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Hezbollah, Iran, and Saudi Arabia: The Middle East triangle that could lead to full regional (or world) war

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Hezbollah Iran and Saudi Arabia The Middle East triangle that could lead to full regional or world w

The Middle East rarely gets a break from conflict. In recent decades, it seems there is nothing but strife in the region. As one armed conflict is suppressed, another flares up. The latest potential conflict is between Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah, Iran’s proxy in Lebanon. This one has all the ingredients necessary to lead to the biggest war the region has seen in decades.

It could even lead to war for the rest of the world.

Background

Late last week, Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri shocked the world when he resigned, citing a “plot to target his life.” The announcement was made from Saudi Arabia where Hariri accused Hezbollah of being a militant arm beholden to Iran.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri steps down in shock move

http://www.dw.com/en/lebanese-prime-minister-saad-hariri-steps-down-in-shock-move/a-41235250Hariri announced his resignation from Saudi Arabia, saying he sensed a “plot to target his life” as he accused Iran and its Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah of taking control of the country and destablizing the region.

“Iran has a grip on the fate of the region’s countries… Hezbollah is Iran’s arm not just in Lebanon but in other Arab countries too,” Hariri said. “Iran’s arms in the region will be cut off. The evil that Iran spreads in the region will backfire on it.”

On Tuesday, the Saudis accused Iran of “direct aggression” in the attack on Riyadh airport. They said Hezbollah and the Lebanese administration would now be “dealt with as a government declaring war on Saudi Arabia.”

World War 3 alert: Saudi Arabia says Lebanon has declared WAR

http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/876337/World-War-3-Saudi-Arabia-Lebanon-Hezbollah-YemenHe claimed Hezbollah’s actions “were considered acts of a declaration of war against Saudi Arabia by Lebanon and by the Lebanese Party of the Devil”.

Al-Sabhan said the message had also been delivered to Lebanese prime minister Saas al-Hariri, a Saudi ally.

Today, Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, accused Saudi Arabia of holding Hariri against his will, inciting Israel against Lebanon, and declaring war on the nation.

Saudis ‘declared war on Lebanon’ – Hezbollah leader

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-41946310Mr Hariri said in a TV broadcast from Riyadh on Saturday he was stepping down because of an unspecified threat to his life. He also attacked Hezbollah and Iran.

However, Lebanese President Michel Aoun and other senior politicians have demanded his return, amid suspicions that he is being held by the Saudis under house arrest and forced to do their bidding.

Mr Aoun has not accepted Mr Hariri’s resignation.

What this means

This is more than just another potential conflict for Saudi Arabia. Ties between Hezbollah and Iran would add to the potential for the first armed conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. They represent two of the three largest and most advanced military forces in the region with Israel’s being the third.

Saudi Arabia already believes Iran is the source of weapons for Yemen and Qatar, aiding them in their conflicts with the Saudis. Hezbollah believes the Saudis are going to attack by paying their “allies” in Israel to do it for them. Israel is never far from conflict with Hezbollah or Iran.

If Saudi Arabia decides it’s had enough with Iran’s meddling, it may choose to preemptively strike their Lebanese proxies. If Iran wants to provoke the Saudis without direct involvement (a path they’ve demonstrated they prefer), they could instruct Hezbollah to attack the Saudis through proxies in Yemen and Qatar.

There are other scenarios in play, including an unlikely direct attack from Iran or giving Lebanon direct access to Saudi Arabia thorough Syira down to Iraq. Nobody can predict exactly how this will play out. All we know is that every action, every moment brings us closer to war.

Escalation

The longstanding conflict between Shiites and Sunnis may be due for for a massive regional war. Iran and Saudi Arabia are the champions of each sect. The difference is that there are enough potentially militant Shiites in Saudi Arabia – a population estimated around 20 million – that could be brought into the mix by Iran and Hezbollah.

Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations have already called for their citizens to leave Lebanon. We are one or two triggers away from war. In fact, there may already be plans in place to escalate at any moment.

The United States has interests in Saudi Arabia, Israel, and troops in various countries in or near the region. Russia is backing Iran and Syria. It’s not too hard to see the potential of bringing the rest of the world into a regional conflict if it does erupt into war.

Final Thoughts

It’s time to stop pretending like this is just another problem in a region known for constant problems. This is the closest we’ve been to full-blown war involving multiple nations in the region since 1967. Since none of the three nations have any intentions of backing down, it may no longer be a question of if war will break out. We should be asking, “when?”

Foreign Affairs

The United Nations only opposes terrorism if it’s not directed towards Israel

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The United Nations only opposes terrorism if its not directed towards Israel

The hypocrisy and lunacy of the United Nations was made crystal clear today. Despite receiving a majority of votes on a resolution to condemn Hamas for their terrorist and military attacks on Israel, the 2/3 threshold was not met. The resolution will not be adopted.

By doing this, the U.N. has officially accepted terrorism as an acceptable means of dealing with the nation of Israel. Most nations do not agree, but as a governing body they have made their choice. More importantly, we are now aware of which nations support Hamas despite their heinous acts against the Jewish state.

The U.S. Mission to the U.N. laid down the stakes just prior to the vote.

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley gave a speech that resonated with enough nations to bring about the simple majority. This is an accomplishment even if the resolution ultimately failed.

My Take

This is a good thing for Israel. One can argue it’s even better than had the resolution passed. United Nations resolutions are about as worthless as a press release. But seeing the United Nations being unwilling as a group to condemn the undisputed terrorist and military activities perpetrated by Hamas against Israel helps take away the governing body’s waning credibility.

We know who is more fair than others towards Israel. The European Union, for example, has been outspoken in their condemnation of many of Israel’s actions. But they voted as a unified block to condemn Hamas. This is a sign of hope that alerts Israel and the United States that the anti-Israel bias at the U.N. isn’t absolute. Some are willing to be at least a little more fair than usual.

Hamas is a terrorist organization. Its nature, stated goals, and actions have proven this beyond a shadow of a doubt. The fact the U.N. will not condemn them after condemning everything Israel does is a clear indicator the organization is corrupt.

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Military

Israel demands international action on Hezbollah tunnels

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Israel demands international action on Hezbollah tunnels

The IDF launched “Operation Northern Shield,” only to discover and eliminate attack tunnels constructed by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel.

 The Israeli government demanded international action on Hezbollah on Tuesday for building tunnels to infiltrate and launch attacks against Israel.

“These cross-border terror tunnels were built by Hezbollah with direct support and funding from Iran. They were built with one purpose in mind—to attack and murder innocent Israeli men, women and children,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. “This is a grave violation of Israel’s sovereignty and a gross violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution #1701. It is an unacceptable act of wanton aggression.”

The IDF launched “Operation Northern Shield” on Tuesday to discover and eliminate attack tunnels constructed by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel.

“I have a message for the people of Lebanon: Hezbollah is putting your lives in danger,” said Netanyahu. “They are sacrificing your well-being to serve the aggressive purposes of Iran. Israel holds the Lebanese government accountable for all terror activity emanating from Lebanon against Israel.

Like any other nation, Israel maintains the right to defend itself. We will continue to do all that is necessary to defend ourselves against Iran’s efforts to use Lebanon, Syria and Gaza as forward terror bases to attack Israel.”

Netanyahu added that he mentioned the imposition of new sanctions against Hezbollah during his meeting on Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon demanded the world body condemn Hezbollah “in the strongest terms possible” and hold the Lebanese government “responsible for the dangerous destabilization of the region.”

“The Lebanese government must abide by its international commitments and fully implement the above mentioned Security Council resolutions,” he wrote.

“The construction of these tunnels, built by Hezbollah and funded by Iran, alongside the ongoing efforts to transfer arms, convert inaccurate projectiles into precision-guided missiles and manufacture precision-guided missiles in Lebanon, are a flagrant violation of Israel’s sovereignty and mark yet another stage of Hezbollah’s ongoing efforts to expand its military build-up and further destabilize the already volatile region,” he added.

The United States also condemned the tunnels.

“The U.S. strongly supports Israel’s efforts to defend its sovereignty, and we call on [Hezbollah] to stop its tunneling into Israel and to refrain from escalation and violence,” said U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. “More broadly, we call on Iran and all of its agents to stop their regional aggression and provocation, which pose an unacceptable threat to Israeli and regional security.”

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Economy

Medicare-for-All would cost more than every penny we’ve spent on defense in the country’s history

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Medicare-for-All would cost more than every penny weve spent on defense in the countrys history

Math is hard for many Americans. It isn’t just the sad state of our public school system that keeps the people down. It’s politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who push lies and pipe dreams that keep many Americans thinking the government has unlimited money and there’s no real difference between millions, billions, and trillions.

There’s a big difference, of course, but leftists will never let the number of zeroes get in the way of promoting their ideological goals. As I posted earlier, even left-leaning news outlets like the Washington Post are calling out Ocasio-Cortez for her false statements about Medicare-for-All.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez earns 4 Pinocchios over bungled defense budget interpretation

http://noqreport.com/2018/12/04/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-earns-4-pinocchios-bungled-defense-budget-interpretation/Ocasio-Cortez must have realized when she Tweeted the article that there’s no way “66% of Medicare for All could have been funded already by the Pentagon.” She was certainly playing down to her base in hopes they’d ignore reality and embrace her false notions just because she said it. The Tweet was either a bald-faced lie or she’s an absolute moron. Or both.

Washington Post, which normally supports socialist initiatives recommended by their Democratic puppetmasters, had to call this particular claim out. They gave the claim “4 Pinocchios,” a designation they save for some of the most egregious lies in politics.

It isn’t just about being completely wrong on the Pentagon’s accounting errors. This goes deeper. While fact-checking her claims, PolitiFact decided to do some math of their own. They gathered defense spending data as far back as they could – 1940 – and tallied the totals. Those who understand the difference between millions, billions, and trillions probably won’t be surprised to learn the total spent in that time is under $18 trillion, well short of the $21 trillion Ocasio-Cortez claimed she could have used to pay 2/3 of Medicare-for-All.

The also stipulated that since defense spending was much lower in the past, it’s very likely the total spent since the nation’s inception still couldn’t hit Ocasio-Cortez’ number.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrong on scale of Pentagon accounting errors

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2018/dec/03/alexandria-ocasio-cortez/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-wrong-scale-pentagon-acco/One tip-off is the amount of Ocasio-Cortez’s “accounting errors” is far bigger than the actual Pentagon spending from 1998 to 2015, which was $8.5 trillion. In fact, it’s also far bigger than the amount the government has spent on national security since 1940 and, in all likelihood, in the nation’s history.

Here’s a chart we assembled showing national-security spending by the federal government from 1940 to today. Ocasio-Cortez’s $21 trillion estimate exceeds the entirety of national-security spending since 1940, which checks in around $17.8 trillion. And while full data back to 1776 doesn’t exist, prorating backwards for another 164 years would almost certainly not add enough to make the total $21 trillion.

Medicare-for-All is projected to cost $32 trillion over its first 10 years alone.

Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and all their mathematically challenged supporters need to hear this information now. If you could somehow take back every dollar spent on defense from the time the nation was formed until today, it still wouldn’t be enough to pay for Medicare-for-All. This isn’t a right-wing conspiracy. This is left-leaning Politifact crunching the numbers.

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