Israel and Hezbollah are at war. On top of everything else that is going on in the world, now we have a new war in the Middle East, and nobody is quite certain what is going to happen next. Israel has been preparing for this moment for more than 8 years. So has Hezbollah. According to some reports, Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 50,000 rockets since the end of the Hezbollah-Israel war in 2006. If all-out warfare does erupt, we could potentially see tens of thousands of missiles rain down into an area not too much larger than the state of New Jersey. And of course the Israeli military is also much more sophisticated and much more powerful than it was back in 2006. If cooler heads do not prevail, we could be on the verge of witnessing a very bloody war. But right now nobody seems to be in the mood to back down. Hezbollah is absolutely fuming over an airstrike earlier this month that killed six fighters and a prominent Iranian general. And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel is “prepared to act powerfully on all fronts” in response to a Hezbollah ambush that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven. Just such an incident is what sparked the war between the two sides back in 2006. But this time, a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah could spark a full-blown regional war.
Earlier this month, Israel launched a surprise assault against a group of Hezbollah fighters that Israel believed was planning to conduct terror attacks inside their borders.
But in addition to killing six Hezbollah fighters, a very important Iranian general was also killed. Needless to say, Iran is furious…
Iran has told the United States that Israel should expect consequences for an attack on the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights that killed an Iranian general, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Revolutionary Guards General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi died alongside six fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah group in the January 18 attack on forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.
And we didn’t have to wait too long for a response. An IDF convoy was hit by anti-tank missiles near the Lebanon border. Two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven were wounded. The following is how the Jerusalem Post described the attack.
The terrorists launched five or six anti-tank missiles from a distance of at least four kilometers from their targets, striking the vehicles as they drove two kilometers from the international border.
In the heavy Hezbollah ambush, a military D-Max vehicle containing a company commander and his driver from the Givati Brigade was the first vehicle hit.
This prompted all of those inside an IDF jeep behind it to quickly evacuate their vehicle before it, too, was hit and destroyed with missiles.
Just over an hour after that attack, mortar rounds struck an Israeli military position on Mt. Hermon.
In response to those strikes, the Israeli military hit back at Hezbollah positions on the other side of the Lebanese border…
Israel struck back with combined aerial and ground strikes on Hezbollah operational positions along the border, the military said.
At least 50 artillery shells were fired at the villages of Majidiyeh, Abbasiyeh and Kfar Chouba, according to Lebanese officials.
But Israel is probably not done.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising a “disproportionate” response to the Hezbollah attacks, and he says that Hezbollah should consider what Israel recently did to Hamas before taking any more aggressive action…
“To all those trying to challenge us on the northern border, I suggest looking at what happened here, not far from the city of Sderot, in the Gaza strip. Hamas absorbed the hardest blow since it was founded last summer, and the IDF is ready to act with force on any front.”
If things continue to escalate, we might not just be talking about another Hezbollah-Israel war.
In the south, tensions between Israel and Hamas remain near all-time highs. In the event of a full-blown war, Hamas probably could be easily convinced to join the fray. And if Hamas jumps in, the rest of the Palestinians might not be far behind.
In addition, ISIS now has territory near the border with Israel…
Because of the strategic importance of the terrain, Iran and Hezbollah have been building infrastructure there for some time. But their interest in the Golan skyrocketed in December.
The reason: ISIS gained a foothold there when the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade of the Free Syrian Army “defected” from the de facto alliance with the U.S.-Arab coalition against Assad, and declared its allegiance to ISIS. The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade had been one of the most active rebel factions holding territory directly adjacent to the “area of separation” between Syria and Israel administered (in theory) by the UN. In particular, it has held the southern line of confrontation with Syrian regime forces, in the transit corridor leading to the Quneitra border crossing.
Needless to say, ISIS would be extremely interested in any conflict with Israel.
And of course there are all of the other surrounding Islamic nations that are not too fond of Israel either.
The truth is that the Middle East is a perpetual tinderbox. One spark could set the entire region on fire.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to do all that he can to undermine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The animosity between the two is well known, and now an “Obama army” of political operatives has been sent to Israel to help defeat Netanyahu in the upcoming elections.
The “leader” of this “Obama army” is Jeremy Bird, who was the national field director for Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. But he has plenty of company. Just check out the following list that was compiled by WND…
Besides Bird, the 270 Strategies team includes the following former Obama staffers:
- Mitch Steward, a 270 Strategies founding partner who helped the Obama campaign build what the U.K. Guardian called “a historic ground operation that will provide the model for political campaigns in America and around the world for years to come.”
- Mark Beatty, a founding partner who served as deputy battleground states director for the Obama campaign. He had primary responsibility for Obama’s election plans for the battleground states.
- Marlon Marshall, a founding partner at 270 Strategies who joins the team after holding several key positions in national Democratic politics, most recently as deputy national field director for the 2012 Obama campaign.
- Betsy Hoover, a founding partner who served as director of digital organizing on the Obama campaign.
- Meg Ansara, who served as national regional director for Obama for America where she was responsible for overseeing the 2012 programs in the Midwest and southern states.
- Bridget Halligan, who served as the engagement program manager on the digital team of the 2012 Obama campaign.
- Kate Catherall, who served as Florida deputy field director for Obama’s re-election campaign.
- Alex Lofton, who most recently served as the GOTV director of Cleveland, Ohio, for the 2012 Obama campaign.
- Martha Patzer, the firm’s vice president who served as deputy email director at Obama for America.
- Jesse Boateng, who served as the Florida voter registration director for Obama’s re-election campaign.
- Ashley Bryant, who served most recently as the Ohio digital director for the 2012 Obama campaign.
- Max Clermont, who formerly served as a regional field director in Florida for Obama’s re-election campaign.
- Max Wood, who served as a deputy data director in Florida for the 2012 Obama campaign.
As the first month of 2015 wraps up, our world is becoming increasingly unstable.
In addition to the oil crash, the collapse of the euro, looming stock market troubles, civil war in Ukraine, tensions with Russia, an economic slowdown in China and imploding economies all over South America, now we have more war in the Middle East.
And if lots of missiles start flying back and forth between Israel and Hezbollah, it could potentially spark the bloodiest war in that region that any of us have ever seen.
So what do you think about the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
Are you waiting for the next major wave of the global economic collapse to strike? Well, you might want to start paying attention again. Three of the ten largest economies on the planet have already fallen into recession, and there are very serious warning signs coming from several other global economic powerhouses. Things are already so bad that British Prime Minister David Cameron is comparing the current state of affairs to the horrific financial crisis of 2008. In an article for the Guardian that was published on Monday, he delivered the following sobering warning: “Six years on from the financial crash that brought the world to its knees, red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.” For the leader of the nation with the 6th largest economy in the world to make such a statement is more than a little bit concerning.
So why is Cameron freaking out?
Well, just consider what is going on in Japan. The economy of Japan is the 3rd largest on the entire planet, and it is a total basket case at this point. Many believe that the Japanese will be on the leading edge of the next great global economic crisis, and that is why it is so alarming that Japan has just dipped into recession again for the fourth time in six years…
Japan’s economy unexpectedly fell into recession in the third quarter, a painful slump that called into question efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pull the country out of nearly two decades of deflation.
The second consecutive quarterly decline in gross domestic product could upend Japan’s political landscape. Mr. Abe is considering dissolving Parliament and calling fresh elections, people close to him say, and Monday’s economic report is seen as critical to his decision, which is widely expected to come this week.
Of course Japan is far from alone.
Brazil has the 7th largest economy on the globe, and it has already been in recession for quite a few months.
And the problems that the national oil company is currently experiencing certainly are not helping matters…
In the past five days, 23 powerful Brazilians have been arrested, with even more warrants still outstanding.
The country’s stock market has become a whipsaw, and its currency, the real, has hit a nine-year low.
All of this is due to a far-reaching corruption scandal at one massive company, Petrobras.
In the last month the company’s stock has fallen by 35%.
The 9th largest economy in the world, Italy, has also fallen into recession…
Italian GDP dropped another 0.1% in the third quarter, as expected.
That’s following a 0.2% drop in Q2 and another 0.1% decline in Q1, capping nine months of recession for Europe’s third-largest economy.
Like Japan, there is no easy way out for Italy. A rapidly aging population coupled with a debt to GDP ratio of more than 132 percent is a toxic combination. Italy needs to find a way to be productive once again, and that does not happen overnight.
Meanwhile, much of the rest of Europe is currently mired in depression-like conditions. The official unemployment numbers in some of the larger nations on the continent are absolutely eye-popping. The following list of unemployment figures comes from one of my previous articles…
Are you starting to get the picture?
The world is facing some real economic problems.
Another traditionally strong economic power that is suddenly dealing with adversity is Israel.
In fact, the economy of Israel is shrinking for the first time since 2009…
Israel’s economy contracted for the first time in more than five years in the third quarter, as growth was hit by the effects of a war with Islamist militants in Gaza.
Gross domestic product fell 0.4 percent in the July-September period, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Sunday. It was the first quarterly decline since a 0.2 percent drop in the first three months of 2009, at the outset of the global financial crisis.
And needless to say, U.S. economic sanctions have hit Russia pretty hard.
The rouble has been plummeting like a rock, and the Russian government is preparing for a “catastrophic” decline in oil prices…
President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s economy, battered by sanctions and a collapsing currency, faces a potential “catastrophic” slump in oil prices.
Such a scenario is “entirely possible, and we admit it,” Putin told the state-run Tass news service before attending this weekend’s Group of 20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, according to a transcript e-mailed by the Kremlin today. Russia’s reserves, at more than $400 billion, would allow the country to weather such a turn of events, he said.
Crude prices have fallen by almost a third this year, undercutting the economy in Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter.
It is being reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin has been hoarding gold in anticipation of a full-blown global economic war.
I think that will end up being a very wise decision on his part.
Despite all of this global chaos, things are still pretty stable in the United States for the moment. The stock market keeps setting new all-time highs and much of the country is preparing for an orgy of Christmas shopping.
Unfortunately, the number of children that won’t even have a roof to sleep under this holiday season just continues to grow.
A stunning report that was just released by the National Center on Family Homelessness says that the number of homeless children in America has soared to an astounding 2.5 million.
That means that approximately one out of every 30 children in the United States is homeless.
Let that number sink in for a moment as you read more about this new report from the Washington Post…
The number of homeless children in the United States has surged in recent years to an all-time high, amounting to one child in every 30, according to a comprehensive state-by-state report that blames the nation’s high poverty rate, the lack of affordable housing and the effects of pervasive domestic violence.
Titled “America’s Youngest Outcasts,” the report being issued Monday by the National Center on Family Homelessness calculates that nearly 2.5 million American children were homeless at some point in 2013. The number is based on the Education Department’s latest count of 1.3 million homeless children in public schools, supplemented by estimates of homeless preschool children not counted by the agency.
The problem is particularly severe in California, which has about one-eighth of the U.S. population but accounts for more than one-fifth of the homeless children, totaling nearly 527,000.
This is why I get so fired up about the destruction of the middle class. A healthy economy would mean more wealth for most people. But instead, most Americans just continue to see a decline in the standard of living.
And remember, the next major wave of the economic collapse has not even hit us yet. When it does, the suffering of the poor and the middle class is going to get much worse.
Unfortunately, there are already signs that the U.S. economy is starting to slow down too. In fact, the latest manufacturing numbers were not good at all…
The Federal Reserve’s new industrial production data for October show that, on a monthly basis, real U.S. manufacturing output has fallen on net since July, marking its worst three-month production stretch since March-June, 2011. Largely responsible is the automotive sector’s sudden transformation from a manufacturing growth leader into a serious growth laggard, with combined real vehicles and parts production enduring its worst three-month stretch since late 2008 to early 2009.
A lot of very smart people are forecasting economic disaster for next year.
Hopefully they are all wrong, but I have a feeling that they are going to be right.
After the horrors of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, how insane do you have to be to fire missiles directly at a major nuclear facility? No matter what side you are on in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everyone should be able to agree that it is utter madness for Hamas to fire rockets at the Dimona nuclear installation in the Negev. The intent, of course, was to destroy the Dimona facility and create a horrific nuclear disaster in the heart of Israel. Fortunately, the area is heavily protected by the Iron Dome missile defense system and none of the rockets did any damage. And it is questionable how much damage to the facility that Hamas missiles could actually do. But that is not the point. What matters is that Hamas is trying to do it. With each passing year, Hamas rockets are becoming more advanced, more accurate and more powerful. And when Hamas fires some of their best rockets at a major nuclear facility, they are committing an act of all-out war. If Hamas continues to do this, it could spark a major regional war in which countless numbers of people could die. Is that what they want?
There has been a lot of criticism of Israel in the mainstream media in recent days, but much of it is quite hypocritical. Just imagine what would happen in the U.S. if another country fired just one missile at New York City or at one of our nuclear reactors. If that happened, “glass parking lot” would suddenly be on the lips of tens of millions of Americans all over the country, and the U.S. military would rapidly be preparing for an absolutely devastating response.
Well, it isn’t just one missile that has been fired at Israel.
In recent days, dozens of rockets were fired at Israel before there was any response from the Israeli military at all.
And more than 225 rockets have been fired at Israel since Operation Protective Edge started on Monday night.
At one point, an average of about one rocket was being fired into Israel every ten minutes.
And many of these rockets are being shot directly at Israeli population centers with the intention of killing civilians. It is a miracle that we have not seen many casualties so far.
But where Hamas has really stepped over the line is by firing at the Dimona nuclear facility. The fact that Hamas is attempting to create a nuclear holocaust is essentially an act of genocide. The following is how the Jerusalem Post described the attack…
Three rockets were launched at Dimona in southern Israel on Wednesday afternoon. The Iron Dome intercepted one rocket before it could land, while two other rockets landed in open areas.
Dimona is the location of Israel’s nuclear reactor. There was no indication that rockets damaged any part of the reactor.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets, stating that it had been attempting to hit the nuclear reactor.
Militants from Hamas’s Qassam Brigades said they had launched long-range M-75 rockets towards Dimona.
And as Breitbart has pointed out, what Hamas has just done is actually an act of nuclear terrorism as defined by the United Nations…
Article 2 (1) of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism states:
1. Any person commits an offence within the meaning of this Convention if that person unlawfully and intentionally…(b)…uses or damages a nuclear facility in a manner which releases or risks the release of radioactive material: (i) With the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury; or (ii) With the intent to cause substantial damage to property or to the environment; or (iii) With the intent to compel a natural or legal person, an international organization or a State to do or refrain from doing an act.
Let us hope that future Hamas missile strikes will not do any damage to Dimona either.
In the end, it is questionable how much of a threat Hamas rockets actually are to an extremely well defended facility such as Dimona, but let us not completely underestimate their capabilities either.
According to the Christian Science Monitor, Hamas rockets are stronger and more accurate than ever and are now even capable of hitting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem…
Hamas has emerged from a 19-month cease-fire stronger, savvier, and more effective at hitting Israel where it will hurt the most.
Hamas’s arsenal, estimated at 10,000 rockets, is only marginally bigger than it was heading into its last conflict with Israel, in November 2012. But its mid-range rockets are much more accurate, and it has acquired long-range missiles that reach beyond Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, putting as many as 5 million of Israel’s 8 million citizens at risk.
If Hamas wants Israel to stop attacking, they need to stop lobbing missiles into Israel.
If Hamas keeps launching rockets, it could spark a major regional war. Just consider what Shimon Peres is saying about the conflict…
“We didn’t start the war today, they started it already several days ago,” he told CNN. “We asked them to stop it… We waited one day, two days, three days and they continued, and they spread their fire on more areas in Israel.”
He also said that a ground offensive on Gaza “may happen quite soon”. Referring to rockets being fired from Gaza, he added: “If they will stop for example tonight, there won’t be any ground entrance – but if they will continue, sooner or later this will be the response.”
And there are news reports today that Israel has already warned 100,000 Gaza residents living in cities near the border with Israel to leave their homes.
That means that a ground invasion could be imminent.
Let us pray for peace because every human life is extremely valuable.
Every Israeli life is extremely valuable, and every Palestinian life is extremely valuable.
Nobody should want to see a major war between the Israelis and the Palestinians, because if one does happen it will be extremely bloody.
The Middle East is a powder keg that could erupt at any moment.
A single wrong move could bring about a nightmarish conflict that results in countless deaths.
Someone 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?
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.
While most of the country is obsessing over Miley Cyrus, the Obama administration is preparing a military attack against Syria which has the potential of starting World War 3. In fact, it is being reported that cruise missile strikes could begin “as early as Thursday“. The Obama administration is pledging that the strikes will be “limited”, but what happens when the Syrians fight back? What happens if they sink a U.S. naval vessel or they have agents start hitting targets inside the United States? Then we would have a full-blown war on our hands. And what happens if the Syrians decide to retaliate by hitting Israel? If Syrian missiles start raining down on Tel Aviv, Israel will be extremely tempted to absolutely flatten Damascus, and they are more than capable of doing precisely that. And of course Hezbollah and Iran are not likely to just sit idly by as their close ally Syria is battered into oblivion. We are looking at a scenario where the entire Middle East could be set aflame, and that might only be just the beginning. Russia and China are sternly warning the U.S. government not to get involved in Syria, and by starting a war with Syria we will do an extraordinary amount of damage to our relationships with those two global superpowers. Could this be the beginning of a chain of events that could eventually lead to a massive global conflict with Russia and China on one side and the United States on the other? Of course it will not happen immediately, but I fear that what is happening now is setting the stage for some really bad things. The following are 22 reasons why starting World War 3 in the Middle East is a really bad idea…
#1 The American people are overwhelmingly against going to war with Syria…
Americans strongly oppose U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war and believe Washington should stay out of the conflict even if reports that Syria’s government used deadly chemicals to attack civilians are confirmed, a Reuters/Ipsos poll says.
About 60 percent of Americans surveyed said the United States should not intervene in Syria’s civil war, while just 9 percent thought President Barack Obama should act.
#2 At this point, a war in Syria is even more unpopular with the American people than Congress is.
#3 The Obama administration has not gotten approval to go to war with Syria from Congress as the U.S. Constitution requires.
#4 The United States does not have the approval of the United Nations to attack Syria and it is not going to be getting it.
#5 Syria has said that it will use “all means available” to defend itself if the United States attacks. Would that include terror attacks in the United States itself?
#6 Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem made the following statement on Tuesday…
“We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves”
#7 Russia has just sent their most advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria. What do you think would happen if images of sinking U.S. naval vessels were to come flashing across our television screens?
#8 When the United States attacks Syria, there is a very good chance that Syria will attack Israel. Just check out what one Syrian official said recently…
A member of the Syrian Ba’ath national council Halef al-Muftah, until recently the Syrian propaganda minister’s aide, said on Monday that Damascus views Israel as “behind the aggression and therefore it will come under fire” should Syria be attacked by the United States.
In an interview for the American radio station Sawa in Arabic, President Bashar Assad’s fellow party member said: “We have strategic weapons and we can retaliate. Essentially, the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel.”
Al-Muftah stressed that the US’s threats will not influence the Syrain regime and added that “If the US or Israel err through aggression and exploit the chemical issue, the region will go up in endless flames, affecting not only the area’s security, but the world’s.”
#9 If Syria attacks Israel, the consequences could be absolutely catastrophic. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising that any attack will be responded to “forcefully“…
“We are not a party to this civil war in Syria but if we identify any attempt to attack us we will respond and we will respond forcefully”
#10 Hezbollah will likely do whatever it can to fight for the survival of the Assad regime. That could include striking targets inside both the United States and Israel.
#11 Iran’s closest ally is Syria. Will Iran sit idly by as their closest ally is removed from the chessboard?
#12 Starting a war with Syria will cause significant damage to our relationship with Russia. On Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said that the West is acting like a “monkey with a hand grenade“.
#13 Starting a war with Syria will cause significant damage to our relationship with China. And what will happen if the Chinese decide to start dumping the massive amount of U.S. debt that it is holding? Interest rates would absolutely skyrocket and we would rapidly be facing a nightmare scenario.
#14 Dr. Jerome Corsi and Walid Shoebat have compiled some startling evidence that it was actually the Syrian rebels that the U.S. is supporting that were responsible for the chemical weapons attack that is being used as justification to go to war with Syria…
With the assistance of former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, WND has assembled evidence from various Middle Eastern sources that cast doubt on Obama administration claims the Assad government is responsible for last week’s attack.
You can examine the evidence for yourself right here.
#15 As Pat Buchanan recently noted, it would have made absolutely no sense for the Assad regime to use chemical weapons on defenseless women and children. The only people who would benefit from such an attack would be the rebels…
The basic question that needs to be asked about this horrific attack on civilians, which appears to be gas related, is: Cui bono?
To whose benefit would the use of nerve gas on Syrian women and children redound? Certainly not Assad’s, as we can see from the furor and threats against him that the use of gas has produced.
The sole beneficiary of this apparent use of poison gas against civilians in rebel-held territory appears to be the rebels, who have long sought to have us come in and fight their war.
#16 If the Saudis really want to topple the Assad regime, they should do it themselves. They should not expect the United States to do their dirty work for them.
#17 A former commander of U.S. Central Command has said that a U.S. attack on Syria would result in “a full-throated, very, very serious war“.
#18 A war in the Middle East will be bad for the financial markets. The Dow was down about 170 points today and concern about war with Syria was the primary reason.
#19 A war in the Middle East will cause the price of oil to go up. On Tuesday, the price of U.S. oil rose to about $109 a barrel.
#20 There is no way in the world that the U.S. government should be backing the Syrian rebels. As I discussed a few days ago, the rebels have pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda, they have beheaded numerous Christians and they have massacred entire Christian villages. If the U.S. government helps these lunatics take power in Syria it will be a complete and utter disaster.
#21 A lot of innocent civilians inside Syria will end up getting killed. Already, a lot of Syrians are expressing concern about what “foreign intervention” will mean for them and their families…
“I’ve always been a supporter of foreign intervention, but now that it seems like a reality, I’ve been worrying that my family could be hurt or killed,” said one woman, Zaina, who opposes Assad. “I’m afraid of a military strike now.”
“The big fear is that they’ll make the same mistakes they made in Libya and Iraq,” said Ziyad, a man in his 50s. “They’ll hit civilian targets, and then they’ll cry that it was by mistake, but we’ll get killed in the thousands.”
#22 If the U.S. government insists on going to war with Syria without the approval of the American people, the U.S. Congress or the United Nations, we are going to lose a lot of friends and a lot of credibility around the globe. It truly is a sad day when Russia looks like “the good guys” and we look like “the bad guys”.
What good could possibly come out of getting involved in Syria? As I wrote about the other day, the “rebels” that Obama is backing are rabidly anti-Christian, rabidly anti-Israel and rabidly anti-western. If they take control of Syria, that nation will be far more unstable and far more of a hotbed for terrorism than it is now.
And the downside of getting involved in Syria is absolutely enormous. Syria, Iran and Hezbollah all have agents inside this country, and if they decide to start blowing stuff up that will wake up the American people to the horror of war really quick. And by attacking Syria, the United States could cause a major regional war to erupt in the Middle East which could eventually lead to World War 3.
I don’t know about you, but I think that starting World War 3 in the Middle East is a really bad idea.
Let us hope that cooler heads prevail before things spin totally out of control.
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 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…