Saturday, October 23, 2021

China's Aggression Towards Taiwan Tests U.S. Resolve

Chinese aggression toward Taiwan testing U.S. resolve in wake of Afghanistan withdrawal



Recent aggression toward Taiwan by the Chinese communist regime shows that Beijing is looking to test the resolve of the Biden administration, particularly in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, experts tell Fox News.

Beijing, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan, has sent dozens of warplanes over the last month towards the territory’s air defense zone, part of a muscular approach to the region which has been escalating for months. President Xi Jinping has also renewed calls for it to be brought into China, calling for "peaceful reunification."

Beijing views Taiwan as a breakaway province and claims that it is part of its own territory. The two countries split in 1949 and China has been increasing pressure on the self-ruled nation, while opposing its involvement in international organizations such as at the United Nations. The U.S. does not formally recognize Taiwan, but maintains an unofficial relationship and is supportive of its democratic government.

"And probably the proximate cause of the most recent escalation and probing has to do with our sloppy and unfortunate disaster with respect to the withdrawal from Afghanistan."

The withdrawal at the end of August is seen as having damaged U.S. standing and commitment abroad, and Chinese state media used the chaotic departure as an opportunity to mock the U.S.

"U.S. just showed the world that it’s unable or unwilling to confront a small adversary in Afghanistan with very basic weapons," the state-controlled Global Times tweeted. "So in the future, when it urges its allies to challenge major powers like China and Russia, very few would follow."


Heino Klinck, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense for East Asia, noted that aggression has preceded the withdrawal, but he believes it feeds a narrative of U.S. weakness.

"We have seen a marked increase in Chinese aggressiveness and assertiveness over the past year, so you could argue this is not something new and associated with the withdrawal from Afghanistan, although the withdrawal from Afghanistan feeds the Chinese narrative of inevitable decline of U.S. power," he said.

He warned that a failure by the U.S. to support Taiwan could be even more damaging to the U.S. reputation abroad.




Confrontation With China Puts West On Dangerous New Ground


NATO's dodgy geography: US-led bloc's insistence on moving on from Russia to confront China will put West on dangerous new ground

Tarik Cyril Amar


The general secretary of NATO has told the Financial Times that there's a new foe in town. After decades of sparring with the Soviet Union, and Russia, the bloc is firmly setting its sights on a different standoff – with China.

Putting aside the diplomatic niceties, his pitch is simple: NATO should turn its attention to Beijing. To put it more bluntly than Stoltenberg did, the US’ European partners should follow Washington into a new, openly-declared Cold War in East Asia.

The pitch belies the fact President Joe Biden is offering NATO members a deal they are not supposed to refuse. Either you help us in our new Cold War against China on which we have decided alone, or we will no longer help you feel safe from Russia. As Stoltenberg puts it, for America, NATO is “not something they do to be nice to Europe.” Instead, he reminds us, for Washington, allies must fit their national interests.

In other words, now that the endless 'wars on terror’ are winding down, the US has identified its new geopolitical enemy number one, Beijing. The Pentagon and the attached military-industrial complex – as president Eisenhower once called it – must be kept in business after all.

And America expects its NATO allies to go along. Otherwise, the general secretary’s implication is almost rudely clear, NATO might lose its usefulness for America. And since, it isn’t investing in the alliance to 'be nice’ but out of its own self-interest, Washington might then turn its back on it, either perhaps by demonstratively slamming the door, as former President Trump threatened to do, or quietly by simply shifting its attention, money, and military might away.

Yet there is a problem. NATO was built for a specific purpose: as its first British general secretary famously put it, to “keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”Whatever you think about today’s Russians and Germans, one thing is certain. A pact named the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was never meant to take care of the Pacific or deal with China.

The purpose of Stoltenberg’s far-fetched, if increasingly popular, story is to convince us that that does not matter now. For him, NATO is a sort of limitless transformer: As with the ‘war on terror’, we are once again asked to forget what NATO was actually designed to do and pretend that it can do anything else as well. And how do we know what that anything else is on any given day? That’s, actually, really simple: we check with Washington.


More...

Friday, October 22, 2021

The Stage Is Set:

The Stage is Set for the End Times
Britt Gillette



As a student of bible prophecy for almost 30 years, and specifically end times bible prophecy, no other time has seemed as close to the end times as right now. Why do I say this? Because, particularly in the past year, the geopolitical and economic stage has been set for the fulfillment of several end times prophecies. We now have several potential crises on the horizon. And those potential crises are the same ones the Bible says we’ll experience either in the Tribulation or the days immediately preceding the Tribulation. Below are just a few:

The Gog Of Magog War

The Bible points to a future attack on Israel known as the Gog of Magog War (Ezekiel 38-39). It says a military alliance that includes Russia, Iran, Turkey, and a number of Muslim nations will attack Israel “in the latter days” (Ezekiel 38:8) when God brings His people home from among the enemy nations (Ezekiel 39:27). Today, we see those nations forming an alliance for the first time – an alliance that has never existed in world history. Russia, Iran, and Turkey all have an active military presence in Syria, meaning they’re right on Israel’s northern border at this moment. Why is this important? Because Ezekiel specifically says this alliance will attack Israel from the north (Ezekiel 38:15; Ezekiel 39:2). In addition, the ancient territory of Magog covers a number of modern day nations, one of which is Afghanistan. Up until recently, it was difficult to imagine U.S. occupied Afghanistan joining the Gog of Magog invasion. But now? With the Taliban back in control, it would be odd if they didn’t join this invading alliance. The way nations are aligned today, the Gog of Magog invasion could take place tomorrow. All the pieces are in place. Even just a few years ago, that wasn’t the case.

Global War Prospects

While “rumors of war” have been common since the end of World War II, the current situation is different. The world is in the midst of an energy crisis. Europe has seen natural gas prices surge in the past month. China and India are experiencing rolling blackouts of electrical service. Not only will this create problems in an already broken global supply chain, but these are the conditions which often give rise to war. And energy resource issues could provide the spark that ignites the next world war.

For example, China threatens to invade Taiwan on an almost daily basis. If China does invade, the United States claims it will defend Taiwan. If it occurs, such a conflict will devastate the world. Both China and the U.S. are nuclear powers, and both likely have high-tech space weapons, cyberwarfare capabilities, and innovative weapons never before seen on a battlefield. Such a conflict could easily erupt into World War III. Even if it doesn’t, the global economy would collapse and the global supply chain would be irreparably broken if the two largest economic powers went to war.


The same is true in regard to Israel and Iran. Both nations have been engaged in a type of “cold war” for years, and with each passing month, the prospect of all-out war only increases. A conflict between the two could pull the Middle East and the entire world into a cataclysmic war.

Throw in India’s border disputes with China and Pakistan as well as North Korea’s belligerence toward its neighbors and the United States, and the prospects of global war are probably the highest they’ve been in the post-Cold War era. At any moment, a flare up in any one of several hotspots could cascade into a global war. Yet, contrary to popular belief, the world will survive World War III. The death toll will be enormous, but the human race won’t be annihilated (Revelation 6:4). The Bible says a global war will kick off the Tribulation and precede the global rule of the Antichrist. Right now, the odds of a devastating global war appear high.


The Rising Mark Of The Beast System

Throughout the world, governments are pushing COVID vaccines. Those who refuse the jab face a long list of penalties, including loss of employment, healthcare, freedom of movement, and liberty in general. Those pushing vaccine mandates and vaccine passports seek to coerce people into compliance. The goal is to ostracize the unvaccinated from society.

If these coercive policies remain in place, they’ll create a mark of the beast system indistinguishable in impact from the true mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16). In doing so, they’ll pave the way for the rise of the Antichrist and the actual mark of the beast as outlined in the Book of Revelation.

The Bible says those who refuse the mark of the beast will be shut out of the global economy. They’ll be unable to buy or sell anything without it (Revelation 13:17). Today, we see the stage being set for the fulfillment of this prophecy. In some places, vaccine passports are required to appear anywhere in public, including grocery stores. Is it really hard to believe they’ll one day be required to engage in any buy/sell transactions?

The Days Of Noah And Lot

Jesus said when He returns, the world will be “like it was in the days of Noah” (Matthew 24:37). Jesus said, “In those days before the flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. People didn’t realize what was going to happen until the flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes.” Matthew 24:38-39 (NLT)

Is this what we see in the world today? I think so. Even after 19 months of a global pandemic, a global supply chain crisis, and threats of war, people are still enjoying banquets and parties and weddings. In other words, much of life remains normal. After a series of events that should have shaken the world from its slumber, most people continue to go about their daily lives unaware of the times in which we live.

The times in which we live are clear to anyone who knows the Bible. We are living in the days just before the Tribulation takes place. Jesus will soon return to take His church (1 Corinthians 15:51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). How can I be so sure? Because Jesus says so. Jesus said when you see all the signs He and the prophets said to look for, you should look up (Luke 21:28), and we see those signs right now.

The Convergence Of Signs

So what are these signs? Jesus and the prophets pointed to dozens and dozens of signs. This article only cites a few, but each one is undeniable. Their convergence for the first time in history tells us the return of the Lord is close at hand. In addition to the events already mentioned, these signs include:

– Israel Back in the Land (Jeremiah 23:7-8; Ezekiel 39:28; Isaiah 11:12; Psalm 107:3; Ezekiel 20:34; Isaiah 11:11-12)
– The Jewish People in Control of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24-28)
– The Gospel Preached Throughout the World (Matthew 24:14)
– An Increase in Travel and Knowledge (Daniel 12:4)
– Arrival of the Exponential Curve (Matthew 24:3‐8)
– Israel Surrounded by Enemies (Psalm 83:4; Psalm 83:12; Ezekiel 11:14‐17; Ezekiel 35:10)
– Israel’s Exceedingly Great Army (Ezekiel 37:10; Zechariah 12:6; Zechariah 12:8)
– The Rise of a United Europe (Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Revelation 17)
– The Rise of a Global Government (Revelation 13:7-17)
– The State of Mankind (2 Timothy 3:1-4)
– Denial of the Signs (2 Peter 3:3‐4)






Putin: NATO Presence In Ukraine 'Already Underway' Posing 'Real Threat' To Russia

NATO Presence In Ukraine "Already Underway" Poses "Real Threat" To Russia: Putin
 TYLER DURDEN



Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued statements in reaction to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin's official visit to Ukraine, Romania and Georgia this week where Austin told Ukrainian leaders there's an "open door to NATO" membership if the necessary defense spending and anti-corruption reforms are made. 

"The military development of the territory [of Ukraine] is already underway, and this really poses a threat to Russia. We are aware of this," Putin said in public remarks Thursday before the Valdai International Discussion Club. "Let's see what will happen on the domestic political scene of Ukraine in the near future," he said.


"The Secretary of Defense has arrived, in fact, opening the doors for Ukraine to NATO, in fact, his statement should and can be interpreted in this way," Putin added.


However, the Russian leader suggested that NATO membership and the ensuing inevitable confrontation with Russia would not fundamentally arise through the will of the people, but through a West-backed clique of rulers holding "extreme political views".

"The Ukrainian people are not allowed and will not be allowed to form governing bodies that will directly represent their interests... Ukraine is realistically ruled by a small group of people who claim to have won the struggle for independence and who hold extreme political views, regardless of who the head of the state is in name," Putin said accordingto translations in Russian media.

"The silent majority voted for them in the hopes that they would fulfil their election promises, but the not so silent, aggressive nationalist minority suppressed their freedom to make decisions expected by the Ukrainian population. They are the ones to truly run the country," Putin described.


On Tuesday while meeting with top Ukrainian officials in Kiev, Defense Secretary Austin had called out Russia as an "obstacle to peace" in the region. 

"Let's be clear, that Russia started this war and Russia is the obstacle to a peaceful resolution," Austin said during a joint briefing with his Ukrainian counterpart Andriy Taran.

"So we again call on Russia to end its occupation of Crimea, to stop perpetuating the war in eastern Ukraine, to end its destabilizing activities in the Black Sea and along Ukraine's borders," Austin said.


That prompted immediate warnings from the Kremlin of its "red lines" which would require "active measures". Austin had also charged that Russian intelligence has been carrying out "persistent cyberattacks" and demanded an immediate halt to its actions against the West.

It was Austin's second trip to Ukraine in less than two months, as Washington and Kiev work to lay the groundwork for deepening defense cooperation. Moscow has of late made veiled threats of launching military action should it perceive that NATO is expanding its military presence and base infrastructure into Ukraine.


NIH Admits Funding 'Gain-Of-Function' Covid Experiments

NIH Admits Funding Gain-Of-Function COVID Experiments; Gives EcoHealth Five Days To Report Data

TYLER DURDEN


A top NIH official admitted in a Wednesday letter that the US-funded so-called "gain-of-function" research in Wuhan, China - and that the US nonprofit which conducted it, EcoHealth Alliance - led by the controversial Peter Daszak, "failed to report" that they had created a chimeric bat coronavirus which could infect humans.

In a letter addressed to Rep. James Comer (R-KY), NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence A. Tabak cites a "limited experiment" to determine whether "spike proteins from naturally occurring bat coronaviruses circulating in China were capable of binding to the human ACE2 receptor in a mouse model." According to the letter, humanized mice infected with the modified bat virus "became sicker" than those exposed to an unmodified version of the same bat coronavirus.


Daszak failed to report this finding, and has been given five days to submit "any and all unpublished data from the experiments and work conducted" under the NIH grant.

Rutgers University Board of Governors Chemistry Professor Richard H. Ebright sums it up. :

The NIH received the relevant documents in 2018 and reviewed the documents in 2020 and again in 2021. The NIH--specifically, Collins, Fauci, and Tabak--lied to Congress, lied to the press, and lied to the public. Knowingly. Willfully. Brazenly.

While Tabak's letter goes to great lengths to insist that EcoHealth's work couldn't have produced SARS-CoV-2, it absolutely vindicates Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who Fauci repeatedly called a liar in July for accusing him of funding GoF research in Wuhan, China.

As we noted in Septemberproof that the US funded of GoF research was blown wide open thanks to materials (here and here) released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by The Intercept against the National Institutes of Health, revealing that EcoHealth was paid to make chimeric SARS-based Covid that they confirmed could infect human cells.

While evidence of this research has been pointed to in published studies, the FOIA release provides a key piece to the puzzle which sheds new light on what was going on.

"This is a roadmap to the high-risk research that could have led to the current pandemic," said Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right To Know, a group that has been investigating the origins of Covid-19 (via The Intercept).

We also learned in September that 18 months before the Pandemic, Daszak applied for a grant to release enhanced airborne coronaviruses into the wild in an effort to inoculate them against diseases that could have otherwise jumped to humans, according to The Telegraph, citing leaked grant proposals from 2018.