Posts tagged war
Get your popcorn and pull up a comfy chair because the Obama Reality Show is about to get very entertaining.
From AP: WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama is inviting former foe Sen. John McCain to the White House, hoping one of Congress’ most intractable foreign policy hawks will help sell the idea of a U.S. military intervention in Syria to a nation deeply scarred by more than a decade of war.
Having announced over the weekend that he’ll seek congressional approval for military strikes against the Assad regime, the Obama administration is now trying to rally support among Americans and their congressman and senators.
Monday’s meeting with McCain is meant to address concerns of those who feel Obama isn’t doing enough to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government for an attack in the Damascus suburbs last month that the U.S. says included sarin gas and killed at least 1,429 civilians, more than 400 of whom were children. On the other side of the spectrum, some Republican and Democratic lawmakers don’t want to see military action at all.
Obama’s turnabout on Syria sets the stage for the biggest foreign policy vote in Congress since the Iraq war. source – AP News
Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel warned Tuesday, Jan. 29, that Syria is falling apart and no one knows what the next day may bring: “War may not break out tomorrow,” he said, “but we stand ready for any eventuality.”
If war is not expected tomorrow, why have Israel’s armed forces, including the air force, been on their highest level of preparedness since Friday, Jan. 25? The Syrian crisis may not technically fit the description of a state of war. However, the violent turbulence in that country may at any time spill over the border into hostilities in some shape or form.
The “no comment” stance on the Syrian civil war, long held by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak is untenable and pointless, especially after the latter cut short an overseas family trip to be flown home in a hurry Saturday.
No one believes the official explanation that the three Iron Dome anti-missile batteries stationed over the weekend in northern Israel – in the sight of many thousands of local dwellers – are there for a preplanned routine test – least of all after a senior Israeli officer told AFP that large Hizballah forces are parked at Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons stores poised ready to seize them.
If this happens, said the officer, “A decision to attack Syria or Lebanon will need to be implemented immediately.”
This is beginning to sound as though the politicians and the generals are not on speaking terms.
Gen. Eshel’s comment came hard upon the grave warning issued earlier Tuesday by Egypt’s army chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who is also the defense minister. “The political strife is pushing the state to the brink of collapse,” he said on the sixth day of turbulent protests across the country at the cost of more than 60 lives.
Gen. El-Sissi reacted to the chaos and lawlessness engulfing Egypt. The government headed by President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood is no longer a functioning administration. They have been reduced to the single task of fighting to hang onto power.
None of the forces of law and order – the army, internal security, police – are willing to clash head-on with the opposition protesters rampaging on the streets of the main cities including Cairo. Some towns have descended into chaos and some outlying areas in this country of 90 million are no longer receiving regular food and water supplies.
The Egyptian defense minister’s warning may be taken two ways:
1. As a last warning to the Muslim Brotherhood and the opposition on the streets that this is the eleventh hour and if they don’t step back from their confrontation, the military will be forced to seize power to save the country.
2. Alternatively, that the army will not interfere and will stand aside for now, while warning that a civil war in Egypt would be more extensive and calamitous than the vicious conflict bringing Syria to ruin in the last two years. As the two countries teeter on the brink of catastrophe, Gen. Eshel’s dry forecast of doom correctly noted that no one knows what tomorrow will bring.
However, Israel is coming face to face with its worst fear: being hemmed in by a blazing ring of hopeless conflicts just across its borders: Syria and Lebanon in the north; Egypt in the west and south; and Jordan under threat. source – DEBKA
The Israeli Navy (INF) has decided to boost its presence and patrols near Israel’s maritime border with Egypt due to a viable terror threat in the area.
Israeli security sources told the Associated Press on Tuesday that two additional warships have been dispatched to Israel’s Red Sea border with Egypt. Another source stressed that the operation was routine, telling Reuters that “two naval craft have been sent to the Red Sea. This is not unusual.”
On July 27, just before Friday prayers, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei summoned top Iranian military chiefs for what he called “their last war council.” “We’ll be at war within weeks,” he told the gathering, DEBKAfile’s exclusive Iranian and intelligence sources disclose.
Present were Defense Minister General Ahmad Vahidi, Khamenei’s military adviser General Yahya Rahim-Safavi, Armed Forces Chief Major General Seyed Hassan Firuzabadi, Revolutionary Guards Corps commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari and Al Qods Brigades chief General Qassem Soleimani. The commanders of the air force, the navy and ground forces were also there.
Each of the participants was tapped to report on the readiness of his branch or sector for shouldering its contingency mission.
While retaliation had been exhaustively drilled in regular military exercises in the past year, Khamenei ordered the biggest fortification project in Iran’s history to save its nuclear program from even the mightiest of America’s super-weapons.
Rocks are being gathered from afar, piled on key nuclear installations, covered with many tons of poured concrete and finally plated with steel. That same Friday, the US Air force unveiled its new Massive Ordnance Penetrators. Each bunker buster weighs 30,000 pounds and is able to penetrate 60 feet of reinforced concrete.
Turning to retaliation, the war council endorsed a battery of paybacks for potential US and/or Israeli pre-emptive strikes against its nuclear program. They would start by announcing enhanced uranium enrichment up to 60 percent – that is close to weapons grade. Oft-tested ballistic missiles, Shehab-3, would be loosed against Israel, Saudi Arabia and American Middle East and Gulf military installations.
Hizballah in Lebanon and Hamas and Jihad Islami in Gaza stand ready to pitch in against Israel with attacks from the north and the southwest.
Saudi oil export terminals would be blown up and mines sown in the Strait of Hormuz to impede the export of one-fifth of the world’s oil.
Khamenei put before his war council a timeline of weeks for the coming conflict – September or October. source – DEBKA
Iran is waiting for the Mahdi
Amid crippling sanctions over its nuclear weapons program, Iran is continuing to prepare itself for war against the West, and now is warning of a coming great event. “In light of the realization of the divine promise by almighty God, the Zionists and the Great Satan (America) will soon be defeated,” Ayatollah Khamenei, the Iranian supreme leader, is warning.
Khamenei, speaking to hundreds of youths from more than 70 countries attending a world conference on the Arab Spring just days ago, told a cheering crowd in Tehran that “Allah’s promises will be delivered and Islam will be victorious.”
The countries represented included Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Palestine and Tunisia, all of which have been involved in the Arab Spring.
In his remarks, Khamenei advised the youths to remain vigilant, stating that the Islamic awakening in the region has delivered several blows to the enemies of Islam and that all Muslims, despite their own historical and social differences, remain united in opposing the “evil hegemony of the Zionists and the Americans.”
Khamenei then claimed the current century as the century of Islam and promised that human history is on the verge of a great event and that soon the world will realize the power of Allah.
Many clerics in Iran have stated that Khamenei is the deputy of the last Islamic messiah on earth and that obedience to him is necessary for the final glorification of Islam.
Khamenei has been heard to say that the coming of the last Islamic Messiah, the Shiites’ 12th Imam Mahdi, is near and that specific actions need to be taken to protect the Islamic regime for upcoming events.
Mahdi, according to Shiite belief, will reappear at the time of Armageddon. Selected forces within the Revolutionary Guards and Basij reportedly have been trained under a task force called “Soldiers of Imam Mahdi” and they will bear the responsibility of security and protecting the regime against uprisings. Many in the Guards and Basij have been told that the 12th Imam is on earth, facilitated the victory of Hezbollah over Israel in the 2006 war and soon will announce publicly his presence after the needed environment is created.
Sources within Vali’eh Amr, the revolutionary forces in charge of the supreme leader’s protection, also recently revealed an assassination attempt on Khamenei that was thwarted just in time.
SepahOnline reports that last year during Khamenei’s visit to the port of Asalouyeh in southern Iran, Revolutionary Guards found pistols and hand grenades hidden by one individual dressed as a janitor in a barracks that Khamenei was set to attend. The supreme leader was then returned to Tehran immediately.
Other sources within the Guards report that following Barack Obama’s letter to the Iranian leader last month requesting negotiations, Khamenei ordered Iranian officials to speak positively about holding nuclear talks and giving hope to Obama and other Western leaders that a negotiated solution is possible.
This was apparent after a trip of U.N. nuclear inspectors to Iran this week, who called the talks positive.
At the same time, his directive to the Guards ordered a speedy completion of the Iranian nuclear bomb program in which Guards’ missiles can be armed with nuclear warheads. Khamenei believes once that’s achieved, Iran can test a nuclear bomb, letting the world know that Iran has joined the nuclear-armed club and that any confrontation will result in destruction of much of the Western world.
The Revolutionary Guards not only can hit all U.S. bases in the Middle East with their ballistic missiles but also reach most capital cities in Western Europe. The Guards, with the help of China and North Korea, are working on intercontinental ballistic missiles. But more dangerous to America, as reported last July, is the Guards action in arming their vessels with long-range ballistic missiles and their expansion of their mission into the Atlantic Ocean, right into the Gulf of Mexico.
Any Iranian military or commercial vessel easily could get right outside the U.S. coastline and in less than 60 seconds fire a ballistic missile armed with a nuclear payload and detonate it over U.S. skies in an electromagnetic attack that would plunge America back into the 18th century.
Studies show within just one year after such an attack, two-thirds of Americans would cease to exist and the rest would live under dire conditions.
The radicals ruling Iran not only have prepared for mass suppression of their own people as they get close to their confrontation with the West, but also have prepared to fuel unrest through their proxies in the Middle East and elsewhere.
SepahOnline, with sources within the Guards, reports that Afghanistan will soon witness an increase in terrorist activities against U.S. forces. The Guards not only are training Taliban fighters in Iran close to the Afghan border, but are shipping armaments to forces in Afghanistan with an order to create instability by harming U.S. forces and destabilizing the Afghan government.
Guards agents have also been ordered to do the same in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf counties.
The Guards also announced the imminent formation of a defensive unit to deal with possible radioactive contamination. Although they did not say why, they could be preparing for a nuclear exchange with the West once Iran becomes nuclear-armed.
WND previously has reported that the chieftains in Iran also are preparing to execute their own internal critics and opponents at the right time.
This was similar to action taken by the founder of the Islamic regime in 1988, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
In the book, “A Time to Betray,” it is documented when Khomeini announced the campaign, he said, “If the person at any stage or at any time maintains his (or her) support for the opposing groups, the sentence is execution. Annihilate the enemies of Islam immediately.” source – WND
US President Barack Obama is busy aligning Middle East allies with the next US steps on Iran. Contributing to the mounting sense in Washington of an approaching US-Iranian confrontation, the Pentagon is substantially building up its combat power around Iran, stationing nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait – two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit – and keeping two aircraft carriers the region. The USS Carl Vinson, the USS John Stennis which was to have returned to home base and their strike groups will stay in the Arabian Sea.
Iran is caught up in the same pre-war swirl of activity. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani spent two days in Ankara this week. But Turkish leaders failed in their bid to sell their good offices as brokers for averting the expected collision between Tehran and the West. Before flying out of Ankara Friday, Jan. 13, Larijani commented: “We have different ways of doing things.”
Debkafile’s Iranian sources quote the Iranian official as telling his hosts that his country is prepared to take on any military aggressors. One of the responses weighed in Tehran to meet the rising military pressure might be an open declaration of Iran as a nuclear power. By accepting a visit by IAEA inspectors on Jan. 28 – to investigate charges that Iran is running a clandestine nuclear bomb program – Tehran may be moving toward that irreversible admission – or possibly its first nuclear test.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly 528 disclosed exclusively on Nov. 25, 2011 that Iran may soon publicize its attainment of a nuclear weapon, a step still being debated intensely at the highest levels of the Islamic regime in Tehran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who will make the ultimate decision, is very much in favor of facing the world as a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic. He calculates that this fait accompli has a good change of warding off a Western and/or Israeli military attack.
Thursday night, Jan. 12, President Obama put in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss coordinating US and Israeli moves for a military operation against Iran, which many US media believe to be imminent.
The New York Times wrote Friday under the caption: Dangerous Tension with Iran, “Many officials, experts and commentators increasingly expect some kind of military confrontation.”
Obama had similar conversations with other Middle East leaders this week. The and Saudi and Qatari foreign ministers, Prince Saud al-Faisal and Sheikh Hamad al-Thani, spent two days on Jan. 10-11 in Washington talking to the US president. The contents of their talks were kept under tight wraps. Friday, British premier David Cameron suddenly turned up in Riyadh for talks with Saudi King Abdullah and Crown Prince Nayef.
Discussions on military preparations centering on Iran inevitably concern the need for urgent action to halt the unending carnage in Syria, Iran’s close ally.
Thursday, the Russian National Security Adviser Nikolai Patrushev, one of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s closest advisers, said ominously: “We are receiving information that NATO members and some Persian Gulf States working under the ‘Libyan scenario’ intend to move from indirect intervention in Syria to direct military intervention.”
Moscow has consistently spoken out against any foreign intervention in the Syrian conflict – or even tough UN sanctions.
Russia’s NATO ambassador Dmitry Rogozin has suggested more than once that the West would use a military adventure in Syria as the jumping-off point for an attack on Iran.
Another sign that Syria is under the military eye of the West came from an indiscreet comment Israel’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz made Tuesday, Jan. 10 in a briefing to a Knesset panel. Israel, he said, is preparing to absorb members of Bashar Assad’s Alawite sect after his downfall.
He later detracted his words. debkafile disclose that the context of the general’s comment was Israeli preparations to establish a buffer zone on the Syrian side of the Golan border to shelter Alawites fleeing the vengeance of their compatriots.
Turkey too has gone back to talking about setting up in northern Syria a Turkish buffer zone for refugees and anti-Assad dissidents.
Further fueling the war scare, two helmeted bombers on a motorbike assassinated the Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, deputy director of the Natanz uranium enrichment center, in central Tehran Wednesday. Friday, Ayatollah Khamenei accused the United States and Israel of a CIA-Mossad master plan, which Iranian sources claimed bore the title “Red Windows” and focused on training Iranian dissidents for hit and sabotage operations in Iran. source – DEBKA
The drums of war grow ever louder
RELATED STORY: US To Deploy Troops and Warships In Israel For War With Iran
The armies of Saudi Arabia and fellow Gulf Cooperation Council states stood ready Thursday Jan. 5, for Washington to stand up to Iranian threats and send an aircraft carrier or several warships through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf. Riyadh has been leaning hard on the Obama administration not to let Tehran get away with its warning to react with “full force” if the USS Stennis aircraft carrier tried to reenter the Gulf or Iran’s pretensions to control the traffic transiting the world’s most important oil route.
Wednesday night, the Iranian parliament began drafting a bill prohibiting foreign warships from entering the Gulf without Tehran’s permission.
Debkafile’s Washington sources report that Saudi Arabia has warned the Obama administration that Iranian leaders mean what they say; their leaders are bent on provoking a military clash with the United States at a time and place of their choosing, rather than leaving the initiative to Washington. To this end, Iranian officials are ratcheting up their belligerence day after day.
Notwithstanding their military inferiority, the Iranians believe they can snatch a measure of success from a military confrontation, just as the Lebanese Hizballah did in the 2006 war against Israel. In any case, they expect any clash to be limited – at least at first. The two sides will begin by feeling for the opposite side’s weaknesses while endeavoring to hold the line against a full-blown war.
America’s failure to rise to Iran’s challenge will confirm its rulers in the conviction that the US is a paper tiger and encourage them to press their advantage for new gains.
The assessment of British military experts Thursday, Jan. 5, was that the question now is: Who will blink first? Will the US follow through on the Pentagon’s assertion that the deployment of US military assets in the Persian Gulf will continue as it has for decades? Or will Iran act on its warnings and block those waters to the entry of American warships?
President Barack Obama can’t afford to cave in to Iran, especially while campaigning for reelection in Nov. 2012; Tehran, for its part, has made too many threats to easily back down.
The entire region is now on tenterhooks for the next move, with US, Iranian and Gulf armies on the highest war alert. American and Iranian war planners both accept that their advantage lies in surprising the enemy – without, however, catapulting the Persian Gulf into a full-dress war.
US Navy publications as of Wednesday, Jan. 4 showed a sign of the times: One ran a series of photos of F-18 Super Hornet fighter-bombers standing on the runways of the USS Stennis aircraft carrier ready for takeoff at any moment. Another depicted for the first time ever row upon row of huge bombs in the carrier’s hold to show the Iranians what they are taking on.
In the view of debkafile’s military sources, the fact that the US has deployed only one large aircraft carrier in the region does not signify any reluctance on Washington’s part to preserve the freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf. There is no longer a need to rush more carriers to a flashpoint in these strategic waters. The US maintains five huge air bases in the Gulf region – two, the Ali Al Salem and Ahmed Al Jaber bases, in Kuwait; the Al Dhafra base in the UAE; and the largest air bases outside the US – Al Adid in Qatar and the Thumrait in Oman.
The concentration of aircraft carriers at any given location is no longer treated as the marker of an imminent US military operation. source – DEBKA