Focus On Jerusalem





D-Hour for Iran Rapidly Approaches

April 29….(Jerome R. Corsi) The Financial Times announced yesterday in a front-page article that the Pentagon has notified Congress of the pending sale to Israel of 100 "bunker-buster" bombs that could be used to attack Iran's secret underground nuclear facilities, such as their uranium-enrichment farm at Natanz. Congress has only 30 days to object. If the liberal Democrats decide to pass on raising a fuss, Lockheed Martin will proceed to deliver the 5,000-pound GBU-28 bombs to the Israeli Defense Force, marking the first time Lockheed Martin has ever sold a "bunker-buster" to a foreign nation. No matter how much Prime Minister Sharon objects that Israel has no current plans to attack Iran, the mullahs are sure to worry. There is more evidence that the mullahs are panicking. Yesterday, Hossein Musavian, the director of the foreign policy committee of the Supreme National Security Council told the Mehr News Agency in Tehran that the Europeans must agree to allow Iran to resume enriching uranium at their next negotiating session scheduled for this Friday, April 29, in London. Otherwise, Iran is ready to declare that no
progress is being made in the talks and they are ready to pull out. In other words, the mullahs are threatening to tell the world that it is their way or the highway. Why such a tough negotiating stance? The mullahs know that their game is down to the final hours. The mullahs view their getting an atomic bomb as their ultimate life-insurance policy. With the bomb in hand, the mullahs see themselves as being instantly in control, able to dictate their terms to the world. In writing "Atomic Iran," I discussed key intelligence information that had been passed to the United States in a secret meeting held in Rome in 2003. Iranian operatives disclosed a Five Pillars Policy that Ayatollah Khamenei had determined to direct Iran's nuclear weapons efforts. The five pillars were these:
-Rule Iran with an iron fist.
-Buy time.
-Do everything possible to destabilize the United States in Iraq.
-Develop nuclear weapons in Iran.
-With nuclear weapons in hand, Iran will assert its power and will upon the world.
Right now we are seeing the mullahs play this policy out to its conclusion. No one reading "Atomic Iran" should be surprised by the events unfolding in front of us. Iran is playing the world for a fool, promising to use nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes only, while secretly pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told President Bush and Vice President Cheney in Crawford, Texas, last week that this June; only a few weeks from now; Iran would reach the "point of no return," the points where the mullahs have within their hands on everything they need to make an atomic bomb. Sharon shared the Israeli intelligence satellite photos that proved his point. We are headed down the path of confrontation and war. If the mullahs proceed
headlong in their rush to get a bomb, President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon will soon be called on their bluff. Let's all hope the president and prime minister mean it when they say the mullahs will never be permitted to have an atomic bomb. Yet, I still pray there will be no war. I believe internal dissent within Iran can rise up, as it did in Lebanon, to demonstrate that the regime is widely unpopular and has to go. On June 17, the date of Iran's next presidential election, civil disobedience is being planned in Iran.


Putin Denies Russia is Destabilizing Middle East

April 29….(By James Rose, Times Online) Vladimir Putin today shrugged off accusations that he was destabilizing the Middle East by selling missiles to Syria. On a visit to the region, the Russian President was accused by Israeli leaders of endangering Israel's security through military and nuclear deals with its enemies. Mr. Putin told a news conference in Jerusalem that Russia's supply of components to Iran's nuclear program and sale of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria posed no danger to the Jewish State. He did however urge Iran to do more to demonstrate that it was not attempting to use its Russian-bought hardware in an attempt to build atomic weapons. "Regarding Iran, we are working to make sure their nuclear ability is used for peaceful means," Mr. Putin told the news conference. "The agreement with Iran requires it to return all its spent nuclear fuel to Russia so it cannot be used for military purposes.

Lighting A Fuse in Lebanon

April 28….(FOJ) The Lebanese-Syrian political theatre, with the recent assassination of Rafik Hariri, and the just concluded Syrian troop withdrawal from Lebanon represents just one platform stage in America’s pursuance in the war on terror. US pressure on Syria, Iran and Hizbullah, which operates out of Lebanon and is headquartered in Damascus; is in conjunction with US interests in Iraq, in the Israeli-Palestinan dilemma, and in the broader global war on terror. The world’s major players (US, EU, Russia, and China) are all fully aware that the superpower of the 21st century must exert power over the Middle East. The Lebanese situation offers a serendipitous new pivot point of Washington's (Bush Doctrine) democracy and freedom-democracy promotion policy in the Middle East. The ongoing difficulties of the UN leadership, and its continued impotence (Anan) reveal an example of how regional forces and global powers contend with each other to use the United Nations to achieve strangleholds on power.  The events in Lebanon in some cases are aimed to change the regional realignments of key states and political groups, especially the American desire to weaken the ties among Hizbullah, Syria, Iran, and some hard-line Palestinian groups. The Lebanon experiment, like the Iraqi experiment, will depend on how Syria reacts politically to its withdrawal from Lebanon, and how Iran responds to both Lebanon and Iraq being swayed into the democracy fold. Syria may become compliant, or it may become more defiant about American demands on its ties to Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, Hizbullah, Iran, "terrorism" and weapons of mass destruction. The Bible is quite explicit about the role Iran (Persia) will play in end-time events. Iran has regularly demonstrated its contempt for the US and for Israel, and has openly asserted that it will nuke Israel when it acquires the means to do so. Ironically, Ezekiel’s prediction of the great Russia-Persia invasion against Israel does not include Syria, which is highly suggestive that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah, with its Syrian complicity, stands at the forefront of a prior confrontation (pre-Ezekiel 38) with somebody who will react forcefully against Damascus and the Hezbollah infiltration into Lebanon. This week, Vladimir Putin, speaking in Jerusalem chastised Israel for offensive actions in Lebanon’s airspace, and confirmed Russia’s commitment to defending the security of Lebanon-Syrian airspace, by supplying Syria with anti-aircraft artillery and missiles. Mr. Putin used the occasion to advance Russia’s influence within the broader context of the Middle East Peace Process, and by doing so his hope is to enlarge Russia’s involvement within the Middle East geo-political power-equation, and to enhance Russian standing in the Arab world, and to demonstrate that Russia by virtue of its strategic alliances with Iran and Syria must be dealt with, sooner or later,…. just as the prophet Ezekiel predicted.

Putin Pushes Middle East Peace While in Israel


April 28….(FOJ) Russian President Vladimir Putin faced down Israeli criticism yesterday, saying Russia's planned sale of anti-aircraft missiles to Syria and supply of nuclear components to Iran does not threaten Israel's security. Putin also pointed out that Syria needed measures of security from Israel, as IDF planes have regularly infiltrated Syrian and Lebanese airspace in a show of power. (Israeli warplanes bombed alleged militant training bases outside Damascus on Oct. 5, 2003, and buzzed one of Syrian President Bashar Assad's palaces after a Hezbollah terrorist attack in Israel) Putin spoke on the second day of his historic visit to Israel, the first trip here by a Kremlin leader, before going into a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Addressing Israeli fears that he's affecting the region's balance of power, by selling weapons to Syria and Iran, Putin urged Iran to do more to show the world that it's not trying to build a nuclear weapon. He also pledged to tackle the growing problem of anti-Semitism in his country, saying "there can be no place for xenophobia, anti-Semitism or other forms of racial or religious intolerance" in the 21st century. Putin’s trip to the Middle East is intended to cement Russia's rapprochement with the Jewish state and boost its profile in the international arena, just as the Quartet sponsored peace Roadmap starts to hit its stride. But it was shadowed by disagreements with Israel over Russia's aid to Syria and Iran, two of Israel's staunchest enemies. Russia has provided assistance for Iran's nuclear program and has agreed to sell anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. Sharon repeatedly has said the missiles pose a danger to Israel and wants Putin to halt the deal. Israeli Vice Premier Ehud Olmert said that Russia is selling Iran components that can be used to make non-conventional weapons, and that Russia's assistance to Iran is a cause of concern. Putin defended the moves in talks with Israeli President Moshe Katsav, who holds a largely ceremonial role, saying that Russia was sensitive to Israel's security concerns. "Regarding Iran, we are working to make sure their nuclear ability is used for peaceful means." The agreement with Iran requires it to return all its spent nuclear fuel to Russia so it cannot be used for military purposes, Putin said. Putin also sought to allay concerns about the Syrian arms deal, saying the missiles should pose no threat to Israel. "The missiles we are providing to Syria are short-range anti-aircraft missiles that cannot reach Israeli territory," he said. President Putin also pushed for a Middle East Peace Summit to be held in in Moscow this fall to promote the Russian position amidst the Quartet, and Russia’s prestige in the Arab world. Putin visited Jerusalem’s Western Wall,  (the wailing wall, that forms an embankment wall for the Temple Mount platform) considered the holiest site in Israel. Putin also helped unveil a Russian donated monument commemorating the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust. Putin will also travel to the West Bank city of Ramallah Friday for talks with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.



Russia Selling Advanced Cruise Missiles to China


April 28….(FOJ) Geo-Strategy Direct and Asia News are each reporting that Russia is set to transfer advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to China as part of its sale of Kilo nuclear submarine package deal to Beijing. The deal has also been confirmed by US intelligence sources that are monitoring the developing Russia-China military alliance. The first SS-N-27 anti-ship cruise missiles will soon be delivered to China for use on advanced Kilo submarines that can fire the 156-mile variant of the SS-N-27, as well as land-attack cruise missiles. Ominously, China immediately warned that US plans for 'absolute military superiority' in the Far East will lead to an 'outer space arms race.' (And we think we can rely on the Russians and Chinese leaders to coerce North Korea to back off its nuclear arms development)



Americans Arrested for Giving Christian Pamphlets to Muslims

April 28….(WND) Two Americans have been arrested in Malaysia, accused of handing out Christian pamphlets to Muslims in a country where constitutionally protected religious freedom periodically collides with Islam's stance on apostasy. A Royal Malaysian Police spokesman said Thursday the two men had been apprehended while handing out pamphlets outside the mosque in Putrajaya, Malaysia's new administrative capital south of Kuala Lumpur. "There was a complaint by the imam of the masjid [mosque]," he said by phone from Kuala Lumpur. "Acting on the complaint, the Criminal Investigation Department of Putrajaya arrested the two Americans."

FOJ Note: The President of Malaysia has called for the annihilation of Israel, labeling it the most racist State in the world.

Look Up, Lift up Your Heads, Redemption Draweth Nigh

April 27….(FOJ) As readers of the FOJ Newsroom follow the ominous prophetic related events of our times, and anticipate the coming Day of the Lord, it sometimes may seem like the world is becoming totally unfriendly towards the things of God, and towards us as followers of Christ. But, after expounding upon the many numerous details about the signs of the times in his Olivet Discourse, (most of which were gloomy) Jesus concluded his remarks by urging his followers to look up toward heaven as we begin to witness the signs pertaining to the Last Days trickle along our historic 2nd coming horizon. (Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.) The Lord’s watchful command to “look up” comes from the Greek word “anakupto” which means to become elated, as you observe the signs that divulge that the nearness of the Lords return is surely near. The words “lift up” in this verse as taken from the Greek are from the word “epairo,” which means to exalt oneself, or to rise up with a feeling of poise, and confidence, even as we observe the falling away of the Christian base in this world, in conjunction with the rising spirit of the Antichrist as the Rapture event draws nigh. These words of advice from our Lord are consistent with his urges for us to always be watchful for his return. (Mark 13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.) Peter continued the same exhortation to Christians as he wrote about the coming Tribulation. (II Peter 3:10-12 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?) The word “hasting” as used by Peter is taken from the Greek word, “pseudo,” which means to become strengthened in spirit, even in light of ominous evil events as you anticipate the coming of the Lord. There are only two reasons why a Christian could exalt, or become elated and have poise, and to gain strength in the spirit as he watches the dark days of the Tribulation era creep closer and closer. One, the Christian knows that the Lord is coming, and secondly, he should also know that he has a blessed hope (rapture) promised to the Church by the Lord that he will keep Christians from the hour of temptation that is coming upon the world.

(Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I (Jesus) also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, (Tribulation) which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.)

US Intel 'Unable to Rule Out' WMD Transfers to Syria

April 27….(World Tribune) The US intelligence community has concluded that Iraq and Syria discussed WMD cooperation, including the transfer of WMD out of Iraq, but that "firm conclusions on actual WMD movements" may never be known. A US intelligence report called for further investigation, and did not rule out unofficial efforts to move Iraqi WMD assets into Syria. The Iraq Survey Group stated, in a report sponsored by the CIA, that it "was unable to complete its investigation and is unable to rule out the possibility that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war." The report marked the official end of a two-year weapons hunt led most recently by former UN weapons inspector Charles A. Duelfer and was published on the Government Printing Office's Web site. It concluded that the ISG had failed to confirm reports that Syria received "official" WMD shipments from Iraq in late 2002 and early 2003, as Middle East Newsline reported. In 2003, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency reported the arrival of numerous convoys in Syria from the Iraqi border prior and during the US invasion. Agency director James Clapper, acting on what he termed an "educated hunch," said he was confident that the Iraqi convoys contained WMD components. The ISG appeared to echo Clapper's assessment and detailed the extensive military cooperation between Baghdad and Damascus. The report said that the Sunni insurgency in Iraq has limited and eventually halted the investigation of whether Iraq moved WMD assets to Syria. (perhaps this was a primary objective of someone) ISG said the results of the probe "remain inconclusive, but further investigation may be undertaken when circumstances on the ground improve." Still, ISG asserted that the Saddam regime sought to transfer WMD assets to Syria, which served as the leading way-station for the transfer of illegal weapons from Europe to Iraq. The report did say Syria initiated efforts to obtain the Iraqi WMD.

FOJ Note: Focus on Jerusalem ran a World Net Daily news story last month detailing how Russia facilitated the transfer of WMD out of Iraq and into Syria, while the US was lobbying the UN Security Council to take action against Saddam Hussein. Russia, France and Germany had been highly instrumental in aiding Saddam’s WMD arsenals, and did not wish to get caught red-handed by the US-British led forces that toppled Saddam.


President Bush, Saudi Prince Abdullah Hold Oil Summit

April 26….(AP) President Bush yesterday pressed Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah to increase the flow of crude oil from his nation's vast reserves, but failed during their meeting to win any short-term relief for Americans pummeled by sky-high gasoline prices.


image What a sight! The President of the United States walking hand-in-hand with the Crown Prince of the Wahibbi Islamic state of Saudi Arabia. It seems to reflect the beggarly geo-political position of the US, as America has entrapped itself over oil, in the burdensome stone trap that is Jerusalem!


   Instead, Bush administration officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley, touted long-range plans already offered by the Saudis to increase capacity and production by several million barrels per day by the end of the decade. The president said before the meeting that "the crown prince understands that it is very important, to make sure that prices are reasonable." Last week the president said he does not think the Saudis are "pumping flat out." Other issues, including terrorism, the prospects for peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, Syria's role in Lebanon and democratic change in the Middle East, filled the leaders' meeting and discussion over lunch. A joint statement by the two leaders reflected continued tensions over the issue of democratic change, but did not criticize Saudi Arabia's poor human rights record. It said: "The United States considers that our nations will create institutions that reflect the history, culture and traditions of their societies; and that the US does not seek to impose its own style of government on the government and people of Saudi Arabia." During yesterday's meeting at the President's ranch, the Saudis presented details of a plan, first released in February, to increase production capacity to 12.5 million barrels per day by 2009, up from the current 11 million. Top Saudis also reiterated a pledge from last week that the oil-rich nation will soon increase its output, currently running at 9.5 million barrels per day. But Adel al Jubeir, Prince Abdullah's foreign affairs adviser, told reporters in Crawford, Texas that Saudi leaders had little to offer Mr. Bush beyond that, saying the high prices are the result of a lack of adequate refining capacity in the United States and elsewhere. "Saudi Arabia is producing all the oil that our customers are requesting," he said.  A longer-term plan calls for Saudi Arabia, home to 25 percent of the world's known oil reserves and the largest supplier to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, to increase production to 15 million barrels per day, an initiative expected to cost $50 billion. But neither plan does much in the short term to stem high prices at US pumps, at $2.24 for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline, according to yesterday's Energy Information Administration report. That is 42 cents higher than a year ago, and oil-industry analysts predict prices will continue to rise throughout the summer. Crude oil prices have risen more than 40 percent this year, reaching a record $58.28 per barrel this month and closing yesterday at $54.14 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. One top US energy research official said prices likely will remain above $50 per barrel for at least the next two or three years. Mr. Bush and other administration officials said that as part of a long-term solution, the Senate must vote quickly on a comprehensive energy strategy, approved by the House, that includes tapping US oil reserves in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).

   While the Saudis and Americans have previously differed on the subject of Israel, one White House spokesman said both leaders agreed they should help facilitate the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, and implement the roadmap as a means to stabilize the oil markets. "The focus is very much on what we can all do to assist the Palestinians to be able to develop the institution of democratic states, that is, prepare to take responsibility for the territory they will take control of," the spokesman said. Two weeks ago, President Bush met at the ranch with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and said Israel should abandon plans for new construction of Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories. The Saudis believe the administration's strong support for Israel harms prospects for peace in the Middle East. Despite the difficult matters, the leaders were said to have a much friendlier meeting than three years ago for Abdullah's first visit to the ranch. For one thing, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, a polarizing figure, is now gone, replaced by an elected president of the Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas will have his own meeting with Bush in the next few weeks. Saudi officials also have played an instrumental role in persuading Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. They have been supportive of increasing oil production at crucial times. And Abdullah has taken some initial steps toward introducing democracy to Saudi Arabia by holding elections for municipal councils, even though women's rights remain severely restricted, political parties are banned and press freedoms are limited.


Hamas to US: Holy City is Ours

(Terror group warns America about recognizing Jerusalem as Jewish capital) (FOJ Note: the US Presidents have continually vetoed legislation moving the American embassy to Israel to the city of Jerusalem. Each time, the President has cited national security as the reason. We saw on 9-11 that this threat is real, and the subject of Jerusalem is at the heart of the war on terror!)

April 26….(WND) Hamas warned yesterday against any American attempt to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying such a move, currently being debated by the US Congress, would spark immediate violence throughout the Middle East. Any US resolution recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will explode the region into violence and end the current "calm" in the Palestinian territories, said Hamas spokesman Mushir Al-Masri. (sounds like a terrorist threat, does it not?) Al-Masri was responding to a congressional discussion last week regarding a draft resolution requesting the US administration recognize Jerusalem as the "united and eternal capital" of Israel before officially recognizing any future Palestinian State. The Hamas spokesman demanded Jerusalem be reserved for the capital of what it called its future state. "We will not accept less than this at any time," Al-Masri warned. World Net Daily broke a story last month that the United States has quietly approved a plan to relocate its consulate from the eastern section of Jerusalem to a western Jerusalem neighborhood, with construction of the new facility already beginning, and some in Israel worried the move may be related to the Jewish state withdrawing from eastern Jerusalem and giving the area to the Palestinians for a future state. The US had debated for several years moving its consulate, currently located in a largely Arab eastern Jerusalem neighborhood, to the western, more Jewish section of the city, with talks intensifying as the Oslo peace process moved forward and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations culminating in Israel agreeing at Camp David in 2000 to give the eastern section of Jerusalem to the PLO to create its future state's capital. The new facility, now under construction, will feature 9,000 square meters of constructed space housing the consular department, public affairs, the Agency for International Development, the consulate's Foreign Commercial Service, and consulate management and other support services. The new Jerusalem consulate is scheduled to open in early 2007. The US is maintaining the consular move is related to rising concerns over suicide attacks in Jerusalem and security threats in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood. "We've been dealing with the process of moving the consulate to a secure location for several years now," Chuck Hunter, a spokesperson at the Jerusalem consulate, told WND. But some in Israel worry the consular move may be politically motivated. They charge the US is transferring its facilities ahead of an ultimate Israeli withdrawal from eastern Jerusalem. Moshe Feiglin, Likud member and leader of the Manhigut Yehudit nationalist party told WND: "It looks believable the US would move the consulate to get out of that neighborhood ahead of a withdrawal." Knesset Member Uzi Landau, one of the leading anti-disengagement forces within Sharon's Likud Party, told WND he thinks Israel will withdraw from Jerusalem in the future: "It is quite clear the disengagement policy will lead to the division of Jerusalem.


Syria Officialy Ends (Supposedly) Occupation in Lebanon

April 26….(Jerusalem Post) Surrendering to international and Lebanese popular demands, Syria ended its 29-year military presence in its smaller neighbor on Tuesday with a farewell ceremony near their shared border. The ceremony opened with Lebanese and Syrian military commanders placing a wreath of flowers at a cornerstone they laid for a monument to commemorate the Syrian military presence in Lebanon. As military honors were read out, troops punctuated the ceremony with chants supportive of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Syria allies in Beirut have been eager to give the rushed withdrawal some dignity, which was evident in the formal farewell ceremonies. Top-ranking military commanders from both sides made formal addresses, stressing the close relationship between the two countries in speeches rife with references to the "Israeli enemy." Gen. Ali Habib, Syria's chief of staff, said in his speech that Assad had decided to pull out his troops after the Lebanese army was "rebuilt on sound national foundations and became capable of protecting the state." He added that Syria had no "ambitions in Lebanon, except to protect it." He remarked that Syria would stand behind Lebanon in the face of "Israeli aggression" and commented on Syria's "continued support of the Palestinian resistance to the occupation." By withdrawing, he said that Syria will have "fulfilled all its obligations toward" UN Resolution 1559, which called on it to pull out.
The Syrians entered Lebanon in 1976, ostensibly as peacekeepers in the year-old civil war. After the war ended in 1990, about 40,000 Syrian troops remained, giving Damascus the decisive say in Lebanese politics
. Anger over the Feb. 14 assassination of former premier Rafik Hariri helped turn the tide against Syria's longtime presence in Lebanon. Unconvinced by Syrian and Lebanese government denials of involvement, pressure to leave snowballed. Huge "Syria Out" demonstrations in Beirut brought down the pro-Syrian government, and UN and US pressure intensified on Damascus until it withdrew its army. Speaking at the farewell ceremony, Lebanese army commander Michel Suleiman lauded the role of Syria's army in Lebanon, crediting it with rebuilding the army, maintaining peace among the country's 17 sects and ending the 1975-90 civil war.

FOJ Note: The withdrawal of Syrian forces is a pretext for the expansion of Iranian backed Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.



Muslims Hail New Pope


April 26….(Newsday) Muslims in the US hailed Pope Benedict XVI's meeting with Islamic leaders at the Vatican on Monday, saying they are increasingly confident the new pontiff wants better ties between the world's two largest religions. The former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, chosen last week to succeed Pope John Paul II, met with Islamic leaders who had attended his installation Mass the day before, promising to work toward building "bridges of friendship" between Catholics and Muslims. "It is encouraging to note that a meeting with Muslims was one of the first official acts of Pope Benedict XVI," said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We hope that this initial positive step is a sign that he intends to build on Pope John Paul II's legacy of interfaith dialogue and reconciliation." The new pontiff said growing dialogue between the religions is a step toward fostering peace. "It is therefore imperative to engage in authentic and sincere dialogue, built on respect for the dignity of every human person, created as we Christians firmly believe, in the image and likeness of God," said Pope Benedict XVI. His words were heartening to Muslims who were carefully watching the new pontiff for signs of how he will approach relations with Islam. Added Mohamed El-Filali of Paterson, a board member of the American Muslim Union and a member of a Christian-Muslim interfaith group run by the Archdiocese of Newark. "He's a Vatican insider from the get-go, and the Catholic leadership has realized that Muslims are people they need to communicate with. We're very excited about it." Chaudhry Sadiq, a spokesman for the South Carolina office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Columbia, said Muslims hope the new pope will continue the efforts of his predecessor to reach out to the Islamic world.
"The previous pope went all-out to try to play a role in bridging the various faiths," he said. "He went to a lot of pain in his life to speak to the oppressed and for justice. It is an indisputable fact that most of the trouble spots right now are in the Muslim world, and the worst suffering is by Muslims." Aref Assaf of Denville, president of the New Jersey chapter of the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said he hopes Muslim leaders will respond positively to Benedict's overture. "We welcome his good will and gesture of respect," Assaf said. "Muslims recognize the great symbolic and spiritual role the Pope plays in Christianity. We hope that Muslims leaders will quickly respond with both appropriate language and deeds. There are many more core issues that unite Christians and Muslims than divide them."



Putin Bemoans Collapse of Soviet Empire


April 26….(Worthy News) Russian President Vladimir Putin told the Russian nation Monday that the collapse of the Soviet empire "was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century" and had fostered separatist movements inside Russia. In his annual state of the nation address to parliament and the country's top political leaders, Putin said the Soviet collapse was "a genuine tragedy" for Russians. "First and foremost it is worth acknowledging that the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century," Putin said. "As for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy. Tens of millions of our fellow citizens and countrymen found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory. "The epidemic of collapse has spilled over to Russia itself," he said, referring to separatist movements such as those in Chechnya. Putin's statements were some of his strongest language to date about the Soviet collapse and come a month before Russia celebrates the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe."


Muslim Terrorists Hoping to Hasten the Coming of the Hidden Imam

April 25….(MEMRI) The official Iranian news agency Fars, which is close to the conservative circles in Iran, recently published a statement by Ayatollah Hossein Nouri-Hamedani, one of the Iranian regime's leading religious authorities, in which he advocates fighting the Jews in order to prepare the ground and to hasten the advent of the Hidden Imam, the Messiah according to Shiite belief. The following is the text of Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani's censored statements. Prior to the Advent of the Hidden Imam, Arrogance and Colonialism Rule the World. "Fars news agency: Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani, discussing Shi'ite religious texts, said: 'One should fight the Jews and vanquish them so that the conditions for the advent of the Hidden Imam be met.' According to the Fars news agency's report, Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani met with members of the Mahdaviyat Studies Institute.He praised the institute's work and demanded that the religious seminaries in Qom also do more to research religious texts and hadith concerning the Hidden Imam. "Nouri-Hamedani said that the texts concerning the end of days are rife with allusions and hidden meanings. He asked the researchers to devote their efforts to elucidating these texts. He noted: 'In the texts it is told that the Hidden Imam will remove the yoke of humiliation from mankind's neck. Therefore it is clear that prior to the advent of the Hidden Imam, Arrogance [a common epithet for Western powers, especially the USA] and colonialism rule the world. The Jews Have Hoarded All the Wealth in One Place, and All the World are Their Slaves. "According to this religious authority, 'at present the Jews' policies threaten us. One should explain in the clearest terms the danger the Jews pose to the Iranian people and to the Muslims. Ever since Islam's appearance, the group that expressed fierce opposition to Islam, and still acts in this fashion, were the Jews. They always worked in important professions and now they have hoarded all of the wealth in one place. And all of the world, especially America and Europe, are their slaves. In another statement from last year, Ayatollah Nouri-Hamedani, on the occasion of his visit to the cities of Khoramshahr and Shalamche, said: "World Arrogance [i.e., the US and the Western powers] is creating a trinity of evil: heresy, divisiveness, and Zionism, in order to weaken the Iranian people's spirit and to create division and disagreement with respect to our regime. Therefore all of the senior officials and the public must be on their guard more than ever. "The spreading of prostitution and evil things, the creation of a mentality of inferiority, and the propagation of crazy ideas such as secularism, liberalism, and humanism are all part of our enemies' plans to sow disunity in our society. The revelation of the culture of Jihad and martyrdom in the country of Iran struck world Arrogance [i.e., the U.S. and the Western powers] with dread. The existence of such a spirit among our youth led to world Arrogance's not daring to infringe on our borders. History shows that every people that lost the culture of Jihad and martyrdom were brought down."


Iran Plans to Destroy US with A Nuclear Bomb

April 25….(WND) Iran is not only covertly developing nuclear weapons, it is already testing ballistic missiles specifically designed to destroy America's technical infrastructure, effectively neutralizing the world's lone superpower, say US intelligence sources, top scientists and western missile industry experts. The radical Shiite regime has conducted successful tests to determine if its Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, can be detonated by a remote-control device while still in high-altitude flight. Scientists, including President Reagan's top science adviser, William R. Graham, say there is no other explanation for such tests than preparation for the deployment of Electromagnetic Pulse weapons, even one of which could knock out America's critical electrical and technological infrastructure, effectively sending the continental US back to the 19th century with a recovery time of months or years. Iran will have that capability, at least theoretically, as soon as it has one nuclear bomb ready to arm such a missile. North Korea, a strategic ally of Iran, already boasts such capability. The stunning report was first published over the weekend in Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. Just last month, Congress heard testimony about the use of such weapons and the threat they pose from rogue regimes. Iran has surprised intelligence analysts by describing the mid-flight detonations of missiles fired from ships on the Caspian Sea as "successful" tests. Even primitive Scud missiles could be used for this purpose. And top US intelligence officials reminded members of Congress that there is a glut of these missiles on the world market. They are currently being bought and sold for about $100,000 apiece. A terrorist organization might have trouble putting a nuclear warhead 'on target' with a Scud, but it would be much easier to simply launch and detonate in the atmosphere," says Senator John Kyl. "No need for the risk and difficulty of trying to smuggle a nuclear weapon over the border or hit a particular city. Just launch a cheap missile from a freighter in international waters. Al-Qaida is believed to own about 80 such vessel. One Iranian nuclear warhead could cripple the country, knocking out electrical power and circuit boards and rendering the US domestic communications impotent. While Iran still insists officially in talks currently underway with the European Union that it is only developing nuclear power for peaceful civilian purposes, the mid-flight detonation missile tests persuade US military planners and intelligence agencies that Tehran can only be planning such an attack, which depends on the availability of at least one nuclear warhead. Some analysts believe the stage of Iranian missile developments suggests Iranian scientists will move toward the production of weapons-grade nuclear material shortly as soon as its nuclear reactor in Busher is operative. Jerome Corsi, author of “Atomic Iran” told WorldNetDaily the new findings about Iran's Electromagnetic Pulse experiments significantly raise the stakes of the mullah regime's bid to become a nuclear power. "Up until now, I believed the nuclear threat to the US from Iran was limited to the ability of terrorists to penetrate the borders or port security to deliver a device to a major city," he said. "While that threat should continue to be a grave concern for every American, these tests by Iran demonstrate just how devious the fanatical mullahs in Tehran are. We are facing a clever and unscrupulous adversary in Iran that could bring America to its knees." Earlier this week, Iran's top nuclear official said Europe must heed an Iranian proposal on uranium enrichment or risk a collapse of the talks. The warning by Hassan Rowhani, head of the Supreme National Security Council, came as diplomats from Britain, France and Germany began talks with their Iranian counterparts in Geneva, ahead of a more senior-level meeting in London set for April 29. Enrichment produces fuel for nuclear reactors, which can also be used in the explosive core of nuclear bombs. "The Europeans should tell us whether these ideas can work as the basis for continued negotiations or not," Rowhani said, referring to the Iranian proposal put forward last month that would allow some uranium enrichment. "If yes, fine. If not, then the negotiations cannot continue," he said. Some analysts believe Iran is using the negotiations merely to buy time for further development of the nuclear program. The US plans, according to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, to allow the EU talks to continue before deciding this summer to push for United Nations sanctions against Iran. Last month, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security chaired by Kyl, held a hearing on the Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP, threat. "An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the American homeland, said one of the distinguished scientists who testified at the hearing, is one of only a few ways that the United States could be defeated by its enemies, terrorist or otherwise," wrote Kyl "And it is probably the easiest. A single Scud missile, carrying a single nuclear weapon, detonated at the appropriate altitude, would interact with the Earth's atmosphere, producing an electromagnetic pulse radiating down to the surface at the speed of light. Depending on the location and size of the blast, the effect would be to knock out already stressed power grids and other electrical systems across much or even all of the continental United States, for months if not years." The purpose of an EMP attack, unlike a nuclear attack on land, is not to kill people, but "to kill electrons," as Graham explained. Graham told WorldNetDaily he could think of no other reason for Iran to be experimenting with mid-air detonation of missiles than for the planning of an EMP-style attack. "EMP offers a bigger bang for the buck," he said. He also suggested such an attack makes a US nuclear response against a suspected enemy less likely than the detonation of a nuclear bomb in a major US city. A 2004 report by the commission found "several potential adversaries have or can acquire the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapons-generated electromagnetic pulse (EMP). A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication." "EMP is one of a small number of threats that can hold our society at risk of catastrophic consequences," the report said. "EMP will cover the wide geographic region within line of sight to the nuclear weapon. It has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures and thus to the very fabric of US society, as well as to the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power." The major impact of EMP weapons is on electronics, "so pervasive in all aspects of our society and military, coupled through critical infrastructures," explained the report. "Their effects on systems and infrastructures dependent on electricity and electronics could be sufficiently ruinous as to qualify as catastrophic to the nation," Lowell Wood, acting chairman of the commission, told members of Congress. The commission report went so far as to suggest, in its opening sentence, that an EMP attack "might result in the defeat of our military forces." "Briefly, a single nuclear weapon exploded at high altitude above the United States will interact with the Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere and magnetic field to produce an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) radiation down to the Earth and additionally create electrical currents in the Earth," said the report. "EMP effects are both direct and indirect. The former are due to electrical systems, and the latter arise from the damage that 'shocked' – upset, damaged and destroyed – electronics controls then inflict on the systems in which they are embedded. The indirect effects can be even more severe than the direct effects." The EMP threat is not a new one considered by US defense planners. The Soviet Union has also experimented with the idea as a kind of super-weapon against the US. "What is different now is that some potential sources of EMP threats are difficult to deter, they can be terrorist groups that have no state identity, have only one or a few weapons and are motivated to attack the US without regard for their own safety," explains the commission report. "Rogue states, such as North Korea and Iran, may also be developing the capability to pose an EMP threat to the United States and may also be unpredictable and difficult to deter." Graham describes the potential "cascading effect" of an EMP attack. If electrical power is knocked out and circuit boards fried, telecommunications are disrupted, energy deliveries are impeded, the financial system breaks down, food, water and gasoline become scarce. As Kyl put it: "Few if any people would die right away. But the loss of power would have a cascading effect on all aspects of U.S. society. Communication would be largely impossible. Lack of refrigeration would leave food rotting in warehouses, exacerbated by a lack of transportation as those vehicles still working simply ran out of gas (which is pumped with electricity). The inability to sanitize and distribute water would quickly threaten public health, not to mention the safety of anyone in the path of the inevitable fires, which would rage unchecked. And as we have seen in areas of natural and other disasters, such circumstances often result in a fairly rapid breakdown of social order." "American society has grown so dependent on computer and other electrical systems that we have created our own Achilles' heel of vulnerability, ironically much greater than those of other, less developed nations," the senator wrote. "When deprived of power, we are in many ways helpless, as the New York City blackout made clear. "The Sept. 11 commission report stated that our biggest failure was one of 'imagination.' No one imagined that terrorists would do what they did on Sept. 11. Today few Americans can conceive of the possibility that terrorists could bring our society to its knees by destroying everything we rely on that runs on electricity. But this time we've been warned, and we'd better be prepared to respond."


Pope Benedict Reaches Out to Muslims


April 25….(AP) A day after reaching out to other Christians and to Jews in his installation Mass, Pope Benedict XVI met Monday with members of the Muslim community, assuring them the church wanted to continue building "bridges of friendship" that he said could foster peace in the world. Benedict made the comments while meeting with religious leaders who attended Sunday's installation ceremony, saying he was particularly grateful that members of the Muslim community were present. "I express my appreciation for the growth of dialogue between Muslims and Christians, both at the local and international level," he said. Most Jewish leaders could not attend the Mass because it coincided with Passover.




Deceptive Tolerance: The One World Religion

April 22….(Jan Markell/Olive Tree Ministry) There's was a "Vatican watch" for weeks, even months as Pope John Paul II slowly ebbed away from this world. When Pope John Paul II first became ill, reporters from around the world camped outside of the hospital or the Vatican with coverage 24/7. Some networks covered the scene without interruption keeping a constant eye on Rome. When the crisis moved on, TV cameras then focused on a chimney for two days. Unbelievable. And why were non-Catholics so caught up in this? Why was a chimney such an epic world event? The fact that a pope is a world leader, not just a spiritual head, was revealed the days following his death. He "united" Muslims, Hindus, New Agers, evangelicals, atheists, kings, mullahs, presidents, generals, and more. Many called him a "man of peace" which reveals the world's longing for such a man. Until I studied eschatology, none of this would have caught my serious attention. However, I do feel it has apocalyptic overtones and no, the pope is not going to be the Antichrist. All of this bears watching, however, because of the deceptive "tolerance" that was accentuated through all of this. Ecumenicity has a new meaning right now: Let's reach out and embrace all who profess God, regardless of who their god is. If it's Baal, Allah, Krishna, "mother earth," Druids, Wiccans, Satanists, or self, I can almost hear the Antichrist saying, "Just give me your allegiance and I will guarantee your freedom to worship as you please." Absolute truth will be forbidden as only the Antichrist and the False Prophet will have that authority. Pope Benedictine 16th wants to unite all of Christianity and reach out to all religions. If you have your eye on the sky, bells and whistles should be going off. The book of Revelation talks a lot about the "one world" theme. There will be an end-time system according to Revelation 13 and all will be one. John Lennon would be pleased based on his song "Imagine" there's no Heaven or hell and the world will be one. But Benedictine wants to have "an open and sincere dialogue" with all religions and says he will do anything in his power to improve the ecumenical cause. Revelation 13 talks about the "religious beast" who would be the False Prophet. The "political beast" is the Antichrist. In Revelation 17 it is clear that the system will operate out of a city on seven hills. Yes, there are several cities on seven hills including the most prominent, Rome. Apostate religious leaders will unite under the False Prophet but there must be a system in place over which they can unite. Pope Benedictine 16th is likely a temporary pope. Could his successor be a wicked pope and fill the role of the False Prophet? I believe he could but that is speculation based in part on Scripture. The global religious system must be large enough and centralized enough to legitimize a new system of pseudo-Christianity modified so it would accommodate all religions in the world, but it would exclude all those who put their trust in Jesus Christ as Savior.


Saddam's WMD: Even UN Concludes they were Removed

April 22….(Geostrategy-Direct) One of the biggest lies being bandied about was that US intelligence failed to find a weapons of mass destruction program in Iraq. The United States looked for chemical weapons, biological weapons and nuclear facilities and couldn't find any. The conclusion was that Saddam had no WMD facility. Here's another, far more plausible, view. The Saddam Hussein regime dismantled all WMD facilities and either concealed them in Iraq or shipped them to Syria. This is more than the assessment of agencies within the US intelligence community: It is even the assessment of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Last week, the IAEA concluded that Iraq dismantled dozens of nuclear sites that had been operating under the Saddam regime. In a letter to the UN Security Council, the IAEA said satellite imagery revealed significant dismantling and removal activities at 37 Iraqi sites linked to Saddam's clandestine nuclear program since 2003. "But without on-site inspections no conclusions can be drawn," the IAEA said. The IAEA's investigation was logical. They focused on areas where destroyed equipment from the former nuclear program had been stored or discarded. "Satellite imagery has indicated that at least one site containing buried contaminated rubble has been extensively excavated," the letter said. The agency has sought permission for on-site inspections of these facilities to determine what took place. So far, the United States, fighting an insurgency war in Iraq, has not allowed these inspections. Regardless, the evidence is clear. Saddam's nuclear sites were systematically dismantled. The question is not the US failure to locate them; but what the former regime did with these WMD facilities.


Zarqawi a Nuke Threat?
(US intelligence indicates he has or is preparing 'dirty bomb')

April 21….(WND) The chief al-Qaida terrorist in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has acquired or is preparing a "dirty bomb" for an attack, according to US officials citing recurrent intelligence reports. For several months, intelligence agencies have been receiving the classified reports, which indicate Zarqawi has been storing the radiological explosive in Afghanistan, the Washington Times reported. Last month, a German intelligence official said Zarqawi was believed to be planning a chemical-weapons attack on the European continent. "We in Europe have been afraid that a big bang is coming sometime and that Zarqawi is planning it," an official at Germany's BND federal intelligence service told the April edition of the political monthly Cicero. A summary of the report by Agence France-Presse indicated the Jordanian terrorist has been seeking arms components in Russia's volatile north Caucasus region and in Georgia, but it was unclear if he had been successful. Zarqawi and his militant group, the al-Qaida Organization in the Land of Two Rivers, already has claimed responsibility for scores of fatal attacks in Iraq since the US military ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003. He's been sentenced to death by Jordan for his role in the killing of an American diplomat in Amman in October 2002. The US has put a $25 million bounty on his head. Zarqawi has had several close encounters in recent weeks with Iraqi and US forces. The Times noted senior US intelligence and security officials said in congressional testimony in February that a terrorist attack with weapons of mass destruction is likely. CIA Director Porter J. Goss said such a terrorist strike "may be only a matter of time." A report by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, made public March 30, pointed to "critical intelligence gaps with regard to each al Qaeda unconventional weapons capability, chemical, biological and nuclear." The commission said bin Laden told a Pakistani newspaper reporter in November 2001 that al-Qaida has both nuclear and chemical weapons. The CIA then "speculated" in a report that the terrorist group "probably had access to nuclear expertise and facilities and that there was a real possibility of the group developing a crude nuclear device." US intelligence agencies think development of a radiological bomb is "well within al-Qaida's capabilities," the commission said. In February, a classified bulletin to state and local security officials warned of intelligence reports indicating bin Laden had asked Zarqawi to focus future attacks on targets inside the United States.


Turkey Joins Russian Naval War Games

April 21….(MENL) Turkey has participated in a major Russian-led naval exercise as part of growing war games and military cooperation between the two countries. Russian officials said Turkey joined a Russian exercise in the Black Sea as part of regional and bilateral military cooperation. The officials said Ankara has agreed to a series of exercises with Russia over the next two years. Turkey participated in the Black Sea Partnership-2005 exercise, which took place in early April. On April 11 the Black Sea naval interoperability group, which included Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine, arrived in Istanbul at the end of the exercise. Officials said the exercise was meant to facilitate military cooperation with Turkey as well as regional security arrangements. Both Russia and Turkey share the Black Sea, and Moscow plans to pump crude oil and natural gas through the sea.

FOJ Note: Are Gomer and Togarmah preparing for the Russian led invasion against Israel? At the least, the nations are aligning themselves according to Ezekiel’s prophecy.


Trilateral Commission Meets With Top Bush Officials

April 21…(By Joseph Curl) The Trilateral Commission, a secretive association of the world's most powerful private citizens, met behind closed doors in Washington over the weekend with top Bush administration officials, discussing the rise of China, global currency conflicts and the pending referendum before nations of the European Union. None of the group's members spoke to the press after the meetings. Members include former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Richard Perle, Kennedy administration Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, a national security adviser in the Carter administration. Far less luminary members refused to talk to a reporter in the hallway of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Maryland Avenue in Southwest, waving off questions and walking hurriedly. The Trilateral Commission's annual meetings, held in Warsaw in 2004, Seoul in 2003, Washington in 2002 and London in 2001, have inspired conspiracy theories of powerful puppeteers who secretly pull the strings of world powers as they seek to establish a new world order. The theories are based partly on fact. Mr. Brzezinski once asserted that the commission came up with the idea to create the Group of Seven industrial nations. The commission boasts three US presidents among its ranks: Bill Clinton, George Bush and Jimmy Carter, who joined in 1973 and moved into the White House three years later.


Netanyahu: Israel Repeating Oslo Tragedy

April 21….(JNEWSWIRE) Israeli Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a gathering of Likud activists and officials Monday that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was about to bring Israel to catastrophe by repeating the mistakes of the Oslo “peace” process. Netanyahu was referring to Sharon’s plan to retreat from Gaza and northern Samaria without any reciprocity from the “Palestinians”. He reminded his audience of similar warnings a decade earlier as the Rabin-Peres government signed the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat’s PLO. "Without reciprocity, this will lead to catastrophe. I said it 10 years ago and I say it now,” Netanyahu stated, in his harshest criticism of Sharon’s policies in months. "We have to insist that if the Palestinians don't stop terrorism and incitement, we will not be obligated to any step, and certainly not to the transfer of territory,” Netanyahu said. Israel has, since the signing of Oslo, transferred control over 98 percent of the Palestinian Arab population to the PLO, in addition to large swaths of land. The “Palestinians” have yet to fulfill their one primary obligation, to disarm and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure. Netanyahu cautioned that the Arab world was becoming accustomed to receiving Israeli concessions without giving anything in return, and that the unilateral withdrawals were only accelerating that phenomenon. Speaking at the same time at the Army and Society Seminar, outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya’alon said, “Immediately after the disengagement, Israel can expect a burst of terrorism, especially in Judea and Samaria.” Ya’alon agreed with Netanyahu’s view, explaining that Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal would create a “tail wind” of terrorism because Israel had not first insisted that PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas put a final end to anti-Jewish violence. Netanyahu warned against Israel and the West giving Abbas more credit than he is due. "Abu Mazen [Abbas] is not Arafat in that he's not ordering terrorist attacks himself, but he is also no Sadat and he is not King Hussein," Netanyahu said. "He's not doing anything to dismantle the terrorist organizations." For more than three decades, Abbas was Arafat’s right-hand man, and is accused of being directly involved in the planning, financing and approval of such terrorist atrocities as the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.

Pope Benedict XVI Seeks Religious Unity!

Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday pledged to work to unify all Christians, (this means submission to the Pope) reach out to other religions and continue implementing reforms from the Second Vatican Council as he outlined his goals and made clear his pontificate would closely follow the trajectory of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. He said his “primary task” would be to work without fail to reunify all Christians. The new pope said he wanted to continue “an open and sincere dialogue” with other religions and would do everything in his power to improve the ecumenical cause. The message was clearly designed to show that Benedict was intent on following many of the groundbreaking paths charted by John Paul, who had made reaching out to other religions and trying to heal the 1,00welcome everybody with simplicity and love to assure them that the Church wants to continue in open and sincere dialogue with them, in search of the true good of man and society. Senior Jewish figures believe Pope Benedict will continue the positive, ground-breaking relations toward Israel and the Jews that characterized the papacy of John Paul. Muslim leaders on Wednesday urged the new pope to follow the path of his predecessor by building bridges between the two religions and helping to avoid religious bloodshed. "I hope the new pope will follow in the footsteps

image Revelation 17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
Jeremiah 51:7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunken of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.

Pope Benedict said, “the current successor of [Saint] Peter ... is willing to do everything in his power to promote the fundamental cause of ecumenism," the 78-year old pope said. "Theological dialogue is neccessary, the deep study of historic reasons behind past decisions is also indispensable. But the most important thing is 'purification of memory', which John Paul II so often mentioned, which is the only thing that can bring souls to accept the full truth of Christ." (oh really)


Bush: Syria Must Shut Down Hizbullah

April 20….(Worthy News) US President George W. Bush warned Syria on Monday night to comply with his administration's demand to shut down Hizbullah's Damascus offices, and to disarm the organization. Bush told the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation Monday Hizbullah "is a dangerous organization" that is "trying to destabilize the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians." He said if Syria refuses to disarm the group, he could work to apply diplomatic pressure and rally the international community against Syria. "Syria has got to do its part about making sure that Hizbollah doesn't receive support from Syria," Bush said in the interview. The US administration blames Hizbullah for numerous attacks since the 1980s. But this was the first time Bush spoke directly about the group. Bush stated he expects to see it completed so he can finally initiate a process that may stabilize Lebanon in its post-Syrian days. "I am pleased that they're beginning to get out," Bush said. "And we expect them to be completely out. And I mean not only the troops, but the people that have had, that have been embedded in parts of government, some of the intelligence services that have been embedded in government and others," he added. Washington demands a full Syrian withdrawal before the Lebanese parliamentary elections, to be held before the legislature's term expires on May 31. Syrian President Bashar Assad has said his country's remaining 8,000 soldiers and intelligence agents will leave Lebanon by April 30th.


Sharon Warns Bush of Regional War in 2006

April 20….(World Tribune) Israel has relayed its concern to the United States of the rising prospect of a Middle East war in 2006. US officials said Israel has determined that the expected US withdrawal from Iraq in 2006 would raise tensions in the region that could lead to a Middle East war. The officials said the Israeli assessment asserted that Iran would either lead or play a major role in any future war against the Jewish state. "It is the biggest nightmare of [Prime Minister] Ariel Sharon," a US official said. "He has relayed repeated messages to the administration that Iran and its Arab allies were preparing for war." Officials said Sharon has raised this issue with President George Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney and leaders of the US intelligence community. They said Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz have assessed that an Iran emboldened with nuclear weapons and intermediate-range missiles was seeking to form a coalition against Israel for a war that could take place after a US withdrawal from Iraq.  So far, the Bush administration has not supported Sharon's urging for an immediate response to Iran's nuclear weapons program. Officials said the administration has been supporting European Union diplomatic efforts for a permanent halt in Iranian uranium enrichment. They said the administration was prepared to give the EU until the end of 2005 to achieve its aim. "We all have a shared concern and a shared goal, our shared goal is to make sure Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "That would be a very destabilizing factor in the region. We continue to support those [EU] diplomatic efforts to resolve this in a peaceful manner." Israel has told the United States that Iran was developing nuclear warheads for ballistic and cruise missiles. Officials said Israel assessed that Iran would have indigenous nuclear capability by 2006. Sharon was also said to have urged Bush for military support to ensure that Israel would receive the supplies and weapons required to deter or fight any Middle East war in wake of the unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. Officials said the prime minister asserted that Iran was encouraging Palestinian insurgency groups and Hizbullah to increase tensions along the southern and northern Israeli borders. But officials said most of the US intelligence community does not share the Israeli assessment of either an imminent Iranian nuclear threat or the prospect of a regional war in 2006. They said US intelligence does not envision an Iranian nuclear bomb until at least 2010. (and we have seen how accurate US intelligence is from the WMD fiasco in Iraq) "Our intelligence community has used in the past an estimate that said that Iran was not likely to acquire a nuclear weapon before the beginning of the next decade," State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said on April 13. "That remains the case." The US priority in the Middle East, officials said, was for Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank as well as the establishment of a Palestinian state. During his meeting with Sharon, officials said, Bush asserted that the establishment of a Palestinian democracy would result in regional stability. (The President is wishing on this one, and Israel can’t survive a pipedream) "If you resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue, you've resolved the problem with extremism," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. "You will not have resolved the problem with extremism. The only way that the problem with extremism gets resolved is if there is a competing ideology that is one based on freedom and liberty and tolerance." Officials said Bush also urged Sharon to end Israeli construction in the West Bank, saying this would torpedo US efforts to encourage democracy in the Middle East.  

Benedict XVI: German Cardinal Elected Pope


April 19….(MSNBC) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a longtime guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy, was elected Tuesday by his peers to lead the church after the death of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican has announced today as of 1:00 est.
The word Pope, from the Greek pappas, means "father," and the Pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Ratzinger, 78, chose the name Pope Benedict XVI. He was a staunch supporter of John Paul II. The new pope is to appear shortly on the main balcony overlooking the square to deliver his first public address. The conclave of 115 cardinals lasted for two days, and no conclave in the past century had lasted more than five days. The election that made John Paul II pope in October 1978 took eight ballots over three days.


Pope Benedict XVI: Benefactor to the Jews

April 19….(FOJ) Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was Pope John Paul II’s right hand man in the Vatican’s outreach to Israel. The Vatican at long last (it took 45 years) granted diplomatic recognition to the State of Israel in 1993. Cardinal Ratzinger was instrumental in making possible Pope John Paul II’s trip to the Holy Land in 2000 possible. As prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith, Ratzinger played an instrumental role in the Vatican's revolutionary reconciliation with the Jews under John Paul II. He personally prepared Memory and Reconciliation, the 2000 document outlining the church's historical "errors" in its treatment of Jews. And as president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Ratzinger oversaw the preparation of The Jewish People and Their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, a milestone theological explanation for the Jews' rejection of Jesus. It is apparent to FOJ that by electing Cardinal Ratzinger, (a former Hitler Youth draftee member while in his teens) the Vatican wishes to continue a harmonious dialogue with the Jewish world, and only time will tell what that overture will produce.

Iranian Pastor Faces Death Penalty

April 19….(Worthy News) Iranian Christian Hamid Pourmand must appear before the Islamic (sharia) court of Iran within nine days. Arrested last September when security police raided a church conference he was attending, the Assemblies of God lay pastor will be brought up before the Islamic court between April 11 and 14 to face charges of apostasy from Islam and proselytizing Muslims to the Christian belief. Both “crimes” are punishable by death. Pourmand, now 47, converted from Islam to Christianity nearly 25 years ago. He spent several months in solitary confinement after his arrest last September 9, the only one of more than 80 church leaders arrested at the conference who was not released. One of Iran’s leading Protestant pastors was executed in December 1990 after a sharia court condemned him. Hussein Soodman, also an Assemblies of God pastor and a Muslim convert to Christianity, had been involved in Christian ministry for 24 years. He was reportedly hanged on December 3, 1990. Paumand’s recent three-year sentence was given because he withheld from his superiors the information that he was a Christian. The Islamic regime in Iran has made it illegal for a non-Muslim citizen to serve as a military officer, since that puts him in a position of authority over Muslim soldiers. The military court verdict is currently under appeal to the Supreme Court. But with the judiciary’s threat to try Pourmand before a sharia court of Islamic law now being carried out, and he could face the death penalty. Pourmand and his wife Arlet, who is from an Assyrian Christian background, have two teenage sons, Immanuel and David. They were living in Bandar-i Bushehr, a southern port city where he served as volunteer lay pastor of a small Assemblies of God congregation. FOJ Note: Such is life for Christians in the Muslim world. The Arab/Muslim world does not simply need political democracy to be introduced into their region. The Middle East needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be preached in their land more than anything else, and Satan is fighting tooth and nail to prevent that prospect. Satan is the author of enslavement and deception, and he works continuously against the light of the Gospel truth. Freedom and liberty only tend to prevail in lands where the spirit of the Lord is. (II Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.)


Rome’s Cardinals Begin Papal Conclave


April 18….(AP) In an historic gathering steeped in intrigue, cardinals from six continents assembled Monday for their first conclave of the new millennium to elect a pope who will inherit John Paul II's mantle and the world's 1.1 billion Roman Catholics into a new era. The 115 crimson-robed "princes" of the universal church celebrated a midmorning Mass at St. Peter's Basilica before sequestering themselves in the Sistine Chapel late Monday afternoon. Representing 52 countries, the scarlet-clad "princes"  seated themselves atop a false floor hiding electronic jamming devices designed to thwart eavesdroppers. They were to take an oath of secrecy, hear a meditation from a senior cardinal and decide whether to take a first vote or wait until Tuesday. In his homily, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a powerful Vatican official from Germany often mentioned as a leading candidate to become the next pope, drew applause from fellow cardinals as he asked God to give the church "a pastor according to his own heart, a pastor who guides us to knowledge in Christ, to his love and to true joy."


He also reminded the other 114 cardinals that there are absolute truths in the church, and they should choose a man who will protect them. Thousands of pilgrims and tourists were expected to converge on St. Peter's Square to watch the chapel chimney for the white smoke that ultimately will tell the world that the church's 265th pontiff has been elected. The famous stove in the chapel also will billow black smoke to signal any inconclusive round of voting. On Sunday, the cardinals moved into the super-secure Domus Sanctae Marthae, the $20 million hotel that John Paul II had constructed inside Vatican City so the cardinals could rest in comfort in private rooms between voting sessions. Swiss Guards, their brightly colored uniforms covered by dark rain gear, saluted the prelates as they were whisked to the residence in limousines. Conspicuously missing from their quarters were cell phones, newspapers, radios, TVs and Internet connections, all banned in new rules laid down by John Paul II to minimize the chances of news influencing their secret deliberations and to prevent leaks to the outside world. The Vatican's security squad swept the chapel for listening devices, and cooks, maids, elevator operators and drivers were sworn to secrecy. Excommunication is a possible punishment for any indiscretions. No conclave in the past century has lasted more than five days, and the election that made Karol Wojtyla pope in October 1978 took eight ballots over three days. Cardinals faced a choice that boiled down to two options: an older, skilled administrator who could serve as a "transitional" pope while the church absorbs John Paul II's legacy, or a younger dynamic pastor and communicator, perhaps from Latin America or elsewhere in the developing world where the church is growing, who could build on the late pontiff's popularity over a quarter-century of globe-trotting. The Vatican said Ratzinger would be the last to enter the conclave, preceded by Cardinals Angelo Sodano of Italy, Alfonso Lopez Trujillo of Colombia and Giovanni Battista Re of Italy. Sodano and Re also have been mentioned as papal contenders. Among the issues sure to figure prominently in the conclave are containing the priest sex-abuse scandals that have cost the church millions in settlements in the United States; coping with a chronic shortage of priests and nuns in the West; halting the stream of people leaving a church whose teachings they no longer find relevant; and improving dialogue with the Islamic world.


Jews Anxiously Await New Pope

Jerusalem Post….(April 18) Upon the announcement of the next pope, will Jews say "amen" or "oy vey"? When the election process of the papal conclave gets under way on Monday, 115 cardinals will have to choose from among their ranks one of several leading figures, men of divergent views, some who would appear likely to follow the course of John Paul II's special relationship with the Jewish people, and some who could threaten that relationship. On one side are men such as Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan, who was a guest of honor at a Chabad succa in Milan last year; and Christoph Schoenborn, archbishop of Vienna, whose theological view of Jews and their claim to the Holy Land is highly supportive. No cardinal is suspected of harboring anti-Semitic views, or of threatening to undermine John Paul II's revolutionary work in Jewish-Catholic relations. Nonetheless, the election of Jean-Marie Lustiger, a French Jewish Holocaust survivor who converted as a teenager, would undoubtedly be a painful event for the Jewish community. Even Francis Arinze of Nigeria, touted as a favorite because of his experience and because the Catholic Church sorely needs to reach out to its African adherents, leaves room for concern. Would he be a strong opponent of Islamist forces, given the tumultuous clash of Muslim and Christian communities in his own country, or would he choose the path of appeasement instead? Or perhaps the Catholic-Islamic dialogue would be so important to him that the church's relationship with Jews would fall by the wayside? Then there are candidates such as Claudio Hummes of Brazil, who straddles that line. On one hand, Hummes has been a staunch supporter of Jews and the church's relations with Jews. "Hummes is very close to the Jewish community in Brazil. We have a great comfort level with him," said Israel Singer, chairman of the World Jewish Congress and cochair of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations. At a recent conference of more than 30 cardinals in New York with Singer and other Jewish leaders, Hummes described the declaration of Jewish chosenness in Nostra Aetate as a personal inspiration. However, as Singer noted, Hummes's focus on the poor and the underprivileged (he has attributed terrorism to poverty and social injustice) borders on the so-called "liberation theology" that John Paul II rejected. Such a theology is closely related to far left-wing politics that usually include an identification with causes such as the Palestinian "struggle" against a "colonialist" Israel. Similar to Hummes, but hardly considered close to Jews, is Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. "Let's say that the Palestinians would get sympathy from someone of his background," said Rabbi David Rosen, the international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee. Add Colombian-born Dario Castrillon Hoyos, who pooh-poohed charges that Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was anti-Semitic, and the picture of Latin American cardinals looks discouraging, especially since Latin America holds the highest number of Catholics in the world. "The further away they are from Jewish centers," said Rosen, "the lower their priority for Jewish relations." Within Europe, there are candidates with whom world Jewry could expect to find a receptive ear: Beyond Schoenborn, for example, there is Godfried Danneels of Belgium, a liberal who has publicly challenged Europe's Muslims to moderate their religion. German-born Joseph Ratzinger, perhaps the closest cardinal to John Paul II, was also the pope's doctrinal vanguard and partner in the positions that changed Vatican-Jewish relations. Singer, however, believes the 78-year-old Ratzinger is more of a "pope-maker" than a papal contender.


Israel's Big Gamble

April 15….(Jewish World Review/Cal Thomas) After meeting on Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, President Bush said, "The United States is committed to Israel's security and well being as a Jewish state, including secure and defensible borders. We're committed to preserving and strengthening Israel's capability to deter its enemies and to defend itself." The president did not say what he meant by such a "commitment," but it is hard to accept that Israel's security is preserved and strengthened when the American government, over several administrations, has pressured various Israeli prime ministers into relinquishing land to its sworn enemies. The two sides haven't even gotten to the road map yet and are still in what might be called the "pre-road map stage." But Sharon has said that even in this stage, certain conditions must be met before moving to the road map, itself. These, reasonably, include a full cessation of terror, violence and incitement, the dismantling of terror groups and collection of their weapons, as well as the cessation of smuggling of terrorists and weapons, particularly from Egypt, through the Gaza Strip and into Israel. None of these conditions, which are spelled out in the road map, have been met, but that does not deter President Bush, or those who have preceded him, from pressuring Israel to give more. On every previous occasion when Israel has caved to US pressure and ceded territory vital to its own defense, the Palestinian and Arab side has behaved like a giant boa constrictor. It swallows its prey, rests for a bit to digest it, and then starts looking for more. The Bush Administration wants to send additional tax dollars to the Palestinians to build infrastructure. If new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas wants money for Palestinian infrastructure, he can draw on considerable amounts socked away in secret Swiss bank accounts by the late Yasser Arafat. According to Issam Abu Issa, former chairman of the Palestine International Bank, Arafat misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars, and he and some of his cohorts became millionaires while they allowed many Palestinians to live in squalor. Read all about it in the fall 2004 issue of Middle East Quarterly. If one visits the State Department's Web page on which the "road map" appears, one finds the headline "A Performance-Based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict." The key words are "performance-based." So far, it is only Israel that has been doing the performing. The Palestinians have limited their performance to lip service and meaningless gestures. In the past, the Palestinians were happy to reduce incidents of terror in order to get the next piece of land. After they got it, the terror resumed because terror is at the center of their strategy to capture all the land. What they don't get by intimidation, they will try to take by all-out war at the appropriate time. Phase One of the road map was supposed to be completed in May, 2003. It called for "ending terror and violence, normalizing Palestinian life and building Palestinian institutions." Since not one of these objectives has been realized, even in the "pre-road map" period, how could anyone other than a cockeyed optimist believe that the Palestinians are serious about co-existing with Israel? Sharon has repeatedly said that moving forward depends on these steps. Yet he acknowledges the problem of continuing terror, although at different levels of intensity. So, if it is a condition for "moving forward" that the terror completely stop, but yet the terror continues, why is Israel moving forward anyway? Doesn't he make the case against the very policy he is implementing, which includes the uprooting of thousands of Jews in Gaza (along with the evacuation of their cemeteries and synagogues)? It was none other than Sharon who urged these Jews to live in Gaza in the first place. The flaw from the beginning has been the belief that what Israel does or doesn't do affects the conduct of her enemies, whose policy remains the elimination of Israel — by hook, by crook or by road map.


Evidence of Unusual Structural Disturbance Inside the Earth


April 15….(Worthy News) The earth’s inside, according to scientists consists of an inner core, an outer core, a lower mantle and an outer mantle. Earth's interior is layered something like the inside of a peach. The "pit" at the center of Earth is called the "core". It is made mostly of iron, some nickel, and about 10 to 15% of a less dense material, probably silicon, oxygen, or sulfur. The core itself is made of two concentric pieces, a solid inner core and a liquid outer core. The large zone corresponding to the flesh of the peach is called the "mantle". It is made mostly of rocky minerals with names like olivine, pyroxene, quartz, and periclase. (Any good book on geology or mineralogy will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about these minerals.) Almost all rocks are made of silicon and oxygen mixed with other elements such as calcium, aluminum, and iron. Mantle rock contains particularly large amounts of iron and magnesium. The mantle is also divided into two solid parts, the lower mantle and the upper mantle. This division in the mantle may be due to small differences in the amounts of iron and magnesium or to differences in the nearness of atoms to each other. (As an analog, think of a piece of Styrofoam. If you crush it, the particles inside move closer together because you have closed the tiny open spaces inside, but it is still made of Styrofoam.) A computer model monitoring the recent seismic disturbances, earthquakes and volcanoes show extreme disturbance in the outer and inner core of the earth. The interaction of the inner core and the rest of the earth cause the electromagnetic properties of the earth. The ongoing polar reversal is accelerating and will eventually have reverse polarity in North and South pole. According to the simulation model, the earth’s inner core and outer core is going through some serious disturbances. That in turn is influencing the viscous semi fluid mantle. When that happens, the convection within mantle increases substantially. That is also influenced by solar polar reversal. In our modern age we have not experienced a simultaneous solar and terrestrial polar reversal. Between now and 2012, these disturbances will keep increasing making earth’s crust and tectonic plates very disturbed causing severe volcanoes and earthquakes. (Mark 13:8 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.) In the last four months the earth experienced the largest three earthquakes in the last two hundred years. The under water volcanoes and earthquakes have gone up 88% over the last three years. The continental earthquakes have gone up by 62% during the same time frame. The rate of increase of these earthquakes and volcanoes when drawn against time is staggering. Some scientists are now afraid that we are moving towards 2012 with ticking time bomb under us. Something catastrophic like the lost world Atlantis can repeat.

Goldmann/Sachs Predicts Oil Wars

April 15….(WND) A leading investment firm says the conditions of a "perfect storm" are brewing in the economy that could see oil prices skyrocket to $200 a barrel and gas prices to $5 or higher. Oil prices may soon reach $105 per barrel, according to Goldman Saks. It's a simple supply-demand issue: China and India are sucking up the world supply...which drives prices up... fueling runaway inflation... which threatens to crush your investment strategy, unless action is taken now! This coming oil crisis will create economic and political discontinuity of historic proportions, as the world adjusts to a new energy environment and it's economic impact, for example... Each 1-cent rise in gas prices sucks $14 billion a year from consumer spending. Since 9/11, higher oil prices have taken more than $400 billion out of consumers' wallets, not to mention the trickle-down inflation that higher oil prices bring. The coming oil shock will affect every investment you own. It's unstoppable. Some investments will soar, while many more will plunge. Anyone who bets on a continually rising stock market is destined for failure! During the next oil shock tens of thousands of investors will watch like a deer in the headlights as their hard-earned savings are devoured by a deadly combination; 1) rising inflation and 2) a falling US dollar. According to an analysis by Swiss America the U.S. has less than 5 percent of the world's total population, but consumes 25 percent of the world's total supply of oil. Oil prices have jumped from $17 in 2001 to over $55 in 2005 – skyrocketing 65 percent in the past year alone!" the analysis states. Demand is simply swamping available capacity, and that means high oil prices are here to stay. The analysis notes the world "is about to run out of cheap oil forever," stating: "Within the next few years, global production will peak, say the experts. Thereafter, even if industrial societies begin to switch to alternative energy sources, they will have less net energy each year to do all the work essential to the survival of complex societies. Swiss America goes on to note the oil shortage likely will result in "resource wars" in the Middle East! Because of the size of Middle East oil reserves and the fact they have conservatively produced, OPEC's Middle East producers are naturally thrust, more than ever before, into control of world oil supply. This seems to mean that US vital interests in the Middle East region are greater than ever, and also points to the fact that every other oil consumer in the world must look with more fervor to the Middle East. (Revelation 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.)


US May Get Tough on Iran

April 14….(Jerusalem Post) The United States will decide this summer whether to adopt a tougher position on Iran's nuclear program, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, published Thursday. The decision will be finalized at the United Nations Security Council. European-led negotiations aimed at ensuring that Iran's nuclear program remains non-military keep Rice and Washington hopeful. She said that what matters most is "a unity of purpose" among all the nations involved. Rice's comments come following Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Wednesday statement that Israel has no plans to attack Iran's nuclear facilities. Sharon's pledge came amid reports that a rift with the US has emerged on how to respond to Teheran's nuclear program. Sharon, in an interview with Fox News aired in the US on Wednesday evening, said that a nuclear Iran is a world problem, not only Israel's, and that Israel is not leading the campaign against it. Pressed whether Israel has the ability to neutralize Iran's nuclear program, Sharon said that Israel "knows how to defend itself." Sharon employed similar language two years, on the eve of the war with Iraq, when asked continuously what it would do if attacked by Saddam Hussein. The interview with Fox came as Sharon wound up a four-day visit to the US in which the Iranian issue seemed to overshadow the Palestinian one. While Sharon's aides touted the visit to the US as "very successful," The New York Times wrote Wednesday that "signs of tension" emerged between Israel and the US over when to react to the Iranian nuclear threat. The paper quoted an American official as saying that the intelligence information Sharon shared with President George W. Bush indicated that Iran was near "a point of no return" in developing its nuclear program was not "earth-shattering" stuff. Sharon discussed possible responses to the threat on Tuesday with Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, but no details of that meeting emerged. In an MSNBC interview in January, Cheney expressed concern that Israel might act unilaterally against the Iranian nuclear program. "If, in fact, the Israelis become convinced the Iranians had a significant nuclear capability, given the fact that Iran has a stated policy that their objective is the destruction of Israel, the Israelis might well decide to act first, and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards," he said. Sharon said during the visit that there is "close coordination" with the US on the Iranian nuclear issue, and that "Israel is not taking the lead in this campaign." Sharon reportedly told Bush that he has little confidence that Britain, France and Germany, which have been trying to get Iran to step back from going nuclear, will succeed, and that the issue should be brought to the UN Security Council for sanctions now, before Iran reaches the "point of no return."

EU Official Says Hamas is not a Terrorist Organization

April 14….(WND) A top European Union official held a secret meeting in Gaza with the leaders of Hamas, in spite of EU denials to the contrary, in which he praised the terror organization's work, blamed terrorism on "Israeli occupation," referred to Hamas militants as "freedom fighters" and failed to contradict claims Israel was responsible for the September 11 attacks, according to transcripts of the conversation obtained by WorldNetDaily. There were some leaked reports of the 2002 meeting, but the transcripts for the first time expose what was discussed with Hamas and may shed light on various aspects of EU Mideast diplomacy. The transcripts, seized from the Palestinian Authority Preventive Security compound in Gaza during Israel's 2002 Defensive Shield operation and released through Israel's Center for Special Studies, document a discreet meeting between Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was assassinated by Israel in March 2004, and Alistair Crooke, the security adviser for Miguel Moratinos, then EU special envoy for promoting the peace process in the Middle East. The meeting conflicts with a November 2004 statement issued by a spokeswoman on behalf of EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana denying Solona or his staff ever met or held "direct contacts" with Hamas or other groups featured on the EU list of banned terrorist organizations. Also present for the secret EU discussions were Hamas senior members Mahmoud al-Zahar, head of the group's Gaza faction, and Dr. Abd al-Aziz al-Rantisi, a senior Hamas official recently assassinated by Israel. Crooke urged Hamas to keep the meeting private so that, the envoy explained, Israel and the U.S. could not take advantage of the conversation, according to the transcripts. Crooke immediately voiced his appreciation of the terror group's welfare programs, which include schools and health care centers, and praised Hamas as an "important political factor." He told Yassin and the other top Hamas leaders present: "The main problem is the Israeli occupation," explaining he understood it was impossible for Hamas to lower the level of violence unless Israel and the Palestinians were engaged in a political process. Crooke reminded Yassin the Mitchel Report, an independent list of recommendations that had just been released and of which Crooke was a co-author, determined it was impossible for violence to cease without a foreseeable political solution. Yassin responded he was satisfied with Crooke's "understanding" that the source of violence in the Middle East is Israel's "occupation," which Yassin said refers to the entire state of Israel, founded in 1948, not just the West Bank, which Israel obtained following the 1967 Six Day War. Crooke replied Europe sympathized with the Palestinian people, adding, "I explained to Solana and [British Prime Minister Tony] Blair that the status of Europe in the eyes of the Palestinians has started to decline. ... We do not consider Hamas' political wing to be a terrorist organization." At the 2002 meeting, Yassin informed Crooke of his goal to replace Israel with a "true state" encompassing the entire territory of "Palestine," based on Arab and Islamic tradition and distanced from the corruption that Yassin said originates in Israel and the West. Without addressing Yassin's comments, Crooke continued by stating the EU objected to Israeli settlement activity. "There must be a total halt of the settlement [activity]," said Crooke. Yassin then blamed Israel for the September 11 terror attacks. "Time will tell that Israel knew [in advance] what happened in America, and that it was global Zionism that paralyzed the American security so that war could be declared on the Islamic world. Mr. Crooke did not disagree. We already knew the EU is biased against Israel, this is nothing knew," said a deputy from Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office who was aware of the transcripts.


Bush Tells Sharon to Withdraw From Much of West Bank by 2006

April 14….(World Tribune) The United States has pressed Israel to withdraw from much of the West Bank in 2006. Officials said the Bush administration has urged the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank in an effort to form a contiguous Palestinian state in 2006. They said the administration envisions a military pullout and dismantling of Israeli communities in the northern and central parts of the West Bank. The US plan was relayed by President George Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon during their meeting on Monday at the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas. Officials said Bush did not detail the US request, saying this would be pursued after Israel completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank in July 2005. "If there is success in the Gaza, in other words, if there's a state that's emerging, the prime minister will have a different attitude about whether or not it makes sense to continue the process," Bush told a news conference on Monday. Officials said Bush stressed to Sharon the need to implement the Israeli withdrawal plan and preparations for an additional pullout in the West Bank in 2006. They said Bush, who agreed to consider additional Israeli aid requests, demanded that the Jewish state freeze all construction in the West Bank in an effort to facilitate the establishment of a Palestinian state. "I told the prime minister of my concern that Israel not undertake any activity that contravenes road map obligations or prejudices final status negotiations," Bush said. "Therefore, Israel should remove unauthorized outposts and meet its road map obligations regarding settlements in the West Bank. That's no expansion of settlements." At the joint conference with Sharon, Bush repeatedly expressed objection to Israeli construction in the West Bank and called for the removal of what the United States asserted was more than 100 unauthorized outposts established since 2001. Despite repeated pledges, the Sharon government has failed to dismantle the outposts. Officials said Bush's demand for a halt to Israeli construction in the West Bank marked a rejection of Sharon's claim that the United States has recognized Israel's right to maintain a significant presence in the area. They said Bush, while acknowledging the presence of about 200,000 Israelis in the West Bank, refused to stipulate US support for their right to remain in the area. "While the United States will not prejudice the outcome of final status negotiations, those changes on the ground, including existing major Israeli population centers, must be taken into account in any final status negotiations," Bush said. Officials said Sharon, who earlier met Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, refrained from discussing what he had earlier termed Palestinian violations of the ceasefire with Israel. At the news conference, however, Sharon linked the end of the Palestinian war against Israel to additional concessions in the West Bank. "Only after the Palestinians fulfill their obligations, primarily a real fight against terrorism and the dismantling of its infrastructure, can we proceed toward negotiations based on the road map," Sharon said. "I hope that this phase will arrive soon."


US Courts Judgment, by Meddling With Sovereign Land Of Israel

April 14….(Bill Wilson/KIN) US President George W. Bush yesterday courted Biblical judgment by dictating to Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon what Sharon must do with the covenant land of Israel in order to stay on track for peace with the Palestinian terrorists, publicly and privately exhorting Sharon "not to undertake any activity that contravenes the road map or prejudices final status obligations." Sharon responded, "Regarding the unauthorized outposts, I wish to reiterate that Israel is a society governed by the rule of law. As such, I will fulfill my commitment to you, Mr. President, to remove unauthorized outposts. As to settlements, Israel will meet all its obligations under the road map." But Sharon said large West Bank settlement blocs would remain in Israeli hands in the framework of any final status agreement with the Palestinians, "The position of Israel is that in any final status agreement the major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria will be part of the state of the Israel." President Bush said: "I reiterated that the United States supports the establishment of a Palestinian state that is viable, contiguous, sovereign and independent. The United States will continue working with the international community to help Palestinians develop democratic political institutions, build security institutions dedicated to maintaining law and order, and dismantling terrorist organizations, reconstruct civic institutions, and promote a free and prosperous economy," President Bush said as he emphatically upheld the case of the Quartet. (The United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations) who have been pressuring Israel to give up land for peace to their Palestinian enemy, challenging both Israel's national and Biblical sovereignty.
It is generally considered improper for a nation or several nations to infringe the right of self determination of a nation as is happening with Israel visa vi "the Quartet." Additionally, the "Sovereign" land of Israel is such because, as the Bible says, it was given by God to the Jewish people. In Joel 3:1-2, God says, "For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land." God's land is being divided by Israel's Prime Minister and the nations of the world as represented by the Quartet, and America is chief among them. And the promise of the Lord in the Bible is judgment.

UN to OK Treaty on Terrorist Nukes

April 13….(Fox News) After a seven-year campaign led by Russia, UN member states have reached agreement on a new global treaty making it a crime for would-be terrorists to possess or threaten to use nuclear material. The 191-member General Assembly body was scheduled to vote Wednesday on a draft resolution calling on all countries to sign and ratify the "International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism." Countries that are parties to the treaty would be required to make these acts criminal offenses under their national laws, "punishable by appropriate penalties which take into account the grave nature of these offenses." Michel said that if the treaty is adopted it will be opened for signatures on Sept. 14, which means world leaders coming to a summit that Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called to focus on UN reform will be able to sign it. Twenty-two countries must ratify it before it comes into force, he said. "We support the convention and will call for other governments to sign on in September when there is an opportunity to do so," said Richard Grenell, spokesman for the US Mission to the United Nations. In recent speeches and in the UN reform plan he announced last month, Annan called for swift adoption of a global treaty against nuclear terrorism.


Sharon Warns US About Iran’s Nuclear Threat

April 13….(Jerusalem Post) Sharon met Vice President Dick Cheney and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams for the second time in two days, with the focus this time on the entire Middle East, not the Palestinians. Officials in Sharon's entourage said Tuesday's talks dealt with the whole range of regional issues, with particular attention paid to Iran's nuclear threat, and possible responses if Teheran continues its march toward nuclear arms capabilities. Senior Israeli officials said Tuesday that the decision on when to bring the Iranian issue to the UN Security Council for possible sanctions should not be dragged out indefinitely. The important time issue to keep in mind, they said, was not the date when Iran would acquire a nuclear bomb, but rather when it would pass the "threshold of no return" and develop the technology that would allow it, in the future, to build such a weapon. Sharon told US President George W. Bush on Monday that Iran was only one technological step away from enriching uranium and, from that point, achieving nuclear capability was just around the corner, Channel 2 reported. Sharon's military secretary, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Galant, presented to Bush updated documents and satellite images of Iran's nuclear program. According to Israel Radio, the images showed that the Iranian nuclear program was at a "very advanced" stage. Israeli officials called on the US urgently to present the issue before the Security Council, which would enable the imposing of sanctions on Teheran. However, US officials told The New York Times that the evidence Sharon presented to Bush was already known to the president. According to reports now surfacing, Sharon pressed the administration to realize that Iran had not stopped enriching uranium to show good faith in the negotiations with the Europeans, but simply because of technical problems. If the Europeans end up allowing Iran to continue uranium enrichment efforts, the Israeli leaders argued we are headed toward a frightening international crisis where Iran could proceed as rapidly as possible toward uranium enrichment under whatever exemptions are allowed, planning to withdraw from the commitments it made to the Europeans once the Iranian nuclear scientists were technically ready to go full speed ahead with the accelerated production of fissionable material.

(WND) From reports surfacing this morning, Iran was the major subject of discussion of the Sharon visit to America, overshadowing the issue of Israeli withdrawal of settlements. Sharon argued that the United States should pressure the Europeans to move the Iranian case to the UN Security Council as quickly as possible. The Israelis urged the president and vice president to set a clear timetable to halt the Iranian nuclear weapons push and to prepare for the coming crisis by intensifying pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear weapons program. The nature of the talks could not be more alarming. Reading between the lines, Israel is pleading with the president to get rid of his apparent "case of the slows" that developed after he and Secretary of State Rice took their recent trips to Europe. The Israelis have no illusion that the process of European negotiation will produce anything but more lies by the mullahs. Iran is following the path so clearly laid out by North Korea. The Israelis are begging President Bush and Vice President Cheney to avoid being tricked by Iran, the same way Kim Jong-Il made fools out of President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright. Iran's argument that they only want nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes is as transparently a lie as were the identical statements made by North Korea during the Clinton administration. Israel cannot afford for the world to be wrong with Iran. The mullahs have a history of funding Hezbollah and working with Hamas to launch suicide bombing attacks against Israel. The mullahs even now preach "Death to Israel" and "Death to America." Prime Minister Sharon is resolved not to wake up one morning and find out Iran has an atomic bomb by seeing the mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv. President Bush has already had the experience of being caught flatfooted when the 9-11 terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Center. He and Vice President Cheney should think hard about the reality of an atomic 9-11. None of us can afford awakening up to that surprise.


India, China Form Strategic Geo-political Partnership

April 13…..(FOJ) For the past two decades, China has been flexing its economic muscles as it builds itself into a global powerhouse. Yet when it comes to politics, Beijing often has taken a back seat, letting the US and other powers carry the day. That's about to change, and just as Bible prophecy indicates it would as the world looks more and more to the problems of the Middle East and the Israel dynamic. India and China agreed this week to form a "strategic partnership," creating a diplomatic bond between Asia's two emerging powers that would tie together nearly one-third of the world's population. The agreement, announced during a South Asia tour by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, reflects a major shift in relations between the two nuclear countries, whose ties have long been defined by mutual suspicion, and a 1962 border dispute. It also is another step in a charm offensive by Beijing, which is trying to build ties with its neighbors and ensure regional stability for economic growth. India and China can together reshape the world order," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Monday. Sidelined out of the emerging equation geo-political alliance is the United States, which announced last month it wanted to help India become a world power. However, India and China, which together have a population of more than 2.3 billion, took care not to offend the United States on Monday. Chinese leaders insist they're not worried about US-India ties, despite Washington's apparent attempts to counter China's power in Asia by boosting India's economic and political profile. Last month, US officials announced the sale of F-16 jet fighters to Pakistan (India’s long standing enemy) and signaled that India could move ahead with its own weapon buys. India expressed "great disappointment" over the sale and said doing so would tilt the military balance in the region and could harm India-Pakistan peace talks that began last year. China, which is one of five members of the 15-nation UN Security Council with veto power, also signaled its support for India's quest for a seat in an expanded version of the powerful UN body. Both countries have been seeking to expand their influence as their economic power has grown. China is already the world's No. 2 oil importer, and its appetite for all sorts of industrial raw materials is growing, sparking such agreements as oil and gas deals with Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Australia and Russia. Indian officials have suggested the two nations cooperate for the world's shrinking energy resources. In oil-rich Central Asia or Africa, "Indian and Chinese oil consortiums could work in tandem." In Asia, though, what matters most to Beijing is stability. With this alliance with India, a much more assertive China seems to be in the making, one that's already subtly changing the tenor of geopolitics. In the past, China has felt most comfortable in the shadows, abstaining on UN votes, hiding backstage during controversial world events. Now, in perhaps an early sign of coming tensions with Washington you can expect Beijing to take sides on world issues, and you can safely assume that its interests won't necessarily dovetail with the US agenda. In any event, it seems as though the Kings of the East are making ready for their role in end-times Bible prophecy.

US Spending “Democracy Money” in Iran

April 11….(USA Today) For the first time in a quarter-century of estrangement from Iran, the Bush administration is openly preparing to spend government funds in that country to promote democracy. Congress has appropriated $3 million, and the State Department is inviting proposals from "educational institutions, humanitarian groups, non-governmental organizations and individuals inside Iran to support the advancement of democracy and human rights," according to an announcement posted Friday on the Web site of the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Although the amount is small, and Iran's government may try to bar Iranians from accepting funds, the move is a significant departure for the United States, which by policy and treaty has not publicly sought to funnel money into Iran for such a purpose in 25 years. The US government already spends nearly $15 million a year on radio and TV broadcasts into Iran in the Persian language, Farsi. But the United States has not given money directly to Iranians or US organizations to work in Iran because of long-standing hostility and a US prohibition on spending money there. Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Sunday called the US plan "a clear violation of the Algiers accords," which freed 52 US Embassy hostages in Iran in 1981. Zarif said Iran "has the option" of complaining to a special court in the Netherlands. Under the Algiers agreement, the United States pledged "not to intervene directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs." Since the agreement was signed, Iran has supported groups such as Hezbollah that the United States regards as terrorist, and it has made progress on a nuclear program that could yield the ability to make bombs. Iran's political system, which allows Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to block the wishes of an elected president and parliament, is increasingly unpopular in Iran. Some Iranians have boycotted elections and registered protests on the Internet. More than 500 intellectuals have signed a petition to hold a referendum to change the constitution. One object is to get rid of the office of supreme leader. In his second inaugural address in January, President Bush promised Iranians: "As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you." The Iranian government rejected Bush's words as supporting an overthrow of the regime and said he would fail. It is unclear whether Iranians will accept US support. Older Iranians are particularly sensitive to US intervention. The CIA organized a coup in 1953 that removed an elected prime minister and restored Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi to the throne. In 1979, a revolution overthrew the shah and replaced him with a regime run by Shiite Muslim clerics. According to the State Department notice, the United States seeks to promote development of political parties, an "open and free media environment," labor unions, other non-governmental organizations and projects that promote respect for human rights.

Bush Applauds John Paul II for Opposing Totalitarianism
(In radio address, president speaks of ‘profound impact’ of the Pope on the world) (FOJ Note: Democracy and Totalitarianism are the battleground of the ten kings that will eventually support the Antichrist.)

April 11….(World Tribune) President Bush praised Pope John Paul II on Saturday for facing down totalitarianism throughout his life and showing communist rulers that “moral truth had legions of its own.” Just back from the pope’s funeral Friday night, Bush paid his final respects to the late leader of the Roman Catholic Church in his weekly radio address. He said the services that brought kings, presidents and pilgrims from across the globe to Rome was a “powerful and moving reminder of the profound impact this Pope had on our world.” “Everywhere he went, the pope preached that the call of freedom is for every member of the human family because the author of life wrote it into our common human nature,” the president said. “Many in the West underestimated the pope’s influence. But those behind the Iron Curtain knew better, and ultimately even the Berlin Wall could not withstand the gale force of this Polish pope.” As Bush seeks to spread democracy to other nations, he often talks of freedom as a gift from God. He said John Paul was committed to this ideal from his young life in Poland, when he eluded the Gestapo to attend an underground seminary. “Later, when he was named Poland’s youngest bishop, he came face to face with the other great totalitarianism of the 20th century: communism,” Bush said. “And soon he taught the communist rulers in Warsaw and Moscow that moral truth had legions of its own and a force greater than their armies and secret police.”

Demonstrations Erupt in Cities Throughout Iran

April 11….(World Tribune) Street demonstrations calling for democratic reform are spreading in cities throughout western Iran. The Iranian opposition has reported clashes between Kurdish pro-democracy forces and authorities in western Iran. The opposition said battles took place in Baneh, Mahabad, Marivan, Piranshahr and Sanandaj. Several demonstrators were injured and dozens of others were arrested in the demonstrations on April 6, Middle East Newsline reported. Opposition sources said police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the protests. "In retaliation, many protesters inflicted damages to security patrol cars and public buildings," the SMCCDI opposition group said in a statement. There was no independent confirmation of the opposition report. Western diplomatic sources, however, have reported an increase in unrest near the Iranian-Iraqi border. Western Iran has a large Kurdish population and the government has cracked down in an attempt to quell separatism inspired by the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Opposition sources said Kurdish nationalists have also joined the pro-democracy rallies. The opposition sources said the pro-democracy demonstrations were inspired by elections in Iraq.

Bush, Sharon to Discuss Gaza Pullout, Settlements

April 11….(My Way) President Bush is hosting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon at his Texas ranch today to reaffirm US support for an Israeli pullout from Gaza but will also raise concern about West Bank settlement growth. Bush's stated intention to bring up with Sharon a project still in its preliminary stages to expand the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank could inject a rare note of discord into the talks between the two allies. But US and Israeli officials played down any notion Bush would try to sour Sharon's first taste of homestead hospitality at the presidential spread in Crawford, a visit capping a year of political maneuvering in Israel for the Gaza plan's survival. Israeli officials said they expected Bush to reiterate his strong backing for the Gaza withdrawal slated for July, the first removal of Jewish settlements from occupied territories that Palestinians want for a state. Sharon has promoted his plan domestically to remove all 21 settlements in Gaza and four of 120 in the West Bank by citing Bush's assurance a year ago that Israel would not be expected to give up some West Bank settlement blocs in future peace deals. But Sharon, trying to blunt rightist resistance to his plan, went a step too far for Washington by pledging to pursue construction of 3,500 homes for Israelis in a narrow corridor between the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim and Jerusalem.

Israel Warns US it will Retaliate Against Anticipated Fall Offensive

April 11….(World Tribune) The Israel military has been preparing for a resurgence of the Palestinian war. The military's Central Command has drafted plans for an intense campaign with Palestinian insurgents in the fall of 2005. Military sources said Central Command envisioned the fighting to begin as early as September 2005 when the army withdraws from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, Middle East Newsline reported. "The message is that once we withdraw from Gaza, everything will be back to where it started, except the Palestinians will be stronger," a military source said. "Right now, the Palestinian groups agree that it's worth keeping quiet for a while to ensure an Israeli withdrawal over the next few months." The main attempt by the Palestinians would be to bring rockets and missiles from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank," a military source said. The sources said Israel's military and Defense Ministry have informed US officials and Congress of the expected war with the Palestinians. They said the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has sought to make certain that Washington understood that Israel would retaliate for Palestinian attacks. Already, a huge amount of weapons has been smuggled from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, the sources said. They estimated that more than 3,000 assault rifles, 400 pistols and 400,000 rounds of ammunition were brought into the Gaza Strip between July 2004 and February 2005. They said 600 kilograms of explosives have also been delivered to Palestinian insurgents. Palestinian insurgency groups have also been amassing rockets and missiles, the sources said. They said the groups, particularly Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have acquired more than 180 anti-tank rocket launchers and five anti-aircraft missiles. The Palestinian effort has now focused on transferring rocket-propelled grenades and launchers from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank, the sources said. Recently, the military captured a truck full of of RPG launchers near Beersheba that was heading toward the Hebron region. "We believe that some of the shipments have already entered the West Bank," the source said. "Their aim is to use RPGs against army patrols and civilian vehicles."



Showdown Time with Iran?

April 8….(Jerome Corsi) Author Jerome Corsi warns that events are unfolding that likely will lead to a showdown with Iran this year. The United States and Europe are working toward peaceful change, but President Bush has said he will not accept another promise from Tehran to not build nuclear weapons unless it's accompanied by specific actions." "That will probably produce a confrontation." Corsi said President Bush's approach is that if Iran is serious about not producing nuclear weapons, it will destroy its centrifuges, heavy water plant and missiles that can deliver nuclear warheads, much as South Africa did. But the author believes an agreement with Europe is not likely, sending the issue to the UN Security Council.

    Then, Corsi foresees Israel launching a pre-emptive strike. "I call it the 'Samson option' in the book ['taking down the temple around you'], because Israel cannot afford to wake up one day and find out Iran has nuclear weapons by seeing a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv," he said. "They won't tolerate that risk." Responding to a question, Corsi acknowledged the Iranians "have made it extremely difficult" for Israel, with more than 300 nuclear-related facilities. "The government of Israel, from everything I can detect, has no enthusiasm for attacking Iran," Corsi said. "If it comes to it, it will be because the government is convinced that someday, in the lying and cheating the mullahs have done, they can no longer risk that Iran has reached the point of no return where they have everything necessary to make a bomb." If Israel does attack, he said, it probably would target about 10 facilities in an air strike carried out in conjunction with the United States. "We'd probably support it," Corsi said. "We've stated, the president has stated repeatedly, that Israel has a right to defend itself, and I believe we would accommodate Israel in that right." What Iran would do in retaliation is not clear. "It could be an extremely volatile situation," he said. "We ourselves have troops in the area that could be attacked even with conventional missiles by Iran." Obviously no one wants a military solution, Corsi said, but if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it is distinct from other armed nations because of its history of "suicidal terrorism." "If they do get nuclear weapons, you can count on it, just count the days down, there will be a nuclear war in our time, and the explosions will include Tel Aviv and cities in the United States."

    In his speech, Corsi argued Iran's insistence that its nuclear program is only for its energy needs is implausible. "Iran is sitting on approximately one-fourth of the world's proven reserves of natural gas and oil," he pointed out. "Nuclear energy is a more expensive form of energy; one that the country does not need to go into the development of." Even the U.N.'s International Agency for Atomic Energy has admitted that for 25 years Iran has been lying about its nuclear technologies capability. Last week, it was reported the Iranian Republic secretly had purchased cruise missiles from the Ukraine capable of holding nuclear warheads. Iran also has tested its Shahab-3 missile, which can fly 1,700 fast and accurately, more than enough range to reach Tel Aviv. "They have constantly been lying about their enrichment of uranium," Corsi said. "They have got one of the largest abilities to enrich uranium in the Middle East, including a heavy water plant whose main purpose is to produce plutonium." Corsi pointed out the cleric-led regime has said it's willing to take 200 million casualties in the world as long as a nuclear conflagration ultimately destroyed the state of Israel. They mean it when they say "death to Israel" and "death to the United States," he said. "Their rabid anti-Semitic Jewish hatred is almost identical to what we saw from Hitler, and with Hitler we had a holocaust that killed 6 million Jews and a World War that killed at least another 60 million." Meanwhile, Corsi said, the mullahs are operating as a Mafia and living in luxury. "They have offshore contracts where they're raking off oil profits and sharing them in many cases with their friends in Europe," he said. "They've bought for themselves and their families and their adult children high-rise luxury apartments in the United Arab Emirates. They have their bank accounts, private bank accounts stacked away in Syria or in Europe. At the same time, the average person in Iran is living on less than a dollar a day." Corsi said, "$200 million a day to these mullahs are going to their personal enrichment, the development of nuclear weapons, and putting money into the United States in the various ways it gets here to buy legitimacy, to have our politicians say that we can work with them, to argue that they should be given nuclear fuel because it's their right as a nation."   



Islam Factor May Decide Pope Pick

On one of Pope John Paul II's last major trips four years ago, he stood in the ancient Omayyad Mosque in Syria and appealed for Christians and Muslims to seek common ground rather than confrontation. "May the hearts of Christians and Muslims turn to one another with feelings of brotherhood and friendship," urged the pontiff, the first pope to enter a Muslim place of worship. The words, spoken just four months before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, now stand as a challenge for his successor. Just as the Cold War defined the beginning of John Paul's 26-year papacy, the rifts between the West and Islam will likely influence how the next pope measures his priorities. Relations with Islam, and who is best equipped to handle the delicate question, is emerging as one of the factors that will shape the decision of the cardinals when they gather this month to pick the 265th pontiff. "We have to learn to live with Islam," said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington, speaking to reporters Tuesday in Rome. "We have to learn how to dialogue with Islam." Chicago Cardinal Francis George added: "The history between Catholicism and Islam is not a happy one. We want to live at peace in a global society, so a dialogue with Islam is particularly important." At least two cardinals could receive extra attention at the conclave in discussions about Islam. Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria has been based at the Vatican for decades, but spent his youth amid the country's mix of Christian and Muslims. The Vatican is also alarmed about inter-religious clashes in Nigeria that have claimed thousands of lives since the late 1990s. But Arinze would require a history-shaping act by the generally conservative College of Cardinals: naming the first African pope in modern times. Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium also is seen as having a deft diplomatic touch, but his liberal-minded views could alarm some conservative cardinals. The concerns about Islam are particularly pressing to the 11 American cardinals who will join the conclave. Unlike Europe and elsewhere, there are few high-profile Muslim leaders in the United States to conduct serious interfaith contacts. The Vatican, as both a diplomatic entity and religious power, becomes an important forum for outreach. The Holy See also sees more immediate worries in the rise of radical Islam. Christians have been targeted by Muslim guerrillas in the Philippines, Iraq and elsewhere in recent years. The Vatican also has a stake in maintaining the sensitive religious balance in Jerusalem, where Christians often must carefully tread between the bigger forces of Judaism and Islam. "The Christians are often between the hammer and the anvil," said Daniel Rossing, who heads a Jerusalem-based group that promotes inter-religious dialogue. During the late pope's historic trip to Syria, he silently listened as Syria's President Bashar Assad denounced Jews for trying to "kill the principles of all religions." The Vatican refused to comment on the diatribe, apparently concerned any reaction would upset years of carefully crafted relations with the Muslim world. The difficulty for the new pope is to further cultivate rapport with Muslims in the highly charged post-Sept. 11 politics. "The new pope will have a different task ahead," said Daniel Thompson, director of religious studies at Fordham University in New York. "Who do you talk to? Who represents the Muslim population? How do you properly engage Islam with the contemporary situation?" The new pontiff will inherit a reservoir of good will. John Paul II received considerable praise in the Muslim world for his calls to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and his opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. The outpouring following his death Saturday reflected his standing - and the challenges for the next pontiff to even approach the achievements. "Muslims and Christians alike have lost the pope," said Syria's prominent Islamic cleric, Sheik Salah Keftaro. The pope's death "is a big loss for the Catholic Church and the Islamic world," said Sheik Sayed Tantawi, the head of Egypt's Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious center of learning. The list of dignitaries from the Islamic world for the pope's funeral on Friday is already impressive and continues to grow: Syria's Assad, President Mohammad Khatami of Iran and Religious Minister Alwi Shihab of Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation. Amid the sea of pilgrims moving toward St. Peter's Basilica to view the pope's body, a small knot of Nigerian Muslims held a banner: the Islamic crescent and the Christian cross were intertwined.


The End Times Church: Of Popes, False Prophets And The Anti-Christ


April 7….(by Bill Wilson) The media coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II will be seen on television by over two billion people, nearly 1/3 of the world’s population, positioning the deceptive doctrine of the Catholic Church as true “Christianity” and ushering in the end-time church that may well give rise to the anti-Christ and the false prophet as prophesied in the Bible. By virtue of the false doctrine of the Catholic Church and its promotion as “the” Christian Church, the next pope shall sit in the seat of a false prophet and may be uniquely positioned to become either the false prophet or the anti-Christ as the world enters into the end-times. For example, the basic tenet of Christianity is salvation by grace through Jesus Christ. The famous Bible verse known the world over is John 3:16 in which Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believe in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” And Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” The Catholic Doctrine does not deny salvation through Christ, but promotes other ways to salvation such as prayers through the Virgin Mary, mother of the Christ, and by absolution of sins by priests. The Catholic Catechism, which is the doctrine and statement of faith of the Catholic Church, states that “Only priests who have received the faculty of absolving from the authority of the Church can forgive sins in the name of Christ.” And Mary, the mother of Christ, is the “the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race." Further the new Catechism, which was endorsed by Pope John Paul II on October 11, 1992, seems to deify the blessed mother in several places. One of them says, “Mary is the perfect Orans (pray-er), a figure of the Church. When we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men. Like the beloved disciple we welcome Jesus' mother into our homes, for she has become the mother of all the living. We can pray with and to her. The prayer of the Church is sustained by the prayer of Mary and united with it in hope.” “Roman Catholic dogma is at great odds with the Scripture. And it does not take a Priest to see it. The Bible’s central teachings are simple and clear,” said Hal Lindsey, Christian author and commentator. “I know that many Catholics have come to true faith in Jesus Christ as Savior, in spite of the teaching of their Church. But let us never loose sight of the fact that there is great error in the central dogma of the Church, an error powerful enough to blind someone to the simplicity of simple faith in Christ as our only atonement for sin.” The Roman Catholic doctrine promoting many ways to heaven with Christ being one of them plays well with other religions such as Unitarians, Buddhists, Hindus, and even some of the more liberal Christian denominations. Islam and Judaism would believe in one God, but neither believes that Jesus Christ is the only way to eternal life. And the Catholic Church under Pope John Paul II has made great inroads in promoting ecumenicalism between the various religions, especially Islam. In January 2002, John Paul II hosted a worldwide Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy where testimonies were offered by representatives from the Orthodox Churches, the Anglican Communion, the Churches originated by the Reformation, Hinduism, the traditional African religions, Buddhism, Hebraism and the Islamic world. Prior to this, a similar meeting occurred at Assisi in 1986, in which 160 representatives of the world's religions were gathered at the behest of the Vatican. Lesser known but similar events occurred at Kyoto in 1987; Rome in 1988; Warsaw in 1989; Bari in 1990; Malta in 1991. These events were the first in the history of the Catholic Church that other religions were asked to pray alongside Catholic leadership for a single world concern, placing the pagan and false gods on equal footing with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Theologically, the Catholic Church taking the lead to pray for peace by inviting hundreds of representatives from other religions to participate could be a type and shadow of the one world religion as prophesied in Revelation and Daniel. Indeed, the anti-Christ initially will rise to power as a peace broker between Israel and the rest of the world as prophesied in Daniel 9:27, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week (7 years); but in the middle of the week (3 ½ years) he shall bring and end to sacrifice and offering.” Revelation 13:7-8 says, “And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue and nation. All who dwell on earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Politically, the Catholic Church is also actively pursuing grounds of peaceful agreement with faiths other than Christianity. Pope John Paul II has consistently supported the Palestinian movement at Israel’s expense, bringing favorable responses from leaders of Islam. In February 2000, the Pope met with terrorist leader Yasser Arafat which resulted in an agreement between the Vatican and the Palestinian Liberation Organization. The Vatican agreed that Jerusalem's holy sites should be shared equally by Christianity, Judaism, and Islam; it called on Israel to give up its land to pre-1967 borders; and it declared “that an equitable solution for the issue of Jerusalem, based on international resolutions, is fundamental for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East, and that unilateral decisions and actions altering the specific character and status of Jerusalem are morally and legally unacceptable." These acts were not lost on Islamic terrorist organizations, which in a rare display of human decency, commemorated the Pope upon his death. Hamas officially mourned the Pope as a “great man of peace.” Palestinian Authority President Mohmaud Abbas and Prime Minister Ahmad Qurei said the Pope supported the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital city. All this said to underscore the point that no modern church rivals the political power, the ecumenical base or the vast membership of the Roman Catholic Church which promotes a false Christianity and ostensibly stands in the stead of Jesus Christ. The Pope is called the Vicar of Christ. Vicar is defined as “one serving as a substitute.” Jesus said in Matthew 24:5, “For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” The Catholic Church, its doctrine, its Pope and its politics certainly bear a watchful eye as the world marches toward the end-times.



Cardinal Conclave to Select Next Pope Set April 18

April 7….(Fox News) The College of Cardinals will meet April 18 to begin the process of electing a new pope, the Vatican said Wednesday as final funeral arrangements for Pope John Paul II continued. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the late pope did not release the name of the cardinal he secretly appointed. He said the cardinals read John Paul's 15-page testament, written in Polish, and would release the text on Thursday. In preparation for the conclave, Navarro-Valls said cardinals would celebrate Mass at 10 a.m. on April 18, then be sequestered in the Sistine Chapel in the early afternoon. According to church law, prelates are expected to hold one ballot on the first day of a conclave. The date for the conclave was set on the third day of meetings of cardinals who have flocked to Rome for Friday's funeral and burial of John Paul. Navarro-Valls ruled out that the late pope's body might be brought to St. John Lateran basilica, across Rome, before it is buried, as was done for Pope Pius XII when he died in 1958. John Paul's spiritual testament, read Wednesday, was a 15-page document written in his native Polish over the course of his pontificate starting in 1979, a year after he was elected. It did not name the mystery cardinal he created in 2003, Navarro-Valls said, ending speculation that a last-minute cardinal might join in the April 18 start of the conclave. The reading of John Paul's testament was unlikely to influence the choice of the 117 cardinals who will cast ballots for the next head of the 1 billion-strong church. The number of cardinal electors under 80 and thus eligible to vote is 117, but only 116 will enter the conclave after the Philippines Embassy to the Holy See confirmed that Cardinal Jaime Sin, 76, was too ill to attend. Sin had been one of only three cardinal electors who also took part in the 1978 conclave to elect John Paul. The documents also did not reveal the name of a cardinal John Paul said he named in 2003 but never publicly identified, ending speculation that a last-minute cardinal might join the conclave. The name of the cardinal was held "in pectore," or "in the heart" — a formula that has been used when a pope wants to appoint a cardinal in a country where the church is oppressed. Navarro-Valls also said that with huge crowds already converging on Rome, the Vatican could not meet the requests — "by Romans and non-Romans" — for a viewing at what is Rome's cathedral. Instead, John Paul will be buried immediately after the funeral in the grotto under St. Peter's Basilica. In a major change to a centuries-old practice of electing a new pope, the Vatican has said it planned to ring bells in addition to sending up white smoke to announce that a new pope has been chosen. Black smoke coming from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel signals no decision has been made after a papal ballot, while white smoke means a pope has been elected.In the past, it has sometimes been hard to tell whether the smoke from the Vatican chimney was white or black. "This time we plan to ring the bells to make the election of the pope clearer," Archbishop Piero Marini said Tuesday. In another change from past papal elections, cardinals voting in the conclave will have access to all of Vatican City during the election, as opposed to being sequestered in the Sistine Chapel, Marini said.

Terror Cover-up in Texas City Oil Blast?

April 6….(WND) Within hours of the explosion of the Texas City oil refinery that killed 15 and injured more than 100, FBI officials were ruling out terrorism as a cause. While terrorism may have played no role in the March 24 BP plant blast, law-enforcement officials familiar with investigations of this kind tell Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin it would have been impossible to make such a snap determination based on facts. In fact, they point out that it was not until eight days after the deadly explosion that the first federal chemical and safety investigators even visited the blast site. Even local police have conducted little in the way of a probe – leaving all of the primary forensic investigation to BP officials, reports the premium, online, intelligence newsletter published by the founder of WND. Texas is a "federalized" state, meaning local law enforcement leaves investigations of this kind to federal agencies such as the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Local police say they don't have the expertise to investigate something like this explosion and they trust BP and other petrochemical companies to do the right thing up front. And yet, with so little scientific evidence available on the day of the explosion FBI agents ruled out terrorism as a cause, while admitted it would take federal regulators months to determine the cause. "How do you rule out one possibility when you don't have any idea what the cause is?" asked one federal investigator familiar with such disaster probes. The rush to deny terrorism as a possibility is reminiscent of FBI tactics surrounding the downing of TWA Flight 800 and the Oklahoma City bombing during the Clinton administration, said G2 Bulletin law enforcement sources. "That unwillingness to examine terrorism as a possibility back then may have contributed to the disaster of Sept. 11," said one source. At least two Islamic terrorist groups have attempted to take responsibility for the BP explosion in Texas City. But the FBI denies they had any involvement in the blast.

Greenspan: 'Price Frenzy' for Oil a Concern

April 6….(Financial Times) The strain of satisfying the world's appetite for energy is the worst in a generation and is creating a "price frenzy" with important effects on the economy, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said yesterday. Record high prices for oil, gasoline and natural gas are forcing businesses and consumers to find ways to be more efficient and conserve fuel. Successful adjustments, particularly by the nation's 200 million drivers who consume 11 percent of the world's oil, will be critical to the health of the economy, he said in an address to the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. The Fed chairman held out hope that oil prices will come down some as businesses increase their stockpiles of crude oil, in comments that helped to lower the price of premium crude by nearly $1 to $56.04 in New York trading yesterday.
    But he said that "inexorable" forces are driving prices higher as supplies have failed to increase in line with growing demand in the United States, China and elsewhere.
    Mr. Greenspan noted an array of sometimes disturbing developments that has conspired to constrain supplies. While for years improved technology enabled energy companies to get more oil and gas out of existing deposits, such techniques no longer suffice to raise supplies in the United States, he said. Meanwhile, oil-producing nations and corporations have been slow to invest the billions of dollars needed to open up new oil reserves and increase supplies, leading to a razor-thin cushion of surplus that has become a principal force in driving up prices, he said. Most of the world's remaining oil reserves are in countries that prohibit or tightly restrict development by Western oil companies, and where "major geopolitical uncertainties" have bottled up expansion of supplies in recent years, he said. While not mentioning them by name, Mr. Greenspan was referring to the insurgency in Iraq, which has blocked repair and expansion of Iraq's vast oil resources for the past two years, as well as political developments in Russia and Venezuela, which have slowed or stopped development of major reserves located there.
    The failure of these countries to make the needed investments is a major reason for elevated prices, he said. "Besides feared shortfalls in crude oil capacity, the status of world refining capacity has become worrisome as well," he said. Too few refiners are able to convert crude oil that is heavy with sulfur, about 80 percent of world oil supplies, into the clean, desulphurized gasolines required by environmental laws, he said. As with oil, efforts to find new supplies of natural gas in the United States and Canada are coming up dry, he said, making it necessary to create a global market for superfrozen liquefied gas imports that currently does not exist.



Bush to Pressure Israel Over West Bank Settlement Plan

April 6….(AP) President Bush has demanded Israel stop expanding Jewish settlements, as a plan to extend the largest West Bank settlement threatened to cloud his upcoming meeting with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. "Our position is very clear, that the road map is important. And the road map calls for no expansion of the settlements," Bush told reporters in Washington ahead of a meeting next Monday with Sharon at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. He said he would press Sharon to abide by a U.S.-backed peace plan which calls for "no expansion" of Jewish settlements. But Bush, who has backed Sharon's intention to retain large West Bank settlement blocs in a future peace deal with the Palestinians, stopped short of criticizing the Israeli leader. Sharon heightened White House concern over the plan to build 3,500 homes between the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim and Jerusalem by telling a parliamentary committee on Monday that Maale Adumim should be linked to the holy city.  Palestinians fear the project would cut them off from the eastern part of the holy city which they want as the capital of their future state.



Iran: Pope Was too Close to 'Evil' Jews

April 6….(WND) Iran's government-sponsored media yesterday blasted Pope John Paul II for what it perceived as his closeness with Israel and the Jewish people, saying Israel should be considered an enemy of the church and not just of the Tehran regime. "Not only did the pope never condemn the crimes of the 'Zionist regime' in the territories, the Vatican officially recognized its existence," the official Jomhuri Islami newspaper said in an editorial. The paper claimed the worldwide expansion of Islam had been "a constant worry" for a pope who had been "compromised by the 'Zionist regime.'" Another Iranian newspaper, Hamshahri, accused John Paul of "caving in to pressure from the Jewish lobby" despite "Jewish responsibility for the death of Christ." Arab leaders have in the past expressed mixed feelings about the pontiff, who frequented the Middle East and was credited for galvanizing Christian minority communities in several Mideast countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Israel and the Palestinian areas between 1997 and 2001. Egypt's Copts used John Paul's visits in part to demand equal rights and an end to targeted violence against their community. Copts, who constitute between 8 and 15 percent of Egypt's population, have long clashed with Muslim extremists. Analysts say Syrian and pro-Damascus Lebanese leaders were uneasy about the pontiff reaching out to Lebanon's large Maronite Catholic minority. Lebanese Christians and Muslims fought in the 1975-90 civil war. In 1995, John Paul invited Lebanese bishops to the Vatican where they called on Syria to withdraw its nearly 20,000 troops from their country. And the pope was blasted by Arab leaders when he traveled to Israel on a millennium pilgrimage, meeting survivors of the Nazi Holocaust at the Yad Vashem museum in Jerusalem and putting a prayer note into the Western Wall. But some Muslims have praised John Paul's outreach to the Islamic world. In 2001, he became the first pope to enter a Muslim place of worship, visiting the revered Omayyad Mosque in Damascus. He also met with leaders of Syria's non-Catholic churches. Although Israel and the Vatican have in the past had a stormy relationship, with many faulting Pope Pius XXII for not speaking out against Nazi war crimes, Israeli figures yesterday praised Pope John Paul II as a principled religious leader whose efforts helped bring Jews and Catholics together. Many pointed to his visit to the Holy Land in 2000 as an historic reconciliation between the two faiths. "The pope was a man of peace, a friend of the Jewish people, the world has lost one of the most important leaders of our time," said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Meanwhile, alongside Iranian media criticisms, Iran's President Mohammed Khatami Monday described the pontiff as "a disciple of religious mysticism, philosophic deliberation and thought, and artistic and poetic creativity." Khatami said he felt a sense of "loss" from the pope's death, and recalled meeting with the pope in 1999 in the Vatican and talking about "world politics and (international) cooperation." Iran's anti-Israel eulogy of the pope has some concerned. As the US and Israel work to increase international pressure regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions, many are worried the Tehran regime might use pressure tactics against its Jewish community to ward off any upcoming action against Iran's suspected nuclear facilities. Iran has recently been increasing the level of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement broadcast on its state-controlled media, monitors say. A television series ran in Iran in January depicting "evil" Jews eagerly stoning crucified Christians during the decline of the Roman Empire. The series, translated by Palestinian Media Watch, shows "stereotypically evil-looking Jews wearing prayer shawls who notice Christian crucifixions and bribe a Roman officer to permit them to stone Christians," reported PMW.


Americans Expect Nuclear Attack

image April 6….(WND) While a new national poll finds 52 percent of Americans think a nuclear attack is likely by 2010, the author of a new book on the Iranian bomb says the threat posed by that regime is imminent. The survey, conducted by AP-Ipsos, found two-thirds of Americans believe no nation should have nuclear weapons – including the United States. The poll found 44 percent said they frequently or occasionally worry about a terrorist attack using nuclear weapons, while 55 percent said they rarely or never do.

World Net columnist Jerome Corsi, author of the newly released book, Atomic Iran: How the Terrorist Regime Bought the Bomb and American Politicians, published by WND Books, says he is "pushing the alarm button" as the nuclear threat posed to the United States and Israel is "imminent." Corsi believes that the greatest nuclear threat is posed by the Iranian regime. "Iran continues to display the characteristics of a rogue regime actively pursuing nuclear weapons, willing to both defy and deceive attempts at international control," he said. "Clearly stated, Iran has been playing the world for a fool."

Muslims Hail Pope's Efforts to Build Ties with Islam

April 4….(Reuters) Muslims around the world on Sunday praised the late Pope John Paul's drive to build bridges with Islam, saying his compassion and leadership changed their view of the Catholic Church. The Pope led a campaign over the past two decades to help turn conflict between the world's 1.1 billion Catholics and 1.2 billion Muslims into cooperation and visiting Syria in 2001 he became the first Pope officially to set foot in a mosque. "His role was vital in gathering people in the dialogue between Christians and Muslims," said Ali el-Samman, an adviser to the grand sheikh of Egypt's al-Azhar mosque and university. Palestinian and Afghan leaders commended the Pope's support of their people's desire for freedom, and clerics in Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh hoped his successor would build on the Pope's efforts to strengthen ties of understanding with Islam. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the Pope "a great religious figure who devoted his life to defending the values of peace, freedom, justice and equality for all races and religions, as well as our people's right to independence." Afghan President Hamid Karzai said: "We remember that during the years of Afghanistan's occupation by the Soviet Union, the Pope raised his voice of support to the Afghan people." President Hosni Mubarak of predominantly Sunni Muslim Egypt praised the Pope's "long journey of giving, during which he remained a symbol of love and peace and one who called for dialogue between religions." Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (FOJ Note: a man who has called for the destruction of Israel) said the Pope had commanded the three paths of religious learning, philosophical thought and poetic and artistic creativity. Muslims hope the Pope's successor will continue to tread the path of understanding between the two religions that he chalked out. A key event along this route was the Pope's 1986 invitation to Muslims and adherents of other faiths to pray together at Assisi for world peace. In Kuala Lumpur, Azizan Razak, a cleric and senior leader of the opposition Parti Islam-se Malaysia, said: "We hope his successor will follow his footsteps to increase understanding between Muslims and Christians." In Bangladesh, home to nearly 140 million Muslims, Moulana Obaidul Haque of the Baitul Mokarram national mosque, said the world had lost a great religious leader. "We hope his successor will also work for world peace," the cleric added. The Pope's vigorous opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was widely appreciated in the Islamic world, Malaysian political analyst Chandra Muzaffar said. "



Rev. Gene Robinson: Jesus 'might be 'gay''

April 4….(WND) Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly homosexual bishop of his denomination, has angered traditionalist Anglicans by suggesting that Jesus Christ might have been homosexual. Robinson, who left his wife, and mother of his two daughters, to cohabit with his male lover, Mark, made his inflammatory remarks during an address titled, "Homosexuality and the Body of Christ: Is There a New Way?" at Christ Church of Hamilton and Wenham, Massachusetts. The bishop was asked by a congregant how Christians could both accept homosexuality and the Bible's emphasis on redemption for sins. "Interestingly enough, in this day of traditional family values," answered Robinson, "this man that we follow was single, as far as we know, traveled with a bunch of men, had a disciple who was known as 'the one whom Jesus loved' and said my family is not my mother and father, my family is those who do the will of God. None of us likes those harsh words. That's who Jesus is, that's who he was at heart, in his earthly life. "Those who would posit the nuclear family as the be all and end all of God's creation probably don't find that much in the gospels to support it," he concluded. "Rubbish," responds David Virtue who operates VirtueOnline, a website that bills itself as "the voice for global orthodox Anglicanism." "It is appalling deconstructionism from the liberal lobby which will spin even the remotest thing to turn it into a hint that Biblical figures are gay," says Virtue. "It is so utterly preposterous to imply that Jesus' relationship with John was homo-erotic, but twisting the truth is the only way these people can get scriptural justification for their lifestyles. Those of us who put scripture as a priority are called on to obey the scripture even when that is in conflict with our culture. Bishop Robinson is saying that the culture has moved in his direction and that it's all becoming accepted, so he's looking for ways to interpret scripture to support that instead of realizing that scripture asks us to do the unpopular thing and stand against the prevailing culture." Robinson's 2003 consecration created a schism in the Anglican church between liberals and traditionalists, causing some to suggest he should be "struck down by thunder and lightning bolts." In some cases, traditional congregations have sought to shift their affiliation with the worldwide Anglican communion from liberal American bishops to bishops in Africa where a conservative understanding of Biblical morality still dominates. Robinson, however remains undaunted by the criticism, saying he has reconciled his homosexuality and his faith. "God's light and God's life ooze over me like warm butter," he declares.

Pope John Paul II Dies


April 2….(Fox News) Pope John Paul II, the bold, humanitarian leader of the Roman Catholic Church, has died at 84. A tireless and outspoken campaigner for world peace and humanitarian causes, Pope John Paul II was the most traveled pontiff in history, criss-crossing the globe on missions that were often as political as they were religious. In his overseas journeys, the pope visited communist Cuba, Muslim Syria, India and war-torn Bosnia. A native of Poland, he played a crucial role in the downfall of communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. In the most significant papal trip, John Paul II became the first pope in history to officially visit Israel when he fulfilled a lifelong dream to tour the Holy Land and walk in the steps of Jesus Christ. The March 2000 pilgrimage through the Middle East broke down long-standing religious barriers and was a crowning moment in the pope's quest, throughout his 26-year papacy, to reconcile Christians and Jews. During his visit to Jerusalem, the pope spoke at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial before an audience that included then Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. "I have come to pay homage to the millions of Jewish people who, stripped of everything, especially human dignity, were murdered in the Holocaust," the pope said. In 1998, the Vatican had formally apologized for the Roman Catholic Church's inaction during the Holocaust under Pope Pius XII. Pope John Paul II also visited and prayed in many Islamic mosques, and reached out to both Muslims and Jews, recalling the common thread they have in Abraham.

   Born Karol l Wojtyla in Wadowice, Poland on May 18, 1920, the future pope's early years were marked by personal suffering and tragedy. The son of a poor Polish soldier, he lost his mother at age 8, his brother at age 12 and his father at age 20. Following the 1978 death of Pope John Paul I after only 32 days as pontiff, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla was narrowly elected pope on October 16, 1978 and was officially installed on October 22, 1978 at age 58. Having taken the name John Paul II to honor his predecessor, he was the church's 264th pope and the first non-Italian pope in 455 years.

FOJ Note: It will be very interesting to see whom the Vatican selects as the next Pope. The identity of the next Pope may have a serious impact on the events of these Last Days. Many people have speculative ideas bout whether or not the next Pope will be the Antichrist. We will have to watch and see how these things play out in the coming weeks and months. Personally, I believe Rome will look to someone as the next Pope who can impact the Middle East, and the Israeli-Arab Conflict in the same fashion that John Paul II had in impacting the fall of the Soviet Communist system.

Share this page with your friends.


March 2005
February 2005 January 2005 December 2004
November 2004 October 2004 September 2004
August 2004 July 2004 June 2004
May 2004 April 2004 March 2004
February 2004 January 2004 December 2003
November 2003 October 2003 September 2003
August 2003 July 2003 June 2003
May 2003 April 2003 March 2003
February 2003 January 2003 December 2002
November, 2002 October 2002 September 2002
August 2002 July 2002 June 2002
May 2002 April 2002 March 2002
February 2002 January 2002 December 2001

Home Email Library

Links Study Grace Room

Map Room Introduction Articles

Subscribe Webmaster Book Room

About this Ministry



Site Meter