Big news. Rebecca Rubin (VARIETY) reports:
Audiences will get to see “Wonder Woman 1984” on Christmas Day after all. After much speculation, Warner Bros. announced that the superhero sequel will debut on the streaming service HBO Max on Dec. 25, the same day it will open in U.S. movie theaters.
Internationally, where HBO Max is not available, “Wonder Woman 1984” will premiere in cinemas one week earlier, on Dec. 16. The film will stream on HBO Max for a month at no additional cost to subscribers.
They can't keep pushing film release dates back. And there's damn little for HBO to show. It makes sense to deliver the movie on Christmas Day and they're smart to do so.
I think if the film was postponed again (as I've written before), it would just lose enthusiasm. There's also the fact that a film that sits and sits on the shelf awaiting release can grow stale to the point that no one cares when it's finally released. The hope, once upon a time, was that theaters would open and running and Covid on the run by this fall. It hasn't happened. Now the numbers are on the rise and, for all anyone knows, this time next year we could still be in the midst of Covid.
It's smart for them to release the new Wonder Woman movie in this manner.
Going out with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"
Wednesday, November 18, 2020. Another drawdown.
Yesterday afternoon, the acting Secretary of Defense Christopher C. Miller addressed the press.
ACTING SECRETARY OF DEFENSE CHRISTOPHER C. MILLER: Good afternoon. I'm Chris Miller, acting secretary of defense, and I'm here today to update you on President Trump's plan to bring the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to a successful and responsible conclusion, and to bring our brave service members home.
From Kabul to Kandahar and from Mosul to Fallujah, hundreds of thousands of America's finest sons and daughters, who selflessly answered the call to serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard have brought us to this point. Their efforts and sacrifice will go down in history as epitomizing the strength, commitment, and empathy of a force that is unlike any the world has ever seen.
Just last night, I joined Vice President Mike Pence and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Milley to attend the dignified transfer of five American soldiers who perished on duty in the Middle East. This was a somber and humbling moment that reminded us of the tremendous sacrifices made by the men and women of the United States military in service of freedom and security.
Our armed forces take an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. They serve not for personal gain, but for the protection and well-being of their fellow Americans and their homeland. They are champions for peace, liberty, and the rule of law, and unrelenting when called upon to defend our people and our values. We owe them and their loved ones an enormous debt of gratitude.
This is why I'm enormously blessed and privileged to stand before you today to outline the next phase of our campaign to defeat terrorists who have perpetrated attacks on our homeland, including those who help and harbor them, and to prevent -- prevent future acts of terrorism against our nation.
We owe this moment to the many patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice, and their comrades who carry forward their legacy. Together, we have mourned the loss of more than 6,900 American troops who gave their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq, and we will never forget the more than 52,000 who bear the wounds of war and all those who still carry its scars – visible and invisible.
In light of these tremendous sacrifices, and with great humility and gratitude to those who came before us, I am formally announcing that we will implement President Trump's orders to continue our repositioning of forces from those two countries. By January 15, 2001 – excuse me, I clearly am thinking of where this started in 2001 – by January 15, 2021, our forces, their size in Afghanistan will be 2,500 troops. Our force size in Iraq will also be 2,500 by that same date. This is consistent with our established plans and strategic objectives, supported by the American people, and does not equate to a change in U.S. policy or objectives.
Moreover, this decision by the president is based on continuous engagement with his national security cabinet over the past several months, including ongoing discussions with me and my colleagues across the United States Government.
I have also spoken with our military commanders, and we all will execute this repositioning in a way that protects our fighting men and women, our partners in the intelligence community and diplomatic corps, and our superb allies that are critical to rebuilding Afghan and Iraqi security capabilities and civil society for a lasting peace in troubled lands.
And just this morning, I spoke with key leaders in Congress, as well as our allies and partners abroad, to update them on these plans, in light of our shared approach. We went in together, we adjust together, and when the time is right, we will leave together.
One of my calls was to NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg. Another was to Afghanistan's President Ghani, who expressed his gratitude for every American service member who has fought for peace and strengthened the longstanding friendship between our countries.
President Ghani highlighted the caliber of our troops, which he noted has always been more important than the quantity. We continue to stand with him as his government works toward a negotiated settlement for peace.
Meanwhile, let us remind those who question our resolve or may seek to interfere with this prudent, well planned and coordinated transition – the United States armed forces remain committed to protecting the safety and security of the American people, and supporting our likeminded allies and partners worldwide.
If the forces of terror, instability, division, and hate begin a deliberate campaign to disrupt our efforts, we stand ready to apply the capabilities required to thwart them.
As a veteran whose life and family was irrevocably changed in the deserts, mountains, and cities of Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops who have fought there and were forever transformed by their experiences, I celebrate this day, as we continue the president's consistent progress in completing the mission we began nearly two decades ago.
I want to thank the Afghans and Iraqis who have partnered with us throughout, and who now carry the bulk of the fighting to secure their homelands. I want to thank our NATO allies and other partners who have fought alongside us and taken the lead on training and advising the Afghan and Iraqi security forces. We will continue to support their efforts.
And thanks to our more than 80 partners in the Defeat ISIS coalition. We have destroyed the ISIS caliphate and will ensure they never again gain a foothold to attack our people.
In closing, we set out to accomplish three goals in 2001. First, go abroad and destroy terrorists, their organizations, and their sanctuaries. Two, strengthen our defenses against future attacks. And three, prevent the continued growth of Islamist terrorism to include by working with allies and local partners to take the lead in the fight.
Today is another critical step in that direction, and a result of President Trump's bold leadership. With the blessings of providence in the coming year, we will finish this generational war and bring our men and women home. We will protect our children from the heavy burden and toll of perpetual war. And we will honor the sacrifices made in service to peace and stability in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world, and celebrate all those who helped us secure freedom over oppression.
God bless our women and men in uniform. Thank you very much.
This is a drawdown, not a withdrawal.
I'm not applauding. It's a step in the right direction, but I'm not applauding. When I saw headlines and heard gasbaggery on TV about the above, I thought, "Well I'm going to have to praise Donald." No, I'm not.
It's a drawdown, not a withdrawal. If we're bringing the wars to a close, why are US troops remaining there?
In terms of numbers? We already know from James Jeffrey's own mouth that we have no idea how many US troops are in the Middle East because he and others conspired to lie to US President Donald Trump so that they could countermand his orders.
The acting secretary says that Iraq will draw down to 2,500 US troops. If the number's correct, so what?
Don't tell me you're ending the Iraq War when you're not and when all you're doing is reducing US forces by 500 troops. In Monday's snapshot, we noted that there are supposed to be 3,000 US troops (officially) in Iraq. Bringing that number down by 500? A step in the right direction but it's not enough.
From the way some were being hysterical on TV, I thought Donald really was removing all US forces from Iraq except for those who guard the US Embassy. I was ready to praise him because the war needs to be over.
But all this is doing is removing 500 troops from Iraq.
A step in the right direction but not what's needed.
Earlier on Tuesday, Stoltenberg warned that leaving the war-torn country too soon or in an uncoordinated effort could present unintended consequences for the world’s largest military organization.
“Afghanistan risks becoming once again a platform for international terrorists to plan and organize attacks on our homelands. And ISIS could rebuild in Afghanistan the terror caliphate it lost in Syria and Iraq,” the NATO chief said, referring to Islamic State militants.
On that page, you'll also get the FOX NEWS refugee who's on 'our side' now because? Because ethics flew out the window long ago and whoring for defense industry will always keep you employed.
Stoltenberg, by the way, is Jens Stoltenberg who is NATO's Secretary-General. ISIS could rebuild?
Maybe yes, maybe no. I'd bet yes, myself. But that terrorism threat is something countries need to be able to fight themselves and wars are supposed to come to an end.
I'm reminded of Tony Curtis in SOME LIKE IT HOT, "Jerry, boy, why do you have to paint everything so black? Suppose you got hit by a truck. Suppose the stock market crashes. Suppose Mary Pickford divorces Douglas Fairbanks. Suppose the Dodgers leave Brooklyn!"
All those things did happen.
And, again, my guess would be ISIS would rebuild -- it's not been vanquished or sent packing. But those internal threats for countries to address themselves.
Equally true, the US government has never feared ISIS. They funded it while Joe Biden was Vice President, that's who the US government backed in Syria. But they've never feared it. When did they move against ISIS? Long after ISIS seized Mosul. They really didn't care about Mosul. They cared about Baghdad, specifically the Green Zone. When 'chatter' said that ISIS was moving to seize the Green Zone, that's when the US government cared.
The US government created the dysfunctional and criminal government of Iraq. US troops have been kept in Iraq to support that government, to keep it from being overthrown -- by ISIS, by the Iraqi people, by anyone. It's a weak government for many reasons. Two chief reasons? The Iraqi people have seen that their votes do not count. In 2010, thug Nouri al-Maliki was seeking re-election as prime minister. The Iraqi people rejected him. But they got Nouri as prime minister because Joe Biden helped negotiate a contract, The Erbil Agreement, that overturned the will of the Iraqi people and gave Nouri a second term. That second term is how ISIS rose in Iraq. The other chief reason? This government does not serve the Iraqi people. We're hearing now about Iraq being billions of dollars in debt.
Ask any struggling country if they could make it on the billions Iraq takes in from oil each year and they'd tell you they could make it and then some. Grasp that Iraq's population is around 35 million -- CIA estimate (they haven't carried out a census in decades). Where does the money go? The billions brought in goes somewhere. Into the pockets of so-called public servants. The Iraqi people suffer, do without and their politicians get rich. (That's not a problem just for Iraq, look at the US.) It's how a Nouri al-Maliki struggles before returning to Iraq (after the US-led invasion), becomes prime minister and suddenly he's rich. It's how his corrupt son has multiple residences in Europe and several expensive sports cars. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people live in poverty. What little they are provided by the government is always being cut -- the rations card program is only the best known example -- and there are no jobs for them. The corruption is never addressed.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani strongly warned against taking foreign loans from the IMF (International Money Fund) and others. And now, as the press beats the drum about the economic 'crisis' in Iraq, these bodies want to further gut Iraq's remaining social programs.
It's warfare, let's be honest.
People in the US who've turned away and zoned out should honestly be ashamed of themselves. As a US citizen, we are responsible for wrecking Iraq. (That does not mean we keep US forces on the ground to 'fix' Iraq.) Yes, our media failed us and continues to do so. However, even a casual observer should have noted that every prime minister of Iraq under the US occupation has been a coward (let's be honest) who fled Iraq while Saddam Hussein was in power and only returned after the US-invaded. That alone was your clue that this was not a representative government because no one is going to vote for a coward to lead their country. But prime minister after prime minister, for three years short of two decades, has been someone who fled the country.
Forget everything else, don't get lost in the weeds on anything else, just that basic fact told you that the government was not representative.
The US government has tried to control Iraq. It's not alone. Certainly, the Iranian government has as well. But so has the French government, the . . .
The Iraqi people deserve to steer their own destiny. The whole point of US troops on the ground in Iraq is to keep the government in power with the hopes that eventually the Iraqi people will be exhausted and just accept it.
In other words, the US is hoping to push it as close to the limits of date rape as possible. No? Are you sure? Are you still sure? What about now?
Above TRT speaks with retired US Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt who notes, "There's never a right time but the fact remains we've pretty well finished the job in both of the countries. [. . .] So if not now, then when?"
US House Rep Justin Amash Tweets:
The following sites updated: