Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Obama Too Busy to Meet Netanyahu, But Adds Letterman Spot

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to attend the UN near the end of September. As he was going to be in the states, he asked if he could meet with President Barack Obama.

The White House told him that Obama would be too busy to make it up to New York. Netanyahu then offered to fly down to DC to meet with him. At which time he was told Obama would be too busy to even meet under those circumstances.

Press in Israel quickly stated that Obama was trying to snub Netanyahu, which the White House denies. However, as Israel is one of our most important allies shouldn't meeting with them under any circumstances being considered a top priority, especially when they request it? And considering the very unstable times in the Middle East, specifically over Iran, a meeting is all the more important right now. It's also of note that this would mark the first time that an Israeli Prime Minister has made a trip to the US, without having a meeting with the sitting President.

On Wednesday morning, Obama's staff announced that Obama is now flying out to be on the Letterman show. So it seems that whilst earlier in the week he was too busy to meet with Netanyahu, he's now not too busy to set up a chance to be on TV. O and just a reminder, Letterman is filmed in New York, which is exactly where Netanyahu will be.

Catalans March for Independence

At least a million people protested in Barcelona, on Tuesday, demanding an independent Catalonia.

Some estimates put the crowd at one and a half million.

Police were extremely grateful to see that the protest stayed peaceful throughout.

The crowds blame Spain for dragging them into massive debt, saying they could do better on their own.

According to a La Vanguardia survey, from Sunday, 51.1% of Catalans support independence.

Catalonia is the north eastern region of the country, and makes up at least twenty percent of Spain's economy.

Regional leader Artur Mas has a scheduled meeting with Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, on September 20, to discuss lowering the amount of taxes the region pays.

Mas told the protesters that if a deal could not be worked out, then he would do all in his power to work towards independence for their new nation.

US Consulate Burned, 1 American Killed, Libyan Security Forces Repulsed by Militia

In an attack very similar to one which happened just hours ago, in Egypt, a mob in Benghazi, Libya attacked the US consulate, Tuesday night.

The protesters set the building on fire, damaging most of it.

Luckily it was after hours and so few were present, but one American staff member has been killed.

Libyan security forces attempted to push the mob away from the remnants of the consulate, but were repelled by heavy fire from militia forces.

The mob supposedly was protesting the same film that the Egyptians were saying mocked the prophet Muhammad.

No one is sure what movie supposedly sparked the protest.

Both attacks were likely organized by members of Al Qaeda, as the US remembers the eleventh anniversary of the terrorist group's attack on September 11.

US Embassy in Cairo Attacked

Thousands of Egyptians massed in protest in front of the US embassy in Cairo, on Tuesday.

Encouraged by the lack of police or Egyptian military presence, they then climbed the walls, breached the compound, tore down the US flag, and raised one of their own.

Their flag was black and in Arabic said, "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger".

The black flag with those words is often used by Al Qaeda.

TV cameras showed the mobs ripping up the US flag, before burning the pieces.

Finally Egyptian police and military showed up, chasing the protesters off far enough to establish a cordon around the embassy.

As they showed up a volley was fired into the air, though it is unclear who fired the shots.

No word has come out as to where the police and troops were before then.

US Marines had likely been ordered to maintain the security of the buildings, allowing the grounds to be invaded in an effort to avoid making the incident worse.

The mob was supposedly upset over some American movie which mocks Mohammad, though no one is sure what movie that could be.

Hours later a mob in Benghazi, Libya burned the US consulate there, supposedly over the same movie.

Both attacks were likely organized by members of Al Qaeda, as the US remembers the eleventh anniversary of the terrorist group's attack on September 11.

Blue to Gold: ARMY Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia S Ramirez

ARMY Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia S Ramirez, 28, of San Antonio, TX, died Sept. 5, in Logar Province, Afghanistan.

Ramirez, 28, originally of Nairobi, Kenya, and most recently of Raeford, joined the U.S. Army in 2003 as an enlisted water purification specialist, according to a news release.

"She was a true quiet professional, and an incredible role model to so many," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Landy Dunham, commander, Task Force Talon, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. "Thalia never failed to set the perfect example of a confident and competent warrior. She was fearless, and loved her job. She selflessly risked everything, on a regular basis, in defense of her brothers and sisters in arms."

She earned OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aviator qualification in 2008, and was assigned to the 82nd CAB in 2009. This was her second deployment.

Ramirez's awards include the Air Medal 3rd device, the Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal with Valor, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with three oak leaf clusters, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon 2nd device, NATO Medal, the Combat Action Badge and the Army Aviator Badge.

"As we finish up this deployment and return home, in some way remember my friend Thalia," said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joseph Panza, Troop F, 1-17 Air Cavalry Regiment, at the Thursday ceremony on Bagram Airfield honoring both pilots. "Whether it's a moment of silence, a toast, or a prayer to whatever divine power you believe in. Just a small gesture for someone who made a huge sacrifice doing what she believed in."

Ramirez is survived by her husband, Jesse Belbeck, in the U.S., and mother and father, Justin Ramirez and Alexandra Moll, in Kenya.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that a helicopter crashed in eastern Logar Province, where coalition forces are staging operations against insurgents.

Blue to Gold: ARMY Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose L Montenegro Jr

ARMY Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose L Montenegro Jr 31, of San Juan, TX, died Sept. 5, in Logar Province, Afghanistan.

Montenegro originally joined the U.S. Army in 2001 as an enlisted infantryman, according to a Fort Bragg news release.

"He loved his country and was proud to do what was asked of him, without question, without hesitation," said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jason England, Troop F, 1-17 Air Cavalry Regiment, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade Montenegro, earned OH-58D Kiowa Warrior aviator qualification in 2008, and attended the Warrant Officer Basic Course in 2009. He was then assigned to Fort Bragg. This was Montenegro's third deployment - previously he deployed to Iraq in 2004 and Afghanistan in 2010.

"He would not have us mourn for him," said England in a memorial ceremony on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Sept. 7. "He died on the field of battle with his boots on and a rifle in his hand. He has gone to his rest, to the open arms of a loving Savior."

Awards
Montenegro's awards include the Air Medal with Valor 4th device, Air Medal 2nd device, Purple Heart Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with "V" device, Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Valorous Unit Award, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Campaign Stars, Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon 3rd device, NATO Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, Combat Action Badge and the Army Aviator Badge.

He is survived by his mother, Reyna Torres, and sister, Liliana Montenegro.