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US Taxpayers Will be ‘Crying in Their Beers’ When Iraqi Reconstruction Bill Arrives

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The neocons and the military-industrial complex are rubbing their hands with glee over profits to be made from Iraqi reconstruction, but that cannot be said of the US taxpayer who must foot the bill, says Ron Paul Institute Executive Director Daniel McAdams.

After Amnesty International had published a report accusing the US coalition of partial responsibility for mass civilian casualties, Major General Rupert Jones, the deputy commander of the international anti-ISIS coalition, criticized the findings, calling the allegations disrespectful and naive.

“It strikes me as being written by people who simply have no understanding of the brutality of warfare. But we should be absolutely clear who were deliberately killing civilians,” Jones told the Telegraph.

RT: How much legitimacy is there to support the permanent basing of US troops in Iraq following the military operation in Mosul that has left much of the city in ruins?

Daniel McAdams: There is absolutely no consensus in Congress; there has been no new authorization. The ground is very shaky legally for the US to permanently base troops there.

It is almost like a case of national amnesia. We forgot what happened in 2003 when President Bush said: “mission accomplished, we have done everything we need to do, great victory.” The reality is that just created the problems that we are still fighting today. So, the idea that we are going to do the same thing, which is to defeat the so-called enemy there and then remain indefinitely and somehow the result will be different is an absolute fantasy. The neocons and the military-industrial complex and the people who are going to be involved in the reconstruction are absolutely rubbing their hands with glee, while the American taxpayer, who is going to be given another bill for destroying and rebuilding Iraq, should be crying in his beer.

RT: What kind of an attitude will the people of Iraq, and especially Mosul, have towards the allied forces following the highly destructive campaign?

DM: It invites more people to become radicalized and view the US as the enemy, and rightly so. The people that have had their houses destroyed. Over 5,800 civilians have been killed just from February to June in Mosul by the US and allied bombs. If anyone thinks those people and the families of those people are not furious and hate America, they’ve got another thing coming. This is a population that will be radically viewed as anti-American because of the destruction of their city and the fact that we are staying there makes the US military into sitting ducks and makes the country more vulnerable to people who are radicalized by their presence. They just don’t get it that it was our presence in the first place that inspired these attacks. Being there longer, being their permanently will just inspire more.

RT: Will the defeat of ISIS in Mosul guarantee the end of hostilities there? 

DM: No, it is not a guarantee that the conflict will end, but it is a guarantee the US will put its nose somewhere that is doesn’t belong. It was the US intervention, the US invasion, the US attack in 2003, which we now know was based on nothing but lies by the neocons amplified by a media in the US that is absolutely incurious, that never challenges the government on these things. That is what led to the problems. It was the initial US invasion of Iraq. So, we won’t necessarily turn Iraq into Switzerland if we leave, but at least it will help us stop making things worse which is what we are doing by invading, re-invading, blowing it up, rebuilding, blowing it up. It just keeps going on and on and doesn’t solve any problems. It is inevitable that somehow the Iraqis will have to solve their own problems one way or the other.

Reprinted with permission from RT.

Ron Paul: ‘US Should Mind its Own Business; It Shouldn’t be in Syria’

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The US has no right to fly into Syrian airspace where it shouldn’t be and set boundaries but should mind its own business. Otherwise, it is an act of aggression, says former US Congressman Ron Paul.

The US fighter jet downed an armed drone belonging to pro-Syrian government forces in southern Syria, near a base in the al-Tanf region, on June, 20 as the drone was advancing on US-backed forces, according to a coalition statement.

This is happening at a time of escalating tension between Moscow and Washington. Also on Tuesday, Australia said it is temporarily suspending air operations in Syria.

RT discussed the latest developments in Syria with former US Congressman Ron Paul.

RT: Australia halted its cooperation. How significant is this development? Why did they do it?

Ron Paul: I think that is good. Maybe wise enough, I wish we could do the same thing – just come home. It just makes no sense; there’s a mess over there. So many people are involved, the neighborhood ought to take care of it, and we have gone too far away from our home. It has been going on for too long, and it all started when Obama in 2011 said: “Assad has to go.” And now as the conditions deteriorate …it looks like Assad and his allies are winning, and the US don’t want them to take Raqqa. This just goes on and on. I think it is really still the same thing that Obama set up – “Get rid of Assad” and there is a lot of frustration because Assad is still around and now it is getting very dangerous, it is dangerous on both sides. One thing that I am concerned about - because I’ve seen it happen so often over the years are false flags. Some accidents happen. Even if it is an honest accident or it is deliberate by one side or the other to blame somebody. And before they stop and think about it, then there is more escalation. When our planes are flying over there and into airspace where we shouldn’t be, and we are setting up boundaries and say “don’t cross these lines or you will be crossing our territory.” We have no right to do this. We should mind our own business; we shouldn’t be over there, when we go over there and decide that we are going to take over, it is an act of aggression, and I am positively opposed to that. And I think most Americans are too if they get all the information they need.

RT: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that he wanted to ask his American counterpart why the US-led coalition isn’t targeting Al-Nusra in Syria. What sort of answer do you think he’ll get?

RP: I think it will be wishy-washy. He’ll probably think it is in their interests not to do anything to damage the radicals, the extremists, the rebels because I think that our government thinks that they could be helpful in undermining Assad. I don’t think they are going to say “Yeah, they are our buddies now, we consult with them all the time.” It won’t be that. They’ll argue “We have to help the Kurds out” or something along those lines and make excuses. I think that there’s a net benefit to the radicals for us to get involved there and it is not helpful in the long run for our position which ought to try to bring about peace.

The propaganda the American people hear is such that they get them pretty excited about it, but I am very confident that if the American people had more information…because when I talk to them, they side with my arguments. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to be doing what we are doing, and that’s why I persist in trying to get to the facts but trying to eliminate the danger, try to obey international law, try to do the things that are in our best interest. And if we are talking about America’s interest – it isn’t helped by our policy in the Middle East for the last 15-20 years, I think it has all been negative.

Reprinted with permission from RT.

Painful Silence

During a press conference about US President Donald Trump’s recent trip to the Middle East, AFP journalist Dave Clark asked a department official why the US criticizes the Iranian elections and its record on democracy, but not Saudi Arabia.

‘Libya’s Utterly Predictable Chaos Perfect for Exporting Weapons & Jihadists into Syria’

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Obama’s biggest mistake was the invasion of Libya; Gaddafi was right when he warned that the overthrow of the government would lead to terrorist attacks in Europe, Daniel McAdams, executive director at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, says.

Gunfire, explosions, and artillery strikes were reported in Tripoli on Friday as clashes erupted between the forces loyal to the internationally-recognized Presidential Council which presides over the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), and rival groups loyal to the General National Congress (GNC), also called the National Salvation Government. Dozens were reportedly killed and hundreds injured.

The fighting erupted after GNC militia commander Salah Badi launched an attack on the GNA-allied Central Security militia in an attempt to recapture parts of the capital, according to the Libya Herald. Badi was a key figure in the 2011 uprising against then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.

RT: Salah Badi was described as “a hero” in the past. That has changed now though. What is really going on there?

Daniel McAdams: What is going on is utter chaos and it was also utterly predictable. Even Gaddafi warned that “if you intervene and… you overthrow my government, you will see terrorist attacks in Europe.” Everybody laughed at him, thought he was crazy, had to invade anyway, and it turns out he was right as usual. You have rival governments, you have rival factions, you have rival gangs. The chaos is perfect for exporting weapons and jihadists into places like Syria – they are also on the target list. So, in a sense, the chaos is unexpected but perhaps in another sense it is expected by some.

RT: Egypt launched strikes on Libya-based terrorist camps. Was toppling Gaddafi worth it?

DM: The entire Arab Spring was a lie, it was this idea that somehow this spontaneous uprising… it was all a lie, it was a complete lie. The State Department, the CIA, the security services were behind it. The Libyan situation was a lie, the humanitarian crisis was a lie, and lies were told in the UN Human Rights Council that Gaddafi was attacking his own civilians; that absolutely didn’t take place. The war is based on a lie, it was based on propaganda to get the average citizen in favor of it and it has produced horrible results like most of us had predicted that it would. The question is why aren’t the people who invaded and caused so much bloodshed – I am thinking about David Cameron, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy primarily among them – why aren’t they on the dock for war crimes? In any other situation, someone would be on the dock and they certainly should be.

RT: Obama said his major mistake in office was failure to work on Libya’s reconciliation. Do you think it in any country’s agenda now at all?

DM: That is an obvious lie, it is an obfuscation. Its biggest mistake was an invasion in the first place. It was like saying we were heroes in error. That is what the neocons said about how they destroyed Iraq. No, his mistake was invading a country that not only had not invaded us but had not threatened us, it was incapable of threatening us. That was his big mistake. He still doesn’t get it. He refuses to admit it. And the blood of thousands and thousands, perhaps more, is on his hands.

Reprinted with permission from RT.

‘Libya’s Utterly Predictable Chaos Perfect for Exporting Weapons & Jihadists into Syria’

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Obama’s biggest mistake was the invasion of Libya; Gaddafi was right when he warned that the overthrow of the government would lead to terrorist attacks in Europe, Daniel McAdams, executive director at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, says.

Gunfire, explosions, and artillery strikes were reported in Tripoli on Friday as clashes erupted between the forces loyal to the internationally-recognized Presidential Council which presides over the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), and rival groups loyal to the General National Congress (GNC), also called the National Salvation Government. Dozens were reportedly killed and hundreds injured.

The fighting erupted after GNC militia commander Salah Badi launched an attack on the GNA-allied Central Security militia in an attempt to recapture parts of the capital, according to the Libya Herald. Badi was a key figure in the 2011 uprising against then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.

RT: Salah Badi was described as “a hero” in the past. That has changed now though. What is really going on there?

Daniel McAdams: What is going on is utter chaos and it was also utterly predictable. Even Gaddafi warned that “if you intervene and… you overthrow my government, you will see terrorist attacks in Europe.” Everybody laughed at him, thought he was crazy, had to invade anyway, and it turns out he was right as usual. You have rival governments, you have rival factions, you have rival gangs. The chaos is perfect for exporting weapons and jihadists into places like Syria – they are also on the target list. So, in a sense, the chaos is unexpected but perhaps in another sense it is expected by some.

RT: Egypt launched strikes on Libya-based terrorist camps. Was toppling Gaddafi worth it?

DM: The entire Arab Spring was a lie, it was this idea that somehow this spontaneous uprising… it was all a lie, it was a complete lie. The State Department, the CIA, the security services were behind it. The Libyan situation was a lie, the humanitarian crisis was a lie, and lies were told in the UN Human Rights Council that Gaddafi was attacking his own civilians; that absolutely didn’t take place. The war is based on a lie, it was based on propaganda to get the average citizen in favor of it and it has produced horrible results like most of us had predicted that it would. The question is why aren’t the people who invaded and caused so much bloodshed – I am thinking about David Cameron, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy primarily among them – why aren’t they on the dock for war crimes? In any other situation, someone would be on the dock and they certainly should be.

RT: Obama said his major mistake in office was failure to work on Libya’s reconciliation. Do you think it in any country’s agenda now at all?

DM: That is an obvious lie, it is an obfuscation. Its biggest mistake was an invasion in the first place. It was like saying we were heroes in error. That is what the neocons said about how they destroyed Iraq. No, his mistake was invading a country that not only had not invaded us but had not threatened us, it was incapable of threatening us. That was his big mistake. He still doesn’t get it. He refuses to admit it. And the blood of thousands and thousands, perhaps more, is on his hands.

Reprinted with permission from RT.

‘Libya’s Utterly Predictable Chaos Perfect for Exporting Weapons & Jihadists into Syria’

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Obama’s biggest mistake was the invasion of Libya; Gaddafi was right when he warned that the overthrow of the government would lead to terrorist attacks in Europe, Daniel McAdams, executive director at the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, says.

Gunfire, explosions, and artillery strikes were reported in Tripoli on Friday as clashes erupted between the forces loyal to the internationally-recognized Presidential Council which presides over the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), and rival groups loyal to the General National Congress (GNC), also called the National Salvation Government. Dozens were reportedly killed and hundreds injured.

The fighting erupted after GNC militia commander Salah Badi launched an attack on the GNA-allied Central Security militia in an attempt to recapture parts of the capital, according to the Libya Herald. Badi was a key figure in the 2011 uprising against then-leader Muammar Gaddafi.

RT: Salah Badi was described as “a hero” in the past. That has changed now though. What is really going on there?

Daniel McAdams: What is going on is utter chaos and it was also utterly predictable. Even Gaddafi warned that “if you intervene and… you overthrow my government, you will see terrorist attacks in Europe.” Everybody laughed at him, thought he was crazy, had to invade anyway, and it turns out he was right as usual. You have rival governments, you have rival factions, you have rival gangs. The chaos is perfect for exporting weapons and jihadists into places like Syria – they are also on the target list. So, in a sense, the chaos is unexpected but perhaps in another sense it is expected by some.

RT: Egypt launched strikes on Libya-based terrorist camps. Was toppling Gaddafi worth it?

DM: The entire Arab Spring was a lie, it was this idea that somehow this spontaneous uprising… it was all a lie, it was a complete lie. The State Department, the CIA, the security services were behind it. The Libyan situation was a lie, the humanitarian crisis was a lie, and lies were told in the UN Human Rights Council that Gaddafi was attacking his own civilians; that absolutely didn’t take place. The war is based on a lie, it was based on propaganda to get the average citizen in favor of it and it has produced horrible results like most of us had predicted that it would. The question is why aren’t the people who invaded and caused so much bloodshed – I am thinking about David Cameron, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy primarily among them – why aren’t they on the dock for war crimes? In any other situation, someone would be on the dock and they certainly should be.

RT: Obama said his major mistake in office was failure to work on Libya’s reconciliation. Do you think it in any country’s agenda now at all?

DM: That is an obvious lie, it is an obfuscation. Its biggest mistake was an invasion in the first place. It was like saying we were heroes in error. That is what the neocons said about how they destroyed Iraq. No, his mistake was invading a country that not only had not invaded us but had not threatened us, it was incapable of threatening us. That was his big mistake. He still doesn’t get it. He refuses to admit it. And the blood of thousands and thousands, perhaps more, is on his hands.

Reprinted with permission from RT.

No Evidence of Russian Intrusion in US Political System

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I think this is good progress between the US and Russia, but there will be plenty of individuals in this country who complain about it because it just seems like they are very content to keep the aggravation going, Ron Paul told RT.

The focus of a meeting between Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday was the de-escalation of the Syrian conflict.

Despite the positive overtones, the American media preferred to take a different angle focusing on the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections and the firing of the FBI chief James Comey.

RT: Sergey Lavrov says President Trump wants productive relations with Moscow after the previous administration soured them. Can they be improved considering the storm over the alleged ties between the Trump team and Russia?

Ron Paul: Absolutely. And I think that has been. What is going on right now is an improvement. I think what is going on in Syria with these de-escalation zones; I think that is good. They are talking to each other. I just don’t understand why sometimes there is an impression that we shouldn’t be having diplomatic conversations … All the tough rhetoric doesn’t do any good. Trump’s statement to me sounded pretty good. I think the whole thing about the elections, putting that aside would be a wise thing because the evidence is not there for any intrusion in our election by the Russians. I think this is good progress, and there will be plenty individuals in this country who complain about it because it just seems like they are very content to keep the aggravation going. Right now, the relationship from my viewpoint has greatly improved. I think that is good.

RT: During the media conference, some journalists again raised the question of possible Russian involvement in US politics. How is it possible for such a great nation to think this way?

RP: If it is a fact, we should hear about it, but we haven’t. And those individuals who are trying to stir up trouble like that, they haven’t come up with any facts. Nobody wants anybody’s elections interfered with. But the facts aren’t there, so why dwell on that? Why use that as an excuse to prevent something that we think is positive and that is better relations with Russia. I think what is happening with this conversation is very beneficial.

RT: According to Lavrov, Trump also expressed his support for creating safe zones in Syria. Will this pave the way for co-operation between the two coalitions?

RP: With Assad and Russia working together and getting more security for the country, at the same time the US is now talking with Russia. I think this is good. But just the acceptance of the idea that we should be talking and practicing diplomacy rather than threats and intimidation. There are obviously a lot of problems that we have to work out, but I think in the last week and the last couple of days very positive things have been happening.

RT: The meeting came after the firing of the FBI director James Comey. What do you make of the timing?

RP: I don’t think that firing had anything to do with the so-called investigation. I think it has to do with the credibility of Comey as such, where he was involved too politically in the issues. First, it looked like he was supporting Hillary, then the next time he was supporting Trump, and he should not have been out in front on either one of those issues; that should have been done more privately on these charges made that were unconfirmed. I think this represents poor judgment on Comey’s part and certainly, the president had the authority to fire him. It will be politicized now, and the question will be whether there will be a special prosecutor, but if there are no problems, then a special prosecutor in my estimation is unnecessary.

Reprinted with permission from RT.

“It’s very important we hear what Putin has to say”

Director Oliver Stone © Vincent West / Reuters

The man behind three films about American presidents, Oliver Stone, says his upcoming feature about Russian President Vladimir Putin “opens up a whole viewpoint that we as Americans haven’t heard,” and could help prevent “a dangerous situation – on the brink of war.”

Academy Award-winning director and revered documentary filmmaker Stone said in interview with the Sydney Morning Herald that his new film about Putin will be released soon. “It’s not a documentary as much as a question and answer session,” he said. “Mr. Putin is one of the most important leaders in the world and in so far as the United States has declared him an enemy – a great enemy – I think it’s very important we hear what he has to say.”

The film will present Putin’s viewpoint of political events since he was first elected president of Russia in March 2000.

“It opens up a whole viewpoint that we as Americans haven’t heard,” Stone told the newspaper, adding that his crew went to see the indefatigable Russian leader four times over the course of two years.

“I talked to him originally about the Snowden affair, which is in the film. And out of that grew, I think, a trust that he knew that I would not edit it so much,” he said, adding that Putin “talks pretty straight.”

“I think we did him the justice of putting [his comments] into a Western narrative that could explain their viewpoint in the hopes that it will prevent continued misunderstanding and a dangerous situation – on the brink of war.”

The 70-year-old director also commented the accusations of Russian influence on the US presidential elections. “That’s a path that leads nowhere to my mind. That’s an internal war of politics in the US in which the Democratic Party has taken a suicide pact or something to blow him up; in other words, to completely de-legitimize him and in so doing blow up the US essentially. “What they’re doing is destroying the trust that exists between people and government. It’s a very dangerous position to make accusations you cannot prove,” he added.

Stone also said does not believe claims circulating in the mainstream media that Moscow allegedly passed some classified documents to WikiLeaks in a bid to influence the November US elections. “I hold [WikiLeaks editor Julian] Assange in high regard in many issues of state. I take very seriously his statement that he received no information from Russia or any state actors,” Stone said.

WikiLeaks published over 250,000 classified US military and diplomatic documents in 2010 in a move that amounted to the largest information leak in United States history. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State when WikiLeaks published ‘Cablegate’. Assange has been stuck inside the Ecuadorian embassy since he took refuge there in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning by the authorities regarding allegations of sexual assault against two women in 2010.

“For 10 years now he’s been a beacon of integrity and honesty,” Stone noted. “He’s been very helpful to understand the world to those who pay attention. “Unfortunately, his reports sometimes get too thick and too difficult to understand, but I don’t think the media has done him any favors really by playing along and accusing him of rape and holding him on these bogus charges. This is scary behavior but it’s also unlawful.”

Stone’s latest movie revolved around NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who became world-renown figure after leading classified documents detailing the surveillance programs of the US intelligence agencies and its allies in 2013. Stone met him in person in Russia, where Snowden was granted political asylum.

The director said Washington’s unprecedented move towards far-reaching surveillance technology is utterly wrong.

“I think we’ve had a lot of false information – fake news as they say – used for political ideological purposes. In other words, the US has been able, because of this technology, to say without any doubt Russia hacked the election. This is coming from who? From the intelligence agencies that are fighting against Russia with all their hearts and minds. They can’t be trusted. This is important to recognize. I think the Snowden movie shows why they cannot be trusted.”

Amid a US military buildup in response to the North Korean nuclear threat, Stone told the Sydney Morning Herald he is also concerned by where US attacks on Syria and Afghanistan might lead. “The United States is spending on defense and security almost a trillion dollars a year, which is more than all the countries in the world spend on security and the military. It’s inexcusable to people who examine this rationally.”

‘Has America become North Korea, where speaking to Russia is forbidden?’

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It is natural that half of Washington works as lobbyists for foreign governments: Israeli, the UK, Macedonia, Germany. It is acceptable to speak with any country aside from Russia, says Daniel McAdams, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute.

The chief of the US House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has apologized to committee members for disclosing information on surveillance relating to Donald Trump.

Nunes revealed, before telling his committee colleagues, that communications involving the Trump campaign team may have been intercepted by intelligence agencies.

RT: Why has Nunes been forced to apologize? Did he break any rules by telling the President his team was being surveilled?

Daniel McAdams: It might have been technically poor etiquette not revealing it to his fellow committee members. But look at how his fellow committee members are behaving on the Democratic side of the aisle about this whole thing. Letting the cat out of the bag early to them would have just opened him up to the kind of attacks that we are seeing right now. You reveal something that is absolutely earth-shattering if true, of Watergate proportions, that the Obama administration was spying on Trump and the transition team, and what do the Democrats say? Investigate the guy who told us this, who found this out. It is completely preposterous, so why bother telling them anyway? They are not following the proper protocol either.

RT: Did this story get appropriate media coverage?

DM: No, it hasn’t, and it is unfortunately very politicized because the real issue here at hand is Section 702 of the FISA law. That was brought in amendments in 2007-2008. That allowed the NSA to essentially spy on any American. We were told at the time, “They won’t do it, it won’t happen.” But we know from Edward Snowden they routinely use this. This allows the NSA to listen into a phone call as long as one person in the call is a foreigner on foreign soil and the call has to have counterintelligence value; there has to be some foreign intelligence component to the discussion. That is why it is so important when Nunes said that he discerned from what he has seen – there is no foreign counterintelligence data on here. That means somebody broke the law big time. That is what we should be talking about, not who is vindicated or who should be investigated.

RT: Democratic Party Representative Adam Schiff said Nunes needs to pick sides either to help investigate Trump's alleged connections with Russia or to act as the White House surrogate, as he put it. What do you make of that?

DM: I would say that Schiff has a panic attack. He is not facing the facts that are in front of him. He would rather live in a fantasy world. During the hearing, he cited this completely discredited dossier put together by some murky British intelligence officer with all kind of totally bizarre and unproven allegations. That is what he is using as his source. He has delivered no evidence as he has no evidence. And once the evidence comes up, what does he do – he says, “There is nothing here. Let’s go back to Russia and Putin.” Totally insane.

RT: What about allegations that there were conversations with Russia?

DM: It’s desperation. But what does it mean? “They had contacts with Russians.” Half of Washington works as lobbyists for foreign governments. It’s amazing Americans are shocked by this. People work for the Israeli government, the UK government, Macedonia, Germany, whatever. It’s a natural thing to do, so if some people have had contacts in that way, it is perfectly normal if they talked to Russian counterparts. What Flynn did was nothing out of the ordinary. What Flynn did, what Sessions did. That’s what people do all the time. Are we North Korea? We can’t talk to people from any other country? I guess it’s okay with any country except Russia, I suppose.

Reprinted with permission from RT.