The Antichrist Unifies Iraq

Iraq’s al-Sadr says next government will be ‘inclusive’

By: QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press

Updated:

BAGHDAD (AP)Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose coalition won the largest number of seats in Iraq’s parliamentary elections, has sought to reassure Iraqis about their next government, saying it will be “inclusive” and mindful of their needs.

No single bloc won a majority in the May 12 vote, raising the prospect of weeks or even months of negotiations to agree on a government. Major political players began talks soon after the election’s partial results were announced last week.

The latest round was held Sunday between al-Sadr and Hadi al-Amiri, the leader of a coalition of Shiite paramilitary forces backed by both the government and neighboring Iran.

Late on Saturday night, he met Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whose bloc made a surprisingly poor showing in the election, finishing third behind the blocs led by al-Sadr and al-Amiri.

Speaking after his talks with al-Abadi, al-Sadr said the first postelection meeting between the two “sends a clear and comforting message to the Iraqi people: Your government will take care of you and will be inclusive, we will not exclude anyone. We will work toward reform and prosperity.”

He did not elaborate, or provide details about what he and al-Abadi discussed.

al-Sadr told al-Amiri in their meeting that he wanted a government formed quickly to provide Iraqis with services and “express their legitimate aspirations,” according to a statement issued by his office.

Al-Amiri, a close ally of Iran, played a key role in the two-year war to liberate Iraqi territory captured by the extremist Islamic State group in 2013 and 2014. His Badr militia is among the better armed and more disciplined paramilitary outfits. Badr was founded in exile in the 1980s during the rule of Saddam Hussein. It fought on Iran’s side in a 1980-88 war against Iraq.

Al-Sadr, whose followers fought U.S. forces in Iraq after the 2003 invasion, won 54 of the chamber’s 329 seats. Al-Abadi’s “Victory” bloc took 42 and the coalition of paramilitary forces came in second with 47 seats.

The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

NEW YORK IS 40 YEARS OVERDUE A MAJOR EARTHQUAKE AND AMERICA ISN’T PROPERLY PREPARED, ‘QUAKELAND’ AUTHOR KATHRYN MILES TELLS TREVOR NOAH

BY TUFAYEL AHMED ON 9/27/17 AT 9:28 AM

Updated | An earthquake is long overdue to hit New York and America isn’t prepared, author and environmental theorist Kathryn Miles told Trevor Noah on Tuesday’s Daily Show.

Miles is the author of a new book, Quakeland, which investigates how imminently an earthquake is expected in the U.S. and how well-prepared the country is to handle it. The answer to those questions: Very soon and not very well.

“We know it will, that’s inevitable, but we don’t know when,” said Miles when asked when to expect another earthquake in the U.S.

She warned that New York is in serious danger of being the site of the next one, surprising considering that the West Coast sits along the San Andreas fault line.

“New York is 40 years overdue for a significant earthquake…Memphis, Seattle, Washington D.C.—it’s a national problem,” said Miles.

Miles told Noah that though the U.S. is “really good at responding to natural disasters,” like the rapid response to the hurricanes in Texas and Florida, the country and its government is, in fact, lagging behind in its ability to safeguard citizens before an earthquake hits.

“We’re really bad at the preparedness side,” Miles responded when Noah asked how the infrastructure in the U.S. compares to Mexico’s national warning system, for example.

“Whether it’s the literal infrastructure, like our roads and bridges, or the metaphoric infrastructure, like forecasting, prediction, early warning systems. Historically, we’ve underfunded those and as a result we’re way behind even developing nations on those fronts.”

Part of the problem, Miles says, is that President Donald Trump and his White House are not concerned with warning systems that could prevent the devastation of natural disasters.

“We can invest in an early warning system. That’s one thing we can definitely do. We can invest in better infrastructures, so that when the quake happens, the damage is less,” said the author.

“The scientists, the emergency managers, they have great plans in place. We have the technology for an early warning system, we have the technology for tsunami monitoring. But we don’t have a president that is currently interested in funding that, and that’s a problem.”

This article has been updated to reflect that Miles said New York is the possible site of an upcoming earthquake, and not the likeliest place to be next hit by one.

The Sixth Seal Is Long Overdue (Revelation 6:12)

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

By MARGO NASH

Published: March 25, 2001

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

Q. What have you found?

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

Q. Where is the Ramapo Fault?

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

Q. Did you find anything that surprised you?

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

Q. Describe the 1884 earthquake.

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

Q. What lessons we can learn from previous earthquakes?

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

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

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

MARGO NASH

Antichrist Tries to Unify Iraq Factions

Shia Cleric al-Sadr has asked all Iraqi political groups to stop fighting over power. (APF/ File Photo)

Shia Al-Sadr Dismayed, Calls on Iraqi Political Blocs to Stop In-Fighting

Shia Cleric al-Sadr has asked all Iraqi political groups to stop fighting over power. (APF/ File Photo)

albawaba.com

Influential Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Monday called on Iraqi political groups to abstain from fighting for power.

In a statement, al-Sadr expressed his “discontent” with the deteriorating political, security and economic conditions in the country.

“Iraq is full of the poor, unprivileged, orphans, injured, widows, elders and handicapped,” he said. “Iraq is living without water, electricity, agriculture, industry, money, infrastructure or services.”

The Shia cleric said Iraq was falling “into danger” amid controversy over the results of last month’s parliamentary election, in which al-Sadr’s Sairoon coalition won most seats.

“Hasn’t time come yet for us to stand together for building and reconstruction, instead of burning the ballot boxes or re-holding the election for the sake or one seat or two?” al-Sadr asked.

On Sunday, a huge fire broke out in the largest storage space of ballot boxes in the capital, Baghdad, notably, before the start of the manual recount, which was expected to begin later this week.

Last week, the Iraqi parliament adopted a resolution for a manual recount of votes in the May 12 election.

Obama national security adviser: Pulling out of Iran deal is the worst US move in Middle East since the Obama Deal

obama-iran-dealObama national security adviser: Pulling out of Iran deal is the worst US move in Middle East since Iraq War

“I think the pulling out of the Iran agreement is the worst mistake the United States has made in the Middle East since the Iraq War,” Tom Donilon told David Axelrod on “The Axe Files,” a podcast from the University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.
Donilon served as President Barack Obama’s national security adviser from October 2010 to June 2013 and helped lead that administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign of sanctions against the Iranian regime. He said leaving the Iran nuclear deal — a decision Trump announced in May — comes “at a high cost, including with allies in Europe.”
“The key wasn’t US bilateral pressure on Iran,” Donilon said. “The key was our ability to talk to the world about the value, the goal, which was not to have a nuclear Iran. Pull that together and get an agreement on the pressure campaign. You needed to have multilateral pressure in order to have an effective pressure campaign in Iran.
“So we will it be very difficult to reconstruct that now,” Donilon said, alluding to the fact that many of the US’ European allies opposed Trump’s decision to leave the deal and have pledged to continue supporting it.
“There’s nothing that we couldn’t have pursued more effectively multilaterally while keeping the arrangement in place, that really has capped, rolled back and for extended period of time, pushed back the Iranian nuclear program,” Donilon said.
In addition to Trump’s move on the Iran nuclear agreement, Donilon also denounced the President’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership after taking office in January 2017.
“I think we’ll see pulling out of the TPP as one of the worst mistakes we’ve made in Asia since Vietnam,” he said.
In March, 11 countries signed the sweeping trade agreement without the United States. In April, Trump directed his top trade and economic advisers look into rejoining the deal, but such a move may be prohibitively difficult.

Antichrist Tells Doubters to Move On

 

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr urged Iraqis on Monday to unite rather than squabble over a possible rerun of the election his bloc won last month, a message apparently meant to defuse political tension after a ballot box storage depot caught fire.

Certain parties are trying to drag Iraq into civil war, Sadr said, adding that he would not participate in one.

Parliament has mandated a manual recount of the election in which a number of parties alleged fraud. A storage site holding half of Baghdad’s ballot boxes went up in flames on Sunday in what Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi denounced as a “plot to harm the nation and its democracy”.

An Iraqi court ordered the arrest of four people accused of setting fire to the storage site, state television reported. Three of them were policemen and one an employee of the Independent High Elections Commission.

Iraqi authorities said the ballot boxes were saved but the fire has added to fears of violence.

“What Moqtada said about (Iraq) being close to some sort of armed conflict is concerning. The situation is tense and it seems to be on the brink of conflict,” said Renad Mansour, research fellow at Chatham House in London.

Sadr, a Shi’ite cleric who once led violent campaigns against the U.S. occupation that ended in 2011, has emerged as a nationalist opponent of powerful Shi’ite Muslim parties allied with neighboring Iran.

“Stop fighting for seats, posts, gains, influence, power, and rulership,” he wrote in an article published by his office.

“Is it not time to stand as one for building and reconstruction, instead of burning ballot boxes or repeating elections just for one seat or two?”

Sadr has in the past mobilized tens of thousands of followers to protest government policies he opposed.

The election, which was the first since the defeat of Islamic State militants who seized a third of Iraq in 2014, raised hopes that Iraqis could put aside sectarian divisions to rebuild.

One of Sadr’s top aides said on Sunday the fire was intended either to force a rerun of the election or to conceal fraud.

ELECTION REPEAT UNLIKELY

But a repeat of the election is unlikely, analysts say, as none of the top parties have endorsed this step, and many incumbent lawmakers have lost their seats and thus lack legitimacy in the eyes of the public.

The Supreme Federal Court is the only entity that has the right to decide on a repeat, not the government or parliament, Abadi’s spokesman said on Monday.

A spokesman for Hadi al-Amiri, whose Fatih alliance of groups linked to pro-Iran Shi’ite militias came second in the election behind Sadr’s bloc, said he did not favor a repeat.

“The middle of the road solution is a manual recount,” said Karim al-Nuri, referring to the fraud allegations.

Some of Iran’s other supporters, such as former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, whose bloc performed below expectations in the election, would benefit.

At the same time, a recount might harm Iran in other ways. Tehran is accused by some parties in two provinces of helping a Kurdish party allied with it commit election fraud.

“Iran would have preferred if Fatih and (Maliki’s) State of Law (list) had done better than Sadr so any kind of redo where a different scenario comes out is better for Iran,” said Mansour.

“It is not an ideal situation for Iran and they might support a redo, but actually a recount might implicate them if the allegations in the north are correct.”

VOTING EQUIPMENT

In the election, Iraq used an electronic vote-counting system for the first time. Some Iraqi politicians had argued that the manual recount was necessary to make sure that the electronic system did not hide fraud.

Miru Systems, the Korean company that provided the electronic equipment, said there was nothing wrong with it.

“We have checked our election device provided to Iraq after the fraud allegation erupted, and found out that there have been no malfunction in the device nor its system,” said a spokesman.

Abadi has blamed the Independent High Elections Commission, which introduced the electronic system, for what he said were dangerous violations, and parliament voted to suspend the board of commissioners and replace them with judges.

The commission opposes the recount decision and has appealed against it but the judiciary has already started implementing parliament’s measures, naming a new head for the commission from within its ranks on Monday.

“There is a lack of clarity as to who is in charge, what procedure is the legal procedure. Everyone is doing their own thing. The government institutions meant to monitor this process are neither independent nor powerful,” said Mansour.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein with additional reporting by Haejin Choi in Seoul; Editing by Michael Georgy and Mark Heinrich