Thursday, November 30, 2017
A strange phenomenon was captured by two friends returning from a boat hunt along the Missouri River. The sun was falling toward the sunset when they noticed a strange group of lights in the sky, and vertical rays falling from the setting sun during a few seconds!
The group of mysterious lights hovering in the sky and the strange crying sun.
The setting sun is just terrifying with filaments coming down and almost reaching to the ground…
Credit to Strange Sounds
Rising global tension, notably over North Korea, has prompted Canadian federal officials to review and in some cases revise a series of critical contingency plans, including one that involves the evacuation of the federal cabinet to a secure military base outside of Ottawa.
The Privy Council Office, the bureaucratic wing of the Prime Minister's Office, drafted an agreement with National Defense to open up bunkers on two military bases should the National Capital Region become "unviable," according to documents obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation.
Each location is classified in the heavily redacted briefing and only referred to as "Alpha and Bravo sites."
The agreement is part of the federal government's overall plan for the "Continuity of Constitutional Government," which aims to "ensure minimal or no interruption to the availability of critical services" during an emergency or natural disaster in Ottawa.
The federal government has long had contingency plans, known internally as CONPLANS, for a variety of emergencies running the gamut between earthquakes and floods through terrorism to full-scale war.
What is different lately, according to experts, is that officials are being forced to think more often in Cold War terms, particularly when it comes to the threat of a North Korean missile striking Canada, either as an accident or by design.
On Tuesday, Pyongyang tested the Hwasong-15 intercontinental missile, which the regime of Kim Jong-un claims can be tipped with a "super-large heavy warhead" and is capable of striking anywhere on the continental United States.
Canada Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan was asked Wednesday what would happen should a missile land in Canada.
"When it comes to any type of foreign threats, we take them extremely seriously," he said. "We've been looking at North Korea right from the beginning when I was given this portfolio. I am very mindful of the country's missile testing that they have been doing. We believe that the diplomatic solution is the way to go, because I think that there is hope for it."
The notion that Canada could be hit by incoming missiles was part of the Cold War defense mindset and planning, which disappeared in the early 1990s, said Andrew Rasiulis, a defense expert with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.
"After the Cold War was over, we stopped thinking about those things. It fell off the radar, so to speak," said Rasiulis, a former senior official at National Defense who once ran the Directorate of Nuclear and Arms Control Policy. "At the time, it was really a whole cultural shift."
Credit to halturnerradioshow.com
How A North Korean Electromagnetic Pulse Attack Could Kill Millions And Turn America Into A Post-Apocalyptic Wasteland
This is why North Korea’s test of an intercontinental ballistic missile is so important. North Korea had test fired a total of 22 missiles so far this year, but this latest one showed that nobody on the globe is out of their reach. In fact, General Mattis is now admitting that “North Korea can basically threaten everywhere in the world”, and that includes the entire continental United States. In addition to hitting individual cities with nukes, there is also the possibility that someday North Korea could try to take down the entire country with an EMP attack. If the North Koreans detonated a single nuclear warhead several hundred miles above the center of the country, it would destroy the power grid and fry electronics from coast to coast.
I would like you to think about what that would mean for a few moments. Suddenly there would be no power at home, at work or at school. Since nearly all of our vehicles rely on computerized systems, you wouldn’t be able to go anywhere and nobody would be able to get to you. And you wouldn’t be able to contact anyone because all phones would be dead. Basically, pretty much everything electronic would be dead. I am talking about computers, televisions, GPS devices, ATMs, heating and cooling systems, refrigerators, credit card readers, gas pumps, cash registers, hospital equipment, traffic lights, etc.
For the first couple of days life would continue somewhat normally, but then people would soon start to realize that the power isn’t coming back on and panic would begin to erupt.
The intercontinental ballistic missile that North Korea just launched traveled almost 1,000 kilometers and reached a maximum altitude of 4,500 kilometers. We have been told for decades that this would never be allowed to happen, but now it has happened…
This is concerning for one big reason: according to General Mattis, the North Korean ICBM “went higher, frankly, than any previous” and “North Korea can basically threaten everywhere in the world.” This was confirmed by North Korea missile analyst, Shea Cotton, who cited Allthingsnuclear author David Wright, and who told the BBC that the initial estimates of the ICBM test mean that North Korea can now reach New York and Washington DC.
If we had been working hard to develop our anti-missile technology all these years, this wouldn’t be a problem.
But at this point we are way behind the Russians in this regard, and there is a very real possibility that a missile launched by the North Koreans could make it through the very limited anti-missile defenses that we do have.
Once upon a time, discussions about a North Korean EMP threat were mostly hypothetical, but now that has completely changed. North Korea has clearly demonstrated that they are able to deliver such an attack, and last September Kim Jong Un publicly admitted that North Korea intended to develop this capability…
But most reporters missed a key threat that appeared at the bottom of Kim’s public statement, when he bragged that North Korea had harnessed “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals.”So now we know. Launching an electromagnetic pulse attacks against its enemies is one of North Korea’s strategic goals. And for North Korea, the United States is the top enemy.
And like I said earlier, all it would take would be a single well placed nuclear detonation to fry electronics from coast to coast. The following comes from the Daily Mail…
Theoretically, a sufficiently powerful bomb detonated at an altitude of 249 miles would wipe out all electronics in the US, save the southernmost top of Florida and the easternmost states – as well as affecting Canada and Mexico.
Without power, nothing would get distributed. That means that very rapidly there would be no food, no water and no medicine available in your community. An article posted by Fox News this week used the term “post-apocalyptic” to describe what we would be facing…
It all starts to sound very post-apocalyptic when you realize this means no lights or other electric-powered devices in homes and businesses, no water filtration, no regional food hubs, no transportation grid – none of the things we take for granted in modern civilization.
Like I stated earlier, things would be relatively fine for a few days, but then once everyone realizes that the power isn’t coming back on there would be chaos on a scale unlike anything we have ever seen before. The following comes from an article by Mac Slavo…
The first 24 – 48 hours after such an occurrence will lead to confusion among the general population as traditional news acquisition sources like television, radio and cell phone networks will be non-functional.Within a matter of days, once people realize the power might not be coming back on and grocery store shelves start emptying, the entire system will begin to delve into chaos.Within 30 days a mass die off will have begun as food supplies dwindle, looters and gangs turn to violent extremes, medicine can’t be restocked and water pump stations fail.
So what kind of a “mass die off” would we be talking about?
Well, some of the top experts in the field believe that “up to 90 percent of all Americans” could end up dead if the power outage lasted long enough…
William Graham, chairman of the former EMP commission and its former chief of staff, Peter Vincent Pry, warned the hearing that such an attack could “shut down the US electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to the death within a year of up to 90 percent of all Americans.“
Others believe that the figure would be lower, but pretty much everyone agrees that the death toll would be in the millions.
This is one of our greatest strategic vulnerabilities, and our power grid could be hardened against an EMP attack for just a few billion dollars. This is something that I am pushing very hard for, but right now it is just not a priority for our leaders in Washington.
In fact, they have actually pulled funding from the commission that was looking into the EMP threat…
On Sept. 30, the Congressional Commission to Assess the Threat of Electromagnetic Pulse to the United States of America shut its doors after a failure to secure funding from Congress.
Sometimes I find it difficult to come up with the words to describe how incredibly foolish Congress is being.
An EMP attack is a greater threat than ever before, and yet Congress didn’t even want to come up with a little bit of funding for the commission that was working on a plan to protect us.
This is yet another example that shows that we need new leadership on Capitol Hill, because right now the people that we have “representing” us in Washington seem to be completely and utterly clueless about almost everything.
Credit to Economic Collapse
According to multiple reports in Middle East regional sources, China plans to send elite military units to Syria to advise and assist the Syrian Army in an attempt to root out the country's terrorist insurgency, especially Chinese Islamist foreign fighters who have shown up in increasing numbers in Syria's north since the start of the conflict.
If confirmed this won't be the first time China - one of the five veto-wielding powers of the UN Security Council - has sent assistance to the Assad government: according to previous reporting by Middle East Eye, China began quietly sending soldiers in an advisory capacity into Syria earlier this year to assist government forces in weapons systems, intelligence collection, logistics, and medicine. But this certainly marks a dramatic and more public escalation in terms of Chinese operations in the region as Beijing will reportedly send special forces to work closely with government troops, and likely in coordination with the Russians as well.
File photo via "Life of Soldiers" blog
Sources told the Saudi Arabia based newspaper New Khaleej that the Chinese Ministry of Defense intends to send two units known as the “Tigers of Siberia” and the “Night Tigers” - both elite special operations units - to assist the Syrian government's fight against the jihadist insurgency. The news follows a high level meeting last week in China between Syrian Presidential Advisor Bouthaina Shaaban and Chinese Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who praised Damascus' efforts in fighting foreign militants from the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM, also commonly called the Turkestan Islamic Party, or TIP). The Muslim separatist group was founded by ethnic Uighurs and is based in the Xinjiang province of northwest China.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Credit to Zero Hedge
By Jonathan Spyer
Saudi Arabia appears to be on a warpath across the Middle East. The Saudi-orchestrated resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Saudi officials’ bellicose rhetoric after the launch of a ballistic missile targeting Riyadh from Yemen appear to herald a new period of assertiveness against Iranian interests across the Middle East.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s sudden moves on a variety of fronts may superficially have the feel of Michael Corleone’s swift and simultaneous strikes at his family’s enemies in the closing frames of The Godfather. Unlike in the film, however, the credits are not about to roll. Rather, these are the opening moves in an ongoing contest — and it is far from clear that the 32-year-old crown prince has found a formula to reverse Iran’s advantage.
Let’s take a look at the track record so far. The confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran is taking place across a swath of the Middle East in which, over the last decade, states have partially ceased to function — Iraq and Lebanon — or collapsed completely, as in the case of Syria and Yemen. A war over the ruins has taken place in each country, with Riyadh and Tehran arrayed on opposing sides in all of them.
So far, in every case, the advantage is very clear with the Iranians.
In Lebanon, Hezbollah vanquished the Saudi-sponsored “March 14” alliance of political groups that aimed to constrain it. The events of May 2008, when Hezbollah seized west Beirut and areas around the capital, showed the helplessness of the Saudis’ clients when presented with the raw force available to Iran’s proxies. Hezbollah’s subsequent entry into the Syrian civil war confirmed that it could not be held in check by the Lebanese political system.
The establishment of a cabinet dominated by Hezbollah in December 2016, and the appointment of Hezbollah’s ally, Michel Aoun, as president two months earlier, solidified Iran’s grasp over the country. Riyadh’s subsequent withdrawal of funding to the Lebanese armed forces, and now its push for Hariri’s resignation, effectively represent the House of Saud’s acknowledgment of this reality.
In Syria, Iran’s provision of finances, manpower, and know-how to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has played a decisive role in preventing the regime’s destruction. The Iranian mobilization of proxies helped cultivate new local militias, which gave the regime access to the manpower necessary to defeat its rivals. Meanwhile, Sunni Arab efforts to assist the rebels, in which Saudi Arabia played a large role, ended largely in chaos and the rise of Salafi groups.
In Iraq, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has developed an officially-sanctioned, independent military force in the form of the 120,000-strong Popular Mobilization Units (PMU). Not all the militias represented in the PMU are pro-Iranian, of course. But the three core Shiite groups of Kataeb Hezbollah, the Badr Organization, and Asaib Ahl al-Haq answer directly to the IRGC.
Iran also enjoys political preeminence in Baghdad. The ruling Islamic Dawa Party is traditionally pro-Iranian, while the Badr Organization controls the powerful interior ministry, which has allowed it to blur the boundaries between the official armed forces and its militias — thus allowing rebranded militiamen to benefit from U.S. training and equipment.
Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, has been left playing catch up: Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi visited Riyadh in late October to launch the new Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, the first time an Iraqi premier had made the trip in a quarter-century. But it is not clear that the Saudis have much more up their sleeve than financial inducements to potential political allies.
In Yemen, where the Saudis have tried their hand at direct military intervention, the results have been mixed. The Houthis and their allies, supported by Iran, have failed to conquer the entirety of the county and have been kept back from the vital Bab el-Mandeb Strait as a result of the 2015 Saudi intervention. But Saudi Arabia is bogged down in a costly war with no end in sight, while the extent of Iranian support to the Houthis is far more modest.
This, then, is the scorecard of the Saudi-Iranian conflict. So far, the Iranians have effectively won in Lebanon, are winning in Syria and Iraq, and are bleeding the Saudis in Yemen.
In each context, Iran has been able to establish proxies that give it political and military influence in the country. Tehran also has successfully identified and exploited seams in their enemy’s camp. For example, Tehran acted swiftly to nullify the results of the Kurdish independence referendum in September and then to punish the Kurds for proceeding with it. The Iranians were able to use their long-standing connection to the Talabani family, and the Talabanis’ rivalry with the Barzanis, to orchestrate the retreat of Talabani-aligned Peshmerga forces from Kirkuk in October — thus paving the way for the city and nearby oil reserves to be captured by its allies.
There is precious little evidence to suggest that the Saudis have learned from their earlier failures and are now able to roll back Iranian influence in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia is no better at building up effective proxies across the Arab world and has done nothing to enhance its military power since Mohammed bin Salman took the reins. So far, the crown prince’s actions consist of removing the veneer of multi-confessionalism from the Lebanese government, and threatening their enemies in Yemen.
Those may be important symbolic steps, but they do nothing to provide Riyadh with the hard power it has always lacked. Rolling back the Iranians, directly or in alliance with local forces, would almost certainly depend not on the Saudis or the UAE, but on the involvement of the United States — and in the Lebanese case, perhaps Israel.
It’s impossible to say the extent to which Washington and Jerusalem are on board with such an effort. However, the statements last week by Defense Secretary James Mattis suggesting that the United States intends to stay in eastern Syria, and by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel will continue to enforce its security interests in Syria, suggest that these players may have a role to play.
Past Saudi behavior might encourage skepticism. Nevertheless, the Iranians here have a clearly visible Achilles’ heel. In all the countries where the Saudi-Iran rivalry has played out, Tehran has proved to have severe difficulties in developing lasting alliances outside of Shiite and other minority communities. Sunnis and Sunni Arabs, in particular, do not trust the Iranians and do not want to work with them. Elements of the Iraqi Shiite political class also have no interest in falling under the thumb of Tehran. A cunning player looking to sponsor proxies and undermine Iranian influence would find much to work with — it’s just not clear that the Saudis are that player.
Mohammed bin Salman, at least, appears to have signaled his intent to oppose Iran and its proxies across the Arab world. The game, therefore, is on. The prospects of success for the Saudis will depend on the willingness of their allies to engage alongside them, and a steep learning curve in the methods of political and proxy warfare.
Credit to Middle East Forum
Read more at https://www.meforum.org/7034/tehran-is-winning-war-for-middle-east#OftUmvo732MkvRwV.99