Tag Archives: syria

‘All options,’ even military ones, on table to push Israel out of Golan

Syria will do whatever it takes to take back the occupied Golan Heights from the Israeli regime, says a high-ranking official.

Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad made the announcement on Sunday, in response to remarks made earlier by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who claimed “the Golan Heights will remain in the hands of Israel forever,” during the regime’s first cabinet meeting in the occupied territory.

Noting that the occupied region belongs to Syria according to international law, Mekdad stressed that the Arab Syrian Golan Heights will be taken back from the Israelis.

“All options are on the table for getting back the occupied territory from Israel,” he said during an interview aired on the Lebanese television channel al-Mayadeen.

“We are prepared to do anything in order to return the Golan to the Syrian motherland, including using military force,” Mekdad asserted.

During the Sunday cabinet meeting, Netanyahu also demanded that the international community recognize Syria’s Golan as Israeli territory. He said, “Whatever happens on the other side of the border, the border itself will not move. Secondly, after 50 years it is time that the international community realized that the Golan will remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

Israel seized the Golan Heights from Syria after the 1967 six-day war and later occupied it in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.

The regime has built tens of illegal settlements in the area ever since and has used the region to carry out a number of military operations against the Syrian government.

Netanyahu also said that some 50,000 Israelis currently live there and “thousands of families… are supposed to join them in the coming years.”

Opposition against Assad’s role in Syria

The Israeli premier made the remarks amid a ceasefire in Syria and UN-backed talks being held in Geneva aimed at finding a political solution to the Syrian conflict.

The Saudi-backed opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) has threatened to leave the current round of talks unless progress is made over demands for a political transition without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“We might suspend (our participation in) the talks if things carry on this way, and then there will be no prospect for any political solution,” said HNC member Abdulhakim Bashar.

Another unnamed HNC member noted that the talks had reached “an impasse” and are at risk of “failing.”

Before the talks kicked off, Mekdad rejected the “dream” of a transitional government without Assad, saying that such ideas are nothing short of a “coup d’etat.”

The last round of the talks came to a halt on March 24 over disagreements on the role of President Assad in Syria’s future.

The ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia went into effect on February 27 across Syria. The truce agreement does not apply to Daesh and al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injuring 1.9 million others, and displacing nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/04/17/461278/syria-golan-heights-mekdad-bibi/

Muslim “refugees” in Budapest chanted “Allahu Akbar” and “f**k you” while others in Italy attacked an old lady and threw feces at bystanders

Muslim “refugees” in Budapest chanted “Allahu Akbar” and “f**k you” while others in Italy attacked an old lady and threw feces at bystanders as Germany announced that it would be prepared to take 500,000 asylum seekers every year.

Although mainstream media coverage of the migrant crisis has focused on happy families and children, footage not broadcast by TV networks shows a different side to some of those crossing into Europe.

A video shot just outside Budapest’s Keleti railway station shows Muslim migrants chanting “Allahu Akbar” and “f**k you” as they engage in running battles with police.

Peaceful muslims

Meanwhile, an eyewitness at the Italy-Austrian border relates how she saw an elderly Italian woman grabbed by her hair and pulled from her car by a group of “aggressive young men” who wanted to steal the car to get to Germany, while others threw excrement at bystanders.

“Half an hour ago on the border between Italy and Austria i saw a huge crowd of immigrants. With all solidarity to people in difficult circumstances I have to say that what I saw arouses horror. This huge mass of people – sorry – but it’s an absolute wilderness … Vulgar, throwing bottles, shouting “We want Germany”. So what, Germany is now a paradise?”

“I saw an elderly Italian woman in a car that was surrounded by the immigrants. They pulled her by the hair out of the car and wanted to use it to go to Germany. They tried to topple the bus I was in. They threw feces at us, banging on the door for the driver to open it, spat on the glass. My question is- for what purpose? How do they want to assimilate in Germany? For a moment, i felt like in a warzone. I really feel sorry for these people, but if they would reach Poland – I do not think they would receive any understanding from us.”

Footage taken at a migrant camp near Milan shows refugees rioting over “poor living conditions”.

The wave of migrants crossing into Europe shows little sign of abating, with Germany announcing that it would be willing to take 500,000 “asylum seekers” every single year in addition to the 800,000 expected to arrive before the end of this year.

As we document in the video below, many of the so-called “refugees” are actually economic migrants who are fleeing to a higher standard of living, and not from war or ISIS persecution.

“If Europe does not seal its borders, what is to stop the Islamic world and Third World from coming and repopulating the continent with their own kind, as the shrinking native populations of Europe die out?” writes Pat Buchanan in his new column.

http://www.infowars.com/muslim-refugees-chant-allahu-akbar-fk-you-attack-citizens-throw-feces/

Gantz says Lebanon will pay if Hezbollah attacks


Gantz says Lebanon will pay if Hezbollah attacks

Israel will face elevated terror threat when rebels have ousted Syria’s Assad, says IDF Chief of Staff
By Elhanan Miller

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Israel will respond to an attack from Hezbollah by striking Lebanese infrastructure, IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz said on Monday evening in a sharply worded warning to the Shiite group sitting on Israel’s northern border.

“We will know how to act with Hezbollah and with Lebanon, including its infrastructure,” Gantz told the audience of the Herzliya Conference, a local policy convention. “Lebanon cannot claim sovereignty but not bear responsibility. If a conflagration erupts, I would rather be an Israeli citizen than a Lebanese.”

Israel may even “find itself in a war tomorrow” Ganz warned, although it will not be the one to initiate it.

Gantz said that despite the semblance of security calm in Israel, “not a week goes by, not to say hardly a day, when I don’t have to deal with an issue that you didn’t even hear about, that could have resulted in a strategic threat.”

In the past, Gantz said, Israel used to be able to address threats emanating from Lebanon by exerting pressure on Syria. But that is no longer the case.

“Syria has become an exceptionally dangerous place,” he said. The likelihood of a Syrian conventional attack against Israel has dramatically decreased, but has been replaced by a terrorist threat along the Israeli-Syrian border.

“We will be next in line after Assad,” Gantz said, referring to the terror dangers to Israel the day after the expected ouster of the Syrian president.

To counter the new threats facing Israel, the IDF is now going on the offensive, Gantz said, ramping up the readiness of intelligence, land and air forces.

“We will need to operate at a much higher intensity,” he said, adding that Israel will need to strike a delicate balance between the moral imperative to preserve human life and the obligation to ensure the safety of its own citizens. A future war will require an Israeli military presence on the ground, mostly in urban areas, he added.

Gantz also spoke out against expected military budget cuts, noting that the military’s quality could suffer as a result.

“We must not become a hollow army,” Gantz said. “I prefer a smaller army of higher quality than a larger army which is rusty and hollow.” The reference to a smaller army came as potential coalition partners debated possible new legislation to require ultra-Orthodox young males to serve in the IDF.

Including the ultra-Orthodox needed to be a slow and gradual process, Gantz said, adding that the recruitment of the ultra-Orthodox had “been good” thus far, and that those recruited had contributed a great deal to the army. They “come in “ultra-Orthodox and leave ultra-Orthodox,” he said, addressing the notion that ultra-Orthodox troops might be subverted during the IDF experience and become less devout.

“We have to ensure that the right people are in the right places at the right times,” Gantz added.SOURCE

Syria, Iran, Russia and China plan joint war games

Syria, Iran, Russia and China plan joint war games, Iranian news agency reports

By Gabe Fisher

Iran, Syria, Russia and China are planning the “biggest-ever wargames in the Middle East,” according to an unconfirmed report on the semi-official Iranian news site Fars News.

According to the article, the four countries are preparing 90,000 troops, 400 aircraft and 1,000 tanks for the massive joint maneuvers, which are to take place along the Syrian coast within a month.

The report states that Russian “atomic submarines and warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers as well as Iranian battleships and submarines will also arrive in Syria” and that Egypt has agreed to let 12 Chinese warships cross the Suez Canal for the exercises.

The IDF spokesman’s office called the report a “political matter” and declined to comment.

Iran is currently holding talks with six Western powers over the fate of its nuclear program. The talks, said to be held in a tense atmosphere in Moscow, seek to alleviate world concerns that the Islamic Republic is developing nuclear weapons.

Syria meanwhile faces international pressure to end a 15-month crackdown on local rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.

China and Russia have come to the aid of both countries in recent months at the UN Security Council, vetoing military intervention in Syria and expanded sanctions on Iran.

SOURCE

Only Putin can decide if – and when – Assad will step down

Only Putin can decide if – and when – Assad will step down

By Zvi Bar’el

Images of the bullet-ridden bodies of bound Syrian civilians, some all but naked, are flooding Arab television broadcasts. Syrian human rights activists say on live TV they can’t collect their dead in neighborhoods that are being attacked by Syrian army mortars. The dead are estimated at more than 300 since Friday.

The many hundreds of civilians wounded in that time don’t appear to have much of a chance to receive medical aid. It’s not only that the hospitals are filled – many of the wounded fear heading to a clinic because they could be killed by the Syrian army.
Medvedev and Assad in Syria

Russia President Dmitry Medvedev, right, and Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus last year.
Photo by: AP

This has the been the demonstrators’ toughest day in Homs, Syria’s third largest city at more than 1.2 million people. Homs has become the symbol of Syria’s civil uprising. The destroyed homes in the Khaldiyeh quarter are evidence of the regime’s savage assault. Its new strategy to allow the army to attack and kill without distinguishing its target, as opposed to previous efforts to focus on the sources of the uprising, reflects the campaign’s current stage.

Syrian demonstrators who commemorated the massacre of tens of thousands of people at Hama on Hafez Assad’s orders 30 years ago can observe Bashar Assad’s decision to adopt his father’s methods. The younger Assad, who allowed opposition intellectuals to express their opinions during the early days of his rule and brought the Internet to his country, is proving to be a butcher keen to maintain his family’s power at any price.

Thousands have fled Syria and thousands more are on their way to the improvised refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Syria. On their way they are chased by gunfire from the Syrian army and thugs in the regime’s security forces. They must pass through the mine fields laid on the border to prevent people from fleeing. Still, the demonstrations continue in Homs, Aleppo and, yesterday, on Baghdad Street in the capital Damascus.

Facing the Syrian army is the Free Syrian Army, which numbers around 30,000, including generals and several hundred junior officers. But this force only has light weapons and relies on Lebanese smugglers for its supplies. Every once in a while it takes control of a small town or suburb.

According to Syrian sources, the rebel army is supported financially by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, but it can’t function as a regular army. It suffers from disunity; the ranks are loyal to various commanders. Meanwhile, another “army” has been set up by deserters in Homs, but it’s unclear how this force is coordinating with the Free Army. Al-Qaida might be able to penetrate this situation and spot an opportunity for a new battle led by extremist religious ideology, similar to what we’ve seen in Iraq.

The situation on the ground in Syria hasn’t been affected by the diplomatic maneuvering at the United Nations. Syrian television shows scenes from cities anyone would want to live in. Calm streets, only a few cars, and soft elevator music playing during the broadcast. Syrian television analysts say the dead – if they acknowledge any deaths – have been caused by opposition thugs on the orders of Arab countries at the behest of Western planners.

At the United Nations, Assad can still count on Russian support, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says his country will oppose any resolution that even hints at foreign intervention, blocks arms sales, imposes international sanctions or demands that Assad step down. Lavrov says Russia wants to see a Syrian solution, “not an American one.” If someone is to decide if and when Assad leaves, it will be Vladimir Putin, not Barack Obama.

SOURCE

No Fly Zone…..this never ends well

US & Arab States Set To Impose No Fly Zone Over Syria

Reports out of Kuwait suggest that Arab states are set to impose a no fly zone over Syria with US logistical support, advancing the prospect of a military assault to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad under a “humanitarian” pretext.
Report: US & Arab States Set To Impose No Fly Zone Over Syria AIR F 16s Turkish Armed lg

“Senior European sources said that Arab jet fighters, and possibly Turkish warplanes, backed by American logistic support will implement a no fly zone in Syria’s skies, after the Arab League will issue a decision, under its Charter, calling for the protection of Syrian civilians,
” reports Albawaba, citing Kuwait’s al Rai daily.

YNet news, the website for Israel’s most widely read newspaper, also carried the report.

As part of a plan to cripple the country’s military forces within 24 hours, the “movement of Syrian military vehicles, including tanks, personnel carriers and artillery,” would all be banned under the terms of the no fly zone.

Syrian opposition forces have repeatedly called for a no fly zone to be enforced over the country, but last month NATO all but ruled out the prospect. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has also called on the Obama administration to impose a no fly zone without waiting for a green light from the United Nations.

“If indeed Europe and the Western world is dead set upon an aerial campaign above Syria, then all eyes turn to the East, and specifically Russia and China, which have made it very clear they will not tolerate any intervention. And naturally the biggest unknown of all is Iran, which has said than any invasion of Syria will be dealt with swiftly and severely,” reports Zero Hedge.

Hostilities have accelerated in recent days, with Russian warships entering Syrian territorial waters on Friday in an aggressive maneuver designed to discourage any NATO-led attack.
Without Russia’s help, Syria would be largely defenseless against a NATO attack. “I don’t see any purely military problems. Syria has no defence against Western systems … [But] it would be more risky than Libya. It would be a heavy military operation,” former French air force chief Jean Rannou commented.
While NATO powers have accused the Syrian regime of carrying out atrocities against its citizens, others have framed the bloodshed in the context of a civil war. As we saw with Libya, rebel fighters who were commandeering fighter jets and firing rocket-propelled grenades were still being described as “protesters” by the establishment media days before the no fly zone was imposed and the bombing campaign began.

As we saw prior to the attack on Libya, which was also framed as a “humanitarian intervention,” NATO powers are keen to demonize Assad’s government by characterizing attacks by his forces as atrocities while largely ignoring similar attacks by opposition forces, such as a raid on a Syrian air force intelligence complex earlier this month that killed or wounded 20 security police.SOURCE

Israel: Everything ” On the Table” in War Against Iran

Israel may target Iran civilian infrastructure as part of military strike, report says

By Haaretz

Israel intends to electronic warfare on Iranian civilian infrastructures in the event of a strike against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities, The Daily Beast reported on Thursday, amid ongoing fallout from a damning report by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog.

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report stating that Iran was working to gain nuclear weapons’ capabilities, a claim that has been made by both Israel and the United States for several years.

The report prompted Israel to urge the international community to act at once to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions using harsher sanctions, with some estimating that the report gave Israel the backing it needed to undertake a military strike of Tehran’s nuclear facilities.

On Thursday, however, The Daily Beast quoted U.S. security officials as claiming that a possible Israeli strike would go as far as targeting Iran’s civilian infrastructure, including the country’s internet and cellphone networks, as well as its electrical grid.

The Daily Beast, quoting what it said “current and former U.S. intelligence officials,” claimed that Israel has developed weapons that could imitate a maintenance cellphone signal that commands a cell network to go inactive, “effectively stopping transmissions.”

In 2007, a suspected Syrian nuclear site was destroyed in what many estimate was an attack by Israel Air Force warplanes. A report in Aviation Week & Space Technology not long after the alleged attack claimed that Israeli forces had knocked out Syria’s entire radar system as a prelude to the attack.

According to the report, the Syrian radar site was hit with a combination of electronic attack and precision bombs to allow the IAF to enter and exit Syrian airspace unobserved.

Subsequently all of Syria’s air-defense radar system went off the air for a period of time that encompassed the raid, U.S. intelligence analysts told Aviation Week.

SOURCE

Russia warships to enter Syria waters in bid to stem foreign intervention


Report: Russia warships to enter Syria waters in bid to stem foreign intervention

By Jack Khoury

Syrian official says Damascus agrees ‘in principle’ to allow entrance of Arab League observer mission; 22-member body proposed sending hundreds of observers to the to help end the bloodshed.

Russian warships are due to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest.

Also on Friday, a Syrian official said Damascus has agreed “in principle” to allow an Arab League observer mission into the country.

But the official said Friday that Syria was still studying the details. The official asked not to be named because the issue is so sensitive.

The Arab League suspended Syria earlier this week over its deadly crackdown on an eight-month-old uprising. The 22-member body has proposed sending hundreds of observers to the country to try to help end the bloodshed.

The report came a day after a draft resolution backed by Arab and European countries and the United States was submitted to the United Nations General Assembly, seeking to condemn human rights violations in the on-going violence in Syria.

Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia were among Arab states that joined Germany, Britain, and France to sponsor the draft submitted to the assembly’s human rights committee. In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. would sign on as a co-sponsor of the resolution.

The draft demanded an end to violence, respect of human rights and implementation by Damascus of a plan of action of the Arab League.

The move comes as clashes escalated in Syria and after Russia and China used their veto in October to block a Security Council resolution that would have condemned the Syrian government of President Bashir for the violence.

Such a veto is not applicable in the 193-nation assembly, which will consider the issue after the human rights committee reports back to it.

The UN says more than 3,500 people have been killed since unrest erupted in spring against Assad.

SOURCE

Secret US Plot to wage war on Syria revealed!

US plot to wage Syria war revealed

Informed sources in Syria say they have discovered a pre-fabricated US scenario for the country’s future, seeking to wage war against the nation from various fronts, Press TV reports.

The sources said the US strategy includes attacks on Syrian diplomatic missions abroad. According to the American scenario, the Syrian opposition abroad would engage in taking over the country’s diplomatic missions and use them as bases for directing and carrying out terrorist activities within the country.

The US plan is set to refer Syria to UN’s human rights commission and the General Assembly on November 23 as well as the the International Criminal Court in an effort to formally declare the Damascus government as a “war criminal,” sources say.

The American scenario also provides a role for Turkey in a NATO defense ministers’ meeting, in which Ankara would be commissioned to move its forces across the Syrian border in an effort to establish a buffer zone inside Syria and facilitate the supply of weaponry and arms to the so-called ‘contra forces‘ inside the country and trigger insurgency activities and potentially a civil war across the nation.

Wahhabi insurgents based in the Syrian city of Tripoli would then launch attacks on the border villages of the country.

Moreover, the Syrian sources said, the US scheme provides that the Israeli regime, along with Jordan, would also declare their readiness to engage in military operations against Damascus.

The latest discovery comes as the Arab League (AL) announced the suspension of Syria during an emergency session in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Saturday and called for the imposition of sanctions against Syria.

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has described the AL decision as “illegitimate and dangerous.”

The Arab League has also proposed to dispatch an observer mission of 30-50 members to Syria in a supposed effort to end unrest in the country.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March, with demonstrations held both in favor of and against President Bashar al-Assad.

Millions of Syrians took to the streets in several cities across the country on Sunday to condemn the Arab League decision and its siding with US-led anti-Syria measures. Demonstrators also expressed their support for the government of President Assad.

SOURCE

Israel believes it could carry out strikes on Iran with under 500 civilian fatalities

Israel believes it could carry out strikes on Iran with under 500 civilian fatalities

By Adrian Blomfield,

Ehud Barak raised the prospect of military action with Iran once again as he hinted that splits in the international community over imposing sanctions regarded as crippling enough by Israel could leave the Jewish state with no option but to take matters into its own hands.

The warning came as a report by UN weapons inspectors into Iran’s nuclear activities was made public, concluding that the Islamist regime is closer to building an atom bomb than ever before.

Mr Barak conceded that the price of air strikes against Iran would be high, with Iran retaliating by firing long-range missiles at Israeli cities and encouraging its allies Hizbollah and Hamas to unleash their vast rocket arsenals at the country.

But he insisted that claims of huge destruction in Israel were overblown and that the country could survive the retaliation.

“There is no way to prevent some damage,” he said. “It will not be pleasant. There is no scenario for 50,000 dead, or 5,000 killed – and if everyone stays in their homes, maybe not even 500 dead.”

Mr Barak said the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report represents “the final opportunity” for the United Nations Security Council to punish Iran with sanctions of sufficient severity to force Iran into abandoning its nuclear ambitions.

Demanding that the international community finally take action to target Tehran’s vital energy sector, he called for a naval blockade to prevent Iran exploiting oil.

Although such a measure would undoubtedly do serious harm to Iran’s energy-dependent economy, even the United States is said to be concerned about the impact it would have on oil prices at a time of heightened vulnerability for the world economy.

Mr Barak predicted that opposition by Russia and China would make it impossible to achieve consensus in the Security Council for such sanctions, leaving military action increasingly as the only option.

“I don’t think it will be possible to form such a coalition,”
he told Israeli radio.

“As long as no such sanctions have been imposed and proven effective, we continue to recommend to our friends in the world and to ourselves not to take any action off the table.”

Mr Barak’s comments crown a week of increasingly bellicose language in Israel that is widely seen as more an attempt to force the United Nations Security Council into using the toughest possible sanctions against Iran rather than presaging imminent military action.

Even so, his rhetoric will cause alarm, with Russia and even some European states warning against the folly of unilateral Israeli action.

Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, said on Tuesday that though concerns remained high about Iran’s nuclear programme, “we have to do everything we can to avoid the irreparable damage that military action would cause”.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, said a military strike on Iran could be a “catastrophe” for the Middle East.

“We should exhale, calm down and continue a constructive discussion of all issues on the Middle East agenda, including the Iranian nuclear program,” said Mr Medvedev, a day after an Asian security summit in St Petersburg that included Iran.

US officials said they hoped the IAEA report would increase leverage for tougher sanctions, rather than short term pressure for air strikes.

The “war camp” in the Israeli cabinet is believed to be in a minority that is championed primarily by Mr Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.

But many Israeli politicians will agree with the defence minister’s assertion that the IAEA report represents “the last opportunity for coordinated, lethal sanctions that will force Iran to stop”.

Israel believes that Iran is intent on moving the bulk of its nuclear production underground within months, after which it will be harder than ever to launch effective military action.

SOURCE

Panel endorses testing of anthrax vaccine on children

Panel endorses anthrax vaccine test on children

Rob Stein

A key panel of government advisers recommended that the federal government sponsor a controversial study to test the anthrax vaccine in children to see whether the inoculation would protect young Americans against a bioterrorist’s attack.

The National Biodefense Science Board, which advises the federal government on issues related to bioterrorism, voted 12-1 to recommend that the Health and Human Services Department move forward with a study aimed at determining whether the vaccine is safe and effective in children and identifying the best dose. Patricia Quinlisk of the Iowa Department of Public Health, who chairs the panel, was the only dissenter.

“We need to know more about the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine as we develop plans to use the vaccine on a large number of children in the event of a bioterrorist’s attack,”
said Ruth Berkelman of Emory University, a panel member.

The panel adopted Berkelman’s suggestion that the study undergo further review by another panel to specifically examine the difficult ethical concerns it would raise.

Nicole Lurie, the assistant HHS secretary for preparedness and response who requested the panel’s review, said officials would consider the panel’s recommendation, but she did not give a time frame for a decision.

While an overwhelming majority of the panel endorsed conducting a study, several critics said such tests would be unethical, unnecessary and dangerous.

“The trial would expose healthy children to substantial harm with no possibility of benefit,
” said Vera Sharav of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a New York advocacy group.

Anthrax is a life-threatening infection caused by a toxin-producing bacteria. It long has been considered a bioterrorist’s likely choice because it is relatively easy to produce and distribute over a large area.

The federal government has spent $1.1 billion to stockpile the vaccine to protect Americans in the event of an attack. While antibiotics would help protect those immediately exposed, the vaccine would defend against lingering spores.

In 1998, the Pentagon began a controversial immunization program for military personnel that was challenged in court over questions about the vaccine’s safety and reliability.

The vaccine has been tested extensively in adults and has been administered to more than 2.6 million people in the military. But the shots have never been tested on or given to children, leaving it uncertain how well the vaccine works in younger people and at what dose, and whether it is safe.

This article appeared on page A – 8 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Read more: SOURCE

WAR………What is it good for?

What Have We Gotten For The Trillion Dollars We Have Spent On Wars In Afghanistan, Iraq And Libya?

Over a trillion U.S. taxpayer dollars have been spent on the \"War on Terror\" and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Whether you are for the wars or against the wars, it is important for all of us to step back and evaluate what we have really gotten for all of that money. In Libya, we have actually helped al-Qaeda forces that were shooting at U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan take over the country. Now they have announced that they will be imposing strict Sharia law on all of Libya. After 10 years of having our boys shot up in Afghanistan, the Afghan government is so “grateful” that they are publicly saying that they will side with Pakistan in any future war against the United States. In Iraq, Islamic radicals are beheading and murdering dozens and dozens of Christians and the new Iraqi government seemingly can’t wait to push the remaining U.S. soldiers out of the country. We ran up well over a trillion dollars of new debt to “liberate” these countries, but are they really in better shape than they were before these wars? Are we really in better shape than we were before these wars?

Today, the United States military has at least one base in more than half of all the nations on the planet.

The U.S. spends more than 7 times as much on the military as any other country on earth does. In fact, some say US military outspends the next 19 nations-combined!

Without a doubt, the United States will always need a strong military. But with the national debt soaring to unprecedented heights, is it really wise for us to try to be the police of the entire globe?

We have poured well over a trillion dollars into Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and we have very little to show for it.

Are Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya safer places than before we went to war with them?

No.

Are Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya producing fewer “terrorists” than before we went to war with them?

No.

Are we safer than before we started all these wars?

No.

Our government has spent well over a trillion dollars and the blood of thousands upon thousands of U.S. soldiers has been spilled and in the final analysis very little has actually been accomplished.

Let’s take a closer look at these conflicts and see exactly what we have gotten for all of the money that we have spent….

Libya

In Libya, we have actually helped al-Qaeda take power.

In Afghanistan and Iraq we were supposedly fighting to do just the opposite. There is even evidence the assault on Libya was planned months or even years ahead.

So just what in the world is going on here?

The price tag for the first week of airstrikes on Libya alone was 600 million dollars.

Yes, Gaddafi was a tyrant, but have we invested a lot of time and effort only to watch as an even worse government takes power?

According to The Telegraph, the leader of the Libyan rebels was openly admitting that his “troops” included jihadists that were firing bullets at U.S. forces in Iraq….

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

A recent article by Kurt Nimmo for Infowars.com discussed some of the other ways that al-Qaeda has been active in Libya during the fight against Gaddafi….

Despite Aujali’s assurance, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, the former head of LIFG, was appointed to run a military council in September. He fought with al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In February, it was reported that al-Qaeda had set-up an Islamic emirate in Derna, in eastern Libya, headed by a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Abdelkarim al-Hasadi.

Now that they have won, the “rebels” have announced that they will be imposing strict Sharia law all over Libya.

According to a new article posted on The Telegraph, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of NATO’s National Transitional Council, has even announced plans to repeal polygamy laws because they are not compliant with Sharia law….

Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi’s era that he said was in conflict with Sharia – that banning polygamy.

Should we be cheering this?

Why would the U.S. government want to spend a single penny helping al-Qaeda take over Libya and set up Sharia law there?

There should not be a single American (conservative or liberal) that supports what has gone down in Libya.

Afghanistan

The U.S. military has now been in Afghanistan for 10 years. World War II lasted less than 6 years. The U.S. government has spent over 467 billion dollars on the war in Afghanistan, and thousands upon thousands of our troops have been killed or wounded there.

Even after all this time, a single day of the war in Afghanistan costs more money than it took to build the entire Pentagon.

So are the Afghans grateful that we have sacrificed so much to bring “democracy” to that nation?

Of course not.

Just check out what Afghan President Hamid Karzai said during one recent interview….

“God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan”

Did you catch that?

Karzai says that in a future war between Pakistan and the United States, Afghanistan is going to be fighting against us.

But didn’t we bring them freedom?

No, we did not.

Instead, one radical Islamic government replaced another.

Today, there are officially zero Christian churches left in Afghanistan.

The new constitution of Afghanistan says that that Islam is the “religion of the state”.

The new constitution of Afghanistan also states that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam”.

Earlier this year, I wrote about one Afghan man that was actually sentenced to death for converting to Christianity….

In Afghanistan right now, a one-legged Afghan Red Cross worker named Said Musa is sitting in a prison cell awaiting his execution. Musa, a father of six children, was arrested by the Afghan government as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy last year. He was sentenced to death by an Afghan court that was established by the new Afghan government that the United States worked so hard to set up. He has been tortured and sexually abused for months. An Afghan judge has told him that he will be hung within a matter of days. So what was his crime? He was a Muslim that has become a Christian. Under Sharia law, that is punishable by death. Is this is the “freedom” that we have sacrificed so many American lives to bring to Afghanistan?

Thankfully he was later released from prison and was able to get out of the country.

However, this just shows that the people of Afghanistan are currently experiencing a level of freedom that is quite comparable to what they experienced under the Taliban.

After all that the United States has done over there, very little positive change has taken place.

Iraq

Up to now, it is estimated that the U.S. government has spent over 800 billion dollars on the war in Iraq.

Thousands upon thousands of U.S. soldiers lost arms and legs in Iraq.

Thousands of U.S. soldiers will never be coming home at all.

But after all of our efforts, Iraq is still a far less safe place than it was before we invaded.

Christians and other religious minorities once were able to worship in peace, but now they are racing to get out of Iraq as fast as they can.

Why?

Well, because Christians and other religious minorities are being brutally targeted by Islamic radicals.

For example, about a year ago more than 80 Iraqi Christians were beheaded on a single day. All that the Christians were trying to do was attend a church service. One four-month-old baby was actually beheaded right in front of her parents.

Iraq is a complete and total disaster zone at this point.

The Iraqi government says that it is willing for U.S. military trainers to stay in the country, but they also say that there will be no more immunity for U.S. soldiers.

We have left the country in far worse shape than we found it, and Iraq is now a bigger breeding ground for terrorists than it ever was before.

You see, the truth is that the populations of these countries will continue to hold a grudge once we leave. They are simply not going to forgive and forget. There are millions of Islamic radicals in these countries that will never, ever, ever forgive the United States. The hatred that they feel for us could be passed down for generations.

We have not brought freedom to the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Instead, we have just replaced the tyranny that they were suffering under with new forms of tyranny.

Meanwhile, we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion.

Yes, the U.S. will always need a strong military.

Yes, there are areas where we actually need to spend more on the military. For example, now that Barack Obama has completely gutted our strategic nuclear arsenal, that is one area that we desperately need to attend to.

However, we simply cannot continue to recklessly spend money like we are today. We are in debt up to our eyeballs, and trying to be “the police of the world” is very expensive….

*Before the start of the “War on Terror”, the U.S. national debt was under 6 trillion dollars. Today, it is getting very close to 15 trillion dollars.

*Right now, the U.S. military is in nearly 130 different nations and it has a total of approximately 700 military bases around the world. It takes about 100 billion dollars a year to maintain these bases.

*U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.

*The United States accounts for 46.5% of all military spending on the planet. China is in second place with only 6.6%.

Meanwhile, our national security just continues to deteriorate. Millions of people have illegally poured across our border with Mexico and the federal government is actually suing border states such as Arizona to keep them from trying to stop this.

Our national security priorities are way, way out of whack. We continue to waste money in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable and yet we continue to become less secure with each passing year.

Yes, the United States needs a very, very strong military.

Yes, national security needs to be a very, very high priority.

But what we have been doing over the past decade has not worked. In fact, the Bush/Obama foreign policy has been an abject failure. We have poured hundreds of billions of dollars down the drain and we are less secure today than at any point since World War II.

It is time to admit that Barack Obama and George W. Bush have been fundamentally wrong about these wars. Because of their foolishness, we are less safe today and our allies are less safe today.

Afghanistan is not our friend now. Neither is Iraq. Libya looks like it is going to become an al-Qaeda paradise thanks to us.

There is very little “freedom” in those 3 nations today. Instead, “Islamic law” is being shoved down the throats of the people living in those countries.

So, in the final analysis, what have we really accomplished?

PECAN –

We KNOW the elite monied powers of the World wish to create a “NEW WORLD ORDER” in which they rule over all. In fact, many believe the Biblical prophecy of the Ten Horn Beast to be fulfilled by the NWO alignment. We have every indication that our sovereignty is being threatened and our enemy is domestic. Our once free people are falling into the trap of dicatorship. The trap of exchanging freedom for temporary security. Many of our so-called “leaders” are taking part of the dismantling of the United States including our Dictator-in-Chief. Our Congress warn of endless wars designed only to broaden an empire rather than provide legitimate defense. Even today, Nato is said to be in final preparations for a new war. A war against Syria….Iran….or anyone else who gets in our way. Regardless of the next “enemy” we choose to target the other boys on the street are losing patience. Russia and China have warned America of the consequences of attacking Iran. Will we heed those warnings? Or will we continue to apply regional pressure until they go on the offensive? World events are taking final shape. Albert Pikes predicted Three World Wars are progressing as planned. Regardless, Americans are waking up and beginning to prepare at unprecedented levels. Patriots are learning the skills and stocking up on the supplies required to Survive and Thrive regardless of what crisis occurs. And rest assured, there will be a crisis. Will you be ready?

SOURCE

U.S Envoy Flees Syria In Fear of Life

U.S. pulls out envoy to Syria, southern strike spreads

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

The United States said on Monday it had pulled its ambassador out of Syria because of threats to his safety, prompting Syria to follow suit in a worsening of ties already tattered by U.S. opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s efforts to crush anti-government protests.

The U.S. envoy, Robert Ford, had antagonized Syria’s government with his high-profile support for the demonstrators trying to end 41 years of Assad family rule. Assad supporters attacked the U.S. Embassy and Ford’s convoy in recent months.

Ford left Syria as a government crackdown on protests and a nascent armed insurgency intensified and as more businesses and shops closed in southern Syria in the most sustained strike of the seven-month uprising.

In the latest violence, two people were killed in the central city of Homs, 85 miles north of Damascus, when troops and loyalist militiamen fired at majority Sunni Muslim districts that have been a bastion for protests.

The United States has called for Assad to step down and, along with its European allies, has intensified sanctions on Syria, including against its small but significant oil sector, a central source of foreign currency for the government.

The State Department issued a statement saying Ford “was brought back to Washington as a result of credible threats against his personal safety in Syria.”

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Ford was expected to return to Syria and demanded the Syrian government provide for his protection and end what she called a “smear campaign of malicious and deceitful propaganda” against him.

“The concern here is that the kinds of falsehoods that are being spread about Ambassador Ford could lead to violence against him, whether it’s by citizens, whether it’s by … thugs of one kind or another,” she said.

Nuland stressed that Ford had not been “withdrawn” — a diplomatically loaded term that could have implied that the envoy would not return and that suggests a diminution in relations between the two countries.

“INCITEMENT” AGAINST ENVOY

U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ford left Damascus on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for the Syrian Embassy in Washington, Roua Sharbaji, said after news of Ford’s return became public Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha had been recalled to Damascus for consultations on Monday.

Unlike in Libya, there appears to be no appetite among Western or Arab governments to consider armed intervention to stop the violence in Syria, one of a host of Arab states to see uprisings against long-time authoritarian rulers this year.

The killings in Homs on Monday bring to at least 10 the number of civilians killed in tank-backed assaults on districts in the central city in the last two days, activists said.

The official Syrian news agency said “terrorist groups” had fired at a taxi carrying university students in Homs on Sunday night, killing a young woman. Security forces arrested several members of other groups and seized automatic weapons, automatic rifles and Molotov cocktails.

A Youtube video shot by activists purportedly showed a young protester dying from a gunshot that hit him while he was dragging a body off a street in al-Khalidiya district. Their comrades are heard shouting “God is greater” as the two bodies lay next to each other on the asphalt.

Reuters could not confirm the authenticity of the footage. Most foreign media have been banned from Syria, making it difficult to verify events on the ground.

Syrian authorities say they are fighting “armed terrorist groups” in Homs who have killed civilians, security forces and prominent figures.

They blame the unrest across the country on such groups, which they say have killed 1,100 army and police. The United Nations says the crackdown has killed 3,000 people, including 187 children.

ATTACKS ON U.S. EMBASSY, CONVOY

Ford left Syria following a series of violent incidents that damaged the U.S. Embassy compound and his motorcade but did not cause any casualties.

At the end of September, Assad loyalists threw concrete blocks at his convoy and hit the cars with iron bars as Ford was visiting centrist politician Hassan Abdulazim, according to an account published by the ambassador the next day.

In July, several Assad loyalists broke into the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, tore down signs and tried to break security glass. They also tried to break into Ford’s nearby residence but failed to gain entry.

The Syrian government’s mounting security crackdown has triggered a strike by private businesses in towns across the Hauran Plain, which was the first region where masses publicly turned against Assad.

Anger has grown over the killings of several protesters last week in the towns of Dael and in Ibtaa. The region has seen nightly protests in solidarity with Homs.

“Troops have entered into several towns to end the strike but protesters want to expand it into wider civil disobedience,
” said one activist who said army reinforcements had been sent to several towns in the Deraa countryside.

In Deraa city, capital of the agricultural province, businesses across the city were closed for the fourth day. In the town of al-Hirak to the east, the strike picked up steam in the last two days, activists said.

“This strike is intensifying every day as more businesses shut and people become more defiant than ever, angered by the increasing brutality and daily roundups and arrests,” said one Deraa resident who gave his name as Abu Abdullah.

With troops concentrating on urban centers, protests have expanded in rural regions, including some once bedrocks of Sunni support for Assad but now seeing defections from the military and armed resistance.

In an interview with Reuters last month, Ford said Assad was losing support among key constituents and risked plunging Syria into sectarian strife between Sunnis and Alawites by intensifying the military crackdown.

Ford also infuriated Syria’s rulers with his high profile gestures of support for the seven-month-old grassroots protest movement seeking to oust Assad.

He was cheered when he went in July to the anti-Assad hotbed city of Hama, which was later stormed by tanks, ignoring a ban on diplomats traveling outside the Damascus area.

SOURCE

NATO in final preparations for new war

NATO preps for new war
Syrian chief warns attack will set Middle East aflame

TEL AVIV – NATO troops are training in Turkey for a Turkish-led NATO invasion of Syria, a senior Syrian diplomatic official claimed to WND.

Separately, informed Middle East security officials said Russia has been inspecting Syrian forces and has been advising Syria about possible Syrian military responses should NATO attack the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The officials said Russia recently sold Syria a large quantity of Iskander ballistic missiles, and that, in light of the NATO threat, the Russian government renewed its pledge to sell Syria the advanced S-300 anti-missile system.

The Syrian diplomatic official, meanwhile, recognized his country receives general support from Russia, but told WND that Assad’s regime is concerned the European Union and U.S. may offer Russia an economic incentive to scale back Russian support for Syria.

The report comes as Assad reportedly warned yesterday he will set the Middle East on fire if NATO forces attack his country.

“If a crazy measure is taken against Damascus, I will need not more than six hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv,” Assad reportedly said, according to Iran’s state-run Fars news agency.

Assad made the comments in a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Davutoglu, reported Fars.

Fars reported Davutoglu conveyed a warning from NATO and the U.S. that Syria could face an international military campaign if Assad does not halt his violent crackdown on an insurgency targeting the Syrian president’s regime.

Assad also reiterated that Damascus will call on Hezbollah in Lebanon to launch an intensive rocket and missile attack on Israel, reported Fars.

“All these events will happen in three hours, but in the second three hours, Iran will attack the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the U.S. and European interests will be targeted simultaneously,”
Assad was quoted as saying.

While Assad’s remarks could not be immediately verified, Iran, which runs Fars, is a close partner to the Damascus government.

WND first reported in August that Assad is taking military measures to prepare for a possible U.S.-NATO campaign against his regime.

Informed Egyptian security officials told WND Assad instructed the Syrian military to be prepared for an air or ground campaign if the international community determines his pledges of reform are not enough.

Also in August, WND first reported Turkey secretly passed a message to Damascus that if it does not implement major democratic reforms, NATO may attack Assad’s regime, according to Egyptian security officials.

The Egyptian security officials said the message was coordinated with NATO members, specifically with the U.S. and European Union.

The Egyptian officials said Turkish leaders, speaking for NATO, told Assad that he has until March to implement democratization that would allow free elections as well as major constitutional reforms.

Last month, Obama officially asked Assad to step down to pave the way for a democratic system in Syria.

According to informed Middle Eastern security officials speaking to WND, Assad asked his military to make specific preparations in the event of a U.S.-led NATO campaign similar to the military coalition now targeting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

George Soros-funded doctrine with White House ties

The Libya bombings have been widely regarded as a test of a military doctrine called “Responsibility to Protect.”

In his address to the nation in April explaining the NATO campaign in Libya, Obama cited the doctrine as the main justification for U.S. and international airstrikes against Libya.

Responsibility to Protect, or Responsibility to Act, as cited by Obama, is a set of principles, now backed by the United Nations, based on the idea that sovereignty is not a privilege but a responsibility that can be revoked if a country is accused of “war crimes,” “genocide,” “crimes against humanity” or “ethnic cleansing.”

The term “war crimes” has at times been indiscriminately used by various United Nations-backed international bodies, including the International Criminal Court, or ICC, which applied it to Israeli anti-terror operations in the Gaza Strip. There has been fear the ICC could be used to prosecute U.S. troops who commit alleged “war crimes” overseas.

The Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect is the world’s leading champion of the military doctrine.

As WND reported, billionaire activist George Soros is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. Several of the doctrine’s main founders also sit on boards with Soros.

WND reported the committee that devised the Responsibility to Protect doctrine included Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa as well as Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi, a staunch denier of the Holocaust who long served as the deputy of late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat.

Also, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy has a seat on the advisory board of the 2001 commission that originally founded Responsibility to Protect. The commission is called the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. It invented the term “responsibility to protect” while defining its guidelines.

The Carr Center is a research center concerned with human rights located at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Samantha Power, the National Security Council special adviser to Obama on human rights, was Carr’s founding executive director and headed the institute at the time it advised in the founding of Responsibility to Protect.

With Power’s center on the advisory board, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty first defined the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.

Power reportedly heavily influenced Obama in consultations leading to the decision to bomb Libya.

Two of the global group’s advisory board members, Ramesh Thakur and Gareth Evans, are the original founders of the doctrine, with the duo even coining the term “responsibility to protect.”

As WND reported, Soros’ Open Society Institute is a primary funder and key proponent of the Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect. Also, Thakur and Evans sit on multiple boards with Soros.

Soros’ Open Society is one of only three nongovernmental funders of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. Government sponsors include Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, Rwanda and the U.K.

Board members of the group include former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Ireland President Mary Robinson and South African activist Desmond Tutu. Robinson and Tutu have recently made solidarity visits to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip as members of a group called The Elders, which includes former President Jimmy Carter.

Annan once famously stated, “State sovereignty, in its most basic sense, is being redefined – not least by the forces of globalization and international co-operation. States are … instruments at the service of their peoples and not vice versa.”

Soros: Right to ‘penetrate nation-states’

Soros himself outlined the fundamentals of Responsibility to Protect in a 2004 Foreign Policy magazine article titled “The People’s Sovereignty: How a New Twist on an Old Idea Can Protect the World’s Most Vulnerable Populations.”

In the article Soros said, “True sovereignty belongs to the people, who in turn delegate it to their governments.”

“If governments abuse the authority entrusted to them and citizens have no opportunity to correct such abuses, outside interference is justified,” Soros wrote. “By specifying that sovereignty is based on the people, the international community can penetrate nation-states’ borders to protect the rights of citizens.

“In particular,” he continued, “the principle of the people’s sovereignty can help solve two modern challenges: the obstacles to delivering aid effectively to sovereign states, and the obstacles to global collective action dealing with states experiencing internal conflict.”

More George Soros ties

“Responsibility” founders Evans and Thakur served as co-chairmen with Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corp. Charitable Foundation, on the advisory board of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which invented the term “responsibility to protect.”

In his capacity as co-chairman, Evans also played a pivotal role in initiating the fundamental shift from sovereignty as a right to “sovereignty as responsibility.”

Evans presented Responsibility to Protect at the July 23, 2009, United Nations General Assembly, which was convened to consider the principle.

Thakur is a fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, which is in partnership with an economic institute founded by Soros.

Soros is on the executive board of the International Crisis Group, a “crisis management organization” for which Evans serves as president-emeritus.

WND previously reported how the group has been petitioning for the U.S. to normalize ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition in Egypt, where longtime U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak was recently toppled.

Aside from Evans and Soros, the group includes on its board Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, as well as other personalities who champion dialogue with Hamas, a violent offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood.

WND also reported the crisis group has petitioned for the Algerian government to cease “excessive” military activities against al-Qaida-linked groups and to allow organizations seeking to create an Islamic state to participate in the Algerian government.

Soros’ own Open Society Institute has funded opposition groups across the Middle East and North Africa, including organizations involved in the current chaos.

‘One World Order’

WND reported that doctrine founder Thakur recently advocated for a “global rebalancing” and “international redistribution” to create a “New World Order.

In a piece last March in the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, “Toward a new world order,” Thakur wrote, “Westerners must change lifestyles and support international redistribution.”

He was referring to a United Nations-brokered international climate treaty in which he argued, “Developing countries must reorient growth in cleaner and greener directions.”

In the opinion piece, Thakur then discussed recent military engagements and how the financial crisis has impacted the U.S.

“The West’s bullying approach to developing nations won’t work anymore – global power is shifting to Asia,” he wrote.

“A much-needed global moral rebalancing is in train,” he added.

Thakur continued: “Westerners have lost their previous capacity to set standards and rules of behavior for the world. Unless they recognize this reality, there is little prospect of making significant progress in deadlocked international negotiations.”

Thakur contended “the demonstration of the limits to U.S. and NATO power in Iraq and Afghanistan has left many less fearful of ‘superior’ Western power.”

Read more: NATO preps for new war SOURCE

Israel under Siege – Psalm 83 to be fulfilled?

Beyond Cairo, Israel Sensing a Wider Siege

Isaiah 17:12-14 — 12 Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! 13 The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. 14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

Amel Pain/European Pressphoto Agency

By ETHAN BRONNER

JERUSALEM — With its Cairo embassy ransacked, its ambassador to Turkey expelled and the Palestinians seeking statehood recognition at the United Nations, Israel found itself on Saturday increasingly isolated and grappling with a radically transformed Middle East where it believes its options are limited and poor.

The diplomatic crisis, in which winds unleashed by the Arab Spring are now casting a chill over the region, was crystallized by the scene of Israeli military jets sweeping into Cairo at dawn on Saturday to evacuate diplomats after the Israeli Embassy had been besieged by thousands of protesters.

It was an image that reminded some Israelis of Iran in 1979, when Israel evacuated its embassy in Tehran after the revolution there replaced an ally with an implacable foe.

“Seven months after the downfall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, Egyptian protesters tore to shreds the Israeli flag, a symbol of peace between Egypt and its eastern neighbor, after 31 years,” Aluf Benn, the editor in chief of the left-leaning Israeli newspaper Haaretz, wrote Saturday. “It seems that the flag will not return to the flagstaff anytime soon.”

Egypt and Israel both issued statements on Saturday reaffirming their commitments to their peace treaty, but in a televised address on Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel warned that Egypt “cannot ignore the heavy damage done to the fabric of peace.”

Facing crises in relations with Egypt and Turkey, its two most important regional allies, Israel turned to the United States. Throughout the night on Friday, desperate Israeli officials called their American counterparts seeking help to pressure the Egyptians to protect the embassy.

President Obama “expressed his great concern” in a telephone call with Mr. Netanyahu, the White House said in a statement, and he called on Egypt “to honor its international obligations to safeguard the security of the Israeli Embassy.”

Washington — for whom Israel, Turkey and Egypt are all critical allies — has watched tensions along the eastern Mediterranean with growing unease and increasing alarm. And though the diplomatic breaches were not entirely unexpected, they prompted a flurry of diplomatic activity in Washington.

The mayhem in Cairo also exacted consequences for Egypt, raising questions about whether its military-led transitional government would be able to maintain law and order and meet its international obligations. The failure to prevent an invasion of a foreign embassy raised security concerns at other embassies as well.

The Egyptian government responded to those questions Saturday night, pledging a new crackdown on disruptive protests and reactivating the emergency law allowing indefinite detentions without trial, one of the most reviled measures enacted under former President Hosni Mubarak.

Since the start of the Arab uprisings, internal critics and foreign friends, including the United States, have urged Israel to take bold conciliatory steps toward the Palestinians, and after confrontations in which Israeli forces killed Egyptian and Turkish citizens, to reach accommodations with both countries.

Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador a week ago over Israel’s refusal to apologize for a deadly raid last year on a Turkish ship bound for Gaza in which nine Turks were killed. The storming of the embassy in Cairo on Saturday was precipitated by the killing of three Egyptian soldiers along the border by Israeli military forces pursuing terrorism suspects.

Israel has expressed regret for the deaths in both cases, but has not apologized for actions that it considers defensive.

The overriding assessment of the government of Mr. Netanyahu is that such steps will only make matters worse because what is shaking the region is not about Israel, even if Israel is increasingly its target, and Israel can do almost nothing to affect it.

“Egypt is not going toward democracy but toward Islamicization,” said Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Cairo who reflected the government’s view. “It is the same in Turkey and in Gaza. It is just like what happened in Iran in 1979.

A senior official said Israel had few options other than to pursue what he called a “porcupine policy” to defend itself against aggression. Another official, asked about Turkey, said, “There is little that we can do.”

Critics of the government take a very different view.

Mr. Benn, the Haaretz editor, acknowledged that Mr. Netanyahu could not be faulted for the events in Egypt, the rise of an Islamic-inspired party in Turkey or Iran’s nuclear program. But echoing criticism by the Obama administration, he said that Mr. Netanyahu “has not done a thing to mitigate the fallout from the aforementioned developments.”

Daniel Ben-Simon, a member of Parliament from the left-leaning Labor Party, said the Netanyahu government was on a path “not just to diplomatic isolation but to actually putting Israelis in danger,” he said. “It all comes down to his obsession against a Palestinian state, his total paralysis toward the Palestinian issue. We are facing an international tide at the United Nations. If he joined the vote for a Palestinian state instead of fighting it, that would be the best thing he could do for us in the Arab world.”

The Palestinians have given up on talks with Israel, and within the next two weeks they plan to ask the United Nations to grant them membership and statehood recognition within the 1967 lines, including East Jerusalem as a capital.

Potential side effects of the diplomatic disputes have already emerged.

The growing hostility from Egypt could require a radical rethinking of Israel’s defense doctrine which, for the past three decades, counted on peace on its southern border. As chaos in the Sinai has increased and anti-Israel sentiment in Egypt has grown, military strategists here are examining how to beef up protection of the south, including by the building of an anti-infiltration wall in the Sinai.

A threat by Turkey last week to challenge Israel’s plans for gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean could threaten Israel’s agreement with Cyprus on gas drilling and could worsen tensions with Lebanon on drilling rights.

Initial Israeli fears about the Arab Spring uprisings have begun to materialize in concrete ways. When the uprisings began in Tunisia and Egypt at the start of the year, little attention was directed toward Israel because so much focus was on throwing off dictatorial rule and creating a new political order.

Traditionally, many Arab leaders have used Israel as a convenient scapegoat, turning public wrath against it and blaming it for their problems. The faint hope here was that a freer Middle East might move away from such anti-Israel hostility because the overthrow of dictators would open up debate.

But as the months of Arab Spring have turned autumnal, Israel has increasingly become a target of public outrage. Some here say Israel is again being made a scapegoat, this time for unfulfilled revolutionary promises.

But there is another interpretation, and it is the predominant one abroad — Muslims, Arabs and indeed many around the globe believe Israel is unjustly occupying Palestinian territories, and they are furious at Israel for it. And although some Israelis pointed fingers at Islamicization as the cause of the violence, Egyptians noted Saturday that Islamist groups, including the Muslim Brotherhood, distanced themselves from Friday’s protests and did not attend, while legions of secular-minded soccer fans were at the forefront of the embassy attacks.

“The world is tired of this conflict and angry at us because we are viewed as conquerors, ruling over another people,” said Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, a Labor Party member of Parliament and a former defense minister. “If I were Bibi Netanyahu, I would recognize a Palestinian state. We would then negotiate borders and security. Instead nothing is happening. We are left with one ally, America, and that relationship is strained, too.”


David D. Kirkpatrick contributed reporting from Cairo, and Steven Lee Myers from Washington.

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