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.
Massive (but luckily deep) Earthquake Off The Coast Of Kuril Islands
Experts Gathering To Focus On H7N9 Bird Flu Transmission Mystery
Almost three weeks after China reported finding a new strain of bird flu in humans, experts are still stumped by how people are becoming infected when many appear to have had no recent contact with live fowl and the virus isn't supposed to pass from person to person.
The uncertainty adds to challenges the Chinese government is facing in trying to control the spread of the H7N9 bird flu virus that has already killed 17 people and infected 70 others in the country, mostly along the eastern seaboard.
"To me, the biggest question is the link between the virus in birds and how it gets to humans. This is not clear," said Dr. Bai Chunxue, a prominent respiratory expert in Shanghai who treated one of the first cases of the virus, a family cluster involving an 87-year-old man and his two sons. Bai said other family members he talked to said the patients had no contact with birds or poultry.
Understanding how the H7N9 bird flu virus is spreading is a goal of international and Chinese experts assembled by the World Health Organization as they begin a weeklong investigation Friday.
The above commentary on the dollar and gold/silver price relationship appeared to me to give only one side of the situation....and a very deceptive one but not intentionally so. There are so many edges to this particular sword.
There are two prices for gold...one is paper, trading contracts short, long, and naked shorts. That is the gold/silver price we have seen take a beating.
But physical gold and silver is another matter. There is only one action going on, buying. In fact, the buying is so great that inventories are almost depleted.
The paper market was used, for years, to manipulate the market. More paper gold was sold in a few hours to drive the price down than real gold is mined in a year.
The two...paper and physical... are decoupling. This has long been seen as the signal that the financial house of cards was entering the end game.
Already one bullion bank is refusing to return bullion to their depositors. They will be paid in cash. There was a rumor that the same thing is happening to the London Commodities Exchange and some speculation that the NY COMEX would be next and their inventories are being drawn down to dangerous levels.
In short, the paper price has been driven down. But nobody is selling their physical gold, in fact there is almost no physical gold or silver for sale without a significant premium or a substantial wait in delivery.
I disagree with Gold bulls. why ??
i will tell you....
Analysis that is CORRECT is derived
from what THE MARKET says, not what
people want it to say. Sorry, Caver,
but truth is truth....
and the truth with Gold is NOI good.
Current EWI counts show GOLD going
much lower then the 1321 printed
recently in the NYC NYMEX pits.
silver as well.
A look back at charts in OCT 2008
tells the REAL TRUTH. Gold mining
companies and Gold did NOT EVEN
BOTHER to bottom until the WORST
of the dow's drop had occurred
by 23-24 OCT 2008.
please please CHECK if you do not believe. After 24 OCT 2008, metals
rallied and then the dow bottomed
out in MARCH 2009, catching up
to metals at that point.
My point >> ??
Stocks have NOT EVEN sold under 14,000 yet, we have a HUGE distance to go on the downside there, huge !!!!
which implies stocks catching up
VERY SOON with the Gold on the BEAR
Bears have been cheated and robbed
for a long time by greedy bulls.
NOT ANY MORE.
we are close, very close to a major
collapse in the dow.
to play catch up with the metals.
BUT METALS will continue the
selling GOING alot lower. Paper
or not the price THE MARKET sets
is the truth, no sense arguing
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