War with Iran is next

If it wasn’t clear to Americans before, it should be clear today. After watching last night’s joint presidential candidate press conference, masquerading as a debate, no one should have any doubt that America’s state of perpetual and universal war will continue under President Barack Obama or a President Mitt Romney.

Regardless of which of these men is elected, America will go to war with Iran. Both said the a “nuclear-capable” Iran is a threat to U.S. “national security.” Both expressed unwavering, unequivocal – and unquestioning – support for Israel. “We stand with Israel,” said Obama. “We got their back,” said Gov. Romney.

As Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson noted, neither of them challenged the fundamental premise of endless foreign intervention.

“Rather, we have two candidates agreeing with one another about flawed foreign excursions we cannot afford,” he commented. “And remarkably, we heard a continuation of the fallacy that we can somehow balance the budget while spending more on defense. It doesn’t add up.”

Obama repeated the imperialist assertion that the United States is the “one, indispensable nation” in the world. They both claimed that one of their foreign policy goals would be to bring “democracy” to the Middle East, including Syria. But it was clear from the qualifications they outlined that they really did not mean democracy in the sense of government of, by, and for the people of that nation, but a government that complies with standards dictated by the United States.

Obama repeated the hubris that America is “the one, indispensable nation in the world.” Romney had some trouble geography when he said that Syria was Iran’s only ally in the region, and that give Iran access to the sea.

War myths and America’s drone terrorism

Just the other day, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. war in Afghanistan is "succeeding" and "has turned an important corner."

Chicago Tribute columnist Steve Chapman had the same reaction I did, “Where have I heard that before?”

Oh yes, could it have been in 2003, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld boasted, “We clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability. … The bulk of this country today is permissive, it’s secure.”

Chapman notes that four years later, Rummy pronounced Afghanistan "a big success," and then in 2011, Defense Secretary Robert Gates assured us the U.S. effort was "succeeding."

“There is a term for a war that is always ‘succeeding’ but never concluding: a failure. But Barack Obama has followed the custom of George W. Bush in pretending otherwise,” Chapman writes.

Another myth being perpetrated by the Obama Administration is the narrative that the use of drones is a “surgically precise and effective tool” that kills bad guys with minimal “collateral impacts,” meaning killing innocents.

A joint report Living Under Drones by the New York University School of Law’s Global Justice Clinic and Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic exposes this lie.

The use of drones to kill suspected terrorists in Pakistan is by definition itself an act of terrorism.

Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves.

Sheldon Richman of the Future of Freedom Foundation notes that the report also finds that the drone strikes killed 2,563-3,325 people in Pakistan from June 2004 through mid-September 2012, of whom 474–881 were civilians, including 176 children.

Incredibly, President Obama continues to deny the strikes kill civilians, even in the light of the U.S. tactic to make multiple drone strikes in one area that result in rescuers being killed.

Terrorist suicide bombers do the same thing, and we’re outraged by it. Why are we not outraged by this misuse of American military might?

“The Obama administration denies that it has killed civilians, but bear in mind that it considers any male of military age a ‘militant,’ Richman writes.

This is also an eerily and disturbingly familiar assertion, like the “body counts” of the Viet Nam war.

The Libya Lie

Almost everything we’ve been told about Libya, including the terrorist attack on the Benghazi consulate, is a lie. These two articles lay the blame for the lie squarely on President Barack Obama.

The reason Libyan streets aren’t safe and the country is ruled by roving gangs of militia is due to the U.S. bombing last year, writes Judge Andrew Napolitano on LewRockwell.com.

“In an unconstitutional act of war, the president alone ordered the bombing. It destroyed the Libyan military, national and local police, roads, bridges, and private homes. It facilitated the murder of our former ally Col. Gadhafi and ensured the replacement of him by a government that cannot govern.”

Libya wasn’t “liberated” but plunged into the chaos of tribal payback, observes Victor David Hanson in the National Review.

“Former Qaddafi supporters and African mercenaries were executed by those we helped. Islamists began consolidating power, desecrating a British military cemetery and driving out Westerners.”

Interventionism serves no national interest

Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson believes, as I do, that the Bush-Obama-and-now-Romney interventionist foreign policy is getting Americans killed and contributing to the bankruptcy of our nation without clear sight of our national interests.

Writing in an op ed published in the Huffington Post, Johnson said, “Foreign policy is supposed to make us safer, not get Americans killed and bankrupt us.

“Yet, even as we mourn the loss of four Americans in Libya and watch the Middle East ignite with anti-American fervor, our leaders don’t get it,” he said.

As someone who grew up during the Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union vied for the allegiance of so-called Third World nations, seeing mobs attack American businesses and sack American embassies is nothing new.

It was the price the United States paid for supporting dictators and oligarchies who were supposedly “anti-communist,” no matter have much they oppressed, starved, imprisoned or murdered their people. When you support the “lesser of two evils” — either in foreign policy or at the ballot box – all you get is evil.

During the Vietnam War, and whenever American troops were sent to “restore order” or “secure democracy” in any foreign nation from Latin America to the Middle East, inevitably there were anti-American demonstrations.

Certainly, the Soviets encouraged and financed many of them, just as the State Department and CIA encouraged and supported anti-Soviet demonstrations, and helped overthrow foreign rulers who weren’t “anti-communist” enough.

But the root cause of most of these demonstrations was blowback from American interventionism, the inevitable result of the arrogance and hubris perpetrated by successive Republican and Democratic administrations.

The demonstrations now sweeping the Middle East are not about any video.

Gov. Johnson comments on Libya consulate attack

Libertarian presidential candidate Gov. Gary Johnson said the death of Americans in the attack on a Libya consulate was tragic, but honoring their services requires asking the obvious question: What U.S. interest is being served by putting our people in places where they can be killed by extremists over a video?

“Protecting America with a strong national defense and a rational foreign policy is our leaders’ most basic responsibility,” he said in a statement “But let us not confuse national security with senseless intervention where our interests are clearly not being served.”

Read the full statement →

Federal Court Blocks Indefinite Detention

“A federal judge in Manhattan has blocked enforcement of provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that allow the government to place individuals they claim supported al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces” in indefinite military detention.”

Read more here.

CISPA Another Assault on the Constitution

Whenever a Congressional bill is praise for being “bipartisan” there’s one thing you can be sure of: it’s an assault on the U.S. Constitution and your freedom and liberty. You can also be certain that the more “bipartisan” the bill is, the greater the damage to your rights.

Such is the case with HR 3523, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which just passed the House 248-168.

District 2 Rep. Renee Ellmers voted for the bill.

For the record, I would not have voted for the bill.

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Ten years of fear is enough

“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear, kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.” (Gen. Douglas MacArthur)

BURNET, Texas (Sept. 7) – As we approach the tenth anniversary of one of the most devastating events in American history, we will be inundated with a mind-numbing around-the-clock media coverage of the event. We will be flooded with a rehash of the events of that tragic day, hear countless stories about heroes, be subjected, once again, to endless analysis from “experts” about why this attack occurred, and listen to political leaders pontificate on the meaning of the tragedy in memorial services, newspapers and on radio and television. We will see the tragic events over and over again just as they were captured that day when people all over the world sat in front of their televisions and watched the horror as the twin towers came tumbling down.

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Raleigh anti-war activist join nationwide protest

Raleigh antiwar activists will join a nationwide protest Thursday, June 16 in support of Carlos Montes, a longtime Chicano activist, immigration rights advocate and member of the Committee to Stop FBI Repression, arrested by the FBI May 17.

The protest will be held outside the Federal Building, 310 New Bern Ave., Raleigh 9 a.m. That same day Montes is scheduled for his first court appearance in Los Angeles. It’s being organized by the Triangle Committee to Stop FBI Represssion.

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Patriot Act renewal gives terrorists another victory

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and thus clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
– H.L. Mencken

BURNET, Texas (June 1) – Using the same tactics of secrecy, deceit, outright lies and fear that they have been using for ten years, Democrats and Republicans steamrolled over the opposition and stampeded Congress into renewing several provisions of the Patriotic Act last week. Once again, both Democrats and Republicans dishonored their oath of office and voted for a bill that will continue to erode the freedom and liberty of all Americans. Thanks to Congress, score another victory for every terrorist in the world who seeks to destroy the land of the free and home of the brave.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even went so far as to accuse Sen. Rand Paul of wanting to put “guns in the hands of terrorists” for daring to offer amendments to the law to protect the liberties of Americans. Sen. Paul had better be careful, because such actions could be construed by federal prosecutors as giving “material aide” to terrorists under the Patriot Act.

At the same time the bipartisan leadership was ramrodding this bill through the Senate, war-hawks in the House of Representatives were quietly voting to give the president the power to take our country to war anywhere in the world, at any time, without further congressional authorization. In a typical tactic used when politicians fear a public outcry, they buried this grant of monarchical power to the president in a defense appropriation bill.

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