Monday, August 13, 2012
Hezbollah has rockets that can hit any Israeli city, a leading official of the organization said on Monday afternoon.
In the morning Walla News reported a battery of the mobile Iron Dome anti-missile defense system was installed near Safed last week as part of an ongoing series of tests.
Hezbollah will continue to act toward the liberation of Jerusalem, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk said at a rally in Lebanon in honor of “world Jerusalem day.” Its weapons can reach any city in Israel and will be used to help free Palestine, the Hezbollah leader said.
Kaouk said his organization’s arsenal wouldn’t be used against other Lebanese sects, but only against Israel — for the sake of Jerusalem.
According to an IDF official quoted by Walla News, the relocation of the Iron Dome and its tests are not related to the current security situation but are part of a process to determine potential locations for the Iron Dome.
The IDF has previously conducted tests around the country in order to determine suitable placement of the system should the need arise.
An Iron Dome battery was stationed outside Eilat last month, along Israel’s southern border.
The Iron Dome is a mobile air defense system, capable of intercepting short-range rockets and artillery shells. It successfully destroyed most of the Kassam rockets fired at Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip during a flare-up earlier this year.
The Times of Israel
Something really strange appears to be happening. All over the globe, governments and big banks are acting as if they are anticipating an imminent financial collapse. Unfortunately, we are not privy to the quiet conversations that are taking place in corporate boardrooms and in the halls of power in places such as Washington D.C. and London, so all we can do is try to make sense of all the clues that are all around us. Of course it is completely possible to misinterpret these clues, but sticking our heads in the sand is not going to do any good either. Last week, it was revealed that the U.S. government has been secretly directing five of the biggest banks in America "to develop plans for staving off collapse" for the last two years. By itself, that wouldn't be that big of a deal. But when you add that piece to the dozens of other clues of imminent financial collapse, a very troubling picture begins to emerge. Over the past 12 months, hundreds of banking executives have been resigning, corporate insiders have been selling off enormous amounts of stock, and I have been personally told that a significant number of Wall Street bankers have been shopping for "prepper properties" in rural communities this summer. Meanwhile, there have been reports that the U.S. government has been stockpiling food and ammunition, and Barack Obama has been signing a whole bunch of executive orders that would potentially be implemented in the event of a major meltdown of society. So what does all of this mean? It could mean something or it could mean nothing. What we do know is that a financial collapse is coming at some point. Over the past 40 years, the total amount of all debt in the United States has grown from about 2 trillion dollars to nearly 55 trillion dollars. That is a recipe for financial armageddon, and it is inevitable that this gigantic bubble of debt is going to burst at some point.
In normal times, the U.S. government does not tell major banks to "develop plans for staving off collapse".
But according to a recent Reuters article, that is apparently exactly what has been happening....
U.S. regulators directed five of the country's biggest banks, including Bank of America Corp and Goldman Sachs Group Inc, to develop plans for staving off collapse if they faced serious problems, emphasizing that the banks could not count on government help.The two-year-old program, which has been largely secret until now, is in addition to the "living wills" the banks crafted to help regulators dismantle them if they actually do fail. It shows how hard regulators are working to ensure that banks have plans for worst-case scenarios and can act rationally in times of distress.
Does it seem odd to anyone else that only five really big banks got such a warning?
And why keep it secret from the American public?
Does the federal government actually expect such a collapse to happen?
If federal officials do expect a financial collapse to occur, they would not be the only ones. An increasing number of very respected economists are speaking about the coming financial collapse as if there is a certain inevitability about it.
For example, check out the following quote from a recent Money Morning article....
Richard Duncan, formerly of the World Bank and chief economist at Blackhorse Asset Mgmt., says America's $16 trillion federal debt has escalated into a "death spiral," as he told CNBC.And it could result in a depression so severe that he doesn't "think our civilization could survive it."
A former World Bank executive is warning that our civilization might not survive what is coming?
That is pretty chilling.
Economist Nouriel Roubini says that he believes that the coming crisis will be even worse than 2008....
"Worse because like 2008 you will have an economic and financial crisis but unlike 2008, you are running out of policy bullets. In 2008, you could cut rates; do QE1, QE2; you could do fiscal stimulus; you could backstop/ringfence/guarantee banks and everybody else. Today, more QEs are becoming less and less effective because the problems are of solvency not liquidity. Fiscal deficits are already so large and you cannot bail out the banks because 1) there is a political opposition to it; and 2) governments are near-insolvent - they cannot bailout themselves let alone their banks. The problem is that we are running out of policy rabbits to pull out of the hat!"
Across the pond, many European officials are echoing similar sentiments.
What Nigel Farage told King World News the other day is very ominous....
Today MEP (Member European Parliament) Nigel Farage spoke with King World News about what he described as the possibility of, “a really dramatic banking collapse.” Farage also warned that central planners want to enslave and imprison people inside of a ‘New Order,’ and he described the situation as “horrifying.”
The situation in Europe continues to get worse and worse. The authorities in Europe have come out with "solution" after "solution", and yet unemployment continues to skyrocket and economic conditions in the EU have deteriorated very steadily over the past 12 months.
If all of that was not bad enough, there are an increasing number of indications that Germany is actually considering leaving the euro.
Needless to say, that would be a complete and total disaster for the rest of the eurozone.
Of course there are any number of ways that the financial crisis in Europe could potentially play out.
But all of the realistic scenarios would be very bad for the global economy.
Meanwhile, our resources are dwindling, war in the Middle East could erupt at any moment and our planet is becoming increasingly unstable. The following is from a recent article by Paul B. Farrell on Marketwatch.com....
Fasten your seat belts, soon we’ll all be shocked out of denial. Some unpredictable black swan. A global wake-up call will trigger the Pentagon’s prediction in Fortune a decade ago at the launch of the Iraq War: “By 2020 ... an ancient pattern of desperate, all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies is emerging ... warfare defining human life.”
It is almost as if a "perfect storm" is brewing.
Of course the historic drought that is ravaging food production in the United States this summer is not helping matters either. Another summer or two like this one and we could be looking at a return of Dust Bowl conditions.
Anyone that is watching what is going on in the world and is not concerned at all about what is happening is simply being delusional.
Recently, a "team of scientists, economists, and geopolitical analysts" examined the current state of the global economic system and the conclusions they reached were absolutely staggering....
One member of this team, Chris Martenson, a pathologist and former VP of a Fortune 300 company, explains their findings:"We found an identical pattern in our debt, total credit market, and money supply that guarantees they're going to fail. This pattern is nearly the same as in any pyramid scheme, one that escalates exponentially fast before it collapses. Governments around the globe are chiefly responsible."And what's really disturbing about these findings is that the pattern isn't limited to our economy. We found the same catastrophic pattern in our energy, food, and water systems as well."According to Martenson: "These systems could all implode at the same time. Food, water, energy, money. Everything."
Hmmmm - it sounds like they have been reading The Economic Collapse Blog.
The truth is that a massive worldwide financial collapse is coming.
It is inevitable, and it is going to be extremely painful.
So what do you think about all of this? Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below....
Luc Coene told Belgian newspapers De Tijd and L’Echo that buying the bonds of these countries would only serve to weaken the ECB and do nothing to resolve underlying issues of competitiveness.
“It makes no sense for the ECB to start financing those countries,” said Mr Coene, “It would only lead to the ECB taking on the whole public debt of Spain and Italy onto its balance sheet," he said.
"That would in turn weaken the ECB and do nothing to resolve the underlying problems."
Mr Coene also said that the central bank's efforts to calm markets last summer with around €135bn of additional debt purchases on the secondary market via its Securities Markets programme took away the pressure on politicians to act.
“We haven’t forgotten what happened in August of last year: We bought Italian bonds and right after that the Italian government reneged on its pledges," he said.
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, August 13, 2012
Fears that federal authorities are preparing for mass civil unrest have increased after it was revealed that the Department of Homeland Security is planning to buy a further 750 million rounds of ammo in addition to the 450 million rounds of hollow point bullets already purchased earlier this year.
A solicitation originally issued by the DHS in April but updated on Friday calls on suppliers to provide a plethora of different types of ammunition, including 357 mag rounds that are able to penetrate walls.
The PDF file for the solicitation lists the different units of ammo required by the thousand, with the total ammo purchase exceeding 750 million rounds.
“The Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), Glynco, Georgia anticipates awarding multiple award indefinite delivery and indefinite quantity (IDIQ) firm fixed price (FFP) contracts for commercial leaded training ammunition (CLTA) of various calibers for law enforcement officer firearms training courses at the following FLETC facilities Glynco, GA, Artesia, NM, Cheltenham, MD and Charleston, SC and to other Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies. The Government guarantees a minimum of 1,000 rounds per year on each resultant contract. Contracts will be for a base year and four (4) 12 month option periods,” states the synopsis.
Potential suppliers are required to respond to the solicitation before August 20.
The purchase comes in addition to an order for 450 million rounds of .40-caliber hollow point bullets which was fulfilled by Alliant Techsystems Inc. back in March, news greeted by some as an indication that the DHS was arming itself in preparation to go to war with the American people.
Although the ammo purchases are ostensibly earmarked for training purposes, the DHS has been reticent to clarify why such an unusually large amount of rounds are necessary and why such powerful bullets are required merely for training drills.
This has led to speculation that the purchases are connected to confirmed preparations for civil unrest in the United States.
The DHS recently put out an order for riot gear in preparation for the upcoming DNC, RNC and presidential inauguration. The U.S. Army is also busy buying similar equipment.
The DHS also recently purchased a number of bullet-proof checkpoint booths that include ‘stop and go’ lights.
A recently leaked US Army Military Police training manual for “Civil Disturbance Operations” outlines how military assets are to be used domestically to quell riots, confiscate firearms and even kill Americans on U.S. soil during mass civil unrest.
On page 20 of the manual, rules regarding the use of “deadly force” in confronting “dissidents” are made disturbingly clear with the directive that a, “Warning shot will not be fired.”
The manual includes lists of weapons to be used against “rioters” or “demonstrators,” including “antiriot grenades.” It also advises troops to carry their guns in the “safe port arms” stance, a psychological tactic aimed at “making a show of force before rioters.” Non-lethal weapons and water cannons are also included.
The increasing likelihood of a full blown financial collapse in the coming months has also spurred federal agencies and the U.S. Army to hone their preparations for domestic disorder on a scale greater than riots witnessed in Europe over the past two years.
A 2008 report produced by the U.S. Army War College’s Strategic Institute warned that the United States may experience massive civil unrest in the wake of a series of crises which it termed “strategic shock.”
“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” stated the report, authored by [Ret.] Lt. Col. Nathan Freir, adding that the military may be needed to quell “purposeful domestic resistance”.
Last year, Department of Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano directed ICE to prepare for a mass influx of immigrants into the United States, calling for the plan to deal with the “shelter” and “processing” of large numbers of people.
Watch a video analysis by Madison Ruppert below.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.
At its present rate of enrichment, Iran will have 250 kilograms of 20-percent grade uranium, exactly enough to build its first nuclear bomb, in roughly six weeks, and two-to- four bombs by early 2013, DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report. Hence the leak by an unnamed Israeli security source Sunday, Aug. 12, disclosing Iran’s progress in developing the detonator and fuses for a nuclear warhead which can be fitted onto Shehab-3 ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel.
Since 20 percent refined uranium is a short jump to weapons grade fuel, Iran will have the capability and materials for building an operational nuclear bomb by approximately October 1.
This knowledge is not news to US President Barack Obama, Saudi King Abdullah, Syrian ruler Bashar Assad, or Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - and certainly not to Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Netanyahu’s comment at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting Sunday: “All threats against the home front are dwarfed by one – Iran must not be allowed to have nuclear arms!” – was prompted by that deadline.
Ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert did not have that information when he “assured” Tel Aviv students Sunday, “Iran’s nuclear program has not reached the threshold necessitating Israeli action now or in the near future.” He further claimed that Israel’s “defense leaders” don’t subscribe to the view that “action now is unavoidable.” Olmert, who stepped down under a cloud of suspected corruption in 2009, has not since then had access to regular intelligence briefings on Iran. So either he spoke out of ignorance or willfully joined an opposition chorus of voices speaking out against Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
The fact is that when Olmert approved the Israeli strike for destroying a nuclear reactor under construction by Iran and North Korea in northern Syria in September 2007, Iran was years away from accumulating enough enriched uranium and the capability to build nuclear warheads.
Both are now within Tehran’s grasp in weeks.
Leading an opposition campaign to bring down the incumbent government is legitimate. Discrediting belated Israeli action to pre-empt a nuclear Iran as fodder for that campaign is not. If what Olmert and Barack (the same defense minister as today) did in 2007 was necessary then, action now for delaying Iran’s imminent “breakout” to a bomb is many times more necessary and far more urgent.
However Netanyahu and Barak have put themselves in a straitjacket by two lapses:
1. By foot-dragging on their decision for two years, they have led their opponents at home and in Washington – and Khamenei’s office too – to believe that, by turning on the heat, they can hold Israel back from military action against Iran’s nuclear program until it is too late. The time has been used not just for Iranian nuclear progress, but to enlist ex-politicians and retired generals at home and add them to the voices, especially in the White House, which believe Israel can learn to live with a nuclear-armed Iran.
2. Netanyahu and Barak have behaved as though a decision on Iran is in their exclusive province, insulated from the turmoil and change swirling through Israel’s Arab neighbors in the past two years.
But the Middle East has a way of catching up with and rushing past slow-moving politicians:
Sunday, at 10:00 a.m. Netanyahu warned his ministers that no threat was worse than a nuclear Iran. At 17:55 p.m., Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi dropped a bombshell in Cairo. In one fell swoop, he smashed the Egyptian military clique ruling the country for decades, sacked the Supreme Military Council running Egypt since March 2011 and cut the generals off from their business empire by appropriating the defense ministry and military industry.
That fateful eight hours-less-five-minutes have forced Israel’s leaders to take a second look at their plans for Iran.
Morsi’s lightning decisions were the finishing touches that proved the Islamist Bedouin terror attacks in Sinai of Aug. 5 fitted neatly into a secret master plan hatched by Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood to seize full control of rule in Cairo – a plan DEBKAfile first revealed exclusively last Friday, Aug. 10.
Netanyahu now faces one of the hardest dilemmas of his political career - whether to go forward with the Iran operation, which calls for mustering all Israel’s military and defense capabilities – especially for the repercussions, after being suddenly confronted with unforeseen security challenges on its southwestern border, for thirty years a frontier of peace.
The exceptional talents of Netanyahu and Barak to put off strategic decisions until they are overtaken by events has landed Israel in an especially perilous plight, surrounded now by a soon-to-be nuclear-armed Iran from the east; threatened Syrian chemical warfare from the north and the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of Egypt to its south.
Nigel Farage (Member European Parliament) spoke with King World News about what he described as the possibility of, “a really dramatic banking collapse.”
At some point in time we are going to get (massive) inflation. If you devalue money, if you increase the money supply, that is what happens (massive inflation). We know history has told us this again and again.
It isn’t the euro that scares me anymore. What scares me is the sheer level of indebtedness, and the fact that so many of our banks in the Western world are just in such serious trouble that we could face a situation where even if governments wanted to bail them out, the problem may become bigger than them.
But the sinister aspect of it is that the intention of men like (Italian Prime Minister) Mario Monti, and my old friend Mr. van Rompuy, is they actually want to enslave and imprison the peoples of these countries inside their ‘New European Order.’
And it’s horrifying because ultimately what it means is that people are going to reject and rebel against this. They will rebel against it with violence, and they will rebel against it with political extremism.
World King News
A Russian joint naval flotilla has arrived in the Mediterranean after missing a planned visit to a Russian Black Sea port, a defense ministry source said on Monday.
The group of Russian warships and support ships from Russia’s Northern, Baltic and Black Sea fleets was to have made a call in the port of Novorossiisk on Sunday.
“At present, vessels from the group have sailed past the Italian coast and are now headed westward,” the source said without explaining why the route had been changed.
The ships are currently performing combat training exercises in the central Mediterranean Sea, the source added.
The task force comprises three large amphibious assault ships, two Neustrashimy class frigates, an Udaloy class destroyer and two support ships from Russia’s Northern, Baltic and Black Sea Fleets.
Late last week, the joint naval task force conducted two-day tactical exercises with live-firing in the Mediterranean.
BEIJING, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook northwest China's Xinjiang-Uighur region Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The quake, which was measured by China's earthquake networks center at magnitude 6.2, struck at 6:47 p.m. local time.
The epicenter, at a depth of 19 miles, was in Keriya County, 174 miles east-southeast of Hotan in China and 298 miles east-northeast of Leh in neighboring India, the USGS said.
China's quake center said the quake was followed by at least two aftershocks, measuring 4.8 and 3.0 on the Richter scale, but no casualties were reported, the official Xinhua news agency said.
The quakes occurred in unpopulated areas 16,400 feet above sea level, an official with the local earthquake bureau said.
Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/08/12/63-magnitude-quake-reported-in-China/UPI-77111344821472/#ixzz23QpxUm3f
Russia’s air force will get 1,600 new warplanes and choppers by 2020, announced President Vladimir Putin. The program will cost Moscow some US $723 billion.
“We are talking primarily about providing our forces with state-of-the-art modern technology,” Putin said at an air show in the Moscow Region ahead of the 100th anniversary of the country's air force. “Over 600 new warplanes and 1,000 helicopters will come into service by 2020 – not mentioning the upgrade to already existing systems.”
Putin thanked industry workers and officers for helping the aviation “endure the difficult times of the 1990’s and early 2000’s.” He also added that the role of a strengthened air force in Russia’s armed forces will be increasing.
The renovation will primarily cover the long-range strategic aviation, tactical aviation, army air force, combined with the introduction of high-precision armament, electronic warfare defense systems, and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft systems.
Speaking at the air show, Putin pointed out that much of this planned work has already begun.
The Russian military faced tremendous spending cuts in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. During his presidential campaign, Putin defined the strengthening of the country’s military as one of his primary goals.
Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has sacked the entire leadership of the country's defense establishment.
Among the officials and officers firedare Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, and Chief of Staff Sami Anan.
Morsi appointed Abdul-Fatah al-Sessi as Defense Minister and Lieutenant-General Sidki Sayed Ahmed as ArmyChief of Staff. A judge named Mahmoud Mekki was appointed vice president. Morsi also ordered the retirement of the commanders of the navy, air defense and air force. The retired navy commander, Lieutenant-General Mohan Mameesh, was named as chairman of the Suez Canal.
Morsi also cancelled all constitutional changes that gave the military enlarged powers.
Last week, Morsi fired the Head of General Intelligence, General Morad Mu'afi, following the Sinai terror attack in which 16 policemen were killed. Egyptian news sources also said that Morsi had sacked the governor of Sinai.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Morsi appears to be wasting no time in consolidating his hold over power at the expense of the military, which many hoped would be a moderating power over him.
It remains to be seen how the military and the Egyptian street react to Morsi's moves. Al Jazeera said the president's spokesperson made the surprising announcement on state television. "All of this has happened very fast, and it was unexpected," said the station's correspondent.
Channel 2's Middle East analyst Ehud Yaari said that the move places the Muslim Brotherhood solidly at the helm of power in Egypt. He added that it is not clear whether Morsi will instruct the military forces that he ordered into Sinai to return to mainland Egypt after they complete their anti-terrorist action – or whether he will instruct them to remain in Sinai, thus forcing Israel to decide how to respond.
The peace treaty between Israel and Egypt forbids military deployment in Sinai. Israel gave its approval for a temporary deployment, however, in order to crack down on the terrorist infrastructure there.
Israel National News
TEHRAN, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- The toll from the two earthquakes that struck Iran has risen to 306 dead and 3,037 injured, Iranian Health Minister Marziyeh Vahid Dastjerdi said Monday.
Dastjerdi told Iranian lawmakers Monday 116 aftershocks have been registered in the country's East Azerbaijan province since 6.4- and 6.3-magnitude earthquakes rumbled Saturday, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported.
Abolhassan Faqih, an official with Iran's Red Crescent Society, said the two quakes "have damaged 230 villages in Varzaqan, Haris and Ahar regions from 70 [percent] to 100 percent."
The first phase of rescue operations -- the removal of the injured and dead from the rubble -- ended Sunday, Faqih said. The next phase would involve getting medical care, shelter and aid to survivors.
Survivors of Saturday's quakes have been advised to sleep outside in anticipation of more tremors, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Bulldozers have begun clearing the rubble left from several destroyed villages.
"Official rescues halted or seem to have stopped, as there is no hope of any alive to be unearthed, and the number of Red Crescent rescue team is not big enough and few of them are trained enough," one resident of the town of Varzaqan told the Times.
Iran is situated along several major faults in the earth's crust, and is prone to earthquakes.
"Due to the traditional architecture of the villages, using clay bricks mixed with straw, rural areas have sustained most of the damage," said Reza Sedighi, Ahar's governor and head of the disaster relief center.
Residents in several regions report that emergency aid brought to the affected areas is insufficient, and survivors need of water, food, blankets and tents, the Times said.
Two days of mourning have been declared.
Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/08/13/Iran-earthquake-kills-306-injures-3037/UPI-62241344856550/#ixzz23QpCr24Q
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have “almost finally” decided on an Israeli strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities this fall, and a final decision will be taken “soon,” Israel’s main TV news broadcast reported on Friday evening.
Channel 2 News, the country’s leading news program, devoted much of its Friday night broadcast to the issue, detailing the pros and cons that, it said, have taken Netanyahu and Barak to the brink of approving an Israeli military attack despite opposition from the Obama administration and from many Israeli security chiefs.
Critically, the station’s diplomatic correspondent Udi Segal said, Israel does not believe that the US will take military action as Iran closes in on the bomb.
The US, the TV report said, has not provided Israel with details of an attack plan. President Obama has not promised to attack Iran if all else fails. Conditions cited by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for an American attack do not calm Israeli concerns. And Obama has a record of seeking UN and Arab League approval before action. All these factors, in Jerusalem’s mind, underline the growing conviction of Netanyahu and Barak that Israel will have to tackle Iran alone, the TV report said.
Israel’s leaders have also noted that president George W. Bush vowed repeatedly that North Korea would not be allowed to attain a nuclear weapons capability — a vow that proved empty.
Obama does not want to intervene militarily before the presidential elections in November, and it is doubtful that he would act afterwards, runs the Israeli assessment, the TV report said. Obama may believe that the US can live with a nuclear Iran, but Israel cannot, the report quoted those in “Netanyahu’s circle” as saying.
As for presidential challenger Mitt Romney, he takes a more forceful position, but would probably not have the domestic support necessary to act in the first year of his presidency, if elected, and after that it would be too late.
The US can live with Iran as a “breakout state” — on the edge of attaining a bomb, the report said the prime minister’s circle believes. But “for Israel, a breakout state is a nuclear state.”
Netanyahu, for his part, “is convinced that thwarting Iran amounts to thwarting a plan to destroy the Jewish people,” Channel 2′s Segal said. The prime minister considers Iran’s spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to be acting rationally in order to achieve “fanatical” goals.
Segal said that, when considering the imperative to attack, Netanyahu and Barak reason that “we may have reached the moment of truth” after which it would be too late to stop Iran, and that “the price of an attack is far lower than the price of inaction.” It will be “a matter of a few months” before it is too late, Segal said — before, that is, Iran would be immune from damage by an Israeli strike.
The TV report cited intelligence information suggesting that Iran “is much further ahead” than previously thought in its uranium enrichment and in other aspects of its nuclear weapons program.
Segal said Israel’s capacity to impact the Iranian program was dwindling, and the “window of opportunity” was closing. “Four years ago,” he said, an Israeli strike could have set back the Iranian program “by two to four years.” A year from now, an Israeli strike “would have a negligible impact.”
Netanyahu was reported to have said in private conversations that “if no one attacks, Iran will get the bomb” — underlining that he does not believe sanctions will thwart Tehran.
The extensive TV report detailed what it said was the Israeli leadership duo’s thinking on the military, diplomatic and economic consequences of an Israeli strike, and the consequences of Iran getting the bomb.
Militarily, an Israeli strike would prompt missile attacks on Israel, attacks by Hamas and Hezbollah from the south and the north, and upheaval on the Arab street, in the leadership’s assessment. The assessment is that Syria’s President Bashar Assad would not get involved, since this would finish him off, the report said. But if Iran got the bomb, the missile threat would be escalated, Hamas and Hezbollah further empowered, and there would be a danger of any crisis escalating into a nuclear crisis.
Diplomatically, an Israeli strike would prompt a confrontation with the US, global protests, international isolation for Israel, delegitimization, and a situation in which Israel was seen as the aggressor. But if Iran got the bomb, Israel would be defeated and humiliated diplomatically, and would become a liability to the US, the TV report said Israel’s two key leaders believe.
Economically, an Israeli strike would deepen the economic slowdown and lead to a suspension of foreign investment. An Iranian bomb would end foreign investment in Israel, however, and prompt an exodus of Israel’s best brains.
Netanyahu and Barak were said to believe that an Israeli military strike, though opposed by Washington, would not shatter ties with the US. Survey figures that have impacted their thinking suggest significant US support for an American and for an Israeli strike on Iran, the TV report said.
Israel would not be planning to draw the US into a war with Iran by striking at Iran’s nuclear facilities, the report said. And Israel does not believer an attack would prompt regional war.
The TV report made much of a recent speech by Netanyahu, at the scene of Sunday’s terror attack thwarted by Israel at the Gaza-Egypt-Israel border. Visiting the area on Monday, Netanyahu said Israel “must and can” only rely on itself to safeguard its security.
“It becomes clear time after time that when it comes to the safety of Israeli citizens, Israel must and can rely only on itself. No one can fulfill this role except the IDF and different Israel security forces of Israel, and we will continue to conduct ourselves in this way,” Netanyahu said.
The Times of Israel
Turkey has sent the Syrian rebels fighting in Aleppo their first shipment of shoulder-carried, anti-air FIM-92 Stingers, DEBKAfile’s military sources report. More are on the way to insurgent groups battling government forces around Damascus and other parts of Syria.
In Istanbul, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks Saturday, Aug. 11, with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian opposition figures, after which she announced US and Turkish intelligence services and military would set up a joint working team to plan for “many contingencies including the very horrible scenario of the use of chemical weapons.”
DEBKAfile’s US, Turkish and Israeli intelligence sources are taking into account that Bashar Assad will view the supply of Stingers to the rebels as a game changer that threatens to tip the balance of the war against him and respond with chemical warfare against the rebels, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.
In consideration of this menace, France last week flew a medical field hospital specializing in treating chemical poisoning from its medical base at Istres to northern Jordan and set it up close to the Syrian border.
Our sources also disclose that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's decision to put Stingers in Syrian rebel hands came after Assad’s forces shot down a Turkish Air Force F-4 with Russian-made Pantsyr-1 air defense missiles over Latakia on June 22.
He was also paying Bashar Assad back for allowing Turkish Kurdish rebel PKK forces to transfer 2,500 fighters to the Syrian-Turkish border.
Turkey manufactures the Stingers under American license and is obliged by contract to obtain US permission for their transfer to a third party. It was granted by Washington on the quiet. This made it possible for Ankara to supply the rebel Syrian Free Army with the weapon needed to shoot down government assault helicopters, while the Obama administration continued to assert that America was providing the revolt with nothing more than “nonlethal assistance.”
By the same token, British Foreign Secretary William Hague was able to claim Friday, Aug. 10, that his government had granted Syrian rebels $8 million of “non-military support.”
Our military sources report that Washington and Ankara briefed Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on the Stingers delivery after the oil states offered to fund them and also pay for the courses run by American, British and Turkish instructors for training the rebels in their use.
Washington is taking care to keep control over the Stingers’ supplies and make sure they reach the right hands and are used in the right measure.
While the Obama administration wants to see the back of Bashar Assad and his clique, it has no wish to see rebel tactics powerful enough to break the back of the Syrian army and air force, because that would plunge the country into unbridled civil strife and chaos for years to come. The US wants the army preserved as a cohesive operational entity, capable of safeguarding an alternative administration when it takes Assad’s place in Damascus or possibly Aleppo, Syria’s largest city and its commercial hub.
To defeat Assad’s military offensive, DEBKAfile’s military sources estimate the rebels will need 300-400 Stingers. They have received the first 20-30 for tipping the scales of battle in Aleppo. The next shipment will most likely help them assert control over a “corridor” from Aleppo to the Turkish border as a potential future safe haven, another topic highlighted in Clinton’s talks in Istanbul.
Asked about this after those talks, she said it was a possible option.
The missiles are therefore being handed out in careful doses. At the same time, our military sources report that the rebels using the Stingers in Aleppo against Syrian gunships and fighter jets since Tuesday, Aug. 7, have not managed to hit anything. There may be two possible reasons for their consistent misses:
1. Inexperience: They may need more instruction and practice;
2. Assad’s air force may have been equipped by Moscow with decoy devices developed by the Russian arms industry for muddling the American Stingers.
The Stinger is a heat-seeking missile, which sticks to its target in all conditions. The microprocessor in its warhead is designed to ignore decoys and hold it on course. It should take no more than a few days to determine whether the Russians have developed new countermeasures to defeat the Stinger and given them to the Damascus.
The Russians have a long score to settle with the Stinger. It was the weapon in the hands of American-backed Muslim forces in Afghanistan which more than any other forced the Red Army to quit the country in 1985 by knocking out the Russian troops’ air cover.