Tehran is back to threatening Israel, this time during a parade marking the anniversary of the 1980 Iraqi invasion of Iran, a war that lasted eight years.
A wide variety of military hardware was on display Wednesday during the parade, which made its way down the main drag in the nation’s capital. Included was the Qadr H missile, which allegedly has a range of 2,000 kilometers.
Long-range ballistic missiles, tanks and the Russian-produced S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system were all in full view as the gala parade was broadcast on state television.
One military truck displayed a banner shown prominently on the broadcast that read:
“If the leaders of the Zionist regime make a mistake, then the Islamic Republic will turn Tel Aviv and Haifa to dust.”
The Iranian Navy showed off 500 vessels, along with submarines and helicopters, at the port of Bandar Abbas on the Persian Gulf.
Iran has tested American mettle more than 30 times so far this year with close encounters in the Gulf between its vessels and those of the United States Navy, according to U.S. officials quoted by Reuters.
Shortly after Russia's accusations that a US drone was coincidentally overhead when the UN convoy was struck, CNN reports that US officials are stating that ISIS is suspected of firing a shell with mustard agent that landed at the Qayarrah air base in Iraq Tuesday where US and Iraqi troops are operating. Luckily, no US troops were hurt or have displayed symptoms of exposure to mustard agent.
For some context, this happened earlier (as Reuters reports)
The Russian Defence Ministry said on Wednesday that a U.S. Predator drone was in the area where a U.N. aid convoy was partially destroyed in Syria on Monday and had appeared on the scene minutes before the incident.
Repeating denials of Russian involvement in the episode, Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for the ministry, said Western allegations that Moscow was responsible were an attempt to distract attention from the U.S.-led coalition's bombing of Syrian soldiers near Deir al-Zor airport on Saturday.
And now, as CNN reports, ISIS is suspected of firing a shell with mustard agent that landed at the Qayarrah air base in Iraq Tuesday where US and Iraqi troops are operating, according to several US officials.
The shell was categorized by officials as either a rocket or artillery shell. After it landed on the base, just south of Mosul, US troops tested it and received an initial reading for a chemical agent they believe is mustard.
No US troops were hurt or have displayed symptoms of exposure to mustard agent.
One official said the agent had "low purity" and was "poorly weaponized." A second official called it "ineffective."
A US defense official said troops had gone out to look at the ordnance after it landed. Based on seeing what they thought was a suspect substance, two field tests were conducted.
The first test was positive and the second was negative, the official said. The substance is now being sent to a lab for further examination.
US troops involved in the incident went through decontamination showers as a precaution. No troops have shown any symptoms of exposure, such as skin blistering. CNN has reported on previous instances where ISIS has fired rounds with mustard agents in Iraq and Syria.
The officials said they "had expected" that ISIS might try use chemical weapons as US and Iraqi forces push towards Mosul in an effort to take the city back from ISIS. Several hundred US troops are using the base as a staging area for supporting Iraqi forces.
All of this has led the Pentagon to assess on a preliminary basis that it was ISIS that fired at the base, since the terror group has been making mustard agent for some time.
Unfortunately, for now, John Kerry has been unable to find any YouTube clips to confirm the chemical weapons usage. And the big question is - was the mustard gas US made?
On September 17, 2016, air force of the US-led western coalition bombed Syrian army positions near the town of Deir ez-Zor along the Syrian-Iraqi border region. Four combat F-16 and A-10 aircraft carried out the air raid, in direct violation of the latest fragile cease-fire agreement between Damascus and the armed opposition. The aerial assault claimed the lives of 62 Syrian soldiers, leaving some 100 soldiers and civilians injured. The US Defense Department said that a “miscalculation” was to be blamed for the tragedy. The Pentagon also alleged that he Americans had been sure that they were launching strikes against ISIS forces (a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia).
However, one does not have to be a military expert to be skeptical of Washington’s version of the story. This is considering the fact that the US Air Force possess advanced reconnaissance systems, and that there had been no reports of the relocation of either the Syrian government troops or ISIS militants in this area prior to the attack. In addition, the trench warfare and the siege of the Syrian garrison and airfield in Deir ez-Zor have been going on for a couple of years. All this means that the probability of making an error when calculating targets should have been close to zero. In fact, this “error” resembles a deliberate provocation by Washington that is devised to resolve a range of military and political problems to the advantage of the US and its allies.
To start with, the US administration would be greatly satisfied if the Syrian peace process comes to a halt. This is because they strongly disagree with the prospects of Bashar al Assad remaining in power, participating in the activities of the transitional government and, subsequently, taking part in the restoration of the Syrian state.
Secondly, it would also be in the US interests for the government troops deployed in Deir ez-Zor to become emasculated. If that happens, the Americans will maintain control over the ISIS-infested area along the Syrian-Iraqi border, where ISIS militants are expected to soon be replaced by the forces of the so-called “moderate opposition.”
Americans were trying to divert public attention from the real crisis spot of the Syrian conflict and the humanitarian disaster in Aleppo and the adjacent areas.
As can be seen from the above, it could be concluded that Washington, Riyadh and Ankara are using the “struggle against global terrorism” as an excuse to attain their selfish strategical and tactical objectives in the region. The allies are looking to either topple Bashar al Asad’s regime in Syria, or drive it into isolation. They are also pursuing other goals, the main among them being to neutralize the influence of Iran in Shia communities of Arab countries and suppress the Kurdish national movement in Turkey and Syria. And the administration headed by Barack Obama, a Noble Peace Prize winner and ‘peace advocate’, is setting the tone for this aggressive quest.
I am gravely concerned that the Obama-Clinton team is involved in an ongoing subversion policy not only on a national scale but on a global one. Certainly, as far as Israel is concerned there is a grand deception going on.
In his UN General Assembly speech, President Obama spoke about “deep fault lines in the existing international order.” He’s right. He’s responsible for a lot of the mess.
Unfortunately, politicians like Obama like to see what they want to see and ignore gross realities that do not jive with what they want to achieve. Take the Israeli-Palestinian issue, for example. At the UN podium Obama said, “Surely Israelis and Palestinian will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel, but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”
To the uninitiated (i.e. the progressives who live in a virtual world that enables them to block out sounds and truth that invades their cocooned ‘safe spaces’), massive and ongoing Palestinian terror coming at Israeli civilians from the Hamas political front based in Gaza and the Fatah political front based in Ramallah is ignored, tippexed out of his song sheet. In his narrative, it simply doesn’t exist.
In this he is backed by Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, who sang off the same song sheet. “Ten years lost to illegal settlement expansion. Ten years lost to intra-Palestinian divide, growing polarization and hopelessness. This is madness.”
Yes it is, Ban Ki. It’s madness not to see the violent passion to destroy Israel. He spoke as Israel endured another weekend of Palestinian terror attacks, eight in number. It’s madness for them to talk about Israel “illegally occupying Palestinian land” when 2000 year old Jewish coins were recently dug up on land that was evidently Jewish.
If you want to hear three lies in four words try “illegally occupied Palestinian land.” As long as Israel does not build on private land owned by an Arab it’s not “illegal,” it’s not “occupied,” and it’s not “Palestinian land” until we say it is, and no false talk about “international law” can make it so.
I consider it self-evident that we are in the third and final stage of self-serving Imperial decay.
Though Edward Luttwak's The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire: From the First Century CE to the Third is not specifically on the rise and fall of empires, it does sketch out the three stages of Empire.
Here is the current context of the discussion of Imperial lifecycles: the U.S. defense budget is roughly the same size as the rest of the world's defense spending combined:
Luttwak describes the first stage of expansion thusly:
"With brutal simplicity, it might be said that with the first system the Romans of the republic conquered much to serve the interests of the few, those living in the city--and in fact still fewer, those best placed to control policy."
The second stage spread the benefits of Empire much more broadly:
"During the first century A.D., Roman ideas evolved toward a much broader and altogether more benevolent conception of empire... men born in lands far from Rome could call themselves Roman and have their claim fully allowed, and the frontiers were efficiently defended to defend the growing prosperity of all, and not merely the privileged."
The third stage is one of rising inequality:
"In the wake of the great crisis of the third century, the provision of security became an increasingly heavy charge on society, a charge unevenly distributed, which could enrich the wealthy and ruin the poor. The machinery of empire now became increasingly self-serving, with its tax collectors, administrators and soldiers of much greater use to one another than to society at large."
That line describes the American state and central bank perfectly. The burdens of an increasingly self-serving hierarchy are falling most heavily on the middle and upper-middle class, while bread and circuses (i.e. Medicaid-paid opiates) are freely distributed to the restless masses to distract them from the immense concentration of wealth and power at the top of the pyramid:
At some point, Collapse Is Cheaper and More Effective Than Reform (November 5, 2015). The third stage Luttwak describes can be broken down into a chart of the Lifecycle of Bureaucracy, for every Imperial Project is ultimately the combination of a vast concentration of wealth/power and the sclerosis of self-serving bueaucracies that serve themselves rather than society at large:
Many of my former co-workers in law enforcement are under attack tonight. Charlotte, NC is under siege by masses of Godless people. Someone within the protesters walked up to another protester and shot him in the head, just 10 feet away from a line of 50+ officers. We are in the days of peril. No matter what, Gods will, is going to prevail!
Even though we knew times would become like this it's still unnerving to say the least. Praying for peace in Charlotte. I have family in that area as well. And we know that only Jesus will bring that real and lasting peace. Come Lord Jesus!
Yep - thats the aspect that some Christian groups (and all non-Christian groups) fail to recognize. There will not be peace or justice until Jesus' reign. Period. End of story.
Agree, Jesus is the only answer. The only one but heavy prayer of the righteous helps until that time. :)
David, praying for you guys down there.
I was blessed to attend the Burlington Revival and heard something worth sharing here. From all over the country the question, why was Burlington blessed this way? One pastor from out of state had a great insight. He listed 2 reasons he felt God would and the second is relevant here. 1) This church had been praying for revival for 15 years and 2) After Charlotte had passed extremely liberal bathroom/dressing room transgender laws, the state leadership jumped up and said no...use the public facilities corresponding to the sex God had assigned you. Period. NC has been severely hammered economically for this stance and has not relented. It is worth noting that the city insisting on blurring God's sexual lines is the city having these problems. We had the same issue a few months ago in Raleigh and nary a whimper of protest.
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