Category Archives: Terrorism

Donald Trump disgraces himself with his Gold Star family scandal

A week ago, President Trump was asked at an improptou press conference why he had not yet commented on the deaths of four American soldiers ambushed in Niger on October 4.  Rather than answer the question posed, Trump created a grand distraction for the media by bragging about his calls to the families of fallen soldiers and suggesting he is better at it than his predecessors, Presidents Obama and Bush. Criticized for not commenting on soldiers killed in action, Trump falsely says Obama did even less:

During an impromptu news conference in the White House Rose Garden on Monday afternoon, Trump was asked why he hadn’t yet made a public comment on the fatalities.

“I’ve written [the soldiers’ families] personal letters,” Trump replied. “They’ve been sent — or they’re going out tonight but they were written during the weekend.”

He continued:

“I will at some point during the period of time call the parents and the families because I have done that traditionally. I felt very, very badly about that; I always feel bad. The toughest calls I have to make are the calls where this happens, soldiers are killed. It’s a very difficult thing. Now, it gets to a point where you make four or five of them in one day, it’s a very, very tough day. For me that’s by far the toughest.”

“So, the traditional way, if you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls, a lot of them didn’t make calls. I like to call when it’s appropriate, when I think I’m able to do it. They have made the ultimate sacrifice. So generally I would say that I like to call. I’m going to be calling them — I want a little time to pass — I’m going to be calling them. I have, as you know, since I’ve been president I have. But in addition I actually wrote letters individually to the soldiers we’re talking about and they’re going to be going out either today or tomorrow.”

These comments were immediately criticized by veterans of the Obama administration and members of the media who had covered it.

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Niger is Donald Trump’s ‘Benghazi’ scandal

When four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, Republicans moved quickly to politicize their deaths and to pin blame on President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney accused the Obama administration only hours  after the incident in Benghazi of sympathizing with the attackers.

Republicans also accused National Security Advisor Susan Rice of misleading the public by saying on CBS’ Face the Nation and ABC’s This Week that the attack was a direct result of a “heinous and offensive video,” and was spontaneous, not a preplanned terrorist attack.

Congressional Republicans subsequently conducted seven congressional committee investigations and issued nine reports into the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. The final probe lasted more than two years and cost more than $7 million, as GOP lawmakers hoped to find misconduct by Obama, or more significantly Secretary Clinton. Those inquiries came up empty, but served Republican’s desired purpose of smearing Obama, Clinton and Rice within the epistemic closure of the conservative media entertainment complex feedback loop.

The Benghazi conspiracy theory, in a nutshell, was that: (1) the Obama administration prematurely claimed victory against al Qaida terrorist groups in Libya; (2) there was an intelligence failure that left U.S. diplomatic personnel vulnerable, and (4) the U.S. military was not in position to conduct a rescue operation.  (5) Republicans, of course, politicized the incident accusing the Obama administration of lying about what happened and what went wrong.

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The calamitous Syrian situation

The country of Syria has become the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. In geographical size, Syria is slightly more than 1.5 times the size of the state of Pennsylvania. Syria had a population of around 23 million in 2011. The ongoing fighting has caused approximately 5.2 million refugees to flee the country. The refugees are mostly housed in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Millions more of Syria’s people have been displaced within the country. Since the conflict began in 2011, the number of deaths among Syrian government forces, opposition paramilitaries and civilians is estimated to exceed 400,000.

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Las Vegas now the deadliest mass shooting in American history

Sunday night, a lone gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip opened fire on a country music festival, killing at least 58 people and injuring at least 500 others in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.

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The Washington Post reports, Gunman in Las Vegas kills at least 58, injures 500 more in shooting rampage:

The gunman, identified by police as Stephen Paddock, age 64, was later found dead by officers on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said during a news briefing Monday.

The massacre marked the nation’s latest outbreak of gunfire and bloodshed to erupt in a public place, again spreading terror in an American city transformed into a war zone. The carnage in Las Vegas surpassed the 49 people slain in June 2016 when a gunman in Orlando, who later said he was inspired by the Islamic State, opened fire inside a crowded nightclub.

Lombardo said investigators could not immediately identify a motive, leaving no clear answer as to why a gunman killed at least 58 people and possibly more. He also said an additional 515 people were injured, though he did not specify how many were wounded by gunfire or injured in the chaos that followed.

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(Update) One step closer to a renewed war with North Korea

Kim Jong-un, I respect the fact that I believe he is starting to respect us” –President Donald Trump at his recent Phoenix campaign rally.

This is how much North Korea respects the belicose paper tiger of Donald Trump. In latest test, North Korea detonates its most powerful nuclear device yet:

North Korea sharply raised the stakes in its stand-off with the rest of the world Sunday, detonating a powerful nuclear device that it claimed was hydrogen bomb that could be attached to a missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.

Even if Kim Jong Un’s regime is exaggerating its feats, scientific evidence showed that North Korea had crossed an important threshold and had detonated a nuclear device that was exponentially more powerful than its last — and almost seven times the size of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

Tensions had already been running high, with Kim repeatedly defying international condemnation and increasingly blunt warnings by President Trump and continuing to launch ballistic missiles.

But Sunday’s blast — North Korea’s sixth nuclear test but the first since Trump took office — could escalate those tensions to a new level.

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The sorry state of Afghanistan

President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan was considered to be one of the world’s leading experts in the art of fixing failed states before he became the country’s president. In office since 2014, he is confronted by a large number of intertwined political, security and economic problems. His Afghan government is troubled by a low level of revenue collection, a high level of corruption and a dismal job creation record. The country’s overall literacy rate is about 38%. Afghanistan is a poor country, it has a per capita GDP of $2,000. The Taliban movement is resurgent. It is a severe challenge to the government’s control of territory, economic development and the population’s security.

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