With Chuck Hagel scheduled to begin his first visit to Israel as secretary of defense on Sunday, Israeli defense and military officials issued explicit warnings this week that Israel was prepared and had the capability to carry out a lone military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Israeli officials have been expressing growing frustration with what they view as ineffective international efforts to halt what Israel and the West see as an Iranian quest fornuclear weapons. Despite economic sanctions and rounds of diplomatic talks, the officials say, the Iranian centrifuges continue to spin.
Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of strategic and intelligence affairs and international relations, said in an interview that Iran was abusing the diplomatic process to further its uranium enrichment program and that it was “high time” for the international community to issue Iran “a deadline or a timetable, or even a military threat.”
Though Mr. Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders have continuously emphasized Israel’s right to defend itself by its own means, talk of possible action has been rare in recent months. Israel, during this time, has sought to lower tensions with the United States over Israel’s calls for red lines and in the face of vehement American opposition to an uncoordinated Israeli strike.
Ehud Barak, Israel’s defense minister until last month, quietly dropped his aggressive stance, focusing instead on the need to cooperate with Washington. President Shimon Peres spoke out openly against the idea of a lone Israeli strike, saying that the limited damage that Israel could inflict meant that it had to “proceed together with America.”
Remember Tuesday’s post about Obama’s “red line” in Syria having been crossed? I’m treating this as circumstantial evidence that it’s true and that the Pentagon and CIA are now huddling over what to do about it. Need more evidence? Hagel apparently had a “long conversation” with Obama at the White House yesterday about Syria, the result of which was to boost U.S. forces in Jordan. That’s significant becauseWaPo reported weeks ago that American soldiers were already there assisting Jordanian special forces in case they have to cross the border and start grabbing Assad’s chemical weapons. U.S. officials weren’t coywhen explaining the purpose of the deployment:
[Hagel] said the troops will work alongside Jordanian forces to “improve readiness and prepare for a number of scenarios.”…
The deployment “creates an additional capability” beyond what has been there, one official said, and will give the United States the ability to “potentially form a joint task force for military operations, if ordered.”
The new deployment will include communications and intelligence specialists who will assist the Jordanians and “be ready for military action” if President Barack Obama were to order it, the official said.
Carl Levin knows something’s up and he’s not being coy either:
The creation of a no-fly zone, either along the Turkish or Jordanian border with Syria, is a “possibility” for the Obama administration, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told lawmakers.
Certainly … as the [Syrian] opposition gains control of sufficient geography on the ground, then that’s a possibility,” Clapper told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday…
Clapper’s comments come days after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “had a long conversation with the president” on U.S. options in Syria at the White House, committee chairman Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said Wednesday…
“Something is happening, something is going on,” Levin said after Wednesday’s Senate committee hearing on the situation in Syria.
An Infinite Contempt For Gold
If demand for physical gold and silver is strong, if gold and silver are in scarce supply and if jewelry prices have not gone down, then how is it that the price of gold has dropped over US$200 in only a few days? Leave aside outright manipulation, there is still something in this scenario that doesn't add up.
But let us hasten to add what is obvious ... that there are powerful forces at work here. There are many – like the author of this article – who clearly despise gold and gold ownership because it is a direct rebuke to central banking, fiat money and increased globalization.
Indeed, there is a war on between opposing philosophies and visions of the future, from a sociopolitical and economic standpoint. Gold and silver are warriors in this fight.
One could certainly venture that gold has been wounded. And beyond this that the yellow metal – having been injured – will be a long time recovering. If that is the case, and equity and fixed income markets remain strong, then certainly some investors will consider that "fighting the trend" is not an optimal option.
One can make all sorts of arguments as to why equity is overpriced and why bonds are headed for a crash (and we have) but if wealth is being derived from these instruments then those arguments may fail to convince to one's wallet.
The Internet Era has brought many issues into stark visibility. One of the most important and high-profile is this struggle between the golden bull and controllers of fiat money. One doesn't necessarily have to choose between them but one certainly ought to understand the subterranean struggle that is being waged.
Conclusion: As we have written before, there are no easy answers. But better to comprehend the dilemma than to remain oblivious to it.
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