The Goliath is Ourselves: Revelation 16

David and Goliath in our time

By H. PATRICIA HYNES

We are living in the year 2020 A.D., signifying 2,020 years after the birth of Christ. For the writer and atomic bomb survivor, Kyoko Hayashi, however, “the significance of the birth of Christ pales in comparison” with the event that demonstrated “humans had gained the means to destroy their own species, all other species and the earth.” Thus, she invents a new calendar “the A-Bomb calendar” that designates 1945 as year one.

The fatal act of using and showcasing the unrivaled power of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 launched a Cold War competition with the Soviet Union, an arms race that has culminated today in nine countries possessing approximately 16,000 nuclear weapons (the U.S. and Russia having most). Moreover, the current B83 nuclear weapons of the U.S. arsenal are 80 times, more powerful than the two atomic bombs dropped on Japanese cities. Further, under the Obama and subsequent administration, the U.S. government is in the process of modernizing its nuclear arsenal by 2046, carrying an estimated cost of $1.7 trillion in current dollars. And so also are Russia, China and the other six nuclear nations. They are the biblical Goliaths in our midst.

We have never been so close to nuclear annihilation, in the opinion of many nuclear weapons experts, as today. The seminal measure of this risk to all life on the planet is the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock, an annual gauge of nuclear Armageddon since 1947. This gauge of risk has ranged from 7 minutes to midnight in 1947 to 2 minutes in 1953, and 17 minutes in 1991, due to the détente with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the agreement with Russia to mutually reduce nuclear weapons. But by 2020 the Bulletin set the Doomsday Clock at its closest time to midnight ever: 100 seconds. Two other dooming factors also figured into their calculation: the accelerating climate crisis and cyber-based disinformation. In the Bulletin’s words “trends … in nuclear weapons and climate change … have failed to improve … [and] the international political infrastructure for controlling existential risk is degrading, leaving the world in a situation of high and rising threat.”

As we finish 2020, the U.S. is in a “full-blown arms race” — both nuclear and conventional — with Russia and China; and Iran and North Korea are building nuclear programs out of self-protection from U.S. threats. Further, Trump has withdrawn from nuclear treaties and the 2017 nuclear accord with Iran; and Saudi Arabia may have nuclear ambitions. Currently the U.S. has no coherent foreign policy on nuclear weapons and no climate policy. Increasingly it is flying nuclear-capable bombers ever closer to Russian and Chinese territory, stimulating a higher paced arms race. Arms control and security expert Michael Klare depicts this taunting maneuver as “simply nuts” and rushing us to Armageddon. The 2021 Doomsday Clock will likely move closer to midnight.

But perhaps not: a strong shaft of light now pierces the gloom of a nuclear weaponized world. On Oct. 24, Honduras became the 50th country to ratify the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Under the treaty’s provisions, the possession, manufacture of, threat of and any actual use of nuclear weapons is an international crime. On Jan. 22, 2021, the treaty will become international law.

The backdrop to this landmark Treaty encompasses the unstinting work of non-governmental organizations laboring for decades to educate countries about the mortal risks of nuclear weapons and war and, most significantly, the lifelong heart-rending public testimonies of the thousands of Hibakushas — survivors of the atomic bomb, like writer Kyoko Hayashi. Together their efforts culminated in 122 nations in the U.N. adopting the Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons in 2017, despite heavy pressure by nuclear nations, foremost the U.S., not to do so.

Three years later 50 of those countries have ratified the treaty, the number of signatories needed for the treaty to become international law. Many more are in the process of their legislatures ratifying the treaty.

What can we make of scarce US media coverage of this global humanitarian advance in eliminating nuclear weapons? Yes, we are numbed by ongoing bad news of COVID, economic recession, climate crises and an anti-science administration entrenched in denial. But we are also benighted by a press and politicians for whom nuclear weapons seem to be a non-issue, gauging by primary and presidential debates.

Nuclear weapons are the biblical David and Goliath struggle of our day. Let us keep in mind that David prevailed.

Pat Hynes, a retired professor of environmental health, directs the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice. https://traprock.org

The winds of God’s wrath is about to threaten Florida: Jeremiah 23

Once powerful storm set to stage a comeback and then threaten the US – accuweather.com

Published Nov. 4, 2020 4:41 PM

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist

The tropical depression that was previously Hurricane Eta on Thursday night turned back over the Caribbean Sea, a move that will supply it with plenty of warm water for strengthening as it takes aim at Cuba and possibly Florida.

The tropical depression that was previously Hurricane Eta on Thursday has emerged back over the northwestern Caribbean Sea, a move that will supply it with plenty of warm water for strengthening as it takes aim at Cuba and possibly Florida.

Eta could reach hurricane force again on its way toward Cuba, and at this point, AccuWeather meteorologists expect it to approach southern Florida as a tropical storm.

In addition to Cuba and Florida, people in the southwestern Bahamas are urged to closely monitor the progress of Eta, especially as the system emerges from the area around Belize, Guatemala and Honduras on Friday.

The Florida Keys and Peninsula have largely dodged impacts amid a record-setting Atlantic hurricane season, which has spawned 28 named systems. No landfalls have occurred in the state yet this season, but forecasters say the region is not out of the woods yet. Eta may pose a significant threat to lives and property and, at the very least, an interruption to daily activities and travel late this weekend and early next week.

Instead of withering away over Central America this week, Eta’s circulation survived the trip over land and re-entered the western Caribbean early Friday morning. Here, forecasters expect reorganizing and restrengthening to occur.

Eta turned deadly in Central America, with the storm claiming at least 70 lives as of Thursday, with over 50 fatalities in Guatemala according to Reuters.

The storm was located 110 miles north-northwest of La Ceiba, Honduras, as of Friday morning. It had weakened considerably and was downgraded to a tropical depression late Wednesday with sustained winds down to 30 mph early Thursday morning, but by later in the afternoon, its winds had increased to 35 mph as it continued to move north at 8 mph Friday morning.

The water over the northwestern Caribbean is some of the warmest of the entire Atlantic basin, as high as 84 degrees, which is plenty warm enough to nurture a tropical system. Eta is forecast to spend about 48 hours over the warm waters of the northwestern Caribbean, which is also enough time to allow strengthening to occur.

But other weather factors will influence its ability to ramp up again.

“It may come down to wind shear as to how much strengthening is able to occur prior to the system reaching western Cuba Saturday night,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller said.

Wind shear is the increase in wind speed with increasing altitude. When wind shear is strong, it can inhibit tropical development or cause an established tropical system to weaken. But in smaller amounts, wind shear can help vent a tropical system and cause it to strengthen.

But even if wind shear prevents the storm from reaching hurricane force, forecasters expect it to be a big rainmaker and pose a number of other threats.

Conditions are forecast to deteriorate over western Cuba, especially along the southern coast during Saturday afternoon and evening. Rounds of heavy rain, strong winds and surf are anticipated. The risk of flash flooding will increase, as will the potential for mudslides in the mountainous terrain.

A general 8-12 inches (200-300 mm) of rain is forecast with locally higher amounts in the mountains of Cuba. Peak wind gusts of 80-100 mph are forecast over west-central Cuba. A storm surge of several feet (1-2 meters) is possible along the southern coast of Cuba, near and just east of the center. In Havana, on the north side of Cuba, northerly winds are likely to create overwash that could lead to coastal flooding in and around the city.

Get Your AccuWeather Forecast

But, how much rain, wind and storm surge occur in western Cuba overall will depend on the intensity of Eta at landfall as well as its forward speed.

“Should Eta strengthen beyond a Category 1 hurricane prior to reaching Cuba and/or move more slowly than projected, rain and wind could be greater than anticipated in Cuba and later Florida,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll said.

“On the other hand, should Eta fail to reach hurricane strength prior to crossing Cuba and maintain forward speed, rain and wind could be substantially less than forecast in both Cuba and Florida,” Doll added.

The storm may have another opportunity to strengthen once it emerges over the Florida Straits to the north of Cuba during the day Sunday. At this time, forecasters expect Eta to approach the Florida Keys and South Florida Sunday evening.

Impacts in South Florida and the Florida Keys during the latter part of this weekend to the first part of next week will depend on storm’s exact track and speed after its encounter with Cuba. The magnitude of wind, rain and storm surge anticipated in the Sunshine State could change over time as details on Eta’s erratic path and strength become more clear.

Tropical-storm-force winds of 40 to 60 mph are likely to arrive in the Florida Keys as early as Sunday morning. The strong winds will then spread northward over the southern part of the Florida Peninsula later Sunday and Sunday night. Gusts this strong could lead to sporadic power outages and send loose items in yards and patios airborne.

Forecasters are urging people to secure outdoor items ahead of the storm and take other precautions such as locating coverings for windows and checking the operation of storm shutters and ensuring that generators are in working order.

Provided that Eta strikes Cuba as a hurricane and maintains some strength while crossing Cuba on Saturday night, there is the potential for hurricane-force wind gusts of 74 mph or greater in part of the Florida Keys and perhaps the southern tip of the Florida Peninsula from Sunday afternoon to Monday. Miami could see winds of 60 mph to 80 mph.

At this time, AccuWeather meteorologists expect a general 4-8 inches of rain over South Florida, including Miami, the Florida Keys and part of the western part of the Bahamas with locally higher amounts to near 1 foot possible. Rainfall of this magnitude has the potential to cause flooding in low-lying areas.

The circulation from Eta, even as a tropical storm, is likely to create a storm surge over coastal areas of southern Florida. Storm surge could inundate some roads and escape routes should Eta affect the region as a hurricane.

Easterly flow of air around an area of high pressure to the north had already stirred above-normal tides and rough seas and surf from the Florida Keys through the Atlantic coast of the Florida Peninsula this week.

A record-setting 11 named tropical systems made landfall so far in the U.S. this hurricane season. (AccuWeather)

The exact path that Eta will take through Cuba and around Florida is uncertain, but the possibilities are even less certain for where the storm will head later next week and beyond. Forecasters say the most likely scenario is for Eta to emerge into the Gulf of Mexico after striking southern Florida, but there is the potential that the storm will linger near Cuba and Florida instead, or it could possibly even move northward between the Bahamas and Florida.

Eta has already made history and matched the strength of the strongest storm of the tumultuous 2020 hurricane season — Hurricane Laura — when its winds peaked at 150 mph earlier this week. Eta joined the ranks of eight other tropical systems in the Atlantic this season and underwent rapid strengthening, which is defined by a tropical system that experiences an increase its maximum sustained winds by 35 mph within 24 hours. Its winds increased from 70 mph when it was at tropical-storm force late Sunday evening to 150 mph — just shy of Category 5 strength — late Monday evening — in just 24 hours.

Hurricane season doesn’t officially end until Nov. 30.

Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

Biden and Obama well once again surrender to the Iranian Horn

Iran’s President Rouhani says next US administration will ‘surrender’ to Tehran

Iran President Hassan Rouhani said that it doesn’t matter who wins the US Elections because the next administration “will surrender” to the Islamic nation.

Amid ongoing US Election 2020, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on November 5 during the opening remarks at a water supply project that it doesn’t matter who wins the US Election 2020, because the next administration “will surrender” to the Islamic nation. Even though it can take several more hours to announce the results by US media networks, currently Democratic Challenger Joe Biden is leading the race with 264 electoral votes while incumbent Donald Trump is trailing at 214, as per the Associated Press. Rouhani also said that Iran will not give in to US pressures and noted that the nation has already withstood the crippling American sanctions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“It is not important who is elected (US) president, as the next US administration will surrender to the Iranian nation,” Hassan Rouhani is quoted by media outlets.

“Our nation would not buckle under the pressures. We can overcome the enemies and force them to resume honouring the law and regulations,” Rouhani added.

Iran’s supreme leader mocks US elections

After Iran’s Supreme Leader Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei said that the United States suffers from political and moral ‘deviations’ in a statement on November 4, he mocked the American democracy. While incumbent US President Donald Trump attempted to sow doubt in the integrity of polling and has termed it ‘major fraud’, Iranian Supreme Leader called it “what a spectacle”. He noted the situation in Washington without mentioning the name of the contenders, trump and Democrat Joe Biden.

Taking a jibe at the nation while American sanctions are crippling Iran’s economy, Khamenei said that the person who is in the office after winning the election has called the same system “fraudulent” while his rival has said that US President is trying to ‘rig election’. According to the Iran Supreme Leader, “this is how” American democracy and its elections are. 

The upcoming confrontation with the Iranian nuclear horn: Daniel 8

Confronting Iran, Israel’s most dangerous enemy

By Max L. Kleinman

November 5, 2020, 11:42 am

As we focus our attention on the upcoming election of November 3rd, another important deadline was reached, but it was scarcely reported in the press. On October 18, as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action curtailing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, UN Security Resolution 2231 expired. This means that Russia and China can sell advanced aircraft, tanks, and other arms to Iran, which in turn can supply arms to its surrogates, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the Houthis in Yemen. This comes on the heels of Iran’s development of intercontinental missiles, against U.N. resolutions; fomenting war in Yemen; attacking and seizing oil tankers, and destroying Saudi oil installations, wreaking havoc to global markets.

The United States pushed to extend the arms embargo and apply additional sanctions and asked our allies to join this effort. Instead, Great Britain, France and Germany refused, saying the United States had no right to invoke these measures as it withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018. That’s like ticketing a fire truck for speeding as it rushes to extinguish a fire.

Ignoring Iran’s ambition of establishing a caliphate in the entire Middle East, imposing its form of radical Islam, its commitment to destroy the “Zionist entity” in violation of the UN’s charter, propping up the murderous Assad regime, hijacking Lebanon and arming Hamas, the JCPOA was approved by the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany in 2015. While the JCPOA set limits on how much uranium Iran could enrich, it enacted sunset provisions by which after 15 years or in 2030, Iran will, according to United Against a Nuclear Iran, a bipartisan think tank consisting of national security luminaries, “be permitted to have an industrial-scale nuclear program with no limitations on number and type of centrifuges or its stockpiles of fissile material.” This was facilitated by the transfer of tens of billions to its coffers as part of the deal.

In other words, the JCPOA “rents” Iranian nuclear arms control for 15 (now 10) years, after which it legally can develop nuclear weapons. This without any formal input from Israel or the Gulf countries most directly threatened by Iran, reminiscent of Czechoslovakia’s exclusion from the Munich agreement of 1938, which doomed that country to Nazi control.

In response, as stated above, the Trump administration withdrew from the JCPOA and enacted extensive economic sanctions invoking counterterrorism claims, which has had the effect of reducing Iranian oil revenues by 90 percent.

Vice President Biden, one of the architects of the JCPOA, recognizes the gravity of Iran’s nuclear ambitions and proposed steps he would undertake if elected president. In an op -ed for CNN, he wrotwe that he would “make an unshakable commitment to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” So containment would not be an option.

He would then “offer Tehran a credible path back to diplomacy. If Iran returns to strict compliance with the nuclear deal, the U.S. would rejoin the agreement… With our allies, we will work to strengthen the nuclear deal’s provisions … help our partners end regional conflict,” and work with Israel to ensure it can defend itself against Iran and its proxies.

All of these are laudable goals. But what incentive does Iran have to bend when it has a pathway toward a nuclear weapon within 10 years, with the prospect of acquiring more sophisticated weapons?. Ironically, the lifting of the Trump unilateral U.S. sanctions, which has crippled Iran’s economy, can be used by Biden as a carrot to restart negotiations.

Ultimately, the ideal deal would eliminate any sunset provisions, as Iran exports oil and doesn’t require nuclear energy. In exchange for commitments toward not overtly overthrowing the Iranian theocracy, Iran should renounce terrorism and desist from destabilizing its neighbors and accepting Israel’s right to exist.

Hope springs eternal!

Meanwhile, with peace agreements with UAE, Bahrain, and Sudan, and the use of Saudi air space, Israel is better positioned to defend itself strategically.

I have heard then Senator and Vice-President Biden state that he would never allow any daylight between the US and Israel. I hope that if he is elected president, he will close any cracks in the relationship by securing a better deal with the Iranians for the betterment of Israel’s security, the region’s security, and world peace.

The Iranian Horn Has every right to mock American democracy

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mocks US democracy

05 Nov

• Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei mocked the US elections.

• US President Donald Trump claimed victory while counting was still under way.

• Khamenei said Iran had no favoured candidate.

Iran’s supreme leader has mocked the rancorous aftermath of Election Day in the United States, saying that the vote has exposed the reality of US democracy.

LIVE | US election 2020: Biden close to victory as Trump sues, demands recount

Well over 24 hours after the last polling stations closed in the US state of Alaska, the battle for the White House remains undecided.

US President Donald Trump has caused disquiet among even leaders of his own Republican Party by flatly alleging fraud, while his Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s campaign team has accused the incumbent of seeking to deny the electoral rights of tens of thousands of postal voters.

“What a spectacle!” supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei tweeted late on Wednesday.

“One says this is the most fraudulent election in US history. Who says that? The president who is currently in office.

“His rival says Trump intends to rig the election! This is how #USElections & US democracy are.”

US ELECTIONS 2020 | Get the latest news

The deepening polarisation of US politics since Trump’s surprise election victory four years ago has drawn expressions of concern even from Western allies, with Germany warning of a “very explosive situation” in the aftermath of the poll.

Despite US allegations that Tehran sought to use social media to influence voters in the run-up to polling day, Iran’s leadership has publicly insisted it favours neither candidate, despite their sharply divergent policies toward Tehran.

Trump has led a campaign of “maximum pressure” against the Islamic republic, pulling Washington out of a multilateral deal on Iran’s nuclear programme and reimposing crippling unilateral sanctions.

Biden has signalled he is ready to rejoin the landmark nuclear agreement struck in 2015 when he served as vice president under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.

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Israel cleanses the nations outside the temple walls: Revelation 11

PCHR: “Wide-Scale Demolition Amounting to Ethnic Cleansing, Israeli Occupation Demolishes 70 Facilities in the Northern Valley Displacing 60 Palestinians”

The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCHR): On Tuesday evening, 03 November 2020, Israeli occupation forces (IOF) carried out a large-scale demolition operation against civilian properties in Hemsa al-Foqa area in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern Tubas. Seventy homes and facilities were demolished, displacing 60 Palestinians (mostly children), in the 6-hour operation.

The demolitions were preceded by the confiscation of 16 vehicles and 5 water tanks in a nearby area in the valleys. Yesterday’s operation comes within an accelerated cam

paign by IOF to demolish and destroy Palestinians’ homes and properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, under the Israeli annexation and settlement-expansion schemes in what can only be considered an act of ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian population.

According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 12:00 on Tuesday IOF, accompanied by Israeli Civil Administration SUVs and construction vehicles, moved into Kherbet Hemsa al-Foqa in the northern Jordan valleys, eastern Tubas.

The construction vehicles proceeded to demolish 70 civilian properties, including barracks and residential tents that sheltered 11 families (total 60 persons, mostly children). IOF demolished 11 residential tents, 27 barracks, some used for housing, and several barns, as well as, kitchens, mobile-lavatories, water tanks and other properties. IOF also confiscated two tractors and a private Subaru car.

Earlier on Tuesday, IOF moved into Khirbet Ibziq in northern Jordan valleys, eastern Tubas. The Israeli soldiers raided civilians’ houses and confiscated the following items: 9 tractors, 5 water tanks, 5 carts and 2 private vehicles. IOF aims at vacating the area and expelling its indigenous residents.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights condemns the Israeli demolitions and confiscation of Palestinian properties and warns against the threat of the continued Israeli attempts to displace Palestinians and out them from their lands by destroying their houses and confiscating/demolishing their properties. This is an Israeli systematic policy to impose a fait accompli to enforce its control and sovereignty on parts of the West Bank.

PCHR recalls that Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 prohibits “Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons ..” unless “the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.” Additionally, Article 7.1.d of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court stipulates that “Deportation or forcible transfer of population when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population is a crime against humanity.” Also, Article 6, 7, and 8 of the Rome Statute assert that “Deportation or forcible transfer of population” is a war crime.

PCHR calls upon the international community and United Nations bodies to uphold their legal and moral duties and to urgently intervene to stop the Israeli occupation’s crime against Palestinians and to guarantee their protection.

For more information, please call the PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893

Gaza- Jamal ‘Abdel Nasser “al-Thalathini” Street – Al-Roya Building- Floor 12, El Remal, PO Box 1328 Gaza, Gaza Strip. E-mail: pchr@pchrgaza.org, Webpage http://www.pchrgaza.org