Anyone hoping for a sign of change in US foreign policy was surely disappointed by last night’s vice presidential candidate debate. Both Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence made their foreign agenda clear: war. From a no fly zone in Syria to punishing “aggressive” Russia, the only disagreement was how on who could be the most warlike. In today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report we look at the vice presidency as an institution. It is more important than the “bucket of warm spit” as claimed by former US Vice President John Nance Garner. Eight US presidents have died in office, their vice presidents taking over for them. Significant figures like Theodore Roosevelt, LBJ, Harry Truman. What does it say that the two major party vice presidential candidates are so alike?
Should the United States reject the “first use” of nuclear weapons? That question was put to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during their first debate. Colonel (retired) Andrew Bacevich asks us to take their answers seriously in his latest insightful essay at TomDispatch.com, which I urge you to read here in full.
Trump was asked to respond first, and his rambling answer, I thought, showed the evidence of someone who had crammed for a test. He was desperate to show he knew something – anything – about America’s nuclear forces (here some may recall how Trump obviously knew little about America’s nuclear triad during the Republican primary debates). So Trump rambled on about obsolete B-52s flown by the sons and grandsons of previous pilots, a non sequitur since the B-52 has been continuously upgraded with new engines, advanced avionics, the latest in high-tech weaponry, and despite their age they’re still more than capable of doing the job. But somebody must have told Trump to use the B-52’s age as a talking point, and he was determined to get it in.
Bank Melli, one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks, was already a tenant in 1998 when Trump purchased the General Motors Building, above, in Manhattan, but he kept them on for another five years, until 2003.
When Islamic State beheads someone it is terrorism. When an Iraqi housewife beheads an ISIS fighter and cooks his skull, it is freedom. That is the CNN doctrine.
CNN reports the story of 39-year-old Wahida Mohamed aka Um Hanadi, an Iraqi woman who supposedly leads a tribal militia force of around 70 men south of Mosul. She and her band allegedly helped “government forces” drive Islamic State out of a small town.
“I began fighting the terrorists in 2004, working with Iraqi security forces and the coalition,” she told CNN. CNN cites no other source other than Um Hanadi herself and Facebook in its coverage.
Thanks to a non-profit investigative journalism organization we now know that the Pentagon paid British PR firm more than half a billion dollars over five years to create false propaganda designed to push the US story line on the Iraq war. How much of it was aimed at the Iraqis and how much came back to propagandize us? We don’t know. We do know that war brings fantastic profits to the well-connected. More on this blood money in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
While most of the focus on the presidential campaign remains on the weight of a former Miss Universe and unsubstantiated claims of a Russian plot to get Donald Trump elected, a story with at least a tenuous grounding in reality emerged today.
That’s a headline story if I’ve ever seen one. But is it true? Not really.
The bank in question, Bank Melli, was sanctioned in 2007 by the US Treasury Department on claims that, as a bank that exists in Iran, it had something to do with financial transactions related to Iran’s civilian nuclear enrichment program.
Which it probably did, being Iran’s main bank, which has some 30% of the market there. So did Trump violate sanctions by doing business with an “outlawed” bank? Not at all.
The “story” such as it is, is that Bank Melli rented office space in a Trump-owned building in New York City between 1998 and 2003. The sanctions, as noted above, only happened in 2007, years after the bank moved out of the building.