As in Syria, Saudi Arabia has the same goals in Yemen as ISIS does. The brutal Saudi-led attacks have killed thousands of civilians in Yemen. Millions more face starvation. A peace conference begins today in Switzerland.
What will be the outcome?
By Daniel McAdams
While the US government continues to face -- and vigorously deny -- charges that it secretly helps ISIS and other extremists in Syria to keep alive Obama's regime-change policy for Assad, Washington's closest ally in the region makes little pretense that it is at war with al-Qaeda and other extremists.
In fact, Israel is openly coming to the rescue of al-Qaeda's Jabhat al-Nusra just beyond the border of Israel-occupied Golan Heights.
Not only is Israel making no secret of its assistance to the same group responsible for the 9/11 attacks against the United States, Tel Aviv is inviting western media to "embed" with Israeli troops as they embark upon dangerous rescue missions into Syria. Yesterday's Daily Mail ran an article complete with photos and "IDF Footage" of the Israeli army crossing into Syria to rescue members of al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria after they were wounded by Syrian government forces fighting back the al-Qaeda/ISIS-led insurgency.
This is not just a one-off emergency aid mission. According to the article, Israel has been running a three-year medical assistance program for al-Qaeda fighters in southern Syria. The article estimates that Israel has patched up at least 1,600 Islamist extremists and sent many back to battle the secular Syrian government. The missions have been undertaken at great danger to the Israeli soldiers involved and at significant expense for a small country: more than $13 million dollars spend thus far.
As for why Israel would undertake what would on the surface look like a suicide mission -- propping up Islamist extremists who we are told are Israel's mortal enemies -- the Daily Mail reports that while Israel claims it is operating strictly out of humanitarian concerns, many believe Israel "has in fact struck a deadly 'deal with the devil' – offering support to the Sunni militants who fight the Syrian ruler Assad..."
It would not be the first time Israel has supported radical Islamists against secular groups in the Middle East. As Ron Paul pointed out years ago on the House Floor, "Hamas was encouraged and really started by Israel because they wanted Hamas to counter Yassir Arafat."
What are the implications for Washington's relations with Israel when its ally is openly coming to the aid of an organization that has attacked and killed so many Americans on US soil? With the publication of the Daily Mail article will there be calls on the Floor of Congress to sanction Israel? Will there be a cut-off of the billions of US taxpayer dollars sent yearly to Israel -- and thus indirectly to help al-Qaeda?
Will there be at least a strongly worded letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requesting that he stop acting as al-Qaeda's field hospital in southern Syria? Netanyahu told the US Congress this spring that when it comes to Islamist extremists, "the enemy of your enemy is your enemy." Was he just joking?
Or is Washington OK with Israel getting Islamist extremists back into fighting shape? Is Washington not afraid that some of these patched-up fighters may seek US or allied targets once back on the Syrian battlefield? Or does Washington have some assurance that al-Qaeda will not target US assets or operations in Syria? And if so, how did that come about?
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, then-President George W. Bush famously laid out US policy: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists." Does that then mean that Israel is with the terrorists? Or is perhaps Israel still "with us" in propping up certain terrorists needed to implement the regime change policy in Syria? Are we then with Israel and the terrorists?
So confusing. So many difficult questions.
This article was originally published at The Ron Paul Institute For Peace & Prosperity.
By Ron Paul
The constant economic booms and busts that we've been experiencing have a very specific origin or starting point: the Federal Reserve. A common question that I receive is: "Wouldn't there also be booms and busts in a free market system where people use free market money?" And the answer to that question is "Yes". However, the corrections would be nothing like the crushing economy-wide busts that we're now used to.
Businessmen, because they are human, are susceptible to making mistakes, whether there's a central bank or not. The big difference is the scope of the mistakes. Without a central bank, mistakes and malinvestments would be localized. In other words, you might hear of an "auto depression" or "farming depression," but the mistakes and liquidations would be localized and related to those specific sectors and any closely-related sectors. Businessmen can and do misread the market sometimes. But everyone would not be swept up into a false hysteria that must be followed by a punishing bust.
With the Federal Reserve, however, booms and busts are experienced economy-wide. There is a general cluster of business errors. How can it be that astute entrepreneurs from such diverse businesses all make drastic errors at the same time? Well, there's one common variable that all businessmen use: money. That's where the Fed comes in. It manipulates the money supply which then brings about investment errors on an economy-wide scale.
To make matter even worse, the Fed then comes in and props up the bad mistakes! Businesses that should go out of business are kept alive. In other words, scarce resources are wasted away. Resources should flow to profitable companies that are satisfying consumers' most urgent wants. Instead, the Fed perpetuates zombie companies and industries.
Liquidation of bad investments is necessary! This is the reason that Japan is still a mess after several decades. Our markets in the U.S. are also not very stable or healthy either. I think we're in for many more painful corrections that are unavoidable in order to liquidate the bad debts and investments.
The Federal Reserve is the source of all this mischief. It's a tragic error to believe that a group of individuals can centrally plan the economy by monetary manipulation. They can't do it. The sooner they get around to admitting that the better.
The Federal Reserve will self-destruct.
Let's work diligently to bring about free markets, sound money, and liberty.
By Gary North
The twentieth century has witnessed the beginning, development, and end of the most tragic experiment in human history: socialism. The experiment resulted in tremendous human losses, destruction of potentially rich economies, and colossal ecological disasters. The experiment has ended, but the devastation will affect the lives and health of generations to come.
The real tragedy of this experiment is that Ludwig von Mises and his followers -- among the best economic minds of this century -- had exposed the truth about socialism in 1920, yet their warnings went unheeded. -- Yuri Maltsev (1990).
Socialism is dead as an ideology and also as a political movement. It is an example of a god that failed.
Socialism is a very specific form of economic opinion. A socialist believes that the civil government should own the means of production. This is what socialism has always meant.
When Ludwig von Mises refuted socialism in 1920, he had in mind exactly this outlook regarding the economy. Here was his argument. If the government owns a nation's capital, meaning the tools of production, the planners cannot establish the value of these tools. There is no free market for pricing these tools. Without free-market pricing, there is no way for any central planning agency to determine what the most desired consumer goods are in society. There has to be a free market in order to price consumer goods and capital goods. There is neither in a socialist economy. Therefore, said Mises, socialist economic planning is inherently irrational.
That argument was ignored by the vast majority of socialists, and it was never taken seriously by Keynesians. But then, when the Soviet Union's economy collapsed in the late 1980's, it became clear to at least Robert Heilbroner, a multimillionaire leftist economics professor, that Mises had been right. He said so in print in an article in The New Yorker: "After Communism." (Sept. 10, 1990). He then called for the substitution of ecology for socialism. He said that socialism was simply a dead ideology.
Today, there are virtually no people outside of North Korea, Latin America, and Zimbabwe who straightforwardly argue in favor of socialism. North Korea and Cuba officially are Communist. They are poverty-stricken. They have no influence anywhere. Nobody is using them as a model. Zimbabwe is run by a tribal Marxist, and nobody is imitating it, either.
Theodore Dalrymple's comments on African Marxism are to the point.
Although Marxists often claimed that the deficiencies of the Soviet Union had nothing to do with Marxism, the ignominious dissolution of a regime that had long claimed to be Marxist nevertheless dealt an all-but-fatal blow to the ideology.
There are of course advocates of the welfare state. There have always been advocates of the welfare state. These people believe in the private ownership of most capital. They believe in some market pricing. But they believe that government officials can intervene into the markets and redistribute wealth. They don't care that this may reduce economic growth. They are, as Rothbard said in 1971, driven by envy. They are willing to see the economy produce less in order to satisfy their demand for something closer to economic equality.
Keynesianism is clearly not socialistic. Keynesianism is capitalistic, and it always has been. Keynes was a defender of capitalism. He believed that the state should intervene by either creating money out of nothing or by borrowing from capitalists. He wanted the state to buy goods and services in order to stimulate the economy. He wanted to see an expansion of capitalism, but he believed that deficit spending by the central government, and to a lesser extent monetary inflation by central banks, could achieve the goal of reestablishing the economic productivity of capitalism in the mid-1930's.
Communism as a means of economic production did not survive the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991. That was the last gasp of socialism in Europe and Asia.
There are those in the West who do not understand or even recognize what happened to the Soviet Union in December 1991. They do not realize or recognize that this was the last gasp of socialism. They still want to fight the old fights. They want to invoke the old slogans. They want people to believe that the West remains in a war against socialism, whether domestic or international. This is no longer the case.
There are surely Communists who use the ideology of Marxian Communism to justify their retention of political power. This is true in Cuba, North Korea, Zimbabwe, and China. But Communism is an ideological defense of political power in China. It is not a defense of their reestablishment of state ownership of the means of production.
Any time you see a statement that international socialists are doing this or that, immediately discount it. Pay zero attention to it. International socialists are a figment of the imagination of domestic conservatives. They have not been around in a quarter of a century.
Obama is not a socialist. The Democrats are not socialists. I have not heard Bernie Sanders call for the nationalization of America's corporations. They are defenders of the welfare state. They want more taxes on the rich. They want more regulation of the economy. They want to direct the capitalist system, in exactly the same way as the fascists did in the 1930's. They want to retain the private ownership of the means of production, but they want to tell the private owners what they can or cannot do with their capital. They want to direct the productivity of capitalism. They do not want state ownership of the means of production. They want to use the famous carrot and stick to direct production along certain lines, but they don't want any responsibility for having done so.
They are content to have sufficient productivity from the corporate system so that the government can benefit from a high percentage of the golden eggs that it hatches. Parasites don't want to kill their hosts. Socialism is an economic philosophy of killing the host. The Left today is made up parasites, do-gooders, and virtually no Communists or socialists.
Mises in 1920 diagnosed the terminal condition of socialism. The Communist nations proved his point over the next seven decades. North Korea, Cuba, and Zimbabwe are the last socialist regimes. They prove Mises' point. They are bankrupt in every sense. They are not the wave of the future.
This article was reprinted with permission from GaryNorth.com
Oil has dropped to its lowest price since 2009. With the Fed meeting this week to decide on a rate hike and the geopolitical uncertainty in the Middle East, what might we expect in the near term?
By Ron Paul
Judging by his prime-time speech last week, the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency will be marked by increased militarism abroad and authoritarianism at home. The centerpiece of the president’s speech was his demand for a new law forbidding anyone on the federal government’s terrorist watch list from purchasing a firearm. There has never been a mass shooter who was on the terrorist watch list, so this proposal will not increase security. However, it will decrease liberty.
Federal officials can have an American citizen placed on the terrorist watch list based solely on their suspicions that the individual might be involved in terrorist activity. Individuals placed on the list are not informed that they have been labeled as suspected terrorists, much less given an opportunity to challenge that designation, until a Transportation Security Administration agent stops them from boarding a plane.
Individuals can be placed on the list if their Facebook or Twitter posts seem “suspicious” to a federal agent. You can also be placed on the list if your behavior somehow suggests that you are a “representative” of a terrorist group (even if you have no associations with any terrorist organizations). Individuals can even be put on the list because the FBI wants to interview them about friends or family members!
Thousands of Americans, including several members of Congress and many employees of the Department of Homeland Security, have been mistakenly placed on the terrorist watch list. Some Americans are placed on the list because they happen to have the same names as terrorist suspects. Those mistakenly placed on the terrorist watch list must go through a lengthy “redress” process to clear their names.
It is likely that some Americans are on the list solely because of their political views and activities. Anyone who doubts this should consider the long history of federal agencies, such as the IRS and the FBI, using their power to harass political movements that challenge the status quo. Are the American people really so desperate for the illusion of security that they will support a law that results in some Americans losing their Second Amendment rights because of a bureaucratic error or because of their political beliefs?
President Obama is also preparing an executive order expanding the federal background check system. Expanding background checks will not keep guns out of the hands of criminals or terrorists. However, it will make obtaining a firearm more difficult for those needing, for example, to defend themselves against abusive spouses.
Sadly, many who understand that new gun control laws will leave us less free and less safe support expanding the surveillance state. Like those promoting gun control, people calling for expanded surveillance do not let facts deter their efforts to take more of our liberties. There is no evidence that mass surveillance has prevented even one terrorist attack.
France’s mass surveillance system is much more widespread and intrusive than ours. Yet it failed to prevent the recent attacks. France’s gun control laws, which are much more restrictive than ours, not only failed to keep guns out of the hands of their attackers, they left victims defenseless. It is thus amazing that many American politicians want to make us more like France by taking away our Second and Fourth Amendment rights.
Expanding government power will not increase our safety; it will only diminish our freedom. Americans will have neither liberty nor security until they abandon the fantasy that the US government can provide economic security, personal security, and global security.
Presidential candidates and pundits on TV appear to be in a race to abolish as much liberty as they can. If America is to be great again, we need to go in the other direction! Ron Paul takes a stand for freedom in this latest edition of Myth-Busters!
By Chris Rossini
When the U.S. Constitution was drafted, the delegates were very specific on how the U.S. should legally go to war. They knew from history that the worst mistake a nation can make is to allow one man, or the executive, to have the ability to declare war.
Here are some quotes from some names that you may recognize:
"In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the executive magistrate. Constant apprehension of war, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force with an overgrown executive will not long be safe companions to liberty…Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."
"The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress. Therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure."
"This system will not hurry us into war. It is calculated to guard against it. It will not be in the power of a single man or a single body of men to involve us in such distress, for the important power of declaring war is vested in the legislature at large. This declaration must be made with the concurrence of the House of Representatives. In this circumstance, we may draw the certain conclusion that nothing but our interest can draw us into war."
The war powers law of the U.S. Constitution would be followed until World War II. Congressmen had to put their name on wars. If things when went wrong, their name was on it, and voters knew where to point fingers.
This setup (though not perfect) acted as a brake. Well, needless to say, those in power don't like brakes, especially presidents.
So today, and ever since World War II, the U.S. Constitution has been ignored when it comes to declaring war. As a result, we're now dragged from one foreign policy disaster to another, all on a presidential whim. Congressmen can play the "don't blame me card" as well.
Just yesterday, the New York Times reported that the new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has this view on Congress declaring war:
Mr. Ryan, while sympathetic to the argument that Congress has a responsibility to weigh in on military action abroad, told Mr. Thornberry and others that voting to authorize war was something very few members of Congress wanted to do.
"Sympathetic to the argument"? Congress must declare war by law!
Apparently, "very few members" are interested in it. The President declaring war on his own over the last 70 years has become the new tradition.
Sadly, as James Madison warned, Americans are being marched "under the pretext of defending" into being yet another group of people in history to be "enslaved" by their government.