Aftershock: Critics Will Reconsider The Reality Of The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

Aftershock: Earthquake in New York


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Aftershock: Earthquake in New York is a 1999 disaster TV movie that was broadcast in the United States on CBS in two parts, with the first part aired on November 14 and the second on November 16. It was released to VHS in 2000, and on DVD in 2001. It is based on a book written by Chuck Scarborough. Starring Charles S. Dutton, Sharon Lawrence, Tom Skerritt, Lisa Nicole Carson, Jennifer Garner, Rachel Ticotin and Frederick Weller. under the direction of Mikael Salomon, the miniseries follows five groups of people in the aftermath of a large earthquake hitting New York City.

It was nominated for an Emmy Award for its special effects. While critics praised the special effects and cast, they heavily panned the film for its implausible scenario, predictability, and lack of realism.

Sight & Sound ’​s Danny Leigh felt the movie was “predictable histrionic”, over-long, and “geologically improbably.” Ray Richmond of Variety found the film to be “roundly insipid” and a “mope opera that follows such a well-trod crisis path that viewers can set their watches by”. Though he highly praised the film’s special effects as being “sharp and impactful without being at all obtrusive”, and noted the film had a talented cast, he heavily panned the story for being unrealistic and lacking genuineness. The New York Times Ron Wertheimer felt the numerous subplots left the film feeling fragmented and confusing, and that it present New York in an unrealistic light, even before the earthquake hits.

Time To Make A Deal With Two Devils (Iran AND Russia)

Iran, 6 Powers Move Closer to Nuke Talks Deal

Russia Iran

Iran and the United States have tentatively agreed on a formula that Washington hopes will reduce Tehran’s ability to make nuclear arms by committing it to ship to Russia much of the material needed for such weapons, diplomats say.

In another sign of progress, the two diplomats told The Associated Press that negotiators at the December round of nuclear talks drew up for the first time a catalog outlining areas of potential accord and differing approaches to remaining disputes.

The diplomats said differences still dominate ahead of the next round of Iran-six power talks on Jan. 15 in Geneva. But they suggested that even agreement to create a to-do list would have been difficult previously because of wide gaps between the sides.

Iran denies it wants nuclear arms, but it is negotiating with the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany on cuts to its atomic program in hope of ending crippling sanctions. The talks have been extended twice due to stubborn disagreements.

The main conflict is over uranium enrichment, which can create both reactor fuel and the fissile core of nuclear arms. In seeking to reduce Iran’s bomb-making ability, the U.S. has proposed that Tehran export much of its stockpile of enriched uranium ? something the Islamic Republic has long said it would not do.

The diplomats said both sides in the talks are still arguing about how much of an enriched uranium stockpile to leave Iran. It now has enough for several bombs, and Washington wants substantial cuts below that level.

But the diplomats said the newly created catalog lists shipping out much of the material as tentatively agreed upon. The diplomats, who are familiar with the talks, spoke to the AP recently and demanded anonymity because they are not authorized to comment on the closed negotiations.

Issues that still need agreement, they said, include the size of Iran’s future enrichment output. The U.S. insists that it be cut in half, leaving Tehran with about 4,500 present day centrifuges used to enrich uranium, or less if it replaces them with advanced models. Tehran is ready for a reduction of only around 20 percent, or approximately 8,000 of the machines, according to the diplomats.

Two other unresolved issues are Iran’s Fordo underground enrichment site and the nearly built Arak nuclear reactor. The U.S. and its five allies in the talks want to repurpose Fordo to a non-enrichment function because it is believed impervious to a military attack from the air. The six also seek to re-engineer Arak from a model that produces enough plutonium for several nuclear weapons a year to a less proliferation-prone model.

Negotiators hope to reach a rough deal by March and a final agreement by June 30.

Actually, Babylon The Great Is The Biggest Threat To The World (Rev 17)

Lindsey Graham: Iran Nuclear Push Is ‘Biggest Threat to World’

Babylon The Great

Friday, 02 Jan 2015 03:03 PM
By Joel Himelfarb
One of Congress’ most prominent foreign policy voices has expressed alarm that Iran is moving towards becoming a military nuclear power like its longtime ally North Korea.
In an interview published Friday by the Israeli media outlet Israel Hayom, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said he does not object to Iran having a nuclear energy program, but is  “very concerned” about Tehran’s uranium enrichment efforts becoming a path to atomic weapons capability.

Fifteen nations with nuclear power programs do not enrich uranium, Graham said.
That’s why I want any deal to come before Congress for our vote and approval. I fear a North Korea outcome,” he added.

The South Carolina Republican was referring to the last effort to regulate a rogue state’s nuclear ambitions – the case of  the communist regime in North Korea.

“Republicans and Democrats both bought into the idea that you could allow the North Koreans a small enrichment program and the U.N. would control the outcome,” Graham said. “Well, it didn’t work. They broke out. They have nuclear weapons.”

In Graham’s view, it is a mistake to treat the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the central threat to regional stability. The biggest problem, he said, is the Iranian nuclear threat.

“The Iranian nuclear ambitions are the biggest threat to the world in general,” he said. “Israel needs to be reassured that Congress will be there in an appropriate way.”

Graham emphasized that House and Senate Republicans who will be in the majority in the 114th Congress “will be pushing measures to make sure that the Iranian nuclear negotiations are handled properly, that sanctions are reimposed if the Iranians walk away from the table or if they cheat on any deal.”

Graham was scathing in his assessment of President Barack Obama’s performance in addressing an array of issues related to radical Islam and terrorism.

Obama “approached Iran with an open hand, not a clenched fist, but I think that his ‘leading from behind’ model has not served our national security interests well,” Graham said. “What you see is that after six years, there are more radical Islamic organizations than there were before 9/11, holding more territory, more safe havens, more money and more resources with which to strike the U.S. and our allies.”

Graham also emphasized that Congress will not support imposing sanctions against Israel over issues such as settlements, which should be resolved in negotiations with the Palestinians.

“When it comes to military assistance, economic assistance, Congress is firmly in Israel’s camp. There is absolutely no support in any segment of American political life to restrict aid to Israel. There is absolutely no support for the idea of sanctioning Israel over the settlement issue,” he said.”I just want the Israeli people to know that Congress does have your back,” Graham stated.

Mohammad’s Greatest Fear: Apolitical Islam

Iran’s Greatest Fear: “American Islam”
Behnam Ben Taleblu
January 1, 2015

The Islamic State rages next door and the U.S. Congress is threatening new sanctions, but Iranian officials remain preoccupied by a different challenge, one that has haunted them for decades: “American Islam.”

“American Islam” isn’t the Islam practiced by Muslims across the United States. Rather, it is what the Islamic Republic perceives to be a depoliticized perversion of the true faith, devoid of the revolutionary sentiment that guides the Islamic Republic. As Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei lamented in 2010, “American Islam means ceremonial Islam, an Islam that is indifferent in the face of oppression.”

Over the three decades since the Islamic Revolution, Iranian officials have applied the term to Muslim nations deemed pliant before the will of superpowers like the United States. To combat this alleged deviation, the regime has revived a term favored by fundamentalists across the Muslim world: “the pure Islam of Mohammad.”

A newly published book, The Struggle of Two Islams, brings this political and religious dichotomy to the fore. The book is derived from Volume 21 of Sahifeh-ye Imam, a collection of sayings from the founding father of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The Struggle of Two Islams aims to vindicate the regime’s worldview, thus reaffirming its place as a champion of “pure Islam.”
As early as 1979, a young Khamenei served as interim Friday prayer leader for the city of Tehran. In an address mourning the assassination of the cleric Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari, Khamenei praised “his procession along the original and accurate path of Islam,” adding, “Our enemies have proven to us that they are against Islam.”

Soon, the Islamic Republic conflated its own enemies with those of God. During the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, Khomeini would proclaim that “this war is a war against Islam…and God almighty will not forgive those who arise against Islam.” Khomeini reserved even greater disdain for Saudi Arabia (which had backed Iraq in the war), which he derided as “bloodthirsty,” and its Wahhabi religious institutions as promoting the same dreaded “American Islam.”

The rhetoric continued after Khomeini’s death in 1989. In 1990, a noted Azeri-Iranian Ayatollah sought to promulgate Iran’s brand of Islam in Azerbaijan, saying “if those people who seek Islam are not given it by healthy hands, then they will be given American Islam. That is to say, they will be fed a distorted Islam.” The next year, Khomeini’s successor Khamenei set the tone of Iran’s foreign and security policy for decades to come, warning, “The danger of American Islam … is not less than the danger of America’s military and political tools.”

It’s hard to find any Muslim polity or group that is spared Tehran’s barbs. Publications have scorned Turkey’s Islamist-leaning government as “the other side of American Islam’s coin,” while the Taliban and Al Qaeda are rightly deemed expressions of Islam’s modern “mutilation.” To counter these perceived perversions, Hojjat al-Eslam Ali Saeedi, Khamenei’s representative to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has extolled Iran’s destiny as “the introduction of Mohammad’s pure Islam to the world.”

Today, the tug of war continues. In a 2012 debate with Ebrahim Asgharzadeh (a hostage-taker in the 1979 U.S. Embassy siege who later embraced reformism), Hossein Shariatmadari, the editor of the hardline Kayhan newspaper and a confidant of Khamenei, insisted: “We are in conflict because of our identities. This conflict will only be ended on two accounts. Either we abandon pure Islam in governance, meaning an Islam that contests oppression…or America abandons its arrogant temper.”
As Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and lead nuclear negotiator, wrote in his memoirs, “I believe that we do not exist without our revolutionary goals.” Zarif, who speaks fluent English and has a PhD from an American university, may not appear to embody the civilizational discourse we hear from Iran’s most hardline clerical and military leaders. Nevertheless, his thesis remains the same: “We have a fundamental problem with the West and especially with America…This is because we are claimants of a mission, which has a global dimension.”

The Islamic Republic’s vision of a worldwide civilizational conflict—and equally important, within Islam itself—helps explain the diplomatic failures of the past and pitfalls of the future. Looking ahead, Western negotiators must recognize that even in the unlikely event of a comprehensive nuclear accord, Iran continues to pursue its theological objective to combat “American Islam,” and further promulgate its existential, zero-sum worldview.

Behnam Ben Taleblu is an Iran Research Analyst at Foundation for Defense of Democracies.