International - Page 17

WATCH: Russian spy ship ‘aggressively approached’ US destroyer in North Arabian Sea

The USS Farragut had to sound five short blasts to the Russian Navy ship to ward off a collision. You can see in these two videos the interactions between the two ships:

According to FoxNews, the Russian warship “got as close as 180 feet from the US ship and that there was bridge to bridge communication between the two warships.” Eventually, the Russian vessel altered course and opened the distance between it and the USS Farragut.

Photo by AKBAR TAVAKOLI/IRNA/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. and Canadian Officials Saying Iran Missile Shot Down Ukrainian Plane

Ukrainian International Airlines’ Boeing 737 went down in a fiery crash killing 176 people just after taking off from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. Today, U.S. officials are saying it was “highly likely” that an Iranian anti-aircraft missile was to blame for the tragedy. President Trump dismissed Iran’s initial claim pointing to a mechanical issue and said “somebody could have made a mistake on the other side” as the plane was flying in a “pretty rough neighborhood.”

According to the Associated Press, although U.S. officials didn’t release intelligence details, “they acknowledged the existence of satellites and other sensors in the region, as well as the likelihood of communication interceptions and other similar intelligence.” A senior Pentagon official told Fox News earlier today that the Iranian anti-aircraft missile shot down the Ukrainian passenger plane “by mistake.” Reportedly, “officials said U.S. intelligence increasingly points at the airliner being accidentally struck by a Russian-made missile, killing all 176 people on board the flight.”

Of the 176 passengers, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said 138 of them were on their way to Canada, and at least 63 of the passengers were Canadian. Just moments ago, Trudeau confirmed what United States officials have said, that in fact the plane was taken down by Iran. Speaking just moments ago, Trudeau stated, “I have intelligence from multiple sources, including allies” and the “evidence indicates the plane was shot down by an Iranian surface to air missile.” Trudeau continued, “this may have been unintentional” but that the new intelligence “reinforces the need for an investigation into this matter.”

President Donald Trump
Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The President Speaks

A few minutes ago President Trump addressed the nation about the Iran situation. He spoke from the “Grand Foyer” of the White House.

“As long as I am president,” he said, Iran will not have a nuclear weapon. He added: “Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned.”

Surrounded by his national security team – the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretaries of State and Defense and the Vice President – the President delivered a message of strength and resolve. He offered Iran a way out – and said that he would keep the sanctions – the “maximum pressure” campaign – imposed unless and until Iran changed its behavior.

Now it is quite apparent that the President is offering Iran an off-ramp, a chance for deescalation…

He also took note of a very notable fact: the United States is, for the first time in its history, energy independent. The entire history of American involvement in the Middle East has always involved dependence on Arab oil. No more. With the Trump administration energy policy of encouraging oil production and fracking for natural gas, the country is finally free from that dangerous entanglement that always involved oil in the Middle East.

The President pointed out that Iran has been a seriously bad actor in the Middle East since 1979 when they attacked the American embassy and held 52 Americans hostage for over a year. From that time until today – some 40 years – Iran has spent its time waging campaigns of violence and destruction on its neighbors. At long last, Trump made clear, this behavior will no longer be tolerated.
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The President called on the member countries of NATO, plus China and Russia, to step up to the plate and help in getting Iran to stop its destructive behavior.

His message: this was an opportunity for de-escalation, to get Iran off the road to war it has been on for four decades. It was also a re-confirmation of his campaign pledge not to lead the United States into yet another “endless war.”

This comes after a US drone attack took out Iran’s terrorist leader, General Qassem Soleimani. The President spoke today from the same Grand Foyer where President Barack Obama addressed the nation in 2011 after the Navy Seal raid Obama had ordered had successfully taken out Osama bin Laden. After Obama made his announcement, Republicans – the entire nation – rallied to Obama and applauded him for taking out the man who was responsible for the mass murder of Americans on September 11, 2001.

Yet today, Democrats and the media sound no different than the radical Iranian ayatollahs. Soleimani, who, like bin Laden, was a  mass murderer of Americans,
had praise lavished on him by the media, with Democrats saying in essence that, well, yes, he was a bad guy but the President should have consulted with them,
the President should not have done this, the President is bringing on a war. Yada, yada yada.

Now it is quite apparent that the President is offering Iran an off-ramp, a chance for deescalation.

Bottom line? This is exactly why Donald Trump was elected in the first place. To bring change – serious, massive change to the Swamp and its business as usual ways.

As this speech indicated, that change is underway.

IRAN STRIKES BACK: Launches ‘more than a dozen’ missiles into Iraq targeting US, coalition forces

Iran fired “more than a dozen ballistic missiles” into Iraq, targeting U.S. military and coalition forces, Pentagon officials said.

The missiles targeted military bases in Al-Assad and Irbil, the Pentagon added. There was no immediate word on injuries or damage.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said: “We are aware of the reports of attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq. The president has been briefed and is monitoring the situation closely and consulting with his national security team.”

It’s not immediately clear how the U.S. may respond.

The Pentagon also added: “In recent days and in response to Iranian threats and actions, the Department of Defense has taken all appropriate measures to safeguard our personnel and partners. These bases have been on high alert due to indications that the Iranian regime planned to attack our forces and interests in the region. As we evaluate the situation and our response, we will take all necessary measures to protect and defend U.S. personnel, partners, and allies in the region.”

***This is a developing story, please check back for updates***


Colin Kaepernick
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Memo to Colin Kaepernick and April Ryan: Soleimani Killed Black Americans

Leave it to Nike’s favorite athlete Colin Kaepernick to tweet this on hearing the news that Iranian General Qassam Soleimani had been killed by a US drone.

“There is nothing new about American terrorist attacks against Black and Brown people
for the expansion of American imperialism.”

When former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer criticized Kaepernick, my former CNN colleague April Ryan angrily leapt to Kaepernick’s defense.

Memo to Kaepernick and April Ryan? Remember David Hickman.

And what does Colin Kaepernick do? He sides with Soleimani. And April Ryan defends Kaepernick…

David Hickman was a 23-year-old U.S. Army Specialist who hailed from North Carolina. On November 14, 2011, Specialist Hickman, as noted “was killed when a roadside bomb exploded and tore through his armored truck, causing him internal brain hemorrhaging.”

Oh yes. There’s one other thing to note about David Hickman. He was black.

Another memo to Kaepermnick and Ryan: David Hickman was killed – by Qassam Solemani. Here is a CBS report on Solemani.  It says, in part, this:

“As chief of the Quds — or Jerusalem — Force, Solemani oversaw the Guard’s foreign operations…U.S. forces would blame the Quds Force… for training and supplying the bomb makers whose improvised explosive devices made IED — improvised explosive device — a dreaded acronym among soldiers.”

This means, again, that David Hickman, a 23-year-old African-American, was killed by General Solemani, the man in charge of  “training and supplying the bomb makers whose improvised explosive devices made IED — improvised explosive device — a dreaded acronym among soldiers.”

There’s more.

As reported in The Philadelphia Tribune:

“In Iraq, Blacks made up an average of 15 percent of combat troops in-country at any given time, and in the earliest weeks of the conflict accounted for a startlingly high percentage of casualties.”

In this 2004 story in The Guardian, this was reported:

“Black soldiers are a particular target. ‘To have Negroes occupying us is a particular humiliation,’ (a local fighter against Americans named) Abu Mujahed said, echoing the profound racism prevalent in much of the Middle East. ‘Sometimes we aborted a mission because there were no Negroes.’”

Get that quote? That there is “profound racism… in much of the Middle East”? Which in turn has meant that “Black soldiers are a particular target.”

The hard truth here is that Qassam Soleimani killed the young African-American David Hickman – and his forces deliberately target black US soldiers.

And what does Colin Kaepernick do? He sides with Soleimani. And April Ryan defends Kaepernick.

Wow. Just wow.