Preparing For a The Bowls Of Wrath (Rev 16)

This Photo Shows a Room Full of 30 Million Dead People
By Ryan Faith
December 24, 2014 | 10:00 am

You see that picture up there? I ran across the photo yesterday while doing some research. And I realized it actually kind of freaks me out.

The fact that I was getting freaked out even surprised me.

I study, rant, and bullshit about warfare for a living, so a picture of some bombs shouldn’t have much effect on me. Defense is not a great career choice for the squeamish or faint of heart. A defense wonk who can’t cope with death and destruction, at least on a theoretical level, is like a surgeon who can’t stand the sight of blood.

What that photo up top shows is, by my count, 48 US B-61 nuclear bombs. Each of those bombs has a yield of up to 340 kilotons, which is not particularly large by modern standards. By way of comparison, each warhead has an explosive power about 22 2/3 times larger than the Hiroshima blast. To get a sense of scale, here’s a map showing the effects of one of these bombs if it were detonated in VICE News’ Brooklyn office.

With 48 of these bombs, the total yield of the whole bunker is 16.3 million tons of TNT. That’s equivalent to five and half times the yield of all conventional weapons used in World War II.

I went and played with some targeting simulators to get a rough estimate of the effects of 48 B-61 bombs, if they were used just to attack cities (in a large, but unnamed nation). I came up with something in the neighborhood of about 29 million instant deaths, and 47 million injuries. I’m sure, though, that the professional targeting guys could do a lot better.

For reference, that’s somewhere close to twice the total of military and civilian deaths incurred during the entirety of that epic slaughterfest we call the First World War. But instead of a continent-wide killing effort spread out over 4 1/4 years, everything in this bunker could be used and detonated in, say, a day.

Don’t mistake my intent here. This isn’t a plea for disarmament — I think a nuclear free world is not only impossible, but attempts to get there would be incredibly dangerous. I’m also not making a claim about overkill or absurdity, or some statement about the use or existence of nukes.

Maybe it’s just a normal reaction to the fact that of all the no-joke, no-kidding serious stuff in the world, this is a whole bunker full of it.

That’s not a room full of nukes. That’s a room with 30 million dead people hiding in it.

Photo via US Government
Follow Ryan Faith on Twitter: @Operation_Ryan

Terrorism Is Great Act Of Cowardice

Terrorism on soft targets
The Hays Daily News

Get ready for our already ugly and violent 21st century to be the century of soft targets for terrorists. The number of places where people feel safe will diminish as terrorists pick new venues to increase body counts — and grab more of that new and mainstream media publicity that helps with recruitment.

What humanity is seeing now is yet another shift in how people kill people. During World War I, new technology changed the way warfare was waged. The 20th century later gifted humanity history’s most inhuman, evil and powerful madman: Nazi Germany’s Adolf Hitler. Hijackings and terrorism blossomed in the 1960s. In following decades, so did serial killer killings, school shootings, mass murders and the rise of that religious terrorism so hypocritically excused and enabled by some.

Then came 9/11, a financially costly terrorist operation that expertly exploited American airport and airplane security vulnerabilities to use passenger-crammed airlines as missiles in an operation designed to maximize the kills. “Greatest Generation” World War II veterans such my father, Richard Gandelman, who thought they had buried barbaric mass brutality with Hitler’s death, were shocked by 9/11.

Enter ISIL, the world’s largest producers of snuff films, urging its true believers to kill Americans and other enemies wherever they see them. Those are the softest of soft targets.

And the attention is turning to soft targets.

In Sydney, Australia, “Islamist” terrorist Man Haron Monis, who was well-known to authorities there, chose the Lindt Cafe as his target for a 16-hour December siege that ended in the death of two hostages and Monis himself. Sydney brought back (bad) memories of the 2008 Mumbai, India, massacre on several “soft targets” including a mall, cafe, hospital and a Jewish Chabad house — ending in 164 dead.

The world had barely absorbed Sydney’s finale when the shocking and sickening news broke that six heavily armed Taliban militants wearing suicide vests murdered 133 school children 12-years-old and older at the Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan. And so the Taliban continued its tradition of killing or trying to kill kids. Some warped minds still consider them “brave” warriors.

Look for the Taliban and other terrorist groups to strike at more soft targets in Pakistan, because the country carved out of India is like a ripe apple ready to be harvested. The forbidden fruit is Pakistan’s nuclear program. If ISIL is cutting off the heads of journalists, businessmen, women and children, and if the Taliban is routinely murdering kids, exactly what do you think they’ll do if they acquire a nuclear weapon?

Just as hell will be the final limit for those who mercilessly murder kids, the sky is the limit when it comes to massacring people in free and even not-so-free societies. First, merely pick a place where people congregate, feel relaxed about where they are or where their loved ones are. Second, send in or manipulate some l-o-s-e-r who thinks killing others and himself is a virtue and — voila — there you have it. The headlines. The shock. The cost for the murderers’ bosses is low. The publicity over the outrage is big.

The list of possibilities of soft targets is seemingly endless: preschools, malls, churches, synagogues, fairs, festivals, sporting events, swap meets, conventions, rock concerts.

Everyone these days talks about “trending” on the Internet. So how is humanity “trending” so far in the 21st century?

Not well at all.

Just as some websites are dominated by boorish, hyper partisan “trolls” who name call and push free speech to the limit of slander in their clamor to get noticed, we now have news cycles dominated by bloodthirsty terrorist and wannabe terrorist “trolls” who clamor to be feared, and exploit state-of-the-art social media technology to spread their message and their branding of brutality.

They mercilessly and sadistically butcher their enemies, inflict maximum damage, and exterminate the opposition — which actually helps them sign up more recruits — who think it’s cool.

Somewhere down there where it’s very hot, Adolf must be smiling.

Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote for newspapers overseas and in the United States.

The Iraqi Horn HAS A Nuclear Bomb (Daniel 8:5)

ISIS has ‘the power of a nuclear bomb,’ says author allowed first-hand look
The Telegraph
Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014

A 74-year-old German author who gained unprecedented access to ISIS militants in Iraq has described the terrorist group as having “the power of a nuclear bomb or a tsunami.”
Juergen Todenhoefer travelled to Mosul, the largest city controlled by Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham. He described seeing first-hand how the population is controlled by the militants.
Bookshops are filled with tomes describing how to treat slaves, while public dress is strictly monitored so as not to “resemble those worn by infidel women or men”, Todenhoefer told German media.

Todenhoefer met recruits from Europe, the U.S. and even the Caribbean, as well as gun-wielding child soldiers swearing their allegiance to the caliphate. The German author said he was most disturbed by his conversations with ISIS militants, who insisted that “all religions who agree with democracy have to die,” and that ISIS intends to “conquer the world.” “This is the largest religious cleansing strategy that has ever been planned in human history,” he told the RTL channel. “With every bomb that is dropped and hits a civilian, the number of terrorists increases.”

Todenhoefer’s unprecedented six-day access to ISIS was negotiated through a German jihadist, with permission issued by “the office of the Caliphate,” he said.

The former German politician was accompanied by his son, who was unwilling to let his father travel to Mosul alone. Toedenhoefer would have been subject to strict rules governing journalists, which include swearing allegiance and loyalty to Caliph Al-Baghdadi and submitting all material to ISIS censorship prior to publication. Figures released Tuesday showed that more than 1,171 people, the vast majority of them ISIS militants, have been killed in Syria during three months of U.S.-led strikes, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Only 52 casualties were civilians, said the Observatory’s head, Rami Abdulrahman, who emphasised that the insurgent casualties were likely to be higher.

“This is because of the difficulty of activists reaching areas hit by the coalition and also because the Islamic State keeps a tight lid on its human losses,” Abdulrahman told Reuters.

Up to Dec 15, the U.S. had launched 488 air strikes on ISIS targets in Syria, according to U.S. military data cited by Reuters.

The Antichrist Moqtada Al-Sadr Will Lead The Iraqi Horn (Daniel 8:3)

Iraq’s Own War On Terror Devolves Into Religious Crusade

Architects of chaos and war, ISIS has exploited pre-existing and enduring ethno-religious choke points in Iraq, playing on old instabilities to further its own imperialistic religious ambitions. What happens next could be more than just political unravelling.
 Mideast IraqIraqi security forces stand guard as Shiite pilgrims march towards Karbala for the Arbaeen holiday in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014. (Photo: Karim Kadim/AP)
As Iraq continues its descent into the fires of war, the integrity of its state institutions and borders straining under the weight of unprecedented and aggravated stress, the country is teetering on the edge of a dangerous precipice — one which could lead to much more than just political unravelling.
Almost a century after Great Britain, France and Italy broke up the Ottoman Empire, drawing up their own maps of the Middle East to serve their respective immediate geostrategic interests in the Treaty of Sevres in 1920, Iraq’s national integrity is in danger of disintegrating along sectarian, tribal and ethnic lines.

Engulfed in a bitter battle for control with Islamic radicals, Iraq stands to be absorbed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a militant group with supranational hegemonic ambitions. Like other countries in the region, including Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, and Egypt, Iraq is little more than a pawn in a race for regional control over the Middle East.

This war against terror — which has seen Western powers pitted against radical groups like ISIS and al-Qaida since 2011, on the heels of the Arab Spring — may now degenerate into a violent religious war, forcing populations to withdraw behind their respective sectarian lines in fear.

Iraq’s fall into the trap that is sectarianism has been the subject of many reports in recent months, especially in light of increased intra-religious radicalism in the Middle East. Yet calls earlier this month for jihad against ISIS risk tipping the conflict into a full-blown regional religious crusade that sees Sunnis and Shiites pitted against one another.

On Dec. 11, Muqtada al-Sadr, a prominent Iraqi Shiite cleric who leads the Sadrist movement, announced that his militia, the Peace Brigades, is ready to engage ISIS militarily in what he describes as jihad, or holy war.

Us versus them”

Following months of brutal attacks targeting Iraq’s Shiite community after ISIS radicals labelled Shiite Islam a heresy against God, Shiite leaders have increasingly looked beyond the state for answers, eager to organize themselves into militias to defeat the black flag-carrying army and defend their own kin.

The latest in a string of vicious strikes against Shiite Muslims came on Dec. 12, when ISIS militants targeted pilgrims near the holy city of Karbala, in Souk Al-Basra, as they performed the Arbaeen commemoration, a religious festival marking the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Experts have warned that such sectarian insularization will only worsen the situation, fanning sectarian sentiment and animosity instead of promoting inter-religious and ethnic cooperation and solidarity.

“Religion has become a political tool. Between the collapse of the army and officials’ inability to project a sense of institutional cohesion, religion has become a powerful unifying tool. However effective it may be in the short-term, using faith as a rallying call for war against ISIS will come with its own set of problems — dangerous ones, too,” Khaled Nasir, a political analyst based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, told MintPress News.

Iraqis are paying for Baghdad’s inadequacy. ISIS continues to drive the narrative, using the region’s religious and ethnic faultlines to its advantage. I’m afraid fear has pushed leaders into engaging with radicals on those very planes. Iraqis are reacting not strategizing — there lies the real danger.”

Such a move toward religious insularization was best embodied in al-Sadr’s call for holy war against ISIS. On Dec. 11, Abu Doaa Al-Issawi, “assistant jihadist” for the Sadrist movement, wrote in a statement, “Given the exceptional conditions and imminent danger to the sacred city of Samarra from the legions of terrorists, our leader Al-Sadr has ordered the Peace Brigades to prepare within 24 hours for jihad.”

A controversial and polarizing figure, al-Sadr commands undeniable power within Iraq — both religiously and politically. A Shiite cleric with a powerful militia, the Peace Brigades (formerly, the Mahdi Army), to back him up, al-Sadr’s main support remains in the streets. A man of the people, al-Sadr’s might comes from his ability to galvanize Iraqi Shiites, tapping into people’s religious identities to move and direct them.

Although Iraqi Shiites have long organized their own defenses, the Peace Brigades were put in charge of protecting Iraq’s Shiite holy sites against ISIS’ assaults in June. The idea that Shiite Muslims could declare holy war against Sunnis, thus challenging one of Islam’s most precious tenets of non-intra-religious violence, was not yet on the table.

Under Islamic law, Muslims are absolutely forbidden to harm others, except in self-defense:

“But whoever kills a believer intentionally – his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, and Allah has become angry with him and has cursed him and has prepared for him a great punishment.” Quran 4:93.

Fast-forward a few months of unparalleled violence against Shiite Muslims across Iraq, and the narrative has dramatically shifted from self-defense to active militarization.

“The discourse went from Iraqis versus ISIS terrorists, to us versus them,” Nasir told MintPress.

“Rather than understand ISIS’ attacks as a declaration of war against all Iraqis, whether Christians, Muslims, Yezidis or otherwise, it has become the fight of Islam,” he continued. “If unchecked, this could lead to a destructive crusade campaign. Beyond Iraq, it is the region which stands to burn.”

When political engineering comes undone

“While ISIS quite clearly precipitated Iraq’s demise, throwing its institutions and national makeup out of balance by exacerbating historical ethno-religious tensions, it is Western powers’ political engineering games which are to blame,” said Marwa Osman, a political analyst with Strategic Foresight Group, to MintPress.

“Imperial powers drew artificial lines in the Middle East, dividing up areas which were once whole and collating people which shared nothing in common. The Middle East has been nothing but a patchwork of nations forced to live under the same flag. And since no real national unity was ever found, countries are imploding under ISIS’ pressure.”

Ironically, ISIS also blames former colonial powers for the ongoing tensions, arguing that the region is a Western creation that needs to be addressed and re-assessed. Yet ISIS’ vision entails not political self-determination, but religious enslavement and ethnic cleansing. In a video posted to YouTube by Al-Hayat in June, ISIS pinpointed the West as the cause of all regional issues, promoting its war campaign as a liberation movement.

In another interesting historical twist, the United States expressed strong reservations toward the politics of partition in the past. Former President Woodrow Wilson rather famously warned in a speech before Congress in February 1918: “Peoples and provinces are not to be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty as mere chattels and pawns in a game … Every territorial settlement involved in this war [WWI] must be made in the interest and for the benefit of the populations concerned.”

Yet if Iraq’s demise lies within its own artificially-drawn national borders, its unravelling nevertheless poses a threat to regional stability — especially because terrorist radicals now aim to claim political and institutional control over the vestiges of the Ottoman Empire.

Playing with fire

Architects of chaos and war, ISIS has exploited pre-existing and enduring ethno-religious choke points, playing on old instabilities to further its own imperialistic religious ambitions.

With the narrative firmly focusing in on the religious, Nasir warned that Iraq stands to lose more than just its national sovereignty: “There is a profound disconnect within Iraqi society. The tribes feel alienated, religious minorities feel misrepresented and misunderstood and the state has become an empty institutional shell directed by foreign powers.”

“Under such circumstances is it really a surprise Iraq is disintegrating? I think not. Unless Baghdad finds a way to rally its people — all its people — ISIS will advance. Until a common denominator is found amid such chaos, Iraqis will think themselves Shiite, Sunnis or Kurds first.”

Echoing Nasir’s assessment of Iraq’s impending demise, Patrick Cockburn, a journalist and Middle East expert, wrote in a report for CounterPunch in October: “The inability of the Baghdad government to field a national army and its reliance on militias means that Iraq is in the last stages of disintegration. The few mixed Sunni-Shia areas are disappearing … The final break-up of Iraq has become a fact.”

In the midst of so much despair and competing war cries, however, lies an opportunity to embrace new beginnings and heal old wounds, Iran-based political analyst Ahmad Kazemzadeh told MintPress.

“Should regional and international powers rise above their immediate differences to oppose the likes of ISIS through military, religious and political cooperation, ISIS’ terror discourse will lose its sway. What the region lacks is a common identity, a thread which ties communities together,” Kazemzadeh said.

A Preview Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

USGS: Small Earthquake in Adirondacks, New York

NY Quake

Michael Page

Iranian Horn Controls Nuclear Negotiations

Iran Warns West to Lower Expectations on Nuclear Compromise

December 24, 2014 1:16 PM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has warned Western powers to curb their demands on limiting his country’s nuclear activities in order to guarantee a landmark settlement, which he said was “within reach.”

Iranian newspapers said on Wednesday that Zarif had written separate letters to his Western counterparts explaining Tehran’s position ahead of the next round of talks in January.

“I am confident that a comprehensive agreement is within reach,” he wrote, according to the Mehr news agency. “But we will firmly resist any humiliating illegitimate demands.”

Zarif said Iran’s goal was “a long-term comprehensive agreement guaranteeing its right to an exclusively peaceful nuclear program in return for full removal of all sanctions.”

Six world powers known as the “P5+1″ – the United States, France, Germany, Russia, China and Britain – reached a preliminary agreement with Iran last year for it to suspend its most sensitive nuclear activity.

Western countries in return eased some economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic republic over its past defiance in the 12-year nuclear dispute.

Iran says its program is peaceful, but the West fears it may lead to developing nuclear weapons. Iran and the P5+1 failed for the second time last month to meet a deadline for ending the stand-off, and they extended the preliminary accord until June 30.

The International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] said last week Iran had continued to meet commitments under an interim nuclear agreement with six world powers, despite failure to make “any further advances” on activities at two enrichment facilities and an unfinished heavy water reactor.

France and Britain, however, said around the same time that Iran had not demonstrated sufficient flexibility in the nuclear talks.

Western officials say Iran has not compromised on major sticking points, including the size and scope of its future uranium enrichment program and the speed of ending sanctions.

Under the interim deal’s extension, Iran would continue to convert higher-grade uranium oxide into reactor fuel, there by making it harder and more time-consuming to turn it into the fissile core of a bomb. Tehran denies any such aim.

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