The science behind the sixth seal: Revelation 6:12

The science behind the earthquake that shook Southern New England

Did you feel it? At 9:10 am EST Sunday morning, a Magnitude 3.6 earthquake struck just south of Bliss Corner, Massachusetts, which is a census-designated place in Dartmouth. If you felt it, report it!

While minor earthquakes do happen from time to time in New England, tremors that are felt by a large number of people and that cause damage are rare.

Earthquake Report

The earthquake was originally measured as a magnitude 4.2 on the Richter scale by the United States Geological Surgey (USGS) before changing to a 3.6.

Earthquakes in New England and most places east of the Rocky Mountains are much different than the ones that occur along well-known fault lines in California and along the West Coast.

Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts fall nearly in the center of the North American Plate, one of 15 (seven primary, eight secondary) that cover the Earth.

Earth’s tectonic plates

Tectonic plates move ever-so-slowly, and as they either push into each other, pull apart, or slide side-by-side, earthquakes are possible within the bedrock, usually miles deep.

Most of New England’s and Long Island’s bedrock was assembled as continents collided to form a supercontinent 500-300 million years ago, raising the northern Appalachian Mountains.

Plate tectonics (Courtesy: Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Fault lines left over from the creation of the Appalachian Mountains can still lead to earthquakes locally, and many faults remain undetected. According to the USGS, few, if any, earthquakes in New England can be linked to named faults.

While earthquakes in New England are generally much weaker compared to those on defined fault lines, their reach is still impressive. Sunday’s 3.6 was felt in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Hampshire.

USGS Community Internet Intensity Map

While M 3.6 earthquakes rarely cause damage, some minor cracks were reported on social media from the shaking.

According to the USGS, moderately damaging earthquakes strike somewhere in the region every few decades, and smaller earthquakes are felt roughly twice a year.

The largest known New England earthquakes occurred in 1638 (magnitude 6.5) in Vermont or New Hampshire, and in 1755 (magnitude 5.8) offshore from Cape Ann northeast of Boston.

The most recent New England earthquake to cause moderate damage occurred in 1940 (magnitude 5.6) in central New Hampshire.

7 explosive facts about the Bowls of Wrath: Revelation 16

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

Find out all you need to know about the atomic bomb and nuclear weapons.

 “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” was J. Robert Oppenheimer’s infamous response to seeing the first atomic bomb test detonation in 1945. This single event ushered in the so-called “Atomic Age” that saw the beginning of the age of harnessing of the power of the atom, for good and bad. 

By subscribing, you agree to ourTerms of Use andPrivacy Policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

While no nuclear weapons have been used in anger since WW2, there are now thousands of nuclear warheads whose combined power would probably cause the collapse of all human civilization if ever unleashed en masse. 

Let’s take a closer look at these most destructive of human inventions. 

What are the differences between a hydrogen bomb and an atomic bomb?

Nuclear weapons come in a variety of forms, but atom and hydrogen bombs, while related, are about as similar as chalk and cheese. Both chalk and cheese have calcium in them, but they are very different things.

In essence, a hydrogen bomb employs fission to fuel a fusion process, whereas an atomic bomb is solely a fission-based weapon. In other words, a hydrogen bomb is set off by an atomic bomb.

To better understand this, it is probably worth giving a quick overview of each.  

An atomic bomb, or A-bomb for short, is a form of nuclear weapon that detonates as a result of the tremendous energy unleashed by nuclear fission. Because of this, this kind of bomb is also often referred to as a fission bomb. 

A material capable of fission (fissile material) is given supercritical mass, which is the point at which fission occurs — the nuclear breaks apart. This can be done by either firing one portion of a sub-critical mass into another or by compressing the sub-critical material with conventional explosives.

This material usually consists of either enriched plutonium or enriched uranium. The fission reaction is incredibly powerful. Atomic bombs are measured in kilotons, with each unit equal to the explosive force of 1,000 tons of TNT. The  atomic weapon which leveled Hiroshima in 1945 had a yield of around 15 kilotons; or the explosive power of 15,000 tons of TNT.

A single atomic bomb can produce between around a ton and 500 kilotons of the explosive TNT. Additionally, radioactive fission fragments are released by the bomb as a result of the heavier nuclei splitting into smaller ones.

When detonated, fission fragments make up the majority of nuclear fallout.

Hydrogen bombs, or H-bombs for short, are also a type of nuclear weapon, which detonate as a result of the enormous energy produced by nuclear fusion. This is usually achieved through the use of deuterium and tritium (two hydrogen isotopes) that fuse to provide energy.

In a hydrogen bomb, the energy created during a fission reaction is used to heat and compress the hydrogen in order to start a fusion reaction, which can then lead to more fission reactions. About half of the output of a big thermonuclear device is produced by the fission of depleted uranium.

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

Although the fusion reaction doesn’t actually contribute to fallout, H-bombs produce at least as much of it as atomic bombs do since the process is started by fission and leads to more fission. In comparison to atomic bombs, hydrogen bombs have a far larger yield that is comparable to megatons of TNT. The greatest nuclear explosion ever created by humans, the 50 megaton yield Tsar Bomba, was an example of a hydrogen bomb (1 megaton has the energy equivalent of 1 million tons of TNT). 

Both types of nuclear bombs emit radioactive fallout and unleash enormous amounts of energy from a relatively small amount of material.

But, while the yield of the hydrogen bomb is much larger, building one is a lot trickier. This is impressive enough, but these are not the only kinds of nuclear bombs that exist. 

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

Who dropped the first atomic bomb and when?

Mercifully, to date, the only nation to ever use an atomic weapon in war is the United States of America. They unleashed not one, but two, atomic weapons on two cities in Japan at the end of World War II. 

The first of these two unlucky targets was the Japanese city of Hiroshima, which was bombed on August 6, 1945, by an American B-29 bomber. An estimated 80,000 people perished in the explosion directly, while tens of thousands more perished from radioactive exposure. An additional A-bomb was detonated on Nagasaki three days later by a second B-29, killing an estimated 40,000 people.

In a radio address on August 15, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito declared Japan’s surrender and cited the devastating impact of “a new and most merciless/cruel bomb.”

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

But what was the rationale for unleashing the power of the atom on these cities? 

To fully understand this, it is necessary to understand the state of affairs leading up to the dropping of the two bombs. 

In 1945, by the time of the Trinity test as part of the Manhattan Project, the Allied powers had already vanquished Germany (the Trinity test took place on July 16, and Germany had surrendered on May 7). 

Despite obvious signs (as early as 1944) that they had little prospect of prevailing, Japan had signalled that they were willing to fight to the final end in the Pacific. In fact, between mid-April 1945 (when President Harry Truman assumed office) and mid-July, Allied deaths in the Pacific Theater totalled almost half of all those sustained in three full years of fighting, demonstrating that Japan was not slowing its attacks, even while facing defeat.

The Potsdam Declaration, calling for Japan’s unconditional surrender and  threatened the Japanese with “prompt and utter devastation” if they refused to surrender, was rejected by Japan’s militarist leadership in late July.

Top military leaders, including General Douglas MacArthur, advocated extending the current conventional bombardment of Japan and then launching a large invasion known as “Operation Downfall.” However, they warned Truman that such an invasion may result in up to 1 million American casualties if the Japanese decided to fight city-by-city and house-to-house.

Over the moral objections of Secretary of War Henry Stimson, General Dwight Eisenhower, and a number of the Manhattan Project scientists, Truman decided to deploy the atomic bomb in an effort to hasten the conclusion of the war. The reasoning was that the bomb would ultimately lead to fewer casualties than prolonging the war for several more months or years. 

James Byrnes, Truman’s secretary of state, and other A-bomb proponents also reasoned that the weapon’s catastrophic force would not only end the war but also place the United States in a dominant position to shape the postwar world. Part of this reasoning was that the bombs would serve as a warning to the Soviet Union, an ally during WWII, but already turning into an enemy.

How many atomic bombs are in the world?

According to some sources, there are thought to be somewhere in the order of 12,705 nuclear weapons in existence right now. Although this number is considerably lower than either the United States or Russia had at the height of the Cold War, it is noteworthy that there are now more nuclear-armed nations than there were 30–40 years ago.

With an estimated 6,257 total warheads, Russia has the most nuclear weapons in existence to date. The New START treaty currently limits both the United States and Russia to a total of 1,550 weapons deployed on ICBMs, SLBMs, and heavy bombers. Of these, somewhere around 1,458 are thought to be currently deployed, around 3,039 are dormant but might be activated, and approximately 1,760 are retired and awaiting dismantlement. With about 5,428 nuclear weapons in total— including around 1,708 warheads, of which about 1,744 are deployed, approximately 1,964 are held in reserve and around 1,720 are retired and scheduled for destruction—the United States is not far behind Russia in terms of the nuclear stockpile.

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons
7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

At present, there are 9 nuclear-armed nations. These are: –

Facts about the atomic bomb

So, you should now have a good grounding as to what an atomic bomb (and other nuclear weapons) are. But, if you are hungry for more information, here are some interesting facts about these incredibly potent weapons. 

1. The first atomic bomb(s) were developed by a diverse team

The “Father of the Atomic Bomb,” theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, oversaw much of the work on the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The Trinity Test, the first atomic bomb to be successfully detonated, took place on July 16, 1945, in a remote desert location close to Alamogordo, New Mexico. It brought about the Atomic Age and produced a massive mushroom cloud that reached a height of 40,000 feet.

Many refugees joined the Manhattan Project in England and America. Among the scientists who fled Europe at the outset of the war, or just before, and contributed to the development of the bomb were Albert Einstein, Hans Bethe, John von Neumann, Leo Szilard, James Franck, Edward Teller, Rudolf Peierls, and Klaus Fuchs.

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

2. Nagasaki was an unfortunate victim of circumstance

While Nagasaki was made famous for the unfortunate events of the Second World War, it was never initially selected as a potential target. 

The initial list of potential targets included Kokura (present-day Kitakyushu)HiroshimaYokohamaNiigata, and Kyoto. According to legend, Kyoto was spared by US Secretary of War Henry Stimson, who argued that the city’s vast cultural heritage should be spared destruction. When the military insisted on the city’s inclusion, Stimson pled with Truman, and pointed out that destroying Kyoto would lead to lasting bitterness that could lead the Japanese to turn towards the Soviets.

On the morning of August 9, 1945, the B-29 carrying the “Fat Man” bomb took off for Kokura, home to a large Japanese arsenal. However, on finding Kokura obscured by cloud cover, the bomber’s crew decided to head to their secondary target, Nagasaki.

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons
7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

3. The bombs that were dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima were very different designs

Did you know that the only two nuclear weapons ever used in combat were actually different designs

The first, “Little Boy”, that was dropped on Hiroshima was made of highly enriched uranium-235 and was a kind known as a gun-type assembly. While the second, “Fat Man”, that was dropped on Nagasaki was made of plutonium and was an implosion assembly type of atomic bomb. 

Of the two, “Fat Man” was regarded as a more complex design.

4. Despite their power, the atomic bombings of Japan were not the most destructive of the war

While the destructive power of nuclear weapons is without question, their use was not the most destructive bombing event of the war. Far from it, in fact. 

The European Theatre had some very serious bombing campaigns, with some events, like the Blitz or bombing of Dresden, now burned (literally and figuratively) into the memories of those nations. However, there was a far more devastating bombing event in the Japanese Theatre; “Operation Meetinghouse”. 

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

The US firebombing of Tokyo on March 9, 1945, known as “Operation Meetinghouse“, is widely regarded as the worst bombing raid in history. “Meetinghouse” was a napalm strike by 334 B-29 aircraft that claimed well over 100,000 lives, left 1,000,000 people homeless, and destroyed more than a quarter million buildings and homes.

5. There have been a few “close calls” since WW2

Since World War II, there have been several situations where nuclear weapons could have been used again. But, of these, the two “closest calls” were as follows. 

The first is the famous “Cuban Missile Crisis“. 

In October 1962, it seemed as though a nuclear war was about to break out. Only 90 miles from the coast of the United States, the Soviet Union had placed nuclear-armed missiles on Cuba. This led to the Cuban Missile Crisis, a 13-day military, and political standoff.

In order to defuse the perceived danger, President John F. Kennedy imposed a naval blockade around Cuba and made it apparent that the US was ready to use force if necessary.

When the United States accepted Nikita Khrushchev’s offer to withdraw the Cuban missiles in exchange for a commitment from the United States not to invade Cuba (and to remove the US nuclear missiles from Turkey), disaster was averted.

The second, less well-known event, occurred in the September of 1983. Several weeks after the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 over Soviet airspace, a satellite early-warning system near Moscow reported the launch of one American Minuteman ICBM.

It announced shortly after that five missiles had been fired. Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrovof the Air Defense Forces refused to report the threat or acknowledge it as legitimate and persisted in persuading his superiors that it was a false alarm until this could be verified by ground radar, because he believed a true American offensive would involve many more missiles. In fact, the system had mistaken the sun’s reflection off clouds for the missiles.

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

This act, in effect, saved millions of innocent lives!

4. There are enough warheads to destroy every city on Earth

There are more than 12,000 nuclear weapons on Earth, as we previously mentioned. To date, depending on how you define a city, there are approximately 10,000 cities on Earth. However, most of these are relatively small, and only around 440 have populations between 1 and 5 million people. 

Each of these cities would only need between one and three nuclear warheads to be destroyed, so we can probably safely say that there are enough warheads to completely decimate every major city on Earth (assuming they reach their targets without being intercepted). 

The energy of this many warheads is comparable to several billion tons of TNT and many times that of the Krakatoa volcano, which erupted with the greatest amount of force ever recorded.

If all these bombs were concentrated in one place, the combined explosion would produce a blaze that was 50 km across and a blast wave that would destroy anything within a 3,000 km radius. The pressure wave that followed the explosion traveled the globe for several weeks and could be heard everywhere.

The mushroom cloud would reach close to space and would extend to the farthest reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere. An explosion in the Amazon Rainforest of South America would start a fire that would destroy almost the entire continent.

Everything in the blast radius would die from radiation, and the area surrounding it for hundreds of kilometers would be uninhabitable. The world’s ecosystem would be very radioactive and the Amazon Rainforest be entirely destroyed, and it would likely eradicate humanity.

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

What a lovely thought. 

5. While only two have ever been used in combat, thousands more have been detonated

Although there have only ever been two instances of nuclear weapons being used in hostilities, there have been over 2,000 nuclear tests over the interim decades since. Many of them released enormous amounts of radiation into the atmosphere and have rendered some areas of the world uninhabitable for many years to come.

But, not all.

6. Modern weapons are orders of magnitude more powerful than “Fat Man” or “Little Boy”

Around 5 square miles (13 square kilometers) of the Japanese city of Hiroshima were destroyed by the 15 kiloton bomb that was unleashed on it in 1945. Several million degrees Celsius were achieved at the explosion’s center. Around 70% of the city’s structures were destroyed or damaged, and everyone within half a mile of the blast’s epicenter died.

Approximately 75,000 people died right away, but many more perished from radiation sickness. The number of fatalities reached 200,000 by the end of the 1950s.

7 explosive facts about atomic bombs and other nuclear weapons

Three days later, 40,000 people were killed by the Nagasaki bomb, and by 1950, 140,000 had perished from the effects. 

Horrifying. 

But, nuclear weapons today are significantly more powerful than those used to attack Japan. The combined populations of Britain, Canada, Australia, Aotearoa/NZ, and Germany, totaling 200 million people, could all be killed by just 50 modestly-sized warheads. 

7. There is no proven defense against nuclear attack, as yet

Despite numerous attempts over the years, there is no real defense against a nuclear assault. Instead, states use a strategy called “Mutually Assured Destruction,” or MAD, which effectively threatens an apocalypse that would wipe out everyone, and thus serves as a deterrent.

While some argue the merits of this stance, it may be the main reason that no nuclear warheads have been used in anger since the Second World War. Various initiatives have been experimented with in the past to intercept incoming nuclear weapons, but, to date, none have proved fruitful. 

However, advances in space-based weapons and hypersonic missiles may provide some hope if way can be found to scrapping all nuclear arsenals. Although hypersonic missiles can, of course, be extremely destructive as well. 

And that, atomic bomb addicts, is your lot for today. 

The invention, and initial use, of the atomic bomb, has, undoubtedly, significantly changed the history of our species. For better or worse, these weapons now exist and can be deployed at any time. 

Depending on your point of view, this has either made the world a more dangerous or a safer place.

The Chinese and Russian nuclear threats: Daniel 7

Richard Pentagon
Adm. Charles Richard, commander of the Offutt-based U.S. Strategic Command, brought some of the West’s top nuclear policy experts to Nebraska this week for a two-day Deterrence Symposium in La Vista. Associated Press ▲

StratCom chief sounds off on Chinese, Russian nuclear threats

STEVE LIEWER Omaha World-Herald

OMAHA — Not since the days of “Dr. Strangelove” has the commander occupying Adm. Charles Richard’s Offutt Air Force Base headquarters faced so many fast-rising threats to the United States and its nuclear umbrella.

Russia has launched the largest land war in Europe in 80 years while engaging in what Richard calls “not-so-thinly veiled nuclear saber-rattling.” China is building desert silos for up to hundreds of ballistic missiles. North Korea has tested rockets with the range to hit the U.S. mainland with nuclear weapons. Iran is free from an international agreement that constrained it from developing its own bomb.

Against the backdrop of these threats, Richard, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, brought some of the West’s top nuclear policy experts to Nebraska this week for the two-day Deterrence Symposium in La Vista.

“We just haven’t had stress on strategic deterrence in the last 30 years that has compared with what we have today,” Richard said during a press briefing Wednesday afternoon. “The strength of our nuclear deterrent is what underpins and backstops every other thing we do inside the Department of Defense to defend our nation.”

The symposium has been held annually since 2009, though the last two were held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Often the conference focuses on the military and academic theory governing the nuclear balance of power that kept the U.S. and Russia from destroying each other during the Cold War and in the years after.

This year, though, sessions focused on concrete topics like China’s strategic breakout and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. One panel looked at how to deter two nuclear-armed peer competitors at once — a threat that seemed distant as recently as two years ago.

“China’s strategic breakout is not just a talking point anymore,” said Christopher Yeaw, a top nuclear strategist at the National Strategic Research Institute, a StratCom-funded think tank at the University of Nebraska.

Currently the U.S. and Russia remain well ahead of China, but analysts have warned that China — which, unlike the U.S. and Russia, is not part of any arms control agreements — could catch up in a decade or so.

Several panelists warned of the consequences of a three-way nuclear duel among the powers.

“We don’t have the luxury of just deterring one near-peer nuclear power at a time,” said Patty-Jane Geller, a nuclear deterrence and missile defense analyst at the conservative Heritage Foundation. “We need to be able to absorb a first strike, and then retaliate.”

Paige Cone, an assistant professor at the School of Advanced Air and Space Studies in Montgomery, Alabama, warned of “opportunistic aggression.” For example: if China tried to seize Taiwan while the U.S. and NATO are focused on Russia and Ukraine.

It also provides the opportunity for two to ally themselves against the third. At least for now, it appears the U.S. is most likely to be the odd man out.

“(Russia and China) both view the United States as a singular threat,” Cone said.

Keir Lieber, director of the security studies program at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, described arms control talks as “dead, or at least in a coma.”

He supports the U.S. development of lower-yield nuclear weapons such as the proposed submarine-launched cruise missile, which would help to offset what he sees as a growing U.S. disadvantage in Asia compared with China and North Korea.

And he warned that the U.S. employed a “ham-fisted” Ukraine policy in recent years that needlessly antagonized the Russians.

“We should be playing kissy-face with the Russians right now, to prevent them from siding with China in the coming conflict,” he said, exaggerating for effect.

All of these are factoring into Richard’s strident calls for the U.S. to keep modernizing its out-of-date nuclear arsenal, though he stopped short of requesting more weapons beyond those called for in the still-unreleased 2022 Nuclear Posture Review.

He singled out Russia specifically for rhetoric “that is irresponsible, that is unhelpful, that is unnecessary” — unseen, he added, even during the depths of the Cold War.

“What previously in some cases had been thought to be a theoretical or highly improbable threat,” Richard said, “has now turned out to be real.”

Antichrist’s followers set up for long sit-in at Iraq parliament

Sadr’s followers set up for long sit-in at Iraq parliament

July 31, 20225:11 AM MDTLast Updated 6 hours ago

BAGHDAD, July 31 (Reuters) – Supporters of Iraqi populist leader Moqtada al-Sadr erected tents and prepared for an open-ended sit-in at Iraq’s parliament on Sunday, in a move that could prolong political deadlock or plunge the country into fresh violence.

Thousands of the Shi’ite Muslim cleric’s loyalists stormed into the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad on Saturday, taking over the empty parliament building for a second time in a week as his Shi’ite rivals, most of them close to Iran, try to form a government.

“We’re staying until our demands are met. And we have many demands,” a member of Sadr’s political team told Reuters by phone, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to give statements to media.

Sadr’s social-political Sadrist Movement is demanding that parliament be dissolved and new elections be held and that federal judges be replaced, the Sadrist official said.

The Sadrist Movement came first in an October election as the largest party in parliament, making up around a quarter of its 329 members.

Iran-aligned parties suffered heavy losses at the polls, with the exception of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, an arch rival of Sadr.

An Iraqi peddler sells juice as supporters of?Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr gather during a sit-in, inside the parliament building amid political crises in Baghdad, Iraq, July 31, 2022. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

Sadr failed to form a government free of those parties, however, beset by just enough opposition in parliament and federal court rulings that stopped him getting his choice of president and prime minister.

He withdrew his lawmakers from parliament in protests and has since used his masses of mostly impoverished Shi’ite followers to agitate through street protests.

The deadlock marks Iraq’s biggest crisis in years. In 2017, Iraqi forces, together with a U.S.-led coalition and Iranian military support, defeated the Sunni Muslim extremist Islamic State group that had taken over a third of Iraq.

Two years later, Iraqis suffering from a lack of jobs and services took to the streets demanding an end to corruption, new elections and the removal of all parties – especially the powerful Shi’ite groups – that have run the country since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Government forces and Shi’ite militiamen shot dead hundreds of protesters.

Sadr continues to ride the wave of popular opposition to his Iran-backed rivals, saying they are corrupt and serve the interests of Tehran, not Baghdad.

The mercurial cleric, however, maintains a firm grip over large parts of the state, and his Sadrist Movement has long run some of the most corrupt and dysfunctional government departments.

Iran Prepares to Nuke US: Revelation 16

People stand next to an Iranian missile during a rally marking the annual Quds Day, or Jerusalem Day, on the last Friday of the holy month of Ramadan in Tehran, Iran April 29, 2022.  (photo credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA)

Iran says it will ‘build nuclear warheads’ and turn NY into ‘hellish ruins’

The video declared Iran’s regime can move its “peaceful nuclear program to a nuclear weapons program” at a fast pace.

Iran expert Ben Sabti tweeted that an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “Telegram channel threatens to produce atomic warhead for missiles,” citing the channel’s message: “Iran can immediately return to Emad project and build an atomic bomb if Natanz facilities are attacked.”

The Emad, cited in the message, is an Iranian long-range missile.

The IRGC-linked Bisimchi Media (Radioman Media) Telegram channel published a video titled “When Will Iran’s Sleeping Nuclear Warheads Awaken,” according to the London-based Iran International news outlet. 

Turning New York into hellish ruins

The short video declares that Iran’s regime will develop nuclear weapons in a rapid-fire period of time “if the US or the Zionist regime make any stupid mistakes.”Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri and IRGC Aerospace Force Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh walk during the unveiling of ”Kheibarshekan” missile at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this picture obtained on February 9, 2022. (credit: IRGC/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS)

Per Iran International, the video states that Iran’s ballistic missiles have the capability of “turning New York into hellish ruins,” in an ostensible reference to Iran’s space program.

“The nuclear facilities of Fordow have been built deep under mountains of Iran and are protected against trench-busting bombs and even nuclear explosion”

The nuclear facilities of Fordow have been built deep under mountains of Iran and are protected against trench-busting bombs and even nuclear explosion… all infrastructures required for nuclear breakout have been prepared in it,” the video said, according to Iran International.

The news organization paraphrased the video as stating that “the facilities at Natanz may be highly vulnerable to a possible attack by Western powers and Israel but Fordow will immediately assume war footing and begin the nuclear breakout project within a short time if Natanz comes under missile attack.”

The video declared that the regime can move its “peaceful nuclear program to a nuclear weapons program” at a fast pace.

According to the report, the video noted that Iran’s uranium enrichment process to build a nuclear weapon in the underground facilities of Fordow, near Qom, has enabled it to be on the brink of nuclear breakout and membership in the club of nuclear powers.

The US government has classified the IRGC as a foreign terrorist entity.

Who is the Antichrist who ordered protesters to breach Iraqi parliament?

Explained: Who is Muqtada al-Sadr, cleric who ordered protesters to breach Iraqi parliament?

An Iraqi Shia scholar, militia leader and the founder of the most powerful political faction in the country right now, Muqtada al-Sadr rose to prominence after the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein government.

The Iraqi parliament Wednesday was stormed by hundreds of protesters chanting anti-Iranian slogans. The demonstration was against the announcement of the prime ministerial nominee, Mohammed al-Sudani, selected by the Coordination Framework bloc, a coalition led by Iran-backed Shiite parties and their allies.

The majority of the protesters, who breached Baghdad’s Parliament, were followers of influential populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr, a shia himself, is fighting against former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s plans to reinstate his Iran-affiliated leaders at the elite posts in the government.Supporters of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr protest against corruption inside the parliament building in Baghdad, Iraq July 27, 2022. (Reuters Photo: Thaier Al-Sudani)

So, who is Muqtada al-Sadr, the founder of the Sadrist movement and the master of mass mobilisation in the current Iraqi political system?

Muqtada al-Sadr and the Sadrist movement

An Iraqi Shia scholar, militia leader and the founder of the most powerful political faction in the country right now, Muqtada al-Sadr rose to prominence after the overthrow of the Saddam Hussein government.

In the recent incident, after his followers occupied parliament, al-Sadr put out a statement on Twitter telling them their message had been received, and “to return safely to your homes”. After which, the protesters began to move out of the Parliament building with the help of security forces. His ability to mobilise and control his large grassroot followers gives him a strong advantage over his political rivals.

Back in 2016, in a similar manner, al-Sadr’s followers stormed the Green Zone and entered the country’s Parliament building demanding political reform. The US worries Iranian dominance in the country because its influence can alienate the Sunni communities. Although al-Sadr right now looks like the only viable option to have in power in Iraq for the US, back in the day, he was enemy number one after the fall of Saddam.

Back in 2004, The Guardian quoted Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez saying, “The mission of US forces is to kill or capture Muqtada al-Sadr.” The Sadrist and the affiliated militia (Mahdi army) started a resistance against the US troops following the country’s invasion in 2003. These militias under al-Sadr are now called the “peace companies”.

However, the growing influence of al-Sadr could cause problems for both the US and Iran. He has demanded for the departure of the remaining American troops and has told the Iranian theocracy that he will “not let his country go in its grip”.

The Sadrist movement, which is at its strongest right now in Iraq, was founded by al-Sadr. A nationalist movement by origin, the Sadrist draws support from the poor people of the Shiite community across the country.

News agency Reuters in a report claimed that over the past two years, members of the Sadrist Movement have taken senior jobs within the interior, defence and communications ministries. They have had their picks appointed to state oil, electricity and transport bodies, to state-owned banks and even to Iraq’s central bank, according to more than a dozen government officials and lawmakers.

Iraq’s political turmoil

Iraq has been unable to form a new government nearly 10 months after the last elections, this is the longest period the political order has been in tatters since the US invasion. The deadlock at the centre of Iraqi politics is largely driven by personal vendettas of elites. The storming of the Parliament Wednesday was just a message to al-Sadr’s opponents that he cannot be ignored while trying to form a new government.

The fight, majorly between the Shia leaders al-Sadr and al-Maliki, is due to the nationalist agenda. Al-Sadr, challenges Iranians authority over Iraq while the former PM derives great help from the country.

Having great religious influence, al-Sadr’s alliance won the most seats in October’s Parliamentary election, but political parties failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to pick a president. After the negotiations to form the new government fell apart, al-Sadr withdrew his bloc from Parliament and announced he was exiting further talks. Expectations of street protests have prevailed in Baghdad since he quit the talks.Followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr chant slogans during an open-air Friday prayers in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, July 15, 2022. (AP/PTI Photo)

On the other hand, Al-Maliki, al-Sadr’s arch rival heads the Coordination Framework alliance, a group led by Shiite Iran-backed parties. With al-Sadr’s withdrawal, the Framework replaced his resigned MPs from the Iraqi Parliament. Although the move was within the law, it was also provocative, and provided the Framework with the majority needed in Parliament.

Iraq’s former labour and social affairs minister, Mohammed al-Sudani’s announcement as the PM nominee, is seen by al-Sadr loyalists as a figure through whom al-Maliki can exert control. The former PM Al-Maliki wanted the premiership for himself, but audio recordings were leaked in which he purportedly was heard cursing and criticising al-Sadr and even his own Shiite allies.

At the moment, neither the al-Sadr nor the al-Maliki factions can afford to be cut-off from the political process, because both have much to lose. Both the rivals have civil servants installed in Iraq’s institutions, deployed to do their bidding when circumstances require by halting decision-making and creating bureaucratic obstructions.

Iran’s role

The Islamic Republic of Iran shares a 1,599 km-long border with Iraq, which provides the former with a clear added advantage over the war-torn country. After the fall of Hussein, the border helped Iran to send militias to take power and resist the US forces, as the result right now, the country’s top ruling elite are Shiites, fighting among themselves for power.

Iran currently is trying to work behind the scenes, just like Lebanon, to stitch together a fragmented Shiite Muslim elite. The nomination of al-Sudani is evidence of Iranian efforts to bring together the Shiite parties in the alliance. However, the electoral failure of the Iranian-backed parties in the recent elections has marked a dramatic turnaround.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Esmail Ghaani, commander of Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force, has made numerous trips to Baghdad in recent months. The Quds Force is a part of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which is answerable only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Working on the already established network of his predecessor, Qasem Soleimani, Ghanni is trying to help the parties in Iraq to stay united and agree on a PM candidate.

Preparing for the Nuclear Apocalypse: Revelation 16

Apocalypse, NJ: What happens if we’re hit with a nuclear weapon
Townsquare Media Illustration/Getty Images/istock

Apocalypse, NJ: What happens if we’re hit with a nuclear weapon

Published: July 29, 2022

Not since the Cold War era has the threat of nuclear war been as great as it is right now.

New York City recently issued guidelines on how to survive a nuclear attack.

The warning comes as the U.S. and our allies are facing threats from Russia, North Korea and China.

It is believed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is preparing a seventh nuclear test and has been ramping up anti-U.S. rhetoric in recent weeks.

At a Korean War anniversary event, the North Korean dictator insisted his nation was prepared to mobilize a nuclear arsenal as a deterrent to American and South Korean “aggression.”

North Korea is not the only concern.

As he wages war in Ukraine and faces backlash from the international community, Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to issue threats pertaining to his nuclear arsenal.

His latest threat was issued on June 17.  Putin was attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum when he warned Russia “will use such weapons to defend its sovereignty.”

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has vowed “the horsemen of the apocalypse” are on their way.

Since the early days of the war in Ukraine, Putin had put Russia’s nuclear forces on high alert.

However, despite the continuing threats, most international observers believe the risk of Putin unleashing a nuclear bomb on the United States is relatively low.

China also possesses nuclear warheads.  France, India, Israel, Pakistan and the United Kingdom are also nuclear states, but are either allies with the United States or on friendly terms.

What if the unthinkable did happen?  What would the impact of a nuclear attack be on New Jersey?

The most likely targets would be cities like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Washington, DC.  New Jersey’s proximity to three of those primary targets could be devastating for the Garden State.

NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstei is an online simulator that allows you to map the effects of a nuclear blast anywhere in the world. (Click here to give it a try.)

Using data from what is known of Russia’s nuclear arsenal and missile capable of hitting the U.S., we simulated the potential impact of a nuclear blast on New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., as well as targets in New Jersey in the event that a missile went astray.

The biggest factor in terms of casualties, damage and nuclear fallout: An aerial detonation as opposed to ground impact (which results in nuclear fallout contamination spreading downwind), and the direction of atmospheric winds. For these simulations, we used a default Northeast wind direction.

Scroll through the gallery below to see the simulated impact of a nuclear blast.

We used NUKEMAP by Alex Wellerstein to see what would happen if a nuclear warhead hit New York, Philadelphia, Washington or New Jersey.

The models show what would happen in aerial detonation, meaning the bomb would be set off in the sky, causing considerable damage to structures and people below; or what would happen in a ground detonation, which would have the alarming result of nuclear fallout. The models do not take into account the number of casualties that would result from fallout.

Gallery Credit: Eric Scott