Addressing the Elephant in the Room (Daniel 8:4)

Though North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is grabbing headlines, the nuclear weapons evil facing the United States has multiple horns – and available responses. Undoing the harm done by the Iran nuclear deal needs to share the top of the agenda.

In mid-October President Trump will bump up against a “certification” deadline imposed by the Iran Nuclear Agreements Review Act. The prompt was intended to ensure a much closer look at Iranian behavior and the Iran nuclear deal known as the “JCPOA.”

Instead of sloughing off a threat that makes Hurricane Harvey look like an overflowing bathtub, this oversight duty must be taken far more seriously.

Obama’s JCPOA is trumpeted primarily for one alleged achievement: it bought us time. In reality, it did precisely the opposite.  It bought Iran time. Instead of ratcheting up the pressure on Tehran on our terms and our timetable, Americans paid to give Iran time to hone missile delivery systems (Obama omitted from the deal) and get itself to the brink of acquiring a nuclear weapon before the JCPOA’s terrifying hourglass runs out.

On August 3, 2017 Iranian President Rouhani said Iran will be able to start enriching uranium to 20% in the Fordo facility in only five days, and reactivate the reactor in Arak because cement was never poured into its core. His remarks were repeated on August 22, 2017 by the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi.

The Iran deal was exceptional for one other characteristic: it claims to put vital aspects of U.S. national security in the hands of non-Americans, the UN Security Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and our negotiation partners China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Iran.

After all, President Obama went to the Security Council to adopt the Iran deal formally, and purportedly bind the United States in international law, before he took the deal to Congress. The complex regime for reinstating the sanctions that Obama tore up is intended to put American foreign relations in serious jeopardy should we calculate the necessities of our well-being deviate from the calculations of others.

President Trump and Congress need to exercise their constitutional responsibility to move the center of gravity back where it belongs.

In August, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton (and Fox News contributor) publicly provided the administration with options.

In July Senators Cotton, Cruz, Perdue and Rubio called for “a sober accounting of Iran’s JCPOA violations as well as the regime’s aggressive and destabilizing behavior.”

So where is it?

A third rubber stamp of what candidate Trump called the “worst deal ever” is indefensible. Outsourcing our national security to the U.N. is not a plan.

The IAEA has so far produced six reports on Iran’s implementation of the JCPOA. The agency has been careful to indicate, however, its reports are limited by “the modalities set out in the JCPOA.”

Moreover, in late August U.N. Ambassador Haley pointed to “military sites” and “undeclared sites” which the IAEA had not asked to inspect – and to which, therefore, it had not been denied access.

Even IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in March that he has no idea how many years it will take to conclude that Iran has no undeclared nuclear material and activities – because “it depends very much on the level of cooperation from Iran.”  As recently as August 29, 2017, Iran’s government spokesman Mohammad Bagher Nobakht unilaterally declared military sites off limits.

Step back and recall where Obama left off with “certifying” Iran’s good behavior. In November and December 2015 the IAEA issued its final pre-JCPOA reports and found: „…the Agency is not in a position to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, and therefore to conclude that all nuclear material in Iran is in peaceful activities.“ Obama responded by simply shutting down any further investigation of Iran’s pre-JCPOA activities.

So now, as then, we still don’t know what we don’t know.

What we do know is that the IAEA had already specifically itemized, in 2011 and 2015, Iranian “activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device…” and “specific to nuclear weapons.”

And we also know that the pre-JCPOA certification scam consisted of Iran self-reporting. It reads, for instance: “Iran will provide to the Agency [IAEA] photos…Iran will provide to the Agency videos…Iran will provide to the Agency seven environmental samples…”

Moreover, the JCPOA continues to give Iran far more than it does the United States and its allies, since it granted – for the first time – an Iranian right to enrich uranium, and legitimized a regime that had correctly been an international pariah.

The windfall that Obama gave the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and close North Korean collaborator, via the JCPOA is a sunk cost.  This Congress and this president have no excuses to continue sailing the American people into a storm from which they will never recover.

Anne Bayefsky is director of the Touro Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust. Follow her on Twitter @AnneBayefsky.

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

Image result for new york earthquake

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

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.

Israel Tries to Stop the Iranian Nuclear Horn

https://img.rt.com/files/oldfiles/news/israel-mossad-iran-operation-998/afp-abbas-photo-momani.si.jpgMossad chief said pushing to ‘act now’ to prevent Iranian nuclear bomb

By RAPHAEL AHREN and RAOUL WOOTLIFF

September 17, 2017, 9:17 pm

Mossad chief Yossi Cohen is leading Israel’s “hawkish line” on Iran, calling for immediate action to ensure that Tehran cannot attain the bomb, an Israeli TV report said Sunday.

The report came as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, with his focus to again be on confronting Iran.

Channel 2 on Sunday paraphrased Cohen as asserting that “Today’s Iran is the North Korea of yesterday, and so we need to act now so that we don’t wake up to [an Iranian] bomb.”

Other Israeli security officials, the report said, however, are warning that Israel should not be pushing the US into another Middle Eastern adventure, given what happened when the US tackled Iraq and Saddam’s ostensible weapons of mass destruction over a decade ago.

Netanyahu will for the first time directly address Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei in his speech to the UN, Israeli sources said.

Netanyahu’s speech, scheduled for Tuesday, 8:00 p.m. Israel time, will focus on Iran and be shorter than in previous years, the sources said.

Speaking to reporters on Friday at his hotel in New York after wrapping up a trip to Latin America, Netanyahu said that the main message of his UN speech will be that “Israel will not tolerate an Iranian military presence on our northern borders. An [Iranian] military presence endangers not just us, but also our Arab neighbors.”

Netanyahu has repeatedly warned against Iran’s military ambitions in the area, Tehran’s bid to establish a territorial “corridor” all the way to the Mediterranean, and an increased Iranian presence on Israel’s northern border.

Earlier last week, Netanyahu said Israel wanted to see the 2015 Iran nuclear deal — which offered Iran relief from punishing sanctions in exchange for having it roll back its nuclear program — either amended or canceled altogether.

“Our position is straightforward. This is a bad deal. Either fix it — or cancel it. This is Israel’s position,” said Netanyahu in Buenos Aires.

During his scheduled Monday meeting with US President Donald Trump, Netanyahu is set to present a proposal for rolling back the two-year-old deal, signed by the Obama administration and other P5+1 powers.

Netanyahu is reportedly preparing a specific formula for either scrapping the historic deal or amending it. His proposal will detail how “to cancel or at the very least introduce significant changes” to the accord, a Channel 2 news report said.

On Monday, at 1 p.m. local time, Netanyahu will meet with Trump in the New York Palace Hotel. Both leaders will make brief statements to the press to open the meeting, before continuing their discussion behind closed doors.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump during a joint press statements at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, on May 22, 2017. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Later in the afternoon, Netanyahu is set to meet the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela; the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe; and Rwandan President Paul Kagame, at the UN.

The prime minister is also scheduled to meet Brazilian President Michel Temer for the first time since the South American country rejected Dani Dayan as Israel’s candidate for ambassador there due to his past links to the settler movement. Dayan now serves as Israel’s consul general in New York. Brazil was notably left out of Netanyahu’s last week’s Latin America trip,

On Tuesday morning, the prime minister is expected to attend Trump’s first address to the UN. A few hours later, at around 1:30 p.m., Netanyahu will deliver his own speech.

The Endtime Counts Down (Revelation 8)

Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight

Carlyle Addy Sep 16, 2017 Updated Sep 16, 2017

The Bulletin for Atomic Scientists said in January that the hand of the Doomsday Clock had moved 30 seconds closer to midnight. Since its creation in 1945, the hand of the clock has moved several times, but it has only been less than three minutes to midnight at one other point in history.

According to the statement released by The Bulletin, this change was made to reflect threats by North Korea, as well as conflict between Pakistan and India and the statements regarding nuclear weapons by President Donald J. Trump.

Sara Koopman, an assistant professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Management who grew up in Seattle, anticipated the city to be the first hit during nuclear threats as a child. Her school treated nuclear strike drills the same way they treated fire drills.

“From about age nine and after, I was really scared,” Koopman said. “It created a lot of tension and worry among all of us.”

The first nuclear weapons used nuclear fission, a process of splitting heavy atoms in uranium or plutonium to create energy. The U.S. developed these weapons and used them against Japan in 1945.

“That was the only type that was known until around 1950,” professor Declan Keane said, who studies high-energy nuclear collisions at Kent State.

Since the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first and only nuclear strikes in world history, research into nuclear weapons has persisted. The Soviet Union and the United States both developed the hydrogen bomb around the same time in 1950, Keane said.

Despite posturing on both sides, neither country fired. Keane sees this posturing as reflective of the current conflict between the United States and North Korea.

Hydrogen bombs like the one the North Korean government claims to have developed are many times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan.

This is because hydrogen bombs use a different process to release energy at the atomic level. Hydrogen is a lighter element, and the energy created in hydrogen weapons is from fusion, where two hydrogen atoms combine.

It was the creation of the hydrogen bomb that drove the hand of the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight in 1953.

Koopman’s concerns are about nuclear weapons impacting the community surrounding testing sites. She said that various cancers are associated with living and working near radiation, and that these diseases are discussed less than the possibility of a nuclear strike.

She said that the difference in cultural perception of nuclear weapons is interesting. Even though the Doomsday Clock was at three minutes to midnight in 1984, farther than where scientists placed it this year, nuclear threats don’t seem to be as prominent as they were at the time.

“There’s so much to be anxious about in the world right now,” Koopman said. “Not thinking about nuclear war is a coping mechanism.”

Keane said there is some science behind nuclear preparations like fallout shelters, but they may not be a priority.

“The North Koreans have quite a small number of nuclear weapons and it’s not clear that they have the capability to attack the mainland U.S.,” Keane said. “The chances of this being a really serious threat to your life is miniscule compared to a zillion other things that are of concern to you.”

The Bulletin called for leaders and civilians to act on their recommendations for avoiding both nuclear disaster and climate change progression.

“Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink,” the Bulletin wrote. “If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way.“

Carlyle Addy is the politics reporter. Contact her at caddy@kent.edu.