Focus On Jerusalem





Light For America

July 1….(FOJ) The Statue of Liberty that stands in New York harbor holds a lighted torch that symbolically beckons the world’s weary, its tired, and its outcast to come to America, and to a land of opportunity and freedom. But sadly, America has lost sight of the light that beckoned its forefathers to establish a Christian Republic on this continent 229 years ago. Our vision of a Judeo-Christian Republic has been replaced by a vision for a socialist and secular democratic form of government. The light of God’s truth, and his natural law that shaped the greatness of America has been hid under the proverbial anti-Christian bushel, by the forces of cultural evolution, secular humanism and tolerance of other gods. Today, as America prepares to celebrate another birthday, it is lost, groping about in darkness. America is facing its gravest days as it confronts the forces of evil that are becoming ever vociferous in its zeal to destroy the last bastion of national Christian fortification in the world. Satan is endeavoring to isolate the tiny nation of Israel so that he can recruit all nations to join him in a great last stand against the God of Israel. If America is going to survive and regain its stature as a beacon of light to the world, then it must repent, and return to the Light of God’s Holy Word, instead of banishing it to the realm of alternative religious choices.



China Warns US: Keep Hands off Oil Deal

June 30….(Washington Times) The Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday told the US government not to interfere with a Chinese-controlled company's bid to buy a California energy giant, triggering objections from American officials and lawmakers who oppose the deal.  The China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) submitted an $18.5 billion offer last week for Unocal Corp., the ninth-largest oil and gas company in the United States. The CNOOC bid has raised concerns in Washington because the Chinese government controls 70 percent of CNOOC. Some U.S. officials have said they are uncomfortable with the notion of one of the nation's major energy suppliers falling under the company's control. If Unocal accepts an offer from CNOOC, the deal would be subject to a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). "The affairs of the United States government should be left to the United States," said Patrick A. Mulloy, a member of the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a federal panel that monitors the economic relations between the two countries and has been critical of CNOOC's offer for Unocal. Rep. Joe L. Barton, Texas Republican and chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said, "The Chinese government should divest itself of the shares in CNOOC and conduct free and open elections in China in the next six months, elections where anyone can run and they don't have to run as a member of the Communist Party. Let's elect a totally free Chinese government, and have the government divest itself of that stock, and then we'll talk," said Mr. Barton, who wrote President Bush last week to express his opposition to CNOOC's bid.



China Launches "Nationwide Crackdown" on House Churches

June 30….(Worthy News) A major human rights group said Wednesday, June 29, it has received "credible reports" from China "that a nationwide campaign against unregistered house churches is underway" and that "hundreds" of Christians have been detained. The US-based China Aid Association (CAA) said "numerous house churches" were raided in recent weeks, and that "hundreds were arrested and many are still in prison." The term 'house churches' refers to millions of Christians who rights groups say are forced to hold underground meetings because they refuse to worship in the Communist government-led churches. China has been proclaiming to the international community that Chinese people are enjoying a golden time of religious freedom, however this series of nationwide assaults on unregistered house churches does not support this claim." CAA described the fresh reports of persecution as "a wakeup call to the world community that it is time to seriously reconsider its appeasing policies toward the issue of China's religious freedom."

There was no immediate reaction from the Chinese government on the alleged crackdown. However China has denied human rights abuses, saying it only is fighting  against "sects" it considers dangerous to Chinese society.



Jerusalem More Dangerous than Baghdad?

June 30….(WND) At today's White House news briefing, WND asked presidential press secretary Scott McClellan about unfulfilled plans to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, comparing the safety level there with that of Baghdad. McClellan was asked, “Since the president is strongly opposed to any discrimination against the Jewish people, could you tell us why the Bush administration has just continued to make the Jewish state of Israel the only nation in the world where the US embassy is not located in its capital city”? McClellan responded: There are national security reasons here. And that's why it has been extended again. The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, requires that relocation of our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem unless there are national security concerns, which President Bush has just claimed there are, and he has every year of his presidency. WND further asked: Since we are opening a US embassy in Baghdad, how on earth can the President claim Jerusalem is more dangerous than Baghdad? McClellan: Right now in the Middle East it's a very hopeful period for the Palestinian people and for the people of Israel. And we've got to keep our focus on the step that is before us right now.

FOJ Note: The Bush Administration, as has previous administrations continues to pursue the UN partitioning plan as the only viable peace process in the Middle East, and that partitioning plan calls for Jerusalem to become an international religious capitol, and to be retained from the sovereignty of Israel. Each President has cited national security as the reason for not recognizing Jerusalem as the logical place for the US embassy. If September 11th proves anything, it proves that our national security was indeed at risk over the issue of Jerusalem!



Russia and China Sign Declaration on World Order

June 30….(Jerry Robinson) Chinese leader Hu Jintao signed a joint declaration on world order in the 21st Century, while in Moscow yesterday, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry announced in the Rossiiskaya Gazet. "This is a crucial document that reflects the convergence of Russia and China's fundamental positions on key issues in modern world order, our common view for the outlook of the development of humankind," Alexander Yakovenko wrote. According to Yakovenko, the declaration will affirm the parties' commitment to forming a new fair and rational world order and to increasing the role of the UN in international politics. Russia and China will announce the unacceptability of monopolizing global affairs, dividing states into those who lead and those who are led, (a direct accusation towards the US) imposing models for social development from the outside and applying double standards, he wrote. Yakovenko wrote the sides will urge the international community to combine efforts in order to create a new architecture of security by shaping a global strategy to counteract new threats and challenges under the UN aegis, the article reads. Russia and China have launched work on a mid-term program for developing bilateral trade, economic and military relations for 2006-2010 period.



FOJ’s Website Wonders of the Week

June 30….(FOJ) From time to time Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry likes to share the good news of the work of some other wonderful website ministries. FOJ has always highly recommended Lambert Dolphins wonderful library of information website, and Jan Markell’s Olive Tree Ministry, which are red-starred on the FOJ links page. Two more recommended websites are Nancye Sims' new website called Light for Today ( and Mr. Charles Strong's website called BibleOne. ( I regard Charles Strong so highly that I consider him as being like my own personal pastor. Nancye is also very well known for her Christian poetry, as well as being a gifted spiritual writer.




President Bush Urges Patience on Iraq

June 29….(Newsmax) President Bush on Tuesday rejected calls for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq or sending more troops, counseling patience for Americans who question the war's painful costs. "Is the sacrifice worth it? It is worth it," Bush told a nation increasingly doubtful about the toll of the 27-month-old war that has taken the lives of more than 1,740 US troops Iraqis must be reassured that "America will not leave before the job is done." As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down," he said. President Bush said the United States faces an enemy that has made Iraq the central front in the war on terror. Terrorist fighters have been captured from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Libya and other nations, Bush said. The President's appeal for patience to stick with the war in Iraq despite mounting losses won a mixed reception in Baghdad, where Iraqis expressed both resentment and gratitude on Wednesday. In a half-hour address to troops, televised nationwide ahead of the July 4 Independence Day holiday, Bush tied Iraq to his global campaign against anti-American Islamist militants. "Iraq is where the terrorists are making their stand. So we will fight them there, and we will fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won," he said on the first anniversary of the formal return of sovereignty to Iraqis. There would be no timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops, he said, although the 140,000-strong force would not be enlarged and would "stand down" as Iraqis were trained to "stand up." Many Iraqi’s are grateful, in the main, for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, but many are also dismayed by what they see a failure by the US to allow Iraq to become the front lines in our war on terror. "Why are the Americans drawing terrorism into Iraq?" asked Abdul Ridha al-Hafadhi, 58, head of a humanitarian aid group. "Why don't they find another place to fight terrorism?" he asked. "Iraq is an open field where all America's enemies can come and fight them," said 33-year-old Haider Ali. "But we honestly feel comfortable with the American presence because they are a superpower and they will win in Iraq."


Israel Will Have to Attack a Nuclear Tehran

June 29….(WND) Tehran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program that, if not halted immediately by the supporting of key reformists, will leave Israel with no choice but to carry out a pre-emptive strike against Iran, WND columnist and Atomic Iran author Jerome Corsi testified today before Israel's Knesset. "Israel might need to launch a pre-emptive attack against Iran, even if the international military and diplomatic reprisals that follow might bring immense pressure upon Israel itself," Corsi said. "Israel might well calculate that Iran armed with nuclear weapons would be too unpredictable and dangerous to tolerate. At any moment and for any reason, Iran might simply launch a nuclear strike on Israel," said Corsi, warning of the consequences of a nuclear Iran. He warned Israel should not assume the US will act on its behalf: "The United States cannot be expected to take the first steps if military action should be required. The first credible threat will be to Israel, not the more distant shores of America." Corsi outlined the history of the current Iranian regime, blasting the mullahs for what he said were rampant human-rights violations, crackdowns on key reformists, hard-line Islamic policies and media censorship practices. Echoing recent remarks by President Bush, Corsi called Iran "the most active sponsor of state terrorism." "The mullahs' support for terrorism includes providing bases to al-Qaida, Islamic Jihad and Ansar al-Islam, and safe havens for terrorist leaders, including Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and members of the bin Laden family. Iran supports most terrorist groups that have attacked Israel and Americans in the region, including Hezbollah, Hamas, the Palestinian Jihad and Ansar al Islam. These groups have claimed responsibility for numerous deadly attacks in the last 20 years." Peaceful change in Iran is possible, Corsi testified, but only if the international community acts now to support reformist groups. Corsi said assisting key Iranian reformists could prompt a response similar to what he called the "Lebanon model." Beirut recently won its freedom from nearly 30 years of Syrian occupation following large-scale protests. But Corsi warned Iran continues to build an infrastructure that could allow it to go nuclear within months if Tehran restarts a yellowcake unranium enrichment facility. Corsi told the Knesset the US is not currently sufficiently motivated to act against Iran. "Although the mullahs armed with nuclear weapons capability may well seek to develop an improvised nuclear device and ship it into the United States, the threat of an 'Atomic 9-11' has failed to waken public fear in a nation which has not experienced a terrorist attack since the twin towers of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked." Corsi urged immediate action against Iran: "Having sworn 'Never Again,' the government of Israel must not take the risk of discovering that Iran has a nuclear weapon by waking up one morning to witness a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv."



What Makes Bush Upbeat About a US Victory in Iraq?

The speech US President George W. Bush makes Tuesday, June 28, at the elite 82nd Airborne Division’s home at Fort Bragg, NC is fraught with symbolism. The venue is the home base of the division that has born the brunt of the two-and-a half year Iraq war. The date is the first anniversary of the transfer of post-Saddam government to Iraqi sovereignty. One year ago, US administrator Paul Bremer handed the keys of government to interim prime minister Iyad Allawi amid high hopes of a new Iraq. Allawi remains Washington’s key man in Baghdad, even after the January general election produced a new administration headed by prime minister Ibrahim Jaafari and president Jalal Talabani. The Bush administration is counting on him heavily to eventually find a way out of the Iraqi insurgency and its supportive Arab terror campaign and put an end to guerrilla-terror war that has claimed 1,715 Americans lives and left an Iraqi death toll estimated in tens of thousands. Since the incumbent government took office in April, more than 1000 have been killed, most of them Iraqis. But as Bush assures Americans that their country will win the war, Allawi, according to DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources, is playing a supporting role in Amman, Jordan. There, he is running a negotiating marathon with batch after batch of Sunni tribal leaders, guerrilla commanders, some as menacing as the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Islam, and senior Sunni clerics. His mission is to broker an end to the violence plaguing Iraq. According to our sources, Allawi embarked on the most intensive phase of his Amman talks Saturday, June 25, after secret preparatory visits to two Arab capitals, Damascus, June 23, to see Syrian president Bashar Assad, and Cairo Friday, June 24 for talks with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak. His purpose was to enlist their aid in stopping Iraq’s guerrilla war. The former Iraqi premier was provided with a special plane by the United Arab Emirates which is chipping in with funding for his US-backed peace mission. The Iraqi mediator left Damascus empty handed. Assad again spurned the umpteenth demand to seal Syria’s borders against the outflow to Iraq of the Arab fighters, weapons, explosives and money fueling the insurgency. He likewise refused to shut down the al Qaeda and pro-Saddam Baath senior command posts and training camps operating out of Syria’s main cities. Allawi and Assad never got along, and Assad made a deliberate gesture of ill will by immediately inviting Allawi’s great political rival Iraqi president Jalal Talabani to visit Damascus in the coming days. The invitation was also meant as a hint to Iraqi Arabs and Sunnis that the Americans and the former prime minister were not the only options on the board. In Cairo, Allawi was warmly welcomed. Mubarak not only promised assistance for a negotiated accommodation to pacify Iraq, but picked up the phone and ordered Arab League secretary Amr Mussa to put the entire organization behind the Allawi mission. In Amman, Allawi found the Hashemite royal palace’s deep involvement on Washington’s behalf in the secret track running between US and guerrilla commanders. King Abdullah has placed his own national security adviser General Saad Kheir in charge of the Jordanian liaison officers carrying messages back and forth between the parties. Still, US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s gloomy assessment is likely more realistic than the president’s optimism. Rumsfeld has remarked that insurgencies tend to go on for six, eight, 10, 12 years

Meanwhile all the Bush administration’s efforts to topple the Assad regime and create a new political environment in Damascus that would stem the flow of Arab aid to Iraq are turning into long-term endeavors. Results could take months or even years and meanwhile the Syrian lifeline to the Iraqi insurgency is functioning full blast.

The Election Confirms the Direction

June 28….(Jerry Robinson) In a week full of twists and turns in US/Mideast relations, the Iranian presidential election results provided the world with shocking proof of what may lie ahead for the greater Middle East. Receiving more than 17 million votes, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected the new president of Iran under campaign promises to restart the nation's controversial nuclear program and to isolate itself from Washington. "My mission is to create a role model of a modern, advanced, powerful and Islamic society," Ahmadinejad stated. Iran's sensitive nuclear program, which has been in existence for over twenty years, will continue according to Ahmadinejad. "It's Iran's right to have nuclear energy," he said. "This has been recognized by many countries, except a few who think they're better than everyone else." Ahmadinejad, 49, is an old school Iranian revolutionary who is a former operative in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. According to his campaign website, Ahmadinejad participated in the takeover of the US embassy in Tehran in 1979. It appears that his anti-Western sentiments have not changed. "America was free to sever its ties with Iran, but it remains Iran's decision to re-establish relations with America," Ahmadinejad said. World opinion has been predictable. The US, Israel and Europe have all expressed major concerns about the legitimacy of the election, which has been surrounded with allegations of fraud and vote-rigging from the beginning. Mr. Rumsfield went so far as to call it a 'mock election' and labeled Ahmadinejad 'no friend of democracy.' Russian President Vladimir Putin released this statement: 'I am convinced that your election, which came as a result of the Iranian people's will, will guarantee continuity in the development of partnership between our countries.' As long as the arms money keeps flowing in from the Mideast, Putin will condone practically anything. This recent development is intriguing from a prophetic standpoint as it continues to confirm the lateness of the hour that we are living in. The Bible prophecies are clear that in the days just prior to the Second coming of Christ, the land of Persia (Iran) would align itself with the land of Magog (considered Russia by most scholars). This strategic alliance, which will also include other Islamic countries, will culminate in a full air assault by these countries against the nation Israel. According to the Bible, this invasion will occur after Israel achieves some sense of peace, as the Bible describes Israel as the land of "unwalled villages" and its people dwelling in safety just prior to the attack. Many Bible prophecy experts believe this peace refers to the coming false peace brought on when Israel signs a seven year pact with other countries that will guarantee Israel 'peace and safety.' According to the Bible, this seven year pact that Israel will sign will culminate with the return of Christ to the earth. This election confirms the direction we are heading. And it further solidifies the words of the Bible. Those who wish to dismiss the Bible must first dismiss its hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. Our God is an awesome God!



Written With The Finger of God

June 28….(FOJ) Yesterday the US Supreme Court took the state of Kentucky to task for allowing two of our counties to post the Ten Commandments in its court houses. Twenty years ago the Supreme Court also directed that the Ten Commandments should not be allowed inside the schools of Kentucky. It is rather amazing to see how pervasive the forces of Hell have become in our nation, and how these forces (ala: ACLU) have gained the leverage against Christianity in this country. Heck, I often listen to some Christian parents talking about how proud they are of the fact that their child wants to become an ACLU lawyer. Not long ago, I visited a school in my area of Kentucky, and noticed that the Social Studies teacher was teaching his students about Islam. He had the five pillars of Islam scribbled on the blackboard, and numerous passages from the Koran. As I looked around the classroom, I noticed that the class was completely filled with paraphernalia that suggested that they were heavily studying about Allah, Islam and generally trying to learn more about Islamic countries. Yesterday, I also discovered that the Courts are likely to make it mandatory to utilize other religious books as well as the Bible for the taking of oaths, such as the swearing in of a witness for a trial. America is treading on thin ice. Israel was warned about whoring about after other gods, and as a result of tolerance of new gods, Israel lost the Promised Land. Israel was given the Ten Commandments prior to entering the land that God gave them. In fact, even as Holy as the Bible is, it was not literally written by the hand of God. God inspired holy men and prophets to record his word. But in the case of the Ten Commandments, God himself used his own finger to write these laws on tablets of stone, and gave them to Moses. (Exodus 31:18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.) Only on three occasions in the Bible does God resort to personal writing. The Ten Commandments was the first case, the hand writing on the wall in Belshazzar’s palace in Babylon pronouncing judgment against him, and in the case where the Lord stooped over to write in the dirt when accusers brought forth a woman caught in adultery. These three instances indicate that God’s law is perfect, requiring justice, and only those without sin can expect to escape his fierce wrath when Judgment Day comes. Why does Satan want to hide God’s laws? Why does natural man want to hide from his law, and his justice? The finger of God points to our iniquity, and demands that we come clean about sin, but most of mankind doesn’t like to have the finger of God pointing out his sins.

US Supreme Court Bars Commandments From Courthouses

imageJune 27….(Fox News) A divided Supreme Court on Monday struck down Ten Commandments displays in two Kentucky courthouses, but said a 6-foot granite replica on government land in Texas was acceptable. In the first ruling, McCreary County v. ACLU, the court said that the Kentucky displays violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which prohibits government from endorsing or supporting one religion above others. The justices ruled 5-4 that the Ten Commandments could Souter was joined in his opinion by other members of the liberal bloc, Justices John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer, as well as Reagan appointee Sandra Day O'Connor, who provided the swing vote. In a dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that Ten Commandments displays are a legitimate tribute to the nation's religious and legal history.  not be displayed in court buildings or on government property. The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion," Justice David H. Souter wrote for the majority. The Kentucky displays have been the target of litigation since they were first posted in 1999. With each lower court ruling against county officials, revisions were made to the displays. By the time the case landed on the Supreme Court's docket, the framed copies of the commandments were part of a larger, more neutral display about the history of American law. Scalia wrote in his dissent that the changed displays had become constitutionally acceptable. However, during oral arguments in March, Scalia scolded the county for trying to convince the court the displays had been stripped of religious intent, saying it was "idiotic" to dress the commandments in historical documents such as the Declaration of Independence. Scalia, Rehnquist and Thomas have all said that there is nothing wrong with government asserting God's supremacy, while the other justices on the court believe doing so would be to the exclusion of Americans of other faiths or no faiths, and is therefore unconstitutional.

FOJ Note: America has declared that it is longer one nation under God, but open to many gods. This action has been noted in the halls of Heaven, and God will thus permit further decimation of our hedges for defense.

Syria Continues to Supply Sunni Insurgents to Iraq

June 27….(MENL) US officials say Syria is seeking to gain a foothold in Iraq by sending insurgents to attack the US-led coalition as well as Iraqi forces. They said they expect Iran as well as Syria to maintain their activities despite numerous US appeals. "It is a fact that terrorists have come across the Syrian border," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said. "It is also a fact that Syria is a dictatorship with a very large intelligence community. And one has to assume they know it is going on in their country." Secretary Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee on June 23 that the foreign threats to Iraq require the continued presence of the coalition, as most of the insurgents and all of the suicide bombers are non-Iraqi’s. But the defense secretary envisioned an Iraq capable of eventually stopping Syria's support for the insurgency.



Chinese Dragon Awakens

June 27….(excerpt by Bill Gertz) China is building its military forces faster than US intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials. US defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack. China's military buildup includes an array of new high-technology weapons, such as warships, submarines, missiles and a maneuverable warhead designed to defeat US missile defenses. Recent intelligence reports also show that China has stepped up military exercises involving amphibious assaults, viewed as another sign that it is preparing for an attack on Taiwan. "There's a growing consensus that at some point in the mid-to-late '90s, there was a fundamental shift in the sophistication, breadth and re-sorting of Chinese defense planning," said Richard Lawless, a senior China-policy maker in the Pentagon. "And what we're seeing now is a manifestation of that change in the number of new systems that are being deployed, the sophistication of those systems and the interoperability of the systems." China's economy has been growing at a rate of at least 10 percent for each of the past 10 years, providing the country's military with the needed funds for modernization. The combination of a vibrant centralized economy, growing military and increasingly fervent nationalism has transformed China into what many defense officials view as a fascist state. "We may be seeing in China the first true fascist society on the model of Nazi Germany, where you have this incredible resource base in a commercial economy with strong nationalism, which the military was able to reach into and ramp up incredible production," a senior defense official said. For Pentagon officials, alarm bells have been going off for the past two years as China's military began rapidly building and buying new troop-and weapon-carrying ships and submarines. The release of an official Chinese government report in December called the situation on the Taiwan Strait "grim" and said the country's military could "crush" Taiwan. Earlier this year, Beijing passed an anti-secession law, a unilateral measure that upset the fragile political status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The law gives Chinese leaders a legal basis they previously did not have to conduct a military attack on Taiwan, US officials said.

    Asked about a possible Chinese attack on Taiwan, the official put it bluntly: "In the '07-'08 time frame, a capability will be there that a year ago we would have said was very, very unlikely. We now assess that as being very likely to be there." Air Force Gen. Paul V. Hester, head of the Pacific Air Forces, said the US military has been watching China's military buildup but has found it difficult to penetrate Beijing's "veil" of secrecy over it. China is building capabilities such as aerial refueling and airborne warning and control aircraft that can be used for regional defense and long-range power projection, Gen. Hester said. It also is developing a maneuverable re-entry vehicle, or MARV, for its nuclear warheads. The weapon is designed to counter US strategic-missile defenses, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The warhead would be used on China's new DF-31 long-range missiles and its new submarine missile, the JL-2. Missiles also are a worry. "It is their surface-to-air missiles, their advanced SAMs and their surface-to-surface missiles, and the precision, more importantly, of those surface-to-surface missiles that provide, obviously, the ability to pinpoint targets that we might have out in the region, or our friends and allies might have," Gen. Hester said. The advances give the Chinese military "the ability to reach out and touch parts of the United States, Guam, Hawaii and the mainland of the United States," he said. To better deal with possible future conflicts in Asia, the Pentagon is modernizing US military facilities on the Western Pacific island of Guam and planning to move more forces there.   
    China's rulers have adopted what is known as the "two-island chain" strategy of extending control over large areas of the Pacific, covering inner and outer chains of islands stretching from Japan to Indonesia. "Clearly, they are still influenced by this first and second island chain," the intelligence official said.  The official said China's buildup goes beyond what would be needed to fight a war against Taiwan. The conclusion of this official is that China wants a "blue-water" navy capable of projecting power far beyond the two island chains. "If you look at the technical capabilities of the weapons platforms that they're fielding, the sea-keeping capabilities, the size, sensors and weapons fit, this capability transcends the baseline that is required to deal with a Taiwan situation militarily," the intelligence official said. "So they are positioned then, if [Taiwan is] resolved one way or the other, to really become a regional military power as well."
    The dispatch of a Han-class submarine late last year to waters near Guam, Taiwan and Japan was an indication of the Chinese military's drive to expand its oceangoing capabilities, the officials said. The submarine surfaced in Japanese waters, triggering an emergency deployment of Japan's naval forces. Beijing later issued an apology for the incursion, but the political damage was done. Within months, Japan began adopting a tougher political posture toward China in its defense policies and public statements. A recent Japanese government defense report called China a strategic national security concern. It was the first time China was named specifically in a Japanese defense report.   
Energy supply a factor

    For China, Taiwan is not the only issue behind the buildup of military forces. Beijing also is facing a major energy shortage that, according to one Pentagon study, could lead it to use military force to seize territory with oil and gas resources. The report produced for the Office of Net Assessment, which conducts assessments of future threats, was made public in January and warned that China's need for oil, gas and other energy resources is driving the country toward becoming an expansionist power. China "is looking not only to build a blue-water navy to control the sea lanes [from the Middle East], but also to develop undersea mines and missile capabilities to deter the potential disruption of its energy supplies from potential threats, including the US Navy, especially in the case of a conflict with Taiwan," the report said. The report said China believes the United States already controls the sea routes from the oil-rich Persian Gulf through the Malacca Strait. Chinese President Hu Jintao has called this strategic vulnerability to disrupted energy supplies Beijing's "Malacca Dilemma." To prevent any disruption, China has adopted a "string of pearls" strategy that calls for both offensive and defensive measures stretching along the oil-shipment sea lanes from China's coast to the Middle East. The "pearls" include the Chinese-financed seaport being built at Gwadar, on the coast of western Pakistan, and commercial and military efforts to establish bases or diplomatic ties in Bangladesh, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand and disputed islands in the South China Sea.
    China views the United States as "a potential threat because of its military superiority, its willingness to disrupt China's energy imports, its perceived encirclement of China and its disposition toward manipulating international politics," the report said. The report stated that China will resort "to extreme, offensive and mercantilist measures when other strategies fail, to mitigate its vulnerabilities, such as seizing control of energy resources in neighboring states, such as in the Middle East." The post-Cold War peace is over. "We are now in an arms race with a new superpower whose goal is to contain and overtake the United States."



Iran President-Elect Vows to Pursue Nukes

June 27….(AP) Iran President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad vowed Sunday to pursue a peaceful nuclear program, an effort the United States maintains is really a cover for trying to build atomic bombs, and said his government will not be an extremist one.
Ahmadinejad also said Iran did not need the United States to help it become more self-reliant. His comments came as Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld criticized Friday's vote, in which the ultraconservative former Tehran mayor steamrolled former President Ayatollah Hashemi Rafsanjani, as a "mock election." Rumsfeld said more than 1,000 potential candidates, including all women, were disqualified from running by the country's hard-line Guardian Council. "He is no friend of democracy," Rumsfeld said on "Fox News Sunday." "He is a person who is very much supportive of the current ayatollahs, who are telling the people of that country how to live their lives, and my guess is over time the young people and women will find him as well as his masters unacceptable." Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom also said Sunday his nation, which considers Iran one of its greatest enemies, also believes the election was undemocratic.
Israel accuses Iran of developing nuclear weapons that could reach the Jewish state.


Mideast Has become Major Russian Defense Market

June 27…(MENL) Russia has determined that the Middle East comprises a major defense market. Officials said Rosoboronexport has slated the Middle East as a major customer for Russia's defense industry in 2006. They said Rosoboronexport has designated such countries as Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as major prospective customers. The most likely market for Russia was in the sector of armored vehicles, including main battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers. Other sectors cited were air defense systems, naval equipment and light arms. Rosoboronexport has designated the armored upgrade market as a leading option for Middle East states in 2006. The Russian state-owned arms export agency wants to modernize the T-72 tank, which has been exported in large quantities to such countries as Algeria, Iraq and Iran. Kuwait has 150 T-72 variants under the name M-84B.



Iran's New President Helped Take US Embassy in 1979

imageJune 27….(WND) Iran's new president is a former operative of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, responsible for the nation's missile and nuclear weapons programs. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been elected by a landslide in a victory that stunned US and other Western diplomats. On June 24, Ahmadinejad, the mayor of Teheran, defeated Hashemi Rafsanjani, a former president who headed the Expediency Council, the regime's watchdog over what had been a reformist-dominated parliament. The 49-year-old Ahmadinejad, who participated in the takeover of the US embassy in Teheran, in 1979, is regarded as the most anti-Western of the presidential candidates. Most Western diplomats had expected Rafsanjani to become Iran's next president in an election stage-managed by the regime, Middle East Newsline reported. His campaign was supported by his former employers in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij volunteers. "My mission is to create a role model of a modern, advanced, powerful and Islamic society," Ahmadinejad said. Iranian state television said Ahmadinejad obtained 61.6 percent of the vote while Rafsanjani's garnered 35.9 percent. The rest of the nearly 28 million ballots, marking a 59 percent turnout, were deemed invalid. Unlike previous Iranian presidents, Ahmadinejad is not a cleric. Over the last year, Ahmadinejad criticized what he termed were concessions by the Khatami government to the European Union regarding its demand for a permanent suspension of Teheran's uranium enrichment program.



Teheran’s Riposte to Washington on Their Nuclear Dispute, Lebanon, Syria and Khuzestan

June 27….(DEBKA) A virtual nobody on Iran’s national scene, Tehran mayor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, 49, was picked by Iran’s radical Islamic leaders and swung ahead of the presidential race to deal “the heaviest psychological blow to Iran’s enemies.” Those words were uttered by the new president in his first post-election statement Saturday, June 25. They attested to the fact that Iran had chosen him as its tool for getting back at the Bush administration for seeking to bring regime change and democracy to the Middle East and Iran in particular. Everyone but the radical wire-pullers in Tehran was surprised by the victory of a candidate whom most of the Iranian electorate had never heard of. He beat the familiar former president Hashemi Rafsanjani by a resounding 62%: 35%. But nothing had been left to chance. Ahmadinejad was thrust into the presidency by careful engineering, organization and the deployment of every single cog the powerful machine of the heavily centralized government could muster. The Revolutionary Guards in which the candidate once served as an officer was brought into play. With the help too of massive vote-rigging, the ruling clique could cynically claim to have achieved regime change through the ballot box, only it turned out to be more Islamic, more militant, and more Iranian than before. DEBKAfile’s Iran experts note that this is the second victory Iran’s unelected spiritual ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has scored against Washington in a month. In early June, the Bush administration quietly gave up hope of the European-Iranian diplomatic track, or even UN Security Council penalties, persuading Tehran to relinquish its nuclear weapons program. The European option was dropped after of Britain and Germany edged away from a showdown with Tehran over uranium enrichment. The notion of UN sanctions was set aside when it became obvious that China and Russia would veto a Security Council oil embargo against Iran. Having faced down the United States and Israel on the nuclear issue, the Islamic regime has decided that there is no power on earth left to interfere with its progress towards achieving a nuclear bomb. The Bush administration has meanwhile changed course and opted to strike the Iranians on their home front by backing an ethnic Arab uprising in Khuzestan, the province that produces 80% of Iran’s oil. This revolt is turning into an Arab guerrilla war against the Iranian rulers, sustained mainly by American, British, Iraq, Kurdish support and assistance from the Gulf emirates Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. However, the Khuzestan rebels are not strong enough yet to stand up to the Iranian army or seriously damage Iranian oil production. The Bush Administration is also hoping to destabilize the Iranian theocracy by the following means:

2.  Sending US Special Forces and CIA instructors to train Iraqi Kurdish fighters for combat in north Iranian Kurdish provinces, in the hope sparking an uprising there too.

3. By initiating active steps to change the regime in Syria. Tehran believes the Bush administration is bent on toppling Syrian president Bashar Assad and views the forced expulsion of Syrian troops from Lebanon under extreme US-French pressure as one of those steps. Iran’s rulers are not prepared to witness the downfall of Assad who is regarded as ally and backer of their protégée, the Lebanese Hizballah with political, diplomatic and logistic aid.

4. American action to hamper Iran’s air freight of arms to Lebanon has succeeded in gaining Ankara’s consent to close Turkish air space to those flights. Iranians see this step as another mark of American hostility, like -

5. American pressure for Hizballah to disarm and dismantle the more than 10,000 rockets pointing at Israel. Tehran needs those rockets to stay where they are as its second-strike military capability on the shores of the Mediterranean and a deterrent to Israeli attack. Attempts to remove this menacing array are viewed as a direct assault on Iran’s strategic interests.

6. The US demand for Hizballah units to pull back from southern Lebanon and distanced from the Israeli border. Teheran views Hizballah’s redeployment as the removal of its military threat against Israel and the severance of the group’s collaborative ties with Iran-funded Palestinian terrorist organizations operating out of Damascus and Beirut, like the Jihad Islami and Hamas.

FOJ Note: With this mindset prevailing in Tehran, and with Washington and Israel sensing terrorist and nuclear nightmare scenario’s emanating from the Teheran-Damascus Axis, it stands to reason that war is imminent somewhere in the Middle East in the not too distant future.








Washington to Co-opt Egypt and Saudi Arabia into Quartet

June 24….(DEBKA) Jerusalem is gravely affronted by a step that would grant two Arab governments a position of influence on a supposedly impartial body dealing with the Israel-Palestinian conflict. DEBKAfile's sources in Washington and Jerusalem report that Israeli leaders suffered a painful jolt when US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice gave them the news during her visit to Jerusalem on June 19. She announced that Washington would offer Saudi Arabia and Egypt equal status with the other Quartet members, the United States, the European Union, Russia and the UN secretary-general. It would be the first time in the history of the Israel-Palestinian conflict that Arab governments are invited to sit alongside world powers on an international body which claims an impartial say in Israel's military and diplomatic conduct. Jerusalem learned later this week that the administration had made up its mind to extend invitations to Saudi crown prince Abdullah and Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and would do so without consulting Israel's views on the matter. Russia's Vladimir Putin approved the plan. Thursday, June 23, Rice conferred with all the Quartet members and obtained their assent. It is therefore settled, whether Israel likes it or not. Rice explained to Israeli leaders that the invitations were a short cut to buying Egypt's consent to cooperate in securing the Gaza Strip after Israel's pullout and for getting the Saudis to finance its reconstruction. Israeli officials protested that it made no sense for Egypt to oversee the actions of its own security forces in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli border. Neither was there any justice in letting the Saudis, who do not recognize Israel and who bankroll and sponsor the Hamas, a terrorist organization dedicated to destroying Israel, have a say in Israel's future. The US secretary replied that neither Egypt nor Saudi Arabia could be asked for cooperation without a seat on the relevant international bodies.

FOJ Note: The inclusion of Arab nations into the Quartet sponsored Peace Roadmap demonstrates that the world needs a multi-lateral approach to securing a peace deal with Israel. The Prophet Daniel foresaw this geo-political fact when he prophesied thusly:

Daniel 9:27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. The fact that the Quartet is looking to expand and solicit the Arab world into the Global sponsorship of the peace process is indicative of the eventual covenant that the Antichrist will forge, not only Israel, but with MANY nations.



Terrorist Ruse Apparent In Palestinian Peace Efforts

June 24….(By Bill Wilson, KIN - The Palestinian Authority is an outright terrorist front organization that is bilking billions of dollars from the United States and European nations that will eventually be used to wage war against Israel, according to an analysis of various news events that have occurred in recent weeks. The positioning ahead of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit to the greater Middle East is just one indication. Rumors abound that the US is considering an additional $3.0 billion in humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority above the nearly $1.0 billion already committed. The concern, however, is that any financial aid would fall into the hands of terrorists; a very valid worry. Ahead of Rice's visit, the PA postponed elections that were slated for July. Last weekend, the PA announced plans to hold the elections next year. This, in the wake of diplomatically-expressed concerns that known terrorist group Hamas was making great headway as a political party and the Western world was on edge as to whether Hamas should have access to or control over any financial assistance given to the PA. The elections postponed, now the PA is free to accept as much money as it can before its true colors become evident to even the dullest of diplomats; that the PA is comprised of terrorists who want an end to Israel and the annihilation of all Jews. Once again, President George W. Bush beat the drum of Palestinian peace during a news conference summarizing his White House meeting with top European leaders, "One of those important objectives and important goals is the advance of freedom in order to spread peace. We talked about the Middle East. We support the vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestinian living side by side in peace." That the Bush Administration and Western Europe say there will be a free Palestine living side by side in peace with Israel doesn't make it so. And it is a wonder, even a marvel, that foreign relations experts do not see the ruse that is being played out before them. And the question is begged whether blind ambition for democracy and peace is taking precedent over longstanding patterns and empirical evidence contrary to these noble goals. Case in point: Haaretz reported an incident where a 21 year old woman carrying 10 kilograms of explosives in her pants was caught by Israel authorities. The woman had a permit to enter Israel to receive medical treatment. The would-be bomber was dispatched by the Al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades, a military offshoot of the Fatah movement, to carry out a suicide attack. There are numerous such stories daily where Fatah, which is the very same political party of PA President Abbas, has ordered terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens during this so-called "ceasefire." There has been no change in the Palestinian rhetoric that the goal is the complete elimination of Israel and Jews. Yet, the United States and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon press on with giving land and billions of dollars to the Palestinians with no guarantees of peace. Nearly three decades of patient terrorism is about to pay off. The terrorists will get land from which to launch major offensives and a bankroll of billions to finance them; all in the name of peace, side by side with Israel. They've even delayed democracy to do it. All the while, the Western world is immersed in such a "bloodlust" for peace that it cannot see the hand being played. Spiritually, there is also a hand being played to which most of the world is blinded. Aligning are nations against Israel, funded, in part, by Russia and China, who are arming Syria and Iran (who have a mutual military protection pact) and are providing either military assistance or oil exploration technology to other countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Yeman and more. Meanwhile, the Western nations are bolstering Palestinian terrorists under the ruse of peace. Where it all leads; as it is written in Joel 3:14, "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision."

China Oil Company Bidding For Unocal

June 23….(Newsmax) China's third-largest oil producer made an unsolicited $18.5 billion (euro15.3 billion) bid Thursday for US oil company Unocal Corp., marking the communist nation's most ambitious attempt yet to acquire a Western corporation and setting up a possible showdown with American politicians over national security issues. The purchase by state-owned CNOOC Ltd., if completed, would be the biggest yet in a multibillion-dollar wave of foreign acquisitions by Chinese companies trying to secure a place as global competitors. It comes amid a flurry of foreign oil and gas deals by China as its government, facing stagnant production at home, tries to secure energy abroad for its booming economy, already the world's third-biggest oil importer behind Japan and the United States. The offer sets the stage for a possible takeover battle with Chevron Corp., reflecting China's new willingness to adopt Wall Street's more aggressive tactics. Chevron had offered to buy Unocal for a lower price of $16.6 billion, (12.7 billion euros) a proposal that Unocal's board already had accepted. Until recently, hostile takeovers by Chinese companies abroad were almost unheard of. El Segundo, Calif.-based Unocal, the ninth biggest US oil company, said it would evaluate the CNOOC offer, but that its board's recommendation to shareholders to accept the Chevron offer remained in place. Such a deal, if it goes forward, will almost certainly meet obstacles in Washington. Even before CNOOC made its offer, two members of Congress appealed to US President George W. Bush last week to review it for possible security threats. They warned of China's "pursuit of world energy resources." CNOOC chairman and CEO Fu Chengyu insisted Thursday that national security wasn't an issue, calling it a friendly bid and saying it would be superior for Unocal shareholders. "This transaction is purely a commercial transaction," he said in a conference call with reporters. "We are confident that the US government will support this project." Elsewhere, China has forged oil and gas deals in countries ranging from Sudan to Kazakhstan to Venezuela. Beijing is competing with Tokyo for access to Russian oil from a planned Siberian pipeline. China used to meet its own needs from domestic oil fields but became a net importer in the 1990s and now is one of the world's biggest consumers, along with the United States and Japan.



China Advances Missile Program

June 23….(Bill Gertz) China has successfully flight-tested a submarine-launched missile that US officials say marks a major advance in Beijing's long-range nuclear program. "This is a significant milestone in their effort to develop strategic weapons," said a US official familiar with reports of the test. US intelligence agencies monitored the flight test of a JL-2 missile about 10 days ago, officials said. The missile was launched from a Chinese submarine near the port of Qingdao and was tracked to a desert impact point in western China several thousand miles away, the officials said. The Air Force's National Air Intelligence Center reported that the JL-2 "will, for the first time, allow Chinese missile submarines to target portions of the United States from operating areas located near the Chinese coast." The JL-2 is estimated to have a range of up to 6,000 miles, enough to hit targets in the United States. A defense official said the missile test was a major step forward in China's strategic nuclear missile program and shows an improved capability to produce and launch submarine-launched missiles. The JL-2 is a submarine version of the DF-31 land-based missile. In December, China launched the first of a new class of ballistic missile submarines known as the Type 094. The Bush administration has expressed new worries about China's military buildup. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said in Singapore June 4 that China has not disclosed its total military spending. "China appears to be expanding its missile forces, allowing them to reach targets in many areas of the world, not just the Pacific region, while also expanding its missile capabilities within this region," Mr. Rumsfeld said. "China also is improving its ability to project power, and developing advanced systems of military technology," he said. "Since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment? Why these continuing large and expanding arms purchases? Why is China continuing these robust deployments?"

End Time Nears As Saudi Arabia Lurks In The Shadows Of Nuclear Intrigue

June 23….(By Bill Wilson, KIN -  The End-Times clock ticked again Thursday as the United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia to limit nuclear inspections, despite mounting evidence that the Saudis may be attempting to acquire a nuclear bomb. The signing of the Small Quantities Protocol (SQP) was hailed by the UN as a "safeguards agreement" under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, giving the false impression that the UN's IAEA had actually done something positive to limit the spread of nuclear weapons in the world's foremost hotspot of violence; the greater Middle East. In reality, however, the IAEA may have signed away a linchpin bargaining chip in the event Saudi Arabia continues on its path of nuclear intrigue toward acquiring, rather than making, a nuclear weapon. There is a large quantity of information written and documented that the Saudis have purchased nuclear-capable missiles from China, funded nuclear programs in Iraq and Pakistan, and have entered into nuclear protection agreements with members of the nuclear club, most importantly, Pakistan. There is no smoking gun nor is there any publicly confirmed evidence that the Saudis are acquiring nuclear weapons. There are reports, however, from eyewitnesses who either partook in the acquisitions program or were in attendance when such initiatives were discussed. According to two separate sources, The Nuclear Threat Initiative and, both think tanks that monitor worldwide nuclear weapons activity, the Saudis paid Saddam Hussein some five billion dollars to build a nuclear weapon. The Saudis expected in return some of the bombs would be transferred to a Saudi arsenal if the project were successful. Additionally, the Saudis also funded much of the Pakistani nuclear program and signed a secret agreement obligating Pakistan to provide security assurances to Saudi Arabia in the event of an attack. This information is collaborated by an investigative report conducted by The Guardian in London and Saudi insider Mohammed Khilevi, a high ranking Saudi official who defected and produced documents verifying the Saudi nuclear intentions. There is also a straight-line connection between the Saudis and the "Father of the Islamic Bomb," A.Q. Khan, the nuclear scientist who developed the Pakistani nuclear bomb and then sold his blueprint to North Korea, Iran and Libya, offering it to others. Khan's electronic blueprints and a fair amount of hard technology have gone missing, according to the IAEA, and are thought to have landed in the hands of terrorists or terrorist-supporting states. It is yet to be confirmed that Saudi Arabia was one of Khan's customers, although Khan has stated that his development of the nuclear bomb was ideologically motivated. Under the formal diplomatic protest of the United States, the Saudi Arabian government visited Pakistan's uranium enrichment and missile assembly facility in May 1999, where Khan was busy at work. Khan reciprocated by attending a symposium entitled "Information Sources on the Islamic World" in Saudi Arabia in November 1999. There were several other cooperative exchanges and visits involving Khan and the Saudis. It is also documented that the Saudis have purchased nuclear-capable missiles from China. And the head of Israel Defense Force's Military Intelligence, Major General Aharon Ze'evi reportedly told the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in October 2003 that Saudi Arabian officials in Pakistan negotiated the purchase of nuclear warheads for their land-based missiles. This information and more, readily available to the IAEA, makes it all the more incredible that now by treaty there will be no nuclear inspections in Saudi Arabia. The growing tension between Saudi Arabia and the US over the harboring of terrorists begs the question whether there is a long term strategy of Middle East dominance in the making. We know that in Ezekiel 38 and 39, the Lord speaks of a huge battle where all the nations will come against Israel. A nuclear Arabia would certainly escalate tensions driving toward such a battle. The ineffectual work of the IAEA only accelerates these possibilities.



More Russian Advanced Anti-Air Hardware for Syria

June 23….(DEBKA) When Russian president Vladimir Putin visited Israel in April, he commented half-sarcastically that Russian arms sales to Syria would prevent the Israeli air force from making free of the airspace over the Syrian president’s palace in Damascus. This week, he delivered the goods. DEBKAfile’s exclusive military sources report that Moscow took advantage of the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget for another sale to Syria in addition to the improved the SA8 missiles already transacted. Damascus will now receive the Pantsyr-S1 air defense system, a mobile weapon designed to defend clusters of buildings such as the president’s palace in Damascus, military command centers and industrial zones against fighter-bomber jets, military helicopters, drones, special ordinance, ballistic and cruise missiles. Radar fitted on this dual-purpose system can search and track aircraft or missiles at a distance of 30km and destroy them when 24 km away. Damascus has acquired this sophisticated new system with the obvious intent of protecting its ruling institutions and military hubs from Israeli air attack.

FOJ Note: Israeli officials have blasted the recent signing of a weapons agreement with Syrian President Bashar Assad that will upgrade Syria's military and transfer advanced missiles to Damascus, and indicated that Putin has destabilized the Middle East by arming Syria, and by helping Iran achieve nuclear status. At an April 28th new conference when Putin visited Israel, Mr. Putin said, "regarding Iran, we are working to make sure their nuclear ability is used for peaceful means." "The missiles we are providing to Syria are short-range Anti- aircraft missiles that cannot reach Israeli territory. To come within their range, you would have to attack Syria. Do you want to do that?" His closing question was clearly provocative, delivered in haughty tones suggesting that Israel was accustomed to violating Syria's airspace. He referred to Russian SA-18 surface-to-air missiles, that will greatly boost Syria's ability to stop over-flights by Israeli jets. His remarks while in Israel continually chided Israel for being provocative and militant, while his remarks while visiting Palestinian Authorities were sympathetic remarks promising to help build the PA infrastructure, and selling them helicopter gun-ships, and any other military equipment they might need. Putin said, the Palestinians can’t fight terrorism unless they are armed. Afterwards, Mr. Putin laid a wreath at the gravesite of Yasser Arafat, and further chided Israel for not helping Prime Minister Abbas.

Female Bomber Planned to Blow up Israeli Hospital

June 22….(Prophecy Update) Israeli security cameras captured dramatic footage of a Palestinian woman strapped with explosives who tried to enter Israel from Gaza. She aroused the suspicion of soldiers at the Erez border crossing, and they demanded that she take off her traditional black robe. Then, they discovered a 10-kilo (22-pound) bomb sown into her leggings. The woman, Wafa al-Bass, had a permit to enter Israel for treatment of severe burns. She told interrogators that she planned to blow up the hospital where she was being treated by Israeli doctors! In Israeli TV interviews, she expressed no remorse for her actions or for targeting the very people who showed her mercy and extended a helping hand.



Abbas 'Furious' Over his Summit with Sharon

imageJune 22….(Ha Aretz) Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was reportedly "furious and disappointed" with the results his of summit talks with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Israeli Army Radio reported Wednesday, quoting unnamed Palestinian officials present at the meeting. "We heard a long lecture from Sharon on fighting terrorism and comments preaching morality, but nothing was achieved," one of the officials was quoted as saying. PA cabinet minister Saeb Erekat acknowledged that the meeting was "difficult, the meeting was candid, and it sometimes got angry." It was a very difficult day, between the two of them. The meeting was preceded by 48 hours of violent incidents, arrests and an attempted suicide bombing that really put a black cloud over the meeting." Sharon hosted Abbas at his Jerusalem residence for the talks, their first working meeting since the Sharm el-Sheikh summit. During the two-hour meeting, Sharon demanded that the PA act against terrorist organizations and prevent attacks. Abbas complained that Israel had not done enough to "strengthen his hand" so that he could act.

FOJ Note: Abbas has regularly declared that he would do nothing to inhibit the terrorist infrastructure under the PA anyway.


Our Quest for Truth

June 22….(eNews) What is Truth?" the famed Roman procurator cynically asked rhetorically. Few of us have the will to raise the question ourselves. And yet a moment's consideration quickly reveals that truth is our most precious treasure to be coveted. Truth is the key to success, fulfillment, victory, or achieving any worthwhile goal. The pursuit of truth is our greatest challenge in every one of our endeavors. This "fabulous century" has ushered in astonishing changes in the realms of technology and yet, strangely, it has also probed new depths of darkness with devastating wars and monstrous new weapons, yielding the bloodiest, most revolutionary, most unpredictable century of any in history. Perhaps most fearsome of all, it has also ushered in a wholesale abandonment of truth. In any cultural war, truth is the first casualty. Early in this century, many "intellectuals" in our society became enamored with the doctrines of Freudianism, the materialism of Feurbach, the nihilism of Nietzsche, the dialectic of Hegel, the communism of Marx, along with Behaviorism, Socialism, Existentialism ("do your own thing"), Rationalism, Fabianism, and Humanism. David Breese's book, Seven Men Who Rule the World From the Grave, highlights the impacts of Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, George Wellhausen, Sigmund Freud, John Maynard Keynes, Soren Kierkegaard and, of course, John Dewey. Through the teachings of John Dewey's humanism, his atheism, amorality, evolution, and one-world socialism permeated our educational system and excluded from our textbooks the moral and Biblical teachings which had been the bedrock of our American culture.

A spiritually apathetic society hardly murmured when on June 25, 1962, citing no precedents, a "liberal" Supreme Court abolished prayer from the public schools (Engle vs. Vitale). One year later, on June 17, 1963, the Supreme Court abolished Bible reading from the schools (Abington vs. Schempp). This week marks the anniversary of those landmark decisions. The Bible repeatedly portrays a rise in lies and deceit to be a characteristic of the last days (Daniel 8:25). The final world leader will exploit signs and lying wonders (2 Thessalonians 2:9). He will be anticipated by doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1). After all, who is the god of this world? Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4; 1 John 4:4). What is his primary weapon? Deceit (John 8:44; Revelation 12:9). The high principles that made America great have been lost. There no longer appears to be any connection between character and destiny. People claim that "morals have changed." God makes morals and He didn't change His mind. God hates wickedness. The manifest contradictions of our present predicament result from so few persons today taking the time to evaluate the issues, agree with the true, and resist the false. Most are borne along by streams of influence managed by others inimical to their interests. Most of the assumptions that govern our society, our nation, and our families demand re-examination. The shock is that they all are false; most from deliberate deceit. Yet, determining the nature of reality in our world is the cornerstone of our living. A man puts into practice tomorrow what he believes today. To believe in the wrong model of history or the wrong purpose of living can lead to grievous errors, great tragedies, and devastating consequences. The correct-true-view of man, God, and history is the key to sanity, survival, and fulfillment for each of us. Where do you find truth? If we search diligently we will eventually discover that the "truth" of the world consists of convictions of convenience and political correctness in its many forms. Pandered to us by those who would manipulate us to their own agenda, it proves fragile and crumbles when relied upon; hardly the stuff to build our lives upon. One definition of truth is when the Word and Deed become one. The ultimate truth is the fulfillment of God's promises in His Messiah. God's Word had committed Him to provide what we need in His Son. Jesus was the fulfillment of that commitment. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." - John 14:6


Israel Headed For War With Syria?

June 21….(MENL) Israel's military has been preparing for the increasing prospect of a war with Syria in a confrontation expected to include Iran and Hizbullah. The Israeli General Staff has discussed an assessment by the military's Northern Command of an emerging threat from Syria and Hizbullah over the next year. Northern Command said a weakened Syria, under pressure from the United States to withdraw from Lebanon, was likely to approve an Iranian-Hizbullah campaign against Israel. Military sources said this assessment was the latest by several senior officers who envision a major war with Syria by 2007. (FOJ Note: and is an assessment shared by Prime Minister Sharon) The sources said Iran and Syria have used Hizbullah to weaken Israel strategically and erode its morale. The sources said the General Staff has not discussed an Israeli strike on Iran. Hizbullah has been regarded as the leading supporter of the Palestinian war against Israel, which began in 2000. The Shi'ite insurgency group has also infiltrated the Israeli Arab community and recruited citizens for intelligence and other operations.

FOJ Note: Prime Minister Sharon is anticipating that Iran and its Hezbollah associates in Lebanon and Syria are likely to use the Golan as a second front if either the US or Israel acts to take down Iran’s nuclear facilities. Also, Mr. Sharon is hedging a bet that Iran and Syria will utilize the Iraq insurgency, and any American downscaling in Iraq to aggravate the Roadmap Peace Process. It seems that all the regions analysts are anticipating an outbreak of war by 2007.



Syria Harboring Key Financier of Iraq Terror-Insurgency

June 21….(MENL) The United States has asserted that Syria continues to harbor a key financier of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. The Bush administration said Syria has granted haven to a former Iraqi Baath Party official identified as a financier of the insurgency in Iraq. Officials said the Iraqi arrived in Syria in 2003 after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime. The Iraqi, identified as Muhammad Yunis Ahmad, was said to have been working with other former Baath Party members to direct and fund the Sunni insurgency. Officials said Ahmad was identified as one of the key insurgency leaders sought by the US military. They said he has been shuttling between the Syrian cities of Bludan and Damascus. "Ahmad is first among the US Central Command's list of key insurgent leaders, and the Multi National Forces in Iraq are offering a reward of $1 million for information leading to his capture.



Another Anti-Syria Lebanese Politician Killed in Bomb Blast

June 21….(FOX News) A bomb blast killed a politician who was a harsh critic of Syria's power in Lebanon as he rode in his car Tuesday, police said, the second slaying of an anti-Syrian figure this month. The explosion that killed former Communist Party chief George Hawi came a day after Lebanon finished elections in which the anti-Syrian opposition won a majority in parliament, breaking the hold of Damascus' allies on the legislature. Hawi's allies blamed Lebanese and Syrian security services in the assassination. The opposition says Syrian intelligence agencies continue to operate in Lebanon and that Lebanon's own security services still have pro-Syrian elements, even after the Syrian military withdrew from the country in April, ending a 29-year presence.

The opposition accused them in the slaying earlier this month of an anti-Syrian journalist, Samir Kassir, and the Feb. 15 car bomb that killed former prime minister Rafik Hariri. The June 2 killing of Kassir revived fears that Damascus and its local allies may be planning further assassinations to get rid of their opponents. Hawi, a Christian, frequently spoke out against Syrian intelligence and interference in Lebanese affairs and against Syria's allies in the security forces. He was a prominent leader during the 1975-90 civil war, and his followers fought alongside Muslim and Palestinian militias against right-wing Christians. But Hawi in recent years distanced himself from the war and espoused Christian-Muslim dialogue. His communists in the 1980s were in the forefront of resistance to Israeli occupation in Lebanon. Syria has dominated Lebanon for nearly three decades, until it withdrew its military in April, forcing it to rely on allies to maintain its influence. Damascus says its intelligence agents left with the troops, but the opposition says Syrian agents remain behind and are behind a number of bombings. Earlier this month, the United States said Syria has not fully withdrawn its intelligence operatives from Lebanon and that it was perhaps even organizing political assassinations. Syria has denied the allegations as a smear campaign by Washington.



Israel Discovers Iran-backed Explosives lab in West Bank

June 21….(MENL) Israeli security sources have uncovered evidence the Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad has established a network of recruits, weapons and suicide bombing facilities in the West Bank. The sources said Jihad has been financed by Iran and Hizbullah to launch a series of suicide attacks against Israeli civilian targets, Middle East Newsline reported. The aim is to give Jihad an independent capability to launch suicide strikes without help from anybody else," a security source said. "Until now, Jihad had to depend on larger groups, such as Fatah and Hamas. Jihad established an explosive production facility in the West Bank city of Jenin, the sources said. Israeli military and security units discovered an explosives laboratory on June 17 and captured 50 kilograms of explosives The Islamic Jihad terror organization has been directed by the organization's leadership in Damascus to continue suicide bombings inside of Israel.



Bin Laden In Iran?

June 20….(Newsmax) Osama bin Laden is currently in Iran, where he is receiving medical treatment, meeting with top Iranian government officials, and plotting new terrorist attacks against America, says a new book by Ken Timmerman. In "Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran, Timmerman reveals the whereabouts of safe houses where bin Laden and top al-Qaida operatives have been sheltered by the Iranian regime, and describes how the regime is continuing to provide material assistance to al-Qaida even today. Timmerman's startling revelations come from a recent defector who held a top position in Iranian intelligence. The defector provided documents and other material evidence, including a detailed description of a meeting last November between bin Laden and top Iranian government officials at a safe house in northern Iran. Timmerman conducted extensive face-to-face debriefings with the defector in Europe and at an undisclosed location in the Middle East. Other defectors and intelligence sources Timmerman interviewed for "Countdown to Crisis" corroborated key elements of the defector's story and provided new details of the deadly Iran-al-Qaida connection. The CIA calls the defector a "fabricator of monumental proportions," but Timmerman reveals that this is because he tried to warn the CIA two months before 9/11 of a "massive attack on America" scheduled for September 11, 2001. The CIA brushed off his warning and since 9/11 has tried to smear and discredit him. Timmerman's years of working with defectors and dissidents won him a back-handed compliment on June 27, 2000, when a hard-line regime newspaper called him the head of the CIA's covert "human intelligence" effort to overthrow the clerical regime in Iran.

Among the assertions in Timmerman's new book:

  Osama bin Laden met with top Iranian leaders in a regime safehouse in northern Iran in late 2004 to discuss future terror attacks against the United States and its allies.

  The Iranian regime has been sheltering bin Laden and providing him medical care since that time.

  The Iranian regime is also sheltering other top al-Qaida leaders, including bin laden's deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri, and his top military planner, Saif al-Adil.

  Bin Laden's eldest son, Saad bin Laden, has been in Iran since May 2001, when he was received as the "future leader" of al-Qaida in the event his father was killed during U.S. retaliatory attacks for the 9/11 attack.

FOJ Note: I have not yet read this book, (but I definitely will very soon) but FOJ has traced the location of Bin Laden through several sources since 9-11. FOJ first disclosed that Bin Laden was in Iran in December 2001.



Bush in A Difficult Spot in History

June 20….FOJ Note: I have come to highly respect the work of Bill Wilson of the Koenig International World Watch website. Often, he shares a few notes on current events from a prophetic perspective. FOJ includes this brief note which points out what a difficult and unique position the US and its President are in with regard to the situation in Israel. Remember, God is in the process of gathering Israel unto himself, and ultimately, He will bless all nations through his finished work with Israel. America had better remember that fact!

(Notes from Bill Wilson of KIN) A few of our new readers have been curious if we (Koenig International) have contacted President Bush about the consequences of dividing Israel. Yes, we have. We have written the White House three times, and have two letters in response from President Bush. We delivered a petition with 26,500 names, which they extrapolate into significant numbers more with the same belief. I don’t think there is a subject on which the White House has received more phone calls, e-mails or letters than on dividing the land of Israel. When Condoleeza Rice was national security advisor, she had 24 Christian leaders come to the White House who represented both sides of the Israel land issue. Additionally, if President Bush changed his position on Israel’s land and stood with Israel, the international community, the Arab oil interests, and the replacement theology part of the church (63.5 percent of American churchgoers) would think the president has lost his mind and would ask him to step down in his role as the point man for the Quartet’s Road Map. President Bush is in a very difficult position. Also, unbeknownst to him, he has a prophetic role. But if he continues in this course, it doesn’t bode well for him or for our nation. At this point, all we can do is pray for God’s will to be done, and that the president will eventually see the consequences and do something about it. Genesis 12:3 makes it clear that he will be blessed or cursed depending on whether he blesses or curses Israel. IMRA of Israel this week reported that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon regarded 2007 as a watershed year for the Middle East and the likely time for a regional war. Sharon was said to envision a U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq as emboldening Iran and its allies to launch a massive attack against Israel. As a result, the sources said, Sharon has sought to ensure support from the United States in any regional crisis. The sources said Sharon’s plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank was meant to persuade President Bush that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would not be related to future Middle East regional tensions.



New Congress Warning on Nuclear EMP Threat

June 20….(WND) Joining Sen. John Kyl, who earlier warned of how an electromagnetic pulse attack threatens US survival, Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, chairman of the House rojection Forces Subcommittee, says an EMP attack, even by an underfunded, unsophisticated terrorist group, has the potential to cripple US society and kill millions. "Today we are very much concerned about asymmetric weapons, (nukes in the hands of terror cells) Bartlett told his colleagues."We are a big, powerful country. Nobody can contend with us shoulder-to-shoulder, face-to-face. So all of our potential adversaries are looking for what we refer to as asymmetric weapons. That is a weapon that overcomes our superior capabilities. There is no asymmetric weapon that has anywhere near the potential of EMP." EMP attacks are generated when a nuclear weapon is detonated at altitudes above a few dozen kilometers above the Earth's surface. The explosion, of even a small nuclear warhead, would produce a set of electromagnetic pulses that interact with the Earth's atmosphere and the Earth's magnetic field. These electromagnetic pulses propagate from the burst point of the nuclear weapon to the line of sight on the Earth's horizon, potentially covering a vast geographic region in doing so simultaneously, moreover, at the speed of light," said Dr. Lowell Wood, acting chairman of the commission appointed by Congress to study the threat. "For example, a nuclear weapon detonated at an altitude of 400 kilometers over the central United States would cover, with its primary electromagnetic pulse, the entire continent of the United States and parts of Canada and Mexico." The commission, in its work over a period of several years, found that EMP is one of a small number of threats that has the potential to hold American society seriously at risk and that might also result in the defeat of US military forces. "The electromagnetic field pulses produced by weapons designed and deployed with the intent to produce EMP have a high likelihood of damaging electrical power systems, electronics and information systems upon which any reasonably advanced society, most specifically including our own, depend vitally," Wood said. "Their effects on systems and infrastructures dependent on electricity and electronics could be sufficiently ruinous as to qualify as catastrophic to the American nation." The commission concluded in its report to Congress earlier this year: "EMP is one of a small number of threats that may hold at risk the continued existence of today's US civil society.'' "The number of US adversaries capable of EMP attack is greater than during the Cold War," said Bartlett. "We may look back with some fondness on the Cold War. We then had only one potential adversary. We knew him quite well." Bartlett pointed out that Iran has tested launching of a Scud missile from a surface vessel, "a launch mode that could support a national or transnational EMP attack against the United States." "Iran has conducted tests with its Shahab-3 missile that have been described as failures by the Western media because the missiles did not complete their ballistic trajectories, but were deliberately exploded at high altitude," he said. "This, of course, would be exactly what you would want to do if you were going to use an EMP weapon. Iran described these tests as successful. We said they were a failure because they blew up in flight. They described them as successful. Of course, they would be, if Iran's intent was practicing for an EMP attack." Bartlett added: "Potential adversaries are aware of the EMP's strategic attack option. Ninety-nine percent of Americans may not know very much about EMP, but I will assure you, that 100 percent of our potential enemies know all about EMP. I think that the American people need to know about EMP because they need to demand that their government do the prudent thing so that we will be less and less susceptible, less and less at risk to an EMP attack year by year. The threat is not adequately addressed in US national and homeland security programs. Not only is it not adequately addressed; it is usually ignored, not even mentioned, and it certainly needs to be considered." "Terrorists could steal, purchase, or be provided a nuclear weapon and perform an EMP attack against the United States simply by launching a primitive Scud missile off a freighter near our shores," he said. "We do not need to be thinking about missiles coming over the pole. There are thousands of ships out there, particularly in the North Atlantic shipping lanes, and any one of them could have a Scud missile on board. If you put a canvas over it, we cannot see through the thinnest canvas. We would not know whether it was bailed hay or bananas or a Scud launcher. You cannot see through any cover on ship. Scud missiles can be purchased on the world market today for less than $100,000. Al-Qaida is estimated to own about 80 freighters, so all they need, is $100,000, which I am sure they can get, for the missile and a crude nuclear weapon." Bartlett revealed Russian, Chinese, and Pakistani scientists are working in North Korea and could enable that country to develop an EMP weapon in the near future. The congressman also raised the question of retaliation – and how an EMP sneak attack could not only go undetected, but that it might be impossible to find out who was responsible after the fact. "If it were launched from the ocean, we would not know who launched it," he said. "So against whom would we retaliate? Even if we knew who launched it ...if all they have done is to disable our computers, do we respond in kind, or do you incinerate their grandmothers and their babies? This would be a really tough call. Responding in kind might do very little good. There is no other country in the world that has anything like our sophistication in electronic equipment, and no other country in the world is so dependent as we are on our national infrastructure." Yet, over time, an EMP attack would likely result in much more death than a nuclear attack on a major city, he said. "Can you imagine our country, with 285 million people, no electricity, and there will be no electricity, no transportation, no communication?" he asked. "The only way you can go anywhere is to walk, and the only person you can talk to is the person next to you. What would we do? How many of our people might not survive the transition from that situation to where you had established a sort of infrastructure that could support civil society as we know it today." An EMP attack is far more dangerous to the West than it is to other less technologically developed countries, he said. Russian officers have told U.S. officials, Bartlett said, that the knowledge and technology to develop what they called super-EMP weapons had been transferred to North Korea and that the rogue state could probably develop these weapons in the near future, within a few years. EMP, he warned, can cause catastrophic damage to the nation by destroying the electric power infrastructure, causing cascading failures in the infrastructure for everything: telecommunications, energy, transportation, finance, food, and water.




Modern Churches to Bible Preachers "You’re Not Welcome"

June 17….(Newswith views/Pastor Chuck Baldwin) We often hear pastors, radio preachers, and televangelists refer to the great prophets and Apostles of the Bible. Rightly, these Bible characters are lauded as examples for today's Christians. The problem is, hardly any of those giants of history would be welcome in America's churches today! On the whole, America's Christians today do not want to hear the truth. They want a place where they can be made to feel good, where they can be entertained, where they can socialize and make business contacts, and where their children can have a place to play.  To many Christian parents, it is far more important that their church have a gymnasium and constant youth programs than it is that their children hear the truth of God's Word and learn the rigorous disciplines of a Christian life. Recreation is far more important to them than Bible study. In fact, most parents seem to believe that the only way to "keep the kids in church" is to have constant, non-stop entertainment. Of course, it doesn't work. Furthermore, it seems that most of today's sermons amount to little more than "Positive Mental Attitude," feel-good drivel: "How to think better about yourself," "How to squander more money on yourself," "How to 'find yourself,'" "How to pamper yourself," ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Comparing the preaching and philosophy of most churches today to that of Bible characters will quickly reveal how unbiblical our churches have become. For example, can you imagine how the average church in America today would react to the decisions of Daniel and the three Hebrew children? All four of them were unashamed and unhesitant to practice civil disobedience. All four of them were charged with capital crimes by their government and sentenced to death. In Daniel's case, all he had to do was not pray out loud to God for thirty days. Thirty days! I can just hear today's Christian pragmatists screaming, "It's only for thirty days. Moreover, take a look at practically every single Old Testament prophet. Ninety percent of their preaching was negative. They seldom had anything positive to say, especially about the way their nation's leaders were behaving. They were often jailed, beaten, starved, or even killed. They were as familiar with prisons as they were with pulpits. They were despised by political leaders, rejected by religious leaders, and shunned by business leaders. It wasn't much better for the Apostles and disciples in the New Testament. John the Baptist was beheaded for "meddling in politics." The Apostles were beaten, stoned, and jailed. The Apostle Paul was especially hated. He was hated by Jews; he was hated by Romans; he was hated by businessmen; he was hated by politicians; he was even hated by fellow ministers. Can you imagine the Apostle Paul preaching a message on "Conquering Low Self-Esteem"? Give Paul an opportunity today to preach to a church of one thousand members one Sunday morning, and by Sunday night (if they even had a Sunday night service), there might be fifty people back to hear him. It is probably difficult for this generation of Christians to even comprehend that this fearless, uncompromising, "like it or lump it" kind of preaching was the kind of preaching that America cut its teeth on. The colonies and frontier of this nation were filled with prophet-like clergymen. And it didn't really matter which denomination one attended, either; he or she heard the same kind of preaching. Whether it was the Baptist Joab Houghton or the Presbyterian James Caldwell or the Lutheran John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg or the Episcopalian Samuel Provost or the German Reformed Nicholas Herkimer, they were all plucky, pugnacious preachers! I can even recall many trips to the last remaining Billy Sunday Tabernacle in Winona Lake, Indiana, to hear the great "hell-fire" preachers from virtually every Protestant denomination in the country. I remember the crowds of thousands sitting on those hard, wooden benches for hours listening intently to those masterful sermons. In my mind, I can still see (and smell) the sawdust floors where hundreds of people rushed to the front in answer to those altar calls and the studio high atop the platform where radio station WMBI transmitted those great sermons over the air. Alas, those days are gone. No wonder our people today have become self-centered, sensitive, and shallow. They seldom, if ever, hear honest, straight-forward, fearless (telling-it like-it-is) preaching. Therefore, the next time you hear someone refer to the great men of the Bible, ask yourself, "Would that prophet be welcome in my church today?" In most instances, the answer is a resounding no! And now you know why America is in the shape it's in today: the nation always takes the form of its preachers and churches.

Gingrich: US Should Abandon Roadmap in Quest for Peace

June 17….(Ha Aretz) The US should abandon the roadmap in its quest for Middle East peace, former House speaker Newt Gingrich argued in the recently published summer edition of the Middle East Quarterly. In a paper entitled, "Defeat Terror, Not Roadmap Diplomacy," the high-profile Republican leader insisted that civil negotiations and Oslo-like diplomacy should not continue until the Palestinian Authority dismantles all terrorist infrastructures. "Diplomacy is important and has a vital role to play, but its function must be different than the Oslo process and the roadmap suggest," he wrote. "The focus on Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy cannot work when one side has a leadership that does not deliver on its word." Gingrich argued that diplomacy in face of violence "is the wrong answer because it puts the wrong people in charge of finding a solution." (duhh) In order for diplomacy to work, negotiators must be honest brokers willing to keep commitments. Diplomacy should not be used as political checkmate while one side keeps its word, and the other side willfully disregards its promises to gain political advantage. The Roadmap, developed by the Bush Administration during early 2003 in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations, makes clear that all sides must make tangible steps towards a two-state vision. But, it was a product of a period of failure now past. It is time to move on. "In a neatly outlined argument, Gingrich also urged for less Israel Defense Forces restraint and a more aggressive military response to attacks on Israeli civilians. He tries to put Israeli casualties in context of the American population and insists that the IDF response has been far more restrained than that of the US in its war on terror. "When a neighborhood shelters terrorists, it should not be surprised at a violent response," he insisted. "When a rocket or mortar is fired from a neighborhood, people should expect retaliatory fire. When someone advocates killing Israelis, they should expect to be killed by those they plan to kill." Gingrich also argued that the roadmap should be replaced with a "carrot and stick approach" that encourages peaceful activity for the Palestinian people. "The primary requirement for peace should be the destruction of the terrorists."

Experts Say Iraq Insurgency Has Reduced Terror Threat in West 

June 16….(Voice of America) International terrorism experts say the situation in Iraq has diverted the attention of Islamic extremists away from the West. But they believe the threat to the West will resume, once violence in Iraq subsides. International terrorism experts say terror networks are focusing on their fight in Iraq, temporarily reducing the dangers faced by Western countries that have been targets in the past. But Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu, speaking recently to journalists at Rome's foreign press club, says this will change once the situation in Iraq is resolved. "I think we need to need to concern ourselves with a return of the terrorists who went to Iraq," he said. "Once the Iraqi situation has calmed down, they will tend to return to Europe, as occurred with Bosnia, at the end of the Balkan wars." Mr. Pisanu added that the network of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida leader of insurgents in Iraq, is more interested in fighting the West in that country than in Europe or in the United States. Retired US army colonel and international terrorism expert Vittorfranco Pisano agrees with the Italian Interior minister. He says the American and allied intervention in Iraq has definitely concentrated resistance efforts against the United States in particular and westerners in general. "The focus is elsewhere right now," he said. "The focus is on Iraq. This has caused a diversion in terms of the emphasis that Islamic extremists attribute to targets." Western countries massively stepped up security measures following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States. "Our Western juridical culture, our democratic system has not yet adapted to the characteristics of the terror threat and are therefore finding it difficult to respond with the needed effectiveness," he said. Experts, such as Colonel Pisano, say the matter is not simple because there is no agreement on what constitutes terrorism. "There is no definition available either at the universal level, global level or at the regional level, which reflects the real nature of terrorism," he said. "Substantially terrorism is a form of unconventional conflict characterized by the three elements. The first of these is criminal violence, the second is political or political-religious motivation, and the third is made up of clandestine structures and dynamics."

US Aims to Blend Roadmap With Oslo Accords

June 15….(DEBKA) Ahead of US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s visit to the region next Sunday, June 18-19, Bush Administration officials are outlining a proposal for execution after Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank. DEBKAfile’s Exclusive Washington sources disclose their thinking is to resuscitate the 1993 Oslo Accords Phase 3 which calls for Israel’s withdrawal from 60 percent of the West Bank, excluding East Jerusalem, Israeli communities and military facilities. The US conception would blend Oslo 3 and Middle East roadmap clause 2 which would establish an interim Palestinian state without permanent borders. Bush planners hope thereby to follow up on initial Israeli pullback with a sweeping withdrawal from large tracts of the West Bank. The Palestinians, for their part, would be asked to accept an interim state without pressing their basic demands on Jerusalem and refugee return. The timetable execution would spread over two years at least, winding up in 2007, i.e. the end of the Bush presidency. Tuesday, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon was pressed by opposition leader Tommy Lapid after a string of parliamentary defeats to detail his plans post Gaza pullout. He said it will then be the Palestinians’ turn to dismantle all terrorist organizations, or else there would be no negotiations and no Palestinian state. DEBKAfile’s sources add Sharon’s line of thought is not exactly compatible with the latest thinking in Washington.



UN's IAEA Failures Endanger America, Israel

June 15….(By Bill Wilson - The United Nations' nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, plays a pivotal role in end time prophecy by virtue that it has "watched" countries like Pakistan, Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Syria; all enemies of Israel; and others put together pieces of or develop in total a nuclear weapons program unimpeded. Now, Islamic terrorists may have complete plans and several integral parts for building a nuclear bomb, according to a crack investigative reporting job by England's Guardian newspaper. Additionally, there are intelligence sources who believe terrorists could try to explode a crude nuclear weapon from an airplane over major US cities, causing many deaths and throwing the nation into a virtual anarchy. This is a grim reminder of the absolutely horrible job done by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA is the nuclear watchdog which is supposed to make sure no nation builds a nuclear bomb. The problem is IAEA only has authority over those nations that have signed on to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Others have a free reign, like Pakistan, India and Israel, who are not members of the treaty. But these nuclear experts should be able to determine what countries or organizations are in the "hunt" for nukes and provide clear warning for nations on the UN Security Council. Pakistan was the main problem. A Pakistani scientist, Abdul Qadeer Khan; who is known as the father of the Islamic bomb, developed the big bomb for Pakistan and then he proceeded to sell his plans to other nations; Libya and Iran are two known nations. His plans, however, were on computers and in electronic files. Some of the copies of these plans are missing; something that has taken the IAEA over two years to discover after they had the original information in their hands. In fact, its not only nuclear bomb blueprints that are missing, but also missing are sophisticated centrifuges needed to enrich uranium into its nuclear bomb grade form. Khan, who is under house arrest in Islamabad for his part in selling nuclear secrets to Iran and Libya, had suggested that Syria and Egypt could be possible customers for his detailed blueprints. And that may well be where some of his missing plans have landed. All this occurred under the watchful and incompetent eye of Moahmed ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA. ELBaradei, an Egyptian-born Islamist, has been the head of IAEA for two four-year terms and he is unopposed for a third term. During that time, North Korea, Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Iran and more have been suspected or proven to have active nuclear ambitions, but ELBaradei has been ineffectual in stopping any of it. It seems more than coincidence that the nations currently making headway or who are highly suspect of having a nuclear program are mainly Islamic nations and ElBaradei is a Muslim. It is also suspect that ElBaradei, by his own admission, will not declare a nuclear program in effect until he verifies both bomb plans and a way to deliver the weapon. Now he is up for an unprecedented third term at IAEA and the United States is concerned; so much so that ElBaradei and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met in Washington Thursday to iron out whether the US will support ELBaradei for a third term. Following the meeting, the US announced it would follow the consensus on the IAEA Board of Governors vote regarding ELBaradei. (FOJ Note: apparently the US recognizes the battle here is lost) The United States has for quite some time voiced displeasure about the job ElBaradei was doing, signaling that it was time for a change at the top of IAEA. So it seems that things will remain much the same with IAEA over the next four years. Up till now, the United States and Israel have had an advantage in the Middle East with regard to nuclear weapons. If anything, nukes have proven an effective deterrent against all out war waged by Islamic states against Israel. Currently, however, the weapons advantage is shifting with Iran and North Korea having nuclear weapons on deck, and the chutzpah/lunacy to play the nuclear card at any time. Once the nuclear option is viable to terrorists the end time clock moves quickly ahead. As Jesus said in Matthew 24:21-22, "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened."


Revival in the US and Military?

June 14….(FOJ/excerpt by Stephen Mansfield/The Faith of the American Soldier) War has a way of just pressing religious questions into the lives of soldiers. Soldiers have to have a moral rationale for killing the other side. They face their own deaths and the deaths of their own comrades. What America’s soldiers are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan is boiling away the fluff of Christianity and getting down to the real stuff. And they are asking themselves what works." The US military has a warrior code. (FOJ-Unlike most other countries, that warrior code is based upon Christian precepts, and is one of the last bastions of Christian ethic still practiced in the country) The warrior code is a body of standards and a body of truths that takes the art of soldiering and makes it more than just a profession, more than just a martial art, and connects it to a concept of God and noble standards that elevate the profession and view it more as a calling for defending against evil. America’s soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are crying out for a purpose, as they face the prospect of death. They want some kind of connection between spirituality and what they do as soldiers. Many are finding it in the God of the Bible.

FOJ Note: It has been said that there are no atheists in foxholes. Even the Muslim suicide bombers are not atheists. They believe that their god, Allah has sanctioned their activity in warfare, and has promised them a place in paradise for their suicide bombings. Sadly, since their god is not the Creator God, they awake in eternal torment rather than in paradise. It is wise that many of America’s soldiers are seeking God and answers to life’s real meaning as they confront the shadow of death in warfare. It’s just too bad, and a sad indictment against American society, that the rest of the country is doing the same thing!

US Gives Way on Iran's Nukes, Backs ElBaradei's UN Reappointment

June 14….(DEBKA) The Bush administration has given up on the battle against Iran's nuclear armament. This is the meaning of Washington's decision to back the UN nuclear watchdog IAEA's board vote Monday, June 13, to reappoint Mohamed ElBaradei as agency director for a fifth term. Israel thus finds itself alone in the ring with the Iranian nuclear menace. Nothing now remains to stop Tehran attaining its goal of a nuclear bomb or bombs by the end of 2006 or early 2007, except for the extreme eventuality of direct Israeli military action against Iran's nuclear facilities. The question is what brought about this drastic reversal in Washington? And why are Bush administration officials willing now to endorse ElBaradei after reviling him for four years (not forgetting the row over Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction) as responsible more than any other international agent for letting Iran run off with a military nuclear capability? One answer is that US psident George W. Bush's team now believes time is running out too fast for pventive action to take effect; and not only on Iran. Towards the end of psident George W. Bush's first term in late 2004, the mood in Washington was upbeat; a second term was seen as the chance to bring the administration's military and diplomatic objectives to fruition. This has been replaced today by a sense in administration circles that the tough projects, like the campaign against al Qaeda, the Iraq war, the chances of thwarting the forward march of North Korea and Iran towards a nuclear bomb, the creation of an independent Palestinian state and an Israel-Palestinian peace treaty, cannot be resolved by 2008. There is a willingness to leave solutions in abeyance for the next occupant of the Oval Office. On Iran in particular, the Bush administration has concluded that turning back the clock on its nuclear bomb project is no longer realistic. Washington is therefore bending all its diplomatic and intelligence-related resources to the goal of delaying the actual production of the bomb as long as he is psident. In adopting this posture, the Bush administration is not operating in a vacuum. On the other side of the Atlantic, most of the European leaders on whom Bush relied are groping for solid ground. With the exception of French psident Jacques Chirac, the European Union in early May threw in the sponge on the diplomatic strategy which Washington had adopted as the keystone of its effort to p-empt Iran's development of nuclear weapons. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is hanging on by a thread after a disappointing general election in May is one of the few British politicians still staunchly standing by UK-US strategic collaboration on the Iranian issue. Blair is making a well-publicized tour of European capitals in the run-up to this week's EU crisis summit on the anti-constitution groundswell and his assumption of the Union's psidency for six months on July 1. But his foreign secretary Jack Straw, according to DEBKAfile's Washington and Tehran sources, has been raring for some weeks now to inform the Iranians that Britain and Europe at large no longer oppose their nuclear designs. He is stopped only by Blair's objections. In Berlin, were it not for Gerhard Schroeder's dire straits and impending snap election, his foreign minister Joschke Fischer would have long ago been on the same flight to Tehran as his British counterpart. Italy's Silvio Berlusconi is fast losing points, while Chirac was set back critically by his country's refusal to ratify the EU constitution. All in all, the health of the European alliance suddenly looks ptty fragile. This renders ptty futile the strenuous efforts Bush and Rice invested in the past year to mend fences with European leaders. Paradoxically, aside from the British pmier, the French psident is the only substantial European leader willing and able to ally himself with Washington's effort to vanquish Iran's nuclear ambitions, defeat Syria and bring the New Lebanon exercise to a positive conclusion. But Washington is under no illusion that this support is enough for a uniform international front capable of eliciting UN Security Council economic sanctions stringent enough to deter Iran from implementing its nuclear plans. Even if this front was feasible, the prospect of sanctions recedes in the face of potential concerted Russian and Chinese opposition. The deepening animosities pvailing in relations between the White House and the Kremlin and Moscow's assistance in Iran's nuclear projects, including the sale of nuclear fuel and technology, makes a Russian veto of any Security Council penalty against Tehran more than likely. China too is strengthening its economic ties with the Islamic Republic and sees itself as a big buyer of Iranian oil. Beijing moreover entertains objections in principle to UN sanctions. The heads of the Islamic regime in Tehran sense a major victory in the offing for their plans for a nuclear weapon. They see another eighteen to twenty-four months' grace to complete their project undisturbed. For Israel, Washington's quiet retreat from its campaign against an Iranian bomb spells disaster, the collapse of yet another vital strategic asset intrinsic to the Sharon government's defense posture.


Poll: USA is Losing Patience In Iraq

June 13….(USA Today) Nearly six in 10 Americans say the United States should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq, a new Gallup Poll finds, the most downbeat view of the war since it began in 2003. Patience for the war has dropped sharply as optimism about the Iraqi elections in January has ebbed and violence against US troops hasn't abated. For the first time, a majority would be "upset" if President Bush sent more troops. A new low, 36%, say troop levels should be maintained or increased. The souring of public opinion presents challenges for the president, who has vowed to stay the course until democracy is established and Iraqi forces can ensure security. He hasn't suggested sending more U.S. troops. "We have reached a tipping point," says Ronald Spector, a military historian at George Washington University. "Even some of those who thought it was a great idea to get rid of Saddam (Hussein) are saying, 'I want our troops home.' The pattern of public opinion on Iraq, strong support for the first two years that then erodes, is reminiscent of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, he says. In the Gallup Poll, 56% say the Iraq war wasn't "worth it," essentially matching the high-water mark of 57% a month ago.

• Of those who say the war wasn't worth it, the top reasons cited are fraudulent claims and no weapons of mass destruction found; the number of people killed and wounded; and the belief that Iraq posed no threat to the United States.

• Of the 42% who say the war was worth it, the top reasons cited are the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, the need to stop terrorism and a desire to end the oppression of the Iraqi people.

FOJ Note: A Knight-Ridder news story today quotes a number of senior American military officers serving in Iraq as saying that there is no long term military solution to the situation in Iraq, outside of a political solution between the Iraqi Shiite and Sunni representatives themselves.



Mexico Turning Blind Eye to al-Qaida Activity

June 13….(WND) Al-Qaida "communities," like the one busted in Lodi, Calif., have direct ties to other networks in Mexico and Central America, where jihadi terrorists are not viewed as a local threat, reports Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. "South of the Rio Grande Valley there exists a dire situation," said an intelligence researcher who took part in an academic meeting in west Canada.  Intelligence sources and researchers agree there is hardly any effective cooperation between the Department of Homeland Security and the intelligence establishment of Mexico's President Vicente Fox. Mexican agencies charged with intelligence and counter-terrorism, such as the Office of Coordination of the Presidency and the Center for Research on National Security, CISEN, do little more than offer half-hearted monitoring of militant Islamic activity, say G2 Bulletin sources. Mexico is facing a national crisis in dealing with drug lords who are killing elected officials, police chiefs and innocent civilians. Officials there have little interest and fewer resources to devote to law enforcement and intelligence activities that threaten the US, not Mexico. WND reported last week that Islam is on the move in Mexico and throughout Latin America, making dramatic gains in converting the native population, increasing immigration, establishing businesses and charities and attracting attention from US government officials who have asked their neighbors to the south to keep an eye on foreign Muslim groups. While Mexico has pledged to monitor these activities on behalf of the US, those familiar with the recruitment practices and the Mexican government's oversight say the US has reasons for concern. For instance, Gen. Jorge Serrano, the head of the Attorney General Office's special terrorism investigation unit, says no Muslim terrorists have been found living in Mexico. Yet intelligence sources in the US and Canada say Islamic jihadists have been working with zealots in Mexico for more than 20 years. Early activities were sponsored by Iran. Later, the recruitment activities got support from the Egyptian, Pakistani and Saudi embassies. It is known the Egyptians paid the rent for a prayer hall and allocated funds for students who wanted to study at the Islamic al-Azhar University in Cairo. The Pakistanis organized Muslim converts and others to visit madrassas in Pakistan, a golden opportunity offered to the Taliban and al-Qaida to reach a larger pool of recruitment candidates. Saudi funds created a range of activities linked to Hajj or studies in Saudi Arabia where young zealots established contacts with Sufi and Wahabi activists one way or another connected to master terrorist Osama bin Laden. Mexican authorities revealed in 2002 they knew Spanish Muslim converts of Basque origin were present in Chiapas state preaching the ideas of Islam and jihad as they mingled with local aboriginals. According to a CISEN official, most Basque and Spanish Muslims were linked to the North African-based al-Murabitun World Tzotzil Movement, known for its blend of socialism and Islam. Information on ways to cross the US and Mexican border and where to go, including recommended US states and so-called asylum cities has actually already reached all corners of the jihadi Khalifat world. Some documents found in Pakistan, and more information from Iraq and Lebanon, proves jihadists are aware they are in danger of being detected when they use legitimate ports of entry to the US. Therefore they prefer to reach their sympathizers in Mexico and then penetrate the US together with hundreds of thousands of Mexicans, drug lords and gang members.



Nigeria's War on Christians

Islamic law brings death, suffering to non-Muslims

June 13….(Jerry Robinson’s Week in Review) More than 10,000 Christians have been killed since 1999, the year Islamic "Sharia law" was introduced in Nigeria, according to Voice of the Martyrs, a group that aids the persecuted church around the world. Nearly 1,000 homes and churches have been burned down by Muslim radicals, with a wink and a nod from a government that doesn't recognize the rights of non-Muslims. The war on Christians began in 1999 when Alhaji Ahmed Sani assumed the office of governor in Nigeria's Zamfara state. Just five months later, he introduced Sharia law. Soon 11 other northern Nigerian states, all with Muslim majorities, followed Zamfara's lead and implemented some form of the harsh Islamic legal code. Sharia is based on the Quran and Hadith, the Islamic sacred book and teachings. It imposes a strict code of conduct on the population. For example, if an individual is convicted of stealing, the punishment is amputation of his hand. In the case of adultery, the punishment is death by stoning. "If you go around villages, you will see people missing one hand or one foot," explained Rev. Obiora Ike. "Do you think that’s the result of an illness? That is the result of Sharia Law." Christians in the country say the imposition of Sharia law has resulted in a wave of violence and attacks against them, their homes, churches and villages as the militants wage jihad, or holy war, against them. Sharia law permits violent attacks against non-Muslims and the killing of former Muslims who have converted to Christianity or other faiths. The destruction of churches and the prohibition of new church constructions are considered legitimate actions. Recently, before a large crowd, the Zamfara state government recently held a five-year anniversary to celebrate the implementation of Sharia. Governor Ahmad Sani recalled why Sharia was introduced into the state: to satisfy the desire of the people for governance by the "laws of Allah,”to cleanse society of social and moral vices like alcoholism, gambling, theft, armed robbery, prostitution, bribery, corruption and deceit." Muslim zealots are being financed by Saudis who want to Islamicize the entire African continent. The implementation of Sharia has been blamed for the vast violence and deaths occurring not just in Zamfara state, where it was first implemented, but in other states as well. Earlier this year Muslim militants announced a death sentence on five Christian students expelled from Abubaker Tafawa Balewa University and the Federal Polytechnic in state of Bauchi, in November 2004, for sharing the gospel with Muslim students. Muslims in the schools complained that the Christian students blasphemed the prophet Mohammed.

FOJ Note: Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry is engaged in a mission to send Bibles to Nigeria. One shipment has already been sent, and two more shipments are pending. If you would like to assist (shipping Bibles overseas is rather expensive) in sending Bibles to Nigeria, please contact FOJ.







New Israeli Chief of Staff to Emphasize Air Power,  Shift Focus to Iran

June 10….(Geostrategy-Direct) The retirement of Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Moshe Ya'alon ushers in a new Israeli military doctrine that plays down the Palestinian insurgency and envisions air power as the leading element against ground threats. Incoming Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Dan Halutz, who begins his position July 1, has been authorized to reduce manpower and other assets used to fight the Palestinian insurgency. The sources said the military's priority in 2006; following Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank; would be Iran's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons arsenal. The incoming chief of staff envisions the air force, rather than the army, as leading operations against such short-range threats as Palestinian insurgents in the Gaza Strip and the Iranian-backed Hizbullah in Lebanon and Syria. Halutz and his aides regard the combination of air power and real-time tactical intelligence as effective against virtually any adversary while reducing the need for large numbers of ground forces and platforms. While Ya'alon has encouraged cooperation between the air force and army, he has disputed plans to marginalize the ground forces, sources said, adding that Ya'alon disagreed with the assessment by Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz that Iran's emerging missile and nuclear capabilities constitutes the leading threat to Israel. Both Sharon and Mofaz were said to have assessed that the Palestinian insurgency did not represent a strategic danger to the Jewish state. In contrast, Ya'alon warned that the Palestinians represented the leading threat to Israel. He argued that the Palestinian war has succeeded in eroding Israel's resolve and paved the way for unilateral withdrawals from the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The general said the continued Palestinian war was also undermining Israeli deterrence against Arab states. The outgoing chief of staff did not dismiss the importance of Iran's nuclear weapons program. But the sources said Ya'alon maintained that Iran marked a greater challenge to the United States and its Gulf Arab allies than to Israel. In the end, Sharon decided he wanted somebody who was more in tune with his thinking. "Halutz agreed with Sharon's assessment that Iran, rather than the Palestinians, marked the leading threat to Israel." On the eve of his departure, Ya'alon warned of a new Palestinian insurgency campaign that would seek to press Israel into additional withdrawals from the West Bank. Ya'alon said the Palestinian offensive would begin in the West Bank and quickly spread to Jerusalem, Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv, which could come under Palestinian missile attacks. "There is a high probability of a second terror war," Ya'alon said. Still, Sharon and Mofaz rejected Ya'alon's emphasis on the Palestinians. The sources said the prime minister regarded 2007 as a watershed year for the Middle East and the likelihood of a regional war. Sharon was said to envision a US military withdrawal from Iraq as emboldening Iran and its allies to launch a massive attack against Israel. As a result, the sources said, Sharon has sought to ensure support from the United States in any regional crisis. The sources said Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip and parts of the West Bank was meant to persuade President Bush that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would not be related to future Middle East regional tensions. Halutz's role would focus on preparing Israel's military to face the Iranian missile and nuclear threat, preferably in cooperation with the United States, the sources said. Halutz would enhance and intensify intelligence against Iran and prepare the air force for long-range combat missions.



Home Front Holy War: al Qaeda Among Us

June 10…..(CBN/Dale Hurd) On March 1st, 2003, near Karachi, Pakistan, authorities nabbed 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Under interrogation, Mohammed talks. But, according to the 9-11 Commission Report, there was one thing that the Sheikh refused to come clean about: a notebook he possessed that contained U.S zip codes. Mohammed fumbled a nonsensical excuse about their being for e-mail. But officials suspect the zip codes are the locations of al Qaeda sleeper cells in the United States. Even though there has not been a major attack since 9-11, the experts we talked to say that does not mean the war on terror has been a success. It only means al Qaeda has not finished preparations for their next attack. There are still sleeper cells among us. And they are simply waiting for the order to strike. CBN News asked counter-terrorism expert Harvey Kushner some questions about terrorism in America. He has said in a recent book, “Holy War on the Home Front” that if you live in an American city, you live near a terrorist. Kushner explains, "If you live inside the continental United States, chances are, at one time or another, you've walked by, you've talked to, you've not only had business with, but you've dealt with someone who is a terrorist or a terrorist sympathizer." In his new book, he shares for the first time a hand-drawn map from the early 1980s. It predates 9-11 by 20 years, but it, along with other court documents, reveal a secret long-range plan to set up terror cells across America. And as recently as one month ago, before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted that his agency still lacks sufficient intelligence data to find the sleeper cells inside our borders. So this begs the question, if we are winning the war on terror, why can't we find the sleeper cells? And Kushner says that to win the war on terror, we need to stop calling it the war on terror. He states, “We're not at war with terrorism. We're at war with militant Islam. And until we differentiate who it is our enemy is, we're going to have some serious problems. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the Virginia resident accused of plotting to kill the President, reportedly told Saudi interrogators that al Qaeda leaders offered him two choices: join a suicide operation against President Bush or establish a sleeper cell in the United States, assimilate into the community and marry a Christian wife. There is much preparation for a future chemical, biological, or nuclear attack. But the terror experts we talked to think there will be another hijacking. When Flight 93 was brought down in Pennsylvania, it was headed for the Capitol, and never completed its mission. Eight years after the first World Trade Center attack, al Qaeda attacked it again. That would seem to make an attack on the Capitol likely. The consensus among terror experts is that three and a half years without an attack does not mean that we are safe.  Kushner says, “They're going to hit us when they're good and ready. Not when we're good and ready."

US: Syria Has A Beirut Hit List

June 10…..(Washington Post) The United States is concerned about the possibility of a "pattern" of political killings in Lebanon, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday as two newspapers reported the Bush administration had word of a "Syrian hit list" targeting Lebanese leaders. Bush Administration officials yesterday alleged that Syria has developed a hit list targeting senior Lebanese political figures in an attempt to regain control of its neighboring state, just six weeks after Syria said it had ended almost three decades of military occupation. "These are threats against some of the most prominent Lebanese political leaders. The purpose would be to create instability and to create internal strife," a senior administration official said. After a brief lull in Syrian interference in Lebanon, senior Syrian intelligence personnel have been seen back in Lebanon, particularly over the past week, the official added.  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice yesterday said the United States is concerned about a potential "pattern" of political killings. Rafik Hariri was assassinated in February and anti-Syrian columnist Samir Kassir was killed last week in Beirut. The US allegations come, ironically, on the same day that Syria's ruling Baath Party called for improving diplomatic relations with the United States. The final communique of the party congress called for a "constructive dialogue" with Washington and "an exchange of visits on all levels," according to Syrian television. Lebanese opposition leader Walid Jumblatt also expressed concern yesterday about the potential for future assassinations. "Probably there is a decision, with the knowledge or without the knowledge of President Bashar Assad, to continue the assassinations," he said on a Lebanese television talk show. The Bush administration is also concerned about the return of Syrian intelligence because Lebanon is now halfway through a four-phased election for parliament, which will in turn form a new government. Syria has dominated Beirut's governments since shortly after it first deployed troops there in 1976, initially under an Arab League mandate to try to quell Lebanon's civil war. Although Syrian troops have pulled out under terms mandated in a UN resolution, Rice said the United States has doubts about the withdrawal of its intelligence agents. "We need to keep pressure on the Syrians to be transparent about what they're doing in Lebanon," she said. "We're being very clear to people that we want an international spotlight on what is going on in Lebanon, so that the Lebanese people can carry out their elections in a fair way thatt is free of this kind of foreign influence," Rice said. The senior administration official claimed that a "variety of credible Lebanese sources" had said Damascus has developed a "hit list" of senior Lebanese political leaders, and that the sources had reported seeing "familiar figures" from Syrian intelligence back in Lebanon. "There are efforts by Syrians to put back in place the system of intimidation," he added. At the United Nations, Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad said any intelligence operatives in Lebanon were from France, the United States or Israel. "I am sure there are no Syrians there. Let them investigate themselves," Mekdad told Reuters. The United Nations is also concerned about Syria's presence in Lebanon. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday said that he may send a UN verification team back to Lebanon. In the meantime, UN envoy Terje Roed-Larsen is being dispatched this week to Damascus for talks with the Assad government about its presence in Lebanon. Syria's return to Lebanon would be a major violation of UN resolution 1559, which demanded a total Syrian withdrawal with its tiny neighbor.

Iran, Iraq, Syria;  Tips of the End Time Trident Held By Russia, China

June 9….(Bill Wilson of KIN/ The connecting of recent reports about chemical weapons, missile tests and military alliances exposes Syria, Iran and Iraq as key points on an end-time trident held by Russia, supported by China and poised to strike Israel and the United States. While verifiable evidence has not been found that proves Saddam Hussein had in his possession weapons of mass destruction, it is undeniable that the ingredients were present to assemble these weapons. They were located throughout Iraq and monitored from time to time by United Nations weapons inspectors. The UN's Acting Chief Weapons Inspector Demetrius Perricos reports this week that satellite images indicate material that could be used to make biological or chemical weapons and banned long-range missiles has been removed from 109 sites in Iraq. Perricos has no clue as to where these materials are, but he knows they have gone missing. Just days before the war began in 2003, Russian trucks were seen loading up and hauling materials from Iraq into Syria. What is being furiously loaded into the transport vehicles cannot be readily identified from the satellite imagery released to the public. Speculation remains, however, that it was weapons of mass destruction or materials to make them. Saddam Hussein knew the US was about to launch a major offensive. He had been at war with Iran for years and did not trust for obvious reasons the Iranians with his deadly stash. And Syria was the likely place to hide it. In fact, many of his top lieutenants and some family members were known to flee the American advance via Syria. Syria remains today a staging ground for foreign combatants entering Iraq against the US. Coupled with the timely release of the UN revelation about missing WMD contraband, was another report by Israeli military sources confirming that Syria test-fired three scud missiles as part of an ongoing effort to build missiles that can carry chemical warheads. The tests were the first since 2001 and missile's tested ranged from 185 to 435 miles. These stories could lead to speculation that there is more than coincidence between missing WMD materials in Iraq and the timing of Syrian tests of its alleged chemical weapons system and program. Iran also plays a key role. While a sworn enemy of Saddam Hussein, Iran is friendly with Syria, the common link between Hussein and Iran. Iran and Syria signed a military cooperation agreement earlier this year and have been related by traditional Persian connections for over 1,200 years. And Syria and Iran are united against the US presence in Iraq as well as sworn enemies of Israel, calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state. In an address to foreign diplomats on Tuesday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) participants seized a shipment of nuclear materials and equipment destined for ballistic missile programs in Iran and other countries. She did not elaborate, but said that over the last few months the US and 10 of its PSI partners cooperated in 11 successful interdiction efforts. Middle East News Line is reporting that Bush Administration officials said some of the shipments were sent by North Korea. But what was not said may be as important. If some of the shipments were from Korea, the other shipments had to come from countries with known ties to and previous weapons sales to Iran, which points to China and Russia, who were not named. Russia is at the center of the Iran nuclear debate as the main supplier of nuclear materials and technology to the rogue state. China is also known as a supplier of missile technology to Iran. CIA director Porter Goss told a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee Wednesday that an annual CIA global intelligence assessment has for the first time since 9/11 characterized China's military buildup as a threat to the United States. Goss said, "Improved Chinese capabilities threaten US forces in the region. Beijing's military modernization and military buildup could tilt the balance of power in the Taiwan Strait." Security analysts estimate that China's true defense budget, as opposed to its declared military spending, has reached $80 billion, the third-highest in the world after the US and Russia. Russia and other former Soviet states supply most of China's weapons. We know that the prophecy in Ezekiel 38 and 39 addresses Russia (Gog), perhaps part of China (Magog), Iran and much of Iraq (Persia) and other nations of the world when it speaks of the Gog/Magog attack on Israel where the weapons will burn for seven years. Isaiah 17:1 says, "Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap." And Revelation 16:12 speaks of the Euphrates drying up to prepare the way of the Kings of the East. That Syria, Iraq, Iran are being fortified against Israel by Russia and China is just one more step toward the fulfillment of these end time prophecies. These events are occurring at a rate faster than ever before in history.

New 'Sanhedrin' Plans Rebuilding of Temple

June 9….(WND) The Israeli rabbinical council involved with re-establishing the Sanhedrin, is calling upon all groups involved in Temple Mount research to prepare detailed architectural plans for the reconstruction of the Jewish Holy Temple. The Sanhedrin was a 71-man assembly of rabbis that convened adjacent to the Holy Temple before its destruction in 70AD and outside Jerusalem until about 400AD. The move followed the election earlier this week of Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz as temporary president of a group aspiring to become Judaism's highest-ranking legal-religious tribunal. However, although Steinsaltz's involvement with the endeavor adds important rabbinic legitimacy, other major halachic authorities, including Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the leading haredi Ashkenazi spiritual leader, and Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the premier Sephardi halachic opinion, have refused repeated requests to offer their support. Nevertheless, the group will establish a forum of architects and engineers to begin plans for rebuilding the Temple, a move fraught with religious and political volatility. The group, which calls itself the Sanhedrin, is calling on the Jewish people to contribute toward the acquisition of materials for the purpose of rebuilding the Temple, including the gathering and preparation of prefabricated, disassembled portions to be stored and ready for rapid assembly, "in the manner of King David." Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the burgeoning Sanhedrin, said in an official statement that because of "concerns that external pressure would be brought to bear upon individuals not to take part in the establishment of a Sanhedrin, the names of most participants have been withheld up to this point." "The increasingly anti-Jewish decisions handed down by the Supreme Court prove the need for an alternative legal system based on Jewish sources," said Weiss. "More and more people, including Torah scholars, are beginning to understand this." In addition to the election of Steinsaltz, the rabbis present also chose a seven-man committee, headed by him, to campaign for the acceptance of the idea of a Sanhedrin. Those chosen include Rabbi Nachman Kahane, brother of murdered Jewish Defense League and Kach leader Rabbi Meir Kahane. Kahane is the rabbi of the Young Israel of Jerusalem's Old City and heads an organized study of Temple rituals and ceremonies, as well as cataloging all known kohanim (priests) in Israel. The Sanhedrin was reestablished last October in Tiberias, the place of its last meeting 1,600 years ago. Since then, it has met in Jerusalem on a monthly basis.



US Watches China's Oil Demand with Concern

June 9….(Reuters) China's global quest for crude oil is acceptable as long as the Asian nation develops the deposits and doesn't hoard them, a senior State Department official said on Tuesday. China, the world's second-biggest oil user behind the United States, has recently scoured the globe for oil deals in Canada, Latin America and Africa. Rapid Chinese oil demand growth was one of the factors that pushed US crude oil futures above $55 a barrel. "China's energy needs are going to be enormous in the future," said Christopher Hill, the State Department's assistant secretary for East Asia and the Pacific.

"The question is, are they looking to develop energy or are they looking to take it off the market," Hill told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on China's growing economic might. China consumes more than 7 million barrels per day of crude oil, versus US consumption of about 20 million bpd. State-run Chinese companies have spent billions of dollars on oil assets overseas to boost supplies for a country that imports 40 percent of its energy needs. In written testimony, Hill voiced concern about China's willingness to deal with nations frowned upon by the United States, including Iran and Sudan. "The biggest impact on US national interests is China's willingness to invest in and trade with problem states" such as Iran, Sudan and Burma, Hill said in written testimony. "We are concerned that China's need for energy and other resources could make China an obstacle to US and international efforts to enforce norms of acceptable behavior," Hill said. China has undermined US efforts to pursue sanctions against Iran's nuclear program in the UN Security Council, said Mikkal Herberg at the National Bureau of Asian Research. China has similarly blocked UN efforts to sanction Sudan for Darfur human rights violations, Herberg said. A unit of China's state-run Sinopec Group said earlier this year it plans to drill for oil and gas in Iran, Cuba and central Asia in 2005. It also signed a production-sharing contract with Cuba's state oil firm Cupec in January. Sinopec and two other oil giants, China National Petroleum Corp. and PetroChina, have spent more than $5 billion in oil and gas fields from Australia to Indonesia and Sudan to Saudi Arabia in recent years. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who chairs the East Asian and Pacific Affairs subcommittee, said the United States faces growing competition from China in Canada, which is the biggest US oil exporter. Canadian and Chinese firms are cooperating to build a $2 billion pipeline to ship crude from Canada's vast oil sands in Alberta to the West Coast to be sent via tanker to China. "China has brought the competition for natural resources to our backyard," Murkowski said. Separately, the Energy Information Administration forecast that China's oil demand would grow by 600,000 barrels per day in 2005 from last year. For all of 2005, China will consume an estimated 7.2 million barrels per day, with demand rising to 7.8 million bpd in 2006, the EIA said.



Pope Tells Jews he is Committed to Good Relations

June 9….(Reuters) Pope Benedict assured the world's Jews on Thursday that the Catholic Church remained fully committed to fighting anti-Semitism and to more reflection on the moral and historical implications of the Holocaust. The Pope made his comments in his first audience for leaders of the world's largest and most representative Jewish groups from Israel, the United States, Europe and Latin America. He praised a landmark document of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council, recalling that it urged greater understanding and esteem between Christians and Jews and that it "deplored all manifestations of hatred, persecution and anti-Semitism." He added: "At the very beginning of my Pontificate, I wish to assure you that the Church remains firmly committed, in her catechizes and in every aspect of her life, to implementing this decisive teaching." Speaking in English, the German Pope told the 25 world Jewish leaders that he intended to carry on the work of his predecessor, John Paul. John Paul, who died on April 2, was the first pontiff to visit a synagogue and the first to visit Nazi death camps. He led the Vatican to diplomatic relations with Israel and repeatedly condemned anti-Semitism as a sin against God. "It is my intention to continue on this path. The history of relations between our two communities has been complex and often painful," the Pope said. "But I am convinced that the spiritual patrimony treasured by Christians and Jews is itself the source of the wisdom and inspiration capable of guiding us toward a future of hope in accordance with the divine plan," he said. The Pope said the painful past could not be forgotten. "Remembrance of the past remains for both communities a moral imperative and a source of purification in our efforts to pray and work for reconciliation, justice, respect for human dignity and for that peace which is ultimately a gift from the Lord himself," Benedict told the group. He called for "continued reflection on the profound historical, moral and theological questions presented by the experience of the Shoah," using the Hebrew word for the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews in the Holocaust. Last month in his first major address about the Nazi era in his native Germany, the Pope condemned "the genocide of the Jews," and said humanity must never be allowed to forget or repeat such atrocious crimes.



Palestinian Islamic Jihad Leader Says Ceasefire is Over

June 8….(Jerusalem Post) The period of calm is over and the Palestinians should be prepared to resume their attacks on Israel, a senior Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip declared on Tuesday. "We maintain the right to respond to the crimes of (Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon," said Khaled al-Batsh, responding to Israel's killing of a top Islamic Jihad activist near Jenin. PA security sources in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that Islamic Jihad and other radical groups were seeking to undermine Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas by carrying out terror attacks on Israel. Islamic Jihad was one of the few Palestinian groups that had refused to accept the tahdiah (calm) agreement that was reached in Cairo in February between Abbas and other Palestinian factions, including Hamas. Israeli security sources said the group, which is strong in Samaria but also has cells in Judea, has the potential of disrupting the entire peace process with the Palestinians. The organization is relatively small compared to Hamas, but it is deadly. The Islamic Jihad is responsible for killing 84 Israelis in their suicide bombings since September 2000. The sources said the Islamic Jihad does not see itself bound by the cease-fire like Hamas. Their main cities of operation are Tulkarm, Ramallah and Bethlehem. In the past, its chief power base was in Jenin, but that cell is still recovering from being targeted by Israel. Since the beginning of the so-called cease-fire, Islamic Jihad has been under orders from Damascus to renovate their terrorist infrastructure to prepare for "quality" attacks. Islamic Jihad leaders are equally angry with the PA, accusing the Palestinian security forces of aiding Israel in its crackdown on the group's members in the West Bank.



Baptist Preacher Is Beheaded in Bangladesh

June 8….(WND) A Baptist lay pastor in Bangladesh was beheaded by a group of assailants reportedly tied to a Muslim political party bent on creating a radical Islamic state in Bangladesh. Dulal Sarkar, 35, was the second Christian preacher killed in the Asian country in the past year, according to Compass Direct, a US-based news service that monitors persecution of Christians. Sarkar was attacked as he returned home from discussing his faith with villagers near Jalalpur. The assailants were identified by a source as a group of 10 Muslims tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami political party, the nation's third largest and a member of the coalition government. Last September, Abdul Gani, a prominent Baptist leader and physician, reportedly was decapitated by a gang in the district of Jamalpur as he returned home from work. In 2003, Christian evangelist Hridoy Roy was murdered by a gang of eight men who attacked him at his home. The assailants stabbed Roy repeatedly after tying him "crucifixion style" to his bed. Bangladesh's population is about 83 percent Muslim and 16 percent Hindu. Christians and Buddhists make up the remaining 1 percent.



Sensing Double-Dealing, Bush Ready for Assad to Fall

June 7….(DEBKA) DEBKAfile’s military and Middle East sources report that a strong sense of trouble brewing pervades the ruling circles in Damascus, as the Syrian Baath Party prepares for its 10th convention. The convention, which began yesterday, is a gathering of major political elements in Syria that could affect the stability and future of the Assad regime. A stack of problems is piling up on the Syrian ruler, the price of keeping a clandestine finger in the Lebanon pie, even after the exit of his troops and of sticking to his ties with the Iraqi Baath Party and clandestine connections to Hezbollah and Iran:

 1. DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources confirm that Syrian army intelligence agents hired contact killers to assassinate the prominent anti-Syria Lebanese journalist Samir Qaseer last Thursday, June 2, by booby-trapping his car. (Washington is pressing for the UN Hariri murder inquiry to include also this latest assassination.). Moreover, three senior Syrian military intelligence officers reappeared in northern Lebanon last week to put their oar into the general election. They ordered candidates to go to Damascus for heart-to-heart talks with their former Syrian boss General Rustum Ghazel.

 2. The Baath convention looks like it is becoming a battleground for delegates’ accusations and counter-accusations over the responsibility for Syria’s debacle in Lebanon. Assad is expected to use this dispute and the political reform slogan as an opening for sacking two- thirds of the top level of the Baath party’s ruling institutions, including, according to rumors in Damascus, vice president Khalim Haddam. He is also believed to be planning to replace prime minister Naji al Oteri with a non-party technocrat, finance minister Mohammed Hussein.

 3. Syria’s entire leadership is on edge over the looming return home of the president’s black sheep uncle Rif’at Assad from 16 years in exile. As vice president, Rifat was caught plotting a coup against his brother, Bashar’s father, and the late President Hafez Assad, while he was recovering from a heart attack.

 4. The certainty has gained ground in Middle East capitals that US president George W. Bush has decided to wash his hands of Assad once and for all. Washington will not act directly to remove him; (FOJ Note: out of a pledge Bush made to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia) but neither will it refrain from indirect moves that contribute to his downfall. This conviction is reportedly the spur for Rif’at’s decision to be on hand to retain the Assad clan’s hand on the reins of power should they slip from his nephew’s grasp. Last month, aware of the ground shaking under his feet, Bashar Assad performed an epic about-face, or at least gave the appearance of turning over a new leaf. He ordered his army to pitch in with support for “Operation Matador”, the important US assault against insurgents along the Iraqi-Syrian border, thereby tipping the scales in favor of the American forces.
image Thanks to Syrian cooperation, American troops were for the first time able to come up from behind Iraqi and Arab insurgents and al Qaeda gunmen, including followers of Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi. From launching pads on Syrian soil, units of the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary drove into Iraq and executed a west-to-east sweep of terrorist bases. (see the special map) The US operation was two-pronged: one arm drew a 15 square-mile square around a patch of al Jazira Desert in the al Qaim region. It was delimited by the Syrian frontier town of al-Hary and the Euphrates River, the area around the Iraqi town of Ar Rabit, on the northern bank of the river, and the Iraqi cities of Khutaylah, Sadah and Karabilah on the southern bank. Simultaneously, the second American arm drove southeast for a systematic purge of insurgent lairs along the centuries-old smuggling route from the Syrian border. They cut through a corridor more than 200-miles long, winding from the Syrian border town of Abu Kemal, crossing through the Syrian Desert and ending near the Shiite shrine town of Karbala in central Iraq. Numerous Arab and al Qaeda sanctuaries and launching-pads were mopped up along the route. Syria deployed an armored brigade between Abu Kamal and the Syrian banks of the Euphrates to cover the US Marine operation around and inside Al Hary. The brigade was under orders to shield the Marines from insurgent attack on the Syrian side of the border and to cut the guerillas’ links via the Euphrates to their comrades on the Iraqi side of the border. Syrian forces undertook to cut off the guerrillas’ escape route back into Syria while the Marines hammered these riverside lairs. The Syrian military umbrella left the Marine Force and the Army’s 814th Multi-Role Bridge Company free to construct a pontoon bridge across the Euphrates and cross safely into Iraq. US forces and Syrian troops then formed a defensive perimeter around the area. Upon reaching the northern bank, the Marines began their offensive in Iraq, coming at the guerrillas from the rear and forcing them to flee toward western Syria, where they were stopped. Finding themselves running into the arms of Syrian troops, they turned south and took the smugglers’ corridor bound for Karbala. Here they were trapped by the second prong of the US clean-up operation. Those who could fled east. Most reached Iraqi towns and villages along both banks of the Euphrates at points north of Ramadi and Fallujah in the Sunni Triangle. It was during Operation Matador that al Qaeda’s Iraq commander Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was injured. But while helping the American military fight Iraqi insurgents, Assad did not neglect his commitment to the Iraq ex-Baathists running the insurgent campaign from Syria. According to intelligence sources, Washington was tipped off that Syrian military intelligence chief Asaf Shawqat had been instructed to get together Syrian-based Iraqi Baath chiefs for a secret conclave in Homs, in advance of the US Operation Matador. Among those meeting in Homs were the masterminds of the guerrilla war in Iraq and personal representatives of Iraqi ex-vice president Izzat Ibrahim, the most senior Baath official still at large on America’s most-wanted list. He is also believed commander-in-chief of the Iraqi insurgency at large. There, too, were former Iraqi army and intelligence officers now employed in the recruitment, training and dispatch of guerrillas into the homeland. Other chairs were filled by the moneymen who manage the Baath funds that underwrite the insurgency and run Saddam Hussein’s straw companies. Shawqat’s initiative was taken in Washington as clear evidence that Assad knows exactly where every Iraqi ex-official involved in the guerrilla war is located and what he is up to. Officials at the US state department and national security council were convinced that Shawqat’s task was to explain to the Iraqis why Assad was obliged to cooperate with the Americans, to forewarn the guerilla leaders of the coming US offensive and to confer together on how to sabotage it? That piece of double-dealing was the last straw for President Bush. The Bush administration has finally lost patience with Bashar Assad and decided his time is up, and that Syria needs new leadership.

FOJ Note: The events that will ultimately climax into the prophesied Burden of Damascus, is a complicated geo-political web of international intrigue. As evidenced by the story above, Iran will not be pleased by Assad’s geo-political appeasement practices toward the US. Yet, Syria, although a terrorist sympathizer, wants and needs to be incorporated into the broad-ranging Euro-Med, and therefore must acquiesce from time to time to Western interests.

Nuclear Ban Ineffectual As March Of Prophecy Advances Into End Times

 By Bill Wilson (KIN) Representatives of over 160 nations of the world met during the entire month of May to review progress on the United Nations Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty and to develop new steps to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons worldwide. The result of the meeting was, even by the standards of the official world cheerleader, Secretary General Kofi Annan, "regrettable." Nothing happened after an entire month of discussion. This, against the backdrop of intense negotiations by France, Germany and Britain with Iran and a star-studded cast of diplomats focused intently on reigning in North Korea. Annan, after opening the conference on May 2 with great fanfare and eloquent words, understated the obvious, saying, ""Regrettably, there are times when multilateral forums tend merely to reflect, rather than mend, deep rifts over how to confront the threats we face." Annan had praised UN nuclear watchdog Mohamed ElBaradei in his opening remarks at the beginning of May for expediting "agreement to create incentives for states to voluntarily forego the development of fuel cycle facilities." And he said, "Nuclear weapons have not spread to dozens of States. Indeed, more States have given up their ambitions for nuclear weapons than have acquired them." Like so many words Mr. Annan speaks, they sound nice, but rarely do they truly have any traction. The obvious is not sublime. Countless small poor countries like Tanzania are unlikely to ever have the resources or the will to pursue nukes, it's the ones that do, such as Iran and North Korea that deserve the attention. ELBaradei said last November that he could not verify that Iran had a nuclear weapons program. He said that for him to verify an established nuclear program in Iran there must be a nuclear weapon being built and a delivery system for which to use it. Short of that, ELBaradei said he had no evidence of a weapons program in Iran. Meantime, he and his appeasement buddies at the United Nations and throughout the European Union have embarked on a very dangerous, yet favored, diplomatic effort to use incentives to make sure Iran has nuclear fuel, but not nuclear weapons; the same strategy that worked so well with former US President Bill Clinton in North Korea.

  Meantime, Iran is accepting all incentives in international negotiations while continuing to build its nuclear program. President George W. Bush conceded to allow Iran to apply for World Trade Organization status in hopes the gesture would move Iran toward a diplomatic solution in its nuclear quest. Iran answered, however, with an announcement that it successfully tested a solid-fuel engine that could be installed in the Shihab-3 intermediate-range missile; translated, that means Iran now has the capability to deliver warheads into the heart of Israel and at US military installations within 2,000 miles from the launch site. This, coupled with the Russian scientists who have been helping Iran build a missile payload large enough to carry a nuclear weapon and the Chinese who are supplying missile technology and the Russians who are supplying nuclear technology, Iran is quite close to having a nuclear weapon and a means to deliver it; all for peaceful purposes, of course. Bottom line is diplomacy requires a certain amount of trustworthiness from the involved parties. Iran and North Korea have proven countless times they are not to be trusted. And the ineffectual, fervent actions of unrighteous men leads down the path of destruction. The world is winding tighter toward confrontation with Israel; North Korea will sell nuclear technology to any rogue state that would buy it (as evidenced by the train explosion of missile technology last year headed to Syria); and Iran has openly said it seeks the destruction of Israel and the United States.

  We do not quite know how the anti-Christ will rise to power other than it appears he will come out of conflict to broker peace. The inept and corrupt United Nations and/or the fragmented European Union could be the launching pad for such an ascension. We can see that forces of evil are aligning even closer with exceptionally lethal tools. The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians 2:2,3, "That you not be soon shaken in mind, or be troubled neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." So don't be troubled, nor deceived for all these things must take place. But do be ready.


Rumsfeld Scorns China Buildup

June 6…..(AP) Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Saturday said China is not a threat to the United States but is building up its military without being threatened by any other country. Rumsfeld challenged China at a regional security conference here, particularly its placing hundreds of missiles in range of Taiwan. He said China was also sharply increasing its military spending and buying large amounts of sophisticated weapons. Rumsfeld asked, "since no nation threatens China, one must wonder: Why this growing investment? Why these continuing large and expanding arms purchases? Rumsfeld spoke at the conference organized by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, a private, London-based think tank. China's response was immediate. Cui Tiankai, the director of the Asia bureau of China's foreign ministry, was in the audience for Rumsfeld's speech and told The Associated Press afterwards that he disagreed. "Since the US is spending a lot more money than China is doing on defense, the US should understand that every country has its own security concerns and every country is entitled to spend money necessary for its own defense," Cui said. Rumsfeld signaled a harder line against China from the Bush administration, which has criticized Beijing over trade and human rights issues but not directly challenged the Chinese military buildup. Rumsfeld said the Pentagon's annual assessment of China's military capabilities shows China is spending more than its leaders acknowledge, expanding its missile capabilities and developing advanced military technology. China now has the world's third-largest military budget, he said, behind the United States and Russia. He did not say how large the US believes China's military budget is. Cui responded sharply to Rumsfeld during a question-and-answer session. "Do you truly believe that China is under no threat by other countries?" Cui asked. "Do you truly believe that the US is threatened by the emergence of China?" Rumsfeld said he does not think any country threatens China and that the United States does not see China as a threat. Central to the disagreement is Taiwan, a self-governing island Beijing regards as a renegade territory. China has said it will attack Taiwan if the island tries to declare independence, and it repeatedly calls on the United States to stop selling weapons to Taiwan. Beijing denounced a joint US-Japan statement earlier this year saying the two allies shared the objective of a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan issue. The United States is urging the European Union to keep in place its ban on selling weapons to China. Washington argues that any European weapons sold to China could be used in a conflict over Taiwan. "I just look at the significant rollout of ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan, and I have to ask the question: If everyone agrees the question of Taiwan is going to be settled in a peaceful way, why this increase in ballistic missiles opposite Taiwan?" Rumsfeld said. He also questioned China's government, saying political freedom there has not kept pace with increasing economic freedom. "Ultimately, China will need to embrace some form of a more open and representative government if it is to fully achieve the political and economic benefits to which its people aspire," he said. The defense secretary, who has said he would like to visit China this year, also pressed Beijing to use its influence with North Korea to restart six-nation talks over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program. South Korean Defense Minister Yoon Kwang Ung met privately with Rumsfeld later Saturday. Yoon said his government agrees that China should try to persuade North Korea to rejoin the talks. "I believe these efforts are very much respected," Yoon told reporters after the meeting. Rumsfeld said North Korea is a worldwide threat because of its record of selling missile technology and other weapons.



Syria 'A Step Away' From Facing US Military Action

June 6….(Economic Times) US economic sanctions on Syria are a step away from US military action on the middle eastern country, a US congressman said here during a conference on reform in the Arab world. “Sanctions are one step below a military confrontation, and sanctions are preferable to military confrontation, frankly,” said US Rep. Christopher Shays, a Republican from Connecticut. Mr. Shays, speaking on Saturday in a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum, was asked by an audience member to explain the rationale behind the US government’s tough economic penalties imposed on Damascus. US President George W. Bush levied the sanctions in May ‘04, signing Congressional legislation passed in ‘03. The audience member, who described herself as a Syrian lawyer, said Syria is a tolerant country with a large Christian population. The country has become a safe haven for Iraqi’s fleeing a grinding guerrilla war, especially Christians escaping anti-Christian violence that has wracked Iraq in the wake of the US-led invasion. The Syrian woman said the US sanctions were a rash escalation of a dispute that had not seen sufficient diplomacy. She said the Syrian people were suffering as a result. “In any policy there is carrot and stick,” the woman said. “But between the United States and Syria there is only the stick.” Mr. Shays said bluntly that the United States has “huge problems” with Syria. He said he attended the funeral of a US soldier killed in Iraq while fighting insurgents near the Syrian border. Mr. Shays suggested that the soldier was killed because Damascus had failed to halt anti-US insurgents from crossing into Iraq. “Sanctions are hurting ordinary people, and we agree with that,” Shays said. “We’re trying to get the attention of Syria and we want to have changes affected in Damascus. Syrian officials have said they are doing all they can to close the country’s long and remote border with Iraq and suggested the number of infiltrators is small. Mr. Shays and another US congressman, Sen. Gordon Smith, said that America’s top commitment in the region is to Israel. “We are Israel’s strong ally,” and Syria is obviously not happy with that position, and is taking its course against America’s friendship with Israel to Iraq.

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