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Global Leaders Rattle Their Sabers As The World Marches Toward War

The World Marches Toward War - Public DomainIran just conducted another provocative missile test, more U.S. troops are being sent to the Middle East, it was just announced that the U.S. military will be sending B-1 and B-52 bombers to South Korea in response to North Korea firing four missiles into the seas near Japan, and China is absolutely livid that a U.S. carrier group just sailed through contested waters in the South China Sea.  We have entered a season where leaders all over the globe feel a need to rattle their sabers, and many fear that this could be leading us to war.  In particular, Donald Trump is going to be under the microscope in the days ahead as other world leaders test his resolve.  Will Trump be able to show that he is tough without going over the edge and starting an actual conflict?

The Iranians made global headlines on Thursday when they conducted yet another ballistic missile test despite being warned by Trump on numerous occasions…

As tensions between the U.S. and Iran continue to mount, the semi-official news agency Tasnim is reporting that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has successfully conducted yet another ballistic missile test, this time from a navy vessel.  Called the Hormuz 2, these latest missiles are designed to destroy moving targets at sea at ranges up to 300 km (180 miles).

Reports on the latest test quotes Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Force, who confirmed that “the naval ballistic missile called Hormuz 2 successfully destroyed a target which was 250 km away.”

The missile test is the latest event in a long-running rivalry between Iran and the United States in and around the Strait of Hormuz, which guards the entrance to the Gulf. About 20% of the world’s oil passes through the waterway, which is less than 40 km wide at its narrowest point.

So how will Trump respond to this provocation?

Will he escalate the situation?  If he does nothing he will look weak, but if he goes too far he could risk open conflict.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, things are already escalating.  It is being reported that “several hundred Marines” are on the ground in Syria to support an assault on the city of Raqqa, and another 1,000 troops could be sent to Kuwait to join the fight against ISIS any day now.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

While the Trump administration waits to decide if it will send 1,000 troops to Kuwait to fight ISIS, overnight the Washington Post reported that the US has sent several hundred Marines to Syria to support an allied local force aiming to capture the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. Defence officials said they would establish an outpost from which they could fire artillery at IS positions some 32km (20 miles) away. US special forces are already on the ground, “advising” the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance according to the BBC.

The defence officials told the Washington Post that the Marines were from the San Diego-based 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, and that they had flown to northern Syria via Djibouti and Kuwait. They are to set up an artillery battery that could fire powerful 155mm shells from M777 howitzers, the officials said. Another marine expeditionary unit carried out a similar mission at the start of the Iraqi government’s operation to recapture the city of Mosul from IS last year.

Meanwhile, China is spitting mad for several reasons.  For one, the Chinese are absolutely furious that South Korea has allowed the U.S. to deploy the THAAD missile defense system on their soil…

China is lashing out at South Korea and Washington for the deployment of a powerful missile defense system known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, deposited at the Osan Air Base in South Korea on Monday evening.

The deployment of THAAD follows several ballistic missile tests by North Korea in recent months, including the launch of four missiles on Monday, three of which landed in the sea off the coast of Japan. Though THAAD would help South Korea protect itself from a North Korean missile attack, China is vocally protesting the deployment of the system, claiming it upsets the “strategic equilibrium” in the region because its radar will allow the United States to detect and track missiles launched from China.

Of course the U.S. needed to do something, because the North Koreans keep rattling their sabers by firing off more ballistic missiles toward Japan.

But it is one thing to deploy a missile defense system, and it is another thing entirely to fly strategic nuclear bombers into the region.

So if the Chinese were upset when THAAD was deployed, how will they feel when B-1 and B-52 bombers start showing up in South Korea?

Earlier this week, trigger-happy Kim pushed his luck once more when he fired off four ballistic missiles into the seas near Japan.

Now US military chiefs are reportedly planning to fly in B-1 and B-52 bombers – built to carry nuclear bombs – to show America has had enough.

South Korea and the US have also started their annual Foal Eagle military exercise sending a strong warning to North Korea over its actions.

A military official said 300,000 South Korean troops and 15,000 US personnel are taking part in the operation.

The Trump administration has openly stated that all options “are on the table” when it comes to North Korea, and that includes a military strike.

It has been more than 60 years since the Korean War ended, but many are concerned that we may be closer to a new Korean War than we have been at any point since that time.

And of course our relationship with China is tumbling precariously downhill as well.  Another reason why the Chinese are extremely upset with the Trump administration is because a U.S. Navy carrier battle group led by the USS Carl Vinson sailed past islands that China claims in the South China Sea just a few weeks ago.

In China, the media openly talks about the possibility of war with the United States over the South China Sea.  Most Americans are not even aware that the South China Sea is a very serious international issue, but over in China this is a major focus.

And the U.S. military has recently made several other moves in the region that have angered the Chinese

Also in February, the U.S. sent a dozen F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Tindal AB in northern Australia, the closest Australian military airbase to China, for coalition training and exercises. It’s the first deployment of that many F-22s in the Pacific.

And if that didn’t get the attention of the Chinese government, the U.S. just tested four Trident II submarine-launched ballistic missiles during a nuclear war exercise, sending the simulated weapons 4,200 miles from the coast of California into the mid-Pacific. It’s the first time in three years the U.S. has conducted tests in the Pacific, and the first four-missile salvo since the end of the Cold War.

I can understand the need to look tough, but eventually somebody is going to go too far.

If you are familiar with my work, then you know that I believe that war is coming.  Things in the Middle East continue to escalate, and it is only a matter of time before a great war erupts between Israel and her neighbors.  Meanwhile, U.S. relations with both Russia and China continue to deteriorate, and this is something that I have been warning about for a very long time.

We should hope for peace, but we should also not be blind to the signs of war that are starting to emerge all over the planet.  Relatively few people anticipated the outbreak of World War I and World War II in advance, and I have a feeling that the same thing will be true for World War III.

Guess How Many Nations In The World Do Not Have A Central Bank?

OctopusCentral banking has truly taken over the entire planet.  At this point, the only major nation on the globe that does not have a central bank is North Korea.  Yes, there are some small island countries such as the Federated States of Micronesia that do not have a central bank, but even if you count them, more than 99.9% of the population of the world still lives in a country that has a central bank.  So how has this happened?  How have we gotten the entire planet to agree that central banking is the best system?  Did the people of the world willingly choose this?  Of course not.  To my knowledge, there has never been a single vote where the people of a nation have willingly chosen to establish a central bank.  Instead, what has happened is that central banks have been imposed on all of us.  All over the world, people have been told that monetary issues are “too important” to be subject to politics, and that the only solution is to have a group of unelected, unaccountable bankers control those things for us.

So precisely what does a central bank do?

You would be surprised at how few people can actually answer that question accurately.  The following is how Wikipedia describes what a central bank does…

A central bank, reserve bank, or monetary authority is an institution that manages a state’s currency, money supply, and interest rates. Central banks also usually oversee the commercial banking system of their respective countries. In contrast to a commercial bank, a central bank possesses a monopoly on increasing the monetary base in the state, and usually also prints the national currency, which usually serves as the state’s legal tender. Examples include the European Central Bank (ECB), the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve of the United States and the People’s Bank of China.

In the United States, we are told that we have a free market system.  But in a true free market system, market forces would determine what interest rates are.  We wouldn’t need anyone to “set interest rates” for us.

And why have we given a private banking cartel (the Federal Reserve) the authority to create and manage our money supply?  The U.S. Constitution specifically delegates that authority to Congress.

It is not as if we actually need the Federal Reserve.  In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history happened during the decades before the Federal Reserve was created.

Unfortunately, a little over 100 years ago our leaders decided that it would be best to turn over our financial future to a newly created private banking cartel that was designed by very powerful Wall Street interests.  Since that time, the value of our currency has diminished by more than 96 percent and our national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger.

But despite all of the problems, the vast majority of Democrats and the vast majority of Republicans are not even willing to consider slightly curtailing the immense power of the Federal Reserve.  And the idea of getting rid of the Fed altogether is tantamount to blasphemy to most of our politicians.

Of course the same thing is true all over the planet.  Central banks are truly “the untouchables” of the modern world.  Even though everybody can see what they are doing, there has not been a single successful political movement anywhere on the globe (that I know about) to shut a central bank down.

Instead, in recent years we have just seen the reach of central banking just continue to expand.

For example, just look at what has happened to some of the countries that were not considered to be “integrated” into the “global community”…

-In 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan.  In 2003, Da Afghanistan Bank (who picked that name?) was established by presidential decree.  You can find the official website of the bank right here.  Now Afghanistan has a modern central bank just like the rest of us.

-In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq.  In early 2004, the Central Bank of Iraq was established to manage the Iraqi currency and integrate Iraq into the global financial system.  The following comes from the official website of the Central Bank of Iraq

Following the deposition of Saddam Hussein in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Iraqi Governing Council and the Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance began printing more Saddam dinar notes as a stopgap measure to maintain the money supply until new currency could be introduced.

The Banking Law was issued September 19, 2003. The law brings Iraq’s legal framework for banking in line with international standards, and seeks to promote confidence in the banking system by establishing a safe, sound, competitive and accessible banking system.

Between October 15, 2003 and January 15, 2004, the Coalition Provisional Authority issued new Iraqi dinar coins and notes, with the notes printed using modern anti-forgery techniques, to “create a single unified currency that is used throughout all of Iraq and will also make money more convenient to use in people’s everyday lives. Old banknotes were exchanged for new at a one-to-one rate, except for the Swiss dinars, which were exchanged at a rate of 150 new dinars for one Swiss dinar.

The Central Bank of Iraq (Arabic: البنك المركزي العراقي) was established as Iraq’s independent central bank by the Central Bank of Iraq Law of March 6, 2004

-In 2011, the United States bombed the living daylights out of Libya.  Before Muammar Gaddafi was even overthrown, the U.S. helped the rebels establish a new Central Bank of Libya and form a new national oil company.

Central banks are specifically designed to trap nations in debt spirals from which they can never possibly escape.  Today, the debt to GDP ratio for the entire planet is up to an all-time high record of 286 percent.  Humanity is being enslaved by a perpetual debt machine, but most people are not even aware that it is happening.

It is time for an awakening.  We need to educate as many people as possible about why we need to get rid of the central banks.  For those living in the United States, my previous article entitled “On The 100th Anniversary Of The Federal Reserve Here Are 100 Reasons To Shut It Down Forever” is a good place to start.  In other countries, we need people to write similar articles about their own central banks in their own languages.

The global elite dominate us because we allow them to dominate us.  Their debt-based system greatly enriches them while it enslaves the remainder of the planet.  We need to expose their evil system and the dark agenda behind it while we still have time.

A Cyber War With North Korea And An Economic War With Russia

North KoreaIn addition to all of our wars in the Middle East and the war that has erupted on the streets of America, we are now engaged in a cyber war with North Korea and an economic war with Russia.  Without a doubt, the United States has the capability to do a tremendous amount of damage to both of them.  But what about the damage that they could potentially do to us?  We have a society that is absolutely teeming with soft targets.  Our Internet infrastructure is extremely vulnerable, our debt-based economic system is already teetering on the edge of disaster, and government officials freely admit that security at key facilities such as power plants is sorely lacking.  And these kinds of bitter conflicts have a way of escalating.  The North Koreans and the Russians are both very proud, and neither one is going to back down any time soon.  If a foreign power wanted to really make us hurt, it wouldn’t take much imagination at all.  There are thousands of ways to do it.  So Americans should not just smugly assume that we are untouchable.  In a war, it is often those that are overconfident that get hurt the worst.

Last week, Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the nightmarish hack attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and he promised that the U.S. would respond.

Well, it looks like that response began on Monday.  According to Bloomberg, North Korea’s connection to the Internet was totally cut off…

North Korea’s limited access to the Internet has been cut off, according to a network-monitoring company, days after the U.S. government accused the country of hacking into Sony Corp. (6758)’s files.

North Korea, which has four official networks connecting the country to the Internet — all of which route through China — began experiencing intermittent problems yesterday and today went completely dark, according to Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis at Dyn Research in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Needless to say, that got the attention of the North Koreans.

On their end, the North Koreans are still denying that they had anything to do with the attack on Sony.  And we may never know the actual truth.  In reality, Russia could have carried out such an attack.  Or it could have been the Chinese.  Or it could have even been a false flag cyberattack conducted by a three letter U.S. agency.  We just don’t know.

But what we do know is that North Korea is now vowing to take action against “the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland“…

“The DPRK has already launched the toughest counteraction. Nothing is more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction. Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans,” a report on state-run KCNA read.

“Our toughest counteraction will be boldly taken against the White House, the Pentagon and the whole U.S. mainland, the cesspool of terrorism,” the report said, adding that “fighters for justice” including the “Guardians of Peace” — a group that claimed responsibility for the Sony attack — “are sharpening bayonets not only in the U.S. mainland but in all other parts of the world.”

So can North Korea back up those bold words?

We shall see.

But without a doubt our Internet infrastructure is very vulnerable.  As I have written about previously, our big banks are under Internet attack every single minute of every single day.  And in recent months we have seen a whole host of retailers and major corporations get hacked.

This is an emerging threat that should not be underestimated.  As a society, we have become extremely dependent on the Internet, and these attacks are constantly becoming more powerful and more sophisticated.

I think that Steve Quayle put it very well during one recent interview…

“Cyberwarfare is increasing dramatically as we speak. There are serious concerns about the ability of the United States’ banking system to whether extremely sophisticated cyberattacks. The Sony breach is just one example of how a detrimental cyberattack can bring one of the world’s most prominent entertainment giants to its knees.”

And we do know that the North Koreans take hacking very seriously.

In fact, it has been reported that North Korea has a small army of hackers that are continually harassing the western world known as “Unit 121″…

Just like in a Bond movie, an army of teenage geniuses tap away at keyboards in fortified complex tucked away from prying eyes in a rogue state, bent on bringing cyber-carnage to their Western enemies on the orders of their leader who is bent on revenge.

But this isn’t the plot line from a film. This is North Korea in 2014. And the cyber-warriors inside have diverted from their usual work of disrupting governments and big business to turn their collective fury on Sony.

The building, the Kim Il-Sung Military Academy, is one of four North Korean universities known to train children, hand-picked for their intelligence from all around the country, and turn them into recruits for an elite group of hackers simply known as Unit 121 or Bureau 121.

Meanwhile, the struggle between the United States and Russia over Ukraine has escalated into a full-blown economic war.

At first, both sides started slapping each other with relatively minor economic sanctions.

But then things started escalating.  I think that things really began to get serious for the U.S. when Russia started to make moves against the petrodollar.  This is not something that has been reported on much at all by the mainstream media in the United States, but it is a very big deal.  If you want to become enemy #1 in the eyes of the U.S. government, just start attacking the petrodollar.  So when Russia began cutting the U.S. dollar out of oil and natural gas transactions, that definitely got the attention of some folks in Washington.  You can read much more about what Russia has been doing in this regard in this article, this article and this article.

Of course Washington was not just going to sit back and let this happen.  The Obama administration has retaliated by going after two of the most important pillars of the Russian economy – oil and the ruble.  And without a doubt, a tremendous amount of damage has already been done.

At this point, Russia is facing a full-blown currency crisis, major banks are starting to fail and economists are forecasting a deep recession for next year

The central bank bailed out its first victim of the collapsing currency, authorities announced a tax on grain exports to protect domestic stocks and a Reuters poll of 11 economists predicted that Russia’s gross domestic product would fall 3.6 percent next year.

Russia has been hit by what Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev recently called a “perfect storm” of plummeting oil prices, sanctions related to its military action in Ukraine, and a flight of investors’ capital — made worse by a lack of structural reforms that means the economy is overwhelmingly dependent on oil revenues.

But don’t count out the Russians just yet.

They are a very crafty people, and they are not afraid to fight dirty.

And it is important to keep in mind that the Russian Bear never forgives and it never forgets.  Most Americans don’t realize this, but right now anti-American sentiment in Russia is actually higher than it was at the end of the Cold War era.  Many Russians believe that this is a new Cold War, and that the United States is the greatest force for evil on the entire planet.

So while many Americans view this current conflict as a temporary foreign policy tussle about Ukraine, many Russians view this as a long-term struggle that is absolutely critical to the future of humanity.  If you doubt this, you should check out some of the things that their leading thinkers have been saying.

This conflict between the United States and Russia is not going to end any time soon.  And someday down the road, it could evolve into something more than just an economic war.  But before that happens, the Russians have a whole host of other ways that they can damage us.

Yes, the United States can hurt Russia.

But Russia can also hurt us.

In the end, this conflict is not going to be good for anyone.

The Pope Is Completely Wrong About Capitalism And Inequality

Pope Francis - Photo by Tania RegoOn Monday, the following message was posted on the Pope’s official Twitter account: “Inequality is the root of social evil.”  This follows on the heels of several other extremely harsh statements that he has made about capitalism over the past year.  The Pope appears to believe that inequality is one of the greatest evils that humanity is facing.  So if we redistributed all money and all property and made sure that everyone had an equal amount, would that wipe out social evil?  Of course not.  Such a notion is absolutely absurd.  Being the Pope, he should know that the evil that we see all around us is not the result of the distribution of wealth.  Rather, it is the result of humanity’s deep rebellion against God.  Yes, the fact that the wealth of the planet is being increasingly funneled to a very small minority at the top of the pyramid is a major problem.  This is something that I have written about repeatedly.  But the answer is not to make sure that everyone has the exact same amount of money and property.  In the end, that would only turn us into North Korea.

In case you missed it, here is the tweet by the Pope that is causing such an uproar…

https://twitter.com/Pontifex/status/460697074585980928

By itself, that statement could perhaps be “interpreted” a number of different ways.  But this follows other statements by the Pope that make it exceedingly clear what he is talking about.  Here is one example

Just as the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say “Thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality.

Yes, the Pope is correct to highlight the plight of the homeless and the needy.  Even in “wealthy America”, we have an epidemic of hunger.  This is something that I wrote about yesterday.

And yes, the Pope is correct to point out society’s obsession with the stock market.  Personally, I have been relentless in criticizing the big Wall Street banks.

But the solution is not to take everything away from everybody and put it into a giant pile and redistribute it equally.

History has shown us what happens when a society adopts an extreme form of socialism or communism.

The incentive to work is destroyed, the incentive to create new ideas and new businesses is destroyed, and living standards for everyone go down.

Please don’t think that I am defending our current system.  What we have in the United States today is not the kind of pure capitalism that our founders intended.  Instead, it is a form of collectivism where nearly all of the economic power is now in the hands of giant collectivist institutions.  That includes public collectivist institutions (the government) and private collectivist institutions (large corporations).  In this type of economic environment, it should not be a surprise that government dependence is at an all-time high, the number of Americans that are self-employed is at an all-time low and millions of small businesses are being regulated out of existence.

Collectivism, socialism and communism are all close cousins.  People are promised that such systems will result in greater “equality”, but it never seems to actually work out that way.  Instead, the small elite that hold all the power usually end up enjoying the vast majority of the benefits.

And without a doubt, as the power of the government and the power of the corporations has increased, inequality has been rising.  Just check out the following chart from a new book by 42-year-old French economist Thomas Piketty entitled “Capital In The Twenty-First Century“…

Thomas Piketty Inequality

As I write this, Pinketty’s book is the number one seller on Amazon.  That is pretty remarkable for an economics treatise.  But Pinketty fails to realize what actually caused U.S. income inequality to start skyrocketing in 1971.  As Brian Domitrovic recently detailed, that was the year when the U.S. completely went off the gold standard and the Federal Reserve started running wild…

The big switch to the foundation of the American financial structure at the advent of this period was the U.S. decision in 1971 to go off the gold standard. Before that time, it was basically clear that outside of wartime (when gold-standard conventions were often suspended), you could basically count on the dollar holding its value against major things like the consumer price level, foreign currencies, and commodities such as gold itself.

After 1971, in contrast, it became basically clear that you could count on no such thing. The CPI might go up 125% in one decade (as it did 1971-1981), the dollar could permanently lose 66% against major currencies (as it did against the yen in this period), and commodities could shoot up ten-to twenty-five fold (as was the case with oil and gold).

Therefore a new day in financial planning also arrived. Suddenly the importance of simply saving money diminished. Money that was saved also had to be hedged. If you simply saved money after 1971, you stood to get killed as the dollar lost value against things it was supposed to be able to procure in the future.

This is where the financial services industry began its long march upward in the share of U.S. economic output it gobbled up. People who had significant money—the rich—threw their money into the products offered by the financial sector, in that the worst thing to happen to a fortune diligently built up over the years would be to see it frittered away on account of currency depreciation.

So much has gone wrong since 1971.  Out national debt has gotten more than 40 times larger, our economic infrastructure has been absolutely gutted and the value of the U.S. dollar has declined by well over 80 percent.

Once again, we need to go back to a system that much more closely resembles what our founders intended.

Did you know that the greatest period of economic growth in U.S. history was when there was no income tax, no IRS and no Federal Reserve?

We could have such a system again.

But the solutions being proposed by the mainstream media, our politicians and even the Pope involve even more centralization of economic power.

If we follow this path to the end, we will ultimately become like North Korea.

It is hard to describe the crushing poverty that exists in that hellhole of a country.  In North Korea, there is so little electricity that the country appears almost totally dark from space at night.  Just check out this picture taken by NASA…

North Korea At Night

North Korea may have more “equality” than we do, buy in that country “a ballpoint pen is considered a luxury item“.  Here is much more on what life is like for ordinary people inside North Korea from the New York Post

Jobs often come without salaries. Those who do get a paycheck, earn, on average, between $1,000-2,000 a year. Food and clothing are rationed by the government.

Most North Koreans have access to that one TV station and one newspaper, both state-run; they are told that their country is the only functioning and prosperous nation on Earth and that outside rages an apocalypse. Only elites are allowed cellphones, but they can just make calls or text — there is no Internet.

Would you like to live in such a society?

When you take away the incentive to work and the incentive to create, you end up with a much poorer society.  Without outside help, much of North Korea would have already starved to death by now

“The majority of North Koreans believe completely in the regime,” says Barbara Demick, a Seoul-based journalist and author of “Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea.”

“They are barely surviving,” she says. “Only the rich can afford to eat rice. They’re in a chronic state of food shortage.”

The average citizen eats twice a day — a manageable state of affairs for citizens who lived through the great famine of the ’90s, which reduced millions of people to eating tree bark and plucking undigested kernels of corn from animal excrement.

Yes, something needs to be done about the rising level of income inequality in our country.  The middle class is being systematically destroyed and most of our politicians do not seem to care.  Some big steps in that direction would be going back to a much purer form of capitalism, shutting down the Federal Reserve, changing laws to shift power much more in the direction of individuals and small businesses, and ending the practice of shipping millions of our good paying jobs to communist nations such as China.

We also need a massive shift in our culture.  We need to shift away from a culture of greed and selfishness to a culture of love, compassion and generosity.  Those that have been blessed have a responsibility to be a blessing.  That is something that we have largely forgotten.

But trying to use government and taxation to wipe out inequality never works and will only make society poorer.  This is a lesson that Barack Obama, the Democrats, the Republicans, the mainstream media and the Pope all desperately need to learn.

North Korea: The Most Bizarre Country On Earth Is Now Even More Unstable

A new era has arrived for North Korea and nobody in the western world really knows exactly what is going to happen next.  Kim Jong-Il is dead, and now control over the most bizarre country on earth has been handed over to 29-year-old Kim Jong-Un.  Many believe that he is even younger than that.  North Korea was already quite unstable while Kim Jong-Il was leading it, and now we have a young man that is going to be eager to “prove himself” to the North Korean hierarchy.  Unfortunately, a lot of young men under the age of 30 don’t handle fame and fortune too well, and a lot of them tend to be hot-headed.  Hopefully Kim Jong-Un will turn out to be a reformer that will open up the doors of North Korea, but he could also end up being worse than his father.  We just do not know at this point.  We know that Kim Jong-Un was educated in Switzerland as a boy, we know that he speaks French, English and German, and we know that he is reportedly a fan of the NBA.  Other than that, we just don’t know a whole lot about him.  What we do know is that Kim Jong-Un is a product of a totalitarian society that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States, and that is a very frightening thing.

Today, North Korea has the fourth largest army in the entire world, and we know that Kim Jong-Un was named a four-star general in 2010.  The United States has about 28,000 soldiers stationed in South Korea, but that number is absolutely dwarfed by the 1,000,000 soldiers in the North Korean army.

Most Americans do not realize this, but the Korean war never actually ended.  A ceasefire brought the military conflict to a conclusion in 1953, but there was never a peace treaty.  For nearly 60 years, the two sides have been staring each other down along the 38th parallel.

All during that time, North Korea has been arming itself to the teeth.  North Korea is a nation that is absolutely obsessed with the military and that is absolutely obsessed with destroying the United States.

Most Americans don’t spend much time thinking about North Korea, but most North Koreans are focused on the United States every single day.  We are constantly held up as the great enemy, and North Koreans are taught that one day they will defeat us.

Today, North Korea has thousands of missile batteries and the largest artillery force in the world.  If war with North Korea erupts, Seoul would be flattened within minutes.

Right now, there are approximately 24.5 million people living either in or around Seoul, and that makes it the second largest metropolitan area in the entire world.  Even if North Korea did not nuke Seoul, the devastation caused by thousands of rockets and the largest artillery force on the planet would be unimaginable.

North Korea also has a navy with more than 700 vessels, the largest submarine fleet on the entire globe and a fleet of about 1,650 aircraft.

But most importantly, North Korea has nukes.

Everyone agrees that North Korea has conducted nuclear tests and that they have an arsenal of nuclear weapons, but nobody really knows how big that arsenal is.

It is believed that the latest long-range missiles that North Korea has developed have the ability to reach the west coast of the United States, which is a very frightening thought.

But North Korea is never satisfied with where they are at.  They are always developing new weapons.

For example, there have been reports that North Korea has tested a “super EMP weapon” which would be capable of taking out most of the U.S. power grid in a single shot.

North Korea is no joke.  North Korea has the ability to take out Seoul or Tokyo at any time.  A military conflict with North Korea could plunge the world into a devastating economic collapse in just a matter of days.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to disarm.  Thanks to recent treaties that the Obama administration has signed with Russia, the size of our strategic nuclear arsenal has been reduced by over 90 percent.

That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but then again not much that the Obama administration does makes sense.

North Korea is a very powerful enemy and they should not be underestimated.  Unfortunately, most of our politicians seem to be clueless when it comes to foreign policy these days.

And North Korea is constantly testing us.

There were reports that North Korea test-fired two short-range missiles off its east coast on Monday.

Was this Kim Jong-Un flexing his muscles?

Was it a tribute to Kim Jong-Il?

Was it just a test-firing that was regularly scheduled?

With North Korea you just never know.

At this point, the South Korean military has been put on a state of high alert.  South Korea is hoping that the transition of power in North Korea will go smoothly, and they are certainly watching things very closely.

The North Korean media is most definitely backing Kim Jong-Un, but that doesn’t mean that Kim Jong-Un is out of the woods yet.

Mike Chinoy, a senior fellow at the U.S. China Institute, says that there may be significant challenges to the authority of Kim Jong-Un in the months ahead….

“How does somebody who’s not yet 30 win the loyalty and respect and command authority over the entrenched party apparatus, the entrenched military bureaucracy, and the senior party officials who may have been in their positions for a long time?”

That is a very good question.  Could someone in the North Korean military rise up to challenge Kim Jong-Un?  It seems unlikely, but you never know.

Meanwhile, most of the focus in North Korea is still on the death of the “dear leader”.  The passing of Kim Jong-Il has once again demonstrated why North Korea is widely considered to be the most bizarre country on earth.

The following comes from an article in the Telegraph….

State television, which delivered the shock news in a tearful announcement, aired footage from Pyongyang of hysterical North Koreans, young and old, pounding the ground in a display of abject grief.

People on the streets of the North Korean capital wailed, some kneeling on the ground or bowing repeatedly as they learned the news that their ‘Dear Leader’ had died of heart failure while carrying out official duties on a train trip.

“How could the heavens be so cruel? Please come back, general. We cannot believe you’re gone,” Hong Son Ok cried in an interview with the country’s official broadcaster, her body shaking.

Video footage of North Koreans mourning the “dear leader” is posted below….

Of course it must be remembered that if you do not mourn the “dear leader” properly, you and your entire family could get shipped off to a prison camp.

Seriously.

In North Korea, if authorities even suspect that you are not thinking the right thing, you and your entire extended family could be sent to a gulag for the rest of your life.

It is that kind of fear and repression that enabled Kim Jong-Il to maintain such tight-fisted control.

Without a doubt, Kim Jong-Il was truly bizarre.  Kim John-Il enjoyed endless luxuries while his people deeply suffered.  It has been reported that he had a collection of more than 20,000 movies, and it is said that he composed six operas.  It is also claimed that he shot 38 under par (including 11 holes-in-one) the first time he ever played golf.

But all of this leader worship started with his father, Kim Il-Sung.  It is said that hanging up pictures of Kim Il-Sung is compulsory for every household in North Korea, and many Koreans apparently believe that Kim Il-Sung actually created the world.

So yes, North Korea is very, very weird.

And North Korea is also very, very evil.

In a previous article, I discussed how Christians are treated in North Korea.  Sadly, Christians in North Korea are murdered in some of the most brutal ways imaginable.  The following is just one example….

“While Interviewee 17 was in the North Korean Army, his unit was dispatched to widen the highway between Pyongyang and the nearby port city of Nampo. They were demolishing a vacated house in Yongkang county, Yongkang district town, when in a basement between two bricks they found a Bible and a small notebook that contained 25 names, one identified as pastor, two as chon-do-sa (assistant pastors), two as elders, and 20 other names, apparently parishioners, identified by their occupations. The soldiers turned the Bible and notebook over to the local branch of Department 15 of the Korean Workers Party (KWP), but the Party officials said it was up to the military police unit, Bowisaryungbu gigwanwon, to investigate. Tracked down at their place of work through the listing of occupation in the notebook, the 25 persons were picked up without formal arrest by the military bowibu. The interviewee was not aware of any judicial procedures for those seized. In November 1996, the 25 were brought to the road construction site. Four concentric rectangular rows of spectators were assembled to watch the execution. Interviewee 17 was in the first row. The five leaders to be executed – the pastor, two assistant pastors, and two elders – were bound hand and foot and made to lie down in front of a steamroller. This steamroller was a large construction vehicle imported from Japan with a heavy, huge, and wide steel roller mounted on the front to crush and level the roadway prior to pouring concrete. The other twenty persons were held just to the side. The condemned were accused of being Kiddokyo (Protestant Christian) spies and conspiring to engage in subversive activities. Nevertheless, they were told, “If you abandon religion and serve only Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you will not be killed.” None of the five said a word. Some of the fellow parishioners assembled to watch the execution cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed beneath the steamroller. Interviewee 17 thought, at the time, that these church people were crazy. He thought then that religion was an “opiate,” and it was stupid for them to give up their lives for religion. He heard from the soldiers who took away the other twenty prisoners that they were being sent to a prison camp.”

Could you imagine watching your loved ones die like that?

Famine has also been a huge ongoing problem in North Korea.

There have actually been reports of cannibalism in North Korea during times of extreme famine.  A number of years ago, the Washington Post shared what one 29-year-old female defector told them about the cannibalism that she witnessed….

“When one is very hungry, one can go crazy. One woman in my town killed her 7-month-old baby, and ate the baby with another woman.”

The amazing thing is that the 29-year-old female defector did not even consider the cannibalism to be wrong….

“I can’t condemn cannibalism. Not that I wanted to eat human meat, but we were so hungry. It was common that people went to a fresh grave and dug up a body to eat meat. I witnessed a woman being questioned for cannibalism. She said it tasted good.”

So is there anyone out there that still wants to move to North Korea?

National Geographic once did an amazing documentary on what life is like inside North Korea, and if you have not seen it yet, you can view it on YouTube right here.  It is absolutely incredible that there are people on earth that are living like that.

Hopefully the rest of us can learn a lesson from them.  A totalitarian police state may make you feel a little bit “safer”, but no rational person should ever want to live in one.

The funny thing is that the North Korean people supposedly have rights.  If you can believe it, the North Korean constitution actually guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

The American people need to understand that just because the U.S. Constitution says that we have rights does not mean that we will always have them.  In fact, today our First Amendment rights are being brutally assaulted.

As I wrote about recently, the United States is becoming a little more like North Korea every single day.  If we do not stand up for our rights, eventually they will all be gone.

It has been said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.  Throughout history, most societies have not enjoyed the same freedoms that we enjoy today.  There always seems to be a tendency for governments to become repressive and to go down the road that North Korea has gone.

Please do not let that happen to America.

11 Reasons Why North Korea Is The Most Bizarre Nation On Earth

Is the United States about to go to war with the most bizarre nation on earth?  A lot of Americans would actually welcome “the Korean War Part 2”, but before people get too excited it is important to keep in mind that we have never been at war with a nation that actually possesses nuclear weapons.  At this point it is unclear exactly how powerful North Korea’s nuclear weapons are, but nearly everyone does agree that they are crazy enough to use them.  North Korea reportedly has thousands of missile batteries that are capable to hitting the 10 million people that live in Seoul.  The death and devastation that an all-out strike on Seoul could potentially cause is almost unimaginable.  In fact, the 24.5 million people living either in or around Seoul make it the second largest metropolitan area in the world.  The next conflict on the Korean peninsula will be extremely bloody.  Nobody should be wishing for that.

Unfortunately, the next Korean war seems closer than ever.  Tensions on the peninsula are at a record high.  Today, North Korea has one of the largest armies in the world.  Some reports claim that they have over 1 million soldiers on active duty.  But South Korea is highly militarized as well, and there are 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea that the North Koreans would have to contend with.

Right now the rest of the world is getting quite nervous, because a war between nuclear powers could get out of hand very quickly.  If North Korea hits South Korea with nuclear weapons, it seems almost certain that the U.S. would hit North Korea with nukes.  The death and destruction that would result would be unprecedented.

So what does China think about all of this?  Well, North Korea would not be acting so belligerent right now if they did not have permission from China.  Perhaps China is trying to send a message to the West.

On the other hand, there are others that believe that it could go a lot deeper than that.  The regime in North Korea is on the verge of collapsing in on itself.  Even the Chinese are getting tired of propping up their government and dealing with their nonsense.  The truth is that a new Korean war could benefit the Chinese in several ways.

First of all, South Korea (the biggest U.S. ally in the region) would be absolutely devastated even if they “won” the war.  That would cripple an incredibly important geopolitical chess piece.

Secondly, the U.S. would be embroiled in yet another costly conflict and would undoubtedly suffer some costly losses as well.  The opinion of the rest of the world toward the United States would darken even more – especially if nuclear weapons were used.

Thirdly, China could gain a ton of “leverage” by stabbing North Korea in the back after the conflict had started.  In return for supporting the U.S./South Korean coalition, China could ask for all kinds of things that they wouldn’t even dream of getting right now.  In fact, it is not unthinkable to imagine China walking away with a significant chunk of North Korea in the aftermath of the war.  The Chinese government is regularly involved in “border disputes” (just Google it), and China would never pass up a chance to pick up a big slice of new territory.

In the end, the “winner” of any new war on the Korean peninsula would probably be China.  The U.S. would get rid of the “North Korean problem”, but it would come at a great cost.  It is hard to imagine any scenario that would end up greatly benefiting the United States.

Let us hope that a new all-out Korean war does not erupt.  North Korea is ruled by delusional leaders who are insane enough to actually use nuclear weapons.  If you doubt this, just consider the following 11 facts….

#1 The first “Great Leader” of North Korea, Kim Il-Sung, is deeply revered in North Korea.  In fact, there are over 500 statues of Kim Il-sung scattered throughout the country.  Many Koreans apparently believe that Kim Il-Sung actually created the world.

#2 It is said that hanging up pictures of Kim Il-Sung is compulsory for every household in North Korea.

#3 Millions of North Korean citizens have literally starved to death over the past 10 years.

#4 The North Korean constitution actually guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

#5 It has been reported that during times of extreme hunger in North Korea, cannibalism is quite common.  Several years ago the Washington Post shared what one 29-year-old female defector told them about what is going on inside the country….

“When one is very hungry, one can go crazy. One woman in my town killed her 7-month-old baby, and ate the baby with another woman.”

The sad thing is that the 29-year-old female defector didn’t even consider what she had seen to be wrong….

“I can’t condemn cannibalism. Not that I wanted to eat human meat, but we were so hungry. It was common that people went to a fresh grave and dug up a body to eat meat. I witnessed a woman being questioned for cannibalism. She said it tasted good.”

#6 In 1987, North Korea began construction on the Ryugyong Hotel, which would have been the tallest hotel in the world if it had been finished on schedule in 1989.  Instead, construction of the bizarre 105-story skyscraper that somewhat resembles a pyramid was suspended in 1992, and the unfinished structure was just a massive concrete shell towering over Pyongyang completely empty for the next 16 years.  Work began once again on the project in 2008, and it is anticipated that it will finally be completed in 2012.

#7 One of North Korea’s greatest “tourist attractions” is the Pueblo – a U.S. naval vessel that the North Koreans captured from “the imperialist Americans” back in 1968.

#8 According to North Korean media, Kim Jong-il is a phenom at just about everything.  It is claimed that he shot 38 under par (including 11 holes-in-one) the first time he ever played golf.

#9 Christians are slaughtered in some of the most brutal ways imaginable in North Korea.  The following is just one example…..

“While Interviewee 17 was in the North Korean Army, his unit was dispatched to widen the highway between Pyongyang and the nearby port city of Nampo. They were demolishing a vacated house in Yongkang county, Yongkang district town, when in a basement between two bricks they found a Bible and a small notebook that contained 25 names, one identified as pastor, two as chon-do-sa (assistant pastors), two as elders, and 20 other names, apparently parishioners, identified by their occupations. The soldiers turned the Bible and notebook over to the local branch of Department 15 of the Korean Workers Party (KWP), but the Party officials said it was up to the military police unit, Bowisaryungbu gigwanwon, to investigate. Tracked down at their place of work through the listing of occupation in the notebook, the 25 persons were picked up without formal arrest by the military bowibu. The interviewee was not aware of any judicial procedures for those seized. In November 1996, the 25 were brought to the road construction site. Four concentric rectangular rows of spectators were assembled to watch the execution. Interviewee 17 was in the first row. The five leaders to be executed – the pastor, two assistant pastors, and two elders – were bound hand and foot and made to lie down in front of a steamroller. This steamroller was a large construction vehicle imported from Japan with a heavy, huge, and wide steel roller mounted on the front to crush and level the roadway prior to pouring concrete. The other twenty persons were held just to the side. The condemned were accused of being Kiddokyo (Protestant Christian) spies and conspiring to engage in subversive activities. Nevertheless, they were told, “If you abandon religion and serve only Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, you will not be killed.” None of the five said a word. Some of the fellow parishioners assembled to watch the execution cried, screamed out, or fainted when the skulls made a popping sound as they were crushed beneath the steamroller. Interviewee 17 thought, at the time, that these church people were crazy. He thought then that religion was an “opiate,” and it was stupid for them to give up their lives for religion. He heard from the soldiers who took away the other twenty prisoners that they were being sent to a prison camp.”

#10 A few years ago when China was sending humanitarian aid into North Korea the North Koreans decided that they would just start keeping the trains as well.  The Chinese crews were sent back over the border on foot.

#11 A song entitled “No Motherland Without You” was written specifically for Kim Jong-il and is one of the most popular songs in North Korea.  It is regularly sung by the North Korean military.

Are you convinced yet?  The truth is that North Korea is very, very dangerous and they should not be underestimated.  Let us hope that the United States never has to fight another war with them.

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