Iran tensions: Pentagon plan to deploy 120,000 troops in case of escalation

At the direction of national security adviser John Bolton, acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan last week presented top White House national security officials with a plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event that Iran “attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons,” the New York Times reports.

Details: The plan was reportedly presented during a meeting about the Trump administration’s broader Iran policy, attended — among others — by Bolton, CIA director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. It’s unclear if President Trump has been briefed on the details of the plan, which did not call for a land invasion of Iran, but requested a similar number of troops involved the U.S.’ 2003 invasion of Iraq, per the Times.

The big picture: Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been warning of an unspecified “escalating threat” from Iran in recent weeks, after receiving intelligence from Israel about a possible Iranian plot to attack U.S. interests in the region. Trump told reporters today that he’d been “hearing little stories about Iran,” adding: “If they do anything, they will suffer greatly.”

  • Saudi Arabia on Monday announced that two Saudi tankers were damaged by an “act of sabotage” over the weekend in the Gulf, without identifying any suspects. Iran’s foreign ministry distanced itself, calling the incident “worrisome” and “regretful.”
  • Later on Monday, AP and other media outlets cited an anonymous U.S. official as saying an “initial assessment is that Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies” were responsible.

https://www.axios.com/iran-military-troops-john-bolton-1d4a714c-ea52-483f-b392-2ac2af01f423.html

Advertisements

U.S. troops found nearly 5,000 abandoned chemical weapons in Iraq from 2004 to 2011

American troops found nearly 5,000 abandoned chemical weapons in Iraq from 2004 to 2011, but their discoveries were kept secret by the U.S. government, the New York Times reports.

According to the 10,000-word, eight-part interactive report (“The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons“) by C.J. Chivers published on the paper’s website late Tuesday, at least 17 American service members and seven Iraqi police officers were exposed to nerve or mustard agents in Iraq after 2003.

On at least six occasions, American troops and American-trained Iraqi troops were wounded by the abandoned munitions, but news of the encounters was neither shared publicly nor widely circulated among the troops, the victims told the Times. Others said they were told to be vague or deceptive about what they found.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://news.yahoo.com/chemical-weapons-found-in-iraq-nyt-report-135347507.html

Trump Orders Major Afghan Drawdown: 7,000 Troops To Return Home In Coming Weeks

CNN warns “officials brace for Trump announcement on Afghanistan” after Trump’s Wednesday bombshell Syria troop pullout announcement.

He’s now initiated “a major drawdown” of forces in Afghanistan too, and while inside the beltway neocon heads might continue to explode, the broader public for which the seventeen year long Afghan war is deeply unpopular will no doubt cheer the move. And already NBC reports Thursday evening based on defense sources the White House has asked the Pentagon to draw up plans presenting “multiple options” including a “complete withdrawal”. Following the “options” order it now appears Trump has pulled the trigger and “ordered the start of a reduction of American forces in Afghanistan” according to a breaking WSJ report:

More than 7,000 American troops will begin to return home from Afghanistan in the coming weeks, a U.S. official said. The move will come as the first stage of a phased drawdown and the start of a conclusion to the 17-year war that officials say could take at least many months. There now are more than 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

U.S. soldiers in Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan, via AP

Further the WSJ reports it marks “the start of a total pullout that could take at least many months.”

The major reduction of U.S. troops in the country will begin as soon as within several weeks, according to sources cited in The Wall Street Journal. Currently there are about 14,000 troops in Afghanistan in continuation of a NATO advise, train and assist mission as part of the longest running war in United States history.

Trump reportedly stoked “anger and confusion” among some lawmakers and Pentagon officials over his Syria pullout decision; however, he appears to be sticking to his prior “bring the troops home” promises made on the campaign trail in 2016. In a series of Tweets, the president defended the 180 degree shift in Syria policy, which as of only less than a week ago was was expressed by US special envoy for Syria, Ambassador James Jeffrey, as “countering Iran”.

In a Thursday Tweet that could have just as well been about Afghanistan, Trump stated: “So hard to believe that Lindsey Graham would be against saving soldier lives & billions of $$$.” And added, “Time to focus on our Country & bring our youth back home where they belong!”

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/trump-orders-major-afghan-drawdown-7000-troops-to-return-home-in-coming-weeks/

Sweden to Import 5,000 Migrants From Middle East, Africa

The Swedish government has announced plans to import 5,000 ‘refugees’ from the Middle East and Africa, many of whom will be flown in from their home countries, according to local media.

The ‘resettlement’ plan will be executed during 2019 in close cooperation with the United Nations Refugee Agency, and will see thousands of new migrants imported directly from countries such as Afghanistan, Egypt, and Turkey, if 2018 patterns are followed.

“The government has today decided to instruct the Migration Board to also ‘resettle’ 5,000 people to Sweden in 2019,” reports Fria Tider.

“Through the migration policy agreement in autumn 2015 between the government, the Moderates, the Center Party, the People’s Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats, it was stated that Sweden would gradually increase the number of quota refugees to 5,000 people per year before the end of the mandate.”

Swedish Minister of Immigration Helene Fritzon praised the move and lauded her nation as a top destination for ‘refugees.’

“It is about providing protection for the most vulnerable refugees while taking joint responsibility in the EU, together with the major refugee countries in the world,” Fritzon said.

‘Refugees’ will be screened prior to transport to ensure they are physically capable of air travel, according to Migration Board documents.

“Before a person travels to his new home country, the International Organization for Migration examines whether he or she is able to handle a flight,” the Board explains. “This includes finding out if the person is pregnant at a late stage or having a disease that makes it impossible to travel.”

“The Swedish Immigration Service or Swedish Embassy issues a permit or a provisional alien passport and the International Organization for Migration arranges the travel refugee trip. A Swedish municipality receives at the airport. The municipality has a residence for refugees and now the integration work begins.”

Sweden, with a population of 10 million, accepted some 165,000 migrants in 2015 alone, the highest per capita intake of any European country.

Tens of thousands of migrants continue to pour in to the Nordic nation, which has fueled a stunning spike in violent crime, sexual assault, and gang warfare.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://europe.infowars.com/sweden-to-import-5-000-migrants-from-middle-east-africa/

Schwarzenegger Says He Would Eliminate “Evil” Fossil Fuels (After Buying $265,000 Bentley Continental)

Arnold Schwarzenegger denounced fossil fuels as “evil” during his appearance at the U.N. climate conference in Poland despite having only recently purchased a $265,000 dollar gas-guzzling Bentley Continental.

“I wish that I could be the terminator in real life to be able to travel back in time and stop all fossil fuels when they were discovered,” said the former Governor of California.

He added that humanity would “be much better off” if it had “never started in that direction,” despite the use of fossil fuels being widely credited for having “played an essential part in human history, fostering technical innovation, industrial production and the cultural and artistic resources of civilized societies.”

“The biggest evil is fossil fuels: it’s coal, it’s gasoline, it’s the natural gas,” he told conference delegates.

However, Schwarzenegger appears to have no problem contributing to this “evil” in his own private life.

Less than a month ago it was reported that the actor had dropped $265,000 on a brand new Bentley Continental GT Speed. He was pictured taking the car, which is capable of 0-60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, for a spin around LA while chewing on an unlit cigar.

For those who don’t know; The Bentley Continental is not an electric or a hybrid, it’s a gas guzzling luxury vehicle that pumps out CO2 emissions like there’s no tomorrow.

According to Forbes, the gas consumption of this car comes in at a planet choking average of 15 miles per U.S. gallon “if you’re lucky”.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/schwarzenegger-says-he-would-eliminate-fossil-fuels-after-buying-265000-bentley-continental/

Bernie Sanders Spent $300,000 on Private Jet Travel in One Month – Report

Sen. Bernie Sanders 2018 re-election campaign spent almost $300,000 on private jet service for a recent cross country tour to stump for Democrats and test the presidential waters.

According to federal campaign finance reports, Friends of Bernie Sanders, the senator’s official 2018 Senate campaign committee, spent $297,685.50 with Apollo Jets, a private charter jet service headquartered in New York. The report does not break down the number of trips or where they were taken. The check was issued on Oct. 10, according to the report.

Sanders — who appears likely to run for president again in 2020 — went to nine battleground states to stump for Democratic Party candidates prior to the November mid-term elections. The tour was also considered a way to test support for another presidential run. Sanders ran for president in 2016, finishing behind Hilary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.

Read more

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/bernie-sanders-spent-300000-on-private-jet-travel-in-one-month-report/

UC Berkeley Settles Landmark Free Speech Lawsuit, Will Pay $70,000 To Conservative Group

After more than a year of litigation, the University of California, Berkeley, has settled a lawsuit with the Young Americas Foundation and the UC Berkeley College Republicans.

Campus conservatives accused the university of bias in the process of bringing high-profile speakers to campus. The original lawsuit revolved around the cancellation of an event with Ann Coulter. An amended version of the lawsuit included road blocks initiated by the university for an event with Ben Shapiro.

The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest backing the campus conservatives. The crux of their argument revolved around two campus policies that they claim violate students’ First and 14th Amendment rights: an unspoken “High-Profile Speaker Policy” and an on-the-books “ Major Events Policy.”

Read More

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/uc-berkeley-settles-landmark-free-speech-lawsuit-will-pay-70000-to-conservative-group/

New Record: 70,000 Americans Died Of Drug Overdoses In 2017

A record 70,000 Americans died of drug overdoses according to 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data released Thursday, prompting experts to point to the proliferation of the potent substance fentanyl.

The CDC’s 2017 data shows that 70,237 Americans died of drug overdoses. That represents a nearly 10 percent increase from 2016, when 63,632 Americans died of drug overdoses. West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania were the states hardest hit in 2017.

Analysts warned that a growing amount of drugs are laced with dangerous substances like the synthetic opioid fentanyl when the CDC released preliminary 2017 overdose statistics in August.

Provisional numbers suggest that 2018 will see a similar number of drug overdose deaths as in 2017, according to the CDC.

Deaths involving fentanyl, its analogs and the opioid tramadol jumped 45 percent from 2016 to 2017 alone, according to CDC data. 2017 saw more than 28,000 deaths involving fentanyl or similar synthetic opioids.

Fentanyl is most common in the eastern and midwestern U.S., where the opioid epidemic is most concentrated. Illicit fentanyl is often made in Mexico or China and cut into supplies of heroin or cocaine as it is stronger and cheaper than both of those substances.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths from legal painkillers and heroin stayed steady in the U.S. in 2017 compared to 2016, reported The Washington Post.

Drug overdose deaths have increased more than fourfold since 1999, according to WaPo. The increase in drug overdose deaths compounded with a rising suicide rate contributed to a fall in life expectancy for Americans in 2017 according to CDC data.

“The idea that a developed wealthy nation like ours has declining life expectancy just doesn’t seem right,” Robert Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the CDC, told The New York Times blog The Upshot. “If you look at the other wealthy countries of the world, they’re not seeing the same thing.”

The CDC released a wide-ranging data mortality survey Thursday and compared 2017’s death rates to those in 1999.

Life expectancy for the U.S. population fell from 78.7 in 2016 to 78.6 in 2017, according to CDC data. That decline was impacted by higher suicide and drug overdose rates that hit middle-aged Americans especially hard, according to The Associated Press.

The CDC recorded 70,237 drug overdose deaths in 2017, according to data released Thursday. Unfortunately, that number represents a new record, reported The Upshot.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/new-record-70000-americans-died-of-drug-overdoses-in-2017/

Ocasio-Cortez calls for sending 5,000 caseworkers to border ‘to process visa applications’

New York Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants 5,000 caseworkers sent to the U.S.-Mexico border instead of American troops.

On Monday, the 29-year-old socialist argued that sending troops to the border created a “moral crisis” and that the only solution was to send caseworkers to speak with and assist illegal aliens.

“What if instead of sending 5k troops to the border, we had sent 5k caseworkers to review + process visa applications? In addition to averting moral crisis, it also would’ve saved enormous amt of resources. But we don’t talk about the financial recklessness of GOP admins, do we?” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.infowars.com/ocasio-cortez-calls-for-sending-5000-caseworkers-to-border-to-process-visa-applications/

PARIS BURNS: Tear gas fired as riot police tackle 30,000 protestors

French police locked horns with thousands of angry protesters who stormed the streets with placards wearing yellow vests before hurling objects at riot police and starting fires. Shocking images show demonstrators waving an array of flags and ramming metal barriers into police, with some being dragged away from the scene by officers. Paris is currently under a fog of tear gas, with demonstrators also being targeted with water cannons to fire at police. Officers are also seen edging closer to protestors using a wall of their shields

FOLLOW THE LINK FOR THE FULL REPORT – JR

https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1049731/France-protests-paris-riots-police-emmanuel-macron-latest-france-news