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Ron Paul – The True and Essential Choice For U.S. Secretary of State

Rahul D. Manchanda, Esq.

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] T [/yt_dropcap]he Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “Statesman” as “a usually wise, skilled, and respected government leader.” There can be no doubt that Ron Paul, hero of the Libertarian movement and follower of Thomas Jefferson, is at once unusually wise, skilled and respected throughout all of the world.

The dictionary goes on to further break the term down as “one versed in the principles or art of government; especially one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies.”

Ron Paul is also equally well-versed in this regard, having had a career in the US House of Representatives spanning nearly 40 years.

Paul is also a Senior Fellow of the Mises Institute, and has been an active writer, publishing on the topics of political and economic theory, as well as publicizing the ideas of economists of the Austrian School such as Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises during his political campaigns.

Paul has written many books on Austrian economics and classical liberal philosophy, beginning with The Case for Gold (1982) and including A Foreign Policy of Freedom (2007), Pillars of Prosperity (2008), The Revolution: A Manifesto (2008), End the Fed (2009) and Liberty Defined (2011).

While a medical resident in the 1960s, Paul was influenced by Friedrich Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom, which caused him to read other publications by Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand.

He came to know economists Hans Sennholz and Murray Rothbard well, and credits to them his interest in the study of economics.

When President Richard Nixon “closed the gold window” by ending American participation in the Bretton Woods System, thus ending the U.S. dollar’s loose association with gold on August 15, 1971, Paul decided to enter politics and became a Republican candidate for the United States Congress.

Wikipedia describes a statesman alternatively as “usually a politician, diplomat or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career at the national or international level.”

The Statesman (Greek – Politikos), also known by its Latin title, Politicus, is a Socratic dialogue written by Plato.

The text describes a conversation between Socrates, the mathematician Theodorus, another person named Socrates (referred to as “Young Socrates”), and an unnamed philosopher from Elea referred to as “the Stranger” (Xénos).

It is ostensibly an attempt to arrive at a definition of “statesman,” as opposed to “sophist” or “philosopher” and is presented as following the action of the Sophist.

According to John M. Cooper in the seminal treatise “Introduction to Politikos,” Cooper and Hutchinson (1997), the dialogue’s intention was to clarify that, to rule or have political power, called for a “specialized knowledge.”

The statesman was one who possesses this special knowledge of how to rule justly and well and to have the best interests of the citizens at heart.

In each and every thing that Ron Paul has ever said, or done, in his career both inside and outside of government service, he has always, without fail or missing a beat, acted at all times both “justly,” avoiding war and conflict, and while “having the best interests of the citizens at heart.”

His nemesis enemies have been the warmongering Neo-Conservatives, who have consistently misused the good will and heavy coffers of the US Treasury owned by its hard working industrious American taxpayers to conquer, destroy, invade, rape, pillage and extort other nations around the world, only for the benefit of its Imperial/Plutocrat Deep State Elite.

Paul has been described as a conservative and libertarian.

According to University of Georgia political scientist Keith Poole, Paul had the most conservative voting record of any member of Congress from 1937 to 2002, and is the most conservative of the candidates that had sought the 2012 Republican nomination for president, on a scale primarily measuring positions on the role of government in managing the economy – not positions on social issues or foreign policy matters.

Other analyses, in which key votes on domestic social issues and foreign policy factor more heavily, have judged Paul much more moderate.

The National Journal, for instance, rated Paul only the 145th most conservative member of the House of Representatives (out of 435) based on votes cast in 2010.

The foundation of Paul’s political philosophy is the conviction that “the proper role for government in America is to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else.”

He has been nicknamed “Dr. No,” reflecting both his medical degree and his insistence that he will “never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”

The “statesman” is presented that politics should be run by this “specialized knowledge,” or gnosis.

Those that rule merely give the appearance of such knowledge, but in the end are really sophists or imitators.

The Neo-Cons are great examples of “rulers,” and not “statesmen.”

Paul’s foreign policy of nonintervention made him the only 2008 Republican presidential candidate to have voted against the Iraq War Resolution in 2002.

He advocates withdrawal from the United Nations, and from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for reasons of maintaining strong national sovereignty, completely in line with President-Elect Donald Trump’s philosophy.

The Secretary of State is a senior official of the federal government of the United States of America heading the U.S. Department of State, principally concerned with foreign policy and is considered to be the U.S. government’s equivalent of a Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Secretary of State is appointed by the President of the United States and is confirmed by the United States Senate.

The first American Secretary of State was Thomas Jefferson, who took office in March 22, 1790, and left office in December 31, 1793.

Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson lived and governed by one of his most notable statements of ““Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations…entangling alliances with none” that he delivered at his inaugural address on March 4, 1801.

Ron Paul has consistently embodied and legislated with this fundamental precept, guiding his every word and act for as long as anyone can remember during his entire career, both public an private.

There has never been a better analysis and breakdown of the terms “peace,’ “commerce,” honest friendship,” and “entangling alliances with none” than that appearing in Laurence M. Vance’s “Jeffersonian Principles” dated September 1, 2004 and appearing at https://www.lewrockwell.com/2004/09/laurence-m-vance/peace-commerce-and-honest-friendship/

This methodical breakdown, using quotations from Thomas Jefferson’s and other notables of politics and literature, clearly reveals that the best candidate and who typifies the true and essential nature for United States Secretary of State, is none other than Ron Paul.

The Secretary of State, along with the Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, and Attorney General are generally regarded as the four most important Cabinet members because of the importance of their respective departments.

Secretary of State is a Level I position in the Executive Schedule and thus earns the salary prescribed for that level.

The current Secretary of State is 2004 presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, the 68th person to hold the office since its creation in 1789.

The specific duties of the Secretary of State include:

(1) Organizes and supervises the whole community United States Department of State and the United States Foreign Service; (2) Advises the President on matters relating to U.S. foreign policy, including the appointment of diplomatic representatives to other nations, and on the acceptance or dismissal of representatives from other nations; (3) Participates in high-level negotiations with other countries, either bilaterally or as part of an international conference or organization, or appoints representatives to do so – this includes the negotiation of international treaties and other agreements; (4) Responsible for overall direction, coordination, and supervision of interdepartmental activities of the U.S. Government overseas; (5) Providing information and services to U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad, including providing credentials in the form of passports and visas; (6) Ensures the protection of the U.S. Government to American citizens, property, and interests in foreign countries; (7) Supervises the United States immigration policy abroad; and (8) Communicates issues relating the United States foreign policy to Congress and to U.S. citizens.

The original duties of the Secretary of State include some domestic duties, such as:

(1) Receipt, publication, distribution, and preservation of the laws of the United States; (2) Preparation, sealing, and recording of the commissions of Presidential appointees; (3) Preparation and authentication of copies of records and authentication of copies under the Department’s seal; (4) Custody of the Great Seal of the United States; and (5) Custody of the records of the former Secretary of the Continental Congress, except for those of the Treasury and War Departments.

As the highest-ranking member of the cabinet, the Secretary of State is the third-highest official of the executive branch of the Federal Government of the United States, after the President and Vice President and is fourth in line to succeed the Presidency, coming after the Vice President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President pro tempore of the Senate.

Six Secretaries of State have gone on to be elected President.

Others, including John Kerry, William Seward, Henry Clay and Hillary Clinton have been unsuccessful presidential candidates, either before or after their term of office as Secretary of State.

Former Secretaries of State retain the right to add the title “Secretary” to their surnames.

As the head of the United States Foreign Service, the Secretary of State is responsible for management of the diplomatic service of the United States.

The foreign service employs about 12,000 people domestically and internationally, and supports 265 United States diplomatic missions around the world, including ambassadors to various nations.

The nature of the position means that Secretaries of State engage in travel around the world.

The record for most countries visited in a secretary’s tenure is 112, by Hillary Clinton.

Second is Madeleine Albright with 96.

The record for most air miles traveled in a secretary’s tenure is 1.06 million miles, by John Kerry.

Second is Rice’s 1.059 million miles and third is Clinton’s 956,733 miles.

When there is a vacancy in the office of Secretary of State, the duties are exercised either by another member of the cabinet, or, in more recent times, by a high-ranking official of the State Department until the President appoints, and the United States Senate confirms, a new Secretary.

In the Washington Post in an article by Philip Rucker November 19, 2016, recently declared in one of their headlines located at https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-mulls-a-secretary-of-state-clone-crusader-statesman-or-clean-slate/2016/11/18/59669270-acee-11e6-977a-1030f822fc35_story.html “Trump mulls a secretary of state: Clone, crusader, statesman or clean slate?”

Ironically enough they throw around names such as Rudolph W. Giuliani, John Bolton, Nikki Haley, Mitt Romney, Bob Corker, but nowhere do they even mention the ultimate statesman, who meets all of the classic requirements, as Ron Paul.

This should be of no surprise considering that many would argue that the Washington Post, like the New York Times, is simply a mouthpiece of the Neo-Conservative movement of aggressive, war-mongering government style, beating, threatening and intimidating other nations, countries, and foreign leaders into submission (“Washington Post Editorial Board Goes Full Neocon,” by Spandan Chakrabarti of May 28, 2014 at http://www.thepeoplesview.net/main/2014/5/28/washington-post-goes-full-neocon or “The Washington Post: The Most Reckless Editorial Page in America” by James Carden and Jacob Heilbrunn of December 15, 2014 at http://nationalinterest.org/feature/the-washington-post-the-most-reckless-editorial-page-america-11857).

Ron Paul endorses constitutional rights, such as the right to keep and bear arms, and habeas corpus for political detainees.

He opposes the Patriot Act, federal use of torture, presidential autonomy, a national identification card, warrantless domestic surveillance, and the draft.

Paul also believes that the notion of the separation of church and state is currently misused by the court system: “In case after case, the Supreme Court has used the infamous ‘separation of church and state’ metaphor to uphold court decisions that allow the federal government to intrude upon and deprive citizens of their religious liberty.”

Sometime within the same month but much after the event of authorities executing a lock-down in sequence to the April 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Paul commented on the tactics used by governing forces into a harsh criticism that he has written as a “military-style occupation of an American city.”

It is time to return to the basics and foundations of what made this nation great, in line with President-Elect Donald Trump’s vision – and this means returning to what the Founding Fathers truly meant when they created these Cabinet Positions in the first place – and what better way to start than by installing a man into this position of Secretary of State than Ron Paul, who literally embodies the spirit and essence of the man who first held the position – Thomas Jefferson himself.

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Russiagate-Trump Gets Solved by Giant of American Investigative Journalism

Eric Zuesse

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Lucy Komisar, who is perhaps the greatest living investigative journalist, has discovered — and has documented in detail — that the source of the Russiagate charge against Russia, the source of the charge that Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign had connived with Russians in order to be able to win the U.S. Presidency, can be found in explaining the why’s and wherefore’s of the key event, when Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, met with Russian lawyer Nataliya Veselnitskaya, in Trump Jr.’s Trump Tower office, on 9 June 2016. Komisar figured it out: Veselnitskaya, thinking that Trump might become America’s President, lured (through George Papadopoulos, the Trump-campaign volunteer whom Komisar unfortunately doesn’t mention, but he was the contact between Veselnitskaya and the Trump team) Trump’s team, into that meeting, by promising (as communicated to them via Papadopoulos) to inform them of dirt against Hillary Clinton. But that wasn’t Veselnitskaya’s real purpose, Komisar has found.

Komisar’s investigation wasn’t into Russia-Trump, but instead into the actual source of the first set of economic sanctions that were instituted against Russia, the 2012 Magnitsky Act, which source was a major former American investor in Russian companies, Bill Browder. He had successfully lobbied into law, both in the U.S. and in the EU, the Magnitsky Act. Komisar’s focus on this Browder-versus-Russia issue caused her not even to mention George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign volunteer, who had served as Veselnitskaya’s contact and set up that fateful June 2016 meeting. This non-political focus has also caused Komisar’s brilliant reporting on the matter — her latest such article being published on 10 February 2018, which article will subsequently be linked-to here — to have been ignored in the general news-reports about the Russiagate-Trump story.

Komisar’s investigation found and reported on 20 October 2017

, that the reason why Veselnitskaya wanted to meet Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner, was to enable them — and she hoped ultimately Donald Trump himself — to come to know that the company she was representing, Prevezon, was being subjected to a lengthy legal battle to defend itself against a lawsuit by the former American, William Browder, the owner of Hermitage Capital Management in Russia, and that:

Veselnitskaya says the Prevezon suit

[suit against Prevezon — Prevazon was’t actually the bringer of this suit, but was instead the suit’s target] was a distraction Browder used to cover up his own tax evasion and – she claims – collusion in the tax refund fraud [by Hermitage Capital Management]. She bases her accusation in part on the role of Magnitsky [Hermitage’s accountant]. She has lobbied against the Magnitsky Act, deriding it as Browder’s way of protecting himself from Russian legal trouble.

Browder declined repeated requests for an interview about the Russian charges, his time as an investor in Russia, and his campaigns for the Magnitsky Act. Browder went so far as to have the author of this article banned from a public talk he gave at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton, New Jersey, in December 2016.

The Magnitsky Act placed sanctions against the Russian Government, on the basis of accusations by Browder and his agents, that Hermitage’s ‘lawyer’, who was actually no lawyer at all but instead Hermitage’s accountant, Sergei Magnitsky, had been supposedly beaten to death in prison, because he had been, supposedly, a ‘whistleblower’ against corruption, by those police who, according to Browder’s team, had stolen three companies from Hermitage (i.e., from Browder), not stolen $230 million in taxes from the Russian national Treasury — as was charged by the Russian Government. Supposedly, these police had supposedly beaten Magnitsky to death, in order to protect themselves. That storyline, that viewpoint, ‘documenting’ ‘corruption’ in Russia, is embodied as sacrosanct and unchallengeable fact, in the Magnitsky Act, but Komisar disproves all of its essential assertions, linking to the actual documents in the case, and proves a damning case against Browder and his team.

The Browder viewpoint was recently reinforced by an article in National Law Journal, as well as in a report by the Council on Foreign Relations, and Komisar exposed their fraudulence, in her 12 January 2018 “Evidence? The National Law Journal doesn’t need it”, and in her 10 February 2018 “CFR Report, with no evidence, promotes fake Browder-Magnitsky story”. The former reported:

The fraud was not uncovered by Magnitsky, who was an accountant, not a lawyer.

Magnitsky talked about the matter for the first time in an interrogation by Russian tax investigators in June 2008. (It identifies him as an auditor.) But, he was not a whistleblower. He was called to answer questions as a suspect. He did not expose the fraud. He cited an article by the Russian business daily Kommersant article, which two months earlier had printed the information with Browder’s response.

Magnitsky said: “On 3 April 2008, Kommersant published an article which, referring to the law-enforcement authorities, reported that Parphenion, Limited Liability Company, Realand, Limited Liability Company, and Machaon, Limited Liability Company, had allegedly used «tax evasion schemes» and criminal proceedings were launched to prosecute those at fault.” See Kommersant (in Russian) April 3, 2008 and April 4, 2008 .

Rimma Starova was a hired “name” fronting as a director of the company to which the shells had been transferred. She saw the Kommersant articles. By then the re-registered companies had participated in the $230 million tax refund fraud. Investigators might have discovered the scam. She didn’t want to take a fall and went to the police. Her complaint April 9th detailed the fraudulent theft of three Hermitage companies.

The latter said:

the authors write: “… the summer of 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Magnitsky Act — a set of tough sanctions on eighteen Russian officials involved in the “torture and death in prison of Russian human rights whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky.” I don’t comment on the rest of the report, but this part shows they didn’t bother to research, ignored facts, or deliberately reported falsehoods.

Torture? The Wall Street Journal links to the definitive prison report. Not exactly a left-wing media. The report describes awful conditions and medical care, says nothing about torture.

Whistleblower? The first step in the theft of budget funds from the Russian Treasury was reported to police April 9, 2008 by Rimma Starova, a hired director for Boily Systems, a shell controlling Browder’s stolen companies. She returned to testify again July 10th. The companies had been used in the scam to get a fake tax refund [to the benefit of Browder’s Hermitage] from the Treasury. She didn’t talk about the theft of funds, but she gave police a roadmap.

Rimma Starova July 10, 2008 testimony

Then, Paul Wrench, director for Browder companies registered in the offshore tax haven of Guernsey, filed complaints of the tax refund fraud July 23. The story was published in Vedomosti, July 24. This link is on Browder’s own website!

Not till his Oct 7 interrogation did Magnitsky, before his arrest for complicity in tax evasion, refer to “fraud of budget monetary assets in the amount exceeding 5 (five) billion rubles.” A three-months-later whistle-blower? For his Oct 7 testimony, see 100Reporters story with link to what Magnitsky said.

This is what Veselnitskaya was hoping that, if Trump would become President, he’d check out and investigate for himself. But, apparently, Trump wasn’t at all interested.

So: You, dear reader, now can investigate it for yourself (clicking onto those links), if you want to understand what may very possibly produce (either in Syria or in Ukraine or elsewhere) what could easily expand to nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia, World War III, as a result of those sanctions, and the subsequent Ukraine-war-based sanctions, and the subsequent massing of U.S. missiles and troops on and near Russia’s border in Ukraine and elsewhere, on the basis of almost entirely false allegations by the U.S. Government (plus the latter’s own illegal invasion/occupation of Syria, plus the latter’s own illegal and very brutal coup in Ukraine during February 2014). The Magnitsky matter was actually a corporate tax dispute, between U.S. investor (now instead a British citizen in order to avoid some U.S. taxes), Bill Browder, versus Russia’s Government.

The world could end, over that (and over lots of lies about it, which are routinely spread in the mainstream, and in much of the ‘alternative news’ media).

Some people’s greed, apparently, knows no limits — not even when it could produce a world-ending nuclear war.

PS: As regards the leaks that occurred from the computers of the DNC (in June 2016) and from Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Manager John Podesta (in September 2016), here are articles that set forth evidence these leaks probably were from DNC worker Seth Rich, and-or, from another Democratic Party worker on the inside (angered against Hillary Clinton’s theft of the nomination away from Bernie Sanders), and weren’t hacks, at all, but purely leaks:

In other words: These probably weren’t authentically “hacks” — not from Russians, nor from anyone else. The Democratic Party didn’t need whatever the Russian Government did (or not) in order to lose the 2016 election; the Democratic Party managed quite well, on their own, to lose — to lose, by Election Day, enough Sanders-voters (progressive populist Democrats) so that Trump (the pretended-populist Republican) was able to win. Some Sanders-voters hated Hillary Clinton, and were unsure which side of Trump’s mouth to believe and voted for the progressive-populist side of it, because there wasn’t anything at all progressive-populist about Hillary. That’s no real democracy (but instead a choice between two fascists), no honest choice at all, and Russia didn’t make it that way — and going to war as if it had been Russia’s fault, would be entirely the U.S. regime’s fault, yet another of its many incredibly vicious lies, such as were used to ‘justify’ invading Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011, and much more.

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‘Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People’: Time to retire

Mohammad Ghaderi

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Again, another mass shooting, again a school, again a troubled teen, a racist, a white supremacist, a Bloods or Crips gangster, a refugee, a war veteran, a mad policeman, a terrorist from al-Qaeda, al-Nusra Front or from the ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Daesh) terrorist outfits … what difference does it make and again dead bodies lying on the ground in their blood. Who believes they were alive seconds ago. The story goes on and to my surprise it is having less effect than it used to have years ago. Why?

We are getting bad. We are not hurt anymore. Too much violence has made us numb.

What does the motto on the entrance of the United Nations building says? A poem by the Iranian influential poet Sa’adi, from the 13th century, the medieval period. The poem has many translations however one is this:

The sons of Adam are limbs of each other,
Having been created of one essence.
When the calamity of time affects one limb
The other limbs cannot remain at rest.
If you have no sympathy for the troubles of others,
You are unworthy to be called by the name of a Human.

Give it a thought, try to put it in practice, politician and statesmen in the United Nations, New York, United States. It is ludicrous that almost all of them call for end of wars, urge foe peace and tranquil but at the same time produce and sell arms.

War, violence and killing is simply unacceptable, nasty and painful in any kind and form, whether it occurs in a house, street, city, countries like Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Palestine or the United States of America.

U.S. teen confesses to mass shooting at Florida Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

A troubled teen with alleged ties to a white supremacist group confessed on Thursday to murdering 17 people at his former high school in Florida, as the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) admitted it had received a tip-off about the 19-year-old gunman yet failed to stop him.

As Americans reeled from the country’s worst school massacre since the horror at Sandy Hook six years ago, the U.S. President Donald Trump suggested the root cause of the violence was a crisis of mental health — and defied calls to address gun control.

Terrified students hid in closets and under desks on Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, texting for help as the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, stalked the school with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle.

Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, appearing on Thursday afternoon before a judge who ordered him held without bond.

After being read his legal rights, “Cruz stated that he was the gunman who entered the school campus armed with a AR-15 and began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on the school grounds,” court documents showed.

Cruz also admitted he discarded his rifle — which he bought legally in Florida — and tactical gear in order to blend in with the crowd to flee the campus, the documents showed.

The recent mass shooting at a school in Florida is the latest reminder that the United States is a “very violent country,” a journalist in Detroit says.

After the shooting, he stopped at a Wal-Mart store and then McDonald’s, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told reporters. He was detained 40 minutes later, after police identified him using school security camera footage.

Expelled from school for disciplinary reasons, Cruz was known to be fixated on firearms — and had reportedly been identified as a potential threat to his classmates.

In a somber televised address to the nation in response to the 18th school shooting so far this year, Trump vowed to make mental health a priority — after tweeting about the “many signs” the gunman was “mentally disturbed” — while avoiding any talk of gun curbs.

Earlier in the day, Trump had asserted that “neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!”

But U.S. authorities themselves were under scrutiny, after the FBI confirmed it was alerted last September to a message posted on YouTube, in which a user named Nikolas Cruz vowed: “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.”

In a statement, the FBI said it had carried out “database reviews and other checks” but was unable to identify the person who made the post.

Trump cites mental health, not guns, in speech on shooting

Declaring the nation united and grieving with “one heavy heart,” Trump promised on Thursday to tackle school safety and “the difficult issue of mental health” in response to the deadly shooting in Florida. He made no mention of the scourge of gun violence.

Not always a natural in the role of national comforter, Trump spoke deliberately, at one point directly addressing children who may feel “lost, alone, confused or even scared.”

“I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be,” Trump said. “You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you.”

However, the ones killed were alone when they were shot in cold blood in fear and hope. The ones who lost their precious lives had many hopes and ambitions.

Now they are dead, and it could be every and each one of us, at a school, stadium, concert hall, cinema, home, Middle East, Americas… anywhere, it could be.

Such incidents are cause of sorrow and pain, I cannot explain how I felt when I saw the horrible pictures of the Florida High School shooting, just like how I felt when I saw the massacre committed by the ISIL terrorists killing cadets in Camp Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq. At the time of the attack there were between 4,000 and 11,000 unarmed cadets in the camp. ISIL terrorists singled out Shia and non-Muslim cadets from Sunni ones and murdered them.

Who arms and supports terrorist groups like ISIL? No one can be so naeive to believe that they have just popped out. I recall the U.S. President Trump as saying on his election campaign to Hillary Clinton that the U.S. created ISIL. Well done!

While Trump stressed the importance of mental health and school safety improvements, his latest budget request would slash Medicaid, the major source of federal funding for treating mental health problems, and cut school safety programs by more than a third. Last year, he signed a resolution blocking an Obama-era rule designed to keep guns out of the hands of certain mentally disabled people.

Trump’s silence on guns was noted with displeasure by many who are seeking tougher firearm restrictions. But the White House said the president wanted to keep his remarks focused on the victims.

Before he was a candidate, Trump at one point favored some tighter gun regulations. But he embraced gun rights as a candidate, and the National Rifle Association spent $30 million in support of his campaign.

During his brief, televised statement, Trump said he wanted to work to “create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life,” a phrase likely to resonate with his conservative base.

In contrast, former President Barack Obama tweeted out a call for “long overdue, common-sense gun safety laws.” Obama wrote: “We are grieving with Parkland. But we are not powerless. Caring for our kids is our first job.”

In reacting to previous mass shootings, Trump has largely focused on mental health as a cause, dismissing questions about gun control. After a shooting at a Texas church in November left more than two dozen dead, the president said, “This isn’t a guns situation.”
The US has averaged one school shooting every 60 hours since the beginning of 2018, data shows.

Trump was criticized in early August for saying that both white nationalists and counter-protesters were responsible for the violent clashes at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

While Trump has offered somber responses to some tragedies, he has also drawn criticism for other reactions.

After the Orlando shootings at a gay nightclub that left 49 dead in June 2016, then-candidate Trump tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.” In the wake of a deadly terror attack in London last June, he went after Mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter.

Sadiq Khan compares the US president’s rhetoric against Islam to tactics used by ISIL to inspire terror attacks in Western cities.

First published in our partner Tehran Times

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On Jettisoning Failed Leaders and Mass Shootings in the U.S.

Dr. Arshad M. Khan

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The scene is the House of Commons; the date May 7, 1940.  A simple motion to adjourn for the ten-day Whitsun recess is of little concern to Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain who has a comfortable 213 seat majority.  Then things take a turn.  A plan approved by the first Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill to land troops in Norway and engage the Germans directly has been a disaster with huge losses, and the eventual naval evacuation of the expeditionary force — an Arctic Dardanelles planned by the same man.

Chamberlain rises to defend Churchill and the conduct of the war in what has now come to be known as the “Norway Debate”.  In the most unlikely of scenarios and with no evidence of Winston trying to put his name forward — in fact the opposite — when the tide turns against Chamberlain, within three days as more favored candidates are shed, he has become prime minister.  Such is the parliamentary system.  Margaret Thatcher is another example, toppled shortly after success at the polls.

The American system, however, puts the president beyond such reach other than through a laborious impeachment.  Analogous to the third Roman Emperor Caligula, Donald Trump, too, has no military or political experience.  Caligula made his horse a senator or some say consul; Trump has the equivalent running government departments and agencies.  Caligula declared himself a god; Trump tweeted he is a ‘stable genius.’  If Caligula’s reign ended with assassination, Trump’s will be more prosaic — just disaffected voters.

Another mass shooting this time at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  Seventeen are dead and  many more injured.  The gunman, identified as Nikolas Cruz, used an AR-15 assault type rifle, a weapon far deadlier than a pistol — perhaps he watched the coverage of the Las Vegas shooting.  He was a former pupil who had been suspended from the school, and who students recalled as disturbed and scary.

President Trump in his remarks following the incident did not bring up the obvious question of why an AR-15 was so easily available for purchase.  Gun owners and the gun lobby are part of his constituency.

Following a mass shooting in April 1996 when a man armed with two semi-automatic rifles killed 35 people in Port Arthur, Tasmania, the Australian government put together strict gun laws.  They were supplemented with a mandatory gun-buyback program through which 650,000 firearms were destroyed.  Did the program work?  The data tells the story more vividly:  From 1979 to 1996, Australia suffered 13 mass shootings; since 1997 it has had none.

Under his usual theme of ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’, President Trump continues to talk about finding ways to deal better with disturbed people.  The sure Australian way is to stop them acquiring guns.

Lost in the Florida school story was another shooting the same day when trigger-happy guards let loose at a National Security Agency entrance.  The forested area is a confused mass of entries and exits.  It has happened before that somebody inadvertently makes a wrong turn and panics when faced with shouting armed guards.  In this incident, bullet holes can be seen in the windshield and the three men in the car were injured.

Introducing the Gates Foundation’s annual philanthropic letter a few days ago, Bill and Melinda Gates appealed to Donald Trump to not cut foreign aid — “even a 10 percent cut could lead to 5 million deaths in the next decade”, Bill Gates warned.  Will President Trump listen?

Despite the many wonderful aspects the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, when it comes to jettisoning incompetent leaders, it is difficult to best the parliamentary system for immediacy.

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