Beltway Insider: Biden/Afghanistan, Trump, Haiti, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Branson, Tokyo, NYC, Robert Downey Sr.

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President Biden, this week, defended his decision to withdraw U.S. Military Forces from Afghanistan, even as violence has continued to escalate across the region and Taliban forces have seized the opportunity to extinguish advancements made by the Afghani people.

The President's job approval rating, according to the website fivethirtyeight.com, for the period ending July 11, 2021, decreased by 0.9% to 51.6% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness increased by 0.5% percentage points to 42.3%. A slight 3% of the population polled have no opinion. Ratings are calculated weekly.


Beltway Insider: Biden/Infrastructure, SCOTUS, China, Miami Condo, COVID/Vaccine Totals, Chauvin, McAfee


Biden Defends Afghanistan Withdrawal

By announcing "the United States did what we went to do in Afghanistan: To get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and to deliver justice to Osama Bin Laden," President Biden defended his decision even in the wake of escalating and continued violence.

At the onset of the announcement in May, the Taliban seized the opportunity to set precedent of their agenda with the bombing of the Sayed Ul-Shuhada high school in Kabul, Afghanistan, which killed more than 90 female students. The citizens of Kabul showed immediate resolve to fight against the terrorist regime as mourners wrote in chalk on the mass grave that now held their daughters and lost dreams a single defiant word, "Education."

President Biden is not the first president to face criticism for Afghanistan foreign policy. Former President Obama, in 2014, brought together to relate against the onslaught of the Islamic State's growing forces and sadistic murders of American, British, and Jordanian citizens, created a sixty-nation coalition to degrade, destroy and defeat the radical Islamic organization.

Since 2014 the coalition has grown to 83-nations, and have as of June 28, 2021, "adding [four new] partners since the last Ministerial – Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritania, and Yemen," the U.S. Department of State released in a fact sheet.

The oversight coalition, while not officially considered a peace keeping organization, has continued to bolster its forces and maintain the same objectives, to degrade, defeat and destroy the Islamic State, an objective that has been largely achieved.

U.S. Withdrawal Set for August 31, 2021

With the troop withdrawal set for August 31, 2021, convulsions are underway throughout the region with neighboring Iran already under attack by Afghan forces.

"Tehran fears both Taliban rule and Afghanistan returning to civil war, a destabilizing prospect likely to imperil the country's ethnic Persian and Shiite communities, send more waves of Afghan refugees across the border and empower Sunni militancy in the region," reported The Washington Post.

The accepted theory is from Kabul to Tehran the Afghanistan Military will launch a civil war. The Taliban, whose strict interpretation of the Koran, impose authoritarian rule and "Women over the age of 10 are prohibited from receiving an education, and televisions and social media are banned. Contrary to popular belief, there is not one single "Taliban," but several different groups. The biggest and most effective group in Pakistan are the TTP. It was this group that attempted to murder Malala Yousafzai for going to school under the group's rule."

Al-Qaeda, the radical jihadist terror organization directly responsible for the World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacks in 2001, has largely been disbanded and its leader, Osama bin Laden, killed along with many other top leaders.

 

The defeat of Al-Qaeda, the primary objective of the U.S. Military presence in Afghanistan, has been achieved. "We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build.  And it's the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country," Biden said.

President Biden defended his decision to withdraw U.S. Military Forces from Afghanistan, this week, even as violence has escalated from the beginning of the announcement and Taliban forces seize the opportunity to extinguish advancements made by the Afghani people.

The Islamic State

Even as the Islamic State has been crippled, with the U.S. Military withdrawal, the possibility of an rebirth of the fragmented organization is expected. Efforts to radicalization foreigners to the cause utilized social media platforms including WhatsApp, YouTube, and Twitter to fight against the invasion of Western culture and the damaging influences.

"Although the media has been populated with stories of the IS over the last couple of years, the Taliban groups have a far larger following. Whilst the Taliban and al-Qaeda predominately practice guerrilla warfare, making them extremely difficult to face using traditional combat techniques, IS tactics are far moresimilar to those of a typical army.

An army that is expected to regroup and reorganize after the August 31, 2021, withdrawal of U.S. Military from the region.

Trump's Secret Service Bill

Former President Trump secret service bills, which recently topped $50,000, will continue to be paid by the taxpayers for the remainder of the president's life as the former president charges the government the standard nightly rate at his luxury hotels.

"Since Trump left office in January, U.S. taxpayers have paid Trump's businesses more than $50,000 for rooms used by Secret Service agents, records show. The Washington Post reported previously that Trump's Mar-a-Lago Club — where he lived from January, when he left the White House, to early May — charged the Secret Service more than $40,000 so that agents could use a room near Trump," reported The Washington Post.

Haiti President Assassinated; Nation in Turmoil

Haitians are desperate to flee the instability of the country in the aftermath of the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the attempted murder of his wife, former First Lady Martine Moïse, packing the U.S. embassy in Port-Au-Prince hoping to flee the nation.

The Haitian government has arrested seventeen suspects including two Haitian Americans in the assassination that has left the deeply impoverished nation reeling, fragmented as political jockeying takes over and

"Seventeen suspects have been detained so far in the stunning assassination of Haiti's president, and Haitian authorities say two are believed to hold dual U.S.-Haitian citizenship and Colombia's government says at least six are former members of its army," reported NPR.


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US Stands Ready

"The United States offers condolences to the people of Haiti, and we stand ready to assist as we continue to work for a safe and secure Haiti," President Biden said in a released statement.  

However, the United States has yet to send troops to assist, although have explained they will be sending a fact-finding team to determine what type of assistance the U.S. can provide.

"While sympathetic to the humanitarian misery," The New York Times reported, "and mindful of a potential mass exodus of Haitian refugees like one that occurred in the 1990s, the administration nevertheless shows no immediate enthusiasm for sending even a limited American force into the midst of politically based civil strife and disorder. The administration has said it will send officials from the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security to Port-au-Prince to assess how they might assist the government's investigation.

Vaccine Totals

Bloomberg.com has built a vaccine tracker which can be seen here. "In the U.S., 334 million doses have been given so far. In the last week, an average of 513,550 doses per day were administered," Bloomberg.com reported.

"In the U.S., the latest vaccination rate is 513,550 doses per day, on average. At this pace, it will take another 9 months to cover 75% of the population," reported Bloomberg.com.

Coronavirus Totals

While the infection rates of the coronavirus have continued to decline around the world. A new strain, a mutation, has created global concern for leaders around the world are determining the best direction for the protection of the population. The importance of maintaining personal protective practices is imperative to controlling the spread.

For the week ending July 11, 2021, coronavirus cases globally increased by 5,672,057 new confirmed cases, bringing the total of confirmed cases worldwide to 186,441,363 people with a total worldwide death toll of 4,024,180 deaths, a weekly death rate increase of 107,303. (Data from The New York Times).

COVID US Totals

Infections rates in the United States are also on the rise. For the week ending July 11, 2021, the total confirmed cases rose to 33,813,392 people with new confirmed cases increasing by 225,229 with a 14-day average of 16,087 cases per days of confirmed new cases. The coronavirus has claimed 606,289 total deaths, adding 2,788 more deaths to the total of lives lost due to the coronavirus. (Data from The New York Times).

Branson Blasts Off

Billionaire Mogul Richard Branson blasted off today in his Virgin Galactic spacecraft, achieved altitude and has safely returned to the earth. Weather related delays caused the launch to be pushed back.

Branson achieved his goal and reached 53.41 miles, or about 282,000 feet, which is the altitude the U.S. recognizes as the boundary of space miles, using the social media platform twitter to document the flight and sheer magnitude and elevation of the accomplishment.

Branson became the first what has been deemed the Billionaire Boys Club Space race with Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to follow on July 20, 2021, with Blue Origin which will fly 100 kilometers (or about 328,000 feet), which is commonly known as the Kármán Line, which is the boundary between the Earth's atmosphere and outer space.


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Tokyo Olympics

With the Tokyo Olympics set to begin on July 23, 2021, the International Olympic Committee has announced the ban on spectators at all venues and have extended the ban to outer areas within the Olympic village.

The coronavirus remains a threat in the region with less than 17% of the Japanese population vaccinated and an expected 40,000 athletes expected to arrive in Tokyo within the next ten days, strict guidelines are in place with mandatory testing at training venues, housing, and other entry points.

Japan has renewed a state of emergency. Polls have shown more than 50% of the population oppose holding the Olympics, although no major demonstrations are planned, which would be counter active to stopping the spread of the coronavirus.

New York City Politics

Former Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams has been declared the democratic winner in the June 22, 2021, primary. Adams who won the primary by a razor thin margin of just 1% over challenger former Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, will face off against Republican challenger Curtis Sliwa, founder of the Guardian Angels, in the November 2, 2021, election.

Garcia, when conceding said, "For 400 years, no woman has held the top seat at City Hall," she said. "This campaign has come closer than any other moment in history to breaking that glass ceiling and selecting New York City's first female mayor. We cracked the hell out of it," reported The New York Daily News.

Garcetti Tapped for Ambassador Post

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been nominated by President Biden as the Ambassador to India, and the nomination will be sent to the senate, where the appointment will undergo judicial scrutiny and vote.

Garcetti, who easily won his second term as Mayor of Los Angele in 2017, played a major role in the President's election campaign and served as the national co-chair of his presidential election committee. Should the senate confirm his nomination, Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez is expected to take over the position.


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Robert Downey Sr., Dies

Robert Downey Sr., an actor, director, and writer, died this week in Manhattan after battling Parkinson's disease. He was 85.

Downey Sr., the father of actor Robert Downey, Jr., was known as an art-house independent film director during the 1950s and 1960s and would largely go unnoticed until a resurgence in the independent film industry brought his early films to a retrospective stage. He also enjoyed an active acting career at times co-starring in the film he directed. His acting career spanned sixty years.

He passed away in New York City. He is survived by his son, Robert Downey, Jr, a daughter, Allyson Downey, and his wife, Rosemary Rogers.

 

For more information on President Joe Biden www.whitehouse.gov.

Sources: Various © Articles covered by Copyright protection.

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