Category: Islam

BIDEN SEEMINGLY LEAVES SAUDI ARABIA DEFENSELESS AGAINST IRAN

BY ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ | SEP 13, 2021 | MIDDLE EAST

all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mixed peoples who live in the desert; Jeremiah 25:24 (The Israel BibleTM)

The Biden administration ordered the military to remove its most advanced missile defense systems from Saudi Arabia. The eight defensive Patriot Missile batteries were positioned in the Prince Sultan Air Base, approximately 70 miles southeast of Riyadh. The base also hosts one advanced Terminal High Altitude Area Defense unit (THAAD) that can destroy ballistic missiles at a higher altitude than Patriots.

WITHDRAWAL

This withdrawal comes in the face of intensified missile and drone attacks carried out by the Iranian proxy Houthi rebels in Yemen. Just two weeks ago, two drone attacks hit the Abha airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, wounding eight people and damaged a commercial jetliner.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby acknowledged “the redeployment of certain air defense assets” after receiving questions from the Associated Press. He said the US maintained a “broad and deep” commitment to its Mideast allies.

“The Defense Department continues to maintain tens of thousands of forces and a robust force posture in the Middle East representing some of our most advanced air power and maritime capabilities, in support of U.S. national interests and our regional partnerships,” Kirby said.

Despite this statement, an upcoming visit by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Saudi Arabia was just canceled.

Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal, the kingdom’s former intelligence chief, was critical of the move.

“I think we need to be reassured about American commitment,” the prince told CNBC in an interview aired this week. “That looks like, for example, not withdrawing Patriot missiles from Saudi Arabia at a time when Saudi Arabia is the victim of missile attacks and drone attacks — not just from Yemen, but from Iran.”

HOUTHI AIR ATTACKS

Saudi Arabia is constantly targeted by Houthi air attacks and in  2019, a drone attack targeting an oil facility halted half of the country’s oil production. Though the Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, it is believed that it was carried out by Iran. At the orders of President Trump, the US deployed two Patriot Missile batteries to Saudi Arabia in response to the attack.  

The civil war in Yemen began in 2014. The war has killed some 130,000 people and generated the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

PULLING BACK FROM SAUDI ARABIA, COZYING UP TO IRAN

In February, one month after entering office, Biden ended support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive operations against the Houthis. Biden claimed at the time that he would prioritize diplomatic solutions to the conflict.

“This war has to end,” Biden said. “And to underscore our commitment, we are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.”

The Biden administration had previously placed a temporary freeze on billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as saying that it would review the transfer of advanced military hardware, including air-ground munitions. 

The move is of grave concern to US allies in the region coming in the wake of the disastrous pullout from Afghanistan. It should be noted that the groundwork for the US military withdrawing from Afghanistan was laid several months in advance when the US stopped providing air support to the Afghan army and withdrew the contractors who serviced the Afghan air force. 

The Biden administration is currently engaged in the sixth round of talks with Iran in Vienna intended to jump-start the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal. Biden was vice president when the hugely divisive Obama-brokered deal was signed in 2015.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11683

AFGHANISTAN: A HISTORIC TURNING POINT IN GLOBAL JIHAD AGAINST CHRISTIANS, TOP ISLAM EXPERT WARNS

BY ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ | AUG 31, 2021 | MIDDLE EASTUNCATEGORIZED

He shall be a wild ass of a man; His hand against everyone, And everyone’s hand against him; He shall dwell alongside of all his kinsmen.” Genesis 16:12 (The Israel BibleTM)

Dr. Mordechai Kedar has a deep understanding of the Arab mindset. A senior lecturer on Arabic culture at Bar-Ilan University, he served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence, where he specialized in Islamic groups, the political discourse of Arab countries, the Arabic press and mass media, and the Syrian domestic arena. Fluent in Arabic, he is one of the very few Israelis appearing on Arab television, frequently debating Arab thought leaders and imams in their native tongue.

It was therefore deeply concerning when he posted a warning on his Facebook page explaining what he believed was the actual significance of the Taliban victory in Afghanistan:

“August 15, 2021, the day in which Taliban resumed their rule over Afghanistan after 20 years of Western occupation, will forever be viewed and remembered in the Islamic world as the victory of Islam over Christianity, the victory of faith over heresy, and the victory of tradition over permissiveness,” Dr. Kedar wrote. “These events are pumping new blood into jihad arteries and the results will soon be seen around the world, including in Israel.”

This statement seems grandiose and hyperbolic at first glance. Afghanistan is only one of many Islamic nations and the US does not self-identify as the representative of the Christian world. Recent events are perceived by most Americans as a regrettable outcome of a failed attempt at foreign intervention. The motivation to intervene was in reaction to the 9-11 attacks, an attempt to prevent another such attack from a terrorist organization based (at the time) in Afghanistan. 

But Dr. Kedar has a unique insight into the Arab mindset and sees it differently.

“All of Islam views the US as the representative of Christianity today,” Dr. Kedar said. “Therefore, a victory by an Islamic entity over the US is not just a victory of one nation over another. This is precisely what the Koran describes as Jihad. The Koran states that Islam must have dominance over all other religions. Muslims must always be involved in this.”

“The entire Muslim world perceives Afghanistan as a Muslim victory over Christianity, not just as a Taliban victory or the US capitulating,” Dr. Kedar said. “The average American does not see that religion has anything to do with politics. But this is absolutely not the case in the Muslim world. America saw the war in Afghanistan as a war on terrorism. The Taliban and other Muslims saw it as a religious war. Here in the Middle East, everything is religion.”

“The inter-Islamic conflicts are domestic issues, family infighting. They do not allow any other nations, especially Christian nations, to intervene. These can be set aside in order to join in a battle against non-Muslims.”

Dr. Kedar noted that when the Taliban first established their government in Afghanistan in 1996, they declared the  Islamic Emirate of Khorasan, a theocracy ruled by strict Sharia law. The Taliban repeated this two weeks ago upon taking over Kabul.

“They are adopting the classical Islamic expressions,” Dr. Kedar explained. “They do not use the term ‘Afghanistan’. They refer to the country as ‘Khorasan’, which technically and historically refers to an eastern province, which is the classical name for the area.”

Dr. Kedar noted that people in the West become confused because they are using modern terms that do not have relevance to how Muslims frame events. 

“Americans speak of ISIS-K but that does not exist,” he explained. “ISIS is an acronym for The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The organization that is fighting for an Islamic state in Afghanistan has no connection to that group. They are fighting for the Islamic State of Khorosan. The correct acronym should be ISK.”

Though considered an enemy of the Taliban, ISK began in 2015 as an offshoot of the Taliban established by disaffected Taliban leaders.

“It is time that Americans began to open their eyes to see the reality in other parts of the world or else they will keep paying a very high price for ignorance,” Dr. Kedar warned.

After the sharp rise in anti-Semitic attacks in the US that accompanied the Israel-Gaza conflict in May, Dr. Kedar warned that the religious turmoil would expand to include Christians.

“After they finish with the Jews, they are going to go after the Christians,’” Dr. Kedar explained. “This is not new or unexpected. It has only been going on for fourteen centuries. It is the entirety of history between Islam and Christianity. The Koran says that Allah is with the one who has patience. And the Muslims have patience.”

It could be that the Christian-Muslim conflict that characterized the Middle Ages has reemerged. And Christianity just last the first battle.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11661

CALL HIM JOE DIVIDEN: WITH HIS HEAD BOWED IN DEFEAT, THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT’S POLICIES ARE NOW CREATING THE WORLD’S LARGEST TERROR STATE

April was when President Joe Biden ordered all U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan by August 31. As the military continued its withdrawal, the Taliban began its offensive and succeeded in taking over the country in just 11 days by August 14. After the rapid takeover by the Taliban, Biden ordered 6,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan and the region to evacuate American citizens, Afghans, and others out. The 13 service members killed Wednesday were part of that evacuation mission. Military officials say they are not sure if the Taliban — who the U.S. has been relying on to man checkpoints to the airport — allowed the ISIS bomber and additional attackers through.

by Geoffrey Grider August 27, 2021

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed Friday that thousands of Islamic State prisoners were freed after the United States handed over bases to the Afghan government.

Joe Dividen was 25 minutes late to his own press conference yesterday, responding to the attack by ISIS-K at the airport in Kabul that killed 12 US Marines, 1 Navy corpsmen, and around 170 American and Afghan civilians. He appeared confused, out of breath, and when he unceremoniously laid his head down on the podium in defeat, he sent a one word message to the world. Surrender.

“This is the purpose that is purposed upon the whole earth: and this is the hand that is stretched out upon all the nations. For the LORD of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? and his hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Isaiah 14:26,27 (KJB)

As you read this, ‘President’ Joe Dividen has made it possible not only for the Taliban to rise to power, for ISIS to make a comeback, but as thousands of Islamic state prisoners are being let out of prison, for Afghanistan to become the new terror capitol of the world. This is not happening because America is leaving Afghanistan, it is happening because we left Afghanistan in the worst possible way, as cowards sneaking out in the dead of night, and leaving our allies to fend for themselves. History will record this time period as the moment when America ceased to be.

Pentagon Confirms Thousands of Islamic State Prisoners Released by Taliban, The White House on Friday braced Americans for more terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, a day after twin suicide bombers killed 13 U.S. troops in Kabul.

 

FROM BREITBART NEWS: The freeing of thousands of Islamic State prisoners is under scrutiny after an Islamic State suicide attacker killed 13 American service members and a number of Afghan and other nations’ civilians at a gate at the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Thursday.

“I don’t know the exact number — clearly it’s in the thousands when you consider both prisons, because both of them were taken over by the Taliban and emptied,” Kirby said, speaking of prisons on Bagram Air Base and Kandahar Air Field that held ISIS prisoners.

He said the U.S. did not transfer the prisoners over to Guantanamo because the plan was to turn the prisons over to the Afghan National Security Forces:

THAT WAS PART OF THE RETROGRADE PROCESS, WAS TO TURN OVER THESE RESPONSIBILITIES. THEY DID HAVE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THOSE PRISONS AND THE BASES AT WHICH THOSE PRISONS WERE LOCATED AND AS THE TALIBAN ADVANCED, WE DIDN’T SEE THE LEVEL OF RESISTANCE BY THE AFGHANS TO HOLD SOME TERRITORY OR SOME BASES AND UNFORTUNATELY, THOSE WERE THE BASES THE AFGHANS DIDN’T HOLD.

“Those responsibilities were turned over in accordance with the retrograde plan back in April,” he said.

April was when President Joe Biden ordered all U.S. troops to withdraw from Afghanistan by August 31. As the military continued its withdrawal, the Taliban began its offensive and succeeded in taking over the country in just 11 days by August 14.

After the rapid takeover by the Taliban, Biden ordered 6,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan and the region to evacuate American citizens, Afghans, and others out. The 13 service members killed Wednesday were part of that evacuation mission. Military officials say they are not sure if the Taliban — who the U.S. has been relying on to man checkpoints to the airport — allowed the ISIS bomber and additional attackers through. 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11658

ISIS SUICIDE BOMBER KILLS 13 AT KABUL AIRPORT INCLUDING CHILDREN AND 3 UNITED STATES MARINES AS A PARALYZED JOE BIDEN WHITE HOUSE COLLAPSES

The first blast was caused by an ISIS suicide bomber in a vest, detonating outside The Baron Hotel, where Westerners were staying before their evacuation flights. A second explosion was reported nearby a short time later at the airport’s Abbey Gate, where crowds of Afghans have been gathering for more than a week in the hope of being put on one of the evacuation flights out. That explosion was caused by a car bomb, according to unconfirmed reports.  Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby tweeted there were a ‘number of US & civilian’ casualties but it’s unclear if he was referring to deaths or injuries.  At least three US troops were injured and it remains unclear if any Americans were killed. The nationalities of all of the victims are not yet known. 

by Geoffrey Grider August 26, 2021

Two explosions at Kabul airport have killed at least 13 people, including children, and injured at least three US troops just hours after intelligence officials warned of an imminent threat to the crowd gathered there trying to escape the Taliban.

We told you that the Biden administration would have blood on their hands for their dirty deeds in Afghanistan, and today, 5 days before the evacuation deadline, the blood has begun to flow in the nation where Walkaway Joe Biden has created the world’s largest Islamic terror state. 3 United States Marines are among the dead in this attack, and sadly their deaths are only the first of many that the world will witness in horror in the coming days and weeks. Joe Biden’s hands are dripping with blood.

“The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalm 9:17 (KJB)

The images of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris smirking and laughing when asked about Americans stranded in Afghanistan should be a picture that every American needs to burn into their brains so we never forget. This is what it looks like when a nations falls, when its leaders are corrupt. Everything that is now unfolding has been long planned and is quite intentional, the New World Order is taking over and the blood is being shed as a ritual sacrifice. Now would be a good time to throw yourself at the feet of Jesus, and plead His mercy and grace. Pray for the families and loved ones of the fallen.

‘ISIS suicide bomber’ kills 13 at Kabul airport: Multiple casualties – including children and three US Marines – as two explosions tear through crowd, hours after Westerners were warned to stay away because of ISIS attack

FROM DAILY MAIL UK: The first blast was caused by an ISIS suicide bomber in a vest, detonating outside The Baron Hotel, where Westerners were staying before their evacuation flights. A second explosion was reported nearby a short time later at the airport’s Abbey Gate, where crowds of Afghans have been gathering for more than a week in the hope of being put on one of the evacuation flights out. That explosion was caused by a car bomb, according to unconfirmed reports.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby tweeted there were a ‘number of US & civilian’ casualties but it’s unclear if he was referring to deaths or injuries.  At least three US troops were injured and it remains unclear if any Americans were killed. The nationalities of all of the victims are not yet known.

President Biden is in the situation room at the White House, where he will be joined by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

HARROWING FOOTAGE FROM THE BLAST SITE SHOW BLOODIED AFGHANS BEING REMOVED FROM THE SCENE ON WHEELCHAIRS. ONE WITNESS REPORTED THAT A BABY WAS AMONG THOSE KILLED. THE ATTACK CAME JUST HOURS AFTER OFFICIALS WERE WARNED THAT ISIS WAS PLOTTING SOMETHING AGAINST THE CROWD OF WESTERN CITIZENS AND ALLIES AT THE AIRPORT.

US troops on the ground closed gates at the airport and the State Department warned people not to congregate at the airport. Britain told its citizens to run for the Pakistan border instead.

The Taliban claimed Kabul on August 14 and there has been a frantic scramble to get Western citizens and Afghan allies out of the region by August 31, the Taliban’s ceasefire deadline.

As many as 1,500 Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan with increasingly bleak options; 

  • Hide in your homes and risk missing the chance to be flown out on one of the last evacuation flights
  • Make a run for the Pakistan border, which is now overrun with Afghans and nearly 200 miles away
  • Go to the airport, where there is a risk being blown up, shot at or getting lost in the crowd.

Despite the escalating chaos, the US’s top diplomat made the astonishing claim on Thursday morning, before the explosion, that it was ‘relatively safe’ on the ground and people should still be able to make their way there.

Now, Americans in Afghanistan are being told not to go to the airport.

The Pentagon on Thursday denied fears that the US was going to withdraw within 36 hours, but Press Secretary John Kirby offered no date for when troops would leave, saying only they would stay in Afghanistan until the ‘end of the mission’. It offers little hope to the Americans on the ground who are stuck behind Taliban lines, unable to get to the airport.

Overnight, 5,100 people were flown out of Kabul on US military planes. Another 8,300 were saved by coalition flights. The total – 13,400 – was drastically less than the 19,000 rescued in the previous 24 hours. Ross Wilson, the Acting US Ambassador in Afghanistan, said on Thursday his office was making ‘phone calls’ but that many Americans didn’t leave when they had the chance and are now on their own.

‘We have through the State Department been placing phone calls to virtually all those who have registered with us to find out are they still in Afghanistan, are they interested in leaving Afghanistan, do they need help.

‘People chose not to leave – that’s their business, that’s their right. We regret now that many may find themselves in a position that they would rather not be in,’ he told CBS This Morning on Thursday.

Britain is now telling its citizens that anyone who hasn’t yet been able to get out should make a run for the border and seek refuge in Pakistan.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11654

Biden’s Afghanistan disaster could cost Taiwan, reports suggest

China is known for having an interest in expanding its worldwide influences

By Bob Unruh
Published August 17, 2021 at 4:34pm


Several reports have emerged suggesting the catastrophe that President Biden allowed to develop in Afghanistan – the takeover of the nation by Taliban terrorists – could have a ripple effect around the world.

And it could be costly for Taiwan.

It’s already well-known that China is looking to expand its influence globally, and wouldn’t oppose a new higher profile in the region of Afghanistan.

That may now be possible because of Biden’s decision to withdraw American troops – apparently without a thought to the effect of having no more peacekeeping forces back up the likely inadequate Afghan army.

The result developed quickly, and now has the Taliban installed as the “government” in Afghanistan. Already there are reports the terrorists have been hunting down and executing potential opposition components in the country.

Now the Middle East Media Research Institute is reporting that a Chinese television host, identified only as “Salwa,” spoke in Arabic about the Biden withdrawal and Taliban takeover.

The commentator explained, “The current situation in Afghanistan is, undoubtedly, a major blow to the U.S. It serves as conclusive evidence of the failure of the U.S. attempts to change this Central-Asian country. In addition, the U.S. withdrawal plan reveals its betrayal of its commitment to its allies.”

The commentary continued, “When its interests require dumping its allies, the U.S. finds a thousand justifications. For 20 years, the powerful U.S. could not get rid of the Afghan Taliban, which did not receive any foreign assistance. This failure has exposed the impotence of the United States. Indeed, the U.S. very much resembles a ‘paper tiger.'”

She went on: “China will deal with the changes in Afghanistan in a very reasonable way. China has no intention of filling the vacuum created by the United States. The principle of refraining from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries has been, and will continue to be, the mainstay of Chinese foreign policy. China will play a constructive role in Afghanistan, in order to achieve peace, and in order to move towards rebuilding [Afghanistan] very soon.”

Subsequently, the Gateway Pundit explained, “China is emboldened with U.S. weakness in the region, the historic collapse of Afghanistan, and the frail puppet installed in Washington, D.C.”

This was in conjunction with a report that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army “launched joint live-fire assault drills in multiple locations off the coast of Taiwan.”

The Global Times said, “The PLA Eastern Theater Command on Tuesday dispatched warships, anti-submarine warfare, aircraft and fighter jets in surrounding maritime and aerial areas near the southwest and southeast of the island of Taiwan for military exercises including joint live-fire assaults, and also for testing the command troops’ integrated joint operation capabilities…”

The Global Times said the Chinese believe the U.S. and Taiwan have been “colluding” in provocation to China’s sovereignty, and reports have suggested if China moves against Taiwan, President Biden will do nothing.

“This is just what Jack Posobiec and The War Room said would happen next,” the Pundit explained. “On Monday Steve Bannon warned that the U.S. economy will implode if Taiwan falls to the Chinese. According to Bannon the entire American economy centers around the chips, and in particular, the advanced chips designed, made, and manufactured in Taiwan.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11633

AFGHANISTAN’S WINNERS: QATAR, RUSSIA, CHINA, PAKISTAN, TURKEY, IRAN

BY SETH FRANTZMAN | AUG 17, 2021 | OPINION

The victors in Kabul will be those who benefit from the Taliban taking power. They will also be those who benefit or cheer as the US appears humiliated.

Among those “winners” are Qatar, Russia, China, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran. This can be seen in various ways. Most of these countries hosted the Taliban or tacitly backed them. Others, such as Turkey, have sought to have a role in post-American Afghanistan.

Iran’s media is full of stories arguing that the Taliban won’t export extremism or threaten anyone and that Iran has always helped the Afghan people. Iranian official Ali Shamkhani, for instance, has put out positive statements about Iran’s role in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s Al Jazeera was on hand to showcase the Taliban taking the presidential palace in Kabul. It appears Qatar had advance knowledge of the Taliban’s plans because Doha has been hosting the Taliban for years.

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Qatar has a large US military base but has always backed religious extremists, including Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and has given red-carpet treatment to the Taliban. This is a big win for Qatar, and it will use it for leverage across the Middle East.

While Qatar and Turkey benefit because of their links to Islamist groups and general backing for Islamist movements, Iran benefits from seeing the US leave its doorstep. Iran also wants the US out of Iraq and will use the Afghan chaos to push it to leave Iraq as well.

Turkey will be working with Russia and Iran in Syria to try to get the US to leave. All these countries agree that they want America gone from the region.

Russia and China have both hosted Taliban delegations in recent years and months. They want to have open channels to the Taliban and consider recognizing them as the new government. This is important at the United Nations Security Council. With backing from Russia and China, the Taliban can get the international clout they need and eventually obtain wider recognition.

The meetings between Taliban officials and Russian envoys this week, which have been reported, are important.

“Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov will meet on Tuesday with the coordinator of the leadership of the Taliban movement [outlawed in Russia] to discuss ensuring the security of the Russian Embassy, Russian Presidential envoy to Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said in an interview,” Russia’s TASS news agency reported.

“Our ambassador is in contact with representatives of the Taliban leadership,” he said. “Tomorrow, as he told me just 10 minutes ago, he will meet with the coordinator from the Taliban leadership for ensuring security, including our embassy.”

The Russian ambassador will discuss with the Taliban representative the details of the external protection of the diplomatic mission of the Russian Federation, Kabulov said.

This means that Russia may consider recognizing the Taliban at a future date. Russia could help put the wind in the sails of the Taliban.

But Russia has its own background in Afghanistan. It has noted that the US-backed Afghan government has fallen quickly. Russia wants to secure Central Asia as well, including its southern flank.

That means the chaos of Afghanistan must not spread. It will want to work with China, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran to make sure that the Taliban are contained and come to power in a stable way.

All these countries have common interests. They want the US gone from the region. They want America humiliated. They also want to share energy and mineral resources that may flow through Afghanistan. This is their invitation to help make the decline of the US and the West more rapid.

These countries have different ideological agendas. Turkey, Pakistan and Qatar have an Islamist worldview of the world. They have wanted to work with Malaysia and even Iran on new concepts regarding an Islamic system of trade or television programs to confront “Islamophobia.”

Turkey and Qatar form an axis that backs the Muslim Brotherhood, and as such, there has been cheering in Syria and the Gaza Strip regarding the Taliban takeover. China and Russia have other ideas about how this may benefit them on the world stage.

For now, the Afghanistan debacle is a major setback for the US globally in terms of image and the perception that US-backed systems tend to be as weak and temporary as the grass that greens with the spring and withers in the fall.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11629

If Ethiopia Continues On With Its Damn Project, Egypt Will Lose 72% Of Its Farmland And Egypt And Ethiopia Could Go To War

by Shoebat on July 12, 2021 in FeaturedGeneralHighlight

Ethiopia wants to build a dam for the purpose of creating what would be Africa’s biggest hydroelectric power plant and the seventh largest one in the world. Egypt has been filled with consternation because, as the Egyptians argue, this dam would divert water from the Nile River which provides over 90% of their country’s water. According to Egyptian scientist, Essam Heggy, if things do not get resolved Egypt will lose 72% of its farmland, as we read in Middle East Eye:

Egypt could lose as much as 72 percent of its farmland when the latest phase of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is completed, according to a new study cited in the London-based Al Quds al-Arabi.

The study, conducted by NASA, the University of Southern California and Cornell University, finds that while the dam offers development opportunities for Ethiopia, the changing flow of the Nile River will lead to significant water deficits in Egypt.

Egyptian scientist Essam Heggy, who worked on the study, said that if the deficits created by the completion of the second phase of the dam’s construction are not addressed with a joint agreement for water storage, he expects Egypt to lose up to 72 percent of its arable land.

The loss of water – which he estimated could be as much as 40 percent of Egypt’s current water share – could see unemployment rates rise to 25 percent and the gross domestic product drop by as much as 8 percent.

“Egypt will overcome this crisis, but at a high price, which will make it more vulnerable to other water and environmental crises looming over a near horizon,” Heggy said.

“The quick profit diggers investing in the Renaissance Dam project are fully responsible for the disaster that could take place not only in Egypt but in the entire region, as well as the destruction of a river which represents is the cradle of human civilization and the legacy of all mankind.”

It is no wonder that Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has stated that Ethiopia’s dam project threatens “security and peace” in the region. Egypt is not the only one worried, but Sudan as well. Both Egypt and Sudan have lobbied the United Nations, the US government and other countries to intervene and stop Ethiopia. Egypt consumes 84 billion cubic meters of water every year, and this demand is expanding as the population grows. If Ethiopia continues with its aims, and there is no resolution, we could be seeing a war over water between Egypt and Ethiopia. In fact, going all the way back to the 1950s, Egypt has threatened Ethiopia with military intervention for wanting to conduct dam-building. War between Egypt and Ethiopia is not far-fetched. In 2020, when Ethiopia began filling up the dam, Egypt lobbied the Arab League to demand Ethiopia to cease with its dam project, and Sudan refused to join with the League in fear of a pan-Arab conflict with Ethiopia.

Initially, Al-Sisi ruled out the possibility of war with Ethiopia, but as discourse between the two countries has broken down to an impasse, in 2021 al-Sisis said that “all options were open.” Political leaders in Egypt have even argued that the use of military force to stop the dam project is possible.

Relations between the two countries has not always been relaxed. In 1979, Egypt wanted to preclude plans by Ethiopia to build a dam along the Nile. Ethiopia, on the other hand, opposed a plan by Egypt to divert water to irrigate the Sinai Peninsula which would have decreased the water levels in the Nile basin. Things got even more tense between the countries after gunmen tried to assassinate Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa in 1995. It was during the Arab Spring, in 2011, when Egypt was overtaken by revolution, that Ethiopia took advantage of the situation and began its dam project, making a deal with the Italian company, Webuild. Regardless of the fact that in 2015 Egypt and Ethiopia signed an agreement of cooperation (which included a seven-year timelines for fill the dam), tensions remain and a solution has not come to fruition.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has called the dam an existential threat for Egypt: “Egypt — a nation of over 100 million souls — is facing an existential threat … A grand structure of mammoth proportions has been constructed across the artery that bequeaths life to the people of Egypt.” Ethiopia has resisted any sort of arguments from Egypt with a nationalist approach, stating that Egyptians are exaggerating. In 2020 Ethiopia filled the dam with 4.9 billion cubic meters of water. Ethiopia began the second filling in July 5 of 2021, without an agreement with Egypt and Sudan on water flow. Efforts for mediation have reached an impasse, with Ethiopia refusing to come to an agreement for an international-mediated agreement with Egypt and Sudan for management of water flows downstream from the dam. According to Al-Monitor: “For Egypt, as well as Sudan, the mediation efforts of the African Union over the past year have hit a dead end.” The stalemate is occurring regardless of three hour meeting in which members of the UN Security Council called on Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt to settle their dispute over the dam under the superintendence of the African Union. “We got engaged in a whole year of talks that were convened and facilitated by our African brethren to forge an African solution to this intractable problem,” Shourky said. “And yet, we have failed,” he added. Shourky also stated:

“After a year of abortive negotiations and despite the tireless efforts of the Chairpersons of the African Union and our international partners, we find ourselves – again – confronted by the reality of the unilateral execution of the filling of the GERD without an agreement to protect downstream communities against the dangers of this dam … This blatant act of unilateralism is not only a manifestation of Ethiopia’s irresponsibility and its callous indifference to the damage that the filling of this dam could inflict upon Egypt and Sudan but it also illustrates Ethiopia’s bad faith and its attempt to impose a fait accompli in defiance of the collective will of the international community as expressed and embodied in the holding of this Security Council session to discuss and take action on the question of the GERD … the AU-led process, in its current format, has reached an impasse

The United States wants to see international mediation that would settle the dispute, as Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US representative to the Security Council, stated:

“The African Union is the most appropriate venue to address this dispute, and the United States is committed to providing political and technical support to facilitate a successful outcome. We urge the African Union and the parties to use the expertise and support of the three official observers — South Africa, the European Union, and the United States — as well as the United Nations and other partners to help achieve a positive outcome.”

Egypt has already been suffering from drought, and a dam that would divert the Nile’s waters would also be destructive. Magda Ghoneim, a professor of agricultural development at Ain Shams University, warned: “Nobody is telling farmers how to mitigate and adapt to climate change …Adding the pressure of a dam puts Egypt on the verge of catastrophe. Soon enough we won’t [find food to] eat.” Egypt’s farmers have also had to face new plant diseases and insects and unprecedented humidity. There has also been the phenomena of rising seas contaminating groundwater with salt. When Abo Khokha, a farmer, pumped underground water to make up for the reduced flow of the Nile, he found only half the usual volume, with a higher level of salinity. Mohamed Abdel-Ati, Egypt’s minister of irrigation and water resources, affirmed that Egypt cannot live without the Nile and that Ethiopia must prove that its dam will not harm Egypt: “Egypt cannot live without the Nile …Egypt understands Ethiopia’s right to development but Ethiopia has to prove, practically, that the dam won’t harm Egypt.”

The Bible itself foretold that the Nile will dry up. In Isaiah 19:5 it reads: “The waters of the Nile will fail to rise and flood the fields.” Ezekiel 30:12 tells us: “And I will dry up the Nile and will sell the land into the hand of evildoers; I will bring desolation upon the land and everything in it, by the hand of foreigners; I am the LORD; I have spoken.” 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11575

Newsweek: Turkey Is Seeking “Soft Power” In Afghanistan

by Shoebat on June 22, 2021 in FeaturedGeneral

An article recently published on Newsweek points out that Turkey has been seeking “soft power” in Afghanistan, especially now by asserting itself as the force of security in the country to fill up the vacuum soon to be left by the US:

The relationship between Afghanistan and the Ottoman Empire and later Turkey is rooted in history, with adequate relations during the 20th century.

Following the fall of the Taliban government, Turkey, as the most prominent Muslim-majority member of NATO, considered its national interests and sent its troops to Afghanistan in 2001. Ankara also sought to expand its influence in the country, taking into account various political, economic, security and cultural considerations.

Two elements of Afghanistan’s society—the Sunni religious majority and the Turkish-speaking minority (Uzbeks and Turkmen) are of importance to Turkey. Turkey has always paid attention to the Turkish-speaking minority in Afghanistan, supporting them, especially when it came to former Vice President of Afghanistan Abdul Rashid Dostum.

Establishing Afghan-Turkish schools, expanding the number of Turkish scholarships, staff training, cultural consulting, growing the presence of the Younes Amre Foundation, broadcasting Turkish shows and movies and teaching the Turkish language all play an important role in increasing Turkey’s soft power, especially in Afghanistan’s Turkish speaking regions.

It really is quite obvious as to why Turkey wants in on Afghanistan. America is leaving Afghanistan and will be completely withdrawn after September 11th. Turkey wants to fill that power vacuum. Just look at what Turkey has done in Syria, Iraq,  Libya and the South Caucasus and you will see Turkey growing as a global power.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11529

Warning sounded: China soon could patrol U.S. East Coast

Communist regime ‘is scouting for a naval base on the west coast of Africa’

By Bob Unruh
Published May 31, 2021 at 12:30pm

China’s military soon could be patrolling the Atlantic Ocean, not far from some of America’s major population centers, warns China expert Gordon Chang, a Gatestone institute distinguished senior fellow.

The Communist regime “is scouting for a naval base on the west coast of Africa,” he explained in a column at Gatestone.

“In the near future, therefore, Chinese ships could be regularly patrolling off America’s East Coast.”

He cited recent testimony from Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command.

He revealed that right now, China’s only offshore military base is in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa.

But Townsend believes “the People’s Liberation Army Navy is surveying locations on Africa’s west coast, from Mauritania in the north to Namibia in the south,” Chang said.

The location is at a crossroads, with influence over the Strait of Gibraltar, the Strait of Sicily, the Red Sea, the Bab al Mandeb, and the Mozambique Channel, the column explained.

Africa’s land mass is huge, and the continent is home to 11 of the 25 fast-growing economies around the world, the column said.

Specifically, he identified the Lajes Field, a port on a Portuguese island called Terceira, one of the Azores.

“If China controlled the base, the Atlantic would no longer be secure. From the 10,865-foot runway there, Chinese planes could patrol the northern and central portions of the Atlantic and thereby cut air and sea traffic between the U.S. and Europe. Beijing would also be able to deny access to the nearby Mediterranean Sea,” the commentary explained.

Chang said, “Whether China takes over Lajes or not, China’s plans for Africa are clear. As Bradley Bowman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies told the Washington Times this month, ‘It’s just a matter of time before you have regular surface and subsurface Chinese naval vessels in the Atlantic.'”

He noted Lajes is only 2,300 miles from New York, not even as far as Pearl Harbor is from Los Angeles.

It could be worse, he said.

“About 90 miles east of Palm Beach, on Grand Bahama Island, a Hong Kong-based business is spending about $3 billion on a deep-water container facility, the Freeport Container Port,” he explained.

That’s intended to take advantage of traffic from the recently expanded Panama Canal. But China already has a record of moving into such commercial ventures, and eventually taking them over.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11519

As Israel Relentlessly Pounds Terrorists In Gaza, The War Threatens To Expand Elsewhere

May 17, 2021 by Michael Snyder

Residents of Gaza spent the night cowering in fear as a series of dramatic airstrikes destroyed buildings used by Hamas terrorists.  We have never seen anything quite like this, and the Israelis haven’t shown any signs that they plan to let up any time soon.  In fact, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is saying that the IDF “will continue to operate as long as needed to restore quiet and security to all Israelis”.  That could take a while, because Hamas just keeps firing even more rockets into Israel.  On Monday, Hamas rockets forced Israeli citizens into bomb shelters in the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva

On Monday, a fresh barrage of rockets from Gaza once again set off sirens and sent Israelis fleeing into bomb shelters in Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva. At least one residential building in Ashdod was hit, the IDF said.

If Hamas really wants the fighting to end, they should stop firing rockets at Israeli cities.

But instead, they just keep doing the exact thing that they know will cause the Israelis to attack them.  Hamas fired 200 more rockets into Israel on Monday, and the grand total for the conflict is now above 3,300

The Israeli military said late on Monday that Hamas and other Palestinian groups had fired about 3,350 rockets from Gaza – 200 of them on Monday alone – and that Israeli air and artillery strikes had killed at least 130 militants.

Of course Hamas insists that they were just responding to attacks by the IDF earlier on Monday.  According to USA Today, those attacks destroyed the personal homes of nine Hamas commanders…

The Israeli military unleashed another heavy wave of airstrikes Monday on the Gaza Strip, saying it destroyed militant tunnels and the homes of nine Hamas commanders. International diplomacy to end the weeklong war that has killed hundreds appeared to be making little headway.

And the IDF also announced that the strikes on Monday had destroyed 15 kilometers of underground tunnels that Hamas had constructed…

The latest attacks destroyed the five-story building housing the Hamas-run Religious Affairs Ministry, a building Israel said housed the main operations center of Hamas’ internal security forces. Israel also killed a top Gaza leader of Islamic Jihad, another militant group whom the Israeli military blamed for some of the thousands of rocket attacks launched at Israel in recent days. Israel said its strikes destroyed 15 kilometers (9 miles) of tunnels used by militants.

Originally, I had thought that the fighting would subside during the early part of this week as Israel celebrated Shavuot.

I was wrong about that.

Instead, the fighting has only intensified, and it threatens to spill over into other arenas.

For example, global media outlets were deeply alarmed when six shells were fired from Lebanon toward Israel…

Around midnight, six shells were fired from Lebanon towards northern Israel, but fell short of crossing the border, the Israeli military said, adding that it fired artillery at “the sources of the launches” in Lebanon.

If Hezbollah were to join this war, that could completely change the nature of this conflict.

Hezbollah is far better organized and far better armed than Hamas is, and it has been reported that Hezbollah currently has at least 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel.

So we need to watch developments in Lebanon very carefully, because if Israel and Lebanon start lobbing missiles at one another, things will start to get “apocalyptic” very quickly.

Elsewhere, Turkey is making a lot of noise about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.  In fact, the president of Turkey just publicly declared that “84 million Turks will continue to defend Jerusalem”.

That is not the sort of statement that you would make if you are hoping to calm things down.

Of course Iranian officials continue to hurl hateful words at Israel, and those two nations have been on the brink of war for quite some time.

Eventually, war between Israel and Iran is coming, but hopefully that day can be put off for as long as possible.

Because when it does finally arrive, it will be a truly horrific conflict.

The fighting that we are already witnessing between Israel and Hamas is certainly horrible enough, and officials all over the globe are crying out for peace.

In recent days, Israel has been endlessly criticized by corporate media outlets for the death and destruction that has happened in Gaza, but the truth is that the IDF has been far more kind and far more gentle than I would have been.

Most of the time, before the IDF destroys a building that terrorists have been using, it sends a warning first so that everyone can safely evacuate.  The following is just one example

The Israeli military has struck a six-story building in Gaza with a “roof-knock” bomb, indicating that Israeli forces intend to demolish the structure.

It is not immediately clear why the structure, al-Muhannad Tower, has been targeted by the Israel Defense Forces. Israel says it targets buildings used by Hamas or other Gaza terror groups.

Who else in the world does such a thing?

If I was conducting a war, I certainly wouldn’t give my enemies advance warning before I hit a target.

The IDF has gone to extreme lengths to minimize civilian casualties, and yet we have seen an explosion of anti-Semitism all over the globe in recent days.  In London, some of the language being used by anti-Semitic protesters is beyond sickening

People have been filmed driving through London in a convoy of cars shouting antisemitic obscenities.

One of the passengers yelled ‘**** the Jews, rape their daughters’ through a loudspeaker as they drove through residential areas.

Video was filmed in Finchley Road, St John’s Wood, near a Jewish Community centre, with the man claiming ‘We have to send a message’.

Sadly, we saw crazed pro-Palestinian protesters gather in major cities all over the western world this weekend, and that included major U.S. cities such as Chicago and New York.

I have never seen as much anti-Semitism around the globe as I am seeing right now, and that is truly, truly frightening.

Even a CNN contributor was caught making a very hateful statement that should have been unthinkable for someone in his position to ever utter.

Our world is so full of hate, and now a war in the Middle East has erupted.

These are very dark times, and a lot more death and destruction is on the horizon.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=11496