President Trump: Soleimani Should have been Killed Years Ago

by Daveda Gruber:

On Friday President Trump made it clear that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was hated and feared in his own country and should have been taken out many years ago.

Trump was slinging back at people who have criticized him over the airstrike in Bagdad, Iraq that killed Soleimani, who was the top military general.

Here’s Trump tweet that told us about the death of Soleimani:

The tweets from the president came after the Pentagon confirmed that Soleimani, who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members was dead.

Also, other military officials at Baghdad International Airport were killed during the airstrike.

The State Department went on to say that Soleimani, who was considered the most powerful men in Iran, was guilty of the wounding of thousands more Americans and coalition members.

A designated terror group since 2007, the elite intelligence wing called Quds Force, was led by Soleimani for many years.

Quds Force is estimated to have 20,000 members and it considered Soleimani was referred to as its shadow commander or spymaster.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has vowed to take revenge for what he called a heinous crime carried out by the U.S. Rouhani said, as well, that Iran would “raise the flag” of Soleimani “in defense of the country’s territorial integrity and the fight against terrorism and extremism in the region.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted this:

Soleimani’s deputy commander since 1997, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, will take over for the now deceased Soleimani.

Iranian state media reported that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also warned “harsh retaliation is waiting” for the U.S.

The State Department on Friday issued a security alert that urged all U.S. citizens to “depart Iraq immediately” due to heightened tensions in the region.

The alert said, “Due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the U.S. Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. U.S. citizens should not approach the Embassy.”

In addition, the agency shared phone numbers people concerned about U.S. citizens and other loved ones in Iraq could call toll free for information.

On Friday Trump tweeted this:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said that the strike was carried out to prevent an “imminent attack” by forces directed by Soleimani.

He added that the strike was carried out to prevent an “imminent attack” by forces directed by Soleimani.

On Friday Pompeo was on “Fox & Friends” and said, “I think the Iranian leadership understands President Trump will take action. . . . We made very clear that these responses would be swift and decisive. We have now demonstrated that. I hope the Iranian leadership will see that and see American resolve and that their decision will be to de-escalate and take actions consistent with what normal nations do.”

Who would want to go to Iran? Not me. Would any of you book a flight to Iran? I didn’t think so!

American Student Held in Iran Free in Prisoner Swap

by Daveda Gruber:

A prisoner exchange has led to an American graduate student, who was being held in an Iranian prison for over three years, was released in an exchange for an Iranian scientist.

It was announced by both Iran’s foreign minister and the White House that Princeton University graduate student Xiyue Wang was exchanged for scientist Massoud Soleimani, who was being held in an Atlanta jail over accusations that he violated U.S. sanctions.

U.S. special representative for Iran, Brian Hook, accompanied Soleimani to Switzerland to make the exchange and will return with Wang.

The prisoner swap took place in Zurich. Hook and Wang are now en route to Landstuhl in Germany where Wang will be examined by doctors. Hook is expected to return to the U.S. from Germany but not with Wang as he will undergo medical evaluation for several days.

The U.S. had repeatedly called for his release.

The White House released a statement on Saturday in which President Trump said, “After more than three years of being held prisoner in Iran, Xiyue Wang is returning to the United States. The highest priority of the United States is the safety and well-being of its citizens.”

Trump went on to say, “Freeing Americans held captive is of vital importance to my Administration, and we will continue to work hard to bring home all our citizens wrongfully held captive overseas.”

On Saturday Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Wang was on his way back to the United States where he will be reunited with his wife and son.

In a statement Pompeo said, “The United States will not rest until we bring every American detained in Iran and around the world back home to their loved ones.”

Wang had been sentenced to ten years in prison for allegedly “infiltrating” the country and sending confidential material abroad.

Wang’s alleged crime is adamantly denied by his family and Princeton University.

Wang is a Chinese-born naturalized American citizen and a fourth-year doctoral student of history at Princeton University. According to the university, he was arrested while conducting research on the Qajar dynasty that once ruled Iran for his doctorate in late 19th and early 20th century Eurasian history.

Gua Qu, who is Wang’s wife was thrilled to hear of his release and tweeted this:

I responded to the tweet with this:

The Swiss Embassy in Tehran looks out for American interests in the country as the U.S. Embassy there has been closed since the 1979 student takeover and 444-day hostage crisis.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted on Twitter early Saturday ahead of the swap, and again after it was confirmed.

Here’s the tweet:

Wang’s release was negotiated with the assistance of the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, who looks out for America’s interests in the country as the U.S. Embassy there has been closed since the 1979 student takeover and 444-day hostage crisis.

It was reported by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency that Soleimani was with Iranian officials in Switzerland.

Soleimani works in stem cell research, hematology and regenerative medicine. He was arrested by U.S. authorities on charges that he had violated trade sanctions by trying to have biological material brought to Iran.

Like Wang, Soleimani and his lawyers strongly deny his guilt.

Soleimani maintains that he seized on a former student’s plans to travel from the U.S. to Iran in September 2016 as a chance to get recombinant proteins used in his research for a fraction of the price he’d pay at home.

Things are looking good for the holidays for the Wang family.

‘A Great Day for Civilization’

by Daveda Gruber:

On Thursday became “a great day for civilization” President Trump proclaimed as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped up a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Turkey.

High-level talks took place at which it was agreed that the Turkish military would pause attacks against a Kurdish militia.

A pause will be in place for 120 hours, or five days, which will give the Kurdish-led forces time to pull back from the roughly 20-mile-wide safe zone on the Turkish-Syrian border.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu” said, We will pause Operation Peace Spring for PKK/YPG to leave the safe zone. This is not a ceasefire – ceasefires can only happen between two legitimate sides.”

Cavusoglu added, “When the terrorist elements completely leave the safe zone, we can stop the operation.”

The operation will come to an end entirely upon the completion of the Kurdish withdrawal. This is all stated in the “deal” which is now in place.

The talks lasted more than five hours of negotiations between Pence and Pompeo with Erdogan and Turkish officials.

Trump tweeted this:

A press conference was held afterwards where Pence and Pompeo discussed the deal.

The terms of a cease-fire were agreed upon by both the U.S. and Turkey  and “committed to defeat ISIS activities in northeast Syria,” the vice president said.

Pence also said, “Turkey and the United States agree on the priority of respecting vulnerable human life, human rights, and particularly the protection of religious and ethnic communities in the region.”

The Kurds have as of yet, have not confirmed if they agree to terms of the deal.

Pence went on to say, “We think the agreement today first ends the violence, which is what President Trump sent us here to do.. We achieved that.”

The Turkish military operation was not approved by the U.S. but sanctions against Turkey will be lifted by the U.S. when the agreement has been completed.

People keep referring to the Kurds as an ally of the U.S. but are not. They were a NATO ally. The Kurds did fight side by side with American military forces in the fight against ISIS.

The Kurdish–Turkish conflict is an armed conflict between the Republic of Turkey and various Kurdish insurgent groups, which have demanded separation from Turkey to create an independent Kurdistan, or to have autonomy and greater political and cultural rights for Kurds inside the Republic of Turkey.

The Kurds are the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East. Despite their numbers, they are a stateless and often marginalized people whose homeland stretches across Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Armenia.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Nation

by Daveda Gruber:

On Monday Iran got a strong message from President Trump and the United States of America. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was formally labeled as a “foreign terrorist organization.”

Officials say that the announcement would put the military organization on the same level as terror groups like Hezbollah and Hamas.

This is Washington’s first such designation for an entire foreign government entity and is the latest administration step to increase pressure on Iran.

The IRGC’s ties to terror plots was brought to light by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said the designation recognizes a “basic reality.”

Pompeo said, “This designation is a direct response to an outlaw regime and should surprise no one. The IRGC masquerades as a legitimate military organization, but none of us should be fooled.”

Sanctions are to be imposed including freezes on assets the IRGC may have in U.S. jurisdictions. It would also ban Americans who would do business with it.

The move would also allow the U.S. to deny entry to those people who have been found to have provided the Guard with material support or prosecute them for sanctions violations.

Trump gave a statement that the unprecedented move “underscores the fact that Iran’s actions are fundamentally different from those of other governments.”

What sounded like a warning from the president, Trump said, “If you are doing business with the IRGC, you will be bankrolling terrorism.  This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences.”

Implementing these new sanctions would further isolate Iran. Administration officials have said that the U.S. won’t tolerate Iran’s continued support for rebel groups and others that destabilize the Middle East.

Iran has threatened to retaliate. American personnel in the region could face consequences.

Diplomacy will also be impacted. U.S. troops and diplomats could be barred from contact with Iraqi or Lebanese authorities who interact with Guard officials or surrogates. The alternative could be exclusions or waivers to the designation.

One of the biggest reasons for previous administrations not taking these actions, which has been considered in the past decade, is the impact of the designation.

This move by the U.S. does not allow contact with foreign officials who may have met with or communicated with Guard personnel.

The World Takes Sides on Venezuelan Crisis

 

by: Daveda Gruber:

There is a political crisis going on in the socialist country of Venezuela.  American diplomats had been told to leave the country but all that changed.

Washington officials asked the world to choose what side they were on this past weekend.

Socialist President Nicolas Maduro broke off relations with the United States on Wednesday.

Along with other countries, the U.S. has taken sides with the opposition leader, 35 year old Juan Guaido.

Guaido is now Venezuela’s interim president even though Maduro called his claiming power an attempted coup.

The Trump administration has recognized Guaido’s position.

Check out this video:

Reuters reported that on Saturday, Venezuelan Colonel Jose Luis Silva publicly broke with Maduro in a video recorded at the country’s embassy in Washington.

Silva said, “Today I speak to the people of Venezuela, and especially to my brothers in the armed forces of the nation, to recognize President Juan Guaido as the only legitimate president.”
According to Reuters Maduro has rejected calls for a new election. Things changed on Sunday.

Maduro said he was open to dialogue and that meeting with President Trump was “not impossible.”

A source familiar with the Trump administration’s thinking on Venezuela told Fox News that the White House is encouraged by the fact that Venezuela’s Defense Attache in Washington has publicly turned against Maduro and thrown his support behind opposition leader Guaido.

The Trump administration said it wouldn’t obey when Maduro gave U.S. diplomats three days to leave the country. They are adamant that Maduro is no longer the country’s legitimate president.

Late on Saturday, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement.

The statement read that Maduro’s government was suspending the ejection. The suspension is said to provide a 30 day window for negotiations with the U.S. and setting up a “U.S. interests office” in Venezuela.

This would also include a similar Venezuelan office in the United States.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was not onboard with Maduro’s “illegitimate mafia state.”

Pompeo said, “We’re here to urge all nations to support the democratic aspirations of Venezuelan people as they try to free themselves from former President Maduro’s illegitimate mafia state.”

Earlier, France, Germany, Britain and Spain set an eight-day deadline for calling elections for recognizing Guaido’s leadership.

On Sunday Israel joined the U.S., Canada and several other Latin American countries when they announced that it would recognize Guaido as the de facto president of Venezuela.

Socialism does not work. It has been proven, time after time, that capitalism works. Ask any conservative American.

The sad thing is though, the Democratic Party has turned to support socialist ideals.

Seventy percent taxation and free healthcare to Americans and illegal immigrants does not spell  capitalism. Unfortunately, some people have not learned from the past nor from what is happening now in Venezuela.

Wake up people. Socialism leads to dictatorships and communism.