Real Risk, Few Precautions (Revelation 6:12)

      By WILLIAM K. STEVENSPublished: October 24, 1989
AN EARTHQUAKE as powerful as the one that struck northern California last week could occur almost anywhere along the East Coast, experts say. And if it did, it would probably cause far more destruction than the West Coast quake.
The chances of such an occurrence are much less in the East than on the West Coast. Geologic stresses in the East build up only a hundredth to a thousandth as fast as in California, and this means that big Eastern quakes are far less frequent. Scientists do not really know what the interval between them might be, nor are the deeper-lying geologic faults that cause them as accessible to study. So seismologists are at a loss to predict when or where they will strike.
But they do know that a temblor with a magnitude estimated at 7 on the Richter scale – about the same magnitude as last week’s California quake – devastated Charleston, S.C., in 1886. And after more than a decade of study, they also know that geologic structures similar to those that caused the Charleston quake exist all along the Eastern Seaboard.
For this reason, ”we can’t preclude that a Charleston-sized earthquake might occur anywhere along the East Coast,” said David Russ, the assistant chief geologist of the United States Geological Survey in Reston, Va. ”It could occur in Washington. It could occur in New York.”
If that happens, many experts agree, the impact will probably be much greater than in California.Easterners, unlike Californians, have paid very little attention to making buildings and other structures earthquake-proof or earthquake-resistant. ”We don’t have that mentality here on the East Coast,” said Robert Silman, a New York structural engineer whose firm has worked on 3,800 buildings in the metropolitan area.
Moreover, buildings, highways, bridges, water and sewer systems and communications networks in the East are all older than in the West and consequently more vulnerable to damage. Even under normal conditions, for instance, water mains routinely rupture in New York City.
The result, said Dr. John Ebel, a geophysicist who is the assistant director of Boston College’s Weston Observatory, is that damage in the East would probably be more widespread, more people could be hurt and killed, depending on circumstances like time of day, and ”it would probably take a lot longer to get these cities back to useful operating levels.”
On top of this, scientists say, an earthquake in the East can shake an area 100 times larger than a quake of the same magnitude in California. This is because the earth’s crust is older, colder and more brittle in the East and tends to transmit seismic energy more efficiently. ”If you had a magnitude 7 earthquake and you put it halfway between New York City and Boston,” Dr. Ebel said, ”you would have the potential of doing damage in both places,” not to mention cities like Hartford and Providence.
Few studies have been done of Eastern cities’ vulnerability to earthquakes. But one, published last June in The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, calculated the effects on New York City of a magnitude 6 earthquake. That is one-tenth the magnitude of last week’s California quake, but about the same as the Whittier, Calif., quake two years ago.
The study found that such an earthquake centered 17 miles southeast of City Hall, off Rockaway Beach, would cause $11 billion in damage to buildings and start 130 fires. By comparison, preliminary estimates place the damage in last week’s California disaster at $4 billion to $10 billion. If the quake’s epicenter were 11 miles southeast of City Hall, the study found, there would be about $18 billion in damage; if 5 miles, about $25 billion.
No estimates on injuries or loss of life were made. But a magnitude 6 earthquake ”would probably be a disaster unparalleled in New York history,” wrote the authors of the study, Charles Scawthorn and Stephen K. Harris of EQE Engineering in San Francisco.
The study was financed by the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the State University of New York at Buffalo. The research and education center, supported by the National Science Foundation and New York State, was established in 1986 to help reduce damage and loss of life from earthquakes.
The study’s postulated epicenter of 17 miles southeast of City Hall was the location of the strongest quake to strike New York since it has been settled, a magnitude 5 temblor on Aug. 10, 1884. That 1884 quake rattled bottles and crockery in Manhattan and frightened New Yorkers, but caused little damage. Seismologists say a quake of that order is likely to occur within 50 miles of New York City every 300 years. Quakes of magnitude 5 are not rare in the East. The major earthquake zone in the eastern half of the country is the central Mississippi Valley, where a huge underground rift causes frequent geologic dislocations and small temblors. The most powerful quake ever known to strike the United States occurred at New Madrid, Mo., in 1812. It was later estimated at magnitude 8.7 and was one of three quakes to strike that area in 1811-12, all of them stronger than magnitude 8. They were felt as far away as Washington, where they rattled chandeliers, Boston and Quebec.
Because the New Madrid rift is so active, it has been well studied, and scientists have been able to come up with predictions for the central Mississippi valley, which includes St. Louis and Memphis. According to Dr. Russ, there is a 40 to 63 percent chance that a quake of magnitude 6 will strike that area between now and the year 2000, and an 86 to 97 percent chance that it will do so by 2035. The Federal geologists say there is a 1 percent chance or less of a quake greater than magnitude 7 by 2000, and a 4 percent chance or less by 2035.
Elsewhere in the East, scientists are limited in their knowledge of probabilities partly because faults that could cause big earthquakes are buried deeper in the earth’s crust. In contrast to California, where the boundary between two major tectonic plates creates the San Andreas and related faults, the eastern United States lies in the middle of a major tectonic plate. Its faults are far less obvious, their activity far more subtle, and their slippage far slower. 
Any large earthquake would be ”vastly more serious” in the older cities of the East than in California,  said Dr. Tsu T. Soong, a professor of civil engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo who is a researcher in earthquake-mitigation technology at the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research. First, he said, many buildings are simply older, and therefore weaker and more  vulnerable to collapse. Second, there is no seismic construction code in most of the East as there is in California, where such codes have been in place for decades.
The vulnerability is evident in many ways. ”I’m sitting here looking out my window,” said Mr. Silman, the structural engineer in New York, ”and I see a bunch of water tanks all over the place” on rooftops. ”They are not anchored down at all, and it’s very possible they would fall in an earthquake.”
 Many brownstones, he said, constructed as they are of unreinforced masonry walls with wood joists between, ”would just go like a house of cards.” Unreinforced masonry, in fact, is the single most vulnerable structure, engineers say. Such buildings are abundant, even predominant, in many older cities. The Scawthorn-Harris study reviewed inventories of all buildings in Manhattan as of 1972 and found that 28,884, or more than half, were built of unreinforced masonry. Of those, 23,064 were three to five stories high.
Buildings of reinforced masonry, reinforced concrete and steel would hold up much better, engineers say, and wooden structures are considered intrinsically tough in ordinary circumstances. The best performers, they say, would probably be skyscrapers built in the last 20 years. As Mr. Silman explained, they have been built to withstand high winds, and the same structural features that enable them to do so also help them resist an earthquake’s force. But even these new towers have not been provided with the seismic protections required in California and so are more vulnerable than similar structures on the West Coast.
Buildings in New York are not generally constructed with such seismic protections as base-isolated structures, in which the building is allowed to shift with the ground movement; or with flexible frames that absorb and distribute energy through columns and beams so that floors can flex from side to side, or with reinforced frames that help resist distortion.
”If you’re trying to make a building ductile – able to absorb energy – we’re not geared to think that way,” said Mr. Silman.
New York buildings also contain a lot of decorative stonework, which can be dislodged and turned into lethal missiles by an earthquake. In California, building codes strictly regulate such architectural details.
Manhattan does, however, have at least one mitigating factor: ”We are blessed with this bedrock island,” said Mr. Silman. ”That should work to our benefit; we don’t have shifting soils. But there are plenty of places that are problem areas, particularly the shoreline areas,” where landfills make the ground soft and unstable.
As scientists have learned more about geologic faults in the Northeast, the nation’s uniform building code – the basic, minimum code followed throughout the country – has been revised accordingly. Until recently, the code required newly constructed buildings in New York City to withstand at least 19 percent of the side-to-side seismic force that a comparable building in the seismically active areas of California must handle. Now the threshold has been raised to 25 percent.
New York City, for the first time, is moving to adopt seismic standards as part of its own building code. Local and state building codes can and do go beyond the national code. Charles M. Smith Jr., the city Building Commissioner, last spring formed a committee of scientists, engineers, architects and government officials to recommend the changes.
”They all agree that New York City should anticipate an earthquake,” Mr. Smith said. As to how big an earthquake, ”I don’t think anybody would bet on a magnitude greater than 6.5,” he said. ”I don’t know,” he added, ”that our committee will go so far as to acknowledge” the damage levels in the Scawthorn-Harris study, characterizing it as ”not without controversy.”
For the most part, neither New York nor any other Eastern city has done a detailed survey of just how individual buildings and other structures would be affected, and how or whether to modify them.
”The thing I think is needed in the East is a program to investigate all the bridges” to see how they would stand up to various magnitudes of earthquake,” said Bill Geyer, the executive vice president of the New York engineering firm of Steinman, Boynton, Gronquist and Birdsall, which is rehabilitating the cable on the Williamsburg Bridge. ”No one has gone through and done any analysis of the existing bridges.”
In general, he said, the large suspension bridges, by their nature, ”are not susceptible to the magnitude of earthquake you’d expect in the East.” But the approaches and side spans of some of them might be, he said, and only a bridge-by-bridge analysis would tell. Nor, experts say, are some elevated highways in New York designed with the flexibility and ability to accommodate motion that would enable them to withstand a big temblor.
Tunnels Vulnerable
The underground tunnels that carry travelers under the rivers into Manhattan, those that contain the subways and those that carry water, sewers and natural gas would all be vulnerable to rupture, engineers say. The Lincoln, Holland, PATH and Amtrak tunnels, for instance, go from bedrock in Manhattan to soft soil under the Hudson River to bedrock again in New Jersey, said Mark Carter, a partner in Raamot Associates, geotechnical engineers specializing in soils and foundations.
Likewise, he said, subway tunnels between Manhattan and Queens go from hard rock to soft soil to hard rock on Roosevelt Island, to soft soil again and back to rock. The boundaries between soft soil and rock are points of weakness, he said.
”These structures are old,” he said, ”and as far as I know they have not been designed for earthquake loadings.”
Even if it is possible to survey all major buildings and facilities to determine what corrections can be made, cities like New York would then face a major decision: Is it worth spending the money to modify buildings and other structures to cope with a quake that might or might not come in 100, or 200 300 years or more?
”That is a classical problem” in risk-benefit analysis, said Dr. George Lee, the acting director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Center in Buffalo. As more is learned about Eastern earthquakes, he said, it should become ”possible to talk about decision-making.” But for now, he said, ”I think it’s premature for us to consider that question.”

The China Nuclear Horn Stuns Babylon the Great: Daniel 7

People watch a Long March 5B rocket launch in April. Picture: STR/AFP
People watch a Long March 5B rocket launch in April. Picture: STR/AFP

China stuns US with launch of hypersonic ‘space nuke’

China has launched a game-changing new “space nuke” that can evade missile defence systems and strike anywhere on the globe, leaving US intelligence stunned.

China has unveiled a game-changing new “space nuke” that can evade missile defence systems and strike anywhere on the globe.

Without confirming the report, Beijing’s Global Times mouthpiece said on Sunday that the news had delivered a fresh blow to the United States’ “strategic superiority”, warning that its “military build-up” will continue around Taiwan and the South China Sea, and that it is “inevitable” China will take the “upper hand” in any conflict.

The Financial Times reported over the weekend that US intelligence officials had been left stunned by a Chinese rocket launch in August carrying a “nuclear-capable hypersonic missile”.

China officially announced the 77th and 79th launches of the Long March 2C rocket in July and August, but there was no announcement of a 78th launch. 

The Financial Times reports the 78th “secret launch” was to test the hypersonic missile.

The newspaper, citing several people familiar with the intelligence, said the rocket carried a “hypersonic glide vehicle” which “circled the globe” in “low-orbit space” before “cruising down towards its target”.

While the missile missed its target by nearly 40km, the sources told the Financial Timesthe test showed China had made “astounding progress on hypersonic weapons” and was “far more advanced than US officials realised”.

“We have no idea how they did this,” one of the people familiar with the test told the newspaper.

Taylor Fravel, a Chinese nuclear weapons expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the Financial Times the technology could help China “negate” US missile defence systems, which are designed to target the fixed parabolic trajectory of traditional ballistic missiles.

Commenting on the news, Ryan Fedasiuk, a research analyst at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, explained the significance.

“The hypersonic glide vehicle element is really important, not because of its speed, which exceeds Mach five, as almost all ballistic missiles do, but because of its low flight profile which is really good at evading terrestrial-based sensors,” Mr Fedasiuk said in a podcast interview.

“The US relies on some of these sensors to take wide-angle views of objects in space, and if this were launched in a real crisis, the US would probably be able to detect its launch but couldn’t as reliably predict its flight path.”

He added: “HGVs have really high manoeuvrability in mid-flight, so ballistic missile defence systems that the US relies on are generally not capable of engaging this kind of target.”

Drew Thompson, a former American defence official with responsibility for China, told the UK’s Telegraph the test “really should change US calculations”. 

“Especially if more tests improve the accuracy, establish its credibility, then I think it is a game-changer in a way that little else has really shifted the balance,” Mr Thompson said.

“Once it works, once it’s credible, it negates US missile defences and it makes the US vulnerable and that has to fundamentally change US strategic calculations about its leverage and China’s ability to hold at risk major cities throughout the United States.”

Michael Shoebridge, director of defence, strategy and national security at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said traditional intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) carrying nuclear weapons “remain extraordinarily capable and threatening weapons of mass destruction that are very difficult to defend against”.

“Other launch approaches and warhead delivery systems, like fractional orbital bombardment systems combined with hypersonic glide vehicles, have different trajectories to ICBMs,” he said.

“Launches and infra-red signatures of the weapons would very likely be detectable, but defence systems would need to be directed to the different challenges of these alternative means of attack.”

But Mr Shoebridge stressed that US nuclear weapons would remain capable of striking Chinese targets “and so provide a credible deterrent to Beijing contemplating using these or other offensive nuclear weapons against the US”.

“Analysis of new Chinese weapon developments [is] important, although the net assessment of their impact must include the US’ continuing ability to target Chinese mainland targets with its nuclear weapons,” he said.

“That was a key issue during the Cold War, where both the USSR and the US developed new weapons, and both came to realise the mutual benefit of agreements on arms control and verification. We’re a long way from Beijing having any inkling that this matters.”

Australia’s Department of Defence has been approached for comment.

A Long March-2F carrier rocket lifts off from the Gobi desert on October 16, 2021. Picture: STR/AFP
A Long March-2F carrier rocket lifts off from the Gobi desert on October 16, 2021. Picture: STR/AFP

In its Sunday editorial, the Global Times said it was “important to note the unstoppable trend that China is narrowing the gap with the US in some key military technologies as China is continuously developing its economic and technological strength”.

“China doesn’t need to engage in an ‘arms race’ with the US – it is capable of weakening the US’ overall advantages over China by developing military power at its own pace,” the paper said.

The Global Times said China had no intention of building a nuclear arsenal the same size as the US.

“However, China will certainly improve the quality of its nuclear deterrence to ensure that the US completely eliminates the idea of nuclear blackmail against China at any critical moment and its idea of using nuclear forces to make up for the weakness that US’ conventional forces cannot crush China,” it said.

“Greater survivability and penetration ability of Chinese nuclear missiles is clearly being accelerated through a variety of new missiles. Such development will ensure that neither country’s nuclear forces will be used as a tool to solve regional problems. This would ensure that the damage to peace, if any, would be limited and that the region would not see a deadly collision between major powers.”

US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on October 13, 2021. Picture: Nicholas Kamm/AFP
US President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on October 13, 2021. Picture: Nicholas Kamm/AFP

The paper said China’s military build-up “will focus on the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea”.

“It is inevitable that China will take an upper hand over the US military strength in these areas thanks to the geographical proximity and the continuous increase of China’s input,” it said.

“Chinese society has not only strong expectations for this, but also strong determination and corresponding ability to realise this reversal. The US’ conventional military superiority around the world will not translate into a guarantee of superiority in these regions.”

Queensland senator slams climate talks

Outspoken Nationals Senator Matt Canavan said the news showed that the “net zero” climate change talks were a “massive distraction against the major threat to our country”.

“President Xi Jinping is not even attending the Glasgow conference,” Mr Canavan wrote on his Substack account.

“In fairness to him, I am not sure how he could keep a straight face while the West commits collective economic suicide.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be at the Glasgow Climate Summit. Picture: Greg Baker/AFP
Chinese President Xi Jinping will not be at the Glasgow Climate Summit. Picture: Greg Baker/AFP

The Queensland Senator said while Australia had been “distracted with the net zero madness, this week China demonstrated the world’s first nuclear-capable, hypersonic missile”.

“China now has space nukes but they can’t match us on plans to reach net zero,” he wrote.

South China Sea operations ramp up

The news comes as tensions around Taiwan and in the South China Sea reach fever pitch.

The US and its allies including Australia have ramped up naval operations in the South China Sea in response to Chinese aggression.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton last month warned that the prospect of war with China could not be ruled out, saying the issue of Taiwan was the most likely flashpoint.

The rapidly rising risk of conflict was the key reason Australia tore up its submarine contract with the French in favour of a new agreement with the US and UK to source nuclear submarines.

But China said the AUKUS announcement had made Australia a potential “target of a nuclear strike”.

China’s missile technology is ‘far more advanced than US officials realised’. Picture: AFP
China’s missile technology is ‘far more advanced than US officials realised’. Picture: AFP

“The Chinese spokespersons for the Communist Party are very clear about their intention towards Taiwan. Nobody wants to see conflict but that really is a question for the Chinese,” Mr Dutton told Sky News.

Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion by China, which views the self-ruled democratic island as its territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary.

Earlier this month, Taiwan warned that military tensions with China were at their highest in four decades.

The island’s Defence Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng said Beijing would be in a position to launch a full-scale invasion in 2025.

Mr Chiu offered his assessment after a record 150 Chinese warplanes – including nuclear-capable bombers – had made incursions into Taiwan’s air defence zone.

“For the military, the current situation is the grimmest in the more than 40 years since I joined the service,” Mr Chiu told parliament.

He warned that even “slight carelessness” or “miscalculation” could spark a crisis, and that China would be able to launch an invasion of the island in four years.

“It is capable now but it has to calculate what it would cost, and what kind of outcome it wishes to achieve,” Mr Chiu said.

Iran foils nuclear talks again:Daniel 8

EU says no Iran nuclear deal talks in Brussels on Thursday

Updated 18 October 2021  

AFP Arab News 

October 18, 2021 00:59  Follow @arabnews

LUXEMBOURG/JEDDAH: The European Union will not hold talks in Brussels on Thursday with Iran on restarting negotiations over the nuclear deal, a spokeswoman for the bloc said Monday.
Spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said “there will not be a meeting Thursday”, despite Tehran’s foreign ministry saying talks would happen that day in the Belgian capital.

Two Iranian members of parliament earlier said on Sunday that aimed at reviving the collapsed Iran nuclear deal will resume this week.

After a private meeting with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, MP Ahmad Alirezabeigui said “talks with the 4+1 Group will restart on Thursday in Brussels.” Another Iranian MP, Behrouz Mohebbi Najmabadi, said negotiations would resume “this week.”

The 4+1 Group consists of four UN Security Council permanent members — Britain, China, France and Russia — and Germany. They began negotiations with Iran in Vienna in April over reviving the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the agreement with world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions.

That deal collapsed in 2018 when the US pulled out and President Donald Trump reimposed sanctions, and Iran responded by breaching the deal’s restrictions on its enrichment of uranium.

Trump’s successor Joe Biden is keen to revive the deal and the US is taking part indirectly in the Vienna talks. However, discussions have been suspended since June in a stalemate over who concedes first — Iran by complying with the agreement, or the US by lifting sanctions. US allies in the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, are also concerned that the agreement fails to address wider issues such as Iran’s ballistic missiles and its malign regional activities.

EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell said at the weekend he was ready to meet Iranian leaders. “The goal remains to resume negotiations in Vienna as quickly as possible,” his spokesman said.

The China Horn is testing a new projectile capable of nuclear weapons:Daniel 7

China is testing a new projectile capable of nuclear weapons

World 0 Views

C.According to a media report, hina has made great strides in developing hypersonic missiles. As the Financial Times reported Saturday, citing informed circles, China tested a new high-speed sliding body in August. According to this, China sent the nuclear missile into space with a missile of the “Long March” type, where it circled the earth in a low orbit before heading towards its target.

According to three different sources, the bullet missed its target by more than 30 kilometers, according to the newspaper. According to the report, US intelligence agencies were surprised by China̵7;s new military capabilities.

“Our biggest challenge”

Defense Department spokesman John Kirby declined to comment on the details of the report. However, he said: “We have expressed concern about China’s military capabilities, which only increase tensions in the region and beyond.” This is one of the reasons “why we see China as our biggest challenge”.

In addition to China, the United States, Russia, North Korea and at least four other countries are also working on hypersonic technology. Like ballistic missiles, these can carry nuclear weapons and can travel at more than five times the speed of sound. However, as ballistic missiles fly in a high arc through space, hypersonic missiles remain in low orbit. They are also remotely controlled, which makes shooting much more difficult.

The Antichrist dominates Iraqi elections marked by low turnout

Populist Shiite leader Moqtada al-Sadr dominates Iraqi elections marked by low turnout

BAGHDAD — Supporters of populist Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr celebrated into the night Monday after initial results from Iraq’s parliamentary elections revealed his party as the biggest winner amid losses for Iranian-backed groups.

In Baghdad, young men cruised the streets of the capital in pickup trucks, blasting music and flashing victory signs. Under the famous Freedom Monument in the capital’s Tahrir Square, once the epicenter of mass protests that triggered this week’s early elections, a jubilant crowd waved emerald flags and pumped photos of the cleric aloft.

Israel’s terror against the children outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

In this photo illustration a computer and a mobile phone screens display the Netflix logo on March 31, 2020 [OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images]

Israel’s terror against Gaza’s children on Netflix

Sayid Marcos TenórioMay 19, 2021

In this photo illustration a computer and a mobile phone screens display the Netflix logo on March 31, 2020 [OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images]HajjSayidOctober 16, 2021 at 10:37 am 

The celebration of Children’s Day on 12 October made me remember and rewatch the documentary Born in Gaza (2014) on Netflix by Italian-Argentinian war correspondent, writer and filmmaker Hernán Zin. The documentary was shot during the 2014 offensive on the Gaza Strip and portrays the daily lives of ten children amidst the bombs and destruction caused by Israeli terrorist attacks.

What prompted the director to film the documentary were the terrifying images of one of the airstrikes on a beach in Gaza, resulting in the deaths of four children from the same family (Mohamed, Ismail, Zakariya and Ahed) while playing soccer. Cases like this are the so-called “side effects” of the “most modern army in the world”, which cannot distinguish between children and military fighters.

Born in Gaza translates the Palestinian effort to overcome the traumas after the attacks in a frank and direct way. It achieves this through testimonies like those of Mohamed, a boy who looks for things in the dumps to sell and support his family since his father cannot work; of Udai, who witnessed the death of his 22-year-old older brother, Muhammad; and of Mahmud, the son of a Palestinian peasant who had his crops destroyed and his lambs and camels killed by Zionist attacks.

The documentary also features Sondos, a little girl who still carries the scars of her liver wound; Rajaf, the son of an ambulance driver who was murdered while saving lives; Malak, a young woman who witnessed the bombing of a United Nations (UN) school for girls in the Jabalia refugee camp; Hamada, one of four boys who survived the attack on the Gaza beach; and Bisan, a little girl whose parents were killed in the bombing and needs cosmetic eye surgery outside of Gaza.

The testimonies are moving and clearly report the tragic experience and effects of the Israeli occupation on their lives, like when Mahmud says: “We don’t have missiles or tanks. We grow vegetables, not bombs.” There is the scene where Rajaf and his friends pay homage to his deceased father, spraying water from a plastic bottle on his grave. There is also the speech of Motasem, who suffers from post-traumatic stress and needs psychological help outside of Gaza, which is not allowed by Israel. He says that he sees the ghost of his dead brother every night.

The film uses the resource of sometimes showing children in slow motion as they walk through the debris, in an attempt to turn them into individuals, concrete victims of Israeli terrorism, and not mere statistics of a conflict in which Israel’s responsibility for destruction and death is minimised by the media and the Western historiography.

It portrays the harsh realities of how those children and their families suffer and struggle to overcome the trauma and to normalise their lives in the face of the destruction of their homes, schools and hospitals. Between 7 July and 26 August, 2014, Israeli terrorism murdered 2,200 Palestinians, including 550 children – 70 per cent under 12 years of age. Israel was responsible for more than 11,000 injuries, including 3,358 children. More than 100,000 people were displaced during the attacks that year, according to the annual report of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).[1] On the side of the Israeli aggressor, 73 people died, including 67 soldiers.

The facts reported in the documentary on the destruction and deaths are part of Gaza’s history, in which the Israeli occupier carries out permanent cruel aggression as a way to legitimise the Zionist colonial occupation and illegally expand the territory assigned to Israel. The US-supplied state-of-the-art fighter aircraft and bomb attacks aim to destroy Gaza’s infrastructure, create chaos, promote ethnic cleansing and weaken the Palestinian resistance.

Despite all the modern military apparatus, Israel has not been able to double the resistance forces nor prevent the widespread demonstrations of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Those resistance forces expose the crimes of the Jewish state in the main capitals of the world and organise anti-Israel demonstrations in several cities in the territories assigned to Israel, in which Jews and Palestinians from Israel reside.

The Gaza Strip covers 365 square kilometres and is inhabited by more than two million Palestinians. It is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with about 6,000 inhabitants per square kilometre. More than 70 per cent are children or young people without the right to clean water, electricity and medicine. Since 2007, Israel has prevented the entry of hundreds of types of goods and raw materials into Gaza, as well as the export of many industrial and agricultural products due to the closing of most commercial accesses.

Israel has turned the Gaza Strip into an unbearable place, as the siege has become the world’s largest open-air prison, recalling the Nazi concentration camps during World War II and used by Zionists as a way to blackmail the world and cover up their crimes. Israel carries out a slow-motion genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Along with the daily suffering under the siege, repeated attacks only worsen the living conditions of its residents.

By robbing Palestinian children of their childhoods, Israel is consistent with its 1948 policy of the continued ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people. While many children receive gifts on Children’s Day, the gift Palestinian children want is the right to play like any other child, running free through the streets of Palestine, without tanks and bombs, without daily funerals and arrests.

[1] OCHA: “2014 FOI ARRASADOR PARA PALESTINOS NOS TERRITÓRIOS OCUPADOS”. UN News, 2021. Accessed on: 10 October, 2021.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

A Look at the China Nuclear Horn: Daniel 7

China conducted first nuclear test on October 16, 1964: A look into its stockpile of warheads

China has had a ‘minimum deterrence’ stance since 1964, committing to acquire no more nuclear capabilities than are required for retaliating against an attack.

New Delhi: Nuclear weapons are the world’s most powerful weapons. Through long-term disastrous repercussions, one can ruin a whole city, potentially killing millions of people and compromising the natural ecosystem and the lives of future generations. The hazards of such weapons stem from the fact that they exist. Despite the fact that nuclear weapons have only been deployed in battle twice—in the 1945 bombs of Hiroshima and Nagasaki—approximately 13,150 are believed to remain on our globe today, with over 2,000 nuclear tests conducted so far. 

China is the world’s second-largest military spender, trailing only India. Both countries have boosted their nuclear weapons stockpiles in the last year, but India lags behind in terms of overall nuclear warheads. China has more than double the number of nuclear weapons as India, according to the latest data from the Swedish think tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). China detonated their first nuclear weapon on October 16, 1964. They have been dependent on a combination of foreign and domestic inputs to progressively grow and modernise their nuclear arsenal from the beginning of their nuclear weapons programme.

China’s Nuclear Warhead count and development

China had an estimated total inventory of 350 nuclear weapons as of January 2021. China’s operational land- and sea-based ballistic missiles, as well as nuclear-configured aircraft, are equipped with just over 270 warheads. Non-operational forces, such as new systems under development, operating systems that may grow in number in the future, and reserves, receive the remaining.

China has maintained production of the DF-26, a dual-capable, mobile intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), and is replacing older road-mobile DF-31A ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) launchers with the more agile DF-31AG launchers. China is also in the early stages of launching the new DF-41, a road-mobile ICBM that, like the older liquid-fueled silo-based DF-5B, is thought to be capable of delivering multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRVs). China is building a new type of submarine and adding two additional ballistic missile submarines to its fleet at sea. Furthermore, China has lately reallocated a nuclear role to its bombers and is constructing a nuclear-capable air-launched ballistic missile.

This estimate is based on information about China’s nuclear arsenal that is publicly available. China has never made a public declaration on the extent of its nuclear arsenal.

What China says about its nuclear arsenal

The Chinese government has stated that it intends to keep its nuclear capabilities at the bare minimum required to protect national security. Deterring other countries from using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against China-is the purpose. China has done so for decades with a pair of mostly liquid-fueled land-based ballistic missiles and a few sea-based ballistic missiles, as well as a modest stockpile of gravity bombs available for bombers as a semi-dormant backup capability.

In order to strengthen its nuclear deterrence and second-strike capabilities in response to what it sees as a growing threat from other countries, China is now building a fully operational triad of nuclear forces with solid-fuelled land-based missiles, six nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and bombers with a full, re-established nuclear mission.

Despite significant progress in downsizing nuclear weapons, the world’s combined nuclear warhead inventory remains at an extremely high level. As many as nine countries possessed warheads as of mid-2021. Russia and the United States hold over 91 per cent of all nuclear warheads; no other nuclear-armed state sees a need for more than a few hundred nuclear weapons for national security.