NM

Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.


13 June, 2011

Iran a Few Weeks away from Having the Bomb

For the past several years, the International Community has been very concerned about Iran's nuclear program. With all the unrest in the Middle East, everyone seems to have lost track of this danger. A new report by the RAND Corporation has sounded the alarm, saying the Iranian regime is closer than ever to creating a nuclear bomb.

Researcher Gregory S. Jones has looked at the uranium enrichment data, and he estimates that Tehran could have enough for its first bomb within seven weeks. According to Jones, Iran has produced a large quantity of uranium enriched at about 20 percent of the isotopes used in a bomb. If its centrifuges continue to work at the current capacity, it will take just under two months for the Iranian regime to produce the 20 kg of uranium enriched to 90 percent required for the production of a nuclear weapon.

Another troubling observation by Jones is our inability to stop Iran's progress. He said airstrikes and sabotage can no longer stop their nuclear program. The U.S. would have to send in ground troops to prevent the Iranians from building a bomb. With our forces already busy with four other conflicts, this option is highly unlikely.

Any mention of an Iranian nuclear bomb has long been a taboo subject in Iran. The finish line must now be in their sight because Tehran is starting to speak openly about the day it will become a nuclear power. The following quote appeared on the Gerdab website, run by Iran's Revolutionary Guards:

Today is a normal day like any other. Like 90% of the year, there is news about Iran, and these are the headlines which can be seen on foreign news sites:

Reuters: Iran detonated its nuclear bomb
CNN: Iran detonated nuclear bomb
Al-Jazeera: The second Islamic nuclear bomb was tested
Al-Arabia: The Shia nuclear bomb was tested
Yahoo! News: Nuclear explosion in Iran
Jerusalem Post: Mullahs obtained nuclear weapon
Washington Post: Nuclear explosion in Iran, Shock and despair in Tel Aviv

I would really love to know what the Israeli government is thinking right now. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already said that Iran should never be permitted to develop nuclear weapons. In his May 24, 2011, speech before the United States Congress, he gave this warning:

A nuclear-armed Iran would ignite a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. It would give terrorists a nuclear umbrella. It would make the nightmare of nuclear terrorism a clear and present danger throughout the world. I want you to understand what this means. They could put the bomb anywhere. They could put it on a missile. It could be on a container ship in a port, or in a suitcase on a subway. P> One only needs to look at North Korea to see how nuclear technology can embolden a rogue state. With no provocation, the North Koreans recently torpedoed a submarine and shelled an island, both belonging to North Korea's southern neighbor. The U.S. and South Korea did nothing because they knew the North had about a dozen nuclear bombs, and they feared what would happen if they fired back. The problem with placating an aggressor is that it creates a series of escalations that eventually ends with open warfare.

What makes Iran so dangerous is that it has frequently called for the destruction of Israel. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad must hold the record for the number of times the head of state has made threats against another nation.

He is in a special class of crazy because he is so dedicated to the annihilation of Israel that he’s willing to suffer the total destruction of Iran to achieve this goal. When Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev went to China to meet with Mao Zedong, he had planned to work out a deal that would provide China with nuclear technology. Mao told Khrushchev that they should use their nuclear weapons to advance communism even if it meant that millions of their citizens would die in the process. Khrushchev was so horrified by Mao's recklessness, he left the country on the third day of a planned seven-day visit. Here we are, 50 years later, and the leaders in Moscow have zero concern about assistance they are providing to a nation that would gladly use the bomb to vaporize Israel.

My hope is that Jones is wrong in his assessment and that Israel or the U.S. still has time to act. Since the existence of the Jewish state is at stake here, I just can't imagine that Netanyahu doesn't have a plan of action. I still expect to wake up some morning to news of a surprise bombing campaign by the Israeli Air Force.

An Israeli attack or a nuclear test by Iran would totally transform the last-days landscape. The consequences will be so calamitous the global community will deeply regret having failed to taken preventive action against Iran.

"Just so, when you see the events I've described beginning to happen, you can know his return is very near, right at the door" (NLT Mat. 24:33).

-- Todd


The U.S.-Kings of the East Connection

A most interesting bit of news jumped out at me. It wasn’t something I hadn’t thought of; I’ve written about it and spoken about it in interviews. But, here it was, acknowledged in a secular news forum that–to me, at least—confirms a prophetic reality.

President Obama has declared that an economic catastrophe will result if the U.S. debt ceiling isn’t raised within a matter of weeks in order to meet the nation’s payment obligations. Raising the debt ceiling is something a significant number of Republican members of Congress, in particular, don’t want to do without cuts of $1.5-$2.5 trillion in future federal spending.

To many global economic analysts, America defaulting is unthinkable.

Li Daokui, an adviser to the People's Bank of China, said a default could undermine the U.S. dollar, and Beijing needed to dissuade Washington from pursuing this course of action… "I think there is a risk that the U.S. debt default may happen," Li told reporters on the sidelines of a forum in Beijing. "The result will be very serious and I really hope that they would stop playing with fire." Interviews with government officials and investors show they consider a default such a grim--and remote--possibility that it was nearly impossible to imagine. "How can the U.S. be allowed to default?" said an official at India's central bank. "We don't think this is a possibility because this could then create huge panic globally." (Emily Kaiser, "China warns U.S. debt-default idea is 'playing with fire,'" Reuters, 7/7/11).

Here is the singular thought from the experts in this story that confirmed for me my own thinking over the years of observing U.S. positioning, as juxtaposed against other world powers. It comes from someone within Oman, who speaks for the sultanate and its Persian Gulf neighbors: "Our economies are substantially tied up with the U.S. financial developments," said a senior central bank official, who spoke on condition of anonymity" (Ibid.).

The bottom line is that if the United States economy suffers catastrophic meltdown, the whole world will come crashing down as well. The entire world–including the growing behemoth, China, is inextricably linked to the financial influence America exerts.

This is not a boast; it is fact. And this is why there is such distress and perplexity among the world’s nations, fiscally speaking. The other national entities can’t simply cut themselves loose from U.S. influence and survive. That is why, despite all of the complaining and posturing by the Chinese government, the leaders of the newfound capitalistic megapower have to accept America’s indebtedness to them, no matter how slow-paying the U.S. might be. The Chinese are, after all, the most patient of all people.

And this is where I believe the prophetic picture begins to form with regard to this king of the kings of the east nations of Revelation 16:12.

The inscrutable Chinese power brokers need the U.S. to continue building its burgeoning economic base. They siphon America’s economic lifeblood hourly the way Count Dracula suctions his victims’ blood in the vampire movies. They will neither call in America’s indebtedness, nor engage in major military troublemaking that would stanch the flow into their coffers.

Those coffers are being filled for one purpose, and it is prophetic. For years–during the days of the Cold War and before--China has had the ability to raise a force of 200 million troops. That number, according to Revelation 9:16, is the number that the kinds of the east will bring across the dried-up Euphrates.

&nbs p; However, such a force, which prophecy indicates will destroy one-third of all humanity, could not be equipped with military assets that could do the job. There wasn’t enough funding to underwrite such a force. America’s wealth, I’m convinced, is what is helping to prepare the way for the kings of the east. We are funding, thus fueling, its military ambitions for the dastardly, decimating job it will do in fulfillment of its biblically prophetic destiny.

The oil fields of the Middle East lie on the other side of the Euphrates River from China, a voracious consumer of energy.

A new report says that China has overtaken the United States as the world's biggest consumer of energy. Oil company BP said Wednesday that China moved to the top in 2010 with 20.3 percent of global demand, ahead of the United States at 19 percent. The report says China's consumption rose by 11.2 percent last year compared with 3.7 percent in the United States. China's surge led a 5.6 percent increase in global energy demand, the biggest one-year jump since 1973. ("China overtakes US as top energy consumer," Associated Press)

It is the American dollar –as anemic as it seems these days—that is filling the Chinese coffers, thus funding its military. The leadership of the great dragon nation is still bent on world domination, make no mistake.

--Terry


Dear Rapture Ready Viewers:
 
We want to thank you for your gifts, notes, and expressions of love. They make picking up the pieces easier after the EF-5 tornado of May 24th destroyed most of our possessions. We thank the Lord for our tornado shelter. Jennifer and I were in it, along with four of our neighbors. I doubt if we would have survived without the shelter.
The wind snapped big trees, overturned vehicles, and totally dismantled a stone house 600 feet east of us.
Pray for us, and especially our trip to Honduras in a few weeks. I am speaking to a group of 12-18 years olds and covet your prayers that God would use us all for His glory!
 
Larry and Jennifer Spargimino