Too Late To Prevent The Spill: The Sixth Seal


WATCH: ‘The beginning of the end of NY’s nuclear power?’

Has the endgame begun for Indian Point? Sure looks that way.

Riverkeeper is fighting on every legal front to stop this dangerous, aging plant from operating, and there’s no doubt we are closing in.

Riverkeeper has raised awareness about the hazards posed by this plant – including the 2,000 tons of toxic nuclear waste that are stored onsite, on the banks of the Hudson River, with no solution in sight. Our commissioning of reports by Synapse Energy Economics helped document the availability of replacement power once the facility is decommissioned. And our attorneys wrapped up arguments that will deny Entergy, the plant’s owner, a means to renew the licenses it needs to continue operating.

Even Entergy seems to have gotten the memo. The plant’s owners are saying openly that it’s time to reach a deal with New York State about the the plant’s closure: An industry publication quotes CEO Leo Denault that Entergy “would be willing to strike a ‘constructive’ agreement with New York officials on early closure of the controversial Indian Point nuclear plant, provided that Entergy received ‘certainty’ and proper compensation for near-term operation … to meet grid reliability and environmental needs while the state pursues a major revamp of its electricity system.”

The state has already signaled its confidence that New York can do without Indian Point’s power. The state Public Service Commission ruled in November 2013 that New York can count on other sources of safe, reliable, affordable energy.

The transformation is already happening, with energy supplies and transmission lines that are in some cases built, in other cases breaking ground. The future is arriving sooner, perhaps, than Entergy thought it would.

– See more at:

Antichrist Wants American Blood (Rev 13:18)

Moqtada al Sadr and his followers in Iraq are ‘thirsty for Americans’ blood’

For the first time in years, the Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr and his militia are unleashing fiery anti-American rhetoric and threatening to attack U.S. troops.

But top U.S. military officials have downplayed his remarks, saying that for now there’s no cause for concern.

Sadr rose to prominence when his Mahdi Army battled U.S. troops after the 2003 invasion. He has quietly tolerated the comparatively small U.S. military force there now supporting the war on Islamic State extremists. But the powerful cleric became confrontational again after Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced plans on July 11 to send an additional 560 U.S. troops to Iraq, bringing the total to more than 4,600.

“They are a target for us,” Sadr said in a post on his official website on July 17.

A few days later, an official spokesman for Sadr’s militia, Alaa Abboud, echoed the threat.
“We are thirsty for Americans’ blood,” Abboud told a prominent Iraqi television news channel.
Any attacks by Sadr’s militia would fundamentally change the Pentagon’s view of its mission to defeat the Sunni-led Islamic State group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. If U.S. forces were faced with a violent enemy inside Shiite-controlled territory, where many American troops are based, the heightened risk could prompt senior commanders to rethink their strategy or bring some troops home.

China And The Pakistani Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8:8)


China will next bolster Pakistan Navy: Expert

Suhasini Haidar

“China will continue to bolster Pakistan’s military, and the navy is clearly the next phase of this,” Andrew Small, author of the “China-Pakistan axis: Asia’s new geopolitics” told The Hindu, adding the move would be driven by China’s increasing commitment to the economic corridor running from Xinjiang to Pakistan’s Gwadar port.
In October 2015, Pakistan had announced its decision to acquire eight Type 41 Yuan-class diesel-electric submarines, half of which may be built in Pakistan while the other half would be made in China and transferred.
According to Mr. Small, who visited Delhi recently, China’s $40 billion investment in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor will make a larger naval presence in the Gwadar port a necessity. However, he added there were “benefits for India” if the CPEC resulted in an “economically stable Pakistan”. “One mustn’t discount the benefits to the region too, if China is able to restrain Pakistan’s activities in Afghanistan.” Mr. Small pointed to Pakistan’s statement of support to China over the South China Sea verdict as another significant marker of the relationship, but added that concerns in India about China’s forays in the Indian Ocean were “premature.”

In stronger position

“Asia Pacific peace weighs more heavily for the Chinese leadership, intrinsically, at the moment. You have the pattern of submarines in Sri Lanka, Maldives, and in Pakistan and I think they expect to be able to expand their presence in the Indian Ocean, but they are substantially weaker there. The Indians and the Americans are in a substantially stronger position there,” Mr. Small said.
Ties between India and China have been under a strain for several reasons, including the economic corridor that India has objected to as it traverses through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. On China’s opposition to India’s Nuclear Suppliers Group membership, Mr. Small believes Beijing will continue to stick to its stand that India’s membership was contingent on a “process”. However, he added that if a process would allow India to become a member later this year and would open a door for Pakistan, it would be a “harder call” for China to hold out.

The Problems With Obama’s Iran Deal (Ezekiel 17)

By INU Staff

INU – A prominent European politician has criticised the Iran nuclear deal for numerous flaws and say that the West must not allow the mullah’s regime to flout the terms of the deal.

Struan Stevenson, the President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA), wrote an op-ed piece for The Diplomat in which he asked whether the deal would collapse under mounting tension regarding uncovered flaws.

The Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed in July 2015 and was celebrated as a foreign policy breakthrough by Western governments but a lot of the terms and conditions were secret; only now being revealed.

The Associated Press published a leaked document which showed that Iran would be able to enrich uranium again in 2026, rather than 2030 as previously reported. The regime reacted angrily claiming that the leak violated the deal and the President of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Dr. Ali Akbar Salehi said that this leak will permit Iran to enrich uranium at a higher capacity than before the agreement was made.

Ali Larijani, the speaker of the Iranian Parliament, said: “The hostile measures against the nuclear deal have reached a point where Iran was left with no choice but to confront.”

Stevenson, a former Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, wrote: “It has now become clear that the deal was quite one-sided, containing page after page of clauses relating to the lifting of sanctions, in return for which we got very little, apart from a few scant paragraphs detailing Iranian cooperation in slowing down its nuclear enrichment process for a period of up to 15 years, which we now know in fact to be much less. As far as scrutiny of the nuclear program is concerned, regular inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are limited to the Natanz site in Isfahan Province, the country’s main underground nuclear facility with over 19,000 operational centrifuges.”

He pointed out the Natanz was only revealed to the West by the opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI); Iran had been keeping it secret. If they kept Natanz secret, how can we trust that they aren’t keeping another site secret?

Stevenson, who was also President of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq and the Chair of Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup until 2014, stated: “It should be remembered that Iran entered into nuclear negotiations because, following the whistleblowing of the Iranian resistance, sanctions had crippled the Iranian economy. Nevertheless, to capitulate to almost every Iranian demand exposed a level of weakness that has been eagerly exploited by the mullahs ever since. The lifting of sanctions released an estimated $150 billion in frozen assets, providing a windfall for a regime whose biggest export is terror; a regime which funds Hezbollah in Lebanon, Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the brutal Shi’ite militias in Iraq.”

Iran’s excessive call for retaliation against the West cannot be overlooked; Russia has delivered S-300 surface-to-air missile systems to them and North Korean missile experts have visited them.
Despite drawing criticism from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launching nuclear tests in violation of the deal, Iran has not stopped. In fact, Iran threatened to tear up the nuclear pact.
Stevenson recommended that the US monitor the situation closely and adopt tough measures where necessary.

He said: “The West must not be passive when dealing with Iran’s continuous violations of the nuclear agreement and its aggressive regional interventions, terrorism, and human rights violations. It was hard-hitting sanctions that forced the mullahs to sit down to negotiate and thus we should take a tough line by imposing new sanctions for any further violations.”

New York Not Destroyed By Nuke, But By The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

At a news conference at the end of Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague on March 25, President Obama sought to put in perspective any threat to U.S. national security that Russia’s annexation of Crimea might pose.

“I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan.”

In a new book titled Overcoming Pakistan’s Nuclear Dangers (IISS Adelphi), Mark Fitzpatrick of the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London maintains that, as reported by Agence France-Press, that “the risk of a much-discussed scenario in which Islamic extremists seize nuclear weapons was exaggerated, and that the larger danger was that Pakistan-linked militants would launch a new attack inside India and trigger a devastating nuclear war.”

Even if confined to South and Central Asia, a nuclear war would have devastating consequences to the world. But, when it comes to a nuclear attack on New York, the source is much less unlikely (or marginally more likely) to be Islamist extremists than Russia.

Thus when President Obama states that he’s more concerned with a nuclear strike on Manhattan, he’s actually speaking about a Russian attack without necessarily realizing it. In the same vein, if President Putin voiced similar concerns about Moscow, the source of a nuclear attack is much less likely to be Islamist extremists than the United States. In other words, nuclear war remains the domain of the superpowers.

Russ Wellen edits the Foreign Policy in Focus blog Focal Points for the Institute of Policy Studies. A student of the metaphysics of nuclear weapons, he has written about disarmament for a variety of publications such as AlterNet, Asia Times Online, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the Journal of Psychohistory, and Truthout. Originally published in Foreign Policy in Focus under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The Shia Horns of Prophecy (Daniel 8:3)

Militant Clergy—the Future of Shia Islam?

Published on July 28th, 2016 | by Guest
by Saeid Golkar

Mohammad Aqamiri might be the first-ever Shia cleric from Iran who martyred himself in Syria after the Syrian uprising. While studying and teaching at Qom Seminary in 2013, Aqamiri enlisted in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and died defending the holy shrine in Syria.

He is not alone. Some 400 Iranians have been killed so far in Syria fighting for Bashar al-Assad and against the Islamic State (ISIS or IS). Iran has identified 18 of these as Shia clergymen. These clerics have a dual identity, claiming the status of religious leaders yet at the same time participating in and even leading a violent, religious struggle. Their militarization is a new development that threatens to further radicalize Shia Islam.

Shia Islam was once a religion of quietism. Historically, Shia clergy disagreed with coupling politics and religion. However, in 1970 Shia Islam started to become more involved in politics under the influence of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who overthrew the Pahlavi dynasty. After the Iranian revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979, clergy also became involved in the state’s bureaucratic affairs and some began to join military and security apparatuses.

In 1988, Iran’s supreme leader died, and Ali Khamenei became the new supreme leader. He was middle-ranked clergy and did not enjoy too much legitimacy among the higher-ranking clerical establishment. To compensate for this lack of legitimacy, he tried to control the seminary school system (howzeh). Shia seminary schools were traditionally independent from the state, but Khamenei tried to bureaucratize the schools and bring them under state control. He expanded the presence of clergy in the military and security establishment, mainly drawing from the younger generation of clergy. This younger generation in the seminaries is the social base of Ayatollah Khamenei, who controls the clergy and the military at the same time.

After reformists took power in 1997, Ayatollah Khamenei relied more on this group to block reform and consolidate his power and authority when challenged. Since hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took power in 2005, the power of this clergy militia has expanded, particularly among the political elite. These clergy militants are notable for their loyalty to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, and their numbers have skyrocketed since 1988. About 4,000 serve with Iran’s armed forces; no fewer than 2,000 work for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. These officers have studied at Iranian seminaries. They are known to wear clerical clothes on duty but work in security and the military. They work mainly for the armed forces’ ideological political bureaus and counter-intelligence branches to indoctrinate and oversee military personnel. Their position of influence and power can, in essence, be compared to a Communist political commissar.

Not only are these new militant clergy joining the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, another 140,000 of the 400,000 clergy and seminary students in Iran are members of the Basij, a branch of the state militia. Although a majority is lower ranked, some have advanced military and security training. The clerical Basij is mainly responsible for controlling seminary schools, but many have also become involved in military combat units set up to help the Islamic Republic suppress social or political riots and defend the regime in a possible civil war.

Since the beginning of the uprising against Assad, some of these new clerical militia have been deployed to Syria and Iraq and have joined in fighting the Salafi groups, or Sunni radicals. The phenomenon has even spread outside Iran, ensnaring some international students studying at Iranian seminaries to become clergy, particularly in the Qom and Mashad seminaries. These seminary students comprise the core of Shia militia groups in the Middle East. The examples are numerous:
Several members of the Fatemiyoun Brigade, an Afghan Shia militia allied with Assad, are Afghan seminary graduates of Al-Mustafa International University in Qom. As a clergy militia, this group has a connection with the masses and can recruit Afghan immigrants in Iran to be deployed to Syria to fight with the Assad regime. These include Ali Reza Tavassoli, also known as Abu Hamed, the late former commander of the Fatemiyoun Brigade, and his deputy, the late Reza Bakhshi, also known as Faateh. Mohammad Rezai, another Afghan member of Fatemiyoun, later killed in Syria, studied at a branch of Al-Mustafa University in Mashhad.

The Zeynabiyoun Brigade has recruited Pakistani Shia seminary students who are studying in Iran. Some have been killed inSyria and buried in Qom. At least three of seven Pakistanis killed in Syria and buried in Qom in April 2015 were students from the Al-Mustafa International University. Most of these students were native to Pakistan’s Parachinar region, a Shia area in Pakistan known for the close ties between its seminaries and Iranian seminaries and an increasing source of both male and female seminary students in Iran.

In Iraq, the Heydarian Brigade, made up of Iraqi Shia militias, includes several militant clergy members. Such clergy also belongs to other militia groups, such as the Popular Mobilization Forces, formed under Hash’d al-Sha’bi, a militia umbrella organization. Muqtada al-Sadr, leader of Saraya al-Salam and the former head of the Mahdi Army, who currently lives in Qom, is a former student of a Qom seminary school. And Qais al-Khazali, an Iraqi who is predominantly known for his departure from the Mahdi Army to form Asaib Ahl al-Haq, studied in Qom as well.

In brief, while traditional Shia clergy have stayed out of government, the militant Shia clergy have become a tool for the Islamic Republic to implement its domestic and regional policies. Due to their military and religious authority, these clerical militia are becoming more powerful and influential in seminaries than their traditional and non-political counterparts, who are more supportive of the traditional separation of Islam and politics. By undermining traditional clergy, this new wave of militant Shia clergy has the power to radicalize future followers of Shia Islam, snowballing the growth of militarized Shia clerics and perhaps even triggering a counter-militarization of Sunni clerics in response.

Saeid Golkar is a lecturer for the Middle East and North African Studies Program at Northwestern University, a visiting senior fellow for Iran policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and a consulting senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

North Korea Declares War On US

N. Korea: US has crossed red line, relations on war footing

In this May 10, 2016, photo, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un watches a parade from a balcony at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang. © (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) In this May 10, 2016, photo, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un watches a parade from a balcony at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea’s top diplomat for U.S. affairs told The Associated Press on Thursday that Washington “crossed the red line” and effectively declared war by putting leader Kim Jong Un on its list of sanctioned individuals, and said a vicious showdown could erupt if the U.S. and South Korea hold annual war games as planned next month.

Han Song Ryol, director-general of the U.S. affairs department at the North’s Foreign Ministry, said in an interview that recent U.S. actions have put the situation on the Korean Peninsula on a war footing.

The United States and South Korea regularly conduct joint military exercises south of the Demilitarized Zone, and Pyongyang typically responds to them with tough talk and threats of retaliation.

Han said North Korea believes the nature of the maneuvers has become openly aggressive because they reportedly now include training designed to prepare troops for the invasion of the North’s capital and “decapitation strikes” aimed at killing its top leadership.

Han says designating Kim himself for sanctions was the final straw.

“The Obama administration went so far to have the impudence to challenge the supreme dignity of the DPRK in order to get rid of its unfavorable position during the political and military showdown with the DPRK,” Han said, using the acronym for North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“The United States has crossed the red line in our showdown,” he said. “We regard this thrice-cursed crime as a declaration of war.”

Although North Korea had already been heavily sanctioned internationally for its nuclear weapons and long-range missile development programs, Washington’s announcement on July 6 was the first time Kim Jong Un has been personally sanctioned.

Less than a week later, Pyongyang cut off its final official means of communications with Washington — known as the New York channel. Han said Pyongyang has made it clear that everything between the two must now be dealt with under “war law.”

Kim and 10 others were put on the list of sanctioned individuals in connection with alleged human rights abuses, documented by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, that include a network of political prisons and harsh treatment of any kind of political dissent in the authoritarian state. U.S. State Department officials said the sanctions were intended in part to highlight those responsible for the abuses and to pressure lower-ranking officials to think twice before carrying them out.

Pyongyang denies abuse claims and says the U.N. report was based on fabrications gleaned from disgruntled defectors. Pointing to such things as police shootings of black Americans and poverty in even the richest democracies, it says the West has no moral high ground from which to criticize the North’s domestic political situation. It also says U.S. allies with questionable human-rights records receive less criticism.

Han took strong issue with the claim that it not the U.S. but Pyongyang’s continued development of nuclear weapons and missiles that is provoking tensions.

“Day by day, the U.S. military blackmail against the DPRK and the isolation and pressure is becoming more open,” Han said. “It is not us, it is the United States that first developed nuclear weapons, who first deployed them and who first used them against humankind. And on the issue of missiles and rockets, which are to deliver nuclear warheads and conventional weapons warheads, it is none other than the United States who first developed it and who first used it.”

He noted that U.S.-South Korea military exercises conducted this spring were unprecedented in scale, and that the U.S. has deployed the USS Mississippi and USS Ohio nuclear-powered submarines to South Korean ports, deployed the B-52 strategic bomber around South Korea and is planning to set up the world’s most advanced missile defense system, known by its acronym THAAD, in the South, a move that has also angered China.

Echoing earlier state-media reports, Han ridiculed Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea, for a flight on a U.S. Air Force F-16 based in South Korea that he said was an action “unfit for a diplomat.”

“We regard that as the act of a villain, who is a crazy person,” Han said of the July 12 flight. “All these facts show that the United States is intentionally aggravating the tensions in the Korean Peninsula.”

Han warned that Pyongyang is viewing next month’s planned U.S.-South Korea exercises in this new context and will respond if they are carried out as planned.

“Nobody can predict what kind of influence this kind of vicious confrontation between the DPRK and the United States will have upon the situation on the Korean Peninsula,” he said. “By doing these kinds of vicious and hostile acts toward the DPRK, the U.S. has already declared war against the DPRK. So it is our self-defensive right and justifiable action to respond in a very hard way.

We are all prepared for war, and we are all prepared for peace,” he said. “If the United States forces those kinds of large-scale exercises in August, then the situation caused by that will be the responsibility of the United States.”

Last year’s Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises involved 30,000 American and 50,000 South Korean troops and followed a period of heightened animosity between the rival Koreas sparked by land mine explosions that maimed two South Korean soldiers. In the end, the exercises escalated tensions and rhetoric, but concluded with no major incidents.

Han dismissed calls for Pyongyang to defuse tensions by agreeing to abandon its nuclear program.
“In the view of cause and effect, it is the U.S. that provided the cause of our possession of nuclear forces,” he said. “We never hide the fact, and we are very proud of the fact, that we have very strong nuclear deterrent forces not only to cope with the United States’ nuclear blackmail but also to neutralize the nuclear blackmail of the United States.”

Hillary the Scarlet Hawk Woman (Revelation 17)

Hillary the Hawk: A History

From Haiti to Syria, the Democratic candidate’s long record suggests she’s looking forward to being a war president on day one.


Whoever is elected on Nov. 8 will be a war president on day one, with the power and autonomy to undertake destabilizing shows of force, drone strikes, special operations raids and ever-deepening military interventions. Today, combat troop deployments are routinely made by executive branch spokespeople, decisions to back open-ended air wars in places like Yemen by “partners” like Saudi Arabia are announced via press release, and congressional oversight hearings largely boil down to legislators pleading with commanders to ask for more troops and looser rules of engagement.And much of this probably suits Hillary Clinton just fine.

Unlike Donald Trump, who has wildly shifting positions and alleged “secret” plans to defeat the Islamic State, Clinton has an extensive track record upon which one can evaluate her likely positions. By any reasonable measure, Clinton qualifies as a hawk, if a nuanced one. Though she has opposed uses of force that she believed were a bad idea, she has consistently endorsed starting new wars and expanding others.Consider seven prominent situations in which she has had to decide whether to support the use of American military force:Haiti: In 1994, Clinton opposed intervening in Haiti to reinstate the Jean-Bertrand Aristide government. As historian Taylor Branch recounted in his diary of interviews with Bill Clinton: “I asked him what Hillary thought. He said the pell-mell rush to invade was crazy to her. Reacting against the pressure, the lack of options, and his sense of being trapped, she said he was badly served by his foreign policy staff.” This was an astute judgment by the then-first lady, as the options developed by the U.S. Southern Command and Joint Chiefs were poorly conceived and often logistically impossible to carry out. Fortunately, a 25,000 U.S. troop invasion was avoided after Jimmy Carter brokered a last-minute agreement with Raoul Cédras that assured he would step down from power.

Iraq: In 2002, as a senator for New York, Clinton voted for the authorization for the use of military force in Iraq. In her accompanying floor statement, she claimed it was to ensure President George W. Bush was “in the strongest possible position to lead our country in the United Nations or in war” and to show Saddam Hussein that the country was united. After initially defending the vote, she later adjusted, variously declaring she “thought it was a vote to put inspectors back in,” it was “based on the facts and assurances that I had at the time,” and ultimately “it was a mistake to trust Bush.” Clinton also justified the 2002 vote as simply one for compelling compliance, proclaiming, “I believe in coercive diplomacy,” in a January 2008 presidential debate. Regardless of the reasons or excuses behind her vote, the Iraq War was a foreign-policy and geopolitical disaster.Pakistan: In 2007 and 2008, Clinton strongly disagreed with then-Sen. Barack Obama about striking al Qaeda targets inside of Pakistan. Obama called such attacks “just common sense” if there were “actionable intelligence.” Clinton referred to the 1998 cruise missile strikes in Afghanistan that failed to kill Osama bin Laden and warned that “we have to be very conscious of all the consequences,” particularly anything that would destabilize Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Obama would go on to authorize 407 drone strikes in Pakistan, killing 3,089 people. Nearly 300 of these occurred while Clinton was secretary of state, during which time U.S. diplomats opposed only one or two of the strikes. Whatever hesitation Clinton once had in attacking militants in Pakistan vanished upon being confirmed as secretary of state.

Afghanistan: In 2009, Clinton supported three-quarters of the Afghanistan surge. When Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, requested four brigades of additional U.S. troops in the summer of 2009, Clinton endorsed deploying three of them (equaling roughly 30,000 troops). Reportedly, “Clinton usually favored sending even more [troops] than [Secretary of Defense Robert] Gates did.” Obama eventually deployed 33,000 extra troops. It is hard to identify any enduring political or security gains in Afghanistan that have resulted from the surge. Moreover, more than

Libya: In 2011, Clinton was a strong proponent of regime change in Libya (as was Trump). It is forgotten today that a primary justification she offered for the U.S. military role in Libya was to pay back allies for Afghanistan. As she stated in late March 2011: “We asked our allies, our NATO allies, to go into Afghanistan with us 10 years ago. They have been there, and a lot of them have been there despite the fact they were not attacked.… When it comes to Libya, we started hearing from the U.K., France, Italy, other of our NATO allies. This was in their vital national interest.” Academic research shows that great powers enjoy freedom of action to avoid becoming dragged into wars involving allies, but the Libya regime change intervention was, unfortunately, one that the Obama administration chose to fully support, despite misleading the American people at the time that it was not the goal. Obama correctly labeled not planning for the postwar scenario his “worst mistake” and correctly described Libya as a “mess.”

Osama bin Laden: In 2011, she endorsed the Navy SEAL raid into Abbottabad, Pakistan, that killed Osama bin Laden, even while recognizing that it would likely poison diplomatic relations with Pakistan for a short time. According to Vice President Joe Biden — who opposed it — every other official (including Clinton) was “51-49” in supporting the raid. Before the news broke, Obama called Bill Clinton (who, as president, signed three covert findings authorizing bin Laden’s killing) to let him know the al Qaeda leader was finally dead. “I assume Hillary’s already told you,” Obama said to an unaware Clinton. As Hillary Clinton later wrote in her memoir: “They told me not to tell anyone, so I didn’t tell anyone. Bill later joked with me, ‘No one will ever doubt you can keep a secret!’”
Syria: In 2012, she reportedly proposed to the White House — along with CIA Director David Petraeus — a covert program (apparently larger than the one later authorized) to provide arms to vetted Syrian rebel groups fighting Bashar al-Assad’s government. Obama opposed this proposal on the grounds that there could be no guarantees of where the weapons would ultimately end up and that CIA analysts determined they would not have “materially” hastened the removal of Assad from power. It is difficult to assess the CIA-led train-and-equip program’s effectiveness, compared to larger Defense Department-led efforts, but there remains no collection of U.S.-backed rebel groups that has threatened the existence of the Assad government, which is now backed by indiscriminate Russian air power.Outside of specific interventions, Clinton also supported muscular shows of force as secretary of state. New York Times reporter Mark Landler describes a July 2010 White House debate about rerouting the USS George Washington aircraft carrier from its normal cruise into the Yellow Sea. Adm. Robert Willard, the head of U.S. Pacific Command; Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs; and Secretary of Defense Gates all agreed on this aggressive maneuver. “Clinton strongly seconded it. ‘We’ve got to run it up the gut!’ she had said to her aides a few days earlier,” Landler writes. But Obama refused the request, declaring, “I don’t call audibles with aircraft carriers.” It bears noting that determining the aggressiveness by which the United States conducts freedom of navigation operations in maritime waters claimed by China will be a consequential call for the next president.Finally, Clinton has had an unusual exposure to the military from multiple civilian positions, which may make her far better prepared to serve as commander in chief than her husband was in 1993, when he had a notoriously difficult start leading the military.
As first lady, Clinton was routinely exposed to military intervention debates among senior officials, including over Haiti, Bosnia, and Afghanistan, and later served six years on the Senate Armed Services Committee and four as secretary of state. She also has developed close relations with retired military officers like Gen. Jack Keane, who has rarely seen a country that cannot be improved with U.S. ground troops and airstrikes. As Bob Woodward wrote of a 2009 meeting between the two to discuss the Afghan surge: “Clinton greeted Keane with a bear hug, astonishing [U.S. envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard] Holbrooke because—and he should know—Hillary rarely bear-hugged anyone.”I have spoken about Clinton with a handful of military officers, then stationed in Islamabad and Kabul, who were routinely involved in video teleconferences with her as secretary of state. They all described her as being, by far, the best-prepared senior participant in meetings and having read all the memos or briefing books that were sent as preparatory material. They relayed that Clinton has an intimate understanding of military doctrine, Pentagon acronyms, and military planning principles and was not afraid to press senior commanders to clarify the “courses of action” and the intended “end state” of any given military intervention.

Should Hillary Clinton win the White House, the United States, already at war for 15 years, would be led by a president deeply aware and comfortable with the military. It’s impossible to know which national security crises she would be forced to confront, of course. But those who vote for her should know that she will approach such crises with a long track record of being generally supportive of initiating U.S. military interventions and expanding them.Photo credit: JILL M. DOUGHERTY/Getty Images

Obama Hands The Scarlet Woman The Baton

Embracing Clinton, Obama says she’ll ‘finish the job’

Gregory Korte | USA TODAY11 minutes ago

PHILADELPHIA — President Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton as the woman to finish the job he started eight years ago, calling on Americans to “reject cynicism” and elect Clinton to “show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation.”

Embracing his former rival to thunderous applause from the convention hall, Obama thus passed the Democratic party’s baton to the first woman ever nominated for president by a major American political party.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton on stage during the 2016 Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center.

“I’m here to tell you that yes, we still have more work to do,” Obama told delegates at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday, implicitly arguing for a third term for his policies by citing unfinished work on the economy, public safety and civil rights. “My time in this office hasn’t fixed everything; as much as we’ve done, there’s still so much I want to do.”

Of that unfinished work, nothing is more important than national security. And there, he argued that no candidate was more prepared than his former secretary of state and first lady to President Bill Clinton. “No one. Not me, not Bill, not nobody,” he said.

“I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed. She’ll finish the job – and she’ll do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country. She is fit to be the next commander in chief,” Obama said.

Touting Clinton’s experience and judgment, Obama’s speech was a direct rebuttal to one Trump’s most incisive attacks at last week’s Republican convention in Cleveland. Trump said Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State was marked by “death, destruction and weakness.”

“You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. Until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis or send young people to war,” Obama said. “But Hillary’s been in the room. She’s been part of those decisions.”

Acknowledging that the two were once bitter rivals for the 2008 Democratic nomination, Obama said he came to admire Clinton’s tenacity. “No matter how daunting the odds; no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.”

Obama’s enthusiastic endorsement anchored a Wednesday night lineup that also featured Vice President Biden and his would-be successor, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine. Echoing a theme throughout the convention, they all spoke of the Clinton they know personally — as opposed to the cartoon version she’s portrayed as by her Republican critics.

“She’s been caricatured by the right and by some folks on the left; accused of everything you can imagine – and some things you can’t,” Obama said. “But she knows that’s what happens when you’re under a microscope for 40 years. She knows she’s made mistakes, just like I have; just like we all do.”

“Even in the middle of crisis, she listens to people, and keeps her cool, and treats everybody with respect,” Obama said. “That’s the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president of the United States of America.

“Everybody knows she’s smart. Everybody knows she’s tough,” Biden said. “But I know what she’s passionate about. I know Hillary.”

After walking out on the Philadelphia stage to the theme from the movie Rocky, Biden urged the crowd not to boo or cheer while he delivered an indictment of Donald Trump. He said the GOP nominee’s “cynicism is unbounded” and his commitment to the middle class was “malarkey.” The crowd cheered anyway. When Biden said the billionaire Trump didn’t have a clue about the middle class, the crowd chanted, “Not a clue!”

Obama’s prime-time speech in Philadelphia capped a 12-year career in national politics as he attempts to pass the baton to the former first lady and senator from New York. Twelve years ago to the day, a then-unknown state senator from Illinois took to the convention stage in Boston to declare a “politics of hope,” laying the groundwork for his own 2008 election to the White House.

“I was so young that first time in Boston, maybe a little nervous addressing such a big crowd,” he said. “But I was filled with faith — faith in America,the generous, bighearted, hopeful country that made my story – that made all of our stories – possible.”

Obama continued that hopeful tone as he returns to the Democratic National Convention podium for the fourth time, but infused it with the themes of some of his most important speeches of his career. He spoke of building “a more perfect union” and the “audacity of hope,” and urged on the crowd as it chanted “Yes, we can!”
“The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous,” he said.

He even quoted Ronald Reagan, calling America “a shining city on a hill,” and contrasted it with Trump’s pessimism.

But Obama also acknowledged that Americans have “real anxieties” about jobs and security. “We get frustrated with political gridlock, worry about racial divisions; are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice,” he said. “There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten.”

Trump is not the answer to those anxieties, Obama said. “He’s not really a plans guy. Not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated.”

When the crowd booed, he repeated a line that’s become a staple of his stump speeches. “Don’t boo. Vote,” he said.

Baghdad Protests Are From The Antichrist

Protests in Baghdad Not Showing Will of All Iraqis: Envoy

راجح صابر عبود الموسوی
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iraq’s Ambassador to Tehran Rajeh Saber Abboud al-Mousavi slammed recent protests held in Baghdad calling for economic and political reforms, and said they do not represent the will of all Iraqi people.

“The demonstrations taking place (in Baghdad) do not indicate the will of all (Iraqi) people,”
Mousavi said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency, referring to rallies held in Baghdad and Basra.

The Iraqi diplomat went on to say that if anyone is seeking a change in the government, they should do this through elections.

On Friday, hundreds of people staged a rally in central Baghdad, demanding formation of a technocrat government and prosecution of corrupt officials, according to media reports.

Also in Basra, some 550 km to the south, dozens of protesters held a protest outside the Provincial Council building, demanding abolition of the sectarian quota system and a major campaign against corruption.

They also demanded that seven ministers who resigned recently under pressure are held accountable for the decisions they made during their terms in office.