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Sept 11, 2014 The dilema facing Israel with Hamas

A thought provoking article on the perils facing Israel, the middle east and the western democracies. Thanks to Bob A for the post.

Nando

http://www.israpundit.org/archives/63599566#more-63599566?utm_source=emailcampaign2090&utm_medium=phpList&utm_content=HTMLemail&utm_campaign=ISRAPUNDIT+DAILY+DIGEST+AUG+29%2F14

August 29, 2014

Israel-Hamas truce: It’s the big picture, stupid

By J.E. Dyer, LIBERTY YIELDING,  on August 29, 2014 at 1:08 am

UAE F-16 strike-fighter soars. (Image via Wikipedia)

The answer to why Israel has been prepared, since mid-July, to conclude a new truce with Hamas is staring us in the face – if we zoom out from Gaza and look at the whole region.

Make no mistake, as President Obama likes to say.  It’s Hamas that delayed accepting a truce, on the terms proposed by Egypt.  Israel has accepted essentially that same truce for more than a month.  It was Hamas that wouldn’t agree to stop fighting.

I’ve written before about the reason Hamas believes it is so important today to be seen taking the fight to Israel: because other groups – most especially ISIS – are emerging to rival Hamas as quasi-state entities with a Sunni revolutionary-Islamist ideology.  There is a very real possibility now of Hamas, qua Hamas, losing its privileged geographic position, and its pride of place in Arab and Islamic geopolitics as Israel’s torturer-in-chief.

It’s not just Western media attention that’s being siphoned off by ISIS: it’s the well-funded strategic focus of big players like Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and the interest of an up-and-coming generation of jihadi fighters.  Nearly six years on from Operation Cast Lead, there are other places to be, if you’re a hip jihadi hoping to immanentize the eschaton.  There’s another vision for subjugating Israel and restoring a caliphate.

That vision – as predicted more than five years ago – has moved on from its Oslo-era boresight on “Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.”  As long as there is a Palestinian Authority, and Hamas and Fatah exist as viable entities, other organizations and leaders will continue to deal with them (e.g., the Saudis, the Qataris, Iran, the OIC, the Arab League, Yusuf Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood).  Hamas and Fatah won’t be dismissed or ignored – yet.  But there is an increasingly perfunctory character to the interaction we see with them by those other entities.

New kid on the block. (Image: Reuters)

With the destabilization ensuing on the withdrawal of U.S. power from the Middle East, a whole new era of possibilities has opened up.  “Hamas in Gaza” is no longer the only way, or the best way, to put a hurt on Israel and advance the prospects for a caliphate.

A visit to the map

Imagine you’re a motivated enemy of Israel with a passion for Sunni jihad.  Now let’s go to the map.  Five years ago, in August 2009, you had little or no potential maneuvering space around Israel.  Assad ruled Syria.  Jordan was a relatively stable, Western-friendly kingdom observing formal accords with Israel.  Egypt, ruled by Hosni Mubarak, had honored a peace treaty with Israel for 30 years.  The territory governed by these rulers was neither penetrable nor readily exploitable as a path toward Israel.

It used to be such a stable place.  Map 1 (Google map)

Lebanon represented something of a territorial vulnerability for Israel; Gaza, an even greater vulnerability, was blockaded – and the potential vulnerability presented by both plots of territory was being exploited by Shia Iran.  But the very stability of all the other players limited a jihadi’s vision for what kinds of “maneuver” were possible.  There could be no territorial roaming or conquest, certainly.  What the enterprising jihadi had to do was attempt to insert in place somewhere – perhaps with already-organized groups like Hamas, perhaps among Arabs in refugee camps in Jordan – and foment insurrection against the local order.

Even in the next ring outward, rule was secure and boundaries were (mostly) unquestioned: Iraq was politically fractious but still unified; Turkey, while Islamizing, was still careful to observe the niceties of her NATO orientation; the momentum in Southeastern Europe was toward the EU political model; Libya, that perennially strange and ungovernable case, was still unified under Qadhafi; Saudi Arabia dominated the Arabian Peninsula without having to try very hard, and no one outside western Yemen knew what a Houthi was.

Fast-forward to 2014, after the Arab Spring and the rise of Sunni state-Islamism and ISIS, and this whole picture has changed.  Suddenly, all of Syria and most of Iraq represent potential maneuvering space.  Hezbollah’s concern in Lebanon is as much to hang on to what it’s got as anything else.  Egypt has been through the wringer; large swaths of the Sinai Peninsula are a poorly patrolled No Man’s Land, and the kingdoms of Jordan and Saudi Arabia are running scared.

The vulnerabilities ripple outward too.  Libya is utterly up for grabs.  The Mediterranean region hasn’t seen such lawlessness on its southern edge for more than a century; there is real reason to be concerned about the waves of refugees overwhelming Southern Europe and the literal armed danger developing for the seaways and commercial trade.  If the wrong people get hold of Libya, the vaunted post-Arab Spring success of little Tunisia next door will collapse like a house of cards.

Outer ring, bad as the inner ring - or worse. (Google map; author annotation.)

Once-promising trends in Sub-Saharan Africa are being menaced by an onslaught of dreadful predators: armed Islamism in Nigeria and Somalia, the Ebola outbreak along the West African coast.

Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen threaten to bring down yet another government backed by, and cooperating with, the United States.  If they succeed, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates will find themselves flanked: Iran on one side, Iran’s client on the other.  And Iran will have the finest frontage there is on the Gulf of Aden and the Bab El-Mandeb Strait: the gateway to the Red Sea.

Further east, Afghanistan is scheduled to fall to the Taliban by early 2015.  From western Iran to Ukraine lies a belt of unease and instability, with some parties actively fighting (Kurds, ISIS, Russia, Ukraine) and others waiting for the next shoe to drop (Georgia).

If you had the geostrategic vision of an Islamist Alexander or Napoleon, as ISIS’s leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi does, you too would see possibilities in all this.  You would see a way of extending a new caliphate all the way into Spain – by rapid maneuver and force of arms.

If you don’t see the possibilities, it’s because your mental idea of the Middle East and North Africa is outdated and no longer valid.  Al-Baghdadi has a very grand-scale vision, but he’s not crazy.  And the reason the calculations of all the Middle East’s political leaders are changing is that anyone with an intelligence service and a map sees what Al-Baghdadi does: that formerly unbreachable boundaries are giving way, and no one knows what, if anything, will stop the gathering storm.

The players

Some of the players started this unfolding game with the goal of preserving order, and changing the status quo only in an orderly fashion.  Israel, Egypt (under Al-Sisi), Saudi Arabia, and Jordan fall in this category, along with the current rulers of Bahrain, the UAE, Yemen, and Oman.

Some, like Russia, have had status quo changes they wanted to pursue, and were willing to breach the peace to do it even before the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS.  But they hope to proceed carefully and do it on their own terms.  Qatar under her new emir is turning into this type of player.  The internal strife in Turkey is deciding right now whether Turkey will be such a player, or a more disruptive and revolutionary player, like Iran.

Iran is a separate category, and in fact is sui generis, having had an active model of disruptive state-Islamism for more than three decades already.  Iran has been acting much longer than ISIS has, with degrees of motivation that have waxed and waned, on a vision for eschatological consummation involving the conquest of Jerusalem, and the proclamation of a caliphate.  Iran’s operational model has been to sponsor proxies in place: her client Assad in Syria, the terror groups Hezbollah and Hamas.

And while it’s important to note that Iran’s is a Shia vision of apocalypse, as opposed to the Sunni concept, the most important factor of all is that everyone with an Islamist ideology now sees new possibilities for bringing it about.  The proximate catalyst for the new energy among Islamists is not sectarian hatred.  It’s the sudden expanse of maneuvering room unrolling before their eyes like a red carpet.

The models of jihad

The ISIS threat has a unique urgency because it is maneuver-based, territorial, and moving rapidly.  The Iranian threat has always been state-based, and operates more on the former-Soviet model of proxy sponsorship, influence, and foreign clients.  There is a third model – the “grand jihad” model – codified by the Muslim Brotherhood, which until the Arab Spring acted mainly on a global and abstract vision for civilizational jihad.  (That vision was certainly not a pacific one; the grand jihad model is fully compatible with, and in fact has inspired and funded, Al Qaeda’s career of terrorism, which until the Arab Spring was designed mainly to sap the will of the non-Muslim world.)

The Muslim Brotherhood model secured big victories in Turkey over the last decade.  It suffered a setback in Egypt when Mohammed Morsi was ousted in 2013, but it is by no means defeated.  It’s alive and well in Europe and the United States.

These models are putting up active internecine competitors right now, but that does not mean that the Islamists will gratify the rest of us by all fighting each other to the death.  They will make alliances that come together and fall apart.  They will fight side by side as well as fighting with each other.  Each will appropriate the other’s methods where necessary.  Ultimately, what each envisions is the same thing: planting the flag of his particular vision at the seat of the caliphate.

A shorthand way of thinking about the three models is that ISIS envisions a maneuver-conquest method for establishing the caliphate; the Iranian vision – and quite possibly the neo-Ottoman Turkish vision – is to gain accretion over the map with a series of political coups abroad; and the Muslim Brotherhood vision is an “induction” method: inducing the walls of civilizational resistance to fall like dominos across the globe.

A key waypoint in the effort is “liberating” Jerusalem.  (Which is why I have for some time dubbed this developing dynamic the “race to Jerusalem.”)  There is no Islamist who has notmade an overt priority of it.*  It is a serious and predictable planning factor for all of them.  The three models have different approaches to gaining control of Jerusalem, but they all assign it the same importance – even though the seat of the caliphate is to be elsewhere.

Gaza: Once more to the map

With all these factors in mind, let’s visit the map one more time.  Hamas occupies prime territory in the post-Arab Spring battle space of the Islamist eschaton.  Something that cannot be overstressed is that creating a vacuum in Gaza would unleash a maelstrom today.  If Hamas is not occupying Gaza for Islamism, the rush to try to occupy it would make things far worse, for Israel, Egypt, and Jordan (even for Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, in fact), than the current situation with Hamas.

Moreover, Israel can’t occupy Gaza without setting off the same uncontrollable chain of explosions.

It's a jungle out there.  Map 3 (Google map; author annotation)

Even if the three nations most concerned – Israel, Egypt, and Jordan – came together somehow to crush Hamas militarily and try to build a new political regime there, the repercussions from that deliberate strategy would be uncontrollable.  There is no backstop against which to rest, if such dynamics get started.  There’s no secure border or stable point of refuge anywhere to count on.  Egypt would invite an invasion of jihadi guerrillas in the Sinai with such a policy; Jordan would court the same thing around the Gulf of Aqaba.  Saudi territory would be vulnerable in that area as well.

But under today’s conditions, it’s actually worse than that: Egypt and Jordan (and, again, Saudi Arabia, if to a lesser extent) could face jihadi infiltrations on their other borders – with Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq – if jihadi groups got especially motivated to race for a suddenly-de-Hamas-ified Gaza.  Israel, and by extension Lebanon, would face the same thing on her northern border.

This threat isn’t theoretical.  The jihadis are already there.  Egypt is increasingly alarmed about the ones in Libya, as Jordan is about the ones in Iraq and Syria.  Israelis heard yesterday that cross-border fire had been exchanged in the Golan, as Islamist fighters on the Syrian side – including fighters from the Al-Nusra Front – seized control of a crossing point.  Today the UN has confirmed that several dozen peacekeepers were captured by the rebel fighters.  This won’t end well; the danger is clear and present.

But the pressures on the nations around Gaza would come from other nations as well as from stateless guerrillas.  Iran would inevitably be involved in a feeding frenzy for Gaza, through one proxy or another, and the Erdogan regime in Turkey would consider itself bound to be.  Maritime movement could quickly become a factor, creating the potential for very dangerous standoffs as well as a new menace to the tradeways in the area.

Harbingers of the game change

And now, with all of this laid out before us, look at the most recent, unprecedented development in Libya over the last week: strike-fighters from the UAE conducting air strikes on targets in Libya, with Egypt’s help – but without the blessing of the UN or a consortium of global powers.

2010-era imagery of Egypt's Mersa Matruh airfield, from which UAE strike-fighters probably operated to conduct air strikes near Tripoli in Aug 2014. (Image via Wikimapia)

There’s certainly a dog-in-the-manger aspect to the complaints from America and our European allies about these strikes.  But the complaints are a symptom of a legitimate security concern, which is that there is no overarching order now, if the UAE and Egypt don’t observe its forms.**

If those two nations can take matters into their own hands, others can too.  It’s not just Russia that can invade a neighbor with impunity, and not just the members of NATO that can conduct expeditionary interventions on their own say-so.  Moreover, the air strikes on Libya are a model for far-flung, geography-oriented military activism by Muslim governments.  The importance of this as a “bust out” from the post-World War I paradigm of the last century cannot be overstated.

The red and the black - and green. UAE air force precision team wows at the Dubai air show.  Muslim nations are doing it for themselves in Libya. (Image via AINonline)

There is literally nothing to stop Turkey, for example, from maneuvering with armed force to back up an aspirant to a new crown in Gaza.  Turkey wouldn’t attack Israel outright, of course.  But Erdogan could create situations in which Israel’s only options are to either back down or fire on Turkish maritime or air forces.

In these ungoverned circumstances, is Iran less likely, or more, to make good on the kind of threats she has been lobbing at Israel since Sunday?  On the pretext of having shot down an Israeli-made drone in Iranian air space, the Iranians just this week have issued a threat ofunusual directness and specificity.  (I assess that what Iran purports to have shot down wasnot a drone being operated by Israel; I just don’t have time to write a whole post on everything, but will be happy to answer questions on that.)

They waded in further on Thursday with an announcement that they have begun delivering arms to Palestinian Arabs in the West Bank, with a view to the “annihilation of the Zionist regime.”

The threats could be about guerrilla attacks on Israel from the north or east.  They could be about Iran establishing her bona fides as a revolutionary anti-Zionist force, as the jihadi cachet of ISIS catches fire.  They could even be about Iran harassing and distracting Israel in preparation for conducting a nuclear warhead test, although I consider that unlikely.  In any case, it’s a big punctuation mark on a security situation whose instability is spiraling far beyond any regional nation’s capacity to control.

I urge readers to understand that this is actually what matters about Israel’s situation vis-à-vis Hamas.  There are very good reasons why the Netanyahu government has judged it best to defang Hamas as much as possible for now, but work with Egypt to continue living with Hamas in Gaza.  It will not be up to Israel whether this status quo can last.  But it is up to Netanyahu today whether Israel is the one to breach it, and set a match to the tinder.

Guardians of the galaxy.  (Image: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 via Times of Israel)

* For further reading on this topic, see this post and the links from it.

** The point that Obama’s America had led the way in declining to observe the forms of the old international order is an equally legitimate one.

J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California, blogging as The Optimistic Conservative for domestic tranquility and world peace. Her articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s Contentions, Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard.

More by 

Read more at http://libertyunyielding.com/2014/08/29/israel-hamas-truce-big-picture-stupid/#6EoPJrZCUoVko8ZD.99

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August 21 2014 Hamas looses three top leaders to IDF air attack!

The IDF has struck this morning and killed three top Hamas leaders. It is imperative that the world realizes that the consequences of going against Israel is that God will repay many times the evil intent of those who which evil to Israel.

Nando

http://news.msn.com/world/israeli-airstrike-kills-3-senior-hamas-leaders

Israeli airstrike kills 3 senior Hamas leaders

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — An Israeli airstrike in Gaza killed three senior commanders of the Hamas military wing Thursday, delivering a likely blow to the organization’s morale and highlighting the long reach of Israel’s intelligence services.

The pre-dawn strike leveled a four-story house in a densely populated neighborhood of the southern town of Rafah, killing six people, including the three senior Hamas commanders.

Photos: The Israel-Gaza conflict

The trio had played a key role in expanding Hamas’ military capabilities in recent years, including digging attack tunnels leading to Israel, training of fighters and smuggling of weapons to Gaza, Israel said.

It was not immediately clear if their assassination would prompt a change in Hamas strategy in the current round of fighting with Israel or diminish the group’s ability to fire rockets at Israel. The military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, is a secretive organization.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman, said Israel “will not succeed in breaking the will of our people or weaken the resistance,” and that Israel “will pay the price.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the “superior intelligence” of the Shin Bet security service and the military’s “precise execution” of the attack.

The killing of the three top Hamas commanders will likely buy Netanyahu some time as the Israeli public becomes increasingly impatient with the government’s inability to halt rocket fire from Gaza.

Israel and Hamas identified the three commanders killed in the 3 a.m. airstrike in Rafah’s Tel Sultan neighborhood as Mohammed Abu Shamaleh, Raed Attar and Mohammed Barhoum.

Gaza police and witnesses said several missiles hit the four-story building.

Hamza Khalifa, an area resident said the house was struck without warning. “We only heard multiple F-16 (warplane) missiles, one after the other, six or seven missiles,” he said.

Several hours later, a large earth mover was still clearing mounds of debris and wreckage.

In pinpointing the whereabouts of the Hamas commanders, Israel likely relied to some extent on local informers. Israel has maintained a network of informers despite its withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, in some cases using blackmail or the lure of exit permits to win cooperation.

Al Majd, a website linked to the Hamas security services, said Thursday that seven suspected informers were arrested in recent days and that three were executed. It provided no further details.

It was the second time during the Gaza war that the website announced suspected informers had been killed by Hamas.

The Rafah attack came a day after an apparent Israeli attempt to kill the top Hamas military leader, Mohammed Deif, in an airstrike on a house in Gaza City.

Deif’s wife and an infant son were killed in that strike, but the Hamas military wing said Deif was not in the targeted home at the time.

The back-to-back targeting of top Hamas military leaders came after indirect Israel-Hamas negotiations in Cairo on a sustainable truce broke down Tuesday. Gaza militants resumed rocket fire on Israel, even before the formal end of a six-day truce at midnight that day.

Since then, Hamas and other groups have fired dozens more rockets, and Israeli aircraft have struck dozens of targets in Gaza, dimming prospects for a resumption of the Cairo talks.

Despite the crisis, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was holding talks in Qatar on Thursday with Hamas’ top political leader in exile, Khaled Mashaal, and the emir of Qatar. Before the collapse of the truce talks, Abbas had planned to use the meetings in Qatar to urge Mashaal and his Qatari backers to support an Egyptian cease-fire plan.

Hamas has rejected the Egyptian proposal, saying it contained no commitments by Israel to ease the border blockade of Gaza. The blockade was imposed by Israel and Egypt after the Hamas takeover of Gaza in 2007.

Hamas leaders said they could not accept a deal they feared would restore the closure regime that was in place before the start of the latest round of fighting on July 8. The border restrictions prevent most Gazans from traveling outside the crowded coastal strip and bar most exports.

Since the Gaza war erupted six weeks ago, more than 2,000 Palestinians have been killed and about 100,000 left homeless, according to the U.N. and Palestinian officials. Israel lost 67 people, all but three of them soldiers.

It was unclear if the killing of the three Hamas commanders would affect its ability to fire rockets. Israel estimated that Hamas had 10,000 rockets before the war and lost about two-thirds of its arsenal since then.

In a joint statement, the Israeli military and Shin Bet security service emphasized the importance of Abu Shamaleh, Attar and Barhoum to the Hamas military operation.

Abu Shamaleh had been the top Hamas commander in southern Gaza, it said. Attar was in charge of weapons smuggling into Gaza, the construction of attack tunnels and had played a role in the capture of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Schalit, in 2006. Barhoum was a senior Hamas operative in Rafah, the statement said.

Abu Shamaleh was a confederate of Deif’s who was involved in planning and carrying out at least four major attacks on Israeli soldiers since the 1990s, including one in 2004 that killed four and wounded 10, the statement said.

Attar, it said, was responsible for orchestrating a series of complex attacks on Israeli targets, including through the Sinai Peninsula in neighboring Egypt.

“This morning’s strike sends a clear message to those responsible for planning attacks, we will strike those that have terrorized our communities, towns and cities, we will pursue the perpetrators of abduction of our soldiers and teenagers, and we will succeed in restoring security to the State of Israel,” said an Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

In addition to the Hamas operatives, three others were killed in the Rafah strike, including a resident of the house and two neighbors, according to Palestinian health official Ashraf al-Kidra.

The neighbors were identified as Hassan and Amal Younis, the parents of Issam Younis, the director of Al Mezan, a leading human rights organization in Gaza.

At least 20 people, including four children — among them three brothers, and their father — were killed in 31 airstrikes across Gaza, according to al-Kidra.

Israel also hit at smuggling tunnels along the Gaza border with Egypt and at agricultural lands west of Rafah in Thursday’s airstrikes.

The military said 18 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza since midnight Wednesday, compared to more than 210 over the previous 30 hours.

An Israeli was seriously wounded when a mortar hit south of the southern city of Ashkelon on Thursday, it said.

In a nationally televised address Wednesday, Netanyahu showed little willingness to return to the negotiating table after six weeks of war with Hamas.

“We are determined to continue the campaign with all means and as is needed,” he said, his defense minister by his side.

Nando end

Written by twelvebooks

August 21, 2014 at 8:22 am

July 30, 2014 Satanic Insanity going on in the world by JD Faraq

These days has seen the confluence of steps that lead to the coming Apocalypse taking a frenetic pace. It seems that the world is the cusp of madness and whether you look you find hate, killings, plagues, economic collapse mentality and all of the bad things that you can think off.

Well it turns out that you are not going insane, your perception is accurate, the world is going insane, that is Satanically insane which is the case that Jesus said the world would be prior to His coming.

Pastor Faraq in his weekly update has preached an impassioned and excellent rendition of the prophetic literature that describe the events we are being witnesses today. Take a pad and pencil and annotate the Bible prophecies he so eloquently enumerates to teach you the pertinent facts from God’s perspective as prophesied thousands of years ago for such a time as the one at present.

I have to admit that I personally think that Pastor Faraq is a great man of God who speaks the truth and is knowledgeable and passionate for the Word of God.

It would do you well to find yourself in step with him and heed the advise given, specially about the shortness of time left to chose life and not death by believing and taking Jesus into your heart.

It is telling that this Palestinian Christian Pastor loves Israel and its people more than many Israelis do.  Islam is Satanic and Allah is the false god Satan his observations of the word devil and d evil or live reversed is very good.

Nando

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July 26, 2014 The nuclear weapons countries of the world and their role in the end times

In the study of Bible prophecy it is imperative to look at the nations of the world military capabilities to assess the possible role these nations will have in the end times. For example in determining who the Antichrist will be you would be very wrong if you said Fidel Castro of Cuba, no matter how much you despise this man. He would not have a nations military capability to support his role.

In looking at the first two seals of the book of Revelation we can see two men, one riding a white horse and the other riding a red horse. The first is a skilled archer and he holds a bow in his hand the second is good in personal close encounter combat and it is given a sword.

The first rider is given the command to go out and conquer militarily as the bow implies and the second is given the order to take away the peace of the world. I identify these men as the leader of the USA (white horse) and the leader of Russia.

From the text it is implied that these two are responsible for the deaths of 1/4 of the population of the world or approximately 1,782,000,000 people. This number is gigantic and hard to understand. In the war raging beteen Hamas and Israel at this time the number of casualties do not reach the 1,000 killed.

It is quite evident that to kill 1/4 of the world, weapons of mass destruction must be utilized and nuclear weapons would be the first choice. I have a hard time placing the prophecies of the bible listed in other books like Psalm 83, Ezekiel 38-39, Jeremiah 49, Ezekiel 29 and all the others falling before the time of the book of Revelation. and within the context of the first two seals. Who is the red horse rider doing war against? Where is Islam in the book of Revelation? If Islam is gone who is left.

These questions must be answered as all end times prophecies must follow a logical outcome and all must be considered in the relationship of one to the other.

I am including here a link to the nuclear power nations of the world. You can also find info on their armies and economies that form an essential part of modern day war making abilities, again think of Fidel Castro’s example.

Nando

 

http://www.sipri.org/research/armaments/nuclear-forces/nuclear_forces_development_default

Nuclear forces

At the start of 2014 nine states—the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea—possessed approximately 4000 operational nuclear weapons. If all nuclear warheads are counted, these states together possessed a total of approximately 16 300 nuclear weapons (see table below) compared to 17270 in early 2013.Read the full press release.

Overall inventories are declining, primarily due to the United States and Russia continuing the drawdown of their nuclear arsenals as a result of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START) and unilateral reductions. But the pace of reductions appears to be slowing compared with a decade ago. At the same time, all the nuclear-armed states are modernizing their remaining nuclear forces and appear determined to retain sizeable nuclear arsenals for the foreseeable future.

The USA and Russia continue to reduce their arsenals but at a slower pace than a decade ago and have extensive modernization programs underway for their remaining nuclear delivery systems, warheads, and production facilities. The nuclear arsenals of the other smaller nuclear-armed states are considerably smaller, but all are either developing or deploying new weapons or have announced their intention to do so.

Reliable information on the status of the nuclear arsenals and capabilities of the nuclear-armed states varies considerably. The USA has disclosed substantial information about its stockpile and forces, and the UK and France have also declared some information. Russia refuses to disclose the detailed breakdown of its forces counted under the New START treaty (even though it shares the information with the USA), and the US Government has stopped releasing detailed information about Russian and Chinese nuclear forces.

China, India and Pakistan are the only nuclear weapon states that are expanding their nuclear arsenals, while Israel appears to be waiting to see how the situation in Iran develops. There is an emerging consensus in the expert community that North Korea has produced a small number of nuclear weapons, as distinct from rudimentary nuclear explosive devices.


World nuclear forces, January 2014

All estimates are approximate.
 
Country Year of first nuclear test Deployed warheadsa Other warheads Total Inventory
United States 1945 1920 5380 7300
Russia 1949 1600 6400 8000
United Kingdom 1952 160 65 225
France 1960 290 10 300
China 1964 .. 250 250
India 1974 .. 90–110 90–110
Pakistan 1998 .. 100–120 100–120
Israel .. .. 80 80
North Korea 2006 .. 6–8 6–8
Total 3970 12 350 16 300

Source:
SIPRI Yearbook 2014 (Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2014).

 

‘Deployed’ means warheads placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces.

Nando end

July 23, 2014 The conflict of Israel and Hamas prophecied by Zephania in the Bible

These are my thoughts about the conflict between Hamas and Israel that is being fought in Gaza. The intent of Hamas is voiced in their charter and it is the complete destruction of Israel.

They have taken every opportunity of peace to rebuild their armaments and fortifications to accomplish their objective destruction of Israel. The question that begs an answer is how can you make peace with an enemy that is hell bent in your destruction at any cost. The answer is simple, you can’t.

This leaves Israel with the task of utterly destroying all members of Hamas and forcing a capitulation of their society. Hitler could not be appeased he had to be killed and all Nazi elements destroyed. The same mentality can be attributed to all the evil dictators that have come into the world through the generations.

The problem with Hamas is compounded by their Satanic religion of Islam which has infested all of the middle east and has more than one billion people of the world enslaved in its reach.

The true God of the Universe Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and God the Father is in control of creation, history and time. All the future has been seen by Him and attested by His prophets thousands of years ago, such is the case in the prophet Zephaniah as he is given the order to write about Gaza and some other cities in the news today. This prophecy is in the verge of being fulfilled as we write this article.

The following article also covers the subject very eloquently.

Nando

http://www.raptureready.com/featured/duck/dd132.html

 

 

Why I Am Watching Israel and Gaza

By Daymond Duck

The little book of Zephaniah (3 chapters or 53 verses) begins by prophesying the destruction of Judah (the Southern Kingdom) in the days of King Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon.   It moves on to prophecies about Judah and the nations as the day of the Lord (a term often applied to the Tribulation period that Zephaniah used more than any other prophet in the Bible) approaches and plays out. Then, it finishes with Judah’s restoration during the millennial reign of the Messiah.

These prophecies clearly have past fulfillment, but some writers think Zephaniah was saying those experiences would be small compared to a greater fulfillment in the future. One of Zephaniah’s more famous statements reads, “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities (Israel has built a fence to protect her cities), and against the high towers” (Zeph. 1:14-16).

Dropping down to Zeph. 2:1, God told the Jews to gather themselves together (to assemble) and He calls Judah a “nation not desired.” Israel is clearly the apple of God’s eye, but this could mean she is a nation not desired by God at this time because she has rejected her Messiah. And it could also mean that she is a nation not desired by the nations of the world because they want to destroy her.

In Zeph. 2:2, God told the Jews He wants them to assemble “Before the decree bring forth (before the 7 year covenant is signed), before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you (to assemble before the Tribulation Period comes upon the Jews).

In Zeph. 2:3, God told the Jews and all who will humble themselves to “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger.” He wants the Jews and everyone on earth who will humble themselves to meet before the Tribulation Period begins to seek three things: the Lord, righteousness and meekness. Those who do may be hidden (Raptured) before the Tribulation Period begins, but after it begins it will be too late.

In Zeph. 2:4, God mentions four cities: “For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the noon day, and Ekron shall be rooted up.”

God said Gaza, one of the largest and most northern cities in the Gaza Strip, will be forsaken. As I write this article, IDF planes are dropping leaflets in the northern part of the Gaza Strip for a second time advising residents to forsake their homes and clear out. The first time Israel did this, thousands of residents left, but many stayed because they were told to ignore Israel’s warnings. This time, it looks like Israel’s troops will enter the city and it remains to be seen how many people will stick around.

God said Ashkelon, a Jewish city of more than 100,000 people about 8 miles north of the Gaza Strip border, will become desolate. Its closeness to Gaza makes it a frequent target of Muslim rockets. As I write this article, more than 60 rockets have been fired at Ashkelon in recent days; an Israeli teen has been seriously injured; an Israeli man has been lightly wounded; many Jews are spending the day in bomb shelters; and some have moved to safer territory.

God said Ashdod’s residents will be driven out. More than a quarter of a million people live in Ashdod and it is about 18 miles from Gaza. As I write this, the Iron Dome Missile System has shot down 5 rockets; a Patriot missile has shot down a drone; an 8-year old boy has been slightly injured while playing in his yard; fear and anxiety are spreading in Ashdod; and Hamas has rejected an Egyptian cease fire proposal.

Kiryat Ekron is a Jewish city of slightly more than 10,000 people. It is named after the Biblical city of Ekron and it is located about the same distance from Gaza as is Ashdod. I have read of sirens sounding in Ekron and the surrounding area, but no injuries.

I can’t predict how things will play out, but a best case scenario could be another temporary suspension of hostilities. And a worst case scenario could be that this conflict spreads into a war with Israel’s neighbors (Psa. 83), including Syria (Isa. 17) and Egypt (Isa. 19), or even the Russian/Islamic invasion of Israel (Ezek. 38-39). One more thing, based on the Jewish Talmud (not the Bible) some are saying a Tetrad of blood moons are an omen of war for Israel. It is a debatable issue, but no one can deny that the first blood moon in the current Tetrad occurred on April 15, 2014 (the Feast of Passover) and the next one will occur on October 8, 2014 (the Feast of Tabernacles). Between these first two blood moons in this Tetrad war is raging.

[Last minute update: Israel is attacking the Gaza Strip from one end to the other by land, sea and air. It is too early to say that Gaza will be forsaken at this time; and Ashdod, Ashkelon and Ekron are still inhabited; but God is in control, His Word must eventually be fulfilled, war rarely goes exactly as planned and, if God allows it, I plan to keep watching Israel and Gaza.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck

daymond.duck@yahoo.com (This is my new e-mail address.)

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July 8, 2014 A New Caliphate by Gary Stearman, comments by Nando

Well I just posted the same type of message by JD Farag. The new caliphate ISISL or IS will be a short duration kingdom. As it forms the Lords anger is kindled and the day of the Lord is birthed. It is a day of wrath when God turns the whole world against Israel to avenge their passed misdeeds.

The time is short eloquently speaks Mr. Gary Stearman and if you do not know Jesus it is getting late to do so.

Nando

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