Lake Jackson, TX, Aug 22.
Dear Friends of the Ron Paul Institute:
Dr. Paul and I finished a new episode of our daily Liberty Report this morning on a topic that I am finding increasingly chilling. Honestly I am getting a bad feeling. Even Dr. Paul was pretty concerned this morning when we met to compare notes in preparation for the program. I am talking about what seems to be a US policy shift toward direct confrontation with the Syrian government -- and with Russia, which is acting at Syria's invitation to help eradicate the foreign-sponsored insurgency.
In our episode this morning we discussed the appointment of the new "Commander of US troops in Iraq and Syria," Lt. Gen. Stephen Townshend. Gen. Townshend finds himself in what in normal times might be viewed as peculiar: he is "commanding" US troops who are operating in a foreign country without approval of that country's government, without a UN resolution authorizing such a violation of national sovereignty, and in absence of any kind of legal basis granted by a Congressional war declaration or even authorization.
Our politicians claim to "support the troops," but they leave them hanging in a foreign country without any legal justification for being there. That is not supporting the troops, that is abusing the troops in the name of the neoconservative agenda.
It is very clear that there are few if any champions of the Constitution left on Capitol Hill. How is it possible that Congress is completely quiet as the president places US troops directly in harm's way without any authorization or Constitutional protection?
In fact Congressional leadership is intent in spreading false propaganda rather than enforcing the Constitution. As Dr. Paul discussed in today's program, House Speaker Paul Ryan inexplicably put out a press release at the end of last week condemning President Obama for not attacking the Syrian government after the 2013 sarin gas attack on Ghouta. Apparently he thinks that by repeating the fiascos in Iraq and Libya in Syria, somehow intervention would have worked this time.
Does Ryan not realize that the US Intelligence Community refused to sign off on John Kerry's claim that the Syrian government was behind the Ghouta gas attack? The White House had to invent a new pseudo-analytical product called a "government assessment" because the US Intelligence Community refused to sign off on its propaganda that the Syrian government was behind the Ghouta attack. That doesn't stop Speaker Ryan from pushing war, though. Facts are inconvenient, but not insurmountable.
So this afternoon I began seeing some indications on my Twitter feed of an unusual Pentagon press conference, so I found it and re-watched it. Even though I had written several times over the past couple of days on Syria I felt compelled to write about this extraordinary press briefing.
The Pentagon spokesman affirmed what was de facto a US "no-fly" zone in Syria, where the US claimed the right to shoot down Syrian and Russian fighter planes who it felt threatened US Special Forces and proxy fighters in Hasakah, Syria. He said, "we will use our air power as needed to protect coalition forces and our partnered operations." What he did not say is that US-backed Kurdish YPG militia forces have been firing on Syrian government positions in the area, which means if the Syrian government fires back -- or calls in Russian airstrikes -- the US will enforce a de facto "no fly" zone. Does that mean that the US will attack Russia risking World War III in the wastelands of northeastern Syria? Is this how the final conflict is to begin?
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity
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