Monday, December 30, 2019

Holidaze: I've Seen The Future

Charles Gaba notes the makeup of the current House caucuses for both parties.

One of these parties has a future with its current House roster, given America's increasingly diverse demographics.

The other party does not.

Well, I take that back.  The other party has a future that should frighten the living hell out of all of us.

Holidaze: The Drums Of War

The Trump regime has counterattacked targets in Iraq and Syria with missile strikes in response to an attack over the weekend on and Iraqi military base that killed a US military contractor.

The strikes occurred at about 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. They stand as the first significant military response in retaliation for attacks by the Shia militia group, known as Kataib Hezbollah, that have injured numerous American military personnel, according to US officials. 
Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman described the strikes against the group as "precision defensive strikes" that "will degrade" the group's ability to conduct future attacks against coalition forces. 
Defense Secretary Mark Esper briefed President Donald Trump Saturday before carrying them out with the President's approval, according to a US official familiar with the strikes. 
At least 25 people were killed in the US airstrikes, according to a statement Sunday from the Popular Mobilization Units, a Tehran-backed Shiite militia also known as the Hashd al-Shaabi. 
Kataib Hezbollah is a group under the Popular Mobilization Units. Jewad Kadum, a PMU official, said in a statement earlier Sunday that the rescue operations were still ongoing as well as the evacuation of the wounded, recovery of the dead bodies and the extinguishing of the fire caused by the airstrikes.

Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, traveled Sunday to Mar-a-Lago to discuss the strikes with Trump. 
Speaking from the President's Florida resort, Pompeo said the US took "decisive action" and said threats against American forces had been ongoing for "weeks and weeks." 
"We will not stand for the Islamic Republican of Iran to take actions that put American men and women in jeopardy," Pompeo said. 
Esper said Sunday's meeting with the President included discussing "other options available" without providing further detail. He added that the US "would take additional actions as necessary to ensure that we act in our own self-defense and we deter further bad behavior from militia groups or from Iran."

Trump very badly wants to get the press off of his impeachment trial, so a nice military escalation in the Middle East seems to be the solution.  Especially given indicted Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's continued troubles, further significant action against Iranian-backed Syrian targets seems pretty likely at this point.

Stay tuned.
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