When Conservatives Become Outcasts Reply

The Southern Poverty Law Center now attacks religious conservatives and mainstream political conservatives in the same way it attacks white supremacist organizations. The further leftward the wider society, government and culture drift, the more people and groups with “conservative” values will be on the receiving end of such attacks. It will be interesting to see if these groups retain their traditional patriotism the more they are regarded as outcasts, or whether they will (hopefully) embrace “anti-Americanism.”

By Carol Swain

First Things

Catholics, Evangelical Christians, and pro-family organizations have a common adversary, one that is virulent and relentless. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is a powerful progressive advocacy group that says its primary mission is to fight hatred, teach tolerance, and seek justice. Despite its noble beginnings in the years following the civil rights movement, during which it fought white supremacist groups resisting social change and the rule of law, the SPLC now works to advance the agenda of the cultural left. Ironically, given the deeply Christian character of the civil rights movement, the SPLC now equates traditional Christian and pro-family organizations with hate groups such as the Aryan Nations, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis. What makes these religious groups an SPLC target? A shared biblical worldview that condemns homosexuality and transgenderism.

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The Ugly Coded Critique of Chick-Fil-A’s Christianity Reply

Liberal and left hysteria over “Chick-Fil-A” coming to town is reminiscent of the way the religious right would react to the opening of an adult bookstore or a gay bar back in the day. This article also makes an interesting point about demographics.

By Stephen Carter

Bloomberg.Com

The New Yorker has been taking it on the chin lately for its essay about Chick-fil-A’s “infiltration” of New York City. Although most of the piece is about the evils of fast food and the chain’s ubiquitous “Eat Mor Chikin” advertising campaign, the essay has been excoriated for its anti-Christian tone. “The brand’s arrival here feels like an infiltration, in no small part because of its pervasive Christian traditionalism,” we’re told. Not just that: “Its headquarters, in Atlanta, are adorned with Bible verses and a statue of Jesus washing a disciple’s feet. Its stores close on Sundays.” And lest we forget: “The restaurant’s corporate purpose still begins with the words ‘to glorify God.’”

What the author really seems angry about is that the company’s CEO opposes same-sex marriage. But the framing of the piece made Christianity the villain, and the headline — “Chick-fil-A’s Creepy Infiltration of New York City” — was sufficiently troubling that Nate Silver quickly tweeted “This is why Trump won.” Fair point. Religious bigotry is always dangerous. But there’s a deeper problem here, a difficulty endemic to today’s secular left: an all-too-frequent weird refusal to acknowledge the demographics of Christianity. When you mock Christians, you’re not mocking who you think you are.

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The Green Panthers: The Bong and the Rifle Reply

This is an old article from 20 years ago about the Green Panthers, a group of militant stoners that advocated armed resistance to the “war on drugs,” and the creation of a “stoner homeland” in northern California. This article first appeared around the time that I was starting to develop the idea of an “alliance of separatists” as a tactical paradigm for anarchists. I remember circulating this article, and even a lot of hard-core radicals thought this group was a joke. But guess what? They won.

BI Graphics_legal marijuana map 2018

By Cletus Nelson

The Bong and the Rifle

Not all stoners are passive in their loathing of the War on Drugs–the pot-loving Green Panthers are preparing for armed struggle and the possibility of a seperate stoner nation. Sound like the plot of Kurt Russel’s next post-apocalyptic flick? Read on

By Cletus Nelson

The tactics used by activists to voice their dissent against the prohibition of marijuana have changed very little since the 1960s. Despite the fact that the drive to legalize cannabis began in an environment that spawned such violent, armed groups as the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), today’s hemp advocates are firm adherents to the peaceful protest.

Each year a myriad of non-threatening marches, candle-light vigils, demonstrations, and sit-ins are held in the hope of ending the herb’s illegal status. Although the tireless efforts of these many tie-dyed warriors are to be commended, the war against America’s pot smokers keeps escalating.

Casualties of war

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“Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners, saints” Reply

This Larry Krasner guy sounds too good to be true. But if he’s for real, I suppose it would be an illustration of the possibility of “reform within the system.” The idea that virtually any jurisdiction in the United States comes even remotely close to being “soft on crime” is nonsense. The USA has the distinction of being a First World nation with a Third World “criminal justice system” (a misnomer), and that’s being charitable. The legal systems of plenty of underdeveloped countries are no worse than those of the USA.

By Larry Platt

The Philadelphia Citizen

Make no mistake about it: We’re ground zero in a revolution, an epochal moment that asks—without necessarily answering—big questions: What is crime? What is punishment? What makes up our social contract? Throughout the country, funded by billionaire George Soros, a new breed of District Attorney has been taking the reins of power; when former public defender Mark Gonzalez, who has the words “Not Guilty” tattooed across his chest, was elected District Attorney in 2016 in Nueces County, Texas, it was a harbinger of sweeping change. The lines in our adversarial justice system were blurring. You could see it in our D.A. race last year, when ultimate victor Larry Krasner swung the debate leftward and suddenly those running to be our chief law enforcement officer sounded like they were seeking to become our Public Defender In Chief.

Now that Krasner, a lifelong defense and civil rights attorney who sued the Philadelphia police force some 75 times, is three months into his rocky tenure, it’s become clear that the revolution is upon us and that Krasner has become its poster boy. I’ve spent a good part of the last few weeks talking to former and current prosecutors, as well as police and victims. And let me tell you: They’re freaking out. They see Krasner as an existential threat; he’d say he is a threat—to the status quo of an unjust system. They counter that he’s ultimately a threat to safety on our streets.

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International Journalist Tells The Truth About Syria Reply

A must watch.

A relevant post from a YouTube commentor:

“The Assad government may not be all roses and sunshine (And I dare anyone to find me a squeaky clean government, any government), but it is a secular and moderate government. Shiites, Sunnis, Alawites etc. and Christians all lived there peacefully, way more peacefully than ethnic groups do in the US. Women enjoy a great deal of rights, they are not required to cover their hair or face, the universities actually had more female students than male. Assad is by no means a dictator, if you look at the region, he is a rainbow farting unicorn in comparison to some of the murderous psychos on US payroll.”

 

Former UK Ambassador Reveals Truth About Syria – With Special Guest Peter Ford Reply

A must watch.

Former UK Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford joins today’s Liberty Report to share his vast experience in the region. He has notably deviated from the government/media narrative about the alleged Assad gas attack. How likely is it that Assad used gas? Why are inspectors being prevented from visiting the site? How is the “official narrative” holding up to increasing scrutiny?

The World’s Five Military Empires Reply

Really just the USA, with the UK, France, Russia and China as minor leaguers.

By Frank Jacobs

BigThink.Com

Despite talk of American decline, the U.S. still is the world’s only superpower – if by that you mean: the country with by far the biggest military footprint throughout the world.

These maps, produced at the end of last year by the Swiss Institute for Peace and Energy Research (SIPER), show the geographic distribution of foreign military bases for five countries with some of the largest defence budgets (1) in the world.

The United States spent $611 billion on its defence in 2016. According to this map, that kind of money buys you a military presence on every inhabited continent of the world. According to SIPER, the U.S. has 587 bases in a total of 42 other countries, in addition to 4,154 bases on its own territory, plus 114 bases in U.S. overseas territories.

In the Americas, it’s easier to list the countries where the U.S. military is not present: Belize, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in Central America; Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay in South America; and Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic (and, to be fair, most of the region’s island nations) in the Caribbean. And yes, despite the decades of hostility with Cuba, the U.S. does maintain a base there: Guantanamo.

Same thing for Europe: listing the countries without an American military presence is easier – and more instructive: Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Finland: all neutral countries, outside NATO. Serbia and Montenegro: the former enemy from the Yugoslav wars in the 1990s. And of course Russia, and its satellite Belarus. A few decades ago this would have sounded surreal, but there are now American troops in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Albania.

In Africa, the American military has a presence across the entire north, from Morocco to Egypt (and including Libya); in a few west African nations, including Burkina Faso and Niger; and in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Remarkable: the cluster of countries in the Horn of Africa with U.S. military presence, from former no-go area Somalia all the way to war-torn South Sudan. Noticeable absence: central Africa.

Also: pretty much the entire Middle East, except Syria and Lebanon. And Iran, if you include that country in the region. But again in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. If you were China, would that not feel like a link in the chain of U.S. military encirclement? That chain also includes Australia, South East Asia – from Indonesia all the way up to Vietnam and Laos – the Philippines, South Korea and Japan.

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What Should Anti-Imperialists Do? Reply

A reader asks this question:

Hi, Keith. I am concerned that a lot [of]anti-imperialists are so used to America being the only and worst empire, that they are blind to foreign powers interested in becoming the next America, in the same way anarcho-capitalists are blind to the possibility of big tech companies becoming the next state. At what point should we be concerned about power shifting from Oceania to Eurasia and/or Eastasia?

The reader is referring to George Orwell’s use of “Oceania,” “Eurasia,” and “Eastasia” as metaphors for the Atlantic powers, Russia, and the Asian powers, respectively, in the dystopian novel 1984.

Certainly, anti-imperialists should not wish for the unipolar hegemony of the Anglo-American-NATO (Atlanticist)-Zionist-Wahhabi axis to recede or collapse only to be replaced by the hegemony of the rising BRICS-Shiah-Global South axis. However, the first crucial fact that has to be recognized when considering the relationship between the Western axis and Eastern axis is that the East is currently nowhere near the position of being a “counter-hegemon” of its own.

Image result for map of u.s. military bases around the world

There’s a long way to go before the East will be able to achieve anything approximating the hegemony that “Oceania” has had since the end of the Cold War. Compare the number of military bases the US and NATO have around the world with the number that Russia or China have and the Eastern powers barely show up on the radar.

Image result for map of u.s. military bases around the world

Probably the best scenario from anti-imperialist perspective (as far as anything that is possible or reasonable) would be a multipolar world and armed peace between the major powers who function as constraints on each other.

Within a multipolar framework, there might be more room for independent blocks of nations to emerge, for regional independence movements to proliferate and for startup societies or anti-authoritarian movements to develop.

I agree that “Oceania” is slowly being challenged by “Eurasia” and “Eastasia” but we’re still a long way from genuine multipolarity.

The main thing Western anti-imperialists need to be concerned with is the use of Russiahate, weapons hysteria, and faux humanitarianism by “Oceania” in order to hold or extend its position. Anti-imperialists in the East need to be focused on what their own states are doing because 95% of the time it is your own state that is your main enemy.

What Are “Assad Apologists”? Are They Like Those “Saddam Apologists” Of 2002? Reply

By Caitlin Johnstone

Medium

Isn’t it fascinating how western journalists are suddenly rallying to attack the dangerous awful and horrifying epidemic of “Assad apologists” just as the western empire ramps up its longstanding regime change agenda against the Syrian government? Kinda sorta exactly the same way they began spontaneously warning the world about “Saddam apologists” around the time of the Iraq invasion?

The increasingly pro-establishment Intercept has published an article titled “Dear Bashar al-Assad Apologists: Your Hero Is a War Criminal Even If He Didn’t Gas Syrians,” condemning unnamed opponents of western interventionism in Syria for not being sufficiently condemnatory of Bashar al-Assad in their antiwar discourse.

Last week The Times published an article titled “Apologists for Assad working in British universities,” frantically informing the public that “top academics” are circulating information that runs counter to the official Syria narrative, followed this week by a Huffington Post article attacking those same academics in the same way. Yesterday, the BBC ran an article titled “Syria war: the online activists pushing conspiracy theories,” warning its readers about “pro-Syrian government” internet posts.

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Democracy Now’s “Alt Media” Platform for Humanitarian Imperialism in Syria 1

By Elliot Gabriel

Mint Press News

NEW YORK CITY — The dust had barely settled after last weekend’s U.S.-led bombing of Syria before a split in the political class developed. While some Beltway figures, media personalities and former officials hailed the bombings, others decried the “limited” nature of the airstrikes. At the grassroots level, a somewhat different debate gripped the left and the right — those who opposed the bombings were accused of buying into the propaganda of the Syria-Russia-Iran alliance, while would-be defenders of human rights called for increased military measures to degrade the killing capacity of the “Assad regime.”

Democracy Now!, the daily hour-long news show hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, has long been the flagship institution for U.S. progressives. With its jaunty 90s opening theme, timely coverage of world events, liberal (maybe radical-liberal) take on global affairs, and impressive range of top-tier guests including authors, government officials, policy experts and activists, the syndicated program is seen as an exemplary display of independent journalism.

No doubt, the New York-based show is in a class of its own when compared to the vapidity and sensationalism of shock-jock right-wing radio or smug, Beltway liberalism of Randi Rhodes, Thom Hartmann or Cenk Uygur. Like a gust of oxygen in the choking smog of AC360-Maddow infotainment, Amy Goodman resembles an enlightened aunt at a Fourth of July party — a female version of Ira Glass who brings a kale, cauliflower, almond cheese and cumin-spiced casserole to the potluck while discussing difficult topics in an unshakeably calm, Zen-like manner.

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The Spectrum of Opinion on Syria Reply

Surveying the range of opinion that has been expressed on Syria, the positions of various ideological factions seem to be breaking down along these lines.

The entire spectrum of the “mainstream media” seems to be cheerleading for the attacks on Syria. Of course, the spectrum from MSNBC to FOX is not that wide of a spectrum. A couple of happy exceptions among the FOX crowd have been Tucker Carlson and Tomi Lahren.

On the question of Syria, I’ve noticed that centrist-liberals (the Rachel Maddow fans that Caleb Maupin, and I, bemoan) are generally pro-war, while the actual left (generally) is not (from what I can tell so far). However, I’ve noticed that a lot of the “antifascist” types are more concerned about “far right entryism” and “red/brown alliances” than actual imperialism. A lot of other leftists tend to treat imperialism as just another laundry list issue along among the spectrum of conventional “social justice” interests (which I think is a mistake). There are still others that may be against the war in theory, but are more worried about “microagressions.”

I think the Left has had two major problems when it comes to this question. First, co-optation by the neoliberal center (Democrats) and subordinating issues of these kinds to idpol on the far left. Obviously, there are exceptions (Counterpunch, Black Agenda Report, Jill Stein, Dissident Voice, Jimmie Dore, Abby Martin, etc). but those have been the exceptions rather than the rule.

Of course, the Rothbardian libertarians are good on foreign policy generally, and consistently oppose all US imperialist wars. Libertarians, with some exceptions, are generally pretty good on foreign policy, although like the Left they often treat foreign policy as “just another issue” along with “school choice” and “tax cuts.” The paleoconservatives, the “far right,” and the Alt-Right have likewise stepped up to the plate on Syria, largely on isolationist, pro-Assad, anti-Israel or Eurasianist grounds. The “far right” in all of its configurations has emerged as the most consistently anti-intervention milieu in the last 15 years or so, although these sectors also treat foreign policy as “just another issue,” and secondary to opposition to immigration, and other standard “far right” issues.

Against NATO’s Imperialist Attacks in Syria Reply

Internationalist Commune of Rojava

It’s Going Down

The following statement comes from the Internationalist Commune of Rojava, and denounces the recent bombings carried out by NATO forces in Syria, which have been being planned for weeks, and carried out under the guise of ‘humanitarian intervention.’

From the Internationalist Commune of Rojava, in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, we denounce the bombings carried out this early morning by the NATO forces against the Syrian territory. These imperialist attacks led by the USA, with the collaboration of France and the UK, are a new example of the brutality and the imperialist thirst of the NATO forces in the Middle East.

The global powers make a display of their military industry, testing their weapons without considering the consequences of their actions on the civil population. The launch of high tech missiles under the pretext of a chemical attack which has not been proven abuses the instability in Syria making it testing grounds for the latest weaponry advances. The increase in market value of the companies building the missiles, which have increased their capital in over 5 billion dollars in a matter of hours, lays bare what war means for capitalism: profit.

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The Coup is Complete – Trump is Done 1

This assessment seems fairly on target.

By Tom Luongo

If there is one thing the last 48 hours have proved to me, it’s this.  Donald Trump is no longer acting President.  The coup against Trump has been completed.

I’m going to keep this simple.  Follow the dots and try to keep up.

  1. The Deep State’s lies are being unraveled in real time thanks to the collective intelligence of the ‘internet’ and our ability to synthesize data in real time.
  2. The Skripal poisoning and the latest Syrian “chemical weapons” attack share the same thing — both set government officials off rushing to judgment and action before any official investigation could debunk them.

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Keith Preston: Syria Strikes Show Trump Is under Neocons’ Thumb Reply

 An interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
Syria Strikes Show Trump Is under Neocons’ Thumb: US Analyst

“The attack on Syria indicates that the Trump administration is now fully under the control of the neoconservative-controlled foreign policy establishment, and that any inclination the Trump administration may have ever had toward altering US foreign policy has been abandoned…,” Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of attackthesystem.com, told Tasnim in an interview.

The following is the full text of the interview.

 

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All the Good Anti-Imperialists are on the Right Reply

Some refreshing comments from socialist and Russia Today commentator Caleb Maupin. While Maupin is a socialist and I am an anarchist, this was more or less the same position I began taking in the 1990s and 2000s during the anti-globalization and antiwar eras, i.e. that the revolutionary left needed to reach out and build bridges to the populist and antiwar right. It’s interesting to see the anti-imperialist left actually developing such an outlook today, and being denounced as “fascist” for doing so (as I was back in the day). I have since moved away from advocating left/right hybrid movements (which I don’t consider to be viable given the level of polarization that exists at present) in favor of a “revolutionary centrist” approach (i.e. opposing the establishment center while rejecting the extremes of Left and Right, such as anarcho-leftoids and Communists or alt-right and neo-fascists), but I wish the anti-imperialist left good luck with their efforts.

The rallies against bombing Syria are saying: “Stop Trump’s War” & “March to Trump Tower.”

Do these people live under a rock? There is widespread opposition to this war among the broad masses of people, but not among “Stop Trumpers.”

Do they not see that Tucker Carlson is challenging the narratives for bombing Syria, while Democrats are accusing Trump of not being hard enough against Russia and Assad?

Average Americans have isolationist and populist sentiments more than ever. However, the people who run the anti-war movement and dominate the socialist and communist organizations have no interest in recruiting them. Instead, they hope to convince the Rachel Maddow fans! Its so sad to watch.

Tom Woods on Syria Reply

Some relevant comments from leading Rothbardian libertarian Tom Woods on Syria:

“Well, Woods’s Law is on full display these days:

No matter whom you vote for, you always wind up with John McCain.

It’s as if the President, in his scramble to imitate Jeb! and Graham, forgot that he’s the one who spared us those dolts.

What drives me especially bonkers is to hear conservatives, of all people, cheering for war in Syria.

Here are people who (are supposed to) believe in the fallen condition of humanity, have finite political goals (not “an end to evil,” in David Frum’s preposterous, anti-conservative formulation), and leave the utopianism to the Left.

They are likewise supposed to understand how precarious is the human condition, and be appalled at the hubris of the wise planner who thinks societies can be taken apart and reassembled like Tinkertoys.

And if they’re going to pretend that they just want to respond to a “gas attack” — come on.

Even if such an attack had been perpetrated by Assad, how can I be morally lectured to by people who have connived at the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen? First Obama supporters, then Trump himself, aided or turned a blind eye to Saudi outrages there. (Trump’s belated, feckless objection amounted to nothing.)

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The ‘anti-imperialism’ of idiots 1

This is an interesting blog with an extensive amount of commentary about Syria. This blogger seems to hold to some kind of anti-Assad, Syrian leftist opposition perspective, and seems a bit soft on Western intervention. One thing I am not getting from this blog is an explanation of how the overthrow of Assad would not result in anything other than the coming to power of a Salafist regime, which is clearly what the Western powers, and their allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, want. When the Iraq War began in 2003, there were some pro-intervention liberals and leftists making the argument that the war was a “war against fascism” or whatever, and we know how that turned out.

By Leila Al-Shami

Once more the western ‘anti-war’ movement has awoken to mobilise around Syria. This is the third time since 2011. The first was when Obama contemplated striking the Syrian regime’s military capability (but didn’t) following chemical attacks on the Ghouta in 2013, considered a ‘red line’. The second time was when Donald Trump ordered a strike which hit an empty regime military base in response to chemical attacks on Khan Sheikhoun in 2017. And today, as the US, UK and France take limited military action (targeted strikes on regime military assets and chemical weapons facilities) following a chemical weapons attack in Douma which killed at least 34 people, including many children who were sheltering in basements from bombing.

The first thing to note from the three major mobilisations of the western ‘anti-war’ left is that they have little to do with ending the war. More than half a million Syrians have been killed since 2011. The vast majority of civilian deaths have been through the use of conventional weapons and 94 per cent of these victims were killed by the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance. There is no outrage or concern feigned for this war, which followed the regime’s brutal crackdown on peaceful, pro-democracy demonstrators. There’s no outrage when barrel bombs, chemical weapons and napalm are dropped on democratically self-organized communities or target hospitals and rescue workers. Civilians are expendable; the military capabilities of a genocidal, fascist regime are not. In fact the slogan ‘Hands off Syria’ really means ‘Hands off Assad’ and support is often given for Russia’s military intervention. This was evident yesterday at a demonstration organized by Stop the War UK where a number of regime and Russian flags were shamefully on display.

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Why is the far right so against US intervention in Syria? Reply

The Left dropped the ball and the “far right” picked it up and ran with it. Now the Left is pissed. What did they expect? In the past, I have heard leftists (mostly the “anti-hater” types) talk about how the far right threatened to “take the game away from the left” (by actually talking about real issues like international conflict, class conflict, and state repression as opposed to nonsense like “microagressions”). Now, it’s happening.

By Jason Wilson

The Guardian

Despite Iraq the left has mounted no serious opposition to Syrian involvement – so why is the right now filling those shoes?

The conservative commentator Tomi Lahren warned Donald Trump to ‘remember that it’s America first’.
The conservative commentator Tomi Lahren warned Donald Trump to ‘remember that it’s America first’. Photograph: Latour/Variety/Rex/Shutterstock

In 2002 and 2003, millions of left-leaning demonstrators crowded cities around the world to protest against the Bush administration’s invasion of Iraq. All the while, conservative media, along with large segments of the liberal press, beat the war drums, encouraging the Bush administration in its project of regime change.

But 15 years later, as the US edges towards a greater involvement in Syria, there is as yet no progressive, mass anti-war movement. For now, the most prominent opponents of Middle East intervention are all on the right, while leading Democrats are entirely on board with military intervention in the Middle East.

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Keith Preston: Syria strike would escalate US-Russia hostilities Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

If the United Sates were to launch an airstrike on Syria, it would certainly escalate the hostilities between Washington and Moscow and even could develop into a direct military confrontation between the two powers, says Keith Preston, an American political analyst in Virginia.

Russia has said that threats by the US and France to launch a military aggression against Syria violate the UN Charter, calling on the West to “seriously consider” the consequences of such intimidation.

“At the highest level, the presidents of the United States and France threatened a tough reaction, with the use of force against Syria. I would like to note that the threat of using force against a UN member state is a gross violation of the charter of this organization,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

The US and its allies have been threatening Damascus with military action since April 7, when a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, reportedly killed 60 people and injured hundreds more.

The possibility of an attack grew larger on Wednesday, after Trump warned Russia, Syria’s key supporters in the fight against foreign-backed militancy, to “get ready” to shoot down American missiles over Syria soon.

But Trump tempered those remarks on Thursday, saying the US response could be “very soon or not so soon at all!”

 

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Senator Ted Cruz’s Bill to Remove the Inflation Tax from Capital Gains Addresses a Symptom but Not the Cause Reply

Washington, DC (April 13, 2018) – U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has just announced he will introduce a bill to end taxes on capital “gains” that are simply a result of inflation.

Cruz’s inflation-indexing bill seeks to “expand economic growth and encourage more investment into the economy, helping create more opportunities for hardworking Americans.”

“If you invest a thousand dollars, and then ten years later you sell whatever you have invested in for two thousand dollars, right now, you are taxed on that full gain, ignoring inflation, and ignoring the fact that inflation has eaten away a big chunk of that gain,” Sen. Cruz said.

The Sound Money Defense League lauded the measure for acknowledging the problem created by the official policy of devaluing the purchasing power of the Federal Reserve Note “dollar” and for taking a reasonable first step to addressing it.

“Because of inflation, much of what is taxed as capital gains is not a real gain, but rather a nominal gain created by the Federal Reserve System through its policy of serial devaluation,” said Jp Cortez, Policy Director at the Sound Money Defense League.

“We praise Senator Cruz for advancing a bill that addresses a symptom of Federal Reserve currency debasement,” continued Cortez. “However, the fundamental solution is a return to sound money in America, i.e. gold and silver, as intended by our nation’s Founding Fathers.

“Until we strip central bankers of their abusive power to create money out of thin air, our nation’s investors, savers, pensioners, and wage-earners will be robbed of their assets through the insidious inflation tax.”

The Sound Money Defense League is an Idaho-based public policy group working nationally to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money. Visit Soundmoneydefense.org for more information.

Hezbollah does not see all-out war over Syria: Deputy head Reply

Press TV.

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem (File photo)
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem (File photo)

Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement downplays threats of a military action against Syria, ruling out a potential direct confrontation between the US and Russia or a wider war in the Arab country.

“We rule out the situation developing into a direct American-Russian clash or a wide state of war,” Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem told Lebanese daily al-Joumhouria in an interview published on Friday.

“The conditions do not point to a total war happening … unless (US President Donald) Trump and (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu completely lose their minds,” he said.

Hezbollah, along with Russia and Iran, has been helping the Syrian army in its battles against terrorists.

The US and its allies have been threatening Damascus with military action since April 7, when a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma, Eastern Ghouta, reportedly killed 60 people and injured hundreds more.

The possibility of an attack grew larger on Wednesday, after Trump warned Russia, one of Syria’s key supporters in the fight against foreign-backed militancy, to “get ready” to shoot down American missiles over Syria soon.

The US, however, later muddied the threats as a number of its major European allies, including Germany, said they would not join such a military action.

Syria has firmly denied any links to the chemical attack. Both Moscow and Damascus have invited the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send a fact-finding mission to Douma and investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons there.

Damascus has destroyed its entire chemical weapons stockpile under a UN-brokered program overseen by the OPCW.

Syrians shrug off US threats

On Thursday, some Syrians in the capital Damascus shrugged off the possibility of a US strike against the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

A Damascus resident said “Russia will respond” and another one dismissed the idea of missile attack saying US is “afraid of Russia and China.”

“They are only threats. They always threaten us. It is not the first time. It is not something new. We got used to it. Russia will respond,” said Eugenie Saadeh.

US seeking to escalate war in Syria to pressure Assad Reply

This interview is from 2016 but it’s highly relevant to what is going on now.

Press TV. Listen here.

The US is seeking to further escalate the years-long conflict in Syria through its so-called “Plan B,” in a bid to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power as his government does not bend to America and Israel’s will, says a Virginia-based author and political commentator.

Floated for the first time by US Secretary of State John Kerry in February, US officials are advocating a so-called “Plan B” which seeks to provide vetted “moderate” militants with necessary weapons to launch attacks against Syrian government aircraft and artillery positions, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

Speaking to Press TV on Wednesday, Keith Preston, the chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, said such reports signal Washington’s appetite for more destruction in the war-torn country.

“It looks like that the American government is now trying to escalate the war in Syria,” Preston said.

He said the ongoing truce in Syria that was mediated by Russia and the US and went into effect on February 27, has eased the conflict to a degree but Washington seems to be unhappy with this.

Preston said there is no such thing as “moderate rebels” in Syria and Washington is in fact seeking to escalate the conflict by providing anti-government groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with heavier weaponry.

“Looks like the motivation for this is that the United States really is bent on overthrowing the government of President Assad,” he argued.

“The Assad government is an independent government that is not integrated into the system of American client-states and puppet states in the region and that is the real issue that the Americans have with President Assad,” he explained.

The analyst said Syria’s non-recognition of Israel is another major reason for Washington’s hostility towards the Damascus government.

Preston also referred to the ongoing parliamentary elections in Syria, saying it is interesting to hear these reports at such critical times when a political solution to the years-long conflict seems closest than ever.

More than 7,300 polling stations have been set up across the government-held regions in the country. Syrian voters are electing members of the 250-seat parliament out of some 3,500 candidates.

The preparations for the “Plan B” were discussed at a secret gathering of intelligence chiefs in the Middle East before the ceasefire went into effect and in exchanges between intelligence services, the newspaper said.

During those sessions, the CIA gave assurances to allies that they would be given approval to expand arms shipments to Syria’s “moderate” militants.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 270,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Some reports, however, put the death toll at as high as 470,000