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Monday, August 6, 2012

Genesis Vs. Revelation - Chuck MIssler

Was Iran behind coordinated Islamist attacks on Egypt and Israel from Sinai?

The initial Egyptian and Israeli accounts of the attacks in which 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed and the Israeli border crashed Sunday night, Aug. 5, don’t match up: Egypt points the finger at the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip; Israel at Sinai Salafits. DEBKAfile postulates a third option: Tehran put Gaza Strip Islamists and/or Palestinian proxies together with a Sinai al Qaeda cell for a coordinated attack on Egyptian and Israeli military targets to avenge the presence of al Qaeda in the anti-Assad revolt in Syria under the Western-Arab aegis. That would signal the spillover of the Syrian crisis into two more Middle East countries.

The gunmen first stormed an Egyptian commando post in Sinai with bombs, grenades and sidearms, killing at least 16 Egyptian soldiers, wounding many more and taking several hostages. A quantity of weapons and two armored vehicles were seized.

According to Egyptian sources, all ten gunmen infiltrated Sinai from the Gaza Strip through the smuggling tunnels. They were disguised as Sinai Bedouin.
In contrast, the Israeli military spokesman tagged the gunmen as Sinai Salafist Bedouin tied to al Qaeda. He denied there was any connection with the IDF’s targeting of two Popular Resistance Committees earlier Sunday after they were identified as the perpetrators of the June 18 shooting of an Israeli border fence workman.

The IDF also claimed it had been forewarned of the plot to attack the Kerem Shalom terminal opposite the Egyptian post and were therefore prepared for the gunmen’s incursion aboard two captured Egyptian vehicles for the purpose of snatching Israeli soldiers. Israel bombed the vehicle that got through from the air and by artillery. Seven terrorists were gunned down as they fled. There were no Israeli casualties.

The army spokesman did not indicate whether the Egyptians had also been forewarned.

The IDF version, if it is correct, exposes the most ambitious operation al Qaeda has ever mounted from Sinai. The jihadists, even in their biggest outrages in Iraq and Afghanistan - or Syria today – rarely carried through an operation this complex against one military base after another in two different countries.
Its features do, however, recall Palestinian terrorist strikes on Israeli military positions in the Gaza Strip at the height of their 2000-2003 war on Israel. In that sense, the Egyptian version pointing to Gaza as the source rings true. And indeed, the enclave’s Hamas rulers hastened to condemn the attack and block the Gaza-Sinai smuggling tunnels first thing Monday, Aug. 6, and a Hamas leader, Mahmoud A-Zahar, admitted Palestinians may have been complicit.

Neither Israel nor Egypt has mentioned a third option, which in the view of DEBKAfile’s counter-terror analysts is the most sinister of them all, namely that Iran’s proxy in the enclave, the Palestinian Jihad Islami, which operates under the command of the Al Qods Brigades operations center in Beirut, was told to muster al Qaeda jihadists in Sinai for the coordinated attacks. Iranian officers posted in Beirut would then have orchestrated the combined operation, bringing to bear their long experience of setting up terrorist campaigns against Western and Arab targets – Saudi Arabia in 2003 and 2004; Iraq up to the present day and Afghanistan, against US and NATO forces.

If that is what happened, it would be the first time Tehran has harnessed al Qaeda to lash out out against Egyptian and Israeli military targets as a riposte for the presence of al Qaeda fighters in the revolt against Bashar Assad.
Just a few hours earlier, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani declared: "The fire that has been ignited in Syria will take the fearful (Israelis) with it.”

That was also the first time Tehran had explicitly threatened that the Syrian conflict would spill over into Israel.


Does audit show Federal Reserve Bank sitting on $21 billion in gold?

The federal government has quietly completed an audit of U.S. gold stored at the New York Federal Reserve near Wall Street.

For many years, the U.S. government has been rumored to have a gold stash worth about $21 billion stored at the Federal Reserve, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Some believe the bullion is a result of a heist, similar to the movie “Die Hard”; others claim the gold has been used in a shadowy government transaction, or even swapped with gold-painted bars, according to the paper.

Now, according to the Times, the U.S. government has completed its audit – which included drilling holes in the bars to test their purity.

The Treasury Department has refused to disclose any details of the audit, saying the results will be announced by the end of the year.

The Treasury's auditing operation, including drilling, is a first for the New York Fed. The department's inspector general previously audited and tested only gold it keeps under heavy guard at Fort Knox, West Point and the U.S. Mint in Denver. These three locations hold 95 percent of the country's bullion.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/08/05/does-audit-show-federal-reserve-bank-sitting-on-21-billion-in-gold/#ixzz22lZydhbN

Iran sending thousands of fighters to Syria, says rebel leader

Iran is sending thousands of fighters to help the Bashar Assad regime in it’s ongoing conflict with rebel forces, according to a Syrian opposition leader.

Col. Abdul-Jabbar Mohammed Aqidi, the commander of rebel forces in Aleppo province, was quoted in Al Arabiya on Saturday saying that 3,000 Iranians had already passed through Damascus International Airport in the last week.

Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi denied the report, saying the Islamic Republic had no troops in Syria and that the Syrian government did not request such assistance.

In related news, Syrian rebels shot down a government fighter jet on Saturday morning, according to an Al Jazeera report from Aleppo. Opposition forces are claiming that they now control 60 percent of the city.

Information about the downed Syrian Air Force plane was not confirmed by any other sources.

Israel Radio reported that more than 140 people were killed in Syria on Friday, mostly in Aleppo. The commercial hub along with the capital, Damascus, have become the recent focal points for the Bashar Assad regime in its 17-month bloody crackdown on dissenters.

The UN General Assembly on Friday voted overwhelmingly in support of a resolution denouncing the ongoing violence in Syria. The version of the resolution that passed was a defanged draft, which left out earlier provisions calling for Assad to step down and calling on the international community to impose further sanctions.

Speaking of the situation in Aleppo ahead of the UN vote, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “The acts of brutality that are being reported may constitute crimes against humanity or war crimes… Such acts must be investigated and the perpetrators held to account.”

Times of Israel

Al-Qaeda thrives as US helps to 'flip' Syria

Biometric Voter Registration (BVR): Voting Goes Scientific

With a lot of discussion as of late on issues surrounding voter registration laws and voter suppression in the U.S., the discussion of alternatives to improving the voting process becomes a relevant topic. On the more intensive side of the spectrum, the idea of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) can be considered. Although most likely not a viable option for the U.S., it is nevertheless an interesting subject that has growing prevalence in Africa.

Biometric Voter Registration is the process of requiring eligible voters to go through some kind of biometric analysis for recording, be it fingerprint or iris scanning technology. Doing so allows them to be a registered voter and prove their identity when they go to vote. The goal is to reduce and even eliminate unfair voting practices and promote free, fair, and transparent (FFT) voting.

As Dr. Samuel Chindaro, an electronics engineer involved in a research group on biometrics technology at the University of Kent exclaims,

“Biometric identifiers cannot be shared, misplaced, and they intrinsically represent the individual’s identity. In general and which is important for our present purposes, biometrics can be used for positive identification, that is, to prove that an individual is who they claim to be.”

Within the past year, BVR through finger print scanning has been implemented throughout much of Africa, including regions and countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Not long ago, Sierra Leone registered 2.5 million voters across the country in their latest election and Zambia, Nigeria, Namibia, and Mozambique have all either already started BVR or are planning to.

Ghana, which has been most highlighted in association with the new type of voter registration has faced many challenges regarding its implementation yet the idea still holds value within the country. 45 million was invested in BVR in Ghana and with this, the creation of Ghana Decides, a non-partisan project, was started in March 2012. The use of social media by this project though is something to be noted. Ghana Decides utilizes various social media sites to reach voters including Storify, Google+, Youtube, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter. They also work to dispell common concerns that BVR causes cancer and promote the technique as a safe and accessible process.

Of the 24.4 million population of Ghana according to the World Bank public records, only around 1.2 million are on Facebook. So not only did Ghana Decides have to follow through on an impressive social media outreach, but also work on the ground to promote BVR. It has apparently paid off with an estimated 12 million Ghanaians registered in the Biometric Voter Registration system as of early May, according to the Electoral Committee (EC).

The actual effectiveness of BVR is a subject that can not be justifiably summarized in a short article and deserves far more time to analyze, but from short hand, there are some noticeably negative aspects that severely diminish its integrity.

The process of BVR in many cases cannot detect minors and non-Ghanians and can work off of a system with missing or incorrect citizen data. Of the thousands of BVR stations, the system is not interconnected and leaves room for duplication, which has led to cases where a man registered to vote 15 times. 8,000 others reported multiple registrations. In the long run,8,000 multiple registrations could be minor when compared to the 12 million gaining registration from this process. There is also the question of accessibility for rural regions and the disincentive that BVR makes the process of voting “longer and harder”.

Of the positives, BVR discourages fraudulent voting such as “zombie voting”, which is the practice of registering and voting under the deceased’s name. Another is the the possible increased confidence in the system. In an NPR interview with Mexico-born Jose Aliseda on the subject of the Voter I.D. laws, he said:

“I come from a country that requires not only a photo I.D., but a biometric photo I.D., to vote. And by – I mean biometric. It has a fingerprint and, when you vote, you have to dip your finger in a vat of ink to show that you’re not voting yet more than once.”

The Texas Republican State Representative defends the law saying, “people need to have confidence in the system or they won’t participate.”

With Biometric Voter Registration rapidly growing throughout Africa, the case of Ghana proves an interesting one to follow. With the recent death of President Atta Mills and their upcoming round of elections set for December 7, 2012, the role BVR will play in the country will be crucial. In the end, the true value for this more stringent type of voter identification will be better determined only with time.

Social Ballot

We have to prepare for the coming European storm

Just as the French president, Fran├žois Hollande, may regret this week’s jibe at the early British Olympic medal tally, so the tide of events in Europe may also turn Britain’s way. The current prognosis is bleak. Greece remains tens of billions of euros short of staying financially afloat, Spain is back in the danger zone, and Hollande’s promises of higher income and business taxes combined with earlier retirement risk digging France further into a fiscal hole. Dutch elections next month are fuelling anti-bail-out rhetoric, while 200 German economists have warned Chancellor Merkel against “socialisation” of bad European debts.

Economic and political reality points to the restructuring or fragmentation of the eurozone. For Britain, either outcome means economic risk, coupled with political opportunity. How should we prepare?

Amid a European slump, the good news is rising opportunities in Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world. Last month, UK trade in goods there eclipsed our European exports for the first time since the 1970s. The Prime Minister has made global trade a foreign-policy priority, and this should be bolstered by domestic reform to help shield business from the looming eurozone meltdown. We can’t dictate eurozone policy, but we can find savings to cut corporation and payroll taxes further, giving our firms the best chance of swimming against the perilous European tide. Likewise, slashing the red tape facing small businesses, and striking out bogus employment tribunal claims, would cut business costs and boost job creation. This is the moment for a major supply-side shot in the arm.

The greatest risk to the UK is the domino effect if any eurozone country exits or defaults on its debts. This year, British banking liabilities reached 448 per cent of gross domestic product. The combined exposure of UK banks to Ireland, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece amounts to £190 billion – more than the comparable exposure of German banks. The taxpayer can’t afford another round of bail-outs and, after the Libor scandal, won’t stomach one. That makes banking reform a more urgent priority. Ring-fencing retail banks from investment arms, higher capital ratios, living wills and bail-in provisions may squeeze credit in the short term, but banking reforms are a vital buffer against potential eurozone liabilities.

Given these dangers, it would be short-sighted to derive any satisfaction from the eurozone crisis. However, the European kaleidoscope is in flux, and the inevitable changes to its political architecture will present a historic opportunity to renegotiate our relationship with Europe – and put it on a sounder economic and democratic footing. The Foreign Secretary’s audit of the EU will provide a valuable cost-benefit analysis, while plans for repatriation of powers are already being considered. Options include social and employment policy, fisheries, structural funds to poorer regions, justice and home affairs.

The Telegraph

S&P downgrades 15 Italian banks

"With Italy facing a potentially deeper and more prolonged recession than we had originally anticipated, we think Italian banks' vulnerability to credit risk in the economy is rising," S&P said in a statement.

"In this context, the combined effect of mounting problem assets and reduced coverage of loan loss reserves makes banks more vulnerable to the impact of higher credit losses particularly in the event of deterioration in the collateral values of assets," it said.

Among the rating agency's moves, S&P cut Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena to BBB-minus from BBB, just one notch above junk.

Banca Carige fared less well, losing its BBB-minus investment grade rating in a cut to BB-plus.

S&P also cut Dexia Crediop, the Italian public financing arm of bailed-out Franco-Belgian bank Dexia, to B-plus from BB-minus.

The Telegraph

Prophecy of planetary event

Iran warns Syria conflict could engulf Israel

Iran warned on Sunday against foreign intervention in Syria and said the conflict there could engulf Israel.

Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani accused the US and regional countries he did not name of providing military support to rebels fighting to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“The fire that has been ignited in Syria will take the fearful [Israelis] with it,” Larijani said on Sunday, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

One Israeli government official said that since the beginning of the unrest in Syria last year, both Syria and the Iranians “have been trying to bring Israel into it because they think it serves their interests.”

Both Iran and Hezbollah, the official said, “are on the ground inside Syria supporting the Assad regime, and are part of the brutal machine that is butchering the people of Syria.”

While Israel – beyond offering humanitarian aid – has taken pains to stay out of the situation in Syria, Israel’s leadership has said in the past two weeks that it would not tolerate the transfer of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile to Hezbollah.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel did not want to act in Syria, but would do so if necessary to prevent chemical weapon “leakage.”

Syria has accused Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia of backing rebels in Syria and fueling violence there. Iran has supported Assad’s efforts to crush the revolt and has accused Western countries and Israel of interfering in the crisis.

“What really allows these countries to interfere in internal Syrian affairs?” Larijani was quoted as saying.

He is considered a moderate conservative and a close follower of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the most powerful man in Iran who decides foreign policy.

Larijani is also a critic of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and widely expected to run for president in 2013.

Gholam-Ali Haddad Adel, a key ally of Khamenei and father-in-law to the paramount leader’s son Mojtaba, said on Sunday the people of Syria should not allow the US and Israel to break the “resistance front,” IRNA reported.

“Since the Americans and [Israelis] do not want to solve the Syrian issue, they continue to make the... region insecure,” Haddad Adel was quoted as saying.

On Friday, following his visit to Moscow to discuss Syria, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said “terrorist groups” supported by foreign forces were operating in Damascus and Aleppo, IRNA reported.

Amir-Abdollahian said “tens of thousands of weapons” had entered Syria from neighboring countries and were being used by groups including al-Qaida.

“Unfortunately, America and regional countries... do not take steps to control the borders,” Amir-Abdollahian was quoted as saying.

Amir-Abdollahian said he did not believe Syria would be attacked by foreign powers, but that if it were, it would not need Iran’s help to defend itself.

“Syria has been ready for years to respond to any military attack against it by [Israel] or other countries, and can respond strongly to any military action by itself and with complete readiness,” he said.

Jerusalem Post

US banks brace for possible eurozone collapse

US banks are bracing for a possible disintegration of the eurozone, Britain’s The Financial Times reported on Monday.

The newspaper mentioned the banks’ plummeting loan transactions in the eurozone countries.

According to the Financial Times, the banks plan to make some amendments to their credit contracts so they can be in line with London’s financial legislation, a step that they say will help them protect their investments in case of a potential collapse of the eurozone.

Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell has announced the withdrawal of some of its funds from European banks. The Anglo-Dutch oil major signaled its readiness to deposit 15 billion of cash in non-European assets, such as US Treasuries and US bank accounts.

The Voice of Russia

Economic plan would explode debt to $25.4 Trillion

In presidential campaign ads, President Barack Obama claims that his economic plan includes “$4 trillion in deficit reduction.” For a president who has increased the national debt more than all U.S. presidents from George Washington to George H.W. Bush combined, the claim seems incredible. Indeed, it is.

A new analysis of Mr. Obama’s budget reveals the president’s plan would add $10.6 trillion in debt accumulation over the next decade, bringing the U.S. federal debt to a jaw-dropping $25.4 trillion.

Still, the president and his surrogates continue to claim the Obama plan would cut spending. “The President’s proposals… include a balanced deficit reduction plan that would reduce our deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney in June.

In addition, the Obama budget contains $1.8 trillion in tax increases over the next decade. Specifically, the top marginal tax rate would jump to 39.6 percent, taxes on dividends would skyrocket to 43.4 percent (from 15 percent), and the death tax would leap to 45 percent.

Furthermore, as research from the office of the Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee Jeff Sessions (R-AL) reveals, the Obama plan would spend $1.4 trillion above the levels agreed to in last year’s debt deal.

This year marks the fifth straight year in a row that the United States has had a trillion dollar deficit.

Salafists kill 15 Egyptian Sinai troops, are stopped crashing Israeli border

The Israeli Air Force struck APCs seized by Sinai Salafis from the Egyptian “Tahrir Square” post Sunday night, Aug. 5, after one had crashed through the Kerem Shalom border terminal into Israel.. First, the gunmen blew up the Egyptian post, killing at least 15 Egyptian commandos, injuring many and kidnapping an unknown number, before seizing the two APCs and heavy weapons. DEBKAfile:’s counter-terror sources: A Sinai-based Islamist cell appears to have retaliated for the first time to an Israeli counter-terror operation in the Gaza Strip by attacking Egyptian military personnel.
Aside from retaliation, their purpose seems to be to loosen Egyptian and Israeli security control of their respective sides of the frontier.
The attack on the Egyptian position came shortly after dozens of missiles and mortar shells rained down from the Gaza Strip on the Eshkol region. No one was hurt in the initial volley. Residents were told to stay indoors as Israeli tank guns firing into the Gaza Strip pounded the sources of the fire.
During the day, an Israeli air force craft struck two motorcyclists, members of the radical Popular Resistance Committees, in Rafah. One was killed. They were identified as responsible for the June 18 shooting attack from Sinai which killed one of the workmen on the Israel-Egyptian border fence.


Iran’s anti-Semitism makes it the greatest threat to Jews

Blame it on my upbringing, or what I learned in school, or what I saw when I visited the Dachau concentration camp in 1968. The Holocaust was the most evil event of the 20th century.
So it is abhorrent to me that a government in today’s world would advocate a repeat of that horror. And it is almost beyond belief that the rest of the world would hear such an outrage and look the other way.

I am referring, of course, to the leaders of today’s Iran and the global ho-hum response to the most virulent form of state-sponsored anti-Semitism since Nazi Germany.

I say this as a great-grandson of slaves, as the son of parents whose potential was stifled by unrelenting racism, as a man whose youth was stymied by Jim Crow and racial prejudice, as a father who aches with anger and sorrow that he has failed to give his children and grandchildren an America that will not regard their skin color as a blemish on their humanity.

And yet I know in my heart that we are not the only ones to bear the cross of bigotry and hate.

Iran is more than a threat to a piece of geography called Israel. The Islamic Republic of Iran is the greatest threat to Jews to emerge in the past 70 years.

By any measure, I am not a Jew. I was not born to a Jewish woman. I was not raised nor educated as a Jew; therefore I do not, as Adam Garfinkle might argue, see the world through the eyes of a Jew, evincing Jewish moral sensibilities or exhibiting any sign of Jewish historical memory.

But I do have the power of recall, and I do, as a non-Jew, recognize vicious anti-Semitism when I see it. The Iranian government is as anti-Semitic as the Third Reich.

Listen to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and you hear strains of Adolf Hitler. Read, for example, this from Ahmadinejad’s recent address in Tehran to ambassadors of Islamic countries:

“It has now been some 400 years that a horrendous Zionist clan has been ruling the major world affairs. And behind the scenes of the major power circles, in political, media, monetary, and banking organizations in the world, they have been the decision-makers, to an extent that a big power with a huge economy and over 300 million population, the presidential election hopefuls must go kiss the feet of the Zionists to ensure their victory in the elections.”

And this: “The Zionist regime is both the symbol of the hegemony of the Zionism over the world and the means in the hand of the oppressor powers for expansion of their hegemony in the region and in the world.”

Ahmadinejad’s call for the annihilation of Israel echoes the Fuehrer’s call for Jewish extermination: “Any freedom lover and justice-seeker in the world must do its best for the annihilation of the Zionist regime in order to pave the path for the establishment of justice and freedom in the world.”

Ahmadinejad was playing catch-up to his vice president, Mohammad Reza Rahimi, who this year set the standard for hatred of Jews. Speaking at a U.N.-sponsored conference on the illegal drug trade in June, Rahimi said, according to the New York Times, the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.”

“Zionists,” he said, are in firm control of the drug trade. Rahimi reportedly told stories of gynecologists killing black babies on the order of Zionists, and he claimed that the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 was started by Jews.

The international focus today is on Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons and the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Tehran to Israel. That is too narrow a view.

It ignores the wider threat of Iranian-sponsored anti-Semitism to Jews everywhere. Iran’s bigotry has a global dimension. And that poses a moral challenge to the rest of the world.

We did not stop the greatest atrocity of the 20th century. What of the next?

President Obama has said that he “will always be there for Israel,” and Mitt Romney said much the same. What about the rest of the world?

Iran violates national sovereignty in order to kill Jews.

The fingerprints of Iran were found in attacks on Jews in Bulgaria, India, Thailand and Georgia. Contending that Iran’s threat is mainly to Israel is to ignore reality, unpleasant and challenging though it may be.

Washington Post


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has never shied away from speaking his mind, nor has he refrained from taking the “unpopular” stance of being hawkish when it comes to defending his country from the sea of aggressors which surrounds it. Now more than ever, as Iran draws dangerously close to attaining the nuclear arsenal it has been working tirelessly to build, the prime minister is prepared to show the world that, with or without U.S. aid, Israel will strike Iran if necessary. What’s more, he’s not afraid to accept responsibility for the ensuing consequences should such a strike take place.

His bold declaration, made during a closed meeting this week, only underscores his disappointment in current security establishment officials, who he believes are only concerned about saving face and avoiding having to take responsibility for a potential Israeli strike. And Netanyahu stated this week that he would not be concerned if an investigative committee was formed afterwards.

According to Haaretz, a number of officials who attended the meeting and who asked to remain nameless, said that most of those present believe the prime minister is steadfast in his resolve not to rely on the United States and can be expected to order an IDF strike against Iran in the months ahead.

The Blaze