6 Of The Last 8 U.S. Recessions Were Preceded By Oil Price Spikes – Damage To Saudi Oil Industry Could Take “Months” To Repair

When the price of oil rises dramatically, that tends to be really bad for the U.S. economy.  Because we are so spread out and goods are transported over such vast distances, our economy is particularly vulnerable to oil price shocks, and that is one reason why the events that we just witnessed in the Middle East are so alarming.  According to an article that was published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2007, five of the last seven U.S. recessions that had occurred up to that time “were preceded by considerable increases in oil prices”.  Since that article was published in 2007, the recession that began in 2008 hadn’t happened yet, and of course that recession was immediately preceded by the largest oil price spike in history.  So that means that six of the last eight U.S. recessions were preceded by oil price spikes, and now we may be facing another one.  It is being reported that it may take “months” for Saudi Arabia to fully repair the damage that was done to their oil industry, and that could fundamentally alter the balance of supply and demand in the global marketplace.

Yesterday, I discussed why high oil prices are so bad for our economy.  When the price of oil is too high, it can cause inflation and hurt economic growth simultaneously.  The article from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that I mentioned in the last paragraph tried to explain why this happens in very basic economic terms

Oil price increases are generally thought to increase inflation and reduce economic growth. In terms of inflation, oil prices directly affect the prices of goods made with petroleum products. As mentioned above, oil prices indirectly affect costs such as transportation, manufacturing, and heating. The increase in these costs can in turn affect the prices of a variety of goods and services, as producers may pass production costs on to consumers. The extent to which oil price increases lead to consumption price increases depends on how important oil is for the production of a given type of good or service.

Oil price increases can also stifle the growth of the economy through their effect on the supply and demand for goods other than oil. Increases in oil prices can depress the supply of other goods because they increase the costs of producing them. In economics terminology, high oil prices can shift up the supply curve for the goods and services for which oil is an input.

Needless to say, the unprecedented attack on Saudi oil production facilities was going to cause the price of oil to rise substantially.  In fact, when global markets opened up on Sunday evening we witnessed quite a dramatic spike

In an extraordinary trading day, London’s Brent crude leaped almost $12 in the seconds after the open, the most in dollar terms since their launch in 1988. Prices subsequently pulled back some of that initial gain of almost 20%, but rallied again as traders waited in vain for an Aramco statement clarifying the scale of damage.

So where is the price of oil going from here?

One analyst quoted by Oilprice.com believes that we could soon see it hit $80 a barrel, and others believe that it could move up toward $100 a barrel not too long from now.

In the days ahead, global markets will be watching Saudi Arabia very carefully.  The longer it takes them to resume normal production levels, the higher the price of oil will go.

According to Bloomberg, one analyst is already publicly admitting that “full resumption could be weeks or even months away”…

All eyes are on how fast the kingdom can recover from the devastating strike, which knocked out roughly 5% of global supply and triggered a record surge in oil prices. Initially, it was said that significant volumes of crude could begin to flow again within days. While Aramco is still assessing the state of the plant and the scope of repairs, it currently believes less than half of the plant’s capacity can be restored quickly, said people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

”Damage to the Abqaiq facility is more severe than previously thought,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. “While we still believe up to 50% of the 5.7 million barrels a day of output that has been disrupted could return fairly swiftly, full resumption could be weeks or even months away.”

That is really bad news, and that is assuming that there won’t be any more attacks like we just witnessed.

If there are more attacks, Saudi oil production could be far lower than normal for an extended period of time, and that would be catastrophic for the global economy.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but a lot of Saudi oil actually gets shipped to the west coast.  The following comes from Fox Business

Drivers in California, however, could be hit the hardest. Nearly half of what Saudi Arabia exports to the U.S. is sent to the West Coast, as reported by Reuters. In the year that ended in June, the West Coast imported an average of about 11.4 million barrels of Saudi crude every month – much of which went to California refineries.

The Golden State already has among the highest average gasoline prices in the country – at $3.63 per gallon as of Monday.

We are going to see higher gasoline prices right away, but in the short-term we should be able to handle them okay.

But if there are more attacks like the one we just saw, or if a major war breaks out in the Middle East, the price of gasoline could easily spike to levels that we have never seen in this country before.

The U.S. economy was already deeply struggling even before the attack in Saudi Arabia, and so this could definitely push us over the edge.  We should all be getting prepared for an extended economic downturn, because it looks like that is precisely what we could be facing.

Hopefully we won’t see any more attacks on oil production facilities, but the attack on Saturday clearly demonstrated how extremely vulnerable such facilities are to terror attacks.  And with Middle East tensions currently at an all-time high, USA Today is warning that our future “may well get much rockier soon”…

The new threat is tension among nations in the region, as well as the ability to attack based on new and relatively simple technology. Drones can be flown long distances carrying weapons just powerful enough to attack oil facilities. Middle East tensions are severe enough that attempts at similar attacks are not over.

Oil futures do not trade based on the present. They trade on forecasts about oil supply and demand in the future. The future looks rocky and may well get much rockier soon.

We are truly in uncharted territory, and we desperately need peace and calm to prevail in the Middle East.

Sadly, that is not likely to happen, and every new wave of violence is going to mean more economic pain for all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

If You Think The Price Of Oil Is Skyrocketing Now, Just Wait Until The War Starts…

In the aftermath of the most dramatic attack on Saudi oil facilities that we have ever seen, the price of oil has exploded higher.  The Wall Street Journal is calling this attack “the Big One”, and President Trump appears to be indicating that some sort of military retaliation is coming.  Needless to say, a direct military strike on Iran could spark a major war in the Middle East, and that would be absolutely devastating for the entire global economy.  Just about everything that we buy has to be moved, and moving stuff takes energy.  When the price of oil gets really high, that tends to create inflation because the price of oil is a factor in virtually everything that we buy.  In addition, a really high price for oil also tends to slow down economic activity, and this is something that we witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.  And if this crisis in the Middle East stretches over an extended period of time, it could ultimately result in a phenomenon known as “stagflation” where we have rapidly rising prices and weaker economic activity simultaneously.  The last time we experienced such a thing was in the 1970s, and nobody really remembers the U.S. economy of the 1970s favorably.

The damage caused by the “drone attacks” in Saudi Arabia was immense.  According to the Daily Mail, “huge plumes of black smoke” could be seen pouring out of a key Saudi oil facility…

Infernos raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais yesterday morning after Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a flurry of rockets.

Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the oil facility.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attacks, but they may or may not be telling the truth.

At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is completely rejecting that explanation, and he is claiming that there is “no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for coordinated strikes on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, saying they marked an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.

The strikes shut down half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. But Mr. Pompeo said there was no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen.

And according to Reuters, another unnamed “U.S. official” told them that the attacks came from “west-northwest of the targets”…

The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran – not south from Yemen.

The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.

Of course drones don’t have to travel in a straight line, and cruise missiles don’t either, and so we may never know for sure where the attacks originated.

But we do know that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are being backed by Iran, and we also know that the Shia militias in Iraq are also being backed by Iran.

So whether the attacks originated in Yemen, southern Iraq or Iran itself, it is not going to be too difficult for U.S. officials to place the blame on the Iranians, and we should expect some sort of military response.

In fact, President Trump posted the following message to Twitter just a little while ago

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

Of course U.S. airstrikes against Iran itself could ultimately spark World War 3, and most Americans are completely clueless that we could literally be on the precipice of a major war.

According to the Saudis, the equivalent of 5.7 million barrels a day of oil production were affected by the attacks.  Saudi Arabia typically produces about 9.8 million barrels a day, and so that is a really big deal.

When the markets reopened on Sunday night, oil futures exploded higher.  In fact, according to Zero Hedge this was the biggest jump ever…

With traders in a state of near-frenzy, with a subset of fintwit scrambling (and failing) to calculate what the limit move in oil would be (hint: there is none for Brent), moments ago brent reopened for trading in the aftermath of Saturday’s attack on the “world’s most important oil processing plant“, and exploded some 20% higher, to a high of $71.95 from the Friday $60.22 close, its biggest jump since futures started trading in 1988.

As I write this article, the price of Brent crude is currently sitting at $66.89, although at least one analyst is warning that the price of oil could soon shoot up to “as high as $100 per barrel” if the Saudis are not able to quickly resume their previous level of production…

The oil market will rally by $5-10 per barrel when it opens on Monday and may spike to as high as $100 per barrel if Saudi Arabia fails to quickly resume oil supply lost after attacks over the weekend, traders and analysts said.

Saudi officials have already told us that they anticipate that a third of the lost oil output will be restored on Monday.

But because of the extensive damage that has been done, restoring the remainder of the lost output could take “weeks” or even “months”.

In the short-term, President Trump has authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and that should help stabilize prices somewhat.

However, if a full-blown war with Iran erupts, nothing is going to be able to calm the markets.  In such a scenario, the price of oil could easily explode to a level that is four or five times higher than it is today, and that would essentially be the equivalent of slamming a baseball bat into the knees of the global economy.

The times that we are living in are about to become a whole lot more serious, but most Americans are not even paying attention to these absolutely critical global events.

In fact, even the mainstream media seems to believe that the new allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are more important.

That is because they don’t understand what is really happening.

Trust me, keep a close eye on the Middle East, because things are about to start breaking loose there in a major way.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Middle East War Begins: Netanyahu Warns There Is “No Other Choice But To Embark On A Wide Scale Campaign In Gaza”

With elections looming on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning that Israel has “no other choice” other than to invade Gaza in order to overthrow the Hamas regime in power there.  In fact, the Jerusalem Post is reporting that on Friday Netanyahu said that war “could happen at any moment”.  The Prime Minister and other Israeli officials are sick and tired of rockets being constantly fired into Israel, and they have come to the conclusion that a peaceful resolution with Hamas is simply not possible.  Here in the United States many on the left will criticize Israel for taking military action, but how long would any U.S. president wait before taking military action against a terror group that was firing missiles at us?  The truth is that Israel has been exceedingly patient with the situation in Gaza, but now the time for patience has run out.

In recent days, Netanyahu has made it exceedingly clear what is about to happen.  Here is one example from the Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Thursday that Israel may have no choice but to embark on a military operation in Gaza to overthrow Hamas.

“It looks like there will be no other choice but to embark on a wide scale campaign in Gaza,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Radio shortly before he boarded a flight to Moscow where he is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And here is another quote where he essentially says the exact same thing

“There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime. Hamas doesn’t exert its sovereignty in the Strip and doesn’t prevent attacks,” he said. “We have a situation in which a terror group that launches rockets has taken over, and doesn’t rein in rogue factions even when it wants to.”

Netanyahu’s comments also came two days after a campaign rally in the southern city of Ashdod was interrupted by incoming rocket sirens after rockets were fired from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

I am not sure how Netanyahu could be any clearer.  Here is a third example

“I do not wage war unless it is a last resort and I don’t risk the lives of our soldiers and citizens just to get applause,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Radio. “We will probably have no choice but to set out on a big campaign, a war against the terror forces in Gaza.”

“I won’t start it one minute before we are ready, and we are preparing for a `different war’,” he added, shortly before flying to Russia for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu always chooses his words very carefully.  He is a gifted communicator, and we have never seen him talk quite like this before.

In the past, Israel has responded to rocket attacks from Gaza by conducting targeted airstrikes, and this is something that we witnessed yet again on Wednesday

Early Wednesday, Israeli jets launched air strikes on 15 targets belonging to the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip, in response to the rockets fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon, which were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, according to the IDF.

But it has become clear that airstrikes will never be enough to permanently stop the rocket attacks, and so the Israeli government is preparing to initiate a major ground operation inside Gaza.

Of course this could potentially spark a much wider regional war.  Israel and Hezbollah have literally been on the brink of war for months, and so if a major conflict erupts it is easy to envision Hezbollah jumping in to aid their allies in the south.

Right now, Hezbollah has approximately 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel, and their troops are battle-hardened after fighting for many years in Syria.

And if Israel and Hezbollah go to war, there is a very strong possibility that Iran could get involved as well.

Basically we are just a hop, skip and jump away from a cataclysmic war in the Middle East, and this is one of the reasons why Israel has shown so much restraint.

But at some point action must be taken.  No nation is going to allow terrorist organizations to keep firing rockets at their citizens indefinitely, and the Israeli government has had enough.

As IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi recently stated, there is “a moral obligation to defend the nation’s citizens against the armies of terrorism that surround them”…

“The changes in the enemy demand that the IDF make changes and adjust its forces and methods of warfare, so urban areas cannot shield the enemy. The firepower the enemy will encounter in the next war will be unprecedented, and a country that allows terrorism to entrench itself in its territory will be seen as responsible for it, and suffer the consequences,” Kochavi warned.

“The IDF has a moral obligation to defend the nation’s citizens against the armies of terrorism that surround them. When the Israeli homefront is under threat by thousands of missiles and rockets, we won’t hesitate to strike a massive blow to eradicate those threats. We will attack and preserve our values, but a main tenet of those values is the need to protect our citizens,” he said.

Personally, I doubt that the Israeli military operation will happen before the election on Tuesday, but I could be wrong.

And let us also hope that it can be postponed until after the upcoming Jewish holidays.

But it is coming, and once Israeli tanks roll into Gaza everything will change.  Global events are about to accelerate significantly, and so many of the things that we have been watching for are about to happen.

Both sides have been preparing for this war for a very long time, and the death and destruction will be immense.

Things are eerily quiet for the moment, but the fighting will soon commence, and when it does this will become the biggest news story on the entire planet.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Pentagon Asks Trump To Send Thousands Of U.S. Troops To The Middle East As Tensions With Iran Continue To Rise

The more steps that we take toward a war with Iran, the more likely it becomes that somebody will do something really stupid that will actually trigger one.  By cutting off Iran’s oil exports, we are threatening to completely wreck their economy, and at this point they feel backed into a corner.  And the Iranians have already watched the U.S. invade two countries that they share a border with (Afghanistan and Iraq), and so it is understandable that they are a bit paranoid that it could happen to them too.  President Trump keeps saying that he doesn’t want a war with Iran, but the Iranians do not believe a single word any U.S. politician says.  Instead, they watch what we actually do very, very closely, and the fact that the Pentagon wants to deploy thousands of new troops to the Middle East is definitely going to freak them out.  The following comes from Fox News

The Pentagon is slated to request several thousand more U.S. troops be deployed to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News on Wednesday.

No decision has been made, and it was not clear if the White House would give its blessing. The deployment could also include Patriot missile batteries and naval ships.

The more military assets that we send to the Middle East, the more anxiety Iranian leaders are going to feel, and the more likely it will become that the Iranians will decide that they must make a move before it is too late.

For the Iranians, their best chance to win a conflict against the United States would be to try to eliminate U.S. ground assets before they even get into Iran.  Iranian leadership is absolutely insane, but under normal circumstances they would not have a reason to conduct such a strike.  But if they see U.S. forces massing on their borders, they will definitely be evaluating their options.

So sending thousands of new U.S. troops to the region is not a good idea, and hopefully President Trump will realize this.

And what makes all of this even more disturbing is the fact that the Jerusalem Post is reporting that “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have agreed to a request for a renewed deployment of US forces”…

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have agreed to a request for a renewed deployment of US forces to deter Iran, the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the deployment comes as part of the cooperation agreement between Washington and the Arab Gulf states, and will take place both at sea and on land. A Saudi source told the newspaper that “the agreement was aimed at deterring Iran from a military escalation, including attacking American targets… and not with the aim of entering into a war with it.”

It is hard to believe that this is actually happening.

Look, the truth is that if Iran tried anything funny we already have the ability to bomb them back to the stone age in very short order.

We don’t need thousands of troops in the region in order to do that.

But if we wanted to invade Iran, overthrow the regime and set up a new government, we would need an enormous number of troops.

In fact, the former head of the Royal Navy has stated that that U.S. would likely need “at least one million troops” in order to accomplish that goal…

Admiral Lord West – the former First Sea Lord of the Royal navy – gave a dire assessment of the potential conflict as tempers flare in the Middle East.

He told Daily Star Online the US would need at least one million troops to successfully pacify Iran, and a half-baked attack could throw the region further into chaos.

The 50-year Royal Navy veteran warned “idiots” in both the US and Iran are dangerously hyping tensions.

So are you ready to send your sons and daughters off to the Middle East to fight a war against Iran?

If not, then you should make your voice be heard while there is still time.

Another indication that things are heating up is the fact that the U.S. State Department has ordered all non-essential personnel to leave Iraq immediately

The U.S. military put its forces in Iraq on high alert, and the State Department ordered all nonemergency employees Wednesday to leave the country immediately amid escalating tensions with Iran. Some U.S. allies have expressed skepticism about the Trump administration’s claims that Iran poses a growing threat.

Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman at the U.S. military’s Central Command, said in a statement that there were “possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq” as he sought to clarify contradictory remarks by a British commander Tuesday.

That is the kind of move that you make if you believe that a military conflict is imminent.

On the other side, Iran’s president has just decided to seek “expanded, wartime executive powers”

Iran’s president has told a group of clerics that he is seeking expanded, wartime executive powers to better deal with an “economic war” triggered by the Trump administration’s pullout from the nuclear deal and escalating U.S. sanctions.

The state IRNA news agency reported late Monday that President Hassan Rouhani cited the 1980s war with Iraq, when a wartime supreme council was able to bypass other branches to make decisions regarding the economy and the war.

We desperately need someone to cool things down, and instead Trump is surrounded by war hawks like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and it is being reported that Trump is becoming quite frustrated with them

Trump grew angry last week and over the weekend about what he sees as warlike planning that is getting ahead of his own thinking, said a senior administration official with knowledge of conversations Trump had regarding national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“They are getting way out ahead of themselves, and Trump is annoyed,” the official said. “There was a scramble for Bolton and Pompeo and others to get on the same page.”

Hopefully Trump can find a peaceful way out of this mess, because a war with Iran would be the kind of war that nobody wins.

Sadly, a lot of Americans believe that a war with Iran is inevitable.  In fact, one recent survey discovered that 51 percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. and Iran will go to war “within the next few years”…

The survey showed that 51% of adults felt that the United States and Iran would go to war within the next few years, up 8 percentage points from a similar poll published last June. In this year’s poll, Democrats and Republicans were both more likely to see Iran as a threat and to say war was likely.

Let us pray for peace, but without a doubt we live at a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and many believe that it is just a matter of time before peace is taken from the Earth.

But at this point, it is hard to imagine how anyone can possibly believe that a war with Iran would be a positive thing for the United States.

We have already witnessed the nightmares that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq became, and a war with Iran would be many magnitudes worse.

Get Prepared NowAbout the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Nation Will Rise Against Nation: Israeli Tanks Mass Along The Border As War Between Israel And Hamas Appears To Be Imminent

Another extremely bloody border protest on Friday has pushed Israel and Hamas to the brink of war.  The Egyptians had been urging Hamas to tone down the border protests, but that did not happen.  Instead, Hamas is pledging to continue the border protests for as long as it takes to end the Israeli blockade.  So Israel has a choice to make.  Either it can end the blockade, accept the endless violence that is currently taking place along the border, or invade Gaza.  The Israelis have already stated very clearly that the blockade will not end, because everyone understands that weapons and fighters will pour into Gaza if that happens.  So it looks like the choice will come down to living with the border violence or invading Gaza, and living with the border violence does not appear to be an acceptable choice either.  On Friday, 10,000 Hamas protesters showed up at the border fence, and 130 of them got shot during the violence that erupted

Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 130 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza Strip border on Friday, the enclave’s Health Ministry said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said about 10,000 demonstrators massed at the border and that some threw burning tires, grenades and explosive devices at the troops across the fence.

Friday’s chaos followed more violence earlier in the week.  On Wednesday, a rocket that was fired from Gaza obliterated a home in southern Israel, and another rocket landed not too far from Tel Aviv.  The Jewish people have been greatly outraged by these attacks, and their patience has worn very thin.

In response to those attacks, the IDF hit targets in Gaza with airstrikes.

In an article just a few days ago, I noted that Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is now saying that he believes that war between Israel and Hamas is “inevitable”.  And on Thursday, Israel made a major move in that direction by massing tanks along the Gaza border

On Thursday Israel had ramped up armored forces along the Gaza border, a day after a rocket fired from the enclave destroyed a home in southern Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed “very strong action” if attacks continued.

In fact, it is being reported that this massing of tanks along the border represents “the largest mustering of forces since the 2014 war”

Reuters has reported some 60 Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers now stationed at a deployment area along the border as of Thursday, which is the largest reported mustering of forces since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

This would be a war that would not benefit anyone, but it is very difficult to see how it will be avoided at this point.

Hamas could avoid war by simply ending the protests, but they have pledged not to do that.

Israel can keep hammering Gaza with airstrikes, but that definitely will not stop the violence.  The only thing that could permanently stop the violence is a full-blown invasion of Gaza with the intention of completely eliminating Hamas.

But that would be an exceedingly bloody mission, and it could potentially spark a much broader Middle East war.

The mainstream media in the United States has been mostly silent about this looming conflict, but the truth is that this is an extremely serious situation.  Just check out what Nickolay Mladenov told the UN Security Council on Thursday

Special UN envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, told the UN Security Council on Thursday thatwe remain on the brink of another potentially devastating conflict, a conflict that nobody claims to want, but a conflict that needs much more than just words to prevent”.

If someone was constantly sending rockets, grenades and incendiary devices across the U.S. border, the American people would be screaming and yelling for the military to do something, and rightly so.

Israel is not going to put up with all of this violence for much longer, but there is one huge problem.  If Israel invades Gaza at this point, they will be considered to be the “aggressor” by most of the rest of the world.  And in order to eliminate Hamas entirely, Israel would have to be ruthless, and images from the very bloody war would be endlessly broadcast throughout the Islamic world.  This could greatly galvanize Israel’s other enemies, and it could very easily spark a broader conflict.

Israel is surrounded by nations that would love to see it wiped off the map, and if the right opportunity arose they would gladly join forces in an all-out attempt to defeat Israel once and for all.

But if that scenario were to unfold while Donald Trump was in the White House, the Trump administration would most certainly intervene militarily on the side of Israel, and that could potentially be the start of World War 3.

It isn’t true at this point, but U.S. relations with Israel will soon once again become one of the most divisive issues in U.S. politics.  And a major war in the Middle East would go a long way toward destabilizing the entire globe.

We truly do live in apocalyptic times, and many are anticipating that global events will greatly accelerate during the months ahead.

Throughout much of human history, Israel has been at the center of attention, and now it is happening again.

Watch Israel very carefully, because the things that are happening over there right now are going to have very serious implications for all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

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Middle East Braces For Apocalyptic Conflict Between Israel And Hamas As Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman Declares “War Is Inevitable”

It appears that a major war between Israel and Hamas is imminent.  For the past six months, Hamas has been staging violent protests along the Israeli border in an attempt to end the Israeli-Egyptian blockade.  Those protests have escalated in recent weeks as Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire have faltered.  During these violent protests, large numbers of incendiary devices have been launched into Israel, and this has resulted in thousands of acres of land being burned on the Israeli side of the border.  On Friday, approximately 14,000 Palestinians gathered along the border fence, and it was being reported that they were “throwing rocks, firebombs and grenades” at Israeli soldiers on the other side of the barrier.  Needless to say, after six months of such violence Israeli patience is wearing very thin.

And now some members of the Israeli cabinet are openly advocating for war with Hamas.  According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman believes that a “harsh IDF military strike against Hamas” is the only way to end the violence…

A harsh IDF military strike against Hamas is the only way to halt the continued Palestinian attacks against Israel, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Tuesday morning as he met in the south with some of his top military staff.

Now is the time for decisions. My position is very clear: We must deal a heavy blow against Hamas. This is the only way to return the situation to its previous state and to reduce the level of violence to nearly zero,” Liberman said.

Ultimately the decision whether to strike Hamas or not will be made by the entire cabinet, but in Liberman’s mind it has gotten to the point where “war is inevitable”

Liberman told the Hebrew language Ynet website that “We have reached the moment – we must strike Hamas with the hardest blow. We have made every effort and exhausted every possibility… War is inevitable.”

That is a very powerful statement to make, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped just short of essentially saying the same thing on Sunday

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday threatened “very painful blows” against Gaza’s Hamas rulers if they don’t halt protests along the perimeter fence that have led to clashes with Israeli troops.

Netanyahu said Israel is very close to waging a “different kind of activity” against the Islamic militants. He said “if it has any sense, Hamas will cease its fire and violent outbursts — now.”

And here is how another news outlet reported on Netanyahu’s comments…

Speaking at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said that “Hamas has yet to get the message that if it fails to stop its aggression it will be halted through other means and it will be painful, very painful.”

Netanyahu’s comments came after mass protests on Friday, during which several Palestinians breached the border fence and attacked an IDF position. Five Palestinians were killed in the incident and two more were killed during the violent protest along the border fence.

So is there any chance that Hamas will stop the protests?

Absolutely not.

And it will probably just take one of two more extremely violent border protests such as the one that we witnessed on Friday to push Israel into action.

Of course the reality is that both sides are already exchanging fire.  On both Monday and Tuesday, the Israeli air force struck targets in Gaza

Earlier Tuesday, Israeli aircraft fired at a Palestinian terror cell as it launched firebomb balloons from the northern Gaza Strip into Israel. No casualties were reported.

The airstrike followed a similar incident on Monday, in which the IAF targeted a Hamas position in southern Gaza after Palestinian terrorists tried to plant explosives along the security fence on the border. One of the explosives exploded on the Gaza side of the fence. No injuries were reported, but the fence sustained some damage.

But what Liberman and Netanyahu are talking about would go far beyond such limited action.

What they are talking about would essentially be an invasion of Gaza with the intention of ending Hamas rule in the area.

Let’s talk about what such a scenario would mean for the Middle East as a whole.  Hamas would fight back with everything that they have got, and it would be an extremely bloody conflict.  Seeing an opportunity, Hezbollah would likely start striking Israel from the north, and the Israelis could suddenly find themselves fighting a war on two fronts.  And since Hezbollah is heavily funded and supplied by Iran, it is easy to imagine Iran getting involved in the conflict as well.

And once missiles start flying back and forth between Israel and Iran, all hell could break loose.

If a major regional war erupts in the Middle East, the Trump administration will not hesitate to intervene.  U.S. forces would be used to protect Israel, and such a move would inevitably unleash chaos and protests all over the globe.

We are just a hop, skip and jump away form World War 3, and most Americans don’t have a clue.

Once again, the eyes of the entire would will soon be glued on a tiny sliver of extremely important land in the Middle East, and we are going to watch a drama play out that will have enormous implications for the entire planet.

War is coming, and once it begins everything is going to change.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is publisher of The Most Important News and the author of four books including The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters.

The Last Days Warrior Summit is the premier online event of 2018 for Christians, Conservatives and Patriots.  It is a premium-members only international event that will empower and equip you with the knowledge and tools that you need as global events begin to escalate dramatically.  The speaker list includes Michael Snyder, Mike Adams, Dave Daubenmire, Ray Gano, Dr. Daniel Daves, Gary Kah, Justus Knight, Doug Krieger, Lyn Leahz, Laura Maxwell and many more. Full summit access will begin on October 25th, and if you would like to register for this unprecedented event you can do so right here.

WW3: Fighters From Turkey Are Pouring Into Syria And Attacking Targets Despite The Ceasefire

Middle East MapThe ceasefire in Syria is a joke.  Turkish military units continue to mass along the border, and militants are pouring across the border to attack targets in northern Syria.  The Prime Minister of Turkey is now openly admitting that his government is supporting the militants that are trying to overthrow the Syrian government, and the Turkish government has also made it abundantly clear that they have no plans to stop shelling the Kurds on the other side of the border.  So despite the “ceasefire”, the truth is that the threat of World War 3 breaking out in the Middle East is greater than ever.

At times it is difficult to see the dividing line between the Turkish military and the radical jihadists that are hopping back and forth across the border with the full support of the Turkish government.  Over the weekend, militants from Turkey that crossed over into northern Syria were supported by artillery fire from the Turkish military as they attacked a key Kurdish town

In the Raqqa province, a group of some 100 fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey. The group later joined forces with other militants and attacked the Kurdish town of Tell Abyad.

The 250-strong group was supported by artillery fire from the Turkish territory, a fact that Russia said the US should explain. The Kurdish YPG militia fended off the attack, the report said.

This is an act of war, and yet the Obama administration does not seem to mind.

If Turkey will not even honor the ceasefire, what hope is there that anything will be able to stop them from acting so aggressively?

At this point, the Turks are not even pretending anymore.  Just the other day, Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu openly admitted that his nation is backing the militants that are trying to overthrow the Assad regime…

How would they be able to defend themselves if there was no Turkish support of the Syrian people? … If there’s today a real moderate Syrian opposition, it’s because of the Turkish support. If today the [Assad] regime isn’t able to control all the territories [it’s] because of Turkish and some other countries’ support,” he told Al-Jazeera earlier this week.

Obviously this ceasefire is not going to work.  Turkey has not even pressed pause in their relentless campaign against the Assad regime and the Kurds.

The Turkish government has become absolutely obsessed with their neighbor to the south, and that is a very dangerous thing for the rest of the planet.  The only way that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and their allies are going to be able to win the war now is to conduct a massive ground invasion of Syria.  Such a move would lead to direct conflict with Iran, Hezbollah and the Russians, and since Turkey is a member of the NATO alliance, that could threaten to drag the U.S. and western Europe into the war as well.  The following comes from the International Business Times

The wider consequences of any disagreement between Ankara and Moscow could lead to a standoff between Russia and NATO. Jen Stoltenberg, secretary general of the Brussels-based organization, said in late 2015 that it would be prepared to defend the member state of Turkey if it were attacked by Russia.

“NATO will defend you, NATO is on the ground, NATO is ready,” Stoltenberg said in the aftermath of repeated breaches of Turkish airspace by Russian jets and just one month before Ankara shot down a Russian jet in November.

The 28-country alliance is bound by Article 5 of its treaty to collectively defend its members. “Collective defense means that an attack against one ally is considered as an attack against all allies,” the article states.

Saudi Arabia does not appear ready to back down either.

The Saudis continue to reiterate their position that either Assad must go peacefully or he will be removed by force

Saudi Arabia is prepared to send troops to Syria if President Bashar Assad doesn’t resign and leave his war-torn nation peacefully. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir warned Sunday that his country will take military action if Syria violates the terms of a ceasefire agreement.

“I believe that abiding by the truce would be an important indicator of the seriousness to reach a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis that would include setting up a transitional council and the transfer of power from Bashar to this council,” he said during a joint press conference with his Danish counterpart Kristian Jensen in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

Al-Jubeir warned that Saudi Arabia has prepared a “Plan B.” If “the coalition decided to send ground troops into Syria, Saudi Arabia is ready to contribute,” he said.

The goal since 2011 has been to get rid of Assad so that Syria could become a full-fledged Sunni nation with a Sunni government.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies have poured enormous amounts of money and resources into this conflict, and they don’t appear to be willing to walk away now that the tide of the war has turned.  In fact, how the Saudis have been behaving lately has been causing a tremendous amount of anxiety in the Middle East…

Saudi Arabia’s recent actions have caused a great deal of anxiety within its region. On February 4, a military spokesman suggested that Saudi Arabia was ready to send troops ground troops to fight ISIS in Syria. A week later Saudi Arabia announced that it will send combat aircraft and soldiers to Turkey to participate in the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

Three days later the Saudis launched “Northern Thunder,” described as the “largest military exercise in the history of the Middle East.” Participants from 20 countries sent troops to the maneuvers run over three weeks in Hafar al Batin in northern Saudi Arabia, not far from the Iraqi and Kuwaiti border. According to a Saudi media outlet, some 350,000 troops were expected to participate in the maneuvers.

So if Saudi Arabia, Turkey and their allies are preparing for war, then what is the purpose of the ceasefire?

Well, first of all the goal was to stop the bleeding.  The Sunni militants were losing ground steadily, and this pause will enable them to regroup and get resupplied.

Secondly, this pause in the action gives “the coalition” time to move forces into position for a potential ground invasion of Syria.

But more than anything else, this ceasefire seems to be a trap.  It appears to be inevitable that the U.S. and other western powers will accuse Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian government of breaking the ceasefire, thus providing “legal justification” for “the coalition” to militarily intervene.

Watch developments in Syria very closely.  Many had hoped that this ceasefire would bring the five year civil war to an end, but the truth is that it could just be setting the stage for something far, far bigger.

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