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Former Congressman Ron Paul remarks on declining American global influence

Trump is single handedly repolarizing the world’s balance of power

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As I’ve been commenting on America’s decline in influence, and the shifting of the poles of global power and influence, its been interesting to watch how these perspectives have been independently cropping up elsewhere. Lately, one of the most recent of these is a piece published by former American congressman Ron Paul at the Ron Paul Institute:

Just two weeks after President Trump pulled the US from the Iran nuclear agreement, his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, issued 12 demands to Iran that could never be satisfied. Pompeo knew his demands would be impossible to meet. They were designed that way. Just like Austria-Hungary’s ultimatum to Serbia in July, 1914, that led to the beginning of World War I. And just like the impossible demands made of Milosevic in 1999 and of Saddam Hussein in 1991 and 2003, and so many other times when Washington wanted war. These impossible demands are tools of war rather than steps toward peace.

Secretary Pompeo raged at Iran. The mainstream news media raged at Iran. Trump raged at Iran. But then a strange thing happened: nothing. The Iranians announced that they remained committed to diplomacy and would continue to uphold their end of the nuclear agreement if the Europeans and other partners were willing to do the same. Iranian and European officials then sought out contacts in defiance of Washington in hopes of preserving mutually-beneficial emerging commercial relations.

Washington responded to the European snub by threatening secondary sanctions on European companies that continued doing business with an Iran that had repeatedly been found in compliance with its end of the bargain. Any independent European relationship with Iran would be punished, Washington threatened. But then, again, very little happened.

Rather than jump on Washington’s bandwagon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel made two trips to Russia in May seeking closer ties and a way forward on Iran.

Russia and China were named as our prime enemies in the latest National Security Strategy for the United States, but both countries stand to benefit from the unilateral US withdrawal from the Iran deal. When the French oil company Total got spooked by Washington threats and pulled out of Iran, a Chinese firm eagerly took its place.

It seems the world has grown tired of neocon threats from Washington. Ironically the “communist” Chinese seem to understand better than the US that in capitalism you do not threaten your customers. While the US is threatening and sanctioning and forbidding economic relations, its adversaries overseas are busy reaping the benefits of America’s real isolationism.

If President Trump’s canceled meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un remains canceled, North and South Korea have shown that they will continue with their peacemaking efforts. As if Washington was no longer relevant.

I’ve often spoken of the unintended consequences of our aggressive foreign policy. For example, President Bush’s invasion of Iraq only helped Iran – our “enemy” – become more dominant in the Middle East. But it seems new consequences are emerging, and for the neocons they must be very unintended: for all of its bellicosity, threats, demands, sanctions, and even bombs, the rest of the world is increasingly simply ignoring the demands of Washington and getting on with its own business.

While I am slightly surprised at this development, as a libertarian and a non-interventionist I welcome the growing irrelevance of Washington’s interventionists. We have a far better philosophy and we must work hard to promote it so that it can finally be tried after neocon failure becomes obvious to everyone. This is our big opportunity!

But America’s decline isn’t something that had to happen, at least not right now. What is happening right now can be directly traced to Donald Trump and the policies that he has pursued.

On his own, Trump is an anomaly. His staff and cabinet are like a revolving door. Having a job in his administration is not a secure thing, which in itself doesn’t have to be seen as a sign of inconsistency, but can lead to that conclusion when paired with other factors.

His ‘Twitter diplomacy’ is a novelty, and is regarded as unprofessional, and certainly can be perceived as not well-advised on numerous grounds, whether it is the giving away of his thought processes to giving the impression that he makes decisions on the spur of the moment without carefully considering them and proceeds to blurt them out on the internet, presumably for the attention.

And then, there are the repeated off the cuff comments from Trump and his staff which are oftentimes harmful of international relations, and a sign that Trump’s policies are not always well devised.

Trump threatens nations that he is supposed to be engaging in peace talks with, wavers on commitments to diplomatic talks, and even casually threatens, on numerous occasions, to unleash nuclear annihilation on their nation.

Trump goes about fanning the flames of war by arming dissident governments and militias, as may be viewed through the backing of the Kurds in Syria, regardless of the consequences for Syria and for relations with NATO allies, namely Turkey, and the arming of militants in the Ukraine, further stoking conflict in the war torn country.

He has no qualms about bombing other countries, as might be seen by the manner in which his first strike against Syria was conducted over dessert while at a resort. His second bombing on Syria was based on spurious information gathered from a tweet.

All of these things cast some doubt on the reliability of Trump as an individual and head of state, but isn’t necessarily something that might damage America’s influence on the global level. America’s international clout is enough to withstand issues like this.

After all, Bush and Obama did their fair share of meddling in other countries’ affairs and in waging wars, as noted in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, Syria, etc. But America still held its place in the world, almost unquestionably.

The Kicker

What is really doing damage to America’s position in the world, and the influence that it has traditionally held in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere is not Trump’s warmongering or his threats, or his inconsistent manner, no, it is the way that his foreign policy has been affecting so much of the globe.

Trump has violated numerous multilateral pacts with its allies, and other nations, including the TPP, the Paris Climate Accord, and the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement, as well as threatened NAFTA, and having threatened other members of NATO.

Against the advice of the international community, Trump fanned the flames of the conflict in Palestine by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State, in transferring the American embassy there from Tel Aviv.

He engaged in a negative stance towards Pakistan, withdrawing US foreign aid to the Middle Eastern Country, which has since become a part of China’s One Belt One Road Initiative.

Trump’s new defense posture considers both China, once again its biggest trade partner, and Russia, as adversaries. How else would such a move be received? Even some of Trump’s top military brass has been spouting rhetoric painting China as a threat, while warning congress to be prepared for a possible war with China. A similar outlook was enunciated relevant to Russia.

On the economic level, where Trump has done the most damage to present multilateral world order, Trump seems to have broken the camel’s back. Trump seemed not too concerned about the economic interests of countries that trade using American currency or using American banking systems, or happen to be trade partners, as apparently, his only mission at the Davos Economic Forum was to parrot his ‘America First’ foreign policy.

He notified the world at this forum, that his only real concern was America, that America gets the best end of the stick, the best position in all agreements, etc. He made it no secret there that he viewed the interests of the nations of the world as entirely dispensable, as long as America capitalizes on its own interests.

Towards this end, Trump’s aggressive trade policies have become manifest. He has levied tariffs on the nations of the world, mainly as regards to metals like aluminum and steel, and just about initiated a trade war with America’s largest trading partner, China.

China responded in kind in each case before a cease fire was negotiated over several days by Chinese diplomats visiting Washington. But Trump has since again levied more tariffs on China, this time worth only about $50 billion, but nonetheless a new economic provocation after just dialing back on what was escalating to a real trade row with his biggest trade partner.

But it was Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA that seems to have done the most damage, in one fell swoop. He sought to kill the deal with Iran over its nuclear enrichment program, a deal designed to aid non proliferation efforts in the region, a move which was condemned seemingly by the entire world.

In addition to withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, however, Trump has also called for regime change in Iran, using coded language, and his Secretary of State has imposed demands which have no real chance of being met in order to avoid adverse action from America, hence, Trump is still working for the destruction of the deal, as the European work as hard as they can to try to save it. Trump has, on these efforts, gone on to propose a coalition against Iran, mainly consisting of Israel and the Gulf States.

The move dealt a blow to Europe’s security, as well as the looming threats of economic sanctions on any country that does business with Iran. This meant threatening America’s partnership and alliances in Europe with sanctions for following through on a multilateral agreement that they had committed to, which unilateral action is perceived as a threat to the multilateral nature of the present world order. From this point, America’s down hill slide has become more like an avalanche.

The European Response

Nations around the world have increasingly condemned America’s foreign policies as of late, and denounced the unpredictability of not only the Trump administration, but of America’s role in global affairs. In words, we glean this from those of EU Chief Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker as he addressed the Flemish Regional Parliament in Brussels “At this point, we have to replace the United States, which as an international actor has lost vigour, and because of it, in the long term, influence.” 

The EU’s Foreign Policy Chief, Frederica Mogherini, came out critical of Trump’s policy towards his allies just a matter of days after Juncker’s remarks and Trump’s withdrawal from the JCPOA, saying
“It seems that screaming, shouting, insulting and bullying, systematically destroying and dismantling everything that is already in place, is the mood of our times. While the secret of change — and we need change — is to put all energies not in destroying the old, but rather in building the new. This impulse to destroy is not leading us anywhere good,” she added. “It is not solving any of our problems.”

Speaking at an EU summit in Bulgaria, EU Council President Donald Tusk remarked “We are witnessing today a new phenomenon: the capricious assertiveness of the American administration. Looking at the latest decisions of President Trump, some could even think, ‘With friends like that, who needs enemies?’”

At a dinner with EU members, he elucidated these comments, saying “I have no doubt that in the new global game, Europe will either be one of the major players, or a pawn. This is the only real alternative. In order to be the subject and not the object of global politics, Europe must be united economically, politically and also militarily like never before. To put it simply: either we are together, or we will not be at all.

“But, frankly speaking, Europe should be grateful by President Trump, because thanks to him we have got rid of old illusions. He has made us realise that if you need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm.

“Europe must do everything in its power to protect – in spite of today’s mood – the transatlantic bond. But at the same time we must be prepared for those scenarios where we have to act on our own.” 

“The [Iran] deal is good for European and global security, which is why we must maintain it.”

“The EU and US are friends and partners, therefore US tariffs cannot be justified on the basis of national security,” he said. “It is absurd to even think that the EU could be a threat to the US. We need to bring back reality in this discussion, which is not the case today.”

Europe, then, seems to be growing a bit of a backbone, as these statements by three important European officials are not all there is to the European Trump response. French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have recently made similar comments.

Macron, before an audience in Aachen gathered for an awards ceremony, remarked “Other powers, just as sovereign as us, have decided not to respect their own word,” Macron added. “Should we renounce our own choice? … We must choose, speak with everybody to succeed in building our own sovereignty which, in this region, will be a guarantee of stability.”

 “If we accept that other major powers, including allies… put themselves in a situation to decide our diplomacy, security for us, and sometimes even make us run the worst risks, then we are not more sovereign and we cannot be more credible to public opinion,” Macron said.

Merkel, at the same event, stated “It is no longer the case that the United States of America will simply protect us — Europe must take its fate in its own hands.”

In Münster, speaking to the Catholic Convention, she observed “If we always step away from multilateral agreements as soon as we don’t like something about them, that would be a bad message for the world. We want to strengthen multilateralism.”

Both Merkel and Macron went on to pursue meetings with the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who had been the boogeyman of world politics up until Trump’s attempted destruction of the JCPOA, tariffs, and threats of sanctions. But Angela Merkel demonstrated that her regard for Washington’s sanctions was not what it used to be.

She went to Russia to help move along the North Stream 2 project, which Washington has since responded to with further threats of sanctions, not just to buck a deal between the Germans and Russians, but also in a bid to advance America’s own interests in the LNG market by attempting here to strong arm the Germans into purchasing their gas from America, which is openly a bad deal for the Germans.

On this point, Germany is looking to find a way to cooperate with Russia on the Ukraine issue, as well as the conflict in Syria. Germany’s Energy Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister have also made trips to Russia this month, all in a bid to seek further cooperation with Russia, primarily regarding the preservation of the JCPOA that Trump has tried so hard to kill.

Macron went on to participate in the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum as a guest of honor, with a goodwill gesture towards the Russians of economic cooperation deals worth around $15 billion. The Forum included many other heads of state and international investors, and a major topic of the forum was America’s foreign policy, its aggression, unreliability, unilateralism, etc.

On top of actions and words by Macron and Merkel, EU foreign ministers have gather together on two occasions in order to affirm their dedication to the Iran deal, in opposition to the will of Washington, and their defiance of American sanctions.

But these sorts of words and actions are not limited to Europe. Multiple other countries have condemned Trump’s policies, threatened to retaliate against Trump’s tariffs, and to ignore his sanctions against Iran, Russia, and Venezuela. But most of all, Trump’s move has been consolidating national interests into blocs of sorts which share common regional political, economic, security, and energy concerns.

Russia is weaning itself of any reliance on America by developing its own alternative to the SWIFT banking system and seeking to get away from the American dollar, which has already begun as Russia is already trading with some of its partners using national currencies. Russia is demonstrating the pole shift as might be seen by what has happened at the SPIEF, as well as new agreements signed by the EAEU with China and Iran.

China is developing its own markets, and its own Petroyuan as an alternative to the American Petrodollar, together with its international economic initiative which envisions economic cooperation and transit from Beijing to Europe. Venezuela is also looking to get around the Petrodollar by developing its Petro, a cryptocurrency with which to conduct oil transactions. Europe is also considering getting away from using the dollar in limited circumstances, namely, in conducting business with Iran, with the proposal being that the currency of use would be the Euro.

Trump is single handedly repolarizing the world’s balance of power, by destroying America’s influence while organizing the interests of just about everyone else in a manner that focuses on China and Russia, which is partly why one might wonder if the Russians had a hand in putting Trump in office [a fiction used by his political opposition, albeit], when one considers the way in which he is tearing down America’s hegemony.

 

 

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Second Canadian Citizen Disappears In China

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea.

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Via Zerohedge…


For a trade war that was supposed to be between the US and China, Canada has found itself increasingly in the middle of the crossfire. And so after the arrest of a former Canadian diplomat in Beijing in retaliation for the detention of the Huawei CFO in Vancouver, Canada said a second person has been questioned by Chinese authorities, further heightening tensions between the two countries.

The second person reached out to the Canadian government after being questioned by Chinese officials, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said, at which point Canada lost contact with him. His whereabouts are currently unknown and Global Affairs Canada said they are in contact with his family.

“We haven’t been able to make contact with him since he let us know about this,” Freeland told reporters Wednesday in Ottawa. “We are working very hard to ascertain his whereabouts and we have also raised this case with Chinese authorities.”

According to the he Globe and Mail, the man was identified as Michael Spavor, a Canadian whose company Peaktu Cultural Exchange brings tourists and hockey players into North Korea. He gained fame for helping arrange a visit to Pyongyang by former NBA player Dennis Rodman, and he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on that trip, the newspaper reported. Attempts to reach Spavor on his contact number either in China, or North Korean went straight to voicemail.

Spavor’s personal Facebook page contains several images of him with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un including one of him with both Jong-un and former Dennis Rodman at an undisclosed location.

Michael P. Spavor, right, pictured here with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, second from right, and Dennis Rodman.

Another image shows the two sharing a drink on a boat.

The unexplained disappearance takes place after China’s spy agency detained former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig in Beijing on Monday, who was on leave from the foreign service. The arrest came nine days after Canada arrested Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou at the request of U.S. DOJ. While Canada has asked to see the former envoy after it was informed by fax of his arrest, Canada is unaware of Kovrig current whereabouts or the charges he faces.

“Michael did not engage in illegal activities nor did he do anything that endangered Chinese national security,” Rob Malley, chief executive officer of the ICG, said in a written statement. “He was doing what all Crisis Group analysts do: undertaking objective and impartial research.”

One possibility is that Kovrig may have been caught up in recent rule changes in China that affect non-governmental organizations, according to Bloomberg. The ICG wasn’t authorized to do work in China, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said during a regular press briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

“We welcome foreign travelers. But if they engage in activities that clearly violate Chinese laws and regulations, then it is totally another story,” he said, adding he had no information on Kovrig specifically.

As Bloomberg further notes, foreign non-governmental organizations are now required to register with the Chinese authorities under a 2017 law that subjects them to stringent reporting requirements. Under the law, organizations without a representative office in China must have a government sponsor and a local cooperative partner before conducting activities. ICG said this is the first time they’ve heard such an accusation from the Chinese authorities in a decade of working with the country. The company closed its Beijing operations in December 2016 because of the new Chinese law, according to a statement. Kovrig was working out of the Hong Kong office.

Meanwhile, realizing that it is increasingly bearing the brunt of China’s retaliatory anger, Trudeau’s government distanced itself from Meng’s case, saying it can’t interfere with the courts, but is closely involved in advocating on Kovrig’s behalf.

So far Canada has declined to speculate on whether there was a connection between the Kovrig and Meng cases, with neither Freeland nor Canadian Trade Minister Jim Carr saying Wednesday that there is any indication the cases are related. Then again, it is rather obvious they are. Indeed, Guy Saint-Jacques, who served as ambassador to China from 2012 to 2016 and worked with Kovrig, says the link is clear. “There’s no coincidence with China.”

“In this case, they couldn’t grab a Canadian diplomat because this would have created a major diplomatic incident,” he said. “Going after him I think was their way to send a message to the Canadian government and to put pressure.”

Even though Meng was granted bail late Tuesday, that did not placate China, whose foreign ministry spokesman said that “The Canadian side should correct its mistakes and release Ms. Meng Wanzhou immediately.”

The tension, according to Bloomberg,  may force Canadian companies to reconsider travel to China, and executives traveling to the Asian country will need to exercise extra caution, said Andy Chan, managing partner at Miller Thomson LLP in Vaughan, Ontario.

“Canadian business needs to look at and balance the reasons for the travel’’ between the business case and the “current political environment,’’ Chan said by email. Chinese officials subject business travelers to extra screening and in some case reject them from entering, he said.

Earlier in the day, SCMP reported that Chinese high-tech researchers were told “not to travel to the US unless it’s essential.”

And so, with Meng unlikely to be released from Canada any time soon, expect even more “Chinese (non) coincidences”, until eventually China does detain someone that the US does care about.

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Multipolar World Order in the Making: Qatar Dumps OPEC

Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


The decision by Qatar to abandon OPEC threatens to redefine the global energy market, especially in light of Saudi Arabia’s growing difficulties and the growing influence of the Russian Federation in the OPEC+ mechanism.

In a surprising statement, Qatari energy minister Saad al-Kaabi warned OPEC on Monday December 3 that his country had sent all the necessary documentation to start the country’s withdrawal from the oil organization in January 2019. Al-Kaabi stressed that the decision had nothing to do with recent conflicts with Riyadh but was rather a strategic choice by Doha to focus on the production of LNG, which Qatar, together with the Russian Federation, is one of the largest global exporters of. Despite an annual oil extraction rate of only 1.8% of the total of OPEC countries (about 600,000 barrels a day), Qatar is one of the founding members of the organization and has always had a strong political influence on the governance of the organization. In a global context where international relations are entering a multipolar phase, things like cooperation and development become fundamental; so it should not surprise that Doha has decide to abandon OPEC. OPEC is one of the few unipolar organizations that no longer has a meaningful purpose in 2018, given the new realities governing international relations and the importance of the Russian Federation in the oil market.

Besides that, Saudi Arabia requires the organization to maintain a high level of oil production due to pressure coming from Washington to achieve a very low cost per barrel of oil. The US energy strategy targets Iranian and Russian revenue from oil exports, but it also aims to give the US a speedy economic boost. Trump often talks about the price of oil falling as his personal victory. The US imports about 10 million barrels of oil a day, which is why Trump wrongly believes that a decrease in the cost per barrel could favor a boost to the US economy. The economic reality shows a strong correlation between the price of oil and the financial growth of a country, with low prices of crude oil often synonymous of a slowing down in the economy.

It must be remembered that to keep oil prices low, OPEC countries are required to maintain a high rate of production, doubling the damage to themselves. Firstly, they take less income than expected and, secondly, they deplete their oil reserves to favor the strategy imposed by Saudi Arabia on OPEC to please the White House. It is clearly a strategy that for a country like Qatar (and perhaps Venezuela and Iran in the near future) makes little sense, given the diplomatic and commercial rupture with Riyadh stemming from tensions between the Gulf countries.

In contrast, the OPEC+ organization, which also includes other countries like the Russian Federation, Mexico and Kazakhstan, seems to now to determine oil and its cost per barrel. At the moment, OPEC and Russia have agreed to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day, contradicting Trump’s desire for high oil output.

With this last choice Qatar sends a clear signal to the region and to traditional allies, moving to the side of OPEC+ and bringing its interests closer in line with those of the Russian Federation and its all-encompassing oil and gas strategy, two sectors in which Qatar and Russia dominate market share.

In addition, Russia and Qatar’s global strategy also brings together and includes partners like Turkey (a future energy hub connecting east and west as well as north and south) and Venezuela. In this sense, the meeting between Maduro and Erdogan seems to be a prelude to further reorganization of OPEC and its members.

The declining leadership role of Saudi Arabia in the oil and financial market goes hand in hand with the increase of power that countries like Qatar and Russia in the energy sectors are enjoying. The realignment of energy and finance signals the evident decline of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia partnership. Not a day goes by without corruption scandals in Israel, accusations against the Saudis over Khashoggi or Yemen, and Trump’s unsuccessful strategies in the commercial, financial or energy arenas. The path this doomed

trio is taking will only procure less influence and power, isolating them more and more from their opponents and even historical allies.

Moscow, Beijing and New Delhi, the Eurasian powerhouses, seem to have every intention, as seen at the trilateral summit in Buenos Aires, of developing the ideal multipolar frameworks to avoid continued US dominance of the oil market through shale revenues or submissive allies as Saudi Arabia, even though the latest spike in production is a clear signal from Riyadh to the USA. In this sense, Qatar’s decision to abandon OPEC and start a complex and historical discussion with Moscow on LNG in the format of an enlarged OPEC marks the definitive decline of Saudi Arabia as a global energy power, to be replaced by Moscow and Doha as the main players in the energy market.

Qatar’s decision is, officially speaking, unconnected to the feud triggered by Saudi Arabia against the small emirate. However, it is evident that a host of factors has led to this historic decision. The unsuccessful military campaign in Yemen has weakened Saudi Arabia on all fronts, especially militarily and economically. The self-inflicted fall in the price of oil is rapidly consuming Saudi currency reserves, now at a new low of less than 500 billion dollars. Events related to Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) have de-legitimized the role of Riyadh in the world as a reliable diplomatic interlocutor. The internal and external repression by the Kingdom has provoked NGOs and governments like Canada’s to issue public rebukes that have done little to help MBS’s precarious position.

In Syria, the victory of Damascus and her allies has consolidated the role of Moscow in the region, increased Iranian influence, and brought Turkey and Qatar to the multipolar side, with Tehran and Moscow now the main players in the Middle East. In terms of military dominance, there has been a clear regional shift from Washington to Moscow; and from an energy perspective, Doha and Moscow are turning out to be the winners, with Riyadh once again on the losing side.

As long as the Saudi royal family continues to please Donald Trump, who is prone to catering to Israeli interests in the region, the situation of the Kingdom will only get worse. The latest agreement on oil production between Moscow and Riyad signals that someone in the Saudi royal family has probably figured this out.

Countries like Turkey, India, China, Russia and Iran understand the advantages of belonging to a multipolar world, thereby providing a collective geopolitical ballast that is mutually beneficial. The energy alignment between Qatar and the Russian Federation seems to support this general direction, a sort of G2 of LNG gas that will only strengthen the position of Moscow on the global chessboard, while guaranteeing a formidable military umbrella for Doha in case of a further worsening of relations between Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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Truth and Free Speech Are Being Taken Away From Us

A population that does not respect and defend free speech, debate, and truth will not long have the liberty that results from free speech, debate, and truth.

Paul Craig Roberts

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Authored by Paul Craig Roberts:


Dear Readers:

This is my quarterly request for your support.

Many supporters are now monthly donors. This call is a reminder to those who respond to the quarterly requests and to the many who are yet to respond. In keeping with a decision made by the regular donors, those of limited means are exempt from the request.

Free speech and the ability to speak truth are being shut down. It is happening with the complicity of the print and TV media, the liberal/progressive/left, the US Department of Justice (sic), the law schools and bar associations, Congress, and the federal judiciary.

The attack on Julian Assange is the arrow aimed at the heart of the ability to publish the truth. If a journalist can be indicted for espionage for publishing leaked documents that a corrupt government has classified in order to conceal its crimes, the First Amendment is dead.

Moreover, as the claim is that government was harmed by Wikileaks publishing the truth, Assange’s secret indictment sets the precedent that truth is harmful to government. This precedent will be extended to include the publication of any information or opinion, classified or not, that the government regards as harmful. The media then officially becomes what it mainly already is in effect—a Ministry of Propaganda for the government and those who control it.

As a person who has held high security clearances, I can say with confidence that no more than one percent of classified information falls in the realm of national security. Most classification is simply to prevent the people and Congress from knowing what is going on. Classification allows the various components of government to put the spin where they want it. “National security” has always been an excuse accepted by patriots for the government to conceal its wrong doings and hidden agendas.

Give thought to the alleged harm done by Wikileaks publishing the information leaked by Bradley Manning and the Clinton emails that were downloaded onto a thumb drive and not hacked as security experts have proved. Give thought to the documents proving the warrantless and thereby illegal spying by the NSA that Edward Snowden revealed. How was government hurt by the information? Government should have been hurt, but it was not. The presstitutes did not take up the issue. No one in government was punished for the war crimes, lies, and illegal and unconstitutional acts that the publication of the leaked documents revealed. None of Washington’s vassal governments renounced its vassalage on the basis of the information that revealed they were spied on and deceived. Washington’s vassal governments already knew that Washington lies and deceives them. The Chancellor of Germany simply accepted that Washington listens to her private telephone calls. Vassals simply accept indignities as a consequence of their vassalage. The only people punished were those who revealed the truth—Manning, Snowden, and Assange.

Washington imprisoned Manning and seeks to imprison Assange for damage that Washington did not suffer.

As a country loses its liberty, legal scholars who formerly would have protected liberty turn against it in order to curry favor with power. Recently, I read a specious legal argument that the First Amendment did not really protect Ellsberg and the New York Times when the Pentagon Papers were published, but that no president wanted to be the first one to break the tradition of extending such protection. The author claims that Assange is not protected by the First Amendment even though he is a journalist. The author of the article did not realize that his argument means that journalists have squatters’ rights in First Amendment protection. For the Justice Department to bring a case against Assange means overturning a right that is ensconced in common law as well as in the Constitution.

Washington has shown that it is not interested in any rights but its own to do what it wants. The George W. Bush regime overturned the Constitutional protection of habeas corpus when the regime declared that it could detain citizens indefinitely in prison without presentation of evidence to a court. The Obama regime destroyed due process and the Constitutional right to life when the regime declared that it could assassinate citizens on suspicion alone. Both regimes ignored statutory and Constitutional prohibitions on torture and only punished those who revealed the torture. If Bush and Obama had the right to torture, what was the point of prosecuting those who revealed that torture happened?

As the truth revealed by Wikileaks has had no adverse consequence for Washington, what is the point of Washington’s assault on Assange? In part it is revenge on an individual brazen enough to stand up to Washington, and in part it is to criminalize the telling of truth that is critical of the government.

Once there was a time when the media would have been up in arms in defense of Assange and press freedom. That was before the media was illegally concentrated in a few hands by the Clinton regime and before the media became concentrated ideologically. The media hates Donald Trump and thereby hates Assange for publishing the Hillary emails that the media believes cost Hillary the election. The media is much more intent on helping the Deep State deep-six Assange than the media is in defending its First Amendment protections.

The liberal/progressive/left sees it the same way. The politics of the liberal/progressive/left is Identity Politics, and Identity Politics hates white fly-over America that elected Trump. This is why the media and the liberal/progressive/left are helping the military/security complex tie Assange to Trump, Putin, and “Russiagate.” The Guardian newspaper has destroyed what little credibility it still had by publishing obviously false information concocted to connect Assange to “Russiagate.” See: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/11/30/the-guardian-is-a-professional-liar-not-a-newspaper/and http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50715.htm

The military/security complex planted on its media assets the fiction that Assange fled to the Ecuadorian Embassy to escape prosecution for rape.The presstitutes consistently repeat the lie, as Harriet Alexander in the UK Telegraph does, that “Mr Assange fled to the embassy to avoid charges of rape, sexual molestation and coercion. All charges were dropped by May 2017” (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50716.htm ).

There were never any such charges filed against Assange. Assange took asylum in the embassy, because it was clear that he was going to be extradited to Washington where he would get a show trial as a spy. It is not possible that Harriet Alexander and the editors at the Telegraph do not know this. Nevertheless, they repeat the lie, the purpose of which is to put Assange in a bad light that will aid his conviction on false charges.

Washington knew that it could tell this lie about Assange raping women because Washington knew that #MeToo and other radical feminists believe that that is what men do, and that #MeToo would be delighted to have yet another celebrity provided for their denunciation.

Washington also knew that its media whores hated Assange for having the integrity and courage that they do not have and that they would willingly stomp him to death with their hobnailed boots.

The US Justice (sic) Department knows it has concocted a false case and intentionally kept it secret, but has no worry because insouciant Americans will believe its indictment regardless.

The judiciary will permit the false case to be tried in a federal court because every judge wants to be elevated rather than criticized and even framed, and the jury will be too afraid to go against Assange’s public conviction in the media to find him innocent.

The jury’s guilty verdict will murder the First Amendment, but the jury will be able to go home to their neighborhoods without being ostracized.

It is not only the government that is attacking free speech. Free speech is under full scale attack by everyone who claims to be “offended,” by the invention of “hate speech” to control what can be said about “victim groups,” by the Israel Lobby that is having laws passed that prohibit the boycotting of Israel for its mistreatment of Palestinians and by equating criticism of the Israeli government with anti-semitism. ( See, for example, https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-film-the-israel-lobby-does-not-want-you-to-see/5661958 ). Twitter, Facebook, and Google are all active in deciding what can and cannot be said. (See, for example,https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/11/30/stating-the-fact-that-men-are-not-women-gets-feminist-banned-from-twitter/ ). Public forums are denied to people who are disapproved of by other people.

A population that does not respect and defend free speech, debate, and truth will not long have the liberty that results from free speech, debate, and truth. This website respects truth, and it requires your support.

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