24 Signs That We Are Getting Dangerously Close To A Major War In The Middle East
s 2012 the year when we will see a major war in the Middle East? For years we have heard about rising tensions in the Middle East, and for years we have heard politicians express concerns about Iran’s nuclear program, but now things really do seem to be reaching a boiling point. In just the past few days, the U.S. government has imposed tough new sanctions on Iran and has totally shut down the U.S. embassy in Syria. The truth is that we are getting dangerously close to a major war in the Middle East. So will Israel strike Iran at some point in the next few months? Will the U.S. military intervene in the rapidly escalating conflict inside of Syria? If a major war does erupt, it could send the price of oil skyrocketing and there is the potential that the war could broaden very quickly. Hezbollah has already indicated that it will side with Syria, and there is always the potential that Hamas could as well. Russia and China have both stated that they are completely opposed to military action by the United States against Iran and Syria, and they have even hinted that they would possibly even help defend those countries. As the nations of the world take sides, there is even the potential that we could see World War III develop. Let us hope that it never comes to that, but with the world as unstable as it is right now, you never know what may happen.
What makes war so much more likely now is that nobody has shown any signs of backing down.
Syrian President Bashar Assad has sworn that he will never step down.
U.S. President Barack Obama says that it is only a matter of time until he is forced to step down and that no other outcome is acceptable.
Iran has sworn that it will never end its nuclear program.
The United States believes that if Iran is allowed to develop a nuclear weapon it would be a fundamental threat to world security.
Israel believes that if Iran is allowed to develop a nuclear weapon it would be a fundamental threat to the very existence of the nation of Israel.
So if nobody backs down, what is going to happen?
I think we all know what is going to happen.
The following are 25 signs that we are getting dangerously close to a major war in the Middle East….
#1 The United States has just imposed tough new sanctions on Iran. Some of the new sanctions are specifically targeted at the central bank of Iran. Stronger sanctions have been a prelude to war in the past, and the Obama administration surely wants to argue that “all other alternatives have been exhausted” before going to war.
#2 The EU has announced that all imports of crude oil from Iran will be banned starting in July.
#3 The U.S. embassy in Syria has been shut down and the Obama administration has once again called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to resign.
#4 The U.S. has also removed all diplomats from Syria.
#5 In speaking of the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Barack Obama is making it very clear what he believes the final result will be….
“This is not going to be a matter of if, it’s going to be a matter of when.”
This is very reminiscent of the language that Obama used to describe the removal of Gadhafi before the U.S. launched airstrikes in Libya.
#6 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling for “an international coalition” to support the opposition fighters in Syria.
#7 Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says that Iran is moving their uranium enrichment facilities into recently constructed underground bunkers and that the point of no return is rapidly approaching….
“The world has no doubt that Iran’s nuclear program is steadily nearing readiness and is about to enter an immunity zone”
#8 There are indications that Israel may consider launching an attack against Iran without even notifying the United States. Aaron David Miller, a Mideast peace negotiator during the Clinton administration, recently made the following statement….
“There’s a growing concern — more than a concern — that the Israelis, in order to protect themselves, might launch a strike without approval, warning or even foreknowledge”
#9 The Washington Post is reporting that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes that Israel will strike Iran at some point during the months of April, May or June.
“It’s possible to strike all Iran’s facilities, and I say that out of my experience as IDF chief of staff”
#11 U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner says that the Obama administration “is absolutely committed to preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons“.
#12 Barack Obama underscored his policy toward Iran in a speech just the other day….
“I’ve been very clear — we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon and creating a nuclear arms race in a volatile region”
#13 According to Debka, thousands of U.S. troops have been heading to “two strategic islands within reach of Iran”.
#14 Iranian leader Ayatollah Khamenei is speaking as if the coming war is a foregone conclusion….
“The war itself will be 10 times as detrimental to the U.S.”
#15 Khamenei also seems to think that the outcome of the coming war is a foregone conclusion as well….
“In light of the realization of the divine promise by almighty God, the Zionists and the Great Satan (America) will soon be defeated”
#16 Khamenei also has declared that Israel is a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut“.
#17 According to one estimate, there are currently 200,000 missiles aimed at the nation of Israel.
#18 Some Israeli officials claim that Iran is trying to develop a long-range missile capable of reaching the United States.
#19 The death toll from the conflict inside of Syria continues to rise. According to Debka, “a continuous Syrian bombardment beginning early Saturday, Feb. 4, is estimated to have left a record 350 dead and up to 1,300 wounded in the Homs district of Khaldiyeh.”
#20 According to the United Nations, a total of approximately 6,000 people have been killed since the conflict in Syria began.
#21 The city of Homs is one giant war zone at this point. The following comes from a recent article in the Telegraph….
“We can’t count all the bodies from the streets and the collapsed buildings. Anyone who tries to go on the street might be killed – there are snipers,” said Abu Abdu al-Homsi, spokesman for the Syrian Revolutionary Council, an opposition group, in Homs. “An old woman – her son was shot and killed in the street, she went to get his body and was shot dead too.”
#22 The Russians appear to be very serious about supporting the Assad regime in Syria. According to Debka, “the Russians backed their hard line against the West by putting Rapid Reaction Force (aka Spetsnaz) units in Black Sea bases on the ready to set out for Syria and defend Damascus.”
#23 It is being reported that a Hezbollah official has indicated that Hezbollah will attack Israel if Syria is attacked.
#24 There are even signs that Saudi Arabia is busy preparing for a coming war. The following comes from a recent Debka article….
“Our military sources report that the Saudis this week wound up their own intensive preparations for war. Large forces are now deployed around Saudi oil fields, pipelines and export facilities in the eastern provinces opposite the Persian Gulf, backed by anti-missile Patriot PAC-3 batteries. American, British and French fighter-bombers have been landing at Saudi air bases to safeguard the capital, Riyadh.”
If a major war does erupt in the Middle East, what is that going to do to the global economy and the price of oil?
It is being projected that the price of gasoline in the United States could go above 4 dollars a gallon this spring even if there isn’t a war in the Middle East.
So how much higher would it go if there is a conflict with Iran?
Today, Iran is the third largest exporter of oil in the entire world. If those shipments are cut off that would have a huge impact.
But Iran could have an even greater impact by closing the Strait of Hormuz.
Approximately 20 percent of all oil sold in the world goes through the Strait of Hormuz each year. If Iran started raining missiles down on oil tankers passing through the Strait of Hormuz, that would change the global economy overnight.
We live in very unusual times, and it should be apparent to everyone that there is not going to be lasting peace in the Middle East any time soon.
Right now, the world is on a road that is inevitably going to lead to a major war in the Middle East and nobody is showing any signs of backing down.
When the next major war does erupt in the Middle East, it is going to change the world forever.
But what kind of change will that be?
Day by day, hour by hour, minute on minute all eyes look toward Syria. The country gripped by bloody civil war is set to be the key to a wider conflict.
All sides have their agents firmly embedded, the propaganda war rages. The west has its chips placed with the free Syrian army the resistance to Assad. Russia and china have gambled it all, on supporting the Assad regime.
We slowly but surely watch as more and more countries get dragged into a situation that in my view is Syrian problem and should be left to Syrians to solve. The wests thinly veiled calls for democracy cannot hide their lust for the oil rich country.
We the see the US plan of 7 countries in 5 years coming to fruition. The UN denounces acts of barbarism in the country while they conveniently ignore their own.
Violence continues to build and build complicating the geo political mess that is the world today.
So as we see this situation growing to a point where we could easily tip into a full scale global war, we need to know who the players are, what they bring to the table and why do they want to play this game?
The uprising is an ongoing, violent internal conflict in Syria. 15 March 2011 was marked with the start of public demonstrations; this demonstration movement found inspiration from the Arab Spring and quickly developed into the nationwide uprising we see today. Protesters demanded elections and that the countries current leaders the Ba’ath Party step down after a 5 year rule, and the current President Bashar al-Assad to quit office.
The Syrian government in a bid to hold power and control deployed the Syrian Army to quell the uprising in the spring of 2011. Many cities have been and still are besieged; soldiers reportedly open fire on civilians. According to some witnesses, soldiers who refuse to open fire on civilians are summarily executed. The Syrian government categorizes the insurgency as “armed terrorist groups”.
U.S hold strong views on the Syrian uprising, at first they chose not to respond to abuses of peaceful demonstrators. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told press that in her view Assad was a “reformer.”
U.S. believed he would respond appropriately to the demands of his people. As Syria quickly deteriorated and its government resorted to desperate measures to crush the protest movement Washington’s patience and policy changed. President Obama stated his belief that Assad should step down. The U.S. then pushed strongly for the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning the crackdown and sanctions against Syria.
Russia and the People’s Republic of China proceeded to wield their power and use veto’s to block the proposal, Ambassador Rice expressed “outrage”.
Relations have been further strained by Syrian security forces’ failure to protect Robert Ford, the U.S. ambassador to Syria; he has been attacked by pro-Assad mobs on at least two occasions. The U.S. followed this with the announcement that it had recalled Ambassador Ford due to ‘credible threats against his personal safety.” Currently, US interests in Syria are represented by an Interest Section in the Embassy of Poland.
U.S. State Department then told the Syrian chargé d’affaires in Washington that they had 72 hours to leave the country, thus cutting the last line of direct contact.
Most analyses begins from the veto it explained the lessons learned from the experience with Libya, during which Russia had abstained on the UN Security Council resolution that authorized the no-fly zone over Libya. Commentators stressed the need to avoid repeating a potential “Libya scenario.”
Fyodor Lukyanov, editor of the Russia in Global Affairs journal: ”After Moscow refrained from using its veto in the UNSC, paving the way for ‘humanitarian intervention’ by NATO, the ‘no-fly zone’ mandate was almost immediately shifted into a regime change operation led by France and Britain. Russia felt its cooperation had been abused. It is because of this that Moscow now refuses to cooperate on Syria.”
Referring to the UN veto: “That’s a perfectly clever move; we’re protecting our own interests,” said Vladimir Bartenev, a global affairs analyst with the Moscow State University. In the event that the West bypasses the Security Council, “one of Russia’s objectives is to paint the West as idiots ignoring the United Nations.”
Yevgeny Satanovsky, head of the Middle East Institute think-tank agrees, adding that “such an intervention would be illegitimate in the eyes of the global community.” He also notes that “a possible intervention would be a prelude to a standoff with Iran, Syria’s main ally.”
Commentators were mixed on Syria’s strategic importance to Russia:
Igor Panarin, Dean of Russia’s Diplomatic Academy, views Syria as Russia’s “strategic ally, who could assist Russia in restoring its military presence in the Mediterranean.” Classifying those countries that were in favor of the UN vote as “NATO heavyweights,” Panarin suggested that their “ultimate objective is most likely turning Syria into another Iraq.”
Andrei Murtazin from the state-run Ria Novosti states that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s February 7 trip to Damascus “reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to stand up to the West and the Arab League in defense of its last remaining ally in the Middle East.” Nonetheless, Murtazin concludes that “confrontation with both Arab and Western countries would greatly damage Russia’s hard-won international image as a democratic state.( http://www.risingpowersinitiative.org)
China has explained its six-point statement for the political resolution of Syria’s problems.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin former Ambassador to Syria explained with the following comments,
“China hopes to take real action to contribute to the settlement of the Syrian crisis in an impartial and practical way that is acceptable to all parties concerned”
“We always propose to give top priority to ending the violence, and believe the sole correct path is to solve the Syria issue through dialogues, China advocates respecting the sovereignty of Syria as well as the independent choice of Syrian people “.
“We always oppose armed interference or pushing for ‘regime change’ in Syria,”
China proposes that the UN or an impartial body acceptable to all parties should make an objective and comprehensive assessment of the humanitarian situation, and ensure the delivery and distribution of humanitarian aid.
China expressed support for the envoy’s mediation efforts in launching an inclusive political dialogue among Syria’s government and various factions.
China also advocates that the UN Security Council members should carry out equal-footed, patient and full consultation on the political solution to the Syrian crisis, in an effort to safeguard the group’s unity, Liu said.
Turkey’s president, Abdullah Gul, has insisted that change in Damascus is inevitable because Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, can no longer be trusted after an eight-month uprising in which thousands have been killed.
Syria’s crisis was now at a “dead end” after Assad failed to heed calls for reform that might have resolved unrest, Gul told the Guardian in an exclusive interview.
Gull, who was speaking on the eve of a three-day state visit to Britain, declined to comment directly on reports that Turkey was preparing to establish a buffer zone on the Syrian border. Creating a haven for armed groups was out of the question, he said, although Ankara would continue to offer a “democratic platform” for Syrian opposition organisations.
“Syria is now at a dead end so change is inevitable,” Gul said. “But we don’t believe the right way to create change is through external intervention. The people must make that change. Civil war is not something that anyone would want to see happen. Everything must be done to prevent it. It is very dangerous.”
Gul’s strongly worded comments came on a day that saw Syrian soldiers shoot and injure two Turkish pilgrims on a bus near the Syrian town of Homs, the focal point of recent violence. It is further evidence of how Turkey is being affected by the prolonged instability in its southern neighbour. Witnesses claimed the soldiers had opened fire when they realised the passengers were Turks.
The Turkish president said he had spoken to Assad regularly until a few months ago and had advised him to allow free elections, release political prisoners and announce a clear timetable for reforms.
“It’s quite too late for that sort of thing now,” he said. “He seems to have opted for a different route. And frankly we do not have any more trust in him.”
The Arab awakening had happened with “something of a delay”, said Gul, whose Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) has ruled Turkey since 2002. He had urged Arab leaders to follow Turkey’s example.
“There was a need for deep-rooted reform,” he said. “They could not carry on as they were forever. In the end, it would either be the people or some sort of external interference that would bring change. Turkey now is a source of inspiration to many of these countries.”(guardian.co.uk)
Israeli President Shimon Peres comments whilst attending a dinner at the White House after President Obama presented him with the Medal of Freedom.
They say that there is reluctance to remove President Assad because they don’t know what the alternative is. But Assad is no longer an alternative—he is finished. He cannot be an alternative, neither from a human point of view nor from a political point of view. It’s over. The problem is: Who should handle the transition? Who should take care of replacing him? I think that Kofi Annan’s idea of a combination between the Arab League and the United Nations is not a bad one.
Annan says he is a representative of the United Nations and the Arab League. It’s the first time in history that something like this is happening. Why wouldn’t you suggest that the United Nations give a mandate to the Arab League to change the system, instead of the Arab League advising or complaining? It’s an Arab question. Whoever will intervene, they will say it’s a foreign intervention. Let them do it, and the United Nations will give them the mandate and the support.
If the West arms the opposition, they can say it is a war of the West. It’s an Arab question. There is an Arab League, the Arabs have armies, they have got a mandate from the United Nations for a transitional period of time to have elections. Let them handle it and get rid of Assad. They attack Assad. They say they cannot stand the way he is killing children. The time has come for the Arab League to take responsibility and not just criticize others. You don’t want an intervention, OK. You want the support of all the nations, OK. Then go and do it. That’s what I suggested to the president and Secretary Clinton.
Iran believes the U.S. and its allies in the region – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey – have militarized the protests in Syria and, by doing so, are trying to weaken Annan’s plan and promote violence. The influx of massive amounts of weapons and money for the armed groups in Syria and decision of tens of jihadists groups from regional countries to join the Free Syria Army indicated to Iran that Annan’s plan is not United States’ first priority. In Tehran’s view the current aim of the United States is to change the balance of power in Syria through military and sabotage operations. Numerous reports about covert operations in Syria published by western and Arabic media reassure this assumption for Iran.
Iranian officials believe that the civil war in Syria and the tribal and religious confrontations are desirable for America and its allies. Because by weakening the Syrian central government and tying the hands of the Syrian army in fighting tribal clashes, the regional role of Syria will be damaged. In this regard, Israel’s constant concern over the presence of a strong army as its neighbor and Assad’s anti-Israeli foreign policy is significant to keep in mind.
Iran believes that America is trying to take advantage of the opportunity in Syria to foment Shia-Sunni strife in the region and benefit from the instability it will cause.
Therefore, the Iranian officials believe that the United States’ goal in supporting Annan’s plan or organizing an international conference is not to stop the violence in Syria, but to ready the political ground for Assad’s fall and ultimately remove Damascus as one of the centers of power in the region. Given the large gap between Iran and the countries opposing Assad, Kofi Annan will face a difficult time in creating an international and regional consensus regarding the implementation of his plan.
So with each country having such strong finicial military ties we each other and Syria we see the teams beginning to form other countries allied to the main p-layers as mentioned are adjusting their policies preparing their military and are deep in discussion.The smokey back rooms of national politics are busy these days promises being made plans being developed and we are kept in the dark. (http://www.insideiran.org)
As the world’s governments salivate over the billions they could make from sale of arms, no one is giving a thought to those that will lose.
With nuclear armed countries willing to go toe to toe over oil reserves, using the guise of Syria’s political problems. All to grab a share of the ever shrinking pie the chances of a desperate nation hitting the big red button and sending us all into Armageddon is increasing.
We still have time we must campaign while we still can, the days of apathy are over. If you value your life and that of your families you must take a stand.
Increasingly we see policy being introduced to lay the ground work for incidents of civil unrest, we see laws regarding property and civil liberties become more state controlled, why?
I believe it is not because they are trying to grab wealth as the economic crisis deepens (although there are those that have this as their main objective) but preparation for war. We may look to history to provide similar examples.
During World War 2 we saw the state grab land and property and introduce war time laws, they governed ownership and what people could do in their normally daily life.
This system is being built now, all the rhetoric of peace and finding common ground to solve the Syrian crisis is well BS, I feel the governments of the world are resigned to the fact that war is imminent.
By Mort Amsel
‘Things’ appear to be hotting up in a couple of places around the world. While the Middle East’s incessant instability only grows worse; the following clip from Stratfor sheds light on the ‘discussion’ that is occurring in the middle of the Pacific with the Chinese and the Phillipines over potential energy rights. Nothing to see here, move along.
And on the Chinese maritime ‘excursion’…
and Iran and Syria..