Why Is Petraeus an Expert on Mosul?

General (retired) David Petraeus was on PBS the other day to explain the current Iraqi offensive on Mosul. Sure, his military “surges” in Iraq and Afghanistan had no staying power, and he disgraced himself by sharing classified information with his mistress during an extramarital affair, but nevertheless let’s call on him as an unbiased “expert” on all things military. Right?

Anyway, I thought the following words of Petraeus were revealing:

But that’s the extent of what we [the U.S.] can do [in Iraq today]. We can encourage, we can nudge, we can cajole [the Iraqi military and Kurdish forces]. We can’t force. And it is going to have to be Iraqis at the end of the day that come together, recognizing that, if they cannot, fertile fields will be planted for the planting of the seeds of ISIS 3.0, of further extremism in Iraq.

Wow. There’s no sense here that the US is to blame for planting the seeds of Iraqi extremism (or, at the very least, fertilizing them) in those “fertile fields.” Overthrowing Saddam Hussein in 2003 and demobilizing Iraqi military forces predictably left a power vacuum that facilitated factionalism and extremism in Iraq, which was only exacerbated by an extended and mismanaged US occupation. Petraeus’s “Surge” in 2007 papered over some of the worst cracks, but only temporarily, a fact that Petraeus himself knew (consider all his caveats about “gains” being “fragile” and “reversible”).

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Which One Is Less Evil?

Donald Trump seems to be a shady dealer, a blusterer, a prevaricator, an abuser of women — not my choice for president. Yet a case can be made for Trump as the slightly lesser of two evils.

Hillary Clinton could be called an abuser of women, children, and men – through war.

As first lady, she encouraged husband Bill to bomb Yugoslavia, without congressional authorization. As senator, she voted to let George W. Bush commit aggression against Iraq. As secretary of state she pushed presidential intervention in Libya and Syria. In the military actions to thwart the leaders of those four lands, a myriad of civilians have perished or suffered.

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‘Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life’

I’ve written often about our Iraqi refugee friend and his oldest son from Baghdad. I will call them Mohammed and Ahmed. They made the torturous flight last year from Baghdad to Kurdistan and then across Turkey. They were on three Greek islands before permission was granted them to continue their trip. They passed through several countries at the time the borders were being closed. They arrived finally at their destination in late September 2015. Finland.

Having lived with this family in Baghdad, I have the faces of the wife and each of the children before me. Below is a photo of two of Mohammed’s children.


Generally, I use Mohammed’s words, quoting him in a first person narrative. He told the story of their desperate life-threatening journey over a year ago. They went to Finland with the hope that fewer refugees would travel so far, that they would get asylum quicker and be reunited with their family, Mohammed’s wife and the other six children in Iraq. Together with a small group of friends, Kathy Kelly and I were able to visit them in Finland in the deep winter cold this past January. We were able to bring them for a few days from the camp to Helsinki where they were warmly received by many Finnish people involved in the peace movement, journalists among them.

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Ron Paul asks: Are The Russians Rigging Our Elections?

In last night’s presidential debate, Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton accused the Russians of manipulating the US electoral system to get Republican candidate Donald Trump elected president. She claimed:

We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election.

She went on to say that if elected, Trump would be “Putin’s puppet.” In other words, that the president of the United States would be an agent of a foreign power. Is there any truth to the claim? You might be surprised how much we learn when delving into foreign manipulation of elections. Join us in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.