Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of President George W. Bush signing the PATRIOT Act into law. It was supposed to be only a temporary measure to address the emergency situation caused by the attacks of 9/11. Fifteen years later it has been re-authorized many times and last year some of its worst parts were codified into law in the USA FREEDOM Act. From the War Powers Resolution, to the FISA Court, to the “reform” USA FREEDOM Act, bills that were designed to rein in government abuses end up just giving government more power. Is there anything we can do about it? Ron Paul Institute Senior Fellow Adam Dick joins today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report to discuss:
Virginia State Senator Richard Black was curious about why the US seemed to be attacking only secular countries in the Middle East. Why attack Libya? Why Syria? So he decided to go over to Syria and see for himself. After meeting Syrian president Assad and speaking favorably about the situation with Christians under his rule, Sen. Black earned himself a place on ISIS’s “enemy list.” For not taking the Washington line that “Assad must go” he also earned a place on the Washington Post’s “enemy list.” Are we on the wrong side in Syria? Today, with Sen. Black, on the Ron Paul Liberty Report:
When it comes to the Pentagon, nothing succeeds like failure. That is the message of William Hartung’s latest article at TomDispatch.com. The Pentagon, Hartung notes, continues to receive massive funding from the American taxpayer, even as its various wars drag on, seemingly without end. Hartung, who wrote a book on Lockheed Martin and the military-industrial complex, has a knack for revealing the latest Pentagon follies. Even as you read his latest at TomDispatch.com, I’d like to add two more items to his list:
1. Washington Think Tanks: Perhaps you’ve heard of them, centers for thinking about national defense, hiring the best and the brightest to come up with disinterested recommendations to safeguard America. Ha! A few days ago, The National Interest ran an article on what these think tanks were proposing, the “latest fashions in warfighting,” as the article’s title put it. Please note there’s no “fashion” in peacemaking or war-ending.
Four out of the five think tanks featured in the article were in basic agreement. “Deterrence” had to be based on massive investments in offensive weaponry. There was much agreement as well on modernizing America’s nuclear arsenal, on the need to feature more drones and other unmanned platforms, on air power and power projection, as well as support for the wildly expensive F-35 jet fighter. In sum, more of the same at the Pentagon, only more.
The compliant mainstream western media are playing the US/Iraqi assault on ISIS-held Mosul as a great liberation of the people. Atrocity stories of life under two years o fISIS control are all over the media. But what of life under five years of al-Qaeda rule over east Aleppo? Not a word. The media only reports US government tales of Syria and Russia targeting hospitals and schools and aiming for civilians. The hypocrisy is incredible. But what of the battle for Mosul? Will it finally give the US interventionists the victory they have found elusive thus far in the 13 year war? Don’t hold your breath. More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
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:
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.