Give me that man that is not passion’s slave, and I will wear him in my heart’s core, ay, in my heart of heart.

Hamlet, Act 3, Scene 2

On 10 June 1859, at the Royal Princess’s Theatre in London, Charles Kean played the lead role in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. He wrote a laudatory preface for the play, characterizing it as “the most stupendous monument of Shakespeare’s genius, standing as a beacon to command the wonder and admiration of the world….” It constituted, according to Kean, “the perfection of tragic art — the grand, the pitiful, and the terrible.” Kean interpreted the play as “a history of mind — a tragedy of thought” containing “the deepest philosophy, the most profound wisdom; yet speaks the language of the heart….”

Adding to what Kean says, Shakespeare’s brilliance lies in the dramatic presentation of life’s recurring dilemmas: the calamity of wicked government, the treachery of the envious, the primacy of virtue and the blindness of fools. Whatever story Shakespeare tells, it is always our story.

Today it may be argued that Shakespeare’s Hamlet has special significance; for it poetically grapples with the tragedy of a country subverted by intrigue, overthrown by secret conspiracy, seduced by false appearances, and corrupted by a desire not to see.

Hamlet’s backstory goes like this: The young Danish prince was away, studying at the University of Wittenberg, when his uncle Claudius murders his father, marries his mother and usurps the crown. On returning home, Hamlet is deeply troubled by his father’s death and his mother’s fast-track marriage to his uncle. In the desperate intrigues that follow, Hamlet searches for the truth. He encounters false friends, useful idiots and unwitting pawns. He has reason to be disillusioned by what he finds, and that disillusionment becomes a problem all its own.

Many of the best lines in this play might be used to describe the present day. The corruption of American political life finds its expression in Shakespeare’s character, Marcellus, who famously says, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.”

Consider the parallel story of a retired CIA official I recently spoke with. She did not notice the slide into corruption until, like Hamlet, she returned from abroad. At first she was “shocked” by what she discovered. Then she was disillusioned, and then depressed.

“I spent four dreadful years in Texas,” she told me, “but didn’t really know what I was up against there.” The intelligence officials she encountered — especially those in authority — were not impressive. “They all had impressive degrees, of course, which they liked to throw around, but … it was difficult to get anything done.” As she further recounted:

Nobody was prepared to listen to me, or the other few conservatives I knew there. Arrogant, dismissive, and childish are the descriptions that most come to mind. Gone [were] the days when people were truly interested in honing analytic skills. It’s all political now.

A latter-day Hamlet, who wanted to survive in the intelligence community of today, would have to feign madness — would have to hide behind an impenetrable mask. Failing that, a CIA prince of Hamlet’s sensitivity and worth, would be rudely dealt with — pushed to resign, or forced to sit at a small corner desk with a meaningless assignment.

“I discovered the true and increasingly political nature of the IC (Intelligence Community),” she explained. The obstacles placed in her way were far from trivial. The rot, she noted, has spread beyond the intelligence community into the military, which “has been corrupted, too —

mainly because the Colonels (and many generals) of today have been indoctrinated by the left since they were in kindergarten. I’ve seen a dramatic shift from right to left (sense to nonsense) since I [had contact with the military side].

If Hamlet was unable to solve the problem of a corrupt Danish state, could he have done any better with the rottenness at Langley and the Pentagon? Is there a cure for the ideological cancer eating away at our security state?

“I do not think our intelligence services can be fixed,” she replied. Years earlier she thought the problems could be addressed, “but I sincerely doubt it now. It would take someone like Trump, only with more power to dissolve the entire system, to do anything constructive.” She further explained:

Unfortunately, the Intelligence Community has become so ensconced within the larger system that even if it were dissolved and resurrected, it would only come back with the same people….

She thought President Trump might dismantle “the bureaucracies one-by-one … rebuilding them without the partisan bias.” But how was this ever practicable? Perhaps the answer was to build the successor organizations concurrently, before the full dissolution of existing agencies. “This, of course, is almost impossible,” she admitted, “and a ‘pie-in-the-sky’ approach, regardless.”

This situation, like that of Shakespeare’s play, can only have a tragical end. The rotten something in the state of Denmark cannot be fixed. The plot is untangled only by the natural end toward which all wickedness and stupidity tends. Fending off one intrigue after another, Hamlet takes the approach we will inevitably take. He waits for his enemy’s final act of aggression, knowing he is at a disadvantage, yet bravely resolved. “We defy augury,” Hamlet tells Horatio:

…there’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come: the readiness is all; since no man has aught of what he leaves, what is’t to leave betimes?

It is true, perhaps, that we are “sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought” — only because this characterizes our spiritual preparation for the enemy’s final act of aggression. People write books about the evils of communism, about the left’s takeover of the schools, the government, big business, entertainment and the media. What does anyone ever do to stop the communists? Decade after decade they advance. Everyone looks the other way. Those who saw this happening have always been alone in their knowledge, without support from the country or the government. Those who see and understand are carriers of Hamlet’s truth.

At the end of Act 1, Scene 5, Hamlet says, “The time is out of joint. O cursèd spite, / That ever I was born to set it right!” Hamlet must depose a deceptive, cunning and murderous enemy — whose chief method is conspiracy, who jealously guards the power he has taken; a “damned villain” who has seduced Hamlet’s mother, and has the loyalty of the bureaucrats (Lord Polonius). It is a seemingly hopeless predicament. Thus, disillusionment gives way to depression:

To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer / The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, / Or to take arms against a sea of troubles / And by opposing end them.

How does one “take up arms against a sea of troubles”? The decisive word here is “faith.” Trust in Providence. Virtue prevails in the end not because the good always win and evil always loses. Virtue prevails because Truth is eternal. Think of that champion of the Republic, Marcus Cicero, whose severed head and hands were displayed by Marcus Antonius to terrorize the party of freedom. Yet think how, 18 centuries later, John Adams carried Cicero’s words with him, every step of the way, through the American Revolution.

The eloquence of virtue, after 18 centuries, was not used up. It was not defeated. It was and is and is to come. Such was the final triumph of Hamlet the Dane — who found the truth and lived by it.


Notes and links

Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, arranged for representation at the Royal Princess’s Theatre with Explanatory Notes, by Charles Kean, F.S.A., as performed on Monday, January 10, 1859 — http://www.gutenberg.org/files/27761/27761-h/27761-h.htm

30 thoughts on “Hamlet’s Truth

  1. So very true. I too once thought good people could reform, change the system…the system is too far gone..too much power,too corrupt.
    ASIS infects the military, law enforcement and politicians at every level…..how many members of ASIS in what occupations..a shadow government outside and opposed to the constitution!

  2. The juxtaposition of Shakespeare’s play Hamlet with our modern day intrigues, both nationally and internationally, is one that can be discussed for a very long time. In some ways, the US may be repeating all the behind the scenes intrigues that Rome went through, and yet always seemed to survive up until the last 100 years of their empire.
    One can only hope that Jonathan Cahn is on to something when he compares Trump to Jehu, one of the Northern kingdoms of Israel’s kings, who took power upon the death of Ahab, and purged the Northern kingdom of Jezebel, and tried to end the worship of ba’al. Jehu accomplished much, just as Trump has, but still in the end, he was not able to set everything right.
    The deep cesspool created by the Communists in Washington DC, and around the country, is much like a spiders web. You can’t change a spiders web, you have to destroy it, and even then, if you don’t kill the spider as well, it just starts the web all over again.
    Trump has begun to make changes, and now it is a matter of can he continue and get more done when re-elected in November. The Communists have exposed themselves for what they are, and now it is a matter of whether the people of this country wake up and start to take the country back, or whether they will hit the snooze button and go back to sleep.

  3. Let us pray that our ending is less fatal than that of Hamel et al.

    There are forces beyond my understanding at work here but, as with the spirit of Hamlet’s father, these forces need earthly vessels to proceed. Although I agree that it is questionable if our intelligence community or any other governmental institution can be resuscitated without being dismantled and reformed which, as Mao showed us, eliminates the brain power of a country. Would that even be possible? I think not. Our best bet is for truth to prevail. And only God can open eyes that are so closed.

    I am reminded of the many times in history when tides were turned against great odds because of courage, fortitude, and faith. God’s hand is seen revealing all His glory; even when denied by those who do not believe. Their lack of belief in no way negates the work of God. For we war not with flesh and blood.

    We are being attacked on multiple fronts. One of Stalin’s most used tactics is being used daily as I just saw with AG Barr as he was asked a question and than had his answer cut short by the questioner as she brought up the death of one. This quote is attributed to Stalin: “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths a statistic.” As I told my daughter, there is no arguing with manic Liberals, just ask them questions, as one of the most affluent on this planet, what have they done to alleviate the suffering of others? How many educations have they paid for year after year? How many families have they physically helped? How many farmers and gardeners have they assisted? How many Children’s museums have they started? How many textbooks, school supplies, and school uniforms have they provided? How many years have they provided breakfast and a ride to get kids to school so they could be successful? What percent of their income have they given away? How many kids have they rescued in the summer and on vacations from possible abuse? What have they done, actually done, for others?

    We have a spoiled lazy historically illiterate gang of thugs destroying all that they can. Such anger. Such self-hatred. I guarantee that these rioters could not spend one summer on the farm sunup to sundown. They could not work the lumber mill handling rough cut size 16 boards for 8 hours a day. They have shown that they do not have what it takes to endure to the end.

    My brother just gave me a rant against ridding our country of 4 years of fascism. He’s carrying a gun against those with badges and is ANTIFA, he says. He has betrayed America and will only see when it is too late. My response? “Mark my words that what you ask for is not what we will get. It’s deception at its best. Remember me when blood flows in the streets and no one who has a dissenting opinion is safe. Close now.” He doesn’t want to listen to the facts of history even though this has been my subject of study for decades. He doesn’t want to talk politics and is glad we are on opposite sides of the country.

    But, it’s not politics, it’s to be or not to be.

      1. It is painful, but not unexpected. I may have to rethink my dismissive thoughts of a 2nd Civil War. I just have a hard time believing that some have so much enmity and would rather destroy our country and people’s lives than see Trump reelected. The realization that I probably have been wrong in my faith in Americans is what is really painful.

  4. Very eloquent work Mr Nyquist and I thank you for all that you do. I am very much reminded of this speech by Pope Pius XII.
    ‘Lined up against us is a new and sad front of fighters who raise their clenched fists of the anti-Christ in menacing defiance against Heaven and everything that is sacred to us….who urge that only when we brake loose from the Gospel of Christ we will find prosperity.
     
    Following them marches the colorless army of those who allow themselves to drift along on the turbid waves of indifference until they are engulfed and carried away by the current of the day, and thus finally become accomplices in the progress of unbelief and in the fight against Jesus Christ…..
     
    Insensible to religious values, blind arrogance has slackened and finally broken the bonds that define man’s duties in terms of eternal principles, without offering anything in place of those bonds but an enervated law of morality that has no foundation….
     
    The leaders of atheistic communism are trying to blanket the earth with a violent revolution….but all efforts to stave off this calamity will be fruitless unless the spirit of justice and love enters again into the hearts of men and unites them in brotherly love…..
     
    His Eminence Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli [later His Holiness Pope Pius XII], in his 1938 speech
    during the 34th Eucharistic Congress in Budapest, Hungary.

    It is so strange to witness, that with the onset of the lockdown, it’s as if a terrible darkness descended upon the earth, a sort of madness. It is actually quite terrifying. Some nights I struggle to sleep, for fear of what I shall wake up to.
    I am on my own with my children and my only solace is the Catholic Faith. God has given us all the answers, as you said, Truth is eternal and virtue will prevail.

    ‘If any man have an ear, let him hear.
    He that shall lead into captivity, shall go into captivity:
    He that shall kill by the sword must be killed by the sword.
    Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.’
    Apocalypse 13 : 9 – 10

    As Shakespeare also wrote: ‘ Hell is empty and all the devils are here.’
    May God have mercy on our souls.

  5. Jeff, not sure if you can comment, yesterday the New Zealand Government Vice Immigration Minister who happens to be the Foreign Minister Winston Peter’s has said that the New Zealand Government has no intentions of letting Hong Kong people in but will only offer citizenships to at least 10,000 Hong Kong people who hold permanent New Zealand visas and are already living in New Zealand. Also the overseas Chinese community in New Zealand are a bit concerned about opening the immigration door to Hong Kong people claiming they are seeking asylum, some of them could very well be the Chinese Communist Party’s Secret Police and Intelligence Agency Ministry of State Security spies. Also there is a fear in the New Zealand Overseas Chinese community that the Chinese Communist Party’s Secret Police and Intelligence Agency Ministry of State Security is now active in New Zealand as last week in New Zealand 2 Chinese dissidents died and 1 by the name of Freeman Yu were travelling down to Wellington where the New Zealand Government is located to warn the New Zealand Government that the the Chinese Communist Party’s Secret Police and Intelligence Agency Ministry of State Security is active in New Zealand and they have agents posing as refugees, church pastors and even community leaders. Also because the New Zealand Government is not intending to open the door for immigration to people from Hong Kong, a lot of New Zealand immigration advocacy groups have managed to enlist the help of Bill Browder to lobby the New Zealand Government to allow Hong Kong people to immigrate to New Zealand.

  6. https://www.rt.com/op-ed/495291-split-societies-global-chaos/

    Split societies, global chaos and World War Three: We could be in for the most tumultuous era in modern history
    Artyom Lukin

    Artyom Lukin is an associate professor of international relations at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. Follow him on Twitter @ArtyomLukin

    20 Jul, 2020 13:17

    As we cross into the second half of 2020, there is little hope left that our misfortunes will end when this annus horribilis goes out. We may be entering one of the most cataclysmic and fateful periods in the history of humankind.

    There is the growing realization that humanity is in for an extremely rough ride that could last at least a decade.

    This sense of uncertainty has been building up for years. It probably began with the global financial crisis of 2008-09. Yet, until 2020, there was hope that the world would somehow return to the right track and regain stability. Covid-19 ended this hope, devastating the global economy and exacerbating the pre-existing tensions between the incumbent hegemon (the United States) and a new super-power contender (China).

    The state of angst has descended upon many. In most countries, including Russia, the plague continues to circulate, killing people with terrifying randomness. Even if we win the battle against the latest coronavirus, the mega-trends in global politics that point to more trouble and disorder are not going to dissipate and will likely only intensify. When trying to rationally break down my personal angst, as a political scientist, I perceive at least four such mega-trends.

    Split societies

    I remember a chat with a Russian colleague in Vladivostok a few years ago. She lamented that she felt as if she was living in a country which contains several parallel societies rather than a single one, with members of those ‘societies’ speaking completely different languages and espousing divergent values. Of course, there have always been divisions within nations. But, as a rule, one set of values and beliefs was dominant, with dissenting groups more or less marginalized. Today the societal consensus increasingly seems an exception rather than the rule. Across much of the world one can see quasi civil wars raging, with societies often split into halves. The main divide runs between the camp of social conservatism and nativism and the supporters of progressive-liberal values. The latest manifestation of this antagonism came in Poland, where the incumbent right-wing conservative won elections over his liberal opponent with a wafer-thin margin.

    The revolt of the masses

    On May 25, 2020, a black American George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis by a white police officer. His death triggered mass protests that quickly spread across the United States. On July 9, in the Russian Far Eastern city of Khabarovsk, the regional governor, Sergey Furgal, was arrested on charges of having organized the assassination of business rivals back in 2004 and 2005. Furgal was immediately flown to Moscow and placed in a jail there. His arrest sparked unprecedented massive rallies in Khabarovsk, a sleepy provincial place on the border with China, that have now continued for two weeks. The tens of thousands of people who’ve joined the rallies in support of Furgal believe the actual reason behind his arrest was his landslide win over the Kremlin-backed incumbent in gubernatorial elections in 2018, and his subsequent refusals to bow to diktats from Moscow.

    Granted, the protests in Khabarovsk over the fate of a popular local leader are nowhere near the scale of the American race protests. And, unlike in the United States, the marches and rallies in the Russian Far East are, so far, entirely peaceful. They do have one common thread: people in America, Russia, and other countries who defy the covid risks and take to the streets are demanding dignity. Most of them are protesting against what they see as structural injustice and the arrogance of power. Their protest is ultimately about the alienation between the ruling class and the ordinary people, the institutions of power and the governed. This protest is part of the global wave of popular uprisings that has been swelling over the past decade, starting with the Arab Spring and the Occupy movements. Trump’s victory in 2016, as well as Brexit, can also be seen as part of the global revolt against incumbent elites.

    The end of hegemony and a rudderless world

    Simultaneously with upheavals in the domestic politics of many countries, the international system, too, is undergoing tectonic shifts. Pax Americana, a.k.a. the ‘international liberal order,’ is unraveling. Just a few years ago, it appeared the decline of US global hegemony could still be reversible. Today not many people outside the Beltway believe it can be salvaged. Even if Joe Biden replaces the wrecking ball Trump in the White House, the days of American pre-eminence seem numbered. There is a classic “revolutionary situation” in the present-day international system. To paraphrase Vladimir Lenin, Washington is “unable to rule and govern in the old way” while much of the rest of the world does “not want to live in the old way.”

    The Pax Americana might have been flawed and unfair to many, but there is no denying it did provide a significant degree of international stability. With the end of US hegemony, who will maintain international law and order? There is no answer thus far. Existing collective institutions, such as G20 or the UN P5, are not even remotely capable of performing effective global governance. And, despite Washington’s suspicions, there is no credible evidence as yet that the emerging superpower China is keen to police the world. One thing is clear, though. The vacuum of governance will lead to more

    Premonitions of war

    In 2014, I wrote an essay about the possibility of World War III around 2030, arising out of a clash between the U.S. and China. Six years later I would make two corrections to that article. First, a Sino-American war now looks not just possible, but almost inevitable. Second, the situation preceding the US-China clash will not resemble the world of the early twentieth century, pre-WWI, with its rapidly growing prosperity due to what is now considered the first era of globalization. Rather, the atmosphere of the 2020s will be more akin to that of the 1930s, with the global economy in the doldrums and the rise of authoritarian and neo-totalitarian regimes. The most important question, though, is whether the US-China war will be a relatively limited one. If not, could it lead to a global conflagration, drawing in other players such as Russia, India, Japan and Europe?

    The history of mankind has never lacked in conflicts over values and power, both within societies and among them. Yet the present moment is rather unique because of the convergence at one point in time of several profound and explosive societal contradictions, with the threat of pandemics and climate change as the background. China is perhaps the only major island of relative stability in the global tempest, which, incidentally, amplifies the fears that Beijing would try to reach for the scepter of global power.

    In due time, the current contradictions and conflicts will run their course and be resolved. A new equilibrium will set in. Until it does, however, we will be living in very interesting times. Perhaps, not angst but, rather, excitement should be the main mood of our era.

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    ALSO ON RT.COM

    America’s disintegration no longer sounds like a crazy prediction, but no one will like the consequences

    https://www.rt.com/op-ed/491871-america-disintegration-us-collapse/

    Artyom Lukin
    Artyom Lukin is an associate professor of international relations at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Russia. Follow him on Twitter @ArtyomLukin

    15 Jun, 2020 13:42

    As someone who lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union, I find some images and reports coming out of the United States these days eerily familiar. But should anyone be looking forward to the disintegration of the US?

    Rioting, tearing down of statues, senior officials openly defying the nation’s chief executive…By the late 1980s the USSR was a declining superpower with inept leadership, torn apart by escalating internal contradictions and abjectly losing in the competition with another, much more successful, superpower. No wonder many in Russia are now asking the question if the US could meet the same fate as the USSR.

    No longer a crackpot fantasy

    To put the record straight, I don’t believe the US disintegration is imminent or likely. On the contrary, America could emerge a reinvented and rejuvenated nation out of the current crisis. Nevertheless, the scenario of US implosion has now definitely left the realm of the hypothetical. In 2008, I ridiculed a Russian political scientist, a KGB analyst in his former career, who prophesied a disintegration of the US into six pieces following a civil war triggered by mass immigration, economic decline, and moral degradation. In 2016, when Donald Trump moved into the White House, I began to have second thoughts. By 2020, the idea of a US collapse no longer seems inconceivable. Today it is not Russian, but rather American scholars who predict a rise of secessionism in the United States as “the pandemic and protests have exposed the regional divides in the US.” Some even argue that embracing the state secession movement should result in “happier, less corrupt entities,” confederated in a North American version of the EU.

    The idea that the US may disintegrate is not the preserve of crackpot ex-KGB agents or non-mainstream American scholars. In 2010, none other than the renowned Harvard professor Niall Fergusson published an article in Foreign Affairs in which he argued that the US may meet an abrupt end as a unitary polity. According to Fergusson, “regardless of whether it is a dictatorship or a democracy, any large-scale political unit is a complex system” that has “the tendency to move from stability to instability quite suddenly.” Those who lived under the Soviet Union in its latter days would attest that he is right about this. In 1985, the Soviet Union was a monolithic, albeit stagnant, superpower. In the second half of the 1980s, reforms initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev were rapidly changing the Soviet Union, but most Soviet people – as well as outside observers – still had hardly any doubt the USSR would continue to exist. In 1991, the USSR was no more.

    If the US falls, it will be unlike anything

    Of course, the US is not the same as the Soviet Union. If America is doomed to fall apart, it will do so in its own unique way rather than replaying the Soviet scenario. In 2010, Fergusson saw financial and fiscal imbalances as the main risk to the US’ continued existence. In 2020, these imbalances grew even bigger, putting at risk the status of the US dollar as the world’s primary reserve currency. However, the decline of America’s financial sustainability is now eclipsed by even more serious problems such as domestic political polarization and the increasing competition from China.

    Fast forward to 2025. After another deeply divisive presidential election, the US is gripped by massive unrest, exacerbated by an epidemic of Covid-24, a new strain of coronavirus. China, whose relations with the US are now openly adversarial, decides it is the right moment to strike – Beijing pulls the plug on the US dollar by dumping the dollar-denominated assets and stopping the use of the US currency, triggering the meltdown of America’s financial system. (As a Chinese expert noted back in 2019, “while appearing unassailable, the dollar may be much more vulnerable than many suspect… its end may arrive sooner than expected.”) In a few months, Congress proclaims dissolution of the United States to be replaced by loose Commonwealth of American States…This is, of course, a purely imaginary scenario. But you have to admit that its constituent elements, except perhaps the final one, do not at present look completely fantastic.

    Russia shouldn’t be cheering the fall

    Quite a few Russians (and not only Russians) are happily watching the chaos unfolding in America, some of them eagerly awaiting the collapse of the US empire. I, for one, am not sure US disintegration, if it ever comes to pass, will be good for Russia.

    For one thing, the US is the devil we know. We have no idea who or what will replace it. It may well turn out that a world without the US is a much nastier place in the long run. Again, the Soviet case is instructive here. As we now know, the disappearance of the USSR led to a triumphant “unipolar moment,” but ultimately has not guaranteed anything for the US. America now faces a geopolitical rival that is arguably more formidable than the former USSR. I wonder if there are people in Washington who might be secretly wishing, in hindsight, the Soviet Union had survived. In a counter-factual world, the continued existence of a status quo-oriented, mellow Soviet Union could be a crucial component in maintaining a global balance of power beneficial to the US.

    For another, the collapse of the pre-eminent superpower, which has long acted as the center of the global politico-economic system, may have highly destabilizing effects worldwide. Perhaps it could even prove contagious, triggering fragmentation processes in other super-states. Russia, which is itself a multi-racial and multi-faith empire, is not immune. It is a rather fragile entity that over the past one hundred years has at least twice gone through disintegration caused by domestic disorder.

    For Russia, the best outcome would be a United States preserving its unity, albeit humbled and less arrogant. Unfortunately, such an ending might be the most implausible of all possibilities.

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  7. https://theweek.com/articles/925884/time-dread

    Our time of dread

    Damon Linker

    My life and the lives of those closest to me have improved markedly since the pandemic began. The full lockdown is over where I live in the Philadelphia suburbs. It’s possible to go shopping (with a mask) or grab a bite to eat at a restaurant (sitting outside). My son, about to start college, is planning to depart for campus and a dorm room in a month. My daughter, about to start high school, will supposedly be back in a classroom at least a couple of days a week in September. Time is no longer stopped. It’s moving forward again, if a little haltingly.

    Yet I don’t feel much better than I did in April’s darkest moments. People have taken to talking about normal life before coronavirus hit — the world without lockdowns and masks and layoffs and daily death counts and the constant fear of contagion — as “the before time.” My problem is that I’ve begun to feel like I’m living in another such time right now — like there’s some worse thing looming just around the corner as we dither and bicker about trivialities, oblivious to the doom about to strike.

    This isn’t rational. Or rather, it’s a function of what I think is a rational analysis being permeated by an anxiety that pushes my imagination of outcomes and endgames into places I normally wouldn’t seriously contemplate. The anxiety comes from having lived through two major and massive unforeseen events taking place in quick succession over the past six months — first, the coronavirus spreading across and shutting down the world; second, the video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of the Minneapolis police sparking massive, weeks-long protests across the country and precipitating a moral revolution in American civil society.

    Call it PTSD if you want. But those events — still ongoing, their consequences still rippling outward through the country and its economy and culture — combine in my mind with the daily drip, drip, drip of bad news to leave me poised for something worse. Or rather — poised for more of the same, only bigger. Much bigger.

    The biggest thing of all is of course the virus itself. I remember when trusted models were predicting a total of 100,000 deaths from the pandemic. Skeptics dismissed this as scaremongering. Then the estimates were lowered to 60,000 deaths and the skeptics scoffed: “We wrecked the economy for this? It’s just the flu!” That was three months ago. On Wednesday of this week, we surpassed 140,000 dead — and that same model currently estimates 224,000 deaths by Nov. 1.

    How high will it ultimately go? New York City was hit extremely hard by the virus in the first wave, leading to a jaw-dropping 22,825 deaths out of a population of 8.5 million — which means that roughly one out of every 370 residents of the city died. Expanded to the country as a whole, this would suggest something on the order of 890,000 deaths. On the one hand, you’d think the lessons we’ve learned since the virus arrived, along with the possibility of a vaccine being developed over the next year, would prevent the numbers from rising that high nationally. On the other hand, New York rather massively slowed down the spread of infection within a couple of months with a strictly enforced lockdown. There is as yet nothing like that happening in those states — well over a dozen of them — where the virus is surging.

    Which brings us to the economy. I don’t see how it doesn’t get much, much worse.

    So far the government (including the Federal Reserve) has been spending lavishly to keep things in a kind of stasis, ready to return to normal with a minimum of enduring economic damage. Even so, many millions are now in long-term unemployment, with bankruptcies up and evictions and foreclosures bound to spike. Unless the government starts regularly printing trillions of dollars and using it to prop up the economy with no end in sight — which would obviously lead to enormous risks of its own and represent a revolutionary shift in the economic and political assumptions undergirding the country — it’s hard to see how this doesn’t start a cascade of terrible economic consequences, especially with COVID trends going in the wrong direction in so many places.

    Consider just one piece of the incredibly complex puzzle: commercial real estate. All over the country, businesses are telling employees to work from home. This has been going on for five months now, and it’s bound to continue. How long until these companies decide that work can be done perfectly well without employees coming into an office at all, even after the virus passes? Office towers in central cities as well as office parks in suburbs and exurbs across the country could soon lie vacant, with the building owners (and the banks holding the mortgages) on the hook for the massive losses.

    And what about school? Opening public schools is enormously important — for the health of the economy and the well-being and future prospects of both children and their parents, most of whom need to work during the day and so can’t (and are unqualified to) step in to serve as full-time homeschooling teachers. And yet, with the virus spreading far and wide across much of the country, it would be epidemiologically asinine to cram kids onto school busses and into crowded classrooms every day. The result is likely to be enormous economic disruption and psychological suffering.

    The final element in the mix is the American character, which has been revealed by this crisis to be in far worse shape than I realized or suspected. Not everybody, of course, but enough to ensure that things are not going to improve quickly or before we’ve all had to endure an awful lot of pain.

    Consider the experience of an old friend of mine — someone who studied with me two decades ago when I used to teach college courses in political philosophy. She’s now a mother of several children in a mid-sized Texas city, married to a doctor of emergency medicine. The other day on Facebook, she implored her friends to please wake up to the coronavirus threat by at least wearing masks in public spaces. Her husband, she said, has been living a nightmare over the past two weeks, facing deaths from COVID every day, having to call a dozen or more people during every shift to give them positive test results. When he contacts them — people who are supposed to be self-quarantining — many are out and about, some going to work, others to public gatherings without masks, spreading the disease farther and wider in their community.

    This Facebook post was met not with gratitude, support, or appreciation on the part of her friends, neighbors, and acquaintances. Instead it inspired incredulity and outrage. The most common accusation was that she was lying, just making it up. The danger wasn’t real. It’s been overblown by an untrustworthy media. Masks won’t help. Why was she spreading lies and unjustified panic when people just need to get on with their lives and back to shopping and church and travel and school? Things got so abusive that my friend eventually deleted her post, allowing her peers on social media to lull themselves back to sleep.

    When it comes to the pandemic, a significant portion of the population of the United States has succumbed to magical thinking. But a natural process like the transmission of a contagious disease doesn’t care one bit about the lies with which a person, a community, or a country consoles itself. The virus will spread according to its own logic no matter what we think or how ignorant we will ourselves to be. That’s why I’ve begun to fear COVID is just going to mow us down.

    What kind of social, economic, and political disruptions are we likely to see as it happens? I shudder to think. Especially after observing the unanticipated nationwide conflagration that followed the killing of George Floyd. As my colleague Noah Millman argued during the early, most volatile portion of the unrest, it made sense to think of the looting and burning as “the coronavirus riots” — because the video of Floyd’s final minutes of life was not sufficient to explain them. The manifest injustice captured on a cell phone and broadcast to the world online — like many others before — was of course the absolutely necessary condition of the protests, but there also needed to be a pent-up, bored, lonely, frustrated, and volatile population craving a cause for there to be destructive unrest.

    Now imagine a nation in which the ranks of the unemployed grow every week for months on end, constantly provoked by its president, some terrified of infection, others claiming it’s a conspiracy, nearly everyone disgusted by institutional incompetence — and then the economy really starts to tank, with waves of bankruptcies and layoffs, a flood of evictions leading to a huge increase in homelessness, a bigger wave of urban crime than we’ve already seen, foreclosures that push banks to the brink and erase the equity of homeowners, and a belated stock market crash that wipes out the retirement funds of half the country.

    Tick, tick, boom.

    What would the explosion look like? I have no idea. All I do know is that I spend an awful lot of time dreading it.
    ____________________________________________________

  8. https://www.jpost.com/opinion/coronavirus-is-it-an-act-of-god-opinion-635514

    Coronavirus: Is it an act of God?

    If we say the catastrophes have been caused by God, we want to know His motives.

    By RAYMOND APPLE JULY 26, 2020 16:56

    The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the whole world and raised the deep theological question of whether to blame God for the catastrophe.

    Disasters have attacked human beings and nations – not least the Jewish people – throughout history. They tended to come in two forms: “natural” and moral.

    Moral disasters are hard to cope with but at least we know that they are the result of human beings wrongly using their free will to harm other people (and themselves).

    “Natural” disasters are another matter. They include the three Fs – flood, fire and famine – as well as tsunamis, earthquakes and pandemics. There are sophisticated lines of reasoning and research in relation to some, but the lawyers look for one-liners and call them “acts of God.” Our problem is how literally to take this rather strange phrase, how seriously we should view its theological undertones, and whether to aver that these are tragedies which man should directly attribute to God.

    If we say the catastrophes have been caused by God, we want to know His motives. At the very least we want to know whether He could have prevented the evil. If He lacks that power, it seems we are thrown back upon the old dualistic theory that there are rival forces outside (and opposed to) Him, so that there is an eternal struggle between light and darkness: sometimes one force wins, sometimes the other, and we are left (as Arnold Toynbee wrote in A Study of History, as victims of a cosmic joke.

    Either this implies that He has been defeated in combat, which contradicts the psalmist’s doctrine that “the Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it” (Psalm 24), or that He has decided to abdicate and withdraw from the scene of history and no longer bears responsibility for the world, which contradicts the equally constant religious tenet that He is the Lord of history and the world, which to use the rabbinic phrase, is not hefker (ownerless, rudderless).

    Isidore Epstein points out in The Faith of Judaism that God’s hand in history is “the dominant note of Biblical history.”

    Isaiah 45:7 is adamant that God creates both what we perceive as good and what we perceive as evil. Even what we perceive as evil is from Him, and somewhere, somehow, it has its place in His plan. In the Torah, everything He made is called “good” or “very good.” Targum Onkelos translates tov me’od, very good, as stable and firm, part of the pattern of a functioning universe.

    SO WHAT are we to say about the pandemic? Let’s consider eight possibilities:

    1) The evil is God punishing us. Too harsh. The world is guilty of many kinds of mischief but He has promised not to destroy it (Genesis 8:21-12). Eliezer Berkovits, the modern theologian, writes concerning the Holocaust that anyone who suggests that we are sinners and the Holocaust was our punishment, is simply being obscene.

    2) God has no control over the disaster. Impossible. By definition He is all-good – He wants the best for His world. He is also all-powerful and is capable of preserving His Creation.

    3) Man is at least partly responsible because he didn’t protect the world properly. True, man could and should work harder to tend the universe, but why absolve God of His share of blame?

    4) We cannot explain the evil but we can alleviate the pain and lessen the suffering. True, we should care better for other people, but this is a moral judgment and challenge which still leaves the problem intact.

    5) God shares our pain (as Psalm 91:15 says explicitly). But doesn’t He do more than feel bad about it? Harold Kushner says in When Bad Things Happen to Good People that God sits shivah with us. But maybe there is a case for saying that sometimes God has to use the Yom Kippur phrase Himself and say Hatati aviti pashati, I too have sinned.

    6) Maybe it’s not a perfect world. The philosophers agree that God has no duty to make a perfect world, but the beginning of Genesis says that everything He made was good. Nothing is said about defects or flaws.

    7) Disasters must be seen in perspective. Is there is more good than evil in the world? We should constantly count our blessings, but can we let God off the hook?

    8) We have to keep believing, praying and hoping for the messianic redemption. True, and God will help us along. But the psalmist is right to ask, “How long, O Lord, how long?”

    One day we will come closer to an answer to the current pandemic. In the meantime, the human mind, implanted by God, is capable of even greater bursts of effort to overcome this grave medical, social and economic problem. We hope that God will arise and assure us – in the words of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev – so that our suffering is for His sake.

    The writer is emeritus rabbi of the Great Synagogue, Sydney.

  9. http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/many-americans-see-the-hand-of-god-at-work-in-current-events

    Many Americans See The Hand Of God At Work In Current Events

    July 23, 2020 by Michael Snyder

    2020 has been an incredibly bizarre year up to this point, and this has many people wondering if the hand of God is at work. And the worse things get, the more this sort of speculation will heat up. When things get crazy, people search for answers, and that can be a good thing. Because the truth is that during normal times most of us are way too self-absorbed and most of us spend far too little time thinking about the things that really matter. 2020 has really shaken up a large portion of the U.S. population, and we should hope that all of this shaking ultimately moves our society in a more positive direction.

    Right now, COVID-19 is dominating the headlines day after day, and the debates that I have seen on social media platforms about this pandemic have often gotten quite heated.

    I knew that many people had extremely passionate opinions about COVID-19, but what I didn’t realize is that a large percentage of them are also convinced that God is somehow involved. In fact, an Associated Press/NORC survey found that 63 percent of all religious Americans believe that this pandemic is “a sign from God”…

    Sixty-three percent of religious Americans say that the novel coronavirus pandemic is a sign from God, telling humanity to change its ways of living, according a new poll.

    The poll, which was conducted by the Associated Press/NORC, surveyed 1,002 U.S. adults who say they believe in God.

    I was stunned to see a number that high. The Bible does tell us that there will be “pestilences” in the last days, and it would have been very interesting to see how many respondents to that survey believe that this COVID-19 pandemic is one of those pestilences.

    In any event, if this pandemic actually does inspire vast numbers of Americans to live better lives, that would definitely be a positive outcome.

    Unfortunately, that does not appear to be happening. Instead, surveys have shown that Americans are increasingly turning to drugs, alcohol and television during this pandemic, and a survey that was released just this week found that Bible reading in the United States dropped precipitously “between January and June”…

    The number of American adults the American Bible Society considers “Scripture engaged” based on how frequently they read Scripture and its impact on their relationships and choices dropped significantly from 28% to 22.7% between January and June, according to additional data collected by the organization in June.

    Another thing that has many Americans speculating is the very unusual storm that hit New York City on Wednesday. A massive thunderstorm sent wind gusts of up to 75 mph howling through the city, and at one point “purple lightning bolts” were photographed striking One World Trade Center…

    Dramatic photos captured the moment purple lightning bolts struck the tip of One World Trade Center – while smaller bolts scattered across the sky in New York City.

    Huge bolts of lightning were also photographed hitting the middle of the Hudson River, near Lower Manhattan – making an eerie sight.

    Could that lightning strike have some sort of spiritual significance?

    I certainly do not know. But when video footage emerged of lightning hitting “on or behind” the Statue of Liberty, that fueled the speculation even more…

    Video footage captured the moment lighting bolts struck on or behind Lady Liberty with dark clouds seen overhead.

    Mikey Cee, who took the 21-second video from Ellis Island and shared it to Twitter, wrote: “The best video I ever captured. #NewYork #WeatherChannel #NYC.”

    In addition, a lightning bolt also hit the steeple of a church, and this caused a very dangerous fire…

    The FDNY responded to the fire at the Spirit and Truth Christian Church on Sutter Avenue just after 7:30 p.m.

    Crews worked hard to save the house of worship as flames raced up the front of the building, right beneath the steeple.

    Neighbors say the clap of thunder that preceded the fire was even more dramatic than the actual flames.

    Witnesses say the steeple took a direct hit from a lightning bolt.

    In normal times, perhaps a thunderstorm of this nature would be largely ignored.

    But these are not normal times.

    On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, people are buzzing about the fact that the locust armies that have been absolutely devastating parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia have now made their way to Europe.

    Farms on the Italian island of Sardinia are now being ravaged by desert locusts, and one British news source is using the term “biblical plague” to describe what is happening…

    In a situation reminiscent of a biblical plague, the insects have stripped large areas of the island’s agricultural regions of crops, in what the World Bank has already been branded the most serious such invasion the world has faced in 70 years. The epicentre is formed by the municipalities of Orani, Ottana and Bolotana in the Tirso valley, with insects having arrived from the Middle East and Africa, where 23 countries have experienced similar problems.

    Over the past several months, I have written several articles about this very unusual plague and the impact that it is having on the global food supply. Some of the swarms are as large as major cities, and when the locusts descend upon a farm they can literally eat everything there in as little as 30 seconds.

    Lastly, I wanted to mention a very close encounter that we will have with an asteroid on November 2nd. Apparently, a rock known as “2018 VP1” is supposed to pass very close to our planet on that day…

    There’s a video on Youtube saying we are about to have another “very-close encounter” with an asteroid. What the Jet Propulsion Lab in California calls “Near-Earth-Objects” or NEOs. Now keep in mind asteroids have been coming close or have hit our planet for millions of years, and many do daily. The bulk of asteroids and debris in space as you may remember from science class get burned up in the atmosphere, caused by the friction from the air as objects hit the atmosphere going many thousands of miles per hour.

    However, one Youtube video says an asteroid called “2018 VP1“, which is about 6 feet diameter will pass within about 300 miles of our planet on November 2, 2020. However, some experts are saying this nothing to fear. First off there’s the math, asteroid “2018 VP1” is projected to come 0.02 times the distance between the earth and the moon. Given that the moon is 239,000 miles away, 0.02 equates to 4,780 miles. Now your thinking that’s far off right? What’s the big deal? Well, when they compute this stuff through orbital mechanics, they use the center of the celestial body, in this case, the earth. The earth is 7,917 miles across, and half that is 3,958 miles. That is where the video correctly gets its 300-mile estimate from, or a drive from Metro Detroit to Sault Sainte Marie in the UP to put it in perspective.

    The good news is that this asteroid is so small that it is not likely to cause any damage even if it enters our atmosphere.

    But I have noticed that there is a tremendous amount of discussion about asteroids on social media lately, and scientists assure us that it is just a matter of time before a very large rock does slam into our planet.

    A lot of people do not like to be reminded of such things, but realizing how dependent we are on God for every breath that we take leads to humility. Sometimes we need something to shake us up so that we will turn back to Him.

    It is so easy to lose sight of what really matters, and that is why we should be thankful for events that come along that cause us to step back and consider the bigger picture.

    _________________________________________________________________

    About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help. During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

  10. (W.Q.) YOU WILL HAVE TO GO TO THE ARTICLE TO SEE THE TWO TWITTER MESSAGES THAT ENHANCE THE ARTICLE: THE FIRST ONE IS AN INCIDENT MAP OF THE MYSTERY EXPLOSIONS IN IRAN UP TO JULY 19; THE SECOND ONE IS AN EIGHT SECOND VIDEO OF THE MOST RECENT INCIDENT IN IRAN ON JULY 19, JUST BEFORE THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED ON JULY 19.

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/07/could-war-with-iran-be-an-october-surprise.html

    JULY 19, 2020

    Could War With Iran Be an October Surprise?

    By Jonah Shepp

    Over the past few weeks, a series of suspicious fires and explosions have occurred at Iranian civilian and military facilities, including the country’s main missile-production and nuclear complexes. While a few of these incidents might have been accidental, the timing and specific targets suggest that at least some were the result of sabotage by Israel, and the provocations raise the possibility of a spiraling conflict in the Middle East just in time to become an issue in the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

    Via anonymous leaks to major media outlets, Israeli intelligence sources have more or less copped to the country’s involvement in some of the incidents. After an explosion at the Natanz nuclear-fuel-enrichment complex in early July, which may have set back Iran’s progress toward a nuclear warhead by months or years, a “Middle Eastern intelligence official with knowledge of the episode” told the New York Times that Israel was behind the attack. Right-wing Israeli politician Avigdor Lieberman implicitly accused Mossad chief Yossi Cohen of being the Times’ source, suggesting that the leak was part of Cohen’s campaign to succeed legally embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as head of the Likud Party.

    If Cohen is leaking, though, he’s not the only one. A former Israeli defense official told Insider that it was common knowledge in Israeli intelligence circles that some of these events were Israeli intelligence operations. “I don’t know which ones exactly and wouldn’t tell you anyway because the entire point is for the Iranians to feel considerable stress trying to decide what might have been our work,” they said. A European Union intelligence official echoed that understanding, calling it part of a campaign of “maximum pressure, minimal strategy” to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program.

    Israel isn’t the only party anonymously taking credit for these attacks. A hitherto unknown Iranian dissident group calling itself the Homeland Cheetahs emailed the BBC shortly after the incident at Natanz occurred but before it became public, claiming to have attacked the plant as part of an ongoing campaign of sabotage against Iranian strategic sites. The email from the group, allegedly composed of dissidents within Iran’s military and security forces, contained details that aligned with what was soon reported, suggesting that the authors had foreknowledge of the attack. However, this could also have been an act of misdirection to sow doubts about who was responsible. It’s also not an either/or proposition: Israel has in the past carried out joint operations against Iran with domestic anti-regime elements like the Mujahideen-e Khalq.

    In any case, with so much smoke leaking out of Israel’s military-intelligence Establishment, the presence of fire is very likely. In further reporting from the Times, more “officials familiar with the explosion” compared the complexity of the Natanz attack to Stuxnet, the sophisticated joint U.S.-Israeli cyberattack on Iranian nuclear facilities uncovered in 2010. It is unclear whether the explosion was the result of a physical bomb or a cyberattack used to ignite the plant’s gas supply. Either way, Israel is generally considered the only one of Iran’s regional adversaries with the intelligence capabilities to pull off an attack of this magnitude on such a sensitive, closely guarded facility.

    Nor is there much mystery as to why Israel would be pursuing this campaign at this particular moment. Iran has been in a weakened state, its economy hobbled by U.S. sanctions and its regime facing domestic discontent, including a massive protest campaign last fall. Those protests raised hopes among Iran hawks in the U.S. that their dreams of regime change might soon be realized. The regime did not, in fact, collapse, but its weak position was revealed when it was unwilling or unable to mount a meaningful response to the assassination of its special-operations commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad by a U.S. drone strike in January — then provoked widespread outrage among Iranians by shooting down an airliner filled with its own citizens and initially lying about its responsibility.

    Iran was also the first Middle Eastern country to experience a major outbreak of COVID-19 in February, and its case count and death toll are both believed to be significantly higher than the government is reporting. Iranian president Hassan Rouhani issued a puzzling statement on Saturday, saying that about 25 million Iranians had already been infected with the virus, while 30-to-35 million others were at risk of getting infected. That number was orders of magnitude greater than Iran’s officially reported number of infections (271,606) and would appear to make the reported death toll of around 14,000 seem minuscule. Indeed, downplaying the impact and threat of the coronavirus may have been Rouhani’s intent, though again, Iran is already widely suspected of undercounting its coronavirus deaths. In any case, the pandemic has further damaged Iran’s stability and its already shaky economy.

    And on Sunday, the regime in Iran suspended the executions of three men linked to anti-government protests in November after a massive social-media campaign calling for their release last week. That decision suggests that Tehran is wary of provoking more civil unrest. Meanwhile, there were a few more mysterious explosions and so-called industrial accidents in Iran this weekend:

    With the regime apparently on the ropes, Israel sees an opportunity to set back Tehran’s military and nuclear ambitions, especially at a moment when Netanyahu’s hawkish government is actually being criticized for not having done enough to counter the Iranian threat. Israel’s current Iran policy is known as the “campaign between wars”: a targeted effort to counter Iran’s ability to threaten Israel through proxies in Syria, Lebanon, and (increasingly) Iraq. These short-of-war actions are intended to prevent Iran from establishing an advantageous position in a more direct conflict that Israel eventually expects to break out.

    That campaign has expanded over the past few years with the blessing of President Donald Trump, who shares Netanyahu’s interest in fomenting regime change in Iran but would prefer not to commit U.S. military personnel directly to that project. Israel’s new approach since 2018, called the “octopus doctrine,” has entailed targeting the Iranian advisers and officials who direct and support proxy forces in other countries (like Soleimani), rather than targeting the proxies themselves.

    The meeting of the minds between the Netanyahu and Trump administrations on Iran is another likely motivation for the timing of its covert sabotage campaign. The Israeli government is as aware as anyone of the polls showing that Trump seems likely to lose reelection in November and exit the White House in January (nightmare constitutional crises and soft-coup scenarios notwithstanding). A potential Biden administration would probably not continue Trump’s “maximum pressure” approach to Iran and would not be as solicitous of Israel’s covert operations. It is unclear whether the U.S. has explicitly or tacitly blessed the past month’s attacks, but the administration certainly isn’t condemning them. Israel may have a limited window of time to act with carte blanche from Washington and is perhaps seeking to do as much damage to Iran as possible before that window closes.

    The danger, of course, is that these provocations could escalate into the all-out war Israel has been trying to avoid. Uncorroborated reports are emerging that Iran is preparing to retaliate militarily against Israel and the U.S. for these attacks, amid other threatening statements from Iran’s military over Israeli attacks on Iranians in Syria. However, Iran declined to take major retaliatory measures after the assassination of Soleimani and is arguably in an even worse position to escalate conflict now than it was in January. Some experts told Vox they doubted Iran would see these acts of sabotage as a reason to mount a forceful response, especially from its current position of weakness.

    Nonetheless, the E.U. official who spoke to Insider expressed fear that “the Israeli plan here is to provoke an Iranian response that can turn into a military escalation while Trump remains in office.” Indeed, it may be Israel, not Iran, that makes the decision to escalate. Perhaps Netanyahu decides that war with Iran is the lever he needs to secure his political future; perhaps Trump, who has been trying to obfuscate his disastrous mishandling of the pandemic, comes to the same conclusion for himself. More likely, Israel’s military leaders consider war with Iran a risk they are willing to take to severely set back its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, as long as they know they would have the backing of the U.S. in any such conflict.

    If Israel goes all in on crippling Iran’s military capabilities over the next three months, the likelihood of war will continue to increase whether or not Israel intends to start one or Trump wants to join in. That danger becomes greater if either Netanyahu or Trump sees a political opportunity in confronting the Iranian regime head-to-head. Whether such a confrontation would actually redound to Trump’s electoral benefit is doubtful, as opinions on Iran are already baked into the partisan cake and more proximate domestic crises are more likely to decide November’s outcome. Still, any event that escalates the sense of chaos and national emergency in the U.S. will be unwelcome in the run-up to what is already likely to be a historically dysfunctional presidential election. As we all wait with bated breath to find out if there will be some kind of “October surprise” this fall, we unfortunately can’t rule out the possibility of another destructive war in the Middle East.
    ________________________

  11. Jeff, some interesting commentary for you from YouTube. Unfortunately the speaker is unidentified, other than in Chinese text at the end of the video (I took two years of Chinese in College and all I can remember is how to say “hello”). I suspect he is a commentator on Epoch Time’s Chinese version of their site. In any case, he gives a large amount of data suggesting both the USA and China are preparing for imminent war. He made the interesting observation–regarding China–that usually the military would be involved in helping the country during a catastrophe. Right now, all the troops are being kept at their posts. The CCP is also conducting a large recruitment drive in the coastal regions. Their militia forces are also being re-trained and prepared for combat:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SV42RR7R7ec

    To add to his observations, I believe I heard that the Chinese government has been posting signs and alerting/educating citizens on how to enter Chinese-nuclear fallout shelters, something they weren’t doing before.

    His source on American preparation, unfortunately, is from Russian media, which means it could just be propaganda. But, if true, it all sounds quite good. The commentator describes it as a deployment of American naval might not seen since WW2, with enough forces to annihilate the navy of any country in the region, including China’s.

    1. The United States has been engaged in measures suggestive of pre-war preparations. One might call these preparations belated, and even surprising. I think the US military figured out there was danger coming. I am not confident they understand the full scope of the danger, yet it’s a positive sign that troops are being concentrated and ships kept at sea; also, that aircraft are redeployed to interior continental bases so that heavy bombers are protected from submarine-launched missile strikes. Command staff have been placed in deep bunkers — yes, all surprising for a country that has looked the other way during the “long deception” of China and Russia. It is encouraging but, at the same time, sobering. The enemy continues to get ready. They are not backing down from war mobilizations. That suggests a certain confidence of being ahead, of having tricks up their sleeve. And they surely do. The present and ongoing insurrection indicates a mobilization of the communist fifth column, which many of us have watched incubating like a cancer within the schools and government, leading to the sudden appearance of a classic Marxist counter-state opposed to the Constitution, the police and military. This counter-state exists at the level of governors and mayors, and is present in federal agencies. The signs of imminent attack are now visible on every side. The hour is very late. We only have a few weeks or months to rally the country. It is a question of repentance, of admitting an intellectual error arising from spiritual error (in the form of arrogance and willful self-deception). The arrogance of people on the left and right, by which they have lied to themselves, is at the root of our malaise and the systemic crisis that opens the way for a foreign invasion. Few understand how serious the danger is. Most who read these words will scoff. And that is our common tragedy. None are so blind as those that WILL NOT SEE.

      1. So what’s our next move, blow the Three Gorges Damn? Wouldn’t take much. What the hell, we’ll probably get blamed for the collapse anyway. Just like the “Combloc Flu.”

        You know the Chinese, “They are a class act.” The Russians too.
        Think about everything that has been “monkeyed up” over the last 100+ years.
        Sad, what a waste, the “illogic” of waste. The Military leadership will never “admit an intellectual error” of this gravity, they will blame “Aliens” first.
        Is the “One Clenched Fist” going to put goal #2, “Capitulation in preference to atomic war” on the table? It doesn’t seem likely, but what do I know?

  12. When Freedom’s Light goes out in America, it will go out for the rest of the world.

    To defeat the current cancer of Marxism, I pledge my life, fortune, and sacred on honor on defending the Republic from ALL enemies Foreign and Domestic.

    THIS mindset is the only antidote to our current ills; Action not words will save our nation. We The People must stand for what we know is right and true and care more about Freedom and LIberty than what others may think about us.

    MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

    As futile as it sounds, its our only hope.

    “I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.” – Thomas Paine

    1. Yes. A more serious destabilization is coming. The Russians and Chinese, together with Iran and North Korea, have more mischief in store.

      1. How long until we see attacks on our power grid and other infrastructure by Antifa or similar agents? How long until we see targeted assassinations? It is a frightful time in what remains of the Old Republic.

  13. We are repositioning almost 12,000 troops from Germany.

    Thank you Jeff and everyone for your thoughts and information. Count me in as another who believes “something wicked this way comes” since we’re quoting Shakespeare. 🙂

    Praying inOK

  14. Jeff, not sure if you can comment, my relatives who live in Hong Kong contacted me today about weird weather in China, when I told them about the coming Grand Solar Minimum, they were in shock and my relatives have told me that it snowed in Beijing and Northern China again on July when it is summer

    1. Snow in Beijing — in a July? That is erratic! Considering all the solar warmth reflected by those rain clouds over south and central China, it’s looking like a short summer for sure.

Comments are now closed.