September 6, 2010

World War III

Yellow Alert for War: Grave Situation in Mideast

Alpha Omega Report
September 2, 2010

On the eve of President Obama’s Mideast Peace Conference, unfolding events by Israel’s enemies strongly suggests that an outbreak of war is imminent, perhaps within hours or days. The following information provides our readers with an overall grasp of the extremely heavy gravity of the situation.

On Monday (8/30) the Hezbollah leadership under Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah issued a “State of War Alert” to all Hezbollah militia forces. Syria is also reportedly on its highest state of alert.

The alert status is reminiscent of the situation just hours prior to the start of the war in June of 1967 known more often as “The Six Day War.” On June 4, 1967, Arab leaders of Egypt, Syria and Jordan gave final approval for plans to launch sneak attacks against Israel. Those attack plans called for surprise air strikes by Arab war planes to begin the following morning of June 5. Israeli leaders, having caught wind of the plans launched their own pre-emptive strike catching the Arab air forces on the ground by surprise at the same time as Israeli ground forces launched a sneak ground campaign against its Arab neighbors. The result was a smashing victory for Israel, which included Israel gaining possession of all of Jerusalem, as well as the Sinai Peninsula, the Jordanian West Bank and Syria’s Golan Heights region.

As the first day of September 2010 rolled around, Israel finds itself in an eerily similar situation except that the identities of the key enemy antagonists have changed somewhat.

Syria remains in the roster of Israel’s enemy combatants but Jordan and Egypt have developed peaceful, even modestly cordial relationships. However, the primary protagonists for this latest crisis are Iran and her proxy forces of Lebanese Hezbollah militia and Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

According to various Western, U.S., Arab and Israeli intelligence reports, Hezbollah has been making final preparations for a large-scale sneak-attack against Israel. The only questions now amongst informed analysts revolve around the “when” and “where” of the expected attacks. As to the start date for the attacks, we understand Israel’s enemies are considering to optional timing dates. Plans under consideration include a launch date of not long after the opening ceremonies in Washington for the new peace conference whereby Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas will meet face to face to start peace talk negotiations under the sponsorship of President Obama.

Many sources out of the Mideast hypothesize that a surprise attack could come late Thursday evening or perhaps more likely on Friday, September 2, 2010. Why Friday?

Friday is the last day of Ramadan which concludes with a festive, celebratory feast that ends the holy period of Ramadan. It is also known as “International al Qods Day” or “Jerusalem Day.” It is a day of Islamic solidarity with the Palestinian people in their quest to secure Islamic control over all of Jerusalem. This day of consecration to that endeavor was conceived originally by the leader of Iran's Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. It is part of Iran’s master plan to be the leading nation of the Islamic world.

A-O Readers should note that an attack by Iran’s proxy forces in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip on al-Qods Day would seem very much appropriate to that day. The real question is whether the attack would technically begin during the day, before Ramadan’s final feast at night or in the twilight hours of the feast or shortly thereafter. Technically by Islamic law, no military endeavors should be permitted during any point of the Ramadan period. No doubt, Iranian clerics could find a loophole excuse for a sneak attack as early as the night before or during the pre-dawn hours of “al Qods Day.” Such an attack would be viewed as a holy consecration to the task of retaking Jerusalem from Israel as well as destroying Israel. It would likely be viewed as the opening day of a war that Islamists would hope to conclude by the Jewish holy days of Rosh Hashanah (9/8/10) and Yom Kippur (9/18/10).

2nd Optional Attack Date:

The second optional time point for launching a sneak attack against Israel would be on the eve of Rosh Hashanah which begins on the evening of September 8, 2010. This date marks the end of a 62 year period since the UN declared a homeland for the Jews back in November of 1947. Some Bible prophecy watchers suggest that this coincides with the Prophet Daniel’s prediction of a 63-year period that precedes a 7-year period of Tribulation. It should be noted that from this year of Rosh Hashanah forward for three and a half years would see “signs” in the heavens – namely lunar and solar eclipses during Jewish holy days in 2014 and 2015 including Passover. Such astronomical events are perceived by some as coming fulfillments of Biblical prophecies relating to signs in the sun and the moon.

While we find these timing hypotheses to be highly intriguing but we prefer to not make dogmatic assertions that such coming events are indeed to the “the” prophetic fulfillments of those prophecies, but we do admit to such possibilities.

Now returning our focus to unfolding events of the past few days, let’s look further at what has recently transpired that suggests an imminent attack by Israel’s enemies.

Indicator #1. Israeli Troop Deployments

First of all, there are numerous reports from within the Islamic media outlets of the Middle East claiming that Israel has deployed an additional full armored division along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and Syria.

Indicator #2. Iranian – Hezbollah War Councils

U.S., Western and Israeli intel reports note that Iranian leaders have been pressuring Hezbollah leaders to launch attacks against Israel. Various Iranian military commanders have made numerous visits to meet with Hezbollah leaders in both Lebanon and also the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Indicator #3. Hamas Drive-by Terror Strike

Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip claimed responsibility for a terror attack in the West Bank where 4 Israelis were shot dead in a drive-by shooting.

Indicator #4. Hezbollah Troop Movements

All of Hezbollah’s full-time troop forces are now at forward positions along the border with Israel in violation of UN agreements.

Indicator #5. Hezbollah Reserve Call Up

Hezbollah has issued a call to duty for all of its part-time troop reserves.

Indicator #6. Hezbollah Commando Forces Positioning

Hezbollah has placed its entire Commando Forces into special ‘strike’ positions for:

a. amphibious beach landings rapidly moving inland into central Israel

b. commando rapid strike forces from the border into northern Galilee
Indicator #7. Iranian Officers Activities

The Iranian commander of its “al Qods” (Jerusalem) Brigade – foreign division for Iraq, Gaza and the Palestinian Authority has spent the last 12 days in Damascus (since 8/19)
Along with the chief general of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps conducting War Councils with Hezbollah and Syrian officers.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Lisason Field Commander assigned to Hezbollah is Hassan Mahdavi. According to western intelligence sources, he has been shuttling around the region monitoring events in Lebanon, meeting with Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah. He has reportedly pressured Nasrallah to order a large scale surprise attack against Israel as part of Iran’s strategic response to President Obama’s attempt to forge a Mideast peace agreement from the current peace talks in Washington.

Hezbollah’s chief, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah is reported by Western intelligence sources to be nearing a decision on when and where his forces should strike initially. Reports indicate he has been somewhat reluctant to strike, in part because he detests the idea of being an Iranian puppet doing Iran’s bidding. At the same time however, one of Iran’s primary selling points for persuading Nasrallah to go ahead and attack is the notion of the honor and glory of initiating a war that takes back Jerusalem and destroys Israel. In Islamic understanding there would be great glory and prestige in being the leader which obtains the victory.

The Hezbollah chief is not the only one being lobbied by the Iranians. Iranian officials are also lobbying other Shiite groups in Lebanon that are rivals to Hezbollah. Such lobbying efforts are urging the factions to unite together in common cause against the enemy and to also remain united to greet Iran’s President under a common battle flag of Hezbollah, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes a state visit to Beirut, Lebanon later in September. reports its sources understand the visit is tentatively scheduled for September 10-12 during Israel’s holiday period. It is believed the trip is designed to be a victory trip, celebrating the recapture of Jerusalem and the destruction of Israel.

Tehran’s war goal is intended to not only destroy Israel and recapture Jerusalem but to also strike at American prestige and standing in the world of geo-politics. Iranian leaders gauge that a Israel’s destruction will result in a humiliation of America and those Arab leaders which have aligned with America. It would underscore the impotence of America and point out Obama’s incompetence as a leader. Arab nations would question the wisdom of aligning themselves with American foreign policy.

The Iranian war strategy is also timed to launch a civil war within Iraq in order to install a puppet government subordinate and subservient to Iran, much like Hezbollah. Iran has been waiting for U.S. combat forces to exit Iraq in order to more easily accomplish the mission. At the same time, an Iranian take-over by its proxy Shiites in Iraq would serve as a historic parallel to the world portraying America as having suffered a defeat equal to its withdrawal and defeat in Vietnam.

Hezbollah has also set up a liason for joint command of forces with Syria. This arrangement will enable Syria to remain abreast of the battlefield situation and provide strategic support as needed. We’ll have more the battlefield strategies in separate A-O Report coverage.

Meanwhile, Iran is fully prepared for any Israeli air strikes targeting Iranian nuclear faclities. Iranian strategy calls for a quick response with swift missile strike counter-attacks designed to level Israeli cities and take out key targets in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other Arab targets in the Persian Gulf as well as American bases in the region.

Iran intends to confront U.S. naval forces in the region as opportunities allow. Such moves would likely result in Iran sealing off the Strait of Hormuz. In doing so, such a development would halt the flow of 40% of the world’s oil shipments from the Persian Gulf. Such a development will spark a skyrocketing of oil prices and refined products such as gasoline and diesel fuel.

Our A-O Report analysis expects that Hezbollah will not launch any attacks until after the Ramadan period concludes on Friday night. It may coincide with the final night feast on Friday night. Such an attack at the end of “International al-Qods Day” would still have significant symbolism for the Muslim world without violating Islamic law concerning Ramadan itself. With that in mind, we anticipate that by American time zones, word of an attack would not begin to be picked up by U.S. news media until mid to late Friday afternoon at the earliest.

We’re more inclined to think it militarily prudent to wait until the eve of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah on September 8 for the launch of an attack. This date would give Hezbollah the cover of a new moon to allow amphibious commando landings a better likelihood for success without premature discovery that a moonlit night might afford. A Rosh Hashanah attack might also provide a better element of surprise as it would catch the Jewish nation in a bind as it tries to celebrate the arrival of a Jewish New Year.

An alternative date for a surprise attack would be the high Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur which comes on September 18. Such an attack would not be the first time Israel was attacked on Yom Kippur. Back in 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a sneak attack on Israel triggering what is now often times referred to as the “Yom Kippur War” of 1973. Would Iran, Hezbollah and Syria opt for a second Yom Kippur War? It might well be a possible “back up” date should the situations for September 3 (al Qods Day) or September 8 (Rosh Hashanah) not be favorable for an attack.

At the moment, given the indicators we’ve noted, we’d place the likelihood for an attack by Hezbollah to be at probably 70%.

A final note of caution is appropriate, as always in such cases. God is sovereign and can quite easily halt and prevent Hezbollah and Iran from doing anything that does not fit with God’s prophetic time line. Therefore, if a war does not mesh with God’s prophetic timeline, there will be no attack. Some way, some how, God will see to it that an attack does not take place, if the timing does not mesh with the Divine timeline and God’s will ...

Four Possible Scenarios for the Future of Israel

Benjamin Nethanyahu believes that if Iran gains possession of a nuclear weapon, it will use its new leverage to buttress its terrorist proxies in their attempts to make life difficult and dangerous; and he fears that Israel’s status as a haven for Jews would be forever undermined, and with it, the entire raison d’être of the 100-year-old Zionist experiment’ ... Ephraim Sneh, a former general and former deputy defense minister, said, if Israel is no longer understood by its 6 million Jewish citizens, and by the roughly 7 million Jews who live outside of Israel, to be a “natural safe haven,” then its raison d’être will have been subverted.

By Christel Hahn, Tengen, Germany
August 27, 2010

... The Isreali leaders see themselves as Zionists and they talk of a 100-year Zionist experiment. Zionism is based on the idea of a Jewish state, and linked to this is a strong apocalyptic and messianic component.

The idea of a Jewish state was not always limited to having one in the Middle East. Theodor Herzl, for example, the founder of Zionism, had originally worked for a Jewish state in Uganda. Historically, Great Britain has been working for creating a Jewish state in the Middle East since the Balfour Declaration of 1917. This was part of a strategy to keep control in the area of the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

This is very important to keep in mind as it makes clear that politics in this region was not done primarily with the aim to really help the Jews, but with the aim to control the Arab world.

A fundamental maxim of the British Empire was “divide and rule,” meaning that a divided region is easier to rule than a united one. In this situation, the Arabic movements and states started to oppose the creation and development of a Jewish state, resulting in a series of wars and armed conflicts. Islamic fundamentalism, with the goal of eliminating Israel, developed. Israel on two occasions has already bombed developing nuclear facilities (in Iraq and in Syria) and is now focused on the nuclear facilities of Iran.

In the past decades human history has advanced very fast. So, we need to have a new and unbiased look at the situation around Israel. Out of the analysis of the current situation in the Middle East, four possible scenarios for the future of Israel can be seen. All of these four scenarios demand dropping the idea of a Jewish state in the Middle East.

  1. As the Israeli leaders, according to Goldberg’s analysis, are promoting a nuclear attack on Iran, a very likely scenario consists of the state of Israel in the Middle East being destroyed as a consequence of this attack.

    Goldberg describes the scenario he envisages for the Middle East:

    “When the Israelis begin to bomb the uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz, the formerly secret enrichment site at Qom, the nuclear-research center at Esfahan, and possibly even the Bushehr reactor, along with the other main sites of the Iranian nuclear program, a short while after they depart en masse from their bases across Israel—regardless of whether they succeed in destroying Iran’s centrifuges and warhead and missile plants, or whether they fail miserably to even make a dent in Iran’s nuclear program—they stand a good chance of changing the Middle East forever; of sparking lethal reprisals, and even a full-blown regional war that could lead to the deaths of thousands of Israelis and Iranians, and possibly Arabs and Americans as well; ….”
  2. A second option would be for Israeli leaders to start acknowledging the situation that they are living in. Instead of sending children of immigrants back to their home countries, they would start to look into what it means for the 6 million Jews living in a Muslim-dominated world. If they would want to stay in the region, safe and for a long period in the future, they would have to accept that Jews have to integrate themselves into the world which they have chosen as their home.

  3. As this scenario is very unlikely, there is also the option to start new -- buy land in a safe surrounding for a new Israel. A region inside one of the US -- states (like Texas) would be very much suited for this. It is safe for Jews, it is big enough, and there are thousands of homes for sale as a result of the housing crisis.

  4. A fourth option would be to help Israelis to leave Israel and to settle in the country of their choice and help them to integrate in the country of their choice. This option sounds very drastic, as it requires the undoing of the Zionist experiment, but it would be the option that is closest to human nature, as can be seen by the fear of Israeli leaders of a brain-drain.
On August 23, 2010, Prof. Wolffsohn (Bundeswehr-Universität München) was quoted in Bild-Zeitung saying:
“I have not the slightest doubt that Isreael is going to strike before Iran has the bomb. Whoever can add two-to-two can see that Israel, and probably also the U.S., are preparing for the real thing!”
Christel Hahn is member of the board of Newropeans, the first trans-European political movement which has run for European elections in 2009 in several EU Member States, board. As a European she is encouraging the Europeans to care for their future. As the great-grand-daughter of an American Jew she is looking into the deeper motivations of the players. As a physicist she has been looking into the development of nuclear weapons.

Stop the War Talk

By Reza Aslan and Bernard Avishai, The New York Times
September 1, 2010

The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Washington, purportedly to be part of the Obama administration’s relaunch of peace negotiations. But the urgent talk is of war, thanks to Jeffrey Goldberg’s much-discussed Atlantic Monthly cover article, which faithfully reproduced the logic of Israeli military and political leaders.

According to this, even Israelis who doubt that a nuclear Iran would immediately attack Tel Aviv argue that the threat is “existential.” An Iranian bomb would provide a “nuclear umbrella” for Hezbollah missiles and Hamas terrorism. It would force the Gulf states to ally with Iran against the United States and its cornered ally. Israel’s only option is a pre-emptive strike, like the ones it carried out against nuclear reactors in Iraq and Syria. It is only a matter of time.

The logic seems to be pushing on an open door. In the United States, an impressive 65 percent of Americans would support military action, according to a recent FOX News/Opinion Dynamics Poll. Indeed — so the logic continues — the U.S. military would do a better job against Iran’s nuclear facilities, and the United States would surely be blamed for, and suffer the consequences of, any pre-emptive attack by Israel. So shouldn’t the U.S. carry out the strike itself? Shouldn’t Israel’s friends in America prepare the ground?

This drumbeat must be silenced, and only President Obama can silence it.

An Israeli attack on Iran would almost certainly precipitate a devastating regional war with unforeseeable global consequences.

Iran is not Syria, with no immediate capacity to retaliate against a surprise attack on its nuclear sites. Iran is a country of 70 million people, and its commanders, battle-hardened by a brutal eight-year stand-off with Iraq, have the ability and will to engage in a long, protracted war against Israel and American interests. Iran maintains a large military equipped with Russian-made weapons systems, surface-to-surface missiles, combat aircraft, unmanned drones and high-speed torpedo boats capable of destroying large warships.

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard has extended its reach from southern Lebanon to South America and maintains proxy forces — again, Hezbollah and Hamas — positioned in Israel’s back yard. They’ll force Israel to fight a war of attrition on multiple fronts.

Israel would likely be compelled to extend its military operations to include Lebanon. That would instantly plunge the entire region into war, likely bring a new intifada onto Jerusalem’s streets and place enormous pressure on leaders in Cairo and Amman to renounce their peace treaties with Israel. If Israeli planes use Saudi airspace, Iran has threatened to attack the kingdom, too.

The United States, for its part, could forget about the withdrawal of its forces from Iraq and the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan. There are up to 30,000 Iranian operatives in Iraq ready to do Iran’s bidding. And Iran enjoys significant loyalty from Afghan officials and warlords, particularly those in the trouble-prone region of Herat.

Iran has repeatedly said that it would, in the case of an attack, shut down the Strait of Hormuz, through which roughly 17 million barrels of oil pass every day, spiking oil prices and devastating America’s financial recovery.

All of this could engender a serious diplomatic crisis between the United States and Russia — respectively Israel’s and Iran’s patrons — at a time when U.S.-Russian relations are improving.

Netanyahu says Iran is led by “a messianic apocalyptic cult” and that failure to attack is appeasement. But surely not every year is 1938, not every statesman who fears the nemesis of war is Chamberlain.

Iran’s leaders, ruthless as they clearly are, are not crazed men looking for a 10-megaton exploding belt. They know that Israel has up to 200 warheads and a second-strike capacity in missile-carrying submarines. They also know that incinerating Tel Aviv means irradiating all of Palestine — that destroying Israel means the destruction of Tehran, Qum and their other great cities. They have repeatedly and formally declared they would make peace with Israel along any lines acceptable to the Palestinians. Nothing will reinforce their hold on power like a surprise attack in which hundreds, if not thousands, are killed.

And exactly what is a “nuclear umbrella”? Did the absence of a nuclear Iran stop Hezbollah from attacking Israel in 2006? If war resumes, God forbid, would a nuclear Iran keep Israel from attacking Hezbollah missile sites in Lebanon any more than, say, the images of bombed out Beirut apartment buildings on CNN?

Most plausibly, Iran wants a nuclear weapon for much the same reason Israel developed one: as an ultimate hedge against invasion by superior conventional forces.

In the Atlantic Monthly article, Goldberg — stretching the words of one ambassador from the Emirates — argues that if Iran becomes a nuclear power, “the small Arab countries of the Gulf would have no choice but to leave the American orbit and ally themselves with Iran.” But to suppose that the Gulf states — utterly dependent on the West culturally, technologically and militarily — would ally with Iran because of a bomb is fatuous.

Mohamed ElBaradei, the former chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency and an Egyptian, has called a strike “completely insane,” arguing that it would “turn the region into one big fireball” and that the Iranians “would immediately start building the bomb — and they could count on the support of the entire Islamic world.”

A former Israeli intelligence boss, Ephraim Halevy, and a former military chief of Staff, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, have issued similar warnings.

Clearly, an Iranian bomb would cause irreparable damage to the global anti-proliferation regime, add a threat to Israel, and complicate American foreign policy. All nonviolent diplomatic means should be used to prevent this.

But if a year from now we are confronted by an Iran crossing the nuclear threshold, that would be a lesser evil than what we will confront in the wake of an attack to prevent this.

If President Obama has the nerves for risk, he should rather gamble on rallying the international community to force through an Israeli-Palestinian deal within a year. That would not mean an end to the anti-Western leaders clinging to power in Tehran, but it would certainly do more to reduce their motivation to attack Israel than a temporary setback to their nuclear program would.

Reza Aslan, an Iranian-American writer, is a member of the faculty at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of “Beyond Fundamentalism: Confronting Religious Extremism in a Globalized World.” Bernard Avishai is adjunct professor of business at Hebrew University and the author, most recently, of “The Hebrew Republic: How Secular Democracy and Global Enterprise Will Bring Israel Peace At Last.”
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