Indian Point’s Final Days Before the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Earth Matters: Indian Point’s Final Days – Nyack News and Views

by Barbara Puff

Indian Point has been the crown jewel of the nuclear industrialist complex and closing it is a big step to a sustainable energy future. — Susan Shapiro, environmental lawyer.

When scientists began exploring nuclear power in the 1950s, pollsters didn’t ask the public their opinion as support was almost unanimous. By the ’60s, there had been a few protests and opposition increased to 25%. So when Indian Point opened on September 16, 1962, it was greeted with enthusiasm, fanfare, and, in hindsight, naivete.

Within a few years, increased pollution, loss of wildlife, and accidents at the plant elicited concern. In response, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater and Riverkeeper were formed in 1966. After incidents at Three Mile Island in 1979 and Chernobyl in 1986, public opinion began to turn against the use of nuclear power.

In 1984, her first year as a legislator, Harriet Cornell formed the Citizens Commission to Close Indian Plant. A glance at her press releases over the years shows her convictions regarding closing the plant. In a recent speech she noted: “Were it not for the superhuman efforts of concerned individuals and dedicated scientific and environmental organizations focusing attention on the dangers posed by Indian Point, who knows what might have happened during the last 40+ years.”

Simultaneously Riverkeeper began documenting incidents, including:

1 An antiquated water-cooling system killed over a billion fish and fish larvae annually.

2 Pools holding spent nuclear fuel leaked toxic, radioactive water into the ground, soil, and Hudson River.

3 Recurring emergency shut-downs.

4 27% of the baffle bolts in Unit 2 and 31% in Unit 3, holding the reactor core together, were damaged.

5 The plant was vulnerable to terrorist attack.

6 Evacuation plans were implausible.

7 No solution for spent nuclear fuel, posing the risk of radioactive release and contamination of land.

8 The plant was near two seismic zones, suggesting an earthquake over 6.2 could devastate the area.

9 Asbestos exposure.

These and other issues led the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to rate Indian Point in 2000 as the most trouble-plagued plant in the country. Lamont-Doherty Observatory agreed, calling it the most dangerous plant in the nation.

As individuals realized the seriousness of the situation, urgency for a solution grew and Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition was formed in 2001. Comprised of public interest, health advocates, environmental and citizen groups, their goals were to educate the public, pass legislation, and form a grassroots campaign with hundreds of local, state, and federal officials.

Clearwater also began monitoring the plant around that time. Manna Jo Greene, Environmental Action Director, recalls, “We were concerned when one of the planes that struck the WTC flew over the plant, including several buildings that hold huge fuel pools, filled with spent fuel rods and radioactive waste.” Had anything happened, the nuclear power industry had provided protection for themselves while neglecting surrounding communities. Powerful lobbyists, backed by considerable financing, induced Congress to pass the Price-Anderson Act in 1957. This legislation protected nuclear power plant companies from full liability in the event of an accident, natural disaster or terrorist attack.

With such warnings, it’s hard to believe as late as 2010, The New York Times stated, “No one should be hoping for a too hasty shutdown.” Over time, the cost of litigation by New York State proved more fatal to the continuance of plant operations than protests, though they were a crucial factor and led to initial filings. Attorney General Schneiderman was very active in filing contentions, legal reasons the plant shouldn’t be relicensed, and won several important court cases on high-level radioactive storage.

In 2016, The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation denied Entergy a discharge permit for hot water into the Hudson River, part of their once-through cooling system. This permit was necessary for continued operation of the plant and a requirement for relicensing. The New York State Department of State, Bureau of Coastal Management, denied Entergy a water quality certificate the same year, which it also needed to relicense. After more than four decades of danger to the environment and residents, Governor Cuomo announced in January 2017 the plant would finally be closing. Unit 2 would cease production on April 30, 2020 and Unit 3 would end productivity on April 30, 2021.

Later that year, in March 2017, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board allowed Entergy to renew the plant’s licenses until 2021, dismissing final points of contention between the company, New York State, and Riverkeeper. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino attempted to sue the state and reopen the plant in April 2017 but failed.

Ellen Jaffee, NYS Assemblywoman, stated, “After 46 years of operation, I am glad to finally see the closure of Indian Point. Since joining the Assembly, I have long fought for its closure. I would not have been able to pursue these efforts if not for the environmental advocates, like the Riverkeeper, who fought long and hard beside myself to close the plant. The plant’s closure must be conducted in a safe manner, where all radioactive materials will be properly disposed of, without inflicting further harm on our environment. The closure of Indian Point shows that we can reduce our impact on the environment.”

Harriet Cornell said, “We have waited years for this to happen and frankly, it can’t happen soon enough. The facts have long shown there is no future for this dangerous plant.”

“The closure of Indian Point marks the shutdown of dirty polluting energy,” noted Susan Shapiro.

Holtec, the company chosen to oversee decommissioning of the plant, has a horrific track record. New York State Attorney General Tish James released a statement in January expressing multiple grave concerns about them. According to Riverkeeper, they have a scandalous corporate past, little experience in decommissioning, dubious skills in spent fuel management, workplace safety infractions, and health violations. Another fear is the cost will exceed a decommissioning fund set aside by Entergy, Holtec will declare bankruptcy, and the public will absorb the difference.

“Entergy made huge profits from Indian Point,” said Manna Jo Greene. “They’ve hired Holtec, a company with a poor record of decommissioning, to complete the work. Entergy plans to declare bankruptcy, thereby having taxpayers foot the bill. We are not out of danger. It is a different danger.”

Richard Webster, Legal Program Director at Riverkeeper, adds, “Decommissioning must be done promptly, safely and reliably. Selling to Holtec is the worst possible option, because it has a dubious history of bribes, lies, and risk taking, very limited experience in decommissioning, is proposing to raid the decommissioning fund for its own benefit, and is proposing leaving contaminated groundwater to run into the Hudson River.”

State Senator David Carlucci warned, “The NRC Inspector General Report shows there is much to be done by the NRC to gain the confidence of myself and the public, as the commission is charged with overseeing the decommissioning of Indian Point and ensuring the health and safety of Hudson Valley Communities. We demand answers from NRC Chairman Kristine Svinicki. The Chairman needs to come to the Hudson Valley immediately and outline the steps being taken to address our safety and explain how the commission will properly inspect and guard the pipeline near Indian Point moving forward.”

One of the gravest dangers in decommissioning is the storage of spent fuel rods. A fuel rod is a long, zirconium tube containing pellets of uranium, a fissionable material which provides fuel for nuclear reactors. Fuel rods are assembled into bundles called fuel assemblies, which are loaded individually into a reactor core. Fuel rods last about six years. When they’re spent and removed they are placed in wet storage, or pools of water, which is circulated to reduce temperature and provide shielding from radiation. They remain in these pools for 10 years, as they are too hot to be placed in dry storage, or canisters. Even in dry storage, though, they remain extremely radioactive, with high levels of plutonium, which is toxic, and continue to generate heat for decades and remain radioactive for 10,000 years.

“Elected officials and government groups became involved once they understood the fatal environmental dangers nuclear energy creates for millenium,” said Susan Shapiro. “It is the only energy that produces waste so dangerous that governments must own and dispose of it.”

Robert Kennedy, Jr., of Waterkeeper, explained “If those spent fuel rods caught on fire, if the water dropped, the zirconium coatings of the spent fuel rods would combust. You would release 37 times the amount of radiation that was released at Chernobyl. Around Chernobyl there are 100 miles that are permanently uninhabitable. I would include the workplaces, homes of 20 million Americans, including the Financial District. There’s no evacuation plan. And it’s sitting on two of the biggest earthquake faults in the northeast.”

On April 24, 2020, Beyond Indian Point Campaign was launched to advocate for a safe transition during decommissioning. Sponsored by AGREE, Frack Action, Riverkeeper, NIRS and Food and Water Watch, they’re demanding Cuomo hire another company, opposing a license transfer before the State Public Service Commission and NRC and pushing state legislation to establish a board to supervise the decommissioning fund. When decommissioning is finished Beyond Indian Point hopes to further assist the community in the transition to renewable energy. These include wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydrothermal power. Sign an online petition on their website to support their work, future generations and earth at, Facebook, or Twitter.

“Bravo to everyone involved in making this historic day come to pass,” said Susan Shapiro.

Raised in the Midwest, Barbara Puff is a writer who lives in Nyack, NY.

Amid increasing tensions between militias, the Antichrist calls for reforming the PMU

Iraqi mourners attend the funeral of two Saraya al-Salam fighters.

Amid increasing tensions between militias, Muqtada al-Sadr calls for reforming the PMU

Rival Shiite armed factions took their fight to Iraq’s key port city as leaders officially called for calm and closed offices.


September 1, 2022

BAGHDAD — Funeral processions had barely been held for the dozens who lost their livesearlier in the week before rival Shiite armed groups continued shedding each other’s blood — this time further south.

At least four people were reportedly killed on Thursday in Iraq’s oil-rich, key southern port city of Basra, though one person close to the government claimed that six had been killed and that the fighting was “ongoing.”

The fight is mostly between two armed groups: Qais al-Khazali’s Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), and powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr’s Saraya al-Salam.

At least two of those killed were reportedly from Saraya al-Salam.

This comes two days after Kadhimi’s speech accusing the militias of not following the commander in chief’s orders and saying he would step down if they continue to do so.

As the fight continued in Basra, Sadr called uponIraq’s commander-in-chief and Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to dismiss Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) chief Faleh al-Fayyadh, remove all PMU headquarters from the Green Zone and dismantle the Iran-linked, so-called ‘resistance’ factions.

The fighting stopped in Baghdad as abruptly as it started — both times shortly after announcements by Sadr, but not before around 30 people died, among them his own supporters, rival Shiite militiamen and security forces.

The night between Aug. 29 and Aug. 30 was marked by RPGs, missiles and mortars being fired in Baghdad amid what sounded and looked like war in the most heavily fortified part of the city, the Green Zone. The conflict began after a month of a peaceful sit-in near government buildings by Sadr’s supporters.

Rival Shiite militiamen and their supporters had set up tents and camped out on the other side of the river in the Jadriyah area, a stronghold of Iran-linked political and armed factions. Members of these factions are accused of being involved in sparking the subsequent conflict in the Green Zone.

The violence in Basra that began in the early morning hours of Thursday was on a much more reduced scale but raised serious concerns nonetheless among Iraqis and those aware of long-festering animosities between these rival, heavily armed Shiite factions.

The government-linked Iraqi Security Media Cell tried to dispel concerns about the violence, claiming that it was simply a murder case and authorities had the situation under control.

Local reports from the ground seemed to contradict these statements.

By Thursday afternoon, the situation seemed calmer — albeit amid high tensions about what might ensue over the next few days.

Shiite leaders on both sides of the widening divide proceeded to make statements that would deflect blame for any lives lost.

The leaders of the top Shiite armed groups in conflict with Sadr now also seem to be trying to create an image of being “peacekeepers,” echoing the sort of move made by Sadr in his Aug. 30 press conference in which he demanded his followers leave the Green Zone within 60 minutes or he would “wash his hands of them.”

Sadr’s followers obeyed, and relative peace had suddenly been restored.

Following Thursday’s outbreak of violence, AAH leader Khazali announced that all offices of the armed faction would be closed.

He instructed his followers not to stop anyone from burning the offices if they tried and to refrain from escalating the situation or reacting to anyone showing “disrespect” toward him.

Soon afterward, the leader of the other group that some have accused of being the main instigators of the violence earlier in the week against Sadr supporters in the Green Zone, Kataib al-Imam Ali’s (KIA) Shibl al-Zaidi, also announced the closing of his group’s offices in Basra.

Both AAH and KIA are part of what is known as the “muqawama,” or the Iran-led resistance. Both have fought in Syria on the side of the government under Bashar al-Assad and against local opposition forces.

They are also both splinter groups of the anti-US armed group Jaish al-Mahdi, led by Sadr during the years following the 2003 US invasion of the country.

Grievances between the more nationalistic leader Sadr and the leaders of these groups date back well over a decade.

In a 2019 interview in Qaim near Iraq’s border with Syria, one KIA fighter told Al-Monitor that his group crossed the border at will but had “no contact with the Syrian regime’’ since it is a “Baathist regime, like Saddam [Hussein]’s,” but that they “are of course in contact with Iranian forces and our brothers in the muqawama.”

Sadr has long been against Iraqis fighting beyond Iraq’s borders.

AAH was also involved in the liberation of the Iraqi border city of Qaim in early November 2017. Officials had told Al-Monitor some days later that all “non-local” PMU had left the area shortly after the liberation.

A visit by Al-Monitor to the area proved otherwise, though, and non-local PMU as well as muqawama remain in the city now, almost five years later. Some are accused of involvement and profiting from the lucrative regional drug trade.

Many in Iraq are concerned that these “resistance” groups do not consider themselves beholden to the Iraqi government either.

Some have been accused of involvement in the attempted assassination of Kadhimi.

As the Washington Institute for Near East Policy noted in a 2021 profile of AAH, “After the October 2021 elections, in which AAH’s al-Sadiqoun party dropped from 15 seats to 4-5, Qais al-Khazali rejected the election results and publicly threatened the stability of Iraq. Khazali authorized violent protests against the government that resulted in at least one death, and coordinated a drone attack on the house of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi on Nov. 7, 2021.”

The United States has named AAH commander Khazali a Specially Designated Global Terrorist.

Muqawama factions were against Kadhimi’s becoming prime minister in May 2020 due to accusations that Kadhimi — in his role as director of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service since 2016, when he was appointed to the position at the height of the country’s war against the Islamic State (IS), which was officially declared defeated in Iraq in December 2017 — had collaborated with the United States in the January 2020 assassination of Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in Baghdad.

Many of the Iran-linked factions rivalling Sadr have brigades within the official government-salaried PMU, but they also have fighters and weapons that do not belong to any state entity.

Concerns as to what use the fighters and weapons of these non-state fighters might be put to — and what sort of effect this will have on Iraqi lives, regional stability and investment‚ continue to rise.

It is Too Late to Prevent a Nuclear Doomsday. Revelation 16

Is it Too Late to Prevent a Nuclear Doomsday?

The Doomsday Clock was created by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1947 to demonstrate in stark terms just how close humanity was to collective nuclear suicide. During the Cold War, it wobbled between two minutes and fourteen minutes to midnight. The clock came to be a respected bellwether measuring nuclear tensions and helped to generate interest and drive action to advance nuclear non-proliferation. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992, the “end of history” registered at seventeen minutes to midnight.

Today, thirty years later, it is just 100 seconds to midnight—its closest point ever.

But if the current generation is concerned, it has a peculiar way of showing it. Today, we seem unfazed by the prospect of nuclear annihilation. Such anxieties just aren’t part of our zeitgeist.

In a recent Red Cross survey asking participants to rank twelve global threats, nuclear attacks ranked at the bottom. Unlike during the Cold War, which was dominated by two clear ideological adversaries, our current multipolar system lacks the rigidity that affixed nuclear war to the public consciousness. Instead, the fluid nature of the contemporary international order is plagued by a range of transnational challenges—from terrorism to climate change—that vie for the public’s attention.

On August 29, the International Day Against Nuclear Tests passed with tragically little notice except the inherent irony of Russia marking the occasion by blocking a UN resolution calling for a global nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The UN resolution would have criticized Russia for its actions at the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhianuclear power plants in Ukraine.

Put simply, the world today lacks the unity of purpose needed to curb the nuclear arms race. Cold War-era urgency, concern, and engagement aimed at nuclear disarmament has evaporated.

The cynicism that drove Russia to block the non-proliferation treaty’s final document approval demonstrates the challenges nuclear non-proliferation faces. Nuclear weapons are no longer just a great power deterrent that enforces the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Nuclear proliferation is now principally a means of flaunting the rules-based international orderwherein the possession of a nuclear weapon is the ultimate guarantee of regime security, and the ability to hand them out to non-state actors remains a dangerous possibility.

There are clear illustrations of nuclear proliferation’s odious impacts.

India and Pakistan’s intermittent border skirmishes in Kashmir constitute an existential threat to humanity, as Islamabad adheres to first use doctrine.

Pyongyang’s possession of a nuclear deterrent gives the Kim crime family license to run its hermit kingdom, threaten regional security, and extort foreign aid by keeping its own citizens hostage.

And should Tehran’s mullahs achieve nuclear breakout, they could threaten the world’s oil supplies in the Persian Gulf. The Islamic Republic’s support of hostile non-state actors in the Middle East—from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iraq to the Houthis in Yemen—would undoubtedly set off a nuclear arms race with Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Thankfully, there are successful models of nuclear disarmament. Kazakhstan, the initiatorof the August 29 Day Against Nuclear Tests, stands as the single most successful instance of nuclear disarmament. Inheriting nuclear missiles after the fall of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan ended up with the world’s fourth largest nuclear arsenal. In subsequent years, Kazakhstan dismantled or repatriated to Russia over 100 intercontinental ballistic missiles and over 1,000 nuclear warheads, secured support to clean up the many sites contaminated by Soviet nuclear tests, implemented a sustainable nuclear-energy policy, monitored uranium at the source to ensure compliance with all treaties, and became an international leader in nuclear non-proliferation.

The Kazakh model for nuclear disarmament was a successful political project.The Kazakh people have pushed for denuclearization and an end to testing since it was part of the Soviet Union. A multi-vector foreign policy that synchronized foreign policy with international consensus resulted in significant progress toward an integrated market economy governed by the rule of law. This process culminated with the 2018 Kazakh pledge to proactively move towards a nuclear-weapon-free world. This strategy, led by the current president, Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev, was also effective in providing Kazakhstan with a reliable set of international partners and a great deal of soft power. The country has attracted over $170 billion of foreign investment.

The Kazakh model of denuclearization should be commemorated on the Day Against Nuclear Tests and exported worldwide. As the world grapples with the war in Ukraine and the renewed nuclear race, Kazakhstan’s nuclear disarmament has already inspired suggested denuclearization strategies for North Korea. Kazakhstan has also cooperated with Japan to lead international disarmament efforts and nuclear-testing contamination cleanup. Kazakhstan’s uranium control experience could even be vital to uranium-rich countries like Niger and Namibia, which are set to increase uranium production as the world considers a nuclear power renaissance, without sacrificing its peaceful nuclear energy development plans.

Humanity can fail many times in many arenas and gain wisdom from its experiences in all things, except nuclear war. If we unleash nuclear weapons, there will be no lessons learned—only an unmitigated disaster. Learning from Kazakhstan, the world can do better.

Prof. Ivan Sascha Sheehan is the executive director of the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore. Opinions expressed are his own. Follow him on Twitter @ProfSheehan

Lightning-Speed Deal to Nuke Up Germany:Daniel 7

Lightning-Speed Deal. Germany to Purchase F-35 for Nuclear Sharing

Lightning-Speed Deal. Germany to Purchase F-35 for Nuclear Sharing

In July 2022, the Department of State and the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) approved the sale of F-35A Lightning II multirole combat aircraft to Germany. This came as a climax of quite a protracted and a rather tragicomic story of Germany’s Luftwaffepurchasing a new carrier of nuclear weapons to carry out “NATO nuclear sharing.”

The Legacy

Today’s NATO nuclear sharing is a legacy of the Cold War between the U.S. and the USSR, which has effectively evolved into a policy relic over the 30 years that followed. RIAC has already described the history of the program in detail. The first carriers of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons (TNW) in Germany were deployed in October 1953 when the U.S. forces stationed in Germany received first specialized M65 cannons designed to fire nuclear devices. Over a few years, the U.S. Air Force acquired surface-to-surface guided missiles, such as MGR-1 Honest John and MGM-5 Corporal, air bombs, and MGM-1 Matador, the first operational surface-to-surface cruise missile.

Curiously, back then, the U.S. government had no official permission from the German government (and never requested it), such as a ratified international treaty. However, striving to maintain friendly ties and acting out of “intra-alliance politeness,” Chancellor Konrad Adenauer was notified of these steps and of the U.S. army’s readiness to use the TNW in military hostilities waged in Germany in case of war with the USSR, even though the Chancellor was to understand that the U.S., as an occupying power, did not need his consent. However, published documents show that the U.S. was concerned with this matter in view of the future, in case special rights to deploy troops were to be abolished.[1] It should be noted that some interpretations posit the German authorities still may not dispute the U.S. right to deploy its troops.[2] Practically speaking, though, these are legal conflicts: U.S. troops, including nuclear weapons, are deployed in Germany with consent of local authorities, and it can hardly be imagined that they would not be withdrawn should the local authorities firmly demand it. On the contrary, when President Donald Trump announced a redeployment of some U.S. troops to other European states, German and pro-Democrat U.S. media presented it as a tragedy that could undermine U.S.–Germany allied relations and NATO’s solidarity, while the Pentagon was sabotaging this decision until Joe Biden abolished it altogether, something the media painted as a great blessing.

Adenauer’s laid-back attitude to nuclear weapons is easy to explain. In the 1950s, today’s concept of non-proliferation was not yet conceived, and West Germany’s leaders envisaged their country to become a nuclear power in a medium-term outlook[3]—as did, for instance, the leaders of Sweden or Italy. For the time being, allied weapons were enough, especially since the U.S. began steering a course for arming its NATO allies with nuclear weapons in the late 1950s, at least by training them and by providing carriers. In the future, the U.S. seemed intent on establishing “NATO’s united nuclear forces” that were sometimes visualized in rather exotic forms, whether a joint force operating intermediate-range missiles stationed in silos under a glacier in Greenland or joint fleets disguised as transport vessels carrying ballistic missiles or rail-based missile complexes cruising around Europe.

However, more practical work was underway in the late 1950s. In 1958, when NATO Atomic Stockpile program was launched with a view to increasing military capabilities of the allied armies under NATO’s new MC 70 directive, [4]the new Luftwaffe was already receiving U.S. F-84F Thunderstreak bombers, which were largely designed as nuclear bomb carriers. The Department of State’s European Bureau noted in a memorandum of November 1958 that West Germany had ordered “dual purpose” systems—such as MIM-14 Nike Hercules SAM systems, MGR-1 Honest John rockets, and Matador cruise missiles—to be delivered shortly.[5]

With discussions and debates on the issue transpiring in the U.S. itself, the militaries were still engaged in fairly close cooperation, exchanged experience while steering clear of any political discussions and the nascent movement for nuclear non-proliferation. For instance, when inspecting the status of American nuclear weapons in Germany in September 1962, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and his colleagues visited a Luftwaffeairbase to discover that “warheads were … stored aboard those aircraft on alert status. The assumption that the German pilots do not know how to arm these warheads turns out to be fictional; on request, one of the pilots showed the U.S. visitors how this was done.”[6] Later, West Germany received several nuclear weapons carriers, including Pershing 1a ballistic missiles with a range of about 740 km, which could strike targets not only in East Germany but also in Poland, Czechoslovakia or Hungary. Later, the Luftwaffe used the U.S.-purchased F-104G Starfighter for nuclear aviation bomb carriers (using a high-altitude interceptor as a low-level strike aircraft largely resulted in its notoriously many crashes) and Panavia Tornado strike fighters, a joint product of Italy, Britain and Germany. Officially, the U.S. military remained in control of all the payloads—in practice, though, both the Bundeswehr and the Luftwaffe would operate in a combat situation as full-fledged nuclear forces within NATO’s allied forces.

A nuclear white elephant

Once the Cold War ended, the presence of U.S. troops in Europe, the armies of its local allies, and local American tactical nuclear weapons were being rapidly reduced. Consequently, America’s European nuclear arsenal was reduced by an order of magnitude. All the TNWs were eliminated, except for B61 free-fall air bombs for army air forces. The U.S. withdrew nuclear weapons from the UK, South Korea, and Japan, and nuclear weapons in other states were significantly reduced. Unofficial estimates claim that there are now about a hundred B61-3 and B61-4 bombs deployed in five states (Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey and Germany) at six air bases equipped with special WS3 hangar storage systems.[7]

In Germany, bombs—likely totaling no more than 20 units—are deployed at the Büchel airbase in Rhineland-Palatinate in the country’s southwest. Nörvenich and Ramstein air bases are no longer used for the purpose, even though the latter had 55 WS3 systems, the largest number built in Europe (Büchel only has 11), enough to house up to 220 bombs.[8]

Only the 33rd tactical Luftwaffe wing (Taktisches Luftwaffengeschwader 33, TaktLwG 33) stationed in Büchel is trained in the use of nuclear weapons on Tornado IDS strike aircraft. This unit is among the oldest in the “new” iteration of the Luftwaffe, the first air wing to fly jet fighter bombers (in 1958, they flew the above-mentioned F-84F Thunderstreak); originally, this unit was led by Walter Krupinski, one of the Nazi Luftwaffe’s highest-scoring pilots in World War II. [9] The 702nd Munitions Support Squadron of the 52nd MUNSS services the bombs and trains technicians and pilots. In addition to regular personnel, air base security is provided by a special Luftwaffe ground force unit, “security squadron S” (Luftwaffensicherungsstaffel „S“).

Despite the general public’s predominantly negative attitude and despite populist statements coming from politicians representing several parties (statements these politicians usually “forget” once they come to power, as happened, for instance, with Annalena Baerbock, the Minister of Foreign Affairs from the anti-nuclear Greens), Germany’s military political leadership clearly did not want U.S. nuclear weapons to be withdrawn from the country even before NATO’s current exacerbation in relations with Russia. Otherwise, Germany’s leaders would have achieved it back during the quiet 1990s–2000s, as, for instance, the British leadership did under public pressure. If we look past the perfunctory statements of allied solidarity, Germany’s leadership apparently sees American nuclear bombs as a tool for upgrading Germany’s status within NATO to the “semi-nuclear inner circle,” as well as a means of making its voice louder in the Alliance’s nuclear planning group.

Besides, American and NATO politicians exploit German establishment’s fear of Poland getting excessively strong should Germany “slacken.” For instance, in late 2021, when Germany was discussing American nuclear bombs once again, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Q&A session after his speech at the German Atlantic Association Conference, threatened that should Berlin demand a withdrawal of nuclear weapons they will appear “east of Germany” as part of the U.S. bilateral treaty with some other state (that is, utterly outside NATO’s control). [10] Naturally, in connection with the current public sentiments in NATO states, the launch of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine puts to rest the matter of possible reductions in NATO’s nuclear sharing for the foreseeable future.

Punch line for a long-running joke

For Germany, its continued participation in nuclear sharing was tied to the long-running problem of carrier aircraft. Since the 1980s, the principal (and soon only) carriers of American B61 bombs in European air forces were the F-16 Fighting Falcon multi-role fighters purchased in the U.S. or the Europe-designed Tornado aircraft. Today, the former are used in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Turkey, while the latter are deployed in Germany and Italy. Both aircraft were produced in the 1980s–early 1990s, and they are outdated and old, which suggests they should soon be put out of service.

Four out of five states have already decided to purchase F-35A Lightning II, a fifth-generation multirole stealth aircraft that Washington labels as the principal carrier of B61-12, a thermonuclear bomb that comes as a guided and high-precision update of B61. The “Turkish question” still remains: following Turkey’s purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense missile system and because of a generally sharply exacerbated relations, Ankara was excluded from the program, and the fighters Turkey had already paid for were “arrested” in the U.S. This question, however, may be resolved in the future, and a purchase of a shipment of newly-made F-16 fighters is now discussed. In any case, there are reports of Turkish pilots having had no training in using nuclear weapons for a long time, while the bombs in Incirlik are the Middle Eastern cutting-edge arsenal for the U.S. air force itself.

It is easy to see that Germany alone was not on this list. Around 2016–2017, Germany was close to buying F-35, but then its relations with Washington cooled off as the United States under Donald Trump sharply criticized Berlin for insufficient defense spending (far below the 2% of the GDP recommended by NATO) and, therefore, for “mooching off” the U.S. in Germany’s security. In such a situation, Germany’s authorities decided—as a matter of principle—to purchase more European-made Eurofighter Typhoon multipurpose fighters.

The story of Luftwaffe Inspector Karl Müllner is utterly tragicomic: the General did not promptly toe the “party line” and continued to insist that F-35 needed to be bought as nuclear bomb carriers and even openly argued with Minister of Defense Ursula von der Leyen. As a result, he was forced to resign amid a scandal in the spring of 2018.

For a while, certifying Eurofighter Typhoon as a nuclear weapons carrier became the master plan for continued participation in nuclear sharing. Airbus was confident it could be done by 2025. Having to be involved in reconfiguring the fighter and willing to have the final say on whether the aircraft was ready, the U.S. began hinting that the process would take longer than Tornadoes would remain in service (and the time need to certify Tornado would “turn out” to be longer than any Tornado’s in-service time named by Germany).

Ultimately, the German government drove itself into a corner and decided in March 2020 to buy Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter bombers. The purchase of a small number (30) of originally carrier-based aircraft which did not enjoy much popularity on the global market, which were not aligned with Luftwaffe aircraft and with those of its NATO allies, which did not have better combat capabilities than Eurofighter Typhoon (for instance, F-35 is stealth aircraft and would open up new opportunities) looked like a hugely awkward decision Angela Merkel’s government made in a tortured manner for political reasons. It would have looked very silly had it decided to purchase F-35 once again, when it had harshly refused to purchase them two years prior. A small bonus consisted solely in purchasing, together with Super Hornets, 15 EA-18G Growler, EW aircraft (jamming, surveillance, air defense suppression) also designed by the Hornet. Currently, these tasks are carried out by old Tornado ECR aircraft that need to be replaced.

Another comic element in this story is that the Super Hornet has not been designed to carry B61 bombs and is not certified to carry nuclear weapons, [11]  but the U.S. hinted that it would deal with that problem much faster. For some reason, arguments that “first, we would need to spend several years reconfiguring it carry F-35” cited against Eurofighter Typhoon have not been brought forward concerning the Super Hornet.

Everyone could easily see how impractical that decision was, and when new leaders came to power in Germany in the fall of 2021, Germans began taking careful steps towards “re-appraising” the possibility of purchasing F-35. The process, however, would have certainly been drawn out over several years since the subject was highly “toxic” both due to the issue of U.S. nuclear bombs as such and on account of the stupid predicament the former government had driven Germany into.

When Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine, Berlin reacted with a truly lightning speed: the decision to buy F-35A Lightning II without a bidding process came as early as March 14. Essentially, it was the first practical step taken to buy additional equipment for the German armed forces. To support German manufacturers, the country decided to buy additional 15 Eurofighter Typhoon in its EW aircraft modification (that is, to finance its development since at the moment this modification is just a concept).

In late July, the U.S. Administration officially approved the deal; legislature is likely to promptly follow suit. In its Congressional notification, the DSCA estimated 35 F-35A fighters with equipment, spare and repair parts, weapons (including long-range cruise missiles AGM-158B JASSM-ER) and personnel training to cost USD 8.4 bn. [12]. Lockheed Martin, the fighter’s manufacturer, suggested that should the contract be signed in the near future, it could deliver first fighters to the Luftwaffealready in 2026; Tornado aircraft should last that long.

The German government managed to resolve its predicament by promptly using the changed geopolitical situation. Thanks to the F-35 purchase, they did everything they could to preserve the desired status quo of American nuclear weapons. The Luftwaffe will receive a fifth-generation stealth aircraft used by many of Germany’s NATO allies. Flying F-35 could prove useful for the program of developing forward-looking European FCAS fighter. On the other hand, purchasing F-35 reduces the need for a FCAS and additionally sours relations with France, a partner in the FCAS program, as France insists that Europe rely more on its own forces. Additionally, operating a small number of fighters that are not aligned with the rest of the Luftwaffe’s aircraft fleet will be a very expensive undertaking (unless, of course, Berlin decides, further down the road, to make F-35 one of the Luftwaffe’s main fighters).

However, Germany’s leadership is apparently ready and willing to pay for Germany’s semi-nuclear status. Most likely, America’s vestigial nuclear presence will remain in Europe for a long time, until some kind of an exchange deal with Russia, for instance, in the matter of the latter’s TNW (nuclear weapons were likely kept in Europe just for that purpose, as the military value of relatively few free-fall nuclear bombs is small). When the U.S. decides to get rid of these weapons, it will not consult its “privileged allies,” just like it did not consult them in the mid-1950s when deploying nuclear weapons in their country.

[1]For instance, “Gerard C. Smith, Special Assistant to the Secretary for Atomic Energy Matters, ‘Memorandum of Negotiations Looking to Obtain Storage and Use Rights for Atomic Weapons in Western Germany,’” Draft, 12 August 1954

[2]Under the Bonn-Paris Conventions of 1952/54, the US, the UK, and France gave the Federal Republic of Germany much of its sovereignty back, with Germany, however, agreeing to a series of restrictions, including giving up the right to demand a withdrawal of foreign troops. These conventions are to remain in force until the Allies and Germany sign the final peace treaty, yet this treaty has never been and apparently will not be concluded. Under the 1990 Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany that largely replaces such a peace treaty, the USSR alone gave up its right to deploy troops in Germany, and NATO undertook not to deploy its troops or nuclear weapons only in the former German Democratic Republic

‘Catastrophic’ Biden-Obama nuclear deal could lift sanctions on killers of US Marines

‘Catastrophic’ Iran nuclear deal could lift sanctions on killers of US Marines in Lebanon

Sen.Cruz says ‘Millions may die’ given the nuclear arsenal Iran will be able to build

September 4, 2022 8:07am EDT

Leaked audio from the Iranian regime’s parliament reveal the controversial nuclear agreement could enable Tehran to partially bypass U.S. congressional review of the atomic accord. That, according to one report, could mean the lifting of sanctions on Iran and senior officials involved in the mass murder of 241 American service personnel in 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon.

The leaked audio covered in a briefing by Ali Bagheri-Kani, the lead Iranian negotiator to the nuclear talks in Vienna, to its parliament (Majlis) in Tehran earlier last week. 

The London-based Iran International news organization obtained the leaked audio last month and disclosed the outline of the nuclear deal, including the Biden administration’s ostensible agreement to drop sanctions against Iranian officials who were implicated in the murder American soldiers and other terror attacks. 

Gabriel Noronha, a former special adviser for Iran in the U.S. State Department, analyzed Bagheri-Kani’s briefing. Noronha wrote in a report that the proposed Iran deal is “designed to partially circumvent congressional review of the deal under the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act.”  

U.S. Marines search for survivors and bodies in the rubble – all that was left of their barracks in Beirut – after a suicide car bomb was driven into the building and detonated in 1983, killing 241 U.S. service members and wounding over 60.

According to the revelations in his report, the Biden administration agreed to lift U.S. Executive Order 13876, which targets the theocratic state’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi, as well as the former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, Noronha noted.

Dehghan was responsible for the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, wrote Noronha, a fellow in the Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy for the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA.) 

The Iran expert said that based on Tehran’s disclosures, “In total, over 170 individuals and entities could be removed from U.S. sanctions before congressional review.” 

The nuclear pact could also erase the sanction against former IRGC Commander Mohsen Reza’i, responsible for the bombing of the Jewish community center AMIA in 1994 in Buenos Aires, resulting in the mass murder of 85 people.

Raisi was sanctioned by the Trump administration for his role in the massacre of 5,000 Iranian political prisoners in 1988 and the mass killing of nearly 1,500 peaceful protestors in 2019. 

When asked about Noronha’s report based on the leaked audio coming from Iran’s regime, a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital “We are not going to comment on purported leaks or ideologically motivated claims, many of which are inaccurate.” 

Responding to the State Departmentspokesperson on his report, Noronha told Fox News Digital “I would love to be proven wrong – none of these Iranian terrorists, torturers, or their banks deserve sanctions relief. However, U.S. officials have privately confirmed the veracity of the Iranian government documents which detail the breathtaking concessions given by the State Department’s negotiators. That’s why three U.S. officials involved in the talks quit in protest and why Russia’s ambassador was bragging in March that ‘Iran got much more that it expected’ out of the United States.”

In a statement to Fox News Digital, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital “The Biden administration is finding every last way to show weakness and appeasement toward our enemies, including and especially toward Iran and the terrorist groups the Ayatollah controls. The nuclear deal that Biden is trying to finalize with Iran will be catastrophic. If kept in force, it will inevitably lead to Iran acquiring a nuclear arsenal.” 

Cruz added “Thousands of people will die because of the money the deal will send to Iran and its terrorist groups. And millions may die because of the nuclear arsenal that Iran ultimately will be able to create.” 

Both Republican and Democratic administrations have designated Iran’s regime as the world’s worst state-sponsor of international terrorism, and the Biden administration has continued to add sanctions on the regime since taking office.

The flag of Iran waves in front of the International Center building with the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, May 24, 2021. (AP Photo/Florian Schroetter, File)

According to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Iran expert, Saeed Ghasseminejad, “The new nuclear deal would allow Tehran to access up to $275 billion in financial benefits during its first year in effect and $1 trillion by 2030.” 

The Biden administration, and other world powers (China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Germany) are seeking to impose temporary restrictions on Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons program as part of the deal in exchange for a massive infusion of cash into Tehran’s coffers. The formal name for the Iran nuclear deal is the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).  

Yet, a new deal is still far from certain. Late last week a State Department spokesperson gave notice that it was not impressed with Iran’s responses to a new European Union draft. The spokesperson noted in a statement that: “We can confirm that we have received Iran’s response through the EU. We are studying it and will respond through the EU, but unfortunately it is not constructive.”

President Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in 2018 because his administration said it did not stop Iran’s drive to develop a nuclear weapon and pumped money into the clerical regime to finance its global terrorism.

Gen. (res.) Amir Avivi, a former deputy commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ Gaza Division, told Fox News Digital, “When we talk about terrorists who have blood on their hands who have attacked U.S. forces, the West needs to convey a clear message that we don’t forgive and forget.” 

He continued that right now “Iran is attacking American troops. Why is the U.S. rushing toward concessions [with Iran]. The [U.S.] administration is saying that Iran is conducting countless attacks on U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq.” 

U.S. officials said in August Iranian regime-sponsored combatants in Iraq have launched attacks from on an American compound in Syria.  

Fox News Digital reported in August the U.S. military launched airstrikes in eastern Syria to knock out facilities used by groups linked to the Iran’s IRGC.

Avivi, the founder and CEO of the Israel Defense and Security Forum, said “Lifting the sanctions following the agreement will be devastating for the Middle East and will completely destabilize the region. The funds will be used by Iran to weaponize their militias and enhance their aggression all over the Middle East.”  

The Iranian regime’s reported terrorism targeting American military personnel has not been limited to Lebanon. Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tehran and its militias were behind the murders of more than 600 American troops in Iraq. 

Avivi, the former Israeli general, noted, “The West is funding its own enemies and its path to destruction. There is no reason for this.”

What Horn has the most nuclear weapons?

What country has the most nuclear weapons? Can the US stop a nuclear attack?

There are around 13,000 nuclear warheads in the world. These weapons are known for their ability to cause mass destruction and death.

Because of this, nuclear war is no joke, and threats about nuclear attacks should and are taken seriously. Google searches for “nuclear weapons” and “nuclear war” even spiked on Feb. 24, 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

With this rise in fear, as well as an overall fear of nuclear war, some may wonder which country has the largest stockpile of these dangerous weapons. 

Who has the most nuclear weapons?

Reports on countries’ nuclear arsenals vary, but the consensus is Russia has the largest number in its arsenal, followed by the United States. 

According to Business Insider, Russia has a nuclear arsenal of 6,850 nuclear weapons (1,600 deployed, 2,750 stored and 2,500 retired). The U.S. on the other hand has an arsenal of 6,450 nuclear weapons (1,750 deployed, 2,050 stored and 2,650 retired).

Statista puts Russia’s arsenal at 5,997 nuclear warheads as of January 2022 and the U.S. with 5,428 nuclear warheads. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Russia has a stockpile of around 4,477 weapons in its nuclear arsenal. In comparison, the U.S. has around 3,708 warheads.

Despite varying reports on stockpiles, Russia and the U.S. have far more nuclear weapons than the rest of the world, accounting for 90% of the world’s stockpile. The country with the third-most nuclear weapons is China with 350 , according to Statista. Business Insider says China has 280.

Who has more nukes, America or Russia?

Russia has more nuclear weapons than the U.S., according to Business Insider.

Russia is focused on stopping an invasion from the West or the U.S., and with so many U.S. forces across the world, the Russians have built up their arsenal, Business Insider says. 

Russia has feared that it is weaker than NATO,the alliance alliance formed between the U.S. and many western European nations following the aftermath of World War II.

Can Russian missiles reach the US?

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, Russian land-based missiles could reach the U.S. in as little as 30 minutes, with submarine-based missiles striking 10 or 15 minutes after they are launched.

Both the U.S. and Russia have their missiles on hair-trigger alert, meaning they can be launched within minutes after a decision is made to do so.

Weapons were put on hair-trigger alert during the Cold War when Soviet and American military strategists feared first-strike attacks of up to thousands of missiles thatcould be used to destroy bombers and land-based missiles in enemy territory, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Today, there are agreements between the U.S. and Russia which help to enhance America’s’ protection from Russian nuclear weapons. According to the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms treaty between the United States and Russia, also known as the New START Treaty, both countries have agreed to the following limits on their nuclear holdings:

The New START treaty also limits all Russian nuclear warheads “loaded onto an intercontinental-range ballistic missile that can reach the United States in approximately 30 minutes.” The New Start Treaty is in effect through Feb. 4, 2026.

Russia has also signed the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons treaty. The goal of this treaty is to “prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament,” according to the United Nations. 

A total of 191 states have signed the treaty.

How many countries have nuclear weapons?

Nine countries have nuclear weapons, according to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. 

Can the US stop a nuclear attack?

According to The Week, while it is not impossible to create a system that could stop a nuclear attack, it is extremely difficult. One challenge faced by engineers attempting to build these systems is the small size of missiles. Missiles also move very fast, meaning there is a small time frame for interception.

Additionally, ICMBs can also only be intercepted at certain points of their launch “when it launches, when it is out in space, and when it re-enters the atmosphere.” 

Nuclear bombs must also be hit at a very specific place to be intercepted, otherwise they may be launched off course to another country. This is known as the “shortfall” problem, The Week says.

During President Ronald Reagan’s Administration he proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), also called Star Wars. SDI was meant to protect the U.S from Soviet ICBMs, according to Britannica.

A component of the program would have included laser battle stations in space- and on earth that could “direct their killing beams toward moving Soviet targets.” While the SDI was approved by Congress, many disagreed over if it were necessary or would actually protect the U.S.

Some pointed out that the SDI would further encourage an arms race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but supporters of the SDI said it would discourage Soviet attacks. The program, however, came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Iran’s Leader urges vigilance against Babylon the Great’s divisive plots in Muslim world

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei

Iran’s Leader urges vigilance against US divisive plots in Muslim world

September 3, 2022

In a meeting on Saturday with participants in the Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly in Tehran, the Leader invited all Muslim countries to remain indifferent to any classification of followers of Islam such as “Sunni and Shia.”

“The Islamic Republic, as the hoisted flag of the Ahl al-Bayt (the family of Prophet Muhammad) against the system of hegemony, believes that in the Islamic world, no dividing line based on religion, ethnicity, sect, and race is real, and that the sole real and distinct line is that which separates the Islamic world from the front of atheism and global arrogance,” he added.

Ayatollah Khamenei said the hegemonic system keeps harboring enmity toward Iran since the Islamic Republic has been encouraging other nations to stand against bullying.

The Leader referred to Iran’s measures that thwarted criminal US plots in different regional countries, such as enabling the defeat of the Daesh terror group, saying this prompted a campaign of Iranophobia and Shiaphobia and allegations of Iranian meddling in other countries.

The Leader emphasized that Iran, contrary to those accusations, does not interfere in the affairs of other countries, adding that leveling such allegations are rooted in the inability of the domineering powers to stop the progress of the Islamic establishment in Iran.

“Everyone should be vigilant against hegemonic policies and avoid accompanying them (hegemonic powers),” Ayatollah Khamenei advised.