A Lack Of Vigilance Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

Faults Underlying Exercise Vigilant Guard

Story by: (Author NameStaff Sgt. Raymond Drumsta – 138th Public Affairs Detachment

Dated: Thu, Nov 5, 2009

This map illustrates the earthquake fault lines in Western New York. An earthquake in the region is a likely event, says University of Buffalo Professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.

TONAWANDA, NY — An earthquake in western New York, the scenario that Exercise Vigilant Guard is built around, is not that far-fetched, according to University of Buffalo geology professor Dr. Robert Jacobi.

When asked about earthquakes in the area, Jacobi pulls out a computer-generated state map, cross-hatched with diagonal lines representing geological faults.

The faults show that past earthquakes in the state were not random, and could occur again on the same fault systems, he said.

“In western New York, 6.5 magnitude earthquakes are possible,” he said.

This possibility underlies Exercise Vigilant Guard, a joint training opportunity for National Guard and emergency response organizations to build relationships with local, state, regional and federal partners against a variety of different homeland security threats including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.

The exercise was based on an earthquake scenario, and a rubble pile at the Spaulding Fibre site here was used to simulate a collapsed building. The scenario was chosen as a result of extensive consultations with the earthquake experts at the University of Buffalo’s Multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering Research (MCEER), said Brig. Gen. Mike Swezey, commander of 53rd Troop Command, who visited the site on Monday.

Earthquakes of up to 7 magnitude have occurred in the Northeastern part of the continent, and this scenario was calibrated on the magnitude 5.9 earthquake which occurred in Saguenay, Quebec in 1988, said Jacobi and Professor Andre Filiatrault, MCEER director.

“A 5.9 magnitude earthquake in this area is not an unrealistic scenario,” said Filiatrault.

Closer to home, a 1.9 magnitude earthquake occurred about 2.5 miles from the Spaulding Fibre site within the last decade, Jacobi said. He and other earthquake experts impaneled by the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada in 1997 found that there’s a 40 percent chance of 6.5 magnitude earthquake occurring along the Clareden-Linden fault system, which lies about halfway between Buffalo and Rochester, Jacobi added.

Jacobi and Filiatrault said the soft soil of western New York, especially in part of downtown Buffalo, would amplify tremors, causing more damage.

“It’s like jello in a bowl,” said Jacobi.

The area’s old infrastructure is vulnerable because it was built without reinforcing steel, said Filiatrault. Damage to industrial areas could release hazardous materials, he added.

“You’ll have significant damage,” Filiatrault said.

Exercise Vigilant Guard involved an earthquake’s aftermath, including infrastructure damage, injuries, deaths, displaced citizens and hazardous material incidents. All this week, more than 1,300 National Guard troops and hundreds of local and regional emergency response professionals have been training at several sites in western New York to respond these types of incidents.

Jacobi called Exercise Vigilant Guard “important and illuminating.”

“I’m proud of the National Guard for organizing and carrying out such an excellent exercise,” he said.

Training concluded Thursday.

The Alliance of the Shi’a Horns (Daniel 8:3)

Iran defence chief, Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami

Iran Defence Chief Advocates for Increased Military Ties With Iraq, Potentially at Risk of US Troops

05 July 2019


By Pooya Stone

Iran’s defence chief reportedly advocated on Thursday for the country to increase military and defence ties with Iraq, where Iran-backed Shiite militias and roughly 5,000 American service members are located.

Iran defence chief, Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami, told his newly-appointed Iraqi counterpart, Najah Hassan Ali Al-Shammari, that “Iraq [is] a friend of Iran with age-old religious, social and civilizational commonalities”, during a phone conversation on July 4 that was reported by Iran’s state-run Tasnim News Agency.

He said: “We consider Iraq’s security, stability, and progress as being in the interests of the region, and have always defended it.”

Iran’s state-run Mehr News Agency also reported on the story, saying that Hatami called for an increase in defence and military relations between the two nations in order to strengthen their combined regional power.

The Iraqi defence chief responded by expressing gratitude to Tehran, saying, “Iraq and Iran share many common interests, and their security and stability are intertwined”.

Of course, it’s important to note that the Iranian theocracy still has a lot of influence and control over Iraq, another Shiite-majority country, with the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), an umbrella organization of Shiite militias with tens of thousands of members, wielding unprecedented power and legitimised by the Iraqi government as a member of the security forces.

These comments come at the same time that tensions between the US and Iran are at an all-time, with the nations almost going to war last month, after Iran shot down an unmanned US drone and the US blamed Iran for several attacks on tankers near the Persian Gulf.

These tensions have been rising for over a year now, since Donald Trump pulled the US out of the 2015 nuclear deal, noting that the deal widely favoured Iran’s finances above global security, and began reimposing sanctions on Iran, including its oil exports, in a maximum pressure campaign. Iran responded to the crippling sanctions by vowing to close the key shipping lane, the Strait of Hormuz, and violating the nuclear deal.

The PMF and Iran have previously called for pushing the US out of the Middle East, which leads many experts to believe that American troops may be in danger. The Pentagon’s inspector general said that the PMF and other Iran proxies in the Middle East pose a threat to US troops in Iraq and Syria, where an additional 2,000 service personnel are stationed.

Trump About to Fatally Worsen Obama’s Mistakes

Column: Trump in danger of repeating Obama’s Iran mistake

Bobby Ghosh15 hrs ago

President Donald Trump, who seems obsessed with undoing his predecessor’s legacy, is in danger of repeating Barack Obama’s fundamental mistake on Iran: Making the confrontation with the Islamic Republic almost exclusively about nuclear weapons.

In recent weeks, Trump has on several occasions repeated his willingness to negotiate with the regime in Tehran, even as he slapped more sanctions on Iranian institutions and individuals, and threatened “obliteration” if Americans are attacked. While not quite the same as talking softly and carrying a big stick, it is at least a simulacrum of a strategy — except that, as I have written before, the administration hasn’t properly defined its objectives.

But when pressed for a definition, Trump has talked mostly about Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, suggesting that preventing such an outcome would be the purpose of any talks with Tehran. “I think they want to negotiate,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press program. “And I think they want to make a deal. And my deal is nuclear. Look, they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon.”

He said that was the message he sent Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei through Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: “I said, ‘Send the following message: You can’t have nuclear weapons. And other than that, we can sit down and make a deal.’” But that is exactly the signal Obama sent — through his secretary of state, John Kerry — after the Iranians agreed in 2013 to negotiations aimed at ending the economic sanctions. And the principle was enshrined two years later in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action: Tehran would give up its nuclear ambitions in exchange for access to international markets and billions of dollars in frozen assets.

The deal was deeply flawed. In effect, it gave the Iranian regime a shield to cover its other dangerous activities — supporting genocide in Syria and terrorism elsewhere, along with the development of ballistic missiles — and more money with which to conduct them. The Iranians did just that, stepping up assistance to Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen.

At the same time, the JCPOA allowed Iran to maintain a stockpile of enriched uranium, and the possibility of resuming its pursuit of nuclear weapons in 10 or 15 years.

After Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal last year, the State Department signaled that any future negotiations would encompass all of Iran’s malign behavior, not just its nuclear program. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a list of 12 demands the regime would have to fulfil before a new deal could be struck: These included the ending of support for groups like Hezbollah and the termination of the ballistic-missile program.

But in his eagerness to “make a deal” with Khamenei — and perhaps imagining a photo-op akin to his little walkabout with Kim Jong Un in North Korea — Trump seems be losing sight of the non-nuclear threat represented by Tehran. In his NBC interview, the president made only a fleeting reference to Iran’s ballistic missile program, but it was clear where his priorities lay: “Here’s what I want: anything that gets you to the result.”

Then he repeated that Iran could not have nuclear weapons.

It is a position Obama would have approved. And, if he had any sense, so would Khamenei.

Bobby Ghosh is a columnist and member of the Bloomberg Opinion editorial board. He writes on foreign affairs, with a special focus on the Middle East and the wider Islamic world.

Obama’s Contribution to the Iran Situation

Obama’s ‘original sin’ led to Iran’s uranium enrichment, James Carafano says

Sam Dorman

Iran revealed the “deep flaws” in its nuclear deal with the United States when it threatened to further enrich uranium as a response to heightened sanctions, James Carafano, a scholar at the Heritage Foundation, argued on Friday.

“One of the ultimate sins of the Iran deal was we let them have enrichment,” Carafano said while appearing on “America’s News HQ.”

Carafano, a retired lieutenant colonel for the army, argued that if former President Obama’s administration had taken enrichment off the table, “we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Former President Obama’s “original sin,” Carafano said, made economic pressure less effective. “Now, we’re right back where we started.”

Carafano’s comments came as Iran threatened to bypass the enrichment cap set by Obama and get closer to the level needed to manufacture weapons. Former Obama officials have pointed the finger at Trump, arguing that his decision to leave the nuclear deal was the reason for heightened tensions in the region.

But, according to Carafano, the Obama administration’s deal was insufficient.

“It really wasn’t a break, it was just a push button,” Carafano said. “And so if Iranians can essentially — at the flip of a switch — proceed back on a nuclear enrichment program and back on the path to the bomb, it really raises the question: well, what were the benefits of the Iran deal to begin with?”

Carafano predicted that Iran’s strategy would fail given that Europeans seemed poised to further increase sanctions in an effort to force the rogue nation’s hand on complying with limits in the nuclear deal.

While the administration has repeatedly threatened to use force in response to major provocations, Trump has maintained a willingness to talk with Iran’s government.

On Wednesday, Trump made that threat even clearer, tweeting that the U.S. would “come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten back before.”

Sam Dorman is a reporter with Fox News. You can follow him on Facebook here.

Iran and the U.K. Face Off (Daniel 7)

Iran demands Britain release oil tanker held in Gibraltar

by Agencies , (Last Updated 1 day ago)

TEHRAN: Iran demanded on Friday that Britain immediately release an oil tanker it has detained in Gibraltar, accusing it of acting at the bidding of the United States.

A senior foreign ministry official “described the UK move as unacceptable” in a meeting with British ambassador Rob Macaire, who had been summoned to hear a formal protest, the ministry said in a statement.

He “called for the immediate release of the oil tanker, given that it has been seized at the request of the US, based on the information currently available,” the statement added.

Authorities in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain’s southern tip at the western entrance to the Mediterranean, said they suspected the tanker was carrying crude to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.

The detention of the 330-metre (1,000-feet) Grace 1 vessel comes at a sensitive time in Iran-EU ties as the bloc mulls how to respond to Tehran announcing it is poised to breach the uranium enrichment limit it agreed to in a troubled 2015 nuclear deal.

The Grace 1 tanker was halted in the early hours of Thursday by police and customs agencies in Gibraltar, aided by a detachment of British Royal Marines.

The ship was detained 2.5 miles (four kilometres) south of Gibraltar in what it considers British waters, although Spain, which lays claim to the territory, says they are Spanish.

It was boarded when it slowed down in a designated area used by shipping agencies to ferry goods to vessels.

“We have reason to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its shipment of crude oil to the Banyas refinery in Syria,” Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo said in a statement.

“That refinery is the property of an entity that is subject to European Union sanctions against Syria.

“We have detained the vessel and its cargo,” Picardo said.

At US request

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell told reporters the vessel was detained at the request of the United States.

In a statement, Britain’s Foreign Office said: “We welcome this firm action by the Gibraltarian authorities, acting to enforce the EU Syria Sanctions regime.”

European Union sanctions against war-torn Syria have been in force since late 2011.

The 28-member bloc has imposed sanctions on Syrian officials including government ministers over their role in the “violent repression” of civilians.

It has frozen the assets of around 70 entities and introduced an embargo on Syrian oil, investment restrictions and a freeze on Syrian central bank assets within the EU.

The tanker’s detention comes just days after Iran announced it would exceed the uranium enrichment limit set up as part of the 2015 deal to avoid it building up to the level required for a nuclear warhead.

Tehran took the action in response to Washington abandoning the nuclear deal last year and hitting Iran’s crucial oil exports and financial transactions with biting sanctions.

The unilateral move has sent tensions in the Gulf soaring as the administration of President Donald Trump forges ahead with a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran in coordination with its Middle East allies Israel and Saudi Arabia.

White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, a champion of the hawkish policy towards Tehran, applauded the interception of the supertanker.

“Excellent news: UK has detained the supertanker Grace I laden with Iranian oil bound for Syria in violation of EU sanctions,” Bolton tweeted.

According to specialised shipping trade publication Lloyd’s List, which analyses vessel-tracking data, the 1997-built ship is laden with Iranian oil.

It reported that the ship loaded oil off Iran in April and sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

Iran Threatens Israel (Daniel 8:4)

Tehran’s Imam Suggests Missile Strike On Israel’s Nuclear Reactor

Radio Farda

Tehran’s Friday Prayer Imam has suggested that Iran should launch a missile attack on Israel’s Dimona nuclear power plant.

In his Friday July 5 sermon, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, better known as Movahedi, addressed the United States and Israel, saying: “If Iran decides to confront you, a missile strike on the Dimona reactor would be enough,” threatening that the attack “will plough Israel 200 times.”

Dimona is an Israeli city in the Negev region, South of Beersheba and West of the Dead Sea. The city is nicknamed mini-India for its sizeable Indian Jewish community. The Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center is located about 13 kilometers to the southeast of the city.

Movahedi warned the United States and Israel about their vulnerability: “You are living in a glass house. You’d better watch out!”

He also warned the United States against a military attack on Iran. “Think of an attack only if you want to change the color of the Persian Gulf waters from azure to red.”

In another part of his sermon, Movahedi repeated President Hassan Rouhani’s threat against the European signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement saying that “From July 7, we will enrich Uranium at any grade and form, and in any amount we may deem necessary.”

Although Movahedi is by no means a nuclear expert, the threat would mean violating the nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

It has been observed in the past that Iranian officials let lesser ranking officials make reckless threats as a way of sending threatening messages but at the same time protect top officials from possible reactions and consequences for a while, before they to deny the comment or blame the media for “misreporting”.

Movahedi, who was one Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini’s representative to IRGC, touched upon the issue of suspension of some of Iran’s obligations under the JCPOA, adding that “Iran will continue enrichment to generate electricity and conduct scientific research. This enrichment is not for making a nuclear bomb, which Iran deems illegitimate and unnecessary.”

Directly addressing U.S. President Donal Trump the quick-tempered cleric called on him to “compare the United States’ authority with Iran’s.” He said: “Iran’s authority is marked by intelligence, creativity and humanity, while the United States’ authority is an embodiment of brutality, savagery and meanness!”

Movahedi further claimed that Trump called off a strike on Iran after IRGC downed a U.S. drone two weeks ago because, “You saw the corpses of U.S. troops before your eyes, and told yourself they have hit the drone that was flying 65,000 feet above the sea. What will they do to a ship that is just in front of them?”

Movahedi was not the only Iranian official whose rhetoric turned unusually violent on Friday. Earlier, Expediency Council Secretary former IRGC Commander Mohsen Rezaee and Mahdi Mohammadi, a hardline former nuclear negotiator called for attacking a British ships in the Persian Gulf in retaliation to the detention of an Iranian Super Tanker in Gibraltar that had violated EU sanctions against Syria by carrying Iranian oil to Syria.

Last year, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei changed his mind about appointing Movahedi as an interim chairman for the Expediency Council after a few weeks, probably fearing his occasional outlandish remarks could cause havoc in Iran’s domestic or international politics.

Some of Friday Prayer Imams in other Iranian cities have also made passing remarks about tensions in the region, but none was observed to make firebrand violent remarks.

Many More Shot Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Gaza border protests leave 41 Palestinians injured

By Danielle Haynes

A Palestinian man uses a slingshot to hurl stones during a demonstration along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip east of Khan Yunis on Friday. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

July 5 (UPI) — Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli solders at the Gaza-Israel border left more than 40 Palestinians injured, 22 by live bullets, Gaza health officials said.

Palestinian news agency WAFA reported in addition to the live bullet injuries, 19 people sustained injuries from rubber-coated bullets.

Israel Defense Forces said about 7,000 Palestinians protested at multiple locations along the border in Gaza. The military said some protesters threw explosive devices at Israeli troops.

Troops arrested two Palestinians who crossed the border fence.

The demonstrators were taking part in weekly Friday protests at locations along the border. The demonstrations, named the Great March of Return, call for the return of refugees to their homes and lands from which they were displaced in 1948.

The Gaza Health Ministry said more than 300 Palestinians have been killed and more than 230,000 injured since the protests began March 30, 2018.