The Vatican: Is The City Under Threat Of Invasion By The ISIS?

VaticanISIS often airs its threats to conquer Rome and convert St. Peter’s, above, into a mosque. These aspirations go all the way back to the early years of Islam, when Constantinople — capital of the Eastern Roman empire and bulwark of Christianity in the eastern Mediterranean and West Asia — was an early target of Arab ambitions.

This article was first published on the Eidolon site by BY

In October 2014 an arresting image appeared on the cover of Dabiq, the slickly produced, English-language magazine of ISIS (the “Islamic State in Syria,” also known also as the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” among other names). The magazine features — as Robert Evans has detailed in an article of the “I read it so you don’t have to” variety — interviews with jihadis and photos of their brutally slain victims, together with other material calculated to entice the devout to join the cause of world domination.

The Photoshop job in question shows the ISIS flag flying in front of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, hoisted atop the Egyptian obelisk that marks the center of the piazza. The accompanying headline ‘The Failed Crusade’ imagines a reversal of the West’s medieval crusades, launched against the Muslim world from the Holy See. It also reverses the West’s more recent dispensations in the Middle East, from the divisions of the former Ottoman provinces after World War I to the results of the 2003 Iraq War.

ISIS is expert at representing its aspirations in prankish, media-friendly terms. Its black and white flag, inspired by ancient descriptions of Mohammed’s own banners, also coincides in color and general design with the Jolly Roger. It flutters in the image like a skull-and-crossbones raised over a captured vessel, the flagship of Western Christendom reduced to pirate’s booty.

The Italian daily Corriere della Sera was quick to take notice of the image, while in the International Business Times Umberto Bacchi pointed to the gloss provided by ISIS spokesperson Mohammed al-Adnani: “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah, the Exalted.” On one level he is trolling us with a cartoonish Orientalist stereotype (like Boris Karloff’s Fu Manchu urging his Asiatic hordes to “kill the white man and take his women!”) with the phallic obelisk mischievously restored to Eastern ownership. But al-Adnani is also quite serious.

Learn more: http://europe.newsweek.com/vatican-isis-pope-terrorist-st-peters-obelisk-swiss-guards-papa-paolo-435714?

Perfect Storm Of Financial Collapse And WWIII-Michael Snyder

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By Greg Hunter On February 24, 2016 In Political Analysis : USAWatchdog.com

Journalist and book author Michael Snyder says the collapse is not an event, but a “process.” Snyder explains, “I believe it is already in the process of coming apart. . . . One fifth of global stock market value is already gone.  That means we only have four fifths left.  At one point this month, $16.5 trillion had been wiped out from global stock markets since mid-2015.  So, this started last year.

We saw oil collapse.  We’ve seen junk bonds collapse.  We’ve seen commodity prices collapse.  The $16.5 trillion I just mentioned is just for stocks, and when you add up the other losses, that’s trillions of dollars more wealth that has been wiped out all over the world.  What we have seen already has been extraordinary, but we are still in the process.  People want to think of it as an event or a single day or a month, but this is a process.”

Snyder also contends, “The Baltic Dry Index dropped below 300 for the first time ever. We did not even see that during the 2008 Great Recession and financial crisis.  I didn’t know the Baltic Dry Index could go that low.  We are seeing exports decline dramatically in South Korea.  New numbers for Japan came out . . . their exports were down 12% year over year.  Exports in China have been falling month, after month, after month.  U.S. exports were down 7% for the last monthly figure we had.  India’s exports are down.  This is happening all over the world. Real economic activity is grinding to a halt.”

Snyder says the problems with some global banks are far worse than in 2008. Snyder says, “The collapse of Deutsche Bank would be a far bigger event than the collapse of Lehman Brothers was back in 2008.  If you are looking for another Lehman Brothers moment with their derivatives exposure . . . and now the biggest bank, in the biggest and most important economy in Europe, is in the process of coming apart.”

On war, Snyder says keep your eyes on the Middle East and Syria. Snyder explains, “Saudi Arabia and Turkey have to give up and cut their losses or they have to go in and do the job themselves.  The Sunni militants, including ISIS, are not getting the job done.  Turkey and Saudi Arabia are seriously considering a ground invasion of Syria.  Are the Russians and Hezbollah and Iran going to stand aside and let them do it?  I say almost certainly not and, in fact, could very easily erupt into WWIII.”

Either way, Snyder thinks we get “global financial collapse” and “World War III” but does not know which one comes first. Snyder says, “We already have the global economy grinding to a halt, but if we get WWIII, that just accelerates things greatly.  It’s the chicken or the egg, whichever comes first, but without a doubt, we are moving into a time described as a perfect storm.”

On precious metals, Snyder says, “I think silver will absolutely skyrocket in the years ahead. We like gold, but absolutely love silver.”

Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Michael Snyder, creator of TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com.

Donald Trump Accuses George W. Bush Of Lying To Invade Iraq

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“We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.”

Donald Trump took former President George W. Bush to task Saturday night, accusing him of lying to get the country into the Iraq War and faulting him for not keeping America safe.

“They lied,” Trump said during the CBS News GOP presidential debate. “They said there were weapons of mass destruction. There were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction.”

Trump has been outspoken about his dislike of the war in Iraq (though he’s fudged the facts about how early he was publicly speaking out against it).

But his comments Saturday night went a step beyond his usual critique. Even Republican skeptics of the war argue that Bush acted with good intentions, so the fact that the Republican frontrunner is the one making the charge is remarkable.

“We spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives. … Obviously, it was a mistake,” Trump said. “George Bush made a mistake. We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East.”

Full article: http://goo.gl/RdETlp

The English Spy

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#1 New York Times bestselling author Daniel Silva delivers another stunning thriller in his latest action-packed tale of high stakes international intrigue featuring the inimitable Gabriel Allon.

First there was THE ENGLISH ASSASSIN.

Then there was THE ENGLISH GIRL.

Now comes THE ENGLISH SPY . . .

Master novelist Daniel Silva has thrilled readers with seventeen thoughtful and gripping spy novels featuring a diverse cast of compelling characters and ingenious plots that have taken them around the globe and back—from the United States to Europe, Russia to the Middle East. His brilliant hero, Gabriel Allon—art restorer, assassin, spy—has joined the pantheon of great fictional secret agents, including George Smiley, Jack Ryan, Jason Bourne, and Simon Templar.

Following the success of his smash hit The Heist, Daniel Silva returns with another blockbuster—a powerhouse novel that showcases his outstanding skill and brilliant imagination, and is sure to be a must read for both his multitudes of fans and growing legions of converts.

The Author

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He has been called his generation’s finest writer of international intrigue and one of the greatest American spy novelists ever. Compelling, passionate, haunting, brilliant: these are the words that have been used to describe the work of #1 New York Times-bestselling author Daniel Silva.

Silva burst onto the scene in 1997 with his electrifying bestselling debut, The Unlikely Spy, a novel of love and deception set around the Allied invasion of France in World War II. His second and third novels, The Mark of the Assassin and The Marching Season, were also instant New York Times bestsellers and starred two of Silva’s most memorable characters:

CIA officer Michael Osbourne and international hit man Jean-Paul Delaroche. But it was Silva’s fourth novel, The Kill Artist, which would alter the course of his career. The novel featured a character described as one of the most memorable and compelling in contemporary fiction, the art restorer and sometime Israeli secret agent Gabriel Allon, and though Silva did not realize it at the time, Gabriel’s adventures had only just begun.

Gabriel Allon appears in Silva’s next nine novels, each one more successful than the last: The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, and Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, and The Defector. Silva’s forthcoming novel, The Rembrandt Affair, will be published on July 20, 2010.

Silva knew from a very early age that he wanted to become a writer, but his first profession would be journalism. Born in Michigan, raised and educated in California, he was pursuing a master’s degree in international relations when he received a temporary job offer from United Press International to help cover the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco.

Later that year Silva abandoned his studies and joined UPI fulltime, working first in San Francisco, then on the foreign desk in Washington, and finally as Middle East correspondent in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. In 1987, while covering the Iran-Iraq war, he met NBC Today National Correspondent Jamie Gangel and they were married later that year. Silva returned to Washington and went to work for CNN and became Executive Producer of its talk show unit including shows like Crossfire, Capital Gang and Reliable Sources.

In 1995 he confessed to Jamie that his true ambition was to be a novelist. With her support and encouragement he secretly began work on the manuscript that would eventually become the instant bestseller The Unlikely Spy. He left CNN in 1997 after the book’s successful publication and began writing full time.

Since then all of Silva’s books have been New York Times and international bestsellers. His books have been translated in to more than 25 languages and are published around the world. Silva continues to reside in Washington with his wife and teenage twins Lily and Nicholas. When not writing he can usually be found roaming the stacks of the Georgetown University library, where he does much of the research for his books.

He is currently at work on a new Gabriel Allon novel and warmly thanks all those friends and loyal readers who have helped to make the series such an amazing success.

http://www.amazon.com/Daniel-Silva/e/B000APEDWG/

Tragedy In South Lebanon: The Israeli-Hezbollah War Of 2006

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Cathy Sultan combines vital history and vivid personal interviews to relate the lives of the oft-ignored civilians of southern Lebanon and northern Israel during the July war of 2006 and its aftermath. She documents how thousands of area residents have been victimized by the hawkish, shortsighted policy decisions of Israel, Lebanon and the United States. Throughout the book, these narratives of mothers, soldiers, activists and ambulance drivers on both sides are memorable for their detail, honesty and the deep sense of tragedy they relate.

Tragedy in South Lebanon also addresses the media treatment of the war, systematically dispelling common myths about the region perpetuated by government and main-stream sources. Sultan discusses how divisive factions within the current Lebanese government leave the country teetering on the brink of yet more violence, imploring government officials on all sides to act with foresight, compassion and responsibility. Features include a chronology of Lebanese history, maps depicting wartime activity and a glossary of Middle Eastern terms.

The Author

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I grew up in Washington D.C.. Quite rebellious as a young woman, I yearned to escape from my native city and experience great adventures. My  dreams came true when I fell in love with a handsome young Lebanese physician, eloped against my parents’ wishes after a short courtship, had two children and in 1969 moved to Beirut, Lebanon, a city called the “Switzerland of the Middle East” and famous for its hospitality, its lovely Mediterranean climate and its exotic blend of Arab and Western cultures.

For six years I led the life of my dreams. My home was a rooftop apartment with a terrace full of flowers and a breathtaking view of the city. I was accepted and loved as a Lebanese. My husband had a successful medical practice and my children were growing up speaking English, French and Arabic.

But in April 1975, my life was abruptly turned upside down. On a quiet Sunday afternoon, the Christian Phalange militia attacked a bus full of Palestinians in a neighborhood not far from mine in East Beirut. This singular incident set off an infamous civil war that eventually engulfed the whole city. My tranquil treelined street, a block off Damascus Road and two blocks from the National Museum, became a deadly territorial divide: the infamous Green Line, separating East from West Beirut. Despite the constant danger, my feelings for my lover-city were slow to change. Instead of fleeing, my love affair with Beirut clouded my otherwise clear judgement  and we stayed through the first eight years of Lebanon’s bloody civil war.

I spent my days caring for my family, racing under the bombs to rescue my children from school and comforting my physician husband who spent his days treating wounded civilians. I kept my sanity during the war in large part because I loved to cook. I entertained family and friends constantly, trying as much as possible to incorporate some normalcy into our lives. Little by little I acquired the coping skills necessary to resist and survive in the absurd dysfunction of war. Eventually, though, war took a huge toll on my family and in 1983 we abandoned our beloved Beirut and returned to the States.

It took a number of years for all of us to regain our sanity. And it wasn’t until when my son, by then a junior at Harvard, asked me to record our adventures in Beirut that I began to think about writing my story. What began as a project for my children quickly became my way to mourn the loss of my beloved Beirut. Another reason had to do with the attitude of people I met when my husband and I settled down in the mid-West. They seemingly could not relate to my war stories and quickly became disinterested. This painful experience was the impetus that stimulated me to write, to pour my heart out, to clease my soul of the traumas of war.  A Beirut Heart: One Woman’s War is a memoir of my fourteen years in Beirut.

In March 2002, two years into the 2nd Intifada, I traveled to Israel-Palestine to better understand the conflict. My book “Israeli and Palestinian Voices: A Dialogue with Both Sides” is part adventure, part history, part travelogue, all bound together with a startling collection of interviews which I conducted first-hand in a variety of sometimes not very safe places.This book is a continuation of the my quest to bring peace to a region tragically gripped by obduracy and fanaticism, a region of the world I care deeply about, a region that is too often mis-represented by biased media coverage.

My husband, Michel, and I live in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a lovely rural community an hour and a half east of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Currently, I sit on the Executive Board of the National Peace Foundation where I oversee a variety of Middle East educational projects.

Book USA’s Best Books awarded A Beirut Heart: One Woman’s War Best Autobiography of 2006. Israeli and Palestinian Voices: A Dialogue with Both Sides won USA’s Best Books of 2006 award in the category of History/Politics and received Honorable Mention in the category of Political Science from the Midwest Independent Publishers Association in 2006.

My latest non-fiction book Tragedy in South Lebanon: The Israeli-Hezbollah War of 2006 is an account of the tragic 34 day war and its aftermath. It includes a chronology of Lebanese history, maps depicting wartime activity, a glossary of Lebanon’s political players, and, among others, interviews with both a Hezbollah fighter and an Israeli soldier, both of whom fought in the same battle.

Read about Cathy’s Latest Novel, The Syrian