The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6)

The Sixth Seal Long Overdue (Revelation 6)



November 8, 2017 3 Minutes

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

The Big One Awaits


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.


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)

The Iranian Islamic Nuclear Bomb (Revelation 16)

The Ayatollah With the Bomb

This entry was posted in National Security and tagged Democrats, Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal, North Korea, Nuclear Iran, Nuclear Weapons. Bookmark the permalink.

April 23, 2019 6:37 pm

In recent weeks, several Democrats running for president have vowed that, if elected, they would reenter the United States into the nuclear deal with Iran. The accord, they argue, was working to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, until President Trump scrapped it last year, potentially provoking Tehran to withdraw from the agreement as well. The main problem with this argument is the main problem with the deal itself: the accord paves, rather than blocks, Iran’s path toward nuclear weapons.

Forget about Iran cheating or the insufficient inspections for a moment. The regime can produce the world’s most powerful weapons if it simply abides by the deal, under which the key restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program expire over the next 12 years. Beginning in 2026, for example, Tehran is free to enrich uranium using advanced centrifuges, which make the enrichment process much more efficient, and to install and operate more of its older models. Then, in 2031, restrictions on the amount and level of enriched uranium that Iran can stockpile disappear. So, in about a decade, the Islamic Republic will have the international community’s blessing to build as large a nuclear program as it wants—while, if the United States re-implements the deal, enjoying relief from sanctions.

In a twisted irony, the deal is itself a ticking time bomb, and cannot be allowed to run its course. Yet the accord has created inertia in some circles in Washington, where many of its supporters seem content touting the deal’s benefits and handing off the problem to tomorrow’s leaders and thinkers. But there is more to their thought process than indifference, or an unrealistic view of what the deal will do, or whatever else motivates their stance. Those presidential candidates who promised to re-join the nuclear deal, and like-minded supporters, have made a choice, whether they know it or not: the cost of preventing an Iranian nuclear weapon is not worth the benefits. In other words, it is not worth striking Iranian nuclear facilities, and thereby risking a war, to stop the Islamist theocracy’s march toward the bomb. Which is worse: Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, or going to war, if necessary, to prevent Iran from obtaining them? This is the fundamental choice that underpins many observers’ views of the nuclear deal, consciously or subconsciously. Understanding this point makes the debate over the deal, and over Iran’s nuclear program more generally, much clearer.

Champions of the nuclear deal, those who describe it as a panacea (for example, Barack Obama), of course recognize that a nuclear-armed Iran would be dangerous. They know that a cruel and oppressive regime, one both anti-American and anti-Semitic, that is willing to stone women and execute homosexuals should not have nuclear weapons, especially when that regime practices a belligerent foreign policy. But their words and actions show that they, if put to a choice between military action and acquiescence, would choose the latter, believing that they can live with a nuclear-armed Iran.

There are many ways to show why this view is wrong, and why Americans should not accept a world where Tehran has nuclear weapons. One way to illustrate the point is to compare the threat that a nuclear-armed Iran would pose to global security to the threat that a nuclear-armed North Korea currently poses. Any sane person recognizes that North Korea, a totalitarian state run by a murderous, delusional savage committed to reunifying the Korean peninsula, is a grave threat. In fact, Democrats in Congress who support the Iran nuclear deal have actually chided President Trump for being too nice to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Yet a nuclear-armed Iran would be far more dangerous than a nuclear-armed North Korea.

Iran is an imperial, expansionist power seeking preeminence in the Middle East. The regime exerts heavy influence on four Arab capitals—Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, and Sana’a—supports Palestinian groups, seeks Israel’s destruction, incites the Shi’ite populations in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to subvert their governments, and is trying to expand its influence in Afghanistan and beyond. Tehran sends its soldiers across borders and creates proxy forces to do its bidding, competing against similarly powerful countries for regional influence in multiple conflicts that could easily trigger war. If Iran obtained nuclear weapons, other Middle Eastern states—certainly Saudi Arabia—would seek the same capability. Imagine the consequences of a nuclear arms race in the world’s most volatile region. The Islamic Republic is also a theocratic regime, driven in large part by the desire to spread a revolutionary form of Shi’a Islam. And, sanctions aside, Iran is a major player in the global economy, exporting oil and gas. Deterring Iran from using nuclear weapons would be a murkier prospect, not to mention that the United States is not obligated by any treaty to protect its Middle Eastern allies.

North Korea, meanwhile, is not an imperial, expansionist power in the same way, in large part because of geography. To the south, the North Korean leadership sees a more powerful South Korea, which the United States has promised to protect. To the north is China, a purported ally and, more importantly, a far more powerful country. To every other direction: water. And beyond: Japan, which is, again, a stronger country, and one to whose security the United States is unambiguously committed. Pyongyang simply cannot pursue a belligerent foreign policy in the same way as Iran even if it wanted to. Indeed, North Korea is contained by virtue of its location and lack of resources. For these same reasons, it is not involved in a regional competition for supremacy that can devolve into war like Tehran. Moreover, Pyongyang does not try to export an ideology, revolutionary or otherwise. And North Korea has nothing of value to offer the global economy, just the black market. Deterring North Korea is more straightforward, even if the North Korean leadership seems more unpredictable than their Iranian counterparts. Not that the United States should accept a nuclear-armed North Korea—far from it—and obviously North Korea’s nuclear program is, currently, more menacing than Iran’s. But that could very well change in the foreseeable future.

Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is truly a nightmare scenario, one that the United States—regardless of who is in power—should do everything it can to prevent. Unfortunately, and dangerously, most of the Democratic presidential candidates would do the opposite, showing Iran a path to the bomb. Americans, both leaders and citizens, need to appreciate the horror that a nuclear-armed Iran would present to the world. Maybe then more people would support the aggressive posture that is required to deter and counter Iran’s deadly ambitions.

Preparing to Fight for the Straight of Hormuz

IRGC HD Video Shows US Aircraft Carrier in Persian Gulf

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A high definition footage obtained by IRGC naval forces shows the US warshipss being closely monitored in the Persian Gulf waters, south of Iran.

Tasnim News Agency

IRGC naval forces released a high quality video showing a close observation of a US aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

On April 8, US President Donald Trump announced that Washington is designating the IRGC a foreign “terrorist organization”, marking the first time the US has formally labeled another country’s military a terrorist group.

Responding to the move, Iran’s Supreme National Security Council immediately declared the US as a state sponsor of terrorism and US forces in the region terrorists.

The SNSC said it has put CENTCOM on its terror list as a “reciprocal measure” against the US “illegal and unwise” move.

The Islamic Republic of Iran plays a significant and leading role in establishing security in the Persian Gulf.

In remarks in 2016, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that security of the Persian Gulf region comes within the purview of the regional countries alone, and dismissed the US claim of seeking security in the region.

“The Persian Gulf security relates to the countries of the region which have common interests, and not to the US. So, security of the Persian Gulf region should be provided by the countries of this region itself,” the Leader said.

Ayatollah Khamenei has also called for the enhancement of the Iranian naval forces’ presence in international waters and expanding the Navy’s power in balance with the merit of the Islamic Establishment.

The Horns of Prophecy Align (Daniel 7:7)

Trump admin aiming for major nuclear deal with Russia and China

By Kylie Atwood and Nicole Gaouette, CNN

Updated 7:24 AM EDT, Fri April 26, 2019

Washington(CNN) President Donald Trump has his eyes on a new foreign policy prize: a grand nuclear deal with Russia and China, that he sees as a potential signature foreign policy achievement. However, some arms control experts are concerned the effort could backfire.

The President, who has a penchant for big deals, has hinted publicly a deal is on his agenda, adding a threat if it doesn’t come to pass.

“Perhaps we can negotiate a different agreement, adding China and others, or perhaps we can’t,” Trump said, mentioning his decision to pursue a treaty during his January address to the nation. “In which case, we will outspend and out-innovate all others by far.”

The White House is conducting intense interagency talks to develop options for the President to pursue such a deal, building off another nuclear pact, the New START Treaty, which expires in 2021, multiple White House officials told CNN.

The President has made clear that he thinks that arms control should include Russia and China and should include all the weapons, all the warheads, all the missiles,” said a senior White House official. “We have an ambition to give the President options as quickly as possible to give him as much space on the calendar as possible.”

“This is something that no administration has tried,” the senior official said. “But I would argue no administration has tried what [Trump] tried with North Korea for example.”

Worries about triggering an arms race

But the scale of those ambitions, Trump’s past criticism of New START as a “bad deal” and the role of national security adviser John Bolton — a longstanding critic of arms control agreements — have some observers concerned that the administration’s true goal might be find a way to exit a second nuclear pact it sees as constraining and outdated.

“The only reason you bring up China is if you have no intention of extending the New START Treaty,” said Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Bell and other arms control experts worry that before too long, the world’s two largest nuclear powers might shed limits on their nuclear arsenals for the first time in decades.

Administration officials say their aim is to revamp a dusty pact for a new age and increase global security.

“If we can get the deal right, if we can make sure that it fits 2021 and beyond, President Trump has made very clear that if we can get a good solid arms control agreement we ought to get one,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress this month. He added that “we need to make sure we’ve got all of the parties that are relevant as a component of this as well,” Pompeo said. “Other countries besides Russia and China.”

The Trump administration has not set out a timeline for negotiations or even raised the prospect with China and Russia. Pompeo told lawmakers the US was in the “very beginning of conversations about renewing” the treaty.

New START “covers only a small sub-set of weapons that Russia was comfortable covering,” said the official.

‘We should eliminate as many of them as possible’

“What the President wants to look at is, we should bring all of those weapons under control,” the official said. “We should eliminate as many of them as possible, we should look to eliminate classes of weapons.”

With less than two years left in his first term, Trump would be under the gun to accomplish something that many view as impossible. Administration officials say that’s not a reason not to try, and one pointed out that it took the Obama administration less than two years to negotiate New START.

It’s a comparison that arms control experts say doesn’t hold water. New START was built on decades of negotiations for the original START Treaty, while a pact that includes a new country could require starting from scratch.

Both US and Russian officials have signaled that renewal could be drawn-out and difficult. Trump administration officials question whether Moscow’s development of new nuclear weapons is the kind of step a “responsible stakeholder” would take.

Russian officials question US compliance with New START.

“The extension of the New START is not a simple technicality that could be resolved in a couple of weeks,” Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said at an arms control conference this month. “Serious issues must be settled.”

The 2010 New START treaty limits both nations to deploying 1,550 nuclear warheads over 700 delivery systems, including intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and bombers. It also allows for 18 on-site inspections every year that allow each side to keep a close eye on the others’ capabilities.

The treaty is set to expire in 2021, but could be extended for up to five years if both sides agree.

The White House, however, doesn’t see the need to rush into talks on extending New START before going after the bigger deal, which would look to include non-strategic weapons and get rid of certain classes of weapons.

“We don’t have to have a discussion right now about an extension,” the official said. Instead, “we need to have a discussion about, with everything that Russia and China are developing what does threat reduction to the US look like, and what should a proposal look like to bring them both to the table to try to negotiate a better deal.”

Nuclear experts are wary that getting too close to the renewal deadline will put the treaty in jeopardy. Lynn Rusten, a Vice President at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, says a “prudent way forward” would be renewing New START and then drawing in the Chinese, and potentially other nuclear-capable countries like the UK and France.

“An overly ambitious approach will be unnecessarily risky,” says Rusten. “You can have the belt and suspenders, and start to lay the groundwork for a more ambitious agreement. But I don’t think getting rid of the belt and suspenders enhances chances of getting the more ambitious agreement.”

Rusten worries that the closer the deadline gets, the more both sides will try to leverage their position. That posturing, she warns, could lead to a crash and burn.

Bell says that if New START expires, the US will lose access to vital information about the Russian nuclear system. “We give that up, we lose that intelligence that gives us a real time view into their strategic arsenal … then we have to make choices about what we do with our own nuclear weapons based on guessing.”

Bell and others question say the administration’s idea to include China in the treaty raises questions and, in some ways, strains credulity.

Concerns about China’s willingness to engage

First, Beijing has long said that it would not engage in nuclear controls with countries that have much larger stockpiles. China has less than one-tenth the nuclear weapons that Russia and the US have, it has a no first use policy and is believed to store its warheads apart from its missiles.

“China isn’t even in the same ballpark,” said Bell. “They’re not even playing the same game.”

Unless Beijing agreed to be the junior partner in a broader pact — a highly unlikely scenario — bringing China under the New START’s restraints would present Washington and Moscow with an excruciating choice.

To reach parity, they would either have to have radically reduce their own weapons holdings or let China begin a massive nuclear build up to match US and Russian numbers.

The Chinese embassy did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

European defense officials say there’s value in the idea of drawing China into strategic discussions, but they don’t hold out much hope.

“On the one hand there’s the talk about wanting to include China; on the other hand there’s the realistic expectation that China is not interested in joining that framework,” one official said. “When you put those two together, the prospects are not terribly optimistic.”

In April, during a meeting with Chinese vice premier Liu He in the Oval Office, Trump said that he thinks Moscow and Beijing will “come along” on a nuclear deal and said it could happen after the US and China complete trade negotiations.

“I think it’s much better if we all got together and we didn’t make these weapons,” Trump said. “As you know, China is spending a lot of money on military. So are we. So is Russia. And those three countries, I think, can come together and stop the spending and spend on things that maybe are more productive toward long-term peace.”