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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Doctrine of Imminence - Chuck MIssler

Strait of Hormuz – War and rumors of war…

Commentary & Analysis


L. A. Marzulli

Massed US, UK, French navies for drill simulating breach of blocked Hormuz

It was over a year ago I posted a commentary on this BLOG, stating the one offensive military option Iran had at its disposal was to close the Strait of Hormuz. Now, we see the saber-rattling and the positioning of aircraft carriers and troops in yet another series of war-games in case the Iranians succeed in blockading Hormuz.

The article states the Saudi’s will participate as well as the United Arab Emirates. please note the map above and pay attention to Riyadh, which is in Saudi Arabia and also the Emirates, as both countries use the Arabian Sea and the Strait of Hormuz to ship their oil, so they have a vested interest in keeping Hormuz open at all costs. There is also the real fear of the rising Shia crescent in which Iran dominates. Saudi Arabia is mostly Sunni and the two sects have been at war with each other for centuries. The ongoing suicide bombers in Iraq attest to this “sectarian” violence. The Saudi’s fear Iran and thus are standing with the US for the covering that we will provide. They have the oil we have the war machine.

Added to this mix is the threat of an Israeli air strike on Iran to shut down their nuclear ambitions. Does anyone really want to let the Iranians accomplish their quest for “peaceful” nuclear power and hope that they won’t bomb Tel Aviv? As I posted yesterday, Iran poses a direct existential threat to Israel and I believe they would resort to nuking Israel if given a chance as that is their end game.

So here we are with the nations of the world conducting war-games, which in my opinion is another wars and rumor of wars scenario.

In closing todays post: Prophecy was given so those of us who actually take the time to read and study it would know the time of Messiah’s return. We are told that one of the signs would be the return of Israel to its homeland. (Ezekiel 37) We are then admonished to look for the signs which are give; wars and rumors of war, famines, pestilence, earthquake in diverse places and troublesome times. It’s up to each of us to decide if the time we are living in is a prelude to Messiah’s return. In my opinion, the signs that Yashua, told us to look for are all in place. (See In other news section!) These are the days where we feel the winds of war beginning to blow, in time we shall see how it all plays out.

Be still and Know that I Am God. Behold the days are coming when I will show my strength on the mountains of Israel.

Massed US, UK, French navies for drill simulating breach of blocked Hormuz

The third US aircraft carrier, USS Stennis, is moving into place off the Iranian Gulf coast to lead a 12-day naval exercise of 25 nations on Sept 16-27, that will include a large-scale minesweeping drill simulating the breaching of the Strait of Hormuz against Iranian efforts to block oil passage through the strategic waterway. President Barack Obama may see Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the last day of the exercise. He hopes to present him with proof of US readiness for military action against Iran and demonstrate that an Israeli strike is superfluous.
The Stennis will join two other aircraft carriers, the USS Enterprise and USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, and their strike groups, which are already on operational duty off the coast of Iran, ready for the drill which kicks off in the strategic Strait of Hormuz on Sept. 16.

US officials say the Stennis will replace the Enterprise, but according to DEBKAfile’s military and Washington sources all three carriers will remain in place opposite Iran in the Gulf region in the coming months. British and French warships are completing their transfer to new stations off Iran for the big exercise in which the Saudi and United Arab Emirates navies will also take part.
In addition to practicing tactics for keeping the Strait of Hormuz open, the exercise will simulate operations for destroying Iranian naval, air and missile bases in the Persian Gulf area.

This war game has three additional objectives, reported here by DEBKAfile’s military sources:

1. To forestall an Israeli offensive against Iran, President Barack Obama wants to convince its leaders as well as Gulf rulers that the US-Western military option for disrupting Iran’s race to a nuclear bomb is deadly serious and ready to be exercised when the need arises – although determining “when the need arises” is the nub of the US-Israel dispute.
The exercise winds up Sept. 27, the day penciled in by the White House for Netanyahu to arrive for talks with President Obama and enable him to show his visitor that there is no need for Israel to act.
2. The exercise is intended to convey the same message to Iran, that the US military option is real and genuine and will be exercised unless it halts its nuclear weapons program. The awesome might the US-led coalition is capable of wielding against the Islamic Republic in a prospective war will be brought home to Iran’s military strategists, its Revolutionary Guards, Navy, and Air Force commanders, across their television screens, radar and spy satellites.
3. The drill will assemble massive strength on the spot in anticipation of an Israeli decision after all to cut down the Iranian nuclear menace on its own..

The Netanyahu government found further grounds for going it alone in certain key amendments inimical to Israel introduced in the new Democratic Party’s platform on the Middle East. It is due for endorsement by the convention in Charlotte, Ca. Wednesday, ahead of Obama’s confirmation as the party’s presidential nominee. Those amendments are hardly designed to revive Israel's trust in the president's Middle East policies.
The 2008 platform confirmed a “commitment which requires us to ensure that Israel retains a qualitative edge in the Middle East for its national security and its right to self-defense.” The 2012 platform is amended to “[t]he administration has also worked to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region,” with no commitment to doing so in the future.
The Democratic platform has also dropped the Democrats’ affirmation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, leaving its status open for a negotiated peace with the Palestinians.

Also removed is the statement that Palestinian “refugees” should be settled in a future Palestinian state, not in Israel.” The Obama White House has given itself a free hand to follow the Palestinian position on the refugee issue too like on Jerusalem (which he pointedly avoided visiting during his presidency.)
The new platform omits language characterizing Hamas as a terrorist group
The Israeli cabinet held a wide-ranging debate Tuesday, Sept. 4, on Iran after hearing briefings from the Military Intelligence, the Mossad, the Shin Bet and the Foreign Ministry’s Research Department on current Middle East crises, topped by Iran. No bulletins were issued from the closed, classified proceedings.
Some of the participants described the information put before them as “worrying though not frightening.” They implied that the IDF’s level of preparations and alert has not been reduced, sharply refuting the misinformation opponents of direct Israeli action against Iran have circulated widely and planted in media headlines.

DEBKA file

7.6 magnitude quake strikes off the coast of Costa Rica

ALERT! Now 16+ Trillion in debt, America is a FAILED STATE.

Erdogan: Israel strike on Iran 'apocalypse'

An Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear installations would cause an "apocalypse," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

During the interview in Istanbul, Erdogan said there was a "very null probability" that Israel will launch a go-it-alone strike in Iran, which he claimed could cause an apocalypse in the entire region.

"But I'm sure that I don't want to see anything like that happening in the region because in this day and age, that region needs peace and prosperity and stability," the Turkish leader told Amanpour.

Erdogan criticized the US over its "lacking of initiative" on Syria. "Maybe it's because of the elections - maybe it's because of the pre-election situation in the States. (That) might be the root cause of the lacking of initiative. Nobody has spoken to us about their reasons, and they are not obliged to state anything," he said through a translator. "We are very thankful and pleased they have stated that they're against this (Assad) regime."

Clinton (L) with Erdogan (Photo: AFP)

Asked by CNN whether he was surprised the US is not offering anything but "nonlethal support" to the opposition, Erdogan said "right now, there are certain things being expected from the United States. The United States had not yet catered to those expectations."

On Wednesday Erdogan said that President Bashar Assad had created a "terrorist state" in Syria and voiced further frustration at the lack of international consensus over the chaos there.

"The massacres in Syria that gain strength from the international community's indifference are continuing to increase," he told a meeting of his ruling AK Party. "The regime in Syria has now become a terrorist state."

Ankara initially cultivated good relations with Assad's administration, but Erdogan has become one of Assad's harshest critics since the uprising against him began 17 months ago.

Turkey, struggling to cope with an influx of around 80,000 Syrian refugees, has repeatedly pushed for a foreign-protected safe zone inside Syria, but the proposal has gained little international support.

Turkey has accused Assad of supplying arms to Kurdish PKK insurgents who have fought government troops in southeast Turkey for almost three decades, and has raised the possibility of military intervention in Syria if the PKK becomes a threat there. Assad has denied that Syria allowed PKK militants to operate on Syrian territory close to the Turkish frontier.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.


U.S. bases will be targeted by Hezbollah if Israel hits Iran

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A top official of Hezbollah says Iran could target U.S. military bases in the region if Israel attacked the country's nuclear facilities.

Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's secretary-general, added his organization has sufficient rockets to hit Israeli factories and other sites, The (Beirut) Daily Star reported.

Nasrallah said Iran "would not be forgiving" if Israel were to attack Iran.

He said the United States would be held responsible for any Israeli attack.

Israeli leaders have raised the possibility of a unilateral strike against Iran, and the United States says it will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons capability.

Nasrallah said while Hezbollah doesn't have chemical weapons and wouldn't use them if they did, the organization has a plentiful supply of rockets.

"We don't have a mighty power but we have a power that is effective. The available power today can represent a powerful deterrent force," he said, adding, "The rockets of the Islamic resistance can strike at any target in occupied Palestine [Israel] that you can think of."

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2012/09/04/US-bases-targeted-if-Israel-hits-Iran/UPI-29501346809800/#ixzz25baQw1lO

Russia Prepared for Possible Economic Meltdown

The Russian economy is prepared for a possible economic meltdown as a result of the slowing of global growth and the escalating eurozone debt crisis, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.

At a meeting with regional ombudsmen, Putin said the situation was complex both in the European and global economies.

“In the United States, the engine of the world economy, the situation looks better but macroeconomic indices that are vital for the economy’s sustainability are no better than in Europe. Their debt state [in the United States] is 104 percent [of U.S. GDP],” he said.

Aside from this, the U.S. financial system is burdened with mortgage loans issued against state guarantees, he said.

“All these factors cause certain alarm. Now news is coming that China’s economic development rates have slightly slowed and declined and China is one of the world’s largest consumers. These are, no doubt, alarming signals. Let us hope that these concerns do not transform into a full-blown crisis,” Putin said. “Let us hope for the better but prepare for the worse,” Putin added.

In 2011, the Russian government started to prepare anti-crisis measures to respond to unfavorable economic developments, he said.

“We also agreed to set aside quite a substantial sum for the start of next year in the 2013 budget as the government’s operational reserve, so that we can respond effectively and energetically to crisis factors, if they emerge,” Putin said, adding the Russian economy was currently demonstrating healthy parameters.

The Finance Ministry has said Russia is drafting several crisis budget scenarios to cater for low oil prices.

"We are currently checking the resilience of the federal budget, and holding stress tests to study its exposure to sharp changes in external economic conditions. We are calculating revenues to estimate their levels at an oil price of $80 per barrel or even $60 per barrel,” Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Lavrov said earlier this year.

RIA Novosti

Iran says it treats Israeli military threats as American

 Who looks coward now.....

(Reuters) - Iran makes no distinction between U.S. and Israeli interests and will retaliate against both countries if attacked, an Iranian military commander said on Wednesday.

The comments came after the White House denied an Israeli news report that it was negotiating with Tehran to keep out of a future Israel-Iran war and as U.S. President Barack Obama fends off accusations from his election rival that he is too soft on Tehran.

"The Zionist regime separated from America has no meaning, and we must not recognize Israel as separate from America," Ali Fadavi, naval commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying by the Fars news agency.

"On this basis, today only the Americans have taken a threatening stance towards the Islamic Republic," Fadavi said. "If the Americans commit the smallest folly they will not leave the region safely."

Iran - which has missiles that could reach Israel and U.S. targets in the region - has conducted military exercises and unveiled upgraded weapons in recent months, aiming to show it can defend itself against any strike against its nuclear sites.

Israel - thought to be the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons - says the prospect of a nuclear armed Iran would pose a threat to its existence. Tehran denies it is developing weapons and says its nuclear program is peaceful.

With the approach of U.S. elections in November, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a tougher stance against Iran - implicitly knocking Obama's emphasis on diplomatic and sanctions pressure to halt Iranian nuclear work.

While Israel would expect U.S. backing if it decided to strike Iran, the top U.S. general has suggested Washington would not be drawn into a conflict.

"I don't want to be complicit if they choose to do it," Britain's Guardian newspaper quoted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey as saying.

Netanyahu abruptly ended a meeting of Israel's security cabinet on Wednesday, saying someone in the forum had leaked details of its discussions on Iran.

Any decision to go to war against Iran would, by Israeli law, require the approval of the security cabinet. One government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no such decisions had been on the table at Tuesday's meeting.


Flights on alert as volcano erupts in Guatemala

The Fuego volcano in central Guatemala is continuing to erupt, shooting lava and columns of ash into the air, and causing concerns of a possible ash cloud that could halt flights in the area.

The volcano overlooks the tourist city of Antigua and is one of central America's most active volcanoes.

Lava flows of around 1000m are being spewed out down the west and east sides of the volcano.

No evacuations have been ordered, but aviation authorities have been alerted about a potential ash cloud, and air traffic is expected to be hindered.


Iran will seize back assets from Great Satan: Iran Cmdr.

A senior Iranian commander has censured the blocking of Iran's assets by the US as “economic terrorism” and reaffirmed Tehran’s determination to seize its national wealth back by all means necessary.

“If it takes 50 years, we will take back the frozen assets in the US even if by force,” said Deputy Commander of Iran’s Armed Forces Chiefs of Staff Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri on Tuesday.

“The blocking of the assets of the Islamic Republic of Iran is economic terrorism and financial theft in which, unfortunately, the US is adroit like in other forms of terrorism and physical elimination of human beings,” he added.

The Iranian commander noted that the US must be gullible to imagine that it has looted Iran's assets permanently, adding, “They should be sure that we will seize back our assets from the Great Satan.”
“It will not take long before the tables are turned to Iran's interests and the evil regime of the US will have to give many times more than Iran's frozen assets back [to the Islamic Republic] and the American people should take note of this issue," Jazayeri pointed out.

The commander made the remarks in response to a recent legislation by the US House of Representatives which ratified additional embargoes against Iran on August 1.

The bill also denies visas to and freezes assets of individuals and companies that supply Iran with certain technologies and equipment.

The motion comes on top of previous US measures over the past 33 years aimed at continued freeze of Iran's assets in the United States.

For more than three decades, all US presidents have agreed every year to extend the order to freeze the Iranian assets.

Press Tv

Widely used fingerprint reader exposes Windows passwords in seconds

Fingerprint-reading software preinstalled on laptops sold by Dell, Sony, and at least 14 other PC makers contains a serious weakness that makes it trivial for hackers with physical control of the machine to quickly recover account passwords, security researchers said.

The UPEK Protector Suite, which was acquired by Melbourne, Florida-based Authentec two years ago, is marketed as a secure means for logging into Windows computers using an owner's unique fingerprint, rather than a user-memorized password. In reality, using the software makes users lesssecure than they otherwise would be. When activated, the software writes Windows account passwords to the registry and encrypts them with a key that is easy for hackers to retrieve. Once the key has been acquired, it takes seconds to decrypt the password.

"After analyzing a number of laptops equipped with UPEK fingerprint readers and running UPEK Protector Suite, we found that your Windows account passwords are stored in Windows registry almost in plain text, barely scrambled but not encrypted," said an advisory issued by Elcomsoft, a Russia-based developer of password-cracking software. "Having physical access to a laptop running UPEK Protector Suite, we could extract passwords to all user accounts with fingerprint-enabled logon."

When Protector Suite isn't activated, Windows doesn't store account passwords in the registry unless users have specifically configured an account to automatically log in. Security experts have long counseled people not to use automatic login.

That means computers that use the UPEK app are at a severe disadvantage compared with people who use a strong password to log in to a Windows account. The most obvious disadvantage is for those computers that have a Windows feature known as Encrypting File System enabled to prevent third parties from accessing sensitive files or folders. The key that unlocks that encrypted data is controlled by a Windows account password. Once the password is retrieved, the EFS-encrypted data stored on the computer can quickly be decrypted.

Further, having quick access to the account password could unlock other data that might otherwise be harder to obtain. The Windows Data Protection application programming interface, for example, is also closely tied to account passwords and controls access to credentials used by Outlook, Internet Explorer, and possibly other applications. Of course, any time a PC is physically controlled by a hacker, its passwords are vulnerable to cracking attacks that have grown significantly more powerful in recent years. But without the use of the UPEK Protector Suite, hackers have access only to one-way password hashes, which, depending on the complexity of the underlying passcode, can take years or centuries to recover using brute-force methods. Use of the fingerprint software guarantees the success of the cracking operation, and it can also significantly reduce the time it takes.

The easily cracked passwords are stored in the Windows registry even after the Protector Suite software has been deactivated, according to the Elcomsoft advisory. It is only removed when a user manually deletes it. The precise registry location of the encrypted password is not yet known. This article will be updated with instructions for locating and removing it if that information can be obtained.

Authentec no longer actively markets Protector Suite, but according to archived data from the UPEK website, the app ships—or used to ship—on laptops manufactured by 16 different companies. In addition to Dell and Acer, other PC makers include Amoi, Asus, Clevo, Compal, Dell, Gateway, IBM/Lenovo, Itronix, MPC, MSI, NEC, Sager, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba.

It's unclear if Authentec officials plan to recall the product or issue an advisory warning laptop owners of the vulnerability. Company representatives didn't respond to Ars Technica e-mails requesting comment for this article. The Elcomsoft findings follow research published last month that showed that password hints are easily extracted from Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines.

The discovery serves as a useful reality check for marketers who portray fingerprints and other user biometrics as a panacea for the difficulty of remembering and securing passwords. In fact, biometric readers are only as secure as the software that implements them. And even when devices are free of such implementation errors, biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans may be vulnerable to cloning, opening up the possibility of a new class of attacks on the alternate authentication methods.

According to Elcomsoft, Authentec officials have already said they're aware of the weakness. If true, it's disappointing that the company has yet to share that knowledge with the millions of people who likely have the software installed on their computers. A tutorial included with UPEK Protector Suite 2009 installed on a Sony Vaio touts the convenience of the application with the tag line: "Protect your digital privacy." It goes on to emphasize the benefits of using Protector Suite to encrypt files and folders. Now that a weakness has come to light that seriously undermines those assurances, Authentec should recall the software, or at the very least warn users that it is susceptible to serious attack.

ARs Technica