The Power of the Russian Nuclear Horn (Revelation 16)

How powerful and how threatening is Putin’s Russia?

Posted Jun 11, 2020 at 12:04 PM

Arthur Cyr▲

With characteristic fanfare, and maximum media visibility, President Vladimir Putin of Russia appears to be escalating threats to the United States and wider NATO alliance, which binds Europe and North America. On June 2, Putin announced Russia might respond to a conventional military attack with nuclear weapons. This made news but is nothing new.

In 1982, Leonid Brezhnev, the leader of the Soviet Union, renounced first use of nuclear weapons in war and challenged other nations to do the same. This was widely, rightly dismissed as Cold War propaganda rather than true military doctrine.

In 1993, the successor government of Russia formally abandoned the pledge of no first use. This related to growing tensions with Ukraine, which retained nuclear weapons from the Soviet era. The following year, Ukraine destroyed those nuclear weapons and formally joined the 1968 treaty for nonproliferation of nuclear weapons.

In a formal state speech on March 1, 2018, Putin announced the Avangard, a hypersonic cruise missile that can fly 27 times the speed of sound. This is one of a range of new weapons announced by the Russia regime, emphasizing advanced technological capabilities.

Russian leaders historically fear encirclement, and rightly respect the technological prowess of the United States. Putin’s actions reflect these anxieties.

Yet Russia today does not possess great international power or earlier totalitarian domestic political control. Annexation in 2014 of Crimea, which was part of the Soviet Union until 1954, reflects traditional Russian insecurity about reliable access to the global oceans. A home port of Russia’s Black Sea fleet is in Crimea, where support for Russia is strong.

For the U.S. as well as the wider NATO alliance, effective policy must include understanding of broad historical context. George Kennan, probably the most perceptive American analyst of Russia, wrote in 1954 that Soviet leaders “are not like … us.”

War to the death with Nazi Germany has had a profound continuing impact on the nation, including the current generation. That fed traditional anxieties regarding territory and national security.

Contemporary Islamic extremism adds to such concerns. Putin has successfully contained various separatist movements in Russia, notably in Chechnya. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov was previously a powerful separatist leader, but for some time has been Moscow’s ally.

The tough-talking officials of the George W. Bush administration pressed NATO expansion eastward. This included membership by both Georgia and Ukraine.

In 2008, conflict grew in Georgia involving the South Ossetia territory. In reaction, the Russian Army invaded. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France brokered the cease-fire. The inept Bush administration did nothing.

After annexing Crimea, Russia began armed support of Ukraine separatists. Ukraine and Russia historically entangle in complex ways. The Russian revolution in 1917 sparked an independence movement. After years of struggle, Ukraine eventually was absorbed into the Soviet Union.

Caution and discipline must define effective U.S. policy. Kennan insightfully advocated “containment” as the most effective response to Soviet communism, and that outlook remains the best overall approach. Russia remains weak economically. That provides opportunity for U.S. leverage.

Meanwhile, Putin steadily expands Russia’s influence in the Middle East. President George H.W. Bush led an international coalition to victory in the First Gulf War, followed by effective diplomacy.

Today, Putin has essentially replaced U.S. leadership there. Russia has supplied S-400 Triumf anti-aircraft missiles to Turkey, a NATO ally at odds with the U.S. government. Weapons are instruments of policy as well as tools of war.

Arthur I. Cyr is Clausen Distinguished Professor at Carthage College and author of “After the Cold War” (NYU Press and Macmillan). Contact acyr@carthage.edu.

The Hastening of Babylon the Great’s Fall (Revelation 18:10)

George Floyd Riots Will Hasten America’s Decline as a Superpower

Years of forecasts are now being vindicated.

By Daniel Di Santo • June 11

While our attention is fixated on the violence exploding on the streets of America’s cities, it can be easy to forget that an international audience is closely watching, too.

So far, over 20 people have died, many of them African-Americans. The damage has been extensive, and its full scale is not yet known. Although Minneapolis, Dallas, New York and Seattle will eventually clean up and attempt to return to normal life, the violence that happened on their streets will impact America’s global standing for years to come.

Dictators Preach Equality

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei decried the police brutality, which is allegedly everywhere in the United States. In a June 4 tweet, he said this was “nothing new” and simply “the nature of the system.” In a televised speech, Khamenei said that George Floyd’s last words of “I can’t breathe” serve as “a slogan that speaks for the hearts of all nations oppressed by the United States.”

Khamenei.ir

@khamenei_ir

A police officer coldly kneeling on a black man’s neck & pushing until he dies, while the other officers do nothing to stop this no matter how much he pleads, is nothing new. It is the nature of the US system. #GeorgeFloyd

 

 

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated on May 28 that he was “deeply saddened” by the death of George Floyd. A Chinese spokesperson simply quoted George Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe.”

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

@RTErdogan

The racist and fascist approach that led to the death of George Floyd in the US city of Minneapolis as a result of torture has not only deeply saddened all of us, but it has also become one of the most painful manifestations of the unjust order we stand against across the world.

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These leaders of dictatorial and oppressive regimes are portraying themselves as compassionate and understanding, and implying that their systems work better than the flawed and racist American model. Many have called for the nation’s police to be defunded.

Before all of this began, one man was warning of exactly this situation.

“The nation’s police are being undermined in ways that will prove devastating to our cities in particular,” warns Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry in his free booklet Great Again, written three years ago. “There is no excuse for police brutality. But how many good policemen will fear to do their jobs—jobs that are sure to become even more dangerous as disorder intensifies—knowing the state might side with the criminals, or knowing they could be unjustly prosecuted? The institution that protects and preserves the stability of America’s cities is being undermined and weakened.”

What officer Derek Chauvin did was clearly wrong. However, accusing an entire segment of Americans of racism based on one man’s actions only provokes more division. Now, the leaders of oppressive regimes like Iran and China are making the same accusation, seeking to stoke tensions further.

In Great Again, Mr. Flurry warns that America’s racial dispute will be turned into a “deadly weapon” to divide and weaken the country. That surely has happened within the country. Now, America’s enemies and rivals, many of which oppress and segregate their own people, are seeking to exploit the racial division on display in America. In America Under Attack, Mr. Flurry makes a similar statement, warning that accusations of racism fill the country with “hatred and division that lead to race war, civil war and violence!” This has happened internally, and dictatorial regimes are now following suit.

Soft Power

A nation cannot be powerful on the world scene when its citizens are fighting each other. Few Americans are thinking about the long-term affects the riots will have on their nation’s global image, but they should be. Since the end of World War i, Woodrow Wilson’s 14 points and then the League of Nations, the U.S. has played the leading role in forming international organizations, setting international law, and defining norms in international diplomacy.

On May 25, that world order suffered a severe blow. The entire world watched as riots brought death, injury and fire to America’s cities. In the eyes of many, these events have greatly diminished America’s privileged position as the world’s top diplomatic power.

The Financial Times addressed this in a June 5 article: “The dividedness of the U.S.—racial, material, political—is aired thoroughly enough as a domestic blight. It is the effect on its foreign policy that can get lost in the anguish. … And nowhere will it suffer more than in the superpower duel.”

Does this forecast—the U.S. losing its superpower status—sound familiar? If so, it’s because the Trumpet has warned for years that riots will intensify, to the point that they render the U.S. unable to compete on a global level. Analysts are now starting to see what will happen when riots intensify. “The effect of responding to lawlessness by handcuffing law enforcement is going to tear our society apart!” writes Mr. Flurry in Great Again. Now more than ever, calls to defund the police, even totally abolish them, are growing more common. If followed, this course of action will cause even greater suffering and violence.

How has America’s internal division left it unable to compete with rising powers and vulnerable to societal collapse?

One way to look at a nation’s global influence is by examining its “soft power.” Coined by Joseph Nye, the term describes a country’s control over world affairs through the channels of diplomacy, culture, societal values and business. Nye observed, “If a state can make its power seem legitimate in the eyes of others, it will encounter less resistance to its wishes. If its culture and ideology are attractive, others will more willingly follow.”

Now, nations that formerly trusted the U.S. will grow wary of investing in its economy or participating in American-led trade initiatives. Ascendant nations like China will use the U.S.’s inability to control its own affairs as a justification to further break with the dollar. European leaders will have justification to further crack down on the Silicon Valley-based online world.

Tourism, responsible for $1.6 trillion in economic output during 2017, has been hit hard by the riots. The industry already faced closures due to coronavirus. Now, many potential visitors will decide against traveling to America, choosing to spend their time and money in cities that aren’t viewed as being so vulnerable to sudden outbreaks of violence. Ultimately, intensifying civil unrest will lead to the U.S. being shut out of world trade—read chapters 4 and 5 of our free book on Ezekiel.

In these ways, the riots have damaged America’s diplomatic and economic standing for years to come.

Facing the Truth

The Trumpet has warned for many years that race riots will play a major role in America’s departure from the world scene and hasten its eventual collapse. How did we make this forecast before the trend of deadly violence increased to the threat it is today?

A Bible prophecy in Isaiah 1:7 says, “Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers.” America Under Attack says this “is talking about massive race wars swallowing up our cities! Cities in Israel are going to burn. … Can you even conceive of such violence? God warns that it is coming.”

The U.S. is forsaking the Bible, from which it derived its Constitution. In Great Again, Mr. Flurry explains how America’s Founding Fathers said the Constitution would only work “if our people had a certain measure of faith in God and the Bible.” Handicapping the police and abandoning these laws is “quickly moving America toward a race war and rule by dictatorship or tyranny,” he writes.

The Bible describes a time when America’s domestic trouble will grow so violent and spread so universally that it will paralyze the country, leaving it unable to respond to external threats. Ezekiel 5:12 describes riots that will kill a third of Americans; the word translated “pestilence” means burning. Consumed by its own problems, America will disappear from the world scene. Its decreasing credibility today is only the beginning of this deadly trend.

“When you look objectively at the facts of these high-profile, racially charged riots, you can see why they are certain to grow much worse,” Mr. Flurry writes. “Few people realize how grave this trend is. You need to know where this is leading! In fact, the Bible prophesies that this type of racial tension is building toward a time of unparalleled suffering. Race-related violence in our cities is going to play a major role in the unraveling of our society! That is the bitter truth that most of our people refuse to face.”

Ultimately, social unrest will get so bad that it will make the nation vulnerable to invasion. “You absolutely need to understand the truth about what is happening to America today!” he writes in Great Again. “We have been protected in this country for a couple hundred years. We have not experienced the turmoil that many other nations have. Yes, we were involved in two world wars, but God has given us a lot of peace. As a result, our people have settled into an unreality about what is really happening around us. They don’t understand how deadly dangerous this world is! This is not God’s world. There is a lot of evil in this world. It is full of tigers waiting to tear people apart. It has always been that way. As Winston Churchill said, the history of man is the history of war. Yet somehow we can’t come to grips with that today.”

As America begins to unravel, you can choose to face this bitter truth and do something about it before it’s too late. Understanding God’s perspective on America’s racial strife is the only way to end it. Read our free booklets Great Again and America Under Attack to gain a perspective, found nowhere else, that will soon lead to real, enduring peace for all races.

No World War 3 YET (Revelation 16)

World War 3: India and China top brass meet in bid to defuse tension at border

INDIAN and Chinese military commanders have met in a bid to defuse a tense stand-off along their disputed border in the western Himalayas after each side agreed to pull back some troops in confidence-building gestures, Indian government officials have confirmed.

By CIARAN MCGRATH

16:03, Wed, Jun 10, 2020

The dispute between the world’s two most populous nations has been a source of growing unease in recent weeks, with Frank O’Donnell, a Nonresident Fellow with the Stimson Center South Asia Program, warning Express.co.uk earlier this year there was a “real risk of escalation” if either side – both of which have nuclear weapons – miscalculated. Hundreds of soldiers from either side have been stationed in the remote snow desert of Ladakh since April in one of the most serious border flare-ups for years after Chinese patrols advanced into what India regards as its side of the de facto border.

Conversely, China claims the territory to be its own and has objected to India’s construction of roads in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, officials in Delhi said the two sides, led by India’s Lt General Harinder Singh and China’s Major General Liu Lin, made headway in talks held on Saturday.

After weeks of tension, including one incident during which patrolling soldiers from the two sides came to blows on the banks of Pangong Lake, resulting in injuries, friction has eased somewhat.

An Indian military lorry in Ladakh (Image: GETTY)

Both India and China have soldiers in the area (Image: GETTY)

The two armies have now withdrawn some troops from the high-altitude region.

However, soldiers, tanks and other materiel remain, with the situation far from resolved.

One of the Indian officials said: “There has been some kind of disengagement, there will be more talks to resolve this over the next days, it could be weeks even.”

Hamas Urges Action against Israeli Annexation Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Hamas Urges Muslim, Arab Countries’ Action against Israeli Annexation Plan

In a letter to heads of state of more than 40 countries, Haniyeh described the plan as a new aggression and a threat to the present and future of Palestine and the entire Arab and Muslim Ummah, al-Ahed News reported.

He said an immediate meeting of Arab and Islamic countries is necessary to support Palestinians’ united stance against all settlement activities, Judaization attempts in Jerusalem al-Quds and West Bank, and attempts to sideline the Palestinian issue.

Haniyeh underlined that a unified and serious stance must be adopted to counter all such conspiracies and to support Islamic and Christian sanctities.

He further decried attempts by some Arab countries to normalize ties with the Zionist regime as an “unforgivable mistake”.

The Zionist regime wants to annex parts of the West Bank on July 1, as agreed between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and rival-turned-partner Benny Gantz of the Blue and White party.

The plan has drawn international condemnation and outrage.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Zionist settlements there – as well as the planned annexation – illegal.

Antichrist Urges US Withdrawal After Rocket Strike In Baghdad

image-2

Iraq’s Sadr Urges US Withdrawal After Rocket Strike In Baghdad

With concerns that another rocket attack in Baghdad is going to fuel another round of US attacks on Shi’ite militias, key Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr issued a statement demanding the US remove its “occupying forces” from all of Iraq.

The rocket in this case hit a base near Baghdad airport, wounding four US troops. It’s not clear who did this, but the US has in the past used it as a pretext to move against Shi’ite factions inside Iraq. Sadr, who is a powerful Shi’ite cleric, clearly doesn’t want that.

But more importantly, Sadr is a major political player in Iraq, and the Iraqi parliament wants the US out of the country. Pushing this position is an obvious position to take, and one that makes clear that a violent US reaction would be unwelcome.

It is unlikely that the US will publicly respond to the comments from Sadr, as generally the US ignores anything that would involve considering leaving Iraq. Negotiations are planned at some point on the future of US deployment in the country, though this is likely on hold with the coronavirus.

Famine Follows Plague and Pestilence (Revelation 6:7)

In this May 6, 2020 photo, a man begs at a roadside during a lockdown to help to contain a spread of coronavirus in Peshawar, Pakistan. For millions of people who live in poor and troubled regions of the world, the novel coronavirus is only the latest epidemic. They already face a plethora of fatal…   (Associated Press)

Study warns of poverty surge to over 1 billion due to virus

By PAN PYLAS, Associated Press

Jun 11, 2020 7:01 PM CDT

LONDON (AP) — Global poverty is set to rise above 1 billion people once again as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which is reducing the income of the world’s poorest by $500 million a day, according to new research published Friday.

The research by King’s College London and the Australian National University points to poverty increasing dramatically in middle-income developing countries, where millions of people live just above the poverty line.

Asian countries, such as Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and the Philippines, are considered to be particularly vulnerable to the pandemic’s economic shockwaves with lockdowns severely curtailing activity.

“The pandemic is fast becoming an economic crisis for developing countries,” said Andy Sumner, a professor of international development at King’s College London and one of the report’s co-authors.

Because millions of people live just above the poverty line, they are in a precarious position as the economic shock of the pandemic plays out. In a worst case scenario, the number of people in extreme poverty – defined as earning under $1.90 a day – is forecast to rise from about 700 million to 1.1 billion, according to the report, which was published by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research.

“Without action this crisis could set back progress on reducing global poverty by 20 or even 30 years,” Sumner said.

Researchers are calling for “urgent global leadership” to address the crisis. But hopes are low after the Group of Seven meeting of world leaders, which was due to take place June 10-12 at President Donald Trump’s retreat at Camp David, was postponed. Trump now aims to host an expanded meeting in September, also including leaders from Russia, Australia, South Korea and India. How much development issues will be addressed at that summit remains an open question.

Sumner said three actions need to be prioritized. First, a “rapid response global commission on poverty and COVID-19” needs to be established and led by a prominent global leader to identify the level of financing required and what rich countries can do to help.

Second, he said funds should be released quickly by expanding the current debt servicing standstill that the International Monetary Fund is providing to all developing countries and by freezing World Bank debt repayments at least until the end of 2020, possibly into 2021. He said that once the crisis abates, debt restructuring or outright cancellation of debt for some developing countries “will be needed or even unavoidable.”

And thirdly, he said countries benefiting from the standstill should use the money to shore up and expand social safety nets.

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