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Obama Reluctantly Agrees to Keep Israel's Nukes Secret

Oct. 2….(Washington Times) President Obama has reaffirmed a 4-decade-old secret understanding that has allowed Israel to keep a nuclear arsenal without opening it to international inspections, three officials familiar with the understanding said. The officials, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were discussing private conversations, said Obama pledged to maintain the agreement when he first hosted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in May. Under the understanding, the US has not pressured Israel to disclose its nuclear weapons or to sign the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which could require Israel to give up its estimated several hundred nuclear bombs. Israel had been nervous that Obama would not continue the 1969 understanding because of his strong support for nonproliferation and priority on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. The US and five other world powers made progress during talks with Iran in Geneva on Thursday as Iran agreed in principle to transfer some potential bomb fuel out of the country and to open a recently disclosed facility to international inspection. Netanyahu let the news of the continued US-Israeli accord slip last week in a remark that attracted little notice. He was asked by Israel's Channel 2 whether he was worried that Obama's speech at the UN General Assembly, calling for a world without nuclear weapons, would apply to Israel. "It was utterly clear from the context of the speech that he was speaking about North Korea and Iran," the Israeli leader said. "But I want to remind you that in my first meeting with President Obama in Washington I received from him, and I asked to receive from him, an itemized list of the strategic understandings that have existed for many years between Israel and the United States on that issue. It was not for naught that I requested, and it was not for naught that I received that document." The chief nuclear understanding was reached at a summit between President Nixon and Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir that began on Sept. 25, 1969. Avner Cohen, author of "Israel and the Bomb" and the leading authority outside the Israeli government on the history of Israel's nuclear program, said the accord amounts to "the United States passively accepting Israel's nuclear weapons status as long as Israel does not unveil publicly its capability or test a weapon." There is no formal record of the agreement nor have Israeli nor American governments ever publicly acknowledged it. In 2007, however, the Nixon library declassified a July 19, 1969, memo from national security adviser Henry Kissinger that comes closest to articulating US policy on the issue. That memo says, "While we might ideally like to halt actual Israeli possession, what we really want at a minimum may be just to keep Israeli possession from becoming an established international fact." Mr. Cohen has said the resulting policy was the equivalent of "don't ask, don't tell." The Netanyahu government sought to reaffirm the understanding in part out of concern that Iran would seek Israeli disclosures of its nuclear program in negotiations with the United States and other world powers. Iran has frequently accused the US of having a double standard by not objecting to Israel's arsenal. Mr. Cohen said the reaffirmation and the fact that Mr. Netanyahu sought and received a written record of the deal suggest that "it appears not only that there was no joint understanding of what had been agreed in September 1969 but it is also apparent that even the notes of the two leaders may no longer exist. It means that Netanyahu wanted to have something in writing that implies that understanding. It also affirms the view that the United States is in fact a partner in Israel's policy of nuclear opacity." Jonathan Peled, a spokesman for the Israeli Embassy in Washington, declined to comment, as did the White House National Security Council. The secret understanding could undermine the Obama administration's goal of a world without nuclear weapons. In particular, it could impinge on US efforts to bring into force the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty, two agreements that US administrations have argued should apply to Israel in the past. They would ban nuclear tests and the production of material for weapons. A Senate staffer familiar with the May reaffirmation, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue, said, "What this means is that the president gave commitments that politically he had no choice but to give regarding Israel's nuclear program. However, it calls into question virtually every part of the president's nonproliferation agenda. The president gave Israel an NPT treaty get out of jail free card." Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the step was less injurious to US policy. "I think it is par for the course that the two incoming leaders of the United States and Israel would want to clarify previous understandings between their governments on this issue," he said. However Mr. Kimball added, "I would respectfully disagree with Mr. Netanyahu. President Obama's speech and UN Security Council Resolution 1887 apply to all countries irrespective of secret understandings between the US and Israel. A world without nuclear weapons is consistent with Israel's stated goal of achieving a Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction. Obama's message is that the same nonproliferation and disarmament responsibilities should apply to all states and not just a few." Israeli nuclear doctrine is known as "the long corridor." Under it, Israel would begin to consider nuclear disarmament only after all countries officially at war with it signed peace treaties and all neighboring countries relinquished not only nuclear programs but also chemical and biological arsenals. Israel sees nuclear weapons as an existential guarantee in a hostile environment. David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, said he hoped the Obama administration did not concede too much to Israel. "One hopes that the price for such concessions is Israeli agreement to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty and an acceptance of the long-term goal of a Middle East weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone," he said. "Otherwise, the Obama administration paid too much, given its focus on a world free of nuclear weapons."

*FOJ Note: The eventual Antichrist will guarantee the security of Israel. Obviously, the nuclear wild card, as now being played out by Iran’s nuclear threats, will have to be addressed by the Beast. (1Thessalonians 5:2-3 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.)



Netanyahu: UN May Become Irrelevant

Oct. 2….(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had some harsh words for the world during the government meeting on Thursday, saying that if the international community endorses the Goldstone Report on Israel's Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip last winter, the peace process with the Palestinians, as well as the global war on terror, would be dealt a fatal blow. "In the next 24 hours a vote will be cast in Geneva within the UN Human Rights Council," Netanyahu told the ministers. "I remind you that this very council has adopted more resolutions targeting Israel than resolutions targeting all other 180 countries in the world put together," he said. "If the council decides to endorse the Goldstone report it will deal a fatal blow to three major issues: Firstly, it will harm the war on terror, because it will legitimize terrorists who hide behind civilians and fire from their midst." Netanyahu stressed that in such cases, the one who ultimately takes the blame is "generally the victim, acting in legitimate self defense." "The second devastating blow will be to the UN's status and its prestige. It will take it back to its darkest days when absurd decisions were passed within its assembly and empty it of all meaning," Netanyahu added, referring to the 1970s, when the UN adopted a resolution comparing Zionism with racism. He warned that the UN will become irrelevant if it adopts the conclusions of the report. The Prime Minister stated that the third and most pressing issue was the Goldstone Report's potentially "devastating effect on the peace process," and warned the world that "Israel will not be willing to take risks for peace if stripped of its right to self-defense." During the meeting, held on Thursday and not on Sunday due to Yom Kippur, Defense Minister Ehud Barak updated the government on his meetings with US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and US point-man on the Iran dossier Dennis Ross, as well as other officials in the US intelligence community. Barak's discussion with US officials revolved around the importance of maintaining Israel's qualitative edge over its enemies in the region, and included Iran's nuclear program, which Israel believes is meant for the production of nuclear weapons. "I certainly detect in the US administration a better understanding of Israel's position on the matter," Barak said. Barak also addressed the Goldstone Report, saying, "We should act with confidence and not try to apologize [to the world]. There is a dangerous attempt here to compare terror groups with those trying to defend themselves; it is a prize for terrorism. This attitude harms the world's ability to fight terrorism, and will eventually harm the United States, Russia and member states of NATO. Barak told the ministers regarding his meeting with Dershowitz that "there is readiness by many to act against the Goldstone Report. We will need serious thinking and acting, and the basis of our actions should be real self confidence." "The IDF conducted many serious internal investigations. I told leaders from the United States and Europe that the norms of the IDF are among the world's most ethical and I say with confidence that the IDF is one of the most punctilious armies when it comes to the purity of arms and serious, in-depth investigations of untoward conduct," Barak said.



Tony Blair Set to Become the First President of Europe

imageOct. 2….(Sun) Tony Blair will be nominated by EU leaders in Brussels if, as expected, Ireland backs the hated Lisbon Treaty in tomorrow's referendum. A senior Government source said: "If we get a 'Yes' vote it will all move very, very quickly. Tony could be named by the end of October." The leaders of the EU's 27 nations, not the voters, will choose the president. Former PM Mr Blair would not formally take up the powerful position until all EU countries ratified the Treaty. Even if Ireland votes "Yes", Poland and the Czech Republic are still to decide. But Sweden, which currently holds the EU presidency, wants a president named by the end of this month, and Tony Blair is the favorite.



Obama: Iran Must let Inspectors into Nuclear Plants

(In wake of resuming talks with Iran US President says Tehran must grant access to newly disclosed nuclear site within two weeks. 'We're not interested in talking for the sake of talking,' Obama says)

Oct. 2….(YNET) President Barack Obama on Thursday called landmark international talks with Iran on its nuclear program "a constructive beginning" but said that Iran must match its promises of cooperation with deeds. Now that Iran has agreed to open its newly disclosed nuclear enrichment facility to international inspectors, it "must grant unfettered access" to those inspectors within two weeks, Obama said. "Talk is no substitute for action," Obama said at the White House after talks ended earlier in the day in Switzerland. "Our patience is not unlimited." Obama said that if Iran follows through with concrete steps "there is a path to a better relationship" with the United States and the international community. He said that Iran's promise during the talks to transfer some of its low-enriched uranium to another country for processing is an example of such a step. The uranium would be used in a medical-research reactor. Thursday's meeting at a villa in Switzerland marked the first time the United States has taken part in such talks. The US has no diplomatic relations with Iran. The meeting took place between Iran and six world powers: The US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. This is a constructive beginning but hard work lies ahead," Obama said. He said that as a first step, "Iran must demonstrate its commitment to transparency." "Earlier this month we presented clear evidence that Iran has been building a covert nuclear facility in Qom. Since Iran has now agreed to cooperate fully and immediately with the International Atomic Energy Agency, it must grant unfettered access to IAEA inspectors within two weeks," Obama said.

'We won't negotiate indefinitely'

"Going forward," we expect to see swift action," Obama said. Echoing a comment earlier today by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama said, "we're not interested in talking for the sake of talking." If Iran fails to follow through in living up to its international obligations, "then the United States will not continue to negotiate indefinitely and we are prepared to move to increased pressure," the president warned. Earlier, Clinton said the talks had opened the door to potential progress on clarifying Iran's nuclear ambitions.



Iran Avoids Nuclear Talks at Geneva Meeting

Oct. 2….( Iranian delegates to nuclear talks in Geneva have announced that they are willing to discuss the Iranian nuclear program, if the discussion is part of a larger discussion on the subject of global nuclear disarmament. Chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili wrote a proposal calling for worldwide disarmament and sent it to several foreign leaders. The proposal does not touch on Iran's nuclear program. The Iranian delegates did not agree to discuss Iran's nuclear program during Thursday's Geneva meeting, except to repeat that Iran sees its uranium enrichment program as a national right. The delegates agreed to hold a second meeting within a month, according to Iranian state media. Delegates from Europe, the United State, Russia and China hope to convince Iran to suspend enrichment in exchange for political and economic benefits. US Undersecretary of State William Burns held a bilateral meeting with Jalili on Thursday. An unnamed official told journalists that the meeting was “significant.”

'Process will Take Time'

Western leaders expressed willingness to continue talks without immediate results. “That process will take some time. We're not going to make a snap judgment on Thursday,” US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley told reporters. European and Russian officials also explained that they did not expect an immediate resolution to concerns over Iran's nuclear program, but rather were hoping for a starting point to future talks. As long as talks continue, the US and Europe are unlikely to push for harsh sanctions on Iran. As diplomats met in Geneva, protesters assembled outside to call for immediate sanctions on the Iranian government. The ongoing talks with Iran are only bringing the Iranian government closer to obtaining nuclear weapons, they warned.



We've Been Talking to Iran for 30 Years


 (President Jimmy Carter announces that the US will seek economic sanctions against Iran, Dec. 21, 1979. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance looks on.)

Oct. 1….(Michael Ledeen) The Obama administration's talks with Iran, set to take place tomorrow in Geneva, are accompanied by an almost universally accepted misconception: that previous American administrations refused to negotiate with Iranian leaders. The truth, as Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last October at the National Defense University, is that "every administration since 1979 has reached out to the Iranians in one way or another and all have failed." After the fall of the shah in February 1979, the Carter administration attempted to establish good relations with the revolutionary regime. We offered aid, arms and understanding. The Iranians demanded that the United States honor all arms deals with the Shah, remain silent about human-rights abuses carried out by the new regime, and hand over Iranian "criminals" who had taken refuge in America. The talks ended with the seizure of the American Embassy in Teheran. The Reagan administration, driven by a desire to gain the release of the American hostages, famously sought a modus vivendi with Iran in the midst of the Iran-Iraq War during the mid-1980s. To that end, the US sold weapons to Iran and provided military intelligence about Iraqi forces. High-level American officials such as Robert McFarlane met secretly with Iranian government representatives to discuss the future of the relationship. This effort ended when the Iran-Contra scandal erupted in late 1986. The Clinton administration lifted sanctions that had been imposed by Messrs. Carter and Reagan. During the 1990s, Iranians entered the US for the first time since the '70s. The US also hosted Iranian cultural events and unfroze Iranian bank accounts. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright publicly apologized to Iran for purported past sins, including the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh's government by the CIA and British intelligence in August 1953. But it all came to nothing when Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei proclaimed that we were their enemies in March 1999. Most recently, the administration of George W. Bush, invariably and falsely described as being totally unwilling to talk to the mullahs, negotiated extensively with Tehran. There were scores of publicly reported meetings, and at least one very secret series of negotiations. These negotiations have rarely been described in the American press, even though they are the subject of a BBC documentary titled "Iran and the West." At the urging of British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, the US negotiated extensively with Ali Larijani, then-secretary of Iran's National Security Council. By September 2006, an agreement had seemingly been reached. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Nicholas Burns, her top Middle East aide, flew to New York to await the promised arrival of an Iranian delegation, for whom some 300 visas had been issued over the preceding weekend. Mr. Larijani was supposed to announce the suspension of Iranian nuclear enrichment. In exchange, we would lift sanctions. But Mr. Larijani and his delegation never arrived, as the BBC documentary reported. Negotiations have always been accompanied by sanctions. But neither has produced any change in Iranian behavior. Until the end of 2006, and despite appeals for international support, notably from Mr. Clinton, sanctions were almost exclusively imposed by the US alone. Mr. Carter issued an executive order forbidding the sale of anything to Tehran except food and medical supplies. Mr. Reagan banned the importation of virtually all Iranian goods and services in October 1987. Mr. Clinton issued an executive order in March 1995 prohibiting any American involvement with petroleum development. The following May he issued an additional order tightening those sanctions. Five years later, Secretary of State Albright eased some of the sanctions by allowing Americans to buy and import carpets and some food products, such as dried fruits, nuts and caviar. Mr. Bush took spare parts for commercial aircraft off the embargo list in the fall of 2006. On the other hand, in 2008 he revoked authorization of so-called U-turn transfers, making it illegal for any American bank to process transactions involving Iran, even if non-Iranian banks were at each end. Throughout this period, our allies advocated for further diplomacy instead of sanctions. But beginning in late 2006, the United Nations started passing sanctions of its own. In December of that year, the Security Council blocked the import or export of "sensitive nuclear material and equipment" and called on member states to freeze the assets of anyone involved with Iran's nuclear program. In 2007, the Security Council banned all arms exports from Iran, froze Iranian assets, and restricted the travel of anyone involved in the Iranian nuclear program. The following year, it called for investigations of Iranian banks, and authorized member countries to start searching planes and ships coming or going from or to Iran. All to no avail. Thirty years of negotiations and sanctions have failed to end the Iranian nuclear program and its war against the West. Why should anyone think they will work now? A change in Iran requires a change in government. Common sense and moral vision suggest we should support the courageous opposition movement, whose leaders have promised to end support for terrorism and provide total transparency regarding the nuclear program



UK Reports Saudis OK Israel Strike on Iran

Sept. 30….(Daily Express) Intelligence chief Sir John Scarlett has been told that Saudi Arabia is ready to allow Israel to bomb Iran’s new nuclear site. The head of the British MI6 discussed the issue in London with Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Saudi officials after British intelligence officers helped to uncover the plant, in the side of a mountain near the ancient city of Qom. The site is seen as a major threat by Tel Aviv and Riyadh. Details of the talks emerged after John Bolton, America’s former UN ambassador, told a meeting of intelligence analysts that “Riyadh certainly approves” of Israel’s use of Saudi airspace. Foreign Secretary David Miliband acknowledged that the danger of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East was “particularly potent” and refused to rule out military action altogether but he insisted: “We are 100 per cent focused on a diplomatic solution.” Gordon Brown, US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have warned Iran’s leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that he must allow in weapons inspectors or face more sanctions. The scene is set for a showdown next Thursday when Iranian officials meet representatives of the E3+3 group of Britain, France, Germany, the US, Russia and China in Geneva. Significantly, Russia, which has previously resisted pressure for sanctions, said it also found the latest disclosures “disturbing”. The site near Qom was detected three years ago by British, US and French intelligence agencies. Diplomatic sources said it could hold 3,000 centrifuges, capable of making enough enriched uranium to build a nuclear bomb each year.



Just How big is Iran's military?

Sept. 30….(Ha Aretz) Iran test-fired a missile on Monday that defense analysts have said could hit Israel and US bases in the Gulf, state media reported, a move that may irk world powers ahead of rare talks with Tehran this week. Listed below are some details about Iran's military capability. The totals include equipment held by the Revolutionary Guards, which operate on land, at sea and in the air:


-          Iran has over 523,000 personnel in active service. Major General Ataollah Salehi is the armed forces chief.

- In a 2007 parade to mark the anniversary of 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, Iran showed its Shahab 3 missile, saying it could travel 2,000 km -- enabling it to hit Israel and U.S. bases in the region. Another missile at the parade, the Ghadr 1, can reach targets 1,800 km away. It was believed to be the first time it has been shown publicly. In November 2008, Iran said it test-fired a Sejjil missile with a range of close to 2,000 km.

-   ARMY:
- The army comprises about 350,000 men, including 220,000 conscripts. The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, viewed as the most loyal guardian of the ruling system, has another 125,000 men. In 2004 the army was organized in four corps, with four armored divisions and six infantry divisions. There are 1,600 tanks including some 100 Zulfiqar locally produced main battle tanks. A large number of Iran's tanks are elderly British-made Chieftains and US-made M-60s. Soviet-made T-54 and T-55s, T-59s, T-62s, and T-72s were also part of the inventory, all captured from the Iraqis or acquired from North Korea and China. A report from the International Institute for Strategic Studies says that some of the tanks' serviceability may be in doubt. There are around 640 armored personnel carriers. There are 8,196 artillery pieces of which 2,010 are towed, and over 310 are self-propelled.
- There are 18,000 naval personnel. The navy has its headquarters at Bandar-e Abbas. Iran's navy has three Russian Kilo class submarines, three frigates and two corvettes. As of 2001 the regular Iranian navy was in a state of overall obsolescence, and in poor shape because they had not been equipped with modern ships and weapons. The readiness of the three frigates is doubtful, and the two nearly 40-year-old corvettes do not have sophisticated weapons. In late 2007 Iran launched a new locally made submarine and a navy frigate named as Jamaran. Jane's Defence Weekly has reported that Iran was also building missile-launching frigates copied from 275-tonne Kaman fast attack missile craft originally purchased from France in the late 1970s.


-          The air force has some 30,000 personnel and 319 combat aircraft. However, serviceability may be as low as around 60 percent for US aircraft types and 80 percent for Russian aircraft. There are F-14 and MiG 29 aircraft. There are also some aircraft impounded from Iraq -- Russian-built Sukhoi Su-24s and 25s. Iran also has transport aircraft and helicopters.



Netanyahu Puts Peace Process in Proper Perspective

Sept. 30….(Israel Today) For decades the international community has let the Arabs define the Middle East peace process as the rectifying of wrongs done to the Palestinians by the Israelis. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to correct that error when he addressed the UN General Assembly on Thursday. In a brief but powerful speech, Netanyahu reminded the world that it was the ancient prophets of his people that once inhabited the Holy Land and whose words are today holy scripture for billions of people. "The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers," declared Netanyahu. "Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: 'Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more.' These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem. We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland." The Israeli leader said he is ready and willing make peace based on giving part of that land to the Palestinian Arabs who live there, but will not do so based on lies and false accusations against his people. In particular, Netanyahu said he wants the Palestinians to finally acknowledge Israel as a Jewish state, just as the UN itself did in 1947 when it divided the Holy Land between Jews and Arabs, a decision the Jews accepted but the Arabs rejected. "We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state." Netanyahu also devoted a large chunk of his speech to blasting the recent UN-mandated Goldstone Commission report, which accused Israel of committing war crimes in its invasion of the Gaza Strip earlier this year in response to years of Hamas rocket fire. The prime minister recalled how the world cheered when Israel withdrew from Gaza and promised to "back our right of self-defense" should anything go wrong, only to turn around and accuse Israel of the most heinous crimes when it was forced to defend itself. And that despite the fact that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to avoid Palestinian casualties, unlike the way self-righteous Western powers responded when one of their cities was rocketed decades earlier. "There is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II," said Netanyahu, in a short history lesson. In response, "the Allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties." Netanyahu insisted that if Israel cannot count on fairness, even when is goes the extra mile to protect innocent lives on the other side, then it will find it increasingly difficult to take risks with its security in the name of peace. The bulk of Netanyahu's speech focused on Iran, and the Islamic Republic was even mentioned in those sections of the speech dealing with the peace process. Netanyahu said that without firmly dealing with existential regional threats, the international community could not reasonably hope to oversee a viable peace between Israel and its neighbors. He also strongly condemned the UN for providing a podium to Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a day earlier, despite Iranian leader's repeated denial of the Nazi Holocaust and his open desire to destroy Israel. "Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries," said Netanyahu. "But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?" Netanyahu warned the international community that "history has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others."



Moscow Cools on Sanctions Again, Foists Restraint on US-led Line for Iran


(FOJ) Even after the recent discovery of a second Iranian nuke facilty, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov warns West to back off sanctions against Iran.

Sept. 30….(DEBKA) Two days before the Six-Power bloc-Iranian meeting in Geneva, DEBKAfile's Russian sources report Moscow appears to have taken a step back from the small opening allowed by Russian president Dmitry Medvedev for a fresh round of sanctions against Tehran. Monday night, Sept. 28, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian news agencies that although Iranian's missile exercise was worrying, restraint was needed. An official communiqué urged "Western powers to restrain themselves." This is a setback to the tactic US president Barack Obama employed for bringing Russia aboard for stringent international sanctions when he announced Sept. 19 that he was scrapping the US missile shield planned in East Europe. It is also one in the eye for the Netanyahu government and its latest policy of cooperation with international steps for bringing Iran to heel on its nuclear activities. Monday night, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman said in a television interview: "Israel must not attack Iran's nuclear installations. It must be left to world powers. DEBKAfile's political sources report that Lieberman is increasingly criticized for aligning his policies with those of Moscow. The Obama administration is working on broadened sanctions in the event that Iran fails to "come clean" on its nuclear activities and deliver on international requirements by the end of the year. However, two days before Iran's negotiator meets the world powers in Geneva, Iran's atomic energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi made it clear in an interview Tuesday that Iran would never give up its uranium enrichment program. He described the second enrichment plant in a mountain near Qom as very small and explained it had been built underground to protect personnel and instruments in a possible attack. "But this does not mean we believe the worst case will ever come," he said, "because any wrong steps would, start a fire they cannot extinguish." The sanctions under review in Washington might focus on maritime traffic to and from Iran, including pressure on shipping firms in Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, to stop doing direct or third-party business with Tehran, and raising insurance premiums. Foreign investments in Iran, its financial and telecommunications sectors and foreign travel might also be targeted for bans. Earlier plans to ban refined petrol products and gasoline exports to Iran, which could indeed cripple parts of Iran's economic and military capabilities, appear to have been dropped from the Obama administration's review of possible sanctions. The DEBKAfile's Gulf sources report that some of these options were tried unsuccessfully in the past with little impact on Iran's economy, and certainly not on the regime's determined adherence to its nuclear plans, most of all the rapid momentum of uranium enrichment. As in the past, the new steps under review would have to run the gauntlet of international consensus to fully succeed. Some would no doubt fall by the wayside while the bargaining would meanwhile consume time. Moscow has moved back in position to delay the process.



Christians Should Not Observe Muslim Holy Days

Sept. 30….(Missions) The president of Southern Baptist Seminary says Christians should not observe Muslim "holy days," no matter how well-intentioned they may be. Brian McLaren is known as the godfather of the "emergent church," which seeks to recover ancient Christian worship practices. The emergent church movement has, at times, questioned the theology of traditional evangelicalism. McLaren made headlines recently when he announced he would be fasting during Ramadan to better understand Muslims. On a recent radio broadcast, Dr. Albert Mohler tackled the issue, saying it is dangerous and confusing when Christians adopt the practices of other religious beliefs which do not acknowledge Jesus as Savior and Lord. Instead, Mohler said Christians must focus on Christ and sharing the gospel with Muslims. "It is the love of Christ that leads us to love our neighbor enough to share the gospel with them, which takes on the very tangible expression of seeking to have them, by means of the gospel, come to know Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. That is love, in that God loved us so also we love our neighbor, and love of neighbor is not just in terms of living peaceably among our neighbors," he contends. From a Christian perspective, from a New Testament perspective, loving our neighbor is not just not putting our grass clippings on his lawn; it's loving our neighbor enough to share the gospel with him, to be motivated to share the gospel." Mohler said many Muslims do not understand the true nature of Islam.

FOJ Note: (Gal 1:6-8 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.)



Iran Tests Advanced Offensive Missiles

Sept. 29….(YNET) Iran tested its most advanced missiles Monday to cap two days of war games, raising more international concern and stronger pressure to quickly come clean on the newly revealed nuclear site Tehran was secretly constructing. State television said the powerful Revolutionary Guard, which controls Iran's missile program, successfully tested upgraded versions of the medium-range Shahab-3 and Sajjil missiles. Both can carry warheads and reach up to 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers), putting Israel, US military bases in the Middle East, and parts of Europe within striking distance. The missile tests were meant to flex Iran's military might and show readiness for any military threat. "Iranian missiles are able to target any place that threatens Iran," said Abdollah Araqi, a top Revolutionary Guard commander, according to the semi-official Fars news agency. Shortly after Iran test fired the missiles, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi warned Israel against carrying out any attack against Iran, saying it would only accelerate the Jewish state’s own demise. “We do not foresee an attack by the Zionist regime, but if this happens, undoubtedly it would accelerate this regime’s last breath, and would bring its life to an end sooner,” he was quoted by the state-run broadcaster, IRIB, as saying. Vahidi said that Israel’s threats against the Islamic Republic were due to “its widespread fear and alarm.” “The Zionist regime is on a downward slope,” Vahidi added, echoing remarks frequently made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The head of Iran's armed forces, Hassan Firouzabadi, dismissed reports of a possible attack on Iran, saying Israel was a "paper tiger." "When people say Israel is planning on attacking Iran, this is nothing more than deception," he said, adding, "The US is funding Israel from its taxpayers' money and is uneasy due to the fact that Iran is capable of dealing a crushing retaliatory blow." Firouzabadi added that despite sanctions imposed on Iran's military industry by the West, "the Revolutionary Guard can produce any weapon it chooses."  Iran conducted three rounds of missile tests in drills that began Sunday, two days after the US and its allies disclosed the country had been secretly developing an underground uranium enrichment facility. The Western powers warned Iran it must open the site to international inspection or face harsher international sanctions. Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hasan Qashqavi said the missile tests had nothing to do with the tension over the site, saying it was part of routine, long-planned military exercises. European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said he was concerned about the missile tests. He said Iran must immediately resolve issues surrounding its second nuclear enrichment facility with the UN's nuclear agency. The newly revealed nuclear site has given greater urgency to a key meeting on Thursday in Geneva between Iran and six major powers trying to stop its suspected nuclear weapons program. Solana said those talks are now taking place "in a new context." Britain said Monday's test further illustrates why Europe and the US have serious concerns about Iran's nuclear intentions. "This sends the wrong signal to the international community at a time when Iran is due to meet" the six world powers, Britain's Foreign Office said. The six nations are the US, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany. Iran also is developing ballistic missiles that could carry a nuclear warhead, but the administration said last week that it believes that effort has been slowed. That assessment paved the way for Obama's decision to shelve the Bush administration's plan for a missile shield in Europe, which was aimed at defending against Iranian ballistic missiles.



Gaffney: Iran on Brink of Having Nuclear Bomb & Using It

imageSept. 29….(Newsmax) Leading national security expert Frank Gaffney tells Newsmax we could be in the "last days" before Iran obtains nuclear weapons, and he warns that if they do, they absolutely will use them. He also said Iran's weapons program is designed for "unprecedented" destruction, and called the Obama administration's decision to scrap the missile defense shield in Eastern Europe a "major mistake." The missiles Iran is developing, Gaffney say, are designed “for the purpose of waging destruction, apocalyptically in fact, on a scale that is unprecedented, and that is what I think you are facing now.” Gaffney served in the Ronald Reagan administration as assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy, and is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC. He is also host of the nationally syndicated program "Secure Freedom Radio," a columnist for several Web sites including Newsmax, and co-author of the book "War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World." Referring to several terrorist plots that were recently broken up in the US, Gaffney compared the terrorist threat to the swine flu. Just as it's essential to recognize that the flu is caused by a virus, it's essential to understand that the terrorist threat is the result of Shariah, what "authoritative Islam calls their program for running everything," he told Newsmax.TV's Ashley Martella. According to Shariah, the purpose of jihad is to bring about the triumph of Islam over the entire world, and Shariah commands that the faithful must use violence where possible to advance that objective. "You cannot treat, let alone prevent, the onslaught of these 'viruses' without understanding their pathology," Gaffney said. "And I think this is a place where we better learn quickly, because if we fail to, the next attack may well be the one we don't stop." He added that Shariah is what rules the Iranian government, which just tested advanced missiles that Iranian TV said can carry warheads up to 1,200 miles. "Theocratic mullahs are in charge and they are pursuing their same responsibilities to wage jihad against the infidel, the West, and most especially Israel and the United States. "The missiles they are developing, which will soon be able to have nuclear warheads, are designed for the purpose of waging destruction, apocalyptically in fact, on a scale that is unprecedented, and that is what I think you are facing now. "We ignore both the reasons they are doing it and even the evidence that they are doing it at our extreme peril." Considering Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's constant anti-Israeli and anti-US rhetoric, does it appear he's intent on using nuclear weapons once Iran obtains them? Martella asked. "I think you couldn't be more clear that he intends to use them," Gaffney said. "Going back to the '30s, people thought that Hitler couldn't possibly mean what he was saying. Today people are similarly hoping that Ahmadinejad doesn't mean what he's saying. But he certainly says it with conviction. He says it repeatedly. He says it in public. He says it to his own constituency. "There is I think no basis to [believe] that it is responsible, let alone safe, other than to believe that Ahmadinejad and the mullahs that run him and Iran, if able to get their hands on these missiles and nuclear warheads, will indeed use them." Asked if the Obama administration can convince Russia and China to go along with harsh sanctions against Iran, Gaffney said: "I think it very unlikely. I think even if the Chinese and Russians agree to some kind of further sanctions, it will probably be dragged out. It will be designed to continue to do what they've been doing to date, which is to provide political cover for their Iranian clients, or allies, and to buy the time the Iranians need to finish their nuclear weapons development program. "We may be beyond the point at which sanctions could make much of a material difference. I think we're down to the last days, certainly weeks, maybe months at the outside, before the Iranians get the bomb." As for hopes that sanctions could stir up unrest inside Iran and perhaps foster regime change, Gaffney said: "President Obama has had ample opportunity to associate the United States with those seeking freedom in Iran, to encourage them, to say nothing of to help them. He's done none of it." Regarding the Obama administration's decision not to go ahead with plans to build a missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, Gaffney said it is a "major mistake to avoid steps that have already been agreed on, not only with the Poles and Czechs but with the NATO alliance... "Those missile defenses that we were planning to put into Poland and the Czech Republic were designed to protect us in the United States as well against longer-range missiles that are also now coming into the Iranian arsenal. "It is the height of folly to be undermining our allies, emboldening our enemies, and leaving us, as well as those allies, naked to these sorts of threats."



Robert Gates: Iranians Fully Intend to Develop Nuclear Weapons

Sept. 28….(Jerusalem Post) "The Iranians have the intention of having nuclear weapons," US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said. In an interview on ABC Sunday, Gates added that "the question of whether they have made a formal decision to move towards the development of nuclear weapons is in doubt." "This is part of a pattern of deception and lies on the part of the Iranians from the very beginning with respect to their nuclear program," he said. "So it's no wonder that world leaders think that they have ulterior motives that they have a plan to go forward with nuclear weapons." "If this were a peaceful nuclear program, why didn't they announce this site when they began to construct it?" Gates asked. "Why didn't they allow IAEA inspectors in from the very beginning?" In a second interview with CNN, Gates said that while the US did not rule out use of force against the Islamic Republic, diplomacy and sanctions could still prove effective. He added that any military option would only delay the Iranian nuclear program. "The reality is there is no military option that does anything more than buy time," Gates said. "The estimates are three years or so." International pressure on Iran has increased in recent days, after new revelations surfaced that the country has been building a secret uranium enrichment plant. Following the reveal, US President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made a statement at the G-20, demanding Iran quickly disclose all its nuclear efforts, including any moves toward weapons development "or be held accountable." Sarkozy said Iran has until December to comply or face new sanctions. Before that, the Iranians are to meet next week with the US and other major powers to discuss a range of issues including Iran's nuclear program. "We will not let this matter rest," said Brown, who accused Iran of "serial deception." Obama urged Iran to fully disclose its nuclear activities and said the IAEA must investigate the newly revealed site, saying, "The Iranian government must now demonstrate through deeds its peaceful intentions or be held accountable to international standards and international law."



US: It is Now Too Late to Stop Iran

Sept. 28….( A top official in the Obama Administration has at last admitted what intelligence agents and Israeli government officials have been warning about for years: Iran intends to build a nuclear arsenal. In media interviews with American television news networks scheduled to air Sunday, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said bluntly, "The Iranians have the intention of having nuclear weapons." The statement was made just days after the discovery of a covert uranium enrichment site in Iran. Even as the world expressed its outrage, however, Gates pointed out that there was little left to be done about it. "The reality is there is no military option that does anything more than buy time," he told CNN. "The estimates are three years or so." In a separate interview with ABC News, he noted that Iran had engaged in "a pattern of deception and lies... from the very beginning," even as it claimed it was developing nuclear power for peaceful domestic energy purposes. "If this were a peaceful nuclear program, why didn't they announce this site when they began to construct it?" Gates asked. "Why didn't they allow IAEA inspectors in from the very beginning?"

International Outrage, Demand for Disclosure

International leaders demanded the Islamic Republic immediately disclose all its nuclear efforts, including any programs involving weapons development, or face the consequences. "The Iranian government must now demonstrate through deeds its peaceful intentions, or be held accountable to international standards and international law," said US President Barack Obama following the discovery.  In a statement made at the G-20 meeting in Europe, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Obama ordered Iran to allow the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect the newly revealed site. "We will not let this matter rest," Brown said. Sarkozy noted that the G-6 had given Iran until December to comply or face additional, intensified economic sanctions.

Iranian War Games on Yom Kippur

While Iran is to meet with the US and others next week to discuss its nuclear program, however, it is planning to conduct war games on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar. The drill which will include the firing of missiles that can hit Israel, was made at the same time the covert uranium enrichment site was revealed. "Allah willing, this plant will be put into operation soon and will blind the eyes of the enemies," boasted Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, the head of the office of the Supreme Leader.

IDF: 'All Options Open'

Israeli officials do not necessarily agree that the military option would be ineffective. IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi last week politely Iran that the Jewish State is prepared to defend itself against any nuclear or other attack it might launch. "We all understand that the best way of coping [with the Iranian nuclear threat] is through international sanctions," Ashkenazi told an interviewer on IDF Army Radio. However, he added, "Israel has the right to defend itself, and all options are open. The IDF's working premise is that we have to be prepared for that possibility, and that is exactly what we are doing."



Obama Moves to Stifle any Israeli Attack on Iran

Sept. 18….(DEBKA) Barack Obama's histrionics in New York and Pittsburgh Thursday and Friday, Sept. 24-25, and his threat of "confrontation" for Iran's concealment of its nuclear capabilities, were water off a duck's back for Tehran, whose nuclear weapons program has gone too far to stop by words or even sanctions. The Islamic regime only responded with more defiance, announcing that its second uranium enrichment plant near Qom would become operational soon. The US president's tough words and willingness to step out of his axiomatic insistence on dialogue and turn to economic warfare against Iran may be impressive but it is no longer effective. Tehran is too close to its goal of a nuclear weapons capability to be deterred by offers of engagement or economic penalties. Obama certainly knows this. He also understands that Iran is now unstoppable except by force. His performance was therefore directed at another target: Israel, whom he is determined to dissuade from resorting to military action against Iran's nuclear installations. Defense secretary Robert Gates hit the nail on the head when he said Friday: "The reality is there is no military option that does anything more than buy time. The estimates are one to three years or so." Iran was allowed to reach the point defined by Gates thanks to the permissiveness of two US presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and two Israeli prime ministers, Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. They had no illusions about the deterrent value of the three sets of UN Security sanctions imposed to punish Iran, but held back from pre-emptive action on the pretext that there was still plenty of time before Iran was in a position to destroy Israel. In any case, Israeli leaders argued, Iran's nuclear ambitions were a threat to the whole world and it was therefore incumbent on the "international community" to take care of them. This of course did not happen. Iran carried on exploiting international inaction, finally capitalizing on Obama's foot-dragging in his first nine months in office. By now, Iran has used the gift of time to process enough enriched uranium to fuel two nuclear bombs and is able to produce another two per year. Its advanced medium-range missiles will be ready to deliver nuclear warheads by next year. Detonators for nuclear bombs are in production at two secret sites. And finally, a second secret uranium enrichment plant, subject of the stern warning issued collectively in Pittsburgh Friday by Obama, French president Nicolas Sarkozy and British premier Gordon Brown, has come to light, buried under a mountain near Qom. Its discovery doubles, at least all previous estimates of Iran's nuclear capabilities. Caught red-handed yet again in massive deceit, the Iranian president Mahdmoud Ahmadinejad had only more defiance to offer. America owes his government an apology, he told interviewers in New York Friday, because the new plant would not be operational for 18 months, and Tehran had therefore not violated International Atomic Energy Agency rules requiring notification. He was soon caught in another lie. Saturday, the Iranian news agency was informed by an aide of supreme leader Ali Khamenei that "the new plant would become operational soon." Iran's published concealments and deceptions are disquieting enough. But a whole lot more are undoubtedly buried in fat intelligence dossiers on Iran's nuclear program, plutonium production, for instance. The progress made in its plutonium-based weapons program was never mentioned in the stern condemnations of the last few days, except indirectly in a quiet comment from an anonymous Israeli official Friday night. He said Iran operates on two hourglasses and both were running out fast. He was referring obliquely to the enriched uranium and the plutonium tracks. Sarkozy was clearly thinking about those undiscovered Iranian secrets and evasions when he declared in Pittsburgh: "Everything must be put on the table now" (at the October 1 meeting of the Six Powers with Iranian negotiators). Obama too urged Iran "to come clean." All the powers concerned, the US, Russia, France, Germany the UK and even China, have the same information as Israel and are fully aware that Iran has already crossed a number of red lines this year and will cross more in 2010. The more time allowed for diplomacy and engagement, the greater Tehran's defiance. Meanwhile, world powers will argue, not over futile sanctions, but on how to stop Israel, so wasting several more months. Gates assessment and the cooling note he injected into the US president's oratory came after Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak visited the Pentagon. The visit clearly did not change Gates' view that the Iranian nuclear program was now too advanced to stop, while the use of force would only gain an interval of up to three years, after which Tehran would pick itself up and start again. Therefore, according to Gates, diplomacy remained the only viable option. The answer to this argument is simple: It is exactly this approach which gave Iran 11 quiet years to develop its weapons capacity. For Israel and Middle East, a three-year setback is a very long time, a security boon worth great risk, because (a) It would be a happy respite from the dark clouds hanging over the country from Iran and also cut back Hamas and Hizballah terrorist capabilities, and (b) In the volatile Middle East anything can happen in 36 months. But the US defense secretary believes Israel, like the rest of the world, must accept life under the shadow of a nuclear-armed Iran and make the best of it. This view is shared by the Kremlin. It was advanced by prime minister Vladimir Putin to Binyamin Netanyahu during his secret trip to Moscow on Sept. 7. According to Russian sources, when the Israeli prime minister tried to counter Putin's thesis and explain what restraint meant for Israel, the Russian prime minster became impatient and told his guest to leave. After that interview, the Israeli government can no longer avoid appreciating that Gates and Putin talk the real talk for Washington and Moscow, while their leaders' moralistic condemnations of Iran are mainly hot air for public consumption and for maneuvering Israel into a position where a military strike would be hard to conceive. Netanyahu's Sphinx-like silence on the nuclear to-do in the US this week was apt. But it is hard to tell what he is hiding. Will he succumb to the world powers' pressure to sit tight while Iran goes all the way to a military nuclear capability, or face up to it and act? This is the most important decision of Netanyahu's political life as two-time prime minister of Israel. It will also determine Israel's future.

FOJ Note: Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry made the prediction that the world would do nothing to inhibit Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Check the question and answer section (# 325) of FOJ for details.


Obama Joins The US to the World’s Alignment Against Israel

Sept. 28….(By Stan Goodenough) US President Barack Obama last week firmly aligned his administration with the Arab world, joining the rest of the international community in its position against the Jewish State of Israel. Addressing some 140 world leaders gathered in New York for the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Obama condemned as an illegal "occupation" Israel's presence in its ancestral homeland. And he roundly rejected the right of Jews to live and build communities in the hill country they believe was given to them by their God. But while, according to the American leader, Israel's people have no right to possess, dwell in and govern the land of their fathers, the United States must insist that Israel "respect the legitimate claims and rights of the Palestinians." Obama's position indicates his acceptance and intention to champion the Arab narrative, which insists that the "Palestinians" have lived in the land "from time immemorial" and have the right to be formed as a nation in it. He has thus rejected the Jewish narrative - which holds that this was the Land of Canaan given to Abraham, then Isaac, then Jacob and then Jacob's descendants; that the nation took root here nearly 4000 years ago, growing and developing in this land and ruling as sovereigns over it; that following the Jews' expulsion from the land they kept burning for two millennia the fire of their intended return; that they are not a foreign implant, not a colony, not in the land in order to assuage stricken western consciences following the Holocaust; that the Palestinian Arabs have no national history - neither in this land nor anywhere else, and that the creation of an Arab state in the historical Jewish homeland constitutes land theft and poses an existential threat to Israel. Critics slammed Obama's speech as the most anti-Israel message ever delivered by a president of the United States. America's former ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, slammed Obama's address as "the most radical anti-Israel speech I can recall any president making." The fact that the most powerful man on the planet, who has access to all the data, expertise and intelligence necessary to substantiate the Jewish position and to disprove the Arab one, nonetheless has chosen to throw his weight behind the latter at Israel's expense, is certain to have distressed many in the US. "It felt as if a dagger had struck my heart when he stated that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," said Pastor Cecil Hall of the Anderson, TX, Full Gospel Church, adding that it "hurt, to think of the minds and hearts of the citizens of Israel as they heard those words from the country that has stood with them since the beginning." "Although the words of Mr. Obama came from within the borders of my beloved America, they did not come from the heart of America. Please tell the wonderful people of Israel that the strong moral majority of Americans do not share Barak Obama's sentiment nor agree with his policies concerning Israel, at any time that those polices should harm or cause Israel to lose ground."







Western Leaders Warn Iran over Nuclear Site

Sept. 25….(WND) US President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain and France accused Iran on Friday of building a secret nuclear fuel plant and threatened tough new sanctions unless Tehran comes clean about its nuclear program. Sharpening a standoff with the Islamic Republic, Obama went public with the charge standing shoulder to shoulder with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a Group of 20 summit in Pittsburgh. Iran is breaking rules that all nations must follow ... and threatening the stability and security of the region and the world," Obama said in a stern message just a week before Tehran's much-anticipated talks with the United States and five other powers known as the P5+1 negotiations. Iran, which acknowledged the existence of the facility for the first time on Monday in a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency, insisted the uranium enrichment plant was within the parameters of the U.N. nuclear watchdog's rules. "We have no secrecy, we work within the framework of the IAEA," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told Time magazine, saying Tehran was not obliged to inform the Obama administration of every nuclear facility it has. Western leaders took a different view of Iran’s belated disclosure of the facility, which U.S. officials said Iran had been building for several years inside a mountain close to the holy city of Qom. The revelation intensified Western fears of an Iranian bid for nuclear weapons.

Senior US Administration official on Iran's secret underground enrichment facility:

Now, it was evident to everybody, both the United States and our allies, that if the Iranians wanted to pursue a nuclear weapons option the use of the Natanz facility was a very unattractive approach; because the IAEA inspectors were there, it would be noticed if Iran tried to produce weapons-grade uranium at that facility, or if they expelled the IAEA inspectors, everybody would assume that they were converting the facility to produce weapons-grade uranium. So the obvious option for Iran would be to build another secret underground enrichment facility, and our intelligence services, working in very close cooperation with our allies, for the past several years have been looking for such a facility. And not surprisingly, we found one. So we have known for some time now that Iran was building a second underground enrichment facility. And as the President mentioned this morning, it's located near the city of Qom, a very heavily protected, very heavily disguised facility. We believe that it's not yet operational. We think it's most likely at least a few months, perhaps more, from having all of the centrifuges installed and being capable of operating if the Iranians made a decision to begin operating it. Our information is that the facility is designed to hold about 3,000 centrifuge machines. Now, that's not a large enough number to make any sense from a commercial standpoint. It cannot produce a significant quantity of low-enriched uranium. But if you want to use the facility in order to produce a small amount of weapons-grade uranium, enough for a bomb or two a year, it's the right size. And our information is that the Iranians began this facility with the intent that it be secret, and therefore giving them an option of producing weapons-grade uranium without the international community knowing about it.

   US intelligence officials said that while they have known for several years about underground construction on the site about 20 miles north of Qom, their confidence about its purpose increased measurably this year. They described the plant as located in series of tunnels deep within a mountain on a base belonging to Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. Qom, a Shiite Muslim holy city about 100 miles southwest of Tehran, is considered the birthplace of the religious movement that led to Iran's 1979 Islamic revolution. The plant "is under the management of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, but its existence is unknown to all but the most senior officials," one official said. Asked about the certainty of US intelligence, the official said that "we have excellent clandestine collection" and "multiple, independent sources, that allow us to corroborate. We are highly confident that the facility is for uranium enrichment."



US May Face 'Armageddon' If China, Japan Don't Buy Debt

Sept. 25….(Washington Post) The US is too dependent on Japan and China buying up the country's debt and could face severe economic problems if that stops, Tiger Management founder and chairman Julian Robertson told CNBC. "It's almost Armageddon if the Japanese and Chinese don't buy our debt,” Robertson said in an interview. "I don't know where we could get the money. I think we've let ourselves get in a terrible situation and I think we ought to try and get out of it." Robertson said inflation is a big risk if foreign countries were to stop buying bonds. “If the Chinese and Japanese stop buying our bonds, we could easily see [inflation] go to 15 to 20 percent,” he said. “It's not a question of the economy. It's a question of who will lend us the money if they don't. Imagine us getting ourselves in a situation where we're totally dependent on those two countries. It's crazy.” Robertson said while he doesn’t think the Chinese will stop buying US bonds, the Japanese may eventually be forced to sell some of their long-term bonds. That's much worse than not buying,” he said. “The other thing is, they're buying almost exclusively short-term debt. And that's what we are offering, because we can't sell the long-term debt. And you know, the history has been that people who borrow short term really get burned.” “We're in for some real rough sledding,” he said. “ I really do think the recession is at least temporarily over. But we haven't addressed so many of our problems and we are borrowing so much money that we can't possibly pay it back, unless the Chinese and Japanese buy our bonds.” The only way to avoid the problem, he said, is to "grow and save our way out of it." The US has to quit spending, cut back, start saving, and scale backward," Robertson said. "Until that happens, I don't think we're anywhere near out of the woods.”



Abbas: We Can’t Negotiate With Netanyahu


(FOJ) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas following a meeting with US President Barack Obama at the UN General Assembly.

Sept. 24….(Ha Aretz) Just days after meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama in New York, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday that he saw no common ground on which to renew peace negotiations. In an interview with the Al-Hayyat daily, Abbas called the Netanyahu government "a real problem." The Palestinian leader added that he could not agree to Israel's compromise for a partial settlement freeze, which he said inherently implied continued construction. We can't accept the status quo because a partial halt means a continuation of settlements," he said. "Even if it is halted by 95 percent, it is still a continuation of settlement activities." Abbas said that despite fundamental disagreements with Netanyahu over the terms of negotiations, he would keep talking to Israel about day-to-day issues that concern the Palestinians, including security and the economy. "We don't reject the principle of talks and dialogue," he said. Abbas reiterated his stance that peace negotiations must resume from where former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's government left off and insisted they include the core issues. Some stride was made during talks with the Olmert government, said Abbas, adding: "There were maps drafted by both sides and proposals for territorial exchanges, and thus we cannot return to point zerio." When asked whether he saw fundamental differences between the Palestinians and the Israelis which might stall negotiations even further, Abbas responded: "The Netanyahu government is a real problem and there is no common ground for negotiations with it. Construction in the settlement is continuing, Netanyahu is declaring Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees topics not up for negotiations, so what is there to talk about?"

PA stands firm on settlement freeze, despite Obama speech

Senior Palestinian Authority officials had mixed reactions to US Obama's remarks to the UN General Assembly Wednesday on achieving a comprehensive settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Abbas and members of the Palestinian delegation to the UN were pleased with Obama's statement that Washington is pursuing a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, as Abbas has that diplomatic talks with Israel with Israel cannot begin unless it is clear that the 1967 lines are the goal. But the officials expressed displeasure with Obama's declaration that negotiations with Israel should begin without preconditions. Yasser Abed Rabbo, who heads both the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee and the PA negotiating team, said the PA was pleased with Obama's decision to hold another round of preliminary talks in the interest of bridging the gaps between the parties. "Still, our message is clear, we have not retreated from our demands, and relinquishing them will lead to a diplomatic disaster," he said. Also Wednesday, a meeting of donor countries to the Palestinians that was held alongside the General Assembly promised $400 million to the PA by the end of the year.

   The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Thursday criticized Barack Obama's call for a resumption of Mideast peace talks without preconditions, a move seen by some Palestinians as backpedaling from the American president's earlier demand for a freeze on Israeli settlement construction. Hamas, whose political leadership is exiled in Syria, said the meeting with Obama that brought together Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York on Tuesday reasserted the US administration's bias in favor of "the Zionist occupation," at the expense of Palestinian national rights.



Obama/UN Calls for Nuke-Free World

(After Security Council passes non-proliferation resolution in effort promote disarmament, 'reduce risk of nuclear terrorism,' French president says, 'Talk of nuclear-free future is nice, but we are facing two immediate nuclear crises')image

Sept. 24….(Ha Aretz) With US President Barack Obama presiding, the UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution Thursday aimed at ridding the world of nuclear weapons. Russia, China and developing nations supported the US-sponsored measure, giving it global clout and strong political backing. The resolution calls for stepped up efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, promote disarmament and "reduce the risk of nuclear terrorism." Obama was the first American president to preside over a Security Council summit, gaveling the meeting into session and announcing that "the draft resolution has been adopted unanimously." "The historic resolution we just adopted enshrines our shared commitment to a goal of a world without nuclear weapons," Obama said immediately after the vote. "And it brings Security Council agreement on a broad framework for action to reduce nuclear dangers as we work toward that goal." Just one nuclear weapon set off in a major city could cause major destruction, Obama said. He said the global effort would seek to "lock down all vulnerable nuclear materials within four years." "This is not about singling out an individual nation," he said. "International law is not an empty promise, and treaties must be enforced." "We will leave this meeting with renewed determination," Obama said. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon saluted the national leaders for joining in the unprecedented Security Council summit on nuclear arms. "This is a historic moment, a moment offering a fresh start toward a new future," he said. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told the UN Security Council that the world should consider "far tougher sanctions" against Iran if it continues to seek a nuclear bomb.



Dollar Under Scrutiny at G20 Summit

Sept. 24….(Yahoo News) The embattled US dollar is expected to come under scrutiny at a summit of developing and industrialized nations following China-led calls to review its role as a reserve currency. The dollar issue is bound to surface at the two-day meeting in Pittsburgh as US President Barack Obama and other leaders of the Group of 20 economies debate a new framework for tackling the so called global "economic imbalances" blamed for fuelling the latest financial crisis. "Though not clear how the plan would be enforced, it would involve measures such as the US cutting its deficits and saving more, China reducing its reliance on exports and Europe making structural changes to boost business investment," analysts at French bank Societe Generale said in a report. Some argue that the financial crisis resulted from imbalances between savings and investment in major economies, which have led to large current deficits, as evident in the United States, and surpluses, as enjoyed by China. Beijing was the first to call for a new global currency as an alternative to the US dollar as the US deficit rocketed, the White House estimates it could reach nine trillion dollars over a decade. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao expressed concern as early as March over the safety of his country's huge US bond holdings now worth more than 800 billion dollars, making it the largest creditor to the United States. Then, Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who supervises more than two trillion dollars worth of dollar reserves, the world's largest, raised the stakes by calling for a new reserve currency in place of the dollar. He wanted the new reserve unit to be based on the SDR, a "special drawing right" created by the International Monetary Fund, drawing immediate support from Russia, Brazil and several other nations. But what is baffling analysts is that a key UN agency, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD, has joined the chorus of calls for a new reserve currency. An UNCTAD report this month endorsed a proposal that IMF-issued SDRs "could be used to settle international payments." Until the current global economic crisis, SDRs issued by the IMF have been used by IMF member nation states "primarily as a reserve account to support international trade transactions, not as an alternative international currency available to settle international debt transactions in danger of default," said political scientist Jerome Corsi in "Red Alert," a global financial newsletter. China, meanwhile, continues to flex its muscle. It has proposed that the G20 economies consider setting up an international wealth fund that would invest a portion of its members' current-account surpluses in developing economies. "These comments reinforce their desire to diversify out of dollars and to encourage other nations to do so as well," said Kathy Lien, chief strategist for Global Forex Trading. A few Chinese deals were recently seen accepting payment in the currency of the buyer rather than in dollars, especially with Brazil, which the Asian giant is wooing as a future oil supplier. In addition, China, the first nation to sign an agreement to buy IMF bonds, took the unsual step of paying for the papers equivalent of 50 billion dollars with its yuan currency rather than dollars, which Beijing uses for much of its trade and other foreign transactions. Carl Weinberg, chief economist of High Frequency Economics, said he was surprised by the move but did not see it having any major impact on the dollar. "The transaction can now be clearly seen as a political move by Beijing to get more traction in the governance of the IMF, not as an effort by the PBOC (Chinese central bank) to reduce the share of dollars in its reserve asset," he said.



Netanyahu to UN: Iran Fueled by Fundamentalism

(During General Assembly address, Netanyahu slams Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial; 'Is this a lie?' he says while brandishing Auschwitz death camp plans. PM also criticizes UN for failing to condemn Hamas fire on Israel) image

Sept. 24….(DEBKA) Speaking before the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech at the forum, saying those who believe Tehran is a threat only to Israel are wrong. The Iranian regime, he said, "Is motivated by fanaticism… They want to see us go back to medieval times. "The struggle against Iran pits civilization against barbarism," Netanyahu told the UN. "This Iranian regime is fueled by extreme fundamentalism." Netanyahu also criticized Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust. During the speech, he waved the minutes of the Wansee Conference, in which Nazi officials planned the Final Solution. "Is this a lie? he said. The PM also held up the architectural blueprints of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps that bear the signature of Hitler's deputy, Heinrich Himmler, which he received during a recent trip to Germany. During the speech, Netanyahu criticized the world body for failing to pass any resolution denouncing Hamas rocket fire on Israel over the past eight years.



Netanyahu Addresses General Assembly, Takes on Iran, UN

Sept. 24….( Prime Minister Binyamin “Bibi” Netanyahu addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday night. Netanyahu slammed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the recent UN report on Gaza. He defended Jewish rights in the land of Israel while expressing willingness to create a Palestinian Authority-led Arab state in Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu began by taking Ahmadinejad to task for his denial of the Holocaust. He criticized those who remained seated during Ahmadinejad's speech the night before, asking, “Do those who listened to Ahmadinejad have no shame, no decency?” The prime minister went on to discuss Iran within the framework of worldwide terrorism. Terrorists wish to drag humanity back into the Middle Ages, he warned. “The struggle against Iran pits civilization against barbarism... History could be reversed if primitive fanaticism acquires deadly weapons,” he told delegates.

'Will You Accept this Farce?'

Netanyahu then turned to the subject of the recent UN report condemning Israel for its counter-terror offensive in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009. The UN is undermining its own legitimacy by siding with terrorists over their victims, he accused. "What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice,” Netanyahu said of the report. There is only comparable instance in history in which a civilian populace was targeted by thousands of rockets, he said, the German bombardment of England during the Second World War. Allied troops responded to those attacks by flattening German cities, killing hundreds of thousands of people, he reminded those present. “I'm not here to judge,” he added, “I'm just stating facts.” Today's UN would have condemned then-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, he said.

UN Bias Hurts Chances for Peace

The UN's criticism of Israeli self-defense does more than just undermine the UN's status, Netanyahu said. By accusing Israel of war crimes over its response to years of rocket attacks, the UN is seriously harming the chances for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, he warned. In 2005, Israel withdrew from Gaza, Netanyahu recalled. Many Israelis agreed to the withdrawal only because they believed that by leaving the territory, Israel would gain international support when fighting aggression from Gaza terrorists, he said. By demonstrating that concessions do not bring international support for Israel's right to self-defense, the UN weakens the chances for similar concessions in the future, he concluded.

Peace – and Effective Demilitarization

As his speech drew to a close, Netanyahu told those present that Israel is willing to make peace with the PA and with any country that genuinely seeks peace. He pointed to Israel's treaties with Jordan and Egypt as proof of the nation's willingness to compromise for peace. Peace with the PA will be based on the principle of “two states for two peoples,” he said, a principle outlined by the UN more than 60 years ago. However, he said, the PA must accept “two states for two peoples” as well, by accepting that Israel is the state for the Jewish people. Jewish rights in Israel must be recognized, he said. "The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the land of Israel,” Netanyahu declared. Finally, Netanyahu declared that Israel is seeking only genuine peace, which means a genuinely demilitarized PA state. A PA state “must be effectively demilitarized. I say effectively because we don't want another Gaza, another south Lebanon, another Iranian terror base... we want peace.”



Netanyahu: UN's Primary Mission: Prevent Tehran Acquiring Nuclear Weapons

imageSept. 24….(DEBKA) In an impassioned speech to the UN General Assembly Thursday, Sept 24, prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the United Nations' most important mission today is to prevent "the tyrants of Tehran" from acquiring nuclear weapons, because the marriage of religious fanaticism and weapons of mass destruction would endanger the world. Holding up the minutes of the Nazi leaders' 1942, decision to annihilate the Jewish people, Netanyahu said the man who called the Holocaust a lie also pledges to wipe out the state of the Jewish people, making a mockery of the UN Charter. His statement, "We ask the Palestinians to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people just as we recognize the Palestinian wish for a home of their own," won applause in the chamber. Netanyahu went on to say he believes the two peoples can live side by side in peace, prosperity and dignity, if there is security. Therefore the Palestinian state must be "effectively demilitarized." The prime minister slammed the UN report which held Israel guilty of war crimes in its Gaza operation last January, accusing its authors of "equating terrorists and their victims." The world body never once condemned Hamas' eight-year rocket offensive against the Israeli population. Israel must be sure the world body rejects this biased report before embarking on peace talks with the Palestinians, he said. "We must be sure the West Bank will never be another Gaza." Israel wants peace and believes it is possible with good will and hard work, so long as "the world body fights terrorist forces and their backers and does not accommodate them."



Ahmadinejad Rails Against US and Israel at UN

(Another UN session, another flaming diatribe)

Sept. 24….(DEBKAfile Special Report) Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinjad's excessive oratory, matched by the shuffle of Western delegations led by the US leaving the UN General Assembly chamber, have been a typical feature of every new UN General Assembly session in the last three years. This time, the Iranian president preceded his speech with press interviews in which he tried to sound more reasonable while refusing to answer questions on his denial of the Holocaust and Iran's nuclear program. But then, on the podium Wednesday, Sept. 23, he declared: “American power has reached the end of the road and is paralyzed. It is no longer possible to inject thousands of billions of dollars of unreal wealth into the world economy simply by printing worthless paper,” Ahmadinejad said, hinting at the ways in which the Obama administration is trying to solve the global economic crisis. He went to say: “The engine of unbridled capitalism, with its unfair system of thought, has reached the end of the road and is unable to move,” he said, adding: “The time has come for an end to those who define democracy and freedom and set standards while they themselves are the first who violate its fundamental principles. They can no longer be the judge and executioner.” In a typical anti-Semitic diatribe, Ahmadinejad said: “Although they are a miniscule minority, they have been dominating an important portion of the financial and monetary centers as well as the political decision-making centers of some European countries and the US in a deceitful, complex and furtive manner.” Appropriating President Barack Obama's campaign slogan, “Yes, we can”, Ahmadinejad attempted to differentiate between US policy and President Obama's approach, when he said: “Most people, including the people of the United States, are waiting for real and profound changes.” The Iranian president accused the US and Israel of killing thousands of innocent people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. Referring to Israel directly, he said: “How can the crimes of the occupiers against defenseless women and children and destruction of their homes, farms, hospitals and schools be supported unconditionally by certain governments and at the same time the oppressed men and women be subjected to the heaviest economic blockade, which denies their basic needs: food, water and medicine, and leads to genocide?” Shortly before Ahmadinejad's speech US President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met on the sidelines of the UN session. Medvedev then repeated the new Russian position, which states that in principle “Russia's position is clear: Sanctions rarely lead to productive results, but in some cases sanctions are inevitable.”



PM, Abbas Draw Contrasting Conclusions

Sept. 24….(Jerusalem Post) While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu emerged from his meeting with US President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday saying that the Palestinians had dropped their preconditions for negotiations, and that the discussion now centered on the framework of the talks, Abbas himself announced that nothing less than an Israeli withdraw to the 1967 borders would enable resuming peace talks. The questions being dealt with now, Netanyahu said at a press briefing with Israeli reporters, were "how the discussions will be held, within what framework and how they will be characterized." The prime minister, who termed both his bilateral talks with Obama and the tripartite talks with Obama and Abbas as "good," said the importance of the meeting was in its very existence, and that it was an ice-breaker. "There was a general agreement by all sides, including the Palestinians, to renew the negotiations without preconditions," he said. The Palestinians, however, did not back down from their refusal to renew talks with Israel until it declared a complete settlement freeze, with Abbas insisting that Israel must halt building in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem. "In today's meetings, we confirmed our positions and commitment to the road map and its implementation. We also demanded that the Israeli side fulfill its commitments on settlements, including on natural growth," Abbas said in a statement. "As for resuming talks, this depends on a definition of the negotiating process that means basing them on recognizing the need to withdraw to the 1967 borders and ending the occupation, as was discussed with the previous Israeli government when we defined the occupied territories as the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem," he went on. "This was reiterated in the talks with President Obama and in the trilateral talks. In a moment that was deep in symbolism but offered little expectation of any immediate breakthrough, Obama showed frustration with the looming gap between the two sides as the US again tried to foster a deal. Neither Netanyahu nor Abbas spoke during a brief appearance before reporters as the meeting got under way. But after Obama's brief opening remarks, he strode over to shake each man's hand. Then the two men reluctantly shook hands as well, with dozens of cameras clicking to record the moment. Obama challenged Israel and the Palestinians to find a way to advance the peace process, and outlined a timetable of steps for the coming weeks. "Simply put, it is past time to talk about starting negotiations," Obama said. "It is time to move forward." While not declaring a relaunch of full-blown negotiations, as he had hoped, Obama said that US Middle East envoy George Mitchell would meet next week in Washington with teams sent by Netanyahu and Abbas. He said that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who took part in Tuesday's meetings, would report back to him on these talks by mid-October. He also said it remained "important for the Arab states to take concrete steps to promote peace," an indication that these steps, which the Obama administration has made a pillar of its Middle East policy, have not been forthcoming. "I am committed to pressing ahead in the weeks and months and years to come, because it is absolutely critical that we get this issue resolved," Obama said. At the press briefing on Tuesday, Lieberman said that he had made clear to the Palestinians that he expected them to withdraw their petition to the International Criminal Court in the Hague regarding alleged IDF war crimes during Operation Cast Lead. Lieberman said that the PA, which wanted Israel to deliver a pummeling blow to Hamas in Gaza, could not then turn to the ICC and accuse it of war crimes. Netanyahu would not divulge any details of the conversation on Iran, nor what he planned on saying in his speech at the UN on Thursday, although Iran is expected to be a major focus. Netanyahu said that during the negotiations, all the "core issues" would be on the table, though he was not committed to what the previous government had offered. He said that although he did not know whether Abbas "could deliver the goods," he was intent on trying.



Obama: US Does Not Recognize 'Legitimacy of Continued Israeli Settlements'

Sept. 24….(Fox News) In declaring that it is time for Middle East peace "without preconditions," President Obama used his speech to the UN General Assembly Wednesday to fire a warning at Israel that "America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements." Obama's stark declaration, which drew applause, was coupled with a call for Palestinians to end their "incitement of Israel." But it was the use of the UN forum to carry the settlement message to Israel that drew the most enthusiastic response on the floor, and incredulous reaction outside its walls. Obama just put Israel "on the chopping block," said former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton. "We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel, and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements," he said. Obama said four issues separate the two sides: security, borders, refugees and Jerusalem, but the goal is clear: a secure, Jewish state for Israel and "a viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967." He also said a new order is needed in dealing with the dispute.



Israel-PA Talks to Begin, Without Commitment to Settlement Freeze


Bristling with impatience, President Barack Obama sternly prodded Israeli and Palestinian leaders to relaunch Mideast peace negotiations Tuesday, grasping a newly personal role in their historic standoff. There was an awkward, stone-faced handshake but no other apparent progress. The president hosted the two foes at the sidelines of this week's UN General Assembly gathering. It was a high-stakes gambit into a decades-old dispute that Obama has made a presidential priority.

Sept. 23….( In what Israeli commentators said was a coup for Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told reporters following his meeting with US President Barack Obama and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that Israel and the PA would begin negotiations soon, without a commitment from Israel to a building freeze in Judea and Samaria, as the PA had demanded. "There was general agreement, including on the part of the Palestinians, that the peace process has to be resumed as soon as possible with no preconditions," Netanyahu said. "The importance of the meeting was actually its existence, in this case this common saying says a lot, because there was no contact for half a year," said Netanyahu. "This meeting brings back together people who have worked with each other for years, who have a real ability to change the face of the future." The actual tripartite meeting lasted only approximately a quarter of an hour, much shorter than the meeting Netanyahu and Obama held prior to the "summit" itself. Prior to the meeting, Obama had said that he expected negotiations to begin in the near future. "Simply put, it is past time to talk about starting negotiations," Obama said. "It is time to move forward... Permanent status negotiations must begin and begin soon." Netanyahu said he expected the negotiations to begin in mid-October, at the earliest. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman observed pointedly that although the PA representatives said they would set no preconditions for negotiations, the reality was quite different. "The other side is demanding all sorts of steps in Judea and Samaria," he observed. Israel, he added, "has been ready from day one to sit down and immediately talk with all the sides and all the neighbors, without preconditions." Abbas reiterated in a statement released to the media following the meeting that the PA confirmed its commitment to the Roadmap plan and its implementation. However, he added, "We also demanded that the Israeli side fulfill its commitments on settlements, including on natural growth. Talks could only be renewed, Abbas said, "based on our stated position," that is, the PA's insistence that Israel withdraw to the 1949 armistice line, also known as the Green Line, or the pre-1967 border. For weeks, Abbas had said that he would not attend the summit unless Israel declared a halt to all construction in Judea and Samaria. Israeli commentators said that beginning negotiations without preconditions was a "slap in the face" to Abbas. Channel One and Channel Ten television commentators focused on the details of the body language and phrases used by Obama, and how he related to Netanyahu and Abbas. Ayala Hasson of Channel One observed that Obama shook Netanyahu's hand more heartily than he did Abbas'. She said that the summit did not constitute a "victory" for Netanyahu, but that Netanyahu had at the very least ensured that his coalition would continue to survive, since the Prime Minister could claim that he had stood up to Obama and Abbas, refusing to declare a building freeze in Judea and Samaria, despite heavy pressure to do so. On Channel Two, commentator Amnon Abramovich noted the language used by Obama to describe Israel's commitments. "The Palestinians need to do more in order to advance the negotiations. The Israelis have taken some steps, but they need to act to restrain activities in the settlements," Obama said. Abramovich noted the use of the term "restrain," as oppose to "halting," which the US has previously used, and said that it was as if the US had set itself as a traffic cop. "Instead of closing the road completely, they are asking Israel to drive slower,"



Obama, Netanyahu, Abbas Summit Left the Peace Process Deadlocked

Sept. 23….DEBKA) Although US president Barack Obama managed to corral Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas in one room at the Waldorf Astoria New York Tuesday, Sept. 22, it was a cold, formal occasion, which in no way hauled the Middle East peace process out of its deep stalemate. Obama went through the motions of inviting the two sides to send teams to Washington next week and asked secretary of state Hillary Clinton to report to him in mid-October on any progress made by envoy George Mitchell in getting negotiations started. But the US president's six months' effort to restart the talks has never taken off for four main reasons:

1. He started out with a broad personal commitment to Middle East peace with much fanfare. His demand for a total construction freeze on Israeli settlement construction quickly proved he had bit off more than he could chew. The only new element in his introduction to the New York summit was his use of the term restraint in this regard instead of freeze.

2. He did manage to persuade Israel to substantially ease up on restrictions for Palestinian movements on the West Bank, including the removal of dozens of roadblocks and cooperation between their security agencies. But he failed to persuade any important Arab government to offer concessions in relations with Israel. They all followed Saudi Arabia's adamant rejection.

3. He raised high Palestinian hopes of extracting major Israeli concessions from Israel, on the strength of which Mahmoud Abbas climbed on his high horse and refused to meet Netanyahu until they were delivered. But those concessions did not materialize and Abbas cannot climb down without losing face, which means he is struck with his refusal.

4. The Obama administration has not given up on its bid for a thaw in relations with Syria but as long as it is icebound the Assad regime is making sure that the extremist Hamas rulers of Gaza will hold back from a deal with the Fatah's West Bank administration for a unity government and a united Palestinian delegation to peace talks with Israel.

Obama's White House has now seen the writing on the wall and, according to DEBKAfile's Washington sources, decided to shelve for the time being his grand plan to finally usher in a US-sponsored Middle East peace. Israel and the Palestinians will no doubt politely respond to the president's invitation to send delegations to Washington next week, but just as certainly they will part as divided as ever. The Israeli prime minister held up the decision to meet without prior conditions as a major diplomatic achievement. But Abbas stands by his ultimatum for negotiations to start from the points agreed between him and former prime minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, except that Olmert denies any such points were recorded. Netanyahu, who was accompanied at the three-way meeting by defense minister Ehud Barak and foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman, addresses the General Assembly Thursday. The Iranian theme is expected to dominate his speech. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad set out for New York Tuesday after again threatening the world and Israel not to dare attack his country. The Iranian issue will continue to be aired two days later at the G20 summit taking place in Pittsburgh on Sept. 25, followed by a Six-Power conference to line up tactics for the talks with Iran which open in Istanbul on Oct. 1.



Is Time Running Out?

Sept. 23….(Jan Markell) How can a world filled with secular humanists, atheists, and just plain God-haters be pondering the end of the world? They are embracing what is found in the mystical Mayan calendar that has the world ending on December 21, 2012. And has the media taken notice! The History Channel, Fox News, US News & World Report, ABC News, USA Today, and more are talking or writing about it. Books on the topic are flying off the shelves. Hundreds of Web sites discuss the issue. The world of skeptics is captivated! Dr. Mark Hitchcock has come out with an excellent overview of the story in his new book 2012 and the End of the World. December 21, 2012 marks the end of the 5000-year cycle Mayan calendar. The ancient Aztec calendar corroborates the Mayan end date and points to the same date as the end of the world. The sudden vanishing of these two civilizations remains a mystery. The most accepted theory today is some kind of environmental collapse and resulting famine. One thing is certain: They were sky-watching timekeepers. The Mayans were obsessed with astronomy, and they built entire cities that were in alignment with astronomical events. There is speculation as to how they attained such an advanced level of knowledge and understanding, although none of it lines up with the Bible. The unbelieving world doesn't know this and is thus connecting the dots improperly as they buy into the 2012 madness. Throw in Nostradamus and the Bible Codes and you have a recipe for the supernatural that the world seems to crave today. Hollywood is about to join in on this with the movie simply called 2012. It may not be for everyone with its images of death, destruction, scorched earth, and all-out carnage of biblical proportions. The final scene of the trailer shows a stunning image of the USS John F. Kennedy caught in a tsunami washing over Washington, DC, and the White House. Setting apocalyptic dates is nothing new. In the past such people were mocked and rightfully called false teachers. So what's different over something that may be a silly Mayan Y2K? The reaction to this may make that Y2K panic pale in comparison. Clearly some people are asking questions about the end of the age like never before. As Hitchcock says in his book, "The rapidly increasing tempo of life, combined with today's natural disasters, wars and rumors of wars, terrorism, and mounting financial uncertainty has given the entire world a sense of impending crisis." The Bible doesn't suggest any such date but the pop culture of today is captivated with it! Christians should be seizing the opportunity to share the gospel with many who are now giving some credibility to terms like Armageddon, apocalypse, and the end of the world. Author Mark Hitchcock presents the Christian perspective as to the end of the age. We know some things for sure:

We are living in the last days;

God's timetable is not our timetable;

Christ's coming is closer than it has ever been;

The timing is in God's hands. None of us knows how much time we have left.

We cannot know when Jesus will come and we must stay away from setting dates. Date-setters are upsetters, and they are batting zero as to accuracy. They promote unnecessary worry and even panic. Jesus said no one knows when the end is coming (Acts 1:7). But that doesn't mean that Christians cannot seize the moment here and talk about these issues to some who have swallowed the lie that 2012 is it and the Mayans had the inside secret. Don't gamble with your eternal destiny. Time may very well be running out. There really is a new world coming. We may be on the threshold. Even though the 2012 phenomenon is not setting a day or an hour, it is still unwise to even suggest years. Previous date-setters have made fools out of themselves. Only God the Father knows and He's told no one!



Obama Promised Jewish Homes to Palestinians?

(Official says American president 'fed up' with Israel)

Sept. 21….(WND) President Obama is "fed up" with Israel while his administration has given the Palestinians guarantees they will eventually take over Jewish homes and buildings throughout most of the West Bank, a top Palestinian Authority official claimed to WND. "We heard from the US that no matter what Israel is building in the West Bank, it will not affect a final status agreement to create a Palestinian state," said the PA official, who spoke on condition his name be withheld. "The Americans told us (Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu might construct in the West Bank for now but we (Palestinians) can enjoy these houses later. The evacuated homes will not be destroyed like some were when Israel pulled out of Gaza," the official said. The official said Obama has adopted the position of PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who presented a plan to create a Palestinian state within two years based largely on the 1967 borders, meaning Israel would retreat from the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem. The official said the US would back Israel retaining what are known as main settlement blocs, a reference to certain large Jewish West Bank communities such as Gush Etzion. The official, however, said the US does not support Israel retaining the E1 area in Jerusalem, referring to Maale Adumim, a Jewish community in eastern Jerusalem. The issue of Jewish construction is contentious. Obama has demanded Israel halt all settlement activity, or Jewish building projects in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. Obama's Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, is in the region attempting to negotiate a settlement freeze. Talks between Netanyahu and Mitchell, which continued today, failed to reach an agreement. A deal could allow for a tripartite meeting between Obama, Netanyahu, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly next week.



Medvedev: Israel Pledged Not to Strike Iran

(In CNN interview, Russian president says Israeli counterpart Peres told him Jewish state has no plans to launch attacks on Islamic Republic's nuclear facilities)

imageSept. 21….( ) Israel, via Shimon Peres told Russia it would not launch an attack on Iran, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said in a CNN interview released on Sunday, in which he described such an attack as "the worst thing that can be imagined." Medvedev said Peres made the pledge at a meeting in August. After the meeting Peres said Medvedev had promised to reconsider the sale to Iran of S-300 anti-aircraft systems that would complicate an Israeli attack. Israel has hinted it could forcibly deny Iran the means to make an atomic bomb if Tehran continues to refuse to suspend uranium enrichment it claims is for peaceful purposes. "When he visited me in Sochi, Israeli President Peres said something important for us all: 'Israel does not plan to launch any strikes on Iran, we are a peaceful country and we will not do this'," Medvedev said in the interview, which was recorded on Tuesday, according to a Kremlin transcript. An attack would lead to "a humanitarian disaster, a vast number of refugees, Iran's wish to take revenge and not only upon Israel, to be honest, but upon other countries as well. "But my Israeli colleagues told me that they were not planning to act in this way and I trust them," he said. It was not clear whether those referred to included Benjamin Netanyahu. But Medvedev gave the first confirmation from the Russian side that a meeting with the Israeli prime minister had taken place. Netanyahu vanished from public view in Israel for most of the day on Sept. 7. His office said he had visited a secret security facility, but there was widespread speculation that he had gone to Russia, either to pressure Moscow not to deliver S-300 air-defense missiles to Iran or to inform the Kremlin of attack plans. Asked about the possible delivery of S-300s, Medvedev said Russia had the right to sell defensive weapons to Iran. He said sanctions are often ineffective and no action should be taken against Iran, except as a last resort.

FOJ Note: Unless Medvedev's assertion is denied by Jerusalem, the Israel government has abandoned its military option to pre-empt a nuclear-armed Iran, but neglected to inform the Israeli public of this radical change of policy. For nine months, Prime Minister Netanyahu has insisted that halting Iran's attainment of a nuclear weapon, even by military means, was his highest mission as prime minister.



Obama to Hold Tripartite Meeting at UN

Sept. 21….(JPOST) US President Barack Obama will host a meeting Tuesday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in an effort to lay the groundwork for renewed peace negotiations, the White House announced Saturday night. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the three-way meeting would take place after Obama meets separately with each of the two leaders. "These meetings will continue the efforts of President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Special Envoy George Mitchell to lay the groundwork for the relaunch of negotiations, and to create a positive context for those negotiations so that they can succeed," the statement said. However, the Prime Minister's Office said Sunday that the meeting will not serve as a preparation for negotiations and not constitute renewal of negotiations where they were left off, but rather be a preliminary meeting to lay the groundwork for further meetings. Netanyahu, the statement continued, never set any preconditions for meeting the Palestinian leadership and was ready to travel anywhere in the world and meet any leader so long as the meeting would advance peace. The announcement of the meeting came as something of a surprise, as earlier this week Mitchell failed to make progress in talks with the two leaders. Hours before Saturday night's announcement, Israel and the PA continued to squabble over which side was to blame for the current stall in peace talks.







Nasrallah: We'll Never Recognize Israel

Sept. 19….(Jerusalem Post) The leader of Lebanon's Hizbullah vowed on Friday that his Shiite terror group will never recognize Israel and that no Arab state has the right to do so either. Hassan Nasrallah spoke in a televised address to ceremonies marking Quds Day, an annual occasion created by Hizbullah's ally Iran to show support for the Palestinians. Quds is Arabic for Jerusalem. "No one has the right to recognize this entity (Israel) or approve its legitimacy," the black-turbaned Nasrallah said in a speech broadcast through a giant screen from a secret location to thousands of supporters who gathered in the group's stronghold south of Beirut. Nasrallah has been hiding since the Second Lebanon War almost continuously, for fear Israel might liquidate him if he shows up in public. Nasrallah's comments came hours after President Barack Obama's special Mideast envoy was unable to bridge wide gaps between Israelis and Palestinians on the terms of renewing peace talks. Mitchell had urged the Arab world to take steps toward normalizing relations with Israel as he pressed Israel to halt construction of settlements in the West Bank. The Hizbullah leader called Israel an "illegitimate cancerous entity" that should be "eliminated." He added that "we will not recognize, deal or normalize with Israel even if the whole world recognize it." Nasrallah repeated his warning to Israel not to launch a war against his group saying the Israeli military will be "crushed" by his guerrillas. Israel and Hizbullah fought a war in the summer of 2006 that devastated much of south Lebanon. Since then, Hizbullah has refrained from firing rockets into northern Israel. In neighboring Syria, some 5,000 people marked "Jerusalem Day" at the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk in the capital Damascus. The head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command Ahmed Jibril told the gathering that the participation in the rally is a call "for liberating Jerusalem."



IAEA Demands Israel to Allow Nuclear Inspection

(International Atomic Energy Agency says Jerusalem must join Non-Proliferation Treaty, allow it to monitor its facilities.)

Sept. 19….(WND) The UN nuclear assembly voted on Friday to urge Israel to accede to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and place all atomic sites under UN inspections, in a surprise victory for Arab states. The resolution, passed narrowly for the first time in nearly two decades, expresses concern about "Israeli nuclear capabilities" and calls on International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei to work on the issue. The Middle East resolution, sponsored by Arab states, was backed by 49 votes to 45 against in a floor vote at the IAEA's annual member states conference. The vote split along Western and developing nation lines. There were 16 abstentions. Iranian Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh told reporters the passage of the resolution was "very good news and a triumph for the oppressed nation of Palestine". Russia and China backed the resolution. Israel is one of only three countries worldwide along with India and Pakistan outside the nuclear NPT and is widely assumed to have the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal, though it has never confirmed or denied it. "The delegation of Israel deplores this resolution," David Danieli, deputy director of Israel's atomic energy commission, told the chamber after the vote. "Israel will not cooperate in any matter with this resolution which is only aiming at reinforcing political hostilities and lines of division in the Middle East region." The measure was last voted on in 1991 when it passed by 39-31 with 13 abstentions when IAEA membership was much smaller. Since then there has only been presidential summaries of debate on this item or motions for adjournment or no action that carried the floor. Diplomats pointed to the increased number of abstentions, from countries ranging from India to Argentina and Nigeria as an important factor in the resolution's adoption.



UN Criticizes Israel's Atomic Program (Not Iran’s)

Sept. 19….(JPOST) Overriding Western objections, a 150-nation nuclear conference on Friday passed a resolution directly criticizing Israel and its atomic program for the first time in 18 years. Iran hailed the vote as a "glorious moment." The result was a setback not only for Israel but also for the United States and other backers of the Jewish State, which had lobbied for 18 years of past practice - debate on the issue without a vote. It also reflected building tensions between Israel and its backers and Islamic nations, backed by developing countries. Of delegations present at the International Atomic Energy Agency meeting Friday, 49 voted for the resolution. Forty-five were against and 16 abstained from endorsing or rejecting the document, which "expresses concern about the Israeli nuclear capabilities," and links it to "concern about the threat posed by the proliferation of nuclear weapons for the security and stability of the Middle East." In an attempt to sway the assembly before the vote, US chief delegate Glyn Davies spoke out against an "attempt to use this resolution to criticize a single country." "Such an approach is highly politicized and does not truly address the complexities at play regarding crucial nuclear-related issues in the Middle East," he said. While the conference has no enforcing powers, the result once again exposed the deep North-South divide gripping IAEA meetings. The US and its allies consider Iran the region's greatest proliferation threat, fearing that Teheran is trying to achieve the capacity to make nuclear weapons despite its assertion that it is only building a civilian program to generate power. They also say Syria - which, like Iran is under IAEA investigation - ran a clandestine nuclear program, at least until IAF warplanes destroyed what was described as a nearly finished plutonium-producing reactor two years ago. But Islamic nations insist that Israel is the true danger in the Middle East, saying they fear its nuclear weapons capacity. Israel has never said it has such arms, but is universally believed to possess them. The Muslim countries enjoy support from the developing world, which is critical of the US and other nuclear weapons nations for refusing to disarm, and suspects that developed nations are trying to corner the market on peaceful nuclear technology to their disadvantage. Israeli delegate David Danieli denounced the vote as "openly hostile to the state of Israel" and accused Iran and Syria of "creating a diplomatic smoke screen" to cover up their "pursuit of nuclear weapons." But chief Iranian delegate Ali Asghar Soltanieh said the vote should serve as a warning to Washington and other supporters of the Jewish state. "The US Administration has received a message that they should not continue supporting Israel at any price," he told reporters. Since the conference passed a harshly worded anti-Israel resolution in 1991, there has been annual Islamic criticism of Israel's nuclear program and its refusal to join the Nonproliferation Treaty. But, until Friday, the West had lobbied successfully against a vote, arguing they could damage hopes of a Middle East peace through negotiations. Western diplomats had expressed hope on Thursday that a vote could again be avoided after the meeting adopted a resolution calling for a Mideast free of nuclear weapons in a near-consensus vote. One hundred delegations voted for, with only Israel against and 14 abstentions.



Obama to Scrap US Missile Defense Shield Project in East Europe

Sept. 17….(DEBKAfile Special Report) The Obama administration's decision to shelve the plan to install US missile interceptors and radar systems in Poland and the Czech Republic is to be announced at a news conference later Thursday, Sept. 17 by defense secretary Robert Gates. In the face of strong Russian objections, the shield was promoted by the Bush administration to shield Europe from long-range Iranian ballistic missile attack. Barack Obama's decision prompted Russian president Dmitry Medvedev's surprise comment Monday, Sept. 14, that his government no longer rules out further sanctions against Iran, although the Kremlin has always denied its cooperation with the US on the Iranian nuclear issue was contingent on the removal of the US missile shield plan. DEBKA-Net-Weekly in its coming issue will reveal how the shared US-Russian wish to avert an Israeli military strike against Iran produced Obama's decision to ditch the missile shield in East Europe. Our Washington sources report that the decision follows a 60-day assessment of the issue ordered by Obama. "The US will base its decision on a determination that Iran's long-range missile program has not progressed as rapidly as previously estimated, reducing the threat to the continental US and major European capitals," said unnamed current and former US officials. On Aug. 29, DEBKAfile reported exclusively from East European sources that Washington was considering the transfer of its missile plan from Poland and the Czech Republic possibly to Israel and Turkey. This decision is an important foreign policy step for Obama; it is a prize for Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, who fought the US shield plan on Russia's doorstep tooth and nail, and a major strategic reversal for Iran. Moscow's cooperation would remove a key obstacle on the road to harsh sanctions against Iran. Acting in concert with Moscow, Washington could dispense with Beijing's endorsement. Nonetheless, DEBKAfile's Moscow sources stress, it is not entirely clear how far the Kremlin is willing to go in partnering the US drive against Iran. Russian leaders will take good care not to appear to the Muslim and Arab world as Iran's enemy or a trading and diplomatic partner who reneges on its commitments.

   Scrapping the US missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic does little more than empower Russia and Iran at the expense of our allies in Europe,” US House Minority Leader John Boehner said in a statement. “It shows a willful determination to continue ignoring the threat posed by some of the most dangerous regimes in the world, while taking one of most important defenses against Iran off the table,” Boehner said.



Israel: UN War Crimes Probe Gives Legitimacy to Hamas Terror

(Palestinians fired missiles into Israel for eight years before Israel struck Gaza)

imageSept. 16….(DEBKA) A UN investigation led by former South African judge Richard Goldstone accused Israel of "war crimes and possible crimes against humanity" in its 33-day Gaza Strip campaign against Hamas which ended late January. Although the panel found evidence that Palestinian armed groups, by firing rockets and mortars into Israel civilian areas, had also "committed war crimes, as well as possibly crimes against humanity," the bulk of the 575-page report released Tuesday, Sept 15, pointed the finger at Israel. The foreign ministry spokesman in Jerusalem called the report "unbalanced, shameful and dangerous" in its even-handed treatment of Israel and Hamas. "The Goldstone report has written a shameful new chapter in international law by questioning the right of this nation to self-defense." Jerusalem refused to cooperate with the investigation or accept its authority, maintaining its mandate was loaded a priori against the Jewish state by the UN Human Rights Council, which routinely singles Israel out for castigation while turning a blind eye on Palestinian violations. In this case, the panel disregarded the deliberate Hamas strategy of using Palestinian civilians as cover for launching terrorist attacks, said the foreign ministry in Jerusalem. By prejudging Israel guilty of war crimes before the panel began its work, "the world body has declared diplomatic war on Israel and more dangerously given a terrorist organization legitimacy," the foreign ministry official said. Israeli diplomats have been instructed to challenge the Goldstone report on those grounds and urge UN Security Council members to reject it. Israel's envoy to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, said: "We knew the report would be biased and one-sided, but did not imagine it would be so harsh." Israel Defense Forces investigated more than 100 complaints of misconduct during Operation Cast Lead in which Hamas reported 1,300 killed, most of them civilians, figures which Israel challenges. In a preliminary investigation immediately after the war, the Israeli army cleared itself of systematic wrongdoing and found that any rights violations were isolated incidents. This was followed by separate probes of individual soldiers. Goldstone, a former chief UN war crimes prosecutor who headed the four-person inquiry team, said he would pass its findings to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.



Bin Laden Issues New Warning US Against Ties With Israel

Sept. 15….(Ha Aretz) Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden warned the American people over their government's close ties with Israel in an apparently new audio tape posted on an Islamist Web site on Monday. "The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby," Bin Laden's latest tape said. "The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine." The message, entitled "A statement to the American people", was around 11 minutes long and was posted a few days after the eighth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Reuters was not immediately able to verify its authenticity but the Web site often is used by supporters of al-Qaida. In the tape, the Al-Qaida leader said there had been no real change in American policy because US President Barack Obama had retained people like US Defense Secretary Robert Gates from the administration of former President George W. Bush. "If you think about your situation well, you will know that the White House is occupied by pressure groups," Bin Laden said. "Rather than fighting to liberate Iraq, as Bush claimed, it (the White House) should have been liberated." The Web site had said earlier this month it would soon carry a "present" to Muslims from bin Laden on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan. The leader of the group that mounted the September 11 attacks in the United States is thought to be in hiding in the mountainous terrain along the Afghan-Pakistani border. The attacks carried out by al-Qaida operatives in 2001 killed nearly 3,000 people. The tape made reference to Obama's speech in Cairo in June, suggesting the message was recorded afterwards. The speaker also appeared to refer to criticisms former US President Jimmy Carter made in June of Israel's Gaza invasion earlier this year. Bin Laden's last apparent message was issued just before Obama's speech, where the president talked of a "new beginning" between the United States and the Muslim world. In the new message, bin Laden also referred to US military actions in Afghanistan to support the Afghan government against the Taliban, allies of al-Qaida, and support for Pakistan, which faces militant violence. "If you stop the war, then fine. Otherwise we will have no choice but to continue our war of attrition on every front. If you choose safety and stopping wars, as opinion polls show you do, then we are ready to respond to this." "You have only changed the faces in the White House," he said, referring to Obama who took office this year. "Obama is a weakened man. He will not be able to stop the war."



Bin Laden Turns his Sights on Israel

Sept. 15….(Israel Today) Osama bin Laden on Monday said that the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States had been a response to traditional close ties to Israel, and indicated that Americans would face further atrocities if they did not abandon support for the Jewish state. Bin Laden's warning came in the form of an audio recording titled "A statement to the American people" and posted on an Islamist website. "The time has come for you to liberate yourselves from fear and the ideological terrorism of neo-conservatives and the Israeli lobby," said the elusive Al Qaeda leader. "The reason for our dispute with you is your support for your ally Israel, occupying our land in Palestine." Bin Laden suggested that renewed Muslim patience with the US following the election of President Barack Obama was wearing thin, and that he and other Islamists had concluded it didn't matter who was president since certain pressure groups controlled the White House. Experts were unable to conclusively verify the recording, but are reasonably certain it is bin Laden speaking and that the recording is relatively recent. In related news, a group claiming to be linked to Al Qaeda took responsibility on Monday for last week's rocket attack from southern Lebanon on northern Israel. In a statement posted to the group's website, the attackers informed the rest of Al Qaeda that they had launched the strike in line with bin Laden's vision for the region, and as a response to what they called Israel's blockade of Gaza and prevention of some Musliims from praying atop Jerusalem's Temple Mount.



Jewish Temple Road Ascent Discovered in Jerusalem

Sept. 15….(In The Days) The Israel Antiquities Authority researchers said on Sunday that a stretch of road in Jerusalem dating to the Second Temple and thought to be used by pilgrims on their ascent to the temple had been cleared over the past few months. The reclaimed section had been known to researchers for over 100 years, as it was discovered by British examiners at the end of the 19thcentury. The paved road leading up from the Pool of Siloam, toward the Temple Mount, has since been covered up and only now cleared by the IAA. Professor Roni Reich, who headed the excavation, said the exposed spot was “where Second Temple pilgrims began their ascent by foot. This is the southern tip of the street, a section of which is exposed along the western side of the Temple Mount.” The excavation was run by the IAA in cooperation with Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority and financed by the Elad foundation, which operates the nearby City of David site.



US Worried About Venezuelan Arms Buildup

Sept. 15….(AP) A US official said Monday that Venezuelan arms acquisitions could spark an arms race in Latin America and he also expressed misgivings about the country's possible nuclear ambitions. State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said US officials were worried about Venezuela's arms buildup, "which we think poses a serious challenge to stability in the Western Hemisphere." Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Sunday that Russia has opened a $2.2 billion line of credit with which his country could buy weapons. He said Venezuela needed more arms because it felt threatened by Colombia's decision to give US troops greater access to its military bases. Kelly urged Venezuela to be "very clear about the purposes of these purchases." Responding to a reporter's question about whether the United States would be worried about nuclear transfers between Iran and Venezuela, Kelly said: "The short answer is, to that, yes, we do have concerns." Chavez has expressed interest in starting a nuclear energy program. Chavez is a close ally of Iran and defends its nuclear program as being for peaceful purposes, while the United States and other countries accuse Tehran of having a secret nuclear weapons program. It remains unclear whether Iran could transfer nuclear technology to Venezuela in the future. Russia, for its part, has agreed to help Venezuela establish a nuclear energy program. Kelly noted that Venezuela is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which would restrict any nuclear program to nonmilitary purposes.



Obama Inspires Islamists' DC Prayer Rally For Sept. 25

(President Obama neglected to attend the Christian national day of prayer)

(Shariah law experts to proclaim 'Our Day has Come' in Washington)

Sept. 15….(WND) Muslims who are working to stage the “Our Day has come Muslim day of Prayer” at the US Capitol have discussed views that include an Islamic takeover of the White House, from where they say President Barack Obama is providing their inspiration. Encouraged by Obama Muslims have proclaimed in a magazine that "It's our time," and event planners are calling for 50,000 Muslims to attend the 4 a.m. event on the National Mall on Sept. 25. The organizer is Hassen Abdellah, who leads a Elizabeth, NJ, mosque, and two special guests for the event, according to the website, will be Sheik Muhammad Jebril and Sheik Ahmed Dewidar. According to the website, Jebril's degree is in Islamic Law and he learned the Quran by the age of 9. Likewise, the prayer day website reported Dewidar studied law at the University of Alexandria and took a master's degree in Shariah. He moved to the United States to lead a Muslim community in New Jersey and later established the Islamic Center in Manhattan. Atlas Shrugs reported Dewidar's comments about Islam and the White House were captured by the Middle East Media Research Insitute In the interview, Dewidar talked about sermons he'd heard that "Muslims should march on the White House." The interviewer asked for an explanation. "One cleric said in his sermon: 'We are going to the White House, so that Islam will be victorious, Allah willing, and the White House will become into the Muslim house,'" he said, according to the MEMRI report. "They say that through the domination of Islam and its ideas, the White House will change," the report quotes Dewidar saying. Organizers themselves have credited Obama's advocacy for Islam for their inspiration. "The organizers say that it was Obama's inauguration speech in January and his speech broadcast from Egypt in June that gave them the idea for this prayer gathering on Capitol Hill," wrote Geller While he praised Islam during his inauguration, Obama elaborated during his speech in Egypt months later. He carried a greeting from "Muslim communities" in America, complained how Muslims had been "denied rights and opportunities," and stated, "I also know civilization's debt to Islam. It was Islam at places like Al-Azhar that carried the light of learning through so many centuries, paving the way for Europe's renaissance and enlightenment." Besides crediting Islam with significant responsibility for the development of civilization in Europe, Obama also said Muslims have served similarly in America. "And since our founding, American Muslims have enriched the United States," Obama said. "They have fought in our wars. They have served in our government. They have stood for civil rights. They have started businesses. They have taught at our universities. They've excelled in our sports arenas. They've won Nobel Prizes, built our tallest building and lit the Olympic torch. And when the first Muslim American was recently elected to Congress, he took the oath to defend our Constitution using the same holy Quran that one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, kept in his personal library." (FOJ Note: Thomas Jefferson only kept a copy of the Koran in his library because he used it to study the reasons why Muslim Barbary Coast pirates attacked American cargo ships) The prayer day website says, "The Athan will be chanted on Capitol Hill, echoing off of the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and other great edifices that surround Capitol Hill.

"Our Time Has Come."



UN Calls for Replacement of US Dollar

(Joins Russia, China and G20 with demands IMF step forward)

Sept. 15….(WND) World organizations, including the United Nations, are openly calling for the creation of a one-world currency to replace the dollar, and the Obama administration's trillion-dollar deficits are serving as a trigger for the currency switch. If the plan succeeds, the United Nations would effectively end up replacing the United States as the issuer of the one-world international currency used as the standard of foreign exchange to settle international trade transactions," Corsi wrote. "The move would obviate the need for any nation state in the future to be the arbiter of world trade, marking yet another blow to national sovereignty on the path to one-world government." The report, released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or UNCTAD, endorsed a proposal that Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, issued by the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, "could be used to settle international payments." Jerome Corsi reported that Russia and China championed the idea to use the IMF's Special Drawing Rights as a new international currency as a proposal that was adopted by the G-20 meeting held in London last April. Corsi noted, "That G20 summit meeting took an important step toward creating a new one-world currency through the International Monetary Fund that is designed to replace the dollar as the world's foreign exchange reserve currency of choice." Point number 19 of the G20 Summit in London on April 2 stated, "We have agreed to support a general SDR which will inject $250 billion into the world economy and increase global liquidity," taking the first steps forward to implement China's proposal that Special Drawing Rights at the International Monetary Fund should be created as a foreign-exchange currency to replace the dollar. The IMF created SDRs in 1969 to support the Bretton Woods fixed exchange-rate system. "The international supply of two key reserve assets, gold and the US dollar, proved inadequate for supporting the expansion of world trade and financial development that was taking place. Therefore, the international community decided to create a new international reserve asset under the auspices of the IMF." When the Bretton Woods fixed-rate system collapsed, major world currencies, including the dollar, shifted to a floating exchange-rate system where the price of the dollar and other major world currencies was created by trading on international currency exchanges. Until the current global economic crisis, SDRs issued by the IMF have been used by IMF member nation states primarily as a reserve account to support international trade transactions, not as an alternative international currency available to settle international debt transactions in danger of default. "The discussion of using SDRs at the IMF as an international reserve payment system is further evidence that the momentum to create a one-world currency is gaining among not only among academic economists, but also among and professional economists holding prominent government positions," Corsi wrote. Corsi previously reported that strong support for the idea of a one-world currency has recently come from Canadian economist Robert Mundell, who won a Nobel-prize in 1999, for his work formulating the intellectual basis for creating the Euro.



Saudi Arabia Steps up Boycott of Israel

Sept. 15….(JPOST) Despite efforts by Washington in recent years to bring about a normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world, Saudi Arabia has been steadily intensifying its enforcement of the Arab League boycott of Israel, The Jerusalem Post has learned. A review of US Commerce Department data conducted by the Post found that the number of boycott-related and restrictive trade-practice requests received by American companies from Saudi Arabia has increased in each of the past two years, rising from 42 in 2006 to 65 in 2007 to 74 in 2008, signifying a jump of more than 76 percent. The bulk of these requests were related to the companies' or products' relationship to Israel. Typically, Saudi officials ask foreign suppliers to affirm that any goods exported to the desert kingdom are not manufactured in Israel and do not contain any Israeli-made components. US law bars American companies from complying with such demands, and requires them to report any boycott-related requests to the federal government. The Commerce Department figures reflect only those requests that have been officially reported to the US government. Figures for 2009 were not yet available. Contacted by the Post, a US Treasury Department official confirmed that there was ample evidence that the Saudis continued to enforce the boycott. Two months ago, the Treasury Department published a list of eight Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, that it says continue to boycott Israel. The list appeared in the Federal Register, the official journal of the US government. Washington has been attempting to get Riyadh to improve relations with the Jewish state, without success. On July 31, after talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal rejected Washington's efforts, telling reporters, "Incrementalism and a step-by-step approach has not and, we believe, will not lead to peace." Saudi Arabia's ongoing enforcement of the boycott also appears to violate repeated promises that it gave to Washington in recent years to drop the trade embargo. In November 2005, the desert kingdom pledged to abandon the boycott after Washington conditioned Saudi Arabia's entry into the World Trade Organization on such a move. A month later, on December 11, Saudi Arabia was granted WTO membership. The WTO, which aims to promote free trade, prohibits members from engaging in discriminatory practices such as boycotts or embargoes. The Saudi boycott of Israeli-made goods is part of the decades-old Arab League effort to isolate and weaken the Jewish state. The Arab League established an Office for the Boycott of Israel in Damascus in 1951, aimed at overseeing implementation of the economic and trade embargo.



A New World Order is Emerging After Last Years Banking Crisis

Sept. 14….(In The Days) One year after the near collapse of the global financial system, this much is clear: The financial world as we knew it is over, and something new is rising from its ashes. Historians will look to September 2008 as a watershed for the US economy. On Sept. 7, the government seized mortgage titans Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Eight days later, investment bank Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, sparking a global financial panic that threatened to topple blue-chip financial institutions around the world. In the several months that followed, governments from Washington to Beijing responded with unprecedented intervention into financial markets and across their economies, seeking to stop the wreckage and stem the damage. One year later, the easy-money system that financed the boom era from the 1980s until a year ago is smashed. Once-ravenous US consumers are saving money and paying down debt. Banks are building reserves and hoarding cash. And governments are fashioning a new global financial order. Congress and the Obama administration have lost faith in self-regulated markets. Together, they’re writing the most sweeping new regulations over finance since the Great Depression. And in this ever-more-connected global economy, Washington is working with its partners through the G-20 group of nations to develop worldwide rules to govern finance. “Our objective is to design an economic framework where we’re going to have a more balanced pattern of growth globally, less reliant on a buildup of unsustainable borrowing, and not just here, but around the world,” said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. The first faint signs that the US economy may be clawing its way back from the worst recession since the Great Depression are only now starting to appear, a year after the panic began. Similar indications are sprouting in Europe, China and Japan. Still, economists concur that a quarter-century of economic growth fueled by cheap credit is over. Many analysts also think that an extended period of slow job growth and suppressed wage growth will keep consumers, and the businesses that sell to them, in the dumps for years. “Those things are likely to be subpar for a long period of time,” said Martin Regalia, the chief economist for the US Chamber of Commerce. “I think it means that we probably see potential rates of growth that are in the 2-2.5 (percent) range, or maybe 1.8-1.9 (percent).” A growth rate of 3 percent to 3.5 percent is considered average. The unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August and is expected to peak above 10 percent in the months ahead. It’s already there in at least 15 states. Regalia thinks that it could be five years before the US economy generates enough jobs to overcome those lost and to employ the new workers entering the labor force. All this is likely to keep consumers on the sidelines. “I think this financial panic and Great Recession is an inflection point for the financial system and the economy,” said Mark Zandi, the chief economist for forecaster Moody’s “It means much less risk-taking, at least for a number of years to come, a decade or two. That will be evident in less credit and more costly credit. If you are a household or a business, it will cost you more, and it will be more difficult to get that credit.” The numbers bear him out. The Fed’s most recent release of credit data showed that consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 5.2 percent from April to June, after falling by a 3.6 percent annual rate from January to March. Revolving lines of credit, which include credit cards, fell by an annualized 8.9 percent in the first quarter, followed by an 8.2 percent drop in the second quarter. That’s a sea change. For much of the past two decades, strong US growth has come largely through expanding credit. The global economy fed off this trend. China became a manufacturing hub by selling attractively priced exports to US consumers who were living beyond their means. China’s Asian neighbors sent it components for final assembly; Africa and Latin America sold China their raw materials. All fed off US consumers’ bottomless appetite for more, bought on credit. “That’s over. Consumers can do their part, spend at a rate consistent with their income growth, but not much beyond that,” Zandi said. If US consumers no longer drive the global economy, then consumers in big emerging economies such as China and Brazil will have to take up some of the slack. Trade among nations will take on greater importance. In the emerging “new normal,” US companies will have to be more competitive. They must sell into big developing markets; yet as the recent Cash for Clunkers effort underscored, the competitive hurdles are high: Foreign-owned automakers, led by Toyota, reaped the most benefit from the US tax breaks for new car purchases, not GM and Chrysler. Need a loan? Tough luck: Many US banks are in no condition to lend. Around 416 banks are now on a “problem list” and at risk of insolvency. Regulators already have shuttered 81 banks and thrifts this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported on Aug. 27 that rising loan losses are depleting bank capital. The ratio of bank reserves to bad loans was 63.5 percent from April to June, the lowest it’s been since the savings-and-loan crisis in 1991. For all that, the US economy does seem to be rising off its sickbed. The latest manufacturing data for August point to a return to growth, and home sales are rising. Indeed, there are many encouraging signs emerging in the global economy. It’s all growth from a low starting point, however, and many economists think that there’ll be a lower baseline for US and global growth if the new financial order means less risk-taking by lenders and less indebtedness by companies and consumers. That seems evident now in the US personal savings rate. It fell steadily from 9.59 percent in the 1970s to 2.68 percent in the easy-money era from 2000 to 2008; from 2005 to 2007, it averaged 1.83 percent. Today, that trend is in reverse. From April to June, Americans’ personal savings rate was 5 percent, and it could go higher if the unemployment rate keeps rising. Almost 15 million Americans are unemployed, and countless others are underemployed or uncertain about their job security, so they’re spending less and saving more. A few years ago, banks fell all over themselves to offer cheap home equity loans and lines of consumer credit. No more Even billions in government bailout dollars to spur lending haven’t changed that. “The strategy that was stated at the beginning of the year, which is that you would sustain the banking system in order that it would resume lending, hasn’t worked, and it isn’t going to work,” said James K. Galbraith, an economist at the University of Texas at Austin. Over the course of 2008, the nation’s five largest banks reduced their consumer loans by 79 percent, real estate loans by 66 percent and commercial loans by 19 percent, according to FDIC data. A wide range of credit measures, including recent FDIC data, show that lending remains depressed. Why? The foundation of U.S. credit expansion for the past 20 years is in ruin. Since the 1980s, banks haven’t kept loans on their balance sheets; instead, they sold them into a secondary market, where they were pooled for sale to investors as securities. The process, called securitization, fueled a rapid expansion of credit to consumers and businesses. By passing their loans on to investors, banks were freed to lend more. Today, securitization is all but dead. Investors have little appetite for risky securities. Few buyers want a security based on pools of mortgages, car loans, student loans and the like. “The basis of revival of the system along the line of what previously existed doesn’t exist. The foundation that was supposed to be there for the revival (of the economy) got washed away,” Galbraith said. Unless and until securitization rebounds, it will be hard for banks to resume robust lending because they’re stuck with loans on their books. “We’ve just been scared,” said Robert C. Pozen, the chairman of Boston -based MFS Investment Management. He thinks that the freeze in securitization reflects a lack of trust in Wall Street and its products and remains a huge obstacle to the resumption of lending that’s vital to an economic recovery. Enter the Federal Reserve. It now props up the secondary market for pooled loans that are vital to the functioning of the US financial system. The Fed is lending money to investors who’re willing to buy the safest pools of loans, called asset-backed securities. Through Sept. 3, the Fed had funded purchases of $817.6 billion in mortgage-backed securities. These securities were pooled mostly by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae. In recent months, the Fed also has moved aggressively to lend for purchase of pools of other consumer-based loans. Today, there’s little private-sector demand for new loan-based securities; government is virtually the only game in town. That’s why on Aug. 17, the Fed announced that it would extend its program to finance the purchase of pools of loans until mid-2010. That suggests there’s still a long way to go before a functioning securitization market, the backbone of consumer lending, returns to a semblance of normalcy.



US Submission to Iran's Evasions Spurs International Pressure Against Israeli Strike

Vladimir Putin wants Iran safe from sanctions and military force

imageSept. 14….(DEBKA) The US will join other major powers in seeking an early meeting with Iran although Tehran's refusal to discuss its nuclear program was described by Washington officials as "disappointing." They said the Obama administration is consistent in its aim of dialogue with Iran and wants the meeting offered by Tehran to take place as soon as possible to assess Iran's readiness to deal with the nuclear issue ahead of the Six-Power discussions taking place later this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Far from meeting the Obama administration's gesture halfway, Iran's new defense minister Ahmed Wahidi delivered a fierce attack on Washington Saturday, Sept. 12, warning the US "not to try the militarize the region" and denying the production of weapons of mass destruction as "contrary to our religion and principles." DEBKAfile's Washington sources say the Obama White House is relying on the public's short memory on Iran's prevarications. On July 20, 2008, the six powers including the US confronted Iran at the negotiating table in Geneva. Iran's nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili listened quietly to the Bush administration's undersecretary of state William Burns' words on its nuclear activities, then announced he was not competent to respond and would refer to Tehran for instructions. Jalili never did come back with his government's response. After Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated loud and clear last week that the nuclear file was closed for Tehran, the Iranian negotiators will no doubt repeat this exercise which had the effect of tying US hands for more than a year and will keep them tied for several more months. Whatever the outcome, it is no good Washington relying on tough new sanctions because that door has been shut by Moscow and Beijing's published intention to block them. The former commander of the big Israeli air base at Hatezerim, Brig. (ret.) Shelly Guttman, said Saturday that for the first time since the Yom Kippur War, Israel faces an existential threat. Nevertheless, Russia and France are leading an internatonal drive to stall military action as well. Thursday, Sept. 10, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin warned against the use of force or new sanctions against Iran, the toughest caution Israel has heard so far. Neither course will "solve the problem," said the Russian leader. The caution from Moscow followed frantic consultations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in the last week for a decision on whether Israel should resort to its military option for pre-empting the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran already on the threshold, according to US intelligence agencies. Our Moscow sources say the Russians may be expected to keep up their verbal pressure on Jerusalem. Putin was supported from Paris the same day, when France released the opinion offered by French army chief Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin in Washington that military force to wipe out Iran's nuclear program "was no longer viable." While Putin explained his objections to military action as: "Russia has no reason to doubt that Iran's nuclear program is purely peaceful," the French general argued: "It is very difficult to plan a military operation in Iran, because we are not sure in one shot to be able to solve a problem and if you fail in one shot, it is a nightmare.






Netanyahu May be Planning Attack

Sept. 11….(Rapture Forum) In yesterday's edition of the Rapture Report we dicussed the mysterious 10 hour "disappearance" of Israeli PM Benajmin Netanyahu. As you will recall the PM's office refused to list his whereabouts despite numerous media inquiries. Finally, the PM's office released a statement that the PM had been on "tour" of military facilities with two high ranking Israeli military personnel. Today, the Israeli media is reporting that a Russian Kremlin official has confirmed that Netanyahu did in fact make a visit to Moscow on Monday. The Jerusalem Post reports: A senior Kremlin official confirmed Wednesday to the Russian paper Kommersant that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did indeed make a clandestine trip to Russia on Monday. Commenting on the visit, the official said that "this kind of development could only be related to new and threatening information on Iran's nuclear program." The Russian newspaper quoted experts speculating that such a trip would only be justified under extraordinary circumstances, "for example, in the case of Israel planning to attack Iran." The article went on to speculate as to what the sudden "emergency" trip to Russia could have been for: What is almost as mysterious as whether the trip took place, is what might have been discussed, with speculation focused on Iran, possible Russian arms deals to Iran and Syria, or the disappearance of the Arctic Sea cargo ship - suspected of carrying Russian made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles bound for Iran - that went missing last month. The trip, if indeed it took place, would not have been the result of an impromptu, emergency decision, since there was already talk among Netanyahu's inner circle during his visit to London and Berlin two weeks ago about a possible visit to Russia ahead of the United Nations General Assembly meeting at the end of the month. Interestingly, almost exactly two years ago, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert paid a lightning visit to Moscow to meet with then-Russian president Vladimir Putin, a day after the Russian leader returned from a trip to Teheran in which he warned outside powers not to attack Iran and said there was no evidence it was developing nuclear arms. An anonymous Israel source has suggested that Netanyahu went to Moscow to inform the Russians of an a decision to move on Iran. The article reports: The paper then quoted what it called an "informed" Israeli source, who wished to remain anonymous, as saying, "Such a visit could be related to new information and could threaten the Iranian nuclear program. It should not be ruled out that Israel may be ready to move on to decisive actions with regards to Iran, and Netanyahu has decided to inform the Kremlin of this." After reading these articles and seeing Netanyahu take off on a secret mission to Moscow, it would seem to me that we could be seeing the final touches being put on a soon to be Israeli strike on Iran. Over the past few months we have seen the Israelis practice long distance aerial exercises simulating missions of the same length as it would be to Iran. We've seen Israeli submarines moving through the Suez Canal for the first time in years. To me, this could all be pointing to a soon to be conflict with Israel and Iran over their the Iranian nuclear program. I truly would not be surprised if we woke up one morning to see the smoking ruins of Iran's nulcear program on CNN. As with all things, we need to continue to watch and stay sober as things appear to be possibly moving forward in a prophetic sense if Israel is indeed about to move on Iran. Such a move will surely have global consequences as well as speed up the prophetic program of the Lord. With all of this in mind, we should remain calm and collected knowing fully that the Lord is completely in control no matter how chaotic things appear on earth. The Lord does not provide us with the spirit of fear but that of a sound and stable mind. As usual, let us keep looking up, for our redemption is drawing nigh!!



Netanyahu's 'Secret Visit to Moscow to stop Putin Selling Weapons to Iran'

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Sept. 11….(In The Days) Israeli media has reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly visited Moscow on Monday in a bid to dissuade Russia from selling weapons to Iran. In Moscow, a spokesman for Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin denied the reports. A spokesman for Netanyahu said he had visited a security installation in Israel, reiterating a statement issued by his office on Monday amid media speculation about his whereabouts. Israeli media reports state Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly flew to Russia to dissuade the nation from selling weapons to Iran. President Vladimir Putin's spokesman has denied the reports. An unsourced report in Israel's most popular newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, said the 'security facility was actually Russia' and Netanyahu had discussed new arms deals being forged between the Kremlin and Iran. Israel Radio reported after the Yedioth Ahronoth story appeared that Netanyahu, accompanied by his national security adviser and a military aide, boarded a chartered plane in a secluded area of Tel Aviv's Ben-Gurion airport on Monday and flew to Russia, returning late at night. The radio, which also gave no source for its information, said Netanyahu had visited a security installation in Israel before travelling to Moscow. Media reports over the weekend, citing military sources in Israel and Russia, said a cargo ship that went missing in the Atlantic for almost a month had been carrying Russian air defense S-300 missiles to Iran that were detected by Israel. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov dismissed those reports and said the circumstances of the Maltese-registered Arctic Sea's disappearance would become clear in due course. The ship was officially carrying timber from Finland to Algeria when it was boarded on July 24 by a group of eight men. They were charged with kidnapping and piracy after it was intercepted by Russian warships off Cape Verde. The advanced anti-aircraft system have been a sore point in relations between Moscow and Israel, which has lobbied Russia to pull away from selling them to Iran, saying they could protect Iranian nuclear facilities against air strikes. Assumed to have the region's only atomic arsenal, Israel supports US-led diplomatic efforts to deny Iran the means of making a nuclear bomb. But Israel has hinted it could use force in a standoff that has often pitted Western powers against Russia. 


Obama 'Doesn't Have a Clue' about Terror Threat to America

Sept. 11….(Newsmax) Eight years after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the US is still in "terrible shape" in the fight against terrorism, former CIA counterterrorism expert Michael Scheuer tells Newsmax. Scheuer also said President Barack Obama "doesn't have a clue" about the realities of world terrorism. Scheuer, whose latest book is "Marching Toward Hell: America and Islam After Iraq," spent several years as head of the CIA's Osama bin Laden unit. Newsmax.TV's Kathleen Walter asked Scheuer why the US still has not captured bin Laden. "I think we are doing all we can with the number of troops and intelligence officers we have committed in Afghanistan," he said. "Very few of them have time anymore to go after Osama bin Laden because they're trying to keep President Hamid Karzai in power and trying to build a democracy and trying to fight an insurgency. "Mister Bush never sent enough people to Afghanistan, and very clearly as the situation has gotten worse Mister Obama does not intend to send enough people either. "The reason we don't have him I think is simply we don’t have enough troops on the ground to find him and he's living in a place that has the highest mountains on earth." Walter asked if the US is safer or more vulnerable eight years after the 9/11 attacks. "I think we would be hard put to say we're much safer than we were in 2001," Scheuer responded. "We still don’t have an idea of where our enemy is. We're clearly on the defensive in Afghanistan. And if you step back and take a bigger look at the world, there are terrorists now being produced in places where there were no insurgencies back in 2001, Somalia, Yemen, Mindanao in the Philippines. "We're still faced with a situation that I think neither party has come to grips with... "I think we're in terrible shape right now. We have to remember that al-Qaida's war goals are to help lead us to bankruptcy, to spread out our military forces and our intelligence services, and to create dissension in politics here at home. They're succeeding on all three of those. "The key thing any administration has to do is control our borders, to close them and then regulate the entry of people, to give US law enforcement at all levels a chance to figure out who is in our country and who is entering it." Asked what the US should do to slow down the spread of terrorism, Scheuer said: "At some point we need to begin to consider applying more military force when the option is presented to us. Certainly in Afghanistan we have a wide scope for killing many more of the enemy than we are. "We also have to look at our problems with policy. Our foreign policy is really an inducement, a motivation for the enemy." At the top of the list in that regard "is not healthcare, it's energy," he added. "We need to do something about energy to be able to disassociate ourselves from the tyrannies that govern the Middle East." Walter asked what credit the Bush administration deserves for the fact the US has not suffered another devastating terrorist attack since 9/11. "I think we owe the Bush administration a vote of thanks for doing they thought was best to do in America's interests," Scheuer said. "I was a severe critic of what they did because they didn’t do enough, but I never had any doubt in my mind that they were really intent on defending America. I thought they did it inadequately but I thought they intended to do it. "The current administration has undercut virtually everything Mister Bush established and used to fight terrorism, as insufficient as that was. Mister Obama has dismantled virtually all of it without replacing it with anything. "Both Afghanistan and Iraq are producing well-trained people who are going to fight America or attack America's interests around the world. So it's a spreading phenomenon, not a constricting one. "Mister Obama doesn't appear to have a clue about what the world is and how it works. He's surrounded himself with surrenderists left over from the Clinton administration. "And I think he really is a man who doesn't have much interest in America. He appears to be more concerned with what the world thinks of him. "My dad used to say, beware of men who like to show off in front of children. And I think the president's discussion with schoolchildren is a good example of a man to beware of."



Iran Defiant, Russia Guards Iran’s Interests Against Sanctions

(Washington Post quotes Iranian officials as saying proposals submitted to world powers offer cooperation on Afghanistan, fighting terrorism and global system aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons, but not talks on Tehran's own nuclear program. Lavrov: Sanctions not mechanism to force Iran to cooperate)

Sept. 11….(YNET) Iran defied Western powers on Thursday and ruled out talks on its nuclear program, but still looked set to escape the threat of oil sanctions with Russia saying it would not back such measures at the United Nations. Western powers are becoming frustrated by what they have called Tehran's "persistent defiance and point-blank refusal" to suspend its uranium enrichment and its avoidance of negotiations as demanded by UN Security Council resolutions since 2006. US President Barack Obama has indicated Iran will face much harsher international sanctions, possibly targeting its lifeblood oil sector, if it does not accept good-faith negotiations by the end of September. But Russia said a package of proposals Iran submitted to world powers on Wednesday contained something to work with and ruled out oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic. Russia has veto power in the UN Security Council. Iran's proposals to the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany offered cooperation on Afghanistan, fighting terrorism and oil and gas collaboration as well as a global system aimed at eliminating nuclear weapons, an Iranian official told the Washington Post.



Military Action May Not Halt Regional Nuclear Proliferation

Sept. 11….( A former Mossad director says only military action can halt Iranian nuclear weapons development at this point, but the French chief of staff says that it is already too late for that. Meanwhile, a former US envoy to the International Atomic "Energy Agency (IAEA) believes that Iran's regional ally Syria is operating more nuclear sites than generally assumed. Speaking on IDF Radio on Wednesday, former intelligence chief Danny Yatom said that, in his estimation, only military action can now stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons. At the same time, he added that the United States, and the free world in its wake, is "not willing to take the risks inherent in a strike on Iran's nuclear facilities." Yet, in Yatom's view, the free world must be made to understand that weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the hands of the Islamic Republic are a danger to all nations. On the other hand, the French armed forces chief of staff, General Jean-Louis Georgelin, said on Thursday, "I don't think at this stage a military option is still available." Answering questions following a lecture he delivered at the Atlantic Council, a Washington-based think tank, Georgelin explained, "It is very difficult to plan a military operation in Iran, because we are not sure in one shot to be able to solve a problem, and if you fail in one shot, it is a catastrophe." The French general also added that he believes it imperative for Western powers "not to let Israel strike alone, with all the risks it could entail." Instead, Georgelin said, the West should employ "financial pressure, economic pressure, political pressure" on Iran to deter its nuclear weapons development. Also on Thursday, Iranian spokesman Ali Asghar Soltanieh said his country's nuclear program is not up for debate. Soltanieh declared: "Tehran is prepared to have fair and substantive talks about various problems, including the guarantee of access by all countries to nuclear energy and preventing the proliferation of nuclear arms. But these talks do not include Tehran's nuclear program and legal activities in this connection." On another front among Israel's regional adversaries, Syria is believed to have established several secret nuclear development facilities that have yet to be exposed. According to the former US representative to the IAEA, Gregory Schulte, the Syrians refused to grant the international nuclear watchdog agency access to several suspected nuclear facilities in the country. Damascus "claimed they were military sites," he said during an interview with Israel's Channel 10 news Thursday night. After Israel reportedly bombed a suspected nuclear reactor at Deir Azour in September of 2007, Schulte continued, the Syrians told IAEA inspectors that uranium particles at the site "came from Israeli bombs." That Syrian evasiveness "gave us concern, and gave the IAEA concern," according to Schulte. Yet, IAEA Chairman Mohammed El-Baradei was not concerned about Syria, the former US envoy added. "He was mad at Israel, he was mad at the United States; he didn't express any discontent about Syria," Schulte said. "He sort of deplored Israel's unilateral action, and the late provision of intelligence, which was a direct slap at the United States." While Syria's protests of innocence were intended to conceal what IAEA inspectors suspected was secret nuclear development activities, Iran is using negotiations and talks as cover for its continuing nuclear program, according to Schulte. "Iran is always trying to buy time," he said.



Iran Beware: Israel Tests 'Secret Weapon'

Sept. 11….(Jerome R. Corsi) The mystery that surrounded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's unannounced trip to Russia on Monday was created by the Israeli government in a calculation to divert attention from a secret weapons test, according to sources. The test, held at undisclosed Israeli military base while Netanyahu was traveling, was done with top-secret authorization from the White House, the sources reported. Trusted confidential Israeli sources in Jerusalem close to the government told WND the Israeli military conducted the secret weapons test in preparation for a planned pre-emptive strike on Iran. They reported the Israeli government has set no date for a possible strike, but preparations already are in an advanced stage. The plan to create a mystery out of Netanyahu's trip to Russia was deliberate – calculated to transform what in truth was a routine visit by the prime minister into the appearance of a secret mission involving Iran, the sources said. WND was unable to learn the exact nature of the experimental weapon that was successfully tested, other than to confirm the Israeli military specifically designed the weapon to be used in a possible upcoming war with Iran. Glyn Davies, the US ambassador to the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency, said earlier this week that the US believes Iran is coming close to the "break out" threshold of possessing enough low-enriched uranium to produce one nuclear weapon.



UN: Continued Jewish Settlement Construction Violates International Law

imageSept. 10….(Jerusalem Post) Two days after Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved the construction of 455 news housing units in the West Bank, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday said Israel's plans to continue building in settlements were "contrary to international law." "Such actions and all settlement activity are contrary to international law and the Road Map," AFP quoted a statement released by Ban's bureau as saying. "The secretary-general urges Israel to respond positively to the important efforts under way to create the conditions for effective Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and reiterates his call on Israel to stop all settlement activity, including natural growth, and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001 in the occupied Palestinian territory," the statement continued. Earlier on Wednesday, EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Israel's continued settlement activity in the West Bank is the main obstacle to a resumption of the Mideast peace process. "We have to be realistic and see that this settlement issue is at the moment an issue that blocks the negotiations," Ferrero-Waldner told reporters. Speaking after meeting with Karen Abu Zayd, the outgoing head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, she said the Quartet leading Mideast peace efforts, the United Nations, EU, Russia and the United States, would meet on the sidelines of the UN General assembly later in September to discuss the issue.



US: Iran Nearing Ability to Build Atomic Bomb

Sept. 10….(Fox News) The United States said Wednesday that Iran was moving closer to being able to produce a nuclear bomb by stockpiling enriched uranium and, along with European allies, urged Tehran to engage in talks over its atomic program. "Iran is now either very near or in possession already of sufficient low-enriched uranium to produce one nuclear weapon if the decision were made to further enrich it to weapons-grade," Glyn Davies, Washington's chief envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency said. "This ongoing enrichment activity moves Iran closer to a dangerous and destabilizing possible breakout capacity," he said. The latest agency report says Iran now has, at a minimum, 3,153 pounds of low-enriched uranium hexafluoride, he added. "Taken in connection with Iran's refusal to engage with the IAEA regarding its past nuclear warhead-related work, we have serious concerns that Iran is deliberately attempting, at a minimum, to preserve a nuclear weapons option," Davies told a meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog's 35-nation governing board. Earlier this year, the US national intelligence chief said Iran probably lacked the technical ability to "weaponize" enrichment before 2013. President Barack Obama and European allies have given Iran until the end of September to take up an offer of nuclear talks with six world powers and trade incentives should it suspend uranium enrichment activities. If not, Iran could face harsher punitive sanctions. Iran insists the program is peaceful and aimed at generating electricity. Others contend it is covertly trying to build a bomb. On Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country will neither halt uranium enrichment nor negotiate over its nuclear rights but is ready to sit and talk with world powers over "global challenges." In Vienna, Davies stressed that Iran, in contrast to its claims, is far from addressing all of the IAEA's concerns. "We, as members of the board, have a responsibility to demand that the (IAEA) secretariat's questions are answered and to ensure that we can obtain confidence in the peaceful intent of the Iranian nuclear program," Davies said. "When a state such as Iran continues to violate its obligations, we must respond." But Davies also said the US welcomes constructive, honest engagement with Iran to resolve the issue and added he hoped that Tehran will take "immediate steps to restore international trust and confidence." "The pathway to a negotiated solution remains on the table for Iran, and we continue to call on Iran's leaders to demonstrate genuine commitment to peace and security in the Middle East and to the international nonproliferation regime," he said. Britain, France and Germany joined Washington's call, urging Iran to engage in "meaningful negotiations" aimed at achieving a comprehensive diplomatic solution to the international standoff over it's disputed nuclear program. The three major European powers said it was "inexcusable" that Iran continues to refuse any degree of transparency or cooperation in clarifying outstanding issues and that it's current attitude further reinforces doubts about its endeavor. "Iran should make use of the window of opportunity provided now," said the joint statement, delivered by German envoy Reedier Luedeking. "We have extended a hand and we appeal to Iran to take it." On Monday, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, said his watchdog was locked in a "stalemate" with Iran and urged Tehran to "substantively re-engage" with the Vienna-based organization to prove there are no military dimensions to its nuclear program.



Iranian Meddling in Afghan War

Sept. 10….(Fox News) The discovery of a weapons cache in western Afghanistan has raised concerns that Iran is interfering in the war-torn country, much like it did in Iraq, by supplying weapons used to attack and kill US and coalition troops, US officials tell FOX News. Afghan and NATO forces uncovered the weapons cache on Aug. 29 in Herat. It included a small number of Iranian-made "explosively formed penetrators," hyper-powerful roadside bombs similar to the weapons used to kill US forces in Iraq, a senior US Defense Official told FOX News. Also seized during the raid were 107 Iranian-made BM-1 rockets and dozens of blocks of Iranian C4 plastic explosives. There are questions about when these weapons entered Afghanistan, but a top US military official tells FOX News that an Iranian rocket was recently fired at a base in Herat. Additional intelligence suggests that Iranians have been providing support directly to the Taliban. Other coalition countries allege the Iranian influence is even deeper and that Iranian intelligence is funneling money to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "There have been a lot of reports of the Iranian government one way or another having an influence on Karzai, including a lot of reports that they have provided him with a lot of money," said Fred Kagan, a member of Gen. Stanley McChrystal's recent Afghan review and a scholar from the American Enterprise Institute. "They have succeeded at having a government in Kabul that is rather friendly to them. Karzai was one of the first leaders to acknowledge Ahmadinejad's victory in Iran's contested presidential elections and to congratulate him for it," Kagan said. The Iranians package the C-4 explosive to look like it is American-made, and the EFP's are machine made, suggesting that Iran is home to a lucrative industry for producing these weapons, sources said. The goal remains to push US forces out of Afghanistan and Iraq and to make both look like defeats.



Obama-Netanyahu-Abbas Summit Scheduled for Sept. 22 in New York

Sept. 10….(DEBKA) The Obama administration early Wednesday Sept 9 decided to schedule a tripartite US-Israeli-Palestinian summit at UN center in New York for Sept 22, DEBKAfile's Washington sources report, the day before the US president meets Russian president Dmitry Medvedev at the UN General Assembly. The three leaders will declare Middle East peace talks resumed from that point. Defense minister Ehud Barak was referring to this development when he warned Tuesday night that Israel must brace for hard decisions. DEBKAfile's political sources note that the US president's scheduling of the tripartite summit will require Netanyahu, Barak and foreign minister Lieberman to be present in New York and away from Israel over the New Year Festival. Our Middle East sources report that the Arab leaders, Saudi King Abdullah and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, are working hard to beat the rival Palestinian side into shape and force them to bury the hatchet, at least ad hoc, in order to send a united delegation to the peace talks. Their heavy arm-twisting has kept Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and their parties airborne between Gaza, Damascus, Cairo and Riyadh for the last couple of weeks. A prisoner trade to free the Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit was not at the forefront of their meetings, as widely reported by Israeli media. Past Saudi and Egyptian efforts to mend the rift in Palestinian ranks have consistently failed, but Middle East sources insist that this time Abdullah and Mubarak are determined not to take no for an answer. The Saudi king had Abbas on the carpet in Riyadh this week to warn him that disobedience would lead to the cutoff of the oil kingdom's financial and political support for the Palestinian Authority and himself as its head. And senior facilitator, the Egyptian intelligence minister, Omar Suleiman, warned the Damascus-based Hamas chief Meshaal that persevering in his quarrel with the Fatah would bring about the severance of Cairo's ties with his organization and the tightening of its siege on the Gaza Strip. Abdullah and Mubarak plan to use September for hammering out a Hamas-Fatah power-sharing accord to establish a unified Palestinian national government capable of deputizing a large Fatah delegation headed by Fatah veteran Nabil Shaat to the peace talks with Israel. This would be a first since the Hamas coup drove the Palestinian Authority and its dominant Fatah out of the Gaza Strip in June 2007. If the two Arab rulers achieve their objective, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu will be confronted at the negotiating table by a Palestinian delegation representing a government in which the extremist Islamic Hamas organization is broadly represented.



Pakistan Shared Nuke Materials With Iran

Sept. 10….(Ken Timmerman) The self-styled father of Pakistan’s “Islamic Bomb,” A.Q. Khan, has told a Pakistani television interviewer that under his direction, Pakistan shared nuclear weapons material with the Islamic Republic of Iran. “Iran was interested in acquiring nuclear technology. Since Iran was an important Muslim country, we wished Iran to acquire this technology,” Khan told the interviewer from Aaj News Television. “If Iran succeeds in acquiring nuclear technology, we will be a strong bloc in the region to counter international pressure,” he added. “Iran's nuclear capability will neutralize Israel's power. We had advised Iran to contact the suppliers and purchase equipment from them.” The interview aired in Pakistan on Aug. 31 and was translated into English by the director of National Intelligence's Open Source Center and posted on Wednesday at “Secrecy News,” a project of the Federation of American Scientists. Khan explained that Pakistan set up a network of phony companies in Dubai for nuclear purchases and shared the network with Iran and Libya. “It was a company with which we had established links when we could not receive the material from Europe. They were Sri Lankan Muslims,” he said. Khan also revealed that Pakistan built its first bomb and was ready to test it in 1984, but decided not to because of its close alliance with the United States to fight the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, who was Pakistan’s president at the time, “argued that since the United States had to overlook our nuclear program due to our support in the Afghan war, it was an opportunity for us to further develop the program. They said the tests could be conducted any time later.” Pakistan didn’t test its nuclear weapons until 1998, when it claims to have set off five nuclear explosions. Khan was publicly present during the tests. Khan revealed that during her first stint as prime minister, from 1988-1990, Benazir Bhutto asked him to switch from producing high-enriched uranium (HEU), which has no other use than for nuclear weapons, to produce low-enriched uranium (LEU), which can also be used to make fuel for nuclear power plants. During Bhutto’s second government in 1994, Khan paid a visit to North Korea to purchase ballistic missile technology. In exchange, the North Koreans sent technical teams to the Kahuta plant, where Dr. Khan had set up Pakistan’s enrichment plant. “They would stay at a guest house in the vicinity of the Kahuta plant, because we did not have any other nuclear facility and our missiles were also being manufactured there,” he said. However, he insisted that under his direction no uranium enrichment technology was shared with North Korea. “These are just accusations,” he said. “[N]uclear technology cannot be learned by visiting a nuclear site and observing a few machines.” North Korea recently admitted publicly that it had an advanced uranium enrichment program that was now capable of producing weapons-grade fuel, confirming reports from 2002 when North Korean officials privately shared that information with a visiting State Department official but later denied it in public. Pakistan’s nuclear relationship with Iran was extensive, Khan said. He personally introduced the Iranians to his clandestine supply network. “The Iranian officials would meet them in Dubai. We had told the Iranians that the suppliers were very reliable.” He shared the same supplier network with the Libyans, Khan said. “Be it Libya, Iran, or Pakistan, the same suppliers were responsible for providing the material through the same third party in Dubai,” he said. Khan’s role in Iran’s nuclear programs first emerged into the public light in a brief news item carried in the Iranian state-run media in October 1987, which revealed that Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization had signed a consulting contract with the AQ Khan Laboratories in Pakistan. I reported on that contract, and Khan’s many trips to Iran as part of that contract in "Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran" in 2005, noting that for two decades, the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna “simply turned a blind eye to his activities.”



'US Should Get More Serious on Iran'

Sept. 9….(Jerusalem Post) The US administration needs to stick to its stated September deadline for stricter sanctions against Iran if it fails to offer a substantive response on engagement over its nuclear program, Congressman Mike Rogers from Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. Rogers, a former FBI agent, made it clear throughout the interview, which took place on the sidelines of the 9th Annual International Institute of Counter-Terrorism (ICT) Conference at IDC Herzliya, that he was not speaking for the Obama administration, but was giving his views only. "The new administration will find its sea legs and show more consistency. They've set a September timeline and I'm eager for them to hold to this September timeline. "They need to hold to the September timeline. Nothing's happened yet from the Iranians. If we get too far into September and there isn't anything substantive from the Iranians, I think we can no longer play this 'give me three more months and let me look at the proposal' game," he said. "The window for making a real impact is closing and the clock goes faster, it doesn't run at a constant pace. We need our European allies to step up, too. "Trade is an issue, I get it. But if you think that the value of trade is your answer in this equation then we're all in trouble. If you start getting into the coffers and put pressure on the Ahmadinejad regime you can have an impact, given where the population is [after the contested election]. This is the perfect storm for us, we should do something with it," Rogers said. On Monday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Iran was willing to "debate and talk" to the world on "regional challenges," but stressed that there would be no discussion on Iran's "right to a nuclear program." The Iranians are obviously buying time, Rogers said Tuesday, the same day Iran said it will present new proposals to the global powers charged with negotiating with Teheran over its controversial nuclear program. "We cannot wait too long for serious sanctions. We need to tell the Iranians that a good size of their population were not that thrilled with the results of the last election and the way the leadership is isolating the country from the rest of the international community. We're going to step up our sanctions in agreement with those folks, and we'd love to extend an invitation to the international community, but it can't come with an acceptance of a nuclear Iran," Rogers added. Rogers's committee has influence on policy in Congress mainly because it has access to the most classified information from the US's intelligence agencies. The panel oversees the intelligence community, including operations and budgetary oversight, and is the primary panel responsible for overseeing implementation of the intelligence community restructuring. The committee lobbies the executive branch to take action on various national security issues. American efforts to slap sanctions on Iran have been repeatedly thwarted by Russia and China. One way America is trying to convince Russia to back a tough sanctions regime against Iran, Rogers said, is by highlighting evidence showing Teheran's activities against US and coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. "A nuclear Iran doesn't get us less trouble, it gets us more trouble. Lots more trouble. And that's what we're trying to convince the Russians," Rogers said. "If they think that Chechnya is just a small problem for them now, wait until the radical Muslim community decides that they can get in there with relative impunity [under an Iranian nuclear umbrella] and do what damage they wish. It spreads our problems worldwide," he said. The argument is that a nuclear-armed Iran is not in Moscow's strategic interest in its own sphere of influence. "Iran has clearly shown that they are willing to take a fairly significant risk by introducing fairly lethal weaponry, with good signatures on them so we know where they're coming from, into the battlefield [against US and coalition forces]. They've been pretty brazen. And if they're willing to introduce lethality into a battlefield into a theatre that, theoretically, they shouldn't be in, imagine what they'd do if they had [nuclear] technology. "And look at who their tutors are: North Korea. And what is North Korea doing? Proliferating nuclear technology. The Iranians have clearly shown me that they'll do whatever they have to do. "Those folks who argue that you'll have to accept a nuclear Iran - well, this isn't France that's going to abide by the rules. Iran will not abide by the rules. Their aims are different and they're using terrorism today to accomplish their aims. Why would a nuclear weapon make them adhere to good policies?" Rogers said. Rogers thinks the intelligence showing an Iranian nuclear weapons program is overwhelming. He believes Iran will assemble a nuclear bomb well before 2014, which is the date Mossad chief Meir Dagan spoke of several months ago during an appearance at the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee. "I believe it's sooner. I believe they've produced enough low-enriched uranium for at least one bomb. Even the IAEA is not too far away from that. If you look at what they've had and what's coming, and we've seen some of that, it clearly shows that the Iranians are there. Iran's original request for 3,000 centrifuges is not a civilian program - that is a weapons program." "I'm not buying Iran's insistence that its nuclear program is for peaceful energy purposes," he said. Rogers also said he is not aware of any Obama administration policy of linkage between movement on the Israeli-Palestinian track and efforts at halting Iran's nuclear drive, the so-called "Bushehr [nuclear plant] for Yitzhar [settlement]" formula. In April, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said progress on establishing a Palestinian state must go "hand-in-hand" with efforts to stem Iranian influence in the Middle East. "I don't think it should be linked. You have two very separate problems. You have a terrorist state, Iran, who's doing pretty bad things, including against our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan for a while now, and they're being fairly risk-taking when they do that. And then you have the Palestinian-Israeli issue which is about different things.



UN Wants Dollar Replaced by World Currency

Sept. 9….(In The Days) A number of countries, including China and Russia, have suggested replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The dollar should be replaced with a global currency, the United Nations has said, proposing the biggest overhaul of the world’s monetary system since the Second World War. It added that the present system, under which the dollar acts as the world’s reserve currency, should be subject to a wholesale reconsideration. In a radical report, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has said the system of currencies and capital rules which binds the world economy is not working properly, and was largely responsible for the financial and economic crises. It added that the present system, under which the dollar acts as the world’s reserve currency, should be subject to a wholesale reconsideration. Although China and Russia have suggested replacing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, the UNCTAD report is the first time a major multinational institution has posited such a suggestion. In essence, the report calls for a new Bretton Woods-style system of managed international exchange rates, meaning central banks would be forced to intervene and either support or push down their currencies depending on how the rest of the world economy is behaving. The proposals would also imply that surplus nations such as China and Germany should stimulate their economies further in order to cut their own imbalances, rather than, as in the present system, deficit nations such as the UK and US having to take the main burden of readjustment. “Replacing the dollar with an artificial currency would solve some of the problems related to the potential of countries running large deficits and would help stability,” said Detlef Kotte, one of the report’s authors. “But you will also need a system of managed exchange rates. Countries should keep real exchange rates adjusted for inflation stable. Central banks would have to intervene and if not they would have to be told to do so by a multilateral institution such as the International Monetary Fund.” The proposals, included in UNCTAD’s annual Trade and Development Report , amount to the most radical suggestions for redesigning the global monetary system. Although many economists have pointed out that the economic crisis owed more to the malfunctioning of the post-Bretton Woods system, until now no major institution, including the G20, has come up with an alternative.



Obama to Assume Presidency of UN Security Council

Sept. 9….(Financial Times) Barack Obama will cement the new co-operative relationship between the US and the United Nations this month when he becomes the first American president to chair its 15-member Security Council. The topic for the summit-level session of the council on September 24 is nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament, one of several global challenges that the US now wants to see addressed at a multinational level. “The council has a very important role to play in preventing the spread and use of nuclear weapons, and it’s the world’s principal body for dealing with global security cooperation,” Susan Rice, US envoy to the UN, said last week. Her remarks were the latest by the Obama administration to emphasize a shift from the strategy of the previous Bush administration, sometimes criticized by its UN partners for seeking to use the world body principally to endorse its own unilateral policies. The US currently holds the month-long rotating presidency of the Security Council. Obama will join other heads of government in New York during the week of the nuclear summit for the opening of the 64th session of the UN General Assembly. The annual meeting of world leaders is this year raising expectations on a number of fronts.



Saudi Arabia Cooperating With Israel, on Iran?

(Kingdom sharing information regarding possible Iran attack)

Sept. 9….(WND) Saudi Arabia is cooperating with Israel on the Iranian nuclear issue, an Egyptian intelligence official told WND. The official said Saudi Arabia is passing intelligence information to Israel related to Iran. He affirmed a report from the Arab media, strongly denied by the Israeli government, that Saudi Arabia has granted Israel overflight permission during any attack against Iran's nuclear facilities. The official previously told WND that Prince Saud Al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, has been involved in an intense, behind-the-scenes lobbying effort urging the U.S. and other Western countries to do everything necessary to ensure Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons. Such weapons would threaten Saudi Arabia's position of influence in the Middle East. The Egyptian official said his country believes it is not likely Obama will grant Israel permission to attack Iran. He spoke in the past about other Arab countries' efforts to oppose an Iranian nuclear umbrella but did not comment on Egypt's own position on the matter. Obama has set a rough deadline of this fall for an answer from Iran about whether the country will talk. The deadline had been postponed from a previous rough deadline of June.



Missing Pirate ship Carried Russian Arms for Iran

Sept. 7….(Times on Line) A Russian cargo ship that vanished in the Channel was carrying arms to Iran and was being tracked by Mossad, the Israeli security service, according to sources in both Russia and Israel. The Arctic Sea, officially carrying a cargo of timber worth £1.3m, disappeared en route from Finland to Algeria on July 24. It was recovered off west Africa on August 17 when eight alleged hijackers were arrested. The Kremlin has consistently denied that the vessel was carrying a secret cargo. It claims the ship was hijacked by criminals who demanded a £1m ransom. The official version was challenged by sources in Tel Aviv and Moscow who claimed the ship had been loaded with S-300 missiles, Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft weapon, while undergoing repairs in the Russian port of Kaliningrad. Mossad, which closely monitors arms supplies to Iran, is said to have tipped off the Russian government that the shipment had been sold by former military officers linked to the underworld. The Kremlin then ordered a naval rescue mission which involved destroyers and submarines. Any evidence that the Kremlin had let advanced weaponry fall into the hands of criminals or be sold to Iran would be highly embarrassing, so military officials believe a “cover story” was concocted. “The official version is ridiculous and was given to allow the Kremlin to save face,” said a Russian military source. Sources in Moscow suggested Mossad may have played a part in the alleged hijacking by setting up a criminal gang, who were unlikely to have known anything about a secret cargo. “The best way for the Israelis to block the cargo from reaching Iran would have been to create a lot of noise around the ship,” said a former army officer. “Once the news of the hijack broke, the game was up for the arms dealers. The Russians had to act. That’s why I don’t rule out Mossad being behind the hijacking. It stopped the shipment and gave the Kremlin a way out so that it can now claim it mounted a brilliant rescue mission.” According to Israeli military sources, Israel received intelligence that weapons bound for Iran were being loaded in Kaliningrad, a port notorious for gun runners. “A decision was then taken to inform the Kremlin,” said the source. Had the S-300 missiles been delivered, Iran would have significantly strengthened its air defences. An Israeli air force source said that in the event of an attack on Iranian nuclear installations, such missiles could increase Israeli casualties by 50%. Since the Arctic Sea was retaken, Russia has imposed a security blackout. Last week Mikhail Voitenko, an outspoken piracy expert who disputed the Kremlin’s original version of events, fled Russia, claiming he had received threats from an official angered by his statements. Admiral Tarmo Kouts, former commander of Estonia’s armed forces and the European Union’s rapporteur on piracy, has infuriated Moscow by saying the only plausible explanation of the mystery is that the ship was transporting weapons. A spokesman for the Finnish owners denied that missiles could have been secretly loaded onto the ship. Sources who suspect Mossad’s involvement point to a visit to Moscow by Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, the day after the Arctic Sea was rescued. Peres held four hours of private talks with Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president. Although the Israeli foreign ministry would not be drawn on the Arctic Sea, it confirmed that the two leaders had discussed the sale of Russian weapons to countries hostile to Israel. According to Israeli officials, Peres received verbal guarantees from the Russians that they would not sell advanced weapons systems to Iran or Syria. “Clearly the Israelis played a role in the whole Arctic Sea saga,” said a Russian military source. “Peres used the incident as a bargaining chip over the issue of arms sales to Arab states, while Israel allowed the Kremlin a way out with its claims to have successfully foiled a piracy incident.”



Arab League: Shun Israel, or Else

Sept. 7….( Arab League head Amr Moussa issued a warning Sunday to Arab countries to avoid normalizing ties with Israel until Israel gives in to the League's demands, which include a complete building freeze in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and much of Jerusalem. Any country that warms its ties with Israel before Arab demands are met will face a “tough” response, Moussa said, speaking at a news conference in Egypt. "If we discover that someone normalized ties with Israel, I believe the reaction across the Arab world would be very violent,” he clarified. Moussa made it clear last Friday that the Arab League's demand for a building freeze includes all Jerusalem neighborhoods east of the 1949 armistice line. Among such neighborhoods are Pisgat Zeev, Ramat Eshkol, Neve Yaakov, Har Homa, French Hill and the Old City. The League demands that Jews be forbidden to build in those areas, while Arab construction would be permitted throughout the city. During Sunday's media briefing, Moussa accused Israel's government of being “stubborn.” Arab countries cannot be expected to recognize Israel without getting their demands met in return, he insisted. Moussa issued his warning during a joint news conference with Khaled Mashaal, the Syrian-based leader of Hamas. Mashaal described Israel's proposal to temporarily freeze Jewish building as “dangerous,” and joined Moussa in telling Arabs not to “rush toward normalization.” Mashaal also discussed the situation regarding talks for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Negotiations have renewed with German mediation, he said, but there is “a long way to go, which requires patience.”







Walid Phares: Obama Must Not Back Down From Defeating Taliban

Sept. 4….(Newsmax) Global terrorism and Middle East expert Walid Phares tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama's administration must have been consulted before Britain released the Muslim terrorist convicted in the Lockerbie bombing. Phares also said that if the Taliban had remained in power in Afghanistan, they would now be in control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. Phares has conducted briefings at the US State Department and United Nations Security Council. His latest book is "The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad." Global terrorism and Middle East expert Walid Phares tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama's administration must have been consulted before Britain released the Muslim terrorist convicted in the Lockerbie bombing. Phares also said that if the Taliban had remained in power in Afghanistan, they would now be in control of Pakistan's nuclear weapons. Phares has conducted briefings at the US State Department and United Nations Security Council. His latest book is "The Confrontation: Winning the War Against Future Jihad."



Venezuela’s Chavez Bashes Israel in Syria

(Venezuelan president visits Damascus, says 'Israel has become a country that annihilates people and is hostile to peace')

imageSept. 4….(YNET) Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez attacked Israel Thursday during his visit to Syria, calling it an imperialist nation that annihilates other people. Chavez comments came during a news conference with his Syrian counterpart Bashar Assad after a one-hour meeting at the hilltop presidential palace. "Israel has become a country that annihilates people and is hostile to peace," he said, according to the Arabic translation of his remarks to reporters. In comments carried by Venezuelan state television, he also accused Israel of being part of imperialist efforts to divide the Middle East. "The entire world knows it. Why was the state of Israel created? To divide. To impede the unity of the Arab world. To assure the presence of the North American empire in all these lands," he said. Chavez is on an 11-day trip to Libya, Algeria, Syria, Iran, Belarus and Russia in his bid to build a multi-polar world and decrease US influence in the region. (FOJ Note: Ironically, these nations make up the Ezekiel 38 coalition) "I believe it is a fateful battle. It's either now or never in order to liberate the world from imperialism and change the world from a uni-polar into a multi-polar world," Chavez told reporters in Damascus. On Tuesday he attended Libya's celebration of the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought Moammar Gadhafi to power before heading to Algeria. The firebrand Latin American leader has built close ties with Iran, Syria, Cuba and other countries while his relations have grown tense with Israel. Chavez strongly criticized Israel's war against Gaza in December and January and said the Jewish state should return to Syria the strategic Golan Heights that it captured in 1967 Mideast war. For his part, Assad said that he does not think Israel is ready to make peace, while Damascus is serious about the matter.



Will Modern Americans Accept Totalitarian Government?

(Exclusive: Arthur Robinson explains how nation is acquiescing to 'unbridled democratic tyranny')

Sept. 4….(WND) In the 18th century, Americans decided to take the other road. While most of the nations of the world chose to continue on various roads to oppression, roads that led to socialism, fascism, Marxism, dictatorship and other forms of tyranny, the American people chose individual human freedom. Now, America has retraced her steps to that fateful intersection. Now, she is poised to travel the road of slavery and tyranny. Now, those who still understand her greatness must prevent this. They must turn America back to the road of freedom. Standing upon the shoulders of thousands of years of human experience and upon the inherent character of man that had emerged in the unique freedom of a new continent, the Founding Fathers of the United States built a government based upon the truth that individual human beings have certain unalienable rights that are derived from their Creator and that these rights transcend any and all powers of government. Their Declaration of Independence states: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    These men knew that government tyranny was an ever-present threat to those unalienable rights, so they carefully elaborated further upon the rights of man and created a government that, they hoped, would be protective of those rights. This was done with the US Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Nowhere in these founding documents does the word "democracy" appear. They created a republic. This omission was not inadvertent. These men knew that unbridled democracy leads to tyranny. Edmund Randolph, Elbridge Gerry, Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison are remembered for specific statements warning against "democracy," and Thomas Jefferson and many of his illustrious successors made very clear in their speeches and writings that the United States is a republic, not a democracy. Madison, for example, wrote that, "democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths," while Jefferson sought to "bind men down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution." Hamilton wrote, "We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of democracy." Samuel Adams wrote, "Remember, Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself! There never was a democracy that did not commit suicide." The United States Constitution set the unalienable rights of individual men above the rights of collective groups of men and created a system intended to protect those rights from the government itself. The government these men established is a republic. It is not a "democracy." The government of the United States derives its sole legitimacy from its contract with the individual men and women of the United States as written in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. While even these agreements were compromises and have been weakened somewhat by subsequent amendments, they are the basis for our government. While the Constitution, as written and later amended, specifies that US citizens shall elect representatives to their government by democratic vote, it requires that those representatives conduct themselves under the rules of the Constitution. Democratic vote does not, in any way, release the government from the limitations upon its actions that are written in the constitutional contract. Yet, we are now seeing extensive, arrogant and blatant abrogation of that contract by some of these elected representatives. Both Barack Obama and his press secretary have actually responded to questions about the rightness and constitutionality of certain actions they are taking with the simple, in your face, I will not discuss it further, words, "We won!" They consider themselves all-powerful because  Obama received 53 percent of the vote in a national election and because his Democratic Party received majority votes in the majority of the congressional elections. They claim that, therefore, they can do anything they wish to the American people. This is unbridled democratic tyranny, a system of government that has never been agreed to by the people of the United States. Barack Obama and his congressional retainers have claimed for themselves the spoils of "democracy." They have rejected the constraints of the American republic. America is not populated by a collectivist anthill of groveling subjects who must do anything specified by those receiving a majority vote of the ants. It is populated by individual men and women with individual rights given to them by their Creator, not by their government, and guaranteed by their governmental contract. The arrogant disregard of the unalienable rights of the American people by the Obama government is unprecedented in the United States. Their vast seizure of wealth and power has been justified by Obama with just two words, "We won!" Since Obama and his retainers have rejected the republic, their majority vote itself is becoming illegitimate. Yet, most Americans have watched these actions for seven months without comprehending their implications. This situation far transcends the specific actions Obama has taken so far. These actions establish precedent. If they are unchallenged, if they are not reversed, then America has accepted totalitarian government, which was rejected by its Founding Fathers and banned from American shores by the American Revolution. This tyranny must be stopped, soon, by peaceful means! The alternative is chilling! The Declaration of Independence goes on to say, "That whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it." The necessary exercise of this further right of the people by force in the 1700s resulted in much suffering and death. Its exercise today, with modern technology, would be far, far worse.



Obama Praises Islam as 'Great Religion'

(President Obama, who says the US is not a Christian nation, today proclaimed that Islam is "part of America," and hailed the religion's "commitment to justice and progress" in America)

(FOJ) (President Barack Obama praised Islam as an integral part of America, as he feted prominent US Muslims at an Iftar dinner marking the holy fasting month of Ramadan. "For well over a billion Muslims, Ramadan is a time of intense devotion and reflection," Obama said, in remarks welcoming his guests in the State Dining Room of the White House. "Tonight's Iftar is a ritual that is being carried out this Ramadan at kitchen tables and mosques in all 50 states," Obama said. "Islam as we know is part of America. Like the broader American citizenry, the American Muslim community is one of extraordinary dynamism and diversity. "On this occasion, we celebrate the holy month of Ramadan and we also celebrate how much Muslims have enriched America and its culture. The president, who has Muslim heritage on his father's side of his family, also pledged "unyielding" support for a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.)

Sept. 3….(Fox News) President Barack Obama on Tuesday praised American Muslims for enriching the nation's culture at a dinner to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. "The contribution of Muslims to the United States are too long to catalog because Muslims are so interwoven into the fabric of our communities and our country," Obama said at the iftar, the dinner that breaks the holiday's daily fast. The president joined Cabinet secretaries, members of the diplomatic corps and lawmakers to pay tribute to what he called "a great religion and its commitment to justice and progress." Attendees included Congress' two Muslim members, Reps. Keith Ellison (who took his oath of office on the Koran) and Andre Carson as well as ambassadors from Islamic nations and Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren. Obama shared the story of Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, another invited guest, who broke a state record for most career points as a Massachusetts high school student. "As an honor student, as an athlete on her way to Memphis, Bilqis is an inspiration not simply to Muslim girls, she's an inspiration to all of us," he said. Obama also noted the contributions of Muhammad Ali, who was not in attendance, though the president borrowed a quote from famous boxer, explaining religion. "A few years ago," Obama said, "he explained this view, and this is part of why he's The Greatest, saying, 'Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams, they all have different names, but they all contain water. Just as religions do, they all contain truths."' Ramadan, a monthlong period of prayer, reflection and sunrise-to-sunset fasts, began Aug. 22 in most of the Islamic world. It is believed that God began revealing the Quran to Muhammad during Ramadan, and the faithful are supposed to spend the month in religious reflection, prayer and remembrance of the poor. White House dinners marking the holy month are nothing new. Former President George W. Bush held iftars during his eight years in office. Obama has made a special effort since taking office to repair US relations with the world's Muslims, including visits to Turkey and Cairo. In a June speech at the Egyptian capital, as well as in one to another important Muslim audience, in Turkey, Obama said: "America is not and never will be at war with Islam." Obama also released a video message to Muslims before the start to Ramadan. In the video, he said Ramadan's rituals are a reminder of the principles Muslims and Christians have in common, including advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

FOJ Note: Jehovah - Thou shalt have no other gods before ME! Woe unto the nation that ”forgets” the one true God! (Deuteronomy 11:26-28 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.) (Jeremiah 2:11 Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.)



Obama Hosting Islamic Ramadan Dinner for Cabinet

Sept. 2….(Newsmax) President Barack is hosting a dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. President Obama was also to highlight the contributions of American Muslims at the Tuesday evening event in the State Dining Room. The guest list included Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, ambassadors from Islamic nations and Muslim community leaders. Ramadan, a month-long period of prayer, reflection and sunrise-to-sunset fasts, began Saturday in most of the Islamic world. White House dinners marking the holy month are nothing new. During his eight years in office, former President George W. Bush held an Iftar, the meal that breaks the daily fast during Ramadan.

FOJ Note: President Obama was extremely proud to boast that the US is not a Christian nation. And he was only too quick to bow down before the King of Saudi Arabia, the leader of worldwide Islam and the keeper of the Islamic holy sites. It is also quite evident that he desires to “Change” America into an Islamic friendly stronghold.



Israel, Iran and Obama on a Collision Course

(Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad)

Sept. 1….(In The Days) The International Atomic Energy Agency has produced another alarming report on Iran’s nuclear programs, though it hasn’t released it publicly, only to governments that would also rather not disclose more details of Iran’s progress toward becoming a nuclear theocracy. Meanwhile, Iran intends to introduce a resolution, backed by more than 100 members of the so-called Non-Aligned Movement, that would ban military attacks on nuclear facilities. No actual mention of Israel, of course. The mullahs understand that the only real challenge to their nuclear ambitions is likely to come from Israel. They’ve long concluded that the UN is no threat, as IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei has in practice become an apologist for Iran’s program. They can also see that the West lacks the will to do anything, as the Obama Administration continues to plead for Tehran to negotiate even as Iran holds show trials of opposition leaders and journalists for saying the recent re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was fraudulent. The irony is that the weaker the West and UN appear, the more probable an Israeli attack becomes. The reality that Western leaders don’t want to admit is that preventing Iran from getting the bomb is an Israeli national imperative, not a mere policy choice. That’s a view shared across Israel’s political spectrum, from traditional hawks like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to current Defense Minister and former Labor Prime Minister Ehud Barak. Israelis can see the relentless progress Iran is making toward enriching uranium, building a plutonium-breeding facility and improving on its ballistic missiles, all the while violating UN sanctions without consequence. Iran’s march to the bomb also alarms its Arab neighbors, but it represents an existential threat to an Israeli nation that Iran has promised to destroy and has waged decades of proxy war against. This threat has only increased in the wake of Iran’s stolen election and crackdown. The nature of the regime seems to be changing from a revolutionary theocracy to a military-theocratic state that is becoming fascist in operation. The Revolutionary Guard Corps is gaining power at the expense of the traditional military and a divided clerical establishment. On the weekend, Ahmadinejad called for the arrest and punishment of opposition leaders, and last week he nominated Ahmad Vahidi, a commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, to become defense minister. Vahidi is wanted on an Interpol arrest warrant for his role in masterminding the 1994 attack on a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. That attack killed 85 people and wounded 200 others. Vahidi’s nomination shows that when Ahmadinejad talks of wiping Israel off the map, no Israel leader can afford to dismiss it as a religious allegory. Israel also looks warily on the Obama Administration’s policy of diplomatic pleading with Iran, which comes after six years of failed diplomatic overtures by the European Union and Bush Administration. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s suggestion in July that the US would extend a “defense umbrella” over its allies in the Middle East “once the Iranians have a nuclear weapon” may have been a slip of the lip. But Israelis can be forgiven for wondering if the US would sooner accept a nuclear Iran as a fait accompli than do whatever is necessary to stop it. It’s no wonder, then, that the Israeli military has been intensively, and very publicly, war-gaming attack scenarios on Iran’s nuclear installations. This has included sending warships through the Suez Canal (with Egypt’s blessing), testing its Arrow antiballistic missile systems and conducting nation-wide emergency drills. US and Israeli military officials we’ve spoken to are confident an Israeli strike could deal a significant blow to Iran’s programs, even if some elements would survive. The longer Israel waits, however, the more steps Iran can take to protect its installations. The consequences of an Israeli attack are impossible to predict, but there is no doubt they would implicate US interests throughout the Middle East. Iran would accuse the US of complicity, whether or not the US gave its assent to an attack. Iran could also attack US targets, drawing America into a larger Mideast war. Short of an Islamist revolution in Pakistan, an Israeli strike on Iran would be the most dangerous foreign policy issue President Obama could face, throwing all his diplomatic ambitions into a cocked hat. Yet in its first seven months, the Administration has spent more diplomatic effort warning Israel not to strike than it has rallying the world to stop Iran. In recent days, the Administration has begun taking a harder line against Tehran, with talk of “crippling” sanctions on Iran’s imports of gasoline if the mullahs don’t negotiate by the end of September. Rhetorically, that’s a step in the right direction. But unless Obama gets serious, and soon, about stopping Iran from getting a bomb, he’ll be forced to deal with the consequences of Israel acting in its own defense.



Libya’s Gaddafi Blames Israel for African Wars

(Libyan leader says much of Africa's violence is due to foreign meddling, Jewish state in particular is to blame for stoking conflicts there)

Sept. 1….(YNET) Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says much of Africa's violence is due to foreign meddling and that Israel in particular is to blame for stoking conflicts there. Gaddafi's comments came Monday during an extraordinary African Union summit scheduled to coincide with a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought Gaddafi to power. The Libyan leader blamed much of Africa's violence on what he described as intervention by unnamed "foreign powers," bent on plundering Africa's natural resources. While Gaddafi and other African leaders often blame foreign hands for stoking internal divisions, this was one of the most explicit and targeted Gaddafi outbursts in many years. Like most Arab countries, Libya does not recognize Israel.



Obama to Mediate Israel-PA Meeting at the UN

Sept. 1….( Talks between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will begin in under a month with help from a new moderator – United States President Barack Obama. So reports the American news agency Fox News, based on an exclusive interview with President Shimon Peres. Peres told Fox that the three-way meeting is expected to take place at the United Nations compound in New York. In advance of the meeting, Israeli, American, and European officials continue to talk regarding the PA's demand that Israel freeze construction in Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem. The PA has warned that it will not begin negotiations as long as Jews are allowed to build in areas that the PA claims as the site of a future Arab state. The PA is backed by the US and the EU, both of which have pressured Israel to halt construction. When it comes to the proposed building freeze, Netanyahu “knows he must do it,” Peres said. The prime minister “is aware of the choice, and he knows there is no chance, no escape, no alternative to go ahead and make peace,” he stated. If negotiations between Israel and the PA resume, they will not include Hamas, Peres said. Hamas became part of the PA leadership after winning the most recent PA elections, but later split from the Fatah-led PA after staging a violent coup in Gaza. Currently, Hamas rules Gaza, while the Fatah-led PA controls Arab towns in Judea and Samaria.



UN’s ELBaradei Has Been Covering Up Iran's Nuclear Progress

Sept. 1….(DEBKAfile Exclusive Report) The "US, Israel and four other governments are urgently discussing the release of intelligence that Iran is running covert military nuclear projects parallel to its civilian program after Mohammed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, intentionally withheld this data from his last report, DEBKAfile's military and intelligence sources disclose. The four governments are Britain, France, Netherlands and Japan. All six had provided ElBaradei with new and detailed information on the advances made by Iran in its race to develop a nuclear bomb for inclusion in his last report on Aug. 28 before he retires next month. But ElBaradei, true to his usual custom of blurring Iran's breaches, omitted the new evidence. In Paragraphs 18 to 20 of his report, he admits to possessing substantial intelligence but regrets he is unable to use it to confront Iran without betraying his sources and so Iran was not able to fully answer IAEA queries. US and Israeli sources denounce this evasion as a diplomatic scandal verging on fraud. The material passed to him left no doubt that Iran was engaged in developing a nuclear weapon and revealed for the first time that it reached the final stages, weapon design, of the process. But ElBaradei decided to keep it hidden on the pretext of not exposing sources. One official told DEBKAfile that passing the new information to the IAEA director had compromised its sources anyway so there was no point in holding it back any longer. The seven governments concerned will decide very soon which parts of this unpublished information to air. According to our sources, it will not be attributed directly to any government but to "Iranian exiles" who will present it as coming from inside Iran. This tactic was employed in 2004, when the opposition Mojaheddin al-Khalq leaders first broke the news of Iran's uranium enrichment plant in Natanz at press conferences in Washington and Paris. The Israeli foreign ministry denounced the ElBaradei report, released ahead of the nuclear watchdog's regular annual meeting in Vienna on Sept. 7, for omitting "to detail Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear arms or its continued attempts to deceive and conceal those efforts. Neither did it mention Tehran's refusal to cooperate with the IAEA and the international community." Next month, when the UN General Assembly opens, a special high-level meeting of the UN Security Council will discuss nuclear proliferation.



Iran’s Nuclear Threat Targets US, Israel


(FOJ) Iran has test-fired missiles capable of reaching Israel, southeastern Europe and US bases in the Mideast, and published reports say Iran is within a year of developing its own nuclear bomb.


Aug. 31.(Newsmax) Concerns about Iran's nuclear capabilities, and their potential devastating impact on America, are mounting, a special report from Newsmax.TV reveals. The Islamic republic has test-fired missiles capable of reaching Israel, southeastern Europe and US bases in the Mideast, and published reports say Iran is within a year of developing its own nuclear bomb. And security experts warn that even one nuclear device in the hands of a rogue nation could be used against the United States in a devastating electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack. So why isn't the Obama administration doing more to prevent a nuclear nightmare?

“I get very, very nervous about it,” Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., told Newsmax. TV's Kathleen Walter. “I think Iran will have a nuclear weapon. I think now it's only a question of when.” The United States is caught in the middle of a Mideast faceoff between one of its strongest allies, Israel, and Iran. Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the world map, and Israel refuses to rule out a pre-emptive strike on its adversary while insisting that Iran must not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. If the United States tries to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons, its president, Mahmoud Amedinejad, has vowed a campaign of bloody revenge. “[Iran's hatred of Israel] is rooted in ideology,” said Walid Phares of Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “The Iranian regime is jihadist, and they do not acknowledge nor accept the idea that a non-Islamic, non-jihadist state could exist in the region.” Although Iran is thousands of miles from America's shores, its belligerent actions could have far-reaching repercussions. A regional war or nuclear attack could cause an already shaky US economy to collapse. Even scarier, say policy analysts, is the growing threat of an EMP, an intense burst of energy from an exploding nuclear warhead high above the Earth. Experts believe such an attack could destroy all electronic devices over a massive area, from cell phones to computers to America's electrical grid. “Within a year of that attack nine out of 10 Americans would be dead, because we can't support a population of the present size in urban centers and the like without electricity,” said Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy. “That would be a world without America, as a practical matter. And that is exactly what I believe the Iranians are working towards.” President Barack Obama has committed the US government to a diplomatic approach for resolving the high-stakes nuclear dispute, but Iran has so far rebuffed Obama's overtures. Meanwhile, Congress is working on legislation to grant Obama the power to impose crippling sanctions on Iran if the talk-first approach doesn't work. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., says such sanctions are long overdue.

“A nuclear Iran is a threat to the Iranian people, to Israel, to the Middle East, to the national security of the United States. And what is Congress doing about it? Nothing. We have proposed legislation time and time again to have real, substantial sanctions leveled against Iran. Now, we like to point fingers and say the UN has not done enough, but really we should be pointing the fingers at ourselves.” The Obama administration has pressed Israel to halt all settlement building and to refrain from attacking Iran, hoping such efforts will lure Iran and other Mideast Arab nations to the negotiating table. Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, says that sort of approach is wrong. “Obama says Arabs can keep building in the West Bank, Arabs can keep building in eastern Jerusalem … but Jews can't. There's no other way to define this than racist.” Klein says time is running out to stop Iran. “America should say that everything is on the table and we will pursue whatever is necessary, military option, severe sanctions, whatever is necessary to stop these weapons. This is serious business. Al-Qaida has made clear how seriously they can harm American interests, and with nuclear weapons it's just beyond belief the horror that can ensue.” But some critics are pushing for less intervention. “Arguing for sanctions against Iran, and threatening them with bombs, or encouraging Israel to bomb Iran makes no sense whatsoever,” said Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. “So many other times this argument has been won by pure economics. This is what brought the Soviets to their knees – it was financial.” Others wonder if the United States missed the perfect opportunity to disarm Iran, failing to take advantage of the widespread turmoil and push for reform that occurred in the aftermath of the country's disputed recent presidential elections. “Eventually the Iranian regime, if not reformed from the inside, is going to get the nukes, is going to use them in a deterrence fashion, and eventually if there is a confrontation it may use them for real,” said Phares. “This revolt of Tehran may well become another Iranian revolution. Now its success is conditioned by how far the United States and the international community go in assisting this democratic movement.” The more time Obama devotes to the diplomatic approach, critics warn, the more time Iran has to realize its nuclear ambitions and even sell its technology to other nations or terrorists. “I think the president's learning a lesson,” said Hoekstra. “I mean, the president was brutal on the previous administration on foreign policy, saying, you know, 'Your policy on North Korea is bad; your policy on Iran is bad.' Everywhere and anything the former president did in foreign policy was terrible [according to Obama], and he was going to come in and fix it. I think he's finding out that foreign policy is hard.”




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