They say, The LORD shall not see...scatter thou the people that delight in war.”
(Psalm 94:7 and 68:30)

Scatter Thou The People

Dear Friends,

Greetings! “In war, truth is the first casualty,” is a saying attributed to Aeschylus, a Greek tragic dramatist (525 BC - 456 BC). If war is built on lies and not on truth, Jesus makes it pretty clear in John 8:44 who the father of lies is. “When he (the devil) speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

As of this writing, the United States has still not launched an attack on Syria. This could all change within a few hours.

Wesley Clark points out in a video from 1999, below, there is a definite agenda behind what is happening in the world today and its' wars. This is not some Arab Spring or the furtherance of democracy in the Middle East. It is a plan that is systematically being carried out to its' conclusion.

Incidentally Wesley Clark, as Wikipedia points out; “...spent 34 years in the Army and the Department of Defense, receiving many military decorations, several honorary knighthoods, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

Clark commanded Operation Allied Force in the Kosovo War during his term as the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000. This is a man who would know what he's talking about, and should be listened to if he is honest.

There is an agenda that is going ahead by the powers that be. We aren't talking of Obama or Cameron, despite what the people of the United States, United Kingdom or the rest of the world might want or think. What is so outstanding is they act as if people have no memories.

King Solomon said in the book of Ecclesiastes, “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.”

People who cannot see this need to wake up, which thank God is now happening in a very big way. If people refuse to acknowledge and believe what is so evident and happening before their very eyes they may be what the Bible in 2nd Peter 3:5 refers to as being willingly ignorant.


Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.

Those who do not read history are doomed to repeat it.

Those who fail to learn from the mistakes of their predecessors are destined to repeat them.

Those who do not know history's mistakes are doomed to repeat them. George Santayana


Are we to see the fulfillment of Isaiah 17:1 - “The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from [being] a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap”.


After the UK voted not to attack Syria we were discussing what the possible consequences of this outcome may have on the world. The article below, which someone sent us, explains the exact content of our discussion. It may mean a little more time but a bigger bang.


Northeast Intelligence Network

This is the most dangerous time in modern history-intelligence insider update

By Douglas J. Hagmann

29 August 2013

“We’re in the most dangerous time in modern world history and here’s why, here’s what’s happening,” stated my source deep within the spy world early this morning. “We’re seeing a combination of a nine-percent overall approval rating for intervention in Syria, or the absence of public support for the globalist plans by the Obama regime, the UK, the Saudis and other NATO allies. When have we seen this before, and what does history tell us? The increased likelihood of a false flag event larger and causing more public outrage than the alleged chemical weapons attacks.”

My source continued, “think Gulf of Tonkin, the Lusitania, even Pearl Harbor, use those as your historical guides for what we’re seeing today. Make no mistake, the global agenda has not changed,” he emphasized. “When their primary plan backfires or meets resistance, they have alternate plans. In the coming days or weeks, we could see an event that will be horrendous enough to change that nine-percent backing. Also, time is not on their side, they need to act within a short window as the anti-Assad ‘rebels’ are being beaten badly without Western assistance.”

Pawns a-Plenty – Setting the global chessboard

“Look at all of the military assets being moved into that region. I told you last October, and you reported it, that we are engaged in a proxy war against Russia and China. Both countries have a huge stake in Syria, militarily and economically, especially Russia. Oh, and is John McCain out of his [multiple expletives deleted] mind? This designated loser of the 2008 presidential campaign is talking as if any action in Syria is going to happen in a vacuum. As I said before, any action will not be in a vacuum or without a tit-for-tat response,” stated this source.

“Launching cruise missiles into Syria will likely fall not only upon innocent civilians, but on Iranian forces, Russian forces – Russia has over 100,000 ‘military advisors there now, and perhaps even some Chinese assets. What do you think their response will be?” he asked rhetorically. “This is asymmetrical warfare on steroids. The response might not be what everyone expects. In fact, we should be looking for the unexpected, as we are about to be blindsided.”

“Do you think that telegraphing our target list and stating that strikes will be brief and limited is by the incompetence of the Obama regime, or by design? It’s be design,” stated my source, who added that this will provide the opportunity to the Russians and other essential assets to get out of the way. “And therein lies the ‘flash-bang, pyrotechnic display of the magic show I’ve been talking about, that is intended to divert everyone’s attention from what’s really about to happen,” he emphasized.

“This is not a ‘zero sum game’ confined to Syria Again, this is about setting up the globalist takeover of the world’s economic system, killing off the U.S. dollar to have it replaced by a basket of currencies, or SDRs, and controlling all transactional activity everywhere on the planet under one mechanism. It will be done by using Syria as the trigger, oil as a weapon, and striking at the weakest aspect of American power – the U.S. dollar, which has been the target all along.”

“What better way to accomplish this by blaming the economic ‘collapse’ on the ‘unfortunate and unseen’ consequences of a ‘humanitarian mission’, saving the Syrians from a dictator who used chemical weapons on his own people? It’s all a lie, and we’re being played as fools. This is an international bankers’ war that will result in heavy causalities.”

Consider that until Western/globalist meddling in Syria, the country was a relatively stable and religiously tolerant secular state. Today, the Syrian death toll as a result of this Western-manufactured civil war stands at and estimated 150,000 dead in Syria alone. Also, over a million Syrians have been displaced and are now refugees. According to a recent assessment made by geopolitical analyst and former Indian diplomat Gajendra Singh, Syria will rapidly fall into a bloodbath that will make 150,000 dead just a small taste of what’s to come when Assad is toppled. Removal of Assad will result in the wholesale slaughter of the diverse religious sects. Responsible estimates from those familiar with the geopolitics of Syria estimate that 20% of a population of twenty-million will be killed – or a total of 4 million people.

Watch for a false flag

“The globalists are financing all sides of this conflict to assure the accomplishments of their objectives. When things go hot in Syria and the Middle East, we could see something very bad happen in Saudi Arabia, or something to affect the production or free flow of oil, the single factor that is keeping the U.S. dollar relevant. We could see something happen to threaten, hinder or even temporarily halt oil shipments across the globe. Also, with the U.S. preoccupied, China could well move on the Japanese Senkaku islands, North Korea will ramp up their mischief, and other areas will gradually become unglued. It’s all one big transfer of power, transfer of wealth, and a global economic reset.”

“Understand this: the globalist objectives have not changed. The absence of popular support just makes this whole situation much more dangerous, and raises the possibility of ‘false flag events’ of similar historical precedent to change public opinion. Something much bigger than we’ve seen to date. People are just not thinking big enough.”



Pope Francis, Other Christian Leaders Condemn Western Invention in Syria: Warn of 'world War'

Posted GMT 8-28-2013

ROME -- Pope Francis, as well as other Christian leaders in the Middle East and around Europe are sounding the alarm of a possible global conflict should the US and other western powers launch an attack on Syria.

In an interview with Vatican Radio yesterday, the Syrian Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo, said that armed intervention in Syria could unleash a "world war."

"If there is an armed intervention, that would mean, I believe, a world war. That risk has returned," he said.

The comments follow an urgent appeal by Pope Francis this weekend for the world's powers not to intervene in the escalating Syrian conflict. On Sunday, Pope Francis called on the international community to do everything they could to avoid military action, calling for them "to be more sensitive to this tragic situation and make every effort to help the beloved Syrian nation find a solution to a war that sows destruction and death."

"The increase in violence in a war between brothers, with the proliferation of massacres and atrocities, that we all have been able to see in the terrible images of these days, leads me once again raise my voice that the clatter of arms may cease," he said during the Angelus. "It is not confrontation that offers hope to resolve problems, but rather the ability to meet and dialogue."

Bishop Audo added to Vatican Radio, "We hope that the Pope's call for real dialogue between the warring parties to find a solution can be a first step to stop the fighting."

L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican's quasi-official paper, also criticised the threats by Western powers, accusing US President Obama of pursuing a policy of "political expediency" rather "than of substance."

Britain, France and the US are widely reported to be preparing military strikes against Syria. They argue that credible reports of the government using chemical weapons against the Islamist rebels and civilians show the government has violated international peace treaties. The matter escalated rapidly last week when workers with the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said three hospitals in the Damascus area had seen about 3,600 patients suffering from "neurotoxic symptoms," of whom 355 had died.

The Syrian Civil War began in 2011 with uprisings in many Middle Eastern countries, largely motivated by conflict between the two main factions of Islam, Sunnis and Shias, that western media dubbed the "Arab Spring." The Obama administration has backed the rebels, and US diplomatic hostility to the Shia Assad regime has escalated recently, despite warnings that rebels are funded and supported by the Sunni Islamic extremist group the Muslim Brotherhood, and ultimately Al-Qaeda. Reports have increased daily of attacks by rebel fighters against Christian Syrian civilians, their homes, schools and institutions.

While refugees, both Muslim and Christian continue to pour out of the country into refugee centres in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, Christian leaders around the world are calling on the Obama administration and the British government to recognise and oppose the threat to the remaining Christian population in Syria. Reports on the ground have said that the country has become a magnet for Islamic extremists, many from Europe, who are carrying out a violent pogrom against Christians.

The Syrian-born Patriarch Gregoire III Laham has echoed Bishop Audo's warning of a "world war". He told Catholic News Service by telephone today from the Patriarchate's summer residence in Lebanon, "Enough with the intervention!"

"It is fueling hatred, fueling criminality, fueling inhumanity, fueling fundamentalism, terrorism -- all these things are the fruit of intervention. Enough!" He added, "Surely, it will spread like a world war."

"The Holy Father was very clear on Aug. 25," the patriarch said. "This is the real voice to be heard, and not the voice of weapons and interventions and of warships."

"Instead of trying to change the (Syrian) government, help the government to change. We are all for change. We are all for reforms. But not in this way, with blood."

Laham, who is the Patriarch of the Melkite Catholics, (in canonical union with the See of Rome) of Antioch of the East, of Alexandria and Jerusalem, repeated the warning to AsiaNews, saying, "We must listen to the Pope's appeal for peace … Syria needs stability."

"If western countries want to create true democracy then they must build it on reconciliation, through dialogue between Christians and Muslims, not with weapons. This attacked being planned by the United States is a criminal act, which will only reap more victims, in addition to the tens of thousands of these two years of war. This will destroy the Arab world's trust in the West."

The planned attack, he said, will affect the whole Syrian population, saying this outcome was no less serious than the use of chemical weapons. It will sink the area into total war, which, he said, the Islamists will win, reducing the country to small, constantly warring enclaves, and pushing the remaining Christians out.

"The disappearance of the Christians," he said, "is a danger not only for Syria, but for all of Europe." The presence of Christians in the Middle East, he called "the essential condition for a moderate Islam, which exists thanks to the Christians."

"If we leave, there can be no democracy in Syria. This is supported also by the Muslims themselves, who fear the Islamist's madness. Many say that they cannot live where there are no Christians."

The Patriarch continued, asking, "What or who have led Syria to this thin red line, this point of no return? Who created this hell in which our people have been living for months?"

"Every day…Islamic extremists from all over the world are pouring into Syria with the sole intent to kill and not one country has done anything to stop them, even the U.S. has decided to send in more weapons."

The calls for restraint from Catholic leaders was joined today by the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate. Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Department for External Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, accused the US, "as was the case in Iraq," of "acting as an international executioner." Hilarion told AsiaNews that the US is acting without the endorsement of the UN, adding, "They want to decide the fate of a whole country of millions of inhabitants."

"Once again, thousands of lives will be sacrificed on the altar of an imaginary democracy." Among these victims, he added, are "Christians, about whose fate no one cares." These are at "risk of becoming hostages to the situation and the main victims of radical extremist forces, who, with the help of the United States, will come to power."

The Russian government has also strongly opposed Western intervention. Tonight a statement from the Foreign Ministry said that US-led attacks would have "catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa". The statement said the US is bypassing the UN Security Council, and creating "artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention".

The Syrian government admitted in 2012 to having stockpiled both chemical and biological weapons, including VX, Sarin and mustard gas, claiming that they were for use only against foreign aggressors. The country is signatory to the 1925 Geneva Protocol which banned chemical weapons following the horrors of gas attacks in WWI.

Meanwhile, reports are rapidly escalating of Islamic attacks on Christian churches, schools and other institutions in Syria and other places in the Middle East, most notably in Egypt. The Associated Press reported that as of today, 638 people are confirmed dead, and nearly 4,000 injured in Egypt.



Amir Mizroch @Amirmizroch

Editor @israelhayomeng News Radio host

Israeli defense estbl assessment: US attack starts when UN inspectors leave Syria on Saturday, ends when Obama meets Putin next Wednesday

5:18 AM - 29 Aug 2013 

Syria resolution authorizing military force fails in U.N. Security Council

August 29, 2013

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council failed to reach an agreement Wednesday on a British-proposed resolution that would authorize the use of military force against Syria, as the U.N. chief pleaded for more time for diplomacy.

The draft resolution — if it were to be put to a vote — would almost certainly be vetoed by Russia and China, which have blocked past attempts to sanction President Bashar Assad’s regime.

Late Wednesday, Britain’s mission to the U.N. said no decision had been made on moving forward with its resolution, CBS News foreign affairs analyst Pamela Falk reports from U.N. headquarters in New York.



Why Cameron buckled on Syria vote

Nick Robinson

23 August 2013

It is without modern precedent for a prime minister to lose control of his foreign policy, let alone decisions about peace and war.

That, though, is what has happened in the past 24 hours.

David Cameron summoned MPs to return early from their summer break in order to vote for British involvement in military strikes against Syria within days.

The timetable was not his. It was President Obama's.

Having declared that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would be the crossing of a red line, the White House was under pressure to act and to act fast.

No guarantee

In addition, Obama is said to have wanted to act before leaving the US for a foreign trip next Tuesday.

If he still wants to stick to that timetable, Britain will no longer be with him.

The government simply could not guarantee that its own MPs would give it a majority in the vote tonight. They needed Labour's support.

Ed Miliband showed every sign of offering it in a series of face-to-face meetings with David Cameron until last night, when he insisted that MPs be given a second vote after the UN weapons inspectors in Syria had reported.

David Cameron has consistently talked tough on Syria and consistently proved unable to act tough. Today he will try to present that as a search for consensus after the painful wounds of Iraq.”

It is impossible to know whether he was acting out of principle or in response to pressure from his own MPs. The answer is probably both.

In response the prime minister felt he had no choice but to buckle. So, now MPs are being asked to vote on the "principle" of military action but with the promise that they will get another say before any missiles are fired.

Labour are still not happy. They are tabling an amendment which sets out what they call a "road map" to a decision - in effect a series of hurdles that have to be crossed before action can be taken.

The one that could prove trickiest is the one that may seem the easiest. It is the call for "compelling evidence" that chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime.

The UN weapons inspectors in Damascus will not produce that evidence.

Sarin poisoning

Their mandate is not to discover who used chemical weapons. It is to confirm whether they were used.

This morning the government will publish a document (after Iraq, no-one will call it a dossier) written by the Joint Intelligence Committee.

It has already been seen by senior government ministers and the Labour leader and shadow foreign secretary. It is largely an analysis of so-called "open source material", ie YouTube videos of the chemical weapons attack last week.

I am told that the JIC assessment is that:

The sheer number of images could not have been forged

The symptoms of victims are consistent with Sarin poisoning

The scale of attack would require artillery and aircraft available only to the Assad regime and not to the rebels

As with much intelligence, that is an expert judgement but is it what Labour and their allies in other parties regard as "compelling evidence"?

Tonight, MPs will be offered the chance to vote first for Labour's amendment and then for the government's motion.

Lessons of Iraq

Labour will not say whether they will back the government if their amendment falls.

They will hope for further concessions from ministers. The outcome is, after the last 24 hours, unpredictable.

The stakes could scarcely be higher. At issue is not just what response, if any, Britain makes to the use of chemical weapons; not just British involvement, if any, in military strikes but also the reputations of the prime minister and the man who wants to replace him.

David Cameron has consistently talked tough on Syria and consistently proved unable to act tough. Today he will try to present that as a search for consensus after the painful wounds of Iraq.

Ed Miliband is emerging, his supporters hope, as a statesman who has learnt the lessons of Iraq.

However, he will be aware that the Tories are waiting to present him as someone merely playing Westminster politics if he refuses today to take yes for an answer by backing the government's new motion.


The Wall Street Journal

Stephens: Target Assad A strike directed straight at the Syrian dictator and his family is the only military option that could hasten the end of the civil war.


Should President Obama decide to order a military strike against Syria, his main order of business must be to kill Bashar Assad. Also, Bashar's brother and principal henchman, Maher. Also, everyone else in the Assad family with a claim on political power. Also, all of the political symbols of the Assad family's power, including all of their official or unofficial residences. The use of chemical weapons against one's own citizens plumbs depths of barbarity matched in recent history only by Saddam Hussein. A civilized world cannot tolerate it. It must demonstrate that the penalty for it will be acutely personal and inescapably fatal.

Maybe this strikes some readers as bloody-minded. But I don't see how a president who ran for his second term boasting about how he "got" Osama bin Laden—one bullet to the head and another to the heart—has any grounds to quarrel with the concept.

As it is, a strike directed straight at the Syrian dictator and his family is the only military option that will not run afoul of the only red line Mr. Obama is adamant about: not getting drawn into a protracted Syrian conflict. And it is the one option that has a chance to pay strategic dividends from what will inevitably be a symbolic action. the Kill Assad option. On Monday John Kerry spoke with remarkable passion about the "moral obscenity" of using chemical weapons, and about the need to enforce "accountability for those who would use the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people." Amen, Mr. Secretary, especially considering that you used to be Bashar's best friend in Washington.

The world can ill-afford a reprise of the 1930s, when the barbarians were given free rein by a West that had lost its will to enforce global order. Yes, a Tomahawk aimed at Assad could miss, just as the missiles aimed at Saddam did. But there's also a chance it could hit and hasten the end of the civil war. And there's both a moral and deterrent value in putting Bashar and Maher on the same list that once contained the names of bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki.

There will be other occasions to consider the narrow question of Syria's future. What's at stake now is the future of civilization, and whether the word still has any meaning.



Contrary evidence arises as U.S. considers punishing Assad regime

Published: August 25, 2013


NEW YORK – As the U.S. considers a response to what it calls a chemical weapon attack by Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime that killed hundreds of civilians, reliable Middle Eastern sources say they have evidence the culprits actually were the rebel forces trying to take over the government.

Secretary of State John Kerry accused the Assad government Monday of covering up the use of chemical weapons in “a cowardly crime” and a “moral obscenity” that shocked the world’s conscience. Kerry claimed the Obama administration had “undeniable” evidence “that the Assad government was culpable in the use of chemical weapons on civilians” in the Aug. 21 attack in Damascus suburbs.

Reports that the Obama administration is considering a military strike against the Assad government continued to circulate Monday. Meanwhile, U.N. weapon inspectors in Syria were fired upon by snipers as they attempted to investigate the site of the Aug. 21 attack.

Assad has rejected charges that his government forces used chemical weapons as “preposterous” and “completely politicized,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

He argues Syrian forces were in the targeted area.

“How is it possible that any country would use chemical weapons, or any weapons of mass destruction, in an area where its own forces are located?” Assad asked in the interview with Izvestia, according to a translation provided by Syria’s official news agency and published by the Los Angeles Times.

“This is preposterous! These accusations are completely politicized and come on the back of the advances made by the Syrian Army against the terrorists.”

Rebel attack?

With the assistance of former PLO member and native Arabic-speaker Walid Shoebat, WND has assembled evidence from various Middle Eastern sources that cast doubt on Obama administration claims the Assad government is responsible for last week’s attack.

A video posted on YouTube, embedded below, shows Free Syrian Army, or FSA, rebel forces launching a Sarin gas attack on a Syrian village.

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Another video posted on YouTube shows what appears to be Syrian rebel forces loading a canister of nerve gas on a rocket to fire presumably at civilians and possibly government forces.

As seen below, a screen capture from the video shows rebel civilian forces placing a suspicious blue canister on top of a rocket-launching device.

A separate YouTube video from Syrian television shows a government-captured arsenal of what appears to be nerve gas weapons seized from a rebel stronghold in Jobar, Syria.

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The image below shows canisters in the seized rebel arsenal from Jobar that appear to resemble the canister launched by rebel forces in the first image above.

Syrian TV news report of rebel weapons seized in Jobar, Syria

A close-up from the Syrian television news report, seen below, shows a chemical agent identified as having been made by a “Saudi factory.”

Syrian TV news report showing chemical agents identified as manufactured in Saudi Arabia

A report from the Russian Arabic-language channel RT Arabic shows captured rebel arsenals apparently with chemical agents manufactured in Saudi Arabia and gas masks, supporting Russian claims that the rebels are the culprits in the alleged chemical attack.

On Aug. 23, hosted an audio recording of a phone call broadcast on Syrian TV between a terrorist affiliated with the rebel civilian militia “Shuhada al-Bayada Battalion” in Homs, Syria, and his Saudi Arabian boss, identified as “Abulbasit.” The phone call indicates rebel-affiliated terrorists in Syria, not the Assad government, launched the chemical weapons attack in Deir Ballba in the Homs, Syria, countryside.

The terrorist said his group, which comprises 200 terrorists escaped from al-Bayadah to al-Daar al-Kabera through a tunnel, needed to buy weapons to attack Homs.

The Saudi financier, who was in Cairo, asked the Syrian terrorists to give details about his group and how it will receive the money. The Saudi admitted his support to terrorists in Daraa and the Damascus countryside. The Syrian terrorist told him that one of the achievements of his “battalion” was the use of chemical weapons in Deir Ballba.

The recorded phone call disclosed the cooperation between two terrorist groups in Syria to bring two bottles of Sarin Gas from the Barzeh neighborhood in Damascus.

Russian media sources have consistently reported Syrian military have discovered rebel warehouses containing chemical weapons agents and have documented rebel chemical weapons attacks on the Syrian civilians the military.

The Washington Post

Russia says Western attack on Syria would be ‘catastrophic’

By Will Englund

Published: August 26

MOSCOW — A Western military attack on Syria would only create more problems in the region, lead to more bloodshed and result in the same sort of “catastrophe” as previous such interventions in Iraq and Libya, Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, said Monday.

“Hysteria is growing, and confrontation is incited,” Lavrov said in what he portrayed as an emergency news conference. He said the United States and its European allies have condemned the regime of Bashar al-Assad without any evidence that it actually used chemical weapons in an attack in the Damascus suburbs on Wednesday.

Turkey, Britain and France indicated Monday that they would back the Obama administration if it decided to act against Syria in response to the alleged chemical weapons attack, even without a mandate from the United Nations.

Russia has been a stalwart ally of Assad, refusing to allow U.N. action to intervene in Syria’s conflict. On Monday, the Russian newspaper Izvestia published an interview with Assad in which he warned the West against military intervention and noted that Moscow continues to sell arms to Damascus under the terms of existing contracts.

Although Russia sent a small naval task force to the eastern Mediterranean this year and maintains a refitting station in the Syrian port of Tartus, Moscow would appear to have little recourse — beyond verbal denunciations — in the event of a Western attack.

Lavrov said Russia would not be going to war with anybody.

The Russian foreign minister does not regularly hold full-scale news conferences. Monday’s offered no new arguments but gave Lavrov a chance to insist that the West should not act against Assad, especially without evidence.

A U.N. inspection team began its work Monday to determine whether chemical weapons were used last week, though it held off temporarily when it came under sniper attack. Lavrov said the team’s only mandate is to identify evidence of chemical weapons — not to say who used them. That responsibility, he said, belongs to the Security Council once the inspectors’ report is submitted.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, Russia holds the power to veto any decision that comes before the U.N. body.

Moscow suspects that if chemical weapons were used last week, Lavrov said, it may have been a provocation by rebel forces — probably designed to undermine prospects for the long-delayed Russian-American peace conference on Syria.

Lavrov said Secretary of State John F. Kerry had assured him during a telephone conversation Sunday that the United States remains committed to the conference. Lavrov said he asked Kerry what the U.S. strategy is as the Obama administration appears to move closer to a military attack. Kerry replied, Lavrov said, by urging Russia and China to join the West in ensuring that chemical weapons in Syria do not fall into the wrong hands.

If NATO attacked Syria without U.N. sanction — in a rerun of the air war over Kosovo in 1999, which Russia strongly opposed — it would be a “severe violation of international law” that served merely to aggravate, not solve, the conflict, Lavrov said.

He accused Western powers of ignoring international law at will and treating other “civilizations” as second-rate. “The tide will turn one day,” Lavrov said. “Nations and states should be respected.”

Ever since President Vladimir Putin first came to power in 2000, Russian foreign policy has been predicated on stability, which is typically translated into an aversion to regime change. Russia opposed the war in Iraq, was against the Orange Revolution in Ukraine and now sides against the rebels in Syria. Putin believes that the West tricked Russia into allowing action in Libya, an intervention that Moscow views as a disaster.

On Monday, Lavrov once again criticized the Syrian rebels, saying their intransigence has forestalled the peace conference proposed by Russia and the United States in the spring. He said it was unlikely that it could be scheduled anytime before late September.


Yahoo News

Russia, West on collision course over Syria

August 26, 2013

Russia's two-and-a-half year dispute with the West over the conflict in Syria hit a new peak Monday as Moscow warned against military action without UN approval and cast doubt over the regime's involvement in a claimed chemical weapons attack.

The alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack outside Damascus has driven a new wedge between Russia and the West, with Moscow and Western capitals offering vastly different interpretations of the incident.

Whereas Britain, France, Turkey and the United States have said the attack appears to have been perpetrated by the regime of Bashar al-Assad, Russia believes it was a ploy by rebels with the aim of discrediting the Kremlin's traditional ally.

A telephone call Monday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron underlined how far apart Moscow and the West were.

Putin said that "they did not have evidence of whether a chemical weapons attack had taken place or who was responsible," according to a Downing Street spokesman in London.

Cameron insisted that there was "little doubt" Assad's regime had carried out a chemical attack, according to a readout of the conversation.

With clamour growing in Western states for military action against Assad, Russia warned such intervention would destabilise the entire Middle East and be based on false reasoning.

Any action such as air strikes would likely have no mandate from the UN Security Council, where Russia and its ally China would be almost certain to block resolutions approving force.

Britain -- as well as staunchly anti-Assad Turkey -- raised the prospect of a confrontation with Russia similar to that over the 2003 US-led Iraq invasion or the 1999 Kosovo NATO air campaign by launching military action without UN approval.

"If force is used without a UN resolution it will lead to very serious consequences in relations between Russia and the United States and its NATO partners," said Alexander Filonik, a Middle East expert at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

At a hastily called news conference Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said any use of force against Syria without UN approval would be a "very grave violation of international law."

He said ideas floated in the West about knocking out the regime's military infrastructure and helping hand victory to rebels were not just an "illusion" but a "grave mistake that will not lead to any peace, but only mark a new, even bloodier stage of the war in Syria."

Taking military action against Assad would be a clear sign from the West that it does not want to take account of Moscow's opinion, Maria Lipman of the Carnegie Centre in Moscow told AFP.

"Moscow could not let that go by without a response," she said, adding that Russia could hit back by strengthening military cooperation with the Assad regime.

The surge in tensions coincided with the appearance Monday in the Izvestia newspaper -- one of the most slavishly pro-Kremlin media outlets in Russia -- of a lengthy interview with Assad.

Assad used the interview to thank Russia for its support, ridicule as "nonsense" the idea that his regime used chemical weapons and warn the United States of failure if it attacked Syria.

"London and Washington... just need a guilty verdict (on Assad). Any other verdict will be rejected," the head of the lower house of Russian parliament's foreign affairs committee, Alexei Pushkov, wrote on Twitter.

Russian officials are now comparing the possible use of force against Syria to the US-led invasion of Iraq, which was vehemently opposed by Putin as based on flawed intelligence that Saddam Hussein's regime possessed weapons of mass destruction.

The US administration's claims of weapons justifying the invasion at the time later proved false.

"There are many similarities in the tactics of the Western states in Iraq," Filonik told AFP. "History is repeating itself."

Russia has been chastened by its experience in the 2011 air campaign that ousted Libyan leader and longstanding Moscow ally Moamer Kadhafi, which Moscow allowed to go ahead by abstaining at the Security Council.

With Putin now back as president after a four-year stint as prime minister, Russian foreign policy has become newly assertive, notably avoiding further diplomatic irrelevance by abstaining at the United Nations.Russia also has military and political interests in Syria dating back to the Soviet Union's alliance with Assad's father and predecessor Hafez al-Assad that it is not willing to surrender in a hurry.




Says 'mystical' news report 'made up from alpha to omega'

Published: August 27, 2013


The personal secretary for former Pope Benedict XVI now says a recent news report that the pontiff had a “mystical experience” in which God instructed him to resign is simply nonsense.

“There is nothing true in that story,” Archbishop Georg Gaenswein told the Italian TV channel Canale 5.

He said the original report by the Catholic news agency Zenit was “made up from alpha to omega.”

Archbishop Georg Gaenswein interviewed by Italy's Canale 5 television.

The Zenit report Aug. 19 claiming Benedict had a “mystical experience,” with God personally instructing him to step down.

“God told me to do it,” the 86-year-old ex-pontiff reportedly told a friend, according to Zenit, breaking his silence for the first time since becoming the first pope to leave office in 600 years.

The report claimed Benedict indicated God had implanted in his heart the “absolute desire” to resign and to devote himself to a life of prayer and reflection, though he admitted he didn’t personally see the Creator of the universe.

“It was not because of any type of apparition or phenomenon of that sort,” he reportedly said, but a months-long “mystical experience” during what he called “a direct rapport with the Lord.”

The conversation with the unnamed confidante was said to have taken place in the Mater Ecclesiae, the former convent inside Vatican walls which has been converted into a retirement home featuring views across Rome to the Apennine mountains.

In the last six months, Benedict, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, has received few visitors at his secluded house.

“During these meetings, the ex-pontiff does not comment, does not reveal secrets, does not make statements that could be understood as ‘the words of the other pope,’ but is as reserved as he has always been,” Zenit said.

Vatican sources did not initially splash cold water on news of the conversation. To the contrary, one insider told Britain’s Daily Telegraph, “The report is reliable, without a doubt, although this is not an official Vatican statement or position.”

Another told the Guardian, “The report seems credible. It accurately explains the spiritual process that brought Benedict to resign.”

After witnessing the “charisma” of his successor, Pope Francis, Benedict said he understood how his decision to leave the papacy was the “will of God.”

Benedict’s story in Zenit did differ from the reasons he originally provided when he announced his resignation Feb. 11.

“My strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” he said at the time.

Even a German journalist who had met Benedict reported the pontiff was going deaf, appeared to be blind in one eye and was emaciated and “exhausted-looking.”

With one pope out and another one fresh to the scene, there had been some concern that Benedict would exert undue influence at the Vatican, but the popular approach of Pope Francis and his shakeup of Vatican protocols have relegated Benedict to the sidelines.

The new pope has even made light of the situation, joking in July: “The last time there were two or three popes, they didn’t talk among themselves and they fought over who was the true pope!”

He added that having Benedict living in the Vatican “is like having a grandfather – a wise grandfather – living at home.”

The purported revelation from Benedict is re-energized the buzz about a 900-year-old Catholic prophecy suggesting that the current pope, Francis, will be the last pontiff to hold office until the return of Jesus to Earth.

“Gloria Olivae says he had ‘mystical experience’ during which God told him to resign. So is it God who is keeping the ‘Prophecy of the Popes’ on track?” asks Tom Horn, co-author of the book “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope Is Here.”

Horn also appears on the DVD movie “The Last Pope?” which is based on his book.

The original prediction came from Malachy, a Catholic saint who lived in Ireland in the 12th century.

His “Prophecy of the Popes” as it has become to be known forecast in the year 1139 that there would be 112 popes from that time until Jesus made His triumphant return to the planet as King of kings.

The sudden and unexpected resignation of Benedict was the spark igniting the new wildfire of speculation due to one simple reason: his successor, Pope Francis, is the end of the line.

Horn explains on the DVD, “The final line in the Prophecy of the Popes says there will sit Peter the Roman who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations. And when these things are finished, the city on seven hills will be destroyed and the Great and Terrible Judge will judge His people. The end. …

“The most significant thing of course is we’ve reached the end of it. And now the world is looking at it and they’re wondering, ‘Is this going to be the pope who will preside over the Catholic Church as the world enters into the great tribulation period? …

“Some believe that the Prophecy of the Popes is describing a man who in one way or another is going to help give rise to the antichrist.”

Horn observed that people of all faith and even people of no faith are looking at world events today with a sharper focus.

“Some are frightened by what they see happening, others are scrambling to interpret the signs, and I think people have a sense that prophecy is unfolding around the world. People have a sense that something is kind of unhinged right now,” he said.

Dr. George Grant of Nashville, Tenn., a historian and former pastor who has written more than 60 books, says regardless of whether there is any validity to the prophecies, sooner or later Pope Francis and the Vatican will have to deal with issue.

“It doesn’t matter whether or not it’s true. It matters that people think it’s true and that they act in light of it. So my guess is that Francis and the Vatican will have to deal with this in some way, and in dealing with it, they in a sense give credence to it. That makes for fascinating politics, remarkable, unpredictable undercurrents, and in an age when quite frankly the whole world is unsteady and in the midst of turmoil, just that additional little bit creates all the more uncertainty. Do I think we need to pay attention to it? Absolutely.”

According to the Religion News Service, Gaenswein continues to serve as Benedict’s secretary in his retirement, and also works with Pope Francis as prefect of the papal household, overseeing the staff who directly work with the new pontiff.

In the Italian TV interview, Gaenswein described his role as that of a “bridge between the pope emeritus and the reigning pope,” and stressed the two men have an “excellent” relationship.




'I said, Lord, you blew my mind'


August 25, 2013

Charles Shelton believes this light approaching his West Virginia home is an angel.

A West Virginia minister says he received a divine revelation this month as he caught on camera what he believes is one of God’s holy angels.

Charles Shelton of Charleston, W.V., says it was early on the morning of Aug. 4 when he awoke and felt an urgent need to pray for his neighborhood.

Shelton had recently installed a surveillance system for his home, with a security camera posted outside.

Shelton, who turns 48 Sept. 1, says as he was praying, “I was sent to go to the monitor. And when I went to the monitor I appeared to see the angel of the Lord coming through the wall.”

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The strange phenomenon was recorded, displaying a brilliant ball of light that approaches Shelton’s home, appears to enter through the wall to his living room, and then exits a few seconds later. The large circular light then returns and approaches the home a second time at a slightly different angle.

“I waited and wondered what went on, and I was astonished about this light,” he told the Charleston Daily Mail. “I said, ‘Man that must be the presence of the Lord.’ It’s kind of hard to figure out what was going on but the Lord said for me to come down there and pray. When I began to pray and saw that light, I said, ‘Lord, you blew my mind.’”

Some skeptics told Shelton, who has worked for UPS for 27 years, that the event may have been caused by a light or insect near his home, but Shelton is convinced an angel was present.

Charles Shelton describes the moving ball of light he believes was an angel entering his home in Charleston, W.V.

When asked what he thought it all meant, he said: “I believe that it means the Lord is gonna work on that neighborhood. We hear about the crime and we hear about the drugs in that area, and I believe the Lord is going to have that neighborhood cleaned up and the presence of the Lord is sending His angels. He’s dispatching His angels in that neighborhood. And I believe it’s time to let the people know that help is on the way. The police can’t do it all. The neighbors can’t do it all. But who do you rely on? And I rely on the Lord to do it.”

Shelton told WOWK-TV that the experience has emboldened his faith.

“It changed me tremendously to know that when I pray, the Lord hears my prayer,” he said.

But he also noted, “I never did look outside. It was just too astoni – I mean, it just blew my mind.”




Exclusive: Matt Barber asks, 'Is this George Washington's America, or Joseph Stalin's Russia?'

Published: August 23, 2013


Few people doubt that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hopes to become president in 2016. Unfortunately for him, he may have just signed away any chance of that.

On Monday, Christie signed A3371, a draconian piece of legislation that bars licensed therapists from helping children overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, behavior or identity. This law bans help for minors even when – as is so often the case – those same-sex attractions arise from childhood sexual abuse by the likes of a Jerry Sandusky.

This law will prohibit minors and their parents from receiving counseling they desire and will force counselors to violate ethical codes because they will not be able to help clients reach their own counseling goals. This law would enslave children – whether abused or not – to a subjectively determined sexual identity that they reject.

The connection between homosexual abuse and “gay identity” is undeniable. Consider this: Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found that homosexual men are “at least three times more likely to report CSA (childhood sexual abuse)” than heterosexual men.

Moreover, the Archives of Sexual Behavior – no bastion of conservatism – determined in a 2001 study that nearly half of all gay-identified men were molested by a homosexual pedophile: “46 percent of homosexual men and 22 percent of homosexual women reported having been molested by a person of the same gender. This contrasts to only 7 percent of heterosexual men and 1 percent of heterosexual women reporting having been molested by a person of the same gender” noted the study.

For obvious reasons, this politically motivated law has been dubbed the “Jerry Sandusky Victimization Act.” Liberty Counsel, one of the fastest growing civil rights law firms in the country, has stepped in to protect New Jersey children, parents and licensed therapists. We’ve filed suit to block the law, as we’ve already blocked a similar law in California.

In his signing statement, Gov. Christie wrote: “Government should tread carefully into this area and I do so here reluctantly. I have scrutinized this piece of legislation with that concern in mind. However, I also believe that on issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards.”

Beyond the fact that Christie and the New Jersey Legislature have just violated the First Amendment rights of New Jersey parents, children and counselors, there remains another problem with his assertion. It’s not true. As with any form of therapy, the “experts” are all over the board on the issue of change therapy.

For instance, both New Jersey Democrats and Christie cited the American Psychological Association, or APA, as justification for this gross infringement on the right of self-determination. Although, no doubt, the highly liberal APA supports this and similar Sandusky Laws for political reasons, the group’s own task force on change therapy – led entirely by members who themselves are “gay”-identified or known political activists – has had to admit, nonetheless, that homosexuality itself “refers to feelings and self-concept.”

The taskforce confessed that such therapy has shown “varying degrees of satisfaction and varying perceptions of success.” It acknowledged within its own skewed, very limited “study” that some people had “altered their sexual orientation. … [P]articipants had multiple endpoints, including LGB identity, ex-gay identity, no sexual orientation identity, and a unique self-identity. … Individuals report a range of effects from their efforts to change their sexual orientation, including both benefits and harm.”

Reports of “both benefits and harm”? Exactly what might be expected from any form of therapy.

But that’s for adults. Here’s the kicker: The APA also acknowledged that there is no evidence whatsoever that change therapy harms minors. Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, addressed this, the most outrageous aspect of the law: “The very report that the governor cited for signing this law also admitted that there is absolutely zero research – none – regarding the effect of change therapy with minors.”

Get that? Gov. Christie just signed into law a bill purporting to prevent harm to minors from change therapy, citing, as the reason, an APA report that admits there is neither research nor empirical evidence to suggest that change therapy harms minors.

Is your head swimming? It should be.

The governor is one of three things. He is either: 1) ill-informed, 2) politically motivated or 3) stupid.

I don’t know, I guess he could be 4) all of the above.

Meanwhile, there are many experts outraged over this gross overreach by Christie and other New Jersey liberals. Dr. Nicholas Cummings, former president of the APA, wrote in USA Today: “Contending that all same-sex attraction is immutable is a distortion of reality. Attempting to characterize all sexual reorientation therapy as ‘unethical’ violates patient choice and gives an outside party a veto over patients’ goals for their own treatment. A political agenda shouldn’t prevent gays and lesbians who desire to change from making their own decisions.”

Dr. Cummings has testified to personally helping hundreds of formerly homosexual clients achieve the change they desired.

Things get more sinister yet. On Wednesday, New Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace, who sponsored the bill and is openly homosexual, bombastically compared change therapy to “beating a child” and suggested that the government take children seeking change away from their parents. He told Talk Radio 1210 WPHT, “What this does is prevent things that are harmful to people. If a parent were beating their child on a regular basis we would step in and remove that child from the house. If you pay somebody to beat your child or abuse your child, what’s the difference?”

Mat Staver responded on the same program: “It is shocking to hear the law’s sponsor threaten parents that the state will remove their children from them if they provide the counsel they need and which helps them. This is the ultimate nanny state,” he said.

I’ll take it a step further, and I think I speak for many Christian fathers. None of my three children suffer from unwanted same-sex attraction, but if any of them did and they decided to seek change therapy to reconcile their feelings with their faith, Mr. Eustace and the rest of his Gaystapo would be extremely ill-advised to crest my front porch with designs on taking my children.

Is this George Washington’s America, or Joseph Stalin’s Russia?



'What's really unsettling is nobody knows where it's going to end'

Published: August 24, 2013

Christians in Egypt are under the worst persecution by Islamic radicals in recent memory, Syrian believers are displaced in massive numbers and the effort to assist them in both countries goes on despite tremendous upheaval in both nations.

Most of the recent attention has been focused on Egypt. Christians have been in the Muslim Brotherhood’s cross-hairs since the 2011 Arab Spring, but the persecution has greatly intensified in the weeks following the July 3 coup that removed Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power. The violence is a result of radical leaders blaming the coup on Christians. It’s a palpably false claim, but it carries great resonance with those loyal to Morsi.

Dr. David Curry, the new president and CEO of Open Doors USA, one of the most prominent organizations ministering to the persecuted church, told WND, “Right now these militants are lashing out for any reason. What you’re going to find is that people use the political climate as an expedient excuse. People in Egypt just want to worship in freedom. They’re not pushing a political agenda.”

He added, “They are a minority. There are people, when they have political problems, will lash out at any minority they perceive to be part of that, but the church is not an organized faction in this political situation. They’re just the victims in this circumstance.”

Curry admits the religious freedom for Coptic Christians and other believers has never been ideal in Egypt, but he sees the current conditions as a “new low” and said no one is sure where this crisis is headed next. In the meantime, Curry said Christian businesses, churches and individuals are in very serious danger. He said the decision by the Coptic pope to cancel services for the first time since the fifth century was a smart one.

“I think what the pope of the Coptic Church was doing was just using wisdom because, right now, to be on the street in Egypt, even just wandering around doing your daily business, is a very dangerous proposition for believers of the Coptic stripe or any sort of Christian stripe,” Curry said. “So when you have services that are scheduled and people know where to attack, it could be very dangerous. We’ve had almost 50 churches burned to the ground or attacked in some way in Egypt, just in the last few days.”

Despite a justified fear for their lives and safety, Egyptian Christians are still shining brightly in the darkness surrounding them. Curry said one account typifies the depth of faith of those under fire.

“We had one believer who was really trying to exemplify the message of Jesus, that is to love your enemies, to be a servant. So he was trying to give bottled water and care and love to people who were protesting in the street, even though he knew some of those people were militants who might someday attack his business and his home and his church. And indeed some did, but he was trying to be a loving example and caring for people,” Curry said. “You see, these are people of real spiritual depth and faith on the ground, and we’re hoping that America and the American people are going to rally behind them and support them in their freedom to worship.”

Curry said U.S. support must take multiple forms.

“Prayer is our first weapon. It’s a supernatural weapon, but we believe wholeheartedly in it,” he said. “The second thing we’re asking people to do is to support the work that’s happening on the ground. Open Doors has teams on the ground in every major city of Egypt that are helping to support believers, that are trying to keep everybody safe and do anything we can do. That’s the kind of work we’re doing, and we believe it’s going to pay big dividends in the years to come.”

Open Doors USA also has a significant presence in Syria, where a civil war has been raging for two years between the Iran-backed regime of Bashar al-Assad and a patchwork of rebel groups ranging from respected military leaders to al-Qaida-dominated Islamist factions. It’s another crisis for Christians, many of whom fled to Syria when the new government in Iraq began persecuting Christians. It’s a situation further complicated by this week’s government attacks that rebels allege were chemical weapons.

“What we’re concentrating on is trying to help and serve the millions of people who are now refugees. A great many of them are Christians who have been forced out by the forces that would be against them. We’re providing packages on the ground for food, for general supplies that they’re going to need,” said Curry, who also noted the possible use of weapons of mass destruction.

“Those things have been suspected and talked about in the past. This is a very clear example of the danger that is evident to these folks who are refugees, who are displaced and might be in a position to be persecuted for their faith,” said Curry, who struggles to see any end to the Syrian conflict in the near future.

“The government here in the United States is going to have to find ways to try to bring this to a more peaceful and swift resolution,” Curry said. “Otherwise you’re going to see millions more not just displaced internally within the country as is the case now but also added to the refugee numbers. It will be a major – maybe the major – humanitarian crisis, although it’s competing with Egypt right now.”


Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant leaks: What you need to know

In this Wednesday, June 12, 2013 file photo, a construction worker walks beside the underground water tanks at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant at Okuma in Fukushima prefecture, Japan. (AP Photo/Toshifumi Kitamura, Pool)

Fan-Yee Suen,

Published Friday, August 23, 2013 7:43AM EDT

Last Updated Friday, August 23, 2013 11:42AM EDT

More than two years after a massive earthquake and tsunami destroyed the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan, public confidence in the plant’s operators continues to sink as fresh leaks are being discovered in the plant's defence system.

Earlier this week, Tokyo Electric Power Co. revealed that approximately 300 tons of highly radioactive water had escaped from the temporary storage tanks hastily built in the aftermath of the massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.

According to the cash-strapped utility company, the leaking water tanks were made using a rubber seam that was intended to last only five years.

TEPCO says it will build additional storage tanks with welded seams that are more watertight, but that it will continue to use the rubber-seamed tanks despite at least five of them having leaked since last year.

News of the latest leak this week comes after TEPCO admitted earlier in the summer that it is struggling to stop radioactive groundwater -- which picks up trace amounts of contamination when it flows through the damaged reactor buildings -- from seeping into the ocean.

TEPCO officials estimate that approximately 300 tons of toxic water is rushing into the Pacific Ocean daily, enough to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every eight days.

The breach prompted the Japanese government to take a more direct role in the clean-up effort, marking a significant escalation in pressure for TEPCO to take a more aggressive approach in what some critics say appears to be a losing battle.

Here are some answers to some basic questions about the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

#1. What can be done to plug the leak and stop more contaminated water from seeping into the ocean?

According to a full status report released last year, TEPCO has already put in place a number of measures in an attempt to control the radioactive water. The ill-fated utility company built a groundwater bypass system which tried to reroute water flowing down from the mountain side of the plant, before it seeped into the basement of the reactor buildings. The solution did little to siphon off the water.

In its latest attempt, the Japanese government will be building an underground frozen barrier. The plan reportedly involves sinking pipes into the ground in an attempt to freeze the soil.

While the proposed strategy has been described by some Japanese officials as a high-tech forward thinking plan, some experts believe the idea is just another Band-Aid solution

"It's not a solution that has any permanence," Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear engineer with Fairewinds Energy Education, told

"The problem with freezing the soil is that as soon as you get an earthquake, you lose power and then your ice turns to mush and you're stuck."

Gundersen, who has visited the Fukushima power plant in the past, said a better solution would be to dig a two-metre wide trench down to bedrock level and fill it with a material called zeolite: a volcanic material that comes from Mother Nature.

"It's incredibly good at filtering radioactive isotopes. So whatever is inside the fence will stay inside and whatever is outside the fence would be clean," said Gundersen, who estimates the price tag for such a project would be around $10 billion.

#2. What is perpetuating the crisis?

According to some experts, the clean-up effort at the damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant has been hampered by a reluctant government and a "bankrupt firm."

"TEPCO has an enormous degree of influence within the Japanese government," Andrew DeWit, a professor of public finance at Rikkyo University in Tokyo, told "Basically, you've got a bankrupt firm that has been left to take care of the Fukushima Dai-ichi clean-up and decommissioning pretty much on its own."

Dewit added that although TEPCO became a nationalized firm last year, the utility company does not directly answer to any regulatory bodies, including the country's nuclear watchdog, which he says hasn't been exercising its full regulatory and investigatory authority.

"You've got a couple of agencies up there and nobody is really solely in charge of this and solely responsible," he said. "Considering the gravity of the situation, you've got a completely untenable sort of arrangement."

DeWit said the "only solution" would be for Japan's popular prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who he says is the most equipped and powerful actor in the country, to strong arm TEPCO and tell it what to do.

DeWit, however, is doubtful that will happen given Abe's political interests.

"His big deal is getting the constitution rewritten and repositioning the country in terms of geopolitics," said DeWit. "So his interests in this issue would appear to be quite marginal."

Experts also believe that given Abe's interest in restarting Japan's nuclear energy program in an attempt to reawaken the country's languishing economy, there is very little political incentive for him to pour money into the clean-up effort.

"The problem is the Japanese government hasn't been fighting this battle. They've been letting Tokyo Electric try fight using their earnings," said Gundersen, who said the entire clean-up effort will cost at least half a trillion U.S. dollars.

"The Japanese government under Abe doesn't want to admit (to the cost) because they are trying to restart a nuclear energy program and the last thing they need to do is tell the Japanese people that ‘oh by the way, you're on the hook for another half trillion dollars,'" he said.

According to Gundersen, many of the recent reported problems at the crippled nuclear power plant were predicted more than two years ago by experts at the outset of the disaster.

"At the root of the problem is not that it wasn't foreseeable, it's that the Japanese government didn't have the courage to step up two years ago and fight this as if it was a war," Gundersen said, adding that the government has been treating the clean-up effort as budgetary exercise.

"You don't fight a war on a budget and the Japanese government has allowed Tokyo Electric to fight this as a budget."

#3. What are the 'unknowns'?

Following the 2011 disaster, TEPCO has faced a growing catalogue of problems, including several leaks of radioactive water which has been accumulating as a result of continual water injections to cool the damaged reactors.

Although no one can confirm where the melted fuel cores are located, some experts believe some of the radioactive material from the damaged core has moved into the earth. The recent spike in radiation levels in the water may therefore be coming from groundwater coming into contact with the melted cores.

Earlier this month, TEPCO said that radiation levels in its groundwater observation hole located on the east side of the complex had reached 310 becquerels per litre for cesium-134 and 650 becquerels per litre for cesium-137.

According to the World Health Organization, drinking water at 300 becquerels per litre would be approximately equal to one year's exposure to natural background radiation, or 10 to 15 chest X-rays.

#4. What are the 'knowns'?

In an effort to cool the damaged reactors, TEPCO has been pumping an enormous amount of water in and out of the complex. But that water is contaminated with radioactive material and has been rushing back out into the ocean due to leaks in its storage tanks.

In an attempt to recover the contaminated water from the leaking tanks, TEPCO is betting on a state-of-the-art filtration system to clean the radioactive material from the accumulated water before discharging it back out into the ocean. But according to an April report from the IAEA, the filtering system "has not accomplished the expected results" and is still a work-in-progress.

In addition to the leaking toxic water, experts point to another culprit behind why high levels of radiation have been found in the ocean: the natural movement of groundwater from the mountains that streams into the basements of the damaged reactors each day. Keeping that water from flowing into the ocean is headache TEPCO has been struggling to deal with. According to a report from the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency, the "accumulation of enormous amounts of liquids due to the continuous intrusion of underground water into the reactor and turbine buildings is influencing the stability of the situation."

#5. What are the potential risks to people worldwide?

The question of health risks is a murky one and the answer varies according to who you ask.

According to Gundersen, who says this is the last year he's eating west coast fish, the deluge of toxic water into the Pacific has already contaminated the ocean.

He says that halfway across the Pacific, scientists are measuring cesium levels that are 10 times higher than normal.

Gundersen said naturally occurring cesium levels are approximately 1 becquerel per cubic metre. He said the current levels are 10 becquerels per cubic metre.

"Of course, scientists will say that is still a low level but it's such a big ocean and there are so many organisms that rely on it… so it's a concern and it's a concern that's getting worse because the plant continues to leak."

But according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, the director of public health emergency management for the B.C. Centres for Disease Control, the size of the ocean creates a dilution effect, protecting humans not immediately in the plant's area from any health risks.

"The dilution factor and time factor means that there are no concerns of health risks in B.C.," said Dr. Henry.

She added that the Pacific salmon that's commonly eaten in Canada are not exposed to the contaminated water from the crippled Dai-ichi plant because its migratory pattern doesn't include the waters near Japan.

"The Pacific salmon that we have don't generally go that far into the waters around Japan. They are mostly around the Alaska Gulf and into the central part of the Pacific."

#6. What are the risks to people in the immediate area?

According to a report from the WHO that was published earlier this year, researchers concluded that the radiation released in the immediate wake of the accident could cause a "somewhat elevated" lifetime risk of cancer among the local population.

Outside the immediate area of the plant, however, even in locations within Fukushima prefecture, the report found that there were no observable increases in cancer above the "natural variation in baseline rates."

Some individuals, however, have claimed their health is deteriorating as a result from exposure to radiation while helping with relief operations in 2011.

Lt. Steve Simmons told the Japan Daily Press that he has lost 30 per cent of his muscle mass and has lost the ability to take care of himself.

"We've never had any kind of health issues until he was exposed to radiation from Fukushima," Simmons' wife, Summer, said. "The muscle weakness has progressed to the point where he needs 24-hour care."

Despite what Simmons says, however, medical professionals, including those working for the U.S. Department of Defense, have not been able to provide a diagnosis, reports the Japan Daily Press.

In the latest leak, radiation levels were measured from about 50 centimetres above the toxic puddle was approximately 100 millisierverts per hour -- the maximum cumulative exposure allowed for plant workers over five years.

#7. What is TEPCO planning in the near future?

In November, TEPCO is planning to remove 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel at the plant's damaged Reactor No. 4.

The operation, according to Gundersen, is fraught with risks, including the possibility of releasing a large amount of radiation if a fuel assembly breaks or gets too close to a neighbouring bundle.

"The problem with Dai-ichi is that the racks (that hold the spent fuel) are damaged. So TEPCO is not going to be able to easily pull the fuel from them," he said, adding that the rubble left over from the earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and the murky water means plant operators will not be able to use a computerized arm.

"The Japanese seem to think they can pull these out easily but in my experience, it's not going to be an easy process," Gundersen said.

It is unclear how bad the situation could get, but according to independent consultants Mycle Schneider and Antony Froggatt in the recently published World Nuclear Industry Status Report, "Full release from Unit-4 spent fuel pool, without any containment or control, could cause by far the most serious radiological disaster to date."



Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds chief engineer: For the people in Japan and people on the West Coast there is a wedge of radioactivity working its way across the Pacific — called a plume — of cesium-137, strontium, and other isotopes. The plume is about a year away from hitting the coast of the Pacific Northwest.
It’s not over, it’s not like it’s going to hit and go away. The nuclear plant is continuing to leak. That plume is 10 times more radioactive than the ocean was before (cesium in the ocean from bomb testing was the only source of radioactivity) and now it’s 10 times that — and likely to grow — because the Daiichi site is going to continue to leak into the environment for years to come.

I think what we all should demand is #1: Get rid of Tepco… we need a first rate engineering firm in there to do it…

The other thing people on the West Coast should demand is transparent analysis of fish. There’s no state organization that’s sampling the fish, no government is sampling the fish and telling people what the numbers are. If the government’s sampling it, they’re not telling anybody — and I’m uncomfortable with that.

I want to know what the number is, I think as citizens, our government owes it to us — to tell us how radioactive the fish are in the Pacific. We’re not getting that right now. There’s probably good science being done, but Citizens are not allowed to know what the government knows.



The Independent

Feasting and fighting: the long-lost secrets of Beowulf

Archaeologists in Denmark have excavated the sixth-century great dining hall at the centre of the epic work



The dark secrets of the legend of Beowulf, England’s oldest work of epic literature, are gradually emerging from under a field in eastern Denmark.

Archaeologists in the country’s earliest royal ‘capital’ – Lejre, 23 miles west of modern Copenhagen – are investigating the joys of elite Dark Age life in and around what was probably the great royal feasting hall at the violent epicentre of the Beowulf story.

The archaeologists – led by Tom Christensen, director of the Lejre investigation – have so far managed not only to find, excavate and date the late 5 or early 6 century building most likely to have been Lejre’s first royal hall (described in Beowulf as `the greatest hall under heaven’), but have also succeeded in reconstructing what was on the menu at the great feasts held there.

Scientific study this year of the bones of literally hundreds of animals found near the hall, shows that they feasted on suckling pig, beef, mutton, goat meat, venison, goose, duck, chicken and fish.

Other finds from around the hall have included fragments of glass drinking vessels, 40 pieces of bronze, gold and silver jewellery, pottery imported from England and the Rhineland – and the wing of a sea-eagle, whose feathers may well have been used for fletching arrows. Twenty other gold items were found just a few hundred metres away.

The discoveries, reported in the current issue of BBC History Magazine, are of international importance.

“For the first time, archaeology has given us a glimpse of life in the key royal Danish site associated with the Beowulf legend’’, said project director Dr. Christensen, curator of Denmark’s Roskilde Museum, four miles from Lejre.

The Danes plan to put the finds on permanent display next year at Roskilde and Lejre Museums.

In the Beowulf legend – which is believed to have influenced some aspects of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and was turned into a 150 million dollar Hollywood film six years ago – a young nobleman from southern Sweden goes to neighbouring Denmark to save its ruling elite from the depredations of a monstrous man-eating giant called Grendel. The monster had entered the Danish king’s great feasting hall at Lejre, while the king and his warriors had been sleeping off an evening of feasting and drinking, and had succeeded in devouring a number of them.

On meeting the king, Beowulf offers to rid the land of the monster. The king accepts – and Beowulf waits alone in the great hall for the giant to attack again. In the epic battle between the two that then ensues, the giant is defeated and retreats to a cave beneath a nearby lake where he is finally killed by Beowulf.

As well as investigating the hall most likely to have been the one associated with the Beowulf legend, the archaeologists have found, excavated and dated six other royal feasting halls in Lejre.

They have discovered that the early Danish monarchy used each hall for only a few generations, before dismantling them and building a new one – usually on or very near the same site as its predecessor. Detailed examination of the buried remains of successive feasting halls has shown that they were used between around 500 and 1000 AD. All were roughly on the same site – except for the one associated with the Beowulf legend which was 500 metres to the north.

It may be that the change in location was somehow connected with events described in the legend, part of which actually states that the early royal hall, was in fact abandoned – because of the depredations of Grendel. Whether Grendel (meaning quite literarily ‘the destroyer’) originally existed in some less legendary form – perhaps symbolizing a malevolent spirit responsible for disease and death, or a particularly fierce-looking human enemy – is as yet unknown.

The quasi-legendary high status individual that Beowulf is based on probably lived in the 6 century AD. The story of his exploits was most likely brought to England by Scandinavian (potentially southern Sweden originating) settlers in the 6 or early 7 century AD. The poem was then written by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, probably sometime in the 7th or 8 centuries.


Your Universe Online

New Evidence Of Water Below The Moon’s Surface

August 27, 2013

Image Credit: Procy / Shutterstock

Lee Rannals for – Your Universe Online

Scientists writing in the journal Nature Geoscience say they have found potential evidence of water below the surface of our Moon. NASA-funded researchers, using data from the space agency’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, have detected magmatic water, or water that originates from deep within the lunar interior.

This is the first time scientists have detected this form of water from lunar orbit, however, earlier studies have pointed to the existence of magmatic water in lunar samples returned during the Apollo program.

NASA’s M3 took images of the lunar impact crater Bullialdus, which is in a location that allows scientists to better quantify the amount of water inside the rocks. The central peak of this crater is made up of a type of rock that forms deep inside the lunar surface.

“This rock, which normally resides deep beneath the surface, was excavated from the lunar depths by the impact that formed Bullialdus crater,” said Rachel Klima, a planetary geologist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL). “Compared to its surroundings, we found that the central portion of this crater contains a significant amount of hydroxyl – a molecule consisting of one oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom — which is evidence that the rocks in this crater contain water that originated beneath the lunar surface.”

M3 provided the first mineralogical map of the lunar surface back in 2009, helping to discover water molecules in the polar regions of the moon.

“NASA missions like Lunar Prospector and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite and instruments like M3 have gathered crucial data that fundamentally changed our understanding of whether water exists on the surface of the moon,” said Simin P. Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “Similarly, we hope that upcoming NASA missions such as the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer, or LADEE, will change our understanding of the lunar sky.”

Now that they have detected internal water from orbit, scientists can begin to test some of the findings from sample studies, including in regions that are far from where the Apollo missions took place. Researchers used to believe that the rocks from the moon were bone-dry and that any water detected in the Apollo samples was simply contaminated. Kilma says that, now that they have detected water, scientists can compare it with other characteristics of the lunar surface.

“This internal magmatic water also provides clues about the moon’s volcanic processes and internal composition, which helps us address questions about how the moon formed, and how magmatic processes changed as it cooled,” she said.

Last year, Phil Metzger, a physicist who leads the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations Lab, said that finding water on the moon could lead to a “water rush” similar to the gold rush in California that took place in the mid 1800s. Metzger hypothesized that water on the moon could lead several companies to stake their claim in the lunar H2O business, including Pittsburgh-based Astrobotic Technology. This company is developing a solar-powered rover designed to search and drill for frozen moon water.


Mind Blowing Research Suggests That Earth Could Actually Be Hollow

August 26, 2013 by Arjun Walia

Establishing and determining a factual Geophysical model of planet Earth’s interior has been a considerable challenge for the intellectual community. Given our rapid technological advancement, one would think that determining the makeup of Earth’s core would be simple, but it’s not. Earth’s core is the most inaccessible part of our planet. Several prominent individuals have supported the hollow Earth theory, and it is no joke of a list. A number of physicists, astronomers, mathematicians and high ranking military personnel share the same belief. They share their stories through experience, research and more. There really is some mind blowing information that suggests the Earth could actually be hollow.

Our current understanding about the makeup of Earth’s core is a theory, based on assumption that is taught as fact. The evidence for the composition of the Earth’s core is decent, however indirect. We have no means for directly sampling the deep interior of the Earth(0)(15), humans (apparently, if they have we have not been privy to that information) have not been able to access that part of our planet. Often we fail to recognize that what we so often regard as truth is based on theory and assumption. We take these theories and put them in the category of truth until another theory comes along to replace it. The individuals who proposed the theory of hollow Earth might shock you. They are some of the most influential, intelligent, innovative and creative minds of all time -many of which are at the backbone of science and math. The intellectual arena is not the only one, the hollow Earth theory is also prominent in military history, the hub for global control and concealment of information, known today as the military industrial complex. Some of these names might shock you, and keep in mind that I’ve provided only a short list of the many individuals who supported the theory.

Theories about the Earth’s core are constantly changing, and have yet to be cemented as truth (1)(2). New theories seem to emerge every year, the last theory proposed was in July 2013 (3).

Geophysical methods provide the only direct measurement for the properties of the Earth’s interior. The most popular methods used today are:

  • Seismic wave velocity and free oscillation frequencies

Earthquake waves behave differently when they encounter material in different states. This is the best way modern scientists can conjure up some type of structure for inner Earth. Saying the Earth is hollow does not necessarily mean there is no land mass! Some of the waves go through liquid, some of them go through solids, some of them go through both and some of them go through one or the other (15)(0)(4). This is why I state we have very weak evidence for the structure of the Earth’s interior. It’s almost as if we have more evidence for the hollow Earth theory.

  • The moment of inertia

  • The distribution and secular variation in magnetic field

  • Laboratory data on mineral physics

The most popular theory that stands today is that the Earth consists of a solid iron inner core, and an outer layer that is molten. It proposes that the interior is layered in spherical shells, inner core, outer core, stiffer mantle and then crust as you head towards the surface. The moment of inertia of the Earth indicates that there is a concentration of mass around the center, seismic data has also shown that the center of the Earth is a solid sphere. This is interesting, because the hollow Earth theory proposes the idea of a central sun. Modern science has even determined that the Earth’s core could be just as hot as the Sun’s surface(16). Again I would like to re-iterate that the theory of the Earth’s core is largely based on seismic activity(4), we’ve never actually been able to probe the Earth’s interior. We cannot guarantee, model or map the Earth’s interior based on seismic activity alone, but logical theories can be developed.

Modern day science has not been able to establish the physical structure of Earth’s interior as a fact. The hollow Earth theory proposes the idea of a central sun in the middle of Earth’s core, which does correlate with what scientists say today. So let’s examine the hollow Earth theory and where it comes from.

The Hollow Earth Theory

The hollow Earth theory suggests that planet Earth is either entirely hollow or contains a substantial amount of interior space. This isn’t a new theory, its existence has been proposed throughout human history. Buddhists believed that the inner Earth was made up of a race of people they called super men and women. They allegedly came up to the surface via tunnels that led to the inner Earth to oversee what was happening on the surface. The Buddhists apparently had lamas guarding the entrances to inner Earth in Tibet.

In Tibetan and Hindu/Indian traditions and texts an ancient kingdom called Shambhala is described. It’s a mythical place located somewhere around Inner Asia. It’s amazing how embedded the theory of inner Earth is within ancient cultures. Is this mythology or reality?

Ancient texts from India like the Ramayana describe the story of a great blue being, the Avatar Rama. The Ramayana depicts Rama as an emissary from “Agartha” that arrived on an air vehicle. The vehicles were commonly known as “Vimanas.” The fact that both Buddhist and Hindu religions separately refer to inner Earth and its civilization is quite fascinating.

Ancient cultures all over the world, from Mayan, to other recent native populations and more all have stories of beings that live and come from an underground world. I had the privilege of spending a year in Northern, Ontario, Canada and was made aware of stories of “little” people that lived underground. Let’s examine where ancient history meets scientific exploration.

Edmund Halley

Edmund Halley was an English astronomer and mathematician who was the first to calculate the orbit of a comet that was later named after him, the popular Halley’s comet(5). He lived through the scientific revolution, an age that was frowned upon by the Catholic Church, where scientists were seen as heretics and even killed. Was this to suppress information already known by the Catholic Church? Maybe, maybe not. Halley’s star catalog published in the late 1600′s was the first of its kind that determined the location of the southern stars, and established his reputation as an astronomer. In 1678 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society and with the intercession of the king he was granted a degree from the University of Oxford.

As you can tell, this was a man of high reputation and intelligence. Halley is also known for his conversations with Isaac Newton, and played a prominent role in publications on the theory of gravitation. Newton was encouraged by Halley to expand his studies on celestial mechanics which led to one of the greatest publications of all time, the Principia(5).

The Royal Society decided that Mr. Halley undertake the business of looking after it, and printing it at his own charge. He consulted with Newton, tactfully subdued a priority dispute between Newton and Hooke, edited the text, corrected the proofs and saw it through the press in 1697(5)

It seems that the Royal Society was keeping a close tap on scientific discoveries. In these times, scientists were coming out of the era in which they were branded as heretics, and marked for death. It seems scientific exploration during the scientific revolution was under the watchful eye of the elite. Edmund Halley proposed that the Earth was hollow and well capable of supporting life in his publication:

An Account of the Cause of the Change of the Variation of the Magnetical Needle; With an Hypothesis of the Structure of the Internal Parts of the Earth(6)

This paper was published by the Royal Society. Halley believed that the Earth was a hollow shell about 500 miles thick, with two inner concentric shells and an innermost core about the diameter of the planets Venus, Mars and Mercury. The shells were separated by atmospheres and each one had its own magnetic poles. The spheres rotated at different speeds. He suggested that each sphere was capable of supporting life, because each sphere was bathed with light from the atmosphere that filled each of the inner spaces. He suggested the possibility of a “more ample creation” within the Earth. His hollow Earth theory came about from the examination of the gradual motion of the lines of magnetic declination. It was based on the value of lunar relative density given by Issac Newton. His hollow Earth theory appeared as the first significant deduction to be drawn from Issac Newton’s Principia.

Leonhard Euler

Leonhard Euler was a Swiss mathematician and physicist. He has produced a large portion of modern mathematical terminology and notation, more specifically the notion of mathematical function. He is considered to be one the greatest mathematicians of all time, and has approximately one thousand publications (7).

Instead of Inner Earth consisting of concentric shells, Euler proposed that Earth was completely hollow(8)(9), with a six-hundred mile diameter sun in the center, similar to what Halley had proposed (central sun). The hollow interior he said, could be reached through holes at the North and South Poles, which if they exist today, are blocked from Google Earth, hidden and classified. Euler proposed that this central Sun provided life to the advanced civilizations that lived there.

Captain John Symmes

Captain John Symmes was a United States Army officer, who rose to the rank of Captain during his role in the war of 1812.

I declare the earth is hollow, and habitable within; containing a number of solid concentrick spheres, one within the other, and that it is open at the poles 12 or 16 degrees; I pledge my life in support of this truth, and am ready to explore the hollow, if the world will support and aid me in the undertaking(10).

Symmes even tried to talk congress into funding an expedition to find the Antarctic hole into the center of Earth, but was not granted permission.

Admiral Richard Byrd

If we fast forward to more modern times, inner Earth garnished more attention in in the 1940′s and after, when Admiral Richard Byrd supposedly journeyed to the hollow Earth. This man was a medal of honor recipient, and a very high ranking (one of the highest) officer in the United States Navy. He was the very first man to fly over the South Pole(12)(13), Admiral Byrd also flew directly over the North Pole and noticed an opening in the top. His diary describes his adventure into the opening where he was witness to lakes, rivers, green vegetation and more. He participated in many expeditions to the North Pole, with one being an official government backed program called operation Highjump(11). It was a US Navy organized by Admiral Byrd, the primary goal was to establish an Antarctic research base. He claims to have been greeted by a flying machine and this is when he first interacted with the beings that existed in a place that is known to many as “Agartha.” The beings told him they were concerned with the development of nuclear weapons, and the overall well being of the planet based on how humanity was affecting it. Admiral Byrd apparently claimed, like many before him, that the North and South pole are actually two of many openings to the center. He also claimed that Inner Earth has a central Sun, like Euler did. His theory is that both poles of the Earth are actually convex, rather than concave. This means that ships and planes would be able to fly or float right in.

After his expeditions, the American press announced Admiral Byrd’s discovery to the world. After the release it was immediately suppressed by the government and Byrd was made out to be a man known to make false claims. His story was quite popular, and was published in National Geographic (12). It’s also worthy to note that his son, Richard Byrd Jr, lived a very difficult life. He died a very mysterious death(14), he was found dead in an empty warehouse. It’s worthy to note that he was 6 years old when he accompanied his father on his expeditions.

The story of Hollow Earth has not solely been tied to science fiction. I wanted to present some available information out there as it is a very intriguing subject. It’s worthy to note that UFOs are constantly seen coming out of the water(17) , maybe some of these objects are from advanced civilizations that live in the Earth’s interior? Until we actually penetrate inner Earth, hollow Earth remains a strong possibility.

(“Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” Exodus 20:3-5)




















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