As the US names its 18th military commander in the 17 year long war on Afghanistan, is there any reason to believe that victory is in sight? The latest reports by the Pentagon to Congress show that no progress has been made and another recent report by the Special Inspector General found that the Afghan army is losing soldiers at an alarming rate. Washington's proxies in Afghanistan don't want to fight. So why not just end the war? Tune in to today's Liberty Report:
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a speech to the neoconservative Heritage Foundation in which he made 12 US demands of the Iranian government. The demands were in places laughably inaccurate -- demanding Iran close a heavy water reactor that has been dismantled for years -- that one wonders whether it was just incompetence or whether they simply don't care. The US is backing itself into a corner over Iran, risking losing its European allies and further emboldening Russia and China. What's next? Tune in to today's Liberty Report:
Turns out there really was foreign collusion in the 2016 US presidential election. UK spies colluded with Obama hold-overs in the US deep state to try and get Hillary elected. When that failed they invented "Russiagate" to try and overthrow the US election. Will President Trump wake up and see the danger that the US intelligence agencies pose not only to his presidency, but to the whole country? Tune in to today's Liberty Report:
The European Union is furious over President Trump's "capricious aggressiveness" in foreign policy, particularly after his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. While Washington Beltway "deep state" denizens moan over losing influence in Europe, there is a silver lining in Trump's bombastic foreign policy: if Europe gets a divorce from the US there will be much less opportunities for US meddling. What will Russia do? Join today's Liberty Report:
If President Trump is serious in his desire to seal an historic deal with North Korea then his employees are actively working against him. Based on National Security Advisor John Bolton's bombastic CNN appearance over the weekend, the North Koreans have cancelled a high-level inter-Korea meeting scheduled for today and have suggested that the Trump/Kim summit scheduled for next month might be cancelled. Will warmongering Bolton trump Trump on Korea? Tune in to today's Liberty Report:
As President Trump's daughter and son-in-law were celebrating the US embassy's move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, dozens of Palestinian protesters were being shot dead in Gaza protesting the move. Supporters of the embassy move say it will bring a new era of peace to the longstanding conflict between Israel and Palestine, but it's hard to see their rosy predictions coming to pass. In fact, yesterday's violence seems to be a classic case of blowback from a wrong-headed US foreign policy move. Tune in to today's Liberty Report:
Will the Senate confirm career CIA officer Gina Haspel to be the Agency's next director? Sens. McCain and Paul, who don't often agree, have both vowed to oppose Haspel due to her past involvement in torture and cover-up of torture. They have a good point. But is there a bigger issue in play here? If we are going to have the kind of government agency that the CIA has become -- fomenting coups, arming jihadists, paramilitary activities, etc. -- maybe, and sadly, she's just the right person for the job!
Back in the 2008 presidential race, I explained to then-candidate Rudy Giuliani the concept of “blowback.” Years of US meddling and military occupation of parts of the Middle East motivated a group of terrorists to carry out attacks against the United States on 9/11. They didn’t do it because we are so rich and so free, as the neocons would have us believe. They came over here because we had been killing Muslims “over there” for decades.
How do we know this? Well, they told us. Osama bin Laden made it clear why al-Qaeda sought to attack the US. They didn’t like the US taking sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict and they didn’t like US troops on their holy land.
Why believe a terrorist, some responded. As I explained to Giuliani ten years ago, the concept of “blowback” is well-known in the US intelligence community and particularly by the CIA.
Unfortunately, it is clear that Giuliani never really understood what I was trying to tell him. Like the rest of the neocons, he either doesn’t get it or doesn’t want to get it. In a recent speech to the MeK – a violent Islamist-Marxist cult that spent two decades on the US terror watch list – Giuliani promised that the Trump Administration had made “regime change” a priority for Iran. He even told the members of that organization – an organization that has killed dozens of Americans – that Trump would put them in charge of Iran!
Giuliani shares with numerous other neocons like John Bolton a strong relationship with this group. In fact, both Giuliani and Bolton have been on the payroll of the MeK and have received tens of thousands of dollars to speak to their followers. This is another example of how foreign lobbies and special interest groups maintain an iron grip on our foreign policy.
Does anyone really think Iran will be better off if Trump puts a bunch of “former” terrorists in charge of the country? How did that work in Libya?
It’s easy to dismiss the bombastic Giuliani as he speaks to his financial benefactors in the MeK. Unfortunately, however, Giuliani’s claims were confirmed late last week, when the Washington Free Beacon published a three-page policy paper being circulated among National Security Council officials containing plans to spark regime change in Iran.
The paper suggests that the US focus on Iran’s many ethnic minority groups to spark unrest and an eventual overthrow of the government. This is virtually the same road map that the US has followed in Iraq, Libya, Syria, and so on. The results have been unmitigated disaster after disaster.
Unleashing terrorists on Iran to overthrow its government is not only illegal and immoral: it’s also incredibly stupid. We know from 9/11 that blowback is real, even if Giuliani and the neocons refuse to understand it. Iran does not threaten the United States. Unlike Washington’s Arab allies in the region, Iran actually holds reasonably democratic elections and has a Western-oriented, educated, and very young population.
Why not open up to Iran with massive amounts of trade and other contacts? Does anyone (except for the neocons) really believe it is better to unleash terrorists on a population than to engage them in trade and travel? We need to worry about blowback from President Trump’s fully-neoconized Middle East policy! That’s the real threat!
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron are upset that US President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear agreement. We agree that it was a dumb move on his part that will likely bring us closer to yet another war, but when Merkel said the Europeans needed to start taking care of their own security and stop relying on the Americans, a silver lining was revealed in an otherwise dark cloud. European countries spend very little on defense compared to the US and benefit from the US picking up more than one-fifth the total NATO budget. A Europe that takes care of its own security would likely be less belligerent toward Russia, thus lowering the risks of a catastrophic war. More silver linings in today's Liberty Report:
President Trump's statement upon ending US participation in the Iran nuclear agreement was filled with so many objectively false statements that it almost seems the neocons who crafted it were trying to make a fool out of him. The assertion that Iran is allied with al-Qaeda is so brazenly false that it rivals the tallest of the tall tales served up to lie Americans into supporting the disastrous Iraq war. So now with the US out of the deal...what comes next? What will the Europeans do? How will Americans react to the loss of 100,000 Boeing jobs due to cancellation of a passenger airline contract with Iran? We look at some of the implications of the move in today's Liberty Report: