“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: may they prosper who love you.” Psalm 122: 6
What Hath Obama Wrought?
In democratic countries, elections matter. That’s axiomatic, but at the same time, it’s profound.
On the very thin veneer at the surface, we elect political leaders to make decisions on our behalf. Under the veneer, they reshape the heart and soul of the nation. They transform it into something that they want it to be. Most of them time, they try to recreate a country in their own image.
That’s what Adolf Hitler did in Germany. Once the reins of power were firmly in his grasp, he made Germany into a country that was as evil as he was. Hitler was not an exception to the rule. He simply represented the dark side. There are many leaders like him in the world today who are trying to do what he did. Some of them are worse than he was.
That’s what Barack Obama did in the United States. His critics argue that he opposes American exceptionalism. I think they are right. He wants the US to become one on the many, not a world leader of nations, a global superpower. To bring about the future that he envisions, he has turned his back on our allies and developed ties with our enemies.
Obama’s critics also claim that he is a Muslim. I agree with that, too. His attitude toward the Muslim Brotherhood leaves me with little choice but to conclude that he wants to see a global caliphate. He would never admit it, but his actions betray him.
Iran today is like Germany in the 1930s. I was a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile to take control of the country in February 1979. I’ll never forget something that a member of my dissertation committee told me on the fateful day.
His name was Jorge Mendoza. He was a professor of psychometrics at UGA at the time. He has since moved to the University of Oklahoma where he is department chair. He told me that Khomeini’s return would turn out to be an historic event.
My office mate at that time was an Iranian national named Ahmad Tashakori. While the shah ruled Iran, he lived in constant fear. The shah’s regime was brutal and dictatorial. His Organization of Intelligence and National Security (SAVAK) kept close tabs on Iranians studying abroad. If they got out of line, they might just disappear permanently.
Ahmad didn’t talk about it until the shah fled and Khomeini took control. He was not an Islamist, but he was thrilled when the Islamic Republic of Iran came into existence. Ahmad couldn’t imagine anything worse than life under the shah. I haven’t seen him in many years, so I have no idea what he thinks today.
Right now, Iran is becoming a regional and a global power. In 36 short years, it has become a force to be reckoned with. Despite global sanctions on Iran, it continues to pursue its mission which is to spread Islamism by any means possible and to destroy Israel. Obama’s much debated deal with Iran could open the door to unprecedented Iranian adventurism and a caliphate with Iran at the helm.
Today, Israel is electing a new prime minister. The top two candidates are the current Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Yitzhak (Isaac) Herzog. The differences between them could not be greater.
The Herzog/Livni team represents the political left in Israel. They have a friend in the White House. Team Obama has been in Israel working tirelessly to get them elected.
Herzog and Livni support the “two-state solution” which amounts to giving away land to Palestinians including parts of Jerusalem in exchange for peace. They completely ignore these facts:
- The Palestinian and Hamas charters call for Israel’s annihilation.
- Since the Oslo Accords were signed, things have been going downhill.
Herzog and Livni have a sanguine view of Iran. I’m not as hopeful as they are. In fact, I am as concerned about Iran as leaders in Egypt and Saudi Arabia are.
Netanyahu has been at odds with Obama since Day One because he has not toed Obama’s line. The Israeli people are deciding what their future holds, but they need to know this: elections have consequences. If they doubt that, they need to think about the Middle East before and after Obama. The current situation is his doing.
Can it get any worse? You bet it can—much worse.
WND—Middle East caught in ‘apocalyptic fervor’:
The wars and alliances prophesied in the Bible are beginning to take shape, and even nonbelievers should pay attention, because the “entire Middle East is being driven by apocalyptic fervor,” according to documentary filmmaker and New York Times bestselling author Joel Richardson.
Richardson, whose work includes the stunning documentary “End Times Eyewitness,” the new release “When a Jew Rules the World” and the New York Times bestseller “The Islamic Antichrist,” told WND the geopolitics of the Middle East are beginning to resemble the broad outlines predicted in the Bible.
The focus, said Richardson, will be a huge alliance of nations against Israel.
“Satan is not done with Israel,” says Richardson, “and, therefore, God is not done with Israel. People need to understand that the main way Satan affects the world is through empires and armies. And his rallying cry at this time in history is for war against Israel.”
But the Bible prophesies that the great alliance against Israel will be preceded by expansion of empires opposed to the Jewish state, and Richardson says the key empire rising today in that alignment is Iran, which he links to the ancient Persian Empire.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Iranian leaders seem to share the same vision of creating a new Persian Empire that will challenge other powers for regional supremacy. Iranian presidential adviser Ali Younesi proclaimed at a March 8 forum in Tehran that Iran had returned to its historic role as an empire and proclaimed sovereignty over Iraq.
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SnyderTalk Comment: People who read the Bible and believe it are aware that something very unusual is taking place right in front of our eyes. That’s all I can say with certainty, but it looks like Yahweh’s description of the march toward Armageddon.
The current election in Israel will be telling. As Prime Minister Netanyahu is saying, Iran is issue Number One, but if pollsters are correct, the Israeli people think the economy deserves top billing. See “Benjamin Netanyahu in trouble in Israel elections as economy trumps Iran”:
Despite the buzz generated by his Iran speech to Congress last week, polls show Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is increasingly likely to be ousted in elections Tuesday by voters who say he overplayed the threat from the Islamic republic while ignoring economic problems closer to home.
A growing number of analysts say Mr. Netanyahu, a moderate conservative by Israeli standards, and his Likud Party are about to finish behind the Zionist Union coalition put together by Isaac Herzog, the 54-year-old lawyer, lawmaker and son of a former two-term Israeli president. That would represent a striking turnaround in a campaign that many expected Mr. Netanyahu, in office since 2009, to win with relative ease.
Does the Israeli election really boil down to a simple tradeoff between Iran and the economy?
I have doubts, but Yahweh knows.
I do know these three things, though:
- Iran is a menacing threat to Israel and every other nation in the Middle East and the world. That won’t change no matter what the economy does because it’s not an economic issue.
- Obama is working tirelessly to unseat Netanyahu. See “Senate panel probing possible Obama administration ties to anti-Netanyahu effort”. His motives and actions are transparent even though his words are not. Bottom line: Obama is not Israel’s friend or ally.
- For Israel, war is a fact of life. It’s been a fact of life since 1948. That’s not going to change no matter who wins this election.
As no candidate is likely to win big in the wild jumble of Israel’s political landscape, the outcome of the March 17 election could well be a joint government between Netanyahu and his moderate challenger, Isaac Herzog.
When he called the early election in November, Netanyahu seemed a shoo-in, but somewhere things went wrong. Polls show his nationalist Likud Party running slightly behind Herzog’s Labor Party, rebranded the Zionist Union in a bid for nationalist votes.
Things didn’t just go wrong. Team Obama went to Israel and started playing political games. Obama wants Herzog/Livni to win—the J Street crowd. They represent the political left in Israel. Obama wants Netanyahu out. He represents the political right in Israel. I’ve simplified a little, but that’s the gist of it. Bottom line: this is Obama’s doing and its legality in the U.S. is questionable.
Iranian Leaders are Challenging Yahweh
Ezekiel 32: 17-32:
17 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth of the month, the word of Yahweh came to me saying, 18 “Son of man, wail for the hordes of Egypt and bring it down, her and the daughters of the powerful nations, to the nether world, with those who go down to the pit; 19 ‘Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down and make your bed with the uncircumcised.’
20 “They shall fall in the midst of those who are slain by the sword. She is given over to the sword; they have drawn her and all her hordes away. 21 The strong among the mighty ones shall speak of him and his helpers from the midst of Sheol, ‘They have gone down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’”
22 “Assyria is there and all her company; her graves are round about her. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword, 23 whose graves are set in the remotest parts of the pit and her company is round about her grave. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword, who spread terror in the land of the living.”
24 “Elam is there and all her hordes around her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who went down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, who instilled their terror in the land of the living and bore their disgrace with those who went down to the pit. 25 They have made a bed for her among the slain with all her hordes. Her graves are around it, they are all uncircumcised, slain by the sword (although their terror was instilled in the land of the living), and they bore their disgrace with those who go down to the pit; they were put in the midst of the slain.”
26 “Meshech, Tubal and all their hordes are there; their graves surround them. All of them were slain by the sword uncircumcised, though they instilled their terror in the land of the living. 27 Nor do they lie beside the fallen heroes of the uncircumcised, who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war and whose swords were laid under their heads; but the punishment for their iniquity rested on their bones, though the terror of these heroes was once in the land of the living. 28 But in the midst of the uncircumcised you will be broken and lie with those slain by the sword.”
29 “There also is Edom, its kings and all its princes, who for all their might are laid with those slain by the sword; they will lie with the uncircumcised and with those who go down to the pit.”
30 “There also are the chiefs of the north, all of them, and all the Sidonians, who in spite of the terror resulting from their might, in shame went down with the slain. So they lay down uncircumcised with those slain by the sword and bore their disgrace with those who go down to the pit.”
31 “These Pharaoh will see, and he will be comforted for all his hordes slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his army,” declares Adonai Yahweh. 32 “Though I instilled a terror of him in the land of the living, yet he will be made to lie down among the uncircumcised along with those slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his hordes,” declares Adonai Yahweh.
SnyderTalk Comment: Notice the number of times in this short passage of Scripture that Yahweh condemned Egypt under Pharaoh for spreading terror in the land of the living. What does that say about nations today whose sole reason for being is to spread terror?
Iran is chief among those nations. Her rulers maintain power through the use of terror against Iranian citizens. Terror is their stock-in-trade. They are the world’s leading exporter or terror. Now Iran’s leaders want nuclear weapons so they can attack the only other nation in their region that possesses nuclear weapons—Israel.
Israel has had nuclear weapons for a very long time, but they have never used them even in self-defense. In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel had nuclear weapons. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel had nuclear weapons. Why didn’t Israeli leaders use them?
Israel doesn’t seek to destroy its neighbors. Her leaders want peace. They’ve wanted peace since Israel re-emerged in 1948. In every war, Israeli leaders have shown more compassion for their enemies than the leaders of the Arab nations who started those wars. Israel sought to minimize the number of casualties while the Arabs who attacked them tried to increase the number of their own people killed for public relations purposes.
Operation Protective Edge is the most recent example. After a lengthy period during which Hamas attacked Israeli citizens almost daily with barrages of rocket and mortar fire, Israel had finally had enough. Before Israel hit a target, they dropped leaflets telling Gazans that a particular location would be hit and when it would happen. Gazans were urged to leave.
Hamas ordered them to stay and shot those who tried to flee. Hamas also used human shields in hospitals, mosques, and schools because they stored their munitions in them and used them as rocket launch sites. They wanted casualties. Today, they are trying to use those deaths as ammunition against Israel.
None of this was done in secret. It was done with journalists from around the world and U.N. “watchdogs” looking on. Photographs and videos prove it, but today Palestinians want Israeli leaders to be tired in the International Criminal Court for war crimes. There is no doubt that war crimes were committed, but Palestinians committed them.
If Iran ever has nuclear weapons, we can expect her leaders to do exactly what they have been threatening to do for years—to “wipe Israel off the map.” But that’s not all they want to do.
Iran is a Shia Muslim country, and her leaders believe that Sunni Muslims are beneath contempt. Saudi Arabia and Egypt, for example, are predominantly Sunni Muslim countries. They are targets, too, and they know it.
Isn’t it interesting that Saudi leaders didn’t seek nuclear weapons before now? Why did Saudi leaders decide a few days ago that they need them at this particular time? It’s because Iran is threatening their survival. Israel never did. On top of that, they don’t trust Obama. Few leaders in the Middle East trust Obama.
Yahweh said that spreading terror is a serious crime in the ultimate court—His court. Will that influence Iranian thinking? It should, but they need to hear it whether it will or not.
If Iranian leaders persist with their evil ambitions, they will wind up in the company of many others before them who did the same things.
The purpose of this short section is to warn Iranian leaders about Who they are up against. It’s not Israel; it’s not Saudi Arabia; and it’s not Egypt. They are rapidly approaching a direct confrontation with Yahweh, and they can’t win.
It’s time for them to repent. If they won’t repent, their blood is on their own hands.
So choose. You’re gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the devil or it may be Yahweh. There is no other option.
Adam Kredo: Iranian President: Diplomacy With U.S. is an Active ‘Jihad’— Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described his country’s diplomacy with the United States as an active “jihad” that is just as significant to Tehran’s advancement as the slew of new weapons and missiles showcased by the Islamic Republic’s military. Rouhani praised the country’s military leaders for standing “against the enemy on the battlefield” and said as president, he would carry out this “jihad” on the diplomatic front. Rouhani’s comments echo those of foreign minister and lead nuclear negotiator Javad Zarif, who said Tuesday that Iran has emerged as “the winner” in talks with Western powers. Like Zarif, Rouhani boasted that Iran’s years-long diplomacy with Western nations over its nuclear program established the Islamic Republic as a global power.
Lawrence J. Haas: Nuclear Musings: A glimpse inside the diary of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei— From today’s diary entry of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: Ah, the Americans. When it comes to our nuclear weapons program, they leave us with only good choices! On the one hand, I can drag out the talks beyond this month’s latest deadline because the desperate Americans certainly will agree to keep talking. That’s how we went from the six-month interim deal in November 2013, through a deadline in July 2014, and then through another deadline in November 2014. And why not? At every stage, the meek Barack Obama and the spineless John Kerry throw more concessions our way. They’ve already agreed to leave us many thousands of centrifuges with which to enrich uranium, to leave all our uranium and plutonium plants in place, to ignore our ballistic missiles program, and to lift all sanctions down the road. I’m tempted to see what else they’ll throw our way after this month.
Burak Bekdil: The Islamist Way— “Expansion and conquest” make one of the pillars of the Islamist doctrine. For that reason, it requires, and overtly or covertly struggles for, expanding “rights” in non-Muslim countries. It is simply futile to expect Islamists to demonstrate a crumb of the tolerance they demand of non-Muslim nations. Islamists often do not hide it: They love head-count democracy in lands where they make a majority; and hate it in lands where they are in the minority. They would crush other faiths, including different sects and practices of their own faith — or no faith, for that matter — where they are in power. In that happy set-up, the intriguing word “tolerance” is nowhere to be seen. Respect for the minority is too rare a commodity: “This is our land, we are in the majority, we rule and we rule it as we wish; and if you don’t like it, go to hell.” Surprisingly (or maybe not), Islamists happen to become dedicated warriors of tolerance, religious freedoms, human rights and all other fancy tags when they live (in their choice of) Muslim-minority countries. Just imagine what could happen if 1.5 million Israelis lived in the Gaza Strip bordering a militarily, economically and technologically mighty, larger, more populous Hamas-ruled Palestinian state with a Jewish minority. Tolerance and rights for the Jews? Would you want to be a Jew there?
Sophia Saifi and Jethro Mullen: Suicide bombings in Christian area of Pakistani city kill at least 14 people—Suicide bombers attacked a Christian community in eastern Pakistan on Sunday, setting off two blasts that killed at least 14 people and wounded dozens more, officials said. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the deadly attack and warned of more to come. The explosions, which struck the Nishtar Colony area in the city of Lahore, wounded more than 60 people, said Dr. Zahid Pervaiz, director general for health in Punjab province. A child and a police officer were among the dead, said Naseem Arif, a rescue service duty officer. Video from the scene aired by CNN affiliate GEO News showed twisted metal, shattered glass and panicked residents outside a church compound. Ambulance and security personnel were seen moving in. Later footage showed water cannons arriving to disperse the crowd.
SnyderTalk Comment: The Taliban leaders who claimed responsibility for this suicide attack are evil personified. Islamism is on the march across the globe. Are we paying attention?
TheTower.org Staff : Twelve Questions Iran Refuses To Answer About Its Nuclear Weapons Research—The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has questions about twelve aspects of Iran’s past nuclear weapons research that the Islamic Republic has failed to satisfactorily answer, according to an analysis that appeared in The New York Times on Sunday. These twelve areas of past Iranian research include computer simulations, detonation experiments, and delivery systems for nuclear warheads. While the analysis lists one of the areas of questions as having been discussed and two as “being on the table,” the other nine have not been discussed at all. The one listed as having been discussed was research into electrically-fired detonators, which Iran explained as having applications for peaceful mining purposes. But experiments involving such detonators are believed to have taken place in the military base at Parchin, and Iran has not allowed a thorough investigation of the site. It has also paved over areas where the experiments are believed to have taken place.
Liel Leibovitz: What Israel’s Upcoming Elections Are Really About— …So, if neither security nor the economy is at issue, what is? A glimpse at a possible answer was on display last week, when tens of thousands of Netanyahu’s detractors congregated in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square for a rally that organizers described as an apolitical expression of popular sentiment. One of the speakers at the rally, artist Yair Garbuz, had this to say: “They told us again and again that the racists and those who curse don’t represent Israeli society in its entirety, that they’re only a small group. They said that the thieves and the bribe-takers were only a small group, and those who are corrupt and decadent and piggish only a small group. And those out to destroy democracy only a small group, and those who think democracy is the tyranny of the majority—only a small group. Those who kiss good-luck charms, those idol-worshipers who pray by the graves of righteous rabbis, only a small group. Even the sexual molesters and the rapists are only a small group.” The point was hardly lost on the protesters huddled in the square: Garbuz was being ironic, as the small group he was talking about wasn’t small at all and included more or less all of those who voted for Bibi. Garbuz’s listeners applauded his speech, presumably because they agreed with him that when it came to the elections, and to Israel in general, there was an us and a them, one group that sanctified reason and believed in science and progress and another resigned to more primitive stuff like prayer and faith, both of which were shameful enough to merit being spoken of in the same breath as rape and thievery.
Agence France-Presse: Iran Will Not Be Duped in Nuclear Deal: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—TEHRAN: Iran’s negotiating team will not be duped in any nuclear deal with world powers, the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Thursday. Referring to a letter sent to Iran by Republican senators in the United States, Khamenei said it indicated “the extreme decadence of political ethics and the collapse of the American system from within,” ISNA news agency reported. Speaking before the Assembly of Experts, Iran’s highest clerical body, he praised Iran’s “trustworthy” team negotiating with the “deceitful” world powers. President Hassan Rouhani “has selected a nuclear (negotiating) team who are truly good, trustworthy and hardworking,” he said, whereas “the other party is deceitful and stabs in the back”. Iranian officials “know what they are doing and they also know how to act in case of an agreement so that Americans cannot break it later”, said Khamenei, who has Tehran’s final say on any deal.
Washington Post Editorial: An End to Iran’s Containment?— THE OBAMA administration is seeking to assure U.S. allies and congressional skeptics that the nuclear accord it is contemplating with Iran will not lead to a broader detente with the Islamic republic. “We are not seeking a grand bargain,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry declared last week during a visit to Riyadh he made with the explicit purpose of countering Saudi Arabian suspicions to the contrary. “We will not take our eye off of Iran’s other destabilizing actions in places like Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula.” The political imperative behind this clarification is easily understood. In recent months, the notion that President Obama is prepared to scrap the 35-year-old U.S. policy of seeking to contain Iranian influence in the Middle East has been widely accepted by Arab and Israeli officials and U.S. commentators; opposition to such a reversal is one reason the prospective nuclear deal is generating bipartisan unease in Congress.
Eve Fairbanks: The battle to be Israel’s conscience—On 15 August last year, five weeks into the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Hagai El-Ad, the director of B’Tselem, an Israeli human rights organisation, appeared on a morning radio show to discuss the conflict. Throughout the fighting, B’Tselem did what it has done for 25 years since it was founded during the first Palestinian intifada: document human rights violations by Israel in the West Bank and Gaza. It compiled film and testimony gathered by volunteer field researchers on the ground, tallied daily casualty figures that were used by the local and international press, and released names of individual Palestinians killed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). B’Tselem’s founders intended it to serve a purpose unlike any other organisation in Israel’s fractious political atmosphere: to provide pure information about the Israeli military’s treatment of Palestinians, without commentary or political agenda. But by last summer, this stance had become a source of controversy. For many Israelis, identifying human-rights violations by the Israeli military, but not its enemies, was tantamount to treason. When B’Tselem tried to run radio ads listing the names and ages of 20 Palestinian children killed in Gaza, Israel’s national broadcasting authority banned them on the grounds that they constituted a political message masquerading as neutral information. A group called Mothers of Soldiers Against B’Tselem was formed; Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, endorsed one of their protests.
David Blair and Peter Foster: Americans are ‘back-stabbers’ and ‘tricksters’ says Iran’s leader after Senate letter—Iran’s Supreme Leader accused “back-stabbing” America of “tricks and deceptions” on Thursday as the clock ticked towards a deadline for a final agreement on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivered a caustic response to an open letter from 47 Republican senators, warning that a future US president might revoke any nuclear deal with Iran. This message – furiously denounced by President Barack Obama – raised the possibility of Iran walking away from an agreement while deflecting the blame on to America. “Of course I am worried, because the other side is known for opacity, deceit and back-stabbing,” said Ayatollah Khamenei in a speech to the Assembly of Experts, Iran’s most senior body. “Every time we reach a stage where the end of the negotiations is in sight, the tone of the other side, specifically the Americans, becomes harsher, coarser and tougher. This is the nature of their tricks and deceptions.”
SnyderTalk Comment: See “[Iran’s Foreign Minister] Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, ordered to stop screaming at John Kerry”. It looks to me like the Iranians are belligerent “back-stabbers” and “tricksters”. Radical and corrupt, too.
Al Pessin: Senators’ Letter to Tehran Could Impact Nuclear Talks—An open letter sent by 47 U.S. Republican senators to Tehran about the ongoing negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program could impact the talks, experts say. “It very much muddies the waters,” said James Boys of King’s College London, author of a new book on the Clinton administration’s foreign policy. “It makes it much more difficult, I think, for Iran to know that they’re dealing with an honest broker here. In any negotiations you want to make sure that any deal that you strike will be honored by the opposite party.” In comments quoted Thursday by Iran’s Mehr news agency, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said he is “worried” about the letter “because the other side is known for opacity, deceit and backstabbing.” Khamenei is quoted as accusing the United States of “tricks and deceptions,” and saying that every time an agreement is close “the tone of the other side, specifically the Americans, becomes harsher, coarser and tougher.”
SnyderTalk Comment: That was the whole idea—to impact the nuclear talks. Putting it bluntly, to let the Iranians know that Obama was bypassing Congress and that Congress would not allow that to happen. I call it transparency or laying your cards on the table. Obama should try it. If he did, maybe Zarif would stop screaming at Kerry.
Ali Alfoneh and Michael Pregent: Iran Is No Partner in the Fight Against the Islamic State—The threat of the Islamic State not only makes the Iraqi Shia more dependent on Tehran and legitimizes Iran’s military presence in Iraq, it also provides the regime in Tehran with another bargaining chip in nuclear negotiations with the P5+1. After the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the civil war in Iraq, followed by the rise of Islamic State, forced moderate Iraqi Shia, who otherwise would have pursued a line independent of Iran, to become dependencies of Tehran. The small contingent of U.S. advisers in Iraq is relying on a heavily Iranian-influenced Iraqi sectarian intelligence and security apparatus. The Iraqi security forces are predominantly Shia and, in addition, Shia militias and “advisers” from the IRGC Quds Force are now fighting as legitimate Iraqi forces. This creates an environment in which targeting operations developed by Iranian forces and the militias have primacy over those developed by the U.S., leading to the possibility that Washington could be portrayed by Islamic State as complicit in the indiscriminate targeting of Sunnis. Such operations will be perceived the same way by the very Sunnis we need to fight Islamic State.
Mehdi Khalaji: Iran’s Next Supreme Leader and the Nuclear Deal—With reports surfacing about the deteriorating health of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, there are many signs that the next supreme leader is going to be even more of a hard-liner and would be in a position to renege on any pact with the West. Given the current makeup of the Assembly of Experts, the body which chooses the supreme leader, it would certainly choose a hardliner who might be even more aggressive on foreign policy than Khamenei.
Mehr News: Rouhani back in Tehran, explains top issues of visit—Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who was on a visit of Iran’s northeastern neighbor Turkmenistan at the top of a high-ranking political, economic, and cultural delegation, left Ashgabat for Tehran yesterday at the end of his official two-day visit during which he signed 17 cooperation documents. President Rouhani on Wednesday said Tehran and Ashgabat have decided to increase the total value of their economic exchanges from the existing $3.7 billion to $60 billion in a ten-year period. During his visit to Turkmenistan, Rouhani and his counterpart planned to raise the value of their trade exchange through Iran to Southern ports from 2 million tons to 10 million tons and also to facilitate the issuance of visas for entrepreneurs.
Pinchas Landau: Is Iran a “Paper Tiger”?—Behind the ballistic missiles and whirring centrifuges, Iran is facing a demographic implosion of massive proportions with the birth rate plunging from its pre-Islamic revolution level of seven births per woman down to sub-replacement levels today. Between economic strangulation and demographic asphyxiation, Iran is not in good shape and is certainly not in a position to throw its weight around regionally, let alone globally. But that clearly isn’t stopping it from trying to do so.
NOW Lebanon: Revolutionary Guard Official: Iran Indoctrinating Syria Youth; Rouhani Advisor: All of the Middle East Is Iranian—A top Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer boasted to Al-Arabiya on Tuesday about Tehran’s role in Syria and revealed that his country has been indoctrinating youth there to fight under the IRGC. “The IRGC has begun to establish new religious groups in Syria called ‘Kashab’ among young Alawites, Sunnis, Christians and Ismailis” to carry out “ideological education” for the “recruitment of teenagers in Syria to fight in militias under [the command] of the IRGC.” He boasted that Iran had formed 42 brigades and 138 battalions to fight for the Assad regime. He added that the “establishment of the Basij [paramilitary militia] in Syria was one of Iran’s most important achievements in recent years.” Earlier in the week, Ali Younesi, one of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s advisors, said that no power had the right to oppose Iran in the region. “All of the Middle East is Iranian,” the Kurdish Iraqi Rudaw news agency quoted him as saying.
Michael Young: Iran’s Expansion Will Reshape Lebanon—As Iran expands its power throughout the Middle East, it is seeking to reshape the political landscape in ways designed to enhance its leverage and that of its allies. Nor is anybody successfully hindering this. It has become increasingly apparent that the U.S. has no intention of challenging Iran’s sway in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Gone are the days when the American priority was containment of Iran in the region. The U.S. appears to favor a new regional order in which Iran will be granted a choice role. Lebanon has particular importance for Iran. It seems highly probable that Iran will seek to modify the political system to the advantage of the Shiite community, led by Hizbullah. Moreover, as Iran puts in place a broad strategy for the expansion of its power in the Arab world, Lebanon and the Golan Heights take on exceptional value. That is why the internal Lebanese power-sharing agreement needs to be adapted to ensure that Iranian stakes are not threatened.
Hanin Ghaddar: Resisting the Iranian Occupation—Iran is looking forward to a deal with the U.S. that will see sanctions lifted, a blind eye to its growing influence in the region, and eventually a supremacy that allows it to make major changes to the current geopolitical map of the Middle East. Arab Shiites are being gathered from all over the Middle East and Asia to help Iran build its realm and fight against Arab Sunnis. If the Iranian economy recovers after the deal, the region will drown in yet more blood, as Iran will have the financial means to boost its militias in the region. The reality imposed by Iran on the ground contradicts all assurances given by the U.S. to its regional allies. Iran is an occupying force by proxy, and will not abandon its ongoing pursuit of hegemony. Iran’s militias in Iraq and Syria are not about to leave any time soon. They are here to stay. The perception of the U.S. in the region is changing. The majority of Sunnis now see the U.S. as taking sides in a sectarian fight, as an Iranian ally. Democracies like Lebanon, or potential democracies in the region, will slowly deteriorate because Iran will not acknowledge state institutions or tolerate freedom of speech. Liberal and civil groups or individuals will lose legitimacy in the region and civil society will crumble amidst sectarian bloodshed. Is this what the U.S. really wants the region to look like?
David Horovitz: Dennis Ross: U.S. Must Decide in Advance How to Respond If Iran Violates Deal—Dennis Ross, a former Middle East adviser to President Obama, told the Times of Israel on Thursday that the U.S. needs to decide in advance on precisely how it would respond to potential violations of any deal with Iran on its nuclear program. “If you’re really going to put a premium on one-year breakout time, by definition what you require for verification and transparency becomes even more demanding,” Ross said. Keeping Iran a year from the bomb requires “anywhere, anytime inspections, for declared and undeclared sites,” and would likely need “a new set of protocols for the scope of your access and the numbers of inspectors.” The international community would have to agree ahead of time on what to do in the event of violations. “If you’re going to wait until you detect a violation, what are you [going to do] then? Are you then entering into a negotiation over it” with the Russians and Chinese? Obviously, if Iran was caught “dashing” to the bomb, “that would be a justification for the use of force,” he said.
SnyderTalk Comment: Voight is right. Obama doesn’t “love” Israel, but I’ll go one step further: he doesn’t like Israel.
SnyderTalk Comment: It’s called payback. It’s not right, but it’s not surprising, either.
SnyderTalk Comment: Egypt is the birthplace of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Muslim Brotherhood grew to maturity in Saudi Arabia.
Today, leaders in Egypt and Saudi Arabia see the Muslim Brotherhood as a threat to their countries’ survival and the survival of the world.
In Washington, President Obama has made the Muslim Brotherhood a part of his administration. Members of the Muslim Brotherhood or supporters of the movement have helped to shape U.S. foreign policy, especially Middle East foreign policy.
That tells us a lot about our president. Are we listening?
If things continue as they are in the U.S. for the next 22 months, we will be in serious trouble as a nation, and we will have done it to ourselves. The same types of people who are threatening Saudi Arabia and Egypt are coming to the U.S. in large numbers at our urging.
SnyderTalk Comment: In Iran, it’s the jihad stupid.
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Exodus 3: 1-6
1 Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 The Angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. 3 So Moses said, “I must turn aside now and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” 4 When Yahweh saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” 6 He said also, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
SnyderTalk Comment: The Angel of Yahweh is Yahweh. He is the Messiah. Read His Name is Yahweh.
- God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘Yahweh, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.’ This [Yahweh] is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.” (Exodus 3: 15)
- “Therefore behold, I am going to make them know—this time I will make them know My power and My might; and they shall know that My name is Yahweh.” (Jeremiah 16: 21)
- “Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, “when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘Yahweh our righteousness.’” (Jeremiah 23: 5-6)
- Yeshua said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8: 58)
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Blessings in the Book of Revelation is a book that you need to read, especially now. There are blessings throughout the Scriptures but Revelation is the only book in the Bible actually containing a specific blessing for reading it. It’s repeated twice, once at the beginning and again at the end. This is the reason that I believe Revelation should be the first step toward studying biblical prophecy. Though not easy to do, Revelation can be broken down and understood by anyone, not just the academic elite. So, Revelation’s blessings are for everyone. Click here to order the eBook. Click here to order the paperback.
Other Books by Neil Snyder
- Stand! is a suspense novel that exposes the lies, corruption, and greed underlying the theory that man-made CO2 emissions are responsible for global warming. Professor Wes Carlyle and Karen Sterling, his research collaborator, carefully scan the audience for their would-be attacker—a member of the enviro-gestapo who has been following them for days. Wes spots his man in the back of the room leaning against the wall. Suddenly, another man in the audience steps forward and moves toward Karen at a menacing pace. With a vicious stroke, he swings a billy club at her head. Click here to order the eBook. Click here to order the paperback.
- What Will You Do with the Rest of Your Life? deals with a question that every Christian has to consider: what should I do with my life? Click here to order the eBook. Click here to order the paperback.
- Falsely Accused is a true story about a young woman who was accused of committing a double homicide. It’s about a travesty of justice, and it reveals Yahweh intervening in the life of a believer to rescue her from danger in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Everyone will enjoy the book, but young people in particular need to read it because the mistakes made that led to the problem could have been avoided. They were the kinds of mistakes that young people are prone to make. As they say, forewarned is forearmed. Click here to order the eBook. Click here to order the paperback.