Saudi Arabia Will Become A Nuclear Horn (Dan 7:7)

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Saudi Arabia says it won’t rule out building nuclear weapons

‘It is not something we would discuss publicly’. 
Jon Stone
Asked whether Saudi Arabia would ever build nuclear weapons in an interview with US news channel CNN, Adel Al-Jubeir said the subject was “not something we would discuss publicly”.
Pressed later on the issue he said: “This is not something that I can comment on, nor would I comment on.”
Western intelligence agencies believe that the Saudi monarchy paid for up to 60% of Pakistan’s nuclear programme in return for the ability to buy warheads for itself at short notice, the Guardian newspaper reported in 2010.
The two countries maintain close relations and are sometimes said to have a special relationship; they currently have close military ties and conduct joint exercises.
The Saudi Arabian regime also already possesses medium-range ballistic missiles in the form of the Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force.
In 2012 the Saudi Arabian government threatened to acquire nuclear weapons were neighbouring regional power Iran ever to do so.
“Politically, it would be completely unacceptable to have Iran with a nuclear capability and not the kingdom,”  a senior Saudi source told The Times newspaper at the time.
The United States and other Western allies say a deal with Iran on its nuclear programme is possible. Iran denies it is building nuclear weapons.
The news comes days after Saudi Arabia launched a military operation in neighbouring Yemen aimed at suppressing a rebel group that is attempting to form a central government.
Saudi’s military operation against the advancing Shia Houthi group has been joined by Egyptian, Jordanian and Moroccan forces.

Babylon The Great Expands The Shi’a Horns (Daniel 8)

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Washington’s Two Air Wars: With Iran In Iraq, With Saudis (Against Iran) In Yemen
By Juan Cole
26 March, 2015
Initially, the US sat out the Tikrit campaign north of the capital of Baghdad because it was a largely Iran-directed operation. Only 3,000 of the troops were regular Iraqi army. Some 30,000 members of the Shiite militias in Iraq joined in– they are better fighters with more esprit de corps than the Iraqi army. Some of them, like the Badr Corps of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, have strong ties to Iran. The special ops unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Jerusalem Brigade, provided tactical and strategic advice, commanded by Qasem Solaimani.
The campaign deployed tanks and artillery against Daesh in Tikrit, but those aren’t all that useful in counter-insurgency, because they cannot do precise targeting and fighting is in back alleys and booby-trapped buildings where infantry and militiamen are vulnerable.
US air intervention on behalf of the Jerusalem Brigades of the IRGC is ironic in the extreme, since the two have been at daggers drawn for decades. Likewise, militias like Muqtada al-Sadr’s “Peace Brigades” (formerly Mahdi Army) and League of the Righteous (Asa’ib Ahl al-Haqq) targeted US troops during Washington’s occupation of Iraq. But the fight against the so-called “Islamic State group” or Daesh has made for very strange bedfellows. Another irony is that apparently the US doesn’t mind essentially tactically allying with Iran this way– the reluctance came from the Shiite militias.
Not only US planes but also those of Jordan and some Gulf Cooperation Council countries (Saudi Arabia? the UAE? Qatar?) will join the bombing of Daesh at Tikrit, since these are also afraid of radical, populist political Islam. But why would they agree to be on the same side as Iran? Actually, this air action is an announcement that Iraq needs the US and the GCC, i.e. it is a political defeat for Iranian unilateralism. The US and Saudi Arabia are pleased with their new moxie in Baghdad.
Then in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has begun bombing the positions of the Shiite Houthi movement that has taken over northern and central Yemen and is marching south. One target was an alleged Iranian-supplied missile launcher in Sanaa to which Saudi Arabia felt vulnerable. That isn’t a huge surprise. The Saudis have bombed before, though not in a while. The big surprise is that they have put together an Arab League anti-Houthi coalition, including Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, and the GCC. Even Pakistan has joined in. (Sudan and Pakistan are a surprise, since they had tilted toward Iran or at least had correct relations with it formerly). The US State Department expressed support for this action and pledged US logistical and military support. It remains to be seen if this coalition can intervene effectively. Air power is unlikely to turn the tide against a grassroots movement.
About a third of Yemenis are Zaidi Shiites, a form of Shiism that traditionally was closer to Sunni Islam than the more militant Iranian Twelver or Imami branch of Shiism. But Saudi proselytizing and strong-arming of Zaidis in the past few decades, attempting to convert them to militant Sunnism of the Salafi variety (i.e. close to Wahhabism, the intolerant state church of Saudi Arabia) produced the Houthi reaction, throwing up a form of militant, populist Zaidism that adopted elements of the Iranian ritual calendar and chants “Death to America.” The Saudis alleged that the Houthis are Iranian proxies, but this is not likely true. They are nativist Yemenis reacting against Saudi attempts at inroads. On the other hand, that Iran politically supports the Houthis and may provide them some arms, is likely true.
The Houthis marched into the capital, Sanaa, in September, and conducted a slow-motion coup against the Arab nationalist government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. He came to power in a referendum with 80% support in February, 2012, after dictator Ali Abdallah Saleh had been forced out by Yemen’s youth revolution of 2011-12. Hadi recently fled to the southern city of Aden and tried to reconstitute the nationalist government there, with support from 6 southern governors who, as Sunni Shafi’is, rejected dictatorial Houthi Zaidi rule (no one elected the Zaidis).
But the Houthis, seeking to squelch a challenge from the south, moved south themselves, taking the Sunni city of Taiz and attracting Sunni tribal allies (Yemeni tribes tend to support the victor and sectarian considerations are not always decisive). Then Houthi forces neared Aden and Mansour Hadi is said to have fled. The nationalist government appears to have collapsed.
The other wrinkle is that elements of the old nationalist Yemen military appear to be supporting the Houthis, possibly at the direction of deposed president Ali Abdallah Saleh. So in a way all this is a reaction against the youth revolution of 2011, which aimed at a more democratic nationalist government.
The US support for the Saudi air strikes and the new coalition makes the Yemen war now the second major air campaign supported by the US in the region. But the one in Iraq is in alliance with Iran. The one in Yemen is against a group supported in some measure by Iran. This latter consideration is probably not important to the US. Rather, the US is afraid that Houthi-generated chaos will create a vacuum in which al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula will gain a free hand. AQAP has repeatedly targeted the US. The US also maintains that in each instance, it is supporting the legitimate, elected government of the country.
A lot of the online press in Yemen appears to have been knocked offline by the turmoil, by the way.

Bush War Cost Now 1.3 Million Lives (Rev 13:10)

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Endless War: As U.S. Strikes Tikrit & Delays Afghan Pullout, “War on Terror” Toll Tops 1.3 Million

Robert Gould, president of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He wrote the foreword for the new international edition of the group’s report, “Body Count: Casualty Figures after 10 Years of the ‘War on Terror.’”

Hans Von Sponeck, former U.N. assistant secretary-general and U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, who in 2000 resigned his post in protest of the U.S.-led sanctions regime. He is the author of A Different Kind of War: The UN Sanctions Regime in Iraq. He is currently teaching at the University of Marburg.
Brock McIntosh, served in Afghanistan from November 2008 to August 2009. He applied for conscientious objector status and was discharged in May 2014. He is a co-founder and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Related

As the United States begins bombing the Iraqi city of Tikrit and again delays a withdrawal from Afghanistan, a new report has found that the Iraq War has killed about one million people. The Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other groups examined the toll from the so-called war on terror in three countries — Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The investigators found “the war has, directly or indirectly, killed around one million people in Iraq, 220,000 in Afghanistan and 80,000 in Pakistan. Not included in this figure are further war zones such as Yemen. The figure is approximately 10 times greater than that of which the public, experts and decision makers are aware. … And this is only a conservative estimate.” The true tally, they add, could be more than two million. We are joined by two guests who worked on the report: Hans von Sponeck, former U.N. assistant secretary-general and U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, who in 2000 resigned his post in protest of the U.S.-led sanctions regime; and Dr. Robert Gould, president of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Antichrist’s Men Protest Against The US (Rev 13:16)

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Iraqi Shia militia pull out from offensive to liberate Tikrit

Saraya al-Salam, or Peace Brigades, loyal to Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, said in a statement that they will not participate in liberating the Iraqi cities and towns held by the Islamic State (IS) militant group with the presence of US-led coalition airstrikes, considering that the militias are capable of liberating the land and that the US presence is to “confiscate the victories” of Iraqis, Xinhua reported.
“The Saraya al-Salam announces withdrawal from any operation to free the cities of Iraq with the presence of US shameless intervention,” it said.

Another Shia militia Ahl al-Haq Movement said it will not participate in a battle with the presence of international coalition saying the Iraqi security forces and Hashid al-Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation, are capable of liberating the Iraqi IS-held cities.

“We will not participate in any battle conducted by the United States, whether their presence was by air or by land. We reject to get involved into any battle in which the international coalition will be there,” a statement by the group quoted its spokesperson Na’im al-Abboudi as saying.

A few more Shia groups such as Hezbullah Brigades and National Defence Brigades also rejected participation in battles to free Tikrit after the announcing of conducting US-led airstrikes in Tikrit.

Late on Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that the Iraqi forces started the final phase to liberate Tikrit and the rest of the northern parts of Salahudin province with the assistance of the international coalition air support.

The battles to free Tikrit from IS militants have been stalled for about two weeks as the militants have planted thousands of bombs and booby-trapped dozens of buildings and cars.

Since March 2, some 30,000 Iraqi troops and thousands of allied Shia and Sunni militias have been involved in Iraq’s biggest offensive to recapture the northern part of Salahudin province, including Tikrit and other key towns and villages, from IS militants.

Large parts of the province have been under IS control since June 2014, after bloody clashes broke out between Iraqi security forces and the group.

The IS took control of the country’s northern city of Mosul and later seized swathes of territories in Nineveh and other predominantly Sunni provinces.

To Bomb Iran Or Not To Bomb (Dan 7)

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John Bolton: Bomb Iran Before It Gets the Bomb

By Sandy Fitzgerald

There is only one way to block the Iranians from building a nuclear bomb, according to former ambassador John Bolton: Bomb them first.

“The inescapable conclusion is that Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program,” Bolton wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times on Thursday. “Nor will sanctions block its building a broad and deep weapons infrastructure.”

The “inconvenient truth,” Bolton insists, is that “only military action like Israel’s 1981 attack on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak reactor in Iraq or its 2007 destruction of a Syrian reactor, designed and built by North Korea, can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.”

Such an attack would not need to destroy Iran’s entire nuclear infrastructure, but instead, Bolton said, would break key links in the nuclear fuel cycle and set back Iran’s program by at least three to five years.

“Rendering inoperable the Natanz and Fordow uranium-enrichment installations and the Arak heavy-water production facility and reactor would be priorities,” said Bolton. “So, too, would be the little-noticed but critical uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan.”

The United States could thoroughly destroy the targets, he said, but Israel, acting alone, could also take the necessary steps. He also called for the action to combine with U.S. support for regime change in Iran.

Meanwhile, Bolton said, President Barack Obama’s fascination with striking a nuclear deal with Iran could trigger a wave of nuclear programs throughout the Middle East.

“The president’s biggest legacy could be a thoroughly nuclear-weaponized Middle East,” said Bolton. 

Experts have been worried for years that it would happen, said Bolton. As in other cases such as India, Pakistan and North Korea, the West should have been vigilant, he says, “but failing to act in the past is no excuse for making the same mistakes now.”

Obama, like his predecessors, inherited the effects of past presidents’ decisions, but is responsible for what is happening on his watch, Bolton said, and his “approach on Iran has brought a bad situation to the brink of catastrophe.”

Meanwhile, comprehensive international sanctions have crippled Iran somewhat but have not stopped the nuclear program’s progress. 

“Even absent palpable proof, like a nuclear test, Iran’s steady progress toward nuclear weapons has long been evident,” said Bolton. “Now, the arms race has begun.”

He noted that Saudi Arabia is expected to move first, as “no way would the Sunni Saudis allow the Shiite Persians to outpace them in the quest for dominance.”

Analysts believe that Saudi Arabia is able to get nuclear weapons from Pakistan, and Bolton said Egypt or Turkey would not be far behind.

Israel’s nuclear capability, though, is mainly seen as a deterrent, not as an offensive measure, and has not brought on an arms race, but Iran is different.

The evidence is mounting that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Turkey are quickening their pace for nuclear weapons of their own, said Bolton.

The Saudis have also held recent meetings with leaders from Pakistan, Egypt, and Turkey, and “nuclear matters were almost certainly on the agenda.”

Bolton said that Pakistan could quickly supply weapons, and he warned not to rule out North Korea dealing behind the backs of its Iranian allies “for the right price.”