Tuesday, April 16, 2013
The news that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency now believes North Korea may be able to miniaturize its nuclear warheads and fit them on ballistic missiles means the crisis on the Korean Peninsula involves not just one but two dangerous scenarios.
First, that Kim Jung Un—the Pyongyang man-child dictator—will trigger a nuclear war in East Asia, either purposefully or accidentally. The previous Korean war cost more than 2.5 million lives. The next one could cost many multiples of that. Seoul alone is a city of some 12 million people.
Second, that Benjamin Netanyahu—the Israeli Prime Minister—will feel compelled to launch a massive preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities sooner rather than later. Why? Because the rapid advancement of North Korea in building nuclear warheads capable of fitting on ballistic missiles means Iran is not far behind from accomplishing the same if North Korea is selling their research to the mullahs in Tehran.
This could accelerate the Israeli calculus for taking decisive action since neither the Obama administration nor other world powers appear to be taking decisive steps of their own to neutralize the Iranian nuclear threat.
This is what I call “linkage.”
While on the surface North Korea is creating a crisis that is unique to the Pacific theater, the sober truth is that the crisis actually has direct and immediate implications for the Middle East. Israeli leaders are monitoring the North Korean developments very closely. They are also watching equally closely how the White House is handling the Korean situation.
At this point, Netanyahu and his advisors are likely drawing the following conclusions:
Pyongyang either has or nearly has not just an operational nuclear warhead, but one that can be fitted on a ballistic missile;
Therefore, because Iran and North Korea are working so closely together, it must be assumed that Iran is even closer to having deliverable nuclear missiles than previously believed;
The U.S. intends to take no decisive action to stop Pyongyang from becoming a nuclear weapons power;
Therefore, it can be assumed that the U.S. is not going to take decisive action to stop Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons power;
In the cases of both North Korea and Iran, the Obama administration talks tough, but carries a little stick — the U.S. merely intends to contain and deter these two countries from using nuclear weapons, not really prevent them from building them;
Thus, Israel is on its own, and may need to move hard and fast to keep Iran from crossing the red line, after which Israel won’t have an effective military option.
“The results of a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report indicate that ‘North Korea now has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles,’” reports the Christian Science Monitor. “That was the bombshell out of a House Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday. It came when Rep. Doug Lamborn (R) of Colorado began quoting from what he said was an unclassified version of the DIA report, which has not yet been made public.”
“A new assessment by the Pentagon’s intelligence arm has concluded for the first time, with ‘moderate confidence,’ that North Korea has learned how to make a nuclear weapon small enough to be delivered by a ballistic missile,” reports the New York Times. “The assessment by the Defense Intelligence Agency, which has been distributed to senior administration officials and members of Congress, cautions that the weapon’s ‘reliability will be low,’ apparently a reference to the North’s difficulty in developing accurate missiles or, perhaps, to the huge technical challenges of designing a warhead that can survive the rigors of flight and detonate on a specific target.
The assessment’s existence was disclosed Thursday by Lamborn three hours into a budget hearing of the House Armed Services Committee with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey. General Dempsey declined to comment on the assessment because of classification issues.
But late Thursday, the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., released a statement saying that the assessment did not represent a consensus of the nation’s intelligence community and that ‘North Korea has not yet demonstrated the full range of capabilities necessary for a nuclear armed missile.’”
The lack of adequate security jumps to the eye after twin bombings struck the high-prestige Boston Marathon Monday, April 15, killing three people, including an 8-year old boy and injuring 140 – seventeen critically.
This was the world's oldest annual marathon, with 28,000 runners representing athletes from every US state and more than 90 nations. Yet there was no sign of dogs along the route trained to sniff out explosives or a police helicopter overhead with sensors for detecting explosives or traces thereof on the person of anyone present around the finishing line after the blasts.
Tuesday morning, while interviewing witnesses and collecting photos taken by spectators, the Boston police and security officers announced they were seeking two wanted men: One was described as swarthy, speaking with a foreign accent, his face partially hidden by a hood, who was carrying a large backpack and kept on trying to enter a closed section near the finishing line. This was the first time an area was disclosed as having been closed to the public.
The second man was photographed by a spectator walking on a rooftop overlooking the finishing line after the second bomb exploded.
After the event, police searches turned up and defused another three explosive devices. Had that search taken place before the event, at least one of the lethal devices might have been discovered and the race aborted.
Tuesday, the FBI admitted “a potential terrorist inquiry” was underway, although President Barack Obama, when he pledged justice for “the perpetrators,” carefully skirted the term “terror.” This recalls his administration’s refusal to brand as an act of terror the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, and the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens, although it was clearly the work of an al Qaeda element.
Counterterrorism experts are equally certain of the Middle East terrorist hallmarks on the Boston Marathon bombings, although it is too soon to say whether it was the work of Al Qaeda or an allied radical jihadi group such as the Ansar al-Shariah, which was responsible for the Benghazi consulate in conjunction with a clandestine al Qaeda command center in Cairo.
Here, too, initial investigation discloses the hand of al Qaeda or an affiliate.
Ahead of the London marathon scheduled for next week and the state funeral of the late UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Wednesday, April 17, a determined official effort is being made in Washington and London to present the Boston bombings as the work of a lone wolf.
However, experts experienced in these matters maintain that an attack on this scale and of this type would have required four or five bombers on the ground and a support team of about 10 spotters and accomplices familiar with the terrain, further back. They would have needed more than one vehicle and communications gear, in addition to mobile phones which are easily tracked.
The two explosions, 400 meters apart, were obviously coordinated and designed to cause maximum casualties. The ball-bearings scattered across the crime scene and found in the pockets of some of the casualties were familiar to Israelis and others and telling evidence of Middle East terrorist authorship.
The explosive device which caused such havoc and agony was small yet deadly – another pointer to the “professionalism” of the attackers. A similar device was discovered in time three years ago in a bomb-rigged car parked in Times Square New York and left there by the Pakistani student Faisal Shahzad.
Unlike the president, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Chairperson of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had no compunctions about putting into words the general suspicion. Straight after the event, she said, “My understanding is that it’s a terrorist incident” - although it is too soon to say whether it was carried out by a foreign or domestic element.
Suspicion of a foreign hand was strengthened when the US media reported that a Saudi national suffering from severe burns was being questioned in hospital. The Boston Police Department denied the report and the FBI, now in charge of the case, said that no one has so far been taken into custody. They did not deny questioning “persons of interest.”
The first response to the explosions in Boston from Middle East itself came from Mohammad al-Chalabi the head of an extremist Jordanian Muslim Salafi group, who said he's "happy to see the horror in America…American blood isn't more precious than Muslim blood," he said. "Let the Americans feel the pain we endured by their armies occupying Iraq and Afghanistan and killing our people there."
A Mideast counterterrorism official based in Jordan said the blasts "carry the hallmark of an organized terrorist group, like al-Qaeda."
National Guard forces were streaming Tuesday into Boston in long convoys of armored Humvees.
Boston residents are in for upsets from the massive security measures that will continue throughout the week, as the area of the bombings is declared a crime scene and kept under lockdown; law enforcement officials patrol the streets and carry out random bag checks; and transport services are delayed.
Today, many Americans see the EXPONENTIAL problems facing our nation (fiscally, socially and our national venerability) and yet they truly DO NOT believe that we - as a nation - can fall or suffer terror attacks. These possess a delusional mindset that illogically believes that “It can NEVER happen to us! We are unsinkable!" We today are more vulnerable than we ever have been as a nation to terrorism, financial collapse and the outbreak of lawlessness. Our national and foreign policies have been replaced with political correctness, moral relativism, stupidity and gullibility. Dear friends, expect more Boston Marathon like terror attacks to be an occurring event in our nation since we refuse to face reality about those who hate us and our desperate need to seal our nation's borders.
The horrific and sobering realities and thoughts of America's fall are absolutely unimaginable for countless Americans to entertain and this is how our leaders want us. The majority of Americans live in “La-La land” and these willingly deceive themselves into thinking that the calamities at hand are not fatal or cannot affect us. To sooth our nation's anxious minds, Americans have turned to the entertainment world and self pleasure and have put ALL their trust in a delusional false hope and into an imaginary optimistic outcome that can NEVER be. The majority of Americans truly believe that our nation’s current death bed condition will begin to magically and miraculously cure its self if we just get the right leaders in office. With the result of the 2012 elections it is an affirmative that that dog is NEVER going to hunt.
Sadly, these lack the ETERNAL biblical perspective to visualize the horrific sobering realities of our hour.
Sadly, Americans and so called "Christians" lack the ETERNAL biblical perspective to visualize the horrific sobering realities of our hour. They have not the eyes to see the national state of lawlessness, decadence, immorality, violence, debt, national vulnerability to terrorism, and subjective narcissism that absolutely has saturated all facets of our American society and bureaucracy. They are in utter delusional darkness chasing the Devil’s cattle across the sky NEVER arriving to their dreamland Utopia. They are as blind men looking for a black cat, in a black room, which is absolutely void of light; all the while there NEVER WAS A BLACK CAT to be found (John 3:19-21, 2 Thess. 2:10-12)! These are looking for and seeking to find – as it were - the fictitious fountain of youth, the lost City of Eldorado, Bigfoot, the transitionary links of evolutionary fossils or Jim Morrison and Elvis alive!, all the while deceiving themselves and others unto their ETERNAL doom (2 Tim. 3:13, Rev. 21:8, 22:15).
When America DOES fall, what will the masses of America then do? It will be too late to seek healthy godly solutions and remedies for our nation in light of the calamities of lawlessness that will then be upon our lawless nation. Godly solutions and answers which have been mocked and scoffed at will not be able to be found for we as a nation have full well rejected them and have thrown it all out for a lie (Prov. 1:22-33, 2 Thess. 2:10-12, 2 Peter 3:3). When America does fall, lawlessness and anarchy will sweep across our land as a tsunami and its affects will be rapid and full of violence and blood shed. That which once held our nation together (Our Constitution and Ten Commandments) will then be disintegrated as mob rule, hunger, violence, bitterness and lawlessness reign supreme.
It will be too late to seek healthy godly solutions and remedies for our nation in light of the calamities of lawlessness that will then be upon our lawless nation.
Once America falls socially and fiscally what global restraint will then be applied to the raging, godless, anti Semitic, merciless and secular nations of planet earth? Even now America is saturated with leftist progressives in key positions of authority, principalities and bureaucracies that despise ALL that are nation was founded on. They are an army of fifth column constitutional destroyers who are seeking a fascist tyrannical grip and are against all of the liberties and freedoms which have been instilled to us from our Creator and reaffirmed by our founders. With out these borders of morality and societal restraint we are indeed fulfilling the American prophecy of John Adam’s and the other founder’s warnings. When the American Judeo/Christian dam is removed from out of this nation and off the world’s stage what then will be the global state of our lawless world(Matt. 24:12, Rev. 6-16).
Even now, a very thin layer of America’s restraint holds back the world’s lawless ambitions and evil tyrannical fascist designs. For what it is worth, it is my personal option – which is a sound biblical one - that once the “Rapture of the Church transpires America will then implode, thus setting off a chain reaction that will be greatly felt through out the entire world (2 Thess. 2:5-12). It is in America, which is found the greatest number of biblical believers in the world. It has been this remnant’s godly influence and saltiness in these last days that has restrained the evil in America and has continued to send forth the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ through out the entire world (Isa. 1:9, Matt. 5:13, John 3:16-17, 1 Cor. 15:1-4)!
Once the Rapture of the Church transpires America will then implode, thus setting off a chain reaction that will be greatly felt through out the entire world.
When the Rapture finally takes place, many “conservatives” will be left behind and they will be ABSOLUTELY NO match for a godless, lawless, raging society provoked, aroused and motivated by a Leftist lawless leadership in Washington D.C. The Left will seek to control the millions of socially dependent American’s by inciting the rage and violence that is in them against all that oppose their secular totalitarian vision and will. This time will be much like that of Nazi Germany and the French Revolution.
When the Rapture finally takes place, many “conservatives” will be left behind and they will be ABSOLUTELY NO match for a godless, lawless, raging society provoked, aroused and motivated by a Leftist lawless leadership in Washington D.C.
Oh my friends! How we need REALITY today and not just reality but BIBLICAL REALITY AND TRUTH to set us free(John 8:32, 36, Gal 1:4)! My dear friends ALL that you see around you today, the DOMINATING instability, uncertainties, godlessness, lawlessness, decadence, immorality, narcissism, dreadful uncertainties, and growing mob violence and rage are OVERWHELMING SIGNS that attest to the horrific and great structural fractures in our Republic.
My friends, we as a nation are at the point of no return. If Americans WILL NOT acknowledge the sobering realities – which are evident every where - of our nation’s critical condition, how will they ever receive the sobering realities of Almighty God’s diagnosis of our fallen and doomed human estate and their desperate need for Almighty God’s saving solution (John 3:16-17, Acts 17:30-31, Romans 3:23, Rev.20:11-15).
My dear friends, may you NOT find yourself in the delusional mindset of our day which states, that it can NEVER happen to us! For indeed it can and it will, for truly the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!
The Ignorant Fishermen blog
Mário Alberto Nobre Lopes Soares is a Portuguese politician who served as Prime Minister of Portugal from 1976 to 1978 and from 1983 to 1985. He was then the President of the Republic from 1986 to 1996. He is a senior and well respected statesman and hardly a voice of either the radical left or right.
Official projections put Portugal's debt to GDP at more than 124% by the end of this year. Utilizing Europe's continuing fantasy accounting; this is the number that Portugal and the EU posts for general consumption. However by counting liabilities and using American addition, subtraction and division I come up with a number of about 236%. The problem, as I keep reminding everyone, is that choosing not to count debts does not erase them and so time passed, some of the liabilities came due, and Portugal is on the verge of bankruptcy once again.
It was March 3, 2011 and the title of Out of the Box was, "Portugal Goes Down."Then in May 2011 Portugal did bite the dust and received $101 billion in bailout funds. Since then it has bobbed up, devastated its citizens with trying to meet the demands of the European Union and been hailed by both Brussels and Berlin for its imposition of the mandated austerity measures. Today I can assure you; Portugal is going down again.
Now Mr. Soares, over the weekend, took a different and surprising tact. He has called for all of the opposition parties in Portugal to "bring down" the government. Specifically he said, "In its eagerness to do the bidding of Senhora Merkel, they have sold everything and ruined this country. In two years this government has destroyed Portugal. We absolutely have to end this austerity." He also said that Portugal will "never be able to pay its debts however much it impoverishes itself. If you can't pay, the only solution is not to pay."
Pretty strong words for this elder statesman!
Now in the recent round of easing debt extensions were granted to Ireland and Portugal but Portugal's was tied to the imposition of further austerity measures.This is just after the Supreme Court in Portugal declared certain austerity measures unconstitutional and blew $1.7 billion of them out the window and out of Portugal's budget.
The country was already the poorest in Western Europe, with a minimum wage of $630 a month.
Unemployment is the third highest in the Eurozone, with 17.4 per cent of the country out of work and a 37% unemployment rate for people under 25. Quite large tax increases have hit everyone hard, with train prices soaring by 25% and VAT on electricity leaping from 6% to 23%.
Now a careful reading of what the EU is now demanding reveals an actual shortfall of about $6 billion and where Portugal is going to come up with that is a good question. The Prime Minister may be one of the favorites of Europe but that is not exactly the case in his own country as politics are about to get very nasty. The debt extension was one thing but when Portugal lines up again at the window, which is coming shortly, one has to wonder what new one-off solution will be forthcoming this time. Will it be the depositors again transcribed in Lithuanian, the subordinated or senior debt of the country postulated in Slovenian or some new scheme? Given the politics of Germany at present I find it highly doubtful that the answer is going to be a hand-out courtesy of the taxpayers of other countries.
Grant's Rules 1-10, "Preservation of Capital" are flashing red! If you have exposure to Portugal I would be heading towards the exit doors. Failure to do so may be a quite expensive proposition.
"The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout. Down came the Goblin and took the spider out."
-The Green Goblin
A new case of bird flu in China's capital, a 4-year-old boy who displayed no symptoms, is adding to the unknowns about the latest outbreak that has caused 63 confirmed cases and 14 deaths, health officials said Monday.
The boy, who tested positive for the H7N9 virus, is considered a carrier of the strain and has been placed under observation to see if he develops symptoms, health authorities said. Medical teams found the boy in a check of people who had contact with a 7-year-old girl, who was confirmed as Beijing's first case of H7N9 over the weekend: a neighbor of the boy bought chicken from the girl's family.
Puzzling new case
Beijing Health Bureau deputy director Zhong Dongpo said that, as puzzling as the case is, the boy adds another data point to medical experts limited understanding of H7N9.
"This is very meaningful because it shows that the disease caused by this virus has a wide scope. It's not only limited to critical symptoms. There can also be slight cases, and even those who don't feel any abnormality at all. So we need to understand this disease in a rational and scientific way," Zhong said at a news briefing.
The H7N9 strain was not previously known to infect humans before cases turned up in China this winter, and Zhong and other medical experts said no evidence exists that the virus can be passed from one person to another. Close contact with infected birds is a likely source of transmission. Making the virus hard to detect is that infected poultry display slight or no symptoms, unlike the H5N1 strain which kills birds and raged across the region in the middle of the last decade.
The appearance of cases with mild or no symptoms in humans could make tracing even more difficult, but may also mean that many people infected do not get seriously ill and recover quickly, making the virus is less deadly than it appears.
Most of the cases have occurred in eastern China. In recent days, with hospitals and health officials on alert, cases have turned up in Beijing and the populous central province of Henan. The confirmed death toll from the virus ticked up by one Monday, a 77-year-old woman in Jiangsu, while three more cases were confirmed in eastern provinces, for a total of 63, according to reports from provincial health bureaus.
A strong 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Iran, near the border with Pakistan, at 10:44 GMT on Tuesday at a depth of 73 miles, The US Geological survey said. Tremors were felt across the Gulf region and in New Delhi. (Reuters)
This last week has been pretty hectic in terms of next generation concepts: Boeing unveiled the updated version of the F/A-XX sixth-generation fighter concept, Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works released a new UCLASS Concept video and, after some years of evaluation and study, Russia’s PAK-DA conceptual design was given the official approval.
In a meeting with Russian lawmakers, Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Viktor Bondarev said that all the relevant documents were signed allowing the industry to begin the development of systems for the plane.
With its flying wing shape and radar-evading capabilities, the subsonic PAK-DA is destined to replace Moscow’s aging fleet of 63 Tu-95 Bear and 13 Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers.
According to the RIA Novosti, Russian Air Force commanders insisted that the aircraft will be equipped with advanced electronic warfare systems and armed with new nuclear-capable long-range cruise missiles, and will be able to carry a wide array of conventional precision guided weapons.
The new plane will enter production stage by 2020 with the first bomber in active service by 2025-2030 timeframe.
The PAK-DA will not be hypersonic (even if it will probably carry hypersonic missiles) as opposed to the American X-51, Falcon HTV-2 and other hypersonic development programs on which the U.S.’s perspective strike capability will be based.
A “sixth-generation” pilotless strategic bomber based on the PAK-DA could come around 2040-2050.
Read more: http://theaviationist.com/2013/04/12/pak-da-concept/#.UWrTa9Ejoto#ixzz2QXbfhH00