Saturday, September 30, 2017

Russia, Turkey And Iran - The Alliance Of Ezekiel 38-39 Comes Together

On the eve of Yom Kippur, “Putin in Ankara to forge alliance of Russia, Turkey & Iran.” Here’s why that’s interesting. « Joel C. Rosenberg

The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel wrote some 2,500 years ago that in the “last days” of history, the Jewish people will be gathered back to the land of Israel from all the nations where they have been scattered and exiled, they will rebuild the State of Israel, and they will create a nation of ever-increasing security and prosperity.

At that time, Ezekiel indicates an evil dictator identified as “Gog” will rise up in Russia (known in Biblical times as “Magog”) who will form an alliance with Iran (known in Biblical times as “Persia”), Turkey (known in Biblical times as “Gomer”), and several other Middle Eastern and North African countries. Together, this alliance will surround and then seek to attack and consume Israel and the Jewish people.

Skeptics of the Bible dismiss all talk of prophecy as uneducated, unsophisticated and downright ridiculous, despite the fact that over the last century we’ve been seeing one Bible prophecy after another come to pass:

  • Jews from all over the world have been streaming back to live in the Land of Israel (myself included)
  • Israelis have been rebuilding the ancient ruins and building a modern, flourishing, prosperous economy.
  • Israelis have been creating the strongest and most successful military in the entire Middle East, have forged an enduring alliance with the world’s only superpower, and feel more secure today than ever in their modern existence.
So some of us find headlines like these particularly interesting:

  • Putin’s visit to Ankara comes a few days prior to the scheduled visit of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s to Moscow on October 5-7, 2017. After patching up an acrimonious row between the countries over the downing of a Russian jetfighter in November 2015 over Syria, both leaders have pledged to restore their political and economic relations to pre-crisis levels….
  • Moscow called for a peace conference in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, which involved Turkey and Iran. The countries formed a diplomatic triad for setting up de-escalation zones in Syria in order to end the war and stop the division of the country. Russia chose Astana as a venue for the talks to send a message to the US that it should not get close to Russian borders through former republics of the Soviet Union….
  • Turkish leadership is seeking strategic relationship with Russia to replace the loss of its Western alliance. In other words, Ankara is effecting a shift toward a more “Eurasian-ist” orientation due to the proximity of the region, the overlapping of interests, common cultural values and language.
  • After winning the war in Syria, Russia is now seeking to ensure its peace – a mission no less difficult than going to war. Initially, Russia used Turkey as a key partner to make the Syrian opposition accept a truce and join peace talks for reaching a political settlement….
  • Russian-Turkish bilateral relations have several common traits: pragmatism, multi-faceted approach, commonalities, reliance on energy resources, geopolitical power, military performance, circumspection toward the West. All of this has fueled the Russian and Turkish pursuit to play a pivotal role at the Eurasian and Middle Eastern landscapes….

  • In 2014, Putin and Erdogan signed several agreements on bilateral trade with the two countries hoping that their annual trade volume would reach $100 billion by 2020. However, the most important achievement of the meeting was the agreement to expand cooperation in natural gas trade. Russia aimed through these agreements to also increase its gas exports to Turkey by more than 3 billion cubic meters because of the latter’s increasing need for energy.
  • Turkey imports 93 percent of its energy needs, 97 percent of which is natural gas. Ankara buy 60 percent of its gas from Russia, which makes it the second largest importer of Russian natural gas after Germany. The value of Turkish exports to Russia does not exceed $6 billion….
  • The recent military rapprochement between Ankara and Moscow with the S-400 deal has upset NATO officials because the Russian system, an anti-air defense system, is incompatible with NATO’s. With this deal, Russia will be the third biggest arms exporter to Turkey after Germany and the US.
  • Erdogan, who plans to visit Iran in October to bolster military cooperation, will also be discussing the repercussions of any independent Kurdish state that might inflame separatist tensions in Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria….

To be clear, I’m not saying that as Yom Kippur begins this year, Israel faces an imminent threat of attack from Russia, Turkey or Iran. Nor am I saying that this week’s meeting between Putin and Erdogan necessarily fulfills Biblical prophecy. It’s simply too early to say whether the alliances that are forming between have Biblical significance. Likewise, it’s also too early to say that Putin is Gog, though he certainly seems “Gog-esque.” We simply don’t have enough information, so we should not be quick to draw conclusions.

That said, even skeptics of the Bible should find recent events not only troubling geopolitically, but also curiously consistent with the words of the ancient Hebrew prophet Ezekiel. I certainly do.

Rumors Of War: Why War With N Korea Is Inevitable, How S Korea Would Strike N Korea In A War

Why War with North Korea Is Inevitable

Why War with North Korea Is Inevitable
This July I outlined the case for war against North Korea, contingent on the failure of diplomacy and Kim Jong-Un’s continued march towards a long-range nuclear ICBM capability.
Six weeks on North Korea has tested an ICBM, fired two missiles over Japan, and detonated a hydrogen bomb.

Events are unfolding as predicted. The strategic arguments are exhaustively interrogated in the four-part debate between myself and Dr. David Santoro (part 1part 2part 3part 4). The analysis remains unchanged, except to say that diplomatic avenues look bleak, time is running out, and the cost of war mounts daily as North Korea prepares and fortifies.
This piece focuses on the reasons why deterrence is destined for failure and war on the peninsula is increasingly inevitable. A future piece will discuss the ethics of embarking on second Korean war (and those of advocating it).

Why deterrence cannot work and shouldn’t be attempted
Many believe that North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons, along with its conventional arsenal, rules out war.

A conflict would indeed prove more horrific than many apprehend, and being enthused by the prospect of another Korean war would truly be insane. However, what is even more insane is telling the President of the United States that the greatest nation in history, and all its 300 million+ citizens, must live in the shadow of annihilation at the whims of a sadistic cult. This is simply not going to happen, and observers insisting that there is no military option ignore reality and all senior members of this administration and the president himself. The United States will not live with a North Korea that can destroy American cities with a nuclear-tipped ICBM, end of story.

Those arguing against war insist that traditional nuclear deterrence with North Korea can work, just like with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Before proceeding everyone should re-read the last paragraph and understand fully that their argument is an academic exercise and not a realistic course of action. They are also totally wrong, for these reasons:

1. Deterrence has already failed
North Korea’s nuclear weapons are not merely about regime survival, for all would agree that its existing capabilities are more than sufficient for dissuading unprovoked regime change. Rather, it seeks mutual nuclear vulnerability with the United States to prevent military responses to North Korea’s current and future aggression towards U.S. allies in the region.  

This is already being demonstrated. On September 14, North Korea stated that:
“The four islands of the [Japanese] archipelago should be sunken into the sea by the nuclear bomb of Juche. Japan is no longer needed to exist near us.”
Hardly a declaration that nuclear weapons are for deterrence! The very next day residents on Hokkaido island received a text – ‘a missile from North Korea has been detected, take cover.'
Any suggestion that there is a ‘lock step’ allied response to these provocations is absurd. Imagine it was Hawaii that North Korea proclaimed would be ‘sunk’ and American citizens receiving texts with missiles flying overhead. Washington’s response would be starkly different.
Maybe North Korea could be deterred from launching a nuclear weapon directly against the United States (and none can be certain of that). Once North Korea possesses dozens of nuclear-tipped ICBMs, however, it can attack U.S. allies and even embark on a second Korean war knowing there isn’t a thing the United States can do about it without inviting a massive and unacceptable nuclear retaliation. This fact is not lost on Japan, Korea, or even Australia. Consequently, U.S. alliances in Asia will fast unravel.

2. North Korea is not the Soviet Union or China
This seemed so obvious that when the comparison was first made I regrettably ignored it. Since then there has been an increasing number of deterrence advocates who use the Soviet Union or China as examples to support their case.
Starting with the basics, deterrence can only exist when an adversary would have undertaken the action if not for the deterrent. In the case of China, there was never a prospect of Mao launching a nuclear strike against the United States, regardless of America’s own nuclear arsenal. Nor did America’s nuclear weapons deter China in any way – China fought the Korean war decades before the taboo against nuclear use had been established, and at a time when China did not even possess nuclear weapons!

Moreover, the capabilities and doctrine between Mao’s China and North Korea could not be more different. China did not possess any means of delivering a nuclear weapon to the United States until long after bilateral relations had been normalized. China also instituted a minimum-deterrent and no-first-use policy (maintained to this day), targeted at no specific country. Meanwhile, North Korea pursues nuclear ICBMs with gusto and constantly threatens the United States with nuclear destruction. Certainly, those in the 1960s who insisted that America could not live with a nuclear-armed China were fools, but to draw that comparison with North Korea today is spurious.

The Soviet case is equally broken. For most of the Cold War, the United States believed itself the conventionally inferior party that had to compensate with nuclear weapons. America’s objective was not to deter a Soviet nuclear attack but rather an invasion of Western Europe. Soviet domination of Western Europe would have posed such an existential threat to the United States that it was credible for America to initiate a nuclear war to prevent it. This credibility was underscored by the fact that two European NATO allies possessed their own nuclear deterrents and could retaliate to an attack on behalf of themselves.

By contrast, it is not credible that the United States will incur large-scale nuclear attack from North Korea on behalf of South Korea or even Japan. Unification of the peninsula under Pyongyang would not threaten America’s existence. The North Koreans know this and will therefore not be deterred.
Others say that Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) is the answer. The reason being that deterrence by punishment (nuclear retaliation) can be combined with deterrence by denial (thwarting an attack) to effectively deter hostile aggression. After all, if North Korea believes that America can shoot down its ICBMs, it is less likely to engage in hostile acts in the first place.
The incentive for North Korea is exactly opposite. Far from avoiding threatening America’s core interests, doing so directly advances Pyongyang’s own strategic goals. This is because the costs to the United States of intervening will greatly outweigh those of acquiescing to what are, relative to major power competitors, modest North Korean objectives (even though the long-term consequences for the United States’ position in Asia is profound). Moreover, unlike with America’s major power rivals, any level of American military intervention taken against North Korea would necessarily be interpreted by Pyongyang as an existential threat to regime survival, meaning that dramatic escalation is assured and not merely a risk. In short, North Korea will increasingly engage in hostile aggression below the nuclear threshold, without fear of conflict. The bottom line is that the United States will be deterred, not North Korea, despite the wide gap between their respective nuclear capabilities.

In timeless wisdom, the Ancient Greek historian Thucydides outlined the three causes of war: fear, honor, and interest. All three are at play on the Korean peninsula. The United States fears a North Korean nuclear weapon could detonate over an American city. Its status as a major power in Asia and credibility as an ally is on the line. And it has profound interests in North Korea not becoming an established nuclear power.
At present, only two nations can credibly threaten the United States with nuclear destruction, Russia, and China. A North Korean nuclear ICBM is entry to a very exclusive club. If this picture seems wrong instinctively, it is. Some with impressive nuclear resumes believe traditional nuclear deterrence strategies are adaptable to North Korea. They are totally wrong about this, and no-one should be seduced by this fantasy.

Creative diplomatic solutions have been suggested, of which former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s ‘Grand Bargain’ is likely the best. But the probability of success is desperately remote and time is fast running out. War is the inevitable, and only, alternative.

The F-15K Slam Eagle: How South Korea Would Strike North Korea in a War

On September 13, 2017 the Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) test-fired a Taurus cruise missile in response to a North Korean ballistic missile test. In this video, you can see as an F-15K launch the boxy weapon, which plunges straight through the roof of a practice target, penetrating into the ground below before its main warhead detonates.

For decades, the South Korean military has had to prepare for a conflict in which its cities, especially the capital of Seoul, would be on the receiving end of a North Korean artillery, chemical weapons and ballistic missiles. Now, such an onslaught might potentially include nuclear warheads. Though such a scenario must be avoided at all costs, should it occur, it would be vital for South Korean and U.S. forces to destroy these heavily fortified missile and artillery sites as swiftly as possible.

That’s the mission assigned to the sixty F-15K Slam Eagles in the Republic of Korea Air Force. Based on the F-15E Strike Eagle fighter bomber in U.S. Air Force, the Slam Eagles have souped-up sensors and electronic warfare systems, and now are loaded with bunker-busting cruise missiles to blast open North Korean missile silos.
Those weapons could also be employed in an attempt to decapitate North Korean leadership in a fortified bunker, a point the South Korean military surely hoped to illustrate when it released the video.

South Korea’s Slam Eagles
The Strike Eagle is a fighter-bomber variant of the F-15 Eagle, loaded with extra weapons pylons, fuel tanks and sensors at the cost of modestly decreased thrust-to-weight ratio and maneuverability. The two-seat jets can still sprint at two-and-a-half times the speed of sound, and can lug an extraordinary 23,000 pounds of weapons, nearly three times the bomb load of a strategic bomber in World War II. On the downside, the large, twin-engine F-15 is much more expensive to operate than, say, a single-engine F-16, though the additional turbofan does contribute to a lower accident rate.
South Korea chose to procure forty F-15Ks in 2002 for $4.2 billion as the first part of a three-phase F-X program to modernize its jet fighter force, beating out the Eurofighter Typhoon, the French Rafale and an earlier variant of the Su-35. Nearly 40 percent of the components were built by Korean firms, including fuselage, wings, and much of the avionics, then were assembled by Boeing in St. Louis, Missouri.

Because the new Slam Eagles came more than a decade after the F-15E entered service, they could be outfitted at the outset with then-new technologies including flat-screen displays in the cockpit that are compatible with night-vision goggles, and a Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System permitting a pilot to acquire aerial targets for short-range AIM-9X missiles merely by pointing his or her head at them.

On the other hand, North Korea has quite a few surface-to-air missiles, though again only a fraction of them are modern types. To counter that threat, the F-15K boasts a lighter but more powerful Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite than found on the F-15E, including an ALQ-135M countermeasure system with faster processors that can track and jam multiple incoming SAMs and an ALE-47 chaff and flare dispensers that times and aims the release of the decoys for maximum missile confusion.

Will Kim Jong Un Be Allowed To Kill Millions Of Americans On Behalf Of Political Correctness?

Contrary to the prevailing view in the press, academia, and among Democrats and establishment Republicans, President Trump and National Security Advisor, Lt. General McMaster are right that there are many realistic military options for disarming North Korea's nuclear threat. What might some of these options look like? 

Order of Battle 

Below is North Korea's Order of Battle-those assets that pose, or may pose, a nuclear threat to the United States and U.S. allies-arrayed in order of priority for destruction: 

1) Satellites (KMS-3, KMS-4)   -  2 
2) ICBMs (KN-08, KN-14, Other)  -  12 
3) Yongbyon Nuclear Complex  -  1 
4) SLBMs (Simpo-1, 12 building)  -  13 
5) Bombers (mostly non-nuclear)  -  60 
6) IRBMs (Musudan)   - 30-50 
7) MRBMs (mostly non-nuclear)   - 300-450 
8) SRBMs (mostly non-nuclear)   - 600-800 
The U.S. intelligence community reportedly now estimates North Korea has 60 nuclear weapons, including atomic (A-Bomb) and thermonuclear (H-Bomb) missile warheads. North Korea's ICBMs and IRBMs are probably mostly or all nuclear-armed, as these are their costliest, longest-range, and most strategically important missiles, which would be largely useless without nuclear warheads. The remainder of North Korea's nuclear weapons are probably scattered among their MRBMs, SRBMs, and bombers. 

Elsewhere I have argued the U.S. intelligence community is probably underestimating the number of North Korean nuclear weapons. North Korea probably has covert facilities hidden among its many underground tunnels for making nuclear weapons, not just the overt Yongbyon Nuclear Complex. (See "Underestimating the North Korean Nuclear Threat" Secure Freedom Quarterly, 2nd Quarter 2016.) 

The North Korean Order of Battle, with about 40-60 ICBMs and IRBMs, suggests North Korea would want more than 60 nuclear weapons to better arm its MRBMs, SRBMs, and bombers for tactical nuclear strikes. A conservative military planner would want a better balance between strategic and tactical nuclear capabilities. 

If only out of an abundance of caution, we should assume that North Korea probably has 100-120 nuclear weapons evenly divided between strategic and tactical delivery systems. 

Another Volcano Erupts: Costa Rican Turrialba Spews Gas And Ash 4,140 Meters Above Sea Level, Just One Crisis Away From Cashless

Costa Rican colossus Turrialba Volcano erupts and spews gas and ash 4,140 meters above the sea level as another volcano gets in on the act

Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica registered important eruptions of gases and ashes that have reached up to 800 meters above the crater and 4,140 meters above the sea level (13,579.2 ft.).

The first eruption of importance took place at 5:30 a.m. this Thursday morning, and reached 500 meters above the crater, a second and stronger eruption occurred at 8:25 a.m. of 700 meters above the crater and the biggest eruption was registered at 3:23 p.m.

The wind is carrying volcanic ash mainly to the west-southwest, and nearby communities register a mild smell of sulphur.

Turrialba Volcano entered an active period in 1990 and since 2010 it has had episodes of explosive activity; currently, the volcano has frequent strombolian eruptions (relatively mildly explosive eruptions) that shoot fragments of hot rock to a distance of as much as 500 meters.

According to experts, the volcano will continue with frequent eruptions for a long period until the magmatic body crystallizes and cools off.

Access to the volcano is restricted in a radio of 2 kilometres sometimes with an extension to 5 kilometres when required.

The spectacle of the active volcano can be appreciated from a safe distance in the surrounding areas.

Countries around the world are racing to go cashless. India, South Korea, Sweden. Governments have myriad reasons to want to do so. Cashless paradigms can stop crime. Drug dealing would become harder.  Tax evasion would become difficult. Terrorism would be stifled. Without untraceable cash, trafficking in illegal weaponry would become extraordinarily difficult.

"We wanted to minimise the risk of robberies and it's quicker with the customers when they pay by card," says Victoria Nilsson [in Sweden], who manages two of the bakery chain's 16 stores across the city. -- BBC

So why would the Swedes be rushing to give banking institutions control of one of the last areas of total autonomy available to modern man, fungible cash? Apparently, naivete is a Swedish trait.

"Swedes tend to trust banks, we trust institutions... people are not afraid of the sort-of 'Big Brother' issues or fraud connected to electronic payment."

Somewhat paradoxically, Sweden's decision to update its coins and banknotes, a move announced by the Riksbank in 2010 and fully implemented this year, actually boosted cashless transactions, explains Prof Arvidsson. -- BBC

India had a barely modern system of records just a few years ago.

Before 2009, half of all Indians didn’t have any form of identification, not even a birth certificate.
Without a form of identification, citizens couldn’t access services like banking, insurance, or even get a driver’s license. As such, many opportunities like starting a business were not available to them. -- Business Insider

Yet, India may be poised to become the first cashless country on the planet. Prime Minister Modi's administration acted "to ban 85% of the currency in circulation" in 2016. Indians were given an Aadhaar number.

Aadhaar is a biometric database based on a 12-digit digital identity, authenticated by finger prints and retina scans.
It became the largest and most successful IT project ever. As of 2016, 1.1 billion people (95% of the population) had a digital proof of identity. -- Business Insider

That is an amazing -- no, actually, a frightening -- turnaround.  From backward technology to leader of the pack, almost overnight. The system is total and complete in scope. India added another system using Aadhaar, called India Stack:

India Stack allows citizens to open a bank account or brokerage account, buy a mutual fund, or share medical records anywhere in India with just a fingerprint or retinal scan from Aadhaar.
Put simply, India Stack could be the framework for a new digital society. -- Business Insider

As Business Insider pointed out, if this could happen to India in just a few years, this process can be replicated anywhere in the planet.

The Swedes seem to be in a race with India.
Puerto Rico's example does pose a problem, though. What do people do when the grid comes down, due to hurricane or disaster? Do all transactions have to stop until the grid is back up? 

The powers-that-be see the potential of blockchain technologies, and want to hijack it to their own ends. Of course, they will improve the convenience of it as it becomes universally accepted. It will offer the appearance of fungible transactions -- individuals can transact when the grid is down. So it will seem like cash. However, identity will not be kept anonymous. In cases like Puerto Rico, once the grid is back up, the authorities will have a record of every transaction made in the interim; and by whom it was made. The last aspect will not be touted to the public.
The state/banks will have almost total control of the individual's life when that occurs. Of course, someone will say that smart devices can be stolen. Yes, they can; and that will occur, mind you. But the authorities already have a solution to prevent such theft.
And he [the final dictator] causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. -- Rev 13:16-17

Even now, people are already lining up to be chipped.

At first blush, it sounds like the talk of a conspiracy theorist: a company [Three Square Market] implanting microchips under employees’ skin. But it’s not a conspiracy, and employees are lining up for the opportunity. -- NY Times, July 25 2017

Using India as our example, this transition can be effected rather rapidly. Using Sweden as an example, much of the population will actually welcome it.
The only opposition to this will be common sense -- always in short supply -- and the Christian religion, which made a point of warning against such a tyranny. But, Christianity has been attacked for decades.
We are only one crisis away; and the public has been prepared to accept what is coming. They will welcome it.  And, thanks to companies like, Three Square Market above, the authorities will be able to boast that the technology has already been tested, and that it is safe and user-friendly.
Who but knows? Maybe the crisis of the cashless in Puerto Rico will be the impetus for official adoption of blockchain technologies. If not, another crisis will present itself. Then the authorities will offer a complete "solution." And, the leader who imposes it will be heralded as the savior of mankind.

As India and Sweden show, we may be only a year or two away.

Mysterious metal towers are popping up at local tunnels, and soon they’ll start appearing at bridges, too.

But even people on the MTA board in charge of the towers can’t say why they’re being used or what’s in them.

New York’s public transportation system has come under fire for spending a whopping $100 million on mysterious metal towers that have popped up at the entrances of tunnel.
But not everyone knows the purpose of these towers, including folks on the MTA board.
The 30-feet-tall MTA Gateway Towers are a part of Gov Andrew Cuomo’s $100 million vision to redesign the MTA’s bridges and tunnels in the city.
I don’t actually know what those are,’ Neal Zuckerman, an MTA boardmember, told Politico.
The towers will soon start appearing at bridges, and by the time the project is completed there will be a total of 18 across the city.
New York resident, Jose Lugo, told CBS that the towers started to appear after the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel toll booths came down.
But, he said, ‘we don’t really know what’s the purpose of this’.

Reinvent Albany, a New York-based watchdog group, believes the towers are just for decoration.
‘It’s a bit mind-boggling that the MTA is approving $100 million for what appears to us to be big, decorative pylons,’ John Kaehny, the leader of Reinvent Albany, told CBS.
What we’re asking for is transparency from the MTA,’ he added.
Earlier this month, Reinvent Albany asked the Authorities Budget Office to investigate whether the ‘MTA board was fully informed, before approving contracts’ related to the governor’s program on bridges and tunnels.
The group is trying to figure out if the MTA board knew what it was doing when it approved a series of contract amendments up to $47 million worth of expenses for the towers that currently sit at the entrance to the Battery and Queens Midtown Tunnels.
But the individuals in charge are staying tight-lipped about what the towers actually do.
Cedrick Fulton, the head of the MTA’s bridges and tunnels, refused to comment and the MTA chaiman Joe Lhota said he wasn’t ‘at liberty to discuss’ details of the project.
However, Lhota did tell CBS that the towers include ‘whatever fiber optics are necessary for those Homeland Security items’.
Shams Tarek, a spokesman for the MTA, told Politico that the towers ‘host cameras, traffic monitoring and other equipment related to homeland security that would otherwise have been hosted by the former toll booth structures’.
According to the initial plan that was laid out last October, Cuomo’s vision is to reimagine New York’s crossings for the 21st century.
‘The plan will institute state-of-the-art automatic tolling at all MTA bridges and tunnels – reducing traffic congestion and decreasing emissions to improve the overall travel experience for millions of residents and visitors in New York State,’ the press release said at the time.
‘At the Governor’s direction, the state will also deploy cutting-edge technology and security personnel to high-profile crossings in New York to enhance public safety and fortify anti-terror efforts.’
So despite residents and MTA boardmembers feeling left in the dark about these towers, it seems to be clear that they will partly be used as anti-terror technology.
Cuomo announced Wednesday that cashless tolling will start this weekend for the last two New York City bridges with toll booths that still accept cash.
He said the cashless tolling will be implemented starting at 3am on Saturday at the Bronx-Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges.
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Americans have found themselves being inundated with the implementation of a number of Big Brother-like technologies in recent years.

One of the most egregious has been the incessant rise of facial recognition technology in everyday life, often with seemingly innocuous reasoning.  Snapchat and Facebook have both rolled out his tech “entertainment” options utilizing high tech versions of what was surely once a government-proprietary concept.  Furthermore, the iPhone X will rely on facial recognition software to merely unlock the device for use…something that has worried a number of privacy advocates in the days following Apple’s unveiling of the $1,000 cell phone.
Now, in New York City, a number of bizarre metal towers are being constructed around the city, particularly near bridges and tunnels.  While the techno-henges have been linked to the Big Apple’s transit authority, those responsible for their installation have been completely hush-hush beyond that, prompting concern from privacy-coveting citizens in the city that never sleeps.

“Mysterious metal towers are popping up at local tunnels, and soon they’ll start appearing at bridges, too.
“But even people on the MTA board in charge of the towers can’t say why they’re being used or what’s in them, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports.
“’We don’t really know what’s the purpose of this,’ he told Carlin.
“It’s a $100 million MTA project shrouded in secrecy, with 18 of them for tunnels and bridges. So what are they exactly?
“The MTA’s man in charge of the bridges and tunnels, Cedrick Fulton, dodged Carlin’s questions Wednesday.
“’I said no comment,’ he said.
“Some MTA board members, including New York City Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, say they know too little about the towers – even with half the money already spent and some of the towers already up.”

Of course, theories about the mystery towers are abound in the enormous city, with a great many believing that they are somehow linked to the Department of Homeland Security.
Terrorism has long been a concern of New York, New York, and for obvious reasons.  Not only have New Yorkers faced the tragic and bombastic attacks of 9/11, but the city has been a target for terrorists long before that fateful day.  The sheer American symbolism that litters the Big Apple draws radical Islamic jihadists in like a moth to the flame, hoping to inflict severe psychological damage by obliterating staples of the American image.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Russia's EMP Weapons Could Be More Efficient Than Nukes, Economic Sanctions Against Russia Flop

Russia's Electromagnetic Weapons Could Be 'More Efficient Than Nuclear Weapons'

Russia is developing radio-electronic weapons, which use a powerful UHF impulse capable of destroying all electronic equipment miles away and even changing the course of a war.

The Listva, a remotely operated mine clearance vehicle capable of detecting and blowing up mines up to 100 meters away, is one such weapon.
An armored vehicle equipped with a UHF emitter moves in front of a mobile missile system. It detects radio-controlled landmines planted along and away from the road using ground-penetrating radar and then uses ultra-high-frequency rays to neutralize them.
This is a novel technique, which had never been used before.
During a drill on Wednesday, some 20 real cellphone-controlled explosive devices were planted along the route of a column of Yars mobile ballistic missile systems. A single Listva vehiclespotted all of them and blew them up long before the missiles reached the area.

The unique radio-electronic weapons based on new physical principles, which were successfully tested in Russia last fall use mobile electromagnetic emitters to disable missile warheads and onboard aircraft electronics many miles away.
The electromagnetic bombs developed by Russia can be more effective than nuclear weapons because they are able to neutralize entire armies with just one short electromagnetic impulse.
Moreover, unlike already exiting electronic jammers, they can completely take out or seriously damage even off-line weapons like tanks, grounded planes and missiles in silos.
Earlier, media reports said that Russia’s defense industry had come up with the Alabuga, a new electro-magnetic missile, which uses a powerful UHF emitter to disable all enemy electronics within a radius of 3.5 kilometers (2.3 miles), turning it into “a heap of scrap metal.”
A directed beam of waves of a particular frequency has a sledgehammer effect on electronic equipment knocking out computers and navigation systems by physically destroying their motherboards.
Russia plans to install such weapons on its sixth-generation fighter drones because powerful UHF radiation can kill pilots.
Radio-electronic weapons are able to jam a tank’s loading mechanism, blow up artillery shells inside a turret and destroy enemy soldiers hiding inside a bunker or taking cover up to 100 meters underground.
The US, Israel and China are equally busy developing their own types of electromagnetic weapons. During Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991, the Americans used a relatively primitive electronic bomb by fitting the warheads of their Tomahawk cruise missiles with carbon fiber.

As a result, the missiles short-circuited the electrical lines of Iraqi power stations and power lines severely degrading the country’s vital infrastructure and air defenses.

The Pentagon used more advanced electromagnetic weapons during NATO’s 1999 aggression against Yugoslavia. In the first two week alone, the US Air Force dropped over 400 super-heavy JDAM gliding bombs packed with graphite and metallic fibers and particles knocking out the country’s entire air defense control system.
Since electromagnetic weapons are capable of pushing a nation back centuries, countries are now developing ever ever-new means of defending themselves again these fearsome weapons.

The first comprehensive study of anti-Russia sanctions shows they hit EU much more than Russia.

Did U.S. President Barack Obama create the anti-Russia sanctions in order to weaken the EU in its competition against America? If so, the policy has been a huge success — it has enormously damaged the EU’s economy. 

But, if Russia was the actual target — as Obama claimed — then it’s been a total flop: It has produced $100 billion loss to the EU, thus far — almost twice as much as the $55 billion total hit to Russia, and the hit to Russia might be even less than that, maybe even zero, because the harms to Russia included the harms from the plunging oil-prices, which weren’t at all due to the sanctions. 

Furthermore, the sanctions strongly helped Russia’s economy, in ways that don’t yet show up in the economic data but that constitute long-delayed reforms whose pay-offs will start only during the years to come. Washington’s economic sanctions against Russia could thus end up producing a net plus for Russia, on a long-term basis.

The deal that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry culminated with King Saud on 11 September 2014 (after his having started those negotiations on 27 June 2014) to flood the market with oil to bring the oil price down and so harm Russia, which is a giant oil&gas-exporter, has hit Russia very hard, costing the Russian economy perhaps all of the $55 billion hit to Russia’s economy, measured thus far.

These figures come from the first-ever comprehensive study of the effects of the sanctions, a study which also estimates the negative effects upon human rights (this Special Reporteur’s chief mandate), but the cost-figures cited here, are entirely economic, not about “rights” at all (which are separately dealt with in the same report).

Signs Everywhere: Convergence Of Signs

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign - The Omega Letter

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign. When will Christ return? What are the signs of His premillennial coming? What's taking Him so long?

When I first expressed interest in prophecy I was quickly reminded that people have been watching for Christ's return for centuries, and it hasn't happened yet. We've all the seen mocking cartoons of a man with long hair and beard holding up a sign reading: The end of the world is nigh.

If we're looking for signs of Christ's premillennial return (in contrast to the rapture), look to Israel

That's the surest sign I can think of. Unfortunately Replacement Theology (or whatever one prefers to call it) consistently imposes a different meaning over passages such as Jer 31:31-37 and Zech 14:2-4. Christians are discouraged from taking it seriously.

The study of prophecy is often treated like that old eccentric uncle no one in the family wants to talk about. One reason cited is the long list of failed prognostications. But it's more than that. The "New Testament" Christian bias against prophecy is related to national Israel's prominence within it.

Israel has become a nation again after centuries in oblivion, and has survived numerous attacks by Arab nations. However, this doesn't impress prophecy skeptics. To them, literal prophecy can't be true because the church is the "New Spiritual Israel."

Pro-Palestinian activists like Gary Burge, Colin Chapman and Stephen Sizer attribute modern Israel's existence to Zionist interference, rather than God's sovereign intervention. They say the Balfour Declaration was a disaster which led to the Arab-Israeli conflict we still see today.

In fact Jews experienced existential threats long before Balfour. Europe was in conflict with Islam well before Israel became a nation. And if Zionist meddling brought statehood to Israel, then why can't pro-Palestinian activists do the same for Palestinians?

One answer is that God is in the works. The other is that the Palestinian people have been hijacked by Islamic hatred of the Jew. They've found excuses to consistently reject statehood because they want a One-State solution - sans Israel.

If you want to debunk prophecy, get the world to love Israel and stop anti-Semitism. As it stands, irrational animosity against Jews and Israel is itself a prophetic fulfillment (Deut 28:37Psalm 44:14Zech 12:3). And many in the church are helping it along.

I don't like hammering daily news items into prophecy slots. But a broad prophetic picture appears to be forming. It's one we shouldn't ignore.

Hal Lindsey was once excoriated for his prediction of a Russians involvement in an attack on Israel, especially after the Soviet Union fell. His association of Russia and several ME nations to Ezekiel's Gog-Magog alliance was ridiculed. Scoffers tend to be people who deny a future prophetic fulfillment of Israel's promises. See, for example, Preterist Gary DeMar's book End Time Fiction.

Yet today we see Russia in a strong leadership position among a Northern Coalition of nations which share the desire to destroy Israel. While some pundits considered Putin to be a wannabe-Czar. He's now been accused of fixing the American election. Moreover, under his leadership, Russia is giving Europe the jitters via his war games. See also Joel Rosenberg's Blog. Not bad for a pretender.

The Gog-Magog prophecy is found in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. A great online summary by Mark Hitchcock can be read HERE. I also recommend reading Ron Rhodes' 2008 book Northern Storm Rising, and Hitchcock's more up to date (published in 2017) Russia Rising.
Hitchcock notes that one of the first ingredients for a Gog-Magog conflagration was Israel's re-establishment as a nation in 1948.
"Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD," declares the Lord GOD, "when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. For I will take you from the nations, gather you from all the lands and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Ezek 36:22-25
While there are some chronological backward looks to Ezekiel 36 & 37, the gist is the final restoration and purification of Israel in the sight of the nations. Note also that God will do this for His name's sake. He will deliver on His promises to Israel in the sight of the nations.
So far we've only seen the restoration portion of this process. The Gog-Magog invasion is likely the next step. When will it happen?

Ron Rhodes favors the possibility of an invasion occurring after the rapture but before the 70th week (p 193). Mark Hitchcock envisions it occurring in the first half on the tribulation. Notably, he also sees the possibility of it happening at any time (p 135).

It's interesting that they closely agree on timing, and virtually agree on the identication of the players. Hitchcock's book mentions the fact that, forty years ago, Charles Ryrie predicted Turkey's move into the sphere of Russian domination (p 86). How did Ryrie know?

Even more remarkable is the fact that these players are currently on the board. What this strongly implies to me is that Jesus' premillennial return cannot be far away. If this is correct, then the rapture of the church is even closer. Are we ready?

More things to ponder:

Barring God's supernatural intervention, can these spiraling Middle East events can be turned around? Can North Korea be safely neutralized? How will Europe react to the Russian war games? And what about the changing face of Germany and France because of its immigration policies?

Finally, how do the recent natural disaster factor into all of this? Is this God talking to us? It's notable when even secular people see the spate of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and begin to wonder about the end of the world.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign - there seems to be a convergence of signs. Should we be paying attention?