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U.S. threatens sanctions against Myanmar after military stages coup

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The United States has criticized Myanmar’s military leaders after they staged a coup in the Southeast Asian country on Monday, while it was still Sunday in the U.S. On top of that, President Joe Biden threatened sanctions if the military doesn’t change course.

Early Monday morning in Myanmar, the military took over the government and detained senior politicians such as Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

Commander-in-Chief Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing will be in charge of the nation for one year, according to an announcement read on military-owned Myawaddy TV, per the Associated Press.

In a Sunday statement from Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the top U.S. diplomat said that the “United States expresses grave concern and alarm regarding reports that the Burmese military has detained multiple civilian government leaders, including State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, and civil society leaders.”

Furthermore, the new secretary of state called on the military leaders to immediately “release all government officials and civil society leaders and respect the will of the people of Burma as expressed in democratic elections on November 8,” adding that the U.S. “stands with the people of Burma in their aspirations for democracy, freedom, peace, and development.”

While the multi-ethnic country has preferred the name Myanmar over Burma in the English language since 1989, the U.S. government continues to refer to it as the latter. It should be noted, however, that the term to describe people or things from Myanmar is still “Burmese.”

President Biden in a separate statement Monday threatened sanctions if Myanmar’s military doesn’t reverse course.

“The United States removed sanctions on Burma over the past decade based on progress toward democracy,” Biden said. “The reversal of that progress will necessitate an immediate review of our sanction laws and authorities, followed by appropriate action.”

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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