IT’S WAR!: Israeli Forces Strike Gaza As The World Braces For A Horrific Conflict In The Middle East

***UPDATE: It appears that Israeli statements about the conflict have caused much confusion among news outlets.  Earlier in the day Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus had told the press that there were Israeli ground troops “attacking in Gaza”, but now he has told reporter Alex Ward the following: “Clarification: there are currently no IDF ground troops inside the Gaza Strip. IDF air and ground forces are carrying out strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip.”  So it appears that ground forces are being used to conduct strikes in Gaza, but they have not officially crossed over into Gaza just yet. I apologize for any confusion, and we will continue to monitor further developments.***

The next Middle East war has begun.  Israel has sent troops over the line into Gaza, and Israeli officials are telling us that they will be there for as long as it takes.  Ultimately, the Israeli government didn’t have much of a choice.  Hamas had already fired more than 1,600 rockets into Israeli territory, and the Israeli people were crying out for action.  If someone had fired 1,600 rockets at major U.S. cities, millions upon millions of Americans would literally be begging the Biden administration to nuke whoever did it.  Now that war has started, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pledging that “this operation will continue as long as necessary”

The Israel Defense Force tweeted from its official account on Thursday night: ‘IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip.’

Military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus confirmed: ‘There are ground troops attacking in Gaza, together with air forces as well.’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted moments later: ‘The last word was not said and this operation will continue as long as necessary.’

What does that exactly mean?

We don’t know, but it sounds like there is no end in sight for this conflict.

Previously, Defense Minister Benny Gantz had stated that there is “no end date” for airstrikes against Gaza…

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Wednesday that the military operation will continue in the Gaza Strip for as long as necessary and that there is currently no end in sight.

“Israel is not preparing for a ceasefire. There is currently no end date for the operation. Only when we achieve complete quiet can we talk about calm,” Gantz said during a tour of rocket-hit Ashkelon. “We will not listen to moral preaching from any organization or institution regarding our right and duty to protect the citizens of Israel.”

I think that Israeli officials are finally fed up with having rockets being lobbed at them out of Gaza.

Now that Israeli troops have gone in, one of the first jobs will be to neutralize the tens of thousands of rockets that Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad have stockpiled over the years

Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired more than 1,000 missiles in the first 48 hours of the conflict which began on Monday, an average of one every three minutes, and has enough to keep the bombardment going for two months.

Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said: ‘According to our estimates we’re talking about between 20,000 and 30,000 rockets in Gaza today, rockets and mortars.

It is going to take some time to achieve that goal, but if the Israelis want the constant bombardment to stop they need to find those weapons.

Beyond that, there are many in the Israeli government that would like to destroy Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza for good.  Both groups have sworn to never stop until Israel is wiped off the map, and so there is no negotiating any sort of a permanent peace with them.

Over the past couple of days, a number of key Hamas targets have been eliminated, and an IDF spokesperson has stated that the terror group is in the process of “losing everything”

On Thursday morning the IDF bombed government targets, Hamas’s central bank, a force that the Israeli military said belonged to the terror group’s navy unit as well the home of Iyad Tayeb, a top Hamas commander who oversaw a number of battalions. The IDF said that the home was being used for terrorist purposes.

“The organization is losing everything,” IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman told reporters on Thursday morning.

If Hamas and Islamic Jihad lose their grip on Gaza, that would give Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah an opportunity to consolidate control over the Palestinian people.

So even though he would never admit it publicly, I have a feeling that Mahmoud Abbas is very pleased with what is happening right now.

Israel was never going to negotiate a permanent peace deal with the Palestinians as long as Hamas was running Gaza.  But if Hamas and Islamic Jihad are out of the way, that would clear a path for a comprehensive peace plan and the establishment of a “two state solution” that is so greatly coveted by the Biden administration.

Needless to say, any such “peace deal” would be a tragic error, and this is something that I have discussed in numerous other articles.

For the moment, we need to watch and see how this current conflict plays out.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are no match for the Israeli military.  But now that the IDF is preoccupied in the south, this could be a golden opportunity for Hezbollah to take action in the north.

And if that happened, all of a sudden the Israelis would find themselves fighting a war on two fronts.

As I discussed the other day, Hezbollah has more than 150,000 missiles currently pointed at Israel.  If Hamas and Islamic Jihad were able to overwhelm the Iron Dome system, what would happen if Hezbollah suddenly started launching thousands upon thousands of highly advanced rockets at Israeli cities?

In addition, we need to watch Iran.  The Iranians try to avoid attacking anyone directly, but they could choose to use this moment as an opportunity to strike Israel through various proxies other than Hezbollah.

In the days ahead, keep alert for any attacks against Israel that seem to come from unusual sources.

At some point, there will be open conflict between Israel and Iran, but hopefully that day can be put off for as long as possible.

Of course I always said the same thing about the coming conflict between Israel and Hamas, and now it is here.

I think that Hamas officials realize that Israel intends to destroy the organization, and so they will throw everything that they have got at the Israeli military.

A lot of blood is going to be spilled, and it will be a very messy conflict.

But if Hezbollah jumps in, things will get a whole lot worse.

And if things escalate to a point where Israel and Iran are openly firing missiles back and forth, we would potentially be facing an apocalyptic scenario in the Middle East.

We have entered a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and the days ahead are certainly going to be very dark for the entire globe.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

World War 3 Coming? Israel Is On The Brink Of War With Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria And Iran All At The Same Time

On Thursday, rockets were fired at Tel Aviv for the first time since 2014, and Israel responded by hammering Hamas with airstrikes.  This latest exchange has brought Israel closer to another war with Hamas than ever.  But as you will see below, Israel is also on the brink of war with Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.  And on top of everything else, the most pivotal election in Israel in many years is on April 9th.  If more rockets are fired at Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot afford to look weak because that could cost him a lot of votes in this very tight election.  But he must walk a very fine line, because a military response that is seen as too harsh could potentially spark a major regional conflict.

Everyone knows that Israel is simply not going to tolerate rockets being fired at Tel Aviv, and so it was quite a shock to learn what had happened on Thursday.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

The Israeli military confirmed that two rockets were fired towards central Israel on Thursday evening, with at least two loud explosions heard in the Gush Dan region.

According to the IDF, although the Iron Dome missile defense system was activated, there were no interceptions as both rockets fell in open territory.

It was the first time sirens were activated in Tel Aviv since the last war with Gaza in 2014 and several Israelis were treated for shock.

It was inevitable that there would be a substantial response from the Israeli military, and airstrikes were conducted very rapidly.  According to Fox News, a Hamas naval base was one of the primary targets…

The strikes were occurring in Khan Younis, roughly 15 miles south of Gaza City, according to The Associated Press. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

A Hamas naval base was targeted, the outlet reported, citing Palestinian media.

Originally, Hamas had seemed to deny responsibility for the rocket attacks, but the IDF later confirmed that they were fired by Hamas

We can confirm that the rockets fired from at earlier tonight were launched by the Hamas terrorist organization.

If Hamas doesn’t fire any more rockets, this will probably be the end of it for now.

But with Hamas, things are never truly over.

Meanwhile, Israel is also on the brink of war with Hezbollah in the north.

In recent days, Israel has been dealing with massive tunnels that Hezbollah has constructed for the purpose of rapidly moving military forces into northern Israel.  So far, five tunnels have been discovered, but there are probably a lot more.

We are being told that the tunnels are absolutely enormous.  Reportedly, they are large enough “to move heavy military equipment”

For the first time since 1973, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confronts the very real prospect of a sizable incursion. Years of fighting alongside Russian and Iranian forces in Syria have transformed Hezbollah into a formidable military force capable of launching such a raid, relying on coordinated infantry, artillery, and even armor and drones. This represents a major leap from Hezbollah’s small hit-and-run tactics in the 2006 Lebanon war.

The tunnels are integral to this new threat. Built in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 prohibiting Hezbollah’s rearmament in this area, they are reportedly wide enough to move heavy military equipment and large troop units.

Hezbollah’s leadership continues to threaten Israel with a new war, and it has been estimated that they have built up an arsenal of approximately 150,000 missiles for the next conflict.

Israel is roughly the same size as New Jersey.  Just imagine what would happen if 150,000 missiles were suddenly fired at towns and cities all over New Jersey, and you will have some idea of what Israel is potentially facing.

Of course the Israeli military is far superior to Hezbollah’s forces, but if Israel has to fight Hamas and Hezbollah simultaneously that would be a real challenge.

And then there is Syria.  After eight years of civil war, you would think that Syria would have had enough fighting by now.

Unfortunately, as I pointed out in a previous article, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad just threatened to attack Israel if the Israelis do not leave the Golan Heights.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

Syria vowed to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights, World Israel News reported on Thursday.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad submitted an official warning to the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) Kristin Lund, in what seemed to be an attempt to prevent official US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.

Can you imagine the stress that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must be going through right now?  A major election is less than a month away and he is literally fighting for his political life, and meanwhile several of Israel’s neighbors appear to be preparing for war with his nation.

And Iran appears to be eager for a fight too.  A few weeks ago, a top Iranian general threatened to completely wipe Israel off the map

Asked by a reporter in Tehran about Israeli threats to strike Iranian forces deployed in Syria, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami was quoted by Iranian news outlets as saying, “Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that.”

He added: “We announce that if Israel does anything to start a new war, it will obviously be the war that will end with its elimination, and the occupied territories will be returned. The Israelis will not have even a cemetery in Palestine to bury their own corpses.”

And Netanyahu also seems to anticipate that a conflict with Iran is coming.  The following comes from NBC News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu startled Iranians and even the White House on Wednesday with a strident call for Israeli-Arab action against the government in Tehran that was translated by his office as urging “war with Iran.”

Although Israeli officials tried to soften the reference by altering the English translation, the provocative comment was likely to further the perception that Israel, its Gulf Arab neighbors and the United States are interested in using military action to topple the government of Iran.

I have been warning that a major war is coming in the Middle East for a long time, and now we are closer than ever.

Let us hope for peace, but as we have seen in the past, any peace in the region is always just temporary.

Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are all fundamentally committed to the complete and total destruction of the state of Israel and nothing is going to change that.  War is coming at some point, and it is going to be extremely bloody.

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 Next War In The Middle East Has Begun And Israel Vows ‘To Act Powerfully On All Fronts’

Israeli Tank - Israel Defense ForcesIsrael and Hezbollah are at war.  On top of everything else that is going on in the world, now we have a new war in the Middle East, and nobody is quite certain what is going to happen next.  Israel has been preparing for this moment for more than 8 years.  So has Hezbollah.  According to some reports, Hezbollah has amassed an arsenal of 50,000 rockets since the end of the Hezbollah-Israel war in 2006.  If all-out warfare does erupt, we could potentially see tens of thousands of missiles rain down into an area not too much larger than the state of New Jersey.  And of course the Israeli military is also much more sophisticated and much more powerful than it was back in 2006.  If cooler heads do not prevail, we could be on the verge of witnessing a very bloody war.  But right now nobody seems to be in the mood to back down.  Hezbollah is absolutely fuming over an airstrike earlier this month that killed six fighters and a prominent Iranian general.  And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says that Israel is “prepared to act powerfully on all fronts” in response to a Hezbollah ambush that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven.  Just such an incident is what sparked the war between the two sides back in 2006.  But this time, a conflict between Israel and Hezbollah could spark a full-blown regional war.

Earlier this month, Israel launched a surprise assault against a group of Hezbollah fighters that Israel believed was planning to conduct terror attacks inside their borders.

But in addition to killing six Hezbollah fighters, a very important Iranian general was also killed.  Needless to say, Iran is furious

Iran has told the United States that Israel should expect consequences for an attack on the Syrian-controlled Golan Heights that killed an Iranian general, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Revolutionary Guards General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi died alongside six fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah group in the January 18 attack on forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war.

And we didn’t have to wait too long for a response.  An IDF convoy was hit by anti-tank missiles near the Lebanon border.  Two Israeli soldiers were killed and seven were wounded.  The following is how the Jerusalem Post described the attack.

The terrorists launched five or six anti-tank missiles from a distance of at least four kilometers from their targets, striking the vehicles as they drove two kilometers from the international border.

In the heavy Hezbollah ambush, a military D-Max vehicle containing a company commander and his driver from the Givati Brigade was the first vehicle hit.

This prompted all of those inside an IDF jeep behind it to quickly evacuate their vehicle before it, too, was hit and destroyed with missiles.

Just over an hour after that attack, mortar rounds struck an Israeli military position on Mt. Hermon.

In response to those strikes, the Israeli military hit back at Hezbollah positions on the other side of the Lebanese border…

Israel struck back with combined aerial and ground strikes on Hezbollah operational positions along the border, the military said.

At least 50 artillery shells were fired at the villages of Majidiyeh, Abbasiyeh and Kfar Chouba, according to Lebanese officials.

But Israel is probably not done.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promising a “disproportionate” response to the Hezbollah attacks, and he says that Hezbollah should consider what Israel recently did to Hamas before taking any more aggressive action…

“To all those trying to challenge us on the northern border, I suggest looking at what happened here, not far from the city of Sderot, in the Gaza strip.  Hamas absorbed the hardest blow since it was founded last summer, and the IDF is ready to act with force on any front.”

If things continue to escalate, we might not just be talking about another Hezbollah-Israel war.

In the south, tensions between Israel and Hamas remain near all-time highs.  In the event of a full-blown war, Hamas probably could be easily convinced to join the fray.  And if Hamas jumps in, the rest of the Palestinians might not be far behind.

In addition, ISIS now has territory near the border with Israel

Because of the strategic importance of the terrain, Iran and Hezbollah have been building infrastructure there for some time.  But their interest in the Golan skyrocketed in December.

The reason: ISIS gained a foothold there when the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade of the Free Syrian Army “defected” from the de facto alliance with the U.S.-Arab coalition against Assad, and declared its allegiance to ISIS.  The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade had been one of the most active rebel factions holding territory directly adjacent to the “area of separation” between Syria and Israel administered (in theory) by the UN.  In particular, it has held the southern line of confrontation with Syrian regime forces, in the transit corridor leading to the Quneitra border crossing.

Needless to say, ISIS would be extremely interested in any conflict with Israel.

And of course there are all of the other surrounding Islamic nations that are not too fond of Israel either.

The truth is that the Middle East is a perpetual tinderbox.  One spark could set the entire region on fire.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama continues to do all that he can to undermine Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The animosity between the two is well known, and now an “Obama army” of political operatives has been sent to Israel to help defeat Netanyahu in the upcoming elections.

The “leader” of this “Obama army” is Jeremy Bird, who was the national field director for Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.  But he has plenty of company.  Just check out the following list that was compiled by WND

—–

Besides Bird, the 270 Strategies team includes the following former Obama staffers:

  • Mitch Steward, a 270 Strategies founding partner who helped the Obama campaign build what the U.K. Guardian called “a historic ground operation that will provide the model for political campaigns in America and around the world for years to come.”
  • Mark Beatty, a founding partner who served as deputy battleground states director for the Obama campaign. He had primary responsibility for Obama’s election plans for the battleground states.
  • Marlon Marshall, a founding partner at 270 Strategies who joins the team after holding several key positions in national Democratic politics, most recently as deputy national field director for the 2012 Obama campaign.
  • Betsy Hoover, a founding partner who served as director of digital organizing on the Obama campaign.
  • Meg Ansara, who served as national regional director for Obama for America where she was responsible for overseeing the 2012 programs in the Midwest and southern states.
  • Bridget Halligan, who served as the engagement program manager on the digital team of the 2012 Obama campaign.
  • Kate Catherall, who served as Florida deputy field director for Obama’s re-election campaign.
  • Alex Lofton, who most recently served as the GOTV director of Cleveland, Ohio, for the 2012 Obama campaign.
  • Martha Patzer, the firm’s vice president who served as deputy email director at Obama for America.
  • Jesse Boateng, who served as the Florida voter registration director for Obama’s re-election campaign.
  • Ashley Bryant, who served most recently as the Ohio digital director for the 2012 Obama campaign.
  • Max Clermont, who formerly served as a regional field director in Florida for Obama’s re-election campaign.
  • Max Wood, who served as a deputy data director in Florida for the 2012 Obama campaign.

—–

As the first month of 2015 wraps up, our world is becoming increasingly unstable.

In addition to the oil crash, the collapse of the euro, looming stock market troubles, civil war in Ukraine, tensions with Russia, an economic slowdown in China and imploding economies all over South America, now we have more war in the Middle East.

And if lots of missiles start flying back and forth between Israel and Hezbollah, it could potentially spark the bloodiest war in that region that any of us have ever seen.

So what do you think about the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

Hamas Just Attempted To Create A Horrific Nuclear Disaster In The Heart Of Israel

Nuclear Explosion - Public DomainAfter the horrors of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, how insane do you have to be to fire missiles directly at a major nuclear facility?  No matter what side you are on in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, everyone should be able to agree that it is utter madness for Hamas to fire rockets at the Dimona nuclear installation in the Negev.  The intent, of course, was to destroy the Dimona facility and create a horrific nuclear disaster in the heart of Israel.  Fortunately, the area is heavily protected by the Iron Dome missile defense system and none of the rockets did any damage.  And it is questionable how much damage to the facility that Hamas missiles could actually do.  But that is not the point.  What matters is that Hamas is trying to do it.  With each passing year, Hamas rockets are becoming more advanced, more accurate and more powerful.  And when Hamas fires some of their best rockets at a major nuclear facility, they are committing an act of all-out war.  If Hamas continues to do this, it could spark a major regional war in which countless numbers of people could die.  Is that what they want?

There has been a lot of criticism of Israel in the mainstream media in recent days, but much of it is quite hypocritical.  Just imagine what would happen in the U.S. if another country fired just one missile at New York City or at one of our nuclear reactors.  If that happened, “glass parking lot” would suddenly be on the lips of tens of millions of Americans all over the country, and the U.S. military would rapidly be preparing for an absolutely devastating response.

Well, it isn’t just one missile that has been fired at Israel.

In recent days, dozens of rockets were fired at Israel before there was any response from the Israeli military at all.

And more than 225 rockets have been fired at Israel since Operation Protective Edge started on Monday night.

At one point, an average of about one rocket was being fired into Israel every ten minutes.

And many of these rockets are being shot directly at Israeli population centers with the intention of killing civilians.  It is a miracle that we have not seen many casualties so far.

But where Hamas has really stepped over the line is by firing at the Dimona nuclear facility.  The fact that Hamas is attempting to create a nuclear holocaust is essentially an act of genocide.  The following is how the Jerusalem Post described the attack…

Three rockets were launched at Dimona in southern Israel on Wednesday afternoon. The Iron Dome intercepted one rocket before it could land, while two other rockets landed in open areas.

Dimona is the location of Israel’s nuclear reactor. There was no indication that rockets damaged any part of the reactor.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets, stating that it had been attempting to hit the nuclear reactor.

Militants from Hamas’s Qassam Brigades said they had launched long-range M-75 rockets towards Dimona.

And as Breitbart has pointed out, what Hamas has just done is actually an act of nuclear terrorism as defined by the United Nations…

Article 2 (1) of the International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism states:

1. Any person commits an offence within the meaning of this Convention if that person unlawfully and intentionally…(b)…uses or damages a nuclear facility in a manner which releases or risks the release of radioactive material: (i) With the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury; or (ii) With the intent to cause substantial damage to property or to the environment; or (iii) With the intent to compel a natural or legal person, an international organization or a State to do or refrain from doing an act.

Let us hope that future Hamas missile strikes will not do any damage to Dimona either.

In the end, it is questionable how much of a threat Hamas rockets actually are to an extremely well defended facility such as Dimona, but let us not completely underestimate their capabilities either.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, Hamas rockets are stronger and more accurate than ever and are now even capable of hitting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem…

Hamas has emerged from a 19-month cease-fire stronger, savvier, and more effective at hitting Israel where it will hurt the most.

Hamas’s arsenal, estimated at 10,000 rockets, is only marginally bigger than it was heading into its last conflict with Israel, in November 2012. But its mid-range rockets are much more accurate, and it has acquired long-range missiles that reach beyond Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, putting as many as 5 million of Israel’s 8 million citizens at risk.

If Hamas wants Israel to stop attacking, they need to stop lobbing missiles into Israel.

If Hamas keeps launching rockets, it could spark a major regional war.  Just consider what Shimon Peres is saying about the conflict

“We didn’t start the war today, they started it already several days ago,” he told CNN. “We asked them to stop it… We waited one day, two days, three days and they continued, and they spread their fire on more areas in Israel.”

He also said that a ground offensive on Gaza “may happen quite soon”. Referring to rockets being fired from Gaza, he added: “If they will stop for example tonight, there won’t be any ground entrance – but if they will continue, sooner or later this will be the response.

And there are news reports today that Israel has already warned 100,000 Gaza residents living in cities near the border with Israel to leave their homes.

That means that a ground invasion could be imminent.

Let us pray for peace because every human life is extremely valuable.

Every Israeli life is extremely valuable, and every Palestinian life is extremely valuable.

Nobody should want to see a major war between the Israelis and the Palestinians, because if one does happen it will be extremely bloody.

The Middle East is a powder keg that could erupt at any moment.

A single wrong move could bring about a nightmarish conflict that results in countless deaths.

The Economic Collapse