Sunday, April 30, 2017

Syria

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nuclear war

Democratic Rep. David Cicilline has claimed President Donald Trump is risking nuclear war with North Korea, authorizing a missile strike on a Syrian airbase and using the MOAB (mother of all bombs) in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, to bump up his own popularity.

Rep. Cicilline, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, believes that any preemptive strike against North Korea could lead to a war, and even more, a nuclear war.

“A preemptive strike, if it were to happen, is likely to ignite a very serious conflict, a war, and maybe even a nuclear war,” Cicilline said to MSNBC’s Ali Velshi. “It would expose American troops on the [Korean] peninsula to tremendous danger … The appropriate course is to really to reduce the rhetoric and try to de-escalate this and continue to use all the levers of diplomatic-economic power to try to achieve the right results here. And obviously, a preemptive strike has tremendously serious consequences that may well ignite a very significant war … This is very serious. I think what we have to be sure is that the president understands the implications of this kind of military action.”

Cicilline told Velshi that he “fears” Trump wouldn’t mind risking a nuclear war just to improve his popularity.

“What I fear is, [Trump] sort of got a political bump, he got a political bump from the Syria airstrike [and] the mother of all bombs strike in Afghanistan,” Cicilline said. “And we don’t want the president to be making decisions where he just sort of thinks more bombs are the way to build up his popularity, but rather they’re making decisions based on the national security interests of the United States and the long-term safety and security of the American people.”

Ever since Trump became the president, Cicilline has been one of the harshest critics of his administration and its decisions.

Earlier this year, in February, Cicilline said that the Trump presidency is similar to the Netflix science fiction TV show, “Stranger Things.”

“Like the main characters in ‘Stranger Things,’ we are now stuck in the Upside Down,” Cicilline said. “Right is wrong, up is down, black is white.”

The Upside Down is portrayed as a petrifying mirror-image of the real world, in the show, where monsters are shown to roam free and kill innocent people.

Elaborating on his reference to the TV show, Cicilline said, “This is not a TV show. This is real life. We have a president unlike any we have ever known. And like Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Eleven, we must remain focused on the task at hand and hold this administration accountable so we can escape from our own version of the Upside Down.”

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Democratic Party

The left camp’s anti-Trump front has split over Trump’s airstrikes on Syria, clearly dividing establishment Democrats into antiwar progressives shocked over the possibility of greater involvement in the Middle East and those who applauded the military action.

Dem Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who contended for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, broke out with the party’s leadership by vocally opposing President Donald Trump’s military action in Syria.

“What can we say about somebody who gases men, women and children in his own country? It is disgusting beyond words,” Mr. Sanders said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“But what we have got to do is be smart and figure out what is the rational solution. Is putting 50 missiles into Syria going to solve that problem?” he said. “At the end of the day, in my view, we’ve got to learn about the failure of our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, not repeat them.”

His message differed from that of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who said the military action was “a proportional response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons,” and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, who praised Trump’s decision as “the right thing to do.”

Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas Democrat, remarked regarding last week’s missile strike, “no authorization was needed at all. But if he escalates, then it might be something he needs to talk to Congress [about].”

“What he [Mr. Trump] did was appropriate,” Mr. Cuellar said. “Like all Americans, I was horrified by what he [Mr. Assad] did to his own people.”

However, at the other end, Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Edward J. Markey warned that the military action could end up in “a quagmire for the United States for a generation that we would regret.”

He said they needed a “comprehensive debate on the floor of the United States House and Senate.” He added that he would still be a strong opponent of military action even under those conditions.

“I would not vote to allow him to do it. But the least the American people would be entitled to is that full debate,” Mr. Markey said.

Left-wing protestors staged demonstrations against the military action at several protests in major US cities over the weekend. However, that wasn’t quite supported by Mr. Cuellar. “Whether it was President Obama or President Trump, we want to be supportive of our commander in chief,” he said.

 

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spicer

White House press secretary Sean Spicer apologized on Tuesday, after his comment that Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” during World War II. His comments were part of his efforts to insult the Russian alliance with the brutal Syrian regime and its use of chemical weapons on civilians.

The comment caused massive outrage immediately and after numerous attempts to give his words a different context, Spicer apologized in an interview on CNN.

“I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad had made against his own people last week, using chemical weapons and gas. Frankly, I mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison,” Spicer said. “And for that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”

Spicer said that he knew Hitler had used gas chambers during the holocaust and clarified that he should “stayed focused” on Syria and Assad’s brutality. He also asked people to forgive him for his “mistake.”

“My goal now and then is to stay focused on Assad and I should have,” he said. “I realized that I had made a mistake and I didn’t want to be a distraction to the President’s agenda.”

Hitler and the Nazis used gas chambers to massacre millions of Jews, even though he did not use any chemical weapons on the battlefield.

“You had someone who was despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons,” Spicer said during the briefing. “So you have to, if you are Russia, ask yourself is this a country and a regime that you want to align yourself with.”

While audible gasps could be heard in the briefing room as soon as Spicer made the comment, it also instantly spread on several social forums online.

Later in the briefing, when asked about his comments on Hitler and his use of chemical weapons, Spicer remarked: “I think when you come to sarin gas, he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”

Reporters mentioned the Holocaust as an example of Hitler’s chemical weapons use, to which Spicer replied:

“He brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that. But in the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns and dropped them down to innocent in the middle of towns,” he added, defending his statement. “I appreciate the clarification that was not the intent.”

After the briefing, Spicer, once again tried to clarify, “in no way was I trying to lessen the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. I was trying to draw a distinction of the tactic of using airplanes to drop chemical weapons on population centers. Any attack on innocent people is reprehensible and inexcusable,” he said.

However, people were quick to call for Spicer’s resignation. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called for Spicer’s dismissal.

“While Jewish families across America celebrate Passover, the chief spokesman of this White House is downplaying the horror of the Holocaust,” she said in a statement. “Sean Spicer must be fired, and the President must immediately disavow his spokesman’s statements.”

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Droppin da bomb!

Senator Tim Kaine (D., Va.) declared on Sunday that numerous previous military actions to protect Americans and American interests were illegal.

Arguing that Trump should have obtained approval from the Congress before authorizing the strikes, Kaine condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to attack the Shayrat airfield in Syria, in retaliation to the Assad regime’s use of banned chemical weapons on Syrian citizens.

“Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd sought explanation from Kaine on his stance and asked him about prior cases in American history similar to last week’s.

“Senator, in this case it’s very limited, number one. And number two, there were American interests on the ground, we have U.S. soldiers, special operations forces that are on the ground very close to chemical weapons,” Todd said. “If you’re saying this action was illegal, then you must be thinking that the Libya action by President Obama was illegal, Grenada by President Reagan, that was illegal. Are you saying that all of those actions were illegal?”

Surprisingly, Kaine replied with a “Yes” to all of Todd’s examples.

Kaine replied that he had rejected former President Barack Obama’s decision of firing missiles at air defense targets belonging to the Libyan forces commanded by then-dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

“I agreed with the Republicans in the House that rebuked President Obama and said he exceeded his authority because the U.S. wasn’t under imminent threat,” he said. “That’s the only circumstance where a Commander in Chief can use article two power without going to Congress, if there’s an imminent threat to the United States.”

Conservative icon, Patrick J. Buchanan wrote on Monday that “Trump’s missile attack was unconstitutional. Assad had not attacked or threatened us, and Congress, which alone has the power to authorize war on Syria, has never done so.

Former President Ronald Reagan also invaded Grenada in order to protect Americans on the island, during rising pressure from communist forces in 1983.

As American’s were attending a school in Grenada, it was arguable that the use of force fell within the legal guidelines that within the War Powers Resolution.

The resolution states that Armed Forces can only be sent into action through a Declaration of War, “statutory authorization, or in the case of “a national emergency created by attack upon United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.”

The chemical attack that occurred in Syria did not fall within those three requirements and Constitutional experts state that Trump was required to obtain an “Authorization for the Use of Military Force.”

Trump is not the first president to use military force in violation of the Constitution. John Adams started a war with France without Congressional approval and even Thomas Jefferson took on the Barbary pirates without consulting Congress.

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missile attack

US forces launched a missile strike in Syria Thursday night, responding to a chemical attack earlier this week. Officials believe the use of chemical weapons on a rebel-controlled village in northern Syria was perpetrated by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The missile strike on airfields, which reportedly killed seven people, was ordered by President Trump, a day after he said that his view of President Assad had changed vastly because of the use of chemical weapons.

“Tonight, I ordered a targeted military strike on the airfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

“It is in this vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons,” the president said. “There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons.”

American warships launched at least 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, targeting the Shayrat airfield, near the city of Homs, where the chemical attack is believed to have originated from, the Pentagon reported. Targeting aircrafts, petroleum and logistical storage, shelters, ammunition bunkers, radars and air defense systems at the airfield, the missiles were launched at 8:40 PM Washington time, which was early Friday morning in Syria, the Pentagon announced in a statement.

The missile strike marks a dramatic intensification of US involvement in Syria. Being the first direct American assault on Assad’s forces, it is the most significant military action of the new administration under Trump’s presidency.

The Pentagon further said that initial reports suggest that the missile strike “severely damaged or destroyed Syrian aircraft and support infrastructure and equipment at Shayrat Airfield, reducing the Syrian Government’s ability to deliver chemical weapons.”

Russia was quick to condemn the strike as an “act of aggression.” Russian officials claimed that the attacks could endanger anti-terrorist military cooperation with the US in Syria.

However, the Pentagon clarified; saying it had been in contact with Russia, allowing to protect its forces in Syria.

“Russian forces were notified in advance of the strike using the established deconfliction line,” Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis said in a statement. “U.S. military planners took precautions to minimize risk to Russian or Syrian personnel located at the airfield.”

According to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Russian President Vladimir Putin was not directly notified.

Syrian armed forces said on state television, that seven people were killed in the missile attack and nine others were wounded.

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A Fourth of July Party at the U.S. Embassy in London held for diplomats and their close friends -- tab went to the U.S. Taxpayers

The United States Department of State has a problem.

The isolated employees of this government agency that serves as the face of America across the world appears to have their own agenda regardless of who is serving in the White House.

A “dissent cable” is being reported widely within the corporate media and has garnered 1,000 signers of State Department employees . . . and it’s still being circulated.

The letter started in an office in Washington, D.C. then electronically shuffled its way around the world, showing up in one embassy after another.

The Sensitive But Unclassified (SBU) document is reproduced in full below.

The memo, while written in a standard government format that is difficult to understand due to overuse of acronyms and “inside talk” essentially vents about the Executive Order signed by President Trump.

The order temporarily blocked refugees from seven hostile nations.

Standing out within the document is its emotional tone that is designed to invoke sympathy for non-Americans. The memo recalls an Iranian boy whose parents had spent $6,000 on a trip to NASA who asked, “Can I not go because I am Iranian?”

Other sob stories told by State Department employees included an Iranian couple who were traveling to see their son who was dying of cancer in the United States, and another Iranian man, married to an American who wanted to travel to see the birth of his child.

The author of the sensitive document, along with its 1,000 signers clearly place the personal interests of foreign nationals over the security of the United States.

But it’s nothing new.

The “dissent channel” has existed within the United States Department of State since the Vietnam War.

It is an unusual method to voice complaints and resolve conflicts that creates confusion abroad and discontent at home as the internal memos are nearly always leaked.

In June of 2016, 51 American diplomats circulated a similar dissent cable critical of President Obama’s Syrian policy and called for “bombing” within the war-torn nation. The bombing runs were promoted by then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The corporate media of course buried that story.

Fast forward just four days, and President Trump’s discussions with foreign leaders were leaked to the press and offered in a way to embarrass the new president.

The Drudge Report blared with the headline. “Trump Threatens Troops in Mexico” while another story recalled a tense discussion with the Australian Prime Minster over Syrian refugees.

Who would have had access to these transcripts?

Employees of the Department of State.

Who leaked them? Take a guess.

Diplomats and their many employees and assistants, paid for by American taxpayers, have for many decades taken a “let’s all get along for a better world” mentality rather than doing what they are paid to do which is placing America’s interests above all else.

Compromise appears to be their only solution as they mingle with their well-healed foreign counterparts; attend their cocktail parties and treat any foreigner with power as close as family.

The loyalty of these entrenched diplomats appears to stop at the borders of their own nation.

It’s time for President of the United States to clean house and terminated the jobs and contracts of anyone and everyone working for the Department of State. Their institutional knowledge is best forgotten and replaced with the acumen of American business leaders who have had no other choice but to deal with foreign nations fairly yet firmly.

Incoming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the example of the type of diplomat America needs at this point in time.

For far too long, our nation has served as not only the World’s Police Force, but the wealthy, dumb uncle that everyone takes advantage of.

One-by-one, Trump can take pleasure in marching in every State Department employee . . . down to the last secretary . . . and repeating the words, “You’re fired.”

“Dissent Cable” printed below.

Subject: Visa Applicants at Consulate General Dubai Seek Clarification on Executive Order
SUMMARY
1. (SBU) Begin summary. For the second consecutive day, pursuant to official guidance from Consular Affairs on the President’s January 27 Executive Order (EO) on Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals, Consulate General (CG) Dubai canceled over 180 visa interviews on January 30. Consular officers once again staffed the security checkpoint at the Consular Services Entrance and personally provided letters explaining the appointment cancellations to over 50 Iranian nonimmigrant visa (NIV) applicants; consular staff also informed several Legal Permanent Residents and immigrant visa beneficiaries who had not yet entered the United States about the EO. Consular officers witnessed significant frustration and confusion, especially among the mostly Iranian NIV applicant pool, as they relayed and explained the new policy. End summary.
GREEN CARD HOLDERS AND IMMIGRANT VISA HOLDERS
2. (SBU) Several green card and immigrant visa holders sought clarification on their ability to travel to the United States. An Iraqi man, who previously obtained a Special Immigrant Visa for his work as an interpreter with the U.S. Army in Iraq, provided a letter of recommendation from the U.S. military and said, “I just don’t know what to do.” Another young Iraqi man with an approved immigrant visa, accompanied by his Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) mother, inquired as to whether he or she could travel to the United States. An Iranian green card holder expressed concern that the 90 day suspension would affect her LPR status.
FINANCIAL AND EMOTIONAL IMPACT ON IRANIAN NONIMMIGRANT VISA APPLICANTS
3. (SBU) Over half of the Iranian NIV applicants appeared for their canceled January 30 appointments, despite Consulate General Dubai’s GSS contractor having informed them on January 29 of their appointment cancellation. [Note: While NIV appointments for January 30 included applicants from the other six countries affected by the EO, none appeared at the consulate for their interview. CG Dubai’s GSS Contractor notified all applicants affected by the EO of the interview cancellations via email and text message. End Note] Many applicants lamented the financial burdens incurred in traveling from Iran to Dubai for an interview that had been canceled. One couple said that they had waited for over six months for their appointment date; they expressed concern about the difficulty of rescheduling if the ban is lifted.
4. (SBU) Several applicants were elderly parents trying to visit their children in the United States. One Iranian woman stated, “I haven’t seen my daughter in two years. I was going to meet my new grandchild. I pray this all gets situated. We were hoping we could have been interviewed and have our cases put on hold. Then we would have felt that we had made some sort of progress.” Another Iranian applicant accompanied by his wife and daughter complained about “the arbitrariness” of the EO. He stated, “Tell President Trump that my government is the terrorist, but we the people are not terrorists.”
5. (SBU) Applicants became extremely emotional while interacting with consular officers, believing that the recent reports of a judicial stay on the EO applied to them. An Iranian man with a pregnant American citizen wife in the United States pleaded, “Please, can I just go see the birth of my child? Is there any exception? I will have to have my wife come to Iran for the birth. I want to be there to see my child.” Another Iranian couple said that they were traveling to care for their dying son in the United States, stating, “By the time the ban is lifted, my son is going to be dead from cancer.”
6. (SBU) A thirteen-year old Iranian boy also came to the Consulate to inquire about the validity of his previously issued U.S. NIV. He said that his parents had paid $6,000 for an upcoming school trip to NASA. He asked, “I heard about the Presidential order. Can I not go because I am Iranian?”
COMMENT
7. (SBU) CG Dubai is still inundated with Iranian NIV applicants, green card holders, and immigrant visa holders affected by the EO who are seeking clarification and explanations. Post believes that communication challenges reaching individuals inside Iran mean that applicants are not receiving appointment cancellation notifications from Post’s GSS contractor and continue to travel to Dubai to attend their visa appointments. CG Dubai will continue to deploy consular officers to directly engage with those who have questions or complaints about interview cancellations or bars on U.S. travel. CG Dubai seeks updated talking points on how the EO impacts legal permanent residents seeking to return to the United States and dual nationals of countries of concern.

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A week after President Obama expelled Russian diplomats from the United States over alleged, yet unproven hacking of John Podesta’s email account, Maryland Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin is pushing for sanctions against the former Soviet Union.

Cardin, who is the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relation’s Committee is pushing for sanctions due to Russia’s meddling in the Ukraine and their support for the Assad regime in Syria.

Arguably, the Kremlin, led by Vladimir Putin has engaged in the same level of meddling in foreign affairs as the United States in recent years as neither nation has developed an understanding of Jeffersonian, non-interventionist policies.

Cardin’s proposal will be a “comprehensive bill that will provide congressional authorization for additional sanctions against Russia.”

Comment below.

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Yesterday, President Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats from the United States, with only 72-hour’s notice.

The expulsion affects 96 Russians, including toddlers and pre-schoolers who are forced to evacuate – many of whom have established homes in the U.S.

They are forced to pack up or abandon their belongings and head to the nearest airport.

Some families reported problems obtaining last minute tickets for extensive overseas travel, so the Kremlin responded by sending a plane for their citizens.

Moscow is calling it a “last ditch effort” by Barack Obama to provoke the Russian government.

The government also showed calm and reserve in not retaliating by kicking out U.S. diplomats stationed in Russia. Instead, the Russians announced they would “decide the future of relations” based upon the actions of President-Elect Trump.

Critics say that in the final months of his presidency, Barack Obama has acted like a man intent on starting a war.

In Syria, the Obama Administration has created such a mess that Sunni jihadist rebels have been backed by both al-Qaeda and the United States.

But the Sunni’s are fighting Shia Muslims that have also received support from the Obama Administration.

Both sides are reportedly using U.S. weapons and Russia is fighting along side the Shia’s, who are battling Obama-backed Sunni’s.

While it’s difficult to make sense of the foreign policy moves that have placed the United States literally exchanging gunfire with Moscow, the summary is this:

Obama backed and arguably created total chaos in Syria. The Russians stepped in to stop ISIS rebels (also backed by Obama), and now, in his final throws of governance, Obama is doubling down in his attempt to agitate Putin by disrupting Russian families without cause.

Obama’s newest excuse is the claim that Russia “hacked” the presidential elections.

To date, the Obama administration has offered no proof that the Russian Government was involved in the Wikileaks hacks or release of the Podesta emails.

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has repeatedly explained that his information was not obtained from Russian sources.

Nonetheless, the Obama Administration, backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, continues to try and pick a fight with Vladamir Putin.

Critics of Obama have said the lame-duck president’s actions are comparable to a mentally disabled child poking an MMA fighter in the leg.

Comment below.

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submarine

A Russian submarine was spotted off the coast of one our strongest allies and hints to a much larger conflict looming in the future.

Just off the UK coast a Russian submarine, believed to be one of three special subs that are incredibly armed.

The sub was spotted in the Irish Sea and is being tracked by the Royal Navy.

It was just last week that the Russian northern fleet went through the English Channel on their way to the Mediterranean Sea to assist Syria in attacking the last stronghold of ISIS.

There are reports that Russia is planning to violently attack ISIS in Aleppo, Syria on the eve of the U.S. elections.

America is also positioning subs and other military assets around the globe.

On Monday we learned that a nuclear sub was on its way to the South China Sea due to rising tensions. It is a show of force for the U.S.

Russia is using a show of force right now too. Their only aircraft carrier and much of their active navy is on its way to Syria now.

The final week of the elections could be more interesting than we thought.

Do you think Russia will off a full assault on ISIS in Syria? Let us know in the comments below.

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russia

Russia is racing towards the English Channel with their Northern Fleet, but where are they going?

In Wednesday night’s debate, the topic of Russia and Putin came up often and Hillary blamed the country for cyber crimes. Both candidates denounced any Russian involvement in our elections, but what is Russia doing now?

Here is what a diplomat said of Russia’s movements.

“They are deploying all of the Northern Fleet and much of the Baltic Fleet in the largest surface deployment since the end of the Cold War. This is not a friendly port call. In two weeks, we will see a crescendo of air attacks on Aleppo as part of Russia’s strategy to declare victory there.”

The goal is to end the Syrian war and their timing couldn’t be more of a message. The day before Americans go to the voting booths, Russia is planning an all out offensive attack in Syria.

There is no doubt that Russia is moving towards all out war in Syria and with their entire Northern Fleet, they could do a lot of damage.

Our leaders have been blaming Russia for a lot of events around the world, and it is going to come to a head right before the election.

What are your thoughts on Russia moving to attack ISIS in Syria? Let us know in the comments below.

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