New Sanctions Strangle the Iranian People Even More

Originally appeared at The American Conservative.

The latest Iran sanctions imposed by the Trump administration are yet another attack on the civilian population. Brian O’Toole explains:

The CBI has already been sanctioned for at least two decades, generally prohibiting US companies from engaging in business with the CBI, and subject to secondary sanctions for a decade, threatening sanctions against foreign financial institutions for engaging with the CBI. The September 20 action in practical terms only serves to remove the CBI’s status as falling within the US humanitarian exemptions for Iran and further impedes the delivery of food, medicine, and medical devices to Iran [bold mine-DL].

It was already clear that the Trump administration wasn’t interested in providing safe channels for humanitarian trade. They have refused to identify safe channels, they have discouraged other governments from setting up their own, and they have threatened our allies when they try to create workarounds to facilitate humanitarian trade. The administration has imposed such onerous restrictions on financial institutions that it was very difficult if not impossible for Iranians to make payments for the imported goods they need. This is a well-documented problem that is leading directly to shortages of critical medicines for cancer patients and others suffering from rare and serious diseases. Now the administration has made the noose even tighter. The Iranian people are once again the ones that will pay the price for this vengeful abuse of power. O’Toole continues:

The only appreciable impact of the September 20 designation will be to further impair the delivery of food and medicine to the Iranian people, who are already struggling to get needed supplies and to antagonize US partners around the globe who want to export such goods, especially the European Union.

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If the Facts Come Out, it Could Spell the End for Joe Biden

The Joe Biden-friendly Establishment media has mounted a full-court press to “prove” that Biden is, well, not a crook.

The stakes are extremely high, Biden is vulnerable, and media players are using to a faretheewell the old adage about the best defense being a good offense. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal are desperately trying to steal the ball and get ahead in the publicity game. But time is about to run out, and preemptive propaganda is unlikely to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. IF the facts do come out and IF they are reported, Biden’s presidential hopes may suffer a mortal blow.

When the corruption in which the former Vice President and his son Hunter were involved in Ukraine becomes more widely known, the press wants to be in position to “show” that it’s all the fault of President Donald Trump and his lawyers for trying to derail Biden’s candidacy by exposing him. If past is precedent, the media will largely succeed. The question is whether enough people will, nevertheless, be able to see through this all-too-familiar charade.

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Threat Hyperinflation at Centcom

Originally appeared at The American Conservative.

Buried in this New York Timesreport is a very revealing detail about the current head of Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, and his absurdly exaggerated view of Iranian power:

Military planners are also advancing the idea of deploying more American forces to the region without taking direct action against Iran. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the commander of Central Command, which oversees American military operations in the Middle East, has pushed to send additional troops to the region, senior military officials said.

In meetings and in memos, the general has argued that the United States should view Iran as a great power or near-peer threat [bold mine-DL], much as the Trump administration’s formal national security strategy views China, Russia and North Korea.

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The US Navy’s Attitude About Releasing UFO Videos Is More Disturbing Than the UFO Videos

The US Navy confirms that three online videos showing two military air encounters with what it calls “unexplained aerial phenomena,” and the rest of us call “unidentified flying objects” are authentic, Popular Mechanics reports.

The videos are interesting, and some might find them disturbing. What’s more disturbing to me is that the Navy thinks they’re none of our business 15, or even four, years later (the incidents occurred in 2004 and 2015).

Pentagon spokesperson Susan Gough tells The Black Vault website, “[t]he videos were never officially released to the general public by the DoD and should still be withheld.”

The videos aren’t classified. They just haven’t been “cleared for public release.”

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Trump Names New National Security Advisor – Bolton Without the Mustache?

President Trump has named Robert O’Brien, who served as foreign affairs advisor to Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, as his replacement for fired National Security Advisor John Bolton. O’Brien is cut from the exact same neoconservative cloth as Bolton and represents, at most, change in style and physical appearance. With pressure mounting on Trump to attack Iran after unproven accusations that it was involved in an attack on Saudi oil facilities, the President’s national security team may find itself without allies in the effort. Will O’Brien put the brakes on Trump’s neocons… or will he hit the accelerator? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.