On March 15, US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) revealed just how ridiculous the American political establishment’s reliance on Vladimir Putin as boogeyman has become.
McCain, seeking the Senate’s unanimous consent to advance a bill supporting admission of the small country of Montenegro to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, warned that anyone who dissented would be “carrying out the desires and ambitions of [Russian president Vladimir] Putin.” True to form, when Kentucky Republican Rand Paul objected (meaning only that the matter will actually be debated instead of rubber-stamped), McCain asserted that “the senator from Kentucky is now working for Vladimir Putin.”
Paul’s having some fun with McCain’s over-the-top theatrics, describing McCain as “past his prime” and “unhinged” on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. But let’s set aside the rivalry aspect and look at what McCain’s hysterical performance says about US foreign policy.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Lee led a bipartisan coalition of House members in demanding the Trump Administration halt escalating military engagement in Syria. The coalition included: Congressman Walter Jones, Congressman Peter DeFazio, Congressman Keith Ellison, Congressman Ted Lieu, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Peter Welch, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and Congressman Rick Nolan. The Members were also joined by Afghanistan War Veteran Richard Allen Smith.
“For over a decade, the executive branch has waged endless war in the Middle East with no meaningful oversight from Congress. President Trump’s decision to drag us deeper into this quagmire, without any debate or vote in Congress, endangers our troops and our long-term national security,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “If Congress truly believes that our service members should be fighting in the Syrian Civil War, then our elected officials need to make that case to the American people. Absent of that debate and vote, Congress should not be funding U.S. boots on the ground in Syria.
“H.R. 1473 would prohibit the expansion of U.S. ground troops in Syria. This bipartisan legislation prevents President Trump from unilaterally intensifying this war without Congressional input and engagement. Going forward, we must repeal the 2001 AUMF that has served as a blank check for any president to wage war anywhere in the world and at any time. I urge Congress to wake up, learn from our mistakes, and hold an honest debate and vote on these ongoing wars and our strategy against ISIL.”
To Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Russian President Vladimir Putin is a tarantula spinning a web to trap the United States. Rigging the election in Trump’s favor was just the start of his plan of conquest. In yesterday’s House Intelligence Committee hearing on Russian influence in the Trump Administration and campaign, Ranking Member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) read from the discredited opposition research dossier on Trump and noted that it might not be true…but then again it might. So more investigations are needed. In the end, nothing new was revealed, only speculation on the part of the Members and of witness, FBI Director James Comey. It was a classic Washington dog and pony show. We look at the distraction of the House hearing in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Anyone who’s been in the military knows what happens as the end of a fiscal year approaches: wild spending. Any money that’s left in your budget must be spent, if only to justify next year’s budgetary appropriation. Woe to any unit with leftover money! Not only is there no incentive to economize at the Pentagon: there’s a negative incentive to save money, and a positive one to spend as much as possible within your yearly allotment, while complaining to anyone within earshot that you never have enough.
Trump has already promised to enlarge Pentagon funding by 10% next year, or roughly $54 billion. According to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, Trump’s budget is all about “hard-power,” a signal to “our allies and our potential adversaries that this is a strong-power administration.” At $54 billion, that is indeed a very expensive signal.
The neocons may have backed Hillary Clinton for the presidency, but that doesn’t stop them from demanding the right to define our foreign policy in the Trump Administration. They get their money from the military-industrial complex and unlimited mainstream media exposure as the “experts” — even though they are always wrong. The first family of neoconservatism, the Kagans, have recently regrouped after the election and have taken to the media to demand more war footing against Russia and a return to the policy of “regime change” in Syria. It appears they are making inroads in the Trump Administration. We discuss the neocon phoenix in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Last week’s Trump-Merkel Press Conference was disturbing on several levels. Worst of all was the scene of a German Chancellor listening to an American president boast about how strong his military is, and how much stronger it soon will be. Not that long ago in historical terms, Germany was a country that stressed military dominance. Two lost world wars cured Germany of its militarism. American militarism has taken its place.
As Trump responded to questions, again and again he returned to the U.S. military, vowing that he’s going to strengthen it from its “depleted” condition, perhaps to a level of power that “we’ve never seen before.”
America as a country is “very strong, very strong,” said Trump, a “very powerful company/country,” and soon the US military would be “stronger,” and “perhaps far stronger than ever before.” Naturally, the president added that he hoped he wouldn’t have to use that “far stronger” military, even as the US military garrisons the globe at more than 700 bases while launching ongoing attacks against “radical Islamic terrorism” (Trump loves enunciating those three words) in places like Yemen.