A Lack Of Vigilance Before The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

     Faults Underlying Exercise Vigilant GuardStory 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.

Antichrist to Struggle for Iraqi Sovereignty

FILE - Populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr speaks during a press conference in Najaf, Iraq, Nov. 18, 2021.

In 2022, Iraq to Struggle for Sovereignty Amid Tug of War

December 26, 2021 8:13 AM

Protestors gather outside the Green Zone government areas in Baghdad, Dec. 3, 2021. Protestors gathered in Baghdad to protest the final results of Iraqi parliamentary elections.

Iran, the United States and Gulf Arab states are increasingly engaged in a struggle over the future of Iraq, analysts say. The question that looms over 2022, they believe, is whether the emerging Iraqi political makeup following October’s parliamentary elections will be able to advance Iraqi sovereignty in the context of this geopolitical tug of war.

Marking Iraq’s centenary celebration on December 11, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi urged all Iraqis to recognize what unites, rather than what divides, them for the sake of Iraq’s common good. The country’s federal court is expected to uphold the October parliamentary election results, praised by Iraqi and international observers, despite repeated efforts by defeated pro-Iranian Shiite parties who want them annulled. 

FILE – Populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr speaks during a press conference in Najaf, Iraq, Nov. 18, 2021.

Their representation has dropped significantly to some 17 seats compared with Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s party with 74. Writing in the Al-Monitor website, Iraqi observer Omar Sattar said Sadr wants “to form a majority government opposing all foreign interference and to disarm militias. The pro-Iran forces are countering Sadr’s aspirations by taking to the street, threatening civil peace, and working to annul the election results. Reaching a middle ground could take a long time.” 

Elections were held early in response to mass protests against the government in 2019, but there are concerns about powerful armed groups, many linked to Iran, that still hold sway. There have been no arrests or charges following a failed assassination attempt on Al-Kadhimi in November. 

Senior analyst Nicholas Heras with the Newlines Institute in Washington tells VOA that Iraq is at a crossroads and its sovereignty is at stake.

“Fundamentally it will require Iraqi leaders working across Iraqi society to try to build bridges among communities in Iraq that have very difficult experience of living together, both under Saddam Hussein and in the wake of his regime,” said Heras. “That is going to be a challenge and that is the great existential question for Iraq as Iraq is in process of becoming a failed state divided along its various regions, dominated by various different identity communities.” 

FILE – Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi attends a meeting in Washington, July 26, 2021.

Observers say that Al-Kadhimi has been a moderating force for Iraq and has tried to draw Iraq back into the Arab fold through economic deals with Jordan and Egypt while mediating between regional rivals, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Osama Al Sharif, a Middle East political commentator in Amman, called these moves “anathema to the pro-Iran proxies.” 

Meanwhile, as 2021 drew to a close, U.S.-led coalition forces ended their combat mission in Iraq this month, transferring some 2,500 troops combatting Islamic State into a training and advising role. But observers say Iran wants the U.S. out of Iraq. Nicholas Heras. 

“Al Kadhimi is viewed as a symbol of U.S. support in Iraq. And so, what we are seeing now is this end zone conflict that is emerging in Iraq whereby Iran is trying to keep activities that its proxies use under a threshold of escalation that would prevent a strong U.S. or for that matter Al-Kadhimi-backed response,” said Heras.

Osama Al Sharif, writing in the Saudi Arab News daily, said election winner “Muqtada Al-Sadr has praised Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi’s efforts to keep Iraq neutral in the U.S.-Iran showdown.” 

He said Al-Sadr may even keep Al-Kadhimi on as prime minister, “even if this is anathema to his Shiite rivals. This would be a major step forward for Iraq, which is trying to revive its national identity and rejoin the Arab fold.” 

“If Al-Sadr succeeds in toppling the ethno-sectarian system,” he says, “it will be a historic milestone in the country’s recovery, but his failure could be disastrous on all fronts.”

The Russian Space Nuclear Horn Grows: Revelation 16

People stand at the Monument to the Conquerors of Space on top of the National Cosmonautics museum in Moscow on Nov. 17.

Why Russia Tested Its Anti-Satellite Weapon

If regulation of space weapons is coming, Putin wants to be ahead of the pack.

December 26, 2021, 3:00 AM

On Nov. 15, Russia tested and demonstrated an anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) system by destroying one of its inactive satellites at an altitude of about 300 miles above the earth’s surface. At this altitude, the satellite’s debris will orbit the Earth for a long time. The United States has identified more than 1,500 pieces.

The United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, and South Korea have made harsh allegations against Russia, accusing Moscow of being irresponsible and endangering active satellites, including the International Space Station (and its astronauts) and the Chinese space station, which is under construction. Additionally, they criticized Russia for destabilizing the world order. This raises the question of why Russia chose to test and demonstrate an ASAT capability now.

Russia may have calculated that in the context of rising great-power rivalry, especially between the United States and China, the growing trend of space weaponization is the future of warfare. At the same time, this trend of weaponization opens the door to stringent space regulations that will limit the development and use of these capabilities. Displaying technological capability before new international regulations are created can be valuable for both national security and political reasons.

Leading to the first nuclear war: Revelation 8

AUKUS Leading to Nuclear Arms Race in Indo – Pacific Region

AUKUS Leading to Nuclear Arms Race in Indo – Pacific Region

To contain Chinese military and economic, influence especially in the Indo – Pacific region, USA and its allies are making all efforts including the supply of nuclear submarines (subs) to Australia a trusted associate. On 15 September 2021 Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson, US President Joseph Biden and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued a joint statement announcing the creation of an “enhanced trilateral security partnership” called AUKUS.  The important part of the agreement is to help Australia to acquire 8 nuclear powered subs. It would be a joint endeavor between the three nations, with a focus on interoperability, commonality, and mutual benefit. The statement also announces plans for further collaboration to “enhance joint capabilities and interoperability.” These will initially focus on cyber capabilities, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and additional undersea capabilities. To begin the partnership, naval officials and technical specialists from the three countries will work together over the next 18 months to equip Australia with the technology to deploy nuclear-powered subs. But considering the complexity of the technology, these subs may not be operational in next few years.  Australia cancelled the contract of supply of diesel subs worth $ 80bn from France. The latter had expressed resentment by saying it had been “stabbed in the back”. A senior official from the Biden administration said the Washington led AUKUS deal was part of larger steps to build cooperation with security partners in Asia “to sustain peace and stability across the entire Indo-Pacific region”. Moreover, in light of the competition between the US and China, Washington has described the Indo-Pacific Command as “the single most consequential region for America’s future” and stressed the need to contain Beijing’s influence in the region by boosting its military presence and strengthening alliances.  Mix reaction was observed from the regional countries. China has slammed AUKUS as “highly irresponsible” and said it could trigger a nuclear arms race” while North Korea has expressed serious concern. Malaysia has also said the deal serves as a “catalyst for a nuclear arms race. Former Indian naval chief Arun Prakash said the US had been telling India for years that American laws made it impossible to share its nuclear propulsion technology with anyone. However, defense analyst consider that this accord will benefit India because it will help to counter Beijing’s military power in the Indo – Pacific region. Commenting on the role of QUAD and AUKUS, Indian Foreign Secretary, has stated that, “the deal is neither relevant to the Quad nor will it have any impact on its functioning.” New Delhi tends to see Quad as an Asian North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) but it does not have any commitment to collective security.      

The reactors of nuclear propelled subs (SSNs) use enriched uranium mostly from 20 to 30 percent, whereas US and British subs use 93 to 97.  Anything above 90 per cent is considered “weapons-grade” uranium with potentially dangerous implications. Australian subs are likely to use the same grade. The prime advantage of nuclear powered subs is that these are able to stay under water for long duration, can maintain high submerged speed, with enough fuel to theoretically run for years which is the biggest benefit in stealth attacks. These can carry torpedoes and medium / long range anti-ship missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads as well. These are considered most suitable platforms for anti-warships operations especially against aircraft carriers. There are currently 129 indigenously built nuclear propelled subs operated by six countries including, US 68, Russia 29, China 12, UK 11, France 8 and India 1, with Australia set to become the seventh. The AUKUS does not talk about the weapons supplied to Australia. It is likely that initially these will be torpedo and anti-ship missiles. At a later stage these may be equipped with long range missiles with nuclear warheads. Most countries use conventional subs which have diesel powered electric motors for propulsion. These need to come up to periscope depth regularly so that their batteries can be recharged, allowing them to be spotted more easily. These are mostly equipped with anti – ship torpedoes and cruise missiles which can also be tipped with nuclear warheads.

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), was signed in July 1968, by UK, USA, former USSR, and 59 other states. Additional countries later ratified the treaty; as of 2007 only four countries, India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea are not signatories. North Korea has signed and then withdrawn from the treaty. It has been extended indefinitely and without conditions in 1995 by a consensus vote of 174 at the UN headquarters. Its main aim is to limit the spread of nuclear weapons including three elements: (1) non-proliferation, (2) disarmament, and (3) peaceful use of nuclear energy. These elements constitute a “grand bargain” between nuclear and non-nuclear weapon states. It does not restrict nuclear states to help nonnuclear states in the development of civilian nuclear power, although it is difficult to distinction between civilian and military nuclear technology. Probably under this pretext USA / UK are now supplying SSNs to Australia. It is likely that China and other countries having nuclear technology will help the other Indo – Pacific countries to build nuclear subs. In few years’ time nuclear arms race will get impetuous and quite a large number of nuclear subs will be operating in this region. Realizing the significance of nuclear subs, India had taken on lease a Charlie class nuclear sub from former Soviet Union from 1988- 91. For indigenous construction Advance Technology Vessel (ATV) project was started by India in early 1980s. INS Arihant a SSBN has already joined the Indian Navy and second of this class Aridaman is expected to be commissioned shorty. Pakistan should take advantage of the new development and build nuclear subs with the help of her friendly allies to maintain strategic balance.

Israel is Bluffing Against the Iranian Nuclear Horn

Professor calls Israeli persistent threat to bomb Iran a bluff

TEHRAN – An American professor is of the opinion that Israel’s threat to bomb Iran’s research facilities is a “bluff”.

“I rather doubt Israel is having much impact on the negotiations, especially since their position is no Iranian nuclear program at all,” Professor Ronnie Lipschutz tells the Tehran Times.

Israel has threatened military action to destroy Iran’s nuclear program if need be. But defense officials say Israel does not have that capability.

“Their persistent threat to bomb research facilities strikes me now as a bluff, since it would likely trigger all kinds of responses along Israel’s borders. Israel missed its chance under Trump.”

With diplomatic efforts underway in Vienna to lift sanctions on Iran and again put a limit on Iran’s nuclear program, Israel’s defense minister has ordered his forces to prepare a military option, warning the world that Israel would take matters into its own hands if a new nuclear agreement did not sufficiently constrain Iran.

But several current and former senior Israeli military officials and experts say that Israel lacks the ability to pull off an assault that could destroy, or even significantly delay, Iran’s nuclear program.

Following is the text of the interview with Ronnie Lipschutz about the Vienna talks and Israel’ efforts to hamper the negotiations:

Q: Regardless of political propaganda, what do the American politicians think about Iran’s position on nuclear talks?  U.S. intelligence service has confirmed that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons and both sides know well the problem is lack of trust between Iran and the U.S., not nuclear capacities.

A: I don’t know of a single person in Congress or the Administration who is not opposed to Iran’s nuclear program and position (there are probably some on the left who believe it is a tempest in a teapot).  There is no electoral gain for them in counseling moderation, balance or compromise.  And a rational strategic analysis of the Middle East (West Asia) would suggest that true deterrence is not desired by the U.S. or Israel.  The program provides leverage and the implicit threat to “build a bomb” in the future will always be there (does that last sentence make sense?).

Democrats are looking to the midterm elections and fear that Republicans might use the Iran “threat” to bludgeon them. Q: Many critics say the new U.S. administration is moving too slowly to revive the JCPOA, maybe due to some domestic factors. What is your point of view?

A: The Democrats are looking to the 2022 midterm elections and fear that the Republicans might use the “threat” from Iran to bludgeon them.  Since the Senate is 50-50 and the House is not far from that, it will not take many flipped seats to give the Republicans a majority.  So, I think the Biden Administration is moving very gingerly on rejoining in earnest.

Q: Could you brief us on Israeli role in hampering efforts to revitalize the JCPOA?

A: I rather doubt Israel is having much impact on the negotiations, especially since their position is no Iranian nuclear program at all.  Their persistent threat to bomb research facilities strikes me now as a bluff, since it would likely trigger all kinds of responses along Israel’s borders.  Israel missed its chance under Trump.

Q: Do you think the core problem is technical or political when it comes to Iran’s nuclear capacities? Nobody blames Pakistan or India or Israel for their nuclear weapons because they have close ties with the U.S. while the Western powers are concerned about Iran’s nuclear program, which is being monitored by the Atomic Energy Agency.

A: These things are always political.  The scientists and engineers say what is possible with so many cameras, inspectors, etc.  But the decision to accept one proposal or another rests on the negotiators’ judgments about risk, especially geopolitical and domestic.

Q: Do you think the negotiators in Vienna will agree on a middle ground?
A: Yes. It will be whatever point Iran has reached in enrichment, because there is really no way to back it up, unless Iran agrees to give up its enriched uranium and go back to 3 or 4%. I cannot imagine the Iranian government agreeing to export its enriched uranium and sanctions have not worked to stop the program so far, so why would they work in the future?

2021, Deadliest Year on Record For Children Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

2021, Deadliest Year on Record For Palestinian Children

2021 Deadliest Year on Record For Palestinian Children

Rabat- 78 Palestinian children have been killed in Palestine since January, making 2021 the deadliest year on record for young Palestinians.

61 Palestinian children were killed in Gaza this year while 15 Palestinian children were killed in the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, according to data released by Defense for Children International-Palestine (DCIP), an NGO dedicated to ensuring children’s rights in Palestine.

“At least nine Palestinian children were shot and killed during demonstrations or confrontations with Israeli forces and did not present a direct threat to life or of serious injury when they were shot,” DCIP research showed.

Of the Palestinian children who have been killed by tIsraeli forces in 2021, 78 lost their lives to“tank-fired shells, live ammunition, and missiles dropped from weapon zed drones,” it added.

Israeli forces killed 60 Palestinian children during Israel’s military assault on the Gaza Strip in May 2021, dubbed Operation Guardian of the Walls, according to documentation collected by DCIP.

Violence against Palestinians reached a new high in May. Israeli security forces fired percussion grenades into the Al Aqsa mosque, trying to clear out local worshippers.

“Israeli warplanes and weaponized drones bombarded densely populated civilian areas killing Palestinian children sleeping in their beds, playing in their neighborhoods, shopping at stores near their homes, and celebrating Eid Al-Fitr with their families,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability program director at DCIP. 

The NGO further noted that over 2,198 Palestinian children have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers in the Palestinian territories since 2000.

“Israel as the occupying power in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the Gaza Strip, is required to protect the Palestinian civilian population from violence,” concluded the NGO.

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Israeli Army Infiltrates Outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israeli Army Infiltrates Gaza Strip, Razes Farm Land

Israeli forces infiltrated the Gaza Strip, Friday, and razed Palestinian-owned farm land, east of Beit Lahia in the Northern besieged Gaza Strip, the Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA) reported.

According to WAFA correspondent, a number of occupation tanks and bulldozers infiltrated dozens of meters into the Palestinian territory, east of Beit Lahia, and razed a strawberry field owned by a local farmer.

The occupation authorities regularly make incursions into the tiny coastal enclave, destroying crops planted with produce which farmers sell to provide for their families.

Soldiers often open fire with live fire at farmers, forcing them to leave their land for fear of being shot.

Furthermore, the Israeli navy frequently harasses Palestinian fishermen off the Mediterranean coast of the besieged Gaza Strip, opening fire or firing high velocity water canons at them, causing damage to boats and injuring fishermen.