On the surface, things seem pretty quiet in mid-July 2016. The biggest news stories are about the speculation surrounding Donald Trump’s choice of running mate, the stock market in the U.S. keeps setting new all-time record highs, and the media seems completely obsessed with Taylor Swift’s love life. But underneath the surface, it is a very different story. As you will see below, the conditions for a “perfect storm” are coming together very rapidly, and the rest of 2016 promises to be much more chaotic than what we have seen so far.
Let’s start with China. On Tuesday, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled against China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. The Chinese government announced ahead of time that they do not recognize the jurisdiction of the tribunal, and they have absolutely no intention of abiding by the ruling. In fact, China is becoming even more defiant in the aftermath of this ruling. We aren’t hearing much about it in the U.S. media, but according to international news reports Chinese president Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army “to prepare for combat” with the United States if the Obama administration presses China to abandon the islands that they are currently occupying in the South China Sea…
“Chinese president Xi Jinping has reportedly ordered the People’s Liberation Army to prepare for combat,” reports Arirang.com. “U.S.-based Boxun News said Tuesday that the instruction was given in case the United States takes provocative action in the waters once the ruling is made.”
A U.S. aircraft carrier and fighter jets were already sent to the region in anticipation of the ruling, with the Chinese Navy also carrying out exercises near the disputed Paracel islands.
Last October, China said it was “not frightened” to fight a war with the U.S. following an incident where the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen violated the 12-nautical mile zone China claims around Subi and Mischief reefs in the Spratly archipelago.
Meanwhile, the relationship between the United States and Russia continues to go from bad to worse. The installation of a missile defense system in Romania is just the latest incident that has the Russians absolutely steaming, and during a public appearance on June 17th Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to get western reporters to understand that the world is being pulled toward war…
“We know year by year what’s going to happen, and they know that we know. It’s only you that they tell tall tales to, and you buy it, and spread it to the citizens of your countries. You people in turn do not feel a sense of the impending danger – this is what worries me. How do you not understand that the world is being pulled in an irreversible direction? While they pretend that nothing is going on. I don’t know how to get through to you anymore.”
And of course the Russians have been feverishly updating and modernizing their military in preparation for a potential future conflict with the United States. Just today we learned that the Russians are working to develop a hypersonic strategic bomber that is going to have the capability of striking targets with nuclear warheads from outer space.
Unfortunately, the Obama administration does not feel a similar sense of urgency. The size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has declined by about 95 percent since the peak of the Cold War, and many of our installations are still actually using rotary phones and the kind of 8 inch floppy disks for computers that were widely used back in the 1970s.
But I don’t expect war with China or Russia to erupt by the end of 2016. Of much more immediate concern is what is going on in the Middle East. The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, but it is Israel that could soon be the center of attention.
Back in March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration wanted to revive the peace process in the Middle East before Obama left office, and that a UN Security Council resolution that would divide the land of Israel and set the parameters for a Palestinian state was still definitely on the table…
The White House is working on plans for reviving long-stalled Middle East negotiations before President Barack Obama leaves office, including a possible United Nations Security Council resolution that would outline steps toward a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, according to senior U.S. officials.
And just this week, the Washington Post reported that there were renewed “rumblings” about just such a resolution…
Israel is facing a restive European Union, which is backing a French initiative that seeks to outline a future peace deal by year’s end that would probably include a call for the withdrawal of Israeli troops and the creation of a Palestinian state. There are also rumblings that the U.N. Security Council might again hear resolutions about the conflict.
For years, Barack Obama has stressed the need for a Palestinian state, and now that his second term is drawing to a close he certainly realizes that this is his last chance to take action at the United Nations. If he is going to pull the trigger and support a UN resolution formally establishing a Palestinian state, it will almost certainly happen before the election in November. So over the coming months we will be watching these developments very carefully.
And it is interesting to note that there is an organization called “Americans For Peace Now” that is collecting signatures and strongly urging Obama to support a UN resolution of this nature. The following comes from their official website…
Now is the time for real leadership that can revive and re-accredit the two-state solution as President Obama enters his final months in office. And he can do this – he can lay the groundwork for a two-state agreement in the future by supporting an Israeli-Palestinian two-state resolution in the United Nations Security Council.
Such a resolution would restore U.S. leadership in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. It would preserve the now-foundering two-state outcome. And it would be a gift to the next president, leaving her or him constructive options for consequential actions in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, in place of the ever-worsening, politically stalemated status quo there is today.
Sadly, a UN resolution that divides the land of Israel and that formally establishes a Palestinian state would not bring lasting peace. Instead, it would be the biggest mistake of the Obama era, and it would set the stage for a major war between Israel and her neighbors. This is something that I discussed during a recent televised appearance down at Morningside that you can watch right here…
At the same time all of this is going on, the global economic crisis continues to escalate. Even though U.S. financial markets are in great shape at the moment, the same cannot be said for much of the rest of the world.
Just look at the country that is hosting the Olympics this summer. Brazil is mired in the worst economic downturn that it has seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and Rio de Janeiro’s governor has declared “a state of financial emergency“.
Elsewhere, China is experiencing the worst economic downturn that they have seen in decades, the Japanese are still trying to find the end of their “lost decade”, and the banking crisis in Europe is getting worse with each passing month.
In quite a few articles recently, I have discussed the ongoing implosion of the biggest and most important bank in Germany. But I am certainly not the only one warning about this. In one of his recent articles, Simon Black also commented on the turmoil at “the most dangerous bank in Europe”…
Well-capitalized banks are supposed to have double-digit capital levels while making low risk investments.
Deutsche Bank, on the other hand, has a capital level of less that 3% (just like Lehman), and an incredibly risky asset base that boasts notional derivatives exposure of more than $70 trillion, roughly the size of world GDP.
But of course Deutsche Bank isn’t getting a lot of attention from the mainstream media right now because of the stunning meltdown of banks in Italy, Spain and Greece. Here is more from Simon Black…
Italian banks are sitting on over 360 billion euros in bad loans right now and are in desperate need of a massive bailout.
IMF calculations show that Italian banks’ capital levels are among the lowest in the world, just ahead of Bangladesh.
And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of problems in other banking jurisdictions.
Spanish banks have been scrambling to raise billions in capital to cover persistent losses that still haven’t healed from the last crisis.
In Greece, over 35% of all loans in the banking system are classified as “non-performing”.
Even though U.S. stocks are doing well for the moment, the truth is that trillions of dollars of stock market wealth has been lost globally since this time last year. If you are not familiar with what has been going on around the rest of the planet, this may come as a surprise to you. During my recent appearance at Morningside, I shared some very startling charts which show how dramatically global markets have shifted over the past 12 months. You can view the segment in which I shared these charts right here…
I would really like it if the rest of 2016 was as quiet and peaceful as the past couple of days have been.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe that is going to be the case at all.
The storm clouds are rising and the conditions for a “perfect storm” are brewing. Sadly, most people are not going to understand what is happening until it is far too late.
There are international news reports that claim that Turkish military forces have entered Syrian territory and have established positions near the towns of Azaz and Afrin. If these international news reports are true, then Turkey has essentially declared war on the Assad regime. Back in February, I warned that escalating tensions in the region could be the spark that sets off World War III, but things seemed to cool down a bit in March and April. However, this latest move by Turkey threatens to take the war in Syria to a whole new level, and everyone will be watching to see how the Russians and the Iranians respond to this ground incursion.
So far, it is the Russian media that it taking the lead in reporting about this movement of Syrian forces. For example, the Sputnik news agency was one of the first to report Turkish military activity around the town of Azaz…
Amid violent clashes between militants of Daesh and troops of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the town of Azaz in northern Aleppo district, reports are surfacing suggesting that the Turkish Army units have been seen located in the district of Azaz.
In addition, Sputnik claims that Turkish military forces entered a small village called Hamam near the town of Afrin on Saturday…
“Two days ago, the Turkish military entered the village of Hamam in Afrin area. We are ready to repel any attack. Meanwhile, FSA units are suffering serious defeat in clashes with Daesh. They have already lost control of 12 villages. If Daesh comes to Azaz, ‘Democratic Syrian Forces’ will repel the jihadists, and not allow them to enter the city,” Arac stressed.
The map that I have posted below comes directly from Google Maps, and it shows how far south of the Turkish border the towns of Azaz and Afrin are…
In particular, the Azaz corridor is considered to be extremely important because that is the primary route that Turkey has been using to resupply jihadist rebels in Aleppo. So Turkey wants to keep that road open at all costs.
Member of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PDS) Ahmet Arac said that the hundreds of the Turkish soldiers crossed the Syrian border at Bab al-Salameh border-crossing and deployed their forces in al-Shahba’a region near Marea and Azaz.
“The Turkish Armed Forces are preparing an offensive in the Azaz and Marea regions that have been the scenes of tough battles between the ISIL terrorists and its rival group of the Free Syrian Army,” Arac added.
“Also yesterday the Turkish Army carried out rocket attacks on the positions of Democratic Forces of Syria,” he went on to say.
So far, there has been no confirmation of this invasion from the mainstream media in the western world. But of course since Turkey is our ally, the Obama administration would not want the media talking about this. So instead, our big media outlets are giving us headlines such as “Judge sentences Catholic to attend Baptist church” today.
If you have been following my work for a while, you already know that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have been working very hard to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad for years, and Assad knows exactly what Turkey has been up to…
“..Turkey, as well as Saudi Arabia, have crossed all possible red lines, possibly from the first weeks of the Syrian war. Today, the war against Erdogan and against Saudi Arabia is a war against terrorists. The Turkish army, which is not even Turkish, is Erdogan’s army that is fighting today in Syria. Everything that Ankara and Riyadh have done from the very beginning can be considered aggression. Aggression in a political sense or in a military sense – providing terrorists with arms – or direct aggression with the use of artillery, and other military violations. Erdogan is directly supporting the terrorists as he allows them to move into Turkish territory, to carry out maneuvers with tanks. This concerns not only individuals, he finances them [terrorists] through Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and through Turkey itself, of course. Turkey trades oil that has been stolen by IS (Islamic State, Daesh), at the same time carrying out artillery attacks against the Syrian army – when it moves close – in order to help the terrorists. They are terrorists and when we attack these terrorists in Syria, this leads to Erdogan’s direct defeat..”
Assad is a very bad man, but everything that he said about Turkey in that quote is true. Turkey has been giving direct assistance to ISIS, and Barack Obama has known about it the entire time.
Most Americans simply do not understand how insane Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan truly is. Our “ally” has essentially become a dictator, and he is obsessed with recreating the old Ottoman empire. These days, political rallies in support of Erdogan are quite reminiscent of what Nazi rallies under Adolf Hitler were like, and there is a nationalistic fervor in Turkey right now that is so intense that it is hard to describe it to someone in the western world. It is fueled by the rise of radical Islam, but what is going on in Turkey is broader than that. It is extremely dangerous, and yet nobody in the U.S. criticizes Erdogan because he is our “friend”.
In addition to moving troops into Syria, Turkey already has forces positioned in Iraq, and the Russians are quite upset about this. Just consider what Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday…
“This (keeping troops in Iraq) is an absolutely unacceptable position,” it cited Lavrov as saying. “In principle, I believe that what the Turks are doing deserves far greater public attention on the part of our Western partners.”
But for Erdogan, what we have seen so far is just the beginning. He dreams of creating an Islamic empire, and he envisions himself at the top of the food chain.
Saudi Arabia already has nukes, Iran probably does, and the Russians are one of the two great nuclear powers on the entire planet. So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies do decide to conduct a full-blown ground invasion of Syria, could someone ultimately decide to use nuclear weapons when their backs get pushed up against a wall? As you read this article, there are thousands of military vehicles and hundreds of thousands of troops massed along the southern border of Turkey and the northern border of Saudi Arabia. If the command is given and those forces start streaming toward Damascus, it is inevitable that the Syrians, the Iranians, Hezbollah and the Russians would fight back. It would literally be the start of World War 3, and the Saudis and the Turks are trying very hard to convince the United States to be involved. But the truth is that we don’t want any part of this conflict, because it could very easily become the very first nuclear war in the history of the Middle East.
Perhaps you didn’t know that the Saudis already have nukes. Of course the official position is that they don’t, but it is a fact that they were the ones that funded the development of Pakistan’s nuclear program. It is an open secret that the Saudis have the bomb, but nobody is really supposed to talk about it.
Earlier this week a Saudi political analyst told RT’s Arab network the kingdom has a nuclear weapon.
Dahham Al-‘Anzi made the claim while saying Saudi Arabia is engaged in an effort to “minimize the Iranian threat in the Levant and Syria.”
Although Saudi Arabia has officially denied it has a nuclear weapons program and has publicly stated it opposes nuclear weapons in the Middle East, it has funded a military nuclear program and received scientific assistance from the United States and Pakistan.
If the fur started flying in Syria and Russia and Iran decided to start bombing Saudi airbases, would Saudi Arabia resort to using their nukes?
Let’s hope not.
In the event of a massive ground invasion by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies, it is actually more likely that Russia may decide to be the first one to use nukes. An invasion force of hundreds of thousands of troops would vastly outnumber the relatively small Russian force that is already inside Syria, and so the Russians may feel that the only way that they can keep the Sunni powers out of Damascus is to use tactical nukes.
If Turkey (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily to save their rebel clients, who include Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, from a powerful Russian-backed Syrian government offensive, then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel inside Syria.
A source close to Russian President Vladimir Putin told me that the Russians have warned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Moscow is prepared to use tactical nuclear weapons if necessary to save their troops in the face of a Turkish-Saudi onslaught. Since Turkey is a member of NATO, any such conflict could quickly escalate into a full-scale nuclear confrontation.
Given Erdogan’s megalomania or mental instability and the aggressiveness and inexperience of Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman (defense minister and son of King Salman), the only person who probably can stop a Turkish-Saudi invasion is President Obama. But I’m told that he has been unwilling to flatly prohibit such an intervention, though he has sought to calm Erdogan down and made clear that the U.S. military would not join the invasion.
Are you starting to understand how serious this is?
With all of the talk of a potential invasion in recent days, the Russians are on high alert and are rapidly preparing for a direct conflict with both Saudi Arabia and Turkey. The following comes from Infowars…
Still, the Russians are taking no chances and they have put all their forces into high alert. They have very publicly dispatched a Tu-214r – her most advanced ISR (Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance) aircraft. You can think of the Tu-214R as an “AWACS for the ground”, the kind of aircraft you use to monitor a major ground battle (the regular Russian A-50Ms are already monitoring the Syrian airspace). In southern Russia, the Aerospace forces have organized large-scale exercises involving a large number of aircraft which would be used in a war against Turkey: SU-34s. The Airborne Forces are ready. The naval task forces off the Syrian coast is being augmented. The delivery of weapons has accelerated. The bottom line is simple and obvious: the Russians are not making any threats – they are preparing for war. In fact, by now they are ready.
In addition, it is important to remember that it is quite likely that the Iranians have nuclear weapons as well.
Of course the U.S. government and the Iranian government both insist that Iran does not have nukes, but many of those in the know insist otherwise.
For instance, you may want to consider what retired U.S. Army Major General Paul Vallely and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Dennis B. Haney are saying. The following comes from an article that was authored by Jerome Corsi of WND…
In a joint statement, Vallely and Haney say an accumulation of available evidence shows a coalition of Russia, China and North Korea have assisted Iran since 1979 in achieving a nuclear weapon, despite sanctions, under the guise of a domestic nuclear energy program.
Vallely explained to WND that he and Haney have taken a systematic approach to evaluating each component needed to deliver a nuclear weapon, from the development and testing of a ballistic missile system, to the design of a nuclear weapons warhead, to the development of the weapons-grade uranium needed to produce a bomb.
“To come to our conclusion that Iran is a nuclear weapons power right now, we supplemented publicly available research, plus information from intelligence sources, including Iranian resistance groups such as the National Council of Resistance of IRAN, NCRI,” Vallely explained.
I happen to agree with Vallely and Haney. I cannot prove it, but all of the intel that I have received indicates that Iran already has nukes.
Hopefully I will not be proven accurate any time soon.
It had been hoped that a cease-fire could be negotiated that would at least temporarily defuse tensions in Syria. Unfortunately, it does not look like the shooting is going to stop, and this is going to put immense pressure on both Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do something to rescue the radical Sunni militants that are on the verge of defeat. The Saudis, the Turks and their allies have poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this war over the past five years, and now they are faced with the choice of either accepting defeat or directly intervening in this conflict themselves.
But in order to conduct a full-fledged ground invasion, they are going to need justification for doing so. There are some that are suggesting that we could soon see a false flag attack that would provide that justification, so that is something to watch out for.
I can’t remember a time when our planet has been so close to World War 3 potentially beginning.
And if it does break out, I believe that it is quite likely that nuclear weapons will be used.
So what do you think?
Do you agree with me?
Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
As you read this article, Turkish forces are massing along the border with Syria, and the largest “military exercises” in the history of the Middle East are being held in northern Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are publicly warning that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “will be removed by force” if a political solution cannot be found, and Turkey is claiming that it may have to establish a “safe zone” in northern Syria “for humanitarian purposes”. Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies have poured massive amounts of money and arms into the conflict in Syria, and now that their Sunni insurgents are on the verge of total defeat, they are trying to come up with a way to justify going in there and doing the job themselves.
For the Saudis, their focus is on trying to convince everyone that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is an extremely dangerous dictator that must be removed at all costs. The following comes from the London Independent…
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be removed by force if the peace process fails, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister has said.
“Bashar al-Assad will leave – have no doubt about it,” Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN. “He will either leave by a political process or he will be removed by force.”
So precisely who will be doing the “removing” if force is necessary?
Are the Saudis ready to send in ground troops?
Apparently they are. Just consider what Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told CNN…
Saudi Foreign Minister Jubeir made clear that his country’s troops would not go it alone.
“I can tell you that there is some serious discussion going on with regards to looking at a ground component in Syria, because there has to be a possibility of taking and holding ground, that one cannot do from the air.”
“We are saying we will participate within the U.S.-led coalition, should this coalition decide to send ground troops into Syria, that we are prepared to send special forces with those troops.”
But if the Saudis try to take Damascus and remove Assad by force, the Syrians and their allies will certainly fight back. That means that the Saudis will be fighting Hezbollah, the Iranians and the Russians.
Needless to say, Saudi Arabia is going to need a lot of help to do that.
So that may explain why Saudi Arabia has organized the largest “military exercise” in the history of the Middle East. CNN finally reported on this gigantic gathering of military forces in northern Saudi Arabia earlier today…
Saudi Arabia launched a massive military exercise that will include troops from 20 nations, state media reported Monday.
The drill, dubbed North Thunder, involves Arab and Muslim countries, according to the Saudi Press Agency. It’s taking place in King Khalid Military City in northeastern Saudi Arabia.
The news agency did not provide much information on what the exercise entails but called it “the largest in the region’s history.” The agency said it will involve air, sea and land forces.
This is the list of nations that are reportedly participating in these “exercises” so far…
-United Arab Emirates
As I discussed yesterday, 350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are reportedly gathering for these “military exercises”.
To me, that seems to be a great deal of overkill if the goal is just “training”.
The Saudi state agency made the announcement on Sunday, adding that participating troops will begin arriving in “the next few hours.”
The oil-rich nation described the exercises as “the largest and most important” military drills in the region’s history.
The so-called “Northern Thunder” exercise will take place in the north of the country and will include air, sea and land forces. SPA said that it will show that Riyadh and its allies “stand united in confronting all challenges and preserving peace and stability in the region.”
So are these forces massing for a ground invasion of Syria?
We shall see.
In the end, we probably won’t have to wait too long before we find out the answer.
Meanwhile, Turkish officials continue to assert that they may have to establish a “safe zone” for refugees in northern Syria. Since thousands of refugees are continually pouring their direction, they claim that they have no other choice but to go in and take control of the situation.
Some 100,000 Syrian refugees are being looked after in camps inside Syria close to the Turkish border, including 35,000 who this month fled a Russian-backed regime offensive in northern Aleppo province, a top Turkish official said Friday.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, whose country has come under increasing pressure to open its border to people fleeing the violence, said the refugees were being accommodated in nine camps just across the border with Syria.
But make no mistake – this is not just about helping refugees.
The truth is that ISIS has been using Turkey as a home base for years, and hundreds of millions of dollars of ISIS oil has been shipped into Turkey where it has then been sold to the rest of the world. Barack Obama knows about all of this, and yet he has refused to do anything to stop it.
At this point the cooperation between ISIS and Turkey has become so obvious that even CNN is admitting that ISIS militants are being resupplied from Turkey…
To the east of Aleppo, Kurdish forces are, with American support, eyeing the remaining ISIS strongholds along the Turkish border — Jarablus and Manbij. The U.S. wants ISIS out, to remove its access to resupply of materiel and fighters from Turkey.
Meanwhile, Turkey, America’s NATO ally that is engaged in a brutal but often unseen war with the Kurds’ allies in Turkey’s southeast, doesn’t want the Kurds to advance, and may stop at nothing to prevent that.
Fortunately, the Russian bombing campaign has pretty much put an end to the endless parade of ISIS oil trucks that were entering Turkey, and now the primary supply line to Sunni militants in the strategically important city of Aleppo is about to be cut off.
The corridor that runs through the city of Azaz is vitally important, and the Prime Minister of Turkey recently insisted that the Turkish government “will not allow Azaz to fall”…
Turkey shelled YPG positions for a third straight day on Monday to try to stop its fighters seizing Azaz, just 8 km from the border. Ankara fears the Kurdish militia, backed by Russia, is trying to secure the last stretch of around 100 km along the Syrian border not already under its control.
“We will not allow Azaz to fall,” Davutoglu told reporters on his plane on the way to Ukraine. “If they approach again they will see the harshest reaction,” he said.
Unfortunately for the Turkish government, it appears that Azaz is already slipping away from the militants. The following was reported by an Iranian news source…
Ankara is likely to take action to counter the Syrian military and allied groups on choking up a supply link on which militants relied to get weapons and logistics.
Syrian troops and Lebanon’s Hezbollah fighters have retaken the town of Azaz, located to the northwest of Aleppo, prompting Saudi Arabia and Turkey to hint at deployment of ground forces to the region.
Asked if Ankara might act to reverse the gains, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu (seen below) said on Friday, “Wait for the next few days and you will have the answer,” Turkish paper Hurriyet reported.
Wait for the next few days and you will have the answer?
That sounds rather ominous.
Like I said yesterday, I don’t think that I have ever seen a scenario which was more likely to lead to World War III than the one that we are watching play out right now.
Do Saudi Arabia and Turkey actually expect to waltz into Syria and start taking territory without a response from the Syrians, Hezbollah, the Iranians and the Russians?
And if fighting does break out, how is the United States possibly going to stay out of it?
The truth is that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would never invade Syria in the first place without the express approval of the Obama administration.
The next couple of weeks are key. If we can get into early March without an invasion, by that time Saudi Arabia and Turkey may have missed their window. The troops gathered for the massive military exercise in northern Saudi Arabia will start to go home, and by then the Sunni militants remaining in Aleppo will probably be pretty much completely defeated.
But will Saudi Arabia and Turkey really be willing to walk away after pouring so much time, effort and money into the conflict in Syria? They had dreamed of turning Syria into a full-blown Sunni nation, and if they give up now Syria will end up being dominated by Iran and Hezbollah. It will be a result that is far worse than if they never tried to overthrow Assad in the first place.
So my gut feeling is telling me that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their Sunni allies are not done in Syria. But their obsession with that country threatens to plunge us into World War III, and if that happens the consequences will be felt by every man, woman and child on the entire planet.
350,000 soldiers, 20,000 tanks, 2,450 warplanes and 460 military helicopters are massing in northern Saudi Arabia for a military exercise that is being called “Northern Thunder”. According to the official announcement, forces are being contributed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Sudan, Kuwait, Morocco, Pakistan, Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, Malaysia and several other nations. This exercise will reportedly last for 18 days, and during that time the airspace over northern Saudi Arabia will be closed to air traffic. This will be the largest military exercise in the history of the region, and it comes amid rumors that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are preparing for a massive ground invasion of Syria.
If you were going to gather forces for an invasion, this is precisely how you would do it. Governments never come out and publicly admit that forces are moving into position for an invasion ahead of time, so “military exercises” are a common excuse that gets used for this sort of thing.
If these exercises are actually being used as an excuse to mass forces near the northern Saudi border, then we should expect an invasion to begin within the next couple of weeks. If it happens, we should expect to see the Saudi coalition storm through western Iraq and into Syria from the south, and it is likely that Turkey will come in from the north.
The goal would be to take out the Assad regime before Russia, Iran and Hezbollah could react. For the past couple of years, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have been funding the Sunni insurgency in Syria, and they were counting on those insurgents to be able to take down the Assad regime by themselves.
You see, the truth is that ISIS was never supposed to lose in Syria. Saudi Arabia and her allies have been funneling massive amounts of money to ISIS, and hundreds of millions of dollars of ISIS oil has been shipped into Turkey where it is sold to the rest of the world.
The major Sunni nations wanted ISIS and the other Sunni insurgent groups to take down Assad. In the aftermath, Saudi Arabia and her allies intended to transform Syria into a full-blown Sunni nation.
But then Russia, Iran and Hezbollah stepped forward to assist the Assad regime. Russian air support completely turned the tide of the war, and now the Sunni insurgents are on the brink of losing.
Aleppo was once the largest city in Syria, and Sunni insurgents have controlled it since 2012. But now relentless Russian airstrikes have made it possible for Syrian, Iranian and Hezbollah ground forces to surround the city, and it is about to fall back into the hands of the Syrian government.
If this happens, the war will essentially be over.
Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have invested massive amounts of time, money and effort into overthrowing Assad, and they aren’t about to walk away now.
If the war was to end right at this moment, a weakened Assad regime would remain in power, and Iran and Hezbollah would be the dominant powers in the country for years to come. And once Assad died, it would be inevitable that Iran and Hezbollah would attempt to transform Syria into a full-blown Shiite nation. This is something that Saudi Arabia and Turkey want to avoid at all costs.
So they are actually considering what was once absolutely unthinkable – a massive ground invasion of Syria.
But if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies go in, they run the risk of a full-blown war with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. Just consider some of the comments that we have seen in recent days…
Reacting to a potential troop deployment, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said Saturday, “Let no one think they can attack Syria or violate its sovereignty because I assure you any aggressor will return to their country in a wooden coffin.”
Pavel Krasheninnikov, a deputy of Russia’s State Duma, has warned Saudi Arabia that any military ground operation in Syria without Damascus’ consent would amount to a declaration of war, Press TV reported.
We could literally be looking at the spark that sets off World War 3. I can’t believe that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are actually considering this.
And if it does happen, you can rest assured that Barack Obama gave them the green light to go in.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the decision may have already been made. Just consider what Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is saying…
“If we have such a strategy, then Turkey and Saudi Arabia may launch a ground operation,” he added, fueling concerns that a foreign troop invasion may soon further complicate the already turbulent situation in the war-torn country.
Earlier, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE voiced their readiness to contribute troops for a ground operation in Syria on the condition that the US would lead the intervention. Damascus and its key regional ally, Iran, warned that such a foreign force would face strong resistance.
And in addition to all of the forces massing in northern Saudi Arabia, the London Independent is reporting that the Saudis have sent troops and aircraft to a military base in Turkey…
The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, confirmed the deployment in a statement to the Yeni Şafak newspaper on Saturday, days before a temporary ceasefire is due to come into force.
There are reports that Saudi officials are saying that the decision to send in ground troops is “irreversible”, and Reuters is reporting that the Syrian government claims that some Turkish troops have already entered the country…
The Syrian government says Turkish forces were believed to be among 100 gunmen it said entered Syria on Saturday accompanied by 12 pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns, in an ongoing supply operation to insurgents fighting Damascus.
“The operation of supplying ammunition and weapons is continuing via the Bab al-Salama crossing to the Syrian area of Azaz,” the Syrian foreign ministry said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council published by state news agency SANA.
Of course the Turkish government is not going to confirm that report, but what we do know is that Turkey is shelling Kurdish forces on the Syrian side of the border. The funny thing is that these Kurdish forces are actually being supported and supplied by the U.S. government.
So the Turks are not supposed to be doing this, but according to Reuters they have been doing it for two days in a row anyway…
The Turkish army shelled positions held by Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on Sunday, killing two fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
Turkey on Saturday demanded the powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia withdraw from areas that it had captured in the northern Aleppo region in recent days from insurgents in Syria, including the Menagh air base. The shelling has targeted those areas.
The hostility between Turkey and the Kurds goes back a long, long way. The Syrian Kurds are not threatening Turkey in any way right now, but Turkey is using the instability in the region as an excuse to lob artillery shells at a hated enemy. It is an act of naked aggression that the Obama administration should be loudly denouncing.
Anatolia news agency reported that the Turkish military hit Syrian government forces on Saturday, adding that the shelling had been in response to fire inflicted on a Turkish military guard post in Turkey’s southern Hatay region.
Turkish artillery targeted Syrian forces again late on Saturday, according to a military source quoted by RIA Novosti. The attack targeted the town of Deir Jamal in the Aleppo Governorate.
Needless to say, the Russians are quite alarmed by all of this.
“A ground operation draws everyone taking part in it into a war,” he told the Handelsblatt newspaper.
“The Americans and our Arab partners must consider whether or not they want a permanent war.”
If Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies launch an invasion and make a mad dash to take out the Assad regime in Damascus, the Russians will inevitably respond.
And if tactical nuclear weapons are necessary to keep the invading forces out of Damascus, the Russians will not be shy about using them.
I don’t know if I have ever seen a scenario which was more likely to initiate World War 3 than the one that we are watching unfold right now.
So what has the mainstream media been saying about all of this?
Incredibly, they have been almost entirely silent. When he went looking for news about these events, James Bailey could find almost nothing on either Fox News or CNN…
I just visited the home page for Foxnews.com and found not one single mention of the insane events now unfolding in the Middle East. I could not believe it, so I used my Find tool to search for Syria and Saudi Arabia. Not one mention!
Of course that could change at any moment, but nothing there when I checked. Their stories were all about the meaningless Presidential election, which has already been decided regardless of what we think about it, and other stories about entertainment, sports, Congressional political theater, etc.
So I went to CNN and found just about the same thing with one news story about the Syrian cease fire, but when I read it there was no mention of any of the big events that have developed this week. This is truly an amazing media blackout!
But Fox News does have space to run headlines like these…
Presidents have always exercised emergency powers, but now thanks to dozens of new laws, regulations, court decisions and executive orders, Barack Obama is the most powerful president in all of U.S. history. Of course the U.S. Constitution does not actually give the president any special powers during a time of national emergency, but over time presidents have decided that they should be able to exercise such powers and the courts have generally agreed with them. During World War II and prior to that, these emergency powers were largely uncodified and were primarily used during times of war. But since World War II things have completely changed, and this has particularly been true since 9/11. Over the past decade or so, a whole host of extraordinary powers have specifically been given to the office of the president, and all that it takes to exercise them is a major “national emergency”. So if we do have a full-blown economic collapse, a historic natural disaster, a significant war or a massive pandemic, Barack Obama could use the emergency powers that he has been given to essentially take authority over everything.
There is not a single document or series of documents that contain all of the emergency powers that Barack Obama could potentially wield during a major national emergency. As I mentioned above, these powers come from literally dozens of laws, regulations, court decisions and executive orders. But in this article I will discuss a few important documents. One of these is a presidential directive that was issued during the second term of George W. Bush. It is entitled NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD – 51/HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD – 20, and you can take a look at it on the FEMA website right here. This document is primarily concerned with the continuity of our federal government in the event of a catastrophic emergency. So precisely what would constitute a “catastrophic emergency”? The following is how the document defines that term…
“Catastrophic Emergency” means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;
That sounds quite broad to me. It could apply to all sorts of scenarios.
If we do have such a “catastrophic emergency”, the president essentially becomes a dictator at that point. The document certainly talks about the need to ensure that “constitutional government” continues, but during the course of the emergency there really is not much of a role for the other two branches of government to play. Instead, the “shadow government” takes over under the overall command of the president. The following is a short excerpt from the document…
The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. The National Continuity Coordinator, in coordination with the Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (APNSA), without exercising directive authority, shall coordinate the development and implementation of continuity policy for executive departments and agencies. The Continuity Policy Coordination Committee (CPCC), chaired by a Senior Director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, shall be the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination.
Of course the 11 page document that we have on the FEMA website is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to continuity of government planning. Unfortunately, most of the plans are top secret and are not allowed to be seen by the public. Astonishingly, this even applies to members of Congress. The following comes from Wikipedia…
On July 18, 2007, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), a member of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security, requested the classified and more detailed version of the government’s continuity of government plan in a letter signed by him and the chairperson of the House Homeland Committee, which is supposed to have access to confidential government information. The president refused to provide the information, to the surprise of the congressional committee.
Another document that raises a lot of red flags is an executive order entitled “National Defense Resources Preparedness” that was issued by Barack Obama on March 16th, 2012. This particular executive order updates previous executive orders, and it gives the president extraordinary authority during a time of national emergency. Below, I have posted most of section 201 of that executive order. As you can see, it potentially gives Barack Obama authority over just about everything during a time of national emergency if he feels it is needed for “national defense”…
Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:
(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;
(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;
(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;
(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;
(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and
(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.
(b) The Secretary of each agency delegated authority under subsection (a) of this section (resource departments) shall plan for and issue regulations to prioritize and allocate resources and establish standards and procedures by which the authority shall be used to promote the national defense, under both emergency and non-emergency conditions. Each Secretary shall authorize the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, to place priority ratings on contracts and orders for materials, services, and facilities needed in support of programs approved under section 202 of this order.
A similar executive order regarding national communications was issued on July 6th, 2012.
But the powers that Barack Obama could potentially wield during a time of national emergency are not just limited to what is written down. This may shock many Americans, but it is true. In the past, presidents have used their “emergency powers” to suspend habeas corpus, to place American citizens in internment camps and to seize private property. The following comes from Wikipedia…
A claim of emergency powers was at the center of President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of habeas corpus without Congressional approval in 1861. Lincoln claimed that the rebellion created an emergency that permitted him the extraordinary power of unilaterally suspending the writ. With Chief Justice Roger Taney sitting as judge, the Federal District Court of Maryland struck down the suspension in Ex Parte Merryman, although Lincoln ignored the order. 17 F. Cas. 144 (1861).
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt similarly invoked emergency powers when he issued an order directing that all Japanese Americans residing on the West Coast be placed into internment camps during World War II. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld this order in Korematsu v. United States. 323 U.S. 214 (1944).
Harry Truman declared the use of emergency powers when he seized private steel mills that failed to produce steel because of a labor strike in 1952. With the Korean War ongoing, Truman asserted that he could not wage war successfully if the economy failed to provide him with the material resources necessary to keep the troops well-equipped. The U.S. Supreme Court, however, refused to accept that argument in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, voting 6-3 that neither Commander in Chief powers nor any claimed emergency powers gave the President the authority to unilaterally seize private property without Congressional legislation. 343 U.S. 579.
And it is important to keep in mind that Barack Obama now possesses far more power than any of those presidents ever did. All it is going to take for him to exercise those powers is a major national emergency. This is something that Jim Powell discussed in an article for Forbes…
Not long after that, we found ourselves in an open-ended national emergency declared on September 14, 2001 and extended since by both George W. Bush and Barack Obama. This means the president has standby powers from hundreds of statutes that would enable him to re-introduce military conscription, seize private property and in myriad ways establish a government-run economy.
Thankfully, things are still somewhat stable for the moment so Obama does not have a reasonable excuse to use all of the powers that he has been given. But that could change at any time. If we do see a “catastrophic emergency” in the next year or so, there are very few limits on what Barack Obama would be able to do. That includes potentially postponing or suspending the 2016 election so that he can remain in office throughout the course of the national emergency.
We have never seen such a thing happen before, and hopefully we never will. And of course it isn’t just Barack Obama that we need to be concerned about. A future leader of this nation could potentially be even worse than him. It has been exceedingly foolish for us to give a single person so much power in the event of a “catastrophic emergency”, and in the end we may regret this bitterly.
Uh 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.
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…
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.
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 all of our wars in the Middle East and the war that has erupted on the streets of America, we are now engaged in a cyber war with North Korea and an economic war with Russia. Without a doubt, the United States has the capability to do a tremendous amount of damage to both of them. But what about the damage that they could potentially do to us? We have a society that is absolutely teeming with soft targets. Our Internet infrastructure is extremely vulnerable, our debt-based economic system is already teetering on the edge of disaster, and government officials freely admit that security at key facilities such as power plants is sorely lacking. And these kinds of bitter conflicts have a way of escalating. The North Koreans and the Russians are both very proud, and neither one is going to back down any time soon. If a foreign power wanted to really make us hurt, it wouldn’t take much imagination at all. There are thousands of ways to do it. So Americans should not just smugly assume that we are untouchable. In a war, it is often those that are overconfident that get hurt the worst.
Last week, Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the nightmarish hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and he promised that the U.S. would respond.
Well, it looks like that response began on Monday. According to Bloomberg, North Korea’s connection to the Internet was totally cut off…
North Korea’s limited access to the Internet has been cut off, according to a network-monitoring company, days after the U.S. government accused the country of hacking into Sony Corp. (6758)’s files.
North Korea, which has four official networks connecting the country to the Internet — all of which route through China — began experiencing intermittent problems yesterday and today went completely dark, according to Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Needless to say, that got the attention of the North Koreans.
On their end, the North Koreans are still denying that they had anything to do with the attack on Sony. And we may never know the actual truth. In reality, Russia could have carried out such an attack. Or it could have been the Chinese. Or it could have even been a false flag cyberattack conducted by a three letter U.S. agency. We just don’t know.
“The DPRK has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction. Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans,” a report on state-run KCNA read.
“Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism,” the report said, adding that “fighters for justice” including the “Guardians of Peace” — a group that claimed responsibility for the Sony attack — “are sharpening bayonets not only in the U.S. mainland but in all other parts of the world.”
So can North Korea back up those bold words?
We shall see.
But without a doubt our Internet infrastructure is very vulnerable. As I have written about previously, our big banks are under Internet attack every single minute of every single day. And in recent months we have seen a whole host of retailers and major corporations get hacked.
This is an emerging threat that should not be underestimated. As a society, we have become extremely dependent on the Internet, and these attacks are constantly becoming more powerful and more sophisticated.
I think that Steve Quayle put it very well during one recent interview…
“Cyberwarfare is increasing dramatically as we speak. There are serious concerns about the ability of the United States’ banking system to whether extremely sophisticated cyberattacks. The Sony breach is just one example of how a detrimental cyberattack can bring one of the world’s most prominent entertainment giants to its knees.”
And we do know that the North Koreans take hacking very seriously.
In fact, it has been reported that North Korea has a small army of hackers that are continually harassing the western world known as “Unit 121″…
Just like in a Bond movie, an army of teenage geniuses tap away at keyboards in fortified complex tucked away from prying eyes in a rogue state, bent on bringing cyber-carnage to their Western enemies on the orders of their leader who is bent on revenge.
But this isn’t the plot line from a film. This is North Korea in 2014. And the cyber-warriors inside have diverted from their usual work of disrupting governments and big business to turn their collective fury on Sony.
The building, the Kim Il-Sung Military Academy, is one of four North Korean universities known to train children, hand-picked for their intelligence from all around the country, and turn them into recruits for an elite group of hackers simply known as Unit 121 or Bureau 121.
Meanwhile, the struggle between the United States and Russia over Ukraine has escalated into a full-blown economic war.
At first, both sides started slapping each other with relatively minor economic sanctions.
But then things started escalating. I think that things really began to get serious for the U.S. when Russia started to make moves against the petrodollar. This is not something that has been reported on much at all by the mainstream media in the United States, but it is a very big deal. If you want to become enemy #1 in the eyes of the U.S. government, just start attacking the petrodollar. So when Russia began cutting the U.S. dollar out of oil and natural gas transactions, that definitely got the attention of some folks in Washington. You can read much more about what Russia has been doing in this regard in this article, this article and this article.
Of course Washington was not just going to sit back and let this happen. The Obama administration has retaliated by going after two of the most important pillars of the Russian economy – oil and the ruble. And without a doubt, a tremendous amount of damage has already been done.
At this point, Russia is facing a full-blown currency crisis, major banks are starting to fail and economists are forecasting a deep recession for next year…
The central bank bailed out its first victim of the collapsing currency, authorities announced a tax on grain exports to protect domestic stocks and a Reuters poll of 11 economists predicted that Russia’s gross domestic product would fall 3.6 percent next year.
Russia has been hit by what Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev recently called a “perfect storm” of plummeting oil prices, sanctions related to its military action in Ukraine, and a flight of investors’ capital — made worse by a lack of structural reforms that means the economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil revenues.
But don’t count out the Russians just yet.
They are a very crafty people, and they are not afraid to fight dirty.
And it is important to keep in mind that the Russian Bear never forgives and it never forgets. Most Americans don’t realize this, but right now anti-American sentiment in Russia is actually higher than it was at the end of the Cold War era. Many Russians believe that this is a new Cold War, and that the United States is the greatest force for evil on the entire planet.
This conflict between the United States and Russia is not going to end any time soon. And someday down the road, it could evolve into something more than just an economic war. But before that happens, the Russians have a whole host of other ways that they can damage us.
Yes, the United States can hurt Russia.
But Russia can also hurt us.
In the end, this conflict is not going to be good for anyone.