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Trump’s big Asia shift: Goodbye Pakistan, Hello India

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President Trump gave what we can legitimately call a major foreign policy and anti-terror strategy speech tonight. Speaking before a military audience at Fort Myer, Va., the president called the nation to unity, healing and love.

He then made what will surely be a bombshell of a shift in American’s focus in South Asia–flipping our support from Pakistan to larger rival India, and redoubling our efforts to achieve an “honorable and enduring victory” in Afghanistan.

Trump spoke for about a half hour, and remained “on script” reading from the teleprompter. None of the pique or emotional outbursts of previous talks was evident in what was a very conventional, presidential address.

“We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other,” Trump said as a preface to announcing a fairly seismic shift in the way the so-called “war on terror” is being conducted in Afghanistan and South Asia.

The president said that his initial instinct was to end the war in Afghanistan, but after many meetings. he felt that three fundamental conclusions guided his decision:

1. Our nation must seek an “honorable and enduring outcome.”

2. The consequences of a “rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable.”

3. The security threats we face in Afghanistan and the region “are immense.”

Trump singled out Pakistan as a nation that has given a haven to terrorists. He called the terrorists “nothing but thugs and criminals and predators and…that’s right…losers.”

He laid out three “core pillars” to his plan to achieve victory over terrorists.

First, the U.S. will shift to a “strategy of conditions,” which means we will no longer focus on numbers of troops or plans for further military operations. “I will not say when we are going to attack,” Trump said, adding, “but attack we will.”

“We are not nation building again. We are killing terrorists,” he said.

The second pillar is that the U.S. will no longer be silent about Pakistan’s tolerance and sheltering of terrorists. “In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner,” Trump said. “But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day…to kill our people.”

Trump said that will have to change. “It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order and peace.”

The third pillar is India. India has historically been Pakistan’s rival. Trump noted that both countries have nuclear weapons, and he mentioned the tension between them that could develop into violence.

A shift toward India, which Trump said makes billions in trade with America, is for the “broader Indo-Pacific region.”

Finally, Trump said he’s removing restrictive rules of engagement and giving the military the tools to fight. “Micromanagement from Washington, D.C. does not win battles.”

He pledged to expand authority for U.S. armed forces to target terrorists and criminal organizations. He promised to maximize sanctions.

“Our troops will fight to win,” Trump said. “Victory will have a clear definition.”

The president once again called his paradigm “principled realism,” whereby the U.S. does not seek to recreate our culture or nation in other countries, but to focus on American interests, and seek partners who share them. Those other nations will be required to participate financially, and by showing loyalty.

Trump thanked the Afghan people for their commitment and sacrifice. He lauded those soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery and said the country must honor them by pursuing a victory worthy of their sacrifice.

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Democrats

Kyrsten Sinema’s socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

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Kyrsten Sinema's socialist thoughts now exemplify over half of Arizona

Arizona can no longer be considered a red state. As the Senate election vote counts finish up, Democrat Kyrsten Sinema appears poised to win. It isn’t that a Democrat won that makes me move Arizona from red to purple. It’s that a socialist in moderate clothing was able to pull the wool over the eyes of Arizona voters so easily.

Just an hour of research is enough to break through the Arizona mainstream media’s false narrative that Sinema is a moderate. She is anti-capitalism, in favor of open borders, and had the lowest Liberty Score of anyone in the House representing Arizona.

Then, there’s this:

“A huge dollar bill is the most accurate way to teach children the real motto of the United States: In the Almighty Dollar We Trust… Until the average American realizes that capitalism damages her livelihood while augmenting the livelihoods of the wealthy, the Almighty Dollar will continue to rule. It certainly is not ruling in our favor.”

Arizona chose poorly.

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Guns and Crime

Trust in Chicago area police was already low. Then they killed Jemel Roberson.

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Trust in Chicago area police was already low Then they killed Jemel Roberson

An armed security guard prevented anyone from getting killed when gunmen returned to his bar after getting thrown out. He subdued them without using deadly force and was restraining one of the alleged assailants when police arrived. That’s when a resolved situation turned ugly.

A Midlothian police officer shot and killed Jemel Roberson, 26, while responding to a shooting inside Manny’s Blue Room Bar in Robbins, Illinois, about 4 a.m. Sunday. Roberson was pronounced dead at the scene.

This appears to be a case of a truly decent person doing his job and losing his life as a result.

Security guard killed by police in Robbins bar wanted to be a cop, friends say

https://wgntv.com/2018/11/12/officer-responds-to-gunfire-fatally-shoots-security-guard-at-robbins-bar/Friends said Roberson was an upstanding guy who had plans to become a police officer. He was also a musician, playing keyboard and drums at several Chicago-area churches.

“Every artist he’s ever played for, every musician he’s ever sat beside, we’re all just broken because we have no answers,” the Rev. Patricia Hill from Purposed Church said. “He was getting ready to train and do all that stuff, so the very people he wanted to be family with, took his life.”

“Once again, it’s the continued narrative that we see of shoot first, ask questions later,” the Rev. LeAundre Hill said.

My Take

Chicago area residents have had many reasons to not trust the men and women charged with keeping them safe. Controversial police-involved shootings, rising crime rates, and tone deaf leadership in city, county, and state governments have been pushing people in the area to give up on law enforcement.

This will make matters much worse.

The optics on this couldn’t get much uglier, especially if the unnamed police officer who shot Roberson turns out to be Caucasian. Roberson, an African-American, was able to detain four assailants without anyone getting fatally wounded. The fact that he was then fatally shot by police adds a new dimension to the rift between police and the people.

In most incidents where police are believed to have used deadly force unnecessarily, it’s a matter of them shooting an alleged criminal when other means of subduing them could have been used. Such is the case with Jason Van Dyke who fatally shot Laquan McDonald. Nobody argued that McDonald wasn’t dangerous. He was high on PCP, had a knife, and was walking in the middle of the street despite police warnings for him to drop the weapon and get on the ground.

Roberson’s situation is the opposite. He was doing his duty as a security guard and very likely saved lives in the process. His death is almost certainly going to start another round of racial tensions and anti-police protests that could cause tremendous turmoil throughout the Chicagoland area.

There is usual gray area in police shootings, but this seems pretty black and white to me. Jemel Roberson acted heroically. Instead of a happy ending for the day and a bright future in law enforcement ahead, he’s gone.

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Entertainment and Sports

Stan Lee’s 10 greatest comics

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Stan Lees 10 greatest comics

Stan Lee has died. While modern audiences probably know much more about the Marvel movies and televisions shows that dominate our viewing pleasures, it was his genius in creating so many beloved comic book characters decades ago that fuels Hollywood today.

Looper put out a video with his greatest comics. These subjective lists are usually fodder for debate, but I was so pleasantly surprised by their choices I decided to post it here. It may be the first time I agree with nearly everything in a video top 10 list. Fitting that it surrounds an icon like Lee.

From his quirky cameos in every Marvel movie to his down-to-earth perspectives present in every interview, there’s plenty to love about Stan Lee. But it was his comic book creations that have made a permanent mark on American culture.

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