Here is the Sixth Seal Zone (Revelation 6:12)

Here are the hidden earthquake zones you don’t know about

April 13, 2020

Let’s get able to (probably) rumble.

A report this week from the Los Angeles Instances took a have a look at what a devastating earthquake may do to Los Angeles — and the classes to be discovered from the calamitous 6.three magnitude quake in 2011 that every one however flattened Christchurch, New Zealand.

However whereas People are conscious of the San Andreas fault and the seismic exercise in California, which has wreaked havoc in San Francisco and Los Angeles, there are different, lesser-known fault traces in the United States that fly dangerously underneath the radar. These cracks in the crust have prompted appreciable harm in the previous — and scientists say will achieve this once more.

Virginia Seismic Zone

In 2011, New Yorkers had been jolted by a 5.eight magnitude earthquake that shook the East Coast from New Hampshire all the approach down by means of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The quake’s epicenter was in Mineral, Virginia, about 90 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and was so highly effective that Union Station, the Pentagon and the Capitol Constructing had been all evacuated.

The quake woke lots of people in the northeast as much as the Virginia Seismic Zone (VSZ) under the Mason Dixon — and the consequential results it may have on main cities alongside the East Coast. The final time the VSZ prompted a lot chaos was in 1867 when it launched an earthquake of 5.6-magnitude — the strongest in Virginia’s historical past.

Ramapo Fault Zone

It’s not simply the Virginia Seismic Zone New Yorkers have to fret about. Nearer to house is the Ramapo Fault Zone, which stretches from New York by means of New Jersey to Pennsylvania and was most energetic tens of millions of years in the past throughout the formation of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s answerable for a number of of the fault traces that run by means of New York Metropolis, together with one underneath 125th Avenue. In line with a New York Publish report in 2017, “On common, the area has witnessed a reasonable quake (about a 5.zero on the Richter scale) each hundred years. The final one was in 1884. Seismologists say we will anticipate the subsequent one any day now.” Enjoyable occasions!

The New Madrid Seismic Zone

This 150 mile-long sequence of faults stretches underneath 5 states: Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky, and is answerable for 4 of the largest earthquakes in the historical past of the United States, which befell over three months from December 1811 and February 1812. The quakes had been so robust the mighty Mississippi River flowed backward for 3 days. Fortunately, the space was not as populated as it’s now, so the harm was restricted. Nonetheless, a FEMA report launched in 2008 warned {that a} quake now could be catastrophic and end in “the highest financial losses as a consequence of a pure catastrophe in the United States.”

The Northern Sangre de Cristo Fault

In 2011, a magnitude 5.three quake hit Trinidad, Colorado, one other space that has seen little seismic exercise on such a big scale. In line with the Colorado Division of Homeland Safety and Emergency Administration, The Sangre de Cristo Fault, which lies at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains alongside the japanese fringe of the San Luis Valley, and the Sawatch Fault, which runs alongside the japanese fringe of the Sawatch Vary, are “two of the most distinguished probably energetic faults in Colorado” and that “Seismologists predict that Colorado will once more expertise a magnitude 6.5 earthquake at some unknown level in the future.”

The Cascadia Subduction Zone

One in every of the most probably harmful fault traces lies north of California, stretching between Oregon and Washington. Main cities like Portland, Seattle and Vancouver lie alongside the Cascadia Subduction Zone, which scientists say has the functionality of a 9.zero or 10 magnitude earthquake — 16 occasions extra highly effective than the 1906 quake which ravaged San Francisco. A quake of this magnitude would have devastating penalties on infrastructure and will probably set off large tsunamis. The risk is so nice, the BBC even did a nifty video on the potential MegaQuake risk.

The Newest Weapon of the US Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

United States New Bomber
The B-21 Raider stealth bomber is unveiled at Northrop Grumman.

‘Deterrence the American way’: What the Air Force’s B-21 stealth bomber means

The U.S. Air Force unveiled the Northrop Grumman-made B-21 stealth bomber earlier this month, providing the public with its first look at what defense leaders have described as the “backbone” of its future bomber force.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin attended the reveal at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, and the B-21 represents the Pentagon’s first new bomber in more than three decades.

“The B-21 will form the backbone of the future Air Force bomber force,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Designed to operate in tomorrow’s high-end threat environment, the B-21 will play a critical role in ensuring America’s enduring airpower capability.”

Once completed, the stealth bomber will be nuclear-capable and designed to accommodate manned and unmanned operations.

Austin, at the unveiling, said that the bomber represents “deterrence the American way,” and he spoke about the developments between the B-21 and its predecessor, the B-2 Spirit bomber, saying, “Fifty years of advances in low-observable technology have gone into this aircraft.”

One key aspect of the new bomber is that it’s “highly adaptable” and will be able to handle weapons not yet created, the secretary added.

“The Raider was built with open-system architecture, which makes it highly adaptable,” Austin said. “As the United States continues to innovate, this bomber will be able to defend our country with new weapons that haven’t even been invented yet. And the B-21 is multi-functional. It can handle anything from gathering intel, to battle management, to integrating with our allies and partners. And it will work seamlessly across domains, and theaters, and across the joint force.”

The Air Force has announced its intention to acquire 100 B-21 Raiders, though only six are in various stages of final assembly, and the first flight is tentatively set for 2023.

In the backdrop of the Pentagon’s unveiling of the B-21 is the Chinese military’s continued growth and aggression and Russia’s war in Ukraine.

A recent report from the department released in late November revealed that China’s operational nuclear warheads stockpile has likely surpassed 400 already and that it could exceed 1,500 by 2035 on their current pace.

Austin, a week after the B-21 unveiling, warned that the U.S. is on the verge of a dangerous new phase while the country goes up against two nuclear powers in China and Russia as both are “expanding and modernizing” their nuclear arsenals.

“Today, STRATCOM faces new challenges,” he said. “The United States is on the verge of a new phase, one where for the first time, we face two major nuclear powers as strategic competitors. The People’s Republic of China is expanding and modernizing and diversifying its nuclear forces, and Russia is also modernizing and expanding its nuclear arsenal. And as the Kremlin continues its cruel and unprovoked war of choice against Ukraine, the whole world has seen Putin engage in deeply-irresponsible nuclear saber-rattling.”

The Department of Defense has commonly referred to China as its “pacing challenge” and Russia as an “acute threat,” though it views China as the only power that has the intent and capability to reshape the international order in its favor.

China’s state-run Global Times quoted a Chinese military expert, Zhang Xuefeng, who said the upgrades from previous bombers to the B-21 “will significantly enhance the bomber’s stealth capability” and will “receive a stronger capability in defense penetration.”

A Foreshadowing of the Bowls of Wrath: Revelation 16

Protesters hold up a white piece of paper against censorship as they march during a protest against Chinas strict “zero...

Photograph by Kevin Frayer / Getty

In the late twentieth century, the American psychic Jeane Dixon, nicknamed the Seeress of Washington, won a huge following after predicting, in a 1956 magazine article, that a man resembling John F. Kennedy would be elected President four years later—and then die in office. But she also said that the Third World War would begin in 1958 and that the Soviet Union would land the first man on the moon. Soothsaying is not science.

Yet some of the trend lines for the world in 2023 are already visible; the wars and crises of 2022 will shape the challenges of the New Year. Among them, ruthless autocrats are exerting their might in ways that strain the diplomatic bandwidth, financial resources, and arms stockpiles of democracies. None of the world’s most troubling crises—Vladimir Putin’s gruesome invasion of Ukraine, Xi Jinping’s unprecedented https://andrewtheprophet.commilitary drills around Taiwan, Iran’s nuclear advances and arms sales to Russia, Kim Jong Un’s record missile provocations, the Taliban’s increasingly draconian rule in Afghanistan, the takeover of Haiti by hundreds of gangs, and the spread of isis franchises across Africa—seem likely to abate anytime soon.

Three decades after the fall of the Soviet Union marked the so-called end of history, 2022 marked the “return of history,” Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, noted this month. It’s a sobering reflection of the trajectory of humanity. The globalizing interdependence of the early twenty-first century has not prevented a resurgence of aggression that has already killed tens of thousands. Global organizations—most notably the United Nations, formed after the previous century’s two devastating World Wars—have appeared largely powerless to stop the bloodshed. As 2022 ended, roughly half of the world’s democracies were in decline, according to the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, in Sweden. Polarized societies didn’t trust elections. Corruption had become intractable. Civil liberties and press freedoms were threatened.

This year’s failures set an ominous precedent for the year ahead. “As the divide between the world’s democracies and autocracies hardens, the world is entering a renewed period of competition and confrontation,” Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former Danish Prime Minister and a nato Secretary-General, told Foreign Policy, in September. But the long-term agendas of thugocrats face obstacles at home and abroad despite the autocratic ways of leaders even in Moscow and Beijing and Tehran.

In Russia, Putin publicly fashioned himself in June as a twenty-first-century Peter the Great, with irredentist visions of conquering neighbors to restore the Russian Empire. The war in Ukraine looks like it could slog on—killing thousands more on both sides—well into 2023, and even beyond. “It is too late for Putin to give up on the biggest undertaking of his career,” Eugene Rumer, a former U.S. intelligence specialist on Russia now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, wrote this month. “He might as well keep the war going hoping to prevail somehow and then write the final chapter of his career as a winner. He would rather die trying or try until he dies.” The widespread assumption is that diplomacy, at best, is more likely to freeze the conflict than end Putin’s aggression, Sir Robin Niblett, the former director of Chatham House, the international think tank in London, told me.

For the first time in a half century, the U.S. is also seriously concerned about Moscow’s use of a nuclear weapon, especially if Putin begins to fear losing either the war or his own power. Nuclear weapons remained a central tenet of Russian strategic doctrine throughout and after the Cold War. This fall, Putin’s generals reportedly discussed how and when to potentially use a tactical nuclear weapon in Ukraine. “When the leader of a modern nuclear power, as Mr. Putin is, talks as recklessly and irresponsibly, as he has been doing, about the potential use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine, you’ve got to take it seriously,” John Kirby, of the National Security Council, told reporters.

Yet Putin’s aggression in Ukraine has also backfired. His invasion exposed the weakness of his military, the hapless strategies of his generals, and his own recklessness. Russia has suffered at least a hundred thousand casualties, the Pentagon said last month. Putin has faced internal defiance, too. Military conscripts have complained about being dispatched to the front lines with scant training and antiquated weaponry. Russian commentators have publicly questioned how Moscow has conducted the war. Western sanctions have imperilled his economy. Russia, for now, seems a superpower no more.

The invasion has also strengthened and revitalized nato, the opposite of what Putin intended. Before the war in Ukraine, it appeared sapped following President Donald Trump’s repeated threats to leave the organization and Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from the nato-led mission in Afghanistan. The alliance of thirty nations instead got a new mission—and more momentum than at any point since the Cold War ended. Sweden and Finland, which had resisted becoming members for more than seven decades, scrambled to join.

In China, Xi engineered a historic third term as the President of the world’s most populous nation at the Communist Party Congress in October. He has more power—and, some experts claim, more ambitious military, economic, and regional goals—than any Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. He has threatened to use “all measures necessary” to reunify Taiwan with the mainland. At a summit in Bali, in November, Xi told President Biden that intervening on Taiwan’s behalf is the “first red line” that the U.S. better not cross.

Washington and Beijing, however, are not yet in a new Cold War, Ian Bremmer, the president of the Eurasia Group, told me. “It’s not just Biden saying that. Xi has no interest in it. And there’s far too much interdependence,” despite the intense competition over technology and Taiwan, he noted. For all of Xi’s new political muscle, he needs Western trade to reverse his flagging economy. U.S. allies don’t want to be forced to choose between the two economic and military powerhouses either, Bremmer said. Like Putin, Xi’s seeming omnipotence was challenged recently when protests in multiple cities demanded an end to his sweeping “zero covid” policy. A government that spent years tightening control over communications—particularly the Internet—struggled to prevent videos of demonstrations and police brutality from going viral. Xi ended up ceding ground by easing restrictions.

In a bid to shore up their positions at home and counter the West, Putin and Xi expanded their alliance in 2022. On the eve of the Olympic Games in February, the two leaders—wearing matching mauve ties—boasted that their partnership with “no limits” would create a “new era.” Putin backed China’s claim to Taiwan, while Xi agreed that nato expansion in Europe threatened Russia. The breadth of their growing military coöperation was visible in September, when China deployed more than two thousand troops, twenty-one warplanes, and three warships for a joint exercise in Russia. A few months later, Russia and China flew joint patrols—including bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons—over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea.

In the short term, the two major powers in Europe and Asia are more cohesive and less vulnerable to U.S. pressure, Niblett said. In 2023, the divide between the West and the Russia-China alliance is likely to deepen. But the U.S. is strengthening its position by linking its allies in the Atlantic and the Pacific: it has done this by drawing Japan, South Korea and Australia closer to nato and the G7. At the same time, it is encouraging the Europeans to turn their rhetorical commitments to Indo-Pacific security into practical steps, Niblett told me.

In Iran, President Ebrahim Raisi consolidated hard-line control over the executive, legislative, judicial, and military branches of government. The regime rigidly enforced social codes and further restricted personal freedoms. After more than a year of diplomacy about reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, Tehran also balked at terms agreed to by the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China—and accelerated its nuclear program. It would now need less than a week to have enough enriched uranium to fuel a bomb. (Other steps are required to build it.) Iran also provided hundreds of drones to Moscow that Russian forces used to destroy infrastructure and kill civilians in Ukraine. Revolutionary Guards were dispatched to Crimea to train their Russian counterparts, according to U.S. and British intelligence officials.

Yet, in the fall, a new generation, led by teen-age girls and other young women, mobilized months of protests across the country after the death of a twenty-two-year-old woman who had been detained for not covering enough of her hair. It was the boldest challenge to the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution—at a time when the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is aged and ailing. “For 2023, I predict the biggest story will be Iran and the interplay of protests, possible succession at the top, and the nuclear issue,” Haass, the Council on Foreign Relations president, told me.

“It was not all bad though,” Haass said of 2022. America’s main rivals faced internal troubles at the same time that many of the worst democracy deniers were defeated in the U.S. midterm elections. The West demonstrated resilience and a reinvigorated unity, he noted. So did protesters across continents. “From Mariupol to Managua, from Kabul to Kigali, from Taipei to Tehran, we have witnessed innumerable acts of bravery and defiance on behalf of freedom and against authoritarian aggression,” Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that monitors democracy worldwide, said last week. For all the extraordinary crises that the U.S. and other democracies will have to navigate in 2023, the thugocrats are likely to face their own challenges, too. ♦

Russian Horn wants to use Nuclear Weapons: Revelation 16

Russian military officer expresses his view of-tactical-weapons
Russian President Vladimir Putin oversees the training of the strategic deterrence forces, troops responsible for responding to threats of nuclear war, via a video link in Moscow on October 26, 2022. A Russian lieutenant colonel recently said that the efficacy of a tactical nuclear weapon can be increased in certain conditions.PHOTO BY ALEXEI BABUSHKIN/SPUTNIK/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Russian Military Officer Says He Has ‘Favorable View’ of Nuclear Weapon Use

BY FATMA KHALED ON 12/30/22 AT 11:45 AM ESTPauseUnmute

ARussian lieutenant colonel endorsed the idea of using tactical nuclear weapons in the Ukraine war and warned that Russia has identified how to maximize the weapons’ impact.

During a Russian TV segment posted on Thursday by BBC Monitoring reporter Francis Scarr, host Vladimir Solovyov asked the officer on the show Solovyov Live about the “idea” of using tactical nuclear weapons. The officer, whose name wasn’t translated and included in the video’s subtitles, talked about how meteorological conditions might affect the use of tactical nuclear weapons.

“Well, I have a favorable view on that! You know, in the 2000s, we did research in that area and I can tell you that in certain hydrometeorological parameters of atmosphere and land mass, hydrology and land mass, the efficacy of a tactical nuclear weapon can be increased at least 6- to 8-fold,” the officer said. “It’s a very serious topic and of course from the point of view of the weather factor, it’s significant too.”

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The officer noted that using tactical nuclear weapons could “fundamentally change the tide of battle.” Russia has struggled in the 10-month-old war, a surprise to many given its military superiority, and some have speculated that the risk of using nuclear weapons increases as Russia faces more setbacks.

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Russian military blogger Igor Girkin said this month that tactical nuclear weapons should be used by Russia, but against NATO, not Ukraine.

Girkin, who is also known as Igor Strelkov, is a former agent with Russia’s FSB security services and had a role in Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. He was asked during a recent interview about using nuclear weapons in Russia’s war with Ukraine.

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“I believe that if we use nuclear weapons first, we will soon get a retaliatory strike,” he said. “I believe that we should use tactical nuclear weapons.”

Girkin has criticized the way Russian forces have fought in Ukraine and highlighted mistakes made in tactics and mobilization. He recently said that Ukraine had already dealt Russia a “strategic defeat.”

READ MORE

Though Western countries are concerned that Russia might use nuclear weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in late October that there was “no need” to employ them.

The use of nuclear weapons has been repeatedly discussed on Russian state TV, but some experts expressed doubt that Putin would use them and questioned the strategic gain of doing so.

James Acton, co-director of the Nuclear Policy Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, told Newsweek in November how Russia could use nuclear weapons in Ukraine but added that it is “unlikely.”

He said that for increasing force by using nuclear weapons, there has to be an underground nuclear test in Russia, an above-ground nuclear test in Russia or a demonstration shot over international waters such as the Black Sea. Then there would be a demonstration shot over a sparsely inhabited part of Ukraine and using it against Ukrainian forces.

“I don’t claim to know which of these is most likely,” he said. “Even more escalatory options are possible. But I think they’re substantially less likely for first use.”

Israel Worries US Still Wants Another Iran-Obama Deal: Daniel 8

President Joe Biden is welcomed by Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.

Israel fears Biden still wants Iran nuclear deal, but US claims deal ‘not on the agenda’

American officials insist diplomacy remains best option to prevent Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon

By Peter Aitken | Fox News

Israel’s incoming PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaks out on Iran’s nuclear ambitions

Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lays out his agenda following his election victory on ‘Hannity.’

Israeli officials worry that the U.S. shift away from pursuing the Iran nuclear deal may prove temporary and that the deal remains a key focus for the Biden administration, despite comments to the contrary from officials in the past two weeks, according to a recent report in the country’s media.

“Unless the Biden administration works with its partners to trigger ‘snapback’ at the U.N. Security Council, the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) will sadly always be the on the table,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Fox News Digital. “Right now, the reason for no deal has more to do with politics and demands in Tehran than grandstanding from Washington.”

“Let’s hope what the administration is signaling between the lines about the deal remains true the moment (Iranian leader Ali) Khamenei picks up the phone,” Taleblu added. “It’s high time the administration see the linkage between the nuclear, regional, domestic and other challenges and formally pull the plug on an accord that would enrich Iran’s apparatus of domestic suppression and foreign aggression. Anything less than that is just talk.”

A video that surfaced online last week appeared to show President Joe Biden saying that the deal “is dead, but we’re not going to announce it.”

An Israeli official who took part in closed discussions about Iran told Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the government understood that despite Biden’s comments, the impression remained that a significant twist in the nuclear deal is coming within a few months.

Yet U.S. officials seem to think otherwise.

“The Iranians killed the opportunity for a swift return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA in September when they turned their backs on a deal that was on the table, approved by all,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “The JCPOA has not been on the agenda for months. It is not our focus.”

President Joe Biden is welcomed by Israeli caretaker Prime Minister Yair Lapid upon his arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – also known as the Iran nuclear deal – remained a key point in the Biden administration’s foreign policy plan for months. The effort to revive the deal has proven a divisive one in the U.S., but a number of countries in the Middle East – including Israel – have made it clear that they strongly oppose any deal of the kind.

On Dec. 22, State Secretary Antony Blinken said Iran “is engaging in destabilizing activities, dangerous activities,” including support for terrorist groups, destabilizing actions throughout the region.

“When the JCPOA … was actually enforced, it did exactly what it was designed to do,” Blinken said. “It put Iran’s nuclear program in a box. It was verified not only by international inspectors, it was verified by our own people, Iran’s compliance with that, including by the previous administration.”

“In our judgment, it was a grievous mistake to pull out of that agreement and to let Iran’s nuclear program out of the box, but that’s the reality that we inherited and that we’ve had to deal with,” he added, stressing the administration’s clear goal to ensure Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon. 

In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, Iranians protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the morality police.

In this photo taken by an individual not employed by the Associated Press and obtained by the AP outside Iran, Iranians protest the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini after she was detained by the morality police. (AP Photo/Middle East Images, File)

Part of that change in posture relates to the nationwide protests that have rocked Iran for more than 100 days following the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody of the nation’s morality police. The administration allegedly determined that Iran could not put down the protests without drastically improving its economic situation, which would make the nuclear deal more appealing.

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid estimated that the deal would provide Tehran with $100 billion a year, which Iran would use to “undermine stability in the Middle East and spread terror around the globe,” Reuters reported.

But the U.S. State Department and National Security Council stress that the protests instead made it clear that any deal with Iran would prove unacceptable, even as they continue to underscore the need to find diplomatic means to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

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“Since September, our focus has been on standing up for the fundamental freedoms of the Iranian people and countering Iran’s deepening military partnership with Russia and its support for Russia’s war in Ukraine,” the State Department spokesperson said.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greet each other as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi looks on during their meeting in Tehran, Iran, July 19, 2022.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, greet each other as Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi looks on during their meeting in Tehran, Iran, July 19, 2022. (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

“While the JCPOA has not been on our agenda for months, what is very much alive is President Biden’s absolute commitment to never allowing Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon,” the spokesperson continued. “We believe diplomacy is the best way to achieve that goal, but President Biden has also been clear that we have not removed any option from the table, and that a military option remains as a last resort.”

A National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson told Fox News Digital that the administration will “continue to confront Iran’s behavior in the region, protect our troops … and support the brave Iranian people demanding their basic rights and dignity – which the regime has long denied them.”

“We don’t see a deal coming together anytime soon,” the NSC spokesperson said. “Iran is killing its young people and selling UAVs to Russia to kill Ukrainians. Our focus is on practical ways to confront them in these areas.”

“We will continue taking action to impose costs on those who commit violence against peaceful protesters or otherwise seek to suppress their rights,” the spokesperson added. “Our diplomatic efforts under the Biden administration have also made space for other countries to join in our condemnation of Iran’s bad behavior.”

Jordanian King warns of escalation and conflict outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

 Jordan's King Abdullah II addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York City, US, September 20, 2022.  (photo credit: AMR ALFIKY/ REUTERS)

Jordanian King Abdullah warns of escalation and conflict over Jerusalem -analysis

Jordan’s warnings on the eve of Israel’s new government may be a preview of worse – or may be calculated to channel an existing narrative.

By SETH J. FRANTZMAN

Published: DECEMBER 29, 2022 21:00

Jordan’s King Abdullah II addresses the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York City, US, September 20, 2022.

Jordanian King Abdullah II warned on CNN of potential escalation and conflict due to concerns about tensions in Jerusalem, while Israel’s most right-wing government was sworn in.

In past conflicts, such as in May 2021 between Israel and Hamas, tensions in Jerusalem ostensibly led to the hostilities. In reality, there are many groups with an interest to create tensions over issues in Jerusalem, inflame the public over “threats” to al-Aqsa Mosque and then create a pretense for conflict.

A preview of worse to come?

Israel’s incoming government hands its adversaries a very easy lever over which one only has to push it a bit, and there can be a new “conflict.” Jordan’s warnings may be a preview of worse to come, or they may be calculated to channel an existing narrative, a kind of feedback loop of crisis.Top Articles

This isn’t the first time the Kingdom of Jordan has expressed concerns, and it’s not even the first time the king has made sure to move quickly due to a new government coming to power.

In April 2017, Abdullah met with US president Donald Trump, just months after he came into office. Jordan was concerned about Trump’s pro-Israel policies and the chance that the US might make a surprise announcement, such as moving its embassy to Jerusalem. In the end, the US did move the embassy, and the king went to Turkey, where he and the Turkish leader warned Israel and the US about the embassy move.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses with Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Jordan's King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for a group photo during an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, December 13, 2017 (credit: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses with Emir of Kuwait Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for a group photo during an extraordinary meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, December 13, 2017 (credit: REUTERS/OSMAN ORSAL)

“If the wrong step is taken regarding Jerusalem’s status, it will be the cause of indignation in the Islamic world,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the time, claiming any move would “dynamite the ground for peace, igniting new tensions and clashes.”

The script of “something is happening in Jerusalem, and it will cause an explosion that will set fire to the whole region” is one of the classic threats and clichés that go back to the 1920s. The threat of “war” is always held up over issues in Jerusalem, where we are told the “holy sites” will provoke a huge conflict.

These statements are made in English to English-language media, and they play into a confirmation bias in the West in which the Middle East is seen as “age-old conflicts” that date back “millennia” and where religion supposedly guides everyone.

This Orientalist trope is thus exploited by some leaders in the region, regardless of whether violence could break out. They don’t have to play into this; they could calm tensions. Sometimes, entirely fictitious crises are invented regarding Jerusalem and the status quo. Are the concerns worse this time?

Those who are willing to use violence over a perceived transgression at a holy site generally are those who are given permission by their leaders to be violent. That means there is plenty of place for messaging of moderation and coexistence and encouraging people not to overreact.

But there are other voices, such as groups like Hamas, which want to create a crisis every year. For them, whether it is “metal detectors” in Jerusalem’s Old City, or a property dispute or “settlers storming al-Aqsa,” there is always something that can be used to create the tensions that are necessary.

Jordan’s king sounded the alarm on the eve of Israel’s new government coming to power. The timing was clear. The message is also clear: There could be a new round of violence or an “intifada.” There are “redlines.” But the kingdom also gave itself a way out, because Abdullah said that “if people want to get into a conflict with us, we’re quite prepared… I always like to believe that, let’s look at the glass half full, but we have certain redlines… And if people want to push those redlines, then we will deal with that.”

 KING ABDULLAH of Jordan with President Isaac Herzog.  (credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)KING ABDULLAH of Jordan with President Isaac Herzog. (credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

There is potential for cooperation

But Jordan can also work with the current government.

It’s clear that the Bennett-Lapid government, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, tried to improve relations with Jordan. These relations had been cold. In 2018, the kingdom chose not to renew two land annexes, which were 25-year leases.

There was also a crisis in 2017 after an altercation in which a security guard shot two Jordanians, and he returned to Israel along with diplomatic staff. There were also the arrests in 2021 during rumors of a coup. Then in 2021, Crown Prince Hussein Bin Abdullah canceled a visit to Al-Aqsa Mosque. Jordan claimed the trip was canceled to “prevent Israel from undermining his first such trip to the city’s holy sites,” Reuters reported. Then there were reports in March 2021 about a spat over flights.

Overall, the trend was clear: Relations were publicly bad, even if security issues and other types of relations continued.

Now comes the warning. This way, if something does happen, the kingdom can say it warned Israel. On the other hand, the kingdom can also use any tensions later to blame Israel, even to distract from the crisis at home.

Jordan has many issues at home, including fuel protests; it wants sympathy and support from the international community. It could be quietly saying, Support Jordan because Israel’s new government is causing tensions, and we are a key to stability.

The kingdom is already knee-deep in the problems faced by the Syrian regime in southern Syria, Iranian-backed militias involved in the drug trade and trafficking and Iranian groups in Iraq that can threaten Jordan.

In addition, weapon-smuggling attempts from Jordan into Israel continues to be a problem. The trade in illegal weapons in the West Bank is in the spotlight, and Israel has had frequent clashes with groups in Nablus and Jenin.

All of this points to eroding control by the Palestinian Authority. Jordan, which once controlled the West Bank and continued to play a role in Palestinian issues after 1967, is keenly aware of this.

Add to this another controversy: In a recent recording, the Associated Press said senior Palestinian official Hussein al-Sheikh allegedly was heard bashing PA President Mahmoud Abbas and security chief Majed Faraj. This adds to the uncertainty.

And now, with the incoming right-wing Israeli government, concerns about the status quo in Jerusalem, Jordan’s internal tensions and the breakdown in law and order in Jenin and Nablus, a lot could go wrong.

The question now is whether every incident that can be exploited, will be exploited to cause a cycle of endless crisis. There is a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy here. Israel’s government is the most right-wing and religious in history, so it will be under scrutiny.

Russia’s Lavrov claims ‘irreversible’ arms race with Iranian nuclear horn: Daniel 8

Lavrov Iran
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian shake hands during a joint news conference as part of their meeting in Moscow on Aug. 31, 2022.

Russia’s Lavrov claims ‘irreversible’ arms race with Iran if nuclear deal not reached

Thu, December 29, 2022, 12:17 PM MST

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday claimed that Moscow supports the U.S. and its Western allies in finding a nuclear deal with Iran and warned against the threat of an “irreversible” arms race.

“The JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action] has no reasonable alternative,” he said in an interview with state owned media outlet RIA. “We consider it irresponsible to speculate about the notorious ‘Plan B’ and other unacceptable options.”

Lavrov claimed not securing a deal would lead “to escalation, an arms race, an open conflict with irreversible consequences.”

Though Russia played a critical role in attempting to revive a version of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, Moscow’s relationship with Tehran has strengthened since it invaded Ukraine — making it an international “pariah” among Western nations.

Russia first threatened to block any progression in nuclear negotiations with Iran after the U.S. and Europe slapped stiff international sanctions on it following its deadly invasion.

But by mid-March, Moscow instead demanded guarantees from Washington that its trade with Iran would not be affected by the sanctions so that a nuclear deal could be reached.

The White House said the monthslong negotiations with Iran would not act as an “escape hatch” for Russia, though Lavrov claimed he received written guarantees from the U.S. that it would adhere to his demands.

“We of course would not sanction Russian participation in nuclear projects that are part of resuming full implementation of the JCPOA. We can’t and we won’t, and we have not provided assurances beyond that to Russia,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

But despite Russia’s apparent support for the nuclear deal and more than a year’s worth of dealings, negotiations stalled again by September after Iran in late August threw a wrench in the negotiations by demanding additional changes to a draft proposal.

The demands prompted Western officials to take a bleak look at the prospect of ever securing a deal with Iran, and a video that surfaced last week appeared to show President Biden in early November proclaiming that the deal “is dead.”

A State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital this week that the “Iranians killed the opportunity for a swift return to mutual compliance with the JCPOA in September when they turned their backs on a deal that was on the table, approved by all.”

Lavrov JCPOA
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, arrives for a meeting with P5+1, European Union and Iranian officials during nuclear talks with Iran at the Beau Rivage Palace Hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland, on March 30, 2015.

“The JCPOA has not been on the agenda for months. It is not our focus,” the spokesman added.

Lavrov blamed the stalled negotiations squarely on the U.S. and Europe and said their efforts “have sharply slowed down, switching to rocking the internal political situation in Iran.”

The U.S., NATO and Kyiv have accused Iran of supplying Russia with Shahed drones, which have been used to strike civilian targets for months in Ukraine — though Moscow and Tehran claim that no such partnership exists.

“The Westerners started a fuss in the UN Security Council in connection with the alleged deliveries of Iranian ‘drones’ to Russia,” Lavrov continued.

He claimed Washington and its allies have no proof and echoed repeated denials that Iran is providing Russia with drones to arm its deadly war in Ukraine.

Iran nuclear
President Biden has vowed never to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

The White House contested these denials, and National Security Council strategic communications coordinator John Kirby in October told reporters, “There’s extensive proof of [Iranian drone] use by Russia against both military and civilian targets.”

“Yet, both Iran and Russia continue to lie about it,” he added. “They can lie to the world, but they certainly can’t hide the facts.”

Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.