And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal:
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:
– Ezekiel 38: 1-5
Persia. Ethiopia. Libya. The Old Testament Prophet Ezekiel forsaw the day when the nations of the Earth would rise up against Israel. And leading the way? Persia. Ethiopia. Libya. Persia has a new name now – it is called Iran. Iran is violently anti-Jewish and has vowed to destroy the State of Israel. Libya is now in the midst of a civil war with a brutal dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, on one side and Al Qaeda-backed rebels on the other. It doesn’t matter which one of these factions wins the war – they both hate the State of Israel. Two down, one to go – Ethiopia.
“Ethiopia is one of the cornerstone countries in the region. The reason why it is a cornerstone is because a look at its size, look at its position and look at what we are trying to do together in a broad range of areas. … The main issue for us,USA, has to be stability of the country (Ethiopia),” Ambassador Donald Yamamato, Former ambassador of America in Ethiopia, said. The relationship between Ethiopia and America has had long standing roots dating back to 1903. The people to people and government to government relationship has a strong bond. The number of Ethiopians living in America is so considerable. The participation of Americans investors in Ethiopia has been increasing from time to time. Their trade relations have also been showing an upward trajectory. Besides, America’s food and development aid to Ethiopia is remarkable.
The Jamestown Foundation reports Islamic radicalism is now threatening Ethiopia via the war-ravaged country of Somalia:
To Ethiopia’s east lies Somalia, a chaotic state that has no central government. Substantial segments of Somalia’s population are highly radicalized, as witnessed in the consistent attacks by Somali militias against international forces within the country, with the most notable incident resulting in the deaths of 18 U.S. Army Rangers in 1993. Furthermore, Somalia is the home of al-Ittihaad al-Islami (AIAI), or the Islamic Unity group, a radical organization that seeks to establish an Islamic state in Somalia and Ethiopia. While not a serious threat to Ethiopian national security, AIAI has the potential to undermine Addis Ababa’s interests. As printed in the Addis Tribune in June 2003, the Ethiopian Security, Immigration and Refugees Affairs Authority (SIRA) concluded that “after a thorough assessment of the current situation of the country and of the terrorist threats in the Horn of Africa region, SIRA has come to the conclusion that the groups that might carry out terrorist attacks in Ethiopia by their own initiative or as agents of other sponsors would be the [nationalist] OLF and Al-Ittihaad al-Islami.”
In fact, the Jamestown Foundation is reporting that the specific threat facing Ethiopia is Al-Qaeda:
The greatest threat to Ethiopia from al-Qaeda lies in Somalia. The lack of an effective government in Somalia makes the country a potential haven for al-Qaeda militants. The country’s hopelessly impoverished and lawless situation, in addition to it being 99.9% Muslim, would give al-Qaeda the ability to operate free from fear of government and factional oversight. In the words of Secretary of State Colin Powell, “terrorist activity might find some fertile ground there, and we don’t want that to happen.”
There is widespread concern that al-Qaeda is exploiting the lawlessness prevalent in Somalia to establish military and other training facilities in that country. Indeed, in November 1998 the U.S. government brought forth an indictment in the Southern District of New York accusing al-Qaeda of providing “training camps and guesthouses in various areas, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Kenya for the use of al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups.” The indictment also stated that al-Qaeda “provided military training and assistance to Somali tribes opposed to the United Nations’ intervention in Somalia.”
This concern is especially plausible considering that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan has eliminated the primary country where these facilities were formerly located, forcing al-Qaeda to move its training and planning operations elsewhere.
Hussein Aideed, a powerful Somali warlord whose father was responsible for the attacks on U.S. soldiers in Mogadishu in 1993, agreed with this assessment, stating in late 2001 to the Ethiopian International Institute for Peace and Development: “Clearly Somalia has become a second political homeland or shelter for Osama bin Laden and his international Islamic extremist network and a base for an alternative hideout purposes. It could be defined as an ideal base for the world wide Islamic fundamentalist movement due to the persistent civil war conditions.”
The Jamestown Foundation concludes that the threat to Ethiopia from Al-Qaeda is currently manageable but is growing:
While al-Qaeda and other Islamist militant groups currently pose a mere nuisance to Ethiopian interests, the threat has the potential to escalate exponentially. In the words of Kebede, speaking to the Terrorism Monitor, “As regards Ethiopia, all indicators suggest that the problem is going from bad to worse. The political, social and economic problems that are conducive for the emergence and growth of radical revolutionary thought are not being addressed. Public discontent emanating from government policy is increasing.”
The instability and lawlessness in some countries of the region, particularly Somalia and Sudan, will make it difficult for the United States to prevent al-Qaeda from infiltrating East Africa. Washington’s attempt at using Ethiopia as a bridgehead against such instability is an important step, but it is not clear whether it will be successful. Nevertheless, because East African Muslims are not religiously animated in the same way as Muslims in different parts of the world, it will prove difficult for al-Qaeda to establish an effective East African force capable of launching massive attacks against western interests in the region and beyond.
It seems Ezekiel may have been on to something. Two of the three specific countries he mentions are fully radicalized at this point in time. And they both hate Israel and have vowed to destroy the State of Israel – simply aiming to wipe it off the face of the earth. The third country, Ethiopia, remains fairly stable, but it is seeing an increased threat to that stability in the form of Al-Qaeda.
At the center of the maelstrom is the State of Israel.
The Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock
It finds itself with not just a military dilemma with the nations of Islam but a religious dilemma as well. Iran has been quite vocal the past few years about the coming of the 12th Imam, who will supposedly lead the military armies of Muslims to victory against Israel. And the Israelis have a fully different, and inflammatory agenda. The Jews intend to build a temple on the Temple Mount, also known in the Bible as Mount Moriah, – which is currently occupied by the Muslims’ Dome of the Rock mosque.
The Dome of the Rock is the third most holy site for Muslims. It is located on the spot from which, Muslims contend, the prophet Mohammed ascended to Heaven. Complicating that fact is the Jewish position that their future temple must be built on that exact same spot. Imagine the conflagration in the Middle East if and when Israel takes the bulldozers to the Dome of the Rock to clear the site prior to their temple construction.
A private Jewish organization, The Jerusalem Temple Foundation, is making preparations to rebuild the temple. Naturally, their activities are most inflammatory toward Muslims. Given the Muslim position that Israel must be destroyed and the Jewish position that their temple must be rebuilt on Mount Moriah and we have the perfect storm of a potential major war in the Middle East.
Enter Barack Hussein Obama. The United States has long been an ally to Israel. But Obama, though denying accusations that he is Muslim, has deliberately stepped back the position of the United States in defending the State of Israel. Obama has continually put pressure on Israel to accede to Palestinian demands on the pretext that appeasement is the only way to avoid war. But Obama isn’t taking the seriousness of the Jewish people into consideration in his Middle Eastern calculus. The State of Israel will never voluntarily give up their holy city of Jerusalem. The State of Israel will never give up defensible borders. And the State of Israel will never allow another “Final Solution” to be propagated against them. Israeli conscripts take an oath on the heights of Masada that Masada will never fall again. Masada was the site where, in the first century A.D., Jewish rebels committed mass suicide rather than be killed or enslaved by the Romans.
If anything, Obama’s intransigence regarding the security, or lack of it, for the State of Israel, is pushing Israel further into a corner. And a cornered Israel could conceivably go nuclear if it feels its very existence threatened. Israel came close to using nuclear weapons when their positions were almost run over in the Yom Kippur War. And don’t doubt that the Israelis would be willing to actually use them if they felt sufficiently threatened in the future. And that includes the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran.
The ideological nature of a diplomatic amateur night by the Obama Administration in its dealings with the State of Israel is unprecedented. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is holding the line against the demands of the Obama regime. Which is a wise position considering the current upheaval within Arab countries in the Middle East.
The Israeli security web site Debkafile reported this week that the Syrian rebellion has taken a dramatic step towards open civil war. Interestingly enough, this development is not being reported in the western press:
For the first time in the anti-Assad uprising, elements of Syria’s popular protest movement are turning to armed revolt on lines similar to those marking the Libyan conflict. Wednesday, April 27, armed civilians were seen for the first time, some openly carrying anti-tank weapons, in the Daraa district of the South and Banias and Jableh on the coast, the primary targets of the regime’s armored-backed offensive on the six-week old protest movement.
Debkafile’s military sources report that these dissidents resorted openly to arms after discovering that Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) officers were masterminding the brutal crackdown against them, lending the Assad regime the experience they had gained in crushing the 2009 anti-regime opposition in Tehran.
In no surprise, Iran is protecting its investment in Syria by masterminding the response of the Assad regime in Syria to the rebel uprising. Obama has finally taken sides in the Syrian conflict. On Friday, April 29th, Obama signed an executive order imposing an expanded level of economic sanctions against Syria. These sanctions freezes property and assets in the United States of specific Syrian officials and groups. The executive order also bans American citizens from conducting business dealings with these officials and Syrian groups.
The Obama sanctions specifically target the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate and the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF). The Syrian General Intelligence Directorate is Syria’s internal intelligence service. The Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force (IRGC-QF) is considered by the Obama Administration to be the conduit for Iranian support of the Syrian regime.
Meanwhile, according to Debkafile, western military experts are predicting that:
The next stage of the Syrian crisis will see protesters-turned-rebels shooting at the military tanks and armored vehicles spearheading the assaults by commando units on foot in the towns under siege, while snipers pick off demonstrators or ordinary passers-by from the rooftops.
In the first two days of the military operation, the tanks have been rolling through the streets sowing panic and fear in targeted cities and providing cover for the soldiers shooting civilians at random. Disabling the tanks, the protesters believe, will disarm that tactic, which has been directed first against the million inhabitants of Daraa and its outlying towns in the Horon province.
With the most powerful military in the Middle East, Israel is closely monitoring developments in Syria, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and other countries experiencing Al-Qaeda and Iranian inspired turbulence. It is impossible to predict which, if any, additional countries may fall to protesters. But the potential for large-scale warfare is problematic, if not likely, given the current situation in Syria. The problems besetting both Israel and the Arab countries of the Middle East are compounded by the Obama Administration’s misguided policies.
It appears that Ezekiel may very well have been spot on in his prophetic warning. Stay tuned.