Jan 2, 2017

Arming Up for Armageddon

We live in a time of great conflict between perception and reality. The general view in the media is that of peace and safety. While we have this carefree attitude in America, the rest of the world is in the midst of an arms race.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is working on strengthening Russia’s nuclear potential. His goal for Russia is to fortify the nation’s military nuclear capabilities and develop missiles that can penetrate any missile-defense system. He also seeks to develop precision weapons across various branches of the armed forces as well as electronic warfare systems.

“We must carefully monitor any changes in the balance of power and in the political-military situation in the world, especially along Russian borders, and quickly adapt plans for neutralizing threats to our country,” said Putin.

Despite heavy sanctions from the West over the annexation of the Crimea region, Putin has been successful in modernizing his military. He said that about 60 percent of modern armaments are currently in the Russian nuclear forces.

A Russian missile design company recently unveiled the first image of a new weapon in Russia’s arsenal: the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile, nicknamed “Satan 2.”

The rocket “is capable of wiping out parts of the earth the size of Texas or France,” claimed Russian state news outlet Sputnik. The missile can carry up to 15 separate warheads with a combined explosive power of 50 million tons of TNT.

India has just tested its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Agni-5, which is capable of striking targets in Asia. Heralded as the “weapon of peace.” the missile has a striking range of up to 5,000kms. Sometimes dubbed as the “China killer,” the missile can carry a one ton warhead and is capable of reaching almost all of Asia including India’s key rivals—China and Pakistan. India’s foes will likely respond by improving the range and carrying loads of their missiles.

The evolving threat of North Korea’s nuclear program has come about primarily because of the neglect of western nations giving them too much leeway—by dismissing their ongoing threats. We kept hoping that this little dictatorship would collapse under the weight of its massive military spending. With an endless supply of slave labor and radical ideology, North Korea has built up a growing arsenal of nuclear weapons. It will soon be able to fire them from missiles putting Japan and the Western U.S. at risk.

China has been very aggressive in expanding its military. This year, China’s fleet commissioned its first aircraft carriers. The Chinese government could potentially build a number of additional aircraft carriers within the next 15 years. The willingness of Beijing to demonstrate its military power in the Western Pacific has made the region a favorite stop for the world’s arms merchants.

There is growing concern that Japan is on a plan toward re-militarization. In the face of growing threats from China, the Japanese government has moved away from its historical pacifism, passing bills to bolster its military presence. A new, hotly contested package of 11 security bills gave the Japanese military the option to engage in battle to protect their allies, including the United States, even if there is no direct threat to Japan or its people.

Last week, the Japanese government said it will spend $44 billion to confront China. The money will be used to bolster its coast guard capabilities to defend disputed islands in the East China Sea.

The greatest threat from a militarized Japan would be its huge cache of weapons-usable plutonium. Since WWII, Japan has banned the production of nuclear weapons. With more than 47 metric tons of plutonium, Japan has enough to make nearly 6,000 warheads like the one that flattened Nagasaki.

The U.S. has the largest nuclear force on the planet, but it’s a very old arsenal. The U.S. Air Force maintains a fleet of 450 Minuteman III ICBM missiles. A key leg of the nuclear triad, the Minuteman III missiles went into service in the 1970s. The Air Force has 76 B-52 strategic bombers that have been flying since the 1960s. The Navy has 14 Ohio Class ballistic missile submarine fleet that first went into service in the 1980s.

Donald Trump has frequently talked about upgrading our nuclear arms. He recently tweeted that the United States “must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” Asked to clarify his comments, MSNBC reported that Trump had said: “Let it be an arms race. We will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all.”

Trump’s words may be mostly bluster, but after 8 years of neglect under Obama, he may need to accelerate the development of arms just to keep up with the growing capability of our enemies.

This latest arms race has “prophecy” written all over it. Political leaders may talk about the need for peace, but very little has been done to prevent the world from sliding into the abyss. The military hardware being developed today will eventually find its way onto the battlefields of the Tribulation hour.

“Proclaim this among the nations: ‘Prepare for war!’ Stir up the mighty men. Let all the warriors draw near. Let them come. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’” (Joel 3:9-10).


Israel’s 100-Year Storm

These days, it seems, we are more and more frequently given reports that a 100- year storm has occurred. These are happening about every other year, and many prophecy watchers believe that these great storms have biblically prophetic overtones.

Certainly, I have to admit that there appears to be some relevance, these storms to how Israel is treated. White House correspondent Bill Koening is one Bible prophecy student who writes on these kind of weather and other occurrences with regard to, particularly, America’s dealing with Israel. John McTernin is another writer on these matters that I find fascinating.

We remember Hurricane Katrina, for example, when the Bush administration had pressured the Jewish state to move Jewish Israelis in order that so-called Palestinians could move in. Katrina entered the Gulf of Mexico during this time and the results was that thousands of Americans along the Gulf Coast and beyond were forced to leave their homes. The storm was one of the worst in U.S. history.

With major tornadoes in many areas and flooding along U.S. rivers having seemed to increase over the past number of years, some have attributed the virulent weather to climate change or global warming. Others have seen the significance of these 100-year-type storms as relating directly to the treatment the Obama administration has given Israel over the past eight years.

We remember that close to the very first thing the president did was to snub the Israeli prime minister, leaving him after a few minutes of their meeting in the White House to go to the family’s private dining quarters. Mr. Obama has continued with his coolness to Benjamin Netanyahu since that very first meeting. At the same time, Obama has made nice at every opportunity with the leaders of the Muslim world, while giving lip service to support for the Jewish state. As a matter of fact, Obama is on record as saying right up front of his eight years in office that he intended to “put space” between America and Israel. This, ostensibly, to develop better relationship with the Arab states so that there could develop a greater chance for establishing peace in the region.

It was the old George W. Bush effort revived–trying to show the Muslims and the world that we were really their friends. The question to ask, of course, is: Have relations improved? No, they have grown worse.

The 100 year storm to which I refer as given in this commentary’s title is the international, diplomatic storm in which Israel currently finds itself. The first such storm it faced happened almost a half century before it became a nation in 1948. Israel was promised territory for establishing a nation in the region of its traditional homeland when the British issued the Balfour Declaration, written by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour and issued by the government led by Prime Minister David Lloyd George.

That promise read:

Foreign Office, November 2nd, 1917. Dear Lord Rothschild, I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

While there is little doubt that there was a genuine desire to establish a Zionist safe haven with the declaration, it is even more certain that the action was primarily taken–in the view of most historians–to give the British access to the Suez territory for hegemonic purposes.

When British General Edward Allenby entered Jerusalem, there was relative peace for a time. The Arabs of the region began to create strife against the Jews shortly thereafter, determined to not allow the British to put their geopolitical plans into action.

British General Louis Bols, put in charge of Jerusalem, disliked Zionism and rather than see to it the Balfour Declaration accomplished establishment of a Jewish homeland and protected the Jews, looked the other way at the Arab atrocities. The betrayal by the British instigated a regional conflict–an ethnic storm that is raging today. And now, one hundred years later to the year, there has been set in motion another storm, instigated by Britain–and sadly–by the United States of America.

The Palestinian Authority has since 2015 pushed to change the language by which UNESCO speaks of Jerusalem and the holy sites, so that they are referred to almost exclusively by their Muslim names. The U.N. and its Israel-hating membership has done all within that body’s power to de-legitimize Israel as having any historical ties to the Temple Mount, or to the region, for that matter.

And now the Security Council resolution condemning settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, unopposed by Israel’s allies, America, and Britain is a betrayal of the worst sort.

Secretary of State John Kerry said on December 28 that the only chance for Israel to live in peace in the future is to accept a two-state solution. Implicit within his words is condemnation of Israel as the sticking point to peace in the region. Also, I infer, he is, along with his boss Barack Obama, threatening to abandon Israel altogether if Netanyahu refuses to give land for peace.

This last-ditch effort of the Obama administration to intimidate Israel comes as too little, too late, for their nefarious plans. Donald Trump has reassured Netanyahu and the Jewish people that the betrayal will not stand. Maybe, for a time at least, there is to be a ray of sunshine beyond this 100-year storm.