Delusional Pentagon: ‘We Beat Iran Without Firing a Shot!’

Incoming US Defense Secretary Shanahan has informed us that Iran’s nefarious intentions toward the US and its allies in the region have been put on hold thanks to the deployment of a US carrier strike group and a handful of B-52s to the region. Details about the original threat, claimed by Bolton, Pompeo, and others, have not been revealed. We are expected to take the neocons’ word for it that there actually was a threat and that they defeated it. On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Fair Trial? US Steals Assange’s Legal Papers

The treacherous government of Ecuador has opened Julian Assange’s private quarters at its UK embassy up to US investigators, who have seized Assange’s legal defense documents, medical records, and electronic devices. In what kind of court is the prosecution allowed to see the defendant’s case before the trial? A Soviet courtroom? A kangaroo court? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

WikiLeaks Cable From 2009 About Houthis and Iran

The Trump administration consider the Houthi Rebels in Yemen to be an Iranian proxy and have accused Tehran of sending arms to the group. Trump blamed Iran for the war in Yemen in a statement from November of last year, “the country of Iran, as an example, is responsible for a bloody proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Yemen". But the Houthis have been fighting their own battle against the Yemeni Government since 2004.

A WikiLeaks cable dated December 9th 2009 from former US Ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche in Sa’na, Yemen addressed to the CIA and the Secretary of State, makes a strong case against claims that Tehran was arming the Houthis at the time:

"WEAPONS SUPPLY ————– 12. (S/NF) Contrary to ROYG(Republic of Yemen Government) claims that Iran is arming the Houthis, most local political analysts report that the Houthis obtain their weapons from the Yemeni black market and even from the ROYG military itself. According to a British diplomat, there are numerous credible reports that ROYG military commanders were selling weapons to the Houthis in the run-up to the Sixth War. An ICG report on the Sa’ada conflict from May 2009 quoted NSB director Ali Mohammed al-Ansi saying, “Iranians are not arming the Houthis. The weapons they use are Yemeni. Most actually come from fighters who fought against the socialists during the 1994 war and then sold them.” Mohammed Azzan, presidential advisor for Sa’ada affairs, told PolOff on August 16 that the Houthis easily obtain weapons inside Yemen, either from battlefield captures or by buying them from corrupt military commanders and soldiers. Azzan said that the military “covers up its failure” by saying the weapons come from Iran. According to Jamal Abdullah al-Shami of the Democracy School, there is little external oversight of the military’s large and increasing budget, so it is easy for members of the military to illegally sell weapons."

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The Reckless Saudis Want To Start Another War

Originally appeared on The American Conservative.

Bruce Riedel reports that the Saudi government is agitating for a U.S. attack on Iran, and the crown prince is the leading supporter of a new war:

Saudi Arabia is eager for the United States to take military action against Iran in the expectation that it will lead to regime change in Tehran. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is the leading hawk, has a disastrous track record in military affairs. The Saudis have called for an Arab summit in Mecca on May 30 to rally support against Iran.

The Saudi government-controlled and -directed press is openly pushing for “surgical strikes” by the United States against targets in Iran.

Mohammed bin Salman has appalling judgment and a terrible track record, so it comes as no surprise that he thinks having the US start a war with Iran is a good idea. Bogged down in a disastrous war of his own making in Yemen, he would have the US set the entire region aflame with more reckless military intervention. The Trump administration should obviously ignore Saudi calls for war, but given the president’s history of doing Riyadh’s bidding there is no guarantee that a concerted push from regional clients won’t have the desired effect. Saudi support for attacking Iran is the latest example of their government’s destructive and destabilizing role in the region, and it is another reminder that the crown prince is reckless and incapable of learning any of the right lessons from his previous failures. With any luck, the anti-Iranian summit later this month will be as much of a flop as the Trump administration’s failed gathering in Warsaw.

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Rockets In Baghdad’s Green Zone – False Flag Or Iran Attack?

A small rocket was fired in Baghdad’s Green Zone (the US Embassy neighborhood) yesterday and the Trump Administration has been quick to take advantage of the apparent attack to blame Iran. There was little damage and no casualties, but Bolton is using it to maximum advantage to push Trump toward war. Will Trump bite? On today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

William J. Astore on William Westmoreland and the Vietnam War

William Westmoreland (“Westy”) looked like a general should, and that was part of the problem. Tall, handsome, square-jawed, he carried himself rigidly; there was no slouching for Westy. A go-getter, a hard-charger, he did everything necessary to get promoted. He was a product of the Army, a product of a system that began at West Point during World War II and ended with four stars and command in Vietnam during the most critical years of that war (1965-68). His unimaginative and mediocre performance in a losing effort said (and says) much about that system.

I had these thoughts as I read Lewis Sorley’s devastating biography of Westy, recommended to me by a good friend. (Thanks, Paul!) Before tackling the big stuff about Westy, the Army, and Vietnam, I’d like to focus on little things that stayed with me as I read the book.

  1. Visiting West Point as the Army’s Chief of Staff, Westy met the new First Captain, the highest-ranking cadet. Westy thought this cadet wasn’t quite tall enough to be First Captain. It made me wonder whether Napoleon might have won Waterloo if he’d been as tall as Westy.
  2. Westy loved uniforms and awards. Sporting an impressive array of ribbons, badges, devices, and the like, his busy uniform was consistent with his concern for outward show, for image and action over substance and meaning.
  3. Westy tended to focus on the trivial. He’d visit lower commands and ask junior officers whether the troops were getting their mail (vital for morale, he thought). He’d ask narrow technical questions about mortars versus artillery performance. He was a details man in a position that required a much broader sweep of mind.
  4. Westy liked to doodle, including drawing the rank of a five-star general. He arguably saw himself as destined to this rank, following in the hallowed steps of Douglas MacArthur, Dwight Eisenhower, and Omar Bradley.
  5. Westy never attended professional military education (PME), such as the Army War College, and he showed little interest in books. He was incurious and rather proud of it.

Interestingly, Sorley cites another general who argued Westy’s career should have ended as a regimental colonel. Others believed he served adequately as a major general in command of a division. Above this rank, Westy was, some of his fellow officers agreed, out his depth.

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