Yesterday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson swore into office a new Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Dr. A. Wess Mitchell became the Trump Administration’s top diplomat for Europe, “responsible for diplomatic relations with 50 countries in Europe and Eurasia, and with NATO, the EU and the OSCE.”
Readers will recall that the position was most recently held during the Obama Administration by Kagan family neocon, Victoria Nuland, who was key catalyst and cookie provider for the US-backed coup overthrowing the elected government in Ukraine. Victoria Nuland’s virulently anti-Russia position was a trademark of the neocon persuasion and she put ideology into action by “midwifing,” in her own words, an illegal change of government in Ukraine.
It was Nuland’s coup that laid the groundwork for a precipitous decay in US/Russia relations, as Washington’s neocons peddled the false line that “Russia invaded Ukraine” to cover up for the fact that it was the US government that had meddled in Ukrainian affairs. The coup was bloody and divisive, resulting in a de-facto split in the country that continues to the day. Ukraine did not flourish as a result of this neocon scheme, but has in fact been in economic free-fall since the US government installed its preferred politicians into positions of power.
"We’re long past the time we should have gotten out of Afghanistan," US Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) told the Oversight & Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security today. The Congressman, who sits on the Ron Paul Institute’s Board of Advisors, brought in quotes from Georgie Anne Geyer, William F. Buckley, Jr., and even the New York Times, to make the case that our involvement in places like Afghanistan for years on end weaken the United States. "I cannot understand how any true fiscal conservative can be in favor of dragging this war on forever," he told the Committee.
Rep. Duncan has long made the case that true conservatives should not support massive and endless military adventurism overseas. Eight years ago, he wrote:
Conservatives who oppose big government and huge deficit spending at home should not support it in foreign countries just because it is being done by our biggest bureaucracy, the Defense Department. We have now spent $1.5 trillion that we did not have – that we had to borrow – in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sadly, Rep. Duncan could have simply re-read that statement today, as aside from the numbers not much has changed since 2009. Certainly "victory" is no closer today than it was back then.
Rep. Duncan expressed regret at the meaninglessness of the ongoing wars in his statement to the Committee today, adding that, "It’s very sad that we have allowed all these trillions of dollars to be spent and all those lives that have been lost needlessly."
With Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act set to expire at the end of the year, Congress is scurrying to find a way to preserve the post-9/11 authority for the government to conduct mass surveillance of US citizens’ communications. They have come up with another Orwellian bill, the USA LIBERTY Act, which would fix none of Fourth Amendment problems of the original bill but would make the original unconstitutional bill permanent. So “Liberty” to Congress is a mass surveillance state. The Cato Institute’s Patrick Eddington joins today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report to discuss 702 and its possible replacement bill:
With President Trump again facing the requirement to certify whether Iran is complying with the P5+1 nuclear deal this month, it looks like a major clash may be brewing between the president and the neocons on one side, and the military generals he openly embraces in his Administration on the other. What might normally be a fairly automatic and objective process is looking more like a clash of the titans for the Administration. Who will blink?
In what must be a relatively uncommon if not unprecedented move, President Trump’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – the country’s senior-most military officer – Gen. Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week that Iran is complying with the agreement and that the United States would suffer negative consequences if it pulled out of the deal.
It’s not only “the generals” that President Trump defers to when it comes to war overseas. He’s also planning to defer to Mike Pompeo and the CIA when it comes to operating killer drones in the “theaters” of military operations. Where President Obama toward the end of his term was phasing out the CIA drone program – partly because of the high civilian casualties – President Trump is seeking to ramp up the program and loosen the terms of engagement. Count on many more civilian casualties, which creates many more terrorists, which fuels the perceived need for US military action abroad, and so on…
Why is the Pentagon spending billions of dollars purchasing Soviet and east European weapons to ship to Syrian rebels? A blockbuster Bulgarian investigative report exposes the lies and illegality of the purchases and shipments; several mainstream investigations corroborate the Bulgarian report. Investigative Reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva joins the Ron Paul Liberty Report to explain her findings – and why they got her interrogated and fired: