29-Dec-11 World View — U.S. Fifth Fleet Threatens Iran with Retaliation in Strait of Hormuz

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • North Korean people cry ‘tears of blood’ in choreographed funeral of Kim Jung-il
  • South Korea sends a military threat message to Kim Jong-Un
  • U.S. Fifth Fleet threatens Iran with retaliation in Strait of Hormuz
  • Iran’s military details how it will close the Strait of Hormuz
  • Israel’s army chief says war with Gaza inevitable
  • U.S. and Egypt in secret talks on Israel
  • Nigerian Christians call Christmas bombings a ‘declaration of war’
  • Samoa will skip a day, as international date line moves
  • Orthodox priests in Bethlehem attack each other with broomsticks

North Korean people cry ‘tears of blood’ in choreographed funeral of Kim Jung-il


North Koreans weep and wail at the funeral of Kim Jung-il
North Koreans weep and wail at the funeral of Kim Jung-il

North Korea carried out a meticulously choreographed funeral for its late leader Kim Jong-il today and affirmed that the country was now in the ‘warm care’ of his son. Kim’s youngest son and successor, Kim Jong-un, front/left in the top picture on the right, walked slowly next to his father’s hearse as mourners lining the procession route in Pyongyang wailed in ostentatious displays of grief.

The tightly stage-managed funeral seemed to be a message from the country’s ruling family that they remain in tight control despite the death of their figurehead. The only thing not pre-planned was the unexpected snowstorm. Mobs of people of people lined the funeral route, weeping, wailing, crying, pounding the ground, moaning, etc. Typical comments, referencing the falling snow:

  • “The people … are all crying tears of blood.”
  • “Snow is falling like tears. How could the heavens not cry, when we’ve lost our general, who is a great man from the heavens?”
  • “As I see the snow fall, I shed more tears for my general’s hard work.”

Daily Mail

South Korea sends a military threat message to Kim Jong-Un

South Korea’s military will try a new kind of military naval drill some time early next year. At an unannounced time, two submarines will attempt a surprise “attack” on South Korea, to see if South Korea’s surface forces will be able to detect the submarines quickly. This will simulate a surprise North Korean attack. The timing of Seoul’s announcement of the naval exercises is no coincidence and is designed to send a clear message to the incoming regime in Pyongyang that the South will not sit idly by in the event of any further provocations, such as the Cheonan incident or the shelling of an island off the west coast in November 2010 in which four people died. Telegraph

U.S. Fifth Fleet threatens Iran with retaliation in Strait of Hormuz

The war of words took another step forward on Wednesday, as the U.S. reacted to Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz if the West imposes an oil embargo against Iran in retaliation for reports that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. According to the Iranian admiral who is leading ten days of war games in the region of the Strait, “Blocking the Strait of Hormuz would be as easy for us as drinking a glass of water, but for the time being there is no need to do so.” The U.S. State Dept. called Iran’s threat “bluster,” and a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, headquartered in Bahrain, said: “Any disruption will not be tolerated. Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations.” The U.S. has not ruled out any military action. Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA)

Iran’s military details how it will close the Strait of Hormuz

An article on the Iranian website Mashreq News, which is close to Iran’s military circles, gives detailed information about weapons and strategy for closing the Strait of Hormuz. The article enumerated the forces and weapons that Iran could employ in such a military operation, including fast attack craft carrying anti-ship missiles; submarines; battleships; cruise and ballistic missiles; bombers carrying laser-, radar- and optically-guided missiles; helicopters; armed drones; hovercraft; and artillery. It stated that despite Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s statements that Tehran would not initiate a military confrontation but would retaliate harshly if attacked, “there is no guarantee that [Tehran] will not launch a peremptory strike on the civilian level, for instance through cyber-warfare or by means of economic pressure, including by closing the Strait of Hormuz and cutting off [this] energy lifeline for an indefinite period of time.” In accordance with Iranian doctrine, the article pointed out that these weapons would actually not be necessary because there would be suicide operations, and added that “the faith of the Iranian youth, and their eagerness to sacrifice their lives, will sap the enemies’ courage.” Translated by Memri

Israel’s army chief says war with Gaza inevitable

Benny Gantz, the Chief of General Staff for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) says that a major IDF ground invasion of Gaza is inevitable:

“From time to time, we face rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and we understand the continuing buildup from the Egypt region. …

I believe that the State of Israel cannot continue to live under the active threat of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Sooner or later, there will be no escape from conducting a significant operation. The IDF knows how to operate in a determined, decisive and offensive manner against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.”

Gantz’s statement was made on their anniversary of Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s previous ground invasion of Gaza, launched on December 27, 2008. Turning to more local matters, Gantz said that in certain circumstances and during non-official military events, the IDF would be prepared to exempt religious soldiers from participation if they are uncomfortable hearing women sing. Jerusalem Post

U.S. and Egypt in secret talks on Israel

Mohamed ElBaradei, who won a Nobel Peace Prize when he headed the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, and is now a candidate for president of Egypt, said that the United States is doing whatever it can to stop Egypt from annulling the 1979 peace agreement with Israel. Referring to recent meetings between Washington officials and Egypt;’s ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), he said:

“The negotiations were completely secret and confidential. What the supreme military council said was that the talks were about bilateral and mutual relations, but I believe that Americans wanted to ensure that the deals signed between Egypt and Israel will remain intact if Islamists ascend to power.”

The two Islamist parties affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafi movement have won the majority of votes in the first two rounds of elections in the country. Israel National News

Nigerian Christians call Christmas bombings a ‘declaration of war’

Nigeria’s Christians are losing faith that the government will protect them from attacks by Islamic extremists and will “respond appropriately” to future killings, the country’s leading church group warned Wednesday. (See “26-Dec-11 World View — Christmas church bombings by Boko Haram trigger clashes in Nigeria”) In an apparent revenge attack, attackers threw a bomb into an Arabic school in mainly Christian southern Nigeria, wounding six children and an adult. CNN and AFP

Samoa will skip a day, as international date line moves

What date comes after December 29? If you’re in the tiny South Pacific nation of Samoa this year, then the date that comes after December 29 is December 31. December 30 will not exist. This will occur because the international date line, that separates one day from the next, will move east, putting Samoa west of it. The reason for the change is that Samoa wants to align its calendar with the Asians, who are their main trading partners. AP

What I find fascinating about this story, and haven’t seen discussed anywhere, is not that December 30 will disappear, but that Friday will disappear, and the day of the week will go from Thursday to Saturday. This should be completely unacceptable to Jews, Christians, and Muslims who follow the teachings of the Old Testament, where it says that certain things happen every seven days. There is no provision to skip a day, which means, for example, that Samoan Christian church services from now on should be on Monday.

Orthodox priests in Bethlehem attack each other with broomsticks


Broomstick brawl between rival clergymen in Bethlehem (BBC)
Broomstick brawl between rival clergymen in Bethlehem (BBC)

As the January 6 date of the Orthodox Christmas approaches, the Church of the Nativity, believed by many to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, is being cleaned and prepared. On Wednesday, a brawl erupted between Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic clergy, with each side attacking the other with broomsticks. The two denominations each control sections of the church and fiercely guard their turf. The violence broke out when the sides accused each other of crossing into their territory. Palestinian police officers had to intervene in the fight, and separate the two sides. AP

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