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Trump announces strikes on Syria following suspected chemical weapons attack by Assad forces
by Daniel Arkin / Apr.13.2018 / 9:12 PM ET
President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the United States military to launch strikes on Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad on a Damascus suburb last week.
The president did not specify a target for the strikes, but he said the United States would aim to hit things "associated with the chemical weapons capabilities" of Assad's regime.
"We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents," Trump said in remarks from the White House.
Trump also directed a message to Assad's main backers, Russia and Iran: "What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men and women and children?"
The suspected nerve agent attack in the city of Douma in eastern Ghouta on April 7 killed dozens of people, local activists have told NBC News, including children.
Syria and Russia have denied any involvement in the alleged attack.
Why & How You Should Study Bible Prophecy
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A Prophetic Message to an Ungodly Nation
Will World War III Begin In Outer Space?
Why World War III Could Start In Space
February 1, 2018
By Dave Hodges
The world’s most troublesome hot spots may not be in the South China Sea, Taiwan, Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, Iran, Israel, Kashmir, Pakistan, Ukraine or Spain’s coming civil war. In fact, the coming global conflict may not be located on any map. In order to view the battlefield of tomorrow, just look up into the night sky, to Earth orbit, where a conflict is unfolding that is an arms race by any stretch of the imagination.
If Russia and China decided to launch a concerted attack on military satellites, it would leave America and Europe much more vulnerable to attack by either air or ground forces. If either nation destroyed civilian satellites, the economic effects and loss of life could be profound.
China and Russia Preparing for War In Space
China and Russia are building laser weapons and jamming technology which could target the United States military satellites which are orbiting Earth.
The Joint Staff intelligence directorate, known as J-2, published the warning in a recent report on the growing threat of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons from China and Russia, according to The Washington Free Beacon.
China and Russia are colluding with each other to limit U.S. defenses in space through collaboration and the development of ASAT weapons.
“Ten years after China intercepted one of its own satellites in low-earth orbit, its ground-launched ASAT missiles are probably operational. Russia’s Defense Ministry has completed the construction of two radars for the country’s Space Forces and four storage facilities for Bulava sea-launched intercontinental ballistic missiles" according to Defense Minister Timur Ivanov.
Both China and Russia have made significant gains in satellite killing technology. In 2007, China spectacularly tested a weapon capable of knocking a satellite out of orbit. They have learned how to jam weapons, use sophisticated laser weapons, and they are bragging about it.
About 1,300 active satellites occupy near-earth orbit, providing weather pridctions (sic), worldwide communications, GPS navigation and planetary surveillance for the purpose of establishing over the horizon radar for purposes of winning the battles of tomorrow. For militaries that rely on some of those satellites for modern warfare, space has become the king of the hill.
What most people do not realize is that a space [war] could cripple the entire planet’s space-based infrastructure. And even though it might begin in space, such a conflict could easily start World War III.
Testifying before Congress earlier this year, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper echoed the concerns held by many senior government officials about the growing threat to U.S. satellites, saying that China and Russia are both “developing capabilities to deny access in a conflict,” such as those that might erupt over China’s military activities in the South China Sea or Russia’s in Ukraine. China in particular, Clapper said, has demonstrated “the need to interfere with, damage and destroy” U.S. satellites, referring to a series of Chinese anti-satellite missile tests that began in 2007.
The weapon of the future, lasers, can be used to temporarily disable or permanently damage a satellite’s components, particularly its delicate sensors, and radio or microwaves can jam or abscond with transmissions to or from ground controllers. Lasers comprise only part of the arsenal of space.
Offensive Space Weapons Are Tested
Fearing Soviet nuclear weapons launched from orbit, the U.S. began testing anti-satellite weaponry in the late 1950s. The US even tested nuclear bombs in space before orbital weapons of mass destruction were banned through the United Nations’ Outer Space Treaty of 1967. After the ban, space-based surveillance became a crucial component of the Cold War, with satellites serving as one part of elaborate early-warning systems on alert for the deployment or launch of ground-based nuclear weapons. Throughout most of the Cold War, the Soviet Union tested space mines with a Kamikaze type spacecraft that could seek and destroy U.S. spy satellites by destroying them with shrapnel. In the 1980s, the militarization of space peaked with the Reagan administration’s multibillion-dollar Star Wars Initiative which developled near-earth orbital countermeasures against Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. And in 1985, the U.S. Air Force staged a clear demonstration of its formidable capabilities, when an F-15 fighter jet launched a missile that took out a failing U.S. satellite in low-Earth orbit. And the space-based arms race commenced.
Low- and high-Earth orbits have become the center of scientific and commercial activity with satellites from more than 60 different nations. I have written about how a new internet is being established 62 miles about (sic) the earth. However, what is primarily going on in near-earth orbit is not about peaceful development. Despite their largely peaceful purposes, each and every satellite is at risk of being [targeted].
The Best Weapon: Launching Space Junk
Space junk is the greatest threat to American military satellites. The quickest way to destroy a satellite is to simply launch something which will block the path of the orbiting satellite. Even the impact of an object is (sic) small and low-tech as a marble can disable or entirely destroy a billion-dollar satellite. And if a nation uses such a “kinetic” method to destroy an adversary’s satellite, it can easily create even more dangerous debris, potentially cascading into a chain reaction that transforms Earth orbit into a demolition derby.
The U.S.military became resigned, decades ago, that its lower orbit satellites were vulnerable.
In 2013, after the Chinese took down their own weather satellite, the US declassified details of its secret Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP), a planned set of four satellites capable of monitoring the Earth’s high orbits and even rendezvousing with other satellites to inspect them up-close. The first two GSSAP spacecraft launched into orbit in July 201(sic). At one time, this was a black program. It is now very much out in the open. Russia has been developing its own ability to approach, inspect and potentially sabotage or destroy satellites in orbit. The take-away is that both side have the capacity to take out each other’s satellites.
The US national security co massive funding 2015 funding for the Pentagon’s Space Security and Defense Program go toward development of offensive space control and active defense strategies and capabilities. (sic)
An offensive war in space that would target satellites would be comparable to a massive EMP attack. Further, our ground forces small in number would be in severe danger. US defense forces depend on over-the-horizon radar to locate and destroy the enemy. Without satellites, the US miitary would need to draft millions of American to compensate for the loss of this technology.
The final chapter has not been written as of yet. This is a new battleground and the results are predictably catastrophic, but unpredictable about where this ultimately heading.
Fire, hatred and speed!
The glamour, bullying and violence of the libertarian alt-right has a direct political ancestor, and it’s not Nazi Germany
The photo shows the "energy flash" when a projectile launched at speeds of up to 17,000 miles an hour impacts a solid surface at the Hypervelocity Ballistic Range at NASA's Ames Research Center. This test is used to simulate what happens when a piece of orbital debris hits a spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: Wikipedia)
April 25, 2014
Nearly a century after Robert Goddard launched his first liquid-fuel rocket, we are now inextricably linked to the hundreds of spacecraft which race around our planet at speeds that would make Chuck Yeager envious.
But near-Earth space is reaching a saturation point --- a detail driven home in James Clay Moltz’s new space history --- Crowded Orbits: Conflict and Cooperation in Space. And the idea that such orbital competition could potentially trigger a global conflict is one of the book's major themes.
In “Crowded Orbits,” Moltz --- an expert on space policy and national security issues --- covers the civil, military and commercial space sectors, but also includes chapters on diplomatic space initiatives and future trends. Forbes.com turned to the author, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, to learn more.
Is space warfare in our future?
If one tracks current trends and the increasing rate of military spending on space by a variety of countries, one has to worry. These militaries are going to have to engage in mutual restraint if conflict is going to be avoided.
We managed to do so during the Cold War through U.S.-Soviet non-interference pledges, ongoing talks, and a shared belief that satellite security was critical to nuclear stability and arms control. It is less clear that such restraint will prevail in the 21st century.
You argue that warfare in earth orbit would create totally uncontrolled projectiles traveling 17,000 mph. What would be the immediate effects?
China’s 2007 ASAT (anti-satellite weapons) test created over 3,000 pieces of large orbital debris (larger than 4 inches in diameter), which will now continue to hurtle around the Earth at orbital speeds (over 17,000 mph) for some 40 or more years; until they finally re-enter the atmosphere and burn up.
Any piece of this debris field could hit a satellite or, worse, a manned spacecraft and cause serious damage, depressurization, and death. A space war involving even just a dozen similar attacks on satellites would create such a large field of hazardous debris that it could render low-Earth orbit too dangerous for astronauts or high-value spacecraft ---making near-Earth space essentially unusable.
Does Iran or North Korea possess the technology for space-to-space warfare?
Not yet. The challenge will be whether existing space-faring countries can convince newly-emerging space actors to behave responsibly. One possible [incentive] is that in space, [destructive] acts --- such as the release of orbital debris from weapons tests --- harm everyone in orbit. So, China, Russia, and other developed space powers share an interest in ensuring safe access to space.
What effect has the 1967 Outer Space Treaty had on deterring an all out arms race in space?
The Outer Space Treaty and other agreements have created strong norms of restraint. A current effort—started by the European Union—to create an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities would enhance cooperation in space situational awareness and traffic control; encourage non-interference and debris mitigation; and require yearly consultations among signatories on space security issues.
Whether these mechanisms will be enough to prevent future space conflict and the possible ruination of critical orbits remains to be seen. There are still loopholes for weapons testing and deployment within existing treaties that could create serious future problems.
You mention that during World War II, the Nazis had planned a military space bomber aimed at attacking the U.S. Could you elaborate?
It was a rocket-powered manned aircraft that would enter space en route to its target. Its planned flight profile was in some respects similar to Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo—which has a conventional take-off and then a rocket assist to get into space. But the so-called “Amerika” bomber had military aims and a weapons payload.
The commercial space sector has grown into an industry that grosses nearly $300 billion annually. What do you see as its primary Achilles’ heel going forward?
The primary challenges faced in the coming years by the commercial space industry are: possible degradation of the geostationary orbital belt (22,300 miles up) by orbital debris and satellite crowding; exhaustion of the available radio-frequency spectrum; and inaction by countries in reining in illegal jamming of satellite communications.
How will the cubesat revolution exacerbate these already crowded orbits?
Cubesats typically have no means of propulsion. This means that they cannot get out of the way of impending collisions and frequently are delivered into low-Earth orbit in batches, meaning that the cubesats all look alike from the ground because of their identical shape and small size. This poses a problem in cases involving damage liability.
The U.S., Russia, and China are all known to have offensive space weaponry. Anyone else?
At present, only three countries have tested devoted space weapons. But a number of other countries are capable of doing so, and India and a few others have already stated their intention to develop these capabilities.
Although U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons tests took place in space from 1958-62, they are now prohibited by the 1963 Partial Test Ban Treaty. Countries might decide to violate this agreement, but they would risk the ire of all space-faring nations since electro-magnetic pulse radiation would harm all unhardened satellites indiscriminately.
What about kinetic weapons?
Kinetic space weapons include direct-ascent systems (that move straight from launch—using a radar or infrared seeker—to collide with their target) and co-orbital systems (that maneuver over several orbits into the same altitude and inclination of their target satellite and then destroy it). Fortunately, both types have specific limitations.
Less discriminate kinetic weapons include the distribution of sand, pebbles, or other objects into crowded areas of space, which could destroy random satellites. Presumably, such a weapon would only be used by a terrorist (and only if they afford a rocket).
And lasers and killer satellites?
High-powered lasers based on the ground or in space could harm sensors or cause [spacecraft] fuel tanks to explode. They include satellites capable of space-to-space capture or kill activities, or possible microwave weapons, which could damage a satellite’s electronics. Weapons with less permanent effects include electronic jammers, which interfere with broadcast signals or satellite controls. Fortunately, few effective space weapons have been tested to date, and even fewer deployed. So, there is still a reasonable potential to stop their proliferation.
If satellite launches jump from under a 100 per year, at present, to a 1000 or more by 2020, what sort of political tension will this create?
The coming increase in satellite numbers will make collisions far more likely and give added impetus to efforts to improve space situational awareness and traffic control, especially in low-Earth orbit.
What's the worst satellite collision to date?
The most serious was the 2009 collision of a functioning Iridium [telecommunications] satellite with a dead Russian Cosmos spacecraft. No liability came into play because the Russian spacecraft was not operational, so the loss for Iridium could not be “blamed” on the Russians.
A more serious incident might be one involving a U.S., Russian, or Chinese military satellite in a time of crisis, where there could be considerably more tension, mistrust, and possible counter-actions. It is not hard to see such an incident bringing countries to the brink of war.
January 30, 2017
Prophecy in the News
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IS AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY?
Will Russia Nuke the U.S.?
A Chat with S. Douglas Woodward
THE FUTURE OF AMERICA IN BIBLE PROPHECY
Bill Salus - 11-06-11
Is America specifically found in prophecy?
Dr. Richard Goble
There is no clear-cut answer to this question. You can't find "America" in any of the prophetic writings so the easy answer is no. But the easy answer is not always the right answer.
There are those who hold to the theory that America will deteriorate to such a degree in the eyes of the world that she will no longer have the influence she enjoys now. We can certainly see evidence that this may be happening. President Obama has allowed more than 11 million illegal immigrants to come into the country, and it is changing the way we live. Our infrastructure is deplorable, our national debt is astronomical, our morality is appalling, and our churches are so ineffective that President Obama has declared that America is no longer a Christian nation. I can see a scenario developing where America does indeed descend to a laughable level of incompetence, if she is not already there.
Others, however, believe that America is the “Babylon” mentioned in Revelation 18.
After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury."
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, 'I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.' Therefore her plagues will come in one day — death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.
I can see some merit to the argument that “America” is spoken of as “Babylon” metaphorically here. But I believe one could convincingly also make a metaphorical case against Roman Catholicism as well. But the connection is not clear so it may be better interpretation to maintain the literal sense of “Babylon” and not try to spiritualize the passage and try to make America or any other group fit into the text, or worse, make the text fit them, until we have convincing evidence to do so.
So if you ask, "Is America named in prophecy," then the answer is, "no.' I don't find any of the ancient prophecies that clearly single out 'America' - even metaphorically speaking. There is no Hebrew word of which I am aware that can be taken to mean 'America.'
But if you ask, "Is America found in prophecy?", the best answer that I can give you is that America is only found in prophecy through the church of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. So the events leading up to the Rapture will affect the church, and America will influence those events. But at this moment both the nation and the church are substantially weakened and vulnerable in every way imaginable. It seems plausible to me that the church will be taken out not just because of the promise of Jesus, but also because she is no longer useful in His plan to preach the gospel to every creature.
Until Christ comes, I pray that the church in America will wake up, watch, and repent.
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