[ by Charles Cameron — some recent game references with seriously playful intent ]
Two things, really.
If you read the Jerusalem Post, you’ll likely have seen that:
Iran, Russia, China and Syria will hold the Middle East’s largest ever war game, Iranian news outlets reported quoting unnamed sources.
According to the report, 90,000 troops, 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks from the four countries will take part in land and sea exercises. The war games will feature Russian atomic submarines, according to Iranian media, as well as warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers. Semi-official Iranian FARS news agency stated that the exercise was being planned in coordination with Egypt, which recently acceded to grant the passage of 12 Chinese warships through the Suez Canal. The report stated that the Chinese naval convoy is due to dock in Syrian harbors within the next two weeks.
That’s pretty much on the materiel side of things, IMO.
On the other hand, if you read Joel Rosenberg, you’ll have seen all that and more — and then this:
The story is particularly intriguing — and disturbing — in light of Bible prophecies in Ezekiel 38-39 that indicate a Russian-Iranian military alliance will develop in the “last days” to attack the nation of Israel. In my first nonfiction book, Epicenter, and in my novel, The Ezekiel Option, I describe these prophecies in detail. While it remains too early to know for certain if the “War of Gog and Magog” prophecies are going to be fulfilled in the near future, geopolitical trends in recent years and even in recent months have been curiously consistent with the ancient Biblical text. A militaristic Czar — Vladimir Putin — has risen to power in Russia. Putin is the only Russian leader in history to visit Israel (7 years ago), and is preparing to visit again on June 25, trying to make the Israelis feel comfortable with him. Yet Russia has been selling billions of dollars in arms to Iran and other nations described in the prophecies. Russia is currently sending naval ships and forces to Syria. Israelis are living more securely in the land, and are more prosperous, than ever in their modern history, also consistent with the prophecies.
Followed without a paragraph break by:
And the headline?
That’s more morale than materiel, I’d say!
So that’s Thing One, as Dr Seuss might put it. But what about Thing Two?
The big, apocalyptic war games are for big fellows like Gog, Magog and Putin, guys who can afford to wear the big-boy pants.
What about the little guys and gals?
That, YNet tells us, is where a spot tourism might come in handy…
Gush Etzion has become a hot destination in recent months for tourists seeking an Israeli experience like no other: The opportunity to pretend-shoot a terror operative. Residents of the nearby settlements, who run the site, offer day-trippers a chance to hear stories from the battleground, watch a simulated assassination of terrorists by guards, and fire weapons at the range.
The fact that the tourist attraction is located beyond the Green Line only intensifies the thrill for the visitors, who often appear disappointed when told by their guides that they are not in any danger.
That strikes me as just a tad messianic, too… in a very post-modern sort of way.
Cute pic from that YNet article, photo credit Alex Kolomoisky:
To judge by the surrounding text, that young lady’s from Miami. She’s five.