Category: Gog-Ezekiel 38 & 39

Here Come the Scythians

Christians of a certain type like to identify with sola scriptura (Latin, “by scripture alone”), and I think such a view is foundational. We can err when we turn away from the Word of God. Yet today, extra-biblical sources are rampant in the American church.

For example, I recently noticed that a “Bible teacher” posted on Facebook that British scientists have cloned a baby dinosaur. This of course has “end-times” implications.


Let me cut to the chase: there is no baby dinosaur in England. The “news” source for this is bogus. Of course. It is painful just bringing it up.

But we fall for stuff.

Which makes a story in Haaretz—The large Israeli daily—all the more appealing. It seems that a rabbi has predicted that when the Russians take Crimea, Messiah will appear. All this talk led to the Haaretz article (which includes a bit about an Amsterdam museum housing precious Scythian artifacts; the museum curators are unsure whether to turn the traveling exhibit back to Crimea…or to the Russians).

The Scythians, in history, were a people in what is now southern Iran. A war-like civilization, feared because of their horse cavalry, the Scythians are thought to be the famous Magog contingent of Ezekiel 38-39. Their culture lasted from the seventh-century B.C. until the fourth century A.D.

This “thousand-year Reich” is fascinating, to be sure, but back to the Haaretz article.

The writer, Chemi Shalev, weaves a tale of Armageddon, the Messiah, and epic battle…mostly because a rabbi says that Vilna Gaon, an eighteenth century Talmud scholar from eastern Europe, predicted the end would come quickly, once a Russian leader claimed Crimea.

This is all very interesting—especially given that all-powerful Russian leader Vladimir Putin seems to fit a “Gog” criteria—and certainly, geopolitically, none of us have seen before the seeming puzzle pieces being fit together like they appear to be now.


One must say again that while Iran, Russia, and an increasingly hostile (is that even possible?!) pan-Arab nation threaten Israel directly…we can’t give in to the speculations of Enlightenment rabbis, shady websites, dangerous Facebook “prophets,”  left-wing journalists, or even our own “feelings” about where we are in history.

The truth, of course, is that the Gog-Magog War could erupt tonight. Then again, it could be some years down the road. We simply don’t know.

I cannot emphasize enough how damaging the failed predictions of some prophecy teachers the last 40 years have been in terms of “crying wolf” to younger generations that no longer pay attention to our predictions, unless they are making fun of them.

We will know that Gog has roused Magog when it happens. If we are here.

In the meantime, Israel continues to be pressured by an increasingly hostile international community and as I often say, that is the single-biggest indication we are living in the very last of the last days. Netanyahu’s government is in peril if he carries out the latest Palestinian prisoner release. Hezbollah in the north is threatening again, this time with a vast stockpile of rockets. Control of Egypt is in play. Beyond that, the body of Europe is again sick with anti-Semitism, at alarming levels. The U.S. government now, in my opinion, has clearly abandoned Israel.

All this and much more tell us where we are.

(I also agree with the marvelous Jacob Prasch that the python of apostasy in the American church is a huge sign of the times.)

Until we see the very specific details of Ezekiel’s prophecy unfold (can’t you just imagine Matt Lauer scrambling to analyze such a development as research staffers hand him Bible passages?), though, let’s be sober-minded and teach people the basic outlines of predictive prophecy, so that when the end comes, they won’t be caught off-guard.

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How Dangerous Is Putin? Just Look at His Own Words

By Joel C. Rosenberg

March 18, 2014 4:42 PM

Who is Vladimir Putin, and what does he really want? Why exactly has he suddenly sent tens of thousands of heavily armed Russian troops into Crimea? Why did he invade Georgia in 2008? Why is he selling arms to bloodthirsty regimes like that of Bashar Assad in Syria? And why is selling both advanced arms and nuclear technology to a rogue terrorist state like Iran?

In the face of such questions, President Obama looks disoriented and confused. He and his national-security team have been painfully slow to understand the Putin threat. They’re now scrambling to develop a coherent and convincing policy to contain Putin, much less have a chance at rolling him back.

The American people now see Putin as a real and growing threat, and not just to the former Soviet republics but to the national security of the United States and our allies, including Israel.

This month, I engaged McLaughlin & Associates, a nationally-respected polling firm, to ask a series of questions of 1,000 likely U.S. voters. Among them:

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: “In light of Russia’s invasion of southern Ukraine, and Russia selling arms and nuclear technology to Iran, and Russia selling arms to the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria, I have come to believe that Vladimir Putin and the government of Russia pose a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States and our ally, Israel”?

In 2012, Mr. Obama mocked those who even raised such a question. Today, a remarkable 72 percent of Americans said they agreed with such a statement. Only 19 percent disagreed.

Are they right? Is Putin as serious a threat as Americans believe? To answer that question requires going beyond Washington conventional wisdom and listening carefully to what he has said in the past.

In 2000, three Russian journalists — Nataliya Gevorkyan, Natalya Timakova, and Andrei Kolesnikov — published First Person, which may prove to be one of the most important books ever written about Putin. It is useful not because the journalists offered their own ­insights or analysis into Putin, but because they simply let Putin speak for himself. They interviewed the Russian leader six separate times, each time for about four hours. The book is merely a transcript, and when it comes to understanding Putin’s ambitions and approach, it is a gold mine of intelligence.

Putin on his mission in life: “My historical mission,” he insisted, is to stop “the collapse of the USSR” (p. 139).  To do this, he vowed to “consolidate the armed forces, the Interior Ministry, and the FSB [the successor to the KGB, the secret police of the Soviet Union]” (p. 140). “If I can help save Russia from collapse, then I’ll have something to be proud of” (p. 204).

On his style: “Everyone says I’m harsh, even brutal,” Putin acknowledged, without ever disputing such observations. “A dog senses when somebody is afraid of it, and bites,” he observed. “The same applies [to dealing with one’s enemies]. If you become jittery, they will think they are stronger. Only one thing works in such circumstances—to go on the offensive. You must hit first, and hit so hard that your opponent will not rise to his feet” (p. 168).

On the czars: “From the very beginning, Russia was created as a super-centralized state. That’s practically laid down in its genetic code, its traditions, and the mentality of its people,” said Putin, adding, “In certain periods of time . . . in a certain place . . . under certain conditions . . . monarchy has played and continues to this day to play a positive role. . . . The monarch doesn’t have to worry about whether or not he will be elected, or about petty political interests, or about how to influence the electorate. He can think about the destiny of the people and not become distracted with trivialities” (p. 186).

On his choice of history’s most interesting political leader: “Napoleon Bonaparte” (p. 194).

On his rise from spy to president: “In the Kremlin, I have a different position. Nobody controls me here. I control everybody else” (p. 131).

On his critics: “to hell with them” (p. 140).

Who is Vladmir Putin? The evidence suggests he sees himself not so much as Russia’s president but as a new czar for a new age. He is determined to expand Russian territory by taking back what was lost when the Soviet Union imploded and restoring the glory of Mother Russia. Sensing weakness in Mr. Obama, he is ready to “go on the offensive” and “hit first, and hit so hard” that his opponent “will not rise to his feet.”

This is precisely why Putin is so dangerous. Hillary Clinton recently compared the Russian leader’s tactics to those of Adolf Hitler. In some ways, she is correct. Putin is not building concentration camps, but he is hungry for power and territory and he doesn’t see a single leader in Europe or in Washington who has the courage to stop him. He is testing, probing, and finding no serious opposition.

If he is not stopped, the question is not whether Vladimir Putin will hit another opponent and seize more territory. The question simply is: When?


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Israel steps up warnings of military strike on Iran to return attention to its nuclear program

JERUSALEM –  A rising chorus of Israeli voices is again raising the possibility of carrying out a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in what appears to be an attempt to draw renewed attention to Tehran’s atomic program — and Israel’s unhappiness with international negotiations with the Iranians.

In recent days, a series of newspaper reports and comments by top defense officials have signaled that the military option remains very much on the table. While Israeli officials say Israel never shelved the possibility of attacking, the heightened rhetoric marks a departure from Israel’s subdued approach since six world powers opened negotiations with Iran last November.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been an outspoken critic of the international efforts to negotiate a deal with Iran. He has spent years warning the world against the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran and fears a final deal will leave much of Iran’s nuclear capabilities intact.

But since the global powers reached an interim agreement with Iran last November, Netanyahu’s warnings about Iran have been largely ignored. A frustrated Israeli leadership now appears to be ratcheting up the pressure on the international community to take a tough position in its negotiations with Iran.

A front-page headline in the daily Haaretz on Thursday proclaimed that Netanyahu has ordered “to prep for strike on Iran in 2014” and has allocated 10 billion shekels (2.87 billion dollars) for the groundwork. Earlier this week, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon hinted that Israel would have to pursue a military strike on its own, with the U.S. having chosen the path of negotiations. And the military chief, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, said this week that Iran “is not in an area that is out of the military’s range.”

An Israeli military strike would be extremely difficult to pull off, both for logistical and political reasons. Any mission would likely require sending Israeli warplanes into hostile airspace, and it remains unclear how much damage Israel could inflict on a program that is scattered and hidden deep underground. In addition, it would likely set off an international uproar, derail the international negotiations and trigger retaliation on Israeli and U.S. targets.

Yoel Gozansky, an Iran expert at the Institute of National Security Studies, a Tel Aviv think tank, said the comments were meant as a wake-up call to the world.

“It was in a coma. It has awoken suddenly,” he said of the military-option talk. “Someone has an agenda to bring up this subject again, which has dropped off the agenda in recent months, especially after the deal with Iran.”

Netanyahu has long been at odds with his Western allies over how to dislodge Iran from its nuclear program. He has called the interim agreement a “historic mistake,” saying it grants Iran too much relief while getting little in return, and fears a final agreement would leave Iran with the capability to make a bomb.

Israel believes that Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies. Israel says a nuclear-armed Iran would pose an existential threat to the Jewish state, citing Iranian calls for Israel’s destruction, its development of long-range missiles and its support for hostile militant groups.

During a swing through Washington early this month, Netanyahu tried to draw attention to the Iranian issue in stops at the White House and in an address to AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobbying group. Israel then engaged in a six-day PR blitz when naval commandos seized a ship in international waters that was carrying dozens of sophisticated rockets Israel said were bound for militants in the Gaza Strip and sent by Iran. The effort was capped by a display of the seized weapons.

But beyond placid acknowledgments from world leaders, the ship’s seizure did little to change the course of negotiations with Iran.

Netanyahu said the world’s indifference to the naval raid was “hypocritical,” and he lashed out at Western leaders for condemning Israeli settlement construction while ignoring Iran’s transgressions.

Netanyahu’s past warnings have been credited with bringing the Iran issue to the fore and galvanizing world powers to take action on the nuclear program. He made headlines in 2012 when he drew a red line on a cartoon bomb during his speech at the U.N. General Assembly.

Yaakov Amidror, who recently stepped down as Netanyahu’s national security adviser, said the threat of a military strike is a real possibility.

“We aren’t playing a game of neighborhood bully. This is a stated policy of the state of Israel and has been made clear … to anyone who meets Israel’s representatives.”

But if Israel is trying to raise the alarm again, the move comes at an inopportune time. The urgency of the Iran issue has taken a backseat to more pressing international crises, namely Russia’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula. With world powers charging forward with negotiations with Iran, threats from Israel are likely to be ignored at best. At worst, they could alienate Israel’s closest allies.

Gozansky said the renewed threats were largely empty because if Israel carried out a strike with diplomacy underway, it would be seen as a warmonger out to destabilize the region. But he said the threats could nonetheless serve as leverage on Iran while it conducts talks. Netanyahu has suggested that may be the case.

“The greater the pressure on Iran,” he said in his speech to AIPAC, “the more credible the threat of force on Iran, the smaller the chance that force will ever have to be used.”


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Is Gog Hooked?

Strange, fast-track things continue to be afoot at this late date of prophetic progression.

America is in swift decline, which those who observe the times in light of Bible prophecy from a futurist, pretribulation viewpoint have long said must happen. The demise is being deliberately orchestrated, in my view and the opinions of others. Many have long surmised that this must be the case, because such a great superpower–apart from the revived Roman Empire—is mentioned nowhere in prophecy yet future.

The European Union (EU)–that prophesied, end-times empire–despite occasional setbacks is on a rapid ascent within the panoply of nation-states. To add to the mix, this Catholic pontiff certainly seems to be working hard in at least preparing the stage for the second beast of Revelation chapter 13 in calling all religions–all peoples, for that matter—together in declaring that there are many ways to God and heaven. He is loved and adored by increasing millions from every religious order, it seems. World media love him, and this just might be the most powerful indicator of all of just what part he is set to play in the wind-up of the age.

Even evangelicals in the U.S. are joining in the welcome of the new pope and his call for unity. Just within the past week or two, ministers such as Kenneth Copeland have begun lauding Pope Francis’ praises for the pope having personally appealed to Copeland and others to join him in this ecumenical move toward uniting the world religiously.

At the same time, more and more evangelicals as well as others within Christendom are turning against Israel as the rightful heir to the land God gave that people. Replacement theology is the order of the day, while our own pretrib view and support for God’s chosen nation diminish daily, it seems. So-called Christian Palestinianism is on the rise–this meaning that Israel, according to those who hold to this “theology”–has no biblically guaranteed place in the world. The gist of the worldview is that the land should be given to the hapless Palestinians, with no thought to any God-given guarantee that some–like us—see in prophecy yet future.

The coalition of nations prophetically destined to come against Israel at the wind-up of human history this side of the Millennium is already in alignment, with the two chief nations of that attack closely in cahoots. Russia (Rosh) and Iran (Persia) are together in nefarious doings to threaten Israel and world peace with their progress toward developing nuclear weaponry. With the Gog-Magog forces gathering, there is a cry for peace and safety. The Roadmap to Peace might be the nucleus of the covenant made with death and hell prophetically scheduled, according to Daniel 9: 26-27 and Isaiah 28: 15, 18.

The man of sin is not in view, but we see prototypes in these days of strange doings. Certainly, we see the road for his coming to power being paved almost hourly. One senses the first beast of Revelation 13 must be waiting in the shadows, just behind the curtain of the end-times stage.

However, there is one prophetic power-player that just could be coming into his own position of last-days destiny. I, of course, am not the only one thinking this while we witness the geopolitical gyrations and machinations of one Vladimir Putin taking place. With ease, seemingly, he has outwitted and outbluffed the supposed leader of the free world and that leader’s secretary of state. While they make inane statements that Mr. Putin should be a good citizen and not act like someone out of the barbaric past, the Russian simply goes about the business of reassembling the Soviet Union with the only push-back consisting of diplomatic gobbledygook.

Wait! There is something about how the diplomats will handle the one known as Gog mentioned somewhere, isn’t there? Oh, yes! It is found in the prophet Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Gog-Magog attack: “Sheba, and Dedan, and the merchants of Tarshish, with all the young lions thereof, shall say unto thee, Art thou come to take a spoil? hast thou gathered thy company to take a prey? to carry away silver and gold, to take away cattle and goods, to take a great spoil?” (Ezekiel 38:13).

This sounds eerily familiar…not unlike the weak-kneed diplomatic protests we are hearing now while Mr. Putin has his way with Ukraine, does it not? Putin can’t let Ukraine remove too far from Russia’s sphere of direct influence. And he won’t.

Russian-owned natural gas and petroleum company, Gazprom, controls nearly one-fifth of the world’s gas reserves and supplies more than half of the gas Ukraine uses annually. Putin threatens to do away with the deal Russia had with the now deposed Ukrainian pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych, because of opposition to Russian hegemony that is developing. The price rise (more than 30%) in gas supply would be disastrous to the already strapped Ukrainian economy.

On top of that threat, the Russian military, of course, has already intruded and awaits orders to bring that state back under total domination like in times of the USSR. Vladimir Putin apparently already has deeply within his tyrannical brain the thought to not only hang on to the energy resources Russia possesses, but to begin expanding Russian influence as he eyes the now gas-rich Israel to the south.

It is thought that Israel will soon make huge inroads into supplying Europe with the absolutely critical energy it needs, because of uncertainty over Russia’s future moves, militarily and otherwise. God’s Word has something to say about some future leader’s thinking and the ramifications that will result from his taking action on those “evil thoughts”:

“And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords” (Ezekiel 38:3).

“Thus saith the Lord GOD; It shall also come to pass, that at the same time shall things come into thy mind, and thou shalt think an evil thought: And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates, To take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land” (Ezekiel 38:10-12).

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Israel unloads 150 containers from Iranian weapons ship


03/09/2014 14:01

IDF experts determining if rockets on vessel have 90 k.m. range or were more advanced M-302 rockets with 150-200 k.m. range.

The Israel Navy unloaded some 150 containers from the Klos C on Sunday morning, a day after the ship docked at Eilat port.

“Just walked through a hangar with rows of these rockets from the Iranian weapons shipment. All I can say is I’m happy they’re in our hands,” IDF Spokesman for International Media Peter Lerner said on his Twitter account.

According to Channel 10, weapons experts who arrived at the naval base in Eilat were trying to determine which type of rockets the ship contained – those with a 90 k.m. range or the more advanced model of the M-302 rocket with a range of 150-200 k.m.

The IDF is expected to complete the unpacking and classification of the weapons on Sunday before presenting their findings at the naval base in Eilat on Monday.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon were expected to travel to Eilat on Monday for the unveiling of the weapons.

Both Netanyahu and Ya’alon addressed the IDF’s interception of the Iranian-sponsored weapons ship on Sunday.

Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that Iran’s blatant lies would be exposed when the contents of the ship were presented on Monday.

Speaking at a memorial ceremony for fallen soldiers in Jerusalem, Ya’alon stated that “the interdiction of the ship reveals the danger and lack of restraint of the regime in Tehran. We face a complicated struggle against a cruel, sophisticated, shifty and versatile enemy.”

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Check out the new prophecy study – Gog Magog battle

I am pleased to announce the addition of a new bible prophecy study on the battle of Gog and Magog from Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39. Please click on the Prophecy Page 3 to find.

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U.S. Fighters Circle Baltics as Putin Fans Fear of Russia

Centuries of Soviet and tsarist oppression taught the three Baltic states to bar their doors whenever the Kremlin issues marching orders. Now they also scramble NATO jets.

President Vladimir Putin’s decision to hold snap military drills in the Baltic Sea last week just as he was pouring troops into Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula sent shock waves through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which demanded, and got, military support from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The U.S. deployed six warplanes to Lithuania yesterday to bolster defenses in the Baltics for the first time since they joined the alliance in 2004, expanding the squadron to 10. Another dozen will arrive in Poland on March 10, the country’s Defense Ministry said. About 150,000 soldiers took part in Putin’s drills, including 3,500 from the Baltic Fleet in Kaliningrad, Russia’s exclave between Poland and Lithuania.

“Russia today is dangerous,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite told reporters at an emergency meeting of European Union leaders in Brussels. “After Ukraine will be Moldova, and after Moldova will be different countries. They are trying to rewrite the borders after the Second World War in Europe.”

Putin Warning

Angst over Russian expansionism is spreading across the former Soviet Union.

Moldova, which borders Ukraine and Romania, has its own secessionist region, Transnistria, where Russian troops are stationed. The former Soviet state is very “anxious” about Putin’s brinkmanship, Prime Minister Iurie Leanca said in an interview in New York. Leanca said he called on President Barack Obama during a meeting this week to provide “strong U.S. leadership” to contain Putin.

The fear is particularly acute in Lithuania, the first republic to declare independence from the Soviet Union, in 1990. Putin, who’s called the Soviet breakup the following year the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century, accused Lithuania and Poland on March 4 of training the “extremists” who ousted Kremlin-backed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in an “unconstitutional” coup. Russian state television aired footage of a Lithuanian farm where it said the rebels stayed.

‘Incite Hatred’

Those “groundless insinuations” are attempts “to justify aggression and to incite hatred against Lithuanians,” Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said on his Twitter account.

A senior U.S. military official said yesterday that the Pentagon isn’t planning additional moves for now beyond the deployments of F-16s to Poland and F-15s to Lithuania. Further actions to signal U.S. resolve would only be taken if Russia adds to tensions in Crimea, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss military planning.

Putin on March 1 sought and obtained parliamentary approval to use force to defend Russian speakers abroad if they are threatened. That prompted U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Army General Martin Dempsey to call leaders in the three nations to pledge U.S. support.

“The Crimea scenario resembles the occupation of the Baltic states by the USSR in 1940,” Latvian Foreign Minister Edgards Rinkevics said on his Twitter account. “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

Trying to build up their defenses against Russia, the Baltic countries rushed toward integration with the West, joining the EU and NATO in 2004. While Estonia and Latvia have already adopted the euro, Lithuania is on track to join the monetary union next year.

NATO Drills

The Baltic states need more NATO military drills on land and at sea to ensure their security, Grybauskaite said in a statement today. The military alliance said on March 5 that it halted day-to-day civilan and military contacts with Russia to protest the Kremlin’s moves in Ukraine.

NATO’s decision shows a “prejudiced, biased approach” to the events unfolding in Ukraine, Alexander Lukashevich, a spokesman for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, said in a statement.

Like Ukraine, the Baltics, home to more than 6 million people, have a large Russian minority. About a quarter of the population in Latvia and Estonia consider themselves Russian. In Lithuania, about 6 percent do.

Latvia and Estonia didn’t grant citizenship automatically to people who moved there during the Soviet era, classifying them as either non-citizens or stateless. Latvia has about 46,000 Russian citizens and 291,000 non-citizens, while Estonia has 95,000 Russian citizens and 91,000 stateless people, government data show. Lithuania, which has fewer Russians, granted everyone citizenship after independence.

Forces Unleashed

“The real problem is how the situation in Ukraine and Putin’s response to it might unleash other forces in places like eastern Latvia,” said Michael E. Smith, professor of International Relations at the University of Aberdeen.

“Even if he has no intention to support local nationalist movements, these kinds of things can spiral out of control,” Smith said by phone from Scotland. “Given the size of the Russian diaspora in the various former Soviet republics, there is a huge capacity for miscalculation.”

Russia’s ambassador to Latvia, Aleksandr Veshnyakov, said on national TV there are “no grounds” for concern that Russia may intervene militarily in the Baltics.

Ukraine was set to take a major step on the path toward EU membership with an association and free-trade accord with the bloc. Yanukovych backed out of the agreement a week before its scheduled signing in November, opting instead for $15 billion of Russian aid and cheaper gas. The ousted leader, who is now in Russia, also pursued closer ties with Russia’s customs union with Kazakhstan and Belarus, Putin’s answer to the EU.

Russian ‘Propaganda’

EU and NATO membership for the Baltic states hasn’t stopped Putin from continuing to exert Russian influence in the region. In September, as Lithuania led the EU’s push for a trade accord with Ukraine, Russia imposed a ban on Lithuanian dairy products, one of the country’s biggest exports. It also increased checks at the border, slowing trade.

“Propaganda against Lithuania sends the message that Russia does not accept Lithuania’s activeness in Ukraine,” said Kristi Raik, an analyst at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs in Helsinki. “If Lithuania continues vocal support to Ukraine and other eastern neighbors, Moscow has ways to punish Lithuania.”

In 2006, irked by Lithuania’s decision to sell the only oil refinery in the Baltics to Poland’s PKN Orlen rather than a Russian company, Russia halted oil supplies by pipeline, forcing the refiner to seek more expensive transportation by sea. The link remains idle today.

Cyberattack, War

In 2007, after Estonia relocated a Soviet World War II memorial, the entire country came under cyberattack. Computers from around the world were used to overload servers with a barrage of access requests that disabled government, banking and media websites. Estonia’s government said the assault was coordinated from inside Russia. Russia denied any involvement.

A year later, after Russia invaded Georgia to defend two breakaway regions, Lithuania led calls for the EU to halt trade talks with the Kremlin in protest. The bloc’s leadership opted at the time against isolating Russia, its largest gas supplier and third-largest trading partner.

“The Georgian war in 2008 was a very bad precedent,” Linkevicius, the Lithuanian foreign minister, said by phone on March 1. “We haven’t learned the lesson and we are seeing something very similar now continuing at another location.”

This time the EU is reacting. Heads of state and government agreed to prepare sanctions against selected Russian officials after the Crimean referendum decision swayed some leaders who wanted to delay such a move. Trade and visa negotiations were also halted.

‘Total Obedience’

Lithuanian officials say Russia’s OAO Gazprom (OGZD), the sole gas supplier in the Baltic states, charges the country at least 25 percent more than other consumers in Europe, where it has a quarter of the market. Lithuania is suing the state-run company for more than 4 billion litai ($1.6 billion), the amount the government says it overpaid.

“Our experience with our big neighbor is definitely complicated,” Grybauskaite, the Lithuanian president, said in an interview on Nov. 18. “With smaller countries, it’s either total obedience or you’re an enemy. There’s no desire to recognize others as equals, but rather various means are used to pressure other countries, economically and politically.”


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Iran Has the Bomb

Just some thoughts on why Iran is dangerous!

By Peter Vincent Pry

For several years now, myself and others have been warning that Iran probably already has the bomb. Contrary to Obama Administration promises that they will know when Iran crosses “the red line” to build the bomb, we have warned that such claims are false.

U.S. intelligence is not good enough to so precisely and with such high confidence monitor and verify the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.


Defense Science Board Report

A recently published Defense Department study “Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies” (January 2014), by the blue ribbon Defense Science Board, concludes the following:

“Closing the nation’s global nuclear monitoring gaps should be a national priority. It will require, however, a level of commitment and sustainment we don’t normally do well without a crisis. …monitoring for proliferation… presents challenges for which current solutions are either inadequate, or more often, do not exist. Among these challenges are… Small inventories of weapons and materials…. Small nuclear enterprises designed to produce, store, and deploy only a small number of weapons…Undeclared facilities and/or covert operations, such as testing below detection thresholds, or acquisition of materials or weapons through theft or purchase… Use of non‐traditional technologies…”

These intelligence blind-spots align perfectly with U.S. monitoring gaps against Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The Defense Science Board Report is tantamount to an admission that Iran probably already has the bomb.

Clandestine Nuclear Weapons Program

Like the North Korean nuclear weapons program, Iran’s nuclear weapons program is clandestine, mostly underground, mostly inaccessible to international inspections, and impenetrable to U.S. national technical means. Most of what we know about Iran’s nuclear program has been disclosed voluntarily by Tehran to the International Atomic Energy Agency.

The U.S. did not even suspect Iran was working on the bomb until 2002, after the program was in operation for some 15 years.

We should know from our own experience that Iran probably already has the bomb. During its World War II Manhattan Project, when nuclear weapons were only a theoretical possibility, and working with 1940s era technology, the U.S. built two atomic bombs of radically different design that both worked perfectly — in a mere three years.

Iran, with access to copious unclassified information on nuclear weapon designs, working with 21st Century technology, helped by the A.Q. Khan network, North Korea, Russia, and China, supposedly has been unable to build the bomb — after thirty years of trying. This is an implausibly optimistic assessment.

North Korea developed its first nuclear weapons in no more than 8 years.

Unreported by the mainstream media are warnings that Iran might already have the bomb by such experts as former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey; former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council Fritz Ermarth; President Reagan’s Science Advisor Dr. William R. Graham; former Director of the Defense Nuclear Agency Vice Admiral Robert Monroe; former Director of the Strategic Defense Initiative Ambassador Henry Cooper; and Israeli intelligence officers, the latter going public in the Israeli newspaper Maariv in September 2013.

Historically, the U.S. intelligence community has underestimated and been surprised by foreign nuclear weapon programs. They were surprised by the first Soviet A-bomb test in 1949, by the Soviet H-bomb test in 1955, by China’s first nuclear test in 1964, by discovery after the 1991 Persian Gulf War that Iraq under Saddam Hussein was within 6 months of developing an atomic bomb, by Pakistan and India’s nuclear tests in 1998, and by North Korea’s nuclear test in 2006.

Nuclear Testing Not Necessary

Nuclear testing is not necessary to develop a nuclear weapon deliverable by aircraft or missile. The U.S. Hiroshima bomb (a “gun-type” uranium bomb) was not tested before use — Hiroshima was the test. Israel, South Africa, and North Korea all developed nuclear weapons without nuclear testing.

North Korea developed its first nuclear weapon by 1993, according to a declassified CIA report and Senate testimony by then Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey. North Korea’s first nuclear test years later, in 2006, was probably for political purposes — nuclear blackmail of the U.S. and its allies — and to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons.

Iran and North Korea are strategic partners and by treaty and in practice share science and technology. North Korean scientists are present in Iran helping its missile and nuclear programs. Iranian scientists reportedly have been present at all three North Korean nuclear tests.

A prudent U.S. foreign and defense policy would assume that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is probably on a par with North Korea’s.

See No Evil

America has a bigger problem with its intelligence community than the inadequacy of national technical means to monitor rogue state and terrorist nuclear weapon programs.

Intelligence community leaders General James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, and Michael Morrell, until recently the Deputy Director of CIA, are proven liars, willing to lie to Congress and the American people to cover up the failures and transgressions of the Obama Administration.

Clapper lied about National Security Agency spying on the American people. He lied again in covering for President Obama’s false assertion that North Korea does not have nuclear missiles — during the crisis over North Korea’s threatened nuclear missile strikes in 2013 — belittling the Defense Intelligence Agency’s accurate assessment that Pyongyang does, in fact, have nuclear armed missiles.

Morrell lied when he altered CIA talking points on Benghazi to protect then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration.

Clapper and Morrell are clear indicators that the Obama Administration has corrupted — the technical word is “politicized” — the intelligence community. How can Congress and the American people trust their intelligence leaders to tell the truth about anything that reflects badly on this White House? The fish rots from the head down.

The biggest liar is in the White House.

The Obama Administration’s Geneva interim agreement with Iran is probably calculated to kick the can down the road so some future administration will get blamed if Iran eventually does a nuclear test. The model is the Clinton Administration’s Agreed Framework with North Korea, which never had any realistic chance of denuclearizing North Korea, but kicked the can to the Bush Administration, so they got blamed for the North Korean bomb when Pyongyang tested in 2006.

Nuclear Surprise

If Iran already has the bomb, why have they not yet tested?

Fritz Ermarth thinks Iran is following the example of North Korea, and probably wants to clandestinely build such robust capabilities so that its nuclear status will become irreversible.

Israel and South Africa never tested because they elected to pursue a policy of deliberate ambiguity, to reap the deterrence benefits of being known nuclear weapon states while avoiding the international opprobrium of making their nuclear status official by testing.

However, most of my colleagues and I conclude from analysis of Iranian and Jihadi statements and writings that Tehran is not interested in the bomb for status or deterrence. The word “deterrence” does not even appear in their military writings about the bomb. It is all about nuclear use, in particular a nuclear electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack that would cause a protracted national blackout, potentially killing millions of Americans through starvation and societal collapse.

For example: “If the world’s industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults, then they will disintegrate within a few years…. American soldiers would not be able to find food to eat nor would they be able to fire a single shot.” (Tehran, Nashriyeh-e Siasi Nezami)

The mullahs who run Iran want the bomb for reasons of religious eschatology having to do with the Shiite version of Apocalypse, the return of their 12th Imam, and the ultimate triumph of Islam in the secular and spiritual universe. In this vision, the Jews and Infidels (that’s us) must convert or die.

The Islamic Bomb has nothing to do with deterrence theory or geostrategic calculations familiar to Western nuclear strategists. The Mullahs have their own timetable for the Apocalypse. They hold a “12th Imam Conference” in Tehran every year to study signs and portents. Their development of nuclear weapons, and the failure of the West to stop them, is itself interpreted as one of the “miracles” indicating the Apocalypse is nigh.

The possibility of nuclear EMP attack is another “miracle” as it destroys the high-tech society and weaponry that is the source of U.S. strength. In this view, Western materialism and worship of the False God that is Technology becomes our downfall.

A Nuclear EMP attack would cause us to destroy ourselves by means of the corrupt lifestyles of an anti-spiritual civilization wholly focused and dependent upon high-tech materialism. We would die for our sins in the perfect act of divine retribution:

“In the context of the final battle… all of the planes and satellites will fall, computers will fail, other equipment will be made useless and… the Earth will be shaken … by nuclear war,” prophesy Abdallah and Shayk Muhammed an-Naqshbandi, “Technology will stop or turn against the Americans.”

The Congressional EMP Commission warned that Iran has several times detonated its Shahab III missile at high altitudes, apparently simulating a nuclear EMP attack. Iran has also demonstrated the capability to launch a ballistic missile from a freighter and make a nuclear EMP strike anonymously, and so perhaps escape retaliation. Iran has also orbited several satellites on trajectories consistent with practicing a surprise nuclear EMP attack against the United States.

Iran has not conducted a nuclear test because its theocracy is not interested in diplomatic “signaling” or Western theories of nuclear deterrence and arms control bargaining. When the mullahs are ready, they will make a surprise nuclear attack. The vaporization of New York City and an EMP attack that crashes American society will be their nuclear tests.

The bottom line is that Iran is a nuclear truck bomb headed our way.

iran missile

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Moscow will halt military steps in Ukraine – only after a US guarantee not to post missile shield there

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 3, 2014, 4:13 PM (IST)

As Washington and the Europeans – and especially the UK – continue to decry Russian military aggression, the US and Russians have quietly entered into intense negotiations on a compromise for resolving their dispute over Ukraine, debkafile’s Washington and Moscow sources report.  

Moscow insists on keeping in place the military forces which took control of Crimea over the weekend, but is ready to discuss terms for restraining the Russian army from advancing into the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine.
The exchanges between the two powers are going through Berlin. The German government is making every effort to dispel the winds of war coming in from the east. Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Vladimir Putin conferred Sunday night by phone and decided to talk again about ways of promoting the negotiations.

Our sources were unable to confirm that Merkel ever said to President Barack Obama when she reported on the conversation in reference to Putin that “she was not sure he was in touch with reality. He lives in another world.”

Senior official sources reported instead that the chancellor had proposed to Putin that Russian troops be withdrawn in stages from Crimea and their place taken by European Union observers.

She also suggested that the interim government provide guarantees to refrain from occupying the regions vacated by the Russian army or harming the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine.

In effect, Chancellor Merkel added her voice to a formulation taking shape in consultations Sunday at EU and NATO headquarters in Brussels, which called for “an inclusive political process in Ukraine based on democratic values, respect for human rights, minorities and the rule of law, which fulfills the democratic aspirations of the entire Ukrainian people.”

Monday, EU foreign ministers began considering how these lofty principles could be applied in practice. One idea gaining ground was for European contact groups to circulate Ukraine and discuss arrangements based on these principles with local authorities.
However, according to our US and Russian sources, Putin is after hard, practical strategic gains, principally, a demilitarized Crimea that would not threaten Russia from its western doorstep.
In fact, the Russian president has couched his demands for further negotiations under four headings:

1.  The Kiev government whichever form it takes must sign an obligation to abstain from any ties with NATO.
2.  Neither the US, NATO or any other power will deploy X-Band or BX-1 radar stations on Ukraine territory whether on land, sea or air. This guarantee would additionally cover elements of an anti-missile missile shield and ballistic missiles placing Russia in their sights.
3.  Restrictions will govern the types of weapons allowed the Ukrainian army.
4.  Local military bodies will be established to protect the Russian-speaking and ethnic Russian regions of Ukraine.
Putin emphasized in his conversation with Merkel that, until those four conditions are met, Russian forces would remain where they are in Crimea and if this was deemed necesssary, advance into other parts of Ukraine.

This list of demands was at the back of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s assertion Monday that Russian troops were needed in Ukraine “to protect Russian interests and citizens – until the normalization of the political situation.” Russia, he said, was defending human rights against “ultranationalist threats.”

It was evident from these words and deeds that Moscow finds the interim government in Kiev unacceptable Moscow and will make every effort to remove it.
US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to pay a visit to Kiev Tuesday, March 4. He follows British Secretary of State William Hague who paid homage to the former protesters in the Ukraine Monday. “Russia has created a tens and dangerous situation, Hague said, calling it “the biggest European crisis in the 21st century.”

Such declarations are unlikely to put Putin off his course, but there is little more that the West can do to turn the clock back to a more advantageous moment in the Kiev fracas.

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Putin gets permission to use military in Ukraine; parliament wants to pull ambassador in DC

Published March 01, 2014

The Russian parliament unanimously voted Saturday to grant President Vladimir Putin permission to mobilize the country’s military in Ukraine and asked that the country’s ambassador in Washington be recalled after earlier statements by President Obama.

Putin says the move is needed to protect ethnic Russians and the personnel of a Russian military base in Ukraine’s strategic region of Crimea. But the request came a day after Obama warned Moscow that “there will be costs” if it intervenes militarily in Ukraine.

“I’m submitting a request for using the armed forces of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine pending the normalization of the socio-political situation in that country,” Putin said before the vote.

Putin’s call came as pro-Russian demonstrations broke out in Ukraine’s Russian-speaking east, where protesters raised Russian flags and beat up supporters of the new Ukrainian government.

Russia’s move sharply raised the stakes in the conflict following the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Russian president last week by a protest movement aimed at turning Ukraine toward the European Union and away from Russia. Ukraine has accused Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” — a claim that brought an alarming new dimension to the crisis, and raised fears that Moscow is moving to intervene on the strategic peninsula where Russia’s Black Sea fleet is based.

The move also appears to formalize what Ukrainian officials described as an ongoing deployment of Russian troops in the strategic region of Crimea. His motion loosely refers to the “territory of Ukraine” rather than specifically to Crimea, raising the possibility that Moscow could use military force in other Russian-speaking provinces in eastern and southern Ukraine where many oppose the new authorities in Kiev.

In Crimea, the pro-Russian regional prime minister had earlier claimed control of the military and police there and asked Putin for help in keeping peace, sharpening the discord between the two neighboring Slavic countries.

Sergei Aksenov, the head of the main pro-Russia party on the peninsula, said in a statement reported by local and Russian news agencies that he appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin “for assistance in guaranteeing peace and calmness on the territory of the autonomous republic of Crimea.”

Aksenov declared that the armed forces, the police, the national security service and border guards will answer only to his orders. He said any commanders who don’t agree should leave their posts.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, said unidentified gunmen sent by Kiev had attempted overnight to seize the Crimea region’s Interior Ministry offices and that people had been wounded in the “treacherous provocation,” Reuters reported.

Ukrainian border guard vessels were put on combat alert in the Crimea region on Saturday and were leaving port to prevent the capture of military bases and ships, Interfax news agency quoted the border guard service as saying, according to Reuters.

Russian troops moved into Crimea Friday, U.S. officials told Fox News, prompting Ukraine to accuse Russia of an “armed invasion.”

Ukraine’s defense minister said on Saturday Russia had “recently” brought 6,000 additional personnel into Ukraine and that the Ukrainian military were on high alert in the Crimea region, Reuters reported.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk opened a cabinet meeting by calling on Russia not to provoke discord in Crimea.

“We call on the government and authorities of Russia to recall their forces, and to return them to their stations,” Yatsenyuk was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency. “Russian partners, stop provoking civil and military resistance in Ukraine.”

At the White House, President Obama said the U.S. government is “deeply concerned” by reports of Russian “military movements” and warned any violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty would be “deeply destabilizing.”

U.S. officials told Fox News they see “evidence of air and maritime movement into and out of Crimea by Russian forces” although the Pentagon declined to officially “characterize” the movement.

Earlier Friday, Agence France Press quoted a top Ukranian official as saying Russian aircraft carrying nearly 2,000 suspected troops have landed at a military air base near the regional capital of the restive Crimean peninsula.

A spokesman for the Ukrainian border service said eight Russian transport planes have landed in Crimea with unknown cargo.

Serhiy Astakhov told The Associated Press that the Il-76 planes arrived unexpectedly Friday and were given permission to land, one after the other, at Gvardeiskoye air base, north of the regional capital, Simferopol.

Astakhov said the people in the planes refused to identify themselves and waved off customs officials, saying they didn’t require their services.

Earlier in the day, Russian armored vehicles rumbled across Crimea and reports surfaced of troops being deployed at airports and a coast guard base – signs of a more heavy-handed approach to the crisis from Moscow.

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