Monday, August 11, 2014

ISIS Rising 'We Are Coming', Threatening The West, U.S. Sending Arms To Kurds In Iraq,

With all of our attention focused on Israel lately, and rightly so, it may be shocking to learn that there are dramatic – actually catastrophic – events happening elsewhere in the Middle East.

On Thursday, President Obama announced that he had decided to approve the airdrop of humanitarian supplies of food and water to almost 40,000 encircled and besieged Yazidi refugees stranded on Mt. Sinjar in Iraq. He also indicated that he had approved the use of “limited” airstrikes by U.S. forces against the aggressor ISIS forces that seek to annihilate them.

Not much has been reported about help for the ancient religious community that fled to a craggy mountaintop where there is no cover from the 120-degree plus heat. Many are dropping dead from exhaustion and lack of food and water.

Had President Obama not made his photo-op press announcement before he headed off on vacation, you would probably have not heard about these breathtaking developments until they had actually become unstoppable disasters. The mainstream media, Europe, and the United Nations are too busy beating up on Israel and madly trying to recuse Hamas.

But we are witnessing what may be a complete reshaping of the situation in the Middle East. This is due to the rise of the most dangerous radical Islamic power of modern history. In fact, General Jack Keane, former Army Chief of Staff, and presently a national security analyst for Fox News, said on Friday, “This is the most significant threat to the Middle East that I’ve ever observed.”

ISIS, now calling itself simply “The Islamic State,” is the radically hardline Islamic jihadist group that was part of the movement quietly supported and funded by the United States to oppose Bashar al-Assad. It is quickly becoming evident that ISIS is a much greater threat than the West has previously thought.

While using the best of American weaponry and supported by our money, rogue elements of al Qaeda and other radical terrorist groups banded together a group of Muslim fighters. They stealthily began to organize and train a formidable army of seasoned and highly motivated terrorists.

Their radicalism is particularly focused on either converting or annihilating Christians and other religions. Their ultimate goal is to destroy Israel and the United States. They already have planned the most devastating attacks ever on US soil.

ISIS is presently fighting in Syria. It also took part this week in a significant action in Lebanon at the same time as it was capturing Kurdish and Christian cities against a well-regarded, but under-armed, Kurdish force. A group able to work on three fronts at once is impressive. This week they also took control of two more oil fields in Iraq.

They have declared the territory they control in central Iraq to be a new Islamic caliphate and have sworn to see the ISIS flag fly over the White House. 

Jordan is very vulnerable to them. If Syria falls, then ISIS will be next door to Israel.

Now, before you pooh-pooh that notion because you’re not hearing it in the mainstream media (which is keeping it quiet to cover up for the administration), keep this in mind. One of the reasons Syria has not fallen to the ISIS-led opposition is because Hezbollah is in Syria fighting beside Assad’s forces. Hezbollah is Shi’ia Muslim while ISIS is Sunni Muslim, which makes them practically mortal enemies. Since ISIS is now stirring in Lebanon, Hezbollah may have to withdraw and return home to defend Lebanon. If that happens, Syria’s fall is more likely.

If more of Iraq falls, ISIS will have access to the southern oil rich region of the country. Kuwait wouldn't have a chance. Saudi Arabia is vulnerable to them, as are the states surrounding the Saudis like Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Yemen — the greatest oil riches of the world.

ISIS is ruthless beyond belief. So brutal that even al-Qaeda has disowned them. On one day in late July, they executed 1,500 captured Iraqi soldiers. After taking over Mosul, they created a new town charter that calls for all the women, “married or not,” to make themselves available for the sexual use of ISIS soldiers in order to “cleanse themselves” (the women).

Sadam Hussein built the Mosul Dam, in part, as a threat to the Shia population in Iraq. Remember, Saddam was part of the Sunni minority that oppressed the Shia majority. Fox News reported that ISIS captured the dam on Friday. Even if they don’t fully control it yet, it seems inevitable. I heard an expert on Iraq say yesterday that Mosul Dam is “a weapon of mass destruction,” because it threatens so much of the Shia-dominated portion of Iraq. National security expert and retired Marine Colonel Jack Kelly says that if they breach the dam, it will put Baghdad under 15 feet of water.

ISIS is not an immediate threat to the United States, but with President Obama’s initial help and subsequent blind eye, they have already undone the good of vast American effort in Iraq. They love to talk about running their flag up at the White House. They 
fully believe that will happen in the foreseeable future.

Perhaps even more frightening – and certainly more immediate – is the fact that there are at least 100 Americans and a thousand or more Europeans fighting in the ISIS ranks. These traitors have passports that would allow them easy access to the United States. To a terrorist, a European passport is like gold and an American passport is platinum! They are also cunning enough to cut their hair and disguise themselves as normal western travelers.

We Americans need to pray as never before for God to awaken and call to action the Christians that are left in our country. And there are fellow Americans who hate us as never before.

We need to learn our Bible promises and believe them in all situations. And we need to lead as many as possible to faith in the LORD Jesus Christ.

Video released by the Islamic State (IS) group has shown militants celebrating and raising the black IS flag over buildings and facilities in a number of key Iraqi locations under their control.
The militants took control of Mosul in June, and captured a string of towns and Iraq's largest hydroelectric dam and reservoir in recent weeks.
In the video, armed militants of the Islamic State group stand by a tank, holding weapons as one declares to the camera: "Our message to the entire world is that we are the soldiers of the Caliphate state and we are coming."
Pushing southward from Mosul, they swept over Sunni-majority towns almost to Iraq's capital of Baghdad, and now hold large parts of western Iraq as well as swaths of neighbouring Syria.
Iraqi government forces crumbled in the face of the assault but have since been able to prevent the militants from advancing into Shiite-majority areas.

Islamic militants’ growing influence in Iraq and Syria is a threat to Americans, lawmakers from both political parties agreed Sunday even as they sharply disagreed on what role the United States should play in trying to crush them.
President Barack Obama last week approved limited airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham fighters, whose rapid rise in June plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the end of 2011, when U.S. troops withdrew from the country at the end of an unpopular eight-year war. Obama said the current military campaign would be a “long-term project” to protect civilians from the deadly and brutal insurgents.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said the militants threaten not just Iraqis but also Americans. He said Obama’s airstrikes were insufficient to turn back the militants and were designed “to avoid a bad news story on his watch.”
“I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and in Iraq,” said Graham, a reliable advocate for U.S. use of military force overseas.

“They are coming here,” Graham later added about the militants. “This is just not about Baghdad. This is just not about Syria. It is about our homeland.”

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, also said the Islamic State militants pose a threat “in our backyard” and were recruiting westerners.
“Inaction is no longer an option,” she said in a statement as U.S. airstrikes were underway.
The rhetoric tracked closely to that used in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, lawmakers from both parties voted to give President George W. Bush the authority to take military action against Iraq in the hopes of combating terrorism.

“The big question is: What can the United States do to stop it?” Durbin asked.
American airstrikes have included fighter pilots and drones near Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq, as recently as Sunday. The strikes are aimed at limiting Islamic State fighters’ advances and helping Iraqi forces take back control. U.S. and Iraqi aircraft also have conducted airstrikes and dropped humanitarian aid to help the minority Yazidis, thousands of whom have been under attack by Islamic militants and stranded on a scorching mountaintop since Islamic State forces seized Sinjar, near the Syrian border, last week.

 The Obama administration has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against Islamic militants in northern Iraq, senior US officials said Monday.

Previously, the US had insisted on only selling arms to the Iraqi government in Baghdad, but the Kurdish peshmerga fighters had been losing ground to Islamic State militants in recent weeks.

The officials wouldn’t say which US agency is providing the arms or what weapons are being sent, but one official said it isn’t the Pentagon. The CIA has historically done similar quiet arming operations.

The move to directly aid the Kurds underscores the level of US concern about the Islamic State militants’ gains in the north, and reflects the persistent administration view that the Iraqis must take the necessary steps to solve their own security problems.

To bolster that effort, the administration is also very close to approving plans for the Pentagon to arm the Kurds, a senior official said. In recent days, the US military has been helping facilitate weapons deliveries from the Iraqis to the Kurds, providing logistic assistance and transportation to the north.

The additional assistance comes as Kurdish forces on Sunday took back two towns from the Islamic insurgents, aided in part by US airstrikes in the region. President Barack Obama authorized the airstrikes to protect US interests and personnel in the region, including at facilities in Irbil, as well as Yazidi refugees fleeing militants.
At the same time, the administration is watching carefully as a political crisis brews in Baghdad.

More than 360 violent assaults against Jews living in East Jerusalem, including the capital’s Old City, were recorded in July, nearly double the number of similar attacks that took place during the same period in 2013, according to figures published Monday.

Most incidents involve youths hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at Jewish civilians living in predominantly Palestinian neighborhoods, or rioters setting off firecrackers near Jewish institutions. In some cases, however, masked gunmen opened fire at Jews residing in the eastern half of the city, the Haaretz daily reported. Last Monday, an IDF soldier was shot at close range by a gunman on a motorbike near the neighborhood of Wadi al-Joz.

Many of the clashes involved confrontations with police during protests in the city. Police and Housing Ministry figures show that 72 violent incidents took place on the last night of Ramadan alone, compared to an average of five or six such cases a month over the rest of the year. On a different night, violent clashes took place in no fewer than 30 different locations simultaneously, according to Haaretz.

The violence had prompted police to bolster its presence and to heighten security measures all throughout the city, according to Haaretz. Following recurrent cases of Palestinian stone throwing at the Jerusalem light rail, the municipality equipped the tram with a small flying robot that filmed its vicinity and broadcast the footage to a control center. Service was stopped to the Arab neighborhoods of Shuafat and Beit Hanina during rioting that followed Abu Khdeir’s murder which damaged train tracks and stops, but resumed two weeks later.

I’ll comment more in my address today, and in the days and weeks to come ,about what this dangerous trend means and how we can and must counter it.
But for right now, let me just bring some key articles to your attention.
A chilling cover story in Newsweek (July 29th edition) was headlined, “EXODUS: Why Europe’s Jews are fleeing once again.”
Last month, a Jewish news service focused on stunning remarks by Natan Sharansky, the head of the Jewish Agency. The article was headlined, “In Paris, Sharansky warns of ‘beginning of end’ for European Jewry.”
Consider in particular excerpts from The Guardian story:

  • In the space of just one week last month, according to Crif, the umbrella group for France’s Jewish organisations, eight synagogues were attacked.
  • One, in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, was firebombed by a 400-strong mob.
  • A kosher supermarket and pharmacy were smashed and looted; the crowd’s chants and banners included “Death to Jews” and “Slit Jews’ throats”.
  • That same weekend, in the Barbes neighbourhood of the capital, stone-throwing protesters burned Israeli flags: “Israhell”, read one banner.
  • In Germany last month, molotov cocktails were lobbed into the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal – previously destroyed on Kristallnacht – and a Berlin imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, called on Allah to “destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them, to the very last one.”
  • Bottles were thrown through the window of an antisemitism campaigner in Frankfurt.
  • An elderly Jewish man was beaten up at a pro-Israel rally in Hamburg.
  • An Orthodox Jewish teenager punched in the face in Berlin.
  • In several cities, chants at pro-Palestinian protests compared Israel’s actions to the Holocaust; other notable slogans included: “Jew, coward pig, come out and fight alone,” and Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.”
  • “These are the worst times since the Nazi era,” Dieter Graumann, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, told the Guardian. “On the streets, you hear things like ‘the Jews should be gassed’, ‘the Jews should be burned’ – we haven’t had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn’t criticising Israeli politics, it’s just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it’s not just a German phenomenon. It’s an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it’s very clear indeed.”
  • Roger Cukierman, president of France’s Crif, said French Jews were “anguished” about an anti-Jewish backlash that goes far beyond even strongly felt political and humanitarian opposition to the current fighting.
  • “They are not screaming ‘Death to the Israelis’ on the streets of Paris,”Cukierman said last month. “They are screaming ‘Death to Jews’.”
  • Crif’s vice-president Yonathan Arfi said he “utterly rejected” the view that the latest increase in antisemitic incidents was down to events in Gaza. “They have laid bare something far more profound,” he said.

Please take some time to read them, and share them with others. And please pray for the Lord to protect the Jewish people, and the nation of Israel, at this dark time.
The Bible describes the Lord as “the God of Israel” and “the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob.” The Bible makes clear that God loves the Jewish people “with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3), as He loves all people (John 3:16). What’s more, in His Word, the Lord commands us to love and bless Jews and Israel or face consequences.
“Those who bless you, I will bless,” the Lord says, “and those who curse you I will curse.” (Genesis 12:3)  
Let us take this warning to heart as we see what is happening in our world today.

Russian strategic nuclear bombers and other military aircraft entered US air defense identification zones (ADIZs) at least 16 times over the past ten days, American defense officials confirmed on Thursday.

“Over the past week, NORAD has visually identified Russian aircraft operating in and around the US air defense identification zones,” said Maj. Beth Smith, spokeswoman for US Northern Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Smith sought to downplay the incursions that she called “a spike in activity,” telling the Washington Free Beacon’s Bill Gertz that the flights were assessed as routine training missions and exercises.
But an unnamed defense official familiar with the incursion reports disagreed with Smith’s assessment.“These are not just training missions,” the official told Gertz, saying that Russian strategic nuclear forces appear to be “trying to test our air defense reactions, or our command and control systems.”
NORAD scrambled fighter jets several times when Russian strategic aircraft flew along US ADIZs. The planes included a mix of Tu-95 Bear H heavy bombers and Tu-142 Bear F maritime reconnaissance aircraft, as well as one IL-20 intelligence collection aircraft, Smith said.
The bomber flights took place mainly along the Alaskan air defense identification zone that covers the Aleutian Islands and the continental part of the state, and one incursion involved entry into Canada’s air defense zone, she added.

The recent spike in activity after a surface-to-air missile brought down the Malaysia Airlines plane is not the first time Russian military planes were detected in US ADIZs this summer. On June 9, a pair of Tu-95 Bear H aircraft maintained by Russia came close to US airspace during practice bombing while four of the planes were conducting bombing runs near Alaska, a NORAD spokesman told Gertz.
“After tracking the bombers as they flew eastward, two of the four Bears turned around and headed west toward the Russian Far East,” he wrote of the June incident. “The remaining two nuclear-capable bombers then flew southeast and around 9:30 P.M. entered the US northern air defense zone off the coast of Northern California.”
Those two aircraft, Gertz added, made it within 50 miles of the coast before turning around after a US F-15 intercepted them.

There is growing dissent in the EU over policies that led to a de fact trade war with Russia. Meanwhile the countries not toeing the line are reaping the benefits, irritating those who jumped on the sanctions bandwagon.

Greek members of the European Parliament demanded Sunday that the EU cancel sanctions against Russia. MEPs Kostantinos Papadakis and Sotiris Zarianopoulos said in a letter to some senior EU officials that Russia’s ban on food import from the EU, which was Moscow’s response to anti-Russian sanctions, was ruinous to Greek agriculture.
"Thousands of small- and middle-sized Greek farms producing fruit and vegetables and selling them primarily to the Russian market have been hit hard now as their unsold products are now rotting at warehouses,” the letter said.
The MEPs are representing the Communist Party of Greece and blame the EU leaders and their own government for supporting what they called “an imperialist intervention by the US, the EU and NATO” in Ukraine at the expense of good relations with Russia.
Greek farmers stand to lose an estimated 200 million euro in direct damages due to Russia’s move, with more long-term consequences expected even if year-long ban is not renewed on expiry. The producers may find it very hard to win back the market share they had before the ban as non-affected countries would certainly weight in.

Similar sentiments came Sunday from Heinz-Christian Strache, Chairman of the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria, which has 20 percent of seats in the lower chamber of the national parliament and showed similarly strong results in this year’s European parliamentary election.

“In just a few days after the [Russian] sanctions came into force they hurt out agriculture. The EU is thinking on how to mitigate it. Instead of putting Russia on its knees, they drag our farmers to ruin with their senseless sanctions policy,” Strache said ac sited by Austria Presse Agentur.
He also lashed out at Kiev for considering a ban on the transit of Russian gas into Europe to hurt Russia, calling such statements “an affront to their own allies” and “a mockery of the EU,” which will have to save Ukraine from bankruptcy. He called on the Austrian government to clearly state their policy on the situation.

Gregor Gysi, a German parliament member from the Left Party, criticized on Sunday the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel for supporting the sanctions policy, which he called “childish.”
“[US President Barack] Obama talks about economic sanctions all the time, but the response hits us, not the US,” the politician said in an interview with ARD television.

The US government's decision to apply more sanctions on Russia is a grave mistake and will only escalate an already tense situation, ultimately harming the US economy itself. While the effect of sanctions on the dollar may not be appreciated in the short term, in the long run these sanctions are just another step toward the dollar's eventual demise as the world's reserve currency.
Not only is the US sanctioning Russian banks and companies, but it also is trying to strong-arm European banks into enacting harsh sanctions against Russia as well. Given the amount of business that European banks do with Russia, European sanctions could hurt Europe at least as much as Russia. At the same time the US expects cooperation from European banks, it is also prosecuting those same banks and fining them billions of dollars for violating existing US sanctions. It is not difficult to imagine that European banks will increasingly become fed up with having to act as the US government's unpaid policemen, while having to pay billions of dollars in fines every time they engage in business that Washington doesn't like.

European banks are already cutting ties with American citizens and businesses due to the stringent compliance required by recently-passed laws such as FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act). In the IRS's quest to suck in as much tax dollars as possible from around the world, the agency has made Americans into the pariahs of the international financial system. As the burdens the US government places on European banks grow heavier, it should be expected that more and more European banks will reduce their exposure to the United States and to the dollar, eventually leaving the US isolated. Attempting to isolate Russia, the US actually isolates itself.
Another effect of sanctions is that Russia will grow closer to its BRICS (Brazil/Russia/India/China/South Africa) allies. These countries count over 40 percent of the world's population, have a combined economic output almost equal to the US and EU, and have significant natural resources at their disposal. Russia is one of the world's largest oil producers and supplies Europe with a large percent of its natural gas. Brazil has the second-largest industrial sector in the Americas and is the world's largest exporter of ethanol. China is rich in mineral resources and is the world's largest food producer. Already Russia and China are signing agreements to conduct their bilateral trade with their own national currencies rather than with the dollar, a trend which, if it spreads, will continue to erode the dollar's position in international trade. Perhaps more importantly, China, Russia, and South Africa together produce nearly 40 percent of the world's gold, which could play a role if the BRICS countries decide to establish a gold-backed currency to challenge the dollar.

US policymakers fail to realize that the United States is not the global hegemon it was after World War II. They fail to understand that their overbearing actions toward other countries, even those considered friends, have severely eroded any good will that might previously have existed. And they fail to appreciate that more than 70 years of devaluing the dollar has put the rest of the world on edge. There is a reason the euro was created, a reason that China is moving to internationalize its currency, and a reason that other countries around the world seek to negotiate monetary and trade compacts. The rest of the world is tired of subsidizing the United States government's enormous debts, and tired of producing and exporting trillions of dollars of goods to the US, only to receive increasingly worthless dollars in return.
The US government has always relied on the cooperation of other countries to maintain the dollar's preeminent position. But international patience is wearing thin, especially as the carrot-and-stick approach of recent decades has become all stick and no carrot. If President Obama and his successors continue with their heavy-handed approach of levying sanctions against every country that does something US policymakers don't like, it will only lead to more countries shunning the dollar and accelerating the dollar's slide into irrelevance.

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