A Closer Look At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

A Look at the Tri-State’s Active Fault Line

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Ramapo Fault is the longest fault in the Northeast that occasionally makes local headlines when minor tremors cause rock the Tri-State region. It begins in Pennsylvania, crosses the Delaware River and continues through Hunterdon, Somerset, Morris, Passaic and Bergen counties before crossing the Hudson River near Indian Point nuclear facility.

In the past, it has generated occasional activity that generated a 2.6 magnitude quake in New Jersey’s Peakpack/Gladstone area and 3.0 magnitude quake in Mendham.

“There is occasional seismic activity in New Jersey,” said Robinson. “There have been a few quakes locally that have been felt and done a little bit of damage over the time since colonial settlement — some chimneys knocked down in Manhattan with a quake back in the 18th century, but nothing of a significant magnitude.”

Robinson said the Ramapo has on occasion registered a measurable quake but has not caused damage: “The Ramapo fault is associated with geological activities back 200 million years ago, but it’s still a little creaky now and again,” he said.

“More recently, in the 1970s and early 1980s, earthquake risk along the Ramapo Fault received attention because of its proximity to Indian Point,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Historically, critics of the Indian Point Nuclear facility in Westchester County, New York, did cite its proximity to the Ramapo fault line as a significant risk.

“Subsequent investigations have shown the 1884 Earthquake epicenter was actually located in Brooklyn, New York, at least 25 miles from the Ramapo Fault,” according to the New Jersey Geological Survey website.

Trump’s emergency powers SHOULD worry some senators, legal experts (Revelation 18)

Trump’s emergency powers worry some senators, legal experts

Saturday, May 16th 2020

Trump’s emergency powers worry some senators, legal experts

WASHINGTON (AP) — The day he declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency, President Donald Trump made a cryptic offhand remark.

“I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about,” he said at the White House.

Trump wasn’t just crowing. Dozens of statutory authorities become available to any president when national emergencies are declared. They are rarely used, but Trump last month stunned legal experts and others when he claimed — mistakenly — that he has “total” authority over governors in easing COVID-19 guidelines.

That prompted 10 senators to look into how sweeping Trump believes his emergency powers are.

They have asked to see this administration’s Presidential Emergency Action Documents, or PEADs. The little-known, classified documents are essentially planning papers.

The documents don’t give a president authority beyond what’s in the Constitution. But they outline what powers a president believes that the Constitution gives him to deal with national emergencies. The senators think the documents would provide them a window into how this White House interprets presidential emergency powers.

“Somebody needs to look at these things,” Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, said in a telephone interview. “This is a case where the president can declare an emergency and then say, ‘Because there’s an emergency, I can do this, this and this.’”

King, seven Democrats and one Republican sent a letter late last month to acting national intelligence director Richard Grenell asking to be briefed on any existing PEADs. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wrote a similar letter to Attorney General William Barr and White House counsel Pat Cipollone.

“The concern is that there could be actions taken that would violate individual rights under the Constitution,” such as limiting due process, unreasonable search and seizure and holding individuals without cause, King said.

“I’m merely speculating. It may be that we get these documents and there’s nothing untoward in their checks and balances and everything is above board and reasonable.”

Joshua Geltzer, visiting professor of law at Georgetown University, said there is a push to take a look at these documents because there is rising distrust for the Trump administration’s legal interpretations in a way he hasn’t seen in his lifetime.

The most publicized example was Trump’s decision last year to declare the security situation along the U.S.-Mexico border a national emergency. That decision allowed him to take up to $3.6 billion from military construction projects to finance wall construction beyond the miles that lawmakers had been willing to fund. Trump’s move skirted the authority of Congress, which by law has the power to spend money in the nation’s wallet.

“I worry about other things he might call an emergency,” Geltzer said. “I think around the election itself in November — that’s where there seems to be a lot of potential for mischief with this president.”

The lawmakers made their request just days after Trump made his startling claim on April 13 that he had the authority to force states to reopen for business amid the pandemic.

“When somebody’s the president of the United States, the authority is total,” Trump said, causing a backlash from some governors and legal experts. Trump later tweeted that while some people say it’s the governors, not the president’s decision, “Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect.”

Trump later backtracked on his claim of “total” authority and agreed that states have the upper hand in deciding when to end their lockdowns. But it was just the latest from a president who has been stretching existing statutory authorities “to, if not beyond, their breaking point,” said Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at the University of Texas.

Questions about Trump’s PEADs went unanswered by the Justice Department, National Security Council and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of a national security program at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, said PEADs have not been subject to congressional oversight for decades. She estimates that there are 50 to 60 of these documents, which include draft proclamations, executive orders and proposed legislation that could be swiftly introduced to “assert broad presidential authority” in national emergencies.

She said the Eisenhower administration had PEADs outlining how it might respond to a possible Soviet nuclear attack. According to the Brennan Center, PEADs issued up through the 1970s included detention of U.S. citizens suspected of being subversives, warrantless searches and seizures and the imposition of martial law.

“A Department of Justice memorandum from the Lyndon B. Johnson administration discusses a presidential emergency action document that would impose censorship on news sent abroad,” Goitein wrote in an op-ed with lawyer Andrew Boyle published last month in The New York Times.

“The memo notes that while no ‘express statutory authority’ exists for such a measure, ‘it can be argued that these actions would be legal in the aftermath of a devastating nuclear attack based on the president’s constitutional powers to preserve the national security.”’

Goitein said she especially worries about any orders having to do with military deployment, including martial law.

“You can imagine a situation where he (Trump) engineers a crisis that leads to domestic violence, which then becomes a pretext for martial law,” said Goitein, who insists she’s simply playing out worst-case scenarios. “What I worry about is the extreme interpretation under which he asserts the authority to declare martial law and take over all the functions of government, including running the elections.”

She also wonders if there is a PEAD outlining steps the president could take to respond to a serious cyberattack. Would the president aggressively interpret telecommunications law and flip an internet kill switch, or restrain domestic internet traffic? she asks.

Bobby Chesney, associate dean at the University of Texas School of Law, said some fears might be exaggerated because while Trump makes off-the-cuff assertions of authority far beyond past presidents, he doesn’t necessarily follow up with action.

Says Chesney: “His actions don’t match the rhetoric always — or even often.”

Despite the Plague Iran Nukes Up (Daniel 8:4)

Iran’s Nuclear and Military Efforts in the Shadow of Coronavirus and Economic Collapse

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Raphael Ofek

May 17, 2020

Iraj Harirchi (left), Director of Iran’s National Center for the Fight Against Coronavirus, showing signs of infection at press conference on Feb. 23, 2020, photo via Wikimedia Commons

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,568, May 17, 2020

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Notwithstanding the difficult challenges of the coronavirus crisis and a deteriorating economy, Iran is pushing ahead with its uranium enrichment and missile and space programs as well as its activities in Syria. It also has yet to concede to the US in their clash over sailing in the Gulf. Tehran fears that any sign of weakness might endanger the Islamist regime, particularly as resentment continues to grow among ordinary Iranians. With that in mind, it is doing all it can to flex its muscles for both domestic and international audiences.

In July 2019, Iran began to explicitly violate the July 2015 nuclear agreement. The recent IAEA report (March 3, 2020) addressed the following breaches by Iran on uranium enrichment:

• Iran pledged to reduce the number of centrifuges in the Natanz enrichment plant to 5,060 IR1 units and to limit its uranium enrichment to a 3.67% rate. However, as of July 8, 2019, it began to enrich up to a 4.5% rate.

• The agreement demands that the Fordow underground uranium enrichment facility, containing 2,710 IR1 centrifuges including 696 active centrifuges, be converted into a “Nuclear Research, Physics and Technology” center with 1,044 centrifuges cut off from the UF6 feed pipeline (UF6, or uranium hexa-fluoride, is a uranium-fluorine compound that is fed in a gaseous state into centrifuges for enrichment). In addition, 348 unused centrifuges for uranium enrichment were to be used to separate stable isotopes for use in medicine, agriculture and industry, while the remaining centrifuges were to be transferred to storage at the Natanz plant. However, on November 9, 2019, uranium enrichment was renewed at Fordow with 1,044 units in operation. They include centrifuges that were intended for stable isotope separation.

• The agreement stipulates that the amount of uranium Iran is permitted to enrich at 3.67% is limited to 300 kg of UF6 (the uranium content of which is 202.8 kg). But as of February 19, 2020, the amount of uranium enriched by the Natanz plant and Fordow facility totaled 1,020.9 kg, or more than five times what is allowed. Its content is 806.3 kg uranium enriched to 4.5% and 214.6 kg enriched to 3.67%.

• On September 7, 2019, Iran began to violate the limit to which it had agreed regarding the operation of advanced highly enriching centrifuges. Contrary to the agreement, Iran is enriching uranium with about 400 centrifuges of advanced models (IR2m, IR4 and IR6). The enrichment capacity of the IR6 centrifuge is over eight times that of the IR1 centrifuge.

The latest IAEA report says the agency continues to liaise with Iranian authorities regarding IAEA inspections of natural (non-enriched) uranium particles of an anthropogenic (i.e., man-made) source from an Iranian site that has not yet been declared to IAEA: the warehouse in Turkuzabad, a suburb of Tehran, which was unveiled by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in a speech to the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2018. According to the BBC on March 3, the IAEA dispatched a document to several member states claiming that Iran has rejected a request to allow inspection access to three other unidentified sites as well. According to the document, the inspectors want to find out if natural uranium is being used at any of the sites from which they are being barred. At another site, the IAEA says there have been activities that are “consistent with efforts to sanitize part of the location.”

Iran’s violations of the nuclear agreement—its raising of the uranium enrichment rate to 4.5% and accumulation of uranium in excess of the 300 kg UF6 limit—does not currently have a military aspect. This is because uranium enriched at a rate of less than 5% is suitable solely as a nuclear fuel for power reactors and cannot be used for nuclear weapons (for which the enrichment degree required is at least 90%). Iranian officials claim these violations are meant to pressure the EU into neutralizing the sanctions imposed on Iran by the US.

However, the main concern about Iran’s future ability to manufacture nuclear weapons is the advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges the regime is continuing to develop. Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, said at a conference at Fordow on November 9, 2019 that the enrichment rate is being increased “based on our own needs and instructions…[W]e have the possibility to produce 5%, 20%, and 60%, or any other uranium enrichment required.”

Furthermore, on March 27, Kamalvandi announced that on Iran’s National Nuclear Technology Day on April 8 his organization was going to unveil a new advanced centrifuge. (The event was postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.) He added that “some of Iran’s advanced centrifuges have reached a phase where we can industrialize them…[they] can be manufactured at 60 centrifuges per day.” He even bragged, “Production [enrichment] above 250,000 SWU (separative work units) is definitely achievable, but our goal is to reach one million SWU.” As the required enrichment quantity of natural uranium (containing about 0.7% uranium-235, the fissile uranium isotope) to the amount of about 20 kg of enriched uranium to at least 90% is about 5,000 SWU, Iran is quite close to obtaining enough enriched uranium to use as fissile material for its first nuclear bomb.

As for Iran’s missile and space program, on April 22 the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) announced the successful launch of the Noor-1, Iran’s first military satellite. According to the Guards, the Noor-1, which is an imaging satellite, began within 90 minutes to orbit the Earth in a 425-km orbit. This is after several recent failures by Iran to launch satellites into space.

The satellite was launched using a three-stage missile launcher nicknamed Qased (“messenger”). Its first stage was based on a rocket fueled with liquid fuel, with the two additional stages fueled by solid propellant. Solid fuel propulsion indicates an impressive advance of Iran’s missile technology.

While Tehran claims the satellite launch was part of a civilian space research and exploration program, US military experts have expressed concern that the program is intended to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles that can threaten the US with nuclear warheads. Iranian ballistic missiles are also being developed for a 2,000 km range, which could threaten Israel.

On April 29, Iran marked National Persian Gulf Day. There have been recent incidents in the Gulf—to which Tehran has claimed paramountcy since the days of the Shah—between IRGC ships and US Navy ships. Also, following Qassem Soleimani’s killing on January 3, Iran launched more than 15 missile and rocket attacks against US bases and targets in Iraq.

Tehran has also continued its military entrenchment in Syria. Despite recent claims by Israeli security officials that due to the IDF’s intense activity Tehran has become a liability rather than an asset to Damascus, Iranian-backed Shiite militias, Hezbollah in particular, seem to be continuing their operations on the Golan Heights.

Iran’s overall situation is quite distressing. The Iranian people have lost faith in the regime—especially now, in view of the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. The people (along with the rest of the world) doubt the official casualty figures. At this writing, the regime is claiming about 110,000 cases and about 6,800 deaths, but the true numbers are estimated to be much higher. This distrust became stronger against the backdrop of the authorities’ false reporting of the downing of a Ukrainian passenger jet on January 8 after takeoff from Tehran (most of its passengers were either Iranian or of Iranian origin).

The coronavirus outbreak has dealt a new blow to the Iranian economy, which had already collapsed in 2018 as a result of US sanctions. The real (the Iranian currency) plummeted to unprecedented lows, and the Iranian street expressed its anger that the regime had wasted so much money on its operations in Syria. According to the London Arab newspaper al-Sharq al-Awsat on January 1, 2020, Iranian president Rouhani said damage to the Iranian economy resulting from sanctions by the end of 2019 was $200 billion.

In 1965, Pakistan’s foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto responded to the development of Indian nuclear weapons by saying: “If we have to feed on grass and leaves, or even if we have to starve, we shall also produce an atomic bomb.” Indeed, in 1972, at the beginning of his tenure as Pakistan’s president, he set his country’s nuclear weapons project in motion.

It is highly doubtful that the Iranian people are ready to eat grass in order to bring the regime’s dreams of an Iranian nuclear bomb to fruition. Though the mullahs’ goal of becoming a regional power that controls Shiite Islam across the Middle East remains unfulfilled, the regime continues to do what it can to demonstrate its power. The object is to show the world that Iran is not capitulating to the US in any way—not regarding its nuclear and space programs, and not militarily. It also seeks to project an image of strength to the increasingly resentful Iranian people, as it fears that signs of weakness could bring an end to its rule. However, the regime’s investments in security at the expense of the nation’s welfare may turn out to boomerang against it.

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Raphael Ofek, a BESA Center Research Associate, is an expert in the field of nuclear physics and technology who served as a senior analyst in the Israeli intelligence community.

The Coming Cold Nuclear War with China (Daniel 7)

Do we really want a new Cold War with China? Mainstream media thinks so

Gregory Shupak

Corporate media is laying the ideological groundwork for a new cold war with China, presenting the nation as a hostile power that needs to be kept in check.

The Washington Post (4/23/20) ran an article by Republican Sen. Mitt Romney, the second sentence of which said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed that, to a great degree, our very health is in Chinese hands; from medicines to masks, we are at Beijing’s mercy.” America, in this conception, is under Chinese domination, a tyranny that’s evidently imposed not only by the Chinese government, but by Chinese people generally.

Details like the U.S. having more than 21 times as many nuclear warheads as China, or the fact that it’s the U.S. dollar and not the Chinese yuan that underpins the global financial system, do not enter into consideration. Instead, because the U.S. imports a great many goods made in China, Romney urged readers to understand China as Americans’ oppressors, who implicitly must be resisted.

Romney warned his audience that China has a “grand strategy for economic, military and geopolitical domination” and thus “The West” must “respon[d]” with “a unified strategy among free nations to counter China’s trade predation and its corruption of our mutual security.”

He said China is conducting an “alarming military build-up.” Sure, the available evidence indicates that the U.S. spends almost three times what China does on its war apparatus, but “Americans should not take comfort in our disproportionately large military budget,” Romney cautioned, because, supposedly, “China’s annual procurement of military hardware is nearly identical to ours,” though few know about this “outside classified settings.”:

Then he revealed China’s supposed threat to America’s “security”: “Because our military has missions around the world, this means that in the Pacific, where China concentrates its firepower, it will have military superiority.” In other words, China is a danger because it “concentrates its firepower” in the ocean nearest to it, while the U.S. divine right to empire requires that its military saturate the globe.

The senator argued that “action should be applied in national security sectors” such as phone technology and medicine, and that “the free nations must collectively agree that we will buy these products only from other free nations” as part of a plan to “protect … our security.”

The idea that China is a threat to Americans’ security is baseless: China hasn’t threatened to attack America, while the U.S. has a massive military presence in the Asia/Pacific region. The Pentagon, with bipartisan support, wants to engorge that menace with a $20 billion budget increase, and with offensive weaponry such as land-based Tomahawk cruise missiles that had been banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty until the U.S. abrogated the deal. China, meanwhile, has no military installations anywhere close to the United States.

Romney repeatedly called on “free nations,” a grouping in which he included the U.S., to take on China. In doing so, he cast the potential conflict as a civilizational battle between freedom and dictatorship — that the U.S. has the highest prison population per capita on Earth does not trouble the senator’s framework.

Romney also referred to China or its economic practices as a “predator,” “predatory” or “predation” eight times, making the U.S. and its allies the supposed prey. “Today,” Romney wrote, “Beijing’s weapon of choice is economic: The tip of its spear is global industrial predation.” China is “a predator, unbound by the rules followed by its competitors,” so “when the immediate health crisis has passed, the United States should convene like-minded nations to develop a common strategy aimed at dissuading China from pursuing its predatory path.” Romney is propagating a timeworn worldview in which deceitful, barbaric Orientals take advantage of innocent, rule-abiding Americans whose businesses never break laws or do anything that could be viewed as predatory.

The Russian Horn’s Doomsday Nuke (Daniel 7)

This New Russian Submarine Carries the Ultimate Doomsday Weapon

The second Russian Navy submarine to serve as a basic carrier of the Poseidon nuclear-capable underwater drone will be floated out in late June, the state media reported. The Khabarovsk will reportedly be able to carry up to six Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

“The Khabarovsk [Project 09852] will be floated out in late June at the earliest. There is no exact date so far,” a source from the Russian defense industry told TASS.

Naval News, with data from Covert Shores, has described the new submarine as similar but smaller than the Project 955 “Borei” SSBN. The estimated length of the new submarine is about 120 meters compared to the 160 meters for the BOREI. In addition, it was noted that it is even possible that the submarines may share many components and even hull sections.

Khabarovsk, the lead boat of the Project 09851, is the first of four planned nuclear-powered submarines and it was laid down in 2014 with plans for it to be launched this year. The Khabarovsk-class boats should be capable of carrying weapons such as torpedoes, anti-ship and land attack missiles—and as these will be fitted with a nuclear reactor and pumpjet propulsion system should have unlimited range, while sea endurance will be limited only by food supplies.

The Poseidon is a unique UUV with a nuclear propulsion system and nuclear warhead, and it can operate as an autonomous nuclear torpedo with a nearly unlimited range. The Pentagon reports confirmed the existence of the UUV in 2016. It can reportedly carry a nuclear warhead with a blast yield of two megatons (MT), and it can reach underwater speeds of 108 knots—significantly faster than traditional torpedoes.

The weapon platform is capable of destroying enemy infrastructural facilities, aircraft carrier strike groups (CSG) and other targets. The Poseidon drones, along with other nuclear-power submarines, which act as the carriers for the weapons, make up part of Russia’s so-called oceanic multipurpose system. A source in the Russian defense industry told TASS that the Poseidon drone is capable of destroying an enemy naval base or hit at an enemy’s important coastal economic facilities—which could be read to include a city such as New York or Boston.

In the March 2018 state-of-the-nation address to both houses of the Russian parliament, President Vladimir Putin mentioned for the first time Russia’s efforts to develop a nuclear-powered unmanned underwater vehicle that could carry both conventional and nuclear warheads.

The first basic carrier of the Poseidon was the Project 09852 special-purpose nuclear submarine Belgorod, which was floated in April of last year and which is expected to enter service with the Russian Navy this coming September. In addition to carrying the Poseidon, the Belgorod was developed to carry rescue deep-water drones.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer who has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers and websites. He is the author of several books on military headgear including A Gallery of Military Headdress, which is available on Amazon.com.

The South Asian Nuclear Horns (Revelation 8 )

India Beat Pakistan in 1971 in War (Then Came the Nuclear Weapons)

Key point: India helped make Bangladesh independent. It was a huge victory, but Pakistan would make sure that no future war would go the same way.

This is what happens when you chop a nation in half.

Before December 3, 1971, Pakistan was a country suffering from a split personality disorder. When British India became independent in 1947, the country was divided into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. The problem was that East Pakistan and West Pakistan were almost a thousand miles apart, and wedged in between them was archenemy India. Imagine if the United States only consisted of the East Coast and West Coast, and Russia controlled all of North America in between.

Thirteen days later, Pakistan had been amputated. Indian troops had conquered East Pakistan, which became the new nation of Bangladesh. More than ninety thousand Pakistani soldiers were taken prisoner, half the Pakistani Navy had been sunk and the Indian Air Force came out on top. It was total humiliation, and not just for Pakistan. The United States and Britain sent aircraft carriers in a futile attempt to intimidate India, and ended up facing off against Soviet warships. Pakistan’s defeat also spurred its rulers to begin development of nuclear weapons.

The 1971 India-Pakistan War, the third major conflict between the two nations in twenty-five years, was sparked by unrest in East Pakistan. The Bengalis of East Pakistan, who constituted 54 percent of Pakistan’s population at the time, chafed under the rule of West Pakistan. The two Pakistans belonged to different ethnic groups and spoke different languages.

Bengali demands for autonomy were rebuffed. By mid-1971, an East Pakistan guerrilla movement had emerged, supported by India. Pakistan’s military-controlled government cracked down hard, killing up to three million Bengalis in what has been described as a genocide. By November, both India and Pakistan were preparing for war.

On December 3, Pakistan launched a preemptive air strike against Indian airfields, ironically trying to emulate how the Israeli Air Force had destroyed Egyptian airpower in 1967. The difference was that the Israelis committed two hundred aircraft and wiped out nearly five hundred Egyptian aircraft in a few hours; Pakistan committed fifty aircraft and inflicted little damage. The air war featured the full panoply of Cold War jets, pitting Pakistani F-104 Starfighters, F-86 Sabres, MiG-19s and B-57 Canberras against Indian MiG-21s, Sukhoi-7s, Hawker Hunters and Folland Gnats, as well as Hawker Sea Hawks flying from the Indian carrier Vikrant.

Both sides claimed victory in the air war. Chuck Yeager, who was in Pakistan advising their air force, claimed the Pakistanis “whipped their asses.” The Indians claim Yeager was crazy. However, it does appear that India had the upper hand in the air, controlling the skies over East Pakistan and losing about forty-five aircraft to Pakistan’s seventy-five. The maneuverable little Indian Gnat, a British-made lightweight fighter (its predecessor was called the Midge), proved so successful against Pakistani F-86s that the Indians dubbed it the “Sabre Slayer.”

At sea, there is no question that India won. The Indian Navy dispatched missile boats, armed with Soviet-made Styx missiles, to strike the western port of Karachi, sinking or badly damaging two Pakistani destroyers and three merchant ships, as well as fuel tanks. Indian ships blockaded East Pakistan from reinforcements and supplies. Notable was India’s use of the carrier Vikrant to conduct air strikes on coastal targets, as well as conducting an amphibious landing on Pakistani territory.

Pakistan retaliated by dispatching the submarine Ghazi to mine Indian ports. While stalked by an Indian destroyer, the Ghazi mysteriously blew up. However, the submarine Hangor did sink the Indian frigate Khukri.

As for the ground war, the best that can be said is that if Napoleon himself had faced Pakistan’s strategic dilemma, he would have sulked off to St. Helena. Isolated by land and blockaded by sea, no army could have defended East Pakistan against even a moderately competent foe, let alone the nine Indian divisions that quickly captured the East Pakistan capital of Dhaka. East Pakistani forces surrendered on December 16.

To add insult to the defeat of Pakistan and its proudly Muslim rulers, the Indian campaign was planned by Maj. Gen. J. F. R. Jacob—an Indian Jew descended from a family that fled Baghdad in the eighteenth century.

One issue that hampered Pakistan’s war effort would soon become familiar in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other ethnically divided nations. In 1971, Bengalis comprised a significant part of the Pakistani military, especially in technical jobs.

Meanwhile, the superpowers were flexing their muscles. Despite its cruelty toward the Bengalis, and the opposition of U.S. diplomats, President Richard Nixon and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger backed Pakistan against pro-Soviet India (see the Nixon-Kissinger transcripts here). Task Force 74, centered on the aircraft carrier Enterprise, steamed into the Bay of Bengal, as did the British carrier Eagle. Why India would have been intimidated into a cease-fire, even as its tanks were rolling into Dhaka, is a mystery. America’s attempt to deter India from defeating Pakistan became a case study of the limitations of relying on the threat of force to compel other nations to change their behavior.

In fact, what the U.S. Navy accomplished was to chill U.S.-Indian relations for years. Even more disturbing were the Soviet cruisers, destroyers and submarines shadowing Task Force 74. A war between two Southwest Asian nations could have triggered a superpower showdown at sea, and perhaps World War III.

In the end, India had demonstrated its military superiority. Pakistan lost half its territory and population. Perhaps more important, Pakistani illusions that an Islamic army could rout the “weak” Hindus had been disproved. Following the 1947 and 1965 wars, the 1971 war was the third major conflict between India and Pakistan. It was also the last. Despite some hostilities in Kargil and other spots on the border, India and Pakistan have not fought a major war in forty-five years.

Unfortunately, Pakistan’s humiliation in 1971 spurred it into developing an atomic bomb. With India also armed with atomic weapons, South Asia now lives under the shadow of nuclear war. The next major India-Pakistan clash could be the last.

Michael Peck is a frequent contributor to the National Interest and is a regular writer for many outlets like WarIsBoring. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook. This first appeared in 2016 and is being reposted due to reader interest.

Image: Reuters

Iran Refuses to Save the Oil (Revelation 6:6)

US-Iran Tensions Escalate As Iran Starts Trading With Venezuela

By EurAsian Times Global Desk

May 16, 2020

Five Iranian oil tankers are headed towards Venezuela according to media reports. According to tankertrackers.com, a platform which tracks shipments of oil and storage showed the suspected route of the ships which has caused tensions between Iran and the US with both countries reportedly firing warnings at each other. 

The U.S. on Thursday announced that it was considering actions it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of fuel to crisis-stricken Venezuela. However, an Iranian news agency responded to Washington’s threat and said that there would be repercussions if the United States acted “just like pirates”.

“If the United States, just like the pirates, intends to create insecurity in international waterways, it would be taking a dangerous risk and that will certainly not go without repercussion,” the Nour news agency said early on Saturday.

The news agency also reported that it had received information from its sources that the US Navy has sent four warships and a Boeing P-8 Poseidon from the VP-26 squadron to the Caribbean region. The Iranian ships Clavel, Faxon, Forest, Petunia and Fortune were still travelling through the Mediterranean according to the latest reports and currently remain out of range from the U.S. Navy.

Both Venezuela and Iran are at odds with the US as the latter has imposed heavy sanctions on the sale of oil. Tehran and Caracas are oil-dependent economies and with the US sanctions have seen their revenues plummet.

American-Iranian tensions have escalated ever since Donald Trump pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iranian Nuclear Deal. This resulted in skirmishes in the Persian Gulf, attack on Oil tankers and the US almost launching a full-scale attack on Iran.

Venezuela is in the midst of an economic crisis and is desperate to get its hand of supplies such as oil to keep its country running. The Trump administration in a bid to oust socialist President Nicholas Maduro has imposed heavy sanctions which has crippled the Latin American nation.

Even though Caracas has an abundance of oil reserves, it is dependent on Iran for aid. The relationship between the two OPEC members has increased in recent weeks as flights from Tehran brought essential materials to Venezuela in April in order to help it restart the catalytic cracking unit at its 310,000 barrel-per-day Cardon refinery.

The U.S. suspects that Maduro is paying Iran in gold. In April alone, Venezuela sold around nine tons of gold, worth around US$500 million in exchange for Iranian help it received for repairing crumbling refineries.

The Iran-US tensions will reach a flashpoint when the oil tankers get closer to Venezuela. According to experts speaking at EurAsian Times a direct engagement seems unlikely considering the ripple effect it would generate in the Middle East. A diplomatic dialogue should be encouraged but whether Rouhani, Trump and Maduro would talk remains the question.