The Fourth Libyan Horn And Uranium

At the UN, Obama asked whether it would have really been better to leave Gaddafi in charge of Libya. Can we get a final answer on that after we decide what to do about those 6,400 barrels of uranium?

The country was reportedly holding 6,400 barrels of the “yellowcake” uranium at a warehouse in Sabha. Foreign Minister Muhammad Abdul Aziz said his country “is trying to determine if the concentrated uranium can be used for peaceful nuclear energy purposes or sold to countries which use the product for peaceful purposes.”

An independent think tank in Tripoli, though, has reportedly advised the government to use the material in its nascent nuclear-power program, as well as for “industrial and agricultural development.”

How secure is the city of Sabha? As secure as any place in Libya. Which is to say… not at all.

The prime minister said that armed men had just stormed a post office in the capital, Tripoli, taking employees hostage. A witness at the scene, speaking on condition of anonymity because of security concerns, told The Associated Press that the attackers were seeking to cut off mail to the southern city of Sabha in retaliation for a rival tribe from Sabha cutting off the water supply to Tripoli for a week, forcing hospitals and homes to rely on wells and large tanks.

How can they not be trusted with 6,400 barrels of uranium? Libya isn’t a functioning country, it’s a slow motion tribal war with the Muslim Brotherhood frantically trying to climb on top of the pile.

Pakistan The Third Horn Attacks

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A suicide bomb attack on a church killed at least 75 people as parishioners left the building Sunday, officials said, in what is the biggest attack on Pakistan’s Christian community in many years.
Women and children were among the victims of the attack, which took place as a morning service was drawing to a close.
The rapidly-rising death toll reached at least 75 within hours of the blast, Peshawar’s police commissioner, Sahibzada Anees, told NBC News.
“A suicide bomber blew himself after entering in to the church hall,” deputy police commissioner Zahir ul Islam told NBC News. “There were between 500 to 600 people present in the church” at the time of attack, he added.

In a statement, Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the bomb blast, expressing solidarity with the Christian community.
He said terrorists have no religion and that the targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam.
Christians set fire to tires in protest at the attack, for which nobody has yet claimed responsibility.
“There was no security, police were just standing by,” a man cried outside the church.
“After the service ended, people started to come out and the suicide bomber rushed towards them,” Najeeb Bogvi, a senior police officer in Peshawar told Reuters.

Muhammed Muheisen / AP

Christians make up about four percent of Pakistan’s population of 180 million and tend to keep a low profile in a country where Islamist militants frequently bomb targets they see as heretical, including Christians and Shi’ites, Reuters reported.
In 2009, 40 houses and a church were set ablaze by a mob of 1,000 Muslims in the town of Gojra in Punjab province. At least seven Christians were burnt to death. The attacks were triggered by reports of the desecration of the Koran.

Pakistan Nukes: The Third Horn (Daniel 8)

There have been scores of reports in the past questioning the safety of Pakistani nuclear assets. A similar report recently appeared in the Washington Post, which was yet another crude attempt to malign Pakistan and question the safety and integrity of its nuclear weapons.

From this perspective, in December 2011 issues of The Atlantic magazine and National Journal, Pakistan was labeled as ‘The ally from hell’. The article made preposterous claims that “Pakistan has begun moving its nuclear weapons in low-security vans on congested roads, to hide them from US spy agencies, making the weapons more vulnerable to theft by the militants after the US raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in May at his Pakistani compound reinforced Islamabad’s longstanding fears that Washington could try to dismantle the country’s nuclear arsenal.”

In addition, the article had said: “As a result, the head of the Strategic Plans Divisions (SPD), which is charged with safeguarding the atomic weapons, was ordered to take action to keep the location of nuclear weapons and components hidden from the United States. But instead of transporting the nuclear parts in armoured, well-defended convoys, the atomic bombs capable of destroying entire cities are transported in delivery vans on congested and dangerous roads.”

Why Syria Involves Iran

David Brooks, my favorite New York Times columnist, identifies “the biggest threat to world peace right now” as “the possibility of a wave of sectarian strife building across the Middle East.” Others go even further. One British politician is warning that the conflict in Syria raises “the spectre of a third world war.” Another news outlet headlines: “Could Syria ignite World War 3?”
Why does the Syrian conflict threaten world peace? What does it mean for Israel? For Christians in the Middle East and around the world?
Ryan Crocker is currently serving as the Kissinger Senior Fellow at Yale University and is a former U.S. ambassador to Syria. Crocker reminds us that the Syrian conflict did not begin with the Arab Spring, but in 1982, when the Assad regime systematically eliminated the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The government has been preparing for insurgency ever since. Unlike the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, it was ready for this war.
The Assad regime is backed by Iran and other Shias. The strongest opposition group, Jabhat al-Nusra, is the al Qaeda branch in Syria. The Free Syria Army is another insurgent group – backed by Sunnis, including Saudi Arabia, it has been accused of widespread atrocities against Christians in the country. As you can see, the conflict in Syria is a “proxy war,” as Iran and Saudi Arabia work against each other to increase their leverage in the region. Meanwhile, Sunni vs. Shia tensions threaten to bring Iraq back into civil war and inflame tensions in Lebanon.
This situation affects Israel directly. Iranian lawmakers are warning that a military strike on Syria would lead to a retaliatory attack on Israel fanned by “the flames of outrage.” The commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards states that an American attack on Syria “will result in the imminent destruction of the Zionist regime of Israel.” Israelis take these threats seriously – last week, crowds thronged gas mask distribution centers in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and northern Israel.
Such anti-Israel rhetoric has been a staple of Iranian foreign policy for more than 30 years. Why? And why is it connected now to an American action against Syria?
Here’s the part of the story that isn’t getting much press: Iran’s leader believes that attacking Israel would bring the Mahdi (“Guided One”), an Islamic messiah who would protect Muslims from retribution and dominate the world for Islam. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been the Supreme Leader in Iran since the death of his predecessor and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in 1989. Iran elects a president every four years, but the real power in the nation resides with the Supreme Leader, who combines clerical and political power.
Khamenei is now regarded by many as the “Seyed Khorasani,” the individual who will set the stage for the Mahdi’s re-emergence. Khamenei claims that Ayatollah Khomeini told him, “it will be during the time of your leadership that the last Shiite Imam, Imam Mahdi, will re-appear.” To fulfill this role, Khamenei would need to lead Muslims to attack Israel. How would he do so?
One way would be an appeal to the Qur’an, which requires Muslims to “fight in the way of Allah those who fight you” (Surah 2:190). If America strikes Syria, Khamenei can characterize our action as an attack by “infidels” against Muslims. He can then call on Muslims to defend Islam by attacking America and its ally, Israel. This attack would lead to the re-appearance of the Mahdi, fulfilling Khamenei’s role and establishing a base for global Islamic domination.
Clearly, the stakes in Syria are higher than most of us imagine. Christians should seek divine wisdom for our leaders (1 Timothy 2:1-2) and protection for those in Syria and across the Middle East. We can pray for Ali Khamenei to meet Jesus in a vision or dream, the kind of miracle now happening across the Muslim world. And we are called to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6) today.

Iran Promises Payback For Syria

With the evidence of the chemical warfare attacks by Syria mounting, and the United States, France and Britain all claiming to hold evidence proving a chemical attack, a Syria strike is being planned. John Kerry said that there are at least 10 countries who are willing to join forces with the U.S. in a strike. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have both made threats.
The harshest threat comes from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who said that if the United States attacks Syria the country will pay a steep price. He also said that the U.S. had no right to play the part of humanitarians after everything they did to Iraq.
Khamenei went on to say that the turmoil in the Middle East is a direct response to the arrogance of Washington. He said that if the U.S. attacks Syria, they won’t stop the “resistance” against the arrogance of America. He finally threw out the label of “terrorist” and said that if the United States attacks Syria, it will be seen as an act of terrorism.
One of the big news items taking place yesterday saw Russia move some of their warships and it looks like they are preparing for a U.S. attack on Syria, who is still an ally of Russia. Vladimir Putin still says he does not believe the allegations of chemical warfare on the part of Syria. As an ally of Syria, that might just be lip service.
Vladimir Putin then made his veiled threat against the United States. Putin says that, if the U.S. attacks Syria, Russia has “plans” on how they will react to the Syria strike. This came as President Barack Obama found Congressional approval to set out for the strike, which has larger plans to topple the power of Bashar al-Assad.
Things have been scary for the last month. With Syria launching what many people now see as a chemical attack on over a thousand people, something needs to be done. However, with two different countries making threats against the United States if they attack, this could get much bigger than any military action in years.
When President George W. Bush ordered an attack on Iraq based on lies of weapons of mass destruction, he had a lot of allies behind him. He was going in to allegedly stop greater evils from happening. No one made threats and the U.S. was able to strike hard.
This is completely different. Something has to be done to show countries like Syria, Iran and North Korea that using illegal chemical warfare won’t be accepted. However, by doing so we might end up fighting three different countries in Syria, Iran and Russia, and this would be the closest thing to starting a new World War in a very long time.
Politicians and military advisors need to tread lightly because this could get way out of hand if they are not careful. The Vladimir Putin and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei should not be taken lightly.

Antichrist Threatens Retaliation For US Involvement in Syria

Iraqi Government Rejects US Strike on Syria, Fears Civil War | Informed Comment

In his speech on Saturday on the Syria crisis, President Obama instanced Iraq among the countries that might suffer if the Baath regime were allowed to get away with using chemical weapons.

The elected government of Iraq, however, says thanks but no thanks. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki categorically rejects a Western strike on Syria. Sectarian struggles lie behind this reaction.

The Iraqi government has announced that it won’t permit the US to fly over Iraqi territory in the course of any operation against Syria.

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, of the Shiite ‘Islamic Call’ party, has forcefully rejected any outside attack on Syria. His government is said to fear that a US strike on Syria will produce social “chaos” that stretches from the Sunni areas in Syria into Anbar province (with its Sunni majority).

Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari admitted that Iraq was unable to stop the weapons flow from Iran to Syria.

Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the hard line Sadr II bloc among Shiites, completely rejected any Western strike on Syria. Unlike most Iraqi Shiites, al-Sadr supports the Syrian revolution and says Syria should have free and fair elections so as to create a truly representative government.

But al-Sadr reminded Syrians of the disasters visited on Iraq by sectarian faction-fighting and by American military occupation, and urged them to avoid both. Al-Sadr called for the Iraqis peacefully to demonstrate against any prospect of a US strike on Syria.

The radical Shiite group Asa’ib ahl al-Haqq threatened retaliation against any US strike.

In contrast, the Iraqiya Party that represents most Iraqi Sunnis is in favor of US military intervention against Syria.

Iran’s Nuclear Nightmare

After constant exposure to critically important news, it begins to lose all meaning and sense of urgency. Hearing the same warnings over and over again — especially when the status quo seems static — can cause a certain desensitization, a resigned apathy that ignores the warnings in the wishful hope that they won’t materialize.
This hope becomes more optimistic (and passive) with each passing day that the warnings do not materialize. One of the most evident examples of this phenomenon is the threat of a nuclear Iran. For years, the international community has been hearing about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons; for years, the world has been hearing Iran make bold, genocidal threats-most notoriously, that it will wipe the state of Israel off the map. But so far, Iran reportedly still has no nukes, and no large attack has been launched on Israel. Thus, many have become desensitized to the situation — including those charged with ensuring that a nuclear Iran never becomes a reality.
But that reality has never been closer, as we are warned in Noah Beck’s recent novel, The Last Israelis. It is our current proximity to apocalyptic war that makes Beck’s doomsday warning about a nuclear Iran so compelling. If the worst comes to pass, this chilling attempt to rouse the West from its torpor could turn out to be that final, horribly prophetic alert that went unheeded.
Much of the public is conditioned by the mainstream media and government to focus on the short-term — U.S. presidents tend to concentrate only on matters pressing during their tenure — and rarely ever on longer-term issues or threats. Thus, a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East seems unrealistic. Add to this the fact that virtually all nations with nukes have never used them, and one can see why a certain apathy prevails when it comes to the idea of a nuclear Iran.
But Iran is different. Its Shiites leaders believe that at the end of times, a 9th-century prophet, the 12th Imam, will reappear to kill all the infidels and raise the flag of Islam in all four corners of the world. Reza Kahlili, a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, reported last year on the apocalyptic statements from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who dictates Iran’s nuclear policy. Khamenei’s statements, which were carried by Iranian state media, proclaimed that “The issue of Imam Mahdi is of utmost importance, and his reappearance has been clearly stated in our holy religion of Islam. We must study and remind ourselves of the end of times and Imam Mahdi’s era… We must prepare the environment for the coming so that the great leader will come.” Kahlili also translated Iranian news reports from last June suggesting that Iran’s newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani (the so-called “moderate”), shares Khamenei’s views. The reports quote Rouhani thanking the Islamic messiah for his June 15th electoral victory.
Indeed, the Islamic theocracy ruling Iran believes that apocalyptic scenarios are necessary before Islam’s savior, the Mahdi, or “Hidden Imam,” returns (including a prophecy that Muslims must slay all Jews before he returns); believes that death in the jihad results in instant paradise for the “martyr”; believes the oft-recited Islamist sentiment that “Muslims love death as Westerners love life” — a sentiment that has manifested itself in reality all too often by young Muslim men and women sacrificing their lives to become suicide bombs that kill Americans, Israelis, and many others.
In short, Iran has a worldview that is markedly different than the one that guides Western decision-making. Unlike nuclear-armed Western secular democracies, a nuclear Islamic supremacist regime in Iran is much more prone to use these devastating weapons. Thus, the situation is serious, is urgent, and, as the United Nations refuses to act decisively, could trigger a holocaust that sees millions of innocent people — Israelis and Iranians alike — wiped out overnight.
What would such a nightmare scenario be like?
As a powerful, well-researched novel, The Last Israelis provides a gripping answer, and helps to neutralize the desensitization and/or apathy to a nuclear Iran by depicting an all too real scenario of what a nuclear Iran could ultimately mean for the region and the world.
The narrative follows the lives of an Israeli submarine crew. After news that Iran has achieved nuclear status vis-à-vis an impotent or indifferent West, they are yanked from loved ones during an interrupted and all too brief shore leave, and sent on a mission possibly to retaliate with submarine-launched nuclear ballistic missiles, if a nuclear strike is launched against Israel. Halfway through their mission, the submariners lose contact with base command and the ambiguity surrounding those circumstances — and what they could imply — creates palpable tension and conflict among the crewmembers.
What follows among the crew is a very philosophical — though all too human — debate over what they should do, as it is now up to them to decide the fate of millions:

If the final communication from headquarters states that Israel was “attacked on all fronts,” and that naval command was hit and “in crisis management mode,” what did that mean for the rest of the country that had been “attacked on all fronts?” What did it mean for [the submariners’] loved ones?…And what did it mean to decide to do something that would kill millions of human beings in just a few hours? Each submariner struggled with these weighty questions, trying to decide for himself what was the most appropriate course of action under the circumstances.

The nuanced debates are particularly interesting because Beck’s crew is as heterogeneous and complex as the Israeli society that they defend, including a Vietnamese-Israeli, an Arab-Israeli Druze, an Ethiopian-Israeli, and a Christian Israeli. Based on their individual backgrounds, upbringings, and most importantly, experiences, this motley crew offers dramatically different perspectives — from the hawkish to the dovish — that reflect the diverse views that one finds in a debate-driven democracy like Israel.
Besides issuing an urgent warning, The Last Israelis is so grounded in history and current events-including real people, places, and events — that it provides an entertaining way to become educated about the Middle East in general, and the conflict between Israel and Iran in particular. And in one crucial respect, this book is not fiction: a nuclear armed Iran is very bad news, not just for Israel, as many think, but for the whole region and the stability of the world. Therefore, the world is obligated to act now to ensure that the horrific scenario recounted in The Last Israelis never comes to pass.