Celebrating for Nothing (Revelation 15)

http://leftopia.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Nuclear-powers-rebuked-as-122-nations-adopt-U.N.-ban-696x365.jpgCelebration as UN adopts historic nuclear weapons ban

Tim Wright

For more than seven decades, the international community has grappled with the threat of nuclear weapons. At the United Nations on Friday, July 7th, the vast majority of the world’s governments made clear their total rejection of these abhorrent devices, concluding a treaty to prohibit them, categorically, for all time. It was a moment of great historical significance.

Prolonged applause broke out as the president of the negotiating conference, Costa Rican ambassador Elayne Whyte Gomez, gavelled through the landmark accord. “We have managed to sow the first seeds of a world free of nuclear weapons,” she said. Diplomats and campaigners who had worked tirelessly over many years to make the treaty a reality embraced in celebration of the extraordinary achievement.

Setsuko Thurlow, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and long-time champion of disarmament, became overwhelmed with emotion as she welcomed the formal adoption of the treaty, backed by 122 nations. She asked delegates to pause to feel the witness of those who perished in 1945 or died later from radiation-related illnesses. She was a 13-year-old schoolgirl when hell descended on earth.

“Each person who died had a name. Each person was loved by someone,” she told the crowded conference room. “I’ve been waiting for this day for seven decades, and I am overjoyed that it has finally arrived. This is the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons.” She urged nations never to return to the failed policy of nuclear deterrence, and never to return to funding nuclear violence instead of meeting human needs.

The treaty recognizes the harm suffered both from nuclear weapons use and the two-thousand-plus nuclear test explosions that have been conducted across the globe since 1945. It obliges nations to provide assistance to the victims of these heinous acts. Its overriding mission, as reflected in the preamble, is to ensure that no one else ever suffers as they have.

Abacca Anjain-Maddison, from the Marshall Islands—a Pacific nation devastated by US nuclear testing in the 1940s and 1950s—delivered a powerful closing statement on behalf of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, whose 400 non-governmental organizations in 100 nations worked for more than a decade to bring about the treaty.

“The adoption of this landmark agreement today fills us with hope that the mistakes of the past will never be repeated,” she said, emphasizing the special meaning that it has for those who have suffered nuclear harm. “The international community has at last acknowledged what we have always known: that nuclear weapons are abhorrent and immoral.”

Governments, too, delivered impassioned statements in celebration of the treaty’s adoption. Among them was South Africa, which played a pivotal role during the negotiations and is the only nation to have built a nuclear arsenal before eliminating it completely. “Working hand in hand with civil society, [we] took an extraordinary step [today] to save humanity from the frightful specter of nuclear weapons,” its ambassador, Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko, said. “For us, as a country, it was a duty to vote ‘yes’ for this treaty … to have voted ‘no’ would have been a slap in the face to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

One nation participating in ban negotations, the Netherlands—which hosts US nuclear weapons on its territory—did opt to vote against the treaty. Its government opposes meaningful disarmament efforts, despite overwhelming public support.

All nine nuclear-armed nations boycotted the negotiations, and therefore were absent for the vote. Some had exerted great pressure on other nations not to participate. But ultimately they failed to thwart the process. The commitment and resolve of the international community to declare nuclear weapons illegal was evident from the beginning of negotiations.

The treaty prohibits its state parties from developing, testing, producing, manufacturing, transferring, possessing, stockpiling, using, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. It also prohibits them from assisting, encouraging, or inducing anyone to engage in any of those activities, and they must not permit nuclear weapons to be stationed on their territory.

A nation that possesses nuclear weapons may join the treaty, so long as it agrees to remove them from operational status immediately and destroy them in accordance with a legally binding, time-bound plan. One that hosts another nation’s nuclear weapons on its territory may also join the treaty on condition that it will remove them by a specified deadline.

The treaty will open for signature in New York on September 20th, when world leaders meet for the annual opening of the UN General Assembly. “If you love this planet, you will sign this treaty,” said Setsuko Thurlow. Fifty nations will need to ratify it before it can enter into full legal force. Much work will then be needed to ensure that it is implemented and becomes universal.

With close to 15,000 nuclear weapons remaining in the world—and efforts underway in all nuclear-armed nations to bolster their arsenals—the ultimate goal of eliminating this paramount threat to humanity is far from being realized. But now, the United Nations has established the foundations for making a nuclear-weapon-free world possible.

The treaty establishes a powerful norm that, many expect, will prove transformative. It closes a major gap in international law. Nuclear weapons—like other indiscriminate weapons, including biological and chemical weapons, anti-personnel landmines and cluster munitions—are now categorically and permanently banned.

This post is part of Ban Brief, a series of updates on the historic 2017 negotiations to create a treaty banning nuclear weapons. Ban Brief is written by Tim Wright, Asia-Pacific director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, and Ray Acheson, director of Reaching Critical Will.

Russia’s New Super Nuclear Bomb

Russia’s Satan Nuclear Missile Said Capable of Destroying Countries, but It’s Taking a Long Time to Get Right

By Tom O’Connor On 7/10/17 at 3:37 PM

Russia has faced numerous delays in building its “Satan 2” nuclear missile said to be capable of taking out entire countries at once, but another devastating weapon of mass destruction system may soon be in the works as well.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Thursday that Moscow’s defense ministry was immediately prepared to begin work on both the oft-delayed  RS-28 Sarmat (NATO calls it the SS-X-30 “Satan 2”) and on the Barguzin railroad combat missile complex, a train system said to be able to deliver nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to targets thousands of miles away. Both weapons, which have origins in the country’s Soviet past, may soon be resurrected amid heightened tensions between Moscow and Washington—if Russia’s government and technological capabilities allow.

The RS-28 Sarmat and Barguzin are “on the level of absolute readiness…for their implementation, should the relevant decision be made to include the projects in the state armament program,” Rogozin told Pravda, the official newspaper of Russia’s Communist Party.

RTR2Q7LY Visitors walk past an R-36 or SS-18 SATAN intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at the Strategic Missile Forces museum near Pervomaysk, some 186 miles south of Kiev, Ukraine, August 22, 2011. Russia has been working on a new and improved version of the nuclear-capable missile known as “Satan 2” for some time, as well as a train-based system capable of launching thermonuclear ICBMs from a mobile platform. Gleb Garanich/Reuters

The RS-28 Sarmat can reportedly hold up to 10 nuclear warheads, enough to effectively decimate an area the size of the entire state of Texas, or even the whole of France. Despite Rogozin’s remarks, however, the missile’s production has been continuously delayed since being announced in 2014, and Russia’s Defense Ministry last week said testing would be further postponed until later this year, according to another report by Pravda. The missile is intended to replace the R-36 Voevoda, dubbed “Satan” by NATO in the 1970s. It was supposed to enter service between 2019 and 2020, but setbacks and bugs may affect this projection.

The Barguzin is also said to be an improvement on a previous design, known to NATO as “Scalpel.” Earlier versions of the railroad-based weapon were first considered in the 1960s and later developed in the 1980s, but the systems were largely forgotten after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now the so-called ghost trains may be brought back to life, as a new and improved nuclear weapons system capable of traveling across the largest country on Earth, significantly protecting it from detection. The Barguzin can reportedly be equipped with up to six 55-ton RS-24 Yars thermonuclear ICBMs, an upgrade from the previous three, and it could be seen in the field by 2019, according to The National Interest. Missile testing for the weapons system reportedly took place in November.

With an estimated 7,300 and 6,970 warheads, Russia and the U.S, have the largest and second-largest nuclear weapons arsenals in the world, respectively. These massive nuclear stockpiles were largely developed amid a post-World War II arms race that saw the world’s leading superpowers compete for global military dominance. The rivalry cooled after the fall of the Soviet Union, but has picked up again in recent years as the U.S. backs Western military alliance NATO in a regional battle of influence with Russia over the political future of Europe.

Amid these deteriorated relations, President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met Friday for the first time during the highly anticipated G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany. The two vowed to cooperate more closely on various issues, such as their countries’ roles in the conflict in Syria and cyber crime, which the U.S. frequently accuses the Kremlin of sponsoring. In December, Trump and Putin separately called for the expansion of their respective nuclear weapons arsenals.

Too Little Too Late (Revelation 15)

More than 120 nations adopted the first international treaty banning nuclear weapons on Friday at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. The initiative—led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, and New Zealand—was approved by 122 votes, with only the Netherlands opposed, and Singapore abstaining. The nine countries generally recognized as possessing nuclear weapons—the U.S., Russia, Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel—were noticeably absent from the negotiations, as were most members of NATO.
Despite being a victim of atomic attacks in 1945, Japan also boycotted the meeting. Nevertheless, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki informed Friday’s dialogue—and the conversation thereafter. “It’s been seven decades since the world knew the power of destruction of nuclear weapons,” the president of the UN conference, Elayne Whyte Gómez, told The Guardian. The agreement, she added, “is a very clear statement that the international community wants to move to a completely different security paradigm that does not include nuclear weapons.”
Friday’s ten-page treaty is extensive in its demands, prohibiting signatories from developing, testing, manufacturing, possessing, or threatening to use nuclear weapons. Nations are also prohibited from transferring nuclear weapons to one another. Having now been approved by the UN, the treaty will be open for signatures on September 20, at which point it will need to be ratified by 50 states before entering into international law.The major obstacle, of course, is that many prominent members of the international community—and their allies—remain vocally opposed. In a joint statement on Friday, the UN ambassadors for the U.S., Britain, and France said they had no intention of joining the treaty, arguing that it “clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment.” Of particular concern, they said, was the fact that the treaty failed to address of the growing threat of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Earlier this week, North Korea claimed to have tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say may be capable of striking Hawaii and Alaska. The nation has also conducted five nuclear tests since 2006—and could be preparing for its sixth.Rather than ban nuclear weapons and risk vulnerability to a North Korean attack, the U.S., Britain, and France hope to strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which provides nations other than the five original nuclear powers—the U.S., Russia, Britain, France, and China—from pursuing nuclear programs. In exchange, the five powers have pledged to make steps toward nuclear disarmament and give non-nuclear states access to nuclear technology for producing energy.

But many nations have criticized the NPT for failing to elicit a speedy disarmament. At the very least, Friday’s treaty introduces the concept of a nuclear-free world, and could even put pressure on nuclear powers to adopt a new set of standards. “The key thing is that it changes the legal landscape,” Richard Moyes, the managing director of Article 36, a U.K.-based organization that aims to prevent harm caused by nuclear weapons, told Agence France-Presse. As Moyes sees it, the newly-approved treaty “stops states with nuclear weapons from being able to hide behind the idea that they are not illegal.”

World War 3 Will Soon Happen (Revelation 15)

Donald Trump’s attack on the Syrian regime could be viewed as a direct affront to Moscow

Could World War 3 actually happen? How chemical warfare and nuclear weapons could lead to a global conflict

By Neal Baker, Tom Gillespie and Mark Hodge

Tensions between the US, Russia, China and North Korea continue to escalate

TENSIONS between the US, Russia, China and North Korea continue to escalate, with each power refusing to back down.

And after Kim Jong-un tested the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile – are these signs of an outbreak of World War 3?

Tensions between US, Russia, China and North Korea are increasing.

Kim Jong-un laughed as he fired North Korea’s first ICBM declaring it was a special “gift for American b******s” on July 4 – the nation’s Independence Day.

It launched the Hwasong-14 – said to be capable of hitting the US – as Donald Trump warned of “severe consequences” for his “bad behaviour”.

Prior to that, North Korea conducted two nuclear tests and 24 ballistic missile tests in 2016 alone, defying six UN Security Council resolutions banning any testing.

And this year, one of the nation’s additional missile tests failed when it blew up soon after launching.

The secretive country has shown no signs of slowing down, warning that it is ready for “full out war”.

It has even warned that it would be a “piece of cake” to nuke Japan – and that anyone supporting their detractors would also be in the firing line.

The hermit state has threatened that “nuclear war could break out at any moment”, but most experts believe it would not launch an attack as it would not survive a revenge strike by the US.

Paranoid Kim Jong-un has even dubbed America’s leaders a bunch of “rats sneaking around in the dark” amid claims the CIA plotted to wipe him out.

The tyrannical country has threatened the US with a “full-scale” nuclear war and claims the superpower is running scared of Kim Jong-un’s missiles.

Russia, along with China, is said to have sent a spy ship to the area to ward off the task force amid rising tensions in the region.

And Putin urged the US to show “restraint”.

There was a time when it seemed like the prospect of war with the likes of Russia and China had disappeared with the end of the Cold War.

But tense relationships between the world’s major military players means the outbreak of another global conflict has been raised higher than ever before.

Kim Jong-un

Russia and America’s involvement in the war in Syria has created a situation where the two nations’ planes are reportedly flying dangerously close to each other on bombing runs.

Putin threatened in June to shoot down all RAF and US jets in western Syria in retaliation for a US Navy fighter downing a Syrian plane.

If World War Three does kick off it seems the Russians could have something to do with it.

But it is more likely that if it ever did happen, it would be sparked hundreds of miles away from Syria.

One expert claimed Latvia will be Ground Zero — the country where the next global conflict will begin.

Professor Paul D Miller of the National Defence University in Washington DC — who predicted the invasion of Crimea and the Ukraine conflict — said the Baltic state is next on Russia’s hit list.

But Putin won’t use conventional troops. Instead, he will recreate what happened in Ukraine and stir up the patriotism of ethnic Russians in the country.

“Putin will instigate an ambiguous militarised crisis using deniable proxies, probably in the next two years”, he said.

A Russian jet came within just five feet of a US reconnaissance plane in the Baltic in June, reports claimed, with one official quoted as saying the SU-27 was “provocative”, “unsafe” and flying “erratically”.

A missile is driven past the Kim Jong-un during a military parade in Pyongyang

It is impossible to say who would win with any certainty, but the US has the best arsenal.

The US is the only country in possession of fifth-gen fighter jets – 187 F-22s and an F-35 that is not yet out of the testing phase.

Russia is developing one stealth fighter and China is working on four.

In terms of submarines the US Navy has 14 ballistic missile submarines with a combined 280 nuclear missiles.

They also possess four guided missile submarines with 154 Tomahawk cruise missiles each and 54 nuclear attack submarines.

Russia has only 60 submarines but they are said to have outstanding stealth capabilities.

They are also developing a 100-megaton nuclear torpedo.

China has five nuclear attack submarines, 53 diesel attack submarines, and four nuclear ballistic missile submarines to date.

But the emerging superpower is developing more.

North Korea say U.S. bombers push tension ‘to the brink of nuclear war’

On the brink

Of Course There Will Be a Nuclear Armageddon (Revelation 15)

https://socioecohistory.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/nuclear_armageddon.gif

FactCheck Q&A: Could there be a nuclear Armageddon?

By Martin Williams

4 JUL 2017

After a successful missile test, North Korea claims it is now a “full-fledged nuclear power” which is “capable of hitting any part of the world”.

Russia and the US believe this is a slight exaggeration, saying the missile actually had a medium-range and posed no immediate threat to either country.

But the development has scared many about the prospect of nuclear war. So how likely is it?

Who’s got nuclear weapons?

The US and Russia both reduced their nuclear weapon arsenal after the Cold War. But since the 1990s, the speed of this reduction has slowed down.

What’s more, because of constantly improving technology, the potential impact of each warhead is now far greater than it once was.

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) says: “Comparing today’s inventory with that of the 1950s is like comparing apples and oranges; today’s forces are vastly more capable.

“The pace of reduction has slowed significantly. Instead of planning for nuclear disarmament, the nuclear-armed states appear to plan to retain large arsenals for the indefinite future.”

As far as we know, nine countries have nuclear weapons: Russia, the US, France, China, the UK, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea. Between them, they are thought to have around 15,000 nuclear weapons.

Of these, Russia and the US have by far the most. But the FAS says that China, Pakistan, India and North Korea appear to have been increasing their stockpiles, while the others are either reducing the numbers or making no significant changes.

We can’t be sure of exact numbers because of the high level of secrecy, not least in North Korea.

Israel has also refused to confirm or deny its arsenal, but it is widely suspected to have about 80 nuclear warheads and enough plutonium to make many more.

Out of the 15,000 nuclear weapons in the world, the majority are not immediately deployable. A report by the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research in 2012 estimated that the US, UK, France and Russia had around 1,940 warheads which were “ready for use on short notice”.

The report said the numbers were so high because of “circular (though flawed) logic”.

“US nuclear forces are maintained on alert because Russian nuclear forces are on alert, and vice versa for Russian forces. Put in another way, if nuclear forces were not on alert, there would be no requirement to keep nuclear forces on alert.”

What would happen in a nuclear war?

After the US dropped a nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, an initial report said that two-thirds of the people who were within half a mile of the blasts had been killed. People suffered skin burns up to two miles away.

The final death toll of Hiroshima alone is now estimated to be between 66,000 and 150,000.

That was more than 70 years ago, though. Nuclear weapons today can be many, many times more powerful.

And that’s to say nothing of the economic, political and social consequences, which could potentially be monumental.

Bill Perry, a nuclear weapons expert who served as President Clinton’s Secretary of Defense spoke to Vice earlier this year. He said a worst case scenario would now mean nothing short of a total Armageddon.

“An all-out general nuclear war between the United States and Russia would mean no less than the end of civilisation,” Perry said. “That’s not being dramatic; that’s not being hyperbolic. That’s just what would happen.”

How likely is a nuclear war?

The world survived the Cold War without nuclear weapons being used. And with the main two nuclear powers reducing their arsenals, it might be tempting to think the risk is reducing.

But global security threats are very different to what they once were. And one bomb could lead to retaliation strikes.

Bill Perry said he believes the most likely scenario for a nuclear attack would be if a terrorist group got hold of a small amount of enriched uranium, allowing them to make an improvised nuclear bomb.

“Of all of the nuclear catastrophes that could happen, this is the most probable,” he said. “I think I would say it’s probably an even chance that this will happen sometime in the next ten years.”

He added: “We have the possibility of a regional nuclear war, between Pakistan and India, for example. Even if they used only half of their nuclear arsenal, those bombs would put enough smoke in the air – enough dust in the air – that will go up and settle in the stratosphere and then distribute itself around the planet and would block the rays of the sun for years to come.

“It could be millions of people who die from that alone.”

Nuclear Horns Continue to Grow (Daniel 7)

Nuclear Powers Cut Weapons Numbers But Increase Modernization: Study

July 03, 2017 00:02 GMT

RFE/RL

The number of nuclear weapons in the world is continuing to decline, but nations possessing such arsenals are modernizing their stockpile and are not likely to give them up for the foreseeable future, a new study says.

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on July 3 said nine countries possessed about 4,150 operationally deployed nuclear weapons.

If all nuclear weapons are counted, the figure comes to 14,935, down from 15,395 a year earlier, it said.

It listed the countries with nuclear weapons as the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea.

At the top of the list is Russia, with 1,950 deployed warheads and 5,050 other warheads. At the bottom was North Korea, which SIPRI listed as having 10-20 other warheads.

The United States has 1,800 deployed warheads and 5,000 other warheads.

The other countries were listed with total warheads of below 300 each.

The report said “deployed warheads” refers to those placed on missiles or located on bases with operational forces.

“Other warheads” are those held in reserve or out of service and awaiting dismantlement.

“The decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world is due mainly to Russia and the USA — which together still account for nearly 93 per cent of all nuclear weapons—further reducing their inventories of strategic nuclear weapons,” the report said.

It said, though, that both countries have “expensive nuclear modernization programs under way.”

For example, it said, the United States “plans to spend $400 billion in 2017–26 on maintaining and comprehensively updating its nuclear forces.”

‘Despite the recent progress in international talks on a treaty banning nuclear weapons, long-term modernization programs are under way in all nine states,’ SIPRI Senior Researcher Shannon Kile said.

“This suggests that none of these states will be prepared to give up their nuclear arsenals for the foreseeable future,” he added.

Russia is Ready for Nuclear Holocaust (Revelation 15)

“A deep underground facility at the Kremlin and an enormous underground leadership bunker adjacent to Moscow State University are intended for the national command authority in wartime,” says the report, according to the Times of London.

“Highly effective life-support systems may permit independent operations for many months following a nuclear attack.”

The Defense Intelligence Agency report on Moscow’s military might — the first since the Cold War — says the “enormous” bunkers are 985 feet underground and can house as many as 10,000 people in the case of nuclear Armageddon, according to the paper.

The shelters are linked to other bunkers outside of the city — as well as the VIP terminal at Vnukovo airfield, in case the honchos need to flee, the report said.

The report, which predates President Trump’s election but was released Wednesday, says Putin believes the U.S. is intent on regime change as part of our “efforts to promote democracy around the world.”

“The Kremlin is convinced the United States is laying the groundwork for regime-change in Russia,” the report says.

US Deploys Itself Against Russia

Show of force: The B-1 Lancer (left), B-2 Spirit (centre) and B-52 Stratofortress (pictured right) together at RAF Fairford US deploys all its nuclear-capable bombers to Britain

Daily Mail

The US has deployed several nuclear-capable strategic bombers to Britain for the first time as tensions with Russia continue to grow.

Two B-2 stealth bombers, which cost more than half a billion each three B-52H Stratofortress aircraft and three B-1B Lancers are currently stationed at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire.

A spokesman for the base said the aircraft are being used ‘in support of exercises BALTOPS (Baltic operations), Saber Strike and Arctic Challenge taking place in the U.S. European Command area of responsibility.’

Show of force: The B-1 Lancer (left), B-2 Spirit (centre) and B-52 Stratofortress (pictured right) together at RAF Fairford

He told the Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: ‘The deployment of strategic bombers strengthens the effectiveness of RAF Fairford as the U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa’s forward operating bomber location’ and the deployment of the bombers provide: ‘important integration and interaction with our joint partners, UK and NATO allies.’

Despite their use solely being for exercise purposes currently, the aircraft are capable of delivering a nuclear strike and have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past.

The decision to deploy the bombers on UK soil comes as tensions are mounting with Russia as it adopts more a aggressive military front.

Russian Tupolev Tu-95 ‘Bear’ strategic bombers have repeatedly been intercepted in recent months by NATO aircraft, including RAF Typhoons.

American power: The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is the world’s most advanced strategic bomber

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

  • Cruising Speed: Classified – believed to be high subsonic
  • Range: 6,000 miles, 10,000 miles with one aerial refueling
  • Payload: Capable of carrying 16 B61 Nuclear free fall bombs or 80 conventional 500lbs bombs 
  • Crew: Two

One of the most advanced aircraft ever built, the B-2 Spirit America’s premier strategic bomber. It’s ‘flying wing’ design allows it to penetrate enemy radar systems to deliver either nuclear or conventional weapons.

The project was originally conceived during the Carter administration in 1976 as a way to counter the Soviet threat. It was shrouded in secrecy and cost nearly $45billion to develop until it’s first flight in 1989.

With just one air-to-air refueling the B-2 is capable of flying an astonishing 10,000 miles. This means that there is rarely a need to deploy it outside the U.S., except in cases where the American government wants to project a show of force.

The long-range, multi-mission B1-B Lancer has been part of the US Air Force since 1985

Rockwell B1-B Lancer

  • Top Speed: 900-plus mph
  • Range: Intercontinental 
  • Payload: Capable of carrying nuclear weapons and up to 75,000lbs of ordnance internally -the equivalent of 24 misiles
  • Crew: Four

Nicknamed ‘The Bone’ for its sleek look, the swing-wing B-1B Lancer was originally designed as an incredibly fast strategic bomber that could penetrate the Soviet Union’s airspace.

However, the collapse of the USSR meant that there was a reduced need for the United States’ nuclear bombers, so the B-1 was assigned a conventional role in the mid-1990s. In the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia six B-1Bs flew two per cent of strike missions but dropped 20 per cent of the total ordnance.

It has been nearly continuously deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. It has also recently seen action in Libya and Syria. Upgrades will ensure the plane is in service up until at least 2040.

A flying antique: The B-52 has been a part of the United States Air Force for more than 60 years. (File picture)

Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

  • Top speed: 650mph 
  • Range: 8,800 miles 
  • Payload:  Capable of carrying nuclear weapons or 70,000lbs worth of conventional weapons 
  • Crew: Five

The B-52 was initially designed as a high-altitude nuclear bomber. But when it was first introduced in 1955, few could have imagined it would still be flying more than six decades later.

It has seen action in Vietnam – where it flew more than 120,000 missions – as well as in Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. It was also the main strategic nuclear deterrent during much of the early Cold War.

Pilots joke that the plane’s air-frame is older then them or their father’s – which is testament to the original engineers. The B-52 is nicknamed the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fellow) for its appearance and difficulty to fly.

There are plans to keep the B-52 in service beyond 2040, which could mean it could have been flying for a full century.

The Terrorism of These End Times

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Why Americans Don’t Understand Terrorism, At All

We live in an invisible empire, and so the mechanics of the empire are never openly discussed with the rabble. Americans don’t comprehend how power actually works across the planet that their country seeks to control. They live from momentary headline to headline without any honest, in-depth analysis of why events like the Manchester bombing occur and keep occurring.

When it comes to terrorism it is dire, urgent, and desperate that the public understand, if anything is to change. But it certainly appears that Americans never will. Perhaps Britons may, and then lead the effort to stop it.

In the United States, a bigoted faction demonizes all Muslims. That faction calls for more weapons and for their own wanton terror to be perpetrated everywhere. An opposing faction absolves all Muslims and calls for peace and reconciliation… with suicide bombers? The two sides mindlessly shout clichés back and forth at one another in a cacophony, and they drown out the larger global issues that have transpired for many years. The public is thus rendered impotent, irrelevant and ignored: divided and conquered.

Gross historical ignorance leads to this inability to see what should be glaringly obvious: the deep state—covert intelligence agencies operating in secret—play a “double game.” They are in bed with terrorists, whom they see as useful proxies. The terrorists do their dirty work for them in places like Libya, Syria, Chechnya and Dagestan.

Americans are largely incapable of comprehending what a proxy is. It’s one level too abstract. Ask people on the street about such matters, and the results would be akin to the 64% who cannot even find North Korea on a map. Korea’s location is in no way a secret, and the government doesn’t officially deny its existence.

The corporate media has been criminal in distracting the public from the role of western allied intelligence agencies in these terror games. Despite the decade-long Afghanistan Jihad against the Soviets, the similarities of multiple current conflicts do not make it onto the evening news shows. This default censorship extends into so-called “alternative” media too. There is an unspoken air of collusion with intelligence in the United States. Some matters, for example Operation Gladio, are simply never, ever brought up. That chapter has been tossed down Orwell’s Memory Hole.

Just what is a “proxy” and “proxy war?”

The Cambridge Dictionary says:

a war fought between groups or smaller countries that each represent the interests of other larger powers, and may have help and support from these.”

Al Qaeda has been a proxy for US, Saudi and Pakistani interests since at least 1979, when Jimmy Carter’s CIA began aiding them and setting up the largest logistical support network in its history: Operation Cyclone. While official government claims mislead the public into assuming that the relationship ended in the late 1980s, it did not.

Al Qaeda maintains relationships with US allies, notably Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (where bin Laden lived for a decade and Ayman Zawahiri is assumed to be right now). Other states in the Persian Gulf region such as Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey are also implicated. These nations receive US arms and US protection. Although they are repeatedly exposed for aiding and abetting Al Qaeda and associated groups operating under various names, these countries are tolerated and rewarded by US administrations and other Western powers.

This absurdity can only continue because of the gross ignorance and the distractibility of western populations.

Saudis Bankroll Taliban, Even as King Officially Supports Afghan Government”
-NY Times, Dec. 6 2016

The Manchester bombing produced some uncharacteristically revealing news reports in the UK, but these are censored to US audiences. US media is more tightly controlled, apparently, when it comes to the shenanigans of western intelligence services protecting terrorists.

Here is what we learned about Manchester:

One of the friends who called the anti-terrorism hotline about one of the London Bridge attackers said, “’He was not arrested and was allowed to keep his passport. I did my bit, I know a lot of other people did their bit, but the authorities did not do their bit.”

Previously, and related, a radical Muslim cleric named Anjem Choudary was protected from arrest by MI5 for nearly twenty years!

“Met counter-terror officers often felt they enough evidence to build a case against the radicalising cleric, only to be told to hang fire by MI5, because he was crucial to one of their on-going investigations, a source has claimed… After almost 20-years at the forefront of radical Islam in Britain, Choudary was finally convicted of a terrorism offence last month and faces up to ten years in prison when he is sentenced on September 6. But following his conviction it was revealed that the 49-year-old former lawyer had been linked to at least 15 terror plots dating back as far as 2001.”

Needless to say, those five warnings flagging Manchester bomber Salman Abedi were completely ignored by authorities—for some reason. This is very similar to the warnings about the Tsarnaev Brothers in 2013. The pattern is almost identical to the Boston Marathon Bombing.

Russia sent the FBI two warnings about the Tsarnaevs including one that was ignored after Tamerlan met with a known extremist guerrilla leader in Dagestan. Israel’s DEBKAFile suggested at the time that the Tsarnaevs were being recruited by US intelligence to go stir up trouble in the Russian provinces of Chechnya and Dagestan. This was confirmed by Michele McPhee in her recent book Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI, and the Road to the Marathon Bombing.

Warnings were ignored, systematically, in both cases. Numerous warnings were also ignored concerning the 9/11 attacks, and for similar reasons. FBI chief division counsel Coleen Rowley explained in painstaking detail how her efforts to stop the 9/11 attacks were blocked by her own headquarters.

“Within days of terrorist suspect Zaccarias Moussaoui’s arrest in Minnesota on Aug. 16, 2001, French intelligence confirmed that Moussaoui had been fighting under and recruiting for [Chechen Al Qaeda leader] Ibn al-Khattab, raising concerns about Moussaoui’s flight training. Yet FBI Headquarters officials balked at allowing a search of his laptop and other property, still refusing to recognize that: 1) the Chechen separatists were themselves a “terrorist group” for purposes of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act’s (FISA) legal requirement of acting “on behalf of a foreign power” and 2) that Moussaoui’s link to Ibn al Khattab inherently then linked him to bin Laden’s well-recognized Al Qaeda group for purposes of FISA (the point in my memo).”

The Minnesota FBI agents were thwarted from investigating Moussaoui’s intelligence, and it remained untouched when hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center and Pentagon a month later.

Those are three clear examples of interference in the fight against terrorism on western soil. A fourth example is the Berlin 2016 Christmas attack, which killed 12 and injured 56 others. “The attack was carried out by a man whom security officials across Germany were very well aware of,” according to the Interior Minister Ralf Jäger. Anis Amri was investigated seven times before striking, and yet officials claimed that nothing could be done about him. The public is to believe that the entire law enforcement and intelligence apparatus of Germany is powerless against one man. Police knew prior to his attack that he had traveled through Germany under 14 different aliases.

Newsbud compiled a timeline to dispute the claims of German officials:

26 September 2016:
Tunisian and Moroccan security authorities inform the North Rhine-Westphalia LKA that Amri is an Islamic State supporter, that he is in contact with suspected Tunisian terrorists in Libya, “wants to carry out a project” in Germany and is staying in Berlin. German authorities receive similar information on October 14 and October 26.

Coincidentally, that December, German intelligence produced a report that “10,000” Salafists were living in Germany. The report pointed the finger at Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait for their direct funding and support to “mosques, religious schools,” and “hardline preachers.”

The corporate media in the US today is a cacophony of irrelevant distraction. There, 99% of what is broadcast about terrorist attacks is completely unrelated to why it actually happened or how to stop it from happening again. TV news serves only as propaganda and does not inform its viewers of these otherwise knowable facts above.

The public would be far more attuned to these security breaches, and the impunity which surrounds them, if they understood modern history, and particularly the history since 1948 with the creation of the CIA and the “National Security State.” Soon after, we have it on the record, that the CIA began engaging in false-flag terrorism. It was a key component of Operation Ajax, the criminal plot to overthrow the democratically elected president of Iran.

New York Times revealed, in 2000 (47 years late):

The [CIA’s own] history says agency officers orchestrating the Iran coup worked directly with royalist Iranian military officers, handpicked the prime minister’s replacement, sent a stream of envoys to bolster the shah’s courage, directed a campaign of bombings by Iranians posing as members of the Communist Party, and planted articles and editorial cartoons in newspapers.” (emphasis added)

Upon this “success,” the destruction of Iranian democracy and the installation of a murderous tyrant, the Central Intelligence Agency was thus encouraged to engage in more anti-communist false-flag attacks. That was Operation Gladio, a “forty year” spree of state-sponsored terrorist attacks across Europe, according to the BBC investigation.

Clearly we should be listening to meticulous experts like Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, rather than the barrage of talking heads who obfuscate on CNN. The Strategy of Tension persists and is the conceptual foundation of the perpetual “War on Terrorism.”

“The ‘strategy of tension’ denotes a highly secretive series of interconnected covert operations conducted jointly by the CIA and MI6 largely in Western Europe during this period. Well-documented by several respected historians, confirmed by official inquiries, and corroborated by former intelligence officials, the ‘strategy of tension’ is one of those unsavoury moments in contemporary history that we don’t learn about in school, or even university… The objective was to galvanize public opinion against leftwing policies and parties, and ultimately to mobilize popular support for purportedly anti-Soviet policies at home and abroad – most of which were really designed to legitimize brutal military interventions against nationalist independence movements in the ‘Third World’.”

Terrorism serves those who would destroy civil liberties at home and wage wars of aggression abroad. Attacks on random civilians have been allowed to proceed, and the efforts of lower-level law enforcement officers halted in their tracks, over and over again in multiple allied nations. That is the main reason we see repeated high-profile attacks perpetrated by people who are well-known to the security-intelligence complexes that are supposed to stop them but choose not to.

—–

Joe Giambrone publishes Political Film Blog, where all these stories were tagged and compiled.

Trump’s Nepotism Backfires

‘This is off the map’: Former intelligence officials say the reported Kushner-Russia plan is unlike anything they’ve ever seen

White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner listens during President Donald Trump’s joint news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, March 17, 2017.Jim Bourg/Reuters

Former intelligence officials described Jared Kushner’s reported attempt to set up a backchannel line of communication with Russia last December that would bypass the US’ national security and intelligence apparatus as “off the map,” “explosive,” and “extremely dangerous.”

Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said during a press conference on Saturday that, if Kushner did try to set up such a back channel, “I would not be concerned about it.”

“We have back-channel communications with a number of countries,” McMaster said. “So, generally speaking, about back-channel communications, what that allows you to do is to communicate in a discreet manner.”

Scott Olson, a recently retired FBI agent who ran counterintelligence operations and spent more than 20 years at the bureau, agreed that it is not unusual for low-level staffers to work between governments and bypass bureaucracy to exchange views and build consensus in advance of higher-level negotiations.

But what Kushner appears to have done is “substantially different, in two ways,” he said.

“First, he is not seeking a back-channel for a low-level staff exchange,” Olson said. “He wants high-level direct-contact communication. This is extremely dangerous because it results in verbal (and therefore undocumented and unwitnessed) agreements, which are binding on governments. Free governments do not work this way. They can’t. If they do, they are no longer free.”

He continued:

“Second, he asked to use a foreign government’s communication facilities. This is way beyond a private server. This is doing US government diplomatic business over a foreign government’s communication system. It’s not an off-the-record conversation. It’s a conversation recorded by the opposing party. This shows a staggering lack of understanding of the US and its place in the world. Actually, it shows a staggering lack of common sense. When he negotiates a business deal does he use the other guy’s notes?”

Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a top White House adviser, was willing to go extraordinary lengths to establish a secret line of communication between the Trump administration and Russian government officials, The Washington Post reported Friday.

Kushner met with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, in December at Trump Tower, where he floated the possibility of setting up a secure line of communication between the Trump transition team and Russia – and having those talks take place in Russian diplomatic facilities in the US. That would essentially conceal their interactions from US government scrutiny, The Post wrote, citing US intelligence officials briefed on the matter.

Jared KushnerWhite House Senior Advisor and son-in-law to the president Jared Kushner (L) joins other cabinet members and senior members of the Trump administration during a news conference. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The New York Times confirmed the Post’s story late Friday night, adding that the planned purpose for the secure channel was to discuss military strategies in Syria.

If true, “this actually is even more disturbing,” said Susan Hennessey, a former attorney for the National Security Agency. “Why in God’s name would they want to conceal plans on Syria strategy from the US military?”

“Even accepting their Syria spin, what Kushner tried to do was blind the US government on incredibly important national security matters,” Hennessey added. “That’s not how it works. That’s not the behavior of someone who recognizes America is still, at its core, a common endeavor.”

Kislyak reportedly passed along Kushner’s request to Moscow. The Post’s Ellen Nakashima, Adam Entous, and Greg Miller reported that the Russian ambassador was “taken aback” by Kushner’s request, because it posed significant risks for both the Trump team and the Kremlin.

“This was probably as off-putting to Kislyak as it is for you and me,” Michael Hayden, who served as the director of the NSA and the CIA, told CNN on Saturday. “This is off the map. I know of no other experience like this in our history, and certainly not within my life experience.”

“What manner of ignorance, hubris, suspicion, and contempt [for the previous administration] would you have to have to think doing this with the Russian ambassador would be a good or appropriate idea?” Hayden added.

Kushner, who did not disclose the meeting on his security clearance form, is now under scrutiny in the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s election interference, and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian officials to undermine Hillary Clinton.

GOOD GRIEF. This is serious,” Robert Deitz, a veteran of the NSA and the CIA who worked under the Clinton and Bush administrations, said in an email of the latest developments.

“This raises a bunch of problematic issues. First, of course, is the Logan Act, which prohibits private individuals conducting negotiations on behalf of the US government with foreign governments. Second, it tends to reinforce the notion that Trump’s various actions about Comey do constitute obstruction.”

“In other words, there is now motive added to conduct,” Deitz said. “This is a big problem for the President.”

‘You are, in the eyes of the FBI and CIA, a traitor’

Trump fired FBI Director James Comey earlier this month as Comey was overseeing the FBI’s investigation. Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt shortly thereafter that “the Russia thing” was on his mind when he fired Comey, leading lawmakers and legal experts to question whether Trump obstructed justice – a criminal and impeachable offense.

Kushner was among those who pressured Trump to fire Comey, according to The New York Times.

“If you are in a position of public trust, and you talk to, meet, or collude with a foreign power” while trying to subvert normal state channels, “you are, in the eyes of the FBI and CIA, a traitor,” said Glenn Carle, a former top counterterrorism official at the CIA for more than two decades. “That is what I spent my life getting foreigners to do with me, for the US government.”

Carle said that if the Kushner-Kislyak meeting and reported discussion were an isolated incident, it could be spun as “normal back-channel communication arrangements among states.”

But Kislyak and the Trump campaign interacted extensively, and Trump associates either kept those interactions secret from US officials or misrepresented them. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign on February 13 amid questions about his communication with Kislyak, also spoke with the Russian ambassador about setting up a secret backchannel during the transition, according to Reuters.

Trump reportedly pressured Comey, in a meeting one day after Flynn resigned, to drop the bureau’s investigation into his foreign contacts and payments.

“We know about the multiple meetings of Trump entourage members with Russian intel-related individuals,” Carle said. “There will be many others that we do not know about.”

‘A huge red flag’

Mark Kramer, the program director of the Project on Cold War Studies at Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, said Saturday that Kushner’s reported backchannel plan is “a huge red flag.”

“If the report accurately recounts what Kislyak transmitted, and if Kislyak’s transmission accurately reflects what Kushner was seeking, then it’s a very damaging piece of evidence,” Kramer said.

He added: “A back channel in itself would not be suspicious, but a back channel relying solely on Russia’s facilities would be egregiously unwise and dangerous. It’s a huge red flag, and it’s not surprising that the FBI investigators would have been taken aback by it.”

Carle said that while this reported back channel is “explosive,” it is worth questioning who tipped off The Post to the story. The Post said it received an anonymous letter in December tipping it off to the Kushner-Kislyak meeting.

Donald Trump Sergey Lavrov Sergey KislyakU.S. President Donald Trump meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, left, next to Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, May 10, 2017.Russian Foreign Ministry Photo via AP

Additionally, as a longtime diplomat, Kislyak would have known that his communications were being monitored. So the possibility remains, Carle said, that the Russians used the meeting with Kushner to distract the intelligence community and the public from potentially more incriminating relationships between the campaign and Moscow.

Indeed, “FBI investigators are examining whether Russians suggested to Kushner or other Trump aides that relaxing economic sanctions would allow Russian banks to offer financing to people with ties to Trump,” Reuters reported on Friday, citing a current US law enforcement official.

Kushner met with the CEO of Russia’s state-owned Vnesheconombank, Sergey Gorkov, in December 2016, The New York Times reported in late March. The meeting – which had not previously been disclosed and came on the heels of Kushner’s meeting with Kislyak at Trump Tower – caught the eye of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own investigation Russia’s election interference.

Kislyak reportedly orchestrated the meeting between Kushner and Gorkov, who was appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2016 as part of a restructuring of the bank’s management team, Bloomberg reported last year.

The Kremlin and the White House have provided conflicting explanations for why Kushner met with Gorkov.

Former CIA Director John Brennan, in testimony last week before the House Intelligence Committee, said that “the information and intelligence” he saw before leaving office in January “revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals.”

“It raised questions in my mind about whether the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of such individuals,” he said.