We are seeing more and more articles and commentary coming out with the same information:
Analysts made clear at this week’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) conference at Tel Aviv University that Israel potentially faces two large-scale wars within months.
Amos Yadlin, the former commander of Israeli Military Intelligence, said of Iran: “We are headed toward a collision course by the end of this year.”
Mr Yadlin explained that by the summer it may be almost impossible for Israel to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons: “We have about two months to sleep soundly, until the Iranian elections. After that, I believe the Iranians will have to make a difficult decision.”
Meanwhile, Brigadier-General Itai Brun, commander of the IDF’s Military Intelligence Research Directorate, was unequivocal that “the Syrian regime has made use of chemical weapons”.
This has always been seen as a “red line” issue which would prompt Israeli military action.
According to Brig Gen Brun, photographic evidence indicates that Assad has “used deadly chemical substances in a number of cases against the rebels, most likely sarin gas.”
Israeli intelligence estimates that Syria has around 1,000 tons of chemical weapons. The main concern is that these and other advanced weapons could fall into the hands of Hizbollah and other jihadist movements.
US President Barack Obama warned the Syrians last August that using chemical weapons would be crossing “a red line”. Any verifiable use could force the Americans to abandon their policy of not intervening on the ground in Syria.
The US has been reticent in confirming the reports and Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday that he had “talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning. I think it is fair for me to say that he was not in a position to confirm that... I don’t know yet whatthe facts are.”
Despite his public scepticism, Mr Kerry has asked Nato to prepare a plan to counter the Syrian chemical weapons network.
Israel has been warning its allies in recent weeks to exercise extreme caution in helping arm the Syrian rebels as many have been infiltrated by elements with ties to Al Qaeda and the weapons could be used against Israel.
Mr Netanyahu emphasised this in his meeting in London last week with David Cameron.
An Israeli official involved in the talks said: “Syria is rapidly becoming a black-hole that can suck us in and keep us busy for years to come”
The warnings came while US Defence Secretary, Chuck Hagel, was ending his 3-day visit to Israel. Secretary Hagel announced an agreement to supply new weapons systems to Israel as part of a move to bolster the armed forces of Middle East nations facing Iran.
Mr Hagel’s visit was in a large part intended to allay any concerns Israel has over his personal commitment to its security. His appointment two months ago took place after an intense Senate battle in which pro-Israeli senators tried to block the confirmation of President Barack Obama’s who had in the past criticised Israel and its lobby in Washington and had also voiced opposition to an American strike on Iran’s nuclear programme.
In an attempt to win Israel’s trust, his office announced a major arms deal with Israel in advance of his visit and his statements throughout the stay in Israel were carefully tailored to reassure Israeli concerns.
“This is a difficult and dangerous time,” he said to the press before his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “This is a time when friends and allies must remain close, closer than ever.”
Mr Hagel’s meetings with Israel’s political and military leaders focused mainly on the Iranian threat and the situation in civil war-torn Syria.
Mr Netanyahu said that Israel and the United States were facing together the “arming of terrorist groups by Iran with sophisticated weapons, and equally, Iran’s attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons.”
In a previous statement, Mr Hagel had said that “Israel is a sovereign nation; every sovereign nation has a right to defend itself” and that the decision whether to attack Iran “has to be made by Israel.” But while the tone in public was conciliatory, in his meeting, Mr Hagel, as had other senior American officials on previous visits to Israel, sought to assure that Israel would not attack Iran without coordinating its moves with the administration.
While a great deal of attention was focused during the Hagel visit on the proposed arms deal - its main components, do not dramatically change the strategic balance between Israel and Iran. The promised supply of aerial tankers will not take place for at least two years and though the tankers will expand Israel’s capability to launch wide-scale long-range airborne operations, this capability already exists due to the tankers Israel already has. In addition, the Americans will supply the V-22 vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft which will improve the Israeli Air Force’s special operations and search and rescue capabilities. But so far, the Obama administration is not supplying Israel with new bunker-busting bombs which would be useful in attacking Iran’s underground nuclear installations.
Israeli officials acknowledged that while they were grateful for the new arms deal, it was not aimed at helping Israel carry out a future strike on Iran, rather reinsuring Israel that American continues to support it and will deal with the Iranian threat itself if all other diplomatic channels and sanctions fail. In addition, the U.S. is also planning major arms deals with its Persian Gulf allies Saudi Arabia (further stops on Hagel’s itinerary) and the deal with Israel was in part designed to minimize any possible opposition to those deals from Israel’s supporters in Washington.
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze'ev Elkin warned Friday that a failure by the international community to act against Syria for using chemical weapons would show Iran that the US does not act when its "red lines" are crossed.
Elkin posited on Friday that Washington and the international community's response to evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria will affect efforts to stop Iran's drive for a nuclear weapon.
"The world must take control of Assad's chemical weapons supply...the moment the international community sees that they indeed crossed a red line and used chemical weapons, they must understand that their is no choice but to take this action," Elkin told Army Radio.
"The Iranians are watching this. There is a question here - When they set a red line, do they act when it is crossed," he added.
"If they do not act after the red line they set was crossed, the Iranians will understand that red lines set by the West are very flexible and they will continue to develop their nuclear program," Elkin warned.
Cordesman, a former national security aide to Senator John McCain, said Iran is now within the range of Israeli missiles carrying hydrogen warheads, which are far more powerful than standard atomic warheads. According to the report, each bomb with a hydrogen warhead has about a hundred times more power than a conventional nuclear bomb.
“The options are all bad,” says Aram Nerguizian, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. “Arming the opposition doesn’t do anything regarding chemical weapons or solving proliferation concerns in Syria.”
Expect to see more and more of this: Boston was just the beginning:
When you’ve got a guy like Senator John McCain who says “The battlefield is the United States of America,” it tells you that almost nothing is safe in the Land of the Free.
Whatever remains of civil liberties is going to feel the full brunt of the state’s boot heel.
They’re already regulating some of the most fundamental aspects of life, from how we are allowed to educate our children to what we can / cannot put in our bodies to the very nature of money.
People are forced to hold their savings in insolvent banks backed by insolvent insurance funds backed by insolvent governments. And those insolvent governments have demonstrated that they are perfectly willing to directly confiscate accounts.
Retirement funds have proven to be an easy, tempting target. A number of countries including Argentina, Ireland, and Hungary have appropriated private pensions. Even the US government temporarily dipped into federal employee pensions.
Western governments are making every possible effort to take over the Internet. Despite every previous attempt (SOPA, PIPA, etc.) failing due to public outcry, they keep trying and trying (ACTA, CISPA, etc.).
They’re raising taxes, creating new ones (including Maryland’s new ‘rain tax’), imposing capital controls, racking up debt, and rapidly devaluing their currencies.
It all reeks of desperation… and it’s all so obvious. At least, for anyone paying attention.
Unfortunately it’s easy to lose sight of the truth. After all, how can there be any economic problems when the stock market is at an ‘all-time high’ and Nobel Prize winning pseudo-scientists tell us that debt levels don’t matter?
Truth is, these enormous challenges shouldn’t be ignored. The entire global financial system is sitting on a bed of dynamite. Central bankers are dousing the pile with gasoline while politicians are standing around smoking.
The potential for epic disaster cannot be understated.
This is not to say that the world is coming to an end. Far from it. History is quite generous with past example of once-great civilizations that collapsed under the weight of their own hubristic debt.
Things didn’t end. They changed. Simple. And that’s what’s happening now in a textbook fashion.
Governments in trouble almost ALWAYS resort to the same destructive tactics. When things are clearly on the decline, rather than INCREASING freedom and opportunity, they try to control EVERYTHING.
We’re already seeing the early stages of this with competitive devaluation, basic capital controls, and bank withdrawal limits.
These will soon give way to wider capital controls, increased border controls, wage and price controls, asset confiscation, and more.
It only delays the inevitable. The more they control, the more rapid the deterioration becomes. Again, this isn’t some sensationalist prediction; it is the very common historical trend.