It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Players Gear Up for World War III

THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT: Though I would argue we're already in the early stages of it, it would appear "World War III" is about to become a household phrase. Even a modest monitoring of news from the middle east reveals the major players are gearing up for an Armageddon-like showdown in the very near future. When the stuff finally hits the fan, (and it will very soon), only the most clueless people among us will be able to say it caught them by surprise....

The political crisis in Lebanon has deepened after the assassination of Lebanese Industry Minister and prominent Maronite Catholic Pierre Gemayel.

Mr Gemayel, the son of former President Amin, was shot dead in a Christian suburb of Beirut. He was rushed to hospital but his death was reported on Lebanese radio shortly after.

Mr Gemayel was a leading anti-Syrian politician, and a member of the Phalange Party.

The killing of Mr Geyal, who had been a strong critic of Syrian involvement in Lebanon, was condemned by the US as an "act of terrorism" and "political intimidation," and has fuelled suspicion of possible Syrian involvement in the assassination.

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The Syrian government was responsible for the assassination yesterday of Lebanon's Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel and will likely attempt more killings with the goal of destabilizing Lebanon, the country's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt told WND in an interview today.

Jumblatt is head of Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party and is widely considered the most prominent anti-Syrian Lebanese politician.

He charged the calls by many in the U.S. government for a withdrawal from Iraq sent a message of American weakness to Syria that may result in "more instability and chaos" in Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East.

"The Syrian regime through some of its local allies carried out this assassination," said Jumblatt. "They (the Syrians) are capable of anything. They will probably try more killings. We still have a majority in the parliament unless ministers resign or Syria kills more ministers off."

Jumblatt said Syria is "emboldened by the fact that the Americans are searching for an exit strategy from Iraq. This is encouraging all kinds of people to kill and create chaos in the region."

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TEL AVIV – The only way to stop the regular rocket fire on Sderot, an Israeli city of about 20,000 nearly three miles from the Gaza Strip border, is for the Jewish state to evacuate the entire city, Hamas announced in a statement today.

"Only the departure of residents from Sderot will stop the rocket fire," Abu Abaida, spokesman for Hamas' so-called military wing, said in a statement to reporters.

"There are no limits on our rocket attacks and we will prove that in coming days. We advise residents of Sderot to evacuate," the Hamas spokesman said.

Asked by WND if his statement was rhetoric or whether the Hamas leadership actually sanctioned a call for Israeli residents to evacuate, Abu Abaida replied, "We are very, very serious. The evacuation can be done in the next days or even up to several weeks, but it must be done. And after that, we will stop all rocket fire unless the Zionists continue more military operations in Gaza"

Abu Abaida said Hamas is seeking to impose "a new equation in which the Zionists understand that for every incursion into Gaza, we will use our rockets to bombard your towns and cities until more and more are forced to evacuate. Our rockets have already improved, as Sderot residents know. We keep working on (the rockets) to improve deadliness, force and distance."

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The IDF will continue to carry out operations in the Gaza Strip, some on a larger scale than those conducted so far, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Wednesday after the security cabinet convened to discuss the situation in Gaza and the growing threat Kassam rockets pose to southern Israel.

Ministers participating in the meeting said the ideas raised in the meeting were "more of the same," Israel Radio reported.

The security cabinet instructed the IDF to draw up plans for a large-scale operation in Gaza and present it for approval at a future date.

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The communiqué issued by the cabinet Wednesday, after a session convened to chart a strategy to cut down the escalating Hamas-led missile campaign against Israeli civilian locations, concealed more than it revealed. Its primary decision was that Israel has no option but to launch a major offensive against Hamas and allied terrorist groups to pre-empt their war build-up. Hamas spokesmen have admitted that one of their key objectives is to force the evacuation of Israeli towns and villages around the Gaza Strip...

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The military pacts Palestinian Hamas interior minister Said Siyam signed with his Iranian counterpart Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi in Tehran on Oct. 12 are designed to transform Hamas’ military wing, the Ezz e-Din al Qassam, into a crack operational arm of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and Gaza into a second Lebanon.

Syam was in Tehran for two days at the head of a 7-man delegation.

DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report Tehran has committed to training Hamas’ rapid deployment force of 6,500 men in Hizballah combat tactics, with the accent on missiles, especially the anti-tank variety which were used with devastating effect against Israeli tanks in the Lebanon War. The force will be sent over in batches for six-week courses at Revolutionary Guards installations in southern Iran.
Iran will foot the $60 million bill for the training as well as for the top-notch weaponry...

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A new Middle East war is in the offing. DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources in Iraq and sources in Iran reveal that Turkish and Iranian air units as well as armored, paratroop, special operations and artillery forces are poised for an imminent coordinated invasion of the northern Iraqi autonomous province of Kurdistan.

Our sources pinpoint the target of the combined Iranian-Turkish offensive as the Quandil Mountains (see picture), where some 5,000 Kurdish rebels from Turkey and Iran, members of the PKK and PJAK respectively, are holed up. Iranian and Turkish assault troops are already deployed 7-8 km deep inside Iraqi territory.
Turkey to the northwest and Iran to the east both have Kurdish minorities which have been radicalized by the emergence of Iraqi Kurdistan in the last three years. The three contiguous Kurdish regions form a strategic world hub...

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WASHINGTON (AFP) - President George W. Bush could choose military action over diplomacy and bomb Iran's nuclear facilities next year, political analysts in Washington agree.

"I think he is going to do it," John Pike, director of Globalsecurity.org, a military issues think tank, told AFP.

"They are going to bomb WMD facilities next summer," he added, referring to nuclear facilities Iran says are for peaceful uses and Washington insists are really intended to make nuclear bombs, or weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

"It would be a limited military action to destroy their WMD capabilities" added the analyst, believing a US military invasion of Iran is not on the table.

US journalist Seymour Hersh also said at the weekend that White House hawks led by Vice President Dick Cheney were intent on attacking Iran with or without the approval of the US Congress, both houses of which switch from Republican to Democratic control in January after the November 7 legislative elections...

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