The Risk of WWIII: Revelation 16

Explosions in Kyiv, Ukraine on February 24, 2022

The Risk of WWIII, Nuclear Weapons and Ukraine’s Victory: Interview with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia

Image provided by ТСН.ua.

According to the Ukrainian Minister of Defense, Oleksii Reznikov, President Zelenskyy gave the order to liberate the south of Ukraine.

And less than a day after this statement, we saw a sharp surge in the so-called shuttle diplomacy: The Turkish president had a phone call with Putin, and then with Zelenskyy.

The “grain corridor” was on the agenda, which unblocks Ukrainian ports for the grain export. However, it is unlikely that Putin can fully agree on this. Only in exchange for a significant easing of sanctions against Russia. If this does not happen, he’ll continue to use food as a weapon.

Like gas. On Monday, July 11, Gazprom stopped Nord Stream-1 for “scheduled” maintenance. However, everyone understands very well: Russia is deliberately “drying up” the European energy market in the midst of pumping gas for the next heating season in order to make key European capitals, primarily Berlin, more compliant.

How long will this war last? Is there a risk that the theater of military operations may go beyond the Ukrainian borders? discussed it with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Latvia, Edgars Rinkevičs.

As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund coverage of global conflicts. Help us continue funding the hard costs of in-depth coverage of the Ukraine invasion—including travel, hostile environment safety training, and the increased security expenses that arise from reporting in war zones.

– Do you actually believe in Ukraine’s victory and what does it depend on?

– Well, I’d say that we all do our best to help Ukraine to win this war. It’s very difficult to define a victory. But I think the definition of victory is important especially for protection of statehood, independence, liberty and also territorial integrity. And indeed I believe that Ukraine can do that. I also believe that we must help Ukraine as much as we can both politically, militarily and practically. So, yes, I do believe that you’ve already won in a sense that you were able to protect your capital, convince international public that Ukraine is able to defend itself. But of course this war is quite long. It’s going to last for some time. And of course we all should not only trust that you are going to win. Ukraine is going to win. But also we must help you.

– What is Ukraine’s victory from your point of view? Because there are many discussions now on that. Someone says that it’s the returning to the “borders” on February 24. Ukraine believes that we can return Donbas and Crimea as well.  

– My answer to this question, and I discussed it for many times with our Latvian and Western journalists, is very simple one: Ukraine is going to define what the victory means. Nobody should push Ukraine, Ukrainian people or government to making any concessions. We must help Ukraine to fight this war. So from that point of view I think this is very much up to you to define what the victory means.

– Do you believe that Putin can announce a full-scale mobilization in Russia?

– I think that we can’t exclude anything. But of course we should understand that announcing a full-scale mobilization, saying that there is a war, but not a “special military operation” how Kremlin is claiming it, is going to change perception in the public. I wouldn’t be concerned about what Russian president is going to announce or not. I’d say that our primary responsibility is to push for more sanctions against Russia, to cripple its war and economic machine, to do everything possible to help Ukraine as I’ve said both politically and militarily, but also financially to help you withstand Russian aggression. So from that point of view I’d be more concerned about further steps that EU, G7, NATO and all other organizations are doing rather than what Russians are going to announce, say or act.

– But do you think the West is doing enough right now in helping Ukraine to win this war?  

– I think, that, yes, indeed, we try to do as much as we can. But we also see that Ukraine is fighting against Russia in Donbas, losing a lot of soldiers, also some equipment, armaments, ammunition. Of course we must do more. And I think this is where some of the EU and NATO countries can make a difference. But when we were discussing some of the programs how to help Ukraine we’d come to the conclusion that the initial assistance was to send Soviet-made or Russian-made armaments, equipment and ammunition. But then we all understand that it’s not so much about Soviet-made equipment, because we are running short of it, but also the Western equipment, which is more efficient. That’s where I think some countries are really doing their best. Some countries are still trying to figure out what they should do. And some are not, let’s say, willing to do that. So from that point of view the general mood is to help. But some countries should do more.

– Is there a risk that this war can spread outside Ukraine?

– This is possible. That’s why we help Ukraine as much as we can. That’s why we in the Baltic states and Latvia were pushing for more NATO troops in the Baltic region. That’s why we are very happy to see that Finland and Sweden are joining the Alliance. That’s why we believe that we need to help countries like Moldova. And, yes, hearing this imperialistic narrative from the Kremlin and Putin, we should be ready to counter any kind of Russia’s either military expansion, propaganda warfare or any attempts to split the unity of the international community, particularly the unity of the West.

– Can the Russian aggression spread outside Ukraine to the Baltic states? We see how Kremlin is aggressive right now about the Kaliningrad issue. Is there a risk of the Third World War?

– I think that we in Latvia are already feeling this, the first global hybrid war where food and grain is being used as a weapon. And we all know this problem, we all know what Russian propaganda, what Russian diplomacy is doing, trying to influence African, Latin American and Asian nations. We saw that (Belarus President) Lukashenka was using migration as a weapon last year. So everything is a weapon. From that point of view, I would say that we are already in the first global hybrid war. About the Baltic states. We do understand all the risks. We follow the rhetoric, about “collecting” Russian lands, etc. That’s why we think that NATO Summit in Madrid has made a right decision to deploy more troops in the Baltic region and in Poland. And I think if Russians try to test NATO, they will be responsible for the consequences. Those consequences for them can be grave.

– You’ve just mentioned Belarus. Do you think that it should be equally responsible for the war against Ukraine as Russia?

– Yes, absolutely. That’s why we are pushing for the same set of sanctions against Belarus as against Russia. Absolutely, Lukashenka is responsible.

– What are the main Putin goals?  

– I think that the main goal is what he said addressing domestic audience. This is the restoration of the Russian empire. That’s the main goal.

– But can we say that all this is happening right now because he is preparing for his reelection in two years?

– Well, I don’t believe that you can elect tsar in Russia. I don’t believe that we are going to have any kind of real, free and democratic elections. This is going to be a kind of spectacle. So I don’t think he thinks about 2024 elections. I think he simply wants to have the empire. And we understand that it’s impossible without Ukraine, without crushing Ukraine. But I really believe that there won’t be any kind of electoral campaign. This is just going to be a pure circus for both domestic and foreign audience.

– I just mean that this war that Putin has started against Ukraine is the main theater of his electoral campaign in 2024.

– I think that this war is actually about the restoration of the empire. And elections are simply a kind of, you know, symbolical reaffirming support for him and his power. Look, I still remember how they usually had “elections” in the Soviet Union. Nobody actually elected the Soviet leaders in an open electoral campaign. That was simply a kind of a ceremony. So I do believe this also is going to be a kind of ceremony just to convince majority of Russian people that President, Duma and everyone else is elected. So I do believe that this is not about elections. This is about keeping power. And I think that he is now more dependent on his internal circle: security forces, Ministry of defense, but not on what people in Sankt-Peterburg or Vladivostok or elsewhere in Russia think. I think that the real constituency is those people who are sitting in the Kremlin rather than those people who are going to take part in the elections.

– Is there a risk that Russia can use its nuclear weapons? And should we, Ukraine first of all, raise the issue of Russia’s nuclear disarmament?

– The risk is there. The weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical or biological can be used. We should be prepared. But you know we are also … watching what Russian propaganda channels are saying. For example: “Look, we’ll use nuclear weapons against New York and Washington”. But let me remind those people that actually the U.S. plus UK are also nuclear powers. And any attack against any of those countries with nuclear weapons will produce counter reaction. But yes, indeed, we should have all kind of (contingency) plans for all kind of events.

– How can NATO change after Putin’s full-scale war against Ukraine?

– We are learning a lot from Ukraine, from your resistance. As for Latvia, our Minister of Defense just announced that we’ll reintroduce conscription, because we need to train our people to resist. We also learn from your experience on the battlefield. We all understand that air defense capability and coastal defense have to be strengthened. We are learning on these things. And we are also grateful to our Ukrainian friends for sharing that experience.

– Does Latvia feel itself more secure after the decisions made at the NATO summit in Madrid?

– Yes, indeed we have seen that allies do understand our concerns. But we also understand that security is the process, that security situation is changing. And I think that those decisions that have been taken in Madrid are good for the security of my country. But we understand that things were changed, there is a war and we initiated that discussion prior to the 24 February attack. Actually we were discussing those issues here in Riga at the NATO Foreign Ministerial meeting in December. And what we consider that those decisions that have been taken in Madrid are the absolute minimum to protect ourselves. And we’ve said to our friends and allies that we need to be flexible and be able to respond (to) any kind of threats. So, yes, Madrid decisions are good. But we all understand that the situation is rashly changing that we need to be able to respond very quickly if something happens.

– Do you believe that Ukraine can join the EU and NATO? And what will be faster?

– Ukraine now is the EU candidate country. So from that point of view I do believe that Ukraine can join the EU. And I think it was very good that this decision to invite both Ukraine and Moldova to start this kind of candidate process is a very good sign. About NATO, well, yes, I see that there is not a unanimous kind of feeling at NATO about inviting Ukraine to join the Alliance right now. But I think that NATO sees what Ukraine does. Ukraine is actually increasing its fighting capabilities a lot. My country has supported providing a MAP for Ukraine and Georgia since 2006-2008. And we continue doing that. And let me assure you — that stance is the same. It’ll be very difficult to convince also soon the 32 NATO members to accept your country. But I think right now we should focus on how to beat Russia. And if Ukraine wins the war, the mood in the EU and NATO, I think, will change. That’s why we are so much supporting Ukraine … The future of Ukraine belongs to the Europe and Euroatlantic family.

Antichrist Calls for Saving Iraq from Occupation, Terrorism, Corruption

Sadr Calls for Saving Iraq from Occupation, Terrorism, Corruption

Baghdad – Asharq Al-Awsat

Saturday, 13 August, 2022 – 09:30 

Supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr after Friday prayers in the Green Zone in Baghdad (AFP)

Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist Movement in Iraq, has unleashed a show of popular force driven by slogans of dissolving the parliament, holding early elections, and discrediting the legitimacy of authorities that took over the country after the ouster of President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

While followers of the religious scholar held protests in support of his demands for the judiciary to dissolve the parliament, the rival Coordination Framework launched rallies calling for preserving the state’s prestige and backing legitimate authorities.

The result was that Iraq has been rocked by demonstrations that are not only gripping its capital, Baghdad, but also other provinces.

Sadr, in a tweet, called Coordination Framework followers to support the Sadrist Movement’s call for the dissolution of parliament, early elections and the fight against corruption.

“According to my understanding, we and the Coordination Framework’s followers are in agreement about the existence of corruption and its pervasiveness in the country,” said Sadr according to a statement released by his office on Friday.

Addressing Coordination Framework supporters, Sadr said that his movement was also rallying for their sake, adding that Iraq has fallen captive to occupation, terrorism, and corruption.

“Let your demonstrations be a victory for reform, not a victory for the prestige of the state and the governments that ruled without any benefit for Iraq,” added Sadr.

“Do you not want your dignity, freedom, security, sustenance, safety and well-being, as we demand?!”

“Generally. Our hands are extended to you, the followers of the Coordination Framework, not its leaders, to try to fix what has been corrupted,” concluded the Shiite scholar.

Reassessing the Risk of Another War Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

A picture taken on Aug. 5, 2022, shows Palestinian rockets being fired from Gaza City in response to earlier Israeli airstrikes.

Reassessing the Risk of Another Gaza War

Aug 12, 2022 | 21:07 GMT

(MAHMUD HAMS/AFP via Getty Images)

A picture taken on Aug. 5, 2022, shows Palestinian rockets being fired from Gaza City in response to earlier Israeli airstrikes.

In the most recent conflict with Israel, Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers showed a higher threshold for escalation than the smaller Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group. But more Israeli attacks against the coastal enclave could eventually force Hamas to come to PIJ’s aid, possibly sparking a greater war in the Gaza Strip akin to that seen last year. On Aug. 6, Israel began a pre-emptive military campaign against the Palestinian militant group PIJ in the Gaza Strip, after Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) became convinced that PIJ fighters were plotting an imminent attack in retaliation for the IDF’s capture of the group’s high ranking leader in the West Bank earlier in the month. In the ensuing three-day conflict, PIJ claimed to fire around 1,100 rockets toward Israel, though a substantial number of them failed to reach Israeli airspace and most were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system. The conflict ended…

Ayatollah Khamenei hails Salman Rushdie stabbing

                            ‘Fatwa fired like a bullet’: Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei hails Salman Rushdie stabbing

‘Fatwa fired like a bullet’: Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei hails Salman Rushdie stabbing

After Salman Rushdie’s book ‘The Satanic Verses’ sparked outrage among Muslims in Britain, Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa – a death sentence – in 1989

CHAUTAUQUA, NEW YORK: Iran supporters have been celebrating the heinous attack on Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed up to 15 times, including once in the neck. Rushdie, 75, was stabbed by Hadi Matar, 24, as he was being presented to the stage for the CHQ 2022 event in Chautauqua, near Buffalo in upstate New York, on Friday, August 12 morning. Right after the attack, Rushdie was airlifted to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he underwent emergency surgery.

After Salman Rushdie’s book ‘The Satanic Verses’ sparked outrage among Muslims in Britain, Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa – a death sentence – in 1989. The book allegedly insulted the Prophet Mohammedand The Quran, prompting the leader to call for Rushdie’s death and to alert Muslims to those who could kill him if they couldn’t. Now, according to a Daily Mail report, Iran’s leader Ayatollah Khamenei, praising the stabbing of Salman Rushdie, has said the fatwa against the Satanic Verses author was ‘fired like a bullet’ that won’t rest until it hits its target

Antichrist’s followers hold mass prayer outside Iraqi parliament in show of force

Sadr followers hold mass prayer outside Iraqi parliament in show of force

Sadr followers hold mass prayer outside Iraqi parliament in show of force

•   13/08/2022 – 11:45

Sadr followers hold mass prayer outside Iraqi parliament in show of force   –   Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022

By Amina Ismail

BAGHDAD -Thousands of followers of Moqtada al-Sadr held a mass prayer outside parliament in Baghdad on Friday in a show of support for the powerful Shi’ite cleric who has called for Iraq’s judiciary to dissolve parliament by the end of next week.

Supporters of the populist leader have occupied the Iraqi parliament since July after a 10-month political stalemate that followed elections last October. Sadr was the biggest winner but failed to form a government free of Iranian-backed parties.

He withdrew his lawmakers from parliament and is now preventing the chamber from electing a new government and is demanding early elections.

On Wednesday he said the judiciary must dissolve parliament by the end of next week. If not “the revolutionaries will take another stand”, he said without elaborating.

Outside parliament on Friday thousands of Sadr supporters gathered for prayer. Most were dressed in black to mark the Muslim month of Muharram and some wore white capes symbolising burial shrouds and their willingness to die.

“You will not break Iraq as long as Sadr is here,” an imam told the crowd from a big red stage set up outside parliament. “There is no going back from this revolution … and the people will not give up their demands.”

In the intense summer heat, men picked their way through the worshippers and sprayed them with cold water. Some carried portraits of Sadr and his father, also a prominent cleric, as well as Iraqi flags.

“We have revolted and there is no going back,” said Mohammed Elwan, 40, carrying a portrait of Sadr.

Hamid Hussain, a father of five, said: “I am here to call for an early election and make sure that all the corrupt faces are excluded from the upcoming elections…I became unemployed because of the corrupt parties.”

Sadr’s opponents also accuse him of corruption. They say his loyalists have run some of Iraq’s most corrupt and dysfunctional government departments.

Iran-aligned political groups were expected to hold their own demonstration later on Friday, the latest in a series of protest and counter-protest in recent days which have led to fears of unrest.

Sadr counts millions of Iraqis among his followers and has shown he can still stir up gatherings by hundreds of thousands of supporters, mostly working-class Shi’ite Muslims, if he needs to exert political pressure.

His father Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr was killed more than 20 years ago for his outspoken opposition Saddam Hussein. When Saddam was topped in a U.S.-led invasion in 2003 Sadr began an insurgency against U.S. troops.

His new foes, however, are fellow Shi’ite leaders and parties mostly aligned with Iran, as Sadr has positioned himself as a nationalist who rejects foreign interference. Those groups, like Sadr, are backed by heavily armed militias, but do not hold the same sway as he does over masses of fanatical followers.

Did Trump Help the Saudis Go Nuclear? Daniel 7

sparks coming from paper

Here’s What Trump’s ‘Nuclear Documents’ Could Be

FBI agents reportedly searched Mar-a-Lago for “nuclear documents.” That can fall into one of these four categories.

Garrett M. GraffAug 12, 2022 1:55 PM

Yesterday evening, The Washington Post broke the blockbuster news that FBI agents who searched former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Monday were looking for “nuclear documents,” a phrase that immediately set off alarms inside national security circles. The nation’s nuclear systems and plans are considered among the most sensitive and most narrowly known secrets.

Trump denied the report, calling the “nuclear weapons issue” a “hoax.” But assuming the Post’s reporting is correct, what could such a vague phrase as “nuclear documents” mean, and what could we learn about such a category?

Broadly speaking, the US intelligence and defense communities would possess four different categories of files that might be considered “nuclear documents”: nuclear weapon science and design; other countries’ nuclear plans, including the nuclear systems and command of allied nations (UK, France) and adversaries (Russia, China, North Korea, Iran), as well as countries whose nuclear programs exist in a more gray zone (Israel, India, Pakistan); details on the United States’ own nuclear weapons and deployments; and details on US nuclear command & control procedures, known in Pentagon parlance as NC2.

Each category of these documents would carry with it some unique classification peculiarities. And all of them exist at the so-called Above Top Secret level, because a simple Top Secret clearance on its own isn’t enough to access the files.

Security classification procedures really began only in the 20th century, and were codified during the Cold War into three standard levels of classification: Confidential, Secret, and Top Secret, each carrying with it increased levels of control, storage, and more intensive background checks.

Under US law, Top Secret is specifically used to denote “national security information or material which requires the highest degree of protection” and information where, if disclosed, “could reasonably be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage” to national security. Day-to-day, almost anything interesting that the US intelligence or military does exists at that “Top Secret” level. Many US intelligence and military personnel will joke that “confidential” and “secret” information is rarely much more interesting or informed than reading the day’s newspapers.

The wide tranche of operations and intelligence that technically counts as Top Secret means that nearly all sensitive positions in the US government—including FBI agents, many military personnel, and most intelligence officers and analysts—come with a Top Secret clearance and background check standard. All told, according to research conducted by The Washington Postin the wake of 9/11, nearly a million Americans possess Top Secret clearances.

We’ve known since February that Donald Trump apparently took numerous documents from the White House, including documents classified at the Top Secret level. But the reporting this week has added two new wrinkles, both of which hint that the stuff hidden in Mar-a-Lago was even more sensitive.

That’s because virtually all the truly interesting secrets inside the US government aren’t just Top Secret, but come with additional levels of security clearance and special “need to know” access that restrict them even more tightly.

Nuclear science and design files, for instance, are uniquely classified as “Restricted Data.” These files are historically accessed through what’s known as a Q Clearance, a special background check and access protocol. (And yes, the Q Clearance is the “Q” in QAnon, a reference to that anonymous figure’s supposed clearance inside the US government.)

The Restricted Data designation was created by the Atomic Energy Act at the dawn of the Cold War and is now run by the Department of Energy, which oversees the nation’s nuclear weapon stockpiles and development. As nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein explained on Twitter today, the goal was to build a classification outside of the defense establishment that would allow scientific knowledge more flexibility than simply military applications.

“TS/RD” files are what’s known as “born classified,” in that, unlike other classified intelligence or scientific work, they are presumed to be highly classified from the moment of their creation. Effectively, rather than opting into classification, nuclear design and science have to opt out.

Meanwhile, NC2 documents—think documents relating to how the presidential nuclear football operates or how nuclear launch procedures would unfold—have historically had their own classification known as Extremely Sensitive Information (ESI), which again requires special access rights.

Some of the reporting around the Mar-a-Lago search, by ABC News’s Jonathan Karl and others, says that the FBI raid also pertained to what are known as Special Access Programs (SAPs), another unique classification category that usually deals with the most sensitive covert operations and technical capabilities of intelligence and defense systems. (The intelligence community has its own equivalent of the military’s SAPs, which are known as CAPs, or Controlled Access Programs.)

SAPs require someone to be “read into” the program specifically—meaning, they need to have a specific “need to know,” and the documents are carefully tracked to see who has read them and where they’re stored. Usually, individuals are “read into” an SAP in what amounts to a mini-ceremony of sorts, one that involves meeting with a specially cleared security officer and signing a specific nondisclosure agreement for that SAP. Over the course of an official’s career, the SAPs that they’re allowed access to are carefully tracked.

Beyond SAPs, which focus on capabilities, there’s another category of classified information known as SCI, “Sensitive Compartmented Information.” This designation is usually used for protecting what intelligence officials call “sources and methods.” Those could include the identity of a highly placed asset in a foreign government, for instance, or how the NSA has managed to technically penetrate a foreign military’s communication networks. According to Newsweek’s William Arkin, at least some of the documents sought in the FBI search related to “sources and methods.” And The Wall Street Journal reported this afternoon that a list of items removed from Mar-a-Lago includes “various classified/TS/SCI documents.”

SAPs and SCI are known by their own codenames. For example, the long-standing classification for our satellite reconnaissance was TALENT KEYHOLE, so documents protected by it were labeled “TS/SCI TALENT KEYHOLE.” (FBI Director Christopher Wray, who presumably was part of the team that signed off on this week’s Mar-a-Lago search, was a bit player in the Bush administration showdown over one of the best known and most infamous recent SAPs, STELLAR WIND, an NSA wiretapping program created after 9/11.)

Interestingly, for the purposes of the Mar-a-Lago search, SAPs can also protect nuclear research and development as well as the highly secret and protected presidential and military NC2 communication systems, which are known by their own special clearance, YANKEE WHITE.

There are additional levels of document classification restriction the US government uses to show what can be shared with whom: ORCON, which means Originator Controlled, prohibits information from being shared outside of the department or agency where that document was created; NOFORN prohibits information from being shared with any foreign officials; and REL TO FVEY means that the information can be released to countries and officials that are part of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance along with the US: the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

Almost regardless of the specifics, any of these “nuclear” categories—SCI, SAP, ESI, RD—denote and protect the most sensitive documents in the entire US government, and penalties for even an inadvertent security breach can be harsh.

Classified documents—and even just conversations about classified information—are never supposed to leave the special reading and conference rooms designed by the US government, known as SCIFs, or Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, which are sealed, windowless, specially built, and shielded to be impenetrable to electronic eavesdropping. (The US government even has special Airstream trailers modified to be portable SCIFs for Defense Department VIPs that travel aboard military cargo planes. And when high-level officials like the president travel, security officials build portable SCIFs inside hotel rooms.)

The Justice Department regularly prosecutes those who mishandle or incorrectly take classified documents out of such secure facilities.