Sep 30 2014

Netanyahu at UN warns “militant Islam is on the march,” from Hamas to ISIS, but greatest threat is a nuclear armed Iran. Watch video of the speech here.

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 1:00 pm

From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

Netanyahu at UN warns “militant Islam is on the march,” from Hamas to ISIS, but greatest threat is a nuclear armed Iran. Watch video of the speech here.

by joelcrosenberg

· Quoting Scripture: “For the sake of Zion I will not be silent. For the sake of Jerusalem, I will not be still.”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the UN General Assembly on Monday on the threat of "militant Islam" to his country and the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the UN General Assembly on Monday on the threat of “militant Islam” to his country and the world.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the opening Fall session of the United Nations General Assembly on Monday by noting that “militant Islam is on the march” and warning the leaders of the world that “to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle and lose the war.”

The Israeli premier cast the recent war with Hamas as part of the broader Radical Islamic jihad that is sweeping across the region from Gaza to Syria to Iran. But he stated that the greatest threat to his country and the world was a nuclear armed Iranian regime, or one that could rapidly produce nuclear warheads.

Netanyahu said he sees a new alignment of interests between Israel and moderate Arab nations in the region, and suggested such a realignment — involving common threats from ISIS, Hamas and an Iranian nuclear power — could help lead to a sustainable peace deal with the Palestinians.

“I want peace because I want to create a better future for my people,” Netanyahu told his fellow presidents and prime ministers.

He reached out to “Cairo, Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere,” noted the Times of Israel, and asserted that a rapprochement with Israel by such Arab players could in turn yield a peace agreement with the Palestinians, which, he also said, “will obviously necessitate a territorial compromise.”

“Israel wants to transform our common interests with moderate Arab states to a partnership that can facilitate peace with Palestinians.”

The full text of the speech has not yet been released. I will post it and analysis when it becomes available.

You can watch the speech by clicking here.

Here are some of the key lines from the address that caught my attention:

· “To defeat ISIS & leave Iran as a threshold nuclear power would be to win the battle & lose the war.”

· “ISIS & Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. They share the same fanatical creed.”

· “The Nazis believed in a master race. The militant Islamists believe in a master faith.”

· “Militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam.”

· “What would your countries do if thousands of rockets were fired at your cities?”

· “You wouldn’t let terrorists fire rockets at your cities with impunity.”

· “Hamas deliberately put its rockets in hundreds of residential areas.”

· “Israel was using its missiles to protect its children. Hamas was using its children to protect its missiles.”

· “No other country and no other army in history has gone to greater lengths to avoid casualties among the civilian population of their enemy.”

· “Hamas cynically used Palestinian civilians as human shields. Israel did everything to minimize Palestinian casualties.”

· “Allowing Iran to reach nuclear capabilities will pose the greatest threat to us all.”

· “A broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

· “Israel is prepared to work with Arab partners to confront dangers and seize opportunities.”

· “There is a new Middle East. It presents new dangers but also new opportunities.”

· “In any peace agreement I will always insist that Israel be able to defend itself by itself.”

· “The UNHCR has betrayed its noble mission to protect the innocent. The Human Rights Council has become the Terrorist Rights Council.”

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Sep 29 2014

Three threats to America, Israel & the Church in the Mideast. Video of my address at Moody Bible Institute.

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 1:51 pm

From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

Three threats to America, Israel & the Church in the Mideast. Video of my address at Moody Bible Institute.

by joelcrosenberg

· Receive every blog post automatically via the RSS feed.

Speaking at Moody Bible Institute's chapel on "Three Threats To America, Israel & The Church In The Middle East."

Speaking at Moody Bible Institute’s chapel on “Three Threats To America, Israel & The Church In The Middle East.”

It was an honor to be on the campus of Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago in early September. Several weeks ago, at the invitation of Dr. Paul Nyquist, president of MBI, and Dr. Michael Rydelnik, a professor and head of the Jewish Studies Program, I was invited to teach a class on the Holocaust, another class on modern Israeli politics and society, speak on an evening panel on “Israel & The Gaza Conflict,” tape two programs for Moody Radio. I also had the joy and honor of addressing the student body — some 1,600 future Christian leaders — one morning at chapel.

· Here are my notes for the address I delivered: “Three Threats Facing America, Israel and the Church in the Middle East.”

· Here is a link to the video of my address at Moody, if you would like to watch it online.

An excerpt:

Followers of Jesus Christ who love Israel and understand God’s Biblical plan for Israel must not be blind to the suffering in the Arab, Iranian, and Muslim world….nor deaf to their cries for help…..nor dull to the terror and tyranny they face.

We are witnessing a Radical Islamic offensive across the Mideast, from Gaza to Syria to Iraq.

Leaders in Washington and across the world have been slow to see, and slow to act.

But the Church must step up. We serve the King of glory. Our King was born in the epicenter. He died and rose again in the epicenter. He is coming back to the epicenter — and He’s coming soon.

So we must help our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in the Middle East. We must show Christ’s love and compassion to Jews, Muslims and Christians in the epicenter.


· Learn more about The Joshua Fund ( This is an organization my wife and I founded in 2006 to educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her Arab neighbors in the name of Jesus, including caring for the poor and needy with food and other humanitarian relief. Read our 2013 Donor Report. Please pray for our team, especially as they care for people in the rocket zone. And please prayerfully consider making a generous, tax deductible, secure, on-line contribution.

· We are moving up release of my new thriller about the ISIS threat, THE THIRD TARGET. It will be published on Jan. 6.

· To pre-order THE THIRD TARGET, please click here.

· Order The Auschwitz Escape today — it’s available now in hardcover, e-book and audio formats. You can get it online, or in your favorite bookstore.

· Follow on Twitter — @joelcrosenberg

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Sep 28 2014

Tale of two speeches: Palestinian leader at UN accuses Israel of “genocide” & “war crimes.” But Jordan’s King delivers moderate, peaceful, constructive address. Full texts & analysis.

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 5:11 pm

From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

Tale of two speeches: Palestinian leader at UN accuses Israel of “genocide” & “war crimes.” But Jordan’s King delivers moderate, peaceful, constructive address. Full texts & analysis.

by joelcrosenberg

· Receive every blog post automatically via the RSS feed.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of "genocide" during speech to the UN General Assembly this week.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Israel of “genocide” during speech to the UN General Assembly this week.

This week in New York City, leaders from around the world are addressing the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly (GA). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is currently flying to New York to meet with President Obama and address the GA. His speech is scheduled for Wednesday. I will provide the full text and analysis at that time.

So far, speeches by two Arab leaders have drawn my attention. Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas both addressed the GA in recent days. I would strongly encourage you to read both texts. The contrast between the two was stark.

· Full text of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the UN

· Full text of Jordan King Abdullah II’s speech to the UN

Here are key excerpts from the speeches and a bit of analysis that I Tweeted out on Saturday:

· Jordan’s King at UN: “Arab Christians are an integral part of my region’s past, present & future” & must be protected. Jordan’s King at UN: “Islam prohibits violence against Christians.”

· Jordan’s King at UN calls ISIS “terrorists and criminals” and a “global threat” that must be defeated immediately.

· Jordan’s King urges 2-state peace deal providing Israel “security” & respecting Palestinian “rights” & “dignity.”

· Jordan’s King notes his country is caring for 1.4 million refugees from Syria & Iraq, needs more int’l assistance.

· Palestinian President Abbas at UN repeatedly accuses Israel of “genocide” & “war crimes.”

· Palestinian President at UN blames Israel for launching recent Gaza War & trying to undermine Palestinian Authority.

· President Abbas at UN did not mention Israel’s arrest of 90+ Hamas members plotting to kill Abbas & overthrow PA.

· President Abbas at UN did not mention that he recently called Hamas leaders “liars” & blamed prolonged war on Hamas.

· Indeed, Palestinian President Abbas does not mention or discuss Hamas at all in his UN speech.

· President Abbas in his speech said he comes to the UN this year “full of grief, regret and bitterness.”

· Abbas twice says peace talks w/Israel are “impossible” & urges UN to set a timetable to force a final deal in Israel.

· It is has indeed been a very painful summer for Palestinians in Gaza. Let us pray for The Lord to heal & comfort.

· Stark contrast btwn speeches by King Abdullah & President Abbas. Former was peaceful & constructive. Latter was bitter & counterproductive.

· Amidst enormous tensions in the Mideast, I believe it’s important Christian leaders listen carefully to voice of Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

· Christian leaders may or may not agree w/all King Abdullah says, but Jordan is an island of moderation in sea of extremism.


· We are moving up release of my new thriller about the ISIS threat, THE THIRD TARGET. It will be published on Jan. 6.

· You can pre-order The Third Target here.

· Learn more about The Joshua Fund ( This is an organization my wife and I founded in 2006 to educate and mobilize Christians to bless Israel and her Arab neighbors in the name of Jesus, including caring for the poor and needy with food and other humanitarian relief. Read our 2013 Donor Report. Please prayerfully consider making a generous, tax deductible, secure, on-line contribution.

· Order The Auschwitz Escape today — it’s available now in hardcover, e-book and audio formats. You can get it online, or in your favorite bookstore.

· Follow on Twitter — @joelcrosenberg

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Sep 28 2014

The Lie That Will Start a World War

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 1:11 pm

From American Thinker.Com

The Muslim claim on the Temple Mount is the biggest fraud in history.  No one dares say it, but unless someone does, another world war will erupt.

Right now, even as we speak, frum (pious) Jews are trying to gain access to pray on the Temple Mount.  These Jews were forbidden by Israeli courts to pray on the Temple Mount.  In the last year, they have started defying those courts and asserting a right to their patrimony.

When Israel conquered the eastern side of Jerusalem in 1967,  the victory included the sacred precincts of the city where the Temple Mount was.  The Temple Mount itself was a contested zone of about 35 acres.  Muslims had built Islamic shrines on it in the past: the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque.  These two structures are the epicenter of the Muslim religious claim to Jerusalem.

Moshe Dayan, after taking the Mount in 1967, unwisely gave the administration of the area back to the Jordanian-controlled local Waqf, who had been in charge of the area before the Israelis captured it and have been in charge ever since.  A Waqf is an irrevocable endowment of property to an Islamic religious or charitable trust.  It may never be sold to infidels.  Lest one think this is unique to Islam, the Jewish National Fund set was set up to purchase land in Mandatory Palestine that was covenantally to remain in Jewish hands forever, never to be sold – or even leased, initially – to Arabs.

Now you know why every house or acre is fought over; both sides see land as an eternal trust.

The Waqf is hyper-vigilant about protecting Islamic claims on the Temple Mount, which they call the Haram al Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary).  Even the appearance of a Jew praying – the smallest of religious connections – is forbidden by the Waqf.  They want to crush any Jewish claim, and they have gone so far as to publicly deny any historical connection of Jews to the area, an idiocy that flies in the face of thousands of years of history.

Israel has indulged the Waqf, and, for decades it was illegal for Jews to pray on the Temple Mount.  Any Jew caught praying could be arrested by the Waqf guards, who then turned the Jew over to the Israeli police, who amazingly would sometimes prosecute the offender.

Any time Jews make even the slightest pretense of a religious or political claim to the area, full-scale riots will occur.  When Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount in September 2000, it was the pretext for starting the Second Intifada – actually, it started the day before, when an IDF soldier was killed in anticipation of Sharon’s visit.  The Palestinians blamed Sharon for the Sabra and Shatila massacre.

However, in the past year, as Israel is moving strongly to the right, more and more mainstream Jews are starting to assert their claim to the Mount.  They are taking visits to the Mount, often under armed guard.  Riots are occurring quite often.

In response, the Israeli government has made the ridiculously obsequious request to the Jordanians – who run the local Waqf – that Jews be allowed to pray on the site.

The matter reached the highest of official levels this month when Israel asked Jordan, which administers Muslim religious affairs at the site, to consider allowing limited Jewish worship there, according to a Jordanian official.

Of course, the Jordanians said no.  The deceased Arafat once threatened to ignite a world war if the Haram al-Sharif was touched.  Blustering though he was, given the volatile nature of the Muslim street, this was no idle threat.  It may have been more of an observation than a threat.

Muslims who worship death would gladly fight if they felt they would lose control of the area.  Yet during the past year, Jews keep on ascending to pray – whenever possible – in defiance of Israeli policy and the Waqf.

There is no possibility of any compromise here.  The Arabs will not concede an inch.  Neither will the Jews refuse to stop coming to pray.  So it behooves us to see who really has a religious claim on the area.

We will not address political claims to the city, but only religious claims to the Mount.

According to the Koran, Mohammed took a trip to the Farthest (al-Aqsa means The Farthest) Mosque.  The first problem with the story is that it is incredibly vague, and it never mentions Jerusalem by name.

Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al- Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Surah 17:1)

The story of the flying horse, Al-Buraq, with face of a woman is found in traditions and commentary.

Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koranic account.  It is merely assumed that al-Aqsa is in Jerusalem.

But even ignoring that, from the account we can see that whenever this ride occurred, it had to have been before Mohammed died in June 632 AD.  On this fact, no one – not Christian, Jew, or Muslim – can debate.  Whenever, wherever, and if ever Mohammed made this supposed journey, it was before June 632 AD.

History informs us that the Muslims did not start a war against Byzantine Rome – the possessor of Jerusalem – until after Mohammed’s death.  And Muslims did not enter into Jerusalem until the city surrendered in 637 AD, almost five years after Mohammed’s death.  On this fact, no one can debate.

Islam did not reach Jerusalem until five years after Mohammed’s death.  Therefore, there was no mosque in Jerusalem during Mohammed’s lifetime that he could have visited.  Hence, whatever farthest mosque Mohammed supposedly visited could not possibly have been in Jerusalem.

The supposed al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is a historical fraud.  Even by Muslim claims, the site of Mohammed’s Night Journey could not have been in Jerusalem.  Worse yet, Muslim scholars have to know this.  They cannot possibly be ignorant of this history.  There is no way they can reconcile the five-year gap.

The Israeli scholar Dr. Mordecai Kedar has even shown that according to Muslim documents, the Farthest Mosque was in the Saudi village of al-Gi’irranah (al-Juranah), a suburb of Mecca.  But even Dr. Kedar’s information is not necessary.  Mohammed could not have visited a mosque that did not exist in his lifetime.

Once the Muslim claim to al-Aqsa falls, then other Muslim claims fall.

No one but the Jews has a genuine religious claim to the 35 acres of the Temple Mount, and anyone who has studied the history knows this.  Even Christians – who do have legitimate claims to other sites in the area – do not contest the Mount.  This is not arcane knowledge.  It can be gleaned in a few minutes of relatively light reading.

Yet our media deceptively hides this from the public.  We are being lied to whenever the media tells us that the area is sacred to Muslims, rather than apprising us that the claim is an Islamic fraud, so obvious that even the imams have to know that they are lying.  That five-year gap does not go away.

The present immediate crisis could be defused if the Jews would stop visiting and praying on the Mount – which they do not seem inclined to do – or if the Muslims would stop rioting and allow Jewish entrance and prayer – which the Muslims do not seem inclined to do.

Since a clash is inevitable, the least our media can do is tell us the truth about the crisis.  If our media would only expose the fraud,  an iota of reason might enter some Muslim minds, and they might back off an indefensible position – albeit highly unlikely.

The Muslim will probably fight over this, if they remain convinced of the al-Aqsa lie.  It is about time someone confronted the Muslims, and disabused them of lies perpetrated by their own clerics.

At the very least, the media should stop referring to it as al-Aqsa and refer to it as the Southern (in reference to the location on the Mount) Mosque.  Our media will be culpable if they do not point out this out.

Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is not Jewish, Latin, or Arab.  He runs a website,, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America.  He wishes his Spanish were better.

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Sep 25 2014

Air Power vs. ISIS: What to expect

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 4:47 pm

From American Thinker.Com

An excellent analysis in Strategy Page this morning on our war with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. A sampling:

ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) controls (or contests control) of a third of Iraq (mostly in the west) and a third of neighboring Syria (mostly in the east). So far the air strikes have concentrated on ISIL headquarters (buildings taken over and now staffed by ISIL men), at least a dozen improvised oil refineries and concentrations of vehicles (especially armor and artillery). There are more aircraft and UAVs over Syria and Iraq seeking out new ISIL targets than there are bombers hitting targets. ISIL forces are dispersing now that they have to deal with a sustained air offensive.  This is not a major problem because ISIL forces are not as concerned with controlling large areas, if only because most of eastern Syria and western Iraq is desert and uninhabited.

What ISIL is concentrating on is attacking Kurdish and government forces wherever it can. The Kurdish and Iraqi forces are largely tied down keeping ISIL raiders out of more densely populated areas the government and Kurds control. Thus there are clashes with these ISIL raiders every day, especially around Kirkuk, Ramadi (the capital of Anbar province, which is most of western Iraq) and Baghdad. The raiders often just set up mortars several kilometers from a target, fire a few shells and then quickly move before they can be found and attacked.

The U.S. carries out daily strikes against any ISIL forces that are spotted out in the open. This has forced ISIL to be a little more careful about how it moves around and reduced ISIL mobility considerably. While ISIL knows a lot about avoiding smart bombs and missiles they also know that if they are to control their new “Islamic State” (eastern Syria and western Iraq) they have to use bases and concentrate gunmen to deal with armed opposition. There is no tactic that will make ISIL immune to smart bombs under those conditions, not if they still want to control territory in their new “Islamic State.”

What the international coalition must do is establish a system where air support can quickly be provided for all anti-ISIL forces on the ground. This is difficult because having trained troops (air controllers) on the ground is the preferred method. But there are hundreds of specific locations anti-ISIL forces are guarding or based in and all are potential targets. This is not a new problem, but how it is handled in Iraq and Syria will determine how quickly ISIL can be reduced from major threat to dangerous nuisance status. The United States has declared that it will seek to destroy ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) without putting any troops on the ground in Iraq or Syria. That means no American regular troops will be sent in for offensive combat. That does not apply to Special Forces advisors and ground controller teams. Some Americans will be there to help with security around the massive U.S. embassy compound, and perhaps other American facilities as well. There will also be a lot of security contractors. While these are civilians, many are veterans of the U.S. Army, Marines, Special Forces and so on.

ISIS is adapting to the new battlefield by not concentrating their forces as much and melting into the background of the towns and villages they control. But as the analysis points out, at least part of their forces will still be vulnerable to air attack - especially when they engage the peshmerga or Iraqi forces.

It appears that in order to be effective, the coalition will have to set up a series of air bases in Iraq where planes can be dispatched quickly and effficiently to deal with ISIS threats. That will take many months - as will retraining the Iraqi army. Do we have that long?

ISIS is betting no.

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Sep 24 2014

China and Iran plan Joint exercises in the Persian Gulf

Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 10:57 am

From KHouse.Org

Recent events in the Persian Gulf makes one take a second look at Revelation 16:12 [show/hide]ERROR: You have exceeded your quota of 5000 requests per day. Please contact the developer of this application if you have questions. (If you're the developer and have questions about this error message, please contact Crossway.)
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” “The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great Euphrates River. Its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east.” (Revelation 16:12 [show/hide]ERROR: You have exceeded your quota of 5000 requests per day. Please contact the developer of this application if you have questions. (If you're the developer and have questions about this error message, please contact Crossway.)
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, ISV).

Iranian and Chinese naval vessels are planning joint drills focusing on “relief and rescue operations” in the Persian Gulf for the first time.

“Discussing and studying the two countries’ naval relief and rescue operations and drills, confronting sea incidents and accidents, and gaining the necessary technical preparedness, are among the actions to be practiced with the Chinese army forces,” Admiral Amir Hossein Azad, commander of Iran’s First Naval Zone said Saturday, according to the FARS news agency.

“The voyage of the Chinese army’s fleet of warships for the first time in the Persian Gulf waters is aimed at joint preparation of Iran and China for establishing peace, stability, tranquility and multilateral and mutual cooperation,” Azad said.

Iran’s Response

Last year Iranian ships traveled to the Sea of China “to deliver Iran’s message of peace and friendship to the Chinese,” FARS reported.

Many believe that the Chinese presence in the Gulf is only the first step of a concerted effort by the Chinese to establish a long-term presence in the Gulf and to make inroads with the various Muslim factions in the region. They are using Iran as a gateway to that presence.

As the Muslim influence in the area grows, talk is also beginning to grow about a pan Arab caliphate that would stretch from Lebanon to Pakistan and Afghanistan. China is just a stone’s throw away from those two countries.

The Caliphate

The caliphate, a system of government at whose head is the caliph, or vicegerent of God on earth. From its origins after the death of Muhammad in 632, the caliphate grew rapidly in stature concomitantly with the major conquests of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Iran during the reigns of ʿUmar and ʿUthmān. It is the dream of ISIS and other groups to reestablish that caliphate and bring Sharia Law back into the mainstream.

With the territory gains ISIS with Tehran’s help is making, Iran is poised to be the regional hegemon in the Middle East. China may be considering it prudent to cultivate the Iranians and become an influence in the area. They also hope that forming a relationship with Iran will help forestall any encroachment of a future caliphate eastward from the furthest reaches of a Muslim caliphate.

This strategy may already be bearing fruit.

A few days ago the Iranian Navy stopped pirates from attacking a Chinese vessel in the Gulf of Aden, the FARS news agency reported. The container ship was allegedly en route from Singapore to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) at the time of the attack.

The Iranian Navy has deployed ships in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, since November 2008 “to protect the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.” In 2008, an Iranian chartered cargo ship was attacked by Somali pirates off the coast of Yemen.

The Oil Equation

Beijing buys oil from Iran and advocates on behalf of Tehran at the United Nations Security Council, as well as during nuclear talks with the P5+1 (five permanent members of the Council plus Germany). China is one of Iran’s most reliable trading partners, according to The Diplomat, allowing Tehran to maintain its currency and evade damage from sanctions.

This year Beijing even increased its import of Iranian oil by 48 percent in the first half of 2014.

But the United States is partly to blame: the State Department issued an exemption from sanctions to China, in exchange for reduced purchases of Iranian crude oil. The waivers, renewed in mid–2014, appear to have encouraged the Chinese to increase their import of Iranian ultralight oil, rather than decrease their purchases. The two countries also trade other items, including arms.

What the Chinese fail to understand is that Islam considers the Chinese, who practice Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and to a growing degree Christianity, infidels. Under Islamic law, infidels are persecuted; their churches burned, and their people murdered because they are NOT worshipping the same God.

Iran may foster a relationship with China, only so long as Peking suits their needs. When their usefulness has ended and Iran has achieved their strategic goals, Tehran will turn on them as they have all the other alliances they have made.

How China responds to this turn of events may be a reaction of Biblical proportions.

Related Articles

  • Iran, China prepare to conduct unprecedented joint naval drills
    — The Times of Israel
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    Sep 23 2014

    BREAKING: Five Arab states join U.S. in military campaign to destroy ISIS. Jordan’s King Abdullah & former CIA Director Panetta give must-see interviews on ISIS to “60 Minutes.”

    Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 12:37 pm

    From Flash Traffic Blog Wordpress.Com

    BREAKING: Five Arab states join U.S. in military campaign to destroy ISIS. Jordan’s King Abdullah & former CIA Director Panetta give must-see interviews on ISIS to “60 Minutes.”

    by joelcrosenberg

    Must-see: Report on ISIS and key interviews with Jordan's King Abdullah II & former CIA Director Leon Panetta on CBS News' "60 Minutes."

    Must-see: Report on ISIS and key interviews with Jordan’s King Abdullah II & former CIA Director Leon Panetta on CBS News’ “60 Minutes.”

    (Seoul, South Korea) — The United States and a coalition of five Sunni Arab governments have just launched a coordinated military campaign to degrade and eventually destroy the Islamic State, a.k.a, “ISIS.”

    The airstrikes represent a dramatic reversal of President Obama’s policy of refusing to get involved militarily in Iraq or Syria over the past several years despite the clear and growing threat of Islamic jihadists to U.S., Israeli and Arab national security.

    Given that I have been researching and writing a new geopolitical thriller — The Third Target – about a New York Times reporter tracking the ISIS threat in Syria and Iraq (the novel will be published on January 6th), I am tracking events in the region very closely. As the military campaign unfolds, I will offer analysis and links to news coverage.

    I was also intrigued by an excellent report on “60 Minutes” on Sunday evening about ISIS. The report included must-see interviews with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and former CIA director Leon Panetta. Both said the stakes are very high and that more should have been done earlier to stop ISIS. (See below.)

    At the moment, my 17-year old son, Jacob, and I are in South Korea. We have been here for the last 10 days. Several Bible scholars and I have been teaching in seminaries and churches about God’s plan for Israel and the Jewish people, and the urgency of mobilizing the Korean Church to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and all the people of the epicenter. Soon, we will return to Israel and I will post reports on what we did and learned here in Korea.

    In the meantime:

    · please join us in praying for U.S. and allied forces to have success in crushing ISIS.

    · please pray for the Lord to protect U.S. and allied forces as they engage the enemy.

    · please pray for Christians in Iraq and Syria who are being persecuted or even slaughtered by ISIS.

    · please pray for American and allied leaders to have wisdom to know how best to prosecute this military campaign.

    · please pray for The Joshua Fund leadership and staff to know how best to help our Arab and Kurdish brothers and sisters who are facing such grave danger — we are currently providing assistance to Christians fleeing from ISIS, as well as Arab Christians in Iraq and Lebanon who are caring for these refugees.

    Here are excerpts from a New York Times article about the new military campaign against ISIS:

    · The United States and allies launched airstrikes against Sunni militants in Syria early Tuesday, unleashing a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the militants’ de facto capital of Raqqa and along the porous Iraq border.

    · American fighter jets and armed Predator and Reaper drones, flying alongside warplanes from several Arab allies, struck a broad array of targets in territory controlled by the militants, known as the Islamic State.

    · American defense officials said the targets included weapons supplies, depots, barracks and buildings the militants use for command and control.

    · Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from United States Navy ships in the region.

    · The strikes are a major turning point in President Obama’s war against the Islamic State and open up a risky new stage of the American military campaign.

    · Until now, the administration had bombed Islamic State targets only in Iraq, and had suggested it would be weeks if not months before the start of a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria.

    · Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates took part in the strikes, American officials said, although the Arab governments were not expected to announce their participation until later Tuesday.

    · The new coalition’s makeup is significant because the United States was able to recruit Sunni governments to take action against the Sunni militants of the Islamic State. The operation also unites the squabbling states of the Persian Gulf.



    The following are excerpts parts I & II of a report called, “The Islamic State,” which aired on the CBS News program “60 Minutes” on September 21, 2014. The correspondent was Scott Pelley.

    Excerpts from Part I

    Today, America’s top military officer, General Martin Dempsey, said the U.S. and its allies will attack ISIS from many directions. “We want them to wake up every day realizing they’re being squeezed,” he said. American pilots have hit the Islamic extremist group in Iraq nearly 200 times now, and soon the U.S. will be bombing ISIS in Syria.

    America was drawn back into war when ISIS began to overrun part of northern Iraq called Kurdistan. Kurdistan is semi-autonomous with its own military called the Peshmerga. With American air support, the Peshmerga are holding a tense front line against ISIS.

    Earlier this month, we started our reporting on that front line to explain ISIS; what it is, where it came from and how it blitzed through two countries. In June, the leader of ISIS declared himself ruler of a new nation, which he calls The Islamic State….


    Gunmen with cameras magnify the menace to make ISIS appear larger than life. But what ISIS has shown only once, is its leader. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared in July when he called on all of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to bow to him.

    Derek Harvey: We should be very careful about underestimating him. This guy is the real deal.

    Derek Harvey was in Iraq for the beginnings of al-Baghdadi. A colonel in U.S. Army intelligence, he briefed President Bush and top commanders. Back then, al-Baghdadi was a member of al Qaeda in Iraq and was imprisoned for a time by U.S. forces. When Iraq’s al Qaeda leader was killed, Baghdadi took over.

    Derek Harvey: When he became a key figure within the organization, he was targeted and then in 2010 he had a $10 million bounty put on his head and he became a top tier target.

    But the target slipped away into Syria, where he used the chaos of the civil war to build his army. He began to refuse orders from al Qaeda and in February, al Qaeda’s leaders kicked him out.

    Scott Pelley: What does al-Baghdadi want?

    Derek Harvey: He wants power, influence and authority and a return to the prestige of the Islamic community. And he’s going to start with Syria and Iraq and his strategic vision is to expand into the Gulf, Jordan. From the Mediterranean to Pakistan…


    How was the black banner carried so far? A third of Iraq, gone, in a matter of weeks, ground hard won by the United States in what was known as “Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

    Scott Pelley: The American people sacrificed 4,475 lives, ten years and a trillion dollars building a government and an army for Iraq. How did all of that crumble so fast?

    Leon Panetta: It’s a tragic story.

    Leon Panetta was Defense Secretary when the U.S. walked off the Iraqi stage in 2011.

    Scott Pelley: Back when you watched the stars and stripes being lowered for the last time in Baghdad, were you confident in that moment that pulling out was the right thing to do?

    Leon Panetta: No, I wasn’t. I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq. The decision was that we ought to at least try to maintain 8,000 to 10,000 U.S. troops there, plus keeping some of our intelligence personnel in place, to be able to continue the momentum in the right direction. And frankly, having those troops there, I think would’ve given us greater leverage on Maliki to try to force him to do the right thing as well.

    Excerpts from part II

    The following are excerpts from the second part “The Islamic State” which aired on Sept. 21, 2014. The correspondent is Scott Pelley. .

    President Obama’s plan hinges on arming and training moderate Syrian militias to defeat ISIS. The president has been criticized for not doing that sooner. You’re about to hear from two men who saw the threat early, former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and King Abdullah II of Jordan.

    Jordan is a moderate, American ally, nearly surrounded by war, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to its west, Syria to its north and Iraq to the east.

    Today we spoke to King Abdullah in New York before this month’s U.N. General Assembly meeting. For hundreds of years, his family ruled the holiest shrines in Islam. And the king was nearly at a loss for words today when we asked him about the head of ISIS, who claims to lead all Muslims.

    King Abdullah II: I hate to use the word “heretics,” whatever the words of those types are, but to even call himself a Muslim is to me is just words that I don’t want to use on this program.

    Scott Pelley: You just used the word “heretic,” is he an Islamic heretic?

    King Abdullah II: I think to use the word “Islam” and him in the same sentence is not acceptable. That he even speaks in the name of Islam for me is just so horrendous and so shocking.

    The Kingdom of Jordan has borne the burden of the Syrian civil war even though it has no oil wealth and precious little water. We went to the border where, for three years, refugees from that war have risked death in the desert in the hope of reaching Jordan, where they are welcomed.

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    Sep 21 2014

    Iran’s Quds Force fighting in Iraq - with the administration’s blessing

    Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 3:48 pm

    From American Thinker.Com

    Iran’s notorious Quds Force - the foreign adventure wing of the Revolutionary Guards - is apparently fighting alongside Shiite militias in Iraq and the Obama administration has welcomed them to the fight against ISIS.

    The Quds Force is also killing rebels in Syria on behalf of President Assad.

    Confused? So is the administration.

    Washington Times:

    Iran’s secretive Quds Force is becoming more active in Iraq alongside Iraqi soldiers and militias battling the Islamic State terrorist group, as the Obama administration sends signals welcoming Tehran to the fight.

    A source close to the U.S. special operations community said some elite Quds forces were on the ground last month when Iraqis recaptured the strategic Mosul Dam from Islamic State invaders. The Iraqis were aided overhead U.S. strike aircraft providing close-air support.

    The report comes as the Obama administration is talking more openly about relying on Iran, a Shiite-dominated nation, to take on the Islamic State, which also is known as ISIS and ISIL.

    “There is a role for nearly every country in the world to play, including Iran,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Friday at the U.N. while drumming up support for destroying the Islamic State.

    The Pentagon says it had no troops on the ground and thus does not know the affiliations of all the anti-Islamic State fighters during the battle for Mosul Dam, the most famous and successful to date after U.S. planes began striking the terrorists in early August.

    But a senior defense official told The Washington Times that Quds Force troops are active in Iraq advising Shiite militias and other Iraqi forces.

    “We know that the Quds Forces have been operating in Iraq,” the official said. “That we know for a fact. And we know that they have been doing some partnering and assisting with Iraqi forces. A lot of what the Quds Forces are doing is more focused on the militias, the Shiite militias.”

    The battle for Mosul Dam in northern Iraq would be the first known clash in which Americans fought on the same side with Iran, albeit not in an official or a coordinated manner.

    You can imagine the reaction of our Sunni allies - those who aren’t aligned with ISIS - to the notion that we’re welcoming the participation of the Quds Force. By providing close air support for Quds and the Shiite militias, we can easily be seen as a proxy air force for the Shiite militias, who have been accused of several atrocities against Sunnis already.

    Is it a good idea that Iran develop a close military relationship with these Shiite militias? The war can;’t last forever, and there may be many of the quarter of a million armed Shiite militiamen who may wish to finish the cleansing of Sunnis from Iraq that they started in 2005. That’s what the Sunnis fear, anyway, and it does no good to have the Sunnis seeing us as allied with their deadly enemies.

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    Sep 16 2014

    Israel, Palestinians and the Nation State

    Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 4:58 pm

    From American Thinker.Com

    Israel is now being forced to confront what it means be a nation-state.   The evident fact that Israel will never withdraw from the territories is forcing Israel to confront the awful question that it has dodged for far too long since 1967.  What to do with all these hostile Palestinians under its control?

    In dealing with the Palestinians, the West expects Israel to perform like a Western nation-state; so a careful examination of just exactly what a nation-state is, required.

    The idea of the nation-state came out of the American and French Revolutions.  The idea arose out of the Enlightenment that a state is actually a social contract between the people and the leaders.  Gone was the concept of divine rule. Gone was the concept of top down authority.  To certain extant, so was identity.  People could choose their nationality.

    The nation-state elevated everyone to the status of citizen — initially limited to white males.  Along with the status came equality and rights, as well as civic obligations.  These were tied together.  Once the idea of natural and civil rights was enshrined, it became impossible to deny rights to women and minorities.

    In France the effect was astounding.  In 1789, France was an empire, not a nation.  Brittany spoke Celtic Breton, not French.  The French Basque country spoke a language related to no other on the planet.  The Southern half of France spoke Occitan, a language halfway back to Spanish. Corsica spoke Italian. Alsace-Lorraine spoke German. The Mediterranean coast spoke Provencal, a relative of Catalan.  Gentically, Northern France was Germanic, Southern France Latin, Brittany was Celtic, the Basque country Basque, the Mediterranean coast and Corsica Latin.  Only the areas around Paris and the Northwest coast spoke Langues d’oïl: what we would call Parisian French.

    Formerly, France had been united only in the person of the monarch.  With the monarch gone, a new creation was born in France:  the citizen.  He had rights and duties enumerated to him.  The Revolution gave the citizen equality, enfranchisement,  freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the right to a trial.  In return, he was required to learn (Parisian) French, forget his provincial ethnicity, serve militarily if called upon, and assume the honorific of Frenchman.

    For the most part it worked.  Multiple ethnicities and languages — many now all but extinct — surrendered their traditions and history for their future; the unassimilable mix become French, by decree of the République du France.   A similar process happened here in the USA with the incorporation of immigrants.

    Those nations which maintained monarchies, like Britain and Spain, did not fare so well.  There, ethnic rivalries spun out of control. Ireland left the United Kingdom. Scotland may go.  Norway split from Sweden; and Spain is chock full of separatist provinces.  Only the equalizing promise of Republics proved effective at assimilation and unifying.  To see the difference, take note that Basque separatism is rife in Spain, but weak in France.

    The transaction of exchanging indentity for equality worked.

    The concept of common blood, ancestry, and language has been traded for reason, and freedom is the unifying principle of Western Civilization.  Even Euro-monarchies now function like republics, with the monarchs all but useless vestigial traditions.

    So effective is the Western idea of the nation-state that we assume that it is the standard of good governance, and we have exported it — with some degree of success — to much of the planet.  We assume it is God’s natural order.  Even those who oppose the West adopt some of our governmental forms.

    By this process, Israel should start to teach Hebrew to all the Palestinians, slowly enfranchise them and make Israelis out of them.

    But Israel refuses to do this, and frankly, given Arab intransigence, it is not going to happen.  Even were the Palestinians constitutionally similar to the obedient Swiss, I doubt Israel would agree. Israel is determined to remain ethnically Jewish, even to the point that it is willing to ditch democracy if need be.

    America required one to become an American, not an Anglo-Saxon.  Israel however is determined to remain Jewish, an ethnic as well as religious identity.

    The Bible says that the Jews are a “people [who] shall dwell alone” (Num 23:9 [show/hide]ERROR: You have exceeded your quota of 5000 requests per day. Please contact the developer of this application if you have questions. (If you're the developer and have questions about this error message, please contact Crossway.)
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    ).  Scripture forbids intermarriage with Gentiles (Deut 7:3 [show/hide]ERROR: You have exceeded your quota of 5000 requests per day. Please contact the developer of this application if you have questions. (If you're the developer and have questions about this error message, please contact Crossway.)
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    ), and there is a sense that this has an ethnic component, not merely a religious one.  It is seen as a covenant made with the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  This indicates more than a religious choice.   One may convert to Lutheranism, but one is usually born a Jew.  Assimilation is anathema to many religious Jews.

    Many religious Jews take these instructions to heart.   While Israel may have been founded by secularists, their numbers are decreasing relative to an Orthodox revival in Israel.  Religious legislation is increasing in Israel.

    Judaism is not Thomas Jefferson and the Middle East is not the Mid West. - Rabbi Meir Kahane

    Freedom of religion is allowed in Israel, but Orthodox Judaism, the state subsidized creed, is a case of more equal than others.  Rabbis have great control over who is declared Jewish, who is allowed to marry, etc.

    Now, I have to admit that the refusal of Israel to accept Western Nation-State norms, especially the separation of state and religion, I find troubling; particularly since so many Jews in the West strove for a separation of religion and state.  Moreover I find it astounding that Israel strives for a high percentage of Jewish immigrants, particularly since many Jews in America, such as Congressman Emanuel Celler, worked to overturn laws in America that preferred North European immigrants, as a means to protect America’s heritage.  The consequence of that is that America may cease to be a European majority country in a few decades.  Why is it okay for Israel to maintain a Jewish majority, but wrong for the USA to maintain its Northwest European heritage?  I cannot help but see this as a double standard.

    Yet, I also know Israel will not budge in its policies.  Neither will the Islamically-driven Arabs, who are much more tribal, unstable, and violentl.  The nation-state will not work in the Mideast.  Where sacred scripture takes precedence over human reason, and where tenets are matter of public, not individual, choice, the nation-state will not be entertained.

    There is more at work here than security.  Israel intends to be Jewish, and would not even take in a large Euro-Christian minority.

    Right now, many Palestinians and their supporters, realizing that a two-state solution is over, are starting to push for a one-state solution, with a secular state and full enfranchisement to Arab and Jew irrespective of religion.   This is the Western method, how the nation-state assimilates, incorporates, and grows.

    It will not work in the Mideast.  This is something the Western Liberal does not grasp.  This is why American demands, and Middle Eastern responses (from both Arab and Israeli) are pointless exercises where the parties talk past each other.  They use the same terms, but interpret them differently.

    Israel values democracy, but values Judaism more.  It defines itself as the Jewish state, rather than the present Western understanding of a state as a secular state of all its citizens.

    Israel’s new opponents will come from the West.  They do not worship Allah, but they do worship the Age of Reason, Rousseau, and leftist Revolutions.  They will insist that the freedoms the democracies tendered to Jews in America, Canada, France, and Britain, must now be tendered to the Palestinians, or Israel will suffer the consequences

    In the end, Israel cannot win such a fight.  For Western Civilization has some virtue in its philosophies.  It is an age-old fight, which goes back to the Rabbis vs. Hellenism.  Even the Maccabees that fought Hellenization adopted Greek names, and practices. Unlike its immediate neighbors, the West offers genuine competition to the Jewish culture.

    Israel has to avoid that fight, and it can only do so by finally making the tough decisions on the Palestinians.  It can no longer fudge and obfuscate.  The two-state solution is dead, now Israel must either enfranchise the Palestinians or find another home for them.  Failure to act will force a Western solution on the Israelis.  Israel will remain democratic, but it will not remain Jewish, if that occurs.

    Mike Konrad is the pen name of an American who is not Jewish, Latin, or Arab. He runs a website,, where he discusses the subculture of Arabs in Latin America. He wishes his Spanish were better.

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    Sep 15 2014

    Iran is More Dangerous than ISIS

    Tag: Israel: Middle EastSage @ 1:21 pm

    From American Thinker.Com

    President Obama must be careful not to “degrade and destroy” ISIS in Iraq and Syria to the point of helping Iran and its axis of evil step into the vacuum that would be created and establish its own Islamic Shiite caliphate spreading from Lebanon through Syria and Iraq to Iran itself. This would be a serious threat to the moderate Sunni countries like Jordan and the Persian Gulf states and eventually to Israel and the West. Replacing the threat of a radical Islamic Sunni caliphate with the threat of a radical Islamic Shiite caliphate is shortsighted and could be a catastrophic strategic mistake to be regretted for generations to come.

    Iran and its axis of evil, which includes the Syrian regime and Hizb’allah militias, are as brutal as ISIS. Both are Islamic totalitarian regimes which sponsor terrorism and wish to dominate the region. They both state their intention to defeat those they perceive as infidels, starting with other Muslim states and eventually moving on to Israel and the West.

    While ISIS is beheading Shiites, Yazidis and Christians, the Syrian Government, with the help of the Shiite Iranian Revolutionary Guard and Hizb’allah terrorists, has been using air attacks, tanks, and chemical weapons to kill thousands of its own Syrian people, mostly Sunni civilians, in the last 3 years of the civil war.

    The only difference is that while ISIS uses social media including You Tube and Twitter to record and publicize their murderous and barbaric acts, Iran, Syria and Hizb’allah hide and deny their brutality and try to deceive the gullible world into believing that they are civilized.

    However, if one looks objectively at their military capacity and capability, Iran constitutes a much bigger existential threat to the Middle East and West, while ISIS is just another terrorist organization, like Al-Qaida, with a lot of money, territories, and imitators across the world.

    The CIA just reported that ISIS has mustered between 20,000 to 31,500 fighters across Syria and Iraq. While they have captured lots of U.S. made conventional equipment from the Iraqi Army, they still mainly engage in low-tech Third World warfare by relying overwhelmingly on civilian pickup trucks which are rigged to carry machine guns. It seems that they have few tanks, armored personal carriers, Humvees, anti- aircraft guns, mortars, or machine guns. But mostly, ISIS has been using medieval, barbaric tools such as gruesome beheadings and kidnappings to spread panic and f through modern technology ear among primitive local populations and incompetent Arab militaries. This has also served as great recruiting tool to increase their ranks.

    In contrast, the Iranian military consists of 525,000 active personnel and 1,800,000 reserve personnel, including an air force and a navy. They have thousands of  tanks, armored vehicles, artillery, hundreds of  fighter jets, unmanned aerial vehicles, dozens of submarines, and are in possession of hundreds of ballistic  and cruise missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons  which could reach Israel, Europe, and U.S. regional bases. In addition to chemical and biological weapons, they are on the brink of acquiring a nuclear weapon.

    The Sunni Persian Gulf states, Egypt, and Jordan should be very wary of helping to destroy ISIS while Iran is allowed to enrich uranium and sell their oil because of Obama’s misperception that Iran is “different”, less dangerous than ISIS, and can be successfully negotiated and reasoned with.

    ISIS must be contained through U.S. air attacks and not be allowed to expand its territorial boundaries to Jordan and Lebanon. But Iran must be contained too by adding crippling economic sanctions to suffocate it economically till they dismantle their nuclear weapons program and curtail their military presence in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.

    The new U.S. campaign runs the risk of helping Assad and therefore Iran which has thousands of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah terrorists fighting alongside Pro-Assad forces.

    The Kurdish Army, the Iraqi Army, and moderate Syrian Rebel Groups must be equipped with advanced weapons to give them a chance to defend themselves against ISIS. Likely their ground forces will still be too weak, impotent, and dysfunctional to be able to defeat ISIS, even after it is weakened by American air strikes. The probable failure of these ground forces to defeat ISIS could eventually tempt the West and the Obama Administration, which are against using their own ground forces, to agree to let. Assad stays in power and to cooperate with him, Iran and Hizb’allah.

    If ISIS were to be destroyed by this strategic cooperation, only Iran with its Axis will be standing to fill the vacuum which will be left.

    More important, the emergence of ISIS provides a strategic opportunity to gain what was lost after the defeat of Saddam Hussein by the U.S. When the Islamic Republic of Iran came to power in 1979 there was a balance of terror and power between Iran and Iraq. They fought a brutal war from 1980-89 against each other. During those years Iran did not have the resources to intensively develop their nuclear program and their military might was degraded. The defeat of Saddam Hussein in 2003 was good for Iran. After the Iraqi collapse, Iran stepped in and increased their influence in an Iraq under the control of a Shiite government.

    Now there is another chance for the world to create a balance of terror in which both the Iranians and ISIS will degrade each other’s military power, influence, and ability to spread terror. Most importantly, President Obama and the world must not take their eyes off the goals of preventing Iran from becoming a nuclear power or reestablishing the ancient Persian Empire.

    Shoula Romano Horing is an attorney. Her blog:

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