Connect with us

News

First District Republican candidates support American airstrike on Iranian general

Brandon Moseley

Published

on

Friday, Republican First District Congressional candidates Bill Hightower, Chris Pringle, John Castorani, and Jerry Carl issued statements supporting the American airstrike that killed Iranian Lt. General Qasem Soleimani and his entourage on a street in Baghdad.

“The radical mullahs in Iran have been at war with the United States for 40 years and last night, after learning of imminent further attacks and actionable intelligence on the location of the Iranian military leader, President Trump finally said enough was enough,” former State Senator Bill Hightower wrote. “Unlike President Obama who capitulated with the Iran Nuclear Deal that helped fund the escalation of what we see today in the Middle East, President Trump stood up for America and our interests. Soleimani was an active enemy combatant, responsible for the deaths for over 600 American servicemen and women and the wounding of countless more. I applaud President Trump’s decisive action in standing up for America.”

Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl said on social media, “Soleimani was a ruthless terrorist responsible for the deaths of many Americans. I’m thankful for President Trump’s bold stance against the Iranian regime.”

State Representative Chris Pringle wrote: “This is OUR President! This is how America responds to threats against our citizens. When given the opportunity to take out one of the leading actors in the war on terror and protect American lives OUR President did not hesitate. I know President Trump will always stand up to the radical Iran regime. The left should be ashamed of their Anti-American narrative surrounding this story.”

John Castorani defended the attack on Twitter specifically the Washington Post’s use of the word “revered” in describing Soleimani: “Because slaughtering innocent people and the enablement of terrorism within a region and often globally means you’re revered. This is trash – countless American service members killed by Quds forces.”

Castorani insisted that there was actionable intelligence to justify the killing of Soleimani.

Soleimani was the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite Quds Force and the highest ranking general in Iran. He has been credited with shaping Iranian foreign policy for years as well as the deaths of hundreds of Americans largely through arming militants with Iranian made shaped improvised explosive devices during the Iraq War. More recently Soleimani was credited with ordering rocket attacks on U.S. military bases on December 27 that killed an American contractor and the storming of the American embassy in Baghdad last week by Shia militants.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force is a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Advertisement

The Pentagon said in a statement late on Thursday. “General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.”

Seventeen percent of all deaths of U.S. personnel in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 were orchestrated by Soleimani, according to reports by the U.S. State Department.

Soleimani had just flown in to Baghdad from Damascus, Syria, where he was picked up at the airport by Shia militiamen. As the two vehicles were leaving the Baghdad Airport, a CIA drone fired four missiles at the two vehicles killing Soleimani and his entourage. The general’s body was torn apart by the blast. Iraqi authorities identified Soleimani by the ring on his severed hand. What was left of his body was flown back to Tehran in a cardboard box.

Soleimani was given a state funeral by the Iranian regime. Tens of thousands attended. A stampede at the funeral left a number of mourners dead. Iran has vowed to seek revenge. President Donald J. Trump (R) has threatened to bomb 52 targets in Iran, including Iranian cultural sites, if there is retaliation. The Pentagon has since issued a statement ruling out the threatened bombing of cultural sites.

The Iraqi Parliament has voted for all U.S. forces to leave the country in the wake of the slaying of General Soleimani.

Hightower and Carl are running in the Republican primary in the First Congressional District. Incumbent Bradley Byrne, R-Montrose, is vacating his seat in the House of Representatives to run for the Senate seat currently held by Doug Jones (D).

Wes Lambert is also running in the Republican primary on March 3.


Original reporting by the Daily Mail, New York Times, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Advertisement

National

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed asks public to stay home for “next few nights” amid protests

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed at a Monday afternoon press conference asked the public to stay at home for the next few nights, if they can. 

Reed’s words came after peaceful protests in Birmingham turned into a riot early Monday morning. Numerous businesses were burned, and two reporters were attacked. Protests were likely to begin Monday evening, according to accounts on social media. 

“I want you to know that I share your outrage over the killing of George Floyd. I share your anger about the callus action that ended his life,” Reed said. 

But Reed said “we must not further inflict damage upon ourselves and our community in a short-sighted effort to express our understandable frustration and anger.” 

Reed asked that those who can do so “stay at home for the next few nights.” 

“Talk with your family. Talk with your friends. Talk with others about what we can do together for the betterment of each other,” Reed said. 

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin earlier on Monday declared a state of emergency and a city-wide curfew that begins today. 

Moments before Reed spoke, President Donald Trump gave a speech at the White House and said he is an ally of all peaceful protestors and “your president of law and order.” 

Advertisement

“But in recent days our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, antifa and others,” Trump said. 

Trump said he was mobilizing the U.S. military to stop the rioting, and that he strongly recommended to governors that they “deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets.” 

If governors don’t get rioting under control, Trump said “I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.” 

Gov. Kay Ivey earlier on Monday announced that she authorized the Alabama National Guard to activate as many as 1,000 guardsmen, but said there was no immediate need to deploy them. Woodfin said in a separate press conference Monday that there was no immediate need for assistance from the Alabama National Guard.

Just as Trump began speaking at the White House, police fired tear gas and advanced on a group of peaceful protestors at Lafeyette Park near the White House, according to video coverage by several news outlets. 

After his speech, Trump left the White House on foot and traveled under heavy security to Lafeyette Park, where he held up a Bible outside St. John’s Church alongside White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany while photographers clicked away.

Continue Reading

Health

Gov. Kay Ivey addresses death of former Auburn coach Pat Dye

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

via Madison Ogletree / The Auburn Plainsman

Gov. Kay Ivey in a statement Monday expressed sadness over the death of former Auburn head football coach Pat Dye, who died Monday after being hospitalized for kidney problems. He had also been diagnosed with COVID-19. 

Dye, 80, was being treated for kidney problems when he tested positive for COVID-19, although he was asymptomatic, his family said at the time. 

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Coach Pat Dye — a great man, coach and member of the Auburn family,” Ivey said. “Not only was he a phenomenal football coach, but an even better person. For years, I have known Pat personally and have always valued his friendship and colorful commentary. He had great takes on both football and life. Coach Dye truly embodied the Auburn spirit. He will be missed not only by the Auburn family, but the entire state of Alabama. War Eagle, Coach. Your life and legacy lives on.”

Ivey graduated from Auburn University, where Dye served as head football coach from 1981 to 1992. He was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in 2005.

Continue Reading

Crime

Alabama Democratic Party chair: “Where systemic racism endures there are no winners”

Eddie Burkhalter

Published

on

The Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party on Monday called for Alabamians to come together to address systemic racism and inequality in the wake of the death of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. 

“I am angry and I am hurt. Unfortunately, I am not shocked,” said state Representative and  Chair of the Alabama Democratic Party Chris England, in a statement. 

“Inequality pervades every facet of our society. Confronting this truth is difficult, especially for those who have never experienced their race as an issue. For Black people, watching George Floyd be killed on camera felt not only horrifying, but familiar. It felt familiar because we know what it is like to be harassed by an officer or made to feel unwelcome in a certain part of town. We know what it is like for our schools, neighborhoods, and economic concerns to be ignored outright,” England continued. 

“I stand with each person who is fighting for the just and fair treatment of every Alabamian. Until ideologies rooted in racism and hate are confronted head-on, communities of color will suffer. Until we expose the lies keeping us divided, communities who do not experience their race as an issue will continue misdirecting their frustrations, and scapegoat communities of color. Where systemic racism endures there are no winners, only losers. 

“Unity demands justice. I call on every Alabamian, especially people of faith, to be on the frontlines of love and compassion. We have not come this far to only come this far.”

Two days of peaceful protests in Birmingham turned violent early Sunday morning, and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin declared a state of emergency and enacted  a city-wide curfew to prevent a repeat of the rioting that saw numerous business burned and at least two reporters attacked.

Gov. Kay Ivey on Monday announced the authorization of Alabama National Guard members, but said it was no immediate need to activate them.

Continue Reading

News

Quinton Ross: What should we tell our youth on the death of George Floyd?

Quinton Ross

Published

on

The following is Alabama State University President Quinton T. Ross Jr.’s statement in full on the death of George Floyd. 

For the past few days, I, like many others have been viewing through the lens of the media, the reaction of our country to the deplorable and senseless death of yet another defenseless black person at the hands of a white police officer, a tragic mockery to the truth that Black Lives Matter. Similar to other Americans, I am overcome with a range of emotions.

As the father of two sons and as a black man myself, I can assure you that I am furious and deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd, as I am by every senseless killing of black males and females in America. It could have been either of my sons, my brothers, my nephews or nieces, my friends or even one of my students who lay on the ground, pleading for mercy on that horrific day.

Looking into the eyes of my 11-year-old son and trying to help him comprehend what happened and what is happening in our nation, I am cognizant of the fact that I am old enough only to have read about the many civil rights protests and nonviolent demonstrations that have afforded me the opportunities that I have enjoyed during my lifetime.

While I was not an eyewitness to the protests, I do try to paint a picture for my son, drawing from my exposure to many civil rights icons and their recounting of historic events of the past, such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the march from Selma to Montgomery, the brutality of law enforcement officers such as Bull Connor and the story of Ruby Bridges. I am emotionally distraught about the stark parallel of our nation’s present state of affairs and our nation’s historical past.

I have been giving thought to this national crisis, especially as it relates to Alabama State University’s rich history and her overwhelming contributions to the advancement of civil rights in the nation.  I am one of thousands of students who have matriculated and emerged from ASU with purpose and a true understanding of social justice and responsibility. At ASU, we learned the importance and the power of the vote.  The call to public service and advocacy was ingrained in our DNA by O’ Mother Dear.

While I attempt to give some sensible explanation to the most recent senseless acts of brutality, I have reflected on my first real encounter with the reality of racist police violence against blacks in America.  It was the spring of 1991, just prior to my senior year in college, and I had just been elected President of the Student Government Association.

This was the time that our nation witnessed Rodney King being brutally beaten by Los Angeles law enforcement officers after he led them on a high-speed chase.  I remember asking myself, “Is this what would happen to me as a black man if I found myself in a similar situation with authorities?”  I vividly recall how the nation erupted into protests because of Rodney King’s mistreatment, just like the protests that have erupted nationally because of the senseless death of George Floyd and others.

Advertisement

Each incident is similar to the protests that happened across this nation in the 1960s due to social injustice.  As a young student, I was confused and enraged by what I witnessed. I remember the rumbling of unrest within our student body regarding Rodney King. We were all ready to act on our anger and frustration by taking to the streets of Montgomery to let our voices be heard.  Word of our intentions reached our President, the late Dr. C. C. Baker, who later became one of my mentors.

My SGA leadership team and I were summoned to Dr. Baker’s office, and it was there that I learned what social protesting was really all about. It is not about the destruction of property, looting or acting disorderly; it is about banding together peacefully with a common goal, with a purpose and a plan for change.  During the meeting, we discussed our desire to be heard and our passion for change, and emerged with a plan for a peaceful protest on the campus that historically has been a beacon for change—our home, our haven—Alabama State University.

This focusing event allowed me to lead my first press conference. It would be the first time I had ever spoken in front of news cameras. Every news outlet in the city was on campus that day as students gathered with community stakeholders in great numbers. I led the protest with a speech. Students and local elected officials were also able to have their voices heard as the media captured our impassioned sentiments and broadcast the event.  I share this personal experience not only to highlight the importance of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in providing a platform for change, but also to emphasize the need to protest peacefully and with a purpose.

I offer that advice while understanding and even relating to the rage that has been unleashed across the nation by the infection of racism that is more potent than ever in America. Our nation has a new and improved infection of racism when George Floyd can plead for mercy while dying publicly under the force of a racist man’s knee just as his forefathers died publicly hanging from a noose.

There is a new and improved infection of racism when a young man by the name of Michael Brown can hold his hands up in surrender and still be shot to death in broad daylight in Ferguson, Missouri. There is a new and improved infection of racism when a man by the name of Eric Garner in New York City can tell authorities “I can’t breathe” as he is choked to death.

The infection of racism is new and improved when a young man by the name of Trayvon Martin is gunned down in cold blood while walking from the store to his home. Racism is new and improved when Ahmaud Arbery can be gunned down while jogging not far from his home. There is a new and improved infection of racism when Breonna Taylor can be shot and killed by police officers as she lay sleeping in her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. Let us not forget the infection of racism that related to the death of Sandra Bland, who was found hanged in a jail cell in Walker County, Texas, after being arrested for a minor traffic stop.

Here in Montgomery, there is a new and improved infection of racism when a man by the name of Greg Gunn, who attended ASU, is chased and killed by a police officer just a few steps from his mother’s front door. Their tragic deaths made headlines, but across this nation and even in this city, we could easily add more names to the rolls of those whose lives have been so tragically cut short with no cell phone cameras to capture their last, painful breaths.

With this in mind, we struggle with the question, “What should we tell our students?” The answer that I offer you is the same that I give to my sons. I ask that you find ways to protest peacefully, including exercising your personal responsibility to register to vote and then go vote, and committing yourself to continuing your education so that you are prepared to emerge as this nation’s next generation of leaders.

I ask that you resist the temptation to channel your anger into destruction; instead, channel your energy into the very thing that disturbs and disrupts those who would oppress you: Education.

Our nonviolent stand proved successful in the past, and I believe it could be the catalyst for real and impactful change today. Let peace be at the core of all of our actions.

While it seems as though remaining calm in the midst of a racist storm is a signal to be disrespected, disregarded and endangered, remember the lives that were lost to get us to this day. Remember the examples of those who were brutally beaten and rose up from that brutality to walk the halls of congress, to become mayors, governors, state legislators and community leaders.

They are the ones upon whose shoulders we stand. Their sacrifices have afforded us the opportunity to stand and take up the mantle of peace, justice and equality for all.

Stay in the fight against injustice my children and my students, with peace, purpose and a plan that saves us from self-destruction and allows us all to “breathe” freely.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Authors

Advertisement

The V Podcast

Facebook

Trending

.