President Trump’s administration confirmed it is reviewing the United States’ participation in the U.N. Human Rights Council, warning Wednesday that it wants the international body to reform its agenda and end its “obsession with Israel.” Washington critics have argued that the Geneva-based council unfairly targets Israel over allegations of human rights violations and alleged war crimes against Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
WARS & RUMORS THEREOF
Iranian film hails demise of US Navy in imagined Gulf battle
In a climactic battle at sea, an Iranian commander orders his forces to open fire on a much larger U.S. fleet, obliterating it with a barrage of rockets, some of which tear American flags from their masts. The scenario unfolds in “Battle of the Persian Gulf II,” a new Iranian animated film more than four years in the making that imagines a devastating response to an American attack on the country’s nuclear program.
Iran is using its strategic ties to North Korea to advance its illicit nuclear weapons program, two experts for the Begin-Sadat Center wrote in a paper published Tuesday. Lt. Col. (ret.) Dr. Refael Ofek and Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham wrote that if Iran “is unwilling to lose years to the freeze on its military nuclear program,” it is likely exploiting its military ties with North Korea to advance its progress to a nuclear weapon. Nuclear and ballistic missile ties between the two nations are longstanding and ongoing, though unlike Iran, North Korea already has developed nuclear weapons. While Iran is temporarily constrained by the nuclear deal, it can contribute to the development of North Korea’s program by sharing its technology and through finance. “There is an irony in this, as it is thanks to its [Vienna Nuclear Deal]-spurred economic recovery that Iran is able to afford it,” Ofek and Shoham noted.
Arab Summit may bury hatchet with Assad
Secret contacts currently underway ahead of the Arab League summit later this month may bring about a sea change in the Arab world’s relationship with Syrian President Bashar Assad, DEBKAfile’s sources report. On Saturday, Feb. 25, Egypt’s parliamentary committee for Arab affairs called for the return of Syria to the Arab League. This step symbolized an initiative launched by a number of leaders to invite Syrian President Bashar Assad to the March 29 Arab Summit in Amman – five years after Syria was expelled from the 22-member Arab League over the savage civil war then at its height. Three leaders are spearheading the moves for Assad’s reacceptance by the Arab community, whether together or separately: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sissi and Jordanian King Abdullah. All three hope to see a historic handshake and greetings between Assad and Saudi King Salman.
Russian Airstrike Accidentally Hits U.S.-Backed Forces in Syria, General Says
The US Army and NATO need to deploy seven combat brigades in the Baltic States with the alleged purpose of deterring Russia, Shlapak said in testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “I wish to be clear and direct: NATO is not postured or prepared to defend its most vulnerable member states against a Russian attack,” he said. War games conducted by RAND consistently resulted in the catastrophic collapse of NATO’s defenses within 36 to 60 hours in the event of any conflict, he added.
US & GLOBAL ECONOMY
11 Quotes From Trump’s Speech To Congress That Show That The U.S. Economy Is In A State Of Collapse
After Tuesday night, nobody should have any more doubt that the U.S. economy has been in the process of collapsing. Donald Trump’s speech to a joint session of Congress is being hailed as his best speech ever. Even CNN’s Van Jones praised Trump, which shocked many observers. Jones said that when Trump honored the widow of slain Navy Seal Ryan Owens that it “was one of the most extraordinary moments you have ever seen in American politics”, and Jones believes that Trump “became President of the United States in that moment”. But Trump’s speech is not just being praised for that one moment. He detailed many of the most important problems that our nation is facing, and he explained his prescription for addressing those problems.
Barack Obama is turning his new home in the posh Kalorama section of the nation’s capital – just two miles away from the White House – into the nerve center of the mounting insurgency against his successor, President Donald J. Trump. Obama’s goal, according to a close family friend, is to oust Trump from the presidency either by forcing his resignation or through his impeachment. And Obama is being aided in his political crusade by his longtime consigliere, Valerie Jarrett, who has moved into the 8,200-square-foot, $5.3-million Kaloroma mansion with the former president and Michelle Obama, long time best friends.
A series of bombshell revelations Wednesday night cast new light on Donald Trump’s potential ties to the Russian government during the course of the presidential campaign and seem likely to escalate calls for a special prosecutor to investigate the matter. The New York Times reported that intelligence officials working for the Obama administration had grown so concerned about the scope of Russia’s meddling in the elections and the evidence of ties to Trump’s operation that they began to leave a breadcrumb trail of clues for future investigators to follow. Among those data points that had them spooked were a series of meetings that affiliates of the Trump campaign and the Russian government allegedly held in European capitals ― meetings that the Trump White House has consistently denied ever took place.
ISLAM & NEW WORLD ORDER
An influential French blogger has come in for heavy criticism after thousands of antisemitic, threatening and homophobic tweets he published under a pseudonym resurfaced over the weekend, sparking fierce debate. The tweets included threats against Front National leader Marine Le Pen, who he threatened to kill, but their author Medhi Meklat, 24, and his supporters have shrugged them off as a joke. “I am going to slit your throat Muslim style” read the tweet threatening Le Pen. Another called for “Hitler to kill all the Jews”, while a third said he wanted to “rape” former Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Charb, one of the victims of the January 2015 terror attacks, with a “Laguiole knife”.
In her popular, controversial religious-themed mystery, Forgotten Word, author Sam Jane Brown predicts the coming “One-World Religion” that will be imposed upon humanity by the United Nations. The story alludes to a series of suspicious events that have taken place under the auspices of the U.N. in recent years— many of which strongly suggest that the global diplomatic body actually harbors sinister plans to eradicate traditional Christianity and replace it with a new, amoral faith based on the precepts of globalism and Islam.
MANMADE AND NATURAL DISASTERS
The earthquake risk for Oklahoma and southern Kansas is expected to remain significant in 2017, threatening 3 million people with seismic events that can produce damaging shaking, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey forecast released Wednesday. The seismic risk is forecast to be so high that the chance of damage in Oklahoma and southern Kansas is expected to be similar to that of earthquakes in California, USGS scientists writing in the journal Seismological Research Letters said Wednesday.