Another Tanker Attack
The Middle East is on high alert today after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. A massive fire broke out on the Front Altair, forcing sailors to abandon the vessel. Another ship, the Kokuka Courageous, was also evacuated. U.S. naval ships quickly responded to two distress signals and were able to rescue the crews of both vessels.
Exactly four weeks ago, four oil tankers were sabotaged in the same region, but the damage then did not appear as severe.
In addition to these attacks, a missile fired from Yemen yesterday slammed into an airport in Saudi Arabia, wounding 26 civilians. Last month, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels launched a drone strike against a major Saudi oil facility within hours of the attack on the four oil tankers.
There seems to be a pattern here -- near simultaneous attacks on oil tankers and missile strikes into Saudi Arabia.
There is no question that the Islamic Republic of Iran is behind these attacks. Once again, the radical regime in Tehran is living up to its reputation as the world's leading state-sponsor of terrorism.
Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a clear warning to Iran, saying:
"The Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today. This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.
"This is only the latest in a series of attacks instigated by the Islamic Republic of Iran and its surrogates against American and allied interest, and they should be understood in the context of 40 years of unprovoked aggression against freedom-loving nations. . .
"These unprovoked attacks present a clear threat to international peace and security. . . The international community condemns Iran's assault on the freedom of navigation and the targeting of innocent civilians. . . The United States will defend its interests and stand with our partners and allies to safeguard global commerce and regional stability."
This morning, I read an article from The Guardian, a left-wing British news site, regarding abortion in America. The article featured a photo of a demonstration outside the Supreme Court and a sign reading, "Make Abortion Great Again."
This is the mindset of the left. The left thinks America was never great, but it thinks abortion is great.
Just how extreme the left has become on the issue was on full display this week in Illinois when Gov. J. B. Pritzker signed the so-called "Reproductive Health Act." Illinois's abortion law is perhaps even more radical than New York's new law.
It immediately repeals the state's ban on partial-birth abortions, as well as a 1975 law requiring abortion centers to meet certain health and safety standards. (Of course, for the unborn child there are no health and safety standards when it comes to abortion facilities.)
It also repeals Illinois's parental consent requirement, and even goes so far as to declare that the fetus has no rights under state law.
I think it is safe to say that under Illinois law today, a rabid animal has more rights than an unborn baby.
Sadly, the left is now promoting abortion -- the destruction of innocent life -- as a positive good. But only 13% of the public supports abortion in all nine months of pregnancy.
I thought the debate over partial-birth abortion was settled, but if the left wants to have that fight, bring it on. The public overwhelmingly rejects late-term abortions, and the public also strongly supports parental consent laws.
But you won't hear much in the media about how extreme the new Illinois law is. Yet when a pro-life state tries to restrict abortion, the media scream "EXTREMISM!" Just another example of the media's double standard.
Barr vs. The Deep State
The deep state is in panic mode. The New York Times reports that the Justice Department has informed the CIA that U.S. Attorney John Durham wants to interview senior CIA officials about their analysis and conclusions of Russia's interference in the 2016 elections.
Sources say the interviews are not part of a criminal investigation, but will likely focus on an issue Attorney General William Barr has raised repeatedly: Since the Obama Administration had early warnings about Russian efforts to interfere in the election, why wasn't anything done to stop it?
Russia's election interference did not become a huge issue for the left until the election did not turn out the way the left expected. Barr also wants to know why the Trump campaign never received a detailed "defensive briefing" from government officials.
In addition, Barr wants to examine the flow of information from the CIA to the FBI, which has been a source of tension between James Comey and John Brennan.
Speaking of Russia, the left and its media allies are apoplectic after President Trump's interview yesterday with George Stephanopoulos. Some members of Congress and reporters are accusing the president of "treason."
Stephanopoulos asked Trump if his 2020 campaign was approached by foreigners offering information on his opponent, should they accept it or call the FBI.
Trump said, "I think maybe you do both," adding, "If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] 'We have information on your opponent' -- oh, I think I'd want to hear it."
The left's over-the-top reaction to the president's answer is utter hypocrisy. The next time the president is asked this question, and he will be asked again, here's how I suggest he should respond:
"That's a good question. Why don't you ask Hillary Clinton because that's exactly what she did in getting a foreign spy (Christopher Steele) to dig up dirt from the Russians. That's exactly what the Democrat National Committee did when it dispatched a contractor to dig up dirt in Ukraine.
"If foreign interference in the election is such a problem, then why was Australia's ambassador to England helping the Clinton campaign? What were Italy's intelligence agencies up to?
"If getting information from foreigners is such a big problem, then why are Senator Mark Warner and Rep. Adam Schiff so eager to solicit information from foreign sources?"
Nobody wants foreign interference in our elections. But the left's obsession with Trump, even after Special Counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of collusion, is obscene.
It's time to move on to more serious issues like border security, infrastructure and confronting Iran.