Speaking to the US Senate, the Pentagon’s leaders blamed Russia for the Aleppo aid convoy attack, but admitted they “had no facts.” Only US coalition planes should be allowed over Syria, they said, though that would require war against both Syria and Russia.
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, faced the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday to report on the ongoing military operations and “national security challenges”faced by the US. They also asked the senators for more reliable funding, saying the uncertainty was hurting the defense industry.
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) asked about what it would take for the US to impose a no-fly zone over Syria, using the phrase “control the airspace.”
“Right now… for us to control all of the airspace in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia,” Dunford replied, drawing a rebuke from committee chairman John McCain (R-Arizona), who argued a no-fly zone was possible without war.
Asked about the video of US-backed Syrian rebels insulting US Special Forces in Al-Rai and running them out of the northern Syrian town, Carter and Dunford shrugged it off.
“Not only our people – our defense industry partners, too, need stability and longer-term plans to be as efficient and cutting-edge as we need them to be,” Carter told the senators.
The lawmakers were far less interested in the war against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) than about the future of the Syrian government, Iran’s “malign influence,” and “aggression” by China and Russia – all ranked far ahead of terrorism on Carter and Dunford’s list of security challenges.
The Pentagon had “no intention” of sharing intelligence with Russia when it came to Syria, Dunford told the lawmakers unequivocally. Secretary Carter explained that the joint implementation councils envisioned by the ceasefire proposal negotiated in Geneva wouldn’t share intelligence, just coordinate efforts – but that they were a moot point anyway, since the ceasefire was effectively dead.
Both the lawmakers and the Pentagon chiefs blamed that development on Russia, focusing on the alleged airstrike against the humanitarian convoy in east Aleppo while the US-led airstrike against the Syrian Army fighting IS in Deir ez-Zor went unmentioned.
“I don’t have the facts,” Dunford said, when asked about the convoy attack by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut). “It was either the Russians or the regime,” he added.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the Russians are responsible,” whether directly or because they backed the government in Damascus, Dunford said, describing the attack as “an unacceptable atrocity.”
Carter explained Dunford’s logic in a response to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), saying that “the Russians are responsible for this strike whether they conducted it or not, because they took responsibility for the conduct of the Syrians by associating themselves with the Syrian regime.”
[Another excellent commentary by Terry James]
It is the geopolitical center of earth’s most dangerous dilemma from the standpoint of the threat of nuclear Armageddon. It even outweighs the gravity of threats from ISIS, Russia, China, or North Korea.
The very survival or destruction of humanity’s future seems to revolve around this nucleus geopolitical matter.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced the problem in a recent video.
Israel’s diversity shows its openness and readiness for peace. Yet the Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: No Jews.
There’s a phrase for that: It’s called ethnic cleansing. And this demand is outrageous. It’s even more outrageous that the world doesn’t find this outrageous.
Some otherwise enlightened countries even promote this outrage.
Out of 138 nations eligible to vote on United Nations Resolution A/67/L.28, only Israel, the United States, Canada, and the Czech Republic voted against the resolution, while forty-one abstained.
The resolution reaffirms: “the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967.”
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, in a practically unprecedented such bias-tinged statement, declared recently that the Israeli “occupation” of Palestinian-controlled territories “must end.”
As the U.N. world leaders gathered in New York City the past week, the number one-collective thought, if not necessarily expressed as the all-out obsession of most gathered, was the idea to force Israel to give up land for peace. It was the same old, ages-long rant: There can’t be peace until Israel gives the Palestinians back their rightful land.
Only, it isn’t theirs. God gave it to Israel in perpetuity:
And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojourning, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. (Genesis 17:7-8)
But, if you don’t accept that biblical claim, then how about this one?
Israel took the territory in question in a series of modern wars, the most pertinent for this argument being accomplished in the 1967 Six-Day War.
The diplomatic world frets that this is the sticking point for Middle East peace. They fret further that if not forthcoming, acceptance of the demand that Israel give up the land in question for peace will mean World War III–nuclear conflict, and the end of humanity itself.
Actually the inverse is true–thus according to God’s Word, which prophesies the following:
I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. (Joel 3: 2)
Most all of the leaders of the nations are dead set to do just what this foreboding prophecy foretells. They are determined to part or divide God’s land. At some point, this will be accomplished, because that’s what Armageddon is all about. All nations will be brought by the God of Israel into the Valley of Jehoshaphat–that is, to the place where Armageddon will unfold.
All of this is shaping up at a rapid pace while most every signal of prophetic significance is coming together in dramatic convergence. We have covered these converging signals of end-times alignment many times in this column.
There is perhaps no such prophetic element so important as the nations of the world dealing treacherously with God’s timepiece–Israel.
The Gaza Strip and its residents are barreling towards disaster, brought on by crippling unemployment, a nonexistent economy, water and electricity shortages, a growing population and the “Islamic dictatorship” of Hamas, while the IDF is trying — and thus far succeeding — to keep the coastal enclave’s terrorist leaders deterred and contained, a senior IDF officer from the Southern Command said Sunday.
Moreover, reconstruction following the 2014 Gaza war, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge, has been slow, in part because Hamas has siphoned off a substantial portion of the reconstruction materials in order to create new attack, defense and smuggling tunnels, according to Israeli authorities.
“Hamas is not rebuilding Gaza, it’s rebuilding its military capabilities,” the officer told reporters.
Though many details of the project remain secret, Israel is in the process of creating “a barrier that will provide a response to above-ground and below-ground threats,” the officer said.
Prominent Jordanian Christian Writer Shot to Death Outside Courthouse for Sharing ‘Allah’ Cartoon on Facebook