Taliban Ends ‘Peace Deal’ with U.S. After Afghan President Balks

The prospects for the peace deal brokered between the United States and the Taliban looked grim less than 24 hours after it was announced, as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani balked at releasing 5,000 Taliban prisoners as specified in the agreement, and the Taliban responded by announcing it would resume “operations” against the Afghan government.

Ghani said on Sunday he has not agreed to release any Taliban prisoners. The peace deal called for 1,000 government security forces held by the Taliban to be released in exchange for 5,000 Taliban fighters imprisoned by the government.

“The release of prisoners is not the United States authority, but it is the authority of the government of Afghanistan,” Ghani declared.

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Trump: US Ready to End War in Afghanistan if Truce Holds Until Saturday

By Associated Press – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

‘I think the Taliban wants to make a deal too, they’re tired of fighting…’

President Donald Trump said Sunday he’s ready to sign a peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan if a temporary truce holds in America’s longest war.

“Time to come home,” he said.

“They want to stop. You know, they’ve been fighting a long time. They’re tough people. We’re tough people,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to India. “But after 19 years, that’s a long time.”

Trump 4

AP Photo President Donald Trump with First Lady Melania Trump.

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The Globalists’ Race Against Time on China

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From WUWT

To recap briefly, most of the communist countries collapsed by 1991 and the Western democratic tradition was seen as the winner of an existential battle that had waged since the Russian Revolution of 1917. Historian Francis Fukuyama called it “the end of history” because only good things would happen thereafter. Mankind’s ideological evolution had ended and Western liberal democracy would be the final form of government.

In response to that wishful thinking, Harvard historian Samuel Huntington wrote a paper, and subsequently a book, entitled The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order in which he predicted that with the end of ideological conflict the world would revert to a normal state of affairs characterized by cultural conflict. In particular, Professor Huntington predicted an attack by Islamists on the United States. That attack duly happened five years later. Huntington had identified China and Islam as “challenger civilizations.”

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Tracking Global Terrorism in 2018

Scott Stewart   Scott Stewart – Re-Blogged From Stratfor

Editor’s Note

With the start of a new year, we once again examine the state of the global jihadist movement. Shared from Threat Lens, Stratfor’s unique protective intelligence product, the following column includes excerpts from a comprehensive forecast available to Threat Lens subscribers.

In some ways “the global jihadist movement” is a misleading phrase. Rather than the monolithic threat it describes, jihadism more closely resembles a worldwide insurgency with two competing standard-bearers: al Qaeda and the Islamic State. To make matters more complicated, grassroots extremists have been known to take inspiration from each group’s ideology — and, in some cases, both.

A Yemeni man surveys the aftermath of a bombing in Huta, in the southern province of Lahj, March 27, 2017.

(SALEH AL-OBEIDI/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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Trump May Push, but Pakistan Won’t Budge

 Re-Blogged From Stratfor

The new year has brought renewed troubles for the already faltering relationship between the United States and Pakistan. On New Year’s Day, U.S. President Donald Trump issued a tweet accusing Pakistan of “lies & deceit” despite receiving $33 billion in U.S. aid for its cooperation in the war in Afghanistan. The next day, the White House announced that it would continue to withhold the $255 million worth of aid that had been earmarked for Pakistan in 2016, citing insufficient action against anti-NATO militants. And on Jan. 4, the White House said it would suspend $900 million in security assistance promised in 2017 and place Pakistan on a list of countries violating religious freedom.

A map shows Afghanistan, Pakistan and the surrounding region.
(LorenzoT81/iStock)

America the Beautiful, but Divided

By Rebecca Keller – Re-Blogged rom https://worldview.stratfor.com

For nearly a year the world has worked to adapt to recent changes, both real and perceived, in U.S. foreign policy. But as the globe responds to the new priorities of its only superpower, Americans themselves remain divided over how best to engage with their surroundings.

Much like the members of the European Union, each of America’s states has its own needs to fulfill. Technological progress has given some states an edge in pursuing their goals, but it has also left behind regions that were once among the most prominent forces in U.S. politics — including the country’s flourishing breadbasket, the American Midwest. And as the socio-economic gap between different parts of the country has widened, so have their policy preferences.

By design, political discourse and debate are woven into the very fabric of American governance. But rarely do rifts among states spill into foreign policy and global issues in a substantial way. That may not be the case for much longer, however, as U.S. President Donald Trump’s populist appeals attract strong allies — and even stronger opponents — to the White House.

States like California hold political stances that are much different than those of Trump's constituents in the American Midwest, particularly on matters related to the environment, energy, immigration and the tech sector.

(DUSTYPIXEL/iStock)

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The New York – New Jersey Bombings Illustrate Why Donald Trump Will Win

By Onan Coca – Re-Bloggd From http://www.Constitution.com

In 2004 President George W. Bush ran a hard-fought reelection campaign against a popular, if doofy, Democrat opponent John Kerry. For all of his faults, Kerry was far more well-liked and far less scandal plagued than today’s Democrat candidate. Bush was able to eke out a reelection victory mostly on the shoulders of his decisive reaction to the 9/11 tragedy.

In fact, the 2004 election made the phrase “security moms” famous, as the once known “soccer mom” had suddenly awakened to our dangerous new world where Islamic terrorism was the reality and her “mama bear” instincts had taken over. The “security mom” knew she had to do all she could to care for her loved ones, and that now meant using her vote to keep them safe.

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What The Media Is Not Telling You About The Captured Afghan Terrorist And Where He Learned His Terror Trade

By Walid Shoebat – Re-Blogged From http://www.FreedomOutpost.com

(Note: If pictures/videos don’t display, please go to link at bottom of page. -Bob)

We now know that the Chelsea bombing and other bombings suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami was trained in Afghanistan and slipped the eye of the intelligence. Investigators first identified Rahami Sunday afternoon by identifying him through a fingerprint. The cell phone on the pressure cooker device was also found.

A man who described himself as a childhood friend of Rahami told the Herald the suspect had made a life-changing trip to Afghanistan two years ago.

“At one point he left to go to Afghanistan, and two years ago he came back, popped up out of nowhere and he was real religious,” friend Flee Jones, 27, said of suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami. “And it was shocking. I’m trying to understand what’s going on. I’ve never seen him like this.”

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The 3 Big Stories NOT Being Covered (Part 1)

By Andy Sutton & Graham Mehl – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Anyone who has read this publication for any length of time knows that topics range from mainstream to the totally uncovered stories. As we look out not just across the economic landscape, but across the world in general, we are seeing an alarming increase of serious situations that are receiving little or no coverage at all from the western media. Thankfully there are hundreds if not thousands of reliable people who chip in with analysis and stories of their own on some of these topics.

We’ll start out by saying there many, many more uncovered stories, but these are the three we feel could be game changers in the near to medium term. We picked these three themes because, in terms of magnitude, they will have the biggest impact on the world if they continue on their present trajectories. Given the length of each analysis, we are going to break this into a three-part series.

PART 1 – Russia: Tensions, Turmoil and Western Hubris

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The Pentagon Achieves Its Ancient Aim

By Fred Reed – Re-Blogged From http://www.lewrockwell.com

[The military’s budget has room to cut, so it’s an Economic issue. This writer makes it more personal – maybe too personal. -Bob]

Those who try to understand military policy often confuse themselves by focusing on minor matters such as strategy, tactics, logistics, and armament. Here they err. For years the central goal of the military, the brass ring, has been independence from control by civilians. It has been achieved.

In time of war, the first concern of the command is to limit the flow of information to their publics. The actions of the enemy are an important but secondary consideration. Thus militaries strive  to prevent the dissemination of photos of mutilated soldiers or, as in Washington today, of governmentally tortured prisoners. In the United States, which characteristically fights wars unrelated to the safety of the country, the Pentagon must also keep soldiers from being told that they are being sacrifice for the benefit of arms manufacturers and imperialist ambitions. In wars before Vietnam, this was adroitly effected. You could go to jail for criticizing a war.

In Vietnam, something new happened. The press covered the war freely. Reporters went where they pleased, beyond the control of the military. Their publications ran the results. National magazines printed horrific photographs of what was really happening.

Truth tells. The coverage was one of the two factors that forced Washington to quit the war. The other was the passionate unwillingness of young men to be forced to fight a war in which they had no interest. The war, a source of meaning for Washington’s thunderous hawks and fern-bar Napoleons, was getting them killed.

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Fallen Angel will Seek to Press Presidential Candidates to Change Rules of Engagement

By Tim Brown – Re-Blogged From http://www.FreedomOutpost.com

Extortion 17 was the worst loss of life in the Afghan War, which included 17 Navy SEALs and 13 other US military and National Guard personnel, along with 8 Afghans. Both Billy Vaughn, father of fallen SEAL Aaron Vaughn, and Don Brown have written on the shoot down of Extortion 17 from two different perspectives: one was from a father’s point of view, the other from a former JAG’s explanation of the evidence. Now, the Extortion 17 story, aptly titled “Fallen Angel,” is set to hit the big screen on the fifth anniversary of the downing of Chinook helicopter by Taliban forces, and producers are looking to force presidential candidates to deal with the rules of engagement that are jeopardizing the lives of America’s finest and are responsible for the downing of Extortion 17.

Fallen Angel is being produced by The United West.

I spoke with Tom Trento, who heads The United West, about the production in an exclusive interview.

Islam and the US Economy

By Bob Shapiro

I came across the following video which I’d like to share with you. It’s one view of the spread of Islam throughout the world through the many centuries since it started.

The point which I found especially interesting – and relevant to the mission of this web site – is that before an area was conquered, there was a concerted, relentless effort to ruin the Economy of that area. Commerce was attacked. The ability to build wealth was attacked. It could take decades or generations, but, once the area lost economic vitality, the soldiers of Islam were able to take over and to subjugate the area.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost the US over a Trillion Dollars and many thousands of dead and wounded men and women who were in the prime of their lives. The stupidity of the regulations coming out of the Wars on Fossil Fuels by he governments of all the western countries – not least the US (EPA Endangerment Finding anyone?), have sapped the west of most of its economic vitality. A US President who is openly fanning the flames of racial and ethnic hatreds in the US, and who gives rewards to his cronies while persecuting his enemies, while he flouts the US Constitution, is making the US Economy and social cohesiveness weaker.

Policies in the west have allowed tens of thousands of Islamic refugees to pour into the west. In the US, these people are only a tiny percentage of the open border aliens flooding in. We’ve seen the Islamic influence in country after country turn to violence, as it did with the coordinated terror attacks in Paris a few days ago. I have to give a significant probability of upcoming Islamic terror attacks – again! – in the US.

You may not agree with everything in the video (I didn’t), but I expect that you’ll find it interesting and informative. It’s 45 minutes long and may start in the middle in your browser, so you may have to move the time slider back to the left.

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu Speaks To the US Congress

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

In case you missed it, Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke Tuesday before a joint session of the US Congress. I found it to be a non-partisan, articulate plea for the US to not make a bad deal with Iran. This was asked for not only for Israel’s benefit, but also to enhance the safety of our country, the US.

The video is below – Mr. Netanyahu’s speech begins almost 27 minutes in, following lengthy introductions and other non-essential items. Please, view the speech.

Middle East Policy

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

I had occasion a while back to compare the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and our other involvement in the middle east, with the Vietnam era.

  • Both wars cost our country a fortune, both in our riches consumed by the efforts and the loss of life, limbs, psyche, and American soldiers’ time.
  • In both wars, there were corrupt governments which we kept in power. Before we left we knew that when we left, it was a choice between the regime’s collapse or it going over to “the Dark Side.”

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