Friday, October 31, 2014

Antichrist Threatens To Remove His Men (Revelation 13:18)

Iraq Shia cleric: Sadr movement will withdraw its armed wing in case of foreign intervention

Antichrist Army
Press TV
 
Iraq’s Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr says that he will withdraw “Saraya Assalam”, the armed wing of Sadr movement, from some areas under their control including Samara’a, Dhiala and Jurf Sakher. He made the remarks after some Iraqi politicians and tribes called for the need of foreign military presence and US-led ground operation in Iraq. Sadr however noted that that the rest of the armed wing will remain in the battlefield.

The Shia cleric threatened earlier to withdraw the force in case of any military intervention or ground troops. He also criticized the US-led coalition air strikes, emphasizing that volunteer forces, tribes and Iraqi army alone can defeat terrorism.Sadr said that the Withdrawal would be according to a specific strategy and the areas under Saraya Assalam control and all the liberated territory will be delivered to Iraqi security forces. Some in Iraq are calling for foreign military intervention in fight against ISIL Takfiri militants. But majority of people and the government oppose such measure, saying it will open the door for foreign troops’ presence in the country.

The Temple Has Been Closed

Palestinian President: Closing Jerusalem holy site ‘a declaration of war’

netanyahu-closes-temple-mount-after-assassination-attempt-israeli-border-police
By Holly Yan, CNN
 
updated 4:14 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014

(CNN) — Tensions between Palestinians and Israelis spiked in Jerusalem Thursday as Israel closed access to the Temple Mount, a move Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called a “declaration of war.”

Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh told CNN that the decision to close off the site, which includes the al-Aqsa Mosque, was a “brazen challenge” and “grave behavior” that would lead to “further tensions and instability.”


Ofir Gendelman, the Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesman for Arab media, tweeted Thursday that the closure was “temporary & meant to prevent riots & escalation as well as to to restore calm and status quo to the Holy Places.”

Later Thursday, Israeli police announced that they would reopen, in part, the Temple Mount. The site will only be open to men over the age of 50 and women of all ages on Friday to prevent demonstrations by young Muslim men, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

The police presence in the eastern part of Jerusalem has been beefed up, and security will be increased around the old city and alley ways in the area of the al-Aqsa Mosque, said the spokeswoman.

The Jerusalem complex is the holiest site in Judaism and the third holiest site in Islam. Jews call it the Temple Mount and Muslims know it as Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary).


Israeli police shot and killed a suspect in Glick’s shooting Wednesday night. An Israeli counterterror unit surrounded the house of the unnamed suspect in the shooting, police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said on Twitter.

He said the man opened fire on police, who shot and killed him.

Glick is an advocate of Jewish access to Muslim holy sites. After he gave a presentation in Jerusalem on Wednesday night, a man on a motorcycle shot him.

Rosenfeld described the attack on Glick as an “attempted assassination.” The rabbi was hospitalized in serious condition.

Contested site


Rabbinic sages say that God gathered dust from the spot to create Adam, the first man, before setting him loose in the Garden of Eden.

Jewish tradition holds that the Temple Mount also contains Mount Moriah, where Abraham, the Hebrew patriarch, is said to have nearly sacrificed his son — under God’s orders — before an angel intervened.


Muslims believe that the Prophet Mohammed was carried on a flying steed from Mecca to the Jerusalem site during his miraculous Night Journey, said Muqtedar Khan, an expert on Islam and politics at the University of Delaware.

“It’s all about al-Aqsa,” said Khan. “That’s why all Muslims are sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.”

According to Islamic tradition, the night journey took Mohammed to the same Jerusalem rock on which Abraham nearly sacrificed his son, where the Muslim founder led Abraham, Moses and Jesus in prayers as the last of God’s prophets.

That rock is now said to sit in the Dome of the Rock, whose golden roof gleams above the Old City skyline.


In the 1980s, Jewish radicals plotted to blow up the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa, believing that it would lead to a spiritual revolution and usher in the Messiah.

In 2000, the Second Intifada — a 5-year-long Palestinian uprising — was sparked, Palestinians say, after Ariel Sharon, then a candidate for Israeli prime minister, visited the compound surrounding al-Aqsa.

Sharon insisted that his visit was not intended to provoke Palestinians, but many saw it as an attempt to underline Israel’s claim to Jerusalem’s holy sites.

The American Nuclear Horn

US Sends Planes Armed With Depleted Uranium to Middle East

depleted-uranium
Thursday, 30 October 2014 09:27 By David Swanson, War Is A Crime

There’s a version of this story at Al Jazeera.

The US Air Force says it is not halting its use of Depleted Uranium weapons, has recently sent them to the Middle East, and is prepared to use them.

A type of airplane, the A-10, deployed this month to the Middle East by the US Air National Guard’s 122nd Fighter Wing, is responsible for more Depleted Uranium (DU) contamination than any other platform, according to the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons (ICBUW). “Weight for weight and by number of rounds more 30mm PGU-14B ammo has been used than any other round,” said ICBUW coordinator Doug Weir, referring to ammunition used by A-10s, as compared to DU ammunition used by tanks.

Public affairs superintendent Master Sgt. Darin L. Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing told me that the A-10s now in the Middle East along with “300 of our finest airmen” have been sent there on a deployment planned for the past two years and have not been assigned to take part in the current fighting in Iraq or Syria, but “that could change at any moment.”

The crews will load PGU-14 depleted uranium rounds into their 30mm Gatling cannons and use them as needed, said Hubble. “If the need is to explode something — for example a tank — they will be used.”

Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright told me, “There is no prohibition against the use of Depleted Uranium rounds, and the [US military] does make use of them. The use of DU in armor-piercing munitions allows enemy tanks to be more easily destroyed.”

On Thursday, several nations, including Iraq, spoke to the United Nations First Committee, against the use of Depleted Uranium and in support of studying and mitigating the damage in already contaminated areas. A non-binding resolution is expected to be voted on by the Committee this week, urging nations that have used DU to provide information on locations targeted. A number of organizations are delivering a petition to US officials this week urging them not to oppose the resolution.

In 2012 a resolution on DU was supported by 155 nations and opposed by just the UK, US, France, and Israel. Several nations have banned DU, and in June Iraq proposed a global treaty banning it – a step also supported by the European and Latin American Parliaments.

Wright said that the US military is “addressing concerns on the use of DU by investigating other types of materials for possible use in munitions, but with some mixed results. Tungsten has some limitations in its functionality in armor-piercing munitions, as well as some health concerns based on the results of animal research on some tungsten-containing alloys. Research is continuing in this area to find an alternative to DU that is more readily accepted by the public, and also performs satisfactorily in munitions.”

“I fear DU is this generation’s Agent Orange,” US Congressman Jim McDermott told me. “There has been a sizable increase in childhood leukemia and birth defects in Iraq since the Gulf War and our subsequent invasion in 2003. DU munitions were used in both those conflicts. There are also grave suggestions that DU weapons have caused serious health issues for our Iraq War veterans. I seriously question the use of these weapons until the US military conducts a full investigation into the effect of DU weapon residue on human beings.”

Doug Weir of ICBUW said renewed use of DU in Iraq would be “a propaganda coup for ISIS.” His and other organizations opposed to DU are guardedly watching a possible US shift away from DU, which the US military said it did not use in Libya in 2011. Master Sgt. Hubble of the 122nd Fighter Wing believes that was simply a tactical decision. But public pressure had been brought to bear by activists and allied nations’ parliaments, and by a UK commitment not to use DU.

DU is classed as a Group 1 Carcinogen by the World Health Organization, and evidence of health damage produced by its use is extensive. The damage is compounded, Jeena Shah at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) told me, when the nation that uses DU refuses to identify locations targeted. Contamination enters soil and water. Contaminated scrap metal is used in factories or made into cooking pots or played with by children.

CCR and Iraq Veterans Against the War have filed a Freedom of Information Act Request in an attempt to learn the locations targeted in Iraq during and after the 1991 and 2003 assaults. The UK and the Netherlands have revealed targeted locations, Shah pointed out, as did NATO following DU use in the Balkans. And the United States has revealed locations it targeted with cluster munitions. So why not now?

“For years,” Shah said, “the US has denied a relationship between DU and health problems in civilians and veterans. Studies of UK veterans are highly suggestive of a connection. The US doesn’t want studies done.” In addition, the United States has used DU in civilian areas and identifying those locations could suggest violations of Geneva Conventions.

Iraqi doctors will be testifying on the damage done by DU before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington, D.C., in December.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration said on Thursday that it will be spending $1.6 million to try to identify atrocities committed in Iraq . . . by ISIS.

Iran Wants Economic Sanctions Lifted

Iran wants sanctions lifted as part of nuclear deal

iran_5+1_talks
Pakistan Today

Iran wants all Western sanctions to be lifted as part of a deal on its contested nuclear programme by a November deadline, a top official said on Wednesday.

The announcement came amid intensifying efforts to conclude a definitive pact.

The six powers in the talks with Iran include Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, known as the P5+1, have set November 24 as the deadline.

The Chairman of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi said the US proposal of a gradual lifting of sanctions was “unacceptable.”

“If we want a definitive accord on November 24, there must be an immediate lifting of sanctions,” he told a news conference in Paris.

A Western diplomat close to the negotiations with Iran on Monday said a firm deal by the deadline was highly unlikely, saying Tehran would have to make “significant gestures.”

The aim is to close avenues towards Tehran ever developing an atomic bomb, by cutting back its enrichment programme, shutting down suspect facilities and imposing tough international inspections.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

US Aligns With Shiite Horn (Daniel 8:8)

Detente declared as US, Iranian interests align over Iraq, Syria

 Shia Crescent

THE Obama administration and Iran, engaged in direct nuclear ­negotiations and facing a common threat from Islamic State, have moved into an effective state of detente over the past year, senior US and Arab officials say.

The shift could drastically alter the balance of power in the region, and risks alienating key US allies such as Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, which are central to the coalition fighting Islamic State. Sunni Arab leaders view the threat posed by Shia Iran as equal to or greater than that posed by the Sunni radical group Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Israel contends the US has weakened the terms of its negotiations with Iran and played down Tehran’s destabilising role in the region.

Over the past decade, Washington and Tehran have engaged in fierce battles for influence and power in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Afghanistan fueled by the US overthrow of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and the Arab Spring revolutions that began in late 2010. US officials still say the ­option of military action remains on the table to thwart Iran’s ­nuclear program.

Yet recent months have ushered in a change as the two countries have grown into alignment on a spectrum of causes, chief among them promoting peaceful political transitions in Baghdad and Kabul and pursuing military operations against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria, according to the officials.

The Obama administration also has markedly softened its confrontational stance towards Iran’s most important non-state allies, the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Lebanese militant and political organisation Hezbollah.

US diplomats, including Secretary of State John Kerry, negotiated with Hamas leaders through Turkish and Qatari intermediaries during ceasefire talks in July that were aimed at ending the Palestinian group’s rocket attacks on Israel, according to senior American officials.

US intelligence agencies have repeatedly tipped off Lebanese law-enforcement bodies close to Hezbollah about threats posed to Beirut’s government by Sunni ­extremist groups, including al-Qa’ida and its affiliate al-Nusra Front in Syria, Lebanese and US officials said.

“This shows that although we see Turkey and Arab states as our closest allies, our interests and policies are converging with Iran’s,” said Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a former Obama administration official.

“This is a geostrategic reality at this ­moment, more than a conscious US policy.”

Obama administration officials stressed they were not ­directly co-ordinating their regional policies or the war against Islamic State with Iran. They also said pervasive US economic sanctions remained in place on Tehran, Hamas and Hezbollah.

Still, the officials said the intensive negotiations the US had pursued with Iran since last year on the nuclear issue could help stabilise the Middle East and had improved understanding.

“The world is clearly better off now than it would have been if the leaders on both sides had ignored this opening,” Wendy Sherman, the lead US negotiator with Iran, said last week.

Iranian officials, including President Hasan Rowhani, have said there could be more co-operation with the US in the war against Islamic State, but only if a nuclear accord was reached.

Administration critics, including Israel and Arab states, see the White House as determined to seal a deal with Iran as a monument to President Barack Obama’s foreign policy record.

“The Iranian regime is revolutionary and can’t get too close to us. So I’d be wary of any rapprochement,” said Scott Modell, a former CIA officer now at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “I think they are hell-bent on pursuing a number of courses that run counter to US interests.”

Iraq has been at the centre of a regional proxy war between the US and Iran since the George W. Bush administration invaded Baghdad in 2003.

Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards established and trained a network of Shia militias that attacked US and coalition troops stationed in Iraq over the past decade, according to US defence officials. Tehran, according to US officials, also introduced into Iraq the most dangerous kind of improvised explosive devices, the roadside bombs that the Pentagon says were the largest single cause of deaths among American servicemen who fought in the war.

Since the US resumed military operations inside Iraq in August, however, the Revolutionary Guards corp has explicitly ordered its local proxies not to target American military personnel conducting and co-ordinating attacks against Islamic State from bases near Baghdad and in Iraq’s Kurdish region, according to US officials who have tracked Iranian communications.

General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Guards’ overseas operations, known as the Quds Force, instructed Iraqi Shia militias long at war with the US, such as the Mahdi Army and Kata’ib Hezbollah, that US efforts to weaken Islamic State were in the long-term interests of Tehran and its allies, said the ­officials.

“It has gone quiet because these guys have been told by the (Revolutionary Guards) not to ­attack,” said a US intelligence officer who tracks General Soleimani.

“The Iraqi Shi’ite groups went to Soleimani and said they wanted to go after the American embassy and target Americans. Soleimani said: ‘No, no, no. Unless they get into your areas of control, don’t ­attack’.”

Meanwhile, the US military is planning to play down and avoid publicity for the annual minesweeping exercise being organised by the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. In past years, the exercise has been used to highlight unified ­opposition to Iranian activities in the Persian Gulf, according to a US official.

Some officials say not emphasising deterrence against Iran could be destabilising, signalling to the Revolutionary Guards that the US isn’t going to take steps to counter their measures.

However, the US now has gone beyond the use of signals. US officials said the Obama administration had passed messages to Tehran by using the offices of Iraq’s new Shia Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, as well as Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, one of Shia Islam’s most senior clerics.

The US has also made it clear to Tehran that its stepped-up military strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria won’t be turned on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to US officials.

Assad is Iran’s closest Arab ally. And the Revolutionary Guards and General Soleimani have ­mobilised Iranian military personnel and Lebanese and Iraqi Shia militiamen to fight inside Syria in support of the Damascus regime.

Any US strikes on Assad’s security forces could end up hitting Iranian or Hezbollah soldiers and advisers, sparking a broader conflict.

“They (the US) want to focus on ISIL and they are worried about antagonising the Iranians, which they say may cause them to react or the Shiite militias in Iraq to react against our embassy and interests in Iraq and derail the ­(nuclear) talks,” said a senior US defence official working on Iraq.

“They are articulating in high-level inter-agency meetings that they don’t want to do anything that’s interpreted by the Iranians as threatening to the regime.”

The Wall Street Journal

The Sixth Seal: More Than Just Manhattan

New York, NY – In a Quake, Brooklyn Would Shake More Than Manhattan

The Sixth Seal
The Sixth Seal

By Brooklyn Eagle

New York, NY – The last big earthquake in the New York City area, centered in New York Harbor just south of Rockaway, took place in 1884 and registered 5.2 on the Richter Scale. Another earthquake of this size can be expected and could be quite damaging, says Dr. Won-Young Kim, senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
And Brooklyn, resting on sediment, would shake more than Manhattan, built on solid rock. “There would be more shaking and more damage,” Dr. Kim told the Brooklyn Eagle on Wednesday.

If an earthquake of a similar magnitude were to happen today near Brooklyn, “Many chimneys would topple. Poorly maintained buildings would fall down – some buildings are falling down now even without any shaking. People would not be hit by collapsing buildings, but they would be hit by falling debris. We need to get some of these buildings fixed,” he said.

But a 5.2 is “not comparable to Haiti,” he said. “That was huge.” Haiti’s devastating earthquake measured 7.0.

Brooklyn has a different environment than Haiti, and that makes all the difference, he said. Haiti is situated near tectonic plate boundaries, while Brooklyn is inside the North American plate, far from its boundary.

“The Caribbean plate is moving to the east, while the North American plate is moving towards the west. They move about 20 mm – slightly less than an inch – every year.” The plates are sliding past each other, and the movement is not smooth, leading to jolts, he said.

While we don’t have the opportunity for a large jolt in Brooklyn, we do have small, frequent quakes of a magnitude of 2 or 3 on the Richter Scale. In 2001 alone the city experienced two quakes: one in January, measuring 2.4, and one in October, measuring 2.6. The October quake, occurring soon after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, “caused a lot of panic,” Dr. Kim said.

“People ask me, ‘Should I get earthquake insurance?’ I tell them no, earthquake insurance is expensive. Instead, use that money to fix chimneys and other things. Rather than panicky preparations, use common sense to make things better.”

Secure bookcases to the wall and make sure hanging furniture does not fall down, Dr. Kim said. “If you have antique porcelains or dishes, make sure they’re safely stored. In California, everything is anchored to the ground.”

While a small earthquake in Brooklyn may cause panic, “In California, a quake of magnitude 2 is called a micro-quake,” he added.

US Funding Israeli Nukes

Lawsuit Spotlights US Charities That Fund Israel’s Secret Nuclear Weapons Program

Israeli Nukes
Grant Smith, October 28, 2014

The following is being released by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy:

A federal lawsuit seeks immediate release of a closely held government report about how American branches of Israeli charitable and educational institutes fund secret nuclear weapons research and development programs.

An unclassified 1987 study conducted for the Department of Defense titled “Current Technology Issues in Israel” discovered Technion University technicians developing nuclear missile re-entry vehicles and working at the Dimona nuclear weapons production facility. Hebrew University computer scientists working at the Soreq nuclear facilities were “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs.” Israel’s Weizmann Institute “studied high energy physics and hydrodynamics needed for nuclear bomb design, and worked on lasers to enrich uranium, the most advanced method for making the material dropped on Hiroshima in 1945″ say sources attributed to the report cited in the lawsuit.

IRmep filed suit for the report in the DC District Court as part of a public-interest drive to obtain long overdue enforcement of the Symington and Glenn Amendments to the Foreign Assistance Act. The laws prohibit U.S. foreign aid to nuclear weapons states such as Israel that are not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

A recent Google Consumer Survey (PDF) reveals that despite longstanding Israeli and US government gag orders on publicly discussing the arsenal, 63.9 percent of Americans now believe Israel possesses nuclear weapons. 60.7 percent of Americans oppose sending the largest share (9 percent) of the US foreign aid budget to Israel.

Israel’s Weizmann Institute, Technion, and Hebrew University raise substantial tax-exempt charitable funding through affiliates in the United States creating a “tax gap” that must be financed by individual American taxpayers. According to their most recent IRS filings, American branches of the three organizations raise a combined $172 million in annual US tax-exempt funding. IRmep’s “request for determination” filings with the IRS reveal that secret foreign nuclear weapons development has no recognized US tax-deductible “social welfare” purpose.

Defendants Department of Defense, the DC US Attorney Office and Attorney General have until October 30 to respond to IRmep’s public interest lawsuit demanding release of the explosive report. The Center for Policy and Law Enforcement is a unit of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy in Washington. Inquiries about the lawsuit or opinion poll results may be directed to Grant F. Smith at info@irmep.org or 202-342-7325.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Khamenei Ties To Unify Islamic Horns (Genesis 28)

Iran favors unity among world Muslims, Khamenei says

Photo: Iran favors unity among world Muslims, Khamenei says / Politics
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that the Islamic Republic favors unity among world Muslims.

Khamenei made the remarks in a meeting with officials in charge of Hajj pilgrimage in Tehran Oct. 28, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported.

He advised officials in charge of Hajj rituals to help augment people’s knowledge, address their spiritual needs and strongly deal with the smear propaganda campaign of enemies of Islam.

The enemies of the Muslim world try to build a wall between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the rest of the Islamic world, said the Supreme Leader.

Hajj ceremony is a suitable opportunity to destroy the wrong concepts and beliefs propagated by the enemies, Khameni added.

The officials in charge of Hajj rituals should address the needs of people by offering better services and meeting the spiritual needs of pilgrims, he said.

As for the spiritual aspects of the Hajj rituals, special programs should be arranged to address the requirements of pilgrims, said Khamenei.

Unity among world Muslims is of prime importance, underlined the Supreme Leader.

Islamic unity is among the principled mottos of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khamenei said, adding that it means the Muslim people should avoid enmity and back each other in dealing with global developments.

All should help remove the wall created by the enemies with an aim of separating Iran from other parts of the Muslim world, Ayatollah Khamenei said, advising that all should do their best to remove such a hurdle. To attain this goal, Hajj rituals is the best opportunity, he said.

The enemies try to shatter the image of Shiism by disseminating wrong information, underlined the Supreme Leader.

The root cause of such false propaganda should be detected and uprooted, he said.

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The Chinese Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7:7)

Here’s How The US Reacted To China’s First Nuclear Test 50 Years Ago

China Nuclear

This month marks 50 years since one of the most consequential events in the history of nuclear proliferation — a reminder of the very high stakes that led the international community to prevent additional countries from crossing the nuclear threshold.

On October 16, 1964, China tested its first nuclear weapon, a 16-kiloton bomb detonated at the Lop Nur facility in Inner Mongolia. Documents recently published by George Washington University’s National Security Archive give a sense of some of the uncertainty that followed.

Prior to the test, some US officials doubted China had the capability to build a nuclear weapon. Afterwards, American officials and regional allied governments were left to speculate as to what a nuclear-armed Beijing would mean for the US and for the balance of power in Asia.

The picture that emerges should be a familiar one for anyone who’s followed the North Korean nuclear saga, or even the ongoing Iran negotiations. Anxious allies considered rash and possibly ill-advised military action. Global actors were taken by surprise. Officials wondered how they could make the new landscape work to their advantage. Some believed little had actually changed and the global balance of power wouldn’t be disrupted.

But everyone seemed to generally realize that a confusing new variable had been thrown into a then-fragile global security environment.

Here are some of the most notable reactions from the National Security Archive’s release of 33 documents related to China’s historic first nuclear test.

Taiwanese leaders wanted to launch a US-supported pre-emptive strike on China to prevent Beijing from further developing its nuclear capabilities. If there was one big loser in China’s nuclear test, it was Taiwan. In 1964, the island was home to China’s US-recognized government, and held a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. The Taiwanese had to realize a nuclear-armed Beijing would leave the international community with little choice but to eventually shift its recognition to the mainland, something that eventually happened about a decade later.

Taiwan even viewed a nuclear-armed China as a potential existential crisis. A secret State Department telegram sent a week after the test described the ruling party’s read on the event’s significance. “Top leaders have expressed private view that [China] can cause ‘crisis of confidence,’ eroding people’s will to resist [Beijing] on Taiwan and elsewhere.”

Some in Taiwan were looking to a military option: “Among military, already existing awareness of bleak prospects for successful action against mainland in absence of full US cooperation.” Even so, some believed that the prospect of reduced US support, along with Beijing’s gaining military edge, meant “action must therefore be taken now,” with some “among the military in favor of a ‘do or die’ attack even if US should refuse cooperation.”

No such attack was ever launched — Taiwan was outnumbered, possibly outgunned, and didn’t get the US support for an attack that Taipai wanted. The US withdrew recognition of Taiwan in 1979, but the island remains a de-facto independent state, albeit one living under the constant threat of invasion from the mainland.

In the immediate aftermath of the test, US intelligence didn’t know how China had gotten enough weapons-grade Uranium for a bomb. A November 2nd, 1964 “research memorandum” from the State Department’s Office of the Director of Intelligence and Research has an ominous opening line: “Our pre-October 16th estimates did not anticipate that [China] had the capability of producing the U-235 isotope.”

So either China had enrichment capabilities that were significantly more advanced than what the US was aware of, or it obtained its uranium from an unknown outside supplier, most likely the Soviet Union.

Neither possibility was especially comforting. And no explanation seemed sufficient on its own: the memo’s author doubts the Soviets would provide enough U-235 for a bomb, and counters with the possibility of a hidden enrichment facility or advanced capabilities within China’s single known enrichment site on technical grounds.

The paper offers no solution to one of the more important issues the test raised.

Some US officials thought the test was alarming enough to warrant non-proliferation work with the Soviets. The Chinese test came about two years after the Cuban Missile Crisis, three years after the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, and at a time when the US was deepening its commitments in South Vietnam — in other words, during a period of nearly unprecedented tension between the US and the Communist bloc.

Still, on October 30, two weeks after the Chinese test, top-level American officials openly discussed the possibility of working with the Soviets to prevent China’s neighbors from going nuclear, perhaps by assuring India that China’s capabilities wouldn’t threaten it. State Department official Leonard Meeker raised the question of whether we should concert assurances with the Soviets;” deputy undersecretary of state Llewellyn Thompson cautioned that “at most, we should sound out the Soviets on their view of the non-proliferation question in light of the Chinese communists’ nuclear explosion.”

American officials believed it was worth trying to work with the country’s enemies to make sure the Chinese nuclear test didn’t set off a larger and even more unpredictable global arms race.

The US military believed its hands were still free in Asia. An assessment from the Joint Chiefs of Staff on December 3rd, 1964, determined “the acquisition by Communist China of nuclear weapons will not, for the indefinite future, alter the real relations of power among the major states, or the balance of military power in Asia.”

The Joint Chiefs believed the US military’s hands were still free in Asia, even with a Chinese bomb. “A [Chinese] nuclear capability need not impose new military restrictions on the US response to aggression in Asia,” the report concluded.

This would become a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy — by the end of the 1960s, the US would have hundreds of thousands of combat troops in Vietnam.

India Funding Taliban?

Amazing silence


Taliban

This guesswork begins each time terrorists inflict tragedies ranging from killing individuals, to attacking public gatherings, mosques, churches, trains, airports, offices of the defence forces, and army, air force and naval bases. Pakistan’s establishment keeps pointing its finger on militant religious outfits, although without foreign backing this divided terrorist lot can’t do all this.

Last week, while being interviewed by an Indian TV channel, Pakistan’s former army chief General Musharraf (Retd) accused India of inciting trouble on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, and in Balochistan. He said “I think it’s very unbecoming that you are trying to take advantage of Pakistan’s internal problems that we are trying to confront, especially terrorism.”

This was a rare occasion when a Pakistani who matters, labelled India as the troublemaker not just on Pakistan’s Eastern but Western border as well. But this finger pointing too, followed weeks of turmoil on the Eastern borders where India’s Border Security Force kept targeting villages inside Pakistan, killing farmers and destroying their homes. These incidents are visible realities; pointing to India’s role therein isn’t a revelation. But over terrorist acts inside Pakistan, fingers are rarely pointed at the backers of the terrorists. Although killing and arrest of terrorists and confiscation of their weapons is disclosed regularly but countries training, arming and financing the terrorist outfits remain a mystery.

Before General Musharraf’s (Retd) revelation, in April 2009, in a long in-camera session of the Senate, Rehman Malik had revealed Indian and Russian involvement in terrorism on Pakistan’s Western borders. But a foreign office spokesman quickly clarified that Rehman’s reference to Russia was in an historic context; Russia was no longer involved in terrorism in Pakistan.

In his revelations, while Rehman admitted that terrorists had modern weapons, he didn’t disclose their origin – a gap in his disclosures because without detailed supporting evidence (that was available), pointing fingers at foreign countries could be questioned, as was pointed out by the media. Since then silence has prevailed on this sensitive subject.

For unknown reasons, Pakistan’s establishment rarely discloses the origin of the weapons being used by the terrorists. Whether this issue is taken up on the diplomatic level is anybody’s guess because nothing thereabout appears in the media. Hopefully, involvement of foreign countries with a host of warring terrorist groups isn’t being overlooked.

Not highlighting the role of foreign countries in terrorism in Pakistan is no ordinary lapse because the world doesn’t come to know which elements are making Pakistan progressively a graver security risk. We haven’t learnt any lessons from the way India has been damaging Pakistan by accusing it openly of involvement in terrorist acts in India.

BJP (and the Congress Party under BJP’s pressure) blamed Pakistan’s security agencies for using religious outfits as their proxies in attacking India’s parliament and Taj Mahal Hotel. In July 2013, a former Indian home ministry official Satish Verma made some startling disclosures before the Indian court investigating these attacks to establish responsibility there for.

According to him, these attacks were carried out by Indian secret agencies for two state-defined purposes – justify drafting of India’s anti-terror laws, and blame Pakistan, and both attacks were carried out at the behest of the BJP and Congress regimes that were in power at the time, and both regimes ‘orchestrated’ these attacks to blame Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.

Passage of the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act followed the 2001 attack on India’s parliament, and amendments to the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act followed terrorists’ siege of Bombay’s Taj Mahal Hotel in 2008. Indian governments (vocally supported by Richard Holbrooke) used these incidents to label Pakistan the ‘epicentre’ of threat to South Asian security.

Apparently, Indian trickery wasn’t highlighted to the US defence “experts” directing the US war-on-terror, despite their marginalising of the contribution of Pakistan’s intelligence services in this “crusade”. If that’s so, it was a serious lapse because it prevented the build-up of pressure on the US (at home and abroad) for taking up this grave issue with India.

Any reasonably prudent individual can see that Taliban aren’t a religious outfit. Their defiance of every tenet of Islam in broad daylight leaves none in doubt about their being bent upon putting in place anything but an Islamic governance system; the ruthlessness with which they butcher Pakistanis proves that they are on a mission dictated by Pakistan’s enemies.

The mission of these outfits is to destabilise Pakistan to justify their foreign backers’ access to Pakistan’s nuclear assets because their foreign backers can’t accept a Muslim state’s becoming a nuclear power – an Israeli worry shabbily camouflaged in Western and Indian concerns over Pakistan’s involvement in terrorism. Is it still difficult to identify who these foreign backers are?
The sole US concern is the danger of Pakistan’s nuclear assets falling to the ‘wrong’ Taliban outfit.

How much is the US bothered about stability of an economically hard-pressed Pakistan (that has also been lethally wounded by the US war-on-terror) was reflected in President Obama’s assertion that even economic aid to Pakistan won’t be a “blank cheque”.

While Pakistan’s establishment doesn’t speak openly about camouflaged foreign intervention on Pakistan’s Western borders, commentators in the Western media keep pointing to it. With its huge unexplored natural resource reserves, Balochistan is the target of many foreign entities that also manipulate their governments for achieving their aims.

Against this backdrop, is it wise not to identify the countries that are fuelling terrorism in Pakistan? Shouldn’t they be exposed to let the world know the reality behind terrorism in Pakistan? Hasn’t Pakistan suffered enough? Don’t its administrators see the continuing slide in Pakistan’s risk rating, and consequently, in all other ratings? What does India’s increased preference for Israeli arms imply?

Pakistan’s sliding risk ratings have made it unattractive for investment – a trend that is hurting Pakistan because not enough job opportunities can be created for its bludgeoning youth population. This trend foretells tough times as more young men opt for crime as their source of livelihood. Youth are bundles of energy; which way they are forced to go depends on the state and the society at large. While the society is conscious of its obligations, and is doing what it can to slow this trend, the state isn’t doing enough; its virtual silence, instead of exposing the foreign interests that are bent upon tarnishing Pakistan’s image, is simply amazing.

Antichrist Ousts US Advisors

Sadr bloc seeks to ‘expel’ US advisors from Iraq

Tuesday, 28 October 2014 17:23
A prominent member of Al-Ahrar (Freedom) parliamentary bloc of Al-Sadr movement, led by Shia cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr, said today that his bloc is determined to end the presence of American advisors in more than one Iraqi province. He pointed out that his bloc would take all necessary measures to end what he called “the new American occupation”.In a statement to a reporter from Anadolu Agency, Mithaq Al-Mozani said: “No legal cover justifies the presence of US advisors in Iraq and their presence is part of a plan for occupation different to the 2003 occupation.”
He added that Al-Ahrar bloc pressured the government to prevent any US military presence in Iraq, and that it will work to expel US advisors from the country by any means necessary.
On the other hand, Al-Mozani said he felt that US presence in Iraq “does not contribute to containing the Islamic State (ISIS) gangs, but actually achieves the opposite”. He considered the fact that the American planes accidently dropped military and food aid recently to ISIS fighters in Kobani, Syria, by mistake as well – he did not specify the date this occurred – to be “an indication of US support for terrorists”.
Al-Mozani added: “We will confront the US presence under the pretext of acting as advisors and will use all means to expel them from Iraqi cities.” He did not give details regarding the means Al-Sadr’s bloc may resort to eliminate the presence of these advisers.
No confirmation could be obtain regarding Al-Mozani ‘s comments.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Third Woe: San Francisco Earthquake (Revelation 11:14)

Chilling new report predicts massive earthquake and tsunami for Pacific Northwest

It’s just a matter of time before a mega-quake hits the region between Northern California and British Columbia, where it is expected to kill more than 10,000 people and cause $32 billion in damages, the report says
 
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
 
Published: Friday, March 15, 2013, 9:36 AM









Overflow from Elk Creek flows down Access Road in Elkton Thursday Jan. 19, 2012. A new report predicts a massive earthquake and tsunami off the Pacific Northwest coast would inundate towns and cost $32 billion worth of damage.
MICHAEL SULLIVAN/AP Overflow from Elk Creek flows down Access Road in Elkton Thursday Jan. 19, 2012. A new report predicts a massive earthquake and tsunami off the Pacific Northwest coast would inundate towns and cost $32 billion worth of damage.
SALEM, Ore. — More than 10,000 people could die when — not if — a monster earthquake and tsunami occur just off the Pacific Northwest coast, researchers told Oregon legislators Thursday.
Coastal towns would be inundated. Schools, buildings and bridges would collapse, and economic damage could hit $32 billion.

These findings were published in a chilling new report by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, a group of more than 150 volunteer experts.

In 2011, the Legislature authorized the study of what would happen if a quake and tsunami such as the one that devastated Japan hit the Pacific Northwest.

The Cascadia Subduction Zone, just off the regional coastline, produced a mega-quake in the year 1700. Seismic experts say another monster quake and tsunami are overdue.

“This earthquake will hit us again,” Kent Yu, an engineer and chairman of the commission, told lawmakers. “It’s just a matter of how soon.”

When it hits, the report says, there will be devastation and death from Northern California to British Columbia.

Many Oregon communities will be left without water, power, heat and telephone service. Gasoline supplies will be disrupted.

The 2011 Japan quake and tsunami were a wakeup call for the Pacific Northwest. Governments have been taking a closer look at whether the region is prepared for something similar and discovering it is not.

Oregon legislators requested the study so they could better inform themselves about what needs to be done to prepare and recover from such a giant natural disaster.
An aerial view of the waterfront section of Hilo Island of Hawaii, where a tidal wave hit on April 1, 1946. Scientists say grinding geologic circumstances similar to those in Sumatra also exist just off the Pacific Northwest coast and could trigger a tsunami that could hit Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in minutes.
ASSOCIATED PRESS An aerial view of the waterfront section of Hilo Island of Hawaii, where a tidal wave hit on April 1, 1946. Scientists say grinding geologic circumstances similar to those in Sumatra also exist just off the Pacific Northwest coast and could trigger a tsunami that could hit Northern California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in minutes.
The report says that geologically, Oregon and Japan are mirror images. Despite the devastation in Japan, that country was more prepared than Oregon because it had spent billions on technology to reduce the damage, the report says.

Jay Wilson, the commission’s vice chairman, visited Japan and said he was profoundly affected as he walked through villages ravaged by the tsunami.

“It was just as if these communities were ghost towns, and for the most part there was nothing left,” said Wilson, who works for the Clackamas County emergency management department.

Wilson told legislators that there was a similar event 313 years ago in the Pacific Northwest, and “we’re well within the window for it to happen again.”

Experts representing a variety of state agencies, industries and organizations expanded on the report’s findings and shared with lawmakers how they have begun planning.

Sue Graves, a safety coordinator for the Lincoln County School District, told lawmakers that high school students in her district take semester-long classes that teach CPR and other survival techniques in the wake of a giant earthquake. The class teaches students to “duck, cover and hold” when the ground starts shaking.

Maree Wacker, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Oregon, said it is important for residents to have their own contingency plans for natural disasters.

“Oregonians as individuals are underprepared,” she said.

Obama Expected To Make Concessions With Iran

Expect Obama to Compromise With Iran

obama-iran-cartoon
Monday, 27 Oct 2014 03:37 PM

By Herbert London
 
It is something of an old saw to contend that if a woman says “no,” she means “maybe.” If she says “maybe” she means “yes,” but if she says “yes” she is not a “lady.” Similarly if a man says “yes,” he means “maybe,” if he says “maybe” he means “no,” but if says “no,” he could not possibly be a negotiator in Vienna for the Obama administration.
 
 
 
After one failure on the foreign policy front after another, Obama needs a victory or, more accurately, the appearance of victory. He is likely to get one and only one concession from the Iranian negotiating team: It will pledge not to weaponize its missiles.
 
The translation is that Iran will have the fissile capability to build nuclear weapons and a delivery force with the Shahab 3 and the Kavoshgar 3 rocket used as a space launch. But it will say the two are not to be united. Of course, no one but Obama will take this claim seriously.
 
Nevertheless, President Obama amid some media fanfare will argue that through the negotiating skill of his team, he has achieved an understanding with Iran that will avert hostility with this once-adversarial nation.
 
Iran’s President Ruhani will merely shake hands with Secretary Kerry for a photo op. and go on his merry way knowing that he duped the feckless Obama representatives into a deal that will give Iran enormous leverage in pursuing its dominant long-term regional goal.
 
Recognizing the flaws in the agreement, senators on both sides of the aisle will object to being left out of the negotiations. Some will even cite a constitutional provision that maintains the Senate must ratify treaties, but Obama will argue deceitfully that this deal isn’t a treaty, but merely an understanding or accord.
 
The Israeli president and representatives will balk contending that this agreement sets the stage for a second Holocaust. Not only has Iran pledged to wipe Israel off the map; it will have the means to do so. Secretary Kerry will be dispatched to Tel Aviv to assure Israeli leaders deterrence will work. No one is likely to believe him, but that too doesn’t make any difference.
 
With the completion of the deal, the Middle East is forever changed. All escalation scenarios in regional conflict will have to account for the prospect of an Iranian bomb. To deter acts of aggression enhanced by this prospect, Egypt and Saudi Arabia will acquire nuclear weapons from Pakistan. The region will now be hostage to a possible nuclear war.
 
Obama may get his political victory but at a price that puts the international community in a precarious state into the distant future. Thinking the unthinkable becomes thinkable again.
 
John Dryden wrote “. . . fool’d with hope, men favor the deceit.” One might contend that the na├»ve hope for the best and believe it will be achieved, but the sly enemy thinks hope is my ally in the effort to pursue negotiating advantage. Let the forces of innocence betray themselves on the altar of acceptance. The Ides of March are before us and we must entertain very bleak and uncomfortable scenarios.

Loose Nukes In Pakistan

Pakistan Cartoon
by James Dunnigan

October 27, 2014

Pakistan is being accused by many Pakistanis of trying to cover up the participation of navy personnel in a recent al Qaeda attempt to hijack a frigate. This all began on September 6 when ten members of the new AQIS (Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent) attacked a Karachi naval base and were repulsed after a six hour gun battle. Three attackers were killed and seven arrested. One of the defenders was killed. The attackers came via small boats and at first were believed to have bribed some of the naval security personnel to assist them in getting on board the Pakistani frigate docked there. The gun battle on the ship did minimal damage (mostly bullet holes). Interrogation of those arrested led to raids that seized weapons, ammo and explosives as well as documents. It was also eventually found that some of the attackers thought they were going after an American warship tied up at dockside in the base. But that was a Pakistani frigate and there were no American warships in the base. ISIL responded by mocking al Qaeda for being inept and getting ten Moslems killed or captured because of a stupid mistake. ISIL, it turned out, was misinformed.
Further investigation found that three of the attackers, including one of those killed, were junior naval 

officers. Actually one was a former naval officer, having been dismissed from the navy in May for his outspoken support of Islamic terrorism. That man, Owais Jakhrani, was killed. He was also the son of a senior police commander in Karachi and had recruited two of the other attackers who were junior officers still on duty. The plan was apparently to hijack the frigate and use it to attack an American warship currently off the coast. Taking a frigate out to sea requires more than four people, even if all four are trained sailors. So the question is; who else was in on this plot and how many of them were sailors at the naval base? If the investigators have found out anything they have not gone public and the famously paranoid Pakistani media is speculating about Islamic terrorist networks within the navy.

Some speculation blames the United States and the CIA, or Israel, or Britain. That’s normal, but the September 6 attack on the frigate was real as was the participation of three navy officers. At least eight additional naval personnel have been arrested, apparently because they had been in touch with the three Islamic terrorist naval officers. It is also known that three higher ranking naval officers (lieutenant commanders) were arrested two days later as they attempted to flee the country.

Military officials complain, off the record, that the military has no procedure to keep track of military personnel who are dismissed for Islamic terrorist activity or sympathies and some of these men are increasingly being caught, often when their bodies are identified, participating in Islamic terrorist attacks. All this is worrisome for many Westerners, and a growing number of Pakistanis and Indians because the Pakistani military has control of Pakistani nuclear weapons. The Pakistani government always insisted that its nukes were well guarded, but after this latest incident there are more doubts.

DEAD Line To Nuclear Negotiations

Deadline Approaches On Iran’s Nuclear Program

Here & Now
UN-GENERAL ASSEMBLY-IRAN-ROUHANI
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani answers a question during press conference in New York on

September 26, 2014. Rouhani said that talks with international powers on Tehran’s nuclear program must move forward more quickly, saying limited progress had been made in recent days. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

A November deadline is approaching on a nuclear agreement with Iran. For the West, the agreement is aimed at preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

So far, the negotiations have failed to broker a deal, and there may be a move to extend the deadline. The talks come as a U.S.-led coalition fights the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Does that complicate the nuclear talks? The Islamic State is also Iran’s enemy.

Security expert Jim Walsh discusses the nuclear talks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

Monday, October 27, 2014

The Speed Of The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

East Coast Earthquakes’ Speed Is Faster Than Previously Thought, Geologists Say

NY
 
Posted:

RICHMOND, Va. — Data from the 2011 earthquake centered in Virginia shows East Coast tremors can travel much farther and cause damage over larger areas than previously thought, the U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday.

The agency estimated about one-third of the U.S. population could have felt the magnitude 5.8 tremor centered about 50 miles northwest of Richmond, which would mean more people were affected than any earthquake in U.S. history. Scientists also found the quake that caused more than $200 million in damage triggered landslides at distances four times farther and over an area 20 times larger than research from previous quakes has shown.

“Scientists are confirming with empirical data what more than 50 million people in the eastern U.S. experienced firsthand: this was one powerful earthquake,” USGS Director Marcia McNutt said in a news release about the findings presented at the Geological Society of America conference in Charlotte, N.C.

Researchers used landslides to see how far-reaching the shaking from East coast earthquakes could be. The unexpected jolt cracked the Washington Monument in spots and toppled delicate masonry high atop the National Cathedral. The shaking was felt from Georgia to New England.

According to the findings, the farthest landslide from the quake was 150 miles from the epicenter, a greater distance than any other similar-sized earthquake. Previous similar quakes have resulted in landslides no farther than 36 miles from the epicenter.

Additionally, the landslides from the 2011 tremor occurred in an area of about 12,895 square-miles – about the size of the state of Maryland. Previous studies indicated an area of about 580 square-miles – about the size of Houston – from an earthquake of similar magnitude.

“It’s just much more dangerous to have an earthquake at that level back on the East Coast than it would be on the West Coast,” said Edwin Harp, a USGS scientist and co-author of the study. “If something big happened, although it’s much less frequent, it would tend to damage a lot more buildings because they’re probably not quite up to the codes that they are in California.”

Geologic structure and rock properties on the East Coast allow seismic waves to travel farther without weakening compared with the West Coast, Harp said.

He said equations used to predict ground shaking might need to be revised now that scientists know more about the power of East Coast earthquakes.

The information also will help with building codes as well as emergency preparedness, the USGS said.

While West Coast earthquake veterans scoffed at what they viewed as only a moderate temblor, the August 2011 quake changed the way officials along the East Coast viewed emergency preparedness. Emergency response plans that once focused on hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and snow are being revised to include quakes.

Some states have enacted laws specifically related to the quake, and there is anecdotal evidence of a spike in insurance coverage for earthquake damage.

Iran’s Parliament Will Not Concede Nukes

Iran not to give in to restrictions on peaceful nuclear program: Majlis speaker

Majlis

TEHRAN, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) — Tehran will not give in to demands from the world powers for restrictions on its “peaceful” nuclear program, Iran’s Majlis (parliament) speaker was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency on Sunday.

The Islamic republic will not accept any limitation on its nuclear case but it is open to “logical” transparency measures asserted by the Iranian officials, Ali Larijani said at an open session of the Majlis.

He urged the other parties engaged in the nuclear talks to avoid resorting to what he called “deceptive acts” in the course of negotiations.

On Saturday, Abbas Araqchi, senior Iranian nuclear negotiator, said Iran would not retreat an iota from its nuclear rights in the run-up to a possible comprehensive deal with powers.

Iran and the so-called P5+1 group, which includes Great Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States plus Germany, agreed in July to extend the talks for another four months till Nov. 24, as they could not narrow down significant gaps on core issues during the past six months.

The two sides met again last week for three days in Austria’s Vienna without any major breakthrough.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Iranian Horn Will Win

Iran to emerge winner in nuclear talks: Velayati

Iran-Nuclear-Deal
Press TV

A senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran will emerge winner in the negotiations with the P5+1 group of world powers over its nuclear energy program.

“We are confident that in the end, even if Iran-P+1 negotiations last for a long time, the Islamic Republic of Iran will be the winner,” Ali Akbar Velayati told reporters on Saturday.

Iran favors negotiations and is “seriously” pursuing its talks with six world powers, he said, adding that Tehran will never be the one to pull out of the talks.

Velayati, who is also President of the Expediency Council’s Center for Strategic Research, reiterated Iran’s stance that it plans to benefit from “peaceful nuclear energy within the framework of international regulations and supervision.”

He said some countries in the P5+1 group intend to deprive Iran of its “inalienable” nuclear right in violation of the international law, adding that Iran will resist such attempts.

Iran and the P5+1 group of countries – the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia and Germany – are in talks to work out a final deal aimed at ending the longstanding dispute over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program as a November 24 deadline approaches.

Sources close to the Iranian negotiating team say the main stumbling block in the way of resolving the Western dispute over Iran’s nuclear energy program remains to be the removal of all the bans imposed on the Islamic Republic and not the number of centrifuges or the level of uranium enrichment.

Tehran wants the sanctions entirely lifted while Washington, under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby, insists that at least the UN-imposed sanctions should remain in place.

AR/KA/SS

Betting On The End

Gambling against Armageddon

 
 
The writer is a former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.
I
N an opinion piece last year, Henry Kissinger observed that over the next couple of decades a nuclear war was likely to take place between India and Pakistan. The nuclear factor was in play in four major and one minor India-Pakistan crises: in 1987, 1990, 1998, 1999 and 2002.
I
n 1987, when an Indian army chief launched the Brasstacks military exercises along Pakistan’s exposed desert borders, Pakistan responded by deploying its forces in the north where India was vulnerable. Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s agreement to a mutual stand-down no doubt also took into account the informal threat from Islamabad to bomb India’s nuclear reactors in case Pakistan was attacked. (After the crisis ended, the Pakistan-India agreement not to attack each other’s nuclear facilities was jointly formulated in one day.)
I
n January 1990, when the anti-Indian insurgency erupted in Kashmir and India threatened Pakistan, a conflict was forestalled by US intervention. The US acted when it learnt that Pakistan had begun to arm its nuclear-capable aircraft.

 The operation of mutual deterrence between India and Pakistan is being eroded.



During the night of 26-27 May 1998 — the night before Pakistan conducted its nuclear explosions in response to India’s tests — Pakistani radar detected unidentified aircraft flying towards its territory. Islamabad issued warnings of instant retaliation to India and relayed these to the US and Israel. This may have been a false alarm; but it illustrates the danger of accidental conflict in the absence of real-time communications.

During the 1999 Kargil war, the nuclear dimension was implicit, given that the crisis occurred a year after the India-Pakistan nuclear tests.

During the 2002 general mobilisation by India and Pakistan, the director general of the Pakistan Armed Forces Special Plans Division enunciated its nuclear ‘doctrine’ in a news interview. The ‘doctrine’ envisaged that Pakistan would use nuclear weapons if: it was being militarily overwhelmed; its nuclear or strategic weapons or facilities were attacked; and it was subjected to an enemy blockade.

The projection of this doctrine, including at a UN news conference by this writer in July 2002, sparked a fall in the Indian Stock Exchange, the evacuation of foreign personnel and embassy families from New Delhi and a demarche by Indian business leaders to prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and reportedly led to the Indian agreement for a mutual drawback of forces.

The operation of mutual deterrence displayed in 2002, however, is being eroded by several developments.

One, the conventional military balance is becoming progressively unfavourable to Pakistan. India is engaged in a major arms build-up. It is the world’s largest arms importer today. It is deploying advanced and offensive land, air and sea weapons systems. Pakistan’s conventional capabilities may not prove sufficient to deter or halt an Indian attack.

Two, India has adopted the Cold Start doctrine envisaging a rapid strike against Pakistan. This would prevent Pakistan from mobilising its conventional defence and thus lower the threshold at which Pakistan may have to rely on nuclear deterrence.

Three, Pakistan has had to deploy over 150,000 troops on the western border due to its involvement in the cross-border counterterrorism campaign in Afghanistan, reducing its conventional defence capacity against India.

Four, the acquisition of foreign nuclear plants and fuel, made possible by the Indo-US civilian nuclear cooperation agreement, will enable India to enlarge its nuclear weapons stockpile significantly. To maintain nuclear balance, Pakistan has accelerated production of fissile materials. Both nuclear arsenals are now large and growing.

Five, given its growing conventional disadvantage, and India’s pre-emptive war fighting doctrine, Pakistan has been obliged to deploy a larger number of nuclear-capable missiles, including so-called ‘theatre’ or tactical nuclear-capable missiles. The nuclear ‘threshold’ is now much lower.

Six, the Kashmir dispute — once described by former US president Bill Clinton as a nuclear flashpoint — continues to fester. Another insurgency is likely to erupt, certainly if the Bharatiya Janata Party government goes ahead with its platform promise to abrogate Article 370 of the Indian constitution (which accords special status to Jammu & Kashmir). A renewed Kashmiri insurgency will evoke Indian accusations against Pakistan and unleash another Indo-Pakistan crisis.

Seven, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has obviously decided to adopt an aggressive posture towards Pakistan, no doubt to appeal to his hard-line Hindu constituency. The recent ceasefire violations along the Line of Control are an ominous indication of such belligerency.

Eight, India is reportedly involved in supporting the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and the Baloch Liberation Army to destabilise Pakistan internally.

Nine, India has terminated the ‘composite dialogue’ with Pakistan. Its precondition for talks — an “absence of violence” — is impossible for Pakistan to meet.

Ten, the US and other major powers evince little interest in addressing the combustible mix of live disputes, terrorist threats, conventional arms imbalance and nuclear weapons in South Asia.


During the parallel dialogue initiated by the US with Pakistan and India following their 1998 nuclear explosions, Pakistan proposed a ‘strategic restraint regime’ with India which would include mechanisms to resolve disputes, including Kashmir; preserve a conventional arms balance and promote mutual nuclear and missile restraint.
I
ndia rejected the concept of a mutual restraint regime.

The US at first agreed to consider Pakistan’s proposal. However, as their talks with India transitioned from restricting India’s nuclear programme to building a “strategic partnership” (against China), the Americans de-hyphenated policy towards Pakistan and India, opened the doors to building India’s conventional and nuclear capabilities and disavowed any interest in the Kashmir dispute. Currently, Indian belligerence is bolstered by US pressure on Pakistan to halt fissile material production and reverse the deployment of theatre nuclear-capable missiles.
I
f a South Asian Armageddon is to be prevented, it is essential to build a structure of stable deterrence between India and Pakistan and find ways to deal with Kashmir and other outstanding disputes. Reviving consideration of a strategic restraint regime would be a good place to start.

The writer is a former Pakistan ambassador to the UN.
Published in Dawn, October 26th, 2014

Sorry George, NOT in this Lifetime


George Wolfe: Can we have a nuclear-free world?



On March 23, 1983, President Ronald Reagan proposed a space age defense system that would intercept and destroy ballistic missiles carrying nuclear weapons. His idea was to render nuclear weapons and their delivery systems “impotent and obsolete.” Dubbed as his “Star Wars speech,” this gave birth to the hope that one day we would have a world free from nuclear weapons.

Five years ago, President Barack Obama, speaking in Prague on April 5, 2009, issued another call for a nuclear-free world.

President Reagan’s Star Wars defense was hardly foolproof, since it would motivate a country to develop ways to disable satellites equipped with powerful lasers. But it does awaken us to the dangers of having a world where the nuclear arsenals of the United State and Russia are still poised and ready to launch.

The arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union, and the size and power of their nuclear arsenals, became the focus of protests during the Cold War. Both superpowers had deployed enough nuclear weapons to destroy each other 10 times over. Referred to as “overkill,” public momentum was created for a moratorium or “freeze” to halt the testing, production, and deployment of more weapons, and for the United States and USSR to reduce their arsenals.

Nuclear freeze activists also raised public awareness of the tremendous cost of atomic weapons and the resulting diversion of funds from humanitarian causes to support weapons programs.

Nuclear weapons are offensive weapons of mass destruction. But there is a paradox in that they can serve as a deterrent to pre-emptive invasion or pre-emptive strikes between nuclear powers. This deterrence capability is undoubtedly behind Iran’s and North Korea’s motivation to develop nuclear weapons. Would the United States have launched its pre-emptive invasion of Iraq if Saddam Hussein had possessed nuclear weapons? There is little doubt the answer is “no.”

Then there is the concern that if the current nuclear powers eliminate all their nuclear weapons, they will be vulnerable to rogue countries developing nuclear weaponry and holding the rest of the world hostage to nuclear attack.

This is similar to saying, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” While this argument may have merit with regards to small arms weapons, it does not hold up when applied to nuclear weaponry. Nuclear weapons and their delivery systems require highly sophisticated and expensive technology. With today’s intelligence gathering technology, we are quite able to detect such development well enough in advance to intervene politically, economically or militarily.

There are two overriding reasons today for ridding the world of nuclear weapons.

First is the possibility that nuclear weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists. This was a major concern of former Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar. If a country such as Pakistan would fall to an extremist group like ISIS, they could gain access to its nuclear arsenal.

The second reason is that a nuclear exchange could occur by accident.

In a nuclear attack, the missiles, once launched, could reach their target in as little as half an hour. This creates the necessity for the defending country to respond within 30 minutes or risk losing the ability to launch a retaliatory strike. Referred to as “launch on warning,” this defense strategy opens the possibility of a false alarm triggering a nuclear war. The nation that believed it was under attack would be prone to launch prematurely if it misread a radar screen or miscalculated the reading on a satellite sensor.

A world free of nuclear weapons is a noble and reachable goal. Because of the growth of terrorism and the risks of an intelligence error, it is in the interested of all nuclear powers to accelerate efforts to create a nuclear-free world.

George Wolfe is professor emeritus at Ball State University and former director and coordinator of outreach programs for the Ball State University Center for Peace and Conflict Studies. He also chairs the Muncie Interfaith Fellowship, is a trained mediator, and is the author of “The Spiritual Power of Nonviolence: Interfaith Understanding for a Future Without War.”

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Next Big ONE: The Sixth Seal Of New York City

ON THE MAP; Exploring the Fault Where the Next Big One May Be Waiting

Ramapo Fault Line
By MARGO NASH
 
Published: March 25, 2001

Alexander Gates, a geology professor at Rutgers-Newark, is co-author of ”The Encyclopedia of Earthquakes and Volcanoes,” which will be published by Facts on File in July. He has been leading a four-year effort to remap an area known as the Sloatsburg Quadrangle, a 5-by-7-mile tract near Mahwah that crosses into New York State. The Ramapo Fault, which runs through it, was responsible for a big earthquake in 1884, and Dr. Gates warns that a recurrence is overdue. He recently talked about his findings.

Q. What have you found?

A. We’re basically looking at a lot more rock, and we’re looking at the fracturing and jointing in the bedrock and putting it on the maps. Any break in the rock is a fracture. If it has movement, then it’s a fault. There are a lot of faults that are offshoots of the Ramapo. Basically when there are faults, it means you had an earthquake that made it. So there was a lot of earthquake activity to produce these features. We are basically not in a period of earthquake activity along the Ramapo Fault now, but we can see that about six or seven times in history, about 250 million years ago, it had major earthquake activity. And because it’s such a fundamental zone of weakness, anytime anything happens, the Ramapo Fault goes.

Q. Where is the Ramapo Fault?

A. The fault line is in western New Jersey and goes through a good chunk of the state, all the way down to Flemington. It goes right along where they put in the new 287. It continues northeast across the Hudson River right under the Indian Point power plant up into Westchester County. There are a lot of earthquakes rumbling around it every year, but not a big one for a while.

Q. Did you find anything that surprised you?

A. I found a lot of faults, splays that offshoot from the Ramapo that go 5 to 10 miles away from the fault. I have looked at the Ramapo Fault in other places too. I have seen splays 5 to 10 miles up into the Hudson Highlands. And you can see them right along the roadsides on 287. There’s been a lot of damage to those rocks, and obviously it was produced by fault activities. All of these faults have earthquake potential.

Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.

A. It was in the northern part of the state near the Sloatsburg area. They didn’t have precise ways of describing the location then. There was lots of damage. Chimneys toppled over. But in 1884, it was a farming community, and there were not many people to be injured. Nobody appears to have written an account of the numbers who were injured.

Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?

A. In 1960, the city of Agadir in Morocco had a 6.2 earthquake that killed 12,000 people, a third of the population, and injured a third more. I think it was because the city was unprepared.There had been an earthquake in the area 200 years before. But people discounted the possibility of a recurrence. Here in New Jersey, we should not make the same mistake. We should not forget that we had a 5.4 earthquake 117 years ago. The recurrence interval for an earthquake of that magnitude is every 50 years, and we are overdue. The Agadir was a 6.2, and a 5.4 to a 6.2 isn’t that big a jump.

Q. What are the dangers of a quake that size?

A. When you’re in a flat area in a wooden house it’s obviously not as dangerous, although it could cut off a gas line that could explode. There’s a real problem with infrastructure that is crumbling, like the bridges with crumbling cement. There’s a real danger we could wind up with our water supplies and electricity cut off if a sizable earthquake goes off. The best thing is to have regular upkeep and keep up new building codes. The new buildings will be O.K. But there is a sense of complacency.

MARGO NASH