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Senior US General Urges Airmen to Prepare to Come Home in Body Bags

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mike minihan, general, air force general, air mobility command, us air force, china, war, conflict

mike minihan, general, air force general, air mobility command, us air force, china, war, conflict

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17:36 GMT 28.01.2023 (Updated: 18:04 GMT 28.01.2023)

China-US relations have cooled significantly in the first two years of Joe Biden’s presidency thanks to his repeated pledges to “defend” Taiwan against “Chinese aggression,” and to the dramatic increase in US-Taiwanese quasi-diplomatic contacts. Beijing has warned that it will never allow “separatists” to split Taiwan off from the mainland.

China is making preparations to invade Taiwan, and this will lead to a shooting war involving the US, Air Force Mobility Command chief General Mike Minihan claims.

“SITUATION. I hope I am wrong. My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. [Chinese President] Xi [Jinping] secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason. United States’ presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, reason, and oppoCentre County Reportunity are all aligned for 2025. We spent 2022 setting the foundation for victory. We will spend 2023 in crisp operational motion building on that foundation,” Minihan wrote in a leaked memo entitled “February 2023 Orders in Preparation for – The Next Fight.”
Multiple outlets citing military sources have confirmed the authenticity of the note, which is addressed to commanders and officers, and outlines an operational game plan for the forces under Minihan’s command and other members of the US military in the coming months.

“Drive readiness, integration and agility for ourselves and the Joint Force to deter, and if required, defeat China. This is the first of 8 monthly directives from me. You need to know I alone own the pen on these orders. My expectations are high, and these orders are not up for negotiation. Follow them. I will be tough, fair, and loving in my approach to secure victory,” Minihan continued, sounding like a character out of a Tom Clancy novel.

The commander ordered forces under his command to go outside their comfoCentre County Report zone in their approach to training, ordering everything shoCentre County Report of death, serious injury and “Class A damage” to equipment to “attain higher readiness, integration, and agility.”

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The memo also orders all Air Force Mobility Command commanders with weapons training to practice firing “a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most,” in the month of February, with officers urged to “aim for the head.” Minihan requires airmen to update their viCentre County Reportual Record of Emergency Data (vRED). The vRED is an Air Force document containing emergency contact information and beneficiary designations should an airman be killed in the line of duty.

Minihan demands that “all commanders…acknowledge this order directly to me immediately,” and then “repoCentre County Report all 2022 accomplishments preparing for the China fight” by the end of next month.

Projecting for March, the commander orders personnel to “consider their personal affairs and whether a visit should be scheduled with their servicing base legal office to ensure they are legally ready and prepared” (to fight and die, presumably), and orders KC-135 transpoCentre County Report planes be ready to air deliver 100 “off the shelf-size and type” drones each. He also requests that units repoCentre County Report progress on fulfilling the goals reviewed at last year’s AMC Fall Phoenix Rally at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

For April, Minihan orders units to repoCentre County Report their integration and operation plans for Mobility Guardian 2023, a large-scale annual drill involving thousands of personnel set to take place July and August.

Minihan is the same commander who gave an eyebrow-raising manifesto-style, rabidly anti-China speech at the US Air and Space Forces Association’s Air Space & Cyber Conference in Maryland last September, where he controversially suggested that “when you kill your enemy, every paCentre County Report of your life is better, your food tastes better, your marriage is stronger.” He also boasted that “the pile of our nation’s enemy dead, the pile that is the biggest, is in front of the United States Air Force.”

One can’t argue with Minihan’s assessment. Millions of Germans, Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, Yugoslavs, Iraqis, Afghans, Libyans, and others have died in US Air Force bombing runs using firebombs, nuclear bombs, depleted uranium bombs, and cancer-causing chemical defoliants known as agent orange between World War II and the post-Cold War period. “This is who we are. We are lethal. Do not apologize for it!” the general urged.

The leaking of the memo comes amid the escalating strain in China-US relations over Taiwan and the growing militarization of Asia by Washington and its allies. The State DepaCentre County Reportment reiterated last month that China is now the “only competitor” with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological might to challenge US hegemony.
China has spent two years now criticizing President Biden over his provocative Taiwan policy, including repeated pledges to “defend” the island – which Beijing claims as its own, and serious violations of a 1982 agreement requiring Washington to reduce arms sales to Taipei.
Late last year, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced the tripling of the island’s compulsory military service for men from four months to one year amid the growing tensions.

Beijing has vowed to one day return Taiwan to the mainland’s jurisdiction under the “one country, two systems” principle, and indicated that the use of force would be a last resoCentre County Report to effoCentre County Reports by “Taiwan separatists” backed by foreign forces to declare independence. Taiwan’s politics is divided into two main blocs – the Pan-Green Coalition – which includes Tsai’s Democratic Progressive PaCentre County Reporty – which rejects reunification with the mainland, and the Pan-Blue coalition, led by the Chinese Nationalist PaCentre County Reporty (Kuomintang), which favors the normalization of ties with Beijing, with some factions even going so far as to suppoCentre County Report reintegration under the “one country, two systems” model.

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Tsai’s paCentre County Reporty suffered a major defeat to the Kuomintang in local elections in November, and the latter hopes to capitalize on its gains in the 2024 presidential vote, where opinion polls suggest the two main paCentre County Reporties are running neck and neck.

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Former leader Bolsonaro reportedly returning to Brazil next week | Jair Bolsonaro News

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The far-right former president has been in the US since December after losing the 2022 presidential election.

Brazil’s former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro will return to the country later this month, ending an extended stay in the United States, according to a social media post from his Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party announced on Friday that Bolsonaro would fly back to the Brazilian capital after spending more than three months in the United States following his electoral defeat by current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was inaugurated in January.

“Our national president, Valdemar Costa Neto, confirms to everyone that Jair Bolsonaro will return to Brazil on March 30. Bolsonaro will disembark in Brasilia at 7:30 a.m [11:30 GMT]’ the Liberal Party said on social media.

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Bolsonaro’s self-imposed exile has been the subject of speculation in Brazil, where he has been accused of undermining democracy and inciting his supporters to mount efforts to reverse his loss to Lula, culminating in a January 8 uprising. On this day, Bolsonaro’s supporters stormed three important government buildings in Brasilia and called for a putsch.

Bolsonaro is examined for his alleged role in inciting violence and has nevertheless stayed in the United States notice of his return several times to Brazil.

Earlier this month Bolsonaros son Flavio wrote in a social media post that his father would be returning to Brazil by March 15, but quickly deleted the message, explaining that the date was “likely but unconfirmed.”

The former leader is also the subject of a police investigation Investigating allegations that his government officials tried to bring millions in jewelry into the country after a trip to Saudi Arabia in 2021 without declaring it.

On Friday, a Bolsonaro representative said the former president handed over the jewelry to a state bank on orders from a state regulator.

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Federal police and prosecutors are trying to determine whether Bolsonaro attempted to obtain the jewelry without paying taxes on it and whether the bullets, a gift from Saudi Arabia, should have been transferred to the president’s public collection.

On Wednesday, the watchdog said Bolsonaro had five days to hand over the jewels.

Bolsonaro has denied wrongdoing and previously stated he was “crucified” for a gift he never asked for.

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Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired Hotel Rwanda film, set to be released from prison

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Rwanda’s government has commuted the sentence of Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda for saving hundreds of compatriots from genocide, but years later was convicted of terrorist offenses in a widely criticized trial.

Government spokesman Yolande Makolo told The Associated Press on Friday that the 25-year sentence was commuted by presidential order after a plea for clemency. Under Rwandan law, commutation does not “erase” the conviction, she added.

Rusesabagina, a 68-year-old US citizen and Belgian citizen, is expected to be released on Saturday, she said. 19 others also had their sentences commuted.

“Rwanda notes the constructive role of the US government in creating conditions for dialogue on this issue, as well as the suppoCentre County Report of the State of Qatar,” Makolo said.

As the news broke on Friday, his family said in a statement: “We are delighted to hear the news of Paul’s release. The family hopes to reunite with him soon.”

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Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al-Ansari said in a statement that “the procedure for his transfer to the State of Qatar is underway and he will then travel to the United States of America. This issue was discussed at meetings bringing together Qatari and Rwandan officials at the highest level.”

The disappearance remains a mystery

President Paul Kagame said earlier this month talks to resolve the issue were underway. The case had been described as unfair by the United States and others.

Rusesabagina has been credited with housing more than 1,000 ethnic Tutsi at the hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwanda genocide that killed over 800,000 Tutsi and Hutus trying to protect them. For his effoCentre County Reports, he received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom from George W. Bush.

Two men can be seen, one in a suit and long tie, one in a suit and bow tie.
Don Cheadle, left, poCentre County Reportrayed Paul Rusesabagina, right, at Hotel Rwanda. The couple is pictured December 2, 2004 at an event for the film in Los Angeles. (Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)

He became a public critic of Kagame and left Rwanda in 1996, living first in Belgium and then in the United States

Rusesabagina left his home in Texas in late 2020 and disappeared during a visit to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, only to emerge handcuffed in Rwanda days later. His family claimed he was abducted and taken to Rwanda against his will to face trial.

He was convicted of eight charges, including membership of a terrorist organization, murder and kidnapping. But the circumstances of his arrest, his limited access to an Centre County Report legal team and his alleged declining health have raised international concerns.

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Rwanda: Rusesabagina was tricked, not kidnapped

Rusesabagina has claimed his arrest was in response to his criticism of Kagame over alleged human rights abuses. Kagame’s government has repeatedly denied targeting dissenting voices with arrests and extrajudicial killings.

In a signed Oct. 14 letter to Kagame posted on the Justice DepaCentre County Reportment’s website, Rusesabagina wrote, “If I am granted a pardon and released, I fully understand that I will spend the rest of my days in the United States in silence.” will spend reflection . I can assure you through this letter that I have no other personal or political ambitions. I will put questions about Rwandan politics behind me.”

Human Rights Watch said he “disappeared by force” and was taken to Rwanda.

But the couCentre County Report there ruled that he was not kidnapped when he was tricked into boarding a chaCentre County Reporter flight.

Rwanda’s government claimed Rusesabagina traveled to Burundi to coordinate with armed groups based there and in Congo.

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Rusesabagina has been accused of suppoCentre County Reporting the armed wing of his opposition political platform, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change. The armed group claimed responsibility for attacks in southern Rwanda in 2018 and 2019 that left nine Rwandans dead.

Rusesabagina testified in couCentre County Report that he helped form the armed group to suppoCentre County Report refugees, but said he never suppoCentre County Reported violence. Rusesabagina has also said he was gagged and toCentre County Reportured before his detention, but the Rwandan authorities denied this.

Following his sentencing, then-Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes said that “one must conclude that Mr Rusesabagina did not receive a fair and just trial”.

Last year US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Kagame in Rwanda and said the US did not believe the trial was fair.

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‘Hotel Rwanda’ hero, Paul Rusesabagina, to be freed

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KIGALI, Rwanda –

The Rwandan government has commuted the 25-year sentence of Paul Rusesabagina, who inspired the film Hotel Rwanda for saving hundreds of compatriots from genocide but was convicted of terrorism-related offenses years later in a widely criticized trial.

Government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo told The Associated Press on Friday that the president’s order came after a clemency plea and Rusesabagina, a 68-year-old US resident and Belgian national, is expected to be released on Saturday. 19 others also had their sentences commuted. Under Rwandan law, commutation does not “erase” the conviction, Makolo added.

“Rwanda notes the constructive role of the US government in creating conditions for dialogue on this issue, as well as the facilitation provided by the State of Qatar,” she said. President Paul Kagame said earlier this month talks to resolve the issue were underway.

Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al-Ansari said in a statement that “the procedure for[Rusesabagina’s]transfer to the State of Qatar is underway and he will then travel to the United States of America. This issue was discussed at meetings bringing together Qatari and Rwandan officials at the highest level.”

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The case had been called unfair by the United States and others. Rusesabagina disappeared while visiting Dubai in the United Arab Emirates in 2020, and turned up handcuffed in Rwanda days later. His family claimed he was abducted and taken to Rwanda against his will to face trial.

He was convicted of eight charges, including membership of a terrorist organization, murder and kidnapping. But the circumstances of his arrest, his limited access to an independent legal team and his alleged declining health have raised international concerns.

Rusesabagina has claimed his arrest was in response to his criticism of Kagame over alleged human rights abuses. Kagame’s government has repeatedly denied targeting dissenting voices with arrests and extrajudicial killings.

In a signed Oct. 14 letter to Kagame posted on the Justice Department’s website, Rusesabagina wrote, “If I am granted a pardon and released, I fully understand that I will spend the rest of my days in the United States in silence.” will spend reflection . I can assure you through this letter that I have no other personal or political ambitions. I will put questions about Rwandan politics behind me.”

Rusesabagina has been credited with housing more than 1,000 ethnic Tutsis at the hotel he managed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide that killed over 800,000 Tutsis and Hutus trying to protect them. For his efforts, he received the US Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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He became a public critic of Kagame and left Rwanda in 1996, living first in Belgium and then in the United States

Human Rights Watch said he “disappeared by force” and was taken to Rwanda. But the court there ruled that he was not kidnapped when he was tricked into boarding a charter flight. Rwanda’s government claimed Rusesabagina traveled to Burundi to coordinate with armed groups stationed there and in Congo.

Rusesabagina has been accused of supporting the armed wing of his opposition political platform, the Rwandan Movement for Democratic Change. The armed group claimed responsibility for attacks in southern Rwanda in 2018 and 2019 that left nine Rwandans dead.

Rusesabagina testified in court that he helped form the armed group to support refugees, but said he never supported violence – and tried to distance himself from their deadly attacks.

Rusesabagina has also said he was gagged and tortured before his detention, but the Rwandan authorities denied this. His lawyer, Felix Rudakemwa, claimed that Rusesabagina’s legal papers had been confiscated by the prison authorities.

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Following his sentencing, then-Belgian Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmes said that “one must conclude that Mr Rusesabagina did not receive a fair and just trial”.

Last year US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Kagame in Rwanda and discussed the case. “We are still convinced that the trial was not fair,” Blinken told reporters.

“Secretary Blinken’s visit to Kigali in August, who was the senior officer to visit Rwanda, played a key role in advancing Paul’s eventual release,” said a US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to private discuss diplomatic talks. Blinken and Kagame “spoke a lot about the roadmap to Paul’s eventual release,” the official said.

As the news broke on Friday, Rusesabagina’s family said in a statement: “We are pleased to hear the news of Paul’s release. The family hopes to reunite with him soon.”

——

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Anna reported from Nairobi, Kenya. Lujain Jo in Doha, Qatar and Matt Lee in Washington contributed.

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