Two Pentagon officials told NPR that U.S. intelligence saw this as “circumstantial evidence” that Iran launched the attack from its soil.
Saudi Arabia’s largest oil field and
processing facility were attacked by 10 drones on Sept. 14, 2019, an aggression
that is expected to affect at least 5 percent of the world’s oil production.
(September 17, 2019 / JNS) U.S.
satellites detected Iran priming drones and missiles before striking two Saudi
Aramco oil facilities on Saturday, two Pentagon officials told National Public Radio.
They told NPR that U.S. intelligence
saw this as “circumstantial evidence” that Iran launched the attack from its
The more than 20 cruise missiles and
drones that hit the oil facilities were launched from southern Iran, reported CBS News, citing a senior U.S. official.
“A U.S. team has been on the ground
at the oil facilities and identified the specific types of drones and cruise
missiles fired,” reported CBS News. “The wreckage was moved to a facility
outside the Saudi capital of Riyadh, where it will be used to make what one
U.S. official called, ‘a very compelling forensic case’ that Iran launched ‘a
complex and coordinated attack’ on Saudi Arabia.”
Bottom of Form
The news outlet said that “in
addition to the wreckage, the forensic case will include radar tracks
reconstructed after the fact that show the cruise missiles and drones coming
out of Iran.”
On Tuesday, U.S. Vice President Mike
Pence on Tuesday echoed U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments.
“In the wake of this weekend’s
unprovoked attack on several oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, I promise you
we’re ready,” said Pence at the Heritage Foundation in Washington,
D.C. “As the president said, we don’t want war with anybody, but the United
States is prepared. We’re locked and loaded. And we’re ready to defend our
interests and our allies in the region. Make no mistake about it.”
Pence reiterated Trump’s comments on Monday that it appears Iran was
behind it, and that U.S. intelligence is looking to determine if that was
actually the case, as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been dispatched
to Saudi Arabia.
The vice president warned, “If Iran
conducted this latest attack to pressure President Trump to back off, they
failed. America is ready to defend our interests.”
“We’re evaluating all the evidence.
We’re consulting with our allies,” said Pence, adding that “the president will
determine the best course of action in the days ahead,” and that “the United
States of the America will take whatever action is necessary to defend our
country, our troops and our allies in the Gulf.”
Fox News host Mark Levin lauds Trump-Netanyahu relationship as a high point in US-Israel relations. ‘Bibi is enormously popular in the US’.
Yoni Kempinski, 15/09/19 21:25
A defeat for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in this week’s Knesset
election would be a “disaster for Israel” Fox News host, lawyer,
former chief of staff to the US Attorney General, and pundit Mark Levin said
during an interview with Arutz Sheva.
Speaking with Arutz Sheva just days after he
endorsed Netanyahu’s reelection bid, Levin took aim at the media, the
Israeli electoral system, Blue and White chief Benny Gantz, and Israeli
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit for his decision to indict the prime
minister, calling the charges ‘weak’.
Levin argued that the three indictments pending against Netanyahu rested on
trumped up charges, and criticized the media – particularly the Israeli media –
for accepting Mandelblit’s indictments without questioning the basis of the
‘The Media In Israel Is Even Worse Than In the US’
“I find that in free societies – and quasi-free societies, such as Europe –
that the media continues to advance a hard progressive agenda.
“It’s very difficult for those of us who do not embrace that agenda to have
their viewpoint honestly provided to the public. That’s why more and more,
whether it’s President Trump or Prime Minister Netanyahu, that they have to
figure out ways, such as social media, to get around it and to communicate it
to the public.
“In the case of Israel, it is even worse than in the United States. There is
no counterbalance channel, like Fox News, or other channels like that.
There is no significant radio presence, as there is in the United States with
talk radio, and you have a near-monopoly of a single ideology.
‘Juicing the Charges Against Netanyahu’
“So what happens is that you get an Attorney General who has these three
ridiculous allegations against the Prime Minister. I’ve looked thoroughly at
all three of them. I’m sure no other American has looked at them, and I’m sure
few Israelis have. And they have the media tell them what is in those
allegations. Those allegations are really prepared for the media. That’s why,
particularly the third allegation, which everybody says is the toughest, is
actually the weakest.
“The third allegation is, essentially, that one news outlet wanted special
treatment. And in exchange for special treatment, it would run more positive
stories about the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was unhappy
about his Minister of Communications, and he got rid of him. That is all you
have. There is no direct evidence that there was a positive story written about
the Prime Minister in exchange for some policy. To have bribery, you have to
have something other than an Attorney General who lectures the media on
journalistic ethics. That’s what he’s doing in there. And then he also
disagrees with the Prime Minister’s policies. If you want to be the Prime
Minister, you have to run for it.
“Now look at the other two” charges.
“Cigars and champagne. What the Attorney General did is he actually combines
cigars and champagne that were given to the Prime Minister from two people. And
one person wasn’t even requesting anything. And he did that because what would
otherwise look like a minimal gift now looks massive. You know what that’s
called in the United States?…Juicing the charges – in other words, it’s
called ‘prosecutorial misconduct.’”
“Then in the second [charge], [the AG] claims that Netanyahu was trying to
deliver favored legislation to one news outlet over another. Not only didn’t he
support the legislation, he opposed it, and the Knesset was suspended before it
could even consider the legislation.”
“When you’re making allegations against a head of state, your allegations
need to be solid as a rock. And these allegations – as somebody who was chief
of staff to an Attorney General in the United States… is just so repulsive,
it’s just unconscionable.”
‘Netanyahu Is Enormously Popular In the US’
“If he’s not the greatest Prime Minister that Israel’s ever had, he’s certainly
one of two. In the United States he is enormously popular. I don’t think [the
indictments] have had an effect on him in the United States…or in most of the
“Look at his accomplishments, with respect to the United States. I don’t
think there’s another Prime Minister who could work so closely with our
president the objectives that he has achieved: recognizing Jerusalem as the
capital, moving our embassy to Jerusalem, the recognizing the sovereignty over
the Golan Heights, closing down the terrorist PLO office in Washington, cutting
off American taxpayer dollars to PA terrorists who kill Israelis.”
“The relationship between Netanyahu and Trump, the United States and Israel,
has never been this strong.”
Levin called the charges against Netanyahu an “attempt to try and destroy a
sitting prime minister while he’s accomplishing a lot of things; while he’s
facing the Iranians, while he’s building the economy.”
“Who really cares if the American Jewish Left like or dislike Netanyahu? I
don’t really care. The American Left is very similar to the Israeli Left –
they’re out of their minds.”
‘Blue and White Party is Just Remake of Labor’
“This Blue and White party – it’s not a ‘Blue and White party’. They can try
and deceive the public about what they really are. But it is a remake of the
Labor party. Look at Gantz – he’s weak on the Iranian deal. The guy said
‘There’s some good things in there. People shouldn’t respond hysterically.’”
“Nobody is responding hysterically. Smart people with sober thinking believe,
and rightly, that it was a disaster, for our country, America, for Israel, and
for surrounding countries.”
“Obama was the worst president not just for America, but for Israel…and what
does Blue and White do? They hire [Obama’s] top adviser to advise Gantz. And
we’re supposed to believe that this is a centrist party.”
Levin defended Netanyahu’s March 2015 address to a special joint session of
Congress during which he lobbied against the Iran nuclear deal.
“I don’t think viewed that as going against Obama. I think he viewed it as
explaining to the Israeli people and the American people, in a joint session of
Congress, and to the whole world exactly what this Iranian regime is, that it
is a threat to the whole world and the United States and to Israel.”
Lambasting President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry for not only
the Iran nuclear deal, but the passage of the United Nations Security Council
measure against Israel after Trump’s election, Levin called the two the “worst
individuals” with regard to Israel.
“Obama and John Kerry were these worst individuals when it came to my own
country I think, and when it comes to Israel. Even on their way out the door,
their actions in the UN were despicable.”
‘A Netanyahu Loss Would Be A Disaster For Israel’
Urging Israelis to support Netanyahu’s bid for reelection, Levin asked that
voters consider what they “want from a prime minister.”
Netanyahu “has opened up your economy. You’ve got one of the great technological
explosions on the face of the earth.”
“For a little country that is surrounded by enemies to be successful is a
miracle. And when it comes to foreign policy, you’re not going to find someone
better on foreign policy than this. He works with all countries. His
relationships with a lot of these countries are really important.”
“Meanwhile, you have General Gantz…and how the Iranians have tapped into his
conversations. And how he’s been absolutely unwilling to tell the Israeli
people what he said in those phone calls. Obviously, there are things that he
said that are embarrassing. Otherwise, he could answer, at least with simple
yesses and noes. And this is a problem, because the Iranians know what he said,
while the Israeli people don’t know what he said, heading into an election.”
“In the US, if you had a low level official who had his phone tapped by the
Iranians, he wouldn’t get security clearance, let alone become President of the
United States. So Gantz is telling people to trust him. The last person who ran
in the United States on ‘trust me’, was Jimmy Carter, who was an absolute
Again comparing Netanyahu to Winston Churchill, as he
did last week, Levin said that if Netanyahu were defeated Tuesday, as
Churchill was in the July 1945 UK general election, it would be a “disaster”
“After World War II, the British voted Churchill out of office. I think it
would be a disaster if the Israelis vote Netanyahu out of office. I don’t think
they will, but if they will, they will regret it. Especially with Gantz, he’s a
‘Israeli Electoral System – A Disaster’
“Let’s be honest. Your electoral system is a disaster. Having elections with
all these minor parties…to be it is a disaster. Not that ours is perfect. But
to have a prime minister who is so successful for so long to have to travel
through these ups and downs, is really quite remarkable.”
Trump administration officials are telling reporters and that there is no
doubt that the attack on the oil production facilities in Saudi Arabia
originated from Iranian soil, although Trump himself is being less dogmatic in
his public statements. It appears that Trump wants all of the evidence to
come in before making a final decision about what to do, but clearly he is
leaning toward military action against Iran. And when we hit Iran, there
is a very high probability that they will hit back. In fact, the Iranians
have already stated unequivocally that they will defend themselves.
So as I discussed yesterday, we are potentially facing a
scenario that could ultimately lead to World War 3.
It is true that Trump did tell reporters on Monday that he does not want
war, but war may be coming anyway. If the evidence that he is shown
clearly demonstrates that the attack on Saudi Arabia came from Iran, President
Trump is going to feel forced to respond militarily.
Trump has indicated that he will have all the evidence that he needs to make
a final decision very soon, and when a reporter asked Trump if a military
response to the attack on Saudi Arabia would be “proportionate”, Trump responded
‘I think we just want to find out the final numbers and see – You look at a
vector, and you look at – there are lots of different things we can look at,’
Trump told DailyMail.com as he left the White House for New Mexico. ‘And we’ll
know for certain over the next pretty short period of time.’
Asked if he would order military action if he is sure who was behind the
attack, Trump said: ‘Then we’re going to decide.’
When a reporter asked if the response would be proportionate, Trump
responded: ‘I would say yes.’
In other words, if it is ultimately determined that Iran was behind the
attack on Saudi oil production facilities, we should probably expect the U.S.
to hit similar facilities in Iran in return.
Such an attack could spark a much broader conflict, and it could easily set
off a chain of events that nobody will be able to stop.
Even though the Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility
for the attack in Saudi Arabia, at this point virtually everyone is coming to the
conclusion that Iran did it.
For example, this is what the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen is saying…
The Saudi-led military coalition battling Yemen’s Houthi movement said on
Monday that the attack on Saudi Arabian oil plants was carried out with Iranian
weapons and was not launched from Yemen according to preliminary findings.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said that an investigation into
Saturday’s strikes, which had been claimed by the Iran-aligned Houthi group,
was still going on to determine the launch location.
Iran launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its
territory in the attack on a key Saudi oil facility Saturday, a senior Trump
administration official told ABC News Sunday.
It is an extraordinary charge to make, that Iran used missiles and drones to
attack its neighbor and rival Saudi Arabia, as the region teeters on the edge
of high tensions.
In addition, CNN is reporting that an unnamed
“U.S. official” has told them that the Trump administration “has assessed that
the attack originated from inside Iran”…
The US has told at least one US ally in the Middle East, that they have
intelligence showing that the launch was “likely” coming from staging grounds
in Iran, but they have not shared that intelligence yet. “It is one thing to
tell us, it is another thing to show us,” said a diplomat from the region.
A US official separately tells CNN that the US has assessed that the attack
originated from inside Iran. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
So it sounds like the decision has already been made.
A day after threatening an armed response over an attack on Saudi Arabian oil
facilities, President Donald Trump said Monday that it looks as
if Iran was responsible – but he doesn’t want war.
“Well, it’s looking that way,” Trump said when asked whether Iran is
responsible for the missile and drone strikes this weekend on a major
source of oil for the Saudis and the world. “As soon as we find out
definitively, we’ll let you know. But it does look that way.”
I think that Trump is hesitant to actually use the military, and he
definitely does not want to get the U.S. into yet another endless Middle East
But if the evidence shown to him indicates that Iran directly attacked Saudi
oil production facilities, the pressure on him to do something will be immense.
Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) said Monday
that the U.S. may need to use military force against Iran if intelligence
reports determine Tehran was behind recent attacks on two Saudi oil refineries.
“This may well be the thing that calls for military action against Iran if
that’s what the intelligence supports,” Coons said Monday on “Fox
As much as the Democrats like to attack Trump, most of them are simply not
going to go against the intelligence community. And so if the
intelligence ultimately indicates that Iran was responsible for the attack,
most Democrats in Congress will end up supporting a military option.
In the end, it is so hard to predict what Trump will do when it comes time
to make a final decision. Back in June, he called off a military strike against
Iran at the last moment, and it is entirely possible that such a thing could
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked about the U.S. statement, said: “We
have a negative attitude towards rising tensions in the region and call for all
countries in the region and outside of it to avoid any hasty steps or
conclusions which may deepen destabilisation.”
In a separate statement on Monday, Russia’s foreign ministry said it
believed that the exchange of strikes on civilian targets was “a direct
consequence of the ongoing sharp military and political crisis in Yemen”.
In addition, the Chinese are warning that a “revenge attack” against Iran
could cause the region to “spiral out of control”…
China has warned President Trump that he is being manipulated by warhawks
into believing “conspiracy theories” that Tehran was behind the attack on Saudi
oil facilities and that any “revenge attack” on Iran could cause the Middle
East to “spiral out of control.”
The warning was contained in an editorial posted by the Global Times, which
is widely recognized as a Communist Party mouthpiece.
The Russians and the Chinese both understand how close to World War 3 we
potentially are, and they both desperately want to avoid such a scenario.
Unfortunately, we live at a time of wars and rumors of wars,
and circumstances seem to be inexorably pulling the entire globe toward
It certainly appears that Trump would like to avoid a war with Iran, but is
there a clear way out at this point?
If the intelligence that he is presented with clearly indicates that Iran
was responsible for the attack against Saudi Arabia, it is going to be
exceedingly difficult for him to do nothing.
So it is quite likely that a “proportionate response” is coming, and that
could set off a chain of events that nobody will be able to control.
When the price of oil rises dramatically, that tends to be really bad for
the U.S. economy. Because we are so spread out and goods are transported
over such vast distances, our economy is particularly vulnerable to oil price
shocks, and that is one reason why the events that we just witnessed in the
Middle East are so alarming. According to an article that was published
by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2007, five of the last seven U.S.
recessions that had occurred up to that time “were
preceded by considerable increases in oil prices”. Since that article
was published in 2007, the recession that began in 2008 hadn’t happened yet,
and of course that recession was immediately preceded by the largest oil price
spike in history. So that means that six of the last eight U.S.
recessions were preceded by oil price spikes, and now we may be facing another
one. It is being reported that it may take “months” for Saudi Arabia to
fully repair the damage that was done to their oil industry, and that could
fundamentally alter the balance of supply and demand in the global marketplace.
Yesterday, I discussed why high oil prices are so bad for
our economy. When the price of oil is too high, it can cause inflation
and hurt economic growth simultaneously. The article from the Federal
Reserve Bank of San Francisco that I mentioned in the last paragraph tried to
explain why this happens in very basic economic
Oil price increases are generally thought to increase inflation and reduce
economic growth. In terms of inflation, oil prices directly affect the prices
of goods made with petroleum products. As mentioned above, oil prices
indirectly affect costs such as transportation, manufacturing, and heating. The
increase in these costs can in turn affect the prices of a variety of goods and
services, as producers may pass production costs on to consumers. The extent to
which oil price increases lead to consumption price increases depends on how
important oil is for the production of a given type of good or service.
Oil price increases can also stifle the growth of the economy through their
effect on the supply and demand for goods other than oil. Increases in oil
prices can depress the supply of other goods because they increase the costs of
producing them. In economics terminology, high oil prices can shift up the
supply curve for the goods and services for which oil is an input.
Needless to say, the unprecedented attack on Saudi oil production facilities
was going to cause the price of oil to rise substantially. In fact, when
global markets opened up on Sunday evening we witnessed quite a dramatic spike…
In an extraordinary trading day, London’s Brent crude leaped almost $12 in
the seconds after the open, the most in dollar terms since their launch in
1988. Prices subsequently pulled back some of that initial gain of almost 20%,
but rallied again as traders waited in vain for an Aramco statement clarifying
the scale of damage.
So where is the price of oil going from here?
One analyst quoted by Oilprice.com believes that we could soon
see it hit $80 a barrel, and others believe that it could move up toward $100 a
barrel not too long from now.
In the days ahead, global markets will be watching Saudi Arabia very
carefully. The longer it takes them to resume normal production levels,
the higher the price of oil will go.
According to Bloomberg, one analyst is already publicly
admitting that “full resumption could be weeks or even months away”…
All eyes are on how fast the kingdom can recover from the devastating
strike, which knocked out roughly 5% of global supply and triggered a record
surge in oil prices. Initially, it was said that significant volumes of crude
could begin to flow again within days. While Aramco is still assessing the
state of the plant and the scope of repairs, it currently believes less than
half of the plant’s capacity can be restored quickly, said people familiar with
the matter, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.
”Damage to the Abqaiq facility is more severe than previously thought,” said
Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. “While we still believe up
to 50% of the 5.7 million barrels a day of output that has been disrupted could
return fairly swiftly, full resumption could be weeks or even months away.”
That is really bad news, and that is assuming that there won’t be any more
attacks like we just witnessed.
If there are more attacks, Saudi oil production could be far lower than
normal for an extended period of time, and that would be catastrophic for the
Most Americans don’t realize this, but a lot of Saudi oil actually gets shipped
to the west coast. The following comes from Fox Business…
Drivers in California, however, could be hit the hardest. Nearly half of
what Saudi Arabia exports to the U.S. is sent to the West Coast, as reported by
Reuters. In the year that ended in June, the West Coast imported an average of
about 11.4 million barrels of Saudi crude every month – much of which went to
The Golden State already has among the highest average gasoline prices in
the country – at $3.63 per gallon as of Monday.
We are going to see higher gasoline prices right away, but in the short-term
we should be able to handle them okay.
But if there are more attacks like the one we just saw, or if a major war
breaks out in the Middle East, the price of gasoline could easily spike to
levels that we have never seen in this country before.
The U.S. economy was already deeply struggling even before the attack in Saudi
Arabia, and so this could definitely push us over the edge. We should all
prepared for an extended economic downturn, because it looks like that is
precisely what we could be facing.
Hopefully we won’t see any more attacks on oil production facilities, but
the attack on Saturday clearly demonstrated how extremely vulnerable such
facilities are to terror attacks. And with Middle East tensions currently
at an all-time high, USA Today is warning that our future “may
well get much rockier soon”…
The new threat is tension among nations in the region, as well
as the ability to attack based on new and relatively simple technology. Drones
can be flown long distances carrying weapons just powerful enough to
attack oil facilities. Middle East tensions are severe enough that attempts at
similar attacks are not over.
Oil futures do not trade based on the present. They trade on
forecasts about oil supply and demand in the future. The future looks rocky and
may well get much rockier soon.
We are truly in uncharted territory, and we desperately need peace and calm
to prevail in the Middle East.
Sadly, that is not likely to happen, and every new wave of violence is going
to mean more economic pain for all of us.
Trump said he spoke Saturday to Israel leader Benjamin Netanyahu about the
possibility of a “mutual defense treaty” between the two nations—just days
before Israeli voters go to the polls to decide the fate of
their embattled leader.
Trump said in a tweet that such a defense pact — a Netanyahu priority — would “further
anchor the tremendous alliance between our two countries.”
“I look forward to continuing those discussions after the Israeli Elections
when we meet at the United Nations later this month!” Trump said.
comments just three days before the election on Netanyahu’s political future
were the latest effort by Trump to back Netanyahu, perhaps his closest personal
ally on the world stage.
The timing of the Trump tweet appeared aimed at bolstering Netanyahu’s
effort to remain in power by showcasing his close ties to Trump, Reuters
Opinion polls predict a close race, five months after an inconclusive
election in which Netanyahu declared himself the winner but failed to form a
Some Israeli officials have promoted the idea of building on Netanyahu’s
strong ties to the Trump administration to forge a new defense treaty with the
U.S.– focused especially on guarantees of assistance in any conflict with
Iran, Reuters reported.
But some of Netanyahu’s critics have argued that such an agreement could tie
Israel’s hands and deny it military autonomy.
Netanyahu thanked Trump for his announcement, saying he looked forward to
meeting him at the United Nations General Assembly, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“The Jewish State has never had a
greater friend in the White House,” Netanyahu said.
The White House didn’t immediately elaborate on the tweet. A mutual defense
treaty could take months to formalize, the Journal added.
In the aftermath of the most dramatic attack on Saudi oil facilities that we
have ever seen, the price of oil has exploded higher. The Wall Street
Journal is calling this attack “the Big One”, and President Trump
appears to be indicating that some sort of military retaliation is
coming. Needless to say, a direct military strike on Iran could spark a
major war in the Middle East, and that would be absolutely devastating for the
entire global economy. Just about everything that we buy has to be moved,
and moving stuff takes energy. When the price of oil gets really high,
that tends to create inflation because the price of oil is a factor in
virtually everything that we buy. In addition, a really high price for
oil also tends to slow down economic activity, and this is something that we
witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008. And if this crisis
in the Middle East stretches over an extended period of time, it could ultimately
result in a phenomenon known as “stagflation” where we have rapidly rising
prices and weaker economic activity simultaneously. The last time we
experienced such a thing was in the 1970s, and nobody really remembers the U.S.
economy of the 1970s favorably.
The damage caused by the “drone attacks” in Saudi Arabia was immense.
According to the Daily Mail, “huge plumes of
black smoke” could be seen pouring out of a key Saudi oil facility…
Infernos raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the country’s second
largest oilfield in Khurais yesterday morning after Tehran-backed Houthi rebels
in Yemen fired a flurry of rockets.
Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the oil facility.
Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attacks,
but they may or may not be telling the truth.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for coordinated strikes
on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, saying they marked an
unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.
The strikes shut down half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday,
potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s
Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the
attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi
Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. But Mr. Pompeo said there was no
evidence the strikes had come from Yemen.
And according to Reuters, another unnamed “U.S. official” told
them that the attacks came from “west-northwest of the targets”…
The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of
impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the
launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran – not
south from Yemen.
The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs
that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the
Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.
Of course drones don’t have to travel in a straight line, and cruise
missiles don’t either, and so we may never know for sure where the attacks
But we do know that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are being backed by Iran, and
we also know that the Shia militias in Iraq are also being backed by Iran.
So whether the attacks originated in Yemen, southern Iraq or Iran itself, it
is not going to be too difficult for U.S. officials to place the blame on the
Iranians, and we should expect some sort of military response.
Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason
to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded
depending on verification, but are waiting to
hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and
under what terms we would proceed!
Of course U.S. airstrikes against Iran itself could ultimately spark World
War 3, and most Americans are completely clueless that we could literally be on
the precipice of a major war.
According to the Saudis, the equivalent of 5.7 million barrels a day
of oil production were affected by the attacks. Saudi Arabia typically
produces about 9.8 million barrels a day, and so that is a really big deal.
When the markets reopened on Sunday night, oil futures exploded
higher. In fact, according to Zero Hedge this was the biggest jump
With traders in a state of near-frenzy, with a subset of fintwit scrambling
(and failing) to calculate what the limit move in oil would be (hint: there is
none for Brent), moments ago brent reopened for trading in the aftermath of
Saturday’s attack on the “world’s most important oil processing plant“,
and exploded some 20% higher, to a high of $71.95 from the Friday
$60.22 close, its biggest jump since futures started trading in 1988.
As I write this article, the price of Brent crude is currently sitting at
$66.89, although at least one analyst is warning that the price of oil could
soon shoot up to “as high as $100 per
barrel” if the Saudis are not able to quickly resume their previous level
The oil market will rally by $5-10 per barrel when it opens on Monday and
may spike to as high as $100 per barrel if Saudi Arabia fails to
quickly resume oil supply lost after attacks over the weekend, traders and
Saudi officials have already told us that they anticipate that a third of
the lost oil output will be restored on Monday.
But because of the extensive damage that has been done, restoring the
remainder of the lost output could take “weeks” or even “months”.
However, if a full-blown war with Iran erupts, nothing is going to be able
to calm the markets. In such a scenario, the price of oil could easily
explode to a level that is four or five times higher than it is today, and that
would essentially be the equivalent of slamming a baseball bat into the knees
of the global economy.
The times that we are living in are about to become a whole
lot more serious, but most Americans are not even paying attention to these
absolutely critical global events.
In fact, even the mainstream media seems to believe that the new allegations against
Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are more important.
That is because they don’t understand what is really happening.
Trust me, keep a close eye on the Middle East, because things are about to
start breaking loose there in a major way.
Fires raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the arab country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais this morning after mounting tensions between Riyadh and Tehran finally came to a head prompting Houthi rebels in Yemen to launch the flurry of rockets. A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco.
Half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production power is feared to have been wiped
out after Iran-backed militants turned two of the world’s most valuable
refineries into infernos with a devastating drone strike.
Iran is fighting a proxy war on many fronts including Saudi
Arabia and Israel, by supplying weapons and funding to Islamic terror groups in
Yemen, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. These one-off type of attacks can be, as you
can see here, devastatingly effective. In this recent drone strike attack on
Saudi Arabia, it wiped out half of the kingdom’s production power to produce
So it’s a good thing that the United States, due largely to
the shale boom in the Permian
Basin of West Texas, has just this month surpassed Saudi Arabia at
now over 11 million barrels per day. The United States isn’t expected to cede
its crown any time soon. The EIA expects US oil production to stay ahead of
Russia and Saudi Arabia through 2019.
Attacks took place at 4.00
am at world’s largest oil processing plant Abqaiq
FROM DAILY MAIL UK: A eye-watering 5 million barrels per
day of crude production has reportedly been destroyed – more than 50 per cent
of the kingdom’s 9.65 million daily output which is relied upon around the
globe. Fires raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the arab country’s
second largest oilfield in Khurais this morning after mounting tensions between
Riyadh and Tehran finally came to a head prompting Houthi rebels in Yemen to
launch the flurry of rockets.
A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a
bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil giant Aramco.
The Houthi fighters have previously launched attacks over
the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping
stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.
The Saudi government has not yet officially confirmed the scale of the
damage, by two well-connected sources told Reuters that 5 million barrels worth
of daily production had been impacted. Yahia Sarie announced that the
Houthi’s were taking responsibility for the attacks on Saturday in a televised
address carried by the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel.
He said the Houthis sent 10 drones to attack an oil processing facility in
Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, warning that attacks by the rebels against
the kingdom would only get worse if the war in Yemen continues.
Sarie said: ‘The only option for the Saudi government is to
stop attacking us.’
Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons, although
the UN, the West and Gulf Arab nations say Tehran does. Drone models nearly
identical to those used by Iran have been used in the conflict in
Yemen. The attacks highlight how the increasingly advanced weaponry of the
Iran-linked Houthi rebels – from ballistic missiles to unmanned
drones – poses a serious threat to oil installations in Saudi
Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter.
The international energy watchdog said that the global oil markets are for
now ‘well supplied with ample commercial stocks.’ The International Energy
Agency said in a statement: ‘We are in contact with Saudi authorities as well
as major producer and consumer nations.
Israeli officials are currently considering the possibility of conducting a
military strike on Iran, with or without the approval of the United States, The
New York Times reported Wednesday. They believe US President Donald Trump could
decide not to stand in the way of such an attack, unlike his predecessor Barack
Obama, the paper reported Wednesday in an exposé that detailed the lows and highs of the
Israel-US relationship in the face-off against the Islamic Republic over the
“Once again, more than a decade after they first raised the subject with
American officials, Israeli officials have been considering the possibility of
a unilateral strike against Iran,” said the report. “Unlike with Bush and
Obama, there is greater confidence that Trump wouldn’t stand in the way.”
The report, “The Secret History of the Push to Strike Iran,” which focused
on Israeli-US efforts to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, did not
specify which targets Israel was now said to be contemplating attacking. It
noted that “hawks in Israel and America have spent more than a decade agitating
for war against the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program,” and asked: “Will Trump
“The threat of war could be a bluff,
or an election ploy,” it added. “But it also represents a dangerous confluence
of interests: an American president often reluctant to use military force and
an Israeli prime minister looking to deal with unfinished business.”
“I think that it’s far more likely that Trump would give Netanyahu a green
light to strike Iran than that Trump would strike himself,” the Obama
administration’s ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro was quoted as saying. “But
that, you know, is a big risk.”
Trump himself in June was “half an hour away” from approving a US strike on
the Islamic Republic, reports
said at the time.
“Trump’s last-minute decision to abort the attack in June led to a concern
among Iran hawks in both Israel and the United States: that the president
ultimately might not have the resolve to confront the threat with military
force,” Wednesday’s piece said.
Jerusalem has been actively pushing and preparing for a strike on Iranian
nuclear facilities for many years, and in 2012 came extremely close to giving
the Israel Defense Forces a green light to carry that out, the NY Times said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was interviewed in August for the
article, told the paper that he would “unequivocally” have approved the attack,
but did not have the necessary cabinet support.
The report quoted dozens of current and former senior officials to describe
how Netanyahu threatened the Obama administration with carrying out the strike.
That pressure, according to some of those cited in the story, ironically pushed
the US president to expedite the negotiations with Tehran that eventually
yielded the 2015 nuclear deal. Thus Netanyahu, according to these sources,
inadvertently pushed Obama to promote the agreement he loathes so much.
According to one Israeli intelligence official, “Netanyahu achieved exactly
the opposite of what he wanted… By doing what he did, he promoted the deal that
he fought against afterward.”
Other sources, however, told the paper that Israeli pressure did not play a
significant role: “President Obama’s push for a diplomatic resolution to the
Iranian nuclear challenge long predated Prime Minister Netanyahu’s
saber-rattling,” it quoted Ned Price, spokesman for Obama’s National Security
Council, saying. “Candidate Obama pledged in 2007 to seek the very type of
diplomatic achievement he, together with many of our closest allies and
partners, struck as president in 2015.”
The report said Washington had been closely monitoring Israeli activities at
the height of Israel-Iran tensions in the Obama era, and that in the summer of
2012, American spy satellites “detected clusters of Israeli aircraft making
what seemed to be early preparations for an attack.”
“Israeli leaders had spent more than
a year delivering ominous warnings to Washington that they might launch a
military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities — and that if they did, they would
give the United States little warning and no chance to stop them,” the report
said. “One former senior Israeli security official, looking back at that time,
said that it wasn’t until then that he believed the prime minister was serious
about striking Iran.”
Realizing the gravity of the moment, then-US secretary of defense Leon
Panetta was said to make a rare decision to invite Israeli defense minister
Ehud Barak to his Pentagon office and show him a “highly classified video.”
“In a desert in the American Southwest, the Pentagon had constructed an
exact replica of the Fordo [fuel enrichment plant], and the video showed a test
of the 30,000-pound [13,600 kilogram] massive ordnance penetrator, a
bunker-busting weapon the [US] Air Force had designed to penetrate the most
hardened of underground defenses. The bomb destroyed the mock-up in the desert.
Barak was impressed,” the Times reported.
Concern in the White House over the potential Israeli strike also led it to
send an official to Israel every several weeks to to “Bibisit” the Israeli
leader and make sure he did not launch a strike on the Islamic Republic, the
However, Israel kept preparing for the strike, which “came far closer to
happening than has previously been reported.”
“[Israel’s] military and intelligence services had cut the time needed for
the final preparations — for the attack and for the war that might ensue,” the
“I went to bed every night, if I went to bed at all, with the phone close to
my ear,” it quoted Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington at the
time, as saying. “I was ready to be called in by Israel and sent to the White
House or the State Department to tell them we had attacked, or if they already
knew from their own sources, straight to CNN.”
Netanyahu himself was quoted as saying the threat to attack Iran “was not a
bluff — it was real. And only because it was real were the Americans truly
worried about it.”
A satellite image from April 2, 2016, of the Fordo nuclear
facility in Iran. (Google Earth)
The Times said Netanyahu at the time “pulled back from the brink only
because he still could not get a majority of his cabinet to support him.” The
Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday confirmed to The Times of Israel that
Netanyahu was referring to the security cabinet, not the full cabinet.
“If I’d had a majority, I would have done it. Unequivocally,” Netanyahu was
quoted as saying by the Times.
The timing was problematic as well, shortly before the 2012 US presidential
elections. And after those elections the attack became impossible to approve
because of a rift between Netanyahu and Barak, caused by a meeting the latter
had with Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel in an attempt to convince
him to support Jerusalem’s move. Netanyahu received word of the undeclared
meeting and believed Barak had been undermining him.
In October, the report said, the strike was called off. It quoted Barak as
saying: “It is one thing to strike alone, and a totally different thing to draw
the United States into a confrontation that it doesn’t want to be a part of.”
Among other claims made in the piece is that Netanyahu “became increasingly
suspicious of his senior advisers” as he considered in attack seven years ago.
“He now accuses [then Mossad chief, the late Meir] Dagan of leaking the attack
plan to the CIA, ‘intending to disrupt it,’ a betrayal that to Netanyahu’s mind
was ‘absolutely inconceivable.’ Within a year, the paper noted, Dagan, IDF
chief Gabi Ashkenazi, Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, and national security
adviser Uzi Arad, “were no longer in their posts.”
But “if Netanyahu hoped his handpicked replacements would be more compliant,
however, he would soon be disappointed,” the report continued. Quoting three
senior officials, it said “many others in the government,” including the new
IDF chief Benny Gantz, “were also against the attack.” Gantz, who is
Netanyahu’s main rival in the September 17 elections, was quoted telling the
paper that his stance was a practical matter: “Even those who have not seen the
intelligence understand that it would be a highly complicated affair and — if
the impact it would have on other countries is taken into account — a strategic
affair of the highest level,” Gantz said.
When you have done things a certain way for almost your
entire career, it can be exceedingly difficult to admit that you were
wrong. This is true in any field, but it is especially true for those in
the ministry. So Benny Hinn showed an enormous amount of courage when he
completely repudiated the “prosperity gospel” on Monday night during a Facebook Live
broadcast. This represents a 180 degree turn for his ministry,
and it could be a watershed moment for American evangelical Christianity as a
whole. For decades, an extreme emphasis on wealth and prosperity has
virtually drowned out the message of the cross on Christian television, and
this has greatly damaged the evangelical movement. Having high profile
leaders such as Benny Hinn renounce the “prosperity gospel” would do much to
heal the damage that has been done, and he should be greatly applauded for his
Of course a lot of people out there are going to be skeptical, and that is
unfortunate. Forgiveness is available to everyone no matter what they may
have been through in the past, and we should all remember that there is
literally nobody alive that is not in need of grace.
In addition, it is important to remember that ministries are always going to
need resources in order to fulfill the Great Commission, and believers should
always be supporting those ministries that are doing a great job of preaching
the gospel. But the “prosperity gospel” twisted what the Bible says about
giving into a message that appealed to the flesh, and Benny Hinn has now
completely rejected that message. The following comes from the Christian Post…
Declaring that the “Holy Ghost is just fed up with it,” controversial
televangelist Benny Hinn, formerly one of the most aggressive proponents of the
prosperity gospel, has for the first time in his career, delivered a
full-throated rejection of the practice that made him and his family millions.
The prosperity gospel teaches, among other things, that believers have a
right to the blessings of health and wealth, and they can obtain these
blessings through positive confessions of faith and the “sowing of seeds”
through the faithful payments of tithes and offerings.
And Hinn didn’t stop there.
At one point during his Monday night message, he boldly declared that the
prosperity gospel is literally making him “sick to my stomach”…
He said that “it is an offense to the Lord, it’s an
offense to say, ‘Give $1,000.’ I think it’s offense to the Holy Spirit to place
a price on the Gospel. I’m done with it.”
At one point Hinn asked viewers “Am I shocking you?”
“Giving has become such a gimmick it’s making me
sick to my stomach,” he said. “And I’ve been sick for a while too, I just
couldn’t say it.”
We definitely need a lot more of that sort of preaching in our churches.
In the end, this could result in Benny Hinn not being invited on Christian
television as much. As we have seen, there have certainly been other
prominent Christian ministers that have paid a great price for telling the
truth in recent years. But Hinn is doing what is right for himself, his
followers and for the American church as a whole, and that is what matters.
After all this time, Hinn says that the way he views “prosperity” has
completely changed. During his message, he pointed out that the great
heroes in the Bible didn’t have lots of wealth…
“Did Elijah the prophet have a car? No. Did not even have a bicycle. He had
no lack. … Did Jesus drive a car or live in a mansion? No. He had no lack. How
about the Apostles? None lacked among them,” Hinn said. “Today, the idea is
abundance and palatial homes and cars and bank accounts. The focus is wrong …
It’s so wrong.”
Hopefully thousands of other Christian leaders will see what Hinn has done
and will follow his lead. He continues to be highly influential in the
evangelical Christian world, and what he just did is likely to send shockwaves
all across the country.
It would have been really easy for Hinn to continue to preach the prosperity
gospel, because that is what he has done throughout almost his entire career.
Toward the end of the clip the 66-year-old told viewers, “I
don’t want to get to heaven and be rebuked. I think it’s time we say it like
its: The Gospel is not for sale.”
I understand that this article is highly controversial, and I also understand
that many will criticize me for writing it and that many will continue to
deeply criticize Benny Hinn for things he has done throughout the course of his
But it isn’t how we begin the race that matters.
What really matters is how we end the race, and Benny Hinn should be
greatly, greatly applauded for setting himself on a new path
Cooper was expressing his deep concerns about so-called Christian leaders
who are openly renouncing their faith and others who are turning their backs on
“We are in a dangerous place when the
church is looking to 20-year-old worship singers as our source of truth,”
he wrote. “We now have a church culture that learns who God is from
singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word.”
Amen, brother! Preach!
“We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers
or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in
Christendom,” he wrote.
Over the past few weeks the Christian community has been rocked by
revelations that Joshua Harris, the author of “I Kissed Dating
Goodbye,” had renounced his faith. And most recently, Hillsong’s Marty
Sampson announced his faith in Christ was on “incredibly shaky ground.”
I asked Franklin Graham, the president of Samaritan’s Purse and the Billy
Graham Evangelistic Association, about this weird trend surrounding Christian
leaders and influencers during an interview on my nationally-syndicated radio
“They’re in a very dangerous place to be out from under God’s
protection,” Graham said during an interview on “The Todd Starnes
Radio Show.” “For whatever reason they have decided
they’re going to turn their back on God and God standards.”
Graham said he is especially disturbed by Christians who publicly renounce
their faith in Christ, citing a warning from the Book of Revelation.
“(God) warns churches that turn their back on him and these young men
who have renounced their faith have made it so public,” he said. “Why
did they make it so public? I think they just want publicity. Otherwise, why didn’t
they just leave their faith and just be quiet about it?”
He wondered if the reason why was so that other Christians might join them
and fall away from the teachings of the Bible.
“Shame on them,” Graham said. “You’ll stand before God one
day and give an account to Him.”
Cooper, in his Facebook post, pointed out a “common thread” among the
leaders and influencers who are saying “no one else is talking about the REAL
“This is just flatly false,” he wrote. “I just read today in a renowned
worship leader’s statement, ‘How could a God of love send people to hell? No
one talks about it.’ As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are
not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally.
Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like
a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you
want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with
scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.”
Graham echoed that point during our interview on my radio show.
“I believe the Bible. I believe the Bible to be the Word of God. I believe
every word of the Bible. I do not understand it all but I believe it all,”
We must put our faith in Jesus Christ, not a celebrity influencer. And when
we find ourselves facing difficulties in life, we must turn to the Bible
instead of self-help books.
“I’m going to keep on doing what I do and I’m going to keep telling
people how they can have a relationship with God how they can have their sins
forgiven and how it can make and have that hope of heaven one day by putting
their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.”
And that should be our prayer for Christian “influencers” like Mr. Harris
and Mr. Sampson – that one day they might truly put their faith and trust in
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near".
Watchman for Christ