WEEK OF OCTOBER 30 THROUGH NOVEMBER 5
President Bush Refers to Possibility of US departure From Middle East
Nov. 2….(DEBKA) In an interview with conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh Thursday, Nov. 2, Bush voiced deep concern that rival extremists could topple governments to control oil resources. “They could then pull oil off the market in order to run the price up and will do so unless we abandon Israel, for example or unless we abandon allies,” said the President. “You couple that with a country that doesn’t like us with a nuclear weapon, and people will say, ‘What happened to those people in 2006?’” President Bush went on to say,” we’ve got a plan to make sure we protect America from immediate attack, but part of our strategy is to stay on the offense.” He stressed that part of the strategy is to help young democracies like Lebanon and Iraq be able to survive against the terrorists and extremists trying to crush them.
FOJ Note: Someday, according to Bible Prophecy, the US will lose its prominent position as the mainstay of the balance of power in the Middle East. In essence, the war the terrorists are waging against America is a prelude to that eventuality. The Antichrist’s kingdom will replace the US as the dominant power in the world, but Jesus will destroy the kingdom of the Antichrist when he returns.
(Daniel 2:40-44 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.)
John Kerry Was Almost Commander-in-Chief
Nov. 2….(FOJ) Personally, I usually don’t like delving into the political arena in our mission to operate a Bible Prophecy Ministry. That’s why I generally wait a few days on these subject matters before commenting. But the comments earlier this week by Massachusetts Senator John Kerry that intimated that American troops are uneducated, and that it is primarily the uneducated who end up "getting stuck in Iraq," are particularly revealing. It highlights the fact that Christians need to take their civic duties serious, and not leave off the political arena so that it becomes the playground of secular socialists. Mr. Kerry was almost elected as Commander-in-Chief of our nation’s armed services just a couple of years ago. Today, it is quite obvious how frightening a scenario that would have been. Our freedom and liberty are constantly under attack, and history proves that free people and free nations must maintain a strong defense and deterrent capability if it wants to remain free in this evil world. Satan hates freedom, and He especially hates free nations that are traditionally Christian. The service man and women of America have historically served our nation with honor, and a sense of duty, and they have often made the sacrifice to be the backbone of our perpetual freedoms. America should never rely on the permission of the UN for the right to defend our Republic, but that is exactly what many of the liberal socialists would prefer. And this misguided philosophy is precisely bent towards the schemes of the conspiracy of the end-times stratagems of the Antichrist’s kingdom. Mr. Kerry’s attitudes towards his countrymen, and the office of the Presidency are a disgrace, and should help to unmask the mystery of iniquity that is subtly overtaking our political institutions.
Iran Test-Fires Missile Capable of Delivering Nuke to Israel
(Iran has test-fired long-range missiles capable of being outfitted with nuclear warheads and striking Israel)
Nov. 2….(Arutz) The Islamic Republic fired a dozen missiles yesterday, its state-run media reported, as part of a large-scale military exercise. Several short-range missiles were fired, in addition to the long-range Shihab-3 model. Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts to block Iran's nuclear program continue to be stalled. Russia and China indicate they will not support the draft of a UN resolution imposing tough sanctions on Iran for going ahead with its nuclear enrichment program. The draft was drawn up by Britain, France and Germany. Russia and China, both of which have strong commercial ties with Iran, say the draft is too strong. The United States, on the other hand, says the sanctions called for in the draft are too weak. The Shihab-3 has a range of some 1,250 miles (2,000 km), placing Israel, and American positions in the region, within range. The missile can easily be outfitted with a nuclear warhead. The Shihab-2 was also tested, with a cluster-bomb warhead. It is capable of breaking into 1,400 bomblets upon impact. Other missiles tested include the Zelzal missiles Hizbullah attempted to fire at Tel Aviv, as well as Scud-B, Zolfaghar-73 and Z-3 missiles. The tests mark the beginning of ten days of maneuvers being run by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. The maneuvers have been named “Great Prophet,” and are taking place throughout the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and various regions inside Iran. Revolutionary Guard chief Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi told Iranian television that the exercises were intended to deter attacks on Iran. The location of the exercises, in the Persian Gulf, is also a clear message in the wake of American military exercises in the same region in recent days. About 20 percent of the world’s oil passes through the gulf. The US exercises focused on surveillance, involving the tracking and blocking of ships transporting weapons.
Mideast Terror Leaders to US: Vote Democrat
(Withdrawal from Iraq would embolden jihadists to destroy Israel, America)
Nov. 2….(WND) Everybody has an opinion about next Tuesday's midterm congressional election in the US, including senior terrorist leaders interviewed by WND who say they hope Americans sweep the Democrats into power because of the party's position on withdrawing from Iraq, a move, as they see it, that ensures victory for the worldwide Islamic resistance. The terrorists told WorldNetDaily an electoral win for the Democrats would prove to them Americans are "tired." They rejected statements from some prominent Democrats in the US that a withdrawal from Iraq would end the insurgency, explaining an evacuation would prove resistance works and would compel jihadists to continue fighting until America is destroyed. They said a withdrawal would also embolden their own terror groups to enhance "resistance" against Israel. "Of course Americans should vote Democrat," Jihad Jaara, a senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the infamous leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, told WND. "This is why American Muslims will support the Democrats, because there is an atmosphere in America that encourages those who want to withdraw from Iraq. It is time that the American people support those who want to take them out of this Iraqi mud," said Jaara, speaking to WND. Jaara was the chief in Bethlehem of the Brigades, the declared "military wing" of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. Together with the Islamic Jihad terror group, the Brigades has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing inside Israel the past two years, including an attack in Tel Aviv in April that killed American teenager Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis. Muhammad Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, said the Democrats' talk of withdrawal from Iraq makes him feel "proud." "As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk," he told WND. This is a success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible withdrawal." Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas' military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the Democrats' policy of withdrawal "proves the strategy of the resistance is the right strategy against the occupation." "We warned the Americans that this will be their end in Iraq," said Abu Abdullah, considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas' Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas' declared "resistance" department. Abu Ayman, an Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, said he is "emboldened" by those in America who compare the war in Iraq to Vietnam. "The mujahedeen fighters brought the Americans to speak for the first time seriously and sincerely that Iraq is becoming a new Vietnam and that they should fix a schedule for their withdrawal from Iraq," boasted Abu Ayman. The terror leaders spoke as the debate regarding the future of America's war in Iraq has perhaps become the central theme of midterm elections, with most Democrats urging a timetable for withdrawal and Republicans mostly advocating staying the course in Iraq. Hamas' Abu Abdullah argued a withdrawal from Iraq would "convince those among the Palestinians who still have doubts in the efficiency of the resistance." "The victory of the resistance in Iraq would prove once more that when the will and the faith are applied victory is not only a slogan. We saw that in Lebanon (during Israel's confrontation against Hezbollah there in July and August); we saw it in Gaza (after Israel withdrew from the territory last summer) and we will see it everywhere there is occupation," Abdullah said. While the terror leaders each independently compelled American citizens to vote for Democratic candidates, not all believed the Democrats would actually carry out a withdrawal from Iraq. Saadi stated, "Unfortunately I think those who are speaking about a withdrawal will not do so when they are in power and these promises will remain electoral slogans. It is not enough to withdraw from Iraq. They must withdraw from Afghanistan and from every Arab and Muslim land they occupy or have bases." Abu Abdullah commented once Democrats are in power "the question is whether such a courageous leadership can withdraw. “I tell the American people vote for withdrawal; Abandon Israel if you want to save America.”
Nearly Half of Americans Uncertain God Exists
Nov. 2….(Breitbart) Nearly half of Americans are not sure God exists, according to a poll that also found divisions among the public on whether God is male or female or whether God has a human form and has control over events. The survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 42 percent of US adults are not "absolutely certain" there is a God compared to 34 percent who felt that way when asked the same question three years ago. Among the various religious groups, 76 percent of Protestants, 64 percent of Catholics and 30 percent of Jews said they are "absolutely certain" there is a God while 93 percent of Christians who describe themselves as "Born Again" feel certain God exists. When questioned on whether God is male or female, 36 percent of respondents said they think God is male, 37 percent said neither male nor female and 10 percent said "both male and female." Only one percent think of God as a female, according to the poll. Asked whether God has a human form, 41 percent said they think of God as "a spirit or power than can take on human form but is not inherently human." As to whether God controls events on Earth, 29 percent believe that to be the case while 44 percent said God "observes but does not control what happens on Earth". The survey was conducted online between October 4 and 10 among 2,010 US adults
Russia's Flexed Muscles
Nov. 1….(CBN) Russia is flexing its muscles. Its economy awash in oil and gas profits, the 15-year-old democracy is staking its claim on the world stage. But Russia's new direction has sparked widespread speculation of a new cold war, one that might jeopardize Russia's strategic alliance with its most powerful partner, the United States. Professor Konstantin Khudoley, dean of St. Petersburg University's School of International Relations, said, "No! A new cold war is impossible." Khudoley said that American opposition to Russia's membership in the World Trade Organization is just one cause of the political divide. "Relations between Russia and the United States are now more difficult. From my point of view, differences between the two countries are quite large," he said. Another source of friction is Russia's retreat from democracy under President Vladimir Putin. Anna Parachevova, a writer on the state of democracy, says that's a touchy subject for most Russians. "The US is in a difficult position,” Parachevova said. “There are other issues in which they need Russia: in the war against terrorism, in the Iran crisis, in North Korea. They can't be extremely critical of Russia because they do need them as partner." It may not be the start of a new cold war, but there's a chill in US-Russia relations. Some analysts see Russian foreign policy as moving away from the West, while others say Russia's just keeping its options open. What troubles many in the West is Moscow's cozy alliance with nations that President Bush listed in the "Axis of Evil." Ariel Cohen, a Russian analyst with the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Russia not only has a billion dollar deal to build Iran's Bushehr Nuclear Reactor, it also supports Tehran diplomatically, and supplies Iran with arms. Cohen said, "Russia is playing a dangerous game in the Middle East when it reaches out to radical Islamist regimes like Iran." This month, Washington slapped sanctions on Russian defense companies for breaking a US arms embargo on illegal arms to Iran. “We don't want Russia to sell really bad things, nuclear weapons technology, sophisticated anti-aircraft systems, that they are planning to sell, to Iran. But at the same time, we need Russia to assist us in the UN Security Council." But it's unlikely that Russia will back America's call to sanction Iran. Cohen says; Russia benefits more from tensions between Iran and the US. "Russia is interested in high oil prices. Therefore, Russia is interested in an aggressive Iran that destablizes the Middle East. If Americans get pinned down on top of that, dealing with Iran and trying to enforce nuclear disarmament of Iran, that's in Russia's interests because Russia gets stronger. Russia is not involved in any fighting, and Americans are being drained of their treasure and their troops, and are being bogged down in a major confrontation with the Muslim world," Cohen said. Russia is also talking with Iran about creating a natural gas cartel with Venezuela. Venezuela's anti-American President Hugo Chavez has threatened to cut off oil supplies to the US, all bad news for Americans facing higher fuel costs. Chavez just returned from Moscow where, over US objections, Russia announced a $3 billion deal to sell Caracas fighter jets and military helicopters, making Russia Venezuela's chief arms supplier. Russia's arms sales to Syria, an issue that surfaced during the latest Lebanon crisis, could threaten Israel, America's key ally in the Middle East. Israeli newspapers reported Russian-made missiles sold to Syria were allegedly passed on to Hezbollah, and used against Israelis troops. Cohen said, "Russia has what we call in business ‘plausible deniability.’ And I think Russians know full well that some of their weapons sales end up in Hezbollah's hands." At the recent G-8 Summit, Putin broke ranks with Bush and defended Israel's enemies, refusing to name Syria and Iran as backers of Hezbollah and Hamas. Both are groups that the US considers terrorists and that Russia views as purely political. Last March, Putin reached out to Hamas, inviting high-level officials to Moscow for talks. Another alliance raising questions about Russia’s friendship with America is China. Moscow is courting Beijing as a customer for its oil and arms. And last year, for the first time, Russia and China conducted joint military exercises. Anna Aruntunyun with The Moscow News says Russia’s warming relations with its communist neighbor shows a strategy to cultivate alternative allies. "It wants to maintain a good relationship with China,” said Aruntunyun, “because economically, it's seen as a rising power and as a counterbalance to US hegemony." That counter-balance takes precedence over containing North Korea’s nuclear pursuits. Beijing and Moscow are blocking US-backed sanctions at the UN to head off the threat posed by Kim Jong Il. China is North Korea’s primary benefactor, and the Soviet Union was once Pyongyang’s top aid donor. "Remember the coalition of the willing,” Cohen warned. “There's a coalition of the bad and the ugly. Russia and China are interested in keeping North Korea as a major foreign policy irritant for the United States, and keeping pressure off themselves and keeping US diplomacy and military forces pinned down in that corner of the world. Russia's growing ties with rogue regimes, and their consistent undermining of American interests make Russia seem less and less the reliable ally, and more and more like a foe posing as a friend.
US Concerned Iran & Syria Aiding Hezbollah Plot to Oust Siniora
Nov. 1….(Ha Aretz) The White House expressed concern today over what it called mounting evidence that Syria and Iran are joining with Hezbollah in an attempt to topple the Lebanese government. Press Secretary Tony Snow said any such bids through tactics including violence or physical threats to Lebanese leaders would be a clear violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and three United Nations Security Council resolutions. "Support for a sovereign, democratic, and prosperous Lebanon is a key element of US policy in the Middle East. We are therefore increasingly concerned by mounting evidence that the Syrian and Iranian governments, Hizballah, and their Lebanese allies are preparing plans to topple Lebanon's democratically-elected government led by Prime Minister Siniora," the White House said in a statement. "Any attempt to destabilize Lebanon's democratically-elected government through such tactics as manufactured demonstrations and violence, or by physically threatening its leaders would, at the very least, be a clear violation of Lebanon's sovereignty and United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1559, 1680, and 1701," the statement said. Hezbollah on Wednesday threatened to protest in the streets to force early elections in Lebanon if its demands are not met for a "national unity" cabinet that would give the militants and their allies veto power over key decisions. The effort seems certain to further exacerbate an already tense political situation in Lebanon, where the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has refused earlier Hezbollah calls to step down and allow the formation of a new Cabinet. In the face of Nasrallah's ultimatum, government supporters have threatened counter-protests, raising fears of a repeat of the kind of sectarian clashes between Lebanon's Sunnis, Shiites, Druze and Christians that ravaged the country during its 1975-90 civil war. Leaders of the anti-Syrian factions have repeatedly warned of violence if Hezbollah supporters pour into the streets. The move, if successful, would significantly raise Hezbollah's standing in the cabinet, where it and its Shiite ally, Amal, currently have five ministers. Such veto power and influence in decision-making would also bolster their standing in the 128-seat parliament, where the group and its allies hold less than half the seats, compared to 70 seats held by the anti-Syrian majority. Prime Minister Siniora has repeatedly rejected the idea of a new government, contending that his cabinet achieved much for the country and did its best to stop the war. His supporters say that Hezbollah and its backers, in pushing for greater political power, are doing Damascus' bidding and are trying to undermine the formation of an international tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in February 2005. Walid Jumblatt, a member of parliament, was quoted by Lebanese newspapers Wednesday as warning during a visit to Washington that "threats by some forces in Lebanon to resort to street protests in order to bring down the government" would "lead to anarchy." Nasrallah has played down any fears of violence in the threatened street protests, saying his campaign would be peaceful. The Hezbollah chief further threatened to press for early general elections in the hope of winning a majority that would turn the current anti-Syrian majority in parliament into a minority, and elect a pro-Syrian premier.
Islam Demands Absolute Submission of Women
Nov. 1….(FOJ) Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry recently obtained this photo of an unidentified Arab woman being flogged in the town mosque square of a Middle Eastern country. Her crime could have ranged from anything from showing her face in public to failing to observe any number of dozens of laws regulating the lives of women under the dictates of the Koran. Contrastingly, Jesus Christ, when confronted by the scribes and Pharisees about a woman taken in adultery, questioned the motives of the self-appointed righteous men thusly, “he that is among you that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” Jesus then advised the woman to “go and sin no more.” But in Islam, the prophet demands absolute submission and swift punishment, so that he can maintain His absolute control over his slaves. But the Gospel of Christ always sets the captives free!
Hamas Building A Regular Military Division
Nov. 1….(DEBKA) This warning came from the IDF OC southern command Maj.-Gen Yoav Galant in a briefing to Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee Tuesday, Oct. 31. He described Hamas commando and anti-tank units under training and an organized Hamas weapons industry topped up by massive arms smuggling. The IDF has prepared effective plans to forestall Hamas’ dangerous military enhancement in Gaza, said Gen. Galant. But, he added, the military needs the policy-makers’ signal to go ahead before it is too late. Current military activity in the Gaza Strip goes no further than routine defensive measures, but falls far short of the comprehensive operation the IDF is capable of for eroding Hamas strength. The IDF embarked on a large operation in the Beit Hanun area in northern Gaza to halt the firing of Qassam rockets and eliminate terrorist cells. But the primary purpose is to thwart the new military option Hamas has been using against the IDF, squads that fire Russian-made antitank missiles, a tactic Hizballah employed during the recent war in Lebanon. IDF troops exchanged heavy fire with Palestinian gunmen in the northern Gaza Strip. Nine Palestinians were killed and 40 were wounded, the IDF reported. A few hours after the operation began, IDF brass informed the security cabinet in Jerusalem about the latest developments in Gaza, including information about Hamas’s plans for an impending offensive against Israel, which is being coordinated with the help of military advisers from Iran and Syria, some of whom are already in the Gaza Strip working to carry out the plan. According to Hamas’s military plan, parts of which DEBKAfile’s military sources are exclusively reporting, Hamas has come to the conclusion that firing rockets, particularly Qassams, at Israeli towns and villages is no longer effective and should be stopped. Instead of firing rockets, Hamas intends to open a barrage of around-the-clock heavy fire on Israel, using antitank missiles, short-range ground-to-ground missiles and artillery fire, similar to what Hizballah used during the Hezbollah Lebanon war, and mortar fire. The massive barrage of fire, Hamas believes, will prevent Israel from embarking on any military or civilian activity in a 2-km to 4-km buffer zone from the Gaza security fence. The intention is to transform all IDF bases and outposts, and all settlements in the Negev, into ghost towns, since any movement between them would entail heavy losses.
President Bush: Israel’s Survival Depends on Two-State Solution
Nov. 1….(JNEWSWIRE) President George W. Bush is “personally committed” to helping create a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza because he believes that Israel’s survival depends on it. The American leader spelled out to newspaper columnists invited to the Oval Office last Wednesday why he is “a two-state solution person” when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict. “I don’t see how Israel can possibly survive in the long term unless there is a democracy on her border. I don’t see how she retains her Jewish state if there is not a place for Palestinians to go to,” he said. Bush made these statements against the backdrop of an extended explanation of his overall strategic approach to helping bring peace to the world including, of course, to the Middle East. A closer look at this explanation may help answer some of the questions Christian Zionists are asking about the president’s policy on Israel. Bush said that he had called for the get-together with these influential writers in order to provide them with a clearer understanding of “what the guy’s thinking.” “You either like it or don’t like it but at least it gives you a sense of where I am strategizing,” he said. Bush said he believes “it is conceivable that 20 or 30 years from now the world will see a Middle East in which extreme forms of Islam compete for power, moderate governments will be toppled, oil will be used to extract concessions, and Iran will have a nuclear weapon, and writers such as yourself would say, what happened to them? “How come they couldn't see the great conflict taking place in front of their very eyes? Why did they lose their nerve? Why did they not support moderate people who yearn for something better than the vision of the extremists?” “And my answer to it is,” he said, is that “I see the threat, and will use American power to protect ourselves, and at the same time, try to create the first victory in this ideological war of the 21st century.” Bush described how he sees the world, where he believes it is headed, where it could head if helped in the right direction, and what he’s doing to help head it that way. He believes that the 21st Century world is caught up in “a great conflict between moderate people and ideologues that are totalitarian and kill to achieve their objective without conscience.” “Much of the thinking and the decision making that I do now is based on my belief that we are in this great ideological struggle.” Iran, together with all the extremists who identify with the goals of that Islamic state, stands on one side of this conflict. America leads those on the other, moderate side. When it comes to the Middle East, Bush sees the Israelis as among the moderates. Notably he does not, however, count the Palestinian Arabs per se, or the general Arab populations in the region, as among the extremists. On the contrary, in his understanding, and this was borne out in an interview columnist Cal Thomas had with Bush’s Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on the same day the Oval Office meeting was taking place, the majority of all Arabs are moderates. It is only the relatively “few” among them, like the Hamas and the Hizb’allah, that are in the extreme fringe and bound together with Iran and others “by a common desire to spread their vision” Most Arabs want to live in peace, also with Israel. What America had to do was continue to lead the “moderates” that oppose that extremist and violent vision. And when it comes to the Middle East, the goal of the Bush Administration is to plant and nurture democratic societies, including a democratic Palestine, that will see the extremists marginalized and, ultimately disappear. “I’m a two-state-solution person. I don’t see how Israel can possibly survive in the long term unless there is a democracy on her border. I don’t see how she retains her Jewish State if there is not a place for Palestinians to go to.” For the leader of the free world, then, the Middle East conflict is part of a struggle between ideologues and moderates. And it can be best resolved by ensuring that the moderates win over the ideologues. What Bush apparently does not see at all, is that this is a conflict involving God and His Word on the one side against Satan and his determined effort to thwart that Word and its Author on the other.
Why President Bush Believes in A Two-State Solution
* FOJ highly recommends this brief article by Stan Goodenough
Nov. 1….(Stan Goodenough) American (and many other) Evangelical Christians worry like dogs over a bone why it is that US President George W. Bush is personally committed to a two-state solution which sees “Israel and Palestine living side by side.” Why, they ask, is he pursuing a Middle East policy whose ultimate goal, and even the path towards achieving that goal, so obviously puts at risk the very existence of the State of Israel? How, they fret, can a born-again Christian countenance such a thing? Isn’t he aware of the enormous injustice this plan visits on the Jewish people? Doesn’t he know the biblical promises granting exclusive ownership of this land to the people of Israel? Where is his fear of the God, who has vowed to judge the nations that divide up His land?
For heaven’s sake, isn’t President Bush a Christian Zionist!? The answers to some of these questions are complex. But the answer to the last one is a simple “No.” Mr. Bush is a Christian. He professes Christianity; he is on record as having committed his life to Christ in the presence of credible and respected witnesses like Arthur Blessit and Billy Graham. A pastor who was among a group of church leaders who laid hands on Bush when he was still state governor and prayed for God to “put the mantle of a champion” on him, described the future president as a man “whose heart gravitates towards the things of the Lord.” Mr. Bush is a daily Bible reader, has participated in intensive Bible study courses, and hates to miss church. Although no theologian, he is transparently unashamed of the Gospel of Christ and has often confessed his faith in Jesus before other men. Asked publicly and directly, shortly before becoming the 43rd president of the United States, if he was born again, Mr. Bush answered with an unequivocal “yes.” Asked how he knew, he quoted Romans 10:9 word for word: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shat be saved.” “I have been changed inside. My life has been transformed. Jesus is my Lord,” he declared. Indeed, there is a great deal of evidence to support Mr. Bush’s claim to being a Christian president.
· A great deal of other evidence shows just as clearly, however, that he is not a Christian Zionist president. There is no doubt that Mr. Bush cares deeply about Israel. He has called the Jewish state one of America’s “important friends” whose safety and security is “a top foreign policy priority” of his presidency.
At the onset of his first term in office he announced that his administration would “be steadfast in supporting Israel against terrorism and violence, and in seeking the peace for which all Israelis pray.” And he cannot be faulted on keeping that pledge. Nor has any other American president given Israel as much consistent support and leeway to act in areas that also impact on American foreign policy as has George W. Bush. Virtually from day one in the White House he enabled Israel to wage its war on terror by refraining from the pressure and manipulative tactics his predecessors frequently employed against Jerusalem. Instead of calling for Israeli “restraint” as others regularly did, Mr. Bush had his officials coin and consistently use the noncommittal phrase “Israel has the right to defend herself but must keep in mind the consequences of its actions.” Mr. Bush cares deeply about Israel. I would say he probably loves Israel. He has taken some substantial political risks to support this small nation, standing with her when virtually no other country on earth has been ready to do so. This means he is a good supporter and a good friend of Israel. But he is not a Christian Zionist. If he were a Christian Zionist, President Bush would:
1.) Support Israel’s God-given right to all the covenanted land, including Gaza, Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights.
2.) Believe that God’s hand was behind the issuing of the Balfour Declaration in 1917; in its ratification by the League of Nations in 1920; in the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947; and in Israel’s military victories in 1948-9; 1967 and 1973.
3.) See the hand of God in the unprecedented and incomparable return of the Jews to their land, and in the miraculous return of their land to the Jews, including very much the return of the “occupied territories,” Samaria, Judea, Gaza and the Golan Heights.
4.) See the unrelenting effort of the Islamic and secular worlds to remove the Jew from their lands and to persecute them everywhere as a satanic attempt to destroy them.
5.) Believe that it is God’s will that the Jews remain in those lands and that the gentile nations, including the United States, commit to keeping them there.
President Bush does not believe in accordance with these things and it is neither realistic nor fair for Christian Zionists to judge and condemn him for this. Before God opened my eyes to Israel as a young man, I was a born again Christian born and raised by born again parents and surrounded by born again siblings. I had been taught a great deal about what it means to walk the Christian walk and to live for God. No one who knew me would have questioned my faith in Jesus. But about God’s purposes for the people and land of Israel I was completely unaware. The vast, vast majority of Jesus-loving Bible-believing Christians on this planet are living out their lives totally oblivious to Israel’s still central place in God’s unfolding plan of redemption. President Bush is in the ranks with these millions and millions of Christians. There is little point, and little headway to be gained, in lambasting him for this. As has happened with past presidents, aggressive Zionist lobbying is more likely to harden Mr. Bush’s heart than soften it. Far better that we intensify our fasting and our prayers, earnestly and relentlessly petitioning the only One Who is able to open the president’s eyes to do so, and quickly. President Bush does not have much time left in office. Then write to him, repeatedly even, not to attack him but respectfully urging him to take another look at this issue, starting on his knees and in the pages of the Bible that foretell the restoration of Israel in our day. “Please Mr. Bush, ask God to show you in His Word what it is that He is doing in and with Israel, and how He would have you, as the man He placed in the White House for such a time as this, flow with the unfolding of His plan.”
US Forces Dismantle Baghdad Checkpoints on PM Al-Maliki's Orders
Oct. 31….(Fox News) US troops complied with orders from Prime Minister Al Maliki today to abandon checkpoints around Baghdad, including the ones in and around the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City. Soon after US forces began removing concrete blocks and sandbags from security checkpoints, a homicide car bomber targeted a wedding ceremony in the capital, killing 11 people, including four children, police said. The bomber plowed a car packed with explosives into a crowd of Shiite celebrants preparing to board vehicles outside the bride's home in the Shaab neighborhood of Baghdad, Lt. Ahmed Mohamed of the Risafa police station said. Baghdad police earlier reported the deaths of three people in a car bomb explosion and the discovery of five bodies, including one woman. The extra checkpoints had been set up last week around Sadr City as US troops launched an intensive search for a missing American soldier and raided homes looking for death squad leaders in the sprawling slum that is home to an overwhelmingly Shiite population of 2.5 million people. Other checkpoints manned by US troops were erected in the downtown Karradah neighborhood where the soldier had been abducted. Al-Maliki, who owes his presidency to the support of Muqtada Al Sadr condemned the US checkpoint barriers, and also criticized the US timetable for Iraqi forces to take control of Iraqi defenses. In a statement addressed to local supporters on Monday, al-Sadr warned of unspecified action if the US-led military "siege" continues. He also criticized what he called the silence of politicians over actions by the US military in the district on Baghdad's northeastern edge. "If this siege continues for long, we will resort to actions which I will have no choice but to take, God willing, and when the time is right," he said in the statement. Al-Maliki's demand threatened to further upset relations between the US and the Iraqi government, which hit a rough patch last week after Al-Maliki issued a string of bitter complaints, at one point saying he was not "America's man in Iraq."
FOJ Note: Al Maliki is definitely not America’s man. In fact, he is beginning to sound more and more like Iran’s man.
Free Nations Betrayed By UN Incompetence & Conflict of Interest
Oct. 31….(Bill Wilson/KIN) The free nations of the world, who have depended on the UN to police nuclear proliferation, have been betrayed, not only by the inept International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN’s nuclear watchdog, but also by the corrupt, conflict of interest demonstrated by China and Russia in blocking any action against either Iran or North Korea. The type and shadow of the one world government, the United Nations has stood by and allowed the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons technology to terrorist sponsoring nations. On November 24th, 2004, Iran, after a late night visit to Beijing, announced China will block the US from referring the Iranian nuclear issue to the UN Security Council. Meanwhile, IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei, an Egyptian born Muslim, said on November 23rd, 2004 that he did not believe that the radical Islamic terrorist state of Iran is developing nuclear weapons. ElBaradei said, ”I am not ready to jump to the conclusion and say this is a weapons program unless I see a diversion of nuclear material to such a program or I see clear cut proof that this is a weapons program. And we are not there yet.” After winning the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation, ElBaradei is now saying that the world should adopt a new plan against the spread of nuclear weapons, but allowing development for nuclear energy. The new plan proposed by ElBaradei would give the UN far reaching authority over all nations and their military. ElBaradei said the new framework should require all countries to adopt comprehensive safeguards and adhere to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty's additional protocol that allows unannounced inspections. It should also include rapid progress toward nuclear disarmament, "a robust international security regime, and an effective and universal nuclear safety regime." Revelation 13:7 speaks of a one world government where authority was given the anti-Christ over every tribe, tongue and nation. The same verse says, “It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.” Through energy, nuclear energy, the UN is making a move to control international security. Russia and China may well go along with the idea for awhile because they have no intentions to follow the rules. For over two years Iran and North Korea have had free reign on their nuclear programs because of Russia, China and the UN. This treachery and conspiracy appears veiled to America’s leaders who trust in the UN’s system. We must turn to Jesus Christ, our protector, that He may give our leaders wisdom and our countrymen grace.
Greenspan Says Dollar Now Sharing Stage with Euro
Oct. 31….(AP) Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Thursday that both private investors and central banks were shifting away from the US dollar and toward the euro. "We're beginning to see some move from the dollar to the euro, both from the private sector, but also from monetary authorities and central banks," Greenspan told a conference sponsored by the Commercial Finance Association. His comments pushed the dollar down, a sign that Greenspan, who retired from the US central bank in January, still holds some sway in financial markets. As he had done repeatedly when he led the central bank, Greenspan said it was imperative for the United States to resist protectionist pressures that could make an unwinding of the large US current account trade gap economically painful. "We'll get to the point at some point that willingness to finance it will slow, and if you can't finance it, it won't happen," Greenspan said of the broad trade measure. He said, however, that if the economy remained flexible, the adjustment "should have very little effect on production and capacity." Greenspan warned, however, that if the United States threw up barriers to isolate itself from the pressures of globalization, "the adjustment process could be a little bit more problematic."
The Gathering Storm
Oct. 31….(David Dolan) In a speech to mark “Al Quds Day” at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, extremist Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad issued further vows to wipe Israel off of the world map. “The Zionist regime is heading soon toward annihilation," he maintained at the opening of a conference in support of the Palestinians on October 20th, attended by Hamas officials. In a thinly veiled threat to use nuclear weapons to accomplish Iran’s devilish goal, Ahmadinejad characterized “the Zionist regime” as a “rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm." Some Israeli analysts worry that his “one storm” analogy, spoken for the first time last May, might signal that Iran already possesses a deadly nuclear weapons capability, possibly having purchased atomic bombs from either Pakistan or the former Soviet Union. Demonstrating Iran’s utter contempt once again for non-Muslims countries around the globe, Ahmadinejad went on to threaten the international community, particularly Europe “if you continue to support the group of terrorists that you imposed on our region.” He added menacingly that, “It is in your own interest to distance yourselves from these criminals.” Indirectly implying that Iranian nukes may eventually be aimed at European cities (analysts say the radical Shiite state already possesses the ability to strike southeastern Europe at least with North-Korean designed long-rang missiles), he went on to shrilly declare that “This is an ultimatum! Don’t complain tomorrow!” Ahmadinejad, who “revealed” earlier in the month that Allah speaks directly to him, confirmed that he has European Union states in his crosshairs when he added ominously, “We have advised the Europeans that while the Americans are far away, you are the neighbors of the nations in this region. We inform you that the nations are like an ocean that is welling up, and if a storm begins, the dimensions will not stay limited to Palestine, and you may get hurt.” Israeli officials replied to the latest Iranian verbal volleys by warning that the vile vilifier should not be underestimated, as Hitler was by many global leaders prior to World War II. Vice Premier Shimon Peres told reporters that an international coalition must be immediately established to stand up to the Iranian madman, who apparently has the full backing of the country’s Shiite clerical elite, if not the average Iranian citizen. The veteran Israeli politician, who is the leading candidate to replace Israeli President Moshe Katzav, expected to resign in the coming weeks after being accused of committing sex crimes with several women working in his office, warned that failure to do so could in fact lead to a second holocaust being launched against the Jewish people, this time in their own historical homeland. The Shiite President’s latest severe saber rattling came just one week after the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Yahya Safavi, insisted that the United States, Israel and their allies would be “crushed” if they attacked Iran’s nuclear program. “The blood of our martyrs will bring about not only the liberation of Jerusalem and Iraq, but the liberation of all mankind from the evil powers of the world,” he boasted. Meanwhile Iran’s closest regional ally, Syria, remained on high military alert during October, claiming that Israel was about to attack the neighboring Arab state. Analysts warned that the regional situation remains highly explosive, with many speculating that US President George W. Bush may order a military strike on Iran’s nuclear sites soon after the American mid-term elections are held on November 7th. If so, Syria would be expected to support threatened Iranian retaliation by launching a military assault upon the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, probably backed by renewed Hizbullah rocket fire from Lebanon.
China Cited as North Korea Nuke Supplier
Oct. 31….(Bill Gertz/Washington Times) China helped North Korea develop nuclear weapons and in the past year increased its support to Pyongyang, rather than pressing the regime to halt nuclear arms and missile activities, according to a congressional report. The final draft report of the US-China Economic Security Review Commission also says that Chinese government-run companies are continuing to threaten US national security by exporting arms to American enemies in Asia and the Middle East. The report is based on public testimony and highly classified intelligence reports made available to its members and staff. It indirectly criticizes the Bush administration for failing to pressure Beijing into joining US-led anti-proliferation programs and calls for Congress to take action to force the administration to do more. "China has contributed at least indirectly to North Korea's nuclear program," the report stated, noting that China was a "primary supplier" to Pakistan's nuclear-arms program. A copy of the commission's final draft report, due to be released formally next month, was made available to The Washington Times by congressional aides. Congress created the bipartisan commission of outside experts in 2000 to analyze the impact of US-China relations on security and the economy. North Korea was a recipient of nuclear goods supplied by the covert Pakistani nuclear supplier network headed by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan, according to the group's fourth annual report. Several links between Pakistan and North Korea's arms programs have been identified, it stated. The unclassified version of the report does not include details of the Chinese support but notes that China has "a history" of helping North Korea develop its weapons. According to US intelligence officials, North Korean front companies operate freely in China and have used China as a transit point for trade in missile and nuclear components. One North Korean nuclear procurement agent was identified by US officials in 2002 as Yun Ho-jin, who while working in Shenyang, China, sought to buy metal rods with nuclear applications in Germany while posing as an official of the Chinese aircraft manufacturer Shenyang Aircraft Corp. Also, Chinese language documents on how to design a small nuclear warhead for a missile were discovered by US intelligence officials in Libya after Tripoli agreed to dismantle its nuclear program. China's government has not explained how the warhead documents reached Libya. US officials think the warhead documents likely were sold by the Khan network and were also supplied to Iran and North Korea. On China's failure to pressure North Korea, the commission report said that China has refused to exert economic pressure and "instead has actually increased its assistance and trade with North Korea." Disclosure of the report comes as China last week refused to join the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which the Bush administration hopes to use in enforcing UN Security Council resolutions aimed at halting North Korean trade in illicit arms-related goods. The Chinese turned down an appeal from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during her recent visit to Beijing to join PSI. The refusal raises questions about whether China will cooperate in a United Nations embargo against weapons and technology going in and out of North Korea. Bush Administration officials have praised China for supporting US efforts to curb North Korea's arms programs. However, the report makes clear that Chinese cooperation is limited. On China's role in arms proliferation, the report stated that Chinese companies and government organizations "continue to provide weapons, weapons components and weapons technology" in violation of China's commitments to international nonproliferation agreements. The arms transfers "harm regional security in East Asia and the Middle East," the report said. "Given strong US interests in both regions, China's proliferation threatens US security and potentially could place at risk US troops operating in those regions," the report said. The report also raises questions about whether China is willing to play a responsible role in working for global peace and stability. Beijing's support for World Trade Organization commitments is "spotty and halting," it said. "And China's apparent willingness to value its own energy needs above the needs of international security is indicative of a nation as yet unprepared or unwilling to shoulder the burdens of a stakeholder state," it said. The report recommends that Congress take steps to pressure China into joining the PSI, and calls on Congress to press President Bush to force China to carry out both sea and land inspections of weapons related goods going in and out of North Korea under UN Security Council Resolution 1718. The report recommends tightening sanctions on Chinese companies engaged in illicit arms sales, and says Congress should also require the president to provide regular reports identifying what actions China has taken to curb North Korean and Iranian nuclear activities.
Ambassador Bolton: Syria, Iran Are Arming Hizbullah
Oct. 31….(AP) US Ambassador John Bolton expressed concern that Syria and Iran are trying to destabilize Lebanon's democratically elected government by violating a UN arms embargo. Bolton stressed on Monday that Syria's obligations to respect a UN arms embargo authorized by the Security Council resolution that ended the 34-day Israeli-Hizbullah conflict in August "are particularly important as it is the one country other than Israel that borders Lebanon." He called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to abide by the commitment he made to Secretary-General Kofi Annan to support the resolution and the arms embargo. In a speech to the UN Security Council, Bolton welcomed the Lebanese government's extension of its authority throughout the south of the country for the first time in almost 40 years and its deployment along the eastern part of the UN-drawn boundary with Israel and the border with Syria. "Despite this advance, we continue to be concerned that Syria and Iran are actively trying to destabilize the democratically elected government of Lebanon," he said. "We call on Syria and Iran to abide by their obligations to respect Lebanon's sovereignty, territorial integrity, unity and political independence." Israel has said enforcement of the arms embargo, which blocks any entity in Lebanon except the national government from obtaining weapons from abroad, is crucial.
Olmert Accuses World of Doing 'Nothing' Over Iran
Oct. 31….(Jerusalem Post) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has accused the international community of "doing nothing" over Iran, likening the situation to the appeasement of the 1930s when faced with the rise of Nazism. "Like the 1930s in Germany, the international community hears voices today calling for the destruction of Israel and does nothing," he said Friday during a speech at the country's Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. "For the first time, the leader of a great nation (Iran) declares that its objective is the destruction of the State of Israel, which does not stop this nation from remaining a legitimate partner in the UN," he added. Israel views the Islamic republic as its chief enemy, alarmed by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's call for the Jewish state to be wiped off the map and his dismissal of the Nazi Holocaust as a myth. Olmert charged that Iran was not happy with words alone, "but is deploying huge efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction". He was speaking at a ceremony organised by Yad Vashem to honor US billionaire Sheldon Adelson, who donated 25 million dollars in what was the largest single private donation in the memorial's history. Israel and the United States have spearheaded international claims that Iranian nuclear activities are a cover for an atomic weapons program although Tehran insists it wants only to generate energy. Israel is widely believed to be the only country in the Middle East to have a nuclear arsenal, estimated at 200 warheads, although it has never formally confirmed or denied it holds such weapons.
Saudi Envoy Slams US Role in Mideast
Oct. 31….(Jerusalem Post) The US standing in the Middle East is at an all-time low and can be helped only by pressing Israel to relinquish all occupied Arab land and Jerusalem to the Palestinians, says Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States.
"We want you to remain friends with Israel," Saudi Ambassador Turki al-Faisal said during a question and answer session. "But that friendship should be used to push Israel" to relinquish the land the Arabs lost in the 1967 Six-Day War and provide the Palestinians with a state they have been denied for more than a half-century, the prince said. "The United States is the only one that can deliver," the ambassador said. "The basic interest of the United States is for peace to reign in our part of the world." In remarks he prepared for delivery to the National Council on US-Arab Relations, a private group that presents the Arab view on issues, Prince Turki said, "It is no secret that US standing in the Middle East is at an all-time low." In the prepared text of his speech, distributed to reporters at the luncheon, he said, "It is not a matter of military strength or a shift in rhetoric, but rather a matter of basic understanding of the needs of the people who are affected by US political decisions." He added, "If the US is going to help itself, its policy needs to change in the Middle East." President George W. Bush has supported establishment of a Palestinian state on land now held by Israel. He has not attempted to define the future of Jerusalem, or say how much occupied land should be surrendered. Prince Turki said any of several peace plans, including one by the Arab kingdom and another by the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, is preferable to inaction. In previous plans, the Jerusalem question has been put off to be among the last contentious items decided. "No one has put his foot forward," the ambassador said in rejecting "excuses that won't do" such as waiting for Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, to assert full control of the Palestinian people before launching negotiations.
Muslim Insurgents Behead 14-year-old Iraqi Christian Boy
Oct. 31….(WND) A website in Assyria is confirming that a 14-year-old Christian boy who was working a 12-hour shift maintaining an electric generator has been murdered by Muslim insurgents. The Assyrian International News Agency said the tragedy was reported by an Assyrian language web page. The youth was identified as Ayad Tariq, who lived in Baqouba, Iraq, and was at work on Oct. 21 when a group of "disguised Muslim insurgents" went into the power plant shortly after his shift began at 6 a.m. The website reported the insurgents asked him for his identification and, according to other witnesses who hid and stayed alive to report on the attack, questioned his identification card's reference to him as a "Christian." Are you truly a "Christian sinner," they asked. "Yes, I am Christian but I am not a sinner," he replied. The insurgents then called him a "dirty Christian sinner," grabbed his limbs and held them while beheading him, the witnesses reported. They were shouting, "Allahu akbar! Allahu Akbar!" during the murder, witnesses said. Assyrian Christians are an indigenous people of Iraq, with a population that has been in the Middle East from the time of Christ. However, they have faced a number of purges by the region's rulers over time, including the present attacks by powerful Islamic factions across Iran, Iraq and neighboring nations, officials said. Only two generations back, Assyrian Christians made up 20 percent of the population of the Middle East, but during the Assyrian Genocide of 1915, an estimated three million Christians were slaughtered there, the organization said. Current estimates are that there are about 2.5 million Assyrian Christians in Iraq. Kenneth Scott LaTourette wrote in "A History of Christianity" that the Assyrian Christians became the first nation to accept Christianity, and one of the largest missionary-sending peoples in Christian history. "The Assyrian Christians are one of the last remaining Christian communities in the Middle East," said Rev. Ken Joseph Jr., of the Assyrian Christians organization. Tens of thousands of Assyrian Christians have fled their traditional homelands in recent months, officials confirmed.
Egypt Moves to Support Terrorist Buildup in Gaza
Oct. 30….(DEBKA) Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, without alerting Jerusalem in advance, reportedly moved 5,000 armed men into place on the Sinai-side of Gaza's Philadelphi Corridor at the weekend. The mass deployment of Egyptian forces appears to be aimed at obstructing Israel's plans to destroy the network of illegal tunnels connecting Gaza with Sinai, thereby protecting the continuing flow of arms and explosives into the Palestinian-controlled Strip. Reports in the Israeli press Sunday attributed the Egyptian troop movement to a planned Israeli aerial bombardment of the tunnels. The positioning of so many Egyptian troops in the area will affect Israel's ability to effectively act against the tunnels. This figure is well above that agreed in US-brokered security accords which went into force in August 2005 after Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. An Egyptian official in Ismailia explained the deployment aimed at averting Israel’s plans to bomb arms smuggling tunnels along the Philadelphi Route using precision-guided, deep-penetration weapons which would endanger the roughly 20,000 civilians who live close to the border. Israeli officials were taken by surprise by the Egyptian step and were at a loss to explain it. For more than a year, Egyptian border guards have turned a blind eye to the Palestinian tunnel traffic despite Cairo’s commitments under the military protocol of June 29, 2005. Iintelligence sources explain the sudden Egyptian build-up by two developments: Internal rivalry in the Egyptian government between defense and intelligence ministers Gen. Tantawi and Gen. Suleiman. The latter has sent the extra troops to establish a presence on the sensitive border. The other is the urgent need for an effective buffer to guard Sinai against a spillover of a Fatah-Hamas showdown which appears to be on thee verge of flaring in the Gaza Strip.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 23 THROUGH OCTOBER 29
The 'Three Iraqs' Solution
Oct. 27….(Hal Lindsay) It appears now that even the Bush administration is looking for a way to honorably withdraw from Iraq. With midterm elections approaching, key figures in both major US political parties are losing faith in the "stay the course" policy and are looking for a fast way out. The major media are once again floating a trial balloon for a liberal left idea. They are increasingly pounding away at the concept of creating a kind of "federal Iraq." This is a code phrase for dividing Iraq into three autonomous zones. Taking into account the three major population groups in Iraq, the proposed divisions would include the Kurdish Zone in the north, the Shiites in the south, and the Sunnis in the center of the country. When I first heard it, I even entertained the idea for a brief moment. But after reflecting on the history of this area, I quickly changed my mind. When the vast Ottoman Turkish Empire was defeated in World War I, none of the present Muslim nations existed. The Ottomans, who ruled that part of the world for four centuries, systematically destroyed national entities and made them regions under the direct control of Istanbul. The conquering British and French created the present nations and their borders. Iraq did not even exist until Winston Churchill took a map and with his pen drew its present borders. The same thing was done for most of the Middle East. Nations were created with a stroke of a pen. The chaotic aftermath illustrates what happens when the West interjects its ideas into Middle East problems without understanding the peculiar nature of each area and how important the Muslim sects are that inhabit them. They were almost totally ignorant of 1) the ancient tribal homelands and the fierce rivalry between certain tribes, and 2) the areas that were traditionally controlled by certain sects of Islam and just how important that control is. When Churchill casually sketched the borders of the new nation of Iraq, he guaranteed that there would be problems that could only be contained by a brutal dictator like Saddam Hussein. Unwittingly, Churchill forced together into one entity the Kurds, whom everyone hated, the Sunni sect, which was a minority in the area, and the majority Shiite sect. The Shiites' holiest shrines were included, but land that had traditionally been part of the old nation was placed into another new nation called Kuwait. Lebanon had been part of pre-Ottoman Syria, but the French carved it out separately. Trans-Jordan, which became the Kingdom of Jordan under a British fiat, was also artificially created by the stroke of a pen. In fact, at the Conference of San Remo in 1922, the League of Nations originally mandated Trans-Jordan to be part of a Jewish homeland. But Israel surrendered it so that the original inhabitants of the territory of Palestine would have a homeland. But let's get back to the Iraq problem. The situation as it exists today in Iraq cannot be solved by another imposition of Western stupidity. Sixty-two percent of the Iraqi population is Shiite. The Sunnis make up about 30 percent and the Kurds about 8 percent. If there is, indeed, a division into three separate states, this is what will happen. The Shiites are a fundamentalist sect of Islam and recognize the Ayatollah of Iran as their spiritual leader. They will immediately reject American-imposed democracy and become inseparably aligned with Iran. The Sunnis will be forced into an alignment with Sunni Syria for self-protection. The Kurds appreciate the United States and would remain separate and continue to be our friends. The only problem is that Turkey, Syria and Iran hate the Kurds. Turkey would break relations with us for creating a Kurdish state. It would demand that we remove our extremely vital military bases from Turkish soil. That would leave the US with two friends in the Middle East that are hated by everyone, Israel and Kurdistan. A further complication that would surely cause conflict is the fact that almost all of Iraq's oil is in the Shiite and Kurdish areas. There's not much chance of a workable arrangement whereby the Shiites and the Kurds would share their wealth with the Sunnis. Remember, Saddam Hussein was Sunni, and he and his sect inflicted unspeakable suffering on the Shiites and Kurds. But now, the Shiite-dominated Iraqi Parliament has approved the idea of a three-state Iraq, and the idea is developing legs. To make matters worse, former Secretary of State James Baker has been leading a panel called the Iraq Survey Group. This committee has been studying the situation and is due to hand the White House just such a recommendation following the elections. Naturally, the Iraqi Sunnis, responsible for most of the insurgent violence, oppose the plan. As I said, most of the oil is in the Shia and Kurdish Zones. So if the plan goes forward, the threatened Sunnis will start a civil war. But the Kurds and the Shiites suggest that if the plan doesn't go forward, they will start a civil war. The only way to hold Iraq together would be for the US to impose a ruthless occupation, which we will not do. The actions of the Western powers, taken decades ago with total ignorance of the area's history, are now insoluble, just as the Bible prophets predicted they would be in the "last days." But these same prophets predicted that this would pave the way for a person of enormous powers who is waiting in the wings to be unveiled – he is called "the anti-Christ." The world is just about ready to embrace him
Deadly Hezbollah chess match
Oct. 27….(James G. Zumwalt/Washington Times) When the recent Israeli-Hezbollah war ended, the United Nations' newly organized human rights council, pressed by its Islamic members, spent its first two sessions criticizing Israel for allegedly causing heavy civilian casualties. But details are now known of a secret Hezbollah operation, mounted long before the war and focused, in violation of international law, on putting civilians at risk, that significantly contributed to this toll once the fighting began. By way of background, in the early 1980s, Syria, which then controlled Lebanon, reluctantly allowed a group of 500 Iranian Revolutionary Guards into the Lebanese city of Baalbek, providing the seed from which Hezbollah sprang forth. Funded by Tehran, this terrorist organization began currying favor with the local population, providing many social services. Thus, when the popular Hezbollah secretly embarked upon activities with a more sinister purpose, putting a Lebanese citizenry at risk it purportedly sought to protect in order to gain tactical advantage against Israel in any future conflict, the local population blindly accepted this activity without knowledge of what it involved. The activity upon which Hezbollah had embarked was conversion of private homes into mini-military sites from where it could easily target Israel's civilian population. Cloaking itself as the protective shepherd, Hezbollah effectively prepared an unwitting Lebanese civilian flock as sacrificial lambs to be slaughtered in furtherance of its own war-fighting capabilities. Long before hostilities erupted on July 12, Hezbollah construction teams had gone out and modified numerous Lebanese homes. Sometimes with, but most the time without, the homeowner's permission, workers began adding on a large, single-function room. These rooms were unique for, when completed, they lacked an essential element of all rooms, a door. Each room was sealed shut, but only, and immediately, after an object was placed inside. Often homeowners and neighbors did not know what exactly was entombed within the room as the object's insertion and the subsequent sealing of the room normally took place at night, with the object always kept under wraps. The residences Hezbollah selected for these unsolicited "home improvements" were chosen for their proximity to the Israeli border. When the fighting started after Tel Aviv responded militarily to Hezbollah's July cross-border raid, resulting in the deaths of three Israeli soldiers and the capture of two more, the purpose of the covert home improvements became evident to the owners, though many were destroyed by Israeli air strikes before they could be activated. When war erupted in southern Lebanon, designated leaders of Hezbollah combat teams received envelopes, each containing an address of one of the modified homes. The team quickly deployed to its assigned location, immediately breaking through an exterior wall of the sealed room. Each envelope contained aiming and firing instructions for the object prepositioned inside the room before it was sealed, a surface-to-surface missile atop a launcher. After removing part of the room's roof to allow for unobstructed flight and on command, the team was to fire the missile, raining death and destruction down upon Israel's civilian population. There was one major flaw in Hezbollah's home-conversion-to-missile-launch-site plan: Their construction activities had not gone unnoticed by Israeli intelligence. Closely monitoring Hezbollah's activities, they knew in advance the locations of most sites. As each room was completed, it had been added to Israel's target list so, once fighting started, it could quickly be destroyed, its civilian hosts in many cases becoming collateral damage due to Hezbollah's illegal use of such a tactic. Israel received much negative press for failing to accurately assess the Hezbollah threat. Clearly, some failures did occur, such as assessing how deeply Hezbollah had entrenched itself into southern Lebanon and Hezbollah's ability, undoubtedly with Iranian assistance, to monitor Israeli battlefield communications. But Israel must be applauded for its success in identifying ahead of time the threat posed by Hezbollah's tactical use of private homes for military purposes, a threat Israeli air power was then able to effectively negate. Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman alluded two days into the conflict to these illegal Hezbollah tactics, a reference apparently lost on the media that failed to investigate further. Hezbollah had designed a tactical plan calculated to maximize civilian casualties on both sides of battlefield, by design on the Israeli side in targeting its major population centers and by consequence on the Lebanese side as Israel responded. While this tactic was, from the Israeli perspective, checkmated by virtue of good intelligence, from the Lebanese perspective, many civilians at these launch sites were forced to pay the ultimate price. Sadly, from Hezbollah's perspective, these civilian casualties were but dispensable pawns in its chess match with Israel
EU’s Solana Tells Israel: Its Time to End Occupation
(“It is time that the occupation that started in 1967 is over’)
Oct. 27….(YNET) European Union Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana said following a meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah yesterday that “the Palestinian people have suffered and suffered a lot, and it is time that the occupation that started in 1967 is over.” "That is the objective of the Road Map," he said, referring to an internationally drafted plan which seeks to create a Palestinian state living in peace alongside a secure Israel, but has been largely dormant since its inception in 2003. Abbas called on the international community to act toward resuming talks between Israel and the PA, this as part of his ongoing efforts to schedule a meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
Abbas thanked Solana for Europe’s support of the Palestinians and called on the EU official to ask Israel to ease its restrictions on the Palestinians, especially with regards to the border crossings issue. Solana said that despite the current Palestinian government, (a terrorist entity) the EU has increased its financial aid to the Authority compared to last year. Solana then praised Abbas, telling the PA leader that ‘In Europe they are aware of the difficulties you are going through.’ Like US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice before him, Solana said the EU would assist Abbas in strengthening the Presidential Guard. Earlier on Thursday Solana held meetings with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Vive Premier Shimon Peres, during which he also called to end the diplomatic standstill and open the Gaza crossings.
Solana: Israel Must Raze Outposts, Follow Road map
Oct. 27….(YNET) European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana revealed a great extent of his ignorance, and showed what a dangerous enemy he is of Israel's, when he told The Jerusalem Post Thursday:
*Hamas does not want to destroy Israel but to liberate the 'Palestinians.'(this statement in spite of Hamas claim to the contrary)
*The religious imperative cannot make anybody destroy another country; that is an abuse of religion.
*A strong-handed Israeli approach to the conflict with the Arabs is not the best recipe to guarantee the security of Israel.
*Despite the fact that the security fence had saved hundreds of Israeli lives, building it was not a good idea.
*The goal of the 'peace process' is to end the occupation [sic] that began in 1967 by means of a two state solution.
*The international community, including the EU is "doing its utmost to ensure that the Iranian nuclear threat did not reach "the red zone."
*Israel should test the waters for peace with Syria by talking to Damascus.
Apparetly, Solanna is suggesting that Israel pay no mind to the unrelenting Kassam rocket fire on Jewish targets from Gaza since Israel unilaterally handed the entire strip over to the Palestinian Arabs last year; Never mind that those Arabs have been working day and night to smuggle tons of explosives and weaponry into Gaza in order to prepare for a massive assault on Israel; Never mind that as recently as yesterday, Gaza’s Arabs tried to smuggle high-grade explosives from Gaza into the “West Bank” to enable Arabs in those areas to carry out terrorist attacks in Israeli cities; Never mind that a clear majority among the “Palestinian” population supports ongoing terrorism against Israel; and, Never mind that the land in question was given by God exclusively to the Jewish people and has never been an Arab homeland. Never mind the new or the age-old realities, Israel’s government must proceed, post-haste, to destroy Jewish structures in Samaria and Judea and do everything possible to ensure the speedy implementation of the world’s “Road Map for Peace.” This is the belief of European Union foreign policy czar Javier Solana, who simply visited to pressure Israelis into falling in line with the world’s design on their ancient homeland.
Russia Opposes Draft Resolution on Iran
Oct. 27….(Jerusalem Post) The Russian foreign minister on Thursday signaled the country's opposition to a draft UN Security Council resolution proposed by European nations that would impose sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program. Sergey Lavrov said the resolution, which imposes limited sanctions on Iran because of its refusal to cease uranium enrichment, is a departure from existing agreements between major powers. Russia and China, both veto-wielding permanent members of the council that have strong commercial ties with Tehran, consistently have been reluctant to support sanctions. A key concern for Moscow is the future of its US$1 billion (€800 million) contract to build Iran's first nuclear power station. "Our goal is to eliminate the risks of sensitive technologies getting into the hands of Iran until the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency) clarifies issues of interest to it, while maintaining all possible channels of communication with Iran," Lavrov said in comments shown on state television. "And it seems to me that, in this context, the draft resolution clearly does not correspond to those tasks agreed on by the six sides," he added, speaking on the sidelines of an international Arctic conference in Russia's far north. Russia's project to build a nuclear power station in the southwestern Iranian city of Bushehr was one of several obstacles holding up agreement on the UN resolution, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak said, according to Interfax. Lengthy negotiations will be needed to find a mutually acceptable solution," he was quoted as saying. The sanctions impose certain limits on Russia's Bushehr project, although they do not force an end to it, thus Russia has steadfastly rejected US demands to halt work on Bushehr, and last month agreed to supply fuel for the plant in March, which will allow the facility to go online in September.
President Bush Signs Bill for US-Mexico Border Fence
Oct. 26….(Fox News) President Bush signed a bill today authorizing 700 miles of new fencing along the US-Mexico border, hoping to give Republican candidates a pre-election platform for asserting they’re tough on illegal immigration. “Unfortunately the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades and therefore illegal immigration has been on the rise,” Bush said at a signing ceremony. “We have a responsibility to enforce our laws,” he said. “We have a responsibility to secure our borders. We take this responsibility serious.” He called the fence bill “an important step in our nation’s efforts to secure our borders.” Mexican officials have openly criticized the fence. Outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox, who has spent much of his six years in office lobbying for a new guest worker program and a chance at citizenship for the millions of Mexicans working illegally in the US, calls the fence “shameful” and compares it to the Berlin Wall. The bill known as the Secure Fence Act of 2006 gives the secretary of Homeland Security 18 months to get "operational control over US international land and maritime borders" by improving surveillance through personnel and technology as well as "physical infrastructure enhancements to prevent unlawful border entry and facilitate border access by US Customs and Border Protection." The measure provides for at least two layers of reinforced fencing and the installation of additional barriers through 700 miles of portions of California, Texas, and Arizona. The legislation also demands the secretary report to appropriate committees in Congress on its progress and "the necessity, feasibility and economic impact" of the construction. It is estimated that about half the 700 miles will actually be fence, and that the project will cost roughly $2.2 billion, or about $3.2 million per mile.
FOJ Note: What took so long? America’s borders should have received immediate attention and scrutiny relative to national security concerns on September 12, 2001. There are now between 10 and 20 million illegal immigrants inside the US, with an additional million swelling into the country each year. Considering that America aborts over a million of its babies each year, it shouldn’t take many years for our country to be taken over demographically, let alone being wide open to unimaginable terrorist intrigue.
Counter Terrorism Expert: Prepare for War
Oct. 26….(YNET) The coming months will present Israel with strategic threats from three different directions, Dr. Boaz Ganor, founder of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism told Ynetnews. The first threat, stemming from the Shiite alliance of Iran and Hizbullah, will result in "terrible deterioration" on Israel's northern border, according to Ganor. "The year 2007 is going to be a critical year, as the international arena will do its utmost to narrow down the nuclear capabilities of Iran. It could be done by using more affirmative sanctions, or even a military campaign," Ganor said. "And the ramification of such an attempt, even if it's only sanctions, will cause a terrible deterioration of the situation on the northern border, where Iran will use its proxy Hizbullah to retaliate against Israel, and make clear that Israel has to pay for any activities against Iran," Ganor added. Turning to the Palestinian arena, Ganor said that "the Palestinians are now at the stage of shaping their self-identities," a process he described as ultimately "positive." They are torn between "terrorism and violence against Israel, definitely the concept used by Yasser Arafat under the Oslo accords," as well as today's "Islamic radical terrorist organizations," and the "alternative option, which is actually being represented by (PA President Mahmoud Abbas) Abu Mazen," based on the idea that "terrorism and violence will never fulfill the Palestinian national interest." "The problem is that this is not a smooth process. It involves battles within the Palestinian arena. And I think in the coming months this may spill over into Israel," Ganor said. Ganor then pointed out the "third process, which I have to admit that many Israelis, including decision makers and security services in Israel underestimate, is the threat of global jihadists against Israel," posed by al-Qaeda and its affiliates. "In my view, in the coming months, global jihadists will try to launch what we call a major attack against Israel. Zawahiri (deputy leader of al-Qaeda) has announced that. I tend to believe him. The activities of al-Qaeda and global jihadist movements are surrounding Israel, from Sinai, Amman, Jordan, some involvement in Lebanon, and ongoing and growing involvement in Gaza Strip. And it's only a matter of time before they infiltrate Israel soon. In a document made available to Ynetnews by Professor Moshe Sharon, an expert on Islamic history at the Hebrew University, Sharon declared that the next war Israel would have to fight was almost here. "Today it is clear to everyone who is prepared to confront unadorned reality, and they are the majority of people in Israeli society with the wish to live, that we have to take advantage of the short period of time left to us to prepare the army for the inevitable next war. It is already on the way," Sharon wrote. He added: "Hizbullah is the immediate enemy. No one will disarm it because it has no intention of disarming and there is no one to coerce it to do so. The UN is collaborating with Hizbullah and none of its member nations has any interest in dealing with it." "The Shiite of Hizbullah has taken control of Lebanon with the generous help of Iran and Syria and it will not relinquish it even if this means bringing about its total destruction. Lebanon will gradually be emptied of its remaining Christian population and zealous Islam will have achieved an important objective: One of the only two non-Muslim countries in the Middle East will just disappear," Sharon said. "Islam came into being as a fighting religion. Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, imposed his authority, first and foremost, by means of his military strength. He understood that even when speaking in the name of Allah, this must be accompanied by tens of thousands of fighters with drawn swords," the professor added. "The Muslims consider the State of Israel to be an advance position of the "House of War" established on Islamic territory conquered from Islam. Israel, therefore, must disappear. All paths to that end are legitimate in Islam," Sharon said.
US State Department Honors Islam In Month Of Most Recent Highest Death Toll Of American Soldiers In Iraq
Oct. 26….(Bill Wilson/KIN) While Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq are killing US soldiers and Muslims in Israel are killing Israelis and Muslims in Europe are killing Europeans and Muslims in Iran are saying the United States and Israel must be destroyed, is it an ironic twist that in the ornate halls of the United States Department of State Muslims are being honored as a peaceful religion? Featured last week on the front page of the State Department’s website were the remarks of Karen Hughes, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, saying “Islam is a part of America and as a government official I am honored to represent it.” Hughes, dressed in traditional Islamic garb, attended a ceremony marking the end of Ramadan. Muslims fast during Ramadan and break the fast with what they call Iftar dinners. Hughes continued, “Many of our government agencies have hosted Iftar dinners. The President celebrated an Iftar at the White House and I had the honor of meeting accomplished Muslim women and men from all over the world at our own Department of State Iftar. American Embassies throughout the world also opened their doors to welcome Muslims and to publicly celebrate the holy month of Ramadan together.” President Bush issued a statement from the White House, marking the end of Ramadan. He said in part, “Islam is a great faith that has transcended racial and ethnic divisions and brought hope and comfort to many people.” Neither the President nor the State Department mentioned that during Ramadan, more American soldiers were killed by the people of the great faith of Islam than at any previous time. The President did not bother to challenge these leaders of peace to stop the violence and terrorism. The very act of celebrating this death cult religion only rewards its violent leaders for the evil brought onto the world since Mohammed began killing Jews and Christians after his so-called “holy vision.” The Koran says in 9:30, “The last hour will not come before the Muslims fight the Jews and the Muslims kill them, so that Jews will hide behind stones and trees and the Stone and the tree will say, O Muslim, O servant of God! There is a Jew behind me; come and kill him.” And the Koran says in 5:51, “O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends.” Jesus Christ said in Matthew 5:44, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” And Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” There is a fine line between loving, blessing and praying for your enemy, and approving of your enemy’s intent to destroy you.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin Warns Israel Against Action Against Iran
Oct. 26….(DEBKA) In a televised phone-in Wednesday, Oct. 25, Putin offered the view that the sex scandal surrounding President Katzav and the corruption charges against PM Olmert were provoked by “Israel’s actions in the Lebanon.” He added: “Many see the events as defeat that immediately triggered attacks against the president, the prime minister and the chief of staff.” Putin’s words are seen as a gratuitous and unprecedented affront to Israeli leaders and a breach of normal courtesies between governments. During a joint Kremlin appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert two weeks ago, the Russian president was caught on microphone coarsely commenting: “Say hello to your president, he really surprised us.” Later he claimed he thought the microphones had been switched off. But reporters quoted him as adding a further off-color comment: "We did not know he knew how to deal with 10 women.” The Russian president’s follow-up remarks Wednesday, Oct. 25, suggest his earlier comments were meant to be heard. They also reflect negative fallout from the Putin-Olmert talks in Moscow. DEBKAfile’s Moscow sources report that the Russian president felt Olmert had misrepresented the outcome of their Kremlin talks when he informed his cabinet that they had reached complete understanding on the Iranian nuclear question and agreement to coordinate security aspects. But Putin became angry when the Israeli prime minister contradicted a statement by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov to the Kuwaiti news agency on Oct. 20. Referring to the Iranian nuclear issue, Lavrov said Russia would oppose any attempts to penalize Iran through the UN Security Council or take the nuclear program as a pretext to topple the Iranian regime.
Iraq’s Al Maliki Disavows US Timetable Report
Oct. 25….(AP) US and Iraqi forces on Wednesday raided Sadr City, the stronghold of the feared Shiite militia led by radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, but Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki disavowed the operation, saying he had not been consulted and insisting "that it will not be repeated." The defiant al-Maliki also slammed the top US military and diplomatic representatives in Iraq for saying Iraq needed to set a timetable to curb violence ravaging the country. "I affirm that this government represents the will of the people and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it," al-Maliki said at a news conference. US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said Tuesday that al-Maliki had agreed to the plan, announced at a rare joint appearance with Gen. George Casey, the top US commander in Iraq, who said he would not hesitate to ask for more troops if he felt they were necessary. At least four people were killed and 18 injured in the overnight fighting in the overwhelmingly Shiite eastern district known as Sadr City, according to Col. Khazim Abbas, a local police commander, and Qassim al-Suwaidi, director of the area's Imam Ali Hospital. The US military said Iraqi army special forces, backed up by US advisers, carried out a raid to capture a "top illegal armed group commander directing widespread death squad activities throughout eastern Baghdad," the military said in a statement. Al-Maliki, who is commander in chief of Iraq's army, heatedly denied he knew anything about the raid: "We will ask for clarification about what has happened in Sadr City. We will review this issue with the multinational forces so that it will not be repeated. The Iraqi government should be aware and part of any military operation. Coordination is needed between Iraqi government and multinational forces." Up to now, US and Iraqi forces have largely avoided the densely populated Sadr City slum, a grid of rutted streets and tumble-down housing that is home to 2.5 million Shiites and under the control of al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. Reining in the Mahdi Army and militias like it is one of the thorniest problems facing al-Maliki because his fragile Shiite-dominated government derives much of its power from al-Sadr's party and a second political power with a powerful militia, the Supreme Council for the Revolution in Iraq, or SCIRI. In his comments, Al-Maliki also appealed to neighboring states to cease meddling in Iraq's domestic affairs, an apparent reference to Iran and Syria, which are accused by the US and Iraqi officials of aiding Sunni and Shiite armed groups. He blamed foreign fighters in groups such as al-Qaida in Iraq and Saddam Hussein's loyalists for driving violence that takes the lives of around 40 Iraqis every day, and possibly many more. At Tuesday's news conference, Ambassador Khalilzad said Iraqi leaders had agreed to set a timeline for achieving key political and security goals, including reining in such groups. Al-Maliki said he believed the US talk of timelines was driven by the upcoming US midterm election. The timeline plan outlined by Khalilzad Tuesday was believed to have grown out of recent Washington meetings at which the Bush administration sought to reshape its Iraq policy amid mounting US deaths and declining domestic support for the 44-month-old war.
FOJ Note: Something is definitely amiss in Iraq. The Iraqi Prime Minister is refusing to combat a known Iranian backed-force seeking to turn Iraq into a Shiite Republic, and he disavows any agreement with his US compatriots about a plan for Iraq to begin defending itself. President Bush has recently stated that the war in Iraq is a part of the war-on-terror, and that the terrorists must be defeated there, or else we would end up facing them here. So, why all the hullabaloo over a timetable, and why is the Mahdi Army allowed to operate?
Russia Playing Russian Roulette in Tehran
(Russia more concerned about EU expansion, US "subversion" than Iranian nukes)
Oct. 25….(YNET) Israeli Prime Minister Olmert did not bring back good news from Moscow on the nuclear front, which was the main reason for the trip. President Putin promised him that Russia is indeed concerned about the possibility of Iran arming itself with nuclear weapons and will continue to act in a bid to prevent this from taking place, but the demand to "do something Iran will be scared of" met a chilly response at the Kremlin. This should not come as a surprise; Russia has limited interest in maintaining good ties with Israel, because of the influences attributed to it on US decisions-makers and public opinion. The Russians also know that alienation to Israel will turn them into an irrelevant player in the Middle Eastern theater. However, these considerations are not enough to cause Moscow, which views itself as a superpower, to change its global policy or even its Middle Eastern policy. What pleas by President Bush and EU leaders could not do also cannot be achieved by the Israeli PM's persuasion efforts. The warm reception Olemrt received at the Kremlin and the personal connection he created with Putin should not be taken lightly. This does not hurt, and may even prove useful in intensifying the curbs on the transfer of Russian-made arms to Hizbullah and Hamas. Yet on the issue of the Iranian nukes, it was clear to Olmert and his entourage that Russia has does not intend to change its policy. Russia will continue to assist Iran in building the Busher reactor and to develop nuclear technology; it will also continue to thwart any initiative for biting sanctions that will cause Teheran to think twice whether it is worthwhile for it to continue with its uranium-enrichment efforts. The issue of striking Iranian nuclear sites cannot even be discussed with the Russians. The question is: Why? What leads Russia to position itself on Iran's side and confront the West, while its leaders declared more than once they do not wish to see another country going nuclear on their border? The standard Russian answer to this question is long and complicated, and the gist of it is as follows: If we do not stand by Iran and don't be close partners to its nuclear program, this will be done by India, Pakistan, and North Korea, who are hungry for cheap oil. These countries will not monitor the Iranians and won't use their influence in Teheran like we do in order to moderate its regime. This answer is baseless, and only because of the fact that Iran has already received from Pakistan the critical know-how it needed for uranium enrichment while the Russians were building the Busher reactor. The Russians are well aware of this, but they continue to use the same argument, and even expand it to a proposal to build additional reactors for Iran that would allow it to acquire plutonium as well. Those are odd considerations, and an even odder policy on the part of a superpower that insists on claiming that it is concerned by the possibility that her neighbor, with its radical leadership, would possess nuclear capabilities.
· Moscow is not really concerned by an Iranian bomb. Officials in Teheran know that nearby Russia has enough nuclear weapons and missiles that can wipe out the whole of Iran, if it only dares make threats, while Iran is able to cause Russia only limited damage. In addition, Russia learned to live with a nuclear threat during dozens of years of Cold War, and it coexists comfortably with additional third-world nuclear nations: China, North Korea, India, and Pakistan. Another country with limited nuclear capability, as Iran will become, does not change the level of security threat on Russia according to the same school of thought. What's more, Russia has good ties of all kinds with Iran, and the diplomatic assistance currently granted by the Kremlin minimizes even more the probability of a threat.
· "The Iranians only threaten Israel and the Americans in the Persian Gulf, not us," one Russian expert explains. And this is in fact the whole story. Russia is not overly concerned by Iran's nuke program and believes Iranian nukes is a only problem for Israel and the US, and to a lesser extent for European countries. (FOJ Note - Therefore, Russia has a vested interest in Iran maintaining its nuclear ploy, as its ultimate goal is the elimination of US power and influence in the Middle East! Russia's partial cooperation with Western efforts to bring about an end to uranium enrichment in Iran matches perfectly the level of threat Russia feels on the part of a nuclear Teheran, and also stems from an additional consideration: The hope of benefiting from the proposed compromise solution to the crisis, according to which Iran will enrich uranium on Russian soil. Put simply, Russia is holding both hands of the stick and is trying to take advantage of all possibilities. European officials believe that the Russian policy can be changed, and that this is only a matter of a price tag.
· Russia is angry in the face of the NATO and EU expansion eastward to countries that in the past were Soviet allies and satellite states. For Russia this constitutes a strategic threat 10 times more severe than Iran's nuclearization. In addition, Russia is upset by the fact that Washington is assisting "hostile" parties and politicians to gain power in countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union and are perceived by Moscow as being in its "backyard," Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, and more. American intervention is those countries is perceived in Moscow as a direct attempt to undermine it and its influence. There are also economic interests, such as the oil pipeline from the Caspian Sea to Europe, which the US is attempting to place through areas and countries that do not belong to Russia; Moscow wants this piece of the pie for itself. All this shows that if the West seeks Russian assistance on the Iranian issue, it will have to recognize Moscow as a superpower with interests and areas of influence, no longer a poor relative in the dignified group of the eight industrial nations. Therefore, we can assume that in the future, Russia will continue to show consistent support for Iran and its nuclear program.
President Bush is “Bible Prophecy Naïve” About A Few Things
Oct. 24….(FOJ Special News Commentary) I sat and listened intently this past weekend to the Fox News with Bill O’Reilly’s interview with President Bush. It was a rare occasion for me to really assess the President’s perspective on some the major issues of our day relative to America’s place in Bible Prophecy. America’s survival, at least in so far as it presently exists, is probably at stake in the war-on-terror. Bible prophecy seems to further indicate that America will lose its prominent position as the world’s lone superpower as the Last Days before Christ’s return unwinds. Bible Prophecy also conveys that Russia and China more than likely will play a significant role in end-time geo-political events, even as the Antichrist emerges to solidify his control on the world stage, especially through the Middle East Peace Process. With these things in mind, it was quite interesting to hear the Presidents responses to some of Mr. O’Reilly’s questions.
Mr. O'Reilly asked the President about Iran’s involvement in Iraq. “Military analysts say Iran is behind the insurgency in Iraq to a large extent and that US forces are now fighting an insurgency fueled by Iran. Is that true?
President Bush responded saying; “I think the enemy is more complex than that. We are concerned about some Iranian involvement, particularly in the delivery of certain kind of weapons, but the violence in Iraq is some sectarianism, some criminal activity and some Al Qaeda. And we're dealing with all three. Should we see more Iranian involvement, we'll adjust our tactics to meet that threat.
President Bush continued to say that ultimately, success in Iraq is going to depend upon the Iraqi people's willingness to do the hard work. FOJ asserted that position 4 years ago before America entered into Iraq. However, FOJ also stated that democracy would not likely take root in Iraq without Christian missionary efforts to foster the seeds of liberty. Democracy is anathema to Islamic countries! In fact, democracy in a Muslim Iraq can only bring about an Islamic theocracy, and that is directly playing into Iran’s plans.
Next, Mr. O’Reilly asked our President about Russia and China specifically, “Why doesn't Russia, France, China see it your way? If they would help the United States, particularly on the issues with Iran, and if they would help inside Iraq we would win this thing very quickly. Yet France, Russia and China do not help here.” Why not?
President Bush responded that he thinks they will help with Iran, and eventually prevent the Iranians from ending up with a nuclear weapon. The President says we need to give the Russians more credit than we are. The President said he had a good talk with Vladimir Putin the other day about the Iranian issue and that Putin knows full well that Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. “Those weapons can fly west or they can fly north, and so Putin is fully aware of the threat of a nuclear Iran.”
Mr. O'Reilly then asked: “So why is Russia selling them all kinds of weaponry? They are helping to kill our people in Iraq. They are sending the weapons over to Iran and Syria, who in turn are sending bombs over to Iraq. And Putin is arming them. Why is Putin arming them?”
The President responded by saying; “Well, I don't think Putin is arming Iran to the point where they are using a lot of Russian weapons in the Iraq theater. There were a lot of Russian weapons in Iraq before we even got there. And of course that would concern me if there is a lot of evidence that he's doing that. I'm concerned however, that Putin understands the strategic importance of making sure Iran doesn't have a nuclear weapon. Let me say this: To the extent that we find anybody helping the enemy inside of Iraq we bring our concerns forward.
As the O’Reilly interview with President Bush continued, the subject of North Korean nuclear ambitions came up. The responses by the President regarding China’s role in the Korean theatre were most revealing. President Bush stated that he thought it is a much more effective policy to have China using her leverage on North Korea, than to engage North Korea directly in talks. The President said that the six nation talks, using individual leverage on North Korea, is the only hope. “I do know that the Chinese are deeply concerned about North Korea having a nuclear weapon. I know they're concerned about the statement that came out of Japan today that said Japan is now rethinking its position on nuclear weapons.” O’Reilly responded to the President saying; “Japan and China historically hate each other. It looks like in Iran and North Korea, both Russia and China want the USA to be weakened. What do you say about that?”
President Bush responded thusly: I don't think so. I strongly disagree with that. I think you're wrong on that. And as a matter of fact, I'm pretty confident you're wrong. China and the United States share the same objective and they understand the stakes of North Korea having a nuclear weapon. They are worried about nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula. They are deeply concerned about countries in the neighborhood deciding to arm up in order to protect themselves against North Korea. They understand the consequences of an arms race in the Far East. China has pledged to inspect shipments to and from North Korea.
O’Reilly then asked the President: Are you confident that China is going to help you, by vigorously ramping up inspections? The President said “Yes, I am.”
§ The President is naïve about China and its intentions in the Far East. China is busying itself with its agenda of becoming the superpower of the East. Bible Prophecy indicates that in the Last Days during the Great Tribulation era, that China, along with a network of kind in the Far East will invade the Middle East to counter the stratagems of the Western Antichrist, probably timed in conjunction with the great Russian-led invasion against Israel.
President Bush may be a good Christian man, and he may truly believe in the strategies he is using to help guide America in its war-on-terror, but he is naïve about what Bible Prophecy has to convey about the gathering forces of darkness in our increasingly evil and ungodly world.
Spain: 'RoadMap' not Working, Need European ME Plan
Oct. 24….(Jerusalem Post) One of Europe's foremost voices on the Middle East said Tuesday that the "road map" for peace between Israel and the Palestinians is doomed, and that a major new initiative is needed to resolve a conflict that has seemed to stretch on without end. Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told a parliamentary panel that Europe has a historic opportunity to take the lead in pushing for new talks, and hinted that it was too late to revive the American-backed blueprint for peace known as the "road map." That initiative, (Bush Doctrine) launched in June 2003, envisioned a Palestinian state alongside Israel but stalled almost from the outset because neither side met their initial commitments. "It is necessary that this diplomatic initiative be led by the European Union, not with small, gradual steps but with a major initiative that has great scope," said Moratinos, a former EU envoy to the Middle East considered to have excellent contacts throughout the region.
FOJ Note: As Bible prophecy portends and as FOJ has postulated for years, Europe is emerging to the forefront in the Middle East peace process. FOJ has long proposed that just a scenario would eventually occur as a prerequisite to present the stage for the sudden ascension of the Antichrist.
Iraq Agrees to Develop Security Timeline
Oct. 24….(AP) US officials said today that Iraqi leaders have agreed to develop a timeline by the end of the year for progress in stabilizing Iraq, and for Iraqi forces to finally be able to take full control of security in the country in the next 12 to 18 months with "some level" of American support. Even as October marked the deadliest month for US forces in Iraq this year, with 89 American service-members killed in combat so far, the top US commander in Iraq said he felt the United States should continue to focus on drawing down American forces in the country. Regardless, General George Casey said he would not hesitate to ask for more troops if he felt they were necessary. He appeared at a rare joint news conference with US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad in the heavily fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. "We are about 75 percent of the way through a three-step process in building those (Iraqi) forces. It is going to take another 12 to 18 months or so till I believe the Iraqi security forces are completely capable of taking over responsibility for their own security that's still coupled with some level of support from us," Casey said. With violence in Iraq at staggering levels, the United States is battling on both the military and political fronts to tame growing chaos in regions where Sunni insurgent violence now is compounded by sectarian killing. Khalilzad said the Iraqi government had agreed by the end of the year to develop a timeline for progress. At the same time, he declared, the United States needed to redouble its efforts to succeed in Iraq. General Casey said the Iraqi army lost 300 men during the fasting month of Ramadan. Casey and Khalilzad castigated Iran and Syria, Iraq's neighbors east and west, for trying to undermine the American effort to stabilize the country, with Casey saying both countries had been "decidedly unhelpful." Khalilzad said radical anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr had agreed through Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to US demands that the government develop a timeline that would include the eradication of militias. Al-Sadr controls the Mahdi Army, the country's most feared band of armed men, largely drawn from the downtrodden, poor and unemployed in Baghdad's Sadr City, a Shiite slum enclave. The US ambassador said the United States was engaging with insurgent leaders, trying to persuade them to lay down their weapons and join the political process. He also announced the Americans had sought and received agreement from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, all largely Sunni Muslim countries, to intercede with the insurgency.
Russia’s Lavrov: We Will Defend Syria Against Sanctions
Oct. 24….(AFP) Syria has done nothing to deserve international sanctions as it has cooperated with a UN probe into the killing of Lebanon’s former premier Rafiq Hariri, Russia’s foreign minister said in an interview published today. “Frankly, I do not see what Syria might have done to deserve facing sanctions,” Sergei Lavrov told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat. “We believe that Syria is actively cooperating with the UN investigation in the (February 2004) assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafiq Hariri. International investigators visit Syria frequently, meet Syrian officials and present their reports to the UN Security Council,” he said. “I have not heard any accusation of default against Syria,” in this regard, he told the London-based Arabic daily. US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has said the United States was hoping to convince its allies to back new sanctions against Syria in response to its purported role in destabilising Lebanon and Iraq and supporting the radical Palestinian movement Hamas. Lavrov also went on to praise Syria for avoiding turning the July war between Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Israel into a regional conflict. “Thank God that war did not turn into an all-out regional war. That did not happen because the Syrian leadership took a very responsible stand and avoided all that could have dragged Syria into the furnace of the military conflict,” the minister said.
FOJ Note: Once again, the great Russian Gog leadership is protecting and guarding one of its main clients. (Ezekiel 38:7 Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.) Russia has armed Syria to the teeth, and is using its capacity as a UN Security Council member to stymie any sanctions against Syria and Iran.
Iran Warns Muslims About Supposed US, Israeli "Plots"
Oct. 24….(Reuters) Iran's supreme leader on Tuesday urged Arab and Muslim nations to be vigilant and stay united to stave off what he described as the "treacherous plots" of the United States and Israel.
"Today, what is considered a success for the American administration and the Israeli regime is a loss to all Islamic nations," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told worshippers in a televised speech marking the start of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday. The Chief cleric of Iran accused the United States of destabilizing Iraq and condemned Washington for supporting Israel in its occupation of Palestinian territories and the war in Lebanon. The Islamic Republic has not recognized Israel's right to exist since the 1979 revolution that toppled the Shah. “All the nations of Islam should be vigilant. Our nation, the Lebanese, Palestinian and Iraqi nations, the nations in the region, and other Muslim nations should be vigilant," Khamenei said, adding that they should all "retain their national unity". (a reference to the possible division of Iraq into 3 states) "They should be cautious not to make a move which is in line with the fulfillment of the new hostile treacherous plots of the Americans and the Zionism," he said. The United States has accused Iran of backing insurgents in Iraq and of sponsoring terrorism, including the Palestinian group Hamas and Lebanon's Shi'ite Muslim Hezbollah group, both of which the Washington brands terrorist.
Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia: Death and Danger in the Horn of Africa
(Persecution of Christians intensifies as Muslims Inflame regional tensions)
Oct. 24….(ASSIST News) Tensions are rising across the Horn of Africa, there is death and danger for anyone that is a Christian. Somali Islamists have declared jihad against Ethiopia. Christians are being attacked and murdered by Muslims in Ethiopia. Eritrea, which is accused of arming the Somali Islamists, is exploiting an opportunity and has breached the 2000 cease-fire agreement by moving troops into the Eritrea-Ethiopia border buffer zone. Two Protestant Christians were recently tortured to death in Eritrea. The savagery of persecution appears to be escalating in proportion to regional tensions, and it could be about to get much worse. Political and religious tensions have been rising throughout the Horn of Africa ever since Islamists captured Mogadishu, Somalia, in June. The situation has the potential not only to erupt in regional conflict, but to inflame Islamic zeal, stoke traditional animosities, agitate belligerents and seriously impact and escalate the already perilous situation faced by Christians across the Horn of Africa. On Monday 16 October, Eritrea moved 1,500 troops and 14 tanks into a security buffer zone established in 2000 after the 2-year border war with Ethiopia. While Ethiopia described this as a "minor provocation" the UN regards it as "a major breach" of the cease-fire agreement reached in 2000. Stratfor Intelligence reported that Eritrea is taking advantage of the standoff between the SICC and the Ethiopia-backed transitional federal government to take a swipe at its longtime enemy." Associated Press writer Les Neuhaus writes, "Relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea have been strained since the peace pact ended their war six years ago, with tensions on the rise because of unrest in Somalia, with Eritrea and Ethiopia supporting opposing factions. "Eritrea's move [into the buffer zone] may be part of a regional strategy to place military pressure on Ethiopia. The United Nations reported earlier this year that Eritrea has sent weapons to a radical Islamic group that has been increasing its power in Somalia and that opposes Ethiopia's moves to prop up Somalia's internationally backed government. "By moving troops closer to the border, Eritrea could be aiming to keep Ethiopian troops tied up there so that they cannot move into Somalia. Ethiopia would presumably want to avoid trouble on two fronts, but Eritrea's action raised the threat of renewed war between the feuding neighbors." Meanwhile on another front tensions are escalating between Ethiopia and Somalia, inflaming Islamic zeal across the region. Islamists, other Muslims, and anti-Western elements who resent the loss of Southern Sudan, are keen to support Somalia, any Muslims, or any belligerents for that matter, against any Christian and any West-allied force. Somali Islamists continue to actively recruit youths for jihad against Ethiopia.
Jijga, the capital of Ethiopia's Somali Ogaden region, is about 720 kilometres due east of the capital Addis Ababa, towards the Somalia border. In May, Muslim youths in Jijiga stoned the homes and businesses of Christians after taking offence at what they claimed was the desecration of the Koran. Henno is in southern Ethiopia, 404 kilometres South of Addis Ababa, towards the Kenyan border. According to International Christian Concern (ICC), Islamic leaders, angry about the conversion of two prominent Muslims in 2005, have reportedly been urging Muslims in the area to kill full-time Christian evangelists. Within a matter of two days, they [armed 'Muslim fundamentalists'] had burned over 350 homes belonging to Christians, killed 31 Christians, and taken dozens as hostages, according to local church leaders. The humanitarian relief group Samaritan's Purse has provided $50,000 in emergency food aid to the displaced Christians." Islamic irredentism is threatening Ethiopia, and Eritrea knows an opportunity when it presents. As the tensions rise, Christians throughout the Horn of Africa are likely to face increased hostility from zealous Muslims and belligerents such as agitated Eritrean security police. If war breaks out between Somali irredentist Islamists and Ethiopia, and between Eritrea and Ethiopia, the situation for Christians throughout the region will be diabolical
Putin Tells Olmert: Using Force Against Iran Could end in Disaster
Oct. 23….(Ha Aretz) Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced any military operation against Iran in a meeting last week with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Putin told Olmert in the Moscow meeting that foiling Iran's nuclear program could end in disaster for the world. Russian sources attached great importance to the Russian president's first mention of a military option in talks with an Israeli leader. Olmert also discussed the Iranian nuclear program with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, in the first meeting in eleven years between an Israeli premier and a Russian defense minister. During his meeting with Putin, Olmert didn't talk about a military operation, but emphasized that responsibility for handling Tehran lies also with Russia, not only the US. The Russian president recounted that in past talks with US President George W. Bush and his aides, he had discussed how to prevent Iranian acquisition of nuclear arms. In those discussions, Putin asked if the US could conduct a military operation and had a clear plan. He said the Americans didn't answer. Putin's comments can be interpreted in two ways. It is either possible that the Americans evaded the question, or that they do not have effective military capability or an operational plan to bring to a substantial setback to the Iranian nuclear program. In any case, the Putin administration believes that only negotiations will prevent or at least delay Iranian nuclear ambitions. This is why military action against Tehran is not an option for Russia. Olmert asked Putin to join an American-European move to impose severe sanctions on Iran, which he referred to in a press briefing saying, "The Iranians need to be afraid that what they don't want to happen will actually happen to them."
Olmert Calls for International Boycott of Ahmadinejad
Oct. 23….(Jerusalem Post) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appealed to the international community on Monday to ostracize Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, saying the world must not "bury its head in the sand" while he calls for Israel's destruction. "It is inconceivable that ... a member of the United Nations continues to be received throughout the world as a legitimate leader while he stands up and says that another UN member state should be wiped off the map," Olmert told a business conference in Tel Aviv. "We shall never repeat the mistakes of 60 years ago of burying our heads in the sand, ignoring what was being heard then when it was still possible to save lives," he added, in an allusion to the Nazis who killed 6 million Jews in Europe. Israel considers Iran to be the greatest threat to its survival, and rejects Teheran's claim that its nuclear program is peaceful. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the Jewish state's destruction, and Iran already has missiles capable of carrying payloads to Israel. In Israel's sharpest warning yet, Olmert warned last week that Teheran would have "a price to pay" if it does not back down from its atomic ambitions. Olmert did not specifically threaten to cripple Iran's nuclear program in a military strike, as it did 25 years ago in Iraq when it bombed an unfinished nuclear reactor there. But he has been saying the Iranians "have to be afraid" of the consequences of their intransigence. On Friday, at a Teheran rally for Al-Quds Day, held on the last Friday of Ramadan to assert Islamic claims to Jerusalem, Ahmadinejad said Israel no longer had any reason to exist and would soon disappear. "This regime, thanks to God, has lost the reason for its existence," Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands. "Efforts to stabilize this fake [Israeli] regime, by the grace of God, have completely failed... You should believe that this regime is disappearing," he said.
Foreign-Based Syrian, Iranian, Lebanese and Hizballah Fighters Pour into Gaza to Aid Hamas
Oct. 23….(DEBKA) Senior IDF officers told DEBKAfile that the foreign fighters are slipping into Gaza through large gaps in the Gazan-Egyptian border. Among the arrivals are scores of bomb experts and commando combat instructors. They are coming to augment and upgrade Hamas’ “Rapid Deployment” unit and the Popular Resistance Committees terrorist coalition. Mingled among them are al Qaeda operatives from Sinai. The influx aims to:
1. Assure Hamas of a quick victory over Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority security services. The final Hamas-Fatah confrontation is planned to go ahead in both territories straight after the Eid festival Wednesday, Oct.25 and is expected to expand into a full-blown civil war.
2. Position Hizballah-style ambush squads armed with missiles for waylaying Israeli ground units, in the event a large-scale ground offensive is launched to stem Palestinian attacks and the smuggling of upgraded weaponry through the Gaza Strip tunnels.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add: Because of the vacillations of the Olmert government, the IDF may have missed the boat for an offensive of this kind being surgical enough to avoid large-scale casualties. This week’s cabinet meeting Sunday Oct. 22 ended again without operational decisions. The rival Palestinian factions are in the midst of a feverish arms-and-recruitment race. In Gaza, Hamas backed by the PRC, the Popular Front and al Qaeda followers has raised an estimated 15,000 recruits. The Iran-backed Jihad Islami is keeping its options open to see which side comes out on top. Hamas’ first ever-enlistment campaign on the West Bank, the traditional Fatah stronghold, has yielded several hundred recruits in its first stage. Several thousand joiners, many of them defectors from Abbas’ Presidential Force 17 and other Fatah frameworks, are to be fielded in a new “Independent Intervention Force.” Hamas scouts are handing out grants of thousands of dollars to defectors.
Saudis & Hamas Leader Khaled Meshaal Discuss Palestinian Civil War
Oct. 23….(DEBKA) The Hamas politburo chief traveled from Damascus disguised as a pilgrim. Saudi rulers offered him and his movement generous terms for breaking away from the Damascus-Tehran bloc, freeing the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit and signing a cooperation pact with Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas. In a back-up move, the Saudis last week invited to Mecca the heads of the Syrian opposition in exile: former Syrian vice president Khalim Haddam, today a sworn foe of Syrian president Bashar Asad, the leader of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood Sader e-Din Ali Bayanouni and Bashar’s uncle, Rifat Assad, who aspires to oust his nephew and take his place. This act is seen as Riyadh’s warning to Assad of dire consequences, including punitive financial measures, if he tries to disrupt this Palestinian reconciliation move. To demonstrate its importance to the oil kingdom, King Abdullah granted Meshaal a private audience. DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources describe this as a direct Saudi challenge to Iran and its schemes, in contrast to the inertia displayed by the Egyptian, Jordanian and Israeli governments. The Hamas politburo chief is not generally expected to reject the Saudi proposition out of hand, certainly not the handsome remuneration on offer, but neither is Hamas inclined to turn its back on Syria and Iran, its principal suppliers of weapons and fighters. On a single day, Sunday, Oct. 22, Fatah and Hamas staged 26 reciprocal assassination attempts of each other’s commanders in a further escalation of tension. Fatah was horrified to see Hamas parading 500 new recruits in the West Bank town of Qalqilya, a Fatah stronghold. DEBKAfile’s military sources comment that if Hamas was capable of lining up 500 armed recruits in a small Palestinian town on the West Bank which is surrounded on three sides by Israel’s defense barrier, it betokens a much larger Hamas militia numbering thousands ready to go, a nasty surprise for both Abu Mazen and Israel.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 16 THROUGH OCTOBER 22
Imagine If There Was A Religion Dedicated to Your Destruction
Oct. 20….(FOJ) Imagine if there was a religion that called for the total annihilation of Cyprus or Haiti. How would it make you feel if you lived in either Cyprus or Haiti? You might wonder why on earth a religion existed that called for your death. Yet, this is exactly the situation that Israel lives under. Now, try to imagine who would inspire such a religion of hate and contempt. The Bible gives a clear cut answer to why this insane evil perpetuates so much of our world, and gives root to Anti-Semitism. The force behind the calls for the destruction of Israel and the complete surrender of Jerusalem is none other than the Great Red Dragon that is depicted in The Revelation.
(Revelation 12:9-13 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman [Israel] which brought forth the man child.) Satan is seeking the destruction of the nation of Israel, and fundamentalist Islam is just one of the tools at his disposal toward that attempt.
Ahmadinejad: Israel is “the Greatest Insult to Human Dignity”
(Israel will soon disappear)
Oct. 20….(DEBKA) In another one of his outrageous speeches delivered Friday to a pro-Palestinian rally marking the Islami Republic’s “al Qods Day” (Jerusalem Liberation Day), Ahmadinejad said “the world knows the US and Britain are the enemies of the Iranian nation.” He warned European nations not to harm Iran, saying that if anger in the region boiled over, Europe would get hurt because of its support for Israel. “Europe must distance itself from Israel at once. That is Iran’s ultimatum. “He went on to brand the UN Security Council and its decisions “illegitimate.” His words amounted to an Iranian threat of harm to the European UN forces deployed in Lebanon unless they left forthwith. His harsh words followed two events: one, the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s statement in Moscow this week after he met with Russian leaders: “They need to fear that something that they do not want to happen will happen. In no case, Olmert stressed, “will we reconcile with nuclear arms in Iranian hands. There is no margin for error here.” The other event was the arrival in the Persian Gulf of the giant US carrier Iwo Jima with its Expeditionary Strike Group to join the American naval, air and marine might piling up opposite Iran’s shores. Next week too, the Security Council convenes to discussion a form of sanctions against Iran for refusing to desist from enriching uranium.
Former President Carter Blames George W. Bush for Everything
Failed Carter Plan-Negotiated 1994 Peace Agreement with North Koreans
Oct. 19….(Bill Wilson/KIN) Former President Jimmy Carter is again getting back into the public fray over the North Korean nuclear problem by saying that President George W. Bush has tossed “in the wastebasket” the Carter-negotiated 1994 agreement to halt North Korean nuclear weapons development. It’s surprising that Carter, the mastermind of many of today’s foreign policy problems, would be so bold as to suggest that his failed June 1994 agreement with North Korea, which he negotiated on behalf of the Clinton Administration, could have possibly brought peace. In fact, the Clinton-Carter public relations machine should be ashamed to even suggest it. A word about President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy is appropriate. Carter ran a inept foreign policy that was behind deposing the Shah of Iran, which allowed the current militant and terrorist Ayatollah regimes to establish their foothold, the root cause of terrorism today. Mr. Carter elevated Palestinian terrorist Yassir Arafat to an equal status with Israeli leaders that for the first time rewarded terrorism by negotiatioing with Arafat. Mr. Carter’s failed foreign policy continued with his blind support of the communist Ortega brothers in Nicaragua and his weak kneed actions toward the Soviet Union for its invasion of Afghanistan. Carter “negotiated” a so-called nuclear peace agreement with North Korea that essentially said, “If you agree to stop your nuclear weapons program, we will give you the technology to build two nuclear reactors for peaceful generation of power.” Clinton approved the agreement on October 21, 1994, and then shipped them the nuclear technology without any real means to verify whether the nuclear weapons program was abandoned. Then the North Koreans continued to develop nuclear weapons using the technology from the United States. Today, America is faced with a nuclear crisis because of Presidents Carter and Clinton. But the very sad problem is that a similar process is being repeated with Iran. Russia and China are selling Iran the nuclear technology to be used for so-called “peaceful purposes”, and the United Nations is supposed to verify that Iran is doing what it says. But the UN never verifies anything. The Bush Administration refuses bilateral talks with North Korea because it is well known that everyone is lying. Jeremiah 9:5 says, “And they will deceive every one his neighbor, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.” Thus are these days of world leadership. Only through Jesus Christ will you not be deceived by these times.
Iran's Ahmadinejad: Israel 'Cannot Survive'
Oct. 19….(NEWSMAX) Iran's president, who has called for Israel's destruction, said on Thursday the Jewish state was "illegitimate" and could not survive. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last year that Israel should be "wiped of the map", echoing comments by the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. That remark caused an outcry in the West and he has not since repeated it. But he regularly criticizes Israel, a state which Iran has not recognized since the Islamic revolution in 1979, and Thursday launched a new broadside. "Our nation has previously announced that this regime (Israel) is illegitimate from its foundation. It is fabricated. It has been imposed on the nations of the region and it cannot survive," he said in televised speech at a rally near Tehran. Ahmadinejad was speaking before Qods Day (Jerusalem Day), the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan when Iranians show support for the Palestinians. "The existence of this regime (Israel) is the root of many problems of mankind today," Ahmadinejad said, adding that Israel had been "planted by the Western powers in the heart of the Islamic world".
Right On: The Coming Middle East War
Oct. 19….(Michael Freund/Jerusalem Post) The warning signs are everywhere, yet no one wishes to see them. Israel's foes are gearing up for war, and it's time that we opened our eyes to the danger that confronts us. The conflict may be just weeks or even months away, or perhaps a bit longer. How it will start is anyone's guess, but make no mistake, a major outbreak of hostilities is almost certainly around the corner. For whichever direction one chooses to look, be it north, south or east of us, trouble, major trouble is brewing. In Lebanon, Hizbullah is busy rebuilding its expansive terrorist infrastructure after this summer's fighting with Israel. Under the protective shield of UN troops, the group has been welcoming large shipments of weapons from Iran and Syria, and fortifying its bunkers in advance of the next round of conflict. In a speech delivered last month in Beirut, on September 22, Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah asserted that his organization still has "more than 20,000 rockets" and that it had "recovered all its organizational and military capabilities." Even if we allow for an element of boasting and exaggeration, there are clear signs that Nasrallah is steadily engaged in rebuilding his forces. Indeed, this past Sunday, Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz, head of the IDF intelligence directorate's research department, told the weekly Cabinet meeting that, "There is conclusive and decisive evidence" that Syria is rearming Hizbullah. "The weapons smuggling from Syria into Lebanon," Baidatz said, "is continuing with official Syrian involvement." He added that Damascus has kept its forces on a war footing, with their artillery and missiles deployed in forward battle positions. Along these lines, Syrian President Bashar Assad has made a series of public statements in recent weeks, speaking openly about the possibility of military conflict with Israel and his desire to retake the Golan Heights by force. Assad has regularly said that Damascus was ready for war with the Jewish state. Previously, he insisted that the Golan would be "liberated by Syrian arms," and warned Israel to "seek peace or face the threat of defeat." Turning south toward Gaza, the situation there is likewise disturbing. Palestinian terrorists continue to fire Kassam rockets into the Negev on a daily basis, hitting Israeli towns and communities such as Sderot and Nir Am. Since the start of the year, Hamas is said to have smuggled into Gaza over 20 tons of explosives, anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. According to media reports, Hamas has also assembled an armed military force consisting of 7,500 fighters, which is said to include specialized units such as snipers, missile batteries and anti-tank troops. As Yediot Aharonot military correspondent Alex Fishman recently put it, "The Palestinians are arming themselves to the teeth, building a military force, defensive systems and preparing Hizbullah-style surprises." Nor is Hamas hiding its intentions. In a statement issued on Monday, the group's Izzadin al-Kassam brigades declared that it has the "means and arms necessary to confront the Zionist enemy with full force." "We have finished preparations to teach the Zionist enemy a lesson it will not forget." And then, of course, there is the threat from Teheran to our east, where the Iranian president speaks of wiping Israel off the map even as he continues to pursue his nuclear ambitions. If anyone thinks that Mr. Ahmadinejad is open to compromise, they should take a look at his latest ramblings. Speaking at a mosque in Teheran on Monday, the Iranian leader insisted that he had received a Divine message indicating that his country would prevail. "One day," he said, "I will be asked whether I have been in touch with someone who told me we would win, and I will respond: 'Yes, I have been in touch with God'." As if all this were not enough, there have been persistent reports in recent months about a growing al-Qaida presence in the territories, as the international terrorist group seeks to position itself for launching strikes against the Jewish state. And so, Israel now finds itself surrounded by an arc of hate stretching from Beirut and Damascus in the north, to Teheran in the east, and back to Gaza in the south. Along each chord of this arc, our foes are diligently arming themselves and preparing for battle, both verbally and in practice. It seems safe to assume that these coordinated efforts are no coincidence, and that they are all linked to the seemingly inevitable confrontation that is looming over the region regarding Iran's nuclear program. Just as Iran sought to send a message to Israel and the US this summer by provoking an outbreak of hostilities in Lebanon, so too Teheran now appears determined to lay the groundwork for a much greater, and far more ambitious, flare-up, one that would threaten to consume the entire region. The Iranians presumably view this as their trump card, thinking that it will give them the means of forestalling a possible US or Israeli attack on their nuclear facilities. As a result, they have been working to strengthen the extremists throughout the region, who share their desire to hit America and Israel. In all probability, they are merely waiting for the opportune moment with which to set in motion the next provocative act, which will be aimed at igniting the entire Middle East. The last thing Israel needs right now is another painful conflict, and we should all pray to God for His mercy and intervention. But as in the past, our enemies may leave us with no other choice but to fight.
Terror Suspect Authored “School Religion Guidelines' Under Clinton Administration
(Suspect wrote federal rules to let students pray to Allah, but banish Christmas)
Oct. 19….(WND) A man arrested as a terror suspect for allegedly trying to transport $340,000 from a group tied to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and who reputedly had connections to Osama bin Laden, helped write the "Religious Expression in Public Schools" guidelines issued by President Clinton during his tenure in office. And that could explain why students at a California school were told as part of their required classes they would become Muslims and pray to Allah, and a federal judge approved that, and why an Oregon schoold is delivering similar lessons to its students.
Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was president of the American Muslim Council and a supporter of Hamas and Hezbollah, worked with President Clinton and the American Civil Liberties Union when the guidelines, launched by Clinton in 1995, were being developed, according to reports. Those are the same guidelines that the ACLU's Nadine Strossen referred to for authority when supporting organization lawsuits to restrict Christmas celebrations and the removal of the Nativity from public display, the reports said. When Clinton issued the guidelines, he announced that they had been developed by "35 religious groups" but didn't disclose that many of those were civil rights organizations such as the ACLU, and committed whole-heartedly to the separation of church and state. Alamoudi, who ended up serving time in jail also founded the American Muslim Foundation and the American Muslim Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs Council. He ran afoul of the law because the US banned such money transfers under economic sanctions imposed in 1986 when Libya was tied to terrorist bombings in Vienna and Rome. The US attorney's office told WND at that time Alamoudi was accused under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. It was an affidavit filed with the complaint in which his support of the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas was described. There, he also said, "If we are outside (the US) we can say 'Oh, Allah destroy America,' but once we are here, our mission in this country is to change it." Before his close encounter with the law, however, he was described as a friend of Hillary Clinton and an adviser on Islamic affairs. It was during this time, as he helped with the presidential guidelines for schools, that Muslim beliefs started appearing in Houghton Mifflin textbooks, which are being used in some of the Islamic indoctrination courses. The guidelines note that, "Students generally do not have a federal right to be excused from lessons that may be inconsistent with their religious beliefs or practices." But under those guidelines, California, and now Oregon students, are allowed to be told as part of their public schooling: "You are beginning a simulation of the history and culture of Islam. It is important to study the origins of this religion and how it has affected mankind. It is impossible to study Islam without understanding the relationship between the teaching of Prophet Muhammad and the entire Mid-Eastern culture. It was the early Muslims, primarily the Arabs, who shaped the future of a wide area of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Muslim contributions are extraordinary in art, architecture, philosophy, science, mathematics, government, and of course, religion. "From the beginning, you and your classmates will become Muslims. You will be a member of a caravan starting from a trading center based around an Islamic city. The task of each caravan group is to be the first group to complete a pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest of Islamic cities. This pilgrimage or 'haij' is a requirement of all faithful Muslims once in their lifetime." Those words are taken from text material provided to students in California, a district that was challenged by Christian parents, who just weeks ago saw the US Supreme Court decline to intervene in the lower court's ruling. "Today, Christmas and Nativity scenes are outlawed while Clinton's nominee, US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton, recently approved; 'Islam: A Simulation' where children learn to become Muslim, recite the Quran, fast for Ramadan and pray to Allah including this prayer: 'In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be to Allah, Lord of Creation, The Compassionate, the Merciful, King of Judgment-day! You alone we worship, and to You alone we pray for help, Guide us to the straight path,'" wrote Jen Shroder, on her BlessedCause website. "The double-standard is shocking, but one need only look at our public school guidelines and who wrote them, with clauses designed to open or close doors at the will of the ACLU, to discover how our nation finds itself in such a dreadful state today," Shroder continued. President Clinton colluded with the ACLU to present religious guidelines worded to manipulate court rulings at the ACLU's discretion, successfully censoring Christians and the Bible in public school while promoting every other faith, specifically Islam. Following the guidelines, the California judge ruled that the Muslim teaching could continue in the Byron Union School District in California, deciding that it was just cultural education. In Oregon, one class assignment was to learn the "five pillars" of Islam, study Ramadan and listen to guest speakers including an American Muslim who arrived dressed in her religious costume to talk to the kids about her Quran. Parent Kendalee Garner, however, objected to having her son being taught Islam. "I just don't understand the ban on Christianity but Islam has free rein," she told WND.
Mickey's Mantle of Faith
(Yankee great, who would be 75 tomorrow, committed life to Christ prior to death)
Oct. 19….(WND) During much of his Hall of Fame baseball career, Mickey Mantle was a fixture in the Fall Classic. He was known as a great baseball slugger. He was known as the fastest man in the major leagues. And he was known as a hell-raiser off the field. But two of Mickey Mantle's closest friends, Bobby Richardson and Pat Summerall, say that's not how he died 11 years ago. And, had he lived to see his 75th birthday tomorrow, the world would have a much different picture of the New York Yankee great. In the 1950s and 1960s, Mickey Mantle's name was synonymous with baseball. Beginning in 1951, he played for New York Yankee teams that appeared in the World Series 12 of the next 14 years. Inheriting the centerfield position from the legendary Joe DiMaggio, he won three American League Most Valuable Player awards and the coveted Triple Crown in 1956. Mantle's former New York teammate, and later the Yankee team manager, Billy Martin, once said, ''No man in the history of baseball had as much (baseball hitting) power as Mickey Mantle.'' Mantle was inducted into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame five years after his retirement from the major circuit in 1969.
But despite all the triumphs and accomplishments, Mantle's baseball career was hobbled by injuries and the ever-present real fear of an early death. His father, Mutt, an alcoholic, died in his 40s of Hodgkin's disease, a plague with a virulent family history. From the mid-1950s until his death in 1995, Mantle developed a strong relationship with two professional athletes that would later have a profound effect on his life. One of those athletes was Bobby Richardson, the Yankee second baseman and Mantle’s teammate from 1955 to 1966. Richardson had strong Christian convictions. He also had some outstanding years with the New York team, including winning the World Series MVP in 1960. Richardson described his friendship with Mantle as ''one that lasted a lifetime.'' Richardson always had the ear of his good friend Mantle. ''On numerous occasions Mickey would help me with various (outside) interests I was involved in,'' Richardson told WND. Mantle participated ''in sports banquets, fund-raisers (for the YMCA) and even a baseball instructional film event'' from the University of South Carolina, where Richardson was head baseball coach in the 1970s. During their years with the Yankees, Richardson had many opportunities to share his faith with Mantle. It appeared at the time, though, that Mantle never really took Richardson's words of spiritual advice seriously. Most everyone closely associated with Mantle knew he had a reputation for playing hard and partying even harder. He also struggled with alcohol. While Richardson never got discouraged in sharing his faith with his friend, he noticed that Mantle, with the realization of his own mortality, finally asked the questions that revealed he was open to spiritual things. In a television interview with Bob Costas long after he retired from the game, Mantle said he had ''a void in his heart and an emptiness inside'' after the 1985 death of his friend and former Yankee great Roger Maris. When Pat Summerall entered the Betty Ford Center for Alcohol in the early 1990s, Mantle showed interest in the center. Summerall told WND, ''Mickey was concerned about his own alcohol consumption.'' After many long question-and-answer sessions with the Hall of Fame baseball player, Summerall challenged Mantle to enter the clinic. Summerall was thrilled when his friend agreed to enter the facility, and did so on a day not normally reserved for new patients. It was the policy of the Betty Ford Center to disallow outgoing telephone calls during a patient's one-month stay. Summerall remembers fondly how Mantle somehow got on the phone and called him a number of times, sometimes late at night. While this was a difficult period in Mantle's life, both Richardson and Summerall agree their friend was later to become an outstanding spokesman for people everywhere who were suffering from alcoholism. By 1995, Mantle's health took a turn for the worse when it was discovered he had cancer, that on top of liver problems associated with alcoholism. While hospitalized, it didn't take long for Mantle to call Richardson and ask him to pray for him. Richardson vividly remembers visiting Mantle a few weeks before his death Aug. 13, 1995. One of the first things Mantle wanted to tell his former teammate was that he ''now trusted in Christ as his Lord and Savior.'' Mantle assured him by quoting to Richardson and his wife one of the more famous verses from the Bible, John 3:16: ''For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'' Years later, Richardson found out that Mantle, while in the hospital, somehow listened to a Focus on the Family testimonial tape of NBA Hall of Famer Pete Maravich. Commenting on how this tape was instrumental in leading Mantle to Christ, Focus Vice President Kurt Bruner told WND that ''after achieving nearly everything that the world has to offer and finding that something was still lacking, Pete Maravich discovered Jesus Christ and never looked back.'' Richardson felt that his former teammate identified with similar aspects of the basketball player's life.
Officials Discount Terror Threat Against NFL Stadiums
Oct. 19….(MSNBC) A threat of dirty bomb attacks against NFL stadiums was deemed not credible by federal security officials, and none of the seven teams named in the Internet posting indicated there would be any noticeable uptake in security for Sunday’s games. With nothing to indicate an imminent attack, local authorities and stadium owners were alerted “out of an abundance of caution,” Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said Wednesday. He said the message was being viewed “with strong skepticism.” Dated Oct. 12, the posting was part of an ongoing conversation titled “New Attack on America Be Afraid.” It appeared on a Web site called “The Friend Society,” which links to various online forums and off-color cartoons. The message said trucks would deliver radiological bombs to stadiums in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Seattle, Houston, Oakland and Cleveland, and that Osama bin Laden would later claim responsibility. “The department strongly encourages the public to continue to go about their plans, including attending events that involve large public gatherings such as football games,” Knocke said. FBI spokesman Richard Kolko said the threat was “questionable” and was discussing it with the NFL as “part of our routine discussions this week.” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said stadiums around the country “are very well protected through the comprehensive security procedures we have in place, including secure facility perimeters, pat-downs and bag searches.” Officials were made aware of the Web posting on Oct. 16. The threat was timed to be carried out on Sunday, Oct. 22, marking the final day in Mecca of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month. “The death toll will approach 100,000 from the initial blasts and countless other fatalities will later occur as result from radioactive fallout,” according to a copy of the posting obtained by The Associated Press. It said al-Qaida would automatically be blamed for the nearly simultaneous attacks and predicted, “Later, through al-Jazeera, Osama bin Laden will issue a video message claiming responsibility for what he dubbed ’America’s Hiroshima.”’ Several NFL teams and stadium owners acknowledged that they were in contact with federal officials, including the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which operates Giants Stadium, the home of the Jets and Giants. The NCAA, which oversees college athletics, said it was also notified. The nation’s general alert level remains at yellow, signaling an elevated risk of an attack. The threat level for airline flights is at orange, where it has been since a foiled plot to bomb US-bound commercial jets was revealed on Aug. 10.
President Bush Backs Rice's Praise of Palestine
(Rice had told Task Force establishment of Palestinian state would be a great 'legacy' for US)
Oct. 18….(WND) President Bush "stands absolutely behind" the statements made by Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice when she lauded as a great "legacy" the possibility of the United States helping bring into existence a Palestinian state. In a response to a question from Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House, Bush spokesman Tony Snow said the president stands behind Rice's recent comments to the American Task Force on Palestine. The question to Snow was: "In Secretary Condoleezza Rice's speech last week to the American Task Force on Palestine she said, 'I believe that there could be no greater legacy for America than to help bring into being a Palestinian state for a people who have been humiliated too long.' My question, since the Palestinian Authority's President, Mahmoud Abbas, spoke out in Fatah with Arafat and funded the Munich massacre of the Israeli Olympic team, and wrote his Ph.D. thesis denying the existence of the Holocaust, how can the president agree with Secretary Rice that it would be a great legacy to have a Palestinian state run by Abbas and Hamas?" Mr. Snow said there wasn't a reference to a Palestinian state being run by Abbas and Hamas. "But on the other hand, Prime Minister Abbas has also demonstrated a willingness to pursue democracy and work directly with Israel." WND asked whether the president believes that the American Revolution should be compared to Hamas, which has Article 15 calling for the destruction of Israel, and Article 7, calling for the killing of Jews? "No," Snow said. The issue arose when Secretary Rice gave a keynote speech at the Task Force on Palestine a week ago. Her remarks were condemned by the Zionist Organization of America as the "most pro-Palestinian Arab, anti-Israel speech in memory by a major US Administration official." During that speech she compared the Palestinian movement to the American Revolution and implied the comparison of Palestinian Arab leaders to America's Founding Fathers. "I know that sometimes a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel must seem like a very distant dream. But I know too, as a student of international history, that there are so many things that once seemed impossible that, after they happened, simply seemed inevitable," she said. "I've read over the last summer the biographies of America's Founding Fathers. By all rights, America, the United States of America, should never have come into being." "By saying this, Secretary Rice is implying a comparison of Yasser Arafat and Hamas leaders to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson," said the Zionist Organization of America's statement. "We are deeply distressed by Secretary Rice's deeply troubling speech pandering to Arabs by making a series of false declarations," said ZOA National President Morton A. Klein. "This speech is surely at odds with an Administration that claims it is 'the best friend Israel ever had.' If President Bush does not support the themes expressed in this speech, we urge him to make that publicly clear by distancing himself from it." The Zionist organization said Rice praised the Palestinians as being committed to a better future but ignored the "major cause of the problem being the (Palestinian Authority) regime's promotion of hatred and violence against Jews in their media, textbooks and speeches." "By suggesting that the Palestinians simply seek a state of their own, not the destruction of another people's state which also happens to be a close American ally, Secretary Rice falsely dignifies the Palestinian extremist agenda and suggests its fulfillment would be a sublime event worthy of the American Revolution," the group said. Rice also referred to the "humiliation of occupation," but ZOA noted that the land in question is not occupied, but disputed territory at a minimum. "Secretary Rice did not acknowledge that Israel ceded half of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza, the land on which the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established," ZOA said. Further, ZOA said, in earlier periods of temporary calm before September 2000, there were no Israeli checkpoints, road-blocks, barriers, curfews and other restrictions of which Palestinians now complain. Those measures exist "solely and as a direct consequence of the Palestinian terrorist campaign since September 2000 that has resulted in the murder of 1,500 Israeli men, women and children and the maiming and injuring of thousands more." "When asked by President Bush at the Aqaba summit last year to state publicly that he accept Israel’s existence as a Jewish state, Abbas refused to do so," ZOA noted.
Olmert is Blind to Russia’s Plans in the Middle East
Oct. 18….(FOJ) Russia is aiding every single one of Israel’s enemies. Russia offers nothing to Israel but criticism and a sleight-of-hand smile of friendship. The Bible reveals that Russia will one day lead a coalition of allies against the mountains of Israel. It is known as the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel to restore the Syrian hegemony over the Golan, and to oppose the Western Antichrist supremacy. Israeli Prime Minister Olmert is blind to the danger posed to Israel by the great Russian Bear, and the real reason that Russia is arming Syria and Iran
Gorbachev Compares Proposed US Border Wall to Berlin Wall
Oct. 18….(My West Texas) Addressing a Tuesday news conference at UTPB's Center for Energy and Economic Diversification, the JBS Public Leadership Institute Distinguished Lecture Series speaker was by turns serious and flippant prior to a reception with more than 100 people. "You remember President Reagan standing in Berlin and saying, 'This wall should be torn down,'" said the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize winner. "Now the United States seems to be building almost the Wall of China between itself and this other nation with which it has been associated for many decades and has had cooperation and interaction with. I think what is really needed are ideas and proposals about how to improve that cooperation and work out all of those issues regarding immigration flows. Gorbachev, 75, who lives in Moscow, also criticized the US and the current Bush administration for what he said is a lack of support for democracy in Russia. Comparing current conditions to those before the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, he said, "the political and social situation is difficult and the standard of living is worse for many people. As for economic, political and religious freedoms, we can say our country has pulled itself out of the past and is a free country. Unfortunately, there are some in the world who would not want Russia to move so rapidly and stand on its feet and be a strong country, including quite a few people in this country and the present administration.
Olmert in Moscow, Told Russia Will Maintain Nuclear Ties with Iran
(Russia also says it will keep its lucrative arms business with Syria and other rogue entities)
Oct. 18….(DEBKA) Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert arrived in Moscow yesterday for two days of talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin, defense minister Sergei Ivanov and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, He will also attend the 100th anniversary celebration of Moscow’s Great Synagogue. Before his departure, the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem hailed two welcoming gestures registered from Moscow:
1. A promise to fire the official in charge of arms exports, in response to Israel’s complaint that Russian anti-tank rockets sold to Syria had reached Hizballah and caused Israeli losses in the Lebanon war. The official was not named.
2. An order signed by Putin to tighten control over Russia’s arms exports. Henceforth, it was said, all sales contracts would contain a clause empowering a Russian monitoring team to carry out on-the-spot inspections in the recipient-countries to ascertain the weapons were not passed on.
The export of Russian military hardware is handled by a firm called RosohoroneExport, which answers to military and intelligence bodies in Moscow. Our sources have not heard of any dismissals in this establishment. Neither have they heard of tightened controls over Russia’s arms exports. To the contrary, Moscow is constantly expanding sales to the Middle East to countries hostile to Israel, such as Iran and Syria, as well as Kuwait, Qatar and the Muslim nations of Asia. None of these governments would have any qualms about passing their Russian purchases on to the Hizballah or Hamas terrorist organizations. And Russia is certainly not about to discourage these buyers or jeopardize these lucrative markets by inserting restrictive conditions in their sales contracts. Moscow is also selling armored vehicles and artillery to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas security forces. The Kremlin’s uninhibited arms sales policy is not new. Putin made no bones about it when he visited Israel in April 2005, the first Russian president to visit the Jewish state. Putin is perfectly willing to maintain good relations with Israel, as long as they are “good” in the Russian sense, which means they do not interfere with Moscow’s ties with, and war materiel sales to Iran, the Arab states and the Palestinians. Olmert need not expect a breakthrough in persuading the Russian president to give up this profitable trade any more than Ariel Sharon succeeded in dissuading Putin in their many conversations from extending nuclear assistance to Iran. Russian arms will continue to pour into the countries around Israel’s borders, whatever incentives the Israeli prime minister can come up with.
Olmert in Russia, Will Ask Putin to Stop Iran
(PM Olmert, visiting Russia on his first trip abroad since the Hizbullah war, is meeting with Pres. Putin today. On the agenda: Russian-Iranian cooperation and Russian weapons used against Israel)
Oct. 18….(Arutz) North Korea's recent nuclear test has given a boost to Israel's campaign against Iran's nuclear plans, and it will be a major topic in the talks between Olmert and the Russian officials. Russia has long been a supporter of Iran's nuclear program, and Russian companies remain the main contractors for the nuclear reactor at Bushehr in southern Iran. The two countries signed an agreement just a month ago stipulating a time-frame for the launch of the Bushehr nuclear reactor in southern Iran next year, beginning with the supply of fuel in March 2007. Israel has long asked Russia, largely in vain, to rein in Iran's nuclear ambitions. "The Russian government's reluctance to react to Israel's security concerns is no surprise," writes Mark Katz in the Winter 2005 edition of Middle East Quarterly. "After all, the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran to Russia itself is not sufficient to affect a change in Russian policy." Katz explains that Russian commentators say that the sale of nuclear reactors to Iran is vital to the survival of the Russian atomic energy industry. Recently, 550 Russian military engineers arrived in Beirut, Lebanon, to rebuild several bridges destroyed by the IDF in the recent war. In addition, Jane's Defense Weekly reports that a Russian listening post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights provided Hizbullah with a continuous supply of intelligence on Israeli army movements throughout the five-week long war. Olmert will also discuss with Putin the leak of Russian-made weapons to Hizbullah. It has been reported that most of the IDF casualties in the recent war were caused by Russian-made anti-tank missiles that made their way to Hizbullah via Syria. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov announced, on the eve of Olmert's visit, that his country intends to tighten its supervision over the countries to which it exports arms.
Olmert to Putin: Russia Must help Solve Iran Crisis
Oct. 18….(Ha Aretz) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin today to discuss Russian involvement in Iran's nuclear program. Olmert, like most of the Western leaders, wants to know Russia's position on the American suggestion to impose sanctions on Iran for pursuing its nuclear program. Russia and China have yet to decide whether to agree to any sanctions, and if so, which ones. "I haven't thought about which sanctions should be imposed on Iran," Olmert said on the flight to Moscow, which landed last night. "The most important thing from Israel's perspective is preventing Iran from having nuclear weapons. Determination is needed in order to do this." Russia "understands that Iran constitutes an existential threat, not just to Israel, but in general," Olmert said. He added, "Russia does not want Iran to have nuclear weapons," and that as a large power with a sizable Muslim population, "Russia is not interested in something liable to rock our region." Olmert said in response to a question that he was "not aware of a Russian leak" of technology to Iran that would help Tehran build up its nuclear program. Olmert met with Putin in Israel last year, at which time the Russian president said he would not lend a hand to harming Israel's security. At the time, Olmert said that Putin told him that the weapons systems Russia supplies to Middle Eastern countries such as Syria are defensive in nature. Israel and the United States are also concerned about a $700-million Russian contract to sell Tor-M1 anti-aircraft systems to Iran. Russia has defended the deal, saying the munitions were meant to be used only in self-defense. "I don't feel that the Russian position is aggressive toward us," said Olmert.
Rice Offers “Full Range” of US Military Might to Defend Japan
(Tokyo will not develop own Nuclear bomb)
Oct. 18….(DEBKA) Although one of the main goals of US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice’s tour of Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing and Moscow is to draw a line against a nuclear race developing in Asia, she cannot be sure of success, even with regard to Japan. War tensions have shot up over North Korea’s suspected preparation for second nuclear test. US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill said in Seoul it would be “a belligerent act” after Pyongyang said UN sanctions amounted to a declaration of war, staging a spectacular display of might in a massive candlelit parade of tens of thousands of marchers, dancers and singers with fireworks to mark its 80th “Anti-Imperialism Anniversary.” US spy satellites have picked up suggestive vehicle movements of a new test at the site of the first; South Korea has seen intelligence pointers and Japan also reports information, but none have confirmation. North Korea’s foreign ministry warned of “merciless” blows against any country infringing its sovereignty, denouncing the UN’s sanctions resolution as a declaration of war. US intelligence says air samples confirm North Korea did conduct its first nuclear test last Monday, Oct. 9. China inspected cargo trucks at North Korean border crossing Monday but refused to say whether its searches were prompted by UN sanctions. Beijng’s action was no more than a token gesture of compliance with the UN sanctions order Saturday. No one really suspected the North Korean trucks of carrying nuclear or weapons cargoes.
Ahmadinejad: God Told Me We Would Win
(Iranian president says has been in touch with God, who reassured him Tehran victory against West is guaranteed)
Oct. 17….(YNET) While the West is preparing to impose sanctions on Iran, due to the country's failure to suspend its nuclear activities, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is still optimistic. "We shall win," he was quoted in the Iranian media as saying Monday, and added: "One day I will be asked whether I have been in touch with someone who told me we would win, and I will respond: 'Yes, I have been in touch with God'." "We must not be afraid of them," he stated, hinting to the western countries. Ahmadinejad also noted that although he was at times mocked for his preoccupation with spiritual matters and his use of "divine" words," he was nevertheless certain that Iran would prevail, after having secured the support of international public opinion for its cause. Meanwhile, Iranian news agencies reported Monday that Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi addressed the possibility of an attack on Iran and said, “If Americans and Zionists want to try their luck in Iran, they will experience a larger defeat than in Iraq.” Safavi added during a memorial service held at his headquarters: “We are obligated to our fallen to maintain the readiness and deal a powerful blow on the enemies in case of an attack. “The Basij (branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) and the Revolutionary Guards are so strong they will not allow the enemy to even think of launching an operation against Iran,” he said. “The blood of our shahids will bring about not only the liberation of Jerusalem and Karbala (Iraq) but the liberation of all mankind from the evil powers of the world; the blood of our shahids boiled the blood of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lebanon, and they will overcome the evil Americans and Israel.”
Hizb’allah On Three Borders Soon?
Oct. 17….(JNEWSWIRE) A rash of reports in the Israeli press this week are alerting Israelis to the fact that, in the inevitable and rapidly-approaching next round against the Arabs, the IDF will have to battle Hiz’ballah-styled forces on three of the country’s borders: Lebanon to the north, Syria to the north-east, and Gaza to the south. Shortly after Israel’s fight against Hizb’allah in southern Lebanon last July, Syrian officials announced their intention to form their own version of the Iranian-sponsored group in order to prize Israel off the Golan Heights. And on Sunday, Israeli intelligence chiefs told the cabinet that Syrian military instructors have entered the Gaza Strip in order to train Hamas forces in the tactics and weaponry so successfully employed by Hizb’allah against the IDF last July. That Lebanese terrorist organization succeeded in humiliating the militarily-superior Israeli forces after kidnapping two IDF soldiers and then killing 118 Israeli troops when Israel tried in vain to find and free its men. Dozens of Israeli casualties were caused by the efficient use of the Russian-made Kornet anti-tank rocket; a weapon that has since been smuggled in dangerous quantities into the Gaza Strip. The more than 20 tons of explosives and arms brought illegally into Gaza since January has also included anti-aircraft missiles. In what is proving to have been a major tactical blunder on Israel’s part, the Gaza Strip was unilaterally abandoned by the Jewish state a year ago and left in the hands of the Palestinian Arabs, who have wasted no time in turning it into a Mecca for terrorism on the south-eastern Mediterranean shore. Hamas is set on creating a “balance of terror” between itself and the IDF in order to prevent a major Israeli ground incursion into the Strip. Undeterred by what it has come to regard as largely empty Israeli threats, Hamas daily fires Kassam rockets against Jewish targets in the Negev and the coastal plain north of the Strip as far as Ashkelon.
Iran Using Hezbollah and Hamas to Attack Israel
Oct. 16….(FOJ) Iran has taken the lead from the Arab League in the Arab-Islamic vision to exterminate Israel from its existence in the Middle East. The Arab League helped to foster the birth of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1963-1964 (a full 3 years before Israel acquired the so-called “occupied territories) with Yasser Arafat as its leading henchman. Arafat even received much of his terrorist training in the old Soviet Union from the KGB. Whereas the PLO managed to implement the Trojan Horse scenario quite well, by accepting the West’s pleas to represent the Palestinians in the Oslo Process, now, Hamas has risen to the forefront of Palestinian politics by using the Iranian ploy of providing humanitarian services to its enslaved in return for total control of its governance. Hezbollah serves as the model for Hamas in Lebanon. But in the end analysis, each is networked by Iran in its attempts to hasten the Shiite-led war against Israel. Like the Arab League-PLO model, the end-game is to wipe Israel off the map, piece by piece!
The Poison That Traps the Palestinians
Oct. 16….(FOJ) Here at Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry, we get lots of e-mails from Christians around the world who regularly remind me that Christians should remember that the Palestinians need to be witnessed to and prayed for just as much as the Jews. That is quite true. The Palestinian peoples have all too often served as pawns, trapped in the perpetual hatred the Arab-Muslim world carries for the children of Israel. That poison is mutated by the teachings of Muhammad through the Koran. The legacy of Yasser Arafat is that he spread that ages old hatred and enslaved the Palestinians under a yoke of oppression geared solely to bloodletting. Arafat became one of the wealthiest men in the world through terrorist blackmailing and double dealing. Sadly, the poison of hatred still funnels through the Palestinian populace, continually breeding a generation of cold blooded killers, all for the sake of Allah. Were Allah and Jehovah the same God, (as many people try to tell me) then they wouldn’t have differing plans for the nation of Israel.
(Ezekiel 35:5-6 Because thou hast had a perpetual hatred, and hast shed the blood of the children of Israel by the force of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time that their iniquity had an end: Therefore, as I live, saith the Lord GOD, I will prepare thee unto blood, and blood shall pursue thee: sith thou hast not hated blood, even blood shall pursue thee.)
2nd Warning for Muslims to Leave US Before Attack
('Because God's punishment would fall on America in the month of Ramadan')
Oct. 16….(WND) Another Pakistani journalist is reporting receiving another threat – this one from a senior Taliban leader, warning all Muslims to leave the US in anticipation of a major terrorist attack before the end of Ramadan. The head of the Islamabad-based al-Quds Center reported receiving an audio message from Mullah Masoom Afghani urging US Muslims to get out of the country "because God's punishment would fall on America in the month of Ramadan." Jamal Ismail is the journalist who received the message. He formerly worked for al-Jazeera. He told the News of Pakistan that he received a phone call Oct. 5 from Afghani. "Afghani said he was speaking from somewhere in Kandahar province," reported Ismail. "In it, he advised Muslim residents of America to get out to escape harm because the US could face big attacks in the month of Ramadan." Ismail said it was the first time Afghani, who is head of the pro-Taliban cleric's consultative council and former ambassador of Afghanistan to Pakistan, had ever sent such a message. "Afghanis didn't say that it was a dream," recalled Ismail. "It appeared that he strongly believed that America was going to face punishment at the hands of Allah." Last month, WND reported the new al-Qaida field commander in Afghanistan called for Muslims to leave the US, particularly Washington and New York, in anticipation of a major terror attack to rival Sept. 11, according to an interview by another Pakistani journalist. Abu Dawood told Hamid Mir, a reporter who has covered al-Qaida and met with Osama bin Laden, the attack is being coordinated by Adnan el-Shukrijumah and suggests it may involve some form of weapon of mass destruction smuggled across the Mexican border. "Our brothers are ready to attack inside America. We will breach their security again," he is quoted as saying. "There is no timeframe for our attack inside America; we can do it any time." As WND has previously reported, el-Shukrijumah is a trained nuclear technician and accomplished pilot who has been singled out by bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri to serve as the field commander for the next terrorist attack on US soil. The terrorist was last seen in Mexico, where, on Nov. 1, 2004, he allegedly hijacked a Piper PA Pawnee cropduster from Ejido Queretaro near Mexicali to transport a nuclear weapon and nuclear equipment into the US, according to Paul Williams, a former FBI consultant and author of “The Dunces of Doomsday”. "He is an American and a friend of Muhammad Atta, who led 9/11 attacks five years ago," said Dawood. President Bush is aware that brother Adnan has smuggled deadly materials inside America from the Mexican border. Bush is silent about him, because he doesn’t want to panic his people. El-Shukrijumah was born in Guyana Aug. 4, 1975, the firstborn of Gulshair el-Shukrijumah, a 44-year-old radical Muslim cleric, and his 16-year-old wife. In 1985, Gulshair migrated to the United States, where he assumed duties as the imam of the Farouq Mosque in Brooklyn. The mosque, located at 554 Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, has served as a hive for terrorist activities. It has raised millions for the jihad and has served as a recruiting station for al-Qaida. Many of the planners of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, including blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, were prominent members of this notorious "house of worship." Following 9/11, el-Shukrijumah was reportedly singled out by bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to spearhead the next great attack on America. One plan was for a nuclear attack that would take place simultaneously in seven US cities, leaving millions dead and the richest and most powerful nation on earth in ashes. "Muslims should leave America," said Dawood.
Khamenei Brandishes a Kalashnikov at US and Israel
Oct. 16….(DEBKA) The powerful spectacle of Iran’s be-turbaned supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei clutching an automatic rifle, displayed exclusively by DEBKAfile, drew on the belligerent imagery of Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein. The Iranian media suppressed this particular shot in its coverage of his sermon at Tehran University Oct. 13, the third Friday of Ramadan. But the AK 47 toted by the ruler of the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism was not missed by the political and military leaders in his audience and accentuated his war message. DEBKAfile’s Tehran sources reveal that the Iran’s leaders took three fateful steps ahead of Khamenei’s performance:
1. They pointed up the tradition initiated by the father of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of marking the last Friday of Ramadan as International al Qods Day - “Jerusalem Liberation Day.”
2. Khamenei’s aides leaked word that his decision to hold the sermon of Oct. 13 was prompted by his discovery that the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group was heading for the Persian Gulf and would be deployed in operational mode opposite Iran’s shores by Oct. 21.
3. In Beirut, Iran’s surrogate Hizballah announced the cancellation of its annual military parade on al Qods day, i.e. Oct. 20. Military circles in the United States and Israel interpret these steps as meaning that Iran will be standing by in battle positions the day before the Eisenhower reaches its destination. DEBKAfile’s military sources have been reporting since late August that Iran’s political and military leaders have resolved not to wait passively for an American attack but to go instead for a pre-emptive strike against US forces in the Persian Gulf and Iraq, as well as targeting Israel. On October 7, DEBKAfile reported: Tehran and Damascus are gearing up for a pre-emptive attack on Israel to ward off a US strike on Iran’s nuclear sites, whether from Lebanon, or Golan, using Hamas to launch an offensive from Gaza, or a combination thereof. The Bush administration would then have to divide its attention and military might among three warfronts simultaneously. Khamenei devoted much of his sermon to the Lebanon war waged between Israel and Hizballah in July and August. “The war isn’t finished,” he said. “And the losers will certainly not remain idle. These evil forces are already hard at work to remedy their defeat and Islamic nations need to remain vigilant and ready to react with determination against any other potential attack.” The supreme ruler continued: "One of the projects of the Americans, Zionists and their allies is to come to Lebanon under the United Nations, officially to defend the Lebanese from the attacks of foreign forces and then change the cards on the table and fight our Hezbollah brothers." By smearing as fraudulent UN Resolution 1701 which expanded UNIFIL and enforced a ceasefire in Lebanon, Khamenei made a pointed attempt to discredit the world body ahead of the Security Council sanctions session called for this week to punish Iran for continuing to enrich uranium in defiance of UN resolutions. He was also warning “the foreign forces” (UNIFlL) that “the war was not finished.”
Israeli Warning: Syria Preparing for War
Oct. 16….(WND) Syrian President Bashar Assad has fortified positions along his country's border with Israel and is preparing the Syrian army for war with the Jewish state, according to an Israeli Defense Forces assessment released today. "Assad is preparing his army for a confrontation with Israel," Yossi Beyditz, head of research for the IDF's intelligence branch told the Israeli cabinet this morning. "Assad has not returned the army to its pre-Lebanon war positions," Beyditz said. Bayditz said the estimate so far is that Syria it not preparing to attack, but to defend itself against a possible Israeli offensive, which Assad believes is imminent. "These are artillery cannons, missiles and rockets positioned in forward positions. He is preparing for a defensive and not offensive response. He estimates that Israel would want to attack him," Bayditz said. He said Assad supports terrorism and the path of violence: "Assad continues to support Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. We have unequivocal proof on his direct involvement in smuggling weapons to Lebanon. In the past there was no proof," he said. "Bashar Assad continues his wave of equivocal messages. Once he speaks about sticking with a peace strategy and simultaneously speaks of a confrontation and about us as not ready for a political process and he in fact means both options: a political arrangement according to Assad's known conditions, but prepares that army for a confrontation with Israel," the officer said. The intelligence official's comments follow an interview last weekend in which Assad directly stated his army is preparing for war. "We must remain ready at all times. We have begun preparations within the framework of our options," Assad told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba. He said Israel could attack Syria "at any moment," and that Israeli leaders have abandoned the peace process and are seeking a war. Since the war in Lebanon ended in August, Assad has given a series of interviews in which he warned of possible confrontations with Israel. He has stated several times he views Hezbollah's "victory" over Israel as proof military tactics bring results. In an August address, Assad said, “The future generations in the Arab world will find a way to defeat Israel".
Israel placed troops in the Golan on heightened alert during the 34-day war against Hezbollah in Lebanon that began July 12, and the alert level was raised in recent weeks following militant statements by Assad and Israeli intelligence warnings of indications Syria may be bracing for a conflict. The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory captured by the Jewish state after Syria used the terrain to attack Israel in 1967 and again in 1973. The Heights looks down on major Syrian and Israeli population centers. Military officials here have long maintained returning the Golan Heights to Syria would grant Damascus the ability to mount an effective ground invasion of the Jewish state. Security officials here told WND there have been indications the past few weeks Syria is seeking to launch a provocation. Besides Assad's statements, the officials say state-run Syrian media have been broadcasting regular warlike messages unseen since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which Syria and Egypt launched invasions from the Golan and the Sinai desert. "The tone in Syria is one of preparing the public for a war," said a senior security official. He said any Syrian provocation would likely be coordinated with Iran. Tehran and Damascus, which both support Hezbollah, have signed several military pacts. "Assad's support for terrorism, for the insurgency in Iraq, for Hezbollah and his alliance with Iran are all indication of the direction in which Syria is headed.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 9 THROUGH OCTOBER 15
Tehran Arms Hamas for Double-Barreled War With Gaza as Second Lebanon
Oct. 13….(DEBKA) The military pacts Palestinian Hamas interior minister Said Siyam signed with his Iranian counterpart Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi in Tehran on Oct. 12 are designed to transform Hamas’ military wing, the Ezz e-Din al Qassam, into a crack operational arm of the Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and Gaza into a second Lebanon. Syam was in Tehran for two days at the head of a 7-man delegation. DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources report Tehran has committed to training Hamas’ rapid deployment force of 6,500 men in Hizballah combat tactics, with the accent on missiles, especially the anti-tank variety which were used with devastating effect against Israeli tanks in the Lebanon War. The force will be sent over in batches for six-week courses at Revolutionary Guards installations in southern Iran. Iran will foot the $60 million bill for the training as well as for the top-notch weaponry. The Hamas military delegation flew from Cairo to Dubai and on to Tehran. Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and intelligence chief, Gen. Omar Suleiman, were apprised of the Hamas leaders’ trip and the military accords they were to sign, but did nothing to detain the travelers. This was taken by Hamas and the Iranian government as signaling Cairo’s assent to the Hamas-Iranian transaction, a green light for the trips through Egypt of trainee groups to and from Iran and a continuing blind eye to the delivery of Iranian armaments via Egypt to Gaza. Egypt is thus assuming the same role In relation to Tehran and its terrorist proxies as does Syria, which places its airfields at Iran’s disposal for delivering arms to Hizballah. The accords merely formalize Tehran’s massive arming of Hamas which is already in progress. Smuggling tunnels from Egyptian Sinai under the Philadelphi border strip are the conduits into Gaza for supplies of long-range anti-tank missiles, Grad rockets and some two tons of TNT every month. Israeli forces have been battling the Hamas and its supply routes for the last three days. According to our intelligence and Iranian sources, the pacts that were signed were compiled in September down to the last detail by three Revolutionary Guards generals stationed in Syria since the Lebanon war, as Hizballah’s forward command, and the Damascus-based Hamas politburo head, Khaled Meshaal. Hamas’ military wing is accordingly undergoing a process that within months will transform the Palestinian terrorist group into one of Tehran’s overseas operational military arms, the second after Hizballah in Lebanon. This will enable the Islamic Republic to ignite two simultaneous wars against Israel, from Gaza in the south and from Lebanon in the north. This development is the direct consequence of this summer’s Lebanon War. It was made possible by Israel’s evacuation of the Gaza Strip in September 2005. The Gaza maneuver shows Iran’s rulers striking with speed, efficiency and ruthlessness in their determination to isolate the Jewish State and draw a military noose around its borders. Yet Israeli Defense minister Amir Peretz thinks it is more important to prepare the armed forces for the evacuation of unauthorized West Bank settlements than for the next war. By the time they find a moment from these preoccupations, they will find Iran, Syria and Hamas have perfected a real strategic threat. By then it will be too late to repel except by a major campaign to recapture the Gaza Strip and crush the Hizballah-style force threatening southern Israel. This campaign may be even tougher than the Lebanon war. Whenever the UN Security Council comes close to a sanctions debate, an Iranian surrogate is sent into action to start a new Middle East war. Now, the Iranians have bought themselves the option of a double-barreled offensive from two of Israel’s borders.
Russia, China Rule UN Security Council, Pace For One World Order
Oct. 13….(Bill Wilson/KIN) The United States has watered-down its North Korean sanctions proposal at the United Nations in order for it to be accepted by the two countries in control of the United Nations Security Council—Russia and China. Meanwhile, the world is getting a clear glimpse of just how a one-world government would operate, and a lesson in pure democracy where right and wrong matter less than the imperialistic agendas of those who have control. That Russia and China have a huge conflict of interest in their financial stake in the North Korea-Iran-Syria axis is rarely discussed. Even more rare is any missive about Russian and Chinese support of terrorist’s states such as Iran in the context of Middle East policy. The news media and the diplomats try to keep the focus on Israel as being the stumbling block to Middle East peace. Israel has to give up its land. Israel has to give up its unconfirmed nuclear arsenal. Israel has to make financial concessions to its neighbors. All the while, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and others plot against Israel and the United Nations does nothing, unless of course, it piles on the already intense opposition to Israel and its policies. Russia and China are the protectors and nurturer of these evil nations. North Korea is related to this group in that Iran and North Korea are trading partners and they exchange military, nuclear, and missile technology. North Korea is the real life laboratory for Iran. While the United Nations, the type and shadow of the coming prophetic one-world-order, serves some purpose as an international forum of debate, any country submitting sovereignty to an organization that does not recognize good and evil is a death-nail to that nation’s and it’s allies security and wellbeing. Such is the case with the United States and Israel. And the North Korean-United Nations incident is just one example where evil leaders of nations such as Russia and China are able to protect their own interests and political agendas at the expense of what is right and good. For the United States to survive as a nation and as a people, it must renew itself in its foundation roots as one nation under God. The Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:14, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness?” The United Nations is nothing more than a powerful forum for satan’s plans to be enacted as evil prospers because good nations give evil ones equal footing through democracy. Satan has no power unless it is granted to him as it is in the one world government. Let the light of Christ occupy your heart and act on faith that you might change the direction of a nation, your nation.
Ahmadinejad: Palestine is the Front Line
(Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared Thursday that, "Palestine is the front line of the Islamic nations in their struggle against the aggressive superpowers.)
Oct. 13….(Arutz) In a chilling prelude of what a nuclear Iran will bring, Ahamdinejad also told Hamas official Sa'eed Seeyam that, "Iran has no problem transferring its successes and experience in any field to the Hamas government." Hamas has killed more Israelis than any other terrorist group, using suicide bomb attacks and other means to target civilians. Ahmadinejad praised the "victories" of Hamas and Hizbullah, saying, "Such victories have called the fake Zionist regime to challenge inside the occupied territory and have raised questions on the existence of this regime throughout the world, including Europe and the US." According to the typographical error in the official Iranian release of Ahmadinejad's statements, "The chief executive said that reliance on Gold Almighty [sic] and resistance are the secret to the victory of the Palestinian nation in various fields." Hamas official Seeyam said at the close of the meeting that all Moslems are credited with the victory of every Islamic state, adding: "Muslims across the world should take pride in the victory of Islamic resistance in Lebanon, that of the popular Hamas government in Palestine and remarkable success of Iran in various domains."
Oct. 13….(Arutz) United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday America could have no greater legacy than to have divided the Land of Israel and established a Palestinian state to end the "humiliation of occupation." Rice made the statements at a dinner marking the third anniversary of the American Task Force on Palestine. "The Palestinian people deserve a better life, a life that is rooted in liberty, democracy, uncompromised by violence and terrorism, unburdened by corruption and misrule and forever free of the daily humiliation of occupation," Rice said. "I promise you my personal commitment to that goal." "I believe there could be no greater legacy for America than to help bring into being a Palestinian state for people who have suffered too long, have been humiliated too long," Rice added. "I know that sometimes, a Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel must seem like a very distant dream but I know too , that there are so many things that once seemed impossible that after they happened they simply seemed inevitable," she said. Rice praised Abbas, who is hanging onto his position as Palestinian Authority president, for his moderation. Arutz also reported that Abbas dismissed demands that Fatah recognize Israel just one day before he allegedly told Rice that the group would.
FOJ Note: It seems that Secretary Rice has bought the lie that the Promised Land is being occupied!
China Balks on Tough North Korea Sanctions
(Beijing says ‘punishment should not be the purpose’ of UN action)
Oct. 12….(MSN) China appeared to shy away Thursday from backing US efforts to impose a travel ban and financial sanctions on North Korea for its claimed nuclear test, saying any UN action should focus on bringing its communist neighbor back to talks. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said North Korea should understand it had made a mistake but “punishment should not be the purpose” of any UN response. UN action “should be conducive to the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and the resumption of the talks,” he told reporters. “It’s necessary to express clearly to North Korea that the international community is opposed to this nuclear test.” The United States has circulated a new UN Security Council resolution that seeks to ban travel by people involved in North Korea’s weapons program but softens some other measures to win Russian and Chinese support. North Korea warned it would consider increased US pressure an act of war and take unspecified countermeasures. China’s response to the crisis has been closely watched because it is considered to have the most leverage with the unpredictable, reclusive North Korean regime. China, a veto-wielding Security Council member, is the North’s top provider of desperately needed energy and economic aid. Chinese officials have refused to say publicly what consequences they believe North Korea should face for its claimed nuclear test, although its UN ambassador, Wang Guangya, agreed earlier this week that the Security Council must impose “punitive actions.” Meantime, Japan is imposing its own new sanctions against North Korea.
‘A declaration of war’
The latest US proposal, obtained by The Associated Press Wednesday night, dropped Japanese demands to prohibit North Koreans ships from entering any port, and North Korean aircraft from taking off or landing in any country. These sanctions again would likely face strong Russian and Chinese opposition. The resolution would still require countries to freeze all assets related to North Korea’s weapons and missile programs. But a call to freeze assets from other illicit activities such as “counterfeiting, money-laundering or narcotics” was dropped. So was a call to prevent “any abuses of the international financial system” that could contribute to the transfer or development of banned weapons. The North will consider increased US pressure “a declaration of war,” RI Kong Son, vice spokesman for North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, said in an interview with AP Television News in Pyongyang.
North Korea Threatens New York, Washington
Oct. 12….(WND) As reports circulated of a second imminent nuclear test, a high-ranking North Korean official who is called the unofficial spokesman for Kim Jong-il issued a not-so-veiled threat to the United States today in an interview with South Korean radio. "Everything will be settled in a week," said Kim Myong-chol on KBS Radio. "That is, whether we, Korean people, will remain as we are now, or lose, or New York will lose, or Washington, D.C., will lose, it will all be settled once and for all." The report was carried in Chosun Ilbo, a Korean-language newspaper in the south. The South Korean government is trying to verify intelligence that North Korea is to conduct another nuclear test soon – possibly in the next two or three days. Quoting a reliable source on North Korea, the report said: "Many indications from North Korea point to the high likelihood that North Korea would conduct another nuclear test in two or three days. We received intelligence Oct. 11 that says the North Korean military is showing unusual movements." Alexander Downer, Australian foreign minister, said yesterday, "We have intelligence that North Korea would have another nuclear test soon. We are very concerned about it." Meanwhile, in what would appear to be a major setback for the US, which is banking on China to rein in North Korea, Beijing appeared to shy away today from backing US efforts to impose a travel ban and financial sanctions for its claimed nuclear test, saying any UN action should focus on bringing its neighbor back to talks. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said North Korea should understand it had made a mistake but "punishment should not be the purpose" of any UN response.
UN action "should be conducive to the de-nuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and the resumption of the talks," he told reporters. "It's necessary to express clearly to North Korea that the international community is opposed to this nuclear test." The US is circulating a new UN Security Council resolution that seeks to ban travel by people involved in North Korea's weapons program but softens some other measures to win Russian and Chinese support. North Korea responded that it would consider increased US pressure an act of war and take unspecified "physical" countermeasures. China is in a position to veto any UN resolutions against North Korea. The latest US proposal, obtained by the Associated Press, dropped Japanese demands to prohibit North Korean ships from entering any port and North Korean aircraft from taking off or landing in any country. The North will consider increased US pressure "a declaration of war," RI Kong Son, vice spokesman for North Korea's Foreign Ministry, said in an interview with AP Television News in Pyongyang. Also today, a high-ranking defector from North Korea told the Yonhap news agency that Pyongyang has already manufactured several nuclear weapons and is ready to deploy these in the event of a war.
Hwang Jang-yop, a former secretary of the Workers Party of Korea and one of the North's top theorists, said the reclusive nation signed a pact with Pakistan in 1996 on the transfer of uranium-based nuclear technology.
US Consul-General Outlines all-out Effort to Boost Mahmoud Abbas
Oct. 12….(DEBKA) Meeting Palestinian correspondents Wednesday, after the breakdown of the Qatari mediation effort for a unity government, Jack Wallace accused Hamas of aborting Israel’s release of Palestinian prisoners for Ramadan by its kidnap of the Israeli soldier Gideon Shalit in June. He said the US was investing in the expansion, equipment and training of Mahmoud Abbas’s presidential guard for the tasks of fortifying his leadership and manning Palestinian border crossings between Gaza, Egypt and Israel. DEBKAfile’s military sources add: On the advice of US Lt.-Gen Keith Dayton, the Bush Administration is investing $10 million to expand Yasser Arafat’s old Force 17 (FOJ-why is the Bush Administration wasting money expanding a terrorist organization?) from 3,500 to 6,500 men and equip them with arms, a fleet of vehicles, some armored, and communications systems. The Americans have also hired Palestinian contractors to upgrade the Palestinian Jericho facility as a central training base and the Palestinian Authority’s most modern military installation. Training and living conditions will be on a par with Israel’s special operations forces’ installations.
Hamas Leader Okays 1967 Borders, as Launching Pad for Terror War
Oct. 12….(JNEWSWIRE) Overall Hamas leader Khaled Mashal said in remarks published Thursday that he is ready to accept a "Palestinian" state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, but not as a permanent solution to the conflict. Rather, that state would serve as a launching pad for further "resistance" against Israel until all of so-called "Palestine" was captured. Not surprisingly, the international media, and some foreign governments, have and are expected to view Mashal's statement as some kind of "moderation" of Hamas' positions. Yasser Arafat and his PLO were once dedicated to the utter military destruction of Israel. But as soon as Arafat agreed to temporarily accept a truncated state from which to continue the battle, he was accepted as a statesman and showered with money.
Mashaal Okays State with 1967 Borders
Oct. 12….(Jerusalem Post) Hamas politburo leader Khaled Mashaal reiterated Wednesday that his group would not recognize Israel. In an interview published Thursday in the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat and cited by Maariv, Mashaal said he was willing to accept a Palestinian state within 1967 borders, as well as a hudna [truce] with Israel but not to recognize the "occupation." Mashaal addressed reports Wednesday that said he had agreed to wide-ranging concessions in order to pave the way for a unity government in the Palestinian Authority. Although he refused to recognize the "legitimacy of the occupation," Mashaal admitted the "Zionist entity" was an established fact. "There is an entity whose name is Israel, yes, but I am not interested in recognizing it," said Mashaal. The Hamas political chief also hinted at the possibility that his organization and the Hamas-led Palestinian government would recognize agreements with Israel the PA and PLO previously signed. "We will deal with agreements that have been signed and are on the ground according to the interests of the Palestinian people," Mashaal said. Addressing the recent Qatari mediation aimed at bridging the rift between Hamas and Fatah and helping the Palestinians establish a national unity government, Mashaal said the effort had failed because of pressure on Hamas to accept the conditions set by the Quartet. Mashaal said he opposed the removal of the word "resistance" from the draft document that lays out plans for the unity government. "I want to emphasize my right to resistance," Mashaal said. "As long as my people are exiled and my land is occupied, I have a legitimate right to resist the occupation." Mashaal also accused unnamed PA officials of plotting a coup against Hamas, and warned that Hamas would act forcefully to prevent any attempt to push forward elections in the PA. He noted that if the international community found a way to give the Palestinians back their rights without an armed struggle, Hamas would adopt such a course of action since, Mashaal claimed, the armed struggle is only a means and not an end.
Apocalypse Imminent? Look Around You
Oct. 12….(David Dolan) During a recent speaking tour in the United Kingdom, I was asked a question that frequently arises from secular folks in my audiences, and sometimes even from professing Christians and Jews. "Why are you evangelicals so eager for the apocalypse to take place?" Usually the question is followed by a critical modifier such as "You are all so focused on violence and death," or "Why not work for peace instead of dwell on war and conflict?" I replied that it is hard not to notice that the world is falling apart. After all, it is usually non-religious scientists and activists, not doomsday Christians, who are warning the global community every day that we are wrecking our planet's delicate ecological system with polluting automobiles and spreading smokestack industry, massive deforestation and slash burning, overpopulation, etc. If you add soaring worldwide cancer rates, spiraling viral plagues like AIDS and other diseases, increasingly devastating earthquakes, floods and tidal waves, expanding deserts adding to growing famine, melting icebergs around the north and south poles, burgeoning international terror attacks, gang violence and murder rates, and mushrooming nuclear weapons proliferation, most recently in libertarian lights like Pakistan and North Korea, with radical Shiite Iran apparently also well along the way to owning The Bomb, you have good reason to sleep a little less soundly at night, evangelical Christian or not. The ancient Hebrew prophets, including Jesus of Nazareth, foretold that the world would be engulfed by unprecedented political, military and ecological upheaval as history raced toward its final chapter. As I told my most recent questioner, this is simply a matter of fact, as any cursory reading of the Old and New Testaments will confirm. Of course, other world religions duplicate this apocalyptic scenario, especially Islam, even if the details sometimes differ. Popular psychics and mystics like Nostradamus and Jean Dixon have long echoed this rather bleak prognosis of how human history will end. The Hebrew prophets' contemporary Israeli cousins are feeling a little apocalyptic themselves these days. For the first time since just before the 1967 Six Day war, a Jewish prime minister has publicly voiced fears that the small state's continued existence is now in question. In a statement to his fellow cabinet ministers in early October, Ehud Olmert spoke about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated vow in recent months that the world's only Jewish-run state would soon be completely obliterated by his theocratic Shiite Muslim country. "From the point of view of seriousness, this tops the state of Israel's list," the prime minister laconically told his government subordinates, adding ominously that "It is potentially an existential threat." Olmert later reportedly admitted to visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that the Iranian annihilation pledge "keeps him awake" at night. Under widespread attack for his controversial management of the inconclusive summer war with rogue Hizbullah militiamen in Lebanon, the embattled Israeli leader confided to his cabinet ministers that he firmly believes President Bush will take care of the looming Iranian nuclear threat. But opinion polls show few Israelis expect the US president, whose final-stretch popularity ratings are almost as low as Olmert's already are in his first months in office, will actually bite the radioactive atomic bullet. This might mean that tiny Israel will end up having to defend the Free World all by itself against Hitler's Aryan clone; a nightmarish prospect at best. But at least that would prove to the Israeli public that Dubya is not the Promised Messiah, nor the United States, Israel's Ultimate Protector, as many now firmly believe. Speaking of Messiah, a recent survey carried out by the Smith Institute for the country's largest daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, showed that a clear majority of Israelis believe he will come to rescue the country in its darkest hour, as the ancient prophets foretold. Although the same poll showed that only one-third of the Jewish population bothers to visit a synagogue on a regular basis, a full 71 percent believe that the God of Israel actually exists. On top of that, 57 percent think that the long-expected Messiah will appear one day in Jerusalem. Most added that they are aware of the apocalyptic prophecies that strongly indicate that the day of his arrival may be drawing very near. In light of this decade's horrific Palestinian terrorist attrition war that has so far taken the lives of over 1,000 Israelis, and the latest Lebanon conflict with Iran's proxy force that snuffed out another 160 lives and left the northern third of the country reeling from daily rocket bombardments, it is no surprise that 39 percent of the poll respondents testified that they have become closer to their ancestral faith in recent years. Only 9 percent said the decade's dramatic events have driven them further from God. Since the Hebrew prophets foretold that Israel's salvation, not nuclear destruction, is the ultimate outcome of the monstrous upheaval predicted for the end of days, it should not be surprising that the turbulent events of recent years are apparently literally driving many in this special Promised Land to their knees. With medical science now confirming that possessing heartfelt spiritual convictions is healthy for mind and body, and with the prophets also forecasting a golden age of peace under Messiah's righteous rule, I am quite happy to mention the biblical last days in my international lectures – scary or not.
China and Russia: North Korea Enablers
Oct. 11….Newsmax) On Monday, North Korea announced its entry into the nuclear club, detonating a nuclear bomb equivalent to 500 to 1,000 tons of TNT, according to French estimates, a fizzled but somewhat successful test. Just a few hours later, China condemned the detonation. And yesterday, China announced that it would oppose any sanctions, let alone a military strike, on North Korea. "What we should discuss now is not the negative issue of punishment," oiled Liu Jianchao, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Minister. "Instead, the international community and the United Nations should take positive and appropriate measures that will help the process of denuclearization on the Korean peninsula." Two days before North Korea bombed its way into the news, Russian reporter Anna Politkovskaya was murdered in her apartment. Politkovskaya, a vocal opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was the victim of a contract killing, likely orchestrated by the Russian government. The Russian government remains as committed to dictatorship and repression as it ever has been. Just after North Korea's bomb test, Russia announced that the bomb had not fizzled, but dazzled, yielding the equivalent of 5,000 to 15,000 tons of TNT, 10 to 30 times larger than the French estimate. Russia also signaled its unwillingness to take any sort of punitive action against North Korea, issuing a statement indicating its "readiness to participate in joint efforts by the interested parties aimed at a peaceful diplomatic resolution of the situation surrounding North Korea." A Chinese-Russian alliance is forming. The Chinese client state is North Korea; the Russian and Chinese trading partner is Iran. Like China, Russia is a capitalism-utilizing dictatorship with a history of Marxism and a belief in its eventual historical conquest. Like Russia, China is a Machiavellian political actor willing to play both sides of the Islamic-Western conflict against the middle. China and Russia are the global beneficiaries of the Islamic-Western clash of civilizations. They remain largely outside its purview while benefiting from its externalities. Stalinist Russia and Maoist China began as allies. History has conspired to force them once more into the same bed. China and Russia are the powers behind the throne in North Korea. China has supported the North Korean nuclear program for years; they provide the vast majority of North Korea's food and fuel. China has defended North Korea for five decades and will not cease to do so now. Four years ago, I warned in this column that Russia was providing North Korea with "sophisticated long-range weaponry, as well as upgrades to its aerospace technology." Now, North Korea may soon have the ability to wed its missile technology to its nuclear technology, placing broad swaths of the continental United States within range of a Kim Jong-Il mushroom cloud. China and Russia have provided Iran with its nuclear and missile technology as well. For China and Russia, handing over weapons technology to rogue states like North Korea and Iran is equivalent to state-sponsored terrorism. Iran and North Korea are irrational actors on the world stage; Iran would likely attempt to use its nuclear arsenal on Israel, and in the near future, North Korea could use her newly-developed weaponry to go after South Korea or Japan, all the while threatening to send a missile to California if the United States is involved. All of this leaves the United States in the unenviable position of having to fight two enemies at once: Islamic civilization and the dual dictatorial phoenixes of China and Russia. Islamic civilization must be fought on the battlefields; China must be defeated economically; Russia, diplomatically. China must be made to understand that her trade with the United States is dependent on her cooperation in both the war on Islamo-fascism and the North Korean situation. Russia must understand that she will be held responsible for her profligate trade in weaponry, and for her internal repression. China and Russia are not our friends, and they must not be treated as such.
OPEC Cuts Production, Prices Start Rising Again
Oct. 11….(USA Today) Oil prices rose Wednesday after the president of OPEC confirmed that the organization will cut global crude production by 1 million barrels a day to prop up the market. "The cut itself is agreed," OPEC President Edmund Daukoru told reporters in Abuja, Nigeria, adding the cut would begin at the end of the month. He said members were "nearing consensus" on how to share out the cuts. Daukoru's comments followed a slew of reports attributed to anonymous sources from member countries of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries saying the cartel plans to trim its daily production by 1 million barrels. A report from the International Energy Agency forecast the market for OPEC crude for the first quarter of next year at 29.5 million barrels a day and for the next at 29 million barrels. OPEC's output quota now is at 28 million barrels a day. Including Iraq, which is not bound by the quota system, OPEC's daily production is roughly 30 million barrels. The last time OPEC trimmed its output, by 1 million barrels a day was December 2004 when oil traded slightly above $40 a barrel. After peaking at $78.40 in mid-July, oil prices plummeted because of rising worldwide inventories, the mild Atlantic hurricane season and concerns about slower economic growth.
The Relationship Between North Korea and Iran
Oct. 11….(Washington Times) North Korea's claim to have tested a nuclear weapon, specious or not, can only heighten concern that the regime might try to transfer nuclear weapons technology to a terrorist group or a rogue regime like Iran, which is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. Given North Korea's extensive history of providing missile technology and weaponry to a wide array of serial proliferators and rogue states, including Iran, Syria, Libya, Libya and Pakistan -- it is clear that the communist government, desperate for foreign exchange to prop up a collapsing economy, has little reluctance to sell destabilizing military items to anyone who can afford them. Iran's relationship with North Korea is particularly close. The two governments have a military relationship dating back to the late 1980s, and according to the State Department, one or more Iranian officials were present in July when North Korea conducted flight tests of seven missiles including the long-range Taepodong-2. Iran has played a major role in financing North Korean missile production efforts. The Wisconsin Project on nuclear arms control reports that during the late 1980s, North Korea sold Scud-type missiles and Scud production technology to Iran. In the mid-1990s there were reports that Iranian scientists and technicians had enjoyed direct access to missile plants in North Korea. Just prior to the first test of Iran's Nodong missile in May 1993, the director of Iran's Defense Industries Organization visited North Korea. The following year, the commander of North Korea's air force led a delegation to Iran that included military and nuclear experts. Since that time, the relationship between the two nations' military establishments has flourished, and there have been a spate of reports on the missile trade between the two sides. In August 2004, the Associated Press reported that North Korea was using Iran as a test site for new nuclear-capable missiles. In December 2004, the US government imposed trade sanctions on Changgwang Sinyong Corp. -- the fifth time since 2000 that the North Korean missile exporter had been caught violating the Iran Nonproliferation Act, which bars foreign companies from making missile-related sales to Iran. Intelligence reports from several years ago indicated that North Korea was engaged in a covert effort to develop a uranium-based nuclear program in collaboration with Abdul Qadeer Khan, a Pakistani scientist whose network supplied centrifuges and information on nuclear weapons designs to Iran, North Korea and Libya. Chinese-language documents on building a nuclear warhead for missiles were found in Libya, supplied by associates of the Khan proliferation network. US officials believe that Iran and North Korea received similar warhead design documents. Giving these technology transfer reports a measure of added menace are North Korea's prior threats to "transfer" its nuclear weapons to other parties. It made these threats in April 2003 during trilateral talks in Beijing and repeated them four months later during the Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear weapons program. Raising the specter of blackmail, in December 2003, Pyongyang offered to refrain from transferring nuclear weapons in exchange for unspecified rewards.
Japan Considers Unilateral Sanctions on North Korea
(Pyongyang Warns more US pressure would be declaration of war)
Oct. 11….(DEBKA) US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice affirmed that the US does not intend to invade or attack North Korea. Therefore, defense against US invasion cannot be used as a pretext for nuclear armament. In a CNN interview Tuesday, the US Secretary defended Washington’s refusal of bilateral talks with Pyongyang before and after its nuclear weapons test Monday. It is important to bring the weight of China and South Korea and Japan and Russia to bear, she said. They have more leverage than the United States with North Korea. Pyongyang did not keep agreements reached in dialogue with America in the ‘90s. “It is important not to go back down that road,” said Rice, insisting that the six-party framework is the only right one for talks. US intelligence sources now believe the blast was relatively small and may not have gone as planned. North Korea threatened Tuesday to put nuclear warheads on missiles, or alternatively “abandon nuclear program” for talks in return for “corresponding US measures” South Korean’s Yonhap news agency quoted an unidentified North Korean official as saying in Beijing Tuesday, the day after its first nuclear weapons test: “We are still willing to abandon nuclear programs and return to six-party talks,” at any time “only if the United States takes corresponding measures.” Far from making concessions, the US and Japan are pushing the UN Security Council to clamp harsh sanctions on North Korea. The resolution drafted by Washington calls for international inspections of North Korea’s incoming and outgoing cargoes, a freeze on transfers of materials and technology for WMD and a ban on luxury goods. Japan would go further and ban North Korean ships and planes from all ports if they carried nuclear or ballistic missile-related materials. While publicly condemning Pyongyang’s nuclear test, Beijing says there is still room for negotiations.
'Radicalized' Islamists Trained in US Prisons
Oct. 11….(WND) Many "radicalized" Islamists capable of committing terrorist attacks in the future are acquiring their jihad beliefs and training right now, within America's state and federal prison systems, at the expense of US taxpayers, a leading prison expert is warning.
"If, God forbid, an attack by home-grown Islamist radicals occurs on American soil, many, if not most, of the perpetrators will have converted to Islam while in prison," said Chuck Colson, head of the Prison Fellowship ministry as well as author of BreakPoint commentaries. He said in a recent commentary over his years of serving the needs of inmates that he's seen, like others in the prison system, many instances of "the spread of an especially virulent form of Islam within American prisons." But, he said, thanks to a new report, ignoring that factor "is no longer an option." He cited a study called "Out of the Shadows" by researchers at George Washington University and the University of Virginia that concluded "radicalized prisoners" in US prisons "are a potential pool of recruits by terrorist groups." Which means that if and when there is another terror attack within the United States, the perpetrators may not have learned their skills and hatred in Iran or Saudi Arabia, but in Colorado or California. Colson said the study suggests a new federal commission to investigate and produce an "objective risk assessment," and he believes we should "get on with this." "I've been telling 'BreakPoint' listeners and readers and Prison Fellowship supporters about this for years. Now we have more than anecdotal evidence. We have a study from two prestigious universities on our side," Colson said. He said he can't help but note the irony. His work with InnerChange Freedom Initiative prison rehabilitation programs has proven to be very successful at teaching inmates the skills and attitudes to participate in society. The program, which now has chapters in 88 different nations, produced a 50 percent drop in recidivism in a study at one Texas location where it was operating. However, because the voluntary program involves Christian principles, courts have ordered it out, mostly recently in a case in Iowa. "The largely unimpeded spread of radical Islam throughout prisons coincides with increased opposition to the one really successful antidote, that is, the presence of Christianity," Making it harder for organizations like Prison Fellowship to operate within prison walls leaves jihadists and other radical groups as the only game in town," he said.
Abdullah Looks to Strengthen Hold on Temple Mount
Oct. 10….(YNET) Jordan's King Abdullah II has donated a huge carpet to the Al-Aqsa mosque and is launching an architectural competition for a fifth minaret for the building, which stands in Jerusalem on the third holiest site in Islam, the palace said Monday. The palace statement came after the king chaired a meeting of senior Islamic clerics who are overseeing the renovation at the site. Known to Muslims as the Holy Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount, the site has been damaged by earthquakes, and other natural causes and arson. The carpet will cover 2,000 square meters, the statement said. "I want the carpet to be placed under the dome of the mosque before Laylet al-Qadr," Abdullah was quoted as telling the meeting, adding that it would be provided at his expense. "Laylet al-Qadr," or the Night of Power, is the holiest night of the year for Muslims as it marks the occasion when the Quran, the holy book, is believed to have descended from heaven to the Prophet Muhammad. This year it is expected to fall on Oct. 20. The King also announced a competition to design a fifth minaret for Al-Aqsa, which is expected to cost 400,000 to 500,000 Jordanian dinars ($600,000 to 700,000). The site is part of east Jerusalem, which was ruled by Jordan until Israel captured it and the adjacent West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war. In 1988, the current's king's father, King Hussein, renounced his country's claim to the West Bank, but maintained Jordan's authority to look after the Holy Sanctuary, a custodial role that Israel recognizes. Jordan has produced a new version of Al-Aqsa Mosque's pulpit and this is expected to be installed soon. The original was severely damaged in 1969 when an Australian Christian with a record of mental instability set fire to the mosque. King Hussein, who died of cancer in 1999, had pledged to repair the pulpit, which was erected by Saladin al-Ayyubi, the Muslim warrior who recaptured Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187.
Israel Worried North Korea will Pass Nuclear Know-How to Iran
Oct. 10….(Ha Aretz) Israel is concerned that North Korea will transfer materials and technology for the development of nuclear weapons to Iran, a senior Israeli official said Monday following a nuclear test carried out by North Korea. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will hold a special meeting on dealing with the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program this week. The meeting was planned several weeks ago, but will now take place in light of the North Korean nuclear test and its implications on the Middle East. According to the official, North Korea had issued a warning last week that it would not hesitate to transfer "technology, materials and nuclear arms" to other countries. North Korea has close defense ties with Iran and Syria and has been a major source for the supply of surface-to-surface missiles and ballistic missile know-how to both countries. The senior Israeli official also warned that the North Korean nuclear test is likely to result in Tehran expediting its nuclear development program, because of the assumption that a state with nuclear arms is "immune" to a strike against its nuclear installations. Now that North Korea has proven nuclear capabilities, it is liable to collaborate with Iran and accelerate the Iranian nuclear program," Israel's ambassador to the United States Danny Ayalon said. An Iranian diplomat involved in talks with the European Union on his country's nuclear ambitions said Monday that the North Korean test is likely to make the West think twice about its attitude toward the Iranian nuclear program. The diplomat also voiced a veiled threat that Tehran would one day go the way of Pyongyang. The North Korean test comes at a time when the United States is making efforts to rally international support for sanctions against Iran because of its disregard for a UN Security Council demand that Tehran freeze its uranium enrichment program. However, senior European and American diplomatic sources opposed any comparison between the deadlock on Iran's nuclear program and North Korea, saying that these were different problems requiring different solutions. The Israel Atomic Energy Committee confirmed Monday that North Korea had carried out a nuclear test, on the basis of seismologic data. According to the press release, the subterranean explosion was relatively small, with an estimated yield of 0.5 and 1.0 kiloton. Israel joined the chorus of nations throughout the world Monday who condemned the North Korean nuclear test and also called for a continuation of the "moratorium on nuclear tests." The international community must "firmly implement UNSC resolutions adopted to deal with weapons of mass destruction and the proliferation threat," a statement read. Tehran was reserved in its reaction to the North Korean test, and did not condemn Pyongyang. "Any step that threatens global peace and security is not acceptable to Iran," a senior official said. Iran's state radio was more blatant and blamed Washington for the North Korean test. "The US not only failed to remove the sanctions it imposed on North Korea, but even stepped up diplomatic pressure against it. In the end, such pressure resulted in North Korea holding a nuclear test. The nuclear test of North Korea is a response to American threats and humiliations." European and other intelligence sources claim that North Korean scientists offer assistance to Iran in the development of its nuclear program. North Korea helped Iran develop its Shehab-class of surface-to-surface missiles.
'Five Pillars of Islam' Taught in a US Public School
('Education practice wouldn't last 10 seconds if kids told to study Christianity')
Oct. 10….(WND) Another school has been found to be "teaching" Islam by having students study and learn Muslim prayers and dress as Muslims, and a lawyer who argued a previous dispute over this issue to the US Supreme Court said such methodologies wouldn't "last 10 seconds" if it were Christianity being taught. Nyssa, Oregon is the school where one parent raised objections when the Islamic teachings came to light. The district there, according to Supt. Don Grotting is teaching a chapter in a history textbook "Journey Across Time" that talks about "how civilization has developed and some of the particular aspects of Islam." "We teach out of the book, and there are some supplemental class activities," he told WND. "The kids do some skits, they could bring a food from the region, you could build a prop that would have depicted (something) maybe during that time period. "If you wanted to you could dress up as a Muslim for extra credit," he said. He said students also learned about the climate of the Middle East, the food and everyday activities of Islam, and the geography and the lay of the land. Still another assignment was to learn the "five pillars" of Islam, study Ramadan and listen to guest speakers including an American Muslim who arrived dressed in her religious costume to talk to the kids about her Quran. "She relayed to the kids, if you're a Christian you have your Bible, this is our Quran," Grotting said. Parent Kendalee Garner, however, objected to having her son being taught Islam and also to the time the public school system spends on the subject. She told WND that her 13-year-old son is being "indoctrinated that Islam is a religion of peace, and being dressed up as a Muslim, being taught prayers, and scriptures out of the Quran." "I just don't understand the ban on Christianity but Islam has free rein," she said.
Iran: Nuke Disarmament Must Begin With Israel
Oct. 10….(YNET) Iranian government spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Elham told a press conference Tuesday that “the dismantling of nuclear arms in the Middle East must begin with the Zionist entity.” The spokesperson added that Iran was ‘ideologically opposed’ to the use of nuclear arms. However, North Korea’s nuclear test has prompted Iran to call on the International Atomic Energy Agency to brace itself for the possibility that all countries would seek nuclear energy for “peaceful purposes.” Elham said the ban to use weapons of mass destruction should be imposed globally. “A just balance would remove these nuclear threats, and the conquering regime from Jerusalem should be the first in the region to disarm,” he said. Turning his attention to the North Korean nuclear test, the spokesperson said, “Iran is opposed to any use of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. He added that Muslim and other countries would support the superpowers should they decide to disarm. “No one will benefit from the use of nuclear weapons,” he said.
'US should stop its double-standard policy'
Asked whether the North Korean test would be advantageous to Iran Elham said, “The root of the issue lies in the behavior and mindset of the leaders in the United States and the rest of the superpowers. Unfortunately, they are those who control the Security Council; they possess the arsenals and are taking advantage of the Council to promote their own objectives.” Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of the Majlis (Iranian parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told the Iranian News Agency Monday that “the only solution which can put an end to nuclear tests is collective determination of the global community to eradicate proliferation of nuclear weapons.”
Synagogue Planned For Temple Mount, Hashemites to Add Minaret
Oct. 10….(Arutz) The synagogue would be build upon the Temple Mount, but in an area that is indisputably not within the areas that require immersion and other preparations, according to Jewish law. Ariel says that the synagogue would not change the Muslim status quo on the mount, which is home to the Al-Aksa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. “This is not a new idea,” Ariel stressed, “it has been brought up and considered countless times since the 1967 Six Day War [during which the Temple Mount was liberated from Jordanian occupation].” The plan will be submitted to the Jerusalem municipality and the Committee for Design and Construction for approval. Ariel says that every aspect of the plan will be submitted to leading Torah scholars for approval. The National Union MK, who visited the Temple Mount himself Monday, said that such a plan was an opportunity for the Muslim world to prove it is capable of rising above the violence and intolerance that have surfaced in the past year as a result of papal remarks and political cartoon portraying Islam’s founder Muhammad. Referring to Ariel's visit to the holy site, MK Talab el-Sana Ta’al said the “provocation” would bring nothing but “war and bloodshed.” MK Ariel points out that every ruling by Israel’s Supreme Court regarding the matter of the Temple Mount has recognized the right of every Jew to pray on the Temple Mount. “This is rectification of a historic injustice, much more than the transport to Israel of Theodore Herzl’s children’s bones [as was done recently, in accordance with his wishes]. "Since the destruction of the Holy Temple, the loss of our independence and the start of our exile and oppression during the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jewish presence at the site of our temple has always been an unmistakable symbol. The Romans, Byzantines and Crusaders expelled us and prevented Jews from entering Jerusalem, because they couldn’t stand to allow the Jewish nation to serve its G-d at this holy site. This synagogue will not interfere with believing Moslems who wish to pray at the Al-Aksa Mosque. On the contrary, this is an opportunity for the Moslem world to demonstrate and prove that it is tolerant enough." Meanwhile, Jordan's King Abdullah II has donated a huge carpet to the Al-Aqsa Mosque and has announced a contest to design a fifth minaret for the mosque. The existing minarets have been affixed with green neon lights in recent years, dominating the Jerusalem skyline. The planned minaret would be constructed along the eastern wall of the Temple Mount and would be clearly visible towering above the Western Wall. The project requires approval by the Israeli government before it can begin.
Israel and North Korea / Maybe Now They'll take Iran Seriously
Aretz) From Israel's perspective, North
Korea's nuclear test is primarily important because of its ramifications on the
behavior of Pyongyang's ally Iran, and because of its impact on international
efforts to curb Iranian nuclear plans. A special cabinet meeting will discuss
these on Thursday, and a senior member of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission
discussed them with senior Washington officials yesterday.
S. Lebanon’s Largest Town, Sidon, Becoming Russian-Syrian Spy Base and Hizballah Stronghold
Oct. 10….(DEBKA) The two Russian Chechen GRU platoons, Vostok and Zapad, revealed by DEBKAfile Oct. 6 as being deployed in South Lebanon, are setting up their headquarters and surveillance posts in the Lebanese port of Sidon and giving Syrian intelligence a window on their input. Syria is drumming up local support in the strategic port-town, the largest in Southern Lebanon, by pumping weapons to local branches of the two Shiite groups, Hizballah and Amal, and the two pro-Syrian clans which dominate the town. The carve-up of South Lebanon since Israeli troops pulled out is unfolding as follows: The UN force mandated by UN Security Council resolution 1701 is centered in the Tyre region, whereas Hizballah, Syria’s supporters and the Russian intelligence platoons have taken control of Sidon further up the Mediterranean coast. The three elements are ideally positioned for Hizballah to control the south Lebanese coastal region and for the Russians and Syrians to keep track of the military movements of the Israeli army, UNIFIL and the European naval units off the Lebanese shore. Senior Israeli officers told DEBKAfile that the takeover of parts of Sidon by Hizballah and Syrian intelligence, plus a Russian intelligence presence, places the security of northern in extreme danger. After lagging behind Hizballah for years, Amal, the Shiite movement headed by the Lebanese parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, is now being rewarded for backing Hizballah in the war with new weapons and training by Syrian and Iranian instructors in civilian dress. Arms are also being lavished on the powerful and wealthy South Lebanese Bizeri and Saad clans which oppose the anti-Syrian Saad Hariri, whose father Rafiq Hariri was murdered in February 2005. Hizballah’s domination of Sidon, backed up by Russian and Syrian intelligence, is a blow which virtually wipes out any advantages Israel gained from the Lebanon war. It transforms UNIFIL and the Lebanese army into a buffer that sterilizes the Syrian-Russian effort to rebuild Hizballah’s military strength and intelligence capabilities. What is most astonishing is the Israeli government and army’s passivity in the face of this gathering security deterioration which adds up to several blatant violations of the letter and spirit of Resolution 1701.
North Korea Nuke Test: Isolating Itself Or Consolidating Relationships With Russia, China, Iran And Syria?
Oct. 9….(Bill Wilson/KIN) North Korea has stirred the worldwide diplomatic pot by conducting what the United States calls a “provocative” underground nuclear test. Irrespective of who is condemning the test and who is pointing toward the United Nations as the arbitrator, the tests puts Washington in a very difficult diplomatic position because of the relationships between North Korea and Russia, China, Iran and Syria, who are working together on various nuclear and missile-related programs. It is known by intelligence sources that North Korean technologists are working side by side with Iranian, Russian and Chinese scientists in assisting Iran with both its nuclear and missile programs. The successful test in North Korea could signal that the Iranians may take a quantum leap in nuclear technology and missile capability as the nations work closely together under the cover and nurturing of China and Russia. Already, there is speculation that Syria will attack Israel in an effort to block any US or Israeli military action against Iranian nuclear sites. The most vocal nations against the North Korean nuclear test were those of the world that are trying to fight the aggression of terrorism. But what remains in the wake of the test are signals that the axis of Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and Syria is solidifying. The North Korean nuclear test may well be viewed by the West as a further isolation of North Korea from the international community. But if intelligence sources were discerning, what has happened could well be a successful nuclear test where information and technology is likely already shared with allies such as Iran. Note that Iranian observers were present at the last missile test by North Korea in July. These countries are working in tandem to change the international political landscape. Russia and China wish to control oil, which they see as their way of controlling the world. Islam wants to establish itself as the ruling worldwide theocracy. And the United States and Israel are the only significant barriers to the plans of these evildoers. The Apostle Paul warned of these types of countries in the latter days in II Timothy 3:13 when he wrote, “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” And Jesus Christ warned in Matthew 24:4, “Take heed that no man deceive you.” The deception here is thinking that these nations are working independently rather than together
A Nuclear North Korea
Oct. 9….(Joseph Farah) I don't want to sound alarmist here, but North Korea has just conducted its first nuclear weapons test. This is not good. Imagine Adolf Hitler with a nuclear weapon. That would be the moral equivalent of Kim Jong-il with one. There is no difference. Kim is a mass murderer, possibly on the scale of Hitler. The only difference, so far, is that Kim has killed millions of his own people through starvation, forced labor camps and executions – more in the style of Josef Stalin. But Kim's dream, like his Stalinist father's, remains reunification of his country through military force. His million-man-plus army, as always, is massed near the border with South Korea, just waiting for the right moment. South Korea was destroyed once by invasion from the north. The city of Seoul was leveled, with conventional weapons. Kim wouldn't think twice about using more efficient means, like nuclear, to do it again. This is not just a matter of brinksmanship. The lives of millions, and not just Koreans, hang in the balance. I continue to be disturbed at US policy regarding this crisis. Let me put it bluntly: This is not a matter for the United Nations. It will not be resolved there. Most of the world, including China, is not going to help defuse the crisis. We have some allies, notably Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, but Russia and China know North Korea's nuclear weapons are not targeted in their direction. They are targeted at us. And, as the old saying goes: "One nuclear bomb can ruin your whole day." Vague warnings alone will not stop North Korea from pursuing its nuclear arsenal and deploying it. Threats of UN sanctions will not deter Pyongyang. The US needs to be very clear about the dire consequences it alone will bring on North Korea, because this is a matter of national security for us, not just a threat to "world peace." It's much more than a matter of "deep concern," as the US State Department has labeled it. It's a matter of life and death. If we go the UN route again on this crisis, debates over resolutions will take years. China will lead the US to believe it will be an ally, only to ensure Washington does not take unilateral action. Ultimately, as is so often the case, China will reject any meaningful multilateral action against North Korea, just as it has with Iran. Banking on China to join us is a mistake. It won't happen. China would like nothing better than to see the US knocked off as a superpower. It would clear the field for its planned ascendancy on the world stage. The West has made this mistake many times in the past. The clearest example is Neville Chamberlain's trip to Munich. He asked Adolf Hitler what he wanted – how he could be "bought off." Hitler said all he wanted was the Sudetenland. Chamberlain said he could have it. Then, of course, Hitler took all of Czechoslovakia. Later, Chamberlain still hadn't figured it out. He said everything would have been just peachy if Hitler hadn't lied. Well, guess what? That's what evil tyrants do. And, no matter how many cheap gizmos you may have purchased from China in recent years, the leadership there is every bit as evil and cunning as Hitler was. We can't put our fate in their hands. Here's what we need to do to stop North Korea:
1. President Bush should announce that any missile launches from North Korea – whether labeled "tests" or not, will be viewed as nuclear first strike attempts against the U.S. and our allies. They will be met with appropriate acts of retaliation, up to and including targeted nuclear strikes.
2. President Bush should announce that any such efforts to launch missiles from North Korea will be monitored by satellite. When missiles are readied for launch, the missile sites will be destroyed pre-emptively.
3. President Bush should announce that any more nuclear tests by North Korea will be viewed as preparations for war against the US, Japan, South Korea and other allies and dealt with "harshly" and immediately, not through sanctions, but through military action. And we must mean it.
In today's politically correct world, in which "multilateral negotiations" are perceived as the key to solving every problem, these recommendations may seem reckless and tough. In fact, they will inevitably save the lives of millions. Evil must be confronted and defeated. There is no option – other than to be defeated by it.
President Bush: North Korea Nuclear Test Presents a Threat
Oct. 9….(AP) President Bush on Monday denounced a reported North Korean nuclear test as provocative, "unacceptable" and a threat to global peace and security. He said the action deserves "an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council." Bush said he had called the leaders of South Korea, China, Russia and Japan and all had reaffirmed a commitment to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council, along with Britain, France and the United States. In a brief statement in the diplomatic reception room of the White House, Bush said that North Korea already was "one of the world's leading proliferators" of missile technology, including transfers to Iran and Syria. "The transfer of nuclear weapons or material by North Korea to states or non-state entities would be considered a grave threat to the United States," Bush said. "And we would hold North Korea fully accountable for the consequences of such action." Bush said the United States was still attempting to confirm that a nuclear explosion had actually taken place. Still, he said, "such a claim itself constitutes a threat to international peace and security. The United States condemns this provocative act." President Bush, speaking somberly, said that in his discussion with other world leaders, "All of us agreed that the proclaimed actions taken by North Korea are unacceptable and deserve an immediate response by the United Nations Security Council." Added the president: "Threats will not lead to a brighter future for the North Korean people." In New York, John Bolton, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said the United States would move quickly to seek a Security Council resolution condemning and possibly sanctioning North Korea.
Largest Priestly Blessing Crowd Since Temple Mount Liberation
Oct. 9….(Arutz) The ceremony has become a tradition ever since the liberation of the Temple Mount during the Six-Day War in 1967 and is seen as an observance of the Jewish obligation to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Temple three times a year, on Pesach (Passover), Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (Tabernacles). During the weeklong Pesach and Sukkot holidays, the ceremony is held on the second of the Hol haMoed (intermediate) days. Hundreds of kohanim, Jews who trace their lineage to Aaron, the first High Priest, stood closest to the Western Wall to take part in the special blessings. Attending the Western Wall prayers Monday were Chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar and Yonah Metzger, as well as Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. Rabbi Rabinovitch told Arutz-7 that Monday's priestly blessing marked the largest such gathering for prayers at the site since the first Sukkot after the Six Day War. Police were forced to close the gates leading to the Western Wall Plaza due to its being filled to capacity by worshippers. "The blessing, however, reaches those stuck outside the plaza as well, obviously," Rabbi Rabinovitch said. He added that many of those packing the plaza were not outwardly observant. "Many secular Jews have adopted the custom of making a pilgrimage to the Western Wall on the holiday," he said. The Birkat Kohanim is a part of daily prayers in Israel, but is only recited on holidays in most communities outside Israel. The blessing given appears in Numbers 6:23-27: And G-d spoke to Moses saying: Speak unto Aaron and his sons, saying, in this manner shall you bless the children of Israel. Say to them: May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord shine His face upon you. May the Lord lift His countenance upon you, and grant you peace. Meanwhile, there have been ongoing visits to the Temple Mount, Judaism's holiest site, throughout the week. Guided visits are being offered free of charge for those wishing to visit the permitted areas of the mount in accordance with Jewish law.
The Storm of War is Approaching
Oct. 9….(Caroline Glick/JNEWSWIRE) The clouds of a coming war are converging upon Israel. But our political and military leaders refuse to look up at the darkening sky. The Russian bear has awakened after 15 years of hibernation. Under the leadership of former KGB commander President Vladimir Putin, Russia is reasserting its traditional hostility towards Israel. On Tuesday, Russian military engineers landed in Beirut. Their arrival signaled the first time that Russian forces have openly deployed in the Middle East. In the past Soviet forces in Syria and Egypt operated under the official cover of "military advisers." Today those "advisers" are "engineers." The Russian forces, which will officially number some 550 troops, are tasked with rebuilding a number of bridges that the IDF destroyed during the recent war. They will operate outside the command of UNIFIL. Mosnews news service reported on Wednesday that the engineers will be protected by commando platoons from Russia's 42nd motorized rifle division permanently deployed in Chechnya. According to the report, these commando platoons are part of the Vostok and Zapad Battalions, both of which are commanded by Muslim officers who report directly to the main intelligence department of the Russian Army's General Staff in Moscow. The Vostok Battalion is commanded by Maj. Sulim Yamadayev, who Mosnews refers to as a "former rebel commander." With the deployment of former Chechen rebels as Russian military commandos in Lebanon, the report this week exposing Russia's intelligence support for Hizbullah during the recent war takes on disturbing strategic significance. According to Jane's Defense Weekly, the Russian listening post on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights provided Hizbullah with a continuous supply of intelligence throughout the conflict. Much still remains to be reported about the impressive intelligence capabilities that Hizbullah demonstrated this summer. But from what has already been made public, we know that Hizbullah's high degree of competence in electronic intelligence caused significant damage to IDF operations. Now we learn that Moscow stood behind at least one layer of Hizbullah's intelligence prowess. Moscow's assistance to Hizbullah was not limited to intelligence sharing. The majority of IDF casualties in the fighting were caused by Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles that made their way to Hizbullah fighters through Syria. Indeed, as we learn more about Russia's role, it appears that Russia's support for Hizbullah may well have been as significant as Syria's support for the terror organization. And now we have Chechens in Lebanon. Russian backing of Hizbullah, like its support for Syria and Iran, has been matched by its extreme, Cold War-esque hostility towards Israel. Then there is Russia's unstinting support for Iran's nuclear weapons program. During the latest of his frequent visits to Teheran Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced, yet again, that Russia opposes all international sanctions against Iran. Indeed, since Iran's nuclear program was exposed three years ago, Russia has acted as Iran's defender against every US attempt to galvanize the international community to take action to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capabilities.
In 1967 Russia played a central role in fanning the flames of war in Syria. In the months that preceded the Six Day War, Moscow fed Damascus a steady diet of false intelligence indicating that Israel was planning to invade. In the summer of 1973, the Soviets also encouraged Syria to join Egypt in invading Israel. Whether or not Russia is interested in fomenting the next war, its intentions are less relevant than how Russia's extreme positions are interpreted by the Arabs. Judging by Syrian President Bashar Assad's recent bellicose speeches, it appears that Damascus believes that Russia will support Syria if it goes to war against Israel. In his latest address regarding Syria's willingness to go to war if Israel doesn't fork over the Golan Heights forthwith in "peace negotiations," Assad made clear his belief that whatever its level of intensity, a Syrian war against Israel could well advance his interests. Russian influence is also evident in Assad's "peace" rhetoric. His protestations of willingness to conduct negotiations with Israel are taken directly from the Soviet playbook. As the reactions the speech elicited from leaders of the pro-Syrian camp in the Israeli Left like Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Uri Saguy, Education Minister Yuli Tamir, Haaretz columnist Yoel Marcus, and MK Azmi Bishara made clear, all that is needed to manipulate Israeli public opinion regarding Syrian intentions is a hollow and disingenuous Syrian announcement: If we abide by all of Damascus's demands, then Syria will give us "peace," and if we don't, then the responsibility for the war that will ensue will be our own. Meanwhile, the Olmert-Livni-Peretz government has had no public reaction to the Russian-Chechen deployment in Lebanon. As far as the Israeli government is concerned, this issue, like the fact that Hizbullah has returned to its pre-war positions and that UNIFIL forces are doing nothing to prevent its rapid rearmament, is not serious. Rather than crafting a Syria policy, the Olmert government argues about the desirability of giving Syria the Golan Heights now or later. Above and beyond all else, as Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defense Minister Amir Peretz proclaim, from the government's perspective, the best way to deal with the growing military threats is to ignore them and destroy Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. Any objective observer of the developments in our region understands that the storm of war is rapidly approaching us. With Moscow's blessing, the Palestinians, Hizbullah, Syria and Iran are steadfastly preparing for battle.
North Korea Conducts Nuclear Weapons Test
Oct. 9….(MSNBC) North Korea faced a barrage of condemnation and calls for retaliation Monday after it announced that it had set off a small atomic weapon underground, a test that thrust the secretive communist state into the elite club of nuclear-armed nations. The United States, Japan, China and Britain led a chorus of criticism and urged action by the United Nations Security Council in response to the reported test, which fell one day after the anniversary of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's accession to power nine years ago. The Security Council had warned North Korea just two days earlier not to go through with any test, and the Pyongyang government's defiance was likely to lead to calls for stronger sanctions against the impoverished and already isolated country. White House spokesman Tony Snow called for "immediate actions to respond to this unprovoked act" and said that the United States was closely monitoring the situation and "reaffirms its commitment to protect and defend our allies in the region." North Korea faced a barrage of global condemnation and calls for harsh sanctions Monday after it announced its first-ever test of a nuclear weapon, thrusting the secretive communist state into the elite club of nuclear-armed nations. The United States, Japan, China and Britain led a chorus of criticism and urged action by the United Nations Security Council in response to the reported test, which fell one day after the anniversary of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il’s accession to power nine years ago. South Korea’s spy chief said there were possible indications the North was moving to conduct more tests. The Security Council had warned North Korea just two days earlier not to go through with any test, and the Pyongyang government’s defiance was likely to lead to calls for stronger sanctions against the impoverished and already isolated country. The United States said early Monday that it was analyzing a seismic event detected at a suspected nuclear test site. “At this point we are not confirming a nuclear test,” White House spokesman Tony Snow emphasized. “A North Korean nuclear test would constitute a provocative act in defiance of the will of the international community and of our call to refrain from actions that would aggravate tensions in Northeast Asia,” Snow said in a conference call with reporters. He said that if a nuclear test is confirmed, “We expect the UN Security Council to take immediate actions to respond to this unprovoked act.” The North's official Korean Central News Agency said the underground test was performed successfully "with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent," and that no radiation leaked from the test site. "It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the (Korean People's Army) and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defense capability," KCNA said, adding this was "a stirring time when all the people of the country are making a great leap forward in the building of a great prosperous, powerful socialist nation." If the test is confirmed, North Korea would be the ninth country known to have nuclear weapons, along with the United States, Russia, France, China, Britain, India, Pakistan and Israel. A nuclear North Korea would dramatically alter the strategic balance of power in the Pacific region and seriously undermine global anti-proliferation efforts. There were conflicting reports about the size of the explosion. South Korea’s geological institute estimated that the force of the explosion was equivalent to 550 tons of TNT, far smaller than the two nuclear bombs the US dropped on Japan in World War II. But Russia’s defense minister said it was far more powerful, equivalent to 5,000 to 15,000 tons of TNT. The atomic bomb that struck Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 6, 1945, had the destructive power of about 15,000 tons (33 million pounds) of TNT. A Beijing source close to the Pyongyang authorities said the North had detonated a neutron bomb, but there was no immediate independent confirmation of this. A neutron bomb is designed to release more deadly radiation than other nuclear weapons. Australia and South Korea said there was seismic confirmation that pointed to a nuclear test, and a top Russian military officer confirmed the device tested was a nuclear weapon, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
South Korea's seismic monitoring center said a magnitude 3.6 tremor felt at the time of alleged North Korea nuclear test wasn't a natural occurrence. The size of the tremor could indicate an explosive equivalent to 550 tons of TNT, said Park Chang-soo, spokesman at the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources, which would be far smaller than the nuclear bombs the United States dropped on Japan in World War II. The US Geological Survey said it recorded a seismic event with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2 in northeastern North Korea coinciding with the announced test. US National Security Adviser Steven Hadley notified President Bush around 10 p.m. ET, Snow said. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that the suspected test was conducted at 9:36 p.m. ET Sunday. Asked whether he knew of any plans for a military response, Snow said “no.” Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair said the test was a "completely irresponsible act," and its Foreign Ministry warned of international repercussions. A UN Security Council resolution adopted in July after a series of North Korean missile launches imposed limited sanctions on North Korea and demanded the country rejoin international nuclear talks. Several voices joined in saying that “the development and possession of nuclear weapons by North Korea will in a major way transform the security environment in North Asia and force the region into a new, dangerous nuclear age.” A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the North had given China a 20-minute warning of its test and Beijing had immediately alerted Washington, Tokyo and Seoul.
North Korea’s Nuclear Test Sparks Increased Concerns Regarding Iran
As the United States and the Western community looks on with concern after North
Korea announced it has successfully tested a nuclear weapon, Israeli officials
warn that Iran is close to such a reality and Jerusalem dare not permit Tehran
to continue its nuclear enrichment efforts. The White House is taking reports of
the successful nuclear test seriously, while spokesman Tony Snow stated the
reports of the test cannot be confirmed. South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun
convened a special meeting of his advisors to evaluate the new regional
realities. The news of the nuclear test was released by the official Korean
Central News Agency (KCNA), which reported the nuke test was conducted at
10:36am (1:36am GMT) in Hwaderi near Kilju city. In Israel, officials warn that
the international community is taking a passive ‘wait-and-see’ approach
regarding Iran, while Tehran is working tenaciously to achieve nuclear
independence while diplomatic talks continue. Israel in the past admitted
Jerusalem is very concerned regarding Iran’s nuclear program, but then Defense
Minister Shaul Mofaz and other senior cabinet ministers stated Israel will not
lead the opposition to the nuclear program, signaling the White House would fill
that role. The White House recently signed a law permitting sanctions against
Iran, while the European Union (EU) is taking a far more friendly approach. EU
Foreign Minister Javier Solana is an outspoken proponent of continuing
diplomatic talks with Iran, insisting economic and diplomatic sanctions against
Iran will not achieve the desired goal, the cessation of Iran’s nuclear program.
'Israel Has Cause for Concern Over N. Korea's Nuclear Test'
Oct. 9….(Jerusalem Post) Israel should be very concerned by North Korea’s nuclear test," Uzi Eilam, former head of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. According to Eilam, "The cause for concern is three-fold. First, as a world democracy, it should be concerned by the threat a North Korean nuclear capability poses to the entire world. Second, it is certainly possible that Pyongyang would share its nuclear know-how with Iran, in return for a sizeable financial reward. North Korea's nuclear program is far more advanced than Iran's. While Iran has only started to produce fissile material, North Korea has done so at least five years ago." "Third, Syria, which is also under heavy international pressure, could look at the North Korean example and decide to actively push for its own nuclear capability, taking into account that it would be a great deterrent to alleviate the pressure and get the international community off its back," Eilam said. "Today's experiment means that the North Koreans have successfully produced a device whose core is the heart of a nuclear bomb. In order to reach that level, it must be integrated in a weapons system, whether a bomb or a missile warhead. Since it is known that they have been working on missile technology for many years, it is not unforeseeable that North Korea could achieve nuclear weapons capability in 1-2 years." "The international community's response to the North Korean test," Eilam asserts, "is of the utmost importance. The Security Council must impose much harsher sanctions on Pyongyang." Labor MK Ephraim Sneh said on Monday that the morning's weapons test had showed that the West had failed in its efforts to prevent North Korea from developing and experimenting with nuclear weapons. "It could be a good thing," Sneh told Israel Radio, explaining that Israeli policymakers and advocates should use the developments in North Korea to convince the international community to "do something about Iran before it's too late." The risk posed by North Korea obtaining nuclear capability, Sneh said, is less relevant to Israel than the threat posed by Iran, which is committed to the destruction of Israel. Sneh believes that international economic sanctions would be a viable deterrent. While Iran produces crude oil, he said, it lacks a supply of refined petroleum products. In fact, he added, Iran imports some 40% of its gasoline. "A serious international embargo would be effective," Sneh asserted. Unlike Sneh, Dr. Soli Shahar, a Haifa University expert on Iran, is convinced that economic sanctions would not be an effective deterrent against Iran's nuclear ambitions. "The only option I see is a serious effort to affect a regime change," he told Israel Radio. The fact that North Korea reached such an advanced stage in nuclear experimentation, and Monday morning's experiment was still not tantamount to nuclear weapons capability, could be a strong hint to the Iranians that they are on the right track with their nuclear program, Shahvar said. "The Iranians are very certain of their direction," Shahvar continued, and said that he "wouldn't rule out" the possibility that Iranian representatives had been present at North Korea's experiment. North Korea, Shahvar said, is much worse off economically than Iran, which has plentiful energy resources and profits by them. Those same energy resources, he continued, provide the West with a much stronger incentive for cooperation with Iran that with North Korea. "North Korea's nuclear experiment must alert the entire world that the next nuclear weapons test could be conducted by Iran," Shahvar warned.
Hizbullah, Iranian Threat Doesn’t Stop Aliyah
Oct. 9….(YNET) Jewish Agency Chairman Zeev Bielsky said during a special Sukkkot interview with Ynetnews that he did not believe the recent war in Lebanon or the looming Iranian threat would deter Diaspora Jews from immigrating to Israel. Bielsky said that during the war itself some 600 olim (new immigrants) made aliyah from France, and a similar number of Jews immigrated to the country from the United States, England and Canada. “Not one of them canceled,” he said. “I said to myself, ‘They are coming to live in a place where rockets are falling on people’s heads.’” However, the JA chairman added that the prospects for increased aliyah in the aftermath of the war in Lebanon depended largely on the general atmosphere in Israel. “If people will understand that we’re going toward peace and more security for the State of Israel, then I think we’ll have more olim,” Bielsky said. Bielsky said he did not believe the Iranian nuclear crisis would have an effect on aliyah, “unless there is a major change in the situation.”
Syria: Establish Arab Defense Alliance
Oct. 9….(YNET) Syrian sources in Damascus claimed that Syria was looking into an initiative that would renew the “Arab Joint Defense Treaty”, under which new systems would be established, binding member countries to defend other member countries that are under attack. According to sources, the Syrian initiative would be discussed by the highest grade of the Arab League, and would then be transferred to decision-making members in the League’s Summit committee meeting. Syrian sources told Qatari newspaper “Al Watan” that Damascus was already assembling a group of diplomats and legal and international experts to examine the wording and clauses of the treaty. It was also reported that efforts were being made in Damascus to revive the Syrian-Egyptian-Saudi axis, needed for consultations and closer contact between the countries. In the meantime, Syria insisted on taking the possible outbreak of war with Israel seriously. “Al Watan” claimed that the “Israeli aggression” that increased following the Lebanon war, was meant to intimidate Damascus, and to pressure it into looking weak and ridiculous, military speaking.
Israel Goes On Alert for Syrian Attack
(Security officials warn Damascus preparing its public for war)
Oct. 9….(WND) In spite of assertions by some officials here to the contrary, Israel has placed its forces in the Golan Heights bordering Syria on heightened alert for possible confrontations following a series of statements by Syrian President Bashar Assad that his military is preparing for war with the Jewish state, WND has learned. Military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the Israeli Defense Forces have fortified their positions in the Golan, including increasing security at checkpoints and the stationing of larger troop numbers at key areas throughout the territory. Also, the officials said, the IDF has reinforced security fences on the Israeli side of the border. The IDF has not moved in additional heavy weaponry, tanks, or troop divisions for fear of startling Syria, the officials said. "We are taking Assad's threats very seriously and are cautiously increasing our level of alertness for a possible provocation by Syria," a military official said. The official said Israel placed troops in the Golan on heightened alert during the 34-day war against Hezbollah in Lebanon that began July 12, but the alert level was raised in recent weeks following militant statements by Assad and Israeli intelligence warnings of indications Syria may be bracing for a conflict. The Golan Heights is strategic mountainous territory captured by the Jewish state after Syria used the terrain to attack Israel in 1967 and again in 1973. The Heights looks down on major Syrian and Israeli population centers. Military officials here have long maintained returning the Golan Heights to Syria would grant Damascus the ability to mount an effective ground invasion of the Jewish state. In an interview this past weekend with the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Anba, Assad warned the Syrian military is preparing for war with Israel, claiming Israel might attack first. "We must remain ready at all times," said Assad. "We have begun preparations within the framework of our options." Assad, whose statements were widely quoted by Syrian news agencies, said Israel could attack Syria "at any moment." He said Israeli leaders have abandoned the peace process and are seeking a war. Since the war in Lebanon ended in August, Assad has given a series of interviews in which he warned of possible confrontations with Israel. He has stated several times he views Hezbollah's "victory" over Israel as proof military tactics bring results. In an August address, Assad said members of Hezbollah used their "will, determination and faith" to counter Israeli arms, enabling the Lebanese militia to defeat Israel. "We tell them (Israelis) that after tasting humiliation in the latest battles, your weapons are not going to protect you, not your planes, or missiles or even your nuclear bombs. The future generations in the Arab world will find a way to defeat Israel," Assad said. Israeli officials here claim the IDF alert level in the Golan heights has not been raised. "We have not made any significant changes in the Golan in recent weeks," said an IDF spokeswoman. Sources in Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office, who refused to respond publicly to Assad's comments, told Israel's leading Yediot Aharonot daily the Syrian president's statements were "a clumsy diplomatic maneuver." They said Assad was trying to use threats as a pressure tactic to urge negotiations over relinquishing the Golan Heights. Still, the sources told Yediot, Israel was not discarding Assad's threats and is closely observing the Syrian front. Jewish residents in the Golan told WND the heightened IDF status was plainly visible. They noted larger troop numbers and improvements made to border installations.
'Damascus preparing public for war'
Security officials here told WND there have been indications the past few weeks Syria is seeking to launch a provocation. Besides Assad's statements, the officials say state-run Syrian media have been broadcasting regular warlike messages unseen since the 1973 Yom Kippur War, in which Syria and Egypt launched invasions from the Golan and the Sinai desert. "The tone [in Syria] is one of preparing the public for a war," said a senior security official. He said any Syrian provocation would likely be coordinated with Iran. Tehran and Damascus, which both support Hezbollah, have signed several military pacts. Reuven Erlich, a Syrian expert and director of the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at Israel's Center for Special Studies, told WND Assad's threats "are to be taken seriously." "Assad's support for terrorism, for the insurgency in Iraq, for Hezbollah and his alliance with Iran are all indication of the direction in which Syria is headed. Assad needs to demonstrate he is willing to sue for peace, but everything seems to indicate the opposite. Especially following the war in Lebanon," Erlich said.
Reports: Syria forming own Hezbollah
Syria is forming its own Hezbollah-like guerrilla organization to attack Israeli positions in the Golan Heights, according to a senior Baath party official. The Baath party official told WND Syria learned from Hezbollah's military campaign against Israel that "fighting" is more effective than peace negotiations with regard to gaining territory. Hezbollah claims its goal is to liberate the Shebaa Farms, a small, 12-square-mile bloc situated between Syria, Lebanon and Israel. The cease-fire resolution accepted by Israel to end its military campaign in Lebanon calls for negotiations leading to Israel's relinquishing of the Shebaa Farms. The official told WND Syria's new Front for the Liberation of the Golan Heights was formed in June, and that the group consists of Syrian volunteers, many from the Syrian border with Turkey and from Palestinian refugee camps near Damascus. He said Syria held registration for volunteers to join the Front in June. One week after the WND article detailing the claimed group was published, state-run Al-Alam Iranian television featured an interview with a man who identified himself as the leader of the new Front for the Liberation of the Golan. The man, whose features were blocked out, said his new group consists of "hundreds" of fighters who are training for guerrilla-like raids against Israeli positions in and near the Golan. He claimed the Front has opened several training camps inside Syria. Last month, Amos Yadlin, head of the IDF's intelligence branch, told the Knesset Syria is in the early stages of forming a Hezbollah-like group.
WEEK OF OCTOBER 2 THROUGH OCTOBER 8
Tehran and Damascus Gearing up for a Pre-Emptive Attack on Israel to Ward off a US Strike on Iran’s Nuclear Sites
Oct. 7….(DEBKA) Our military and Washington sources read as preparatory justification the Syrian ruler Bashar Asad’s statement Saturday, Oct. 7, that he expects an Israeli attack. He was speaking in an interview to Kuwaiti paper al-Anba. Asad’s Iranian-backed war plan would serve the purpose of forcing the Americans to divide their military assets between a strike against Iran and the defense of their allies in the Persia Gulf, Israel and US forces in Iraq. Both are seriously looking at a Syrian attack on the Golan which would escalate into a full-blown Syrian-Israeli war and a second Hizballah assault from Lebanon. Asad’s remark that during the Lebanon hostilities, he was under pressure from the Syrian population to go to war against Israel and liberate the Golan is the most direct threat of belligerency of all his four Golan statements in the last month. He is implying that he stood up to the pressure once but may not do so again. And for the benefit of the Americans, the Europeans, the Saudis and the Egyptians, all of whom are pretty fed up with him, Asad is posing as the picture of self-restraint; anyone else in his place, he implies, would have taken advantage of the Lebanon war and made a grab for the Golan. Therefore, he is saying, he deserves to be treated with the respect due to a strategic asset by Western and moderate Arab powers instead of being targeted for an ouster. The Syrian ruler would not threaten war without guarantees from Iran. According to DEBKAfile’s sources, Asad and Iran’s supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are prompted by the following motives:
1. Tehran is not prepared to wait passively for the Americans to build up their assault force in the Gulf and strike its nuclear facilities. A pre-emptive attack would suit them better.
2. Tehran and Damascus have not missed the debilitating crisis in which Israel’s political and military leadership are sunk since the Lebanon war. They do not propose to wait until the IDF pulls itself together enough to handle fresh aggression.
3. Both accept Israel’s deputy prime minister Shimon Peres’ assessment that Israel’s cities are not prepared for missile attack. Iran and Syria take it for granted that Israeli leaders understand they cannot afford to launch missiles against either one of them for fear of reprisal in kind.
4. Syria believes that if Hizballah could stand up to the Israeli army in Lebanon, its commandoes can capture sections of the Golan and walk off with an easy victory.
5. Tehran figures that the Bush administration is coming to the end of its patience in Iraq and preparing for a major review of its position there. The influential US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, John Warner, said Friday that Iraq's government had 60 to 90 days to control the violence that threatens civil war or the United States would have to reconsider its options. This gives the Maliki government in Baghdad up to December or January to de-escalate if not halt the sectarian war engulfing the country. Iran, Syria and Hizballah would not be averse to disrupting the American Iraq timeline by attacking Israel and putting the Bush administration on the spot, forced to address three warfronts simultaneously.
Church, What Will It Look Like?
Oct. 6….(AgapePress) While Christianity seems to be flourishing in Africa, Asia and Latin America, many believe it is dying in the US and is already on life support in Europe and Canada. What is the actual condition of the Christian faith in America? Although cultural trends often do shift unexpectedly, there is some reason for optimism, as well as significant challenge facing the church in the US. At first glance, there does seem to be a vigorous and growing Christian community in America. According to the Barna Group, a polling firm that focuses on religious faith in the US, the number of "born again Christians" is growing. The "proportion of adults who can be classified as 'born again Christians' was the highest ever measured in the quarter century that Barna has been tracking that measure," it said in a recent report. (Born again Christians are pople who say they've made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ and who believe they will go to heaven when they die because they have confessed their sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior.) (Evangelicals are born again Christians who also meet seven other conditions, including the belief that they have a personal responsibility to share their faith with others; that salvation is possible only by grace through faith, and not works; and that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches. Barna reported that 45% of all adults claimed to be born again, up from 31% in 1983. "The current figure represents the largest single-year increase since 1991-1992," the group said. When the subject turns to the narrower category of evangelicals, the percentage is smaller: 9% of all adults fit into that category. Moreover, the notion that America is awash in non-Christian religions, pagan faiths and hordes of atheists does not appear to be true. "Adults who are aligned with faiths other than Christianity, and those who consider themselves to be atheist or agnostic, each comprise less than 10% of the population," Barna said. Generally speaking then, the American people still seem interested in the Christian faith. George Barna said research reveals "that people's faith is not at all deep, but at least more people are becoming attuned to the importance of the life, death, resurrection and message of Jesus Christ." Barna's research presents an even brighter picture when religious activity is considered. The Barna Group reported that "there has been a significant increase in religious activity related to five of the seven core religious behaviors studied by the company." In 2006, 47% of adults said they read the Bible during a typical week, up dramatically from 1995, when the number hit a 20-year low of just 31%. Increases were also registered in four more areas: church attendance, involvement in small groups that meet for Bible reading and other spiritual practices, church volunteerism, and Sunday School attendance. The only two areas out of the seven that did not see an increase were prayer and evangelism. In the survey, 84% said they had prayed during the preceding week, a high percentage that has not changed since 1993, when Barna said it first began tracking the practice of prayer. As for personal evangelism, 60% of born again Christians said they had shared their faith with someone they knew was not a Christian. As with prayer, this was a percentage that had not changed during the last decade, Barna said. Despite these hopeful signs, however, research reveals the rumblings of a possible radical shift in the way many Americans think about religion and the Christian life. More and more adults, even Christians, believe that church involvement is unnecessary for an individual's spiritual development. "Only 17% of adults said that 'a person's faith is meant to be developed mainly by involvement in a local church,'" said a Barna report. "Even the most devoted church-going groups, such as evangelicals and born again Christians, generally dismiss that notion: only one-third of all evangelicals and one out of five non-evangelical born again adults endorsed the concept." In a 2005 Newsweek cover story, writer Jerry Adler found "a flowering of spirituality" in America that seemed to be occurring outside church walls. "Whatever is going on here, it's not an explosion of people going to church," Adler said. "Spirituality," or "the impulse to seek communion with the Divine," he observed, "is thriving." Adler cited a Newsweek/Beliefnet Poll which found that "more Americans, especially younger than 60, described themselves as 'spiritual' (79%) than 'religious' (64%)." In the wake of America's rich heritage of political, economic and, over the last 40 years, sexual freedom, a spirit of religious individualism seems to be flourishing. Harvey Cox, professor at Harvard Divinity School, wrote in Foreign Policy: "More and more people view the world's religious traditions as a buffet from which they can pick and choose." Barna said a significant number of people appear to be leaving the organized church flock, but not for pagan or otherwise non-Christian religious pastures. Instead, they appear to be opting for a more informal pursuit of the Christian life through home churches. In the last decade, according to Barna, the percentage of adults who attend a house church during a typical week grew from just 1% to 9%. If monthly attendance is considered, Barna said "one out of five adults attends a house church at least once a month." Where do those who identify themselves as Christian go to experience their religious faith traditions? According to a 2006 Barna Group report:
- 74% attend only a conventional church
- 19% attend both a house church and a conventional church
- 5% attend only a house church
- 2% small group, but not considered a house church
If extrapolated to the national population, Barna's figures mean that more than 20 million adults in the US attend a house church during the week, while 43 million do so once a month. And that does not even include the number of regular, traditional church goers who also participate in small group meetings. It's a trend Barna thinks will accelerate. He believes that "by 2025 the local church will lose roughly half of its current 'market share' and that alternative forms of faith experience and expression will pick up the slack," home churches among them. If the growing popularity of house churches is an indication that the institutional church model is not meeting the basic spiritual needs of Christians, perhaps some honest soul-searching on the part of church leaders is in order. "Developing a biblical understanding of the preeminence of community life will take intentional leadership, strategic action and time," Barna said. In considering how to meet such needs, Barna's recommendations on another subject, getting the unchurched back into church, are relevant. "These people tend to be less turned on by the music or preaching than by a sense of God's presence, even though they don't quite know how to explain or understand it, and by the feeling that they are visiting a group of people who are a genuine community of loving and accepting individuals," Barna said about the unchurched. It may not be clear just yet if there is a genuine shift occurring in the religious life of America. But what is clear is that if institutional churches want to remain relevant, they can no longer conduct business as usual.
Hamas Will Never Recognize Israel
Oct. 6….(AP) Prime minister Ismail Haniya has said that his Hamas movement would not recognize Israel but would accept a long-term truce in exchange for an independent Palestinian state with the 1967 borders. "We will not recognize Israel, we will not recognise Israel, we will not recognize Israel," Haniya thundered in a speech before tens of thousands of Hamas supporters rallying in support of his embattled Palestinian government on Friday. "We are for the creation of a Palestinian state on the territories occupied (by Israel) in 1967 with Jerusalem as its capital in exchange for a truce but not recognition of Israel, which would amount to renouncing the land of our ancestors," he added. He also rejected the "diktats" imposed by the four international sponsors of the Middle East peace process. The European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States make up the so-called quartet, or four sponsors, of the stalled Middle East peace process. "We reject foreign interference in the affairs of the Palestinian people and the diktats of the quartet," Haniya said. Demanding that the Hamas-led government recognise Israel, renounce violence and abide by past peace agreements signed with the Jewish state, the West has suspended direct aid to the administration, causing a massive fiscal crisis.
Ex-World Leaders Call for New Mideast Peace Summit
Oct. 6….(Ha Aretz) More than 100 former world leaders and politicians called yesterday for urgent international action to end Arab-Israeli conflict, warning that the Middle East faced its "worst crisis for years." In a statement issued by the International Crisis Group, a Brussels-based think tank, they called for an international conference to agree the outlines of a comprehensive peace deal and prepare for detailed negotiations. They also urged support for a national unity government in the Palestinian territories, where internal fighting has spiraled, the resumption of aid to the Palestinian Authority, and talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. "Everyone has lost in this conflict except the extremists throughout the world who prosper on the rage that it continues to provoke," said the 135 signatories, who included dozens of ex-presidents and prime ministers and seven Nobel laureates. "Every passing day undermines prospects for a peaceful, enduring solution," said the statement, signed by former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, former US president Jimmy Carter and South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, among others. The statement said the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators should also hold talks with Israel, Syria and Lebanon to discuss the foundations of a wider peace.
Pope Accuses Muslim Extremists of Inciting Anti-Christian Fervor
Oct. 6….(Daily Mail) An official Vatican journal has accused Muslim fundamentalist of using Pope Benedict's controversial remarks on Islam to incite anti-Christian feeling. The article in Civilta Cattolica, the journal of the Italian Jesuits, was one of a recent series of comments by Catholic Church officials or publications defending the Pope against accusations his speech last month was anti-Muslim. It said the Sept 12 lecture at Regensburg University in the Pope's native Germany had been used "by fundamentalist groups to incite Islamic people against the Pope and against Christians." It said Muslim fundamentalists had "linked (the Pope's words) to the presumed western war against Islam" and had gravely harmed Christian-Muslim relations. The leader of more than one billion Catholics has several times expressed regret for the reaction to the lecture in which he quoted 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II Palaeologus, who spoke of the Prophet Mohammad's "command to spread by the sword the faith he preached". But he has stopped short of the unequivocal apology wanted by Muslims for the speech. The dispute has further strained Vatican ties with Muslims who already knew he has spoken in the past against Turkey's entry into the European Union because of that country's Islamic roots.
US Warns North Korea About Nuclear Test
Oct. 5….(Newsmax) The United States in its starkest warning so far said on Wednesday it would not live with a nuclear-armed North Korea, while Japan and other neighbors hardened their responses after the reclusive state announced it planned a nuclear test. "We are not going to live with a nuclear North Korea, we are not going to accept it," US Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill said. He warned Pyongyang that "it can have a future or it can have these weapons. It cannot have both." Hill spoke after a US defense official said the United States had detected activity at potential test sites in North Korea, indicating possible preparations for a nuclear test. North Korea, which has said it has nuclear bombs, on Tuesday said it would conduct its first nuclear test. Hill refused to say what steps Washington might take to see that North Korea did not succeed in testing a weapon. But he said: "We will do all we can to dissuade the DPRK from this test." At the United Nations, Japan pushed for a Security Council warning that if North Korea went ahead with a test, the council would impose consequences, although it did not specify what those should be. US Ambassador John Bolton said that while Japan, Britain and France made clear a strong statement was needed, he was not certain "what North Korea's protectors" on the 15-member council would do. In response, China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said, "I'm not sure which country he is referring to, but I think that for bad behavior in this world no one is going to protect them (North Korea)." The Foreign Ministry of China, the closest North Korea has to an ally, called for restraint on North Korea's part and for other countries to avoid actions that would heighten tensions. The Stalinist state argues that its hand has been forced by what a North Korean diplomat called Washington's "proclamation of war" by threatening economic sanctions. "These kinds of threats of nuclear war and tensions and pressure by the United States compel us to conduct a nuclear test," North Korean embassy spokesman Pak Myong Guk told Reuters in Canberra. "Now the situation around the Korean peninsula is very tense," Pak said. "It may be breaking out in a war at any time, I think."
Chávez's Arms Production Starting to Worry Neighbors
Oct. 5….(Newsmax) Since 1947, the world has produced an estimated 100 million Kalashnikov assault rifles, the weapon of choice for insurgencies and criminal gangs. But for Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, that's not enough. With the help of the Russians, Chávez says, his country will open a factory to build the legendary avtomat Kalashnikova or AK-style rifles that could begin producing the weapons around 2009. Chávez has already purchased 100,000 AKs, known for their durability and ease of use, to restock his military, which has about 75,000 soldiers. The questions the United States and Chávez's neighbors are asking are who will get the extra AKs Chávez purchased and will build, and how will these weapons affect a region historically plagued by violence and conflict. During this week's meeting of regional military leaders in Managua, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Venezuelan Defense Minister Gen. Raúl Isaias Baduel traded jabs over the AKs and other weapons Venezuela has purchased in recent months, including Russian helicopters and aircraft. Baduel said the weapons were ''defensive'' acquisitions; Rumsfeld said these acquisitions might end up in terrorists' hands. Political spats aside, analysts say increasing arms' stocks has always led to more insecurity. Weapons' availability in unstable and unregulated markets gives way to spikes in criminal and war related homicides, says Rachel Stohl, a researcher at the Washington-based World Security Institute. ''It's not a threat to the strategic balance in the region. There's nothing good about the news that an AK factory is starting in Venezuela.'' Small arms kill 80,000 to 108,000 people per year worldwide, according to the Geneva-based Small Arms Survey. Colombia's 42-year-old civil war continues unabated, and Peru's insurgent group, Shining Path, is operational, albeit small. Drug trafficking still flourishes in the region, and criminal gangs in places like Mexico and Central America are turning increasingly toward military-style weapons to keep authorities at bay. Violence and drug trafficking is also on the rise in Venezuela. Homicides have increased 66 percent and kidnapping 366 percent since Chávez took power in 1999, according to government statistics obtained by the Venezuelan criminologist Marcos Tarre Briceño. Local and foreign government investigators also say that drug trafficking organizations from Colombia and Mexico have set up shop in Venezuela. ''Developing AKs in Latin America, which is already awash in weapons left over from Central American wars, continued conflict in Colombia and a number of hot spots, is a bit worrisome,'' Stohl said. In addition, democracies remain fragile in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, and corruption is endemic throughout the region. Venezuela is a regular transit point for these small weapons. Leftist insurgencies, right-wing paramilitaries and drug traffickers in neighboring Colombia frequently obtain small arms on the black market throughout the region, including from Venezuelan military personnel. In a 2003 study, the RAND Corp. said, ''Although there is no definitive evidence at this point that links the administration of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez to a deliberate policy of arming Colombia's guerrillas, the suspicion is strong. US and Colombian officials worry about the new AKs filtering into the hands of the guerrillas and drug traffickers in Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil and elsewhere. They are also concerned about increased munitions that the purchase and fabrication of the AKs necessitates, as this AK uses the same bullets as the FARC uses for its own AKs. US officials have also said that weapons might be distributed to civilian militias that Chávez's government is training, something Chávez has alluded to as well. Chávez says he is arming his country and preparing his people to defend against a possible United States' attack. In addition to guns, Chávez has purchased 24 Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets and 53 helicopters from Russia. Given this scenario, Chávez has reworked the country's defense doctrine to prepare for an ''asymmetric war'' like the one being fought in Iraq. In that type of war, the AKs and the militias, not the helicopters and airplanes, would be the key weapons. ''Given the idea of asymmetric war, purchasing 100,000 AKs and developing a factory to build them has its logic, much more logic than buying helicopters and airplanes,'' Briceño said.
Fatah Official: Abbas Does Not Really Recognize Israel Either
Oct. 5….(YNET) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' stated recognition of Israel's right to exist is part of a "political calculation" aimed at ultimately destroying the Jewish state, a terror group leader and member of Abbas' Fatah party told WND in an interview. The leader said the Fatah party does not recognize Israel and that any final accord that doesn't include flooding the Jewish state with millions of Palestinians will not be supported by the Fatah party and will lead to Palestinian civil war. "The base of our Fatah movement keeps dreaming of Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa and Akko," said Abu Ahmed, Fatah member and leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip. "There is no change in our position. Abbas only recognizes Israel because of pressure that the Zionists and the Americans are exercising on him. (to get American foreign aid) We understand this is part of his obligations and political calculations." The Brigades is the declared "military wing" of Abbas' Fatah party. Together with the Islamic Jihad terror group, the Brigades has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing inside Israel the past two years, including an attack in Tel Aviv this past April that killed an American teenager and nine Israelis. The Brigades also has carried out scores of deadly shooting and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians in recent months. All Brigades leaders are members of Fatah. The terror group's founder, Marwan Barghouti, is an elected Fatah official and is largely considered one of the most popular Fatah figures. Several top Brigades members serve in Abbas' Force 17 personal security detail. Abbas and Hamas the past few months have been negotiating the possibility of forming a national unity government in part to end international sanctions imposed on the Palestinian Authority after Hamas won the majority of parliamentary seats earlier this year. But the unity talks reportedly fell through because of Hamas' refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. Fatah and Hamas have been clashing in Gaza and the West Bank the past few days. The US and Europe label Hamas a terror group, while Fatah largely is considered "moderate," in part for its purported willingness to accept Israel. The US has given large sums of financial aid and weapons to Fatah since late Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Peace Accords with the Jewish state in 1993. Abu Ahmed explained Fatah itself has never officially recognized Israel. "It is the PLO, which is a separate entity, that recognized Israel, and this was a step, a tactical step that had as its goal to bring the resistance and the revolution closer to the lands of Palestine," Abu Ahmed said. (FOJ Note - the Trojan Horse scenario) The PLO was the official governing body of the Palestinians until the PA was formed following the Oslo Accords. Subsequent Israeli-Palestinian agreements were signed officially by the Fatah-led PA but not by Fatah as a party. Still, Fatah leaders, including Abbas, have made scores of statements recognizing the Jewish state. But Abu Ahmed commented, "There is an opportunistic class at the head of the Fatah leadership that for personal and political interests says it accepts the existence of Israel. But there is no change in our official position. Fatah as a movement never recognized Israel. It is the PLO who did so for the reasons I mentioned."
'Al-Aqsa Brigades Loyal to Abbas'
The US State Department considers the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades a terror organization. A State Department spokesman yesterday told WND the Brigades is "separate" from Abbas' Fatah party. But Abu Ahmed explained his Brigades group is "one and the same" with the Fatah party. "We are members of Fatah, and there are normal organic relations between us and the Fatah. We are in the Al Aqsa Brigades because we are Fatah members. We participate in all political decisions making of the Fatah movement." Abu Ahmed said Brigades members consider Abbas their legitimate leader and answer ultimately to the PA president. "Of course we are loyal to Abbas. He is our elected leader. We would of course prefer if his policy toward Israel was different, but we understand his obligations and calculations, and we do not consider ourselves limited by these calculations," the terror leader said. Abu Ahmed explained the difference between Hamas and Fatah is that the Fatah party "is ready to discuss a political arrangement for the Jews." But he said any arrangement must include the "right of return" of millions of Palestinians to Israel. "We demand (any agreement with Israel) be based upon the principles that the great majority of our people support and first of all the right of return to the refugees, which mean that there cannot be any recognition of the Zionist entity. The "right of return" is widely seen by Israelis as a ploy to flood Israel with millions of Palestinians, thus threatening the country's Jewish character. Israel has a population of about 6.9 million; about 5.3 million are Jewish; nearly 1.3 million are Arab. The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank claim a population of 3.8, but recent studies found the current Palestinian population may be inflated by up to 50 percent, with some major cities even being counted twice. Abu Ahmed pointed to recent opinion polls showing upwards of 70 percent of the Palestinian public does not support Israel's right to exist. He warned if the PA concludes an agreement with Israel that does not include the "right of return," it will result in civil war. "We will fight such a government that would make an agreement (without the 'right of return'), even if this may lead to a civil war. We are of course not interested in such a war but we want to ensure that any political process does not give up any of our holy principles," Abu Ahmed said.
Abbas Will Request More Weapons From US
(Militants admit last American arms transfer shared with Palestinian terrorists)
Oct. 4….(WND) Following deadly clashes the past few days between his Fatah organization and Hamas members, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to request a large shipment of weapons from the United States purportedly to arm his group against rival factions, a senior Palestinian official told WND today. The US government previously sent weapons to Abbas in May after the Palestinian leader requested the arms to bolster Fatah's Force 17 security forces against possible clashes with Hamas. In June, WND broke the story about how assault rifles that were part of a cache of weapons transferred by the US made its way to members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, some of whom are also officers of Force 17. The weapons may have been used in a string of shootings, including an ambush against a busload of Israeli school girls here, Al Aqsa members told WND. In some of the worst infighting since Hamas won the majority of parliamentary seats earlier this year, 11 Palestinians were killed and more than 100 were injured in Gaza Strip clashes that broke out two days ago when a 3,500-strong Hamas militia confronted members of Fatah's security forces protesting the government's inability to pay their wages. Last night Hamas attacked several Fatah officers in Gaza. In retaliation, Fatah supporters reportedly attacked and torched Hamas offices throughout the West Bank, including the prime minister's offices in Ramallah. Fatah clans are known to be more dominant in the West Bank than in Gaza. Palestinian schools today were closed in Gaza for fear of further clashes. In a marked escalation of rhetoric, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared "military wing" of Fatah, threatened this morning to kill Hamas leaders, including Damascus-based Hamas chieftain Khaled Meshal. The Brigades, along with the Islamic Jihad terror group, are responsible for every suicide bombing in Israel the past two years. The group has also carried out scores of shooting and rocket attacks against Israeli civilians. A senior Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told WND today Fatah security officials noted that in Sunday's firefights Hamas members used weaponry more advanced than what was known to have been in the Hamas arsenal, including newer styles of assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades. The official said Abbas has enlisted senior Egyptian and Jordanian officials to help him petition the US for more weapons to arm his group, particularly Fatah security forces in Gaza, against Hamas. The official said the request will be brought up in meetings with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is in the region this week. The US considers Abbas to be a "moderate," (a moderate terrorist) and regularly supports his Fatah organization with money and weapons. In May, Egypt, Jordan and Israel were reportedly involved in talks requesting weapons from the US, stating rifles and ammunition were needed to arm Fatah for possible clashes with Hamas. America reportedly agreed. The weapons were transported in late-May into Israel from the Jordanian border and were delivered to Force 17 by a convoy protected by the Israeli Defense Forces. The cache was driven to Ramallah and to the Gaza Strip border. In Ramallah, the US weapons were trucked to the main Fatah government building, which is used by both Force 17 and members of the Al Aqsa Brigades, Palestinian officials involved in the transfer told WND. The US weapons transfer reportedly included 3,000 American-made M-16 assault rifles and over 1 million rounds of ammunition. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced he had approved the shipment of weapons and ammunition, explaining the transfer was meant for Abbas' personal protection. But following the transfer, Force 17 senior officer Abu Yousuf told WND in an exclusive interview that the American weapons were be shared with the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and utilized for attacks against Jews. Abu Yousuf is also a member of the Al Aqsa Brigades. He hinted the weapons were used in shooting attacks in June that killed one Israeli civilian and wounded another. Many Force 17 officers are also members of the Brigades. In June Abbas appointed senior Brigades leader Mahmoud Damra to head Force 17. Damra is on Israel's most wanted list of terrorists. He is accused of masterminding a string of suicide attacks. Damra was arrested by Israel last month. Abu Yousuf told WND the US and Israel facilitated the May transfer of weapons to his Force 17 unit "for its own political purposes. We are not concerned with the reasons. The weapons will not be used against our brothers, only against Israelis."
Hizballah Takes Over South Lebanon, Shuts Out UN Forces
Oct. 4….(DEBKA) On Yom Kippur, Oct. 2, 24 hours after the last Israeli soldier left South Lebanon and the day before UNIFIL published its rules of engagement, Hizballah placed roadblocks on all the approaches to the central sector of Southern Lebanon and the entrances to the towns and villages were reoccupied by its forces and their rocket units. These enclaves were declared “closed military zones.” DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and Western intelligence sources report that neither the Lebanese army which moved south nor the international peacekeepers of UNIFIL venture to set foot in these enclaves. Nor did they raise a finger to block the first broad-daylight consignment of advanced Iranian weapons to be delivered in Lebanon via Syria since the August 14 ceasefire. This coordinated Hizballah-Iranian-Syrian ploy has brought into question the point of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 which was to prevent the resumption of hostilities and Hizballah’s rearmament while helping the Beirut government and army assert its sovereignty in the South. It has also made a mockery of the UN Force and its missions. These developments effectively assign UN Security Council resolution 1701 to the same dustbin as resolution 1559 which ordered Hizballah disarmed. It is especially noted that the Israeli government has made no military or diplomatic response to these violations, or even informed the public that Hizballah has redeployed in the precise positions from which it blitzed Haifa, Nahariya, Carmiel, Acre and W. Galilee for more than a month. After Hizballah completed its redeployment, the southern commander who orchestrated the rocket bombardment of Israel, Sheikh Nabil Qauq, made his first appearance since the war. He announced that his forces had regrouped, were fully armed and in command of rocket supplies, in exactly the same positions facing the Israeli border as they had occupied when they went to war on July 12. This statement is fully confirmed by DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources which locate the enclaves Hizballah has cordoned off as closed military zones. DEBKAfile’s sources also provide detailed information on the Iranian-Syrian arms supplies sent openly into Lebanon on Oct. 2. Syria allows Hizballah to maintain 25 arms dumps with easy access on the Syrian side of the Lebanese border. Damascus is thus technically complicit with the 1701 arms embargo. The Syrian Al Qusayr air base south of Homs and opposite the Lebanese town of Hermel was given over for the use of the forward Iranian Revolutionary Guards command. Since the ceasefire, Iranian air transports have been landing arms for Hizballah at this facility almost daily. Saturday, Sept 30, Syrian military supplies and maintenance units at this air base prepared a convoy of six trucks for a trial run to test the response. Two were fully loaded with miscellaneous rockets, including Katyusha, anti-air and anti-tank missiles, four with mortars, heavy machine guns and ammunition. This convoy crossed the border at a central road junction connecting the Syrian village of Qusayr with Mt. Lebanon, and headed southwest to Hermel. Another two arms convoys stood by on the Syrian side of the border, waiting to see if the first one was allowed through. Since both the IDF and UNIFIL sat on their hands, the convoys have kept rolling.
Sec. Rice Seeks to Rally Moderate Arabs to Curb Iranian Ascendancy
Oct. 4….(DEBKA) The nub of the new Bush administration’s Middle East venture, on which US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice embarked this week is an effort to lure Syrian president Bashar Asad over to the moderate pro-US Arab camp. This is pivotal to the main item on the agenda of her conference with six Arab foreign ministers in Cairo Tuesday, which is: How do we hold back the Shiite offensive to rule the Muslim world? This weighty item breaks down into six components:
1. It requires a US-Arab consensus for halting Iran’s nuclear program before the attainment of a weapons capability, and at the same time curbing the spread of Iranian influence in Iraq. US strategists have concluded that the moderate Arab leaders are at least as worried about this as America and have reached a point where they are ready to tackle the problem, certainly more than European leaders, who are beginning to fight shy of economic sanctions against Iran.
2. Sec. Rice will seek Arab backing for a fresh US effort to come to terms with Iraqi Sunni elements, in the first instance to cut down Sunni sectarian attacks, and in the second, to stamp out al Qaeda’s terror in the country. An American rapprochement with Iraq’s Sunni Arabs would entail drawing away from the Shiites.
3. Cutting the Hizballah down to size - a tall order since the Lebanon war. While Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert insists the conflict was an Israeli success, official Washington makes no bones about its ending in failure for Israel and its armed forces. For the first time in the Bush administration’s relationship with Israel, the United States is turning to Arab rulers to pick up the pieces.
4. One of those pieces to which Washington attaches extreme urgency is propping up the Siniora government in Beirut. In Cairo, Rice will be bidding for a combined US-Arab effort to prevent Hizballah from toppling Fouad Siniora. The danger is imminent. Hizhallah has whipped together an opposition bloc with Lebanese parliament speaker, Nabih Berri and his Shiite Amal, and a powerful Christian faction headed by General Michel Aoun. They are united in their ambition to sweep the anti-Syrian government out of office. Siniora’s downfall would spell the collapse of the entire Lebanon strategy to which the Bush administration fully committed after the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri in February 2005. The US has since invested heavily in building up a different reality in Lebanon and most recently patched together UN Security Council Resolution 1701 to halt Israel-Hizballah hostilities on Aug. 14 and bring a UNIFIL-European peacekeeping force to police Lebanon’s southern border with Israel. According to DEBKAfile’s sources, the US Secretary hopes the Saudis and their fellow oil-rich emirates, which have spent large sums on Lebanon’s reconstruction, will have a vested interest in preserving Siniora in office and preventing a pro-Iranian, pro-Syrian administration attaining power in Beirut.
5. Rice will be looking for Arab help in snapping the Tehran-Syrian connection and drawing Assad into the Saudi sphere of influence.
6. She will also be promoting an American-Arab plan to undermine Hamas up to and including its removal from power in the Palestinian Authority. DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources stress that by sending their foreign ministers to this vital conference in Cairo, the six Arab rulers are signifying their support for a joint initiative with the US and their acceptance of its urgency. They are also intimating that they need American help and support to find ways out of the gathering menaces to the region. At the same time, it is a long way from consensus to action. It is far from certain that the innately cautious Arab moderates will agree to go so far as to spell out an unambiguous anti-Iranian, anti-Shiite policy. Furthermore, the boots on the ground in the Middle East today are primarily Iranian, Syrian, Hizballah and Hamas. They therefore hold the advantage when it comes to torpedoing any decisions reached at the Cairo conference.
Arabs Fed Steady Diet of Anti-Israel Venom
Oct. 4….(FOJ) The Arab-Muslim world is constantly fed a stream of anti-Israel propaganda. The recent Israeli-Hezbollah war is a case in point. Israel was maligned in the world press and by the UN itself for supposedly targeting Lebanese civilians with its massive bombing campaign against Hezbollah. In reality, Hezbollah hid itself amongst the civilians of Lebanon to coerce Israel into firing at outgoing fire from those locations. The devious media distortion of the facts on the battle ground led to increased world political pressure on Israel’s leadership. Under this pressure, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert buckled, and allowed Israel to be cast as the oppressive heavy-handed bully in the region. The propaganda still continues, as Islamic banners and graffiti depict Israeli bombs falling on young Lebanese children. Most countries do not send their armies to hide behind women and children, but rather send their children and women to safe ground. But when it comes to waging Jihad against Israel, radical Muslims will gladly send their children into harms way, especially if it supposedly suits Allah’s designs to destroy Israel. Jesus Christ said; “suffer the little children to come unto me,” and warned us all against harming one of the little ones, (Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.) but such is not the case with Allah, for he prefers that Muslims sacrifice their little ones for his Jihad.
Haniyeh: US Wants to 'Divide and Conquer' Mideast
Oct. 3….(Jerusalem Post) Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas on Tuesday urged moderate Arab countries not to support US policy in the Middle East. Haniyeh spoke as US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was meeting in Cairo with eight Arab allies, in hopes of reviving the Arab-Israeli peace process. Rice was also asking moderate Arab countries to shore up moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, at the expense of the Islamic militant Hamas. Rice was to meet with Abbas on Wednesday. "It looks like Mrs. Rice is adopting the old law, divide and conquer," Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza. "She wants to weaken the states and the nations of the region." "We call on all of the Arab countries not to follow the American plans and not to adopt this policy that aims to divide the region," Haniyeh said.
Arab League: Palestinian Fighting is 'Madness'
Oct. 3….(YNET) The Arab League called for an immediate end to Palestinian factional fighting in the Palestinian territories on Tuesday, describing it as unprecedented "Palestinian madness". "Let's leave the killing, aggression and destruction to Israel, because that's enough for the Palestinian people," said Mohamed Subaih, the Arab League's assistant secretary-general for Palestinian affairs. "This infighting is unprecedented Palestinian madness," Subaih added. Fatah gunmen on Tuesday threatened to kill leaders of the governing Hamas militant group, escalating a power struggle marked by the worst internal violence in Gaza and the West Bank since the Palestinian Authority's creation in 1994. Twelve Palestinians have been killed and more than 100 wounded in two days of fighting between militants from President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party and Hamas. Abbas has been locked in a power struggle with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas over stalled efforts to form a unity government. Subaih said that the infighting was the greatest threat to the Palestinian cause and made it hard for the Arab League to argue on the Palestinians' behalf. The League needed a unified Palestinian stance, he said. "This was a clear request from the Arab League and the foreign ministers, that the Palestinian stance be unified so we can address the world," Subaih said. He said that the 22-member League was in frequent contact with the various Palestinian groups to put an end to the fighting, which he said served Israel's interests. Subaih said responsibility for the fighting lay with every citizen and official, including the president, the prime minister and the cabinet.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: Palestinian Infighting A Plot by Zionists Against Palestinian People
Oct. 3….(YNET) An editorial published in Iranian newspaper Jomhury-e Eslami on Tuesday blamed Israel and the West for the internal fighting in the Palestinian Authority. “What is currently happening in Palestine is the result of a joint plot conjured by the Zionist criminals and the western nations against the Palestinian people,” said the newspaper, which is affiliated with Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to the editorial, “the West is taking its revenge on the Palestinians after they supported the resistance and did not surrender to the Zionist occupiers in the elections. The Palestinians are paying a heavy price for exercising their legitimate right.” The article also stated that, “The Palestinian nation’s only crime is its desire to exercise its right and not give in to the illegal, racist and cruel acts of the occupation. “The satanic partnership between the West and the Zionist regime exposes the hypocritical and deceitful protectors of democracy and those who lie on behalf of human rights groups in Europe and the United States,” the article said. The Iranian newspaper claimed that the Palestinians will be “subject to savage attacks by the Zionists due to the fact that they voted for Hamas and the resistance in the last elections and not for the faction supported by the Zionists and the West. “This proves that in order to exercise its rights the Palestinian nation must liberate the territories occupied by the Zionists; resistance is the only way,” the article said.
Iran Overshadows Israeli-Palestinian Dispute as Rice visits Mideast
Oct. 3….(Breitbart) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has left on a tour of the Middle East with the looming nuclear crisis with Iran likely to overshadow timid efforts to rekindle the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, analysts say. Rice arrives today in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Abdullah, then flies to Egypt for a day of meetings before heading to Israel and the Palestinian territories. The US came under strong pressure to take a more active role in trying to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after being seen to favor Israel too heavily in its devastating response to attacks by the Lebanese militia Hezbollah in July. European and moderate Arab allies, whose support is key to US plans for Iraq, Lebanon and Iran, see the festering Israeli-Palestinian stalemate as feeding instability and radicalism across the region. But Washington's main allies in relaunching the peace process, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, are seen as too weak politically at home to guarantee the concessions both sides need to make to reach their goal of creating a stable Palestinian state. Abbas, a soft-spoken businessman who has never achieved the authority of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, has been undermined by the victory in Palestinian elections early this year of the radical Islamic movement Hamas. The group, which still officially seeks Israel's destruction, took control of the Palestinian legislature in March, prompting Israel, the US and Europeans to cut essential financial aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Abbas has been trying to draw Hamas into a unity government that would meet international conditions of recognizing Israel's right to exist, rejecting violence and accepting past peace agreements. But so far the Islamic group has balked. Olmert has also been unable to fill the shoes left empty when his predecessor, Ariel Sharon, was felled by a massive stroke in January. His political standing plummeted following the war with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Under attack for his conduct of the war, Olmert has shelved a plan to move ahead with the Palestinians by withdrawing from parts of the West Bank following a similar pullout from Gaza last year. "There's pressure on the US administration to at least go through the motions of trying to revive the peace process," said Haim Malka, a Middle East analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "But fundamentally the gaps between the Israelis and Palestinians are so far apart at this point that there's really very little chance of any meaningful process," he said. Washington is well aware of the obstacles, and State Department spokesman Sean McCormack stressed that the Israeli-Palestinian issue "is not the sole focus of Rice's trip". "She's going into this trip with the idea that she's going to talk about the full agenda of issues that are before leaders in the region" including Lebanon, Syria's destabilizing role, Iraq and Iran, he said. President The view at the White House is that that Arab-Israeli effort is needed in part to solidify an anti-Iran coalition," he said. The US plan to impose sanctions on Iran for ignoring an August 31 UN deadline to halt its uranium enrichment activities has stalled due to strong opposition from Russia and China. As European-led negotiations with Iran drag on with little sign of concessions from Tehran, Washington needs the backing of its few Arab allies to step up the pressure. "What they will try to do is strengthen the Israeli front with moderate Arab states, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, in terms of Iran, which is of grave concern to the Arab Gulf states.
'Sensitivity Training' for US Troops in Iraq
(American soldiers being taught this month to 'understand Ramadan, Islamic culture)
Oct. 3….(WND) While many US troops in Iraq are bracing for an increase in terrorist attacks coinciding with the Islamic holy month, other soldiers, including officers, are cringing at new requirements that include "sensitivity classes" on how to "understand Ramadan and the Islamic culture," reports Joseph Farah in his G2 Bulletin. "I am disturbed by a trend here that is occurring as we serve here in Iraq," one Army major told the premium online intelligence newsletter edited by the founder of WND. "I am a Christian and so are most soldiers here, as they would probably identify with that religion if not practice it." He tells the story of one of his men, performing the duty of guarding civilian Iraqis working on a US military base. When it was time for lunch, the soldier was told he could not eat because the Army wanted to be sensitive to the fasting Iraqis. "I understand the concept," said the officer. "But isn't that forcing us to learn about Islam and even practice its principles? Who cares if Muslims want to fast? We don't force a guy not to eat. This is the equivalent of forcing our soldiers to practice Ramadan fasting." There has been no fast from terrorist violence in Iraq this Ramadan. The top US military spokesman in Iraq, Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, reports a significant spike in violence in and around Baghdad that began with the onset of Ramadan last Monday. Suicide attacks, he said, are at their highest levels. On the first day of Ramadan last year, a Sunni Muslim suicide bomber blew up a Shiite mosque in Hilla, Iraq, in the middle of a memorial service, killing 25 worshippers. This year, on the first day of Ramadan, a Sunni suicide bomber in Baghdad killed 35 people who were lining up in a Shiite neighborhood to buy fuel. The same day, the severed heads of nine murdered Iraqi police officers and soldiers were found north of Baghdad. "I don't know how sensitivity training of US troops is going to solve the real problems facing this country," said one Army veteran of two tours of Iraq.
Illegals Push US Toward 300 Million Population Mark
(Census Bureau announces population milestone imminent)
Oct. 3….(WND) Bolstered by an estimated 12 to 20 million illegal immigrants, the population of the United States is expected to top 300 million this month. The US Census Bureau predicts the milestone will be reached sometime in mid-October. The current estimated population of the US is 299,887,890. Thirty-nine years ago, the US population topped 200 million and 91 years ago, only 100 million people lived here. The United States ranks No. 3 in world population, after China and India. The 300-million benchmark highlights the national concern over runaway illegal immigration, with estimates of as many as 20 million illegals currently living in the US. Ironically, the U.S. Census Bureau says it "does not ask about legal (migrant) status of respondents in any of its survey and census programs." For this reason it is difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal immigrants in the government's statistics. However, an analysis of Census Bureau data conducted by the Center for Immigration Studies indicates that the first half of this decade, 2000 to 2005, has been the highest five-year period of immigration in American history and that nearly half of post-2000 arrivals are illegal. (post 9-11 years) Reuters reports that from 2004 to 2005, population of the US had a natural increase, births minus deaths of 1.7 million plus another 1 million immigrants. Most of the population and immigration growth is occurring in the South and West according to the government's census takers. In 2000, Hispanics comprised about 12.6 percent of the population; in 50 years the Census Bureau projects that percentage will double with Hispanics making up about 24.4 percent of the population. "During the 1990s," says the Center for Immigration Studies, "an average of more than 1.3 million immigrants, legal and illegal, settled in the United States each year. Between January 2000 and March 2002, 3.3 million additional immigrants have arrived. In less than 50 years, the US Census Bureau projects that immigration will cause the population of the United States to increase to more than 400 million." As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, approximately 10 percent of Mexico's population of about 107 million people is now living in the United States, and roughly 15 percent of that country’s labor force is working in America. In 2001, the Census Bureau reported there had been a rapid increase in the foreign-born population in the United States from 9.6 million in 1970 to 28.4 million in 2000. In March 2000, Mexico accounted for more than one-quarter of the foreign-born population. Currently the Census Bureau estimates that one baby is born in this country every 7 seconds. Every 13 seconds someone dies. And every 31 seconds one "international migrant," the government census takers not distinguishing between legal and illegal – enters America.
Oct. 2…..(Chuck Colson) Imagine an American president addressing the United Nations and concluding his remarks by praying that God would hasten Christ’s return and unleash the apocalypse. What do you suppose public opinion would be? Well, something even scarier actually happened at the UN last week, and the world said nothing. That’s because the president in question was Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran. At the end of his September 21 address to the General Assembly, he prayed that Allah would send “the perfect human being promised to all by you.” That “perfect human being” Ahmadinejad prayed for was the Mahdi, a Shiite messianic figure. What made the prayer so scary was that, in Shiite eschatology, the Mahdi’s return will be preceded by an apocalypse that leaves much of the world dead. Since Ahmadinejad isn’t some nutcase in a backwoods cabin but, rather, the president of an oil-rich nation actively pursuing nuclear weapons, his prayer should have sent shivers down spines. What we got instead is polite applause and business-as-usual. The response to a speech by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez was even worse: After Chavez called President Bush “the devil” and joked about smelling sulfur left over from Bush’s appearance two days before, delegates broke into applause and laughter. Now, President Bush doesn’t need me or anyone else to defend him, but the response to Chavez and Ahmadinejad, both inside and outside the UN, was appalling. It’s more evidence that historian Niall Ferguson is right when he says that “it’s a mad world.” Ferguson, who teaches at Harvard, compared what happened at the UN to a “university faculty meeting.” “Extravagant, long-winded denunciations of the president is what we’ve come to expect from professors,” not politicians. The madness is a lot more than rhetorical, however: Ferguson cited the coup in Thailand, rioting in Hungary, and the recent assassination of the deputy chairman of the Russian central bank. Add to this Islam’s violent response to the Pope’s remarks in Regensburg, and the last thing the world needs to do is encourage an apocalyptic Holocaust-denier and a Fidel Castro-wannabe. Yet that’s exactly what happened. To his credit, President Bush has shown remarkable restraint. That’s good because somebody needs to be the adult. While we all wish that there had never been a September 11 and that history, as some intellectuals in 1990s proclaimed, was over, we didn’t get what we wanted. As the events of the past few weeks show us, we live in an incredibly dangerous world. This makes what happened at the UN last week and the silence in its aftermath so shocking. We’re in a clash of civilizations being waged by people, Islamo-fascists, who really do want to destroy us, no matter how much we prefer to think otherwise. What’s more, as the New Republic recently noted, an “alliance of authoritarian regimes” is using oil as a weapon in its efforts to stop the spread of democracy around the world. Christians, who should understand the religious and cultural dimensions of this threat, need to help our neighbors understand the volatile world we live in—and the dangers facing Western civilization itself.
IDF Completes Withdrawal From Southern Lebanon
Oct. 2….(Arutz) The IDF has completed its troop withdrawal from southern Lebanon during the course of the night preceding Yom Kippur, in compliance with UN Resolution 1701. Government officials gave the IDF the green light on the Sabbath to complete the troop withdrawal ahead of Yom Kippur, which begins on Sunday evening. The last several hundred soldiers left southern Lebanon during the course of Saturday night, resulting in Israel’s total compliance with the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement, Resolution 1701. The IDF announced that it continues to view the Lebanese government responsible for ensuring quiet and security from its territory. Despite the presence of the international stabilization force under the auspices of UNIFIL, the IDF’s Northern Command will carefully monitor events in southern Lebanon. Neither the international force nor the Lebanese military troops plan to act to disarm Hizbullah. Reinforcements will remain in northern border outposts and measures will be taken to protect the northern border against a possible terrorist attack. IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev remain captive in Lebanon, despite the IDF withdrawal, leaving their families in limbo. “The fighting has stopped, the blockade was lifted, the troops have now left, and we have still not received any sign regarding the well-being of the soldiers,” stated family members. Some of them expressed anger at Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has broken several promises regarding the soldiers. During the war, the prime minister stated repeatedly that Israel would not agree to any ceasefire that does not include the “immediate and unconditional release” of the captive soldiers. This was not actualized, and to date, not even representatives of the International Red Cross have been permitted to see them due to Hizbullah’s hard-line refusal. Intelligence community officials are pessimistic regarding the future along the border with Lebanon, with most seemingly in agreement that the next conflict is not too far off in the future. No one appears willing to accept responsibility for disarming Hizbullah, despite the deployment of Lebanese forces, international troops and the UNIFIL presence. To date, UN officials have indicated that their responsibility includes “monitoring” rather than enforcement. A number of government officials concur with the assessment, including former defense minister Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor). He stated that Hizbullah has not abandoned its agenda of attacking Israel, and still possesses enough weapons to carry out future attacks.
'Gaza Readying for War'
(Weapons flowing, Palestinians training for battle)
Oct. 2….(WND) Hamas has succeeded in smuggling "hundreds of tons" of weapons from Egypt into the Gaza Strip and is preparing for the possibility of launching a large-scale conflict with Israel, according to a report by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. The report, drafted by Fatah's General Security Services and obtained by WND, stated Hamas has smuggled from the Egyptian Sinai desert between several hundred and 1,300 tons of advanced rockets; anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles; rocket propelled grenades; raw explosives; rifles; ammunition; and other heavy weaponry. Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip last year. In a deal brokered in November by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Egypt-Gaza border, once controlled by the Jewish state, now is manned by Egyptian and Palestinian security officials and is observed by European monitors. The monitors reportedly have fled their duty several times the past few months.
Israeli security officials have noted multiple breaches in border security, including the transport of terrorists and weapons across the border. They say several key sections of the border are penetrable and that smuggling tunnels that snake under the border are "thriving." The Fatah report follows statements last month by Yuval Diskin, director of Israel's Shin Bet Security Services, warning since the Jewish state withdrew from Gaza, the Palestinians successfully have transferred hundreds of tons of weapons into the Strip. "If we don't move to counter this smuggling, it will continue and create a situation in Gaza similar to the one in southern Lebanon," Diskin said. Diskin was referring to Hezbollah's development of large rocket and weapons arsenals in south Lebanon for use against Israel.
Hezbollah 'turning Gaza into south Lebanon'
Speaking to WND, senior terror leaders in Gaza, including militants from Abbas' Fatah party, agreed with Diskin's assessment. "I think Diskin made those statements to try to distract the Israelis from their losses in Lebanon by focusing on another area, but he is right. We are turning Gaza into south Lebanon," said Abu Ahmed, northern Gaza leader for the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group. "We learned from Hezbollah's victory that Israel can be defeated if we know how to hit them and if we are well prepared," Abu Ahmed said. "We are importing rockets and the knowledge to launch them and we are also making many plans for battle." Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas' so-called "military wing" told WND his group is preparing for war against Israel. "In the last 15 months, even though the fighters of Hamas kept the cease-fire, we did not stop making important advancements and professional training on the military level. In the future, after Hamas is obliged to stop the cease-fire, the world shall see our new military capabilities," said Abu Abdullah, who is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas' Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas' declared "resistance" department. Al Aqsa's Abu Ahmed said his group is receiving help from Hezbollah to import long-range rockets and train in guerrilla warfare tactics. "We have warm relations with Hezbollah, which helps with some of the training programs," Abu Ahmed said. "We don't have anything to be ashamed of – that we are dealing with Hezbollah and that we are receiving training and information from them." He said Hezbollah maintains cells in the Sinai. "The Sinai is an excellent ground for training, the exchange of information and weapons and for meetings on how to turn every piece of land into usable territory for a confrontation with Israel," Abu Ahmed said. The terror leader said Palestinian groups are developing war bunkers inside Gaza similar to the underground Hezbollah lairs Israel found during last month's war in Lebanon. "Our preparations include the building of special bunkers. Of course, we are taking into consideration that Gaza is not the same topography as Lebanon," Abu Ahmed said. During its confrontation with Hezbollah, Israel destroyed scores of complex bunkers that snaked along the Lebanese side of the Israel-Lebanon border. Military officials said they were surprised by the scale of the Hezbollah bunkers, in which Israeli troops reportedly found war rooms stocked with advanced eavesdropping and surveillance equipment they noted were made by Iran. Abu Ahmed said the most important "tool" in the "Palestinian resistance arsenal was rockets. He said his group learned from Hezbollah that Israel can be defeated with missiles. "We saw that with the capacity to bombard the Israeli population with hundreds of rockets every day we can change the strategic balance with Israel," he said. Since Israel's Gaza withdrawal, Palestinian terror groups have been regularly firing rockets at nearby Jewish communities. The terrorists generally have fired three versions of Qassam rockets, improvised steel projectiles filled with explosives and fuel. Qassams can travel between one and five miles depending on the sophistication of the particular rocket. Israeli security officials say a large number of Katyusha rockets have been brought into Gaza. Katyushas can travel about 12 miles and can deliver large payloads. Hezbollah fired more than 2,800 Katyusha rockets into Israel in July and August, devastating many northern towns. In August, Islamic Jihad fired a Katyusha rocket into the Israeli Negev. In June the group fired a Katyusha-like rocket that traveled about nine miles. "The Katyusha we fired (in August) shows we can have every weapon we need," said Abu Ahmed. "It is only a matter of a small period before Gaza is ready for war."