Syrian opposition activists on Thursday accused President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of again using poison gas in rebel-held areas, saying victims had been discovered with swollen limbs and foaming at the mouth. The activists told Reuters that two shells loaded with gas hit a rebel-held area in the town of Nabak, 68 km (40 miles) northeast of Damascus, on a major highway in the Qalamoun region. They reported seven casualties. “Seven men are reported ill so far. They have swollen limbs and foam coming out of their mouths,” an activist calling himself Amer al-Qalamouni told reporters. Qalamouni added: “No doctors have got to them yet because Nabak is under ferocious bombardment and there are very few medical staff left.” Amir Kazk, another activist in Nabak, said the two shells were part of a heavy barrage that hit the Tariq al-Mashfa district near the center of the town. The source of the fire, he added, appeared to be an army barracks on a hill in the nearby Deir Attiya area. Video footage posted on YouTube by activists showed a man who said he had seen white smoke from the shelling, inhaled it and then passed out. Reports cannot confirm its authenticity. Meanwhile, the Syrian Revolution Coordinators Union also accused Assad’s forces of using poison gas and put the number of casualties at nine.
“We have documented nine casualties from poison gas used by the regime in neighborhoods of Nabak,” Reuters quoted the union as saying on its Facebook page. A U.S. official in Washington said: “We have seen the reports, but have no confirmation.” On Aug. 21, a nerve gas attack killed hundreds of people in rebel-held neighborhoods on the edge of Damascus. Each side blamed the other. Opposition groups have accused Assad’s regime of using chemical weapons several times before and since the Aug. 21 incident that drew international condemnation.
To stave off a U.S. strike on Syria after the incident, Assad agreed to dismantle the country’s chemical weapons arsenal under a deal struck between Moscow and Washington.
International inspectors have already begun work on dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons facilities. They set mid-2014 as their deadline to finally remove chemical weapons from Syria. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which won the Nobel Peace Prize in October, is overseeing plans to destroy Syria’s chemical arsenal under an agreement that averted U.S. missile strikes earlier this year. Meanwhile, the United States will conduct a sea test this month of equipment that could be used to neutralize Syria’s most deadly chemical weapons at sea, according to a U.S. defense official’s as statement on Thursday. Two large chemical neutralization units, which employ a process known as hydrolysis to render toxic chemicals safe enough to be disposed of at commercial sites, are being installed below deck on the Cape Ray, a U.S. Merchant Marine ship. “This is a proven technology,” a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters at the Pentagon. “The chemicals and their reactions are very well understood.” The hydrolysis technology, which turns dangerous chemicals into a low-toxicity liquid waste, has been used to destroy other hazardous materials in the United States. But if the initiative moves forward, it would be the first time the system is used to destroy such materials at sea. A sea trial of the equipment aboard the Cape Ray is planned for later this month, Pentagon officials said. The U.S. official said stockpiles that would be destroyed at sea would include mustard gas and materials used to make the nerve agent sarin. The destruction would take between 45 and 90 days.
Focus On the Middle East
For the week ending December 7, 2013
"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25b)
1. Hezbollah threatens to retaliate against Israel for assassination - Jerusalem Post
A Lebanese newspaper reported on Thursday that...
The aftereffects of the Geneva nuclear accords between the US and Iran have not only embolden Iran’s leadership, but some of its puppet’s leaders as well. Yesterday Hizballah’s Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, went on the air in Lebanon for what turned out to be a very arrogant television interview, during which he made a point of sneering after every reference to the US, Saudi Arabia or Israel. He also appeared to glorify in the big power status conferred on the Islamic Republic (and himself) by the Obama administration after the signing of the Geneva nuclear accord. During the interview he praised the Geneva accord as signaling an end of the US’s monopoly on power and preventing a war in the Middle East. Additionally, he lashed out at Saudi Arabia’s “war” against Iran and accused them of being behind the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut. Shortly after the TV program concluded a high-ranking Hizballah Commander and close confidant of Nasrallah was gunned down near his home when he returned from work. Hajj Hassan Hollo al-Laqqis is an elite member of Hizballah’s military wing who for many years served as its technology and arms chief. The killing of a high-placed Nasrallah insider was intended to illustrate to Hizballah members and the rest of the region that the Hizballah leader’s outburst of hubris was hollow, that his own innermost command elite is deeply penetrated, and that whoever sent the assassins could at any time sow mayhem within the pro-Iranian organization’s ranks. While there is little doubt in Tehran or Beirut that the Saudi’s hand was behind the slaying of the Hizballah Commander, the Lebanese state news agency, however, accused Israel of the killing and threatened revenge. It seems that a common enemy can sometimes unite governments that would themselves be enemies. Such is the case here with Saudi Arabia and Israel and it is no secret that the two countries are working hand-in-hand against Iran, Syria and Lebanon. A good example of this new found relationship is an united effort to produce a computer worm (virus), even more destructive than the Stuxnet malware, in an attempt to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. In 2010, Stuxnet, reputed to have been developed by the US and Israel, was the malworm which attacked the software of Iran’s uranium enrichment program and caused a major slowdown, as well as disrupting its only nuclear reactor at Bushehr. This joint plan was approved after the Geneva deal was roundly castigated by Saudi Arabia for acknowledging Iran’s rights to enrich uranium as “Western treachery,” while Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, called it “a historic mistake” and a danger to the world. Without spelling this out, the Iranian source suggested that President Barack Obama, who in 2010 was ready to go along with the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, had changed course and opted out of further cyber war after deciding to make Iran his strategic partner in the Middle East. It appears, at least for now, this “odd couple” may be a thorn in Iran’s side as they continue to pursue their nuclear goals.
“Do not gloat when your enemies fall; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice.” Proverbs 24:17
Stuxnet Computer Worm
Tehran: Mossad and Saudi intelligence are designing super-Stuxnet to destroy Iran’s nuclear program DEBKAfile Special Report December 3, 2013
Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency “reveals” that...
On the 24th of November, following four days of marathon talks, Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany) finally inked the Geneva interim deal as the preamble to reaching a long-term, comprehensive solution. Shortly thereafter, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad, Javad Zarif, said at a news conference that “in two distinct places” there is “a very clear reference to the fact that the Iranian enrichment program will continue and will be a part of any agreement now and in the future.” Zarif was alluding to text in the Joint Plan of Action that states the final deal will involve “a mutually defined enrichment program with practical limits and transparency measures to ensure the peaceful nature of the program.” Of course the US’s response given by Secretary of State, John Kerry in an interview with ABC news, stated that Iran has no right to enrich their uranium and that the Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) is very clear they do not have the right to enrich. Today, it was announced that the heads of the two most powerful intelligence agencies in the world, the CIA and AMAN have concluded that Iran has reached the point of a nuclear threshold state. Further, they believe that Iran can build several nuclear bombs in a matter of weeks. The consequences of this revelation may well reach beyond Iran and could reshape the whole region. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered both the Mossad and Military Intelligence to search for evidence that Iran is continuing nuclear activities forbidden under the Geneva accord signed with world powers last week. The Sunday Times quoted Israeli defense sources as saying, “Proof that Iran was violating the terms of the six-month interim deal would complicate US President Barack Obama’s push to delay the passage of new congressional sanctions against Iran while a long-term deal with Iran is being negotiated.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said, both before and after the signing of the deal in Geneva, that the agreement does not sufficiently curb Iran’s ability to obtain nuclear weapons and prematurely offers the Islamic Republic sanctions relief. “Everyone has his own view regarding the Geneva agreement,” the Times quoted an Israeli intelligence source as saying. “But it is clear that if a smoking gun is produced, it will tumble like a house of cards.” The Times quoted Israeli defense sources as saying that Israeli intelligence was seeking to uncover clandestine activity in three areas of Iran’s nuclear program – hidden uranium enrichment sites, ballistic missiles and bomb design. “Iran would not have invested such a fortune [estimated at $200 billion] if in the end it does not produce nuclear weapons and turn Iran into a regional superpower,” the paper quoted an Israeli official as saying. In Rome, Netanyahu was heard to say for the umpteenth time that Israel would not allow Iran to attain a nuclear bomb. However, he was also the one who displayed a diagram to the UN General Assembly in September of 2012, along with a resolute pledge not to allow Iran to accumulate enough enriched uranium to make a bomb. Now we know that Iran has a uranium stockpile of 7.2 tons, enough to build several bombs. This puts the Prime Minister in a corner that has no easy exit. He will be seen as one but promotes one approach while taking another, and who now must take some decisive action to prevent Iran actually producing the bombs. It is no longer a matter of words but a matter of survival for the Jewish nation.
“Woe to you who are complacent in Zion, and to you who feel secure n Mount Samaria, you notable men of the foremost nation, to whom the people of Israel come.” Amos 6:1
It began with Achmadinejad and now ends with Rouhani
Former CIA, AMAN chiefs: Iran is a nuclear threshold state and can no longer be...
Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said Sunday that the Obama administration was naive and had possibly made a “cataclysmic error of gigantic proportions” in its deal to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for an opening up of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program. “I think it could turn out to be a cataclysmic error of gigantic proportions,” Dershowitz said of the deal, which he described as “naive.”
“It could also turn out to be successful, to be the beginning of a negotiated resolution,” Dershowitz told Newsmax on Sunday. “But I think the likelihood of it being the former is considerably greater.” Dershowitz said he thought the administration of President Barack Obama did a poor job of negotiating the deal. “I think it’s thoughtful and intelligent Americans vs. naive Americans,” he said. The deal, announced late Saturday night in the United States, makes it more likely Iran will develop a nuclear bomb, likely creating the need for a future military strike by Israel or the United States, Dershowitz said. It also increases the possibility of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East with Saudi Arabia obtaining nuclear weapons as well, he said. The Harvard Law School professor thinks there is at best a 10 percent chance that the administration can change attitudes among Iran’s Islamist leadership. “But when you weigh that against the 30 or 40 percent chance that they’re dead wrong – nuclear bomb wrong – then it’s a very bad assessment of risk and benefits,” he told reporters. “This is first-year negotiating theory, and this administration gets a D-minus with grade inflation,” Dershowitz said. “You don’t let up on sanctions that are working.” Other countries, such as China, are taking the deal as a green light to do business with Iran, he said. All the nuclear experts, Iran experts and congressional experts he has spoken with oppose the deal, he said. Israel has spoken out against the deal, and Saudi Arabia is known to be wary of Iran. But it is a mistake to think of it as a dispute between Israel and Saudi Arabia on one hand and the United States on the other, Dershowitz said. “This is a highly disputed and contested issue within the United States.” Dershowitz counts himself among the skeptics. “I think it’s a bad deal for America and a bad deal for the West,” he said. “The risks to world peace are far greater than the potential benefits to world peace.” American negotiators used the wrong model, Dershowitz said. They used the model of Syria where the administration “accidentally backed into a good result instead of the North Korea model, which is much more parallel. “North Korea does not pose a direct threat to the United States. Iran does,” Dershowitz said. “You think that we’d learn from our mistakes in North Korea.” Dershowitz said that if Iran fails to comply, he hopes Congress ratchets up the sanctions once the six months are complete. But he isn’t sure that will be possible since China and other nations will be doing business with them by then. “I think we have hurt our sanction regime irretrievably by this measure,” he said. Congress should take preemptive action by passing authorization in advance to allow the president to increase sanctions and deploy the military option in the event Iran crosses a red line, Dershowitz said. That way, the president doesn’t have to go to Congress after red lines are crossed. “I think that would send a powerful message to Iran that the military option is still on the table,” he said. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton suggested the White House struck the deal out of fear that Israel would attack Iran’s nuclear facilities as it did those of Iraq in 1981 and Syria in 2007. Dershowitz said that since Israel was not consulted on the agreement, it isn’t bound by it and is within its rights to defend itself. Israel “has the absolute right to prevent a country that has threatened its destruction from developing nuclear weapons,” he said. “That’s a right in law, it’s a right in morality, and it’s a right in diplomacy.”
Iranian centrifuge used to enrich uranium
Seven loopholes favoring a nuclear Iran in deal signed by the world...
Last night Secretary of State, John Kerry rushed to Geneva in hopes of finalizing a temporary agreement between the US and Iran that would remove the economic sanctions currently placed on Iran in turn for a stoppage of their nuclear weapons program. However, to date there has been a lot talk but no agreement. All this is going on with the Obama administration committed to reducing the sanctions if Iran will “promise” to stop their weapons program. This is an old on-going process that Iran has used with Obama several times in the past; Iran promises to stop, the US removes its sanctions and Iran goes unground and continues its nuclear activities. This time Kerry is doing everything he can to push the agreement through despite strong opposition from Israel, France and Saudi Arabia. Israel of course has the most to lose as its whole existence is on the line. Further, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Iran would not step back from its nuclear rights, and his negotiating team had set limits for talks over Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Khamenei took swipes at Israel and France during his speech to tens of thousands of volunteer Basij militiamen in Tehran, broadcast live on Iran’s Press TV. “Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them,” said Khamenei. “The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation,” he said. The allegations that Iran poses a threat to the world are the “words of enemies,” he said, referring to some countries, such as the “rabid dog of the region, namely the Zionist regime,” as quoted by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency. The spiritual leader also criticized France, after French President, Francois Hollande, assured Israel on Sunday that it would continue to oppose an easing of economic sanctions against Iran until it was convinced Tehran had given up any pursuit of nuclear weapons. French officials, Khamenei said, were “not only succumbing to the United States, but they are kneeling before the Israeli regime.” Commenting on how much of the Western press did not report some of Khamenei’s harsher remarks, Brandon Friedman, a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, said it was disappointing that the press seems reluctant to report both images coming out of Iran. “They prefer the image of a new regime,” he said, “but the fact is [that] to understand the Islamic republic, the supreme authority resides with Khamenei.” “It seems curious that Khamenei’s denigrating and insulting remarks about Israeli officials went under-reported in the Western media,” Friedman said. Khamenei also said that “sanctions are not effective,” and the US knows this and that is why they resort to military threats. “They know sanctions are a nonstarter, not effective.” This then is the environment of the negotiations from the Iran standpoint that Kerry and Obama appear to totally ignore in their rush to stop sanctions against Iran and to allow them to continue on their merry way developing nuclear-tipped missiles. The whole world should be concerned by this one-sided approach to appeasement. The finale of all this could easily lead to another major war in the Middle East.
Focus On the Middle East
For the week ending November 23, 2013
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe." (Proverbs 18:10)
1.US senators promise new Iran sanctions measure within weeks - Ynet News
A group of 14 Democratic and...
The follow-up negotiations between the US and Iran, concerning the Iranian nuclear weapons program, picks up where it left off today as the rest of the world anxiously watches. However, even before the talks began Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Moscow yesterday to discuss the emerging Iran nuclear deal with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, as Israel continues to make an effort to insert itself in the process and push its own demands on what constitutes an acceptable Iranian concession. This will be Netanyahu’s fifth visit to Russia since he became prime minister again in 2009, as he continues a dialogue with the Russians that had been also carried out by his predecessors, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. Netanyahu continued on Tuesday to implore the P5+1 – the US, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany – to improve the conditions of the deal shaping up. But as he did so, others began talking about strategy for the eventuality that a deal is signed when the sides meet today in Geneva for the third time this month. According to the general contours of the deal, Iran would freeze its nuclear program for six months in return for sanctions relief. This six month period would then be used to try and negotiate a permanent accord. Israel’s main problem with the proposed deal is that it freezes Iran’s program but does not dismantle it or significantly roll it back, in exchange for sanctions relief that Jerusalem believes severely weakens the pressure on Tehran. Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Tuesday that in accepting this agreement, the world would be demonstrating that it “is willing to deceive itself.” Netanyahu, meanwhile, showed no sign of letting up on his public diplomacy campaign against the deal. Netanyahu repeated that it would be a “grave mistake” to ease the pressure on Iran at this time. “It would be a great mistake to capitulate before Iran when they have every reason right now to respond to the pressures that have been put on them. Rather than surrendering to their charm offensive, it’s important that they surrender to the pressure that can be brought to them to have them abandon their nuclear program.” In the meantime Iran is also doing all it can to line up support for its position. Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met with Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister and chief negotiator, Li Baodong, in Geneva yesterday Iran’s Press TV reported. The meeting came ahead of talks with the EU’s Foreign Affairs Chief, Catherine Ashton, and representatives of the P-5+1 group. It will be interesting to see which side appears to have the upper hand as the negotiations go on today. Will an interim agreement be reached between the P5+1 nations and Iran or negotiations continued again at a later date? Whatever happens today will have a serious impact on the future entire Middle East.
“As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people both now and forevermore.” Psalm 125:2
Netanyahu in negotiations with Putin
Israel starting to consider 'day after' Iran agreement By HERB KEINON,...
What, last week looked like a “done deal,” today is appearing to be headed for a crash landing. Not only is France standing firm on their requirements for Iran, but now there are indications that Iran’s own spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is balking on the nuclear negotiations that are being discussed in Geneva this week. Israel’s Netanyahu has condemned a proposal, to be discussed by Iran in talks starting on Wednesday with six powers — France, China, Britain, Germany, Russia, and the United States — to ease sanctions if it suspends some nuclear activities. Netanyahu says tough Western measures must not only remain in place but be strengthened until Iran dismantles its entire uranium enrichment program, arguing that anything less would enable it to develop nuclear bombs. It seems that both sides have toughened their positions. In Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif face threats against yielding to Western demands. On the other side, Washington accuses France and Israel of obstructionism to get its proposal removed from the table. Responding to the complaints of hard-liners at home, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif took up a tough negotiating stance in a comment he made Sunday, Nov. 17th: “Not only do we consider that Iran’s right to enrich (uranium) is non-negotiable,” he said, “but we see no need for that to be recognized as a right” because this right is inalienable and all countries must respect that. Both he and Rouhani fear their own heads will roll if they are shown yielding to the West on uranium enrichment or the reduction of stocks. Also on November 17th, French President, Francois Hollande arrived in Israel for a three day state visit. During his visit Hollande assured Israel that France would continue to oppose an easing of economic sanctions against Iran until it was convinced Tehran had given up any pursuit of nuclear weapons. Hollande’s pledge could help underpin an intensive campaign by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convince Israel’s main ally, the United States, and other leading powers to toughen the terms of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran ahead of negotiations reconvening this week in Geneva. “France will not give way on nuclear proliferation,” Hollande said at a welcoming ceremony at Tel Aviv airport. “So long as we are not certain that Iran has renounced nuclear arms, we will keep in place all our demands and sanctions.” All of this bickering back and forth is reminiscent of another test of wills over events in the Middle East about thirty years ago. Then American President Reagan and Israeli Prime Minister Begin engaged in another test of wills which the media dubbed “Reagan or Begin.” This week, the showdown on Iranian negotiations might be labeled as “Barak or Bibi.” The Iran bargaining will resume this week in Geneva, as Iranian negotiators meet again on Wednesday and Thursday with representatives of the P5 + 1 coalition, which is made up of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council — United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — and Germany. The trickiest issue probably will be Iran’s demand for some recognition of what it claims is its “right” to enrich uranium for civilian purposes, as some other signatories of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) have done. The United States insists that there’s no such right under the NPT. Now, U.S. officials fear a similar process will repeat itself, as Netanyahu’s push for the best possible deal sabotages the good deal that could freeze the Iranian program.
“But you have planted wickedness, you have reaped evil, you have eaten the fruit of deception, you have eaten the fruit of deception. Because you have depended on your own strength and on your many warriors.” Hosea 10;13
French President Francois Holland on state visit to Israel
Nuclear deal may sink in Geneva between hardline pressures in Tehran and tough Franco-Israel...
Sources in Congress revealed this week that Obama’s administration has been suspending or lifting many sanctions without informing Congress since Iranian President Hasan Rouhani was elected in June, reports the World Tribune. An unnamed House staffer stated that “orders to stop the designations (for new sanctions) came from the White House and State,” adding “this has not gone down well in Treasury.” The Congressional sources added that Obama’s policy has allowed Iran to maintain its crude oil exports. The Tribune report appears to fall in line with previous analysis that warned that Obama was rushing to seal a deal with Iran, and in the process was turning his back on US allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Indeed US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate in a briefing Wednesday to “ignore anything the Israelis say.” Officials in the Obama administration have been vocal in pushing lawmakers not to enact new sanctions on Iran. During Kerry’s briefing this Wednesday he called for an end to new sanctions, claiming sanctions risked ending the ongoing Iran nuclear talks. The last rounds of talks fell through this past weekend and are to be resumed in Geneva on November 20. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairwoman of the House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, attacked the idea of sanctions relief, saying that “new rounds of sanctions must be implemented to gain further leverage because any misstep in calculations at this juncture will have devastating and irreversible consequences.” Prime Minister, Biynamin Netanyahu, and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, held a final meeting yesterday (Friday), with the PM urging Kerry to reconsider meeting last night with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton. In the meeting, Netanyahu reiterated that Israel “utterly rejects” Iran’s supposed offer to reduce its military capabilities in exchange for a reduction in economic sanctions, which is due to be discussed in upcoming talks in Geneva. As AFP reports, the PM also thinks that Iran has “the deal of the century” – for very different reasons. “I understand that the Iranians are walking around very satisfied in Geneva, as well they should be because they got everything and paid nothing,” he said, speaking as if a deal had already been done. “They wanted relief of sanctions after years of a grueling sanctions regime, they got that, they are paying nothing because they are not reducing in any way their nuclear enrichment capability,” he said. “So Iran got the deal of the century and the international community got a bad deal, this is a very bad deal. Israel utterly rejects it,” he said, “Israel is not obliged by this agreement and Israel will do everything it needs to do to defend itself and the security of its people.” Last week, Zarif told CNN that Hassan Rouhani’s assumption of the presidency in August has opened a window of opportunity that needs to be seized. Zarif’s deputy, Abbas Araqchi, provided contradicting statements – declaring that even if a deal is reached, his country would not stop its uranium enrichment. “Enrichment is our red line and its suspension is unacceptable,” he said, according to the Fars news agency.
“A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will not escape.” Proverbs 19:5 ESV
Focus On the Middle East
For the week ending November 16, 2013
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
1. Israeli researchers develop revolutionary alternative fuel process - Times of Israel
Israeli university researchers...
The world dodged a big nuclear-tipped bullet last week. With the sanctions against Iran beginning to show results, the US administration rushed to cash in on that small opportunity to shift its foreign policy to allow for a nuclear Iran. However, at the last minute, the French put a stop, most likely postponed, an agreement that would have been a world-wide disaster. Before signing any binding agreement or treaty with Iran, the US and the West need to address a very fundamental problem. Do Iran’s overtures represent a genuine desire for peace, or just another attempt to stall the West while they complete their nuclear weapons program? It is almost a certainty that if they get nucs, they will use them as North Korea has, as a means to occasionally blackmail their neighbors into propping up a failing regime. Or, will they use them to accomplish their threat to eliminate the Jews? About two years ago, the Iranian government produced and released a documentary called “The Coming Is Near.” It told of the great “Mahdi” who is an Islamic Messiah that many Iranians believe will one day come to earth and begin a world-wide Islamic “Caliphate.” He is expected to arrive during a time of great chaos and crisis. And as previously indicated by Iranian ex-president Ahmadinejad, they are not above manipulating world events in order to bring about the necessary chaos. Many of Iran’s leaders, including the Ayatollah, have a cataclysmic view when it comes to the return of the “Mahdi.” They appear to be willing to devastate the whole world if it means bringing about “The Coming.” When discussing an agreement with Iran, the US needs to ask, “Do they want to live and prosper in a world where Israel also lives and prospers?” Or, are they simply willing to do anything, say anything, in order to get nuclear weapons and be able to use them against Israel while knowing that such action would bring death and destruction to Iran? The bottom line is simply, “Are they, as a nation, willing to do in the midst of the nations what the suicide bombers they support do in buses and cars? Thursday, Nov. 14th, Israel sent the White House in Washington a confidential document outlining, blow by blow, how and when Iran will attain a nuclear weapon if the Obama-Kerry strategy for dealing with the issue goes through. The root of the disagreement between the Obama administration and Netanyahu was illustrated in the exchanges around the visit the nuclear watchdog (IAEA) Director, Yukiya Amano, paid to Tehran Monday, Nov. 15th. Amano commented to reporters after the visit that he had seen no changes in Iran’s nuclear program in the three months since Hassan Rouhani became president – an indirect dig at the White House insistence that the election of a moderate Iranian president opened the door to a diplomatic solution of the nuclear controversy with Iran. Amano also added that 20 percent enrichment of uranium continued. Both these comments flew in the face of official Washington’s presentation of the state of Iran’s nuclear program. This is the nub of the disagreement between Washington and Jerusalem. Obama and Kerry welcome this situation as a “freeze” for which they are offering a loosening of the sanctions stranglehold on the Iranian economy, if it is extended to other key parts of nuclear program. Netanyahu sees it as a lease of life for a dangerous process. The American proposal, says Israel, has therefore shortened Iran’s road to breakout for nuclear weapons.
IR2 centrifuges at Natanz enrichment plant
Secret Israeli document to White House shows how US strategy shortens route to Iranian nuclear...
In addition to the hunger, lack of clean water and loss of everything, the children of Syria face a dangerous new threat — the outbreak of polio (poliomyelitis) a signal than even more suffering is ahead. The polio virus invades the nervous system and can kill or cause lifelong paralysis. Wild poliovirus had not been detected in Syria since 1999. But on 17 October a cluster of 22 cases of “acute flaccid paralysis”, the signature symptom of clinical polio, was reported from Deir Al Zour Province. Since then, wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been found in ten of the cases under investigation, all in children under the age of two years. The world has come tantalizingly close to eradicating polio. In the 1980s, the virus killed or paralyzed around 350,000 people annually. Then Rotary International launched a global vaccination campaign, in partnership with the World Health Organization and UNICEF and more recently, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But this year, there have been severe setbacks in the endeavor to eradicate a human disease for just the second time in history – the first being smallpox. The most commonly used vaccine is trivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV) which produces immunity in the mucosa (soft tissue) of the gut to all three types, preventing the virus from entering the bloodstream. But newly developed monovalent vaccines more efficiently induce immunity against a single type. More than 95% of children in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank have been vaccinated with IPV which explains the absence of clinical disease. But if children with WPV in their gut come in contact with children who do not have adequate immunity, they may transmit the virus which may then cause the paralytic disease. Given the mobility of the Bedouins, the virus may spread through Jordan, northern Egypt, and quite possibly Syria. A the same time Middle Eastern wars are now drawing insurgents from around the globe, which is not new, but Rep. Mike Rogers R-Mich. said there appears to be even greater intensity in Syria, where Muslim militants have joined Syrians in a bid to oust President Bashar al-Assad. Most of the more than 1,000 jihadists who have poured into Syria to fight alongside Al Qaeda carry passports from North America and Europe, raising the possibility that they could easily bring terror back to the west, according to this key lawmaker who receives regular briefings on the issue. The prospect is especially chilling given that Al Qaeda-linked fighters in Syria seem determined to use the embattled nation as a haven from which to launch future attacks beyond the region, according to Rogers who chairs the House Intelligence Committee. “What we’ve seen to date, is a higher rate of foreign insurgents than we saw in Iraq or Afghanistan,” Rogers said. “This is significant, if you think of the time frame and then the height of the Iraq War, in about ’06, we saw a huge influx of insurgents from all over the world, all jihadists who had a pretty passionate commitment.” “When it comes to the number of Salafist Jihadis who have traveled from the West to join the Syrian Jihad, it is difficult to pinpoint a solid figure,” they noted in their report. “Still, it is clear that the influx of Westerners into this jihad theater is unprecedented in both speed and size, with individuals from Europe constituting the largest contingent of Western fighters operating in Syria.” “I’ve talked to intelligence officials that are very concerned about who we are working with.” “They’re very dangerous actors, they kill Christians, they’re very — they’re jihadists – and this alliance deeply disturbs me that the Obama administration has entered into.
The Polio Virus (Poliomyelitis)
Syria’s Polio Outbreak is a Global Public Health Emergency By...