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It was deja vu all over again, similar to the time I started my day on June 17, 1972 by ripping off the collection of folded paper the United Press teletype had been spitting out all night long, and the lead story had to do with what the White House termed a “third rate burglary” of the Democrat’s national campaign headquarters in a building in Washington called the Watergate.

The July, 2019 edition of National Geographic carries a story that’s mostly about the throngs of migrants from all over the African continent who are beating a worn path through the land-locked nation of 21-million impoverished natives of the Saharan country of Niger (pronounced “nigh’-zhur).

It is situated north of Chad, south of Algeria and east of Mali.

The migrant throngs are bound for the counties of Morocco, Algeria and Libya and thence across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Deep in the article there is a photo of 20 men tending an enormous asphalt machine flying the American flag and tended by men who are obviously civilian Americans. The contractor and cost of the project is not mentioned in the article

The caption says they are laying new runways for an American Air base in Niger.

I had a flashback and consulted Google.

On October 4 of 2017, members of an elite team of ten U.S. soldiers assisted by 34 Nigerian trainees were looking to capture one of the leaders of Islamic terrorists in Niger and may have been guided by faulty intelligence regarding the size of the opposition forces. They were also misled by village elders.

Subsequently, 50 or more terrorists mounted on motorcycles and armed with AK-47s and rocket propelled grenades, ambushed them, killing Staff Sergeants Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson, LaDavid Johnson and Dustin Wright

Their original mission was only to train Nigerian soldiers, four of whom were killed in the ambush as well. 20 personnel were reportedly wounded.

The media has had little to say about the base. The Pentagon has made little mention of it. The Secretaries of Defense have made no announcement as to how well our forces there are doing and the President has been silent as well.

Rumor has it that gold has been found way out in the relentless Nigerian desert and a gold rush is going on.

-– Phil Richardson, Editor

Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries

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Select each of the books below to see its Annual Summer book sale price on Amazon


Born to an addicted prostitute in a crime-ridden barrio, a man finds a love that transcends all obstacles and opens a new pathway to life beyond working for the Jefe of one of Mexico's brutal drug cartels. (In English)

Amazon Paperback
Tommy Ross follows his older brothers to be an apprentice in the hazardous trade of mining coal. It is doubly dangerous, for his father has been sent to organize a local union in a "company owned" coal camp. "The Prosperity Coal Company" is a novel based on actual events that occurred all across the coal belt, when America was on the cusp of the great depression, and union wars raged.

Amazon Paperback

Kashif Wazir, son of an Afghan Opium Lord and a small group of Taliban terrorists are sent to America by al-Qaida to avenge the killing of Osama bin Laden. Their intention is to detonate a nuclear bomb in the USA that they have brought to a Mexican port aboard a specially outfitted ship. When they cross the US-Mexico border with the bomb, Bill Lopez, a Special Agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and leader of a team of Native American trackers, called "Shadow Wolves," set off to interdict the intruders

Amazon Kindle