85) The Fourth Empire

In order to recognize the Fourth Empire in The War To End All Wars, we need to trace its progress through the last 2,000+ years of history. 

Fortunately for us homicide detectives, he is a serial murderer who has left his signature MO throughout the previous 2,000 years of history recorded in the Bible. Whoever leads the slaughter of the inhabitants of Jerusalem is the leader of the two-legged fourth beast.

The following account is an extremely abbreviated history, providing just the broad strokes of the invasion and occupation of Jerusalem.

  1. Rome: In the 1st century AD, Israel lost its independence and Jerusalem came under the Fourth Kingdom’s militaristic rule, based at that time in Rome, Italy, religiously pagan.
  2. Byzantium: From the 4th – 7th centuries, the capitol of the Roman Empire moved to the Eastern half of the Empire to better wage war against waves of invaders from the eastern steppes. This was labeled the Byzantine Empire because of a shift in culture, including religion change to a veneer of Christian while incorporating paganism.
  3. Islam: In the 7th century the Arab Empire incorporated the previous three empires – the Ancient Greek homeland of Anatolia, Persia/Iran and Babylon/Iraq under the rule of monotheistic Allah, challenging the Jew’s YHVH and Christian’s Trinity. Mohammed, the founder of Islam, called the Christian West the “Romans”, and called for jihad – imposition of Allah’s righteous rule over the earth through conquest. This about it. Is this any different than the US waging war to impose democracy? In any case, since the rise of Islam there has been perpetual warfare between the Christians and Moslems for control of Jerusalem, “The City Which Is Called By My Name / Way” of Salem / Peace. 

In 638 ce, Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, peacefully surrendered the city and the welfare of the Christian community to the Second Caliph Omar bin Al- Khattab in person. In an age when conquest was often characterised by intolerance and violence towards a conquered community, the terms of surrender of Jerusalem, which is known as the Pact of Omar, were generous and humane: 

This is a replay of Alexander the Great’s triumphal entrance into Jerusalem.

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

This is what the servant of God, Omar bin Al-Khattab, the Commander of the Faithful, has offered the people of Jerusalem: their security, granting them protection for their selves, their money, their churches, their children, their lowly and their innocent, and the remainder of their people. Their churches are not to be taken, nor are they to be destroyed, nor are they to be degraded or belittled, neither are their crosses or their money, and they are not to be forced to change their religion, nor is any one of them to be harmed. 

We can’t miss that he is presenting himself as their Savior.

Omar also ordered that the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif be built on the very place where the Prophet Muhammad had made the Night Journey (Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj)… 

In 1099 ce, Muslim Jerusalem fell to the European forces of the First Crusade. The devastation caused by the Crusaders is well documented. Meron Benvenisti writes that the Crusaders, drunk with victory, conducted a massacre in the city, such as has seldom been paralleled in the history of war. The troops ran amok through the streets of the city, stabbing everyone they encountered4 (Muslim, Jew and Orthodox Christian alike). The few thousand people remaining from a population which had numbered 40,000 were assembled near the gates and sold into slavery. The Crusaders controlled the city from 1099 to 1187 ce, proclaiming their Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem.

In 1187 ce, Salah Al-Din Al-Ayyubi—known in the West as ‘Saladin’—recovered Jerusalem. In contrast to the Crusaders’ slaughter when they conquered Jerusalem, he granted amnesty and free passage to all common Catholics and to the defeated Christian army, as long as they were able to pay a paltry ransom for themselves. Salah Al-Din allowed the native Christians to remain and alowed Jews expelled from Jerusalem by the Crusaders to resettle in the city. Salah Al-Din also restored the rights of pilgrimage to several eastern Christian denominations whom the Crusaders considered heretics.

A change in religion from

  1. Classical Pagan Rome to
  2. Roman Catholic under Constantine to
  3. Eastern Orthodox after the Great Schism
  4. to Islam

didn’t change the identity of the Fourth Empire any more than changing demographics in the United States changes our essential identity as a nation. Based on Daniel, the essential identifier of the Fourth Empire is not religion, but politics – any nation that controls Jerusalem

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The Hashemites, or “Bani Hashem” are descendants of…the Prophet Ismail…the son of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham)….“Hashem”…was the great-grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad. The Hashemites are thus the direct descendants of the Prophet through his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali bin Abi Talib, who was also the Prophet’s paternal first cousin and the fourth caliph of Islam…

[W]hen the Islamic Prophet Muhammad died…a debate emerged about who should be his successor…

one group (which eventually became the Shiites) felt Muhammad’s successor should be someone in his bloodline, while the other (which became the Sunnis) felt a pious individual who would follow the Prophet’s customs was acceptable.

“The original schism between Islam’s two largest sects was not over religious doctrine. It was over political leadership…”  

Just like Christians and Jews.

The great majority — upwards of 85 to 90 percent — of the world’s more than 1.6 billion Muslims are Sunnis…from West Africa to Indonesia…

the Shiites are…in Iran, predominance in Iraq and sizable populations in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

A shallow, religion-oriented analysisdominates…Western thinking about most issues in the Middle East, ranging from Turkey’s transformation under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the rise of ISIS in Syria and Iraq…

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman asserts that the “main issue in the Middle East is the 7th century struggle over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad – Shiites or Sunnis…”

Therefore rule from Islam’s holy city Jerusalem.

[E]ight major Crusades occurred between 1096 and 1291 for land in the Middle East.

The peaceful transition of power to the Ottomans[in 1516] was welcomed by Jerusalem’s dwellers…[Under the Savior] Suleiman the Magnificent…Jew, Christian and Muslim enjoyed freedom of religion and it was possible to find a synagogue, a church and a mosque on the same street. 

In 1700, Judah HeHasid led the largest organized group of Jewish immigrants to the Land of Israel in centuries…

Several changes with long-lasting effects on the city occurred in the mid-19th century: their implications can be felt today and lie at the root of the Israeli–Palestinian conflictover Jerusalem. The first of these was a trickle of Jewish immigrants from the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The first such immigrants were Orthodox Jews others were students, who came with their families to await the coming of the Messiah, adding new life to the local population. At the same time, European colonial powers began seeking toeholds in the city, hoping to expand their influence pending the imminent collapse of the Ottoman Empire. This was also an age of Christian religious revival, and many churches sent missionaries to proselytize among the Muslim and especially the Jewish populations, believing that this would speed the Second Coming of Christ…

The British Empire, the Western European iteration of the Fourth Kingdom at that time, defeated and scattered the Eastern Roman Empire’s iteration of the Ottoman Empire during WWI, taking Jerusalem back under Christianity, only Protestant this time.

General Sir Edmund Allenby, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, entered Jerusalem on foot out of respect.

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Today, access to oil drives every significant Western involvement in the Middle East.

Political rivalry drives every significant Middle Eastern involvement in the West.

The British Empire was at its height of world power, evident by its acquisition of the vast majority of the defeated Ottoman Empire after WWI. England, as well as America, had risen to wealth and power through locally discovered oil powering the Industrial Revolution

However, industry could not be sustained, let alone grown, by petroleum sources limited to those at home. England set out to explore for oil in her colonies abroad, finding exploitable oil fields in Persia / Iran in 1908 and evidence of possible fields along the Persian Gulf border of Arabia. And that’s when the story takes a sharp turn to the right. (That’s a pun in so many ways, but never mind.)

Saudia Arabia

Beginning in 1902 Abdulaziz Ibn Saud had been fighting his way up the political ladder the old fashioned way, uniting regions of Arabia into a single state with his Ikhwan (Arabic for brothers), an Islamic religious militia. Made up of rough-living Bedouins dedicated to the purification and the unification of Islam, cosmopolitan Ottoman society was uprooted, and Wahhabi culture was imposed as compulsory social order. He was so successful in seizing control of much of the Arabian Peninsula that he was able to make a politically advantageous arrangement with the Ottoman Empire during WWI. He therefore did not support the British, but neither did he fight against them.

A rival chieftain, Hussein bin Ali, the sharif of Mecca and ruler of the state of Hejaz, used the opportunity to outbid Abdulaziz for regional power by making an alliance with the British. He recruited and led an Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire on the promise of being rewarded a kingdom stretching from Syria to Yemen on successful conclusion of WWI. 

However, as the first mechanized war, WWI had driven home the immense amounts of oil needed, and dramatically altered priorities from sourcing manpower to sourcing oil. Germany’s shortage of oil supplies led in part to their defeat in WWI. Britain’s policy of appeasing Nazi Germany’s expansionism in the 1930’s ended when Germany invaded Poland in 1939 to take control of the Bóbrka Field in Poland, the oldest functional industrial oil field in the world. 

Hussein could deliver manpower, but who could deliver oil?

Shortly after the war Abdulaziz Ibn Saud had met with a mining engineer who was convinced that much oil would be found throughout his territory. Just as they would do in the next decade while debating an alliance with Germany, the autocratic British monarchy practiced appeasement while Abdulaziz invaded and incorporated  Hussein’s Hejaz. The British recognized Abdul-Aziz’s independent realm with agreed-upon boundaries. When Abdulaziz’ powerful Ikhwan pressed him to continue their jihad into British-held Arab territory he established his political boundaries by massacring the troops who raised him to power.

In return, the British granted Abdulaziz Ibn Saud a kingdom within their Empire, thereby providing assurances of protection by the British. Contrary to the declared aims of establishing self-determination of the peoples freed from the Ottoman Empire’s control, Saudi Arabia was not set up as a democracy. Named after the ruling / owning family, Saudi Arabia possesses and controls Mecca and Medina, the two holiest places in Islam, rending the kingdom the highest religious status in the Moslem world.

When in 1938, after years of exploration, vast oil reserves were finally discovered, Middle Eastern political relations were altered forever. In 1940 the Industrial Revolution officially ended. The British Empire had secured the boundless petroleum resources in Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil producer controlling oil reserves second only to America’s.

America financially destroyed the British Empire during WWII, becoming the Western European leg of the Fourth Empire which gobbles up territory and stomps on whatever it can’t incorporate. It chose to incorporate Israel as an ally in 1948, and secures Jerusalem against Moslem incursion.

While bleeding the British to near-death through the Lend Lease Act in WWII, America convinced King Abdulaziz to transfer his alliance to her. In 1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt met secretly with King Abduaziz and guaranteed protection of the Saudi regime in exchange for guaranteed supply of oil to the US.

Note – that is protection of the Saudi regime, not of the country, even against internal revolt by the people of the country. The agreement has survived seven Saudi kings and twelve US presidents. 

 Muslim World League based in Mecca, was established by the Saudi regime in 1962 to promote the spread of Islam. After decades of Western friendships and decadence this corrupt regime needed to shore up respectability and acceptance by the people. However, Islamic religious leaders are demanding much more – greater and more comprehensive implementation of Sharīʿah in Saudi society and breaking the monarchy’s ties with the West as happened under Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran

At the same time Qasim invited Mustafa Barzani to return to Iraq in return for his political support. When the politician reneged on his promise to grant freedom to his nation (haven’t we heard that before), Barzani began what became known as the “First” Kurdish Iraqi War lasting from 1961 until 1970. Throughout the 1960s, the prising escalated into a long war during which 80% of the Iraqi army was engaged in combat with the Kurds.

Any potential trouble-making against the West was certainly prevented by this one of The 33 Strategies of War

As well as this one in the Taking Offensive section: “find moral justifications for amoral behaviors.”

The Iraq War from 2003 to 2011 began with the invasion of Iraq by the United States–led Western coalition under false pretenses.

  • The Bush administration claimed that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction (WMD) program, and that Iraq posed a threat to the United States and its allies. No stockpiles of WMDs or an active WMD program were ever found. 
  • Some US officials falsely accused Saddam of harbouring and supporting the terrorist group al-Qaeda which was blamed for 9/11. In 2004, the 9/11 Commission said there was no evidence of an operational relationship between the Saddam Hussein regime and al-Qaeda. 
  • The rationale for war faced heavy criticism both domestically and internationally.
    • Kofi Annan of the United Nations called the invasion illegal, under international law it violated the UN Charter. 
    • The Chilcot Report, a British inquiry into its decision to go to war published in 2016 concluded that peaceful alternatives to war had not been exhausted,
    • that the United Kingdom and the United States had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council,
    • that the process of identifying the legal basis was “far from satisfactory”,
    • and that the war was unnecessary.

stirthepotIraq held multi-party elections in 2005…The al-Maliki government enacted policies that alienated the country’s previously dominant Sunni minority and worsened sectarian tensions, changing the invasion to an occupation.

The Iraq War caused

  • at least 100,000 civilian deaths,
  • as well as 10’s of 1,000′ of military deaths, the majority of which occurred as a result of the insurgency and civil conflicts in 3 years between 2004 and 2007.
  • Subsequently, the War in Iraq of 2013 to 2017, which is considered a domino effect of the invasion and occupation, caused at least 155,000 deaths,
  • in addition to the displacement more than 3.3 million people within the country.

I supported the Iraq War in 2003 because I believed the Bush administration’s case that Iraq was again actively seeking to acquire nuclear weapons…

Yet the goal in 2003 was bigger than denuclearization. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was both oppressing his own subjects and menacing his neighbors. By replacing Saddam’s regime with a more humane and peaceful successor, the U.S. could set the Arab Middle East on a path to a better future—contributing to America’s own security after 9/11.

Inside the Bush administration, we thought we were ready to remake Iraq for the better—but we were not. We were ignorant, arrogant, and unprepared, and we unleashed human suffering that did no good for anyone: not for Americans, not for Iraqis, not for the region. Almost two decades later, the damage to America’s standing in the world from the Iraq War has still not been repaired, let alone that war’s economic and human costs to the United States and the Middle East.

In 2011, coincident with America’s exit from Iraq, The Arab Spring erupted as a series of pro-democracy uprisings  enveloping several largely Muslim countries, including Tunisia, Morocco, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Bahrain… The political and social impact of these popular uprisings remains significant today, years after many of them ended. Many of these protests tore down regimes, leading to instability that ended with violent civil wars.

The ignominious retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan should be evidence enough that United States has passed its zenith and is on a free-fall from world power. The opportunity to seize power is tantalizing for many players. In the rush by America’s enemies to grab what they can, WWIII is inevitable. 

Who will dare lead the face off against American claims to world power? Dare? There are zealot-led armies begging to be let off the chain. To date it seems that the only thing that has kept any one of them from leaping to the top of the food chain is the incessant internecine warfare America has managed to keep in play.

In spite of a surfeit of suspects, the prime suspect is plain to see for those who know biblical history and prophecy.

Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defensed cities.

Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction. The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.” (Jeremiah 4:5-7) 

Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly…the LORD will answer and say unto his people…I will remove far off from you the northern army,” (Joel 2:15, 20)

“flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD” (Zechariah 2:6)

Turkey is becoming a superpower

 

“Turkey has realised the greatest natural gas discovery in its history,” Erdogan was reported by Turkish and global mass media saying, stressing that this would help the country become a game-changer in relation to the energy market….

[Islamist] Erdogan told his nation that this gas find is a gift from God…”My Lord has opened the door to unprecedented wealth for us,” he said.

In fact, energy experts believe these gas reserves…usher in Turkey’s independence in this field…

READ: ‘We will not let anybody harm Turkey’s interests’

Writing in Foreign Policy, Allison Meikem noted that Turkey’s expansionist foreign policy came to a head in 2020.

“This year, Turkey’s military was more active around the world than it has been in decades, or perhaps ever. From Libya to Nagorno-Karabakh, the Turkish leader has used armed force to advance Turkey’sobjectives.” Meikem argued.

“But Erdoğan’s real impact on geopolitics…will come in the form of the 21st century pan-Islamism that he has finessed through soft power. The religious revivalism…has filled a void in the larger Muslim world…

Simply, it is clear that Turkey has realised…their neo-Ottoman ambitions. Whether it is the ongoing growth of Turkey-Pakistani relations, to Turkey’s expansion throughout the Caucuses and involvement in civil wars throughout the region…

Will they become the next regional superpower?

Now we have the players sorted out…

God announces his impending attack with trumpet calls for his people to join him in battle! To me! To me! The goal in this battle is to survive everlasting death. Mortal death is just a flesh wound! 

Seal 7 = Trumpets 1 – 7: Trumpets call God’s people to spiritual warfare.

The Seven Trumpets Call Believers to Rally Behind Their Leader

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The seven trumpet calls in Revelation are calling to war, but not yet attacking. Follow the pattern of the battle of Jericho, a stronghold of pure evil. God’s servants blow trumpets for 6 days / eras without taking action. It is not until the last trumpet is blown that God’s servants follow him into attacking the enemy. In the meantime, you can believe the defenders  are using their weapons against their enemy.

Notice as you read the following events that, in contrast to the statement that the angel with the censor cast fire into the earth, there is no statement that anyone in heaven causes the actions following each of the trumpet blasts. Instead, “there followed”…

We can parallel the events following each trumpet blast with the events at Jericho following each day’s trumpet blast. Although these are not documented in the book of Joshua, they are well known features of siege warfare.

The Canaanites lining the walls of Jericho would have stockpiled stones, arrows, garbage, excrement, boiling oil, fire and anything else that could cause damage to hurl at the attackers. They would have shouted insults, imprecations, curses and dares at them as well as enticed them to come over to the apparent safe side. Any other besieging army would be calling for a parley, spreading propaganda, building war machines, cutting down the surrounding orchards.  

True believers in the Savior of the Bible keep the faith of the Bible. They aren’t intimidated into falling away to the enemy, and are not thrown off balance, unlike nominal Christians making alliances with politicians

“And after these things [6th seal catastrophe] I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree…(Revelation 7:1)

While many of us believe the earth is flattish and not a round ball, I don’t know anyone who thinks it is square. It’s a manner of speaking – all four cardinal directions by which even in our current day the winds are named.

We tend to assume that every reference to “angel” refers to one of God’s servants, but this is not so. Case in point – the angel of the bottomless pit.

Daniel has introduced four winds of heaven, but don’t let’s jump to the conclusion that these are the same.

“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion…second, like to a bear…another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl…a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth.” (Daniel 7)

Daniel informs us that these four winds / spirit beings are God’s ministers by the account of two of them being Gabiel and Michael who strive with two of the four evil beasts.

In contrast, the four angels in Revelation are on earth, party to the catastrophe of the 6th seal and therefore members of the adversary’s army. God’s army is not yet attacking.

Wind is caused by the uneven temperatures of sections of the atmosphere. In addition to a nuclear bomb’s shock wave that can level skyscrapers and the searing blast of heat that can vaporize material, the heat wave sets mighty winds in motion. A momentary vacuum results from the outward rush of all air, followed by a reactive inward rush creating a vast firestorm exceeding the most powerful hurricane winds.

Jack London was on site as a newspaper journalist to describe the winds that followed the 1906 San Francisco great fire, caused when thousands of gas appliances were upturned by a massive earthquake. At the time, San Francisco was the 9th largest city in the United States.

Smoke Billowing over San Francisco after 1906 Earthquake

The earthquake shook down in San Francisco hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of walls and chimneys. But the conflagration that followed burned up hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of property. Not in history has a modern imperial city been so completely destroyed…

Within an hour after the earthquake shock the smoke of San Francisco’s burning was a lurid tower visible a hundred miles away. And for three days and nights this lurid tower swayed in the sky, reddening the sun, darkening the day, and filling the land with smoke…

At nine o’clock Wednesday evening I walked down through the very heart of the city. I walked through miles and miles of magnificent buildings and towering skyscrapers. Here was no fire. All was in perfect order. The police patrolled the streets. Every building had its watchman at the door. And yet it was doomed, all of it…

At one o’clock in the morning I walked down through the same section…A rain of ashes was falling…The district had been absolutely abandoned…Half a dozen blocks away it was burning on both sides. The street was a wall of flame… 

I watched the vast conflagration from out on the bay. It was dead calm. Not a flicker of wind stirred. Yet from every side wind was pouring in upon the city. East, west, north, and south, strong winds were blowing upon the doomed city. The heated air rising made an enormous suck. Thus did the fire of itself build its own colossal chimney through the atmosphere. Day and night this dead calm continued, and yet, near to the flames, the wind was often half a gale, so mighty was the suck.

Whatever the catastrophe – armaments, volcanoes, earthquakes, asteroids – it will become evident that winds are active in each disaster.

“And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.” 

Once the last seal is loosed, the scroll falls open and the words of the book are no longer hidden. The time of the end is now. If there was “coming to pass” with the seals being lifted and replaced and another chance given, there is no longer. Once these words are spoken into existence there is no turning back, only The End.

It seems the multitude of reveling beings in heaven are rendered speechless at the discovery of the horrors to come. And that the Lamb is reluctant to speak into action those horrors.

From Revelation 8.

“The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.”

“Hail” is more descriptive of an uncountable number of projectiles “raining” down from the sky than the composition of frozen water. “A hail of bullets” has often used to describe a battle scenario, although much larger long-range missiles are more likely in our day. This is consistent with the description of accompanying fire from the rockets propelling the missiles and/or impact and blood spray from missiles.

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Decades of the Arms Race has resulted in stockpiles of satellite-based and intercontinental ballistics missiles that fit this description, especially America’s Star Wars program. Notice, Star Wars is a defensive system, supporting the hypothesis that, as judgment begins at the house of God, America, not Russia or China, experiences the first strike (sixth seal event).

Thirty-three years ago [this was published April 2021] the Star Wars program was easily the most elaborate and complex defense system ever conceived.

“I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering these nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete,” President Ronald Reagan said on March 23, 1983. The speech announced the creation of a new missile defense called the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), which quickly became known as Star Wars.

It envisaged a vast network of laser-armed satellites, air-based missiles, and ground-based interceptors missiles and electromagnetic railguns. These would be used to intercept incoming nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles from the Soviet Union and other enemies, all coordinated through advanced sensors linked to supercomputers, and protect the United States from direct nuclear attack. By being able to neutralize at least most of the incoming nuclear warheads, the U.S. hoped to show the Soviet Union that any potential nuclear confrontation was hopeless…

A look at President Reagan’s Star Wars program, 33 years later
Graphic of how SDI would work.

 

The skepticism towards the program was intense from the beginning. Besides the clear violations of the ABM treaty such a system would represent, it would also extend the arms race even deeper into space.

Swarms of hunter-killer satellites and space-based lasers would be a frightening new frontier, and the Soviet Union would almost certainly try to respond in kind. The projected costs of the system ran into the hundreds of billions of dollars, and the inevitable cost overruns would balloon the Star Wars program to a huge percentage of the U.S. military budget. In the event of an a nuclear attack, unproven technology would have be coordinated on an unprecedented scale and work perfectly the first time. The hurdles involved were well-nigh insurmountable. Nevertheless, by 1987 more than $3 billion was being appropriated annually by Congress to start developing the technology, roughly $6.5 billion in today’s dollars…

The simple fact was that the program was never going to be feasible against as many weapons as an opponent like the Soviet Union could put into play. By 1986 the Soviets had over 40,000 nuclear warheads stockpiled, including nearly a thousand ICBM’s with up to 10 warheads a piece that could shower and overwhelm any target within 30 minutes of launch. Soviet submarines armed with nuclear missiles could get close enough to U.S. coasts that their payloads could strike hundreds of targets faster than any conceivable system could detect and intercept them. Even if SDI could stop 90 percent of the Soviet’s warheads, the 10 percent that made it through would leave the United States in radioactive ruin.

Though scaled back, development on weapons envisaged in Star Wars continued throughout the 1990s. Its legacy can be seen in today’s Missile Defense Agency. The MDA has cost more than $100 billion since 2002, and the test results of its missile interceptors have been decidedly mixed.

But we can be certain of one thing. It will be used.

The “third part” of trees and “all” green grass does not need to refer to the entire earth to be an accurate statement reporting damage only against the field of attack. When Gideon requested that “all the earth” be dry, he included only the vicinity of the event.

The fact that enough trees are destroyed to be significant is a clue to the location of the counter-attack, and therefore the identity of the initiator of the first strike in WWIII. I don’t envision a massive counter-strike being launched against Amazonia, Canada, the Congo, or Southeast Asian Islands. Russia it is.

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The loss of so many trees is also significant for the environment.

More than 60,000 types of trees cover 31% of the planet, but we’re losing tree coverage at an alarming rate. In tropics regions alone, more than 30 soccer fields worth of trees were lost each minute of 2019 due to deforestation for the sake of agriculture…

Trees play a key role in combating climate change because they absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Trees actually provide us humans with the air we breathe, while removing harmful greenhouse gas emissions from the environment. Over the course of a year, one mature tree can release 260 pounds of oxygen and can sequester more than 48 pounds of carbon dioxide through the process of photosynthesis. 

More than just that, trees improve water quality and reduce soil erosion as well. Trees act as buffers for extreme weather events…Tree leaves also prevent harsh wind and rain from eroding the soil, while tree roots hold soil in place. 

The loss of “all green grass” is of primary significance for food supplies in grains as a primary food source as well as livestock for meat and dairy products. 

“And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea:

  • and the third part of the sea became blood;
  • And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died;
  • and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

“As it were” clues us in that this is a simile, not an actual mountain or volcano. Doubtless John had no experience with what he was seeing and had to fall back on known images to provide some idea of it.

The Normandy Invasion of WWII provides some historical background for understanding what John is describing.

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Codenamed Operation Overlord, the battle began on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history…The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe…

more than 5,000 ships and landing craft carrying troops and supplies left England for the trip across the Channel to France, while more than 11,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion…

more than 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the D-Day invasion, with thousands more wounded or missing.

McCorkle landed on Omaha Beach at about 6:30 on the morning of June 6, 1944.

“As we were getting off the landing craft, men all around me were falling and screaming; blood had turned the water red,” he recalled. “Somehow — I am convinced with the help of God — I got onto the beach…”

Many of his friends were killed or wounded in the first 15 minutes or so.

The Germans had many mortars in action behind the sand dunes and were lobbing shells, killing and wounding many.

“The gunfire and shelling were so heavy that it took us about one hour to reach the base of the sand dune which gave us some protection from machine gun and rifle fire,” he said. “After I reached the base of the dune and looked back, it was shocking to see the dead and the wounded on the beach…When we regrouped at the road, we had 15 men missing out of the original 30 who landed.” 

D-Day is always the story of brave men struggling across beaches and then fighting their way inland. Another story, however, was unfolding at sea. At least 200 ships and landing craft sank off the beaches…

Operation Neptune…would bombard the Normandy coast from several miles off shore…while overhead, waves of Allied aircraft headed for Normandy to pulverize what Adolf Hitler called the Atlantic Wall, “impregnable against every enemy.”

Allied strategists believed the wall’s fortifications could be destroyed by naval bombardment and aerial bombings. A briefing officer in England, describing the expected results, said, “Every grain of sand will be turned over twice before the first wave hits the beach.” But…aircraft had dropped their bombs far beyond the beaches because clouds obscured targets…

“Up to within a few hundred yards of the water’s edge,” says an official history, “there was every reason to hope that the enemy shore defenses might have been neutralized. Then, many of the leading craft began to come under fire from automatic weapons and artillery, which increased in volume as they approached touchdown.”

The Neptune plan had to be changed. Destroyers were ordered to risk grounding by steaming close to shore and firing their 5-inch guns as supporting fire for the men on the beach…

By 1957, salvagers had harvested 25,000 tons of Neptune metal off a stretch of D-Day beach from Omaha to Sword, the easternmost invasion beach. 

A major part of the Allies strategy was to limit German resistance to the landing.

In the months and weeks before D-Day, the Allies carried out a massive deception operation intended to make the Germans think the main invasion target was Pas-de-Calais (the narrowest point between Britain and France) rather than Normandy. In addition, they led the Germans to believe that Norway and other locations were also potential invasion targets. Many tactics were used to carry out the deception, including fake equipment; a phantom army commanded by George Patton and supposedly based in England, across from Pas-de-Calais; double agents; and fraudulent radio transmissions…

At first, Hitler, believing the invasion was a feint designed to distract the Germans from a coming attack north of the Seine River, refused to release nearby divisions to join the counterattack. Reinforcements had to be called from further afield, causing delays. He also hesitated in calling for armored divisions to help in the defense. Moreover, the Germans were hampered by effective Allied air support, which took out many key bridges and forced the Germans to take long detours.

Would the Allies have been victorious on D-Day if Germany had known they were coming, and had all their military might launched against them?

During Desert Storm when 1/3 of America’s fleet was in the Persian Gulf, a massive combined strike from Iraq could have sunk it into the sea. This consideration continues to fit with the foundational concept of America on the defensive against an Eastern coalition, literally. 

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The Trump administration’s long-term shipbuilding plan, required by Congress, projects spending $167 billion over five years to boost the Navy’s fleet as it confronts a rising China in the Pacific…

“Since taking office, President Trump has promised to increase the size of our naval fleet to 355 battle ships, re-establish the United States as the global power at sea to continue to secure our country while making it more prosperous…road map for achieving maritime supremacyand sending a strong message to our adversaries like China…

The plan relies on a national defense budget topline of $759 billion in fiscal 2022, adjusted for inflation in the future years…derived in part by moving $30 billion from…the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the Middle East…

The new plan “is a terrible idea, because the Navy won’t have the money to pay for sustainment and manning of the additional ships,” said Bryan Clark, a naval programs analyst at the Hudson Institute.

And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

The Great Himalayan Watershed (GHW) encompasses most of Asia’s rivers — today around 45 per cent of the world’s population depends on the watershed. This location targets Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the wealthy Southeast Asian Moslems, and economically powerful China, all of whom represent American enemies.

A “great star from heaven” describes either an InterContinental Ballistics Missile or a satellite-based missile armed with a weaponized water-born agent of mass destruction. An air-borne agent can literally blow back onto the sender via the prevailing winds. 

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The pattern I’m picking up is strike and counter-strike, standard war games, expecting that both sides are prepared to return fire. So in the scenario I’m proposing – based on current world news – it’s America’s turn to hit the ball back into the opponents’ court.

karman-line

Despite the popular belief that space is peaceful, the military has always played a role in its exploration. The first rocket to breach the 100-kilometer-high Karman Line, which defines the beginning of outer space, was a German military V2 fired in 1944. The first satellite, Sputnik, soared into orbit [ranging from 200 km to 950 kmatop a modified Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in 1957.

NASA, founded one year later, established America’s space program as strictly civilian. Still…military…officers piloted most Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo spacecraft, which its [military] rockets boosted into space. Behind the scenes, the Pentagon planned its own secret space missions, coordinated by an agency later renamed DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency).

Yet space remained free of actual weapons during the Cold War.

If you accept that at face value then you must confess that you put your faith in politics and the media or that you simply bury your head in the sand. Some statements are simply beyond belief.

For starters, in the setting of the Space Race, Is there any suspicion that there were Cold War politics considerations to establish the Karman Line where it is to set the bar high enough that the Soviets’ Sputnik “failed” to reach “space”?

In this paper I revisit proposed definitions of the boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space…from historical, physical and technological viewpoints and propose 80 km as a more appropriate boundary than the currently popular 100 km Von Kármán line…

The argument about where the atmosphere ends and space begins predates the launch of the first Sputnik…boundaries ranging from 30 km to 1.5 million km have been suggested…

Although the subject has not been much addressed in the physics literature, there is an extensive law/policy literature on the subject…COPUOS has wrestled with the issue continuously since 1966 without a conclusion. COPUOS, the Committee on Peaceful Uses Of Outer Space, was established in 1959 and is the UN body dealing with astronautics. 

Goedhart lists almost 30 different proposals from the 1951–1962 period for an altitude boundary ranging from 20 to 400 km; most values are in the 75–100 km range. A number of these authors suggest that the large variations with time of atmospheric properties make it futile to locate a true boundary of space based on physical arguments. In this paper I will argue the contrary: there is a moderately-well-defined boundary of space, it coincides with the Karman line as originally defined, and that line is close to 80 km, not 100 km…

my main interest here is to define a boundary of space for the use of historians of spaceflight…

In recent decades the 100 km Karman line has gained ascendancy as the most commonly used boundary, notably for the Ansari X-Prize won by the Spaceship One team.

The ‘official’ status of the von Karman line, such as it is, comes from the undated paper ‘100 km Altitude Boundary For Astronautics’ on the web site of the Astronautics Records Commission (ICARE) of the Fdration Aronautique Internationale (FAI), which certifies world records for aeronautics and astronautics. It is unfortunate that discussion in this official document in the section ‘demonstration of usefulness of Karman line’ appears to be poorly researched:

In the early 1960s the U.S. X-15 Aircraft was flown up to 108 km. In that part of the flight it was really a free falling rocket, with no aerodynamic control possible. In fact, it was considered an astronautical flight, and the pilot got, as a consequence, his astronautical wings, i.e. the recognition of being an astronaut.

This is not incorrect, but the USAF considered all X-15 flights above 80 km as astronautical flights and gave those pilots astronaut wings. So this paragraph would argue for 80 km, not 100 km. The first non-NASA pilot to be awarded astronaut wings…flew to 95 km on 1962 Jul 17. If a limit of 100 km instead of 80 km is used, White, Robert Rushworth, Jack McKay, Bill Dana and Mike Adams lose their space traveler status (Joe Engle keeps his because he later flew on Shuttle, and Joe Walker passed the Karman line on his X-15 flights).

In the past few years, even lower values have been proposed. The prominent astrophysicist Alan Stern has argued (personal communication) for balloon altitudes in the 30–35 km range as being ‘space’ or ‘near space’; Stern is involved in the World View high-altitude-balloon near-space tourism venture…

The true outer edge to the Earth’s atmosphere, or a reasonable candidate for it, is the magnetic shock front with the solar wind…One can also consider the gravitational boundary of the Earth-Moon system with respect to the Sun, conventionally chosen to be the 1.5-million-km radius…these boundaries may be used to distinguish space in the Earth-Moon system from interplanetary space…

On the basis of these physical, technological and historical arguments, I therefore suggest that a value of 80 km is a more suitable choice to use as the canonical lower ‘edge of space’ in circumstances where such a dividing line between atmosphere and space is desired.

The Kármán line is widely considered the “edge of space,” but it’s really an inner edge. Earth’s atmosphere continues far beyond.

As detailed in the post The Beginning, an investigation into Hubble’s historical context, technological capabilities and imaginative productions is far more indicative of military use under a cloak of scientific inquiry. After what has come to light about our government’s undercover operations during the Cold War that shouldn’t seem like a far-fetched idea.

A member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, Dr. John Jacob Nutter reveals...the many and varied types of covert action-subsidies, graymail, propaganda, psychological and economic warfare, military support, paramilitary operations, coups d’etat, and assassinations-and provides detailed examples of success and failure undertaken in the name of “national security.”

Unusual and exclusive, The CIA’s Black Ops is a courageous and unprecedented declassification of foreign exploits and domestic secrets, covering clandestine activities from the birth of special operations to today’s underground actions–many operations so covert that government officials don’t know (or don’t want to know) they are taking place.

Today…“The space environment has become increasingly congested, competitive and contested,” Frank Rose, a senior fellow for security and strategy at the Brookings Institution and former assistant secretary of state for arms control, explained to Congress in March 2019…

The X-37B is a reusable space plane operated by the U.S. Air Force. Image: NASA/MSFC

From the start, the military rationale for space weapons was to control the high ground and shoot down enemies. Such an attack, generals and politicians argued, would be impossible to stop…

The U.S. military dreams of “space superiority” or “counter-space dominance.” Judging by their own publications and statements, Russian and Chinese strategists clearly share such reveries. Nascent space powers like India and North Korea may do so as well. Yet technology advantages often prove fleeting. After all, the U.S. military once had an exclusive hold on atomic weapons, jet aircraft, ICBMs, semiconductors, cyberwarfare, and artificial intelligence. It may still lead in those fields, but it is clearly no longer alone…

efforts to keep space a weapons-free zone dates back to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. Among other things, it prohibited weapons of mass destruction and the establishment of military bases in space…

Yet today’s international climate seems less welcoming for intensive diplomatic negotiations and new international treaties. Some organizations, such as the Stimson Center and the Union of Concerned Scientists, have drafted codes of conduct and proposals for spacefaring nations to avoid space conflict. Even if nations adopt them, they do not carry the same force as a binding treaty.

As the technologies of space warfare continue to become ever more sophisticated, the Earth seems trapped in a slow spiral of escalation toward open conflict in space. In some ways, it seems like a rerun of the Cold War, but with more players and less predictability. In this realm of move and countermove, India’s recent antisatellite exercise is merely the latest symptom.

And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

This cascade of events leading to the end of the world as we know it is not just prophecy by fanatical religious fundamentalists, it is a prediction by top scientists.

A snowball effect is how it rolls in the book A Path Where No Man Thought: Nuclear Winter and the End of the Arms Race by eminently popular atheist scientist Carl Sagan and Richard Turco. Published in 1990, it continues to be defended as a real and present danger by scientists. 

Recently updated geopolitical assessments have led scientists to warn that, one way or another, human misbehavior is bringing our world to an end.

for I have heard from the LORD God of hosts a consumption /utterly consumed, devastation, even determined upon the whole earth. ” (Isaiah 28:14-22)

 

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