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Syria, Russia break ISIS siege in Deir Ez-Zor

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The Syrian Arab Army just won a major morale boosting victory in their fight against terrorism. Since the onset of the Syrian Civil War Deir ez-Zor or has seen war. Initially, the fighting was between government forces and various terrorist groups, most notably the FSA. But in April of 2014, the Islamic State launched a major offensive, eventually whipping out the moderate terrorists in the region. Since then ISIS has established a siege on the SAA 137th Brigade in Deir ez-Zor. It has since remained as one of the few government strongholds in east Syria.

In my previous piece on the Syrian Civil War, I noted how the SAA was focused on cleaning up central Syria in what seemed like a brief pause on the route to lift their besieged people. However within the last few days, Syria and Russia have launched a major offensive to reach the 137th Brigade.

Figure 1: Deir ez-Zor September 2nd, 2017

Figure one shows the preparation for the major offensive. The SAA Tiger Forces are advancing north of the highway while SAA and even Russian SOF are advancing on the highway. The battle is audible to the besieged Syrians.

Figure 2: Deir ez-Zor September 3rd, 2017 SAA and allies make significant gains.

Syria and its allies were successful with both advances in lifting the siege. However ISIS prepares a major counteroffensive from the south. The Islamic State recaptures much of the SAA gains along the highway. In the meantime, the distance between the 137th Brigade and the SAA Tiger forces becomes the main focus for the SAA and Russia.

Figure 3: Deir ez-Zor September 4th, 2017, Islamic State launches counter offensive

With Russia and Syria consolidating their advance on reaching the 137th Brigade, the Islamic State advances their counter offensive. Heavy fighting takes place with both sides putting everything they got in to it. The SAA turns 5km in to 4km into 3km, steadily closing the gap. On September 5, the Syrian state TV announced that the siege has been lifted.

Figure 4: Deir ez-Zor September 5th, 2017, SAA and allies lift the siege

An estimated 120,000 people are no longer surrounded by ISIS. SAA forces reunite with their 137th Brigade. Dozens of military vehicles enter the formerly besieged area to reinforce their fight to take back the rest of the city. Currently the SAA is trying to keep the momentum high by recapturing their positions south along the highway with the assistance of Russian cruise missiles.

This is the most decisive victory for Assad and Syria since winning the Siege of Aleppo. While the SAA was advancing to rescue its people, Assad and his regime were making it known that they were not forgotten. Assad perfectly hyped this victory to get as much of a morale boost as he could. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Assad over the phone.

The Islamic State’s days in Syria are becoming numbered. The SAA dedicated a massive portion of their forces on this campaign. With these forces still heavily concentrated in the area, the SAA will likely lay siege to ISIS in the rest of Deir ez-Zor. Urban warfare has proved deadly and slow throughout the wars waged against ISIS. Unfortunately for Syria, ISIS still has several towns and cities along the Euphrates River to both the north and the south. But for now, ISIS is rendered a major defeat.

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Politics

Trump’s proposal to defund Planned Parenthood under Title X is fake news

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Last week, Donald Trump, the self-absorbed occupant of the White House who routinely rails against news outlets that print unfavorable news stories and refers to them as “Fake News,” engaged in a bit of his own version of fake news with his announcement that he would be defunding Planned Parenthood.

Calling it the “Protect Life Rule,” Trump proposed withholding $50-$60 million received by Planned Parenthood each year under the government’s Title X Family Planning program, which is used to provide family planning services to low-income individuals.

If the proposal is accepted—an unknown outcome since Trump provided no details on what it would look like—it will model a regulation first implemented by Ronald Reagan and modified over the years.

Despite claims by Ingraham—one of the many members of the so-called conservative media on the Trump Train—this is a fake news story because it doesn’t defund Planned Parenthood, a fact confirmed by a White House official on the day of the announcement.

“This proposal does not necessarily defund Planned Parenthood, as long as they’re willing to disentangle taxpayer funds from abortion as a method of family planning, which is required by the Title X law.”

Under the proposal, as long as Planned Parenthood uses taxpayer money to pay for what “candidate Trump once called the “good work” they do and not for the “relatively small part of the business” known as abortion, the largest provider of baby-killing services in America will continue receiving every penny of Title X funds they want.

Even if successful, Trump’s proposal is nothing more that a restatement of existing law. It’s been illegal for Planned Parenthood to use taxpayer money to pay for abortions ever since the Hyde Amendment was passed in 1976, even though Planned Parenthood still receives federal funds that have now reached over half-a-billion dollars a year.

How is this possible? It’s because money is fungible.

By providing Planned Parenthood with taxpayer money, other funds are freed up to bankroll the murder of over 321,000 unborn babies a year. To put it another way, Planned Parenthood is able to make nearly all of its non-government revenue from killing babies because taxpayers are paying for everything else.

Of course, with 2018 being an election year and the GOP in serious danger of being wiped out by a Blue Tsunami come November, Trump’s fake news announcement fits right in with the rest of the GOP’s election-year game plan where recycled campaign promises are used to cover a track record of ineptitude and cowardice.

Much like the House “show votes” earlier this year regarding term limits and late-term abortions, this proposal by the man evangelicals are calling “the most pro-life president in history” is simply the latest effort by Trump and the GOP to get conservatives to the polls to vote Republican in November while doing absolutely nothing to defund Planned Parenthood.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Guns and Crime

Will school shootings be the next step toward a nationalized police force?

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The recent shooting at Santa Fe High School outside Houston, TX, that resulted in ten dead and thirteen wounded is fueling another round of demands by liberals in Congress to pass more anti-gun laws “to protect our kids” with some blaming the NRA for preventing such laws from being passed.

While conservatives and those who claim to be conservative willingly point fingers at the Democrat side of the aisle, the sad fact is that many Republicans agree with Democrats on the issue of gun control.

For example, after blaming local police for the Parkland, FL. high school shooting in February, Trump held a bipartisan meeting with members of congress where he openly supported the idea of seizing guns from Americans who committed no crime, even if it violated their Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment right to due process.

Weeks later, Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos wrote an opinion piece praising Trump for signing the disastrous Omnibus bill because it contained over $700 million to fund the STOP School Violence Act to pay for so-called mental health services designed to prevent school shootings. DeVos’ rhetoric aside, Rep. Thomas Massey (R-KY) stated in an interview with Conservative Review at the time that the STOP SVA essentially nationalized public-school safety.

I think that nationalizing public-school safety is the ultimate goal of big-government progressives. It’s been building for quite some time now, and I think the hype over recent school shootings will be the thing that puts it over the top.

The desire to create a nationalized police force began gaining traction under the Obama administration. Consider the actions of the Congressional Black Caucus following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. In a letter to then-president Obama, the CBC demanded the appointment of a Police Czar to give the feds control over the local police. Not long afterward, Al Sharpton called for a march on Washington to demand the DOJ to take control of the police nationwide.

Though neither of these efforts came to fruition, Obama succeeded in laying the groundwork for a nationalized police force by leveraging a series of tragedies into policies giving the DOJ control over local police forces in several communities across America.

Trump has bought into the idea of federal control of local police since becoming president, threatening to “send in the feds” in January, 2017 to clean up Chicago after a FOX News report about gun violence in the Windy City.

Shortly after the Santa Fe tragedy, Trump demanded action “at every level of government” which is exactly what he said following the FL shooting. This led to the creation of a host of anti-Second Amendment proposals by Republicans and Democrats designed to disarm Americans and place armed security in every public school.

Obviously, there’s nothing wrong with working to make schools safer, but with Washington working 24/7 to limit our Constitutional rights, should we give the federal government and the Department of Homeland Security that power?

Before you answer, do you remember how George Bush and a fully compliant Congress federalized airport security and created The Transportation Security Administration in the name of “safety” following 9/11? Besides creating tens of thousands of lifetime unionized government jobs, and the likely violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, these “transportation security officers” have been an abysmal failure.

Federal control of school security essentially creates a type of nationalized police force. Doing it “for the children” doesn’t change that.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

Follow the Strident Conservative on Twitter and FacebookSubscribe to receive podcasts of radio commentaries: iTunes | Stitcher | Tune In | RSS

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Opinions

Conservative Picks for the Kentucky Primary

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Kentucky is the state that gave us Rand Paul. He is the biggest highlight, however he is not alone like Ben Sasse in Nebraska. Thomas Massie is also a strong Conservative. This primary has a chance to unseat a major swamp creature. Aside from this one race, there wasn’t much action to be had. Mitch McConnell shows that Kentucky does not have a rich history in holding bad politicians accountable. So if there are any Conservative victories in Kentucky, they should be celebrated vocally.

Best Pick: Geraldo Serrano
Worst Picks: Harold Rogers, Chuck Eddy, Andy Barr
Best Race: District 5
Worst Race: District 6

District 1

James Comer is more fiscally responsible than most RINOs, but he still voted for Omnibus. He is unopposed.

District 2

Bill Gutherie is an unopposed RINO.

District 3

Three Republicans look to win Louisville. The first is Vicky Glisson. She is running a limited issues campaign focused on drugs, healthcare, and a hint of fiscal responsibility. Next is Rhonda Palazzo, the most upfront Conservative in the race. She is a real estate agent and devout Christian. Her stance is overly simplistic, to a fault. Lastly is Mike Craven. His platform is also too simplistic. This race is a three way crapshoot in terms of determining the best candidate.

Conservative Pick: Rhonda Palazzo

District 4

Since 2012, Thomas Massie has been a solid Conservative. He is unopposed.

District 5

Harold Rogers is a decades experienced swamp creature, 33 years in the making. Gerardo Serrano is his challenger. Serrano has Rand Paul potential in both foreign and domestic policy, such as FISA. His website features a unique story of him and a county sheriff, where he held a sheriff accountable when the 2nd amendment was in danger. (The sheriff wasn’t a villain in the story).

I especially like his twitter handle. Geraldo Serrano is a strong candidate, and we desperately as a nation need to unseat swamp monsters such as Harold Rogers.

Conservative Pick: Geraldo Serrano

District 6

Andy Barr is another RINO with a horrendous spending record. He is being challenged by Chuck Eddy. This was a huge disappointment.

I don’t believe he realizes how much a massive walking contradiction he is.

Conservative Pick: None, Barr will undoubtedly win

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