Tag: intervention

You and I Paid for Bombs That Hit a Hospital Yesterday

Ryan Lau | @RyanLau71R

This Tuesday, a horrifying but unsurprising announcement came from Yemen. Once again, a Saudi drone strike missed its target, this time blowing up part of a hospital. The blast killed seven people, of whom four were children. Among the dead are a health worker and the worker’s two kids.

In related news, the United States continued to help the Saudis with air force training. We’re supplying them with arms, training, and in some cases, ground troops that fought on the side of Al Qaeda. With the terrorist group’s own fighters joining a Saudi coalition and fighting alongside the United States, it’s clear that we are indeed on the same side as the terrorists in this particular battle. Moreover, an ever-increasing amount of information is proving that we fund the Saudis militarily and sell them weapons, but they don’t always actually pay us what they owe, leaving burdens on Americans. Moreover, the Department of Defense has failed to collect payments for plane fuel, placing even more wartime expenses on taxpayers. They continue to strike targets that we advise against, but we continue to aid and train them. In fact, I pay them personally.

Continue reading “You and I Paid for Bombs That Hit a Hospital Yesterday”

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You Should Be Skeptical of Regime Change in Venezuela

Joseph Perkins | @counter_econ

With the current situation in Venezuela rapidly deteriorating, the United States is seizing the opportunity to do what it attempted to do in 2002: enact regime change in Venezuela. Joined by over 50 other countries, the United States has recognized Juan Guaido, a Venezuelan politician who is challenging the current dictator of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro, as interim president of Venezuela. It seems inevitable that Maduro will be ousted by Guaido supporters who are currently demonstrating in the streets against the current leader. While it may seem like an obvious decision to support Guaido over the current regime, there is no guarantee Guaido will be any less of a despot than Maduro currently is if history is any indication.

Continue reading “You Should Be Skeptical of Regime Change in Venezuela”

Iran vs The World

By Joshua D. Glawson | United States

From its inception in 550 B.C., the Persian Empire reigned with fervor and might. The Persians carved out their territory that would expand across major parts of Eurasia, keeping the Greeks at bay, as well as other nations in pursuit of their own place in history. Ever since the first establishment of the Persian Nation-State, they have had to fight off other nations and were influenced by them. The biggest change first occurred in 637 A.D. when Persia fell into the hands of the nomadic Arabs at the Battle of Kadisiya which is close to the Euphrates River. Once the Arabs took hold of the Persian Empire, they brought with them Islam and Arabic, which forever changed the Persian language and religion casting out most Zoroastrian practices. Zoroastrianism was not only the main Persian religion of choice, but it is often considered the first monotheistic religion of the world. After a long period of delegation, finding peace under the new regime and identity of the Persian Empire, in 1722 Afghan rebels had a degree of conflict with the Persian Empire, and they pursued the capturing of Isfahan. This seizing of a major city led the way for Russia and Turkey to also plunder their way through Persia, and by 1724 the Russians and Turks split the spoils among their militaries and elite.

By the 1800s to mid-1900s, the British and Americans had tight economic and personal relations with Persia. Although the British and Americans were both there to better petroleum and crude business in their favor, it was only the Brits that were seen as adversaries while the Americans were generally seen in favor by the Persian people. This was surely well-established when many Americans who were living in Persia in the early 1900s fought along the Persians’ and their rights in the Persian Constitutional Revolution from 1905 to 1911.

As quoted in the book, All the Shah’s Men, one person wrote, “…The American contribution to the improvement and, it was felt, the dignity of our impoverished, strife-torn country had gone far beyond their small numbers…Without attempting to force their way of life on people or convert us to their religion, they had learned Persian and started schools, hospitals, and medical dispensaries all over…” They went on to say, “The dedication of these exemplary men and women was not the only reason many Iranians admired the United States. American officials had spoken out to defend Iran’s rights. The United States sharply criticized the 1919 Anglo-Persian Agreement through which Britain acquired colonial powers in Iran.”

“That same year at Versailles, President Woodrow Wilson was the only world leader who supported Iran’s unsuccessful claim for monetary compensation from Britain and Russia for the effects of their occupation during World War I. In the mid-1920s an American envoy in Tehran was able to report that ‘Persians of all classes still have unbounded confidence in America.'” Of course, needless to say, it was also the US President, Woodrow Wilson, who would, unfortunately, lead America out of a more non-interventionist leaning foreign policy, into a hawkish mentality of a pursuit of war and control in the world from WWI to his constant concern for control over the Middle East. To this day, his policies plague American politics creating countless numbers of problems for the US and the world in an onslaught of political blowback.

In 1935, with relations with and influence from Nazi Germany, Persia’s name was changed to ‘Iran.’ This was a cognate of the word ‘Aryan,’ as the Nazis were in pursuit of the origins of the actual Aryan nation of people, and Persia’s leader, Reza Shah, wanted to establish good relations with the growing German powers. Not only was this a means of changing the direction of the Persian nation, but it was also a way of aligning with the Nazis against the British and Russians who had plundered their land for well over a century. This allegiance to Nazi Germany would prove tragic for Iran in WWII, as in 1941, the Anglo-Soviet Allies invaded and ensured the Nazis could not keep reign over the region.

With growing tensions over the following ten years from the British setting up the Anglo-Persian Oil Company also in 1935, Persians’ boiling tempers over increased economic struggles, and the ongoing introduction and implementation of Socialism, after also being struck left and right by the British, Americans, Russians, Turks, Afghans, and others, Iran voted to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The name was then changed to the National Iranian Oil Company. This, then, led to Mohammad Reza Shah officially signing the 1951 declaration that the State was the sole owner of the company, and put Mossadegh as Iran’s Prime Minister.

Mossadegh’s office prompted news outlets around the world to respond and criticize from various perspectives. The British press criticized Mossadegh for being like Robespierre, very Socialistic in a negative way, after Iran essentially stole the company rights. While the US, on the other hand, praised Mossadegh for being like Thomas Jefferson freeing Iran from the British as Jefferson helped to free America from the British. Although, the British interpretation of the events was probably more accurate than the Americans’, both the British and the US colluded together in 1953 to overthrow Mossadegh and return the Shah.

In 1953, the CIA and Britain’s M16 staged a coup in Iran to overthrow Mossadegh because it was clearly evident that he was attempting to allow the Soviets into Iran instead of the Western Allies. The US policy at the time, the Truman Doctrine, stated that the US would come to the aid and defense of any people threatened by Communism. Mossadegh’s introduction of disorder within Iran was eventually the downfall of the Shah and allowed Socialists and Communists to infiltrate Iran ever since.

Iran has been continuously influenced by the outside world in that it has lost most of its military capabilities coming from the 5th largest military power in the world and then losing most of it all by the early 1980s after the Iran-Iraq war. Iran now continues to seek to create nuclear weaponry in order to better negotiate their place in the world and to possibly end many of the sanctions put on them by the US. The US and Iran used to have very good relations and diplomacy prior to the end of the Shah’s reign.

Today, Iranian leaders continue to utilize Diversionary War Theory “which states that leaders who are threatened by domestic turmoil occasionally initiate an international conflict in order to shift the nation’s attention away from internal troubles.”  Many of the economic difficulties are not only due to the government seizing companies especially in the oil and natural gas industries, but also the sanctions brought on by the US. So, it is not as obvious that leaders in Iran are attempting to divert the attention of the economic struggles of Iran, rather there is some justification for their anger towards the US.

Iran’s justified anger with the US was initiated by the US’ infiltration and establishment of Mohammad Reza Shah and continued acts of aggression such as severe economic and travel sanctions, and completely encircling Iran with US military bases and battleships. Furthermore, since the US has now backed out of the Iranian Nuclear Deal that was being led by the Obama administration, Trump’s administration will most likely be reimplementing these heavy economic and travel sanctions, along with several others that are surely to assist in the near total destruction of Iran.

This, of course, is not to suggest that Iran is completely innocent. Iran has innumerable cases of human rights violations and a severally corrupt government which allows paying one’s way out of crimes and completely undermining the private sector as the Iranian government has the power to seize and control privately owned companies at near whim.

Overall, Iran has been shaped, influenced, benefited, and harmed by the international community from almost the beginning. The strife caused through interventionist policies of outside nations and States has also prompted internal domestic conflicts and turmoil for Iran. These instances of influence have led to destabilization and the pessimistic future for Iran. Although Iran has done everything they believed possible to leverage their negotiations by building nuclear weapons and attempting a Nuclear Deal with the US, unfortunately it has thus far failed. Iran’s past one hundred years has already been filled with chaos and confusion, surely the next one hundred will be the same as long as countries outside of Iran continue to intervene and act in hostility towards them; and if Iran continues to violate the rights of individuals within their borders, there is no hope for Iran as a country.


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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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Legacy of Lies: America’s Dirty Habit

By Joseph Brown | United States

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

But what happens when you’re fooled a third time?

In the wake of the latest chemical attacks in the suburbs of Damascus that allegedly left dozens of people dead, the world demands justice, while the Trump administration considers military intervention. Immediately following the news of the attack were accusations that the culprits were government forces, led by the Syrian President: Bashar al-Assad.

Such allegations have a familiar ring, as deadly gas attacks were recorded within the country in 2013, 2016, and now again this past weekend. Nobody knows the true number of casualties caused by the devastating conflict in Syria, but one thing is for certain.

Assad is not responsible for the gas attacks on his people.

It doesn’t take a master strategist to recognize how illogical the claims against the Syrian President are. After 9 years of bitter conflict that attracted the interests of nations from around the world, President Bashar al-Assad had become one of the most despised men in western society. His regime had faced fierce opposition from major world powers, including the United States, and the demand for his immediate disposal was incredibly high.

Ian Wilkie, a U.S. Army veteran and Director of the prominent intelligence company: Archer Analytics, elaborates on the precarious position of Assad: “He is under the gun, as it were, and under the glare of thousands of cameras. His motivation not to use chemical weapons is immense.”

The very thought that Assad, in such a delicate position, would use illegal weapons against unarmed civilians of his own country in a senseless act of violence that would surely trigger international intervention is outrageous.

Yet the claims continue.

Simply examining the chain of events surrounding the attacks reveals a disturbing pattern. In August 2013, the day before the first attack, Bashar al-Assad welcomed weapon inspectors from the United Nations to take inventory of federal forces in an act of transparency. The following morning, headlines all over the world broadcasted the horrific effects of sarin gas, after two rockets containing the deadly compound shook the city of Ghouta.

Are we supposed to believe that Assad would be stupid enough to order an attack on innocent civilians using an outlawed nerve agent in a city less than 10 miles away from where the inspectors were working?

The lies continued last year in April, after the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: Nikki Haley, announced that regime change in Syria was no longer a priority for the U.S. government. Only days after this decision, which was essentially a “get out of jail free card”, we were told that Assad again used the outlawed chemical compound on his people. Such accusations were met with a swift display of American aggression consisting of no less than 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles which targeted a Syrian airbase.

And finally, only days after President Trump announced his plans for withdrawing over 2 thousand troops from Syria and ending direct American resistance to the regime, Assad again thinks its a good time to drop chemical weapons, an act which provoked a costly assault on his assets in the past.

It’s just like the legendary ancient strategist and philosopher, Sun Tzu, wrote in his book The Art of War: “When your enemy is nearly defeated, and final victory is at hand, gas your own people so that nations greater than yours will intervene and destroy you.”

Spoiler alert, he didn’t actually say that.

Nevertheless, the ridiculous accusations continue, in spite of the blatant fallacies evident in the arguments of Assad’s opponents.

The situation at hand bears a striking resemblance to another Middle Eastern country in 2003, when the United States falsified evidence of chemical weapons in the possession of Saddam Hussein to justify an invasion of Iraq, an offensive that had disastrous consequences for the stability of the region, and for American families.

But unlike in Iraq, where great pains were taken to convince the world of imminent danger, it seems as if hardly any attempts were made to create any sort of logical explanation proving Assad guilty.

In fact, after the United States launched its attack on the Shayrat Airbase in 2017, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, went so far as to say that the U.S. has “no evidence” that the Syrian government used the banned nerve agent against its own people, and it is well documented that the Syrian government willingly surrendered its entire chemical weapon stockpile to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2014.

But as the Managing Director of the Libertarian Institute, Scott Horton, proclaimed: “Americans will believe anything, as long as it’s not true.”


Despite claims by various White House officials stating that they have obtained evidence of Assad’s involvement, no legitimate intelligence was offered to validate such accusations. Mr. Wilkie again offers skeptical speculation on the issue, saying: “The intelligence community was more than willing to show Khrushchev’s missiles, but they have no ability to share evidence with the public about Assad today? This defies credulity and calls the “evidence” provided in the White House memorandum into question.”

These lies have been almost unilaterally accepted by the international community, save for a few of Assad’s close allies, the largest of which being Russia. However, those who oppose an American military intervention as a reaction to the attacks are quick to point out the United State’s less than glamorous history with chemical weapons.

After all, the American’s wrote the book on weapons of mass destruction and chemical warfare. The U.S. remains as the only country in the world who has used nuclear weapons, and has done so twice, both times specifically targeting civilian populations, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. American military forces used fatal chemical defoliants without restraint in Vietnam, supported sarin attacks against Iranian forces during the Iran-Iraq War, and used controversial incendiary chemical weapons to destroy the city of Fallujah in Iraq.

If the Tonkin Gulf Incident, Invasion of Iraq, and the War on Drugs has taught the American people anything, it is that the U.S. government is not afraid of exploiting the ignorance of its people for strategic maneuvering.

Another military intervention in Syria could prove catastrophic for American interests and global stability alike. The rising of tensions between conflicting powers has already taken the lives of thousands in Syria, and threatens to drag the United States into another pointless and expensive war.

Don’t let them fool you again.

“With lies you may go ahead in the world, but you can never go back.” -Russian proverb.

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