Tag Archives: America

Veterans Call on Drone Operators to “Refuse to Fly”

Forty-four veterans of the US Air Force, Army, Navy and Marines have launched a campaign calling on drone operators to refuse to fly drone surveillance and attack missions. The veterans are working with KnowDrones.com to distribute a letter and airing a 15-second television commercial as part of the “Refuse to Fly” initiative.

The commercial has aired on CNN, FoxNews, MNBC and other networks in areas near drone intelligence and control centers, including Las Vegas near Creech Air Force Base, in northern California near Beale AFB, upstate New York near Hancock Air National Guard base outside Syracuse and the Air Guard base near Niagara Falls. The paid ads were partially covered by members of Veterans for Peace.

The 44 veterans who signed the letter are calling on “United States drone pilots, sensor operators and support teams to refuse to play any role in drone surveillance/ assassination missions.  These missions profoundly violate domestic and international laws intended to protect individuals’ rights to life, privacy and due process.”

Some of the veterans include former U.S. Army Captain and CIA official Ray McGovern; former U.S. Navy Lt. Barry Ladendorf, president of Veterans for Peace; and former U.S. Army Sgts. Aaron Hughes and Maggie Martin, co-directors of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Regarding the legality of refusing military orders, the group says drone operators are legally allowed to refuse the orders.

 “Those involved in United States drone operations who refuse to participate in drone missions will be acting in accordance with Principle IV of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgment of the Tribunal, The United Nations 1950,” that states:

 “The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him of responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible.”

Nick Mottern, coordinator of KnowDrones.com, says the organizers feel “it is perfectly legitimate to advise military people to stop taking part in illegal activity that has killed thousands without due process, is terrorizing thousands more and is wracking their own ranks with moral injury and PTSD.”

In response to the letter and campaign, an Air Force spokesman said drone pilots are acting within the law when flying missions.

Our remotely piloted aircraft operators perform a critically important mission that contributes significantly to national defense,” Lt. Col. Christopher Karns said in an email to Military Times. “They are professional and comply with applicable law, policies, and adhere to very exacting procedures.”

Lt. Col Karns also questioned the 6,000 deaths being touted by KnowDrones.com. It is difficult to know exactly how many civilians have been killed under the U.S. drone program since official numbers are not recorded, however Senator Lindsey Graham estimated that 4,700 people have been killed.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the CIA carried out 27  drone strikes in Pakistan during 2013, and 38 in Yemen, including the now infamous attack on December 12, 2013 that killed 15 people at a wedding. TBIJ estimates over 2,400 deaths in the first 5 years of the Obama administration.

In March 2014 TruthInMedia reported that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights called upon the United States and other responsible governments to publicly investigate civilian deaths at the hands of drones.

In September 2014 TruthInMedia also spoke with Heather Linebaugh about her experience with United States Air Force from 2009 until March 2012. Linebaugh worked in intelligence as an imagery analyst and geo-spatial analyst for the drone program in Iraq and Afghanistan. Linebaugh is suffering from PTSD and works to promote natural treatments such as Cannabis, Yoga, and meditation.

Rand Paul releases own State of the Union speech

After President Obama gave his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, Senator Rand Paul released his own State of the Union speech online.

Paul starts by saying, “All is not well in America,” and from here he outlines what he thinks is wrong in the country.

The first thing Paul says is needed in America is “new leadership.” He does not mean get rid of the president, rather this is a call for a limit to the number of terms congressmen and other high ranking officials can serve. Currently, the U.S. has 11 people in the House or Senate who have served 35+ years as political leaders. Paul says by eliminating the limitless number of terms these leaders can have, new blood will flow into Washington, bringing fresh and new ideas.

As the president took time in his speech to outline his plan to continue to fight the war on poverty, Paul says he believes the war on poverty has failed. “Income inequality has worsened under this administration, and tonight, President Obama offers more of the same policies,” said Paul. “Policies which allow the poor to get poorer, and the rich to get richer…[Americans] don’t want a handout but a hand-up.”

Then, Paul takes a jab at Congress for their failure to balance the national budget, asking how Congress cannot balance a budget like every other American household? Paul says if Congress cannot balance the budget for one reason or another, an amendment should be added to make balancing the budget a mandatory act of Congress.

After mentioning an increase in the national debt, Paul calls out Hillary Clinton and what he calls her war in Libya. “Libya is now a jihadist wonderland,” says Paul, who then says we are more at risk for terrorist attacks “than ever before,” because of the actions in Libya.

Shortly afterward this mention, he says we need to not worry about the Middle East since war has been in the region for thousands of years, and instead we should worry about our issues here in the U.S.

Then in an odd instance, Paul seems to advocate for universal healthcare, but not President Obama’s version of healthcare. “It is a noble aspiration and a moral obligation to make sure our fellow man is provided for, that medical treatment is made available to all.”

While President Obama may have limited the choice of doctors available to some citizens, Paul says we should have the option to choose which doctor we want within our healthcare plan. “Everyone knows our healthcare system needed reforming, but it was the wrong prescription to choose more government instead of more consumer choice and competition. Obamacare restriction freedom…” Paul’s answer to fix the president’s healthcare plan, “Let’s try freedom again, it worked for over 200 years.”

A moment was also taken to propose a flat tax, as well as a cut to national spending.

In the last minutes of his speech, Paul rehashes many of his main talking points which have been seen in the news and heard in his many speeches. He wants to hold political leaders accountable for their actions, he asks how we can trust members of Congress since they only have a 10 percent approval rating, and then says the government has no right to collect our phone data and he backs this up with a mention of the Constitution.

Before ending, Paul says he will propose an audit of the Pentagon to “seek ways  to make our defense department more modern and efficient without breaking the bank.”

The speech does not seem to be a response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech, rather it appears to be a gathering of all of Paul’s talking points over the last few years, compiled into one consistent speech. He doesn’t offer many counterpoints to the president’s speech, or alternatives to what the president said. Instead, he tries to strengthen his political stance on a few issues, and he attempts to reach the moderates who are upset with the state of politics in Washington.

Is America Preparing for War with Russia in 2015?

As America sanctions Russia for treaty violations Russian President Vladimir Putin adjusts his country’s War Doctrine. 

Relations between the United States and Russia continue to falter as the two nations go head-to-head in an attempt to see who will blink first. The US has sought to punish Russia for allegedly commandeering rule in Eastern Ukraine.

In mid-December President Obama signed the Ukraine Freedom and Support Act of 2014 which initiated sanctions on Russia. The Act was only the latest in sanctions that the US and the EU have enforced on President Putin and his people. It also gives President Obama the power to increase defense services, training and equipment to the Ukrainian “rebels”. 

The US recently imposed a new set of sanctions against Russia in response to what they say are violations of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. The INF was signed by President Ronald Reagan with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The treaty removed an entire class of nuclear weapons from legal use by banning the possession, production or test-flying of a ground-launched cruise missile with a range of 300 to 3,400 miles. The US accuses Russia of having banned intermediate and advanced-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs).

In addition, the State Department announced on Monday that they were imposing sanctions on four Russian officials for human rights abuses under the Magnitsky Act. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said the sanctions were endangering ” prospects for bilateral cooperation on solving the situation around the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian crisis and other acute international problems.”

One of the most troubling actions from either country came in the last days of 2014.  On December 26 President Putin approved an updated war doctrine for Russia. The doctrine makes it clear that Russia will use military force to protect its citizens. The doctrine also stated that the US and NATO allied countries pose a military threat to the existence of Russia as a sovereign free nation.

Putin said Washington is to blame for the changes, with it’s own war doctrine of pre-emptive attacks, deployment of anti-ballistic missiles, and buildup of NATO forces on Russia’s border. Russia also acknowledged attempts at regime change through “actions aimed at violent change of the Russian constitutional order, destabilization of the political and social environment, and disorganization of the functioning of governmental bodies, crucial civilian and military facilities and informational infrastructure of Russia.”

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, outlined his view of how the changes in Russia’s war doctrine and unfolding economic conditions will affect the geopolitical chess board.

“The financial markets are based on manipulation, not on fundamentals. The manipulation is untenable. With debt exploding, negative real interest rates make no sense. With real consumer incomes, real consumer credit, and real retail sales stagnant or falling, the stock market is a bubble. With Russia, China, and other countries moving away from the use of the dollar to settle international accounts, with Russia developing an alternative to the SWIFT financial network, the BRICS developing alternatives to the IMF and World Bank, and with other parts of the world developing their own credit card and Internet systems, the US dollar, along with the Japanese and European currencies that are being printed in order to support the dollar’s exchange value, could experience a dramatic drop in exchange value, which would make the import-dependent Western world dysfunctional.”

The Security Council of the Russian Federation stated that the threats to their nation include, “typical “indirect actions” observed during the struggle of the leading countries for the spheres of their influence: the use of protest potential of the population, radical and extremist organizations, private military companies; built up of NATO offensive potential directly at the Russian border, swift actions are taken to deploy global missile defense systems.”

Indeed, Russia’s leadership are not alone in their belief that western governments are interfering in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Earlier this week director and film-maker Oliver Stone commented on the situation. He discussed a recent interview he conducted with Viktor Yanukovich, the former Ukrainian president who was removed from power in 2014.

“Details to follow in the documentary, but it seems clear that the so-called ‘shooters’ who killed 14 police men, wounded some 85, and killed 45 protesting civilians, were outside third party agitators. Many witnesses, including Yanukovych and police officials, believe these foreign elements were introduced by pro-Western factions– with CIA fingerprints on it.”

As RT reports, Stone believes there is “ample evidence of pro-Western, third-party interference” in Ukraine. He specifically mentioned Victoria Nuland and Senator John McCain. Stone also mentioned organizations such as USAID who have been accused of training protesters or outright creating conflicts in other nations.

Following the announcement,Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov announced the creation of a special military regiment in support of Russia. Kadyrov said his country would be willing to defend Russia against Western “aggression.” Mr Kadyrov also stated that Chechen army recruits were free to serve in the Russian naval base in Sevastopol.

Konstantin Sivkov, President of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems told  Pravda.Ru that the U.S. is aiming to destroy Russia’s nuclear potential and the country itself. Sivkov went on to state that American elite will not be held accountable unless they are militarily destroyed.

Deciphering whether the back and forth between nations is genuine or more trickery on the grand global stage is a difficult task. Both nations and leaders seek to appear strong and up for the challenge but is the world ready? The possibility of a nuclear war has been a looming threat for decades. The media and authorities often trumpet these conflicts to stoke nationalistic fires and support from the masses. It is up to each of us as free individuals to sift through the surface layers and establish an understanding of geopolitical events and how they affect our lives.

We must ask ourselves why gas prices are low (see this and this), and whether America engaging in another Cold War is the best path forward. In the end the rulers of both nations will likely continue to wage proxy wars in hopes of chipping away at the opposing empire.

VIDEO: Muslim Extremist Calls Obama A Tyrant

LONDON, September 9, 2014 – British Muslim extremist Anjam Choudary appeared on CNN’s ” Reliable Sources” Sunday morning. During his interview, Choudary defended his radical religious views and even went as far as referring to President Obama as a tyrant.

When pressed, Choudary refused to condemn the killing of American journalists by the Islamic State saying, journalists are “the propaganda machine of the Obama administration”; and claiming that Muslims in the region are not making distinctions between (Western) civilians and military “because they see that the general populace of America have revoted for people like Obama and Bush who continue their policy of tyranny in the area.”. You can hear his full interview with CNN’s Brian Stelter here:

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Video: Ben Swann Addresses New Poll, Only 7 Percent of Americans Have Faith in Congress

The results from a new GALLUP poll found that the least amount of confidence American people have is in their government. While 21% of Americans have faith in big business, 19% have faith in news on the Internet, and 18% have faith in television news, only 7% of Americans have faith in Congress.

Award-winning independent journalist and media analyst, Ben Swann, pointed out that not only is the level of confidence the American people have in their government embarrassingly low, it is also lower than it has ever been, according to GALLUP’s polling system. Swann says that just last year, with confidence around 9%, the American people were asking, “Can it get any lower than this?” and it has.

Numbers show that Americans place more trust in business, than they do in their government. “There’s probably more trust in the ideas of free market – even though we could argue about whether that even exists anymore – than there is in just corporations,” said Swann. He went on to say that people don’t trust the government, because it is standing in the way of progress.

According to the polls, the level of confidence in the government was much higher in the past. In fact, it was at 40%, following the Watergate scandal. However, while some may wonder whether or not the drastic drop in trust will produce a wake-up call among politicians, Swann doesn’t believe it will. “They don’t care. They saw the numbers when they were at 12%, 10%, 9%…and now at 7%; but what actually changes?”

Establishment spends a lot of money, in order to preserve power,” said Swann, giving the example of the most recent primary election in the United States. “Most of the Grassroots challengers were taken on, not by the establishment, but by establishment super packs, that are spending more money in the primary, than they are in the general election.”

Another recent example Swann gave can be found in Mississippi, with Republican Thad Cochran calling for Democrats to support him. Swann explained that while Cochran’s opponent was being challenged on the fact that he told the people that if he were to go to Washington, he wouldn’t give them anything and he would let them take care of themselves, he still came just one percentage point away from beating Thad Cochran in the run-off election.

While it may seem like websites such as Buzzfeed and Huffington Post are finding ways to get the “corporate message” out, by designing it in such a way that it is appealing, and hidden beneath funny videos and cute puppy pictures, Swann says these sites “do not have the influence over the public that some people think they have.”

Swann pointed out that corporate media in the United States, especially National Broadcast media, doesn’t have any confidence in the public anymore. He explained that last year, while the United States government was covertly funding rebels in Syria, and pushing for the public to support a war, 89% of the American people rejected it.

Right now the U.S. is talking about sending troops back into Iraq, and the American people want no part of it,” said Swann.  “It’s not because corporate media is out there combatting it, it’s because there are serious independent journalists who are out there, and serious independent news sites out there that people are gathering information from…while also watching a cat video every now and then.”

Iranian president blames Obama for ISIS terrorists: We warned Obama administration for over a year

IRAN, June 21, 2014– As Iraq stands on the verge of civil war, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a powerful condemnation at a news conference last weekend.

“The fact that terrorist groups in this region are supported by Western countries is as clear as light,” Rouhani said. “There’s no room for doubt about this.”

His remarks follow a surge of extremist violence in Iraq carried out by the terrorist network known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In recent weeks, the group has ravaged the nation in a string of devastating attacks on military personnel and civilians alike.

When 500,000 Iraqis fled Mosul after ISIS seized the city on June 9, one thing became clear: the terrorists have their eyes set on Baghdad. The fallout has compelled the region’s major players to begin developing a counterinsurgency strategy.

Rouhani knows the clock is ticking, and he is not shying away from casting blame on those nations he deems responsible for the crisis.

“Powerful Western countries are supporting terror politically, with propaganda, with finances and weapons,” he declared to the audience.

Who is Rouhani targeting? His response to a question posed by New York Times Tehran bureau chief Thomas Erdbrink may hold the answer.

When asked whether Iran would cooperate with the United States in combating ISIS in Iraq, Rouhani responded that the only forces fighting the spread of terrorism are the Iraqi people and government. If the US were to involve itself against ISIS, he said Iran might consider it.

The prospect of a joint US-Iranian presence is unprecedented and, given the two nations’ tumultuous history, it would be a rare show of common ground. Both have incentives for a stable Iraqi state, with Rouhani seeking to expand Iran’s sphere of Shiite influence and President Obama attempting to live up to his 2011 claim of “leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq.” Both presidents have each dispatched hundreds of soldiers to the country.

Rouhani proceeded to elaborate on America’s specific role in the growing regional instability.

“For over a year, this administration has warned the US not to support these terrorists,” he said. He further expressed his concern that America and the West have “acted in favor of terrorists and their allies,” specifically through the supply of weaponry.

The White House authorized the transfer of arms to Syrian rebels in June 2013, and since then, Congress has approved the distribution of weapons to anti-Assad Sunni fighters in the war-ridden country. It may soon see an even greater influx of American weaponry, however, as ISIS militants transfer seized US military equipment to al Qaeda rebels waging the civil war.

After more than a year of tension surrounding foreign intervention in neighboring Syria, the chaos in Iraq represents a pivotal moment for the future of US-Iranian diplomatic relations. Furthermore, with the July 20 nuclear negotiations deadline rapidly approaching, the stakes have never been higher.

*The video subscript translation of Rouhani’s statements has been independently verified by a native Persian speaker for the purposes of this report.

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America takes huge hit in freedom of press rankings this year


In total, 45 countries now place higher when it comes to freedom of the press than America does.

 According to the World Press Freedom Index, America slipped 13 spots on the index in a single year.

The index is compiled by Reporters Without Borders. Researchers use the following variables when scoring countries.

-Media independence and pluralism: Measures the degree to which the media are able to function independently of the authorities.
-Environment and self-censorship: Analyses the environment in which journalists work.
-Legislative framework: Analyses the quality of the legislative framework and measures its effectiveness.
-Transparency: Measures the transparency of the institutions and procedures that affect the production of news and information.
-Infrastructure: Measures the quality of the infrastructure that supports the production of news and information.

Finland, the Netherlands, and Norway top the Index in first, second, and third places respectively.

Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea round out the bottom of the list.

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Robin Koerner: Why I Shall Become An American

Sometime toward the end of this year, I shall become an American citizen.

A few of my European friends look confused when they realize that I go around the world expounding the importance of liberty – and yet choose to live in the USA.

They are thinking, of course, of all the obvious stuff, like the abuses against privacy by the NSA; the killing of innocents in ill-considered or even dishonest interventionist militarism; the foreign policy that produces terrorists in the name of destroying them. These Americanisms are made all the more ugly by the apparent hypocrisy: any abuses against liberty are bad, but those that are perpetrated by a State that consistently justifies them by the need to protect liberty, are a special kind of pathetic.

Some Europeans also know something about America’s almost unique taxation of its citizens on income earned outside the country – a clear disincentive that superficially, at least, makes American citizenship one of the most unappealing in the world.

As a liberty-lover, why would I tie himself to all of that – for life?

I am not interested in becoming American because America has less than anywhere else of what is bad: I’ll do it because America has more of what is good – the good of informed, passionate and principled resistance against all of those things that shouldn’t be so.

Stuck on an L.A. freeway in 2005, I was listening to NPR, when an interview came on with Greg Palast, a celebrated American journalist and author who moved to the U.K. when he realized that his investigative work was not getting the air-time it deserved in the U.S.. During the interview, Palast was asked whether he wanted to bring up his newly born children in England – the country where he had built a life and highly successful career – or in the United States – the country of his birth.

He answered unhesitatingly that he wanted to bring them up in the U.S. Asked for a reason, he ventured that in the U.K. the average person knows a lot more than the average American about what is wrong with their political system and how their leaders and money-masters abuse them and their country, but they have an apathy and cynicism that prevent them from getting very exercised about it: they don’t care because they expect to be screwed, he said; they therefore are resigned to compromised rights and the incompetent, over-reaching or self-interested wielding of governmental authority.

In the U.S., on the other hand, said Palast, people are much more ignorant of all these things, but were they to know, they’d be much more angry, and therefore more likely to exercise their popular power to change things, since Americans have ideals, and more importantly, believe not only in the possibility of those ideals’ being practically realized, but in the requirement that they be so.

That was 2005. Palast was speaking soon after the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq had started; but some time before America’s post 9/11 foreign policy arrogance had alienated most of the world; it was before the financial crisis, and before American politicians had begun bailing out many of the institutions that were responsible for it (along with the State, itself) on the back of taxpayers.

The swing to the Democrats under Obama in 2008, driven by “hope for change”, was the first sign of Americans’ saying enough’s enough.

But under Obama, the financial crisis continued, as did the bailouts and the cronyism; the unfunded government liabilities kept rising; unemployment hurt more families, many of whom lost their homes; Guantanamo remained open, imprisoning the innocent (innocent since they have not yet been found guilty) in a legal black hole; Obamacare sought to remake a huge fraction of the American economy, rammed through on a party-line vote, only to do for millions of Americans the very opposite of the claims that were made to justify it; the Patriot Act was renewed; the National Defense Authorization Act was passed. Increasingly, as the Bill of Rights has continued to be erased, more Americans have begun slowly to awake from their ignorance, by discovering that the nation’s problems aren’t the fault of one party or the other: rather: they are about power, itself, and they are systemic. These waking Americans have, for a few years now, been proving Palast more right by the day.

It is exciting to watch. It is even more exciting to participate in. The rising is not just political: it is cultural. We have seen the Tea Party, the Occupy movement, Edward Snowden, the rise of “Independent” as the fastest single political block of voters in the USA, the Ron Paul phenomenon, the battle for the soul of the Republican party, Blue Republicans and, generally, hugely energetic, increasingly numerous grassroots activists, who owe their allegiance to no party or organization, but identify simply and loosely as a “Liberty movement”.

This is my America, as it is Palast’s – America as the idea that still inspires agitants of such numbers, energy, intensity of activity, and unquestioned certainty that popular action is going to make a difference because a sufficiently irate and determined minority can’t help but succeed. I am now a part of that activist minority, continually refreshed by its inclusiveness, diversity and relentless positivity. I am willing to bet that, per capita, no other nation can boast the sheer number of manhours and dollars that have been donated to effect change from the ground up in reaction against intolerable change from the top down.

In particular, young American adults, in celebration of the classical liberal Anglo-tradition to which they are heirs – and driven to find new, better perspectives that their professors, established political parties or the mainstream media are not providing – are rediscovering the founding ideas of the nation and the thinkers, concepts and language on which they are based. Just as the idealistic youth of the ‘60s became the leaders, professors and media hacks of today, as they moved America toward the bigger state and social democracy, today’s similarly energized young adults will in the decades to come move America away from militarism, crony corporatism, fiscal irresponsibility and the unintended consequences of one-size-fits-all statism. Both generations reflect the fervent idealism and practical action that together are the spirit of the America to which I shall join myself.

Perhaps even Palast didn’t give his countrymen enough credit.

Although a huge number of Americans may indeed be ill-informed or uncaring about the shenanigans of the Big State and Big Money, in one important respect, their political life is more informed than the citizens of other nations, for, throughout the rest of the developed world, there is no significant argument about whether the State is the only credible agent of delivering social and economic improvement. That has already been conceded everywhere. So political debates elsewhere are more incrementalist and a-philosophical, reducible to the question, “does policy x slightly improve things in relation to some issue or does it make them worse?” In most nations, that is a question asked without a worry about implications for the size of government, the setting of precedent, the constraints on those who wield power, or individual freedom and personal responsibility. In the USA, in contrast, there are still enough voters who never completely lose sight of the fact that every political choice, however immediate and however small, has an effect on individual liberty, and the relationship between the individual and Power – an effect that manifests only over decades or generations, but manifest it certainly will. In other words, any policy decision, however well it might seem to address an immediate issue, must be assessed in relation to the very purpose of having a United States of America at all.

Yes. That’s the word. American politics, – however ill-informed, however sometimes corrupt, and however exasperating – are like the nation and its people, always exceedingly purposeful.

For many, the Biblical expression “shining city on the hill” has become little more than a kitsch political sound-bite, but, if yours is the city that was founded on the most sublime culmination of a thousand-year tradition of liberty, it matters very much to the rest of the world whether the lights in the city are on. When, in 1630, John Winthrop used that expression to describe a new American settlement, he wasn’t suggesting moral superiority: he was indicating awesome responsibility. For me, so many Americans take that responsibility deeply to heart.

America-the-state is off its rails. But Americans are already well into a massive popular project (actually a series of overlapping projects) to get it back on track. It is the most meaningful and exciting project I’ve ever participated in – and it is one, I believe, with the power to change the world. How could I not be inspired by that?

In his excellent book, Inventing Freedom, Daniel Hannan explains that the modern meaning of “patriot” as implying some inherent national superiority is new – and quite wrong. Rather, he writes, “before [1776], a patriot was someone, on either side of the Atlantic, who was determined to preserve the libertarian exceptionalism of the English-speaking polity against is enemies, internal or external.” In other words, American patriotism is a patriotism of ideas and ideals, not of land or power. Like the American founding, proper American patriotism is idealistic and inspires.

By that definition, I have long been an American patriot. When I take my citizenship oath, I’ll not be becoming an American at all: I’ll be simply declaring that I was one all along.

Game Of Thrones: US Antagonizes China, Fighter Jets Scrambled


By Michael Lotfi,

On the foreign policy frontier a new development seems to be taking root. Japanese and US special forces have been ignoring China’s most recent air defense zones. The zones have expanded to include several islands at the center of dispute between Japan and China.

According to the official Xinhua news agency, quoting Chinese air force spokesman Shen Jinke, “Several combat aircraft were scrambled to verify the identities  of US and Japanese aircraft entering the air defense zone.” China has warned that if the US and Japan do not submit to the new air defense zone restrictions then both countries will face unspecified “defensive emergency measures”.

According to the US Government’s most recent U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission, China’s military activities and investments have been growing at an accelerating rate. China’s defense budget has increased 10% in the last 12 months alone. China has also invested in its first aircraft carrier with great success. Furthermore, China’s sea-based nuclear missile system is expected to have reached operation status. The report also cites that last May China successfully launched anti-satellite missiles into orbit. In retort, the Chinese government said that the launch was simply a scientific experiment.

Today the Pentagon responded saying that the US has no intention of altering operations, regardless of China’s latest move.

According to Shen, the Chinese  fighter jets, identified two US surveillance aircraft and 10 Japanese aircraft including an F-15 warplane. “We’ll continue to partner with our allies in the region and operate as normal,” Lieutenant-Colonel Erik Brine, a Pentagon spokesman, told AFP.

Modern warfare is unlike anything the world has known. The Game of Thrones is now one of not only brute force, but currency manipulation, technological warfare, trade restrictions, etc. As the world’s super-powers continue to antagonize one another and build their arsenals, the world remains watchful.

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Opinion: Islam In America- From The Eyes Of An Iranian, American

In 1986 my father came to America from Iran. He found himself alone, broke and isolated in the southern United States. He couldn’t speak a word of English, had $75 in his pocket and one bag of belongings. He would soon meet a southern belle from Savannah who I would grow up to call mom. My father came to America to escape the Islamic Revolution. He is a man of strong conservative convictions and a thirst for freedom, liberty and justice. These values are reflected strongly in me. Most in my family are Christian. Many of those still in Iran do not claim Islam as their religion, but would in fear of persecution. It is important to understand that there is an undeniable dichotomy in Islam where extremism lives, and does not.islam

Religion has long been a scapegoat for extremism. It is the perfect vector in a sense because it is often protected from legislative action in America. I will start by saying that I know many Muslims who are friends, neighbors, co-workers and peers. Many are peaceful and are shameful of the behavior that is exhibited through Islam. However, the cover-up of the core direction of Islam in America cannot be ignored. At the Democratic National Convention in 2012 Democrats tried to remove God and Israel from the party’s platform. Once this hit mainstream media the chairman allowed for the rules to be changed to allow for an amendment. An amendment was made to reinsert God and Israel into the party platform, which required a 2/3 vote for approval. The vote was clearly not in favor of adding God and Israel back into the platform, but in a video a woman is seen telling the chairman to ignore the delegates and approve it anyways. In the same video of the event, Muslims are seen furious with the adoption of the amendment. Also assess the fact that Benghazi was blamed on an anti-Islam video by the Obama administration and not a premeditated attack by Muslim radicals. Through the Benghazi hearings we now know this to be a lie. Many defend Muslim prayer in public schools, and will simultaneously condemn optional bible courses. How does this hold salt?

An innate difference between Islam and the other Abrahamic religions exists, and it is that many Muslims are radicalized through the Islamic liturgy. Also, it is essential to understand that Islam is not only a religion, but a form of government. This is not so for the other two Abrahamic religions. In 2003 a young man named Carlos Bledsoe moved from Memphis, TN to Nashville to attend Tennessee State University (TSU). Carlos’ father, Melvin Bledsoe, says that Carols became involved with radical Islam professors and groups at TSU and started attending the Islamic Center of Nashville. Here he was radicalized and changed his name to Abdulhakim. Now he sits in a federal prison for the murder of Army PFC William Long. Abdulhakim (Bledsoe) said in an interview, “It was not murder, murder is not justified. What I did is justified under Islamic law. It was justified by common sense. We believe we have to strike back.”

I am of the libertarian-republican strain, and therefore I hold in high regard freedom of religion and the First Amendment. Let it be understood though that when people come to America to use our rules against us, chaos is bred. Recently in Tennessee the Obama/Holder Justice Department sent Bill Killian, U.S. attorney, to warn citizens that they could be persecuted for exercising their first Amendment rights to speak out against Sharia law in America. What the Obama administration and radicalized Muslims fail to understand is that religion may be exercised freely, but it may not supersede constitutional law in this country. Floyd Abrams, one of America’s most respected First Amendment attorneys, is quoted as saying of Killian: ”He’s just wrong. The government may, indeed, play a useful and entirely constitutional role in urging people not to engage in speech that amounts to religious discrimination. But it may not, under the First Amendment, prevent or punish speech even if it may be viewed as hostile to a religion. And what it most clearly may not do is to stifle political or social debate, however rambunctious or offensive some may think it is.”

Examine any religious script and you can find a case for rape, murder, polygamy, incest, mass-killings and more. However, we do not practice this, and encroach upon the liberty of others because these scripts say in the name of God it is acceptable. A line does exist. In Syria, where the line does not exist, an Al Qaeda rebel recently cut out the heart of a Syrian soldier and ate it. The rebel is quoted claiming the act in the name of Allah.

Tolerance of those who wish to pursue peace, liberty and tolerance themselves should always be encouraged in America no-matter the channel. Challenge and opportunity meets any individual willing to take on this endeavor. However, it is important to understand that in countries where Islam is the majority, minority rights are not allowed. In these countries women, Christians, homosexuals, etc. are all persecuted under Islamic law. Meanwhile, in countries where Islam is the minority those of the extremist class demand “rights” to implement laws contrary to those of the Founders, which protect individual liberty.