Foreign Policy Focus, episode 58

Foreign Policy Focus

Source: Foreign Policy Focus

“On FPF #58, I look at two articles debunking Syrian lies. One article is by Seymour Hersh and looks at the April 4th chemical attack in Syria. Hersh proves the Assad did not gas his people. The other article is by Gareth Porter. Porter shows the US armed the Jihadist Syrian Rebels. I also update Yemen, Qatar, Russia, Iraq, and Pakistan.” [various formats] (06/26/17)

Trump’s comprehensive plan for reorganizing the executive branch is about to get underway

Source: Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Clyde Wayne Crews

“The modern debate over the administrative state and regulation parallels skirmishes over spending, the deficit, the debt, and the debt ceiling. This week, first draft ‘Agency Reform Plans’ are due in response to President Donald Trump’s March 13 executive order on a ‘Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch.’ (E.O. 13781) So far, president Trump has issued 38 executive orders, the most recent ones on apprenticeships and workforce development funds reallocation, and election integrity. But the executive branch reorganization directive is probably the most sweeping.” (06/25/17)

Brazil: AG formally accuses Temer of corruption

Source: Sacramento Bee

“Brazil’s attorney general has formally accused President Michel Temer with corruption, the first time a sitting president in Latin America’s largest nation has faced criminal charges. Attorney General Rodrigo Janot’s formal accusation Monday is the latest salvo in an intensifying showdown between Temer and justice officials building a case of corruption at the highest levels. The case now goes to the lower Chamber of Deputies in Congress, which must decide whether it has merit. If two-thirds of the body decides that it does, then Temer will be suspended for up to 180 days while a trial is conducted.” (06/26/17)

Syria is Trump’s biggest foreign policy folly

by James Bovard

“Last year on the campaign trail, crowds roared when Donald Trump denounced his opponent as ‘trigger-happy’ Hillary. But President Trump is rapidly incarnating the vice he condemned. Nowhere is this more evident than in Syria, where Trump’s recklessness risks dragging America into a major war.” (06/26/17)

Crypto correction: Bitcoin and Ether dive as market sheds $13 billion

Source: CoinDesk

“Is the long-awaited ‘crypto correction’ finally here? There was certainly ample evidence to suggest the answer was yes today, as cryptocurrencies both large and small suffered widespread losses, a decline that analysts attributed to profit taking from veteran investors. Overall, the total market capitalization of cryptocurrencies fell to as little as $91.4bn today, a more than 20% decline from the all-time high of $117.2bn it reached around mid-June, and down over 13% from the day’s open at $105.3bn. At the time of report, the top 20 cryptocurrencies as ranked by market capitalization had all suffered declines in the last 24 hours, according to data from CoinMarketCap.” (06/26/17)

How the EU’s data grab could affect you

by Wendy McElroy

“The EU is poised to grab personal data in a way that could impact people around the globe. Information is power; it is power over your life and almost always includes a raid upon your wealth. The control of information is particularly important to cryptocurrencies because, unlike cash, they leave a transaction trail that makes privacy more difficult and imperative. Without privacy, it is not clear how liberating bitcoin can be for the individual.” (06/26/17)

SCOTUS: Second Amendment doesn’t apply in California, but does in Iowa

Source: USA Today

“The Supreme Court refused Monday to take on the next big battle over the Second Amendment: carrying guns in public. The justices won’t hear a challenge to a California law that limits who can carry a concealed gun in public — a restriction that proponents of gun rights consider unconstitutional, but which the high court has yet to decide. In a related case, the justices also refused to hear the federal government’s appeal of a lower court ruling that allowed two men with criminal records to win back [sic] their right to possess firearms despite a lifetime federal ban.” (06/26/17)

Trump’s red line

Source: Die Welt
by Seymour Hersh

“On April 6, United States President Donald Trump authorized an early morning Tomahawk missile strike on Shayrat Air Base in central Syria in retaliation for what he said was a deadly nerve agent attack carried out by the Syrian government two days earlier in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun. Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon. … Some American military and intelligence officials were especially distressed by the president’s determination to ignore the evidence. ‘None of this makes any sense,’ one officer told colleagues upon learning of the decision to bomb. ‘We KNOW that there was no chemical attack … the Russians are furious. Claiming we have the real intel and know the truth … I guess it didn’t matter whether we elected Clinton or Trump.'” (06/25/17)

SCOTUS reinstates much of Trump’s Muslim ban, will hear case in fall

Source: NBC News

“The U.S. Supreme Court gave the Trump administration the go-ahead Monday to begin enforcing part of the president’s executive order restricting travel from six predominately Muslim countries. The court also agreed to take up the Trump administration’s appeal of lower court rulings that have prevented the government from carrying out the president’s policy, which the White House said was necessary to help prevent terrorists from entering the country. … The Supreme Court’s actions mean much the travel ban can be enforced for the next several months, at least until the justices hear the case when their new term begins in the fall.” (06/26/17)

Donald Trump: Cold War anachronism

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Perhaps President Trump thinks that by further destroying the freedom of the American people to travel and spend money in Cuba, he can ingratiate himself with the national-security establishment in the hopes they will lay off him with their Russia meddling investigation. Regardless, Trump’s actions are not only a classic throwback to the old Cold War, when the Pentagon and the CIA filled everyone with a deep fear of communism and the Soviet Union, they also demonstrate the rank hypocrisy that has infected U.S. interventionist foreign policy since the advent of the U.S. national-security state after World War II.” (06/26/17)