By Chris Rossini
Let us imagine a much freer America for a moment; an America where citizens place a very high value on their freedom and liberty. Under such a scenario, there would surely be a market for top-notch reporting and journalism.
What would the journalists be considered? Watchdogs.
Since Americans (in this imaginary scenario) place a high value on liberty, the watchdog reporters would keep a very close eye on the politicians. If a politician even looks like he's thinking of violating the U.S. Constitution, the reporters would be all over it. They would attack, and expose any move towards tyranny.
After all, in a freer society, most Americans would be productively working, and wouldn't have the time to watch over the politicians themselves. They'd be busy satisfying the most urgent desires of their customers. Reporters would be compensated for their watchdog skills.
Now let us return to present-day America.
What is known as "mainstream media" acts nothing like a watchdog. The "reporters" have been completely neutered. Instead of playing a noble role of keeping the government in check, they have become an embarrassing disgrace.
The "reporters" sit comfortably on the laps of the politicians that they now serve. They bark out whatever the regime in power wants. No matter what the scenario, the lapdogs are always calling for an increase in the power government. While a nice show between "left" and "right" is put on for the American public, the only difference between the two sides is how the government should be awarded more power, not if.
Instead of watching American politicians, and for violations of liberty, the media focuses on politicians around the world that are of no consequence to American freedom. If the U.S. government doesn't like those foreign politicians, the media goes into a frenzy and creates the next villain that American citizens need to fear.
With that fear comes even greater losses of liberty at home.
Americans have become so conditioned by this downward spiral, that even imagining the media acting as a watchdog on our own government takes a bit of imagination. The U.S. government violates the U.S. Constitution (i.e., what is supposed to be "the law of the land") so routinely, that it's hard to even imagine what obeying it would even look like.
What is it like to keep the fruits of your labor? What is it like to not be spied on? What is it like to freely contract for employment without tip-toeing through a minefield of regulations? What is it like for your government to mind its own business, and not rush to become the next failed military empire?
As the decline of liberty in America continues to run its course, the sides have been clearly chosen. The watchdogs have dropped the bone. They've become a pack of lapdogs who have done nothing but contribute to liberty's decline.
By Daniel McAdams
Hopeful news at the end of last week that the Obama Administration was considering disengaging from its schizophrenic war in Syria has given way to the ugly reality that Washington's neocons in charge will never back away from a fight (as long as they are not doing the fighting).
In the first bit of bad news, we saw the policy shift away from vetting and training rebels. The Administration announced that because the $500 million plan to train and equip vetted "moderate" rebels has been an obvious failure, the solution was to remove the training and vetting part of the project and simply send military equipment. From now on only leaders of the rebel groups would be vetted. The fighters would simply be armed, no questions asked.
What kinds of groups would be newly armed by the US? Groups with "diverse membership," which likely means al-Qaeda affiliate the al-Nusra front, Ahrar al Shams, and other jihadists.
The new plan has materialized with considerable speed. Over the weekend we learned that Saudi Arabia delivered 500 TOW anti-tank missiles to anti-Assad Syrian rebels.
Today CNN reports that the United States has airdropped 50 tons of weapons and ammunition to its favored "Syrian Arab Coalition" forces -- a US re-branded group known for its unreliability and for handing weapons over to al-Qaeda and ISIS.
In fact, according to Joshua Landis, a Syria expert at the University of Oklahoma, "probably 60 to 80 percent of the arms that America shoveled in have gone to al-Qaida and its affiliates."
But it's even worse and more dangerous than that. The hundreds of TOW missiles provided to the rebels by the US and its allies have for the past several days been used not against ISIS, but to strike Russian-made tanks of the Syrian Arab Army as it fights against al-Qaeda and ISIS.
Thus laid bare is the real US policy goal in Syria: to take out Assad. ISIS, not so much.
The TOW missile program is a CIA program, separate from the failed Defense Department rebel training program. The CIA has been arming and training unvetted rebels -- many if not most foreign mercenaries rather than Syrians -- to overthrow the Assad government since 2011 or 2012. The shot in the arm it has received from new shipments is obvious, as one rebel commanderdescribes a recent attack on Assad's forces:
'It was a tank massacre,' said Capt. Mustafa Moarati, whose Tajamu al-Izza group says it destroyed seven tanks and armored vehicles Wednesday.
Administration officials are openly welcoming attacks by their proxies against Russian targets -- including bases -- in Syria, according to a Washington Post article:
One U.S. official who is familiar with the CIA program — and who like other officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters — said the attacks have galvanized some of the agency-equipped units.
So here is the strategy dreamed up by the Beltway's best and brightest: replay the 1980s US proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. It is the resurrection of the Zbigniew Brzezinski plan to create and arm the Mujahideen to take out Russia in Syria as they took out the USSR in Afghanistan.
In a 1998 interview reproduced in Counterpunch, Brzezinski openly bragged about being the father of this plan. Asked (in 1998!) whether he regretted taking action that led to the creation of Islamic extremism in Afghanistan, he scoffed:
Brzezinski: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Most Americans hopefully still remember what happened three years after this interview and hopefully will draw the right conclusions about the Brzezinski Plan redux in 2015. The danger deepens. Obama should have disengaged.
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute For Peace & Prosperity.
By Ron Paul
Following the recent Oregon school shooting, many politicians rushed to the microphones to call for new gun control laws. President Obama even called on gun control supporters to “politicize” the shooting, while some members of Congress worked to establish a special commission on gun violence.
The reaction to the shooting stands in stark contrast to the reaction to the US military’s bombing of an Afghanistan hospital run by the international humanitarian (and Nobel Peace Prize winning) group Doctors Without Borders.
Our Nobel Peace Prize winning president did apologize to his fellow Nobel laureate for the bombing. However, President Obama has not “politicized” this tragedy by using it to justify ending military involvement in Afghanistan. No one in Congress is pushing for a special commission to examine the human costs of US militarism, and the mainstream media has largely ignored Doctors Without Borders’ accusation that the bombing constitutes a war crime.
The reason for the different reactions to these two events is that politicians prefer to focus on events they can “politicize” to increase government power. In contrast, politicians ignore incidents that raise uncomfortable questions about US foreign policy.
If the political and media elites were really interested in preventing future mass shootings, they would repeal the federal “gun-free” schools law, for example. By letting shooters know that their intended victims are defenseless, the gun-free schools law turns schoolchildren into easy targets.
Even some who oppose gun control are using the shooting to justify expanding federal power instead of trying to repeal unconstitutional laws. Some opponents of new gun control laws say Congress should expand the federal role in identifying, tracking, and treating those with “mental health problems.” This ignores the fact that many shooters were using psychotropic drugs prescribed by a mental health professional when they committed the horrible acts. Furthermore, creating a system to identify and track anyone with a “mental health problem” could deny respect for individuals’ Second Amendment and other rights because they perhaps once sought counseling for depression while going through a divorce or coping with a loved one’s passing.
While our political and media elites are eager to debate how much liberty people must sacrifice for safety, they are desperate to avoid debating the morality of our foreign policy. To admit that the US military sometimes commits immoral acts is to admit that the US government is not an unalloyed force for good. Even many proponents of our recent wars support using the US military for “humanitarian” purposes. Thus they are as reluctant as the neoconservatives to question the fundamental goodness of US foreign policy.
Anyone who raises constitutional or moral objections to the US use of drones, bombs, indefinite detention, and torture risks being attacked as anti-American and soft on terrorism. The smear of “terrorist apologist” is also hurled at those who dare suggest that it is our interventionist foreign policy, not a hatred of freedom, that causes people in other countries to dislike the United States. Which is a more logical explanation for why someone would resent America — a family member killed in a drone attack launched by the US military or rage over our abundance of liberty?
The disparate reactions to the Oregon school shooting and the Afghanistan hospital bombing shows the political class is unwilling and unable to acknowledge that the US government cannot run the world, run our lives, or run the economy. Clearly, politicians will never stop expanding government and give us back our lost liberties unless and until the people demand it.
By Chris Rossini
The Founding Fathers of the United States tried to make it difficult for America to go to war. They knew that if the desired result was peace and commerce, you don't give war-making powers to the President. Congress, which in theory was supposed to be "closer to the people," would have to authorize wars.
Sadly, written rules are unable to stop those who are determined for power. After years of whittling away the power of Congress, Harry Truman drove the final nail by waging war in Korea. It was done without Congressional authorization, and ever since, war has been waged on a Presidential whim.
With war comes a never-ending blizzard of lies. Power lives on lies. For a politician (and its media arms) lying is as easy as breathing-in and breathing out.
Let's take the latest events in Syria for example.
As we all know, Russia has jumped into the fray that was caused by yet another U.S. regime change operation.
If you read American media, you'd think Vladimir Putin was on a crusade to wipe out as many innocent civilians as possible. To add insult to injury, American media also finds itself defending groups like Al-Qaeda. Yes, the same Al-Qaeda from 9/11. A few of those guys had the word "moderate" slapped on them, and Americans were supposed to fall for such nonsense.
Meanwhile, Turkey's Prime Minister claims that only 2 of 57 Russian airstrikes over Syria have hit ISIS positions.
Then you have Syria’s Ambassador to Russia who claims that roughly 40% of ISIS's infrastructure has been destroyed in the bombing.
Everyone has a different story.
Of course, the truth exists somewhere, but when it comes to the general population of the countries involved, they're all getting fed whatever their governments want them to be fed. That means lies, lies, and even more lies. Very few people have the time, desire, and incentives to sift through and locate the truth. Fortunately, there are places like the Institute for Peace & Prosperity.
This is why the Founders tried to make it difficult to go to war. Once war is unleashed, the worst of the worst have free reign to exert the darkness of power. They're able to use fear to their utmost advantage.
The Founders were right. It's a shame their piece of paper with written rules didn't work out.
By Adam Dick
Each chapter of Ron Paul’s latest book Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity is preceded by song lyrics that help communicate the antiwar ideas Paul expresses in the book. That makes 21 songs for 21 chapters. Metallica, Willie Nelson, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, the Rolling Stones, and Pete Seeger are among the performers featured in the song collection.
Now there is an easy way to listen to all these songs and learn a fact or two about each as well. Tim Shoemaker over at the Campaign for Liberty has collected together, in two articles, YouTube links to and short introductions of these 21 songs.
Find Shoemaker’s articles here and here.
To complete the Swords into Plowshares soundtrack, check out also three songs Paul discusses within the books’ chapters: John McCutcheon’s “Christmas in the Trenches,” Brave Saint Saturn’s “Blessed are the Land Mines,” and Buffy Sainte-Marie’s “Universal Soldier.”
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute For Peace & Prosperity.
By Ron Paul
The ultimate question that we face as a nation is "What should the role of government be?" Should it be that it creates runaway welfare spending? Should it be that the government can snoop and spy on us? Should the government get us involved in one war after another that have nothing to do with defending this nation?
These questions will either be asked voluntarily, or we'll be forced to ask them as a result of financial calamity. Money is now being printed in secret, and is passed out in secret. Inevitably such mischievous behavior will have to come to an end.
So what should the role of government be?
It's actually quite simple. Government should get out of the way and protect our liberties. It should not be telling us how to run our lives, or how to spend our money. Furthermore, our government has no business telling other countries how they should be run.
The U.S. government should be setting a good example, to the point where others would look to it and want to emulate it. That, to me, would be a much better role for government. We had hints of that in our early history, but we have forgotten about it. The last hundred years has been very negative. I'm hoping that this next hundred years will be a lot better.
Thank you, and be sure to tune into the Liberty Report on Monday!
By Chris Rossini
Ron Paul has been warning (for many years) that the U.S. becomes less safe and more prone to a terrorist attack with its never-ending military interventions in other countries. We should be minding our own business and defending this country instead. We have to stop stirring up trouble overseas.
What was the reaction to Ron Paul's warnings?
Rudy Giuliani notoriously summed it up by claiming to have never heard of something called "blowback":
Of course, the U.S. government has not stopped its interventions since the Giuliani debate. In fact, Obama, riding his campaign slogan of "Change" has bombed seven different countries and has taken part in one failed "regime-change" operation after another.
Now that Russia has decided to clean up the U.S. regime-change operation in Syria, American officials are warning Russia (and you can't make this up) of blowback!!
U.S. intelligence officials warn that Russia's military intervention in Syria has stirred the wrath of Islamic radicals who may retaliate by staging terrorist attacks inside Russia...
If only U.S. officials would stop poking hornets nests in the Middle East themselves! If only they would stop putting us Americans in danger.
We need, as Ron Paul has been advocating, a foreign policy of non-intervention and peace.
Ron Paul joined NewsMaxTV to discuss the race for the new Speaker of The House. Dr. Paul also discussed Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders:
By Norm Singleton
Representative Jason Chaffetz is looking to succeed John Boehner as Speaker of The House. Chaffetz is the lead sponsor of the House's version of the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate.
This seems like a good time to revisit Ron Paul's 2013 column "Internet Sales Taxes Harm Future Entrepreneurs." Dr. Paul's column referred to the "Marketplace Fairness Act," which is pending in the Senate.
Representative Chaffetz's version of the National Internet Sales Tax is even worse than the Senate's version, since it lowers the small seller's exemption to just $1 million in gross sales. The tax would also apply to all sales up to that limit, not just for those that take place online. So a business that does $999,999 in brick-and-motor sales and only $1 in online sales would still feel the full weight of the Internet Sales Tax Mandate.
Should someone who wants to cripple the next Amazon or Overstock.com be trusted with one of the most powerful positions in government? Read more about Representative Chaffetz's version of the National Internet Sales Tax Mandate here.
And here is Dr. Paul's 2013 column "Internet Sales Tax Could Crush Small Businesses":
One unique aspect of my homeschool curriculum is that students can start and manage their own online business. Students will be responsible for deciding what products or services to offer, getting the business up and running, and marketing the business’s products. Students and their families will get to keep the profits made from the business. Hopefully, participants in this program will develop a business that can either provide them with a full-time career or a way to supplement their income.
This article was originally published at The Campaign For Liberty.
Ron Paul on FoxBusiness: