The Quakes Preceding the Sixth Seal: Revelation 6:12

East Coast Quakes: What to Know About the Tremors Below

By Meteorologist Dominic Ramunni Nationwide PUBLISHED 7:13 PM ET Aug. 11, 2020 PUBLISHED 7:13 PM EDT Aug. 11, 2020

People across the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic were shaken, literally, on a Sunday morning as a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck in North Carolina on August 9, 2020.

Centered in Sparta, NC, the tremor knocked groceries off shelves and left many wondering just when the next big one could strike.

Items lie on the floor of a grocery store after an earthquake on Sunday, August 9, 2020 in North Carolina.

Fault Lines

Compared to the West Coast, there are far fewer fault lines in the East. This is why earthquakes in the East are relatively uncommon and weaker in magnitude.

That said, earthquakes still occur in the East.

According to Spectrum News Meteorologist Matthew East, “Earthquakes have occurred in every eastern U.S. state, and a majority of states have recorded damaging earthquakes. However, they are pretty rare. For instance, the Sparta earthquake Sunday was the strongest in North Carolina in over 100 years.”

While nowhere near to the extent of the West Coast, damaging earthquakes can and do affect much of the eastern half of the country.

For example, across the Tennesse River Valley lies the New Madrid Fault Line. While much smaller in size than those found farther west, the fault has managed to produce several earthquakes over magnitude 7.0 in the last couple hundred years.

In 1886, an estimated magnitude 7.0 struck Charleston, South Carolina along a previously unknown seismic zone. Nearly the entire town had to be rebuilt.

Vulnerabilities

The eastern half of the U.S. has its own set of vulnerabilities from earthquakes.

Seismic waves actually travel farther in the East as opposed to the West Coast. This is because the rocks that make up the East are tens, if not hundreds, of millions of years older than in the West.

These older rocks have had much more time to bond together with other rocks under the tremendous pressure of Earth’s crust. This allows seismic energy to transfer between rocks more efficiently during an earthquake, causing the shaking to be felt much further.

This is why, during the latest quake in North Carolina, impacts were felt not just across the state, but reports of shaking came as far as Atlanta, Georgia, nearly 300 miles away.

Reports of shaking from different earthquakes of similar magnitude.

Quakes in the East can also be more damaging to infrastructure than in the West. This is generally due to the older buildings found east. Architects in the early-to-mid 1900s simply were not accounting for earthquakes in their designs for cities along the East Coast.

When a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck Virginia in 2011, not only were numerous historical monuments in Washington, D.C. damaged, shaking was reported up and down the East Coast with tremors even reported in Canada.

Unpredictable

There is no way to accurately predict when or where an earthquake may strike.

Some quakes will have a smaller earthquake precede the primary one. This is called a foreshock.

The problem is though, it’s difficult to say whether the foreshock is in fact a foreshock and not the primary earthquake. Only time will tell the difference.

The United State Geological Survey (USGS) is experimenting with early warning detection systems in the West Coast.

While this system cannot predict earthquakes before they occur, they can provide warning up to tens of seconds in advance that shaking is imminent. This could provide just enough time to find a secure location before the tremors begin.

Much like hurricanes, tornadoes, or snowstorms, earthquakes are a natural occuring phenomenon that we can prepare for.

The USGS provides an abundance of resources on how to best stay safe when the earth starts to quake.

Babylon the great won’t refrain from deploying nuclear weapons in South Pacific region

U.S. should refrain from deploying nuclear weapons in South Pacific region: FM spokesperson

BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) — The United States should refrain from deploying nuclear weapons in the South Pacific or spreading nuclear weapons to regional countries.

Spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily press briefing. It was recently reported Samoa’s representative to the United Nations pointed out the United States is the only one among the five nuclear-weapon states refusing to ratify the Protocols to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone (SPNFZ) Treaty. Kiribati’s president has expressed concerns about Australia’s development of nuclear submarines.

In response, Zhao said the mentioned concerns are “justified and legitimate.” Facts have proved that the U.S.-UK-Australia submarine cooperation is very unpopular and has caused alarm and rejection among regional countries and the international community.

These three countries not only blatantly instigated confrontation and division and undermined regional peace and stability but also violated the spirit of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Zhao said.

“What they have done once again proves geopolitical purposes and military confrontation. These countries wantonly go against the regional countries’ will and trample on their rights and interests,” Zhao added.

Citing historic tragedies incurred by nuclear trials carried out by the three countries, Zhao said these trials and nuclear waste severely damaged the local ecological environment and people’s health.

“The United States should heed the call from the regional countries, ratify the SPNFZT as soon as possible, earnestly implement obligations under the treaty, and refrain from deploying nuclear weapons in the region or proliferating any to the regional countries,” said the spokesperson.

For years, the United States, the UK, and Australia have been calling themselves leaders of international non-proliferation efforts, but the fact is quite the opposite, said Zhao. Zhao urged them to discard an outdated zero-sum game mentality, revoke the relevant wrong decisions, faithfully implement international obligations of non-proliferation, and contribute more to regional peace and stability.

The Antichrist mercurial militia leader turned kingmaker

Moqtada al-Sadr: a mercurial militia leader turned kingmaker

The scion of a revered cleric positioned himself as an outsider but has been drawn into Iraq’s corrupt politics

   October 15, 2021 3:33 pm by 

Last Sunday, Moqtada al-Sadr pulled on a black face mask and climbed into a decrepit-looking silver Mitsubishi. The militia leader-cum-cleric was heading to cast his ballot in Iraq’s general elections. Within 48 hours, he would command the biggest bloc in parliament.

The poll confirmed Sadr’s ability to marshal more electoral clout than any other Iraqi leader. His bloc grew from 54 seats in 2018, to 73 of the 329 available today. In a victory speech on Monday, he combined religion and nationalism with pledges to clean up the political system that his own followers are enmeshed in.

“[M]oving forward, the government and the parties will not control the money and resources, for they belong to the people,” he said, reflecting Iraqis’ bitter disillusionment with their post-2003 politicians, perceived to have looted the oil wealth of OPEC’s second-largest producer. It was not the first time the people of Iraq have heard these promises from him.https://f952eab14b4d44a1f3487acb2374792b.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html?n=0

Militant, self-proclaimed champion of the downtrodden, kingmaker and scion of a revered clerical family from Iraq’s Shia majority, the mercurial Sadr has reinvented himself many times. Now 47 with a white beard, he no longer resembles the younger man who in 2004 led an insurrection against occupying British and American troops, and the sectarian bloodletting that followed.

Although he still commands the Peace Brigades, a paramilitary whose supporters insist they are a state-sponsored militia, Sadr intoned this week that: “It is now time for the people to live peacefully without occupation, terrorism, or militias that kidnap, terrorise, and detract from the role of the state.” 

Dhiaa al-Asadi, a senior figure in the Sadrist Movement, first met Sadr when he was working for his father in his twenties. Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, one of Iraq’s most revered Shia clerics, had instigated a religious revivalist movement blending Shiism with social justice. He openly challenged then-president Saddam Hussein, who oppressed the Shia. Fearing the ayatollah’s huge network of followers, Saddam had him assassinated in 1999, as he was driving with two other sons in a Mitsubishi — the same model Sadr symbolically rode in to cast his vote last week.

Asadi described the young Sadr as “very serious.” Despite having a lighter side — he once compared the Sadrist Movement to a football team — he largely remains private and austere. 

While lacking his father’s scholarly qualifications, Sadr inherited his movement after the 2003 US-led invasion. Unlike other Shia opposition figures, Sadr had stayed in Iraq during Saddam’s reign. His bastion was the sprawling Shia slum in Baghdad originally known as Saddam City — renamed Sadr City after the leader’s demise. Highly popular among working-class Shia Iraqis, Sadr built a seemingly “cult-like following that almost no other leader in the Arab world has . . . largely because of his father’s legacy”, despite being “unpredictable, recalcitrant, moody, undisciplined”, says a researcher who met him several times during the occupation and requested anonymity.

After initially supporting Saddam’s ouster, Sadr soon fell foul of the occupiers, who issued a “kill or capture” warrant for him over his suspected involvement in the 2003 murder of a pro-western Shia cleric. By 2004, he had decided to fight back. But the anti-US insurgency soon became bloody civil strife, with fighting between Sunni and Shia extremist groups, Iraqi state forces and foreign troops. Sadr’s Mahdi Army, with help from Iran, “was the cutting edge of the Shia military offensive against the Sunni”, according to Patrick Cockburn, author of Moqtada al-Sadr and the Battle for the Future of Iraq

Sadr stood down the Mahdi Army in 2008 after the Iraqi government, supported by the US, launched a major offensive against it. He has since had an ambiguous relationship with Tehran, positioning himself as a nationalist opposed to all foreign influence while periodically studying and taking shelter in Qom, Iran’s Shia holy city. 

When he moved into politics, Sadr portrayed himself as a champion of the downtrodden. As Iraqis grew disillusioned with their kleptocratic politicians, he deployed street muscle in anti-corruption protests. In 2016, his supporters stormed the Green Zone — a walled off square-mile in central Baghdad housing embassies and Iraq’s parliament — and roughed up lawmakers. His growing influence attracted attention. In 2017, another young populist, Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, invited Sadr to Saudi Arabia. 

But despite his outsider image, Sadr’s partisans have become part of the Iraqi state. In 2018 elections, he won the most parliamentary seats, giving his party control of ministries and top civil service positions, allowing it to distribute jobs and benefits to supporters. When widespread anti-establishment demonstrations erupted in late 2019, Sadr initially backed them. But he later turned on the youthful protesters, leaving them distrustful of the Sadrist movement. 

Sadr’s appeal is now limited to his diehard base. Yet his party’s electoral machine “skilfully [took] advantage of the new electoral system and fully [used] its voting power,” according to analyst Harith Hasan. Despite controlling parliament’s largest bloc, Sadr must haggle over a new cabinet with other factions, some of which are armed and reject the election results. And with many Iraqis arguing that his own people are corrupt, Sadr’s claim that “all the corrupt will be held accountable” will now be tested.

chloe.cornish@ft.com

Hamas building second front outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

REPORT: Hamas building second front against Israel on Lebanese border, already firing rockets at Israel

The Alma Research and Education Center,an Israeli think tank that specializes in security threats on the northern border, released a report this week outlining the true scope of Hamas’s military activities in Lebanon, indicating that the terrorist rulers in Gaza are building a second front from which to attack Israel.

The report identified the principal senior political and military Hamas leaders active on Lebanese territory, the organization’s multiple military projects, and working plans. It also identified the locations of some of Hamas’s key Lebanese military sites.

The report also analyzed Hamas’s complex relationship with the Iranian-led radical Shi’ite axis.

The report detailed how Hamas’s two operational units in Lebanon – El-Shimali and Khaled Ali recruit members, train them in specialized combat skills such as sniping, anti-tank missile attacks, operating drones, and more. The units also develop and produce their own weapons – rockets, offensive drones, and small unmanned underwater vehicles. And they set up operational cells while preparing attack plans against Israel.

Ancient wine factory a glimpse into global market

The two branches are guided by Hamas’s ‘Construction Bureau,’ based in Lebanon and Turkey, which influences Hamas activity in Gaza, Lebanon, and Judea and Samaria. the Construction Bureau operates covertly out of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, concealed from both Hezbollah and the Lebanese government. According to the report, the two units develop and manufacture weapons in Lebanon including rockets, drones, and small unmanned submarines. In addition, the two sections of the Construction Bureau recruit and train would-be terrorists in specialized courses such as sniping, operating anti-tank missile launchers, drone operators, urban warfare, aeronautics, naval diving, and tactical intelligence collection.

It is believed that Saleh al-Arouri , the deputy head of the Hamas’ political bureau In Lebanon who is responsible for terror attacks in Judea and Samaria was behind the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in 2014, which preceded the IDF incursion into Gaza.

One of Hamas’ leaders in Lebanon,

Hamas activity in Lebanon is ultimately directed by the Iranian Quds force. This creates a broad threat as Hezbollah was established as part of an Iranian effort, through funding and the dispatch of a core group of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (pasdaran) instructors, as an anti-Israel entity on Israel’s northern border. Iran also supports the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad in his civil war.

Proof of Hamas activity in Lebanon came in the form of five incidents of Grad rockets fired from Lebanon against Israel between May and August. According to the report, at least some of the rocket attacks were launched without the knowledge or consent of Hezbollah, a terrorist organization that represents fully one-third of the Lebanese Parliament. The Alma report concluded that this indicated a developing rift between Hamas and Hezbollah. The report claimed that as a response to Hamas firing rockets at Israel from Lebanon, Hezbollah was forced to follow suit.

“[This] actually forced Hezbollah to join the rocket fire and in our assessment doing so without genuinely desiring to,” read the report. “[This] has the potential of creating a severely difficult challenge for Hezbollah. Hamas pursues its own interests in Lebanon, including not informing Hezbollah ahead of time when Hamas fires rockets into Israel – a pattern that could drag Hezbollah into a war with Israel, against Hezbollah’s own interests.”

Alma noted that Hezbollah views itself as the dominant force in Lebanon and tolerates Hamas as “guests”. “Based on the intensification and independent military operations carried out by Hamas from Lebanon, Hamas does not appear to see itself as ‘just a guest’ in Lebanon.\,” the report concluded.

“Hamas’s constant force build-up in Lebanon has the potential of creating a severely difficult challenge for Hezbollah. Hamas pursues its own interests in Lebanon, including not informing Hezbollah ahead of time when the Hamas fires rockets into Israel – a pattern that could drag Hezbollah into a war with Israel, against Hezbollah own interests,” the report stated. “For Israel, the time has come to stop viewing Hamas as separate Gazan and Lebanese entities and to view the organization as a single return address for any necessary future retaliation for Hamas aggression. Precise Israeli action against Hamas in Lebanon actually matches Hezbollah’s interests.”

The report came to a powerful conclusion, recommending a course of action for the Israeli defense establishment:

“Israel should ‘think outside the box’ and act openly against Hamas targets in Lebanon if Hamas attacks from the Gaza Strip and vice versa.”

Islamic Jihad and Hamas Warn Occupation Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Islamic Jihad and Hamas Warn Occupation Against Harming Prisoners

Hamas and Islamic Jihad warned the Israeli occupation against “testing the patience and resistance of the Palestinian people,” emphasizing that the occupation must bear the consequences of this “foolish policy” that may lead to a wide explosion in the region.

This was revealed during a meeting on Thursday between a Hamas delegation led by the deputy head of the Political Bureau Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, who was joined by Zaher Jabarin, the official in charge of the prisoners’ file, and a delegation led by the Islamic Jihad movement’s Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala.

The two movements affirmed that the occupation “is not allowed to single out any prisoner or faction inside prisons,” including removing all prisoners from isolation.

Hunger strikes of the prisoners were also supported by the movements, as well as their right to “Freedom and ending the unjust policy of administrative detention,” which according to the movements aims to undermine the determination of the people’s fighters.

Earlier, the Al-Quds Brigades announced a general mobilization among its fighters in response to the Israeli occupation’s punitive measures against prisoners.This was preceded by the movement’s announcement that about 150 of its prisoners started an open hunger strike, a step marking the start of a gradual escalation in their battle against the occupation prison authority.

The Chinese nuclear Horn still has hydrogen bombs: Daniel 7

The hydrogen bombs all over the world have been scrapped. Only China has 30 preserved?It’s time to refute the rumors

In the 1940s, the emergence of the atomic bomb allowed the world to find a new path for the development of strategic deterrence, so military powers frantically launched research on nuclear weapons, striving to obtain a talisman in the chaotic international situation.

In this way, the Soviet Union tested the first atomic bomb “Pumpkin” in 1949, Britain tested the first atomic bomb “alloy tube” in1952 , and France and China tested their first bombs in 1962 and 1964. The atomic bomb, so far, Wuchang has become a nuclear country.

At that time, everyone saw the traces of the atomic bomb in Japan and thought it was the strongest weapon, but who knew the next moment the United States developed a more powerful hydrogen bomb. This kind of thermonuclear bomb successfully refreshed people’s understanding of nuclear weapons. , So far, a new wave of nuclear bomb competition has begun again .

Then the United States and the Soviet Union signed a strategic arms reduction treaty on the international situation. At this time, both sides reduced a large number of nuclear weapons, including hydrogen bombs. China did not participate because it had too few nuclear weapons.

It may be for this reason. Nowadays, there are rumors on the Internet that “the hydrogen bombs in the world have been scrapped, and only China has kept 30” . Although it has increased China’s deterrence, it has also affected some people’s strategy towards China. Nuclear assessment. So is this rumor true? Actually, it’s time to refute the rumors.

Since the hydrogen bomb was developed, the atomic bomb has obviously been divided into some attention. Countries have begun to give a large amount of research and development resources to the hydrogen bomb, and even have a number of competitions. Earlier there was a statement that the United States has eliminated pure fission atomic bombs, so that the number of hydrogen bombs once reached nearly 7,000. We don’t care how reliable this statement is, but it is obvious that the hydrogen bomb is more favored than the atomic bomb.

Hydrogen bombs are nuclear weapons based on deuterium and tritium fusion reactions as their explosive principle. Compared with atomic bombs that use heavy nuclear elements to undergo fission chain reaction explosions, the materials produced after the explosion can be said to be cleaner, and the half-life of the attacked land is also shorter. . Moreover, the power of hydrogen bomb explosion is more powerful in the same cost environment. As long as a small equivalent atomic bomb is used to detonate, a certain amount of neutrons can be generated, and then the nuclear materials required for hydrogen bomb explosion can be generated. Its utilization rate and strategic value are significantly greater. high.

As for why it is said that “the global hydrogen bomb has been scrapped”, most people have concluded that although the hydrogen bomb is powerful, there are many unstable factors, and its cost and maintenance cost are extremely high, and it is difficult to preserve, so all countries cannot be long-term. Store a large number of hydrogen bombs and destroy them all.

In fact, how is the shelf life of the hydrogen bomb calculated? According to this weapon structure, we can narrow the scope of discussion to nuclear materials.

The half-lives of uranium-235 and plutonium-239 are much longer than the time when humans discovered them, and lithium-6 does not even have a half-life. Therefore, except for the peripheral safeguard system, their nuclear charges require little maintenance. In modern technology Under the environment, the shelf life of hydrogen bombs is the same as other nuclear weapons, and they can be stored for a long time.

Then there is the difference between the Yu Min configuration in China and the TU configuration in the West. There is no official explanation yet, but it is worth affirming that the Yu Min configuration and the TU configuration are actually equivalent to two molds. The quality of the inner material should not have much to do with the type of mold. As for the data of “30”, it is completely speculation by netizens. It can be said that at present, apart from China, other major countries must also have hydrogen bombs, but they have not put the data on the table.

Although China has now risen, our nuclear weapons are still far inferior to the US and Russia. No matter how many hydrogen bombs we have, our nuclear deterrence is still under that of the US and Russia. Therefore, China can only maintain peace in the world. Truly invincible

The Antichrist: The ultimate kingmaker in the next Iraqi government

Muqtada al-Sadr: The ultimate kingmaker in the next Iraqi government

Middle East 17:15, 15-Oct-2021

Muqtada al-Sadr: The ultimate kingmaker in the next Iraqi government

Li Ruikang

Muqtada al-Sadr has always had a front-row seat in deciding the formation of Iraq’s governments after parliamentary elections; this time he seems likely to be the ultimate kingmaker backed by his party’s biggest ever electoral victory.

At a time when Iraqis are increasingly disillusioned by the political establishment, Sadr’s bloc, led by the Sadrist movement, kept its position as the party with the most seats in Sunday’s elections, expanding to 73 from 54 in the 329-seat parliament.

Early results suggest, however, that only 41 percent of the electorate headed to the polls in the lowest turnout in the country’s history.

Pro-Iran Shiite parties, Sadr’s main rivals, suffered a stunning defeat, losing nearly two-thirds of their seats and now have just 14. Meanwhile, a Sunni bloc and a Shiite party led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, an Iran ally, emerged in second and third place, respectively.

While the next government will likely be formed based on a consensus among the country’s largest political factions and possibly foreign powers, the Sadrists‘ unrivaled share of parliamentary seats gives them greater leeway in talks with other sectarian blocs, including Kurdish and Sunni parties and particularly Iran-allied Shiite groups, and shun foreign interference.

Sadr, a prominent Shiite cleric and founder of the Sadrist movement, does not himself run for public office, but the input of the 47-year-old will carry the most weight during the weeks or even months of negotiations that are likely to follow.

It is unclear whether Prime Minister Mustafa al-Khadimi, who assumed office last year after waves of nationwide protests forced the previous government to resign, will receive Sadr’s support to remain.

Sadr shares similar interests with Khadimi, a U.S.-favored former intelligence chief, and analysts have speculated that the Sadrists’ electoral win was secured with tacit American backing, which would have been unimaginable 15 years ago.

“We welcome all embassies that do not interfere in Iraq’s internal affairs,” he said in a victory speech delivered on Tuesday, adding that celebrations would take place in the streets “without weapons.”

Firebrand nationalist, shapeshifter, or genuine reformist?

Before Sadr’s rise to the national stage, he spent years pursuing religious studies in Qom, a Shiite holy city in Iran. After the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, he returned, formed the Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia group recently renamed as the Peace Brigade, and fought fiercely against U.S. forces.

He gained a reputation as a notorious warlord responsible for the bloody sectarian violence in the wake of the U.S. invasion, but has later transitioned to become a more statesmanlike figure and one of the most influential power brokers in Iraqi politics.

His political bloc, based on an anti-establishment, nationalist platform, has consistently prevailed in elections held after the introduction of a democratic system in 2005. Its support base comes largely from underprivileged, working-class Shiites in the poor Iraqi south, who deplore the country’s entrenched corruption.

Unlike Iran-allied Shiite parties, Sadr’s unifying non-sectarian message appeals to members of other sectarian groups, minorities that often favor a more decentralized Iraq.

To his supporters, Sadr also serves as a spiritual leader who provides guidance and inspiration, even though he lacks the requisite religious qualifications and authority to issue fatwas, or Islamic rulings.

The mid-ranked cleric comes from a prestigious family that has, by far, produced the most influential clerics in modern Iraq. His father, Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadiq al-Sadr, a storied resistance leader to Sunni ruler Saddam Hussein, was killed by the regime in 1999 – a death that helped to lay the foundation for political activism among Iraq’s Shiite community, which makes up roughly 65 percent of the Iraqi population.

Inheriting some of his father’s legacies, Sadr has tried to project himself as a staunch corruption fighter, a pioneer in reforms that would root out the country’s longtime woes, and an alternative to the almost binary political landscape that has long characterized Iraqi politics. Most political factions find themselves either fiercely pro-Iran and anti-U.S. or the exact opposite.

In doing so, the populist leader has taken far-reaching measures such as dissolving some of his own militia groups and banishing corrupt politicians from his own ranks, though these efforts sometimes take a backseat as his influence grows in the country.

But he is not without controversy. As someone who prides himself as the champion of Iraqi protesters, he does not appear to be always standing beside them. When things once spiraled out of his control, the protest advocate helped quash them violently.

The way his movement operates also calls into question whether some of his pledges are genuine. As an influential parliamentary bloc that often controls certain cabinet ministries, the Sadrists have filled a big chunk of civil service positions with their loyalists. And like other powerful factions, they have free-wheeling access to public resources, often diverted for their own purposes. Some of these misappropriations have resulted in deadly disasters, while non-partisan, technocratic ministers, often preferred by Iraqis, are left with little authority to govern.

His entanglement with Iran, however, helps explain some of his contentious moves as he has to compete against his biggest rivals – Iran-aligned Shiite parties, which have a sizable group of militias at their disposal.

As a group made up largely of Shiite Muslims, the Sadrist movement has been innately vulnerable to Iranian influence. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s paramilitary group, has over the years managed to funnel a considerable amount of funding into the movement’s rank-and-file members, which has turned some of them against its leader.

At times, Sadr would adjust his ostensible anti-Iran outlook, making regular visits to Tehran and sometimes acting as the mediator between angry Iraqis and Iranian leaders. His balancing act is considered by some as a sign of departure from his own platform, while others praise him for making the effort to reconcile with Iran, which supplies one-third of Iraq’s electricity.

However, the cozy relationship he enjoyed intermittently with Tehran seems destined to wane as the U.S. is expected to pull all its forces out of Iraq by the end of this year. Understanding what that means for Iraq – a potentially unbridled growth of Iranian influence that would erode its sovereignty, Sadr has repeatedly signaled his willingness to preserve some American sway and lent his support to issues that suit U.S. interests.

The mercurial leader is, nonetheless, persistent in addressing the country’s core problems. He has pledged to eliminate militias that belong mostly to pro-Iran factions and overhaul a political system largely based on patronage networks – with which Iraqis have been increasingly frustrated in recent years.

In Tuesday’s TV address, Sadr called for “confining arms to the hand of the state. It is forbidden to use them outside it; even from those who pretend resistance, whatsoever.”

“Thank God who glorified reform with its biggest bloc,” he said. “A bloc that is neither eastern nor western.”

With his smashing success in Sunday’s vote, Sadr has a golden opportunity to fulfill what he envisions for Iraq, or what he needs to do to consolidate his power, but either way, the same woes he appears bent on stamping out could prevent him from going any further.