A VERY DANGEROUS GAME

[Part 3 in our series on the buildup
to the Gog / Magog War]

April 26, 2007
By: S.R. Shearer

INTRODUCTION

In our last article in this series, "Blowback," we discussed the American effort to create "common cause" between itself and the Sunni countries of the Middle East by pitting them against their theological adversaries, the Shia. It's believed by the neo-cons of the Bush Administration that if the U.S. is successful in this effort, it could open up the way for a possible U.S. attack on Iran - an attack that could be carried out without fear of stirring up a hornet's nest among the Sunnis states of the region. [For those not conversant in the differences between the Shia and Sunni branches of Islam, please see our article, "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsan."]

Unfortunately, the people the U.S. is "treating with" in these negotiations are the tiny toady elites the U.S. has partnered with over the years to rob the poor of these countries (Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, etc.) of their patrimony. And make no mistake about it, these elites are infinitesimally small in comparison with the great masses of the poor in these lands who HATE America with a burning passion that in reality has very little to do with religion, and everything to do with the way America has treated them over the years. [Please see our article, "Radical Islam."]

The hold of these Sunni elites on the poor masses over which they rule is tenuous at best, and the belief - shared hopefully by both the United States and Israel - that the Sunni masses define their existence more by the branch of Islam to which they adhere than by the overwhelming poverty that is their common lot is naïve at best, and just plain stupid at worst. True! - religion is the battering ram these masses are using against the U.S., a battering ram that serves to ennoble their cause and create suicide bombers ("martyrs") to be used against the U.S. and its client-elites, but in the end, the war the masses are waging against the U.S. is an economic war designed to wrest control of the oil fields in the Middle East and Central Asia from America's giant multi-national oil companies and return them to their rightful owners, the people who live there.

It's for this reason that greater and greater numbers of the poor throughout the Islamic world are willing (at least for now) to put aside their theological differences in their struggle against the cruelty and oppression of the American Empire. And if that's the case - and it seems very much as if it is (please see our last article, "Blowback") - than the strategy that Israel and the United States are pursuing in order to create a Sunni bulwark against Shia radicalism behind which they can attack Iran without incurring the wrath of the Sunni masses is ill-fated.

STABBED IN THE BACK

Ill-fated or not, however, the Bush Administration presses stubbornly on in its effort to widen its aggression in the Middle East to include a war with Iran. Its LUST for the oil wealth of the Middle East and Central Asia is such that it has rendered the Bush Administration deaf to the cries of the overwhelming majority of the nation's citizenry who are tired of the bloody "meat-grinder" into which their sons and daughters are being thrown.

In pushing his goal of conquest in the Middle East, Bush has provoked - almost purposefully it sometimes seems - a heated clash with the Democratic leadership in Congress over war funding. In pursuing these policies so aggressively, some believe that Bush is intent on setting up his political enemies to take the "fall" for his debacle in the Middle East when it finally comes; namely, that he and the army he commands were "STABBED IN THE BACK" in their altruistic effort "to bring democracy to the Middle East" - a charge that would inevitably cripple any Democratic Administration that might succeed his administration in 2009.

This assumes, of course, that Bush and his Christian and neo-con allies have "read the tea-leaves" and realize that they are, at least for now, FINISHED in the Middle East - and not only in the Middle East, but also in the upcoming elections in 2008. According to this scenario, the most that the neo-cons and their Christian allies can hope for is to "live to fight another day" by blaming their debacle in Iraq on the Democrats, just as their conservative predecessors did after their failure in Vietnam.

BUSH MAY BE PLAYING A DIFFERENT GAME

Rachelle Marshall, however, thinks that Bush may be playing a much more dangerous, sinister, and self-serving game - ONE THAT WILL NOT TAKE HIM OUT AS A "PLAYER;" specifically that he intends to expand the present war in the Middle East into Iran.

To most Americans, expanding what they already consider to be an unwinnable war to Iran is sheer madness. Nonetheless, Marshall believes that that's EXACTLY what Bush intends to do - and she has marshaled a lot of evidence to support her view. She writes:

"Bush issued an unmistakable warning to Iran when he promised in his State of the Union speech to 'seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq'. Vice President Dick Cheney warned on Fox News in January that 'The threat that Iran represents is growing. It's multidimensional'. Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte echoed Cheney's warning a week later when he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Iran could do serious harm to U.S. interests in the region. 'We don't believe their behavior, such as supporting Shia extremists in Iraq, should go unchallenged', he said."

With most politicians, such warnings could reasonably be taken with a "grain of salt." But not so with Bush and his cronies - Cheney and Negroponte. These men usually mean what they say; they do not issue empty threats. If this is true, it must be assumed that when Bush et. al. marshal evidence to support a strike against Iran, it is being done as a part of a larger overall strategy.

It's in this light that one should view what happened on February 11 when three Pentagon officials who insisted on remaining anonymous showed reporters a pile of explosive devices that contained markings indicating they were made in Iran. According to Marshall, the event had been planned and orchestrated for months by top-level Bush Administration officials in order to make their charges against Iran seem credible. At his press conference on Feb 14 Bush said:

"I can say with certainty that the Quds Force, a part of the Iranian government, has provided these sophisticated IEDs that have harmed our troops."

Marshall reported that Bush added an ominous caveat:

"When the United States finds who is responsible, we will deal with them."

WAR WITH IRAN WAS ALWAYS
BUSH'S ULTIMATE OBJECTIVE

According to Michel Chossudovsky (The Next Phase of the Middle East War, September, 2006), the war on Iran is in reality the next phase of Bush's “military roadmap” for the Middle East and Central Asia - a roadmap that included -

  • The invasion of Afghanistan (2001),

  • The invasion of Iraq (2003)

  • The American sponsored Israeli siege of Lebanon (2006).

But, again, all this was nothing more than a prelude to what America planned to do to Iran. Indeed, even as American tanks were rolling into Baghdad, the motto in the halls of the Pentagon was:

“Anyone can go to Baghdad! Real men go to Tehran!”

Chossudovsky asks rhetorically why "real" men would continue towards Tehran after the invasion of Iraq. He answers his own question:

"The slogan demonstrates that Iran was an objective or a phase in a broader military operation."

Chossudovsky continues:

"The United States has been planning to attack Iran for years."

CLEARING THE DECK

Marshall agrees with Chossudovsky. She says that Bush appears to be "clearing the deck" for action in Iran, even as he stares into the red hot rage of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid who desperately want to end the bloodshed in Iraq. He is forcing out those in his administration who are not in "lock-step" regarding his war-policies, and bringing in those he feels he can rely on to pursue his war-policies relentlessly.

For example, last November the senior commander in the Middle East, General John P. Abizaid, said that ending the conflict in Iraq required political and diplomatic action, and he urged the administration to reach out to Syria and Iran for help in stabilizing Iraq. Abizaid, who has a graduate degree in Middle East Studies, was soon out of a job.

He was replaced by Admiral William J. Fallon, who at his Senate confirmation hearings in January accused Iran of "attempting to deny us the ability to operate in this vicinity."

NOTE: U.S. Admiral William J. Fallon, head of U.S. Pacific Command is taking over as the top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, following the "forced" retirement of Gen. John Abizaid. The transition of command from the Army to the Navy should be noted, especially with this much naval power concentrating in the Gulf. We should also note that Admiral Fallon has command experience in the 1991 Gulf War, where he commanded Carrier Air Wing Eight on the USS Theodore Roosevelt during Operation Desert Storm. In 1995, he was the Commander of the U.S. Sixth Fleet battle force supporting NATO's Operation Deliberate Force in Bosnia. He is considered one of the Navy's top commanders in combined forces operations and an expert in amphibious landings.

Marshall says that Fallon assured senators that the United States could hit back at Iran if it so chose. Marshall believes that placing Fallon in charge of all American forces in the Middle East made sense in view of Bush's decision to send two more aircraft carrier battle groups and a large support fleet to the Gulf.

NOTE: We have already noted that the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) aircraft carrier battle group is heading to the Persian Gulf to join the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) aircraft carrier battle group currently on station there. Additionally, the USS Boxer (LHD 4) amphibious assault ship, the flagship of the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group, is on station in the Persian Gulf. On January 4, 2007, the USS Bataan (LHD 5), the command ship of the Bataan Expeditionary Strike Group, departed from Norfolk, Va., headed for forward deployment. Typically, we would expect the USS Bataan to replace the USS Boxer in normal rotation. Even if that is the destination of the USS Bataan, we would have two amphibious strike forces in the Gulf as the rotation is completed. Along with each carrier attack group comes a fleet of 12 ships, including two guided missile-cruisers, generally Ticonderoga-class, two guided missile destroyers, generally Arleigh Burke-class, and an attack submarine that is usually Los Angeles-class.

IRAN EXPECTS WAR IN THE NEAR FUTURE

The audacity of Bush here is enough to take one's breath away - and, again, this is especially true in view of the fact that he seems to be proceeding forward with his plans to make war with Iran in the face of fierce opposition from the Democratic leadership in Congress as well as the American people.

Indeed, the opposition is so red-hot that most observers remain skeptical that Bush is actually planning to make war on Iran in the near future. THE IRANIANS, HOWEVER, ARE NOT AMONG THOSE SKEPTICS. They firmly believe that Bush means what he says - and so much so that Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya writing for the Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs, says that Iran is actively bracing itself for the coming war - which it sees as materializing sometime during the summer or early fall. Nazemroaya writes:

"The threat of an American-led attack against Iran … has primed Iran to prepare itself for the anticipated moment … Iran has taken the opportunity of launching … the Blow of Zolfaqar war games to display its preparedness and capability to engage in combat. Additionally, Iran has taken the occasion to fine tune its defenses and mobilize its military apparatus. This exhibition of Iranian military might is intended to deter America's intent to trigger another Middle Eastern war."

Nazemroaya continues:

"In Iran military commanders and state officials have also directly warned the United States to halt its march towards war in the Middle East. An account of a statement by Major-General Salehi, commander of the Iranian Army, sums up the generic view of Iranian military officials and planners in the advent of another Middle Eastern war initiated by the United States: 'Pointing to the joint maneuvers to be carried out by the U.S. army [meaning military] … in the regional waters in the coming days, the General said that the U.S. presence in the region [Middle East] is considered as a threat' … and further warned Washington that in case the U.S. dares to practice threats [by actually attacking], 'it will then have to face a defeat as bad as the one that the Zionists [Israel] had to sustain in Lebanon'. The Iranian Defence Minister has said 'that his ministry is now equipping the border units of the army with modern military tools and weapons in a bid to increase their military capabilities', and 'that any possible enemy invasion of Iran will receive a severe blow, adding that failures of alien troops [meaning U.S., British, Coalition, and NATO forces] in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught trans-regional powers extreme caution'.”

A KNIFE THROUGH WARM BUTTER

It could hardly be imagined, however, that the United States would be dissuaded from attacking Iran by this trivial display of Iranian military might and bravado. The fact is, there is not a military that exists in the world today, including the conventional and nuclear forces of China and Russia, that the U.S. could not cut through in a few days much as a knife would cut through warm butter. [Please see Part 2 (U.S. Military Supremacy) of Chapter XII of the NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS; please also see the following video, "Who Can Make War with the Beast."]

The only way the U.S. can be opposed today is by means of an insurgency war, and that will continue to be so ONLY until the U.S. summons up its demons to prosecute such insurgency wars the way an Attila the Hun would do so, or in the way it prosecuted its war against Japan and Germany in the Second World War by fire-bombing WHOLE cities such of Hamburg, Dresden and Tokyo, and nuking others such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. That's TOTAL war - war that targets every man, woman and child in the "enemy" population and turns them into a bull's eye in someone's gun or bomb sight; the kind of war that demands the DEMONIZATION of one's enemy.

Clearly, the DEMONIZATION of the Iraqi people and the Muslims of the Middle East has not yet proceeded that far; but it would not take much to complete the process. ALL IT WOULD TAKE IS ANOTHER 9/11 EVENT. That would do it; and it would have the additional "benefit" (insofar as the administration is concerned) of plunging the United States into a military dictatorship from which there could be no chance for a recovery.

THE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2006

It's in the light of this reality that James Bovard asks rhetorically:

"How many pipe bombs might it take to end American democracy?"

And he answers the question himself:

"Far fewer than it would have taken a year ago."

Bovard continues:

"The Defense Authorization Act of 2006, passed on September 30 (2006), empowers President Bush to impose martial law in the event of a terrorist 'incident', if he or other federal officials perceive a shortfall of 'public order', or even in response to antiwar protests that get unruly as a result of government provocations.

"The media and most of Capitol Hill ignored or cheered on this grant of nearly boundless power … It only took a few paragraphs in a $500 billion, 591-page bill to raze one of the most important limits on federal power. Congress passed the Insurrection Act in 1807 to severely restrict the president's ability to deploy the military within the United States. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 tightened these restrictions, imposing a two-year prison sentence on anyone who used the military within the U.S. without the express permission of Congress. But there is a loophole: Posse Comitatus is waived if the president invokes the Insurrection Act.

"Section 1042 of the Defense Authorization Act of 2006 changed the name of the key provision in the statute book from 'Insurrection Act' to 'Enforcement of the Laws to Restore Public Order Act'. The Insurrection Act of 1807 stated that the president could deploy troops within the United States only 'to suppress, in a state, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy'. The new law expands the list to include 'natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition' - and such 'condition' is not defined."

"MANUFACTURED EVIDENCE"

Bovard goes on to say:

"'Martial law' is a euphemism for military dictatorship … 'Martial law' means obey soldiers' commands or be shot … Section 1042 is ENABLING ACT-type legislation - something that purports to preserve law-and-order while formally empowering the president to rule by decree …

"On February 24 (2007), the White House conducted a highly publicized drill to test responses to IEDs going off simultaneously in ten American cities. The White House has not disclosed the details of how the feds responded, BUT IT WOULD BE OUT OF CHARACTER FOR THIS PRESIDENT TO LET NEW POWERS HE SOUGHT GATHER DUST. THERE IS NOTHING MORE TO PREVENT A PRESIDENT FROM DECLARING MARTIAL LAW ON A PRETEXT THAN THERE IS TO PREVENT HIM FROM LAUNCHING A WAR ON THE BASIS OF MANUFACTURED INTELLIGENCE. And when the lies become exposed years later, it could be too late to resurrect lost liberties." [Please see the video on the manufactured evidence of 9/11, "Unconstitutional."]

Bovard is right here: it would certainly be uncharacteristic of President Bush and his Christian and neo-con allies to let new powers gather dust; and if that's the case, all the president needs is another "manufactured" 9/11 event. Now stop and think what all this means; it means that the president would possess in one full sweep -

  • The power to rule by fiat; specifically, the power to silence his critics in the United States - critics that are by now threatening to dismantle the American New World Order System, which would undoubtedly follow in the wake of America's withdrawal from the Middle East.

  • The excuse to DEMONIZEAmerica's opponents in the Middle East and pave the way for the U.S. to make TOTAL war there; this would be rendered very easy under martial law which would force the media to become nothing more than a mouth piece for government propaganda; a cheer leader for Bush's war policies.

NUCLEAR WAR

If the president is successful here, he will clear the way for the use of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and Central Asia, and according to Chossudovsky, that's what the president and his neo-con and Christian allies have been aiming at for some time now. Chossudovsky writes:

"The launching of an outright war using nuclear warheads against Iran is now in the final planning stages."

"American air strikes on Iran would vastly exceed the scope of the 1981 Israeli attack on the Osiraq nuclear center in Iraq, and would more resemble the opening days of the 2003 air campaign against Iraq. Using the full force of operational B-2 stealth bombers, staging from Diego Garcia or flying direct from the United States, possibly supplemented by F-117 stealth fighters staging from al Udeid in Qatar or some other location in theater, the two-dozen suspect nuclear sites would be targeted.

"Military planners could tailor their target list to reflect the preferences of the Administration by having limited air strikes that would target only the most crucial facilities ... or the United States could opt for a far more comprehensive set of strikes against a comprehensive range of WMD related targets, as well as conventional and unconventional forces that might be used to counterattack against US forces in Iraq

NOTE: Chossudovsky writes that "Through a propaganda campaign which has enlisted the support of 'authoritative' nuclear scientists, these mini-nukes are being presented as an instrument of peace rather than war.The low-yield nukes have now been cleared for 'battlefield use', and they are slated to be used in the next stage of America's 'War on Terrorism' alongside conventional weapons.

"Administration officials argue that low-yield nuclear weapons are needed as a credible deterrent against rogue states.[Iran, North Korea] Their logic is that existing nuclear weapons are too destructive to be used except in a full-scale nuclear war. Potential enemies realize this, thus they do not consider the threat of nuclear retaliation to be credible. However, low-yield nuclear weapons are less destructive, thus might conceivably be used. That would make them more effective as a deterrent.

"In an utterly twisted logic, nuclear weapons are presented as a means to building peace and preventing 'collateral damage'. The Pentagon has intimated, in this regard, that the ‘mini-nukes’ (with a yield of less than 5000 tons) are harmless to civilians because the explosions ‘take place under ground’. Each of these ‘mini-nukes’, nonetheless, constitutes – in terms of explosion and potential radioactive fallout – a significant fraction of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. Estimates of yield for Nagasaki and Hiroshima indicate that they were respectively of 21000 and 15000 tons."

THE PRESIDENT'S CHRISTIAN ALLIES

Nuclear war in the Name of the "PRINCE OF PEACE?" - that would be ironic, but it is an irony that is TOTALLY lost on Bush's Christian allies who believe that all this presages not the Gog / Magog War, which will initiate the Tribulation Period, but the Battle of Armageddon, which will end the Tribulation Period (These ninnies believe that the Gog / Magog War and the Battle of Armageddon are one and the same event). [Please see Chapter XV of the NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS, "The Gog / Magog War" for more information on this great "end times" conflict."]

The most ardent promoter of George Bush's war in the Middle East is Pastor John C. Hagee, founder of the 18,000-member Conerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas. Hagee is a MUSLIM-HATER of the first order. Indeed, it might not be too much to say that Hagee sees the Muslims of the Middle East and Central Asia much in the same way that Hitler saw the Jews - as the last great impediment to the construction of God's Kingdom on Earth. Pat Morrison elaborates on the corrosive effect all this is having on the mindset of Bush's Christian followers:

"The Bush administration's talk about the 'axis of evil' and its 'Crusader' mindset, coupled with the neo-cons' constant language of empire, has captured the imagination of many Christians … Blend … these ingredients together and you have the ingredients for … [Islamophobia]."

ISLAMOFASCIST

But the influence is not a one-way street; it flows in both directions. For example, according to Morrison, Hagee is the one who originally coined the term "ISLAMOFASCIST" - a term that "within a week President Bush was using," and a term that has by now become ubiquitous throughout the nation's right-wing matrix.

Donald Wagner, an associate professor of Religion and Middle Eastern Studies at North Park University in Chicago, says that what concerns him most about Bush's hard-core evangelical following (which numbers about 33% of the U.S. population) is that it is -

"… extremely ISLAMOPHOBIC and ANTI-ISLAM, and that it projects a militant image of Christianity throughout the world."

That's putting it mildly. It is the kind of Islamophobia that is capable of DEMONIZING the people of the Middle East; the kind that could be used to set up Muslim all across the world for a slaughter that would make what happened to the Jews during the Second World War look like a cakewalk. [Please see Chapter XV of the NEW ANTIPAS PAPERS, "The Gog / Magog War."]

God bless you all,

S.R. Shearer
Antipas Ministries

P.S. WE CONTINUE TO NEED YOUR FINANCIAL HELP, even though we are no longer in Canada. The needs of the ministry are very great at this time, especially as we begin to transition the ministry out of North America to Germany - an effort that will take a great deal of time and money.

Unfortunately, however, the giving to the ministry has almost dried up - as if our financial need had been connected to Canada, and now that we are no longer there, we don't need outside help. If you are laboring under this false assumption, then I urge you to disassociate yourself from it. The needs of the ministry are very great, and the present-day giving to the ministry has diminished to the vanishing point even though our readers have greatly increased.

So I say to you, if the spiritual treasures that we have ministered unto you have profited you, then please respond with your material treasures. As Paul said under similar circumstances so many years ago:

"IF WE HAVE SOWN UNTO YOU SPIRITUAL THINGS, IS IT A GREAT THING IF WE SHALL REAP YOUR CARNAL (MATERIAL) THINGS?" (1 Cor. 9:11)


 

We need your help to spread the word concerning Antipas Ministries and the eschatological viewpoint it represents; WE NEED YOUR HELP BECAUSE WE DO NOT "LINK" WITH OTHER SO-CALLED "CHRISTIAN" WEBSITES which are, for the most part, "in the tank" insofar as their loyalty to the United States is concerned - a loyalty that has made them partners in the BLOODY trail the American military has left in its TERROR-RIDDEN rampage throughout the world, as well as making them partners in the abject poverty that American corporations have imposed on the peoples and nations the American military machine has ravaged - A BLOODY, TERROR-RIDDEN RAMPAGE THAT HAS TO A LARGE DEGREE BEEN CARRIED OUT IN THE NAME OF THE "PRINCE OF PEACE." [Please see our articles, "The Third World as a Model for the New World Order," Inside the American New World Order System" and "The American Empire: The Corporate / Pentagon / CIA / Missionary Archipelago."]

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