Aside from being laughed at by the audience, Trump achieved very little in his speech to the U.N. General Assembly today. The president talked a lot about the importance of sovereignty, and then called on the rest of the world to gang up on Iran to infringe on their sovereignty. It is nothing new for hard-liners to treat the sovereignty of their country as sacrosanct at the same time that they routinely violate the sovereignty of other states, but Trump made a point of boasting about this double standard before the entire world.
There was also the usual hypocritical denunciation of Iranian behavior that we have come to expect in these speeches:
“Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction,” Trump said in his address. “They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.
Other governments would have more reason to use those descriptions for the behavior of our government in the Middle East over the last thirty years. Iran has pursued destructive policies during the same period, but the same could be said of several U.S. clients as well. Trump refers to Iran’s “agenda of aggression and expansion,” which would much more accurately describe the actions of the Saudis and Emiratis. The president had the gall to praise the Saudis and Emiratis for their humanitarian assistance to Yemen when it is their U.S.-backed bombing campaign and blockade that created the catastrophe that threatens to claim millions of lives. Trump ignores the latter because the US is aiding and abetting the coalition in its war crimes and shares responsibility for creating the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. The Saudi coalition’s leaders and our political leaders are just as guilty of sowing death and destruction, and in Yemen they are doing so on a massive scale.
Ron Paul returns with another episode of his popular #AskRonPaul program in today’s Liberty Report. Who was the worst president? Military spending out of control? What will more tariffs on China do to our economy? Tune in…
China’s “social credit” system is widely viewed as a kind of “digital dictatorship,” where not only does illegal or anti-social behavior result in lower scores and therefore less privileges, but political dissent also earns one lower “social credit” scores. While the anti-China crowd is busy pointing a finger at Beijing for such an authoritarian approach, a similar system is being put in place in the United States. How? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Mike Pompeo’s certification earlier this month that the Saudi coalition was working to reduce harm to civilians in Yemen was an obvious sham. According to a new report in The Wall Street Journal, Pompeo made the decision to lie for the Saudis and Emiratis because he feared it would hurt arms sales:
Mr. Pompeo overruled concerns from most of the State Department specialists involved in the debate who were worried about the rising civilian death toll in Yemen. Those who objected included specialists in the region and in military affairs. He sided with his legislative affairs team after they argued that suspending support could undercut plans to sell more than 120,000 precision-guided missiles to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to a classified State Department memo and people familiar with the debate.
Cutting off refueling to the coalition likely would make it extremely difficult to sell more weapons to the Saudis and Emiratis, but that is not a good reason to ignore evidence and expert advice and then lie to Congress. Opponents of the war have been trying to block arms sales to both countries for years, and this just gives them one more reason to keep trying. The U.S. should not be in the business of arming governments that we know will use them to commit war crimes, and that certainly applies to the Saudis and the UAE as long as the war on Yemen continues. The longer that the war drags on, and the more civilians that the coalition kills using U.S.-made weapons, the more politically toxic arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE will become. In the end, Pompeo’s decision to flout the law and lie to Congress will just make opposition to future arms sales that much more intense.
Due to the approach of Hurricane Florence, today marked the end of the Disarm Trident Peace Walk. Some 50 people in all took part in the walk from Savannah to Kings Bay, Georgia, in support of the Seven Catholic peace activists of the Kings Bay Plowshares.
On April 4th, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the seven entered Naval Station Kings Bay, home to six Trident ballistic missile submarines. Each Trident can carry the explosive power of some 1825 Hiroshima-sized atomic bombs – if they are ever used it will mean the end of the world. The activists carried hammers and bottles of their own blood into the base to "beat swords into plowshares," as the Hebrew Prophets envisioned. Finding no subs in port, they poured blood on the base logo, hammered on a concrete model of a Trident D5 missile, crisscrossed the administration building with yellow crime scene tape, and hung banners on the fence surrounding the nuclear weapons bunkers reading "The Ultimate Logic of Racism is Genocide~MLK" and "The Ultimate Logic of Trident is Omnicide." Two of the activists remain in the Glynn County Detention Center and five are out on house arrest. All await a hearing on their motion to argue the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in their defense, and then a trial date.
The Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, IRmep announces a lawsuit has been filed against the National Archives and Records Administration demanding immediate release of presidential letters held by the George W. Bush and William J. Clinton presidential libraries.
The New Yorker in June reported Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump all issued letters at the beginning of their terms promising never to pressure the Israeli government into signing the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) or publicly discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons program.
IRmep believes the government of Israel sought the guarantees in order to preempt Arms Export Control Act AECA limitations on U.S. aid to foreign countries with clandestine nuclear weapons programs.