Thursday, September 11, 2014

Gaza Violence May Resume, Russia Developing New Nuclear Weapons To Counter NATO

Gaza Violence May Resume If Cairo Talks Fail

Tzachi Hanegbi predicts Hamas will stay quiet for next month, then restart fighting due to lack of political gain

Israel’s deputy foreign minister warned Thursday that Hamas was likely to resume violence if it feels it has made no political gains from upcoming talks in Cairo.

The remarks came just two weeks after Israel and the Islamist movement that dominates Gaza agreed a truce to end a 50-day war that killed more than 2,200 people, some half of whom Israel says were combatants, and caused enormous destruction in the besieged coastal territory.

“There are chances that Hamas will restart its routine of violence; this is a possibility we can’t ignore,” Tzahi Hanegbi told Army Radio.
“The resumption of fighting would not happen in the short term, since Hamas will wait for negotiations in Cairo, as well as the October Gaza donors’ conference.
“But when Hamas understands that the war has not brought them the smallest political success, they could resume fighting.”
Indirect talks between Hamas and Israel are to take place mid-September in Cairo, Palestinian officials say.
Hanegbi reiterated that Israel would reject Hamas’s demands for a port and an airport, and said any building materials going into the Strip would be inspected to ensure they were not used to make weapons or militarily infrastructure.
Palestinian analysts say Hamas has gained popularity from the war, because it is seen as one of the only forces willing to stand up to Israel on the battlefield.
A recent opinion poll found that if a presidential election were held now, Hamas’s former Gaza prime minister Ismail Haniyeh would easily win, taking 61 percent of the votes compared with 32% for West Bank-based president Mahmoud Abbas.

The Palestinian Authority has no intention to deploy forces in the Gaza Strip if there is not also a clear diplomatic end-game initiative between Jerusalem and Ramallah on the horizon, a senior Palestinian source said Wednesday.
But the source also said the US had threatened the PA with sanctions if it takes unilateral moves toward joining international organizations.

There have recently been several conversations between Israeli and Palestinian officials with the hopes of restarting talks, the source said, but in all of them it was apparent that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not have in mind a new diplomatic plan or a map of a future Palestinian state.

Abbas has increasingly voiced a demand that Israel produce a map showing just where it believe the borders of a Palestinian state should be, as a starting point for further negotiations.

“Israel needs to sit with us and write a diplomatic plan that links Gaza and the West Bank, that forms a diplomatic horizon and a peace agreement,” the Palestinian source told The Times of Israel. “But the PA doesn’t aim to send forces to the Gaza Strip or to deploy them there as a buffer force between Israel and Hamas without such a plan. We will reach a situation in which Hamas and Israel will alternately attack us. The PA has no intention to take part in Gaza, or to police Gaza, without a diplomatic horizon.”

Did you know that two Russian bombers practiced launching cruise missiles at the United States from a spot in the North Atlantic just the other day?  And did you know that Russia is spending massive amounts of money to build and test new nuclear weapons systems?  Meanwhile, the Obama administration is doing absolutely nothing to upgrade the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  Our nuclear officers are actually still using floppy disks and other computer technologyfrom the 1960s.  The size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal has been reduced by about 95 percent from the peak of the Cold War, and Barack Obama has spoken of even more dramatic reductions.  Obama is snoozing even as a Russian general speaks of the need to “spell out the conditions under which Russia would launch a preemptive nuclear strike” against the United States.  Obama appears to be entirely convinced that a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia is not even a remote possibility.  He better be right, because we are definitely not prepared for one.

Even with everything that has happened between the United States and Russia lately, most Americans still believe that “the Cold War is over” and that Russia presents absolutely no threat to us.
But Russia is behaving as if the Cold War is still very much on.  You probably didn’t hear a peep about it from the mainstream media, but just the other day a couple of Russian bombers simulated launching cruise missiles at us from the North Atlantic.  The following is an excerpt from an excellent article by Bill Gertz

Two Russian strategic bombers conducted practice cruise missile attacks on the United States during a training mission last week that defense officials say appeared timed to the NATO summit in Wales.
The Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were tracked flying a route across the northern Atlantic near Iceland, Greenland, and Canada’s northeast.
Analysis of the flight indicated the aircraft were conducting practice runs to a pre-determined “launch box”—an optimum point for firing nuclear-armed cruise missiles at U.S. targets, said defense officials familiar with intelligence reports.

And Russia is spending money as if a nuclear confrontation with the U.S. is a very real possibility.  In fact, Russian President Vladimir Putin has committed to a “weapons modernization program” that is going to cost the equivalent of 540 billion dollars

Putin said Russia’s weapons modernization program for 2016-2025 should focus on building a new array of offensive weapons to provide a “guaranteed nuclear deterrent;” re-arming strategic and long-range aviation; creating an aerospace defense system and developing high-precision conventional weapons.
He would not elaborate on prospective weapons, but he and other officials have repeatedly boasted about new Russian nuclear missiles’ capability to penetrate any prospective missile shield.

Russian media is reporting that 60 percent of all Russian nuclear missiles will have radar-evading capability by 2016

Russia’s Defense Ministry plans to complete the rearmament of Strategic Missile Forces within six years.  “By 2016, the share of new missile systems will reach nearly 60%, and by 2021 their share will increase to 98%. At the same time the troop and weapon command systems, combat equipment will be qualitatively improved, first of all — their capabilities for the suppression of antimissile defense will be built up,” Defense Ministry’s RVSN spokesman Colonel Igor Yegorov told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

But of greatest concern is the new generation of nuclear-powered attack submarines armed with long-range cruise missiles that Russia has been developing.
Just this week, Russia conducted a successful test of the new submarine-launched Bulava intercontinental nuclear missile…
Each one of these missiles weighs more than 36 tons and has a range of more than 5,000 miles.
But in a future conflict, they would likely only have to travel a short distance.
That is because Russia has developed super silent attacks subs that arevirtually undetectable when submerged.

Russian subs can come cruising right up to our coasts without us knowing about it and launch missiles which will start hitting our cities within just a few minutes.

Russia carried out a successful test of its new Bulava intercontinental nuclear missile on Wednesday and the head of its naval forces said the country will perform two more test launches in October and November. The 12-metre long Bulava, or mace, has undergone numerous tests, some of which have failed, causing setbacks for the project that aims to be the cornerstone of Russia’s nuclear arsenal over the next decade.
Addressing a Kremlin meeting on weapons modernization plans, Putin said the West shouldn’t be surprised about Moscow’s efforts in view of U.S. missile defence plans and other decisions he said have threatened Russia’s security.
“We have warned many times that we would have to take corresponding countermeasures to ensure our security,” Putin said, adding that he would now take personal charge of the government commission that oversees military industries.

He said the weapons modernization program for 2016-2025 should focus on building a new array of offensive weapons to provide a “guaranteed nuclear deterrent,” re-arming strategic and long-range aviation, creating an aerospace defence system and developing high-precision conventional weapons.
Russia must confront “potential threats to the military security” of the country, Putin said.
He wouldn’t provide any details of prospective weapons, but he and other officials have repeatedly boasted about new Russian nuclear missiles’ capability to penetrate any prospective missile shield.

An international research team has analyzed about a hundred Ebola virus genomes from 78 patients in Sierra Leone. The patients were diagnosed with Ebola in late May to mid June.
The researchers found more than 300 genetic changes that make the 214 Ebola virus genomes distinct from the viral genomes tied to previous Ebola outbreaks.
Moreover, over 50 changes had occurred since the start of the 2014 outbreak, suggesting the virus is in fact mutating.
There are many cases where a change to the genome of an organism has no consequence.
But in this current outbreak of Ebola - with this particular strain - the researchers found a number of genetic mutations had altered proteins in the virus, potentially with disastrous affect.
The team led by Stephen Gire, a scientist with the Sabeti lab at the Broad Institute and Harvard University, wrote about their findings in "Science".

But Stephen Gires says they "don't know whether these differences are related to the severity of the current outbreak."
Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit agrees, saying it is impossible to judge by looking at an altered genome whether the changes will translate to alter the biological appearance of a virus.
"Even if a virus mutates rapidly, it doesn't mean something will happen," Schmidt-Chanasit says.
Many changes are minor. They are bound to happen when a virus spills over from one host to another, and especially in an epidemic, such as the one we are seeing in western Africa.
The area of research which investigates the relationship between genomes and the "behavior" of a virus in the field is called reverse genetics, and it's in its infancy.
Schmidt-Chanasit says that if investigations regarding this behavior in Ebola were to start now, they would take long time to complete, and would be of little help in the current outbreak.

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