A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

A Look at the Tri-State’s Active Fault Line

Monday, March 14, 2011

By Bob Hennelly

The Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.

In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.

But the New Jersey-New York region is relatively seismically stable according to Dr. Dave Robinson, Professor of Geography at Rutgers. Although it does have activity.

“There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,” said Robinson. “There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.”

Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage: “The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,” he said.

“More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.

In 1884, according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website, the  Rampao Fault was blamed for a 5.5 quake that toppled chimneys in New York City and New Jersey that was felt from Maine to Virginia.

“Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

The Small Horn Breaks from the Large Horn (Daniel 8)

ANALYSIS: Muqtada al-Sadr and rising tensions between Iran and Iraq

Moqtada al-Sadr addresses his supporters at the grand mosque of Kufa on September 21, 2018. (AFP)

Economic and political tensions are rising between Iran and Iraq. One of the major contributors is the souring of Muqtada al-Sadr’s personal relationship with Iran and, to a lesser extent, Iraq’s cooperation with the sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States this month.

One of the major contributors is the souring of Muqtada al-Sadr’s personal relationship with Iran and, to a lesser extent, Iraq’s cooperation with the sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States this month.

For much of his career as the leader of the Sadr Trend, Muqtada al-Sadr has had a very close relationship with the Iranian leadership – both political and religious. Al-Sadr rose to prominence opposing the Americans in Iraq after the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein. He has been their main operative in Iraq for much of the time since.

In the Iraqi national elections earlier this year, al-Sadr positioned himself as the champion of Iraqi nationalism and the candidate that would lead Iraq out from under everyone’s skirts and be truly independent and self-sufficient.

In a historically low turnout election boycotted by the overwhelming majority of Iraqis because of fears of corruption, al-Sadr was swept to victory by his loyal followers who voted by almost all by themselves.

After his surprise victory, the people were hopeful that his pre-election rhetoric would indicate what al-Sadr would actually do now that he was in legitimate power.

Sadly, the first thing al-Sadr did was to combine with the Iranian parties to form a coalition government. Together, these two factions enjoy a coalition that makes-up almost one half of parliament – almost enough to form a government apart from any other help.

Iran was delighted with the result and al-Sadr was their man in Baghdad – or so they thought. Before long, al-Sadr showed a few streaks of independence. He was (and almost certainly still is) willing to fully cooperate with Iran but now on his own terms and timetables, not Tehran’s.

Iran has balked and has further signaled to al-Sadr that he had better toe the line. To that end, Tehran has begun to independently fund Ahl al-Haq, the heretofore Sadrist militant arm. Now these militants work directly for Tehran and not al-Sadr.

After his surprise victory, the people were hopeful that his pre-election rhetoric would indicate what al-Sadr would actually do now that he was in legitimate power. (AFP)

Signals to Tehran

In response, al-Sadr has started a process of subtle signals to Tehran. Curiously, imports from Iran have been turned back at the Iraqi border crossings across Iraq. Dozens of shipments food stuffs and other comestibles have been rejected by the Iraqi inspectors as “substandard.”

This is unheard of and very new. Perhaps, Al-Sadr knows that the Iranian economy depends on regular and consistent sales to one of its largest trading partners, Iraq.

Further, Iranians have insisted on hard currency from Iraq to pay its light bill. Iraq buys electricity from Iranian power stations to supplement Iraq’s chronic electricity shortage. Unable to pay in dollars because of the US sanctions, Iraq offered its own currency (the dinar) as payment.

Iran refused and is insisting on Euros, at least. This situation is as of yet unresolved largely because al-Sadr may be tweaking the regime into both giving him the independence that he wants and the funding from Tehran he needs at the same time.

Other subtle signs of cracking in the long relationship are showing-up in other ways as well. The new Prime Minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, is trying very hard to finish the formulation of his government. The important ministries of Defense and Interior along with six others are still unfilled.

There was to be a vote on Monday on the slate offered by Abdul-Mahdi but it was postponed by leadership. The candidate for the Interior is the former leader of the Public Mobilization Force (PMF). The PMF was the military arm of the successful fight against ISIS in Iraq.

Moqtada al-Sadr (L) during a news conference with Iraqi prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad on May 20, 2018. (Iraqi Prime Minister Media Office/Handout via Reuters)

‘Totally independent’

Since those victories, the PMF has been entirely infiltrated by Iranian influence and is currently serving Iran’s needs on the borders rather than Iraq’s. Recent tweets by this leader reflect that he wishes be “totally independent from the government” (that is widely interpreted to mean, ‘serving Tehran instead’).

The PMF figures prominently into the friction. It is the PMF that facilitates this action by its control of the Syrian and Iranian border crossings into and out of Iraq in the North – where Iranian movement of oil, money and other necessities takes place to and from Damascus.

As observed by the State Department in imposing sanctions against Iran earlier this month, “The United States sanctioned an international network by which the Iranian regime and Russia are providing millions of barrels of oil to the Assad regime in exchange for the movement of hundreds of millions of dollars to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force, and for onward transfer to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezballah.”

With his objections to the PMF leader taking over the Ministry of the Interior, al-Sadr signaled to Iran that Iranian influence in Iraq must be filtered through him and not independently through some other, well-placed minister in Iraq.

As the Iranian economy continues to spiral downward, the Iranian rial becomes worth less and less each day. Understanding this, al-Sadr is turning the screws on his Iranian patrons to give him more leash. For now, if Iran wants to continue to exert influence over Iraq through al-Sadr, they may have to see it his way.

However, Tehran and al-Sadr have resisted any outward detente, of any sort.

Last Update: Thursday, 29 November 2018 KSA 08:47 – GMT 05:47

Babylon the Great Withdraws from Nuclear Treaty

US makes case for withdrawal from missile treaty with Russia

Maria Danilova, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Russia has for years been developing, testing and deploying a missile that violates a landmark nuclear weapons treaty, a senior White House official said Tuesday, making a case for the administration’s planned withdrawal from the accord ahead of a scheduled meeting between the leaders of the two nations.

The nuclear-capable missile, the official said, can reach over 300 miles (500 kilometers), in violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which was signed amid Cold War hostilities in 1987 and which the Trump administration is now seeking to exit.

Russia developed the weapon between 2000 to 2010 and completed testing by 2015, the official said. But when questioned about it in recent years, Moscow officials have denied violating the treaty and demanded to know how the U.S. detected the apparent violation, the official said.

The official said the Trump administration believes it was Russia’s intention to keep the U.S. constrained by the treaty while they developed and deployed the illegal missiles that threaten Europe. The official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive foreign policy issue.

The future of the treaty is likely to come up this week when President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 Summit in Argentina. Administration officials have said it is time to withdraw from an accord that is outdated, has prevented the U.S. from developing new weapons and has already been violated with this Russian missile, the 9M729.

It comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries. Trump suggested Tuesday in an interview with The Washington Post that he may cancel the sit-down with Putin over Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian naval ships last weekend.

Russia has denied that it has violated the treaty, saying the 9M729 has not been tested for the range that would make it prohibited. Moscow has also alleged the United States has also breached the accord.

Putin has warned that a U.S. decision to withdraw from the treaty would destabilize Europe and prompt Russia to „respond in kind.“ On Monday, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov reiterated that position.

„We won’t be able to turn a blind eye to the potential deployment of new U.S. missiles on the territories where they may threaten Russia,“ Ryabkov said.

The senior U.S. official said the administration, which is seeking support for withdrawal from NATO allies, can still reverse its plan to pull out if Russia acknowledges its violations and takes corrective steps.

Iran Prepares for World War

Khamenei calls on army to increase its capability

Iran should increase its military capability and readiness to ward off enemies, the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday.

His comments came in a meeting with Iranian navy commanders, Reuters reported, citing Khamenei’s official website.

“Increase your capability and readiness as much as you can so Iran’s enemies will not even dare threaten these great people,” Khamenei said, though he also stressed, “The Islamic Republic does not intend to start war with anyone.”

The Supreme Leader has upped his rhetoric in recent days. On Sunday, Khamenei took to Twitter where he belittled Israel and asserted that it “is clearly weaker than 10, 20 years ago.”

On Monday, he took to Twitter again to blast both Israel and the US.

Today, to hell with the US and Zionist regime for threatening the Iranian nation. Their threats and atrocities have so far failed and will continue to fail; the sanctions will also be defeated by the grace of resistance,” he wrote.

While his comments on Wednesday’s do not mention a specific “enemy”, Reuters noted that tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have increased in recent months as both countries compete for power and influence across the region.

The two countries support opposite sides in conflicts in Syria and Yemen and different political factions in Iraq and Lebanon.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly called on Iran to stop its “meddling” in the affairs of the kingdom’s neighbors.

Iran has fired back, accusing Saudi Arabia of trying to “drag the entire region into confrontation”.

Last Friday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards detained a Saudi Arabian fishing boat and arrested its crew.