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In Yemen, It’s The Bad Guys Vs. The Bad Guys

Yemen - Photo by Addicted04Saudi Arabia and Egypt stand poised to conduct a massive ground invasion of Yemen, and the western media will be full of tales about how “Operation Decisive Storm” is liberating that country from the evil Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.  And without a doubt, the Houthis are bad guys and so are their Iranian benefactors.  But don’t be fooled into thinking that the war in Yemen is a battle of good vs. evil.  The truth is that the conflict in Yemen is actually a proxy war between two sets of bad guys that both ultimately plan for Islam to take over the entire planet.  On one side, the Iranians are very honest about the fact that they view us as an enemy, and they plan to impose their version of radical Shia Islam worldwide as soon as they can.  On the other side, the Saudis pretend to be our friends, but they don’t hide the fact that they believe that their version of Sunni Islam will eventually rule the world.  And their version of Sunni Islam includes constant beheadings, the destruction of all churches and the death penalty for anyone caught smuggling a Bible into Saudi territory.  At the end of the day, there is very little difference between the Saudis and ISIS.  In fact, ISIS gets a lot of funding from Saudi sources, and there is more support for ISIS on Twitter from Saudi Arabia than from anywhere else.  Saudi Arabia is a horribly repressive regime where women are treated like dirt, where the secret police conduct a never ending reign of terror and where even a minor deviation from sharia law can mean the loss of a limb.  But because our politicians and the mainstream media constantly tell us that they are “our friends”, we cheer them on.

It is being reported that the Saudis have mobilized 150,000 troops for a ground invasion of Yemen, and Egypt says that it is ready to contribute a very large force as well.  The Saudis simply were not going to just sit back and watch as pro-Iranian forces took total control of their neighbor.  The following is how the Telegraph recently described what the Iranians have been up to in Yemen for the past several years…

For the past four years the Quds force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have been smuggling weapons to the Houthis, as well as providing expert military training, with the result that the Shia Houthi militia finally succeeded in seizing control of the capital Sana’a last year, forcing the Western-backed president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, to seek refuge in Aden.

Last week it was claimed that Tehran was increasing its support for the Houthis with the delivery of a 185 ton shipment of weapons and other military equipment.

This is how Iran likes to fight wars.  They like to fund and arm proxy organizations that will do their fighting for them.  That way they don’t have to get their hands messy or risk direct retaliation.  Hezbollah is a prime example of this.

And the Iranians were winning in Yemen.  In fact, they were on the verge of complete and total victory.

So the Saudis felt forced to step in.  The Saudis don’t like to fight their own wars either, but in this instance they felt there was no other choice.

But let there be no misunderstanding.  This is not a conflict between Saudi Arabia and some rebel group in Yemen.  This is part of an ongoing war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and at this point relations between the two nations are at an all-time low

“The Saudis were caught off guard by how quick and aggressive the Houthi offensive was and felt they needed a sharp and immediate response,” geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia group, told Business Insider over email. “They didn’t want Iran to think they needed Egypt or anyone else to come rescue the Kingdom. This is the worst tension we’ve seen between Iran and Saudi Arabia, period.”

And of course Yemen is far from the only front in this war.

For instance, Saudi-backed fighters “are poised for a massive battle” with Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters on the Syria-Lebanon border…

Islamist forces armed and aided by Saudi Arabia are poised for a massive battle in the coming days targeting the Syrian regime and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah organization, according to Egyptian security officials speaking to WND.

The officials said the Saudis have directed the Islamist forces, including the Al Nusra Front, to lead an imminent counterinsurgency focusing on the Syria-Lebanon border, with particular emphasis on the Qalamoun region.

Qalamoun is a strategic site that serves as a supply line to Damascus from Lebanon. Control of the area would give the rebels a base of operations to target Damascus.

In the western media, this ongoing conflict is being characterized as a conflict between “good” Saudi Arabia and “evil” Iran.

But should we really be cheering on Saudi Arabia?

As I mentioned above, more funding for ISIS comes out of Saudi Arabia than anywhere else.

And ISIS also gets more support on social networks such as Twitter from Saudi Arabia than anywhere else

Part of ISIS’s success is its adoption of social media as a way to spread the group’s messages and find new members. A study by The Independent analyzed the origin of posts supporting ISIS on Twitter, and found that Saudi Arabia provides by far the most.

If you believe that ISIS is wrong for beheading people, you should keep in mind that there is a beheading in Saudi Arabia every four days.

The truth is that ISIS is simply just copying what the Saudis have been doing for centuries.

And for writing what I just did, I could be sentenced to 1,000 lashes if I was living in Saudi Arabia.  In fact, that is exactly what happened to one Saudi blogger.  Another Saudi man was recently sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.

The Saudis don’t believe that it will happen tomorrow, but they are fully convinced that their version of Islam will eventually dominate every inch of our planet.

Are you ready to live like the Saudis do?  In Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive, religious police can drag you away at any time for any reason, and the penalty for smuggling a Bible is death.

If you are tempted to think that the Saudis do not plan to impose their rules on the rest of the world, you should consider what the top religious leader in the entire country recently had to say.  Earlier this month, he declared that every single church on the entire Arabian Peninsula (not just Saudi Arabia) must be destroyed

Saudi Arabia’s top Muslim cleric called on Tuesday for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula after legislators in the Gulf state of Kuwait moved to pass laws banning the construction of religious sites associated with Christianity.

Speaking to a delegation in Kuwait, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, who serves as the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, said the destruction of churches was absolutely necessary and is required by Islamic law, Arabic media reported.

These are the “good guys”?

The truth is that the Saudis are not our friends.  They like our money and they like our military might, and we make a convenient ally for them right now.

But what the Saudis stand for is the antithesis of everything that the United States is supposed to stand for.  It is a brutally oppressive regime that is promoting tyranny all over the planet.  Barack Obama may be comfortable with such “friends”, but the American people should not be.

So what do you think?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

 

The Breakdown Of U.S.-Israeli Relations Brings Us Several Steps Closer To World War III

World War III - Public DomainIn the past 40 years, we have never been closer to World War III than we are today.  If you ask Americans to name what area of the globe they believe World War III will begin, the number one choice by a landslide would probably be the Middle East.  And thanks to the stunning breakdown of U.S.-Israeli relations, we are now closer to that war than we have been in decades.  Since the 1970s, the United States has served as the major buffer between Israel and her Islamic neighbors.  Israel has trusted the United States to protect it, and Israel’s enemies have known that an all-out assault on Israel would be fruitless because the U.S. military would step in.  When a minor conflict has erupted in the region, the United States has always rushed in diplomatically to settle things down.  But now the relationship between the Israeli government and the Obama administration is near a breaking point, and tensions in the Middle East just continue to intensify.  At this moment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu no longer trusts Barack Obama to do what is right for Israel, and it is an open secret that Obama pretty much despises Netanyahu.  And during his speech to Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu once again made it abundantly clear that his government will never, ever allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.  If Israel believes that Iran is even getting close, Israel will attack.  But instead of trying to prevent this from happening, Barack Obama is negotiating a deal with Iran that would give the Iranians pretty much everything that they want and would allow them to build all the nukes they desire in about ten years.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that this is a “bad deal”, and he is right.

The U.S. relationship with Israel is one of the most touchy political topics in the country today, and it is going to become even more of a hot button issue as time goes by.  There are millions of Americans that passionately love the nation of Israel, and there are also millions of Americans that are vehemently anti-Israel.  It is amazing that a nation that is about the size of New Jersey and that only has a little bit more than one-tenth of one percent of the global population can perpetually be at the center of global controversy.  Of course those of us that are Christians know that the Bible said that this would happen in the last days, so the truth is that none of us should be surprised.  No matter how much effort global leaders put into achieving “peace in the Middle East”, it never seems to happen, and now things are poised to go to a dangerous new level.

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu laid out his case to Congress during a very forceful 40 minute speech

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Tuesday that a proposed agreement between world powers and Iran was “a bad deal” that would not stop Tehran from getting nuclear weapons — but would rather pave its way to getting lots of them and leave the Jewish State in grave peril.

In a dramatic address to the U.S. Congress at what he said was a “fateful” crossroads of history, Netanyahu openly sided with President Barack Obama’s Republican critics and sparked an immediate and furious reaction from the White House, as relations between Washington and Israel spun into their deepest chasm for many years.

If Israel has lost all trust in the Obama administration, that makes it much more likely that it will choose to take unilateral military action against Iran.

With that in mind, consider the following quotes from Netanyahu’s speech…

-“The greatest danger facing our world is the marriage of militant Islam with nuclear weapons.”

-“That is exactly what could happen if the deal being negotiated is accepted by Iran. That deal would not prevent Iran developing nuclear weapons. It would all but guarantee that Iran gets those weapons, lots of them.”

-“I know this won’t come as a shock to many of you, but Iran not only defies inspectors, but it also plays a pretty good game of ‘hide and cheat’ with them.”

-“The ideology of Iran’s revolutionary regime is deeply rooted in militant Islam, and that’s why this regime will always be an enemy of America.”

-“If anyone thinks this deal kicks the can down the road, think again. When we get down that road we’ll face a much more dangerous Iran, a Middle East littered with nuclear bombs, and a countdown to a potential nuclear nightmare.”

-“We must all stand together to stop Iran’s march of conquest, subjugation, and terror.”

-“Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.”

-“That’s why this deal is so bad. It doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, it paves Iran’s path to the bomb.”

-“I can guarantee you this: The days when the Jewish people remain passive in the face of genocidal enemies, those days are over.”

And near the end of his speech, Netanyahu referred to the Holocaust when he spoke to Elie Wiesel who happened to be sitting in the audience…

Praising the presence in the audience of concentration camp survivor, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Nazi-hunter Elie Wiesel, the prime minister told him, “Your life and work gives meaning to the words, ‘Never again.’”

Does that sound like a man that is just going to sit by and watch Iran build nuclear weapons?

Reaction by members of Congress was mixed.  Many Republicans were thrilled by Netanyahu’s address.  But many Democrats were outraged, and Nancy Pelosi was nearly brought to tears

“I was near tears throughout the prime minister’s speech — saddened by the insult to the intelligence of the United States as part of the P5 +1 nations,” said Nancy Pelosi, the leader of Democrats in the House, referring to the group of world powers negotiation with Tehran, “and saddened by the condescension toward our knowledge of the threat posed by Iran and our broader commitment to preventing nuclear proliferation.”

Most Americans don’t realize this, but an Israeli attack against Iranian nuclear facilities could be closer than almost any of us would dare to imagine.

In fact, just a few days ago there was a report that a planned strike in 2014 was aborted at the last minute after Barack Obama threatened to shoot down Israeli jets…

According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back.

The report claimed that an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.

But next time, it might be different.  As I discussed in a previous article, there are reports coming out of the Middle East that indicate that Saudi Arabia plans to allow Israel to use their airspace to strike Iran.

In addition, new evidence of a secret nuclear facility near Tehran that Iran had not told anyone about has been revealed in recent days.  If it turns out that Iran’s nuclear program is actually far more advanced that they have been admitting, that will send the probability of an Israeli strike absolutely soaring.

For years, Iran and Israel have been on a collision course, and now time is running out.

And when war does erupt in the Middle East, the death and destruction could be on a scale that is absolutely unimaginable.

So let us pray that peace prevails for as long as possible.  Unfortunately, thanks to the foolishness of the Obama administration, the period of peace that we have been enjoying does not look like it is going to last too much longer.

The Odds Of A War Between Israel And Iran Just Went Way Up

Israeli Fighter Jets - Public DomainUh oh – Iran just got caught with both hands in the cookie jar.  It turns out that even while Iran has been negotiating a “historic peace deal” with the western world, it has been secretly operating a huge underground nuclear enrichment site that it didn’t tell anyone about.  But this is what the Iranians always do.  They lie, lie and then lie some more.  So how in the world can you make a deal with a government that absolutely refuses to tell the truth?  These revelations about a secret underground nuclear facility just outside Tehran come at a time when it looked like the Obama administration was about to cave in and give Iran just about everything that it wanted.  The “deal” that Obama was going to give them would have allowed the Iranians to keep all of the nuclear infrastructure that they have already constructed and would also give them permission to start building nuclear weapons in about a decade.  It would be a monstrously bad deal for the western world, and the Iranians should have jumped at it.  But now these new revelations could throw a wrench into those negotiations.  But much more importantly, knowledge of this secret nuclear facility has got to be extremely alarming to the Israelis.  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has always said that Israel will never, ever allow Iran to construct a nuclear weapon.  So what will happen if the Israelis determine that Iran is actually much closer to building a nuclear bomb that anyone originally suspected?  The truth is that the odds of a war between Israel and Iran just went way up thanks to these revelations, and that is not good news for any of us.

This new evidence of a secret nuclear facility that Iran had not told anyone about was revealed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran earlier this week

Despite Iran’s denials that it is on the path to a nuclear bomb, new evidence charges that the Islamic republic has an “underground top-secret site” that is enriching uranium intended for nuclear weapons that has been hidden from the West for years.

According to the Iranian opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the complex, called Lavizan-3, is right outside Tehran, “buried deep underground in tunnels and underground facilities” with “radiation-proof doors” to prevent any leaks that could be detected by the United Nations International Energy Agency inspectors.

The revelations were unveiled during a Washington, D.C., news conference by the NCRI, which first exposed elements of Iran’s covert nuclear program in 2002.

The NCRI claims to have extensive knowledge of this complex, and it is even in possession of a photograph of a door that shields the facility from radiation which was smuggled out

The NCRI describes the underground complex as having an elevator that “descends several stories, deep underground, and opens into a 650-foot tunnel, which leads to four parallel halls. Because the ground is inclined, the halls are deeper underground,” by as much as 164 feet below the surface.

The NCRI also said it smuggled out a photograph showing a 1-foot thick lead-lined door that shields the complex from radiation, and that the secret rooms and hallways are insulated for sound and radiation leaks so that they would remain undetected.

“If the United States is serious about preventing the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, it must make the continuation of talks conditional on the IAEA immediately inspecting Lavizan-3 site,” said Soona Samsami, the NCRI’s United States representative.

So will Iran immediately allow international inspectors to go take a look at the Lavizan-3 site?

Of course not.

As they usually do, the Iranians will probably deny that anything is going on there.

But we have reason to trust the NCRI.  They have a track record of being right on the money when it comes to the Iranian nuclear program…

NCRI has a track record of accurately disclosing secret Iranian uranium enrichment sites. In 2002, NCRI revealed Iran’s top secret uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, some 100 miles north of Isfahan, and a second top secret Iranian nuclear plant in Arak, approximately 150 miles south of Tehran, designed to produce heavy water for the production of plutonium for use in nuclear weapons.

Amazingly, there will be people that will read this article and leave comments defending Iran.

How in the world can you defend a regime that habitually lies and deceives the rest of the world?

If the Iranians had just been honest, they could have gotten an overwhelmingly lopsided deal from the Obama administration.  And if they had actually stuck to the deal, the Israelis probably would not have attacked them for at least a few years.

But now all bets are off.  At this point, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that the Obama administration has totally given up on the goal of preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons.  Just check out comments that he made during a speech earlier this week

“I respect the White House and the President of the United States but on such a fateful matter, that can determine whether or not we survive, I must do everything to prevent such a great danger for Israel,” Netanyahu said in a speech.

He said world powers had pledged to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, adding that “from the agreement coming together it appears they have given up on this commitment“.

So if the Israelis believe that the diplomatic approach is dead, what does that leave?

War is coming, and it might be sooner than most of us think.

It is not likely that Israel will attack Iran before the Israeli elections.  But after the elections are over, anything can happen.

And there are already reports coming out of the Middle East that Saudi Arabia has offered to let Israel use Saudi airspace for an attack on Iran…

Saudi Arabia is prepared to let Israeli fighter jets use its airspace if it proves necessary to attack Iran’s nuclear program, an Israeli TV station reported Tuesday, highlighting growing ties in the shadow of Tehran’s nuclear drive.

Riyadh’s only condition is that Israel make some kind of progress in peace talks with the Palestinians, Channel 2 reported Tuesday, citing an unnamed senior European source.

The Saudi authorities are completely coordinated with Israel on all matters related to Iran,” the European official in Brussels said.

The Saudis hate Iran and do not want to see the Iranians get nuclear weapons either.  So an attack by Israel on Iran would serve their interests.

And if the Saudis can use this crisis to push for a Palestinian state, that is all the better as far as they are concerned.

But of course if a Palestinian state is established in the aftermath of a war between Israel and Iran, that will just set the stage for even more war.

We are entering a time of great geopolitical instability.  Wars and rumors of wars seem to be the order of the day.

And thanks to the duplicity of the Iranians, World War III could erupt in the Middle East at any time.

So would do you think of these developments?  Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Who Benefits From A War Between The United States And Syria?

Saudi Arabia - Photo by KeepscasesSomeone wants to get the United States into a war with Syria very, very badly.  Cui bono is an old Latin phrase that is still commonly used, and it roughly means “to whose benefit?”  The key to figuring out who is really behind the push for war is to look at who will benefit from that war.  If a full-blown war erupts between the United States and Syria, it will not be good for the United States, it will not be good for Israel, it will not be good for Syria, it will not be good for Iran and it will not be good for Hezbollah.  The party that stands to benefit the most is Saudi Arabia, and they won’t even be doing any of the fighting.  They have been pouring billions of dollars into the conflict in Syria, but so far they have not been successful in their attempts to overthrow the Assad regime.  Now the Saudis are trying to play their trump card – the U.S. military.  If the Saudis are successful, they will get to pit the two greatest long-term strategic enemies of Sunni Islam against each other – the U.S. and Israel on one side and Shia Islam on the other.  In such a scenario, the more damage that both sides do to each other the happier the Sunnis will be.

There would be other winners from a U.S. war with Syria as well.  For example, it is well-known that Qatar wants to run a natural gas pipeline out of the Persian Gulf, through Syria and into Europe.  That is why Qatar has also been pouring billions of dollars into the civil war in Syria.

So if it is really Saudi Arabia and Qatar that want to overthrow the Assad regime, why does the United States have to do the fighting?

Someone should ask Barack Obama why it is necessary for the U.S. military to do the dirty work of his Sunni Muslim friends.

Obama is promising that the upcoming attack will only be a “limited military strike” and that we will not be getting into a full-blown war with Syria.

The only way that will work is if Syria, Hezbollah and Iran all sit on their hands and do nothing to respond to the upcoming U.S. attack.

Could that happen?

Maybe.

Let’s hope so.

But if there is a response, and a U.S. naval vessel gets hit, or American blood is spilled, or rockets start raining down on Tel Aviv, the U.S. will then be engaged in a full-blown war.

That is about the last thing that we need right now.

The vast majority of Americans do not want to get embroiled in another war in the Middle East, and even a lot of top military officials are expressing “serious reservations” about attacking Syria according to the Washington Post

The Obama administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the U.S. military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers.

Having assumed for months that the United States was unlikely to intervene militarily in Syria, the Defense Department has been thrust onto a war footing that has made many in the armed services uneasy, according to interviews with more than a dozen military officers ranging from captains to a four-star general.

For the United States, there really is no good outcome in Syria.

If we attack and Assad stays in power, that is a bad outcome for the United States.

If we help overthrow the Assad regime, the rebels take control.  But they would be even worse than Assad.  They have pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda, and they are rabidly anti-American, rabidly anti-Israel and rabidly anti-western.

So why in the world should the United States get involved?

This war would not be good for Israel either.  I have seen a number of supposedly pro-Israel websites out there getting very excited about the prospect of war with Syria, but that is a huge mistake.

Syria has already threatened to attack Israeli cities if the U.S. attacks Syria.  If Syrian missiles start landing in the heart of Tel Aviv, Israel will respond.

And if any of those missiles have unconventional warheads, Israel will respond by absolutely destroying Damascus.

And of course a missile exchange between Syria and Israel will almost certainly draw Hezbollah into the conflict.  And right now Hezbollah has 70,000 rockets aimed at Israel.

If Hezbollah starts launching those rockets, thousands upon thousands of innocent Jewish citizens will be killed.

So all of those “pro-Israel” websites out there that are getting excited about war with Syria should think twice.  If you really are “pro-Israel”, you should not want this war.  It would not be good for Israel.

If you want to stand with Israel, then stand for peace.  This war would not achieve any positive outcomes for Israel.  Even if Assad is overthrown, the rebel government that would replace him would be even more anti-Israel than Assad was.

War is hell.  Ask anyone that has been in the middle of one.  Why would anyone want to see American blood spilled, Israeli blood spilled or Syrian blood spilled?

If the Saudis want this war so badly, they should go and fight it.  Everyone knows that the Saudis have been bankrolling the rebels.  At this point, even CNN is openly admitting this

It is an open secret that Saudi Arabia is using Jordan to smuggle weapons into Syria for the rebels. Jordan says it is doing all it can to prevent that and does not want to inflame the situation in Syria.

And Assad certainly knows who is behind the civil war in his country.  The following is an excerpt from a recent interview with Assad

Of course it is well known that countries, such as Saudi Arabia, who hold the purse strings can shape and manipulate them to suit their own interests.

Ideologically, these countries mobilize them through direct or indirect means as extremist tools. If they declare that Muslims must pursue Jihad in Syria, thousands of fighters will respond. Financially, those who finance and arm such groups can instruct them to carry out acts of terrorism and spread anarchy. The influence over them is synergized when a country such as Saudi Arabia directs them through both the Wahhabi ideology and their financial means.

And shortly after the British Parliament voted against military intervention in Syria, Saudi Arabia raised their level of “defense readiness” from “five” to “two” in a clear sign that they fully expect a war to happen

Saudi Arabia, a supporter of rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, has raised its level of military alertness in anticipation of a possible Western strike in Syria, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

The United States has been calling for punitive action against Assad’s government for a suspected poison gas attack on a Damascus suburb on August 21 that killed hundreds of people.

Saudi Arabia’s defense readiness has been raised to “two” from “five”, a Saudi military source who declined to be named told Reuters. “One” is the highest level of alert.

And guess who has been supplying the rebels in Syria with chemical weapons?

According to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak, it has been the Saudis

Syrian rebels in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta have admitted to Associated Press correspondent Dale Gavlak that they were responsible for last week’s chemical weapons incident which western powers have blamed on Bashar Al-Assad’s forces, revealing that the casualties were the result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them by Saudi Arabia.

“From numerous interviews with doctors, Ghouta residents, rebel fighters and their families….many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the (deadly) gas attack,” writes Gavlak.

And this is someone that isn’t just fresh out of journalism school.  As Paul Joseph Watson noted, “Dale Gavlak’s credibility is very impressive. He has been a Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press for two decades and has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) and written articles for BBC News.”

The Voice of Russia has also been reporting on Gavlak’s bombshell findings…

The rebels noted it was a result of an accident caused by rebels mishandling chemical weapons provided to them.

“My son came to me two weeks ago asking what I thought the weapons were that he had been asked to carry,” said Abu Abdel-Moneim, the father of a rebel fighting to unseat Assad, who lives in Ghouta.

As Gavlak reports, Abdel-Moneim said his son and 12 other rebels died in a weapons storage tunnel. The father stated the weapons were provided to rebel forces by a Saudi militant, known as Abu Ayesha, describing them as having a “tube-like structure” while others were like a “huge gas bottle.”

“They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them,” complained a female fighter named ‘K’. “We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.”

“When Saudi Prince Bandar gives such weapons to people, he must give them to those who know how to handle and use them,” she warned. She, like other Syrians, do not want to use their full names for fear of retribution.

Gavlak also refers to an article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph about secret Russian-Saudi talks stating that Prince Bandar threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with terror attacks at next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if Russia doesn’t agree to change its stance on Syria.

“Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord,” the article stated.

“I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us,” Saudi Prince allegedly told Vladimir Putin.

Yes, the Saudis were so desperate to get the Russians to stand down and allow an attack on Syria that they actually threatened them.  Zero Hedge published some additional details on the meeting between Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan and Russian President Vladimir Putin…

Bandar told Putin, “There are many common values and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

It is good of the Saudis to admit they control a terrorist organization that “threatens the security” of the Sochi 2014 Olympic games, and that house of Saud uses “in the face of the Syrian regime.” Perhaps the next time there is a bombing in Boston by some Chechen-related terrorists, someone can inquire Saudi Arabia what, if anything, they knew about that.

But the piece de resistance is what happened at the end of the dialogue between the two leaders. It was, in not so many words, a threat by Saudi Arabia aimed squarely at Russia:

As soon as Putin finished his speech, Prince Bandar warned that in light of the course of the talks, things were likely to intensify, especially in the Syrian arena, although he appreciated the Russians’ understanding of Saudi Arabia’s position on Egypt and their readiness to support the Egyptian army despite their fears for Egypt’s future.

The head of the Saudi intelligence services said that the dispute over the approach to the Syrian issue leads to the conclusion that “there is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation.”

At the end of the meeting, the Russian and Saudi sides agreed to continue talks, provided that the current meeting remained under wraps. This was before one of the two sides leaked it via the Russian press.

Are you starting to get the picture?

The Saudis are absolutely determined to make this war happen, and they expect us to do the fighting.

And Barack Obama plans to go ahead and attack Syria without the support of the American people or the approval of Congress.

According to a new NBC News poll that was just released, nearly 80 percent of all Americans want Congress to approve a strike on Syria before it happens.

And according to Politico, more than 150 members of Congress have already signed letters demanding that Obama get approval from them before attacking Syria…

Already Thursday, more than 150 members of Congress have signaled their opposition to airstrikes on Syria without a congressional vote. House members circulated two separate letters circulated that were sent to the White House demanding a congressional role before military action takes place. One, authored by Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.), has more than 150 signatures from Democrats and Republicans. Another, started by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), is signed by 53 Democrats, though many of them also signed Rigell’s letter.

But Obama has already made it perfectly clear that he has no intention of putting this before Congress.

He is absolutely determined to attack Syria, and he is not going to let the U.S. Congress or the American people stop him.

Let’s just hope that he doesn’t start World War III in the process.

Will War With Syria Cause The Price Of Oil To Explode Higher?

F-16 Photo by TMWolfAre you ready to pay four, five or possibly even six dollars for a gallon of gasoline?  War has consequences, and a conflict with Syria has the potential to escalate wildly out of control very rapidly.  The Obama administration is pledging that the upcoming attack on Syria will be “brief and limited” and that the steady flow of oil out of the Middle East will not be interrupted.  But what happens if Syria strikes back?  What happens if Syrian missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv?  What happens if Hezbollah or Iran starts attacking U.S. or Israeli targets?  Unless Syria, Hezbollah and Iran all stand down and refuse to fight back, we could very easily be looking at a major regional war in the Middle East, and that could cause the price of oil to explode higher.  Syria is not a major oil producer, but approximately a third of all of the crude oil in the world is produced in the Middle East.  If the Suez Canal or the Persian Gulf (or both) get shut down for an extended period of time, the consequences would be dramatic.  The price of oil has already risen about 15% so far this summer, and war in the Middle East could potentially send it soaring into record territory.

We can always hope that cooler heads prevail and that a conflict is avoided, but at this point it does not look like that is going to happen.  In fact, according to Richard Engel of NBC News, a senior U.S. official has admitted that “we’re past the point of return” and that a strike on Syria can be expected within days.

Obama is promising that the U.S. will “take limited, tailored approaches”, and that we will not be “getting drawn into a long conflict, not a repetition of, you know, Iraq, which I know a lot of people are worried about”, but how in the world can he guarantee that?

Syria, Iran and Hezbollah have all threatened to attack Israel if the U.S. attacks Syria.

If missiles start raining down on Israeli cities, the Israelis are not just going to sit there and take it like they did during the first Gulf War.  In fact, according to the Los Angeles Times, “Israeli leaders are making it clear that they have no intention of standing down this time if attacked”.

If Israel is attacked, their military response will be absolutely massive.

And then we will have the major regional war in the Middle East that so many people have been warning about for so many years.  Hundreds of thousands of people will die and the global economy will be paralyzed.

So what will Obama do in such a situation?

Will he pack up and go home?

Of course not.  We would be committed to fighting a brutal, horrific war that there was absolutely no reason to start in the first place.

And we are already starting to feel the effect of rising tensions in the Middle East.  This week, the price of oil rose to a 10-month high

U.S. oil prices soared to an 18-month high as traders worried that a potential military strike against Syria could disrupt the region’s oil supplies.

October crude futures surged 2.9%, to $109.01 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, their highest close since February 2012. Brent futures ended up 3.2% at $114.28 a barrel, a six-month high.

Posted below is a chart that shows how the price of oil has moved over the past several decades.  Could we soon break the all-time record of $147 a barrel that was set back in 2008?…

The Price Of Oil

And of course we all remember what happened when the price of oil got that high back in 2008.  The global economy was plunged into the worst downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

A major conflict in the Middle East, especially if it goes on for an extended period of time, could send the price of oil to absolutely ridiculous levels.

Every single day, a massive amount of oil is moved through the Suez Canal.  The following is from a recent Wall Street Journal article

To the southwest is the Suez Canal, one such chokepoint, which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of the Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. The canal transports about 800,000 barrels of crude and 1.4 million barrels of petroleum products daily, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Another regional oil shipping route potentially threatened by the Syria crisis is the Sumed, or Suez-Mediterranean, pipeline, also in Egypt, which moves oil from the Persian Gulf region to the Mediterranean. The Sumed handles 1.7 million barrels of crude oil per day, the EIA said.

And of course an enormous amount of oil moves through the Persian Gulf each day as well.  If the Suez Canal and/or the Persian Gulf were to be shut down, there would almost immediately be global supply problems.

So how high could the price of oil go?

Well, according to CNBC, some analysts believe that $150 a barrel could easily be hit if the U.S. attacks Syria…

Some analysts believe even U.S. crude, West Texas Intermediate (WTI crude) could get close to the $150 zone. “If oil prices spike on the Syria attack, and surge above $120, the next logical upside target is going to be the 2008 high of $147, which could easily be taken out,” said John Kilduff of Again Capital. “It’s the retaliation to the retaliation that we have to be worried about.”

If the price of oil soars up to that level and keeps going, we could see the price of gasoline go up to four, five or maybe even six dollars a gallon in some areas of the country.

You better start saving up lots of gas money.

It looks like you are going to need it.

What Would War Between Israel And Syria Do To The Already Fragile Global Economy?

War Between Israel And Syria?War is a horrible thing.  Just ask anyone that has ever been in the middle of it.  And in this day and age governments around the world possess weapons of such incalculable power that war should be unthinkable.  In future wars, we could literally see millions of people killed on a single day.  Nobody should want that or look forward to that.  Unfortunately, the next major regional war in the Middle East appears to be closer than ever.  But nobody should want it to actually happen.  During the next major regional war in the Middle East we will likely see death on a scale that is unprecedented.  It won’t be like the wars of 1967 or 1973.  It will likely be a fight to the death where nothing is held back.  You see, the truth is that most Americans have no idea what is really going on in the Middle East.  There are ancient grudges and ancient hatreds that go back for thousands of years.  There is no “peace plan” that is going to suddenly make everything okay.  The Middle East is a simmering volcano of hate and resentment that could erupt at any moment.  That is why what is happening in Syria right now is so important.  An Israeli airstrike in Damascus that reportedly was attempting to destroy a shipment of Fateh-110 missiles that Iran was sending to Hezbollah has brought Israel and Syria to the brink of war.  In fact, Syria is calling the airstrike a “declaration of war” and is vowing retaliation.  The Syrian government is saying that “Israeli aggression opens the door to all possibilities“, but they have not provided any specifics about what they plan to do.  Meanwhile, Israel has made it very clear that they will do whatever is necessary to keep Fateh-110 missiles from getting into the hands of Hezbollah.  With those missiles, Iranian-backed Hezbollah would have the capability of striking the heart of Tel Aviv with a very high degree of accuracy.  So it is definitely understandable why Israel would not want Hezbollah to have those missiles.  Just think about it – would you want Russia or China to deploy highly advanced missile systems in northern Mexico which could rain down hell on Los Angeles and Dallas in less than five minutes?  Unfortunately, this gives Iran the perfect way to provoke a war between Israel and Syria.  All they have to do is keep rolling trucks loaded with Fateh-110 missiles through war-torn Syria toward Hezbollah bases in Lebanon.  Israel will feel forced to intervene, and the rest of the Islamic world will get angrier and angrier.

The explosions that rocked northern Damascus on Sunday were absolutely massive.  It is being reported that they registered about two or three on the Richter scale, and enormous balls of fire that lit up the sky could be seen from all over Damascus.

The following is how the Washington Post described the attack…

Israeli warplanes bombed the outskirts of Damascus early Sunday for the second time in recent days, according to Syrian state media and reports from activists, signaling a sharp escalation in tensions between the neighboring countries that had already been exacerbated by the conflict raging in Syria.

Videos posted on the Internet by activists showed a huge fireball erupting on Mount Qassioun, a landmark hill overlooking the capital on which the Syrian government has deployed much of the firepower it is using against rebel-controlled areas surrounding the city.

So why did Israel do this?

Despite what the anti-Israel crowd is suggesting, Israel did not do this just to be mean.  As Reuters is reporting, Israel was specifically targeting Fateh-110 missiles that were on their way to Hezbollah…

Israel does not confirm such missions explicitly – a policy it says is intended to avoid provoking reprisals. But an Israeli official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the strikes were carried out by its forces, as was a raid early on Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama said had been justified.

A Western intelligence source told Reuters: “In last night’s attack, as in the previous one, what was attacked were stores of Fateh-110 missiles that were in transit from Iran to Hezbollah.”

These missiles would significantly change the balance of power if they got into the hands of Hezbollah.  According to the Times of Israel, Fateh-110 missiles would be a very serious threat not only to Tel Aviv – these missiles would also threaten cities all the way down to Beersheba…

Uzi Rubin, a missile expert and former Defense Ministry official, told the Associated Press that if the target was a consignment of Fatah-110 missiles, then such weaponry did constitute a “game-changer”: Fired from Syria or south Lebanon, these missiles, he said, could reach almost anywhere in Israel with high accuracy.

Rubin emphasized that he was speaking as a rocket expert and had no details about the reported strikes.

“If fired from southern Lebanon, they can reach Tel Aviv and even [the southern city of] Beersheba,” Rubin said. He said the rockets are much five times more accurate than the Scud missiles that Hezbollah has fired in the past. “It is a game-changer because they are a threat to Israel’s infrastructure and military installations,” he said.

So that is why Israel carried out these airstrikes.  They feel like they simply cannot allow Hezbollah to have these weapons.  And with Hezbollah’s track record, that is very understandable.

Unfortunately, these airstrikes have also brought the Middle East much closer to the next war.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Syria is positioning units for a potential conflict with Israel…

Syria has stationed missile batteries aimed at Israel in the aftermath of alleged Israeli air strikes in the country, the website of Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen TV, considered close to the regime of President Bashar Assad, quoted a top Syrian official as saying on Sunday.

In response, Israel has deployed two Iron Dome batteries to northern Israel, they have closed off airspace in northern Israel to commercial traffic, and Israeli embassies around the world have been put on high alert.

But Syria may choose not to retaliate against Israel directly.  According to WND, Syria may decide to allow jihadist groups to carry out their vengeance for them…

The Syrian government will soon declare it is opening its borders with Israel for Palestinian and other jihad groups to carry out attacks against the Jewish state, a senior Syrian official told WND.

Separately, informed Middle Eastern security officials said the Syrian army held a meeting Sunday afternoon with the leaders of the military wing of the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist group to discuss retaliation against Israel for the recent air strikes near Damascus.

According to those officials, Islamic Jihad and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah are coordinating a possible reaction to Israel’s reported strikes.

In any event, things are definitely becoming more unstable over in the Middle East.

So what would a war between Israel and Syria do to the already fragile global economy?

Well, a war between Israel and Syria would likely paralyze the entire region.  Hezbollah and Hamas would almost certainly jump into the war on the side of Syria, and there is the potential that nations such as Iran, Egypt and even Jordan could get involved as well.

In such a scenario, the flow of oil from the Middle East could become interrupted for an extended period of time, and that would have serious consequences for the global economy.

But the bigger threat to the global economy would be the fear that a regional war in the Middle East would create.  Global financial markets respond very badly to fear, and right now the world economy is already teetering on the brink of disaster.  Much of Europe has already descended into a full-blown economic depression, and there are signs that the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet is starting to burst.

The next major wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching, and a major regional war in the Middle East would greatly accelerate our economic problems.

Unfortunately, it appears that such a conflict is inevitable.

I don’t believe that it will happen yet though.  For the moment, I believe that cooler headers will prevail.

But as tensions continue to rise, I believe that we will see tempers boil over and the Middle East will descend into full-blown warfare at some point within the next several years.

Of course I could always be wrong about this.  We will just have to wait and see what happens.

So what do you think?

Do you believe that we will see a regional war in the Middle East soon?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

The Beginning Of The End by Michael Snyder

There Will Be War In The Middle East

The military action that we are watching in the Middle East right now is just a preview of coming attractions.  Tensions in the region are rising with each passing day, and all sides have been anticipating future conflicts and preparing for war for decades.  It would be wonderful if everyone could sit down, forgive each other and agree to quit fighting, but that is not going to happen.  Most of us that live in the western world have a very difficult time understanding the mindset of those immersed in these conflicts.  In the Middle East, there are vendettas and grudges that go back literally thousands of years.  Children are raised in schools where they are taught to bitterly hate their enemies from the time that they are first able to speak.  As Americans, we have forgiven former enemies such as Germany and Japan and we just expect that everyone else should be able to forgive as well.  But that is simply not the way that it works over there, and there is no long-term solution in the Middle East that is going to be acceptable to all sides.  Right now, Israel, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, Syria and Iran are all preparing for war.  Hopefully cooler heads will prevail in this current crisis, but that will only delay the inevitable.  There will be war in the Middle East.  Yes, politicians such as Barack Obama will do their best to broker more “peace agreements”, but even the declaration of a “Palestinian state” will never stop the fighting.  In fact, it would just set the stage for more war.  I don’t mean to sound pessimistic about the region, but the truth is that there will be more war until it is not possible to fight any longer.  Any “peace plan” will just be a pause in the warfare.

But hopefully the current crisis in the Middle East will not immediately erupt into a full-blown regional war.  That would not be good for the global economy.  In fact, that would not be good for anyone at all.

Here are some of the most recent developments…

-Hamas has launched dozens of rockets into Israel since Saturday.  At one point, the IDF estimated that at least 130 rockets had been fired from Gaza.  Other estimates have put the number of rocket attacks much higher.

-In response, the IDF launched a military operation in Gaza on Wednesday.  This involved the killing of the head of the military wing of Hamas, Ahmed Jabari, in an airstrike that was captured on video.  You can see video of the airstrike right here.

-The IDF also attacked more than 20 underground rocket launchers in Gaza.  The goal was to stop them from launching more rockets into Israel.  Apparently those rocket launchers were capable of hitting targets 25 miles over the border into Israel.

-In response to the Wednesday attacks by the IDF, a substantial number of rockets were fired from Gaza toward Israel.  The IDF says that the Iron Dome missile defense system was able to intercept 13 of the rockets.

-The IDF says that the military operations they conducted on Wednesday were part of a “major offensive” and that a ground attack may also be coming.

-“Operation Pillar of Defense” is the code name that has been given to this campaign.

-The IDF is not taking any options off the table.  The following is from a message posted on the IDF Twitter account

“All options are on the table. If necessary, the IDF is ready to initiate a ground operation in Gaza.”

-In particular, the IDF is being very open about the fact that top Hamas leaders will be targeted.  The following is from another message posted on the IDF Twitter account

“We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead.”

-The U.S. State Department has denounced Hamas for the rocket attacks against Israel and is saying that Israel has the right to self-defense.

-The military wing of Hamas says that Israel “has opened the gates of hell.

-One top Hamas official, Khalil al-Haya, is very clear about what his goal is…

“The battle between us and the occupation is open and it will end only with the liberation of Palestine and Jerusalem”

Islamic Jihad has released a statement that is very critical of the IDF attack on Wednesday…

“Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences.”

In Egypt, the head of the most important political party is warning that Egypt may have to get involved if the fighting continues.  The following is from a Breitbart report

Today, Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood – a party formerly headed by current President Mohammed Morsi – announced that Egypt would get involved if Israel continued to kill terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Such Israeli action, said the party, would prompt “swift Arab and international action to stop the massacres.” The party also warned that Israel “must take into account the changes in the Arab region and especially Egypt … [Egypt] will not allow the Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression, as in the past.”

-Things also continue to get more tense with Syria.  Israel has fired tank shells into Syria twice since Sunday.  They did this in response to Syrian shells which struck the Golan Heights.  This marked the first time that Israel had fired tank shells into Syria since the Yom Kippur War in 1973.

-Syrian rebels are receiving a massive influx of arms and assistance.  The following is from a recent article in the Washington Post

Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by Persian Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.

Obama administration officials emphasized that the United States is neither supplying nor funding the lethal material, which includes antitank weaponry. Instead, they said, the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.

-It is being reported that UK troops may soon be deployed to areas near the border with Syria.

-NATO has announced that it is prepared to defend Turkey if necessary…

NATO will defend alliance member Turkey, which struck back after mortar rounds fired from Syria landed inside its border, the alliance’s Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said at a meeting in Prague on Monday.

“NATO as an organization will do what it takes to protect and defend Turkey, our ally. We have more plans in place to make sure that we can protect and defend Turkey and hopefully that way also deter so that attacks on Turkey will not take place,” he said.

Once again, hopefully all of this will settle down in a few days.

But it is never easy to predict what is going to happen next in the Middle East.  There is so much hate and anger and things could literally explode over there at any time.

In the months and years to come, I expect the Middle East to become a major issue for the global economy and a major political issue inside the United States.

When war does erupt in the Middle East, it is going to dramatically affect the price of oil, and there will also be a tremendous amount of debate about whether the U.S. military should intervene or not.

Let us hope for peace, but let us also be very realistic about the situation over there.  Our world is becoming more unstable with each passing day, and the times that are coming are going to be very challenging.

So what do you think?

Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

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