web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 385)

Iraqi Protesters Ending Standoff at U.S. Embassy, on Orders From Militia Leaders

BAGHDAD — After vowing to camp outside the United States Embassy until the Americans left Iraq, and trying for a second day to scale the compound’s walls, demonstrators drawn largely from Iranian-backed militias called off their protest on Wednesday.

They gradually drifted away on foot or drove off in trucks, ending a tense standoff in which American diplomats were trapped in the embassy compound, and United States troops fired tear gas to disperse the thousands of people who stood outside chanting “Death to America.”

Iraqi counterterrorism forces took over on Wednesday from the Special Forces for the Green Zone, which had largely hung back from confronting the protesters, even as some of them attempted to climb over the walls and clambered onto the roof of the reception building demonstrators had burned a day earlier.

Westlake Legal Group embassy-sat-map-Artboard_2 Iraqi Protesters Ending Standoff at U.S. Embassy, on Orders From Militia Leaders United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

Protesters entered

the compound

at this gate.

They burned a

reception building

and guard posts.

Al Kindi St.

GREEN

ZONE

U.S. Embassy

compound

Protesters entered

the Green Zone

from this bridge.

Tigris River

Westlake Legal Group embassy-sat-map-Artboard_3 Iraqi Protesters Ending Standoff at U.S. Embassy, on Orders From Militia Leaders United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

GREEN

ZONE

Protesters

entered the

compound

at this gate.

They burned a

reception building

and guard posts.

Al Kindi St.

U.S. Embassy

compound

Protesters entered

the Green Zone

from this bridge.

Tigris

River

Satellite image by Maxar via Bing
Westlake Legal Group satellite-map-Artboard_2 Iraqi Protesters Ending Standoff at U.S. Embassy, on Orders From Militia Leaders United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

TIGRIS RIVER

GREEN ZONE

U.S. Embassy compound

TIGRIS RIVER

Westlake Legal Group satellite-map-Artboard_4 Iraqi Protesters Ending Standoff at U.S. Embassy, on Orders From Militia Leaders United States Defense and Military Forces Iraq Iran Diplomatic Service, Embassies and Consulates Demonstrations, Protests and Riots Baghdad (Iraq)

TIGRIS RIVER

GREEN ZONE

U.S. Embassy compound

Sources: Compound boundaries from the Associated Press and satellite imagery.

By Sarah Almukhtar, Falih Hassan, Lauren Leatherby, Allison McCann and Anjali Singhvi

In contrast to Tuesday, when some demonstrators forced their way into the compound and lit fires there, the crowd was much smaller on Wednesday and none of the protesters got inside the compound. When they reached the roof of the burned reception building, the United States security forces defending the embassy shot tear gas that drove them back, and a second volley of tear gas around midday dispersed a few hundred of the roughly 1,000 who had spent the night just outside the walls.

A couple of hours later an order came from the Hashid Commission, which oversees all the armed groups that sprang up in 2014 to fight the Islamic State — the most powerful of which are close to Iran and function as Iranian proxy forces.

The commission asked, out of “respect for the government’s sovereignty” and its promise that “it had heard the protesters’ message,” that the protesters stand down. That request was reiterated by the spokesman for one of the powerful, Iranian-backed armed groups, Asaib al-Haq.

Those militia members then began to leave, but at first the fighters loyal to Kataib Hezbollah, the militia at the center of the confrontation, did not. “We have not heard from our leaders,” said Mohammed Muhi, the spokesman for the group.

Within an hour, that group, too, sent the word for its followers to leave.

In a parting shot at the Americans, some members of the militia hung a green banner with yellow writing on the burned reception area that said: “Popular Mobilization Commission,” the umbrella group for the militias, as if to remove any doubt of who was in charge.

The United States blamed Kataib Hezbollah for a rocket attack on Friday on an Iraqi military base, which killed an American contractor and wounded several other people. American forces responded on Sunday with strikes on five sites controlled by the militia, in Syria and Iraq, that killed at least two dozen people and injured twice as many; Iran has put the death toll at 31.

On Tuesday, thousands of Iraqis, many of them militia fighters, marched on the United States Embassy compound in Baghdad to protest the American strikes, and some of them forced their way through the outer wall. They did not attempt to breach the embassy itself, and there were no reports of serious injuries, but the clash evoked memories of the takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

In an ominous sign for the Americans’ ability to stay, the Iraqi authorities, who had prevented previous demonstrations from getting near the embassy compound, allowed the protesters on Tuesday to march on it unimpeded.

In the past months, in the face of antigovernment protests, it was Iraqi forces firing tear gas to dispel protesters. But this week, the Iraqi authorities have left that to the United States, rather than confronting their own people.

President Trump on Tuesday tweeted that Iran was responsible for the attack on the embassy, and threatened retaliation. Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded on Wednesday, “You can’t do anything.”

Iraqi militias — in theory under the umbrella of the national military, but often quite independent — played a major role in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS. While many of the armed groups, who are made up of Shiite Muslims, are backed by Iran, a Shiite theocracy at odds with the United States, the two powers had a common goal in their effort to defeat the Islamic State.

Once the Islamic State was largely demolished, however, the Iran-backed Iraqi militias turned their attention to constraining United States activities in Iraq, especially after America ratcheted up its sanctions against Iran.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the United States was “taking revenge on the Popular Mobilization Forces for defeating ISIS,” a group that he claimed “the U.S. had created.”

Kataib Hezbollah denied responsibility on Wednesday for the most confrontational demonstrators, although it had pushed for protests in front of the embassy.

There are about 30 groups within the Popular Mobilization Forces, each answering to different leaders who do not always agree with each other. Neither the government nor any of the factions has the authority to corral all of them, making for a dangerous mix.

Falih Hassan reported from Baghdad, and Alissa Rubin from Paris.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

St. Louis records 4 homicides in first 3 hours of 2020

Only a few hours into 2020 and Missouri’s second largest city recorded four homicides in multiple shootings across St. Louis.

The St. Louis Police Department told KMOV the incidents – in which a total of eight people were shot – began rolling in shortly after midnight, when a teenager was shot in the thigh in a neighborhood on the city’s northwest side.

The teenager was rushed to an area hospital and was listed in stable condition, police said.

Not even a half-hour after the first incident was reported, three people were found fatally shot in an intersection in the city’s Benton Park neighborhood. A fourth victim was discovered shot in the leg at the location just before 12:30 a.m.

CALIFORNIA MAN WHOSE LAPTOP STOLEN AT STARBUCKS FATALLY STRUCK BY SUSPECT’S VEHICLE WHILE TRYING TO GET IT BACK, POLICE SAY

Officials told FOX2 the victims have not been identified and no arrests have been made in connection with those shootings.

Authorities were called to a third shooting in north St. Louis, where a man was found shot to death around 2:40 a.m. Another man at the scene who was conscious and breathing was rushed to an area hospital.

Westlake Legal Group st-louis-iStock St. Louis records 4 homicides in first 3 hours of 2020 Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 0b548afe-1f4a-59b2-8027-419cd9e56050

Four people in St. Louis were shot to death in the early hours of the first day of 2020, including three killed at one location. (iNews)

Shortly after the third shooting, a fourth incident was reported on the 3400 block of Wyoming Ave., where a man reported suffering a graze wound after gunfire was reported. The man was transported to an area hospital, according to FOX2.

IDAHO COLD CASE OF OUTLAW MISSING SINCE 1916 SOLVED BY DNA, GENETIC GENEALOGY

The violent early hours of 2020 were not confined to just city limits. Another early-morning shooting was reported in the St. Louis suburb of Creve Coeur, Mo. Officers responded to a 911 call around 1:30 a.m. and found two teens shot at the home.

The homeowner told officials that around 75 to 80 teens were at the home for a New Year’s Eve party when a gunman walked through the front door and opened fire, FOX2 reported. The two teenagers were transported to an area hospital. Details about their conditions were not yet known.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

In 2019, St. Louis recorded 194 homicides, up from 186 in 2018. The 2019 victims included 11 children, according to the Associated Press.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group st-louis-iStock St. Louis records 4 homicides in first 3 hours of 2020 Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 0b548afe-1f4a-59b2-8027-419cd9e56050   Westlake Legal Group st-louis-iStock St. Louis records 4 homicides in first 3 hours of 2020 Travis Fedschun fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/missouri fox-news/us/environment/cities fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 0b548afe-1f4a-59b2-8027-419cd9e56050

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Fatal New York City $1 mugging caught on video leads to arrest: reports

Westlake Legal Group bronx-teen-suspect-NYPD Fatal New York City $1 mugging caught on video leads to arrest: reports Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 7f54c298-4d10-5d91-95f3-c4d9d025a6b8

A New York City teenager, who was caught on camera allegedly mugging a 60-year-old man – who later died – of $1 dollar on Christmas Eve, has been arrested, police said.

Abu Conteh, 18, of the Bronx, was arrested Tuesday morning, just days after the brutal overnight assault, the New York Post reported.

Juan Fresnda, 60, died three days after the $1 robbery outside a McDonald’s in the Bronx. He was trying to protect his boyfriend.

NEW YORK CITY MUGGING VICTIM, 60, DIES 3 DAYS AFTER BRUTAL CHRISTMAS EVE BEATING OVER $1

Officials said detectives know the names of Conteh’s accomplices and are looking for them, the Daily News reported.

Conteh’s mother told the paper the video shows her son but he wasn’t involved.

“He saw people fighting and he knows those people in the video but he never touched that man,” Isataturay Conteh told the paper. “I don’t know all his friends. Abu goes to school and comes home. We expect him always around 7 or 8 p.m.”

Conteh was charged with second-degree murder, gang assault, and robbery, according to the paper.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

He was jailed without bail.

Westlake Legal Group bronx-teen-suspect-NYPD Fatal New York City $1 mugging caught on video leads to arrest: reports Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 7f54c298-4d10-5d91-95f3-c4d9d025a6b8   Westlake Legal Group bronx-teen-suspect-NYPD Fatal New York City $1 mugging caught on video leads to arrest: reports Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/us/crime/robbery-theft fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc article 7f54c298-4d10-5d91-95f3-c4d9d025a6b8

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Winery Retained Undocumented Workers Until End Of Harvest Despite Knowing About Immigration Status, Lawyer Claims

As a reminder, this subreddit is for civil discussion.

In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don’t attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, any advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban.

If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.

For those who have questions regarding any media outlets being posted on this subreddit, please click here to review our details as to whitelist and outlet criteria.


I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ancient stargazing device appears at New Mexico college

A newly forged steel instrument that can pinpoint the path of stars and planets across the night sky using the naked eye is a throwback to the years just before the advent of telescopes, returning stargazers in the hills of northern New Mexico to the essentials of astronomy in the past.

Installed at St. John’s College by graduates, the device is a remake of long-lost originals devised by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe in the late 16th century to chart the location of stars and the orbits of planets.

Westlake Legal Group star3 Ancient stargazing device appears at New Mexico college fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fnc/science fnc f4313ddc-791f-5f3c-887f-efe4069a6676 Associated Press article

It consists of four interlocking rings — forged of precision steel and aligned with the north star and equator — combined with a sliding viewfinder that is moved by hand to measure angles between the any celestial object, the horizon and the equator.

Lengthy, painstaking measurements from such an instrument in the late-1500s allowed Johannes Kepler to show that Mars revolved in an elliptical orbit around the sun, disproving the entrenched theory of the circular movement of heavenly bodies and setting off a search of new theories of planetary motion and forces.

“You can often learn things about how science was done in another age by recreating the artifacts and recreating the instruments,” said William Donahue, a retired faculty member and laboratories director at St. John’s College, whose campus overlooks Santa Fe. “This is a lot of fun because you get to do things that nobody has done for 300 years.”

None of Brahe’s original instruments have survived. Graduates of St. John’s commissioned a functioning replica using Brahe’s original drawings and illustrations. They hired British craftsman David Harber to assemble a precision instrument from surgical stainless steel. The venture cost upwards of $100,000, Donahue said.

Westlake Legal Group star-1 Ancient stargazing device appears at New Mexico college fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fnc/science fnc f4313ddc-791f-5f3c-887f-efe4069a6676 Associated Press article

Static sculptures of Brahe’s so-called armillary sphere proliferate in public parks, but few if any allow for detailed measurements like the one in Santa Fe. It is accurate to incremental angular measurements of one-sixtieth of a degree, or 1 arc minute.

The device is an obvious anachronism in an age of sky-charting smart phone apps — and a fitting addition to St. John’s College, where students trace the evolution of math and science from ancient civilizations by studying original texts or their English translations.

Beyond St. John’s, New Mexico’s dark cloudless skies have attracted groundbreaking astronomical devices and student observatories.

‘ANCIENT STAR BURST’ SPOTTED AT CENTER OF MILKY WAY

They include New Mexico Tech’s Magdalena Ridge Observatory, perched 2 miles (3 kilometers) above sea level near Socorro; a cluster of research telescopes at Apache Point Observatory; the iconic Very Large Array radio astronomy observatory where antennae span miles across the Plains of San Agustin: and recently assembled radio scopes that explore low frequencies for clues about cosmic evolution.

By contrast, the latest stargazing device in Santa Fe promises no scientific advances. Instead, it’s something of a time portal into the travails of 16th century astronomy.

MASSIVE BLACK HOLES ATE GIANT GAS “HALOS” AT THE START OF THE UNIVERSE

Donahoe, who translated Kepler’s “Astronomia Nova” from Latin, says pinpointing the coordinates of bright stars and planets produces lots of “ah-hah moments” for students. The sphere is not yet part of the college curriculum.

Measurements taken by Brahe were accurate enough to challenge fundamental astronomical conceptions and misconceptions and help pave the way for Isaac Newton’s theory of gravity and the laws of motion, Donahue says.

Tracking orbits also was no easy feat in an age where mechanical clocks could be maddeningly inaccurate. Then came the telescope.

“In 1609 Galileo turned his telescope on the sky — and that changed everything,” Donahue said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group star3 Ancient stargazing device appears at New Mexico college fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fnc/science fnc f4313ddc-791f-5f3c-887f-efe4069a6676 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group star3 Ancient stargazing device appears at New Mexico college fox-news/science/air-and-space/astronomy fnc/science fnc f4313ddc-791f-5f3c-887f-efe4069a6676 Associated Press article

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

State Department spokeswoman pressed on whether Trump administration’s Iran policy is working

Westlake Legal Group Morgan-Ortagus-FOX State Department spokeswoman pressed on whether Trump administration's Iran policy is working fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 28a8b891-a9a9-5211-aa98-a1db2c79e6f5

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus insisted Wednesday that the Trump administration’s policy toward Iran is working, following the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad by pro-Iran militia members.

Ortagus said those who attacked the embassy were “terrorists that are organized, trained and equipped by the Iranian regime,” not legitimate protesters.

Dozens of pro-Iran militiamen and protesters remain camped outside the compound on Wednesday, one day after militiamen stormed into the compound and smashed windows before pulling back. It was one of the worst attacks on a U.S. diplomatic mission in years.

NY TIMES TWEET ON ‘IRAQI MOURNERS’ STORMING BAGHDAD EMBASSY PROMPTS BACKLASH ONLINE

The demonstrators said to be protesting U.S. airstrikes over the weekend that killed 25 fighters. Those strikes were in response to a rocket attack on an Iraqi Army base that killed a U.S. contractor and injured several American troops.

“We have told the Iranian regime countless times, do not confuse President Trump’s strategic patience with weakness,” said Ortagus, prompting “America’s Newsroom” anchor Leland Vittert to ask when Iran’s provocations in the region will be met with a stronger response from the United States, such as targeted airstrikes.

“We think our policy is working stronger than ever. The Iranian economy is out of money,” said Ortagus, formerly a Fox News contributor.

TRUMP VOWS IRAQ ‘WILL NOT BE A BENGHAZI’ AFTER IRAN-BACKED EMBASSY RAID

“We’re not seeking another war in the Middle East. That’s not what we’re doing here. But we are holding the Iranian regime accountable and we are protecting and defending ourselves,” she added, saying the administration is “completely confident” that the embassy is secure.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday night, just hours after dozens of Iran-backed Iraqi Shiite militiamen and their supporters broke into the embassy attack in Baghdad, President Trump vowed that the situation “will not be a Benghazi” — a pointed reference to the deadly 2012 embassy attack in Libya on the Obama administration’s watch, after officials at the embassy had requested enhanced security for weeks.

“It’s been handled very well,” Trump said as he walked into New Year’s Eve celebrations at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. “The Marines came in. We had some great warriors come in; they did a fantastic job. They were there instantaneously, as soon as we heard. They came immediately. It’s in great shape. This will not be a Benghazi. Benghazi never should have happened. This will never, ever be a Benghazi. … As soon as we saw there was a potential for a problem, they got in.”

Trump added: “Things are in great shape. … I want to thank the Iraqi government. They really stepped up.”‘

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Ortagus maintained that the president’s strategy with Iran has been effective.

“We can pursue peaceful diplomacy with the Iranian regime while also continuing our maximum economic pressure campaign, while also defending ourselves. … To say that it’s a war with Iran or nothing is just a fundamental misunderstanding of how foreign policy actually works,” she said.

Fox News’ Lucia I. Suarez Sang contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Morgan-Ortagus-FOX State Department spokeswoman pressed on whether Trump administration's Iran policy is working fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 28a8b891-a9a9-5211-aa98-a1db2c79e6f5   Westlake Legal Group Morgan-Ortagus-FOX State Department spokeswoman pressed on whether Trump administration's Iran policy is working fox-news/world/world-regions/iraq fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/shows/americas-newsroom fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/state-department fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc David Montanaro article 28a8b891-a9a9-5211-aa98-a1db2c79e6f5

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Deploys More Troops To Middle East After U.S. Embassy Attack

Westlake Legal Group 5e0cba852500004ebad318eb Trump Deploys More Troops To Middle East After U.S. Embassy Attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Charging that Iran was “fully responsible” for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, President Donald Trump ordered about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East as about 3,000 more prepared for possible deployment in the next several days.

No U.S. casualties or evacuations were reported after the attack Tuesday by dozens of Iran-supported militiamen. U.S. Marines were sent from Kuwait to reinforce the compound.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday night that “in response to recent events” in Iraq, and at Trump’s direction, he authorized the immediate deployment of the infantry battalion from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He did not specify the soldiers’ destination, but a U.S. official familiar with the decision said they will go to Kuwait.

“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” Esper said in a written statement.

Additional soldiers from the 82nd Airborne’s quick-deployment brigade, known officially as its Immediate Response Force, were prepared to deploy, Esper said. The U.S. official, who provided unreleased details on condition of anonymity, said the full brigade of about 4,000 soldiers may deploy.

The 750 soldiers deploying immediately were in addition to 14,000 U.S. troops who had deployed to the Gulf region since May in response to concerns about Iranian aggression, including its alleged sabotage of commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf. At the time of the attack the U.S. had about 5,200 troops in Iraq, mainly to train Iraqi forces and help them combat Islamic State extremists.

The breach of the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday was a stark demonstration that Iran can still strike at American interests despite Trump’s economic pressure campaign. It also revealed growing strains between Washington and Baghdad, raising questions about the future of the U.S. military mission there.

“They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!” Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon, though it was unclear whether his “threat” meant military retaliation. He thanked top Iraqi government leaders for their “rapid response upon request.”

American airstrikes on Sunday killed 25 fighters of an Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. said those strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor and the wounding of American and Iraqi troops in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia. The American strikes angered the Iraqi government, which called them an unjustified violation of its sovereignty.

While blaming Iran for the embassy breach, Trump also called on Iraq to protect the diplomatic mission.

“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” he tweeted from his estate in Florida. “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!”

Even as Trump has argued for removing U.S. troops from Mideast conflicts, he also has singled out Iran as a malign influence in the region. After withdrawing the U.S. in 2018 from an international agreement that exchanged an easing of sanctions for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program, Trump ratcheted up sanctions.

Those economic penalties, including a virtual shut-off of Iranian oil exports, are aimed at forcing Iran to negotiate a broader nuclear deal. But critics say that pressure has pushed Iranian leaders into countering with a variety of military attacks in the Gulf.

Until Sunday’s U.S. airstrikes, Trump had been measured in his response to Iranian provocations. In June, he abruptly called off U.S. military strikes on Iranian targets in retaliation for the downing of an American drone.

Robert Ford, a retired U.S. diplomat who served five years in Baghdad and then became ambassador in Syria, said Iran’s allies in the Iraqi parliament may be able to harness any surge in anger among Iraqis toward the United States to force U.S. troops to leave the country. Ford said Trump miscalculated by approving Sunday’s airstrikes on Kataeb Hezbollah positions in Iraq and Syria — strikes that drew a public rebuke from the Iraqi government and seem to have triggered Tuesday’s embassy attack.

“The Americans fell into the Iranian trap,” Ford said, with airstrikes that turned some Iraqi anger toward the U.S. and away from Iran and the increasingly unpopular Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

The tense situation in Baghdad appeared to upset Trump’s vacation routine in Florida, where he is spending the holidays.

Trump spent just under an hour at his private golf club in West Palm Beach before returning to his Mar-a-Lago resort in nearby Palm Beach. He had spent nearly six hours at his golf club on each of the previous two days. Trump spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and emphasized the need for Iraq to protect Americans and their facilities in the country, said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

Trump is under pressure from some in Congress to take a hard-line approach to Iranian aggression, which the United States says included an unprecedented drone and missile attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in September. More recently, Iran-backed militias in Iraq have conducted numerous rocket attacks on bases hosting U.S. forces.

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican and supporter of Trump’s Iran policy, called the embassy breach “yet another reckless escalation” by Iran.

Tuesday’s attack was carried out by members of the Iran-supported Kataeb Hezbollah militia. Dozens of militiamen and their supporters smashed a main door to the compound and set fire to a reception area, but they did not enter the main buildings.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blamed Iran for the episode and faulted Trump for his “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

“The results so far have been more threats against international commerce, emboldened and more violent proxy attacks across the Middle East, and now, the death of an American citizen in Iraq,” Menendez said, referring to the rocket attack last week.

By early evening Tuesday, the mob had retreated from the compound but set up several tents outside for an intended sit-in. Dozens of yellow flags belonging to Iran-backed Shiite militias fluttered atop the reception area and were plastered along the embassy’s concrete wall along with anti-U.S. graffiti. American Apache helicopters flew overhead and dropped flares over the area in what the U.S. military called a “show of force.”

The embassy breach was seen by some analysts as affirming their view that it is folly for the U.S. to keep forces in Iraq after having eliminated the Islamic State group’s territorial hold in the country.

A U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is also a long-term hope of Iran, noted Paul Salem, president of the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

And it’s always possible Trump would “wake up one morning and make that decision” to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq, as he announced earlier with the U.S. military presence in neighboring Syria, Salem said. Trump’s Syria decision triggered the resignation of his first defense secretary, retired Gen. Jim Mattis, but the president later amended his decision and about 1,200 U.S. troops remain in Syria.

Trump’s best weapon with Iran is the one he’s already using — the sanctions, said Salem. He and Ford said Trump would do best to keep resisting Iran’s attempt to turn the Iran-U.S. conflict into a full-blown military one. The administration should also make a point of working with the Iraqi government to deal with the militias, Ford said.

For the president, Iran’s attacks — directly and now through proxies in Iraq — have “been working that nerve,” Salem said. “Now they really have Trump’s attention.”

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee, Darlene Superville and Sagar Meghani contributed to this report.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Harry Kazianis: North Korea’s Kim has THIS goal in mind (no, he’s not crazy). Here’s how Trump should respond

Westlake Legal Group kim-3way-split-332am Harry Kazianis: North Korea's Kim has THIS goal in mind (no, he's not crazy). Here's how Trump should respond Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/kim-jong-un fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 2b8be887-7a2f-58c2-9615-43dd5b7aefd5

With a threat to test a “new strategic weapon” in “the near future” North Korea has, in effect, put an ICBM to President Donald Trump’s head in order to gain the two concessions it wants most: sanctions relief and some sort of security guarantee.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is now playing a dangerous game of geopolitical chicken, telegraphing to the world that he most likely will test a new long-range missile that could kill millions of Americans if it landed in a heavily populated area – but would be guaranteed to provoke a devastating U.S retaliatory attack on the North.

Trump needs to play his cards right now and base his strategy on an understanding of why North Korea continues to build and test missiles and why it refuses to abandon its nuclear weapons.

KIM JONG UN SAYS NORTH KOREA NEEDS TO TAKE ‘OFFENSIVE MEASURES’ TO PROTECT COUNTRY’S SECURITY

If he succeeds, the president can minimize any potential nuclear challenge coming for the communist regime and even bring Kim back to the negotiating table.

Of course, any good strategy to take on the North Korean threat must be based on facts on the ground and must be rooted in historical perspective and an understanding of what the hermit kingdom is trying to achieve and what motivates Kim’s actions.

Let’s get one thing straight. Kim is not crazy nor is he suicidal. His goal is not to start a nuclear war that will spark a massive U.S. retaliation that would destroy his country and could result in his own death. His goal is to get relief from U.S. and international economic sanctions without giving up his nukes.

All it would take is the nuclear weapons aboard just one U.S. Navy ballistic submarine – carrying an astounding 192 nuclear warheads – to wipe out North Korea in roughly 20 minutes. Its population of 25 million people would be killed – all from just one submarine lurking below the surface in the Pacific Ocean – and Kim knows that. That’s some real “fire and fury.”

The North Korean dictator – who follows his grandfather and father in leading his nation like a communist hereditary monarch – has a clearly established goal we can all relate to: survival.

Let’s get one thing straight. Kim is not crazy nor is he suicidal. His goal is not to start a nuclear war that will spark a massive U.S. retaliation that would destroy his country and could result in his own death. His goal is to get relief from U.S. and international economic sanctions without giving up his nukes.

Kim believes that his nuclear weapons are the ultimate insurance policy against an attack by the U.S., South Korea or any other nation aiming to overthrow his regime.

Kim knows that U.S. and United Nations forces attacked his country in the Korean War, and is well aware that American forces have waged long wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq in the years since. He doesn’t want any foreign forces seeking regime change in a second Korean War with either a conventional or a nuclear attack – and knows his nukes can act as a deterrent to prevent that.

North Korea has made huge sacrifices to build up its small but very dangerous arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles. Although the nation has an economy smaller than the state of Montana and can barely feed its own people, it has beaten the odds to join the nuclear club.

But because the North has spent huge sums of money and endured years of international economic sanctions to go nuclear, it’s not realistic to expect to Kim to simply hand over all his nuclear bombs and missiles to the U.S. anytime soon.

Demanding such a full denuclearization in return for eventual sanctions relief – something that would take years – is not a policy at all, but a recipe for disaster, simply ensuring that Kim builds more and bigger nuclear weapons.

A senior White House adviser told me that he considers North Korea “a fourth-world nation that could kill 100 million people in an hour – and that’s just with nukes, never mind all those chemical and biological weapons. North Korea is a Pandora’s box that – if you open it with military force – will spark at the very least a mini Armageddon.”

From all of this, a very clear strategy can emerge for the Trump administration if it can take a more long-term approach. The administration needs to understand that for at least the short to medium term, North Korea will be unwilling to give up its nuclear arms – the regime said as much just weeks ago.

For now, Team Trump must focus on starving the regime of any resources it can get its hands on to advance its nuclear program through the tightest sanctions possible and depriving the Kim family of any technology that could advance such a cause.

And that’s just the beginning. Washington must also ensure that Pyongyang does not sell any of its nuclear or missile technology. There is clear evidence that North Korea and Iran have traded such knowledge over the years.

America must do all it can to ensure that such transfers stop and that no other nation gains from North Korea’s nuclear advances – and prevent Pyongyang from making money off them to advance its weapons of mass destruction programs.

Such a policy of what amounts to a Cold War-style containment must be matched by a willingness to continue dialogue. The history of U.S.-North Korea relations is filled with too many ups and downs – tensions and breakthroughs that are too dangerous to continue.

We must be willing to try and remove the reasons that North Korea feels it needs nuclear weapons. That can only be done by building trust. As a start, a formal peace declaration ending the Korean War should be signed. In addition, liaison offices should be set up in each nation’s capital to ensure a crisis does not end up in a shooting war.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR OPINION NEWSLETTER

From there, both sides should work on small steps to remove all military threats facing the other – both nuclear and conventional. In fact, we should make the nuclear disarmament of North Korea the end goal of a long-term policy shift that could take years but lead to a more stable, less up-and-down relationship.

None of this will be easy. In fact, it would be much easier to do what every other U.S. administration has done on North Korea: confront the regime when it acts aggressively, punish it with sanctions and sound tough, but then move on to the next global crisis or challenge at home when missiles stop heading skyward. That would be a mistake.

Eventually, President Trump or a future president may reluctantly come to the painful conclusion that getting North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons is as impossible as trying to get Russia, China, India, Pakistan, or another member of the nuclear club to turn back the clock and give up its nukes.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Should that day come, our fallback position should be to press for an arms control agreement to limit the North Korean nuclear force to the smallest size possible in return for normalized relations.

Past U.S. leaders weren’t happy when the Soviet Union and China went nuclear – but weren’t prepared to start a nuclear war to force their denuclearization. And in all the years since, no nation has launched a nuclear attack.  

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY HARRY KAZIANIS

Westlake Legal Group kim-3way-split-332am Harry Kazianis: North Korea's Kim has THIS goal in mind (no, he's not crazy). Here's how Trump should respond Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/kim-jong-un fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 2b8be887-7a2f-58c2-9615-43dd5b7aefd5   Westlake Legal Group kim-3way-split-332am Harry Kazianis: North Korea's Kim has THIS goal in mind (no, he's not crazy). Here's how Trump should respond Harry J. Kazianis fox-news/world/conflicts/north-korea fox-news/politics/foreign-policy fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/kim-jong-un fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 2b8be887-7a2f-58c2-9615-43dd5b7aefd5

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Illinois becomes 11th state to legalize marijuana

Westlake Legal Group aESjBZ7F-Vmsx9LhM0s_TqnSYYNMcfa97oez30lCR4g Illinois becomes 11th state to legalize marijuana r/politics

As a reminder, this subreddit is for civil discussion.

In general, be courteous to others. Debate/discuss/argue the merits of ideas, don’t attack people. Personal insults, shill or troll accusations, hate speech, any advocating or wishing death/physical harm, and other rule violations can result in a permanent ban.

If you see comments in violation of our rules, please report them.

For those who have questions regarding any media outlets being posted on this subreddit, please click here to review our details as to whitelist and outlet criteria.


I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please contact the moderators of this subreddit if you have any questions or concerns.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Deploys More Troops To Middle East After U.S. Embassy Attack

Westlake Legal Group 5e0cba852500004ebad318eb Trump Deploys More Troops To Middle East After U.S. Embassy Attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Charging that Iran was “fully responsible” for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, President Donald Trump ordered about 750 U.S. soldiers deployed to the Middle East as about 3,000 more prepared for possible deployment in the next several days.

No U.S. casualties or evacuations were reported after the attack Tuesday by dozens of Iran-supported militiamen. U.S. Marines were sent from Kuwait to reinforce the compound.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday night that “in response to recent events” in Iraq, and at Trump’s direction, he authorized the immediate deployment of the infantry battalion from the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He did not specify the soldiers’ destination, but a U.S. official familiar with the decision said they will go to Kuwait.

“This deployment is an appropriate and precautionary action taken in response to increased threat levels against U.S. personnel and facilities, such as we witnessed in Baghdad today,” Esper said in a written statement.

Additional soldiers from the 82nd Airborne’s quick-deployment brigade, known officially as its Immediate Response Force, were prepared to deploy, Esper said. The U.S. official, who provided unreleased details on condition of anonymity, said the full brigade of about 4,000 soldiers may deploy.

The 750 soldiers deploying immediately were in addition to 14,000 U.S. troops who had deployed to the Gulf region since May in response to concerns about Iranian aggression, including its alleged sabotage of commercial shipping in the Persian Gulf. At the time of the attack the U.S. had about 5,200 troops in Iraq, mainly to train Iraqi forces and help them combat Islamic State extremists.

The breach of the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday was a stark demonstration that Iran can still strike at American interests despite Trump’s economic pressure campaign. It also revealed growing strains between Washington and Baghdad, raising questions about the future of the U.S. military mission there.

“They will pay a very BIG PRICE! This is not a Warning, it is a Threat. Happy New Year!” Trump tweeted Tuesday afternoon, though it was unclear whether his “threat” meant military retaliation. He thanked top Iraqi government leaders for their “rapid response upon request.”

American airstrikes on Sunday killed 25 fighters of an Iran-backed militia in Iraq, the Kataeb Hezbollah. The U.S. said those strikes were in retaliation for last week’s killing of an American contractor and the wounding of American and Iraqi troops in a rocket attack on an Iraqi military base that the U.S. blamed on the militia. The American strikes angered the Iraqi government, which called them an unjustified violation of its sovereignty.

While blaming Iran for the embassy breach, Trump also called on Iraq to protect the diplomatic mission.

“Iran killed an American contractor, wounding many,” he tweeted from his estate in Florida. “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!”

Even as Trump has argued for removing U.S. troops from Mideast conflicts, he also has singled out Iran as a malign influence in the region. After withdrawing the U.S. in 2018 from an international agreement that exchanged an easing of sanctions for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program, Trump ratcheted up sanctions.

Those economic penalties, including a virtual shut-off of Iranian oil exports, are aimed at forcing Iran to negotiate a broader nuclear deal. But critics say that pressure has pushed Iranian leaders into countering with a variety of military attacks in the Gulf.

Until Sunday’s U.S. airstrikes, Trump had been measured in his response to Iranian provocations. In June, he abruptly called off U.S. military strikes on Iranian targets in retaliation for the downing of an American drone.

Robert Ford, a retired U.S. diplomat who served five years in Baghdad and then became ambassador in Syria, said Iran’s allies in the Iraqi parliament may be able to harness any surge in anger among Iraqis toward the United States to force U.S. troops to leave the country. Ford said Trump miscalculated by approving Sunday’s airstrikes on Kataeb Hezbollah positions in Iraq and Syria — strikes that drew a public rebuke from the Iraqi government and seem to have triggered Tuesday’s embassy attack.

“The Americans fell into the Iranian trap,” Ford said, with airstrikes that turned some Iraqi anger toward the U.S. and away from Iran and the increasingly unpopular Iranian-backed Shiite militias.

The tense situation in Baghdad appeared to upset Trump’s vacation routine in Florida, where he is spending the holidays.

Trump spent just under an hour at his private golf club in West Palm Beach before returning to his Mar-a-Lago resort in nearby Palm Beach. He had spent nearly six hours at his golf club on each of the previous two days. Trump spoke with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and emphasized the need for Iraq to protect Americans and their facilities in the country, said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

Trump is under pressure from some in Congress to take a hard-line approach to Iranian aggression, which the United States says included an unprecedented drone and missile attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in September. More recently, Iran-backed militias in Iraq have conducted numerous rocket attacks on bases hosting U.S. forces.

Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican and supporter of Trump’s Iran policy, called the embassy breach “yet another reckless escalation” by Iran.

Tuesday’s attack was carried out by members of the Iran-supported Kataeb Hezbollah militia. Dozens of militiamen and their supporters smashed a main door to the compound and set fire to a reception area, but they did not enter the main buildings.

Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, blamed Iran for the episode and faulted Trump for his “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

“The results so far have been more threats against international commerce, emboldened and more violent proxy attacks across the Middle East, and now, the death of an American citizen in Iraq,” Menendez said, referring to the rocket attack last week.

By early evening Tuesday, the mob had retreated from the compound but set up several tents outside for an intended sit-in. Dozens of yellow flags belonging to Iran-backed Shiite militias fluttered atop the reception area and were plastered along the embassy’s concrete wall along with anti-U.S. graffiti. American Apache helicopters flew overhead and dropped flares over the area in what the U.S. military called a “show of force.”

The embassy breach was seen by some analysts as affirming their view that it is folly for the U.S. to keep forces in Iraq after having eliminated the Islamic State group’s territorial hold in the country.

A U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is also a long-term hope of Iran, noted Paul Salem, president of the Washington-based Middle East Institute.

And it’s always possible Trump would “wake up one morning and make that decision” to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq, as he announced earlier with the U.S. military presence in neighboring Syria, Salem said. Trump’s Syria decision triggered the resignation of his first defense secretary, retired Gen. Jim Mattis, but the president later amended his decision and about 1,200 U.S. troops remain in Syria.

Trump’s best weapon with Iran is the one he’s already using — the sanctions, said Salem. He and Ford said Trump would do best to keep resisting Iran’s attempt to turn the Iran-U.S. conflict into a full-blown military one. The administration should also make a point of working with the Iraqi government to deal with the militias, Ford said.

For the president, Iran’s attacks — directly and now through proxies in Iraq — have “been working that nerve,” Salem said. “Now they really have Trump’s attention.”

Associated Press writers Matthew Lee, Darlene Superville and Sagar Meghani contributed to this report.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com