US Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain have called for 20,000 US troops to return for another war in Iraq and a new ground war in Syria. If US intervention caused the mess, how will more intervention solve it?
By Ron Paul
The interventionists will do anything to prevent Americans from seeing that their foreign policies are perpetuating terrorism and inspiring others to seek to harm us. The neocons know that when it is understood that blowback is real – that people seek to attack us not because we are good and free but because we bomb and occupy their countries – their stranglehold over foreign policy will begin to slip.
That is why each time there is an event like the killings in Paris earlier this month, they rush to the television stations to terrify Americans into agreeing to even more bombing, more occupation, more surveillance at home, and more curtailment of our civil liberties. They tell us we have to do it in order to fight terrorism, but their policies actually increase terrorism.
If that sounds harsh, consider the recently-released 2015 Global Terrorism Index report. The report shows that deaths from terrorism have increased dramatically over the last 15 years – a period coinciding with the “war on terrorism” that was supposed to end terrorism.
According to the latest report:
Terrorist activity increased by 80 per cent in 2014 to its highest recorded level. …The number of people who have died from terrorist activity has increased nine-fold since the year 2000.
The world’s two most deadly terrorist organizations, ISIS and Boko Haram, have achieved their prominence as a direct consequence of US interventions.
Former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn was asked last week whether in light of the rise of ISIS he regrets the invasion of Iraq. He replied, “absolutely. …The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq.” He added, “instead of asking why they attacked us, we asked where they came from.”
Flynn is no non-interventionist. But he does make the connection between the US invasion of Iraq and the creation of ISIS and other terrorist organizations, and he at least urges us to consider why they seek to attack us.
Likewise, the rise of Boko Haram in Africa is a direct result of a US intervention. Before the US-led “regime change” in Libya, they just were a poorly-armed gang. Once Gaddafi was overthrown by the US and its NATO allies, leaving the country in chaos, they helped themselves to all the advanced weaponry they could get their hands on. Instead of just a few rifles they found themselves armed with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns with anti-aircraft visors, advanced explosives, and vehicle-mounted light anti-aircraft artillery. Then they started killing on a massive scale. Now, according to the Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram has overtaken ISIS as the world’s most deadly terrorist organization.
The interventionists are desperate to draw attention from the fact that their policies contribute to terrorism. After the Paris attacks, neocons like former CIA director James Woolsey actually pinned the blame on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden! He claimed that because of Snowden’s revelations about NSA surveillance the terrorists were using sophisticated encryption. He even called for Snowden to be hanged because of it. But it was untrue: the Paris attackers did not use encryption, and other groups had used encryption long before the Snowden revelations.
Terrorism is increasing worldwide because of US and western interventionism. That does not mean that if we suddenly followed a policy of non-interventionism the world would become a peaceful utopia. But does anyone really believe that continuing to do what increases terrorism will lead to a decrease in terrorism?
On this episode of Myth-Busters, Ron Paul tackles The Fed, dispels the ISIS fear-mongers, catches the terror opportunists red handed, and even throws in some economic wisdom.
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Even though the world is in pretty bad shape, perhaps there are some things that we can be thankful for. Enjoy this special holiday edition of the Liberty Report.
By Ron Paul
I've been very concerned about events in Syria ever since President Obama declared that Assad had to go. The more people that get involved in Syria (including the U.S.) the higher the likelihood of escalation.
With the news being reported today of Turkey taking down a Russian warplane, that could be happening. Even though I have no proof, I doubt that the Turks would do something like this without an understanding, or quid-pro-quo, from the U.S.
There has been plenty of evidence that U.S. weapons have gone to al-Qaeda and ISIS in order to subdue Assad. Could it be that Russia has been doing such a good job in shoring up Assad, that something had to happen in order to thwart them? Could this be an escalation out of desperation?
This is a serious situation. What the resolution will be, we don't know. And even though dangers are constantly trumped up to generate fear, I fear our own government more than any foreign government invading us and taking away our liberties.
Just think of the reaction to 9/11. Yes, there should have been a reaction, and the U.S. government's foreign policy should have been closely examined, however look at what happened: our government instead became the enemy of our freedoms!
It's not unpatriotic to question your own government's policies. We need that now more than anything.
Thank you and be sure to tune in to tomorrow's Liberty Report!
By Daniel L. McAdams
In a sudden and dramatic escalation of the Syria conflict, two Russian aircraft -- a SU-24 fighter jet and a rescue helicopter -- have been downed in Syria. The fighter was shot down by the Turkish military after it claimed an airspace violation, and the rescue helicopter was reportedly shot down by US-backed rebels with US-made and supplied TOW missiles.
The Turks claim the Russian fighter had ventured over Turkish airspace and that it had been warned ten times in five minutes before it was shot down by two US-made F-16 fighters. For its part, the Russian defense ministry denies any Turkish airspace violation and claims it can prove there was no violation. The Russian fighter crashed in Syrian territory and reports suggest at least one pilot is dead. The other may have been captured or killed by US-backed rebels in the area.
Turkey has released what it claims is radar depiction of the Russian jet's airspace violation, though as Zero Hedge notes even if accurate it raises the question of how the Russian fighter could have been over Turkish airspace for the five minutes claimed by the Turk side:
Equally serious is the claimed downing of a Russian rescue helicopter by US-backed rebels near the site of the crashed fighter. The US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey have radically increased the supply of TOW missiles to Syrian rebels. According to the Telegraph (via Zero Hedge), the rebels' use of TOW missiles has increased 800 percent since the Russians began striking ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria.
The US claims it only supplies TOW missiles to the "moderate" Free Syrian Army, but as recently as last week a video surfaced of al-Qaeda's Nusra Front thanking representatives of the Free Syrian Army for providing them TOW missiles. Numerous times over the past year, US-supplied TOW missiles have ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda. Nevertheless the US and its Saudi partner announced just after the Russians began hitting ISIS in Syria that they would send an additional 500 TOWs to the rebels.
Let this sink in: the US is through one degree of separation attacking Russia in Syria. Russia is fighting ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria at the request of the Syrian government while the US is attacking Syrian territory in violation of its sovereignty and international law.
Even if Turkey's claim of a brief Russian violation of its airspace turns out to be true, we should not forget that Turkey has violated Syrian airspace and territory many times since it decided to participate in the fight to overthrow Syrian president Assad. Turkish fighters have routinely flown over Syria, attacking Syrian territory, against the wishes of the Syrian government. Turkish troops have crossed into Syrian territory on military operations as well. It is also a violation of Syria's sovereignty for Turkey to actively support armed forces seeking to overthrow the legitimate Syrian government -- whether Turkey likes Syria's current leadership or not.
So the Turkish concern over territorial sovereignty is very selective.
Russian president Putin has called the Turkish attack on its fighter jet a "stab in the back" and promised it would have a serious effect on Russian/Turkish relations.
Warmongers in the United States have repeatedly called for Russian military planes attacking ISIS and al-Qaeda to be shot down and now it appears they have gotten their wish. Presumed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has called for a "no-fly" zone in the region where the Russian plane was shot down, so had she gotten her wish the plane would have been downed with her approval. A "no-fly" zone would only apply to the Russian and Syrian air force attacking ISIS, as ISIS and al-Qaeda have no aircraft.
Russian success in attacking ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria has significantly dimmed the prospects for the desired overthrow of the Syrian government long pursued by the US and its allies in the region. This dramatic escalation by Turkey may be seen as a "hail mary" pass to head off what looks increasingly like a Syrian government victory against a a five year insurgency.
Or it may launch World War III...
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.
By Tyler Durden
"The EU is increasingly about war," exclaimed the outspoken UKIP leader in 2013 in front of Francois Hollande and his European parliamentarian peers. Amid the collapse of the French economy and capital flight, Farage jabs at Hollande it is clearly "impossible for France and Germany to stay together inside the same economic and monetary union." So on the basis that the country is bankrupt (as France's employment minister has said), Farage asks rhetorically, "what do you do? Well, the old trick - launch a foreign military intervention." He concludes ominously prophetically, "taking on fundamentalist, radical Islam in battle is something that will launch ourselves... on a decade of unending, unwinnable misery."
This article was originally published at ZeroHedge.
Editor's Note: Nigel Farage was a recent guest on The Ron Paul Liberty Report. You can watch that interview here.
By Chris Rossini
A few years ago, New York Times columnist David Brooks wanted the U.S. government to wave its magic wand and turn the Syrian civil war into a Vietnam for Iran:
We should be trying to turn the Syrian civil war into Iran’s Vietnam. We should make them waste money and effort trying to back their client...I’m thinking that maybe it’s time for a more active U.S. role. I have no clue how to do that.
Brooks was apparently modest enough to admit that he had "no clue" as to how the U.S. should mold Syria to achieve such a nefarious goal.
Well, a few years have now gone by, and Brooks has experienced his eureka moment! He apparently tuned into a warmongering speech from Hillary Clinton and now (at long last) has a clue:
Clinton...gestured to the reality that you can’t really deal with ISIS unless you are also willing to deal with Assad. Assad is not some secondary threat who we can deal with after we’ve tamed the ISIS monster. Assad created the failed state and the power vacuum that ISIS was able to fill.
Aha! Brooks, who wanted to turn Syria into Iran's Vietnam, has changed to turning it into America's Second Vietnam! Brooks wants American troops in there fighting both ISIS and Assad. He's come to the conclusion that it is America that should "waste money and effort"!
But wait! There's more:
The grand strategy of American policy in the Middle East, therefore, should be to do what we can to revive and reform Arab nations, to help them become functioning governing units.
The "grand strategy"?
America has destroyed Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya, leaving them in virtual chaos with nothing resembling "functioning governing units." Syria needs to be number four on the lucky list?
That begins with stepped-up military pressure on ISIS. But it also means going hard on Assad, creating no-fly zones for sanctuaries for Syrian refugees to limit his power, ratcheting up pressure on Iran and Russia to force his departure.
Brooks no longer wants a Vietnam for Iran, but a second one for the U.S. In addition to American troops, he wants the U.S. to create a no-fly zone in Syria that would put America in a direct confrontation with Russia (a country that has a nuclear arsenal that's just as large as America's).
It's safe to say, that despite Brooks' Clintonian awakening, he still has no clue about Syria.
By Ron Paul
Last week the US House dealt a blow to President Obama’s plan to resettle 10,000 Syrians fleeing their war-torn homeland. On a vote of 289-137, including 47 Democrats, the House voted to require the FBI to closely vet any applicant from Syria and to guarantee that none of them pose a threat to the US. Effectively this will shut down the program.
The House legislation was brought to the Floor after last week’s attacks in Paris that left more than 120 people dead, and for which ISIS claimed responsibility. With the year-long US bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, there is a good deal of concern that among those 10,000 to be settled here there might be some who wish to do us harm. Even though it looks as though the Paris attackers were all EU citizens, polling in the US shows record opposition to allowing Syrian refugees entry.
I agree that we must be very careful about who is permitted to enter the United States, but I object to the president’s plan for a very different reason. I think it is a sign of Washington’s moral and intellectual bankruptcy that US citizens are being forced to pay for those fleeing Washington’s foreign policy.
For the past ten years the US government has been planning and executing a regime change operation against the Syrian government. It is this policy that has produced the chaos in Syria, including the rise of ISIS and al-Qaeda in the country. After a decade of US destabilization efforts, we are now told that Syria is totally destabilized and we therefore must take in thousands of Syrians fleeing the destabilization that Washington caused.
Has there ever been a more foolish and wrong-headed foreign policy than this?
The American people have been forced to pay untold millions for a ten-year CIA and Pentagon program to undermine and overthrow the Syrian government, and now we are supposed to pay millions more to provide welfare for the refugees Obama created.
Who should pay for the millions fleeing the chaos that Washington helped create? How about the military-industrial complex, which makes a killing promoting killing? How about the Beltway neocon think-tanks that continue to churn out pro-war propaganda while receiving huge grants from defense contractors? How about President Obama’s national security advisors, who push him into one regime change disaster after another? How about Hillary Clinton, who came up with the bright idea that “Assad must go”? How about President Obama himself, a president elected to end wars, but who has ended up starting more wars than his predecessor? It’s time those who start the wars start paying for the disasters they create. Then perhaps we might have some relief from an interventionist foreign policy that is destroying our financial and national security.
If Obama wants to take in refugees from the chaos in Syria, there are probably plenty of vacant rooms in the White House.