Nostradamus and the Sixth Seal

The Sixth Seal by Nostradamus

To Andrew the Prophet

Completed February 5, 2008

Les Propheties

(Century 1 Quatrain 27)

Michel de Nostredame Earth-shaking fire from the center of the earth.Will cause the towers around the

New City

to shake,Two great rocks for a long time will make war, And then Arethusa will color a new river red.(And then areth USA will color a new river red.) Earth-shaking fire from the center of the earth.Will cause the towers around the

New City

to shake,Two great rocks for a long time will make war

There is recent scientific evidence from drill core sampling in

Manhattan, that the southern peninsula is overlapped by several

tectonic plates. Drill core sampling has been taken from regions south of Canal Street including the Trade Towers’ site. Of particular concern is that similar core samples have been found across the East River in Brooklyn. There are also multiple

fault lines along Manhattancorrelating with north-northwest and northwest trending neo-tectonic activity.

And as recently as January and October of 2001,

New York City has sustained earthquakes along these plates. For there are “two great rocks” or tectonic plates that shear across Manhattan in a northwestern pattern. And these plates “for a longtime will make war”, for they have been shearing against one other for millions of years. And on January 3 of 2010, when they makewar with each other one last time, the sixth seal shall be opened, and all will know that the end is near.And then Arethusa will color a new river red.

Arethusa is a Greek mythological figure, a beautiful huntress and afollower of the goddess Artemis. And like Artemis, Arethusa would have nothing to do with me; rather she loved to run and hunt in the forest. But one day after an exhausting hunt, she came to a clear crystal stream and went in it to take a swim. She felt something from beneath her, and frightened she scampered out of the water. A voice came from the water, “Why are you leaving fair maiden?” She ran into the forest to escape, for the voice was from Alpheus, the god of the river. For he had fallen in love with her and became a human to give chase after her. Arethusa in exhaustion called out to Artemis for help, and the goddess hid her by changing her into a spring.But not into an ordinary spring, but an underground channel that traveled under the ocean from Greece to Sicily. But Alpheus being the god of the river, converted back into water and plunged downthe same channel after Arethusa. And thus Arethusa was captured by Artemis, and their waters would mingle together forever. And of great concern is that core samples found in train tunnels beneath the Hudson River are identical to those taken from

southern Manhattan. Furthermore, several fault lines from the 2001 earthquakes were discovered in the Queen’s Tunnel Complex,

NYC Water Tunnel #3. And a few years ago, a map of Manhattan

drawn up in 1874 was discovered, showing a maze of underground waterways and lakes. For Manhattan was once a marshland and labyrinth of underground streams. Thus when the sixth seal is broken, the subways of the New City shall be flooded be Arethusa:the waters from the underground streams and the waters from the sea. And Arethusa shall be broken into two. And then Arethusa will color a new river red.And then areth USA will color a new river red.

For Arethusa broken into two is areth USA. For areth (αρετη) is the Greek word for values. But the values of the USA are not based on morality, but on materialism and on wealth. Thus when the sixth seal is opened, Wall Street and our economy shall crash and “arethUSA”, the values of our economy shall fall “into the red.” “Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?’” (Revelation 6:15-17)

North Korea says it fired ICBM as warning

 North Korea says it fired ICBM as warning to US, Seoul

North of Korea says it fired ICBM as warning to US, Seoul

North Korea says it had test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Saturday as a warning to Washington and Seoul

Seoul – North Korea said Sunday it had test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile as a warning to Washington and Seoul, saying the successful “surprise” drill demonstrated Pyongyang’s “capacity of fatal nuclear counterattack”.

Leader Kim Jong Un ordered the “sudden launching drill” at 8 am Saturday (2300 GMT) and a Hwasong-15 missile — a weapon first tested by the North in 2017 — was fired from Pyongyang airport that afternoon, the official KCNA reported.

South Korea’s military said it detected an ICBM launch at 17:22 (0822 GMT) Saturday, which Japan said flew for 66 minutes before splashing down in its Exclusive Economic Zone, with their analysis indicating it was capable of hitting the mainland United States.

North Korea’s leadership hailed the test — the country’s first in seven weeks — saying it showed “the actual war capacity of the ICBM units which are ready for mobile and mighty counterattack”, KCNA said.

The launch was “actual proof” of the country’s “capacity of fatal nuclear counterattack on the hostile forces”, it added.

The sanctions-busting launch came just days before Seoul and Washington are due to start joint tabletop exercises aimed at improving their response in the event of a North Korean nuclear attack.

Pyongyang had last week warned of an “unprecedentedly” strong response to upcoming drills, which it describes as preparations for war and blames for the deteriorating security situation on the Korean peninsula.

– New milestone? –

The Saturday test is significant as “the event was ordered the day-of and so this is not so much a traditional ‘test’, but an exercise,” US-based analyst Ankit Panda told AFP.

“We should expect to see additional exercises of this sort,” he added.

The exercise appeared to be “Kim’s way of telling the US and ROK that his country is continuing to hone its ballistic missile capabilities for eventual use in a real-time scenario”, said Soo Kim, a former CIA Korea analyst who now works at management consulting firm LMI.

“The weapons aren’t for display only,” she told AFP. “This layer of imminence is probably intended to intimidate the allies, notably as they’re making efforts to strengthen deterrence in the Korean Peninsula.”

But the nine-hour process from Kim Jong Un’s order to the actual launch was “a long time”, she said, suggesting Pyongyang may face “greater challenges in launching in a realistic scenario”.

Relations between the two Koreas are already at one of their lowest point in years, after North Korea declared itself an “irreversible” nuclear state and leader Kim called for an “exponential” increase in weapons production, including tactical nukes.

In response, South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol has sought to boost cooperation with key security ally America, pledging to expand joint military exercises and improve Washington’s so-called extended deterrence offering, including with nuclear assets.

On Sunday, North Korea spokeswoman and Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, claimed it was these moves by Seoul and Washington that “further endangers the situation every moment, destroying the stability of the region”, according to a KCNA report.

“I warn that we will watch every movement of the enemy and take corresponding and very powerful and overwhelming counteraction against its every move hostile to us,” she added.

All of this points to “the start of high-intensity provocations from North Korea,” Park Won-gon, professor at Ewha University, told AFP.

“What’s different from 2022 is that last year their justification was that the launches were part of their five-year military plan,” he said. 

“Now they are making clear that they will counter the United States and South Korea.”

Park said the redoubled aggression from Pyongyang could also indicate the domestic situation had worsened. South Korean officials recently warned the country could be facing severe food shortages after years of pandemic-linked isolation.

“North Korea always takes a hardline approach and creates external crisis as part of its ‘seize mentality’ tactic to overcome internal struggles. It is a typical North Korean behaviour to unite the people by highlighting the South Korea-US threat.”

Who Is The Antichrist? (Revelation 13)

Profile: Moqtada Sadr

Moqtada Sadr has been a powerful figure in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Although the situation has changed in the country since the radical Shia cleric went into self-imposed exile in Iran in 2007, he appears to have has lost none of his influence and has maintained his wide support among many of Iraq’s impoverished Shia Muslims.

At times he has called for a national rebellion against foreign troops and sent out his Mehdi Army militiamen to confront the “invaders” and Iraqi security forces.

At others he has appeared more compromising, seeking for himself a political role within the new Iraq and helping form the national unity government in December 2010.

He returned to Iraq on 5 January 2011. Weeks before the withdrawal of US troops from the country, as negotiations were ongoing between Baghdad and Washington over a possible extension of their mission, he threatened to reactivate the Mehdi Army in case an extension is agreed.

Prayer leader

The youngest son of Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq Sadr 
– who was assassinated in 1999, reportedly by Iraqi agents –Moqtada Sadr was virtually unknown outside Iraq before the March 2003 invasion.

But the collapse of Baathist rule revealed his power base – a network of Shia charitable institutions founded by his father.

Moqtada Sadr was virtually unknown outside Iraq before the invasion, but quickly gained a following

In the first weeks following the US-led invasion, Moqtada Sadr’s followers patrolled the streets of Baghdad’s Shia suburbs, distributing food, providing healthcare and taking on many of the functions of local government.

They also changed the name of the Saddam City area to Sadr City.

Moqtada Sadr 
also continued his father’s practice of holding Friday prayers to project his voice to a wider audience.

The practice undermined the traditional system of seniority in Iraqi Shia politics and contributed to the development of rivalries with two of Iraq’s Grand Ayatollahs, Kazim al-Hairi and Ali Sistani.

Moqtada Sadr drew attention to their links with Iran, whose influence on Iraq’s political and religious life his followers resented. Moqtada Sadr has become a symbol of resistance to foreign occupation

He also called on Shia spiritual leaders to play an active role in shaping Iraq’s political future, something most avoided.

Armed force

Moqtada Sadr also used his Friday sermons to express vocal opposition to the US-led occupation and the Iraqi Governing Council (IGC).

In June 2003, he established a militia group, the Mehdi Army, pledging to protect the Shia religious authorities in the holy city of Najaf.

He also set up a weekly newspaper, al-Hawzah, which the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) banned in March 2004 for inciting anti-US violence. The move caused fighting to break out between the Mehdi Army and US-led coalition forces in Najaf, Sadr City and Basra.

The following month, the US said an Iraqi judge had issued an arrest warrant for Moqtada Sadr in connection with the murder of the moderate Shia leader, Abdul Majid al-Khoei, in April 2003. Moqtada Sadr strongly denied any role.

The Mehdi Army was involved in fierce fighting with US forces in August 2004 in Najaf. Hostilities between the Mehdi Army and US forces resumed in August 2004 in Najaf and did not stop until Ayatollah Sistani brokered a ceasefire. The fighting left hundreds dead and wounded.

During the negotiations for a truce, the Americans also reportedly agreed to lay aside the warrant for Moqtada Sadr.

The fierce clashes continued in Sadr City, however, and only ended in October after the Mehdi Army had sustained heavy losses.

Political power

Though costly, the violence cemented Moqtada Sadr’sstanding as a force to be reckoned with in Iraq. Supporters ofMoqtada Sadr have performed strongly in all elections since the 2003 invasion

He became a symbol of resistance to foreign occupation – a counterpoint to established Shia groups such as the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri) and the Daawa Party.

Despite this, Moqtada Sadr chose to join his rivals’ coalition for the December 2005 elections – the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA).

The alliance had easily won Iraq’s first post-invasion election the previous January, and with the Sadr Bloc on board again came out on top.

In the months of government negotiations that followed, Moqtada Sadr used his influence to push for the appointment of Nouri Maliki, then Daawa’s deputy leader, as prime minister. In return, his supporters got powerful positions in the cabinet.

At the same time, extremist Sunni Islamist militant groups – increasingly supported by Iraq’s marginalised Sunni Arab minority – had begun to target the Shia community, not just foreign troops.

Insurgents attacked Shia Islam’s most important shrines and killed many Shia politicians, clerics, soldiers, police and civilians. In 2006 and 2007, thousands of people were killed as the sectarian conflict raged in Iraq.

As the sectarian violence worsened, the Mehdi Army was increasingly accused of carrying out reprisal attacks against Sunni Arabs.

In 2006 and 2007, thousands of people were killed as the sectarian conflict raged. The Iraqi security forces seemed unable to stop the violence, though many blamed this on the infiltration of the interior and defence ministries by the Mehdi Army and other Shia militias.

One Pentagon report described the Mehdi Army as the greatest threat to Iraq’s security – even more so than al-Qaeda in Iraq. Iran was accused of arming it with sophisticated bombs used in attacks on coalition forces.


Then in early 2007, after US President George W Bush ordered a troop “surge” in Iraq, it was reported that Moqtada Sadr had left for Iran and told his supporters

In August 2007, heavy fighting broke out between the Mehdi Army and Sciri’s Badr Brigade in Karbala, leaving many dead. In March 2008, the Iraqi government ordered a major offensive against the Mehdi Army in Basra

The internecine fighting was condemned by many Shia, and Moqtada Sadr was forced to declare a ceasefire.

In March 2008, Mr Maliki ordered a major offensive against the militia in the southern city.

At first, the Mehdi Army seemed to have fended off the government’s attempts to gain control of Basra. But within weeks, it had accepted a truce negotiated by Iran, and the Iraqi army consolidated its hold.

US and Iraqi forces also moved into Sadr City, sparking fierce clashes but also eventually emerging victorious.

In August 2008, Moqtada Sadr ordered a halt to armed operations. He declared that the Mehdi Army would be transformed into a cultural and social organisation, although it would retain a special unit of fighters who would continue armed resistance against occupying forces.


He meanwhile devoted his time to theological studies in the Iranian holy city of Qom, in the hope of eventually becoming an ayatollah.

Analysts say the title would grant him religious legitimacy and allow him to mount a more serious challenge to the conservative clerical establishment in Iraq.

At the same time, he built on the gains of the Sadr Bloc in the 2005 elections to increase his political influence. His supporters performed strongly in the 2009 local elections and made gains in the March 2010 parliamentary polls as the Iraqi National Alliance (INA), ending up with 40 seats.

The result made Moqtada Sadr the kingmaker in the new parliament. He toyed initially with backing Mr Maliki’s rival for the premiership, but in June agreed to a merger between the INA and the prime minister’s State of Law coalition.

Then in October, he was finally persuaded by Iran to drop his objection to Mr Maliki’s reappointment in return for eight posts in the cabinet.

Pushing for World War 3: Revelation 16

China president Xi Russia president Putin
Chinese President Xi Jinping is seen on November 19, 2022, in Bangkok. Russian President Vladimir Putin is seen on February 9 in Moscow. New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman warned on Sunday that China could push the Russia-Ukraine conflict into a “true world war.” (Photo by Lauren DeCicca/Getty Images) / (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)

China Could Push Russia-Ukraine Conflict to ‘True World War,’ Analyst Warns

BY ANNA COMMANDER ON 2/19/23 AT 12:02 PM EST00:39

China Could Push Russia-Ukraine Conflict To ‘True World War,’ Analyst Warns

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman warned on Sunday that China could push the Russia-Ukraine conflict into a “true world war.”

Friedman appeared for an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press and spoke about China-Russia relations and said, “China, first of all, they would like the war prolonged because it keeps us [United States] tied down. And we’re burning through all our weaponry and all our military stock.”

Friedman said that he thinks China would “like a weak Russia that’s forced to be economically dependent on them,” adding that China doesn’t “want a collapsed Russia.”

“That’s a very bad signal for Taiwan if the West could take Russia down. So, I think the Chinese might be concerned about that. But I think you can’t exaggerate how important it would be if China did that, then this would be a true world war. It affects every global market and we’re in a completely new world.”

While speaking on Meet the Press on Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he warned his Chinese counterpart of “serious consequences” for supporting Russia in its war against Ukraine.

When asked what evidence the U.S. has to prove China is considering providing lethal aid to Russia, Blinken responded: “China is trying to have it both ways. Publicly they present themselves as a country striving for peace in Ukraine, but privately as I’ve said, we’ve seen already over these past months, the provision of non-lethal assistance that does go directly to aiding and abetting Russia’s war effort.”

The secretary of state concluded: “And some further information that we are sharing today, and that I think will be out there soon, that indicates that they are strongly considering providing lethal assistance to Russia. To the best of our knowledge, they haven’t crossed that line yet.”

Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, former commanding general of U.S. Army Europe, told Newsweek on Sunday, “It is in the interest of China to see the US continuing to support Ukraine. While the US and other western nations are supplying weapons, support and intelligence in Ukraine’s existential fight to regain control over their sovereign boundaries, China is able to further expand their strategic reach in many areas beyond their border while continuing to address their own domestic challenges.”

He added: “China continues to see their competitors, both the U.S. and Russia, distracted while they work toward accomplishing their national objectives.”

Similarly, retired Lieutenant General Ben Hodges and former U.S. Army Europe commander, told Newsweek on Sunday, “It is growing increasingly clear that China is actively supporting Russia with aid, although attempting to do it just below the threshold for sanctions. The Chinese are calculating their actions based on their read of our willingness to stick together and help Ukraine defeat Russia. If we can’t or won’t do that, then the CCP leadership is not going to be too impressed with anything we say about Taiwan or the South China Sea.”

Hodges concluded: “The war in Ukraine is not separate from China’s threat in the IndoPacific region. The defense of freedom from autocracy (Russia, China, Iran, N. Korea) and the defense of an international, rules-based order (UN Charter, sovereignty, freedom of navigation, respect for human rights) runs thru Ukraine.”

North Korea threatens to turn Pacific into ‘firing range’ as it tests nuclear-capable launcher

A TV screen shows Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during a news program at the Seoul railway station (AP)
A TV screen shows Kim Yo-jong, the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during a news program at the Seoul railway station (AP)

North Korea threatens to turn Pacific into ‘firing range’ as it tests nuclear-capable launcher


February 20, 2023, 8:39 AM

North Korea said it fired projectiles in the first tests of its nuclear-capable launcher, a day after it tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) of 2023.

The tests were followed by a stark warning from the powerful and outspoken sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who told the US the country would turn the Pacific into a “firing range”, heightening tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Pyongyang’s latest round of missile tests sparked urgent responses from the US and South Korea, with Japan urging an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

In a 7am drill local time on Monday, two 600mm radial guns fired multiple projectiles at virtual targets 395km (245 miles) and 337km away, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.

It said in a statement that Monday’s drills were in response to the US and South Korea staging combined drills involving B-1B bombers.

Kim Yo-jong, sister of the North Korean leader and vice department director of the central committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, warned the US against increasing the presence of strategic military assets on its doorstep, in a furious and lengthy statement.

“The frequency of using the Pacific as our firing range depends upon the US forces’ action character,” she said.

“We affirm once again that there is no change in our will to make the worst maniacs escalating the tensions pay the price for their action.”

On Saturday, the hermit kingdom fired a Hwasong-15 ICBM off Japan’s west coast, prompting Washington and Seoul to hold joint air exercises on Sunday.

The missile flew 900km for 67 minutes and landed in the Sea of Japan.

It was fired in a “surprise ICBM launching drill” on the written orders of Mr Kim, the state media said.

North Korea said the ICBM test was meant to showcase its “fatal” nuclear-attack capacity and verify the weapon’s reliability.

South Korean scientists said that the ICBM warhead’s re-entry had failed. Ms Kim denied this and lashed out at the nuclear experts, describing them as “stupid”.

She also said claims by nuclear experts that it took nine hours and 22 minutes for the North to fire the missile was a “desperate effort to underestimate our preparedness of missile forces”.

Ms Kim said that the lengthy launch time included sealing off the site and evacuating people from the area and that the missile system itself was free from shortcomings.

“We have possessed satisfactory technology and capability and, now will focus on increasing the quantity of their force.

“They had better rack their brains to take measures to defend themselves, instead of doubting or worrying about other’s technology.”

Calling the US “the worst maniacs”, she warned of taking unspecified “corresponding counteraction” in response to the future moves by the US military.

South Korea’s military has denounced the North’s repeated missile launches, describing them as “a grave provocation” that undermines international peace.

Japan condemned the launches as violations of UN resolutions and a threat to the peace and safety of Japan and the international society.

Japanese prime minister Fumio Kishida said on Monday that Tokyo has requested an emergency meeting with the UN.

“We must deepen Japan-US and Japan-US-South Korea cooperation,” Mr Kishida said.

An initial Security Council briefing led by assistant secretary-general for political affairs Khaled Khiari was set for later on Monday.

The US Indo-Pacific Command said the latest tests highlight “the destabilising impact” of North Korea‘s unlawful weapons programme.

The escalations come ahead of table-top exercises by the US and South Korean militaries this week to hone a joint response to the potential use of nuclear weapons by North Korea.

The allies are also set to conduct another computer-simulated exercise and field training in March.

Ukraine War Will End in Nuclear War: Revelation 16

Scholars, analysts say invasion has hurt Russia strategically, militarily, and 2023 could prove decisive, dangerous

Christina Pazzanese Harvard Staff WriterFebruary 17, 2023

When up to 190,000 Russian soldiers invaded Ukraine last February, even its most ardent foreign supporters expected the nation’s far more limited defenses would collapse within days.

But one year later, Russia has lost a reported 200,000 men, including many high-ranking military officials, and President Vladimir Putin has been embarrassed by the Ukrainian Army’s successes and the resilience of Ukraine’s many citizen militias.

A group of historians, military and intelligence experts, and cultural and political analysts, looked back at how the war has played out thus far and considered where events may be headed during a colloquium Wednesday hosted by the Belfer Center’s Intelligence Project and Russia Matters at Harvard Kennedy School.

Fiona Hill, A.M. ’91, Ph.D. ’98, who served as senior director for European and Russian Affairs at the National Security Council from 2017 to 2019, said the U.S. and the West are “still stuck” in a historical narrative about Ukraine created by Putin. The Russian leader has framed the conflict as an existential threat to his nation and has taken to calling it “The Third Great Patriotic War,” a reference to the Napoleonic invasions of Russia in the 1800s and the Nazi German invasions in the 1940s.

“He wants a recognition by the rest of Europe that Russia has its own sphere of influence, and actually has a right to claim additional sets of territory,” said Hill, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. It’s a view many in Russia share, not just the president, she added.

American foreign policy starting in the 1990s has played a role in Russia’s misperceptions, Hill argued. The U.S. set the conflict in motion by the way it viewed the dissolution of the Soviet Union, formally recognizing some countries, like Russia, as successor states, but not others, like Ukraine, leaving them in a geopolitical gray zone.

Fiona Hill
The U.S. and the West are “still stuck” in a historical narrative about Ukraine created by Putin, says Fiona Hill. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer

Both countries have suffered major economic declines since the war. Forty percent of Ukraine’s physical infrastructure has been destroyed while gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 33 percent. Russia’s Finance Ministry reports annual revenue fell 35 percent in 2022 while spending rose 59 percent.

But the many banking and trade sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe early on have done little to hurt Russia’s ability to wage war and thanks to cooperation from allies like China, India, and Iran, Russian consumers have not felt a significant pinch to their quality of life, said Alexandra Vacroux, executive director of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard.

That doesn’t mean Russia is doing well. Its economy was already battered before the conflict, so squeezing it further only makes life marginally more difficult for ordinary civilians, less so for the Kremlin. “The only way to keep Russia from fighting or winning this war is to give the Ukrainians military support,” she said.

Retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling said the biggest challenge for the Ukrainian army will be quickly integrating all the different weapon systems they’re getting from Western allies.

“The spring will be a race between Russian mobilization and the transformation of Ukraine’s army,” Hertling said. “Mr. Putin, I think, has made an active decision to mobilize forces to the front lines, getting as many bodies into this [in an] to attempt to retake ground” and gain additional leverage to lure Ukraine into any future negotiations.

In the coming weeks, Hertling expects that Russia will likely increase missile attacks and its air and naval forces will continue to strike against Ukraine’s infrastructure. Military exercises in Belarus are a ruse and not evidence that nation’s forces will take up arms against Ukraine, but Russian forces may use Belarus as an entry point, he said.

Putin’s agenda, to wipe out Ukraine as a state and Ukrainians as a people, is longstanding and deeply held in Russian society and by the nation’s power brokers. It will “most certainly outlast” the Putin regime and won’t be curtailed by current battlefield setbacks, said Nataliya Bugayova M.P.P. ’12, a Ukrainian national security analyst.

“The spring will be a race between Russian mobilization and the transformation of Ukraine’s army.”

— Mark Hertling, retired U.S. Army lieutenant general

“All the conversation about cease-fires, premature peace deals, and negotiations — they’re not off-ramps for the Kremlin. They are delayed on-ramps to pursue the same objectives, just under better circumstances,” she said.

Whether the war will end in 2023 is not yet clear, but “it’s potentially a decisive year,” said Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, former nuclear counterterrorism officer for the CIA and now a senior fellow at the Belfer Center.

The conflict has been “a disaster” for both countries, especially Russia, he noted.

“The ways that Russia has been damaged by this strategically far outweigh what [it] may gain in Ukraine, even if [it] prevails to some extent on the battlefield,” he said.

The things Putin feared most were Ukraine drifting closer toward the EU and a stronger, more unified NATO, and both have to come to pass — and then some.

“Any threat [Putin] thought NATO could have presented to Russia he has far exceeded in damaging his own interests for a military threat that NATO never posed.”

Mowatt-Larssen’s “greatest concern” is that at some point in the next year, Putin will decide that his army is no longer capable of taking back what he views as Russian territories.

“That is a condition where I think Vladimir Putin will use tactical nuclear weapons,” he said, and why the U.S. must start thinking now about whether Russia can be deterred and how the U.S. will respond if Russia deploys them or causes some other mass casualty disaster.

The Antichrist Says Siege Must Be Lifted Off Syria after Earthquake

Muqtada Sadr Says Siege Must Be Lifted Off Syria after Earthquake

Saturday, 18 February, 2023 – 08:00 

The leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr (AFP)

Baghdad – Asharq Al-Awsat

The leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, said on Saturday that any international economic sanctions against regimes and governments have not and will not help achieve the “colonial” state’s desired goal.

Sadr expressed his strong opposition to Western sanctions imposed on Syria, noting that the Syrian people suffer from epidemics, diseases, hunger, poverty, terrorism, injustice, and lack of fuel, funds, and fruits.

Sadr tweeted about the sanctions on Syria and wondered if the injustice facing Syria was for the sake of the Golan Heights and Israel or for bringing Syrians down and subjugating them to the colonial West.

The leader appealed to all nations and peoples to support Syria, noting that Syrians were facing death and that it was necessary to unite to save them and lift the siege entirely.

He indicated that the Syrian people deserve life because they rejected oppression, terrorism, and occupation, urging supporters not to leave Syria alone.

Sadr did not mention Türkiye, Iraq’s neighbor, in his tweet, his first statement on regional developments for a while. He did not comment on the political developments in Iraq, including the end of the hundred days of the government of Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, or the efforts to change Iraq’s electoral law.

Iraq established air and land bridges to send aid convoys to Syria following the earthquake that killed and injured thousands.