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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 254)

Donald Trump Not Causing Nuclear War Is What Now Qualifies as Good News in America, Hooray?

Westlake Legal Group VQuZADxFdw8TP9X6_-puYVrqDcOjE_xD1kIJ-ItOpaA Donald Trump Not Causing Nuclear War Is What Now Qualifies as Good News in America, Hooray? r/politics

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Trump’s Iran Strategy: A Cease-Fire Wrapped in a Strategic Muddle

Westlake Legal Group 08dc-assess-facebookJumbo Trump’s Iran Strategy: A Cease-Fire Wrapped in a Strategic Muddle United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike North Atlantic Treaty Organization Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Embargoes and Sanctions

President Trump opened a small window for diplomacy with Iran on Wednesday, but combined his words with bald threats that made it hard to see how the two countries could break out of their cycle of confrontation and revenge.

The speech was, in many ways, the sound of muddled policy. It showed that after three years in office, Mr. Trump has yet to resolve the two conflicting instincts on national security that emerge from his speeches and his Twitter feed: bellicosity and disengagement.

And he included all the other requisite elements of a Trump policy speech on Iran: burning resentment of President Barack Obama, critiques of his predecessor’s nuclear deal, dubious factual claims and campaign-year self-congratulation.

Mr. Trump did pull back from the brink of war, at least for now. He made clear that he did not plan to respond to the missile attacks on two bases where American troops operate, which seemed calibrated by the Iranians to make a point without creating more human carnage.

But the president also promised to double down on sanctions against Iran, turning again to the economic tool he remained convinced would eventually force the country to choose between ruin and survival. Beyond saying the United States “is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” he presented no path forward for the two adversaries of 40 years.

“It certainly sent mixed messages to Iran,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iranian-American strategist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Mr. Sadjadpour called the speech “initially triumphant” as Mr. Trump celebrated his order to kill the most famous military leader in Iran, a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops. “It was then dismissive toward Iran,” he said, “and then there was an almost throwaway line at the end about what a bright future the Iranians have if they only reshape themselves as the United States demands.”

The risk now is that the uneasy halt after Iran fired 16 missiles early Wednesday at American forces in Iraq will prove temporary. History is filled with examples where missed signals led countries down a path to conflict profoundly not in their interests, notably the cascade of events that led to World War I. Rarer are the examples where a quiet accommodation of each other’s national interests prevailed, as they did when President John F. Kennedy secretly traded Soviet missiles in Cuba for American missiles in Turkey in 1962.

Unlike the Soviets, Iran cannot reach American shores with its arsenal. But the mere fear in the West that Iran could seek revenge by pushing ahead with a nuclear weapon remains its greatest leverage. There was an uneasy sense in the Pentagon on Wednesday that while Iran may not shoot more missiles from its own territory, it will almost certainly return to its specialties of shadow wars and cyberattacks.

Mr. Sadjadpour called the speech “strategically incoherent.” But that can be said about much of Mr. Trump’s Middle East policy in the past few months. The president pulled a small, fairly safe American force out of Syria that was primarily engaged in fighting the Islamic State with Syrian Kurdish allies, claiming it was time to halt “endless wars.” He decided not to respond when Iran first shot down an unmanned American drone and then executed a precision attack on Saudi oil facilities, leaving the impression inside the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that America’s Middle East ally was not worth defending.

And then, surprising everyone, including his own military advisers, he ordered the targeted killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most important commander, saying that he was planning attacks on American targets, although the administration has offered few details.

Already that decision has led to a host of unintended consequences, including the sending of thousands more United States troops to the Middle East to defend American assets and interests that Mr. Trump only a few months ago suggested are not worth defending.

His answer to that contradiction seems to be to ask NATO to do the job. Presumably he wants allied forces to patrol the Persian Gulf at a time that tanker companies are halting their shipments across the Strait of Hormuz and airlines are avoiding Iraqi and Iranian airspace.

It seems unlikely they will heed his call. NATO’s leading members argue that it was Mr. Trump who picked this fight with Iran, by dumping the 2015 nuclear deal reached during the Obama administration that, in their mind, was working. And, as Mr. Trump himself complains, they do not have the military capability to play the role the United States has played.

“His failure to consult the allies or take their interests into consideration will make it extremely difficult to get their support,” said R. Nicholas Burns, the former American ambassador to NATO during the early days of the Afghanistan war, when Europe did come to America’s aid. “Very few of the allies trust him and will not follow blindly the most anti-NATO president in seven decades.”

The Iranians are betting on exactly that. Their strategy has been to peel Europe, China and Russia — the other nations involved in negotiating the accord — away from the United States. For a long while, they succeeded as European powers kept devising complex plans to counteract American sanctions on Iran.

But the Europeans were eventually outmaneuvered by the United States Treasury Department and unable to convince European companies that doing business with Tehran was worth the risk of losing their access to the American banking system. As a result, Iran’s effort to make up its lost oil revenue all but collapsed.

The Iranians have now resumed producing nuclear material, effectively abandoning the restrictions they agreed to under Mr. Obama. Mr. Trump used his speech on Wednesday to urge the Europeans to recognize that the Obama-era nuclear accord was over, and to get back on board with the United States.

“The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China to recognize this reality,” he said.

The reality Mr. Trump does not want to recognize is that since he dismantled the agreement, Iranian nuclear scientists are months closer to nuclear breakout than they were when they were abiding by the deal’s restrictions.

Mr. Trump now says the new strategy is the old strategy: On Wednesday, he promised “powerful” new sanctions that would “remain until Iran changes its behavior.” He never explained why the sanctions enacted so far — the most severe in modern history, he often says — have failed to prompt that change over the past 18 months.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a hawk on Iran, had a label for the administration’s Iran policy: “confront and contain.” It is a phrase meant to invoke the Cold War, when the United States faced a much larger and more dangerous enemy in the Soviet Union.

But it is not clear that classic containment works in a world where terrorists and cyberweapons easily cross borders, where attacks are deniable and Western allies at odds with each other.

And containment begets resistance. That seemed clear on the Twitter feed of one of Iran’s leading nuclear negotiators, Saeed Jalili.

Mr. Trump had posted an American flag in the minutes after the killing of General Suleimani. Mr. Jalili waited until the missiles had hit the bases in Iraq with Americans. Then he posted an Iranian flag.

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Sen. Mike Lee explains outburst after ‘worst military briefing’: Officials had ‘flippant attitude’ toward lawmakers

Westlake Legal Group MacCallumLee Sen. Mike Lee explains outburst after 'worst military briefing': Officials had 'flippant attitude' toward lawmakers Yael Halon fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 5b61b485-6f7c-5837-b649-2d3d858ea4bb

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told reporters Wednesday that White House officials delivered the “worst military briefing” he had ever seen on Capitol Hill, even claiming that one official had warned during the “lame” and “insane” meeting that Congress shouldn’t debate whether additional military action against Iran would be appropriate.

Lee discussed his outburst on “The Story” Wednesday and broke down his grievances with the briefing on the U.S. decision to kill Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike last week, as well as Iran’s rocket attacks Tuesday evening targeting U.S. bases in Iraq.

“As to the substance of the strike itself on Friday with General Soleimani, he was a bad guy,” Lee told host Martha MacCallum. “I have yet to take a position on that. I was hoping to reach a conclusion as to the logical, legal, constitutional, and moral justification today. I didn’t feel like I got my question answered.”

GOP SENATOR MIKE LEE SLAMS ‘WORST MILITARY BRIEFING’

Lee said that while he assumes that the killing of Soleimani “may have been legally justifiable,” it was the “flippant attitude” of those conducting the closed-door briefing — a group that included Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley — that drove him to speak out.

“What I’m concerned about is the flippant attitude that they reflected, both with regard to the underlying facts on Friday’s attack and especially as they relate moving forward to any subsequent attack that we might undertake on Iran,” Lee said.

IRAN MISSILES ‘INTENDED TO KILL’ US SOLDIERS, PENTAGON REVEALS

“There was a dismissive attitude, one that was displayed in such a way that resulted in them saying, ‘We can’t identify what circumstances in which we would need to come back to Congress to get approval or authorization,'” he continued. “That is antithetical to the Constitution.”

Lee made clear that his criticism did not extend to the White House’s Iran policy in general, but he warned that the slapdash sit-down would have consequences.

“I support President Trump. I support the way that he has wielded his powers as commander in chief. I think he’s actually been the most respectful of all presidents during my lifetime of the commander-in-chief power,” Lee said. “I think the people who briefed the Senate today did him a grave disservice.”

“They told us there would be an imminent attack had they not taken this strike on Friday which, again, for purposes of this conversation, I’m willing to assume may well have been lawful,” Lee added “What is the nature of that attack? When would that have occurred? Who would’ve carried it out? They refused to answer the question.”

Lee also responded to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C who said lawmakers criticizing the briefing were “overreacting” and that “playing” with the war powers act at a moment like this would “empower the enemy.”

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“That’s fundamentally antithetical to the constitution,” Lee fired back. “Look, I love Lindsey Graham. He’s a fantastic guy, we work closely on a lot of issues. He’s dead wrong to suggest this is playing a game … the Constitution of the United States is not a game.”

Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group MacCallumLee Sen. Mike Lee explains outburst after 'worst military briefing': Officials had 'flippant attitude' toward lawmakers Yael Halon fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 5b61b485-6f7c-5837-b649-2d3d858ea4bb   Westlake Legal Group MacCallumLee Sen. Mike Lee explains outburst after 'worst military briefing': Officials had 'flippant attitude' toward lawmakers Yael Halon fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/politics/foreign-policy/middle-east fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox news fnc/media fnc article 5b61b485-6f7c-5837-b649-2d3d858ea4bb

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Stray dog dubbed ‘Subway Sally’ waits outside store every day for food, video shows

A video of a stray dog waiting outside of Subway store for food has gone viral.

The Twitter video, originally shared on TikTok, shows a Subway employee giving food to the dog, nicknamed “Subway Sally,” who patiently waits by of the entrance door.

“This stray dog has been coming to subway every night for the past year,” the employee wrote. “We always feed her.”

FLORIDA DOG OWNER REUNITES WITH CHIHUAHUA MISSING FOR DAYS AFTER NEW YEAR’S EVE CAR CRASH

Westlake Legal Group Subway-Sally Stray dog dubbed 'Subway Sally' waits outside store every day for food, video shows Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/food-drink fnc d9bbc391-68dd-5649-b0e4-9b9025cd3296 article

A TikTok video shows a Subway employee giving food to the dog, nicknamed “Subway Sally,” who patiently waits by of the entrance door. (Photo: iStock)

The Subway worker is seen packing some assorted meats, including turkey and bacon strips, and then bring it outside to Subway Sally. The adorable pooch immediately begins chowing down on the food.

Twitter users immediately fell in love with Subway Sally.

“Someone adopt her I wanna cry,” a Twitter user commented.

“Someone adopt her please,” another tweeted.

MCDONALD’S WORKER QUITS AFTER GETTING PUNCHED BY CUSTOMER ANRY OVER WAITING TOO LONG FOR BACON

“You even use gloves to serve sally,” another Twitter user pointed out.

Even Subway’s official Twitter account weighed in on the viral video, tweeting: “Subway Sally just made all of our dreams come true”

Some Twitter users, however, chose to focus on the fact that the Subway employee fed her bacon, which they said wasn’t healthy for a dog.

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“Not to be dramatic but you are going to give that dog pancreatitis feeding it bacon,” someone tweeted, while another said: “That garbage will make her sick!”

Others zeroed in on how well-groomed Subway Sally appeared to be for a stray.

“How this dog a stray when she looks like she’s using Tresemme,” one Twitter user commented. “I know a stray when I see one… This is a spoiled little girl sneaking out & getting free Subway.”

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Another person cared less about Subway Sally and more about actual Subway eaters.

“Y’all give the dog more meat than us paying customers,” he said. “That’s real talk.”

Westlake Legal Group Subway-Sally Stray dog dubbed 'Subway Sally' waits outside store every day for food, video shows Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/food-drink fnc d9bbc391-68dd-5649-b0e4-9b9025cd3296 article   Westlake Legal Group Subway-Sally Stray dog dubbed 'Subway Sally' waits outside store every day for food, video shows Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/lifestyle/pets fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/food-drink fnc d9bbc391-68dd-5649-b0e4-9b9025cd3296 article

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Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich have been ‘having problems’: reports

It seems there is trouble in paradise for Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich, according to multiple reports.

A source told People magazine that the couple — who tied the knot in July 2017 — has “been having problems for months.”

“She’s very independent and a free spirit, and that’s been tough for Brooks and their marriage,” the insider claimed to the outlet.

KATY PERRY DINES WITH 2020 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MICHAEL BLOOMBERG IN LOS ANGELES: REPORT

A second source, however, said that there is still hope for the relationship to be saved.

Westlake Legal Group f635b842ef32d510VgnVCM100000d7c1a8c0____-640_Julianne_Hough_Brooks_Laich_486 Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich have been 'having problems': reports Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1ce0d66b-5ec0-52ab-ad9f-ad6ce8bfb872

Brooks Laich and Julianne Hough (Getty Images)

“It seems they are not giving up, but also not talking about it. They want to do this their way,” said the source. “They don’t want to discuss their marriage. They have been having problems, but many people do.”

The source added: “Maybe it’s a just a phase, maybe not. But either way, they are not going to address it publicly right now.”

Us Weekly, citing a source, also reported that the pair “were having problems” in December.

Similarly, an insider told E! News that the two are going through a rough patch. “They have been spending time apart but are not ready to share what’s going on between them,” said the source. “They don’t even really know what to call it. There’s a ton of love and emotion there and they are going through something very personal.”

“She’s been very private about this time in her life and is not making any kind of official announcement,” the source continued. “She is honoring her work commitments, as is he, and it’s kept them apart. But things have definitely changed in their relationship.”

On Jan. 7, Laich shared an image of himself on Instagram smiling with his arms crossed, along with a lengthy caption about his goals for 2020.

“On New Year’s Eve, I had a friend ask me ‘what’s your adjective for the new year?’ I asked him what he meant, and he said it’s about picking a word that is going to be a guide for you in 2020,” the 36-year-old said.

PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN MARKLE STEPPING BACK AS SENIOR MEMBERS OF ROYAL FAMILY

The former NHL player revealed he “fell in love” with the question and began to think of his own answer.

“And the word that keeps coming up for me right now is ‘boundless.’ I feel like a lot of my life has been ‘bound’ to certain identities that have come through the sport I spent my life playing,” he explained. “Canadian, male, hockey player, disciplined, competitive, etc… and though I am all of those things, they do not define me, and I am not bound by them.”

He added: “I feel a new stage of life calling me, and though I don’t exactly know what it is yet, it feels right, and exciting!”

While the post may seem innocuous, Us Weekly points out that Hough has been posting to her Instagram Stories without her wedding ring on, including in a video of her decorating a Christmas tree, leading to speculation that there’s trouble in their marriage.

Laich’s post about his adjective for 2020 comes after a New Year’s Eve post to his Instagram Story, also about his goals. In his list of aspirations for the coming year, Laich wrote, “more about intimacy and my sexuality.”

He also revealed he wanted to start playing the piano again and travel to Turkey, in addition to being more “open to all things and present in my relationships.”

Laich’s intimacy and sexuality goal came months after his wife revealed in the September cover issue of Women’s Health that she is “not straight.” Hough shared with the outlet what went through her mind when telling Laich about it four months after they had tied the knot.

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Reps for Hough and Laich did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Fox News’ Melissa Roberto and Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group julianne-husband-getty Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich have been 'having problems': reports Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1ce0d66b-5ec0-52ab-ad9f-ad6ce8bfb872   Westlake Legal Group julianne-husband-getty Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich have been 'having problems': reports Nate Day fox-news/entertainment/events/marriage fox-news/entertainment/events/couples fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox-news/entertainment fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 1ce0d66b-5ec0-52ab-ad9f-ad6ce8bfb872

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Trump’s Iran Strategy: A Cease-Fire Wrapped in a Strategic Muddle

Westlake Legal Group 08dc-assess-facebookJumbo Trump’s Iran Strategy: A Cease-Fire Wrapped in a Strategic Muddle United States International Relations United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Suleimani, Qassim Pompeo, Mike North Atlantic Treaty Organization Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Iran Embargoes and Sanctions

President Trump opened a small window for diplomacy with Iran on Wednesday, but combined his words with bald threats that made it hard to see how the two countries could break out of their cycle of confrontation and revenge.

The speech was, in many ways, the sound of muddled policy. It showed that after three years in office, Mr. Trump has yet to resolve the two conflicting instincts on national security that emerge from his speeches and his Twitter feed: bellicosity and disengagement.

And he included all the other requisite elements of a Trump policy speech on Iran: burning resentment of President Barack Obama, critiques of his predecessor’s nuclear deal, dubious factual claims and campaign-year self-congratulation.

Mr. Trump did pull back from the brink of war, at least for now. He made clear that he did not plan to respond to the missile attacks on two bases where American troops operate, which seemed calibrated by the Iranians to make a point without creating more human carnage.

But the president also promised to double down on sanctions against Iran, turning again to the economic tool he remained convinced would eventually force the country to choose between ruin and survival. Beyond saying the United States “is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it,” he presented no path forward for the two adversaries of 40 years.

“It certainly sent mixed messages to Iran,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iranian-American strategist at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Mr. Sadjadpour called the speech “initially triumphant” as Mr. Trump celebrated his order to kill the most famous military leader in Iran, a man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American troops. “It was then dismissive toward Iran,” he said, “and then there was an almost throwaway line at the end about what a bright future the Iranians have if they only reshape themselves as the United States demands.”

The risk now is that the uneasy halt after Iran fired 16 missiles early Wednesday at American forces in Iraq will prove temporary. History is filled with examples where missed signals led countries down a path to conflict profoundly not in their interests, notably the cascade of events that led to World War I. Rarer are the examples where a quiet accommodation of each other’s national interests prevailed, as they did when President John F. Kennedy secretly traded Soviet missiles in Cuba for American missiles in Turkey in 1962.

Unlike the Soviets, Iran cannot reach American shores with its arsenal. But the mere fear in the West that Iran could seek revenge by pushing ahead with a nuclear weapon remains its greatest leverage. There was an uneasy sense in the Pentagon on Wednesday that while Iran may not shoot more missiles from its own territory, it will almost certainly return to its specialties of shadow wars and cyberattacks.

Mr. Sadjadpour called the speech “strategically incoherent.” But that can be said about much of Mr. Trump’s Middle East policy in the past few months. The president pulled a small, fairly safe American force out of Syria that was primarily engaged in fighting the Islamic State with Syrian Kurdish allies, claiming it was time to halt “endless wars.” He decided not to respond when Iran first shot down an unmanned American drone and then executed a precision attack on Saudi oil facilities, leaving the impression inside the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that America’s Middle East ally was not worth defending.

And then, surprising everyone, including his own military advisers, he ordered the targeted killing of Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, Iran’s most important commander, saying that he was planning attacks on American targets, although the administration has offered few details.

Already that decision has led to a host of unintended consequences, including the sending of thousands more United States troops to the Middle East to defend American assets and interests that Mr. Trump only a few months ago suggested are not worth defending.

His answer to that contradiction seems to be to ask NATO to do the job. Presumably he wants allied forces to patrol the Persian Gulf at a time that tanker companies are halting their shipments across the Strait of Hormuz and airlines are avoiding Iraqi and Iranian airspace.

It seems unlikely they will heed his call. NATO’s leading members argue that it was Mr. Trump who picked this fight with Iran, by dumping the 2015 nuclear deal reached during the Obama administration that, in their mind, was working. And, as Mr. Trump himself complains, they do not have the military capability to play the role the United States has played.

“His failure to consult the allies or take their interests into consideration will make it extremely difficult to get their support,” said R. Nicholas Burns, the former American ambassador to NATO during the early days of the Afghanistan war, when Europe did come to America’s aid. “Very few of the allies trust him and will not follow blindly the most anti-NATO president in seven decades.”

The Iranians are betting on exactly that. Their strategy has been to peel Europe, China and Russia — the other nations involved in negotiating the accord — away from the United States. For a long while, they succeeded as European powers kept devising complex plans to counteract American sanctions on Iran.

But the Europeans were eventually outmaneuvered by the United States Treasury Department and unable to convince European companies that doing business with Tehran was worth the risk of losing their access to the American banking system. As a result, Iran’s effort to make up its lost oil revenue all but collapsed.

The Iranians have now resumed producing nuclear material, effectively abandoning the restrictions they agreed to under Mr. Obama. Mr. Trump used his speech on Wednesday to urge the Europeans to recognize that the Obama-era nuclear accord was over, and to get back on board with the United States.

“The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China to recognize this reality,” he said.

The reality Mr. Trump does not want to recognize is that since he dismantled the agreement, Iranian nuclear scientists are months closer to nuclear breakout than they were when they were abiding by the deal’s restrictions.

Mr. Trump now says the new strategy is the old strategy: On Wednesday, he promised “powerful” new sanctions that would “remain until Iran changes its behavior.” He never explained why the sanctions enacted so far — the most severe in modern history, he often says — have failed to prompt that change over the past 18 months.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a hawk on Iran, had a label for the administration’s Iran policy: “confront and contain.” It is a phrase meant to invoke the Cold War, when the United States faced a much larger and more dangerous enemy in the Soviet Union.

But it is not clear that classic containment works in a world where terrorists and cyberweapons easily cross borders, where attacks are deniable and Western allies at odds with each other.

And containment begets resistance. That seemed clear on the Twitter feed of one of Iran’s leading nuclear negotiators, Saeed Jalili.

Mr. Trump had posted an American flag in the minutes after the killing of General Suleimani. Mr. Jalili waited until the missiles had hit the bases in Iraq with Americans. Then he posted an Iranian flag.

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‘1000 Years of Darkness’ Will Begin If Mississippi Elects its First Black Senator According to its Governor

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‘1000 Years of Darkness’ Will Begin If Mississippi Elects its First Black Senator According to its Governor

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Carlos Ghosn: The C-Suite Fugitive Under Pressure

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Most global fugitives tend to lie low. They do not beckon reporters to televised news conferences or allow themselves to be photographed drinking wine by candlelight days after being smuggled in a box aboard a chartered jet to freedom.

But Carlos Ghosn, the deposed auto executive, is no normal fugitive. Unapologetic and unrelenting, he stood at a lectern in Beirut before more than 100 journalists on Wednesday and laid out his case for how criminal charges of financial wrongdoing in Japan are part of a vast conspiracy to take him down.

The highly choreographed event, during which Mr. Ghosn took aim at the Japanese justice system and his corporate enemies, was scheduled 415 days after he was first arrested and more than a week after a team of operatives helped spirit him away from house arrest in Tokyo, where he was awaiting trial.

“I did not escape justice,” said Mr. Ghosn, 65, wearing an immaculate blue suit, white shirt and red tie. “I fled injustice and political persecution.”

For all the bravado he projects, Mr. Ghosn is a potent symbol of globalism under pressure, an imperial executive in retreat.

Until his arrest, he ruled an automotive alliance that spanned continents, comprising Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi. As head of Nissan, Mr. Ghosn was one of only a handful of foreign chief executives of a Japanese company. But the alliance now threatens to fall apart, a parallel for a time when the global trade order and the military and political alliances that once held the modern world together are facing their toughest tests in decades.

For nearly three hours on Wednesday, alternating flawlessly through four languages (English, Arabic, French and Portuguese), Mr. Ghosn talked about how “more than 20 books of management have been written about me.” He referred to himself in the third person and talked about the drop in market valuation at the auto companies he once ran. He drew applause from some reporters, and flattered others, promising to take questions from every region.

Mr. Ghosn’s presentation felt, at times, like one he would have delivered to fellow executives and global leaders during one of his regular trips to the World Economic Forum in Davos, the annual gathering in Switzerland that has come to be seen as both a forum for world-changing ideas and a convening of the capitalist and self-congratulatory elite.

In a sit-down interview with The New York Times after the news conference, Mr. Ghosn sounded more subdued than during his fiery performance in front of the cameras. He expressed regrets about whom he had hired to replace him at Nissan, admitting, “Frankly, I should have retired.”

But Mr. Ghosn remained fiercely protective of his legacy, which is badly bruised.

“The revival of Nissan, nobody’s going to take it from me,” he insisted.

Mr. Ghosn’s story isn’t a neat one. Company insiders have described him as increasingly haughty and imperious. Though he blames the Japanese justice system for its unfairness, he agreed last fall to pay $1 million to settle a civil case in the United States, which barred him from serving as an officer or a director of a publicly traded company for 10 years. Mr. Ghosn did not admit wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement, but it essentially ended his chance of ever running another large global business.

A man with passports from several countries and homes across the world, Mr. Ghosn and his wife, Carole, who also faces a Japanese arrest warrant, are essentially stuck in Lebanon, where they have family and own property but are not free from prosecution. On Wednesday, Lebanese prosecutors said Mr. Ghosn must submit to an interrogation over his flight from Japan.

France is also investigating whether Mr. Ghosn used company money from Renault to throw a Marie Antoinette-themed party at Versailles in 2016. And Nissan has accused him of siphoning millions of dollars from the auto company to pay for his yacht, buy houses and distribute cash to members of his family — all of which he denies.

Mr. Ghosn argued that in most countries, he would not have been held for months in jail for these types of allegations. He said he felt he was being treated “like a terrorist.”

During the news conference, he flashed giant slides on a white wall behind him, showing various corporate documents. In explaining some of the questionable personal expenses, Mr. Ghosn used a defense common on Wall Street: He said other executives at Nissan had signed off on the transactions, which made them authorized by the company.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 08ghosnassess-4-articleLarge Carlos Ghosn: The C-Suite Fugitive Under Pressure Renault SA Nissan Motor Co Japan Ghosn, Carlos Fugitives France Beirut (Lebanon)

Mr. Ghosn outlining the case against him, complete with a presentation of documents to support his defense.Credit…Diego Ibarra Sanchez for The New York Times

Since his arrest in Japan in November 2018, Mr. Ghosn and his supporters have worked aggressively to tell his side of the story and attack his critics.

He has employed lawyers on at least three continents, talked to a Hollywood producer about making a movie about his legal ordeal and hired a public relations firm that advised the National Football League on its efforts to reduce head injuries.

In France, the “Committee to Support Mr. Carlos Ghosn” formed on Facebook. Some of his supporters there blame the government for failing to stand up for Mr. Ghosn, a French citizen, for fear of angering the country’s “yellow vest” protesters railing against the global elite.

In Lebanon, where Mr. Ghosn grew up, he is celebrated as a member of the diaspora of business leaders and artists who have achieved worldwide success. Hours after he landed in Beirut, Mr. Ghosn met with the country’s president, Michel Aoun, and other top leaders, and operatives who helped him carry out his escape had ties to the country.

Lebanese supporters paid for billboard ads across Beirut with the executive’s face on them and the message: “We are all Carlos Ghosn.” But in truth, there are few people in the world who have Mr. Ghosn’s money and influence.

A grandson of a Lebanese entrepreneur who ran several companies in South America, Mr. Ghosn was born in Brazil in 1954. His family moved back to Lebanon when he was 6, and he later attended college in France.

“I’ve always been someone who was different,” he wrote in his autobiography in 2003.

Mr. Ghosn went to work in the auto industry after college and made his mark revitalizing Renault. In the 1990s, he helped turn around Nissan by slashing jobs and upending its corporate culture.

“It was a dead company,” he said on Wednesday.

Mr. Ghosn expanded his auto empire further by creating the alliance of Renault, Nissan and another Japanese company, Mitsubishi.

His leadership of Renault, which the French government partly owns, gave him political standing in France. In Lebanon, some people hoped he would run for public office, maybe even president.

Mr. Ghosn’s personal and professional empire collapsed when he was arrested at the Tokyo airport on his return from a trip to Lebanon. By that point, he had stepped down as chief executive at Nissan, but was still its chairman.

From the airport, Mr. Ghosn was taken to jail, where he was forced to live in solitary confinement for weeks at a time. He was allowed to shower twice a week and was let out of his cell for 30 minutes a day. Prosecutors, he said, hid the evidence against him and prohibited him from contacting his wife in Lebanon.

He was released on bail, but he was jailed again in April after he announced that he planned to speak with the press.

Last fall, Mr. Ghosn said, his lawyers told him that his case could drag on for five years, which he said was a violation of a basic human right to a speedy trial.

It wasn’t all glum. Two days before his Dec. 29 escape, his secretary made him a reservation at a Tokyo restaurant where he enjoyed his favorite salad with sesame dressing, according to the restaurant’s manager. He posed for photos with about 40 customers.

Mr. Ghosn wouldn’t talk on Wednesday about how he got from Japan to Beirut, despite reporters’ attempts.

Government-authorized media accounts from Turkey, where Mr. Ghosn landed on the first leg of his journey, have said he was smuggled inside of a large box from an airport in Osaka, Japan.

The box was loaded into the storage area of a private plane, which was accessible from where the passengers sat, according to the Turkish account. The two operatives working with Mr. Ghosn told the flight attendant not to bother them.

After takeoff, Mr. Ghosn was let out of the box and sat in the passenger area, which contained a bed and sofa and was separated from the front of the plane by a locked door.

For about 12 hours, the quintessential global citizen was officially stateless, flying high above Asia in secret.

The Bombardier jet landed in the rain at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul. A car pulled up to the plane and then drove to another jet parked a short distance away, according to the Turkish media. That second plane then took off for Beirut.

At least 15 operatives were involved in the operation, and some of them were not aware of whom they were extracting from Japan, according to a person briefed on the operation. They assumed that the plan was to rescue a kidnapped child.

In the interview on Wednesday, Mr. Ghosn said he had planned the escape himself, but with help from others, whom he wouldn’t disclose. “Little by little,” he said, he began to think through a strategy for getting out. “When I started to do that, it kept me motivated. It kept me alive.”

During the escape, he kept telling himself: “You need to always remember what happened to you. No matter what, never forget that.”

Ben Dooley reported from Beirut, and Michael Corkery from New York. Reporting was contributed by Vivian Yee from Beirut, Hisako Ueno from Tokyo, Liz Alderman from Paris, and Emily Flitter and David Yaffe-Bellany from New York.

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War With Iran Is Nothing To Worry About, Say Men Who Launched Iraq War

Westlake Legal Group 5e16490c250000d4e1d32312 War With Iran Is Nothing To Worry About, Say Men Who Launched Iraq War

Over the past week, the American people have been glued to cable news broadcasts with blaring red chyrons warning of imminent military conflict in the Middle East. Trump administration officials have offered varying rationales for military action, none of them particularly credible. The human cost of this war, if it happens, could be devastating — which has put the international community and millions of Americans on edge. But people like Paul Wolfowitz and Ari Fleischer, wielding their large media megaphones, have assured the nation that everything will be fine — that it’s even possible people in the country we might attack will “celebrate” our efforts. 

It’s not 2003, but it sure feels like it. In a sane and just society, the architects of the nearly 17-year-old war in Iraq — which is still ongoing and has left an estimated half-million people dead — would face war crimes charges and those who cheered them on would be thoroughly discredited. Instead, they are the “experts” praising President Donald Trump’s decision to assassinate top Iranian military commander Gen. Qassem Soleimani and offering the public insight on the way forward with Iran. 

Here is an incomplete list of people who were horribly wrong about Iraq but are convinced they are right about Iran: 

Bush Administration Officials

Paul Wolfowitz

2003: As deputy secretary of defense, Wolfowitz was one of the architects of the Iraq War. “If Rumsfeld is the face, mouth and strong right arm of the war in Iraq, Wolfowitz — the intellectual godfather of the war — is its heart and soul,” CNN reporter Mark Thompson wrote in December 2003, referring to then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Iraqis “are going to welcome us as liberators,” Wolfowitz predicted ahead of the invasion. “The notion that we are going to earn more enemies by going in and getting rid of what every Arab knows is one of the worst tyrants — and they have many — governing them is just nonsense,” he said at the time. 

2020: Wolfowitz told Fox News that “a lot of people were saying we were being too mild” by not using military force against Iran sooner. “I think in hindsight we did it about right. And I think this was the time to do something rapid and bold,” he said of the Soleimani assassination. If Iran responds violently, that action might turn out to be part of a plan that Soleimani had cooked up before he was killed, Wolfowitz said in an effort to obscure U.S. responsibility for escalating violence. “It’s not like they’re necessarily responding to us,” he said.

The key priority, according to Wolfowitz, should be keeping U.S. troops in Iraq — even though members of Iraq’s parliament and the outgoing prime minister have called on American forces to leave. “It would be an enormous victory for Iran if they were able to see us leave,” Wolfowitz said.

2003: As President George W. Bush’s senior adviser, Rove helped scare the public into supporting a preemptive war against Iraqi tyrant Saddam Hussein. He advised the Republican Party to politicize the war and try to convince people that Republicans were better than Democrats at protecting America, Newsweek reported

2020: Rove blasted Democrats for not being enthusiastic enough about military conflict with Iran. 

“They’ve gotta turn this into a complete political tribal moment and respond negatively and make the entire Democratic Party look weak,” Rove said on Fox News. “The Democrats are like San Francisco Democrats all over again in the mid-1980s. ‘Oh, we’re weak, we’re wringing our hands. Oh, terrible, woe is me, the president is taking actions that could put us at risk.’” 

Ari Fleischer

2003: As Bush’s press secretary, Fleischer played a key role in selling the Iraq War. Now out of government, he commemorates the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks each year with long Twitter threads detailing what it was like behind the scenes the day the Twin Towers fell. 

2020: He hopes Americans will come together and cheer the death of Soleimani like they did after the U.S. military killed Osama bin Laden, Fleischer said on Fox News. It is “entirely possible” that the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian military official could serve as a “catalyst” inside Iran, where people would “celebrate this killing of Soleimani and put pressure on the Iranian government to stop its terrorism, to stop supporting all the various terrorist movements it has around the world,” he said.

Marc Thiessen

2003: Thiessen was the chief speechwriter for Rumsfeld, who knew the Bush administration’s case for war wasn’t backed by intelligence but plowed ahead with invasion nonetheless. Thiessen went on to write a book defending the CIA’s torture program as necessary to save American lives ― a claim that contradicts the spy agency’s own internal memos, which document how torture failed to provide useful intelligence. 

2020: Now a columnist for The Washington Post, Thiessen argued that Trump had demonstrated “enormous restraint” but ultimately had to enforce a red line and kill Soleimani so that Iran would know Trump wasn’t weak. Thiessen contended that the assassination was “defensive, preemptive, and lawful,” an assertion based on the Trump administration’s claim that intelligence suggested Soleimani was plotting an imminent attack on U.S. targets. That intelligence was “razor thin,” U.S. officials told New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi.

Stephen Hadley

2003: As Bush’s deputy national security adviser, Hadley failed to remove references to a false intelligence report about Iraq’s nuclear ambitions from Bush’s State of the Union speech, despite receiving two memos and a phone call from then-CIA Director George Tenet objecting to the claim that Iraq was trying to buy uranium ore from Africa to build nuclear weapons. Hadley was promoted to national security adviser in 2005.

2020: Killing Soleimani “was a bold move with potentially far-reaching consequences. It unquestionably heightens the risk of war; it could also open the door to diplomacy,” Hadley wrote in The Washington Post. The Post did not mention that Hadley is a director at Raytheon, the defense contractor that built a targeting system used in the type of drone that killed Soleimani, as writer Adam Johnson noted on Twitter. 

2003: Yoo, the deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel from 2001 to 2003, is best known for drafting the legal justification for torturing people suspected of having ties to terrorist groups. He also wrote a memo two weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks stating that Bush could use military force against groups and individuals even if it was “difficult to establish … that [they] have been or may be implicated in attacks on the United States.”

2020: People who criticize the legality of Trump killing the top military commander of a country that the U.S. is not currently at war with “have the law wrong,” Yoo wrote in National Review. According to Yoo, the strike was legal because of a vaguely drafted war authorization passed by Congress in 2001 to go after the Sept. 11 plotters and another in 2002 to go after Saddam Hussein. Even if those authorizations had been repealed, the Constitution allows the president to use force to prevent a future attack, Yoo continued, apparently leaning on the “razor thin” evidence suggesting Soleimani was planning an imminent attack. 

War Cheerleaders

Ken Pollack

2003: Pollack, a former CIA analyst who worked at the National Security Council during the Clinton administration, helped convince liberals to support the war. In September 2002 he published a book called “The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq.” It was “surely the most influential book of this season” and “provided intellectual cover for every liberal who finds himself inclining toward war but uneasy about Mr. Bush,” then-New York Times columnist Bill Keller wrote in a piece titled “The I-Can’t-Believe-I’m-a-Hawk Club.”

In 2007, Matthew Yglesias, then a blogger for The Atlantic, wrote of the by-then-bitter feeling of having read Pollack’s book and become “convinced as a result that the United States needed to, well, invade Iraq in order to dismantle Saddam Hussein’s advanced nuclear weapons program (the one he didn’t actually have).”

2020: Pollack told New York Times reporters that assassinating Soleimani means that “Iraqi politicians will be less fearful of Iran and more willing to listen to the Americans.” The Iranians in Iraq, Pollack said, will be unsure of what to do next without their leader.

Pollack’s predictions didn’t hold up for long. Two days after the Times published its story, Iraq’s parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from the country. The resolution was backed by Shiite lawmakers while several Sunni and Kurdish lawmakers boycotted the parliamentary meeting. Two days after the vote, Iran launched missiles at bases in Iraq that house U.S. soldiers in retaliation for the Soleimani strike. 

Joe Lieberman

2003: Then-Democratic Sen. Lieberman was one of the lawmakers who voted to authorize the Iraq War and who steadfastly defended his position long after it became clear that the invasion was a mistake. “I think the world is a lot better off, notwithstanding all the problems in Iraq,” Lieberman told MSNBC in 2015 after the Islamic State took control of parts of that country. “I think the world is better off and the region is better off and the people of Iraq are better off.” 

2020: Assassinating Soleimani was “bold and unconventional,” Lieberman wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed criticizing Democrats for not sufficiently praising the move. Killing Soleimani won’t lead to more war, Lieberman argued. On the contrary, he wrote, it will show Iranian leaders (and also North Korea’s Kim Jong Un) “our willingness to kill” and give them “much to fear.” 

Barry McCaffrey

2003: McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army general and drug czar in the Clinton administration, was part of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, a group that parroted Bush administration talking points and encouraged the public to support regime change. Days before the invasion, NBC’s Tom Brokaw asked him if he had any concerns about going to war. “Well, I don’t think I have any real serious ones,” McCaffrey said. 

2020: “The days ahead are going to be perilous because our only good response at this point is an overwhelming dominance of U.S. air and naval power that can be employed against the Iranian homeland,” McCaffrey said on MSNBC after the Iranian missile attacks on the U.S. bases in Iraq. “When that goes, we’re really into high-intensity warfare with the Iranians.” 

Tom Friedman

2003: The Iraq War was “unquestionably worth doing,” Friedman, a New York Times columnist, told talk show host Charlie Rose in a May 2003 interview. According to Friedman, there was a “terrorism bubble” in the 1990s that led to the Sept. 11 attacks. Saddam Hussein was not involved in those attacks, but that appears to have been irrelevant to Friedman.

“What we needed to do was to go over to that part of the world, I’m afraid, and burst that bubble,” Friedman told Rose. “We needed to go over there basically and take out a very big stick, right in the heart of that world, and burst that bubble. And there was only one way to do it. … What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, and basically saying, ‘Which part of this sentence don’t you understand? … Well, suck on this.’”

2020: “One day they may name a street after President Trump in Tehran” for killing Soleimani, Friedman predicted in a New York Times column. He went on to admit that he had no idea what would happen next in the Middle East, but what he did know was that Mother Nature would punish the region with climate change for “celebrating self-promoting military frauds.”

Bret Stephens

2003: As editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, Stephens named Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz the newspaper’s 2003 “Man of the [Jewish] Year” for authoring the “doctrine of preemption, which framed the war in Iraq and which, when it comes to it, will underpin U.S. action against other rogue states.” In 2008, Stephens declared victory in Iraq and bragged about winning a $100 bet with political scientist Francis Fukuyama over whether Iraq would be a “mess” five years after the invasion.

2020: The problem with Trump’s Iran policy is that he didn’t use military action sooner, Stephens argued in a New York Times column. Going forward, the U.S. should show a willingness to negotiate over Iran’s “regional aggression and expanding nuclear program” in exchange for sanctions relief, Stephens advised, failing to mention that Trump had willfully tanked a similar agreement. The U.S. should also threaten “deliberately disproportionate retaliation to any Iranian aggression, no matter whether it’s carried out by Iran or its proxies, and no matter whether it aims at us or our allies,” Stephens concluded.

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