Russia warned the West on Tuesday against unilateral action on Syria, a day after U.S. President Barack Obama threatened "enormous consequences" if his Syrian counterpart used chemical or biological arms or even moved them in a menacing way.
An opposition group said Syria's air force had redeployed 30 Sukhoi fighter-bomber jets closer to cities where the army is battling to crush rebels in the north and east of the country.
The Soviet-era Sukhoi Su-22 planes, which can drop 400 kg (881 pound) bombs, flew from the Dumair and Sim air bases north and east of Damascus on Monday to bases in the city of Hama Tabaqa and Deir al-Zor, a senior official in the Higher Leadership Council for the Syrian Revolution said.Syria last month acknowledged for the first time that it had chemical or biological weapons and said it could use them if foreign countries attacked it.
An Israeli attack on Iran will lead to Israel's "annihilation," a senior Iranian official told the country's state-run TV station Press TV on Monday, ahead of the Non-Aligned Movement summit due to take place in Tehran later this month.The comment, by former head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Mohsen Rezaei, came after, last week, the head of the Revolutionary Guard's air force said that a possible Israeli airstrike against his country's nuclear facilities is "welcome" because it would give Iran a reason to retaliate and "get rid of" the Jewish state "forever."
"If the Zionists commit the folly and attack Iran, they will receive a crushing response from Islamic Republic's armed forces which will lead to their annihilation,” Rezaei told Press TV.
The senior Iranian official also added that what he called warmongering comments coming from Israeli officials were meant to overshadow the NAM conference due to take place in Tehran.
Israel’s new Home Defense Minister Avi Dichter laid it out in plain language: While Syria, Lebanon and Gaza confront Israel with a strategic threat, Iran imperils our very existence.”
Certain Western intelligence sources were reminded of a speech by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in 2006 when he quoted a Holocaust survivor as saying: “My main lesson from the Holocaust is that if someone tells you he is going to exterminate you, believe him. And I add to that. Believe him and stop him!”Six years later, those sources now suggest, after America’s top soldier Gen. Martin Dempsey offered the opinion that Israel can no longer destroy Iran’s nuclear weapon capacity – only delay it , that Netanyahu may be willing to go further: Not only to stop them, but kill them.
They are quietly using the term “decapitation.”
European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday slammed Israel for plans to expand Jerusalem’s Har Homa neighborhood, which is located beyond the Green Line. Ashton’s remarks follow a letter Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman had sent her on Monday, in which he argued against the often-made assertion that the settlements are an obstacle to peace.Liberman, who met with Ashton last month in Brussels for a meeting of the Israel-EU Association Council, had sent her a four-page letter blaming the Palestinian Authority for the current stalemate and demanding the ouster of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.Inthe letter, dated August 20 and first published Wednesday by Haaretz, the foreign minister also argues against the notion that the Israeli settlements beyond the Green Line impede the peace process.
Christians in Egypt and Nigeria continue to suffer at the hands of Islamists. In Egypt, Muslim mobs are rampaging through Coptic villages, while, in Nigeria, the radical Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, continues to blow up churches and slaughter Christians in their homes.
While the looting, bombing, burning, and killing continues to terrify millions of Christians in Egypt and Nigeria, the bloodshed has attracted little attention around the world. In Washington, D.C., both the Obama Administration and the State Department continue to blame the violence on poverty and social inequality rather than condemn Islamic supremacy for persecuting Christian minorities.
The truth, however, is quite different. Despite the constant insistence by the White House that its all about social justice, Boko Haram was quite clear about their reasons for killing Christians in this chilling statement from their leadership, published recently in the Nigerian newspaper, The Osun Defender:
"The Nigerian state and Christians are our enemies and we will be launching attacks on the Nigerian state and its security apparatus as well as churches until we achieve our goal of establishing an Islamic state in place of the secular state.”Since the the attacks by Boko Haram began in 2009, over 1,000 Christians have been murdered in their homes and in their churches. Dozens of churches, and many hundreds of Christian homes, have also been destroyed. Jonathan Racho, the Africa analyst for International Christian Concern, spoke about the impact the violence is having on the lives of Nigeria’s Christians, saying, "Christians in Nigeria face daily Islamic attacks. I have seen hundreds of Christians homes and churches that are demolished.
Republican delegates arriving in Tampa for the convention this week will likely find one thing more oppressive than the humidity: hordes of motley Occupiers, political puppeteers, Teamsters, Code Pink activists dressed as giant female body parts, open-borders extremists, vegan Marxists, and tattooed anarchists, all assembling for their quadrennial temper tantrum.In spite of the ubiquity of the legal chess game, it remains largely unexamined. Less than a week before the convention, the Tampa media have not scrutinized the acceptance of violence as a strategy by the main activist groups coordinating the anti-RNC protests, and there has been sparse coverage of the violent protesters coming to Tampa. This November 2011 article on anarchist protesters, by Tampa Bay Timesreporter Jessica Vander Velde, is an exception.Yet the main protest planners, including Food Not Bombs, Occupy the RNC, and other Occupy groups, all subscribe to “diversity of tactics.” Activist-journalist Natasha Lennard confirms that the adoption of the Tampa Principles allows for the possibility of violent protest in Tampa:The principles include a respect for “diversity of tactics,” such that if a group chooses to adopt more radical or less law-abiding tactics than another protest contingent, they will not be obstructed. Above all, the principles stress that activists will not assist law enforcement action against other activists, regardless of a disagreement in tactics. Whether groups will break windows, burn dumpsters, damage property or even adopt Black Bloc anonymity tactics to move through the streets cannot be predicted and would never be publicly announced in advance.
Vice President Joe Biden will hold a rally with supporters next Monday in Tampa, on what will be the first day of the Republican convention, according to a Democratic source cited by the Washington Post.
It would be an unprecedented move for a presidential or vice presidential candidate to crash a rival convention; the parties have traditionally allowed each other to take center stage during their convention week and used the time to fundraise and rest.