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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "War"

Report: U.S. Hit Iran With a Cyber Attack After Saudi Oil Field Was Struck

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Get ready, being this is the future of war.

In the wake of the attack on the Saudi oil fields, it looked like we were going to strike Iran once U.S. intelligence confirmed it was indeed the Iranians. President Trump made some comments that we had enough of the behavior of the regime and it looked like an attack would happen at any minute.

Well, it did, just not how it has happened for the past 30 years. A new report out says that the United State did strike Iran but on the cyber level and not with bombs.

According to The Hill

The U.S. hit Iran with a secret cyberattack after a September strike on two Saudi oil facilities that Washington and Riyadh both blame on Tehran, according to Reuters.

Two U.S. officials told the news service that the operation, which took place late last month, targeted Tehran’s ability to spread “propaganda.” One of the officials said the attack hit physical hardware, but declined to provide further information.

“They must have dreamt it,” Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi responded, according to Iran’s Fars news agency.

One person’s dream is another person’s nightmare.

The United States has been the target of a number of cyberattacks from Russia, China, and North Korea over the past 10 years. Our dependence on the internet and, quite frankly, our grid are an open target for our enemies. So much so that Trump issued an executive order earlier this year about an EMP attack. Trump issued an executive order to prepare for an EMP attack

So, it is not surprising that the U.S would show a bit of what it can do to Iran to give them something to think about and also to Iran’s pals the Russians and the Chi-coms.

Hopefully, our best and brightest are working to make sure we stay ahead of the curve here and prevent this country’s enemies from striking in the same way. The U.S is incredibly dependent on electronic transactions of numerous types and if that capability went down or the power grid was fried, this country would be tested like never before.

As President Trump showed with this move, we can attack you without dropping bombs on your country.

We need to keep the same thing in mind in this country.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Report: U.S. Hit Iran With a Cyber Attack After Saudi Oil Field Was Struck appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group trump-iran-SCREENSHOT-300x161 Report: U.S. Hit Iran With a Cyber Attack After Saudi Oil Field Was Struck white house washington D.C. War United Nations The Hill Morning Briefing Iran Front Page Stories donald trump cyberwar Cybersecurity communism China Trade Talks China Capitalism Allow Media Exception 2019   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Syria joins war in… Syria

Westlake Legal Group syrian-position Syria joins war in… Syria War Turkey troop withdrawal The Blog Syrian Kurds Syria Bashar al-Assad

There’s yet another twist in the ongoing invasion of Syria by Turkey. The Syrian army, backed by Russian forces and advisers, is reportedly joining the battle. It might not sound all that surprising for the military of a nation being invaded to come to their own defense, but Bashar al-Assad hasn’t controlled the northeastern portion of his country for years. And in an even stranger twist, the Syrian Kurds are welcoming his help.

Syria’s state news agency says government forces have entered the northern town of Tal Tamr that is close to Turkey’s border.

SANA said Monday morning that the Syrian army moved into the area to “confront the Turkish aggression,” without giving further details.

The report says residents of Tal Tamr that is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Turkish border welcomed the troops.

It did not say from which area the Syrian army marched toward the town.

This represents something of a shift in the dynamics of this conflict. For years now, the battles in the eastern region of Syria have been something of a proxy war between other international interests. The Americans were there helping the Kurds, who really weren’t fighting “for or against” Syria. In addition to beating down ISIS, they’ve been defending their own interests as part of an ongoing struggle to eventually establish their own formally recognized independent state. The Russians generally support Assad, but seem mostly interested in maintaining the warm water port they’ve established at Tartus. And ISIS was just being ISIS until they were effectively dispersed.

But now, if Syrian troops are actively fighting Turkish troops on their own soil, this may be turning into an actual war between Syria and Turkey. I doubt the Kurds can expect much in the way of actual support from Assad and they will likely come to regret siding with him, but they’re pretty much out of other options at this point. But that may not matter, because if Turkey really wants to get serious about this they could probably crush Syria. They have the largest army in the region by a fair margin and are bristling with both American and Russian military technology.

And what of the Americans? Well, as of this morning, there are reports indicating that President Trump may indeed be pulling us out of the country entirely.

The United States appears to be heading toward a full military withdrawal from Syria amid growing chaos , cries of betrayal and signs that Turkey’s invasion could fuel a broader war.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Sunday that President Donald Trump had directed U.S. troops in northern Syria to begin pulling out “as safely and quickly as possible.” He did not say Trump ordered troops to leave Syria, but that seemed like the next step in a combat zone growing more unstable by the hour.

If this does turn into a full-blown war between Turkey and Syria, who does the United States root for? We clearly don’t support Assad, but Turkey is quickly turning into a Russian satellite state. With ISIS fighters escaping confinement and Iranian backed militias on the prowl, this is rapidly devolving into a toxic stew where there is no good outcome on the horizon. The Kurds should probably consider packing up and heading to northern Iraq. After that, perhaps the idea of just letting the remaining forces in Syria fight it out and kill each other off isn’t so crazy after all.

The post Syria joins war in… Syria appeared first on Hot Air.

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Trump Takes a Moment to Tell Us What the Most Heartbreaking Part of His Job Is

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Doubtless, President Donald Trump has a tough job as leader of the free world, but he took a moment on Wednesday to tell the press what the hardest part of his job is.

According to him, the most difficult part is writing letters to the families of fallen soldiers, and even attending the moments where the bodies of soldiers are brought home from overseas in a coffin with an American flag draped over it, and hearing the screams and sobs of the parents.

“The hardest thing I have to do, by far, much harder than the witch hunt, is signing letters to parents of soldiers that have been killed,” Trump said. “And it’s not only that — in areas where there’s not a lot of upside, if there’s any upside at all, and in many cases, it’s only downside.”

“The hardest thing I have to do is signing those letters. That’s the hardest thing I have to do. And each letter is different,” Trump continued. “We make each letter different. And last week, I signed five of them for Afghanistan; one in Iraq; one in Syria, from two weeks ago. And sometimes I call the parents. Sometimes I see the parents. I go to Dover, when I can, but it’s — it’s so devastating for the parents that — you know. It’s so devastating when they bring that boy or young woman out of the back of those big, powerful planes in a coffin, and the parents are there.”

“And then I see it. And I see people that were smiling, “Oh, Mr. President, thank you for being here. Thank you for being here.” And I think they’re doing great. And then, twenty minutes later, we’ll be outside when that big plane pulls up and that door comes down, and they are walking the coffin with their boy inside this coffin with an American flag over the top. And they’re walking that coffin down this ramp,” said Trump.

“And I’ve seen people that I thought were really incredible the way they were ta- — I didn’t even understand how they could take it so well — scream, like I’ve never seen anything before,” he continued. “Sometimes they’ll run to the coffin. They’ll break through military barriers. They’ll run to the coffin and jump on top of the coffin. Crying mothers and wives. Crying desperately.”

This is likely a move included in his reasons to stop the war in Syria and withdraw our troops, and many may see this as an attempt to use an emotional argument to gain public opinion for his side. Regardless, I can’t imagine having to be in his position and do that kind of thing.

Whether you think Trump is right or wrong on this, having to do this kind of thing can’t be easy on anyone.

 

The post Trump Takes a Moment to Tell Us What the Most Heartbreaking Part of His Job Is appeared first on RedState.

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Lindsey Graham Warns He’ll Deliver “Sanctions From Hell” If Turkey Invades Syria

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Lindsey Graham by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0/Original

In the wake of President Donald Trump announcing that he was pulling U.S. forces out of Syria, many began voicing opposition out of their concern for the safety of American allies in the region, namely the Kurds.

Turkey has made it very clear that it intends to conduct “operations in Syria” after the U.S. moves out, and already bombed the Syria-Iraq border in order to prevent Kurd movement that would allow them to fortify their positions.

“In this way, the group’s transit to Syria and support lines, including ammunition, are shut off,” said a Turkish official.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R), who is one of the Senators who denounced the decision to pull U.S. forces out of the region, has warned Turkey that if they so much as step foot in the area, he’ll bury them in sanctions.

“If Turkey moves into northern Syria, sanctions from hell — by Congress — will follow. Wide, deep, and devastating sanctions,” Graham tweeted Tuesday.

This was a follow up to statements he made on Monday, making it clear that if Turkey acts against the Kurds, then sanctions will follow. Graham already has bipartisan support for these sanctions thanks to Democrat Sen. Chris Van Hollen.

“We will introduce bipartisan sanctions against Turkey if they invade Syria and will call for their suspension from NATO if they attack Kurdish forces who assisted the U.S. in the destruction of the ISIS Caliphate,” Graham added.

While this is Trump’s decision, the President has also made it clear that any moves by Turkey in the area will result in the targeted destruction of its economy.

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” tweeted Trump.

The ball is in Turkey’s court at this point. Once the U.S. pulls out, Turkey will have to make the decision to risk the wrath of the United States. However, the Kurds aren’t so sure that’s going to scare Turkey into capitulation.

 

The post Lindsey Graham Warns He’ll Deliver “Sanctions From Hell” If Turkey Invades Syria appeared first on RedState.

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Columbine survivor to O’Rourke: Why shouldn’t we ban all semiautomatic weapons?

Westlake Legal Group b-15 Columbine survivor to O’Rourke: Why shouldn’t we ban all semiautomatic weapons? weapons War The Blog semiautomatics rifles gun violence Evan Todd Columbine Beto O'Rourke assault ar-15

As you’ll see, O’Rourke has no answer to this perfectly predictable question except to mumble something about weapons of war. But why should we focus on weapons of war, asks Columbine survivor Evan Todd, when they’re responsible for only a fraction of all gun violence? The Columbine massacre itself wasn’t carried out with assault rifles, he notes. Ed sent me a spreadsheet in which he ran through the FBI’s most recent statistics for murder by firearms and found 10,982 in total in 2017, of which exactly 403 were committed with rifles — a rate of 3.67 percent. There were many more murders committed by “unknown firearms” but even assuming (falsely) that every last one was committed with an assault rifle, that would still put the total of murders by rifle at just a third or so of all firearms murders.

The realistic best-case scenario if Beto’s mandatory buyback plan were implemented, then, is that mass shootings would become marginally less lethal and *possibly* marginally less frequent. Lunatics would still strike but would be relegated to less powerful weapons, like semiautomatic handguns. Maybe a few would be deterred altogether by being unable to fulfill their “soldier” fantasy in precisely the way they imagined, wielding a weapon that resembles a machine gun. But certainly the massacres will go on, facilitated by weapons like semiautomatic pistols that allow for rapid fire and fast reloading.

So what then? President Beto throws up his hands and admits defeat? Of course he’d have to target all semiautomatics. The fact that he can’t explain why he’s drawing the line arbitrarily at “weapons of war” is proof that, for all his bravado about refusing to accept the political status quo any longer, O’Rourke’s making a political calculation here. He’s not going to get 100 million semiautomatic handguns confiscated, and he knows that it’d be even more of a political catastrophe to make that demand than calling for confiscation of assault weapons is. He’s focusing on assault weapons because they’re the weapon of choice in mass shootings but obviously not the only weapon capable of carrying out a mass shooting. And rank-and-file Democrats understand that: Remember, last year after the Parkland shooting one poll showed 82 percent support within the party for banning all semiautomatic weapons, not just rifles. That’s the position you’re forced to take if, like Todd, you’re concerned about gun violence broadly, not with making symbolic gestures a la O’Rourke.

Beto’s caught and he knows it. Which explains why, as you’ll see, he felt obliged to tell reporters afterward that he’s open to any and all ideas, including Todd’s, on how to reduce gun violence. Two days ago he assured CNN that he was after assault rifles and only assault rifles. Two days later, after a single difficult question, everything’s on the table.

I’ll leave you with another short clip of a confrontation he had yesterday in lieu of an exit question. It’s amazing to me that, on top of wrecking his chances for statewide office in Texas with this ploy, O’Rourke’s now also seizing the opportunity presented by this campaign to make enemies of the Democratic leadership. Is he trying to end his political career?

The post Columbine survivor to O’Rourke: Why shouldn’t we ban all semiautomatic weapons? appeared first on Hot Air.

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President Trump Names Robert O’Brien As His New National Security Advisor

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This morning, President Trump announced that he will name Robert C. O’Brien as his new National Security Advisor. This position does not require confirmation by the senate. He wrote:

I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O’Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!

 

According to the Washington Post:

Administration officials had viewed him as a safe choice given his strong rapport with colleagues at the State Department and the Pentagon. His “affable demeanor” contrasts with Bolton, who was known as a ruthless bureaucratic infighter, an administration official said last week, requesting anonymity to speak more candidly.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles and his Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law. “He was a Rotary Scholar at the University of the Free State in South Africa and he speaks fluent Afrikaans.”

O’Brien is a co-founder of Larson O’Brien LLP.

He has served in the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump. In November, he was confirmed by the senate as the “US Alternate Representative to the 60th session of the United Nations General Assembly, which met in New York 2005-2006. He addressed the General Assembly on the question of Palestine and represented the United States in the General Assembly’s Sixth Committee, which considered the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.” Wikipedia reports:

O’Brien served as Co-Chairman of the United States Department of State’s Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform in Afghanistan, launched in December 2007 by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. O’Brien continues to serve on the Public Private Partnership Executive Committee. On July 31, 2008, President George W. Bush announced his intention to appoint O’Brien to serve in his administration as a member of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee and represent the interests of the general public, for the remainder of a three-year term which expired on April 25, 2011.

In May 2018, Trump appointed O’Brien as Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs. In May 2019, “he was given the rank of ambassador one year later.”

O’Brien recently appeared in the news for his role in the A$AP Rocky case in Sweden. The rapper was found guilty of assault but did not face prison time for it.

The first order of business for Mr. O’Brien will be to help President Trump sort out the perilous situation in the middle east in the aftermath of Iran’s alleged attack on a Saudi Arabian oil facility.

CBS News reports:

As national security adviser, O’Brien will be responsible for consolidating sensitive information for the president and presenting him with options. Mr. Trump openly said he had serious disagreements with Bolton, and that’s why he was pushed out of the position last week.

Immediately, O’Brien will be tackling any U.S. response to the Saudi oil strikes. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to be in Saudi Arabia the next couple days to assess the situation. O’Brien will also be in the position to give Mr. Trump guidance on what to do in Afghanistan, which was a major point of contention between Mr. Trump and Bolton.

The post President Trump Names Robert O’Brien As His New National Security Advisor appeared first on RedState.

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If We’re Supposed To Care That Hamza bin Laden Is Dead Why Aren’t They Also Talking About al-Zawahiri

Westlake Legal Group hamza-bin-laden If We’re Supposed To Care That Hamza bin Laden Is Dead Why Aren’t They Also Talking About al-Zawahiri War Terrorism Politics hamza bin laden Front Page Stories Featured Story Ayman al-Zawahiri Allow Media Exception Al Qaeda

In this image from video released by the CIA, Hamza bin Laden is seen as an adult at his wedding. The never-before-seen video of Osama bin Laden’s son and potential successor was released Nov. 1, 2017, by the CIA in a trove of material recovered during the May 2011 raid that killed the al-Qaida leader at his compound in Pakistan. The one hourlong video shows Hamza bin Laden, sporting a trimmed mustache but no beard, at his wedding. He is sitting on a carpet with other men. (CIA via AP)

On Saturday, President Trump confirmed that Hamza bin Laden, the eldest son of deceased terrorist Osama bin Laden, had been killed by a US military operation in Af/Pak region, reports say most likely in Ghazni Province. For reasons that I don’t quite understand, other than wanting to eradicate the bin Laden bloodline, this was supposed to be significant. Was it? I have my doubts. CNN quotes someone they portray as “CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank” to the effect that usually al Qaeda makes a huge deal about their martyrs and that didn’t happen in this case. (I say portray because a large number of CNN’s “analysts” are pathetic lackwits who worked on the outer periphery of they area they are professing expertise about.) CNN, being CNN, has its man giving the impression that the story is not true, presumably because Trump and, you know, OrangeManBad.

I have no reason to doubt bin Laden ‘s son is dead. But, because no big deal was made over his martyrdom by al Qaeda, I’m similarly forced to conclude that beyond his surname, he wasn’t a big deal. And this leads you to think about who steps forward to fill the gap.

Many years ago, when I was an ROTC cadet, the senior non-commissioned officer in our detachment was a Pennsyltucky boy. He’d been a member of the 173d Airborne Brigade when it still had jump status during Vietnam. He served several tours there and the claim to fame that endeared him to all of us aspiring officers was the tale of how after he’d taken a Claymore pellet through the foot in an NVA ambush and recovered he’d convinced a doctor skeptical that anyone with a concave wound in his foot had any business jumping out of airplanes to put him back on jump status by climbing onto the examining table, jumping off, and executing a parachute landing fall. And he didn’t do it once, he kept doing it until the doctor relented and signed the appropriate paperwork.

One of the stories he used to tell us, over and over, was about unintended consequences. During one of his tours in RVN, his base camp’s airstrip was periodically targeted by a Viet Cong sniper. The guy was an annoyance but never hit anything. Every time the camp got a new commander, he’d want to send out a patrol and kill the guy. But he was always talked out of it based on the fact that the current sniper never hit anything and if they killed him, the NVA command might send  a replacement who could shoot. In fact, after each shooting by the sniper the communications element would make an in-the-clear broadcast about an aircraft damaged and friendlies killed or wounded knowing that the it would be intercepted. This made the current sniper look good to his bosses and reduced the likelihood of him being replaced.

How does that fit in here? Let’s face it. We haven’t heard a lot from al Qaeda in some time amd what we have heard has not been impressive. In fact, in the Syrian civil war Obama’s CIA was touting al Qaeda linked groups as the “moderates” we should support. Above all else, a millenialist group like al Qaeda can’t recruit or raise funds without a) charismatic leadership and b) visible success. A life on the run would hardly have prepared young Hamza with the skills to lead an organization nor would he have necessarily had his father’s access to the deep pockets of moneymen in the Arab world to raise cash. I suspect that the late Hamza wasn’t much of a leader but his name locked him in at the top of al Qaeda leadership–think of him as the equivalent of a legacy admission to an Ivy League university–where he did nothing and now his death has created a vacuum that will be filled by someone who might actually be competent. Let’s face it, how important can he really be if his death didn’t rate a mention in Trump’s Twitter feed. I think that in the end we will find we would have been better served to leave Hamza bin Laden alive and as a roadblock in the al Qaeda leadership. If we did anything at all we should have made him into a super villain in the media to lock him into position and further hamstring the organization.

Which leads me to a second and somewhat related point. What’s up with Ayman al-Zawahiri? This is the guy who was supposed to be calling the shots for al Qaeda and he’s totally disappeared from sight. One would have thought that after Osama bin Laden’s death that all the resources of our national intelligence apparatus would have been employed to find him. Did he die? Has he retired? Just the other day something popped into my twitter feed that intrigued me. If you go back to the Golden Age of Terrorism, the time of Black September and the Munich Olympics and airliners hijacked on what seemed like a weekly basis, the guy at the center of it all was a Palestinian named Ali Hassan Salameh, his nom de guerre was Abu Hassan and he was known to Western intelligence services as the Red Prince because of a flamboyant lifestyle that included being married to Georgina Rizk, a Miss Lebanon and Miss Universe winner–she did not wear a burqa or abaya or chador, in fact, she wore a lot less than that and no one in the Arab world gave a fat rat’s ass. Salameh led a charmed life until Mossad finally caught up with him. After his death we found out why:

I don’t know if Hamza bin Laden was important, but I’m skeptical of professional liars and deceivers who suddenly tell me what I should think when I’ve never heard it before. I wonder why we’re suddenly told, now, that he’s not only dead but a linchpin in a major terrorist organization. I don’t know if al-Zawahiri is a terrorist mastermind who is leading a charmed life or if he’s dead and we just don’t know it, or if there is something else going on. What I do know is that very rarely are things in what I think John le Carre called a “looking glass war” are as they seem and when our sole source of information is from people who lie to just stay in practice, we need to be skeptical about what we hear.

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The post If We’re Supposed To Care That Hamza bin Laden Is Dead Why Aren’t They Also Talking About al-Zawahiri appeared first on RedState.

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Today We Say Never Forget But Let’s Be Brutally Honest, We Are Forgetting.

Westlake Legal Group 9-11-september-eleventh-300x157 Today We Say Never Forget But Let’s Be Brutally Honest, We Are Forgetting. white house washington D.C. War Veterans Social Media September 11th Politics Patriotism Morning Briefing migrants Middle East Media immigration Human Rights Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post donald trump democrats Culture & Faith Conservatives communism Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2019 #NeverForget

Today the United States of America once again pauses to take a moment to remember the events that reshaped the world on September-11-2001. Hard to believe that it has been 18 years since the purely evil events of that day unfolded. Yet here we are at another anniversary as time marches on.

Most of us will take to facebook and recount “where we were” when the planes struck and what an awful, tragic day that was. We will accompany those posts with memes that say “Never Forget” and then move on to September 12th and live our lives until next year. Which is of course what those who sacrificed their lives and those who were murdered would have wanted for us.

Let me very blunt here though.

We are forgetting and it is showing.

Here are some examples why…

On June 11th 2019 Luis Alvarez went before Congress to talk about the 9-11 victim compensation fund. Alvarez, a retired New York City Police Detective, and 9/11 first responder was there to plead for reauthorization of funds before a House committee.

Here is part of what he said according to Time

A little more than two weeks before his death, Alvarez – who was visibly very ill and thin – traveled to Congress and testified before the House Judiciary subcommittee, urging legislators to extend the fund.

“You made me come down here the day before my 69th round of chemo and I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 first responders,” he said. Comedian Jon Stewart testified shortly afterward, chastising Congress for taking years to make the program permanent and condemning the legislators who failed to show up to watch the first responders’ testimony.

At Alvarez’s chemotherapy appointment the following day, medical providers determined that his liver was failing and causing disorientation. Alvarez decided to enter hospice care shortly afterwards.

This hero died 18 days later.

You might have heard about this man and his colleagues going to Congress to ask for this without assistance from someone famous.

You DID hear about it because Jon Stewart had a meltdown, verbally undressing those elected officials for once again dropping the ball of simply keeping a promise. I know some reading this might have thought that Stewart did a bit of an acting job that day, well good for him if he was. He was at least ACTING as he cared on a day that was not Sept-11.

How does a nation that is saying “Never Forget” once a year allow our elected officials to forget those that responded first to these tragedies? They literally saved hundreds if not thousands of lives while giving up their own either on that day or a little bit each moment since, like Detective Alvarez.

“Never Forget” I guess does not apply to the still broken immigration system that this country has 18 years later. This has nothing to do with a wall but how we make sure that those that come here legally, stay here legally.  Five of the 19 hijackers were here illegally when the planes flew into World Trade Center One and Two, The Pentagon and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

According to National Review

Did you remember that five of the 9/11 hijackers — Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Hani Hanjour, Nawaf al-Hazmi, and Satam al-Suqami — carried out their killer plot after overstaying their visas, evading detection, and avoiding deportation?

Did you remember the other radical Muslim members of the Terrorist Visa Overstayers Club? They include 1997 New York subway bomber Lafi Khalil; 1993 World Trade Center bombers Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammed Salameh, and Eyad Ismoil; 1993 New York landmark bombing plot conspirator Fadil Abdelgani; convicted Times Square bomb plotter Faisal Shahzad; and U.S. Capitol bomb plotter Amine El Khalifi, whose visa expired in 1999 and who escaped Homeland Security’s notice for 12 years before he was arrested in 2012 — just blocks from the Capitol building donning what he thought was a suicide-bomb vest.

Maybe we forgot.

How about the war in Afghanistan?

The reasons for going into that war were justified. The Taliban were harboring those that trained and plotted the attacks on America that fateful day. President Bush 43 was able to explain that clearly when the United States military invaded in early October 2001.

Now, 18 years later can anyone explain what the mission is and how we “win” this longest battle America has ever been in?

We have paid a heavy price according to Washington Post

The conflict had left 2,400 U.S. service members dead and more than 20,000 wounded; more than 145,000 people in all, including Afghan military, police and civilians, have died, according to a 2018 report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project; America has spent $737 billion on the war.

This doesn’t include the calculation of dealing with the long term effects of those who served in this conflict and the one in Iraq. They need our support just as much as those who stormed the towers on that clear Sept morning almost two decades ago.

Next year we will have High School seniors graduating in the United States of America that were born AFTER the attacks of 9-11. What that means is that the horrible events of that day will only be a recorded event for them much like Pearl Harbor or the Kennedy assassination was for us. Simply saying “Never Forget” will simply be an empty slogan for them unless those of us who watched those terrible events unfold that day make it mean something to them.

We need to be honest with them about what happened on that day and what has happened since.

We need to teach them that anyone with a badge or uniform is not automatically the enemy but people that deserve our respect.

We need to reinforce that there is evil in the world and ignoring it and hoping it goes away will only encourage it to thrive.

We need to teach them that “Never Forget” is not something we should not only do once a year but consistently throughout the year.  We should teach them this by doing it ourselves and showing by example not just by a Facebook post stating where you were for the 1000th time.

We need to ensure that those who rushed into the buildings and the regular folks who were thrust into horrifying circumstances and sacrificed themselves to save others are never forgotten.

Truly, Never Forgotten!!!!

Todd Beamer who was a passenger on United Flight 93 that crashed into Pennsylvania on this day along with some of the other passengers on his flight decided to storm the cockpit and stop their plane from being used as a weapon. Beamers last words as he was talking to a sky phone operator was “Let’s Roll” and he and others saved many lives while giving up their own.

If we do not fight the apathy that is creeping into the remembrances of what this day means during the other 364 days of the year, this country will turn Beamers last words into “Let’s Not” or “Who Cares” and that means, we will ultimately have forgotten.

So let us ban together to “Never Forget” so that “Never Happens”.

Check out my other posts here on Red State and my podcast Bourbon On The Rocks plus like Bourbon On The Rocks on Facebook and follow me on the twitters at IRISHDUKE2 

The post Today We Say Never Forget But Let’s Be Brutally Honest, We Are Forgetting. appeared first on RedState.

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Where I Was On September 11

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FILE – In this Sept. 11, 2001, file photo, smoke billows from one of the towers of the World Trade Center and flames as debris explodes from the second tower in New York. A bill passed by Congress allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi government has reinforced to some in the Arab world a long-held view that the U.S. only demands justice for its own victims of terrorism, despite decades of controversial U.S. interventions around the world.(AP Photo/Chao Soi Cheong, File)

Westlake Legal Group Towers Where I Was On September 11 War Front Page Stories Featured Story   Until September 11, 2001, I worked in the World Trade Center, halfway up Tower One. I wasn’t doing political blogging at the time, but was writing “the Baseball Crank” as a weekly baseball column for the online edition of the Providence (R.I.) Journal. Here’s my account of that day, written for ProJo two days later while it was all still fresh. We run this every year on the anniversary.

On Tuesday, they tried to kill me.

I am ordinarily at my desk between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning, in my office on the 54th floor of one of the World Trade Center’s towers. Tuesday, I was running late – I stopped to vote in the primary election for mayor, an election that has now been postponed indefinitely. Thank God for petty partisan politics.

Around 20 minutes to 9, as I have done every day for the past five years, I got on the number 2/3 train heading to Park Place, an underground stop roughly a block and a half, connected underground, to the Trade Center. The train made its usual stop at Chambers Street, five blocks north of my office, where you can switch to the local 1/9 that runs directly into the Trade Center mall. The subway announcer – in a rare, audible announcement – was telling people to stay on the 2/3 because the tunnel was blocked by a train ahead of us. Then he mentioned that there had been “an explosion at the World Trade Center.”

Now, I grew up in the suburbs, so maybe I’m not as street smart as I should be, but after living in the city a few years, you develop a sense of the signs of trouble (like the time there were shots fired in the next subway car from mine). I didn’t know what the explosion was, maybe a gas leak or something, but I knew that I was better off getting above ground to see what was going on rather than enter the complex underground. So I got off the train to walk to work.

When I got above ground, there was a crowd gathering to see the horror above: a big hole somewhere in the top 15-20 stories of the north tower (having no sense of direction, I thought that was Number 2 at the time, not Number 1 where my office was), with flames and smoke shooting out. I quickly realized it would not be safe to go into the office, despite a number of things I had waiting for me to do, so as I heard the chatter around about there having been a plane crash into the building (onlookers were saying “a small plane” at that point) and a possible terrorist attack, I turned away to start looking for a place to get coffee and read the newspaper until I could find out what had happened. That was when it happened.

The sound was a large BANG!, the unmistakable sound of an explosion but with almost the tone of cars colliding, except much louder. My initial thought was that something had exploded out of the cavity atop the tower closer to us and gone . . . where? It was followed by a scene straight out of every bad TV movie and Japanese monster flick: simultaneously, everyone around me was screaming and running away. I didn’t have time to look and see what I was running from; I just took off, hoping to get away from whatever it was, in case it was falling towards us. Nothing else can compare to the adrenaline rush of feeling the imminent presence of deadly danger. And I kept moving north.

Once people said that a second plane had hit the other tower, and I saw it was around halfway up – right where my office was, I thought, still confused about which tower was which – it also appeared that the towers had survived the assault. I used to joke about this, telling people we worked in the only office building in America that had been proven to be bomb-resistant. I stopped now and then, first at a pay phone where I called my family, but couldn’t hear the other end. I stopped in a few bars, calling to say I was OK, but I still didn’t feel safe, and I kept moving north. In one bar I saw the south tower collapse, and had a sick feeling in my stomach, which increased exponentially when I saw Tower Number One, with my office in it and (so far as I knew) many of the people I work with as well, cave in. Official business hours start at 9:30, but I started reeling off in my head all the lawyers who get in early in the morning, and have for years. I thought of the guy who cleans the coffee machines, someone I barely speak to but see every day, who has to be in at that hour. I was still nervous, and decided not to think about anything but getting out alive. A friend has an apartment on 109th street, so I called him and kept walking, arriving on his doorstep around 1 p.m., and finally sat down, with my briefcase, the last remnant of my office. I had carried a bunch of newspapers and my brown-bag lunch more than 120 blocks. The TV was on, but only CBS was broadcasting – everyone else’s signal had gone out of the Trade Center’s antenna.

Finally, the news got better. I jumped when there were planes overhead, but they were F-15s, ours. American combat aircraft flying with deadly seriousness over Manhattan. My wife was home, and she had heard from people at the office who got out alive. It turns out that my law firm was extraordinarily lucky to get so many people out – nearly everyone is now accounted for, although you hold your breath and pray until it’s absolutely everyone. The architect who designed the towers – well, we used to complain a lot that the windows were too narrow, but the strength of those buildings, how they stayed standing for an hour and an hour and a half, respectively, after taking a direct hit by a plane full of gasoline – there are probably 10 to 15,000 people walking around New York today because they stayed up so long.

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By Wednesday night, the adrenaline was finally wearing off, and I was just angry. They had tried to kill me, had nearly killed many of the people I work with, and destroyed the chair I sit in everyday, the desk I work at and the computer I do my work on. And that’s before you even begin to count the other lives lost. Words fail to capture the mourning, and in this area it’s everywhere. I finally broke down Thursday morning, reading newspaper accounts of all the firemen who were missing or dead, so many who had survived so many dangers before, and ran headlong into something far more serious, far more intentional. My dad was a cop, my uncle a fireman. It was too close.

The mind starts to grasp onto the little things, photos of the kids and from my wedding; the radio in my office that I listened to so many Mets games on, working late; a copy of my picture with Ted Williams (more on that some other day); the little Shea Stadium tin on my desk that played “take me out to the ballgame” when you opened it to get a binder clip, the new calculator I bought over the weekend. All vaporized or strewn halfway across the harbor. The things can mostly be replaced, they’re just things, but it’s staggering to see the whole context of your daily routine disappear because somebody – not “faceless cowards,” really, but somebody in particular with a particular agenda and particular friends around the world – wants you dead.

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There’s a scene that comes to mind, and I’m placing it in the Lord of the Rings because that’s where I remember it, but feel free to let me know if I’ve mangled it or made it up. Frodo the hobbit has lived all his life in the Shire, where the world of hobbits (short, human-like creatures) revolves around hospitality and particular etiquette and family snobbery and all the silliest little things, silly at least in comparison to the great and dangerous adventure he finds himself embarked on. Aragorn, one of the Men, has been patrolling the area around the Shire for years, warding off invading creatures of all varieties of evil. Frodo asks Aragorn, eventually, whether he isn’t frustrated with and contemptuous of hobbits and the small, simple concerns that dominate their existence, when such dangers are all at hand. Aragorn responds that, to the contrary, it is the simpleness and even the pettiness of the hobbits that makes the task worthwhile, because it’s proof that he has done his job – kept them so safe and insulated from the horrors all around them that they see no irony, no embarrassment in concerning themselves with such trivial things in such a hazardous world. It has often struck me that you could ask no better description of the role of law enforcement and the military, keeping us so safe that we may while our days on the ups and downs of made-up games.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

And that’s why baseball still matters. There must be time for mourning, of course, so much mourning, and time as well to feel secure that 55,000 people can gather safely in one place. The merciful thing is that because, save for the Super Bowl and the Olympics, U.S. sports are so little followed in the places these evildoers breed – murderous men, by contrast, have little interest in pennant races – that they have not acquired the symbolic power of our financial and military centers. But that may not be forever.

But once we feel secure to try, we owe it most of all to those who protect us as well as those who died to resume the most trivial of our pursuits. Our freedom is best expressed not when we stand in defiance or strike back with collective will, but when we are able again to view Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens as the yardsticks by which we measure nastiness, to bicker over games. That’s why the Baseball Crank will be back. This column may be on hiatus for an undetermined time while the demands of work intrude – we intend to be back in business next week, and this will not be without considerable effort – but in time, I will offer again my opinion of why it would be positively criminal to give Ichiro the MVP, and why it is scandalous that Bill Mazeroski is in the Hall of Fame. And then I’ll be free again.

The post Where I Was On September 11 appeared first on RedState.

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Born In A World At War

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Eighteen years ago today, a series of airplane crashes changed the world.

These crashes were no accident. The September 11th terror attacks were a well-orchestrated strike into the hearts of Americans, killing so many of our countrymen and injecting a new and terrible fear into the hearts of us all.

The strikes brought down the World Trade Center in New York, a section of the Pentagon, and aimed to take out the White House (had it not been for the heroic actions of the Americans on board of the final plane, sending it instead into a field in Pennsylvania). They kept us out of sports arenas and large gatherings for fear of what might happen next. The United States began taking steps toward war to punish those responsible – a terror organization deep in the heart of the Middle East.

That war and the wars that followed have not ended since they started.

Across America today, there are students who are learning about this event in a solely historical context – this year’s graduating high school seniors were either less than a year old or not even born when the attacks happened. Yet, the world they are growing up in is a world built upon those attacks.

Many of them have parents in the military, who even now serve overseas in the same places that spawned the terrorists who attacked us. Others have family that has been lost in those conflicts. Still others come from families who support the war or families who oppose it.

The politics inspired by those terror attacks and the wars in the Middle East have shaped family discourse. While not solely due to the September 11th attacks, what has happened in the political realm has undoubtedly been shaped by them. Because of that, we now live in a very politically-charged era. Kids are becoming all-too-aware of the toxicity of it all, and it bleeds into the classroom.

It’s a world that they know all-to-well, but it’s not the world that my generation (the beloved millennial generation) and those older than I always knew. Sure, we can look at several events through history that have changed the world, and we can argue many generations have their own similar historical world-shaping events. It’s also true that this generation may well come to witness an event that shapes their worldview like September 11th, Pearl Harbor, the assassination of JFK, and other events affected previous generations.

With September 11th the most current of those events, however, it’s important for those of us old enough to remember it to explain why and how the world has changed. There are far too many people even in our media and political establishments who pretend as though history began sometime after 2002.

That type of worldview, the type that ignores the context of the times we live in, is actually dangerous. Context is what makes history something to learn from. Simply memorizing the dates and people and events of history isn’t enough. The context that makes them important fill in the gaps, and lead us from one event to the other, making it more than a timeline but an explanation of why the world is the way it is.

The students in our classrooms today need to understand the context of their world. They need to know the context of the world as it was before and leading up to September 11, 2001, and they need to understand the world now as it has been affected by those terror attacks.

The post Born In A World At War appeared first on RedState.

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