Category: Islam

It’s Middle East Mayhem As U.S. Pulls Out All Troops In Front Of Rapidly Advancing Turkish Army Leaving Syria In The Hands Of Erdogan And Putin

The fast-deteriorating situation was set in motion last week, when Trump ordered U.S. troops in northern Syria to step aside, clearing the way for an attack by Turkey, which regards the Kurds as terrorists. Since 2014, the Kurds have fought alongside the U.S. in defeating the Islamic State in Syria, and Trump’s move was decried at home and abroad as a betrayal of an ally. Over the past five days, Turkish troops and their allies have pushed their way into northern towns and villages, clashing with the Kurdish fighters over a stretch of 200 kilometers (125 miles). The offensive has displaced at least 130,000 people. On Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said all American troops will withdraw from northern Syria because of the increasing danger of getting caught in the crossfire.

by Geoffrey Grider October 13, 2019

The Kurdish fighters in Syria had few options after the United States abandoned them, and it had been anticipated they would turn to Assad’s government for support.

Here’s a little Bible Prophecy 101 for you: The Old Testament prophets all tell us that Syria in general is a major end times player, with Damascus being mentioned repeatedly in particular and singled out for ultimate destruction during the Battle of Armageddon just prior to the Second Coming. Also we read out Russia, China, Iran and Turkey as playing major roles. Care to hazard a guess which world superpower is absent from your end times scorecard? You guess it, it’s the most powerful nation on the face of the Earth who is looking more and more like its about to be put out to pasture. Who am I talking about? Us, the United States of America. We don’t even get a passing mention, that should tell you how great our fall from power is about to be.

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. The cities of Aroer are forsaken: they shall be for flocks, which shall lie down, and none shall make them afraid. The fortress also shall cease from Ephraim, and the kingdom from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria: they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel, saith the LORD of hosts.” Isaiah 17:1-3 (KJV)

As the slaughter in Syria intensifies, with over 130,000 persons already displaced in the first 5 days of fighting, it is becoming obvious that Turkey is not there to “defend its borders’ as they had said. They are in Syria to take control of the northern part of it, which coincidentally is right near where the Golan Heights is located as well. Israel is the center of bible prophecy, and it doesn’t take a prophet to tell you that if Turkey is allowed to continue then Israel will be forced to defend themselves as well.

ISIS Affiliates Break Free From Camp in Syria

FROM THE AP: Syria’s Kurds said Syrian government forces agreed Sunday to help them fend off Turkey’s invasion — a major shift in alliances that came after President Donald Trump ordered all U.S. troops withdrawn from the northern border area amid the rapidly deepening chaos.

The shift could lead to clashes between Turkey and Syria and raises the specter of a resurgent Islamic State group as the U.S. relinquishes any remaining influence in northern Syria to President Bashar Assad and his chief backer, Russia.

Adding to the turmoil Sunday, hundreds of Islamic State families and supporters escaped from a holding camp in Syria amid the fighting between Turkish forces and the Kurds.

The fast-deteriorating situation was set in motion last week, when Trump ordered U.S. troops in northern Syria to step aside, clearing the way for an attack by Turkey, which regards the Kurds as terrorists. Since 2014, the Kurds have fought alongside the U.S. in defeating the Islamic State in Syria, and Trump’s move was decried at home and abroad as a betrayal of an ally.

Over the past five days, Turkish troops and their allies have pushed their way into northern towns and villages, clashing with the Kurdish fighters over a stretch of 200 kilometers (125 miles). The offensive has displaced at least 130,000 people.

On Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said all American troops will withdraw from northern Syria because of the increasing danger of getting caught in the crossfire.

“We have American forces likely caught between two opposing advancing armies, and it’s a very untenable situation,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” He did not say how many would withdraw or where they would go but that they represent most of the 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria.

The peril to American forces was illustrated on Friday, when a small number of U.S. troops came under Turkish artillery fire at an observation post in the north. No Americans were hurt. Esper said it was unclear whether that was an accident.

Trump, in a tweet, said: “Very smart not to be involved in the intense fighting along the Turkish Border, for a change. Those that mistakenly got us into the Middle East Wars are still pushing to fight. They have no idea what a bad decision they have made.”

Later in the day Sunday, Kurdish officials announced they will work with the Syrian government to fend off the Turkish invasion, deploying side by side along the border. Syrian TV said government troops were moving to the north to confront the Turkish invasion but gave no details.

The Kurdish fighters had few options after the United States abandoned them, and it had been anticipated they would turn to Assad’s government for support.

A return by Assad’s forces to the region where Syrian Kurds have built up autonomy in the north would be a major shift in Syria’s long-running civil war, further cementing Assad’s hold over the ravaged country.

It would also mean that U.S. troops no longer have a presence in an area where Russia and Iranian-backed militias now have a role. It was not clear what Russia’s role was in cementing the agreement. But Russian officials have been mediating low-level talks between the Kurds and Damascus. Syria is allied with Russia, and Turkey, though it is a NATO member, has drawn close to Moscow in recent years under Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. READ MORE

Turkey’s Syria offensive: Erdogan defiant in response to US threats

The US military is warning Turkey that its incursion into Syria could jeopardize progress in defeating the so-called “Islamic State.” Kurdish-led forces in the region say they can’t keep ISIS prisoners contained and hold back the Turkish military. The US defense department is calling on its NATO ally to halt operations, and US President Trump has threatened economic sanctions. There has already been one explosion near an outpost of US Special Forces. And the UN says 100,000 civilians have fled their homes since the offensive began three days ago.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10139

The Invincible Sultan: Is Erdoğan Losing His Populist Charm?

By Burak Bekdil September 26, 2019

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,300, September 26, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: At testing times, Turkey’s Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has always sought refuge at home, taking pleasure in his massive popularity. But after 17 consecutive years in power, having won every election in which he ran, Turkey’s self-declared Sultan is showing signs of fatigue – and his popularity may be wearing thin.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan behaves like a cornered cat when it comes to regional politics: he acts savagely and erratically, lashing out at both real and imagined enemies. His adversaries are the EU (Italy, France, Cyprus, and Greece in particular, due to a row over hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean), the US, and Israel. In neighboring Syria he is threatening a bloody military assault on the Kurds. He is explicitly unwanted in fellow Muslim countries like Egypt, Lebanon, and the UAE due to his rigid support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. In Libya he is waging a proxy war against secular Muslims who want to oust an Islamist government in Tripoli.

At times like these, Erdoğan has always sought refuge at home, taking pleasure in his massive popularity. But after 17 consecutive years in power, having won every election, Turkey’s Islamist strongman is showing signs of fatigue. And as the country continues to fail both economically and politically, Erdoğan may no longer be invincible.

“He who wins Istanbul wins Turkey” is Erdoğan’s own dictum. He may be right: Istanbul is home to nearly 15% of Turkey’s 57 million voters and accounts for 31% of its GDP. Erdoğan launched his political journey by being elected mayor of Istanbul in 1994.

On March 31, a little-known opposition candidate, Ekrem Imamoğlu, won Istanbul (where more than 11 million voters are registered) by a margin of 13,000 votes. Erdoğan challenged the result and demanded a new vote – only to lose, the second time, by a margin of 800,000. He lost both Istanbul and Ankara after 25 years of Islamist rule.

Erdoğan’s bitter defeat came at a time of a rise in anti-government protests, mostly focused on environmental issues. “The wave of peaceful demonstrations – the country’s largest since the 2013 Gezi Park rallies – suggests a newfound vitality among the opposition, with potentially deep implications for Turkey’s democracy,” wrote Soner Cağaptay and Deniz Yüksel for the Washington Institute. “This consolidation of power, coupled with frequent crackdowns on protestors, left many in the opposition disheartened.”

With 4.7 million jobless and unemployment continuing to soar, 15% inflation, and high borrowing rates, Turkey’s economy is not functioning well. The national currency, the lira, has been volatile ever since a serious crisis last year.

Erdoğan is at war with Turkey’s 15 million or so Kurds. He recently appointed government trustees to three overwhelmingly Kurdish provinces in southern Turkey, escalating tensions between Ankara and the Kurdish southeast and further undermining Turkey’s already problematic democratic outlook.

It would be ironic if Erdoğan were to lose power after his long stretch of Islamist rule. Necmettin Erbakan, whom Erdoğan often referred to as “master,” became Turkey’s first Islamist PM in 1995 when he won 21% of the national vote and signed a coalition agreement with a center-right party. Erbakan’s political vision featured a rigid Islamism based on an anti-Western, anti-EU isolationist rhetoric known as “the National View” – a bizarre policy blend deeply hated by the (then) strong military top brass. Wisely, Erdoğan parted ways with his “master” and burst onto the political stage with a less rigid Islamist policy calculus. His Islamism was to be compatible with Western democratic culture and capitalism, or so he claimed. In a 2000 interview he said “he had thrown away the shirt called “National View.”

Erdoğan and his top brass – whom Erbakan called “our naughty boys” for their departure from the straight and narrow – held that a more pro-Western rhetoric had to be showcased if Islamists wanted to come to power. This was a political struggle between the Islamist conservative and reformist wings.

Erdoğan’s second-in-command was his long-time comrade Abdullah Gül. Through a controversial parliamentary vote in 2007, Gül became president with Erdoğan, who was PM at the time. Erdoğan and Gül thus ran the show together, à la Putin and Medvedev. In 2009, Erdoğan appointed Ahmet Davutoğlu, a Gül confidante, as FM, and, in 2014, as PM. The third man in Erdoğan’s hall of fame was brilliant economist Ali Babacan, who became finance minister.

All three men grew disillusioned with Erdoğan’s increasingly despotic one-man approach to governance. Now in political exile, they are showing signs of making a comeback. Last year, this prospect was just another tidbit on the Ankara political grapevine, but it has gone beyond mere speculation. Gül, Davutoğlu, and Babacan are working day and night to formally launch their version of a market-friendly, pro-Western, pro-democracy political party (or two parties).

Erdoğan has threatened that they will pay a high price for their “treason” and claimed that a new party (or parties) would mean “dividing the umma.” If launched, this would be the sixth Islamist party in Turkey’s political history, with Erdoğan’s emerging as the only successful experiment.

How popular the “new party” will be (to use the phrase of Turkish observers) is anyone guess. Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party, supported by the ultra-nationalist Nationalist Movement Party, appears to be able to give him the 50% plus one vote he needs to be reelected in the presidential elections of 2023. The “new party” will try to challenge him directly, with the aim of winning a share of his conservative voter base. Observers rightly think the “new party” will appeal more to “intellectual conservatives” whereas Erdoğan’s party will continue to target less educated Islamists.

“Even if the ‘new party’ won [only] a couple of percentage points from Erdoğan, it may be the beginning of the end for him,” an Erdoğan confidante admitted.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10093

The Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Council Created By Pope Francis Announces New Chrislam Headquarters Opening In 2022 That Combines A Mosque And Church According To Signed Covenant

The announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, follows a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE in February, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. During the trip, the pope signed a joint declaration with the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, that called for religious tolerance and dialogue. An interfaith council to oversee projects advancing tolerance was formed as a result of the declaration, and named the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The Abrahamic Family House is its first initiative.

by Geoffrey Grider September 22, 2019

The United Arab Emirates will build a new synagogue as part of an Chrislam interfaith compound that will also house a mosque and church and is reportedly set to open in 2022.

As far as advancing the end times timeline goes, 2019 has been a banner year for Pope Francis and the coming One World Religion. We told you back in February that the pope has travelled to Abu Dhabi where he met with Sunni Muslim leader Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. There the two men signed a global peace covenant called the Document On Human Fraternity For World Peace.  From that covenant, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity was created to implement this end times religious peace treaty. Now that committee has announced that there will be a fancy new headquarters for this endeavor. The shiny, new center of global Chrislam opening in 2022.

“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Isaiah 28:15,16 (KJV)

The end times are unfolding before our very eyes, people, things are speeding up very quickly, if you blink you’ll miss it. This is Chrislam, it will be the foundation of the coming One World Religion the Bible says will assemble in the last days. The Catholic Church will call the shots, and Islam will provide the muscle with their tens of millions of jihad warriors, now they will be martyrs for Chrislam under the command of a Roman king. Don’t believe it? You’re watching it.

UAE To Open Chrislam Interfaith Headquarters In 2022

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, on the Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, follows a visit by Pope Francis to the UAE in February, the first by a pope to the Arabian Peninsula. During the trip, the pope signed a joint declaration with the grand imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed el-Tayeb, that called for religious tolerance and dialogue.

An interfaith council to oversee projects advancing tolerance was formed as a result of the declaration, and named the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The Abrahamic Family House is its first initiative.

 “This is an important opportunity for all who believe in the power of faith and humanity. It will help build bridges between religious leaders and communities as well as foster peace and harmony in an era that is too often defined by difference,” said Rabbi M. Bruce Lustig, senior rabbi at Washington Hebrew Congregation, and a Jewish representative of the committee.

The design for the Abrahamic Family House, by the renowned architect David Adjaye, was unveiled during a meeting in New York this week, the second for the committee. According to Gulf News, it will take three years to complete.

The UAE is already home to a synagogue, in Dubai, formed in 2008. Though it receives quiet support from the Emirati authorities, its members have largely kept a low profile. The new state-sanctioned synagogue would mark a significant step forward for public worship of Judaism in the Gulf state.

In May, Rabbi Yehuda Sarna, the chaplain at New York University, became the first chief rabbi of the Jewish community of the United Arab Emirates.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10070

Report: US satellites detected Iran priming drones, missiles ahead of Saudi strike

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 own soil.

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.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10057

Trump Says That The Military Response To The Attack On Saudi Arabia Will Be “Proportionate”

September 16, 2019 by Michael Snyder

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 affirmatively

‘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.

And a “senior Trump administration official” has told ABC News that the U.S. has solid evidence that the Iranians “launched nearly a dozen cruise missiles and over 20 drones from its territory”

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.

And even President Trump himself is telling the press that it is looking like Iran is responsible

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 war.

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.

At this point, even one of the top Democrats in the Senate is calling for a military response “if that’s what the intelligence supports”

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 & Friends.”

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 happen again.

And as it stands right now, the Russians are clearly urging Trump not to pull the trigger

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 military conflict.

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.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10051

6 Of The Last 8 U.S. Recessions Were Preceded By Oil Price Spikes – Damage To Saudi Oil Industry Could Take “Months” To Repair

September 16, 2019 by Michael Snyder

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 terms

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 global economy.

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 California refineries.

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 be getting 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.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10048

If You Think The Price Of Oil Is Skyrocketing Now, Just Wait Until The War Starts…

September 15, 2019 by Michael Snyder

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.

At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is completely rejecting that explanation, and he is claiming that there is “no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen”

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 proxies.

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 originated.

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.

In fact, President Trump posted the following message to Twitter just a little while ago

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 ever…

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 of production…

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 analysts said.

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”.

In the short-term, President Trump has “authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve“, and that should help stabilize prices somewhat.

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.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10042

Iran-Backed Militants Launch Drone Strike On Saudi Arabia’s Aramco Refineries Wiping Out Over Half Of The Kingdom’s Oil Refining Capabilities

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.

by Geoffrey Grider September 14, 2019

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 oil.

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.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10039

Hezbollah Moves Troops To The Israeli Border As It Prepares To Attack If A U.S.-Iran War Breaks Out

July 21, 2019 by Michael Snyder

It has become exceedingly clear that if the U.S. and Iran go to war, the entire region is going to be set ablaze.  Iran has already threatened to hit Israel extremely hard if the U.S. attacks, and hordes of Hezbollah fighters are massing along Israel’s borders right now in anticipation of a military conflict.  As you will see below, it is estimated that Hezbollah now has 150,000 missiles of their own pointed at Israel, and one Hezbollah military officer recently warned that they “will fire the first shot this time”.  The war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006 was highly destructive, but the truth is that it isn’t even worth comparing to what the next conflict will be like.  Today, Hezbollah is the most heavily armed terror organization the world has ever seen, and their forces are battle-hardened after spending many years engaged in the bloody war in Syria.  After victory after victory in that struggle, now those same fighters are being deployed along the Israeli border.  The following comes from the Daily Beast

Hezbollah’s forces, battle-hardened in the Syrian civil war, have begun redeploying toward the Israeli border, not only in Lebanon, but in Syria opposite the Israeli-occupied side of the Golan Heights.

Hezbollah fighters who spoke to The Daily Beast say their organization is hurting from sanctions and ready to initiate hostilities—if and when Tehran deems that necessary.

All Tehran has to do is give the order and those forces are going in.

In fact, one Hezbollah commander that was interviewed by the Daily Beast is openly admitting that “we will fire the first shot this time”

“The sanctions now have us preparing for dealing with the Israeli front,” says “Commander Samir,” a Hezbollah officer in charge of 800 fighters on Lebanon’s border with Israel. He declines to use his real name because he is not authorized to speak to the media. “We will fire the first shot this time,” he says.

As I keep warning, we are literally on the verge of World War 3 breaking out in the Middle East.

The moment U.S. missiles start hitting Iran, the Israelis will have to go on full alert because they will be attacked.

One Hezbollah official even said that “if any missile hits Iran, it will be treated like Israel did it”.

And let there be no doubt – Hezbollah is fully capable of raining down hell on Israeli cities.  According to a report in an Israeli news source from late last year, it is estimated that Hezbollah’s arsenal of missiles and rockets has now risen to 150,000…

The Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah’s arsenal of missiles and rockets has grown to 150,000, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) revealed Sunday.

Speaking at a conference hosted by the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies on Sunday, Erdan highlighted the increasing military presence of Iran and its allies along the Israeli border, Israel Hayom reported.

Can you imagine the devastation that would be caused by 150,000 missiles and rockets being fired into an area roughly the size of New Jersey?

Yes, the Israeli military would intercept some of them, but many would get through.

Of course Israel has even more firepower, and they would undoubtedly win the conflict.  Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised that Israel would “act with tremendous force” if a war with Hezbollah were to erupt.

Unfortunately, it probably would not be just Hezbollah that Israel would be fighting.  The Iranians have also been “providing training and support” for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  And it definitely raised eyebrows when a delegation from Hamas visited Tehran over the weekend.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

The head of the political bureau of the Hamas terrorist movement, Ismail Haniyeh said on Saturday that he hoped that a visit by a senior Hamas delegation in Tehran over the weekend would provide “important results,” according to a Hamas press release on the terror group’s website.

In the end, Israel could find itself fighting Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Iran simultaneously, and such a war would be unlike anything we have ever seen before.

And the violence would not just be limited to the Middle East.  In a previous article, I detailed the enormous presence that Hezbollah already has in North America, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad definitely have a presence here too.

Could you imagine the chaos that we would see if all of those terrorists were suddenly unleashed and they started destroyed “soft targets” all across America?

So the Trump administration should think very, very carefully before going to war with Iran.  Because once it starts, there will be no going back.

At this point our border security is a complete and utter joke, and conservative activists have been documenting for years that illegal immigrants can hop back and forth across the border with ease.  For highly organized terror organizations, getting operatives into the United States is not exactly a problem.  They are here, and when the right moment comes, they will strike.

I have been loudly calling for the U.S. government to secure our borders for many years, but it hasn’t happened, and now we could pay a very great price for our foolishness.

All it is going to take is one wrong move for war to erupt.  Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad are all preparing to fight, and all of them would throw literally everything that they have at the United States and Israel.

We do not want to fight a war against hordes of apocalyptic terrorists that hate us with a passion that most westerners cannot even imagine.  It would be a horrible, bloody, nightmarish war, and none of our lives would ever be the same again.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9949

Ancient Prophecy of Lunar Eclipse: A “Sultan” Will Die Suddenly

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz July 19, 2019 , 12:49 pm

“Here stand I and the children Hashem has given me as signs and portents in Yisrael from the LORD of Hosts, who dwells on Mount Tzion.” Isaiah 8:18 (The Israel Bible™)

An esoteric Jewish source predicted that the lunar eclipse that passed over Jerusalem Tuesday night portends the sudden death of a “sultan” followed by great confusion and tragedy. The source, written over one hundred years ago, has proven to be shockingly accurate in the past, presaging the recent California earthquakes.

Rabbi Yosef Berger, the rabbi of King Davids Tomb on Mount Zion, personally witnessed the lunar eclipse that passed over Jerusalem on Tuesday night.

“I was at the Kotel (Western Wall) and saw the full moon slowly covered in shadow,” Rabbi Berger told Breaking Israel News. “It was a powerful sight when it passed over the gold dome.”

The rabbi noted that the Biblical characters were far more connected to nature than modern man.

“A modern man does not understand how God appears in nature, how God speaks to us through nature,” Rabbi Berger said. “To the prophets, this was very clear.”

The rabbi cited Yalkut Moshe, a book of kabbalistic insights written in 1894 by Rabbi Moshe ben Yisrael Benyamin in Munkacs, Poland.

“If the moon is eclipsed in the month of Tammuz, a ‘sultan’ will die suddenly and great troubles will follow,” Rabbi Berger quoting yet another esoteric source. “When the moon is eclipsed in Tammuz, a king of ‘luazi’ will die suddenly and a great confusion will follow, leading to great problems.”

“Luazi” is generally translated as foreign, as seen in the Book of Psalms.

When Yisrael went forth from Egypt, the house of Yaakov from a people of strange (foreign) speech. Psalms 114:1

“This clearly refers to troubles for the non-Jews,” Rabbi Berger said, citing the Talmud. “The word ‘sultan’ is not generally used. It is only used in reference to Arab leaders. And since the Muslims mark their months only by the moon, this seems to be a sign for them, those who built the gold dome that sits atop the Holy of Holies.”

This lunar eclipse comes two weeks after a solar eclipse passed over the South Pacific. The eclipse coincided with Rosh Chodesh, the new moon marking the beginning of the Hebrew month Tammuz.  In his book Davar B’ito, a guide to the calendar based on esoteric Jewish sources, Rabbi Mordechai Genut brought Jewish sources stating that a new moon in Tammuz was a sign that great earthquakes were imminent.

“There will be a marked increase in earthquakes and volcanoes, even more than we have seen in the past year,” Rabbi Genuth said. “Just as the eclipse is a conflict between the sun and the moon to rule over the heavens, there will be a similar conflict on earth. This will begin a time when governments are in balance. Some governments that seem powerful right now will fall and others will rise in their place.”

The prediction proved to be accurate when the first of two major earthquakes that hit California last week came on Thursday, on the eve of Rosh Chodesh Tammuz.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=9946