The History Of New York Earthquakes: Before The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

Historic Earthquakes

Near New York City, New York

1884 08 10 19:07 UTC

Magnitude 5.5

Intensity VII

This severe earthquake affected an area roughly extending along the Atlantic Coast from southern Maine to central Virginia and westward to Cleveland, Ohio. Chimneys were knocked down and walls were cracked in several States, including Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Many towns from Hartford, Connecticut, to West Chester,Pennsylvania.

Property damage was severe at Amityville and Jamaica, New York, where several chimneys were “overturned” and large cracks formed in walls. Two chimneys were thrown down and bricks were shaken from other chimneys at Stratford (Fairfield County), Conn.; water in the Housatonic River was agitated violently. At Bloomfield, N.J., and Chester, Pa., several chimneys were downed and crockery was broken. Chimneys also were damaged at Mount Vernon, N.Y., and Allentown, Easton, and Philadelphia, Pa. Three shocks occurred, the second of which was most violent. This earthquake also was reported felt in Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Several slight aftershocks were reported on August 11.

Pakistan Widens Its Nuclear Horn (Daniel 8)

Zachary Keck

Pakistan has tested a ballistic missile with a multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle (MIRV), the United States confirmed this week.

During testimony to Congress outlining worldwide threats on March 6, Robert Ashley, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), stated: “In January 2017, Pakistan conducted the first test launch of its nuclear-capable Ababeel ballistic missile, demonstrating South Asia’s first MIRV payload.” It appeared to be the first time a U.S. official publicly confirmed that Islamabad tested a MIRVed missile; however, in a report last year on missile threats around the world, the Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee noted, “In January 2017, [Pakistan] began testing the MIRVed Ababeel MRBM.”

MIRVs allow a single missile to deliver multiple warheads against different targets.

The Pakistani military first announced its test of the MIRVed missile on January 24, 2017. “Pakistan has conducted its first successful flight test of Surface to Surface Ballistic Missile Ababeel, which has a maximum range of 2,200 kilometers,” the military announced in a press release at the time. “The missile is capable of delivering multiple warheads, using Multiple Independent Re-entry Vehicle (MIRV) technology.” The statement added that the test was aimed at “validating various design and technical parameters.” No other tests of the Ababeel missiles are known to have taken place since the first one.

Despite these claims, many outside experts questioned whether Pakistan really had developed or tested a MIRV. As the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Missile Defense Project noted, “Some experts have expressed skepticism as to whether Pakistan has indeed surmounted the various technological hurdles required for MIRVed missiles. MIRV warheads are typically much smaller than unitary warheads, and thus require greater miniaturization. It is unclear if the country has manufactured a miniaturized nuclear warhead small enough to use in a MIRV.” Ashley’s confirmation should put this skepticism to rest.

Development of the Ababeel missile is believed to have begun in the mid-to-late 2000s, and the missile’s design is similar to other Pakistani solid-fuel medium-range ballistic missiles, such as the Shaheen II and Shaheen III, according to CSIS’s Missile Defense Project. Unlike those missiles— which both have two stages— the Ababeel is a three stage missile. The BBC reported back in 2010 that Pakistani missile designers were receiving substantial assistance from China in developing MIRV technology. The Ababeel appears to have a large nose cone, which may allow it to carry multiple warheads even if they are slightly larger than normal MIRVed warheads.

Islamabad’s stated rationale for pursuing MIRV technology is to defeat India’s ballistic-missile defense systems. “Development of Ababeel Weapon System is aimed at ensuring survivability of Pakistan’s ballistic missiles in the growing regional Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) environment,” the Pakistani military said in the statement announcing the test last January. “This will further reinforce deterrence.”

MIRVs are undoubtedly useful for defeating missile defenses, as they present numerous targets in close range that interceptors must locate and destroy. At the same time, MIRVs are extremely valuable for counterforce attacks—that is, trying to destroy an adversary’s nuclear arsenal in a surprise first strike. In that sense, they are extremely destabilizing for strategic stability; during the Cold War MIRVs greatly exacerbated the nuclear arms race between the two superpowers.

Playing with Nuclear Fire (Revelation 15) weapons: playing with fire

Paul Rogers 9 March 2018

Britain’s neglected history of nuclear accidents makes the case for a new safety regime.

An earlier column in this series looked at the unknown or neglected history of accidents involving nuclear weapons. Much of the secrecy that shrouds nuclear issues, above all their actual targeting, is the result of deliberate supprerssion by governments with the collusion of the media. Accidents, though, seem to occasion their added element of secrecy, probably because of the particular embarrassment arising when a supposedly ultra-safe and reliable system comes unstuck (see “North Korea: a catastrophe foretold“, 29 September 2017).

The excellent Chatham House study Too Close for Comfort: Cases of Near Nuclear Use and Options for Policy (April 2014)  examines incidents where nuclear weapons came uncomfortably close to actual use. Among many examples, one of the most remarkable is a collision between two ballistic-missile submarines during the night of 3-4 February 2009.

“[The] United Kingdom’s HMS Vanguard and France’s FNS Le Triomphant, two nuclear-powered, ballistic missile-carrying submarines (SSBNs), collided in the Atlantic Ocean”, says the study. It acknowledges that there was very little risk of an accidental nuclear detonation, but finds it difficult to say why the collision took place. A few details emerged through freedom-of-information requests, but these raised even more questions than were answered.

This incident may have been more at the level of accident than risk of detonation. But that still raises the issue of the supposed invulnerability of nuclear systems to mistakes, including potentially catastrophic ones (see “A quick guide to nuclear weapons“, 8 February 2018).

The dangers are explored in another report, Playing with Fire: Nuclear Weapons Incidents and Accidents in the United Kingdom (September 2017), published by Nuclear Information Service. The meticulous research of this small UK-based NGO uncovers worrying aspects of the British nuclear system. Indeed, much of the information about these and other aspects of the nuclear world only seeps into the public domain because such dedicated independent observers are ploughing away in the background.

Playing with Fire reveals the alarming incidence of accidents, far more than is normally realised. It lists 110 accidents, near misses, and dangerous occurrences that have occurred over the sixty-five-year history of the UK’s nuclear-weapons programme. These consist of:

* fourteen serious accidents related to the production and manufacturing of nuclear weapons, including fires, fatal explosions, and floods

* twenty-two incidents that have taken place during the road transport of nuclear weapons, including vehicles overturning, road-traffic accidents and breakdowns

* eight incidents which occurred during the storage and handling of nuclear weapons

* twenty-one security-related incidents, including cases of unauthorised access to secure areas and unauthorised release of sensitive information

* seventeen incidents that involved United States forces and nuclear weapons, in the UK and its coastal waters.

The report also finds that forty-five accidents have happened “to nuclear capable submarines, ships and aircraft, including collisions, fires at sea and lightning strikes”, of which twenty-four “involved nuclear armed submarines”.

Reducing the risk

To understand the background to this report, the fundamental nuclear-weapons structure in the UK is a good place to start.

These weapons are developed at the atomic-weapons establishment at Aldermaston, west of Reading; manufactured  at nearby Burghfield; deployed on ballistic-missile submarines based at Faslane, near Glasgow; the warheads stored at the Royal Navy armaments depot at Coulport.

The weapons are transported between the sites by road. Because these use public highways and are frequently tracked by anti-nuclear activists, much of what is known about accidents relates to those occurring in transit.

Playing with Fire finds that one of the worst accidents happened on a cold day in January 1987, when two large warhead-carrying trucks – part of a larger convoy transporting six tactical nuclear bombs from Portsmouth to the naval armaments depot at Dean Hill – were involved in a collision. In the course of the accident one of the trucks tipped over into a field when the road verge collapsed, landing on its side.

The overturned truck was carrying two WE177A warheads, each rated at about the power of the Hiroshima bomb. They had probably been unloaded from HMS Illustrious, an aircraft-carrier berthed at Portsmouth. A full-scale emergency was declared. Additional armed personnel and specialist troops were deployed, and logistics specialists worked through the night in sub-zero temperatures in a recovery operation that lasted eighteen hours.

There have been many other accidents affecting the UK nuclear weapons industry, the worst being the fire at one of the plutonium production reactors at what was then known as Windscale (now Sellafield) in 1957. One of the great values of Playing with Fire is that it brings into the open an element in Britain’s nuclear posture which is almost entirely ignored in the establishment press and broadcast media.

At the very least this is a report that is worth a couple of hours of anyone’s time. It ends up with a series of recommendations, three of which summarise its overall perspective:

* introduce procedures for publicly reporting accidents involving nuclear weapons

* place ministry of defence nuclear programmes under external regulation

* support an international ban on nuclear weapons.

Not everyone will support the last proposal, but the first two should really not be controversial. Indeed, wider dissemination of this report may well help cement that view.


The Antichrist and Saudi Arabia of the kingdom Saudi Arabia’s use of soft power in Iraq is making Iran nervous

The kingdom is eyeing southern Iraq, which Iran considers its backyard

IT ALMOST feels like old times. Before Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, Gulf Arabs partied on the banks of the Shatt al-Arab river in southern Iraq. Many owned villas in the fields around Basra and took Iraqi wives. Now, after a break of three decades, they are back. Saudi Arabia is putting the finishing touches on a consulate in Basra’s Sheraton hotel, where Iraqi crooners sing love songs and waiters dance. Last month a dozen Saudi poets travelled to Basra for a literary festival.

Air links between Saudi Arabia and Iraq have also resumed, with 140 flights each month. Several state-owned businesses, including SABIC, the Saudi petrochemical giant, are registering offices in Baghdad. At a conference in Kuwait last month, the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, pledged $1bn in loans and $500m in export credit to support Iraq’s reconstruction after the war with Islamic State (IS).

Saudi interest was initially pricked by America, which has been marshalling Gulf support to help stem Iran’s push west. It was a hard sell. Iraq, under Saddam, threatened to invade Saudi Arabia. More recently, it has allowed Shia militias backed by Iran to set up camp on the Saudi border. In response the kingdom, which considers itself the region’s Sunni champion, is accused of bankrolling Sunni jihadists in Iraq.

But Muhammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, is shaking the kingdom from its sectarian logic. In 2015 he was central to restoring diplomatic relations and last year reopened the kingdom’s borders with Iraq. He has shifted money from Sunni politicians to more effective Shia ones. He has even hosted Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric, and Qasim al-Araji, Iraq’s interior minister who is close to Iran. Diplomats note the disparity in help offered by Saudi Arabia and Iran, which pledged nothing at the conference in Kuwait. “Having failed to outfight Iran, the Saudis now want to outspend it,” says a delighted Iraqi official.

In a country where Shia Arabs make up the majority of the population, Iran has sought influence by stoking sectarianism and gaining the allegiance of Shias. Saudi Arabia wants to win them back by reviving the country’s Arab identity, and setting Iraqis against Persian Iran. Arab nationalism was largely smothered when Iraq’s former ruling Baath party was banned in 2003.

Much of the focus is on Basra, which is Iraq’s richest province. Projects earmarked by the Saudis for investment include Basra’s moribund petrochemical plant, which could help wean Iraq off Iranian products. Saudis have also eyed the scrub along the border, which the kingdom wants to turn into fertile fields by tapping underground aquifers. Iraqi officials hope it will finance railroads and reopen the pipeline that, until 1990, shuttled Iraq’s oil to the Red Sea.

Southern Iraq has drifted so far into Iran’s orbit that highways are named after the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, leader of Iran’s Islamic revolution; Iranian-backed Shia parties rule the roost. But some in Tehran are nervous, recalling how Saudi Arabia goaded Iraq’s Arabs, even Shias, to wage an eight-year war on Khomeini’s Iran beginning in 1980. Iranian businessmen worry about fresh competition for Iraq’s market, their second largest for non-oil products after China.

So to tie Iraq even closer, Iran has opened a free-trade zone next to the Shalamcheh crossing near Basra. It has unilaterally lifted visa requirements for Iraqis to ease their shopping sprees in Khuzestan, on the border. The collapse of Iran’s currency has sucked in custom. Iraq imports over 100 times more from Iran than it exports, in terms of value.

Meanwhile, Iranian-backed factions in Iraq are trying to sully the rapprochement with Saudi Arabia. Their politicians cite the 3,000 or so Saudis who joined IS. “How can we welcome our killers?” asks a militiaman in Basra. Clerics in Najaf have dithered on the kingdom’s request to open a consulate in the Shias’ holiest city.

But overall the Saudi charm offensive has proven popular. For all their sectarian bonds with Iranian Shias, the people of Basra fought on the front lines of Iraq’s brutal war with Iran. Many view Iranian engagement as colonisation. And even militias are swayed by the prospect of more commerce. Saudi investors, they hope, will need protection and help dealing with the country’s tortuous bureaucracy.

Haider al-Abadi, Iraq’s prime minister, seems happy to juggle the regional rivalry. His security forces reportedly confiscated posters, printed by a pro-Iranian group, that denounced the Saudi consulate in Basra. But the kingdom may need more reassuring. To date it has done little more than window-shop for potential investments. It will probably wait until after the Iraqi elections in May before signing any deals.

Other Gulf states dismiss Iraq as a corrupt black hole. The young Prince Muhammad, too, might lack the strategic patience to see through his initiative. But if the Saudis were hoping for a quick win, their first football match in Iraq for nearly 40 years offers a salutary reminder. The Saudi players paraded across the pitch in Basra holding Iraqi scarves aloft. In the end, though, they got a thrashing, losing 4-1.

This article appeared in the Middle East and Africa section of the print edition under the headline “Return of the kingdom”

The Coming War Against Iran The coming war – Israel National News

Contact Editor Yochanan Visser, 09/03/18 00:39

Yochanan Visser is an independent journalist/analyst who worked for many years as Middle East correspondent for Western in Arizona and was a frequent publicist for the main Dutch paper De Volkskrant. He authored a book in the Dutch language about the cognitive war against Israel and now lives in Gush Etzion. He writes a twice weekly analysis of current issues for Arutz Sheva

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has changed his time schedule for the destruction of Israel and at the beginning of March promised a Sunni Syrian religious scholar he would lead prayers in Jerusalem fairly soon.

His words are not merely rhetoric since the Iranians are making rapid progress in preparations for a concerted effort to destroy the Jewish state via its proxies in Lebanon, Syria and the territories controlled by the PA and Hamas.

During a meeting with Muhammad Abdul-Sattar al-Sayyid, the Syrian Minister of religious affairs and Syrian religious scholars, Khamenei promised al-Sayyid he would see the day that he would be able “to lead prayers in al-Quds” (Jerusalem).

“I hope that you and we will see the day when you are conducting public prayers in Quds, God willing. We believe that that day will come. It is possible that this humble person and people like us will not be living on that day, but it will come eventually and it will not come late,” according to Khamenei

Severeal years ago, the Iranian dictator said Israel would be erased from the face of earth within 25 years.

During the meeting with the Syrian scholars Khamenei elevated the status of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad whom he praised for being “a great example of resistance and a fighting image.”

Calling al-Assad an “example” for the resistance movement – the loose coalition of terrorist movements and rogue regimes fighting Israel- is another indication Iran and its allies in Syria are shifting their focus toward Israel now that the Russian-supported Iranian axis is on the verge of victory in the seven-year-old Syrian war.

The pro-Assad coalition of Shiite militias who make up the bulk of the Syrian army today is currently eliminating the last hubs of Islamist rebels in eastern Ghouta near Damascus and in the northern province Idlib in Syria.

At the same time Iran is continuing to build the military infrastructure which will be needed in the coming confrontation with the IDF.

A recent New York Times report indicated the Islamic Republic is building missile facilities and military bases in Syria while bringing its proxies closer to the Israeli border.

In addition, Fox News reported last week Iran is building big missile silos on a military base near Damascus.

Fox News obtained images of the base from ImageSat International which showed the Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had built two hangars for missiles which can hit Israel anywhere.

A similar base was destroyed by Israel during the first direct confrontation between the IAF and the IRGC on February 10, 2018.

This week Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force, said Iran has tripled its missile production despite international efforts to curb the program.

Hajizadeh scoffed at Israel and other Western powers such as France for their “hypocrisy” in trying to stop further expansion of the Iranian missile program.

France is leading the effort to reduce the threat from Iranian missiles, however, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian failed to book progress while visiting Iran at the beginning of this week.

Another indication both Israel and Iran are preparing for war is detectable in Lebanon.

Last week, Joseph Aoun, the commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), told reporters the Lebanese army is ready for a new conflict with Israel if the IDF encroaches further on the border of Lebanon.

Aoun’s threat was related to mounting tensions between Lebanon and Israel over additional security measures the IDF is currently undertaking near the Lebanese border and a dispute over a gas field which straddles the maritime border between the two countries.

There’s more.

A former Syrian general who headed the chemical weapons program of Assad’s army this week disclosed Iran and Syria have supplied chemical weapons to Hezbollah.

Suhair al-Saqit told the Hebreeuw paper Maariv the chemical warheads in Hezbollah’s possession are produced in Syria.

He also said Assad had transferred a large part of his chemical weapons stockpile to Hezbollah ahead of international inspections which took place after Assad gassed thousands of Syrian civilians during the first period of the Syrian civil war.

Fox News furthermore, reported a new UN investigation revealed North Korea has delivered new chemical weapons to Syria and that satellite images showed North Korean engineers are working on chemical weapons facilities in Syria.

Republican senator Lindsey Graham who visited Israel last week said he had become increasingly worried about the Iranian threat to Israel after he visited the borders between Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

“It’s far worse than I thought it would be,” Graham said before reporting he had seen Hezbollah and Syrian army flags very close to the Israeli border on the Golan Heights.

“Southern Lebanon is a nightmare, it makes Gaza looking stable” Graham said before adding “Israel is in a no-win situation.”

He was referring to the approx. 130,000 missiles pointing at Israel from Lebanon.

Graham could have added that the Lebanese army has been turned into an ally of Hezbollah with U.S. support as columnist Caroline Glick reported this week.

Glick also wrote the presence of UNIFIL in southern Lebanon has been rendered useless against Hezbollah’s growing threat against Israel because the LAF is blocking UNIFIL from carrying out its mandate as a peace keeping force.

Israel on the other hand, is increasingly carrying out reconnaissance missions in Lebanon.

The Lebanese army almost daily reports violations of Lebanese airspace by IAF warplanes and drones while the Israeli navy briefly entered Lebanese territorial waters this week.

“There is a feeling of calm before the storm here in Israel,” blogger Vic Rosenthal wrote this week adding that the “coming war” will probably be the “toughest in Israel’s history.”

Iran and its proxies are expected to lob more than 1,000 missiles a day at Israel from at least three fronts in this ‘coming war’ as many observers, politicians and IDF officers in Israel call it.

These three fronts are Lebanon, Gaza and Syria and it is expected Israel’s various anti-missile shields will be unable to cope with this amount of missiles.

This is why some observers now think the time has come to take preemptive action against the Iranian threat on the lines of what happened in 1967 at the outset of the Six-Day-War when the IAF destroyed almost all Egyptian and Syrian warplanes before the war actually began.

“Israel is exceptionally vulnerable to attack by precision weapons, as on the one hand it is an advanced Western country dependent on sophisticated technologies, and on the other it is small, with very concentrated infrastructures and very little redundancy,” two IAF veterans wrote in a study last year.

They could have added that the bulk of Israel’s population is living in areas in the center of country and the Iranians have already warned they would flatten Tel Aviv and its suburbs in the Gush Dan area.

All the above are the reasons Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu spoke in apocalyptic terms regarding the increasing Iranian threat to Israel when he held a speech at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference in the U.S.

“We must stop Iran. We will stop Iran,” Netanyahu vowed.