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Archive for the ‘Eschatology’ Category

from Got Questions:

The Bible does not use the phrase “one-world government” or “one-world currency” in referring to the end times. It does, however, provide ample evidence to enable us to draw the conclusion that both will exist under the rule of the Antichrist in the last days.

In his apocalyptic vision in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John sees the “beast,” also called the Antichrist, rising out of the sea having seven heads and ten horns (Revelation 13:1). Combining this vision with Daniel’s similar one (Daniel 7:16-24), we can conclude that some sort of world system will be inaugurated by the beast, the most powerful “horn,” who will defeat the other nine and will begin to wage war against Christians. The ten-nation confederacy is also seen in Daniel’s image of the statue in Daniel 2:41-42, where he pictures the final world government consisting of ten entities represented by the ten toes of the statue. Whoever the ten are and however they come to power, Scripture is clear that the beast will either destroy them or reduce their power to nothing more than figureheads. In the end, they will do his bidding.

John goes on to describe the ruler of this vast empire as having power and great authority, given to him by Satan himself (Revelation 13:2), being followed by and receiving worship from “all the world” (13:3-4), and having authority over “every tribe, people, language and nation” (13:7). From this description, it is logical to assume that this person is the leader of a one-world government which is recognized as sovereign over all other governments. It’s hard to imagine how such diverse systems of government as are in power today would willingly subjugate themselves to a single ruler, and there are many theories on the subject. A logical conclusion is that the disasters and plagues described in Revelation as the seal and trumpet judgments (chapters 6-11) will be so devastating and create such a monumental global crisis that people will embrace anything and anyone who promises to give them relief.

Once entrenched in power, the beast (Antichrist) and the power behind him (Satan) will move to establish absolute control over all peoples of the earth to accomplish their true end, the worship Satan has been seeking ever since being thrown out of heaven (Isaiah 14:12-14). One way they will accomplish this is by controlling all commerce, and this is where the idea of a one-world currency comes in. Revelation 13:16-17 describes some sort of satanic mark which will be required in order to buy and sell. This means anyone who refuses the mark will be unable to buy food, clothing or other necessities of life. No doubt the vast majority of people in the world will succumb to the mark simply to survive. Again, verse 16 makes it clear that this will be a universal system of control where everyone, rich and poor, great and small, will bear the mark on their hand or forehead. There is a great deal of speculation as to how exactly this mark will be affixed, but the technologies that are available right now could accomplish it very easily.

Those who are left behind after the Rapture of the Church will be faced with an excruciating choice—accept the mark of the beast in order to survive or face starvation and horrific persecution by the Antichrist and his followers. But those who come to Christ during this time, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (Revelation 13:8), will choose to endure, even to martyrdom.

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It is a long tradition for citizens of great powers and or empires to place a divine plan and providence on the reason for their country’s greatness, and from that very large misunderstanding thus has begun the “tyranny of good intentions”.

Here in the U.S. we have recently seen that play out with the Presidential elections, a large percentage of professing Christians publicly endorsed Donald Trump for President, prescribing to his candidacy a sort of divine intervention!

The sad truth is we are currently in that long Biblical span called “The Age of the Gentiles” that time span from when Jerusalem and the second temple were destroyed in 70 A.D. by Titus and his Roman Legions to the time when Anti-Christ is  revealed!

This age is not one of great Christians nations being raised up by God to be used by God for righteous acts, it is a time of deep and growing apostasy! No gentile nation is called out in God’s word during this time as exceeding in righteousness! On the contrary it is an age of apostate and pagan gentile nations becoming more violent and opposed to God culminating in the Anti-Christ system coming against Israel!

Living in and being born in the U.S. it has been perplexing to watch the number of Christians who blind themselves to this fact, and this includes so called Christian leaders!

Christianity in this age does influence society and reign in evil, however as Christians in this age become more apostate and rejecting of large portions of Jesus’ teachings that influence begins to wane.

This article is from a financial blog, I do not endorse the website, but I do agree with many of the points laid out in this article, as what needs to be accepted by ALL Christians in this age, is that everything that every Gentile nation in this age does leads to the end times! Corrupt governments and people are leading the world to globalization, and there is a push to bring all countries under a global system. This article explains how the U.S. is attempting to do that.

Whats interesting and closely aligns with this article, is that the Bible does not speak of a nation outside Eurasia as a great power in the end times, instead this article, other articles, books, and God’s word point back to Eurasia as the center of global power in the end times.

The mechanisms for a global system have been set up, they were created to allow the U.S. to be the preeminent global power after World War Two. However the U.S. will most certainly not remain that global power in the future. Global power will return to the Eurasian land mass. And that power will utilize the global mechanisms that were set up by the U.S. to achieve global preeminence!

If you read the history of great powers, succeeding powers like to use the mechanisms of the previous power, as it limits disruption, it gives the new power a certain amount of legitimacy, and it allows large numbers of people and countries to continue with their livelihoods!

From ZeroHedge:

Understanding the objectives and logic that accompany the expansion of nations or empires is always of paramount importance in helping one draw lessons for the future

In this series of four articles I intend to lay a very detailed but easily understandable foundation for describing the mechanisms that drive great powers. To succeed, one must analyze the geopolitical theories that over more than a century have contributed to shaping the relationship between Washington and other world powers. Secondly, it is important to expound on how Washington’s main geopolitical opponents (China, Russia and Iran) have over the years been arranging a way to put a stop to the intrusive and overbearing actions of Washington. Finally, it is important to take note of the possibly significant changes in American foreign policy doctrine that have been occurring over the last twenty years, especially how the new Trump administration intends to change course by redefining priorities and objectives.

The first analysis will therefore focus on the international order, globalization, geopolitical theories, their translations into modern concepts, and what controlling a country’s sovereignty means.

Globalization and the International Order

It is important to first define the international order among nations before and after the collapse of the Berlin wall, especially focusing on the consequences of existing in a globalized world.

For the first half of the twentieth century the world found itself fighting two world wars, then, during the Cold War, lasting from 1945 to 1989, the balance of power maintained by the US and USSR held the prospect of a third world war at bay. With the dissolution of the USSR, the United States, the only remaining world superpower, thought it could aspire to absolute domination over the globe, as was famously expressed through the Project for A New American Century. Putting aside for a moment perpetual wars, one of the key strategies towards fulfilling this objective was the so-called experiment of globalization, applied especially in trade, economics and finance, all of course driven by American interests.

Having achieved victory in the Cold War over its socialist rival, the world went from a capitalist system to a turbo-charged capitalist system. US corporations, thanks to this model of world globalized economy, have experienced untold riches, such as Apple and other IT corporations generating amounts of cash flow equivalent to that of small countries.

Banks and US financial institutions such as Wall Street incrementally increased their already considerable influence over foreign nations thanks to the rise of computer technology, automation and accounting deceptions such as derivatives, just to give one example. The FED implemented policies that took advantage of the role of the dollar in the globalized economy (the dollar is the premier world reserve currency). Over the years this has caused economic crises of all kinds all over the world, defrauding the entire economic system, consisting of schemes such as being able to print money at will, allowing for the financing massive wars, even going so far as lowering interest rates to 0% to keep banks and big corporations from failing – all a repudiation of the most basic rules of capitalism. All this was made possible because the US being the sole world power after 1989, allowing Washington to write the rules of the game in its favor.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wall Street, Big Oil and military corporations, health-care providers, the insurance and agricultural industries slowly replaced national governments, managing to dictate agendas and priorities. A political form of globalization has led to an expropriation of national sovereignty in Europe, with the creation of the Euro and the Lisbon Treaty signed by all EU nations in 2007.

Globalization has forced the concept of sovereign states directed by their citizens to be replaced with an international superstructure led by the United States, driving away even more citizens from the decision-making process. The European Union, and in particular the European Commission (not elected, but appointed), is unpopular not only for the decisions it has taken but also for the perception that it is an imposter making important decisions without ever having been elected.

Basically, with the end of the USSR, the international order went from a relationship between states made up of citizens to a relationship between international superstructures (NATO, UN, IMF, WTO, World Bank, EU) and citizens, with the weight of the balance of power decisively in favor of the globalists with the economic burden resting on the people.

The international order and globalization are therefore to be interpreted according to the logic of Washington, always looking for new ways to dominate the globe, preserving its role of world superpower.

It is also for this reason that it is important to understand some geopolitical theories that underlie US strategic decisions in the pursuit of world domination. These theories are some of the most important with which Washington has, over the last 70 years, tried to pursue total domination of the planet.

MacKinder + Spykman + Mahan = World Domination

 Before examining geopolitical theories, it is important to understand the effects of globalization and the changing international order it entails, a direct consequence of US strategy that seeks to control every aspect of the economic, political and cultural decisions made by foreign countries, usually applying military means to achieve this objective.
heartland

Heartland

The first geopolitical theory is the so-called Heartland theory, drawn up in 1904 by English geographer Sir Halford Mackinder. The basic principle was the following:

«Heartland or Heartlands (literally: the Heart of the Earth) is a name that was given to the central zone of the Eurasian continent, corresponding roughly to Russia and the neighboring provinces, by Sir Halford Mackinder, the English geographer and author of Democratic Ideals and Reality; the Heartlands of the theory was submitted to the Royal Geographical Society in 1904.

The Heartland was described by Mackinder as the area bounded to the west by the Volga, the Yangtze River to the east, from the Arctic to the north and south from the western Himalayas. At the time, this area was almost entirely controlled by the Russian Empire.

For Mackinder, who based his theory on the geopolitical opposition between land and sea, Heartland was the “heart” button of all the earth civilization, because logistically unapproachable by any thalassocracy. Hence the phrase that sums up the whole concept of Mackinder’s geopolitics: ‘Who controls East Europe commands the Heartland: Who controls the Heartland commands the World-Island: Who controls the World-Island commands the world’».

In terms of countries, the Heartland consists mainly of Russia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, the Central Asian countries, and parts of Iran, China, Belarus and Ukraine.

periphery

Rimland

The second geopolitical theory, another important lodestar for US foreign policy, was developed in the 1930s by the American Nicholas J. Spykman, also a student of geography as well as a scholar of MacKinder’s theory. Spykman, thanks to advancing naval technology, added to the definition of the Heartland theory the Rimland theory. The Rimland is divided into four main areas: Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Asia.

«For ‘world island’ it means the Eurasian region, ranging from Western Europe to the Far East. If for Mackinder the Tsarist empire represents the aforesaid area-pin, Spykman instead focuses on the area around Heartland, i.e. Rimland, recognizing it as a strategic point of great importance. The Rimland is characterized by the presence of rich countries, technologically advanced, with great availability of resources and easy access to the seas. Its size at the same time makes sea and land attacked by both sides. On the other hand this means that its dual nature as a possible mediating zone between the two world powers: the United States and Russia. The greatest threat from the geopolitical point of view lies in the union between Heartland and Rimland under one power».

The Rimland essentially consists of Europe (including eastern Europe), Turkey, the Middle East, the Gulf States, India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines*, Thailand, Vietnam) and Japan.

As one can see from observing a map, the United States is not physically close to either the Rimland or the Heartland. They are both on the other side of two 6,000-mile oceans. The US is undeniably protected in this way, almost impervious to attack, with an abundance of resources and powerful allies in Europe. These are all characteristics that have favored the rise of the American superpower throughout the twentieth century.

But world domination is a different matter and, given the geographical location of the US compared to the Heartland and Rimland, first requires a large capacity to project power. Of course with two oceans in between, it is naval power through which power has been conveyed, especially in the early part of the last century.

Mahan and Maritime Power

The third geopolitical theory is based on the importance given to maritime (or naval) power. The author of this theory, propounded towards the end of 1800, was US Admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan.

 «Mahan was a ‘precursor’ to international organizations. He assumed that through a union between the United States and Britain, being two maritime powers, they could unite to share the conquest of the seas. The key concept is that ‘the maritime powers are united in opposition to those continental.’ Mahan explains the concept of naval doctrine, which is the policy that states pursue in the maritime and military arenas. In order for a state to have a naval doctrine, it must possess a substantial navy, as well as of course access to the sea, adequate projection capability, adequate means, and have strategic objectives to be protected (such as security zones exposed to risk)».

As one can easily understand, these three doctrines are central to controlling the whole world. Dominating the Heartland is possible thanks to the control of the Rimland, and in order to conquer the Rimland it is necessary to control shipping routes and dominate the seas, relying upon the Mahan theory of maritime supremacy.

In this sense, seas and oceans of great geographic importance are those that encircle the Rimland: The East and South China Seas, the Philippine Sea, the Gulf of Thailand, the Celebes Sea, the Java Sea, the Andaman Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, and finally the Mediterranean.

In particular, straits such as Malacca, between Indonesia and Malaysia, or the Suez Canal, are of strategic importance due to their role as a transit route and connection between all the seas adjacent to the so-called Rimland.

A bit of history. Route to global domination

It was Hitler’s Germany during World War II that tried to put into practice the theory of geopolitics MacKinder was describing, managing to seize the Heartland but ultimately amounting to nothing with the final victory of the Red Army, who rebuffed and destroyed the Nazis.

After the end of World War II, the United States placed the Soviet Union in its crosshairs, with the intention of conquering the Heartland and thereby dominating the world. Alternatively, Plan B was to prevent other nations from teaming together to dominate the Heartland. This explains the historical conflicts between the US and Iran and between Russia and China, the three most important nations composing the Heartland.

Russia, since Tsarist times and throughout the Soviet period to today, has always been in the crosshairs of the United States, given its geographical location central to the Heartland.

Iran also constitutes a valuable piece of the ‘Heart of the World’, which was gifted to the Anglo-Americans courtesy the Pahlavi monarchy lending itself to the American plan to conquer the heart of the land. It was only after the 1979 revolution, which ousted the Pahlavi monarchy and installed an Islamic Republic, that Tehran became an enemy of Washington.

The reason why Afghanistan was invaded and Ukraine destabilized, and why the Belarusian leadership is hated almost as much as is the Russian one, is the same, namely, the geographical positions of these countries in composing the Heartland compels the US to conquer them as part of its grand strategy to dominate the world through the control of the Heartland.

The Republic of China, another constituent part of the Heartland theory, was during the Cold War the great Asian pivot thanks to Kissinger’s policy aimed at curbing the USSR and preventing the birth of a possible alliance between Tehran, Moscow and Beijing that would dominate the Heartland, especially in the late 1980s. The United States, instead of directly attacking China, used it against the Soviet Union. Washington’s primary goal, as well as to expand its influence everywhere, was to prevent any kind of alliance that would control the Heartland, specially preventing any alliance or understanding between Moscow and Beijing; but this will be very well explained in my third analysis on how Eurasia reunited to reject the American global empire.

Control of a nation

Historically, control of a nation takes place through military power that allows for a variety of impositions. Also, culture is part of the process of conquering a nation. Today, other than militarily, it is mainly economic power that determines the national sovereignty of a nation. In the modern world, especially in the last three decades, if you control the economy of a nation, you control the rulers of that nation. The dollar and neoliberal experiments like globalization are basically the two most powerful and invasive American tools to employ against geopolitical opponents. The application of military force is no longer the sole means of conquering and occupying a country. Obligating the use of a foreign currency for trade or limiting military supplies from a single source, and impeding strategic decisions in the energy sector, are ways the globalist elites are able to dominate a foreign country, taking control over its policies. The European Union and the NATO-member countries are good examples of what artificially independent nations look like, because they are in reality fully dispossessed of strategic choices in the areas mentioned. Washington decides and the vassals obey.

It is not always possible to employ military power as in the Middle East, or to stage a color revolution as in Ukraine. Big and significant nations like Russia, India, China and Iran are virtually impossible to control militarily, leaving only the financial option available. In this sense, the role of central banks and the de-dollarization process are a core strategic interest for these countries as a way of maintaining their full sovereignty. In going in this direction, they deliver a dramatic blow to US aspirations for a global empire.

The next article will focus on how the United States has tried to implement these strategies, and how these strategies have changed over the last seventy years, especially over the last two decades.

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“In broad terms, the teaming up of large countries indicates that a regional anti-terrorism entity or even a military block independent from the US might emerge at some point in future.”

Everyone should keep their eyes on what is occurring in the Middle East. Egypt and Saudi Arabia have been the main Sunni Islam Arab nations facing off against the Russia and Iran axis, whose aim is to become the dominant power in the Middle East.

Under Obama, the U.S. has pulled back and left a western power vacuum in the Middle East, which Russia has been more than willing to step in and fill! First with Iran, then Turkey went to their side, and now Egypt is falling in line. this leaves only Saudi Arabia as the sole large powerful Sunni Islamic Arab state to oppose Shiite Islamic Iran. And Saudi Arabia will fall!

Many thought that by electing Trump, that he would halt this power drift to Russia. But he will not. He has already stated that he may be willing to give Russia a free hand in the Middle East for concessions from Russia to back off in Eastern Europe! This would only solidify Russia’s role as the new power in the Middle East.

The thing to remember: No matter what man does, God’s Eschatological plan moves forward!

from Zero Hedge:

Finally, Egypt has taken a clear stance on Syria. This is an event of great importance to drastically change the situation. Speaking on the Portuguese TV network RTP on November 22, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi publicly affirmed his support for the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In response to the question of whether Egypt will send troops to Syria or not he stated: «Our priority is to support our Army in issues such as controlling some parts of Libya and dealing with extremist forces for establishing peace, including in Syria and Iraq».

President al-Sisi restored diplomatic relations with Syria after coming to power in 2013.

Last month, Egypt backed a Russian-backed motion calling for a ceasefire in Syria. Egypt had known the support for the Russian measure would put it at odds with the West and Saudi Arabia. Riyadh responded by suspending oil shipments to the country but the Egyptian government does not give in under pressure. For instance, it has defied the US and Saudi Arabia by refusing to get involved in the Yemen’s conflict.

Citing «well-informed Arab sources», Lebanese newspaper Al-Safir reported that 18 Egyptian pilots arrived at Hamah military airbase in Syria on November 12. The servicemen are part of a special helicopter squadron. A source «close to the Syria file» told the newspaper that a large deployment of Egyptian troops will arrive in Syria in late January to take part in military operations «not limited to air support at Hama airbase»

Last month, Syrian security services chief Ali Mamlouk met with Egyptian officials in his first public foreign visit in five years to discuss Egypt publicly backing the Syrian government. According to Middle East Observer, the first group of 4 high-ranking Egyptian officers from the Egyptian General Staff entered Syria a month ago and was deployed in the Syrian army’s base in Damascus. The military officials visited the armoured division stationed near Daraa and an airbase in Sweida province.

Also last month, Syrian National Security Bureau head Ali Mamlouk visited Cairo to meet Khaled Fawzy, the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service. The two sides agreed to coordinate political positions and strengthen cooperation in «the fight against terror» according to Syria’s Sana news agency.

Egypt’s open support of the Russia-backed coalition in Syria is a game changing event of fundamental importance. In the West, the war in Syria has been widely believed to be a conflict between Sunni and Shia forces – the 1400 old Islam schism. Now the largest Arab Sunni state has taken the side of the Syria’s government to become a coalition ally with Russia. The sectarian interpretation of the conflict is not valid anymore.

The conflict is about fighting terrorists. As the Egyptian president noted he believes that the national army the Syrian government forces are best positioned to combat extremists and restore stability in the war-torn nation.

Recently, Russia and Egypt have intensified their bilateral ties in many areas, including defense cooperation. Joint military exercises were held in Egypt in October. Both countries see eye-to-eye on Libya and many other issues.

There is another event to demonstrate the strengthening of the Russia-supported coalition joined by Egypt. According to Iranian Fars News Agency, Iranian Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan stated on November 26 that Tehran could allow Russia to use Nojeh airbase near Hamadan for Moscow’s aerial operation against terrorists in Syria. Also, Mr. Dehghan told reporters that purchase of Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets is on the agenda.

The same day, Victor Ozerov, the Russian upper house of parliament’s defense committee chair, said Russia could use Iran’s Hamadan airbase in case the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier moves away from Syria. On August 16, Russian bombers used Iran’s Nojeh to launch attacks on terrorist positions in Syria.

On November 26, Syrian armed forces and allies managed to seize control of Hanano, key district in the northwestern city of Aleppo, which has been a flash point over the past few months. After Aleppo is retaken, the Russia-supported coalition in Syria will control vast swathes of land in the country. With the government of Bashar Assad firmly in power, the post-war settlement no longer seems to be a pipe dream and the US-led coalition will hardly be the one to call the shots.

Russia’s military effort in Syria has become an operation of a much broader scope than it was back in September 2015, when the first Russian aircraft flew its first sortie. The operation has marked Russia’s spectacular return to the Middle East as a major player. New actors, like China, Egypt and others, get involved. Interaction between the coalition members gets closer as illustrated by Russia and Iran.

Egypt’s decision to support the Syria’s government provides a good opportunity to influence the events in the region in a positive way.

In broad terms, the teaming up of large countries indicates that a regional anti-terrorism entity or even a military block independent from the US might emerge at some point in future.

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Here is what all those Trump supporting Evangelical Christians could not understand: They were very wrong in giving public support to a man that was either in no way a Christian, or if he was, he was an apostate Christian. And apostate Christian groups wanted him elected so they could continue on with their: “The end justifies the means” mentality! Read the Bible Folks!

Ecclesiastes 1:9: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.”

Powerful apostate Christian groups like the Roman Catholic Church are willing to compromise on the Gospel in order to advance secular political goals!

from Reddit:

Transition Team (wiki)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presidential_transition_of_Donald_Trump#Transition_team

Heritage Foundation transition team advisors

Now, the transition is getting an assist from Heritage Foundation officials including Becky Norton Dunlop, a distinguished fellow at the foundation; former Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, a distinguished fellow emeritus at Heritage; Heritage national security expert James Carafano; and Ed Feulner, who helped found Heritage. Rebekah Mercer, a Heritage board member and major pro-Trump donor, is on the transition team’s 16-member executive committee, and a transition team source said she is working with Heritage to recruit appointees for positions at the undersecretary level and below (though she has struggled to find people interested in taking lower-level jobs, according to a New York Times report).

The transition team also includes other prominent activists and thinkers with close ties to Heritage, such as former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the activist involved with several conservative groups who is running Trump’s domestic transition team. He has written for Heritage and has personal relationships with many at the organization.

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-transition-heritage-foundation-231722

Miscellaneous

Boris Epshteyn @BorisEP
Senior Advisor to Trump Pence Presidential Transition. NYC Sports fan. Investment Banker. Attorney.

https://twitter.com/BorisEP?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Breakdown

Mike Pence, self-described “evangelical Catholic”

Chris Christie, Roman Catholic

Newt Gingrich, Roman Catholic, Council on Foreign Relations

Michael T. Flynn, Roman Catholic

Rudy Giuliani, Roman Catholic, 9/11 coadjutor, alleged Knight of Malta

Jared Kushner, fan of the Count of Monte Cristo (“Count of the Mount of Christ;” story about the Jesuit General getting revenge on all of the Order’s enemies during its suppression)

Steve Bannon, chief strategist and Senior Counselor for the Presidency of Donald Trump, former executive chair of Breitbart News, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown

Lou Barletta, Roman Catholic

Chris Collins, Roman Catholic

Tom Marino, Roman Catholic

Devin Nunes, Roman Catholic

Anthony Scaramucci, Roman Catholic, Council on Foreign Relations

Eric Trump, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown and serves as board member of Georgetown’s Business, Society, and Public Policy Initiative

Ivanka Trump, attended Jesuit Georgetown for two years

David Malpass, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown, Vice President of the Council for National Policy, leading appointment selections for positions involving economic issues

Keith Kellogg, trained by Jesuit at Santa Clara University, leading appointment selections for positions involving national defense issues

Michael Catanzaro, trained by Jesuits at Fordham University and St. Ignatius High School, leading the policy implementation team for energy independence

Andrew Bremberg, graduate of Catholic University of America Executive Legal Action Lead

James Carafano, Jesuit-trained from Georgetown University , reported to be the primary aide to the State Department of Trump administration transition team

Ed Feulner, Roman Catholic former President and founder of Heritage Foundation; Jesuit-trained from Regis and Georgetown Universities

Ken Blackwell, Jesuit-trained from Xavier University, leading appointment selections for positions involving domestic issues.

Boris Epshteyn, Trump’s foremost spokesman; Jesuit-trained from Georgetown.

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from The Jewish Press:

Tuesday’s meeting in St. Petersburg between the two former feuding foes Russian President Putin and Turkish President Erdogan “drew considerable attention,” government-run news agency TASS reported, noting that the Russian-Turkish rapprochement is coming while Russia has been expanding its relations with Iran and Ankara and Tehran have also been bridging the gaps between them, born by almost four decades of a volatile Islamic Republic on Turkey’s border. In fact, right after the failed coup last month, Erdogan announced, “We are determined to cooperate with Iran and Russia to address regional problems side by side and to step up our efforts considerably to restore peace and stability to the region.”

Should Israel be concerned? Apparently, the Russian news organ is eager to spread a message of calm regarding the new developments in the northern part of the region. And so an unsigned article this week polled experts who were skeptical regarding a developing strategic triangle of those three powers. According to the TASS experts, the most that will come out of the current statements are tactical political interaction and an upturn in economic cooperation. But even if it were true, and Russia, Turkey and Iran were to forge a strategic alliance, TASS continues its calming message, it would be for the best, because “these three countries can play a positive role, for instance, in overcoming the Syrian crisis.”

It isn’t clear who is panicking more at the moment—Jerusalem or Washington—over the possibility that Turkey, a NATO member, would switch sides and coalesce with Russia and Iran. Clearly, the US has a whole lot more to lose from such an emerging outcome. US Middle East policy traditionally relied on the “three-legged stool” comprised of Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. As long as those three major local powers were in the Western camp, Soviet manipulations elsewhere could be mitigated. When Iran was lost under President Jimmy Carter in 1979, the US attempted for the longest time to substitute Iraq for the missing stool leg, but the Iraqi regime never provided the stability the US enjoyed with the Shah. This is why the US is so determined to keep Turkey in the Western camp, because without a Western-allied Turkey, the US presence in the region would be severely downgraded.

Hence the need for the TASS calming story. It interviewed senior research fellow Vladimir Sazhin, of the Oriental Studies Institute under the Russian Academy of Sciences, who reassured the Western readers “there will be no trilateral union, of course. It should be ruled out for many reasons. At best one can expect some tactical alliance. This is so because Iran, Turkey and Russia have certain problems in their relations with the West and with the United States.” That’s code for Turkey would be punished severely, economically and otherwise, if it ever jumped ship.

Sazhin continued, “If one takes a look at the economic interests they share, it should be remembered that Russia, Iran and Azerbaijan … are countries that produce and export hydrocarbons. They have a great deal to discuss in view of the current strained situation on the world market. As for Turkey, its role in delivering hydrocarbons to the West may be significant. But I don’t think that this triangle will be of strategic importance.”

Sazhin sees no fundamentally new geopolitical aspects in sight. “It’s about getting back to where we had been all the time. Arabs constitute an overwhelming majority of the population in the Middle East. Non-Arab countries are few – Israel, Turkey and Iran. They had very close relations up to [the emergence of] the Islamic revolution in Iran.”

“In Iran, with its 80-million population, Turks and Azerbaijanis, who are ethnically very close to Turkey, constitute an estimated 18 to 25 million,” Sazhin said. “Bilateral relations existed not only at the Tehran-Ankara level. There were very strong people-to-people bonds. Plus the long-standing economic ties. But in politics post-revolution Iran and NATO member Turkey have drifted apart, of course.”

Research fellow Irina Zvyagelskaya, of the Arab and Islamic Research Center at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Oriental Studies Institute told TASS, “I don’t believe in the emergence of new political triangles. I don’t think some strategic changes will follow overnight to bring about changes to the configuration of alliances. A number of steps we’ve seen our friends and partners and those we are not on very friendly terms with us take are tactical. They stem from the current situation.”

Zvyagelskaya believes that to a large extent this is true of Turkey. “It is to be remembered that Erdogan’s wish to have closer relations is a result of certain internal political events, on the one hand, and soaring tensions in his country’s relations with the United States and the European Union, on the other. These steps by Erdogan are purely pragmatic and we should treat them accordingly. As far as I understand, nobody has any illusions on that score.”

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Meanwhile in the U.S. Joel Osteen keeps “preaching” on how Christians can have their BEST Life now!

from The Gatestone Institute:

Throughout September, as more Christians were slaughtered and persecuted for their religion — not just by the Islamic State but by “everyday” Muslims from all around the world — increasing numbers of people and organizations called for action. Meanwhile, those best placed to respond — chief among them U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Francis — did nothing.

“Why, we ask the western world, why not raise one’s voice over so much ferocity and injustice?” asked Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, the head of the Italian Bishops Conference.

Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III said: “I do not understand why the world does not raise its voice against such acts of brutality.”

As one report put it: “Human rights activists see it. Foreign leaders see it. And more than 80 members of the U.S. Congress see it. Together, they are pressuring the leader of the free world [President Obama] to declare there is a Christian genocide going on in the Middle East.”

In response, the White House said it was preparing to release a statement accusing the Islamic State of committing genocide against religious minorities, naming and recognizing various groups, such as the Yazidis, as victims. However, Christians are apparently not going to be included as victims, as Obama officials argue that Christians “do not appear to meet the high bar set out in the genocide treaty.”

Meanwhile, Father Behnam Benoka, an Iraqi priest, explained in a detailed letter to Pope Francis the horrors Mideast Christians are experiencing. To his joy, the pope called the Middle Eastern priest and told him that “I will never leave you.” As Benoka put it, “He called me. He told me certainly, sure I am with you, I will don’t forget you… I will make all possible to help you.”

However, later in September, when Pope Francis stood before the world at the United Nations, his energy was, once again, spent on defending the environment. In his entire speech, which lasted nearly 50 minutes, only once did Francis make reference to persecuted Christians — and even then they did not receive special attention but, in the same breath, their sufferings were merged in the same sentence with the supposedly equal sufferings of “members of the majority religion,” that is, Sunni Muslims (the only group not to be attacked by the Islamic State, a Sunni organization):

I must renew my repeated appeals regarding to the painful situation of the entire Middle East, North Africa and other African countries, where Christians, together with other cultural or ethnic groups, and even members of the majority religion who have no desire to be caught up in hatred and folly, have been forced to witness the destruction of their places of worship, their cultural and religious heritage, their houses and property, and have faced the alternative either of fleeing or of paying for their adhesion to good and to peace by their own lives, or by enslavement.

Yet, as the following roundup from September shows, “members of the majority religion” –Sunnis — are not being slaughtered, beheaded, and raped for their faith; are not having their mosques bombed and burned; are not being jailed or killed for apostasy, blasphemy, or proselytization.

Savagery and Slaughter

Uganda: Three Muslim men beat and raped a 19-year-old Christian woman. The young student was returning home from St. Mary’s Teachers College in Bukedea when she was ambushed by three masked men. “I tried to scream, but one blocked my mouth and another slapped me as they forcefully dragged me off the footpath,” said the victim. “I heard one of them telling the others that I should be killed because my parents deserted Islam. But another said, ‘But we are not sure whether this girl is a Christian.'” Instead of killing her, they raped and beat her so severely that she is still receiving hospital treatment for her injuries.

United States: Freddy Akoa, a 49-year-old Christian healthcare worker in Portland, Maine, was savagely beaten to death in his own home by three Muslims. Found next to Akoa’s body was his blood-splattered Bible. The slain had cuts and bruises all over his body and a fatal head trauma. Internally, he suffered 22 rib fractures and a lacerated liver. The police affidavit stated that Akoa “had been beaten and kicked in the head, and bashed in the head with a piece of furniture in an assault that continued relentlessly for hours.” Akoa was apparently throwing a party before or during the attack. The three assailants were all Muslim refugees of Somali origin. In recent times, both in America and Europe, several “refugees” have turned out to be Islamic terrorists, some with direct ties to ISIS. (A faction of Al Shabaab, Somalia’s premiere jihadi organization, recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.)

Syria: A Christian from the Qaryatain village in the province of Homs was executed by the Islamic State for refusing to obey the dhimmi [second-class, “tolerated”] conditions imposed on Christian villagers. ISIS also killed a Christian priest, chopped his body into pieces, and sent the pieces back to his family in a box. Earlier ISIS had kidnapped the priest and demanded a ransom of $120,000 from his family, which finally managed to raise the ransom money after two months. But after paying it, ISIS reneged on their word and brutally killed the Catholic priest anyway.

Pakistan: The Muslim family of a woman who converted to Christianity and married a Christianmurdered her husband and wounded the young woman. Aleem Masih, 28, married Nadia, 23, last year after she put her faith in Christ. The couple then fled their village as the woman’s family sought “to avenge the shame their daughter had brought upon them by recanting Islam and marrying a Christian,” said a lawyer involved in the case. Eventually Nadia’s father, Muhammad Din Meo, and his henchmen managed to abduct the couple and took them to a nearby farm. “The Muslim men first brutally tortured the couple with fists and kicks and then thrice shot Aleem Masih — one bullet hit him in his ankle, the second in the ribs while the third targeted his face,” the attorney said. “Nadia was shot in the abdomen.” The Muslim relatives left believing they had killed the couple. “The attackers returned to their village and publicly proclaimed that they had avenged their humiliation and restored the pride of the Muslims by killing the couple in cold blood.” Police, however, found Nadia still breathing when they arrived at the farm. “She was shifted to the General Hospital in Lahore, where she is fighting for her life after a major operation in which two bullets were removed from her abdomen.” A large number of Muslims were gathered at the hospital when the critically wounded woman arrived. “The mob, some of them armed with weapons, was shouting furious anti-Christian slogans…. They were also praising Azhar for restoring the pride of the Muslim Ummah [community] and saying that he had earned his place in paradise for killing an infidel.”

Philippines: Islamic terrorists from the jihadi group Abu Sayyaf were suspected in the bombingof a passenger bus in the predominantly Christian city of Zamboanga on September 18 that killed a 14-year-old girl and wounded 33 others. Intelligence sources had warned that Abu Sayyaf would be targeting cities and communities with heavy Christian populations. Only 20% of Zamboanga is Muslim, and the rest almost entirely Christian (mostly Catholic).

Egypt: The mother of a Coptic priest was robbed and killed in Fekria city in Minya.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

United States: On Sunday, September 13, 40-year-old Rasheed Abdul Aziz was arrested forthreatening the Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Bullard, Texas. The Muslim-American had a gun and was dressed for combat — complete with camouflage helmet, camouflage pants, tactical vest and boots — when he entered the church around 1 p.m. According to Pastor John Johnson, Aziz said that Allah had told him to “slay infidels” and that “people are going to die today.” The pastor added, “I believe that his intent was when he came to our church was to actually kill somebody.”

Tanzania: During the course of one week, six Christian churches were burned down. On September 23, three churches were set ablaze: The Living Waters International Church, Buyekera Pentecostal Assemblies of God, and Evangelical Assemblies of God Tanzania Church. Three days later, on September 26, another three churches were also set ablaze: The Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kitundu Roman Catholic Church, and Katoro Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church. According to a local source, “The people woke up on 27th Sep to find their sanctuaries burnt down… The scenarios are the same; unknown people broke in, piled things onto the altar, poured petrol over it and set it alight. They fled before anyone could respond and so remain unknown.” The east African nation is mostly comprised of Christians and Muslims, though the ratio is disputed.

Bethlehem: Muslims set fire to the St. Charbel Monastery. Sobhy Makhoul, the chancellor of the Maronite Patriarchate in Jerusalem, said, “It was an act of arson, not a fire caused by an electrical problem [as local authorities had claimed], an act of sectarian vandalism by radical Muslims.” The fire caused no casualties or injuries — fortunately the building was unoccupied and under renovation — but the damage is evident, and the local Christian community evidently feared further violence. The Maronite leader added that, “The attack is… anti-Christian, like many other incidents across the Middle East. Extremist groups operate in the area, including some Hamas cells.”

Iraq: A report that discusses how one Christian is slaughtered every five minutes in Iraq, adds that, “Islamic State Militants in Iraq are using Christian churches as torture chambers where they force Christians to either convert to Islam or die.”

Syria: Within days of capturing the city of Qaryatain, the Islamic State destroyed an ancient Catholic monastery and threw away the remains of a revered saint. The Sunni terror group then gave an ultimatum to the Christians in Qaryatain to either pay jizya (extortion money), convert to Islam, or leave.

Yemen: A day after a Catholic church in Aden was vandalized, another group of unidentified assailants set the Christian building “in flames,” in the words of a witness. Of the 22 churches that operated in Aden before 1967, when the city was a British colony, only a few remain open, used rarely by foreign workers and African refugees. The now-torched St. Joseph Church was one of those few.

Indonesia: On Sunday, September 27, the GKI Yasmin Church in Bogor held its 100th open-air service since 2008, when local Muslims had begun complaining that the church existed. Even though the church was fully registered, the authorities obligingly closed it. In December 2010, the Indonesian Supreme Court ordered the church to be reopened, but the mayor of Bogor refused to comply and kept it sealed off. Since then, the congregation has been holding Sunday services at the homes of members, and occasionally on the street, to the usual jeers and attacks by Muslim mobs.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom
(Apostasy, Blasphemy, and Proselytization)

Uganda: A 36-year-old mother of eight requested prayer after area Muslims forced her to return to Islam, or lose her children and be killed. Although Madina remained Christian after her husband abandoned her a decade ago for her apostasy from Islam, she returned to Islam in September: “The relatives of my husband threatened to kill me and take away the children if I refused to go back to Islam. They said, ‘We are not going to lose our children to Christianity. We better kill you and get back the children.’… I have nowhere to go with my children, so I have decided to return to Islam to save the children and myself. I know Issa [Jesus] will remember me one day.”

United Kingdom: A Pakistani man, his wife, and their six children are suffering “an appalling ordeal at the hands of neighbours who regard them as blasphemers.” Their “crime” is converting to Christianity— more than 20 years ago. Despite being “prisoners in their own home after being attacked in the street, having their car windscreens repeatedly smashed and eggs thrown at their windows” the Christian family said that both police and the Anglican church have failed to provide any meaningful support and are “reluctant to treat the problem as a religious hate crime.” Nissar Hussain, the father, said, “Our lives have been sabotaged and this shouldn’t happen in the United Kingdom. We live in a free democratic society and what they are doing to us is abhorrent.”

Turkey: Since August 27, as many as 15 churches received death threats for “denying Allah.” Even so, “Threats are not anything new for the Protestant community who live in this country and want to raise their children here,” said church leaders. As former Muslims, many of the congregation, apostates from Islam, were threatened with beheading. The messages accuse the Christians of having “chosen the path that denies Allah” and “dragged others into believing as you do… As heretics you have increased your number with ignorant followers.” One of the messages depicted the Islamic State flag along with the words: “Perverted infidels, the time that we will strike your necks is soon. May Allah receive the glory and the praise.”

Pakistan: Police arrested a Christian brick kiln worker, Pervaiz Masih, in the Kasur District of Punjab province, after a Muslim business rival falsely accused him of insulting the prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Pervaiz, a father of four, including a seven-month-old boy, fled his home after Muhammad Kahlid filed a report, which said that he had made derogatory remarks about Muhammad during a dispute. Police detained four of Pervaiz’s relatives; then officers dragged his wife into the streets and ripped off her clothing as they tried to get information about her husband’s whereabouts. Police also beat local Christians and raided Christian homes for information in Pervaiz’s town. Pervaiz eventually handed himself over to police in order that his relatives be released.

Ethiopia: A group of 15 young Christians were attacked and arrested for engaging in evangelism in eastern Ethiopia. Separately, six Christian leaders were found guilty of inciting public disturbance, destroying public trust in government officials, and spreading hatred. The six men, members of a church administrative committee, had written a letter to their national church leadership on March 11 describing the persecution they endured as Christians living in the Muslim-majority Silte zone. They complained of discrimination in employment opportunities, unfair dismissal from jobs, harsh job performance feedback, burned church buildings, physical attacks and death threats. The letter was leaked to local media and widely disseminated, prompting their arrest and conviction.

Dhimmitude

Germany: According to a report, “Many Christian refugees from Syria, Iraq or Kurdistan are being intimidated and attacked by Muslim refugees. In several refugee centers set up by the local authorities, Sharia law is being imposed and Christians — which are a minority — are the victims of bullying.” Gottfried Martens, pastor of a south Berlin church, said that “very religious Muslims are spreading the following idea throughout the refugee centers: Sharia law rules wherever we are.” Martens expressed especial concern for Muslims who convert to Christianity — apostates who, according to Islamic law, can be killed: “There is a 100% chance that these people will be attacked.”

Lebanon: Christians are being overrun by Muslim refugees from Syria and Iraq, and are in danger of losing their place in their country, said Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil: “What is happening in Lebanon is an attempt to replace the people with [Muslim] Syrians and Palestinians.” Because Lebanon’s Christian population is, and has historically been, a minority, Bassil said their rights are being threatened because “some are attempting to impose Muslims over Christians” (a situation also occurring in the U.S.) In an earlier interview, Bassil said that the Mideast Christian community as a whole has been eroded “in large chunks”: “In Iraq, it happened over 20 years, and we saw that 90 percent of the Christians have left Iraq. In Syria, we don’t have actual numbers because of the chaos. We cannot tell. We know that there has been a lot of internal and external immigration and displacement…. But definitely churches have been destroyed and people have left already.”

United Kingdom: An Iranian, Noureden Mallaky-Soodmand, 41, was supposed to have beendeported to Iran after he was arrested for hurling threats and brandishing knives on the streets of London. However, he was not deported, apparently because the Iranian Embassy was closed. He was, instead, re-housed 250 miles away in Stockton-on-Tees. Earlier, on April 2, holding a curved knife, he had run amok, screaming: “I’m a Muslim and I’ll chop your f***ing head, mother f***ers…. I’m Isis and my people will cut off your balls, Christians…. I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you all. I’m going to chop your head off and f*** you up.”

Egyptian Dhimmitude

Muslim attacks on Christians erupted in two separate villages in Samalout, north of the Minya governorate. One attack apparently took place in “revenge” for the construction of a small church. In one village, five Copts were injured; In another village, Muslims packed into a number of cars attacked a Christian wedding ceremony. Three Copts were injured; throughout the area, young Christian girls were sexually harassed.

Separately, a group of Muslims in the village of al-Oula, near Alexandria, attacked Christian homes and a church on September 20, after police attempted to return land stolen by a Muslim to its rightful Christian owner. When the police arrived to implement the order, they were attacked and fled. “After the security forces fled,” said a church leader, “a large crowd surrounded [the] church and hurled stones at it. Then they attacked four homes owned by Christians.” At least two Christians were seriously injured, one had his spine fractured. “The El Houty family [Muslim family that stole Christian land] used microphones in the local mosque and in nearby villages to call out for the Muslims from everywhere around the village saying that the police have come to take the lands and give it to the Christians.”

A Coptic Christian female student, Mariam, who was discriminated against, made headlines in major Egyptian media and created a scandal. Known as “Student Zero,” she was described by former teachers as a “brilliant student,” planning on becoming a doctor. She had scored 97% in her first two years and was expecting similar results in her final year — only to find that she had failed: her final grade was zero. She insisted on seeing the results for herself but was denied. When the issue made headlines, the results were shown to her. She and others — including handwriting experts — said that the handwriting on the test shown to her was not hers.

Pakistani Dhimmitude

A Christian family was almost burned alive during a “land grab” attempt of their home by Muslims. Because Boota Masih, 38, and his wife and family refused to abandon their home and property to some Muslims, they were violently beaten. The Muslims next sprayed petrol over the house to set fire to it, and locked Boota and his family in a room. The Masihs managed to escape by breaking through a window. Despite the presence of eyewitnesses, the local police were reluctant to register a formal complaint, and instead, according to the lawyers, arrested Masih on spurious charges.

Most degrading jobs continue to be reserved for Christians and other minorities. The latest example comes from the announcement of vacancies from the Punjab Institute of Cardiology Lahore. In the list, all jobs are open to all applicants — except for “sanitary worker” positions, such as toilet cleaners: only non-Muslim applicants are eligible. According to labor lawyers, “this is a form of direct oppression, racism and bigotry against the nation’s religious minorities,” primarily Christians, Hindus, and non-Sunni Muslims.

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians is expanding. “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some — by no means all — of the instances of persecution that surface each month.

It documents what the mainstream media often fails to report.

It posits that such persecution is not random but systematic, and takes place in all languages, ethnicities and locations.

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Everyone in the U.S. have their eyes glued to the tragedy in Oregon. Where it would seem a Muslim convert executed nine Christians! That event is a very loud signal to Christians in the U.S. to WAKE UP! God is telling them, the clock is ticking down and your redemption is drawing near! ARE YOU READY?

Many Christians of today believe that their exit from this world will be via a cushy ride up in the rapture. How many of us are prepared to have our faith tested in the most extreme way imaginable?

I truly believe that God at the moment that those people were asked if they were a Christian, instilled in them a supernatural faith via the Holy Spirit just as the Christians who were thrown to the Lions in the Roman Coliseum! To be a witness and message to Christians today to WAKE UP! PREPARE YOURSELF!

Now on the happenings in the Middle East:

Pieces of a puzzle would seem to be coming together, as the U.S. winds down its role in the Middle East, Russia is expanding it’s role. It was already allied with Iran, and has assisted Iran with not only military weapons and expertise but also assisted Iran in its international political goals as they dovetailed with Russia’s.

Then Russia put military forces in Syria, and now it is getting access to put military forces in Iraq. And China is sending forces to assist Russia in Syria!

Anyone see the picture that is beginning to unfold?:  Israel’s last battle in the Last Days

Many may wonder where the U.S. fits into all of this, if the U.S. may be drawn into a conflict with Russia in the Middle East?

The west may not need to be dealt with Militarily. All international trade in Oil is carried out in U.S. Dollars.During WWII Roosevelt paid a visit to Saudi Arabia, and its first king Ibn Saud. Roosevelt convinced Ibn Saud not to supply Germany and its Axis Allies with oil and instead supply the U.S. and its allies with oil for the war, and in exchange the U.S. would militarily protect Saudi Arabia. And since then the U.S. has been the protector of Middle Eastern Oil producers. This extended to all Middle Eastern oil being traded internationally in U.S. Dollars. This gave the U.S. the position of being the worlds Financial center and allowed the U.S. to print money at will as there was always an international demand for dollars. With the U.S. seeming to exit the Middle East and Russia & possibly China taking over, this could mean the end of the arrangement of Middle Eastern oil being traded in U.S. Dollars. Iran for years has wanted to set up an alterntive international oil exchange in Tehran, and oil traded in a basket of international currencies instead of the dollar.

This has a serious and fundamental impact to the U.S. If the U.S. dollar is no longer used in International trade, it means the U.S. will lose its place as the leader of the global financial system, it would also mean that the U.S. could no longer run huge budget deficits, it means the U.S. government could no longer shovel money into the U.S. Economy to keep it on life support. It would mean an economic contraction in the U.S. like none of us have ever experienced! And the impact to our military would be huge! It would mean that we could no longer afford to field a large military! We would be taken out of the picture in the Middle East!

If you can remember back in History Great Britain was the greatest world power up to WWII. But when WWII began its economy collapsed, as it was heavily indebted and therefore did not have the ability to field a large enough military to defeat Germany, and in stepped the U.S. the rising power, it became the bank to all the countries fighting Germany. If a major war broke out in the Middle East today, The U.S. would be in the same position as Great Britain prior to WWII, we are broke! Who would rescue us?

It is time to awaken from your slumber Christians! God’s Clock is ticking down to midnight, fill your lamps with oil! And be ready for the coming darkness!

From Debka:

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has expanded radically in two directions.DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources report that China sent word to Moscow Friday, Oct. 2, that J-15 fighter bombers would shortly join the Russian air campaign that was launched Wednesday, Sept. 30. Baghdad has moreover offered Moscow an air base for targeting the Islamic State now occupying large swathes of Iraqi territory

Russia’s military intervention in Syria has five additional participants: China, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizballah.

The J-15 warplanes will take off from the Chinese Liaoning-CV-16 aircraft carrier, which reached Syrian shores on Sept. 26 (as DEBKAfile exclusively reported at the time). This will be a landmark event for Beijing: its first military operation in the Middle East as well the carrier’s first taste of action in conditions of real combat.

Thursday night, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi, made this comment on the Syrian crisis at a UN Security Council session in New York: “The world cannot afford to stand by and look on with folded arms, but must also not arbitrarily interfere (in the crisis).”

A no less significant development occurred at about the same time when Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, speaking to the US PBS NewsHour, said he would welcome a deployment of Russian troops to Iraq to fight ISIS forces in his country too. As an added incentive, he noted that this would also give Moscow the chance to deal with the 2,500 Chechen Muslims whom, he said, are fighting with ISIS in Iraq.

DEBKAfile’s military sources add that Al-Abadi’s words came against the backdrop of two events closely related to Russia’s expanding role in the war arena:

1.  A joint Russian-Iranian-Syrian-Iraqi war room has been working since last week out of the Iraqi Defense Ministry and military staff headquarters in Baghdad to coordinate the passage of Russian and Iranian airlifts to Syria and also Russian air raids. This command center is also organizing the transfer of Iranian and pro-Iranian Shiite forces into Syria.

2.  Baghdad and Moscow have just concluded a deal for the Russian air force to start using the Al Taqaddum Air Base at Habbaniyah, 74 km west of Baghdad, both as a way station for the Russian air corridor to Syria and as a launching-pad for bombing missions against ISIS forces and infrastructure in northern Iraq and northern Syria.

Russia has thus gained a military enclave in Iraq, just as it has in Syria, where it has taken over a base outside Latakia on the western coast of Syria. At the same time, the Habbaniyah air base also serves US forces operating in Iraq, which number an estimated 5,000.

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