U.S. "Withdrawal" In Iraq Paves Way for U.S.-Israeli Strike on Iran
Nearly every option described within the Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution 2009 “Which Path to Persia?” report in regards to US-initiated regime change in Iran has been carried out to the letter. From proposals to fund and arm terrorist organizations like the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), to fomenting foreign-backed “color revolutions” in the streets of Tehran, to carrying out covert US-Israeli military operations within Iran itself, it is clear that the Brookings Institution either was writing the playbook on conquering Iran or was reading from it when compiling “Which Path to Persia?” The only remaining options left are airstrikes and invasion.
The report extensively details using Israel as a US-proxy in attacking Iran in an attempt to cripple its nuclear program as well as destroy much of its security apparatus while maintaining “plausible deniability” for the attack’s US architects. It is also hoped that the airstrikes incur a sufficient Iranian retaliation (or at least the opportunity to stage a false flag operation in Iran’s name) to allow Israel and the United States to carry out a more extensive follow-up military operation against the Islamic Republic.
The primary hurdle described throughout the report’s examination of using a “unilateral” Israeli strike, however, was a US-occupied Iraq and the complications an Israeli airstrike would cause passing through the nation’s airspace on its way to bombing Iran. However with the US’ recent rushed “exit” from Iraq, this complication is no longer an issue.
The US withdrawal from Iraq is being done in tandem with NATO operations to destabilize Syria and in turn disrupt Hezbollah’s capacity to retaliate against Israel in the event of a strike on Iran – a concern also duly noted within the Brookings report.
The End Game approaches.
Pope heads into busy Christmas season tired, weak
People who have spent time with him recently say they found him weaker than they'd ever seen him, seemingly too tired to engage with what they were saying. He no longer meets individually with visiting bishops. A few weeks ago he started using a moving platform to spare him the long walk down St. Peter's Basilica.
Benedict turns 85 in the new year, so a slowdown is only natural.
But a decline has been noted as Benedict prepares for next weekend's grueling Christmas celebrations, which kick off two weeks of intense public appearances. And that raises questions about the future of the papacy given that Benedict himself has said popes should resign if they can't do the job.
Yet Benedict himself raised the possibility of resigning if he were simply too old or sick to continue on, when he was interviewed for the book "Light of the World," which was released in November 2010.
"If a pope clearly realizes that he is no longer physically, psychologically and spiritually capable of handling the duties of his office, then he has a right, and under some circumstances, also an obligation to resign," Benedict said.
The Rev. Joseph Fessio, Benedict's U.S. publisher and onetime student, sees the pope every so often, including during the summer when Benedict gathers his former theology students for an informal academic seminar at the papal summer retreat in Castel Gandolfo.
Fessio recalled a day in the 2010 edition that remains with him: "In the Saturday morning session, the pope looked older and weaker than I had ever seen him before. In fact I remarked to someone that it's the first time I've seen him look like the old man that he is. He was speaking in softer tones than even his normally soft speaking voice. His head was bowed. He was pale. He just looked frail."
Eurozone: Failing Statists Prescribe...More Statism
How predictable was this one?
Last week’s umpteenth deal to “save” the eurozone, the group of 17 European Union nations that use the single currency, paves the way for closer political integration between states; national budgets will henceforth be subject to scrutiny by eurozone officials, which rather undermines the whole idea of national politics and democratic elections. It provides a timely reminder that once you pass a certain point along the road to ever-bigger government it’s impossible to turn around, and the answer to every problem becomes more centralization, more bureaucracy, and less freedom.
Remember how Daniel 2 informed us that the revived Roman Empire would be a mixture like "iron and clay"? A mixture that would be "not remain united"?
The creation of the eurozone locked together two utterly incompatible groups of countries: broadly speaking, the more-productive northern states, primarily Germany, along with The Netherlands, Finland, and others; and the less-productive southern states — Italy, Greece, Portugal, and Spain.
Indeed. Exactly as biblical prophecy dictated.
Europe has become the ultimate too big to fail enterprise, and therefore the solution to every new setback, every looming default, is closer integration — or in the words of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, “More Europe.” Long before Rahm Emanuel articulated the strategy, Europe’s elites were aware that every crisis presents an opportunity. The flaws in the eurozone are a feature, not a bug.
Over the years there have been many different drivers of the European project, with different motivations. The most consistently enthusiastic proponents have been technocrats and bureaucrats, and their disdain for democracy and enthusiasm for grand schemes has often chimed with the interests of progressive and leftist politicians.
And the following paragraph represents the most perplexing aspect of all:
The crisis engulfing Europe is the supreme indictment of the centralized, big government, welfare state model. And yet this is precisely the direction in which Barack Obama, should he win a second term, wants to take America (a bailout for California, anyone?). While looking to the U.S. as an approximate organizational model, the European elites would like their United States of Europe to have rather less democracy and accountability than currently prevails on the other side of the Atlantic. But if Obama gets his way, the U.S. of A. could in a few years be indistinguishable from the U.S. of E.
The following story has little to do with prophecy, but worth reflection:
Christopher Hitchens and the Meaning of Life
Christopher Hitchens, who was a well-known political iconoclast, provocateur, writer, commentator, and atheist, died on December 15. Death has a sting for us all, but that sting must be greatest for an atheist -- at least for a thinking atheist like Hitchens.
Leaving loved ones in death isn't a happy prospect for anyone, but it must be a truly forlorn prospect for an atheist, Hitchens not exempted. A critical difference between an atheist and a believer in God is the believer's conviction that physical death isn't the end of life; separation from our loved ones in death isn't forever -- or even for very long (when stacked up against eternity).
Hitchens, an apostle of atheism, spoke and wrote eloquently and persuasively -- as were his gifts -- about the nonexistence of God. Like other smart, articulate atheists (Richard Dawkins, in particular), Hitchens argued with confidence -- even gusto -- that belief in God is baloney.
For a thinking man like Hitchens, it must have been a dreadful prospect facing the obliteration of consciousness that comes with physical dissolution -- and, so, the dissolution of all ties -- to loved ones, to the sweet and good of life, to the poignant; even to the trials, hardships, and challenges, which shape us.
There must be a keen -- even bitter -- sense of futility that an atheist experiences as he approaches death.
Atheists' central argument is that there's no proof of God or the spiritual. If science can't prove God, then God is imagination's creation. Believers in God would counter that faith -- acceptance without proof -- is what God wants of us; believers are instructed to believe without seeing.
This article is worth reading. In closing:
No one is going to argue an atheist out of his atheism, certainly not someone as tough-minded and intellectually adroit as Christopher Hitchens. All we can do is bid Hitchens a fond farewell, and for those of us who are believers, pray he rest in peace.
Thankfully we have a merciful God who paved the way to salvation through Jesus' death and resurrection.
It's a gift - one that can be accepted or rejected.
It's that simple.