Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Escalation In The Middle East

Escalation: Iranian Drones Over Israel

On Thursday an Israeli warplane shot a drone into the Mediterranean just west of the Haifa shoreline. The drone came from Lebanon, and Israeli media immediately reported that it was sent by Hizballah—even though the prime minister and the IDF spokesman, in their public statements on the incident, made no such claim.
Amos Harel, military analyst for Haaretz, reports that the reason for that omission is probably that it wasn’t Hizballah that sent the plane but, rather, Iran—specifically its Revolutionary Guards contingent in Lebanon.
The UK’s Telegraph reports that “according to Syrian rebels and Israeli intelligence, Tehran has poured Revolutionary Guard soldiers into Syria and Lebanon to support its Shiite allies.” The Revolutionary Guards are also believed to have been behind another drone sent from Lebanon in October. That one entered Israeli airspace and was shot down not far from Israel’s nuclear plant in the Negev.

What was the drone’s mission? Probably not to hit Netanyahu, since that would be an open act of war and Iran, with its elections upcoming in June and its nuclear program probably not quite yet at the finish line, wouldn’t seek that outcome at this point. Harel speculates that “Iran wished to openly demonstrate its potential ability to damage essential facilities in Israel.”
Some believe those “essential facilities” were, in this instance, Israel’s new natural-gas fields in the Mediterranean. Harel claims the drone’s route suggests otherwise.
In any case, despite ongoing “options on the table” talk from Washington and “Israel has the right to defend itself” talk from Jerusalem, it’s clear that the situation is getting worse rather than better. One would have to imagine Al Qaeda drones flying over the U.S. or along its coast—except that Al Qaeda is a terrorist organization while Iran is a country, and Israel is much smaller than the U.S. (one-ninth the size of Nebraska, as Nebraskan defense secretary Chuck Hagel was informed in Israel last week).
If the situation is bad now, with Iran encamped on Israel’s border and able to send drones toward or even into its territory, clearly it would be a lot worse if Iran had nuclear bombs. And indeed top Israeli security experts have been sounding the alarm.

A new Pentagon assessment of Iran’s military power maintains that in two years time, Iran could flight-test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the United States, given “sufficient foreign assistance”, is provided to Tehran. The new assessment reiterated a longstanding estimate of the U.S. intelligence community. Iran could test such a missile by 2015 with assistance from nations like North Korea, China or Russia. 

Pyongyang is already in the process of developing the KN-08, an extended range ballistic missile that can reach the US West Coast. The missile’s range could be extended to provide the missile an intercontinental strike capability. Pyongyang and Tehran have been collaborating and exchanging technologies regarding ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons for many years; both countries are seeking to match the two technologies to acquire nuclear weapons delivery capabilities. U.S. experts agree that North Korea and Iran could be capable of developing and testing few ICBM class missiles based on liquid propellants, but doubt they could acquire solid-propelled weapons in the near future. The lengthy pre-flight procedures required for fuelling liquid-propelled missiles means that such weapons cannot be mass-fired without warning, as the shorter range missiles could, therefore, providing the defender time to respond, employ missile defense or conduct preemptive attack.

An unclassified portion of the “Annual Report on Military Power of Iran,” dated January 2013 and made available by the Pentagon today, also states that Iran is continuing to develop both the “technological capabilities applicable to nuclear weapons” and “ballistic missiles that could be adapted to deliver nuclear weapons.” In December 2012 US sources were sceptical about Iran’s ability to reach such milestone by 2015. Tehran encountered a major obstacle in 2011, after an explosion killed 21 people during a test, among the casualties was Hasan Tehrani Moghaddam, who was in charge of the country’s missile program.

Iran “also continues to develop ballistic missiles that could be adapted to deliver nuclear weapons,” it states. Despite “increased pressure resulting from sanctions” imposed by the United Nations, there “has been no change to Iran’s national security and military strategies over the last year,” according to the report.

A Gaza-based terrorist linked to a rocket attack on Eilat earlier this month was killed at around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning in a targeted strike by the Israel Air Force, as he drove his motorcycle in the northern Gaza Strip.
Israeli security sources named the man as 24-year-old northern Gaza resident Hitham Mashal, calling him a Salafist who was active in multiple jihadist organizations.

The targeted air strike is designed to thwart future attacks from Gaza and Sinai - attacks that are in the planning stages, according to security officials.
Mashal provided arms to the Shura Council of the Mujahideen in the Environs of Jerusalem, an organization said to be linked to al-Qaida and operating in the Gaza Strip and Sinai Peninsula. The group, which advocates violence against Jews, was behind the rocket attack on Eilat earlier this month, as well as previous strikes on the western Negev.
"Mashal was involved in promoting and carrying out that [the Eilat] attack," said sources in the Shin Bet. "His activities were known to Hamas, which refrained from stopping him."
"Hamas is responsible for preventing attacks carried out, planned, and advanced in Gaza," the sources said.

 A powerful explosion rocked Damascus on Tuesday, killing 13 and wounding 70, Syrian state TV reported, a day after the country’s prime minister narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in the heart of the heavily protected capital.
The nature of the explosion was not immediately clear but rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad’s regime have increasingly targeted Damascus, the seat of his power. The large bombing, the second in as many days in the capital, seems to be part of the wider violence wracking Syria as the nation’s conflict enters its third year.

Arab countries endorsed a Mideast peace plan Monday that would allow for small shifts in Israel’s 1967 border, moving them closer to President Barack Obama’s two-state vision.
Speaking on behalf of an Arab League delegation to Washington, Qatari Prime Minister Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani called for an agreement between Israel and a future Palestine based on the Jewish state’s border before the 1967 Mideast War. But, unlike in previous such offers, he cited the possibility of “comparable,” mutually agreed and “minor” land swaps between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Al Thani spoke after his delegation met across the street from the White House with Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been pushing Arab leaders to embrace a modified version of their decade-old “Arab Peace Initiative” as part of a new U.S.-led effort to corral Israel and the Palestinians back into direct peace talks.

Also see:

Forced lockdown of a city. Militarized police riding tanks in the streets. Door-to-door armed searches without warrant. Families thrown out of their homes at gunpoint to be searched without probable cause. Businesses forced to close. Transport shut down.

These were not the scenes from a military coup in a far off banana republic, but rather the scenes just over a week ago in Boston as the United States got a taste of martial law. The ostensible reason for the military-style takeover of parts of Boston was that the accused perpetrator of a horrific crime was on the loose. The Boston bombing provided the opportunity for the government to turn what should have been a police investigation into a military-style occupation of an American city. This unprecedented move should frighten us as much or more than the attack itself.

What has been sadly forgotten in all the celebration of the capture of one suspect and the killing of his older brother is that the police state tactics in Boston did absolutely nothing to catch them. While the media crowed that the apprehension of the suspects was a triumph of the new surveillance state – and, predictably, many talking heads and Members of Congress called for even more government cameras pointed at the rest of us – the fact is none of this caught the suspect. Actually, it very nearly gave the suspect a chance to make a getaway.

No, the suspect was not discovered by the paramilitary troops terrorizing the public. He was discovered by a private citizen, who then placed a call to the police. And he was identified not by government surveillance cameras, but by private citizens who willingly shared their photographs with the police.

As journalist Tim Carney wrote last week (Washington Examiner):
"Law enforcement in Boston used cameras to ID the bombing suspects, but not police cameras. Instead, authorities asked the public to submit all photos and videos of the finish-line area to the FBI, just in case any of them had relevant images. The surveillance videos the FBI posted online of the suspects came from private businesses that use surveillance to punish and deter crime on their property."
Sadly, we have been conditioned to believe that the job of the government is to keep us safe, but in reality the job of the government is to protect our liberties. Once the government decides that its role is to keep us safe, whether economically or physically, they can only do so by taking away our liberties. That is what happened in Boston.

Three people were killed in Boston and that is tragic. But what of the fact that over 40 persons are killed in the United States each day, and sometimes ten persons can be killed in one city on any given weekend? These cities are not locked-down by paramilitary police riding in tanks and pointing automatic weapons at innocent citizens.

This is unprecedented and is very dangerous. We must educate ourselves and others about our precious civil liberties to ensure that we never accept demands that we give up our Constitution so that the government can pretend to protect us.

Amid calls for increased security measures following the Boston Marathon bombing, Senator Rand Paul warned of the dangers of allowing the government to install more surveillance cameras “willy-nilly” in open spaces, citing George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. “I think it’s important to note that it’s a slippery slope, and someday you may have cameras everywhere,” Rand Paul told Fox News’s Eric Bolling over the weekend. “Think of 1984, where the cameras were in your bedroom, and in your dining room, everywhere. You never went a moment’s notice without being watched.”
Paul made a distinction between government surveillance cameras and those used by private companies for security, noting that most of the footage used to capture the Boston Marathon bombers came from private businesses.


Anonymous said...

To for-go rules/government's own laws on their own books, lead to our witnessing the break-down of gov.over-reaching their power as described in this article. An example, illegals should be processed properly as borders security implemented properly;neither were ahered to. Another example; databases with 500,000 suspects should be watch/desciphered carefully;neither has been done,yet still move on to infringe rights of Constitution on American liberties, and on and on.(IN my opinion). So here we are; dsyfunctional gov. to not abide fully by own laws (make up bad judgements along the way),and then going extreme when incidents occur leading the path to Orwells 1984. On purpose for an objective?? Appears to make one skeptical I concur. Part is due to the world gone Globally, but part is due to pacts made with the Frenemies and then overlook the consequences,and fore-thought of not preparing for said compromises. A mess. For power, wealth, but for whom? Last 13 years has strangle hold of USA economically;ah except Corporations,and the "Few". Fair and Balanced not in the equation, so here we are; concerned citizens and perhaps our voices can be heard for constructive change, of course with lots of Prayers!

Stephen said...

stocks are at records AGAIN >>>>

try to have an open mind about this ok ??


this could be the 10 KINGS....

think about it...

Siljimassi (UFM) sure talks to these
guys alot !!!!

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Stephen said...

Any mention of 7 years in the talks
about peace will be a VERY SERIOUS

according to scripture, the rapture
will HIT at such a time..."and
they shall be proclaiming peace and
safety, disaster will hit, and
they will NOT ESCAPE"

with stocks near 15,000 i am VERY
CONCERNED what ANY mention of 7
years will mean.

Stephen >>>>>>>>>>>>>>