By GEORGE JAHN, Associated Press Writer
Thu Feb 7, 6:23 PM ET
VIENNA, Austria - Iran's nuclear project has developed its own version of an advanced centrifuge to churn out enriched uranium much faster than its previous machines, diplomats and experts said Thursday.
They said that few of the IR-2 centrifuges were operating and that testing appeared to be in an early phase, with the new machines rotating without processing any uranium gas.
More significant, the officials said, is the fact that Iran appears to have used know-how and equipment bought on the nuclear black market in combination with domestic ingenuity to overcome daunting technical difficulties and create highly advanced centrifuges.
Iran's uranium enrichment work has raised concerns in Washington and other Western capitals because it can produce the radioactive material needed for nuclear bombs. Tehran says it is only pursuing lower-level enrichment to make fuel for atomic reactors that will generate electricity.
Iran is under two sets of U.N. Security Council sanctions for refusing to suspend uranium enrichment, which it started developing during nearly two decades of covert nuclear activity built on illicit purchases and revealed only five years ago.
That secrecy heightened suspicions about Iran's intent, but Iranian leaders argued the country has a right to run a peaceful enrichment program and dismissed the U.N. demands, saying they planned to expand the project rather than freeze it.
Up until recent weeks, Iran had publicly focused on working with P1 centrifuges — outmoded machines that it acquired on the black market in the 1980s. Workers set up more than 3,000 of the machines in the large underground hall near Natanz, a city about 300 miles south of Tehran.
But diplomats told The Associated Press that Iranian experts now are testing a small number of more advanced IR-2 machines. They described it as a hybrid of the P-2 centrifuge once peddled on the black market by A.Q. Khan, the scientist who oversaw Pakistan's development of nuclear weapons.
The diplomats, who agreed to discuss the development only if granted anonymity because they weren't authorized to divulge the confidential information, said it was unclear whether the new generation centrifuges were in the underground facility or an aboveground pilot site at Natanz.
The P-2 centrifuge sold by Khan can enrich uranium gas up to three times faster than a P-1, but it is made from maraged steel — a high-nickel, low-carbon steel that is difficult to manufacture and hard to smuggle through international controls.
One of the diplomats said the Iranians had circumvented that problem by making the centrifuge's rotor tubes out of carbon fiber, presumably using machines and technology developed for Tehran's missile sector and using a German version as a model.
A former U.N. nuclear inspector, David Albright, said the ingenuity demonstrated by such a development was impressive.
"If you learn how to make carbon fiber rotors, you are very far ahead," said Albright, whose Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security tracks countries under nuclear suspicion. "They are much cheaper and easier to make, and you can learn to spin them very fast."
Using a hypothetical example of the efficiency of a P-2-based centrifuge compared with the P-1, Albright said 1,200 of the more advanced machines could produce enough material for a single nuclear warhead in a year, compared to 3,000 of the older model.
Iran has stonewalled the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency for years on details of its centrifuge development program, but in recent months has shown more cooperation under a plan agreed to last year that commits Tehran to lifting the veil of secrecy on all past nuclear activities.
Last month, the International Atomic Energy Agency's chief, Mohamed ElBaradei, was given new information on Iran's "new generation of centrifuges" during talks in Tehran — a priority as the agency tries to establish how far along Iran is in developing the technology.
ElBaradei is to report on the progress of his probe next month to the 35-nation IAEA board.
Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, Iran's chief representative to the IAEA, declined to discuss specifics of the probe but told AP that "we have made good progress."
How long can you tread water?
How long can you print money?
Who does not remember the old castle, Mickey clad in the sorcerer’s robe and hat, the psychedelic armies of brooms, and the relentless march of the Dukas symphony? Only when the castle was flooded did the sorcerer wake up and dry it with a spell. Mickey got off lightly with a swat of the broom. We may not be so fortunate.
Science often appears as a close cousin of sorcery. Science brings to life the tales of old: flying through the air at the speed of sound; communicating with images at the speed of light; traveling even to the moon; and, even the power of healing.
The explosive advances in science and technology have already gone far beyond what even science fiction writers once thought possible. Biotechnologists may well prove to be the ''Sorcerer’s Apprentices'' of the 21st century. And these advances raise challenging issues of ethics, morals, and even our theological perspectives.
Of all the many scientific discoveries, the field which clearly has become the most controversial is the study of genetics. Farmers have been genetically manipulating plants long before they knew about genes. Selective breeding, however, can enhance or suppress only those traits already present in a population. Modern genetic engineering (including such techniques as gene deletion, gene doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the positions of genes) has freed the process of genetic modification from limitations imposed by the existing characteristics of a species, creating something that could not exist in nature.
Commercial applications of this technology thus far have concentrated on bioengineering pest resistance and herbicide tolerance into widely planted crops like corn, soy, cotton, and potatoes. Growers adopting these ''first generation'' genetically modified crops have been able to increase yields while significantly reducing costly inputs like chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
The StarLink Debacle
StarLink corn was a corn hybrid genetically modified to make it more profitable to grow. It contained two added genes - one for herbicide tolerance and one for insect resistance. The herbicide tolerance gene was the product of an earlier approval process. It was the addition of a gene derived from the bacterial species Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), coding for an insecticidal protein called Cry9C, that triggered the StarLink crisis. This controversial Cry9C variety, 50 to 100 times more potent than other Bt-spliced insecticides, caused critics to warn of dangerous food allergies in humans, with symptoms ranging from fever, rashes, and diarrhea to anaphylactic shock and sudden death. The FDA approved it only for animal feed.
On September 18, 2000, a coalition of consumer and environmental groups detected DNA fragments from StarLink corn in Taco Bell taco shells sold in grocery stores. Days later, Kraft Foods recalled all Taco Bell taco shells. Kraft’s action started a frenzy of recalls as other manufacturers discovered StarLink corn in their products, too.
By November 2000, the FDA recalled nearly three hundred types of adulterated snack chips, corn flour, and other corn foods. The cost of these recalls ran into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Complaints began pouring into the FDA and the CDC about allergic reactions to corn products attributable to StarLink contamination. Overnight, StarLink became a ''Frankenfood'' poster child - the incarnation of critics’ worst nightmares. International corn exports plummeted. The ensuing crisis paralyzed an entire sector of American agriculture and food production and badly shook consumer confidence. Even two years later, StarLink corn was still popping up in corn shipments.
It is certainly a ''brave new world'' in which science will obviously continue to outrun the lawmakers. The last time man pursued knowledge to such an extent, God intervened and scattered the people and confounded their languages. As the Bible says in Genesis 11:6, ''...now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.''
How long can you tread water?
How long can you print money?
Unraveling the Mystery of the Federal Reserve
January 08, 2008
With talk of a recession hanging in the air it seems the Federal Reserve may once again cut interest rates. While this news caused stock prices to rebound, it most likely went unnoticed by most Americans. The reality is that few people outside the world of finance take a keen interest in such matters. If TV ratings are any indication, the American public in general is more interested in hearing about Britney Spears' custody battle than the news that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke cut the federal funds rate by a quarter of a percentage point.
The actions of the Federal Reserve have a significant effect on our daily lives. However it remains something of a mystery to most Americans. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve is perhaps the most powerful non-elected official in the world, whose decisions affect every aspect of our economy, from interest rates to the cost of groceries. So what is the Federal Reserve and how did it come into existence? The answer might surprise you.
The Meeting on Jekyll Island
In November of 1910, after having consulted with Rothschild banks in England, France, and Germany, Senator Nelson Aldrich boarded a private train in Hoboken, New Jersey. His destination was Jekyll Island, Georgia, and a private hunting club owned by J.P. Morgan.
Aboard the train were six other men: Benjamin Strong, President of Morgan's Bankers Trust Company; Charles Norton, President of Morgan's First National Bank of New York; Henry Davidson, senior partner of J. P. Morgan; Frank Vanderlip, President of Kuhn Loeb's National City Bank of New York; A. Piatt Andrew, Assistant Secretary of Treasury; and Paul Warburg. The secret meeting, as described by one its architects, Frank Vanderlip, went as follows:
"There was an occasion near the close of 1910 when I was as secretive, indeed as furtive, as any conspirator. I do not feel it is any exaggeration to speak of our secret expedition to Jekyll Island as the occasion of the actual conception of what eventually became the Federal Reserve System.
We were told to leave our last names behind us. We were told further that we should avoid dining together on the night of our departure. We were instructed to come one at a time...where Senator Aldrich's private car would be in readiness, attached to the rear end of the train for the South.
Once aboard the private car, we began to observe the taboo that had been fixed on last names. Discovery, we knew, simply must not happen, or else all our time and effort would be wasted..."
What's in a Name?
The goal was to establish a private bank that would control the national currency. The challenge was to slip the scheme by the representatives of the American people. Earlier, it had been called the Aldrich Bill and received effective opposition. The devious planners of the revised bill titled it "The Federal Reserve Act" to mask its real nature. It would create a system controlled by private individuals who would control the nation's issue of money. Furthermore, the Federal Reserve Board, composed of twelve districts and one director (The Federal Reserve Chairman) would control the nation's financial resources by controlling the money supply and available credit, all by mortgaging the government through borrowing.
The conspirators had a problem, however. President William Howard Taft had made it clear he would veto such a bill if it was introduced. They had to make sure he would not win reelection. They first supported ex-President Teddy Roosevelt in the Republican primaries, but he failed to get the nomination. The bankers then supported the Democratic contender, Woodrow Wilson.
In exchange for their support, Wilson promised to sign their bill into law. But the polls indicated that Wilson would only draw about 45 percent of the votes. The bankers needed someone who could draw a sufficient number of Republican votes away from Taft without harming their Democratic candidate. They arranged for Teddy Roosevelt to run against both men by representing a newly invented third party: the "Bull Moose" party.
The plan worked. The Federal Reserve Bill was held until December 23 (two days before Christmas!) before it was presented to the House and Senate. Only those senators and congressmen who had not gone home for the holidays - those who owed favors to, or were on the payroll of, the bankers - were present to sign the legislation.
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 was a deliberate charade to pacify the American voters. They'd been crying out for banking reform and had held scores of elections, alternating one set of politicians with another, only to find themselves with the same programs and deeper debt.
The name "Federal Reserve Bank" was designed to deceive, and it still does. It is not federal, nor is it owned by the government. It is privately owned. It pays its own postage like any other corporation. Its employees are not civil service. Its physical property is held under private deeds and is subject to local taxation (government property is not). It is an engine that has created private wealth that is unimaginable, even to the most financially sophisticated. It has enabled an imperial elite to manipulate our economy for its own agenda and enlisted the government itself as its enforcer.
New World Order
Meyer Amschel Rothschild's original plan was to facilitate "a new order of a one world government." This explains why the Great Seal of the United States, on the back side of the one dollar bill, bears the inscription Novus Ordo Seclorum: New World Order. For more information on the Federal Reserve listen to our briefing called Behold a Black Horse.
How long can you tread water?
How long can you print money?
The technology is available, but the potential for misuse is almost limitless. Our columnist takes you through the dangers of this futuristic process
Human ID Chips Get Under My Skin
by David H. Holtzman
February 12, 2008
While it's easy to reject the notion of placing little ID chips inside humans as an ominous Orwellian invasion of individual rights, I suspect it's inevitable that in my lifetime we will all have some kind of computerized implants. My problem is not with the technology, known as chipping, or with the companies that sell it. My concern stems from my lack of trust in institutions and lack of belief that the technology will be forever restricted to beneficial, socially acceptable uses.
Chipping involves implanting a transponder chip below the skin for identification purposes. VeriChip (CHIP), the one company that has gained FDA clearance to perform this procedure, has emerged as the process's leading advocate. The implant procedure itself is simple and mostly painless, accomplished in a doctor's office in a matter of seconds.
Generally speaking, the only data stored on the chip is a 16-digit ID number that cross-references to a record in VeriChip's database. Nevertheless the chip raises a number of troubling concerns:
Before diving into privacy and security concerns, it is worth noting recent reports indicate implanted chips may have caused tumors in small lab animals, and therefore may be equally dangerous for humans. I am not qualified to express an opinion on the subject other than to note the FDA has approved the device as safe. Evidence to the contrary will probably take years to accumulate, and at that point, a debate would be useless to those already afflicted.
Advocates of chipping often downplay privacy and security worries by stressing the chips merely contain a number rather than any actual personal information. However, that may be dangerous enough. A centralized numeric database storing information on a significant number of Americans begins to look a lot like a national ID card. But unlike an ID card safely stowed in a wallet, the numbers on these chips can potentially be read wirelessly by someone standing near you with an inexpensive handheld reader. Legislative attempts to establish a national ID, such as the REAL ID Act, have proven to be highly controversial. It would be a shame to have human chipping effectively short-circuit that debate and create a de facto national identification system.
Hacking and Misuse
I trust VeriChip, I guess. At least I have no reason not to trust them. But what about someone hacking into their databases? (Please don't tell me their security is absolutely foolproof—thanks to all the credit-card system breaches, we all know better.) All it would take is a careless employee to accidentally expose everyone's numbers to an ill-intentioned hacker. Since you can't reprogram chips already implanted, would we all need to have them physically swapped out whenever VeriChip's database was compromised? I also suspect it wouldn't be too hard to execute "man-in-the-middle" attacks that snag an individual's chip number for malicious use.
The leading candidates proposed for the initial rounds of chipping are people who are either unwilling or unable to give informed consent. While there have been a few actual instances of mandatory chipping—the Attorney General of Mexico forced his staff to get implants to gain access to a sensitive document room—most uses remain theoretical. For example, VeriChip has advocated chipping Alzheimer's patients as a way to help families find those sufferers who get lost.
Scott Silverman, VeriChip's chairman, has proposed mandatory chipping of guest workers and immigrants. A hospital in Ontario plans to implant the chips in babies, and the U.S. Army is mulling a requirement for enlisted personnel. The elderly, immigrants, babies, low-ranking soldiers…these are not exactly the most powerful segments of U.S. society.
Compare this to new technologies such as laser eye surgery and non-invasive heart procedures, where the wealthy and powerful typically benefit well before the lower rungs of the social ladder. I am inherently distrustful of technologies that start deployment at the bottom of the power pyramid.
Once implanted, these chips, and the associated network of chip readers deployed to work with them, will be around for a long time. Let's give VeriChip, participating hospitals, and government agencies the benefit of the doubt about being ethical and well-intentioned organizations. But who knows which agencies might be given access to the database down the road as part of new policy initiatives. Congressmen are notorious for passing legislation requiring the government to exploit existing databases for new endeavors, such as targeting deadbeat dads or delinquent student loan holders through the IRS tax refund system.
I can think of countless initiatives that could be launched to make use of a sufficiently large group of chipped people: a universal college student ID system; chip readers in cars that would block drivers with unpaid parking tickets from using their vehicles; tracking people with a history of emotional disturbances; court-ordered chipping tied to domestic restraining orders; government monitoring of people found to have a high-risk profile through computer profiling; outfitting firearms with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) reader and requiring gun owners to be chipped to fire their weapon (like existing thumbprint locks).
Once a sufficient number of humans have had chips implanted, for whatever the reason, all bets on containing the technology are off. A responsible debate on human chipping would consider the extreme scenario—widespread mandatory implants—and not just focus on the initial "socially acceptable" proposals that target specific populations such as Alzheimer's patients, children, or convicts on work release programs.
Although there is no guarantee of privacy written explicitly into the Constitution, a century of court rulings has carved out some tenuous protections for Americans, most of which are based on the concept of "expectation of privacy." A widely deployed system of human ID chips might very well erode that expectation, weakening everyone's shield against privacy intrusions.
As citizens, we need legal safeguards ensuring that any use of this technology adheres to publicly acceptable guidelines. At a minimum, any chipping must be truly voluntary rather than mandatory. But I am afraid this will be almost impossible to ensure without legislation such as that enacted by Wisconsin last year, barring all mandatory human chipping.
Any potential privacy-busting technology such as this one must be introduced with substantive protections that far exceed ambiguous corporate pledges that boil down to "Trust me." With all due respect, I'm afraid that I don't.
How long can you tread water?
How long can you print money?
Madison County pastor Glenn Guest, right, has written a book titled "Steps Toward the Mark of the Beast."
Pastor says cashless society would fulfill Biblical prophecy
By Chris Starrs
Feb 6, 2008
The concept of a cashless society where all financial transactions and purchases are strictly controlled and every nuance of a person's life is noted and recorded, in many cases by implanted chips, sounds like the perfect ingredients for a science-fiction thriller.
Yet the Rev. Glenn Guest envisions this apocalyptic scenario following the Bible's Book of Revelation that begins with the gradual disappearance of cash and checks and the increased reliance on debit and credit cards. And he sees it coming closer every day.
"Technology has progressed to the point where (becoming paperless) it can be implemented," said Guest, who has been pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church in Danielsville for 25 years. "And I believe it is being implemented."
The South Carolina native, who has been preaching for more than a decade on the theological implications of a culture under such control, has written a book, titled "Steps Toward the Mark of the Beast," that gives voice to his research and outlook.
"The conclusions I reach in the book are based on God's word and human nature," said Guest, a Comer resident. "I could well be wrong on certain points, but God's will will be fulfilled as written.
"In a system like this, it's possible to control everyone by controlling their finances. If all our money is just zeroes and ones in a computer, we'll have to get permission to use our own money. If those who control the money don't like someone, they can deny their purchases, making them an economic non-entity."
"Beast" also touches upon Radio Frequency Identification, which he said is becoming more prominent in the retail world through processes such as item-level tagging.
"There will be an inventory of everything that everybody owns," said Guest. "That virtually eliminates a black market."
Taking a biblical perspective convinces Guest that the advent of a cashless society is a "when" and not an "if" prospect.
"I'm not trying to slow this down because I can't slow it down," he said. "All I can do is let people know it's coming. And it will happen gradually, so that people won't really be seeing it happen. Within the next five to 10 years, we won't use cash or checks, and it may come sooner. There seems to be a big push to implement (a cashless society) and to implement RFID technology."
The 160-page book also details Guest's suggestions for preparing for the changes that will unfold.
"The last chapter of the book is about preparation," said Guest, who served seven years in the U.S. Navy and had a long career in military and industrial electronics before going full time as a minister about a dozen years ago. "Almost all the preparation people need to make is spiritual.. I really can't tell people much more than to draw nearer to the Lord.
"My only financial advice would be what I'd give anyway - it's a good idea to get out of debt."
Guest said he wrote "Beast," which was published last October by Canada-based Essence Publishing, for no other reason than to "get the word out."
"The Lord would have me do all I could to get the information out," said Guest, who added it took him "one month spread over a two-year period" to write the book. "I'll be doing well if I can let people know what's coming. It seems so close, and we need to prepare spiritually."
How long can you tread water?
How long can you print money?
Last edited by FirstGarden : 02-12-2008 at 12:02 PM.
Looks like we all better head further north than Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnasota, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont New Hampshire and Maine if you don't want to be a chip off the old block of Uncle Sam! How dare they even consider this procedure. I'm calling Bernie sanders office right now!
Big Gov't Tries To "Debunk Conspiracy Theories" About Our Currency
Historians Unlock U.S. Seal's Secrets
By MATTHEW LEE, AP
WASHINGTON (Feb. 11) - Conspiracy theorists take note: The myths surrounding one of America's oldest and most enduring national symbols are about to be debunked ... if you believe the government, that is.
Mysteries Behind The Great Seal
This is the back side of the Great Seal of the United States. Its symbols have long fueled speculation that the nation's founders used them to transmit secrets -- that Freemasons run the nation, or that 13 families hold power over America, for example. A new State Department exhibit is taking aim at such myths.
This is the seal's front side. According to one myth, there are two versions of the front -- one in which the eagle's head faces the arrows for times of war and another in which the eagle's head faces the olive branch for times of peace.
The seal is held in this box at the State Department. In honor of the symbol's 225 birthday, the State Department launched a new exhibit tracing its history and examining the images that constitute it.
Great Seal: "Fact and Fiction"
Myth: The design signifies the U.S. is run by Freemasons or some sort of cult.
Fact: The seal uses several Masonic symbols, including the unfinished pyramid, but the symbols aren't exclusive to the Freemasons.
Myth: Repeated references to the number 13 -- including the steps in the pyramid -- represent the power of 13 American families.
Fact: Thirteen is used as a reference to the nation's original 13 colonies.
Myth: The Seal draws on Satanism or other rituals to promote a world run by a single government.
Fact: The words "Annuit Coeptis" ("Providence favors") and the eye of providence over the pyramid refer to twists of fate that helped bring about the birth of the United States.
From the State Department:
The Seal's Creation and Meaning
The keepers of the Great Seal of the United States, the familiar emblem on the back of the $1 bill, want you to know what it is not. It is not a sign that Freemasons run the country, it has nothing to do with the occult, and it does not contain clues to a fabulous hidden treasure.
It is rather the nation's stamp of authority, sovereignty and power, gracing our cash and embossing the most important of documents from its home at the State Department, which has held it since the days of Thomas Jefferson, the first secretary of state.
Not that the Seal's symbols - the all-seeing eye, the unfinished pyramid, the Latin phrases, the bald eagle clutching an olive branch and arrows and the number 13 - aren't powerful.
They are, historians say. Yet their meanings have been misidentified, misunderstood and misrepresented almost since the Continental Congress first commissioned the Seal in 1776.
It would be another six years before the original design was approved and another 128 before it evolved into its current form. Along the way, a movement to decipher the Seal's meaning with ancient Egyptian, mystical and otherwise other worldly explanations has gained currency.
The Internet age has seen an explosion in such conspiracy theories, many which have now been ingrained in public consciousness through the popular "National Treasure" movie franchise that serves up a combination of Masonic lore and historical myths in blockbuster Hollywood fashion.
· That the Seal proves the domination of the United States by a powerful, quasi-religious cult. The Ancient Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is a perennial favorite of conspiracy theorists as some Founding Fathers were Masons and the Seal uses several Masonic symbols.
· That the Seal draws on Satanism or polytheistic ritual to promote a universal new world order under which Earth would be ruled by a single omnipotent government.
· That repeated references to 13 - the number of steps in the unfinished pyramid, stars in the constellation over the eagle's head, arrows in the eagle's claw, stripes on the eagle's shield, letters in the phrase "Annuit Coeptis" - demonstrate the power of 13 American families.
· That there are two seals: one in which the eagle's head faces the arrows for times of war and another in which the eagle's head faces the olive branch for times of peace.
All rubbish, according to historians, who say the Seal's symbolism is far less ominous or revelatory than many believe.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Seal's current custodian, will inaugurate a new exhibition to commemorate its 225th birthday and trace the history and evolution of the symbolism.
The Seal will remain at the State Department but the interactive exhibit is designed to travel and curators hope it will dispel the rumors and educate Americans about the real meaning of the symbols.
Among the highlights:
· That known Masons like the first U.S. president, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin had no role in designing the final seal, which uses elements of traditional heraldry, such as the unfinished pyramid to symbolize a work in progress, arrows for war and an olive branch for peace. Masons share some of those symbols, but they have never been exclusively the domain of the order.
· That the phrase "Novus Ordo Seculorum" below the Roman numerals for 1776 at the base of the pyramid translates as "A New Order of the Ages" that began with independence and does not imply the United States will be the lynchpin of a sinister "New World Order."
· That the words "Annuit Coeptis" ("Providence favors") and the eye of providence that hovers over the pyramid refer to unexpected interventions of fate that assisted the colonists in creating a new country.
· That the references to 13 refer to the number of colonies that formed the original United States.
"People are just not aware of the complexity and intent of the symbolism and what our Founding Fathers were trying to do with it," said Priscilla Linn, senior curator at the U.S. Diplomacy Center. "The hidden treasure in the Seal is the courage and presence of mind of the people who created it and created these values for the whole country."
How long can you tread water?
How long can you print money?
Last edited by FirstGarden : 02-12-2008 at 06:22 PM.
Kuwait: Gulf States Assuming Israel Will Destroy Iran's Nukes
by Hana Levi Julian
(IsraelNN.com) A senior government official in Kuwait hinted Tuesday that Gulf States are expecting and waiting for Israel to destroy Iran’s nuclear reactor before the security situation reaches critical mass.
Sami Alfaraj, advisor to the Kuwaiti government and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), said Kuwait and the other Gulf States might ask both the Jewish State and the United States to guarantee their security if Israel attacks Iran’s nuclear power station.
“I believe in something on the same Iraqi model… We are assuming in the Gulf that Israel will take it out,” Alfaraj told the Reuters news agency.
Israel destroyed Iraq’s Osirak nuclear facility in a daring raid June 7, 1981 that neutralized its ability to function before the reactor went “hot” – thereby protecting the surrounding countries as well. Israeli intelligence had confirmed that the Iraqi government planned to produce nuclear weapons at the site.
Then, as now, Israeli officials were convinced that nuclear power in the hands of the enemy constituted an existential threat to Israel. In his briefing to IAF fighter pilots prior to the operation, then-IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Rafael Eitan said, “The alternative is our destruction.”
A report by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency to be published by the end of next week indicates that questions remain about how the Islamic Republic plans to utilize the nuclear power it plans to produce.
Although Iranian scientists were able to explain the traces of bomb-grade uranium found during inspections of its nuclear research sites, they were unwilling to discuss the suspected links between the uranium enrichment already in process, high explosives tests and new missile design.
Western nations are concerned about boasts by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the Islamic Republic has been testing advanced centrifuges that would enhance and streamline the nuclear power production process. According to the Associated Press, Iran is currently producing more than 300 tons of uranium hexafluoride gas, a key component used in the uranium enrichment process.
Iran has resisted all attempts by the international community, including increasingly severe sanctions imposed upon it by the UN Security Council, to cease its uranium enrichment program.
Former US Ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, said during his speech at the 8th Herzilya Conference last month that an Israeli strike might be the last chance to stop Iran from completing a nuclear weapon. Former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, who also spoke at the conference, also hinted that the military option is growing more likely.
The United States and Israel in particular are convinced that Iran is intent upon producing a nuclear weapon of mass destruction, to be aimed at the Jewish State. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly vowed to “wipe Israel off the map.”
How long can you tread water?
How long can you print money?
Too bad the State Department is not as convincing as the conspiracy theorists. Why cannot they just write an article about it explaining their truth? It would be much cheaper to us taxpayers and get around much quicker than a traveling display. So yes a bit less pomp but I suppose someone would argue that the royal seal deserves it.
Calling to attention prophecies that have not come to pass doesn't seem like assassination of anyone's character to me... seems like calling a spade a spade. Television ministers have been notorious in my lifetime. The only good one I can think of is Billy Graham.
The Bakers, Pat Whateverhisnameis, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart... the list goes on and on.... they cry, preach, pound their podiums, and take the money of little old ladies while they're doing nasty things on the sidelines. Oh yeah, and who was the guy that told everyone God said they should send him money or he'd die? Give me a break!
I'm 55 years old, and "prophets" have been predicting "THE END TIMES" from the pulpit for as long as I can remember.
We're all still waiting.
The Book says nobody knows the place or time.
All a person can do is be ready. All that preaching doesn't do anybody any good.
Besides, personally I'm pretty sure the God of the Old Testament was an ET -- ::shrug:: So was Christ. And I think those big ole 'clouds' that they keep talking about in the OT that God spoke from were spaceships like the one I saw in the desert. Heck, they're right outside our door, in the next dimension. Better pack your bags.
Speaking of which, have you read the Old Testament lately? I made a pact with myself to read the entire Bible this year. I"ve read it several times before. I like reading it in the original languages, but this time, I am trying a modern translation called The Message: Remix. I love it. It's like reading a novel.
I'm in Leviticus now. What a bloody past, huh? Kill a cow, splash its blood on the altar, burn it. Kill a goat, splash its blood on all sides of the altar.. burn it. Wring a bird's neck.... really interesting reading!
Oh yeah.. and did you know 'God' made Aaron wear special undergarments? Just like the Mormons do. Makes me wonder how some self-proclaimed born again Christians have the nerve to make fun of them... I mean, isn't that a lot like making fun of Aaron and the New Testament?.... interesting reading... yup.
Personally, I liked this forum better when we didn't talk religion... I wish we could return to those days... I like the idea of everyone worshiping as God directs them, and just respecting each other...but I'm just one person.
North Korea Maintains Uranium Enrichment Program, U.S. Says
By Ed Johnson
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- North Korea maintains its uranium enrichment program and remains a nuclear proliferation risk, the top U.S. intelligence official said in his annual threat assessment to Congress.
"We remain uncertain about Kim Jong Il's commitment to full denuclearization as he promised in the six-party agreement,'' Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell told the Senate Intelligence Committee today.
North Korea failed to meet a Dec. 31 deadline for declaring its nuclear programs as agreed under an accord with the U.S., China, South Korea, Japan and Russia.
The five nations are demanding North Korea continue dismantling its Yongbyon reactor, which produced weapons-grade plutonium, and declare a program to enrich uranium, which can also be used in nuclear weapons.
"While Pyongyang denies a program for uranium enrichment, and they deny their proliferation activities, we believe North Korea continues to engage in both,'' McConnell said.
In the annual assessment of the global threats facing the U.S., McConnell noted North Korea has already sold ballistic missiles to "several Middle Eastern countries'' including Iran.
"We remain concerned North Korea could proliferate nuclear weapons abroad,'' he said in the assessment.
North Korea probably views its nuclear capabilities as "being more for deterrence and coercive diplomacy than for war fighting and would consider using nuclear weapons only under certain narrow circumstances,'' McConnell said in the report.
"We also assess that Pyongyang probably would not attempt to use nuclear weapons against U.S. forces or territory unless it perceived the regime to be on the verge of military defeat and risk an irretrievable loss of control,'' he added.
The six-nation agreement provides for North Korea to receive 1 million metric tons of fuel oil, or the equivalent in aid, and for diplomatic ties with the U.S. to be normalized, in return for dismantling its nuclear program.
North Korea shut down the Yongbyon reactor in July, completing the first phase of the accord. It began disabling the reactor, fuel reprocessing plants and a fuel fabrication center under the supervision of U.S. inspectors in November.
The U.S. has said it wants the government in Pyongyang to fully outline its nuclear operations, including any transfers of technology and know-how to other countries as well as uranium enrichment activities.
North Korea remains committed to the six-party accord, Kim told a visiting Chinese envoy last month, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.
McConnell said that political turmoil in Pakistan hasn't "seriously threatened'' the military's control of the country's nuclear arsenal, although "vulnerabilities exist.''
U.S. intelligence agencies "judge that the army's management of nuclear policy issues, to include physical security, has not been degraded by Pakistan's political crisis,'' he said in the assessment.
Pakistan, the world's most populous Muslim nation after Indonesia, is battling Islamic militants in tribal areas along its border with Afghanistan. U.S. lawmakers have raised concerns that Pakistan's arsenal may fall into the hands of extremists.
The nation has about 60 nuclear bombs, according to the Washington-based Arms Control Association. The arsenal is secure and a division of 8,000 guards oversees security, Muhammad Khurshid Khan, deputy director of Pakistan's Strategic Plans Division, said Nov. 20.
Nuclear Weapons In The End Times
Does The Bible Predict a Nuclear Holocaust?
By Dennis Pollock
And I looked, and behold, a pale horse. And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him . . . (Revelation 6:8)
On August 6, 1945, when the Enola Gay's bombardier Tom Ferebee sighted Hiroshima's Aioi Bridge, he knew the moment had arrived. Squeezing the trigger on his Norden bombsight, he became the first man in history to drop a nuclear weapon upon a populated city. Tail gunner Bob Caron, after being temporarily blinded, described what he saw on the ground below: "It's like bubbling molasses down there . . . the mushroom is spreading out . . . fires are springing up everywhere . . . it's like a peep into hell."
The people of Hiroshima within half a mile of the explosion were seared to bundles of smoking char in a fraction of a second. Thousands of these small black bundles could be seen stuck to streets, bridges, and sidewalks. Birds ignited in midair, and 70,000 buildings were obliterated. Mankind had entered the atomic age, the end of which was too terrifying to contemplate.
The Nature of Armageddon
Since the beginning of the atomic age, nuclear weapons and the term "Armageddon" have been frequently linked together. Billy Graham rose to prominence in the 1950's proclaiming that the nuclear "sword of Damocles" was hanging over all the nations, and that only Christ was a sure foundation in such perilous days. Hal Lindsey"s mega best seller, The Late Great Planet Earth (1970), made a strong case for a nuclear holocaust scenario in the days of tribulation predicted in the book of Revelation.
Even secular sources took up the theme. The June 12, 1981 Toronto Globe and Mail noted that the decision to go ahead with the neutron bomb was the biggest step taken toward Armageddon since 1961. In San Francisco today you can call a number and get a recorded message by the Doom Society for Secular Armageddonism, who, in melodramatic tones, tell you that we are living in the end times and that the coming end of the world is a fait accompli. They are quick to deny that God might have anything to do with this, however, and insist that the coming end of the world will be strictly do-it-yourself, as a result of such things as nuclear proliferation, racism, ultra nationalism, and (you might have guessed) religious fundamentalism.
The First Bombs
Many Americans associate nuclear weapons with Armageddon, because, of all man's discoveries and inventions, they alone contain the capacity to wipe out all human life on the earth within a few short hours. Let us consider the awesome power in the first primitive atomic bombs.
The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, called "Little Boy," was flown there in a B-29 bomber and aimed with a bombsight. It weighed nearly ten thousand pounds and had the explosive power of 12,500 tons of TNT. At ground zero, the point immediately beneath the weapon, the temperature reached above 3,000 degrees centigrade. Within seconds, what had been a thriving city became a wasteland. No part of the city was left untouched. Eighty thousand people died instantly, many burning into black bundles while in mid step. A six-hour firestorm began. An eyewitness -- a college professor -- -described it thus:
I climbed Hikiyama Hill and looked down. I saw that Hiroshima had disappeared . . . I was shocked by the sight . . . I saw many dreadful scenes after that -- but that experience, looking down and finding nothing left of Hiroshima was so shocking that I simply can't express what I felt . . . Hiroshima didn't exist -- that was mainly what I saw -- Hiroshima just didn't exist.
50 Years Later
After the end of World War II, Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Los Alamos project which had given birth to this terrible weapon, was asked whether there were any significant limitations in the future of nuclear weapons. He replied, "If you are asking, 'Can we make them more terrible?' the answer is yes. If you are asking, 'Can we make lots more of them?' the answer is yes. If you are asking, 'Can we make them terribly more terrible?' the answer is, probably." Today, some fifty years later, that probably has turned into a certainty. We have made them terribly more terrible.
Considering the horrific devastation caused by those first bombs dropped upon Japan, it would be reasonable to suggest that if we merely doubled their destructive power we would have created a monster of mind boggling dimensions. To triple or quadruple such a bomb would be worse still. If one such bomb can create such total destruction to a major city, what could a bomb four times that size do? But we have not merely created weapons three or four times as deadly. While the "Little Boy" and "Fat Man" bombs were measured in kilotons, today's bombs are measured in megatons. A one-megaton bomb contains the explosive power of eighty Hiroshima’s. Bombs have been tested which are 4,000 times as powerful as those dropped upon Japan. The only thing merciful about these bombs is that you wouldn't have to worry so much about horrible injuries to survivors -- there wouldn't be any survivors!
Is This What John Saw?
Nearly two thousand years ago, an elderly Christian leader was banished to an island as a punishment for sharing his faith in Christ. There, as he communed with the Lord on the island, he had a series of visions, which described things which would take place in the last days. The man's name was John and the visions he saw were recorded and are now known as the book of Revelation.
Many have tried to defuse the book by turning it into a giant parable in which nothing can be definitely known except that in the end Christ will triumph and all will be well. But such an interpretation makes all the details of the visions meaningless. Some have dared to suggest that John's visions may have been more literal than most have supposed. This more literalistic interpretation just might make sense if John was seeing the terrible results of a nuclear holocaust just before Christ's coming to claim planet earth.
In his book ‘There's A New World Coming’ (1973), Hal Lindsey writes:
Although it is possible for God to supernaturally pull off every miracle in the Book of Revelation and use totally unheard of means to do it, I personally believe that all the enormous ecological catastrophes described in this chapter (Revelation 8) are the direct result of nuclear weapons. In actuality, man inflicts these judgments on himself. God simply steps back and removes His restraining influence from man, allowing him to do what comes naturally out of his sinful nature. In fact, if the Book of Revelation had never been written, we might well predict these very catastrophes within fifty years or less!
End Time Prophecies
Throughout the Scriptures, terrible times are forecast for the end of this present age. Isaiah describes the earth "empty and wasted" (Isaiah 24:1). In the book of Revelation we read of an "hour of trial" which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth (Revelation 3:10). The Lord Jesus, in the gospel of Matthew, warns us of a "great tribulation" which shall threaten the survival of all life on earth (Matthew 24:21,22). The apostle Paul speaks of sudden destruction that shall come just when men are saying "peace and safety" (1 Thessalonians 5:3).
As these verses indicate, the Scriptures (along with current events) make it plain that world conditions will be characterized by chaos, destruction, and death just before our Lord returns to take control of planet earth. In the book of Revelation we read of the poisoning of the oceans, the burning up of the grass and the trees, and the sun scorching people with great heat. The book also tells us that horrible plagues will afflict mankind, that there will be widespread wars and famines, and that the atmosphere will become so polluted as to reduce visibility by one third. In the midst of all this devastation, the earth's population will flee to the caves, as people cry to the mountains and rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne.." (Revelation 6:16).
What will bring about such universal carnage on the earth? Is the Bible describing a nuclear holocaust?
Actually there are three possible sources of the death and devastation so pointedly predicted by Scripture. First, it could be that the great and terrible destruction predicted will be brought about supernaturally by God Himself without any other possible explanation. Until the nuclear age this was the primary view, as it was hard to see how such a scenario could be brought about by natural human means. In the Old Testament we find God killing 185,000 of Israel's enemies by one angel, without any natural explanation. If one angel can wipe out that many people, it should not be too much trouble for all the hosts of God's angelic armies to destroy three quarters of the earth's population.
Secondly, some of the judgments predicted could possibly come from the cosmic disturbances created by a comet whose path leads it uncomfortably close to the earth. Global earthquakes and tidal waves, resulting in famines on an unprecedented scale would almost certainly be the result. Some, but probably not all, of these judgments could be brought about this way.
The third, and in my mind, the most likely explanation for the terrible judgments which will empty the earth, has to do with nuclear weapons. Since the end of World War II, nuclear weapons have been proliferating all over the globe. At first limited to the United States, then produced by the Soviet Union, they are now in the hands of all sorts of second and third-rate powers. It seems almost every year that new nations are added to the list of those countries with nuclear capabilities. Our capacity to destroy all life on earth has multiplied many times over. The fact that we have not yet seen a nuclear war since 1945 can be attributed only to the restraining hand of Almighty God! Surely it is His hand that has prevented us from destroying one another up until this point. How long that hand will continue to restrain us, only God knows.
Quaint Terms for Modern Weapons
It was Hal Lindsey who first popularized the theory that the terrible plagues and judgments seen and described by John in the book of Revelation might be a First Century man's description of a thermonuclear war. In his book There's A New World Coming (1973), Lindsey refers to the fractional orbital bomb, and then goes on to cite nuclear passages in the book of Revelation:
It [the bomb] consists of a dozen or so nuclear tipped missiles, which can be fired simultaneously from an orbiting space platform. Because the missiles come straight down from the sky, they can strike several cities simultaneously and with virtually no warning. When these missiles streak through the air they'll look like meteors showering the atmosphere! (Possibly fulfilling Revelation 6:13: "the stars of heaven fell to the earth.")
The Apostle John's description of the sun becoming black as sack cloth and the moon becoming like blood perfectly describes the phenomena that would result from massive amounts of dust and debris blown into the sky by multiple nuclear bursts.
"And the atmosphere was pushed apart like a scroll when it is rolled together" (Revelation 6:14).
Do you know what happens in a nuclear explosion? The atmosphere rolls back on itself! It's this tremendous rush of air back into the vacuum that causes much of the destruction of a nuclear explosion. John's words in this verse are a perfect picture of an all out nuclear exchange . . . The whole world will be literally shaken apart!
As we read the book of Revelation, we find John did not use terms like "nuclear weapons, ICBM's, or fractional orbital bombs." Instead we find him describing things like "hail and fire," "a great mountain burning with fire," and "a great star . . . burning like a torch." This is what we would expect of a First Century man, describing things he had no knowledge of in the only terms he knew to use. Could it be that what John was really witnessing in the Spirit, was an end of the age nuclear holocaust? The effects he describes certainly seem to bear this out.
The Nature of the Bomb
Let us consider the nature of a nuclear explosion. Nicholas Wade, in his book World Beyond Healing (1987), gives us a graphic picture:
The explosion of a nuclear weapon is an event of immense power . . . Within a fraction of a millionth of a second; the nuclear materials and casing of a one-megaton weapon are transformed into a packet of energy five times hotter than the center of the sun.
Out of this mini-sun bursts a flash of X-rays so intense that the air for several feet around the weapon is heated into an incandescent ball.
This little fireball, only a few millionths of a second old, contains the vaporized contents of the weapon, and a vast flux of energy created by the fission and fusion reactions of the nuclear explosion. So immense an amount of energy packed into a tiny space creates temperatures of 100 million degrees centigrade and pressures of millions of pounds per square inch. A violent expansion begins.
In less than a thousandth of a second, the fireball of a one-megaton weapon has grown to 440 feet across. In ten seconds, the fireball is more than a mile in diameter.
It should be evident that what we are talking about is a weapon unparalleled in human history; a weapon with the capacity to obliterate huge cities in seconds. This is a scenario that perfectly fits with the kind of swift, mass destruction spoken of in the book of Revelation. Indeed, considering the widespread death predicted by John, it would be hard for us to imagine anything other than a nuclear holocaust, which could come close to producing such carnage.
The poisoning of the waters (Revelation 8:11), the severe reduction in visibility (Revelation 8:12), the death of much of the earth's vegetation (Revelation 8:7), malignant sores (Revelation 16:2), the end of ocean life (Revelation 16:3), and the inability of the atmosphere to block out harmful ultraviolet rays, resulting in severe burns (Revelation 16:8) are all expected results of nuclear war. The implications of these prophecies are not pretty -- this earth has an appointment with devastation, which shall be horrible beyond imagination.
Amazingly, predictions by secular writers parallel the horrific visions of John in nearly every major detail. Contrast the words (in regular print) of secular writer Jonathan Schell author of the book The Fate of the Earth (1970), with what the Bible says (in bold) as he describes the consequences of a nuclear war:
Bearing in mind that the possible consequences of the detonations of thousands of megatons of nuclear explosives include . . . the extinction of many ocean species, among them some at the base of the food chain . . . (And every living creature in the sea died -- Revelation 16:3)
. . . the pollution of the whole ecosphere with oxides of nitrogen. (And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night -- Revelation 8:12)
. . . a significant decrease in photosynthesis in plants around the world; the scalding and killing of many crops . . . (And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up -- Revelation 8:7)
. . . the increase in rates of cancer and mutation around the world . . .
(. . . and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast -- Revelation 16:2)
. . . the attendant risk of global epidemics . . (And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences -- Luke 21:11)
. . . the possible poisoning of all vertebrates by sharply increased levels of vitamin D in their skin as a result of increased ultraviolet light. (the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat -- Revelation 16:8)
. . . and the outright slaughter on all targeted continents of most human beings and other living things by the initial nuclear radiation, the fireballs, the thermal pulses, the blast waves, the mass fires, and the fall-out from the explosions. (By these three plagues a third of mankind was killed -- by the fire and the smoke and the brimstone -- Revelation 9:18).
Considering that these consequences will all interact with one another in unguessable ways and, furthermore, are in all likelihood an incomplete list . . . one must conclude that a full-scale nuclear holocaust could lead to the extinction of mankind. (And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved.. Matthew 24:22).
How long can you tread water?
How long can you print money?