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Russia blames Israel for Syria shooting down its spy plane

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Russia blames Israel for Syria shooting down its spy plane

A Russian Il-20 surveillance plane was shot down off the coast of Syria by anti-aircraft weapons that were attempting to target Israeli F-16s. Fifteen Russians were killed in the attack.

Russia is blaming Israel for it, claiming it was their attack near a Russian base that resulted in the downed aircraft.

Russia blames Israel after Syria kills 15 in Il-20 plane in air battle

https://www.businessinsider.com/russia-blames-israel-after-syria-killed-15-downing-an-il-20-in-air-battle-2018-9“The Israeli pilots used the Russian plane as cover and set it up to be targeted by the Syrian air-defense forces,” Russian media reported the Russian Defense Ministry as saying. “As a consequence, the Il-20, which has radar cross section much larger than the F-16, was shot down by an S-200 system missile.”

“As a result of the irresponsible actions of the Israeli military, 15 Russian service personnel perished. This absolutely does not correspond to the spirit of Russian-Israeli partnership,” the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov told Russian state media, Reuters noted.

“We reserve the right to take commensurate measures in response,” Konashenkov said.

My Take

This is troublesome for one reason and extremely concerning for another. It’s troublesome because it likely means Russia will want more direct involvement in Syria’s defense. When weapons it supplied are used to take down its own aircraft, the practical and predictable response is to either downgrade involvement or ramp it up. Russia will likely do the latter.

It’s extremely concerning because of the clear threat made to Israel. “Commensurate measures” can be read in many ways, but based on Russia’s recent history this incident will likely be used as a get-out-of-jail free card for them to use at the right moment against Israel. How that manifests remains to be seen.

Russia wants to establish a stronger relationship with Israel, but Trump’s presidency has made that less likely. Just as President Obama pushed Israel towards Russia, President Trump is pulling them back away. This makes for an extremely interesting situation, especially with the need for Israel to proactively defend itself from terrorism and military efforts against it.

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Military

Chip Roy on clarifying our military missions

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Chip Roy on clarifying our military missions

Congress is responsible for declaring war. That was the intent of our founders and remains the proper way in which America’s military is to be deployed. But Congress has abdicated. They’ve put the responsibility on the Executive branch while having no real input on how we are to dispense with threats abroad.

Congressman Chip Roy wants this to change. It’s time for the United States Congress to have a clear plan and make choices about who our military is to fight. Today, we’re still living under the auspices of an 18-year-old decree which was necessary when it was enacted. However, we are no longer searching for Osama bin Laden. The threats from the Middle East are still relevant, but no longer require the immediate and unfettered action of a single person in the White House to determine how to address it.

In other words, it’s time for Congress to take responsibility for war again. If we’re going to send our men and women into battle, we need to do so with a clear direction and a strategy to achieve a predesignated victory. This is what Roy was essentially saying in his op-ed for The Hill:

We will be held accountable for the votes we cast on fiscal matters, including spending taxpayer treasure on war and we should act like it by spending responsibly. But as we go forward, we should ensure the collective will of the American people is invested behind the costliest expenditure of our nation – the lives, the families, and the livelihoods of our men and women in uniform.

Congress did its job boldly declaring war after 9/11 but has since abdicated its solemn responsibility under Article 1. Congress needs to come to a consensus regarding which threats and entities necessitate military action, or other appropriate responses. If not for the man or woman who is on his or her 4th, 5th, or 6th deployment, then for the young man or woman who recently turned 18 and will deploy in the coming months to fight a war he or she wasn’t even alive to see begin.

As we move forward militarily, we must be pragmatic and focused on victory, not occupation or obscure goals that can never be achieved. When our men and women fight, it must be for a reason that goes beyond presence. We need a plan.

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Foreign Affairs

The U.N. must respond harshly to Iran, or we’ll have to

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If the UN does not respond severely to Irans attack on the world economy they have no purpose at all

The opportunity to unite the world behind complete and unambiguous condemnation of Iran is upon us. Whether it was Houthi drones, Iraqi militia, or Iranian cruise missiles that hit huge Saudi crude oil processing plant through which 6% of the world’s oil passes, all fingers point back to Tehran for orchestrating or directly carrying out the attack. Seeking confirmation is a formality. Everyone with common sense and a snippet of knowledge of the attack must come to the same conclusion.

This is a prime opportunity for the United Nations to demonstrate why they exist. This wasn’t an attack on Saudi Arabia. This was an attack on the world economy, one that will do harm to billions of people who rely on oil for their day-to-day activities. If the United Nations doesn’t take decisive and immediate action against Iran, they are as worthless as many of us have thought they’ve been all along.

This is a Saudi problem first and foremost. We sell them enough weapons and other technology that they should be able to strike back appropriately. But they’re an ally, so our involvement should be considered VERY carefully. However, the fact that this attack and other recent actions are directed towards the world economy should not only bolster the necessity for our response but should draw an international response through the United Nations.

President Trump said we’re ready.

This is not our responsibility, but it affects us so we need to be involved in a response. Does that mean regime change? No. Not from us. We should be done with that after continuous failure. A response by the international community, urged on the United Nations by the Trump administration this week, is the better solution.

Yes, Iran Was Behind the Saudi Oil Attack. Now What?

Following the Houthi attack on Saturday on Saudi Aramco’s crude-oil processing facility, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an obvious and necessary point: Blame Iran.

It is obvious because the Houthi rebels in Yemen lack the drones, missiles or expertise to attack infrastructure inside Saudi Arabia. In 2018, a United Nations panel of experts on Yemen examined the debris of missiles fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into Saudi Arabia and concluded there was high probability the weapons were shipped in components from Iran. As one Hezbollah commander told two George Washington University analysts in 2016: “Who do you think fires Tochka missiles into Saudi Arabia? It’s not the Houthis in their sandals, it’s us.” Hezbollah, of course, is a subsidiary of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Pompeo’s response is necessary because, historically, Iran pretends to seek peace as it makes war. This is why it sent Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to France last month to plead with the world’s great economic powers as it escalated its proxy war against Saudi Arabia. Iranian diplomacy depends on its adversaries treating the aggression of its proxies as distinct from its statecraft.

Unfortunately, if the United Nations doesn’t respond appropriately, we may have to. We are not the police, but this attack wasn’t just against an ally. It has an impact on American lives. We’re already prepared to tap into our own oil reserves as a result of the attack. Oil prices are going up. The world economy, including Wall Street, will be impacted. We aren’t able to sit back on this one and say, “Not our problem.”

We must first try to force the U.N. to do its job and come down hard on Iran. If they won’t do it, we may be forced to respond. As much as I’m not a warmonger, the Iranian regime is committing acts that affect Americans. They must be dealt with one way or the other.

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Democrats

Far-left Vox questions Joe Biden’s fitness for office

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Far-left Vox questions Joe Bidens fitness for office

Former Vice President Joe Biden is supposed to be a foreign affairs expert. He was an alleged expert when he was a Senator and he was supposed to be the foreign affairs side of the Democratic ticket in 2008. There are stories that President Obama turned to his Vice President for foreign affairs advice and even asked Biden to lead certain efforts, including the withdrawal from Iraq.

But based on his answers (plural) to a single question during the last Democratic debate, some are questioning whether or not he still has what it takes to be Commander-in-Chief. One such publication questioning his fitness is Vox, a far-left news outlet that tends to lean towards the socialists in the party, so normally their attacks on Biden wouldn’t even hit my radar. But this is different. The points they bring up about Biden’s answers are legitimate.

At times in his rambling response to whether it was a mistake to pull out of Iraq the way the Obama administration did, he seemed to confuse Iraq and Afghanistan. He also seemed to lack an understanding of the rise of ISIS, pointing fingers in multiple directions that didn’t jibe with what’s known of the terrorist group’s ascension.

The weird, telling Joe Biden debate moment that didn’t get enough attention

Biden played a role in implementing the withdrawal, and thus should be able to speak knowledgeably about it. But his answer, which discussed both Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, made very little sense overall.

Foreign policy is supposed to be one of Biden’s clear areas of competence, a policy area he’s focused on throughout his career. The fact that he stumbled so badly should raise serious questions about his presidential bid.

The obvious question, one that has been getting raised more often lately, is whether or not Biden has lost a step or two in his mental capacity. Ageism is a challenge for some of the candidates, but Biden seems to be less lucid and focused than others in his age bracket. It isn’t just that he seems to have lost a step or two. He seems to be having trouble following his own trains of thought, which is a dangerous sign for someone who wants to become the leader of the free world.

Vox clearly has an anti-Biden agenda, but this article is not biased against him. It’s an accurate highlight of moments during the debate that should be making Biden’s own supporters start to ask questions about their candidate.

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