Report: US Aircraft Carrier Sent to Syrian Coast as Tensions Flare, US Embassy Urges Americans to Leave Syria ‘Immediately’
Sounds like something’s afoot …
By Will Rahn – “The USS George H.W. Bush, the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, has reportedly parked off the Syrian coast. The move comes as the U.S. embassy in Damascus urged Americans to ‘immediately’ leave the country.
‘The U.S. embassy continues to urge U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available,’ began a statement released Wednesday on the embassy website. ‘The number of airlines serving Syria has decreased significantly since the summer, while many of those airlines remaining have reduced their number of flights.’
In addition to urging citizens to leave the country, CBS News reports that Ambassador Robert Ford, who was recalled from Syria last month due to what the Obama administration called credible threats to his safety, will not return to the country later this month as planned.
Syria’s government has been strongly condemned by the international community following months of state-sponsored violence against political activists protesting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The violence is said to have left thousands dead in the country, which is a close ally of Iran and a sponsor of the Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah.
Adding to the sense of danger, Turkey, a NATO member and fierce critic of Assad’s government, recently warned its citizens to avoid traveling through the country after Syrian troops fired on at least two buses carrying Turkish Muslims returning from the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
Some Arab publications have reported this week that a no-fly zone will soon be put in place over Syria — similar to the one implemented over Libya last spring. And while such reports in the Arab press are often met with skepticism by western observers, the financial news service ZeroHedge flagged down a report from the respected private intelligence company Stratfor stating that CVN 77, better known as the George H.W. Bush, had left the strategically vital Straits of Hormuz for the Syrian coast.
The idea of imposing a no-fly zone over Syria — an increasingly hot topic in Washington, D.C. — was discussed at Tuesday’s CNN Republican debate. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has said he would ‘absolutely’ propose a no-fly zone for the country, but when asked if they would do the same, other Republican presidential candidates remained hesitant.” Source – The Daily Caller.
Canada orders warships to stay in Mediterranean – “Canada will maintain warships in the Mediterranean Sea until the end of 2012, Defense Minister Peter MacKay announced Sunday. The HMCS Vancouver frigate was originally deployed as part of NATO’s mission in Libya. It will remain in the Mediterranean Sea until early 2012, when it will be relieved by the HMCS Charlottetown, MacKay said. Officially, the ships will be tasked with ‘locating, tracking, reporting (and) boarding vessels suspected of international terrorism’ alongside other NATO frigates. But MacKay also said ‘there’s no question having a ship in the region… gives us the capability to respond should certain things transpire’ in Syria or other hotspots.” Read more.
Massive Solar Storm Due to Hit Earth Tonight, ‘One of the Most Violent Geomagnetic Storms Ever Recorded’
Scientists expect it to trigger one of the most violent geomagnetic storms ever recorded.
The result could be widespread power surges and even blackouts, disrupted TV and mobile phone signals, and broken down communication satellites.
At the same time the Northern Lights, normally confined to polar latitudes, may produce dazzling displays in the skies above southern Britain.
At least one satellite has already been knocked out of action by the storm. Japan’s space agency said its Kodama communications satellite had been temporarily shut down after malfunctioning.
The solar flare that caused the eruption burst out of a sunspot at 10.54am yesterday.
Experts said it was the strongest flare seen in the past 30 years. The explosion caused a coronal mass ejection (CME) which is now speeding towards Earth.
Last week another CME only hit the Earth a glancing blow, yet was able to disrupt airline communications.
The solar flare was classified as an X18-category explosion, meaning it can trigger planet-wide radio blackouts and long-lasting radiation storms.
Although the charged particles present no direct danger to people on the ground, they could have a devastating effect on electrical equipment.
Geomagnetic storms are classified on a scale of one to five. Initial indications are that the looming storm could reach the highest G5 level and last for 24 hours.” Read more.
Obama makes no mention of giving thanks to, let alone acknowledge, the God of Jews and Christians during Thanksgiving, yet had no problem revering Muslim’s devotion to “God” during Ramadan, had no problem praising Islam’s so-called role in “advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings” and had no problem rewriting history in stating how Islam “has always been a part of America”, ignoring the fact that the few who eventually came to America of their own free will came precisely because of the undeniable reality that predominantly Muslim countries were anything but just, progressive, tolerant or respectful of human life. It must really get under his thin skin that the vast, overwhelming majority of America’s pilgrims were Christian …
His remarks were void of any religious references although Thanksgiving is a holiday traditionally steeped in giving thanks and praise to God.
The president said his family was ‘reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are.’
For many Americans, though, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on how blessed and thankful they are.
The president said the ‘most American of blessings’ is the ‘chance to determine our own destiny.’
He called the very first Thanksgiving a ‘celebration of community’.
‘We’re also grateful for the Americans who are taking time out of their holiday to serve in soup kitchens and shelters, making sure their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay,’ he said. ‘This sense of mutual responsibility – the idea that I am my brother’s keeper; that I am my sister’s keeper – has always been a part of what makes our country special.’
The president said that belief is ‘one of the reasons the Thanksgiving tradition has endured.’
But nowhere in the 11-paragraph address does he mention the Almighty.
Instead, he references the Civil War, two World Wars, and the Great Depression – noting that ‘Americans drew strength from each other.’
However, President Abraham Lincoln said the nation drew its strength from God. He declared as much in his 1863 Thanksgiving Day proclamation:
‘I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.’
President Obama told the nation in his address that if they support each other and look out for each other, ‘and remember that we’re all in this together, then I know that we too will overcome the challenges of our time.’” Read more.
Israeli Security Forces: Turkey Nearing Military Intervention in Syria to Create Secure Buffer Zone for Activists
By Anshel Pfeffer – “Israeli security forces officials said Wednesday that they believe Turkey is nearing a military intervention in Syria, in order to create a secure buffer zone for opposition activists.
Thus far, Ankara has given shelter to some 20,000 refugees who escaped the deadly crackdown by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s security forces, and also housed Syrian opposition groups.
In recent days, however, Israeli officials said that according to an updated assessment of the situation, Turkey is expected to set up secure buffer zones on its border with Syria that would allow armed opposition groups to organize against the Syrian regime from bases that would be protected by the Turkish army.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently hardened his stance against Assad and suggested for the first time the possibility of foreign intervention in Syria.” Read more.
France calls for humanitarian zone in Syria – “France has called for a ‘secured zone to protect civilians’ in Syria, the first time a major Western power has suggested international intervention on the ground in the eight-month uprising against President Bashar Assad. Foreign Minister Alain Juppe also described Syria’s exiled opposition National Council as ‘the legitimate partner with which we want to work’, the biggest international endorsement yet for the nascent opposition body. A spokesman for European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the EU was ready to engage with the Syrian National Council and other opposition groups, but stressed the need for them to maintain a peaceful, non-sectarian approach. Asked at a news conference on Wednesday after meeting the SNC president if a humanitarian corridor was an option for Syria, Juppe ruled out military intervention to create a ‘buffer zone’ in northern Syria but suggested a ‘secured zone’ may be feasible to protect civilians and ferry in humanitarian aid.” Read more.