At Every Door by Kathy Kelly

“I come and stand at every door
But none shall hear my silent tread
I knock and yet remain unseen”

~ Nazim Hikmet

On July 18, 2017, at a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing focused on "The Four Famines: Root Causes and a Multilateral Action Plan," Republican Senator Todd Young, a former Marine, asked officials present if ongoing war in Yemen could fail to exacerbate the catastrophe developing there – one of four countries, along with Southern Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia, set to collectively lose 20 million people this year, one third the death toll of WWII, from conflict-driven famine. Yemen is being bombarded and blockaded, using US-supplied weapons and vehicles, by a local coalition marshaled by US client state Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s near-famine conditions, with attendant cholera outbreak, are so dire that in Yemen it is estimated a child dies every 10 minutes of preventable disease.

At the hearing, Senator Young held aloft a photo of a World Food Program warehouse in Yemen, which was destroyed in 2015. Senator Young asked David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Program, to name the country responsible for the airstrike that destroyed the food warehouse. Mr. Beasley said the Saudi-led coalition blockading Yemen had destroyed the warehouse, along with the relief supplies it contained.

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40,000 Civilians Dead In Mosul?

Writing in The Independent, veteran journalist Patrick Cockburn reports that as many as 40,000 civilians were killed in the nine month siege of Mosul. That is tens of thousands more than the Pentagon is reporting. The reason for the high figure, Cockburn explains, is that bombs flattened multi-story housing structures, smashing everyone inside. The photos from Mosul are jarring. Who won? Watch today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Rep. Walter Jones Appeals to President Trump To Get US Out of Afghanistan

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Many of us in the U.S. House of Representatives believe we have been denied our sacred duty to debate and declare war. You could say that I am disappointed by this. Disappointed because after 16 years in Afghanistan, Congress deserves another vote on this conflict. Disappointed because almost $1 trillion of taxpayers’ money has been spent with no direct goal or strategy. And most importantly, I am disappointed because we continue to lose American lives.

Sir, I am writing today because you seem to have had a change of heart on this issue:

1. In August of 2011, you agreed with Ron Paul and said the US was “wasting lives and money in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

2. In 2012, you referred to Afghanistan as a “complete waste,” and declared it was “time to come home.”

3. The next year, you said on Twitter, “Do not allow our very stupid leaders to sign a deal that keeps us in Afghanistan through 2024 – with all costs by U.S.A…”

4. You also tweeted that year, “Let’s get out of Afghanistan. Our troops are being killed by the Afghanis we train and we waste billions there. Nonsense! Rebuild the USA.”

Mr. President, I agree with those remarks, and so does the 31st Commandant of Marines Corps, my friend, and unofficial advisor, General Chuck Krulak. As he said in a recent email to me, “NO ONE has ever conquered Afghanistan…and many have tried. We will join the list of Nations that have tried and failed.”

Mr. President, that is why I am asking you to review this thinking before approving any troop level increases from General Mattis. I believe you would see great benefit and wisdom in asking Congress to debate and vote on troop level increases as well. You would then have the American people and their elected officials share a decision to send more of our sons and daughters into harm’s way. Once you come to a consensus, I suggest you publicly go before the American people and US military to explain the benchmarks you choose for Afghanistan. Previous administrations have not been able to clarify those endpoints, which is unfair to taxpayers and our troops. In the end, we all share this responsibility, and it is time that not only Congress but also the American people have a say. Sixteen years is enough!

Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires! We do not want a tombstone to read “United States of America.”

Respectfully,

Walter B. Jones
Member of Congress (R-NC)

New Survey: Americans Afraid of Major War. Whose Fault?

According to a new NBC News survey, some 76 percent of Americans are afraid of being drawn into a major war. That is a ten percent increase from just February. What’s behind this increased fear? The country that Americans feel most threatened by is North Korea, which has a GDP half the size of the US state of Vermont (which has the smallest GDP in the union). Who’s responsible for making Americans so afraid of relatively minor threats? The media? Neocons? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

William Astore on Silencing War Criticism

Grisly photos that show war as it is, in this case a dead Iraqi from Desert Storm, are not shown by the U.S. media

Jesse Ventura, former governor of Minnesota (1999-2003), was a hot media commodity as the Bush/Cheney administration was preparing for its invasion of Iraq in 2003. Ventura, a U.S. Navy veteran who gained notoriety as a professional wrestler before he entered politics, was both popular and outspoken. MSNBC won the bidding war for his services in 2003, signing him to a lucrative three-year contract to create his own show – until, that is, the network learned he was against the Iraq war. Ventura’s show quickly went away, even as the network paid him for three years to do nothing.

I heard this revealing story from a new podcast, the TARFU Report, hosted by Matt Taibbi and Alex Pareene. By his own account, Jesse Ventura was bought off by the network, which back then was owned by General Electric, a major defense contractor that was due to make billions of dollars off the war.

Of course, Ventura was hardly the only war critic to run afoul of GE/NBC. Phil Donahue, the famous talk show host, saw his highly rated show canceled when he gave dissenters and antiwar voices a fair hearing. Ashleigh Banfield, a reporter who covered the Iraq war, gave a speech in late April 2003 that criticized the antiseptic coverage of the war (extracts to follow below). For her perceptiveness and her honesty, she was reassigned and marginalized, demoted and silenced.

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Four Major Famines – Unintended Consequences Of US Foreign Policy

The UN has identified four countries where the threat of major famine – with potentially millions dead – is becoming reality. Though there are many factors contributing to famine, including bad economic policies, weather disturbances, and so one, in fact these four countries all have one thing in common: US military intervention. From Sudan to Somalia to Yemen to Nigeria, US foreign policy produces famine and death rather than destabilization overseas. We break it down in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.