The US and UK … One of Ten Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7:7)

Obama Approves Secret Nuclear Weapons Deal With UK

The Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7:7)

The Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7:7)

President Barack Obama has quietly agreed to a secret ten-year deal with the United Kingdom to collaborate on nuclear weapons technology and materials—sparking concern among advocates of nuclear disarmament, who say the countries should be cooperating to dismantle—not develop—their arsenals.

The deal would extend the terms of a “Mutual Defense Agreement” struck in 1958 between the U.S. and the U.K. that has been renewed regularly since it was formalized, with the most recent renewal in 2004. The agreement has played a critical role in building up the nuclear arsenals of both countries and stems from nuclear cooperation dating to the 1940s.

President Barack Obama said in a message to Congress issued July 24 that he has signed off on a renewal of the deal that will “permit the transfer between the United States and the United Kingdom of classified information concerning atomic weapons; nuclear technology and controlled nuclear information; material and equipment for the development of defense plans; training of personnel; evaluation of potential enemy capability; development of delivery systems; and the research, development, and design of military reactors.

Robert Alvarez, senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and former senior policy adviser to the secretary of energy under the Clinton administration, told Common Dreams that the latest renewal “will not go into force until a certain amount of time elapses and Congress does nothing to stop it.”

Obama notes that amendments have been added to the agreement regarding “nuclear threat reduction, naval nuclear propulsion, and personnel security.” However, he does not clarify the changes, and the full details of the deal are kept secret in both the U.S. and the U.K.

The U.K.-based watchdog Nuclear Information Service warns in a recent report that the deal with facilitate developments including the creation and stockpiling of nuclear warheads and submarines and the creation of new nuclear research. According to the organization, the “relationship and activities” that the deal enables are not compatible with the obligations of either country under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Alvarez said that the extension of the deal is “business as usual—standard boiler plate stuff” and is likely to breeze through Congress.

However, nuclear ‘business as usual’ has fallen under increasing criticism, with people around the world pushing their governments to move away from nuclear weapons. President Obama said in a a 2009 speech that nuclear non-proliferation would be a key tenet of his foreign policy, declaring, “I state clearly and with conviction America’s commitment to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.”

But in his message about the deal, Obama takes the ongoing role of a “nuclear deterrent” as a given for both the U.S. and the U.K.: “The United Kingdom intends to continue to maintain viable nuclear forces into the foreseeable future. Based on our previous close cooperation, and the fact that the United Kingdom continues to commit its nuclear forces to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, I have concluded it is in the United States national interest to continue to assist the United Kingdom in maintaining a credible nuclear deterrent.”

A report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found that, as of the beginning of 2014, the U.S. had 7,300 nuclear warheads, with the U.K. possessing 225.

The deal has whipped up controversy in the U.K., where—as Richard Norton Tailor reports for the Guardian—it is critical to the highly controversial Trident nuclear weapons system which is fiercely opposed by anti-nuclear advocates.

According to the Nuclear Information Service report, “The nuclear relationship between the USA and the US is not a partnership of equals. The UK relies on unique US facilities and capabilities for support to the extent that its nuclear weapons programme cannot be regarded as technically independent from the USA.”

What Nobel Peace Prize? The Real “Change” (1 Corinthians 15:52)

Is Obama Changing His Mind about Nuclear Weapons

What Nobel Peace Prize?

What Nobel Peace Prize?

Since the start of his presidency, Barack Obama has been clear that one of his major goals was to secure nuclear weapons and materials. As recently as March, at the Nuclear Security Summit in Holland, the president declared: “It is important for us not to relax but rather accelerate our efforts over the next two years.”

Instead, to little notice, the administration has decided to spend money at an even greater rate than before to refurbish and modernize nuclear weapons while slashing the amount it is spending to prevent terrorists from getting or making their own.

According to a new analysis of nuclear security spending by a bipartisan group at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the administration in its 2015 budget chose to cut nuclear nonproliferation programs in the Energy Department by $399 million while increasing spending on nuclear weapons by $534 million.

In addition, despite missing a self-imposed deadline of April 2013 for ensuring that nuclear materials were safe from terrorists across the globe, the White House at about the same time rejected a confidential Energy Department-sponsored plan to accelerate those efforts by 2016, the year Obama is slated to convene a fourth international summit on the issue.

The proposal, which appears in a May 2013 report obtained recently by the Center for Public Integrity, was intended to address the huge amount of unfinished work in the Obama administration’s nonproliferation plan. It said that more than two tons of portable, easily weaponized uranium were still being held in scores of nuclear research reactors while the world’s supply of another nuclear explosive, plutonium, was growing at a rate of about 740 bombs’ worth a year.

Despite progress, the Energy Department found, there remained enough nuclear explosive material in the hands of civilians to cobble together 40,000 atomic bombs.

The 12-page report in 2013 called for an acceleration of efforts to lock down or eliminate more of these dangerous materials — as well as radioactive isotopes that could be used in bombs that could contaminate large urban areas. But after an interagency struggle that climaxed at a Cabinet-level meeting in January, the White House produced a 2015 budget proposal that slighted many of the report’s key recommendations and reduced spending on nonproliferation programs.

It did so with the approval of Sylvia Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, officials and experts say, after officials decided to prioritize spending on the refurbishment and modernization of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Matthew Bunn, a former White House official and one of the authors of the Kennedy School of Government analysis, described the internal administration discussions this way: “Should they provide more money for nonproliferation, or more money for weapons? It’s clear that weapons won that debate.”

Laura Holgate, the White House senior director for weapons-of-mass-destruction terrorism, did not dispute the budget analysis, but she said the administration’s commitment to nuclear security “remains strong and unparalleled” and the reductions in nonproliferation spending reflected the achievement of many of President Obama’s goals.

“The president’s nonproliferation and nuclear security priorities were protected,” she wrote in an email. “The decreased budget reflects natural and predictable declines based on project completion.”

The report describing urgent unfinished business in nuclear security was prepared by the staff of the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, part of the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-independent arm of the Energy Department. The NNSA also oversees the production of nuclear warheads, so internal budget skirmishes between those who favor nonproliferation and those who seek more spending on the nuclear arsenal are frequent.

For the current year, fiscal 2014, Congress authorized $1.95 billion in spending by the NNSA on nonproliferation programs. The White House budget for 2015 proposes $1.56 billion — a 20 percent reduction.

In fiscal 2010, NNSA spending on nuclear weapons was about three times as high as for nonproliferation. Under the proposed White House budget, weapons spending would outstrip nonproliferation spending by over five-to-one—$8.3 billion to $1.56 billion.

The NNSA report found that because of the administration’s four-year effort, “the world today is unquestionably more secure from the threat of nuclear terrorism than it was four years ago.” But, the report added, there are “still serious threats that require urgent attention.”

“Experts continue to believe that terrorists are seeking a nuclear or radiological weapon — either by making one or stealing one,” the NNSA report says. “A handful of highly enriched uranium (HEU) or plutonium the size of a grapefruit is all that is needed to make a nuclear bomb with the potential to kill hundreds of thousands of people. A small capsule of cesium the size of a pencil is enough for a radiological ‘dirty bomb’ that could contaminate an entire city and result in billions of dollars in economic devastation.”

To blunt these threats, the NNSA report — marked “For Official Use Only” — sought to set the following ambitious new goals, to be achieved by December 2016:

– It called for removing or eliminating 1.1 metric tons of weapons-grade uranium and 400 kilograms — over 880 pounds — of plutonium from sites around the world.
– It urged the removal of all highly enriched uranium — that is, uranium that could be fashioned into a bomb — in eight more foreign countries by the same date.
– It proposed that the administration make a better accounting of existing plutonium stocks, decide on ways to dispose of it, and persuade other countries to balance production with consumption so that the net global stockpile will finally begin to shrink. This would be a major accomplishment, since the world’s total accumulation has instead been rising steadily, by 100 metric tons since 1998.
– It proposed accelerating U.S. efforts to convert research reactors that use weapons-grade uranium to burn a form of uranium that cannot easily be used to fuel weapons — calling for 13 more such reactor conversions by the end of 2016.

None of these proposals was adopted.

“Despite President Obama’s well-deserved reputation as an advocate for nuclear security, the Obama administration has been cutting nuclear security programs year after year for most of its term in office,” wrote Bunn, a Harvard professor; William Tobey, deputy administrator for the NNSA’s Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation office during the Bush administration; and Nickolas Roth, a Harvard researcher, in their 32-page analysis.

In addition, the Harvard analysis anticipates reduced spending on nonproliferation programs in the State and Defense departments, based on congressional reports and briefing notes, discussions with agency officials and internal documents, including a copy the NNSA report — which the Center for Public Integrity obtained separately.

Why Canada Is One Of Ten Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7:7)

Uranium Mining In Canada

Canadian Uranium Mining

Canadian Uranium Mining

By Dave Brown – Exclusive to Uranium Investing News

Canada has been a major world producer of uranium since global demand for production of the mineral developed; and the country is rich in uranium resources with a well established track record of successful exploration, mining and generation of nuclear power. Exploration for uranium ore began in earnest in 1942 under direction of the government for military purposes and at its zenith in 1959, Canada’s $330 million in uranium exports exceeded the value for every other mineral. With known uranium resources of 499,000 tonnes of U3O8, as well as increasing exploration projects on the horizon, Canada is certain to maintain a significant role in meeting future global demand.

Canada was the world’s largest uranium producer for many years, accounting for about 22 percent of global supply; however, in 2009 the leading position belonged to Kazakhstan with about 28 percent.  Today, production comes mainly from the McArthur River mine in northern Saskatchewan, which is the largest in the world, although other areas have been active in the past including Ontario and the Northwest Territories. Canada is the world’s leading exporter of uranium and hosts three of the top ten producing mines in the world.  In addition to being the world’s largest supplier of uranium and potash, Saskatchewan has a wealth of developing mineral resources including coal, diamonds, gold, platinum & palladium, rare earth elements, copper, zinc, nickel, oil, gas, sodium and mineralized brines.

Since 1997, The Fraser Institute has conducted an annual survey of metal mining and exploration companies to assess how mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation, geopolitical risk, legislation and regulation impact exploration. The most recent survey includes data on seventy two jurisdictions around the world, on every continent except Antarctica, including sub-national jurisdictions in Canada, Australia, and the United States.  This year Canada has continued its world leading performance with six Canadian provinces positioned in the top ten: Alberta, Newfound land & Labrador, New Brunswick, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Quebec (in top spot as the global leader). Ontario is also considered a relatively strong investment jurisdiction ranking twenty second, down from last year’s tenth spot finish.

Present Production

Canada produced 10,617 tonnes of uranium in 2008, and in 2009 production was 11,997 tonnes of uranium, 22 percent of global output. Most of this comes from a third generation of mines, which began operating in 1999 at McClean Lake and McArthur River in northern Saskatchewan. The Rabbit Lake mine in the same region is the third source, and is the longest operating uranium production facility in Saskatchewan.  The primary uranium producers are Cameco (TSE:CCO) and Areva Resources Canada (formerly Cogema Resources), part of France’s Areva Group (EPA:CEI).

Future Operations

Uranium production in Canada is likely to increase significantly as several new mines, now planned or under construction, go into operation sometime after 2011 well positioned to accommodate forecasts for strong Asian demand. The two largest projects are Cameco’s Cigar Lake mine and Areva’s Midwest mine, both in northern Saskatchewan. The mill at McClean Lake has been modified to process ore from both mines. The Rabbit Lake mill will also be modified to take ore from Cigar Lake. Total production is expected to be 8,200 tonnes per year of uranium from Cigar Lake and 2,600 tonnes per year from Midwest.

Prospective Exploration Opportunities

In addition to mining operations planned for the near future, active exploration involving more than 40 companies continues in many parts of Canada. While exploration has concentrated on northern Saskatchewan, new prospects expansively range from Labrador and Nova Scotia in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec province, Nunavut Territory in the far north, and Ontario’s Elliott Lake area.
In uranium-rich northern Saskatchewan, exploration projects are now well-advanced at several locations. The Millenniumdeposit, which is a joint venture (42 percent owned by Cameco, 30 percent by Japan-Canada Uranium Consortium and 28 percent by Areva Resources) has indicated resources of 21,000 tonnes of 4.5 percent grade uranium and 4,400 tonnes of 2.1 percent grade inferred. It is between McArthur River and Key Lake, with the ore expected to be milled at Key Lake. A feasibility study on the project has advanced to Cameco seeking approval for extraction. Underground development is envisaged over 2013 to 2017. The Tamarack deposit associated with Dawn Lake is also a focus of interest.

Denison Mines Corp. (TSE: DML) is actively exploring the Phoenix deposit in the Wheeler River area half way between Key Lake and McArthur River. It is a long strike from the latter and geologically very similar, with some high-grade uranium mineralization. Denison has a 60 percent interest, Cameco has 30 percent and the Japan-Canada Uranium Consortium is at 10 percent ownership.  Last month, Denison announced that the summer drill program had discovered two new mineralized zones at the extreme northeast and southwest edges of the Phoenix trend, which the company believes makes the deposit “one of the most exciting discoveries to come out the uranium-rich area in the last twenty years.”

The Antichrist And His Men Take Over (Revelation 13:16)

The Iraq War’s Key Players: Where Are They Now?

It has been over a decade since the United States launched a war to topple Saddam Hussein. Three years ago the last U.S. troops left Iraq.

Over the course of the war, nearly 4,500 U.S. troops and an estimated 120,000 Iraqi civilians lost their lives, although a recent study suggested the real number of Iraqis who died as a result of the war could be as high as 500,000.

Now, Iraq’s government remains half-formed after an April election and unable to confront the militants led by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) who have taken over cities, including Fallujah, Ramadi, Mosul and Tikrit.

Here are some of the key individuals and groups that played a role in Iraq’s slow unraveling, from the beginning of the war to the present day.


Iraqi army

Iraq Army

Iraq Army
Soldiers from the Third Iraqi Army Division at a ceremony in Mosul, Iraq on Jan. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)

When coalition forces invaded Iraq in March 2003, Saddam Hussein’s army was estimated to number between 300,000 and 350,000 troops. After Saddam was toppled, the Bush administration appointed L. Paul Bremer in May 2003 as Iraq’s top civilian administrator.

Within days of his appointment, Bremer issued Order Number 2 — a directive to dismantle the entire Iraqi army, which was predominantly Sunni. The move shocked the army, and also took U.S. commanders by surprise. “Now you have a couple hundred thousand people who are armed because they took their weapons home with them, they know how to use the weapons, who have no future and have a reason to be angry at you,” Col. Thomas Hammes told FRONTLINE.

The United States spent an estimated $25 billion on training and equipment for new security forces between 2003 and September 2012, according to a report from the special inspector general in Iraq. In 2013 alone, the Iraqi government spent an estimated $17 billion on its security forces.
And yet, this past June, when confronted in Mosul with a much smaller force of around 1,000 armed militants from ISIS and its Sunni allies, Iraq’s army crumbled. Multiple reports described uniforms and weapons discarded by Iraqi soldiers during their hasty retreat from Iraq’s second-largest city.
What happened? The disintegration was gradual, but there were warning signs. The country’s security forces lacked cohesion, with their loyalties divided along Iraq’s sectarian lines, according to a 2010 report from International Crisis Group.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki further weakened the structure by subverting the chain of command, forming new groups that reported directly to him. He also reportedly created a personal army of sorts out of 4,500 U.S.-trained special forces, nicknamed “Fedayeen al-Maliki.”

After the fall of Mosul, Iraqi soldiers were quoted saying they felt “betrayed,” and “abandoned” by their officers.

Recent reports from Iraq suggest Shia militias that once took up arms to fight U.S. troops have emerged to augment the Shia-dominated Iraqi army, or in some cases, fight in its stead.


Al Qaeda in Iraq

Iraqi Prisoners

Iraqi Prisoners
Iraqi army soldiers stand by two men suspected of being Al Qaeda members in Baqouba, capital of Iraq’s Diyala province, on Oct. 10, 2006. (AP Photo)

Iraq’s insurgency emerged in August 2003, with the bombing of the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad, followed a few days later by a suicide bombing at a United Nations compound that killed the U.N.’s top envoy in Iraq.

Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi, a Sunni extremist, claimed credit for the U.N. bombing, and in October 2004, his group pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, taking on the mantle of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

AQI initially was comprised of recruits from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt. It wasn’t until 2006 that the group’s membership was largely Iraqi, according to The Washington Post. The group — which expressly targeted Shia in an attempt to provoke a civil war — reached its peak in power and violence during the bitter sectarian conflict of 2006 and 2007.

But AQI’s brutality led to its undoing, even as it carried out kidnappings and beheadings.

“The Sunnis of Anbar and the Sunni populations of Baghdad had figured out that Al Qaeda was just too extreme to deal with,” said Douglas Ollivant, who oversaw Iraq policy at the National Security Council under both Bush and Obama. “They wanted to marry into their families. They were insisting they maintain a very strict Sharia.”

AQI’s heavy-handedness drove some Sunni tribes, who became known as the Sons of Iraq, into an alliance with the Americans (see below).

On June 7, 2006, Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. airstrike. Abu Ayyub al-Masri became the new leader and renamed the group the Islamic State of Iraq in October 2006. Masri and another top leader were killed in April 2010.

Sensing an opportunity, the group entered the Syrian conflict in 2011, once again rebranding itself, this time as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

While ISIS was fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, it was left alone, according to Ollivant, and “allowed to metastasize into something very, very new and very, very different.”

“This time, it’s Al Qaeda version 6.0,” said Ryan Crocker, a former U.S. ambassador to Iraq. “They make [Osama] bin Laden’s 2011 Al Qaeda look like boy scouts. They are far stronger, they are far more numerous. They have thousands who hold foreign passports and require no visas to get into the United States or other western countries. They are well funded, they are battle hardened and they are well armed. And they now control far more territory exclusively than bin Laden ever did. They have the security, they have the safety to plan their next set of operations and they are a messianic movement. Believe me, they are planning those operations.”

In July 2014, ISIS declared a caliphate in territory seized from Iraq and Syria and renamed itself again — this time as the Islamic State.


The Sunni Awakening/Sons of Iraq

The Awakening

The Awakening
Members of the so-called “Awakening councils” celebrate while patrolling the streets of north Baghdad’s Azamiyah neighborhood, Iraq, on Nov. 14, 2007. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

The so-called Sunni Awakening movement began when the Sunni population in Anbar province, some of them insurgents who had fought against U.S. troops, tired of AQI’s excesses.

Gen. Petraeus, who was then leading U.S. forces in Iraq and implementing the counterinsurgency strategy that became known as the “surge,” decided to try to exploit this wedge.

“They’d gotten tired of Al Qaeda,” Petraeus told FRONTLINE. “Al Qaeda had been abusive. It had been blowing Sunni Arabs up and Sunni mosques up, in addition to Shia Arabs and mosques. And so they were keen to get these individuals out of their areas.”

As part of his plan, Petraeus promised the Sunnis a role in the government — and he agreed to pay them, ultimately spending $400 million on what became a paramilitary group he called the “Sons of Iraq.”

“Ultimately, we had 103,000 former insurgents and actually over 20,000 former militia members, part of that 103,000, to give you a sense of the magnitude of this endeavor,” Petraeus said.

Prime Minister Maliki, who was never comfortable with the Sons of Iraq, eventually stopped paying them after the Americans left. In the years following the U.S. withdrawal, the Sunnis who had joined the Sons of Iraq grew angry as Maliki’s government targeted prominent Sunni politicians and cracked down on Sunni protesters.


Muqtada al-Sadr and the Mahdi army

Radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr became the face of Iraq’s largest and most feared Shia militia, the Mahdi army, as early as 2004. Deriving his power from his father — a much-revered and “martyred” Shia cleric — Sadr rallied his followers to kick coalition forces out of Iraq, calling the United States, the “great serpent.”

Although Sadr never held political office, he’s often described as a “kingmaker” thanks to his wide base of support in the Shia community.

Sadr’s relationship with Maliki has been volatile. He reluctantly backed Maliki as prime minister in 2006 and 2010 in exchange for government positions for his Sadrist political bloc. But he was also quick to withdraw support each time — in 2007 over Maliki’s refusal to come up with a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal, and in 2012 over Maliki’s alleged dictatorial abuses.

Muqtada al-Sadr's al-Mahdi

Muqtada al-Sadr’s al-Mahdi
Members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi army parade along a road in the southern town of Basra in Iraq on Feb. 22, 2005. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

Sadr’s Mahdi army repeatedly clashed with U.S. and Iraqi security forces, starting with fierce fights in Najaf in August 2004. By 2006, the Mahdi army had stormed mosques, thrown out moderate clerics and reportedly threatened the lives of [Grand Ayatollah Ali] al-Sistani and other moderate ayatollahs. Sadr’s militia was also accused of slaughtering Sunni civilians during the height of sectarian violence in 2006 and 2007.

In 2007, Sadr entered a three-year, self-imposed exile in Iran. He said he was leaving Iraq to pursue religious studies in Iran, but his departure coincided with the surge.

Maliki and Iraq’s security forces moved against the Mahdi army in March 2008, launching a campaign to drive the militia out of its strongholds in Basra and Sadr City. In August 2008, Sadr had ordered the Mahdi army to disarm, and it remained largely inactive for awhile.

“The day the Americans left [Iraq], the Sadrist militias more or less stacked their rifles, and we haven’t heard anything from them until just very recently,” said Ollivant.

Sadr returned to Iraq in 2011, as U.S. troops prepared to withdraw and the Sadrist movement made political gains. Although his party held 40 seats in Iraq’s Parliament and seven ministry positions, Sadr announced in February 2014 that he was withdrawing from politics. Observers noted at the time that Sadr has made similar pronouncements before, only to return.

The fall of Mosul and other cities to ISIS prompted mass rallies of Shia militias who called themselves the “Peace Brigades.” But analysts have suggested the new outfits are a reincarnation of Sadr’s Mahdi army, with a new name designed to distance itself from the tarnished reputation it earned in 2006 and 2007.


Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani

Sistani and Iraq

Sistani and Iraq
Shia tribal fighters chant slogans, raising weapons and a poster of spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Baghdad’s Sadr City, Iraq, on June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/ Khalid Mohammed)

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is known as Iraq’s most influential Shia cleric. Described as a “recluse” who shuns the spotlight, Sistani has generally wielded his influence to encourage calm in Iraq.

In 2003, Sistani threw U.S. plans for a rapid transfer of power into disarray when he called for direct elections. He also said Iraq’s constitution must be written by an assembly elected by Iraqis, not appointed. At the time, a New York Times article noted, “Ayatollah Sistani has been tolerant of the United States occupation and has refrained from openly criticizing the occupation authorities.”

In 2004, Sistani negotiated a truce between Sadr’s Mahdi army and U.S. and Iraqi forces fighting in Najaf. Sistani’s influence was such that Al Qaeda in Iraq’s then-leader Zarqawi called for his death in 2006.

Days after the fall of Mosul in June, Sistani called on Shia followers to take up arms to defend “the country, the citizens and the holy sites” against ISIS and its allies. He later adjusted his statement, saying the appeal “was not only about one sect.”

That month, Sistani called for the formation of a government with “broad national support,” phrasing that many interpreted as a rebuke of Maliki’s sectarian politics.

Sistani again indirectly called on Maliki to step aside on July 25, saying that political leaders should not “cling to positions or posts,” but should have a “spirit of national responsibility.” Two days later, Maliki’s own party released a statement echoing Sistani’s language urging politicians not to “cling” to their positions.

Israel Returns To Its Own Vomit (Proverbs 26:11)

Israel Attack On UN School

Israel Attack On UN School

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Israel’s leaders of committing “genocide” in Gaza and called on the Islamic world to arm Palestinians fighting “the Zionist regime,” according to AFP.

In a speech marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, Khamenei said Israel was acting like a “rabid dog” and “a wild wolf” in acts that amounted to a human catastrophe in Gaza and which must be resisted.

Khamenei dismissed talk of a ceasefire in Gaza, saying it was a ploy by the United States and European states to save Israel and said Hamas should be re-armed, rather than disarmed as otherwise they will be “unable to defend themselves.”

“The US president issued a fatwa that the resistance is disarmed so that they cannot respond to all those crimes (committed by Israel),” the supreme leader said, referring to a call by Barack Obama for the “disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza”.

“We say the opposite. The world and especially the Islamic world should arm … the Palestinian people,” Khamenei said.

Last week, Khamenei called on the Palestinian Arabs to keep fighting Israel and to expand their “resistance” from Gaza to Judea and Samaria.

“The only way to deal with this savage regime is to continue resistance and armed struggle and extend it to the West Bank (Judea and Samaria -ed.),” the official IRNA news agency quoted Khamenei as saying.

Iran, which does not recognize Israel, is a supporter of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups that have been at the forefront of the fighting in Gaza.

Iran has provided Hamas and Islamic Jihad with long-range missiles such as the Fajr-5 and M302 – the latter of which is believed to have been used in the attack on Hadera in north-central Israel Monday. Earlier this year, Israeli naval commandos seized the Klos C ship, and discovered weapons including long-range rockets destined for terrorist groups in Gaza.

Despite its active role in providing the rockets raining down on Israeli population centers, Iran condemned the IDF operation aiming to stop the rockets as “savage aggression” earlier this month.

Khamenei and other Iranian leaders have been for years attacking Israel and calling for its elimination – and has used the phrase “rabid dog” to describe Israel on more than one occasion.

In November, Khamenei said that Israel is a “regime doomed to collapse” and referred to the Jewish state as “the rabid dog of the region.

Several weeks before that, he called Israel an “illegitimate and bastard regime,” and further called the United States a “smiling enemy” that is not to be trusted.

Israel’s Double Standard (Leviticus 19:35)

Gaza Cease-Fire: Unlike Iraq, Iran, Libya and N. Korea, Israel Has Impunity From Defying UNSC

Posted on Jul 29, 2014

By Juan Cole

PM Netanyahu's Double Standard

PM Netanyahu’s Double Standard
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. yakub88 /

This post originally ran on Juan Cole’s Web page.

The United Nations Security Council is theoretically a sort of sovereign in international law.  If it designates a regime like that of Gaddafi in Libya as a threat to international peace, it can deputize the nations of the world to remove it.  One major exception to UNSC authority is Israel, which routinely thumbs its nose at the world body while suffering no sanctions or other punishment.

Defying the UNSC can be extremely dangerous and costly.  It demanded that Iraq dismantle its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs and destroy any stockpiles of such unconventional weapons, in a series of resolutions after the Gulf War.  The Bush administration alleged that Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein had declined completely to destroy those stockpiles and so was in violation of international law, and therefore claimed a sort of indirect sanction from the UNSC to invade and occupy Iraq in order to finish the job.  (Unfortunately for Bush, the Baath regime in Iraq had in fact destroyed the stockpiles; this had not stopped Bush propagandists from continuing to this day to cite Saddam Hussein’s alleged defiance of the UNSC as a justification for the US war on Iraq.)  Saddam Hussein was hanged in December 2006.

The UNSC demanded a decade or so ago that Iran mothball its civilian, peaceful nuclear enrichment program, aimed at gaining the capacity to fuel nuclear reactors to produce electricity.  Iran refused, citing the pledge in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty that guarantees all countries the right to close the fuel cycle.  (Note that Israel went for broke to develop a nuclear warhead, of which it has several hundred, and never suffered any sanctions at all.)

As a result of the UNSC resolutions against Iran, the Obama administration was emboldened to impose a financial boycott on Iran, having it kicked off all the major banking exchanges and making it difficult or impossible for Iran to get paid for its petroleum.  Then the US went around strong-arming countries like South Korea in a bid to force them to stop importing Iranian petroleum.  A simple US congressional resolution would probably not have given the US the legitimacy to pursue this financial blockade against Iran, but the UNSC resolutions were much more persuasive, combined with US threats to sanction companies that traded with Iran.

Iran’s oil export earnings fell to $61.92 billion in 2013, “down 46% from $114.75 billion in 2011.”  That was an over $50 bn annual fine for defying the UNSC, even when it wasn’t clear that international law justified the UNSC stance.

UNSC resolutions against the North Korean nuclear weapons program (a kind of military program Iran does not even have) imposed an arms embargo and even permitted other countries to board North Korean vessels at will on the high seas if they suspected that weapons were aboard– a severe attack on the country’s national sovereignty.

So when the UNSC calls on Israel and on Hamas in Gaza to institute an immediate ceasefire, and they refuse, they will attract sanctions, right?  These demands, everyone knows, would be full-fledged resolutions if they weren’t watered down by the US.  (And let us face it, Israel is the one with the firepower here; it has killed over a thousand in this round of fighting, 80% of them non-combatants;  Hamas has killed four dozen or so Israelis, all but three soldiers).  I mean, Saddam Hussein was hanged merely for being falsely accused of violating UNSC resolutions!  And what if, as with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel not only refuses the demand for an immediate ceasefire but actually accuses the world’s major powers of being accomplices to terrorism? Doesn’t that sound a little bit like Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking of “global arrogance”?

Wouldn’t the UNSC do something to Netanyahu for sassing them that way?  Wouldn’t they devastate the Israeli economy the way they did the Iranian?  Wouldn’t they authorize military action to protect civilians in Gaza from Israeli war crimes, as they did in Libya?


President Obama will protect Israel from any accountability by wielding his veto.

And that is one of the reasons for the mess in the Mideast.  The Israeli leadership is completely fearless because it knows that the US will protect it no matter what it does, up to and including calling high American officials terrorist sympathizers.

The truth is that Mr. Obama could end the madness fairly easily.  He could just abstain when the UNSC votes sanctions on Israel for its violations of international law.

The European Union has forwarded the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the US, as an American sphere of influence.  The US congress and government more generally, in turn, has been bought and paid for by the Israel lobbies, including the “Christian Zionists.”  Unless and until counter-lobbies are formed that effectively contest with AIPAC for influence over US representatives, the problems in the Mideast are unsolvable.

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Attack

North Korean Nuclear Missiles

North Korean Nuclear Missiles

SEOUL: A top-ranking North Korean military official has threatened a nuclear strike on the White House and Pentagon after accusing Washington of raising military tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The threat came from Hwang Pyong-So, director of the military’s General Political Bureau, during a speech to a large military rally in Pyongyang Sunday on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

Hwang, who holds the rank of vice marshal in the Korean People’s Army, said a recent series of South Korea-US military drills, one of which included the deployment of a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, had ramped up tensions.

“If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival… our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon — the sources of all evil,” Hwang said in his speech broadcast Monday on state television.

It is not the first time that North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric has included threats of nuclear strikes on the continental United States and US bases in the Pacific.

But most experts believe it is still a long way from developing a viable intercontinental ballistic missile with the required range.

The North has conducted three nuclear tests, but is not thought to have mastered the miniaturisation techniques necessary for mounting a warhead on a missile.

It does possess a range of short-and mid-range missiles capable of striking South Korea and Japan, and has conducted a series of test firings into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) in recent weeks.

The latest test on Saturday — guided by the leader Kim Jong-Un — simulated a short-range missile strike on South Korea where 28,500 US troops are stationed, the North’s state media said.

It defied censure by the UN Security Council which officially condemned Pyongyang on July 17 over the recent tests as violations of UN resolutions prohibiting the North from using ballistic missile technology.

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

ISIL Stirring Up The Mahdi (Revelation 13:16)

Islamic Militants In Iraq Destroy Another Historic Mosque

Shia Shrine Destroyed By ISIL

Shia Shrine Destroyed By ISIL


Islamic State militants have destroyed a nearly 600-year-old mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul, the latest of several religious sites demolished by the group recently.

Mosul residents said the Prophet Jirjis Mosque and Shrine was blown up on July 27 by the radical Sunni group because it is a Shi’ite worship site.

Another site destroyed in Mosul last week was the mosque of the Prophet Shiyt (Seth) — who is revered in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Also demolished was the Mosque of the Prophet Yunis (Jonah), whose story is in the Bible and the Koran.

Muqtada al-Sadr, a leading Shi’ite cleric in Iraq, said Yunis “was a prophet for all religions” and that those behind the destruction “don’t deserve to live.”

The Islamic State, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, has captured large parts of western and northern Iraq in June, including Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city.

Implications of the Iranian Negotiations

Why Gulf states seek status quo from Iran nuclear negotiations

Complicated Middle East Relations

Complicated Middle East Relations

Christian Science Monitor


When Israel calls for stripping Iran of all but a few symbolic centrifuges or kilograms of enriched uranium, it warns that is necessary not just because a nuclear Iran presents an existential threat to the Jewish state, but because an Iranian nuclear program could trigger a regional arms race with the Sunni Persian Gulf states.

Iran want[s] to remain a nuclear threshold state … but this time with global approval,” said Israeli Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Yuval Steinitz at a recent briefing in Jerusalem. “This will encourage many other Sunni countries to seek and to demand the same status.”

But those fears may be overblown. Regional analysts say that Sunni Gulf states are unlikely to amass nuclear arsenals of their own unless Tehran actually acquires a nuclear bomb.

Think you know the Greater Middle East? Take our geography quiz.

Thus, while they share Israeli concerns, they are looking not so much for certain limitations on Iranian centrifuges or percentage of uranium enrichment, but rather for a way to preserve the balance of power between the region’s two heavyweights – Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“Israel has a different agenda than the Gulf states,” says Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political science professor in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). “We live next to Iran, and we’re more aware that Iran is … the other pillar of [regional] security.”

What Gulf states seek

Gulf states – including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain – are seriously concerned about Iran’s nuclear program. If Iran obtained nuclear weapons, it would disrupt the delicate balance of power that has prevailed for more than three decades, supported by the US provision of conventional weapons and an umbrella of military support to balance out Iran’s power.

A bomb would change that.

“Weapon by weapon, missile by missile, and this would take them into a new round of arms race,” says Professor Abdulla. “This is going to be a huge burden for everyone.”

But there’s also a subtext behind Gulf opposition to Iranian nuclear power: the fear that after decades of international isolation following its severing of diplomatic ties with the United States in 1979, Iran could shed its status as a rogue state, reestablish ties with the US, and rise to new prominence in the region. Sunni states, which have benefited massively from US military support and arms deals, are worried they could lose their edge.

For 35 years, [Gulf] countries have capitalized on US-Iranian tensions, and if those tensions are reduced and if Iran is once again welcomed into the fold of nations … then I think these countries feel they’ll lose some of the leverage they’ve been able to capitalize on,” says Mehran Kamrava, director of the Center for International and Regional Studies at Georgetown University in Qatar. “And of course they cannot say that. So what they’re going to object to are the various facets of the [Iran nuclear] deal.”

‘More than just the will of leadership’

Even if Gulf states decided they wanted nuclear weapons of their own, the task of building up an arsenal could take years.

“Developing nuclear capabilities requires more than just the will of leadership. There is a whole infrastructure, a whole knowledge base that you need to develop,” says Abdullah Baabood, director of the Gulf Studies program at Qatar University in Doha. “I think the best they could do … is perhaps they can purchase some nuclear [warheads], either from Pakistan, where they have good relationship,… and maybe even North Korea.

“But even that is quite remote…. I think they realize that this is beyond them, at least for the time being.”

Many point out that Israel’s development of nuclear weapons decades ago never triggered a nuclear arms race in the region, despite Arab states’ enmity toward the Jewish state and the threat it poses to their security.

While Iraq and Syria both built nuclear reactors, they were destroyed in Israeli airstrikes in 1981 and 2009 respectively, and no Sunni state in the Middle East is known to have a nuclear weapons program today.

Bigger threats

There are also bigger threats to Gulf security than Iran’s nuclear exploits, says Professor Kamrava, such as the emergence of collapsed states.

“If we have an implosion of central authority in Iraq, along with an implosion of central authority in Syria, then we are looking at a completely fundamentally changed geostrategic situation in the Middle East,” he says, calling such weak states “petri dishes” for jihadist groups. “The centrifugal forces unleashed by the lack of central authority in Iraq and Syria will become extremely difficult to contain,” he says.

The chaos poses a threat to Iran, too, and thus could help bridge the divide with Gulf states.

“It appears as if there’s some tangible reason for all these different contentious parties to come together, set their differences aside, and cooperate over Iraq,” Kamrava says.

The Shia Crescent or Horn (Genesis 27)

Lebanon’s Hezbollah Appreciates Iran’s Efforts to Defend Gazans

The Shia Crescent or Horns

The Shia Crescent or Horns

TEHRAN (FNA)- Secretary-General of the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah Seyed Hassan Nasrallah appreciated the Iranian government and nation for their unsparing efforts to defend the defenseless Gazans who have been under massive attacks by the Israeli forces during the past three weeks.

Speaking in a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian in Beirut on Sunday, Nasrallah said that the Palestinian Resistance’s victory in Gaza is a clear sign of the weakness of the Zionist regime and a prelude to final victory of Palestinians against the occupiers.

The Hezbollah secretary-general underscored the significance of large pro-Palestine rallies in Iran and across the world on Friday to mark the International Quds Day, saying the demonstrations, which were held in response to a call by late founder of Islamic Republic of Iran Imam Khomeini and was urged by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, neutralized the plots hatched by enemies.
He lauded the strong support of the Iranian government for the Resistance Movement against the occupying regime of Israel.

Amir Abdollahian left Tehran for Beirut on Saturday to discuss the latest developments in Gaza enclave with the senior Lebanese officials.

Israel has been pounding the blockaded Gaza for 21 consecutive days, killing at least 1,062 people and injuring more than 6,000 others.