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I’m expecting the other players (China, N Korea, anyone else) to throw in something to raise the stakes.

Me too. The (weird?) thing is, even Biblical prophesy includes what appears to be the Chinese, or at least major player(s) from the “east,” along with the massive armies from the north (Russia? through Syria, Turkey, etc.). I hardly watch any TV news anymore, but my wife – who NEVER followed the news in years past – watches a great deal of TV news (so called, anyway). I dig deeper, using less-reliable sources sometimes, and then going to fairly mainstream news sources through such resources as Google News (for confirmation) where you can find major news sources (AP, Reuters, etc.) that have published stories that simply don’t get picked up by the mass media outlets. I’m constantly hearing from my wife (quite rhetorically only, out of frustration – she really does understand what’s going on), “Why is that not on the news?!?” There is so much significant news that is being selectively unreported to the masses – but that’s all part of the manipulation that goes far beyond any single state player. The various bordered political entities really probably have little idea just how much even they are being manipulated and used. I honestly believe that while Obama, Putin, Rouhani, Xi, and so forth, think they have great power, they’re all being manipulated masterfully, with only limited awareness on their own parts.

I personally think that one of the most brilliant movie scripts, proven by its relevance today, was “Three Days of the Condor.” Whether it’s indeed ALL about oil, as we learned at the end, that movie hits home runs in multiple areas in terms of what actually happens in the world, and how the official government lines (ours, or anyone else’s) are merely for public consumption. That movie is now 40 years old – truly amazing. Just update the cars and clothing, and perhaps just a little bit of the world circumstances to better “look” like 2015, and the movie is as current as could be. It’s truly amazing. (Plus, it’s a great movie just by itself anyway, if you can still find it.) The aloof, a-political Joubert (Max von Sydow) shows how “it” is all done – very deliberately, without any conscience, without loyalty, yet with the underlying understanding that something much greater than one or two bordered nation are really running things. His counsel to Condor (Robert Redford) near the end as he explains “how it will happen,” goes to all sorts of levels. And Higgins’ (Cliff Robertson) explanation to Condor at the very end, capped with the terrifying question, “How do you know they’ll print it?”, also shows how so many things are done (or not done). Great education masquerading as a brilliant movie in just 117 minutes.