Bill SalusBy Bill Salus

Part 1 – Looking Through the Rear View Mirror at 2010

As the door shuts on 2010, American led Middle East peace efforts have officially unraveled. The Obama administration has backed away for now from pressuring Israel into extending its moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In the absence of peace we are reminded Israel, which equipped its citizens earlier this year with gas masks, remains war ready as 2011 approaches.

Even though 2010 has as of yet escaped a Mideast military conflict and a global financial collapse, by no means did it insulate humanity from the potential for either. The fact that Mideast war was averted in 2010 means it’s overdue in 2011. As we stand on the unstable threshold of the New Year it is helpful to review some 2010 Mideast events. In so doing it might reasonably be concluded that 2011 could be the year the Middle East goes apocalyptic.

In November 2009 the Obama administration hailed Israel’s decision to temporarily halt all residential building in the West Bank. This good will gesture opened up a ten-month window for Mideast peace talks to resume. However, as the world entered into 2010 Mideast peace remained elusive. Throughout most of 2010 Mideast peace talks were at best “indirect.” It wasn’t until September 2, 2010 that the Obama Administration seriously attempted to jump start “direct” Mideast peace talks.

To the Obama administration’s chagrin, but to nobody’s surprise, three weeks later on September 26, Israel’s temporary moratorium freeze on settlements and direct peace talks concluded. At the time Obama seemed content to leave Mideast matters alone as he was preoccupied with the November 2, 2010 midterm elections. Some analysts attributed Obama’s decision to concerns many of his Democratic colleagues were running against pro-Israel Republicans and pressuring Israel further could complicate their already compromised campaigns.

In June, 2010 I wrote an article outlining a series of alarming Mideast events spanning April to June linked here called Mighty Muscles Flex in the Mideast. It would be helpful to read the chronology of events outlined in the article before going further.

These events clearly signaled the Middle East was ramping up for war. However, events then and since suggest it may not be a war waged only between Arabs and Jews. The potential for conflagrations between Jews and Arabs, Jews and Persians (Iranians), and Arabs and Iranians also existed.

For instance, in September, 2010 a $60 billion arms deal was announced between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Many analysts believe this arms deal, rapidly rubber stamped for congressional approval, evidences Saudi concerns Iran intends to do more than wipe Israel off the map if it obtains nuclear weapons. As I wrote in an article entitled Iranistan, the Saudis fear a nuclear Iran would seek the formation of a Shiite Crescent in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, primarily Sunni, is the lead producer of OPEC oil and the host country of Islam’s two holiest cities making it a prime target for Iran.

Additionally, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon in October, 2010 in what the Jerusalem Post likened to a “Landlord Visit.” The apocalyptically minded Iranian leader paid homage to Hezbollah during his visit which took him to the southernmost borders of the country. From there he rattled his saber against Israel and snubbed his nose at UNIFIL, the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

UNIFIL is responsible for the enforcement of UN resolution 1701 issued in the aftermath of the August, 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. This resolution called for the total disarmament of Hezbollah. However, according to 2010 estimates Hezbollah has approximately 60,000 rockets in their arsenal.

This is extremely troubling when you consider Syria equipped Hezbollah with Scud missiles in April, 2010. Further complicating matters, in July, 2010 Southern commander, Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, announced Hezbollah has a bank of prime Israeli targets and nowhere in Israel is safe.

Getting back to Iran, it went “Red Hot” in August, 2010, meaning Iran began loading fuel into its Bushehr nuclear facility. At the time former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warned time was short for Israel to strategically strike key Iranian nuclear sites. Adding further fuel to the fire Iran announced in December, 2010 that it can produce its own “Yellowcake” uranium eliminating the need to import it from elsewhere. Although, Iran’s nuclear program was adversely affected by the Stuxnet cyber virus in the summer of 2010 and yet ongoing, the production of yellowcake uranium suggests Iran is still rapidly advancing its nuclear development program forward.

It is safe to conclude the Middle East could go apocalyptic at any time. This statement is qualified by the fact Palestinians and their Arab and Iranian friends are no longer lobbing protest stones at the Jews but have amassed high tech arsenals that could easily wipe Israel off the map. The adversarial attitudes and arsenals in place suggest the next Middle East conflict will be a regional war rather than another minor skirmish.

Christian eschatologists are at the edge of their seats watching Mideast events closely. Isaiah 17, Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38 & 39, and Jeremiah 49:34-39 are a few of the prophecies they cite that teach the Middle East is destined to become an end time’s war zone. These prophecies involve Israel, Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinians, and many more nations and/or terrorist populations.

Although Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and presently doesn’t seem to be threatened by Saudi Arabia’s pending $60 billion arms deal with the U.S., things can change dramatically overnight. For instance, Jordanian King Abdullah II has warned on several occasions in 2010 that Mideast war was likely in the absence of a peace agreement between the Jews and Palestinians. He expected one could occur by the summer and when it didn’t, he forwarded his forecast to the end of 2010.

Additionally this year the Jordanian King made adversarial statements threatening the longevity of his deceased father’s peace treaty with Israel. He suggested Jordan was better off before his father signed the peace treaty with Israel in 1994.

Both Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, now 82 years of age, and Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, now 86 years old, are fighting cancer. This has many in their respective countries concerned about power struggles when their reigns terminate. These fears include the possibility of a Muslim Brotherhood takeover in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood openly supports Jihad against Israel. Hamas, the democratically elected government of the Palestinians since January, 2006, is their political arm inside Gaza.

These anecdotes regarding Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are prophetically troubling when you consider they are all identified in Psalm 83:6-8 amongst several other Arab nations destined to someday confederate against Israel.

Related Links

Iran bent on punishing CIA, MI6, Mossad accused of attacking its scientists – DEBKAfile
Psalm 83 or Ezekiel 38 – Which is the Next Middle East News Headline? – BPB (Bill Salus)
Clinton Policy Speech Not Well Received in Middle East – VOA
Intelligence chiefs fear nuclear war between Israel and Tehran – Sydney Morning Herald
Isralestine: The Ancient Blueprints of the Future Middle East – Bill Salus (Book)


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