Thursday, October 31, 2013

Israeli Planes Strike Syrian Military Base

This is pretty big news - as we never know what will serve as the triggering point for the Middle East to erupt:

Israeli warplanes struck a Syrian air defense base near the port city of Latakia on Thursday, US official have confirmed to media.
An Obama administration official told AP that the attack happened overnight on Thursday, but provided no details. Another security official told the news agency that it took place in the Syrian port city of Latakia, and that the targets were Russian-made SA-125 missiles. 
Another US official told CNN that the Israelis believed the base near Snobar Jableh, south of Latakia, had sensitive and sophisticated missile equipment that may have been transferred to the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
Earlier, Dubai-based broadcaster al-Arabiya reported two attacks carried out by the Israeli Air Forces – one in Latakia and the other one in Damascus. 
Neither the Syrian nor Israeli governments have commented on the alleged attacks.
A spokesman for the Israeli Defense Ministry declined to speak on the matter. 
"We're not commenting on these reports," he told Reuters.

However, an Israeli official speaking anonymously to the news agency said he was inclined to believe that Israel had carried out a strike, although he was not entirely certain. 

The Lebanese military said it observed six Israeli jets flying over Lebanese territory on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Israeli jets frequently fly over Lebanon, but such high numbers have in the past been an indication of a military strike against Syria. 
Earlier in the day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said there was a series of explosions at a Syrian air defense base in the Mediterranean coastal province of Latakia.

"Several explosions were heard in an air defense base in the Snubar Jableh area," SOHR director Rami Abdel Rahman said, adding that the reason for the blasts remains “unclear.” 

While Israel has remained tight-lipped over an alleged strike in Syria, an Obama administration official confirmed on Thursday that Israeli warplanes had in fact attacked an airbase in Latakia on Wednesday. The target was “missiles and related equipment” the Israeli government assessed might be transferred to the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah,the report said.
A security official told AP that the attack occurred in the Syrian port city of Latakia and that the target was Russian-made SA-125 missiles.

The Israeli government and military establishment have declined to comment on the reports, although one Israeli official told Reuters he thought Israel had carried out the strike, but wasn’t certain. Israel has repeatedly warned that any attempt to transfer to Hezbollah chemical or other game-changing weapons would constitute a “red line” and precipitate military action.

Earlier Thursday, on the heels of reports that the airbase had contained advanced, Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles, Al-Arabiya reported that Israel had attacked not one, but two targets in the civil war-torn country.
Al-Arabiya’s report said two targets had been hit in Syria on Wednesday night – not just the Latakia air defense base, but a target in Damascus as well. Both targets were said to have contained shipments of Russian SA-8 anti-aircraft missiles meant for Hezbollah, which were reportedly completely destroyed.

Earlier Thursday, Al-Arabiya quoted opposition forces as saying the base held S-125 missiles.
The S-125 is especially effective against maneuverable low- to medium-altitude targets, including aircraft. The Egyptians used such missiles with some success during the War of Attrition and the 1973 Yom Kippur war, and batteries used by Iraq may have knocked down coalition aircraft in the First Gulf War.
The system has undergone improvements since then, but countermeasures have also progressed significantly.
A massive explosion was reported at the base late Wednesday night, with some reports that it was targeted by missiles fired from the sea. The Syrian news outlet Dam Press, considered loyal to the regime of Bashar Assad, reported that the site was damaged but that there had been no injuries.

Syria is reportedly in the midst of upgrading its missile defense system to the Russian-made S-300, a move Israel has lobbied against.

Jerusalem: "A Burdensome Stone"

Jerusalem is back in the news. One cannot read these articles without thinking about the warnings from the prophet Zechariah:

"And In that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."
(Zechariah 12:3)

As 26 Palestinian inmates were released from Israeli prisonsovernight Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar agreed to expedite four East Jerusalem construction plans, including one which would significantly expand the size of an already contentious neighborhood.

Earlier this week, in part to offset the political fallout from the release and counter criticism from the right, Netanyahu’s office announced that the government would approve tenders for the construction of 1,200 new housing units across the pre-1967 Green Line in Jerusalem.

Among the projects to be pushed through, according to Tuesday night’s decision, is a plan to approve 1,500 new apartment units in Ramat Shlomo, and a measure to allow construction of additional rooms in existing apartments in the neighborhood.

Netanyahu and Sa’ar also gave the green light for advancing a tourism and archaeology center adjacent to the City of David — the site of an ongoing archaeological dig and a political flashpoint on the slopes below the Temple Mount — and a national park on Mount Scopus’s eastern slopes.

An Israeli official last week said the Americans and Palestinians were aware of the Israeli building plans, which were made clear before peace talks resumed in the summer.

“For us, all settlements are illegal and Israel should top putting obstacles in the way of peace and all its acts in this regard are illegal and void,” said Rdeneh.

The Palestinians consider settlements a major obstacle to establishing a state that includes the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War. Israel has since built widely over the Green Line inside Jerusalem, and at dozens of settlements in the West Bank, that are home to some 550,000 Israelis.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief Thursday condemned Israel’s announcement of expansion plans in East Jerusalem neighborhoods, calling on the government to desist even from construction intended to accommodate “natural growth.”

“The EU deplores the recent settlement announcements. Any actions that could hamper or undermine the ongoing negotiations must be avoided,” Catherine Ashton said in a statement. “The EU has repeatedly stated that settlements are illegal under international law. It has also called on Israel to end all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001.”

With her statement, Ashton joined a long list of international leaders who criticized the Israeli plan, which was largely seen as a response to the release of 26 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons Tuesday night. Controversial in Israel, the prisoner release occurred in the framework of US-brokered peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, was quoted by the AFP news agency saying the move “destroys the peace process and is a message to the international community that Israel is a country that does not respect international law.”
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “We do not consider continued settlement activity or East Jerusalem construction to be steps that create a positive environment for the negotiations.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday that he “deplores” Israel’s announcement of settlement construction plans. The Jordanian government issued a statement warning that the new plans pose “a direct threat” to the peace process

There is “no real prospect for peace” between Israelis and Palestinians unless the status of Jerusalem is resolved, the top UN envoy to the peace process said on Wednesday.

Robert Serry’s brief address to a conference in Jerusalem came in the middle of a tense week, which featured a prisoner release, announcement of settlement construction and the trading of fire between the IDF and terrorists in Gaza. Serry is the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process.

“Without resolving Jerusalem, there will be no solution,” he said. “The [UN] secretary general believes that a way has to be found for Jerusalem to emerge as a capital for two states.”

Serry said both sides had “committed themselves” to addressing the status of Jerusalem, and he praised the involvement of the United States in jump-starting negotiations.

The US State Department and the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday denounced Israel’s announcement that it would expedite several settlement expansion plans, with Ramallah saying the move “destroys the peace process.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar on Wednesday agreed to expedite four East Jerusalem construction plans, including one which would significantly expand the size of Ramat Shlomo, with the addition of 1,500 homes. The move was seen as a response to the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prison

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, was quoted by AFP saying the move “destroys the peace process and is a message to the international community that Israel is a country that does not respect international law”.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri railed against both Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday, saying the ongoing peace negotiations are responsible for “now providing [Israel] with a cover for these crimes.”
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “We do not consider continued settlement activity or East Jerusalem construction to be steps that create a positive environment for the negotiations.”
The Jordanian government issued a statement warning that the new plans pose “a direct threat” to the peace process.
He said the move was “contrary to international law and constitutes an obstacle to peace.”
Philip Gordon, Washington’s National Security Council coordinator for Middle East policy, told the audience at the American Task Force on Palestine’s annual gala that “The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement expansion,” in an apparent reference to Israel’s new housing starts.

Also see these articles, which are squarely in the category of "wars and rumors of war", and in the category of the rise of the land of MaGog:

Russian strategic forces carried out a large-scale surprise military drill on Wednesday, launching four nuclear missiles that were closely monitored by U.S. intelligence agencies, U.S. officials said.
The drill began around 9:00 am ET and included the test launch of two land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
The test firings were unusual because of the number of missiles fired at one time, said officials who discussed some details of the drill on condition of anonymity.

Mark Schneider, an arms control specialist, said Russian reports of the exercises described the test firings as a “a major strategic nuclear exercise involving a nuclear war.” The exercises also involved Russian President Vladimir Putin as a commander.

The missiles test fired were identified by the officials with their NATO code names, including a silo-based SS-18 and a road-mobile SS-25, along with the two submarine-launched missiles, an SS-N-18 and SS-N-23.
The SS-18 is Russia’s largest land-based ICBM with a range of up to 10,000 miles and up to 10 warheads, or multiple, independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs).
The SS-25 is a road-mobile missile capable of launching up to four MIRVs and has a range of up to 6,200 miles.
The SS-N-18 Stingray missile can be equipped with up to seven warheads and is carried on Delta III missile submarines. It has a range of up to 5,000 miles.
The SS-N-23 can carry up to 10 MIRVs and has a range of up to 5,000 miles. It is deployed on Delta IV missile submarines.

Forbes magazine named Russian President Vladimir Putin the most powerful man in the world on Wednesday, ranking the autocratic leader ahead of US President Barack Obama.

 Two Russian Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers arrived in Nicaragua on Thursday after taking off from an airbase in Venezuela, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The nuclear-capable bombers “flew above the neutral waters of the Caribbean Sea, entered the airspace of Nicaragua and performed a planned landing,” the ministry said.
The aircraft covered over 2,500 km during their three-hour flight from the Maiquetia airfield in Venezuela.

The Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-geometry heavy bomber, designed to strike strategic targets with nuclear and conventional weapons deep in continental theatres of operation.

Also see:

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Huge" Explosion Reported At Syrian Air Defense Base

Huge Explosion Reported At Syrian Air Defense Base

A Syrian air defense base near the coastal city of Latakia was reportedly destroyed Wednesday night, with multiple Syrian and Lebanese sources speculating that an Israeli strike from the Mediterranean was to blame.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a loud explosion in a Syrian army base, and Twitter users quoted eyewitnesses who said the blast occurred near Snobar Jableh, just south of the city.
Unconfirmed reports suggested the explosion was the result of a missile strike from the sea. And social media exploded with posts alleging that Israel was responsible

The coastal strip of Syria, encompassing the cities of Tartous, Latakia and Baniyas, is part of a predominantly Alawite portion of the country which remains loyal to the Assad regime.
Earlier on Wednesday the Lebanese government news agency reportedsix Israeli aircraft flying through Lebanese airspace along the coast north of Beirut.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that there would be no agreement with Israel as long as even one Palestinian remained in Israeli prison.
Abbas was speaking during a reception at the Mukata presidential compound in Ramallah for Palestinians released from Israeli prison.

After hugging and kissing each one of the freed prisoners, Abbas vowed to pursue his efforts to secure the release of all inmates.
“We welcome and salute our veteran heroes who were behind bars and have now entered the world of freedom,” Abbas told the released prisoners and their families.

Abbas strongly denied that he had agreed to continued construction in the settlements in return for the release of prisoners.
He said that “unpatriotic” people were behind the rumors about a “prisoner-for-settlement” deal.
“Settlement is null and void,” Abbas said.
The PA condemned the Israeli government’s decision to build new housing units in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Israel, meanwhile, was angered and concerned by the celebrations that greeted the freed terrorists in Ramallah.
“Every time we see the celebrations in Ramallah for people who are guilty of the most heinous crimes against innocent people – civilians, the elderly and children – this is problematic and always raises questions about whether the Palestinians have really turned the corner,” Mark Regev, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, said, pointing out that the Palestinians had committed themselves under the Oslo accords to no more terrorism.
“But instead of condemning terrorism, they are celebrating terrorists,” Regev stated. “I would ask the Palestinians what message they are sending to us when they celebrate their murderers, when they put them on a pedestal. And what is the message they are sending to Palestinian youth if they turn these people into heroes?” 

Approaching Tyranny And The Approaching Rapture

As stated before, it seems that every day brings certain themes to the news (which alone is interesting, but that is another story for another day). I actually dislike those days in which the news all points to the tyranny which is rapidly approaching, because it is so ominous and so scary. I'd prefer to just focus on Jesus and His coming, but the news is just unavoidable. Today we see both.

Check out this new movie which is being released. It may be one that you could watch with neighbors, friends, or other unsaved individuals. It looks like it may be a graphic presentation of the Rapture of the Church and as a result bring the reality to those who remain ignorant of what is just on the horizon. 

In the foreground of the nuclear talks between Iran and Western powers that got under way in Geneva this month were centrifuges, yellowcake and enriched uranium — all elements of what Iran calls a peaceful nuclear-energy program and what the West worries is a route to a nuclear weapon. But Iran has also charted a second route, one that could produce fuel for a possible bomb not from highly enriched uranium but out of plutonium, a product of the heavy-water reactor nearing completion in the hills outside the city of Arak, 300 km (190 miles) southwest of Tehran. Heavy water is water with an extra neutron, useful in moderating a nuclear reaction.

Because it is not yet up and running, the Arak heavy-water reactor has remained in the background of the nuclear controversy. But it looms larger every day. The reason: once Arak goes online, the option of destroying Iran’s nuclear program with air strikes becomes moot. The reactor is essentially invulnerable to military attack, because bombing one risks a catastrophic release of radioactivity. In the words of Israel’s last chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, who piloted one of the F-16A’s that cratered Iraq’s Osirak heavy-water reactor in 1981 before it was due to become operational: “Whoever considers attacking an active reactor is willing to invite another Chernobyl, and no one wants to do that.”

Ephraim Asculai, a scientist retired from the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, warns that Iran may have no intention of carrying out a dry run at all. It may be a cover story, he posits, for a plan to rush the installation of live fuel rods and heavy water instead — essentially getting the Arak facility “hot” before the outside world expects, at which point it becomes invulnerable to military attack. There might then be no way to stop Iran’s nuclear program short of invasion.
“At that point, they are in the ‘zone of immunity’ as it’s called,” says Asculai, who has also worked at ISIS; he is currently a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, a think tank at Tel Aviv University.

The prosecutor would have the power to conduct, prosecute, and bring to justice its own EU-wide investigations in co-ordination with member state authorities against people suspected of defrauding the EU.

Polls indicate that the public is so disgusted with Washington politicians of both parties that a surprisingly large proportion of the people would like to get rid of the whole lot of them. It is certainly understandable that the voters would like to “throw the rascals out.” But there is no point in throwing the rascals out if we are just going to get a new set of rascals to replace them.
In other words, we need to think about what there is about current political practices that repeatedly brings to power such a counterproductive set of people. Those we call “public servants” have in fact become public masters. And they act like it.

They squander ever more vast amounts of our tax money, and still leave trillions of dollars of national debt to be paid by our children and grandchildren. They intrude into our private lives with ever more restrictions, red tape, and electronic surveillance. And they turn different groups of Americans against each other with class-warfare rhetoric and policies.

What we have today that we did not have in the early history of this country is a permanent political class in Washington — a Congress and an ever growing federal bureaucracy composed of people who have become a permanent ruling class.
The United States was not founded by career politicians but by people who took time out from their regular professions to serve during a crucial time in the creation of a new nation — and a new kind of nation in a world ruled by kings and emperors. In the nineteenth century, there was a high rate of turnover in members of Congress. Many people went to Washington to serve one term in Congress, then returned to their home state to resume their lives as private citizens.

The rise of the permanent political class in Washington came with the rise of a vast government apparatus with unprecedented amounts of money and power to control and corrupt individuals, institutions, and the fabric of the whole society. 

There are now people in Washington whose entire adult lives have been spent in government, in one role or another. Some begin as aides to politicians or as part of the sprawling empires of the federal bureaucracy. From this they progress to high elective or appointed offices in government. Turnover in Congress has been reduced almost to the vanishing point. Political alliances within government and with outside special interests, as well as the gerrymandering of congressional districts, make most incumbents’ reelection virtually a foregone conclusion.

During a segment on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 last night, Griffin revealed that insurance companies had been told to “keep quiet” about the fact that millions of Americans are being told that they cannot keep their existing policies, contradicting Barack Obama’s promise that, “If…you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan.”
“Basically, if you speak out, if you are quoted, you’re going to get a call from the White House, pressure to be quiet. Several sources tell me and my colleague Chris Frates that insurance executives are being told to keep quiet,” said Griffin, adding, “Sources (are) telling us they fear White House retribution.”
The fact that the White House is threatening private companies with undisclosed forms of “retribution” if they criticize government policy is a shocking display of authoritarianism that wouldn’t look out of place in countries like Communist China or Stalinist North Korea.
As Griffin explains in his report, the Obama administration is trying to keep a lid on the dirty little secret that millions of Americans are losing their coverage as a result of Obamacare, illustrating how Obama blatantly lied when he made assurances that people could keep their existing policy.

There are numerous alarming reasons why the US government and the military have been buying up all the ammo. Here’s one of them. Obama and the EPA just shut down the last lead smelting plant in the US. They raised the EPA regulations by 10 fold and it would have cost the plant $100 million to comply. You can own all the guns you want, but if you can’t get ammo, you are out of luck.

Remember when Obama promised his minions that he was working on gun control behind the scenes? Welcome to it. Now, all domestic mined lead ore will have to be shipped overseas, refined and then shipped back to the US. Not only will ammo now be even harder to come by, the demand and the process of supply will cause the price to skyrocket even more. And ponder this… there is an excellent chance that Obama will rig the market to where all ammo has to be purchased from a government entity instituting de facto ammo registration. So much for the Second Amendment. There has not been a peep about this in the major news outlets and it is done. With the US no longer producing lead, all supplies will now have to come from China, Australia or Peru, with the overwhelming emphasis on China. More redistribution of wealth; more economic and liberty crippling of the US on tap.

The smelting plant has known since 2010 this was coming. They couldn’t stop it and no one else rose up to stop it either. The business had been in production for 120 years and now goes the way of our auto industry.
The military’s obsession with ammo was related to security and supply. They knew this was coming too, so they bought up all they could get before the plug was pulled. Screw the average American. It’s as Chris Muirsaid, he’s not as worried about where the bullets will come from, as much as how the government will deliver them and I’m right there with him on that one.
So, back door gun control is moving forward and while we are all distracted with shiny stuff, our Second Amendment rights are just about gone. Obama is one Marxist dictator who is savvy at political chess. He has flanked the Second Amendment. Now it’s our move.

So, can we finally stop pretending that the left has a positive plan for the United States? Can we stop pretending that the president meant to do anything other than destroy a system he has hated since his socialist-influenced youth? Can we dispense with the unhinged rants about dog whistles and face up to the fact that conservatives have been right about this all along? Can we finally openly discuss that the left's own hatred and bigotry are largely to blame for where we are now, not just regarding ObamaCare? They have protected, helped and worshiped an illusion, with pure malice toward those who have loved and fought for this country, and are entirely complicit in the damage now being done to every fiber of our nation. They have intentionally derailed reasoned opposition to purposefully detrimental policies, and have exploited hatred and bigotry to do it. Their own hatred, now so clearly shown to be unfounded, doesn't just inform the left with regard to health care, or opposition thereto. It informs everything the left does, every position they take, every feeling they have. It is their malignant security blanket.

Maybe there is enough intellectual honesty left in some of them to finally understand the extent to which they are misled, misinformed, manipulated, and misrepresented by those who pretend to stand for anything constructive or beneficial to their country or its future. The very same people angrily uttering those lies proudly voted to impose ObamaCare upon them, along with financial hardship and the loss ofhealth insurance. Pathological liars are not especially selective. They lie about 

Can we finally stop pretending that they are not also lying to us about everything else? Can we stop pretending they are not lying to us about guns, and abortion, and voter fraud, and voter ID laws, and taxes, and the economy, and the environment, and education, and energy, and job creation, and national security, and international relations, and Islam, and their assault on Christianity, and amnesty, and entitlements, and stimulus, and recovery, and Fast and Furious, and Benghazi, and the IRS scandal, and a war on women, and our borders, and domestic surveillance, and weakening us militarily, and their supposed loyalty as Americans, and their phony patriotism, and American Exceptionalism, and our history, and our national character, and the historical good our country has done, and what they really have planned for us, and what we will achieve when we are out from under the heel of burgeoning socialism and despotism?

FATCA – Washington’s Tool for Global Dictatorship

The building of a society in America which is increasingly taking on totalitarian characteristics has already gone through several stages. The most recent one is connected with the U.S. Congress passing a law in 2010, often referred to by the abbreviation FATCA, on the taxation of foreign accounts. This law will come into full force in mid-2014.

Now the U.S. Internal Revenue Service is required to monitor every move of U.S. individuals and legal entities in any part of the world. It doesn’t plan to do that itself; it plans to require foreign governments, banks and financial institutions to provide it with all the necessary information about American taxpayers who hold deposit or other accounts, stocks, shares in capital, etc. That is, it proposes that other governments and their financial institutions should act as tax agents for the American government. And if they cannot or don’t want to perform these functions, it threatens serious consequences. FATCA, which is of a clearly extraterritorial nature, is a prime example of Washington’s global dictatorship. I have already written about the reaction of other states on the passing of this law, as well as that of foreign banks and financial organizations. But how are Americans themselves reacting to FATCA? After all, for them this law is dictatorship squared.

Many Americans are already beginning to realize what kind of a tax trap the U.S. government is trying to drive them into. And they are beginning to act. As The Wall Street Journal reported in August of this year, Americans are more and more often renouncing their U.S. citizenship or «green cards». In 2011 there were 1781 such people. And in the first half of 2013 alone, 1809 people abandoned their U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. America is gradually losing the image of the Promised Land. Commenting on the «flight» from U.S. citizenship, experts predict that the exodus from the U.S. will accelerate in 2014, when the law on taxation of foreign accounts comes into full force…

Also see: