From 2006 to 2019: After Failures in Syria, Iraq, Palestine and Yemen, War Is No Longer an Option for Israel – Global Research

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06-08-19 02:49:00,

During the summer war of 2006, Israel managed to destroy a large number of Hezbollah’s rocket and missile stocks. Most Hezbollah missile units were destroyed and, in the suburb of the capital Beirut, over 250 buildings (mainly but not exclusively hosting Hezbollah offices, warehouses and officers’ homes) were flattened by Israeli precision bombs targeting Hezbollah (and many civilians) in the suburbs of Beirut. Hundreds of houses were completely destroyed in the south of Lebanon. However, Israel was unable to fulfil its objectives due to the defeat of its infantry which faced harsh resistance and was unable to push deep inland. Moreover, the Kornet anti-tank laser-guided missiles and the “Nour” anti-ship missiles of Hezbollah surprised the enemy, indicating a serious lack of Israeli intelligence and confirming Hezbollah’s strong fighting abilities. 

Thirteen years later, the failure of US and Israeli policy in the region means it is no longer possible for Israel to contemplate a direct confrontation with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The US and Israel failed to achieve four main goals: regime change in Syria, the partition of Iraq, the defeat of the Houthis in Yemen, the Palestinian “deal of the century”. Added to this, Israeli-US rejection of any fair Palestinian state has strengthened Palestinian resolve against Israel.

Israel has increased its firepower and military capabilities, but Hezbollah also moved from being a tactical local organisation to becoming a strategic player in the Middle East. The group’s superior fighting abilities have been enhanced by new military hardware. This has had the effect of rendering war in the Middle East unlikely any time in the near (or medium-term) future.

The attempt by the US and its partners to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and transform the country into a failed state governed by jihadist Takfiris (ISIS and al-Qaeda groups, who overwhelmed all other rebel and non-jihadist organisations) forced the Lebanese Hezbollah, Iran and Iraq to engage militarily in the Levant. The same scenario repeated itself in Iraq when the US looked on as ISIS grew strong and held on to robust intelligence – the accuracy of which was later confirmed – that ISIS would be migrating from Iraq to Syria after occupying a large part of Iraq. Hezbollah, Iraqi groups and Iranian forces fought in Syria and Iraq to stop the jihadists from expanding and to prevent a direct danger to Lebanon,

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The Fed’s Failures Are Mounting

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14-03-19 09:08:00,

Authored by Danielle DiMartino Booth via LinkedIn.com,

In the decade between “60 Minutes” interviews, the central bank has sparked a recovery without inflation but not much else.

Friday marks the 10-year anniversary of the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s groundbreaking “60 Minutes” interview. To listen to current Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on the same show a decade later, the central bank’s best laid plans since then would seem to have played out according to script with one glaring exception: the Fed’s balance sheet.

When “60 Minutes” reporter Scott Pelley asked Bernanke if the Fed was printing money, his reply was,

“Well, effectively. And we need to do that, because our economy is very weak, and inflation is very low. When the economy begins to recover, that will be the time that we need to unwind those programs, raise interest rates, reduce the money supply, and make sure that we have a recovery that does not involve inflation.”

If the primary goal was recovery without inflation, the Fed delivered. Since the onset of recovery in June 2009, the core personal consumption expenditures index, which measures the prices paid by consumers for goods and services net of food and energy prices that tend to be more volatile, has been above 2 percent in in just five months in 2018, four in 2012 and one in 2011.

Critics of the central bank suggest that the massive surge in financial assets over the past decade starkly illustrates the need for the Fed to incorporate inflation gauges that take into account price gains of real estate and securities. One such gauge, the Underlying Inflation Gauge (UIG) created at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, has hovered around the 3 percent level since last February. In other words, the UIG has been running north of the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target since November 2016. The justification for raising interest rates thus depends on the gauge used to guide policy.

As for Bernanke’s commitment to unwind unconventional monetary policy, it’s looking increasingly as if only a small portion of his promise can be fulfilled.

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Seven Days Of Failures For The American Empire

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10-12-18 08:53:00,

Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

On November 25, two artillery boats of the Gyurza-M class, the Berdiansk and Nikopol, one tugboat, the Yany Kapu, as well as 24 crew members of the Ukrainian Navy, including two SBU counterintelligence officers, were detained by Russian border forces. In the incident, the Russian Federation employed Sobol-class patrol boats Izumrud and Don, as  well as two Ka-52, two Su-25 and one Su-30 aircraft.

Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation fow what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third,

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