Israeli planes struck two concealed rocket launchers in the Gaza Strip on Monday morning, hours after two rockets targeted southern Israel.
The planes scored direct hits on both targets, the IDF said.
There was no immediate word on casualties in Gaza. Palestinians in Gaza reported that Israeli planes hit open areas.
The Israeli strikes came hours after two rockets were fired out of Gaza into Israel. Iron Dome anti-missile batteries successfully intercepted one rocket aimed at the beachside city of Ashkelon and destroyed it before it landed.
The IDF said it held Hamas, which controls the Strip, responsible for the attacks.
“This targeted strike, based on IDF intelligence and advanced air force capabilities, is an immediate response to the terrorist aggression and its infrastructure in Gaza,” spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement after the attack. “Hamas must take responsibility for these actions or pay the price for inaction. We will continue to safeguard the civilians of the State of Israel, and prevent future attempts of terrorism formulating in the Gaza Strip.”
Militant factions in Iran are reportedly planning a sweeping rally titled, “Grand Day of Death to America,” to coincide with the 24th anniversary of the storming of the U.S. Embassy there.
According to The National, Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri is saying the planned Nov. 4 convocation outside the long-shuttered and now-graffiti-covered diplomatic institution in the capitol city of Tehran will be organized by a newly created bureaucratic body called the “Death to the U.S. Committee.”
“The crimes of U.S. leaders and international Zionism in dealing with Iran’s great nation will never be erased from public memories and minds,” reportedly noted Jazayeri, the deputy commander for cultural affairs of Iran’s hard-line and influential Revolutionary Guard.
And the event will not be without events to occupy a crowd officials promise will number in the many thousands.
“There are elements in Iran who believe the (“Death to America”) chant and what it represents – a call for an end to imperialism and U.S. hegemony rather than death to Americans – is crucial to the maintenance of the revolutionary spirit,” Hooman Majd, a New York-based Iranian-American author told The National. “They believe without it and the animus against the U.S., the revolution will crumble.”
The Times reports some Iranians – of late – have mandated the age-old “Death to America” slogan be shouted at all public events, and last week, members of the nation's parliament even employed it during one of their sessions.
Theories for these purges run the gamut. One posits that anyone associated with Benghazi had to go. Another states that many of these firings are an effort to clean up “operational failures,” most notably a 2007 incident in which six nuclear-tipped missiles went missing for 36 hours. Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, who has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration, believes it is part of the president’s strategy to reduce America’s standing in the world. “[Obama is] intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged,” he contended.
Vallely’s assessment was echoed by a source at the Pentagon who wished to remain anonymous because the source was not authorized to speak on the subject. He or she contended that “young officers, down through the ranks have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job–just keep your mouth shut.”
This theory finds validation when one considers the Obama administration’s larger assault on the military. The military is the last organized bastion of conservative values, due in large part to the nature of the military itself. Yet in recent years, the push to embrace progressive values, such as openly gay servicemen, women in combat and diversity worship have been pursued with vigor. Even the aforementioned effort to “win the hearts and minds” of Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan, as opposed to pursuing victory, marks a sea change from traditional military values.
Not only is the Obama administration apparently on a mission to undermine the integrity of the military in this way, but it has also revealed itself to be entirely intolerant of dissent of any kind. Whether it is reporters or domestic opposition groups such as the Tea Party, Obama has made clear he will aggressively pursue anyone who defies his agenda. Now it seems that chilling message his been sent to the military as well.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) quietly dropped a bomb in its October Fiscal Monitor Report. Titled “Taxing Times,” the report paints a dire picture for advanced economies with high debts that fail to aggressively “mobilize domestic revenue.” It goes on to build a case for drastic measures and recommends a series of escalating income and consumption tax increases culminating in the direct confiscation of assets.
Yes, you read that right. But don’t take it from me. The report itself says:
“The sharp deterioration of the public finances in many countries has revived interest in a “capital levy”- a one-off tax on private wealth-as an exceptional measure to restore debt sustainability. The appeal is that such a tax, if it is implemented before avoidance is possible and there is a belief that it will never be repeated, does not distort behavior (and may be seen by some as fair). … The conditions for success are strong, but also need to be weighed against the risks of the alternatives, which include repudiating public debt or inflating it away. … The tax rates needed to bring down public debt to precrisis levels, moreover, are sizable: reducing debt ratios to end-2007 levels would require (for a sample of 15 euro area countries) a tax rate of about 10 percent on households with positive net wealth. (page 49)”
Note three takeaways. First, IMF economists know there are not enough rich people to fund today’s governments even if 100 percent of the assets of the 1 percent were expropriated. That means that all households with positive net wealth-everyone with retirement savings or home equity-would have their assets plundered under the IMF’s formulation.
Second, such a repudiation of private property will not pay off Western governments’ debts or fund budgets going forward. It will merely “restore debt sustainability,” allowing free-spending sovereigns to keep tapping the bond markets until the next crisis comes along-for which stronger measures will be required, of course.
Third, should politicians fail to muster the courage to engage in this kind of wholesale robbery, the only alternative scenario the IMF posits is public debt repudiation and hyperinflation. Structural reform proposals for the Ponzi-scheme entitlement programs that are bankrupting us are nowhere to be seen.
Ideology drives the Obama agenda. And American allies, like Americans, are expected to be grateful for the privilege of sacrificing their own interests for his political agenda. It hasn’t worked out that way in the real world. The millions of Americans who work for a living may have no other option but to endure the depredations of a radical activist, but American allies have begun making different arrangements.
While America’s foreign policy agenda is weighed down with Green Energy and Muslim self-esteem, Russia is beginning to politically dominate the old territories of its red empire. The Middle East has imploded into war and violence. And Latin America is once again dominated by a bankrupt left.
None of this is good news. Neither is the growing Saudi attitude that if it can’t manipulate American foreign policy as well as Iran can, that it should start acting like Iran by buying Russian weapons and threatening the United States.
Obama may have traded national interests for ideology, but the rest of the world still has interests that it is not about to sacrifice for ideological constructs like the Arab Spring. American allies have lost their ability to communicate with Obama. They don’t understand how to reach him and explain that while he thinks the United States no longer has national interests, they still do.
The Saudis have given up trying to talk to Obama and are just threatening him. They are one of the last former allies adapting to the power vacuum left behind by America’s departure from the world stage.
Obama is losing the Middle East and soon he will have lost the world.
Churches being given federal grants to help roll out and enlist folks in Obamacare. Churches! Pastors spending who knows how much time on this! Wow... :(
Not to get off topic, but I thought the sign being held by this young lady is a testament of our time.... I want to go home so bad. Please God, forgive us.
I actually saw that and had the same exact thoughts.
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