The Sixth Seal Is Long Overdue (Revelation 6:12)

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

US Prepares to Nuke Up the Saudis (Daniel 7)

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry speaks to reporters outside the West Wing of the White House, in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2019. RE

U.S. says talks progressing with Saudi on possible nuclear program

Saturday, October 26, 2019 7:33 a.m. CDT

DUBAI (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Saturday that conversations with Saudi Arabia on a nuclear program are going forward.

The world’s top oil exporter had said it wanted to use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix. It wants to go ahead with a full-cycle nuclear program, including the production and enrichment of uranium for atomic fuel.

In order for U.S. companies to compete for Saudi Arabia’s project, Riyadh would normally need to sign an accord on the peaceful use of nuclear technology with Washington.

Reuters has reported that progress on the discussions has been difficult because Saudi Arabia does not want to sign a deal that would rule out the possibility of enriching uranium or reprocessing spent fuel – both potential paths to a bomb.

“The kingdom and the leadership in the kingdom .. will find a way to sign a 1,2,3 agreement with the United States, I think,” Perry said.

Speaking at a round table in Abu Dhabi, Perry added that the United States was doing everything it could to have a ready global supply of oil.

“We are the number one oil and gas producer in the world, we don’t intend to use it as a weapon. We intend to make it available and in as many places and as competitively priced as we can,” Perry said.

Oil prices rose on Friday, registering the strongest weekly gains in more than a month as optimism over a U.S.-China trade deal, falling U.S. crude stocks and possible action from OPEC to extend output cuts outweighed broader economic concerns.

(Reporting by Dahlia Nehme; Editing by Alison Williams and Christina Fincher)

The South Korean Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

Donald Trump meets Kim Jong-un at the Korean Demilitarized ZoneUS President Donald Trump meets Kim Jong-un at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, June 30, 2019. Credit: Public Domain.

There are two major variables that factor into South Korea’s calculus on starting a nuclear weapons program: the feasibility of North Korea abandoning its nuclear weapons voluntarily, and the guarantee of America’s extended deterrence in the event of the nuclear crisis on the peninsula. Both are trending in the wrong direction.

North Korea’s intermittent nuclear threats have increasingly weighed on the minds of the broader public in South Korea, and South Koreans have started to suspect that there’s no ray of hope left for the complete denuclearization of North Korea. “Denuclearization is the dying wish of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the regime,” South Koreans have heard countless North Koreans say. But the North’s assertion that the founder’s dying wish is still operative is at best disingenuous and at worst an outright lie. In hindsight, denuclearization was dead on arrival.

Unsurprisingly, a growing chorus of voices in South Korea has given up on the rosy fantasy of disarming Kim Jong-un and is instead calling for arming the “Land of the Morning Calm” with destructive nuclear weapons. A September 2017 Gallup poll found 60 percent of South Koreans support nuclear armament, while only 35 percent are opposed. Though the public is anxiously waiting to see if North Korea will strike a deal with the Trump administration, few remain optimistic.

While many decision makers still believe that the best course is to rely on the extended deterrence provided by the United States nuclear umbrella, a growing number are quietly contemplating the alternatives. During a recent speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, former South Korean Foreign Minister Song Min-soon said that “the Republic of Korea taking its own measures to create a nuclear balance on the peninsula” was a “widely touted” option. Such a statement is strong evidence of just how far moderate proponents of nonproliferation have shifted.

The reason for this shift is that today, South Koreans cast a much more doubtful eye toward the United States security guarantee than ever. In particular, more conservatives, who are traditionally reliably US-friendly, do not hide their uneasiness about President Trump. Many were offended when, at a rally earlier this year, Trump brought up the issue of the burden-sharing arrangement for US personnel in South Korea and mocked that, “[i]t was easier to get a billion dollars from South Korea than to get $114.13 from a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn.”

More offensive, though, is that Trump has conspicuously tolerated North Korean missile tests that directly threaten South Korea, which hosts the third-largest contingent of overseas US troops as well as a US anti-ballistic missile defense system and is one of the world’s biggest buyers of US arms. The more Trump brags about the letters from Kim Jong-un, the more he alienates an ally. Even moderate South Koreans see Trump’s approach to the alliance as extremely petty and bigoted. In sum, his flagrant disregard for the traditional alliance undermines the credibility of extended deterrence and has made South Koreans pessimistic about their continued dependence upon the United States.

Many Americans, even in the administration, know all of this. In September, US Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun rhetorically asked, “at what point will voices in South Korea or Japan and elsewhere in Asia begin to ask if they need to be considering their own nuclear capabilities?” Unfortunately, though, little is being done to assuage South Korean concerns.

If these trends continue, a nuclear South Korea is a question of “when,” not “if.”

Of course, the path to a nuclear weapon would not be free of obstacles. South Korea, as the only country in the region that has never attacked any other neighboring countries, is a staunch defender of nonproliferation norms. Many pundits in academic and security policy circles as well as high ranking officials in government still fret about the feasibility of pursuing an independent nuclear deterrent. Few security analysts think it would be possible for any president to successfully pursue a such a politically dangerous path within the span of a five-year term.

There would be international pressure too. Global and bilateral nonproliferation instruments such as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, the 1992 Joint Declaration of the Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and the 2015 US–Republic of Korea Nuclear Cooperation Agreement strictly prevent the Seoul government from going nuclear. In short, South Korea is restrained not only by a powerful nuclear taboo but also by the International Atomic Energy Agency’s water-tight monitoring presence.

Even if acquiring them is infeasible for now, support for nuclear weapons is more and more in fashion. South Korean policy elites understand that the country is fundamentally responsible for ensuring its own security in an anarchic world. If the United States and the world want to prevent South Korea from starting a nuclear weapons program, it is essential that Washington work toward a nuclear freeze in North Korea and reaffirm its commitment to the bilateral alliance.

Russia Ready to Kill Billions (Revelation 16)

Russia Has Thousands of Nuclear Weapons (And They Can Kill Billions)

Today, there is a debate over whether we should extend the New START Treaty, amend it to eliminate the loopholes, or try to negotiate an expanded agreement. As I detailed in my 2012 monograph, The New START Treaty: Anatomy of a Failed Negotiation, New START contains major loopholes and verification problems that fully negate the supposed limitations. Ironically, the 2002 Moscow Treaty limits, if the warheads are counted in the same way, required a much lower strategic nuclear warhead level that what is possible under New START.

Under New START, Russia can have an unlimited number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons because:

• The New START Treaty, unlike the START Treaty, does not constrain air-launched and surface ship-launched strategic nuclear ballistic missiles.

• The New START Treaty, unlike the START Treaty, does not limit long-range nuclear ship-launched cruise missiles (SLCMs). Moreover, Russia is engaged in a major expansion of its force of long-range nuclear-capable SLCMs and, reportedly, may build two Borei-K strategic cruise missile submarines. Borei-K submarines may carry hundreds of nuclear cruise missiles. This is in addition to the planned widespread deployment of the new nuclear-capable cruise missiles and

• The New START Treaty does not include any constraints on tactical or nonstrategic nuclear weapons; it also does not constrain intercontinental-range cruise missiles. Russia is now testing such a nuclear-powered cruise missile.

• The elimination of restrictions on giving the Backfire bomber intercontinental capability allows circumvention of the basic New START Treaty limits. Russia, according to Russian state media, has multiple programs underway to give the Backfire bomber an intercontinental capability.

• Russia says that the New START Treaty does not constrain Putin’s six new nuclear superweapons announced in 2018 and 2019. In reality, four of the six are not constrained. These are the Kinzhal hypersonic aeroballistic missile, the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, the Poseidon nuclear-powered drone submarine and the nuclear-powered cruise missile. At this point, we cannot rule out the possibility that the Russians will claim the other two (the Sarmat heavy ICBM and the Avangard intercontinental hypersonic boost glide vehicle) are not covered by the Treaty, claiming that they are a different type from the ballistic versions.

The loopholes I depicted in 2012 are now mainly actual Russian programs to circumvent the New START Treaty; others are apparent violations.

How Many Strategic Nuclear Weapons Does Russia Deploy Today?

Russia has many more strategic nuclear warheads than the 1,426 warheads it recently reported in its New START Treaty data. In 2019, Hans M. Kristensen and Robert S. Norris of the Federation of American Scientists estimated that Russia has 2,670 strategic nuclear warheads. Kristensen, in another study, writing with Matt Corda, also estimated that the U.S. has 1,590 deployed strategic warheads. In 2014, Houston Hawkins of the Los Alamos National Laboratory wrote, “Today, estimates are that Russia has about 4,500 strategic weapons in its inventory.” In December 2019, Russian Strategic Missile Force Commander Colonel General Sergei Karakayev stated “…the nuclear potentials of the sides have [been] reduced more than 66% since the signing of START I.” This is a major departure from the Russian position. At the United Nations in April 2018, First Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the U.N Dmitry Polyanskiy declared that “Russia cut its nuclear arsenal by over 85 percent as compared to its stockpiles at the height of the Cold War.” If one uses the late Soviet declared number of over 10,000 deployed strategic nuclear warheads for the calculation, the difference between an 85% reduction and a 66% reduction is about 2,000 warheads. It means that Russia then had over 3,300 strategic nuclear warheads, over twice the supposed New START Treaty allowed level of 1,550. These are real warheads, not accountable warheads.

Russian Expansion of its Strategic Nuclear Weapons

There are reports that Russian nuclear weapons expansion is now underway, and it is aimed at extremely high levels of deployed nuclear warheads. In December 2017, Bill Gertz reported, “Russia is aggressively building up its nuclear forces and is expected to deploy a total force of 8,000 warheads by 2026 along with modernizing deep underground bunkers, according to Pentagon officials. The 8,000 warheads will include both large strategic warheads and thousands of new low-yield and very low-yield warheads to circumvent arms treaty limits and support Moscow’s new doctrine of using nuclear arms early in any conflict.”

An excellent 2015 study by James R. Howe concluded that Russia had the potential to deploy 2,664-5,890 nuclear warheads on its planned strategic ballistic missile force. In another analysis published in September 2019, he says Russia will have between “2,976 WHs [warheads], and a maximum of 6,670 WHs” plus over 800 bomber weapons. He notes that “the 2022 [Russian] strategic nuclear force’s (SNFs) war­head (WH) levels will likely significantly exceed New START levels based on planned WH loadings.”

In December 2017, Howe estimated that Russia would have 8,000 nuclear weapons in six years, a mix of high-yield, medium-yield, and low-yield nuclear warheads.

In August 2019, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Matter Rear Admiral (ret.) Peter Fanta at the Crane Naval Submarine Warfare Center Symposium on Strategic Nuclear Weapons Modernization and Hypersonics confirmed the Gertz report stating that “The Russians are going to 8,000 plus warheads.”

There is other evidence of Russian expansion of its nuclear weapons numbers. In 2019, Lt. Gen. Robert P. Ashley, Jr., Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in an important speech at the Hudson Institute, stated that “…during the past decade, Russia has improved and expanded its production complex, which has the capacity to process thousands of warheads annually.”[18] This confirms and goes beyond a 2014 report by Dr. Houston Hawkins, which said that Russia can produce 1,000 nuclear “pits” a year, which translates into the ability to produce 1,000 new nuclear weapons per year. In addition, he said Russia had mothballed the ability to produce 2,500 more. In 2019, James Howe stated that Russia “retains an estimated capability of building 1,000-3,000 plus weapons per year.”

A Russian capability of producing several thousand nuclear weapons a year is many times what is necessary to support an operational force of 8,000 nuclear weapons. It is more like what is necessary to produce the Soviet strategic nuclear force, which peaked at about 45,000 warheads.

The Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee are attempting to reduce the capability of the U.S. pit facility (which will not be operational until 2030) to 30 per year, which would result in about a hundred-fold Russian advantage in production capability for new nuclear weapons.

Russian Strategic Nuclear Modernization

The Russian Government has announced over twenty strategic nuclear modernization programs. In December 2018, Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergey Shoigu stated that “The modernity level of the Strategic Nuclear Forces has reached 82%…” While this may be somewhat exaggerated, the more important fact is that Russian Triad modernization will be soon complete, but in reality, it is literally never ending. When a new system is deployed, its follow-on is underway.

Russian strategic nuclear modernization programs include:

• The new road-mobile and silo-based Topol-M Variant 2 (SS-27 Mod 1) single warhead ICBM. It became operational in 1997.

• The new RS-24/Yars/SS-27 Mod 2 derivative with a Multiple Independently-targetable Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) payload. This system violated the START Treaty because it was MIRVed. It became operational in 2010.

• Improved versions of the Soviet legacy SS-N-23 SLBM called the Sineva and the Liner with many more warheads; both are now operational. The Delta-IV submarine that carries them has been life extended.

• The new six-MIRV warhead Bulava-30 SLBM being deployed on two variants of the new Borei ballistic missile submarine, eight of which are operational or under construction. This year the fourth will become operational.

• Improved versions of the SS-27 Mod 2/RS-24 Yars ICBM and the Bulava-30 SLBM.

• A smaller follow-on ICBM to replace the RS-24 Yars is under development.

• The Avangard hypersonic boost glide vehicle, one of Putin’s nuclear super- weapons. It will become operational this year.

• Modernization of the Blackjack (Tu-160M) and Bear (Tu-95MSM) heavy bombers, which are now armed with: 1) a new stealthy long-range strategic nuclear-armed cruise missile designated the KH-102; and 2) the long-range KH-101 cruise missile. In 2015, President Putin revealed that the Kh-101 “can be equipped either with conventional or special nuclear warheads.”

• A program to produce at least 50 more of an improved version of the Tu-160M2 bomber. A recent report says the number will be about 50.

• Development of a new stealthy heavy bomber, the Pak DA, which will carry cruise missiles and, reportedly, hypersonic missiles.

• Development and deployment of the new Sarmat heavy ICBM with a mammoth 10 tons of throw-weight, which will reportedly carry 10 heavy or 15 medium nuclear warheads or 3-5 hypersonic gliders with deployment in 2022. This is one of Putin’s superweapons.

• Development of the new Barguzin rail-mobile ICBM which reportedly has been put on hold pending at 2027 production decision.

• Development and deployment of a new “ICBM” called the RS-26 Rubezh, in reality, an intermediate-range missile, reportedly on hold for a 2027 production decision.

• Development of a “fifth-generation” strategic missile submarine, the Husky, carrying ballistic and cruise missiles after 2025. A new liquid fuel SLBM reportedly is under development for it.

• Development of Putin’s superweapon, the Poseidon, a nuclear-armed, nuclear-powered, 10,000-km range, very fast, drone submarine capable of operating at a depth of 1,000-meters which the Russian press says carries a 100-megaton bomb and, possibly, a cobalt bomb. Testing of this system is reportedly well underway, and the first submarine that will carry it has just been launched.

• Deployment of the Kinzhal nuclear-capable hypersonic aereoballistic missile, one of Putin’s superweapons.

• Testing of the Tsirkon hypersonic cruise missile, one of Putin’s nuclear superweapons.

Antichrist is part of the reason Iraq protests persist

Al-Sadr is part of the reason Iraq protests persist | | AW

Ever one to sense an opportunity for religious and political opportunism, radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has formally thrown his weight behind the largely Shia Arab protesters who have rocked Iraq’s streets since the beginning of October.

Parroting Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s rejection of the government crackdown, al-Sadr expressed dismay at the use of violence by security forces and called on demonstrators to take to the streets during the Arbaeen Shia remembrance of the death of the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, Hussein bin Ali.

As Hussein was seen as a political maverick and revolutionary in his own right, al-Sadr has called on the Shia faithful to follow in his example and sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

While that is all well and good and even encouraging to hear from clerics that Iraqis have the right to take to the streets to combat corruption, nepotism and the tyranny of the state, one is left wondering — where is al-Sadr in all this?

Can al-Sadr be seen, like Hussein whom he claims descent from, on the front lines leading the charge against the corrupt Iraqi regime? Has he used his considerable political influence and armed militia groups to secure the release of political prisoners and those who have been arrested and tortured on sectarian grounds?

Has al-Sadr, in all his divinely ordained wisdom, sought to attempt to topple the government he claims needs to be overhauled by simply withdrawing his parliamentary bloc, which controls the greatest number of seats?

The answer to all of this is a resounding “no.” Despite his rhetoric and religious pontification, populist discourse and pantomime politics, al-Sadr is part and parcel of the political process he is asking Iraqis to risk their lives against.

It is not as though the cause is not worth fighting for. Freedom from the yoke of Iranian control over Iraq’s sovereign affairs is a worthy goal that Iraqis have fought long and hard for and have recently lost more than 150 souls to.

Their death should not be in vain and neither should the damaged lives of thousands of Iraqis who were left maimed and wounded by Iran-backed Shia jihadist snipers simply because they were calling for change.

To have someone like al-Sadr call on Iraqis to spill their blood on the altar of his self-aggrandisement and to improve his political position is both sickening and galling.

Demonstrators have consistently called for an end to Iran’s interference in Iraq and, while al-Sadr is claiming he supports their legitimate concerns, it was only in September that he was photographed in Tehran paying homage to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who was joined by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Qassem Soleimani during the Ashura commemoration.

No Sadrist has been able to explain how such an appearance demonstrates al-Sadr’s Iraqi “nationalist” credentials.

Al-Sadr is not an anti-establishment figure or even a political maverick, as he likes to portray. Al-Sadr is part of the establishment and he is symptomatic of the defunct political process that has been dominating Iraqi politics since the illegal US-led invasion of 2003.

He even lacks parliamentary legitimacy in that only a paltry 44.5% turnout at the last election gave him his seats and they were not even close to forming a majority.

Far from being a man of the people, al-Sadr is a man of the Iran-sponsored establishment and will do anything to maintain the status quo while improving his own position within it, the blood of innocent Iraqis being slaughtered by his masters’ proxies be damned.

43 Children are Shot Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

43 children are shot at Friday march in Gaza – Mondoweiss

PCHR Gaza: 95 civilians shot and injured including 43 children, at 80th Great March of Return
26 Oct — In Gaza on Friday, 95 Palestinian civilians, including 43 children, a woman, 2 paramedics and a journalist, were shot and injured by Israeli forces, who fired live rounds against peaceful Palestinian protesters at the 80th Great March of Return. Israeli forces continued to use excessive force against peaceful protesters, wounding 36 civilians with live bullets and shrapnel in addition to other injuries in the upper body due to direct targeting with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters. Thousands of civilians took part in this week’s peaceful protests entitled: “For our Prisoners in Israeli Jails and al-Aqsa Mosque”, raising the Palestinian flag and chanting national slogans. The protests lasted from 3:00 to 6:30 pm, and involved activities such as speeches and theatrical performances. Hundreds of civilians protested at varied distances from the border fence across the Gaza Strip, where some protesters set tires on fire and a few of them attempted to throw stones, Molotov Cocktails and firecrackers at the Israeli forces, who responded with excessive force.
The following is a summary of today’s events along the Gaza Strip border:
Northern Gaza Strip: Demonstrations took part adjacent to Abu Safiyah area, northeast of Jabalia, and in southeast of Beit Hanoun. Israeli forces’ attacks against protesters resulted in the injury of 43 civilians, including 20 children, a woman and a paramedic: 20 with live bullets and shrapnel, including 11 children; 14 with rubber bullets, including 5 children and a woman; and 9 were hit with tear gas canisters, including 4 children. Mohammed Abdul Hamid Tawfiq Deeb (24), a volunteer paramedic, was hit with a tear gas canister to the right leg. Israeli forces used a military vehicle that emits the sound of heavy gunfire to cause fear among the protesters.

Gaza City: The Israeli military shot and injured 10 civilians, including 7 children: 3 with live bullets and shrapnel and 7 with rubber bullets.

PCHR Gaza: 95 Civilians Shot and Injured, Including 43 Children, at 80th Great March of Return

Antichrist’s supporters waiting for instructions whether to join protest

FRANCE 24 reports from Baghdad: ‘al-Sadr supporters waiting for instructions whether to join protest’

25/10/2019 – 23:14

Modified: 25/10/2019 – 21:42

Reporting from Baghdad, FRANCE 24’s Simona Fulton says that hundreds of supporters of firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have gathered on the streets of the Iraqi capital and are awaiting instructions whether to join the demonstrations or not.