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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 318)

Rep. John Lewis Gives First Interview After Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Westlake Legal Group 5e0bc5372500004ebad3184f Rep. John Lewis Gives First Interview After Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Days after disclosing he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Rep. John Lewis is speaking out publicly about the diagnosis and his plans for the future.

In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia Democrat struck a positive, determined tone and indicated he has no plans to withdraw from his current responsibilities.

“It is a challenge and a fight. But I have had challenges before and been fighting all my life,” Lewis told the paper. “I am ready for the fight. I will go through the treatment and face the day each day like it is a new day. I will continue to be hopeful and optimistic.”

Lewis’ reference to overcoming prior challenges is one hell of an understatement. The 79-year-old rose to prominence as a civil rights organizer in the 1960s. In 1965, Alabama state troopers beat him in the head with a nightstick as he and 600 nonviolent protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in what became known as Bloody Sunday.

He overcame a skull fracture and more than 40 arrests through the years. In 1986, he won a seat in the U.S. House, which he’s held ever since. He told the AJC he plans to seek reelection in 2020, though he acknowledged this latest fight will be less familiar than what’s come before. 

“As you well know, I will be going through something that I have never been through before,” Lewis said. “I have had friends and colleagues who have gone through similar situations. I will be talking and learning from them and obeying my physicians.”

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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry share delightful photo of baby Archie ahead of the new year

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry gave the world a treat on Tuesday, sharing a new, unseen image of their son, baby Archie.

The royal couple posted a video montage of various moments from 2019 with music from Coldplay to their official Instagram account.

The image shows Harry, donning a blue beanie and an olive green coat as he grins while holding his 7-month-old son. As for Archie, the infant was bundled in a cozy gray beanie, a thick brown coat and brown boots to match.

MEGHAN MARKLE, PRINCE HARRY CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS IN CANADA AWAY FROM ROYAL FAMILY: REPORT

The photo appears to have been taken while the family was spending time on Vancouver Island in Canada with Markle’s mother, Doria Ragland, while the rest of the family celebrated the Christmas holiday in Sandringham.

MEGHAN MARKLE: 10 WAYS THE DUCHESS OF SUSSEX CHALLENGED ROYAL PROTOCOL IN 2019

‘“Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and thanking you for your continued support!” the Duke and Duchess of Sussex began in their caption. “We’ve loved meeting so many of you from around the world and can’t wait to meet many more of you next year. We hope 2020 brings each of you health and continued happiness.’”

“Special thanks to Chris Martin and @Coldplay for allowing us to use one of their songs,” the caption read.

Westlake Legal Group prince-harry-meghan-markle-archie Meghan Markle, Prince Harry share delightful photo of baby Archie ahead of the new year Julius Young fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 43791b8b-6e33-58ac-8365-c960b84b5f58

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and their baby son Archie Mountbatten-Windsor meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Thandeka Tutu-Gxashe at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation during their royal tour of South Africa on September 25, 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Toby Melville – Pool/Getty Images)

PRINCE WILLIAM FEELS ‘STRANGE’ NOT HAVING PRINCE HARRY AROUND FOR CHRISTMAS AT SANDRINGHAM: REPORT

Last week, the family shared another photo of Archie in a Christmas card that was shared to social media as a GIF.

The black-and-white image featured Markle, 38, and Harry, 35, sitting in front of a Christmas tree, lights twinkling as a smiling Archie crawls toward the camera.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,” reads the card. “From our family to yours.”

Westlake Legal Group prince-harry-meghan-markle-archie Meghan Markle, Prince Harry share delightful photo of baby Archie ahead of the new year Julius Young fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 43791b8b-6e33-58ac-8365-c960b84b5f58   Westlake Legal Group prince-harry-meghan-markle-archie Meghan Markle, Prince Harry share delightful photo of baby Archie ahead of the new year Julius Young fox-news/world/personalities/british-royals fox-news/person/prince-harry fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news/meghan-markle fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 43791b8b-6e33-58ac-8365-c960b84b5f58

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Trump event in Miami church may violate IRS rules, non-profit says

Westlake Legal Group 75yyPCxAKq_ygOFm3_BtjA3N5mflbqGZIqs4yd6z57E Trump event in Miami church may violate IRS rules, non-profit says r/politics

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Rep. John Lewis Gives First Interview After Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Westlake Legal Group 5e0bc5372500004ebad3184f Rep. John Lewis Gives First Interview After Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis

Days after disclosing he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer, Rep. John Lewis is speaking out publicly about the diagnosis and his plans for the future.

In an exclusive interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Georgia Democrat struck a positive, determined tone and indicated he has no plans to withdraw from his current responsibilities.

“It is a challenge and a fight. But I have had challenges before and been fighting all my life,” Lewis told the paper. “I am ready for the fight. I will go through the treatment and face the day each day like it is a new day. I will continue to be hopeful and optimistic.”

Lewis’ reference to overcoming prior challenges is one hell of an understatement. The 79-year-old rose to prominence as a civil rights organizer in the 1960s. In 1965, Alabama state troopers beat him in the head with a nightstick as he and 600 nonviolent protesters crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in what became known as Bloody Sunday.

He overcame a skull fracture and more than 40 arrests through the years. In 1986, he won a seat in the U.S. House, which he’s held ever since. He told the AJC he plans to seek reelection in 2020, though he acknowledged this latest fight will be less familiar than what’s come before. 

“As you well know, I will be going through something that I have never been through before,” Lewis said. “I have had friends and colleagues who have gone through similar situations. I will be talking and learning from them and obeying my physicians.”

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Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson Ross enjoy ski vacation with husbands

Westlake Legal Group simpsonsisters Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson Ross enjoy ski vacation with husbands Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/family fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5fbdd7d7-8090-577b-a34e-53ae8015eb1d

Jessica Simpson and her sister Ashlee Simpson Ross are enjoying a couple’s vacation with their respective husbands.

The singers hit the ski slopes and Jessica, 39, documented the family bonding session with an Instagram post on Monday night. Jessica posed alongside her husband, Eric Johnson; sis Ashlee, 35, and her husband, Evan Ross, on top of a snowy mountain in Aspen, Colorado.

“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” Jessica captioned the shot, quoting the famed Beatles song, adding the has tag “#ASPENEXTREME.”

The day before, Jessica had posted another photo of her ski outfit — boots and all — with the caption: “Skiing with the kiddos today. This is far as I got….”

JESSICA SIMPSON UNVEILS UPCOMING MEMOIR COVER

The new family of five celebrated its first Christmas with 9-month-old baby girl Birdie Mae plus 6-year-old Ace Knute and 7-year-old Maxwell “Maxi” Drew. Ashlee spent the day with her kids: 4-year-old daughter Jagger and 11-year-old son Bronx.

The older cousins’ bonds are very strong, according to Evan. He previously told Page Six, “[Jessica’s] kids already, Ace and Max, all are best friends with Jagger and Bronx, so yeah, it’s amazing.”

JESSICA SIMPSON TALKS MOTHERHOOD, SAYS HAVING 3 YOUNG CHILDREN IS ‘NO JOKE’

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“They love each other and Ace and Maxwell are almost like big brother and sister,” he added.

Westlake Legal Group simpsonsisters Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson Ross enjoy ski vacation with husbands Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/family fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5fbdd7d7-8090-577b-a34e-53ae8015eb1d   Westlake Legal Group simpsonsisters Jessica Simpson and Ashlee Simpson Ross enjoy ski vacation with husbands Jessica Napoli fox-news/person/jessica-simpson fox-news/entertainment/genres/family fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 5fbdd7d7-8090-577b-a34e-53ae8015eb1d

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‘Just Red, Everywhere’: Australia Fire Traps Seaside Residents On Beach

Westlake Legal Group ap_19365361950566-241d566febb8f2352bc756f8f6fc6670f40905e2-s1100-c15 'Just Red, Everywhere': Australia Fire Traps Seaside Residents On Beach

Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states Tuesday trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions, destroyed properties and caused fatalities. AP hide caption

toggle caption

AP

Westlake Legal Group  'Just Red, Everywhere': Australia Fire Traps Seaside Residents On Beach

Wildfires burning across Australia’s two most-populous states Tuesday trapped residents of a seaside town in apocalyptic conditions, destroyed properties and caused fatalities.

AP

In the small coastal Australian town of Mallacoota, an out-of-control wildfire on New Year’s Eve morning forced some 4,000 people to flee to the water during one of the country’s most destructive fire seasons in recent memory.

Alex White, a reporter for the Herald Sun, told NPR that Mallacoota is popular among tourists and fishermen. The extreme conditions threatened all the roads out of town.

“When there was a really dramatic wind change at about 4 a.m., it swept close to the town and actually burned some buildings in the town, and everyone had to evacuate down to the beach,” she said. “There were reports of embers the size of mobile phones falling on people, smoke everywhere.”

Fisherman Steve Casement, a Mallacoota resident, told Reuters he lost his house to the fires. “We are stuck here now,” he said. “Everyone is pretty shocked at the moment, most of my mates are in the same position. … Right now, I am on a trailer watching the town burn down, listening to gas bottles explode at some poor bugger’s home and seeing smoke all around me.”

Photos from Mallacoota show people on boats and wearing masks as the sky glows bright red. “This is really scary now, it’s just red, everywhere,” a Facebook user at the scene is quoted as saying by Australia’s ABC. “The wind is intermittently howling, which brings more embers.”

Eventually, a change in wind direction moved the most serious fires away from the town. “I understand there was a public cheer down at the jetty when that was announced,” local fire chief Steve Warrington told the BBC. The extent of the damage is not totally clear, though Warrington is quoted as saying there may be “significant property losses.”

Australian military helicopters and an airplane were deployed to assist in the firefighting efforts in the state of Victoria, where Mallacoota is located, Australia’s Minister for Defense Linda Reynolds stated on Twitter.

In New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state, authorities said Tuesday that they confirmed the deaths of two men – a 63-year-old and his 29-year-old son – who died after remaining behind to defend their farm. Another man in NSW is unaccounted for.

Shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day, authorities in New South Wales said that there were 112 fires burning and 2,500 firefighters working in the state. Another 28 were burning in neighboring Queensland.

“This is absolutely one of the worst fire seasons we’ve seen,” said Shane Fitzsimmons, commissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service, as Reuters reported. “It’s going to be a very long, difficult dangerous night still ahead. It’s going to be another difficult day again tomorrow.”

The NSW Rural Fire Service said that a volunteer firefighter died on Monday apparently because a truck rolled when it was hit with the fire’s extreme winds. Two other firefighters on the truck were hospitalized for burns. The deceased firefighter, 28-year-old Samuel McPaul, leaves behind a pregnant wife, as Fitzsimmons said at a press briefing.

“Our hearts are breaking,” Fitzsimmons said. “To lose one of our own in such extraordinary circumstances is tragic, and tragic is just an understatement.”

The fires are being exacerbated by record-breaking heat – earlier in December, the country experienced its hottest day ever recorded. It is also facing brutally dry conditions. The government meteorological bureau also says that global warming is contributing to the spike in temperatures.

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LeBron James Named Male Athlete Of The Decade By The Associated Press

He left Cleveland for Miami, finally became a champion, went back to his beloved northeast Ohio, delivered on another title promise, then left for the Los Angeles Lakers and the next challenge. He played in eight straight finals. No NBA player won more games or more MVP awards over the last 10 years than he did. He started a school. He married his high school sweetheart.

“That’s all?” LeBron James asked, feigning disbelief.

No, that’s not all. Those were just some highlights of the last 10 years. There were many more, as the man called “King” spent the last decade reigning over all others — with no signs of slowing down.

James is The Associated Press male athlete of the decade, adding his name to a list that includes Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky and Arnold Palmer. He was a runaway winner in a vote of AP member sports editors and AP beat writers, easily outpacing runner-up Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.

“You add another 10 years of learning and adversity, pitfalls, good, great, bad, and any smart person who wants to grow will learn from all those experiences,” James, who turns 35 Monday, told the AP. “A decade ago, I just turned 25. I’m about to be 35 and I’m just in a better (place) in my life and have a better understanding of what I want to get out of life.”

Usain Bolt of Jamaica was third for dominating the sprints at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, soccer superstar Lionel Messi was fourth and Michael Phelps — the U.S. swimmer who retired as history’s most decorated Olympian with 28 medals, 23 gold — was fifth. 

Westlake Legal Group 5e0bb9fd2500001c1998f800 LeBron James Named Male Athlete Of The Decade By The Associated Press

Jayne Kamin-Oncea via Getty Images LeBron James goes for a basket in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center on December 25, 2019.

James was revealed as the winner Sunday, one day after Serena Williams was announced as the AP’s female athlete of the decade. In his 17th season, he’s on pace to lead the league in assists for the first time while remaining among the NBA’s scoring leaders.

“When LeBron James is involved,” Denver coach Michael Malone said, “I’m never surprised.”

Including playoffs, no one in the NBA scored more points than James in the last 10 years. He started the decade 124th on the league’s all-time scoring list. He’s now about to pass Kobe Bryant for No. 3. No. 2 Karl Malone and No. 1 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are within reach.

Is Abdul-Jabbar in his sights? Is catching him the new decade’s goal?

“I would be lying if I said I don’t see it,” James said. “Obviously I’m not trying to say, ‘OK, well if I play this amount of time, if I average this’ … I’m not doing that because I’ve never done that with my career. I’ve always just kind of let it happen. Whatever happens, happens. But I see it. I do see it.”

His work ethic, even now, makes even those closest to him marvel.

Here’s a typical day this past summer for James, who remains obsessed with working even though fame and fortune found him long ago: He’d wake up at 3 a.m. and be at the Warner Bros. lot by 3:45 — where a weight room and court, built just for him, were waiting. He’d be lifting by 4 a.m., getting shots up by 5:30 and be ready to start another day of shooting the remake of “Space Jam” that he has been planning for years by 7 a.m.

“That’s who he is,” said Mike Mancias, one of the longest-tenured and most trusted members of James’ inner circle, tasked for more than 15 years with keeping James fit. “He does whatever it takes when it comes to fulfilling his commitments to everything — especially his game and his craft.”

The 2010s for James started with “The Decision,” the widely criticized televised announcement of his choice to leave Cleveland for Miami. (Lost in the hubbub: The show raised more than $2.5 million for charity.) He was with the Heat for four years, went to the NBA Finals all four times with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, finally won the title in 2012 — “it’s about damn time,” he said at the trophy celebration — and led the way in a Game 7 win over San Antonio to go back-to-back the following year.

“He grew immensely here as a leader,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He impacted winning as much as with his leadership as he did with his talent. I think that was the most important thing he learned with us. And he’s been able to take that to different franchises and continue using that as a template.”

Cleveland was devastated when he left. It forgave him. James returned home in 2014, took Cleveland to four consecutive finals, then led the Cavaliers to the 2016 title and came up with one of the biggest plays of his life by pulling off a chase-down block of Golden State’s Andre Iguodala in the final seconds of Game 7 of that series.

And in 2018, he was off to LA.

Westlake Legal Group 5e0bbb3b2500003b1998f801 LeBron James Named Male Athlete Of The Decade By The Associated Press

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images James, Savannah James, LeBron James Jr., Bryce Maximus James and Zhuri James attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures’ ‘Smallfoot’ in September 2018 in Westwood, California.

Going Hollywood made so much sense — he’s making movies, has a production company, has a program called “The Shop” as part of his ‘Uninterrupted’ platform featuring an array of guests from Drake to California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who signed a bill on the show that will allow college athletes to get paid for the use of their likeness and sign endorsement deals.

“There’s a lot of moments from this decade that would be up there, winning the two Miami championships, winning a championship in Cleveland, the chase-down block,” James said. “But the best moment? Definitely marrying Savannah. That would be No. 1.”

James and longtime partner Savannah Brinson got married six years ago. They already had two sons — both are very good basketball players already — and added a daughter in 2014.

James also spent most of the last decade as a lightning rod for critics.

He used his voice often on social matters, speaking out after the killing of unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and campaigning for Hillary Clinton. He supported Colin Kaepernick’s methods of protesting police brutality and racial injustice. Most recently, he was criticized by many — including top U.S. lawmakers — for his remarks after Houston general manager Daryl Morey sparked a massive rift between the NBA and China by sending out a tweet supporting pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

“I don’t live in regret,” James said. “There’s no moment in this last decade that I wish I could have back. If a situation was bad or you feel like you could have done better, then I learned from it.”

He doesn’t know how much longer he’ll play. He laments missing time with his children. His “I Promise” school that opened in 2018 in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, has been an immediate success story, and he wants to see that enterprise continue growing.

Some love him. Some don’t. He doesn’t mind.

“When you believe in your calling or you believe in yourself, then it doesn’t matter what other people say or how other people feel,” James said. “And if you allow that to stop you or deter you from your mission, then you don’t get anywhere.”

And in the 2010s, nothing deterred James.

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Texas boy, 12, credited with saving great-grandparents from would-be murderer

Police in Texas are crediting a 12-year-old boy with preventing the possible murder of his great-grandparents after his half brother allegedly attacked them with a knife on Sunday.

The brothers were in a car with their great-grandparents, ages 76 and 92, in Katy when an argument broke out, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

Lucian Johnston, 20, was upset that his great-grandparents said he could no longer live with them because of his behavior, police said.

He allegedly then began stabbing them in the head and neck with a pocketknife, KTRK reported.

Westlake Legal Group texas-attacker Texas boy, 12, credited with saving great-grandparents from would-be murderer fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 4143bda0-aff3-5498-8dc2-8f29ad84f9e8

Lucian Johnston, 20, is facing two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly attacking his grandparents. (Harris County Sheriff’s Office.)

TEXAS DEPUTY DEAD AFTER EXCHANGING GUNFIRE WITH SUSPECT AT TRAFFIC STOP

His younger brother, Sacha, who was also in the back, intervened. Police said he managed to wrestle the knife away from Lucian and throw it out the window, successfully stopping a potential double murder.

“The real hero in this ordeal is a 12-year-old that was also in the backseat at the time of the brutal attack,” a sheriff’s deputy said.

Lucian reportedly gave up on the fight and fled the scene. He was arrested Monday morning and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, police said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The great-grandparents drove themselves to the hospital where they were treated before being released Monday night. Both are expected to make a full recovery.

Westlake Legal Group texas-attacker Texas boy, 12, credited with saving great-grandparents from would-be murderer fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 4143bda0-aff3-5498-8dc2-8f29ad84f9e8   Westlake Legal Group texas-attacker Texas boy, 12, credited with saving great-grandparents from would-be murderer fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 4143bda0-aff3-5498-8dc2-8f29ad84f9e8

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The Baghdad Embassy Crisis Is A Warning Sign About Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy

Hundreds of Iraqis stormed the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday in the latest sign of trouble for the Trump administration’s attempt to simultaneously thwart the Islamic State and Iran. It’s fresh proof that President Donald Trump’s reliance on saber-rattling instead of diplomacy risks greater chaos in the Middle East — and his approach threatens the gains the U.S. has made there in recent years.

Demonstrators at the embassy ― the United States’ largest diplomatic facility ― chanted “death to America,” according to reports from the ground. They were supporters of an Iran-backed militia called Kataib Hezbollah that has significant influence inside Iraq. The U.S. hit some of the group’s camps on Sunday, killing 25 of its fighters, after blaming it for an attack on Friday that killed an American contractor and linking it to a spate of other flare-ups. Iraqi security forces ― who work with Iran and the U.S. ― didn’t stop the protesters’ approach but ultimately intervened to push them out of the compound as American diplomats huddled in a safe room and military personnel watched from rooftops with weapons drawn, per The Washington Post.

The crisis reflects a real and worrying escalation in the U.S. and Iran’s yearslong rivalry in Iraq. Trump’s decision to launch the strikes on the Iran-backed forces was a turning point, experts said. They were the first confirmed American response to Iranian pinpricks in Iraq and other arenas like the Persian Gulf since the summer, and represented a significant show of force to Tehran that some national security pundits saw as necessary and valuable. But they also challenged Iraqi sovereignty, reigniting resentment dating back to the 2003 invasion and presenting Washington as a threat to a growing wave of Iraqi nationalism that’s won mass support among citizens tired of the status quo. That response makes it harder for the U.S. to operate in Iraq, which in turn serves the interests of Iran and ISIS, already regrouping in Iraq, with no clear American gain.

Even with the immediate danger defused, along with a feared repeat of the 1979 Tehran hostage crisis, the events of the past few days suggest more danger lies ahead in Iraq, where there are currently 5,000 American troops. The president and his Senate allies Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) reacted with anger on Twitter, warning of greater U.S. action against Iran, which Washington is already subjecting to “maximum pressure.” Kataib Hezbollah said demonstrations will continue until the embassy is closed.

America has locked itself into an escalation spiral. Randa Slim, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute

The U.S. doesn’t appear likely to shift its strategy away from bluster toward a savvier accounting of how Baghdad and Tehran are likely to operate. And without a move toward smarter engagement, Trump is stuck on a path that at best requires frequent tactical shifts without strategic progress, and at worst could entail major new bloodshed for Americans, Iraqis, Iranians and others in a region that hasn’t recovered from the onslaught of ISIS.

“The net result, whatever happens next, is reduced American prestige in Iraq,” Daniel Serwer, a Johns Hopkins University professor and former State Department official who worked on Iraq at the U.S. Institute for Peace, told HuffPost via email.

The U.S. has little ability to shape developments after the incident, said Randa Slim, a senior fellow at the Middle East Institute think tank.

“America has locked itself into an escalation spiral which it could not avoid after 11 attacks on its facilities in Iraq,” she wrote in an email. “The Iraqi government, which could have de-escalated tensions early on by clamping down on the militia activities, has proven to be unwilling and incapable to do so. The next move is in the hands of the Iraqi militias and their Iranian director.”

Now that the U.S. has signaled that it’s willing to deal with its concerns militarily, American policymakers may feel they need to constantly demonstrate even greater strength.

Because toughness toward Iran is the Trump administration’s top priority, officials seem convinced it’s worthwhile to treat U.S. interests ― and vulnerabilities ― in Iraq as a secondary concern, a choice that makes incidents like the embassy assault more likely. And unlike under the Obama administration, when Washington and Tehran had an unprecedented dialogue they used to manage potential crises, American officials presently have few ways to communicate with Iranian counterparts to prevent open conflict.

From Iran’s point of view, violence may seem like the best or only way to send a message. “Iran needs to increase the costs to the U.S. of its maximum pressure strategy,” Slim said. “Iraq and Syria are the proxy theaters where both countries have forces and where Iran can try to rebalance the power equation in its favor.”

Westlake Legal Group 5e0baad42400009f245a4a78 The Baghdad Embassy Crisis Is A Warning Sign About Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy

Wissm Al-Okili / Reuters Demonstrators and militia fighters throw stones toward the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Dec. 31 during a protest to condemn airstrikes on bases belonging to Hashd al-Shaabi.

The Trump administration could have chosen a diplomatic approach, said Scott Anderson, a former State Department official and current Brookings Institution fellow. Officials might have tied their outrage over the contractor’s killing to Iraqis’ anti-Iran anger and strongly pushed Baghdad to rein in Iranian proxy forces. That would have denied Tehran the opportunity to present America as an aggressor and boosted skepticism of Iran’s role in the country.

The embassy attackers were separate from nationalist demonstrators against corruption and Iranian interference in Iraqi politics who have faced violent retaliation from the government and were holding their own rally on Tuesday.

Trump did post a message on Twitter expressing empathy for those protesters. Yet the overall impression since the weekend remains one of foreign hubris.

“Until now the focus of anti-government demonstrations had been against Iran, with the Americans relatively unscathed,” Serwer wrote. “Iraqis however will object to whoever violates their sovereignty. This time it is the Americans.”

Iran couldn’t have hoped for more, according to Anderson.

“Hawkish senators may be pleased by the toughness of Trump’s military response — but it’s hard to see how it aids U.S. interests,” he wrote on Twitter. “This was an old, familiar trap — and the Trump administration stepped right into it.”

The U.S. now plans to send additional forces to Iraq, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced after the attack.

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Trump threatens Iran after attack on embassy compound: ‘They will pay a very BIG PRICE!’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6118581916001_6118599062001-vs Trump threatens Iran after attack on embassy compound: ‘They will pay a very BIG PRICE!’ fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc article Andrew O'Reilly 71224c57-6478-55c1-a45c-3ab97e6441f0

President Trump warned Iran that the country “will pay a very BIG PRICE!” after the break-in at the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday.

“Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities,” Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!”

Trump has blamed Iran for the embassy breach in which dozens of Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the U.S. Embassy, smashing a main door and setting fire to a reception area in one of the worst attacks on the embassy in recent years.

There were no reports of casualties. The State Department said all American personnel were safe and that there were no plans to evacuate the embassy. The government planned to send more troops to protect the compound.

US PRESSES IRAQ TO PROTECT AMERICAN PERSONNEL AFTER EMBASSY ATTACK: ‘THERE WILL BE NO BENGHAZIS’

The breach followed U.S. airstrikes on Sunday that killed 25 fighters of the Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. military said the strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia.

“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many. We strongly responded, and always will. Now Iran is orchestrating an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. They will be held fully responsible. In addition, we expect Iraq to use its forces to protect the Embassy, and so notified!” Trump tweeted earlier on Tuesday from his estate in Palm Beach, Fla.

Trump, who is spending the holiday week at his Florida home, is in “close touch” and receiving regular updates from his national security team, said White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. She echoed the sentiment contained in Trump’s tweet earlier Tuesday.

“As the president said, Iran is orchestrating this attack, and they will be held fully responsible,” Grisham said in an emailed statement. “It will be the president’s choice how and when we respond to their escalation.”

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The developments also represent a major downturn in Iraq-U.S. relations that could further undermine U.S. influence in the region and American troops in Iraq and weaken Washington’s hand in its pressure campaign against Iran.

Iraq has long struggled to balance its ties with the U.S. and Iran, both allies of the Iraqi government. But the government’s angry reaction to the U.S. airstrikes and its apparent decision not to prevent the protesters from reaching the embassy signaled a sharp deterioration of U.S.-Iraq relations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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