Wednesday, November 30, 2011

War Preparations, Rumors of War

Another Rumor of War? Germany to sell Israel Another Dolphin Sub

Germany will sell Israel a fourth Dolphin-class submarine – the first since 2005 – and will finance a third of its costs, reports said Wednesday. Two of Israel's other Dolphins were paid for by Germany, while the third was half-funded by Israel. Two more are under construction.

Dolphin subs are the most expensive single vehicle in the Israel Defense Forces and are considered among the most sophisticated and capable conventional submarines in the world. Each submarine is armed with torpedo tubes, which are also capable of firing Sub-Harpoon missiles. The submarines are also able to deploy mines, and are reputed to be able to carry nuclear-tipped missiles.

Media analysts said that it was no coincidence that news of the deal was leaked on the day after Iranian students trashed the British Embassy in Tehran. “The story of the sale sends a message to Tehran that Israel and the West are not going to take much more of Iran's excesses,” said one analyst. “Dolphin subs are powerful weapons, and if they are used they will wreak havoc on Iran. I'm sure the message has been received by Tehran,” the analyst added.

U.S. Uncertain Israel Would Advise Before Iran Strike

US still convinced sanctions, diplomacy right path to take take on Iran, Israel may not share that perspective, top US military officer says; US fears fallout on world economy if Israel strikes Iran.

The top US military officer told Reuters on Wednesday he did not know whether Israel would alert the United States ahead of time if it decided to take military action against Iran.

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also acknowledged differences in perspective between the United States and Israel over the best way to handle Iran and its nuclear program.

There has been concern that if world powers cannot nudge Iran into serious nuclear negotiations, then Israel, which feels threatened by Iranian nuclear aspirations, will attack.

Iran has warned that it will respond to any attacks by hitting Israeli and US interests in the Gulf. Analysts say Tehran could retaliate by closing the Strait of Hormuz, the waterway where about 40 percent of all traded oil passes.

The Muslim Brotherhood's "Kill the Jews" Election Platform

Egyptians have gone to the polls in large numbers this week to cast their votes in the first stage of protracted parliamentary elections that will stretch into early next year. Meanwhile, the country’s military rulers do not appear to be going anywhere, unless forced out by mounting street protests and outside international pressure.

The main beneficiary of the elections will in all likelihood be the Muslim Brotherhood, whose leaders formed an alliance of convenience with the ruling military council to ensure that the elections would proceed as planned.

The Muslim Brotherhood?, Egypt’s largest and best-organized political force, wanted no delays that would give opponents the opportunity to catch up with its organizational prowess.

We got a taste of what is to come from the Muslim Brotherhood’s co-sponsored "kill the Jews” pep rally held last Friday in Cairo. According to a report in YNet News, about 5,000 people joined the rally at Cairo’s most prominent mosque, the Al-Azhar mosque. Over and over again, the crowd chanted passages from the Koran vowing that "one day we shall kill all the Jews.”

In the news:

A LOT of interesting news stories today; I'll keep the quotes brief:

Mysterious Explosion Damaged Iranian Nuclear Site

The explosion earlier this week that Iran said was at a uranium enrichment site actually damaged a nuclear plant and was far from accidental, The London Times reported Wednesday. The newspaper quoted Israeli intelligence officials as saying that satellite photos revealed extensive damage from the explosion at Isfahan, near Tehran. The Israeli sources, so far unconfirmed, added that smoke was seen pouring out from a conversion plant and that it was clear that the blast was not accidental.

Consider the prophetic implications of this next article:

Former Mossad Chief: Israeli Strike On Iran Will Lead To Regional War

Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan said in a television interview on Tuesday that if Israel attacks Iran, it will be dragged into a regional war. According to Dagan, Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas will respond with massive rocket attacks on Israel. In that scenario, Syria may join in the fray, Dagan said on the television program “Uvda”.

4 Scenarios For Oil If Israel Attacks Iran

Fresh from PIMCO on Tuesday is a new report highlighting four oil price scenarios if Israel attacked Iran, from a spike of US$140 a barrel to a “Doomsday” situation where regional war causes prices to soar. The report, from PIMCO portfolio manager Greg Sharenow, comes as the media has increasingly speculated whether Israel might engage in a pre-emptive strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

“Whenever the global economy is in a fragile state, as it is today, geopolitical concerns such as the possibility of a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities become much more exaggerated,” Mr. Sharenow said.

“Although we cannot (and will not) predict whether an attack is imminent, or even likely, our experience and research tells us that any major disruption in the supply of oil from Iran could have either subtle or profound global repercussions,” he said. “Especially as excess capacity is virtually exhausted and we doubt that other OPEC nations would be able to compensate for a reduction in Iranian oil production.”

Iranian Protesters Storm British Embassy: Video Update

William Hague Warns Iran It Faces 'Serious Consequences" For British Embassy Attack In Tehran

Following Iran's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties with the UK after the imposition of fresh sanctions, Iranian protesters broke into the grounds of the British Embassy in Tehran.

Protesters threw petrol bombs and climbed over the gates of the embassy to loot the building.

William Hague said Iran had "committed a grave breach" of the Vienna Convention, which demands protection of diplomats and diplomatic premises under all circumstances.

Mr Hague added: "We hold the Iranian government responsible for its failure to take adequate measures to protect our embassy as it is required to do.

"Clearly there will be other, further, and serious consequences. I will make a statement updating Parliament on this tomorrow," Mr Hague added.

New Tahrir Square Violence Mars Elections

Fresh violence at Cairo’s Tahrir Square wounded 88 people by early Wednesday during the second day of legislative elections.

More than two dozen people were hospitalized after clashes with anti-regime protesters, who have said that the election process cannot be trusted because it is being run by the same officials who brutally dispersed demonstrations last week.

Despite the protests, elections continued Tuesday as the Muslim Brotherhood, under the guise of the “Freedom and Justice” party, deployed activists who violated electoral regulations at polling stations to encourage voters to back their party, the most well-organized in the country.

Predictably (many prophecy watchers predicted this at the beginning of the Egyptian "overthrow") we see this:

Egypt's Brotherhood Leading In Vote Count

The Muslim Brotherhood's list leads in initial counting of results from the first round of Egypt's parliamentary election, with about 40% of party-list votes, a party source said on Wednesday.

It remains difficult to assess the precise impact of such a result on an election that will take six weeks for voting to be complete and uses an extremely complex system for allocating seats.

Eurozone Debt Crisis Worsens As Financial World Holds Breath Over Impending Financial Apocalypse

“The world is watching Europe, waiting upon a solution. It’s not just the euro that’s at stake. If the euro fails, so too does the 27-nation European Union. Bank lending would freeze, stock markets would likely crash, and Europe’s economies would follow. Nations in the euro-zone would see their economic output decline, though temporarily, by as much as 50%, according to UBS forecasters. That economic meltdown would then spread to the U.S. and Asia, who would find themselves caught up in the credit freeze while their exports to Europe would collapse.”

The High Price Of Abandoning The Euro

Which is one reason I don't see it happening...The antichrist needs to show up soon to fix this mess - or at least appear to fix it. Seriously.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski made a dramatic appeal to Germany on Monday to prevent a collapse of the currency union, saying: "We are standing on the edge of a precipice."

The economist Nouriel Roubini, known as "Dr. Doom" because he predicted the 2008 financial crisis, recently put the likelihood of the euro zone collapsing at 45 percent. But such expert forecasts sound abstract to most people.

That wouldn't be as easy as euroskeptics are arguing. The European treaties don't envisage nations leaving the euro zone -- a country can only quit the European Union as a whole. Such a departure would take a long time, and investors could use that time to withdraw their capital, warns economist Karsten Junius in a research note for DekaBank. So the country in question would suffer economic damage on its path back into a national currency.

It is also unclear what would happen to a country's sovereign debt if it left the euro zone. When the single currency was set up, national debt was converted into euros. In many cases, that conversion was enshrined in bond contracts as a one-way street, meaning that a return to national currencies wasn't provided for.

Senate Passes Bill Allowing Indefinite Detention Of Americans

Is this the bill that sets the stage for future persecution of Christians in America?

The Senate passed a bill today allowing indefinite detention of American citizens living within the U.S.

While some have claimed that this is incorrect, and that American citizens would be exempted from the indefinite detention within U.S. borders authorized by the Act, the Committee chairman who co-sponsored the bill – Carl Levin – stated today in Senate debate that it could apply to American citizens.

Levin cited the Supreme Court case of Hamdi which ruled that American citizens can be treated as enemy combatants:

“The Supreme Court has recently ruled there is no bar to the United States holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,” said Levin. “This is the Supreme Court speaking.“
Under questioning from Rand Paul, co-sponsor John McCain said that Americans suspected of terrorism could be sent to Guantanamo.

You can hear the statements from Levin and McCain on today’s broadcast of KFPA’s Letters and Politics.

And this:

The provision would authorize the military to indefinitely detain individuals — including U.S. citizens — without charge or trial.

“If these provisions pass, we could see American citizens being sent to Guantanamo Bay,” Rand said in the video. “This should be alarming to everyone watching this proceeding today. Because it puts every single American citizen at risk.”

“There is one thing and one thing only protecting innocent Americans from being detained at will at the hands of a too-powerful state — our Constitution, and the checks we put on government power,” he continued. “Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism, well, then the terrorists have won.”

“Detaining citizens without a court trial is not American. In fact, this alarming arbitrary power is reminiscent of Egypt’s ‘permanent’ Emergency Law authorizing preventive indefinite detention, a law that provoked ordinary Egyptians to tear their country apart last spring and risk their lives to fight.”

Rand Paul: Americans Could Be Sent To Gitmo Under 'Indefinite Detention' Bill

Senator Rand Paul told Judge Andrew Napolitano last night that Americans could be stripped of their rights and sent to Guantanamo Bay under the terms of the ‘indefinite detention’ provision of the National Defense Authorization Act

Appearing on Napolitano’s Fox Business show, Paul said it perplexed him “how anyone could vote to send an American citizen who’s been accused of a crime to a detention center in a foreign land without due process”.

Paul has offered an amendment to the NDAA bill that would completely strip Section 1031 from the legislation, although it’s unlikely to pass following yesterday’s rejection of Senator Mark Udall’s weaker amendment that would have merely provided more oversight.

Secretive Air Force Space Plane Nears Orbital Record

The secretive X-37B robotic space plane is about to set its own space-endurance record on a hush-hush project operated by the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office.

The craft, also known as the Orbital Test Vehicle-2, was boosted into Earth orbit atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on March 5. Tomorrow (Nov. 30), the X-37B spacecraft will mark its 270th day of flight — a lifetime in space that was heralded in the past as the vehicle's upper limit for spaceflight by project officials.

"It's still up there," U.S. Air Force Maj. Tracy Bunko of the Air Force Press Desk at the Pentagon, told, noting that project officials planned for a 9- month-plus mission, "so we're close to that now."

The X-37B's staying power is made feasible by its deployable solar array power system, unfurled from the vehicle's cargo bay.

The X-37B resembles a miniature version of NASA's space shuttle. Two X-37Bs could fit inside the 60-foot (18-meter) cargo bay of a space shuttle.

Airport Body Scan Debate Heats Up After European Ban

The controversy over airport body scanners – and how safe they are – is taking on new urgency after European authorities this month banned the machines after studies linked them to a small number of cancer cases.

The same type of backscatter scanners, which emit low-level radiation, are used at dozens of U.S. airports, including Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Orlando international airports.

Steve Landes, director of the South Florida Airline Commuters Association, which has several hundred frequent flier members, said those who have to fly two to three times a week might want to avoid the scanner.

"Let's put it this way, I would have to be a fool to say I wouldn't have any concerns," said Landes, of Boynton Beach.

Helping to convince European authorities to impose the ban was a recent PBS Newshour/ProPublica report, which said: "Research suggests that anywhere from six to 100 U.S. airline passengers each year could get cancer from the machines." Scientific American also ran a story, detailing the results of the PBS/ProPublic investigation.

Scientists Create Lethal Human Strain Of Avian Flu In Test Tube - Now Seek To Publish Formula

The H5N1 flu- more frequently referred to as avian or bird flu- has long been identified as one of those great threats to public health throughout the world. Should the bug ever mutate into a form that passes as easily between humans as it does among birds and other animals, we would have a very serious problem on our hands.

Now, Scientist Magazine is reporting that medical researchers in the Netherlands have intentionally engineered a strain of the H5N1 virus that can pass as easily between people as any other flu virus. Clearly, if this one should ever get out of the laboratory, we are all in seriously big trouble.

Flu Shots May Build Fewer Antibodies In Kids

New research has found the flu vaccine may weaken some children’s immune systems to other influenza viruses.

Researchers from the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, collected blood samples from 27 healthy, unvaccinated children with an average age of 6 years old, and 14 children with cystic fibrosis who received an annual flu shot. Children with chronic illnesses like cystic fibrosis are required to get flu shots in the Netherlands.

Children who were not vaccinated built up more antibodies across a wider variety of influenza strains than kids who were vaccinated, the small study found.

Massive Sinkhole Appears Overnight

Is it just me, or does there appear to be similar sinkholes occurring all around the world these days? What's going on?

Residents in Beckham County near Sayre say a massive sinkhole suddenly appeared overnight. They say it's so big a small house can fit inside it. Jack Damron cares for the property and says the hole formed just two days after Oklahoma's last earthquake about two weeks ago.

...the hole is still growing day by day.

"Kind of spooky. You don't want to mess with it today," Damron said.

Because whatever lies beneath the flat Oklahoma soil, isn't quite finished.

"We've got to let it finish settling, because we don't know how deep it's going to get. It's still growing," he said "When it first formed you could actually sit here for 30 minutes and see stuff just move."

6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Off Coast Of Philippines

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of the Philippines this morning, roughly 142 miles (230km) west-northwest of the capital Manila, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

The earthquake, which struck at a depth of 9.1 miles (14.6km), occurred shortly before 8.30am local time in the West Philippine Sea.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Katyusha Fire On Israel: Warning From Syria?

Debka has an interesting analysis on the rocket volley that came from Lebanon on Tuesday:

Katyusha fire on Israel was Syrian warning. Turkey ready for any scenario

DEBKAfile's military sources report that the four-Katyusha rocket volley from S. Lebanon which hit Galilee in northern Israel in the small hours of Tuesday, Nov. 29, was initiated by Hizballah commanders in South Lebanon although it was claimed by the al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades.

Hizballah activated a Palestinian cell it controls in the Ain Hilwa refugee camp near Sidon on behalf of its ally in Damascus, arming the cell with the rockets and marking out their firing positions and targets in Israel's Galilee.

One Katyusha blew up near the border, two inside a Galilee moshav damaging a hen coop and a fourth in a wood outside Maalot, causing damage but no injuries.Israeli artillery returned the fire.

Officers in the IDF northern command familiar with the terrain across the border, assert that those firing positions are located in a sector under Hizballah's exclusive control. It is off limits to any outsiders without the Iran-backed Shiite group's permission and knowledge.

IDF sources read the rocket attack as the Assad regime's last warning to the US, fellow NATO members and Gulf nations that Israel would be first to pay the price for their planned intervention in Syria.

It would trigger a Lebanese-Israel border clash followed by a massive rocket assault on Israel. More Katyusha incidents are therefore to be expected to emphasize the message.

It gets even more interesting:

Monday, Nov. 28, DEBKAfile reported a group of military officers from NATO and Persian Gulf nations had quietly established a mixed operational command at Iskenderun in the Turkish Hatay province on the border of North Syria:

DEBKAfile military sources report exclusively that the Western-Arab intervention in the Syrian crisis is in an advanced state of operational planning.

It entails a buffer zone in northern Syria encompassing beleaguered towns, primarily Idlib, Rastan and Homs - but also Aleppo, Syria's largest city (2.5 million mostly Sunni and Kurdish inhabitants). The protest movement never caught on in Aleppo, home to the moneyed classes who run the country's financial and trading sectors, and it was confined to the highway network feeding the city.

Therefore, for the Assad regime, bringing Aleppo into the "humanitarian corridor" system under foreign military control will round of the damage caused by the economic sanctions approved this week by the Arab League.

Losing Aleppo will fatally hammer the economy into the ground and rob the Syrian ruler of funding for sustaining his military crackdown to wipe out the unrest in the areas remaining under his control.

Aware of this threat, Foreign Minister al-Moallem accused the Arab League of declaring economic war on Syria.

If Assad isn't desperate now, he will be soon.

It is possible that his threats against Israel were just that - threats. He may have been bluffing all along. However, if he intends on attacking Israel as a last act of desperation -he will most likely do it soon, as his time is growing short.

EU on the brink:

It is fascinating to watch the EU right now, as it is becoming more and more obvious that something dramatic must be done in order to keep the Euro alive and, in turn, keep the EU together. Watching the 'power players' within the EU and their maneuvering during this current crisis is revealing:

OECD: euro collapse would have 'highly devastating outcomes' worldwide

The collapse of the euro could send the world's advanced economies into a severe recession, dragging emerging markets with them into the mire, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warned on Monday.

In his introduction to the report he said: "Recent contagion to countries thought to have relatively solid public finances could massively escalate economic disruption if not addressed."

In a devastating critique of eurozone leaders' hesitancy and dilatoriness, he said: "The scenario so far is that Europe's leaders have been behind the curve. We believe this could be very serious."

His comments came amidst evidence that the 17 eurozone countries are even wider apart on the measures required to staunch the exit of global investors and prevent a credit crunch on an even worse scale than in 2008-09.

Another summit?

Padoan also made plain that the OECD's depressed economic forecasts could be downgraded even further if one or more countries default on their sovereign debt and EU leaders fail to agree on solutions to the crisis at their summit on December 8-9.

Padoan said political leaders needed to ensure "smooth financing at reasonable interest rates for sovereigns" in order to block contagion. "This calls for rapid, credible and substantial increases in the capacity of the EFSF together with, or including, greater use of the ECB balance sheet.

"Such forceful policy action, complemented by appropriate governance reform to offset moral hazard, could result in a significant boost to growth in the euro area and the global economy."

In other words, brace for big changes in store for the EU.

Beware of falling masonry

Now an even bigger calamity is looking likelier. The intensifying financial pressure raises the chances of a disorderly default by a government, a run of retail deposits on banks short of cash, or a revolt against austerity that would mark the start of the break-up of the euro zone.

The prospect that one country might break its ties to the euro, voluntarily or not, would cause widespread bank runs in other weak economies. Depositors would rush to get their savings out of the country to pre-empt a forced conversion to a new, weaker currency. Governments would have to impose limits on bank withdrawals or close banks temporarily. Capital controls and even travel restrictions would be needed to stanch the bleeding of money from the economy. Such restrictions would slow the circulation of money around the economy, deepening the recession.

After a long article, we finally get to the key information:

But any lasting stability for the euro must lie with governments, particularly in the degree to which they are willing to give up fiscal sovereignty in return for pooling liabilities.

Germany stands firmly at one extreme of this debate. Its chancellor, Angela Merkel, wants big changes to force probity (and wants the EU summit on December 9th to focus on such rule changes),

Another new proposal is intriguing—thanks, in part, to its provenance. Germany’s Council of Economic Experts recently proposed a “European Redemption Pact”. This scheme would place the debt, in excess of 60% of GDP, of all euro-zone governments not already in IMF rescue plans into a jointly guaranteed fund that would be paid off over 25 years.

At its peak, the redemption pact would be huge: the joint liability would amount to €2.3 trillion. But it would technically be temporary. For all these safeguards, Germany’s government has so far poured cold water on the idea. But time is running out. And the scale of the impending catastrophe demands radical answers.

Eurozone Exits 'May Spark Global Depression'

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has warned that an exit out of the eurozone by some countries could cause "wealth destruction" and a global "deep depression".

OECD chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan warned rather cryptically that the international organisation’s latest economic forecasts did not take into account the possibility of a "large negative event".

"If everything came to a head, with governments and banking systems under extreme pressure in some or all of the vulnerable countries, the political fall-out would be dramatic and pressures for euro area exit could be intense.

"The establishment and likely large exchange rate changes of the new national currencies could imply large losses for debt and asset holders, including banks that could become insolvent.

"Such turbulence in Europe, with the massive wealth destruction, bankruptcies and a collapse in confidence in European integration and cooperation, would most likely result in a deep depression in both the exiting and remaining euro area countries as well as in the world economy.

As far as I know, this is the first time a major public sector organisation has mapped out the possible consequences of a euro break-up (though a couple of investment bank economists have had a go).

A Continent Stares Into The Abyss

In the middle of its biggest crisis, Europe is hopelessly divided. One summit follows the next, and they all end with conciliatory statements and avowals, but not with any shared plan for how to save the euro.

The situation could hardly be any more dramatic. The European monetary union threatens to implode unless something happens soon.

The moment of truth is approaching, now that the end game for the euro has begun. But what will happen now? In the coming weeks, but particularly in the first quarter of 2012, the ailing European countries will have to raise massive amounts of money.

The previous bailout attempts have been worthless, they say, noting that Europe must finally reach for the only weapon whose firepower is endless, the European Central Bank. The ECB must finance the debtor nations, even if its own constitution bars it from doing so. The central bank has enough money, and it can also print money if necessary.

Most European leaders share this realization by now -- all except Merkel. She remains resistant, concerned about the central bank's independence and monetary stability. She is also staunchly opposed to all attempts to pool the debts of euro nations through jointly issued debt known as euro bonds.

Merkel is also concerned that the debt-stricken nations would immediately revert to their old bad habits if they felt that their rescue was certain. For this reason, the Germans only want to approve aid in return for strict conditions.

Now we get to the "big crisis = big change" part:

The instruments and programs with which Merkel and her counterparts have sought to control the crisis have proved to be too timid.

The meager successes of the euro rescuers to date have fueled calls for the use of what is perceived as a stronger weapon: the ECB's so-called "big bazooka." Until now, the Germans, in particular, have refused to deploy the central bank's ultimate instrument of deterrent, but the pressure is mounting.

However, this scenario presents a big conflict with the EU's treaties:

The ECB's interventions are still somewhat justifiable, because they are limited in scope and in time. However, if the central bank were to open all the floodgates, as some are demanding, its actions would hardly be compatible with the European treaties.

They expressly prohibit the ECB from financing the countries of the euro zone with the money presses. The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union states that the central bank may not "purchase (debt instruments) directly."

There are many who see this further breach of the European treaties as the lesser evil. They argue that Europe is in an extraordinary state of emergency, because if nothing is done the monetary union will collapse, plunging Europe into crisis.

The Germans also want an amendment to the EU treaties -- not to introduce euro bonds, but to make them unnecessary.

Berlin proposes amending the Lisbon Treaty in such a way that budget offenders could be stopped in time. This is intended to harmonize budgetary policies in the euro countries over time.

European Council President Van Rompuy is expected to submit proposals by the next Council summit on Dec. 9. However, ideas about these proposals diverge widely between Berlin and other capitals.

And this

There is growing skepticism in the financial markets over whether the euro can even be saved in the end. Last week, Britain's Financial Services Authority already called upon British banks to prepare themselves for the end of the monetary union.

The bottom line?

Something big must happen in the EU, and it must happen relatively soon.

Satellite Images Show Iranian Missile Base Destroyed

It looks like the damage inflicted two weeks ago on the Iranian nuclear facility was much more extensive that originally thought:

Iranian Missile Base Destroyed

A Washington-based research group has released satellite images showing extensive damage to an Iranian nuclear site two weeks after a mysterious explosion destroyed the facility.

The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), which specializes in the study of nuclear weapons programs, released images of the compound following the November 12 explosion near the city of Malard.

The photographs clearly reveal that most of the buildings have been completely destroyed. Of course, some of the destruction may have resulted from subsequent controlled demolition of buildings and removal of debris, but because about the same number of trucks are visible in the image after the blast as in an image prior to the blast, it is likely that most of the damage resulted from the explosion.

Meanwhile, Iranian authorities have characterized the incident as an “accident,” involving the transport of ammunition. Continued use of this explanation, however, forces Iran into a predicament, given the increased number of recent industrial incidents the nation has suffered.

In particular, Iran likely does not want to appear vulnerable at a time when Israeli leaders have been debating military intervention over Iran’s controversial nuclear program. But accident or not, the ISIS Photos leave no doubt that the facility has been effectively destroyed.

Brannan also added that ISIS had recently learned from “knowledgeable officials” that the blast occurred just as Iran had achieved a “milestone” in the development of a new missile, and may have been performing a “volatile procedure involving a missile engine at the site.”

Suspicions that covert actions may be responsible for this and other explosions continue to mount despite official denials by the Iranian regime.

This is interesting for several reasons - first and foremost is the fact that it is becoming more and more obvious that this was no accident. Secondly, it may reveal new Israeli methods for the near-term future, as we have now had a second such explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility. Third, it is interesting to observe Iran's reaction and denials that this was an 'outside' attack.

The questions now become - will these attacks continue, and if they do, how will Iran respond?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Updates From The Epicenter:

A few interesting stories were generated today:

Time for another mysterious explosion near a key Iranian military facility

Less than two weeks after a mysterious explosion destroyed an Iranian missile base near Tehran, the Islamic Republic’s official news agency Fars reported Tuesday that a loud blast was heard in the city of Isfahan at 2:40 pm local time, but later removed the report…

Iran’s uranium conversion plant is located just outside Isfahan – one of the country’s largest cities…

In a curious turn of events, shortly after the initial report was published, the item was removed from the [Fars] news agency’s website, which is affiliated with the country’s Revolutionary Guard.

Hours later, conflicting reports began to surface, the deputy governor of Isfahan province telling Iran’s Mehr news agency that there was no report of a major explosion in the province.

Isfahan’s deputy mayor confirmed to Fars that the city had been rocked by a huge explosion. Then, after that report was quickly blacked out, he turned around and told Mehr it was all a big fat lie.

So what happened? Mossad infiltration? Undetectable CIA super-drone? The wickedly insidious hand of Stuxnet II at work? Iran’s already admitted that its computers have been infected, you know. Or was it some sort of fiendishly clever Iranian psy op designed to convince the west that it needn’t attack because Iran’s nuke program is already being sabotaged by some shadowy heroic outfit?

The smartest take I’ve seen on this is from our own J.E. Dyer, who argues that it’s none of the above:

[T]here are good reasons to doubt that the uranium conversion facility – the main operational component of the Iranian nuclear network in Esfahan – was being targeted.

I very much doubt the UCF was attacked, and it is very unlikely that it suffered an accidental explosion. (The UF6 stored there could not have caused a blast like the one reported.)…

One thing these sites have in common is that they store lots of fuel. A blast of the size reported, which was heard in several places throughout Esfahan and broke windows in some (unspecified) areas of it, was probably caused by a fuel depot explosion.

The speculation is that this explosion may have been done by Iranian dissidents.

So whodunnit? Dyer, citing Michael Ledeen, thinks it was local dissidents waging war against the Revolutionary Guard from within.

More interesting however - is the fact that this article also takes a look back at the explosion that occurred back on November 13, and gives some new information:

It is an assumption a Western intelligence source insists is correct: the Mossad — the Israeli agency charged with covert operations — did it. “Don’t believe the Iranians that it was an accident,” the official tells TIME, adding that other sabotage is being planned to impede the Iranian ability to develop and deliver a nuclear weapon. “There are more bullets in the magazine,” the official says.

The powerful blast or series of blasts — reports described an initial explosion followed by a much larger one — devastated a missile base in the gritty urban sprawl to the west of the Iranian capital. The base housed Shahab missiles, which, at their longest range, can reach Israel. Last week’s report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Iran had experimented with removing the conventional warhead on the Shahab-3 and replacing it with one that would hold a nuclear device. Iran says the explosion was an accident that came while troops were transferring ammunition out of the depot “toward the appropriate site.”

Eye Witnesses Claim 'Unusual' Movement Of Israeli Missiles

Multiple eyewitnesses reported seeing Israeli military trucks in recent days transport and station large missiles at the periphery of Jerusalem and in locations inside the West Bank.

The descriptions of the projectiles are consistent with the Jewish state’s mid-to-long range Jericho ballistic missiles.

The missile movement, if confirmed, would be considered unusual.

Earlier this month, the IDF did test fire a long-range ballistic missile, believed to be a Jericho III, at the country’s Palmachim Air & Space test center. Israel’s Ministry of Defense confirmed the test was successful, indicating the purpose of the launch was the testing of a new advanced propulsion system.

Jericho III’s are believed to be guided by radar and reportedly give Israel nuclear strike capabilities within the entire Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia and almost all parts of North America, as well as within large parts of South America and North Oceania.

Any missile placement could be related to the unstable situation in Syria, including fears of a future NATO military campaign there that could have ramifications for Israel, such as firing of missiles into the Jewish state by Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon.

And once again, we see the threats against Israel:

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned in an interview with a U.K. newspaper earlier this month that foreign intervention in Syria would cause an “earthquake” across the region and create another Afghanistan, while directly threatening the Jewish state.

Assad reportedly made similar comments in a meeting in early October with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Davutoglu.
He was quoted stating, “If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv.”

Assad also reportedly warned that “all these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the U.S. and European interests will be targeted simultaneously.”

This next story is possibly important because its been a long time since missiles have been launched into Israel from Lebanon:

2 Rockets from Lebanon lands in Galilee; None Hurt

At least two rockets fired from Lebanon landed inside of Israeli territory near Biranit and Netua in the Western Galilee, some 700 meters from the Lebanese border overnight Monday, a police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.

The Western Galilee was a target of Hezbollah rocket attacks during the 2006 Lebanon War, but the front has been largely quiet for the past several years.

An explosion was also heard in the Ma'alot area in the Western Galilee. Police were searching the area with the help of the IDF for signs of an additional projectile falling.

Army Radio reported that the projectile which landed in Biranit was a Katyusha rocket.

Monday Headlines

The next two weeks should be pivotal for the EU and it will be very interesting to watch.

Germany, France examine radical push for eurozone integration

Germany and France are exploring radical methods of securing deeper and more rapid fiscal integration among euro zone countries, aware that getting broad backing for the necessary treaty changes may not be possible, officials say.

Germany's original plan was to try to secure agreement among all 27 EU countries for a limited treaty change by the end of 2012, making it possible to impose much tighter budget controls over the 17 euro zone countries -- a way of shoring up the region's defences against the debt crisis.

But in meetings with EU leaders in recent weeks, it has become clear to both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy that it may not be possible to get all 27 countries on board, EU sources say.

Even if that were possible, it could take a year or more to secure the changes while market attacks on Italy, Spain and now France suggest bold measures are needed within weeks.

As a result, senior French and German civil servants have been exploring other ways of achieving the goal, one being an agreement among just the euro zone countries.

"The goal is for the member states of the common currency to create their own Stability Union and to concentrate on that," German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told ARD television on Sunday.

Another option being explored is a separate agreement outside the EU treaty that could involve a core of around 8-10 euro zone countries, officials say.

Big Crisis = Big Change

"The options are being actively discussed as we speak and things are moving very, very quickly," a European Commission official briefed on the discussions told Reuters.

One source said the aim was to have the outline of an agreement set out before December 9, when EU leaders will meet for their final summit of the year in Brussels.

A senior German government official denied there were any secret Franco-German negotiations, but emphasised that both countries saw the need for treaty change as pressing and were exploring how to achieve that in the best way possible.

While EU officials are clear about the determination of France and Germany to push for more rapid euro zone integration, some caution that the idea of doing so with fewer than 17 countries via a sideline agreement may be more about applying pressure on the remainder to act.

By threatening that some countries could be left behind if they don't sign up to deeper integration, it may be impossible for a country to say no, fearing that doing so could leave it even more exposed to market pressures.

Germany, France plan quick new Stability Pact

Echoing a Reuters report on Friday from Brussels, the Sunday newspaper said the French and German leaders were prepared to back a deal with other euro countries that might induce the ECB to intervene more forcefully to calm the euro debt crisis.

The newspaper report quoted German government sources as saying that the crisis fighting plan could possibly be announced by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in the coming week.

Again, Big Crisis = Big Change

The European Commission, the EU executive arm, put forward proposals on Wednesday to grant it intrusive powers of approval of euro zone budgets before they are submitted to national parliaments, which, if approved, would effectively mean ceding some national sovereignty over budgets.

Berlin, meanwhile, is pushing to change the European Union treaty so that a country could be sued for breach of EU budget rules in the European Court of Justice.

Le Figaro said there was resistance within Sarkozy's government to allowing France's budgets to be submitted for scrutiny by an "intergovernmental conference" in Brussels, but the president would seek to rally support for this.

A closer fiscal union could eventually pave the way for joint debt issuance for the euro zone, where countries would be liable for each others' debts.

Egyptians queue to vote in first post-Mubarak election

Egyptians queued up to vote on Monday in the first big test of a transition born in popular revolutionary euphoria that soured into distrust of the generals who replaced their master, Hosni Mubarak.

In the nine months since a revolt ended the ex-president's 30-year rule, political change in Egypt has faltered, with the military apparently more focused on preserving its power and privilege than on fostering any democratic transformation.

The first phase of voting on Monday and Tuesday includes Cairo and Alexandria. The staggered voting system means the election to the lower house will not be completed till Jan. 11. Voters pick a mixture of party lists and individual candidates.

Ganzouri said on Sunday that any parliamentary majority that emerged from the elections may move to install a new government.

Egypt: military leadership and Muslim Brotherhood join forces

A popular challenge against Egypt’s generals faltered on Sunday night as the military leadership and the Muslim Brotherhood joined forces to dismiss pro-democracy protesters as the tools of a foreign conspiracy to weaken the country.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which has vacillated between sympathising with the protesters and siding with the military, now looks poised to emerge as the largest party in parliament when the convoluted election season finally ends in three months time.

After decades of repression, in which thousands of their members were imprisoned and tortured, it represents a stunning reversal of fortune. But the prospect of their rise to power has terrified many in Egypt. Christian Copts, who make up eight per cent of the population, fear that recent attacks on their number by both the Islamists and the armed forces will become the norm. Some say they are preparing to leave the country.

Secular, moderate Egyptians share those fears. But on Sunday, the Brotherhood’s leader, Mohammed Badie, joined the military in dismissing the protesters in Tahrir Square as agents of the West.

"US Democracy" Set to Elect Second Mideast Terrorist Party

For the second time in six years, the United States has urged Mideast elections, and for the second time, a terrorist party is likely to win.

Voting for a new parliament in Egypt began Monday, and the Muslim Brotherhood is expected to win a least a plurality if not an absolute majority.

Unlike Hamas, the United States has not designated the Brotherhood as an illegal terrorist group, but its closeness to Hamas is revealed by the fact the Brotherhood was the organization that created Hamas.

The Brotherhood and Hamas also share the same careful long-term planning for power through ”democracy” that rests behind their short-term tactics of threats of terror to take power. “This campaign for us has been 80 years long," a volunteer from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood told the British Guardian.

The Brotherhood’s motto since it was founded 83 years ago is "Islam is the solution” and that the Koran and the Prophet Mohammad are "the sole reference point for the life of the Muslim family, individual, community, and state."

The prospect of Sharia law in Egypt – and certain change for the worse in relations with Israel – will be welcomed by Hamas in Gaza.

Hamas spokesman Taher al-Nunu has said, "We have the same ethics as the Muslim Brotherhood; the principles are the same."

'Iran prepping al-Qaida for large-scale attacks'

In response to any future Israeli military strike on its nuclear sites, Iran has been training al-Qaida elements in the Egyptian Sinai desert on how to coordinate retaliatory attacks, a senior Egyptian security official told WND.

The Egyptian official said there is also information Iran has been working with Islamic Salafist groups in Jordan that are allied with al-Qaida.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards helped to train al-Qaida elements in the Sinai and Gaza Strip to carry out large-scale attacks, including missile attacks, cross-border incursions, suicide bombings and explosions targeting infrastructure, such as oil and gas pipelines, the official said.

Any Iranian cooperation with al-Qaida would underscore the dangers of Tehran obtaining nuclear weapons. The country has a history of using terrorist proxies, most notably Hezbollah in Lebanon, to carry out its bidding.

Iran says 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said that Iran has up to 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel, according to the semi-official Iranian FARS news agency.

According to the report, Vahidi questioned threats against the Islamic Republic from the Jewish State, asking "How many missiles have they prepared themselves for? 10,000? 20,000? 50,000? 100,000, 150,000 or more?"

The Iranian defense minister also warned against an offensive by the United States, saying it would meet a hard defensive line were it to attack Iran.

"The US and its allies should know that Iran is so powerful that its battling will teach the US how to fight and what war and warrior mean," Vahidi told a crowd of 50,000 volunteer soldiers in Bushehr, a city where one of the country's nuclear power plants is located.

Arab sanctions find Syria's 7 neighbors on alert

Twenty-four hours before the Arab League Sunday, Nov. 27, clamped down sanctions on the Assad regime, the first ever against a member state, the armies of Syria's seven neighbors were already scrambling into position on standby on its borders for acts of retaliation.

Military suspense mounted after the Arab League vote to cut off transactions with Syria's central bank, withdraw Arab funding from projects and other painful sanctions over Bashar Assad's refusal to halt his crackdown on protest.

Israeli armored brigades pushed forward up to the Lebanese and Syrian borders; Ankara placed three armored brigades, its air force and navy in astate of preparedness, likewise Hizballah and the Lebanese and Jordanian armed forces, while the US and Russia are in the midst of a naval buildup opposite Syrian shores.

Ahead of the Arab League vote, Qatar and Turkey were reported to be airlifting "volunteers" from Libya to fight alongside the rebel Free Syrian Army, some also transporting weapons, whereas Russia has begun another airlift to deliver top-notch missiles for Assad's forces.

Bashar Assad cannot afford to avoid retaliating. If he does, it will be an admission that the backbone of his armed forces is falling apart and out of control.
Since there is no knowing what form his revenge will take, Israel, Jordan and most likely Turkey too were braced Friday for trouble.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In the news:

Remember, we have been told repeatedly by the MSM that the Muslim Brotherhood is a moderate group:

Muslim Brotherhood Holds 'Kill the Jews' Rally on election Eve

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which expects to win at least a plurality in Monday’s legislative elections, held a “kill the Jews” rally in Cairo Friday.

Thousands of supporters attended the pre-election rally at a mosque on the Muslim Sabbath, promising to “one day kill all the Jews” and wage war against Jerusalem’s “Judaization.”

Smelling victory, the Brotherhood is suddenly promoting itself as a party that favors non-violence rights for women, but it boasts its hatred of Jews and Israel.

Although the Muslim Brotherhood party is widely hated by liberals, its image of a defender of Egyptians is likely to catapult it into the dominant political force in Egypt this week.

"The Muslim Brothers really screwed this revolution. They've done everything possible to monopolize and hijack the revolution," said Democratic Front Party member Wael Nawara, quoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune.

"The Muslim Brotherhood (is) very opportunistic. They don't care about the Egyptian blood. ... They only care about taking power," said Azza Kamal, a political activist.

Egypt's Pre-Election Terror: 8th Attack on Gas to Israel

Masked terrorists attacked the Sinai-Israeli gas pipeline on Friday shortly after Egyptian intelligence officials warned of pre-election terror.

Egyptian sources said there are approximately 2,500 terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula, which has become more lawless since the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year.

A large-scale terrorist attacks or counterterrorist operation could seriously affect Monday’s elections to the parliament, where the radical Muslim Brotherhood expects to win large support and possibly a plurality.

Israel ready for war with Hezbollah as if it will happen in a week: Israeli official

Israel is elevating its state of readiness on its northern front in light of reports that events in Syria will have major repercussions on the Jewish State, Thursday’s Al-Hayat reported.

Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, in recent televised speech, warned that any attack against allies Syria or Iran would engulf the entire region, hinting at the possibility of opening Lebanon’s southern front against the Jewish state.

“Hezbollah has become a dangerous organization and should not be ignored and we [should not] overlook the truth that it is strengthening its missile arsenal,” the Israeli minister said, adding that the party was developing a military system with modern missiles and enhancing its military capabilities.

The most ominous news today actually comes from within the U.S.:

Congress to Vote Next Week on EXPLICITLY creating a Police State

The ACLU’s Washington legislative office explains:

The Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world.

The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself. The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday.

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

This latest move actually represents part of an ongoing effort:

While this is shocking, it is not occurring in a vacuum. Indeed, it is part of a 30 year-long process of militarization inside our borders and a destruction of the American concepts of limited government and separation of powers.

As I pointed out in May:

The ACLU noted yesterday [that] Congress is proposing handing permanent, world-wide war-making powers to the president – including the ability to make war within the United States:

As I noted in 2008:

An article in the Army Times reveals that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team will be redeployed from Iraq to domestic operations within the United States.

The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command.

The soldiers are learning to use so-called “nonlethal weapons” designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

This violates posse comitatus and the Constitution. But, hey, we’re in a “national emergency”, so who cares, right?

(We’re still in a declared state of national emergency).

I noted a couple of months later:

Everyone knows that deploying 20,000 troops on U.S. soil violates Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.

And everyone understands that staging troops within the U.S. to “help out with civil unrest and crowd control” increases the danger of overt martial law.

But no one is asking an obvious question: Does the government’s own excuse for deploying the troops make any sense?

Read the rest of the article - it is quite sobering and disturbing. More below:

Senate Moves To Allow Military To Intern Americans Without Trial

The Senate is set to vote on a bill next week that would define the whole of the United States as a “battlefield” and allow the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens in their own back yard without charge or trial.

Under the ‘worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial’ provision of S.1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which is set to be up for a vote on the Senate floor Monday, the legislation will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who supports the bill.

The bill was drafted in secret by Senators Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.), before being passed in a closed-door committee meeting without any kind of hearing. The language appears in sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA bill.

“I would also point out that these provisions raise serious questions as to who we are as a society and what our Constitution seeks to protect,” Colorado Senator Mark Udall said in a speech last week.

One section of these provisions, section 1031, would be interpreted as allowing the military to capture and indefinitely detain American citizens on U.S. soil.

Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the U.S. military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil. That alone should alarm my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but there are other problems with these provisions that must be resolved.”

This means Americans could be declared domestic terrorists and thrown in a military brig with no recourse whatsoever.

Given that the Department of Homeland Security has characterized behavior such as buying gold, owning guns, using a watch or binoculars, donating to charity, using the telephone or email to find information, using cash, and all manner of mundane behaviors as potential indicators of domestic terrorism, such a provision would be wide open to abuse.

We have been warning for over a decade that Americans would become the target of laws supposedly aimed at terrorists and enemy combatants. Alex Jones personally documented how U.S. troops were being trained to arrest U.S. citizens in the event of martial law during urban warfare training drills back in the 90′s.

Under the the National Defense Authorization Act bill, no declaration of martial law is necessary since Americans would now be subject to the same treatment as suspected insurgents in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.

Similarly, we continue to see similar draconian maneuvers by leadership in the EU:

"Bold" Step on Fiscal Union to Stem Turmoil

European Central Bank Executive Board member Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo urged euro-area politicians to take bold steps toward fiscal union to end the debt crisis

And what would such "bold steps" involve?

“It is now a time for politicians to be bold and courageous” and “complete as soon as possible the great project begun 60 years ago towards ever closer union,” he said.

‘Transfer of Sovereignty’

Gonzalez-Paramo said there is a need for “more economic and financial integration for the euro area, with a significant transfer of sovereignty to the EMU level over fiscal, structural and financial policies.”

Germany and France said yesterday they will make proposals to amend European treaties in coming days to impose greater fiscal discipline on euro-area countries as they struggle to win back investor confidence. French President Nicolas Sarkozy also agreed to stop pressuring the ECB to do more after resistance from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Indeed. With the Tribulation approaching, there will be no such thing as "national sovereignty" - which will become a relic of the past. We are currently witnessing a progressive loss in national sovereignty throughout the EU - after all, this is a time of "crisis" and during such times, "anything goes" because something must be done, right?

"Big Crisis" dictates "Big Change", right?

Just as we see the U.S. use national security issues as an excuse to destroy individual rights and individual sovereignty and freedom - in Europe we see the financial "crisis" function to serve the same movement - away from national sovereignty.

Exactly as we would expect with the Tribulation looming.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How Much Longer?

That title above summarizes how many of us feel on a daily basis, as we read the news.

Lets face it - the world hovers right on the brink, in so many different ways:

- The Middle East, which is just on the brink of completely blowing up (Egypt, Syria, Iran, Lebanon. Gaza, West Bank, Turkey, etc. - all on the brink)

- The EU, as we watch its transformation (ultimately into the "10 Kings") and financial crisis growing rapidly to the point of no return

- The world's economy and financial "system" which seems headed for collapse

- Threats to the physical world - via earthquakes, volcanos, supervolcanos, comets, radiation, sun spots - you name it

- Nuclear proliferation among terrorist states and groups

- The rise of radical Islam, particularly among the countries who are destined to attack Israel in biblically described battles

And on and on it goes. So many tipping points and all approaching the end game.

The question on the minds of prophecy watchers becomes "how much longer can these insurmountable problems continue before this world self-destructs"?

And -

"How much longer before a 'world-savior' shows up and appears to have tangible solutions to these problems?"

Of course, lurking just beneath these questions is the 'real' question, the most important question, which is "How much longer before God removes His Church, as promised?"

Today's news serves to underscore the above.

In this video, Nigel Farage points out some painful truths:

Nigel Farage: EU Dictatorship Dominated by Germany Replaces Elected Leaders

The EU on the brink:

Prepare for riots in euro collapse, Foreign Office warns

Greece has seen several outbreaks of civil disorder as its government struggles with its huge debts. British officials think similar scenes cannot be ruled out in other nations if the euro collapses.

Diplomats have also been told to prepare to help tens of thousands of British citizens in eurozone countries with the consequences of a financial collapse that would leave them unable to access bank accounts or even withdraw cash.

Analysts at UBS, an investment bank earlier this year warned that the most extreme consequences of a break-up include risks to basic property rights and the threat of civil disorder.

“When the unemployment consequences are factored in, it is virtually impossible to consider a break-up scenario without some serious social consequences,” UBS said.

Bankers Have Seized Europe: Goldman Sachs Has Taken Over

Who will rule the New Europe? Obviously, the private European banks and Goldman Sachs.

The new president of the European Central Bank is Mario Draghi.

This person was Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs International and a member of Goldman Sachs’ Management Committee.

Draghi was also Italian Executive Director of the World Bank, Governor of the Bank of Italy, a member of the governing council of the European Central Bank, a member of the board of directors of the Bank for International Settlements, and a member of the boards of governors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Asian Development Bank, and Chairman of the Financial Stability Board.

Obviously, Draghi is going to protect the power of bankers.

Just as an unelected banker was installed as prime minister of Italy, an unelected banker was installed as prime minister of Greece. Obviously, they are intended to produce the bankers’ solution to the sovereign debt crisis.

The European Union, just like everything else, is merely another scheme to concentrate wealth in a few hands at the expense of European citizens, who are destined, like Americans, to be the serfs of the 21st century.

Syria on the brink:

The "Free Syria Army": Placard-Waving Protesters are actually Machine Gun-Wielding Terrorists

The “Free Syria Army” is literally an army of militant extremists, many drawn not from Syria’s military ranks, but from the Muslim Brotherhood, carrying heavy weapons back and forth over the Turkish and Lebanese borders, funded, supported, and armed by the United States, Israel, and Turkey.

How predictable is this? Just like Egypt and Libya, we are watching yet another takeover of a Middle East nation by radical Islam; "coincidentally", also part of coalitions which will attack Israel in the near future. How interesting, no?

Just as in Libya where these so-called “peaceful protesters” turned out to be hordes of genocidal racist Al Qaeda mercenaries, led by big-oil representatives, fighting their cause upon a verified pack of lies, so too is Syria’s “pro-democracy” movement which is slowly being revealed as yet another militant brand of extremists

U.S. carrier strike force enters Syrian waters. Russian carrier en route

The Syrian crisis aassumed a big power dimension this week with the build-up of rival United States and Russia naval air carrier armadas in Syrian waters

By deploying 70 ship-borne fighter-bombers plus three heavy guided missile cruisers and five guided missile destroyers opposite Syria, Washington has laid down military support for any intervention the Arab League in conjunction with Turkey may decide on.

Bashar Assad can see for himself that Washington has hoisted a nuclear aerial umbrella to protect its allies, Israel, Turkey, and Jordan, against the retaliation his armed forces high command pledged Friday for the deaths of six Syrian air force elite pilots in an ambush Thursday.

For some time, Ankara has been weighing the creation of a protected haven for rebels and refugees inside Syria.

France has proposed slicing "humanitarian corridors" through Syria for them to flee safely from military tank and gunfire and secure supply of food, medicines and other essential supplies to the cities under army siege.

Both plans would depend on being safeguarded by substantial ground and air strength inside Syria which would certainly face fierce resistance from Assad's military.

We cannot forget Assad's threats against Israel if any "outside intervention" occurs with Syria:

The Arab League has scheduled weekend meetings to decide how to proceed after Damascus ignored its Friday deadline for accepting hundreds of monitors.

The Russian Kuznetzov carrier and its accompanying strike vessels will join the three Russian warships parked opposite Tartus for more than a week. It will enter the same Syrian offshore waters as the USS Bush and the US Sixth Fleet, which is permanently posted in the Mediterranean.

A region on the brink:

The Syrian crisis is therefore building up to a superpower face-off unparalleled since the Cold War between America and the Soviet Union ended in the nineties, DEBKAfile's military sources note.

While Washington clearly stands ready to back operations against the Assad regime, Moscow is drawing a red line around his presidential palace in Damascus. The Kremlin is warning the US, NATO and the Arab League that they will not be allowed to repeat their feat in Libya of overthrowing Muammar Qaddafi against Assad.

And more importantly, we see this:

In the face of this escalating big power standoff and the high possibility of the Syrian ruler deciding to lash out against his country's neighbors, the Israeli, Jordanian and Turkey armies have declared a high state of war preparedness.

Iran on the brink:

'Tehran will retaliate against Israeli strike'

Iranian military official tells ISNA Islamic Republic has capability to attack Israeli nuclear facilities in case of strike, says Tehran's enemies' threats are empty.

Iranian military official Yadollah Javani warned on Saturday that Tehran would retaliate against an Israeli strike by attacking Jerusalem's nuclear facilities.

In an interview with the ISNA news agency, Javani said that Iran does possess the capability to target Israel's nuclear centers.

The report comes two days after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that relations were being expanded with some Arab countries, adding fuel to speculation that the countries in question were cooperating with Israel to combat Iran.

During a press conference with visiting Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc, Netanyahu said at the end of his brief welcoming remarks, “We welcome the fact that we have the ability to expand these newfound friendships – by the way, in the region, as we discussed with some of the countries, the Arab countries, but also outside the region by tightening the bonds [with Romania] that are natural for us.”

He did not elaborate on which newfound friendships he was referring to among the Arab countries.

Asked about this comment, one government official said that “because of the Iranian nuclear threat, we have had contacts recently with countries in the region who share our concern.”

Iran general threatens retaliation against Israel nuclear sites

An Iranian general on Saturday threatened retaliation against Israel if any of its nuclear or security sites are attacked.

"If Israeli missiles hit one of our nuclear facilities or other vital centers, then they should know that any part of Israeli territory would be target of our missiles, including their nuclear sites," General Yadollah Javani of the Revolutionary Guards told ISNA news agency.

Iranian political and military officials have warned Israel that it would face retaliation from Shahab-3 missiles that can reach any part of Israel.

Iranian volunteers affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards have held several gatherings in recent days and vowed a harsh reply to any military attacks on nuclear sites.

And lets not forget pestilences:

Man-made super-flu could kill half of humanity

A virus with the potential to kill up to half the world’s population has been made in a lab. Now academics and bioterrorism experts are arguing over whether to publish the recipe, and whether the research should have been done in the first place.

The virus is an H5N1 bird flu strain which was genetically altered to become much more contagious. It was created by Ron Fouchier of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, who first presented his work to the public at an influenza conference in Malta in September.

Researchers in Fouchier’s team used ferrets – test animals which closely mimic the human response to influenza – and transmitted H5N1 from one to another to make it more adaptable to new hosts. After 10 generations, the virus had mutated to become airborne, which means ferrets became ill from merely being near other diseased animals.

A genetic study showed that the new, dangerous strain had only five mutations compared to the original one, and all of them were earlier seen in the natural environment – just not all at once. Fouchier’s strain is as contagious as the human seasonal flu, which kills tens of thousands of people each year, but is likely to cause many more fatalities if released.

"I can't think of another pathogenic organism that is as scary as this one," Paul Keim, a microbial geneticist who has worked on anthrax for many years, told Science Insider. "I don't think anthrax is scary at all compared to this."

Many academics and biosecurity experts are naturally cautious about releasing information which could provide any bioterrorist with a ready recipe to hold the world to ransom. Some argue that such work should never have been done in the first place and call for international monitoring of potentially harmful research.

"It's just a bad idea for scientists to turn a lethal virus into a lethal and highly contagious virus. And it's a second bad idea for them to publish how they did it so others can copy it," believes Dr. Thomas Inglesby, a bioterrorism expert and director of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

The world is undeniably hovering just on the brink. When the "restrainer' is removed, things are going to get very interesting.

One cannot view the daily news without the thought "when will a leader emerge - a leader who can lead the world out of this mess?"

After all, it is a big world - one would think that someone would emerge who would seemingly offer solutions to the world's problems.

Such a leader will emerge.

Biblical prophecy informs us of this fact. The antichrist is alive and well at this very moment, and he must know that his time has nearly arrived. But first, we know that the Church will be removed prior to his rise to power. However, with the world on the brink of collapse, his time is short.

And if that is so (as it appears to be) - then the time left on this earth for Christ's bride, aka "The Church" is also becoming very short.

These dots are easy to connect. The wrath is approaching rapidly, and we have been informed that we will not be part of this approaching scenario. All we have to do is read the prophetic scriptures:

Our orders:

" wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead - Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath" (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

Our promise:

"Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world..." (Revelation 3:10)

God's plan:

"For God did not appoint us to suffer this wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

Simply put - we won't be here for this rapidly approaching wrath - aka, the Tribulation. This wrath is unequivocally approaching very rapidly.

That can only lead to one conclusion: Jesus will come for His bride very soon. Period. These dots are easy to connect.

The very last words in the Bible summarize our feelings:

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.'

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people.


Friday, November 25, 2011

In the news:

Thousands rally in Egypt on 'last chance friday'

Tens of thousands of Egyptians demanding an end to military rule converged on Cairo's Tahrir square on Friday in what activists say will be the biggest day yet in a week of demonstrations in which 41 people have been killed.

The military men who took over after people power toppled deposed president Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11 are themselves under fire from protesters who accuse them of clinging to power, leading to street battles that look like a replay of February's unrest.

The military rulers say they are working on a transition of power, including parliamentary elections set for Monday, which could be overshadowed if violence continues. Some protesters say the army cannot be trusted to hold a clean vote.

Activists sought to bring a million people into the streets of Cairo on what they dubbed "the Friday of the last chance".

Thousands flooded into Tahrir Square for prayers, where Sheikh Mazhar Shahin told worshipers the protest would go on until Egypt had a new salvation government.

Thousands of Egyptians flock to Tahrir Square for largest anti-military protest

Tens of thousands of Egyptians flocked to Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, to prepare for the biggest day of protests in a week of violence in which at least 41 people were killed.

Those protesting the ruling military council's decision to hold parliamentary elections next week without committing to transfer power to civilian authorities set up barricades at the entrance of Tahrir Square in order to block security forces out.

Egypt's military council and Muslim Brotherhood hijacked the revolution

In the past year developments in the Middle East have taught the experts (once known as "Orientalists" ) not to risk making predictions. Still, given the events in Egypt in the past week, it would be far more than a calculated gamble to claim that the Muslim Brotherhood is on the way to becoming the largest party in the Egyptian parliament.

The fact is that the military had a partner in stealing the revolution: the Muslim Brotherhood. This movement, founded in 1928, was persecuted until the fall of Mubarak. Now the military council is consulting and proceeding, almost arm in arm, with it.

The alternatives Israel will face, with regard to most of the countries in the region in the years ahead, range from those in which radical Islam of the relatively moderate variety rules - such as in Turkey, Tunisia and possibly Egypt - and those where anarchy or even more radical Islam hold sway, such as in Yemen, Libya and of course Syria, Lebanon and Iran.

Turkey says it won't tolerate Syria bloodshed

Turkey said on Friday it could tolerate no more bloodshed in Syria and it was ready to take action with Arab powers if President Bashar Assad failed to take steps towards ending the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

Non-Arab Turkey, Syria's largest trading partner and formerly a close friend, has strongly backed the stance taken by the Arab League towards Syria.

Turkey says ready to act with Arab League to stop Syria violence

Turkey is ready to act in unison with the Arab League if Syria fails to show good intentions to end an eight-month-old bloody crackdown, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently hardened his stance against Assad and suggested for the first time the possibility of foreign intervention in Syria.

Israeli security forces officials said Wednesday that they believe Turkey is nearing a military intervention in Syria, in order to create a secure buffer zone for opposition activists.

Hamas: Israeli threats won't stop unity gov't

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal responded to discontent in Jerusalem surrounding a united Palestinian government with Hamas and Fatah sharing power, saying Friday that threats from the Israeli government "do not scare us."

Mashaal was responding to a statement made by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday that Israel would not transfer tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority were it to form a unified government with Hamas.

At the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) criticized the Palestinian Authority for engaging Hamas, saying such moves disturbed any chance of jump-starting the defunct peace process.

Speaking to Army Radio, Shalom said that despite Israeli efforts to renew the diplomatic process with the Palestinian Authority, the political reconciliation between the historically rivaling Palestinian factions shows their disinterest in reconnecting with Jerusalem.

Former Mossad Head Yatom: Israel Can't Afford Not To Strike Iran

The Begin Sadat Center, a respected think tank based at Bar Ilan University, held a conference on November 23, 2011 on the subject of "Israeli Security in a New Regional Envornment", which focused on the so-called "Arab Spring" and its implicatons. Its experts concluded that the Arab Spring is not going to result in democracy, despite original hopes in the West, and may make things even worse for Israel.

"As steep as the price for hitting Iran may be, a military strike on Iran will be less painful than the cost of living with an Iranian nuclear weapons threat," argues former Mossad head Maj. Gen. (res.) Danny Yatom.

"The backlash from a strike on Iran's nuclear sites will not be as bad for Israel as will an Iran armed with nuclear weapons," he says. "I don't think that those predicting apocalyptic repercussions of a strike on Tehran are correct, and even if they are, Israel can't afford to wonder if Tehran will go crazy and bomb us."

It is impossible to stake the nation's security on predictions by those who claim a nuclear Iran can be deterred and that the Iranian regime would not launch a nuclear attack, Yatom added.

The following comments hold particular interest for a prophecy watcher:

He acknowledged that rocket attacks would likely ensue from Lebanon and Gaza following a Western or Israeli strike against Iran, but added that Israel's response would be "so painful and crushing that rockets will come to an end.

Civilian facilities and infrastructure in Lebanon and Gaza will have to be hit. Innocent civilians could be hurt. But we will have to deliver a crushing blow so that the barrage of rockets against us will not continue."

The world does not have much time left to act on Iran, the former Mossad head warned, adding that "there is an evaluation that they have crossed the red line. They have the knowledge to make the bomb. All that is needed now is the decision to do it.... The world has a year in which to halt the Iranian nuclear weapons program, probably less."

Miami-protest spokesman led "Nuke Israel" rally

The recent executive director of the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations' South Florida chapter is a founder and spokesman of Occupy Miami, WND has learned.

Mohammad Malik currently is as an activist with several other Islamic groups.

He has led hate-filled anti-Israel protests in which participants were filmed wearing Hamas paraphernalia while chanting "Nuke Israel" and "Go back to the oven" – a reference to Jews being killed in the Holocaust.

Malik has been widely quoted in the Florida news media in recent weeks speaking for Occupy Miami.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Russia Arming Syria Against Possible Attack

Some of these articles below come with the usual caveats regarding websites. As stated before, these days we have to be very discerning, but I prefer to cast a wide net for the news, particularly now, as no news sites are categorically "ok" or categorically "not ok". Almost all (if not all) news sites have an agenda. The key seems to be understanding that agenda and using such information as an appropriate filter; otherwise, one would be faced with categorically ignoring all news, and obviously that doesn't make sense. We are living in an era in which the truth is elusive and we have to use our discernment and common sense to sift through the news - regardless of the source.

The articles below are well references and highly consistent with what is being reported in other news agencies and consistent with trends that have been observed in the Middle East recently, so here it goes:

Russia Arms Syria With Missiles To defend Against NATO Attack

We now know what those six Russian warships that reportedly entered Syrian territorial waters last week were carrying. Aside from representing a show of strength to discourage NATO powers from launching a military attack, on board were Russian technical experts ready to help Damascus set up a sophisticated missile defense system sold to them by Moscow.

“Russian warships that have reached waters off Syria in recent days were carrying, among other things, Russian technical advisors who will help the Syrians set up an array of S-300 missiles Damascus has received in recent weeks

Moscow sees a Western attack on Syria as a “red line” that it will not tolerate,” reports Arutz Sheva.

The S-300 missiles, which according to the report will be used to “deflect a possible attack by NATO or the U.S. and EU,” are long range surface-to-air missiles developed by Russia in 1979 for the purpose of protecting large industrial and military bases from enemy attack aircraft and cruise missiles.

The system is widely regarded as one of the most powerful anti-aircraft arrays in modern warfare

More interesting information below:

Arming Syria with such a proficient means of aerial defense would obviously not bode well for any prospective “no fly zone” being planned by western powers. Reports have been circulating this week that fighter jets from Turkey and other Arab states would soon enter Syrian airspace under “humanitarian” pretenses with logistical aid from the United States.

The prospect of air strikes being launched under a “humanitarian” banner are seen as increasingly likely given the fact that the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush has been moved to the Syrian coast in recent days having left its traditional theater of operations just off the Straits of Hormuz.

Report: Russia Sent Syria Super-Advanced S-300 Missiles

Despite the mounting opposition in the West and even in the Arab world against Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad for his assaults on protesters seeking to unseat him as leader of the country, Russia maintains its support for Assad, the report said. Russian and Syria military officials are working together to maintain Assad's rule, and to deflect a possible attack by NATO or the U.S and EU.

Along with the missiles, the report says that Russia has installed advanced radar systems in all key Syrian military and industrial installations.

The radar system also covers areas north and south of Syria, where it will be able to detect movement of troops or aircraft towards the Syrian border. The radar targets include much of Israel, as well as the Incirlik military base in Turkey, which is used by NATO.

Also see:

Public Relations Campaign for Military Intervention in Syria Begins

The support for Syria coming from Russia shouldn't be surprising. Russia and Iran are already strongly aligned and the Syria-Iran connection has been established for years. In fact, many scholars believe that the first of the coming wars, the so-called "inner circle" (Isaiah 17) - consisting of Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, West Bank (palestinians), Egypt and possibly parts of Jordan will simply be proxies of Iran (with Russia lurking in the shadows). This scenario is becoming more and more crystalized by the day, and these news stories serve to bolster that view.