Monday, April 21, 2008
1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram,(CHANGED TO ABRAHAM LATER) Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:(PALESTINE,ISRAEL)
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
80 percent of American Christians say they have a moral and biblical obligation to support the State of Israel
More than 80 percent of American Christians say they have a moral and biblical obligation to support the State of Israel, and half say Jerusalem should remain its undivided capital, according to a survey released on Thursday.While evangelical Christians are the strongest supporters of the Jewish state, strong pro-Israel convictions cut across all key Christian denominations in the US, according to the poll carried out on behalf of the Washington-based Joshua Fund, an evangelical organization.Eight-two percent of respondents said they had a moral and biblical obligation to love and support Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem, 10% disagreed and 8% did not know.Eighty-four percent of Protestants agreed with the statement (including 89% of Evangelicals), compared to 76% of Catholics.Half of the American Christians surveyed opposed Israel dividing Jerusalem with the Palestinians in a peace agreement, 33% were unsure and 17% thought it should be divided.
Fifty-three percent of Protestants supported a united Jerusalem, as did 44% of Catholics.Evangelical Christians were most supportive of a united Jerusalem, with 62% in favor and 11% against.A plurality of the US Christians (44%) surveyed said they did not know whether a future Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip would be a peaceful moderate democracy or a terrorist state, 32% said that it would be a terrorist state and 24% said that it would be a peaceful democracy.
The survey found clear differences between Protestants and Catholics on the issue.
Protestants were more likely to say a Palestinian state would be a terror state by a 10-point margin; Catholics were evenly split. Evangelical Protestants said a such entity would be a terrorist state by a 20-point margin, but non-evangelical Protestants said it would be a peaceful and moderate democracy by six percentage points.
The belief that a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state was strongest among Republican and conservative Evangelicals.Nearly half (49%) of American Christians surveyed were interested in visiting Israel, including about quarter of both Catholics and Protestants who were strongly interested.Forty-seven percent of those polled were not interested in visiting.There are 50 million-60million evangelicals Christians in the US.Two-thirds of respondents said that if Iran developed nuclear weapons, it would eventually try to use them to attack Israel, 23% were unsure and 13% said Iran would not attack.Finally, 45% said they would be more likely to support a US presidential candidate who would protect America from Islamic terrorism, protect Israel from a nuclear attack from Iran, oppose the division of Jerusalem and refuse to pressure Israel to make concessions on issues of national security, compared to 29% who said such positions had no effect on their vote and 9% who would be less likely to support such a candidate.
The survey will be officially released on Thursday at a conference at the Jerusalem International Convention Center (Binyenei Ha'uma) organized by The Joshua Fund that is expected to be attended by 2,000 evangelical Christians from around the world.The non-profit organization aims to raise more than $100 million over the next three years to help Israeli victims of terrorism, and to fund humanitarian projects in Israel in education, health, welfare and immigrant absorption, and $20m. for Christians in the West Bank, Gaza, Iraq and Sudan, said Joel C. Rosenberg, the group's founder and president.Our support for Israel is unwavering and unconditional, he said.
AMERICA (POLITICAL BABYLON)
21 And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them.
1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:
2 That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!
11 Because ye were glad, because ye rejoiced, O ye destroyers of mine heritage, because ye are grown fat as the heifer at grass, and bellow as bulls;(BACKSLIDERS)
37 A sword is upon their horses, and upon their chariots, and upon all the mingled people that are in the midst of her; and they shall become as women: a sword is upon her treasures; and they shall be robbed.(A NATION OF MINGLED PEOPLE)
12 Your mother shall be sore confounded; she that bare you shall be ashamed:(MOTHER ENGLAND) behold, the hindermost of the nations shall be a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, and the measure of thy covetousness.
7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the LORD.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
5 For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
7 How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
3 For out of the north(RUSSIA)there cometh up a nation against her, which shall make her land desolate, and none shall dwell therein: they shall remove, they shall depart, both man and beast.
24 I have laid a snare for thee, and thou art also taken, O Babylon, and thou wast not aware: thou art found, and also caught, because thou hast striven against the LORD. (RUSSIA A SNEAK ATTACK)
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
Preparing For A Nuclear attack on D.C. - A Hypothetical Scenario
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
A nuclear device detonated near the White House would kill roughly 100,000 people and flatten downtown federal buildings, while the radioactive plume from the explosion would likely spread toward the Capitol and into Southeast D.C., contaminating thousands more.
The blast from the 10-kiloton bomb — similar to the bomb dropped over Hiroshima during World War II — would kill up to one in 10 tourists visiting the Washington Monument and send shards of glass flying the length of the National Mall, in a scenario that has become increasingly likely to occur in a major U.S. city in recent years, panel members told a Senate committee yesterday.It's inevitable, said Cham E. Dallas, director of the Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense at the University of Georgia, who has charted the potential explosion's effect in the District and testified before a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. I think it's wistful to think that it won't happen by 20 years.The Senate committee has convened a series of hearings to examine the threat and effects of a terrorist nuclear attack on a U.S. city, as well as the needed response.Yesterday's panel stressed the importance of state and local cooperation with federal authorities in the wake of an attack, assistance from the private business sector to aid recovery and the dire need to boost the capabilities of area hospitals.
They recommended expanding emergency personnel by training physicians like pharmacists and dentists to aid in all-hazards care, monitoring the exposure of first responders to radiation and clearly disseminating information to the public.The scenarios we discuss today are very hard for us to contemplate, and so emotionally traumatic and unsettling that it is tempting to push them aside, said Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and committee chairman. However, now is the time to have this difficult conversation, to ask the tough questions, and then to get answers as best we can and take preparatory and preventive action.Ashton B. Carter, co-director of the Preventive Defense Project at Harvard University, said the likelihood of a nuclear attack on U.S. soil is undetermined, but it has increased with the proliferation of weapons by Iran and North Korea and the failure to secure Russia's nuclear arsenal following the Cold War.For while the probability of a nuclear weapon one day going off in a U.S. city cannot be calculated, it is almost surely larger than it was five years ago, Mr. Carter said.Mr. Carter described a more destructive blast effect. He said the ground-based detonation of a 10-kiloton bomb would result in near-total devastation within a circle about two miles in diameter, or the length of the Mall.The zone of destruction is projected to be less than that of Hiroshima, where the bomb was dropped from an airplane and detonated above the city.
A similar blast in a more densely populated city than the District, such as Chicago or New York, would result in an injury toll up to eight times higher. A plume a few miles long could also dole out lethal doses of radiation, Mr. Carter said.However, the experts emphasized that the explosion would not impact most of a major city and that in many cases, residents could remain safe by not evacuating immediately and clogging area roadways.It is also expected that, due to lack of information getting to the public, many people will try to flee by car or on foot, often in the wrong direction, again exposing themselves to high levels of radiation, as vehicles provide virtually no protection, Mr. Carter said.
Mr. Dallas said a major problem facing most cities is a lack of available hospital beds for victims of burns that would result from a nuclear blast. He said up to 95 percent of such victims would not receive potentially life-saving care.We're completely underprepared, he said. Most of them will die.Mr. Dallas said the District also faces a unique challenge because of the way the city is configured geographically: A wind blowing west to east would gradually spread radiation from the explosion into the low-income neighborhoods of Southeast, where there are limited health care options available and only one hospital.Area officials have spent millions of dollars in recent years to develop evacuation plans and stockpile emergency supplies after a 2006 study by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said local preparation for a disaster was not sufficient.Darrell L. Darnell, director of the District's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency, said the city is continuing to develop its emergency preparedness capabilities and has numerous methods of informing residents of actions they should take, including through text messages, voice alerts and Web sites like www.dc.gov and http://72hours.dc.gov.
We are confident that the District is prepared to respond to a catastrophic incident affecting the District, Mr. Darnell said.
Still, Mr. Dallas said the majority of victims in a nuclear explosion will likely have to fend for themselves in the first hours after an attack.These people are going to be on their own, he said after the hearing. There's no white horse to ride to the rescue.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast(THE EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TR BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise:(10 NATIONS) and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(BE HEAD OF 3 KINGS OR NATIONS).
Last Updated: 20/04/2008 12:45
Lisbon treaty website launched
A new website providing information on the Lisbon Treaty was today launched to educate voters in advance of June’s crucial referendum.
Established by the Referendum Commission, the independent body set up to boost public awareness on the issue, the site sets out what the treaty is about and how the EU will be changed if ratified. The website launch comes just days after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso visited the country to highlight the importance of a Yes vote. The body will also set out the plans for its public information campaign at a
briefing on Wednesday and reveal the results of a poll assessing the level of knowledge on the treaty. Environment Minister John Gormley made an order setting up the Referendum Commission on March 6th. It has been allocated a budget of €5 million for its work.
It does not advise voters which side to take when voting, but merely informs them about the issues and encourages them to cast their ballot. Mr Justice Iarfhlaith O’Neill, Judge of the High Court was appointed as chairperson on the nomination of the Chief Justice. The other members are the Clerk of the Dail Kieran Coughlan, the Clerk of the Seanad Deirdre Lane, the Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly and the Comptroller and Auditor General John Purcell.
The website address is www.lisbontreaty2008.ie
Meanwhile the Government’s summary guide to the Reform Treaty is currently being distributed to all households in the State. Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern said the 48-page booklet in both Irish and English sets out in a clear and factual manner the treaty’s proposed changes. The distribution of this guide is part of the Government’s efforts to ensure that the public are as well informed as possible regarding the content of the Treaty, which will be the subject of a referendum in June, he said. In addition to this guide, the Government has published a White Paper, explaining the Treaty’s content in more detail. Earlier this week, the European Union published the consolidated version of the EU Treaties, incorporating the changes to be made by the Reform Treaty, once ratified. That document shows exactly how the Reform Treaty will amend the existing Treaties. It shows the legal framework that will apply if the Reform Treaty is ratified by all Member States.Mr Ahern added that in the coming weeks the government will facilitate the best informed public debate for any referendum in our history.I am confident that when people are informed about this Treaty, they will dismiss the myths being promoted by Treaty opponents and give a resounding Yes on polling day. A reading of the Government guide will confirm that there is nothing to fear and much to gain from ratifying a Treaty whose provisions are firmly in Ireland’s and in Europe’s interests, Mr Ahern said. 2008 ireland.com
Irish farmers link EU treaty vote with trade talks
18.04.2008 - 09:21 CET | By Honor Mahony
Irish farmers were out in force on the streets of Dublin on Thursday (17 April) to protest against forthcoming world trade talks in Switzerland and warn the government that the nature of the trade deal would affect how the group votes on the EU treaty in June.Over 10,000 farmers protested in front of parliament in a rally that coincided with a visit by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to the Irish capital to persuade voters of the merits of the treaty.Padraig Walshe, president of the Irish Farmers Association, said that decisions taken by EU trade commissioner Peter Mandelson in Geneva in May, where a breakthrough on the Doha round of trade liberalisation talks is expected, would have a direct bearing on the treaty referendum.Don't come back from Geneva having sold us out. Thousands of workers in the food industry will lose their jobs, hundreds of businesses will have to close down. Don't expect us to do your bidding in the referendum, he said, according to the Irish Independent.Sell us out and we will have our say on the 12th of June, said Mr Walshe to the crowd.The agricultural sector continues to represent an important part of Irish society and the government is keen to woo them into the yes camp for the treaty vote, due to take place on 12 June.
Farmers fear that any concessions the EU makes during the trade talks in order to broker a deal - both the EU and the US are facing pressure from poorer regions to cut back their agricultural subsidies and tariffs - will result in them being worse off.Mr Barroso told the Forum on Europe in Dublin that he was very attentive to the concerns of the farmers in Ireland.The Irish Times reports him as saying that it was in Europe's interests to get a deal soon at the World Trade Organisation.He pointed out that Ireland has four percent of the global market in traded services, so a trade deal would be important for the country.Mr Barroso also reassured Irish voters on tax issues - the government is strongly against any moves towards an EU tax - and said that on June 12th the Irish people will be sending a message to the rest of Europe and the wider world.
International Relations | 19.04.2008
EU Presidency Will Not Invite Dalai Lama to Brussels
Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: The EU is concerned about Tibet, but will not invite the Dalai Lama to Brussels.The EU's Slovenian presidency said that it would not invite the Dalai Lama to Brussels to meet with the bloc's foreign ministers, as Paris has proposed, but would not rule out other contacts with the Tibetan leader. Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel told a special Chinese envoy in Ljubljana that the Slovenian presidency did not intend to invite the Dalai Lama to the council meeting (of EU foreign ministers) in Brussels, the presidency said in a statement on Saturday, April 19.The Slovenian presidency, however, added that contacts with him him [the Dalai Lama] on other levels were not excluded.French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on April 1 that the 27 EU foreign ministers would invite the Dalai Lama once a decision had been made by the Slovenian EU presidency.At the time, Rupel said that inviting the Dalai Lama to Brussels was doable but would need to be discussed by foreign ministers from the other EU nations.
Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Slovenian Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel spoke to a Chinese envoy in Ljubljana.China has opposed foreign nations providing support to what it has said was the Dalai Lama's attempts to split Tibet from China, in reaction to reports that he may go to Japan and Europe.On Friday, Rupel received special Chinese envoy Guan Chengyuan, who had a letter laying out Beijing's position on developments in Tibet and EU nations' reaction to them.In response, Rupel said that substantive and open dialog with the Dalai Lama could form part of the solution to the problem, according to the statement.Slovenia and the EU understand the urgency of restoring stability in China, but at the same time believe that the Chinese authorities could take more positive steps to address the situation in Tibet, the EU presidency said.
Protests in China
Meanwhile, protests were held on Saturday in at least five Chinese cities against independence for Tibet, official media reported.
Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Demonstrators protested in front of the Carrefour supermaket in Wuhan, China.Demonstrators gathered outside branches of French retailer Carrefour amid claims that it had links to exiled Tibetans and in the wake of widespread calls for a boycott of French goods. Carrefour has vehemently rejected the claims.A small group of young people protested outside the French embassy in Beijing's Sanlitun district Saturday and a nearby French school. Large numbers of police had earlier sealed off streets in the district.Protests were held in Beijing, Hefei and in Wuhan in the central Chinese province of Hubei, in Qingdao in Shandong province and in Kunming in the south-west province of Yunnan, Xinhua news agency reported.
Anti-French sentiment in China has been on the rise since the chaotic Paris leg of the Olympic torch relay, where pro-Tibet protesters tried to wrestle the flame from Jin Jing, a young wheelchair-bound fencer.The resentment has been amplified by French President Nicolas Sarkozy linking his appearance at the Olympic Games opening ceremony to progress on human rights in Tibet, following China's crackdown in the region.
Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Activists all over the world have protested against the Chinese crackdown in Tibet.Last month, Tibet saw the biggest anti-Chinese protests in years on the anniversary of a 1959 uprising that sent the Dalai Lama fleeing into exile in India.Exiled Tibetan leaders say more than 150 people have died in the crackdown. China says Tibetan rioters have killed 18 civilians and two policemen.Rupel said that the EU was concerned about the lack of information about the events and reports from international non-governmental organizations of harsh measures by the authorities and that many people remained unaccounted for.The EU is concerned upon receiving such information, Rupel said. A positive step would be to allow free access to Tibet and to enable full transparency.DW staff (tt)
Europol to become EU agency in 2010
+ - 15:50, April 19, 2008
The Hague-based Europol, a police coordination office, will formally become a European Union (EU) agency on Jan. 1, 2010, the European Commission said Friday. Europol will become a full EU body, with the tools to support law enforcement agencies in the member states even more effectively. As a result, European police forces will cooperate more closely, said European Commission Vice President Jacques Barrot. The decision to confer EU agency status on Europol was made after 15 months of intense discussions among EU member states. With this decision, Europol will be funded by the EU budget. The new status will allow EU to adapt Europol's legal framework more rapidly, avoiding the lengthy ratification process of protocols to the Europol Convention. Source: Xinhua
EU tightens anti-terrorism laws By Oana Lungescu BBC News, Brussels APR 19,08
Gilles de Kerchove says the internet is being used to radicalise people.European Union ministers have agreed to punish incitement to terrorism through the internet. At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU justice and interior ministers tightened existing laws. Public provocation to commit terrorist attacks, as well as recruiting and training people for terrorism will be punishable offences throughout the EU. The ministers also agreed on an action plan to prevent terrorist groups from getting explosives. EU officials said the decision to punish propaganda, recruitment and training for terrorism through the internet filled an important gap in European legislation.
Early warning system
They described the internet as a virtual training camp for militants, used to inspire and mobilise local groups. Earlier this month, the EU anti-terrorism co-ordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, said the threat of terrorism in Europe had not diminished and about 5,000internet sites were being used to radicalise young people. National courts will now be able to ask internet service providers to remove such sites. Britain, Spain and Italy already punish public incitement to terrorism. But under pressure from Nordic countries and civil rights campaigners, ministers made clear that the new provisions may not be used to restrict freedom of expression. In a separate move to combat terrorism, they agreed to establish an early-warning system on stolen explosives and detonators by the end of the year. They also resolved to create a database giving police permanent access to information on incidents involving explosive devices.
1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face against Gog,(RULER) the land of Magog,(RUSSIA) the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW)and Tubal,(TOBOLSK) and prophesy against him,
3 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech(MOSCOW) and Tubal:
4 And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws,(GOD FORCES THE MUSLIMS TO MARCH) and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
5 Persia,(IRAN,IRAQ) Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
6 Gomer,(GERMANY) and all his bands; the house of Togarmah (TURKEY)of the north quarters, and all his bands:(SUDAN,AFRICA) and many people with thee.
7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.
8 After many days thou shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people, against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.
9 Thou shalt ascend and come like a storm, thou shalt be like a cloud to cover the land, thou, and all thy bands, and many people with thee.(RUSSIA-EGYPT AND MUSLIMS)
10 Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought:
11 And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates,
12 To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.
1 The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.
3 They (ARABS,MUSLIMS) have taken crafty counsel against thy people,(ISRAEL) and consulted against thy hidden ones.
4 They have said, Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.
5 For they have consulted together with one consent: they are confederate against thee:(TREATIES)
6 The tabernacles of Edom,and the Ishmaelites;(ARABS) of Moab, and the Hagarenes;
7 Gebal, and Ammon,(JORDAN) and Amalek;(SYRIA) the Philistines (PALESTINIANS) with the inhabitants of Tyre;(LEBANON)
1 Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog,(LEADER OF RUSSIA) and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech (MOSCOW) and Tubal: (TUBOLSK)
2 And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts,(RUSSIA) and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:
3 And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
4 Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands,( ARABS) and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured.
5 Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD.
6 And I will send a fire on Magog,(NUCLEAR BOMB) and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken.
3 A fire(NUCLEAR BOMB) devoureth before them;(RUSSIA-ARABS) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
20 But I will remove far off from you the northern army,(RUSSIA,MUSLIMS) and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.(SIBERIAN DESERT)
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(NUCLEAR BOMB)
31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
Source: U.S. Strike on Iran Nearing APR 14,08
Contrary to some claims that the Bush administration will allow diplomacy to handle Iran’s nuclear weapons program, a leading member of America’s Jewish community tells Newsmax that a military strike is not only on the table – but likely.Israel is preparing for heavy casualties, the source said, suggesting that although Israel will not take part in the strike, it is expecting to be the target of Iranian retribution.Look at Dick Cheney’s recent trip through the Middle East as preparation for the U.S. attack, the source said.Cheney’s hastily arranged 9-day visit to the region, which began on March 16, included stops in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Turkey, and the Palestinian territories.Tensions in the region have been rising.While Israel was conducting the largest homefront military exercises in its history last week, Israel’s National Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer warned Tehran about expected attacks on the Jewish state.An Iranian attack will prompt a severe reaction from Israel, which will destroy the Iranian nation, he said.He predicted that in a future war, hundreds of missiles will rain on Israel, but added that Iran is definitely aware of our strength.In addition to long-range missiles Iran has been developing to strike Israel, Israel’s military strategists see the Iranians using terror groups they back like Hamas operating from Palestine and Hezbollah from Lebanon to launch attacks.Iran has supplied Hezbollah with an arsenal that now contains tens of thousands of missiles, according to the Washington Post.
Israel’s recent war exercises, including preparations for chemical and biological weapons attacks, drew a sharp response from Syria which held its own military drills. The Syrian government accused Israel of preparing for a war which Damascus predicted would be begin anytime between May 1 and the end of June.Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently told foreign journalists that Israel needs to confront the threat posed by Iran. Privately he has been telling associates his number one priority is have the Israeli military strike Iran if the U.S. is unwilling.The Israeli newspaper Haaretz disclosed that Israel is concerned that North Korea has transferred technology and nuclear materials to Iran to aid Tehran’s secret nuclear weapons program.Iran remains intransigent to international pressure that it offer full transparency relating to its nuclear program. On Sunday the head of Iran’s nuclear program abruptly canceled a meeting with the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, dealing a blow to the U.N. monitor's efforts to investigate allegations that Iran tried to make nuclear arms, an agency official said, according to an AP report.But a senior diplomat had told the AP that IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] head Mohamed ElBaradei likely planned to use the meeting with Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, the head of Iran's nuclear program, to renew a request for more information on allegations Tehran had tried to make atomic arms.A number of signs indicate that, contrary to the belief President Bush is a lame duck who will not act before he leaves office, the U.S. is poised to strike before Iran can acquire nuclear weapons and carry out the threat of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map:
According to intelligence sources, the administration now rejects the National Intelligence Estimate report issued in December that asserted Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in late 2003.
The French daily Le Monde reported in March that newly surfaced documents show that Iran has continued developing nuclear weapons. In late 2006, U.S. intelligence reportedly intercepted a phone conversation in Iran’s Defense Ministry in which the nuclear weapons program was discussed.
The commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Admiral William Fallon, resigned in March amid media reports that he broke with President Bush’s strategy on Iran and did not want to be in the chain of command when the order comes down from the President to launch a strike on the Islamic Republic.
Democrats suggested he had been forced out because of his candor in opposing Bush’s Iran plans, and Esquire magazine contended that Fallon’s departure signaled that the U.S. is preparing to attack Iran.
According to a Tehran-based Iranian news network, Press TV, Saudi Arabia is taking emergency steps in preparing to counter any radioactive hazards that may result from an American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
The Saudi newspaper Okaz disclosed that the Saudi government has approved nuclear fallout preparations, and the Iranian network reported that the approval came a day after Cheney met with the kingdom’s high-ranking officials, further stating that the U.S. is now informing its Arab allies of a potential war.
The American commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, has stepped up criticism of Iran, telling Congress last week that Iranian support for Shiite militias posed the most serious threat to Iraq’s stability. He told senators : Iran has fueled the violence in a particularly damaging way. Last week, the U.S. said Iran was providing insurgents with missiles that were killing Americans and hitting targets within the U.S. occupied Green Zone in Baghdad.
MSNBC Commentator Pat Buchanan said Petraeus’ remarks to Congress lay the groundwork for a U.S. attack on Iran.
President Bush said in a speech at the White House on April 10 that Iran, along with al-Qaida, are two of the greatest threats to America.
He said Iran can live in peace with its neighbors, or continue to arm and train and fund illegal militant groups which are terrorizing the Iraqi people … If Iran makes the wrong choice, America will act to protect our interests and our troops and our Iraqi partners.He later told ABC News that if Iran continues to help militants in Iraq, then we’ll deal with them.Members of Congress are said to have been briefed by the administration about the rising Iran threat.Iran did little to cool tensions when it announced that it had begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.Centrifuges can enrich uranium to a low level to produce nuclear fuel or a high level for use in weapons.The announcement of the new centrifuges by President Ahmadinejad came on April 8, Iran’s National Day of Nuclear Technology, which marked the second anniversary of Iran’s first enrichment of uranium.Iran already has about 3,000 centrifuges operating in Natanz, and the new announcement was widely seen as a show of defiance to international demands to halt a nuclear program that the U.S. and its allies insist is aimed at building nuclear weapons.
NOTICE IN EZEKIEL 38 IT MENTIONS LIBYA.
Putin in Libya to close $2.5b arms deal
Only few weeks before he leaves office, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Libya on Wednesday for a two-day visit likely to be dominated by discussions on energy cooperation, arms deals and debt negotiations.Putin's visit may bring closure to several large arms deals totaling $2.5 billion, which are aimed at bolstering Libya's aging weapons arsenal, Russian media outlets reported. The deals will include anti-aircraft systems, MiG and Sukhoi aircraft, helicopters, submarines and warships, the Russian news agency Interfax said.The media are always interested in arms deals… but the main issue for Russia will be Libya as a trading partner, which is something that almost every country in the world is interested in, because Libya, with a high oil price, has a lot of money to spend, Oliver Miles, a former British ambassador to Libya, and currently deputy chairman of the Libyan British Business Council, told The Media Line.
Last week, the state-run Russian gas company, Gazprom, revealed it was negotiating with its Italian partner, Eni, about a potential asset swap involving projects in Libya. The heads of the two companies have met with Putin recently, although the content of their discussions has not been fully disclosed.International competition over foreign investments in Libya has been heightened as a result of the country's recent moves to open up.There are many things that we in Britain, for example, or the French, or other exporting countries, would wish to sell to the Libyans, and naturally we see the Russians as competitors, Miles said.Regarding the military aircraft deal, Miles explained there was direct competition between France and Russia, which are probably the most likely suppliers of military aircraft to Libya.The former ambassador explained that a French-Libyan deal for the purchase of military aircraft was considered a done deal at the time of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's recent visit to Libya.This competition also hit the news last month, when reports indicated that Algeria had decided to terminate a contract to purchase 35 MiG29 aircrafts from Russia.Algeria began refusing deliveries from May 2007, and in October it stopped payments on other military contracts, pending the return of the MiGs to Russia.The reasons for the termination of the Algerian contract are likely to lie in the realm of politics, said head of the Russian Federal Agency for Industry, Andrei Dutov.
The French media recently indicated that two months ago Sarkozy tried to persuade Algeria to purchase French aircraft with similar technical features as the MiG29.Russian arms export monopoly, Rosoboronexport, signed a contract to deliver the MiG29 fighters in March 2006 as part of an $8-billion military-technical cooperation agreement with Algeria.
The March to War: Israel Prepares for War against Lebanon and Syria by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya Global Research, April 19, 2008
By the start of 2007, reports about major upgrades to the Syrian military, including advances in missile technology, with Iranian help were widespread in Israel.  The impression of an imminent war existed across much of the Middle East. Syria, Hezbollah, and Iran were reported in Israel to be preparing for a war to spark in the Levant. It was also claimed in Israel that Damascus had sent secret messages to Tel Aviv that should Israel continue to reject Syria’s peace overtures, a war would breakout in the Golan Heights and that Syrian reservists were forbidden from leaving Syria because of the possibility of combat.  In June, 2007, an inner circle of the Israeli government that would form a war cabinet in a Middle Eastern war scenario was categorically informed that a war with Syria would absolutely involve Iranian military intervention. It is now 2008 and the spectre of war has remerged in the Middle East. Syrian President Basher Al-Assad revealed that his country is uneasy and prepared for the worst once again. Despite Tehran’s position that the U.S. would not dare launch a war against Iran, the Iranian military is on standby. The Lebanese military and Hezbollah have also been placed on alert. While war is not a preferable option, if Israel declares war on Syria and Lebanon or if America declares war on Iran, Syria would be prepared, the Syrian President told a gathering of Arab intellectuals according to Al-Akhbar, a Lebanese newspaper, on April 16, 2008.  We should analyze the situation from the perspective of American interests, because the last war in Lebanon has shown that at some point Israel wanted to stop the fighting, but was forced by the [Bush Jr. Administration] to pursue it further, Basher Al-Assad continued.  Thus the threat of war lives on in the Middle East in 2008…
Miscalculations in the Levant: Setting the Stage for War?
Hereto, Tel Aviv has been deliberately promoting tensions with Syria and Lebanon. In 2007, Major-General Moshe Kaplinsky, the former deputy chief of staff for the Israeli military, stated during a press briefing that war between Syria and Israel was unlikely as an answer to growing rumours of war that started since late-2006 and the commencement of 2007. The Israeli flag officer however did not rule out an eventual Israeli-Syrian conflict. Major-General Kaplinsky along with many other Israeli commanders and officials repeatedly stressed that a miscalculation on the border could spark a conflict between Syria and Israel sometime in the future. Not long after the 2006 Israeli defeat in Lebanon, Tel Aviv started crafting the justifications for more wars in its surrounding neighbourhood, the Levant.  The Israeli definitions of miscalculation have been extremely vague and ominous.Tel Aviv has been involved in the process of creating a military carte blanche, allowing for flexibility in its regional approach towards Lebanon and Syria.Miscalculations in the eyes of Tel Aviv range from the domestic affairs of the Lebanese and the events in the occupied Palestinian Territories to the most audacious and bellicose of definitions, such as the reaction of the Syrians to Israeli hostilities.
The secretive air assault, later revealed by the codename Operation Orchard, made by the 69th Squadron of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) against an unheard of facility in Deir ez-Zoir Governorate of Syria on September 6, 2007 could have become a miscalculation on the part of Syria had it responded to Israeli provocations. The Israeli definition of a miscalculation also means any arbitrary fire into Israel. The Jerusalem Post defined a miscalculation that could spark a war with Syria as an incident along the border, in the form of a terrorist attack that escalates into a larger conflict.  Such an incident could easily be sparked through conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. A false flag operation could also bring such an incident about. On July 18, 2007 there was rocket fire from South Lebanon into Israel by an unknown group, something that could have been used as a pretext for war. In Syria, Lebanon, and the Arab World the incident was believed to be the work of the Israelis and their allies in an effort to justify a future war.
Tel Aviv’s Orwellian talk of Peace
In May, 2008 the head of the Mossad, the intelligence service of Israeli, said that talks of peace with Syria would lead to war.  Le Nouvel Observateur reported in July 2007 that the Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, ruled out the resumption of peace talks with Syria while stressing that she believed Damascus posed a problem that must be tackled on a regional scale.  When asked about the prospects of peace with Syria, Tzipi Livni responded, Absolutely not. Syria is pursuing the dangerous game it plays in the region [Middle East], and added that Syria remains a threat to Israel.  These statements reveal the conduct of Tel Aviv and its hidden agenda. Within the context of a public declaration of peace during the summer of 2007, they also reveal Tel Aviv’s duplicity. While Tzipi Livni stated that there would be no peace between Israel and Syria, Ehud Olmert stated in a televised interview with the Al-Arabiya News Channel, that he personally wanted peace with Syria. Prime Minister Olmert addressed President Basher Al-Assad, the head of Syria, directly, saying you know that I am ready for direct talks with you and added that I am ready to sit with you and talk about peace, not war. Several days later, Ehud Olmert also stated in Orwellian fashion that he wanted peace with the Syrians, but that peace did not equate to immediate peace negotiations between Syria and Israel and could mean a continuation of the status quo.Olmert’s statement is doublespeak. Hereto, according to the Israelis, the threat of war exists as a result of the status quo between Syria and Israel. This statement is very important to keep in mind because it indicates that Israel did not want to return the Golan Heights, but wanted something else from Syria as the condition of peace. This is where Tehran comes into the picture.
Israeli officials were further incriminated by the fact that in 2007Prime Minister Olmert also said he was not concerned by an imminent war with Syria, but that he was unhappy with the public discussion about peace between Syria and Israel. One should question the logic behind Ehud Olmert’s irritation regarding public overtures of peace between Syria and Israel.  Realpolitik is definitely being played by Israel in regards to Damascus in a consorted effort to de-link Syria from Iran and its other allies. In this regard, Damascus publicly insisted that there be no secret talks between Syrian and Israeli officials as to the conditions for peace.  The rationale for the Syrian insistence on transparency was to deprive Israeli of any means to covertly try to divide Syria from its Middle Eastern allies by generating suspicions of betrayal. The international press extensively reported Ehud Olmert’s statements in 2007 about wanting peace with the Syrians. Israeli officials also repeatedly claimed that the Syrians were the ones rejecting peace.  These claims are made despite the fact that all public records show exactly the opposite. Syria’s leadership have been calling for peace negotiations between Israel and Syria since the premierships of Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. Israeli claims of pursing peace for the most part have been part of an international public relations campaign attempting to portray the aggressor as the victim. In the case of Syria peace means that Tel Aviv will not go to war with Damascus if it distances itself from Tehran. De-linking Syria from Iran: Israel’s Real Condition for Peace with Syria.The return of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, which was was formerly called the Syrian Heights in Israel, to Syria was always the recognized condition for establishing Israeli-Syrian peace.
Dr. Alon Liel, a former director-general within the Israeli foreign affairs ministry and a former Israeli ambassador to South Africa, who was heavily involved with previous Israeli negotiations with Syria, has indicated the real issue holding Tel Aviv from accepting peace. Dr. Alon Liel went on record: he confirmed that 85% of negotiations between Syria and Israel were agreed upon by both Damascus and Tel Aviv.  The major issues for establishing peace between Damascus and Tel Aviv were all resolved in 2000; water rights for Israel from Syrian territory, guaranteed Israeli access to the Golan Heights upon its return to Syria, and security guarantees between both parties.  Peace, in the sense of an agreement by both sides, however was unachievable in 1993, 1995, 1996, and 2000 due to Tel Aviv’s internal politics. The situation became more so after 2001 with the start of an aggressive U.S. policy in the Middle East. Israel isn’t going to hand over [or return] the Golan [Heights] to an ally of Iran, Alon Liel has insisted as being the problem in regards to peace between both sides. Tel Aviv has imposed broader demands on Syria as the price of peace. It is in the strategic interests of the U.S. and Israel to isolate Iran, even at the cost of peace with Syria.  In this regard, Syrian internal affairs and foreign relations are decisive factors for Israel in regards to negotiations. Syria and Iran are part of a strategic alliance in the Middle East resisting the interests of America, Britain, Israel, France, and Germany. Other Middle Eastern players resisting the same foreign interests are additionally allied or associated with Syria and Iran within one tangible bloc, the Resistance Bloc.  It is in this context that one understands Israel is no pursuing peace with Syria, but is threatening the Syrians with war if they do not abandon Iran and their allies.
On the eve of major Israeli exercises in which Israel and Syria fought a fictitious war, the Israeli Deputy Prime Minister, Haim Ramon, stated on a radio interview that Syrian anxiety had no basis and that Israel was pursing peace with Damascus, but added unfortunately Syria is stuck deep in the evil axis of connections with [Hezbollah].  If this is not indicative enough, Haim Ramon also concluded that Damascus has made a strategic choice to preserve its alliance with Iran rather than pursue peace, which to Tel Aviv would mean a termination of Syrian-Iranian ties. Furthermore, on March 23, 2003 Shimon Peres stated that peace talks with Syria cannot begin while it keeps supplying Lebanon with weapons.  This was a reference to the important role of Damascus as a middle man between Tehran and the Levant.
Neutralizing Syria: Prerequisite for Neutralizing Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran
Damascus is pivotal to the framework of resistance in the Middle East against Israeli, Anglo-American, and Franco-German interests. Syria acts as a bridge between Iran and Iraq at one end of the Middle East and the Levant on the other. Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Iraq, and Iran are all tied together through Syria.  In this regard, Damascus serves as the central link that holds together the forces resisting a new regional order in the Middle East, also known as the Project for the New Middle East.What the Israelis have been trying to do, in coordination with the U.S., Britain, France, and Germany is to remove Syria from these alliances and thus splinter or break the link between Iran and the Levant. The main goal is to pressure Syria into making a peaceful political surrender (just as Libya did to Britain and the U.S. in 2003), and to distance itself from Iran and the Arab resistance within Palestine and Lebanon to Israel. Shlomo Ben-Ami, a former Israeli foreign minister, hinted in October 2007 that if Syria would not dissociate itself peacefully from Iran, a military solution was inevitable: Driving a wedge between Syria and Iran, drying up [Hezbollah] by cutting its lines of arms supply, allowing the vital task of stabilizing Lebanon to succeed [meaning empowering client forces in Beirut], and forestalling what now looks as a most realistic scenario of a triple front war of Israel against Syria, Hamas and [Hezbollah] are the strategic fruits concomitant to a Syrian-Israeli peace.Removing Syria from the Resistance Bloc is a prerequisite for Israel, America, and their partners for tackling Iran. With Syria removed from Iran’s influence, the entire Levant could be controlled and the resistance in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon under such players as Hamas and Hezbollah could be significantly weakened. Under such a framework, the Levant could be integrated into the economic order of the so-called Western Powers under the Washington Consensus and within the Mediterranean Union: this is where Israeli, Anglo-American, and France-German Middle East interests merge.
In 2006, the ultimate objective of the Israeli attack on Lebanon was to remove Syria from its alliance with Iran and insert Damascus within the orbit of a new regional order. With this understanding in mind, the 2006 Israeli attacks on Lebanon were revealed to have been planned to also target Syria. War however became a far costlier option for America, Britain, Israel, and their partners and that is why political channels were pursued with Damascus after the 2006 defeat of Tel Aviv in Lebanon. Haaretz released a revealing report in August, 2007 about the true nature of the diplomatic mission of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to Damascus. The intentions of her visit to Damascus were stated to help establish peace between Syria and Israel and better ties with America, but the conditions were not fully disclosed.Syria was being courted to abandon Iran, just as Italy was courted to abandon Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire by London and Paris before the First World War: The chairman of the [U.S.] House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Tom Lantos, who accompanied Pelosi, said Assad should be given a final opportunity to disengage from the axis of evil. According to Lantos, in a few years, Sunni Muslims and not Iran under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in control in the region, and it is to the advantage of Damascus to know which side to be on.
For Tel Aviv and its partners, if the goal of removing Damascus from its alliance with Tehran can not be achieved through diplomatic dialogue, economics, threats, or pressure then the original course of action, warfare, within a major three-front confrontation is the other alternative against Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Territories. These hostilities would also be linked to confrontation with the Iranians and could result in an broader conflict in the Middle East and Central Asia. Ehud Olmert declared I believe that we can expect a calm summer, a calm autumn and a calm winter [which runs from November, 2007 to March, 2008], when tensions were rising between Syria and Israel in 2007.  It is worth noting that tensions began to rise again in the Levant after Olmert’s timeframe of calm.The threats of war in 2007 were partly scare tactics to pressure Syria into yielding and conceding to the geo-strategic interests of America, Britain, Israel, France, and Germany.  Up to now, all efforts to remove the Syrians from their alliances have failed. Clearly, Israel has been preparing for war on a broader regional level. Simultaneously, Tel Aviv has been preparing to shift blame for any possible outbreak of a regional war on the Syrians, the Lebanese, the Palestinians, even the Russians, and foremost on the Iranians.
Operation Orchard: Fabricating a Syria-Iran-North Korea Nuclear Axis
On September 6, 2007 Israeli warplanes violated Syrian airspace and mysteriously attacked an unheard of facility. The Syrian military reported that Israeli aircraft illegally entered Syrian airspace from over the Mediterranean Sea and headed towards northeastern Syria. Air defense units confronted [the Israeli warplanes] and forced them to leave [Syria] after they drooped [sic; dropped] some ammunition in deserted areas without causing any human or material damage, the Syrian military initially claimed.  The Syrians immediately also stated that Israel was trying to create pretexts for another war in the Middle East.  The U.S. government also entered the commotion by claiming that the White House was aware of the operation and the Pentagon had assisted the Israelis. The White House also claimed that the Israelis had destroyed a facility that was linked to a clandestine nuclear program in Syria. Damascus also maintained that the attacks and the claims about a secretive nuclear program were preludes to U.S. involvement in an Israeli war against Syria. In this context, Syria restrained itself, fearing that Tel Aviv wanted to entice Damascus into a war. Professor Eyal Zisser, the director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, noted Any misunderstanding could lead to conflagration. However, the Syrian announcement was surprising in its moderation.  The operation was also reported as being a possible test-run for an Israeli attack on Iran. The U.S. and Israel also asserted that the Russian-made air defence systems in Syria did not function.  The attacks could have also been a form of pressure to force the Syrians to go to the Annapolis Conference to detect if a war was intended against their country.The attack was described as an Israeli success by the Bush Jr. Administration and the mainstream media. A propaganda campaign was launched: Through media disinformation and political statements, efforts were placed on establishing the threat of a Syria-Iran-North Korea nuclear proliferation axis.
The alleged nuclear facility was a Syrian project aided by North Korea and Iran according to the U.S. and Israeli governments. Trying to pin Syria for having weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs is not a fresh approach. In fact just barely a month after the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq the U.S. and Britain actively started trying to portray Syria in an Iraq-like manner claiming that Damascus also had hidden weapons of mass destruction (WMD) stockpiles.In early-April, 2008 it became clear that Israel and the U.S. had been planning on releasing details about Operation Orchard and the alleged nuclear facility attacked by Israel in Syria to further demonize Damascus and to further construct a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) link between Syria, North Korea, and Iran.  The Jerusalem Post subsequently reported on April 14, 2008 that Israeli experts suggested that the full disclosure about an Israeli attack in 2007 in the U.S. Congress could even embarrass the Syrians to the point of militarily responding against Israel. 
The Assassination of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus: Antecedent to War?
On February 12, 2008 Imad Fayez Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah security official, was assassinated in Damascus by means of a remote detonated car bomb. The intelligence services of America, Israel, Britain, France, Germany, Jordon, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia were all suspected of some form of involvement. According to The Daily Star, an English-language newspaper based in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia had helped Israel in assassinating Imad Mughniyeh and a Saudi military attaché was arrested in Damascus due to links to a Syrian collaborator in the assassination. More than a month following the Mughniyeh assassination, U.S. Vice-President Cheney made a regional tour of the Middle East. We must not, and will not, ignore the darkening shadows of the situations in Gaza, in Lebanon, in Syria and in Iran and the forces there that are working to derail the hopes of the world, Vice-President Cheney vowed dramatically in a insinuation that conflict was brewing and the U.S. was prepared to aid Israel. It did not take long for pundits to point toward Mughniyeh’s murder as being used in a ploy to launch war in the Middle East. Israel’s intelligence and information apparatus started exerting themselves in a misinformation campaign to create doubts about the murder of Imad Mughniyeh. Tel Aviv’s aims were to shift the blame on the Syrians in a psychological operation (PSYOP) intended to inseminate doubts and mistrust between Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran, in order to strain their alliance and weaken the Resistance Bloc.According to Israel’s Channel 10, sometime after the assassination of Mughniyeh, Tel Aviv sent Hezbollah a letter through a third party, threatening another disproportionate war against Lebanon. Tel Aviv also wasted no time in threatening Syria if Hezbollah launched retaliatory attacks on Israel.  In this context, Reuters also reported that an unnamed senior Israeli official had spelled out conflict with the Syrians as a reprisal for hostile Lebanese and Palestinian actions against Israel.  The root of these so-called hostile actions by Lebanese and Palestinian groups are of retaliatory nature to hostile actions initiated by Tel Aviv. In many cases, these attacks against Israel are invited by Tel Aviv as a means to create the justifications of postponing peace, annexing territory, and launching war.
In mid-April, 2008, Israeli jets and helicopters created insecurity among residents of Haifa when they scrambled across Israel to intercept an unidentified light plane entering Israeli airspace.  Tel Aviv’s security and military forces have been on high alert since the Mughniyeh Assassination.  On March 18, 2008 an Israeli warship was also dispatched into Lebanese waters, where it was intercepted by an Italian warship, in a move that many in Lebanon saw as a taunt by Israel. Israel has advertised very publicly that it expects retaliation from Hezbollah.  This retaliation could also give Israel an excuse for launching another war. The Israeli government also used the opportunity to raise domestic tensions amongst its own citizens. Israeli officials also warned about possible attacks from across the Lebanese border by Iranian-manufactured explosive-packed drones or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) sent by Hezbollah. 
Creating Pretexts for War in Lebanon
Israel has overtly claimed, as part of a concerted public relations campaign, that Hezbollah increased the range of its rocket arsenal.  The public advertisement of the increase in the rocket range of Hezbollah by Tel Aviv stands outside the standardized protocol of Israeli officials who consistently work domestically to keep public confidence in the strength of the Israeli military and security apparatus. Although there was a genuine probability of truth to the Israeli statements, the main objective behind their very publicly advertised declarations were to further build excuses for further Israeli aggression, such as pre-emptive strikes, in Lebanon or the so-called Israeli Northern Front and regionally in the Middle East.In reality, Hezbollah’s rocket range was probably upgraded or already capable of hitting deep into Israeli territory before Tel Aviv decided to divulge its knowledge. Hezbollah had already threatened to strike Tel Aviv in 2006 if Beirut were to be attacked by Israeli bombs. The timing of the information by Israeli officials about Hezbollah’s rocket range is linked to painting the picture of a growing threat amongst its own citizens and to gain their support for combat.In the case of Hezbollah, like those of the Palestinian Resistance and Syria, the increased range of their projectiles have been attentively linked to Iran, itself the ultimate target. Starting in March, 2008 the mainstream media in Israel and worldwide reported that the Israeli government had warned that most of Israel, up to the city of Dimona in the Negev Desert, was within the striking range of Hezbollah from Lebanon. Haaretz correspondents in addition reported that Hamas militants who recently returned to the Gaza Strip after training in Iran [held] a detailed plan for upgrading the capabilities of the rockets being developed in the [Gaza] Strip, according to senior Palestinian Authority sources. As a note, the Palestinian Authority sources being referred to are the unelected Fatah officials in the West Bank who themselves collaborate with Israel. These types of reports have also helped boost the case for war.
The basis for war against Lebanon is an intricate parcel of a broader conflict in the Middle East, which in turn is itself a component of an even larger conflict in Eurasia. The fact that various Palestinian resistance groups have trained in Lebanon, Syria, and Iran is also being used as a justification for war and as a means to tie all three republics closer together as a single enemy axis by Israel. Aside from those in the Palestinian Territories, in the event of a major war the Palestinian groups based in Lebanon and Syria have made it clear that they will fight alongside the Lebanese and Syrians. Palestinians in Egypt and Jordon have also elucidated towards such a course of action too.
With 2008 efforts to implicate Hezbollah in regards to attacks on American and British troops in Iraq have resurfaced. These reports were originally made by London in an effort to link Hezbollah to the roadside bombs in Basra at the start of the Anglo-American occupation of Iraq, but were dismissed. The main British objective of involving Hezbollah as an enemy in Iraq was the foreknowledge that Lebanon would be attacked by Israel in 2006.On April 8, 2008 General David H. Petraeus, the commander of Coalition troops in Iraq, accused both Iran and Hezbollah of helping the Iraqi forces that attacked the Green Zone in Baghdad.  He testified to the U.S. Senate about Hezbollah’s alleged involvement in killing American and Coalition troops: Together with the Iraqi Security Forces, we have also focused on the Special Groups [meaning those forces fighting against American and Coalition forces]. These elements are funded, trained, armed, and directed by Iran’s Qods [Jerusalem] Force, with help from Lebanese Hezbollah. The allegations by General Petraeus were part of the conscious effort to justify a greater American role in the next conflict against the Lebanese.
The Mediterranean Front
It is clear to the Pentagon, NATO, and Tel Aviv that the Levant stands to ignite a Mediterranean battle-front in the event of a war against Iran. To this end, the marshaling of a relatively invisible NATO war fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean is rigidly tied to war plans against Tehran.  The naval build-ups in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean have been ongoing since 2001 with the strategic aim of preparing the logisitical framework for war against Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian resistance, Syria, and Iran.Paris and Berlin have intense vested interest in the Anglo-American wars in the Middle East. As has been repeatedly uttered by French, German, and E.U. officials the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East are the eastern borders of the European Union.  To this end Nicolas Sarkozy’s Mediterranean Union is a declaration of these Franco-German interests that are very much tied to the wars in the Middle East and the establishment of a settlement between the Arabs and Israel in the Levant.  The 2006 Israeli siege against Lebanon, with the active support of American military personnel and planners in Israel, was a phase of this military schedule as well as a dress rehearsal by both sides for a larger Middle Eastern war. Both sides were given the opportunity to re-evaluate their tactics and strategies for such an upcoming war, should it spark. History will see what comes to pass. Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is a writer and geopolitical analyst based in Ottawa who specializes on the Middle East and is currently Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization.Also see: The March to War: Syria Preparing for US-Israeli Attacks
 Ze’ev Schiff, Syria rearms, moves troops closer to Golan Heights border, Haaretz, February 22, 2007; Ze’ev Schiff, Israel's message in talks with Gates: Syria is preparing for war, Haaretz, April 22, 2007; Yitzhak Benhorin, Syria arming intensely, minister says, Yedioth Ahronoth, May 4, 2007.
 Herb Keion, Syria, Iran, Hizbullah planning war, The Jerusalem Post, June 6, 2007; Yakkov Katz, War with Syria this summer unlikely, The Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2007; Roee Nahmias, Syria’s top general to pilots: Be prepared for war, Yedioth Ahronoth, October 23, 2007.
 Smadar Peri, Syria plans war of attrition in the Golan Heights, Yedioth Ahronoth, August 2, 2007; Aluf Been, IDF, government preparing for possible Syrian strike on Golan Heights, Haaretz, April 2, 2007; Yakkov Katz, IDF prepares for Syrian attack on Golan, The Jerusalem Post, April 27, 2007; Smadar Peri, Arab official: Syrian general mulling war with Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth, August 14, 2007.
 Ronn Sofer, Syria not planning offensive, security officials say, Yedioth Ahronoth, June 11, 2007.
 Roee Nahmias, Assad: US wants Israel to declare war on Syria, Yedioth Ahronoth, April 17, 2008; Assad: Syria is preparing for war, The Jerusalem Post, April17, 2008; We are prepared for Israel war, Press TV, April 17, 2008.
 Amos Harel, IDF deputy chief: Summer war with Syria not likely, Haaretz, July 11, 2007.
 The Levant in its cotemporary definition is a geographic sub-region of the Middle East that includes Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Syria, and Jordon. The Turkish province of Hatay, where the city of Alexandretta (Iskenderon) is located, has traditionally been considered a part of the Levant along with small portions of Turkey. The exact boundaries of the Levant are abstract, but the categorization of Levantine countries, in the geographic sense of the word, is unambiguous. The Levant is roughly bordered by Iraq to the east, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, the mountain range of the Taurus in the north, and Arabia to the south.
 Yakkov Katz, IDF wary of possible war with Syria, The Jerusalem Post, July 11, 2007.
 Itamar Eichner, Talks with Syria could lead to war, says Mossad chief, Yedioth Ahronoth, May 14, 2007.
 Tzipi Livni, Tzipi Livni : Nous allons aider Mahmoud Abbas..., interview by Henri Guirchoun, Le Nouvel Observateur, July 12, 2007.
 Ibid.; Tzipi Livni: Absolument pas. La Syrie poursuit le jeu dangereux qui est le sien dans la région. (…) et demeure une menace…
 Hern Keinon, Olmert: Israel, Syria don’t want war, The Jerusalem Post, July 12, 2007.
 Assad sets Golan pullout as condition for future talks, The Daily Star (Lebanon), July 18, 2007.
 Syria dismisses Olmert offer to hold peace talks, The Jerusalem Post and Associated Press (AP), July 10, 2007.
 Yaakov Lappin, Israel-Syria pact 85 percent done, Yedioth Ahronoth, July 18, 2007.
 Adam Entous, Syria may be flexible on key Israeli demand: UN, Reuters, July 12, 2007.
 Lappin, Israel-Syria pact, Op. cit.
 Adam Entous, Israel says awaits clear Syrian message on Iran, Reuters, July 18, 2007.
 The Resistance Bloc is a group of players that can be categorized within one grouping for resisting foreign programs and interests in the Middle East. Iran, Syria, both the Lebanese Resistance and the Lebanese National Opposition, the Hamas-led Palestinian government in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian Resistance, the Iraqi Resistance, and various elements of opposition in the Arab World all fall into this regional grouping opposed to Anglo-American, Franco-German, and Israeli interests.
 Deputy PM Ramon: Israel has no intention of attacking Syria, The Jerusalem Post, April 3, 2008.
 Aviram Zino, Peres: Israel will not cede Golan Heights for Syria-controlled Lebanon, Yedioth Ahronoth, March 23, 2008.
 It is interesting to note that the outline of this bloc also falls within the perimeters of the so-called Shia Crescent, an artificial and misleading concept about Shiite ascendancy in a crescent starting from Iran, going through Iraq and Syria, and ending in Lebanon and Palestine. This concept is a brethren-term of the very terminology that conceptualized the Sunni Triangle in Iraq, which did not exist until the campaign to occupy Iraq started. Both terms are psychological devices and concepts described as a means to re-categorize and divide the Middle East.
 Shlomo Ben-Ami, The way to Damascene conversion, Yedioth Ahronoth, October 21, 2007.
 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The Premeditated Nature of the War on Lebanon: A Stage of the Broader Middle East Military Roadmap, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), September 10, 2007.
 Aluf Ben, Israel seeks to reassure Syria: No summer attack, Haaretz, April 3, 2007; it should also be noted that the grounds were paved for war against Berlin and Vienna in 1914 by London and Paris by first de-linking Rome from Germany and Austro-Hungary and this is precisely what Washington, D.C. and Tel Aviv have been trying to do in regards to Damascus and Tehran.
 Barak Ravid, Olmert: Israel, Syria have no interest in military conflict, Haaretz, August 11, 2007.
 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The March to War: Détente in the Middle East or Calm before the Storm? Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), July 12, 2007.
 Air Defense Units Confront Israeli Aircrafts over Syrian airspace forcing them to Leave, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), September 6, 2007.
 Syria: Israel Is Spreading False Reports In Order To Justify War, Reuters, September 30, 2007
 Syrian paper warns nuclear rumors may be prelude to US attack, Associated Press (AP), September 16, 2007.
 Alastair MacDonald, Syria-Israel bombing incident shrouded in mystery, Reuters, September 7, 2007.
 Report: Russia sent technicians to Syria, Jerusalem Post, October 2, 2007.
 Sarah Baxter et al., Israelis blew apart Syrian nuclear cache, The Sunday Times (U.K.), September 16, 2007; Alexander Kogan, The secretive Syrian-N. Korean alliance, The Jerusalem Post, September 18, 2007.
 Amos Harel and Barak Ravid, Israel, U.S. plan to release details on Syria attack, Haaretz, April 9, 2008.
 Yakkov Katz and Herb Keinon, Status of Syria strike hearing unclear, The Jerusalem Post, April 14, 2008.
 Riyadh accused of role in Mughniyeh assassination, The Daily Star (Lebanon), April 10, 2008.
 Cheney backs Israel over security, British Broadcasting Corporation News (BBC News), March 23, 2008.
 Israel threatened to attack Damascus, The Jerusalem Post, March 15, 2008; Adam Entous and Daniel Williams, Israel secretly warned Syria about Hezbollah, ed. Dominic Evans, Reuters, March 14, 2008; Jon Brain, Israel calms fears of Syria conflict, British Broadcasting Corporation News (BBC News), April 3, 2008.
 Hanan Greenberg and Ahiya Raved, Light plane causes scare in north, Yedioth Ahronoth, April 12, 2008.
 Ron Ben-Yishai, Revenge for Mugniyah could ignite conflict in north, Yedioth Ahronoth, April 3, 2008.
 Yoav Stern, Nasrallah: Mughniyah’s blood will lead to elimination of Israel, Haaretz, March 14, 2008; Police to beef up forces over Purim, fearing Hezbollah strike, Associated Press (AP), March 17, 2008; Avi Issacharooff et al., Hezbollah deputy chief: We have proof Israel killed Mughniyah, Haaretz, March 23, 2008; IDF chief: Army prepared for any scenario, Yedioth Ahronoth, April 18, 2008.
 Yakkov Katz, Hizbullah may send bomb-laden UAVs, The Jerusalem Post, April 6, 2008.
 Israel: Hezbollah increases rocket range, Associated Press (AP), March 27, 2008.
 Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel, Hamas gets Iranian plans for improved Qassams, Haaretz, March 31, 2008.
 Andrew Gray and David Morgan, U.S. sees Iran and Syria Lebanon gambit in Iraq, ed. Philip Barbara, Reuters, April 8, 2008.
 General David H. Petraeus, April 8, 2008 SFRC Testimony (Testimony, U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, D.C., April 8, 2008).
 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), October 1, 2006.
 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The Mediterranean Union: Dividing the Middle East and North Africa, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), February 10, 2008.
 Ibid.; Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The Mediterranean Union: NATO’s Role in Conquering the Middle East and North Africa, Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), February 18, 2008.Global Research Articles by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya
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