Ron Paul on the Philippine Pivot To China: What Does It Mean?

If you do what Washington says, they send you money. If you don’t, they send you bombs. Now that Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has claimed he wants to pivot away from the US and toward China, can he expect some of those bombs? Or perhaps just a CIA-sponsored coup? What if this realignment could serve to end the foolish mutual defense treaty the US has had with the Philippines since the 1950s? Wouldn’t it be better if young Americans didn’t face the possibility of being killed while fighting for Philippine fishing rights in the South China Sea? More on the shift and what it means in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

The Tragedy in Yemen

Imagine if the Islamic Republic of Iran, complaining that its regional rival Saudi Arabia was meddling in a neighbor’s politics for sectarian reasons, led a coalition to invade that country. As a result, after 18 months, at least 10,000 civilians had been killed or wounded, more than half the country’s people needed food aid and three million people had been displaced.

Sanctions would be leveled. Pundits would write agonized essays comparing the country to Nazi Germany. Sabers would be rattled. War would likely follow. However, when these roles are reversed and the Saudis and their Gulf allies are the aggressors, it’s a different story.

Why the double standard? Because the US is allied to the Saudi royals and the US was evicted from Iran. When a friend commits a war crime, excuses are made.

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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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