Antichrist Calls for Another Demonstration (Revelation 13:18)

Sadr calls for peaceful demonstration in front of Baghdad Federal Supreme Court
The Iraqi Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. File photo.
( Baghdad – Iraqi Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called Iraqis for a peaceful demonstration against corruption, in front of the headquarters of the Federal Supreme Court in Baghdad next Tuesday.
Sadr said in a press statement, “Dear people, over the years, your voices rise and none of the authorities’ is higher than yours; your money was stolen, your rights were violated and terrorism is missing with your abilities,” adding that, “Let us make a peaceful epic where your voices will be heard next Tuesday in front of the headquarters of al-Sa’a Court (Federal Supreme Court) outside the Green Zone, to reject and condemn the return of the corrupted officials, whether the vice Presidents or anyone else.”
“The demonstrations should not be limited to a specific movement or party, it is the fate of all Iraqis,” Sadr added.
On Monday, Sadr called for popular demonstrations in front of the Federal Supreme Court after Ashura celebrations, and decided to postpone the negotiations with the National Alliance, after the Federal Supreme Court canceled the decree of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to sack the Vice Presidents Nouri al-Maliki, Iyad Allawi and Osama al-Nujaifi.

Nuclear Modernisation of Babylon the Great

The United States’ replacement and upgrade of aging nuclear weapons reflect a need to maintain the nation’s deterrence posture, but the modernization push does not signal a renewed arms race, former deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear and missile policy Brad Roberts told Sputnik.
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Roberts served as US deputy assistant defense secretary for nuclear and missile defense policy from April 2009 to March 2013. In that role, he also served as policy director of the Obama administration’s Nuclear Posture Review.
“Modernizing these systems is a challenge that the country did not face from the end of the Cold War until quite recently — meaning, when the Cold War ended, we had just been through the Reagan defense buildup,” Roberts said on Tuesday.
“There were new nuclear submarines, new nuclear bombers, new ICBMs, new warheads and bombs, a new command-and-control system, and for essentially 30 years we have lived on the coattails of those investments and now the bill has come due.”
“It is not as if the modernization plan is aimed at putting new technical capabilities in the ground that are significant improvements of what is already there, as it is simply a replacement program to ensure that we do not unilaterally disarm as the systems age.”
“Russia and China and North Korea are building up and so is Pakistan,” according to Roberts. “And of course we can agree that the world would be a better place if Russia and China and India and Pakistan, and other states abandoned any interest in nuclear weapons.”
What would a world without nuclear weapons look like?
“Now there is an interesting question,” Roberts said. “Would this be a world in which conventional war would become the norm among major powers?”
He added: “We do not know the answer to that question, but it is certainly historically the case that the advent of the nuclear bomb punctuated the end of centuries of large-scale war among major powers. Now it may be that the pattern of war broke for other reasons, but you cannot prove that hypothesis.”
In contrast to the Cold War, nuclear arms play a relatively small but necessary role in the United States’ current defense strategy.
“Nuclear weapons do not play the kind of global roles they played during the Cold War in supporting our military strategy and posture, and they do not play a role in our global power projection,” Roberts averred. “But they do play a unique role on preventing nuclear armed states from directly attacking interests of the United States and its allies.”

Korea Nukes Targeted At US (Daniel 7)

Doug Bandow Contributing writer, policy analyst
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un continues his confrontational course. After conducting his nation’s fifth nuclear test, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter declared it to be a “direct challenge to the entire international community.”
But this is complete hooey, to use a technical term. It’s about time for the “international community” to stop acting as if there really is an international community. And especially that any of the many bad guys around the globe pay the slightest attention to that mythical body.
About 7.4 billion people live on the earth. Little other than their common humanity binds them together. They organize themselves differently politically, rely on varying economic systems, hold dramatically conflicting religious beliefs, and indulge in myriad cultural practices. They certainly don’t fall in behind the values and policies, largely Western, most often articulated in the name of the “international community.”
By the same token, there is no international community which either frightens or punishes errant nations. A global poll might find a majority of people don’t like North Korea’s Kim, though one suspects that more people wouldn’t know or care about him. And there’s certainly no consensus of the world’s seven-plus billion people behind whatever policy the U.S. government, let alone Secretary Carter, might advocate.
Even more, however, it’s fair to assume that Kim isn’t much concerned about what the “international community” thinks, let alone intends to “challenge” it. Kim, like his father and grandfather before him, has more specific foreign targets in mind.
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea faces manifold threats and potential threats. The “international community” is not one of them. There is no global decision-maker to challenge the DPRK or multi-national army to fight the North Koreans. The United Nations Security Council might impose sanctions, but that body is only a tool of its members, and enforcement is possible only through them.
So Pyongyang adopts the perfectly sensible policy of targeting those countries, not the fantasy “international community.” Why nukes? It’s not hard to figure out.
First, and most important, there’s the South Korea-U.S. alliance. Notwithstanding the North’s always over-the-top rhetoric, Pyongyang recognizes America’s power. When I visited years ago, party officials told me how proud they were to have rebuilt the capital after the U.S. air force had leveled it during the Korean War. And American capabilities obviously are much greater today. Deterring the U.S. is no easy task, especially for the government of an impoverished, sometimes starving society; nuclear weapons are about the cheapest, most effective means of doing so.
After all, Washington’s proclivity for regime change does not run to nuclear powers. Indian army officials made this observation after the first Gulf war. The DPRK was brutally dismissive of Moammar Qaddafy’s decision to give up his nuclear and missile programs; Pyongyang made clear that it would not make a similar mistake. And it is hard to blame any adversary of America for coming to the same conclusion.
While the U.S. might be the main target—in a deterrent sense, not for a suicidal first strike—it is not the only one. Japan, though only slowly abandoning its pacifist heritage, remains distrusted, even hated, by Pyongyang (as well as the Republic of Korea). Also on the North’s naughty list, ironically, are its traditional allies, Russia and China.
The DPRK began its nuclear program during the Cold War, when it still could theoretically rely upon support from both the People’s Republic of China and Soviet Union. But North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung jealously guarded his regime’s independence. He preferred not to depend on anyone; despite being rescued by the PRC after his invasion of the Republic of Korea went awry, his regime little recognized Beijing’s critical role. However, only nuclear weapons would free the North of reliance on its supposed friends.
Moreover, these days it’s not so clear either qualifies as a friend. The Soviet-Pyongyang relationship essentially ruptured after the end of the Cold War, when Moscow established diplomatic relations with the ROK. Although bilateral relations recently rebounded, Russia remains a minor player in Korean affairs. Moscow does little to pressure or support the North.
In contrast, the PRC plays a much larger role in DPRK affairs, and therefore is resented much more in Pyongyang. Chinese enterprises heavily invest in and trade with the North; one reason offered for the execution of Kim Jong-un’s uncle nearly three years ago was the “selling of precious resources of the country for cheap prices” to the PRC. Beijing pressured all three Kim regimes to reform the economy and abandon the nuclear program. Pyongyang consistently dismissed the PRC’s advice, sometimes in humiliating fashion. Given the barely suppressed hostility on both sides, the two might better be referred to as frenemies than allies.
Although it is difficult to imagine North Korea ever using nuclear weapons against China, once the former possesses a viable arsenal it will be largely independent of the PRC’s influence. Although Beijing still could cut off energy and food assistance, the collapse of North Korea if it possessed a sizeable arsenal could be truly catastrophic. China would be more hostage than master of its much smaller neighbor.
The DPRK also uses its nuclear program to extort benefits from its neighbors—most notably South Korea, China, and Japan—as well as America. Finally, nukes provide Pyongyang with prestige, perhaps the only sense in which the program is meant to challenge the “international community.”
Even then the U.S. might not succeed. Indeed, there is little reason to believe that Pyongyang is inclined to yield its existing nuclear weapons under any circumstances. But better to try without having any illusions about the role of the “international community.”

Russia and China Horn Oppose The US (Daniel 7)

Top military officials from Russia and China blasted Washington on Tuesday over the missile systems during the 7th annual Xiangshan regional defense forum in Beijing.
The officials said the move by Washington and Seoul represented a threat to regional stability and was a step towards a new global arms race.
Washington was using Pyongyang’s nuclear tests as a pretext to gain military superiority over China, Chinese general Cai Jun told military officials at a briefing on the forum’s sidelines.
Deploying THAAD in South Korea was “not conducive to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula”, he said, adding “it has increased the risk of military conflict in the region.”
Washington’s insistence on developing THAAD could trigger “an arms race at a high level, even to outer space,” Cai said. “We are concerned about the attempts of certain nations to exploit the complex situation in the Korean peninsula.”
Beijing fears that the US missile system could be used against Chinese missiles, which would undermine China’s nuclear deterrence capabilities against the US.
“China and Russia have similar positions about strategic anti-ballistic missile systems and oppose attempts by any nation or group of nations to create such systems unilaterally at the expense of strategic international security,” the Chinese general said.
Speaking alongside the Chinese official, Russian Lieutenant General Viktor Poznikhir said the US missile system in Europe threatens Russia’s security and needs to be countered with better ballistic missiles.
American deception over the deployment of its missile system in Europe is underscored by the fact that the project continues despite a nuclear agreement with Iran, which Washington claimed to be the main target for the antimissile shield, Poznikhir said.
The Russian official added that in addition to undermining Russian and Chinese nuclear deterrence, the US system poses a potential threat to any nation pursuing space exploration. He said Russia and China are forced to respond to these threats and preserve the strategic balance of power.
The system’s “anti-satellite capability is one of the reasons why the US rejects any treaties on banning weapons in space,” Poznikhir said. “The actions of the US do not give credibility to their statements that Russian and Chinese missiles and satellites are not considered targets for their antimissile systems.”