UPDATE: The Pentagon has weighed in on the report about the troop withdrawal, and has confirmed that the troops will not be leaving Iraq after all.
MORE: Top U.S. general says letter on Iraq troops was a poorly worded, unsigned draft meant to underscore increased levels of troop movements pic.twitter.com/ocICSBuNEV
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 6, 2020
In the wake of the attack in Baghdad that killed Iranian general and terrorist leader, Qasem Soleimani, it is being reported that President Trump is ordering the U.S. Armed Forces to troops out.
“Sir, in deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi Parliament and the Prime Minister, CJTF-OIR will be repositioning forces over the course of the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement,” wrote United States Marine Corps Brigadier General William H. Seely III, the commanding general of Task Force Iraq in the reported letter.
“We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure,” it said.
It is worth noting that the Pentagon has yet to confirm the authenticity of the letter, and there may be a U.S. presence that remains in the nation in some other capacity.
Read the letter here:
AFP & Reuters reporting the U.S.-led coalition sending a letter informing the Iraqi military of a decision to move U.S. forces out of Iraq.
Letters in English & Arabic pic.twitter.com/1HypFAm8Ox
— Heshmat Alavi (@HeshmatAlavi) January 6, 2020
Previously, President Trump had said that any withdrawal from Iraq was contingent upon the nation paying the U.S. back for the billions invested in the embassy in the nation. He threatened economic sanctions unless the Iraqis were willing to pay up.
“We’ve spent a lot of money in Iraq,” Trump said to reporters aboard Air Force One as he made his way back to Washington after celebrating the Christmas season at his Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago.
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. … We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” he added.
“We will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever,” Trump said. “It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
It remains to be seen if President Trump announces sanctions following this reported removal of forces.
The Iranians continue to escalate following the drone killing of Soleimani, making the possibility of a war seem more likely. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani made a Twitter post on Monday referencing an Iran Air passenger jet that was shot down by U.S. naval forces in 1988, which resulted in the deaths of 290 people.
Those who refer to the number 52 should also remember the number 290. #IR655
Never threaten the Iranian nation.
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) January 6, 2020
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement today that was very non-committal, urging people to be patient before judging President Trump’s actions.
“We can and we should learn more about the intelligence and thinking that led to this operation and the plan to defend American personnel and interests in the wake of it,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol building following the return from winter break for lawmakers.
“Unfortunately, in this toxic political environment, some of our colleagues rushed to blame our own government before even knowing the facts. Rushed to split hairs about intelligence before being briefed on it,” he added.
Big League Politics will continue to report on this story as it develops.
Southern Baptist Convention Reverses Course on Name Change After BLP Reporting
They say they’re not changing their name.
The Southern Baptist Convention has sought to dispel reporting from Big League Politics on the organization’s planned name change, arguing that the institution isn’t formally changing its name.
To correct multiple inaccurate reports, “We Are Great Commission Baptists” is the 2021 Annual Meeting THEME.
The GCB descriptor was approved in 2012 for churches to use if it would be helpful in their local context.
The Southern Baptist Convention remains our official name.
— SBC Executive Committee (@SBCExecComm) September 17, 2020
But a close look at the American Christian church’s plans relating to its name reveal that it’s played with the idea far more seriously than they’re making it seem.
Reports of a name change first emerged in a Washington Post article published on Tuesday. SBC President JD Greear told the Post that “hundreds of churches” affiliated with the denomination had “committed” to using the phrase “Great Commission Baptist” as an alternative to the denomination’s longtime moniker. The change would come as Greear touts his support of the Black Lives Matter, although he’s been careful in pointing out he doesn’t support any formal organization related to the movement. Greear also is renaming the church he personally pastors with the term.
The SBC’s 2021 convention will also organize under the motto of “We Are Great Commission Baptists.” Sounds a lot like a name change, even if the SBC’s leadership is steadfastly maintaining it isn’t.
The name ‘Great Commission Baptist’ is theologically sound in the Christian religion, but it’s somewhat questionable that the organization’s leader appears to be emphasizing it at a moment in which political correctness is making its entryism into many Christian churches and organizations.
It seems as if the organization’s figurehead is keen to present himself as a liberal-style suburban Evangelical to the Washington Post, but he changed his tune quite quickly when the rank and file membership of Southern Baptist churches learned that he was promoting the idea of a name change.
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