Five Minutes Five Issues: World War III, Venezuela Coup, British Gold, Canada Border, Twitter Ban

A new episode of Five Minutes Five Issues posted on Saturday. You can listen to it, and read a transcript, below. You can also find previous episodes of the show at Stitcher, iTunes, YouTube, and SoundCloud.

Listen to the new episode here:

Read a transcript of the new episode, including links to further information regarding the topics discussed, here:

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity welcomes you to Five Minutes Five Issues.

Starting in five four three two one.

Hello, I am Adam Dick, a Ron Paul Institute senior fellow.

Let’s start.

Issue one.

In an interview at the BBC regarding his new book concerning President Donald Trump, Bob Woodward said that Trump lacks “understanding how he has to protect the national security.” To illustrate this contention, Woodward says that at a National Security Council meeting this year “Trump kept asking about ‘why are we paying all this money for forward-deployed troops — 28,000 in South Korea, all of the troops in NATO,’” wondering “why are we protecting Europe, why aren’t they paying for this?” Woodward says that, in response, Secretary of Defense James Mattis had to tell Trump, “Because we’re trying to prevent World War III.” Woodward then says:

Now think about that, for a moment, that the secretary of defense has to remind the president of the United States that we’re trying to prevent World War III.

Give me a break. Woodward is talking nonsense. There are strong arguments that the large deployment of US troops in Europe, South Korea, and beyond greatly increases the risk of World War III and that bringing these troops home would greatly advance peace.

Issue two.

Ernesto Londoño and Nicholas Casey reported last week at the New York Times that the Trump administration held secret meetings with Venezuela military officers who were planning to overthrow the Venezuela government.

Such meetings should not be surprising given comments by individuals in the administration that I discussed in previous episodes of Five Minutes Five Issues. In the August 12, 2017 episode, I discussed President Donald Trump saying, in answer to a reporter’s question, that Trump would not “rule out a military option” for Venezuela. This year, I discussed, in the February 3 episode, then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson suggesting in a speech that a military coup in Venezuela would be a fine way to resolve things and, in the May 26 episode, Vice President Mike Pence declaring at Twitter his desire that the Venezuela government be overthrown.

Issue three.

In a fascinating Sunday Daily Mail article, Peter Hitchens explored ten myths about World War II. One myth Hitchens addresses is a “special relationship” between Britain and the US that caused the US to aid Britain in the war.

Regarding that myth, Hitchens writes in part:

The extraordinary (and all but unknown) transfer of Britain’s gold to the USA throughout 1939 and 1940 was the lasting proof that a deliberate, harsh British humiliation had to precede any real alliance. The stripping of Britain’s life savings was an enormous event.

Issue four.

With countrywide marijuana legalization kicking in next month in Canada, more Canadians will be working in newly legal marijuana businesses. And it looks like they all will be subjectable to a lifetime ban from crossing the border into America.

Aris Folley reported Friday at The Hill that a US Customs and Border Protection official has confirmed that Canadians working or investing in legal Canadian marijuana businesses could be banned for life from entering America if that information is uncovered in inspection or questioning. Customers of legal marijuana businesses also risk a lifetime ban for having used a drug that is illegal under US law. Banned Canadians can pay a $585 fee to undertake a potentially months-long process to seek a waiver.

Issue five.

This week, Twitter shut down the account of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis after his Iraq militia was accused of launching rockets toward the US government consulate in Basra, Iraq. Michael R. Gordon, writing at the Wall Street Journal, quotes the US State Department spokeswoman pretty much giving the US credit for the ban happening. He writes:

‘We brought it to their attention,’ said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert. ‘They understood the threat and took action.’

Yet, the US Department of Defense continues to post at its Twitter account. Isn’t Twitter aware that the US military has serially attacked and invaded countries for nondefensive purposes and is responsible for much more property destruction, maiming, and killing around the world than is any Iraq militia?


That’s a wrap.

Transcripts of Five Minutes Five Issues episodes, including links to related information, are at the Ron Paul Institute blog.

Five four three two one.

Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.

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