbed to the crazy idea that the entire world must live under its thumb. And so for an entire century it invaded, and invaded, and invaded, only to completely destroy so many other countries, along with our liberties here at home.
There are people in the tech industry (that work with government) who are on a quest to index data on everything, even though data is infinite and without end or limits. The goal is then to treat other humans (not themselves, of course) as elements in a petri dish. Manipulate here...tweak there...and presto!
These technocrats (government and corporate) are not shy about making these goals known. They proclaim it as if it's as inevitable as the sunrise.
Those who deem themselves superior always delude themselves into believing that the success of their plans are inevitable.
Walter Williams discusses the Tyranny of the Elites below: