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U.S. PLAN GIVES JERUSALEM HOLY SITES TO VATICAN

International mandate to control sections of Israel’s capital

Published: 24 hours ago

Aaron Klein

TEL AVIV – Secretary of State John Kerry quietly presented a U.S. plan for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control holy sites in the area, according to informed Palestinian and Israeli diplomatic sources.

The exact composition of the international mandate is up for discussion, the sources said, but Kerry’s plan recommended a coalition that includes the Vatican, together with a group of Muslim countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

The international arrangement is being proposed as a temporary solution for about two to three years while security arrangements in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians are finalized, said the sources.

Israel, the sources said, was not receptive to the particulars of Kerry’s plan, especially the concept of Turkish participation in Jerusalem. Kerry told the Israelis he would hold talks with the Kingdom of Jordan about its playing a leading role in the proposal in the place of Turkey, the sources added.

Kerry was in Jerusalem on Friday as part of an Obama administration effort to reach a deal for a Palestinian state by April, a timeline that is still on track, Kerry told reporters.

“We are working on an approach that both guarantees Israel’s security and fully respects Palestinian sovereignty,” Kerry added.

According to the Israeli and Palestinian diplomatic sources speaking to WND, Kerry’s trip this time around focused specifically on the particulars of security arrangements for the strategic Jordan Valley following a deal.

In October, WND exclusively reported Kerry was strongly urging Israel to give up the Jordan Valley in closed-door talks with the Palestinian Authority.

The current round of U.S.-brokered talks is attempting to hash out the details of a plan for the valley.

The Jordan Valley cuts through the heart of Israel. It runs from the Tiberias River in the north to the Dead Sea in the center to the city of Aqaba at the south of the country, stretching through the biblical Arabah desert.

The U.S. proposal calls for international forces to maintain security control along with unarmed Palestinian police forces, a senior Palestinian Authority negotiator told WND in October. Israel will retain security posts in some strategic areas of the Jordan Valley, according to the U.S. plan.

Previous talks incorporated an element of Jordanian authority in the Jordan Valley, but the Kingdom of Jordan is wary of participating in a future Palestinian state, the negotiator said.

The Palestinian negotiator pointed to the insurgency in Syria and changes of leadership in Egypt as reasons for Jordanian reluctance to assume any security control over Palestinian areas.

eastern gate

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5917

Is The Perfect Storm Coming For Gold?

 

Zero Hedge
December 16, 2013

Due to western central bank price manipulation, the mining sector is in critical condition, the supply line is all but halted, and the physical supply is being swallowed up by Asia. The last shoe to drop is for major mining companies to start closing down production at major mines. Though this would be perceived as the end for gold, speculators will be happy to know that this would be the beginning of the biggest Fed induced bubble in history! But unlike previous Fed bubbles where they support the price increase, the gold bubble will be a result of western central planners mis-managing the gold price for the past 3 decades and finally losing control. As Peak Resources explains in the brief clip, the perfect storm is coming for gold…

Via Peak Resources,

Friday October 11th, gold trading was shut down for 10 seconds according to the CME.

Why, because someone sold 2 million ounces of gold at one time. Who does this? Who sells nearly 2 and half percent of annual gold production in a single minute? The gold valued at over $2.5 billion could not have been sold by a small trader, and certainly not the smart money, institutional investors know that you don’t exit a large trade like this…

So who could it be? Try the dumb money, The Western Central Banks.

As noted by organizations like GATA, TF Metals Report, ZeroHedge, and Shtfplan, gold manipulation is out in the open. Friday October 11th is just one of the daily examples.

With the western central banks suppressing the price, the eastern central banks have been happy buyers.

However, PeakResources.org believes this gold price suppression scheme is nearing its end.

With the Federal Reserve on a fiat currency suicide mission with QE forever, and the U.S. federal government bankrupt, the days of dollar supremacy are in its last days.

For gold though, the central banks have really screwed themselves.

At a price of $1,250, gold mining companies can no longer make a profit. Recent studies show their all in cash cost anywhere from $1,400 to as high as $1,700. Liquid fuels, human energy, and new exploration are costly in the mining process, so it is unlikely these costs can be cut to accommodate the low gold price.

Since gold’s peak in 2011, the TSX Venture exchange, home to the worlds gold exploration companies, is down more than 59%

The gold juniors index, the GDXJ, is down 83%

And the large cap gold companies, despite seeing a 400% increase in the price of gold over the past 12 years, are trading at lower valuations then they did even 20 years ago.

As noted in our video Peak Gold, no major gold discoveries have been found in more than 10 years! Gold production as a whole has plateaued.

Remember, all mines have a limited supply of gold, at some point in time they either deplete themselves or become uneconomical. Uneconomical meaning companies can’t mine for profit, which is exactly the case for nearly all gold mines today!

Consider a very famous gold mining region, South Africa

In 1971 South Africa produced 47.5 million ounces of gold, accounting for 68% of global mine production.

In 2011, South Africa accounted for only 7% of gold production with about 8 million ounces of mine production.

Despite all the technological advances and billions in exploration and development, South African gold production is down 82%.

South Africa isn’t an anomaly either, here in the U.S. production in the past 20 years is down 30%.

Current discoveries are small, in remote areas, and are lower grade deposits.

PeakResources.org recently attended a gold mining event in London, what we learned was that exploration budgets were being slashed! No development, no exploration, and a scaling back of projects.

What this all leads to is a price spike in gold, just as gold rose rose from $35 to $850 in the 70s, The Dow Jones from 2,000 to 11,000 in the 1990, and Bitcoin from a penny to $1,200 more recently, so to can gold have a parabolic spike.

The perfect storm is coming for gold…

Due to western central bank price manipulation the mining sector is in critical condition, the supply line is all but halted, and the physical supply is being swallowed up by Asia.

The last shoe to drop is for major mining companies to start closing down production at major mines. Though this would be perceived as the end for gold, speculators will be happy to know that this would be the beginning of the biggest Fed induced bubble in history! But unlike previous Fed bubbles where they support the price increase, the gold bubble will be a result of western central planners mis-managing the gold price for the past 3 decades and finally losing control.

With fiat currency being pumped into the system daily and the gold sector in shambles, the central banks are in for a big surprise because sooner or later supply and demand economics will crush the very people who are behind the devastation we have seen in the gold mining and precious metal industry.

gold

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5914

The Middle East Now Has Three Alliances: None Are With the U.S.

Turkey and Iran’s move to form an Islamist super-bloc is changing the balance of the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have chosen to lead an Arab bloc of their own, rather than capitulate to their enemies’ dominance.

Our last analysis of this development explained that three distinct blocs were formed since the Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim BrotherhoodGlossary Item

A worldwide Islamist organization founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna that seeks to implement Sharia-based governance globally.

was toppled in Egypt:

1. The Shiite bloc consisting of Iran, Hezbollah, Iraq and the Syrian regime.

2. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood Sunni bloc, consisting of Turkey, Qatar, Tunisia, Hamas and some Syrian rebels.

3. The anti-Iran/anti-Brotherhood Sunni bloc consisting of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, other Syrian rebels and other Arab countries.

The first two blocs are on opposite sides in the Syrian civil war, but are hoping to negotiate a ceasefire that allows them to mend ties. The third bloc feels so threatened by the other two that Saudi Arabia is widely rumored to be offering Israel access to its airspace to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Clarion Project was recently told by an intelligence source that the Saudis and Israelis have moved “beyond talking” and there will likely be on-the-ground preparations for this scenario soon.

The Syrian civil war had put Turkey and Iran at odds, but the prolonged stalemate is compelling the two governments to look for a way forward. The Turkish Foreign Minister was recently in Tehran, where he said they agreed to push for a ceasefire. He also said Turkey and Iran will “join hands” to be “the backbone of regional stability.”

Both sides are bleeding and spending heavily in the Syrian civil war and the demographic realities make it difficult to envision either side prevailing. Syria is likely to be divided with the Iran-allied regime holding onto the Allawite and Christian areas and the rebel-controlled Sunni areas winning autonomy.

Turkey will have to twist the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood’s arms to make this happen. The group refuses to negotiate with Iran and claims it rejected a recent offer from Iran to pressure Assad into stepping down from power in return for reconciliation.

That is a huge concession. The last reported offer from Iran came in January 2012, when it was willing to hand the Syrian government to the Brotherhood as long as Assad remains at the helm. Now, if the Syrian Brotherhood is telling the truth, the Iranian regime is willing to push Assad aside. Unfortunately for Turkey and Iran, the Brotherhood is unwilling to be seen as a sell-out.

The third bloc led by Saudi Arabia is not giving up on overthrowing Assad and is using its proxies to become the dominant Syrian rebel force. The Saudis arranged for rebel units to break away from the Free Syria Army to form the Salafist

SalafistGlossary Item

Islamic movement formed in the early 20th century that holds that Muslims must reject much of modernity and replicate the lifestyle of Mohammed and early Islamic authorities; often used synonymously with Wahhabism.

-led “Army of Islam.” This Salafist force represents the Saudi brand of Islam but is opposed to Al-Qaeda, an enemy of the Saudi Royal Family.

The Army of Islam is the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s plan to build a 40-50,000 strong national army. The Saudis imported Pakistani instructors to train 5-10,000 of them and have set up training centers in Jordan.

The nuclear deal with Iran heightened the tension between these blocs. As the deal was being finalized, an Iran-backed militia in Iraq fired mortar shells into Saudi Arabia. It said that it was retaliation for Saudi Arabia’s anti-Shiite agitation.

“If they continue their provocations, we will carry out armed operations inside Saudi territories,” the militia threatened.

After the deal was announced, the Saudis abandoned their polite protests of American policy and became downright hostile. Prominent Saudis openly told the press that their country will chart a course independent of the U.S.

“Appeasement hasn’t worked in the past, and I don’t think it will work in the 21st century,” the Saudi ambassador to the U.K. said.

It’s long been an open secret that the Saudis funded the Pakistani nuclear weapons’ program with the understanding that Pakistan would send over nukes if requested. When asked about this deal, the ambassador said, “Let’s just leave it there, all options are available.”

The deal also provides an opportunity for Iran to entice other countries with lucrative trade deals. The Iranians are trying to lure Pakistan by finishing a major gas pipeline.

Turkey says its banks will again be able to make transactions with Iran and will increase their Iranian oil imports to 130-140,000 barrels per day from the current level of 105,000. Turkish imports of Iranian oil were at 180,000 barrels per day before the sanctions were implemented. The two countries are also restarting their gold trade.

The recent Egyptian-Turkish spat is a consequence of this escalating contest. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan continues to rail against the current Egyptian regime for the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood. He is allowing the Brotherhood to set up a new television station in his country called “Rabia” with the slogan, “Pulse of freedom.”

Eypt expelled the Turkish ambassador in retaliation for Erdogan’s pro-Brotherhood rhetoric and Turkey responded by declaring the Egyptian ambassador to be persona non-grata. This dispute will intensify if the Egyptian government follows through on its aspiration to ban the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

The Gulf Cooperation Council members except Qatar are trying to stabilize the Egyptian economy. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates immediately pledged $12 billion in assistance after the Brotherhood was toppled. The new Egyptian government returned $2 billion of it.

The United Arab Emirates is encouraging companies to invest in Egypt and is hiring Egyptian teachers that support the new regime. The Egyptian regime has also used the UAE to replace Qatar’s role in developing the Suez Canal.

Qatar, on the other hand, continues to act as the Muslim Brotherhood’s bank. The U.S. “ally” provided the Brotherhood-led Egypt with $7.5 billion in assistance but is now absent. Qatar has made it clear whose side it is on, and Saudi Arabia tried to organize a condemnation of its behavior in Egypt and Yemen.

Qatar is coming to the aid of the weakened Islamist government of Tunisia. The Ennahda Party that leads Tunisia is facing popular protests and may be overthrown. The Qatari National Bank recently agreed to loan it $500 million.

The Moroccan government is poised to play a potentially decisive role in this geopolitical and ideological contest. It is hostile to Iran and fears its own Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated opposition. King Mohammed VI managed to contain the country’s own Arab Spring uprising and protests have faded.

“We can be a model. We can export our reforms and our vision,” says the Deputy Foreign Minister.

Morocco is helping the West with ideologically combating Islamist extremism in Mali. The Mali government picked up to 500 imams to go there for education. The geopolitical position of Morocco places it in the third camp, but how long will Saudi Arabia tolerate Morocco’s promotion of a competing ideology?

U.S. policy is in a state of fatal contradiction.

The White House favors the pro-Brotherhood bloc and is trying to build a better relationship with Iran. This stance has alienated the bloc whose interests most closely align with ours. Egypt is now embracing Russia and Saudi Arabia is openly saying it needs to stop relying on the U.S.

The Middle East is now divided into three alliances and none of them are with the U.S.

israel_flag

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5907

China-Japan Conflict Could Lead to World War III, Warns Former UN Ambassador

 

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
December 9, 2013

Former Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Sha Zukang has warned that the dispute between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands could lead to World War III.

CIting a Chinese-language piece written by Zukang for the the pro-regime Global Times, a report in the China Times says that Zukang warned of the futility of going to war over “those two tiny rocks,” a reference to the disputed islands which have become the center of a geopolitical tug of war between China and Japan, with the United States and South Korea also becoming embroiled.

“If China started a war with Japan, it would be much larger than both the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, said Sha. The United States and Japan should cooperate with China to maintain regional peace,” states the report.

Zukang’s rhetoric sounds somewhat alarmist but it is not that different in tone from sober analysts such as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, who warned that the escalating crisis represents a “watershed moment for the world” and means “Asia is on the cusp of a full-blown arms race.”

Zukang was appointed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last year as the under-secretary-general for the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. He also served as Chinese ambassador to the United Nations Office at Geneva.

Zukang is known as an outspoken figure who previously said the United States should “shut up” over its complaints about Beijing’s military build-up.

He sounded a more conciliatory note on the current crisis, calling for “politicians and people from both countries to sit down and talk.”

As we reported earlier, The Japanese media has also been busy dreaming up war scenarios in response to the crisis, with popular weekly news magazines envisioning a major conflict between the two superpowers, possibly as early as January.

Tensions have been running high after Beijing imposed an “air defense zone” over the disputed Senkaku Islands and hinted that it may shoot down any foreign aircraft entering the area. The U.S., Japan and South Korea quickly rendered this threat toothless by performing several overflights of the area without notifying Chinese authorities.

Yesterday, South Korea’s Defense Ministry announced that it would impose its own “air identification zone” in the region, an area which overlaps those of Japan and China, an expansion that will go into effect on December 15.

china

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5900

Investor: ‘Eventually, The Whole World Is Going To Collapse’ Because Of The West’s ‘Staggering’ Debts

 By “eventually” he believes around two years from now in 2015 or 2016 …

By Jason Howerton, The Blaze – “Famed investor Jim Rodgers is predicting a disastrous scenario for the global economy. ‘Eventually, the whole world is going to collapse,’ he told CBC in a recent interview.

Rodgers said ‘we in the West have staggering debts,’ noting that the United States is the ‘largest debtor nation in the history of the world.’

‘This is going to end badly,’ he warned.

Zero Hedge breaks down Rodgers’ thoughts on the ‘commodity super-cycle’ and increasing energy production through fracking:

However, the co-founder of Soros’ Quantum fund is convinced that the commodity super-cycle is far from over, but driven by supply constraints (and cost increases) as opposed to demand from higher growth. The following interview provides more color on his commodity view as he re-iterates his bullish stance on Ag (with sugar a focus) and Natural Gas (some harsh natural realities coming), warning “don’t get too excited about fracking,” when he talks energy products.

Rogers, in his inimitable way, sums up the state [of] euphoria that many markets find themselves in thus, “we are all floating around on a sea of artificial liquidity right now. This is not going to last.”

Rodgers went on to warn of the ‘next crisis,’ which he predicted may occur in 2015 or 2016.

‘The next correction when it comes, because the debt is so very high — you know, 2008 was worse than 2002 because the debt was so much higher. You wait until 2015 or 2016 when the next crisis hits… debt has gone through the roof, the next one’s gonna be really bad’

His advice: ‘Be prepared, be worried, and be careful.’

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5898

Birth Pangs 2013 – By Jan Markell

 Events in the world of eschatology raced in 2013. Here is just a short list of how God’s end-time prophetic scenario moved ahead throughout the year:

 1) The potential for a deadly strike on Damascus, Syria, intensified. This would fulfill the warning found in Isaiah 17:1. Israel has weaponry pointed their way and will act should any deadly gesture come their way from Damascus. The passage points to the annihilation of Damascus.

 2) The further isolation of Israel. With the Geneva deal back on November 24, an Israeli strike on Iran is likely imminent. Even former Defense Secretary Panetta says, “There is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May, or June.” She will be the goat of the world although she will do the world a tremendous favor. Iran can produce a bomb in 36 days. As this article states, now the Twelfth Imam, the Muslim Messiah, can return. Shi’ite tradition says he must return to a world of turmoil and violence.

 3) America’s complete betrayal of Israel.  As Rep. Louie Gohmert says, “It was intentional and they had been putting pressure on Israel not to defend themselves. I’m told by people in Israel that you wouldn’t believe the pressure that this administration has brought to bear on Israel not to defend herself.” I stand by what I wrote on November 20 in my e-newsletter that many in the current U.S. administration are cheering for Israel’s annihilation. No, that’s not too strong of a comment.

 4) The predicted “perilous times” of II Timothy 3 have escalated. David Horowitz’s FrontPageMag asked in a headline on September 12, “What If Islamists Took Control of the White House?” On September 12, 2001, that was inconceivable. Today it is a reality.

 5) We have seen the rise of lawlessness starting with the highest leaders in the land. Laws are broken with the stroke of a pen. The U.S. Constitution is ignored by American leaders acting in a totalitarian manner. Such leadership lawlessness inevitably leads to the lawlessness of the people under them. Charles Krauthammer writes an insightful article about the “breathtaking lawlessness” of our times here.  Matthew 24:12 refers to the rise of lawlessness in the last days.

 6) It was open season on Jews and Christians in 2013. Neither were safe. And the facts and truths of these stories were hidden by almost all media outlets except the Internet and Christian radio. The media will report perceived offenses to Muslims but not to Jews or Christians worldwide. In many countries, there is but a pile of ashes where once stood a church. This article calls the global war on Christians the “unreported catastrophe of our times.”

 7) Christians in the military were banned from sharing their faith (later rescinded). Such outfits as The American Family Association were called a “hate group.” The IRS asked Christian groups applying for non-profit status what the content of their prayers was. Such marginalization is predicted for the last days.

 8) If we are to look for signs in nature then we cannot dismiss the significance of one of the deadliest storms ever — Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines late in the year. It will take years for the region to recover. There was “perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves with hearts fainting for fear . . . ” (Luke 21:25-27). 

 9) Many are asking if Gog is rising? Vladmir Putin has made a resurgence in world influence thanks to the decline of America and her current weak leadership. Putin is viewed by some as a savior in the Middle East for holding off an invasion of Syria. Putin smells blood in the water and is in the process of seizing global leadership away from President Obama. Ezekiel 38-39 refer to Gog of the land of Magog, a national force that will invade Israel in the latter years. Magog is the land to the uttermost north of Israel. Joel Rosenberg speculates on Putin being Gog here.

 10) The Antichrist system is now in place. We learned in 2013 that spying was big business, even on American citizens. You are never alone! There is always somebody snooping over your shoulder! There is more info on you than you could imagine. Thus, the Antichrist system is being installed today. It will be ready to go when he arrives and he is crowned as a temporary king.

 11) Hating God became a passionate sport. Atheist churches are springing up around the world complete with sermons, songs, and offerings. They proclaim the “mock of ages,” not the “rock of ages.”  God as the source of absolute truth and moral authority has to go! They have a “form of godliness” but deny its power (II Timothy 3). Their motto is, “I believe in life before death.”

 12) Signs in the Heavens: The amazing Comet Ison. It’s called “the comet of the century” with a tail millions of miles long. It introduced itself to us in late 2013.

 13) Cash isn’t dead yet but it is on life support. Even plastic could go by the wayside. The path is being made easy for an Antichrist system of global economic opportunity. Dr. Mark Hitchcock addressed this at “Understanding the Times 2013.” It appears that Israel will be the world’s first cashless society.

 14) The further decline in man’s character as men and women in high places, who should be setting a high standard as to morals and behavior, displayed abysmal character traits. The highest leaders of our land are proud liars, cheaters, and workers of iniquity. And they never even blush about their seared consciences. This is foretold in many places but most obviously in II Timothy 3. 

15) The longing for a “man with a plan,” a “Mr.Fix-It,” grew more intense this year. Even actor Mel Gibson said, “Someone must rise from the ashes and save us.” He was referring to government instability and dysfunction. He does not know that the man waiting in the wings known as the Antichrist, will talk a good game but will set the world on its final deadly course.

16) The great end-time apostasy marches on. While not all churches are dysfunctional, one study concludes nearly 150,000 America churches are nearly terminal. That’s almost 40% of U.S. churches. Frustration and conflict lead to a revolving door of pastors and apathy reigns within many. Folks will flock to false teachers and to seeker-sensitive churches where the true gospel is never preached.

I could go on but you get the point. We’ve all been busy watching and waiting in 2013. And listening. Listening for a trumpet sound that tells us it’s time to leave this fractured world.

Stay tuned in the New Year. It will be tumultuous. Watch it with an open Bible and with this ministry! 

Maranatha!

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5896

New Russian Submarines Are So Silent That the U.S. Navy Calls Them “Black Holes

 Did you know that Russia is building submarines that are so quiet that the U.S. military cannot detect them?  These “black hole” submarines can freely approach the coastlines of the United States without fear of being detected whenever they want.  In fact, a “nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles” sailed around in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks without being detected back in 2012.  And now Russia is launching a new class of subs that have “advanced stealth technology”.  The U.S. Navy openly acknowledges that they cannot track these subs when they are submerged.  That means that the Russians are able to sail right up to our coastlines and launch nukes whenever they want.  But instead of trying to find a way to counteract this potential threat, the Obama administration has been working very hard to dismantle the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal.  In the end, we could potentially pay a great price for this utter foolishness.

 A recent RT article discussed these new super silent “black hole” submarines.  To say that they are impressive would be a massive understatement…

 Russia has launched its new state-of-the-art Novorossiysk submarine, which set sail from a St Petersburg shipyard to become the first of six diesel-electric stealth subs delivered to the Russian Black Sea fleet in the next two years.

 The Novorossiysk belongs to the Varshavyanka-class (Project 636), which is characterized by advanced stealth technology, making it virtually undetectable when submerged.

 “Our potential opponents call it the ‘Black Hole’ due to the very low noise emission and visibility of the submarine,” Konstantin Tabachny, captain of the Novorossiysk, told Channel One TV. “To be undetectable is the main quality for a submarine. And this whole project really fits its purpose.”

 Of course Russia has been building “near silent” submarines for quite some time.  In fact, their nuclear submarines are already far quieter than anything the U.S. currently has…

 Russia recently launched its near silent nuclear submarine following several years of development.

 The Borey Class submarine, dubbed Vladimir Monomakh, has a next generation nuclear reactor, can dive deeper than 1,200 feet, and carries up to 20 nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

 Each of these “Bulava” ICBM’s can carry ten detachable MIRV warheads, what they call “re-entry vehicles,” capable of delivering 150 kiloton yields per warhead

 And as I mentioned above, these submarines have the ability to approach the coastlines of the United States without the U.S. military ever even knowing that they were there.

 In addition, Russia has been working feverishly to upgrade other elements of their strategic arsenal as well.  For example, it was recently announced that Russia will soon begin work on a new strategic bomber…

  Russia will begin the full-scale R&D work on its future strategic bomber in 2014, a senior aircraft-manufacturing industry official said Thursday.

 The project, known as PAK-DA (an acronym meaning “future long-range aircraft”), has been in the works for several years but was given the formal go-ahead by the Russian leadership last year.

 The Russians are also working very hard to modernize their nuclear forces…

  Russia is developing several new missiles, including a weapon U.S. intelligence agencies have assessed as a covert intermediate-range nuclear missile called the RS-26 that is being developed and tested in apparent violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

 The Russian government has denied the RS-26 violates the INF treaty and claims it is a new ICBM, which some arms compliance experts say is a violation of the 2010 New START treaty.

 Sadly, most Americans have no idea that any of this is going on.

 Most Americans just assume that “the Cold War is over” and that Russia will never be a threat to us ever again.

 If only that was actually true.

 Today, Russia is stronger both economically and militarily than it has ever been before.

 And as you just read about, Russia is rapidly preparing for a potential future conflict with the United States.

 If the Cold War truly is over, then why does Russia have more spies inside the U.S. today than it did at any point during the Cold War?

 The American people need to wake up.

 As all of this has been going on, Barack Obama has been working relentlessly to dismantle the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal.  The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles…

 Back in 1967, the U.S. military had more than 31,000 strategic nuclear warheads.

 Since that time, the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal has been reduced by about 95 percent.

 The START Treaty that Obama agreed to back in 2010 will limit both the United States and Russia to a maximum of 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear warheads.

 But that is not nearly enough of a reduction for Obama.

 Back in June, he declared that “after a comprehensive review” he has decided that the United States can reduce the number of our deployed nuclear warheads by another one-third…

 After a comprehensive review, I’ve determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third.  And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.

 That would leave us with around 1,000 warheads.

 And thanks to the various treaties that we have signed, Russia will know where most of those warheads are located.

 So this makes a scenario in which Russia and China collectively conduct a first strike against the United States much more conceivable.  If Russia or China knows exactly where our warheads are, it would be very easy to take most of them out in less than 10 minutes with a submarine-based first strike.

 The fact that Russia is building subs that are so quiet that the U.S. Navy cannot even detect them is a very, very big deal.

 It means that at any time the Russians could have their subs pop up right off of our coastlines and deliver an absolutely crippling first strike that would hit us before we would have any chance of responding.

 No, I do not believe that such a thing will happen this year, or next year or the year after that.

 But as relations between the United States and Russia continue to go downhill, the stage is being set for such a scenario to happen in the future.

 World War III is coming at some point, and the decisions that are being made right now are making it far more likely that the United States will be the loser of that conflict.

russia akula

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=5892

Apathy Like I’ve Never Seen It Before

Most people who consider themselves to be students of Bible prophecy are familiar with the signs of the times. Some of the most common signs are warfare, earthquakes, floods, immorality or any political activity related to Israel. Of course the Bible warns us that these precursors to the Tribulation hour will increase—as we get closer to the end.

Most people don’t realize that apathy is the greatest indication of the last days. You could almost call it the anti-sign. Jesus talked more about the lack of awareness than any other sign of the times. The Lord was so insistent about getting this point across, He repeated himself four times in the space of a few verses. He also included a story about the ten virgins to illustrate the point of the surprise Rapture.

“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” (Matthew 24:36).

“Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:42).

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:44).

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 25:13).

We live in a period that is both exciting and frustrating at the same time. It’s exciting because we know all the warning signs seem to say something big is about to happen. What makes it frustrating is the inability of most people to grasp our close proximity to judgment.

Apathy is a rather sinister thing because it eats away at our ability to comprehend the significance of other birth pang signs. Prophetic discernment is a crucial factor in knowing where we are on God’s timeline. Apathy is the main reason awareness has gone into a stunning free fall. We live in an age when even the most dire, warning signs fail to draw people’s attention.

Just a couple weeks ago we had horrendous typhoon in the Pacific. The storm set a number of records, and is just one of many that have occurred in recent years. As far as prophetic significances goes, I’ve never seen a disaster of this magnitude get so little attention. Years ago, the Haiyan typhoon would inspire people to write books about how it fits into prophecy.

In the past few weeks there have been several stories about the practicality of fitting people with electronic implants. I remember in the 80s and 90s any news story remotely related to the mark of the beast would trigger a wave of wild speculation by a group of people who specialized in the subject. Today not only is the chatter gone, the 666 watchers have also vanished.

I think the main reason why apathy has become so widespread is a historic lack of peril. No other generation has been less removed from dangers like: financial calamity, disease, and global warfare. Even though the potential threats continue to grow, the real danger remains elusive. I think the reason for this state of tranquility is that that we are prophetically in a great calm before the storm. Once the Tribulation hour starts there will be enough judgment for everyone.

The one positive aspect of apathy is that it aids the progression of prophecy. Because people are not watchful, events progress purely from the lack of opposition. I see us rapidly moving to the point where we could witness the global police state that the Word of God predicts. We keep losing our freedoms because the devil has deceived people into thinking they don’t need to worry about their liberties.

The cure of apathy is devotion, and a good way to stay alert is for every Christians to be productive in their spiritual lives. If you are busy about the Lord’s work, the moss of apathy won’t have time to grow on you. Because the Rapture is a clock-stopping event, it is critical that we realize what limited time we have here on earth.

“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Peter 3:10-11).

–Todd Sanberg

 

 

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Enough enriched uranium in Iran for 4 nuclear weapons. N-Bomb awaits Saudis in Pakistan

Saudi King Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were not won over by President Barack Obama’s pledges in personal phone calls to the two Middle East leaders last week not to allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon. Their skepticism only grew.

This development in the Iranian nuclear controversy finds two of the three leaders trapped in a credibility gap between their public pronouncements and the Iranian reality which has long overtaken them both.

Obama’s oft-repeated pledge is canceled out by most Western nuclear experts, who are convinced that Iran managed to advance to a capacity for producing four nuclear bombs, under cover of protracted diplomacy. In their view, the current first-step deal, followed by a comprehensive accord in six months’ time, are merely an attempt by the six world powers to hold Iran back from expanding its arsenal any further.

The US president’s avowals are therefore hollow.

Saudi princes and officials have often said that if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon or reaches the threshold of this capacity, the oil kingdom will not lag behind.

All Riyadh needs to do now, say debkafile’s Middle East sources, is to invoke the agreement signed with Islamabad in 2004, under which Saudi funding was provided for Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program in return for some of the bombs or warheads produced to await Saudi Arabia’s call for their delivery, complete with the appropriate missiles.
Pakistan denies the existence of this transaction.

However, military and intelligence experts in the West are certain that although this transfer has not yet taken place, it will soon, in the light of the edge Iran has gained in its current negotiations with the West.

Therefore, Obama’s phone conversation with Abdullah was more concerned with keeping a nuclear bomb out of Saudi hands than out of Iran’s.

Since 2008, the Israeli prime minister has vowed time and time again to prevent Iran reaching a nuclear threshold, making it clear that the Israeli armed forces would be sent into action – if need be.

So his credibility deficit is on a par with Obama’s.

At the Western Wall, Thursday, Nov. 11, on Hanukkah eve, Binyamin Netanyahu paraphrased a popular festival song to declare: “We came to drive out the darkness and the largest darkness that threatens the world today is a nuclear Iran!”

What did he mean by those words, if not an intention to exercise Israel’s military option to “drive out the darkness?”

Maj. Gen. (res) Yakov Amidror – until recently National Security Adviser to the prime minister – wrote last week in The New York Times that Iran already has enough enriched uranium to make four bombs. “The Geneva deal, in short, did not address the nuclear threat at all,” he wrote

Iran reached that point more than a year ago, so how to take the repeated pledges by the prime minister to “act itself, by itself” to prevent this happening?

Prime Minister Netanyahu has carefully avoided presenting the Knesset or the people with a clear picture of where Israel stands in relation to Iran’s nuclear program, has never laid out his policy on the question or depicted what the future may hold.

And so his “military option” has progressively waned in credibility both at home and abroad.
In Obama’s phone call to Netanyahu, debkafile’s intelligence and Washington sources report that the president described at length the US intelligence measures to be applied for verifying Iran’s compliance with the Geneva deal. He said that its findings would be referred to Israeli intelligence for a second assessment.

Obama also suggested a visit to Washington by an Israeli military intelligence delegation of nuclear experts to finalize the details of US-Israeli collaboration for verifying that Iran was living up to its commitments under the near accords.
When this US-Israeli dialogue reached their ears, the Iranians were furious. Thursday, Nov. 28, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, dropping the genial mien he assumed in Geneva, reverted to harsh Islamic Republican-speak when he said: “Never such a thing will happen and definitely we will not be in the room in which representatives from the Zionist regime will have a presence!”

It was clear that Tehran would boycott the technical discussion on the details of the Geneva accord if Israeli experts were to sit in a side room, a proposal which might also be extended to Saudi Arabia, as the two Middle East nations most directly at risk from an Iranian nuclear capacity.

Then, Friday, President Hassan Rouhani weighed in to further devalue the Geneva accord’s international worth. In an interview with The Financial Times, he said Iran would never dismantle its atomic facilities. Asked whether this was a “red line” for the Islamic republic, Rouhani replied: “100 per cent.”

In other words, not only Netanyahu but Obama too can forget about any hopes they may have entertained of Iran shutting down its Fordo enrichment plant, or holding up the construction of its heavy water plant in Arak for the production of plutonium.

Tuesday, Nov, 26, two days after the six powers signed their first-step nuclear accord with Iran, Netanyahu called the security cabinet into special session which went on into the night to hear and debate briefings from IDF intelligence (AMAN) officers.

No word has leaked from that session, but some sources claimed anonymously that the ministers received the most optimistic outlook they had heard in years.

Before giving weight to such possible optimism, debkafile’s analysts recall AMAN’s 2011 prediction that Bashar Assad’s downfall was imminent, and its misreading of the situations prevailing in Washington and Tehran.

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Vatican to Visit Jordan in 2014; Israel Trip Still Possibility

Pope Francis will visit Jordan during a trip to the Holy Land next year, the state Petra news agency reported on Saturday, citing a senior Vatican source.

“During his (August) visit to the Vatican, King Abdullah II invited His Holiness to visit Jordan,” Petra quoted Vatican foreign affairs official Dominique Mamberti as saying in Amman. “We are currently looking at the preparations in detail for the visit, which should take place next year.”

“The pope’s visit to the Holy Land will begin in Jordan,” Mamberti said after meeting Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

He said Pope Francis considers Jordan to be “a holy land, and one that respects religious pluralism… necessary to create a climate of peace not only in the Arab world but also across the entire Middle East.”

During an audience at the Vatican on October 17, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas invited Pope Francis to the Middle East, saying he would “walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.”

The invitation from Abbas followed one from President Shimon Peres earlier in the year.

While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is set to meet with Vatican officials in Rome on Monday to discuss the Iran nuclear deal, Francis has not yet visited Israel.

The Pope had already said he would like to visit the Middle East in 2014, but the Vatican has not yet officially confirmed the trip, despite a report by Channel 2 that it will take place in March.

Francis has said he would like to visit the patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians.

Unconfirmed information from Roman Catholic sources in Israel indicated to AFP a possible papal visit to a refugee camp for Syrians in Jordan. Maronite sources have also hoped for a possible trip to Lebanon to preach reconciliation in the region.

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