The mainstream media portrays the fight for Aleppo as one between Syrian President Assad and the people, painting Assad as someone killing his citizens for the fun of it. In other words, as they did with Iraq and Libya, etc. the mainstream media again happily takes up the role of mouthpiece of the US government. The reality is quite different, in fact. Today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report speaks with independent journalist Vanessa Beeley, who has recently returned from an investigative trip to Syria including in Aleppo. What’s really going on there? Tune in!
Today brings yet another announcement of more U.S. troops to Iraq. This time 600 are being sent as logistics support, advisers, and enablers (that term, “enabler,” is fuzzy indeed: enabler of what? More failure?). That brings the number of US troops in Iraq to more than 5200, but of course this figure seriously under-represents the American presence in the region. Nowadays, most “troops” are provided by private contractors, and many of these are US military veterans who discovered they could make a lot more money wearing mufti than in Uncle Sam’s uniforms. At the same time, the US continues to provide heavy-duty weaponry to the Iraqi military, including Apache attack helicopters and the HIMARS rocket system. All of this is intended to help the Iraqi military retake the city of Mosul.
That the US is yet again providing more troops as well as heavy weapons as “force multipliers” highlights the failure of US military efforts to “stand up” an effective Iraqi military. The enemy, after all, has no Apache helicopters, no HIMARS system, and no US advisers, although we certainly “enable” them with all the US weaponry they’ve been able to capture or steal. Despite a lack of US military training and aid, ISIS and crew have proven to be remarkably resilient. What gives?
In an interview with a prominent German newspaper, the commander of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Aleppo, Syria claims that the US government and its allies are providing it with weapons and training. It may seem preposterous, but the US did the same thing with the mujahideen in Afghanistan after the 1979 Soviet invasion. And we all know what that led to… History repeats? Today on the Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Former CIA official John Kiriakou, who spent two years in prison for revealing the truth about White House-sanctioned torture, became the 15th recipient of the Sam Adams Award for Integrity at a ceremony at America University.
Last year, PEN Center USA, a human rights and freedom of expression organization, honored John Kiriakou, with its “First Amendment” award. It has since become clear that while John Kiriakou sat in prison, Senate Intelligence Committee investigators were uncovering heinous details about torture by the CIA from its own original banality-of-evil cables, which showed that CIA and others had lied in claiming torture “worked.”
My parents taught me a lot of common sense sayings. You’ve probably heard this one: mind your own business, or MYOB. Most people have enough problems of their own; it’s not a good idea to compound one’s problems by messing around with other people’s lives.
What’s common sense for individuals is also common sense for nations. Think of the USA. We’ve got plenty of problems: crumbling infrastructure, inefficient and inadequate health care, too many people in too many prisons, social divides based on race and sex and class, drug and alcohol abuse, not enough decent-paying jobs, huge budgetary deficits, the list goes on. Yet instead of looking inwards to address our problems, too often we look outwards and interfere in the lives of others. How can we solve other people’s problems when we can’t solve our own?
Consider our nation’s foreign policy, which is basically driven by our military. We have a global array of military bases, somewhere around 700. We spend roughly $700 billion a year on national “defense” and wars, ensuring that we have “global reach, global power.” To what end? Our nation’s first president, George Washington, famously warned us to avoid foreign entanglements. The nation’s great experiment in republican democracy, Washington knew, could easily be compromised by unwise alliances and costly wars.
A good friend passed along an article at Forbes from a month ago with the pregnant title, “U.S. Army Fears Major War Likely Within Five Years — But Lacks The Money To Prepare.” Basically, the article argues that war is possible — even likely — within five years with Russia or North Korea or Iran, or maybe all three, but that America’s army is short of money to prepare for these wars. This despite the fact that America spends roughly $700 billion each and every year on defense and overseas wars.
Now, the author’s agenda is quite clear, as he states at the end of his article: “Several of the Army’s equipment suppliers are contributors to my think tank and/or consulting clients.” He’s writing an alarmist article about the probability of future wars at the same time as he’s profiting from the sales of weaponry to the army.
As General Smedley Butler, twice awarded the Medal of Honor, said: War is a racket. Wars will persist as long as people see them as a “core product,” as a business opportunity. In capitalism, the profit motive is often amoral; greed is good, even when it feeds war. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is willing to play along. It always sees “vulnerabilities” and always wants more money.