Monday, October 23, 2017

Russian President Putin Talks About The White Race Being Under 'Attack'

WNU Editor: Russian President Putin has talked about White Christian cultural values and the need to preserve it before .... it is one of the many reasons why he is popular in Russia. It is just that it is rare to see him talk about it in such a public international forum.

Cartoon Roundup

Russia Accuses The U.S.-Led Coalition Of Bombing The Syrian City Of Raqqa "Off The Face Of The Earth"

Raqqa: US coalition 'wiped city off Earth', Russia says

Russia has accused the US-led coalition of bombing the Syrian city of Raqqa "off the face of the earth" during the fight against so-called Islamic State.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took Raqqa last week and on Sunday said they had taken Syria's largest oilfield.

Pictures suggest much of Raqqa is in ruins, and Moscow compared it to the Allied destruction of the German city of Dresden in World War Two.

The US-led coalition says it tried to minimise risks to civilians.

Russia has itself been accused of committing war crimes for its bombardment of Aleppo last year.

UN war crimes investigators said last week that there had been a "staggering loss of civilian life" in Raqqa.

Syrian activists say between 1,130 and 1,873 civilians were killed and that many of the civilian casualties were the result of the intense US-led air strikes that helped the SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias, advance.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The devastation is total .... Raqqa in ruins: Mile after mile of devastated streets and bombed out tower blocks - the aerial images that show how ISIS 'caliphate capital' has been reduced to rubble (Daily Mail).

More News On Russia Accusing The U.S. Coalition Of Bombing The Syrian City Of Raqqa "Off The Face Of The Earth"

Russia likens US coalition bombing of Raqa to WWII Dresden -- AFP
Raqqa: Russia accuses US-led coalition of 'barbaric' bombing of IS Syria stronghold -- ABC News Online
Russia: US-backed forces devastated Raqqa -- DW
Raqqa bombing was 'barbaric' - Russia -- Euronews
Russia: US-led coalition wiped Raqqa 'off the face of the earth' with bombing campaign -- The Hill
US and coalition bomb Syrian Raqqa, like Dresden was bombed in 1945 - Defense Ministry -- TASS
‘Leveled like Dresden’: Raqqa aid haste hints at cover up of ‘barbaric destruction’ – Moscow -- RT

Tweets For Today

Video Of The Day -- Here Are 10 Secrets About The Pentagon That You Didn't Know Did You Know?

Picture Of The Day

Former Chinese President Jiang Zemin attends the opening session of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China October 18, 2017. REUTERS/Jason Lee

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo gallery .... Photos of the week (Reuters).

U.S. Senators Are Demanding Answers On The U.S. Presence In Niger After Learning That There Are 1,000 Soldiers Deployed There

A combination photo of U.S. Army Special Forces Sergeant Jeremiah Johnson (L to R), U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Bryan Black, U.S. Special Forces Sgt. Dustin Wright and U.S. Special Forces Sgt. La David Johnson killed in Niger, West Africa, Oct. 4, 2017

Reuters: U.S. senators seek answers on U.S. presence in Niger after ambush

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. senators said on Sunday the White House has not been forthcoming with details about the military’s presence in Niger after the deaths of four soldiers there earlier this month and they want more answers on U.S. operations in the west African country.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer said in separate interviews that they support Republican Senator John McCain’s effort to get answers from the Pentagon on the ambush and more broadly on the U.S. fight against ISIS in Niger.

Graham and Schumer said they had been unaware of the large U.S. presence in the country and said Congress needs more information on what could become a long and open-ended involvement.

“I didn’t know there was 1,000 troops in Niger,” Graham said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “This is an endless war without boundaries and no limitation on time and geography,” he added. “You’ve got to tell us more and he [McCain] is right to say that.”

Read more ....

Update: Key US Senators Call for More Information on Niger Attack (VOA).

WNU Editor: The U.S. senators are freaking-out because of this .... Senators Stunned to Discover We Have 1,000 Troops in Niger (Daily Beast).

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Italy's Northern Regions Of Lombardy And Veneto Have Voted Overwhelmingly For More Autonomy

DW: Lombardy, Veneto - Italy's two richest regions - vote for greater autonomy

Voters in Lombardy and Veneto have overwhelmingly supported non-binding referendums seeking greater autonomy. Italy's wealthy north has long called for greater control over finances and security.

Voters in Italy's wealthy northern regions, Lombardy and Veneto, on Sunday overwhelmingly backed non-binding referendums seeking more autonomy from Rome as Italians became the latest nation to ride the wave of self-determination sweeping Western politics.

Although the vote is non-binding, the strong support gives the regions' leaders a political mandate to seek a greater say in the distribution of their own tax revenue – a long-standing gripe between prosperous northern Italy and the country's less wealthy south.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: The vote was not even close .... Over 98% of Italy's Veneto Residents Vote in Favor of Autonomy Status (Sputnik), and Over 95% of Italian Lombardy Voters in Favor of Greater Autonomy (Sputnik).

More News On Italy's Northern Regions Of Lombardy And Veneto Voting Overwhelmingly For More Autonomy

Italy's 2 richest regions claim victory in autonomy votes -- AP
Italian regions vote in favor of autonomy in shadow of Catalonia crisis -- Reuters
Italy referendums: Lombardy and Veneto 'back greater autonomy' -- BBC
Autonomy wave hits Italy, as two richest regions claim overwhelming victories in self-determination referendums -- South China Morning Post
Lombardy and Veneto seek greater autonomy -- Al Jazeera

Report: The Entire German Submarine Fleet Is Now Out Of Action

German Submarine. Wikipedia

WNU Editor: According to the AP, the entire German submarine fleet is now out of action .... Germany's entire submarine fleet is now out of action (AP). The German defense minister in an understatement has said the following .... "this is obviously not a good situation." More here .... Beached: Germany's Entire Submarine Fleet Out of Action (Sputnik).

U.S. Air Force Preparing To Put Its Nuclear Bombers Back On 24-Hour Alert For The First Time Since The Cold War

A 2014 photo of a B-52H Stratofortress based at Barksdale Air Force Base, La. U.S. Air Force / Senior Airman Christine Griffiths

Defens One: EXCLUSIVE: US Preparing to Put Nuclear Bombers Back on 24-Hour Alert

If the order comes, the B-52s will return to a ready-to-fly posture not seen since the Cold War.

BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. — The U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready alert, a status not seen since the Cold War ended in 1991.

That means the long-dormant concrete pads at the ends of this base’s 11,000-foot runway — dubbed the “Christmas tree” for their angular markings — could once again find several B-52s parked on them, laden with nuclear weapons and set to take off at a moment’s notice.

“This is yet one more step in ensuring that we’re prepared,” Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force chief of staff, said in an interview during his six-day tour of Barksdale and other U.S. Air Force bases that support the nuclear mission. “I look at it more as not planning for any specific event, but more for the reality of the global situation we find ourselves in and how we ensure we’re prepared going forward.”

Read more ....

Update #1: Air Force preparing to put nuclear-armed bombers back on 24-hour ready-to-fly alert: report (Washington Times)
Update #2: US To Put Nuclear Bombers On 24 Hour Alert: First Time In 26 Years (Zero Hedge)

WNU Editor:  Another sign on how much the global situation .... from North Korea to the turmoil in the Middle East to tensions with Russia .... has changed in the past year.

Gold Star Families Have Had To Wait 2 Months To Receive A Condolence Letter From President Trump

The Hill: Gold Star families receive condolence letters from Trump months after sons' deaths: report

At least three families of service members killed months ago said that they have now received rush-delivered condolence letters from President Trump.

The families told The Atlantic that they are now receiving letters from Trump after he faced criticism for not calling the families of fallen service members, after claiming he had done so. Many of the letters, according to The Atlantic, were sent next-day by UPS.

Timothy Eckels’ son was killed when the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker on Aug. 21, but Eckels said he didn’t receive a letter from Trump until Oct. 20 — two days into the controversy over Trump contacting the families of fallen soldiers.

“Honestly, I feel the letter is reactionary to the media storm brewing over how these things have been handled,” Eckels told The Atlantic.

Read more ....

Update: Donald Trump Is Rush-Shipping Condolences to Military Families (The Atlantic)

WNU Editor: I can understand why the President  may not be able to call all the families of loved ones who died in the service of their country .... but sending a letter that is personally signed by the President is not a big deal if casualties are low .... and casualties have been low (so far) during President Trump's Presidency. Another surprising thing about this story is that you would think that Chief of Staff John Kelly would be on top of this case .... being a Gold Star father himself. But he was not.

Former President Jimmy Carter Unleashed

Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter in their home in Plains, Ga. Credit Dustin Chambers for The New York Times

Daily Wire: Jimmy Carter Unleashed: Russians Didn't Alter Election, Obama Didn't Deliver, We Didn't Vote For Hillary

At 93, Jimmy Carter is cutting loose.

The former president sat down with The New York Times recently and chatted about all kinds of subjects. The Times decided to play up the fact that Carter — one of the worst presidents in U.S. history — would love to go over to North Korea as an envoy.

But the Times is steadily proving how out of touch it is, and how it no longer seems to actually "get" what real news is.

Here are some major highlights from the interview:

Read more ....

Update: Jimmy Carter interview: Five memorable lines (CNN)

WNU Editor: A few surprises here. Correction .... a lot of surprises here. If you are a New York Times subscriber read it here .... Jimmy Carter Lusts for a Trump Posting (Maureen Dowd, New York Times). I not .... get the abbreviated versions above in the Daily Wire and CNN.

Niger's Problem With Militants Has Been Growing For A Long Time

War-Zone/The Drive: The U.S. Military's Incident In Niger Has Been a Long Time Coming

A "light footprint," limited resources, and political complexities put American troops in Africa at increased risk.

The revelation that a private contractor took part in the efforts to rescue American service members who came under attack in Niger, which The War Zone first reported, has prompted renewed scrutiny of the U.S. military’s preparedness in the region and even viral conspiracy theories about the incident. In reality, already underscored by the infamous Benghazi incident, it highlights a long-standing set of issues and it’s a wonder such things haven’t occurred more often.

At the core of the present debate is why American soldiers in Niger had to rely primarily on air support from French forces in the area, as well as contract aircrews stationed in the country’s capital Niamey, after they came under attack from militants near the border with Mali on Oct. 4, 2017. How this all contributed to U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson ending up missing for two days afterwards before local forces found him dead remains unclear. That the combined force of U.S. and Nigerien troops reportedly rode in unarmored vehicles and had only personal weapons when they encountered more than 50 enemy fighters in trucks with machine guns and rocket propelled grenades has only served to add apparent insult to injury, though.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: This blog has been covering Niger and its militancy problem for a long time ....

Niger Has Become A Key U.S. Counter-Terrorism Partner In Africa (April 24, 2016)
Jihadists Blamed For Military Assault On A Refugee Camp In Niger That Kills 22 Soldiers (October 7, 2016)
The Growing Importance Of Niger In U.S. Anti-Terrorism Operations (April 16, 2013)
Is The Conflict In Mali Now Shifting To Niger? (April 13, 2013)
Niger Is The Latest Country To Join The U.S. War On Terror (March 26, 2013)
Islamist Militants Make Inroads In Niger (August 18, 2012).

So when President Obama deployed U.S. forces to Niger a few years ago to assist in counter-terrorism operations  .... did he make a mistake to keep a "small footprint". Upon reflection .... my answer is no. The threat was there but it was low-key, and the U.S. presence was kept at a minimum to respect what governments like Niger wanted. But here is an easy prediction. After what happened 2 weeks ago in Niger, the U.S. military presence and the support that it can get is going to change significantly in the coming weeks .... starting with the positioning of far more lethal assets in the field.

President Trump Credits Social Media And Twitter For Winning The White House

Reuters: Trump defends tweets as key to White House victory

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump defended his regular use of social media, especially Twitter, and said he may not have won the White House without it.

In an interview airing on Sunday on “Fox Business Network,” Trump says he can bypass what he labels unfair media coverage by speaking directly.

“Tweeting is like a typewriter -- when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show,” he said, according to a transcript released by the network. “I doubt I would be here if weren’t for social media, to be honest with you.”

Trump called his social media accounts on Facebook Inc (FB.O), Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Instagram “a tremendous platform.”

Read more ....

WNU Editor: President Franklin Roosevelt used radio in his fireside chats. President Kennedy was sensitive to the reach and power of television. President Trump has embraced social media, and with 41 million followers he can easily reach those who support him (and those who do not) almost immediately.

The Kim Family Have Consolidated Their Control Of North Korea

On Friday North Korea’s state-controlled media outlet KCNA transmitted footage of Kim Yo Jung touring new construction in progress at a tree nursery along with her brother Kim Jong Un. File Photo by KCNA/Yonhap

South China Morning Post: With sister’s promotion, Kim Jong-un consolidates family’s control over North Korea

Adam Cathcart writes that Kim Yo-jong can no longer be ignored by North Koreans who must shield the Kim family from plots and internal discontent.

When looking at North Korea, sometimes it is useful to tune out the Americans altogether and look at who is governing the country internally, and how they are doing it. As the instrument that built and continues to amplify the overarching personality cult of the Kims, the Korean Workers’ Party remains an important vehicle both for controlling and understanding North Korea. On October 7, the party’s Central Committee voted to elevate Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of Kim Jong-un, to the rank of alternate to the Politburo. It is a further reminder of the unique family dynamic that continues to shape the nominally socialist regime and increasingly marketised society.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: She is probably her brother's closest adviser.

If North Korea Goes Ahead With Its Threat To Do An Above-Ground Nuclear Test, This Is How It Would Go Down

Alex Lockie, Aol/Business Insider: North Korea has been threatening an aboveground nuclear detonation — here's how it could go down

* North Korea has threatened to detonate a nuclear device aboveground.
* Such a test could turn China, and the world, against it.
* The US may even strike to prevent it, but North Korea may do it anyway.

North Korea recently repeated its threat to test a nuclear device aboveground, in what would be its most dangerous and provocative move ever, unleashing a massive explosion and hale of radiation that could turn the world decisively against it.

After President Donald Trump threatened to "totally destroy" North Korea if provoked, Pyongyang responded by saying it may test "an unprecedented scale hydrogen bomb," which experts interpreted as possibly meaning a detonation of a nuclear-armed missile above the Pacific.

But regardless of what Trump says, North Korea has reasons to test aboveground.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: If North Korea wants to freak out the world .... specifically it's neighbors (China, South Korea, Japan, and Russia) .... it would be to detonate an above-ground hydrogen bomb. I can easily see the reaction right now. The leaders would be beyond upset and angry, but the public in all of these countries would be beyond livid. Complete and total sanctions by every neighboring country would be the immediate action. A naval blockade would be next. And expect the biggest arms buildup on the borders of North Korea in a manner that has not been seen for generations.

More Details Emerge On South Korea's 'Frankenmissile'

Straits Times: South Korean army reveals plan to develop 'Frankenmissile' targeting North Korea

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - South Korea's military plans to develop a "Frankenmissile" to counter North Korea's escalating missile and nuclear capabilities in a bid to overwhelm the North during the initial phase of the war.

In its report for an annual parliamentary audit by the National Assembly's Defence Committee, the army said they would develop the "Hyunmoo IV" surface-to-surface missile, powerful enough to destroy North Korea's underground military facilities and command centre.

Combined with indigenous tactical surface-to-surface missiles and Hyunmoo-class intermediate-range ballistic missiles, the advanced pre-emptive strike capability would inflict "unbearable cost" on the North by neutralising its nuclear and missile sites, as well as long-range artillery units, the army said.

Read more ....

Previous Post: A Look At South Korea's 'Frankenmissile' (September 12, 2017)

Update #1: South Korea's New 'Frankenmissile' Would Take Out North Korea's Kim Jong Un and His Nuclear Weapons (Newsweek)
Update #2: South Korea developing 'Frankenmissile' to combat North Korean nuclear threat (International Business Times)

WNU Editor: The South Koreans are going to need a lot more than a few "Frankenmissiles" to stop North Korea.

U.S.-Backed Forces Have Seized Syria's Largest Oil Fields From The Islamic State

A road sign welcomes people to the town of Deir al-Zor in Syria September 20, 2017. Picture taken September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki

FOX News: Syria's largest oil field seized from ISIS by US-backed forces

Syria's largest oil field was seized from the Islamic State terror group on Sunday by the U.S.-led coalition, dealing another blow to the extremist group after the loss of its de-facto capital last week.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forced, with air support from the U.S.-led coalition, said it captured the Al-Omar field in a "swift and wide military operation," adding that some militants have taken cover in oil company houses nearby, where clashes are underway.

Read more ....

More News On Reports That U.S.-Backed Forces Have Seized Syria's Largest Oil Fields From The Islamic State

U.S.-backed militias seize key oil field in east Syria: SDF -- Reuters
U.S.-allied force captures Syria's largest oil field from ISIS -- CBS/AP
US-backed forces seize major Syria oilfield -- AFP
US-backed SDF captures Syria's largest oil field from 'Islamic State' -- DW
US-backed forces claim capturing 1 of Syria's largest oil fields -- Xinhua
Syrian Democratic Forces Recapture Oil Field in Deir ez-Zor Province -- Sputnik