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Monday, November 12, 2012

Israel: 'We can expect the US to abandon us

Post-election, a self-deluded American electorate will get its comeuppance. Unfortunately, that includes the innocent, and among them are our allies who have been abandoned (like Egypt) and those who will be abandoned very quickly (like Israel).

There is one prophetic voice in Israel who understood this right away. Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post described Obama's "pro-jihadist foreign policy" accurately and fearlessly.

The American spirit has been overwhelmed by the European model of social democracy at home and appeasement and treachery abroad. But all the dependency champions who celebrated on Tuesday night cannot stop the coming storm.

The greatest advantage Obama had was ... that the full consequences of his statist economic policies and his pro-jihadist foreign policy have not yet been felt.

College students who got out the vote for Obama will only find themselves doomed to low-paying jobs and a life of indebtedness ...

The attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi exposed the failure of his strategy of appeasing jihadists but ... the Benghazi debacle was small enough for the media to hide from the electorate.

It will be harder for Obama to contain the damage ... when Iran gets nuclear weapons ... when American tourists in Egypt are massacred or held hostage ... It will be harder for Obama to hide ...when the Taliban return to power in Afghanistan and Al Qaida rebuilds its training camps ... when Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is controlled by a Taliban government that seeks a nuclear war with India. It will be harder ... to protect America with a gutted, demoralized military...

Conservatives need ... to write the books, produce the movies, found the television stations, and prepare the school curricula that will enable a future resurrection of the American dream.

Israel .... is the first target of the Obama-supported, ascendant forces of jihad.

.... We can expect Obama to turn on Israel immediately after the election.

Obama can be expected to dispatch his political advisors to ....defeat ... Netanyahu and pave the way for the return to power of the socialist, appeasement-crazed Israeli Left.

We can expect the US to abandon us.

Conservatives must mourn America's loss, but not too long, and then we must prepare for a great conservative revival, not just in America but in the whole modernizing world. The left is a world-conquering movement for power freaks like Obama. We must become an international movement for liberty. There potential democratic conservatives all over the world today.

We have a job to do.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2012/11/israel_we_can_expect_the_us_to_abandon_us.html#ixzz2C1zULCVE

Royal Air Force Set for Syria No-Fly Zone with SAS and SBS Troops on the Ground

RAF Top Guns could soon be patrolling the skies over Syria under a new Cameron-Obama plan.The Prime Minister is preparing to use the RAF to enforce no-fly zones across President Assad’s trouble-torn country in a bid to stop mass slaughter.At this week’s National Security Council meeting in Downing Street Syria will be number one on the agenda.

According to Whitehall sources, British special forces are helping to train rebel assassination squads to target President Assad and his warlords.

Troops from the SAS, SBS and Paras from the Special Reconnaisance Regiment are in Syria helping show insurgents how to use new weapons and explosives.

Mr Cameron and newly re-elected US President Barack Obama are also ­considering military action and officially arming rebels.

The first stage of the plan involves a no-fly zone that will be patrolled by British, US and French forces. Safe havens will be set up in ­Syria, Turkey and Jordan.

A Whitehall aide said: “Cameron and Obama cannot allow Assad to bomb civilians.“We can’t go in and do it but we can get someone there to have a go.

“A lot of the Free Syrian Army are ex-soldiers, they know how to shoot but need more training from our Special Forces, especially in key signals and communications equipment.”


6.8 magnitude earthquake strikes central region of Myanmar: 13 feared dead

November 11, 2012 – MYANMAR – A 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck a mountainous region near Mandalay, Myanmar early Sunday morning. The earthquake had a depth of 9.8 km (6.1 miles) and struck just 116 miles from Mandalay, Myanmar. The earthquake was downgraded by the USGS from a 7.0 event. 

A strong earthquake struck northern Myanmar on Sunday, with local media reporting that five people were killed. Scattered damage and injuries also were reported in areas close to the quake’s epicenter.. Residents from Mandalay, the second biggest commercial city in central Myanmar, told Reuters that they felt a very strong tremor. “I’ve never felt such a strong tremor. I also heard some loud noises and the light went out. No idea about the damage,” a resident said. The earthquake was followed by a strong series of aftershocks and low-level tsunami warnings went out for the Indian Ocean. -TEP

Earthquake creates panic: At least 13 people were killed and 40 taken to hospital after a powerful earthquake struck central Myanmar on Sunday, Save the Children said. The death toll from the 6.8-magnitude quake included four labourers on a bridge and two people killed in a monastery collapse in an area north of Mandalay, Myanmar’s second biggest city, the aid group said in a report. It said a further six people were killed in Sint Ku township in Sagaing region, while one died in Mandalay. “According to the information we have so far, two people died and three were injured because of the earthquake, while five are still missing,” the official in the capital Naypyidaw told AFP, asking not to be named. 

He said the missing were workers flung into the Irrawaddy river when the quake shook the bridge they were building in an area north of Mandalay, the country’s second-largest city. One man died and three were injured by buildings collapsing in a small town in central Sagaing region. A woman was also killed by falling debris from a brick wall in a village north of Mandalay. The shallow 6.8-magnitude quake hit around 116 kilometres (72 miles) north of Mandalay at a depth of just 10 kilometres, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. It initially put the magnitude of the quake at 7.0. It was followed by a series of strong aftershocks. “I ran from my bed carrying my daughter out to the street. There were many people in the road. Some were shouting and others felt dizzy,” Mandalay resident San Yu Kyaw told AFP by telephone. “People are now scared of more earthquakes. 

Especially those who live or run businesses in high-rise buildings are desperate and don’t know what to do,” he said. Construction standards are generally poor in the country formerly known as Burma, one of Asia’s most impoverished nations. A large crack stretching from the second to the sixth floor of Mandalay’s highest building, the 25-storey Mann Myanmar Plaza, appeared after the quake, a local resident told AFP. He said people were afraid to enter the structure and it remains closed. The USGS issued a yellow alert, saying “some casualties and damage are possible” but that the impact should be relatively localized. The quake hit at 7:42 am (0112 GMT) and was followed by two shallow 5.0-magnitude aftershocks within 20 minutes, according to the USGS. “The quake was quite strong. I was shopping in the market at the time and I saw women crying in fear when they felt it. We expect more quakes are coming. Everybody is afraid,” said 23-year-old Win Win Nwe, a resident in the small town of Shwebo, north of Mandalay. 

She said there were fears that several people had been injured in a nearby town. It comes little more than a week before US President Barack Obama is due in Myanmar on a historic visit, as the West begins to roll back sanctions to reward a series of dramatic political reforms under President Thein Sein. The quake was felt in neighboring Thailand, including in the capital Bangkok, according to reports on social media websites. It struck around 572 kilometers east of the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, one of the world’s biggest cities. Earthquakes are relatively common in Myanmar. The USGS said six strong earthquakes, of 7.0-magnitude and more, struck between 1930 and 1956 near the Sagaing Fault, which runs north to south through the centre of the country, resulting in landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, an official at the National Earthquake Information Division in the capital Naypyidaw, said it was the strongest quake in the area since a 6.0-magnitude quake in 1991. –Khaleej Times

James Turk on the Central Bank Gold Heist and Bundesbank Accounting Shenanigans!

U.S. Drought Worsening, Wheat Crop Suffering

Usually, October is the third-wettest month of the year for Texas, but this year there has barely been any rain at all. Last month was the ninth-driest October there since 1895.

Both Texas and Oklahoma have recorded temperatures that are above “normal” and have received practically no rain. And Kansas and Nebraska have also seen the droughts that they are experiencing expand.

These long-persisting droughts have limited the growth of the new winter wheat crop in those states, “as soil moisture levels were too low to spur normal plant development. Grazing for livestock was also poor as pastures remained parched.”

“Roughly 59.48 percent of the contiguous United States was suffering from at least ‘moderate’ drought as of November 6, down from 60.16 percent a week earlier, according to Thursday’s Drought Monitor, a weekly compilation of data gathered by federal and academic scientists.”

The section of the US that is now under “extreme” or “exceptional” drought has risen though, up to 19.36 percent from 19.04 percent.

“In the High Plains, which include Kansas, Nebraska and the Dakotas, severe or worse drought levels covered 83.94 percent of the region, up from 83.87 percent of the region a week earlier. An estimated 57.54 percent of the region was in extreme or worse drought, up from 57.02 percent a week earlier.”

Many places have not seen any, or barely any, rain in the past three weeks or more. Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels have been continuing to plummet. And surface water supplies have been continuing to drop sharply, with no end in sight. As the climatologists say, we are entering a “new normal.”

Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2012/11/09/u-s-drought-worsening-wheat-crop-suffering/#jkpEfJqMR6SrRGk8.99

Steve Quayle: Ethnic Warfare & UN Gun Confiscation Coming

Japan economy shrinks.....

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's economy shrank in the September quarter for the first time since last year, adding to signs that slowing global growth and tensions with China are nudging the world's third-largest economy into recession.

The 0.9 percent fall in GDP was in line with expectations, although a decline in capital expenditure was much steeper than forecast. Sony Corp and Panasonic Corp have slashed spending plans to cope with massive losses as they struggle with competitive markets and a strong yen.

The fall in GDP translated into an annualized rate of decline of 3.5 percent, government data showed on Monday. While U.S. growth showed a modest pick up in the third quarter, Japan and the euro zone economies are shrinking.

"The GDP data confirms that the economy has fallen into a recession," said Tatsushi Shikano, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo. "It is set for a second straight quarter of contraction in the current quarter."

A recession is commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction.

The data kept government pressure on the Bank of Japan to boost monetary stimulus even after it eased policy in October for the second straight month as a strong yen and a territorial row with China exacerbate weak demand for exports.

Economy Minister Seiji Maehara said the central bank should pursue powerful policy easing to boost the economy, although BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa shot back that the government should do its bit too.

Many analysts expect the BOJ to leave policy unchanged at a review next week, but some see it boosting stimulus again at a December 19-20 meeting, shortly after the U.S. Federal Reserve is due to meet.

External demand accounted for 0.7 percentage points of July-September GDP contraction, matching the median projection. Japan's exports fell 5.0 percent in July-September, the biggest slide since a 6.0 percent decline in April-June last year, the data showed.

A row with China over sovereignty of some islands in the East China Sea sparked violent protests in China and the boycott of Japanese goods, which added to the slide in exports, particularly for automakers such as Nissan Motor Co.

Private consumption - which accounts for roughly 60 percent of the economy - fell 0.5 percent in the third quarter against a median forecast of a 0.6 percent drop.

Capital expenditure tumbled 3.2 percent, the fastest pace of decline since a 5.5 percent drop in April-June 2009, as companies turned more pessimistic about earnings from domestic and overseas markets.

In Japan's ailing electronics sector, Sony plans to reduce capital spending by 29 percent in the year to March 2013 and Panasonic plans a 27 percent cut, after incurring huge losses in their TV manufacturing businesses.

The companies are struggling to compete with more nimble rivals, such as South Korea's Samsung Electronics and America's Apple Inc, and with a steady rise in the yen, which makes exports from Japan more expensive.

Analysts said Japanese companies face too many uncertainties to plan future spending with confidence and that is unlikely to change in the current quarter.

Resolving the protracted euro zone debt crisis is no nearer, U.S. tax increases and government spending cuts in early 2013 could tip America into recession unless Congress acts, and adding domestic uncertainty Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has promised to call a national election "soon" to break a political deadlock.

Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan Securities, said business investment would fall again in the fourth quarter as the global economy recovers only gradually.

"If some of these uncertainties are removed, it is possible for things to improve," Adachi said.

He forecast capital expenditure will fall 0.5 percent in October-December and then rise 0.7 percent in January-March.

Japan's economy outperformed most of its Group of Seven peers in the first half of this year on robust private consumption and spending for reconstruction following last year's earthquake.

But growth has stalled since then. Indeed, second-quarter growth was revised down in the latest figures by half to just 0.1 percent. The last quarterly economic contraction was in the Oct-Dec period of 2011, when GDP fell 0.3 percent.

With the economic affect of rebuilding from last year's earthquake and tsunami fading, the government acknowledged last week that its index of leading indicators gauge fell to a level suggesting the onset of a recession.

"I can not deny the possibility that Japan has fallen into a recession phase," Maehara told reporters after the data was released.

He said he expected the BOJ to pursue powerful policy easing, although in a speech BOJ head Shirakawa stressed that flooding markets with cash alone wouldn't inflation the economy when interest rates are near zero. The government should boost the economy's growth potential with deregulation and structural reform, he said.

"Exports and output are likely to remain weak, and domestic demand won't increase enough to make up for the weakness in exports," he said.

The BOJ set a 1 percent inflation target and eased policy in February. It followed up with further stimulus based on asset buying in April, September and October on mounting evidence the economy was on the cusp of a recession.

The euro zone is expected to report on Thursday that the economy shrank by 0.2 percent in the third quarter, extending a 0.2 percent contraction in the second quarter.

Yahoo News

Greek suicide epidemic continues....

A 61-year-old Greek pensioner has hung himself from a tree in a public park after succumbing to the pressure of crushing debt. A note in his pocket indicates he is merely the latest in a rash of economic crisis-induced suicides.

The pensioner’s lifeless body was found dangling by an attendant in a public park not far from his home in the suburb of Nikaia, Athens. The attendant also found a suicide note in the man’s pocket, The Athens news reports.

The man, identifying himself as Alexandros, said he was a man of few vices who “worked all day.” However, he blamed himself from committing one “horrendous crime”: becoming a professional at the age of 40 and plunging himself into debt. He referred to himself as a 61-year-old idiot who had to pay, hoping his grandchildren would not be born in Greece, as the country’s prospects were so bleak.

“Greece will be wiped off the map! Unless of course there was a politician with [Margaret] Thatcher’s balls so as to put us and our state in line,” he lamented.

The father of two and former electrician had once run his own small business, but hard times forced him to close shop.

He had apparently tried his hand at working as a contractor, including working on a ship, but was struggling to get by.

His neighbors said they had seen him sitting on a park bench Tuesday in his work overalls. Apparently no one knew that desperation had put him on the verge of taking his own life.

Crisis-bred suicides have become almost a daily occurrence in Greece over the last several months.

Alexandro’s suicide follows the death of a 42-year-old man on Tuesday. The man apparently jumped from the fifth story of a hospital in Chania, Crete, after losing his job several days prior.

And last week, a 60-year-old Greek musician and his 91-year-old mother jumped to their deaths from their fifth floor apartment in an apparent suicide pact.

The acuity of the problem came to a violet head last month after a 77-year-old man turned a gun on himself in central Athens, by the country’s parliament.

His death sparked violent clashes in Athens. Police used tear gas and flash grenades to fight back protesters who were enraged by the crushing austerity which they blamed for the man’s suicide.


World cannot afford second Fiscal Cliff after Europe’s failed attempt

It is a solemn oath to the American people -- under pain of political perjury -- crafted by my old friend Grover Norquist to block retreat.

Each member of the covenant vows to “oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and two, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates”.

Mr Norquist can legitimately argue that the US elections have reinforced the mandate of those demanding radical action to shrink the Leviathan state. The Republicans held the House -- the paramount budgetary institution -- by a fat majority on a crystal clear message. The party will now hold 30 governorships, the highest in twelve years.

You can see why they might feel justified in digging in their heels, if necessary letting the nation go over the fiscal cliff at the end of the year. Taxes would go up, but not with their fingerprints on the legislation. The White House could be blamed.

The story is by now well-known. Unless there is a deal in Congress by the end of the year, the Bush-era tax cuts and the payroll cuts will reverse automatically; extended jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed will be cut off; defence spending will be cut; so on. Everybody’s sacred cow is sacrificed. The combined austerity would be around $700bn over 2013, or 4.5pc of GDP.

At the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, President Obama can claim with equal or greater authority that he has the higher mandate to reshape the country, and he shows little sign of yielding. “We can’t just cut our way to prosperity. We have to combine specific cuts with revenue, and this means asking the wealthiest to pay a little more in taxes,” he said.

“On Tuesday night we found out that a majority of Americans agree with my approach. Our job now is to get a majority in Congress to reflect the will of the American people. I’m open to compromise. I’m open to new ideas. I’m committed to solving our fiscal challenges. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I am not going to ask students and seniors and middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people like me, making over $250,000, aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes,” he said.

This will go to the wire, and perhaps beyond. It has all the makings of a colossal debacle for America and the world.

It is why the International Monetary Fund has elevated the fiscal cliff to a “medium probability event”. The Fund fears a very nasty “feedback loop” at this delicate juncture that could tip the global economy into a second leg of the Long Slump, with “deep recession in the euro area periphery” that would test political and social systems to breaking point.

We are already beginning to pick up warning signs in the credit markets from rising Euribor-OIS spreads, the risk gauge for European banks trying to raise dollar funding.

Mark Cliffe from ING said the fiscal battle may prove the catalyst that sets off another spasm of the EMU debt crisis, ending the fragile “political truce” of the last three months in Europe - where the credit crunch is grinding deeper and recession is at last engulfing the core. The effects would ricochet back across the Atlantic.

The fiscal cliff is not an either/or outcome. Bank of America said a compromise of 2pc or 3pc tightening is possible, or even likely. With the economy so far tracking an annual growth rate of barely 1.5pc in the fourth quarter - near stall speed - this alone could be enough to trigger the downward slide.

To those who argue that a fiscal shock is exactly what is needed to force Washington to get a grip, the answer is that such a policy is being enacted with painfully unhappy results in front of our eyes in large parts of Europe. It is causing the overall debt burden to rise -- not fall.

(Graph from IMF report)

This is in stark contrast to the US where Americans are cutting their debt burden at the fastest rate in over half a century. The public debt to GDP ratio is rising, but private ratios are falling. Combined debt - the figure that really matters - has dropped from a bubble peak of 373pc of GDP to 336pc this year.

This can be exaggerated. Some of this is “financial debt”, easily cut as banks pull back from global over-reach. The underlying US debt remains shockingly high, at least 100pc of GDP above historical trend. Yet there is clearly no headlong lurch into a debt-compound trap.

Citizens have slashed debt by $1trn, partly by defaulting on mortgages. The states and cities have retrenched drastically, cutting liabilities by nearly $100bn in absolute terms. Washington has been leisurely, of course, but the “cyclically adjusted” deficit has nevertheless been cut from 8.7pc to 6.8pc over the last two years, according to the IMF’s Fiscal Monitor.

Arguably, this is the right pace, the therapeutic dose of 1pc net tightening each year. It is what a grown-up nation with its own currency should do in a “balance sheet” slump when the private sector is deleveraging year after year. To do otherwise is to forget the lessons of the 1930s. As the IMF keeps telling us, it is a marathon not a sprint.

The rest has been achieved by keeping the economy above water, deploying monetary stimulus a l’outrance to avert a double-dip recession - the killer for debt-trajectories - and letting growth slowly heal the wounds. America’s output has comfortably surpassed the previous bubble peak. That makes all the difference.

Ray Dalio from Bridgewater Associates calls it a “beautiful deleveraging”, part austerity, part write-offs, and part money creation to erode debt costs gently and head off debt-deflation. America’s public debt has of course vaulted from 76pc of GDP at the outset of the crisis to 107pc this year (IMF data), comparable to damage from a world war, but that is a debt rotation effect.

To those who wish to let the fiscal cliff run its course, one can only caution that Europe offers us the grim lesson of what happens if you go down that route, even if is not a “pure” experiment.

We don’t know whether tough austerity would have worked if it had been offset by loose money. It was never tried. The European Central Bank has been too tight ever since its Magnum Erratum in 2008, and is currently allowing the money supply to contract again (month-on-month).

The South is facing violent fiscal austerity without anaesthesia. The result in Greece has been an explosion in debt ratios as the economic base collapsed. But lesser variants have occurred across the Arc of Depression, with disturbing results that they are entering a similar vortex as austerity bites in earnest. In technical terms, it is what happens if nominal GDP grows more slowly than the debt stock.

Spain has gained remarkably little from its austerity so far. The budget deficit will end this year at 8pc, modestly down from 11.2pc in 2009. (The US has gone from 13.3pc to 8.7pc). In the meantime, companies and banks are spiralling deeper into trouble as bad debts rise, feeding the vicious circle that comes back to bite the state. This is looking very Grecian.

Europe’s austerity lords insist that Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and others are grasping the nettle of reform and will emerge from the crisis lean and fit. Perhaps they are right. But the counter-argument is that Euroland’s real problem is unemployment - already 25.8pc in Spain, 25.1pc in Greece, 15.7pc in Portugal, 15.1pc in Ireland, and 11.6pc in the eurozone as a whole - and this has been made far worse by contractionary policies.

The youth jobless rate is 58pc in Greece, 54.2pc in Spain, 35.1pc in Italy, and 25.7pc in France.

Labour economist and Nobel laureate Peter Diamond says the life trajectory of these young people will be damaged. There is almost nothing worse you can do to the productive potential of an economy - and therefore to debt ratios - than locking a great chunk of the future workforce out of the system during their formative years.

“They have a debt problem and an unemployment crisis, but they think it is the other way round,” he said.

The tragedy is that Europe is wasting its last chance to train a workforce for the 21st Century before its demographic crunch hits later this decade. EMU leaders - like the donkey generals of the trenches - are fighting the wrong war. They are crippling a generation. Budget deficits are coming down - though far less than assumed - but the skills deficit of the jobless army is going through the roof. It is the tyranny of the Maastricht Treaty.

It would be a double tragedy if the US succumbed debt fetishism and made the same historic misjudgement.

The Telegraph

Texas Megachurch Pastor Says Obama Will 'Pave Way' for Antichrist

A Texas megachurch pastor recently claimed that President Barack Obama's re-election victory would lead to the rise of the Antichrist.

Robert Jeffress, senior pastor at the First Baptist Church in Dallas, made remarks on Sunday before the election that should Obama win, his victory would lead to the reign of the Antichrist.

"I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he's not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes," said Jeffress.

"President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist."

Jeffress would go on to say that "it is time for Christians to stand up and to push back against this evil that is overtaking our nation" and to do so via "the ballot box."

This is not the first time that Jeffress has garnered controversy for his remarks regarding major political figures. During the Family Research Council's "Values Voters Summit" in October of last year, Jeffress called Mormonism a cult.

"Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise. Even though he talks about Jesus as his Lord and savior, he is not a Christian. Mormonism is not Christianity. Mormonism is a cult," said Jeffress, who was supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry's bid to become the GOP presidential nominee.

"It's a little hypocritical for the last eight years to be talking about how important it is for us to elect a Christian president and then turn around and endorse a non-Christian."

Jeffress' remarks received much criticism, both for his refusal to vote for someone over their religious beliefs and because in the opinions of some there had been a different understanding as to what the word "cult" meant in the context Jeffress was using.

In an editorial for The Christian Post, Dr. Richard Land noted the disparity between how Jeffress used the word "cult" and how the public perceived it.

"The problem is that while Mormonism may technically be a cult theologically, in that it has moved well beyond the parameters of orthodox, apostle's creed Trinitarian Christianity, it does not behave as a cult culturally or socially," wrote Land.

"Most people would tell you that Mormons are solid citizens and among the nicest and most moral people they know."

Despite the statements made at the VVS in October, as Romney gained the nomination Jeffress proceeded to voice his support for the Mormon candidate.

"I haven't changed my tune … In fact, I never said Christians should not vote for Mitt Romney. When I talked about his theology," said Jeffress in an interview with Fox News.

"I still maintain there are vast differences in theology between Mormons and Christians, but we do share many of the same values, like the sanctity of life and religious freedom."

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/texas-megachurch-pastor-says-obama-will-pave-way-for-antichrist-84639/#wdLgZZp4hdpFttIj.99

Iran believes U.S. drone was spying on oil tankers

Iran believes a U.S. drone targeted by its forces this month was gathering intelligence on oil tankers off its shores, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander told the semi-official Mehr news agency on Sunday.

Washington said Iranian warplanes opened fire on an unarmed U.S. drone over international waters on Nov. 1. Iran said it had repelled an aircraft violating its airspace.

The incident underlined the risk of escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran in an ongoing dispute over Tehran's nuclear program.

"The drone was flying near Kharg Island and our understanding is that ... it was gathering economic information and intelligence on Kharg Island and oil tankers (in the area)," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying by Mehr.
Facilities on Kharg Island handle most of Iran's crude oil exports.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has some red lines that the Americans should understand and respect. If this is repeated, we will definitely react," he added.

Washington, the EU and other bodies have imposed sanctions on Iran's oil trade to press it to halt nuclear research the West fears is aimed as developing the capability to build a nuclear bomb.

The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran, if diplomacy fails to resolve the row.

Iran denies the charge saying its nuclear work is purely for peaceful purposes.


Only ‘the nuclear option’ can work against Iran, former IDF chief says

Israeli leaders have concluded that conventional air strikes would be insufficient in curbing Iran’s nuclear program, leaving only a deployment of either tactical nuclear weapons or ground forces, according to a report in the British Sunday Times.

Western “defense experts” quoted by the report pointed at the Iranian Fordo facility, which is located deep underground near the city of Qom, as a site that was immune to conventional air strikes.

“The only way to finish off Iran’s nuclear program is by using the nuclear option,” said IDF Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz, the only named source quoted by the report. “But I hope Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] is not mad enough to think about it.”

According to foreign reports, Israel is in possession of a significant arsenal of nuclear weapons, including tactical weapons such as neutron bombs, along with long-range Jericho missiles to deliver them.

Israel also possesses GBU-28 bunker-buster bombs that could be deployed by the Israel Air Force’s F-16 bombers. However, according to assessments, these bombs would not prove sufficient to penetrate the Fordo facility.

Times of Israel