WEEK OF MAY 26 THROUGH MAY 31
Americans Alerted to Threats from PLO
May 30….(Ha Aretz) The United States announced today that it had received "credible" reports of possible plans to kidnap U.S. citizens in the Gaza Strip and urged Americans to defer travel to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. At this time, Americans are advised to be particularly cautious," said a security alert on the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv. The warning said American tourists, students and residents had been affected by a recent space of attacks in the region and that the potential was strong for more. U.S. citizens were also urged to avoid public places such as restaurants and cafes, shopping areas and malls, pedestrian zones, public buses, bus stops and other crowded venues that have recently been targets of suicide bombings.
FOJ Note: Wow America! By all means, lets cram this peace roadmap down Israel's throat and reward these bad boys with a State before they want something else.
There is No Such Thing as "Israeli Occupation"
May 30….(FOJ) The Israeli presence in the West Bank (Yesha) does not constitute an "occupation”. That is a myth perpetrated upon the last few generations of people by geo-political forces. The U.N. Partition Plan Resolution of 1947 that partitioned Palestine and created the new State of Transjordan (on both sides of the Jordan—nearly 75% of the British Mandate) was merely a "recommendation" of the UN and not a "mandatory" ruling. The initial 1947 UN resolution was rejected by the Arabs, at a time when Israel wasn't even in the West Bank, or in East Jerusalem. The question must be asked, “What else did they want in 1947 and in 1967?” In light of Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's recent use of the word "occupation" in reference to Israel's presence in the “disputed territories,” (West Bank) it seems to be a foregone diplomatic conclusion that the world has succeeded in painting Israel into a corner. At the same time the world has politically painted Israel as the offending party in the dispute over the Promised Land. In reality, Israel is not an "occupying force" in the West Bank. (Yesha) Up until 1947, Judea, Samaria and Gaza were a part of the British Mandate. (earmarked for Israel) In Israel's 1947 War of Independence from Britain, Egypt illegally grabbed the Gaza Strip, and Jordan illegally took Judea and Samaria. (the West Bank) Jordan annexed Judea and Samaria. This annexation was not recognized by international law. In 1967, after the Six-Day War, Israel (after being attacked) retook these territories, which were originally meant for the Jewish Nation's National Home according to the Mandate Charter. So what good will a roadmap be leading to yet another Palestinian State? What the Arabs really wanted in 1947 and 1967 and 1973 was the destruction of the Jewish State, and that remains the Arab impulse today!
President Bush is Compromising the War on Terror
May 30….(FOJ) Two years ago when President Bush took up the gauntlet and declared war on terror after Islamic terrorists attacked America, the President stated to the world that you are either with us or you are against us. History should have taught the President and America that the Arab world has always been against us, and that Israel has always been with us. Over the course of the last 4 weeks, Palestinian terrorists have carried out 323 terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. Most of these attacks are known to have come with Yasser Arafat's approval. That is an average of 12 attacks per day. These attacks have included suicide bombings, penetrations of Israeli towns by gunmen, roadside shootings, grenade and anti-tank missile attacks, mortar shellings, rocket attacks, assaults, and stabbings. Recently the new Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas repeated for the 1000th time that he has no intention of taking any action against the terrorist infrastructure. Furthermore he insists that Yasser Arafat cannot be sidelined, as mandated by President Bush. While he maintains that he is presently negotiating with Hamas to stop the attacks on Israelis and states that once he has an agreement for a cease-fire, he will try to work out arrangements with Fatah and Islamic Jihad. However Abbas has insisted that he will take no military action against any of the terror networks. "We will never have a Palestinian civil war," he said. Speaking with the Associated Press two days ago, he explained that he is trying to get Hamas and Islamic Jihad to agree to wait until after a Palestinian State is declared before resuming attacks against Israeli targets. It is necessary to point out that the peace road map forces Israel to accept at the outset the establishment of a Palestinian State ruled by the PLO on land to which Israel has a legal claim to sovereignty as strong as, if not stronger than the PLO's. While Israel is forced to cease taking actions to defend its citizens (cease-fire) from armed terrorism carried out by the Palestinians, the PLO leaders themselves are requested only to make statements to the effect that they are opposed to armed aggression against the State of Israel, while the roadmap is being implemented. After the roadmap is completed, a Palestinian State erected, then the terrorist infrastructure can resume its war against the State of Israel! Under the roadmap Israel must recognize the right of the Palestinians to self-determination and to relinquish the right of return of Jews to lands (West Bank) whose sovereignty is disputed, the Palestinians are not asked to recognize that the State of Israel has a right to exist. Immediately after the Israeli cabinet announced its decision to formally accept the roadmap, Washington announced its plans for a trilateral summit among President George W. Bush, Ariel Sharon, and Mahmoud Abbas next week. Top administration officials are in the Middle East already busily working to ensure that Mr. Sharon will be forthcoming with concrete concessions to Mr. Abbas at the Aqaba summit to ensure the meeting's "success," and provide Abbas with political clout to arrange a cease-fire with Hamas, etc. In his June 24 speech last year about the Palestinian war against the Jewish state, President Bush made it quite clear that the Palestinians, and Yasser Arafat in particular were the aggressor in this conflict. And yet, in light of the recent actions by the administration, the President has basically compromised its only friend in the Middle East, and placed it in mortal danger from the multi-faceted Axis of Evil! President Bush's vision of democratization in Iraq and the PA, are nothing more than a mirage in the Arab desert! President Bush is the first US president to have ever adopted the concept of the establishment of a 2nd Palestinian state as an aim of US foreign policy. The Bush Administration refuses to accept that the Palestinian terrorist war against Israel is related to the Arab-Islamist jihad against the US. As presently constituted, the Bush administration's Middle East policy is hostile to the national security interests of the State of Israel, and will eventually place the United States squarely on the chopping block of international intrigue. Israel's adoption of the US-backed road map has changed nothing for the better in the Middle East. The hatred of Arabs for Jews and the Jewish State is unaltered, and the planned confidence-building steps of the roadmap are delusions that compromise America's war on evil!
Russia and China Unite Against America
May 29….(Newsmax) Indirectly criticizing America's domination of world affairs, the leaders of Russia and China have restated their countries' view of the need to work toward the establishment of a "multi-polar" world. "Russia and China stand for a multi-polar, just and democratic world order based on the commonly recognized principles of international law," Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao said in a joint statement apparently targeting the United States. Putin and Jintao also called for the peaceful settlement of disputes and a "central role in the modern world" for the U.N., an obvious slap at the US over its new preemptive doctrine and decision to go into Iraq. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, the U.S. was left as the world's sole superpower, causing Russia and China to draw closer to offset the US position. Joint declarations between Russia and China in 1997 and 1998 referred to the need for a new world order based on "multi-polarization," a reaction to a "uni-polar" order dominated by U.S. "hegemony." Although China and Russia often make public assertions of solidarity and cooperation, suspicions remain on both sides. China tends to believe that Russia's bid to improve relations with other Asian powers, such as Japan and India, form part of its strategy of "balancing against China." The Chinese have also watched Russia's tilt toward the U.S. and NATO, and would not be surprised if one day Moscow chose to sacrifice its relations with China for those with the West. China has been particularly anxious about Russia's readiness to allow the U.S. to expand its military influence in Central Asia in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. China considers that region to be a part of its sphere of influence and was deeply troubled by the U.S. penetration.
FOJ Note: The “Kings of the East” and “the great power of Magog” are already jockeying for position during the Tribulation and the world's march towards Armageddon.
EU Constitution is Humanistic
May 29….(Guardian) God will not be mentioned in the EU's new constitution, which states that the continent's humanistic values are nourished by the civilizations of Greece and Rome. The preamble is meant to provide a quotable introduction, akin to the "We the people" of the US constitution. The EU preamble goes like this; “Conscious that Europe is a continent that has brought forth civilization; that its inhabitants, arriving in successive waves since the first ages of mankind, have gradually developed the values underlying humanism: equality of persons, freedom, respect for reason. Drawing inspiration from the cultural, religious and humanist inheritance of Europe, which, nourished first by the civilizations of Greece and Rome, characterized by spiritual impulse always present in its heritage and later by the philosophical currents of the Enlightenment, has embedded within the life of society its perception of the central role of the human person and his inviolable and inalienable rights, and of respect for law.
Believing that reunited Europe intends to continue along this path of civilization, progress and prosperity, for the good of all its inhabitants, including the weakest and most deprived; that it wishes to remain a continent open to culture, learning and social progress; and that it wishes to deepen the democratic nature of its public life and to strive for peace, justice and solidarity throughout the world.
FOJ Note: The EU preamble is in reality part of the founding EU Treaty of Rome! It is a stark contrast to America's Declaration of Independence, where the Creator God is recognized as Supreme Sovereign.
President Bush to Visit Jordan to Push Roadmap
May 29….(FOJ) President Bush will hold a three-way meeting in Jordan next week with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas, the new Palestinian Prime Minister. The meeting in the Red Sea port city of Aqaba formalizes President Bush's deepening personal involvement in trying to resolve the Middle East conflict. Bush will visit the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el Sheik, where he will meet with Arab leaders, including Abbas. Ariel Sharon will not be included in that meeting, an administration official said, because Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia objected. Yasser Arafat, the longtime Palestinian leader, is to be excluded from the Sharm el Sheik gathering at the insistence of White House officials, who have been trying for months to marginalize him. Nonetheless, Arab diplomats said they believed that no Middle East agreement could be reached without the approval of Arafat. (It is amazing to me that world leaders actually think that they can reach a peace settlement in the Middle East when they can't even agree on who should be at the peace meetings.)
Mary: Mother of Interreligious Dialogue?
May 29….(EWTN) Because of her special place in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Mary is regarded as a meeting point in inter-religious dialogue. While for Christians Mary is the Mother of God and Mother of the Church, for the Jews she is 'the exalted daughter of Zion,'" the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Cardinal Francis Arinze, (potential next Pope) says in a new book titled, "Mary, Mother of the Word, Model of Dialogue Between Religions. "For the Muslims, Mary is the Mother of Jesus," the cardinal continues. "The Koran mentions her 34 times. Moreover, she is a 'sign for creatures' (Sura 21, 91), and is presented as a model believer." "Although Jews and Muslims do not accept the central truth of the divinity of Jesus Christ, they honor Mary greatly," Cardinal Arinze says. In "many other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, even though there is no explicit reference to Mary, analogies can be found between the Mother of Jesus and relevant persons in the ambit of their creed," he notes. "The feminine substratum, present in some way in every religion, must not be underestimated." As Archbishop Gioia, former secretary of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, explains, "There are at least two reasons that motivate Mary's role in the ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue: her de facto presence in different religions and her figure, as model of faith." Mary is seen as a compendium or living and personal synthesis of the Christian mystery. "She is the icon of the mystery," the archbishop writes, "a complete image of the concrete realization of the whole mystery of the covenant, the micro-history of salvation."
Its Jerusalem Day in Israel
May 29….(Arutz) Jerusalem Day began last night in Israel and will continue on throughout today. It marks the 36th anniversary of the historic reunification of Jerusalem, Israel's capital, under Jewish sovereignty. Jerusalem Day commemorates the reunification of Jerusalem, Israel's capital, following the division of the city between 1948 and 1967. The Jerusalem Municipality's web-site states, "For three millennia Jerusalem has been the heart of the Jewish people. Although throughout the years the city was under the rule of many nations, including the Assyrians, Persians and Romans, Jerusalem is the enduring center of Jewish belief and identity. It has only ever been a capital city under Jewish rule. More recently, the Ottoman Turks ruled Jerusalem until December 1917, when it came under the control of the British. "On November 29, 1947, the United Nations decided that the Land of Israel would be divided into two separate countries, one Jewish and one Arab. Jerusalem would belong to neither, holding a special standing under the auspices of the United Nations.
U.S. Mulled Series Of Sanctions Against Israel
May 28….(Middle East News Line) The Bush administration has prepared a list of sanctions against Israel should it refuse to comply with a plan for a Palestinian state by the end of the year. U.S. government and congressional sources said the list was prepared by the State Department and relayed to the National Security Council in April amid the administration's effort to press Israel to agree to the so-called roadmap. It's hard to overestimate the anger within the administration toward Israel regarding the delays in the roadmap," a congressional source close to the administration said. "The White House doesn't regard the roadmap merely as foreign policy. It sees the roadmap as a major element toward the reelection of the President."
FOJ Note: With this news about White House pressure on Ariel Sharon to unconditionally accept the roadmap, there can be little wonder why Israeli's are wondering why Mr. Sharon, a staunch hawkish defender of Israeli nationalism has suddenly capitulated in the face of the Quartet's roadmap. Israel has been wary about formally accepting the Road Map. The Palestinians accepted the plan last month, but Israel did so only this weekend after increasing American political and economic pressure. The Bush Administration used $10 billion in loan guarantees to Israel as blackmail.
Sending a Serious Message to Syria
May 28….(FOJ) The May 3 meeting in the presidential palace on the hilltop overlooking Damascus was short and to the point. Secretary of State Colin Powell, flanked by State Department Arabists, told Syrian dictator Bashar Assad that the U.S. victory in Iraq had changed the way America plans to do business in the Middle East. The days of the cozy deals and of winking and nodding at Syrian support for terrorism were ended. He then presented Assad with a list of U.S. demands that was nothing short of breathtaking.
Powell told the Syrian president that the United States requires him to help in the search for hidden Iraqi weapons. The United States believes the weapons were taken in convoys of tanker trucks to Syria last fall, along with key production equipment, and buried in the Syrian desert shortly before U.N. arms inspectors returned to Iraq. He also summoned Assad to close terrorist offices in Damascus and to shut down terrorist training camps in Lebanon. Even more chilling for Assad: Powell informed him, and repeated this demand in public in Beirut, that the United States expected Syria to end its 27-year military occupation of Lebanon!
Sharon's 14 Road-Map "Red Lines"
May 26….(IMRA) The Israeli Cabinet's vote in favor of the Road Map made it contingent upon 14 "comments" that Israel submitted to the Americans. The exact wording of the resolution is as follows: "The Government of Israel resolves that all of Israel's comments, as addressed in the Bush Administration's statement, will be implemented in full during the implementation phase of the Road Map." Emphasizing the importance of these 14 reservations, Prime Minister Sharon called them "red lines beyond which Israel cannot and will not withdraw."
1) There must be no terrorism during the process. The Palestinians must dismantle the existing security organizations and will form new organizations to combat terror, violence and incitement (incitement must cease immediately and the Palestinian Authority must educate for peace).
In the first phase of the plan and as a condition for progress to the second phase, the Palestinians will complete the dismantling of terrorist organizations (Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front, the Democratic Front, Al-Aqsa Brigades and others) and their infrastructure, collect all illegal weapons and transfer them to a third party, cease weapons smuggling and weapons production inside the Palestinian Authority, and activate the full prevention apparatus and cease incitement against Israel. The security plans to be implemented are the Tenet and Zinni plans.
2) Full performance will be a condition for progress between phases and for progress within phases. The first condition for progress will be the complete cessation of terror, violence and incitement. Progress between phases will come only following the full implementation of the preceding phase. Attention will be paid not to timelines, but to performance benchmarks.
3) The emergence of a new and different leadership in the Palestinian Authority within the framework of governmental reform; this is a condition for progress to the second phase of the plan. New elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council.
4) The Monitoring mechanism will be under American management. (not the EU or the UN)
5) The character of the provisional PA State will be determined through negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The provisional state will have provisional borders and certain aspects of sovereignty. It will be fully demilitarized, will have only police and internal security
forces of limited scope and armaments, and will not have the authority to undertake defense alliances or military cooperation. Israel will control the entry and exit of all persons and cargo, as well as of its air space and electromagnetic spectrum.
6) Declared references must be made to Israel's right to exist as a Jewish State and to the waiver of any right of return for Palestinian refugees to the State of Israel.
7) The end of the process will lead to the end of all claims, and not only the end of the conflict.
8) The future settlement will be reached through agreement and direct negotiations between the two parties, in accordance with the vision outlined by President Bush in his 24, 2002 June address.
9) There will be no involvement with issues pertaining to the final settlement. Among issues not to be discussed: settlement in Judea, Samaria and Gaza (excluding a settlement freeze and illegal outposts), the status of the Palestinian Authority and its institutions in Jerusalem, and all
other matters whose substance relates to the final settlement.
10) The removal of references to UN Resolution 1397, the Saudi Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut. A settlement based upon the Roadmap will be an autonomous settlement that is valid on its own. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338, and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a permanent settlement.
11) Promotion of the reform process in the Palestinian Authority: a transitional Palestinian constitution will be composed, a Palestinian legal infrastructure will be constructed and cooperation with Israel in this field will be renewed. In the economic sphere: international efforts to rehabilitate the Palestinian economy will continue. In the financial sphere: the American-Israeli-Palestinian agreement will be implemented in full as a condition for the continued transfer of tax revenues.
12) The deployment of IDF forces along the September 2000 lines will be subject to the absolute quiet noted above, and will be carried out in keeping with the new circumstances and needs.
13) Subject to security conditions, Israel will work to restore Palestinian life to normal: promote an improved economic situation, cultivation of commercial connections, encouragement and assistance for the activities of recognized humanitarian agencies.
14) Arab states will assist the process through the condemnation of terrorist activity. No link will be established between the Palestinian track and other tracks (Syrian-Lebanese).
Israeli's Shocked With Sharon's Detour
May 27….(Israel Insider) One day after the government gave its approval to the Quartet-promoted "road map" for Middle East peace, which will eventually lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon came under harsh criticism from members of his own Likud Party who labeled the plan a "document from hell." Israel's first-ever recognition of Palestinian statehood aspirations boosted the chances of US President George W. Bush hosting a peace summit between Sharon and Palestinian premier Mahmud Abbas early next month. For the first time, Sharon stated clearly that "the occupation of 3.5 million Palestinians is terrible" for Israel. Irate Knesset members said the plan opened the door for a return to 1967 borders and the flooding of Israel with Palestinian refugees. Many Knesset members said they were shocked that a right-wing prime minister like Sharon could use the term "occupation" with reference to the disputed territories.
Sharon: "It's Time to Divide The Land"
May 26….(Arutz) Prime Minister Sharon himself said that today was a "difficult" day for him, and that the choice was between "the least of the evils." He said that the reservations included in today's resolution represent Israel's "red lines." In this morning's Yediot Acharonot newspaper, however, he was quoted as singing a slightly different tune: "It's time to divide the land," Sharon told the paper, following his fairly sudden decision to accept the Road Map plan.
FOJ Note: The Antichrist will implement the peace-with-security peace plan between Israel and the Arab world by “dividing the land, for his own gain! Daniel 11:39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many, and shall divide the land for gain.
Israel Officially Accepts Roadmap
May 25….(Ha Aretz) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Cabinet on Sunday narrowly approved the U.S.-backed road map for Middle East peace, that envisions a Palestinian state by 2005, but attached a number of conditions. The Cabinet approved the internationally-brokered plan by a 12-7 vote, with four abstentions, marking the first time that an Israeli government has formally affirmed the Palestinians' right to statehood. The approval came only after the cabinet decided to append certain conditions to Israel's statement of support, primarily its reservation over the Palestinian right of return. The prime minister also said that the 14 reservations about the plan that Israel has presented to the Americans constitute a "red line" that will be binding on future Israeli governments. The U.S. has promised to "fully and seriously" address these concerns, but has also indicated that it will not insert changes into the road map at this stage. He told those present that, "It isn't right, and it is not justified that Israel rule over 3.5 million Palestinians."
WEEK OF MAY 19 THROUGH MAY 25
Israel Weighing EU Membership
May 23….(UPI) Under EU rules, new members must have no outstanding border disagreements with their neighbors. The incoming new members from Eastern Europe, particularly Hungary and Romania, had to resolve long-standing disputes to clear their path for entry. But if and when Israel does achieve a peace settlement with Syria and Lebanon and the Palestinians (it already has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan), Israeli membership could make a great deal of sense for Israel and the EU alike. The EU is already deeply, indeed inextricably involved in the Middle East. The EU is one of the main customers for Middle Eastern energy exports, and under the Barcelona Agreement, has forged a series of trade and cooperation agreements with the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. For Israel, EU membership would mean an end to the regional isolation it suffers, and lead to the establishment of a strong security guarantee, along with all the economic advantages of the vast EU market. Joining the EU would presumably mean joining the euro, shielding Israel from the kinds of currency crises that have hit the shekel since the intifada battered its important tourism industry. For the EU, Israel's impressive high-tech industry could be useful, but any economic advantages to Israeli membership would have to be balanced against the wider political costs to the EU, unless the Jewish state's relationship with its Arab neighbors is transformed. The EU and Israel already have a formal Cooperation Agreement, ratified by the Knesset, Israel's parliament, three years ago. Its provisions include regular political dialogue, liberalization of trade in goods and services, the free movement of capital and competition rules, the strengthening of economic cooperation on the widest possible basis and cooperation on social and cultural matters. The major geopolitical aspect to Israeli membership in the EU requires that Israel end its conflict with the Palestinians. The rewarded would be a ticket for admission into the EU. Israel's incorporation into the EU is therefore predicated upon its agreement to withdraw from the occupied territories and dismantle its Jewish settlements there. Then and only then can Israel be a legitimate member of the Westernized liberal community.
The Abbas Doctrine - Selective Terrorism!
May 23….(FOJ) In March 2003, Yasir Arafat chose Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), the number two man in the PLO since the 1960s, as the new Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority. Mazen took office on April 29, 2003. Less than a day later, the Bush Administration unveiled its Road Map plan, which set forth conditions that the Palestinian Arabs must fulfill prior to the creation of a Palestinian Arab state. The Road Map stipulates that during the month of May 2003, the Arabs must undertake a series of concrete steps to combat terrorist groups and democratize Arab society. America, President Bush and Israel hope that the Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas, will fight against Palestinian terrorism. That hope is wishful thinking, as the recent terrorist attacks committed by Palestinians are all legitimate according to the Abbas Doctrine. Prime Minister Abbas has outlined his views regarding terror and violence in recent interviews, and his principles allow for the following:
1. The use of arms against Israeli civilians within Israel should be stopped for a year due to its current ineffectiveness.
2. The use of arms against Israeli civilians within the Disputed Territories should continue.
Mahmoud Abbas has many other problematic opinions that make many question his prospects as peace partner with Israel:
1- His demand for the settlement within Israel of millions of Arabs from refugee camps. Settling of these Arabs in Israel would destroy Israel as a Jewish state.
2 - His doctoral thesis on the Holocaust was an attempt to deny that 6,000,000 Jews were killed along with the standard Holocaust denial accusations that the Zionist movement created the numbers for profit.
On the subject of the Intifada and the attacks against Israelis in the Disputed Territories: Abbas says:
"The Intifada must continue, along with the right of the Palestinian people to rise up and use whatever it can to protect its existence and being. I add and say that if the Israelis come to your land to establish a settlement, it is within your rights to protect what is yours, with every means and weapons. This is the right of uprising." In his very first speech as Prime Minister of the PA, on April 28, 2003, Abu Mazen demanded that Israel release all terrorists. The statement alone by the new Palestinian Authority Prime Minister demanding that Israel release all imprisoned Arab terrorists shows that he is not serious about fighting terrorism, and is only engaged in a clever scheme to continue the PLO-Arafat conspiracy destroy Israel altogether. On June 24, 2002, President Bush set forth the conditions that the Palestinian Arabs must fulfill in order to merit U.S. support for the creation of a Palestinian Arab state. Among the major obligations are that the Palestinian Arabs must "dismantle the terrorist infrastructure," "end
incitement," "elect new leaders not compromised by terror," and unequivocally embrace democracy and free market economics. None of these conditions have been fulfilled, yet the Quartet is moving ahead with implementation of the Peace Roadmap, and with the stipulation that Israel “accept” the roadmap without any conditions. The Roadmap is a highway to trouble for Israel!
U.S. Demands that Israel Formally Accept Map
May 22….(Ha Aretz) The U.S. Administration is demanding Israel formally accept the road map to a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so that it does not appear to be recalcitrant trying to delay advancing the political process. Until now, the Bush Administration had been saying there was no importance to a formal acceptance of the plan, and that the important thing is to start its implementation on the ground. But the Palestinians have insisted that they won't start acting against terror until Israel declares its formal acceptance of the road map. American officials told senior Israeli officials that they are under heavy pressure from Arab countries to make Israel accept the road map. They made clear that the issue of "acceptance" should not become an obstacle to its implementation, and rejected Israel's distinction between Bush's June 24 speech and the road map meant to implement it. The road map, which was formally presented to the sides on April 30, calls for a three-phase process: calming the situation on the ground, establishing a Palestinian state in provisional borders, and reaching a permanent agreement by 2005. Israel has accepted the phases in principle, but has presented many reservations about the specifics of the plan, starting with a demand the process begin with the Palestinians dropping their demand for the right of return of refugees to the country. The road map puts the refugee issue in the third phase of the process, during the final-status negotiations. Israel is also against the road map's predication on the Saudi Arabian initiative, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal from all the territories captured in 1967. Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom have told the Americans that the road map, in its current form, could not pass the Israeli government coalition.
FOJ Note: Once again, the world is exerting all the political pressure upon Israel. Bush's demand for new Palestinian democratic reforms and leadership has been made a into mockery by Yasser Arafat, and the PLO/PA has still after 12 years failed to keep its promise to abandon terrorism as a mechanism of political negotiation. Even new PA Prime Minister Mazen refuses to do anything about terror until Israel officially swallows the Quartets Peace Plan, hook-line-and sinker. Yesterday, Abu Mazen even remarked that Arafat is still the boss in the PA, and always will be. The “Peace Road Map” is the most absurd diplomatic package yet produced by Mid-east peace brokers. Israel should never “accept” the world's demands to swallow a peace package without checkmating terror, and the US should consider the PLO-Hamas-Tanzim-Al Aqsa Brigades and Islamic Jihad in the same categorization as Saddam Husein and Osama Bin Laden.
White House Says Iran Harbors Al Qaeda
May 22….(Fox News) The Bush administration on Wednesday accused Iran of harboring Al Qaeda members and said Iranian leaders had a responsibility to prevent terrorists from entering and operating in the country. "There's no question but that there have been and are today senior Al Qaeda leaders in Iran, and they are busy" plotting attacks, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said. U.S.-Iran relations were severed after Iranian militants overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1979 and held U.S. diplomats hostage until 1981. Officials in the Clinton and Bush administrations have suggested from time to time that there was a reformist surge in Iran that could have a moderating influence on the Muslim fundamentalist government. Still, the State Department this year again accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism. Iran also is accused regularly of trying to undercut peace efforts in the Middle East. The presence of Al Qaeda operatives working from Iran is a matter of very serious concern to us," US State Dept. spokesman Richard Boucher said. "Whether they are there with the permission, not with permission, or what, it's the responsibility of the government to prevent these kind of people from coming to their country." If terrorists enter Iran, Boucher said, the government should not permit them to operate and should prevent them from terrorist activities. "That's a responsibility we expect them and other governments to live up to," Boucher said. On Capitol Hill, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., said disclosure of Iranian links to Al Qaeda demonstrates the futility of making a deal with the reformers in Tehran. "The Iranian regime is a terrorist regime," said Brownback, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. "A longtime truism of American foreign policy has been that you cannot and should not negotiate with terrorists." Iran on Tuesday repeated its rejection of U.S. claims it was sheltering members of Usama bin Laden's organization. Two main areas of concern for the United States are Iran's support for Hezbollah militants in southern Lebanon who are fighting a cross-border war with Israel, and Iranian forays into Iraq.
Birds of a Feather Flock Together
May 21….(FOJ) President Bush stated last June in his Mid-East 2-State solution speech, that new terror-free leadership must emerge in the PA before the US would support implementation of the peace roadmap. Yet the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas said today that President Yasser Arafat remains in charge of the PA despite the U.S. and Israeli refusals to deal with him, and said that Arafat's stamp of approval always precedes any political action. "Arafat is at the top of the Palestinian Authority. He's the man to whom we refer, regardless of the American or Israeli view of him," Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen said. For us, Abu Ammar (Arafat) is the President elected by the Palestinian people and he is the chairman of the whole Palestinian Authority. We do not do anything without his approval, and I will not allow any serious differences between Arafat and me. There may be day-to-day differences, but there will be no serious problems that lead to 'divorce'. Abbas, Arafat's special deputy and right-hand man for decades, reiterated his backing and respect for Arafat. The new PM & Arafat co-founded the PA's militant Fatah wing back in the 60's. The Fatah, with Mazen included, has been responsible for much of the terrorism perpetrated upon Israelis. The new Prime Minister also said he would not travel abroad until President Arafat, was also allowed full freedom of movement. So, why is President Bush pushing the Mid-east peace roadmap with Yasser Arafat's comrade-in-terror?
Iran, Saudi Arabia Financing Syrian Military Upgrade
May 21….(Middle East News Line) Iran and Saudi Arabia are said to have agreed to finance an ambitious program to modernize Syria's military. Gulf industry and Russian sources said Riyad and Teheran have pledged several hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years for the upgrade of land-based systems in Syria's military. They said the money would also be used to help finance advanced Russian anti-aircraft systems. Since 1997, the regime of President Bashar Assad has pressed Saudi Arabia for financial aid to modernize Syria's military. But for most of that time Riyad, plagued by a severe budget shortfall, refused to commit itself. Russian sources said Saudi Arabia changed its tune earlier this year.
FOJ Note: The Saudi Kingdom is continuing to fund many of America's most deadly enemies.
The Saudi bankrolling for the Syrian military machine is really exasperating considering the fact that the Saudi money comes from American oil imports.
Bush Europe Tour - Will Also Meet With Pope
May 21….(EU Observer) President George Bush will embark on a week-long day visit to Europe on Thursday which will take in Berlin, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Paris, Normandy, and Rome. Mr. Bush will meet with the three leaders of what some have dubbed the "axis of weasel" for their opposition to the war on Iraq, namely German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr. Bush will also meet with the Pope, not named a member of the axis, but who was strongly anti-war on Iraq. President Bush will visit Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi and is likely to bump into a host of world leaders at the events marking the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg and the NATO-Russia summit. His visit comes at a crucial juncture in the current negotiations on a new UN resolution for post-war Iraq. The New York Times reported that Bush was considering making his first trip to the Middle East as president in the next few weeks. A visit to Israel is unlikely, sources said, however White House officials indicate that President Bush could meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Kuwait or Qatar.
World Missile Shield Gaining Support
May 21….(Washington Times) The White House yesterday announced that global opposition to President Bush's missile-defense plan largely has collapsed in the wake of the war against terrorism, causing a "sea change" of views even in nations such as Russia, which once opposed the plan. "We had a lively national debate about missile defense for 20 years," said a senior administration official. "That more or less appears to be settled, and now nations are considering a world missile defense system." To mark the milestone, the White House last night formally codified its quest for a global missile-defense system in a document known as National Security Policy Directive 23, releasing an unclassified version that spells out the president's vision. "Hostile states, including those that sponsor terrorism, are investing large resources to develop and acquire ballistic missiles of increasing range and sophistication," the document stated. "The United States and our allies lack effective defenses against this threat." To remedy that, the Bush administration is accelerating deployment of the first stages of a missile shield in Alaska that would be able by next year to intercept any missile fired from North Korea, officials said. But the shield eventually would be extended to encompass many nations, a large number of which are scrambling to sign up for protection. "We've seen a real change with regard to Russia," said another administration official. "You can see in Russia now a desire to cooperate in the missile-defense area. They want to cooperate, and so there's been a fundamental shift now." The official pointed out that when Mr. Bush first proposed scrapping the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and replacing it with a missile shield, critics predicted a new arms race and a deterioration in U.S.-Russian relations. But the two nations have become closer and have agreed to slash their nuclear arsenals by two-thirds. Officials revealed late yesterday that the administration is close to reaching agreements for use of radar facilities in Britain and Greenland that would provide early warnings of missiles fired at the United States or its allies. Domestic opposition largely has evaporated as well, with Democrats, who once defended the ABM Treaty, reduced to arguing over testing protocols for a missile shield. That is a major shift from two decades ago, when they labeled President Reagan's plans for a missile defense as "Star Wars." The war on terrorism is not the only factor behind the shift in thinking. Equally important, in the eyes of the White House, is the end of the Cold War. "The contemporary and emerging missile threat from hostile states is fundamentally different from that of the Cold War and requires a different approach to deterrence and new tools for defense," the new policy document said. So many nations have expressed interest in the defense plan, once known as national missile defense (NMD), that the administration has changed the programs name to (WMD) world missile defense.
U.N. Plan for World Government
May 21….(excerpted from World Net Daily) The United Nations and the United States are engaged in a major battle over American sovereignty, the last major impediment to Global Governance. The U.N.'s plan, dubbed "Our Global Neighborhood," is a 410-page final report of the Commission on Global Governance, and was first published in 1995 by Oxford University Press. That 28-member "independent commission," created by former German Chancellor Willy Brandt, developed the following strategy, as reported in the EcoSocialist Review: "To represent a shot-across-the-bow of George Bush's New World Order, and make clear that now is the time to press for the subordination of national sovereignty to democratic transnationalism." Then-U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali endorsed the commission, and the U.N. provided significant funding. The plan calls for dramatically strengthening the United Nations, by implementing a laundry list of recommendations, including the following items:
- Eliminating the veto and permanent member status in the Security Council;
- Authorizing global taxation on currency exchange and use of the "global commons;"
- Creating an International Criminal Court;
- Creating a standing army under the command of the secretary-general;
- Creating a new Economic Security Council;
- Creating a new People's Assembly;
- Regulating multinational corporations;
- Regulating the global commons;
- Controlling the manufacture, sale and distribution of all firearms.
To justify the sweeping changes proposed by the commission, a new concept of "security" was offered. The U.N.'s mission under its present charter is to provide "security" to its member nations through "collective" action. The new concept expands the mission of the U.N. to be the security of the people, and the security of the planet. Thus, in their speeches to the U.N.'s Millennium Assembly in 2000, both Secretary General Kofi Annan and President Bill Clinton made reference to this new concept, saying national sovereignty can no longer be used as an excuse to prevent the intervention by the U.N. to provide "security" for people inside national boundaries. To provide security for the planet, the plan calls for authorizing the U.N. Trusteeship Council to have "trusteeship" over the "global commons," which the plan defines to be: " the atmosphere, outer space, the oceans beyond national jurisdiction, and the related environment and life-support systems that contribute to the support of human life."
Some Palestinians Blame PLO Terrorists
May 20….(AP) Hundreds of Palestinians burned tires and blocked a main road Tuesday in a rare burst of anger at Islamic militants whom they blamed for prompting Israeli military attacks by using their town to fire rockets into Israel. In an unusual protest, about 600 Beit Hanoun residents blocked a main thoroughfare with trash cans, rocks and burning tires to show their anger at the militants and Palestinian Authority officials. "They (the militants) claim they are heroes," said Mohammed Zaaneen, 30, a farmer, as he carried rocks into the street. "They brought us only destruction and made us homeless. They used our farms, our houses and our children to hide behind." Israeli troops have raided Beit Hanoun seven times in the past 32 months of fighting, in an effort to stop the firing of homemade Qassam rockets from Beit Hanoun at Israeli border towns. The Israeli-Palestinian deadlock has left the field to the militants who are trying to torpedo the peace efforts and weaken Abbas. In the past, the Islamic militant groups, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have stepped up attacks whenever there was increased hope of progress toward peace. An Islamic Jihad leader in the West Bank said militants needed no special incentive to carry out attacks. "It's all-out war," said the leader, Sheik Bassam Sadi. President Bush called Abbas on Tuesday to underscore the need for both Palestinians and Israelis to fight terror and resume peace negotiations, the White House said. It was their first conversation since Abbas took office on April 30. Abbas is seen as instrumental in implementing the "road map" to peace plan, a three-stage prescription for ending violence and setting up a Palestinian state by 2005. However, Abbas has said he will not launch a crackdown on militias, a crucial step in the first phase, until Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon accepts the plan. Abbas has said he wants to disarm militias through dialogue, not force, an approach Sharon has brushed aside, saying he wants to see arrests and weapons sweeps.
Russia Says Arafat Still Significant
May 20….(AFP) Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat still has "political weight" and cannot be sidelined from efforts to reach peace in the Middle East, a senior Russian diplomat insisted. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov said that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat still has "political weight" and cannot be sidelined from efforts to reach peace in the Middle East. The Russian official, who is responsible for Mideast affairs for Russia said that calls for Arafat to be isolated or removed were unacceptable because the Palestinian leader enjoyed democratic legitimacy. "He is a leader who was elected by the Palestinian people. This means that he remains a politician exerting influence on the settlement process. And only the Palestinian people can decide who should lead them," he said.
American Muslims Readying for Elections
May 20….(World Net) A leading Islamic lobby group is on a nationwide tour to introduce Muslims to American politics. Seeking to build an influential voting bloc for the 2004 elections and eventually seeing Muslim candidates on ballots for everything across America, the American Muslim Society hopes to use the Muslim March on Washington this weekend to highlight the building Islamic voting block. About 700 Muslims ran for public office in 2000, and 153 were elected. Muslim groups claimed their support of President George W. Bush put him in office, but an exit poll by the Detroit News showed 66 percent of Muslims in Michigan voted for Al Gore. Muslims are heavily concentrated in Detroit and other major metropolitan areas including New York, Chicago and Southern California. The AMC declared, “who knows, maybe one day we will see an Islamic President in America.”
EU: Arafat Still a Key Player in Mideast Peace Process
May 19….(Jerusalem Post) The European Union urged Israel on Monday to accept the Mid-east "roadmap" to peace and dismissed a decision by the Israeli government to cold-shoulder foreign dignitaries who meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. EU Spokeswoman Emma Udwin said the Europeans continue to see Arafat as a key player in Mideast peacemaking despite a weekend flare-up of violence that led Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to postpone a visit to Washington this week. She said the EU will continue to involve Arafat in the search for peace. "Yasser Arafat remains an elected representative of his people. Our position is not changing," she said outside an EU foreign ministers meeting. Sharon's cabinet decided recently that foreign visitors, notably EU leaders touring the region on peace missions, who meet with Arafat will not be received in Jerusalem. The plan was to judge on a case-by-case basis, but the weekend suicide bombings made Israeli officials apply the policy of isolating Arafat's visitors across the board. Jerusalem and Washington have been boycotting Arafat claiming he does not do enough to stop terrorist acts against Israelis.
FOJ Note: One must wonder why Yasser Arafat has so much support in Europe. It is blatantly obvious that there is more to the Arafat-EU-Vatican relationship than discussions about the Mid-east peace process. It is the contention of FOJ that Arafat is being utilized by powers in the EU-Vatican to quell the potential for Israel to retain much of the Promised Land.
Terror Wave Hits Jerusalem!
May 19….(Arutz) Jerusalem woke up to yet another Sunday morning mass terror attack today, one that claimed seven lives and over 20 wounded. A Palestinian suicide murderer detonated himself aboard a public bus in northeastern Jerusalem shortly before 6 AM, murdering the seven on the spot. Within half an hour, a second suicide bomber blew himself up at an IDF checkpoint, further to the north in the capital; no injuries were suffered in that attack. Diplomatic responses, if not military, were quick to come, with Prime Minister Sharon canceling his trip to the United States and calling an emergency Cabinet meeting for early this evening. Sharon was to have departed for Washington this afternoon, where he was to have met with U.S. President George Bush regarding the Road Map. American sources expressed
"understanding" for the postponement. he first bombing took place near the French Hill junction aboard the #6 bus as it made its way to the center of Jerusalem from Pisgat Ze'ev. The murderous terrorist, who is assumed to have boarded the bus in Pisgat Ze'ev, was disguised as a religious Jew, wearing a yarmulke and ritual fringes. Seven of the wounded, three in serious condition, remained hospitalized by late this afternoon. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack. Approximately 20 minutes later, a second Palestinian terrorist arrived at the A-Ram Junction, north of N'vei Yaakov. He refused to adhere to two
warnings by Border Guard personnel, and as the guards prepared to respond to the man's suspicious behavior, he detonated the explosives he was carrying on his body. In yet another attack, an Arab Palestinian suicide terrorist, a student at Hevron's Polytechnic Institute, murdered a young Jewish couple in Hevron. The husband and his pregnant wife, Gadi and Dina Levy, were on their way to attend end-of-Sabbath prayer services in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood in the ancient Jewish city when they were murdered. The terrorist, disguised as a typical Jewish resident of Hevron with a knitted yarmulke and a white Sabbath shirt, reached one of the main Jewish areas in the city when he aroused the suspicions of one or two soldiers. When they called upon him to stop, the terrorist who was apparently on his way to a large crowd of Jews nearby, started to run towards a nearer Jewish target - Gadi and Dina Levy - and detonated himself alongside them. Gadi was pronounced dead on the scene, and Dina, who was
pregnant with the couple's first child, died of her wounds on the operating table in Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital. Then again today, a Palestinian riding a bicycle detonated a bomb near an Israeli jeep in the Gaza Strip, killing himself and lightly injuring three soldiers. The Islamic militant group Hamas claimed responsibility for the bike attack, as it has for the three other attacks that have occurred since Saturday, when Sharon met with the new reform-minded Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas. “We will not stop our resistance as long as one Zionist continues to breathe our air,” Hamas, which has vowed to wreck the U.S. peace plan, said in a faxed claim of responsibility.
If Arafat Obstructs Peace, We'll Have to Mull Expulsion
May 19….(Ha Aretz) Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Monday that if Yasser Arafat continues to foil the peace process, Israel will have no alternative but to consider expelling the Palestinian Authority chairman from the territories. Hours after Prime Minister Ariel Sharon turned aside calls by Likud cabinet ministers to expel Yasser Arafat, cabinet ministers in Sharon's Likud redoubled efforts to expel Arafat, with Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim blasting the PA leader as "vermin," saying that the expulsion should be carried out when conditions of timing permitted. "At this stage it would be wrong to expel Arafat, because the world would view this as though Israel were causing the peace process to fail, and as though Abu Mazen were collaborating with Israel," Mofaz was quoted as telling the Tel Aviv University Board of Trustees. Arafat sees terrorism and escalation as the necessary condition for his personal survival, Mofaz declared, adding that "If Arafat continues to act as a main obstacle to the peace process, and, at the same time, Abu Mazen [PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas] has the willingness to battle terrorist organizations, there will be no alternative but to think about steps to deport Arafat in the future."
Arafat Should be Arrested/Killed Immediately!
May 19….(FOJ) Yasser Arafat is doing his thing again, just as Focus on Jerusalem predicted that he would two weeks ago! The demoniac terrorist is doing what he knows best. Mr. Arafat timed the weekend wave of attacks to offset the initial meeting between Ariel Sharon and the new PA Prime Minister Abbas. It was Arafat's way of saying, “I am still here and I am still running the show.” Arafat actually called into the Fox News program Sunday afternoon to emphasize that point to Fox reporter Rita Cosby. As usual Arafat was raucous in his rambling, discourteous, and blame-it-all on Israel style. Expelling Arafat is not a new idea; the Israeli government has toyed with that idea at various stages over the last two years. But there have been certain changes since the siege on Arafat's Ramallah compound last September, which drew heavy international criticism. The first is the emergence of Prime Minister Abbas. The widely held feeling in the US is that as long as Arafat is on the scene, Abbas will be unable to carry out any type of reform; and that Arafat will continue to trip him up as long as possible, and utilize terrorism to do it. If Arafat were eliminated, democracy and Abbas may be better able to survive. The second fundamental change since last September is Iraq. Since Sharon ringed the Mukata with tanks, the US has defeated Saddam Hussein, dropped a four-ton bomb on a restaurant he was believed to have frequented. In other words, the US now has an enhanced understanding of how to deal with those who foment terrorism.
There is, on the other hand, still the Sharon pledge to US President George W. Bush not to harm Arafat.
And this is the hang-up. If President Bush and America are really serious about combating terrorism, then the number one terrorist in the world (Yasser Arafat) should be treated just like Saddam Hussein. The President should rescind the understanding with Ariel Sharon concerning Arafat. Mr. Arafat will never leave Ramallah or agree to be expelled, because he wants to remain on the scene to foment terror against Israel, and obstruct any prospect for Israel's survival.
Syria Considers Terror Infiltration to Undermine American Occupation
May 19….(World Net Daily) Hezbollah and Syrian officials are discussing a plan by the Iranian-backed terrorist group to organize cadres among the Shiite population inside U.S.-occupied Iraq, according to a report in the latest issue of Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin online intelligence newsletter. During the two-day visit to Damascus of Iran's leader Mohammad Khatemi, President Bashar Assad promised Syria would resist a U.S. request to curb Hezbollah, according to G2 Bulletin's Israeli intelligence sources. Khatemi arrived in Syria following a three-day visit to Lebanon, where he was greeted and followed by tens of thousands of Shiites. Khatemi met with Hezbollah leadership and promised them his country is standing firmly behind them. A number of top Hezbollah military commanders joined Khatemi's entourage, and some of them stayed behind in Lebanon. An Israeli source told G2 Bulletin Hezbollah officials are discussing with Syria the possibility of creating an Iraq-Hezbollah branch.
Muslims 'Draw Line In The Sand' in D.C.
May 19….(World Net Daily) U.S. Islamic activists are uniting with a leading anti-war group to hold a civil rights march and rally they tout as the largest gathering of Muslims ever in the nation's capital. Participants in the May 24 event "will demand an end to the mounting attack on the civil rights of Muslims in America" since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to the organizer, the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation. "The time has come where we must draw a line in the sand, stand up for ourselves, and demand an immediate and unconditional halt to the Bush administration's profiling, harassment, and abuse of our community," said Mahdi Bray, the foundation's executive director, in a statement. Bray, who has called the U.S. war on terrorism a "war against Islam," joined several other Muslims in October 2001 to pray in front of the State Department and denounce U.S. military action in Afghanistan. One of the rally's featured speakers is Brian Becker of the International A.N.S.W.E.R. coalition, an umbrella group tied to the World Workers Party, a Marxist organization that supports authoritarian regimes and communist dictatorships. Bray added, "We must be willing to trust in Allah, intensify our dawah, which is commonly understood by Muslims as inviting others to Islam, or missionary work. Other speakers will include Rev. Al Sharpton, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Ibrahim Ramey, director of the Peace and Disarmament, and also Siraj Wahhaj, Imam of Masjid Al-Taqwa in Brookyn, New York. Imam Wahhaj was one of the "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators in the attempt to blow up New York City monuments," including the World Trade Center in 1993. Wahhaj has called for the U.S. government to be replaced with a Muslim caliphate, testified on behalf of Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, who was convicted in the World Trade Center case. Bray listed a number of grievances he says Muslims have against the Bush administration, including "the INS registration program for Muslim males and the mass arrests of those legally in the country, racial profiling by law enforcement agencies, the unreasonable closings of Islamic charities, the secret detention of hundreds of individuals, and the Bush administration's courting of anti-Muslim extremists like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell."
FOJ Note: This march is yet another effort by the Islamic world to destroy the American government and create an Islamic theocracy in its place.
Al Qaeda Poised to Strike US?
May 19….(FOJ) Al Qaeda is not defeated. Afghanistan and Iraq may have been dealt setbacks, but apparently Al Qaeda is still in business. The last week has seen Al Qaeda implicated in bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and in Casablanca, Morocco. Al-Qaida is even threatening to deliver ''devastating blows'' against the United States and Israel, according to a report by Middle East Online. ''The next strikes will stun the Americans and Israelis,'' Abu Mohammad al-Ablaj, the coordinator of the al-Qaida-affiliated Mujahedeen Training Center, said in an e-mail published by the London-based, Saudi-owned weekly, Al-Majallah. ''The upcoming strikes will throw the enemy off balance. They will target the rear of the snake, the United States itself!
WEEK OF MAY 12 THROUGH MAY 18
EU Using Road Map as Security Council Trap for US
May 16….(FOJ) The European Union's foreign affairs executive, Javier Solana, has undertaken a whirlwind tour of Middle Eastern and European capitols this week with a plan to force the Middle East peace road map down unwilling throats (Israel) by ramming it through the UN Security Council as a mandatory resolution. The Quartet sponsored peace roadmap is really just the Oslo produced blueprint, but Mr. Solana and the Quartet are presenting it as the panacea for all the Middle East region's ills. Underlying the EU initiative behind the UN Security “peace roadmap resolution” is a conspiracy to curtail American domination over Middle East political processes. The Middle East peace process situation has changed from what it was before the Iraq conflict; and during the Clinton Administration, because now the UN, the EU, Russia and the other Security Council members have taken a position to stand up to American hegemony. This scenario is just part of the political fallout from the France-Russian led opposition to the war in Iraq. The new “roadmap” was formulated with American participation by the UN, EU and Russia. The three other components of the Quartet are seeking to supplant America, and more precisely the Bush Administration from the dominant peace-making role in the Middle East.
After adopting the road map resolution, the UN Security Council would probably create an inspection or monitoring team to supervise the roadmap's implementation. This scenario would meet Yasser Arafat's long-held ambition for an international body to move into the West Bank lands, and that Israel would be compelled to pull out of Palestinian locations and to give up its fight against PLO terrorists. Syrian President Assad is more than willing to have the EU take the roadmap to UN Security Council in order to alleviate American pressure for him to close terrorist's bases and offices in Syria and Lebanon. The EU, France and Russia hope by pushing a mandate through the UN, to use the roadmap as leverage against the US initiative in Iraq, and cause America to endure a quagmire of dynamic proportions in Iraq as it attempts to stabilize a democracy-friendly infrastructure there. Winning the war in Iraq, without winning any changes in Syria and in the PA may, in the long run prove to be America's waterloo!
Russia Practicing for Nuclear Attacks on U.S
May 16….(Newsmax) Russia will soon launch a “mock nuclear attack” against the U.S. and Britain during military exercises over the next week. Moscow's Nezavisimaya Gazeta reports that Russia's strategic bombers and nuclear submarines "will deliver hypothetical nuclear strikes on the U.S. and Britain, while locating and destroying aircraft-carrier groups of the U.S. Navy." The massive air, sea and land maneuvers are being conducted in the wake of America's stunning victory over Iraq, a long time client state of Russia. The paper said the exercises are taking place because, "Russian military leaders have learned a lesson from the Iraq war, and intend to show the U.S. and its allies their determination to repel any potential threat coming from the West." The Russian military, in plans drawn up at the request of President Vladmir Putin, argues that the only way Russia can deal with an escalating regional conflict with the U.S., would be to employ nuclear weapons. Though Russia's military has been considerably downsized since the end of the Cold War, and its conventional forces hold little weight against a modern, equipped army, Russia has continued to invest heavily in strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. Sometime during the 90s, Russia attained nuclear superiority over the U.S. While Russia's large, strategic nuclear weapons have remained in parity with the U.S., Russia's tactical nuclear arsenal has been estimated to include between 20,000 to 40,000 weapons. At the same time Russia has continued its nuclear buildup, the U.S. has virtually destroyed its arsenal of tactical nuclear warheads. Under orders from the Bush administration, the U.S. has also been moving to further reduce the U.S. strategic arsenal. Currently, the nation's most modern fleet of ICBM, the MX missiles, are being destroyed. The Russian military exercises show a desire by the Russian military to deal with the huge technological lead U.S. conventional forces have, demonstrated by Operation Iraqi Freedom, and by Russia's desire to counter the US in the Middle East.
Abu Mazen: No Action Against Terror till Israel Accepts Roadmap
May 15….(Israel Insider) Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will meet with newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in Jerusalem this Saturday night in the first high-level summit between the sides since the start of the Intifada. Palestinian officials said that they would not take any actions against terrorist organizations until Israel officially accepted the "road map" peace plan. Sharon departs for the United States for talks with President George W. Bush on the "road map" plan. According to media reports, officials in the Bush administration are "very disappointed" with Sharon's recent remarks stating that a discussion of settlements "was not on the horizon." A senior official in Sharon's office said the Prime Minister's talks with Bush will be "the most important discussions with Washington in two years." Political analysts suggested that the Americans would ask Sharon to make additional concessions to the Palestinians. Abu Mazen's goal in his Jerusalem meeting with Sharon will be to persuade Sharon to drop his demands for changes in the "road map" peace plan prepared by the U.S. and the other members of the Quartet, the United Nations, European Union and Russia, and begin carrying out Israel's obligations. The PA official said that until Israel formally accepts the plan, Abu Mazen's government will not carry out its side of the bargain, the central part of which is a crackdown on Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and other violent groups. Palestinian officials expressed disappointment that Powell had not persuaded Israel to formally accept the "road map" plan. Speaking to reporters after a visit to Jordan, Powell said the Bush administration would listen to Israeli reservations over the "road map," but would not "re-negotiate" the plan.
Arafat: Israel Must Return to '67 Lines, Return for Refugees
May 15….(FOJ) Israel must withdraw from all the lands it occupied in the 1967 Six-Day War and Palestinian refugees must be allowed to return to their homes, Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat said yesterday in marking the rebirth of Israel in 1948. "For the past 55 years, martyrs have fallen for the sake of the homeland, freedom and the return of the refugees," he said in a speech from his offices in the West Bank city of Ramallah to mark "Naqba" day. Naqba, Arabic for "catastrophe" is the term used in by the Palestinians to describe the establishment of the State of Israel. Although he has appointed a Prime Minister (at President Bush's insistence) Arafat is still the one holding the purse strings. His bureau is allocating funds to various entities, from Fatah activists to other PLO related terror organizations. Although President Bush demanded that new leadership emerge in the Palestinian Authority before implementing the Quartet sponsored peace Roadmap, the EU, UN, and the entire Arab world are demanding that Israel accept the roadmap unconditionally as a prerequisite for talks. Yasser Arafat has not been removed from the scene, as President Bush demanded, yet the US State Department continues to push Israel into a “terrorists trap”!
Sharon: I don't Call Them Settlements
May 15….(Israel Insider) Prime Minister Sharon has officially rejected the American demand for a total freeze on construction activity in the land of Israel, Yesha (Judea, Samaria and Gaza). Sharon told U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday that he would not prevent young people who were born in the towns from building their homes there. "I don't call them settlements, but rather communities," Sharon said. Powell told Israel's Channel Two last night that President Bush "expects to speak to Prime Minister Sharon in very open, straightforward, honest, candid terms about settlement activity and settlements in general when he sees Prime Minister Sharon next week." Sharon, however, rebuffed the veiled threat, saying that his relationship with Bush is not one where Mr. Bush "makes demands." Remember, America is not giving up its' states either to those that want to take it from them. And Israel was a country for thousands of years, and again was reborn in 1948. Plus, it's our God-given land.
FOJ Note: Sharon's play on words, “I don't call them settlements” is a veiled reference to the fact that the Palestinians don't call suicide bombers “terrorists”, but instead calls them freedom fighters. The Bush Administration said yesterday that it will not insist that Israel formally accept the "road map" for peace in the Middle East. That statement has angered Arab leaders, who helped Washington in persuading the Palestinians to embrace the road map despite reservations about the way it deals with what some term the Israeli settlements and the borders of a future Palestinian state.
U.S. Looks at Potential Danger From Hezbollah
May 15….(excerpt from USA Today) A U.S. official says there are "hundreds" of Hezbollah members in the USA. Not all are potential terrorists; but many support Hezbollah's desire to form an Iranian-style government in Lebanon. Terrorism investigators and analysts say Hezbollah could attack U.S. interests at home and abroad if the Bush administration were to take on Iran, the group's chief benefactor, or Syria, its supply pipeline between Lebanon and Tehran. U.S.-Syrian relations have been strained by accusations that Syria helped top Iraqi officials flee coalition forces. Secretary of State Colin Powell recently warned Syrian President Bashar Assad against aiding Palestinian terrorist groups. But when it comes to Hezbollah's potential threat on U.S. soil, the bigger worry is Iran and its reaction to U.S. efforts to rebuild Iraq, says Magnus Ranstorp, director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. "If Iran's agenda isn't satisfied," he says, "the threat from Hezbollah to the U.S. rises exponentially." U.S. officials have called Hezbollah (which means "party of God" in Arabic) "the A-Team" of terrorist organizations. A radical Shiite group, its leaders are known for carrying out synchronized attacks, a technique al-Qaeda has copied. Within a year of its creation in 1982, Hezbollah carried out a suicide bombing that killed 241 people at the U.S. Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut. In 1985, Hezbollah members killed a U.S. Navy diver during the hijacking of TWA Flight 847 in Lebanon. And in the 1990s, the group kidnapped several Americans and Westerners. Terrorism analysts say Hezbollah attacks on Americans declined as its leaders focused on making the transition from terrorists to political players in Lebanon. Equally significant, analysts say, Hezbollah and other radical Muslim groups realized that they could raise millions of dollars in the USA, legally and illegally as long as they didn't draw attention by killing Americans.
More capable than al-Qaeda
U.S. officials say Hezbollah has more operatives in the USA than al-Qaeda, access to chemical and biological agents through Iran and active training camps in Lebanon. "Hezbollah has a significant presence in the United States waiting for a call to action," says Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. He says he is worried about law enforcement's ability to confront the threat. The task is daunting, Ranstorp says. "Hezbollah is not an organization you just tackle. They are not some small hornets' nest you stick your hand in and get moderately stung. These are super bees who can, because of the Iranian connection, wreak serious havoc to the United States." Ranstorp says Hezbollah would not launch suicide attacks on U.S. soil unless Iran felt its agenda in neighboring Iraq was threatened. Analysts say they believe Iran would like to see a clergy-led Islamic government in Iraq. "Could Iran and Syria bring Hezbollah in? Yes," says Gideon Rose, managing editor of foreign affairs for the non-profit Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. "That would be a scenario that would be bad for us. And it would be even worse for Iran and Syria." Still, FBI officials are worried about an alliance between Hezbollah and al-Qaeda. All these things must be taken into consideration as America tackles the tough problems of Syrian based terrorists!
Mid-East Peace Roadmap is a Roadtrap!
May 15….(Weekend News) Newt Gingrich recently precipitated a firestorm of controversy when he pointed out that the State Department was working to sabotage President Bush's security policies. As a case in point, he cited the State Department's machinations behind the so-called “road map” for peace between Israel and the Palestinian front in the Arab-Israeli conflict: “The State Department invention of a Quartet for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations defies everything the United States has learned about France, Russia, and the United Nations. After the bitter lessons of the last five months, it is unimaginable that the United States would voluntarily accept a system in which the UN, the European Union, and Russia could routinely outvote President Bush's positions by three to one (or four to one if the State Department voted its cultural beliefs against the President's policies). “This is a deliberate and systematic effort to undermine the President's policies procedurally by ensuring they will consistently be watered down and distorted by the other 3 members. This is worse than the UN inspections process, a clear disaster for American diplomacy.” The former House Speaker is, of course, absolutely correct in warning that the negotiating format the State Department has conjured up over the past year amounts to a stacked deck, stacked against President Bush and the principles and preconditions for recognition of a Palestinian state that he announced last June. Unfortunately, the problem is not simply a procedural arrangement, whereby 4 entities profoundly hostile to Israel are in charge, so much so that they(the Quartet) are hoping to be able to dictate terms to the Israelis. This assuredly is not the negotiating process President Bush had in mind when he offered his vision for a real Mideast peace nearly a year ago. Given the Quartet's composition and proclivities, however, it is hardly surprising that the content of its road-map also deviates profoundly from what President Bush at that time. This is evident in particular on 2 critical counts:
1st, remember President Bush made very clear last June that a new generation of leaders, “untainted by terror” would have to come to the fore in the Palestinian community via democratic means. The clear meaning of this precondition was that neither Yasser Arafat nor anybody associated with his terrorist kleptocracy could be considered a legitimate interlocutor in a new, reformed “peace process.” In this case, the State Department and its Quartet partners have contorted the President's intention so as to enable one of the Palestinian caudillo's most faithful lieutenants, Mahmoud Abbas (joint founder of the PA's militant Fatah group that brought much terror to Israel), to be hand-picked by Arafat but nonetheless represented as a real partner for peace with the Israelis. Arafat and Abu Mazen even performed a little drama designed to demonstrate for Western consumption that the lieutenant, not his boss, would now control the official security apparatus and, as a result, be able to crack down on Palestinian terrorists. This gambit was reminiscent of another of Arafat's theatrical performances a few years back when, to demonstrate his commitment to live in peace with Israel, he was supposed to secure the elimination of dozens of provisions in the Palestinian Charter calling for the destruction of Jews and their State. Just as these provisions remain unchanged to this day, power still rests in the hands of those who espouse jihad against Israel. 2nd, President Bush also indicated last June that Israel would not be expected to accept a Palestinian state unless and until terrorism ceased to be waged against the Jewish State. But the Quartet had other plans. It adopted a timetable for recognition of a State of Palestine that was geared, not to an end of the threat to Israel, but to a predetermined calendar: The boundaries of a provisional state to be fixed by as early as the end of 2003; a full-fledged and internationally recognized state not later than 2005. And while the Palestinians would be required to "undertake visible efforts...to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks on Israelis" the Israelis would be obliged from the get-go to make tangible and possibly irreversible steps. For example, they must pull out of forward defensive positions in Palestinian areas, stop further growth of settlements, etc. In short, the “road map” for Mid-east peace offered up by the Quartet appears more likely to prove a “road trap” for one of the parties, “Israel”, and for a President who, more than any other in history, has committed himself to the survival and security of the Jewish State. Such a prospect is all the more absurd given the unprecedented opportunities a post-Saddam Middle East could present for a genuine, just and durable peace between Israel and new, non-radical Arab regimes in the region.
Iran's President Khatami Vows Support for Hezbollah
May 14….(Ha Aretz) Iranian President Mohammed Khatami urged the United States on Tuesday to quickly withdraw its troops from Iraq and warned against imposing a U.S.-installed government in Baghdad. In an apparent rebuff to U.S. calls on Lebanon and Syria to rein in the Hezbollah militant group, Khatami, addressing a mass rally in Beirut on the second day of his visit to Lebanon, vowed Iran's continued support for the group, which is on the U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations. "The symbol for the survival of this country and its unity lies in this resistance (Hezbollah). All of Lebanon stood against methods used by the aggressive Israel. The legitimate resistance carried out by all (Lebanese) groups has made the victory a victory for all the people," Khatami said. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell recently urged Syria and Lebanon to rein in militant groups, including Hezbollah. Syria, the main power broker in Lebanon, supports Hezbollah politically but denies channeling arms to it. Iran, a Shiite-majority country, is Hezbollah's main financial backer. Lebanon, Syria and Iran see Hezbollah as a legitimate resistance movement fighting against the former Israeli occupation of Lebanese territory. With Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah and Hezbollah legislators sitting close to him in the first row, Khatami stressed that Israel's withdrawal from occupied Arab territories and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state were essential for peace in the Middle East.
Khatami also addressed the U.S. role in Iraq since the ouster of Saddam Hussein. "We hope that the U.S. administration will leave the wounded Iraq as soon as possible to allow it to be run by the Iraqis," Khatami said. "We warn the U.S. administration against plans to create other crises in the region and in the world following the Iraqi case. Khatami warned Washington against imposing a U.S.-installed government in post-Saddam Iraq and called for "a one-person, one-vote" elections to allow the Iraqis to decide their future government. He said Iran was ready to help in this voting formula, which clearly favors the Shiites who constitute 60 percent of Iraq's population.
FOJ Note: Supreme Iranian Ayatollah leader Khamenei and his henchman, former President Rafsanjani, have spoken openly about their desire to join the nuclear club. Rafsanjani even went so far as to announce that the minute Iran had the bomb, it would be dropped on Israel, regardless of the consequences. Even if all Iranians were killed in the war, he said, it would be a good deal for Islam: Half the world's Jews would be wiped out, but only a small fraction of the planet's Muslims would perish.
55 Years Ago May 14, 1948---Israel Was Reborn
May 14….(FOJ) From out of the ashes of WWII and Adolph Hitler's insidious Final Solution, the new nation of Israel was born on this date in 1948. Hitler's Final Solution, coordinated with Haj Al Amin Husseinni, (Yasser Arafat's uncle) the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem sought to exterminate the Jewish people from Europe and the Middle East. Hitler exterminated 6,000,000 Jews in Europe during the war. But out of that devilish maniacal endeavor, God oversaw the rebirth of the nation of Israel. As evidenced by the conspiracy of the Holocaust, and the sudden rebirth of Israel, God can and often does turn Satan's demonic plots completely around, resulting ultimately in a miraculous twist of history! Such was the case on May 14, 1948. What Satan had designed to be the destruction of the remnants of ancient Israel, God turned into the remarkable beginning of Israel's Divine restorative process. Even in the political rebirth of Israel, God worked a miracle. Former Soviet Ambassador to the UN in 1947, Andrei Gromyko introduced the motion to grant statehood to Israel, on the working assumption that the Arab nations surrounding the new fledgling nation would wipe it out in a campaign of extermination, thereby enabling Moscow to supplant the West as the major power-broker in the Middle East. Much to everyone's surprise, Israel not only survived the war, and instead routed her Arab/Muslim enemies. Three times since 1947, Israel has confounded the world geo-political environment by defeating the combined Arab armies of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. God has used the rebirth of Israel to make it into a burdensome stone for the whole world. Thus, today, all hopes for world peace follow a wearisome road through Jerusalem! (Psalms 137:5-6 If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.) (Psalms 122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.)
Al-Qaida Behind Saudi Bombings?
*Debka Reports that Al Qaeda Claims Responsibility
May 13….(MSNBC) At least 10 Americans were killed and there was also "a large loss of life of others" caused by Monday night's terrorist bombings in Riyadh, Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday.
US Secretary of State Powell and Saudi officials said they suspect supporters of al-Qaida and its Saudi-born leader Osama bin Laden were behind the attacks. The string of attacks occurred in quick succession Monday night, capped by a fourth explosion early Tuesday outside the headquarters of a joint U.S.-Saudi owned company in Riyadh. Diplomatic and military sources rep[ort that three explosions occurred almost simultaneously at about 11:30 p.m. Monday (4:30 p.m. ET) at gated compounds within a few miles of one another in a northeastern suburb of Riyadh. Explosives-packed cars crashed into each of the three compounds and exploded, U.S. and Saudi officials said. Hours before Powell's arrival in the Saudi capital, attackers armed with guns and car bombs ambushed buildings housing Westerners and Saudis in the capital of Saudi Arabia. While no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, Powell said the bombings "had the earmarks of Al Qaeda. Powell went ahead with his plans to visit Riyadh, arriving safely on Tuesday. He was greeted on his arrival by Prince Saud, the Saudi foreign minister, who expressed his sorrow and vowed to cooperate with the United States in fighting terrorism. Secretary Powell, who already has visited Israel, the West Bank, Egypt and Jordan on a Mideast tour, was to meet Saudi leaders to seek help in harnessing militant groups and in promoting Palestinian reform.
Only a week ago, a new spokesman for al-Qaida, which is blamed for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, warned of an attack against U.S. interests, in a series of e-mail exchanges with the Arabic-language magazine al-Majalla. The magazine quoted bin Qais as warning of plots “the size of the Sept. 11 attacks” and promising that “a strike against America is definitely coming.”
*Al Qaeda claims Riyadh attacks in message to London Arabic newspaper al Majallah.
Russia Funding Resurgent Taliban?
May 13….(Scotland on Sunday) Russia is funding the Taliban's guerrilla war against the American-backed government of Afghanistan, leaders of the fundamentalist group have claimed. In a move that carries echoes of attempts by the United States to undermine Soviet forces during their occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, Russian intelligence is now providing covert backing to a resurgent Taliban, senior figures in the extreme Islamic movement have alleged. The alarming claim will prove acutely embarrassing to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been trying to rebuild relations with the US in the wake of the acrimonious split between the two countries over Iraq. Engineer Hamidullah, the Taliban's former deputy chief of finance, says the Taliban now receive as much funding as they did when Osama bin Laden bank-rolled them before September 11. There are some countries that are against the policies of the US and the United Nations, and they support the guerrillas. The most important role belongs to Russia, Iran and Pakistan," he said. In the 1980s, the CIA's funding of the Afghan Mujahedin on a massive scale wore down the Russians and eventually forced them to leave. The backing, both financial and military, was never admitted by the US. According to Taliban sources in neighbouring Pakistan and Afghan intelligence sources, the group has a new hierarchy of leaders orchestrating opposition to the US-sponsored Afghan government of Hamed Karzai from Afghanistan and Pashtun tribal areas of north-west Pakistan. Abdul Salam - the former chief justice of the Taliban's Supreme Court, commenting on the alleged backing of Russia, Pakistan and Iran, he said: "The Russians are not happy with the US presence here, and neither are Iran, Pakistan and even China."
U.S. Keeps Pre-emption Doctrine 'Open'
May 13….(Washington Times) The Bush administration yesterday rebuffed a call by South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun to exempt North Korea from the U.S. military doctrine that allows for pre-emptive attacks on rogue states that develop weapons of mass destruction. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that the United States will keep "all options open" in the nuclear standoff with the communist North, effectively denying the request made by Mr. Roh of North Korea in an interview with The Washington Times published yesterday. Miss Rice said that the world "needs better tools to deal with a state like North Korea that appears to be determined to violate its international agreements, and I think we're going to work more aggressively with other states to see what other tools we can build." But President Bush remains open to multinational talks with the communist regime and is committed to diplomacy to stem the nuclear standoff, a White House spokesman said. Private Korea watchers said yesterday that while U.S. officials have repeatedly said there is "no intention" of using force against Pyongyang, it is highly unlikely that Mr. Bush will categorically renounce military force in dealing with North Korea. Clearly, the American administration is not going to take the military option completely off the table because that would be just an invitation to the North to raise its negotiating demands.
Ex-CIA Chief says U.S. Fighting World War IV
May 13….(World Net Daily) The U.S. is already fighting World War IV, says former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, and the enemies are the Shiite fanatics who rule Iran and control Hezbollah, the Islamo-fascists who rule Syria and previously controlled Iraq and the Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islamists who get their inspiration and funding from Saudi Arabia. Woolsey adds that while all three of these enemies hate each other and occasionally kill each other in wars and smaller skirmishes, they are fully capable of uniting against a common enemy and have, in this case, the United States of America. While the battle in Iraq has seriously weakened the Islamo-fascist leg of this evil axis, World War IV, the Cold War being the third, is far from won, he suggests. This war did not begin Sept. 11, he says. That was merely the date on which the United States discovered, much to its shock, that these three powerful and dangerous elements had been at war with the United States for some time. All three members of this axis had attacked the United States repeatedly in different ways since at least 1979. The attacks became increasingly more dramatic because the enemy concluded, based on deductive reasoning, that the U.S. was a paper tiger, unwilling to fight, or, at least, fight to win. They concluded the U.S. just didn't have the stomach for it, the former CIA director says. "In 1983, they blew up our embassy and our Marine barracks in Beirut. What did we do? We left. Throughout much of the 1980s, various terrorist acts were committed against us. We would occasionally arrest a few small fry. There was one honorable exception – President Reagan's strike against Tripoli. But, generally speaking, we prosecuted individuals when we could – essentially we litigated – in response to the terrorist acts of the '80s." "In 1983, they blew up our embassy and our Marine barracks in Beirut. What did we do? We left. Throughout much of the 1980s, various terrorist acts were committed against us. We would occasionally arrest a few small fry. There was one honorable exception, President Reagan's strike against Tripoli. But, generally speaking, we prosecuted individuals when we could, essentially we litigated, in response to the terrorist acts of the '80s."
The Syrian-Iraqi Partnership
May 12….(Arutz) Many commentators seem surprised at the Bush administration´s harsh allegations of Syrian cooperation with Iraq against the United States. They shouldn´t be. Syria has a long history of anti-American activity, and the Assad regime is hardly out of character by its siding with Saddam Hussein. Back in 1983, Syrian military intelligence sent Islamic Lebanese terrorists to attack the American presence there, culminating in the massive suicide bombing of the US Marine barracks in Beirut. Syria continued to use terrorist proxies to further its policies. Assad, Sr. understood "the US State Department´s proclivity for wishful thinking and how to exploit the faulty calculus of overly optimistic policymakers." This incredible "proclivity for wishful thinking" has provided a reliable safety umbrella protecting Syria from American fallout - irrespective of the Assad regime´s nefarious international behavior. Even when the CIA reported that Syrian "fingerprints" were found in the terrorist bombing in Daharan, Saudi Arabia, in 1998, which caused the deaths of 19 American soldiers, no official American outcry was heard. The Assad regime, long on the State Department´s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (Syria provides patronage and political, propaganda and operational support to at least 10 of the 35 terrorist groups on the US State Department´s list of state sponsors of terrorism), was protected. Then, Syria increased support for terrorist groups: Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizballah, the PFLP-GC/Jibril, the PFLP/Habash, the DFLP/Hawatmeh, the PLF, the Fatah Revolutionary Council/Abu Nidal, Fatah/Abu Mussa and an extremist faction of the Popular Struggle Front, as well as the PKK, Japanese Red Army and others. Syria´s patronage allows the terrorist organizations to find refuge on Syrian or Syrian-controlled Lebanese territory. They can organize training and develop a logistical infrastructure (weapons, storehouses, communications, false documentation, financing etc.); they can also take advantage of the political and propaganda cover of official Syrian bodies. They can travel freely between Syria, Lebanon and Iran, and between Syria and Lebanon and other Arab states. They can travel to and from Europe, and even to the United States. Yet, in spite of Syria´s continuing sponsorship of terrorism, its occupation of Lebanon, its violation of UN sanctions on Iraq, and, according to a recently declassified CIA report, its continuing development of an offensive chemical and biological weapons capability, the administration not only failed to label Syria a "rogue state" or include it in the so-called "axis of evil," Syria was falsely characterized as an ally in the war against al-Qaida. In reality, Syria is international headquarters for terrorism, and the US is just beginning to understand that fact.
What Role for Syria?
May 12….(Washington Times) Last Saturday, Secretary of State Colin Powell held talks in Damascus with President Bashar Assad in an effort to press the Syrian strongman to shut down the operations of Palestinian terrorist groups, among them Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) — organizations which have played leading roles in carrying out suicide bombings and other attacks against Israel during the past two-and-a-half years of war. Right now, the jury is out as to whether Mr. Powell's visit will produce substantive improvement in Syrian behavior. The Syrians claim to have taken steps to shut down a few terrorist offices. But some of the groups in question, among them the PIJ, say they're not budging. And other analysts, among them Clinton administration senior diplomat Martin Indyk, say the Syrians may simply allow the terrorists to move their operations to neighboring Lebanon. Were Damascus to end its participation in anti-Israel violence and rejectionism, it would be a truly revolutionary development. Ever since Syria joined four other Arab countries in attacking Israel on the day it became independent in 1948, it has been Israel's most consistently hostile neighbor. From 1949-67, Syrian soldiers based on the Golan Heights routinely shot at Israeli farmers in the Galilee below, and Palestinian terrorists periodically crossed the border to attack Israeli villages. During the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war, Israel captured the strategic plateau from Syria. Hafez Assad, Syria's defense minister at the time, seized power in a 1970 coup. He would serve as absolute ruler of the country until his death in June 2000, when he was succeeded as president by his son Bashar. Since the Assad family took over Syria in 1970, the country has participated in two shooting wars against Israel: the 1973 Yom Kippur War and the 1982 war in Lebanon (a country Syria has dominated since the mid-1970s.) Each time, Israel prevailed decisively on the battlefield. For the past 20 years, Syria has done most of its fighting against Israel through terrorist proxies. After Iran, Syria is the largest state sponsor of terrorism, a congressionally appointed commission headed by former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore reported recently. It is one of just six governments now listed as state sponsors of terrorism by the State Department. In addition to Hamas and the PIJ, Syria also provides political and material support, weapons flown from Iran to Damascus Airport, to the Lebanese group Hezbollah, which uses them to stage attacks to liberate Lebanon from "Israeli occupation", even though Israel unilaterally withdrew its all its forces from there three years ago. Regarding Israel, Syria's chief grievance is Israel's occupation of the Golan Heights in a defensive war. But, since the start of the Oslo process in 1993, several Israeli Prime Ministers, in particular, Labor Party doves such as Ehud Barak and Yitzhak Rabin, have sought to engage Damascus in serious negotiations in which Israel would relinquish all or most of the Golan as part of a peace settlement. All of these Israeli offers were summarily rejected by Damascus, which demanded that Israel agree in advance to an unconditional withdrawal, from all of it. If there's a silver lining in all of this, it's that, for all its bluster, Syria is clearly susceptible to military and diplomatic pressure to change its ways. In 1998, for example, Turkey demanded that Assad the elder expel Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the Kurdish Workers' Party, or PKK, (a group responsible for a civil war which claimed upwards of 30,000 lives in Turkey since the 1980s) from Syria. The aging dictator complied, and the PKK was defeated on the battlefield. More recently, in the wake of U.S. military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, Assad the younger has coughed up intelligence information on al Qaeda operatives and even floated the possibility of resuming negotiations with Israel. The Syrian ruler is likely to face even more pressure from Washington in the coming months to change his behavior.
Arafat Continues to Pull Terrorism Strings
May 12….(Arutz) A military body subservient to Yasser Arafat is that which murdered two Jews in the Binyamin region over the past several days. After Abu Mazen formed his new Palestinian Authority government, Arafat still retained control over five military organizations - Force 17, the National Security Forces, Military Intelligence, the naval forces, and General Intelligence. Haggai Huberman reports that an Israeli official says that members of the PA's Military Intelligence, headed by Musa Arafat, carried out the two drive-by murders of Gideon Lichterman and Tzion David. The official says that the murderers set out from the PA headquarters in Ramallah - the Mukata - and returned to it after the murders. Israel has long warned that even after the formation of the new PA government, Arafat continues to pull the strings of terrorism from his official position.
WEEK OF MAY 5 THROUGH MAY 11
Israel Ready to Negotiate with Syria!
May 9….(MSNBC) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said today that he was ready for peace negotiations with Syria without preconditions. The news came two days before U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell visits the region to promote a new “road map” for Middle East peace. “I am ready to hold negotiations with any Arab nation, including Syria, without preconditions. The Syrians will, of course, have demands on us, and we will have for sure demands on them. We are ready to sit and discuss these issues,” he said in a taped interview on Israeli television. Syria has insisted any negotiations be based on the outcome of previous peace efforts and U.N. resolutions, terms rejected by Israel. Peace talks broke down in 2000 over the future of the Golan Heights, seized by Israel from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war. On Monday a source in Sharon's office said Syria had secretly approached Israel about resuming peace talks before the U.S.-led war on Iraq. Syria on Wednesday denied it had made the back-channel proposal. Sharon said his government would wait before entering into any diplomatic initiative with Syria to give time for U.S. pressure on Damascus to rein in Palestinian militants based there, as well as Lebanese Hizballah guerrillas, to bear fruit. “We must wait a number of weeks to not interfere with American pressure on Syria for necessary steps for the security of Israel,” said the premier, who is also dealing with a new U.S.-backed plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Sharon told Israel TV that he had turned down recent overtures from Syrian President Bashar Assad to resume peace talks because he had felt the offer was a Syrian ploy to ease U.S. pressure on Damascus. Sharon would not discuss whether he would be prepared to return all or part of the Golan Heights in exchange for peace. "I think it is a mistake, before negotiations, to say what we will do," he said. He confirmed that he had received messages from Assad in recent weeks, offering to resume talks, but decided to wait "a few weeks." He noted that Syria is under intense U.S. pressure over charges that it harbored members of the deposed Iraqi regime and has large stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and Assad may have been using the offer as a way to placate the Americans. In the interview, Sharon said he was prepared to talk peace with all Arab countries on the same basis. "I am prepared to conduct negotiations with all Arab countries with no prior conditions," he said.
FOJ Note: Secretary of State Colin Powell renewed a U.S. commitment to Syria on the return of the Golan Heights as held by Syria in 1967 before being occupied by Israel, a Syrian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday. America is compromising with a terrorist-sponsoring regime!
Sharon Calls Abbas 'Peace Partner'
May 9….(Reuters) Sharon said he had met Abbas "many times, including in this house." The interview was conducted at Sharon's farm in southern Israel. He said Abbas was a Palestinian leader who had concluded that violence against Israel was fruitless and said he could be "a partner" for peace talks. Abbas has called violent Palestinian acts a mistake. Israel demands that all violence cease before negotiations resume, but Sharon has said that a meeting between himself and Abbas is being planned. US Secretary of State Colin Powell is due in Israel on Saturday to promote the road map, which outlines reciprocal steps leading by 2005 to a Palestinian State in the West Bank and Gaza. Mahmoud Abbas wants the peace plan implemented as it stands, while Sharon has raised procedural objections that may hold it up. But Sharon said the moderate Abbas's induction as the first Palestinian Prime Minister last week was a positive signal. 'I know him well. I have met him a number of times,' Sharon said. 'I have no problem shaking his hand. I think he is one of the Palestinians who understand it is not possible to defeat Israel with terror. “I see him as a partner.” Sharon, whose political bloc includes rightists opposed to granting Palestinians sovereignty, will discuss its concerns about the roadmap plan in a White House meeting with President Bush on May 20.
FOJ Note: The late Israeli Prime Minister Yitshak Rabin also called Yasser Arafat a “peace partner”!
US to Ask Approval to Control Iraq's Oil Industry
May 9….(Reuters) The United States and Britain will go before UN Security Council members on Friday with a proposed resolution that would end 12 years of UN sanctions against Iraq and give them control of Iraq's oil revenues for at least a year. The tough resolution, to be formally introduced, in effect relegates the United Nations and other international institutions to an advisory role. It would phase out over four months the existing UN oil-for-food humanitarian program. The United States and Britain, which sponsored the U.S.-drafted measure along with Spain, want a vote by June 3, when the oil-for-food program, which gives the United Nations control over the oil revenues, needs to be renewed. Without an adopted resolution, no Iraqi, U.S. or UN entity in Baghdad has the legal authority to export oil. The U.S. proposal, endorsed by Britain and Spain, would deposit Iraqi oil revenues in an 'Iraqi Assistance Fund' for humanitarian and reconstruction purposes, to be held by the Iraqi Central Bank, currently managed by Peter McPherson, a former deputy U.S. Treasury secretary. The fund would have an advisory board that would include officials appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as well as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and others. The resolution would phase out the UN oil-for-food humanitarian program over four months but honor 'priority civilian goods' in contracts already approved. This would probably include the $1.6 billion in Russian contracts currently in the pipeline. The program was designed to ease the impact of sanctions imposed in August 1990. It allowed Iraq to sell oil to purchase food, medicine and other civilian goods under UN supervision. Oil money goes into a UN escrow account to pay suppliers. The Iraqi oil-for-food fund has $13 billion in outstanding contracts for food, medicine and other civilian goods ordered by the ousted Iraqi government.
FOJ Note: This motion will not play well in Russia and France. Paris and Moscow clearly are unhappy with Washington's control over postwar Iraq and are prepared to use their leverage to gain a greater role for the world body, including possibly a return of UN weapons inspectors, which under previous resolutions must declare the country free of weapons of mass destruction as a prerequisite for lifting sanctions. They also would like to protect oil contracts signed with the Hussein government and recoup billions of dollars of Iraqi debt.
President Bush Ready to Push Peace Roadmap
May 9….(Washington Times) President Bush expressed optimism yesterday about a new push for a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, but the administration finds itself under increasing political pressure to limit the role of America's Quartet partners in the negotiations. Pro-Israel majorities in the Senate and House of Representatives have signed a letter urging Mr. Bush to take a tough line in demanding more Palestinian political and security reforms and a complete end to terrorist attacks on Israel, saying that only the United States has the stature and clout to make a deal stick. "The United States has developed a level of credibility and trust with all parties in the region, which no other country shares," said the April 30 letter, which was signed by 321 representatives and 88 senators. Without mentioning the other Quartet members by name, the letter continues: "We are concerned that certain nations or groups, if given a meaningful role in monitoring progress made on the ground, might only lessen the chances of moving forward on a realistic path towards peace." Much of the early roadmap jockeying has been over the roles of the four Quartet partners in monitoring and enforcing the steps to be taken by both sides. A codicil to the agreement, first reported by The Washington Post, reserves a key oversight post in the accord for an American representative. Many supporters of Israel in Congress and among President Bush's conservative base share Israel's deep suspicions of the United Nations and leading European powers, whom they consider too sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and to longtime Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The suspicions have been heightened by Trans-Atlantic tensions over the war in Iraq, which was opposed by many in the EU and the United Nations. In a recent stinging attack on the State Department, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich predicted there would be "a deliberate and systematic effort to undermine the President's policies procedurally by ensuring that they will be watered down and distorted by the other three members" of the Quartet. But Mr. Bush also faces some diplomatic pressures from allies not to sideline other members of the Quartet. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the Bush Administration's closest ally in the sharp international debate over Iraq, has pressed the president hard for progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, arguing it is essential to ease Arab world hostility in the wake of the Iraq war. And European Union foreign-policy chief Javier Solana noted that the EU, deeply divided over Iraq, is far more unified on the need for a Middle East peace deal. "The road map does not belong to Country A or Country B," said Mr. Solana on a visit to New York this week. "The road map is the product of a coalition."
Syria: Mideast Peace Requires 'Total Retreat' by Israel
May 8….(Ha Aretz) Lasting peace in the Middle East depends on a "total retreat" by Israel from the territories it seized in the 1967 war, Syria's ambassador to Spain said yesterday. Referring to the so-called "road map" to peace in the Middle East put forward by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, Syrian Ambassador Mohsen Bilal said the plan should go beyond the dispute between the Palestinians and Israel. "We have an Arab-Israeli conflict," Bilal told journalists in Madrid. He said that once Israel accepted the right of Palestinian refugees to return and retreated to the 1967 boundaries, "all Arab countries will be willing to sign a peace treaty with Israel. Total retreat in exchange for total peace." Peace talks between Israel and Syria broke down in January 2000 over the future of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War. Bilal said Syrian President Bashar Assad told U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell during a meeting in Damascus last Saturday that for Syria to support the road map, the return of the Golan Heights would have to be added to the peace plan. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Buthaina Shaaban told reporters Wednesday that the time was ripe to seek a just peace between Arabs and Israel, but insisted any negotiations must build on the outcome of previous peace efforts and United Nations resolutions. "Syria has always displayed a willingness to return to negotiations on the ground set through Madrid peace conference in 1990, United Nations resolutions and the land-for-peace formula. This stance has not changed." "I really believe it's about time we achieve peace in the region because all small solutions are not going to solve problems, what is needed is a whole settlement." The statement came hours after the leader of a radical Palestinian group confirmed that he is ready to shut offices in Damascus in order to ease U.S. pressure on Syria, but added that Syrian officials had made no such demand. Ahmed Jibril, leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine General Command, however, hinted that the Syrians might be ready to make a request soon. The group "is ready to meet the Syrian demands if such demands are useful for Syrian policy," Jibril told reporters in Damascus. "The Palestinian organizations have found that if this could alleviate the unjust U.S. campaign on Syria at this time, then the offices have no value for us and each house in the refugee camps is a house for the Palestinian cause," he said.
Evangelical Group Condemns Anti-Islamic Remarks
May 8….(AP) Some leading evangelical Christians for the first time have publicly condemned assaults on Islam by the Rev. Franklin Graham and other fellow religious conservatives and pledged to heal rifts with Muslims. The evangelicals said that the derisive comments endangered Christians working in the Muslim world, strained already tense interfaith relations and fed the perception in the Mideast and beyond that the war on terrorism is a Christian crusade against Islam. “We must temper our speech,'' said the Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Paul Marshall, senior fellow at the Center for Religious Freedom, a human rights group, said anti-Islam comments serve only to antagonize people. Hodan Hassan, a spokeswoman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is among Graham's harshest critics, said ``We can understand theological differences but what's important is that the dialogue is one of respect, not demonization.'' Muslims were outraged when Franklin Graham called Islam “a very evil and wicked religion'' following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and again last summer when the Rev. Jerry Vines, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, called the Prophet Muhammad “a demon-possessed pedophile.'' The Revs. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson also have criticized the religion. Clive Calver, president of World Relief, the humanitarian aid arm of the evangelical association, said all the statements have “`placed lives and livelihoods at risk'' overseas, where missionaries have become targets of Muslim extremists. The evangelical group and the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a conservative Christian organization, are drafting guidelines to begin interfaith dialogue with Islamic leaders. Conservative Christians have been struggling to end abuse of minority Christians in Muslim countries, while Muslims resent Christian proselytizing in their communities. Evangelicals will not participate in interfaith talks that require them to play down their beliefs - a concession they believe liberal Christians have wrongly made to befriend Muslims. And for some conservative Christians, Islam has replaced communism as the ``modern-day equivalent of the evil empire,'' said Rich Cizik, a spokesman for the National Association of Evangelicals. Haggard suggested holding a meeting with Falwell, Robertson and other high-profile evangelicals to explain the damage their comments have caused. “We've got to have an attitude of how can we serve, how can we help,'' said Calver. “Saying Islam is evil isn't going to help any of us.''
Al Qaeda Planning Sept 11-Style Strike
May 8….(Newscom) Al-Qaeda is reportedly preparing a new attack in the United States on the scale of September 11. The terror group is also said to have adopted a new operational structure impenetrable to US intelligence. The claims are made by the Islamic militant network's newly-appointed spokesman Thabet bin Qais in a report in the Saudi weekly Al-Majallah. "An attack against America is inevitable," he is quoted as saying in an email to the paper. He said al-Qaeda had "carried out changes in its leadership and sidelined the September 11, 2001 team".
Muslim, Christian, & Jewish Leaders Release
Joint Declaration Issuing Guidelines to Mid-East Peace
May 7….(National Council of Churches) As President Bush prepared his address to announce "the end of the Iraq war," more than 75 Muslim, Christian, Jewish and other faith leaders from across the United States converged on Chicago last week to issue a set of principles to lead toward a peaceful future. The summit addressed the humanitarian, spiritual and civil costs of war and its ramifications here in America.
The summit participants' "Urgent Call for Reflection, Hope and Action" calls on President Bush to:
· draw back from the use and threat of "preemptive" war; (FOJ--this measure is in direct opposition to the Presidents National Security plan to fight the war on terror)
· draw back from unilateral US control over the reconstruction of Iraq; ( FOJ--this measure would help to subjugate the US under EU-UN controls)
· bring the US occupation to a prompt end by transferring to the United Nations and multilateral, non-governmental organizations the authority to work with the Iraqi people toward Iraq's own reconstruction; (FOJ--this measure would return the Iraq landscape to terrorist-friendly organizations)
· make available US resources as part of a world effort to serve the needs and decisions of the Iraqi people. (FOJ--this measure would require America to pay for everything while giving up everything)
The religious leaders also called on all people of faith to make this a time of deliberate reflection and to gather in town meetings, teach-ins and other community forums "to explore what kind of society we seek to become." In a second document, titled "Words of Reflection," they called for a national day of prayer and reflection, with a special emphasis on interfaith gatherings. "We further call on the President to distance himself from religious leaders who demonize the faith of others," and who don't express a tolerance of other faiths they said, and urged Americans not to forget "the continuing suffering of the Iraqi people, which demands large-scale international humanitarian relief."
FOJ Note: The National Council of Churches is a Globally minded religious organization working in league with the WCC, the Vatican, and the UN. Interfaith movements are universally Anti-Christian!
FOJ Is Closely Watching Syria
May 6….(FOJ) U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said on Sunday that the Bush Administration would be carefully watching Syria's “performance” in response to demands that it stop supporting anti-Israeli guerrillas and heed American plans for the new Middle East after the war in Iraq. FOJ will continue to watch Syria and its terrorist infrastructure very closely also. Just one day after Powell met with Syrian President Bashar Assad and reported that the country has begun forcing groups the Bush Administration considers terrorist organizations to close their offices in Damascus, several Syria-based terrorist groups said that they remained open. During an interview on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Powell again underscored his message to Damascus. “My clear message to President Bashar Assad is that some of the policies you've been following in the past will not take you anywhere in the future.” “It's performance that we'll be looking at in the days and weeks and months ahead and Mr. Assad knows that.” Colin Powell stated that the US had told Lebanese officials of its "concern about the continuing terrorist activities of Hezbollah in the region and around the world." He said Saturday that the Lebanese army should "deploy to the border and end armed Hezbollah militia presence." But, Lebanon's President rejected Secretary of State Colin Powell's call to replace the Islamic militant group with Lebanese forces. An-Nahar, a leading independent newspaper, reported that President Emile Lahoud told Powell in Beirut that the group, Hezbollah, is a "legal political party". The terrorist organization, Hezbollah, is a Shiite Muslim group backed by Iran and Syria. They maintain thousands of fighters in the tense Lebanese-Israeli border region. The group was formed in 1982 after Israel launched a large-scale invasion of Lebanon in pursuit of Yasser Arafat and his PLO terrorists. Hezbollah has been on the State Department list of terrorist groups since the 1980s. "Lebanon refuses to take dictation from America," Hezbollah deputy leader Sheik Naim Kassem said today. Lebanon has routinely rejected U.S. and United Nation's demands to send a major military force to secure the area, saying it will not safeguard Israel while no peace deal exists between Lebanon, Syria and Israel. "The Americans are trying to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority by giving the impression that Syria has started to take measures against the resistance movements," hezbollah spokesman Abu Imad Rifai said today. Secretary Powell also remarked Sunday: “Performance not only with respect to these kinds of organizations but in any way allowing Syria to be a place where weapons can be transshipped to other organizations will tell us he is not ready to move into more promising future relationship with the United States.” A State Department official who attended Saturday's meeting said Powell explained to Assad that the United States could not understand why those groups were “of any benefit to Syria any longer” in the new strategic climate that followed Saddam Hussein's fall. “It's very clear that there's a new strategic situation in the region.” Powell specifically mentioned three groups, Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, General Command, saying that the United States would watch closely to determine whether the offices of these groups are indeed closed. The official said Powell added that the United States would take that as a sign of whether Syria really wants a new relationship with the United States.
Terrorist Organizations Response
“The position of Dr. Bashar al-Assad is very clear toward the Palestinian people's rights said one Islamic Jihad spokesman.” Islamic Jihad has claimed many suicide attacks during the 31-month-old Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, saying it is legitimate to resist Israeli occupation.
Powell Warns Syria of 'Consequences'
May 6….(ABC) US Secretary of State Colin Powell has warned of "consequences" if Syria fails to pull its weight in bringing peace to the region. Powell was speaking following his first visit to the Middle East since the fall of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and Washington's publication of a "roadmap" for Israeli-Palestinian peace. He said it was important that Syria played a positive role in the region by sealing its border with Iraq and closing the Damascus-based offices of hard-line Palestinian groups. "What counts now is performance," Powell said in an interview on ABC television. "We're looking for a new attitude on the part of Syria." But Syria has responded coolly to US demands, saying Washington should be putting pressure on Israel. It said peace could only be achieved if Israel withdrew from land claimed by the Arabs which Israel captured in the 1967 war and guaranteed the right of return for Palestinian refugees.
Terror Groups Deny Orders to Shut Damascus Offices
May 6….(Jerusalem Post) Several Palestinian terrorist groups denied Sunday that they have been told by the Syrian authorities to close down their Damascus offices. On Saturday, US Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that Syria had taken action in view of the US demands and had begun the closure of the offices. Contrary to Syrian claims that the offices were functioning only as press bureaus, Palestinians confirmed Sunday that many of these groups are involved in security-related matters. At least 10 different Palestinian factions have been operating in Syria since the early 1980s. One of them is a breakaway faction of Fatah led by former Col. Abu Mussa, who fell out with Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat during the Lebanon War in 1982. A senior PA official told The Jerusalem Post that some of the groups have their own military training bases and prisons in Damascus and elsewhere in the country. "Of course they aren't doing any journalistic work out there," he said. He pointed out that some of these groups, which have several hundred armed men, have been involved in terrorist attacks in the territories and inside the Green Line. "They have their own weapons, their own cells, as well as independent bases," he explained, adding that the Syrian government has also permitted some of them to maintain military bases in Lebanon. He said at least two of the Syrian-based Palestinian groups have been involved in plots to assassinate senior PLO officials over the past two decades.
Putin Says World Order Needs Formation
May 6….(Newsday) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday that the international community must decide what kind of world order it wants to take shape in the wake of the U.S.-led war on Iraq, which the Kremlin warned threatened to replace international law with a doctrine of might makes right. "The Iraqi crisis, oil, money, credits, all this is very important, but what's far more important is something else, we must answer the question of what kind of world we plan to build," Putin said. While Putin did not mention U.S. President George W. Bush's announcement Thursday that the major fighting in Iraq is over, his words were a call for the United States to abandon what the Kremlin has said is a dangerous willingness to ignore opposition around the world and in the U.N. Security Council in dealing with international problems. "What will be the architecture of international security? This is what's most important," Putin said. "And if we answer this question, the most important for all humanity, in the proper way, on the basis of the principles of democracy and equality and taking into account each other's interests, then we will solve the Iraqi crisis swiftly and effectively."
North Korea Targets US With Nuclear Missiles
May 6….(AFP) North Korea says that it has at least 100 nuclear missiles aimed at the United States and will use them if new economic sanctions are imposed against it, a propagandist for the Stalinist state claimed. Kim Myong Chol, who styles himself executive director of the Centre for Korea-American Peace claims the missiles all lock onto American cities." He claimed the nuclear technology used to produce the missiles had been tested in Pakistan and the weapons had been made before Pyongyang's non-proliferation agreement with the Administration of former US president Bill Clinton in 1994. If the US attacks North Korea, North Korea will definitely use those nuclear weapons against the US mainland," he replied. Would it also use them if an economic embargo was imposed? "Yes, definitely," he said. "North Korea will use those nuclear weapons against the US mainland if America imposes additional economic sanctions on North Korea."
WEEK OF APRIL 28 THROUGH MAY 4
Mideast 'road map' Delivered
April 30….(MSNBC) The U.S. ambassador to Israel presented Prime Minister Ariel Sharon with the latest peace plan to resolve the Mid-east crisis on Wednesday, part of a carefully choreographed series of steps that followed the appointment of a new Palestinian prime minister. U.S. Ambassador Daniel Kurtzer delivered the plan, hammered out by the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia, to Sharon at his Jerusalem residence in a meeting closed to journalists, a diplomatic source told Reuters. Terje Larsen, the U.N. envoy to the Middle East, said in the West Bank town of Ramallah that the so-called “road map” would be presented to Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas about 90 minutes later. The delivery to Sharon came hours after Abbas was sworn in as Prime Minister and a suicide attacker killed three others at a Tel Aviv bar. The peace plan calls for an immediate cease-fire, a crackdown on Palestinian militias, an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian towns and the dismantling of Jewish settlements erected since 2001. A Palestinian state with provisional borders could be established by year's end, with full statehood possibly achieved within three years, according to the timetable.
Secretary of State Colin Powell, due in the region later in the week for talks in Syria and Lebanon, plans to return about a week later for talks with Abbas and Sharon, fulfilling a U.S. pledge to press aggressively for a resolution to the conflict now that the war in Iraq is virtually over. Powell already has said he will apply pressure on both sides to carry out the “road map” schedule that would create two states, one Jewish, one Palestinian, living side by side in peace. That means Israel would have to transfer West Bank territory and Gaza to the Palestinians. Whether the Bush administration intends to try to include part of Jerusalem in the deal has not been disclosed, probably because it is an explosive issue. The Palestinian legislature's endorsement of Abbas as premier on Tuesday is prompting hands-on U.S. diplomacy to seek an overall settlement in the long-lasting Arab-Israeli feud, after delays that were criticized by European and Arab governments. Abbas' swearing-in ceremony at Arafat's compound underscored Arafat's continuing influence despite U.S. and Israeli efforts to sideline him. In a reminder of that power, Arafat's office announced Wednesday that it was naming Saeb Erekat as head of the negotiation department for the PLO, a position formerly held by Abbas. The United States and Israel have been boycotting Arafat, whom they accuse of abetting terrorism, and have welcomed the appointment of Abbas.
A year ago in Madrid, the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia decided to create a plan to get Israel and the Palestinians back to the peace table after what now has been 2½ years of fighting. The State Department launched a campaign to sidetrack Arafat, accused by President Bush last June of being entwined in terror. The emergence of Abbas, who has suggested he did not approve of using force against Israel, gave the Bush administration the vehicle it needed to return to active diplomacy.
Pushing for a Palestinian state after conquering Iraq is also seen as a way to mitigate anti-U.S. feelings among the Arabs.
FOJ Note: Its business as usual in Palestine! More Terrorism is on the way.
Putin Reveals East-West Divide over Iraq
April 30….(Reuters/Telegraph) British Prime Minister Tony Blair's attempts to heal the diplomatic rift caused by the war against Iraq suffered a serious setback yesterday when he was forced to endure an extraordinary public lecture from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Speaking after talks held during a one-day trip to Russia, the Russian leader used a press conference to contradict Mr. Blair's assertion that the war had been won. "The question is, where is Saddam? Where are his arsenals of weapons of mass destruction?" the Russian president asked. "Perhaps Saddam is still hiding somewhere underground, sitting on cases of weapons of mass destruction, preparing to blow the whole thing up and kill hundreds of thousands of people. We do not know what the situation is." He added: "What we want is to ensure that there is no ambiguity and that the threat has been eliminated." Mr. Blair's trip coincided with France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg agreeing at a mini summit to set up an independent European armed force. The move appeared to be a clear threat to the supremacy of a US-dominated NATO, which Mr. Blair strongly supports. Yesterday the Prime Minister repeatedly called for America, the EU and Russia to work together in a strategic partnership. At his joint press conference with the Russian president, Mr Blair said it would be "highly dangerous" if these rival powers failed to co-operate with each other. But the news conference, which came towards the end of four hours of talks, revealed a series of deep splits between Russia and Britain over the future of Iraq. "Perhaps their (Saddam Hussein) plan was to transfer these weapons to terrorist organizations," Putin said. Mr. Putin said that he wanted UN sanctions against Iraq to remain in place until the weapons of mass destruction issue was resolved, despite appeals from President George W Bush that they be lifted. He also insisted that what happened in Iraq would be the "first test" of whether the strategic partnership he was calling for between the US, the EU and Russia could be made to work. "I think it can be made to work but it requires goodwill, real vision and an acceptance of the strategic partnership," he said. "The alternative is a world where we break up into different poles of power, rivaling one another." But Mr. Putin suggested that he was not prepared to accept a world order in which countries always had to follow the US. "If decisions are being made by just one member of the international community and with other members being required just to subscribe to those decisions, that is something we would not find acceptable," he said.
(FOJ) Russia wants sanctions to remain in place so Russia can profiteer off Iraq, and can remain in position to barter politically for outstanding Iraqi debts. Russia will be highly agitated if the reconstruction of Iraq does not allow for Russian oil contracts in Iraq to be honored, especially if American companies move in. There are even suspicions in some intelligence circles that Russia helped Saddam Hussein flee Iraq as US forces encircled Baghdad.
PLO-Arafat Launch Suicide Bomber in Tel Aviv
April 30….(FOJ) Just a mere few hours before new Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas was sworn in during a ceremony hopefully moving the region closer to launching a U.S.-backed peace plan, a suicide bombing killed three people and wounded dozens of others on a popular Tel Aviv beachside promenade early today. The bombing underscored the difficulties new Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas will face in disarming Palestinian militias, a key obligation in the first stage of the three-phase road map to Palestinian statehood that is to be unveiled by Washington slated for release as early as today. A terror militia tied to Arafats' own Fatah movement claimed responsibility, along with the Islamic militant group Hamas. A spokesman for the Fatah-linked militia, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, said the attack was a message to the new Prime Minister that "nobody can disarm the resistance movements without a political solution." The bomber came from the West Bank city of Tulkarem. The bomber struck on Tel Aviv's seaside promenade at about 1 a.m., blowing himself up outside Mike's Place, a pub and restaurant popular with foreigners and just a few yards from the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy. Three bystanders and the bomber were killed, and 55 people were wounded in the attack. It was the 89th suicide bombing targeting Israelis in the past 31 months. The Islamic militant movement Hamas warned it had no intention of disarming or ending suicide attacks on Israelis. Abdel Aziz Rantisi said his group would "never drop its weapons and will not allow anyone to disarm it." In his inaugural speech, Abbas pledged to disarm militias, a move that could set up a violent showdown between the Palestinian Authority and militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The Bush Administration applauded the new Palestinian leadership as a spur to peacemaking, but it is obvious that Yasser Arafat is still orchestrating the terror charade while pretending to allow Mr. Abbas to parade around as a reformer of the Palestinian terror machine!
Syria Smuggling Saddam Inner Circle
April 30….(Middle East News Line) Syria has been smuggling aides of deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein out of the country to such destinations as Belarus, Lebanon and North Africa. Western intelligence and Lebanese opposition sources said the regime of President Bashar Assad has ordered Iraqi officials to leave Syria immediately in wake of U.S. threats against Damascus. The sources said the Iraqis, including Saddam's wife Sajida and her three children were provided with travel documents and placed on passenger flights to such destinations as Libya and Belarus. Others were taken to neighboring Lebanon for safe haven. "There were hundreds of Saddam's aides and family members in Syria by April 15," a Western intelligence source who monitors Syria said. "Assad gave up three of them who held no use for Syria or Iran. Syria might give up another two or three Iraqis, but the rest will be hidden or flown out of the country."
Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel
April 29….(FOJ) Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel. Israeli's and Jews around the world are recalling the dark days of WWII when Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany targeted for extermination about 6,000,000 people of Jewish background. Former Islamic Grand Mufti Haj Al Amin Husseini, an uncle of Yasser Arafat, assisted Hitler in fashioning the infamous “Final Solution” to eradicate the Jewish race from Europe. Ironically, the new Palestinian Prime Minister designate Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) wrote a treatise in which he denies that the Holocaust ever happened. Yet, today Israel is set to engage Mr. Mazen as a trusted partner in the Quartet sponsored Peace Roadmap.
Blair Trying to Bring Europe and America Together
April 29….(Telegraph) British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a warning yesterday that the world would be plunged back into an era of insecurity and tension reminiscent of the Cold War unless Europe and America quickly repaired the transatlantic relationship. On the eve of talks in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin, who strongly opposed the war in Iraq, Mr. Blair said there was a real danger that the advanced world would split into rival power blocs. "My fear is that if we do not deal with the world on the basis of a partnership between Europe and America, then we will in a sense put back into the world the divisions that we wanted to get rid of when the Cold War finished. "I think that would be just a disaster for the world." The Iraq war split the European Union between those countries that backed Washington, led by Britain and Spain, and those that opposed military action, headed by France and Germany. Mr. Blair fears that the bad feeling caused by the war will exacerbate anti-Americanism in Europe, leading to a permanent rift. Aiming his comments mainly at President Jacques Chirac, he said European leaders were facing a crucial time that would shape the future of global diplomacy. If they saw themselves as competitors to America, the dangers for world security and the global economy would be profound. "I think it is a fundamental decision as to whether the world breaks into different centres of power that I think would very quickly become rival centres of power, or whether we see our task as trying to construct a partnership with America that others can join," he said. "If you end up with two rival centres of power, you find a very, very difficult situation." "Are Europe and America going to fight each other or come to a common position…that is the question.
Blair Urges U.S. & Europe to Forge 'One Polar Power'
April 28….(Reuters) Europe and the United States should work as "one polar power" to tackle the world's problems rather then bickering as they did over Iraq, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an interview published on Monday. Speaking to the Financial Times newspaper, Blair said the best way to stop Washington acting unilaterally was to join forces with it rather than opposing it. "I don't want to see a situation develop again in which either Europe or America sees a huge strategic interest at stake and we are not helping each other," Blair said in what the paper described as a warning to French President Jacques Chirac. "Some want a so-called multi-polar world where you have different centers of power, and I believe will quickly develop into rival centers of power. And others believe, and this is my notion as well, that we need one polar power which encompasses a strategic partnership between Europe and America."
WEEK OF APRIL 21 THROUGH APRIL 27
US and Quartet at Odds over Roadmap
April 25….(Reuters) Amid lingering bitterness over European opposition to the war in Iraq, the Bush administration is under mounting pressure to relegate the European Union, the United Nations and Russia to the sidelines of the Israeli-Palestinian "road map" they helped craft. A majority in the U.S. Congress has signed onto a lobbying campaign to limit the oversight role of Washington's three Quartet peace plan partners, seen by many of Israel's supporters as biased in favor of the Palestinians. Presently 83 senators and 278 members of the House of Representatives have signed letters objecting to efforts to pressure Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to make concessions until the Palestinians do more to fight terrorism, according to the powerful pro-Israel lobby group, AIPAC. The lawmakers are also warning Bush against giving the United Nations, the EU and Russia a "meaningful role" in monitoring the peace plan, which envisions a raft of measures including a halt to Palestinian violence and an end to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank and Gaza. "We are concerned that certain nations or groups, if given a meaningful role in monitoring progress made on the ground, might only lessen the chances of moving forward on a realistic path toward peace," the letter added. Soon after its release, the administration is expected to step up pressure on Israel to ease its crackdown on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "As the Palestinians implement more and more reforms and progress is made on their side, more will be expected of the Israelis," a U.S. official said. But the road map is already under fire from some of Bush's closest conservative allies, including House Republican leader Tom DeLay of Texas. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an adviser to the Pentagon, blasted the Quartet earlier this week as "a deliberate and systematic effort to undermine the president's policies procedurally by ensuring that they will consistently be watered down and distorted by the other three members." Many of Israel's U.S. backers see the EU and the United Nations as too biased toward the Palestinians to win a role in the process. "Europeans have a long history of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, and the United Nations has consistently demonstrated its bias against Israel, and neither party will serve the interest of peace," one pro-Israel lobbyist said. The White House has not spelled out what role its Quartet partners would play going forward, but has suggested it would be limited. "The future of the road map is up to Israel and the Palestinians. Those are the parties that will determine the acceptance of the road map."
EU says Mideast 'Road Map' does'n Belong to U.S.
April 25….(Ha Aretz) The European Union insisted Thursday that the United States did not have sole ownership of a "road map" for Israeli-Palestinian peace in an apparent bid to forestall any effort by Washington to sideline its partners. "This is not a problem to be solved by only one country, it is a problem to be solved by the cooperation of... members of the international community that have been engaged in this peace process for a long time," said EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana. The road map is not the property of one country, it is the property of the Quartet," he told reporters. He was responding to a question on whether he was concerned that the Bush administration was under pressure from Congress and influential conservative advisers to relegate its Quartet partners - the EU, the United Nations and Russia - to the sidelines of the peace effort. A majority in Congress has backed a lobbying campaign to limit the oversight role of the three, seen by many of Israel's supporters as biased in favor of the Palestinians. European External Affairs Commissioner Chris Patten said, "I would like to remind you all that although I hear and read quite frequently that this is America's road map, it is not America's road map, It is the road map of the Quartet!
The 'Pacification' of Syria
April 25….(Washington Times) With regime change in Iraq a reality, it's only natural that the Bush administration now focuses on the next phase of its Middle East plan: pacifying Syria. The "pacification of Syria" represents an important steppingstone toward the final destination that is President George W. Bush's "Middle East road map." While in essence the much-talked about road map is aimed at solving the Palestinian question, it would be difficult to separate the rest of the region from the overall blueprint meant to bring about stability to the Levant. "Syria, Lebanon and Palestine are interwoven," Sheik Naim Qassem, Hezbollah's second in command, told United Press International during a conversation in Beirut earlier this week. Following the removal of Saddam Hussein from Baghdad and the dismemberment of the Iraqi army, Syria remains the only Arab state that could represent any real threat to Israel, or pose a serious roadblock in the peace process. "Syria," says the militant cleric, "sees Hezbollah and the Palestinian resistance as part of its strength." So the pacification of Syria could not come about without a settlement of the other two issues as well; two parallel roads on the peace map. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a telecast to the Arab world, said Thursday that terrorism must end if peacemaking between Israel and the Palestinians is to have a chance of succeeding. "Let's be very open and candid." Powell told the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation. "Unless terrorism and violence stops, then it's almost impossible to get going on any process toward peace."
Russia Says Iran Moving Toward Nukes
April 25….(AP) For the first time, Russia has acknowledged that its client Iran could be advancing toward the production of nuclear weapons. Russian officials said the government in Moscow has been struck by reports relayed by the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency of two new nuclear facilities acknowledged by Teheran last year. The officials said at least one of the facilities could produce fuel for nuclear weapons, and that Iran could produce a nuclear weapon in a short span of time.
Push to 'Get U.S. Out of U.N.'
April 25….(World Net Daily) A concerted effort is underway to push Congress to consider the complete withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, began the drive April 16 with a letter to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's office requesting that H.R. 1146, the American Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003, be brought to the floor for a vote rather than proceed through the normal committee process. The measure, introduced by Paul March 6, requests the United States cease further participation with the United Nations, including funding.
Arafat's Fatah Returns to Terrorism
April 24….(AP) A Palestinian suicide bomber killed a guard and injured 10 others in a rush-hour attack at an Israeli train station Thursday, a day after the incoming Palestinian prime minister formed a Cabinet that clears the way for a new U.S. peace plan. The bombing underscored the difficulties the designated prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas, will face in subduing militants, a key condition of the plan. The United States and Israel have boycotted Yasser Arafat, accusing him of encouraging militants and failing to crack down on extremists. They also say he has links to terrorism and view the formation of the new Cabinet as a major step toward sidelining the Palestinian leader. An apparent breakaway faction of a militia linked to Arafat's Fatah movement claimed responsibility for the attack in the town of Kfar Saba, near the West Bank. Israeli officials said Thursday's suicide bombing underscored that there can be no progress toward a peace deal as long as such attacks continue. It should be the top priority of Abbas to "put an end to terror because terror and violence cannot go hand in hand with negotiations," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Jonathan Peled. A member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, a militia linked to Fatah, claimed responsibility. The caller identified the bomber as 18-year-old Ahmed Khatib from the Balata refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus.
FOJ Note: It is highly obvious that Yasser Arafat orchestrated this latest suicide bombing to let it be known that his compromise on a Prime Minister for the PA will not change things.
No to Democracy
Commentary by: Joseph Farah
April 24….(World Net Daily) I heard a reporter on a cable news network say "everyone" is hoping democracy takes hold in Iraq. Not me. I don't want democracy in Iraq. And I sure don't want it here in the United States. Why is it that so many Americans think democracy is the best form of government? Why is it that so many Americans believe we live in a democracy? Why is it that democracy, once regarded as a terrible form of government, is now elevated to the status of an ideal? It must be the profound failure of the education system and media in America. On Sept. 18, 1787, after Benjamin Franklin signed the Constitution in Philadelphia, a woman reportedly asked him: "Well, doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" To which Franklin replied: "A republic, if you can keep it."
FOJ Note: There is a great deal of material in the news today about the Islamic Republics in the Middle East. The Islamic Republic governments are stylized upon the precepts of Islam and the Koran. America was founded as a Christian Republic, based upon the Bible. Did you ever wonder why we recite our pledge of allegiance to the flag in the following fashion; “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands.” The real reason that there are so many Middle East countries chanting “death to America” is because of this basic religious difference in government ideology.
Arafat-Mazen Finally Agree on Government
April 24….(Reuters) The United States on Wednesday called for quick confirmation of a Palestinian cabinet and vowed to put its "shoulder to the wheel" to implement a long-delayed Middle East peace plan. Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, his prime minister-designate, agreed on the makeup of a PA reform cabinet, defusing a power struggle that has held up the new "road map" aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "The next step would be the submission of the cabinet to the Palestinian legislature. Confirmation would trigger release of the "road map" peace plan on behalf of the mediating Quartet comprised of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations. President Bush discussed the developments and his plans to release the road map by phone with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar. The road map envisions a draft of measures including a halt to Palestinian violence and an end to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank and Gaza, paving the way for Palestinian statehood in the two territories by 2005. President Bush has said he would only present that plan after an empowered Palestinian Prime Minister is installed, part of U.S. efforts to sideline Arafat. An Egyptian official, said on condition of anonymity that Arafat, in exchange for backing down, was given guarantees regarding his personal safety and was told his personal isolation would end. Israel has enforced a travel ban on Arafat since December 2001, and Israeli Cabinet ministers have called for his expulsion. Arafat also was promised that he would be consulted on major security issues and he would remain in charge of talks with Israel!
FOJ Note: What good is a reformed Palestinian Authority with a Prime Minister if Yasser Arafat remains in charge of negotiations with Israel?
US Warns Iran not to Interfere in Iraq
April 23….(Reuters) The United States said on Wednesday Iran has been told not to interfere with Iraq's Shi'ite population and advance Iranian interests. "We've made clear to Iran that we would oppose any outside interference in Iraq's road to democracy," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer. "Infiltration of agents to destabilize the Shi'ite population would clearly fall into that category." Fleischer said the message had been sent through "well-known channels of communication" with Iran, with which the United States does not have diplomatic relations. The United States believes Iranian-trained agents have crossed into southern Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein. U.S. officials have been playing down the anti-American nature of Shi'ite rallies in the Iraqi city of Kerbala, saying the fact that huge crowds can rally is a welcome sign of the downfall of Saddam. "I think it's a given that it will be an Islamic leader, it's an Islamic country. That's different from an Islamic dictatorship that doesn't respect the religious disagreements among the people, that is not tolerant, that dictatorial, that is closed, that doesn't govern by a rule of law or transparency," Fleischer said. The commander of U.S.-led ground forces in Iraq Army Lt. Gen. David McKiernan said military forces were closely watching any attempts by Iran or conservative Shi'ites to influence events in Iraq. The sheer size and organization of the march signaled to Washington that the Shi'ites will be a powerful force in the new Iraq. "Right now, the Shi'ites and any Iranian-influenced Shi'ite actions are not an overt threat to coalition forces. But we are watching all of these competing interests" as Iraq goes through a transition from the collapsed rule of Saddam, McKiernan told reporters. "We're in this transition period where there are several competing interests inside of Iraq for a voice for what that future government looks like. There is a Shi'ite interest, there is Sunni interest. There are all kinds of interests."
Hizbullah Could Strike US if Syria Pressed
April 23….(Middle East News Line) U.S. agencies have warned that Hizbullah has been recruited by Syria to prepare massive retaliatory attacks in any confrontation between Damascus and Washington. U.S. officials said the CIA and State Department have warned that Iran and Syria could employ Hizbullah to launch attacks against U.S. interests in the Europe, the Middle East and North America. They said the Shi'ite movement is seen as more entrenched in the West than Al Qaida and could have up to 12 cells in the United States alone. Officials said the regime of President Bashar Assad has given Hizbullah a free hand to dominate Lebanon, particularly the south. In exchange, Hizbullah has supported Syria's occupation of Lebanon and serves as a military arm of Damascus, Middle East Newsline reported. The officials said the United States cannot rule out that Hizbullah has access to weapons of mass destruction. Last year, 18 suspected Hizbullah agents were prosecuted on charges of being members of a ring that procured and smuggled military equipment to Hizbullah in Lebanon. Officials said the ring could have been an element of a Hizbullah network in the United States based in such cities as Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and Kansas City, where there are large concentrations of Shi'ites. Syria and Hizbullah have become one in terms of their interest," a U.S. official who specializes in counterinsurgency said. "The two have an alliance that basically links their fate." Hizbullah and Syria become strategic allies under the rule of Assad, who succeeded his father in 2000. While the late President Hafez Assad kept Hizbullah at arm's length, Bashar has touted the Iranian-backed group as a model of Arab resistance. "I'll tell you that Hizbullah, as an organization with capability and worldwide presence, is its equal, if not a far more capable, organization than Al Qaida," CIA director George Tenet said in testimony to Congress. Iran, which provides Hizbullah with $100 million a year, will also encourage the group to attack U.S. targets should Washington launch a military campaign against Damascus, officials said. Some officials have not ruled out a Hizbullah attack even before a U.S. strike. A major obstacle to a U.S. strike on Hizbullah is that unlike Al Qaida, Hizbullah agents outside of Lebanon enjoy Iranian diplomatic immunity. Officials said Hizbullah agents abroad work out of Iranian embassies under diplomatic cover.
Russia: Iraq Deals Must Be Kept
April 23….(Moscow Times) (Rome)…Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov has insisted that contracts signed with Iraq before the war be honored, and that Baghdad's debts be paid. Kasyanov's comments Friday were made after talks in Rome with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi that included the issue of Iraq's reconstruction. The government has been eager to protect lucrative contracts held by LUKoil and other Russian oil companies to develop Iraq's oil industry. Iraq owes Russia at least $8 billion in Soviet-era debt, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying Saturday in Moscow. Kudrin has said Iraq has enough oil reserves and sufficient infrastructure to be "quite solvent" enough to pay its debts. Russia has not ruled out its participation in talks on the restructuring of Iraq's debts, "considering the current postwar situation and the long period of sanctions," Kudrin said.
Iraq owes Russia at least $8 billion in Soviet-era debt, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin was quoted by Itar-Tass as saying Saturday in Moscow. Kudrin has said Iraq has enough oil reserves and sufficient infrastructure to be "quite solvent" enough to pay its debts. Russia has not ruled out its participation in talks on the restructuring of Iraq's debts, "considering the current postwar situation and the long period of sanctions," Kudrin said. Kudrin urged any debt-reconstruction talks to be conducted "only within the framework of relevant international organizations, primarily the Paris Club of creditors.
Shiite Pilgrims Rail Against U.S.
April 23….(MSNBC) Hundreds of thousands of Shiite Muslims took advantage of their newfound freedom to hold a political protest Wednesday, railing against the United States as their Islamic brethren began the final prayers of a fervent religious pilgrimage that dramatized the Shiites' potential political clout. Over a million Shiites, some ritually flailing themselves, others slashing their heads with swords, have crowded into this holy city over the past few days for a festival mourning the martyred grandson of the Prophet Muhammad. Such pilgrimages had been tightly regulated for decades under Saddam Hussein — and practices like flailing were banned outright. But with Saddam's fall, it was a whole new day for Iraq's long-suffering Shiites. At the anti-American protest, Shiites carried banners with messages such as “No to America, no to Israel, yes to Islam.” “America came here not to free the Iraqi people but for oil. They came to occupy, not to liberate. The Americans removed Saddam and now the Americans should leave.” Abu Eslam al-Saqir, a spokesman of Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq said that the huge gathering carries a political and religious message for the Americans,” “It means: Iraqis are standing on their soil and expressing what they love and what they want. People love Islam. However, no Islamic or U.S.-installed administration could be imposed on the Iraqi people.”
*U.S. President George W. Bush, according to Newsweek Magazine has shown little concern about Shi'ite demands for an Islamic state in Iraq, according to an article in Newsweek. "I love the stories about people saying 'Isn't it wonderful to be able to express our religion, the Shia religion, on a pilgrimage this weekend.' It made my day to read that," Newsweek quoted Bush as saying in an interview with magazine.
FOJ Note: An Islamic fundamentalist State in Iraq would be a tremendous nightmare for America. God is not mocked!
Arafat Refusing to Dismantle Terror Infrastructure
April 22….(Jerusalem Post) With a deadline looming, a battle over Palestinian political reform is under way--one that could determine the success or failure of a U.S.-backed plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The dispute between Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and Palestinian Prime minister-designate Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) over the formation of a new government centers around the latter's plans to dismantle Fatah's Al Aqsa Brigades and his intentions to deal with the other armed terrorist factions in the PA territories. Most reports have focused on Abu Mazen's plan to make Mohammed Dahlan, the Gazan strongman and former head of the Preventive Security Services in the Gaza Strip, head of the new government's security services. However, Palestinian sources said the dispute actually revolves around the premier-designate's plans for establishing a new PA security policy. The sources said Abu Mazen's plans to disarm the underground armed wing of Fatah, the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, and how he will confront the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups are at the heart of the dispute. Abu Mazen insists that he be granted sole authority over the disarming of armed factions, while Arafat rejects the demand. The dispute, therefore, appears to be threatening not only an Abu Mazen government, but also the international road map intended to renew political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. A European official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the European Union's Middle East envoy, Miguel Moratinos, told Arafat that European officials consider Abu Mazen the only acceptable choice for Prime Minister. Among those also exerting pressure were German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah. The Aafat-Mazen struggle will determine Arafat's future, the shape of Palestinian political life and the extent to which the United States engages in this conflict. ''A lot is at stake,'' says a foreign diplomat, who emphasizes the ''road map'' peace plan backed by the US, EU, Russia and the UN. The peace road map requires a credible new Palestinian government.
Shiite's Making Play for Islamic Iraq
April 22….(Debka) The first great pilgrimage to Karbala that Iraqi Shiites were permitted to make in almost 30 years this week may prove the defining event in the US-Iran contest for influence over Iraq's majority Shiite community. The freedom to commemorate the 7th century death in battle of Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Mohammed, was a mark in America's favor. However, the striding Shiite Islamic pilgrims (many from Iran) arrived with banners calling on the Americans to leave Iraq. Some also demanded an Islamic state to replace the Saddam regime. The Iranian Shiites hope to help Iraq's Shiite's take over the new government in Baghdad by a perfectly democratic means, displacing the Sunnites who ruled under Saddam Hussein and setting up a pro-Iranian, anti-American administration. Tehran clearly seized on the Karbala pilgrimage as its opening for a mighty shove against the American presence in Iraq. About 60% of Iraqi's are of the Shiite sect. How the American forces stand up to these Iranian and pro-Iranian provocations among the Shiite pilgrims in the latter part of this week will strongly affect the outcome of the developing US-Tehran standoff; it will even shape Washington's posture on Iran, Syria and the militant Shiite Hizballah's home base in Lebanon.
Bush Delivers Ultimatums to Assad & Arafat
April 22….(Debka) The Bush Administration delivered two ultimatums to prominent Middle East figures on Sunday. The first went to Syrian President Bashar Assad. The US ultimatum to Syria called upon Syria to comply with three American demands. First, that Syria give up the weapons of mass destruction that Saddam has secretly hidden in Syria. Second, for Syria to return to Iraq all the officials of the Saddam regime granted asylum. Third, to disband the command structures of the Hizballah, Hamas, Jihad Islami and other Palestinian terrorist groups operating out of Lebanon and Damascus and give their leaders into American hands. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other Arab emissaries, diplomatic and covert, called on the Syrian President Sunday and laid stress on the first of the three demands as paramount. They warned him that Bush and his team will not rest as long as Syria withholds the evidence to show the world that America fought a just war against Iraq. The evidence that Saddam developed weapons of mass destruction is hidden in Syria. Washington may hold back a few days but, ultimately, Assad will not be allowed to dictate the way the war ends by denying the United States the primary fruits of victory, and not just over Saddam and his regime. Exposure of his banned arsenal will show up the error of those who opposed the war, the United Nations, France, Germany, Russia and international anti-war protestors. Assad privately indicated to Mubarak that baring a single Iraqi unconventional weapon to the Americans would be suicidal for him, whether personally or as an Arab leader. He refused to stand out as the first and only Arab leader to surrender an Islamic weapon of mass destruction to the United States. As for the terrorist groups that Syria sponsors and hosts, Assad declared firmly that he will always regard them as freedom fighters, not terrorists. The ultimatum to Assad was not the only one Washington delivered Sunday, April 20, to a Middle East figure.
The second one went to Yasser Arafat in Ramallah.
The day before, on Saturday, the penny dropped in Washington that the wrangling between Arafat and the first Palestinian Prime Minister designate Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) over the makeup of the new government was not acceptable. Arafat is keeping the heat up to distract attention from his next move, which is to be to dump the intransigent Abu Mazen in favor of his long-time pawn Nabil Shaath. A stern US ultimatum was relayed to Arafat: Any more interference with Abu Mazen's attempts to set up a Palestinian government will result not only in prolonging the international boycott of Arafat in person, but also cause the scrapping of the Middle East road map and the Palestinians state.
Syria Tightens Grip On Lebanon
April 21….(Middle East News Line) Syria, under increasing threat from the United States, has tightened its grip on neighboring Lebanon. Lebanese analysts said the new government of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri is the most pro-Syrian Cabinet ever. They said Hariri was ordered by Damascus to disband his previous council of ministers and appoint only those who are completely subservient to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Syria is thought to have about 30,000 troops in Lebanon, and has occupied the country since the early eighties. The Assad regime has brought thousands of Syrian agents to monitor every facet of official Lebanese life, including government, media, universities and professional syndicates. Lebanon has been used as a base by Syria from which to launch attacks on Israel.
Powell: 'Syrian Accountability' Law; Time for Damascus to Rethink
April 21….(FOJ) US Secretary Of State Colin Powell said he intends to make a tour to the Middle East that will also include a stop over to Syria in order to explain to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that there are new changes following the collapse of the Iraqi regime and to discuss points of differences concerning Syria's military support for Iraq, and Damascus's support for organizations considered by Washington as "terrorists" such as Hizbullah, as well as Washington's concern over the Syrian mass destruction weapons especially the chemical weapons. Powell's mission comes while efforts are being renewed in the US Congress to propose a new law on "Syrian accountability" to force Syria "to end its occupation of Lebanon." Powell added, "we want to explain strongly to the Syrians that this is the appropriate time to reconsider your policies."
UN To Disarm Whole Middle East?
Commentary by: Jack Kinsella (www.omegaletter.com )
April 21….(Omega Letter) Syria asked the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to approve an Arab-backed resolution calling for the Middle East to be free of weapons of mass destruction. Damascus submitted the resolution with lightning speed, only hours after Secretary of State Colin Powell said that the United States would like to see a WMD-free Middle East. The proposed resolution calls on all countries in the Middle East to ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the nuclear test ban treaty, and the conventions to control chemical and biological weapons. "We believe such a draft resolution is a very important factor for the peace process and settling the peace and security in the Middle East," Syrian U.N. Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe said, adding that the UN must do something about Israel's nuclear arsenal first. Wehbe said the draft resolution demonstrates Syria is ready to prove it has no nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. He cited a statement by Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa that the government was ready to sign 'any U.N. agreement or treaty' on setting up a Mideast zone free of weapons of mass destruction.
Or course, this is pure baloney. Syria's weapons of mass destruction program is legendary and well documented. Syria is sponsoring the resolution specifically to put pressure on Israel. The Syrian resolution was aimed directly at Israel, the existence of whose nuclear weapons arsenal is the most poorly-kept secret in military history. Israel refuses to confirm or deny the claim and refuses to participate in global treaties aimed at controlling the spread of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. The proposed resolution calls on all countries in the Middle East to ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the nuclear test ban treaty, and the conventions to control chemical and biological weapons. Syria is a party to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, but not the chemical or biological weapons conventions. Syria's deputy U.N. Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad said his country would join the other conventions if Israel does as well. Syria pointed out that Russia, China and Pakistan supported the idea of the Middle East being a zone free of weapons of mass destruction, and so did the United States. Unfortunately for the Syrian resolution, Israel has steadfastly (and wisely) refused to be a party to global treaties aimed at controlling the spread of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Israel understands what Washington never has, and seems incapable of learning. Surrendering control over national security by treaty is only a good idea if the other parties to the treaty don't want to destroy you.
WEEK OF APRIL 14 THROUGH APRIL 20
Hezbollah: 'Death to America'
April 18….(Newsmax) Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, in a speech before 150,000 supporters in a Beirut suburb said the U.S. will be made to suffer greatly as a result of its presence in Iraq, according to a report in the L.A. Times: “In the past, when the Marines were in Beirut, we screamed, 'Death to America!' Today, when the region is being filled with hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, 'Death to America!' was, is and will stay our slogan.” Even before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq began, Nasrallah raged, “The people of the region will receive America with rifles, blood, arms, martyrdom and martyrdom operations.” Hezbollah, the so-called “attack dog” of its sponsors Iran and Syria, with active terrorist cells on four continents, has made good on its threats before: In 1983, the group blew up the U.S. Embassy and the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing hundreds. The Marines were there to help cover Israel's withdrawal from the capital. In 1996, Hezbollah bombed Khobar Towers, the U.S. military housing complex in Saudi Arabia. The blast killed 19 U.S. servicemen. “I'll tell you that Hezbollah, as an organization with capability and worldwide presence, is its equal, if not a far more capable, organization,” CIA Director George J. Tenet testified to Congress recently – comparing the terrorist group to al-Qaida. U.S. officials concede that the U.S. presence in Iraq could provoke a violent reaction from Hezbollah. “We take it seriously, and we're looking at them. They've been lethal before and continue to be,” one senior administration official told the Times. This recent round of militant bluster by Hezbollah has provoked a resurgence of the feeling that sooner or later the U.S. will have to deal directly with the threat. So far, Bush administration officials have sternly warned Syrian President Bashar Assad against supporting terrorism or sheltering fleeing Saddam henchmen.
In the meantime, Hezbollah continues to receive as much as $100 million annually from Tehran, with Damascus throwing in weapons and logistical support.
Russia Fires Political Shot Over Iraqi Oil,
April 18….(Telegraph) Russia said yesterday it would resist any "automatic" lifting of economic sanctions against Iraq, exchanging with America the first salvoes in the diplomatic battle for Iraq's oil wealth. It will be waged in the language of United Nations resolutions. But it is about how the post-Saddam Hussein goverment will be created, who will be its favoured trading partners and, ultimately, who will control Iraq's oil industry: the coalition, a future interim Iraqi government or the UN. President George W Bush caught British officials by surprise on Wednesday when he said Washington would soon table a UN resolution to end sanctions. "Now that Iraq has been liberated, the UN should lift economic sanctions," he said. But Igor Ivanov, the Russian foreign minister, insisted yesterday that sanctions could not be removed until Iraq had complied with UN disarmament resolutions. "This decision cannot be automatic. It demands that conditions laid out in corresponding UN Security Council resolutions be fulfilled," Mr Ivanov said. "For the Security Council to take this decision, we need to be certain whether Iraq has weapons of mass destruction or not." France, which led opposition to the war, responded more cautiously, but made clear that conditions would be attached. "The lifting of sanctions is an aim which we have supported for a long time. Now it is naturally for the UN to define the modalities for lifting the sanctions," said President Jacques Chirac. Under UN sanctions, Iraq can export its crude oil only under the supervision of the UN oil-for-food program. Revenues must be paid into a UN account, and the funds are then used to buy civilian goods under the scrutiny of the UN sanctions committee. America says Iraq needs to export oil freely to raise desperately needed funds to buy humanitarian supplies. But Russia and France fear that an early lifting of sanctions would mean control of Iraq's oilfields would effectively pass into the hands of the coalition or an embryonic interim Iraqi administration heavily influenced by Washington. Maintaining UN controls would ensure a degree of influence in shaping the post-Saddam era for France and Russia, which were among the main beneficiaries of trade with Saddam and seek to defend their commercial interests.
Syria Targeting Israel With Missiles
April 18….(CBN) Secretary of State Colin Powell says he will travel to Damascus to meet Syria's President Bashar Assad. The meeting comes in the face of Syrian denials that it has weapons of mass destruction. But in the past six years, CBN News shown exclusive evidence that Syria does have such weapons, and the missiles to deliver them. Satellite images obtained by CBN News show what could be described as Syria's Cape Canaveral. Exclusive satellite images obtained by CBN News reveal the advanced capability of the Syrian missile arsenal, and they demonstrate that Syria aggressively developed its own missile program. At a previously unknown missile test site southeast of Homs, the Syrians appear to be testing and improving their deadly arsenal. Here under heavy protection, are bunkers where intelligence analysts say chemical warheads for the Scud missiles may be stored. At another site near Hama, we see two full brigades of Scud C missiles — missiles that are often deployed for use against population centers. These images suggest that Syria possesses far more launchers than previously thought. Analysts say this raises the stakes for a first strike capability. And the interesting thing about Syria's missiles is that they are all pointed towards Israel. The pictures confirm that Syria's weapons program has moved well beyond a defensive posture. "These are terror weapons. They're good for striking at Jerusalem, at Tel Aviv, Haifa and places like that, but they have a limited value on the battlefield," Hough said. As this report shows, the exclusive satellite photographs reveal startling details about Syria's development of chemical weapons and missile sites. As the war with Iraq winds down, Syria's program for weapons of mass destruction appears to be a leading factor in the current showdown with the Bush administration.
EU Set To Elect “SuperPresident”
April 17….(Times on Line) The EU's plans for a powerful new full-time “President of Europe” looks set to become a reality after the man charged with drafting a European Union constitution announced his support for the “Super Presidency” project yesterday. Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, the former French President who chairs the convention on Europe's future, supported the EU's biggest member states who argue that the Union needs a president if it is to punch its weight on the international stage. A new President would be elected by heads of government of EU members and would hold office for five years. The creation of such a post would help to settle the decades-old question posed by Henry Kissinger of whom to call in Europe in an emergency. It could also help to prevent a repetition of the bitter arguments, such as the one that erupted over Iraq. The new SuperPresidency is likely to come into being in 2006! The new EU President would be supported by a new foreign minister, who would report to the European Commission and EU heads of government. All members agreed yesterday to go ahead with creating the new post, which is likely to combine the present roles of Chris Patten, the External Relations Commissioner, and Javier Solana, the foreign policy chief, who is answerable to the EU's member states.
FOJ Note: The emergence of a “Super-President” of a Unified Europe at this stage of history is simply no mere coincidence, from a prophetic standpoint. The EU is also looking to expand its membership, by including Israel, and perhaps even Russia. The new EU Super-President is slated to supplant and surpass the office of the American Presidency as the leader of the Western-free world! (Revelation 17:12-13 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.) “I strongly suspect that the EU Super-President could be the stage for the Antichrist”!
U.N. Human Rights Condemns Israel
What Else is New?
April 16….(AP) The United Nations' top human rights body overwhelmingly condemned Israel's human rights record on Tuesday, accusing the country of "mass killings of Palestinians" and a host of other violations. The United States, Israel's main ally, was alone in voting against all four resolutions. The American delegate said the criticism was one-sided and unfair. Israel regularly is condemned by the 53-nation U.N. Human Rights Commission, which is chaired this year by Libyan U.N. Ambassador Najat Al-Hajjaji. Israel is denied membership. By a 50-1 vote, the commission passed a resolution put forward by European countries voicing "grave concern" because Israel has not halted settlements of Palestinian territory. It criticized restrictions on the movements of Palestinians and a barrier Israel is building to separate it from the Palestinian territories. It accused Israel of collective punishments, arbitrary detentions, attacks on Palestinian residential areas and "the killing of men, women and children." It also condemned "acts of mass killing perpetrated by the Israeli occupying authorities against the Palestinian people." U.S. delegate Michael Southwick said the resolution did not reflect Israel's fight against Palestinian suicide bombers and terrorism against innocent Israelis. "Israel is not responsible for all the ills plaguing the people in the region. Israel has the right to self-defense," Southwick said.
FOJ Note: The despicable dismemberment killings by the Palestinian suicide bombers has never been condemned by the UN Human Rights Commission. According to the UN, everything is Israel's fault.
The Quartet Peace Roadmap Will be Fatal
April 16….(FOJ) In the aftermath of the Iraqi Freedom campaign, the Bush Administration will quickly focus its attention back onto the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Oh yes, I know that it currently looks as if the US will actually clamp down on the Syrian terrorist network and its known complicity with Iraq in the WMD department. But don't look for America to tackle the Syrian dictatorship any time soon. The EU, and the UN, not to mention Russia and the Arab world would not condone any US action against Syria. Beyond that certain international outcry, Syria enjoys a special status with France. (Syria was a French Mandate) If you think France and Russia were vociferous in its objections to the US going to Iraq, you haven't heard anything until America starts tracking the Syrian connection to the Axis of Evil. The French Embassy in Damascus basically serves as a visa-free-pass venue for terrorists and Saddam Hussein's Iraqi hierarchy. It is simply no coincidence that Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini charted his 1979 Islamic Revolution against the pro-American Shah of Iran from a palace near Paris, France. The Quartet sponsored Peace Roadmap for peace between Israel and the new State of Palestine is to be overseen, not by the Bush Administration, but by a conglomerate of the four sponsoring parties, namely the EU, UN, Russia, and the US State Department in coordination with the CIA. In retrospect, how can the new Bush Middle East Doctrine, with all of its recently won prestige in Iraq, ever hope that it will find cooperation in formulating a peace-with-security package for Israel, when the very same parties that opposed the Bush removal of Saddam Hussein will be judging the implementation of the Peace Roadmap. The UN, France-Germany and Russia have the ruling majority against America within the Quartet! I would lookout if I were Israel. The EU/UN/Russia “peace roadmap” is a no-win situation for you!
Arabs Call for US to Force Israel to Concede
April 16….(Scotsman) Portraying the US war to topple Saddam Hussein to rid the world of a brutal dictator a sideshow, Arab leaders say that forging a Middle East peace accord might have done more to advance the U.S. "war on terror. At a Qatari government-sponsored conference on democracy and free trade, invitees from about 30 countries spent more time discussing the Israeli-Palestinian issue than they did President Bush's war on Iraq. The reason, they said, was that the decades-long conflict is the region's most pressing issue and the flashpoint for the kind of Arab anger that led to the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. "The road to stability is not ultimately through Baghdad, it is through Jerusalem," concluded the conference. The way you fight terrorism is, first and foremost, work for a political settlement based on two states, with justice for both Israel and Palestine. The Emir of Qatar, in a speech to start the conference on Monday, briefly lamented the war then quickly moved on to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "The unceasing confrontation between our brothers in Palestine and the Israeli occupation constitutes in its turn a serious threat to the security and stability in the region," he said.
Bush Doctrine Will be Tested on Syria
April 16….(Scotsman) The Bush administration is alert to the covert terrorist connections in Syria, but may not be preparing for a full-scale war, says a top US academic. The sabre-rattling is a warning to Damascus not to try to subvert the US occupation of Iraq, as it did Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982, said Professor David Lesch, a specialist on the Middle East and on US-Syrian relations. Many of the key policy-makers under President George Bush cut their teeth in the Reagan administration, when US and multi-national forces were drawn into Lebanon after Israel's war to crush Yasser Arafat and PLO. Syria and Iran's efforts to harry Israeli forces gave birth to groups such as Hezbollah - blamed for the 1983 truck-bombing of a US barracks in Beirut that killed 241 marines. "The US is trying to say to Syria, don't try to do that again in Iraq," said Prof Lesch, of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. "It is in Syria's interest to see the US bogged down in Iraq because they don't want the Bush Doctrine to be successful, because it might be applied elsewhere, like in Syria.
Sharon Calls Assad A Dangerous Man
April 16….(Reuters) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Tuesday called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dangerous and urged the United States to turn up the heat on Damascus. "Bashar Assad is dangerous. His judgment is impaired," Sharon told the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, adding his voice to a chorus of U.S. allegations that Syria is haboring Iraqi leaders, developing chemical weapons and supporting terrorism. Sharon called on the United States to put "heavy pressure" on Syria, the main power broker in Lebanon, to oust Hizbollah guerrillas from southern Lebanon and Palestinian militant groups from Damascus. Sharon repeated charges he made before the start of the U.S.-led war to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein that Baghdad had moved military equipment to Syria on the eve of the conflict, either to hide the weapons from U.S. forces or to transfer them to Hizbollah. On the diplomatic front, the United Nations top human rights body urged Israel to start dismantling Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza and condemned Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories as "an offence against humanity". Israel and the United States, its main ally, said the resolutions issued in Geneva were biased and failed to address the "terrorist" threat to the Jewish State.
US Commandos Capture PLO Terrorist in Iraq
April 16….(Reuters) U.S. commandos in Baghdad have captured Abul Abbas, the leader of the violent Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985, U.S. officials said Tuesday. The man known as Abul Abbas, whose name actually is Mohammed Abbas, led a faction of the Palestine Liberation Front, a Palestinian splinter group. His faction operated out of Tunisia until the October 1985 attack on the Achille Lauro, after which it relocated to Iraq. His group was also responsible for some attacks in Israel. The Palestinian Authority demanded on Wednesday the United States free Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Abbas, saying his detention by U.S. forces in Iraq violated a Middle East peace deal signed by Washington. Abbas, also known as Mohammed Abbas, masterminded the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean in which a disabled elderly American Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot and thrown overboard. "We demand the United States release Abu Abbas. It has no right to imprison him," Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat told Reuters. "The Palestinian-Israeli interim agreement signed on September 28, 1995 stated that members of the Palestine Liberation Organization must not be detained or tried for matters they committed before the Oslo peace accord of September 13, 1993," Erekat said. "This interim agreement was signed on the U.S. side by President Clinton.
U.S. Denies Iraqi Oil to Lebanon
April 15….(World Tribune) The United States has halted the flow of Iraqi oil to Lebanon. Arab diplomatic sources said the U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq shut down the Iraqi-Syrian oil pipeline that extended from Kirkuk to the Syrian port city of Banyas. The Iraqi oil then continued via pipeline to the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli. The sources said the U.S. move was meant to punish Lebanon and Syria for its open support of Iraq during the war against the coalition. Both Lebanon and Syria provided safe haven to senior members of the regime of President Saddam Hussein. They also sent volunteers and weapons to Iraq. The Kuwaiti Al Siyassah daily reported on Friday that the United States will allow Iraqi oil to flow via two other pipelines. One is a pipeline being planned through Jordan and meant to end at the northern Israeli port of Haifa. The other pipeline will begin at the Iraqi oil fields at Kirkuk and will end in Turkey. In Washington, the United States has refused to say whether the Iraqi oil pipeline to Syria and Lebanon has been shut down. "I don't have an update on that," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on Friday. "That would be something you might want to ask out in the field."
EU: “America, Cool it With Syria”
April 15….(UPI) European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg Monday urged Washington to tone down its confrontational rhetoric towards Syria as they attempted to carve out a role for the 15-member bloc in the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. Asked about the increasingly bellicose U.S. warnings to Damascus since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, German Foreign Minister Joshka Fischer replied: "We should concentrate on winning the peace and not get into a new confrontation." EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana added: "The region is going through a very difficult process and I think it would be better to make constructive statements to see if we can cool down the situation." The European Union's warnings come after a weekend in which senior members of the Republican administration ratcheted up the rhetoric against President Bashar Assad's regime. Asked whether Damascus harbored weapons of mass destruction, U.S. President George W. Bush told reporters in Washington: "We believe there are chemical weapons in Syria." Meanwhile, in separate interviews, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell accused Iraq's neighbor of sponsoring terrorism and welcoming fleeing members of Saddam's toppled government. "Now that the regime is gone in Baghdad, we hope that Syria will understand there is an opportunity for a better way for them if they would stop supporting terrorist activities and make sure they are not a source of weaponry of mass destruction, for terrorist organizations or anyone else," said Powell. Meeting for the first time since coalition forces seized Baghdad, EU foreign ministers attempted to put past divisions over Iraq behind them Monday ahead of a summit of European leaders in Athens, Greece, Wednesday and Thursday. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, who has been a staunch opponent of the U.S.-led war in the Gulf, said: "It is useless to go back to what divided us, let us turn to the future."
G-7 And The Iraqi Debt - Who Owes It?
April 14….(FOJ) Japanese Finance Minister Shiokawa proposed that the G-7 countries and others forgive all of Iraq's debt, as a way to help them get started again, not by merely postponing or re-negotiate the massive debt, but by completely canceling the debt Saddam created for Iraq. This would be an excellent idea for the Iraqi people, and help them get started down the road to Democracy. But of course, Russia, France and Germany, to whom much of that debt is owed, will not be happy with any cancellation of Iraqi debt. But on the other hand, Saddam Hussein and his evil cadres stole from the people of Iraq, with the direct complicity of the three countries that are crying the loudest about repayment. The Iraqi debt was created by Saddam in covert and illegal contracts with Russia, France and Germany in contravention of the UN rules they so piously espouse. These countries have already gotten billions from Iraq, much of it illegally through Syria, which is also in financial league with the same countries. The US has spent billions to free the Iraqi people. The Russian-French-German governments should donate to the cause if they truly care about the Iraqi people as they proclaim. It is quite fascinating that after arguing for years that sanctions should be lifted on Iraq, these same Security Council members (France, Germany and Russia) are now contending that Iraq's contracts and debts still is owed to them. We are witnessing an international fight over blood money. It will be interesting to see in a few months, when there is a legitimate interim Iraqi government, whether the UN will actually release to the Iraqi people the $40 Billion that the UN is holding. We will see who cares about the Iraqi people and who cares about money. The U.S. and Britain will not likely take one single oil dollar, and the Arab street will undoubtedly see their "friends" (Russia, France, Germany) fighting over the spoils in Iraq. The Bush administration is pressing Russia, France and Germany, all staunch war opponents to forgive part of the Iraq national debt, estimated at $60 billion to $100 billion. The Group of Seven nations includes France, Germany, Japan, Britain, Italy, Canada and the United States. Five of those nations have already endorsed the notion of a new U.N. resolution as part of a reconstruction plan that will involve the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Much of Iraq's massive foreign debt burden is owed to Russia. Russia is likely to become “very upset” if she loses out on the Iraqi payment of debt and the notorious Saddam oil contracts! Thus the Iraqi debt-oil situation may be a huge factor in why Russia will one day thrust itself headlong into the Middle East Conflict and attempt to strangle the nation of Israel.
Bush Charges Syria With Aiding Terrorism!
April 14….(Washington Times) The United States has pledged to tackle the Syrian-backed Hizbollah group in the next phase of its 'war on terror' in a move which could threaten military action against President Bashar Assad's regime in Damascus. The move is part of Washington's efforts to persuade Israel to support a new peace settlement with the Palestinians. Washington has promised Israel that it will take 'all effective action' to cut off Syria's support for Hizbollah. President Bush yesterday accused Syria of having chemical weapons. In the clearest sign yet that Washington is turning its sights on Damascus' links to terrorism, President Bush warned Syria not to harbor fleeing Iraqi leaders, and asked the world for patience as the United States and allies restore order in Iraq. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said earlier Sunday that some top members of Saddam Hussein's government had taken refuge in Syria. President Bush also contended that Syria has chemical weapons, a charge made in recent CIA reports and one denied by Syria. Asked whether Syria could face military action if it does not turn over Iraqi leaders, Pres. Bush said: "They just need to cooperate." President Bush said he might contact Syrian leaders on Sunday to make clear his warning. The President warned Syria and the other members of his "axis of evil," Iran and North Korea, that Iraq's example shows "we're serious about stopping weapons of mass destruction." US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Syria must not become a safe haven to Iraqi officials fleeing Baghdad. Powell said: "Syria has been a concern for a long period of time. We have designated Syria for years as a state that sponsors terrorism, and we have discussed this with the Syrians on many occasions. We are concerned that materials have flowed through Syria to the Iraqi regime over the years. We are making this point clearly and in a very direct manner to the Syrians. We hope the Syrians will respond accordingly." Powell added: "Also, we think it would be very unwise, if suddenly Syria suddenly becomes a haven for all these people who should be brought to justice who are trying to get out of Baghdad.
FOJ Note:The new US undertaking to Israel to deal with Hizbollah via its Syrian sponsors has been made over recent days during meetings between administration officials and Israeli diplomats in Washington, and Americans talking to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem. It would be part of a deal designed to entice Israel into the so-called road map to peace package that would involve the Jewish state pulling out of the Palestinian West Bank, occupied since 1967.
Syria Warrns: We Will Attack Israel!
April 14….(Debka) Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara said Sunday that if the United States
decides to attack Syria, Israel will also be harmed as a result. Shara met yesterday with French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin, to discuss the latest developments in Iraq. At a joint press conference with the French foreign minister, Shara denied reports and accusations that Syria has granted shelter to escaping Iraqi officials from Saddam Hussein's regime. They did not find any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," he said. "How can the Americans accuse Syria of having something they could not find in Iraq?" he asked. He said Israel is behind all the American complaints against Syria and demanded Israel cease providing the U.S. with what he called "false information." The French minister said "now is the time to demonstrate responsibility, not disputes." Villepin yesterday met Syrian President Bashar Assad, and has met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on his swing through the region. He said Syria has "an important role" to play in Iraq, and it must be a role of responsibility and moderation." A Top Israeli official warned Damascus not to play with fire in response to Syrian FM Sharah's threat to harm Israel if attacked by US forces. Damascus will pay if they attack us, warned Israel!
The World is Worried Over Syria
April 14….(FOJ) Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa today issued a message of warning to the United States regarding repeated warnings to Damascus regarding alleged involvement in aiding Iraqi officials to flee will only serve to further fuel the fires of conflict in the region. FM Shara's comments came after U.S. President George W. Bush on Sunday repeated warnings to Syria that it must cooperate with Washington and not harbor Iraqi leaders who may flee across their common border. "Syria just needs to cooperate with the United States and our coalition partners, not harbor any (Iraqi) Baathists, any military officials, any people who need to be held to account," Bush told reporters. "We believe there are chemical weapons in Syria," the President said. He warned Syria, Iran and North Korea that Iraq's example shows "we're serious about stopping weapons of mass destruction." Bush had called Iraq, Iran and North Korea as an "axis of evil." Earlier in the day, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld charged on Sunday that Syrian fighters had been killed or captured by U.S. forces in Iraq, but declined to say what Washington might do if Saddam Hussein were found in Syria. Earlier in the day, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld charged on Sunday that Syrian fighters had been killed or captured by U.S. forces in Iraq. (embedded reporters have said that Syrian ID has been found on the Syrian fighters.) "The last thing I would do would be to discuss that," he said in a television interview, stressing that if the missing Iraqi president turned up in the neighboring state, it would show that "Syria would have made an even bigger mistake." "The (Syrian) government is making a lot of bad mistakes, a lot of bad judgments in my view," Rumsfeld said in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" program. The secretary has in recent days repeatedly charged that Damascus has not only voiced support for Saddam's fallen government, but has been helping senior Iraqi leaders enter Syria to stay or move on to other countries. But on Sunday, Rumsfeld also said Syrian nationals had been actively involved in fighting against U.S. forces, including many in Baghdad. "There are a number of non-Iraqis who are in the country, particularly in Baghdad we find ... A lot from Syria, most from Syria it appears," he said. Syria has been on the U.S. list of countries supporting terrorism for many years and some conservative hawks in Washington say that after Iraq, the United States should set its sights on "regime change" in Syria and Iran. No one is explicitly advocating force against Syria or Iran but conservatives inside and out of the U.S. government hope the Iraq war will signal to Damascus and Tehran that seeking weapons of mass destruction may be hazardous to their health. Villepin said after meeting Lebanese leaders the international community should focus instead on rebuilding Iraq and reviving Middle East peace efforts. But Rumsfeld said Washington would not "deny the truth." "The fact of the matter is that Syria has been unhelpful and pretending that that's not the case it strikes me is to deny the truth. And I don't think you can live a lie," he said on CBS. "We did see busloads of people coming out of Syria into the country. Some were stopped - the ones we could find we turned around and sent them back. Some we impounded and put them in enemy prisoner of war camps. And others are getting killed," he said. The secretary repeated charges by the U.S. military that one bus found had had contained several hundred thousand dollars and leaflets that suggested that people would be rewarded if they killed Americans. Rumsfeld was asked if Syria was going to pay a price for supporting Saddam. "I'm sure they already are if you think about it," he said. "I mean who in the world would want to invest in Syria? Who would want to go in tourism in Syria? They're associating with the wrong people and the effect of that hurts the Syrian people."
FOJ Note: The Burden of Damascus is coming full circle! The Burden of Babylon and the drying up of the Euphrates River have a direct prophetic link to Syria.
Iraqi Scientists Enter Syria
April 14….(Middle East News Line) The United States believes that a handful of Iraqi weapons scientists have fled to Syria. U.S. officials said the scientists include the administrators of Iraq's biological and chemical weapons programs. They said they fled to Syria over the last week and were harbored by the Iraqi embassy in Damascus. Among the scientists who arrived in Damascus were Huda Mahdi Amash, head of Iraq's biological weapons program, and a senior colleague, Rihab Taha. Both women were trained in the West. "Syria just needs to know we expect full cooperation and that we strongly urge them not to allow for Baath Party members or Saddam's families or generals on the run to seek safe haven and find safe haven there," President George Bush said. "We expect the Syrian authorities to turn them over to the proper folks."
Mofaz: Syria Must Lift Hezbollah Threat to Israel
April 14….(Ha Aretz) Syria must lift the threat of Hezbollah attacks against Israel and expel the leaders of terrorist organizations from Damascus, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was quoted as saying Monday, amid fast-rising tensions between Syria and the United States. "We must monitor what it happening there. The Americans have taken out a 'yellow card' on them, and were right to do so," he said. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, speaking on Monday after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, accused Syria of undermining peace in the Middle East amid fears the U.S.-led war in the region could now spread to Iraq's neighbors. "Syria is letting terrorist organizations operate in the country. Unfortunately they are not doing anything to prevent it. More than that, they are encouraging terrorist organizations to act within Syria all the time. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana urged Washington on Monday to tone down its harsh statements about Syria, saying it was time to "cool down" the tense situation in the Middle East. Former Israeli Prime Minister and foreign minister Shimon Peres, currently in the United States, said Washington would no longer tolerate "two faced policies" regarding terrorism. "A nation can either fight terror or aid terror. They will not allow a nation to pretend it is fighting terror, while it actually aids it." Peres said that some 10 headquarters of terrorist organizations are in Damascus. He added that Washington's approach to Syria was likely to be "uncompromising," but "I don't think that the next step will be use of military force. I think that what America will try to do is to truly forge a coalition to tell Syria to decide where it's really headed." After its Iraq invasion, "the American people have a power of their own even without immediate use of military force. This is the change in the situation," Peres said. "I expect that many nations will join this effort."
Sharon: Israel May Concede Settlements
April 14….(Ha Aretz) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said he is ready to "part with some places" if the Palestinians scale down on their demands, including the right of return for refugees. Ariel Sharon said the U.S.-led coalition's victory in Iraq had "generated a shock through the Middle East" that could precipitate Israeli-Arab peace agreements. The coalition's achievement "brings with it a prospect of great changes," he said. "There is an opportunity here to forge a different relationship between us and the Arab states, and between us and the Palestinians. "Opportunities have currently been created that did not exist before. The Arab world in general, and the Palestinians in particular, have been shaken. There is therefore a chance to reach an agreement faster than people think," he said. So far, Sharon has been very careful not to discuss concessions he would make for peace with the Palestinians, but did indicate that Israel would now have to be prepared to make “painful concessions” for peace in the wake of the great American victory in Iraq. Sharon told Ha'aretz reporter Ari Shavit today that he would agree to remove some Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as part of a comprehensive peace arrangement with the Palestinian Authority. Though he himself is considered one of the main architects of the Jewish settlement
enterprise in these parts of the traditional Jewish homeland, Sharon said that under certain circumstances, "I would definitely say that we will have to take steps that are painful for every Jew and painful for me
personally. We are talking about the cradle of the Jewish people. Our whole history is bound up with these places. Bethlehem, Shilo, Beit El. And I know that we will have to part with some of these places. There will be a parting from places that are connected to the whole course of our history. As a Jew, this agonizes me. But I have decided to make every effort to reach a settlement. I feel that the rational necessity to reach a settlement is overcoming my feelings." Sharon made it contingent upon real peace: "If we reach a situation of true peace, real peace, peace for generations, we will have to make painful
Arafat Rejects New Palestinian Cabinet
April 14….(Arutz) Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat rejected a reformist cabinet proposed yesterday by incoming Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). A Fatah Central Committee meeting Sunday evening in the West Bank city of Ramallah exploded over the cabinet list. Arafat, who attended the meeting, is demanding changes to the appointments. Arafat's opposition to the ministerial list is likely to disappoint Washington, which has said the release of a long-awaited peace "road map" leading to the creation of a Palestinian state by 2005 must await the installation of an Abu Mazen-led cabinet. Abbas is planning a wide-ranging reshuffle of Arafat's Cabinet, moving all but two ministers, demoting several, firing others and bringing in reformers and experts to guide the overblown and corruption-ridden Arafat led Palestinian regime.
FOJ Note: Yasser Arafat didn't become on of the wealthiest men in the world by conceding power, and he isn't about to turn over a new leaf after five decades of terrorism!
Pope To Call For Symbolic Jerusalem
April 14….(ABC) Pope John Paul II celebrated Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square before tens of thousands of young people, urging "brotherly solidarity" with their peers suffering during the conflicts in Iraq, the Holy Land and elsewhere in the world. Many waved palm fronds and olive branches as John Paul was driven to the canopied altar atop the steps of St. Peter's Basilica. The Pope plans to mark Palm Sunday, which marks Christ's entry into Jerusalem before his arrest and crucifixion, by calling for Jerusalem to become a symbol of peace and brotherhood! In some way, the city of peace, the city of Jerusalem can be considered the symbol of humanity, especially in the dramatic beginning of the Third Millennium which we are living," John Paul said. May Jerusalem bring us all together, he exclaimed!
WEEK OF APRIL 7 THROUGH APRIL 13
Searching For Saddam's Money
April 11….(AP) Now that Saddam Hussein is no longer in power, the race is on to find the billions he is believed to have secretly stashed outside Iraq. Estimates of the Iraqi leader's wealth range from $2 billion to $40 billion. But experts say it has been so effectively hidden, from Latin America to Asia, that the real amount may never be known. The world must find, freeze and return Iraqi money for the Iraqi people and their future," U.S. Treasury Secretary John Snow said March 21. The Bush administration seized $1.62 billion in Iraqi assets already frozen in the United States when the invasion got under way last month. Washington urged other countries to follow suit, but many have moved more slowly. The Swiss government said Wednesday it was freezing Iraqi government and corporate assets until the U.N. Security Council determines who is entitled to it. Swiss National Bank estimates Iraqi assets in the country at $305 million at the end of 2001. But officials conceded the true figure, which includes payments from Iraq's oil business, may be higher. U.S. officials said Saddam still had $30 billion in secret funds at the end of the 1991 Gulf War. Forbes Magazine recently concluded that Saddam Hussein was the 3rd richest man in the world, behind King Fahd of Saudi Arabia and Haji Bolkiah, the Sultan of Brunei. Coincidentally, Yasser Arafat ranks fifth on the list of richest world leaders.
Iraq Was Key to Syrian Economy
April 11….(FOJ) Syria has been warned by US Defense Department officials to shore up its border with Iraq, and to interrupt any passage of Hezbullah and Islamic Jihad terrorist cells. There is a great deal of speculation that if Syria doesn't reign in the many terrorist organizations operating out of Damascus that America may well target Syria for another Iraq-like expedition. However, before that scenario would explode, there is another powerful weapon at America's disposal to quiet the Syrian regime in Damascus.
Now that an Iraqi-American flavored democracy stands ready to be installed in Iraq, Syria could see itself geographically and economically isolated from its former ideological allies. (Iraq-Iran) During the later Saddam Hussein era, especially under UN sanctions, Iraq and Syria developed a economic/military partnership. That partnership made Iraq one of Syria's largest export markets and vital trade partner to its flagging economy. The disruption of trade in terms of oil, agricultural and industrial goods now that Saddam is gone could effect Syrian Dictator Bashar Assad's thinking in the near future. A new oil development and export policy in Iraq could greatly influence Syria's bold support for terrorism in the region, if America and the EU so dictate. The northern pipeline that carried crude oil from Iraq's northern fields to Syria's Souedieh area pumped a rate of 20,000 barrels a day. Furthermore, according to Western intelligence sources, that same railway transported bartered-in-exchange-for-oil military equipment back to Iraq. Now Syria will miss that profiteering from Saddam. Ironically, Syria is fast being exposed as an associate member of the Axis of Evil and finds itself quickly becoming the next nation to be challenged diplomatically and economically to get with the Middle East Peace process and the new Middle East trade block that is quickly being established to become the direct energy supplier to the expanded EU. No wonder France, Germany and Russia, and of course Israel, have so much at stake in the Iraqi domino!
Brussels to Investigate US Contracts in Iraq
April 11….(Financial Times) The European Commission is examining contracts awarded by the US for reconstruction work in Iraq to find out whether they breach World Trade Organization rules and discriminate unfairly against European companies. The move could throw up a new irritant at a time when relations between Washington and Brussels are already severely strained by the highly critical stance adopted by many European Union members towards the war in Iraq. The EU insists that the US abide by the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement, which states that, in principle, contracts awarded by national governments or their agencies must be open to businesses from abroad.
FOJ Note: Why didn't the EU or the UN investigate the illegal business/weapons deals that Germany France and Russia were involved in during the years of the UN sanctions on Iraq?
Giant Subterranean Nuclear Complex Found In Iraq
April 11….(Fox News) In a valley sculpted by man, between the palms and roses, lies a vast marble and steel city known as Al-Tuwaitha. In the suburbs about 18 miles south of the capital's suburbs, this city comprises nearly 100 buildings, workshops, laboratories, cooling towers, nuclear reactors, libraries and barracks that belong to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission. Investigators Tuesday discovered that Al-Tuwaitha hides another city. U.S. Marines may have found weapons-grade plutonium in a massive underground facility discovered beneath Iraq's Al Tuwaitha nuclear complex, an embedded reporter told Fox News Thursday. Coalition forces are investigating a stash of radioactive material found at the site south of Baghdad. While officials aren't prepared to call the discovery a "smoking gun," until further information comes out, 2 preliminary tests conducted on the material have indicated that it may be weapons-grade plutonium. Today, the Marines hold it against enemy counter-attacks. So far, Marine nuclear and intelligence experts have discovered 14 buildings that betray high levels of radiation. Some of the readings show nuclear residue too deadly for human occupation. To nuclear experts in the United States, the discovery of a subterranean complex is highly interesting, perhaps the atomic "smoking gun" intelligence agencies have been searching for as Operation Iraqi Freedom unfolds. Nestled in a bend in the Tigris River, the city of Al-Tuwaitha was built in the early 1960s. Nuclear experts believe the government began Iraq's nuclear weapons program there between 1972 and 1976. An Iraqi nuclear engineer who defected from Iraq in 1994, testified before Congress last August that Iraq could have had nuclear weapons by 2005. One must wonder why Saddam Hussein, with all of Iraq's oil reserves would invest so heavily in building a nuclear facility of such immense proportions.
Russia Plans To Challenge US On Iraqi Oil
April 10….(Middle East News Line) Russia plans to challenge U.S. plans to develop oil resources in Iraq. The Moscow-based LukOil, the largest oil company in Russia, intends to contest in the international court in Geneva any award to develop Iraq's West Qurna oil field. Russia's LukOil was given a $3.7 billion contract by the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to develop the field. But, last year, the Saddam regime cancelled the contract. "Nobody can develop this field without us in the next 8 years," LukOil vice president Leonid Fedun told the Kommersant business daily on Tuesday. "If somebody decides to squeeze LukOil out, we are going to appeal in the Geneva arbitration court, which will immediately stop this field." (News reports indicated last week that Russia has made a massive call-up of troops. They said it's just for a new Spring exercise.) A range of U.S. and British firms are expected to bid for the West Qurna oil field contracts. They include Britain's BP, the U.S. ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil.
Might the Antichrist Also Guarantee Israel Oil?
April 10….(FOJ) Bible prophecy students are well aware of the fact that the eventual Antichrist will guarantee Israel its security, and help usher in a Middle East peace agreement with the Arabs. But with the situation now developing in Iraq, it may soon become possible that the EU-West could guarantee Israel an abundant and cheap supply of oil too. Israel and Jordan have started talks on reopening the old Iraq-Israel oil pipeline. During the British mandate period when the British controlled the region, the pipeline carried oil from Mosul in Iraq to the northern Israeli port of Haifa. The flow of Iraqi oil to Haifa stopped 55 years ago in 1948, with the end of the British mandate and the establishment of the Jewish State of Israel. According to one source, Israel is already meeting with Jordanian officials about the pipeline on the assumption that a pro-Western government will be set up following the US-led war in Iraq. The reopening of the pipeline could reduce Israel's fuel costs by 25% and turn Haifa into "the Rotterdam of the Middle East", making it a major oil export terminal, and the primary terminal of export to the European Union. UPI quotes international relations researcher Dr. Hooman Peimani of Geneva as saying that the venture will reduce Israel's dependence on Russian crude and the cost of its energy imports. This would greatly upset Russia, as it would reduce Russia's oil profits in the Mid-east. One major obstacle is that the pipeline passes through Syrian territory. Unless the pipeline is redirected through Jordan, the project would require a regime change in Syria.
Catholic Bishop Says US is Zionist Biased
April 10….(Daily Star) Secretary General of the Council of Middle Eastern Churches Reverend Riad Jarjour of Beirut, Lebanon has accused the United States of seeking to spread Christian Zionism. The Christian Zionist ideology is incarnated in some American rulers in the White House and in the Pentagon, he said. They are the leading proponents of the war on Iraq, and their beliefs are based on a Zionist, imperial, expansionist and racist ideology that is also affecting our people in Palestine and parts of Syria,” he added. He said that Christian Zionism has been defined as “the Christian support of Zionism”, and called it the gravest danger in the world to peace. The re-creation of the state of Israel in 1948 is, from the point of view of every Christian Zionist the realization of the prophecies of the Old and New Testaments, and that slants Christianity in favor of Israel, Jarjour said. The Council of Middle Eastern Churches issued a statement in 1986 in which it denounced what it called the abuse of the Holy Book and the exploitation of religious feelings for the sanctification of the creation of a certain state and the marketing of its policies. “There is no place in the Middle East for a Christian Zionist creed which the universal church (Catholic) must denounce since it forms a diversion from the true Christian belief,” said Jarjour. “It is a fabrication that defends a national and political platform which considers the Jewish race to be chosen by God.” Jarjour added that supporters of this creed have always been opposed to Catholicism and the Pope!
Arab Nations Call for Free Iraqi Rule
April 10….(FOJ) Live pictures of Iraqis toppling a statue of Saddam Hussein from its towering pedestal yesterday sent shock waves through the Arab world, forcing both rulers and ordinary people to reconsider long-held beliefs. Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, three of Washington's closet Arab allies called for Iraq's future government to be chosen by the Iraqis as US forces captured Baghdad. Mubarak, the first Arab head of state to react to the collapse of Baghdad, said a new Iraqi leadership chosen by the people should see the day quickly. In Riyadh Prince Saud called a news conference to outline Saudi Arabia's position. "The government in Baghdad we will deal with is the one chosen by the Iraqi people," he said, adding that US-British "occupation" must end as soon as possible. Senior Hamas official Abdel Aziz Rantisi said that he hopes the Iraqis install a Muslim government and urged the people to join a popular uprising in the streets against "American-Zionism." Perhaps the leadership in Egypt, Saudi Arabia Jordan, and in the West Bank should heed their own words and allow the people in their countries to choose their own leaders also! Let Freedom Ring everywhere! Yesterday was is a clear lesson for dictatorships in the Arab world, and yet today Iraqi's enjoy more freedom than other Arab country!
Germany, France and Russia: UN Should Control Iraq
April 9….(Reuters) Leaders of the three main countries that opposed the U.S.-led military action against Baghdad will meet this weekend in St. Petersburg, Russia and are expected to press for a major role for the United Nations in a postwar Iraq. The statement on the meeting in Putin's home town made no mention of any agenda. But it is certain to be topped by discussion on how to proceed with reconstruction in Iraq after the U.S.-led war to remove President Saddam Hussein. French President Chirac said, "We are no longer in an era where one or two countries can control the fate of another country," therefore, the political, economic, humanitarian and administrative reconstruction of Iraq is a matter for the United Nations and for it alone, an obvious slap at the United States and President Bush." Russian leader Putin stressed the importance of pursuing an intense political dialogue to uphold Russia's new alliance with Washington, rooted in support for the U.S. anti-terror campaign, but he has also said the Iraqi issue should remain for the U.N. to decide. Other Russian officials have said they hope existing contracts with Iraq, particularly in the oil sector, will be upheld regardless of who is in power in Baghdad. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is also expected to visit at the invitation of Mr. Putin as part of a European trip centered on Iraq's reconstruction. Annan leaves Wednesday on a trip to France, Germany and Britain , as well as Russia, to seek consensus from Security Council members on a UN role in reconstruction.
The United States remains at odds with much of the council, including its closest ally, Britain, on what that role should be. The Bush administration says the U.S.-led coalition fighting in Iraq must take the lead in running and rebuilding Iraq. The European Union wants the UN to be a major player. Annan on Monday advocated "an important role" for the United Nations in rebuilding Iraq, stressing that only the world body can bring legitimacy to the job.
Syria Discussed by Bush-Blair in Befast
April 9….(London Telegraph) Syria sits smack in the middle of coalition leaders' radar screens and is next on the list of countries targeted for "regime change," followed by Iran and Libya, according to Bush administration officials. The London Telegraph reported Syria was among the topics discussed by President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair during their summit in Belfast yesterday. "There's got to be a change in Syria," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "We are certain that Iraq has recently moved chemical or biological weapons into Syria," declared Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in December. The Italian newspaper, il Foglio, reported in late March that Saddam Hussein signed an agreement in Damascus on Jan. 17 to move his nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, along with his scientists and technicians into Syria. FOJ has reported that Saddam may have planned to escape to Syria.
Syria's Geo-Political Role in Mid-East
April 9….(FOJ) In the aftermath of the successful Iraqi war, President Bush and the other Peace Roadmap Quartet of leaders will begin to focus on an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The Mid-east Region is in for some truly pivotal times in the interim period, and they may become rather uncomfortable times for the new Syrian strongman Bashar Assad. Having just witnessed the demise of fellow Baathist Party ideologue Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and with Israel having forces just 40 or so miles from Damascus, Syria will probably feel isolated geographically from its fellow terrorist sponsoring partner Iran. To the north, is Turkey. Turkey is a NATO member which four years ago threatened to go to war unless Mr. Assad's father expelled the Kurdish Workers Party, one of many terrorist groups Syria plays host to on its soil also in neighboring Lebanon. Like Mr. Assad, Saddam Hussein was a Ba'athist dictator armed with chemical and biological weapons, which proved to be worthless when it came to deterring a far superior U.S. military machine headed by a purposeful, determined commander-in-chief. Assad may have even recently taken in the chemical, biological weapons, and other weapons of mass destruction acquired by Iraq into Syria. In fact, there are speculative reports that Saddam Hussein has mended fences with the Syrian Baathists and incorporated his Iraqi killing machine into Lebanon. The Bush Administration also has made it unmistakably clear that it views Damascus willingness to permit terrorists to operate on its soil as a "hostile act." To avoid meeting the same fate as Saddam Hussein, Bashar Assad would do well to consider getting out of the terrorism business, but he has already let it be known that Damascus will never consent to accepting a peace roadmap with Israel. If Syria continues obstructing the Israeli-Palestinian peace roadmap, it may run headlong into another coalition spearheaded by President Bush. Beyond the scope of the Syrian track against Israel, there looms the ominous possibility that Russia could spearhead a future coalition of forces to rear-end and reshape the current American intrusion into Syria.
Russia Wants Oil Profits, Not Democracy
April 9….(FOJ)The Russian economy, and hence government, has been rescued over the last four years almost solely by high oil prices, as demonstrated by a strong statistical correlation linking these increases to the economic growth experienced in Russia over that period. Indeed, estimates suggest that every dollar increase in the price of a barrel of oil results in $1.5 billion-$2 billion in additional yearly export revenue for that country. In absence of a system capable of generating economic expansion, Russia will continue to depend on commodities, namely oil to sustain what growth it has realized. Under these conditions, it is not surprising that Russian foreign policy has been oil-driven. In recent years, Russia has made an aggressive bid to secure oil interests from the Caspian Basin to the Persian Gulf, despite the fact that this often ran in direct contrast to the interests of its newfound "friends" in the United States and Europe. Russia, anxious to secure Iraqi oil deals began advocating in the late 1990s the lifting of sanctions against Iraq, as the Iraqi regime negotiated oil contracts with Russian companies that could only be fulfilled once sanctions had been lifted. September 11th ruined that impossibility for Russia. Yet oil continues to drive Russia's foreign policy. Roughly half of all Iraqi weapons were Russian-made. Russia's fear that the removal of the Iraqi regime would nullify Russo-Iraqi contracts has been exponentially augmented by the possibility that increased oil production by Iraq, outside of its control, might lead to a drastic lowering of oil prices that could devastate the Russian economy. Hence, we have seen Russia's determined opposition to the war, and can expect to see Russia continue to dance between democracy and authoritarianism. It seems that it is impossible for Russia and the US to “cleave” to the same principles.
PLO Connection to Saddam Hussein
April 9….(LA Times) United States Marines may have uncovered "smoking-gun" evidence supporting one of the coalition's justifications for war in Iraq. The Los Angeles Times reports soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Regiment found what appears to be a large-scale terrorist training camp for the Palestinian Liberation Front, as well as documents indicating Iraq recently sold weapons to the PLO terror group for its fight against Israel. Marines also recovered documents from the PLF and its political arm, the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Large murals of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein cover the walls on the outside, while side-by-side pictures of Hussein and PLF leader Abu Abbas fill the walls inside. Other photographs showed Abbas posing with senior officers of the Iraqi Republican Guard. Slogans on walls linked the PLF and Iraqi causes, including one that, in Arabic said, "Live the Dream of Both Causes Against the Invading Enemy: the Jew."
FOJ Note: While the Iraqi people now dance in the street and wave American flags to celebrate their newfound freedom and liberty, the Palestinians continue to dance in the streets of the West Bank and Gaza in support of Saddam and in contempt of America!
Baghdad Falls and Iraq Celebrates!
April 9….(Fox News) In a scene of triumph and jubilation televised live throughout the world, Iraqi citizens in the heart of Baghdad -- with help from a U.S. tank -- toppled a huge statue of Saddam Hussein. There was a huge rush of the Iraqis to the fallen statue, jumping up and down with great joy and euphoria, dancing in celebration at the fall of the Saddam statue Wednesday. It was a very historic moment: the people of Iraq conveying to the world that they are finally free of the brutal tyrant dictator who has maintained a vice fearful grip on them for almost 30 years. Live news showed US soldiers & Iraqis hugging, and Iraqis happily shaking hands with the very soldiers that are bringing them liberation from an evil regime of Iraq. Iraqis waved the American flag in joy and were thanking President Bush and the soldiers for coming. Cheering ecstatically, a crowd of Iraqis danced and trampled on the fallen 20-foot-high metal statue in contempt for the man who had held them in fear for so long.
Syria Now Top US Target For 'Regime Change'
April 8….(London Telegraph) One of the main subjects on the agenda of the Belfast summit yesterday was Syria, the Pentagon's next likely target for "regime change" amid suspicions it allowed Saddam Hussein to transfer weapons of mass destruction within its borders. Although President George W Bush did not include Syria in his "axis of evil" of Iran, Iraq and North Korea in January 2001, since then American officials say they have seen growing evidence of support for terrorism by Damascus. American officials stress, however, that regime change can be achieved without military action. There are strong hopes in Washington for a popular revolution in Iran by democratic opposition groups inspired by what has happened in Iraq. President Bashar Assad, Syria's leader, has led Arab opposition to the Iraq war, stating that he hoped Saddam would remain in power. Donald Rumsfeld, the US Defence Secretary, recently accused Syria of providing military equipment to Saddam . Some US officials are also convinced that Mr Assad has actively collaborated with Saddam and agreed to take weapons, including Scud missiles, from him so they would not be discovered in Iraq by United Nations inspectors.
China Preparing for U.S. Conflict
America's Success in Iraq Intimidates the Asian Tigers
April 8….(FOJ) Chinese leaders have longed desired to raise China's status to the level of being a superpower, by pushing back American toeholds in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan. China's new leaders believe that they must step up Beijing's preparedness for an eventual confrontation with the United States sooner rather than later because of America's overwhelming technological military success in the war in Iraq, and its positioning as the prevalent power in the Middle East. (Afghanistan-Iraq) The United States demonstrable military technology superiority in the war in Iraq concerns Beijing and has led China to speed up weapons procurement and development, and arm some of its client states. In the near term, China is focused on the impact of rising oil prices and the need to build up a strategic oil reserve, and a steady supplier. Recent U.S. moves in the Middle East against Iraq has concerned China to the point of wondering if the US goal is one of seeking worldwide domination of the oil rich region. Some Chinese strategists think if the U.S. scores a relatively quick victory over Baghdad, it will soon turn to Asia, and the current war of words with North Korea. China may even be pushing North Korea's “nuclear” buttons to ratchet up the tension in the Far East to test the American resolve to defend its allies in the region.
Is Saddam Hussein Dead or Alive?
April 8….(FOJ) An American bomber struck a residential complex in Baghdad Monday after the CIA indicated that Saddam Hussein, and other top Iraqi leaders might be meeting there. The attack was carried out by a single Air Force B-1 bomber that dropped four 2,000-pound, GBU-24 "bunker-buster" bombs on the target site. At least three buildings were destroyed in the attack, which left a crater 60 feet deep at the spot where Saddam Hussein was believed to be meeting with his sons. Saddam was believed to be in a structure attached to a restaurant or dining area, along with at least two to three dozen security or Baath party officers. Those present at the meeting were discussing how to get out of Baghdad, sources close to the CIA said.
So much attention has been given to the images and charisma of this single man over the course of the two Iraq wars, first in 1991 and then again this year. Like Osama bin Laden, the mystique about Saddam Hussein seems to grow with each rumor of his whereabouts, with each of his ballyhooed appearances, whether or not he is real or is just imagined through his body doubles, and ultimately there is the constant speculation about his fate. I can't help but be struck by the way the media, and the whole war on evil seems to focus on just one man. It almost seems surreal to me that one single man could embody and personify the face of evil alone. The world seems to identify with the idea that it can be safe and secure when the man of evil is exterminated. And yet by the same type of humanistic rationale, the world seems to be longing for, even searching for a man of charm, a man of peace, a man it can trust, a man it can place at the pinnacle of human government, and feel safe and good about the world because he is there.
The Antichrist will be just such a man. His image will be everywhere. The world will accept his mark, or his number, and worship his image. But in the end analysis, he too will embody the Man of Evil.
Post-War Iraq & Palestinian Road Map on Menu
April 7….(Debka) Even amid crucial battles in Iraq, US President George W. Bush has made the gesture of leaving his capital again this week for a second attempt to shore up his foremost war ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, in the fight for his political life at home. Although, according to the latest opinion polls, around 70 percent of Britons support their army's participation in the Iraq war, Blair's personal prestige is on the wane. Some diplomatic circles dubbed the Bush-Blair conference in Belfast this Tuesday, April 8, “the rescue Blair summit”, after last month's Camp David encounter failed to turn the tide in his favor. Blair believes he can win support by persuading Bush to allot the United Nations and Europe a major role in Iraq's post-war administration and the disposition of its oil resources. He thinks Europe will be impressed if he can win the US President round to their perceptions of Middle East peacemaking.
The Peace Roadmap is Coming Soon
April 7….(FOJ) Like a ghost lurking in the background, the Israel-Palestinian conflict haunts the Iraq war. That ghost is about to emerge onto center stage. Prior to the start of the Iraq war, President Bush said he envisioned a Palestinian state side by side with Israel, living in peace. President Bush hopes that democratic ideals in the new State of Palestine will create a new climate of acceptance between Israel and the Palestinians. The President has assured the Arab world that he is "personally committed" to a diplomatic "road map" that would lead to a Palestinian state by 2005. What is that road map? In the first stage, Palestinians must reform their government and make convincing progress in halting violence, while Israel must freeze all settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza. But now it is no longer possible to hide the map, which was drafted by a "quartet": the United States, Russia, the European Union, and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The climactic end to the war in Iraq will return the world's attention to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair are meeting this week to consider that scenario. Mr. Blair is hoping to coerce President Bush for an even more vigorous resumption of Middle East Peace talks, comparable to another Madrid Conference which jumpstarted the Oslo Peace Process in 1993 after the Persian Gulf war.
FOJ Note: The world community continues to perpetuate the biggest fraud in world history, the belief that the Palestinians have the rights to Israel's land, the right to their own state after years of terror and that Israeli appeasement to the Arab world is the solution to world peace. How can we take the UN, the EU or the world community seriously when they have been an accomplice to one of the biggest crimes in history, as they attempt to extract God's covenant land from Israel? (Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.)
What is Syria Planning?
April 7….(FOJ) After Baghdad, what will happen next in the Middle East? An invasion of Syria from Iraq? Syrian President Bashir Assad believes that war plans against Iraq were hatched before 9/11 and that a list of countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Iran (Axis of Evil) being next on the hit list. In review of the reasons for waging war on Iraq, Syria is guilty of the same violations as Iraq. Syria supports terrorism, possesses weapons of mass destruction, violates human rights, thwarts democracy, and has invaded its neighbor Lebanon, and has violated a biological weapons treaty. Syria maintains a large force of ballistic missiles with help from North Korea. Syria has also purchased 2 billion dollars worth of fighter jets from Moscow recently, and has flatly rejected any notion of complying with the Quartet's peace roadmap!
Post War Iraq and the Power Brokers
April 7….(Debka)British Prime Minister Tony Blair is hoping that he can win a European contest for the eventual EU Presidency by persuading President Bush to allot the United Nations and Europe a major role in Iraq's post-war administration and the disposition of its oil resources. Blair thinks Europe will be impressed if he can win the US President around to European perceptions of Middle East peacemaking. But the Bush Administration has set out a blueprint for a new world order to rise after international terror is vanquished. Iraq's post-war structure is meant to stand as a prototype for the next stages of this broad scheme, and the demise of Saddam Hussein is meant to be a picture lesson to rogue regimes and States everywhere. (Syria, Iran, etc.)
Interim Baghdad Regime Taking Shape
The Bush administration has set in train its post-war blueprint for Iraq without turning to partners. Three developments are worth noting:
1. The US President's choice as head of the interim government in Baghdad is retired Lieutenant General Jay M. Garner. According to Washington sources, a plan is in place for the creation of 14 “departments”, each headed by an American soldier, technocrat or diplomat supported by a staff of eight senior local officials representing Iraq's religious-tribal-ethnic makeup.
2. Bush has still to decide between the opposing views of the leaders of the Pentagon and the State Department on the final shape of the interim administration, namely the ratio between its American and international personnel. Before the war he signed a military sector for the UK to govern in southern Iraq. The implied message here was that central government in Baghdad would be off-limits to non-Americans, even Washington's most trusted allies. Inside the Bush team, Donald Rumsfeld and Pentagon wants the interim government to be confined to American military, oilmen and experts, who will be supported by Iraqi appointee bureaucrats. The Pentagon and most other departments in Washington see all the $100 billion worth of contracts for Iraq's post-war reconstruction and rehabilitation being handed out to American companies. The oil czar will hold the key post, his job being to redevelop and re-activate Iraq's oil wells at top speed and bring the oil to international markets even before the fighting subsides. Pentagon leaders do not for a moment consider handing this post to anyone but an American oilman. For their part, the State Department and Secretary Colin Powell see Iraq's interim government as an amalgam of American and international rule, with hands-on roles for the United Nations, the Europeans and the Arabs. Their proposal for oil “minister is the Algerian oil minister Chakib Khelil, an appointment aimed at persuading the Iraqis and the Arab states that Washington will not be helping itself to Iraqi oil to defray the costs of war but will return this natural resource to the Iraqi people. For now, the Pentagon, which rules the war arena and the Iraqi scene as a whole has placed a keep out sign for State Department officials bent on taking up posts in the interim administration.
No Handouts for War Opponents
3. The governments who opposed the American war in Iraq will be barred from partaking in its fruits. They fall into two groups. The first, led by France, Germany, Russia and the other nations, is seen as having fought the United States every inch of the road to the war, placing obstacles in every international forum, including the UN and NATO, and continuing to place cogs in the war wheel. According Washington and Ankara sources, the Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan was persuaded by France and Germany to withhold the full-scale military cooperation that would have opened the northern front. This, according to the original war plan, would have shortened the war by reducing the hours of combat and the loss of lives entailed in taking Baghdad and Tikrit. French president Jacques Chirac and German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder promised Turkey compensation in the coin of admission to the European Union plus a hefty measure of financial aid. Powell's talks in Ankara last week therefore yielded no more than grudging permission for the transfer of equipment, not manpower through Turkey to northern Iraq, not enough to activate a northern front. Nonetheless, French, Russian and German foreign ministers met in Paris last week with demands over and above a UN role in the reconstruction of Iraq; French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin criticized the awarding of contracts to US companies and said the work must be distributed “equitably” on the basis of public bidding. The Arab governments who supported the American war effort belong to the second group of nations clamoring for a say in post-war Iraq. They are led by Saudi Arabia which, despite initial anti-war declarations, its de facto ruler, Prince Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, subsequently opened up the kingdom's bases and air space to the passage of US troops and the staging of assaults in Iraq. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak followed the same pattern of conduct. The big military base at Cairo-West and the Suez Canal became the two principal logistical arteries carrying US personnel and supplies to the combat units into the war arena. In an interview with David Ignatius published in The Washington Post on April 4, Saudi foreign minister Saudi al Faisal said: “We think the worst thing that could happen after a war in Iraq is a military occupation.” He also warned: “All it would require is that the United States live up to what it promised – that it is not there to occupy Iraq; not there to steal the wealth of Iraq; that it is not there to impose its will on Iraq.” Speaking with great emphasis, the Saudi foreign minister declared: ”It must allow Iraq to choose its government. It must allow Iraq to be what Iraq wants. And it must allow Iraq to use its resources as it sees fit.” The message from Riyadh was clear: Now that you've won the war and got rid of Saddam Hussein, get out of Iraq and hands off our oil.
Arafat and His New Prime Minister Quarrel over Power
April 7….(Debka)Palestinian sources report a showdown last Thursday, April 3, between Yasser Arafat and the first Palestinian Prime Minister-designate, Abu Mazen. Back from a few days in the Gaza Strip, Abu Mazen asked to be relieved of the appointment. Arafat told him angrily he could not accept an historical appointment one minute and drop it the next. Sources close to Abu Mazen reveal that he has despaired of making inroads on Arafat's powers and acquiring any real authority. And, as long as Arafat is in charge, Palestinian terrorism will continue to surge, closing the door to reform, an accommodation with Israel and any change in the fortunes of the Palestinian people. At present, Israel lives with between 50 and 60 suicide terror alerts per day! Most are only averted by the presence of Israeli forces in very Palestinian urban center and constant round-ups, searches and surprise raids against terrorist strongholds. Even if President Bush had decided to meet Tony Blair, the Arabs and the Europeans halfway by forcing the Quartet's road map down Israel's throat, Arafat and his terror machine would sabotage any progress towards a settlement.
WEEK OF MARCH 31 THROUGH APRIL 5
Mystery Saddam Hussein Appears on Iraqi TV
April 4….(Fox News) A man that looks very much like Saddah Hussein has made an unannounced television broadcast today designed to rally his people. The man, presumably President Saddam Hussein purportedly called on Iraqis to strike at the U.S.-led coalition. The speech made only one topical reference -- to the capture of an Apache helicopter March 23, which Iraqi officials have said was brought down by farmers in central Iraq. "Perhaps you remember the valiant Iraqi peasant and how he shot down an American Apache with an old weapon," Saddam said in the brief speech. References to the downed helicopter suggest it was made after the strike aimed at killing him, a U.S. intelligence official said. Saddam also said the U.S.-led forces had "bypassed your (Iraqi) armed defenses" in the battlefield and urged his followers to "strike them forcefully, strike them." The grim-faced Saddam appeared in a military uniform and beret, with an Iraqi flag over his right shoulder. He paused occasionally to turn the pages of a notebook as he spoke. Saddam began by saying coalition forces had failed to shake the steadfastness of the Iraqi people. He called on Baghdad's people to resist and to stick to "your principles, your patriotism and the honor of men and women." Later in the day, Iraqi TV showed a video of Saddam being cheered by the city's residents as he walked through bombed-out areas of Baghdad.
FOJ Note: The dramatic real or mimicked appearances of Saddam Hussein, and that other video-terrorist leader Osamma Bin Laden remind me of something in Prophecy. While the world wonders aloud if either of these celebrity monsters remains of alive or not, it is certainly apparent that there is a powerful dark force that is playing mind games with their celebrity-power status and images. That reminds me of a future world madman and a presumed miracle that he will perform. (Revelation 13:11-15 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.)
Perhaps the powers of darkness are already practicing for their false miracle resurrection routine during the Tribulation era!
Russia Will Upgrade North Korea Missiles Systems
April 4….(AFP) North Korea, locked in a nuclear standoff with the United States, plans to import leading-edge Russian missile and rocket systems via Syria to upgrade its ballistic missiles, a press report said Thursday. The Stalinist state is expected to use the hardware, including the hi-tech tactical missile Iskandar-E and the multiple launch rocket system Smerch, to upgrade the guidance system and other functions of its long-range missiles, the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun said. North Korea and Syria have a secret deal on the trade, possibly based on an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation which was concluded last year, the conservative daily quoted military sources, well informed on Korean affairs, as saying. The science and technology accord was signed when North Korea's number-two Kim Yong-Nam, the head of the Supreme People's Assembly, visited Syria in July last year. At that time, Kim handed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a personal letter from North Korea's absolute leader Kim Jong-Il, calling for closer ties between the two countries. North Korean missile engineers are already staying in Syria to prepare for the arrival of the Russian hardware, the report said. They are expected to arrange the further shipment of the hardware under cover by sea to North Korea. The Russians have not been informed of the secret transfer deal, the report said. In exchange for the shipment, North Korea will cooperate with Syria's development of ballistic missiles, the report said. North Korea has ballistic Rodong missiles, which can strike almost all of Japan, and longer-range Taepodong missiles.
Syria, Iran Working to Thwart U.S. Aims
April 4….(Washington Times) Iran and Syria continue to scheme against U.S. efforts to bring a democratic government to Iraq replacing Saddam Hussein's regime, according to U.S. officials. U.S. intelligence reports say that Iran's senior leadership decided last month to send irregular paramilitary units across the border to harass American soldiers in several cities once Saddam's regime has fallen. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, meanwhile, said yesterday that Syria continues to allow shipments of military equipment into Iraq in spite of his warning last week that such acts would be considered "hostile." On March 24, a U.S. intelligence agency issued a "spot report" to a wide range of senior U.S. officials detailing conversations in a meeting of Iran's top leaders on a post-conflict strategy. The group included President Mohammed Khatami and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. "This confirmed all of our suspicions that the Iranians are not our friends and not for peace in the region. Mr. Rumsfeld also charged last week that he had received reports on the presence in Iraq of "hundreds" of armed Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim forces who have been trained and financed by the Iranians.
U.S.: After Iraq, We'll Deal with other Radical Mideast Regimes
April 4…. (Ha Aretz) A communique received in Jerusalem from the American administration this week says the United States is operating with strong resolution to neutralize the Iraqi threat to Israel. After the war, the message continued, the United States will deal with other radical regimes in the region - not necessarily by military means - to moderate their activities and fight terrorism. These current and future U.S. operations will also serve Israel, the American administration says, but have caused tensions between the United States and the Arab world. Israel, the American message says, must play its part to help ease these tensions by taking action with regard to settlements in the territories. The message from Washington adds that the current U.S. administration has no illusions about peace and a return to the political process, merely a realistic view of how to manage the conflict.
European Bishops Call for United EU to Promote Peace
April 3….(Zenit) A commission of European bishops called on the European Union to promote a more just and peaceful global order, as it considered the EU response to the Iraqi crisis. At its spring plenary meeting, the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) adopted a statement on the war, entitled "Blessed Are the Peacemakers." In it, the bishops express their concern for the suffering of the Iraqi people and urge the EU leaders and institutions to work together for peace and justice in the Mid-east and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the bishops observed at their March 27-28 conference that a consensus seems to be emerging within the European Convention on the contribution of Catholic churches and religious communities in European society and respect for their status under national law. They reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of a secular state. They also emphasized that the Catholic Church's proposals to the European Convention should reflect the role of religion at the service of society as a whole and not discriminate against any community of faith or conviction.
Saddam May Have Fled to Syria
April 3….(Debka) DEBKAfile's Exclusive Middle East sources have tracked down the top Iraqi leadership's bolt-hole. It is a large 1,600-room luxury resort with 600 meters of private sandy beach in the Mediterranean coastal town of Latakiya called Cote d'Azur De Cham Resort, prepared and chartered in toto by Baghdad. The group may include Saddam Hussein or his sons, but this is not confirmed. The hotel is located close to the Assad family villa. Top Iraqi officials are reported hiding there since March 23, four days after the US-led coalition invaded Iraq. They are guarded by a Syrian commando unit armed with anti-air missiles while Syrian naval missile boats secure the port.
Israel and US Disagree on International Peace Map
April 2….(AFP) Israel and the United States locked horns Tuesday over the implementation of the US-backed peace plan, with Washington reportedly saying it will publish the "roadmap" despite Israeli demands that further changes be made. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom stressed after a meeting with US President George W. Bush that the Palestinians had to eliminate "terrorism" before any implementation of the peace plan can be enacted. But President Bush, facing mounting tension in the Arab world, insisted he was "serious" about pushing ahead with the step-by-step plan to forge a Palestinian state. "I said clearly there cannot be two parallel paths: the war against terrorism in the day and negotiations at night," Shalom told Washington. "The end of terrorism constitutes the central question for a return to negotiations with the Palestinians," he said. The roadmap is a plan setting out the steps to Palestinian statehood by the year 2005. Based on a Bush speech on the Middle East last June, it was drafted by US, UN, EU and Russian diplomats, but Israel has raised a number of objections. Foremost among its complaints is the fear that the plan might progress from one phase to the next without really tackling the problem of powerful militant groups attacking Israel. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said he would like a US mechanism to judge when the conditions have been met to move from phase to phase, sidelining the United Nations and European Union, with which Israel has cool relations. Israel has reportedly proposed 100 changes to the roadmap as drafted, and convinced the United States to delay its publication, despite European objections!
Marines Remove Hanged Comrade
April 2….(FOJ) US Marines moved into the southern Iraqi town of Shatrah today to recover the body of a dead comrade which had been hanged in the town square. Hundreds of troops were dispatched on the operation after intelligence reports indicated the body of a dead American, who was killed in a firefight last week, had been paraded through the streets and hanged in public. Shatrah is some 40 km north of Nasiriyah. I am reminded that this very same tactic of horror was used by the PLO-Tanzim terrorists under Yasser Arafat to Israeli soldiers captured in Ramallah 18 months ago.
Syria Gives Passports to Suicide Bombers
April 2….(Times) The Coalition has arrested four busloads of suspected suicide bombers and would-be fighters in Iraq's western desert. The men, who are being held as prisoners of war, came from various Arab countries but all carried Syrian passports. They are thought to be among thousands of Arab zealots making their way to the battle front. Syria has issued about 4,000 passports to people volunteering to fight for President Saddam Hussein in recent weeks, raising serious concerns in Britain and America, which suspects Damascus of smuggling war supplies to Iraq.
Assad: Israel Will Never Be Legitimate
April 2….(World Net) Bashar Assad, the Syrian leader claims that the U.S. is doing Israel's bidding in the war on Iraq. The Americans have removed their masks and shown that they wanted our oil and that they want to re-draw the map of the region in accordance with the Israeli interests," he said. "Israel has a vested interest in dividing Iraq into small ethnic, national and ethnic mini-countries, so that Israel can enjoy legitimacy, and the US is waging war in Iraq to please Israel. Saying he was not surprised by the Iraqi resistance to coalition forces, Assad claimed "the U.S. and Britain are incapable of controlling all of Iraq." While they may conquer Saddam's state, he believes the U.S. will not actually control it.
Assad slammed those Arab countries that are helping to facilitate "the aggression" and called for the implementation of the Arab Defense Agreement. Assad went on to say, "None of us and none of the Arabs trust Israel. “As long as Israel exists, the threat exists Continued Assad, and there can be no peace”!
FOJ Note: I truly believe that Bashar Assad is quite likely the fool that will unleash the prophecy of Isaiah 17.
US Demands Unconditional Surrender
April 2….(Washington Times) Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld yesterday demanded the "unconditional surrender" of Saddam Hussein. "The only thing that the coalition will discuss with this regime is their unconditional surrender," Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters at the Pentagon. The defense secretary said Iraqi officials are spreading rumors that cease-fire negotiations are under way and that an outside party is working on a peace plan. "There are no negotiations taking place with anyone in Saddam Hussein's regime," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "There will be no outcome to this war that leaves Saddam Hussein and his regime in power. Let there be no doubt. His time will end and soon." Meanwhile, in Beirut, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said in a television interview that Baghdad would not accept a negotiated compromise or cease-fire. "The war will only come to an end with the total and unconditional withdrawal [of the U.S. and British forces] and the lifting of the embargo imposed on Iraq since 1991," Mr. Aziz told LBCI television, Agence France-Presse reported.
The Bush administration yesterday chalenged Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's failure to show up for an expected live TV appearance and effectively dared the Iraqi regime to prove he is still alive.
Bush Warns: Terrorists May Strike Again
April 1….(Reuters) President Bush, linking war in Iraq to his global anti-terrorism campaign, warned yesterday that Saddam Hussein or his terrorist allies may try to strike America in retaliation for the U.S.-led fighting in Iraq. "The dying regime in Iraq may try to bring terror to our shores," the President said in a speech to several hundred Coast Guard personnel. Bush also said that terrorist networks may consider the war an opportunity to strike America. For months Bush has sought to link Saddam's regime with al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, despite widespread skepticism from critics who question the administration's evidence. Meanwhile, a U.S.-led assault on a compound in Iraq controlled by an extremist Islamic group turned up a list of names of suspected militants living in the United States and what may be the strongest evidence yet linking the group to al-Qaida. The cache of documents at the Ansar al-Islam compound, including computer discs and foreign passports belonging to Arab fighters from around the Middle East, could bolster the Bush Administration's claims that Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam are connected, and have ties not only to Iraq, but also to Iran.
Syria Threatens U.S. With Military Retaliation
April 1….(Newsmax) Syria's U.N. ambassador has said that Syria will retaliate if U.S. forces attack any of its forces. The heated rhetoric came late last Friday after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned Syria to desist from aiding Iraq. "I have seen photos of arms and military supplies crossing the border from Syria into Iraq," Rumsfeld said to reporters at the Pentagon. "If this does not stop, we will consider it hostile," Rumsfeld said. The United States and Israel both view as "very grave" the wartime aid that Syrian President Bashar Assad has given the Saddam Hussein regime, as well as recent Assad comments in which Assad suggested that no peace with Israel was possible. Assad's remark about Israel, in which he says in essence that no peace agreement can be reached with Israel is a total repudiation of the Peace Process. Assad also called the U.S.-British invasion of Iraq a "fiasco" and suggested American officials should be tried for crimes against humanity. The English-language Syria Times newspaper, one of several state-run newspapers said in an editorial that the invasion had proven to be a "major embarrassment" for the U.S. military and has led to anti-U.S. sentiments reaching "unprecedented levels." "The only way out is to stop the war immediately and hold those responsible for it 'accountable' for their crimes against humanity," the newspaper said. In the past, America has taken a lenient view of the Syrian aid to Iraq. A few months ago, it was reported that Syrian was acting as a conveyor for Iraqi military purchases from various European states. The equipment and weapons reached Syria's Atkia harbor and were transferred in convoys to Iraq.
UNWRA Used by PLO Terrorists
April 1….(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian and Syrian Terrorist organizations in Palestinian-controlled areas, as well as in Syria and Lebanon, take advantage of UNRWA (United Nations Relief Works Agency) designated areas and their vehicles to transport arms and terrorists. Palestinian terrorists in Israeli custody have admitted using UNRWA facilities, equipment, and vehicles to assist in carrying out their terror attacks, knowing that UNRWA personnel are able to travel freely throughout Israel and Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, as well as in Lebanon, Syria, and elsewhere, without being subjected to security checks. This blatant misuse of UN facilities goes on under the nose of the UN without any retribution or formal UN investigation.
The Damascus Time-Bomb!
March 31….(FOJ) Syrian President Bashar Assad is toying around with State-sponsored terrorist-brinkmanship and it may go too far. After the hands-off warning from US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld last week failed to take effect, US Secretary of State Colin Powell, usually the reluctant General, also weighed in Sunday, March 30, to inform Damascus that it will be held responsible for its “choices and consequences”. This warning was issued after the Palestinian Jihad Islamic Damascus-based leader, Shalah Ramadan, called on the Iraqi ambassador and announced that his organization had sent from the Syrian capital to Baghdad a brigade of suicide fighters. Syria is therefore not only providing Saddam Hussein with his only corridor for importing war materials but also providing fighting strength. The moment is therefore apparently near when Washington will have to take action against Syria and Lebanon. Since the Jihad Islamic is dominated and funded by Tehran, Iran may also find itself in American sights at some stage of the war. The war in Iraq could therefore expand into a conflict with terrorist organizations that are funded and harbored by Syria and Iran.
Military Pause or Common Sense
March 31….(FOJ) As everyone is fully aware, the first casualty in warfare is often the truth. Usually each side in a war engages in some measure of propaganda, or news management. The war in Iraq is turning out to be just another case in point. Over the last few days there has arisen a debate in America on how well the war is going, and if the war is on schedule. It should not be lost on the American political mindset that the anti-Iraq war (peace now) movement that crosses all borders has much to gain by asserting that America has miscalculated on Iraq. But far from any miscalculating, the American military machine may have only paused and wisely considered the best way to end the war. American General Tommy Franks' goal is a victory with the lowest number of American casualties. Whereas Saddam Hussein, has no inhibitions about the human cost to his army and to his own people, and is simply seeking to extract from the current situation enough leverage to dictate the conditions for his own survival. Having survived, Hussein has designs to fight another day by expanding the war to involve the entire Middle East, likely with the help of his terror associates.
Meanwhile, with the much publicized advance on Baghdad seemingly (from media reports) stalled, US forces with the help of the American 101st Airborne Division's “screaming eagles”, have fought their way across the Euphrates River in a drive to forge a wedge between two Iraqi Special Republican Guards divisions on the east side of the river. The Al Medina division, situated south of Karbala and the Hamourabi division situated south west of the Bahr a Milh Lake, have successfully been split in half, leaving Baghdad wide open to a two-pronged American assault. General Franks is simply coordinating an air-assault on these two Iraqi divisions in an attempt to minimize American casualties before marching into Baghdad.
Powell Warns Iran and Syria
March 31….(Fox News) Secretary of State Colin Powell, ranging beyond the ongoing war with Iraq, demanded on Sunday that Iran halt its quest for weapons of mass destruction and that Syria cease supporting terrorism. He also called on Israel and Palestinian leaders to take serious steps toward a peace agreement. In a strong speech to a pro-Israel lobby group, Powell also reaffirmed the Bush Administration's determination to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. "We will keep his weapons of mass destruction from the Middle East," Powell said to strong applause from thousands of American Jews attending an evening session opening the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's 44th annual policy conference. Let there be no doubt of the outcome," he said. "We will drive Saddam Hussein and his regime from power." And he vowed a relentless effort to attack the Al Qaeda terror network around the world: "Let there be no doubt. We will pursue Al Qaeda wherever they are." Turning to Iran, which President Bush has denounced as a member of an "axis of evil" along with Iraq and North Korea, Powell said it must stop its support of terrorism against Israel and "Iran must stop its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and the ability to produce them." Following up on an accusation last week by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld that Syria is allowing war material to flow into Iraq, Powell said "Syria faces a critical choice," whether to "continue its direct support for terrorism in the dying days" of the Iraqi government. Rumsfeld has called Syria's actions "hostile" and Powell kept up the pressure with a warning that "Syria bears a responsibility for its choices and consequences." On the Israeli-Palestinian front, Powell renewed Bush's support for a Palestinian state and said, "Israel's security requires peace with its neighbors." Powell reiterated that Israel must not only abandon but also remove any settlement construction in the West Bank.
Arafat's Suicide Squads Dispatched to Baghdad
March 31….(Jerusalem Post) One of the top commanders of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, the largest faction of the PLO, says hundreds of Palestinians living in Lebanon have been sent to Iraq to carry out suicide attacks against American and British soldiers. The PLO Fatah has decided to ''strike at American interests all over the world. Fatah has concluded that resisting the American aggression on Iraq supports the Palestinian people and the intifada. What is happening in Iraq is the battle of the Palestinian people first and the Arab and Muslim nation second. The PLO reportedly already has its suicide squads in Baghdad, prepared to launch suicide attacks, and that another group of Fatah suicide bombers is due there shortly. Palestinian sources said the Fatah volunteers entered Iraq through Syria. Fatah, which is the first Palestinian group to recruit women for suicide missions, has several thousand militiamen in Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps, and is headed by Arafat, who also holds the title of chairman of the Palestinian Authority. Most of the Fatah gunmen continue to receive their salaries from the PLO. Leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have repeatedly urged Iraqis to endorse the suicide attacks as an effective weapon against the Americans and British troops. On Friday, tens of thousands of Palestinians, chanting, ''Oh beloved Saddam, bomb Tel Aviv'' and ''Death to America,'' rallied in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in their biggest show of support ever for Iraq.
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