Archive | April 2017

Israel Takes Baby Step Toward Rebuilding Temple?

By WND.com

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WASHINGTON – With June marking the 50th anniversary of Israel’s reunification of the capital city of Jerusalem along with the Temple Mount, the Israeli government is considering a proposal to create a new foundation responsible for providing “research, information and advocacy” about the Jewish connection to what many consider the holiest site in all of Judaism – the place where the Temple stood until A.D. 70.

The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation was proposed by Culture Minister Miri Regev and Environmental Protection and Jerusalem Minister Ze’ev Elkin, with an annual budget starting at $550,000. It will be based on the government-funded Western Wall Heritage Fund, which administers the site adjacent to the Temple Mount – believed to be the retaining wall for the 35-acre foundation upon which the Temple was built.

The project is getting high praise from Israel advocates for rebuilding the Temple.

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, a target of an assassination attempt in 2014 for his Temple advocacy, said he welcomed the plan for a Temple Mount Heritage Foundation and has personally lobbied for its creation.

“We need to state clearly: The Temple Mount is the foundation of the history of the Jewish people and of the return to the land since the beginning of Zionism,” he said.

Temple Mount activism has become an increasingly prominent issue in the Israeli political debate, even as Arab Palestinians have sought to deny any connection between the site and the Jewish Temple – in some cases, aided by the United Nations.

The foundation proposal makes direct reference to the attacks on the historicity of the Temple Mount.

“In recent years the State of Israel has been facing a delegitimization campaign based on a distortion of facts regarding the history, tradition and culture of the Jewish people,” reads the explanation of the proposal.

“One of the peaks of this trend took place recently with the October 2016 UNESCO decision to attempt to nullify the connection of the Jewish people to the Temple Mount. In light of this trend, the government of Israel sees itself as responsible to prevent this disinformation and distortion of historical truth.”

The controversial UNESCO resolution used only Muslim names for the Jerusalem Old City holy sites and was harshly critical of Israel for what it termed “provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity” of the area.

Have you always wanted to visit Israel and Jerusalem? Now’s your chance to join WND’s Joseph Farah in November on a tour that combines the spiritual and the political – with special guest speakers including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and new U.S. Ambassador David Friedman to discuss the transformation of U.S.-Israeli relations that came with the election of Donald Trump.

Lawmakers from both the right and left of the Israeli political spectrum slammed the decision and accused the U.N.’s cultural arm of anti-Semitism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the decision “absurd,” while President Reuven Rivlin called it an “embarrassment” for UNESCO.

Today the Temple Mount is administrated by Jordanian Islamic clerical authorities, despite its recapture by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War.

Muslims, however, call it the Noble Sanctuary and believe it is the spot where their prophet, Muhammad, ascended to heaven. Some claim it as the third-holiest site in Islam that houses the Al-Aqsa mosque and Dome of the Rock shrine.

Jews and Christians are discouraged by Israeli authorities from praying on the Temple Mount so as not to enflame tensions with Muslims.

Culture Minister Miri Regev displays the logo to be used in official Jerusalem Day events

Culture Minister Miri Regev displays the logo to be used in official Jerusalem Day events

Recently, Regev unveiled the logo to be used in the upcoming celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of reunification of Jerusalem under Israeli authority. The emblem features an Israeli flag flying atop the Old City walls and the Temple Mount and is accompanied by the slogan: “50 years since the liberation of Jerusalem.”

Regev said her insistence on using the word “liberation” and not “reunification” in the logo’s design sought to counter efforts to distort the Jewish connection to Jerusalem. Regev also stressed that part of the image featured “an Israeli flag that has returned to fly above the old city walls, the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.”

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Reporting The News Palestinian Style

By Stephen M. Flatow/JNS.org

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A group of Palestinians recently tried to burn some Israeli Jews to death . Just another day in the Middle East.
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The four attackers drove up to the perimeter of the Jewish community of Beit El, north of Jerusalem, and began hurling firebombs toward homes there.
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A firebomb, also known as a Molotov cocktail, is of course a deadly weapon. It explodes on impact and unleashes a torrent of flames.
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We can all easily imagine what would happen if those firebombs had struck people or homes.

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Fortunately, Israeli soldiers immediately fired at the would-be murderers, killing one and wounding three others.
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That should be the end of the story. But it won’t be. Here’s why.
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To begin with, one of the terrorists was 17 years old. That means “human rights” groups will add him to their list of “Palestinian children killed by Israelis.”
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Even if a killer is just one day shy of his 18th birthday, that’s good enough to define him as a “child” in the eyes of those who want to smear Israel.
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The fact that a Palestinian died, while no Israelis were burned to death as he had intended, meant that many news outlets portrayed the attacker as the victim.
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This is in accordance with the theory that whoever dies must be the victim and whoever killed him must be the aggressor. (Good thing the media didn’t use that measuring stick during World War II!)
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Consider, for example, the story as presented by AFP, a major supplier of international news.
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Here’s how it began: “Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager Thursday in the occupied West Bank and seriously wounded three other Palestinians, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement.”
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Since a significant number of readers don’t get past the first paragraph of a news article, the opening sentence is crucial. And the opening sentence here strongly suggests that the Israelis killed a Palestinian teenager, and injured three others, for no reason.
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And here’s how the AFP story explained the broader context: “A wave of violence that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of 257 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, an Eritrean, and a Sudanese national, according to an AFP count.” Notice how the violence just “broke out,” like a mysterious illness with no obvious culprit.
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Here’s something else that few in the mainstream media will report: the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) immediate endorsement of the terrorists who tried to burn Jews alive.
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According to the Palestinian news agency Ma’an, the governor of de facto PA capital Ramallah, Laila Ghanam, called the dead terrorist “a martyr.”
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She also tried to spread some fake news, declaring that the gang of four “had been driving peacefully” when cruel Israelis attacked them.
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“This is another crime,” the PA governor proclaimed. She also said “we wish a quick recovery” to the three wounded terrorists, presumably so they can resume trying to set Jews on fire.
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You won’t read Ghanam’s remarks in The Washington Post or hear them quoted on CNN.
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That would remind the American public that Palestinian leaders support burning Jews to death, and publicly lie to cover for the would-be killers.
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And that would undermine the campaign to give the firebomb-throwers a sovereign state in Israel’s backyard.

Celebration Of Terror: Palestinian Prisoners’ Day

By Bassam Tawil/Gatestone Institute

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Palestinians who are being held in Israeli prisons are “a model for sensibility and national culture and constitute a pillar for the establishment of a Palestinian state.”
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This glorification of Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are behind bars for murdering Jews, was issued last week by Fayez Abu Aitah, a senior representative of President Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction.
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Abu Aitah’s words of appreciation for murderers of Jews came during a visit he paid to Hatem al-Maghari, a Palestinian Authority (PA) policeman who was released last week after serving 17 years in prison for his role in the lynching of two Israeli reserve soldiers who mistakenly entered Ramallah.
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Upon his arrival at his home in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, Al-Maghari received a hero’s welcome.
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Hundreds of Palestinians have since converged on his home to congratulate him on his release from prison and heap praise him on for his “contribution” to the Palestinian cause.
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Abbas’s Fatah was quick to embrace al-Maghari as “one of our sons” in order to send a message to Palestinians that the Fatah faction is also involved in terror attacks against Israel.
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For years, Fatah’s opponents have been accusing it of abandoning the “armed struggle” in favor of a peace process with Israel.

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Groups such as Hamas, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad continue to criticize Fatah for not being sufficiently active in the terror campaign against Israel.
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The release of al-Maghari provided an opportunity for Fatah to remind its Palestinian enemies of its “contribution” to the war against Israel.
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The lynching of the two soldiers inside a Palestinian Authority police station in Ramallah was one of the most brutal crimes perpetrated by Palestinians.
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The PA leadership has never accepted responsibility for the lynching of the two soldiers, who were being held by PA policemen inside the station after taking a wrong turn into the city as they were on their way to their base.
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The hero’s welcome that al-Maghari received and the words of praise from Fatah leaders serve as a reminder of how murderers of Jews continue to be hailed as role models for Palestinians.
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President Abbas and his PA and Fatah representatives have long lauded Palestinian prisoners held by Israel as “heroes” and future leaders of a Palestinian state.
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As Abu Aitah explained during his well-wishing visit to the released terrorist:
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“The prisoners are the pillar of our national movement. They have sacrificed the best of our committed and responsible national cadres that are leading the struggle of our people. Our prisoners have turned (Israeli) prisons into universities from where the future leaders graduate.”
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Besides sending a message to Palestinians about who is valued in Palestinian society, the Fatah leader is also making it clear that the path to leadership and employment passes through Israeli prisons.
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In no uncertain terms, he is saying to young Palestinians: “If you want to become a leader, you need to prove your qualifications by following the example of those Palestinians who carried out terror attacks against Israel and spent time in Israeli prison.”
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Again: Abbas’s senior representative is telling Palestinians that there is no need for them to pursue actual education: Israeli prisons are the best “universities.”
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Palestinians have every reason to believe Abu Aitah; he is the top Fatah official.
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Just a glance at their leaders and senior officials tells them that Palestinian Authority jobs go to “graduates” of Israeli prisons.
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There is no shortage of such leaders who rose to power thanks to their involvement in terror attacks against Israel.
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In the world of the Palestinians, terror is indeed the diploma of currency. Serving time in Israeli prison can even earn one a military rank without having to go to any military or security academy.
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The PA, according to Palestinian sources, has one of the largest numbers of Generals and Colonels in the Arab world. Most of these high-ranking officers earned their titles thanks to the time they served in Israeli prison, not because they studied at any military academy.
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Take, for example, Jibril Rajoub, the former commander of the Palestinian Authority’s notorious Preventive Security Force, who holds the rank of Major-General.
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Rajoub’s rank is largely the result of the 17 years he spent in Israeli prison for his role in terrorism.
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Rajoub is only one of dozens, if not hundreds, of former prisoners who hold such high-ranking titles but do not have any real military background.
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Many high-ranking PA security officials, such as Major-General Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces, wear medals and decorations on their military uniforms even though they have not participated in any war.
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Damiri spent 10 years in Israeli prison for security-related offenses.
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These are the leaders touted as role models to young Palestinians. No small number of Palestinian senior “officers” failed even to complete their high school education.
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But that should not bother any Palestinian who is dreaming of assuming a senior job in a Palestinian state.
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On April 17, the Palestinians will again mark “Palestinian Prisoners’ Day” by holding as series of rallies in solidarity with prisoners who carried out terror attacks against Israel.
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This event is marked every year by Palestinians to honor the “heroes” who made “huge sacrifices” on behalf of the Palestinians.
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These “sacrifices” include the maiming and murder of Jews. The annual event in the West Bank is sponsored and funded by Abbas’s Fatah, in turn funded by Europe and the West, in the context of glorifying terrorists and encouraging Palestinian youths to follow their presumably heroic example.
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A Palestinian teenager who wishes to become a “general” under Abbas need not apply to any sort of academy.
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The shortest route to achieve rank is by carrying out a terror attack against Israel and doing time in Israeli prison. The longer the time spent in prison, the higher the military rank.
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Ten years will earn them the rank of Colonel. More than that will earn them General.
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The path to winning a job with a Palestinian Authority ministry also passes through Israeli prisons.
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Former prisoners are treated as the “good boys of the revolution” and granted the plum jobs. Meanwhile, those Palestinians who actually choose to become educated once again lose out.
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It would be no surprise, then, if al-Maghari finds himself awarded the rank of General in Abbas’s Fatah-controlled security forces.
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And so it continues: the unashamed glorification of murderers; terrorists paraded as role models and paragons of virtue to yet another generation of Palestinians.
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Under these conditions of unremitting incitement, no Palestinian can talk about peace with Israel.
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When President Abbas visits the White House, it will be interesting to see if his “peace” stance includes a discussion of the Diploma for Terror.

Will Trump Turn Damascus Into A ‘Ruinous Heap’?

By Michael Snyder/Economic Collapse Blog

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Rumors of war are percolating in Washington D.C., and if the Trump administration is not extremely careful it may find itself fighting several disastrous wars simultaneously.
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Just one day after threatening North Korea with war, Donald Trump has committed to taking military action against the Assad regime in Syria.
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Trump is blaming the chemical attack in Syria’s Idlib province on Tuesday on the Syrian government, and he is pledging that the United States will not just sit by and do nothing in response.
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Trump has called the attack a “terrible affront to humanity”, and he is placing all of the blame on the shoulders of the Assad regime.
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But now that Trump has committed the U.S. to take military action in Syria, what is that actually going to look like?
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According to the Daily Mail, at this point Trump is not giving any hints as to when or where he will strike Syria…
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He did not want to say in front of the cameras how he plans to respond to the crisis.
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‘I don’t like to say where I’m going and what I’m doing,’ Trump reminded. ‘I watched past administrations say, “We will attack at such-and- such a day, at such-and-such an hour.’
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But it isn’t difficult to imagine what Trump may decide to do.  Past presidents have always favored using airstrikes to make a point, and that is what many of the “analysts” on television are recommending.

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Unfortunately, there would be great risk in targeting Syrian forces, because contingents from Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and elsewhere are mixed in among the Syrian military.
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So could you imagine what it would do to our relations with Russia if airstrikes against the Syrian military resulted in Russian deaths?…
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President Trump has several options in Syria, none without great risk.
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One is military action against Syria’s air force – grounding the helicopters and fixed wing aircraft that are believed to have dropped the deadly agent – and the runways from which they operate.
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Yes, such strikes risk Russian casualties. But Moscow has consistently blocked U.N. action on Syria but proven unable to contain Mr. Assad’s bad behavior. And President Vladimir Putin would be forewarned.
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Grounding Syria’s air force, moreover, would help distance Mr. Trump from Mr. Putin, a politically useful benefit at this time.
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And even if Trump did conduct airstrikes, there would be a limit as to what they could accomplish.  President Assad would still be in power in Syria, and the Syrian government would still be winning the civil war.
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Trump could potentially send in special forces with the intention of assassinating Assad, but that would not necessarily topple the entire regime.
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The truth is that the only way to change the outcome of the war and to guarantee regime change would be to send in U.S. ground forces on a large scale.
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And just introducing them into the country would not nearly be enough.  In order to end the war, Trump would have to commit to taking and holding Damascus.
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In Isaiah 17, we are told that someday Damascus will be “taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap.”
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Much of the city is already a heap of rubble, but if the U.S. were to start conducting a concentrated bombing campaign against the city it is easy to imagine how the entire city could soon come to resemble a “ruinous heap”.
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Of course the toppling of the Assad regime has been the goal all along.  Back in 2011, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hatched a plan along with Saudi Arabia and Turkey to use the “Arab Spring” as an excuse to try to remove Assad from power.
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Since 74 percent of the population of Syria is Sunni Muslim, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were very excited about the prospect of dealing Iran a major blow by transforming Syria into a full-fledged Sunni nation.
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So Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Arab countries spent billions of dollars supporting and arming the “rebels”, and at first everything was going great.
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But then Russia, Iran and Hezbollah all intervened, and now the tide of the war has completely turned.
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The only way that the original plan can succeed now is for the United States to enter the war, but with Trump as president nobody thought that was going to happen.
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But now this latest chemical attack has changed everything, and Trump appears poised to take military action in Syria.
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And I have a feeling that this new attack is another false flag, because it wouldn’t make any sense for the Assad regime to use chemical weapons at this point.
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Thanks to the assistance of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, the Assad regime is winning the civil war, and the only thing that could possibly turn the tide now would be military intervention by the United States.
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So if Assad did actually use chemical weapons against a bunch of defenseless citizens on Tuesday, it would have been the stupidest strategic move that he possibly could have made.
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In any controversy such as this, you always want to ask one key question: Who benefits?
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Of course the answer to that question in this case is exceedingly clear.  The radical Islamic rebels that are being backed by Saudi Arabia and Turkey will greatly benefit if they are able to draw the western powers into the war on their side.
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But what would the U.S. have to gain by getting involved in such a war?
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I don’t know if most Americans understand how dangerous such a move could be.
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The Russians are not going to just sit there while U.S. bombs are dropping and their personnel are being killed.  And of course the same thing could be said about Iran and Hezbollah.
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Do we really want to risk a potential military confrontation with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah just to make a point in Syria?
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To me, that would be exceedingly foolish.
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And even more disastrous would be a decision to fully commit the U.S. military to toppling the Assad regime.
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That would require going all the way to Damascus, and it is very, very doubtful that the Russians, the Iranians and Hezbollah would just willingly stand aside and allow that to happen.
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For quite a while I have been warning that the situation in Syria could potentially spark World War 3 if everyone was not very, very careful.
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If U.S. warplanes try to strike Syrian military positions, the Russians could easily decide to start firing back.
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And considering the anti-Russian hysteria that we are already witnessing in Washington D.C., how will our leaders respond when CNN starts showing U.S. aircraft being blown out of the sky by Russian missiles?
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As I discussed in Part I, there is very little for the U.S. to gain by going to war in Syria.
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Unless it can be shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Assad regime is actually using chemical weapons, the Trump administration should not even be thinking about military action, because getting the U.S. military involved in the Syrian civil war would be absolutely disastrous.
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So let us pray for peace, and let us hope that cooler heads will prevail.