Author: James Sweet III

James Sweet is a reporter for 71 Republic from Lexington, South Carolina. He is an advocate for voluntary association and the free markets, alongside personal responsibility. As well as being a member of his school's FBLA chapter and debate team, James is the Director of the South Carolina Libertarian Youth Caucus. You can contact him at [email protected]

Italy’s Populist Government Materializes

By James Sweet III | Italy

In Italy, the xenophobic League party, led by Matteo Salvini, has organized a governing coalition with the Euroskeptic Five Star Movement, led by Luigi Di Maio. This new government would be heavily based on Euroskeptism, populism, and skepticism to refugees and immigrants.

Giuseppe Conte, a law professor at Florence University, is going to become the next Prime Minister. With the nation being the third largest economy in the European Union, other members fear for the future for the European Union’s overall economy. Both parties support cuts in taxes while also increasing spending, a harmful move for a nation whose debt has recently soared to become 132% of its total GDP. For comparison, that is the second worst in the European Union, with Greece being the first. 15% of the European Union’s total GDP derives from Italy, and 23% of its debt belongs to the nation.

The two parties have agreed on three major policies: universal basic income, tax cuts, and a lower pension age. The proposed basic income would be €780 a month, which is equivalent to $917. The proposed cuts to taxes would lower the rates to a number between 15% and 20%. Capital Economics predicts that, if these policies were enacted, Italian debt would rise by 150%, relative to their GDP, over the next five years.

Federico Santi, an analyst at Eurasia Group, stated, “their plans on fiscal policy would result in a huge increase in the deficit, a blatant violation of EU deficit rules. If implemented in their current form [these proposals] would still result in an additional €100 billion ($117.8 billion) in additional spending or lower revenue.”

Member nations, like France, are concerned over the new government of Italy, with the Economy Minister of France, Bruno Le Maire, believing the stability of the Eurozone would be at stake. Euroskeptism is rising in the Union, and it’s only time until they reach a breaking point.


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North Korea Warns The United States

By James Sweet | United States

While the United States and the executive branch believes its sanctions and tough diplomacy against North Korea is working, a North Korean Foreign Ministry official thinks otherwise.

The official believes the American government is “misleading public opinion” by believing the sanctions are the primary reason behind Korean peace talks. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to meet in the next few months, although a time and place has not been publicly announced.

The North Korean government has also stated that the United States should refrain from putting “pressure and military threats” against the regime. “The US is deliberately provoking [North Korea] at the time when the situation on the Korean peninsula is moving toward peace and reconciliation thanks to the historic north-south summit and the Panmunjom Declaration,” says a statement from the regime.

“This act cannot be construed otherwise than a dangerous attempt to ruin the hard-won atmosphere of dialogue and bring the situation back to square one. It would not be conducive to addressing the issue if the US miscalculates the peace-loving intention of [North Korea] as a sign of ‘weakness’ and continues to pursue its pressure and military threats against the latter.”

The state news agency, KCNA, reported that the North Korean government was giving credit to their leader and his “boldness, patriotism and leadership” for the new diplomatic revelations.


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Rand Paul Betrayed Us, But He Is Not Alone

By James Sweet III | United States

Rand Paul has been described as a liberty-loving, charismatic, honest man, paving the way for small government in the United States Senate. From filibustering the Patriot Act renewal to live-tweeting his reading of the most recent omnibus spending bill, it is safe to say that many describe the senator accurately. He has caused great anger among establishment Republicans (for good reason) by disobeying their partisan politics. Sadly, he is human, and humans make mistakes. He voted in favor of a positive report for Mike Pompeo, who is now the new Secretary of State. This was a blatant betrayal of the ground he and many of his supporters stood on.

Senator Paul openly stood against the nomination of Mike Pompeo, with the former CIA Director’s statements on striking Iran being a main concern for the senator, and rightfully so. Secretary Pompeo has also stated in a CBS interview that “make no mistake about it, we are doing things today that the CIA was not doing a year ago, and there’s more risk attached to those.” Expanding the surveillance state is something that Rand Paul stands against, and he knew that Mike Pompeo was okay with expanding it. Yet, he still decided to change his mind and vote in favor of Mike Pompeo.

Why?

Senator Paul tweeted his decision to vote in favor of Pompeo.

Having received assurances from President Trump and Director Pompeo that he agrees with the President on these important issues, I have decided to support his nomination to be our next Secretary of State.

Senator Rand Paul

@RandPaul

He was assured that Mike Pompeo believed the Iraq War was a mistake. It’s great knowing that the Secretary recognizes the mistakes made in the past. However, it means nothing if he believes in striking Iran or expanding harsh tactics before diplomacy. After all, the Secretary of State is one of the leading diplomats of the nation.

Senator Paul wasn’t the only senator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that betrayed us that day. Senator Chris Coons is a Democrat, and initially followed in with his party, voting against Mike Pompeo in the committee. However, with Rand Paul voting in favor of Pompeo, and one senator absent, the vote was now 10-10. The missing senator was a Republican, but was busy at a funeral, speaking at it.

The committee could’ve waited until the senator returned, with his vote being the tiebreaker, but Senator Coons decided to not wait. He announced to the Committee he would abstain if a second vote occurred. Of course, due to this announcement, a second vote did occur. The new tally: 10 in the affirmation, 9 in the negation, 1 abstention. Because of this “bipartisan” move, the Senate gave Pompeo a positive report, enabling his senate confirmation.

Senator Rand Paul voted a war-hawk into the position of Secretary of State, and Senator Chris Coons compromised his principles and policies for a quicker and easier process for someone he disagreed with. It is disappointing to see that two Senators compromised their beliefs due to outside pressure to do so.


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Japanese Agency Orders Crypto Exchange to Improve Itself

By James Sweet III | Japan

The Japanese Financial Services Agency, shortened to FSA, is a government agency that is responsible for overseeing financial organizations like banks, exchanges, and insurance corporations. Just recently, they issued an order to a cryptocurrency exchange, demanding that they improve their operations to meet the FSA’s standards.

Minnano Bitcoin, a government-approved exchange for cryptocurrencies in Japan, was the exchange that received the “administrative punishment” handed down by the government. The FSA did an inspection of the exchange’s operations, and discovered it was “not performing appropriate verification at the internal audit in addition to the inadequate management and management system.”

The demands state that Minnano Bitcoin must do the following:

Building a business management system; Establishment of a management system for money laundering and terrorist financing; Construction of bookkeeping management system; Establishment of management system related to user protection measures; Construction of system risk management system and outsourcing management system.

May 14 is the deadline the FSA has created for the exchange to improve its internal organization, as well as write a report on its improvements.

Minnano Bitcoin is a “deemed dealer” of cryptocurrencies and other assets, allowing them to operate. Exchanges can become licensed, leading to less intrusion and investigation in the long run. Only two licensed exchanges have been ordered to improve their businesses in some way, while multiple other deemed dealers have been ordered to improve their operations.

Just In Case: How to Fight a Revolution

By James Sweet III | United States

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution was added to the Bill of Rights to give the people of this nation the ability to fight against the government in the circumstance that our civil servants turned into tyrannical takers of rights.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

In a 2013 Gallup poll, 60% of gun owners surveyed stated they had guns for self-defense purposes. It would be nice if we had that statistic up to 100%. Why? Well, we all need to understand that the state needs to take away your guns before mass infringement of rights can occur. Self-defense applies to all aggressors, including the state. It is not hypothetical, but a reality, as a town in Illinois has banned “assault weapons”. While weapons beyond a handgun may not be needed for self-defense against petty thieves, they are needed for situations like the Battle of Athens, an instance of Americans fighting to abolish a corrupt government. What if tyranny and corruption were on a much larger scale? We can’t just storm a couple of buildings in a county and expect to win. It’s complicated and extensive, but can be boiled down to three words.

Hit and run.

Revolutions and wars have been fought through various methods, a common one being guerrilla warfare. The Risorgimento, American War of Independence, and Irish War of Independence are just three examples of wars fought through guerrilla warfare. In 1990, Major Johnie Gombo of the USMC wrote an essay titled “Understanding Guerrilla Warfare”. The first three paragraphs of the thesis interesting. It states,

Unless a Marine Air Ground Task Force Commander understands guerrilla warfare, conflict with a belligerent who uses guerrilla warfare will cause a problem.

In 1973, the United States left South Vietnam, ending eighteen years of military support. One reason for the pull- out was the United States’ inability to stop the guerrilla war being conducted by the Viet Cong. To prevent future problems, an understanding of guerrilla warfare is necessary.

Guerrilla warfare is an unconventional type of warfare involving limited combat against military targets. It consists of three phases: Phase I is the development of local support; Phase II is organizational growth, and combat against the enemy; and Phase III is the transition of the guerrilla organization into a conventional force, and the defeat of the enemy.

The United States Marine Corps understands the fierce power a guerrilla fighting force could yield, and the damage that could be inflicted against conventional fighting forces could lead to the worst thing possible for that force: a military defeat. The Vietnam War is the best example of a superpower’s army being defeated by a guerrilla fighting force. The United States had chemicals like Agent Orange, machine guns, helicopters, bombers, tanks, and artillery, yet still couldn’t win the war.

If a revolution against the United States did occur, the power of the United States Armed Forces would be weaker than it’s power overseas, due to the fact that they would be damaging their own infrastructure, as well as possibly killing non-combatants. Just like in Vietnam with the Viet Cong, it would be hard for the military to differentiate non-combatants against guerrilla fighters, so accidentally killing American civilians could stir more resistance against the government forces. Major Johnie Gombo also states in his essay, “Therefore, the guerrillas attempt to win the support of the masses by attacking an oppressive government or occupying force. In addition, the guerrillas treat the masses with respect and dignity, and capitalize on the oppressive behavior of the enemy.” Furthermore, it would be illogical to damage cities with mass importance, like New York,  whose economic influence is too crucial for the United States to get rid of or damage.

The war would have to be fought carefully against the revolutionaries, yet the revolutionaries wouldn’t have to be as careful. That is mainly due to the fact that government soldiers and equipment is marked, or at least distinguishable from ordinary people and objects. In a crowd of people, you could distinguish an Army soldier in his gear from ordinary citizens. In that same crowd, could you distinguish a civilian fighter from a non-combatant civilian? It’s not as likely. Color coordination may be one thing that guerrilla fighters may use to identify themselves to other fighters, but if the color or other forms of identification changes every time, it would be much harder for the government forces to identify who is who.

In terms of fighting a revolution, we should look at the insurgents in the Middle East or American Patriots like Francis Marion. Insurgents in the Middle East have been able to put fear into soldiers due to their methods. From hiding explosives near roads to disguising themselves in cities, actions are taken to instill fear into the hearts of the enemy. By creating fear, you can intimidate the enemy and wear down their morale.  Men like Francis Marion will lead the enemy into terrain that is hard to traverse, like swamps. Marion gained the name “The Swamp Fox” for losing his enemies in the swamps of the Carolinas.

Winning a war must result in the guerrilla force turning into a conventional force. For this to happen, the guerrilla fighters must bleed the enemy of resources and supplies. By doing so, they can tilt the war into their favor by bringing the enemy down to their level. This can be down by blowing up military supply routes, and bridges crucial to the enemies resupply effort.

Avoiding combat in cities is preferable. Crowded cities can make guerrilla fighters be lost if they do not know the placements of enemies. It is better to lure the enemy into areas like forests and swamps that are easy for the insurgents to map out. By having this advantage, it becomes easier for one to bleed the enemy dry.

Guerrilla warfare and insurgency requires proper strategy, but it is feared by armed forces for its unpredictability. If you are ever confronted with the opportunity to stop tyranny at home, remember that revolutionary tactics are on your side.


To learn more about insurgency and counterinsurgency, you can access a 2014 Department of the Army document here.


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