Foreign Policy Journal: Opinion: Paul Craig Roberts: The Neoconservative Threat to International Order

Dick Cheney
Foreign Policy Journal: Opinion: Paul Craig Roberts: The Neoconservative Threat to International Order

This is going to sound somewhat partisan at least from a Neoconservative’s perspective and if that is the case you’re more than welcome to way in on this and attempt to contradict me. But then I’ll get to Europe where I believe there is a lot of common ground on both the Left and Right when it comes to foreign policy and national security.

The reason why we are dealing with all of these independent terrorists groups now that are free to flow everywhere in Africa, the Middle East and Eurasia is because of the 2003 War in Iraq. ISIS didn’t exist pre-Iraq and yes the War in Afghanistan was something we had to do because the Taliban in Afghanistan were subsidizing and protecting the terrorists who were responsible for 9/11. And even though it has taken a long time thanks to the War in Iraq and Afghan corruption that mission is starting to finally pay off. As that country is finally stabilizing and their economy is finally moving.

The Middle East was a fairly stable area pre-War in Iraq. And as horrible as the Saddam Regime was there and most people including myself are glad he’s no longer running that country and even dead, you didn’t have terrorists in Iraq killing Americans before the war. And you didn’t have terrorists occupying Northern Iraq and Northern Syria. Which would be ISIS today because the central government’s in both countries were strong enough to secure their countries even if they were horrible to their people.

You also didn’t have a jealous Vladimir Putin as President of Russia thinking who needed to make his own power play because of what America was doing to countries that were close to Russia. Part of President Putin’s justification for invading Ukraine has been that he doesn’t believe America should be the sole power in the world that can act unilaterally even in their own interests. The world was a much safer place in 2002 pre-Iraq when our main security threat was Al-Qaeda, a nuclear armed North Korea that still can’t even feed its people. And a potential terrorist state in Iran getting nuclear weapons.

Now where there I believe there is bipartisan agreement, lets look at Europe. Part of the rise of Russia has to do with the fall, or at least steep decline in Europe. Where only Germany as far as a large country in Europe has a healthy economy. But Europe is falling in population and young people and gaining in older people. Because they don’t take in many immigrants each year unlike America and as a result their social democratic economic systems are collapsing. Britain, France, Spain, Italy and Greece all drowning in high debt, and deficits, unemployment. Greece having to take a bailout package that is actually larger than their national economy to stay afloat. And have just elected a new socialist government that’s against austerity.

But if that is not bad enough for Europe, as their populations and economies continue to decline, so does their militaries. Where NATO is essentially just made up of America now as far as real military threat. And to a certain degree Britain, France and Germany to some extent. Europe is more than capable of responding to Russia in any way themselves at least as far as resources, but has chosen not to. Wouldn’t be great to go back to 2002 and far as the security situations for the Western world, but subtract George W. Bush for Al Gore and only be dealing with Afghanistan right now. But we of course can’t go back in time.

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The American Prospect: Opinion: Robert Kuttner: “The Libertarian Delusion”: The Role of Government in a Liberal Democracy

Free Market?

Free Market?

The American Prospect: Opinion: Robert Kuttner: The Libertarian Delusion

Just to start off about the so-called free market and if we’re going to talk about the free market we might as well talk about Santa Clause since neither one of them exists. As much as Libertarians and so-called Conservatives talk about the free market, that is not what they’re talking about since their market wouldn’t be free. Sure, perhaps from government regulations, but non-regulated market is not a free market. Especially if government is subsidizing that market through taxpayer-funded subsidizes.

The other thing about the so-called free market is that business is just part of it. Government is another part, workers are another part and consumers perhaps the most important part of the market. Because without consumers where would business get the resources to do anything and pay their workers. Where would government get the resources to do, well anything. So when you say the free market should set wages, prices and anything else. Are you saying that government, business, workers and consumers should all come together like a Congressional conference committee and decide what the wages and prices should be? Or are you talking about something else.

When Libertarians or Conservatives talk about the so-called free market they sure as hell aren’t talking about bringing the whole market together do negotiate those key issues. They are talking about getting government out-of-the-way so business’s can make these decisions for themselves. Under their so-called free market there would be no such thing as organized labor or collective bargaining. Because again business would have the power and be free to make all of those decisions themselves. So as long as we’re talking markets free or otherwise let’s be clear and factual about what we are talking about.

So what type of market are we talking about if we’re not talking about a free market? We’re talking about the private market and private enterprise. Which is what produces most of the products that we all consume, pay for and generally enjoy and tend to pay for at affordable rates. And everyone whose to the right of a Marxist meaning the Democratic Socialist all the way over to the Libertarian on the Right believes in some form of a private market. It all depends on what type of private market and how big it should be. How much it should be regulated and how much it should be taxed. With the Democratic Socialist the market would be the smallest and most regulated. With the central government being the dominant player. With the Libertarian the private market would be the biggest and not regulated or taxed at all.

And since we all want a private market, well everyone except for the Marxist, it’s just a question to what degree. And for me as a Liberal I want a huge market with as much freedom and choice and consumers with money to spend as possible. That is regulated and taxed yes, but to protect consumers and workers from predators. And to provide government with the resources that it has to have to provide the services that only it can provide and that it does well. Security, law enforcement, regulations, education, infrastructure, safety net and job training for our low-income low-skilled adults so they can also live in freedom and off of government dependence.

The libertarian idea of the market is basically government go home. Other than protecting the borders and stopping criminals that hurt people. The social democratic idea of the market is that government provides most of the essentials that people need to live well in life. With private enterprise being for things that are more luxury items and things we would use recreationally and transportation. But that the central government provides us with most if not all the essential insurances that we need in life. That people would be free not to take responsibility over their own lives and not to have to make choices. I want an educated society that is protected from predators with everyone having the knowledge to be able to manage their own lives themselves both from an economic and personal perspective.

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Roll Call: Congress: Bridget Bowman: House Republicans Investigating Washington D.C. Marijuana Legalization

U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, R, Utah

U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz, R, Utah

Roll Call: Congress: Bridget Bowman: Investigating Washington D.C. Marijuana Legalization

First of all to dare to correct Roll Call, this is not about the U.S. Congress or even Congressional Republicans against the City of Washington when it comes to legalizing marijuana. Which they already have and marijuana is now legal in Washington for adults. This is about a group of House Republicans on the Government Oversight Committee led by Representative Jason Chaffetz who is Chairman of that committee and other members of that committee who want to put Uncle Sam’s big foot in the way how Washington deals with marijuana in their city.

Apparently the party that is supposed to be anti-big government and Uncle Sam and pro-federalism which is what Republicans have traditionally advertise them as, is now Uncle Sam’s favorite nephews and nieces. And marijuana in Washington is just one example of that. Same-sex marriage and pornography are other perfect examples of that. But the problem that House Republicans have as it relates to marijuana in Washington is that Congress the House and Senate together passed their bill that would throw out marijuana legalization that President Obama signed after the city passed their legalization bill.

The thirty-day period that Congress has to review and overthrow laws that Washington passes themselves has already expired. With neither the House or Senate acting on anything that would overturn the city’s law. So the Washington marijuana legalization law goes forward. And House Republicans led by Representative Chaffetz are left to hold hearings over the Washington law, but without much if any ability to actually overturn it. Because they decided to act against the law after the law was already passed.

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Marijuana Policy Project: Blog: Morgan Fox: Marijuana Now Legal in Washington D.C.

The Marijuana Capital

The Marijuana Capital

Marijuana Policy Project: Blog: Morgan Fox: Marijuana Now Legal In Washington D.C.

I’m sick and tired especially as someone who is a Liberal Federalist of hearing Republicans talk about local control and federalism when they don’t seem to believe in it. Except when it comes to things that they agree with, which is not what federalism is about. Federalism is about decentralization of power from the Federal Government down to the states and localities to manage their own state and local affairs. Which is all the City of Washington wants to do. They want to be able to make key law enforcement decisions for themselves. Like whether it not to arrest someone for possessing or using marijuana. Or arrest adults from buying it or selling it to other adults.

Washington over the last twenty years has become one of the safest big cities in the country. No longer the crime or murder capital of the country and not even close. As I’m sure a lot of veteran House Republicans know under having live here and work in the city a lot of them. Whether they want to admit that or not. The economy has boomed the last fifteen years or even as the rest of the country has struggled for the most part in the same time period. Washington is no longer drowning in debt, deficits, unlike the Federal Government. And instead has run surplus’. They’ve shown they know how to manage their own city affairs and that is all they want to do.

House Republican should butt the hell out and instead paying attention to federal affairs like dealing with terrorism, investing in infrastructure, fixing No Child Left Behind, which would actually help Washington. And let Washington manage Washington and stop arresting adults for simply consuming or possessing marijuana. And stop threatening people about how they do their own jobs with arrests. Washington is not scared of Uncle Sam because the only a group of House Republicans have much of an interest in actually trying to stop marijuana legalization in Washington. So the city will probably win on this, but this isn’t a battle that they should even have to fight.

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Slate: Blog: Beth Ethier: Senate Leader Mitch McConnell Promotes Industrial Hemp: Senate Leader is Fighting to Remove Hemp From Controlled Substances Act

Official Portrait
Slate: Blog: Beth Ethier: Senate Leader Mitch McConnell Promotes Industrial Hemp: Senate Leader is Fighting to Remove Hemp From Controlled Substances Act

This might be the only bipartisan bill short of a federal budget and the appropriations bills that Congress may pass this year. At least in the Senate where I think Leader Mitch McConnell will have Democratic support including from Minority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Pat Leahy the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee and the two Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. To give Leader McConnell credit, he supported at least limited marijuana legalization in the last Congress. Saying that the states should have the ability to legalize marijuana if they chose too.

But this bill that Leader McConnell will be pushing in this Congress starting in the Senate is about Kentucky. His farmers want it to go along with tobacco and perhaps move away from tobacco. What is good for Kentucky farmers I guess is good for the rest of the country according to Mitch. There is also a bipartisan coalition of Representatives in the House that will try to push a similar bill. Good luck getting Speaker John Boehner who apparently only listens to his hard right now and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to agree to even bringing the bill through committee and later the House floor.

But this bill is an excellent first step to finally ending marijuana prohibition that should’ve been ended with alcohol prohibition in the 1930s. And when that step is taken then America can take big steps to finally ending the failed War on Drugs. By treating drug addicts and users for what they are that is people who need help and get them treatment in rehab. And stop treating them like criminals. While you continue to punish drug dealers who pray on drug addicts who can’t control themselves. And end up ruining their own lives that costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year.

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The Nation: Blog: Alex Luhn: 50,000 March in Moscow After The Killing of Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov

Borris Nemstov
The Nation: Blog: Alex Luhn: 50,000 March in Moscow After the Killing of Opposition Leader Boris Nemtsov

I don’t know enough about the Russian opposition or Russian opposition parties to say that there’s anything looking like a real democratic opposition there that looks liberal or social democratic or even center-right, but not as far to the right as Vladimir Putin. But the fact that the Putin Administration assuming their security forces took out Boris Nemstov one of the opposition leaders in Russia, tells me at least that there is a democratic opposition there at least of some sort. Otherwise why kills someone who isn’t that big of a threat to you. Who isn’t famous that won’t bring any attention to your administration.

As a Liberal Democrat myself I would love to see a real liberal democratic opposition in Russia. Something that looks like what Venezuela has that may at some point with the continued collapsing of the Venezuelan economy under anti-democratic socialist control be able to take over that country from the anti-democratic socialist Maduro Regime there. I would love to see Russians taking to the streets and demanding to not have their country back, but have it in the first place. That builds a free society where all Russian citizens regardless of ethnicity and gender can succeed there. It is a country with an incredible amount of potential in people and resources.

America and Europe can help Russia develop their democratic opposition where it is liberal, conservative, social democratic or where three movements develop that are strong enough to take on Vlad Putin’s neoconservative United Russia Party. The Putin Administration doesn’t believe in democracy certainly not liberal democracy and a free society where the Russian people would elect their own leaders and decide for themselves who represents them in Parliament and who is the President. Through federal elections that are free and open and where one party isn’t essentially guaranteed a large amount of power every time a so-called election is held.

Right now what America and Europe are doing to Russia as far as the Putin Administration is containing their military through economic sanctions. So Russia pays a heavy price for their invasion of Ukraine and any future invasion they may attempt. But these sanctions hurt the Russian people first who aren’t do very well under Putin because of his mis-management of the Russian economy. But things like communication and giving the Russian opposition a voice inside of their economy with things like Voice of America would empower the democratic opposition to take on their government through political means.

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Tom Woods: Video: Murray Rothbard: How Interventionists Wrecked The Old Right


This blog blogs a lot about how the Far-Left especially in the Democratic Party and how they give Liberals and liberalism a bad name. Especially far-leftists who self-describe themselves as Liberals or are called Liberals in the media. Liberalism which this blog subscribes to and is about as Liberals who love liberalism, but the Far-Left makes us look like statists and collectivists who want government to do practically everything for everybody and see freedom as dangerous. When the fact is the opposite is true and Liberals want to defend everyone’s freedom and expand for those who don’t have it.

But as much as the American left-wing has a New-Left that makes its center look like something they are aren’t, so does Conservatives and the Center-Right in America. People who are called Neoconservatives who have a bigger role for the government in America as it relates to foreign policy and national security, but social issues with the Rick Santorum’s and others on the Religious-Right in America. But also as it relates to the economy and wanting government to do more for low-income Americans and actually caring about poverty. While still keeping taxes low on everyone.

Pre-1990s or so the Republican Party wasn’t a big government party as it related to economic, foreign or social policy. Barry Goldwater and Ron Reagan and their supporters were still running the party for the most part. That all changed in the late 1990s or so when leaders in the Republican Party after losing the last two presidential elections were looking to win back the White House. And it started going downhill for them after that as far as classical conservatism in America. Because they turned to George W. Bush and people like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Pearl and others.

According to these Neoconservatives the old American foreign policy of containment when it came dictators and authoritarian states that were armed with weapons of mass destruction, was exactly that which was old. And that America needed to be more bold and brave. That instead of containment how about we just go into those countries like Iraq and physically not only take out their weapons, but remove the regime there and replace it with a government that is more friendly to America.

Thanks to the second Bush Administration as if one Bush Administration wasn’t enough, we get two wars at the same time. Neither one paid for and have been borrowing trillions of dollars to pay for all through the Bush Administration. We get the Patriot Act because privacy and personal freedom is dangerous to the Neoconservative mind especially when we are at war. We get two unpaid for tax cuts in the trillions of dollars and instead of containing if not reducing the size of entitlement programs, we get a seven-hundred-billion-dollar expansion of Medicare. But the way, that was borrowed as well. And instead of reducing the role of the Federal Government in education, the Bush Administration expands it through No Child Left Behind.

The Republican Party is not as unpopular as it is right now because of conservatism or Conservatives. But because the party is not conservative enough. This is no longer a limited government party, but a big government party that supports their big government policies. As it relates to foreign policy, national security and the economy. G.W. Bush didn’t destroy the Republican Party, even though he came damn close, as well as the American economy. But he basically has destroyed conservatism where even Republicans like Rand Paul who really is a Conservative Libertarian, checks to see that he doesn’t move to far away from Neoconservatives at least on foreign policy and national security.

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