Speaking with Hannity Tuesday night, President Trump warned that the Americans who are trapped in Afghanistan thanks to the total lack of contingency by the Biden administration will be used as hostages by the Taliban.
“We’re being set up. They have all those people and I can guarantee you they consider them to be hostages,” Trump warned.
He continued, “And let’s see what happens over the coming weeks. But this is not a story that ended today or yesterday. This is a story that is going to go on for a long time. And it could be a very, very bad ending.”
“It is a terrible time for our country,” Trump continued, adding “I don’t think in all of the years our country has ever been so humiliated. I don’t know what you call it – a military defeat or a psychological defeat, there has never been anything like what’s happened here: You can go back to Jimmy Carter with the hostages.”
He also referred to the horrifying images of Afghans falling from U.S. Military planes already in the air in desperate attempts to flee the country.
“I looked at that big monster cargo plane yesterday with people grabbing the side and trying to get flown out of Afghanistan because of their incredible fear – and they’re blowing off of the plane from 2,000 feet up in the air, nobody has ever seen anything like that,” Trump said, adding “That blows the helicopters in Vietnam away. That is not even a contest. It has been the most humiliating period of time that I’ve ever seen.”
Trump explained that while he was President he had told the Taliban firmly that if they reneged on the deal he had forged to remove U.S. troops, if the Taliban ventured into unapproved areas of Afghanistan, or attempted to harm Afghan or U.S. government interests he would rain hell fire down on them like never before.
Trump said he told Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar “I told him upfront … ‘let me just tell you right now that if anything happens to Americans or anybody else or if you ever come over to our land, we will hit you with a force that no country has ever been hit with before. A force so great to that you won’t even believe it.'”
Now that deterrent is non-existent, and the country is in complete chaos.
Trump also slammed American interventionism in the Middle East.
“It was a horrible decision going into the Middle East. I know the Bush family will not be happy, but I believe it was the worst decision in the history of our country when we decided to go into the Middle East,” Trump urged.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s attempts to blame Trump for what has unfolded have continued, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodging questions about Taliban leaders who have been instrumental in overthrowing Afghanistan being previously released from Guantanamo Bay by The Obama/Biden administration.
The Taliban commando in question is the Mullah Khairkhwa, who bragged Sunday about getting out of Gitmo and going on to take over Afghanistan:
Khairkhwa was released by Obama and Biden in 2014, along with four other key extremists, despite the fact that the Pentagon classified him as too dangerous to let go.
Obama and Biden also paid the Taliban $5 billion in exchange for the U.S. deserter US Army Sgt. Robert “Bowe” Bergdahl, in what can be definitively described as one of the worst deals of all time.
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Report: Elon Musk ‘Turned Off’ Starlink to Thwart Ukrainian Drone Attack on Crimea
Musk himself said he actually declined a request to turn additional satellites on.
A new biography on Elon Musk claims that Musk “secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his company’s Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year to disrupt a Ukrainian sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet,” though Musk himself said he actually declined a request to turn additional satellites on.
Elon Musk secretly ordered his engineers to turn off his company’s Starlink satellite communications network near the Crimean coast last year to disrupt a Ukrainian sneak attack on the Russian naval fleet, according to an excerpt adapted from Walter Isaacson’s new biography of the eccentric billionaire titled “Elon Musk.”
As Ukrainian submarine drones strapped with explosives approached the Russian fleet, they “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly,” Isaacson writes.
Musk’s decision, which left Ukrainian officials begging him to turn the satellites back on, was driven by an acute fear that Russia would respond to a Ukrainian attack on Crimea with nuclear weapons, a fear driven home by Musk’s conversations with senior Russian officials, according to Isaacson, whose new book is set to be released by Simon & Schuster on September 12.
Musk’s concerns over a “mini-Pearl Harbor” as he put it, did not come to pass in Crimea. But the episode reveals the unique position Musk found himself in as the war in Ukraine unfolded. Whether intended or not, he had become a power broker US officials couldn’t ignore.
The new book from Isaacson, the author of acclaimed biographies of Steve Jobs and Albert Einstein, provides fresh insights into Musk and how his existential dread of sparking a wider war drove him to spurn Ukrainian requests for Starlink systems they could use to attack the Russians.
After Russia disrupted Ukraine’s communications systems just before its full-scale invasion in February 2022, Musk agreed to provide Ukraine with millions of dollars of SpaceX-made Starlink satellite terminals, which became crucial to Ukraine’s military operations. Even as cellular phone and internet networks had been destroyed, the Starlink terminals allowed Ukraine to fight and stay connected.
But once Ukraine began to use Starlink terminals for offensive attacks against Russia, Musk started to second-guess that decision.
“How am I in this war?” Musk asks Isaacson. “Starlink was not meant to be involved in wars. It was so people can watch Netflix and chill and get online for school and do good peaceful things, not drone strikes.”
Musk was soon on the phone with President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, the chairman of the joint chiefs, Gen. Mark Milley, and the Russian ambassador to the US to address anxieties from Washington, DC, to Moscow, writes Isaacson.
Meanwhile, Mykhailo Fedorov, a deputy prime minister of Ukraine, was pleading with Musk to restore connectivity for the submarine drones by telling Musk about their capabilities in a text message, according to Isaacson. “I just want you—the person who is changing the world through technology—to know this,” Fedorov told Musk.
Musk, the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla and private space exploration firm SpaceX, replied that he was impressed with the design of the submarine drones but that he wouldn’t turn satellite coverage back on for Crimea because Ukraine “is now going too far and inviting strategic defeat,” according to Isaacson.
Musk did not respond to CNN’s request for comment but did respond to the story on Twitter/X.
“The Starlink regions in question were not activated,” Musk said. “SpaceX did not deactivate anything.”
The Starlink regions in question were not activated. SpaceX did not deactivate anything.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 7, 2023
“Both sides should agree to a truce,” Musk said. “Every day that passes, more Ukrainian and Russian youth die to gain and lose small pieces of land, with borders barely changing. This is not worth their lives.”
Both sides should agree to a truce.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 7, 2023
Every day that passes, more Ukrainian and Russian youth die to gain and lose small pieces of land, with borders barely changing. This is not worth their lives.
“There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol,” he said in a follow-up tweet. “The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor. If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.”
There was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 7, 2023
The obvious intent being to sink most of the Russian fleet at anchor.
If I had agreed to their request, then SpaceX would be explicitly complicit in a major act of war and…
Wishful thinking doesn’t win wars— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 8, 2023
Ironically, the Ukrainian military (and by extension the war) is being kept alive entirely due to Starlink. If not for Starlink, Ukraine would have been forced to go to the negotiating table a long time ago.
That said, Musk still deserves credit for advocating for peace while the bloodthirsty neocons running our government are doing everything in their power to escalate the war.
Civil Unrest Fears Grow As Youth Unemployment Accelerates
In nearly every country in the world, youth unemployment is much higher than general unemployment.
Unfortunately, the pandemic only exacerbated matters. During a crucial stretch of their early careers, young adults were locked out of entry-level jobs, destroying their ability to pick up work experience and potentially impacting their long-term earnings.
Now, nearly three years after COVID-19 first hit, young adults from some countries, like China, are struggling to find jobs. Using data from the OECD and the National Bureau of Statistics of China, Visual Capitalist’s Pallavi Rao and Niccolo Conte chart out the youth unemployment rate for 37 countries.
Ranked: Countries With the Highest Youth Unemployment
At the top of the list, Spain has the highest youth unemployment in the OECD, with nearly one in three young adults unable to find a job.
ℹ️ Unemployed people are those who report that they are without work, are available for work, and have taken active steps to find work in the last four weeks. The youth unemployment rate is calculated as a percentage of the youth labor force.
A mismatch between educational qualifications and the labor market has been cited as a significant reason for Spain’s lack of employed adults between the ages of 15–24.
Meanwhile, the country’s reliance on temporary contracts and dependence on seasonal sectors—like tourism—to generate jobs are some of the many reasons for its persistently high reported unemployment across demographic groups.
Listed below is the youth unemployment rate for all the OECD countries, and China, as of the second quarter of 2023.
|2||🇨🇷 Costa Rica||27.1%|
|18||🇨🇿 Czech Republic||13.7%|
|20||🇬🇧 United Kingdom||11.4%|
|28||🇺🇸 United States||8.0%|
Announced in June, China’s youth unemployment rate has climbed to 21.3%, a meteoric rise since May 2018, when it was below 10%. The Chinese economy is in the midst of a slowdown and its steadily climbing youth unemployment prompted the government to suspend age-specific unemployment data for the near future.
On the other side of the spectrum, in Japan, only 4.2% of young adults are without a job. A key reason for this is Japan’s shrinking and aging population that’s made for a tight labor market.
Youth Unemployment: Men vs Women
In most OECD countries, it’s common to see young men experiencing a higher unemployment rate compared to young women.
This contrasts with the trend across all age groups in the OECD, where the unemployment rate is 6.3% for women and 6% for men.
We visualize the countries in the dataset with the biggest gaps in youth unemployment below.
There is no singular reason that explains this common gap.
Across the OECD, more young women opt for tertiary education than young men, which may lead to better employment prospects. At the same time women are overrepresented in the health and social welfare sectors—both growing rapidly thanks to an aging population—that may make it easier for them to find jobs.
Why Does Tracking Youth Unemployment Matter?
Aside from being an indicator of general opportunities within a country, youth unemployment is a key metric to track, because it can be a bellwether for future economic prospects.
High rates of youth unemployment also correlate to brain drain within a country, as young adults move elsewhere to find better jobs.
Finally, large increases in unemployed youth have historically led to the potential of civil unrest, which makes it a politically-charged metric to identify and monitor for governments.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Kremlin Rejects “Absolute Lie” That Putin Ordered Killing Of Wagner’s Prigozhin
Russian investigators say they are currently conducting DNA testing on the recovered bodies from the Wednesday plane crash northwest of Moscow believed to have killed Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin and his top commanders.
In yesterday’s condolence speech, President Putin referred to the Wagner chief in the past tense, remembering him as a “talented” businessman who made “mistakes”—which was widely seen as high level confirmation he went down in the plane.
State media sources have revealed new details of the status of the investigation at the crash site, with RT underscoring that DNA tests will take time, and that “the probe was entrusted to Ivan Sibula, a senior investigator who previously led inquiries into high-profile air incidents in Russia.”
As for the US reaction, President Joe Biden had been quick to point the finger directly at Putin, saying while on vacation Wednesday he was “not surprised” as “There’s not much that happens in Russia that Putin’s not behind.” Biden had been briefed soon after reports of the crash emerged, but said, “I don’t know enough to know the answer. I’ve been working out for the last hour and a half.”
A Thursday Pentagon briefing gave an official US assessment, with Pentagon spokesman Gen. Pat Ryder saying an intentional explosion brought down Prigozhin’s plane. Ryder called initial US reports of a surface-to-air missile “inaccurate” amid other reports saying it was a bomb detonated midair. The Pentagon assessed that Prigozhin was likely on board and was killed in the crash, but didn’t attempt to posit a precise cause.
Interestingly, Ryder also strongly suggested that Wagner mercenaries are no longer active in a significant way on the Ukraine battlefield:
Ryder recalled that after the rebellion of the Wagner Group two months ago in Russia, these forces were actually withdrawn from near Bakhmut and the battlefield in general.
“But for all intents and purposes their combat effectiveness has been diminished. And they are no longer a significant factor when it comes to the conflict inside Ukraine.”
Importantly, the Kremlin has on Friday rejected Biden’s allegation that Putin was behind it, with presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov calling attempts to incriminate Russian government leaders absolute lies.
“There is a lot of speculation around the plane crash and the tragic death of the passengers, including Yevgeny Prigozhin,” Peskov told reporters during a briefing. “Of course, in the West, this speculation is being presented from a certain angle. All of this is an absolute lie,” he added.
Meanwhile, Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko has said those Wagner fighters currently in Belarus can stay there, according to state-run BelTA, at a moment the fate of the organization is uncertain. Makeshift memorials have been seen at Wagner offices in Russian cities, including in St. Petersburg where the group’s large HQ building is located.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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