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Two events in the Middle East indicate that mounting tensions between Israel and Iran may soon result in military action by Israel. In early August, the Bushehr civilian nuclear power plant became operational. About the same time, the U.S. Department of Defense asked Congress to approve the sale of massive quantities of military grade jet fuel to Israel, along with substantial amounts of diesel and unleaded gasoline designated for military use.
According to a report by Asia News analyst Maurizio d’Orlando, the fuel purchases represent an enormous increase from what Israel bought in July 2009.
Israel in early August ordered 284 million gallons of JP-8 aviation fuel, a special kerosene-based jet fuel suitable for military use only, plus 100 million gallons of diesel fuel and 60 million of unleaded gasoline, also for military use. The total bill is expected to reach US $2 billion.
By comparison, the last fuel order the State of Israel placed with the United States was on 15 July 2008, when it ordered 186 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel, 54 million gallons of diesel fuel and 28 million gallons of unleaded gasoline at an estimated cost of $1.3 billion.
Before that, on 24 August 2007, Israel had ordered 90 million gallons of JP-8 fuel and 42 million gallons of diesel fuel, for an estimated cost of US $308 million. Further back, on 14 July 2006, it had ordered an unspecified amount of JP-8 fuel, for an estimated cost of US $210 million.
The increase in U.S. fuel supplies to Israel is plain for all to see, between 2006 and 2010 it went up tenfold.
At the same time, anxiety over Iran’s potential to develop nuclear weapons has many inside Israel calling for immediate military action to halt the development of Iran’s nuclear capability. This would mean, of course, an attack upon Iran’s nuclear power plant, which was made operational with Russian assistance. Such an attack would involve sorties by Israel’s air force, which would consume huge amounts of jet fuel.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, was pressing for an attack on the power plant before it was loaded with nuclear fuel. Now, such an attack may harm the civilian population by the spread of radiation. The Obama Administration estimates that it will take Iran about a year to turn its uranium into weapons-grade material and has shown a reluctance to take any immediate action.
Meanwhile, Iran continues its own saber-rattling, test-firing a new Fateh 110 missile and announcing its unmanned bomber drone with a range of 620 miles.
The United States has prevented Iran from obtaining improved technology for oil refining, thus providing Iranian President Ahmadinejad with a rationale for the development of nuclear power. Should Iran improve its refining capacity, this would only strengthen the regime by increasing its fuel supply and bolstering it economically.
There appears to be no desirable alternative to any policy that might be adopted by the United States or Israel; nor is it clear how Iran — or Russia — would respond to a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities. In any event, as d’Orlando notes, the stage is set for a “big blast.”
The only solution to the situation that has not been explored by the main players is the only one that will work: the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Failing this Consecration, we know that “nations will be annihilated,” according to Our Lady’s words. When human prudence and all its proposals fail, perhaps then men will look to Heaven’s guidance. But it would be good to look sooner than later.