By Ron Paul
In May, President Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal despite Iran living up to its obligations and the deal working as planned. While the US kept in place most sanctions against Tehran, China and Russia - along with many European countries - had begun reaping the benefits of trade with an Iran eager to do business with the world.
Now, President Trump is threatening sanctions against any country that continues to do business with Iran. But will his attempt to restore the status quo before the Iran deal really work?
Even if the Europeans cave in to US demands, the world has changed a great deal since the pre-Iran deal era.
President Trump is finding that his threats and heated rhetoric do not always have the effect he wishes. As his Administration warns countries to stop buying Iranian oil by November or risk punishment by the United States, a nervous international oil market is pushing prices ever higher, threatening the economic prosperity he claims credit for. President Trump’s response has been to demand that OPEC boost its oil production by two million barrels per day to calm markets and bring prices down.
Perhaps no one told him that Iran was a founding member of OPEC?
When President Trump Tweeted last week that Saudi Arabia agreed to begin pumping additional oil to make up for the removal of Iran from the international markets, the Saudis very quickly corrected him, saying that while they could increase capacity if needed, no promise to do so had been made.
The truth is, if the rest of the world followed Trump’s demands and returned to sanctions and boycotting Iranian oil, some 2.7 million barrels per day currently supplied by Iran would be very difficult to make up elsewhere. Venezuela, which has enormous reserves but is also suffering under, among other problems, crippling US sanctions, is shrinking out of the world oil market.
Iraq has not recovered its oil production capacity since its “liberation” by the US in 2003 and the al-Qaeda and ISIS insurgencies that followed it.
Last week, Bloomberg reported that “a complete shutdown of Iranian sales could push oil prices above $120 a barrel if Saudi Arabia can’t keep up.” Would that crash the US economy? Perhaps. Is Trump willing to risk it?
President Trump’s demand last week that OPEC “reduce prices now” or US military protection of OPEC countries may not continue almost sounded desperate. But if anything, Trump’s bluntness is refreshing: if, as he suggests, the purpose of the US military – with a yearly total budget of a trillion dollars - is to protect OPEC members in exchange for “cheap oil,” how cheap is that oil?
At the end, China, Russia, and others are not only unlikely to follow Trump’s demands that Iran again be isolated: they in fact stand to benefit from Trump’s bellicosity toward Iran. One Chinese refiner has just announced that it would cancel orders of US crude and instead turn to Iran for supplies. How many others might follow and what might it mean?
Ironically, President Trump’s “get tough” approach to Iran may end up benefitting Washington’s named adversaries Russia and China - perhaps even Iran. The wisest approach is unfortunately the least likely at this point: back off from regime change, back off from war-footing, back off from sanctions. Trump may eventually find that the cost of ignoring this advice may be higher than he imagined.
As President Trump prepares for this week's NATO summit, his diplomatic team returns from talks with North Korea. What will Trump tell our NATO allies? Are we seeing an unexpected flush of diplomacy...or the same old aggression repackaged into new bottles?
State-by-State the horrendous "Drug War" is finally coming to an end. It's never easy to being the first to do the right thing. Most wait until the coast-is-clear. But now the momentum is strong. Today Ron Paul talks about the states who are legalizing gold & silver as money once again. Wyoming specifically has started the ball rolling. Will sound money finally pick up steam?
The US national security establishment, along with neocons and many US politicians, believe they have settled on who should run Iran after the CIA overthrows its current government. They've settled on an organization that for more than 15 years was on the US terrorism list as the best vehicle to bring democracy to Iran. What could go wrong...?
What does Independence Day mean to us in 2018? What did it mean to the Founders? Independent states? Ron Paul gives us a bit of history on this July 4th.
Dr. Bob Sears has been put on "medical probation" in California for writing out an exemption letter for a mother who said her child had an adverse reaction to a vaccine. His career may be ruined because he listened to a parent rather than state-mandates vaccine schedules. He does not oppose vaccines, but believes there should be some flexibility in scheduling. Do we have a right to refuse medical treatments?
By Ron Paul
President Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton was in Moscow last week organizing what promises to be an historic summit meeting between his boss and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bolton, who has for years demanded that the US inflict “pain” on Russia and on Putin specifically, was tasked by Trump to change his tune. He was forced to shed some of his neoconservative skin and get involved in peacemaking. Trump surely deserves some credit for that!
As could be expected given the current political climate in the US, the neoconservatives have joined up with the anti-Trump forces on the Left -- and US client states overseas -- to vigorously oppose any movement toward peace with Russia. The mainstream media is, as also to be expected, amplifying every objection to any step away from a confrontation with Russia.
Bolton had hardly left Moscow when the media began its attacks. US allies are “nervous” over the planned summit, reported Reuters. They did not quote any US ally claiming to be nervous, but they did speculate that both the UK and Ukraine would not be happy were the US and Russia to improve relations. But why is that? The current Ukrainian government is only in power because the Obama Administration launched a coup against its democratically-elected president to put US puppets in charge. They’re right to be nervous. And the British government is also right to be worried. They swore that Russia was behind the “poisoning” of the Skripals without providing any evidence to back up their claims. Hundreds of Russian diplomats were expelled from Western countries on their word alone. And over the past couple of months, each of their claims has fallen short.
At the extreme of the reaction to Bolton’s Russia trip was the US-funded think tank, the Atlantic Council, which is stuck in a 1950s time warp. Its resident Russia “expert,” Anders Åslund, Tweeted that long-time Russia hawk Bolton had been “captured by the Kremlin” and must now be considered a Russian agent for having helped set up a meeting between Trump and Putin. Do they really prefer nuclear war?
The “experts” are usually wrong when it comes to peacemaking. They rely on having “official enemies” for their very livelihood. In 1985, national security “expert” Zbigniew Brzezinski attacked the idea of a summit between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. It was “demeaning” and “tactically unwise,” he said as reported at the time by the Washington Times. Such a meeting would only “elevate” Gorbachev and make him “first among equals,” he said. Thankfully, Reagan did engage Gorbachev in several summits and the rest is history. Brzezinski was wrong and peacemakers were right.
President Trump should understand that any move toward better relations with Russia has been already pre-approved by the American people. His position on Russia was well known. He campaigned very clearly on the idea that the US should end the hostility toward Russia that characterized the Obama Administration and find a way to work together. Voters knew his position and they chose him over Hillary Clinton, who was also very clear on Russia: more confrontation and more aggression.
President Trump would be wise to ignore the neocon talking heads and think tank “experts” paid by defense contractors. He should ignore the “never Trumpers” who have yet to make a coherent policy argument opposing the president. The extent of their opposition to Trump seems to be “he’s mean and rude.” Let us hope that a Trump/Putin meeting begins a move toward real reconciliation and away from the threat of nuclear war.
NSA spying, TSA groping, police shooting first and asking questions later. As the grip of the police state gets ever tighter, how can we resist? Is there any hope of rolling it back? Rutherford Institute founder John Whitehead joins today's Liberty Report.
By Jeff Thomas
For many years, I’ve forecasted that the US will evolve into a police state; that it will begin slowly; then as more and more freedoms are removed, the creation of the police state will accelerate.
We’re now seeing that acceleration, as more and more Americans are detained, questioned, and having their property confiscated than ever before.
As an example, in 2016, some 20,000 travellers in and out of the US were stopped, often at random. Typically, their baggage was searched, their documents photocopied, access codes to their electronic devices demanded and their files copied. In most cases, no explanation was given, but they were advised that if the search was refused, they would be detained indefinitely.
The following year, in 2017, the numbers of people detained rose by 50%, to 30,000.
It’s important to note that the travellers were not threatened with arrest, which suggests that the authorities were working on the basis that the Patriot Act of 2001 allows all of the above activities—without cause being given, without a warrant being obtained, without access to a phone call or legal representation being allowed, and that the individuals in question may be detained, indefinitely.
This, of course, is in direct violation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which states that people have the right “to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures.”
However, when people travel, they are particularly vulnerable, so the travellers in question are extremely unlikely to refuse. They understand that, “indefinitely” means, “until a Supreme Court ruling is passed, overturning the Patriot Act as unconstitutional.” If it hasn’t happened yet and isn’t under consideration, it’s safe to say that the level of police state allowed under the Patriot Act is permanent.
Police States have been implemented countless times throughout history. They tend to be most prominent where collectivism has already been instituted.
Wherever collectivism is already firmly established, new crackdowns are generally introduced suddenly. In Germany, in 1938, under existing Nazi rule, Kristallnacht took people by complete surprise. Later, in 1961, under existing Soviet rule, the Berlin Wall went up with no previous announcement. In both cases, the collectivist tyranny was already in place and the people had already successfully been subjugated. These events were merely further losses of freedom.
But what of a country that still enjoys a few of its former freedoms and is in the process of being transformed into a full-blown collectivist state? Well, in such cases, the loss of freedoms is often done in slo-mo.
Another way of describing this is the old adage of boiling a frog. Since a frog will jump out of a pot of hot water, place him in a pot of lukewarm water and slowly turn up the heat. Before he knows it, he’s being boiled to death.
Likewise, when the intention is to convert a country to collectivism, make the early changes in stages. Get the people to accept that the losses of freedom are for the benefit of their safety. Then, the further along you go, the more you can accelerate the process.
At present, a majority of Americans appear to now understand that they’ve experienced a significant loss of their “guaranteed” freedoms. They’re now worried and, at each new stage of oppression they tend to say, “I’m not happy about this, but I can probably live with it… and, besides, they say that they’re doing it for my own safety.”
However, I think that it’s safe to say that a family returning from a holiday that’s just been isolated from each other, interrogated separately, frisked, had all their belongings pored through and copies of their papers and electronic files taken, without even being told the reason, does not feel as though it’s been done for their safety.
Remember, the 30,000 above were just hoping to reach their destination with no trouble from anyone. A generation ago, they never would have tolerated such a violation to their rights. But now, they submit and accept whatever they’re told to do.
Read the rest of this article at International Man
By Chris Rossini
"Democratic" Socialists are expert at exploiting people with their "something for nothing" promises. But they also perpetuate the fraud of "getting money out of politics," which is ironic considering Socialist champions always seem to be the richest people on the block.
But let's discuss the fictional "money out of politics" argument. This stems from the same false belief that government can abolish things just by passing laws ... like getting rid drugs, or guns. Of course, they can write as many laws as they'd like, but drugs and guns aren't going anywhere.
We're supposed to believe that politicians will write laws to "get money out of politics"? ... Really? ... They're going to cut their own gravy train?
The first issue is that the problem is misdiagnosed. The problem is not the money, but the power that politicians wield.
If you think government is supposed to micromanage what is bought and what is sold, then the first thing that is going to be bought and sold is the politician himself!
The politicians are now up for grabs to the highest bidders.
Let's say you're a big corporation that makes mobile phones. Do you want the "Democratic Socialist" politician to propagate to the "the people" that they have a "right" to mobile phones? That basic human "decency" demands everyone to have a phone?
Then you better pay up.
That's some serious power the politician wields. The politician is going to make you rich as you make phones for everyone. You better offer something sweet for the politician in return.
It doesn't have to be money. It could be a cushy job when the politician leaves office. Maybe set him up with a nice villa in the Caribbean. Whatever.
Healthcare? ... College? ... FREE ... FREE ... FREE?
You better pay up if you want to get rich providing all this "FREE" stuff.
"Democratic" Socialism is not about getting money *out* of politics. If anything, it's about getting more money *in*!
The problem of "money in politics" is the political power itself.
If there's a politician with unconstitutional power, there will be a line of special interests ready to line the politician's pockets.
The way to lessen (not "eliminate" -- since that would be impossible) money in politics, is to strip politicians of all the powers that they shouldn't have in the first place (which is about 95% of them).
Then there will be nothing for special interests to buy.
Special interests avoided former Congressman Ron Paul like the plague.
Why do you think that was?
Why didn't they shower money on Ron Paul?
Because he followed the U.S. Constitution. There was nothing for them to buy.
"Democratic" Socialists are exploiters.
Don't let them exploit you.