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WATCH/READ: William Barr’s Disturbing Statement on the NAS Pensacola Atrocity

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

What’s it been – six weeks since the killings took place? Hey, better late than never. – The U.S. Justice Department finally got around to formally announcing what any thinking person knew from the moment we heard about it: That the December 6 mass murder by a Saudi national at NAS Pensacola was an act of Islamic terrorism.

Attorney General William Barr held a press conference on Monday to announce the results of the crack FBI Dumpster Fire team’s intrepid investigation. Here is a clip from Mr. Barr’s disturbing statement followed by a transcript of his remarks:

 

For those of you who still like to read stuff, here is a full transcript of the Attorney General’s remarks [emphasis added]:

Good afternoon, and thank you for coming.

We are here to discuss the results of the investigation into the shooting that occurred on Dec. 6, 2019 at Pensacola Naval Air Station.

Joining me today are David Bowdich, Deputy Director of the FBI; John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Michael Sherwin, Associate Deputy Attorney General for National Security; Rachel Rojas, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Field Office in Jacksonville, Florida; and Larry Keefe, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

I want to thank the FBI and the other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies involved in responding to and investigating the incident for their rapid and excellent work.  Many people worked long hours through the holidays, and I am grateful for their diligence and commitment to seeing this through.  You will be hearing from Deputy Director Bowdich shortly about the details of the FBI investigative work, which was superb.

In considering this case, we have to remember that there are thousands of allied pilots and other military personnel receiving training on military bases throughout the United States.  These military partnerships are critically important to the United States.  The Royal Saudi Air Force, which flies American-made aircraft, is an important military partner, and has long had a training relationship with us.

On Dec. 6, 2nd Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, a member of the Royal Saudi Air Force, entered a building on the grounds of Pensacola Naval Air Station and killed three U.S. sailors and severely wounded eight other Americans.  Alshamrani was killed during the attack.

This was an act of terrorism.

The evidence shows that the shooter was motivated by jihadist ideology.  During the course of the investigation, we learned that the shooter posted a message on social media on Sept. 11 of last year that said: “the countdown has begun.”  Over Thanksgiving weekend, he visited the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.  He also posted other anti-American, anti-Israeli, and jihadi messages on social media, and did so two hours before his attack at the naval base.

Early reports indicated that the shooter arrived at the site, accompanied by other Saudi cadets, who took video of the attack as it unfolded.  These reports turned out not to be accurate.  The shooter arrived by himself.  Other Saudi cadets happened to be in the area and, after the attack began, they took some videos of the resulting commotion.  They fully cooperated in the investigation, as did the other Saudi cadets who were interviewed by the FBI at Pensacola and at additional bases across the country.

After Alshamrani entered the building and cased the facility, he proceeded to walk around shooting down his unarmed victims in cold blood.

During and after this heinous attack, there were many specific acts of courage, and I want to draw special attention to two U.S. Marines: Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Maisel and Staff Sgt. Samuel Mullins.

They were outside the building when they heard gunfire and, although unarmed, they ran into the building to confront the shooter.  Their only weapon was a fire extinguisher that they had pulled off the wall as they ran toward the gunfire.  Who but the Marines?

Although they were unable to engage the shooter, they helped save many lives by performing CPR and other medical aid on the victims.

I would also like to mention the heroic acts of Navy Airman Ryan Blackwell.  The shooter shot Airman Blackwell five times, yet Ryan still managed to jump on top of a fellow sailor to keep her from being shot.  He further assisted other students and helped them escape, all while taking additional fire from the shooter.  Airman Blackwell’s heroic acts also saved countless lives that day.

We are grateful as well for the bravery of the base personnel and local law enforcement responders who initially arrived at the scene and engaged the shooter.

I would also like to address the cooperation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gave complete and total support for our counter-terrorism investigation, and ordered all Saudi trainees to fully cooperate.  This assistance was critical to helping the FBI determine whether anyone assisted the shooter in the attack.

While there was no evidence of assistance or pre-knowledge of the attack by other members of the Saudi military (or any other foreign nationals) who are training in the United States, we did learn of derogatory material possessed by 21 members of the Saudi military who are training here in the United States.

Seventeen had social media containing some jihadi or anti-American content.  However, there was no evidence of any affiliation or involvement with any terrorist activity or group.  Fifteen individuals (including some of the 17 just mentioned) had had some kind of contact with child pornography.  While one of these individuals had a significant number of such images, all the rest had one or two images, in most cases posted in a chat room by someone else or received over social media.

The relevant U.S. Attorneys offices independently reviewed each of the 21 cases involving derogatory information and determined that none of them would, in the normal course, result in federal prosecution.

However, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia determined that this material demonstrated conduct unbecoming an officer in the Saudi Royal Air Force and Royal Navy and the 21 cadets have been dis-enrolled from their training curriculum in the U.S. military and will be returning to Saudi Arabia (later today).

The Kingdom has assured me that it will review each of these cases under their code of military justice and criminal code.  The Kingdom has also agreed that we will have full access to anyone we want to interview in Saudi Arabia and any documents relevant to our investigation.  Indeed, it has already been providing documents.  Further, the Kingdom has assured us that, if we later decide to charge any of those being sent back to Saudi Arabia in connection with this counterterrorism investigation, it will return them for trial.

We appreciate Saudi Arabia’s cooperation in this case.

Finally, I want to address an issue regarding the shooter’s phones.

The shooter possessed two Apple iPhones, seen on posters here.

Within one day of the shooting, the FBI sought and received court authorization based on probable cause to search both phones in an effort to run down all leads and figure out with whom the shooter was communicating. 

During the gunfight with first responders, the shooter disengaged long enough to place one of the phones on the floor and shoot a single round into the device.  It also appears the other phone was damaged.

Our experts at the FBI crime lab were able to fix both damaged phones so they are operational.

However, both phones are engineered to make it virtually impossible to unlock them without the password.  It is very important to know with whom and about what the shooter was communicating before he died.

We have asked Apple for their help in unlocking the shooter’s iPhones.  So far Apple has not given us any substantive assistance.  This situation perfectly illustrates why it is critical that investigators be able to get access to digital evidence once they have obtained a court order based on probable cause.  We call on Apple and other technology companies to help us find a solution so that we can better protect the lives of Americans and prevent future attacks.

With that, I will turn things over to Deputy Director Bowdich.

[End]

Several aspects of Barr’s remarks are highly disturbing:

  • How likely do you really think it is that several fellow Saudi training pilots with no affiliation with the shooter just happened to be right there, ready and able to film the killings while making zero effort to intervene, later posting their video on social media? Quite the coincidence there.
  • Of the 21 Saudi trainees being tossed out of the program, were these filmers among them?
  • So we had 15 Saudi trainees at NAS Pensacola alone trafficking in kiddie porn? That seems like a bit of an epidemic, doesn’t it?
  • Seventeen of these trainees were jihadis? At a single base? This screams out for major reforms to the pre-screening process.
  • The people who run Apple are scum, plain and simple. Refusing to assist this investigation despite the existence of a court order is indefensible.

At any rate, it’s wonderful that Mr. Barr and his plodding DOJ finally got around to telling us what we knew from the beginning: that this atrocity, like so many others, was motivated by Islam. But the rest of this statement raises more questions than it provides satisfactory answers.

Just another day at the D.O.J.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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President Trump is About to get Everything he Wants in Iraq

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Go ahead, twist Trump’s arm. – The Associated Press reports today that Iraq’s prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, has formally asked the Trump Administration to begin making preparations for withdrawal of U.S. troops from that country.

From the AP story:

The request came in a telephone call Thursday night between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a statement from his office said. He also told Pompeo that recent U.S. strikes in Iraq were an unacceptable breach of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of the two countries’ security agreements.

He asked Pompeo to “send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism to carry out the parliament’s resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq,” according to the statement.

“The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements,” the statement added.

The Democrats and their toadies in the corrupt U.S. news media will no doubt attempt to portray this as some sort of blow to the Trump Administration for the simple fact that none of them have ever made any effort to really understand the President’s actual goals related to Iraq and the Middle East in general.

One more time for anyone who is still not clear on this: One of the main reasons why Donald Trump won the 2016 election was his promise – his repeated, unambiguous promise – to get the U.S. military presence out of all the various Middle East and North African conflicts into which his two immediate predecessors had entangled our country. This President – unlike those two predecessors in office – is a man who is focused on keeping his promises.

This really is not complicated at all.

So, while all the Usual Suspect warmongers in congress like Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio will scream bloody murder, along with some of the President’s top advisors, President Trump will very likely be quite pleased to grant Abdul-Mahdi’s request. The Democrats and corrupt news media who have been blasting the President as a warmonger over his completely justified killing of Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani will then turn on a dime and blast him for being naive and rash in deciding to end the U.S.’s 17-year military engagement in Iraq.

At the end of the day, the President stands to achieve every one of his goals related to both Iraq and Iran in just a couple of short weeks, and also to set the stage for a full withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from America’s 18-year engagement in Afghanistan and 5-year engagement in Syria.

This is what Donald Trump was elected to do. It’s amazing how utterly incapable his opponents and critics are of learning that simple reality.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Mike Lee and Rand Paul Should be Ashamed of Themselves

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Tired of all this WINNING yet? – Gosh, it’s been like four trading days since we were able to celebrate the setting of new record highs on the various stock market indexes. Oh, hey, that’s because it has been all of four trading days since that happened. But on Wednesday that happened yet again, with both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 closing at record high levels. The Dow closed slightly below its all-time record due only to weakness at Boeing after one of its planes flown by Ukrainian Airlines was shot down shortly after taking off from Tehran. The Dow’s futures, however, are pointing to a record-high opening later this morning.

WINNING, bigly.

Speaking of WINNING, when did Rand Paul and Mike Lee, Republican senators from Kentucky and Utah respectively, become such LOSERS? This question arose late Tuesday after these two emerged from a congressional briefing conducted by the Trump Administration’s military and national security team on the situation with Iran, whining about what they characterized as the “amateurish” nature of the briefing.

Watch as Senator Lee goes absurdly ballistic upon leaving the breifing:

This seems to be Lee’s main complaint: “They [the briefers] were asked repeatedly, what, if anything, would trigger the need for the Administration to come back to congress for a declaration of war or the authorization of the use of military force? At one point I think one of the briefers said something along the lines of ‘I’m sure we could think of something.’ But they struggled to identify anything….They were asked a number of hypotheticals about situations in which they might have to appropriately have to come to ask for authorization from congress. Not once did they say yes.”

Oh, ok. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and several other Republicans present for the same briefing completely debunked Lee’s statement, but let’s deal with that in more detail in a bit.

Before we do that, listen to Sen. Paul’s complaint as aired with the despicable Wolf Blitzer at CNN:

“No specific information given to us of a specific attack, uh, generalities, stuff you read in a newspaper was given to us. I didn’t learn anything in the hearing that I hadn’t seen in a newspaper already, and none of it was overwhelming that ‘x’ was going to happen. I’m not saying that, uh – the world being rid of Soleimani is probably a good thing. But in the end, how we go about it and the ramifications of it are very important. I think it’s made it much more difficult to have engagement or any kind of diplomacy with Iran. I doubt they’ll be coming to the negotiating table anytime soon.”

This is what happens when you get libertarian ideologues pretending to be Republicans. It is frankly stunning that someone as normally savvy as Rand Paul could witness the cowardly standing down by the Iranian Mullahs that has taken place since the completely justified killing of one of the worlds most deadly Islamic terrorist leaders and be so naive as to think it makes them LESS likely to want to negotiate. He is his father’s son at the end of the day.

It is also truly despicable for Paul and Lee to complain about the Administration briefers dealing in generalities and refusing to speculate about what Lee refers to as “hypotheticals.” Oh, golly, why might that be their behavior in a room filled with seditious Democrats?

Obviously, any classified details the Administration officials might have revealed during this briefing would have ended up being aired by Blitzer or someone else at CNN before the briefing had ended. Both Senators Paul and Lee know this reality full well.

And Lee also well knows that any concession by anyone in the Administration about any single hypothetical tossed at them might require President Trump to seek congressional approval would immediately become just another Democrat/media narrative that would attempt to tie the Administration’s hands against taking any further unilateral action whatsoever as it relates to Iran.

This was despicable, shameful behavior by two ostensible Republican senators who know better.

Watch as James Lankford – who no one can claim to be some flunky for President Trump – completely debunks Lee’s claims starting at the 1:22 mark:

“Yeah, it has been very interesting. I’ve seen some of my colleagues come out and make comments like that. In fact, one of my colleagues stepped out and said the whole group was doing a briefing with us and when the questions got hard that they left and they ran off. That was absolutely, positively false. That did not occur. They weren’t running away. We started at 2:30 and we finished at 4:00 because they had meetings in the White House.”

Enough. Have a good day.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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WATCH/READ: President Trump’s Pitch-Perfect Speech on Iran

Today’s Campaign Update, Part III
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

If America had anything resembling an honest, real media establishment, President Donald Trump’s speech on Iran today would be roundly hailed as one of the greatest, most pitch-perfect presidential addresses in modern times. – But of course, what we actually have in America is an utterly corrupt media establishment that is all-consumed with Trump Derangement Syndrome. Thus, all the hacks will do is parrot the approved talking points provided to them by the Democrat/media/Deep State Axis of Disinformation.

So, as courtesy to the thousands of loyal readers who have given the Campaign Update its three greatest months ever since October, here follows a video of the full speech, followed by a complete and unfiltered transcript of the President’s remarks. First, the video [Note: The Speech begins at the 56 minute mark of this video.]:

Full Transcript of the President’s Remarks [emphasis added]:

As long as I am President of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon.

Good morning. I’m pleased to inform you: The American people should be extremely grateful and happy that no Americans were harmed in last night’s attack by the Iranian regime. We suffered no casualties, all of our soldiers are safe, and only minimal damage was sustained at our military bases. Our great American forces are prepared for anything. Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned and a very good thing for the world.

No American or Iraqi lives were lost because of the precautions taken, the dispersal of forces, and an early warning system that worked very well. I salute the incredible skill and courage of America’s men and women in uniform.

For far too long — all the way back to 1979, to be exact — nations have tolerated Iran’s destructive and destabilizing behavior in the Middle East and beyond. Those days are over. Iran has been the leading sponsor of terrorism, and their pursuit of nuclear weapons threatens the civilized world. We will never let that happen.

Last week, we took decisive action to stop a ruthless terrorist from threatening American lives. At my direction, the United States military eliminated the world’s top terrorist, Qasem Soleimani. As the head of the Quds Force, Soleimani was personally responsible for some of the absolutely worst atrocities.

He trained terrorist armies, including Hezbollah, launching terrorist strikes against civilian targets. He fueled bloody civil wars all across the region. He viciously wounded and murdered thousands of U.S. troops, including the planting of roadside bombs that maim and dismember their victims.

Soleimani directed the recent attacks on U.S. personnel in Iraq that badly wounded four service members and killed one American, and he orchestrated the violent assault on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. In recent days, he was planning new attacks on American targets, but we stopped him.

Soleimani’s hands were drenched in both American and Iranian blood. He should have been terminated long ago. By removing Soleimani, we have sent a powerful message to terrorists: If you value your own life, you will not threaten the lives of our people.

As we continue to evaluate options in response to Iranian aggression, the United States will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime. These powerful sanctions will remain until Iran changes its behavior.

In recent months alone, Iran has seized ships in international waters, fired an unprovoked strike on Saudi Arabia, and shot down two U.S. drones.

Iran’s hostilities substantially increased after the foolish Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2013, and they were given $150 billion, not to mention $1.8 billion in cash. Instead of saying “thank you” to the United States, they chanted “death to America.” In fact, they chanted “death to America” the day the agreement was signed.

Then, Iran went on a terror spree, funded by the money from the deal, and created hell in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration. The regime also greatly tightened the reins on their own country, even recently killing 1,500 people at the many protests that are taking place all throughout Iran.

The very defective JCPOA expires shortly anyway, and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout. Iran must abandon its nuclear ambitions and end its support for terrorism. The time has come for the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, and China to recognize this reality.

They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal -– or JCPOA –- and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place. We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country.

Peace and stability cannot prevail in the Middle East as long as Iran continues to foment violence, unrest, hatred, and war. The civilized world must send a clear and unified message to the Iranian regime: Your campaign of terror, murder, mayhem will not be tolerated any longer. It will not be allowed to go forward.

Today, I am going to ask NATO to become much more involved in the Middle East process. Over the last three years, under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence. These historic accompliments [accomplishments] changed our strategic priorities. These are accomplishments that nobody thought were possible. And options in the Middle East became available. We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil.

The American military has been completely rebuilt under my administration, at a cost of $2.5 trillion. U.S. Armed Forces are stronger than ever before. Our missiles are big, powerful, accurate, lethal, and fast. Under construction are many hypersonic missiles.

The fact that we have this great military and equipment, however, does not mean we have to use it. We do not want to use it. American strength, both military and economic, is the best deterrent.

Three months ago, after destroying 100 percent of ISIS and its territorial caliphate, we killed the savage leader of ISIS, al-Baghdadi, who was responsible for so much death, including the mass beheadings of Christians, Muslims, and all who stood in his way. He was a monster. Al-Baghdadi was trying again to rebuild the ISIS caliphate, and failed.

Tens of thousands of ISIS fighters have been killed or captured during my administration. ISIS is a natural enemy of Iran. The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran, and we should work together on this and other shared priorities.

Finally, to the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future — one that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.

I want to thank you, and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.

[End]

 

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Iran Lobs Missiles As Democrats And Corrupt Media Cheer Them On

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

So, what actually happened last night? – Not much, other than open sedition and disgrace from the Democrat/media/Deep State Axis of disinformation.

When news broke that Iran was lobbing missiles from its soil at a pair of Iraqi military bases where U.S. and coalition forces were stationed, Democrats and media figures immediately started their own cheering section for the Iranian Mullahs on Twitter. MSNBC’s Larry O’Donnell kicked things off with this little gem, openly urging the Mullahs to take revenge on the bad Orange Man in the White House:

San Fran Nan Pelosi, the ostensible Speaker of the House, did her own version of “Down the Field, Big Team, Down the Field” for the Mullahs with this tweet, blaming everything on the Orange Man:

Even Tulsi Gabbard, an active reservist who should know better, made a statement blaming everything that’s ever happened vis a vis Iran on the bad Orange Man. Pathetic.

Pelosi’s statement that she was “closely monitoring” the situation was a lie. In fact, she was partying at the opening of a new D.C. restaurant as the situation in Iraq was unfolding, as an enterprising attendee posted a picture of her yucking it up with her fellow party-goers and posted it on Twitter:

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No wonder those articles of impeachment she’s been holding onto for weeks smell like vodka and mothballs.

The nation’s Unfrozen Caveman Senator, Quid Pro Joe Biden, was as discombobulated as always, twice confusing the nation of Iran with Iraq. The fawning corrupt reporters present attributed the latest evidence of Biden’s creeping dementia to a simple “misspeak”, because of course they did.

Meanwhile, over at CNN, it was business as usual:

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Thankfully, whether due to poor aim of the Iranian military or by intention, no U.S. or Coalition personnel were killed in the missile attacks. As one friend emailed me this morning: “Iran named this attack after General Soleimani…that’s why it was scattered all over the desert, not hurting anyone.”

The lack of U.S. casualties, however, did not prevent the despicable hacks at MSNBC from giving airtime to Iranian propaganda claiming the attacks had killed 30 U.S. military personnel. As reported by the Daily Caller:

MSNBC host Chris Matthews brought in NBC News Tehran bureau chief Ali Arouzi, who repeated the Iranian claims to MSNBC’s national audience.

“We’ve just getting reports now that a second wave of rocket attacks have been launched from Iran. The IRGC was saying that Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of this country, was in the control center coordinating these attacks. This is, uh, this bit I’m not sure about,” Arouzi said, before sharing the unverified propaganda claims, “but Iran state media is claiming that 30 U.S. soldiers have been killed in this attack. Now, this is not confirmed, this is just coming from Iranian media, but we have just stepped over the precipice, Chris.”

The only “precipice” that had been stepped over was MSNBC’s stepping over the precipice into rank sedition and fake news.

Senator Marco Rubio summed things up like this early Wednesday morning:

President Trump, showing the restraint towards Iran’s constant provocations that he has demonstrated throughout his presidency, actually did closely monitor the situation throughout the evening. Despite wild media reports variously claiming that he had scrambled stealth fighters out of the UAE and ordered nuclear-warhead-armed B-52s to prepare for takeoff, the U.S. held its massive fire and allowed the situation to fully play itself out.

Earlier on Tuesday, during a press availability at the White House, President Trump summed up the decision to take out Soleimani in his own unique way:

The President will make a statement to the nation later this morning, laying out the details from the U.S. point of view, and discussing his next steps moving forward. If he were the hothead know-nothing the seditious U.S. media portrays him to be, hell would already be raining down all over the Middle East.

Be thankful he’s your President, and not the actual hothead who openly celebrated the “successful” Obama Administration plan to throw the entire nation of Libya into 19th century turmoil, a state it remains in to this day.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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READ: the U.S. Army Letter Notifying Iraq of Coalition Withdrawal – UPDATED

Today’s Campaign Update, Part III
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Today, President Donald Trump called the Iraqi government’s bluff, authorizing the commanding general of joint coalition forces in Iraq to send a formal letter to the Iraqi commanding officer notifying him of pending operations for coalition forces to depart from Iraq. This comes in the wake of the vote of the Iraqi parliament over the weekend to demand U.S. forces leave the region.

Here is a photo of the letter that is circulating on social media:

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Text:

sLTG Abu Amir
Deputy Director, Combined Joint Operations,Baghdad
Iraq-Ministry of Defense

 

Sir: In due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi parliament and Prime Minister, CTJF-OIR will be repositioning forces over the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement.

In order to conduct this task, Coalition Forces are required to take certain measures to ensure that the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner.

During this time, there will be an increase in helicopter travel in and around the International Zone (IZ) of Baghdad. This increased traffic will include CH-47, UH-60 and AH-64 security escort helicopters.

Coalition forces will take appropriate measures to minimize and mitigate the disturbance to the public. In addition, we will conduct these operations during hours of darkness to help alleviate any perception that we may be bringing more coalition forces into the IZ.

As we begin implementing this next phase of operations, I want to reiterate the value of our friendship and partnership. We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure.

Very respectfully,

 

WILLIAM H. SEELY, III
Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commanding General, TF-Iraq

[End]

As we have repeatedly pointed out here at the Campaign Update, one of the main reasons why Donald J. Trump was elected to the presidency in 2016 was his promise to get U.S. armed forces personnel out of the myriad interminable Middle East conflicts into which his predecessors in office had gotten our country entangled.

Trump’s basic message during the campaign was that these wars between various Islamic countries and factions have been going on for eons, and nothing the U.S. can do – no amount of treasure or lives sacrificed – will end that reality. So, let the Islamic states in the region fight it out amongst themselves, and focus U.S. military efforts in the Middle East on protecting our assets and few real allies there – Israel and Saudi Arabia, mainly.

The Iraqi parliament’s demand over the weekend, whether serious or not, plays directly into the President’s hands in this regard.

It is also key to note that this strategic gambit would not be possible were it not for the fact that the U.S. today enjoys a much higher level of energy security than it did during past presidencies, thanks mainly to the shale oil and gas revolution that has taken place here over the past decade. The U.S. is not completely energy “independent” and probably never will be, but our country today has very little compelling national interest in risking American lives and treasure to keep the oil spigots in countries like Iran and Iraq open.

So, this letter from Brig. General Seely now puts the ball squarely back in the Iraqi government’s court. President Trump has basically said, hey, if you want to become a client state of the mullahs in Iran, go for it.

It will be interesting to see how Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi responds.

UPDATE: Well, maybe it’s not quite goodbye after all. Here is an official Pentagon statement on the matter:

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Dilley earlier stated that the letter is real, but the version released on social media is a “draft” that should not have gotten out. Prior to that Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the letter was not real.

Did someone just get caught in a mole hunt?

I will update this story if the official version keeps changing.

 

That is all. For now.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Democrat/Media Soleimani Narrative is an Epic Failure

Today’s Campaign Update, Part II
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

It’s all so predictable and tiresome, but exactly what we should expect from these people. – The Democrats and their corrupt toadies in the nation’s fake news media are pushing a ridiculous narrative in the wake of President Trump’s order to take out Iranian Revolutionary Guard terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani with a drone strike at the Baghdad International Airport. It is a narrative that is doomed to become an epic fail.

The narrative basically goes like this: President Trump should have consulted congressional leaders in advance of taking any action. His failure to do so creates a constitutional crisis and may be a “war crime.” He also must provide a more specific, detailed public explanation for the reasons why he decided Soleimani had to be taken out, including the public revelation of the intelligence information relied upon. The detestable hack Chris Wallace is in fact pushing this very narrative on Fox News Sunday in his interview with Sec. State Mike Pompeo as this piece is being written.

All of which is just another steaming pile of smelly horse manure brought to you by your friends at the Democrat/media/Deep State Axis of Disinformation.

First, on the question of some presidential “obligation” to notify congressional leaders in advance of a drone strike on Islamic terrorists: That all went out the window when the Democrat Party’s leaders clearly began to demonstrate they have a higher loyalty to the terrorist than they do to our country. Let’s all remember this from May, 2018:

Remember? Former Obama Secretary of State John Kerry spent days in Paris meeting with Iranian leaders, advising them on ways to thwart President Trump and his official U.S. foreign policy. And Kerry is far from the only Democrat who has been engaged in this kind of subversive activity during the Trump Administration.

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President Trump, in this instance, actually had an obligation to U.S. national security NOT to inform any Democrat in advance of taking this action for the simple fact that he knows without any doubt that no Democrat in Washington can be trusted any longer with U.S. national security secrets. He knows that within 5 minutes of informing a Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi of a pending action, that information would have appeared on CNN or at the New York Times or Washington Post websites.

Yes, presidents in the past – you know, back when Democrat leaders were actually loyal Americans – have traditionally tried to inform congressional leaders of both parties in advance of significant military actions, but there is simply no governing legal authority mandating that he do so. As we noted here a few days ago, Barack Obama his own self authorized hundreds, if not thousands, of drone strikes on terrorist targets during his eight years in office without notifying anyone in congress, and no Democrat ever expressed any concern about it.

For the very same reasons mentioned above, if President Trump’s action was a “war crime,” then what of Obama? What about George W. Bush and Bill Clinton? Sorry, Dems, that cat don’t flush.

Then there this contention about the President having some obligation to offer a more detailed explanation of the reasons behind the strike on Soleimani, including the somewhat stunning contention that he must release the highly-classified intelligence information he relied upon in making his decision. This from the same political party that still refuses to release the transcripts of all of its Soviet-style impeachment witness interrogations, mind you.

The Administration, through Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the President himself, has already laid out its reasons for taking action in general terms. More specific, detailed information about Soleimani and his myriad terrorist actions over the past few decades can be found in the guest piece published here Sunday morning (Quassem Soleimani, the IRGC, and why the “General” had to die).

Obviously, the President has zero obligation to the Democrats or anyone else to publish highly-classified intelligence information that would without any doubt at all put U.S. or Israeli intelligence sources in severe danger (which may actually be the goal behind these Democrat requests). But Texas Congressman Dan Crenshaw, himself a veteran of several tours in the Middle East as a Navy Seal, may have handled it better than anyone in response to a tweet by the despicable Democrat clown Eric Swalwell:

Oof.

Note that Swalwell also demands that the President inform the public – and thus the Islamic terrorists who run Iran – in advance of his “concrete plan for dealing with its [turning Soleimani into a fine, pink mist] consequences.”

Yeah, that’s just stupid, dude. Not happening.

Bottom line: The Democrat/media/deep state Axis of Disinformation is pushing a stupid, shameful, epic failure of a narrative in the wake of a killing that any American with functioning synapses in their cranium will continue to celebrate.

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Losers, all of them.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

Qassem Soleimani, the IRGC, and why the “General” had to die

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

[Note: I received the following insights over the weekend from the same veteran who has contributed here previously. It is fairly long, but well worth the read if you want to really understand why Soleimani’s killing was not only justified, but essentially mandatory for any U.S. President interested in doing his job properly.  I have added some bolding for emphasis.]

From: A Veteran with 20+ years of service, a Naval Aviator who flew combat missions in Iraq, and had 15+ years in counter-terrorism.  Also served as a flight instructor at NAS Pensacola. 

Over the past several days, I’ve watched the Network News and various news outlets struggle with the reporting on the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani (IRCG, Quds Commander).  While it has been infuriating watching Democrats from the media through presidential candidates lament the death of the world’s leading terrorist, much of that is born of ignorance to the region and simply not knowing who Qassem Soleimani was or what he was responsible for.

Some CRITICAL background information needed to understand what is going on with regard this termination.

All middle east discussions have to start with viewing of conflicts based not on borders or nations, but primarily as Sunni or Shia.  If you have 9 minutes to start an understanding on middle-east issues, the video linked here is a must-watch

If you don’t have 9 minutes, the Cliff’s notes are thus:

After Muhammad died, Islam split based on who they thought should rule.  Sunni Muslims thought that direct descendants of Muhammad should rule the Islamic World.  Shiite (Shia) Muslims think that Islam should be led by Clerics.  Much in the way that Christianity fought centuries of wars from the middle of the 1400’s with the Hussite Rebellion in the Czech Republic (the first sparks of Protestantism) through the 30 years war (ending in 1648) against itself…Islam has never had an equivalent of the Peace of Westphalia, and the rival sects have killed millions of each other in Allah’s name over the centuries. Islamic Empires (and now nations) have very rarely fought a secular war.  It is either Jihad for expansion  (the last one of those ended Sept 11th, 1683 in Vienna) or against Israel (the Great Satan), or an effort to impose their brand of Islam on others.

When applying the Sunni/Shia split to Iran, that nation is virtually exclusive Shia, as reflected in their Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.  The first portion of that name, “Ali” is a title that infers his position as the head of Shiite Islam.  While Iran has an elected President and other houses of Government, as an Islamic Theocracy, Ali Khamenei’s position supersedes all elected officials, and he is also the head cleric of a large portion of the Islamic world.

This religious position is critical for Iranian influence around the world, as Shia Muslims outside of Iran will typically have primary allegiance to Ali over any local government.  Additionally, the punishments for denial of this authority are well beyond a fine or prison time.  Refusal to submit to the authority of Ali is often punished as apostasy which carries the penalty of death.  Briefly imagine the complexities of being an Iraqi Police Commander and your force is a mix of Sunni and Shia police officers.

So, what is the IRGC, and the Quds Force, and why did Qassem Soleimani need to die?

Just as we have covered that Iran has a secular style of government and a religious government, it also has parallel military forces.  Iran maintains a “regular” Army, Navy, and Air Force that are organized along standard structures.  Parallel to these forces, Iran also maintains the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) which follows only the orders of Ali Khamenei.  The IRGC’s mission is essentially in its name: It Guards the Revolution, and that revolution was to make Shia Islam the ruling force of Iran (when the Shah was deposed) and spread that influence across the globe.

The IRGC has components that mirror Army, Navy, Special Forces, and Intelligence structures.  When you hear talking heads on TV say things like “Iran is behind this” or “Iranian backed rebels,” they are talking about influence that is exported via the IRGC, specifically the Quds force which was led by Qassem Soleimani.

When Americans think of famous terrorists, the first to come to mind is Usama Bin Laden.  While UBL’s name came to prominence after the September 11th attacks until his ultimate demise, the reach and resources of Al Qaeda paled in comparison to what Iran has done over the past 40+ years.

Over the last two decades, every terrorist action or Shiite Rebel Campaign has come at the direction of Qassem Soleimani.

There has been the data point that Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of 603 American troops in Iraq. While this is true, it is an incredibly small line item in the overall bill that we owed Soleimani as that number was due to a specific munition that was traced to Iran and the IRGC.

The broader truth is that Iran used the IRGC Quds force as their focal point for exerting Shia influence in Iraq since the U.S. removal of Saddam Hussein.  10+ years of insurgency and interference with the best chance Democracy has ever had in the middle east were led by Qassem Soleimani.  Oh, and all of the conflicts in Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Gaza are his responsibility as well.

To understand just how important Qassem Soleimani is, consider that his responsibilities are essentially the same as our: Head of CIA, Head of Secret Service, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and 4 Star SOCOM Commander.  An absurd claim by the media was that Soleimani was our “ally against ISIS”.  It is true that Shia militias backed by the IRGC fought against ISIS (which was Sunni).  At no point did the United States ever ally ourselves with the IRGC or Qassem Soleimani.  The better analogy is that Iran is Shia version of ISIS, they just have control of a nation and international standing (by virtue of their revolution, allowed by Jimmy Carter) and ISIS’ territory and government never gained international recognition…and Trump crushed ISIS.

Why did he have to die?

This is the question that the mainstream media has been tripping over themselves in failed attempts to answer.

His record of deploying weapons to insurgents to use against US Troops is enough to warrant his death sentence for any reasonable person.  The balance of his list of war crimes and crimes against humanity should be enough to remove any doubt.

What finally got him terminated was the brazen attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad last week.  It is frankly shocking that a man in this position felt comfortable moving freely about Iraq and directing this attack personally.  It is stupefying that US Media outlets covered that attack as “mourners” marching on the embassy.  Some of them probably still believe that the attack in Benghazi was because of a youtube video.  President Trump had previously warned Iran after they shot down a drone that they would bear an extreme price if they “shot at anything American” again.

In this case, all of the diplomatic finger pointing was skipped.  There was no trial in the media or on the floor of the UN where we produced pictures of the General at the Airport and made a case to the international community.  The trial phase took place in a SCIF, and Soleimani’s sentence was delivered by the red-button of a REAPER operator watching the cross hairs on his FLIR display.  That poor pilot didn’t even get to hear the “woosh” of the weapon leaving the rail.

Iran has announced that they are going to have “Three Days of Mourning”.  I personally think that translates to “Give us 72 hours to try and figure out just how badly we have screwed up.”  I don’t have any bold predictions on how Iran will respond, if at all.

Certainly, there will be bluster.  Senator Lindsey Graham has already mentioned just how easily Iran could be put out of the Oil Business.  My friends in Naval Aviation assure me that can happen in a day.  I do not think the Iranian leadership can survive much longer if economics don’t change.

The ball is squarely in Iran’s court at this point.  President Trump made it clear that he prefers to negotiate, and this week’s actions show that he is a man of his word, and he won’t hesitate to “whack a made man”.  Iran’s regular military should be respected, but not feared.  If Iran chooses to attack a capital asset like a Navy Warship or launch missile attack against a Saudi Airbase, the response would be overwhelming.

We’ll see.

[End]

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

Open post

Watch and Read: President Trump’s Statement on Soleimani Drone Strike

Today’s Campaign Update, Part III
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Since the corrupt news media invariably insists on putting its own corrupt and false spin on any remarks made by U.S. President Donald Trump, we here at the Campaign Update have decided to perform a public service.

Here is a video clip of President Trump’s statement on the U.S. military drone strike that eliminated Soleimani, followed by a transcript of the remarks, free of any commentary whatsoever:

Here’s the Transcript:

Thank you very much and good afternoon. As President, my highest and most solemn duty is the defense of our nation and its citizens. Last night at my direction, the United States military very successfully executed a flawless precision strike that killed the number one terrorist anywhere in the world, Qassem Soleimani.

Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel, but we caught him in the act, and terminated him. Under my leadership, America’s policy is unambiguous to terrorists who harm or intend to harm any American: We will find you, we will eliminate you, we will always protect our diplomats, our military members, all Americans, and our allies.

For years, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard corps and its ruthless Quds force under Soleimani’s leadership has targeted, injured and murdered hundreds of American civilians and service men. The recent attacks on U.S. targets in Iraq, including rocket strikes that killed an American and injured four Americans very badly, as well as the violent assault on our Embassy in Baghdad, were carried out at the direction of Soleimani.

Soleimani made the death of innocent people his sick passion, contributing to terrorist plots as far away as New Delhi and London. Today we honor and remember the victims of Soleimani’s many atrocities and we take comfort in knowing that his reign of terror is over.

Soleimani has been perpetrating acts of terror to destabilize the Middle East for the last 20 years. What the United States did yesterday should have been done long ago. A lot of lives would have been saved.

Just recently, Soleimani led the brutal repression of protesters in Iran, where more than 1,000 innocent civilians were tortured and killed by their own government.  We took action last night to stop a war; we did not take action to start a war.

I have deep respect for the Iranian people. They are a remarkable people with an incredible heritage and unlimited potential. We do not seek regime change; however, the Iranian regime’s aggression in the region, including the use of proxy fighters to destabilize its neighbors, must end and it must end now.

The future belongs to the people of Iran: Those who seek peaceful co-existence and cooperation, not the terrorists and warlords who plunder their nation to finance bloodshed abroad.

The United States has the best military, by far, anywhere in the world. We have the best intelligence in the world. If Americans anywhere are threatened, we have all of those targets already fully identified and I am ready and prepared to take whatever action is necessary. That in particular refers to Iran.

Under my leadership we have destroyed the ISIS territorial Caliphate, and recently American special operations forces killed the terrorist leader known as Al Baghdadi. The world is a safer place without these monsters.

America will always pursue the interests of good people, great people, great souls, while seeking peace, harmony and friendship with all the nations of the world.

Thank you, God bless you, God bless our great military and God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

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That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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