Terrorists Shot After Two Van Attacks
Friday, August 18, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 219
Barcelona: Police in Spain last night killed five suspected terrorists after a second van attack on pedestrians. One person was killed in the attack.
The shootout took place in Cambrils, about 70 miles outside Barcelona, where yesterday afternoon a van drove down a sidewalk along the city’s famous Las Ramblas, killing 13 people and injuring at least 100.
Witnesses said the driver of the white van zigzagged along the sidewalk running down pedestrians as others scattered to get out of the way. When it was over, the walkway was littered with the bodies of the dead and injured among a jumble of broken umbrellas, chairs, and café tables
The Islamic State took credit for what is Spain’s worst terrorist attack since 2004. Two people were arrested, including a Moroccan man whose identity papers were used to rent the van, but the driver ran off.
Relieved of Duty: The Navy is firing the two senior officers and a senior enlisted man from the crew destroyer USS Fitzgerald, which collided with a freighter off the coast of Japan in June, killing seven sailors who drowned in their sleeping compartment.
In all, about a dozen sailors face discipline that will end their careers.
A preliminary report describes how sailors escaped from their flooding compartment, and the heroics of some who saved fellow crewmen, but it does not describe what commanders and crew did wrong to allow the collision to occur.
Monumental: President Trump re-joined the debate about the removal of Confederate statues yesterday, tweeting, “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments …. the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”
It’s a contentious issue. People who like the statues say they represent Southern heritage, but they represent the heritage of a war fought to preserve slavery. Many of the monuments were erected in the 1890s to 1920s when racial separation was codified into law in the South.
There are about 1500 Confederate monuments across the country and proposals to remove many of them. Monuments have already been taken away from as far away as in Los Angeles to Montreal and towns in Maryland.
Some have been the targets of protest and vandalism. Eight people have been charged for pulling down and wrecking the statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham, NC.
Defection: Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker told local reporters what few Republicans have dared to say. “The President has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability nor some of the competence that he needs to demonstrate in order to be successful,” Corker said.
Trade War and Clowns: In a rare interview given to The American Prospect, President Trump’s strategist Steve Bannon said, “We’re at economic war with China. It’s in all their literature.” He said, “One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path.”
After making headlines, Bannon later claimed the interview with Robert Kuttner was off the record, even though he called Kuttner on the phone and never set rules.
In the interview he went on, “To me, the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we’re five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we’ll never be able to recover.”
On the recent neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville, Bannon dismissed the white nationalists saying, “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”
“These guys are a collection of clowns,” he said.