Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Why Nuclear War Is About To Happen (Revelation 8)

At the 2017 Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference, a biennial gathering of nuclear experts in Washington DC, Vipin Narang, a US-based South Asian nuclear expert, created quite a stir with his remarks on a potential change in India’s nuclear approach towards Pakistan.
He said that, contrary to conventional wisdom, India might launch a preemptive disarming strike in response to an “imminent” risk of a nuclear attack to curb Pakistan’s ability to launch a nuclear attack against India. Professor Narang made references to a series of recent opinions coming from Indian policy circles. These included a statement by former defence minister Manohar Parrikar questioning India’s No First Use (NFU) policy, an article by the former head of Strategic Forces Command, Lt Gen BS Nagal and a recently published book by former national security adviser Shivshankar Menon.
Professor Narang said that this does not necessarily indicate a doctrinal shift or a change in India’s NFU posture. These views, in his assessment, demonstrate a change in strategy that shifts India’s counter-value strategy to a massive counterforce first strike against Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.
He highlighted what Menon calls a “grey area” in the Indian nuclear doctrine and quoted an excerpt from Menon’s book: “Circumstances are conceivable in which India might find it useful to strike first, for instance, against an NWS that had declared it would certainly use its weapons, and if India were certain that adversary’s launch was imminent”.
Professor Narang opined that the “force requirements India needs in order to credibly threaten assured retaliation against China may allow it to pursue more aggressive strategies, such as escalation dominance or a ‘splendid first strike’ against Pakistan”. He termed it the “decoupling” of the Indian strategy between Pakistan and China.
This is not the first time that India’s nuclear policy has come under a heated discussion. There is an enduring debate within India that addresses the various pros and cons of its nuclear policy since its latest announcement in 2003. Notwithstanding the pressing debates regarding the revision of the nuclear doctrine, there has been no official move to that effect by the Indian authorities. The BJP flagged the issue during 2014 election campaign and alluded to the revision of India’s nuclear doctrine – especially the NFU posture – in its election manifesto. This was done “to revise and update (the nuclear doctrine), to make it relevant to challenges of current times”. However, once the BJP came into power, the debate was put to rest by the Modi government.
Recent statements by senior officials – who have previously worked on the nuclear policy – have not been retracted by government officials as yet. While this does not indicate an imminent change in India’s nuclear policy, it certainly merits close scrutiny because, if adopted in future, it will have serious consequences for regional stability.
First of all, Menon’s assertion indicates that India will consider the threat of an “imminent” nuclear attack from Pakistan, sufficient to trigger a massive response. This assertion is problematic as it will not only lower the nuclear threshold significantly but may also increase the risk of an unintended nuclear crisis because of a “use it or lose it” dilemma.
Furthermore, it will not just be a mere change in strategy, as emphasised by Professor Narang. On the other hand, it will mark a clear departure from India’s NFU policy and will not be covered under, what Shiv Shankar Menon calls, the “grey areas” or the “flexibility” of the existing Indian doctrine. No matter what euphemisms are used to justify this suggested nuclear first strike, India will lose the diplomatic edge it had enjoyed over Pakistan with its declaratory NFU policy.
The NFU is a political declaration with no specific tools available to verify it. Pakistan has shown its scepticism over the credibility of India’s declaratory NFU pledge – particularly after the addition of certain caveats in the 2003 doctrine, such as the use of nuclear weapons in response to a chemical or biological attack on Indian forces. The new policy recommendations from authoritative sources, in a way, vindicate Pakistan’s concerns over the alleged Indian doublespeak – especially in the wake of Indian army chief’s recent statement that acknowledges the existence of the Cold Start doctrine after years of plain denial.
From an operational point of view, carrying out a decapitating attack will require a higher level of accuracy along with real-time intelligence and larger arsenal – which India lacks at present. India will also have to factor in the evolving nature of deterrence in South Asia where Pakistan has demonstrated its preparations towards an assured second-strike capability with the launch of Babur III, a sea-launched nuclear-capable cruise missile (SLCM). Such signalling, however, hints at some potential future trends. India is on its way to advance its intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
With the further development of remote-sensing capabilities and satellite information-sharing arrangements with the US as a result of the space cooperation agreement, India may claim a certain degree of confidence. But it will surely not be enough to completely disarm Pakistan in a comprehensive first strike. India might rely on missile defence capabilities to intercept residual attacks. But this again is limited to only a couple of cities and does not offer a foolproof security against incoming missiles.
Notwithstanding the level of readiness, such pronouncements may affect the current recessed mode of deterrence and may lead to more aggressive postures and strategies. In this process, credible minimum deterrence is likely to be the first causality. India will require a large number of missiles with an increased readiness level to carry out such a threat. Pakistan might want to ensure the survivability of its arsenal to keep its deterrence intact. It might choose to develop a greater number of weapons than otherwise planned and further consolidate its second-strike capability.
By all means, it will adversely impact fragile strategic balance because it replaces existing ambiguity with confusion. Given the already challenging security environment and the absence of escalation control mechanisms, such developments will only increase the risk of an unintended crisis.

The writer is a research fellow at the Vienna Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation (VCDNP) Vienna, Austria. Twitter: @noorsitara.

Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

Earthquake centered north of Morris Plains

Geologists recorded a small earthquake that occurred — but apparently escaped the notice of residents — on Saturday afternoon in Morris Plains.
The tremor, registering a minor 1.3 on the Richter Scale, was reported by Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Observatory to the Morris Plains Police Department, which issued an advisory to residents on Monday morning.
"To date (there) were no reported injuries or damage related to the earthquake and no Morris Plains residents reported any activity to this agency," Chief Jason A. Kohn wrote.
Lamont-Doherty spokesperson Kevin Krajick said the quake was pinpointed to a shallow depth of 6 kilometers just north of Grannis Avenue, between mountain and Sun Valley ways, about 500 feet southeast of Mountain way School.
"It was a very small earthquake at a very shallow depth," Krajick said. "Most people would not feel an earthquake that small unless they were absolutely right under it, if that."
Krajick said major earthquakes occur at depths of as much as 10-20 miles "or even more."
Lamont-Doherty seismologist Mitch Gold said there was no particular fault line to identify under Morris Plains.
"It's not like California, where the fault lines are more defined," Gold said.
Gold said the northern New Jersey region had been quiet of late, but several minor quakes were felt last year in Kinnelon, Butler, Riverdale and other points in northern Morris in the area of the Ramapo fault line. Butler police received several calls on Aug. 8 from residents who felt a small earthquake.
"Yes, we got a bunch of calls about it, between 9:30 and 10:30," Butler Police Lt. Mike Moore said.
The 1.0 magnitude quake, which was registered by the USGS at 10:01 p.m., was centered near the eastern shore of the Wanaque Reservoir in Wanaque, about six miles from the Morris County borders of Butler and Riverdale, according to the United States Geological Survey.
Another quake — a 1.1 magnitude felt in Kinnelon and Butler — occurred at 4:06 a.m. on July 4, at a depth of two kilometers and occurring about one kilometer east southeast of Kinnelon, according to the USGS.
Three more minor earthquakes jolted northern Morris County on Feb. 21, three days after a larger quake was felt in the same area. The epicenter of those earthquakes was about 1 mile northeast of Kinnelon. All were minor tremors, the first registering a magnitude of 0.6 at 10:07 a.m., and the second registering a 0.1 at 10:48 a.m. Both of those tremors were estimated to have originated at a depth of 1 mile. A third and final quake registered a 0.2, originating at a depth of 0.3 miles.
The USGS says earthquakes with a magnitude between 1.0 and 3.0 aren't typically felt. But Butler Police Chief Ciro Chimento previously confirmed his department received more than 1,000 calls about a 1.6-magnitude quake that occurred on the evening of Feb. 18.
Another magnitude-2.07 earthquake also hit northern New Jersey on Jan. 2. Mahwah residents as well as those in New York's Rockland County also reported feeling that quake.
Earthquakes are generally less frequent and less intense in the northeast compared to the U.S. Pacific Coast, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. But due to geological differences between the regions, earthquakes of similar magnitude affect an area 10 times larger in the Northeast U.S. compared the West Coast.
New Jersey has never recorded a fatality due to an earthquake, according to the DEP.
Staff Writer William Westhoven: 973-917-9242; wwesthoven@gannettnj.com.

Fear The Pakistan Horn (Revelation 8)

While the United States is preoccupied by the threat of nuclear weapons in the hands of potential adversaries such as Russia, China or North Korea, the danger of nuclear conflict may actually be greatest between two of its allies, Pakistan and India. The two nations have engaged in four wars starting since their partition along religious lines in 1947. A fifth could be drastically more costly, as their nuclear capabilities continue to grow and diversify.
Several years ago I made the acquaintance of a Pakistani nuclear science student in China. Curious about the thinking behind his country’s nuclear program, I asked if he really believed there was a possibility that India would invade Pakistan. “There’s still a lot of old-school thinkers in the Congress Party that believe India and Pakistan should be united,” he told me.
I doubt there are many observers outside of Pakistan who believe India is plotting to invade and occupy the Muslim state, but a feeling of existential enmity persists. The third conflict between the two countries in 1971 established India’s superiority in conventional warfare—not unexpectedly, as India has several times Pakistan’s population.
The bone of contention has always been the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. At the time of partition, the predominantly Muslim state was politically divided over which nation to join. When Pakistani-allied tribesmen attempted to force the issue, the Hindu maharaja of the region chose to accede to India, leading to the first war between India and Pakistan. Ever since, the line of control between the Indian and Pakistan side has remained bitterly contested, with artillery and sniper fire routinely exchanged. Pakistan intelligence services have infiltrated insurgents and plotted attacks across the border for decades, and Indian security troops have been implicated in human-rights violations and killings of the locals as a result of their counterinsurgency operations.
Pakistan does have to fear the potential of an Indian counterstrike intended to retaliate for a terrorist attack by Pakistani-aligned groups, such as the killing of 166 in Mumbai by Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2008 or the attack on Indian parliament in 2001 by Jaish-e-Muhammad. In both cases, the attackers had ties with Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence, and Islamabad has shown limited willingness or ability to crack down on these groups. Complicating matters, civilian control of the military is far from consolidated in Pakistan, and it would be quite possible for ISI or some other agency to carry out such activities on its own initiative without the knowledge or support of the head of state.
India’s military has formulated a “Cold Start” doctrine to enable its forward-deployed land forces to launch an armored assault into Pakistani territory on short notice in response to a perceived provocation from Islamabad. This new strategy was devised after the Indian Army’s armored strike corps took three weeks to deploy to the border after the attack on the Indian parliament in 2001, by which time Pakistan had already mobilized its own troops.
Islamabad sees nuclear weapons as its deterrent against a conventional attack, and Cold Start in particular. This is demonstrated by its refusal to adhere to a “No First Use” policy. Pakistan has an extensive plutonium production capacity, and is estimated to possess 130 to 140 warheads, a total that may easily increase to 220 to 250 in a decade, according to a report by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Many of the new weapons are smaller, short-range tactical weapons intended for targeting frontline troops. To enable a second-strike capability, Pakistan has also empowered local commanders to launch retaliatory nuclear strikes in case the chain of command is disrupted.
While battlefield nuclear weapons are less likely to cause the mass civilian casualties that a strike against a densely populated city would produce, they are deeply worrying in their own way: a state may be more tempted to employ tactical nuclear weapons, and perceive doing so as being intrinsically less risky. However, many simulations of nuclear war suggest that tactical-nuclear-weapon usage rapidly escalates to strategic weapons.
Furthermore, tactical nuclear weapons are necessarily more dispersed, and thus less secure than those stationed in permanent facilities. These issues led the U.S. Army to at first reorganize its tactical nuclear forces in the 1960s, and largely abandon them after the end of the Cold War.
Pakistan fields nearly a dozen different types of missiles to facilitate this strategy, developed with Chinese and North Korean assistance. Ground based tactical systems include the Hatf I, an unguided ground-based rocket with a range of one hundred kilometers, and the Nasr Hatf IX, which can be mounted on mobile quad-launchers. Longer reach is provided by Ghauri II and Shaheen II medium-range ballistic missiles, which can strike targets up to around 1,600 and 2,500 kilometers, respectively.
Pakistan nukes

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Antichrist Will Be Killed By God Not Man

Speaking to thousands of supporting demonstrators on Friday, Sadr urged the crowd and the movement to push further with what he called a “reform revolution,” even in the unfortunate event of his death.
In a clear sign of his concern over the greed of rival factions in the “Popular Mobilization Forces,” the leader of the Sadrist movement called on the Iraqi army to take the reigns over all military initiatives, demanding that only army units control areas liberated from the terror group ISIS.
“It is necessary to support the Iraqi army and security forces to complete their victories in the usurped areas,” Sadr told his followers at the rally in Baghdad as the demonstrators waved Iraqi flags and chanted support for their leader.
“They should be the only ones that hold ground after liberating it – no others, whether the occupier, foreign forces or others,” he said.
Political analysts believe that Sadr’s fears are more political. They say he is concerned about rival Shi’ite militias gaining strength by taking ground in the north.
Baghdad-based political analyst Ahmed Younis said Sadr’s speech was a clear message to Shi’ite rivals.
“It’s quite a clear message for other Shi’ite armed groups not to take on the role of government forces and control lands under the pretext of fighting ISIS. Moqtada is trying to draw a line in the sand for his rivals,” he said.
Sadr, whose opinion holds sway over tens of thousands of Shi’ites -including fighters who battled US troops in 2006-7 – also threatened to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections.
He accused Iraq’s Election Commission of bias toward some parties.
The cleric is calling for a new commission and a review of the current election law, saying it allows influential parties to maintain their grip on power.
Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Pakistan Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8)

Sandwiched between Iran, China, India and Afghanistan, Pakistan lives in a complicated neighborhood with a variety of security issues. One of the nine known states known to have nuclear weapons, Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and doctrine are continually evolving to match perceived threats. A nuclear power for decades, Pakistan is now attempting to construct a nuclear triad of its own, making its nuclear arsenal resilient and capable of devastating retaliatory strikes.
Pakistan’s nuclear program goes back to the 1950s, during the early days of its rivalry with India. President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said in 1965, “If India builds the bomb, we will eat grass or leaves, even go hungry, but we will get one of our own.”
The program became a higher priority after the country’s 1971 defeat at the hands of India, which caused East Pakistan to break away and become Bangladesh. Experts believe the humiliating loss of territory, much more than reports that India was pursuing nuclear weapons, accelerated the Pakistani nuclear program. India tested its first bomb, codenamed “Smiling Buddha,” in May 1974, putting the subcontinent on the road to nuclearization.
Pakistan began the process of accumulating the necessary fuel for nuclear weapons, enriched uranium and plutonium. The country was particularly helped by one A. Q. Khan, a metallurgist working in the West who returned to his home country in 1975 with centrifuge designs and business contacts necessary to begin the enrichment process. Pakistan’s program was assisted by European countries and a clandestine equipment-acquisition program designed to do an end run on nonproliferation efforts. Outside countries eventually dropped out as the true purpose of the program became clear, but the clandestine effort continued.
Exactly when Pakistan had completed its first nuclear device is murky. Former president Benazir Bhutto, Zulfikar Bhutto’s daughter, claimed that her father told her the first device was ready by 1977. A member of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission said design of the bomb was completed in 1978 and the bomb was “cold tested”—stopping short of an actual explosion—in 1983.
Benazir Bhutto later claimed that Pakistan’s bombs were stored disassembled until 1998, when India tested six bombs in a span of three days. Nearly three weeks later, Pakistan conducted a similar rapid-fire testing schedule, setting off five bombs in a single day and a sixth bomb three days later. The first device, estimated at twenty-five to thirty kilotons, may have been a boosted uranium device. The second was estimated at twelve kilotons, and the next three as sub-kiloton devices.
The sixth and final device appears to have also been a twelve-kiloton bomb that was detonated at a different testing range; a U.S. Air Force “Constant Phoenix” nuclear-detection aircraft reportedly detected plutonium afterward. Since Pakistan had been working on a uranium bomb and North Korea—which shared or purchased research with Pakistan through the A. Q. Khan network—had been working on a uranium bomb, some outside observers concluded the sixth test was actually a North Korean test, detonated elsewhere to conceal North Korea’s involvement although. There is no consensus on this conclusion.
Experts believe Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile is steadily growing. In 1998, the stockpile was estimated at five to twenty-five devices, depending on how much enriched uranium each bomb required. Today Pakistan is estimated to have an arsenal of 110 to 130 nuclear bombs. In 2015 the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Stimson Center estimated Pakistan’s bomb-making capability at twenty devices annually, which on top of the existing stockpile meant Pakistan could quickly become the third-largest nuclear power in the world. Other observers, however, believe Pakistan can only develop another forty to fifty warheads in the near future.
Pakistani nuclear weapons are under control of the military’s Strategic Plans Division, and are primarily stored in Punjab Province, far from the northwest frontier and the Taliban. Ten thousand Pakistani troops and intelligence personnel from the SPD guard the weapons. Pakistan claims that the weapons are only armed by the appropriate code at the last moment, preventing a “rogue nuke” scenario.
Pakistani nuclear doctrine appears to be to deter what it considers an economically, politically and militarily stronger India. The nuclear standoff is exacerbated by the traditional animosity between the two countries, the several wars the two countries have fought, and events such as the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai, which were directed by Pakistan. Unlike neighboring India and China, Pakistan does not have a “no first use” doctrine, and reserves the right to use nuclear weapons, particularly low-yield tactical nuclear weapons, to offset India’s advantage in conventional forces.

Russia's New Satanic Nuke

The RS-28 Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile known in Russia as "Satan 2" will be the world's heaviest and most powerful nuclear missile when it is complete.
Satan 2 missiles are capable of carrying nuclear warheads with payloads of up to 20,000 kilotons – more than one thousand times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Nagasaki.
At maximum payload a direct hit on New York would kill 4.5million people, injure 3.6million, and send radioactive fallout stretching more than 600 miles.
SHOCK: The missile has the power to take out an area the size of Texas
The "Texas Killer" is Russia’s newest nuclear missile design, and when completed will be the heaviest weapon of its kind to ever be deployed.
It can reportedly carry 10 heavy nuclear warheads and is designed to break through U.S. missile defense systems.
Last year, the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda news agency claimed Sarmat was so powerful, that a single missile could evade Washington’s defenses and wipe out the entire state of Texas.
DANGER: This missile has the potential to level several cities in one go
But, the Russian scientists in charge of developing Satan 2 have suffered a setback which means that it won't be ready until later this year according to the Moscow Times.
Fears over all-out nuclear war are now at fever pitch after Kim Jong-un revealed that North Korea is ready to launch its most powerful nuke ever.
Donald Trump has not allayed fears by preparing to set up a missile system on the border with the secretive state.
In January it was also revealed that the US was planning a surprise nuke attack on China and Russia.

Preparing For Nuclear War (Revelation 15)

Nuclear-war-forcetoknow.com_Is there a nuclear war in our future?

  • By Jack Stevenson
A nuclear arms race between the United States and Russia began in the 1960s. At one time, the world had about 30,000 nuclear weapons, and most of those weapons were Russian or American.
The explosive force of a nuclear weapon is measured in megatons. A megaton is equivalent to the explosive force of a million tons of dynamite. A one megaton weapon would be about 50 times more powerful than the bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Most of the nuclear weapons tested by the United States were in the 5 megaton to 15 megaton range. The Russians once test fired a 50 megaton nuclear weapon. They had to use a fast, high altitude bomber and drop the bomb on a parachute to allow the airplane to fly several miles before the bomb detonated. An unprotected person in line-of-sight exposure at a distance of 60 miles would have been burned by the heat from the blast.
Eventually, both the Americans and the Russians realized that large scale use of nuclear weapons would return vast areas of the earth to a stone age existence. Efforts were initiated to control, reduce or even eliminate nuclear weapons.
The current nuclear relationship between Russia and the United States is governed by the “New START” treaty (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). That agreement imposes a specified limit on the number of deployed launchers and a maximum of 1550 deployed nuclear warheads for each country. The word “deployed” is important. Deployed weapons are ready to fire. Each side will have additional nuclear weapons in storage. Old nuclear rockets, submarines, and bombers can be destroyed, but there is no way to convert the radioactive bomb material from a “weapon to a plowshare.” It has to be stored and guarded for thousands of years. Anything that we can do to lessen the possibility of nuclear war would be a great blessing for humanity.
The United States has a long-term plan to upgrade our nuclear weapons at a cost of one trillion dollars.
The Reuters news agency reported on Feb. 9, 2017, that, in a phone call between Russia and the U.S., Russia's President Putin asked about extending the New START agreement. The President of the United States responded unfavorably to that suggestion. In the 1960s, a nuclear non-proliferation treaty was signed by most of the world's countries. Only India, Israel, Pakistan, and South Sudan have failed to sign the agreement. North Korea withdrew in 2003.
Currently, China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, England and the United States possess strategic nuclear weapons. Iraq, Libya, South Africa and the Ukraine voluntarily agreed to give up their nuclear weapons. Subsequently, Russia invaded the Ukraine (Crimea), and the U.S. invaded both Iraq and Libya. That is not reassuring to countries that do not possess nuclear weapons. As a result of a high-pressure negotiation, Iran has agreed to a 15-year moratorium on nuclear weapons development.
Strategic nuclear weapons present a strange quandary. So long as sanity prevails and accidents are avoided, possession of nuclear weapons seems to prevent attack by an adversary. But the actual use of strategic nuclear weapons would likely be an unparallelled human-caused catastrophe with no winners and a lot of losers.
(A retiree who served two years in Vietnam as an infantry officer, retired from military service, and worked three years as a U.S. Civil Service employee, as well as in Egypt as an employee of the former Radio Corporation of America — RCA, Stevenson reads history, follows issues important to Americans, and writes commentary for community newspapers.)

Korea Prepares For Another "Iranian" Nuclear Test

March 23, 2017 10:41 PM 

Visitors walk by a TV screen showing a news program with a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, March 22, 2017. North Korea's latest missile launch ended in failure Wednesday. The Korean letters read: "Launch a missile."
Visitors walk by a TV screen showing a news program with a file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea, March 22, 2017. North Korea's latest missile launch ended in failure Wednesday. The Korean letters read: "Launch a missile."
North Korea has maintained readiness to conduct a nuclear test at any time, a South Korean military official said Friday, amid a report of a possible test within days as Pyongyang defies international pressure.
U.S. and South Korean military surveillance assets were closely monitoring the North’s Punggye-ri nuclear test site on the reclusive state’s east coast, said the official, who declined to be identified.
Speaking by telephone, the official also declined to comment on whether there were fresh signs pointing to an imminent test.
“North Korea is ready to carry out a nuclear test at any time, depending on the leadership’s decision. We are keeping a close eye on its nuclear activities,” the official said.
North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches, in defiance of U.N. sanctions, and is believed by experts and government officials to be working to develop nuclear-warhead missiles that could reach the United States.
Fox News in the United States reported Thursday that the North was in the final stages of preparing for another nuclear test, possibly within the next few days. The network cited U.S. officials with knowledge of recent intelligence.
It quoted one of the officials as saying the test could come as early as the end of the month.
Satellites show activity
The Washington-based think tank 38 North said in February satellite imagery showed the North’s nuclear site continued low-level activity in a possible sign that it could conduct another test soon. However, it said it was unclear exactly when such a test might take place.
The South Korean military has said several times since the September test that Pyongyang was ready to conduct another nuclear blast at any time, and that a tunnel was available at the site to do so.
North Korea said last year it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile and has been ratcheting up a threat that its rivals and the United Nations appear powerless to contain.
A North Korean missile appeared to have exploded just after it was launched Wednesday, the latest in a series of weapons tests that have alarmed the region.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The Sixth Seal: The Big Apple Shake (Rev 6:12)

Big Apple shake? Potential for earthquake in New York City exists

NY bridge
NEW YORK CITY (PIX11) – For the last 43 years John Armbruster has been a seismologist with Columbia University’s Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory.  A veteran of what he describes as “a couple of dozen” quakes, he is interested in the seismic activity throughout the Pacific region in recent weeks.
However, does the amount of plate movements around the world in recent weeks as well as years to translate to New York City being more vulnerable, “These earthquakes are not communicating with each other, they are too far apart,” said Armbruster in an interview with PIX 11 News on Wednesday.
What would a magnitude 6.0 earthquake inflict upon the city?
“We know that its unlikely because it hasn’t happened in the last 300 years but the earthquake that struck Fukushima Japan was the 1000 year earthquake and they weren’t ready for the that.

Antichrist threatens to boycott Iraq elections

Muqtada al-Sadr threatens to boycott Iraq elections

Powerful Shia leader demands changes to electoral law at Baghdad demonstration attended by thousands of supporters.

Thousands of people joined a protest in Iraq's capital, Baghdad [Reuters]
Thousands of people joined a protest in Iraq's capital, Baghdad [Reuters]
Supporters of the Shia cleric have repeatedly rallied for changes to the law and the country's electoral committee, which is dominated by affiliates of powerful political parties.
If "the law remains ... this means that we will order a boycott of the elections," Sadr said in remarks televised at Friday's demonstration in Baghdad's Tahrir Square.
Iraq is set to hold holding provincial elections later this year, and parliamentary elections in 2018.
Sadr, a vocal critic of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, did not specify the specific changes he wants to take place, but the current law has been criticised as being biased towards large political parties over smaller ones.
The United Nations has backed demands for electoral reform, urging parliament last month to "finalise the ongoing review" of the election law and the electoral commission.
He had lost some of his political influence in recent years but has brought himself back into relevance by calling for demonstrations to push for reforms.
Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker, reporting from Erbil in northern Iraq, said Friday's demonstration showed Sadr has the ability to mobilise thousands of people.
"What we're seeing really has to do with internal Iraqi politics. [Sadr's] been campaigning on an anti-corruption platform - how politicians and the electoral commission are corrupt. This is important because Iraq will have provincial elections later this year.
"He's been highlighting this for over a year now but since the Mosul offensive [against ISIL] ... it's slowed down and attention has shifted.
"So this is an apparent effort by him to re-launch his campaign and remind people of his message - and thousands are heeding his call."
Rallies demanding improved services and opposing widespread corruption broke out in the summer of 2015, drawing pledges from authorities that reforms would be made that ultimately led to little in the way of lasting change.
Last year, his supporters broke into Baghdad's fortified Green Zone area on several occasions, where the government is headquartered, while clashes at a Baghdad protest in February left seven people dead.

Antichrist Continues To Dictate Iraq

Muqtada al-Sadr preaches to demonstrators in Baghdad on Friday. Photo: Rudaw TV
Muqtada al-Sadr preaches to demonstrators in Baghdad on Friday. Photo: Rudaw TV
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gathered today with hundreds of thousands of his supporters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, where he said could be assassinated, but encouraged them to continue their demonstrations and protests in the capital until all corrupt government officials are removed from their posts.
“No matter what ethnic or religious group the corrupt belong to, we will stop them and shake their seats,” Sadr said. “The seats of those who enriched themselves at your expense.”
Sadr told his cheering supporters that government and party officials tried to manipulate the election law in order to stay in power and warned that unless the laws and commission presiding over the elections are changed his party and people will boycott the next vote.
“In next elections, never vote for the corrupts,” Sadr told his supporters amid chants of “Yes, yes to Iraq” and “Your vote is for freedom and your demonstrations will be their end.”
Iraq is scheduled to hold provincial elections this year and general elections next year. However, the displacement of some 3 million Iraqis because of the fight against ISIS complicates the process.
“They try to manipulate the election law. But I tell you to vote for the clean ones and those against corruption and sectarianism, Sadr said.
“I want you to do a revolution through the ballet box.”
As he had done on several occasions before, Sadr voiced strong criticism of Iraq’s election commission, saying: “The existence of this election commission is a crime because they will keep these corrupt faces in power. Unless they change these faces we will not take part in the elections if they don’t make changes.”
“Iraq’s corrupt leaders are not corrupt alone they also have money and arms,” Sadr said. “They will do their best to sow the seed of sectarian strife.”
Demonstrators in January called on Sadr to resume leadership of the protests.
“But we are not cowed by threats and death,” he went on. “Many tried that before and failed.”
He said that “If they succeeded in assassinating me” his followers should continue “the reform revolution without fear or exhaustion. No one should say Muqtada is gone there will be no reform.”
“It will be for God and the country,” Sadr insisted.
Previously, riot police have been used to disperse the crowds and some protestors were reportedly arrested.
“Also keep the peacefulness of your gatherings and demonstrations to the end," he added. “Iraq should not go back to square one.”

Trump Prepares the US for Nuclear War

Despite Campaign Promises, Trump Set To Outdo Obama On Military Adventurism
Donald Trump tours the nuclear aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Va., Thursday, March 2, 2017. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
WASHINGTON — For some, Donald Trump’s campaign trail claim that he had always been against the Iraq war – a claim that he would also use as a jibe aimed at Hillary Clinton – seemed to signal that he would refrain from sending the United States spiraling into another armed conflict.
“I’m the only one on this stage that said, ‘Do not go into Iraq, do not attack Iraq.’ Nobody else on this stage said that. And I said it loud and strong,” he said in February 2016 during one of several Republican debates. Months later, in June, Trump would use this argument to blame Hillary Clinton for the rise of ISIS.
“It all started with her bad judgment in supporting the war in Iraq in the first place. Though I was not in government service, I was among the earliest to criticize the rush to war, and yes, even before the war ever started,” he claimed.
The only problem? Trump was no dove prior to or after the invasion and occupation of Iraq. And since the destruction of Iraq – and his inauguration – Trump has sent the U.S. into a number of military conflicts and his administration is looking to promote even greater military interventionism in a region already steeped in violence.
When asked about Trump attitudes toward war, MIT professor and renowned linguist and political analyst Noam Chomsky told MintPress News that the idea that he was an anti-war candidate “was based on his criticisms of the Iraq and Libya attacks (which, contrary to his lies, he supported) and his ambiguous statements about reducing tensions with Russia – a good thing, if he meant it. But his actual policies are extremely dangerous.
“[This includes] the sharp increase in the military budget, the weakening of restrictions on drone strikes, and the wild charges about Iran,” Chomsky said, adding that what really worries those who pay attention to these issues “is his megalomania and unpredictability…we know how someone who goes berserk over minor slights might react in a moment of crisis.”
Despite what some have claimed, Trump has never given a “loud and strong” argument against invading Iraq. According to a report from PolitiFact, during an interview with Howard Stern in 2002, Trump was asked whether or not he supported the U.S. invasion, to which he responded “Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly.” In his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, he wrote:
“We still don’t know what Iraq is up to or whether it has the material to build nuclear weapons…if we decide a strike against Iraq is necessary, it is madness not to carry the mission to its conclusion. When we don’t, we have the worst of all worlds: Iraq remains a threat, and now has more incentive than ever to attack us.”
There’s no evidence of genuine opposition on Trump’s part regarding the invasion and occupation of Iraq. His few mealy-mouthed anti-war statements are meaningless in light of what he has said previously. And now, with the U.S. military under his command, Trump has already begun exercising armed force and is actively suggesting that his administration will engage in further military action, including putting more troops on the ground in Syria to combat ISIS.
According a report from the Washington Post, marines that have already been deployed there are establishing an outpost in Raqqa so they can fire on ISIS combatants. The report argues that the deployment “marks a new escalation in the U.S. war in Syria and puts more conventional U.S. troops in the battle.” The marines will soon be accompanied by special operations troops and attack helicopters.
Syria is certainly not the only country that will suffer from more U.S.-sanctioned violence. Nearly 19 million people in Yemen are now in need of aid, with more than seven million “not knowing where their next meal will come from,” according to the United Nations. Despite the UN having described Yemen as being “on the brink of famine,” the Trump administration has not been afraid to inflict further harm on the country’s vulnerable population. As millions of Yemenis are on death’s door, the U.S. government is escalating a horrific war in Yemen.
On March 3, the U.S. launched a second round of airstrikes that government officials alleged was part of a larger campaign meant “to roll back territorial gains [an Al Qaeda affiliated group] has made in the past two years.”
The U.S. launched over 30 strikes against alleged combatants and their safehouses between March 2 and 3. This escalation came only a few months after the notorious January raid during which at least two dozen civilians, including 10 children, were reported to have been killed. The media’s pointed focus on the commando raid came after it was revealed that a member of the Navy’s SEAL Team 6 was also killed.
The Trump administration has also been escalating tensions with Iran, a country that has faced tremendous pressure from previous administrations for its use of nuclear energy. After ballistic missile tests in February, former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn officially “put Iran on notice.” Donald Trump would later threaten Iran via Twitter: “Iran is playing with fire—they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”.
In February, James Mattis, who is currently serving as the U.S. Secretary of Defense, described Iran as being “the single biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world.” Mattis has held an obsessive hatred towards Iran for decades, with Politico author Mark Perry describing him as having an “anti-Iran animus [that] is so intense that it led President Barack Obama to replace him as Centcom commander.”
Douglas Williams, a contributor for The Guardian and PhD student in political science at Wayne State University, told MintPress News that Trump never genuinely campaigned on being anti-war “aside from a brief moment after he clinched the Republican nomination for president.”
Williams argues, “he always beat that drum about ISIS, and then there was the talk of the ban on Muslims entering the United States.” That said, Williams believes that the anti-war movement has a chance of beating Trump “if they play the ball and not the man.” This would mean responding to Trump’s militarism by “connecting the already-outsized military budget to the things that they care about — health care and the economy.”
There is a demonstrable and significant difference between what Trump says and what his administration actually does. It is clear that his alleged anti-war sentiment is entirely imagined.