Greece has actually stated it intends to go to war with Turkey over Turkish moves to take oil from Greek waters. There are a few revelations in this briefing with retired CIA Chief of Station, Brad Johnson.
(This was edited and posted very late last night, hence “Bard” instead of Brad.)
(This is not the first time that India-Pakistan jingoism has reached the nuclear threat level. This doesn’t mean its not serious, but it doesn’t mean you should spend all your savings on iodine tablets either.)
SRINAGAR, India (Reuters) – Indian security forces injured at least six people on Saturday in Srinagar, the main city in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, as several protests broke out against New Delhi’s revocation of the region’s autonomy last week.
In New York, the U.N. Security Council held its first meeting in almost 50 years on Kashmir, a majority Muslim region claimed by both India and Pakistan – which controls its western third. However, China, which also controls a small part of Kashmir, failed to secure a Council statement.
Two police officials and eyewitnesses said clashes had begun on Friday evening.
Some city residents said they had been assaulted or verbally abused and that security forces had caused damage as they raided homes after stone-throwing incidents in the past two days.
Trump on the Saudi oil tankers that were allegedly sabotaged: “We’ll see what happens. It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens, I can tell you that. They’re not going to be happy. They are not going to be happy people.” pic.twitter.com/mgtBiQkXGI
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) May 13, 2019
The damage to the Andrea Victory looks about 11 feet or 3.4 meters across. pic.twitter.com/vlEde7x8ww
— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) May 13, 2019
Look for a special edition of Barry Webb’s weekly interview series tonight on Iran, as understood from Arabic press.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
I haven’t seen an all-caps tweet from the president before. If I were Rouhani, I’d move my family out of Tehran — just to be on the safe side.
President Trump is likely responding to this:
This VICE clip is interesting on a couple of levels. Somewhat at face value. But I can’t help but wonder why VICE would be invited to North Korea after the exceptional and important documentary they did on VICE guide to Travel about North Korea, where they broke all kinds of local laws and showed the regime for what it really was.
Of course, that was when Vice was amazing and courageous, and before they took a hard hard lurch to the left.
Perhaps the new slant on things makes it acceptable to the Kim Jong dynasty despite its previous libertarian bent.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis warned North Korea to stop its missile tests and nuclear program or face devastation.
“The DPRK must choose to stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Mattis said in a statement, referring to North Korea. “The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.”
A grim milestone appears to be passing, as both U.S. and Japanese intelligence analysts believe North Korea has developed the technology to miniaturize nuclear warheads and fit them inside long-range missiles, years ahead of schedule.
Japan’s annual defense review, released on Tuesday morning, described the threat from North Korea’s nuclear missile program as “acute.”
“It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons and has acquired nuclear warheads,” the white paper warned. “Since last year, when it forcibly implemented two nuclear tests and more than 20 ballistic missile launches, the security threats have entered a new stage.”
New York Post:
North Korea is mulling a possible missile strike on Guam, where strategic US bombers and countless soldiers are based.
The Hermit Kingdom’s official news agency announced early Wednesday local time that the nation was “carefully examining” plans for a medium-to-long range rocket attack.
Their statement came just hours after President Trump threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on the North “like the world has never seen.”
His warning was in response to reports that Pyongyang had developed a nuclear warhead capable of fitting inside its ballistic missiles.
Guam — which is known as the “Tip of the Spear — is home to thousands of American service members and their families.
North Korea’s state-run news agency, KCNA, said Tuesday that the government was looking at an “operational plan” that would send numerous medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic missiles towards the US-owned Pacific island to counteract the bombers that are positioned there and “send a serious warning signal to the US.”
(I suddenly understand Obama’s policies of “Strategic patience”. If he waited long enough and did nothing North Korea and Iran will destroy the USA for him)
The debate on this will be endless. I suspect we all know what he means, and I suspect we all know what he expects. The Saudis better pay attention. They have 4 years less a few months to make it happen. For the moment, they seem happy as hell to have a man in the White House who is not an Iranian proxy as they see it. But they seem to be having the riot act read to them.
3. That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires. And it means standing together against the murder of innocent Muslims, the oppression of women, the persecution of Jews and the slaughter of Christians.
Most of the speech used vague, relative terms like “terrorism” and “extremism.” The focus was almost entirely on ISIS and Iran. But then came this paragraph. President Trump identified the enemy not just as Islamist terrorist groups, but the Islamist extremism foundation necessary for those groups to manifest.
Of special note is the line about “persecution of Jews.” This was not stated with some moral equivalence about how Israel shares blame for stifling the nationalist aspirations of Palestinians. No, Trump identified anti-Semitism as a central problem outside of the context of Israel. That omission is powerful.
The identification of the enemy as Islamist extremism is refreshing, but as Dr. Daniel Pipes points out, “one statement does not a policy make.” Even Obama uttered the word “jihadist” on a few rare occasions.
The framing of the enemy as Islamism should have been the focal point of the speech, rather than waiting until the middle and the end to use the term. What should have followed was a strategy, with the sticks and carrots, to uproot the sustainers of the ideology so it dissipates into history. A question is left hanging, “Now what? What changes?”
This appears to be a video of the whole speech:
Although I have not seen it all yet, I look forward to comparing it to Obama’s Cairo speech, of which I did an analysis some years ago.
It appears that North Korea has launched a missile which traveled between 600 and 700 miles, landing in the Sea of Japan. Below, a series of videos and reports that seem to be phase 1 of the “fog of war”.
At this link there is an interview with the PM of Japan, Shinzo Abe, which I cannot find on YT. He doesn’t say much outside of the usual language of the UN, protest strongly, “will send a very angry letter” but does refer to a meeting of the UN. security council.
CNN’s muffled report:
This Oz report seems to contain clearer uncertainty, free of CNN speculations. It also has some classic North Korean 1960s looking news reports of the launch.
New and more information will be added to this post throughout the day. Please leave links to decent info under this post.
Thank you Richard, NorseRadish, M., and all.
(Israel also claimed their intel showed the attack was Syrian government forces)
France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday that the chemical analysis of samples taken from a deadly sarin gas attack in Syria earlier this month “bears the signature” of President Bashar Assad’s government and shows it was responsible for the deadly assault.
According to Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, France came to this conclusion after comparing samples from a sarin attack in Syria from 2013 that matched the new ones. The findings came in a 6-page report published Wednesday.
The Kremlin promptly denounced the French report, saying the samples and the fact the nerve agent was used are not enough to prove who was behind it. Assad has repeatedly denied that his forces used chemical weapons and claimed that myriad evidence of a poison gas attack is made up.
SEOUL (Reuters) – The U.S. military started moving parts of an anti-missile defense system to a deployment site in South Korea on Wednesday, triggering protests from villagers and criticism from China, amid tension over North Korea’s weapons development.
The earlier-than-expected steps to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system was also denounced by the frontrunner in South Korea’s presidential election on May 9.
South Korea’s defense ministry said elements of THAAD were moved to the deployment site, on what had been a golf course, about 250 km (155 miles) south of the capital, Seoul.
“South Korea and the United States have been working to secure an early operational capability of the THAAD system in response to North Korea’s advancing nuclear and missile threat,” the ministry said in a statement.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a warning flare toward an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel coming near it in the Persian Gulf, an American official said on Wednesday, the latest tense naval encounter between the two countries.
The incident happened Monday as the vessel attempted to draw closer to the USS Mahan despite the destroyer trying to turn away from it, said Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.
Since the nuclear deal with world powers, the hard-line Revolutionary Guard has stepped up its encounters with the Americans. The Navy recorded 35 instances of what it describes as “unsafe and/or unprofessional” interactions with Iranians forces in 2016, compared to 23 in 2015. With Monday’s event, there have been seven so far in 2017, McConnaughey said.
(It is a dead cert that this number will be dwarfed by the number of Africans and muslims who entered Europe in 2016 and remain there)
The European Union’s statistical agency says European countries granted refugee status or some other protection to more than 700,000 people last year, most of them Syrians.
Eurostat said Wednesday that the 28 EU member countries gave protection to 710,400 asylum-seekers in 2016, more than double the number the previous year. It came after more than a million people entered Europe, most fleeing conflict in Syria or Iraq but some also looking for jobs.
Eurostat said that 405,600 people were Syrians, 65,800 were Iraqis and 61,800 Afghans.
More than 70 percent of the Syrians were offered protection by Germany. Sweden took in almost 45,000
(The bookies are likely tilting the odds toward the likelihood that the majority indeed are not Syrians at all, but Pakistanis, Afghans, and Maghrebis)
Thank you Richard, Xanthippa, M., and all who sent in materials for this post.
It is going to be an interesting week.