By Jonathan Spyer September 21, 2015 , 7:00 am
The current increase of the Russian military presence in northwest Syria is a function of the declining military fortunes of the Assad regime. It represents a quantitative, rather than qualitative, change in the nature of the Russian engagement in Syria.
Moscow’s goal throughout the conflict has been to keep Syrian President Bashar Assad in power by all means necessary.
The ends remain the same. But as the situation on the ground changes, so the Russian means employed to achieve this goal must change with it.
Since the outset of the Syrian civil war, the key problem for Assad has been manpower.
Against a Sunni Arab rebellion with a vast pool of potential fighters from Syria’s 60 percent Sunni Arab majority and from among foreign volunteers, the regime has been forced to draw ever deeper from a far shallower base.
At the outset of the conflict, the Syrian Arab Army was on paper a huge force – of 220,000 regular soldiers plus an additional 280,000 reserves. But the vast majority of this army was unusable by the dictator. This is because it consisted overwhelmingly of Sunni conscripts, whose trustworthiness from the regime’s point of view was seriously in doubt. Since then, the army has shrunk in size from attrition, desertion and draft dodging.
The story of the last four years has been the attempt by Assad and his allies to offset the reality of insufficient manpower for the task at hand.
This has been achieved by two means.
First, the regime has chosen to retreat from large swathes of the country, in order to be able to more effectively hold the essential areas it has to maintain with its limited numbers.
The abandonment of the country’s east and north led to the emergence of the areas of control held by Kurdish, Sunni Arab rebel, and later al-Qaida and Islamic State forces in these areas.
But of course retreating in order to consolidate is a strategy that can be pursued only so far. At a certain point, the area remaining becomes no longer viable for the purpose intended – namely, the preservation of the regime in a form that can guarantee the needs of its Russian and Iranian backers, and the relative security of the ruling elite itself and to a lesser extent of the population which relies on it and upon which it relies.
To offset the arrival at this point, Assad and his friends have striven in ever more creative ways to put sufficient men in the field, and to maintain the edge in military equipment which could hold back the masses of the lightly armed rebels.
There were the hastily assembled Alawi irregulars of the “shabiha.” Then an increasing commitment of Iranian regional assets – including the Lebanese Hezbollah and Iraqi Shi’ite militia forces. Then there was the Iranian-trained National Defense Forces. In recent months, northwest Syria has witnessed the arrival of “volunteers” from as far afield as the Hazara Shi’ite communities of Afghanistan (paid for by Tehran).
Despite all this effort, the rebels have, since the spring, been pushing westward toward Latakia province.
If the rebels reach Latakia, there is nowhere left to retreat to. The regime and its allies must hold the province or face defeat. The appearance of apparently Russian-crewed BTR-82A APCs on the Latakia battlefield appears to be testimony to Russia’s awareness of this – and its willingness to dig deeper for Assad – even if this means the direct deployment of Russian personnel on the battlefield in a limited way.
The apparent deployment of a growing force of the Russian army’s 810th Independent Marine Brigade at and around the naval depot of Tartus in Latakia province offers further evidence of this commitment, as well as a pointer to the interests in Syria that Moscow regards as vital.
The bolder claims of Russian Pchela 1T UAVs and even Sukhoi Su-27 fighter jets over the skies of the Idlib battlefield are not yet confirmed.
But the respected Ruslanleviev Russian investigative website found the evidence regarding the APCs and the marines around Tartus to be persuasive.
There is a reason why the rebel march toward Latakia cannot simply be absorbed by the regime as a further tactical withdrawal, analogous to earlier retreats from Hasakah, Quneitra, most of Deraa, Aleppo, Idlib and so on.
Latakia province is the heartland of the Syrian Alawi community.
It is a place where regime supporters have been able to convince themselves for most of the last four years that here, at least, they were safe.
If the rebels break through on the al-Ghab Plain, and the front line moves decisively into the populated areas of Latakia, this will be over.
The loss of Latakia province would render the hope of keeping a regime enclave intact no longer viable. It will raise the possibility of the regime losing its control of Syria’s coastline (vital for Assad’s Russian and Iranian backers).
This, in turn, could mean rebel capture of the Tartus naval depot. Hence the deployment of the marines, who, according to information available, have not yet been placed in forward positions facing the rebels. Rather, they are gathered around Tartus for its defense.
So the steady rebel advance in the direction of Latakia is producing a Russian response of a volume and nature not before witnessed on the Syrian battlefield.
Russian weaponry and Russian diplomatic support have been the vital lifelines for Assad throughout the last four years. Previous levels of support are no longer enough. So more is being provided.
Still, the current indications do not appear to suggest or presage a major conventional deployment of Russian forces.
That would go against the known pattern favored by President Vladimir Putin.
Rather, Russian assistance, while on the increase, is likely to be limited to an active support role, perhaps extending to the use of some air power, along with behind-the-scenes advisory and training roles and the use of some specialized personnel in combat or combat support roles.
Meanwhile, as the Russians arrive in Latakia, the rebel mopping up of remaining regime enclaves in Idlib province adjoining Latakia is continuing.
A force of the Jaysh al-Fatah (Army of Conquest) this week captured the last remaining regime air base in the province, at Abu Zuhour.
Jaysh al-Fatah is a union of the northwest’s most powerful rebel groups. Prominent among its components is Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian franchise of al-Qaida. This coalition, supported by Turkey and Qatar and armed with advanced weapons by Saudi Arabia, is altering the military landscape of northwest Syria.
In the weeks ahead, the fighting in northwest Hama and Latakia provinces looks set to intensify, with the Sunni rebels seeking to push further toward the coast.
Assad’s benighted regime, aided by its Russian and Iranian friends, will be throwing everything into the effort to stop them. It remains to be seen if the Russian bear’s increased pressure on the scales will prove again sufficient to maintain the balance.
By Jonathan Spyer September 21, 2015 , 7:00 am
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7477
Some months ago it became known that the German Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendienst – BND) was spying on Turkey. Turkey’s political leadership was none too happy. Yet the BND has good reasons to keep a watchful eye on Ankara. It is not only the crises in Iraq and Syria, drug-smuggling, people-trafficking and the activities of the PKK that make Turkey a legitimate target for German intelligence. For quite some time, evidence is mounting that Ankara is trying to acquire nuclear weapons.
Over the past two decades, discussions within the nuclear community about emerging nuclear powers always centred on the “usual suspects”: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Egypt, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. Not surprisingly, opinions as to the likelihood of a military nuclear program differed. In the case of Iran, for example, the evidence appeared solid. By contrast, the case of Turkey was built on vague indications.
This list of likely nuclear aspirants has not changed since, yet the likelihood of a Turkish nuclear weapons program has increased dramatically. Simply put: the Western intelligence community now largely agrees that Turkey is working both on nuclear weapon systems and on their means of delivery. Iran is the model to emulate. Consequently, Turkey has started a large-scale civilian nuclear program, justified by the country’s urgent energy needs. In 2011, Turkey concluded a $20bn contract with the Russian company ROSATOM on a large reactor complex. Two years later, a similar agreement was concluded with a Japanese-French consortium, this time over $22bn. President Erdogan also announced yet another power plant, to be built entirely by indigenous personnel.
So far, so good, one might say. After all, nuclear energy seems like a sensible option to at least partially meet Turkey’s demand for affordable energy. However, a thorough analysis of the contracts reveals that these projects are not just about improving Turkey’s energy supply. Turkey has also consciously opened the door to a military nuclear option.
Proposals for constructing a light-water reactor usually consist not just of a commitment to build the plant according to agreed specifications and timelines, but also commitments to run the project for sixty years, to provide the required low enriched uranium and to take back the spent fuel rods. Such offers were put forward by both Rosatom and the Japanese-French consortium. However, in both cases, Turkey insisted that the deal would neither include the provision of uranium nor the return of the spent fuel rods. Ankara wanted to deal with this matter separately at a later stage. Turkey never provided an explanation for this decision. However, the intention behind this unusual maneuvering is not difficult to fathom. Turkey wants to maintain the option to run the reactors with its own low enriched uranium and to reprocess the spent fuel rods itself. This, in turn, means that Turkey intends to enrich uranium, at least to a low level.
And there is more. The option to provide low enriched uranium to currently eight agreed reactors—Turkey is planning twenty-three projects in total—indicates the scope of Turkey’s envisioned enrichment effort. The path that Turkey wants to take is clear: to follow in Iran’s footsteps. According to President Rouhani, Iran wants to build sixteen reactors by 2030, which are supposed to be powered by indigenously enriched uranium, although much of this low enriched uranium is earmarked for high enrichment and thus for the production of weapons-grade fuel. Of course, Turkey vehemently denies any intention to enrich uranium. However, Turkey has declared on many occasions that it will always insist on its “rights” deriving from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and that it regards enrichment for peaceful use as perfectly legal. That the Turkish government is at pains to justify its rejection of an external supply of low enriched uranium while not admitting a national interest in enrichment was illustrated by a statement made by the Turkish Minister for Energy, Taner Yildiz, in January 2014. Yildiz argued that the refusal to contractually settle the uranium supply with the aforementioned companies was due to Turkey’s desire to understand the full nuclear fuel cycle. Not only does Yildiz’ explanation appear weak; Turkey’s declaratory nuclear policy also seems to follow the path taken by Iran: one only admits what in light of the facts can no longer be denied.
Turkey’s motives for rejecting the continuous uranium supply by its Russian and Japanese-French business partners may appear dubious; its rejection to return the spent fuel rods to the supplying countries is outright disastrous, as it allows for only one conclusion: Turkey is bent on producing plutonium for making weapons. While reprocessing would indeed allow the reuse of the spent uranium, such an option is merely theoretical, since fuel rods made from reprocessed material are far more expensive than those made from “new” uranium. It is for this reason that reprocessing of spent uranium is hardly being conducted anymore.
With its rejection to return the spent fuel rods, Turkey is embarking on the pathway to the bomb. The common counterargument, according to which the separation of the “dirty” plutonium would require a sophisticated reprocessing plant that currently does not exist in Turkey, remains unconvincing. Studies have shown that such a plant can be built within half a year and would be the size of a regular office building. Moreover, the widespread belief that in order to build a nuclear weapon, one requires weapons-grade plutonium with an impurity level of at most 7 percent, is long obsolete. Already in 1945, General Groves, the leader of the “Manhattan Project,” noted that due to the shortage of pure plutonium, the United States would soon be forced to use material with an impurity level of up to 20 percent. In 1962, the United States detonated a plutonium bomb in Nevada that had an impurity level of 23 percent. Finally, if the fuel rods of a light water reactor do not remain inside the reactor for several years, which is the economically viable option, but are removed after only six to twelve months, one ends up with weapons-grade plutonium. The Iranian reactor Bushehr offers a telling example. If the reactor were powered down after eight months and the fuel rods removed, Iran would own 150 kilogrammes of plutonium with an impurity level of only 10 percent—the equivalent of twenty-five Nagasaki-category bombs. In short, the weaponization of plutonium has many facets.
The assumption that Turkey is aiming for nuclear weapons is also supported by the country’s activities towards creating the entire nuclear fuel cycle. As has been revealed by a well-connected information service, German intelligence reported that as far back as May 2010, Prime Minister Erdogan had demanded to secretly start preparing for the construction of sites to enrich uranium. Accordingly, Turkey has started to produce Yellowcake, a chemically compressed uranium ore. Yellowcake is converted to gas, which is then enriched in centrifuges. To date, nothing is publicly known about a conversion plant in Turkey, yet according to the BND, Turkey is already in possession of enriched uranium originating from a former Soviet republic and smuggled via Kosovo and Bosnia and Herzegovina with the help of the Mafia. It would not come as a surprise if Turkey already had centrifuges to enrich uranium. After all, Turkey was involved in the activities of Pakistani nuclear smuggler Abdul Qadeer Khan, who between 1987 and 2002 sold thousands of centrifuges to Iran, North Korea and Libya. The electronics of these centrifuges came from Turkey. Khan had even contemplated moving his entire illegal production capacity of centrifuges to Turkey. In 1998, then Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif offered Turkey a “nuclear partnership” on nuclear research. Moreover, there is still an organic partnership between both countries dating back to Turkey’s support for Pakistan’s nuclear program. Back then, many of the components that Pakistan could not acquire openly were shipped via Turkey to Pakistan. With this backdrop, it does not come as a surprise when intelligence services report that to this day there is a dynamic scientific exchange between both countries.
The question of whether Turkey already has centrifuges and where they may have come from can probably be answered without the recourse to any revelations by intelligence services. At the same time, this might help solve one of the last enigmas of the history of nuclear proliferation: the search for the “fourth customer” of A.Q. Khan. In mid-2003, a shipment of centrifuge parts and tools intended for Libya “disappeared” during a journey from Malaysia via Dubai to Tripoli. It had been ordered—and probably already paid for—by President Gaddafi as part of a major deal on 10,000 centrifuges intended to turn Libya into a nuclear power. The sender of the shipment was A.Q. Khan, who had ordered a company in Malaysia to buy the components from all over the world and ship them to Libya.
Although the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) tried for years to solve that case, what happened to this shipment could never be determined. Still, the IAEA could not simply drop that case, since the disappearance of this shipment could only mean one thing: in addition to the well-known three customers of A.Q. Khan, there must have been yet another. Accordingly, many experts refer to a mysterious “fourth customer.”
The enigma about the “fourth customer,” who appears to work on a nuclear option with utmost secrecy, has never been solved, even though a resolution appears to become ever more urgent. If one compares Pakistan’s production volumes with the production that Khan sold to his three customers beyond Pakistan’s own national needs, one finds considerable discrepancies. In other words, the “fourth customer” has received much more from Khan than just the one shipment originally intended for Libya. Khan, however, remains silent. Considering that, according to intelligence sources, Turkey is in possession of a considerable number of centrifuges of unknown origin, and considering that Khan, shortly before he was put under house arrest, had travelled to Turkey, the conclusion that Turkey is the fourth customer does not appear far-fetched.
Yet this may only be one part of the story. Khan not only delivered centrifuges to his customers, he also supplied them with blueprints for the design of nuclear weapons. The CIA uncovered such plans in Libya in 2003, which had been kept in a department store plastic bag. And in the course of investigating Saddam Hussein’s nuclear activities, the IAEA found a one-page document in 1998 that turned out to be a comprehensive offer by Khan to turn Iraq into a nuclear-armed power within three years, for the price of 150 million dollars. This offer explicitly referred to providing Iraq with all necessary components and blueprints for making nuclear weapons.
If Turkey had indeed been the “fourth customer” of the Pakistani nuclear smuggler, one must assume that the country is now in possession of all documentation necessary to build a bomb. And even if Turkey had not been the fourth customer, one must assume that, given the long cooperation on the production of centrifuges, Khan did instruct his preferred partner not just in how to use centrifuges, but also in weaponization.
Given the ambiguities surrounding the level of nuclear expertise of Turkish scientists, it remains difficult to offer clear-cut facts about the current state of Turkey’s nuclear activities. What appears worrying, however, are statements from intelligence circles about an advanced nuclear program. According to some sources, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu informed then Greek prime minister Papandreou on March 15, 2010 that Turkey could become a nuclear power any time it wanted to.
Another indirect piece of evidence for the existence of a Turkish nuclear-weapons program is Ankara’s missile program. For a long time, Turkey appeared content with developing short-range missiles with a range of up to 150 km. However, over the past years, various public statements indicate a change of course. Much publicity was given to a December 2011 statement by President Erdogan, in particular his demand to the Turkish defence industry to develop long-range missiles. While Turkish media interpreted Erdogan’s statement as a plea for intercontinental ballistic missiles, it remained unclear whether the president was really thinking in these terms. However, two months later, Turkey appears to have started developing a medium-range missile with a range of 2500 km. In 2012, Turkey tested a missile with a range of 1500 km, and it also became known that the missile with a range of 2500 km would be operational by 2015.
Even if Turkey will not be able to keep these deadlines, its intention to develop medium-range missiles is clear. This raises the question as to the strategic rationale of such weapons. The answer is fairly simple: Medium-range missiles only make sense with a nuclear payload. Thus, Turkey’s development of medium- or long-range missiles can only be explained in the context of a nuclear-weapons program. In a nutshell, Turkey’s desire to build missiles with longer ranges is a strong piece of evidence for the existence of a nuclear program.
But what are the views of Turkey’s political leadership on this issue? There are, of course, no public statements arguing the case for a national nuclear option. However, some statements can be interpreted as conditioned statements of intent. In August 2011, Turkey’s ambassador to the United States, Namik Tan, said: “We cannot tolerate that Iran obtains nuclear weapons.” This position was made more concrete two years later by President Abdullah Gül. In an interview with the journal Foreign Affairs, Gül said that “Turkey will not allow that a neighbouring country has weapons that Turkey itself does not have.” Since it should be clear by now to Turkish politicians that Iran, irrespective of the deal with the P5+1, will continue to pursue a nuclear program, there is no point anymore in conditioning one’s own nuclear work. Domestic hurdles appear low: In a 2012 poll, 54 percent of the 1500 people interviewed were in favor or Turkish nuclear weapons if Iran went nuclear.
Given these developments, it becomes clear why Turkey is a legitimate target for German intelligence. A NATO ally who appears to increasingly envision its own role as that of a nuclear-armed regional heavyweight is a development of tremendous importance that Germany cannot afford to ignore. Given Erdogan’s vision of Turkey as a self-confident, assertive and potentially independent regional leader in the Middle East, and given the existence of an established (Israel) and an emerging nuclear power (Iran), Turkey has no real alternative but to acquire nuclear arms as well. If Turkey does not opt for nuclear weapons, it will remain second class—a position that Erdogan cannot and will not accept.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7475
By R. Siva Kumar(firstname.lastname@example.org) – 20 Sep ’15 12:54PM
It was an 8.3 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that made a million Chilean people leave their homes on Wednesday night, while the casualties this year totalled a dozen, compared to the 500 due to the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in 2010.
“It’s a positive message for us. If the Chileans can evacuate a million people in 15 or 20 minutes, we should be able to do it as well,” said Costas Synolakis, director of the University of Southern California’s Tsunami Research Center, according to NBC News.
The cities on the West Coast are vulnerable and exposed to risk, if the Cascadia fault line gets stoked by the earthquake, leading to the worst disaster. “Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast. This is one time that I’m hoping all the science is wrong, and it won’t happen for another thousand years,” said Kenneth Murphy, FEMA director.
The Cascadia subduction zone has got its name from the Cascade Range or chain of volcanic mountains following the same course for a hundred miles. On the other hand, the “subduction zone” is the earth’s tectonic plate that is sliding below another, according to The New Yorker. This is a zone that stretches for 700 miles off-coast of Pacific Northwest, beginning from Cape Mendocino, California, along Oregon and Washington, and ending around Vancouver, Canada.
Research shows that the”Pacific Northwest is 72 years overdue for a megaquake”, which might ravage Pacific Northwest, as reported by HNGN.
While this area is susceptible to a lot of danger, scientists are clear that we can take some measures to address it.”OSSPAC estimates that in the I-5 corridor it will take between one and three months after the earthquake to restore electricity, a month to a year to restore drinking water and sewer service, six months to a year to restore major highways, and eighteen months to restore health-care facilities. It’s a major fault line. It’s going to produce a very major earthquake. The response to that should not be blind panic or obliviousness. You’re better off being prepared than sticking your head in the sand,” said Kathryn Schulz, journalist and writer of “The Really Big One,” according to KGW.
Is Turkey Secretly Working on Nuclear Weapons?
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7473
By Susan Duclos – All News PipeLine
SkyWatchTV’s Derick Gilbert is joined by Chris Pinto, founder of Adullam Films who discusses his new documentary about the Georgia Guidestones called “Dark Clouds Over Elberton,” where Pinto discloses they have discovered the secret identity of the mysterious “R.C. Christian,”… the man behind the construction of the Guidestones.
Sometimes referred to as the “American Stonehenge, the Georgia Guidestones monument is 19 feet 3 inches tall, made from six granite slabs weighing 237,746 pounds and has a set of 10 guidelines is inscribed on the structure in eight modern languages, and a shorter message is inscribed at the top of the structure in four ancient language scripts: Babylonian, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs. (Source)
According to some the set of 10 guidelines are believed to be the “10 commandments of the Antichrist,” and the information uncovered during Mr. Pinto’s research confirms the sinister nature of not only the message, but of the man behind the guidestones and his link to Eugenics and the depopulation agenda.
Those 10 guidelines are:
MAINTAIN HUMANITY UNDER 500,000,000 IN PERPETUAL BALANCE WITH NATURE
GUIDE REPRODUCTION WISELY – IMPROVING FITNESS AND DIVERSITY
UNITE HUMANITY WITH A LIVING NEW LANGUAGE
RULE PASSION – FAITH – TRADITION – AND ALL THINGS WITH TEMPERED REASON
PROTECT PEOPLE AND NATIONS WITH FAIR LAWS AND JUST COURTS
LET ALL NATIONS RULE INTERNALLY RESOLVING EXTERNAL DISPUTES IN A WORLD COURT
AVOID PETTY LAWS AND USELESS OFFICIALS
BALANCE PERSONAL RIGHTS WITH SOCIAL DUTIES
PRIZE TRUTH – BEAUTY – LOVE- SEEKING HARMONY WITH THE INFINITE
BE NOT A CANCER ON THE EARTH – LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE – LEAVE ROOM FOR NATURE
Eugenics is defined by Dictionary.com as ” the study of or belief in the possibility of improving the qualities of the human species or a human population, especially by such means as discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits (negative eugenics) or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits (positive eugenics)”
Related: The Horrifying American Roots of Nazi Eugenics
Depopulation Agenda, which is described as a “conspiracy theory by Rational Wiki, despite some very high profile world leaders promoting the agenda, is a plan to reduce population using an overpopulation crisis as the pretext, or a secret eugenics plan cover-up. In other words, an agenda by the elite to kill off the “useless eaters.”
Related : 22 Shocking Population Control Quotes From The Global Elite
In part one and part two of the interview below, Pinto describes how they uncovered the identity of R.C. Christian, his connections to the Eugenics and depopulation agenda, how this all fits in with bible prophecy, the elites’ plan for a “global government,” and more. Pinto also explains why the Georgia Guidestones are referred to as the 10 commandments of the antichrist, as well as connecting them to events and statements we are hearing pushed by the elites in the present day.
Key quote from Pinto – “To me that’s the most disturbing part of the monument, is it seems to call for the abolishment of Christianity, and we’re seeing such a war on Christianity in the world today. ”
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7468
By Darryl Fears
Researchers knew California’s drought was already a record breaker when they set out to find its exact place in history, but they were surprised by what they discovered: It has been 500 years since what is now the Golden State has been this dry.
California is in the fourth year of a severe drought with temperatures so high and precipitation so low that rain and snow evaporate almost as soon as they hit the ground. A research paper released Monday said an analysis of blue oak tree rings in the state’s Central Valley showed that the amount of mountain snow California relies on for moisture hasn’t been so low since the 1500s. That was around the time when European explorers landed in what became San Diego, when Columbus set off on a final voyage to the Caribbean, when King Henry VIII was alive.
A team of researchers embarked on the study in April when state officials announced they had found “no snow whatsoever” in the Sierra Nevada mountains for the first time in 75 years of measuring. The research showed the level of snowpack is actually the lowest it has been in five centuries. Mountain snowpack provides 30 percent of California’s annual water supply when it melts and flows to rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs. Across the state, the levels of water in those bodies are nearing historic lows.
“The results were astonishing,” Valerie Trouet, an associate professor at the University of Arizona who was a senior author for the study published in the journal Nature. “We knew it was an all-time low over a historical period, but to see this as a low for the last 500 years, we didn’t expect that. There’s very little doubt about it.”
In a statement, Nature said the “findings highlight the critical condition” of California’s reservoirs and groundwater, where water the state needs for municipalities and agriculture is stored. Both of those sources are slowly being drained, with little precipitation to replenish the rivers and lakes that supply them.
The small amount of moisture stored in plants and the soil is quickly evaporating into the state’s dry atmosphere, exposing the parched ground to lightning strikes that spark wildfires. California has experienced about a thousand more wildfires this fire season compared to last, including two that are currently raging in the northern part of the state.
California is having its “second-busiest season in a decade,” said Stanton Florea, a spokesman for the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region, which manages 21 million acres of wildlands in California.
In April, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) ordered the state’s first mandatory water cut for metropolitan areas. He announced the restriction from a dry patch of grass in the Sierra Nevada near Lake Tahoe that normally would have been wet from melting snow.
Since that day, the state’s 400 water utilities have implemented water cuts of up to 35 percent in some areas, and farmers who long enjoyed the right to freely take water from rivers to water crops and hydrate livestock gave up a quarter of those rights for fear that the state would restrict them even more. Federal and state officials have used convoys to truck salmon and other fish from one part of the state to another, fearing a mass die-off if they tried to migrate to the Pacific Ocean in rivers that are abnormally low and completely dry in places.
And the news keeps getting worse. A study by scientists at NASA and Columbia University said California was one of several states in the Southwest facing a mega-drought that could last up to 30 years if greenhouse gas emissions are not dramatically curtailed by 2050. A study by scientists at Stanford University said a future of more-frequent drought in California is a near certainty because temperatures are increasing at a time when precipitation rates are steady, allowing heat to overwhelm the moisture. And another Columbia study said California’s current drought is part of a natural pattern, but human-caused climate change has made it significantly worse.
The Columbia study analyzed month-to-month climate data between 1901 and 2014 to find fluctuations in precipitation, wind, temperature and humidity. It said average temperatures in California have increased by 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit over 113 years. And, starting in the 1960s, heat increased with the introduction of more greenhouse gases from automobiles and other sources.
“When greenhouse gases accumulate, it’s like a bully showing up at your door to demand that you give it more and more every year,” said the study’s lead author, Park Williams, a bio-climatologist at Columbia University’s Earth Science Institute. In California, that meant more moisture evaporated from rain and from groundwater sprayed on crops in farming regions such as the Central Valley.
Thursday’s study “confirms the same message” of the earlier studies, and supports their warnings about the impacts of climate change, Trouet said. “It’s dry. We’re not just confirming, we’re refining.”
The historic nature of the current drought was well known, but how it ranked over time was not. When Trouet and her team learned in April that snowpack that usually supplies 30 percent of the California’s potable water each year was so low, “we realized we had the data from previous research to put this into context for the longer term,” she said.
What they didn’t have were fresh tree samples, so Stahle of Arkansas traveled to the Central Valley and extracted a core sample from blue oak trees. Blue oaks love winter rain, and their tree rings express it with wide bands. Low periods of moisture result in narrow bands. “It’s like a bar code,” said Trouet.
A warning buoy sits on the dry, cracked bed of Lake Mendocino near Ukiah, Calif. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP)
Blue oaks in the valley are a long way from the Sierra Nevada mountains in the northern part of the state, but the same weather systems that supply rain to the low elevations where they stand result in snow in high mountain elevations. Analyzing the new core samples and others taken in previous years, the scientists didn’t observe rings as narrow at low elevations as today’s until a period that dated from the 1500s.
“We looked at the past 500 years,” Trouet said. “This is the most extreme. It doesn’t mean this won’t happen again for another 500 years. It’s likely that this will happen more often in the future because of the low amount of precipitation combined with higher temperatures makes it likely that they will occur together more often, causing droughts.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7466
The theory of 65-year cycles points to a critical moment in China’s evolution
By Bernie Quigley | 09/03/15 1:02pm
Five Chinese navy ships are currently operating in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, marking the first time the U.S. military has seen them in the area. Why the sudden interest?
Because the Chinese have been studying the cycles. From generational theorists William Strauss and Neil Howe, they have learned that political/cultural cycles last only 65 years, and then they collapse, cycles first observed by Taoist monks and Roman philosophers. And China is exactly 66 years advanced since the Chinese Communist Revolution of 1949. In terms of generational cycles, China is on the eve of destruction. (In terms of the Strauss/Howe theory, so are we.)
The Chinese have been studying Western theories and economic cycles like the Elliott Wave, which suggests that the life cycle of a dominant currency has its limitations, and the American dollar cycle has ended. They have been studying economist Harry Dent, investment gurus Jim Rogers, Marc Faber and libertarian Ron Paul, seen often here only in the shadows, and understand that America is at a full economic transition, potentially a catastrophic cultural turning.
They have been reading Nicholson Baker’s day-by-day account, Human Smoke: The beginnings of WWII, the End of Civilization. They understand fully without Western sentimentality or illusion what comes next at the end of the economic cycle: Total war.
Would Americans in the Lower 48 defend Alaska? Canada? Or would we instead deal Canada away to avoid war below and “find peace”?
And they know that they have every advantage, for so many reasons. The first might reach back to 1913, when the 17th Amendment was approved in America. It focused power in New York and Washington and nullified the natural rise and development of states and regions into indigenous republics or “laboratories of democracy,” the phrase used by Justice Louis Brandeis. But created in time a vast meandering horde wandering without fences, formed by Hollywood light and sound, answering to no one, or anyone. It was one of the early Tea Party initiatives to put the fences back, but it is now too late and not enough.
They understand the “lessons of Vietnam”: Here in the age of the individualized common man where every woman or man can be emperor, it is not just the rich who will not fight, not just the connected who will avoid service (Dick Cheney had five military deferments in the Vietnam era). Almost no one will fight and those who do will be despised.
And although nostalgico generations celebrating Franklin D. Roosevelt (like Bernie Sanders) still romantically view us as unified (largely European) minions formed by great Hollywood figures; Frank Capra, Howard Hawks, Gary Cooper movies like Sergeant York, we no longer are. We view ourselves today as “totalitarian lite” benevolent world conquerors and everybody wants to be like us (except the Chinese and Russians). Senator from Arkansas Tom Cotton today calls for “global military dominance.” But we have no temperament for war. Scholarly studies report that, just one percent of current residents of New Jersey have served in military since Vietnam.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s appeasement of the Ayatollahs in the Iran deal comes as no surprise. Not to China, which carefully plans its next steps in the now permanent relationship with the war-weary and wary West.
Jim Webb, warrior/scholar and former Senator from Virginia, who is running for president has been watching this a long time.
“From this point forward,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal back in 2001, “no one should doubt that our over investment in the economy of a nondemocratic and ever more aggressive nation has seriously compromised our ability to conduct foreign policy in the world’s most dynamic region. And the fact that we have become vulnerable to a Chinese military modernized through the benefits of our own technology should give all of us pause.”
Webb prefaced his article with a quote from Sun Tzu, in The Art of War: “Draw them in with the prospect of gain, take them by confusion. Use anger to throw them into disarray.”
It is safe to say today that we are now passed the “draw them in” phase and entering into the “take them by confusion” phase and that is what the Chinese ships are doing off the Alaskan coast. Soon ahead, the “use anger to throw them into disarray” phase.
Possibly we would come together in defense today if an outside invader approached the United States (Lower 48) either from China on one side, or Russia on the other. But would Americans in the Lower 48 defend Alaska? Canada? Or would we instead deal Canada away to avoid war below and “find peace”? As our long, intimate, historic relationship with Israel disintegrates almost overnight, General Secretary of the Communist Party Xi Jinping thinks he knows the answer.
Most Americans who have never seen Dougie Gilmour crawl off the ice with a broken leg in his last day on ice, have never been to Tim Hortons or canoed the mystic Canadian wilderness, think Canadians are silly, preoccupied only with hockey. Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin, who wants to be president, fully personifies this dangerous American narcissism: He wants to build a fence not only across the border with Mexico, but one across the border with Canada as well. But Canada, and Alaska, are absolutely vital to America’s defence, even to our very existence.
Time to read again, John McPhee’s Coming into the Country. Time to read again, Margaret Atwood’s Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature. Time to read again, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
That President Obama is the first American president to cross into the Arctic Circle is astonishing. That tells the Chinese, and the Russians who planted the flag at the North Pole and declared it to be their own well back in 2007, virtually everything they need to know about our relationship with the Great White North.
That is where they must start in the next phase of civilization between China, Russia and North America: Using “anger to throw them into disarray.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7457
World War III: America’s Enemies Position Themselves To Make War Against The US – Preparation For Our Invasion And Destruction Escalate Daily
‘We Have Been Betrayed Both From Within And From Without As Our Entire Way Of Life, Blessings And Freedoms Are About To Vanish Forever!’ Steve Quayle
By Stefan Stanford – All News Pipeline – Live Free Or Die
Back on January 12th, 2015, Susan Duclos published a story on ANP in which she asked if visions and prophecies showing the destruction of America at the hands of a foreign invasion were about to come to pass. With recent developments on both our East and West coasts involving Russian and Chinese spy ships and warships trolling our shores, we find it’s time to revisit Susan’s story and the prophecies and visions of Henry Gruver, Dumitru Duduman, Pastor David Wilkerson and others below, all of whom have warned us America’s days are numbered and our sudden destruction may soon be at hand.
The newly released video directly below and screenshot above from a Chinese tech giant show a CGI version of China attacking an American base should tell us what the mainstream media won’t, our very way of life is in danger. We have been betrayed. Why would China so publicly release this video while their warships skirt Alaskan shores while Obama was visiting? What are they trying to tell us? The 2nd video below from Professor Doom2 tells us all about this bizarre video. Much more below videos including a January 2015 SQAlert that we can now see coming to fruition as well as a look at the escalation that we are now witnessing near America’s shores. We also learn of another upcoming foreboding September event.
In the next video below, a compilation of news reports from SignsofThyComing, we learn that the Russian spy ship that was recently announced by the Pentagon as being in our territorial waters traveled up and down the entire East coast and its’ specialties include deep sea surveillance and ‘cable cutting’. We’re told that the ships cable cutting ability could possibly be used to cut off communications between our leaders at home and our military overseas. Even Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ spoke of the utmost importance of disrupting an enemies communications.
Are events of the past week more signs that we are now getting closer to the fulfillment of those visions and prophecies or have China and Russia simply determined that they’d like to learn a little bit more about America with their close passes? This next video also tells us that China and Russia have been holding their largest ever joint naval drills and with the Chinese ships seen near Alaska recently now heading home according to Reuters, all of this only weeks before China’s President Xi Jinping makes his first state visit to Washington and the White House later this month makes for another momentous September event.
A January 2015 SQAlert warned that our GPS systems were being taken over by the Russians and Chinese and that an ‘entire pre-invasion plan’ was being put into place. Coming from a SQ reader in Texas and a former intel guy, their warnings to us (republished below) have since been confirmed by GPSWorld and previous stories from RT and Gizmodo that warned.:
China is now one step closer to become the top economic and military superpower in the world: their Beidou geo-positioning system is now fully armed and operational.
Beidou cuts China’s dependency of the American GPS system completely. It means that they would be able to launch any attack and move their forces around the world without any US interference. Right now, the United States can deactivate their Global Positioning System so nobody can use it in certain areas. That includes enemy armies. After Beidou, however, this will be impossible.
How accurate is Beidou?
Civilian transports would be able to know where they are within a range of 10 meters. They would also be able to record speed with a 0.2 metres-per-second error margin and synchronize their clocks with an accuracy of 0.02 millionths of a second. This is way better than the United States’ GPS system, which has an accuracy of 20 meters (66 ft). Garmin claims that their receivers are accurate to within 15 meters on average, which is worse than the accuracy claimed by the Chinese.
Like GPS, however, Beidou has two modes: civilian and military. The Chinese military will have even more accuracy. They haven’t disclosed by how much.
With last-minute US Military drills being held off of the East Coast cutting off much satellite positioning for the month of September, is all of this happening according to a well thought out plan? The January 2015 SQAlert.:
GPS BEING TAKEN OVER BY RUSSIANS AND CHINESE-WHOLE PRE- INVASION PLAN IN PLACE
Just something weird. I live in S Texas, avid user of GPS. Last couple of weeks the GPS has been haywire. Today I noticed a few local hotels listed on one of the main freeways in my city written in Chinese! I have never seen this before! In order to see the name of the hotel in English you have to tap to open a new window.
Considering what’s going on I thought it quite interesting, not to mention frightening! Still my trust is always in the Lord! I know I am protected. Kris
———– FORMER INTEL GUY—Not surprising since the system is being changed over to the Glonass satellite system for GPS rather than the use of US GPS satellites. The US 911- system also being turned over to that, so very easy for Russian or Chinese partner takeover and control. All being done in increments so final takeover will be easy. The sheeple are not being told this. Jesus is Lord.
A look at Susan’s January story told us: Dumitru Dudaman envisioned Russia attacking America by sea and destroyed America by nuclear weapons. Henry Gruver described a vision of the invasion of America and its total destruction by the hands of the Russians and the Chinese. He saw Russia moving by sea and air from the north to destroy America by nerve gas and nuclear weapons. David Wilkerson described an economic collapse followed by a Russian invasion. William Branham saw an explosion, and the nation of America was turned into ashes from coast to coast.
In the next video below we take a much deeper look at the invasion prophecies of Henry Gruver and have to ask if we are now beginning to witness a warning fulfilled. Events of recent days certainly seem to show that we’ve reached an entirely new level of the falling of America. First, from Dudaman’s prophecy.:
“The Russian spies have discovered where the most powerful nuclear missiles are in America. It will start with the world calling for ‘peace, peace. Then there will be an internal revolution in America, started by the Communists. The government will be busy with internal problems. Then, from the oceans, Russia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Central America, Mexico, and two other countries will attack! The Russians will bombard the nuclear missile silos in America. America will burn.”
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7453
Last Minute East Coast Military Drills Send Out September Alarm As China Warships Seen Off Coast Of Alaska – Something Very Strange Is Going On!
By Stefan Stanford – All News Pipeline – Live Free Or Die
With the Pentagon recently warning that 5 Chinese war ships were seen off of the coast of Alaska, we take a look at an alarming story from AINonline that tells us on very late notice from the Department of Defense, ADS-B Surveillance and TCAS operations over Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida might become ‘unreliable’ as of 1 a.m. September 2nd.
The National Airspace System has told the FAA that they need much more notice for such military exercises that we learn here will go on until October 1st and will cover up to 200 miles off of the East coast. As the 1st two videos below from Spiro and Professor Doom1 tell us, this new information should be a major alert for the entire East coast and anyone at all who is paying attention. The major new SQAlert below outlines the danger that we all now face due to these latest ‘exercises’.
Why would the US military suddenly need to run such exercises off of the East coast of America and on such very short notice? Does this have anything to do with the 1st time ever China war ships seen off of the coast of Alaska? Is all of this tied to the mysterious explosions that we have recently seen in China and the escalating hostile rhetoric, cyberattacks and financial warfare between the two nations? Following the 1st two videos below we take a look at recent reports of Chinese warships seen off the coast of Alaska as well as a video examining what appears to be World War 3 unfolding before our very eyes.
EMERGENCY ALERT CONCERNING- Surprise East Coast Military Air Drill to Effect Civilian Radar and Early Warning System
Heavy activity on Russian
VLF comm channel. The movement involves a large signal intelligence/spy vessel of the Russians that has been
Tracked going up and down the east coast and in the carribean, and also a whole task force of
Chinese sailing now already getting close to Alaska. Then last night a statement by the RUSSIAN MILITARY
That they are preparing an answer to the US sanctions, and it will NOT be like them, but something To make the US wish it had not done them. China does
Blame the US for the three big explosions and also does not like the threats of sanctions either for The cyber stuff. So, the bear and the dragon are both very angry and may just decide to do something About it all, maybe starting in Syria and then having in position a retaliatory strike near CONUS (THE US MAINLAND)
The SQ Alert above is further validated by this breaking story from the Free Beacon in which we learn that US intelligence ships, aircraft and satellites are closely watching a Russian military vessel now IN the Atlantic Ocean that has recently been seen near a US nuclear missile submarine base and underwater transit routes. A source says the Russian spy ship is carrying cable cutting gear and mini-subs. More below.
Why should we be so concerned about these last minute military drills that will shut down the eyes and ears of much of the East Coast in September? As Professor Doom points out, with everything else that has been going on in recently including wellness checks in South Carolina, countless military drills coming out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina and nuclear apocalypse drills in Florida, do they know that something bad is about to occur? You can check out the FAA’s announcement of these exercises here.
With Russian spy ships recently reported to be operating off of the East Coast while they’ve also been conducting long-range bomber exercises near US shores and off of the Gulf of Mexico, are we about to witness a major escalation of hostilities towards the US by China, Russia or other hostile entities such as North Korea? As our videographers point out, there is something very strange about these ‘drills’.
In the 4th video below fromTruthNeverTold , we hear that Henry Kissinger predicted World War 3 with China. Are all of these recent developments more signs that Kissinger’s warning is about to come true? Why would the US military broadcast these outages to the world over the next month, possibly giving our enemies an opportunity to take advantage of this situation to do us harm? Coming during the last 2 weeks of Jade Helm 15 and lasting until two weeks after the exercises are supposed to wrap up, the timing of all of this is crucial we can see.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7448
By Madison Wade, POSTED: 7:10 PM Aug 31 2015 UPDATED: 10:37 PM Aug 31 2015
Geologist: Earthquake called the ‘Really Big One’ isn’t hoax
REDDING, Calif. –
An earthquake called the ‘Really Big One’ is causing a stir for geologists, researchers and seismologists all over the country.
According to a New Yorker article published in July, researchers say an earthquake and tsunami combination will destroy the entire west coastline resulting from a rupture in the Cascadia Subduction Zone.
Randy Reed, a geologist at Shasta College, said the length of the Cascadia Subduction Zone on a map to be around 800 miles running from Cape Mendocino to parts of Canada.
“The longer the length, the bigger the magnitude, the more energy is released therefore the longer the ground shakes,” Reed said about how the magnitude of an earthquake is measured.
According to Reed, the prediction that the ‘Really Big One’ will hit isn’t a hoax.
“The longer it’s locked, the greater potential for a big event but it doesn’t require a big event,” Reed shared.
Reed said the subduction zone is divided into three segments and the zone could break in parts.
“If the largest component went, which is the Oregon to Washington sections, we’d have a big event just with that segment moving in its own,” Reed said.
He said if the southern segment broke, running from Oregon to Northern California, then Shasta County would feel the shake.
Reed showed a larger problem that has been happening for years, a build of pressure between the seafloor and coastline.
He said as the West Coast moves West, a segment of the seafloor is moving East.
“The rate at which they are converging or colliding with one another is building up tension within the seafloor and coastline,” Reed said.
He said as the pressure builds, the potential for a break to happen increases.
“The longer we keep this locked with these compressing, colliding forces, the greater for the potential of a big even,” Reed shared.
He said the article does a great job starting the conversation about how to be prepared when any earthquake hits, no matter where you live.
“We need to do more to be prepared we need to educate the public and develop emergency evacuation plans,” Reed said.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7445
By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz
August 27, 2015 , 12:30 pm
“And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse, and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you.” (Genesis 12:3)
Unmistakable divine messages can be tracked through history accompanying major world events. As US lawmakers deliberate the future of the nuclear agreement with Iran, American leaders should take a hint from history and understand the divine implications of their decisions.
We have already seen that natural phenomenon can often be seen as divinely guided. Is it a coincidence that after announcing the nuclear deal Iran was hit with an apocalyptic-like heat wave and, in a separate incident, a meteor?
While the heavenly warning are clearer to some than others, a quick look at the timeline of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the accompanying natural disasters makes claims of coincidence lose their credibility.
October 30, 1991: US President George Bush, Sr. opened the Madrid Conference with an expectation that Israel would trade “Land for Peace”. As the conference progressed, what was later called the “Perfect Storm” develops in the North Atlantic, creating the largest waves ever recorded in that region. The storm traveled 1,000 miles from east to west, defying the more natural west to east pattern. One day later, on October 31, the storm struck the New England coast with 35 foot waves crashing into the Walker’s Point home of President Bush in Kennebunkport, South Maine. His home was extensively damaged.
August 23, 1992: The Madrid Conference moved to Washington DC and the peace talks resumed. One day later, Hurricane Andrew, the worst natural disaster recorded in American history, hit Florida, causing an estimated $30 billion in damage and leaving 180,000 homeless across the state.
January 21, 1998: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US President Bill Clinton at the White House and was greeted in an unwelcoming manner. Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refused to have lunch with him. It was later that same day that the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out.
January 16, 1994: President Clinton met with Syria’s President Hafez el-Assad in Geneva . They discussed a peace agreement with Israel that included giving up the Golan Heights. Within 24 hours, the powerful Northridge earthquake, which registered a 6.9 on the Richter scale, hit Southern California. The earthquake caused an estimated $20 billion in damage, leaving 57 people killed and over 5,000 injured. The earthquake became the second most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States.
September 28, 1998: US Secretary of State Madeline Albright gave a press briefing describing the final details of an American brokered agreement between PLO Head Yasser Arafat and Netanyahu. According to the deal, Israel would have been required to give up 13 percent of Judea and Samaria. The same day, Georges, a category 4 hurricane, hit the United States Gulf Coast with winds of 110 mph and gusts of up to 175 mph. In terms of damage, it was the costliest hurricane since Hurricane Andrew, causing $10 billion of damage and killing 604 people.
October 15-22, 1998: Arafat and Netanyahu met at the Wye River Plantation in Maryland for five days of intensive talks as part of a continuation of Albright’s plan that would force Israel to give up major areas of Judea and Samaria . On October 17, Hurricane Madeline boiled over. Though it never made landfall, the resulting rains and tornados that hit southern Texas caused over $750 million in damage and killed 31 people, affecting a quarter of the state. The storm dissipated as the meeting ended in Maryland. On October 21, Clinton declared the hard-hit areas of Texas a major disaster area.
November 30, 1998: Arafat arrived in Washington again to meet with Clinton. He proposed a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as the capital and began efforts to raise money. A total of 42 nations agreed to give Arafat $3 billion, with Clinton pledging $400 million and European nations pledging $1.7 billion. On the same day, the Dow Jones average plunged 216 points, and on December 1, the European Market had its worst day in history. Hundreds of billions of dollars of market capitalization were wiped out in the US and Europe.
December 12, 1998: Clinton landed in the Palestinian-controlled section of Israel to discuss the “land for peace” process. The House of Representatives votes four articles of impeachment against him.
May 3, 1999: Arafat was scheduled to declare an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. For two days, tornadoes ravaged the center of America, concentrated in Oklahoma and Kansas. 152 tornadoes touched down, causing $1.4 billion in damage, killing 50 and injuring almost 900 people. Arafat’s declaration was postponed to December 1999 at the request of Clinton.
October 11, 1999: Jewish settlers in 15 West Bank settlements are evicted from their homes. The Dow Jones financial averages loses 5.7 percent, in the worst week since October 1989. On October 15, the Dow lost 266 points. A hurricane hits North Carolina. The next morning, October 16, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocks the southwest US in the fifth most powerful earthquake in the 20th century. The earthquake was centered in the California desert and did little damage but was felt in three states.
August 13, 2005: The day before the 9th of Av, commemorating the day on which both Jewish Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, over 10,000 Jews were evicted from their homes in Gush Katif as part of the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s “Disengagement” plan. This disengagement was due to US pressure. Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans and other parts of Louisiana, leaving thousands of Americans homeless and killing at least 1,833. Damage was estimated at over $108 billion.
Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=7443