The nation of Iran has found themselves in quite the pickle as of late, with pressure mounting on the nation’s leadership from both foreign and domestic sources.
The Iranian military, in lashing out against the United States for the assassination of General Qasem Soleimani, launched 15 ballistic missiles in the direction of Iraqi bases where sleeping American troops were stationed. Thankfully, none of these projectiles claimed any lives, sparing Iran from the full and unrepentant wrath of the American military.
During the kerfuffle, however, a Ukrainian civilian airliner was shot down “unintentionally” after taking off from the Tehran airport. Military leaders in Iran said that their heightened state of awareness contributed to the accidental downing of the plane and the untimely deaths of all 176 onboard.
The Iranian people themselves are furious over the mishap, and are largely blaming the regime in Tehran for the reckless mistake. As they began to protest, Tehran cracked down hard, firing live rounds into the crowds after tear gas field to disperse them.
Iranian authorities fired live ammunition to disperse protesters in Tehran on Sunday night, wounding several people, according to witness accounts provided to the Guardian and footage circulating on social media.
Hundreds of protesters had defied a heavy security presence in the Iranian capital to hold vigils and demonstrations after the government belatedly admitted its own forces had shot down a Ukraine International Airlines passenger jet last Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board.
There were fresh protests on Monday in at least two universities in the country. Though campus protests are not unusual in Iran, they come during a period of extraordinary tumult in the Islamic Republic, with an economy suffocated by US sanctions, the largest protests in the regime’s history crushed by violent force in November, and popular revulsion that the country’s armed forces shot down a jet loaded with Iranian citizens – then denied doing so.
President Trump has tweeted his support for the Iranian people in both English and Farsi, encouraging them to topple their heavy-handed clerical regime.Don't forget to Like The Washington Sentinel on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our friends at The Republican Legion.
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President Trump Issues Stark Reminder of What Memorial Day is All About
We mustn’t forget what Memorial Day truly means, no matter how many beers, boats, or bratwursts are involved.
Memorial Day is technically a “holiday”, but not in the way that we often think of holidays. This is meant to be a somber and sober occasion for reflection regarding the sacrifices made by our armed service members, and as a day of support for those who they left behind.
That’s not to say that it’s improper to fire up the barbecue grill or to crack open a cold beer while doing so – just so long as you take time to consider where this privilege of freedom came from, and how many lives have been lost in order for you to burn those frankfurters or gas up your boat. Once you lose sight of that, you’ll find yourself truly lost.
President Trump today made a number of rousing statements about the true power of Memorial Day, and they serve as a stark reminder as to what we’re truly honoring today.
President Trump on Monday visited Arlington National Cemetery and Baltimore’s historic Fort McHenry to honor fallen soldiers for Memorial Day as he touted America’s long history of courage and fortitude in the face of adversity — and sought to once more rally that national spirit in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
“Together, we will vanquish the virus, and America will rise from this crisis to new, and even greater heights,” Trump said at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. “As our brave warriors have shown us from the nation’s earliest days – in America, we are the captains of our own fate.
“No obstacle, no challenge, and no threat is a match for the sheer determination of the American people,” Trump continued. “This towering spirit permeates every inch of the hallowed soil beneath our feet.”
And, as flags were ordered to fly at half mast on account of the nearly 100,000 who have died from coronavirus over the course of the last few months, President Trump offered his condolences to those affected by the pandemic as well.
Trump praised the tens of thousands of service members and national guardsmen on the frontlines of the “war against this terrible virus.”
“We mourn alongside all of the families who have lost a loved one – including the families of our great veterans,” Trump said.
In short, if you find yourself enjoying this extra day of relaxation, be sure to remind yourself just how it came to be.
Pentagon Reminds the World That Even a Sick US Military Will Knock Your Block Off
And don’t get us started about the Second Amendment.
As the world around us becomes ever sicker, there is an inevitable human toll that is bound to hit us, and hit us hard.
In New York City they’re preparing mass graves in a potter’s field on Hart Island. Coronavirus is now the leading cause of death in the US. These ostensibly terrible things are occurring, and some folks may feel helpless to stop it.
These are not the same folks who signed up to defend our nation, however, and the Pentagon would like to take a minute out of their busy day to remind the rest of the planet that America could beat just about anybody in a fight, even with a virus tying one hand behind our back.
With an aircraft carrier forced into port and staff at bases handling nuclear missiles hit by COVID-19, the US military wants rivals to understand: don’t test us, we have not been weakened.
Statement after statement from the Pentagon has sought to deliver that message amid questions this week over whether the US fighting force can maintain full readiness, with cases among service members now at 2,031.
“We’re still capable and we’re still ready no matter what the threat,” Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley said Thursday.
“I wouldn’t want any mixed messages going out there to any adversaries that they can take advantage of an opportunity, if you will, at a time of crisis,” he added.
“That would be a terrible and tragic mistake if they thought that.”
Of course, this only accounts for the military readiness here in the United States.
Should any of our adversaries really think that they could get one over on us, they should remind themselves about the Second Amendment.
Homeland Security Says ‘No Lockdown’ After Rumors Flood Social Media
Maybe its time for a little “social media distancing” as well.
If you’re one of the great many Americans who have found themselves more than a little on edge as of late, perhaps the most important piece of coronavirus advice out there is to stay away from social media.
Of course, that is going to be extremely difficult with all of this newfound downtime that we’re dealing with, but it will be important to practice some “social media distancing” as well, particularly if you or a loved one is prone to anxiety or panic.
That’s because there are no shortage of cut-rate provocateurs online, hoping to garner “likes” and “shares” with the fear mongering and sensationalism. This includes rumors of a “national lockdown” on the horizon that the head of the Department of Homeland Security says are completely false.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Saturday shot down rumors of a potential national lockdown because of the coronavirus, saying that there are no such plans and that such rumors are “disinformation.”
“It’s simply not true,” Wolf said on Fox & Friends. “What we see is a lot of disinformation campaigns via text, via social media, so we want to make sure we refute those, knock those down… a lot of this information is just that: disinformation.”
Wolf elaborated further.
“So we have no plans for a national lockdown or a national quarantine, and again it’s just that — its disinformation.”
Others online had taken the deployment of the National Guard as a sign of “martial law” to come.
This is a particularly popular theory among conspiracy theorists who, for decades, have insisted that “the powers that be” or the “illuminati” would use a pandemic to further lock down the human population for whatever their mysterious “master plan” is.
Again, this is not what is happening, and there are no shortage of primary sources outside of the social media mess who’ll be happy to tell you so.
As Far East Reels From Viral Outbreak, North Korea Sends Rockets Skyward
The maneuver comes as speculation swirls over the possible coronavirus impact in North Korea.
The Asian subcontinent is under siege in 2020, as a near-pandemic outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across the region.
The virus is believed to have first jumped from animals to human at a wildlife market in the city of Wuhan, China, and has remained difficult to effectively quarantine thanks to a fourteen day incubation period and fairly mundane symptoms during the early stages of the sickness.
There are concerns that ill-prepared nations such as North Korea would be disproportionately decimated by the COVID-19 strain of coronavirus, particularly due to the hermit kingdom’s reclusive tendencies and largely inept medical infrastructure. Furthermore , the DPRK is far from forthcoming when it comes to information that may cast them in a poor light, stoking fears of a secret pandemic in Pyongyang.
In fact, the only thing North Korea seems to be sharing with the world this week are a number of military projectiles.
North Korea fired at least three unidentified projectiles off its east coast early Monday, according to South Korea’s military, amid a deadlock in a U.S.-led diplomacy aimed at stripping the rogue nation of its nuclear weapons.
Seoul’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement it detected the three launches made from a town in the North’s South Hamgyong province.
The statement said South Korea’s military was monitoring North Korea for possible additional launches.
The dainty dictator of the DPRK, Kim Jong Un, has promised to continue his work on a nuclear deterrent in 2020, after talks between North Korea and the United States on the subject have seemingly gone cold.
WATCH: Coast Guard Heli Delivers Supplies to Virus-Laden Cruise Ship
Video from the scene was both dramatic and impressive.
With a novel and fatal strain of coronavirus currently meandering through the global community at an alarming rate, every precaution possible is being taken in the United States to prevent Americans from suffering the same scale of devastation seen in the Far East.
The cruise industry has been disproportionately affected by the illness, with their floating hotels’ close quarters providing an ample medium for the virus to spread. Several ships have been quarantined at sea after passengers displayed symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19.
Off the coast of California, a struggling ship was the scene of a dramatic act of assistance this week as a Coast Guard helicopter dropped off much-needed medical supplies to sick, quarantined passengers.
The California National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing, based at Moffett Field, California along with federal partners and CDC medical personnel, were involved in a joint mission to provide COVID-19 test kits to passengers aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship.Currently, the Grand Princess remains off the California Coast, west of the Bay Area.
Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media.
Coast guard finally bringing test kits & hopefully some medical controls to the #GrandPrincess.
Let's try not to make a mess of this like Japan did with #DiamondPrincess.
— Stephania Becker – MD, MPH (@StephaniaBecker) March 5, 2020
Grand Princess cruise with 3,500 passengers from 50 countries remains in limbo outside San Francisco. 21 #coronavirus cases, 19 crew members, 2 passengers. The ship was relocated 20 miles off the coast for easier delivery of supplies by U.S. Coast Guard.
— Max Howroute▫️ (@howroute) March 7, 2020
Meanwhile, the East Coast suffered its first fatalities from COVID-19 in Florida, as the illness continues to wreak havoc on the global community.
President Trump Appoints First Black Air Force Chief
President Donald Trump has nominated Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown to be the next top general leading the U.S. Air Force.
President Donald Trump has nominated Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown to be the next top general leading the U.S. Air Force, making him the first black men ever named to the post.
Indeed, if he is confirmed, Brown will be the first black man to lead any of the armed forces.
And Trump is doing it.
The nomination was announced on Monday by the Department of Defense.
According to Military.com:
Brown, currently the head of Pacific Air Forces, would be tapped for 22nd Air Force chief of staff, following Gen. David Goldfein, who is set to retire this summer after four years in the position. Brown would also be the first black officer to sit on the Joint Chiefs of Staff since then-Army Gen. Colin Powell served as chairman between 1989 and 1993.
“The [Air Force] will be well served by the formidable talents of CQ Brown,” Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett said on Twitter. “He has unmatched strategic vision and operational expertise. His leadership will be instrumental as the service continues to focus on the capabilities and talent we need to implement the [National Defense Strategy].”
The USAF will be well served by the formidable talents of CQ Brown. He has unmatched strategic vision & operational expertise. His leadership will be instrumental as the service continues to focus on the capabilities & talent we need to implement the #NDS. https://t.co/2P8JDx1idS
— Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett (@SecAFOfficial) March 2, 2020
Before his post at PACAF, Brown was the deputy commander of U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. He also served as the head of Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) between 2015 and 2016, during the height of the air campaign against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria.
Brown was commissioned in 1984 as an F-16 Fighting Falcon pilot and has accumulated more than 2,900 flight hours. He also has also flown 130 combat hours.
President nominates General Charles Brown, USAF to be the first African American Air Force Chief of Staff. pic.twitter.com/LYtLjrajXE
— John Noonan (@noonanjo) March 2, 2020
“I am truly honored and humbled by the nomination to serve as the Air Force’s 22nd chief of staff,” Brown said in an Air Force news release. “If confirmed, Sharene and I look forward to building upon the legacy of Gen. Dave and Dawn Goldfein and the many airpower giants before who have served our Air Force and our nation with such dedication.”
Brown must be confirmed by the Senate and would replace retiring Gen. David Goldfein.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.
North Carolinians on High Alert as ‘Unconventional’ Military Drills Set to Begin
The exercises may seem very real, but authorities insist that there will be no danger to residents.
One of the most pointed lessons of the Founding Fathers was to never fully trust your government.
These were the first Americans. The ones who saw the tyranny of the British for what it was, and decided that despite what punishment was sure to come, they’d be making tea in the Boston Harbor.
The founders, after beating back the most advanced army in the world at the time, then bestowed upon the people of this new nation a glut of freedom the likes of which the world had never seen. The hope was that our liberty would allow us to remain free through freely speaking our minds, electing our own government officials, and, if all else failed, throwing some more figurative tea out to sea.
So when the federal government starts conducting strange military drills in populated areas of the east coast, it is well within our rights as Americans to be concerned.
Fort Bragg is warning the public that suspicious looking military activity could erupt on private land across multiple North Carolina counties next month as part of a cryptic Special Forces training exercise.
This could include hearing explosions and seeing soldiers acting as ”guerrilla freedom fighters,” according to a release from the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg.
Exact times, locations and exercise specifics are not being publicized, officials said in the release.
Things could get heavy as well.
“Residents may hear blank gunfire and see occasional flares … No real bombs will be used, but people in nearby areas may hear loud bangs that replicate the idea of a bomb,” officials told McClatchy News.
Conspiracy theorists on social media have expressed concern regarding the drills, pointing to a number of purported real-world tragedies that happened to occur while a military “drill” was suspiciously scheduled at a similar date and place.
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