Antichrist Upset Trump Didn’t Tell Them He Was Coming For ‘Security Reasons’

Muqtada Al-Sadr Of Sadr City Is Upset Trump Didn’t Tell Them He Was Coming For ‘Security Reasons’

12:12 PM 12/28/2018 | World

Iraqi politicians including a Shia Muslim cleric whose followers have fought against the U.S. Army criticized President Donald Trump for keeping his Tuesday visit to Iraq a secret for security reasons.

Trump’s Christmas Day visit to the Assad Air Base demonstrated “U.S. disregard for other nations’ sovereignty,” a spokesman for cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s said, according to the Los Angeles Times. Trump and first lady Melania Trump surprised troops at the base for his first trip to a war zone as president.

Several Iraqi politicians pushed for Iraq to expel U.S. forces because of the president, even though the U.S. has been fighting against the Islamic State alongside many Iraqi fighters.

“Iraq’s response will be with a parliamentary decision to expel [Trump’s] military forces,” Iraqi politician Qais Khazali, an Iran-backed militia leader, tweeted Wednesday, according to the LA Times.

Al-Sadr became an indelible part of the American consciousness after he compared Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein to a “little serpent” and the U.S. to a “great serpent” during a 2003 “60 Minutes” interview.

Al-Sadr has no elected position, but he is the leader of the party with the most members in the Iraqi parliament. Cutting off U.S. influence in Iraq was a major platform for his party, according to the LA Times.

Iraqi Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr (left) speaks to the press after a meeting with Salim al-Jabouri (second from right), the Parliament’s speaker, alongside other parliament Sunni members on April 5, 2015 in the holy city of Najaf. (HAIDAR HAMDANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Al-Sadr’s militia, the Mahdi Army, had numerous clashes with U.S. and coalition forces in Sadr City, a suburb of Baghdad named after one of Al-Sadr’s relatives. One of those clashes was an April 2004 ambush that left seven U.S. troops dead, reported CNN.

Trump did not meet with any Iraqi officials while he was in the country Wednesday, but he did hold a phone call with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi to discuss “developments after the U.S. president’s decision to withdraw from Syria,” according to the LA Times.

Approximately 5,000 U.S. troops have been stationed in Iraq since 2014 to fight ISIS, according to the LA Times.

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Iran Horn Demands U.S. Leave Middle East

Iran Says U.S. Must Leave Middle East, ‘This Region Belongs to Us’

By Tom O’Connor On 12/27/18 at 10:32 AM

A leading Iranian general has called on President Donald Trump to withdraw his forces from the entire Middle East, arguing that the United States has wasted resources there as rival nations such as Russia and China rose.

Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a senior adviser to Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told a ceremony for the premiere of a new computer game at the Art University of Tabriz in northwestern Iran that the “U.S. is facing a big economic challenge” made worse by the ongoing war on terror launched with the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan after 9/11. Citing strategists, Safavi said that “the U.S. focused on Iraq and Afghanistan and wasted its costs, whereas the main rivals of the U.S. were China and Russia, which the U.S. ignored,” according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.

“In the east of the world, China, India, Russia and the Islamic Republic of Iran will be the new powers of the new century,” he added, as cited by the semiofficial Tasnim News Agency. “A dramatic shift of the global center of power is taking place now from the West to the East.”

Echoing prior calls by Khamenei for the U.S. to withdraw from the Middle East and abandon its attempts to curb Iran’s own influence in the region, Safavi said that “the U.S. must leave West Asia, this region belongs to us.”

Syrians wave their national flag, along with those of Iran and Russia, as they ride in a vehicle carrying the flag of the Lebanese Shiite Muslim Amal Movement, as citizens gather to condemn the strikes carried out by the U.S., Britain and France against the Syrian government, in Damascus, Syria, on April 14. LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The U.S. and Iran have feuded since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted a West-backed monarchy reinstalled by the CIA in 1953, and a subsequent hostage crisis at Washington’s embassy in Tehran. A brief diplomatic detente surrounded a 2015 nuclear agreement signed by the two nations, alongside China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom, but Trump quit the deal in May over Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and its support for revolutionary Shiite Muslim groups across the Middle East.

Safavi said Thursday that the country was investing in “information technology” as well as “digital art,” and that Iran’s “influence today has reached the Mediterranean,” where the Lebanese Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group and other Iran-backed forces have grown powerful, especially as the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) and other Sunni Muslim groups were defeated in Syria. Earlier this year, Hezbollah released a video game titled “Holy Defense” allowing players to join the group in its fight against ISIS in Syria.

Iran has also backed such groups battling ISIS in Iraq, where Trump made his first visit Wednesday. The U.S. first invaded Iraq in 2003 and has been involved in neighboring Syria since sponsoring insurgents after a 2011 rebel and jihadi uprising against the government. The U.S. formed an international coalition to fight ISIS after the jihadis took half of Iraq and Syria in 2014. Though both the U.S. and Iran were opposed to ISIS, the two countries have accused one another of destabilizing the region.

Trump’s visit to the Al Asad Air Base came a week after he announced the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, where they were allied with Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, but the president said during his trip that he had “no plans at all” to pull troops out of Iraq. The Syrian government, an ally of Russia and Iran, has viewed the U.S. as an occupying power, but the Iraqi government, which also received extensive Iranian assistance, has grown split over U.S. presence there.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet members of the U.S. military during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base, in Iraq, December 26. The visit came one week after Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Although the Pentagon’s mission in Syria was officially limited to defeating ISIS, which has been largely eradicated, Trump’s decision to exit the country has been met with controversy by a number of U.S. officials who sought to extend the U.S. military goals there to include ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and expelling forces said to be under Iranian command. Defense Secretary James Mattis resigned a day after Trump made the announcement, saying he had “the right to a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned” with his.

Safavi said Thursday that the many resignations of high-ranking officials in the Trump administration were a sign of weakness.

Asked Friday by NPR what he would say to officials in China, Russia, North Korea and Iran who felt that recent political turmoil in the White House and Washington suggested that they should outwait the Trump administration, as it was in a vulnerable position, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—who himself was appointed after his predecessor was ousted by Trump in March—responded: “I don’t talk about politics. I’m hoping I get to be the Secretary of State for six more years.”

East Coast Still Unprepared For The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

East Coast Earthquake Preparedness

By By BEN NUCKOLS

Posted: 08/25/2011 8:43 am EDT

WASHINGTON — There were cracks in the Washington Monument and broken capstones at the National Cathedral. In the District of Columbia suburbs, some people stayed in shelters because of structural concerns at their apartment buildings.

A day after the East Coast’s strongest earthquake in 67 years, inspectors assessed the damage and found that most problems were minor. But the shaking raised questions about whether this part of the country, with its older architecture and inexperience with seismic activity, is prepared for a truly powerful quake.

The 5.8 magnitude quake felt from Georgia north to Canada prompted swift inspections of many structures Wednesday, including bridges and nuclear plants. An accurate damage estimate could take weeks, if not longer. And many people will not be covered by insurance.

In a small Virginia city near the epicenter, the entire downtown business district was closed. School was canceled for two weeks to give engineers time to check out cracks in several buildings.

At the 555-foot Washington Monument, inspectors found several cracks in the pyramidion – the section at the top of the obelisk where it begins narrowing to a point.

A 4-foot crack was discovered Tuesday during a visual inspection by helicopter. It cannot be seen from the ground. Late Wednesday, the National Park Service announced that structural engineers had found several additional cracks inside the top of the monument.

Carol Johnson, a park service spokeswoman, could not say how many cracks were found but said three or four of them were “significant.” Two structural engineering firms that specialize in assessing earthquake damage were being brought in to conduct a more thorough inspection on Thursday.

The monument, by far the tallest structure in the nation’s capital, was to remain closed indefinitely, and Johnson said the additional cracks mean repairs are likely to take longer. It has never been damaged by a natural disaster, including earthquakes in Virginia in 1897 and New York in 1944.

Tourists arrived at the monument Wednesday morning only to find out they couldn’t get near it. A temporary fence was erected in a wide circle about 120 feet from the flags that surround its base. Walkways were blocked by metal barriers manned by security guards.

“Is it really closed?” a man asked the clerk at the site’s bookstore.

“It’s really closed,” said the clerk, Erin Nolan. Advance tickets were available for purchase, but she cautioned against buying them because it’s not clear when the monument will open.

“This is pretty much all I’m going to be doing today,” Nolan said.

Tuesday’s quake was centered about 40 miles northwest of Richmond, 90 miles south of Washington and 3.7 miles underground. In the nearby town of Mineral, Va., Michael Leman knew his Main Street Plumbing & Electrical Supply business would need – at best – serious and expensive repairs.

At worst, it could be condemned. The facade had become detached from the rest of the building, and daylight was visible through a 4- to 6-inch gap that opened between the front wall and ceiling.

“We’re definitely going to open back up,” Leman said. “I’ve got people’s jobs to look out for.”

Leman said he is insured, but some property owners might not be so lucky.

The Insurance Information Institute said earthquakes are not covered under standard U.S. homeowners or business insurance policies, although supplemental coverage is usually available.

The institute says coverage for other damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage from burst gas or water pipes, is provided by standard homeowners and business insurance policies in most states. Cars and other vehicles with comprehensive insurance would also be protected.

The U.S. Geological Survey classified the quake as Alert Level Orange, the second-most serious category on its four-level scale. Earthquakes in that range lead to estimated losses between $100 million and $1 billion.

In Culpeper, Va., about 35 miles from the epicenter, walls had buckled at the old sanctuary at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, which was constructed in 1821 and drew worshippers including Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and J.E.B. Stuart. Heavy stone ornaments atop a pillar at the gate were shaken to the ground. A chimney from the old Culpeper Baptist Church built in 1894 also tumbled down.

At the Washington National Cathedral, spokesman Richard Weinberg said the building’s overall structure remains sound and damage was limited to “decorative elements.”

Massive stones atop three of the four spires on the building’s central tower broke off, crashing onto the roof. At least one of the spires is teetering badly, and cracks have appeared in some flying buttresses.

Repairs were expected to cost millions of dollars – an expense not covered by insurance.

“Every single portion of the exterior is carved by hand, so everything broken off is a piece of art,” Weinberg said. “It’s not just the labor, but the artistry of replicating what was once there.”

The building will remain closed as a precaution. Services to dedicate the memorial honoring Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. were moved.

Other major cities along the East Coast that felt the shaking tried to gauge the risk from another quake.

A few hours after briefly evacuating New York City Hall, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city’s newer buildings could withstand a more serious earthquake. But, he added, questions remain about the older buildings that are common in a metropolis founded hundreds of years ago.

“We think that the design standards of today are sufficient against any eventuality,” he said. But “there are questions always about some very old buildings. … Fortunately those tend to be low buildings, so there’s not great danger.”

An earthquake similar to the one in Virginia could do billions of dollars of damage if it were centered in New York, said Barbara Nadel, an architect who specializes in securing buildings against natural disasters and terrorism.

The city’s 49-page seismic code requires builders to prepare for significant shifting of the earth. High-rises must be built with certain kinds of bracing, and they must be able to safely sway at least somewhat to accommodate for wind and even shaking from the ground, Nadel said.

Buildings constructed in Boston in recent decades had to follow stringent codes comparable to anything in California, said Vernon Woodworth, an architect and faculty member at the Boston Architectural College. New construction on older structures also must meet tough standards to withstand severe tremors, he said.

It’s a different story with the city’s older buildings. The 18th- and 19th-century structures in Boston’s Back Bay, for instance, were often built on fill, which can liquefy in a strong quake, Woodworth said. Still, there just aren’t many strong quakes in New England.

The last time the Boston area saw a quake as powerful as the one that hit Virginia on Tuesday was in 1755, off Cape Ann, to the north. A repeat of that quake would likely cause deaths, Woodworth said. Still, the quakes are so infrequent that it’s difficult to weigh the risks versus the costs of enacting tougher building standards regionally, he said.

People in several of the affected states won’t have much time to reflect before confronting another potential emergency. Hurricane Irene is approaching the East Coast and could skirt the Mid-Atlantic region by the weekend and make landfall in New England after that.

In North Carolina, officials were inspecting an aging bridge that is a vital evacuation route for people escaping the coastal barrier islands as the storm approaches.

Speaking at an earthquake briefing Wednesday, Washington Mayor Vincent Gray inadvertently mixed up his disasters.

“Everyone knows, obviously, that we had a hurricane,” he said before realizing his mistake.

“Hurricane,” he repeated sheepishly as reporters and staffers burst into laughter. “I’m getting ahead of myself!”

___

Associated Press writers Sam Hananel in Washington; Alex Dominguez in Baltimore; Bob Lewis in Mineral, Va.; Samantha Gross in New York City; and Jay Lindsay in Boston contributed to this report.

Antichrist denounces Trump visit

Iraqi leaders denounce Trump visit to US troops

Political and militia leaders condemn President Trump’s unannounced visit to US troops as a blow to Iraq’s sovereignty.

26 Dec 2018

The airbase visit by President Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, lasted for about three hours [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Iraqi political and militia leaders have condemned US President Donald Trump‘s unannounced trip to Iraq as a violation of their country’s sovereignty.

In a surprise visit to US troops, Trump on Wednesday landed at an airbase west of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, where he thanked the soldiers for their service.

Sabah al-Saadi, the leader of the Islah parliamentary bloc, called for an emergency session of the Iraqi parliament “to discuss this blatant violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and to stop these aggressive actions by Trump who should know his limits: The US occupation of Iraq is over”.

Islah is headed by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who has long opposed the US presence in Iraq since a Washington-led invasion toppled the government of Saddam Hussein in 2003 over weapons of mass destruction and ties to al-Qaeda that both proved non-existent.

Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died in the conflict, which many analysts call one of the major US foreign policy debacles in recent history and one of the most destructive invasions in modern history.

The Bina bloc, Islah’s rival in parliament and led by Iran-backed militia leader Hadi al-Amiri, also objected to Trump’s trip to Iraq.

“Trump’s visit is a flagrant and clear violation of diplomatic norms and shows his disdain and hostility in his dealings with the Iraqi government,” said a statement from Bina.

Trump did not meet any Iraqi officials during his three-hour-long stay. A scheduled meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi was scrapped and the two leaders talked instead by telephone.

Mahdi’s office said in a statement that US authorities had informed Iraq’s leadership of the president’s visit in advance. The statement said the Iraqi prime minister and the US president held a telephonic conversation due to a “disagreement over how to conduct the meeting”.

Iraqi legislators told Reuters news agency that the two leaders had disagreed over where their planned meeting should take place: Trump had asked to meet at the Ain al-Asad military base, an offer Mahdi declined.

Syria withdrawal

Trump’s visit to Iraq came a week after his decision to withdraw all US troops from neighbouring Syria despite strong objections from domestic and foreign allies. Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and the US envoy to the coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group quit shortly after Trump’s announcement.

At the Ain al-Asad Airbase, Trump defended his decision to pull US soldiers out of Syria while insisting he has no similar plans for Iraq.

Falih Khazali, a former militia leader turned politician allied with Bina, accused the US of wanting to increase its presence in Iraq.

“The American leadership was defeated in Iraq and wants to return again under any pretext, and this is what we will never allow,” he said.

Bina said Trump’s visit “places many question marks on the nature of the US military presence and its real objectives, and what these objectives could pose to the security of Iraq”.

Douglas Ollivant, a senior fellow at the New America think-tank and former US national security council director for Iraq, said the US troops were in Iraq “at the invitation of the Iraqi government”.

“Like all coalition governments, there are factions that say all kinds of things,” he told Al Jazeera. “But the fact is that the executive – the last prime minister [Haider al-Abadi] and the new one hasn’t done anything to change that – has invited the US troops to be there. So, the legitimate authorities in Iraq have invited US troops.”

‘US only given us destruction and devastation’

While there has been no full-scale violence in Iraq since ISIL suffered a series of defeats last year, some 5,200 US troops train and advise Iraqi forces still waging a campaign against the group.

Iraq’s Shia militias, also known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), many of which are supported by Iran, oppose the presence of US troops in the region. The PMF was made formally part of the security forces this year after helping the military defeat the ISIL in Iraq in 2017.

Qais al-Khazali, the leader of the powerful Iran-backed Asaib Ahl al-Haq militia, said on Twitter: “Iraqis will respond with a parliamentary decision to oust your (US) military forces. And if they do not leave, we have the experience and the ability to remove them by other means that your forces are familiar with.”

Al Jazeera’s Imran Khan, reporting from Baghdad, said there is a sense of “confusion” in Iraq in regards to the US’s policy in the region.

“They are very concerned in Iraq about the 2,000 troops pulled out of Syria,” he said. “Baghdad is much more safe than it has been for a very long time and the Iraqis are very confident that they can deal with ISIL within their own borders – but what really concerns them is Syria and that’s where they are less confident.”

In Baghdad’s streets, meanwhile, Iraqis denounced the US presence in the country.

“We won’t get anything from America,” resident Mohammad Abdullah told Reuters.

“They’ve been in Iraq for 16 years, and they haven’t given anything to the country except destruction and devastation.”

Last month, a study said that hundreds of thousands of people have been killed due to the so-called “war on terror” launched by the US in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

The report by Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs stated that between 182,272 and 204,575 civilians have been killed in Iraq.

Russia Is Ready to Deploy the Bowls of Wrath (Revelation 16)

Russia’s ‘invulnerable’ nuclear missile ready to deploy, Putin says – CNN

(CNN) — Russia’s new hypersonic missile system, which President Vladimir Putin claims is “invulnerable” to US defenses, will enter service in 2019, the Russian leader said after a test of the missile Wednesday.

“Russia is the first in the world to receive a new type of strategic weapon and this will reliably ensure the security of our state and of our people for decades to come,” Putin said, according to the state-run Tass news service.

“This is a wonderful, excellent gift for the country for the New Year,” Tass quotes Putin as saying.

The Avangard hypersonic system was tested from the Dombarovsky military airbase in southwest Russia, according to Tass.

Earlier reports say the Avangard has intercontinental range and the ability to fly as fast as Mach 20, more than 15,000 miles per hour.

The War Continues Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11:2)

The Gaza War Continues

JNS News Service

20 Tevet 5779 – December 28, 2018

Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash 90

Gaza’s Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, military wing of Hamas, hold their weapons during a celebration victory rally at the debris of destroyed houses in Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City, in northern Gaza (archive)

{Originally posted to the JNS website}

Exactly a decade ago, on Dec. 27, 2008, Hamas staged ‎a show of power in the Gaza Strip, parading hundreds ‎of terrorists in Gaza City. A surprised Israeli ‎airstrike, which fired five missiles on them, killed ‎about 90 terrorists, triggering the beginning of ‎Operation Cast Lead, which saw Israel strike all ‎Hamas headquarters in Gaza, as well as its rocket ‎launching systems and hundreds of terrorist assets ‎and sites.‎

On the Israeli side, ground, air and naval troops ‎fought for three weeks with aim of eradicating key ‎terrorist hubs across the Gaza Strip.‎

The operation was launched following three years ‎during which some 10,000 rockets and mortar shells ‎were fired on Israel’s south and dozens of terrorist ‎attacks were carried out nationwide. ‎

The IDF’s Southern Command was tasked with attacking ‎terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, ‎inflicting significant damage to Hamas and ‎bolstering Israeli deterrence, and this mission was ‎accomplished in full: More than 700 terrorists were ‎eliminated and all Hamas headquarters were ‎destroyed. ‎

As the commander of the operation, I recommended to ‎my superiors that Israel should make the most of ‎this success and expand the campaign by allowing ‎Southern Command forces to seize control of Gaza ‎City bring Hamas to its knees by either eliminating ‎terrorist or capturing them. My recommendation was ‎denied. ‎

The main factors that rendered Operation Cast Lead ‎successful were careful and secret preparation, ‎operational integration within the IDF, cooperation ‎between the military and Shin Bet security agency, ‎the force demonstrated by the troops on the ground, ‎quality intelligence, accurate aerial strikes, ‎operational and logistical continuity and a ‎resilient homefront.‎

But above all, it was IDF fighters and commanders, ‎who acted with determination, dedication and ‎professionalism, and courageously carried out their ‎missions. Ten soldiers and three civilians were ‎killed in the operation and we all owe them a great ‎debt of gratitude.‎

A decade later, everyone recognizes the important ‎contribution Operation Cast Lead had to the south’s ‎security, as it dealt Hamas a crippling blow. We may ‎still have that advantage, but the war for our home ‎is not over. ‎

In recent years, Hamas’ terrorist routes have been ‎shuttered, one by one, via restrictions on land ‎movement, a maritime blockade, counter-tunnel ‎warfare and the effective protection provided by the ‎Iron Dome air defense system. Operation Cast Lead ‎and the reality that followed on the ground have ‎forced Hamas to rethink its strategy.‎

The balance of power between the IDF and Hamas is ‎‎1,000 to 1, meaning that in any future ‎confrontation, Israel will overcome Hamas. In view ‎of the numerous security challenges Israel faces, it ‎is our duty to act responsibly and discreetly. ‎

Knowing the enemy Israel is preparing for future ‎campaigns, but if we are forced into battle, we will ‎be the ones to determine its timing. ‎

We are a peace-loving nation but at this time, we ‎cannot afford to lay down our sword. We remain ‎vigilant and ready to defend ourselves, on every ‎front, at all times.‎

(Yoav Gallant is the construction and housing minister)