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.

Trump Hands Syria Over to the Shi’a Horn

Syria conflict: US officials withdraw troops after IS ‘defeat’

▪ 19 December 2018 Middle East

Around 2,000 US troops are believed to be stationed in Syria

The Trump administration says US troops are being withdrawn from Syria, after the president said the Islamic State (IS) group had been “defeated”.

The Pentagon said it was transitioning to the “next phase of the campaign” but did not give details.

Some 2,000 troops have helped rid much of north-eastern Syria of IS, but pockets of fighters remain.

It had been thought defence officials wanted to maintain a US presence to ensure IS did not rebuild.

There are also fears a US withdrawal will cede influence in Syria and the wider region to Russia and Iran.

Both the Pentagon and the White House statement said the US had started “returning United States troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign”.

The Pentagon said it would not provide further details of what that next phase is “for force protection and operational security reasons”.

The White House said the US and its allies stood “ready to re-engage at all levels to defend American interests whenever necessary, and we will continue to work together to deny radical Islamist terrorists territory, funding, support and any means of infiltrating our borders”.

President Trump said it was time to bring troops home after their historic victory

What has been the reaction?

Israel said it had been told the US had “other ways to have influence in the area” but would “study the timeline [of the withdrawal], how it will be done and of course the implications for us”.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on state-controlled Channel One TV that the US decision could result in “genuine, real prospects for a political settlement” in Syria.

Pulling troops out of Syria had long been promised by President Trump.

But the announcement may have taken some of his own officials by surprise.

Last week Brett McGurk, special presidential envoy for the global coalition to defeat IS, told reporters at the state department: “Nobody is saying that [IS fighters] are going to disappear. Nobody is that naive. So we want to stay on the ground and make sure that stability can be maintained in these areas.”

The state department abruptly cancelled Wednesday’s daily briefing after the withdrawal was announced.

One of Mr Trump’s supporters, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who sits on the armed services committee, called it a “huge Obama-like mistake”.

In a series of tweets, he said IS was “not defeated” , and warned withdrawing US troops puts “our allies, the Kurds, at risk”.

Turkey this week said it was preparing to launch an operation against a Kurdish militia in northern Syria, which has been an ally of the US in its fight against IS.

A UK government spokesman said these developments “do not signal the end of the Global Coalition or its campaign” against IS, and the UK will “remain committed” to ensure IS’ “enduring defeat”.

“Much remains to be done and we must not lose sight of the threat they pose,” the UK statement said.

“As the situation on the ground develops, we will continue to discuss how we achieve these aims with our Coalition partners, including the US.”

Chaotic US policy?

Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent

President Trump’s decision reverses the official lines of both the Pentagon and the State Department and it places Washington’s Kurdish allies in greater jeopardy.

US ground operations in north-eastern Syria involve some 2,000 troops, maybe more, and a network of bases and air strips has been established. But to what strategic end?

IS is well on the way to being defeated. Syria’s President Assad remains in place. If the goal now is to contain Iran or Russia’s rising influence in the region then 2,000 troops strung out across a vast swathe of territory may be too small a force to do this.

Their presence though does give the US “skin in the game”. And many will see this decision as yet another indication of the chaos and uncertainty surrounding US policy towards this crucial region.

What is the US presence?

US troops have largely been stationed in the Kurdish region in northern Syria.

A partnership with an alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, is credited with playing a major role in the virtual elimination of IS after it overran large swathes of Syria four years ago, imposing brutal rule on almost eight million people in the country and neighbouring Iraq.

However, the militant group has not disappeared entirely. A recent US report said there were still as many as 14,000 IS militants in Syria and even more in neighbouring Iraq – and there is a fear they will shift to guerrilla tactics in an attempt to rebuild their network.

But the partnership between the US and the Kurds has enraged neighbouring Turkey, which views the Kurdish YPG militia – the main fighting force in the SDF – as an extension of a banned Kurdish group fighting for autonomy in Turkey.

On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country might soon start a new military operation against the YPG in Syria.

Mr Erdogan added that he had discussed his plan with Mr Trump by telephone and that he had given a “positive response”.

The US announced on Tuesday that it had agreed to sell $3.5bn in missiles to Turkey to “increase the defensive capabilities of the Turkey military to guard against hostile aggression and shield Nato allies who might train and operate within Turkey’s borders”.

Russia said on Wednesday it would continue with its own sale of an advanced missile defence system to Turkey.

In addition to the northern deployment, US forces are also helping fight IS in the last pocket of territory it controls in the south-east of the country.

Iran Prepares to Take Advantage of a Weakened Trump

Iran carefully deliberating how to handle weakened, distracted Trump

by Ray Takeyh  | December 20, 2018 12:00 AM

The midterm congressional elections and the polarized politics of America are sparking their own debate within the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many of the regime’s hardliners have come to the conclusion that the Trump administration will be weaker in the next two years and thus it is time for a more confrontational policy. President Hassan Rouhani and his battered centrists are also looking at American politics, but instead of an immediate conflict they want to wait out the Trump storm and deal with a more accommodating Democratic president that may come to power in 2020. The ultimate arbiter of this debate is leader Ali Khamenei, who seems to be edging toward his hardline disciples.

By this time, Rouhani must appreciate that the Europeans are unlikely to shield Iran from the sanctions imposed by Trump after he abrogated the Iran deal — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Commerce and politics have parted ways, as businessmen are less responsive to the pleas of European diplomats for trade with Iran that could cost them access to the American market. Still, for Rouhani, talks with Europe and adherence to the JCPOA is about making an impression on a Democratic Party eager for an Iranian interlocutor should it recapture the White House in two years. Rouhani’s diplomatic gambit is less about Europe than America’s progressives.

For Rouhani’s hardline detractors, the time for hunkering down has past. They have no confidence in American politicians of any stripe. They see the Trump presidency as mired in domestic disputes and facing a hostile Congress. Such preoccupations preclude, in their telling, a robust American response to projections of their power in the region or even the resumption of the nuclear program.

The latest chorus of denunciation of Rouhani was led by his vanquished opponent in the last presidential election, Ibrahim Raisi, who insisted, “If we are restrained, our enemies will not retreat. We must be more of activists.” Revolutionary Guards Gen. Amir Ali Jadeh-Zahdi dismissed negotiations and insisted that “the strategies of Europe and America are the same and in between them they have crafted a division of labor.” He ended his speech by exclaiming, “If we don’t fight the Islamic State in the towns of Syria and Iraq, this virus will surely migrate to Iran and we have to fight it Hamadan and Kermanshah and Tabriz.” Said Jalili, the former lead nuclear negotiator, has similarly castigated Rouhani as a naive politician who believes that “preserving the JCPOA is good for Iran’s pocket book.”

For Jalili and many hardliners, it is time to dispense with the JCPOA and forge full speed ahead.

Ali Khamenei seldom takes on America unless he perceives that its vulnerabilities preclude an effective response. He did not assail President George W. Bush’s enterprise in Iraq until he was sure that America was too mired in a sectarian civil war to address his misdeeds. It was then that his Revolutionary Guards lacerated the American troops. He did not concede to an arms control agreement with President Barack Obama’s administration until he calculated that Washington was desperate for an accord and would make the necessary concessions.

At the beginning of the Trump administration, Khamenei seemed unsettled by the new president and his provocations. The leader insisted, “There will be no war; nor will we negotiate with the U.S.” Thus, Khamenei conceded to Rouhani’s strategy of trying to fracture the Western alliance and protect Iran from American retribution by cozying up to Europe.

Now, he sees another American president struggling to regain his footing, facing domestic headwinds, and the onset of a presidential campaign season that always produces policy paralysis in Washington. Khamenei recently assured his military officers that as a result of unity and “effective presence of the armed forces in the field — the shadow of intimation and threats will also go away from the Iranian nation.” Today, Khamenei’s instincts are drawing him closer to his hawkish disciples who see in America’s domestic troubles an opportunity to reclaim more of the region, a leader who views enmity toward America as essential to the vitality of the revolution is clearly being swayed by the arguments of those he most trusts.

During its first two years, the Trump administration had the luxury of engaging in a series of steps such as abrogating the Iran deal and re-imposing costly sanctions without a measurable Iranian response. That retaliation may soon be coming, as the Islamic Republic seeks to further entrench its presence in Syria, turn Lebanon into a front-line state against Israel, and press Iraq’s politics to its advantage. Indeed, Khamenei may even authorize resumption of aspects of the nuclear program.

The Iranian hardliners are betting that America will do nothing. How the Trump administration responds to this Iranian move will go far in determining the success of its Middle East policy.

Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

India Ready to Nuke up Against Pakistan (Revelation 8)

Government aware of reports on Pakistan expanding nuke weapons capability

NEW DELHI: The government on Wednesday said it was aware of reports on expansion of Pakistan’s capability for production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and asserted that it was committed to take all necessary steps to respond to any threat “suitably”.

Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman, replying to a question in Lok Sabha, said the government continues to monitor developments in this regard.

“Government is aware of reports on the expansion of Pakistan’s capability for fissile material production for nuclear weapons, the expansion in its delivery capabilities and purported development of tactical nuclear weapons,” she said. The minister said the government was “committed to take all necessary steps to safeguard national security and respond to any threat suitably and adequately”. To a separate question on whether India has lost any territory as a result of international agreement and wars since independence or whether the country has gained any foreign territory through global pacts or wars during the period, she said the information is being collected form the ministries concerned.