Brace Yourselves for the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6)

August 26, 2020

The sixth seal is about to be opened. For the sixth seal is the destruction of the great city, New York City. And the cause is not from the quake, but from the nuclear meltdown of the Indian Point Nuclear Plant just north of the city. For government and corporate greed has allowed this plant to remain opened more than 60 years. And greed has kept it open despite its lying directly on the Ramapo Fault. And greed has allowed a high pressure pipeline to be built through its property.

Brace Yourselves, New Yorkers, You’re Due for a Major Quake

A couple of hundred thousand years ago, an M 7.2 earthquake shook what is now New Hampshire. Just a few thousand years ago, an M 7.5 quake ruptured just off the coast of Massachusetts. And then there’s New York.

Since the first western settlers arrived there, the state has witnessed 200 quakes of magnitude 2.0 or greater, making it the third most seismically active state east of the Mississippi (Tennessee and South Carolina are ranked numbers one and two, respectively). About once a century, New York has also experienced an M 5.0 quake capable of doing real damage.

The most recent one near New York City occurred in August of 1884. Centered off Long Island’s Rockaway Beach, it was felt over 70,000 square miles. It also opened enormous crevices near the Brooklyn reservoir and knocked down chimneys and cracked walls in Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Police on the Brooklyn Bridge said it swayed “as if struck by a hurricane” and worried the bridge’s towers would collapse. Meanwhile, residents throughout New York and New Jersey reported sounds that varied from explosions to loud rumblings, sometimes to comic effect. At the funeral of Lewis Ingler, a small group of mourners were watching as the priest began to pray. The quake cracked an enormous mirror behind the casket and knocked off a display of flowers that had been resting on top of it. When it began to shake the casket’s silver handles, the mourners decided the unholy return of Lewis Ingler was more than they could take and began flinging themselves out windows and doors.

Not all stories were so light. Two people died during the quake, both allegedly of fright. Out at sea, the captain of the brig Alice felt a heavy lurch that threw him and his crew, followed by a shaking that lasted nearly a minute. He was certain he had hit a wreck and was taking on water.

A day after the quake, the editors of The New York Times sought to allay readers’ fear. The quake, they said, was an unexpected fluke never to be repeated and not worth anyone’s attention: “History and the researches of scientific men indicate that great seismic disturbances occur only within geographical limits that are now well defined,” they wrote in an editorial. “The northeastern portion of the United States . . . is not within those limits.” The editors then went on to scoff at the histrionics displayed by New York residents when confronted by the quake: “They do not stop to reason or to recall the fact that earthquakes here are harmless phenomena. They only know that the solid earth, to whose immovability they have always turned with confidence when everything else seemed transitory, uncertain, and deceptive, is trembling and in motion, and the tremor ceases long before their disturbed minds become tranquil.”
That’s the kind of thing that drives Columbia’s Heather Savage nuts.

New York, she says, is positively vivisected by faults. Most of them fall into two groups—those running northeast and those running northwest. Combined they create a brittle grid underlying much of Manhattan.

Across town, Charles Merguerian has been studying these faults the old‐fashioned way: by getting down and dirty underground. He’s spent the past forty years sloshing through some of the city’s muckiest places: basements and foundations, sewers and tunnels, sometimes as deep as 750 feet belowground. His tools down there consist primarily of a pair of muck boots, a bright blue hard hat, and a pickax. In public presentations, he claims he is also ably abetted by an assistant hamster named Hammie, who maintains his own website, which includes, among other things, photos of the rodent taking down Godzilla.

That’s just one example why, if you were going to cast a sitcom starring two geophysicists, you’d want Savage and Merguerian to play the leading roles. Merguerian is as eccentric and flamboyant as Savage is earnest and understated. In his press materials, the former promises to arrive at lectures “fully clothed.” Photos of his “lab” depict a dingy porta‐john in an abandoned subway tunnel. He actively maintains an archive of vintage Chinese fireworks labels at least as extensive as his list of publications, and his professional website includes a discography of blues tunes particularly suitable for earthquakes. He calls female science writers “sweetheart” and somehow manages to do so in a way that kind of makes them like it (although they remain nevertheless somewhat embarrassed to admit it).

It’s Merguerian’s boots‐on‐the‐ground approach that has provided much of the information we need to understand just what’s going on underneath Gotham. By his count, Merguerian has walked the entire island of Manhattan: every street, every alley. He’s been in most of the tunnels there, too. His favorite one by far is the newest water tunnel in western Queens. Over the course of 150 days, Merguerian mapped all five miles of it. And that mapping has done much to inform what we know about seismicity in New York.

Most importantly, he says, it provided the first definitive proof of just how many faults really lie below the surface there. And as the city continues to excavate its subterranean limits, Merguerian is committed to following closely behind. It’s a messy business.

Down below the city, Merguerian encounters muck of every flavor and variety. He power‐washes what he can and relies upon a diver’s halogen flashlight and a digital camera with a very, very good flash to make up the difference. And through this process, Merguerian has found thousands of faults, some of which were big enough to alter the course of the Bronx River after the last ice age.
His is a tricky kind of detective work. The center of a fault is primarily pulverized rock. For these New York faults, that gouge was the very first thing to be swept away by passing glaciers. To do his work, then, he’s primarily looking for what geologists call “offsets”—places where the types of rock don’t line up with one another. That kind of irregularity shows signs of movement over time—clear evidence of a fault.

Merguerian has found a lot of them underneath New York City.

These faults, he says, do a lot to explain the geological history of Manhattan and the surrounding area. They were created millions of years ago, when what is now the East Coast was the site of a violent subduction zone not unlike those present now in the Pacific’s Ring of Fire.

Each time that occurred, the land currently known as the Mid‐Atlantic underwent an accordion effect as it was violently folded into itself again and again. The process created immense mountains that have eroded over time and been further scoured by glaciers. What remains is a hodgepodge of geological conditions ranging from solid bedrock to glacial till to brittle rock still bearing the cracks of the collision. And, says Merguerian, any one of them could cause an earthquake.

You don’t have to follow him belowground to find these fractures. Even with all the development in our most built‐up metropolis, evidence of these faults can be found everywhere—from 42nd Street to Greenwich Village. But if you want the starkest example of all, hop the 1 train at Times Square and head uptown to Harlem. Not far from where the Columbia University bus collects people for the trip to the Lamont‐Doherty Earth Observatory, the subway tracks seem to pop out of the ground onto a trestle bridge before dropping back down to earth. That, however, is just an illusion. What actually happens there is that the ground drops out below the train at the site of one of New York’s largest faults. It’s known by geologists in the region as the Manhattanville or 125th Street Fault, and it runs all the way across the top of Central Park and, eventually, underneath Long Island City. Geologists have known about the fault since 1939, when the city undertook a massive subway mapping project, but it wasn’t until recently that they confirmed its potential for a significant quake.

In our lifetimes, a series of small earthquakes have been recorded on the Manhattanville Fault including, most recently, one on October 27, 2001. Its epicenter was located around 55th and 8th—directly beneath the original Original Soupman restaurant, owned by restaurateur Ali Yeganeh, the inspiration for Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi. That fact delighted sitcom fans across the country, though few Manhattanites were in any mood to appreciate it.

The October 2001 quake itself was small—about M 2.6—but the effect on residents there was significant. Just six weeks prior, the city had been rocked by the 9/11 terrorist attacks that brought down the World Trade Center towers. The team at Lamont‐Doherty has maintained a seismic network in the region since the ’70s. They registered the collapse of the first tower at M 2.1. Half an hour later, the second tower crumbled with even more force and registered M 2.3. In a city still shocked by that catastrophe, the early‐morning October quake—several times greater than the collapse of either tower—jolted millions of residents awake with both reminders of the tragedy and fear of yet another attack. 9‐1‐1 calls overwhelmed dispatchers and first responders with reports of shaking buildings and questions about safety in the city. For seismologists, though, that little quake was less about foreign threats to our soil and more about the possibility of larger tremors to come.

Remember: The Big Apple has experienced an M 5.0 quake about every hundred years. The last one was that 1884 event. And that, says Merguerian, means the city is overdue. Just how overdue?

“Gee whiz!” He laughs when I pose this question. “That’s the holy grail of seismicity, isn’t it?”

He says all we can do to answer that question is “take the pulse of what’s gone on in recorded history.” To really have an answer, we’d need to have about ten times as much data as we do today. But from what he’s seen, the faults below New York are very much alive.

“These guys are loaded,” he tells me.

He says he is also concerned about new studies of a previously unknown fault zone known as the Ramapo that runs not far from the city. Savage shares his concerns. They both think it’s capable of an M 6.0 quake or even higher—maybe even a 7.0. If and when, though, is really anybody’s guess.

“We literally have no idea what’s happening in our backyard,” says Savage.

What we do know is that these quakes have the potential to do more damage than similar ones out West, mostly because they are occurring on far harder rock capable of propagating waves much farther. And because these quakes occur in places with higher population densities, these eastern events can affect a lot more people. Take the 2011 Virginia quake: Although it was only a moderate one, more Americans felt it than any other one in our nation’s history.

That’s the thing about the East Coast: Its earthquake hazard may be lower than that of the West Coast, but the total effect of any given quake is much higher. Disaster specialists talk about this in terms of risk, and they make sense of it with an equation that multiplies the potential hazard of an event by the cost of damage and the number of people harmed. When you take all of those factors into account, the earthquake risk in New York is much greater than, say, that in Alaska or Hawaii or even a lot of the area around the San Andreas Fault.

Merguerian has been sounding the alarm about earthquake risk in the city since the ’90s. He admits he hasn’t gotten much of a response. He says that when he first proposed the idea of seismic risk in New York City, his fellow scientists “booed and threw vegetables” at him. He volunteered his services to the city’s Office of Emergency Management but says his original offer also fell on deaf ears.

“So I backed away gently and went back to academia.”

Today, he says, the city isn’t much more responsive, but he’s getting a much better response from his peers.

He’s glad for that, he says, but it’s not enough. If anything, the events of 9/11, along with the devastation caused in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy, should tell us just how bad it could be there.

He and Savage agree that what makes the risk most troubling is just how little we know about it. When it comes right down to it, intraplate faults are the least understood. Some scientists think they might be caused by mantle flow deep below the earth’s crust. Others think they might be related to gravitational energy. Still others think quakes occurring there might be caused by the force of the Atlantic ridge as it pushes outward. Then again, it could be because the land is springing back after being compressed thousands of years ago by glaciers (a phenomenon geologists refer to as seismic rebound).

“We just have no consciousness towards earthquakes in the eastern United States,” says Merguerian. “And that’s a big mistake.”

Adapted from Quakeland: On the Road to America’s Next Devastating Earthquake by Kathryn Miles, published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2017 by Kathryn Miles.

Two Centuries Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

The worst earthquake in Massachusetts history 260 years ago
It happened before, and it could happen again.
By Hilary Sargent @lilsarg
Boston.com Staff | 11.19.15 | 5:53 AM
On November 18, 1755, Massachusetts experienced its largest recorded earthquake.
The earthquake occurred in the waters off Cape Ann, and was felt within seconds in Boston, and as far away as Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake Bay, and upstate New York, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
Seismologists have since estimated the quake to have been between 6.0 and 6.3 on the Richter scale, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
While there were no fatalities, the damage was extensive.
According to the USGS, approximately 100 chimneys and roofs collapsed, and over a thousand were damaged.
The worst damage occurred north of Boston, but the city was not unscathed.
A 1755 report in The Philadelphia Gazette described the quake’s impact on Boston:
“There was at first a rumbling noise like low thunder, which was immediately followed with such a violent shaking of the earth and buildings, as threw every into the greatest amazement, expecting every moment to be buried in the ruins of their houses. In a word, the instances of damage done to our houses and chimnies are so many, that it would be endless to recount them.”
The quake sent the grasshopper weathervane atop Faneuil Hall tumbling to the ground, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
An account of the earthquake, published in The Pennsylvania Gazette on December 4, 1755.
The earthquake struck at 4:30 in the morning, and the shaking lasted “near four minutes,” according to an entry John Adams, then 20, wrote in his diary that day.
The brief diary entry described the damage he witnessed.
“I was then at my Fathers in Braintree, and awoke out of my sleep in the midst of it,” he wrote. “The house seemed to rock and reel and crack as if it would fall in ruins about us. 7 Chimnies were shatter’d by it within one mile of my Fathers house.”
The shaking was so intense that the crew of one ship off the Boston coast became convinced the vessel had run aground, and did not learn about the earthquake until they reached land, according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In 1832, a writer for the Hampshire (Northampton) Gazette wrote about one woman’s memories from the quake upon her death.
“It was between 4 and 5 in the morning, and the moon shone brightly. She and the rest of the family were suddenly awaked from sleep by a noise like that of the trampling of many horses; the house trembled and the pewter rattled on the shelves. They all sprang out of bed, and the affrightted children clung to their parents. “I cannot help you dear children,” said the good mother, “we must look to God for help.”
The Cape Ann earthquake came just 17 days after an earthquake estimated to have been 8.5-9.0 on the Richter scale struck in Lisbon, Portugal, killing at least 60,000 and causing untold damage.
There was no shortage of people sure they knew the impretus for the Cape Ann earthquake.
According to many ministers in and around Boston, “God’s wrath had brought this earthquake upon Boston,” according to the Massachusetts Historical Society.
In “Verses Occasioned by the Earthquakes in the Month of November, 1755,” Jeremiah Newland, a Taunton resident who was active in religious activities in the Colony, wrote that the earthquake was a reminder of the importance of obedience to God.
“It is becaufe we broke thy Laws,
that thou didst shake the Earth.

O what a Day the Scriptures say,
the EARTHQUAKE doth foretell;
O turn to God; lest by his Rod,
he cast thee down to Hell.”
Boston Pastor Jonathan Mayhew warned in a sermon that the 1755 earthquakes in Massachusetts and Portugal were “judgments of heaven, at least as intimations of God’s righteous displeasure, and warnings from him.”
There were some, though, who attempted to put forth a scientific explanation for the earthquake.
Well, sort of.
In a lecture delivered just a week after the earthquake, Harvard mathematics professor John Winthrop said the quake was the result of a reaction between “vapors” and “the heat within the bowels of the earth.” But even Winthrop made sure to state that his scientific theory “does not in the least detract from the majesty … of God.”
It has been 260 years since the Cape Ann earthquake. Some experts, including Boston College seismologist John Ebel, think New England could be due for another significant quake.
In a recent Boston Globe report, Ebel said the New England region “can expect a 4 to 5 magnitude quake every decade, a 5 to 6 every century, and a magnitude 6 or above every thousand years.”
If the Cape Ann earthquake occurred today, “the City of Boston could sustain billions of dollars of earthquake damage, with many thousands injured or killed,” according to a 1997 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

US Concerned About Situation Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

The US has numerous protecting power arrangements in countries where it does not have a diplomatic presence. Those notably include Switzerland in Iran, Sweden in North Korea and the Czech Republic in Syria.Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani looks on during a news conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken following a signing ceremony at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (Olivier Douliery/Pool via AP)

US, Qatar ‘deeply concerned’ about West Bank, Gaza

In joint statement, countries pledge to ‘improve humanitarian and economic conditions for all’; Qatar agrees to represent US interests in Afghanistan

By TOI STAFF and APToday, 6:16 pm  

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken talks with Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani during a news conference following a signing ceremony at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. (Olivier Douliery/Pool via AP)

The United States and Qatar said on Saturday that they remain “deeply concerned” about the West Bank and Gaza and vowed to continue working together to “improve humanitarian and economic conditions for all.”

The two countries also reiterated “the importance of achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” in a joint statement on Saturday following a meeting the previous day between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

The two met in Washington on Friday for the fourth annual US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue summit where they discussed a range of regional and global affairs including security cooperation, labor and human rights, health and humanitarian assistance, and recent events in Afghanistan.

Qatar agreed to represent the US in Taliban-run Afghanistan following the closure of the American Embassy in Kabul and the withdrawal of all US forces from the country in late August.

Blinken and Al-Thani said Qatar will serve as the US “protecting power” in Afghanistan. The announcement is a clear indication the Biden administration doesn’t intend to reopen the embassy anytime soon after bringing America’s longest-running war to an end after 20 years.Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Editionby email and never miss our top storiesNewsletter email addressGET ITBy signing up, you agree to the terms

The protecting power agreement means Qatar will set up a US “interests section” within its own embassy in Kabul to handle consular services for American citizens in Afghanistan, deal with routine official communications between Washington and the Taliban government, and assume responsibility for the protection of now-vacated US diplomatic facilities there.

Qatar has been a key player in discussions between the Taliban and the United States for many years. It hosted months of US-Taliban peace talks and has since been critical to the evacuation of American citizens and others from AfghanistanADVERTISEMENThttps://3baa0f45e9ecc334cf2d59909d31b0c5.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

In their joint statement, Blinken and Al-Thani said they discussed the “extraordinary teamwork” between the two countries to relocate from Afghanistan more than 60,000 US citizens, permanent residents, special via holders and at-risk Afghans to the US via Qatar. According to the statement, political developments in the region, including in Syria, Yemen and the Horn of Africa, were also discussed.

Regarding the West Bank and Gaza, Blinken and al-Thani said their respective countries “remain deeply concerned” and “will continue to work together to improve humanitarian and economic conditions for all, and discussed the importance of achieving a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the statement read, without further elaboration.

Qatar has pledged some $500 million for Gaza’s reconstruction after the coastal enclave was battered by Israeli airstrikes in 11 days of hostilities between the Jewish state and Palestinian terrorists in May.

Qatar is a key backer of the Islamist terror group Hamas that controls the Gaza Strip.

Al-Thani said at the time that Qatar would continue to support Palestinians so as to reach “a just and lasting solution by establishing their independent state in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative,” referring to a Saudi-backed peace initiative first offered in 2002.

Qatar has funneled cash into the blockaded, Hamas-ruled enclave for years with Israeli approval. The Gulf state had already pledged $360 million in aid to Gaza at the beginning of the year.

The European Nuclear Horns Prepare for Russia

Soldiers of the Ukrainian State Border Guard Service line up at the border with Belarus in the Volyn region, Ukraine, on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021. Ukraine has sent 8.5 thousand servicemen amid the migrant crisis as thousands of migrants who came to Belarus from the Middle East and Africa are trying to enter the European Union through Poland. (Ukrainian Police Press Office via AP)

NATO ratchets up anti-Russian offensive in Poland and Ukraine

Thomas Scripps

The UK’s announcement yesterday that it has dispatched a detachment of ten troops from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers to Poland is the first deployment of boots on the ground by an allied NATO power to assist with the country’s border confrontation with Belarus. Although small, the involvement of forces from Britain signals an escalation of the ongoing provocation being staged by the Polish government, ultimately targeting Russia.

Several thousand refugees are seeking entry from Belarus to the European Union (EU) via Poland and have been met with a massive deployment of military force and violence. A reported 20,000 Polish soldiers are currently stationed on the Belarussian border, overseeing illegal, brutal, pushbacks of asylum seekers.

Poland has accused Belarus of “hybrid warfare” and “state terrorism,” claiming government forces are ferrying people thousands of miles and helping them across the border. They have pointed the finger at Russian President Vladimir Putin as the architect of this policy.

That Poland’s sabre rattling is part of a broader offensive was confirmed by statements issued this week by members of the United Nations Security Council and NATO.

On Thursday, during a meeting of the UNSC, Estonia, France, Ireland, Norway, the United States and Britain issued a statement, rejected by permanent UN member Russia. The statement read, ‘We condemn the orchestrated instrumentalisation of human beings whose lives and wellbeing have been put in danger for political purposes by Belarus, with the objective of destabilizing neighboring countries and the European Union’s external border and diverting attention away from its own increasing human rights violations.”

They called for a “strong international reaction” and pledged ‘to discuss further measures that we can take.’

NATO’s statement made clear the scope of the anti-Russia offensive being mounted:

“The North Atlantic Council strongly condemns the continued instrumentalisation of irregular migration artificially created by Belarus as part of hybrid actions targeted against Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia for political purposes… We will remain vigilant against the risk of further escalation and provocation by Belarus at its borders with Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia, and will continue to monitor the implications for the security of the Alliance.”

While NATO mounts a propaganda campaign over the alleged “weaponization” of migrants in Belarus, it continues to carry out reckless military provocations in the Black Sea, on Russia’s border.

Russia reported Thursday that it had scrambled a fighter jet to intercept a British Boeing RC-135 Rivet Joint spy plane, which it claimed was trying to get close to Crimea. The Russian military said four spy planes and two US warships were observed operating in the region in the same 24-hour period.

Russia’s military spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov commented, “The Russian defence ministry treats the military activity of the US and its allies in the Black Sea region as scouting out a potential theatre of war in case Ukraine prepares a military operation to solve the crisis in eastern Ukraine.”

Tensions have been mounting for the last month, following an escalation of the conflict in the east of Ukraine and renewed talk of admitting the ferociously anti-Russian Ukrainian state to NATO.

On October 26, Ukrainian forces carried out their first drone strike on pro-Russian forces in the Donbass region, using a Turkish Bayraktar TB2k—technology Foreign Policy described as a “game changer” in the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Libya.

The possibility of Ukraine being granted NATO membership was underscored by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s trip to Ukraine, as well as Georgia and Romania, a few days earlier. Asked during his visit about Russia’s objections to Ukraine’s NATO ambitions, Austin replied, “Ukraine… has a right to decide its own future foreign policy, and we expect that they will be able to do that without any outside interference.”

He called on Russia to “end its occupation of Crimea” and warned, “We will continue to do everything we can to support Ukraine’s efforts to develop the capability to defend itself.”

Putin responded, “Formal membership [of Ukraine] in NATO may not take place, but military development of the territory is already under way… This creates a threat to the Russian Federation.”

On October 30, the Washington Post reported a significant build-up of Russian forces near the country’s Ukrainian border. Politico took up the story two days later, reporting that satellite images from Maxar Technologies showed “a buildup of armored units, tanks and self-propelled artillery along with ground troops massing near the Russian town of Yelnya.” These included the elite 1st Guards Tank Army.

The website continued, “a new analysis by Jane’s [a military intelligence company] on Monday reveals that equipment from Russia’s 4th Tank Division has been moved to areas around Bryansk and Kursk close to Ukraine’s northern border.”

Ukraine’s defence ministry claims there are some 90,000 Russian troops involved in total.

Russian spokesperson Dmitry Peskov dismissed Politico’s article as “low quality.” At the same time, he insisted, “The movement of our military equipment and army units… is exclusively our business.”

He said yesterday, “We take measures to ensure our security when our opponents take defiant action near our borders. We can’t stay indifferent to that.”

Ukraine has so far deployed 8,500 troops to its side of the border with Russia.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken held a joint press conference in Washington with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Blinken claimed, “Our concern is that Russia may make a serious mistake of attempting to rehash what it undertook back in 2014,” referring to the annexation of Crimea following the NATO-backed coup in Ukraine.

Warning, “We’re looking at this very, very closely. We’re also consulting very closely with allies and partners,” he concluded, “The message we’re sending today that I repeated to Dmytro is that our commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty, to its independence, to its territorial integrity is ironclad.”

The secretary of state added yesterday that the US was “looking at the various tools that we have.”

His threats were echoed by the French foreign and defence ministers after a meeting with their Russian counterparts. The French ministers, “warned of serious consequences related to any new harm to Ukraine’s territorial integrity” and “condemned the irresponsible and unacceptable behaviour of Belarusian authorities concerning the instrumentalization of migration flows targeting several countries of the European Union,” according to a joint press release.

On Friday morning, the UK’s Daily Telegraph ran the front-page headline, “Russia may invade Ukraine, warns US.” The story claimed that “senior Whitehall sources” had told the paper the UK government was “concerned” about reports of Russian troop movements near the Ukrainian border and that “there was ‘twitchiness’ and ‘anxiety’ among officials.”

It continued, “They [US officials] have shared intelligence on the Russian movements with allies and briefed them on the possibility of a military operation.”

These events highlight the serious danger of war breaking out in Europe.

In Poland and Ukraine, the European and NATO powers are relying on far-right proxies with major fascist constituencies to push an aggressive anti-Russian campaign involving the deployment of thousands of troops. They have their own forces positioned within striking distance of Russian territory.

The situation they have created threatens to trigger an armed confrontation. In addition to its deployment of soldiers to the border with Ukraine, Russia carried out snap paratrooper drills with Belarus on Friday, just 20 miles from the flashpoint on the Polish border. Britain claims the Royal Air Force escorted two Russian nuclear-capable bombers flying over the North Sea towards the English Channel the same day.

Seeking to deflect enormous social tensions outward and to pursue their long-held strategic goal of a dominated, subservient Russia, the imperialist powers are preparing a catastrophe.

China’s nuclear stockpile continues to grow: Daniel 7

China’s nuclear stockpile growing at an “accelerating pace” will have 1,000 warheads by 2030: Pentagon

donalddosman1 week ago

China is manufacturing nuclear warheads at an “accelerating pace,” with 1,000 by the end of the decade, according to a new Pentagon report released Wednesday after a two-month delay. prize.

Just a year ago, in a previous China report, the Pentagon estimated that China’s nuclear weapons were in the “late 200s” and would “at least double” in the next decade. The new report shows that China is expanding much faster.

“The accelerating pace of China’s nuclear expansion could allow China to carry up to 700 nuclear warheads by 2027. China will exceed the pace and size of DoD expected in 2020. We plan to have at least 1,000 warheads by 2030. “

China, or the People’s Republic of China, is the way the Pentagon refers to China.

China can increase its nuclear stockpile by “increasing its ability to produce and separate plutonium,” the report said.

The United States currently has a treaty with Russia restricted to deploying up to 1,550 nuclear warheads. China has no arms control treaties with other countries, so there are no such restrictions.

China “is building hundreds of new ICBM silos and is at the forefront of a large silo-based ICBM expansion comparable to that done by other major powers,” the report warns.

During the summer, US intelligence detected the presence of missile fields, and civilian satellite radar discovered some of them.

According to the report, in 2020, China launched more than 250 ballistic missiles “in spite of COVID-19, exceeding the number of launches in 2018 and 2019.”

In its final annual report to Parliament a year ago, the Pentagon said China had assembled the world’s largest navy. Since then, it has improved, according to a new annual report to Congress.

“In the short term, PLAN will be capable of using land-attack cruise missiles to carry out long-range precision attacks on land targets from submarines and surface fighters, especially China’s global power projection. Strengthen your abilities. “

This report only measures Chinese military growth in 2020 and does not explain China’s growth this year. The report did not cover recent tests of hypersonic weapons from space. And it surprised US intelligence.

The newly released report covered the next development in the field of hypersonic weapons. It is the first deployment of an advanced system that moves at five times the speed of sound, but experts say it does not move in a predictable ballistic trajectory.

“In 2020, PLARF began deploying the first operational hypersonic weapon system, the DF-17 Hypersonic Glide Vehicle (HGV) -compatible intermediate-range ballistic missile (MRBM),” the report said. Stated.

General Mark Milley, the highest US military officer, called the recent test of China’s hypersonic aircraft a “very important” test.

Millie warned NBC’s Lester Holt at the Aspen Security Forum on Wednesday. “If we, the US military, do not make any fundamental changes in the next 10 to 15 to 20 years, we will be on the other side of the conflict.”

Millie later predicted that China’s invasion of Taiwan would be “unlikely” over the next two years.

The Pentagon’s new China report adds a section on “Chemical Weapons Development,” which states that China “Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and Chemical Weapons Development Council (CWC).”

The report did not mention the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Pentagon said the Pentagon left the matter to the Director of National Intelligence.

Millie recently said that China’s test of hypersonic missiles while orbiting the Earth is very close to the “moment of Sputnik.”

In an interview with Fox News, former Secretary of Defense Assistant Elbridge A. Colby said that China’s development of hypersonic weapons was not the only concern. It is Beijing’s overall military progress, including nuclear power.

“The Sputnik moments were like this idea that we finally woke up to something. There are many Sputnik moments in front of us,” Colby said of Fox News and the author of a new book. In an interview with The Strategy of Denial: American Defense. In an era of great power conflict. “It’s a steroid Sputnik.”

“We have the feeling that we will not be defeated, which is just wrong. We can be defeated,” Elbridge added.

China’s nuclear stockpile growing at an “accelerating pace” will have 1,000 warheads by 2030: Pentagon

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The Iranian Horn Is Losing Control of Iraq: Daniel 8

Security sources and analysts believe pro-Iran militia groups are the likely culprits behind the attack on Iraqi PM [File: Alaa al-Marjani/Reuters]

Is Iran losing some of its grip on Shia militias in Iraq?

The assassination attempt on Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi has brought the divisions within pro-Iran militias to the fore.

By Shawn YuanPublished On 12 Nov 2021

Baghdad, Iraq – Soon after the drone attack aimed at assassinating Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iran joined the ranks of countries condemning the attack.

Tehran, which wields considerable military influence in Iraq, rushed Esmail Qaani, the leader of the elite Quds Force to Baghdad to calm the most dramatic escalation in months between the state and the pro-Iran militia groups.

It is not clear whether Iran had previous knowledge of this attack, but Tehran’s subsequent stance following the assault suggested that the attack at least went ahead without Iran’s full endorsement.

At a tumultuous time when Iran’s influence in Iraq seems to be on the decline, Tehran’s once-firm grip on the Shia militias in the country is again brought into question.

Although no groups have yet claimed responsibility, security sources and analysts believe pro-Iran militia groups are the likely culprits behind the attack that came after the humiliating defeat of pro-Iran blocs in the October elections. They claim the election was rigged.

In his meeting with Prime Minister al-Kadhimi, Qaani also reportedly said that those who staged the attack would be investigated and later prosecuted.

“I found it hard to believe that the attack was authorised by Iran,” Sajad Jiyad, an Iraqi political analyst at Century Foundation, told Al Jazeera. “It probably has more to do with the unit whose commander was killed earlier, and they likely went ahead with the attack as revenge without going all the way up to the top leadership.”

Despite its murky background, the attack nonetheless elevated the escalation to a worrying level. “Had the assassination been successful, we’d be looking at a potential full-blown intra-Shia conflict,” Raad Hasan, a Baghdad-based Iraqi politics watcher, told Al Jazeera.

After pro-Iran blocs suffered a significant blow in the parliamentary elections, Iran’s primary task is to fortify its base in Iraq while carefully tailor its game plan in Iraqi politics to retain its influence. Any extensive Shia-Shia conflict could potentially shatter Iran’s ambition in Iraq, according to analysts

It is against this background that the recent dramatic escalation marked uncharted territory for Iran where the situation could have gone terribly wrong – all possibly without Tehran’s consent.https://6b13032f0f546877d37d2cf3ff0fd0e6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

From the militia groups’ perspective, the attack made sense: it came as the furore among them continued to brew after influential Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr held meeting after meeting in an apparent move to try to exclude the pro-Iran Al-Fatah political alliance, to which Hashd al-Shaabi or Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) belong, from the next government.

Al-Sadr emerged as a kingmaker after his political bloc made extensive gains in the elections, winning 73 seats in the 329-member parliament.

“They committed such a shocking act to warn everyone that if they are sidelined, they will burn the country,” Hamdi Malik, a researcher at the Washington Institute who has studied Iraqi militias extensively, told Al Jazeera.

Yet for Iran, such an attack was too risky – the escalation could easily alienate some Iraqis and bolden the militia groups into acting like lone wolves without relying too much on Tehran.

Already prior to the attack, the militia group Asa-ib Ahl al-Haq’s dissenting role within the ranks of the PMF had opened fissures between the Iraqi militias and Iran; and the attack on Sunday further worried Tehran as it fears its grip on the Shia militia groups is increasingly loosening.

For months, Iran-backed Shia militia groups in Iraq have been behind the tit-for-tat exchanges with the US with mortar and rocket attacks aimed at US military sites in Iraq – oftentimes in defiance of Tehran’s de-escalatory stance with Washington on Iraqi soil.

Among the militia groups in Iraq themselves, the internal fracture was also widening as Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq group, led by Qais Khazali, repeatedly broke the periodical ceasefire between Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) – another paramilitary group traditionally loyal to Tehran – and the US.

According to Militia Spotlight, an open-source monitoring site established by Washington Institute, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq broke the ceasefire between Kata’ib Hezbollah and the US at least half a dozen times in 2020 and 2021, in deliberate defiance of KH’s dominant role in Iran’s proxy militia network in the country.

“Iranian-supported groups like Kata’ib Hezbollah are themselves fragmenting with some elements acting more aggressively against the US and against election results than Iran is willing to support,” Michael Knights, a fellow at Washington Institute, told Al Jazeera.

The very militia groups that are financially and militarily backed by Iran are acting more independently as their political influence is in fast decline within Iraq and their financial support provided by Tehran shrinks following the economic down spiral in Iran.https://6b13032f0f546877d37d2cf3ff0fd0e6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The US assassination of Qassem Soleimani, the leader of Quds Force, and PMF leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis undoubtedly struck a huge blow against Iran’s military influence within Iraqi borders.

The “undefeatable” and charismatic Soleimani as put by some Iraqis, had a much stronger personal sway than Qaani who does not speak fluent Arabic and lacks a consistent track record with the Iraqi muqawama (resistance).

“Ever since the killing of Soleimani and Muhandis, Iran has been struggling to keep cohesiveness in its control of and strategy in Iraq,” said Jiyad. “And with time, it’s almost inevitable that Iran is no longer able to exert the same level of power on some groups, and it would be very interesting to see how that is going to play out in the next government.”

Yet exactly how effective Iran’s grip on Shia militias is still debatable, and despite some apparent fracture between Tehran and some Iran-backed militias, some analysts believe Iran’s military influence is long-lasting and will not necessarily be drastically curtailed by the series of incidents.

“It’s a stretch to say that Iran is losing its grip on these militias,” Hamdi Malik said. “Iran might oppose an attempt on the life of the Iraqi prime minister, yet it sympathises with those trying to avoid losing their influence in the Iraqi parliament and government.”