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January 2017 Prophetic Observer

For printable version, click here.

Were the 12 Days of Christmas the Most Dangerous Days in American History?

by S. Douglas Woodward

By the time you read this article, it may only be a few days before Donald Trump officially becomes the United States' forty-fifth president. As December was coming to a close, I warned my followers on my blog (, that Trump is not sitting in the White House just yet. He had withstood numerous challenges from the liberal opposition but that doesn't mean that opposition will now roll over, play dead, and accept the outcome of the democratic process. No doubt more challenges await the next president even after the inauguration. But the possibility exists that the current administration can stir up a heap of trouble before he takes office. And if Barack Obama does not follow suit with most other former presidents and "just fade away," President Trump may find himself opposed by the mainstream media, egged on by the previous occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

What Comes Next: Starting World War III?

Many supporters of Trump have suggested that globalists, smarting from the defeat of their candidate, Hillary Clinton, won't sit idly by in the months ahead and let their "world order" fall apart with a nationalist, populist outsider taking the reins. Perhaps the inauguration will come off as planned. However, it is still quite possible that a false flag event could be set in motion. Others have asserted that the current administration may foil the peaceful transition of power and take a direct shot at Putin by starting a war, deferring indefinitely President-Elect Trump from being seated in the White House. Does a monumental threat put in motion by the current administration await us before January 20, 2017? According to mainstream media, in this case the Associated Press, it could happen:

"U.S. President Barack Obama says the U.S. will retaliate against Russia for its suspected meddling in the general election process, an accusation the Kremlin has vehemently denied. … Obama said he had spoken directly to Putin about his concerns. He said if a foreign government tries to interfere in a U.S. election, the nation must take action, 'and we will at a time and place of our own choosing. … We have been working hard to make sure that what we do is proportional,' Obama said in an NPR News interview airing Friday." (Associated Press, December 15, 2016, "Obama says U.S. will respond to alleged Russian hacking 'at a time and place of our choosing'" [retrieved from])

On the other hand, conservative supporters of Trump have consistently expressed doubt that Russia was responsible for hacking the election. Even Reince Previs, Trump's future chief of staff, has flatly stated it's time to "put up or shut up." The "doubting Trumpases" contend that there is no evidence to bring forth.

Acknowledging this pertinent fact, the AP in the same article cited above, agrees: "There has been no specific, persuasive evidence shared publicly about the extent of Putin's role or knowledge of any hackings. That lack of proof undercuts Democrats' strategy to portray Putin's involvement as irrefutable evidence of a directed Russian government plot to undermine America's democratic system" (Ibid.).We are left to wonder whether an unsupported claim of Russian hacking is the false flag Trump supporters anticipated, and U.S. retaliation at Obama's order will be a provocation to kick off World War III.

A Bipartisan Establishment-Based Attempt to Scuttle the Election Results

Republican senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, is pushing for a joint investigative committee to study the issue of cyber attacks (aka hacking) because, like Obama, he believes Russia is attempting to "destroy democracy." According to another mainstream media source, CNN, McCain sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has so far refused to agree to such a proposal:

"'Cyber is the rare kind of all-encompassing challenge for which the Congress's jurisdictional boundaries are an impediment to sufficient oversight and legislative action,' McCain wrote to McConnell in a letter, cosigned by fellow GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee. 'Only a select committee that is time-limited, crossjurisdictional, and purpose-driven can address the challenge of cyber,' wrote the bipartisan quartet of senators [wed to the establishment]. 'We believe it is justified by the extraordinary scope and scale of the cyber problem.'" (Eric Bradner, December 18, 2016, "McCain: Russian election-related hacks threaten to destroy Democracy," [])

Notice that establishment senators, both Democrats and Republican, have agreed with Obama that the situation is "real" and demands a strong response. While sentiment among Trump's opponents publicly assert that it is Trump that will start a war, instead it has been establishment politicians under the banner of protecting the (new) world order, that have consistently championed actions that could lead us down that path. As it is, we are still engaged in several Middle East and Asian conflicts continuing the longest period of war in America's history—fourteen years and counting.

Lacking Any Proof That We Know the Perpetrator

James Lewis, writing for the left-leaning The Daily Beast, says what almost all mainstream media outlets have asserted (without laying out the evidence): "The Russians did it." Writes Lewis:

"After much hand-wringing, the Obama administration admitted that the Russian government interfered with the presidential election. (It was not a 400-pound hacker, unless that hacker lives in Moscow.) It's true that people often question attribution, but the critics were wrong on Sony and they are wrong now. It was the Russians."(James Lewis, December 16, 2016, "How to really punish Russia for hacking," [])

Again, Lewis cites no real proof to undergird a casus belli (an act or event to justify and provoke war). But why let the facts get in the way of a good story?

Lewis points out that there are reasons to be cautious in doing much to counter the alleged Russian tampering: "International law and the Laws of Armed Conflict, which the U.S. tries to follow, define when force can be used in self-defense and require that it be proportional to the attack. International law and State practice do not define espionage, crime, or disinformation as actions that justify the use of force in response" (emphasis added). In other words, if we respect international law and two hundred years of American policy, the U.S. must be circumspect (cautious) in what we do.

Okay, but suppose the Russians did some tampering. Let's ignore Julian Assange's statement that what he published wasn't a hack, it was a leak (an insider from the NSA passed the information to his WikiLeaks). Let's allow that maybe Russia was involved in altering votes cast in two or three states through a cyber attack. What should be done about it?

First, the current administration should provide the evidence that the hackers did alter the voting, and by how much. In other words, what they did mattered and effected the outcome. Second, claims to tampering should supply specific information that in "effecting the election," the culprits left cyber-fingerprints that were undeniably Russian.

If this "documentation" isn't forthcoming, it should go without saying that the "establishment politicians" can't assume that since Clinton lost to Trump, well, there had to be malfeasance somewhere—and of course, the Russians are the obvious culprit.

And we shouldn't miss one of the finer points: The White House (with a lame duck president unwilling to relinquish the reins of the federal government), said he would do something "meaningful" (to cite Obama's chosen word) to respond to Russian cyber-meddling in the near-term. In this context, "meaningful" is purposefully vague. It suggests that what will be done will be substantive (and presumably obvious to the Russians that we, the U.S., did it). And yet, Obama indicates that "the deed" might be publicly apparent, but it also might not. If he sticks to this plan (or stuck to it depending on what happens between the time I write this article and when you read it), the approach could be extremely perilous. Why? Because if our intention is to accomplish "proportional retaliation," the U.S. wants the world to concur that our actions were measured and were "proportional." It is not wise to do something "meaningful" but clandestine and allow world public opinion (especially Russian opinion) to be shaped about "who done it" without taking pains to make our response plain as day.

In an op-ed piece posted on The Free Republic's website, the "Z-man" writes cogently about the extreme danger of what the current administration does during their last days in office:

"The options are risky because the White House knows the hacking story was made up to pacify the lunatics. They also know the Russians know it was made up. Creating a diplomatic crisis over something both sides know is a fiction—and a ridiculous one at that—is very dangerous. The Russians will assume there must be some other reason for the move. Once countries are left to guess about motives, things can spiral out of control quickly. Thus, the White House has to just make a show of it, but not actually do anything" (2nd Division Vet [aka, the "Z-man"], December 19, 2016, []).

Hopefully, that is exactly what they did by the time you read this: nothing all that "meaningful."

Going Cyber

Gauging from the comments made by President Obama, the promised "proportional response" likely means a cyberattack launched by the U.S. against Russia. However, once we go cyber on a grand scale (like knocking out the Russian grid), it opens the door to a momentous cyber war which could decimate America. Let me expound on this scenario.

First, you might recall that to decimate means to eliminate 10 percent of a targeted group. It comes from a diabolical practice of the Roman Legions. If a group (small or large) failed to comply with orders, they could be decimated. Every tenth person would be culled from the group and beheaded.

But in the situation I am about to describe here, the impact might be the inverse: the Russians might take a tact that could eliminate 90 percent of American civilians within one year. All they would have to do is explode just one nuclear weapon high in the sky over the center of America. Within twelve months, it would leave only 10 percent of us alive to forage among the ruins.

This evil strategy was well documented by no less than a congressional commission formed at the then-president's behest. This outcome was set down in a 2004 report by The Presidential EMP Commission, which examined the risks of an electromagnetic pulse weapon (EMP) exploding over a portion or all of the continental U.S. (An EMP blast emanates from a nuclear detonation in the atmosphere, knocking out the power grid, with devastating consequences as it would create, within weeks, a lack of food, water, and warmth).

One of the key issues looming now is simply this: Putin may feel pressured to act during this transition or lose the upper hand. If he fears that Trump will not take office or will be unable to start a positive dialogue between Moscow and Washington, Putin may jump to the conclusion that it is time to implement the ultimate solution to Russia's existential threat—foil the plans of the New World Order. Putin knows he has nuclear superiority both offensively and defensively at this point in time. This is a fact our military acknowledges in every category except nuclear submarines. However, it is conceivable that even this segment of our nuclear arsenal could be neutralized. How so? Astonishingly, it is probable our commander-in-chief will be unable to get nuclear launch codes to U.S. submarine commanders which they must possess before firing their nuclear missiles (see the book by Benjamin Baruch and J. R. Nyquist, The New Tactics of Global War, for more information on power comparisons and risks we face). Putin appears genuinely willing to seek rapprochement with the inaugurated President Trump. But if the current Obama administration provokes war during the time of transition, the "interregnum," the time for him to act is before January 20, 2017. Whether he does or doesn't act, my point is this: This transition is (or was) the most dangerous period in U.S. history, eclipsing the Cuban missile crisis (1962), as an attack as I describe would have nationwide impact, and not just the eastern one-third of America, as was threatened fifty-four years ago during Kennedy's presidency.

We Are Most Vulnerable Right Now

A book entitled The Long Sunday by Dr. Peter Pry points out that the greatest vulnerability of the United States to a Russian, Chinese, or North Korean attack, is the window of time between election day and inauguration day while one administration prepares to relinquish control and another prepares to take over responsibility. The threat due to the preoccupation with transition is made worse since Americans are focused on Christmas and New Year's celebrations.

Repeating the situation that existed in the early morning hours of Sunday, December 7, 1941, we are unaware of pending attack. On that day 75 years ago, the last thing on anyone's mind was the possibility that Japanese bombers would be streaking out of the sky, dropping torpedoes aimed at U.S. Navy ships anchored in Pearl Harbor. The eminent intellectual Pry (who served on the commission and testified before Congress), suggests that the present state of U.S. military force is a 1939 redux. America is not ready to go to war. Our guard is down, while our enemies stand ready for war both defensively and offensively.

Pry's short book sizes up the situation succinctly:

  • U.S. conventional and nuclear forces have become "hollow" from long underinvestment in their modernization and basic maintenance.
  • The U.S. Army has shrunk to its lowest level of active duty soldiers since before World War II.
  • The U.S. Navy, according to former defense secretary Leon Panetta, has "the smallest number of ships since 1915."
  • The U.S. Air Force, according to Secretary Panetta, "is the smallest Air Force in its history."
  • U.S. strategic nuclear weapons are decades old and obsolete compared to brand new missiles and new generation nuclear weapons being deployed by Russia and China.
  • The U.S. has ceded to Russia and China a virtual monopoly in tactical nuclear weapons, retaining only some 180 aged gravity bombs stored in European NATO, while Russia has an estimated 3,000-8,000 tactical nuclear weapons for battlefield and theater use.
  • North Korea makes more nuclear weapons every year than the United States, which prohibits itself from making more nuclear weapons or replacing old weapons with new designs.
  • European NATO has become so militarily "hollow" that RAND and the U.S. Defense Department estimate Russia could roll over NATO's frontline states in Poland and the Baltics in 60 hours. "President Vladimir Putin himself has said that Russian troops could be in five NATO capitols in two days," according to former Defense Department official Keith Payne. (Peter Pry, The Long Sunday: Election Day 2016—Inauguration Day 2017—Nuclear EMP Attack Scenarios, Kindle Edition).

An EMP attack is the ultimate cyber-weapon. It can be detonated high in the atmosphere and do almost no direct damage to people, buildings, and military equipment on the ground—except for one enormous factor that is the real risk: an EMP destroys electronics. Since our society is built upon modern electronics, we are literally a thousand times more susceptible to electronic warfare than we were seventy-five years ago. We can't survive without the "grid." We have no backup that employs "analogue" systems. From mechanical water pumps to gasoline powered generators—such old-fashioned mechanisms have long since been discarded.

Pry points out that an EMP attack does not require a big bomb. It does not require the sophisticated reentry of a missile back into the atmosphere. It is cheap to build and relatively easy to deploy. And it could be exploded from a satellite over our heads. (Note: North Korea has had two such satellites since 2013 that orbit the globe from pole to pole, passing over the United States once or twice daily—the perfect way to deliver an EMP burst.) Writes Pry, "Missile delivery of a nuclear warhead to blast a city requires an accurate guidance system, a reentry vehicle to penetrate the atmosphere and protect the physics package from the shock and heat of re-entry, and a fusing system capable of surviving re-entry and detonating the warhead at low-altitude or on impact. All of these requirements add significant technological and operational risk, compared to an EMP attack" (Ibid.). In other words, nuclear missiles targeted at our cities are hard to develop and deploy. But a singular EMP threat is far easier to put in place and detonate.

And since it explodes thirty kilometers or so above the ground, it leaves no debris to disclose who the bad guy was that launched over our heads. "EMP attack can destroy radars, satellites and their downlinks and other national technical means necessary to identify the attacker. Bomb debris from a weapon detonated at high-altitude for EMP attack is not collectible, unlike debris from a nuclear weapon detonated in a city, so forensic analysis cannot identify the perpetrator. EMP attack leaves no fingerprints" (Ibid.).

The Prophetic Scenario That Could Be Fulfilled Any Day Now

In my book The Next Great War in the Middle East, I detail the reasons why Russia is likely to devastate the United States in a surprise attack in the very near-term. The book goes into considerable detail to explain the weapons systems Russia now has at its disposal and how debilitated U.S. forces are in "strategic" weapon systems. I present a unique argument correlating the passages of Ezekiel 38-39 and Jeremiah 50-51. There are notable scholars who agree with me (like John Price, author of The End of America, and Douglas Berner, author of The Silence Is Broken). But there are others who do not.

Nevertheless, here in this article, I would like to announce the availability of two interviews I did with renowned eschatology expert Paul McGuire discussing the Russian threat. They are available on GODTV's website. I'd like to invite you (and encourage you) to watch these two programs today. The shows are included on the "Apocalypse and the End Times" program page, Series 4. You can find the programs on the web by going to They are "must see TV."

This past spring, my book The Next Great War in the Middle East: Russia Prepares to Fulfill the Prophecy of Gog and Magog, became the #1 bestseller in eschatology in Amazon's Kindle Store. It is available from Southwest Radio Ministries.


Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that many Christians have had nightmares of the apocalypse that may be prophetic dreams. These visions center on America and the horrendous events transpiring during the holiday period. Let us pray together that our nation will be spared war and that our leaders will not provoke World War III in a mad attempt to save the New World Order. But let us pray that our nation change course and the people repent in order that God may save America.

And I would also be remiss if I didn't ask you about your eternal fate. If you don't know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, now is the time to make doubly sure you are ready to meet Him face-to-face. Confess your need for Him and receive His salvation. As the Bible proclaims to us: "For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Act today. We don't know if Russia will attack America in the next few weeks. But if my interpretation of Bible prophecy is correct, the next one to two years will be critical to the fate of America and the people of God living here.

DOUG WOODWARD has been a student and teacher of biblical themes for almost 40 years. He has extensively studied Christian apocalyptic topics throughout this period. Doug has served as a minister in the Methodist and Reformed churches and an elder in the Presbyterian church. Most of his career, Doug has worked as an information technology executive and management consultant for a number of prominent companies including Ernst & Young, Oracle, and Microsoft.