The Arrest of Julian Assange

My initial thoughts on the arrest of Julian Assange.

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Petroleum Spring? Libya, Algeria & Sudan

The last month has brought with it the end of two long time regimes in Africa. Both countries are rich with oil resources. Along with Libya, the events unfolding right now present three unique stories that could all head in similar directions.

I spoke about Algeria previously. To summarize, the long time ruler Abdelaziz Bouteflika stepped down after weeks of protests and pressure from the army & bureaucracy. I first wondered if this was partly orchestrated by Western (or Eastern) interests, but Eric Margolis, a source I trust wholly states that this is an authentic rise against the ruler.

That’s great to hear, but how it unfolds is what matters. We already see that the army is not leaving the streets, so neither are the people. The army usually plays “transition” government while elections can be set up, what happens after the election depends on the results. An army that has taken power can find it hard to hand over that power, or become subjects to it, since the army has an army.

Military juntas are good for business too. If you take the history of many previous European colonies post-colonial governments, you’ll most often find some “General” or “Colonel” strongman that took power during a coup or at the end of a civil war. Sound familiar?

As we saw in Egypt, the fate of Algeria and the other countries on this list can change quickly. Foreign interests can not be ignored, as the ability to exploit the tension in the country at the time of revolution is not difficult. There’s many groups grasping for power and a voice.

The voices for democracy in Algeria include an Islamic side and a true civil rights, Enlightenment side. There is a radical Islamic thread that runs through areas of the nation, and this is where the concern can arise.

Let’s go to Libya.

It’s been 8 years since Hillary cackled and Gaddafi died.

US troops have been on the ground in some form or another the entire time. Well, until last week anyway.

While Libya has moved out of the news in the US, what’s been going on in country has been a wild story and a lesson to learn. Since the initial weeks after the death of the Colonel, the countries center of power has been in flux. The Islamic militia groups that the United States had armed did not want to give up the power they had gained. While the militia groups may have received weapons, it was Islamic and civilian politicians that received international recognition & Western support in Tripoli. This was the group that rose to have the title of “recognized government” to the world.

The General Nation Congress (GNC) had a mandate until 2014 to bring about control and open election. They did have one major problem. No troops. The Islamic militias supported by the West became their fighting force, helping to secure control of Tripoli and the west of the country.

At the same time that the GNC was putting Tripoli back together, a former leader in Gaddafi’s army who had spend the last few decades in Virginia has a guest of the CIA made his way back to Libya. “Field Marshall” Khalifa Haftar and his organized and experienced army set up shop in the eastern city of Tobruk. He would take control of Benghazi and call for the dissolving of the GNC, especially after it extended its own mandate in 2014 (politicians gonna politic).

Khalifa Haftar originally joined up with Gaddafi when he was 26. He was active in the Colonel’s army when he took power, and was his Chief of Staff after the Sinai War of 1973. He was later captured in Chad, already falling out of favor with Gaddafi. He was denounced when news of his capture became known, and Haftar declared he would overthrow the Colonel. With his life in danger, he took a deal with the US for his release from Chad. He was moved (and became a citizen) to Virginia in 1990, but not before he created his own militia in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He’s been waiting in the wings for the post-Gaddafi era to begin.

Haftar attacked Benghazi & Tripoli in August of 2014 (sponsored by Sisi in Egypt and the UAE), at the same time elections were being held. While the offensive wasn’t successful, the election was. The House of Representatives won power (who Haftar supported), but were soon forced out of Tripoli, having to hide out on a Greek ferry in the city harbor. The House of Reps. eventually made to back to Tobruk and declared themselves the internationally recognized government of Libya.

Khalifa Haftar began to gain foreign investors. The Egyptian military junta liked his style and the opportunity to control the outcome of a civil war in a neighboring country. The Saudis also supported Haftar, as the UN-EU backed government in Tripoli did them no favors. The UAE also followed suit, but it is the European power-player France that makes this story interesting.

President Macron has invited Haftar to France more than once in the past, the idea being that he can bring security, oil to France and halt the flow of migrants into European, with an iron fist if necessary.

In 2016, the UN attempted to create a Unity Government in Tripoli, made up of the same arm-chair politicians that could be relied on fall in line. Like the General Assembly however, they still have no forces of their own. So when Fayez Seraj was selected as the leader of the new government, nothing really changed on the ground.

Haftar’s government in the east has continued to expand it’s territory. He took control of the oil fields in the south of the country, an area that was lawless after the fall of the previous regime. This current invasion of Tripoli is his third since 2014, and the whole of the country, save the far West is under his control.

All of this has lead the United States to remove their troops from the country. The US has reached out to Haftar about having a high position in the Unity Government in an attempt to keep some control of events on the ground. Most European powers have called for Haftar to stop his attack on Tripoli, France however, is not one of them. France is even supported hosting peace talks

Personally, I see the Field Marshall as the next leader of Libya, with a newly polished relationship with the Trump Administration. Trump likes strongman and military types. Obama’s preferred outcome of any regime change was a suit and tie government in power, completely beholden & paid for by Western interests. Military strongman make deals, and just ask for a long leash on how they operate their business.

Algeria’s future coming into focus?

Sudan is the last country on our list.

Sudan as a nation is a shell of it’s former self. The southern, oil rich area of the country was carved off by the Americans and declared South Sudan. The newly created country has been fighting a civil war of it’s own ever since it’s birth. That oil money huh?

Sudan has been ruled by Oman Hassan al-Bashir for the last thirty years. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for arming the genocide in the Western region of this country, Darfur. He has hosted Osama Bin Laden and welcomed US sanctions on his people. His time had come after months of protests. The army stepped in and removed him this week.

The videos of the street protests are everywhere. I only remember the one video on Twitter I saw of the army showing up to a street celebration, firing their weapons in the air. The figurehead of a tyrant had been removed, but the body remained. The army has announced they will be in control for a two year “transition period”. The head of the army and new leader is also wanted by the ICC for Darfur war crimes It’s only a matter of time before a strongman emerges.

The US has cut all ties with the country for the time being. The peace talks between warring sides in South Sudan seem to be in jeopardy I see this as a “wait and see”, much like I’m sure Algeria is and Libya has become.

Algeria and Sudan could erupt into civil war, with the military positioned against a mix of revolutionaries not happy with the current results and Islamic fundamentalist groups armed with weapons from former conflicts or outside forces. The countries could instead stabilize behind the military governments, allowing the foreign interests to breath a sigh of relief.

I wonder with the pending consolidation behind Haftar in Libya, if the West attempts to take this opportunity to stabilize the unrest in Algeria and Sudan behind strongman of their own. This strategy relies on if the forces that find themselves in power want to play ball. If not, we could see repeats of Syria and Libya, where the West take the side of “the people” by arming the most violent among them. The results being a destabilized wasteland, locked in a war of opposing sides backed by different geopolitical actors.

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Corey Booker & Peter Buttigieg Confirm Support for AIPAC

As we move closer to the 2020 Democratic primary, voters have a larger number of candidates to choose from. The progressive wing of the party is making Israel an issue and it’s splitting the party. Two of the candidates looking for their vote might have lost any progressive street cred they had by turning to the Israel Lobby for its endorsement.

Peter “Mr. Nuanced” Buttigieg’s comments are very run-of-the-mill for those looking for the lobby’s support:

Seeing the way that a country can be on one hand very intentional, very serious and very effective when it comes to security and on the other hand not allow concerns about security to dominate your consciousness– I think there’s a very important lesson in that that hopefully Americans can look to as we think about how to navigate a world that unfortunately has become smaller and more dangerous for all of us…

I was in a very modern city surrounded by people going about their lives. Seeing how people fit those things together was illuminating and in many ways moving. There’s a sense there that no matter what challenges there are in the community or in the society, they can’t wait for security issues to be resolved. People live their lives, they’re pretty clear-eyed about what is going on around them. And at the same time, you don’t let that take over… The sense that we were in a very safe and very peaceful place– some of the numbers we’ve been shown on violence of any kind in many of the cities we visited, even in Jerusalem, whether you’re looking at political violence or petty crime, those statistics would frankly be the envy of a lot of our midwestern cities….

Certainly just understanding the complexity and nuance of the issues. Also understanding the level of modernity there….So often you only see coverage of international tension. You only see what’s maybe going on with the prime minister and the Palestinian Authority and you’re not seeing nearly enough I think about the energy, the dynamism, the creativity, the innovation that’s happening at the local level and how some of that is also feeding up to the national context in a positive way.

I think there’s a risk that Israel could come to be regarded as a partisan issue, and I think that would be really unfortunate.

One of the first things you realize when you get on the ground is this is not a left versus right issue. At least it shouldn’t be. We met a lot of people from the Israeli left who have complicated and nuanced views of what is going on [including the]…. relationship with Iran. Unfortunately these things are reduced into a black and white picture sometimes in the American media.

[We got] a more nuanced idea of what is happening on the Palestinian side. So one of the first things that was very clear to us was the extent to which there really is not a unified or single voice for the Palestinian … people. Most people aren’t aware of the difference between what’s happening in Gaza run by Hamas in a way that is contributing to a lot of misery there but also totally different than an environment where you would have a negotiating partner across the table is really important. I don’t think that’s widely understood and I think if it were you would see more Democrats would be asking more questions as we face these kind of 90-second cable news versions of what’s going on over there.

Those who seem to have the most clearcut answers and the most strident opinions seem to be the one on the outside looking in. That’s another reason the trip was so valuable.

I think the security and intelligence cooperation [between the U.S. and Israel] is obviously vital, certainly something that is as important for American interests as much as Israeli interests.

There may be some opportunities perhaps not under the present administration but over time to be a constructive voice in inducing some of the other players in the region to accept greater responsibility. You think for example about the Egyptian role when it comes to the situation in Gaza, and you think of some of the leverage the US has over Egypt. Before you even get to the Iran issue and what’s going on in some of the Gulf States, there’s certainly a chance for the U.S. to exert influence and be a constructive player when it comes to a lot of states in the region that frankly just haven’t lived up to their responsibilities.

Creepy Corey Booker’s speech to AIPAC and some of his leaked private comments to the NJ delegation went way further than Buttigieg. Booker is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 720, the Israel anti-Boycott Act, or the anti-1st Amendment legislation that makes it illegal for American citizens to boycott Israel with their businesses. Below is part of Booker’s uncomfortable speech:

Don’t fall prey to cynical attempts to try to pit members of this great organization against the Democratic Party…

Israel is not political to me. It’s not political. I was a supporter of Israel well before I was a United State Senator. I was coming to AIPAC conferences well before I knew that one day I would be a federal officer. If I forget thee, o Israel, may I cut off my right hand.[Applause]

And Martin Luther King in his last speech, hours before he would die, spoke about Mt. Nebo, he said, I have been to the mountaintop and I have looked over and I have seen the promised land. I may not make it, but we as a people will make it to the promised land, and I literally said to the men, please pull out your Ipads and your Torah, something you could only do in modern Israel, and I played that speech. We fell silent as the words of Martin Luther King echoed into the desert. And then I said to them, that if you went across the planet now to a place called Memphis, to a spot called the Lorraine Motel, and you saw where Martin Luther King was slain, the man who just spoke that speech that we heard, if you go there right now, there would be words from the Torah on the spot where he was slain and murdered and what were those words?… They’re words from that week’s parsha, when I was there. Open up to this week’s parsha and they did…. [Joseph’s brothers] throw him in the pit to die, and I’m telling you, I’m telling you right now, this country right now, we’re in a pit. When we should be unified, we’re separated and divided. Americans all over this country feel alone, feel isolated, but we’re not, we’re one people with one cause, but that’s how people feel.

And when a King was slain who led a movement where blacks and whites, Christians and Jews found their connection so deep that they were willing to die together like Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner… That leader of that movement, where he was slain– there are words from that week’s Torah portion… It says right there, go to the Lorraine Motel… it says right there Joseph’s brother’s words. “Behold. Here cometh the dreamer, let us slay him and see what becomes of the dream.”

When we read those words from the Torah, those four men in that desert, the lines that divided us evaporated, the ties that bound us were there. We may have been black and white, Christian and Jewish, American and Israeli, but we were one. Because we believed in the dream. The dream of Israel, the dream of America, the dream of democracies. That people can be free. That though we may pray different or look different, that we are one, as King said, all caught in inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a common garment of destiny, that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere..

To all my brothers and sisters right here, what will become of the dream? In a country right now of rising hate and bigotry, what will become of our dream? Where tribalism is pitting this nation against itself, What will become of our dream?…

Our call right now is to unify again. To not let our petty differences overwhelm our common cause… We are the caretakers of the dream, the dream of Israel, the dream of America, the dream of humanity. And I believe in my heart that if we can get beyond this divisiveness, if we can overcome hate with our love… I promise you that if we can love like that and live like that, then this country’s best days will be… ahead of it, that Israel’s security will be affirmed, I promise you. If we now take care of the dream, then Israel and America will live that prophet’s ideal, that we will be nations that will be a light unto all nations.

This incredible organization has been trying to say again and again.Partisanship stops at the water’s edge… What greater tradition has there been in America… going back to the founding of Israel… that we have common cause with the state of Israel?… God, I find myself fighting every year to make sure that the bipartisan commitment stays.

I am here today because I am a fighter…. I got on the phone fighting with others in the Congressional Black Caucus, or encouraging others in the Congressional Black Caucus not to boycott the speech. Not because of Netanyahu and his policies. But because we need to continually show a unified front in our support for Israel. The same way I told people not to boycott Donald Trump’s inaugural speech…

These offices — prime minister of Israel or the presidency of the Untied States — we have to have a deep commitment to our institutions, to our alliances, to our relationships… Right now… what greater moral vandalism is there… than those who seek to divide this country, those who seek to undermine the bonds that tie us together in our common commitment.

This administration’s seeming willingness to pull away from Syria makes it more dangerous to us, makes it more dangerous to Israel, and this is not sound policy…. When you’re tweeting about pulling out of Syria within days, when that would create a vacuum that would not only endanger the United States of America but it would endanger our ally Israel as well. We need a comprehensive strategy for that region because Israel’s neighborhood is getting more dangerous than less. Syria is becoming a highway for Iran to move more precision guided missiles to Hezbollah. There has got to be a strategy in this country to support Israel that is bipartisan that is wise and that frankly calls upon all the resources of this country, not just military.

Unequivocally 100 percent absolutely [yes] to the 3.3 billion [a year]. I have been on the front lines every time an MOU is up to make sure Israel gets the funding it needs. I even pushed for more funding.

I want our partnership to go even further than just security alliance.I am emboldened with a hope for humanity when I visit Israel and see what they’re doing in other areas beside military…. [Like water reclamation] This is the power of Israel. It’s the country that when they win a war, they turn the keys to the Temple Mount back over to people that were trying to rid them of their country.

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Congressional Updates on Wars in Yemen & Syria

A coalition is building within Congress to move the discussion on foreign policy more and more towards the idea of peace. This group of Congresspeople from both chambers and parties is attempting to hold Trump’s feet to the fire on his campaign promises. In the case of Yemen, literally putting the decision on his desk.

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Joe Rogan Knows Nothing, Algeria Gets a New Leader & Ro Khanna Catches My Eye

Toe Rogan Convinced By Well-Spoken Brit

As I was driving around on lunch yesterday I noticed that Joe Rogan recently had war journalist Ben Anderson on his show. I was combing through the short clips on YouTube and one of them was titled “War Reporter Explains ‘White Helmets’ Conspiracy Theory”. I was taken back at first, until I remembered that Anderson worked for VICE, the “alternative” news organization that has become the propaganda darling of the War Party in the US. Now I can’t say if VICE knows what they have become, or if they are just gullible hipsters from Brooklyn who never really learned how to do actual journalism and “speak truth to power”. They did buy into the Russiagate nonsense.

The White Helmets have been debunked over and over and over again, and as one of the top comments on Rogan’s video states:

Exactly.

This is just another example of the downfall of Joe Rogan as a “truth teller”. I personally don’t think he’s some “asset” or purposely spreading propaganda. I think he’s just a dumb comedian who trusts his 20-something producer to research his guests. Jamie has zero interest in diving below the surface of any story, as it might keep him from getting invited to the next sneaker release party.

Ro Khanna Triggers The Establishment By Calling for a Bipartisan Push for Peace

I never heard of Ro Khanna until yesterday. That was my mistake. The progressive Democrat that chairs millionaire Socialist Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign has done well for himself, making inroads with non-interventionists from across the aisle. Speaking to Breitbart he explained his push to work with Republicans to convince President Trump to move towards really ending wars and pulling back the American Empire aboard:

Our biggest competitor in my view is probably China in terms of who’s going to win the 21st century. Is it going to be a free enterprise democracy with America, or is it going to be an authoritarian country like China? China has not been in a war since 1979. They are putting all their resources into building good will with other countries and into developing their airports, their bridges, their universities, their artificial intelligence. Why are we involved in wars that are not winnable that are costing us resources that are strategic in winning the 21st century? Instead of all the trillions of dollars that we have spent on these wars, imagine if we built our infrastructure, if we invested in our people, if we helped build our country to make sure that we win in the 21st century. I think that is a message that every American regardless of whether you voted for President Trump or whether you voted for a Democratic member of Congress can get behind because it’s for the national purpose and when it comes to winning in the 21st century I think we’re all on the same team.

This is something I’ve been talking about since 2008. When I discovered Ron Paul, I also discovered Dennis Kucinich. Since then I’ve been saying that while we disagree on math and domestic government control, we should be able to agree on ending the slaughter of innocent civilians and the devotion to US world hegemony.

Algerian President Steps Down After Twenty Years

This was not a surprise to me. If anything I expected it to come a few more weeks down the line. Nevertheless, the oil-rich country will now move into the second stage of its revolution/coup, mimicking the path Egypt took after Mubarak. The army and the democratic institutions will jockey for position and power, while the West and Russia battle behind the scenes to see who can make the new regime its client state. The former regime under President Bouteflika was backed by Russia, which of course inserts some questions about how organic this revolution was in the first place. Stay tuned.

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Journalists & News Sites Who Got Russiagate Right

In case you’re still being triggered by the shocking revelation that the mainstream media has been wrong fro the two and a half years about this story, here’s all the reporters that have gotten it right the entire time. Some are from the Right, some are from the Left; so you don’t have to be cheating on your “team”. But in case you don’t want to be fooled again, here’s a nice list for you to check out.

And if you’re still watching Rachel Maddow and buying her claims as she continues to move the goalposts, there’s not much I can do for you.

DISCLAIMER: The “@” links below are the Twitter handles for the listed people and organizations. The links will not track to Twitter from my post, please check out the original post here, I just thought it was important to get this list on the blockchain.

Via Antiwar.com:

Check out this great list of Russiagate Skeptics by Koen Swinkles at Foreign Policy Follies: 138 people, 30 sites/institutions. And don’t forget Norman Soloman!

People

Aaron Mate @aaronjmate
Michael Tracey @mtracey
Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald
The late Robert Parry @consortiumnews
Scott Horton @scotthortonshow
Stephen Cohen
Richard Sakwa
Gareth Porter @garethporter
Julian Assange @julianassange
Mollie Hemingway @mzhemingway
Max Blumenthal @maxblumenthal
Rand Paul @randpaul
Ron Paul @ronpaul
Kyle Kulinski @kylekulinski
Robert Barnes @barnes_law
Yasha Levine @yashalevine
Daniel McAdams @daniellmcadams
Stephen Kinzer @stephenkinzer
Justin Raimondo @justinraimondo
Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz
Peter Hitchens @clarkemicah
Thomas Woods @ThomasEWoods
Patrick Buchanan @patrickbuchanan
Stephen McIntyre @climateaudit
Paul Jay @PaulJay_TRNN
Jeffrey St. Clair @jsccounterpunch
Justin Amash @justinamash
Jimmy Dore @jimmydore
Elizabeth Lea Vos @elizabethleavos
Seymour Hersh @seymourhersh
Noam Chomsky
Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi
John Kiriakou @JohnKiriakou
Lee Camp @LeeCamp
Philip Giraldi @philipgiraldi
Oliver Stone @theoliverstone
Will Porter @wkpancap
Lucy Komisar @LucyKomisar
Alex Krainer @NakedHedgie
Mike Whitney
Andrew Cockburn @andrewmcockburn
Tom Luongo @tfl1728
Alan R. Macleod @AlanRMacLeod
Joanne Leon @joanneleon
Dan Wright @aroundtheempire
Jim Kavanagh @ThePolemicist_
Gregg Jarrett @GregJarrett
Tim Shorrock @timothys
Bryan MacDonald @27khv
Andrew McCarthy @andrewcmccarthy
Abbie Martin @AbbyMartin
Robbie Martin @fluorescentgrey
Tim Black @realtimblack
Lou Dobbs @LouDobbs
Dana Rohrabacher @DanaRohrabacher
Ray McGovern @raymcgovern
Mary Dejevsky @marydejevsky
‘Moon of Alabama’ @moonofa
Tucker Carlson @tuckercarlson
Dan Cohen @DanCohen3000
Katrina vandenHeuvel @KatrinaNation
Lee Smith @LeeSmithDC
Craig Murray @craigmurrayorg
Scott Adams @ScottAdamsSays
Ali Abunimah @AliAbunimah
Mark Ames @MarkAmesExiled
Margot Cleveland @ProfMJCleveland
Chris Hedges @ChrisLynnHedges
Kim Strassel @KimStrassel
John W. Huber @JohnWHuber
Dan Bongino @dbongino
John Solomon @jsolomonReports
Chuck Ross @ChuckRossDC
‘The Last Refuge’ @TheLastRefuge2
Devin Nunes @DevinNunes
Byron York @ByronYork
Sean Davis @seanmdav
Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Rania Khalek @RaniaKhalek
George Szamuely @GeorgeSzamuely
Ben Norton @BenjaminNorton
Jordan Chariton @jordanchariton
Joe Lauria @unjoe
Leonid Bershidsky @Bershidsky
Neil Clark @NeilClark66
Dennis Bernstein
Kevin Shipp @kevin_shipp
Paul Craig Roberts
Tara McCormack @Mccormack_tara
Adam Johnson @adamjohnsonnyc
Jack Posobiec @JackPosobiec
Jeff Carlson @themarketswork
Walker Bragman @walkerbragman
Mark McCarthy
Sharyl Attkisson @SharylAttkisson
Victor Davis Hanson @VDHanson
The Saker
Jason Beale @jabeale
Paul Sperry @paulsperry_
Adam Carter @with_integrity
Mike Cernovich @Cernovich
Sara Carter @SaraCarterDC
Tom Fitton @TomFitton
Katie Halper @kthalps
Luke Rosiak @lukerosiak
Pat Lang
Kit Klarenberg @KitKlarenberg
Lee Stranahan @stranahan
Eoin Higgins @EoinHiggins_
Brian Becker @BrianBeckerDC
Michael Krieger @libertyblitz
William Blum
Jeremy Scahill @jeremyscahill
Peter B. Collins
T. A. Frank @tafrank
Shannon @Avery1776
Carroll Quigley @CarrollQuigley1
E. C. Everett @ECEverett1
‘Based Basterd’ @BasedBasterd
Jenn @JennElizabethJ
Rosie Memos @almostjingo
‘Ghost of Daniel Parker’ @SeekerOTL
‘BenKTallmadge’ @BenKTallmadge
Brian Cates @drawandstrike
Cassandra Fairbanks @CassandraRules
An0maly @LegendaryEnergy
Doug Johnson Hatlem @djjohnso
Stef Zamorano @miserablelib
Ron Placone @ronplacone
Margaret Kimberley @freedomrideblog
Glen Ford @glenfordbar
Bruce Dixon @brucedixon
Tracy Beanz @tracybeanz
Teodrose Fikre @TeodroseFikre
Piers Robinson @PiersRobinson1
Pepe Escobar
Jack Matlock
John J. Mearsheimer

Media Organizations

Scott Horton Show @scotthortonshow
Consortium News @Consortiumnews
Around the Empire @AroundTheEmpire
The Jimmy Dore Show @The Jimmy Dore Show
Spiked @spikedonline
Citations Needed @CitationsPod
The Real News @TheRealNews
The Liberty Report @RonPaulInstitut
The Nation @TheNation
Part of the Problem @comicdavesmith
Antiwar.com @Antiwarcom
The Federalist @FDRLST
Wikileaks @wikileaks
Naked Capitalism @Naked Capitalism
Zero Hedge @ZeroHedge
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting @FAIRMediaWatch
Humanist Report @humanistreport
LewRockwell.com @lewrockwell
Counterpunch @NatCounterPunch
Media Roots @MediaRootsNews
The Grayzone @GrayzoneProject
Crowdsource the Truth @csthetruth
World Socialist Web Site @WSWS_Updates
Foreign Policy Focus @Kyaaale
Disobedient Media @DisobedientNews
CrossTalk @PLCROSSTALK
Black Agenda Report @blkagendareport
Unauthorized Disclosure @UnauthorizedDis
Mint Press News @mintpressnews
21st Century Wire @21WIRE

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Foreign Policy Roundup 3-30-19

The oil rich country of Algeria is looking at a coup. The Iraqi government wants US troops out of country…again. Israel & Gaza brace for more violence as the election gets closer.

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Midwest Floods and the Coming Rise in Food Prices

While the media covers Russian Collusion & tells us that it was a “slow news week”, historical flooding is taking place (and will continue to take place) in the Midwest of the United States. Farmers have lost their livelihoods, crops & cattle for the year have been wiped out, and a rise in food prices is sure to follow.

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The Newest NATO Member…..Brazil?

On March 18th speaking outside the White House, President Trump discussed his intention to designate Brazil as a “non-NATO ally” while also rambling about an idea to even bring Brazil under the NATO banner.

This could be looked at as simply another random thought within Trump’s head more than an actual policy proposal, but with the ever growing focus on Latin America by the Trump administration and its over the top support for the newly elected “Donald Trump” of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Article 10 of the NATO Charter clearly states that only European countries can be invited into NATO, but NATO hasn’t followed its own rules for decades now. During the George W. Bush administration, a push was made to invite Pacific allies like Japan and Australia into NATO.

Currently, NATO is more of an overreaching army of the West more than a bulwark against “Russian Aggression”. New members are not only offered the continued protection of the American army, but they also are offered (and almost expected) deals on military technology and arms from western defense contractors, usually purchased with the same foreign aid money provided to them by the American taxpayer. Nice scam.

In some respects NATO is still focused on battling Russia influence in the world, but the aggression is coming from Washington D.C., not Moscow. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, NATO has expanded up to the Russian border, with the addition of Latvia, Estonia & Lithuania in 2004. Trump added Montenegro in 2017, and pushes for the addition of Georgia and Ukraine continue to this day.

An interesting rabbit-hole to go down is to research the ruling governments of these newly invited and confirmed NATO nations. Most are far-right wing government complete with full-blow racist parties running the show. That is not just my opinion. Check out the ruling party of Latvia, Visu Latvijai!. And we all know about John McCain’s favorite Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

Offering NATO membership to Brazil is inline with the Trump administration’s policy of “Fortress America”, which focuses American foreign policy on Latin America. The brain child of warmongering mustache hero John Bolton, the idea to expand the US military and economic footprint in Latin America could be seen as a counter to the butting of heads Trump as run up against with European NATO allies; along with the slow draw-down in the Middle East.

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The Russian Collusion Lie: A Message to the Believers

 

My personal frustration with the believers in the Russian Collusion narrative comes out in this video. The last two and a half years have been difficult for me, as I’ve had to cut off friends because of the unhinged, emotional civil war that was unleashed by irresponsible “journalists”. The ability for the War Party to almost oust a sitting president with the help of the “moral” Left, even if the face of no evidence of collusion (and a ton of evidence of Deep State interference) strained not just my personal relationships, but also the civil dialog in this country.

Americans should learn from this mistake. They should learn to question narratives and the motives of the people selling them news.

As Matt Taibbi said: “Russiagate is this generation’s WMD”.

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