WEEK OF JANUARY 27 THROUGH FEBRUARY 2
Syria Says Bush Speech 'Declaration of War'
Jan.30….Reuters-Damascus) Syria accused President Bush on Thursday of issuing a "declaration of war" against Iraq this week and of seeking to control Baghdad's oil. In the first official Syrian reaction to Bush's annual state of the union address on Tuesday, al-Baath newspaper said: "The speech was not a State of the Union address as much as it was a state of Iraq address...it ranked as a declaration of war." Al-Baath is the mouthpiece of the ruling Baath Socialist Arab Party, chaired by President Bashar al-Assad. "How can we imagine that the Zionism-leaning circles in America and elsewhere would accept a dialogue with the land of Babylon?. Syria has described the re-election of right-wing Sharon as a blow to peace efforts and predicted more Israeli-Palestinian violence on the back of the outcome of this week's elections which it said represented hard-line extremists. Syria strongly backs Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation and opposes U.S. military action against Iraq.
Iraq / UN Behind Peace Demonstrations in US
Jan. 30….(New York Daily News) Iraq sent spies from Canada to New York and Washington this month to snoop and stir up anti-war demonstrations, according to a government report obtained by the Daily News. A source identified as a member of the Iraqi opposition told U.S. agents that Iraqis in Canada were ordered to recruit Arabs and other foreigners for espionage missions in the U.S., the report said. Many UN members have also actively promoted and participated “give peace a chance” demonstrations across the world recently in an attempt to show that the Bush Administration is a loose cannon, and that the US is seeking to devalue the UN.
Mandela Blasts President Bush and USA
Jan. 31….(CNN) Former South African president Nelson Mandela has slammed the U.S. stance on Iraq, saying that "one power with a president who has no foresight, who cannot think properly, is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust." Speaking at the International Women's Forum, Mandela said "if there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America." Mandela said U.S. President George W. Bush covets the oil in Iraq "because Iraq produces 64 percent of the oil in the world. What Bush wants is to get hold of that oil." In fact Iraq contributes to only 5 percent of world oil exports. Receiving applause for his comments, Mandela said Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are "undermining" past work of the United Nations. "They do not care. Is it because the secretary-general of the United Nations is now a black man?" said Mandela, referring to Kofi Annan, who is from Ghana. Nobel Peace Laureate Mandela, 84, has spoken out many times against Bush's stance, and South Africa's close ties with Libya and Cuba irked Washington during Mandela's own presidency.
US Must Defend itself Against Terror
Jan. 31….(FOJ) A classified document signed by President Bush specifically allows for the use of nuclear weapons in response to biological or chemical attacks, apparently changing a decades-old U.S. policy of deliberate ambiguity. The Washington Times reported that "the United States will continue to make clear that it reserves the right to respond with overwhelming force, including potentially nuclear weapons, to the use of weapons of mass destruction against the United States, its forces abroad, and friends and allies. National Security Presidential Directive 17, was released Dec. 11 as the National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction and closely parallels the official classified document. However, instead of the phrase "including potentially nuclear weapons," the public text says, "including through resort to all of our options." For decades, the U.S. government has maintained a deliberately vague nuclear policy, expressed in such language as "all options open" and "not ruling anything in or out." As recently as last weekend, the Bush administration officials used similar statements in public, consciously avoiding the word "nuclear." The USA must use any means necessary to protect its citizens and the world from a "holocaust." Today, America and the Bush Administration are being labeled as the worlds greatest abuser of weapons of mass destruction as typified in the statements by Nelson Mandela this week. America's sovereignty is under attack by the United Nations, and very soon that world body may accuse America of irresponsible overreaction in the areas of retaliatory action. The pattern has already been set in Israel!
Iraq Accuses Israel of hiding Nukes
Jan. 30….(World Net) Iraq accused Israel yesterday of harboring weapons of mass destruction during a speech at a meeting of the U.N. arms control body that Baghdad is scheduled to chair in June of this year. "We all know Israel has nuclear arms and has signed the treaty banning chemical weapons, but nobody knows where their stocks are," said Iraqi Ambassador Samir Al-Nima at a UN Conference on Weapons Disarmament. “We also know Israel has biological weapons and chemical weapons.” Yesterday's accusations by Iraq were sparked by Israeli ambassador Yaakov Levy's appeal to the conference for a Middle East free of biological, chemical and nuclear arms, according to Reuters. Levy accused "certain countries" of seeking weapons of mass destruction and supplying "terrorist groups" with conventional arms. Iraq's Al-Nima retorted: "The international community has not seen practical steps taken by Israel to disarm in the nuclear field." Iraq hit Israel with 39 Scud ballistic missiles during the 1991 Gulf War.
FOJ Note: The weapons of mass destruction “shell game” continues. The UN resolutions against the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction being enforced by the US could have repercussions for Israel, in lieu of the many UN resolutions levied against Israel over the years. Who would enforce those? Russia, China, Eu?
World Leaders Dislike Religious Bush
Jan. 31….(FOJ) President Bush's State of the Union address underscored a striking element of his presidency: the extent to which he is influenced by his Christian faith. In policy proposals and word choices, he showed the public face of his private beliefs. Many Americans welcome Bush's spiritual approach and find it reassuring, and in stark contrast to former President Clinton. But some civil libertarians are gearing up to halt his religious influence. Bush made a clear statement of faith Tuesday night in his State of the Union address in recounting the dangers posed by Iraq and the likelihood of confrontation. "We do not claim to know all the ways of Providence," the President said, "yet we can trust in them, placing our confidence in the loving God behind all of life, and all of history. May He guide us now." When Bush said fighting AIDS in Africa and the Caribbean would be "a work of mercy," it echoed the "seven corporal works of mercy." When he said "there is power — wonder-working power" in Americans to do Christian deeds, he was quoting from a well known Baptist hymn. Any wonder EU and UN leaders refer to Bush as a lunatic and an uneducated man?
PA: Israeli's Have Made a Grave Mistake
Jan. 29….(Ha Aretz) PA Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo said that the election victory of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the right bloc Likud was a blow to peace, and that the Israelis had made a terrible historic mistake. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that under Sharon the situation on the ground in Palestinian areas would deteriorate further. The militant organization Hamas said that Sharon's re-election would mean "a continuation of Israeli violence against the Palestinians and will be met with the continuation of Palestinian resistance." (FOJ Note: this means the PA will incite more terrorism) A senior Islamic Jihad official said his group would respond to Sharon's "crimes as we have done in the past two years." The first mission of the new Sharon government will be to thwart the imposition of an international initiative, the "road map", calling for the establishment of a temporary Palestinian state by the end of this year and a final accord by 2005, by the “Quartet” (the US, the EU, the UN and Russia).
North Korea: America Remove Your Nukes
Jan. 29….(Reuters) North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has turned the nuclear tables by demanding that the United States remove all its nuclear weapons from South Korea. President Bush, who last year branded North Korea part of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and Iran, used his latest State of the Union speech Tuesday to accuse North Korea of deceit and blackmail, but said Washington would work with its allies for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. "Throughout the 1990s, the United States relied on a negotiated framework to keep North Korea from gaining nuclear weapons. We now know that that regime was deceiving the world and developing those weapons all along," Bush said. "Today the North Korean regime is using its nuclear program to incite fear and seek concessions. America and the world will not be blackmailed," he said.
FOJ Note: North Korea is simply trying to force America to disengage (nuclear free) from the Far East, leaving South Korea, Taiwan, the Phillipines and Japan vulnerable so that the Revelation “Kings of the East” can emerge to control the entire region.
President Bush State of the Union--on Iraq
Jan. 29….(FOJ) Today, the gravest danger in the war on terror, the gravest danger facing America and the world, is outlaw regimes (Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria) that seek and possess nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. This threat is new; America's duty is familiar. Throughout the 20th century, small groups of men seized control of great nations, and set out to dominate the weak and intimidate the world. In each case, the ambitions of Hitlerism, militarism and communism were defeated by the will of free peoples, by the strength of great alliances, and by the might of the United States of America. Now, in this century, the ideology of power and domination has appeared again and seeks to gain the ultimate weapons of terror. All free nations have a stake in preventing sudden and catastrophic attack. We are asking them to join us, and many are doing so. Yet the course of this nation does not depend on the decisions of others. Whatever action is required, whenever action is necessary, I will defend the freedom and security of the American people. Year after year, Saddam Hussein has gone to elaborate lengths, spent enormous sums, taken great risks, to build and keep weapons of mass destruction — but why? The only possible explanation, the only possible use he could have for those weapons, is to dominate, intimidate, or attack. With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in the region. And this Congress and the American people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody, reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own. Before September 11, 2001, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents and lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained. Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons, and other plans — this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take just one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known. We will do everything in our power to make sure that day never comes. Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. Tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country — your enemy is ruling your country.
EU: UN Must Be 'Center of Gravity' on Iraq
Jan. 29….(Reuters) European Union foreign affairs chief Javier Solana Wednesday hailed a U.S. offer to share intelligence on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction with the United Nations and said the world body's role remained key. "I welcome the fact that Secretary of State Colin Powell is to share information, to share intelligence with the United Nations," he told reporters in Brussels. "But the center of gravity should be the United Nations," he said. It was too early to say whether a second Security Council resolution would be needed to authorize the use of military force against Iraq, he added. The 15-nation European Union has been divided on its view of Bush's hard line toward Iraq and many EU states have been alarmed by the prospect of a unilateral U.S. decision to attack.
Ariel Sharon Re-Elected in Israel
Jan. 28….(FOJ) Ariel Sharon was born in Palestine in 1928, back when Palestine was under a British mandate. As a young man Sharon joined the Jewish underground military organization known as Haganah and fought in the Arab-Israeli war in 1948-49 after the creation of the Jewish State. Sharon has a celebrated military history in Israel. He commanded the armored division that crossed the Suez Canal in the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In 1966, he was head of the Army Training Department. In 1964, he was appointed head of the Northern Command Staff. Sharon rose to the rank of brigadier general and commanded a division during the Six Day war of June 1967 in which Israel captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Mr. Sharon was first elected to the Knesset in 1973, but resigned a year later to serve as a security adviser to Yitzhak Rabin. He was later re-elected to the Israeli parliament in 1977. Sharon masterminded Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982. As defense minister he led the Israeli army all the way to Beirut, an offensive which ended in the expulsion of Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from Lebanon. The military offensive stopped the PLO from using Lebanon to launch attacks against Israel. As housing minister in the early 1990s, he presided over the biggest building drive in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza since Israel occupied the territories in the Six-Day War. Mr. Sharon went on to become leader of the right-wing Likud Party in opposition after Mr. Netanyahu's decisive defeat in the 1999 general election, and has now won landslide elections for Prime Minister twice in the last two years. His election serves further notice that Israel is fed up with peace negotiations with Yasser Arafat!
Russia May Support US War on Iraq
Jan. 28….(MSNBC) The screws were tightened on Iraq on Tuesday as Russia, for the first time, suggested it might back a war if Baghdad fails to cooperate with U.N. inspectors. As the United States agreed to disclose intelligence information about Iraq's weapons program and alleged links between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaida, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he might support “different, tougher” options if Iraq hampered the U.N.-mandated inspections. Putin said inspectors have not reported obstacles to their work in Iraq and diplomatic measures to resolve the crisis have not been exhausted. But if Baghdad creates future difficulties, he said, Russia could move closer to the U.S. position on Iraq. “If Iraq begins to make problems for the work of the inspectors, then Russia may change its position and agree with the United States on the development of different, tougher U.N. Security Council decisions,” Putin said during a visit to Ukraine. Russia's new position leaves France, and China to a lesser extent, the main holdouts among the five permanent council members. Both nations have urged a diplomatic solution while calling for more time for inspectors to complete their work. The White House hopes the new intelligence data it plans to release, as well as U.S. backing for a limited extension for the inspectors' work will persuade other nations to back a broad coalition. Washington has insisted it doesn't need a new resolution to launch an attack on Iraq, but the White House would prefer a U.N. mandate.
Voting is underway for Israeli Election.
Jan. 28….(Jerusalem Post) Confident of victory in, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon withdrew to his office on the last day of the campaign, while opposition leader Amram Mitzna phoned wavering voters in a desperate attempt to cushion what is shaping up as the worst-ever showing of the once-dominant Labour Party. Israel's fourth election in seven years has inspired little passion, even though the direction of Israel's conflict with the Palestinians is at stake. Mr. Mitzna champions a quick withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and much of the West Bank, while Mr. Sharon says troops must stay there until Palestinian militants have been crushed. Many voters have simply despaired of a quick end to 28 months of fighting. About 4.7 million of Israel's 6.6 million citizens are eligible to vote, with 27 parties competing for 120 seats in parliament. Mr. Sharon, 74, would have to form a coalition of right-wing and Jewish religious parties. Many Israelis are also angry at the Palestinians, believing they responded to a reasonable peace offer with violence, and Israelis are not in the mood for compromise. The Palestinians are resigned to a Sharon victory. "I think all indications are that things will get worse," said Palestinian Cabinet minister Saeb Erekat.
U.S. To Offer Evidence On Iraq
Jan. 28….(FOJ) The Bush administration is likely to declassify intelligence as early as next week that it says shows that senior Iraqi officials have been working to conceal weapons and evidence of weapons programs from United Nations weapons inspectors. The information includes satellite photographs and "intercepts." Word of the impending offer of proof came hours after top U.N. inspectors sought a few more months' "investment in peace," even though their report to the Security Council stated that Baghdad was resisting U.N. efforts to verify its disarmament. President Bush is expected to lay out his case against Iraq in his State of the Union address tonight. Later this week he will present new evidence directly linking Saddam Hussein with the al Qaeda terrorist group. Secretary of State Powell will deliver fresh, "convincing" evidence of a connection between Saddam and the terrorist group after Friday's Camp David meeting between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Mr. Bush will not offer the evidence in tonight's State of the Union address. A senior administration official said the United States has proof that al Qaeda leaders have been going "in and out of Iraq" since U.S. forces annihilated the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Bush administration in recent days has begun to assert that Saddam and bin Laden's al Qaeda organization are working together on weapons of mass destruction. Presidential spokesman, Ari Fleischer said there have been contacts between "senior Iraqi officials and members of the al Qaeda organization going back for quite a long time. We know, too, that several of the detainees, particularly some of the high-level detainees, have said that Iraq provided some training to al Qaeda in chemical weapons development."
President Bush: The Countdown Has Begun!
Jan. 28….(Debka) The White House has fixed on the last week of February for a final decision on military action against Iraq. That is the moment for President George W. Bush has set to determine if America goes to war with or without “a coalition of the willing,” whether or not the UN inspectors find weapons of mass destruction, with or without an amendment to Security Council Resolution 1441, and without considering a French, German or Chinese veto or domestic opinion polls. Sources in Washington report that the US President has set his team three provisos for launching military action in the last week of February-first week of March:
1. By February 23-25, the entire American invasion force for the first stage must be fully assembled and ready to go.
2. If the heads of the Pentagon, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Richard Myers and war commander, Gen. Tommy Franks, cannot assure the president that the military buildup is complete and everything is set to go, the offensive will be delayed for a new decision.
3. All three war chiefs must be absolutely certain that the military, logistical and intelligence resources at the disposal of America's war effort are capable of waging and winning a short war of no more than 100 hours, 6 days at the outside. Failing this guarantee, Bush will allow more time for collecting reinforcements.
The promised British revelation of Saddam's secret chemical weapons cache is therefore timed precisely to coincide with the still tentative timetable for launching war on Iraq, whether by a cruise missile blitz, heavy air bombardment, or paratroop landings at the concealed WMD sites and their destruction. Because of the tight time factor, a competition has sprung up between the two opposing camps: the United States, Britain and their covert allies, Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, versus the anti-war faction led by Russia, France, Germany, China and the United Nations. Members of the second camp may well switch sides once the offensive is in progress, but first they must show their own peoples and the Muslim world that they were ready to put up a fight to prevent it, even at the risk of an open breach with Washington. The American-led camp is also taking a grave risk, that of mortally wounding the United Nations. Many observers wonder how long the world body will survive if the United States goes to war against Iraq in flat defiance of its institutions and majority will. Aware of this hazard, President Bush last year warned the United Nations that inaction on Iraq would condemn it to the same fate as League of Nations. The United Nations itself, and not just Saddam Hussein, face existential danger over the whole unconventional weapons issue. For the moment, the two camps are at a standoff. Russia, France, Germany and China, with help from the UN inspection team leaders, have managed to deny Washington a UN mandate for military action. However, Washington, declaring that time is running out, has set a provisional date for the war to begin, even if it has to go in solo. The inspectors have been awarded one more month to wind up their investigations in Iraq, no real concession when the war dateline is one month hence anyway, the time needed for American war planners to complete their military buildup and meet the President's conditions.
Jewish Rabbi: No Land for Peace!
Jan. 27…..(Israel News) Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, spiritual head of the Shas party, has issued a halachic decision (of Jewish law), which was distributed among the Jewish communities of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, stating that the formula of “land-for-peace” is in no way applicable in today's situation. The rabbi's decision further states that in today's circumstances, in fact, “relinquishing territories of our holy land leads to the endangering of human life.” Therefore, Rabbi Yosef wrote, “the Oslo Accords are cancelled and nullified, and we have no one on whom to rely but our Father in heaven.” Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, a former chief rabbi of the state of Israel, is widely regarded as a leading Torah scholar, whose decisions in halacha (Jewish law) carry significant weight in the Torah-observant community.
Sec. Powell Pushes for Palestinian State
Jan. 27….(Reuters) Secretary of State Colin Powell repeated the U.S. call for new Palestinian leaders Sunday and said Israel must contribute to peace by offering the Palestinians more than "a phony state that's diced into a thousand different pieces." In a speech designed to muster support for a tough line against Iraq, Powell told business people and politicians a democratic and viable Palestinian state was possible in 2005. "To achieve this vision, the Palestinians must build trust by establishing a new and different leadership, and by putting an end to all terror and violence," he said. "Israel will also be required to build trust by easing the economic plight of ordinary Palestinians and by putting an end to settlement construction," he added. In response to a question from the audience after the speech, Powell said the United States and others must do everything they can to "put in place a (Palestinian) leadership that is responsible, with representative institutions of government that will clamp down on terrorism."
"We also have to say to our Israeli friends that you have to do more to deal with the humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian people and you have to understand that a Palestinian state must be a real state, not a phony state that's diced into a thousand different pieces," he added.
Hezbullah Leader Threatens U.S.
Jan. 27….(Jerusalem Post) The Hizbullah terrorist organization of Syria has taken on the United States. "If the Americans invade our area," said Hassan Nasrallah yesterday in Damascus, "they will face suicide attacks of the type that Israel has been receiving." He called on participants to boycott the United States economically and politically. Nasrallah also said Iraq's internal disputes should be set aside and all Arabs should band together in rejecting any US military action.
Blix to UN: Iraq Has Not Accepted Disarmament
Jan. 27….Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix delivered his inspections report to the United Nations in New York this morning. Hans Blix said Baghdad had not genuinely accepted the U.N. resolution demanding that it disarm, while nuclear inspection counterpart Mohamed ElBaradei said his teams needed an additional "few months" to complete the search. (FOJ Note: El Baradei is An Eghyptian nationalist who fought against Israel in 1967 & 1973) U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said he heard nothing that "gives us any hope that Iraq will disarm" voluntarily, removing the need for the United States to take military action. Noting that Iraq had failed to disarm in the 12 years since the end of the 1991 Gulf War, he said U.S. monitoring of the inspections showed "Iraq is back to business as usual" and cautioned the United Nations Security Council not ease pressure on Baghdad. "They are not cooperating unconditionally. In the days ahead, we believe the council and its member governments must face its responsibilities," Negroponte said. Iraq's Ambassador Mohammed al-Douri said, "Iraq is clear of weapons of mass destruction." ElBaradei said inspectors had found no prohibited nuclear activity at new sites visited in Iraq. Blix said Baghdad was cooperating on access but needs to do more on substance. "Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament that was demanded of it," Blix said at the beginning of a crucial assessment on 60 days of weapons inspections. Blix, said it was not enough for the Iraqis to "open doors." "It would appear from our experience so far that Iraq has decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, notably access. A similar decision is indispensable to provide cooperation on substance in order to bring the disarmament task to completion, through the peaceful process of inspection, and to bring the monitoring task on a firm course." Touching on the question of how much time inspectors need, Blix said he shared "the sense of urgency" to achieve disarmament within "a reasonable period of time." ElBaradei said his inspectors were making good progress and should not be hampered by deadlines. "We have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear program since the elimination of the program in the 1990s. However, our work is steadily progressing and should be allowed to run its natural course.
United Nations chief weapons inspector Hans Blix, right, speaks to the U.N. Security Council as International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, left, listens at U.N. Headquarters Monday, Jan. 27, 2003. Blix and ElBaradei deliver reports to the Security Council Monday, that will be key to Washington's efforts to bolster international support for a war on Iraq
WEEK OF JANUARY 21 THROUGH JANUARY 26
Sharon: Jews Want back on Temple Mount
Jan. 24….(Ha Aretz) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon held a secret meeting several weeks ago with rabbis from the Council of West Bank Settlements (Yesha Council), where there were discussion over reopening the Temple Mount to Jewish worshippers. Sharon told the rabbis that he was still determined to allow Jews to enter the Temple Mount compound. One of the rabbis told Sharon that he came to power party because of his September 2000 visit to the Temple Mount, but that he risks losing power if he does not act quickly to reopen the holy site to Jews. Sharon asked the rabbis to allow him to work behind the scenes toward this goal.
War on Iraq is Weeks Away!
Jan.24….(FOJ) President George Bush is determined to go to war with Saddam Hussein in the next few weeks, without UN backing if necessary, according to authoritative sources in Washington and London. US President Bush is planning "to turn up the heat" in his state of the union address next Tuesday. The President is talking about war within weeks, and not months. The time has now come for the US to present its intelligence case for making war on Iraq! President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain dismissed European opposition to an early war against Iraq yesterday, saying that if military action became inevitable, plenty of countries would join a "strong coalition" to topple Saddam Hussein, even without a new United Nations resolution authorizing the use of force. China and Russia have joined France and Germany in warning the US against precipitate action and calling for Washington to work within the UN. President Bush is slated to lay out the broad case for toppling President Saddam next Tuesday but White House officials insist the speech, a year after the president coined the phrase, "axis of evil", will stop short of being a declaration of war. That will await a more detailed presentation of intelligence evidence in the next few weeks, after Mr. Blair visits Camp David. Reuters news service is reporting that Russia's armed forces have obtained information that the United States and its allies have already decided to launch military action in Iraq from mid-February, and that most foreign diplomatic officials are planning to clear out of Baghdad and close down embassies and consulates by Feb. 15.
Pope Wants EU to Call Itself Catholic
Jan. 24….(UPI) Pope John Paul II is lobbying European governments to officially recognize the European Union's Christian roots, but diplomatic sources said Thursday that secular opposition is likely to block his efforts. Vatican diplomats, and the pope himself in meetings with European officials, want to see a strong reference to Christianity included in the preamble to the European Union's Constitution, now being drafted by the Convention on the Future of Europe. The Vatican argument is that Christianity's fundamental role in shaping European culture should be acknowledged in what is destined to become the EU's key document. European sources said the issue over admitting nations like Turkey, a Muslim country may cause controversy. Putting an emphasis on Christian values now could alienate the large immigrant populations of Muslims that now reside in virtually every EU member country. Although the picture was mixed, few of the 15 EU member states, and of the new members scheduled to join in the next two years, include a reference to religion in their respective constitutions. These sources report a widespread reluctance among convention delegates to oblige the pope and involve religion in the process of shaping the new Europe.
Egypt Hosting anti-Terror Summit
Jan. 23….(FOJ) Egypt's Hosni Mubarak is doing his bit part this week to continue to gain American foreign aid by hosting the Cairo anti-Terrorism Conference and inviting all the Middle East terror organizations to Cairo for wining and dining. The Islamic Jihad and Hamas terrorist organizations announced today that they would attend the Cairo anti-terrorism Conference, but also swore never to stop murdering Jews. Yasser Arafat's Fatah terrorist organization, which is officially part of the PA and has also murdered plenty of Jews over the past two years, publicly announced today that it too would attend the Cairo conference, but that it would also continue sending human suicide bombers to murder Jews in Israe.
(Note! Remember all those occasions over the last 2 years when Yasser Arafat routinely declared before western media that he was doing his utmost to constrain the terrorists?)
Revisiting the 1967 Six Day War
Jan. 23….(excerpt from Joseph Farah commentary) Occupation, occupation, occupation. If you listen to Arabs, that's the cause of the conflict with Israel, occupation. They blame all their ills, from refugees living in squalor for the last 50 years to Yasser Arafat's bad breath, on the so-called Israeli "occupation" of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Arabs say the Israelis grabbed this real estate in a war of aggression in 1967. In fact, Israel did not start that war. Israel did not want that war. Israel merely defended itself, and very, very effectively, from coordinated attacks by Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Arafat's terrorists. On June 5, 1967, the Six-Day War began. Israel rolled up all of its enemies faster than anyone would have believed. It took control of East Jerusalem from Jordan. It took control of Judea and Samaria on the west bank of the Jordan River from Jordan. It took control of the Golan Heights from Syria. And it took control of the Gaza Strip and Sinai Desert from Egypt. Clearly, the so-called "occupation" of these territories came about as a result of Arab war-making on Israel. Israel merely defended itself well. Israel also proved it was willing to give these territories back to neighbors who would live in peace with the Jewish state, as demonstrated with the return of the Sinai to Egypt. All of this raises a few questions: If Israel is occupying those territories today, who was occupying them until 1967? If the West Bank and Gaza belong to "Palestinians," why were they under the control of Jordan and Egypt until June 5, 1967? If Arab "Palestinians" just want their own state, why didn't they ask for it before 1967?
Who Has the Right to Declare War?
Jan. 23….(FOJ) As America contemplates the prospect of going to war against Saddam Hussein, many people around the world are questioning if the US has a right to go to war in Iraq. President George W. Bush made clear his growing exasperation with wavering allies warning countries such as France and Germany that they would be "held to account" if they did not back tough action to disarm Saddam Hussein. In his strongest language to date, he poured scorn on calls for the United Nations inspections to be extended, saying the Iraqi leader merely wanted more time "so he can give the so-called inspectors more runaround, and gain more time to carry out his plans." President Bush said: "It's time for us to hold the world to account, and for Saddam to be held to account." His main target appeared to be France and Germany, which yesterday set themselves adamantly at odds with US and British policy on Iraq. Speaking during celebrations of the Elysée treaty with Germany's Chancellor Schröder, the French president Jacques Chirac said that France and Germany would oppose any American war on Iraq, saying the US had no right to go-it-alone in Iraq. "The decision for war must come from the UN Security Council alone." Last week, an opinion poll conducted in the US found that 81% of Americans favor war on Iraq if the UN grants its approval, but that only 39% of Americans favor going it alone. It is apparent to FOJ that in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks on America by Middle East terrorists, that America's sovereignty and the right to declare war on the attackers and those nations that sponsor them is under intense scrutiny. Does America have a right to defend itself without UN permission? On second thought, why is it that Israel also has not been allowed to defend itself against Middle East terrorism?
President Bush has some tough decisions to make in the days ahead concerning the Axis of Evil, and he must make a strong case to the American people in those decisions.
Syria and Russian Align Against US Iraq Policy
Jan. 22….(Middle East Newsline) In a growing renewal of Russian-Syrian relations, Syria warned the United States today that militant Islamic factions over which Middle Eastern governments have no control would emerge all over the Arab world should America go to war in Iraq. Abdel Halim Khaddam, Syria's Vice President, also told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Damascus was seeking to restore Soviet-era military ties with Moscow and stock up on Russian arms. Khaddam underlined that Damascus and Moscow shared a sense of foreboding about US-led military strikes aimed at unseating the Iraqi regime which he said could lead to unpredictable consequences across the Middle East. "I think the United States should feel and understand the dangerous consequences that will follow in case of a war in Iraq," Khaddam said. "If war erupts in the region, Syria and all the Arab nations will be against it," he said. "And in such a scenario, we expect the birth of new extremist groups across the region which will be very difficult for us to control," he said. "I think those who are planning a war should take this into account." Putin and Khaddam, whose nation currently holds a seat on the UN Security Council agreed during a meeting to defend each other's interests in case war breaks out in Iraq. The US remains leery of Russia's military and other technological dealings with Middle Eastern states, including Moscow's decision to construct a nuclear power plant for Iran, which is identified as part of an "axis of evil" by Washington.
Lebanon Calls For War on Israel
Jan. 22….(Jerusalem Post) Lebanese Information Minister Ghazi Aridi has called upon Hizbullah to intensify its attacks on Israel. Addressing a rally in Beirut on Monday called to protest Canada's decision to ban the Lebanese-based terrorist group, Aridi said that Israel's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000 had not undercut the need for Hizbullah to continue its military activities. "We think very differently from those outside Lebanon who believe that the battle with Israel has ended and that, as a result, the resistance has become unnecessary." "We see the battle with Israel as moving to a new stage," Aridi said, adding that attacks on Israel are "a need, a duty and a right. We call for expanding the war on Israel.
FOJ Note: Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon in 1999. That withdrawal should have ended any complaints against Israel by Lebanon, but it seems that new complaints can be invented any time to incite war upon Israel.
China Assists North Korea Nuclear Program
Jan. 22….(Washington Times) Nuclear weapons companies in China are funneling technology and goods for Pyongyang's missile program, highlighting Beijing's mixed approach to the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula. "North Korea also has continued procurement of raw materials and components for its ballistic-missile programs from various foreign sources, especially through technical weapons firms based in China," the CIA stated in a recent report to Congress. The public report coincides with other classified intelligence reports obtained in recent weeks indicating that China is also helping North Korea's nuclear program. A congressional report on North Korea in 1999 stated that Pyongyang received most of its nuclear infrastructure from countries in the former Soviet Union, "but also has received equipment and know-how from China." The final report of the House Speaker's North Korea Advisory Group said China "remains committed to the survival of the North Korean regime" and would be willing to support Pyongyang's needs for nuclear-power-generating reactor fuel if the United States, South Korea and Japan cut off fuel shipments and stop building two new nuclear reactors, as appears likely to happen. Senior Chinese military leaders in charge of the Chinese military region of Shenyang, located north of the China-North Korea border, continue to have close ties to Pyongyang's military. The military-to-military connection is believed crucial to the survival of the North Korean regime, according to U.S. analysts.
FOJ Note: The US and the West are looking to China and Russia to reign in the North Korean nuclear threat through economic sanctions and trade incentives. The real question that should be asked is why Russia and China don't feel threatened by having another nuclear neighbor. The fact that China/Russia are simply involved in assisting the nuclear capabilities of nations like North Korea, Iran, and yes, even Iraq should suggest something.
Sharon on Course to Win Israeli Election
Jan. 21..(Reuters) New opinion polls put Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon's right-wing Likud party firmly on course Monday to win next week's
general election and showed that its chief rivals are failing to close the
gap. The election outcome is expected to be decisive in determining Israel's
future approach to the nearly 28-month-old Palestinian uprising for an
independent state. Sharon's campaign has been dominated by his tough line
against the uprising, including a refusal to hold peace talks with the
Palestinians until violence ends.
France Vows to Block UN Resolution on Iraq War
Jan. 21..(Washington Post) France suggested today it would wage a major
diplomatic fight, including possible use of its veto power, to prevent the
U.N. Security Council from passing a resolution authorizing military action
against Iraq. France's opposition to a war, emphatically delivered here by
Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, is a major blow for the Bush
administration, which has begun pouring tens of thousands of troops into the
Persian Gulf in preparation for a military conflict this spring. The
administration had hoped to mark the final phase in its confrontation with
Iraq when U.N. weapons inspectors deliver a progress report Monday. But in a
diplomatic version of an ambush, France and other countries used a
high-level Security Council meeting on terrorism to lay down their markers
for the debate that will commence next week on the inspectors' report.
Russia and China, which have veto power, and Germany, which will chair the
Security Council in February, also signaled today they were willing to let
the inspections continue for months. Only Britain appeared to openly support
the U.S. position that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has thwarted effective
inspections. "If war is the only way to resolve this problem, we are going
down a dead end," de Villepin told reporters. "Already we know for a fact
that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs are being largely blocked,
even frozen. We must do everything possible to strengthen this process." The
United Nations, he said, should stay "on the path of cooperation. The other
choice is to move forward out of impatience over a situation in Iraq to move
towards military intervention. We believe that today nothing justifies
envisaging military action." Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, in the face
of such comments, departed from his prepared text on terrorism and implored
his colleagues to remember that the Security Council resolution passed
unanimously Nov. 8 gave Iraq "a last chance" to meet its obligations. "We
must not shrink from our duties and our responsibilities when the material
comes before us next week," Powell said.
World Crises send Oil Prices Soaring
Jan. 21..(Washington Times) Oil prices have spiked near two-year highs and
are within reach of a record despite OPEC's promised increase in production,
analysts say, because of the threat of war with Iraq and a political impasse
in Venezuela. Analysts say prices are likely to rise to $35 per barrel or
higher in the next month if crises in Venezuela and the Persian Gulf
continue. In the event of U.S. military action against Iraq, prices could
jump above the $40 record set during the 1991 Gulf war. One analyst said oil
prices could soar to $50 or more, creating widespread economic pain, if
Iraqi President Saddam Hussein attacks and disables oil production
facilities in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia, as well as Iraq, in retaliation for a
U.S. invasion. A quick resolution to both the Iraq and Venezuelan crises
would lead to a decline in oil prices and growth stimulation later this
year, analysts say. White House war planners in the summer did not
anticipate the sudden loss of oil exports last month from Venezuela, which
provided critical supplies to the United States during the 1991 war. The
Venezuelan oil strike, now in its 51st day, has caused prices to rise above
$30 a barrel durign the past month. Yesterday, tensions continued to mount
between strikers and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez despite international
efforts to resolve the impasse. "Venezuela was considered to be a very
secure supply source for America since World War II. This is the first time
it's been disrupted," said John Lichtblau, oil economist with Petroleum
Industry Research Foundation Inc. in New York.
Sharon: Europe Needs to Forget Arafat
WEEK OF JANUARY 13 THROUGH JANUARY 20
Jan. 20..(Telegraph) Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, warned European
countries yesterday to stay out of Middle East peace-making until they
accepted his view that Yasser Arafat, the Palestinian leader, should be
removed from power. Mr Sharon says the Palestinian leader should be "removed
from a position of influence", with power given to a prime minister who
would run the administration, leaving Mr Arafat as a mere "symbol". "This is
the American position. But for the Europeans, Mr. Arafat is still the
address for dealing with the Palestinians. So long as this lasts, it will
only waste time," he said. A new "road map" for peace leading to a
Palestinian state is due to be released by negotiators from America, Russia,
the European Union and the United Nations after the elections. Under Israeli
pressure, Washington has delayed the plan's publication, which the EU wanted
Iran Linked to Tel Aviv Terror Attack
Jan. 20..(Ha Aretz) Security establishment experts suspect that Iranian
Revolutionary Guards operating in Lebanon were involved in the suicide
bombing in Tel Aviv on January 6. The attack, in which 23 people were killed
near the old central bus station, was carried out by two Fatah activists
from Nablus. Israel has evidence that Iran has been sending both money and
instructions, usually via Lebanon, to the military branch of the Fatah in
Nablus, known as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Israel is now checking
whether the cell involved in the attack received money from Iran to finance
Saddam Hails Peace Protests
Jan. 20..(Reuters) President Saddam Hussein hailed worldwide anti-war
demonstrations Saturday and said the protests showed that Iraq had
international support for standing up to the United States. Tens of
thousands of people took part in protests across the globe Saturday to
demand that Washington abandon likely plans to invade Iraq over alleged
weapons of mass destruction. "They are supporting us because they know that
evildoers target Iraq to silence any dissenting voice to their evil and
Give Peace a Chance, World Religions Say
Jan. 20..(Reuters) Leaders of world religions appealed to believers in all
faiths to work to avert a conflict in Iraq as anti-war protests gathered
pace around the world. "As conflicts divide neighbors and nations and the
threat of war hangs over us like a shadow, too many people see and employ
religion as a force of divisiveness and violence, rather than a force for
unity and peace," the representatives said in a concluding statement issued
Saturday at the end of a symposium. The Vatican sponsored meeting was
attended by representatives of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism,
Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and Sikhism. It concluded as demonstrators
staged one of the biggest waves of global anti-war protests since the United
States and close ally Britain began pouring warplanes, ships and tens of
thousands of troops into the Gulf region. "As conflicts divide neighbors and
nations and the threat of war hangs over us like a shadow, too many people
see and employ religion as a force of divisiveness and violence, rather than
a force of unity and peace," the concluding statement said. The 38 leaders
from 15 countries who attended the three-day meeting appealed for diplomacy
and persuasion to correct injustices and respond to international threats.
The United States has threatened a war on Iraq to force Baghdad to come
clean on its alleged nuclear, chemical and biological weapons programs. Iraq
denies that it has any. Pope John Paul has put the Vatican on a diplomatic
collision course with the United States by condemning the possibility of a
war, saying it was avoidable and would be a "defeat for humanity." In an
address to diplomats last week, the leader of the world's one billion Roman
Catholics said conflict always had to be considered the very last option. A
Vatican-sanctioned journal attacked the United States, saying that
Washington was motivated by economics and that a war would spark a wave of
terrorism and destabilize the Middle East. The Pope and other Christian
leaders have made clear they would not consider an attack on Iraq a "just
war," which in Christianity means that use of military force meets rigorous
conditions of moral legitimacy.
Iraq has Transferred weapons to Syria
Jan. 20..(AFP) Israeli Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday there
was "no question" Iraq had transferred banned weapons to neighboring Syria.
Asked what weapons Iraq had sent, Netanyahu said: "obviously material that
is sufficiently important for Iraq to move into Syria, either because it
does want this to be found by UN weapons inspectors, or because it wants to
have them in reserve, or to help launch a broader Arab war against Israel."
There is obviously some very close cooperation going on between Saddam
Hussein and the regime in Damascus," he added. Netanyahu was repeating
allegations made by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in December that Israel had
information Iraq had recently transferred chemical or biological weapons
into Syria to hide them. Syria dismissed the allegations as "laughable." UN
arms experts have been hunting for banned weapons of mass destruction in
Iraq since late November, and are due to present a key status report on
Iraq's cooperation to the UN Security Council on January 27. Netanyahu also
said it was a question of time before Iraqi President Saddam Hussein
developed nuclear weapons. "We know it is just a question of time before he
acquires nuclear weapons, we know he might use those weapons, or use them as
an umbrella for al-Qaeda type operations," he said, referring to the
Islamist terror group headed by Osama bin Laden. On the Palestinian-Israeli
front, Netanyahu said the peaceful departure of Saddam, or his ouster by a
military attack, would benefit the defunct peace process.
Hamas: Americans are Fair Targets
Jan. 17….(Reuters) Muslims and Arabs will attack American targets everywhere if the United States goes to war against Iraq, a senior member of the militant Islamic movement Hamas said in Gaza on Friday. "If Iraq is attacked... all American targets will be open targets for every Muslim, Arab or Palestinian," Mahmoud al-Zahar, told reporters. "Any attack against Iraq will be answered by resistance everywhere and American interests everywhere will be targeted. We say that all American targets will be open targets to every Muslim, Arab, or Palestinian," he said. Hamas, responsible for a wave of suicide bombings in the 27-month-old Palestinian uprising, has said previously that its strategy is to carry out attacks only against Israelis in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel, but if America attacks Iraq, that strategy will change to include the US itself.
US Planning Temporary Military Rule in Iraq?
Jan. 17….(MSNBC) U.S. military commanders might rule Iraq for at least several months in the aftermath of a U.S.-led ouster of President Saddam Hussein, according to Bush administration blueprints for Iraq's future that outline a broad and protracted American role in managing the reconstruction of the country. The Administration's plans, which are nearing completion, envision installing a civilian administration within months of a change of government, U.S. officials said. But the officials said that even under the best of circumstances, U.S. forces likely would remain at full strength in Iraq for months after a war ended, with a continued role for thousands of U.S. troops there for years to come. Iraqis relegated to advisory roles in the immediate postwar period would gradually be given a greater role, but they would not regain control of their country for a year or more, according to current U.S. thinking. A primary mission for U.S. forces if hostilities broke out would be to protect the country's oil fields and prevent rival factions from settling scores or grabbing territory. During the initial postwar phase, the U.S. military and its partners would concentrate on maintaining stability and searching for nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, officials said. Army Lt. Gen. David McKiernan, the commander of any land forces to enter Iraq, would be expected to remain as the top military commander on the ground, a senior defense official said. The plans, which have been under development for months, have yet to be presented to President Bush. Despite months of negotiations with Iraqi exiles in Europe, the United States and the Middle East, the Bush administration does not intend to install a government of opposition figures. Members of the opposition community would be given chances to prove themselves as part of a prospective Iraqi leadership. The magnitude of the reconstruction task envisioned under the blueprint is arousing concern in the Defense Department, which has no desire to assume control of Iraq as the U.S. military did in Japan and part of Germany in 1945. Adding to the worry is widespread anxiety in the Middle East about the prospect of a dominant U.S. role in governing an Arab country. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell added that the United Nations and European Union would likely play roles in the aftermath of any conflict. “Even if the military operation was conducted outside of a U.N. mandate, I think the U.N. would want to play a role.”
Saudi Arabia Pushing for Coup In Iraq
Jan. 17….(Convinced that President Bush is serious about invading Iraq, Arab leaders hope to avoid war by orchestrating a coup in Baghdad. Saudi Arabia is vigorously pursuing a concrete plan to encourage Iraqi generals to overthrow Saddam and his clique. Although the Saudi proposal leaves open the possibility that Saddam could accept exile, Arab diplomats doubt this is a realistic scenario. Instead, they believe that Iraq's Republican Guards, the best-equipped and most loyal of Saddam's troops, will eventually switch allegiances and do him in. Western and Arab diplomats say that Saudi Arabia is actively canvassing support for the initiative among regional players and Security Council members. This week, President Hosni Mubarak and Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul flew into Riyadh to discuss the plan with Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Without confirming the details of the initiative, Abdullah told reporters that he believed war would be avoided. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faisal also refused to comment on the initiative, saying only that Arab states want a final opportunity to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis before the first shot was fired. What has finally pushed the notoriously cautious Saudis into action is the recognition that with tens of thousands of addition American troops headed for the Gulf, the Bush Administration really is ready to go to war. The concern that has spurred the Saudis to move against Saddam is the same one that led them to tolerate his continued rule even after he invaded Kuwait, stability. Riyadh fears that war in Iraq could lead to chaos, civil war among ethnic factions and military incursions by neighbors like Turkey and Iran. They see a coup as offering a better chance of maintaining order and preserving state institutions necessary for providing public services such as security, health care, electricity and water. "They are trying to stage manage the removal of Saddam," says a Western diplomat. "The level of Arab anxiety about the war is sky high."
China Lunches Massive War Games
Jan. 16….(CNN) The People's Liberation Army of China has engaged in massive war games to demonstrate Beijing's ability to handle what its leadership has called "fast-changing and treacherous global conditions." The drills are considered unusual because the PLA usually waits until spring before holding any large-scale exercises. A source close to the military establishment said the war games had to do with recent remarks by President Jiang Zemin and new Communist Party chief Hu Jintao about the need to be prepared for crises precipitated by unexpected developments overseas and inside the country. The PLA brass is eager to flex Chinese military muscle given uncertain developments on the Iraqi and North Korean fronts, the source said. Beijing wants to show America and the international community it has the wherewithal to handle unexpected global events, such as an assault against North Korea.
Russia and Syria Cementing Defense/Security Alliance
Jan. 16….(FOJ) Russian President Vladimir Putin today vowed to restore close diplomatic ties with Moscow's Soviet-era ally Syria at a meeting with Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam. Putin and Khaddam promised to defend each other's interests as military confrontation loomed over Iraq, and to work together to help calm Israeli-Palestinian violence. "Russian-Syrian relations are very important. We must hold dialogue and hold to a line that answers our interests," Putin said. His remarks came in an introductory speech to Khaddam that was broadcast on Russian television. The meeting, which is also aimed at preparing a visit to Moscow by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, then went into closed session. Putin said Moscow and Damascus had to draft joint policies, both on the looming confrontation over Iraq and on ways to solve Israeli-Palestinian violence. Russia and Syria were "united by long-standing close ties," he said. "I expect that your visit will serve as a good impetus for our relations to develop on all fronts," he told Khaddam. Syria was a close ally of Moscow's during the Soviet era, receiving military backing at a time when Russia supported the Arab world in its confrontation with Israel. Syria is on the US State Department's list of countries accused of sponsoring terrorism because of its support for Lebanon's Hezbollah militia and radical Palestinian groups.
FOJ Note: Syria and the Hezbullah are preparing for possible war scenario's with Israel as America looks to invade Iraq. The burgeoning alliance between Syria and Russia is an important factor in Bible Prophecy. Just as America is seeking to enforce a UN Resolution on WMD against Iraq, the day may well come when Russia will defend Syria in an attempt to enforce UN Resolutions upon Israel.
Bush Says January 27 is Important
Jan. 16….(Reuters) The Bush administration said on Monday that Jan. 27, the day a U.N. report on arms inspections in Iraq is due, and would be an "important date" in determining whether there will be war against Iraq. President Bush hasn't made any decisions about whether America will or will not go to war, but when referring to the Jan. 27 report deadline specified in the U.N. resolution 1441 disarmament resolution adopted in November, Bush said, "That's an important date. Beyond that events will dictate timetables." Meanwhile the Pentagon is quickly building up forces in the Mid-east, with thousands of troops, carriers, and planes. President Bush is slated to speak to the American people via the annual State of the Union address on January 29th, and many suspect that the case for war against Saddam Hussein and Iraq will be made at that time.
White House Promises 'Smoking Gun Intelligence'
Jan. 16….(Reuters) White House officials have reassured fellow Republicans concerned about the case for war on Iraq that America and Britain are prepared to release powerful intelligence evidence to cement the case for war against Iraq. Andy Card, the White House chief of staff, and Karl Rove, President George W Bush's chief political strategist, have each indicated privately that the administration has proof that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, and connections to Al Queda, and the September 11th attacks on America.
US to Present Iraq War Case to Pope
Jan. 16….(Washington Times) The U.S. ambassador to the Vatican will hold a forum in Rome to argue to Catholic Church officials that a pre-emptive strike in Iraq would be a "just war," a moral argument that the pope and U.S. bishops have rejected so far. The forum will try to enlighten the dialogue on the moral analysis of when war might be morally justified. Mr. Nicholson, along with other proponents of a new "pre-emptive strike" view of a just war, said terrorist attacks and weapons of mass destruction have changed the moral equation. The symposium in Rome will come after Pope John Paul II, in his first mention of the Iraq crisis, told diplomats to the Vatican that military force must be "the very last option" and under "very strict" conditions. Just-war doctrine says a war must be defensive, a last resort, likely to succeed and unlikely to produce more harm than remedy. The United States has had diplomatic relations with the Vatican since the Reagan administration. The Pope opposed the 1991 Persian Gulf war and has lamented the embargo on food to Iraq's populace.
Palestinian Christians Face Charges of Collaboration
Jan. 15….(Arutz) Two brothers, former residents of the Palestinian Authority controlled areas who converted from Islam to Christianity, are now in Israel. They have thus found refuge from probable "death sentences" in the PA. One of the brothers, Nasser Salam, was an active member of Arafat's Fatah organization when he converted, leading to his imprisonment and torture. One of the brothers faces a death sentence, but somehow they escaped into areas under Israeli jurisdiction. The Fatah terrorist organization has accused both brothers of being Israeli collaborators, a charge that routinely results in a public lynching under the Palestinian Authority.
FOJ Note: Palestinian Christians are routinely persecuted by Arafat. Arabs who convert to Christianity often face trumped up charges of collaboration with Israel. The charge carries a sentence of automatic execution.
CIA Report Cites Russia, China, Iran, & “Axis of Evil”
Jan. 15….(Newsmax) The US Central Intelligence Agency is painting a grim picture of a cash-strapped Russia selling dual-use technology to an increasingly dangerous Iran, details China's threat in the Far East, and exposes a growing danger of international terrorists using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear materials. China was not far behind Russia in garnering concerns about its non-proliferation policies, as they operate practically. In October 1997, China gave the United States assurances regarding its nuclear cooperation with Iran. China agreed to end cooperation with Iran on supplying a uranium conversion facility (UCF) and to undertake no new cooperation with Iran after completion of two existing projects. However, despite this window dressing, the report noted, "We are concerned that some interactions between Chinese and Iranian entities may run counter to Beijing's bilateral commitments to the United States." The report also pointed to the fact that Chinese firms are supplying dual-use CW-related production equipment and technology to the ubiquitous Iran. Despite Iran's status in the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the United States is convinced Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program, with Russia's assistance. On the face of the CIA report, Iran unquestionably far outscores Iraq as U.S. enemy No. 1.
Some of the strongest language in the report was reserved for Russia, the only "entity" earning a specific recommendation:
President Vladimir Putin in May 2000 amended the presidential decree on nuclear exports to allow Russia to export nuclear materials, technology, and equipment to countries that do not have full-scope IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) safeguards.
Russian entities during the reporting period continued to supply a variety of ballistic missile-related goods and technical know-how to countries such as Iran, India, and China.
During 2001, Russian entities remained a significant source of dual-use biotechnology, chemicals, production technology, and equipment for Iran.
The CIA recommendation: To reduce the outward flow of WMD and missile-related materials, technology, and expertise, top officials must make a sustained effort to convince exporting entities - as well as the bureaucracy whose job it is to oversee them - that nonproliferation is a top priority and that those who violate the law will be prosecuted.
The Koran: Inspiration for Suicide Bombings
Jan.15….(Harpazo) How does one motivate an Arab to commit suicide bombings, and a mother to be “joyful and satisfied” when her son kills himself? The Hamas Imam spokesman Sheik Rantisi says, “only by studying the Koran. The Koran is the most energizing book for heroism and honor, and there is no room in it for weakness and laxness. “Fight them; Allah will punish them at your hands, and will humiliate them, and will heal the hearts of the believers. (Koran 9:14). Koranic scholar, Rantisi writes, “by Allah´s will, as is happening in Palestine, we can shock the foundations of the enemy, whatever its strength. Iraq can, with Allah´s help, defeat America.” Suicide bombings are beneficial specifically because of their terrorist quality. Horror is one of the causes of defeat.” To this end, Rantisi calls on Iraq to “open its gates to the Jihad warriors, the sons of this Islamic nation, so that Iraq will be able to carry its mission by defending the land of the Muslims.” The battle, he contends, is not just for Iraq: “The defeat of the Crusaders in Iraq will stop their advance towards the rest of the Muslim lands. They aspire to cross the borders of Iraq and Palestine, and are not satisfied with controlling the land and natural resources.” They seek to destroy Islam. After the conquest of the land and the plundering of its natural resources they will target the faith of this nation. They will not stop fighting you until they turn you back from your faith, if they can, (Koran 2:217).” To the rest of the Muslim world, Rantisi writes, “The Jihad warriors must advance from everywhere to defend the land of Iraq.” “The battle in Iraq, like the battle in Palestine, is the battle of the Islamic nation.
Arab Christian Suicide Bombers?
Jan. 15….(Islamic News) Orthodox Church spokesman Father Attallah Hanna caused great controversy last year with his comments in support of Palestinian suicide bombers, saying, "Some freedom fighters adopt martyrdom or suicide bombing, while others opt for other measures. But all these struggles serve the continued intifada for freedom. Therefore, we support all these causes." The sentiment that brought these extreme comments from one leader appears to have spread to other Christian religious leaders. Now, however, Father Hanna is going beyond verbal support for Palestinian suicide bombers and is even suggesting that Christians take an active role. Father Hanna met with a Palestinian delegation this week in which he praised the "martyrdom operations", calling on Palestinian Christians and Arabs to do everything in their power to resist the Israeli occupation. Hanna said the men who carry out acts of martyrdom were not "suicide bombers" or "terrorists" but heroes and encouraged Christians and Muslims to work together to liberate Palestine. Catholic Father Johanna Qaltah echoed Father Hanna's comments adding that martyrdom is a duty and an obligation for all Arab citizens, Muslims or Christians, in defense of their land and honor. Also adding his support to suicide bombers is Ikram Lamaei, Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Anglican Church in Egypt and professor of comparative religion. Lamaei would like to see Yasser Arafat's Fatah group train Christians to become martyrs in joint Islamic-Christian operations. Lamei believes this would send a message to the world that Palestinians and Arabs are united, regardless of religious differences. According to some reports, leaders of Christian sects in Egypt as well as leading Coptic political activists have endorsed the idea of joint Christian-Islamic martyr brigades and praised these leaders for their recent statements. Those Christian leaders calling for such action believe it is important to distinguish between Western and Eastern Christians. According to one leader, unless Eastern Christians embrace the Arab Islamic civilization, it will not have a future. Israel, however, has formally protested the remarks of Father Hanna to the Jerusalem Orthodox Church, accusing him of supporting terrorist operations and posing a threat to national security.
Russia Helping Syria Build Nuclear Reactor?
Jan. 15….(Ha Aretz) The Russian foreign ministry has announced that Moscow will help in building a nuclear reactor in Syria. The Russian Tass news agency reported that Moscow and Damascus had already reached agreement on building the reactor, and that the subject was to be on the agenda for the vice president's Wednesday talks with Russian officials. Over the past decade, there have been numerous reports of Syrian intentions to acquire Russian arms on a broad scale. Wahib Fadel, Syria's ambassador to Russia, said Syria was interested in increasing its cooperation with Russia in the security realm, in order to improve his nation's defense capabilities.
North Korea Marketing iIproved Scuds to Mideast
Jan. 14....(World tribune) North Korea is marketing upgraded Scud-class
missile to Middle East clients, according to reports confirmed by South
Korea's Defense Ministry. Western industry sources said Pyongyang has been
offering such countries as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen a more
accurate version of the Scud B missile. South Korea has confirmed the
assertion by the industry sources. The Defense Ministry in Seoul said North
Korea has been reproducing Soviet-era Scud B missiles. These missiles have a
range of 300 kilometers and a payload of one metric ton. North Korea is
expected to accelerate its marketing of missiles and weapons of mass
destruction in the wake of its dispute with the West regarding Pyongyang's
nuclear program. The idea is to offer new and improved Scud Bs that would
replace the aging arsenals of Middle East countries, which first procured
the missile in the 1970s.
Pope: US Must Avoid War in Iraq
Jan. 13….(Jerusalem Post) Pope John Paul II issued his strongest message yet in opposition to possible war in Iraq, telling Vatican diplomats Monday that military force must be "the very last option." The pope said a renewed conflict with Baghdad would only harm ordinary Iraqis, "already sorely tried" by UN sanctions imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. Amid a massive buildup of US forces in the Gulf, John Paul called for stepped-up diplomacy and dialogue, saying war is not inevitable. "War is never just another means that one can choose to employ for settling differences between nations," the pope told the Vatican's diplomatic corps in his annual speech at the start of the new year. "As the Charter of the United Nations organization and international law itself remind us, war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions, without ignoring the consequences for the civilian population both during and after the military operations." The pontiff's speech, delivered in the frescoed Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace, marked his strongest message yet in opposition to war, and it was the first time since the crisis erupted that he has publicly mentioned Iraq by name. Previously, the pope has only referred in general to the threats of war and, in his Christmas message, called on the world to "extinguish the ominous smoldering of a conflict." Other Vatican officials have been more explicit, saying in recent newspaper interviews that a "preventive war" against Baghdad would have no moral or legal justification, and would only create antagonisms between Christians and Muslims. In his speech, the pope also touched on other issues facing the world, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Saudi Prince: America is Biased for Israel
Jan. 13….(Jerusalem Post) Saudi Arabia's de factor ruler said Monday he remains hopeful that a war in Iraq can be avoided and said he believes that US policy in the Middle East is tilted toward Israel. Interviewed from Riyadh on NBC television's "Today" program, Crown Prince Abdullah also denied that his Gulf nation is a breeding ground for terrorists. Of Iraq, the crown prince said, "I have a strange sense that it may not come to war despite the momentum and the buildup in that direction." "I believe that force only begets death and destruction," he said, adding that he hopes a way can be found to resolve the fight over allegations Saddam Hussein has and is seeking to build weapons of mass destruction. Asked why many people in Saudi Arabia have negative attitudes toward the United States, the crown prince cited "the situation in Palestine and the American policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and said some bitterness has been caused by "some unfair attacks against the kingdom" in the American media. Questioned about the Middle East conflict, he said, "America was founded on the basis of justice and equality and this is what is required to bring this conflict to an end. This is what the Palestinian people are seeking." The crown prince said "I would suggest that the American people study the holy Quran and the Islamic faith. Our Quran and our faith reject the taking of lives."
N. Korea Vows 'Holy War' on U.S.
Jan. 13….(AP) North Korean President Kim Jong Il blamed the United States for the current crisis and warned: "If the United States evades its responsibility and challenges us, we'll turn the citadel of imperialists into a sea of fire." North Korea also vowed to "smash U.S. nuclear maniacs" in a "holy war" and threatened to resume tests of long-range missiles capable of reaching Hawaii and America's West Coast. North Korea poses a direct threat to the U.S. mainland, which it can reach with long-range missiles. In 1998, the North Koreans test-fired a medium-range, three-stage Taepo Dong-1 rocket over Japan's main island of Honshu that landed in the Pacific Ocean. The Pentagon believes that Pyongyang is developing an intercontinental ballistic missile, the Taepo Dong-2, that can reach Alaska, Hawaii and California. The United States has sought to take a diplomatic tone with North Korea and its chief ally, China. On Friday, President Bush assured Chinese President Jiang Zemin that Washington had no "hostile" intent toward North Korea. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said Sunday that although North Korea's decision to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty "is not a threat to the security of Russia!
WEEK OF JANUARY 6 THROUGH JANUARY 12
Europe Urges US Restraint
Jan 11..(Reuters) The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog, overseeing arms inspections
in Iraq, called on the United States on Friday to provide more specific
intelligence to help in the search for banned weapons.
The appeal came from Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA), while top officials in Europe spoke out against a rush
to war on the basis of inconclusive weapons inspections. "Without proof, it
would be very difficult to start a war," European Union foreign policy
coordinator Javier Solana said. Hans Blix, chief of the U.N. Monitoring,
Verification and Inspection Commission, told the U.N. Security Council there
were no "smoking guns" to prove Iraq had chemical, biological or nuclear
weapons. The world's eyes are turning to North Korea, which has admitted
developing nuclear weapons and pulled out of the Non-Proliferation Treaty on
Friday, U.S. officials insisted Iraq posed a major threat, however little
the inspections found. But EU Commission President Romano Prodi called for
calm: "War is not and must not be inevitable," and he said that he plans to
lead an EU peace mission to Arab capitals soon.
FOJ Note: Isn't it ironic that the North Korean situation flared up just as
America planned to attack Iraq? Note that North Korea has openly admitted to
developing weapons of mass destruction, as if it intended to sidetrack
America from taking action in the Middle East, by upping the ante, so to
speak in the power struggle between the East and West. Now, the UN, Britain
and all of Europe are actively beseeching President Bush to delay action in
Lifetime Cable Promoting Lesbianism
Jan. 10….(Live Prayer) This Sunday, the Lifetime cable channel for women will air a special promoting lesbianism to teenage girls. This is a story about lesbian Director Lee Rose's life when she reveals to her mother at the age of 15 that she is a lesbian. One of the biggest movements in high schools, and yes, junior high schools across the nation is called "lesbian chic". This is an open movement promoted by the homosexual community geared to girls as young as 12 saying that having sex with other females is not only acceptable, but the "in thing" to do. But in reality this is another LIE right from the pits of hell itself. Sin is not free. Sin carries a very high price tag. Is homosexuality/lesbianism really a sin? Well, if you accept the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God the answer is a resounding yes. Not out of some homophobic fear, or out of ignorance and intolerance, but simply because God clearly defines this activity as sin.
(Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.)
Building Another Terrorist Nation
Jan. 10….(FOJ) For some time now, the US has nurtured the formation of yet another Arab Palestinian entity, in deference to the Arab and Muslim nations of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Syria, hoping to appease them, and solidify the oil market. President Bush has echoed the Peace-Quartets vision of a Palestinian State by 2005. But in reality, America's CIA monitoring of the West Bank during the Oslo Process, ended up training Yasser Arafat's PLO in intercepting communications. The CIA oversight was presumably to help Arafatdefeat terrorists in his domain, but that technology was transferred by Arafat to al-Qaeda, Iraq and Iran, which in turn allowed them to either intercept US communications or by-pass America's ability to intercept their communications, particularly those of al-Qaeda. The entities operating under the banner of the "Quartet," for Middle East Peace, namely, the US State Department, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia have, to varying degree, provided the weapons to terrorist states, and ultimately to the terrorist organizations themselves. The proposed neo-state of Palestine will be a conglomerate of those terrorist groups, (not a democratic entity) who will assemble under the contrived state of Palestine. As a practical matter, they already are a functioning "state" of terrorism. Denials notwithstanding, the Palestinian territories, gifted to them by the Oslo Accords, have already become a staging area for most of the serious and well-funded terrorist groups. That includes Yasser Arafat's various terrorist divisions of the PLO, Tanzim, al-Aksa Brigades, 12 secret services, and then a few unnamed groups that interlock with other terrorist groups, Hezballah, al-Qaeda, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and various European terrorist groups. All of the aforementioned terrorist groups are interwoven into Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi intelligence organizations, which provide funding and assign missions they want accomplished. All of the above exchange intelligence, technology, safe houses, munitions, and coordination of plans against Israel and America. A new state for Arab Palestinians in the West Bank will not resolve the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, but rather will be a reflection of the worst capabilities of the terrorist nations of Syria, Iran, and Iraq. The winds of Armageddon are already blowing in the region!
Hamas Issues Call to Support Iraq
Jan. 10….(Jerusalem Post) A leading organizer of Palestinian suicide attacks against Israel has advised Iraq to raise an army of suicide bombers and allow the Jihad warriors to join the fight if the U.S. attacks Iraq. Since the beginning of the intifadah, Hamas has been a leader in suicide attacks against Israelis, leaving hundreds of Israelis dead and wounded. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has given generous gifts of $10,000 to $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. In an article entitled "Iraq Will Triumph, by Allah's Will" published on Hamas' Hamas spokesman Dr. Abdel Aziz Al Rantisi said that war is not a certainty. But if it happens, the "West's arrogance will lead it to its sure end if it is determined to act with aggression and terror against the Islamic nation, and that its first defeat will be in Iraq." One of the sources of Iraqi strength would be their willingness to die as martyrs Rantisi said. Another quality of strength is that the Iraqis will have an army of martyrs. The enemies of Allah are cowards. They crave life, while the Muslims crave martyrdom. "The martyrdom operations that shock can ensure that horror is sowed in the enemies' hearts, and horror is one of the causes of defeat. "There is no other way than to establish thousands of squads of martyrs, in a secret apparatus, and provide at their disposal the capability, as well as thousands of sophisticated explosive belts, with powerful explosive capacity to cause great damage," he wrote. The "martyrs" must be trained in the Koran, which will energize them for "heroism and honor," he said. A new poll shows that 65.6% of Palestinians support Iraq as they did in 1991. Ahmed Yassin also unveiled his personal 23-year plan to destroy Israel. Yassin told Hamas supporters at a mass rally in Gaza City on Friday, December 27, "Resistance will move forward, jihad will continue, and martyrdom operations will continue, until the full liberation of Palestine. The Zionist entity will fall within the first quarter of this century."
North Korea Threatens “World War III'
Jan. 10…..(Fox News) North Korea warned the United States on Friday that a "new Korean War will finally lead to the Third World War" and dared the Americans to engage it in a "fire-to-fire standoff." North Korea also announced that it was withdrawing from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty amid an intensifying standoff with the United States over the North's nuclear programs. North Korea added that "a new Korean War will finally lead to the Third World War. If a war breaks out on the Korean peninsula where military and strategic interests of neighboring big countries are entangled, they will be embroiled in it, like it or not."
EU Looking for a President
Jan. 10….(Financial Times) The conventional thought on the future of Europe is demonstrating that the opportunity for the reformation of the European Union as a genuine political community is near. The critical issue dominating a constitutional debate in the EU is the organization of executive power in the EU, which is currently split between the European Commission and national governments, meeting in the Council of Ministers. What the EU requires is a visible European executive, with a face that is recognizable within Europe and on the international scene. The executive must have the authority to take the initiative and co-ordinate the actions of national governments. The convention has already made progress in the field of foreign relations. The relevant working group has proposed a system whereby a single "minister for foreign affairs" would take over the leadership of the EU.
FOJ Note: Could this be the stage for the Antichrist?
Britain's Role is to Help Unite the World
Jan. 9….(UK News) Britain's Tony Blair said yesterday that Great Britain's role in the world today is to act as a "unifier" in helping to establish a new global consensus. This shared agenda included security from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMD), elimination of regional conflicts, a stable world economy, free trade, action against climate change, and aid and development. For the international community, the Middle East peace process is also important, and is the underlying reason that America is hated in the world. The fanatics have to be confronted and defeated - in ideas as well as militarily. WMD is another. I want to make it clear. In February 2001, at my first meeting with President Bush, I said this was the key issue facing the world community. I believe that even more today. The latest revelations about North Korea are a manifest wake-up call to the world. This shouldn't divert us from tackling Iraq and WMD. There will be different ways of dealing with different countries. But no one can doubt the salience of WMD as an issue and the importance of countering it. North Korea's weapons program and export of it; the growing number of unstable or dictatorial states trying to acquire nuclear capability; the so-called respectable companies and people trading in it: this is a real, active threat to our security and it is only a matter of time before terrorists get hold of it. America should not be forced to tackle this issue on alone, but the United Nations should lead that effort. But we must all reach out to the Muslim world. The Middle East remains essential to any understanding with the Muslim and Arab world. The terrorism inflicted upon innocent Israeli citizens is wicked and murderous and undoubtedly will bring strong action from Israel. No democratic government could do otherwise. That is not the point. The point is that unless there is real energy put into crafting a process that can lead to lasting peace, the world will be insecure! At the moment the future of the innocent is held hostage by the terrorists.
FOJ Note: The world is searching for a great leader to enforce world security and bring forth a promise of peace in the Middle East! Bible Prophecy is playing out very quickly in these days!
US Report Cites Syria As 2nd Largest Terrorist Sponsor
Jan. 9….(Middle East News Line) Syria has been deemed as the second biggest sponsor of terrorism in the world, says a Congressional report. A report by the Gilmore Commission on the weapons of mass destruction capabilities that could be used against the United States classified Syria as the largest sponsor of terrorism after Iran. The commission's fourth annual report addresses the U.S. requirements to thwart any attack deemed as terrorist. After Iran, Syria is the most active state sponsor of terrorism and is included in the U.S. State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism. Libya is another country that has a history of supporting terrorism and is known to possess chemical weapons.
FOJ Note: Ummm! Iran (Persia), Syria, Libya. These countries figure prominently in end-times Bible Prophecy. (Ezekiel 38/39, Isaiah 17:1, Jeremiah 49:23-24)
Palestinian Population Figures
Jan. 9….(Ha Aretz)The Palestinian Authority's statistics bureau released a 2002 demographic report Wednesday showing that there are now 9.3 million Palestinians in the world. The report based on field surveys in the Gaza Strip and West Bank and on sources from countries in which Palestinians reside, maintains that 3.6 million Palestinians live in the territories. Out of this group, 2.3 million live on the West Bank. One million Palestinians live in Israel, within the Green Line, the report claims. About 2.7 million Palestinians live in Jordan, 423,000 in Syria, 403,000 in Lebanon, and 60,000 in Egypt, the report shows. An additional 578,000 Palestinians reside in other Arab countries, and another half a million live in non-Arab countries around the globe. The new statistics establish that 46 percent of Palestinians in the territories are under the age of 15. The average family in the territories has six persons.
Quartet Rejects Israeli Objections to Roadmap
Jan. 8….(IMRA) The United States has rejected virtually all of Israel's reservations regarding an international plan for the establishment of a Palestinian State. The United States and its partners rejected Israeli objections concerning the extent of an Israeli withdrawal, immediate negotiations on the future of Jerusalem and the evacuation of Jewish settlements. The United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia (the "Quartet") appear to have accepted only one objection by Israel, which was to delay release of the peace-roadmap until after the Israeli elections on January 28. (IMRA)
Saddam Speech Attacks US, Israel
Jan. 8….(Jerusalem Post) In a speech in honor of his country's Army Day, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein praised the suicide bombers in Tel Aviv as "champions of self-sacrifice who confront the Zionist aggression with their lives", and accused the US of threatening him in part to ensure the security of "the Zionist entity." In his barbs against Israel, Saddam, seeking to appeal to the broader Arab and Muslim world, said the US goal is to take over Middle East's oil resources and ensure the security of "the Zionist entity."
Iraq May use Bio-weapons Against USA
Jan. 8….(Conservative American) With the U.S. invasion of Iraq just 30-45 days away, the Pentagon now confirms that Saddam Hussein will likely use his biochemical weapons against the U.S. Iraq has most likely shifted some of its stores of anthrax, botulism, ricin and mustard gas nearer to forces that would employ them. The most ikely targets: U.S. forces, Israel, and American cities. Recently the FBI warned that Al-Qaida terrorists were planning "spectacular" attacks on America to inflict "mass casualties" and cause "severe damage" to the U.S. economy. The FBI also warns that hospitals in Houston, San Francisco, Chicago and Washington D.C. have been targeted for attack with explosives and anthrax, attacks that could kill tens of thousands. A warning last January by Russian intelligence expert Viktor Kremenyuk rings particularly true today as the U.S. prepares for War with Iraq: There are many al Qaida like anti-Western groups in the Arab world including "sleeper agents." Anti-Iraq actions could be the last straw needed to provoke the Islamic extremists into new strikes against America. FBI officials say al Qaida cells are embedded in most major U.S. cities with sizable Islamic communities, including New York, Detroit, New Jersey, Los Angeles, the Virginia area, and Florida. As Vice President Dick Cheney has said, "It's not a matter of IF terrorists will attack us again, but WHEN."
North Korea Says US Sanctions Means War
Jan. 7….(Reuters) North Korea, embroiled in a nuclear standoff with the United States, said on Tuesday that economic sanctions would mean war and that Washington should sit down to talks. In a report complaining about the United States' seizure of a shipload of North Korean missiles bound for Yemen last month, Pyongyang's KCNA news agency said Washington's assertion of the right to intercept ships was proof of its "illegal and inhuman hostile policy towards the DPRK (North Korea)" and its unilateralism.
"What matters is that such piracy is being committed as part of the U.S.-tailored containment strategy against the DPRK. The strategy means total economic sanctions aimed at isolating and stifling the DPRK.
"Sanctions mean a war and the war knows no mercy.
Israel Bracing for Terror as US Eyes Iraq
Jan. 7….(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said today that the IDF will take all necessary steps to fight against any attempts by terrorist organizations to take advantage of a war against Iraq to stage more attacks against Israel. "If there is an American campaign against Iraq, it may very well be that there will be an upsurge in terrorist operations," Sharon told soldiers at an IDF base near the West Bank city of Ramallah. "Perhaps there will be some involvement by Hizbullah operated by Syria and Iran," Sharon added.
Suicide Bombers Kill 23 in Tel Aviv
Jan. 6….(Jerusalem Post) Two simultaneous suicide bombings rocked central Tel Aviv on Sunday, killing at least 23 people and wounding more than 100 others. The explosions happened around 6:30 p.m. Israel time, the peak of rush hour near a closed bus station. The suicide bombers blew themselves up on the corner of Naveh Sha'anan and Hagdud Ha'ivri streets in Tel Aviv's old central bus station neighborhood, where mostly foreign workers live. The Al Akssa Martyrs' Brigades, an offshoot of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, claimed responsibility Sunday night for the attack. It said the two terrorists, Bourak Abdel Rahman Halfa and Saber Nuri, both residents of the West Bank town of Nablus, were members of the organizations. This, however, was the third claim of responsibility, following reports of conflicting claims of responsibility from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad's military wing, the Al Aqsa Brigades. Prime Minister Sharon's Office said the attack in Tel Aviv "has earned the Palestinian Authority stamp of approval and is a direct result of persistent incitement coming out of the Palestinian Authority and its refusal to reign in the terrorists in its midst". U.S. President George W. Bush branded the pair of suicide bombings in Israel that killed 23 people "a despicable act of murder."
Iraq's Aziz: US Wants Our Oil
Jan. 6….(Reuters) President Bush warned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on Thursday his "day of reckoning is coming" and Western warplanes dumped leaflets over Iraq urging citizens to tune into U.S. military radio. Iraq's deputy prime minister, Tareq Aziz, had earlier accused Washington of "an imperialist design" to invade his country regardless of the verdict of U.N. weapons inspectors. Aziz said Washington was planning to invade his country as part of a plan to control the region's oil supplies. "When America becomes stronger economically, when America takes over the whole oil of the region and puts it in its hands it is going to pressure politically and economically every country that needs oil," Aziz said.
Christians Leaving the Holy Land
Jan. 6….(FOJ) Demographic studies done in the West Bank indicate that Christians are leaving the area in increasing numbers. Some 2 million Christians have fled the Middle East in the past 20 years. Some estimates run even higher than this. During the Oslo Peace Process, and the subsequent transferals of more and more land to Yasser Arafat, Christians are finding that they are being systematically persecuted. Since Arafat took over administration of the Palestinian territories from Israel the Christian population has dropped from 15 percent to 2 percent. According to Palestinian experts, at least 1,500 Christian families have left Bethlehem just in the past year alone. The Palestinian Christians are fleeing not under Israeli occupation, but under Arafat's rule. The exodus of Christians from the Middle East has sped up because Israel withdrew from territories in Judea, Samaria, Gaza, southern Lebanon and elsewhere. As long as Israel administered those areas, Christian Arabs felt like they had a friend in the Jewish State.
Now the protective hand of Israel has been in effect removed because Israel itself is under siege through the Arafat-orchestrated Al Aqsa Intifada plot.
Russia: US War Against Iraq Without UN Would Be "Illegitimate"
Jan. 6….(Arab Press) Russia will consider any military action by the United States and its allies against Iraq without UN approval as illegitimate and unjustified, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said. If military actions begin against Iraq without the approval of the UN, we will consider them as unacceptable acts of aggression. Russia is opposed to US unilateral military intervention in Iraq, threatened by Washington if it considers Baghdad to be in material breach of UN Security Council resolution 1441, which orders it to completely give up weapons of mass destruction. Commenting on the US military buildup in the Gulf, Ivanov said that such preparations could be a way of "brandishing weapons to apply psychological pressure on Baghdad, or could also be real preparation for military action against Iraq." "I imagine the American leadership, will base itself on the conclusions of the UN international arms inspectors and on the examination of the queston by the Security Council," he added. The inspectors would have to deliver an extremely clear and definitive verdict on the presence or absence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Ivanov stressed.
Iraq Gave WMD to Al Qaeda?
Jan. 6….(Debka) Intelligence sources report mounting fears within US and Israeli counter-terrorism agencies that Al Qaeda's three command centers are preparing mega-terror attacks for US and Israeli targets. It is believed that al Qaeda has foregone a nuclear, radiological or chemical option in favor of biological warfare, because Saddam Hussein is believed to have ordered the Iraqi military intelligence to transfer its bio-weapons to three Al Qaeda commanders: Abu Musaab al Zarqawi, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Baghdad believes that a biological attack on Israel will act as an appropriate reprisal for the threatening US offensive and a possible deterrent.
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