Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is well known for having delivered some controversial quotes in the past, and he uttered yet another during a speech last week to sailors at Naval Base Kitsap in Washington.
During a short speech on Aug. 9 followed by a question-and-answer period, Mattis thanked the sailors of the USS Kentucky for being in the Navy, saying they’d never regret that service.
“That means you’re living,” Mattis said, according to the official Pentagon transcript.
“That means you’re not some p— sitting on the sidelines, you know what I mean, kind of sitting there saying, ‘Well, I should have done something with my life.’ Because of what you’re doing now, you’re not going to be laying on a shrink’s couch when you’re 45 years old, say ‘What the hell did I do with my life?’ Why? Because you served others; you served something bigger than you.”
The Navy reversed its policy of only allowing males to serve aboard submarines in 2010, according to the US Naval Institute. A spokesman for Submarine Group 9 confirmed the USS Kentucky does not currently have any female sailors assigned to it.
Mattis went on to say that he wished he were young enough to go out to sea with the Kentucky’s crew, though the retired general joked, “there’s a world of difference between a submariner and a Marine, you know what I mean?”
Anbar – More than twenty Islamic State militants were killed as Iraqi troops and U.S.-led coalition shelled the group’s locations in western Anbar, according to sources.
“The Iraqi army’s artillery shelled on Tuesday IS reinforcements in desert of Annah town, leaving no less than twenty militants killed,” Lt. Col. Yasser al-Dulaimi, of the military, told DPA.
The shelling, according to Dulaimi, comes within arrangements by the army to carry out offensives to liberate western regions.
“Iraqi army carries out daily military operations in the same region to reduce the group’s powers in Anbar desert and to secure the roads leading to borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia,” he added.
In related news, a security source told Alghad Press that the U.S.-led coalition jets shelled the militant group’s locations in Qaim town, located west of Anbar.
“The shelling left five militants killed,” the source added.
IS has bases at Anbar desert, which lies near to borders with each of the Saudi Kingdom, Jordan and Syria, from which the militants launch attacks against Iraqi troops and civilians.
Anbar’s western towns of Annah, Qaim and Rawa are still held by the extremist group since 2014, when it occupied one third of Iraq to proclaim a self-styled Islamic Caliphate. Iraqi troops were able to return life back to normal in the biggest cities of Anbar including Fallujah, Ramadi and others after recapturing them.
Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe defended the actions taken Saturday by state and local law enforcement in response to clashes between white nationalist protesters and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, VA.
McAuliffe told The New York Times in an impromptu street interview Sunday morning that police in Charlottesville did their best considering the circumstances.
“It’s easy to criticize, but I can tell you this, 80% of the people here had semiautomatic weapons,” McAuliffe said.
Law enforcement in Charlottesville have received widespread criticism from counterprotesters, bystanders, and participants of the white nationalist “Unite The Right” rally. Many called the police’s handling of the event hands-off, often appearing outnumbered and waiting too long to break up skirmishes between protesters and counter-protesters.
Former police officials in New York and Philadelphia made similar criticisms that, despite a large mobilization of law enforcement personnel — Charlottesville’s mayor put the number at 1,000 — police failed to separate the clashing factions at the beginning of the event, allowing the violence to quickly grow out of hand.
Though McAuliffe strongly commended law enforcement’s handling of the event, he appeared to suggest that police were unprepared for who actually showed up to the rally.
“You saw the militia walking down the street, you would have thought they were an army … I was just talking to the State Police upstairs; [the militia members] had better equipment than our State Police had,” McAuliffe said. “And yet not a shot was fired, zero property damage.”
McAuliffe’s response that law enforcement’s handling of the violence was successful because there were no bullets fired and “zero property damage” would appear to ignore that dozens were left injured and a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, was killed when an apparent white supremacist plowed his car into a crowd.
McAuliffe, for his part, suggested that Heyer’s death couldn’t have been prevented.
“You can’t stop some crazy guy who came here from Ohio and used his car as a weapon. He is a terrorist,” he said.
Here’s how ProPublica’s A.C. Thompson described the scene, and the police response, in Charlottesville Saturday:
At about 10 a.m. today, at one of countless such confrontations, an angry mob of white supremacists formed a battle line across from a group of counter-protesters, many of them older and gray-haired, who had gathered near a church parking lot. On command from their leader, the young men charged and pummeled their ideological foes with abandon. One woman was hurled to the pavement, and the blood from her bruised head was instantly visible.
Standing nearby, an assortment of Virginia State Police troopers and Charlottesville police wearing protective gear watched silently from behind an array of metal barricades — and did nothing.
It was a scene that played out over and over in Charlottesville …
Kim Jong Un says plan on hold unless “the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions”
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced he would not move forward with plans Tuesday to launch missiles near the Pacific Island of Guam.
Kim, who threatened last week to potentially send four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles into waters off the U.S. territory’s coast, said plans to do so were on hold unless “the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions.”
“If the Yankees persist in their extremely dangerous reckless actions on the Korean Peninsula and in its vicinity, testing the self-restraint of the DPRK, the [North] will make an important decision as it already declared,” Kim said.
North Korean state media asserted that Kim’s decision followed a visit to a military command post where he reviewed an attack scenario prepared by senior officers.
Kim’s threats, partly in response to repeated B-1B flyovers originating from Guam’s Anderson Air Force Base, came just hours after President Donald Trump warned of “fire and fury” if the regime continued its provocative statements.
The Tuesday announcement from Kim also called on the U.S. to “stop at once arrogant provocations against the DPRK and unilateral demands and not provoke it any longer.”
As noted by North Korea expert Ankit Panda, Kim’s announcement to step back from a potential attack, while not at all unexpected given its severity, may not be easily explained away by U.S. deterrence alone.
“First, by deciding not to proceed with the launch, Kim appears to have expressed an intent to deescalate,” Panda writes at The Diplomat. “Tuesday’s statement includes a paragraph that begins ‘In order to defuse the tensions and prevent the dangerous (sic) military conflict on the Korean peninsula’ and goes on to open the door to an exchange on equal terms with the United States — something akin to the ‘freeze for freeze’ proposal that has seen Chinese and Russian backing recently.”
Kim’s statement, Panda further argues, sets up “a highly provocative coercive bargaining scenario” that still leaves the threat to strike near Guam on the table.
While potentially coincidental, B1-B patrols in the Korean Peninsula also ceased following Kim’s threats against Guam.
“North Korea had specifically underlined B-1B flights as its chief concern, prompting it [to] prepare for preemptive ballistic missile strikes against Guam,” Panda adds. “The U.S. decision not to fly B-1Bs may have been happenstance, in this case; flights tend to occur with an interval greater than seven days.”
Although a back-and-forth of bellicose threats between Kim and Trump continue on the forefront, reports indicate that both countries have spent the past several months communicating through a diplomatic backchannel.