The Nuclear Bowls of Wrath (Revelation 16)

335 Million Dead: If America Launched A Massive Nuclear War on Russia and China

Overall, an all-out U.S. attack on the Soviet Union, China and satellite countries in 1962 would have killed 335 million people within the first seventy-two hours.

Overall, an all-out U.S. attack on the Soviet Union, China and satellite countries in 1962 would have killed 335 million people within the first seventy-two hours.”

It is no exaggeration to say that for those who grew up during the Cold War, all-out nuclear war was “the ultimate nightmare.” The prospect of an ordinary day interrupted by air-raid sirens, klaxons and the searing heat of a thermonuclear explosion was a very real, albeit remote, possibility. Television shows such as The Day After and Threads realistically portrayed both a nuclear attack and the gradual disintegration of society in the aftermath. In an all-out nuclear attack, most of the industrialized world would have been bombed back to the Stone Age, with hundreds of millions killed outright and perhaps as many as a billion or more dying of radiation, disease and famine in the postwar period.

(This first appeared several years ago.)

During much of the Cold War, the United States’ nuclear warfighting plan was known as the SIOP, or the Single Integrated Operating Plan. The first SIOP, introduced in 1962, was known as SIOP-62, and its effects on the Soviet Union, Warsaw Pact and China were documented in a briefing paper created for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and brought to light in 2011 by the National Security Archive. The paper presupposed a new Berlin crisis, similar to the one that took place in 1961, but escalating to full-scale war in western Europe.

Although the war scenario was fictional, the post-attack estimates were very real. According to the paper, the outlook for Communist bloc countries subjected to the full weight of American atomic firepower was grim. The paper divided attack scenarios into two categories: one in which the U.S. nuclear Alert Force, a percentage of overall nuclear forces kept on constant alert, struck the Soviet Union and its allies; and a second scenario where the full weight of the nuclear force, known as the Full Force, was used.

Under SIOP, “about 1,000” installations that were related to “nuclear delivery capability” would be struck. The scenario, which assumed advance warning of a Soviet attack and an American preemptive strike, would see the Alert Force attacking 75 percent of these targets. The attack would be a largely “counterforce” strike, in which U.S. nuclear forces attacked Soviet, Warsaw Pact and Chinese command-and-control and nuclear forces. The report states that 83 to 88 percent of all targets would be destroyed with 70 percent assurance.

In an Alert Force attack, 199 Soviet cities with populations of fifty thousand or greater would be struck. This would turn 56 percent of the urban population and 37 percent of the total population into casualties, most of whom would eventually die due to a post-attack breakdown of society. In China, forty-nine cities would be struck, turning 41 percent of the urban population into casualties and 10 percent of the overall population. In eastern Europe, only purely military targets would be struck, with a projected 1,378,000 killed by American nuclear attacks.

An all-out Full Force attack would be much worse. A Full Force attack would devastate 295 cities, leaving only five cities with populations of fifty thousand or more unscathed. 72 percent of the urban population and 54 percent of the overall population would become casualties—as the National Security Archive points out, that amounts to 108 million likely killed out of a total population of 217 million. In China, seventy-eight cities would be struck, affecting 53 percent of the urban population and 16 percent of the overall population. Casualties in eastern Europe would more than double, to 4,004,000.

Overall, an all-out U.S. attack on the Soviet Union, China and satellite countries in 1962 would have killed 335 million people within the first seventy-two hours.

The SIOP-62 report does not attempt to estimate U.S. casualties in a nuclear war. However, a 1978 report prepared for the Pentagon’s Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), “The Effects of Nuclear War,” spelled out in grim detail what would happen if the Soviet Union unleashed its arsenal on the United States.

The OTA report states that, in the event of a Soviet attack against U.S. nuclear forces, other military targets, economic targets and population targets, an attack could be estimated to kill between sixty and eighty-eight million Americans. With enough warning, major cities and industrial areas could be evacuated, but that would only lower the number of dead to between fifty-one and forty-seven million. Attacks on U.S. allies, including the NATO nations, Japan and South Korea, would undoubtedly occur but are not modelled in the study.

Another report, “Casualties Due to the Blast, Heat, and Radioactive Fallout from Various Hypothetical Nuclear Attacks on the United States,” postulated a Soviet attack against “1,215 U.S. strategic-nuclear targets. The attack involves almost 3,000 warheads with a total yield of about 1,340 megatons.” Because the attacks are carried out against hardened facilities, particularly MX and Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic-missile silos, the attacks are envisioned using SS-18 “Satan” ICBMs, each carrying ten 550-to-750-kiloton warheads. Attacks against U.S. bomber and refueling forces are carried out by ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles fired from off the coastline.

The result of even this modest attack, which largely spares U.S. cities to attack nuclear forces in the Midwest, is thirteen to thirty-four million deaths and twenty-five to sixty-four million total casualties. Still, bombarded by 1,215 nukes, the United States would lose far fewer people than Strategic Air Command estimated the Soviet Union would lose in 1962.

The discrepancy is probably because of the larger yields of U.S. nuclear weapons in the 1960s versus Soviet nukes in the 1980s, but also because at the time of the SAC report, Soviet nuclear forces were primarily bomber-based. The Soviet Union had between 300 and 320 nuclear weapons in 1962, all but forty of which were bomber-based. Bomber bases may have been closer to major population areas. A major draw of U.S. nuclear weapons to Soviet cities would have also been the presence of local airports, which would have functioned as dispersal airfields for nuclear-armed bombers. On the other hand, the Soviet attack would largely hit ICBM fields and bomber bases in low-population-density regions of the Midwest, plus a handful of submarine bases on both coasts.

As devastating as these projections are, all readily admit they don’t tell the entire story. While these three studies model the immediate effects of a nuclear attack, long-term problems might kill more people than the attack itself. The destruction of cities would deny the millions of injured, even those who might otherwise easily survive, even basic health care. What remains of government—in any country—would be hard pressed to maintain order in the face of dwindling food and energy supplies, a contaminated landscape, the spread of disease and masses of refugees. Over a twelve-month period, depending on the severity of the attack, total deaths attributable to the attacks could double.

While the threat of nuclear war between the United States and Soviet Union has ended, the United States now faces the prospect of a similar war with Russia or China. The effects of a nuclear war in the twenty-first century would be no less severe. The steps to avoiding nuclear war, however, are the same as they were during the Cold War: arms control, confidence-building measures undertaken by both sides and a de-escalation of tensions.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.

Palestinians Call for Mass Protests Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinians call for mass Gaza border protests on Saturday | The Jerusalem post

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

Palestinian demonstrators protest at the Israel-Gaza border fence, in the central Gaza Strip January 25, 2019. (photo credit:” IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA / REUTERS)

The organizers said they are hoping that tens of thousands of Gazans will join the mass protests.

Factions in the Gaza Strip are urging Palestinians to participate in Saturday’s mass protests near the border with Israel afternoon prayers. The factions urged Palestinians on Thursday to “maintain the peaceful and popular nature” of the protests, and said they don’t want to give Israel an excuse to use force against the demonstrators.

Saturday’s protests marking the first anniversary of the “Great March of Return” weekly demonstrations coincides with Land Day, an annual day of commemoration of the events that took place in Israel in 1976 after the Israeli government’s decision to expropriate thousands of hectares in the Galilee.

The organizers said they are hoping that tens of thousands of Gazans will join the mass protests.

The call for mass participation in Saturday’s protests near the border with Israel came as Egyptian intelligence officials held talks in the Gaza Strip with leaders of various Palestinian groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, to discuss ways of averting an all-out confrontation between the Palestinians and Israel.

The Egyptian security delegation, headed by Gen. Ahmed Abdel Khaleq, arrived in the Gaza Strip late Wednesday. On Thursday afternoon, the delegation headed back to Israel to brief Israeli officials on the outcome of their talks with the Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip.

Sources in the Gaza Strip said that the Egyptian intelligence officials demanded that the Palestinian factions work towards preventing Palestinians from engaging in violence during Saturday’s protests. The Egyptians reportedly relayed a message from Israel to the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to the effect that Israel will respond with full force to any attempt to infiltrate the border or harm its soldiers.

The Egyptian officials are expected to return to the Gaza Strip on Friday, said Talal Abu Tharifah, a senior official with the PLO’s Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The Egyptians, he said, will brief the leaders of the Palestinian factions on the results of their talks in Israel, especially with regards to the demand that Israel ease restrictions imposed on the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

Talal Abu Tharifah said that the organizers of the “Great March of Return” have made it clear that Saturday’s demonstrations will be “peaceful.”

Khaled al-Batsh – head of the National Authority for the Great March of Return, the body that launched the weekly protests in March 2018 – called for “preserving the popular nature” of the protests so as not to give Israel an excuse to use force against the Palestinians.

“Our people have decided to march towards freedom regardless of the cost and sacrifices,” said al-Batsh during a press conference in Gaza City. He called on representatives of the media and human rights organizations to come to the sites of the protests to witness the “historic” event.

The organizers of the protests urged Palestinian participants to display discipline and “watch out for the bullets of the soldiers and snipers.” They also called on the protesters to stay in five encampments that would be established near the border with Israel and “cooperate with the organizing committees to maintain the safety of the residents.”

Husam Badran, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, said on Thursday that the weekly protests near the border with Israel will increase and expand in the coming days and weeks. He said that calm and stability on the Israeli side of the border with the Gaza Strip was “dependent on the extent of the Israeli government’s adherence to understandings that were reached to lift the blockade on the Gaza Strip.” The Israelis living near the border with the Gaza Strip will continue to live in anxiety as long as the Palestinians are suffering due to the blockade, he added.

The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6:12)

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

Photo: Alexander Gates, a Rutgers geologist, is mapping a part of the Ramapo Fault, site of previous earthquakes. (John W. Wheeler for The New York Times)

Trump Secretly Builds the Saudi Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Image result for saudi nuclearTrump administration approves secret nuclear power work for Saudi Arabia

Published Wed, Mar 27 2019 • 9:23 PM EDT Updated Thu, Mar 28 2019 • 7:36 AM EDT

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has approved six secret authorizations by companies to sell nuclear power technology and assistance to Saudi Arabia, according to a copy of a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday.

The Trump administration has quietly pursued a wider deal on sharing U.S. nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia, which aims to build at least two nuclear power plants. Several countries including the United States, South Korea and Russia are in competition for that deal, and the winners are expected to be announced later this year by Saudi Arabia.

Perry’s approvals, known as Part 810 authorizations, allow companies to do preliminary work on nuclear power ahead of the deal, but not ship equipment that would go into a plant, a source with knowledge of the agreements said on condition of anonymity. The approvals were first reported by the Daily Beast.

The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said in the document that the companies had requested that the Trump administration keep the approvals secret. “In this case, each of the companies which received a specific authorization for (Saudi Arabia) have provided us written request that their authorization be withheld from public release,” the NNSA said in the document.

The NNSA and the Department of Energy did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

Many U.S. lawmakers are concerned that sharing nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia could eventually lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS last year that the kingdom would develop nuclear weapons if its rival Iran did. In addition, the kingdom has occasionally pushed back against agreeing to U.S. standards that would block two paths to potentially making fissile material for nuclear weapons clandestinely: enriching uranium and reprocessing spent fuel.

Concern in Congress about sharing nuclear technology and knowledge with Saudi Arabia rose after Oct. 2, 2018 when U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The Part 810 authorizations were made after November 2017, but it was not clear from the document whether any of them were made after Khashoggi’s killing.

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., called on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a congressional hearing on Wednesday to release the names of the companies that got the approvals by the middle of April, and Pompeo said he would look into it. Sherman also said the Trump administration has attempted to evade Congress on sharing nuclear power with the kingdom. Pompeo said the administration was working to ensure any shared technology nuclear power would not present proliferation risks.

Last month, Democratic House members alleged in a report that top White House aides ignored warnings they could be breaking the law as they worked with former U.S. officials in a group called IP3 International to advance a multibillion-dollar plan to build nuclear reactors in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia.

IP3 did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it was one of the companies that got a Part 810 authorization.

Separately, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, has accepted a request by Senators Marco Rubio, a Republican and Bob Menendez, a Democrat, to probe the administration’s talks on a nuclear deal with Saudi, a GAO official who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday.

Antichrist Returns to Najaf after 3-Month Absence

Leader of the Sadrist movement Moqtada al-Sadr has returned to Najaf from Beirut after being away for more than three months.

Although his office has not commented on the reasons behind this long absence and return, it has dismissed claims that he has been ill.

Bahaa al-Araji, a member of the Sadrist Movement and a former deputy Prime Minister, announced last week that Sadr will soon return to Baghdad and will launch a new initiative regarding Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s uncompleted government.

Abdul Mahdi will attend a meeting on Wednesday at the residence of head of the Reform and Reconstruction Coalition Ammar al-Hakim, the coalition said.

“A meeting will be held to discuss many significant issues,” read a statement by the coalition’s general body, adding that Abdul Mahdi was invited to attend it.

The Coalition includes Sadr’s Saairun Alliance, Haider al-Abadi’s Victory Alliance, Hakim’s National Wisdom Movement, Iyad Allawi’s al-Wataniya Coalition and other political blocs.

Saairun MP representing Badr al-Ziadi said the law on expelling foreign troops from Iraq has been drafted.

“We are only waiting for the Premier’s decision regarding the troops that he might need to keep,” he said.

“Abdul Mahdi was supposed to hold a session on March 10, but the acceleration of events and political issues… prevented him from doing so,” he added.

Meanwhile, political blocs remain at loggerheads over the failure to complete the cabinet formation. The differences between them lie on four ministries, two of which are so-called sovereign portfolios.

Al-Mihwar al-Watani MP representing Abdullah al-Khirbit told Asharq Al-Awsat that the blocs are bickering on the candidates for the four remaining portfolios – defense, interior, education and justice – in Abdul Mahdi’s cabinet.

He said the dispute will likely be resolved after the return of Parliament Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi from his official visit to the United States.