U.S. says Iran strike plan exists, Obama threatens Abbas over direct talks
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
In a sign that the psychological warfare between the West and Iran continues to heat it, the Jerusalem Post is reporting that the highest ranking U.S. military official has declared that Iran military strike plans to stop the Iranian nuclear program exist and are ready to be used should the need arise. Despite making these comment, the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen said that striking Iran was probably "not a good idea" given the trouble the Iranians could stir up in the region. The JPost article reports:
The US military has a plan to attack Iran, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said Sunday, although he added that he thinks a strike is probably a bad idea. Adm. Mike Mullen, the highest-ranking US military officer, has often warned that a military strike on Iran would have serious and unpredictable ripple effects around the Middle East. At the same time, he said the risk of Iran developing a nuclear weapon was unacceptable.
Mullen would not say which risk he thought was worse. But he told NBC television program "Meet The Press" that a military strike remains an option if need be. He added that, should it come to that, the military has a plan at hand. He didn't elaborate further.
While Mullen went on to say that the Iranians obtaining a nuclear weapon was contrary to U.S. policy and theory, Mullen stopped short of saying that the U.S. would strike Iran. Admiral Mullen noted that the potential for Iran to "stir the pot" in the region was a real threat that was hard to calculate exactly what the consequences would be, but nonetheless, the U.S. military was prepared and had a plan should the need arise to strike Iran.
Given that Admiral Mullen has made these comments it is clear that this is designed to put pressure on the Iranians who have declared that they would reply with a "crushing response" to anyone who attacked them. The Iranians for their part were quoted in a Haaretz news article as saying:
Iran vowed Sunday that it would deliver a "crushing response" to Israel and the United States should either attempt to attack the Islamic Republic over its contentious nuclear program. The remarks made by a top commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) came just hours after the U.S. army chief told media that a plan was in the works should an attack become necessary.
The Iranians also went on to further claim that if Israel took the initiative to strike them that they would set Tel Aviv ablaze in response to an attack on the Iranian nuclear program. The Hareetz article went on to further report:
Also Sunday, Iran's envoy to the United Nations warned that the Islamic Republic would set Tel Aviv ablaze if Israel dares attack it. "If the Zionist regime commits the slightest aggression against Iranian soil, we will set the entire war front and Tel Aviv on fire," Mohammad Khazai said, Kashmar, the Farhang-e Ashti daily reported.
Despite all the rhetoric being thrown around in the media, it is clear that the tension in the region is reaching a boiling point as Iran gets closer and closer to achieving their nuclear goals. The world community has slapped one sanction after another on the Iranians but none of this has stopped the Iranians who continue on down the nuclear path with the help of Russia. The next major event in the Iranian nuclear situation is that Russia is supposed to fuel up the reactor in order to make it go "online" next month. This is a crucial and important development in several ways. As I noted in the past, Israel has always struck out against their enemies who threaten them with nuclear capabilities before they went "online" so as to minimize the effects of nuclear fallout in the region. It is logical to assume that Israel would do the same with the Iranian program should things remain the same. With today being the 1st of August, it would appear to me that time is clearly running out and that a decision on Iran must be made soon. If the decision has already been made, then it is simply a matter of when the best time to strike will be. Which is why we need to remain alert and sober to the situation on the ground in the Middle East. The month of August could turn out to be a very "hot" month in the Middle East and I mean that for more than merely the current temperatures. We definitely need to keep watching this situation as we near the time that Russia will turn the Iranian nuclear program "online". Time is clearly running out.
In other news, the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is under extreme pressure to resume direct talks with the Israelis. U.S. President Obama has sent a letter to Palestinian President Abbas that says basically says to return to direct talks with the Israelis or lose U.S. support for a Palestinian state. Abbas was recently quoted in the news as saying that he was under intense political pressure right now, pressure that he had never seen before in his life. Despite gaining approval from the Arab League to return to direct talks with the Israelis, Palestinian President Abbas has so far refused to bow to the pressure being placed on him. The Jerusalem Post website quotes a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council as saying:
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, reiterated previous statements by Palestinian officials that the US would cease supporting the Palestinian Authority if it refused to enter into direct negotiations with Israel in an interview with London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi published on Saturday. "They even threatened to isolate the Palestinians and cut off relations," Ashrawi was quoted as saying. Ashrawi tells Arabic newspaper of Washington's threats to cut ties.
After these threats from Obama to the Palestinians, it is being reported that there is a back and forth war of words between the U.S. and the PA. The Israel National News reports:
The Obama administration and the Palestinian Authority are trading warnings over direct talks with Israel for the proposed new Arab country in place of a united Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Sunday morning used the impasse to score diplomatic points and tell Likud ministers that direct talks will begin in two weeks. The PA has not hinted it is ready to sit down with Israel
After U.S. President Barack Obama threatened PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas he would remove American support for a new PA state if Abbas does not agree to sit down with Prime Minister Netanyahu, without pre-conditions, PA officials cautioned the United States. They said that American and Western pressures are undermining the credibility of the PA in the eyes of Arabs.
It was further reported that the U.S. threatened to reduce financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if they continued to refuse to direct talks without pre-conditions with the Israelis. The rationale behind Obama's new found "toughness" with the Palestinians has been suggested that it is due to the fact that the mid-term elections are coming up in November and that Obama is trying to force progress in the Middle East peace process. President Obama is currently sitting at his lowest poll numbers since taking office and Americans are increasingly skeptical that Obama will be able to pull America out of the whole that she currently finds herself in.
Another topic surrounding the Middle East peace process is the situation regarding the current construction freeze in Jerusalem that is set to expire next month. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has publicly ruled out extending the construction freeze and this has been a major sticking point between the Israelis and Palestinians. The truth is the Israelis should have never agreed to a construction freeze as it is has not made an ounce of difference in the situation on the ground between the two sides. In fact, since the Israelis gave into the construction freeze things have literally gone downhill since as the Palestinians have made one ridiculous demand after another in order to resume direct talks. This is just one more example that shows that appeasing the Islamics is not the way to go.
In a final display showing that the Middle East region is heading towards conflict rather than peace, Syrian President Assad is on record today saying that the chances of war are increasing in the region. This should come as no surprise as the Palestinians have shown once again by refusing direct talks with the Israelis that they are not serious about genuine peace. Their true position is to simply gain as much as they can through negotiations with the Israelis and then go back to armed resistance. Assad and the Syrians want nothing more than to regain the strategic Golan Heights for the next round of fighting between Israel and the Islamics. The Jerusalem Post reports:
Syrian President Bashar Assad says that "real peace in the Middle East is getting further away and the chances of war and violence are increasing." Assad put forward his opinion in a letter published Sunday to honor 65 years since the establishment of the Syrian army. "Those who think that Syria will compromise her principals are mistaken. We understand the price of standing firm and resisting is high but it is still lower than the price of submission," Assad wrote in the letter.
And to complicate matters even further, the Islamic jihad terrorist group in the West Bank is saying that they will return to "suicide bombings" against Israel as the result of IAF raids on Gaza. The IAF responded to unprovoked rocket fire over the weekend and killed a high ranking Hamas commander. The rockets were fired out of the blue from Gaza and Hamas is clearly responsible for the provocations. Yet, in order to find any reason to resume terrorism against Israel, the Islamic Jihad group has declared that they will resume suicide bombings against Israel. The Jerusalem Post reports:
The Islamic Jihad organization said on Sunday that it has decided to resume suicide attacks against Israel from the West Bank. The threat came in response to attacks launched by IAF planes on the Gaza Strip following the firing of rockets on Israel in the past few days. The group, however, admitted that it has become very difficult to launch suicide attacks out of the West Bank because of security coordination between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
So, it appears that the vicious cycle of pain, suffering, and murder will inevitably be restarted as the peace talks fail yet again. The truth of the matter is that there is only one person who can bring peace to the Middle East region and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Only he has the power and authority to do it. As we see the evil ones making plans for Israel, we need to pray for the innocent Israelis who will be subjected to these crazed fanatics and their evil deeds of suicide bombings. The whole region is reaching a boiling point that will eventually spill over soon. The only question is when and what exactly will light the fuse that causes it to happen.
Let us continue to watch the situation on the ground in Israel. For time is clearly running out in regards to the Iranian nuclear program and the situation on the ground between Israel and the Palestinians. Please continue to pray Israel and for the peace of Jerusalem. Stay tuned!!