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 Iranian Horn Nails American Military Base

Heavy smoke rises after a fire broke out at a cache of rockets and mortar rounds in al-Obeidi neighborhood, a stronghold of Shiite militant groups in eastern Baghdad, Iraq (File Photo: IANS)

‘2 rockets hit military base near Baghdad’, says Iraqi army

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far as the military bases housing US troops across Iraq and the US embassy have been frequently targeted by mortar and rocket attacks.

Heavy smoke rises after a fire broke out at a cache of rockets and mortar rounds in al-Obeidi neighborhood, a stronghold of Shiite militant groups in eastern Baghdad, Iraq (File Photo: IANS)

Two Katyusha rockets on Saturday hit a military base, housing US forces, near the Iraqi capital Baghdad without casualties, according to the Iraqi military.

In a brief statement, Iraqi Joint Operations Command said that the attack took place in the evening when the two rockets fired from an area outside the government-owned industrial facility and landed on al-Taji Camp, some 20 km north of Baghdad.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far as the military bases housing US troops across Iraq and the US embassy have been frequently targeted by mortar and rocket attacks.No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far as the military bases housing US troops across Iraq and the US embassy have been frequently targeted by mortar and rocket attacks.

Last month, the Iraqi military had confirmed that two rockets hit a military base housing international coalition forces near Baghdad.

Earlier in May, an American soldier and a British soldier, as well as one US contractor, were killed after rockets hit an Iraqi military base north of Baghdad.

It was the deadliest attack on an installation hosting foreign troops in several years and comes after a spate of rocket attacks targeting US troops across Iraq as well as the US embassy in Baghdad.

In January, the attack at the Baghdad International Airport also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iran-backed militias known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF).

The Iranian attack came after a US drone attacked on January 3 a convoy at Baghdad International Airport that killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of Iraq’s paramilitary Hashd Shaabi forces.

More than 5,000 US troops have been deployed in Iraq to support the Iraqi forces in the battles against Islamic State militants.

The Rise of the Chinese Nuclear Horn (Daniel 7)

NATO must pay attention to China, Stoltenberg says

The head of the military alliance has urged the West not to ignore China’s growing military might. He says Beijing’s expanding stockpile of nuclear weapons capable of reaching Europe, demands a stronger response.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Saturday that China’s increasing influence had created a “fundamental shift in the global balance of power” that should not be overlooked. 

In an interview with Germany’s Welt am Sonntag newspaper, that was released in advance, the Norwegian official said that Beijing had the second-largest defense budget in the world after the United States, and was investing heavily in nuclear weapons and long-range missiles that could reach Europe.

“One thing is clear: China is coming ever closer to Europe’s doorstep,” he said. “NATO allies must face this challenge together.”

Read more: China unveils plans to step up military power

New opportunities, new challenges

NATO’s mission has expanded since its creation in 1949 as a counterweight to the power of the Soviet Union. Its security remit is limited to North America and Europe, but the military alliance has also acknowledged that China’s rise posed new challenges.

Stoltenberg stressed that no member country was “directly” threatened by the Asian powerhouse, but he did flag several concerns, which he said required a strong NATO response.

He noted Beijing was investing heavily in European infrastructure and cyberspace, as well as expanding its presence in Africa, the Arctic and the Mediterranean.

China has also increasingly sought to boost its claims over parts of the South China Sea, in some cases by hindering ships traveling there in international waters.

Stoltenberg said he found developments in the sea worrying, calling on Beijing to respect international shipping rules, but added that there was no reason to send NATO troops to the region. 

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said earlier this week that China does not pose a threat to any country. “We hope that NATO can continue to hold a correct opinion about us and view our development rationally,” she said.

nm/mm (dpa, AFP, Reuters)

How Russia and the U.S. have continued nuclear weapons testing (Daniel 7)

How Russia and the U.S. conduct BANNED nuclear weapons testing 

JUN 13, 2020

Science & Tech

Despite the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the two countries have found a way to test nuclear weapons on their territories.

The Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water signed in 1963 prohibits all nuclear weapons test detonations, except for those conducted underground.

“Nuclear explosions and weapons tests take place in nuclear galleries in Nevada and the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. This is achieved by placing a nuclear bomb model into a special container, which is then covered up with clay. The entrance to the tunnel is then sealed with concrete. Scientists then move to a safe distance,” says chief editor of ‘Arsenal Otechestva’ magazine, Viktor Murakhovsky.

Public Domain

According to Murakhovsky, the “model” is a real nuclear charge – just a very low-yield one, about 0,001 percent of the power of a nuclear warhead installed on a missile. 

“A real explosion is replicated in order to test the progression of chain reactions throughout the charge. All the data is registered by a computer, and, today, you really don’t need an ‘atomic mushroom’ to figure out the behavior of an untested warhead in real time,” Murakhovsky adds.

Furthermore, new containers are being created for the warheads, allowing for sub-critical experimentation – be it risks to the environment or the humans in close proximity to the test. And if a crack appears along the surface of the container, the bentonite is acted upon by a thermal reaction caused by the explosion, plugging any holes in the explosive charge.

“Because it’s a low-yield charge, the explosion is practically noiseless, and can’t be picked up by sonar,” Murakhovsky says.

Russian and American nuclear arsenals

Stanislav Krasilnikov / TASS

As years pass by, Russia and the U.S. have had to utilise outdated nuclear warheads and replace them with newly created ones.

Today, the number of strategic nuclear warheads and means of their delivery is limited by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). It limits the number of deployed strategic warheads to 1,550, while the number of inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers, submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) launchers, and heavy bombers is restricted to 700.

According to the agreement, each country is able to use satellites to monitor each other’s missile silos and locations of bombers and submarine deployment, as well as conduct 18 on-site military inspections annually to ensure that no violations are occurring.

Indo-Pak war can trigger global nuclear Armageddon (Revelation 8 )

China-India or Indo-Pak war can trigger global nuclear Armageddon: AJK president

June 12, 2020

MIRPUR (AJK): Jun 12 (APP):Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan Friday said China had given a clear message to India to stay away and renounce its revisionist and expansionist agenda.
“After China’s robust response on Doklam, Sikkim and Ladakh, India caved in because it does not want a repeat of the 1962 war, but its designs vis-a-vis China remain unchanged,” he said in an interview with an online news portal and a monthly magazine.
China, the president said, did not want India to imperil CPEC passing through Gilgit-Baltistan or attempt to alter the status of Azad Kashmir in any way.
About AJK’s position on the disputed Ladakh region boundary, he said words would be chosen carefully in deference to the Chinese sensitivities and our long-standing relationship, but China’s pressure on India was a decisive factor because it reined in India’s aggression in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K) and against Pakistan.
He, however, said the standoff would not bridle India’s atrocities in IOJ&K or rush for colonisation in the territory. That could be stopped only through active resistance by Kashmiris and to a lesser extent by some decisive action by the international community.
When asked how did China India border standoff affect the morale of Kashmiri people, the AJK president said, “Hopes of Kashmiris have been raised. They think they are not alone and that China is too on their side.”
Ruling out an all-out war between China and India, the president said, despite their significant differences, both the countries were tamping down tensions. “China, Pakistan and India are all nuclear powers and an active war theatre between them could trigger a global nuclear Armageddon.”
When asked to comment on Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s remarks in which Singh warned that this was not the India of 1962, President Masood said Rajnath Singh’s bravado should not be taken seriously as he did not see any difference between today’s India and the India of 1962.
“Yes, it (India) has more arsenals and nuclear power today but has the same hegemonic mind-set with feet of clay,” he remarked.
He said the costs of a confrontation for India would be too high, and Modi did not want to be excoriated like Nehru for another discomfiture.
Replying a question about the possible threat of aggression from India against Pakistan, he said, “I believe that Pakistan is already under attack and in a state of war with India. An attack on the IOJ&K is an attack on Pakistan. This is not Indian territory.”

The Iranian Horn Continues to Persecute Christians

Khamenei’s final act: Persecuting Iran’s religious minorities (Part 1)

By Hamid Gharagozloo, Op-ed Contributor

The recent disturbing rise of violent acts against religious minorities in Iran — the internal exiles and transfers of Gonabadi Sufis to COVID-19 infested wards of prisons, the burning of a Christian cemetery, setting fire to Mordeci’s shrine and widespread negative propaganda against Jews, arrests and sentencings of Baha’is in different cities, smear campaigns against Sunni Sufis, to name a few — are not random acts committed by a few uncoordinated thugs.

Combined with the recent statements by Khamenei announcing the “Final Solution” and the promise of a free Palestine soon, these acts paint a very disturbing picture and hint at Khamenei’s sinister plans for the survival of his regime and its succession by his son Mojtaba Khamenei (whose inner circle includes individuals such as brothers Hossein and Mehdi Taeb, Fallahian, and many more who are responsible for the bulk of the mass executions of political prisoners and the murders of political dissidents over the past 40 years).  In order to achieve this goal, Khamenei needs to accomplish two tasks: (1) establish an ironclad rule where the slightest dissent is dealt with swiftly and violently, and (2) a possible widespread asymmetrical regional war to provide and guarantee the time he and his regime need to obtain an atomic bomb.

The extensive protests prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which were increasing in number and intensity daily, made it clear that Khamenei and his regime not only have no base of support and legitimacy among Iranians of all walks of life anymore, but are doomed to collapse. Realizing the urgency of the situation, he and his cronies, with the advice and full support of Putin and Russian advisors, have been working hard to implement the policies mentioned above. Let us review his recent actions since then.

Over a year ago, Khamenei appointed Ebrahim Raissi as the head of the Judiciary. Upon Raissi’s appointment, the rate of arrests, the severity of charges and sentences, and the number of executions increased dramatically. Raissi is one of the key individuals responsible for the mass execution of about 30,000 political prisoners and dissidents about 35 years ago.

 

Last week, Khamenei appointed Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, an ex-commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and corrupt ultra-hardliner member of his regime, as the head of the Parliament. Ghalibaf, as the then head of the greater Tehran police force, is responsible for the brutal and violent crushing of the university students’ uprising in Tehran over three decades ago.

In his most recent speeches, Khamenei repeatedly stressed the need for a new, young and conservative leadership. This emphasis confirms that in the upcoming Presidential elections less than a year away, Khamenei will have his preferred extremist candidate appointed as President, thereby completing his objective of controlling all three branches of government through his ultra-hardliner murderous brutes, and completing the first step of his goal for a regime similar to that of North Korea, where the slightest dissent is met with violence and even death.

Regarding Khamenei’s other plans internally, the following developments help clarify his intentions further:

A few weeks ago, the Parliament introduced two new laws to be added to Volume 5 of the Penal Code which grant the regime, without any foundation or proof, the authority to brand any group or entity as a sect. Such an accusation is charged as a fifth-degree crime punishable by lashings, confiscation of property, and jail. In certain circumstances, the charge can be elevated to a first-degree crime, which can result in capital punishment. These laws will enable the regime to label any entity or group as a cult, a charge officially punishable by law, and basically oppress or eliminate anyone as they see fit.

 

The harassment and oppression of Gonabadi Sufis, the largest religious minority group in Iran with an estimated 8-10 million adherents, has also intensified recently. The mistreatment of Gonabadi Sufis in prison continues. The internal exile of the Sufis without any formal charges have escalated. Just this past week, the regime sentenced Mr. Raji’s son to prison for his continued quest for justice for the murder of his father under torture during the brutal attack on the Sufi community two years ago. The regime has also filed several lawsuits against Mr. Salas’s family for punitive damages. Mr. Salas is the bus driver who was framed and falsely accused of driving a bus through security forces, and was hastily hanged despite international appeals.

The arrests and sentencing of Baha’is have increased in the past few weeks all across the country. At the same time, false propaganda against Baha’is in articles branding Baha’ism as “an invention of colonial England to weaken Shiite clerics and act as agents of the British empire” have intensified.

The same pattern of negative propaganda has also been initiated against the Sunni Sufi community of Zahabieh.

Alarmingly, the Christian members of Parliament have repeatedly expressed their support and gratitude for Khamenei and his regime, and have stated that Christians enjoy a comfortable and free life in Iran.

The same is also true of the only Jewish member of Parliament. As the sole government representative of the Jewish community in Iran, Mr. Moreh Sedgh not only has continually expressed his support for Khamenei’s regime, but has gone much further, condemning “the corrupt Zionist” government in Israel and calling for all Jews to rise up against Israel and global Zionism. However, at the same time Khamenei’s regime is actively engaged in spreading harmful propaganda against Jews, accusing them of purchasing the Palestinian lands in the “Occupied Territories,” with the aim of stoking negative sentiments against Jews among ordinary citizens.

These official expressions of support by the Christian and Jewish representatives, despite the Iranian government’s maltreatment of their communities, are reminiscent of statements made by the disguised agents of the regime within the Gonabadi Sufis, who praise the regime for being benevolent, tolerant, and patient with Gonabadi Sufis, while simultaneously criticizing the Sufi community for standing up to the regime’s aggression and oppressive policies through peaceful and civil resistance. The world has already witnessed the end result for Gonabadi Sufis — who have been violently oppressed over the past forty years by the regime without cause or justification — and the same fate is in store for these other religious minorities. When the widespread crackdown of these communities begins, any dissent by members of these minorities will be dealt with severely and will be branded as “acts of agents of world Zionism.”

The reality for the Christian and Jewish communities in Iran is in stark contrast to the statements of their official representatives, who claim these groups enjoy prosperous and safe lives with total freedom. The recent propaganda campaigns discussed above will be the first step for the eventual total eradication of Jews, Christians, Baha’is or any other group in Iran as the regime deems necessary.

Hamid Gharagozloo is a representative of the International Organisation to Preserve Human Rights (IOPHR) in Washington, D.C.

Gazans resume flying incendiary balloons outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Gazans resume flying incendiary balloons to Israel

GAZA CITY, Palestine

Palestinian activists on Friday resumed firing incendiary balloons from Gaza Strip towards Israeli settlements.

Abu Yassir, one of the activists, told Anadolu Agency that he and a number of Palestinian youths, members of the so-called “Descendants of Nasser Salah al-Din”, began launching batches of “incendiary balloons” from Gaza towards Israeli settlements near Gaza’s borders.

Abu Yassir, who refused to share his real name due to security concerns, said: “The resumption of firing balloons came in response to Israeli violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque, as well as the decision to annex parts of the West Bank.”

He also said firing balloons will continue until 6 p.m. local time (1500GMT).

For the last year, Palestinian activists have been flying burning kites and balloons into Israeli territory as part of ongoing anti-occupation demonstrations along the fraught Gaza-Israel buffer zone.

Since 2019, Egypt, the UN and Qatar have been leading consultations to reach a truce between the Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel, based on easing the blockade imposed on the Strip, in exchange for stopping Palestinian protests near the border with Israel.

More than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are suffering poor conditions, due to the ongoing Israeli blockade on the Strip since Hamas won the legislative elections in the summer of 2006.

* Bassel Ibrahim contributed to this report from Ankara.