The Threat of Nuclear Weapons to America

Did you know the U.S. has built nearly 70,000 nuclear weapons since 1945? Did you know the U.S. Air Force lost a B-52 and two hydrogen bombs in an accident over North Carolina in 1961, and that one of those H-bombs was a single safety-switch away from exploding with a blast equivalent to three or four million tons of TNT (roughly 200 Hiroshima-type bombs)? Did you know a U.S. nuclear missile exploded in its silo in Arkansas in 1980, throwing its thermonuclear warhead into the countryside?

On more the one occasion, the U.S. has come close to nuking itself

That last accident is the subject of a PBS American Experience documentary that I watched last night, “Command and Control.” I highly recommend it to all Americans, not just for what it reveals about nuclear accidents and the lack of safety, but for what it reveals about the U.S. military.

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Peter Van Buren Reviews National Bird: Looking Deeply into the Drone War’s Abyss

National Bird, a documentary film about America’s drone wars by filmmaker Sonia Kennebeck, airs May 1 at 10 pm on most local PBS stations as part of the Independent Lens series (check local listings, some stations have different schedules).

I had a chance to see the film in advance, and here’s why you should watch it: it is terrifying even in the quiet moments; it is most terrifying in the quietest moments.

National Bird is a deep, multilayered, look into America’s drone wars, a tactic which became a strategy which became a post-9/11 policy. To many in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world, America’s new national symbol is not the bald eagle, but a gray shadow overhead armed with Hellfire missiles.

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Our Turk Allies Just Attacked Our Kurd Allies – Whose Side Are We On?

Here’s a perfect example of how convoluted our Middle East policy is: our Turkish NATO allies attacked our Kurdish anti-ISIS ground forces in Iraq and Syria this week, killing as many as 70 fighters. The Kurdish YPG fighters make up the bulk of the US-backed “Syrian Democratic Forces” who are leading the US fight against ISIS in eastern Syria. How will the Kurds respond to the fact that their chief sponsor’s close ally keeps killing them? And how does the US expect the Kurds to take over Raqqa once it’s “liberated” when the Turks keep killing them? And how will the Turks respond to the US at least tacitly pushing the Kurds toward de facto statehood? And…what is our Syria policy? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Ron Paul on New Syria Sanctions and Still Unproven Gas Attack Claim

President Trump has yet to provide any credible evidence that the gas attack in Syria earlier this month was carried out by Assad, and in the meantime very serious questions about the veracity of White House claims are arising from very credible experts. Yet the Administration seems ever more determined now that it has done a 180 degree turn and demanded regime change for Syria. Late last week the White House announced sanctions on 271 Syrian scientists who Trump claims are working on chemical weapons. The proof? None. How to explain this sudden embrace of the neocon line on Syria and elsewhere? It might be telling that according to recent press reports the architect of the disastrous Iraq war, Paul Wolfowitz, is lending advice on the Middle East to Defense Secretary Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster. They have all apparently been friends for years. More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Spin It To Win It: The High Cost of Trump’s Military ‘Strategy’

As the end of Trump’s first 100 days in office approaches, we can already see the novice commander-in-chief’s approach to military action. The approach is to empower “his” generals. And the results? A triumph of image over substance. “Spin it to win it” is the byword for Trump’s military “strategy.”

A few examples:

  1. The disastrous raid on Yemen that led to the death of a Navy SEAL as well as many civilians, including children, was spun by the Trump administration as a great success. At the same time, Trump pinned the death of the SEAL on his generals, saying “they” lost him.
  2. The launch of 59 expensive cruise missiles against a Syrian airfield did little to change the actions of the Assad government. Nor did it knockout the airfield. Yet it was spun by Trump as a remarkable victory. In his words, “We’ve just fired 59 missiles, all of which hit, by the way, unbelievable, from, you know, hundreds of miles away, all of which hit, amazing. It’s so incredible. It’s brilliant. It’s genius. Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five. I mean look, we have, in terms of technology, nobody can even come close to competing.”
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New IHS Jane’s Study: Overthrow Assad and ISIS Comes Out on Top

President Trump’s about-face on Syria has left many of his supporters reeling. Repeatedly on the campaign trail – and over the past several years – he has mocked President Obama’s decision to get involved in a "regime change" project in Syria. He correctly warned Obama back in 2013 that if you attack Syria, "very bad things will happen." In his first several weeks in office the president has gone from praising Syrian President Assad for his fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda, to agreeing that "Assad can stay," to suddenly resurrecting the Obama mantra of "Assad must go!" All in a matter of two weeks!

But what happens if Trump, who is apparently under the spell of the neocons, is successful and Assad is finally overthrown? According to a new study by the prestigious, London-based IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, the chief beneficiaries of such a "success" will be ISIS.

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