The Senate Majority Leader is attempting to block consideration of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization bill that would withhold funds for any attack on Iran without Congressional approval. As usual, the debate is not about whether or not to go to war or even debate a war, but to make partisan political points. On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
The Trump administration has halted, without explanation, the routine practice of reporting the current number of nuclear weapons in the US arsenal, the AP and United Press International report. The new secrecy will make it nearly impossible to estimate the true cost of nuclear weapons, to show adherence to arms control treaties, or to pressure others nuclear weapons states to disclose the size of their arsenals.
The secrecy decision was revealed in an April 5 letter from the Department of Energy’s Office of Classification to the Federation of American Scientists (FAS). Hans M. Kristensen, director of the group’s Nuclear Information Project, said the FAS regularly asks for the information and that it’s been made public for decades.
"The decision walks back nearly a decade of US nuclear weapons transparency policy-in fact, longer if including stockpile transparency initiatives in the late 1990s," Kristensen wrote in an April 17 memo, according to the AP.
There is no national security rationale for keeping the number secret, Kristensen told the AP, adding that it is "unnecessary and counterproductive."
The recent escalation of conflict between the United States and Iran threatens another US military quagmire that would create crisis and chaos in Iran, the region and perhaps globally as well as costing the US trillions of dollars. The US needs to change course – a deeply wrong course it has been on regarding Iran since the 1950s, escalating since Iran declared its independence in their 1979 Revolution. There is a path out of this situation, but it requires leadership from President Trump, which will only come if the people of the United States mobilize to demand it.
The Trump Story of Last Minute Decision Not To Attack Iran, Doubted
The story repeated in the corporate media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, ABC News, and others is that President Trump called off a military attack on Iran at the last moment because he was told that 150 Iranians could be killed. It is evident this was the story being pushed by the White House. Initially, the story was that Trump stopped the bombing with ten minutes to spare, while the planes were already in the air. On Sunday, the story changed to Trump was asked for a decision by the Pentagon a half hour before the attack and said ‘no’ to the attack because he was told about civilian casualties.
Somehow even more sanctions are going to be slapped onto Iran today, with the Administration admitting they increase suffering of the civilian population. If the US claims it does not want to punish the Iranian people, why does it keep punishing the Iranian people? Watch today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
The downing of a US spy drone near (or within) Iranian airspace has – conveniently for neocons – raised tension and further boxed in President Trump. Pressure on Trump for a military response to Iranian “aggression” will increase. Will he take the bait this time? Or will more such provocations be needed? on today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
The harm a country is willing to inflict on another increases in proportion to the degree to which it perceives itself to be the other’s moral superior. Arguably, whether the harm is justified depends, in part, on the accuracy of this perception. In the specific case of U.S. policy towards Iran, American public support is to some extent explained by the perception that Iran is America’s moral inferior partly on account of its support for reputed terrorist organizations. How accurate is this perception, at least with respect to this particular basis? Here I provide a sample – by no means an exhaustive list – of cases in which the US government supported or cooperated with terrorist organizations. To avoid the charge of pedaling "conspiracy theories", I limit myself to mainstream sources in showing that the perception is dangerously inaccurate.
1. Support for the Nicaraguan Contras
In the 1980s, the Central Intelligence Agency published a manual entitled Psychological Operations in Guerilla Warfareto assist the Nicaraguan contras in its war against the leftist Sandinista government. The manual advocates for the use of "implicit terror" in order to maintain control over the population. Although it does discourage "explicit terror", this has less to do with any principled opposition to it than with the practical concern that "this would result in a loss of popular support." Elsewhere, the manual states that "it [may] be necessary…to fire on a citizen…trying to leave the town or city in which the guerrillas are carrying out armed propaganda or political proselytism…" "It is possible," it continues, "to neutralize [i.e., assassinate] carefully selected and planned targets, such as court judges, mesta judges, police and State Security officials." Evidently, gunning down civilians does not fall under the category of "explicit terror".