Russia Threatens to Veto US Resolution

Feb. 28….(Reuters)
The United States suffered a significant setback today in its attempts to win U.N. backing for military action in Iraq when Russia's foreign minister said Moscow was prepared to veto a war resolution “in the interests of international stability.” Ivan Ivanov, said Moscow “does not support any resolution which could directly or indirectly open the way to an armed resolution of the Iraq problem.” Russia has joined France and Germany in trying to persuade the Security Council to give Iraqi President Saddam Hussein more time to comply with U.N. demands that he destroy the country's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. China and Russia issued a joint declaration Thursday saying war with Iraq “can and should be avoided” and appealing for more time for U.N. weapons inspectors.

Bush No Longer Envisions Replacement Of Arafat

The Bush Middle East Doctrine is based upon the principle that democracy can change the dynamics of the Arab World. President Bush is hoping that by bringing about regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine that it will send a signal to the numerous Middle East terrorist organizations and the States that help to sponsor-harbor these organizations that terrorism will not prevail in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. It is hoped that Syria, Lebanon, and Iran will feel the thrust of a new, more democratic Middle East with American support. However, the principle like the Middle East is a ticking bomb.

Feb. 28….(Middle East News Line) President George Bush has outlined a vision for a Palestinian state after the destruction of the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. But the vision did not include the replacement of the current Palestinian leadership, a longtime demand of the U.S. president. Instead, Bush called for a reform process that will allow Palestinians to choose new leaders. In an address to the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute, Bush envisioned a safer Middle East after the passing of Saddam. He said this could lead to a significant reduction in terrorism and its state sponsors. At that point, Bush said, the United States could help create conditions that would enable for the establishment of a Palestinian state. He stressed that such a process would be accompanied by what he termed the removal of the terror threat.

The Truth About Christians in 'Palestine'
commentary by: Joseph Farah, (World Net Daily)

There's a new propaganda effort under way designed to convince churches in the U.S. that Israel, not Yasser Arafat's the Palestinian Authority and the Arab states, is victimizing Christians in the Middle East. The proposition would be laughable if it were not so well organized and ingeniously conceived and diabolically executed. A group called the Holy Land Trust is currently organizing tours of large evangelical churches in the U.S. and spreading venomous lies about Israel and obscuring the outrageous persecution of Christians within the Palestinian Authority. The lies this group tells in the name of Christianity are big and bold. They include the standard lines about Jews robbing the homes of Arabs, stealing their land and brutalizing them in a repressive state of military occupation. These so-called Christians even rationalize terrorism. I've dealt with the myths many times in the past. But, for the sake of those U.S. churches being hoodwinked by this sophisticated, slick and well-funded propaganda campaign of the Holy Land Trust, let me today give you a glimpse of the truth about the plight of Christians in the Islamicized land of "Palestine" today. Arafat's Islamo-fascist storm troopers have shown nothing but contempt for Christians and their holy sites through the years.

Russia Says Saddam Agrees To Disarm
Saddam Supposedly Agrees To Full Compliance

Feb. 27….(Stratfor)
According to Stratfor, Russian Prime Minister Yeygeny Primakov met with Saddam Hussein in the last week on a very short notice. Hussein and Primakov are reported to be close friends. The complete substance of their latest meeting is unknown but reportedly, Hussein was asked, and agreed to cooperate fully with U.N. weapons inspectors. Furthermore, Hussein reportedly agreed to a proposal by Russian President Vladimir Putin which would allow UN peacekeepers into Iraq within the next 10 days or so to back up the weapons inspectors. Moreover, Hussein reportedly agreed to unilaterally disarm. When this news is announced, Stratfor expects the following to be the media take: This would show the world that Iraq will be unconditionally disarmed under strict and fully enforceable U.N. deadlines, with peacekeepers staying on in Iraq until the task is complete. What's actually more fascinating, according to Stratfor, is that Hussein has asked Putin to deliver a secret message to British and American energy giants stating that they will be allowed to return to Iraq as major industry players. Reportedly, he will say that the oil companies could return immediately, IF the US calls off its planned invasion. According to Stratfor, Vladimir Voloshin, the Russian internal affairs chief, was dispatched to Washington over the weekend to advise the Bush administration of these latest supposed developments. Stratfor's Russian sources say, the ultimate goal of the Voloshin visit is to persuade the Bush administration that Iraq will be disarmed to such a point that it will be unable to threaten U.S. and Israeli forces for years to come. Why would Hussein suddenly change course when he has been defiant for the last 12 years? Hussein told Dan Rather that he would NOT destroy his al Samoud 2 missiles. Also, disarming does not seem to be in line with Saddam's long-term objectives of regional control and possible exportation of terrorism. His actions to date have been nothing but obstructionist, so it does not seem likely that he would, at the request of Russia, come full circle on the issue. Are the Russians lying? I wouldn't rule it out. The Russians may simply have serious reasons to keep the US out of Iraq at any cost. Or is Saddam Hussein lying? Almost certainly. He has a long history of lying and deceiving. If it is true that Saddam made these concessions to the Russians, I believe it is simply another deception to buy more time. (FOJ doesn't believe either the Russians or Saddam.)

Why Are France, Germany & Russia So Desperate?
France and Germany are opposed to the war largely because the US might discover that they have sold Iraq weapons, materials and technology that are banned by the UN sanctions. Russia may have just as much, if not more, to fear than the French and the Germans. Russia has been desperate for hard currency, and it has sold weapons to many countries. If the Bush administration had such knowledge of prohibited weapons and related sales to Iraq, you would think they would go public with that information! Russia, in particular, is also opposed to the war because the establishment of a permanent US military force in Iraq will give the US hegemony in the Middle East. France and Germany are opposed to this as well, but the Russians are especially troubled by the prospect of the US having de-facto control in the Middle East.

Iraq War 'to Aid Palestine State'

Feb. 27….(Herald)
A war to oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would starve anti-Israeli terrorists of key support and set the stage for a "truly democratic" Palestinian state, President George W Bush has said. Building democratic institutions in Iraq would usher in "a new stage for Middle Eastern peace and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic Palestinian state", he said in a keynote speech. Bush also vowed that the United States "would ensure that one brutal dictator is not replaced by another". The US leader said Iraq posed a "direct and growing threat" to US security, charging anew that Saddam's regime has ties to terrorists and could arm them with chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

FOJ Note: President Bush is treading on thin ice if he expects America's war on terror and evil to be successful while at the same time he is working to compromise the Covenanted Land. (See Zechariah 12-1-3)

Bush Outlines Iraq Vision

Feb. 27….(CNN)
Creating a "free and peaceful" Iraq will be a difficult task requiring a "sustained commitment" from the United States and other countries, but a new Iraq could serve as "a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom" throughout the Middle East, President Bush says. "Any future the Iraqi people choose for themselves will be better than the nightmare world that Saddam Hussein has chosen for them," Bush said Wednesday night in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Bush compared the rebuilding of Iraq to U.S. efforts after World War II to rebuild war-ravaged countries, including wartime enemies Germany and Japan. "After defeating enemies, we did not leave behind occupying armies. We left constitutions and parliaments. We established an atmosphere of safety, in which responsible, reform-minded local leaders could build lasting institutions of freedom." The United States, Britain and Spain say Iraq has missed its last chance to disarm peacefully. The three countries are working to line up U.N. Security Council members behind a proposed resolution that could clear the way for a war with Iraq led by the estimated 200,000-plus U.S. and British troops now massed in the Persian Gulf region.

Arafat Sends Holiday Greetings to Saddam

Feb. 27….(World Net)
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has sent a telegram to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein wishing the dictator holiday greetings on the occasion of 'Id Al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice, and asking for assistance in his "resistance" against Israel. Arafat greeted Saddam as "brother-president." "Your Excellency, Brother-President Saddam Hussein, greetings and the blessings of Allah to you." "As our glorious nation celebrates 'Id Al-Adha, the holiday of sacrifice and redemption, it is our pleasure to send to you, and your people, our brethren, in the name of the Palestinian people and leadership, our warmest regards, our heartfelt and sincere congratulations, and our deepest prayers to Allah the Glorious. May He lead our steps onto the road of virtue, success, and progress to our peoples, and strengthen our brotherly ties, cooperation and solidarity in a way that will serve our interests, our rights, our nations, and the future of our generations and repel all dangers that loom presently over us in our region." Arafat then lets Saddam know what he hopes for as he petitions Allah , the destruction of Israel!

White House and CBS at Odds over Saddam

Feb. 27….(Reuters)
The White House criticized CBS television yesterday over what a spokesman said was a spurned offer to rebut comments by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein during an interview that was broadcast on CBS. "This seems odd they wouldn't let the White House have a voice," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said. He said the White House had offered a representative to counter what he said would was propaganda, lies and irresponsible statements by Saddam in the rare interview, but he said CBS replied it was interested only if President Bush made the response himself. CBS rejected the charge and said it remained open to providing a forum for a top Bush administration official to respond to Saddam on the air, either the President, the Vice President or Secretary of State Colin Powell.

FOJ Note: CBS is obviously endeavoring to promote the anti-war peace movement by undercutting the Bush Administrations momentum for ousting Saddam. CBS is even helping to elevate Saddam to a position of equal statesmanship with President Bush. Saddam is a liar and a murderer. He blatantly sponsors terrorism.

Saddam Hussein: We have no Relations to Al Qaeda

Feb. 26….(Reuters)
Saddam Hussein has denied that Iraq has any links to Osama bin Laden or the al-Qaida terrorist network and also indicated that he would not set fire to Iraq's oil fields or destroy its dams if a U.S.-led invasion occurs in Iraq. “Iraq does not burn its wealth and it does not destroy its dams,” Saddam said in an interview with Dan Rather of CBS News. He said that Iraq has never had any relationship to al-Qaida terrorists, “and I think that Mr. bin Laden himself has recently, in one of his speeches, given such an answer that we have no relation with him.”

FOJ Note: The just case for America going to war against Iraq rests upon exposing Saddam's connections to Middle East terrorists, and specifically to those organizations that were involved in the September 11th attacks on America. Without that intelligence, America is in reality simply trying to enforce UN resolutions upon Iraq without the UN's wholehearted support. The diplomatic scenario is therefore changed into one pitting the US against the UN. President Bush has challenged the UN to live up to its mission, or fade into history.

The Syrian Diversion

Feb. 26….(Arutz)
Syria is widely publicizing its withdrawal of Syrian troops from northern Lebanon. News from Beirut indicates that Syria is to making a substantial withdrawal from north Lebanon, the Lebanese army said last Tuesday. The redeployment was agreed upon at a meeting of the Lebanese Syrian military committee last Tuesday, the Lebanese army command said in a statement. This surprise move is bound to please Lebanese critics of Syria, mainly the opposition who have called for Syria to withdraw its troops from the country. A Lebanese newspaper, the Daily Star, reported that it was unclear last week if the Syrian troops in north Lebanon would return to Syria or be redeployed to the Bekaa Valley of eastern Lebanon, near the Syrian border. A Lebanese military source said that the plan states that some 4,000 Syrian troops will leave Lebanon. He explained that the operation was to start as of last Wednesday, especially in the al-Batroun area to the north of Lebanon, and was to continue for five days. Arab News reported on February 21, 2003 that in a statement last Wednesday the Lebanese army announced the pullout operation, but did not specify if the withdrawn forces would be redeployed in other areas in Lebanon or return back to Syria. The statement gave no figures for the redeployment, but said it should be completed "within five days." The present Syrian withdrawal is one of many and typically means only a redeployment of troops in Lebanon for political reasons only. The present pseudo-withdrawal follows precedent and, while the Lebanese media touts the Taef Agreement as a reason for the withdrawal, they ignore that the agreement delineated Syrian withdrawal about ten years ago, without the slightest attempt by Syria to withdraw in the interim. Unfolding events paint another story of deceit, involving an attempt by Syria to whitewash their strong support of terror, domination of Lebanon, and full cooperation with Iraq, extending to assisting Iraq in hiding their banned weapons away from the eyes of the United Nations inspectors. Even this past Friday, February 21, 2003, curious events were afoot in Lebanon: all UN employees working in Lebanon received emergency orders not to cross the Litani River south under any circumstances, unless a specific order was received. There are reports from operatives in Lebanon and Syria that the Syrian controlled Sunni fundamentalists are planning on attacking Christian villages and acting as if Syria is not involved. Of course, the Sunni fundamentalists do nothing without approval from Syria and its master Iran, again leading to confusion as to Syrian motivation. The plan, as revealed by our intelligence sources, is to present the facade of Syrian non-involvement with Sunni fundamentalists, in order to free them from their terrorist contacts and cater to US needs for potential Arab allies in the portending war on Iraq. Our sources report that Syria is willing to sacrifice some Sunni fundamentalists so that they can proceed with their plan to make themselves necessary for peace in Lebanon, all the while continuing their terrorist activities. Indeed, Hizballah operatives are considering striking US interests and Christian political figures in East Beirut when the war in Iraq begins. Furthermore, the Syrian regime and its Lebanese puppet are harboring, protecting and arming most terrorist and criminal organizations wanted in the international arena, ranging from al-Qaida to Ousbat al-Ansar, Jund el-Shams, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP, PFLP-GC, DFLP, and the Sunni Tawhid. We have counted more than three hundred Salafist Islamic schools in Tripoli and Akkar .They have a huge financial backbone, and their religious leaders, their sheikhs, are in every mosque, creating a cohesive military sub-group and giving instructions through religious fatwa to fight the infidels, meaning the Americans, Zionists and Christians. Their speeches indicate they are going to move during the Iraq conflict and expect a significant backup from other supporters of Iraq and through terrorist activities directed against the West. Syria is moving fast inside Lebanon with its plan to create religious strife during the developments in Iraq. Syria knows that after the Saddam regime will be vanished in Iraq, it will be the next target of the West, as a major terror-supporting nation, with a commensurate Syrian regime change seen as necessary for the stabilization of the Levant. This may come about by international pressure or by a military strike against its troops, proxies and the Hizballah, along with all the terror groups headquartered in Damascus.

Iran, Libya, Syria are Next?

Feb. 26….(World Net)
After Saddam Hussein is ousted, United States foreign policy plans call for regime change in Iran, Libya and Syria. Intensifying concerns of Arab leaders who feel caught between a rock and a hard place over the issue of war against Iraq, a U.S. official told Arab journalists the tactic would differ for each country, but the end result would be the same – democracy throughout the Arab world. "Change is needed in all those three countries, and a few others besides," Richard Perle told the London-based author and analyst Amir Taheri. Perle is chairman of the U.S. Defense Advisory Board and is said to be one of the architects in the Bush administration of the proposed regime change in Iraq, according to the news-site. He added that he felt U.S. intervention may only be necessary in Libya and that reform can come from within in Iran and Syria. He would not elaborate on what U.S. intervention might entail. "As for Libya, it is a weird case," Perle told Taheri. "For the time being it is out of world reality. But the colonel knows that we have our eyes on him." Perle asserted Arab leaders would support U.S. policy in the Middle East, as a dozen countries are behind the U.S. effort against Hussein. "Not a single Arab state is making the slightest move against our policy on this issue," Perle said. "And at least a dozen are actively cooperating with us in whatever field we require. What interests me is that almost all Arab states are showing a sense of realism and an understanding of their own interests on this issue." According to Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton has made a pronouncement similar to Perle's. The intelligence newsletter reported this week that Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq, and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea afterwards.

Shiite Muslim Cleric Desires to Rule Iraq

Feb. 25….(MSNBC)
The head of Iraq's largest opposition group warned the United States on Tuesday that its military presence in post-war Iraq would not be welcome, and that any attempt to install a Pentagon general in Baghdad could be met with a “religious war.” Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim told in an interview that Muslim fury over a long-term American occupation of Iraq would destabilize the Middle East. As the leader of Iraq's Shia Muslim exile community, the ayatollah's words hold weight. His political organization, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, is influential among Iraq's majority Shia population. Numbers vary, but most experts believe the Shia make up about 65 percent of Iraq's population. For decades, Saddam's dictatorship, run by rival Sunni Muslims, has oppressed the Shias. Dissent is quickly snuffed out through murder and torture.

FOJ Note: Shia Muslims ignited the Islamic Revolution in Iran in the late 70's under Ayatollah Khomeini. America would find an even more complexing situation in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein should the radical Shiite's gain rulership in Iraq.

Saddam Ready For War Soon

Feb. 25…..(CBS)
Saddam also challenged the president of the United States to join him in a live radio and television satellite linkup and debate the need for war before the entire world. "I am ready," said the Iraqi president, "to conduct a direct dialogue with your president. I will say what I want and he will say what he wants." "This will be an opportunity for him, if he's committed to war, this will be an opportunity to convince the world." Iraqi officials have repeatedly noted the size and strength of the anti-war demonstrations that occurred ten days ago. They are certain they have an audience for the proposed debate. "This is something proposed in earnest," Saddam said, "out of my respect for the people of the United States and my respect for the people of Iraq and the people of the world. I call for this because war is not a joke." "As leaders," the Iraqi president said to his American counterpart, "why don't we use this opportunity?" Saddam Hussein indicated he feels an American invasion aimed at unseating him will come soon. Saddam made it clear that he takes the threat of war seriously and considers himself prepared.

FOJ Note: How is it that the US government cannot find Osama Bin Laden or locate Saddam Hussein, but Dan Rather of CBS news can meet with him at a critical moment. Could it be a ploy to obstruct President Bush's plans to protect the sovereignty of America, and to catapult the peace-at any price movement to the forefront world of geo-political intrigue?

Vatican: War Against Iraq is a Crime Against Peace

Feb. 25….(Arabic News
) The Vatican papal nuncio, Jan Loi Toran, has stated that launching a war against Iraq without the consent of the UN will be "a crime against peace." During a seminar in Rome about peace, Toran said "the aggressive war will constitute a crime against peace" recalling the second article of the UN charter which makes it imperative of the UN member states not to resort to war in order to settle international disputes. Toran added "any likely action against Iraq should be made and decided within the context of the UN Security Council. It is only the UN which has the decision making authority concerning a military intervention for legitimate defense, and "this necessitates the occurrence of a premeditated aggression." The Vatican Papal Nuncio also stressed that the UN inspectors should continue dismantling the Iraqi weapons.

Saddam Challenges Bush to a Live Debate

Feb. 25….(CBS)
CBS has scored one of the news coups of the year as "Evening News" anchor Dan Rather landed an exclusive three-hour interview with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein on Monday in Baghdad. Rather broke the news of his big get on his CBS News Radio newscast Monday afternoon. During the interview, Rather said Saddam challenged President Bush to a live, international debate on television and radio. According to Rather, the Iraqi leader also said that his al-Samoud advanced missile systems do not violate the United Nations' disarmament mandates and thus indicated that he would not abide by U.N. demands that they be destroyed. But CBS News could not turn over the videotape fast enough to get sound bites onto its Monday night newscast, at least on the East Coast. On Monday's "Evening News," Rather said the delay was caused by "complications" in the transmission and translation of the interview. Both NBC and ABC referenced Rather's interviews on their evening newscasts Monday. CBS plans to use excerpts from the interview during "The Early Show" today as well on "Evening News" and "60 Minutes II" in primetime, though a CBS News spokeswoman said it was too soon to say whether CBS would devote the full hour to the interview.

Baghdad Missing Final Opportunity

Feb. 25….(Washington Times)
Iraq has "failed to take the final opportunity" to meet U.N. demands to disarm, the United States, Britain and Spain said yesterday in a new draft resolution to the Security Council that could prove the final diplomatic gambit before a new war in the Persian Gulf. But France, in a counterproposal backed by fellow council members Russia and Germany, said U.N. inspection teams in Iraq should be given up to four months to continue their work, arguing that "so far, the conditions for using force against Iraq are not fulfilled." The sharp divisions have set up a fortnight of intense backroom dealing as a U.S.-led force in the Gulf prepares for a military strike against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein that could start as early as mid-March. President Bush, addressing a gathering of the nation's governors at the White House, said the world had reached "a moment to determine whether or not [the United Nations] is going to be relevant as the world confronts the threats of the 21st century." But, Mr. Bush vowed, "one way or the other, Saddam Hussein, for the sake of peace and for the security of the American people, will be disarmed." Russia, which like France enjoys a veto in Security Council deliberations, also says it does not believe the United States and Britain have made the case for war.

Beijing Rejects U.S. Approach to Iraq

Feb. 25….(Washington Times)
China rebuffed the United States' approach to Iraq and North Korea yesterday and received a chiding admonition from Washington for its deteriorating human rights record. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell met with China's top leaders to ask them to accept, or at least not veto, a new U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq and to seek their support for multilateral talks with North Korea about its nuclear program. But in more than four hours of meetings with President Jiang Zemin; vice president and Communist Party leader, Hu Jintao; and Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, Mr. Powell did not hear what he hoped for. Beijing renewed its calls for a "political solution" to the Iraq situation and bilateral U.S.-North Korean talks "on an equal footing." "Most members of the international community, including China, believe it is imperative now to continue weapons inspections in Iraq

Non-Aligned Nations Condemn Israel

Feb. 24….(AP
) Delegates to a summit of 114 mostly developing nations on Sunday endorsed a declaration condemning Israel for committing "systematic human rights violations and reported war crimes" in Palestinian areas. Since the 1967 Middle East War, the Non-Aligned Movement has regularly condemned Israel for the occupation of Palestinian territory.

Saddam Given 3 Weeks to Prevent War

Feb. 24….(Telegraph)
America declared yesterday that it was "time to take action" against Iraq as it set out a two to three-week timetable for Saddam Hussein to disarm or face war. Britain and America will table a United Nations resolution declaring Iraq to be in "material breach" of its obligation to rid itself of all nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Although the resolution will probably not explicitly endorse military action, Washington and London will deem that it gives sufficient legal authority for war. Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, said the decisive moment will be a report by Hans Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei, the UN's chief weapons inspectors, expected on March 7.

Iran Seeks WMD Help From China, N. Korea

Feb. 24….(Middle East News Line)
The United States has concluded that Iran has increased efforts to obtain technological assistance from China and North Korea for Teheran's missile and weapons of mass destruction programs. U.S. officials said the threat of imminent war with Iraq has spurred Teheran to conclude its missile and WMD projects to deter future threats from Washington. The officials said Iran is focusing on completing facilities that could produce weapons-grade plutonium. "The Iranians are very active in seeking assistance from North Korea and China," Undersecretary of State John Bolton said. "Although the current focus is on Iraq, and to a lesser extent on North Korea, Iran remains a very serious problem, one that we're committed to addressing, and one that we are trying to address by preventing the Iranian government from acquiring these capabilities in nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and long-range missiles." The undersecretary said he has spent many hours with Russian officials in an attempt to stop Moscow's aid to Teheran's missile and WMD programs.


France, Germany, Russia, China and Iraq's Oil

Feb. 21….(FOJ)
With America contemplating its next move against the Axis of Evil, it has encountered a monkey-wrench in war plans. France, Germany and Russia continue to obstruct America's resolve to extract Saddam Hussein from power and from his weapons of mass destruction. All these countries are complicitly linked to Iraq's WMD programs. That is just one of many reasons that France, Germany, Russia, and China are bottling up the UN Security Council. Iraq's vast oil reserves remain a powerful prize for global oil companies. Iraq is sitting on an estimated 112 billion barrels of crude, a pool of oil second in size only to Saudi Arabia's 264 billion barrels. In 1997, Russia's LUKOIL, which was set up in 1991 has all through the years of the UN sanctions on Iraq signed contracts to develop Iraq's Western Qurna oil field. The same year, the China National Petroleum Corporation bought a 50 percent stake in the al-Ahdab oil field. (Both have been barred from developing those reserves by U.N. sanctions.) More recently, France's TotalFinaElf has reportedly negotiated agreements to develop the much larger Majnoon field, but has not yet signed firm contracts to do so. Over the years, those deals complicated U.S. efforts to win support for tough action against Baghdad in the U.N. Security Council, where France, Russia and China are permanent members. Russia's role in developing Iraqi oil production also strengthens its threat to OPEC's grip on oil prices. Now second to Saudi Arabia in output, Russian oil companies would benefit from increasing output and boosting its market share.

Five companies dominate the global oil industry. In order of size, the firms are Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch-Shell, British Petroleum-Amoco, Chevron-Texaco and TotalElfFina. A recent report assembled by political scientists points out that: "U.S.-based Exxon-Mobil looms largest among the world's oil companies and, by some yardsticks, measures as the world's biggest company. The United States consequently ranks first in the corporate oil sector, with the United Kingdom second and France trailing as a distant third. Considering that the United States and the United Kingdom are acting almost alone as (Iraq) sanctions advocates and enforcers, and that they are the headquarters of the world's four largest oil companies, we cannot ignore the possible relationship of military policy with this powerful corporate interest." And let's not forget that U.S. and UK companies had a three-quarter share in Iraq's oil production before the 1972 nationalization of the Iraq Petroleum Co., when the Iraqi government began to make steps to gain greater control of its oil resources, and before Saddam Hussein rose to power!

Sharon: No Palestinian Capital in Jerusalem - No Return of Refugees

Feb. 21….(Jerusalem Post)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday ruled out giving up any part of Jerusalem in peace negotiations and said Israel would not accept the return of Palestinian refugees, rejecting key Palestinian demands. This came as international negotiators work with Israelis and Palestinians on a "road map" plan for Mid-east peace, including creation of a provisional Palestinian state. Palestinians demand a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip with its capital in the Arab section of Jerusalem, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mid-east war and annexed a few weeks later. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon rejected two key Palestinian demands - a capital in Jerusalem and return of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to their original homes in Israel. "I don't think there is any right to anyone to make any compromise when it comes to Jerusalem," he said, adding that allowing millions of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel "means the destruction of Israel as (an) independent, democratic Jewish state." Sharon was speaking in Jerusalem to visiting members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. He insisted that Israel is prepared to make "painful compromises" for durable peace, but would not compromise over Israel's security. He did not give details. "I don't think there is any right to anyone to make any compromise when it comes to Jerusalem," he said. "We are guardians of Jerusalem for future generations." Sharon categorically rejected the Palestinian claim of a "right of return" of refugees, referring to hundreds of thousands of Arabs who fled or were driven out of their homes during the two-year war that followed Israel's creation in 1948, along with their descendants, an estimated 4 million people. "Israel will never accept that danger to occur. Never," he said. "We understand the tragedy" of the refugees, he said, but Israel has no responsibility for them because it was attacked. Accepting their return "means the destruction of Israel as (an) independent, democratic Jewish state," he said. Sharon appealed to the US Jewish leaders to help explain Israel's cause in the world. "Every Jew is an ambassador for Israel," he told them.

Florida Indicts 8 for Aiding Islamic Jihad

Feb. 21….(Ha Aretz)
Eight people, including four U.S. residents, were charged in a 50-count indictment with supporting, financing and relaying messages for the militant Islamic Jihad organization. The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in Tampa, Florida, was unsealed Thursday. It charges that the men are members of the Islamic Jihad, designated by the United States as a terrorist organization. Among them are a Palestinian professor at the University of South Florida, 45-year-old Sami Amin Al-Arian, who is described as the group's U.S. leader and secretary of its worldwide council. The suspects include three people living in Florida and one in Chicago. Those living abroad - in Britain, Syria, Lebonon and the Gaza Strip - remain at large, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said. In Florida, Al-Arian was seen being led in handcuffs to FBI headquarters in Tampa after the arrest.

Hamas Seeks Closer Ties and Funding with Iran

Feb. 21….(Ha Aretz)
During the past year, the radical Islamic organization Hamas has begun seeking closer ties with Iran in order to compensate for a loss in funding from other sources. Intelligence sources describe the intensifying links between Iran and Hamas as "significantly increased," particularly the frequency of visits to Tehran by leading members of the organization. Following the September 11 terror attacks in the United States, there has been increasing pressure on traditional pools of funds in the United States and Arab countries. The pressure exercised by Washington on Saudi Arabia, a major source of funding for Hamas, has not brought about the desired results and the flow of money continues. However, a serious blow has been dealt to the money-trail from the U.S. and the attack the Bush administration has initiated against Islamic and Palestinian charities based in the United States.

A Secret Saudi Plan for Iraq

Feb. 21….(World Watch)
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has reportedly transmitted a secret proposal to the Bush Administration, using one of his own sons, Prince Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah as an emissary, rather than officials from the Saudi Embassy in Washington. The Saudis are proposing that after Saddam Hussein's fall, Saudi Arabia should lead a coalition of Islamic nations to occupy Iraq while a transitional Iraqi government is established, with Turkey playing the leading role in the Islamic force. According to the Crown Prince, an Islamic occupation force would defuse the anti-American hostility that is sweeping the Middle East putting pressure on moderate Arab governments that are allied with the United States.

Pope and Kofi Annan: “UN is Essential”

Feb. 20….(Zenit)
John Paul II and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan agree that it is still possible to find a just solution to the Iraqi crisis. Annan was received in audience today by the Pope in Rome. At the end of the meeting, Vatican spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls said that the Pope and the U.N. secretary-general studied the "critical situation" arising from Iraq. Both the Pope and Annan stressed the "essential role" of the United Nations and the fact that "just and effective solutions to the challenges of the moment can still be found by respecting international legality, of which the United Nations is guarantor," the Pope's spokesman said. At the same time, they stressed the objective to "avoid subsequent grave sufferings to the people, already affected by long years of embargo," said Navarro-Valls' statement, released through the Holy See. Earlier, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray lunched with the Pope and reported on his meeting with Saddam Hussein, with Iraqi authorities, and with representatives of the Catholic community in the country of Iraq. Holy See representatives also addressed with Annan other conflicts, in particular the Holy Land. Before his papal audience, Annan said in Rome: "War is not inevitable and it is necessary to exert pressure to obtain a peaceful solution, but this does not mean that Iraq does not have to obey the obligations imposed by the U.N. Security Council."

Iraq Again Defying UN Inspectors

Feb. 20….(Washington Post)
President Saddam Hussein's government, apparently emboldened by antiwar sentiment at the U.N. Security Council and in the worldwide peace-protests, has not followed through on his promises of increased cooperation with U.N. arms inspectors, according to inspectors in Iraq. The United Nations also has not received additional documents about past weapons programs, despite the government's pledge to set up a commission to scour the country for evidence sought by the inspectors, U.N. officials said. One U.N. official here said that since Friday's Security Council meeting, "we have not seen any positive moves on the part of Iraq." Another charged, "They are not fulfilling their promises." If Iraq does not move quickly to arrange more private interviews and provide more evidence, the chief inspector, Hans Blix, likely will deliver a more downcast assessment of Iraqi cooperation when he next reports to the Security Council, a U.N. official said. A critical report from Blix could prove instrumental to U.S. and British efforts to build support for a new council resolution authorizing force against Iraq. The antiwar demonstrations across the world reflect a new chapter in the global balance of power," the paper said in an editorial earlier this week. "Everyone has noted that a new multipolar world is emerging. Iraq, with its oil, its resistance, its wise leaders and its strategic vision is an important and fundamental actor in this multipolar world." Iraqi officials, displaying a similar confidence, have shifted their message from "We are complying" to a more insistent call for the lifting of economic sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait. U.N. officials and diplomats here express belief that Hussein's government may have misread the position of most council members or may be seeking to continue a game of brinkmanship by parceling out concessions at the last minute to stymie U.S. efforts to generate consensus for military action. Saddam Hussein may be feeling that world opinion is with Iraq.

EU Calls for Early Implementation of Mideast "Roadmap"

Feb. 19….(Jerusalem Post)
European Union leaders met today to discuss Iraq and the ongoing controversy about weapons of mass destruction, but ended saying that re-invigorating the Mid-east peace process was also crucial to regional stability. The 15 EU leaders said they would encourage Arab countries, "separately and jointly, to bring home to Saddam Hussein the extreme danger of miscalculation of the situation." They also supported Turkey's "regional initiatives" with other neighbors of Iraq and Egypt. "In this regional context," the final declaration said, "the European Union reiterates its firm belief in the need to invigorate the peace process in the Middle East and to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." They called for "early implementation" of the roadmap endorsed by the EU along with the United States, Russia and the United Nations, an end to "terror and violence" as well as Israeli settlements. The EU welcomed Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's statement that he will appoint a Prime Minister as a "welcome step in the right direction" toward speeding up Palestinian reforms. "Let us disarm Iraq and solve the Mid-east crisis once and for all," said European Commission President Romano Prodi.

Joseph´s Tomb in Ruins

Feb. 19….(Arutz)
Photos taken by Breslov Hassidim who recently visited Joseph's Tomb in Shechem testify to the total destruction to the holy site that was abandoned by Israel several months ago and left to the mercy of PA residents. Joseph's tomb has been destroyed and the area has been filled with trash. An obvious effort was made to do whatever possible to defile the holy site. Members of the Od Yosef Chai Yeshiva, once located inside the Tomb, have turned to IDF authorities calling for renewed Jewish rule over the site and permitting reconstruction of the Tomb and the reopening to visitors and worshipers as per the Oslo Agreement that places total control over Joseph's Tomb in Israeli hands. FOJ Note: You can easily imagine how the Arab/Muslim world would react to Israeli desecration of an Arab Shrine. Joseph of course was the son of Jacob and Rachel.

Iranian-backed Forces Cross into Iraq

Feb. 19….(AP)
Iranian-backed Iraqi opposition forces have crossed into northern Iraq from Iran with the aim of securing the frontier in the event of war, according to senior Iranian officials. The forces, numbering up to 5,000 troops, with some heavy equipment, are nominally under the command of Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim, a prominent Iraqi Shia Muslim opposition leader who has been based in Iran since 1980 and lives in Tehran. Analysts close to the administration of President George W. Bush said the US was concerned about the intentions of this new element in an increasingly complicated patchwork of forces in northern Iraq. Iranian officials insist that force's role in the north is defensive but its presence will exacerbate the concerns of the US and especially the Arab world that military intervention in Iraq will lead to a permanent disintegration of the country. Through inserting a proxy force, Iran is underlining that it cannot be ignored in future discussions over Iraq's make-up.

Fallout from Iraq Will be Felt in Syria, Libya

Feb. 18…..(Jerusalem Post)
The repercussions of the imminent US campaign in Iraq will be felt in Syria and Libya, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton said in meetings with Israeli officials Monday. Bolton, according to senior Israeli officials who met with him, said the Iraqi campaign will force Syria and Libya to "come off the fence" in their support of terrorism. According to these officials, Bolton, the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, said America is determined to go ahead with its military campaign against Iraq, despite the current crisis with Europe over the issue. Much of Bolton's talks Monday with Israeli officials dealt with what happens after Iraq, and the need then to deal with the nuclear threats from North Korea and from Iran.

Arab Leaders Back Saddam

Feb. 18….(World Net)
Wrapping up an emergency summit in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers issued a resolution yesterday rejecting war against Iraq and urging Arabs abstain from supporting any such aggression. The Arab League statement reaffirmed, "the commitment of the Arab states to maintain the security and safety of Iraq and Kuwait," and called aggression against either a "threat to the national security of all Arab states." The resolution warned the international community of the "dangers" and "grave implications" of military aggression against "Iraq, its people and its territorial integrity" and war against the region overall, which the resolution asserts continues to suffer "as a result of the continued Israeli policy of occupation and destruction against the unarmed Palestinian people and their legitimate national rights." In a further anti-Semitic slam, the foreign ministers called for implementation of Article 14 of U.N. Resolution 687 – passed at the end of the Persian Gulf War which seeks to make the Middle East a weapons-of-mass-destruction-free zone – by specifically targeting Israel, which the ministers claim "is the only one which owns all these types of destructive weapons." world net daily

Americans Oppose Palestinian State

Feb. 18….(World Net)
Results of a new national poll indicate 71 percent of Americans oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. A survey of 1,000 Americans conducted by John McLaughlin and Associates also shows that, by large margins, U.S. residents are opposed to giving aid to the Palestinian Authority and are in favor of having Palestinian terrorists who kill Americans being handed over to the U.S. for prosecution. The poll was commissioned by the Zionist Organization of America . Other questions in the poll addressed whether Americans believe that the Palestinians' goal is the destruction of Israel and whether a Palestinian state would be a terrorist state. The results were released in a statement by the Zionist Organization of America. According to the group, the poll respondents were 36 percent Republicans, 37 percent Democrats and 21 percent independents; 53 percent Protestants, 28 percent Catholic and 2 percent Jews; 76 percent Caucasians, 11 percent black and 10 percent Hispanics.

Assad of Syria Plotting Terror Against Israel

Feb. 18….(Debka)
The Israeli army has been confronted by a new terrorist machine working with the Hamas and Jihad Islami in the Gaza Strip and Mt. Hebron in the southern West Bank. Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizballah chairman Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah have devised a devious plan and set in motion a plan to transform the Gaza Strip and southern West Bank into the southern offshoots of the Syrian-Lebanese northern front against Israel, before the Iraq war fully erupts. They are of course intending to exploit the Palestinian terror campaign to drag Israel into a full-blown regional conflict, without exposing their own territory and power centers to reprisal, or even laying themselves open to be charged as aggressors. Assad and Nasrallah are jerking the wires of Hamas and Jihad Islami groups in the Gaza Strip and Hebron, through those groups' Damascus headquarters.

The strategic implications of this turnabout in Palestinian fortunes are pivotal. In the years 1999 and 2000, the Palestinians were heavily engaged in their operational preparations for Arafat's Intifida. From 2000 to 2002, amid their raging confrontation with Israel, Arafat and his Fatah opened the door wide for the Hizballah and the Damascus headquarters of the Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islami to join their terror campaign. Now, in 2003, the tables have turned - Syria and the Hizballah are using the Islamic radical groups as the engine for driving the Fatah terror machine, instead of the other way round, all of this with Yasser Arafat's full compliance!

Bush Won't Back Down on Iraq

Feb. 17….(CNN)
The coalition of the willing is preparing," national security adviser Condoleezza Rice said on "Fox News Sunday." The U.S. and Britain are standing firm in their position on Iraq in the face of criticism from many U.N. members. The Bush administration held to its stance on Iraq on Sunday. National security adviser Condoleezza Rice carried the White House position into the battle of words on the Sunday talk shows. She said on both "Fox News Sunday" and NBC's "Meet the Press" that President Bush would not back down, despite pleas last week from most members of the U.N. Security Council that he give weapons inspectors more time. "Some nations gave Iraqi President Saddam Hussein the impression Friday that he can play this game," Rice told NBC. "The coalition of the willing is preparing," she said on Fox. "We are in a period now, a diplomatic window, in which we should be discussing how the Security Council can best carry out its obligations. "But Saddam Hussein shouldn't read into what he's seen over the last couple of days that somehow he's going to get away with it again." "The key standard is the key requirement of U.N. Resolution 1441, which is that if Iraq wants to avoid serious consequences, then it must cooperate fully, comprehensively and immediately,"

Iraq Gloats Over Global Peace Rallies

Feb. 17….(USA Today)
Iraq is gloating over the global outpouring of opposition to the U.S. threat of attack, saying anti-war demonstrations in dozens of countries signaled an Iraqi victory and ''the defeat and isolation of America.'' Iraq's tightly controlled news media gave prominent coverage to anti-war demonstrations staged around the world on Saturday. Iraqi television showed footage of millions marching in the world's cities - under the logo ''International Day of Confronting the Aggression.'' ''The world said with one voice: 'No to aggression on Iraq,''' read a headline in the government daily Al-Jumhuriya. ''The world rises against American aggression and the arrogance of naked force,'' read a front page headline in the army daily Al-Qadissiya. ''These demonstrations expressed in their spirit, meaning and slogans the decisive Iraqi victory and the defeat and isolation of America,'' Al-Jumhuriya said in a commentary. Iraq staged its own demonstrations on Saturday, when tens of thousands of people, many carrying assault rifles and portraits of Saddam Hussein, took to the streets of several Iraqi cities to pledge their loyalty to the Iraqi leader in the face of U.S. threats to attack the Arab nation. The United States and Britain accuse Iraq of concealing weapons of mass destruction prohibited under U.N. resolutions adopted at the end of the 1991 Gulf War. They say they will disarm Iraq by force if necessary. Saddam on Saturday reiterated that Iraq was free of weapons of mass destruction and said talk of deposing him was ''impertinent.'' ''They talk about changing the Iraqi regime at a time when they also speak about respecting the will of nations and falsely boast about their so-called democracy,'' he told papal peace envoy Cardinal Roger Etchegaray on Saturday, official news media said. In contrast to the international peace protests on Saturday, the mood of Iraq's demonstrations was defiant, echoing the official Iraqi rhetoric of the past several months: Iraq wants peace but it is also ready for war, should one start.

New Tape of bin Laden Accuses U.S.

Feb. 17….(Telegraph)
A new audio-tape said to be of Osama bin Laden accused America yesterday of plotting to carve up the Middle East after a war against Iraq to create a "Greater Israel". The "foolish" President George W Bush would not stop with an attack on Iraq but would soon strike Egypt, Sudan, Iran and Syria, according to the tape. "This attack is part of a new crusade to prepare the region, after dividing it, for the creation of a Greater Israel," excerpts of the recording read. "This means the whole region will be ruled by Jews."

Powell Warns Damascus on WMD!

Feb. 17….(Middle East News Line)
Secretary of State Colin Powell on Wednesday said that Syria's help in the global war on terrorism would not absolve Damascus from US criticism for its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and support for Hezbollah. "We have also spent a lot of time with them discussing the need to keep things quiet on the northern border of Israel with respect to Hezbollah activities and those kind of terrorist activities directed toward Israel," Powell said. "We do not shrink from that kind of demarche simply because they happen to be cooperating on one aspect in the war on terrorism," he said. Powell deferred specific questions about Syria's alleged pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, saying he could not discuss the matter in an open forum, but he repeated US accusations that Damascus wanted to acquire them. "We know that Syria has an interest in various weapons of mass destruction," he said.

Iraq May Already Have Nuclear Weapons!

Feb. 17…..(World Net)
Iraq possesses large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction and probably has produced some of its own nuclear weapons, according to report by Joseph Farah in World Net Dailey. While Baghdad claims to have "lost" the bio-chem arms, U.S. military sources tell the online intelligence newsletter they fully expect them to be used against invading allied forces at the onset of hostilities. Intelligence sources report that they strongly believe Iraq already has some nuclear weapons in its arsenal. The only question in the minds of G2 Bulletin sources is whether Iraq has the capability, along with their terrorist allies, to deploy weapons of mass destruction on U.S. soil.

Europe's World Peace Protests Help Saddam

Feb. 17….(Financial Times)
The US on Sunday dismissed millions of anti-war protesters around the world and European-led efforts to delay a conflict with Iraq, saying they strengthened Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader, and made war more rather than less likely. Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush's top foreign policy aide, said a US decision on whether to launch an attack remained "a matter of weeks, not months". The national security adviser said that European calls for a delay "play into the hands of Saddam Hussein".


Iraq Promises Pope To Comply With UN

Feb. 14….(Reuters)
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz promised Pope John Paul on Friday that the Iraqi government would cooperate with the international community on disarmament demands, the Vatican said in a statement. The statement, issued after a 30-minute private meeting between Aziz and the pope, also said the pontiff had told Aziz that Iraq must respect U.N. resolutions "with concrete commitments." "Mr. Aziz wanted to give assurances about the willingness of the Iraqi government to cooperate with the international community, particularly over disarmament," the Vatican said. "His holiness repeated the need to faithfully respect, with concrete commitments, the resolutions of the Security Council of the United Nations, which are the guarantors of international legality," it added. Despite his age and frailty, the 82-year-old pope has become increasingly involved in diplomatic efforts to help avert a war with Iraq. Next Tuesday, he will meet with U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to discuss Iraq.

Arafat Announces he Will Share Power

Feb. 14….(Jerusalem Post)
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has agreed to appoint a Prime Minister, a key demand by the US and international mediators for progress on a political settlement. Arafat did not name a Prime Minister, set a date for the appointment or say how much power he would share. The US, Israel and the European Union, have been insisting that Yasser Arafat hand most of his powers over to another leader. His announcement came after talks with envoys from the European Union, the UN and Russia at his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Arafat said he would convene the Palestinian legislature and central council "to get their consent to take the necessary steps" to name a Prime Minister.

FOJ Note: Anybody want to buy some nice swamp land in Florida?

Japan Threatens North Korea with Pre-Emptive Strike

Feb. 14….(Telegraph)
Japan yesterday threatened a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if it judged Pyongyang was preparing a ballistic missile attack. The declaration by Shigeru Ishiba, the defense minister, deepened a worsening crisis in the region caused by North Korea's resumption of its nuclear programme. The threat marks a major step away from Japan's post-war "peace constitution," which renounces the right to use force. "Our nation will use military force as a self-defense measure if North Korea starts to resort to arms against Japan," M.r Ishiba said. He said that fuelling a missile could be construed as the start of an attack if the missile was known to be aimed at Japan. "It is too late if a missile is flying towards Japan." Mr. Isiba's words were clearly designed to warn North Korea not to repeat its 1993 and 1998 missile tests, which caused widespread indignation in Japan. The rockets, which landed off the Japanese coast, were tracked by US spy satellites but Tokyo was not warned in time as a missile passed over its territory. The comments seemed to have been triggered by an announcement from Jin-su, North Korea's ambassador to Japan, that Pyongyang was abandoning a missile-testing moratorium. Japan's aggressive response raises the possibility that a test firing could be misinterpreted by Japan as a real attack. The US has 48,000 troops in Japan, some of whom would be moved to South Korea in the event of a conflict. Washington has for many years urged Japan to develop and build its own missile defence shield. Tokyo has been reluctant to do this for fear of upsetting China.

Egypt Also Secretly Developing WMD

Feb. 14….(Geostrategy)
For years, Egypt has been engaged in missile and weapons of mass destruction programs with countries such as Iraq and North Korea, reports Geo-strategy-Direct, the online intelligence newsletter. The problem was that the CIA had difficulty uncovering these programs. Now, after years of searching, the CIA has come up with the reason. Egypt has devised a concealment and deception program that exceeds that of North Korea's, intelligence operatives say. What is kept secret is that North Korea is quietly assisting Egypt in the development of these weapons. Many of the Egyptian missile and WMD programs are based in the Sahara and huge Western deserts between Egypt and Libya. The two countries have built a series of tunnels along the Egyptian-Libyan border. The tunnels conceal development and production of North Korean missiles and nuclear weapons components from the prying eyes of Israeli and U.S. spy satellites. Quietly, U.S. officials have probed Egypt for information on the project. Egyptian officials, who have stymied every U.S. investigation on Iraqi- or North Korean-linked WMD programs, have shrugged their shoulders.

The Lamb is Coming Back as a Lion!

Feb. 13….(FOJ)
Palestinians crowd the Bab-Al Asbat cemetery, next to Jerusalem's Old City wall, in observance of the four-day Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice. Muslims all over the world celebrated the religious holiday of Eid al-Adha in which they slaughter sheep, seeking God's forgiveness. Ironically the cemetery where the Palestinians gathered for the sacrificial ceremony is located just in front of Old Jerusalem's walled shut Eastern Gate. Little do the observant Muslims (and Israel) realize the fact that the Biblical Lamb of God (Jesus Christ/Gods only begotten son) came unto Jerusalem 2000 years ago riding upon a donkey, and presented himself as the sacrificial lamb that was raised up on the cross! Three days later he arose and ascended into Heaven, but he promised that he would return someday. And indeed someday very soon, he will return and enter into Jerusalem through this very gate! (Revelation 5:5-6 Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof,. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain,)

Europe Will March For Peace

Feb. 13….(EU Observer)
While Europe's leaders fail to resolve their stark differences over Iraq, the European public is becoming increasingly united in its opposition to war. The force of this opposition will culminate on Saturday, 15 February, when protestors gather in 354 cities around the world in a call for peace. The event has been billed by anti-war groups as globally "the single largest day of protests in world history." The scale of the imminent demonstrations reflects the growing tide of public opinion from New York to Oslo, from Japan to Athens, that an alternative to war should be found.

FOJ Note: Some people will do anything for peace, and even submit their lives and freedoms to a Superman! (Antichrist)

Canada Court: Bible = Hate Literature

Feb. 13….(AP)
In a ruling given virtually no media coverage, the Court of Queen's Bench in Saskatchewan, ruled that a man who placed references to Bible verses on homosexuality into a newspaper ad was guilty of inciting hatred. The December 11, 2002 decision was in response to an appeal of a 2001 Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (HRC) ruling which ordered both the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper and Hugh Owens of Regina to pay $1,500 to three homosexual activists for publishing an ad in the Saskatoon newspaper quoting bible verses regarding homosexuality. The purpose of the ad was to indicate that the Bible calls homosexual behavior a sin. The advertisement displayed references to four Bible passages: (Romans 1, Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10) Justice J. Barclay ruled: "In my view, the Board was correct in concluding that the advertisement can objectively be seen as exposing homosexuals to hatred or ridicule. When the use of the circle and slash is combined with the passages of the Bible, it exposes homosexuals to detestation, vilification and disgrace. In other words, the Biblical passage which suggest that if a man lies with a man they are sinners exposes homosexuals to hatred."

China Warns UN Over N. Korea

Feb. 13….(BBC)
China has warned the UN Security Council against getting involved in the North Korean nuclear crisis. "The UN Security Council's involvement might not necessarily contribute to the settlement of the issue," said China's ambassador to the UN, Zhang Yan. He was speaking in Vienna after the UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), took the dramatic step of declaring the North in breach of UN nuclear safeguards and referring it to the Security Council. Japan has appealed to the North to re-open talks with the IAEA and South Korea called on it to seek a diplomatic solution to the crisis. The IAEA's move raises the possibility of economic or political sanctions being imposed, a development Pyongyang has said would be tantamount to a declaration of war.

FOJ Note: China is pushing the Far East-North Korean buttons. The Kings of the East (Revelation 16:12, Daniel 11:44) are using Korea as the political testing waters to gauge their rise as the powers of the East.

Bin Laden: Becoming A Suicide Martyr?

Feb. 13….(Reuters)
A British-based Islamic news agency said today that it has a new audio recording of Osama bin Laden in which he predicts he will die as "a martyr" this year in an attack against his enemies. "In this final year I hurl myself and my steed with my soul at the enemy. Indeed on my demise I will become a martyr," the al-Qaida leader purportedly says. I pray my demise isn't on a coffin bearing green mantles. I wish my demise to be in the eagle's belly," he continues. Experts contacted by Al-Ansaar believed the "eagle" referred to the United States and the quote revealed bin Laden's wish to end his life in a final act of terrorism.

IAEA Declares North Korea as Noncompliant

Feb. 12….(MSNBC)
The U.N. nuclear agency on Wednesday raised the stakes in the standoff with North Korea, reporting the nation to the Security Council for violating international obligations. The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-nation board of governors made the decision to find North Korea in “noncompliance.” The move was expected as Pyongyang had signaled no interest in complying with international accords. Instead, it has called for direct talks with the United States. However, the IAEA's decision is likely to be viewed as a provocative move by North Korea. In the past, it stated that any U.N. sanctions against the regime would be seen as an act of war. The crisis began in October, when U.S. officials said North Korea had admitted having a nuclear weapons program in violation of a 1994 agreement. The United States and its allies suspended oil shipments to the impoverished communist country. North Korea in turn expelled IAEA inspectors, disabled the agency's monitoring cameras, withdrew from a global nuclear arms-control treaty and said it would reactivate its main nuclear complex, frozen since 1994. Russia and China, two permanent Security Council members with veto power, are seen as unlikely to back sanctions when the dispute reaches the United Nations. The standoff comes at a particularly trying time for the nuclear agency, whose inspectors have been in Iraq since late November searching for evidence of atomic weaponry. ElBaradei, however, has taken what he calls a “zero tolerance” approach toward what he termed North Korea's “nuclear brinkmanship.” China has dismissed a request from Washington that it become more involved in the standoff.

America Must Get Saddam

Feb. 12….(Washington Times)
American war planners believe that they have little more than 48 hours from the start of a ground war to kill President Saddam Hussein if they are to avoid a protracted conflict and a complicated peace. Haunted by the failure to capture Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, Washington is putting in place plans to limit the damage if it fails to topple the Iraqi leader swiftly. They rest in part on persuading the Iraqi people that US forces control the country even before Saddam's demise. The Pentagon is planning to drop emergency food and medical aid from the first day of air-strikes to try to win the “hearts and minds” of locals so that they will support the ensuing invasion. The opening days of the war are planned as a massive air assault aimed at collapsing Saddam's command structure, followed by a “rush for Baghdad” by ground forces. US special forces and CIA teams are already operating on the ground in Iraq. But if US forces cannot find Saddam or present credible evidence that he is dead, they will face stiffer resistance from the Iraqis. “If people think Saddam is still alive they will be frightened to come out and support us, even if he is powerless,” one US official said. The American failure to get bin Laden “dead or alive”, in Mr. Bush's words, has provided an unsettling background to war planning in Iraq. “Osama bin Laden hangs very heavy over Iraq,” the official said. “We can't afford another repeat.”

Washington D.C Prepares for Terrorism

Feb. 12….(AP)
Military vehicles with anti-aircraft missiles have been deployed around Washington, and fighter jet patrols over the nation's capital and New York have been increased as a result of the elevated threat of terrorist attack. It's the first deployment of "Avenger" air-defense systems since September, when Humvees outfitted with ground-to-air Stinger missiles were deployed with Sentinel radars around the Pentagon and other military installations. The "Avenger" is a portable, short-range air-defense system mounted on a Humvee that can rapidly fire eight Stinger missiles. The steps come as security across the nation is being raised. On Friday, President Bush's Homeland Security Council raised the national threat level from yellow to orange. Orange indicates a "high" risk of terrorist attack, and yellow indicates an "elevated" risk.

Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry has in the past repeatedly warned America that it would find itself subjected to the same type of terrorism that the nation of Israel faces on a daily basis if our nation's leadership continued to coerce Israel to compromise the covenanted land, by appeasing the terrorist organizations with land, such as the PLO terrorist groups that Yasser Arafat heads.

Hamas Calls On Muslims To Attack U.S.

Feb. 12….(Middle East News Line)
The Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has issued its most specific details for its cells to attack the United States. Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin called on Muslims to attack U.S. nationals and Westerners amid any U.S.-led attack on Iraq. In a letter to Muslims, Yassin urged them to attack Western interests the moment the regime of President Saddam Hussein is struck. "Muslims should threaten Western interests and strike them everywhere," Yassin said in the letter. Hamas has led pro-Saddam rallies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Authority has allowed the demonstrations, which included the burning of British, Israeli and U.S. flags.

Peace Quartet Envoys - Minus the US - Meet Arafat

Feb. 12….(Jerusalem Post)
The crisis between the U.S. and Europe will have profound implications for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, undermining the Quartet's effort to impose a solution to the conflict on Israel, and strengthening the Sharon government's opposition to the Quartet "road map" and the prime minister's view that the "Bush framework" is the only relevant diplomatic arena for a political peace process. The crisis with France, Germany, and Belgium will extend beyond the boundaries of Europe and the U.S. The European Union, Russian and United Nations special Mid-east envoys met in Ramallah Tuesday with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to prepare for a number of meetings on Palestinian reform and the road map scheduled for next week in London. One European diplomatic official said that the three, Miguel Moratinos from the EU, Andrei Vdovin from Russia, and Terje Roed-Larsen from the UN, paid the joint visit on Arafat and asked him to "take bold decisions, and push for security reform in the PA." The US, by contrast, has not sent a senior representative to meet with Arafat since President George W. Bush's June 24 speech in which he said the PA must be reformed. With the US-European rift widening over Iraq, there has been some concern in Jerusalem that the Europeans will want to "go it alone" and present their own initiative on the Israel-Palestinian situation.

Papal Envoy to Iraq Arrives in Jordan

Feb. 12….(AP)
Pope John Paul II's special envoy to Iraq arrived in Jordan on Monday en route to Baghdad with a message from the pontiff to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. "I believe until the end that a solution to the crisis is possible and we can't give up," Cardinal Roger Etchegaray told reporters upon arrival from Rome at the airport in the Jordanian capital, Amman. Etchegaray, a veteran of Vatican diplomatic missions to tense areas, planned to spend the night in Amman and fly to Baghdad on Tuesday. Describing himself as "a messenger of peace of the pope," Etchegaray said he was carrying a message from the pope to Saddam. He did not divulge its contents, but said he recognized the urgency of the situation. The Vatican has repeatedly opposed a possible war against Iraq. John Paul II strongly opposed the 1991 Gulf War and has denounced U.N. sanctions imposed on Baghdad since Saddam's 1990 invasion of neighboring Kuwait. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz is scheduled to meet the pope at the Vatican on Friday. Aziz, a Chaldean Christian, was to travel to Assisi in Italy for a morning of prayer and the lighting of a peace lantern with Franciscan monks in the frescoed Basilica of St. Francis.

Bin Laden: I am Partners with Iraq!

Feb. 11….(AP)
The al-Jazeera Arab satellite station broadcast a new audio statement from Osama bin Laden today in which he expresses solidarity with the Iraqi people. Bin Laden urged Muslims not to cooperate with the U.S against Iraq, saying any Muslim who cooperates with America against another Muslim is an apostate. Secretary of State Colin Powell told a Senate panel Tuesday that what appears to be a new statement from Osama bin Laden shows why the world needs to be concerned about Iraqi ties to terrorism. Powell said he read a transcript of "what bin Laden , or who we believe to be bin Laden" was saying via al-Jazeera, "where once again he speaks to the people of Iraq and talks about their struggle and how he is in partnership with Iraq."

Iran Celebrates 1979 Downfall of Shah

Feb. 11….(Jerusalem Post)
President Mohammad Khatami warned the United States on Tuesday that it would meet "national wrath and rejection" if it sought to attack Iran or support Iranian dissidents. Khatami addressed tens of thousands of people in the capital Tehran on the 24th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the pro-West Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi. Many in the crowd shouted, "Death to America" and "Death to Israel." Iranian leaders are fearful of a possible US attack against Iraq, and the potential that it could give Washington a free hand in Iraq and leave Iran encircled by pro-US governments. Last year, US President George W. Bush named Iran, Iraq and North Korea as part of an "axis of evil." Iran and the United States have not had diplomatic relations since the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran. The United States yesterday accused Iran of mining and enriching uranium as a "pretext" for developing nuclear weapons, a day after the "axis of evil" member publicly disclosed the program and said it will be used only for peaceful purposes.

FOJ Note: Iran joins North Korea as the latest nations disclosing the fact that they are developing nuclear programs, ostensibly to counter US aims against Iraq's nuclear weapons program.

UN, NATO and EU in Prophetic Transition

Feb. 11….(FOJ)
The world's three key international bodies, the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union fracturing over the Iraq arms crisis. The European Union summit on the Iraq crisis called by the EU is likely to suffer the same divisive fallout as the NATO disagreement between France, Germany, Russia and the US-Britain alliance seeking to utilize Turkey as a base of operations against Iraq. The United Nations Security Council stands to face the same divisiveness when a European motion will be tabled at the Security Council to block the US-UK “second resolution” giving Saddam a 48-hour ultimatum to quit Baghdad or face war. For the moment, the cohesiveness of NATO and the EU hinges on the UN Security Council's ability to break the impasse and move forward. The destinies of all three bodies are bound up in the Iraq crisis and its resolution. Until last November, America's strategic planning was not taken seriously, even when President George W. Bush promised America would go solo against Saddam's regime and his arsenal of prohibited hardware, then maintain some 70,000 troops in Iraq for a decade or so to install democratic government in Baghdad, redraw Middle East borders and change its ethno-geography and the disposition of the region's oil fields. These changes were to reshape the geopolitics of Europe, Asia and Central Asia. But, then, the United States turned to the UN Security Council as a gesture to its international relations. The UN, NATO are already witnessing a steady disintegration for all practical purposes. These disintegration's point to the inevitable breakdown of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has been the strategic pact binding the United States and Europe since World War II. They point to the serious erosion of the European Union as a West European-oriented community, followed by the redistribution of the continent's power centers to the nations supporting the US offensive against Iraq: such as the UK, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark and the new NATO members of eastern Europe, and they highlight the developing race for domination of the Asian-Pacific region among the United States, Russia and China. North Korea is being utilized by all three power spheres as a test-case scenario in the Far East regional power game in a similar fashion as Iraq has become for the Middle East super-power test-case. Who will prevail, or more importantly, what will the UN and NATO evolve into? Bible Prophecy foretells that all these geo-political strivings will all condescend into a violent confrontation at Armageddon in a battle between the Kings of the East, Russia and her allies, and the Western power base of the Antichrist.

US Embassy in Israel Evacuating

Feb. 10….(Ha Aretz)
The U.S. embassy in Israel said on Monday it would start evacuating non-essential personnel and diplomats' families later in the week, with a U.S.-led war against Iraq looming. Non-essential staff and diplomats' families have been placed on authorized departure status" since Friday, when the State Department advised all but essential diplomats, along with family members, to leave Israel, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. Israeli officials estimate the United States will launch an assault on Iraq in late February or early March, shortly after the United Nations Security Council hears a report by chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix. Israel, which was attacked by Iraqi Scuds during the 1991 Gulf War, is preparing its armed forces for a possible strike by Iraqi missiles armed with chemical and biological warheads.

France, Germany Block NATO Over Iraq; U.S. Fumes

Feb. 10….(Reuters)
France, Germany and Belgium split NATO Monday by blocking a plan to boost Turkish defenses in case of a U.S.-led war on Iraq -- an action Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld denounced as "a disgrace." The three NATO rebels, trying to slow the rush to war, say moves to defend Turkey would signal that a conflict had begun. Turkey, which borders Iraq, promptly invoked NATO's founding treaty to seek consultations for the defense of its territory. In Brussels, France, Germany and Belgium blocked proposals to start planning for the deployment of AWACS surveillance planes, Patriot missiles and anti-chemical and anti-biological warfare teams to Turkey. Turkey responded by invoking NATO's Article IV, which says "parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence of security of any of the parties is threatened." Europe has been deeply divided over U.S. threats to attack Iraq within the next few weeks unless Baghdad declares its alleged chemical, biological and nuclear arms programs. Britain, backed by Italy, Spain, Portugal and new NATO members from eastern Europe, has supported the tough U.S. line. As one of the likely launchpads for a strike against Iraq, which borders it to the south, Turkey is nervous about possible counter-attacks.

Hezbollah to Attack Israel During Iraq War

Feb. 10….(excerpt from Joseph Farah)
The Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, establishing a growing army in southern Lebanon, is planning to launch a major conflict with Israel just as the U.S. prepares to hit Iraq, reports a new intelligence bulletin edited by World Net Daily's Joseph Farah. Hezbollah is believed to have more than 4,000 trained soldiers in Lebanon and thousands of agents around the world. The insurgents are trained in the Bekaa Valley and Iran. "Hezbollah has been equipped with tanks, artillery, anti-aircraft guns and missiles, lots of missiles," it reports. "Israeli officials believe Hezbollah has about 10,000 short-range missiles and rockets that can strike much of Israel." Israel is already on high alert in anticipation of a strike. Jerusalem not only fears Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will launch missiles armed with chemical or biological warheads at Israel in response to major air strikes or an invasion, but it also is preparing for the possibility of missile attacks from Hezbollah forces in Lebanon coinciding with an Iraq attack. U.S. troops are in Israel now for exercises involving U.S.-made Patriot missiles, which have been upgraded with Israel's Arrow anti-missile system since the Persian Gulf War a decade ago. U.S. forces are expected to begin their attack with a major air offensive directed largely at potential missile launch targets. Ground forces will lay siege to large cities, including Baghdad. The great fear in America and in Israel is that all the Iranian-sponsored terrorist groups, including Hezbollah, which is increasingly seen as more potent and more dangerous than Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network by many U.S. analysts, will be unleashed simultaneously on U.S. and allied targets around the world. For more than a decade, Iran and Iraq have backed many of the same anti-U.S. terror groups, including al-Qaida, because of their mutual interest in keeping U.S. military forces out of the Persian Gulf. Tehran also is wary U.S. forces might seek to destabilize its government, which is increasingly losing popular support. Israeli military officers have warned that Hezbollah, based in southern Lebanon, is just waiting for an opportunity to use missiles and other weapons from Syria and Iran to wreak havoc with the advent of the campaign against Iraq. Perhaps the most dangerous component of Hezbollah's arsenal is its army of trained suicide bombers. During the early stages of a U.S.-led attack on Iraq, Israeli population centers in Tel Aviv and elsewhere are expected to be targeted by Iraq's missiles, some of which could be armed with chemical, biological or even nuclear warheads. Unlike the first Persian Gulf War, however, the U.S. is not demanding that Israel sit back and take the blows. Instead, the U.S. is fully anticipating an Israeli response to any attack that results in massive civilian casualties.

FOJ Note: FOJ has expended much effort to alert its readers to the idea that the impending war in Iraq could explode into a wider, regional cataclysmic war should Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, etc. implement any action on Israel's northern border, or in the West Bank territories.


Syria Hiding Saddam's WMD?

Feb. 7….(Worthy)
U.S. intelligence agencies believe that rogue elements within Syria's ruling elite have accepted millions of dollars in bribes in return for providing a safe haven for some of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. US sources have observed Iraqi Chemical and biological weapons being taken by truck to a Syrian munitions compound near a military base near Khan Abu Shamet, about 50 miles northeast of Damascus. The allegation that Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein is trying to hide suspected weapons of mass destruction in Syria was first made, somewhat hesitantly on Dec. 23 by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Sharon noted that Saddam's chemical weapons, biological weapons were indeed transferred to Syria." The claim was repeated and firmed up by his foreign minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, last month. But the U.S. intelligence community is not so sure and appears to be divided. At a recent Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was questioned about reports that weapons of mass destruction had been moved around Christmastime from Iraq into Syria. Armitage replied, I can't give you a level of credibility on reports as to whether Saddam's missiles are in other countries. Those countries whom we've approached with these suspicions have vehemently denied them. A former Israeli intelligence official said the unwillingness to believe the Israeli reports was political at bottom: "The Bush administration does not want to confront the Syrians, even though they are bad news and working all along with Saddam," he said. Israeli intelligence had given the White House reports about the transfer, he said, but "the administration dismissed it." "There is an institutional bias in Washington against taking on Syria," the former Israeli operative said.

North Korea: Timed to Explode with the Middle East?

Feb. 7….(FOJ)
Following World War II, Korea became embroiled in an East-West confrontation. Red China supported Communism in the North, while the US defended freedom and democracy for the southern Koreans. Korea was split into a northern communist half and a southern, Western-oriented half with the 1953 cease-fire agreement. KIM Chong-il has ruled North Korea since his father and the country's founder, president KIM Il-sung, died in 1994. After decades of mismanagement, the North relies heavily on international food aid to feed its population, while continuing to expend resources to maintain an army of over 1 million, the fifth largest in the world. North Korea's long-range missile development and research into nuclear and chemical weapons are of major concern to the international community. North Korea is home to 22,000,000 people.

The North Korean Communist regime has timed its announcement for the resumption of its nuclear weapons program to coincide with America's resolve against the Iraqi threat. It even went so far as to publicly announce the opening of a nuclear facility at the exact same moment as Colin Powell spoke to the UN Security Council about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction development in defiance of UN Resolutions. Iraq agreed to dismantle its WMD programs after its defeat in the Persian Gulf War. It has systematically evaded that 1991 armistice. President Bush has labeled both Iraq and North Korea as members of an Axis of Evil. Could it be that the “Kings of the East” are testing the waters in the Far East, to gauge the probability of their prophesied incursion into the Middle East, after taking South Korea and Taiwan, and perhaps Japan as well.

Powell: Mid-east Peace Road Map to be Released Soon

Feb. 7….(Reuters)
US Secretary of State Colin Powell says that the US will release the Mid-east road map it co-authored "in the not too distant future. He reiterated that President George W. Bush soon "intends to take a more active role in finding a way forward with the Middle East peace process." The road map, he said, negotiated by the US, UN, EU, and Russia with input from Arab allies, is still in a "draft" phase. He said it is "performance-driven and has a schedule." Israel has insisted that steps be tied to Palestinian Authority performance, while the PA prefers to see dates for compliance. Powell said that it would be difficult to achieve Palestinian statehood within three years, as Bush pledged, if the Palestinians do not end terror. "The President's vision was to see if we could get to a Palestinian state in a very short period of time, relatively three years or so. But you're not going to get there in 100 years unless there is a different kind of performance on the Palestinian side with respect to ending terror," he said. "So performance is required." But he added that a "sense of timing" for the creation of a Palestinian state was needed as an incentive for "Palestinian leaders to put the hammer down with respect to terrorism." Of the possibility of monitors being sent to oversee implementation, Powell said initially that the monitors would be Americans, "but we don't want to have the whole burden for this. I think as confidence is developed, as we start down this road, there may well be a role for other nations to contribute to that process. But it's going to be US leadership and US presence that gets the process started." Powell said that PA reform has been inadequate. The timing of the statement was also significant, coming a day after Powell's address at the UN and a week before an Arab League meeting in Cairo. "Powell wanted to tell the Arab countries that although the US is focused on Iraq, it doesn't mean it has fallen asleep, and that the Bush Administration also intends to deal with the Israeli-Arab issue soon."

Bush Says 'Game Is Over' for Saddam
Feb. 7..(Reuters)
President Bush said on Thursday he would support a new U.N. resolution authorizing war on Iraq, saying "the game is over" for Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and challenging the Security Council to stand up to Iraqi defiance. With Secretary of State Colin Powell at his side, Bush ratcheted up pressure on the Security Council, confidently signaling the United States is prepared to go to war with a coalition of like-minded nations with or without U.N. backing. "Saddam Hussein has made Iraq into a prison, poison factory and a torture chamber for patriots and dissidents. Saddam Hussein has the motive and the means and the recklessness and the hatred to threaten the American people. Saddam Hussein will be stopped," a grim-faced Bush said. Bush predicted a "last-minute game of deception" from Saddam but said it will not work. "The game is over. All the world can rise to this moment. The community of free nations can show that it is strong and confident and determined to keep the peace. The United Nations can renew its purpose and be a source of stability and security in the world," he said.

UN Security Council: A Dying Mechanism?

Feb. 6….(FOJ)
Secretary of State Colin Powell laid out the case against Saddam Hussein to the United Nations Security council, concluding that leaving Saddam in possession of weapons of mass destruction is "not an option. Not in a post-Sept. 11 world." But another ominous controversy is now swirling about the relevancy of the United Nations. The League of Nations lapsed into irrelevancy and ultimately collapsed as a consequence of failing to act to prevent World War II, and because the membership was fractured into diverging spheres of power bases. As Secretary of State Colin L. Powell laid out the evidence that Iraq has been concealing weapons of mass destruction before the U.N. Security Council, few of the people who listened to him were left in any doubt that the Bush administration is committed to war, barring a capitulation by President Saddam Hussein. Up until recently, Powell was widely viewed at the United Nations as the Bus Administration's most prominent dove, a beacon of hope for advocates of a peaceful, diplomatic solution to the Iraqi crisis. Today, he argued the case for military confrontation, asserting that Hussein had failed to seize "its one last opportunity to come clean and disarm." Designed by the United States and other victors of World War II as a forum for resolving international crises, the UN Security Council has rarely lived up to the hopes of its founders in its 57-year-old history. The council was deadlocked for much of the Cold War and powerless to make important decisions because of the right of veto enjoyed by the five permanent members: the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France. The council enjoyed a brief resurgence of authority after the collapse of communism in Europe. It culminated in the decision to authorize a U.S.-led invasion of Kuwait in 1991, ending a brief Iraqi occupation, and work to establish a New World Order of peace and Security. But it soon "overextended itself" by authorizing controversial nation-building operations in such countries as Somalia and Bosnia. Now, with the war on Iraq looming on the horizon, the UN seems to be becoming just as impotent as the old League of Nations. The Security Council is again fractured into powerful spheres of regional influences. The UN Security Council cannot possibly enforce security anywhere. That reality may soon compel the world to search for yet another supra-world system to guarantee the nation peace-with-security!

P.A. Openly Supporting Sdaddam

Feb. 6….(ZOA)
While the Bush administration struggles to make its case in the world against Iraq, the Palestinian Authority continues to incite its people against the United States on precisely this issue. PA Interior Minister Hani al-Hassan declared early this week that U.S. action against Saddam Hussein is part of a scheme by President Bush to control Arab oil: "President George Bush believes that he has to impose the New World Order, and drive home the message that there is only one superpower rules the world and has the right to distribute oil quotas to other countries." The Zionist Organization of America reports that Al-Hassan further said, "The US is striving to control every drop of Arab oil. The war against Iraq is first and foremost aimed at taking control over Iraq's oil and dominating the entire Middle East." In addition, the ZOA reports, the PA continues to permit mass rallies supporting Saddam Hussein and denouncing America. In a rally in Gaza on February 1, top Arafat advisor Imad Falouji said that the Iraqis and the PA Arabs are together "in one trench facing imperialist and Zionist conspiracies." ZOA President Morton A. Klein said, "It is incredible that the Bush administration continues to push for creation of a Palestinian Arab state, and continues to give the Palestinian Arabs $150 million each year, when PA officials are openly inciting against America."

N. Korea Warns US of Pre-emptive Action

Feb. 6….(Guardian)
North Korea has warned the United States that any decision to send more troops to the Korean peninsular could lead it to make a pre-emptive attack on American forces in the region. The threat to strike first against US troops in the region came from North Korea's foreign ministry which said the North Korean government was becoming increasingly alarmed at signs that Washington planned to send more aircraft carriers, bombers and troops to South Korea. A spokesman said such actions would mean that the US was either planning to invade the North or launch attacks against it. In response, he insisted, Pyongyang would not just sit and wait and could decide to strike first if necessary. The country currently has a standing army of more than one million soldiers, while America has around 37,000 thousand troops based in South Korea.

Pope Gives Audience to Iraqi Minister

Feb. 6….(Ananova)
Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz is scheduled to meet Pope John Paul II in the Vatican next Wednesday. A Vatican spokesman says Aziz, a Christian, has requested the meeting with John Paul. The Vatican has been outspoken in its opposition to a US led war against Iraq, with top Catholic officials saying a preventive strike would have no legal or moral justification. The Vatican has warned it could unleash anti-Christian sentiment in the Muslim world. John Paul himself has said a war against Baghdad would be a "defeat for humanity."

Bush Urges Prayer During 'Testing Time'

Feb. 6….(Washington Post)
President Bush today urged Americans to pray for God's guidance as the Columbia tragedy, potential war in Iraq and the constant threat of terrorism pose "a testing time for our country." "One thing is for certain, we didn't ask for these challenges, but we will meet them. I say that with certainty because this nation has strong foundations that won't be shaken," Bush said at the National Prayer Breakfast. At last year's event held six months after the Sept. 11 attacks, Bush urged Americans to turn to prayer in "this time of testing." He returned to that theme this year, saying Americans are in mourning for the seven astronauts aboard Columbia when it broke up and fell to the Earth Saturday. "This is testing time for our country," Bush said. "At this hour, we have troops that are assembling in the Middle East. There's oppressive regimes that seek terrible weapons. We face an ongoing threat of terror." Leading the crowd in prayer, Rice said, "Let us accept our responsibilities to defend the freedom which we are so privileged to enjoy." Bush said America will triumph over adversity because of the character of its people, the desire by all people to be free of oppression and the will of God. He said events don't move by "blind change and chance." "In this hour of our country's history, we stand in the need of prayer," Bush said. "We pray for the families that have known recent loss. We pray for the men and women who serve around the world to defend our freedom. We pray for their families. We pray for wisdom to know and do what is right and we pray for God's peace in the affairs of men." Bush, who calls himself a born-again Christian, said that in his own moments of religious contemplation he prays "for strength. I pray for guidance. I pray for forgiveness. And I pray to offer my thanks for a kind and generous Almighty God."

Al-Qaeda Terrorist Complicity in Gaza

Feb. 6….(Arutz)
An IDF military court in Gaza has sentenced Nabil Muhammad Abu Okal, a Hamas terrorist who trained in an Al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan, to 27 years in prison. He was convicted for laying the groundwork for enabling Al Qaeda terrorists to carry out terrorist attacks in Israel. Okal dispatched many Arabs of the PA to carry out terror attacks in Israel, and even recruited Israeli Arabs for the same purpose. He received thousands of dollars for his terrorist activities from Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, the Hamas' spiritual leader. He was sent on his mission by Al Qaeda in June 2000, with the aim of setting up an Al Qaeda network in the Palestinian Authority. Yasser Arafat and Hamas are known to have coordinated these efforts!

Israel Undergoing Demographic Terrorism Too

Feb. 5….(Arutz)
The Israeli Interior Ministry, in a report entitled "Polygamy in Israel," indicates that Israel is paying through the nose to over 20,000 Israeli-Arab/Muslim men who have married multiple wives from other countries, and are receiving child-support payments from the State of Israel for them. "The State of Israel is undergoing demographic terrorism for known reasons, and is a choice destination for these Arab immigrants from various other countries," states the report. These foreign fathers come especially from Arab nations and the Palestinian Authority. This wave of immigration is very dangerous to Israel's national security, presenting a security, criminal, and political danger, an economic burden, and especially a demographic danger for the future of the State." They marry according to Islam with the knowledge of Moslem religious authorities who receive aid and salaries from the State of Israel."

Ilan Ramon: Israel's Astronaut to be Buried in Israel

Feb. 5….(Arutz)
NASA has informed the Ramon family that remains of astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon had been found and identified with certainty. Ilan Ramon will be buried in Israel next week in a military ceremony, after which his family will observe the traditional seven-day mourning period. The Israel Air Force flag that Ramon took along with him to space was also found in its entirety. U.S. President George Bush, who took part in the memorial ceremony for the seven astronauts yesterday, approached the Ramon family afterwards and told them, "Ilan blew up the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, and I will finish the job!"

Powell Lays out U.S. Case on Iraq
Says Iraq has links to al Qaeda!

Feb. 5….(AP)
The regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has engaged in an "active and systematic effort" to hide its weapons of mass destruction from U.N. weapons inspectors and has given training and safe harbor to al Qaeda terrorists, Secretary of State Colin Powell told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday. In a highly anticipated presentation, Powell used electronic intercepts, satellite photographs and other intelligence sources to try to attempt to convince skeptical members of the council that Iraq had failed to comply with U.N. resolutions and was actively working to deceive weapons inspectors. Powell said that an al Qaeda terrorist network headed up by Abu Musab Zarqawi, a high-ranking Osama bin Laden lieutenant who fled to Iraq after being driven out of Afghanistan, had been operating freely in Iraq for more than eight months, and were using Baghdad to coordinate their activities. Zarqawi has been linked to last October's assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Jordan and the alleged ricin plot that was broken up in London last month. He is connected with the Ansar al-Islam, a Taliban-style group that operates in Kurdish controlled northern Iraq. Powell also showed a satellite photograph of what he said was an active chemical weapons bunker. CIA Director George Tenet sat behind Powell at the horseshoe-shaped Security Council table. A senior State Department official said Tenet's presence was "part of the credibility of the whole package", a "personal endorsement" of Powell's message. At the other end of the table, Mohammed Aldouri, Iraq's ambassador to the United Nations, listened to Powell's presentation and waited for his chance to respond.

Saddam Says US Trying to Control World

Feb. 5….(Washington Times)
Saddam Hussein claimed in a rare interview with a Westerner broadcast yesterday that the United States wants to conquer Iraq so it can "control the world" and insisted his regime does not have weapons of mass destruction. Saddam accused Washington of fabricating false claims as a pretext to seize Iraq's oil fields. He said Iraq does not want war and is willing to work with U.N. weapons inspectors if they have no ulterior purpose. Saddam also insisted his regime has no ties with al Qaeda. "If we had a relationship with al Qaeda, and we believed in that relationship, we wouldn't be ashamed to admit it. Saddam claimed that Washington was intent on seizing Iraq's oil fields so that it could exert a stranglehold on the rest of the world and dictate to other powers, including China, Russia, Germany, France and Japan. He said Israel was inspiring U.S. hostility to Iraq. "If you want to control the world, you must control oil, and one of the most important requirements for controlling oil is to destroy Iraq," he said. "One of the main reasons for the aggression that the American administration is engaged in is to control the world."

Mega-Terror Menaces on 3 Continents

Feb. 5….(Debka)
With the approach of American military action against Iraq, the United States and its war allies, including Israel, have gone on top alert to steel themselves against a multi-pronged mega-terror offensive assault. According to DEBKAfile exclusive counter-terror and intelligence sources, six entities have come together to prepare this offensive, operating both together and independently. They are:

1. Iraqi military intelligence, or rather the dread Unit 999, which is an arm of the super-secret Fedayeen Saddam (Saddam's Martyrs), commanded by the Iraqi ruler's eldest son, Uday.

2. Al Qaeda's top men.

3. Iraqi and Al Qaeda sleeper cells planted in the United States, Europe, the Persian Gulf and Israel.

4. Palestinian terrorists operating on West Bank and Gaza Strip. Palestinian terror groups and militias based in Damascus.

5. Hizballah security and intelligence bodies working in harness with al Qaeda.

6. Hizballah leaders and high officers under instructions from Tehran to open a second anti-American front from Lebanon or elsewhere in the Middle East, in support of Iraq.

China Caught Ordering Christian Persecution

Feb. 5….(VOM)
A Christian missionary organization claims to have obtained a top secret Chinese government document directing a systematic campaign of persecution against Protestant and unregistered churches. The Voice of the Martyrs, says the directive, the first ever seen by the public proves Beijing ordered a crackdown on churches in Hebei Province last fall. The document instructs the bureaus to terminate "illegal Protestant activities." The directive dated Aug. 20 details the effort to "establish a secret force" to infiltrate unregistered church groups to gather in-depth intelligence against Protestant church activities. "We urge Christians everywhere to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in China who are suffering extreme measures against them by their government," said a spokesman from Voice of the Martyrs.

Washington Issues Grim Warning on N Korea

Feb. 5….(Financial Times)
The Bush administration on Tuesday said North Korea was pursuing a nuclear weapons program and conceded its record on arms proliferation was worse than Iraq's. Richard Armitage, deputy secretary of state, told the Senate foreign relations committee the US was concerned that North Korea would seek to avoid economic collapse by selling nuclear fissile material to rogue states or terrorist organizations. Within several months North Korea could extract 25-30kg of plutonium - enough for four to six nuclear weapons, from the 8,000 fuel rods it has stored at the Yongbyon nuclear facility. Mr. Armitage also confirmed that US-based long-range bombers were on alert to move to the Pacific if needed. The alert, requested by Admiral Thomas Fargo, commander of US forces in the Pacific, was intended to address the "contingency that North Korea would in some fashion try to take advantage of our focus on Iraq", Mr. Armitage said. Reflecting growing US concern over North Korea's pressure tactics, Colin Powell, Secretary of State, went to New York a day ahead of schedule for talks with his Russian and Chinese counterparts. Russia attacked the US approach to North Korea, exposing a widening rift between Moscow and Washington over the issue. Moscow said it opposed any reinforcement of US forces in the Pacific and criticised Washington's plan to refer North Korea to the UN Security Council. US officials have also expressed frustration over what they see as a lack of Chinese pressure on Pyongyang. Mr. Armitage conceded that North Korea was a worse proliferator than Iraq, selling missiles to Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt "and other places". The US also had "suspicions" that North Korea had spread nuclear weapons technology, indicating that Pakistan and Libya might have benefited.

Al Qaeda Planning Mass Casualty Attack

Feb. 4….(Reuters)
Al Qaeda is planning a mass-casualty attack to rival September 11, but preparations have been disrupted by arrests of terrorists during the past several months, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Recent intelligence reports indicate that communications among clandestine cells of al Qaeda members are being restored gradually. The attack will be large-scale, one official said. Additionally, the intelligence reports stated that any major attack is likely to be preceded by smaller-scale strikes, including assassinations of prominent people in the United States. President Bush said yesterday that the danger from terrorism is growing because terrorists are seeking chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. "If their ambitions were ever realized, they would set out to inflict catastrophic harm on the United States, with many times the casualties of September 11."

The Love of Christ Compels Us

Feb. 4….(FOJ)
Paul remarked in his letter to the Corinthians that he was overpowered, subdued, and held as if he was in a vise by "the love of Christ." Very few of us really know what it means to be held in the vise like grip of the love of God. We naturally tend so often to be controlled by our own lives. The one thing that gripped and held Paul, to the exclusion of everything else, was the love of God. "The love of Christ does indeed compel us! When we are born again by the Spirit of God, our testimony is based solely on what God has done for us, and rightly so. We count everything but loss except for the love of God. We learn to be content in his love and will accept everything we must endure as if it were happening to Him, whether we receive praise or blame, persecution or reward. No one is able to take this stand for Jesus Christ who is not totally compelled by the majesty of His power. There was only one thing Paul lived for, to persuade people of the coming judgment of God and to tell them of "the love of Christ." FOJ also labors in love to persuade people that the object of that love, “Jesus” is coming back very soon!. ( II Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us) Constraineth means to be preoccupied with, or to be compressed upon by the love of God to share the good news of his first and his 2nd coming!

Campaign Seeks To Reopen Temple Mount

Feb. 3….(Jerusalem Post)
Nearly two and a half years after police closed the Temple Mount to non-Muslims due to concern over renewed Palestinian violence, efforts are under way to convince Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to reopen the site to visitors. An advertising campaign, sponsored by several American Jewish magnates, was launched last week. The 28-month closing is the longest period Judaism's holiest site has been closed to Jews and Christians since the unification of Jerusalem in 1967. But the issue, until now, has failed to attract large-scale interest, which some attribute to the ongoing violence. Radio advertisements feature the voice of the late Mordechai Gur, commander of the Paratroop Brigade during the Six Day War, announcing that "the Temple Mount is in our hands." In a separate move last month, a group of leading rabbis from the settlements met directly with Sharon, urging him to reopen the mount to Jewish worshipers. He told them that he is determined to allow Jews back on the mount, but asked that they allow him to work quietly and gradually to achieve this goal. Sources close to Sharon said Sunday that the issue would only come up after the formation of a new government and is not "on the table" at the present time.

Syria Lambasts US Stance On Iraq

Feb. 3….(Jerusalem Post)
Syria has strongly criticized the United States, saying the UN resolution on Iraq passed in December does not authorize any country to launch a war against Baghdad. Speaking during a visit by a team from the European Union, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Shara warned that a US-led attack would bring chaos to the Middle East. Mr. al-Shara also said this would increase violence and terrorism.

Yemeni Who Insulted Islam Will be Beheaded

Feb. 3….(World Tribune)
Saudi Arabia has sentenced a Yemeni national to death after he refused to wake up for prayers and denounced Islam and the Saudi religious police. A Saudi court in Jedda sentenced the Yemeni national to death on Jan. 7. Saudi newspapers said Hail Al Masri was originally sentenced to two years imprisonment and 600 lashes. But a higher court headed by Ali Al Zahrani rejected the sentence and ruled that Al Masri should be beheaded for the sake of Islam.

Israeli Astronaut Bombed Iraqi Reactor

Feb. 3….(World Net)
Israeli Air Force Col. Ilan Ramon, part of the seven-member astronaut team on the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia which was lost this morning, was part of another daring team of aviators once credited with seriously setting back Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's nuclear ambitions. Ramon, a 48-year-old former fighter pilot in the Israeli air force, who first served his nation's defense as a cadet in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, was one of the fighter pilots who destroyed Iraq's Osiraq nuclear reactor in a daring and controversial preemptive raid in 1981. In the attack, eight F-16 warplanes flew almost 700 miles over Jordanian, Saudi and Iraqi air space for hours without detection. By flying in tight formation, they generated a radar signal resembling that of a commercial airliner.

Iraq threatens Suicide Attacks on U.S

Feb. 3….(World Net)
Iraq says that it will unleash thousands of suicide attackers against the United States if it invades Iraq. Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan says that Iraq's ability to withstand U.S. military might was "unlimited" and that American ground troops would face tough resistance. "We have no long-range missiles or bomber squadrons, but we will deploy thousands of suicide attackers," Ramadan said. "These are our new weapons, and they will be used not only in Iraq." He also predicted other Arab countries would help defend Iraq in case of war. "This part of the world will become a sea of resistance and danger for the Americans."

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