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Islam and Violence

Dec. 4….(By Daniel Allott) Following Pope Benedict's remarks on the relationship between faith and violence, a quiet conversation emerged. It highlighted a central question as the West increasingly attempts to engage the Muslim world: Is Islam especially prone to violence? So far, much of the conversation has focused on the violent reactions of some Muslims to the pope's previous comments. But, there's disturbing proof that a far deeper culture of violence pervades much of the Islamic world. In a recent survey on global conflict, Monty Marshall and Ted Burr of the Center for International Development and Conflict Management found that of the 24 major armed conflicts taking place worldwide in 2005, more than half (13) involved Muslim governments or paramilitary groups on one or both sides of the fighting. What's more, among six countries with "emerging armed conflicts," four are predominantly Muslim and another, Thailand, involves a Muslim separatist movement. Marshall and Burr also rated 161 countries according to their capacity to avoid outbreaks of armed conflicts. Whereas 63 percent of non-Muslim countries were categorized as "enjoying the strongest prospects for successful management of new challenges," just 18 percent of the 50 Muslim nations included were similarly designated. In addition, Muslim nations were two-and-a-half times more likely than non-Muslim nations to be considered "at the greatest risk of neglecting or mismanaging emerging societal crises such that these conflicts escalate to serious violence and/or government instability." This evaluation reveals the glaring reality that violence is a fact of life in many Muslim nations. But is Islam itself the impetus? Consider that a recent Pentagon intelligence analysis found that most Muslim terrorists say they are motivated by the Koran's violent commands. The September 11 hijackers and London transit bombers made martyrdom videos in which they recited the Koran while talking of "sacrificing life for Allah." British authorities also recovered martyrdom videotapes in the foiled transatlantic sky terror plot. Shamil Basayev, architect of the 2004 Beslan school massacre in Chechnya, referred to himself as "Allah's slave." Meanwhile, Genocidal Sudanese dictator Gen. Omar Bashir recently swore "three times in the name of Allah" that he would never allow international troops to enter Darfur. And the list goes on. Western liberals often insist that foreign occupation is at the root of Islamic violence. We simply cannot overlook extremist interpretations of religion as a significant part of the problem when terrorists yell, "Allah is great;" as they decapitate their victims or blow themselves up in a crowded market. But the Muslim world's support of faith-based violence is not limited to governments and their non-state proxies. Consider a June Pew Global Attitudes poll that showed a majority of Muslims in Jordan, Egypt and Nigeria, as well as roughly a third in France, Spain and Great Britain, felt violence against civilians can be justified in order to defend Islam. Some Muslims' appetite for destruction is not surprising given the ability of prominent Muslim leaders to foment hatred of the West. The West must recognize these violent outbursts for what they are: calculated acts of outrage meant not to refute but to intimidate non-Muslims into not speaking up at all, and submitting to their dictates. Sadly, with so many in the Islamic world agreeing that Westerners must "convert or die," all signs point to more violence ahead.



Syria’s Devious Weapon for Undermining Siniora Government

(al Qaeda infiltrators cross into Lebanon to radicalize Palestinians)

Dec. 4….(DEBKA) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert informed the Knesset foreign affairs and security committee Monday, Dec. 4, that Israel does not intend attacking Syria. Like all its neighbors, Israel is bound to be affected by the turmoil in Lebanon, especially if Hizballah’s pro-Syrian coup-by-demonstration succeeds in overthrowing the anti-Syrian government of Fouad Siniora. Military sources report that the Olmert government should be doubly concerned by Bashar Asad’s latest gambit, filtering Al Qaeda operatives from their Syrian sanctuary into Lebanon, there to foment Palestinian support for Hizballah’s drive to topple the government in Beirut. The largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, Ein al Hilwa near Sidon in the south, saw a conference of the heads of the camp’s Jund Al-Sham factions. Jund Al-Sham, like the Islamic Army of Gaza, is an operational and financial dependant of al Qaeda. They discussed whether to grant entry to Palestinian groups from Syria, and “other Arab factions,” such as “al Qaeda”, “the Islamic Army” and “Fatah al-Islam.” The consensus they reached was that such groups could not be excluded from the Palestinian refugee camps of the south or from Burj al Barajne, Sabra and Chatila near Beirut, because they were already ensconced in the north. In an article published in Dar Al Hayat on Nov. 30, the Lebanese journalist Hassan Haydar asked: “How is it possible for all these armed groups to cross the Syrian-Lebanese border without being spotted by the security apparatus of both sides?” The question was rhetorical. He knows the answer, as do DEBKAfile’s counter-terror sources: As we have reported, Syria is arming sympathetic Lebanese factions in readiness for a showdown with anti-Syrian elements in Beirut. Its next step now is to transplant al Qaeda offshoots and affiliates from Syria into Lebanon’s Palestinian camps for three objectives:

1. To remove this incriminating terrorist presence from Syria ahead of a possible thaw in relations with Washington.

2. To radicalize the Palestinians of Lebanon so that in a civil showdown they will fight alongside the pro-Syrian forces.

3. To radicalize the Palestinian people at large, and so disarm and isolate the moderates, not only in Lebanon, but also in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as well. Damascus will of course deny deploying these jihadists at strategic points for destabilizing pro-Western governments and defeating peace diplomacy. But Syria also denies a hand in promoting the violence in Iraq by similar infusions.



President Bush Meeting Iraqi Shiite Leader Ties With Iran

Dec. 4….(AP) A Shiite powerbroker reviled by Sunni Arabs for his ties to Iran and a militia linked to sectarian violence will ask President Bush to seek Iran's help in their upcoming White House meeting and try to allay US concerns over Iranian influence in Iraq. Al-Hakim is arguably the most powerful Shiite politician in Iraq, but he prefers to work behind the scenes. He wanted a close SCIRI associate, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, to be prime minister after elections in December, but grudgingly accepted al-Maliki as a compromise. The two men have since maintained a public image of cooperation to safeguard the ruling coalition. Speculation in Iraq that al-Hakim was emerging as a rival for Washington's attention was fueled in part by an internal White House memo that questioned al-Maliki's authority and his ability to handle Iraq's worsening security. Written by National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley after he met al-Maliki in Baghdad, the memo also spoke of the need for the Iraqi leader to end his alliance with the anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose militia, the Mahdi Army, is blamed for much of Iraq's sectarian violence. The timing of al-Hakim's meeting with Bush raised the possibility that Washington may also be looking for additional sources of help as it tries to stabilize Iraq, allowing a drawdown on US forces to begin. Al-Hakim is expected to try to persuade Bush to enlist Iran's help in quelling violence in Iraq. In return, they said, al-Hakim would pledge not to allow Iran to use him to promote its own interests, said by analysts to be "controlled chaos" that keeps the United States preoccupied with Iraq. Al-Hakim has close links with Shiite Iran, where he lived in exile for years before he returned to Iraq after the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein's Sunni-led regime. His Badr Brigade militia, trained and armed by the Iranians, is blamed for some of Iraq's sectarian violence. Al-Hakim's militia links and close ties to Iran, however, have gone unmentioned by Washington, perhaps in recognition of his political leverage. President Bush is under pressure from Sunni Arab allies, like Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who have become alarmed at the rise of Iraq's majority Shiites to resist the Shiite formula.






Ahmadinejad Tells Haniyeh: Israel Will Soon Disappear
image image Dec. 2….(Jerusalem Post) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh held talks in Doha, Qatar on Friday. The Islamic Republic News Agency reported Saturday Ahmadinejad saying, "As everybody knows, the Zionist regime was created to establish dominion of arrogant states over the region and to enable the enemy to penetrate the heart Muslim land." Saying the Israeli regime was inherently a "threat," and was "on the verge of disappearing." Haniyeh praised the support of the Iranian government and nation for the cause of the Palestinian nation. "The Iranian nation's brilliant stand in the rightful battles of the Palestinians encourages them and signifies their deep understanding of Islamic principles," Iran's official state-run news agency reported. "The Intifada (uprising) of the Palestinian nation will continue until the cause of the Palestinians is materialized and Al-Quds Al-Sharif (Jerusalem) is liberated," added Haniyeh. Ahmadinejad went on to say that, "Today scores of Western politicians are in doubt as to the future of this illegitimate regime and its existence has come under question. "There is no doubt the Palestinian nation and Muslims as a whole will emerge victorious," the Iranian president told Haniyeh. "The continued commission of crimes by the Zionist regime will speed up the collapse of this fictitious regime," said Ahmadinejad.



UN General Assembly Passes anti-Israel Resolutions

Dec. 2….(YNET) The General Assembly approved six pro-Palestinian resolutions over United States and Israeli objections, culminating the annual United Nations debate aimed at showing the world body's solidarity with Palestinian demands for an independent homeland. At the end of three days of speeches, the 192-member world body on Friday reaffirmed the UN's responsibility regarding the Palestinian question and stressed the Palestinian peoples' right to self-determination and an independent state. The Palestinian UN Observer, Riyad Mansour, said the vote, 157 to 7 with 10 abstentions, showed massive support in the international community for moving forward on the peace process. "The only way to reverse all the ills that we are witnessing in the Middle East is to accept the fact that there can only be a negotiated solution to the question of Palestine and the Arab-Israeli conflict," Mansour told the assembly on Thursday. "It is unfortunate to say, at the least, that each time the Arabs have extended their hand, it was violently rejected by Israel." The resolutions are not legally binding, as Security Council resolutions are - but they are a reflection of world opinion. Each of the six resolution received more than 100 "yes" votes. The United States, Israel, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau voted against all six resolutions. The only other resolution to top 150 "yes" votes declared any attempt to impose Israel's laws, jurisdiction and administration on Jerusalem illegal, and therefore null and void. It was approved by a vote of 157-6 with 10 abstentions. The other resolutions demanded that Israel withdraw from the Golan Heights and supported the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, the UN Secretariat's Division for Palestinian Rights, and the UN's special information program on the question of Palestine. US Diplomat Ned Siegel opposed the Golan Heights resolution, saying it prejudged the outcome of negotiations between Israel and Syria. He accused Syria of using the General Assembly "to direct accusations at Israel even as it flaunts a number of Security Council resolutions. Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari accused the US Of using its veto in the Security Council to protect its Israeli friends and prevent them from complying with UN Resolutions.



The Bassij, Israel’s Enemy From Iran

Dec. 1….(CBN) The world now knows the fiery rhetoric of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. What is less known is the group he comes from, called the "Bassij." The Bassij is one of the most committed enemies of Israel and the United States in the world today. This paramilitary group is one of the most important organizations within Iran. It claims as many as three million members in reserve but tens of thousands serve full time and follow a radical ideology. Menashe Amir hosts a radio show for Voice of Israel Farsi. He's considered one of the foremost experts on Iran, maintains contact with Iranians regularly, and keeps his finger on the pulse of Iranian daily life, such as the influence of the Bassij. Amir said, "I'm very much afraid that Western countries and Western people don't realize how dangerous this ideology is and what will be the prospect in the future. They believe that the Messiah will come soon and their mission is to safeguard the regime." The Bassij play a key role for the ruling mullahs and for Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Just a few days ago, he paid tribute to elite Bassij units and called them his children. "Ahmadinejad says that he is part of the Bassij, and for him Bassij is very important and that it has a holy mission, just to safeguard the regime, to suppress any opposition, any moral behavior which in not in line with the regime," said Amir. The Bassij function as a human shield for Iran's rulers. Iran's supreme leader has given them almost unbridled power to protect the regime from internal dissent. They crush any opposition throughout the country much like the way Hitler used his SA Brownshirt forces to crush any opposition to the Nazi Party. "Whenever there is any sign of opposition against the regime," Amir explained, "they come and attack people, beat them, and injure them. And they are very much detested among the Iranian population." The fanaticism of the Bassij is legendary and horrific. During the Iran/Iraq War in the 1980s, tens of thousands marched to their doom across Iraqi minefields. They are trained to embrace martyrdom. The same fanaticism during the 1980s is still at work today, and some say even more aggressively. It's directed at the United States, called "The Great Satan," and particularly right now at Israel, called "The Little Satan." "We have to wipe out Israel," said one Bassij member.  Another Bassij member stated, "I am here due to my Muslim obligation to fight Israel until the last drop of my blood." While many Iranians detest the Bassij, this group sees itself as a vanguard of Shiite Islam that will help prepare the way of the Islamic messiah, the Mahdi, and defeat the west. "The Bassij think that Islam is a young, dynamic force that is growing while the Western civilization is a declining force," said Amir. They are not ready to sacrifice themselves. And that's the reason why the Basiji deeply believe that in the end the victory will be with Islam itself." "No one likes war," said one of the Bassij members, "but if there is a war, we will be ready to die. In helping Muslims where there is injustice, we like to become martyrs." With this kind of fanaticism fueling Iran's regime and with its nuclear program on the way, it will be up to US President George Bush and or Israel to deal with this daunting threat.



Pope Hailed for Praying Toward Mecca Like Muslims


(FOJ) Pope Benedict XVI removed his shoes and prayed alongside an Islamic Imam Mustafa Cagrici in one of Turkey's most famous mosques in a dramatic gesture of outreach toward Muslims. The Pope’s public prayer is being hailed by the world as an act of unity and religious convergence. In reality, the Pope’s bow toward Mecca is a blasphemous act toward the God of Israel, as it is in truth an embrace of a false god. Allah and Jehovah are not one and the same!

Dec. 1….(AP) Pope Benedict ended a sensitive, fence-mending visit to Turkey on Friday amid praise for visiting Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque and praying there facing toward Mecca "like Muslims." His first visit to a mostly Muslim country, held under tight security for fear of protests by nationalists and Islamists, was highlighted by a series of conciliatory gestures culminating in a stop on Thursday afternoon in Istanbul's famed Blue Mosque. Istanbul Grand Mufti Mustafa Cagrici, who prayed with him there, said Pope Benedict faced Mecca and stood like Muslims do when they pray aright. "These were very nice gestures," he told NTV television. "The Pope's dreaded visit was concluded with a wonderful surprise," wrote daily Aksam on its front page. "In Sultan Ahmet Mosque, he turned toward Mecca and prayed like Muslims," the popular daily Hurriyet said, using the building's official name. Just before leaving, Benedict said he hoped his visit was seen as "a sign of friendship between religions" that helps bring countries and cultures closer together. Mehmet Nuri Yilmaz, the former head of Turkey's directorate for religious affairs, said the Pope facing Mecca was a "great gesture" for the Muslim world. Bottom of Form



Nasrallah Mobilizes Hezbollah, Allies For Political Coup in Beirut


The leader of Lebanon's anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, Saad Hariri, son of former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press at his house in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday Nov. 30, 2006. Hariri warned Thursday that Syria was behind the planned protests to bring down the government, saying its ally Hezbollah would not be able force Prime Minister Fuad Saniora to step down. Hariri also accused Syria of being behind the planned demonstrations to try to stop the international tribunal that will try the suspects in the killing of his father in Feb. 2005

Dec. 1….(Ha Aretz) Hundreds of thousands of protesters from Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian opposition allies massed Friday in downtown Beirut to force the resignation of Western-backed Prime Minister Fuad Saniora, who was holed up in his office ringed by hundreds of police and combat troops. The Shiite Muslim Hezbollah and its allies mobilized their bases for the protest, arranging to bus supporters from all over Lebanon and handing out free gasoline coupons to people in remote regions. The protesters, which police estimated at 800,000, created a sea of Lebanese flags that blanketed the downtown. Hezbollah officials put the number at least 1 million, one-fourth of Lebanon's population. Saniora went about his schedule in what appeared to be a tactic to ignore the throngs that quickly filled the streets. With heavy traffic reported on highways leading downtown, pro-government factions urged calm. "Saniora out! The crowd roared in approval amid the deafening sound of Hezbollah revolutionary and nationalist songs. Heavily armed soldiers and police had closed all roads to downtown, feverishly unfurling barbed wire and placing barricades. Despite Hezbollah's assurances the protests will be peaceful, the heavy security came amid fears the protests may turn into clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian factions or that Hezbollah supporters could try to storm Saniora's government headquarters. Hezbollah's security men, donning caps, formed two lines between the protesters and the security forces to prevent clashes. Launching a long-threatened campaign to force Lebanon's US-backed government from office, Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian allies said the demonstration would be followed by a wave of open-ended protests.

The battle is a fallout from the summer war between Hezbollah and Israel that ravaged parts of Lebanon. The guerrilla force's strong resistance against Israeli troops sent its support among Shiites skyrocketing, emboldening it to grab more political power. Hezbollah also feels Saniora did not do enough to support it during the fight. Pro-government groups, in turn, resent Hezbollah for sparking the fight by snatching two Israeli soldiers, dragging Lebanon into war with Israel. A defiant Saniora vowed his government would not fall, warning in a nationally televised speech Thursday night that "Lebanon's independence is threatened and its democratic system is in danger." Government supporters accuse Syria of being behind the Hezbollah campaign, trying to regain its lost influence in its smaller neighbor. Hezbollah and its allies, in turn, say the country has fallen under US domination and that they have lost their rightful portion of power. Hezbollah had threatened to call for demonstrations unless it and its allies obtain a veto-wielding share of the Cabinet, a demand that Saniora and the anti-Syrian parties have rejected. Hezbollah's deputy leader, Sheik Naim Kassim, made it clear the fight is against "American tutelage" and said the protest action will continue until the government falls. The United States has made Lebanon a key front in its attempts to rein in Syria and its ally, regional powerhouse Iran. President Bush warned earlier this week that the two countries were trying to destabilize Lebanon. Hezbollah's leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, called for the protests to be peaceful. From the other camp, the head of the anti-Syrian bloc in parliament, Saad Hariri, said his supporters should not hold counter-demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands of Lebanese also flooded the downtown area last week after Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel was shot dead to show their support for Saniora's government.  Lebanon has had a string of assassinations of anti-Syrian figures in the past two years, including a prominent Christian government minister gunned down last week and Hariri's father, former prime minister Rafik Hariri, who was killed in a February 2005 bombing.



How Much do Pro-Israel Christians Really Love Israel?

Nov. 30….(Stan Goodenough) A growing number of Jews are wondering how trustworthy Christians are who say they love Israel but embrace the teaching that sees the Church heading for glory while the Jews head for another holocaust. Israel's biggest circulation daily, Yediot Ahronot, Thursday ran a report on its Ynetnews website about the release of a hot new computer game based on a runaway American best-seller prophecy novel. Described as extremely impressive graphically, and consequently a guaranteed hot sell, "Left Behind - Eternal Forces" pushes the same eschatological line as the books, which see all the world's Christians taken into heaven while the Jews are left on earth to go through "the Great Tribulation" or "time of Jacobs trouble." This period of intense persecution culminates in the destruction of two-thirds of the world's Jews, while the surviving one-third convert to Christianity and are saved. More than 75 percent of pro-Israel American Christians are believed to subscribe to this interpretation of how our age will end. "Where do we fit into all this, asks Ynetnews reporter Noam Reshef. Is it "good for the Jews?" "Jews and Israelis will find the series' plotline extremely troubling, to say the least. "Left Behind, he concludes, "supports Israel, but portrays Judaism as a mistaken religion." Reshef's report is just the latest in a series of articles that have appeared in recent years as interested, curious, suspicious and concerned Jews have sought to understand the beliefs and motives of the evangelical Christian community which is increasingly viewed as Israel's last and only ally in the world.



America’s Joint Chiefs Oppose Iraq pullout

Nov. 30….(Washington Times) All six members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, amid an ongoing Pentagon review of strategy for Iraq, oppose pulling US troops out of Iraq now, and are also against a specific withdrawal timetable, a defense source said yesterday. "The chiefs are solid. They want victory," the source said. "There is no dissent." The Joint Chiefs, which includes Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman, along with a vice chairman and the heads of the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy, have been meeting several times a week to review a list of Iraq options for President Bush. The Pentagon has said all options are open for consideration during the far-reaching review. But on the question of withdrawal, the issue is settled in favor of President Bush's position, the source said. "We are looking at the whole spectrum of possible military actions," Gen. Pace said yesterday. At a press conference, Gen. Pace endorsed the idea of shifting more Iraqi forces into violence-wracked Baghdad, where Shi'ite and Sunni terrorists are on a killing spree to gain control of the capital. A number of lawmakers, including Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican and House Armed Services Committee chairman, advocate sending more Iraqi battalions to the capital. "I think that idea has a good amount of appeal for multiple reasons," Gen. Pace said. The Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan commission of former officeholders, completed work yesterday on its final report to Mr. Bush. The report will be released Wednesday, the day after Senate confirmation hearings begin for Defense Secretary-designate Robert M. Gates. Mr. Bush is not likely to warmly embrace the study group's centerpiece proposal, direct diplomatic engagement with US adversaries Syria and Iran, which are fueling the various insurgency groups in Iraq that are killing US troops and Iraqi civilians by the thousands. The month of December is shaping up as a time of major decision-making by Mr. Bush. He will receive the Iraq study group report, more input from Gen. Pace and ideas from the National Security Council staff. He has resisted direct talks with Syria and Iran, two of the US-designated terrorism sponsors (Axis of Evil) whom the administration thinks are using unrest in Iraq to spread violence in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.



America’s Army Would Gradually Stand Down Under Iraq Study Plan

Nov. 30….(New York Times) The bipartisan Iraq Study Group reached a consensus today on a final report that will call for a gradual pullback of the 15 American combat brigades now in Iraq but stop short of setting a firm timetable for their withdrawal, according to people familiar with the panel’s deliberations. The report, unanimously approved by the 10-member panel is to be delivered to President Bush next week. The report recommends that Mr. Bush make it clear to Iraqi President Al Maliki that he intends to start the withdrawal relatively soon, and people familiar with the debate over the final language said the implicit message was that the process should begin sometime next year.  The report leaves unstated whether the 15 combat brigades that are the bulk of American fighting forces in Iraq would be brought home, or simply pulled back to bases in Iraq or in neighboring countries. As described by the people involved in the deliberations, the bulk of the report by the Baker-Hamilton group focused on a recommendation that the United States devise a far more aggressive diplomatic initiative in the Middle East than Mr. Bush has been willing to try so far, including direct engagement with Iran and Syria. Initially, those contacts might be part of a regional conference on Iraq or broader Middle East peace issues, like the Israeli-Palestinian situation, but they would ultimately involve direct, high-level talks with Tehran and Damascus. Throughout the debates, Mr. Baker, who served as secretary of state under Mr. Bush’s father and was the central figure in developing the strategy to win the 2000 Florida recount for Mr. Bush, was highly reluctant to allow a timetable for withdrawal to be included in the report, participants said. Mr. Baker cited what Mr. Bush had also called a danger: that any firm deadline would be an invitation to insurgents and sectarian groups to bide their time until the last American troops were withdrawn, then seek to overthrow the government. But Democrats on the commission also suspected that Mr. Baker was reluctant to embarrass the president by embracing a strategy Mr. Bush had repeatedly rejected. Committee members struggled with ways, short of a deadline, to signal to the Iraqis that Washington would not prop up the government with military forces endlessly, and that if sectarian warfare continued the pressure to withdraw American forces would become overwhelming. What they ended up with appears to be a classic Washington compromise: a report that sets no explicit timetable but, between the lines, appears to have one built in. As one senior American military officer involved in Iraq strategy said, “The question is whether it doesn’t look like a timeline to Bush, and does to Maliki.”

  • FOJ Note: It is worth noting that the Joint Chiefs want to fight to a clear cut victory in Iraq, and that the politicians on the ISG want to fall back. It is also interesting that there are no military experts on the Iraq study panel, which shows that the real war being waged here is political, and is being fought through the media, which is what Iran and its evil President fully realize.



Bush Agrees to Speedy Turnover in Iraq

imageNov. 30….(AP) President Bush said Thursday the United States will speed a turnover of security responsibility to Iraqi forces but assured Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that Washington is not looking for a "graceful exit" from a war well into its fourth violent year. Under intensifying political pressure at home, the American and Iraqi leaders came together for a hastily arranged summit to explore how to stop escalating violence that is tearing Iraq apart and eroding support for Bush's war strategy. With Bush hoping to strengthen his Iraqi counterpart's fragile government, the tensions that flared when their opening session was abruptly cancelled yesterday evening were not apparent when they appeared before reporters after breakfast Thursday. I appreciate the courage you show during these difficult times as you lead your country," Bush told al-Maliki after nearly two and a half hours of talks. "He's the right guy for Iraq." The leaders emerged from their formal session with few specific ideas, particularly on Bush's repeated pledge to move more quickly to transfer authority for Iraq's security to al-Maliki's government. "One of his frustrations with me is that he believes that we've been slow about giving him the tools necessary to protect the Iraqi people," Bush said. "He doesn't have the capacity to respond. So we want to accelerate that capacity." There was no explanation from either side of how that would happen, beyond support for the long-standing goals of speeding the US military's effort to train Iraqi security forces and to give more military authority over Iraq to al-Maliki. The November elections that handed control of Congress to Democrats have given rise to heightened calls for the about 140,000 American soldiers in Iraq to begin coming home. Bush acknowledged that pressure and said he wanted to start troop withdrawals as soon as possible. Still, he insisted the US will stay "until the job is complete." "I know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq," he said. "This business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all." The president added: "I'm a realist because I understand how tough it is inside of Iraq." The first meeting between Bush and al-Maliki, scheduled for Wednesday night along with Jordan's king, was scrubbed. It may have been Al Maliki’s way of appeasing thirty Iraqi lawmakers and five cabinet ministers loyal to anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who protested his decision to meet with Bush. Privately, president Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice repeatedly pressed the Iraqi prime minister to disband a heavily armed Shiite militia loyal to al-Sadr and blamed for much of the country's sectarian violence, according to the senior al-Maliki aide. Al-Sadr is a key al-Maliki political backer and the prime minister has regularly sidestepped US demands to deal with the Mahdi Army. Al-Maliki's insistence on not attending the three-way meeting with Bush and Jordan's king was a troubling sign of possible US difficulties ahead in the effort to calm Iraq. Bush, meanwhile, continued to reject drawing Shiite-led Iran into helping Iraq in its struggle for peace. "I appreciate the prime minister's views that the Iraqis are plenty capable of running their own business and they don't need foreign interference from neighbors that will be destabilizing the country," he said. Al-Maliki, though, seemed open to the idea of Tehran, as well as Damascus, getting involved.



Pope Appeals To Muslim-Christian Joint Veneration of Mary

Nov. 30….(Reuters) Turkey on Wednesday praised the conciliatory tone of Pope Benedict during his visit to the predominantly Muslim country and his apparent new support for Ankara's bid to join the European Union. Celebrating mass at a shrine in southwestern Turkey where legend says the Virgin Mary lived out her last days, Benedict stressed that a common devotion to the mother of Jesus Christ is another link binding Christians and Muslims. Benedict said in his sermon: "From here in Ephesus, a city blessed by the presence of Mary Most Holy, who we know is loved and venerated also by Muslims, let us lift up to the Lord a special prayer for peace between peoples." The Koran describes Mary as the virgin mother of Jesus, whom Muslims consider the greatest prophet after Mohammed, and some Muslims, especially women, visit shrines to Mary. The rough stone house where she is said to have died stands amid olive and pine trees outside the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, now a collection of ruins known in Turkish as Efes.

FOJ Note: See the “Understand The Times” (http://www/ website by Roger Oakland for further information about the Muslim and Catholic common ground found through Mary.



Pope Holds Mass at Marian Shrine in Turkey

Meanwhile: Al-Qaida Denounces Pope Visit to Turkey

Nov. 29….(AP) Al-Qaida in Iraq on Wednesday denounced Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey, calling it part of a "crusader campaign" against Islam. In Istanbul, Vatican officials said the remark shows the need for faiths to fight "violence in the name of God." The trip is Benedict's first visit to an Islamic country as pontiff, seeking dialogue with Muslims who were angered over a speech he made in September in which he cited a medieval text that linked Islam and violence. Al-Qaida in Iraq issued its statement on an Islamic militant Web site it often uses to post messages. "The pope's visit, in fact, is to consolidate the crusader campaign against the lands of Islam after the failure of the crusader leaders ... and an attempt to extinguish the burning ember of Islam inside our Turkish brothers," it said. Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said "neither the pope nor his entourage are worried" by the statement. "This type of message shows once again the urgency and importance of a common commitment of all forces against violence," Lombardi said. "It also shows the need of various faiths to say 'no' to violence in the name of God."


(FOJ) In this photo of the Pope’s trip to Turkey, we see the Pope sitting under a banner of Islam and Socialism. No wonder The Revelation depicts the Woman riding on the back of a great Beast.


(Positive response to Papal visit after Benedict voices support for EU membership)

Nov. 29….(MSN) Pope Benedict XVI held an intimate Mass under a flower-covered canopy at one of the holiest Christian places in this predominantly Muslim country Wednesday, as riot police and soldiers toting submachine guns patrolled a hillside nearby. The Mass was held next to the ruins of a house where the Virgin Mary is thought to have spent her last years. the pope urged religious leaders of all faiths to “utterly refuse” to support any form of violence in the name of faith. He sought a careful balance as he extended a hand of friendship and “brotherhood” to Muslims on his first visit to a Muslim country, and even expressed support for measures that Turkey has taken in its campaign to join the European Union. St. John the Apostle is believed to have brought the Virgin Mary to the house to care for her after Jesus’ death. Another belief maintains that the Virgin Mary died in Jerusalem. The ruins of the house, whose earliest foundations date to the first century, have become a popular pilgrimage site since the 1950s. A chapel was built over the ruins, and some believe in the healing powers of both the chapel and waters flowing from a nearby spring. The site is nestled on a wooded mountain between the ancient city of Ephesus and the town of Selcuk, near the Aegean coast. Of Turkey’s 70 million people, some 65,000 are Armenian Orthodox Christians, 20,000 are Roman Catholic, and 3,500 are Protestant, mostly converts from Islam. Another 2,000 are Greek Orthodox and 23,000 are Jewish. The European Union has called on Turkey to expand religious freedoms. The pope planned to travel to Istanbul later Wednesday to meet Bartholomew I, leader of the world’s 300 million Orthodox Christians. The two major branches of Christianity represented by Bartholomew and Benedict split in 1054 over differences in opinion on the power of the papacy. The two spiritual heads will meet in an attempt to breach the divide and reunite the churches.



Christians Must “Let Go of Some Beliefs” for Sake of Peace

Nov. 29….(The Tennessean) To live peacefully with Muslims and Jews, Christians must put aside the notion that their faith requires the creation of a Christian kingdom on Earth, a Lipscomb University theologian told an interfaith gathering at the university. "We are not going to get very far in our relationship with Jews or Muslims if we do not let go of this idea," Lipscomb professor Lee Camp said at Tuesday's conference. We need to forsake the Christendom model," Camp said. "The most basic Christian commitment is that we say we believe in the Lordship of Jesus. But, if we claim that, how can a Muslim or Jew trust us, if we say Jesus is the Lord of all Lords?" We must change this. Co-sponsored by the First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, the daylong conference was prompted by a desire to begin a dialogue about global religious conflict. After five years of rising gas prices, disturbing privacy issues that followed the Sept. 11 attacks and the fear of terrorism, it became apparent that everyday life in Nashville is directly affected by religious conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, conference organizers said. "We felt like the larger community is calling for this," said Larry Bridgesmith, executive director of Lipscomb's newly established Institute for Conflict Management. Panelists representing different faiths presented their own views on how to begin to bridge the religious divide. For Kahled Sakalla, a spokesman for the Islamic Center of Nashville, some of the answers lie in better education about Islam in the non-Muslim world. Allah, the God Muslims worship, is the same God Christians and Jews worship, and the Quran recounts the same biblical stories of Mary and Jesus, he said. "Yes, we have differences, but it's important to focus on commonalities," said Sakalla, one of four panelists representing different faiths who addressed the Lipscomb conference. Mark Schiftan, rabbi of the Temple in Belle Meade, said he also believes people of faith must begin to look for common ground. "If all of us believe we were created in God's image, then we have to believe that everyone else is also created in God's image," Schiftan said. Charles McGowan, president of the Christian group Operation Andrew said: “the issues that have divided the world's religions for millennia are so deep and fundamental, ranging from the question of whether the land of Israel rightfully belongs to the Jews and whether there is one way to salvation, that tackling them will require both dialogue with other faiths and a more introspective look at one's own beliefs, panelists said. Some liberal theologians have suggested that different faiths are all variations on one another and that beliefs are all basically the same, a position with which Camp deeply disagrees. Instead, he believes, Christians must not back away from their beliefs but further examine them and their own history. First, Christians must examine their "sins of omission," he said, such as not taking the time to learn about other religions. Then they must look at their "sins of commission." "We have such short historical (memory) spans as white Christians," he said. "There is a history of anti-Semitism, the violence and bloodshed of the crusades and cultural imperialism. We have to deal with the reality of what Christians have done, which in some cases has been to kill people." Camp described himself as a conservative Christian but conceded his opinions may be viewed as "radical" by other evangelical Christians. Christians must shed the idea that they need to promulgate a worldwide Christianity, he said. "If I hold to a model of Jesus, what I've committed to in my baptism is loving my enemy," Lee said. "I'm committed to not killing you, but to serving and honoring you. It's an exclusive commitment to the way of Christ, not to the exclusive authority of Christ." Sakalla said there may never be reconciliation on the fundamental theological divisions. "Every religion has different teachings," he said. "For Muslims, it's: Do you believe in one God and that Muhammad" is his prophet? "I don't think we can teach individuals that the way you go to heaven in other religions is OK.

FOJ Note: Somewhere the Antichrist is smiling. If he can get the so-called Christians to abandon “some of the basic Biblical beliefs,” then He can easily fashion a Global religious system that will exalt him as the God of this world.



Text of Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinjad’s Letter to the US

'Both our nations are God-fearing, truth-loving and justice-seeking'

Message of H.E. Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran To the American People:

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

O, Almighty God, bestow upon humanity the perfect human being promised to all by You, and make us among his followers.

Noble Americans,

Were we not faced with the activities of the US administration in this part of the world and the negative ramifications of those activities on the daily lives of our peoples, coupled with the many wars and calamities caused by the US administration as well as the tragic consequences of US interference in other countries;

Were the American people not God-fearing, truth-loving, and justice-seeking, while the US administration actively conceals the truth and impedes any objective portrayal of current realities;

And if we did not share a common responsibility to promote and protect freedom and human dignity and integrity; Then, there would have been little urgency to have a dialogue with you.

   While Divine providence has placed Iran and the United States geographically far apart, we should be cognizant that human values and our common human spirit, which proclaim the dignity and exalted worth of all human beings, have brought our two great nations of Iran and the United States closer together. Both our nations are God-fearing, truth-loving and justice-seeking, and both seek dignity, respect and perfection. Both greatly value and readily embrace the promotion of human ideals such as compassion, empathy, respect for the rights of human beings, securing justice and equity, and defending the innocent and the weak against oppressors and bullies.

We are all inclined towards the good, and towards extending a helping hand to one another, particularly to those in need. We all deplore injustice, the trampling of peoples' rights and the intimidation and humiliation of human beings. We all detest darkness, deceit, lies and distortion, and seek and admire salvation, enlightenment, sincerity and honesty. The pure human essence of the two great nations of Iran and the United States testify to the veracity of these statements.

Noble Americans,

   Our nation has always extended its hand of friendship to all other nations of the world.  Hundreds of thousands of my Iranian compatriots are living amongst you in friendship and peace, and are contributing positively to your society.  Our people have been in contact with you over the past many years and have maintained these contacts despite the unnecessary restrictions of US authorities. As mentioned, we have common concerns, face similar challenges, and are pained by the sufferings and afflictions in the world.

We, like you, are aggrieved by the ever-worsening pain and misery of the Palestinian people.  Persistent aggressions by the Zionists are making life more and more difficult for the rightful owners of the land of Palestine.  In broad day-light, in front of cameras and before the eyes of the world, they are bombarding innocent defenseless civilians, bulldozing houses, firing machine guns at students in the streets and alleys, and subjecting their families to endless grief.  No day goes by without a new crime.

Palestinian mothers, just like Iranian and American mothers, love their children, and are painfully bereaved by the imprisonment, wounding and murder of their children. What mother wouldn't?

   For 60 years, the Zionist regime has driven millions of the inhabitants of Palestine out of their homes.  Many of these refugees have died in the Diaspora and in refugee camps. Their children have spent their youth in these camps and are aging while still in the hope of returning to homeland. 

You know well that the US administration has persistently provided blind and blanket support to the Zionist regime, has emboldened it to continue its crimes, and has prevented the UN Security Council from condemning it. Who can deny such broken promises and grave injustices towards humanity by the US administration?

Governments are there to serve their own people. No people wants to side with or support any oppressors. But regrettably, the US administration disregards even its own public opinion and remains in the forefront of supporting the trampling of the rights of the Palestinian people.

   Let's take a look at Iraq. Since the commencement of the US military presence in Iraq, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, maimed or displaced. Terrorism in Iraq has grown exponentially. With the presence of the US military in Iraq, nothing has been done to rebuild the ruins, to restore the infrastructure or to alleviate poverty. The US Government used the pretext of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but later it became clear that that was just a lie and a deception.  Although Saddam was overthrown and people are happy about his departure, the pain and suffering of the Iraqi people has persisted and has even been aggravated. In Iraq, about one hundred and fifty thousand American soldiers, separated from their families and loved ones, are operating under the command of the current US administration.  A substantial number of them have been killed or wounded and their presence in Iraq has tarnished the image of the American people and government.  Their mothers and relatives have, on numerous occasions, displayed their discontent with the presence of their sons and daughters in a land thousands of miles away from US shores.  American soldiers often wonder why they have been sent to Iraq.   I consider it extremely unlikely that you, the American people, consent to the billions of dollars of annual expenditure from your treasury for this military misadventure.

Noble Americans,

   You have heard that the US administration is kidnapping its presumed opponents from across the globe and arbitrarily holding them without trial or any international supervision in horrendous prisons that it has established in various parts of the world. God knows who these detainees actually are, and what terrible fate awaits them. You have certainly heard the sad stories of the Guantanamo and Abu-Ghraib prisons. The US administration attempts to justify them through its proclaimed "war on terror."  But every one knows that such behavior, in fact, offends global public opinion, exacerbates resentment and thereby spreads terrorism, and tarnishes the US image and its credibility among nations.

   The US administration's illegal and immoral behavior is not even confined to outside its borders.  You are witnessing daily that under the pretext of "the war on terror," civil liberties in the United States are being increasingly curtailed.  Even the privacy of individuals is fast losing its meaning. Judicial due process and fundamental rights are trampled upon.  Private phones are tapped, suspects are arbitrarily arrested, sometimes beaten in the streets, or even shot to death.  I have no doubt that the American people do not approve of this behavior and indeed deplore it.

   The US administration does not accept accountability before any organization, institution or council. The US administration has undermined the credibility of international organizations, particularly the United Nations and its Security Council. But, I do not intend to address all the challenges and calamities in this message. The legitimacy, power and influence of a government do not emanate from its arsenals of tanks, fighter aircrafts, missiles or nuclear weapons. Legitimacy and influence reside in sound logic, quest for justice and compassion and empathy for all humanity. The global position of the United States is in all probability weakened because the administration has continued to resort to force, to conceal the truth, and to mislead the American people about its policies and practices.  Undoubtedly, the American people are not satisfied with this behavior and they showed their discontent in the recent elections. I hope that in the wake of the mid-term elections, the administration of President Bush will have heard and will heed the message of the American people. My questions are the following:

Is there not a better approach to governance?

   Is it not possible to put wealth and power in the service of peace, stability, prosperity and the happiness of all peoples through a commitment to justice and respect for the rights of all nations, instead of aggression and war? We all condemn terrorism, because its victims are the innocent.  But, can terrorism be contained and eradicated through war, destruction and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocents? If that were possible, then why has the problem not been resolved? The sad experience of invading Iraq is before us all. What has blind support for the Zionists by the US administration brought for the American people? It is regrettable that for the US administration, the interests of these occupiers supersedes the interests of the American people and of the other nations of the world. What have the Zionists done for the American people that the US administration considers itself obliged to blindly support these infamous aggressors? Is it not because they have imposed themselves on a substantial portion of the banking, financial, cultural and media sectors? I recommend that in a demonstration of respect for the American people and for humanity, the right of Palestinians to live in their own homeland should be recognized so that millions of Palestinian refugees can return to their homes and the future of all of Palestine and its form of government be determined in a referendum. This will benefit everyone. Now that Iraq has a Constitution and an independent Assembly and Government, would it not be more beneficial to bring the US officers and soldiers home, and to spend the astronomical US military expenditures in Iraq for the welfare and prosperity of the American people? As you know very well, many victims of Katrina continue to suffer, and countless Americans continue to live in poverty and homelessness.

I'd also like to say a word to the winners of the recent elections in the US:

    The United States has had many administrations; some who have left a positive legacy, and others that are neither remembered fondly by the American people nor by other nations. Now that you control an important branch of the US Government, you will also be held to account by the people and by history.  If the US Government meets the current domestic and external challenges with an approach based on truth and Justice, it can remedy some of the past afflictions and alleviate some of the global resentment and hatred of America. But if the approach remains the same, it would not be unexpected that the American people would similarly reject the new electoral winners, although the recent elections, rather than reflecting a victory, in reality point to the failure of the current administration's policies. These issues had been extensively dealt with in my letter to President Bush earlier this year.

To sum up:

It is possible to govern based on an approach that is distinctly different from one of coercion, force and injustice.

It is possible to sincerely serve and promote common human values, and honesty and compassion.

It is possible to provide welfare and prosperity without tension, threats, imposition or war.

It is possible to lead the world towards the aspired perfection by adhering to unity, monotheism, morality and spirituality and drawing upon the teachings of the Divine Prophets.

Then, the American people, who are God-fearing and followers of Divine religions, will overcome every difficulty. What I stated represents some of my anxieties and concerns. I am confident that you, the American people, will play an instrumental role in the establishment of justice and spirituality throughout the world.  The promises of the Almighty and His prophets will certainly be realized, Justice and Truth will prevail and all nations will live a true life in a climate replete with love, compassion and fraternity.  The US governing establishment, the authorities and the powerful should not choose irreversible paths. As all prophets have taught us, injustice and transgression will eventually bring about decline and demise. Today, the path of return to faith and spirituality is open and unimpeded.

We should all heed the Divine Word of the Holy Qur'an:

"But those who repent, have faith and do good may receive Salvation. Your Lord, alone, creates and chooses as He will, and others have no part in His choice; Glorified is God and Exalted above any partners they ascribe to Him." (28:67-68) I pray to the Almighty to bless the Iranian and American nations and indeed all nations of the world with dignity and success.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran



Focus on Jerusalem Prophecy Ministry Commentary on Ahmadinejad;’ Letter

Nov. 29….(Darrell G. Young) Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad logged the above letter to the American people with the United Nations. It is an attempt by a declared foreign enemy of the Christian Republic of the United States at brainwashing the American people through the verbage of political deception. Mr. Ahmadinejad is attempting to go over the head or our nation and the office of the Presidency to appeal to the political divisions on our country that have been created by our own insanity over power and jealousy. These situations in political America are the result of the Great Falling Away, so aptly describe in the Holy Bible. Mr. Ahmadinejad’s letter clearly shows that he is making a case against Israel, (a nation he has said should be wiped off the face of the earth) and against the God of Israel, by cleverly using the guise of religious tolerance to suggest that the Koran has just as much authority in this issue as the Christian Bible. Ahmadinejad is being used of SATAN to castigate the present Bush Administration for its unswavering support for the security of Israel, and appeal to the American public to abandon its traditional support for Israel, because it is supposedly illegally occupying land that the Koran says rightfully belongs to the Palestinians. The Iranian President is using the appeal of religious tolerance and unity to compel upon mainstream America to abandon its Biblical heritage and to adapt to the Divine world religions and the peace and unity movement. In short, Ahmadinejad is asking Americans to abandon following the Christian Zionist Doctrine of Prophetic Scripture, and to join the spiritual convergence of the Antichrist. (Mahdi)



Muslim Congressman-Elect Will Take Oath on Koran, Not Holy Bible

Will America submit to allowing the Koran to be used for swearing in its elected officials? Would any Muslim nation allow a Bible to exist on its soil?

Nov. 29….(Dennis Prager) Keith Ellison, D-Minnesota, the first Muslim ever elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran. He should not be allowed to do so, not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization. First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism, my culture trumps America's culture. What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book. Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite holy book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath. Devotees of multiculturalism and political correctness who do not see how damaging to the fabric of American civilization it is to allow Ellison to choose his own book need only imagine a racist elected to Congress. Would they allow him to choose Hitler's "Mein Kampf," the Nazis' bible, for his oath? And if not, why not? On what grounds will those defending Ellison's right to choose his favorite book deny that same right to a racist who is elected to public office?  Of course, Ellison's defenders argue that Ellison is merely being honest; since he believes in the Koran and not in the Bible, he should be allowed, even encouraged, to put his hand on the book he believes in. But for all of American history, Jews elected to public office have taken their oath on the Bible, even though they do not believe in the New Testament, and the many secular elected officials have not believed in the Old Testament either. Yet those secular officials did not demand to take their oaths of office on, say, the collected works of Voltaire or on a volume of New York Times editorials, writings far more significant to some liberal members of Congress than the Bible. Nor has one Mormon official demanded to put his hand on the Book of Mormon. And it is hard to imagine a scientologist being allowed to take his oath of office on a copy of "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard. So why are we allowing Keith Ellison to do what no other member of Congress has ever done, choose his own most revered book for the oath of office? The answer is obvious, Ellison is a Muslim. And whoever decides these matters, not to mention virtually every editorial page in America, is not going to offend a Muslim. In fact, many of these people argue it will be a good thing because Muslims around the world will see what an open society America is and how much Americans honor Muslims and the Koran. This argument appeals to all those who believe that one of the greatest goals of America is to be loved by the world, and especially by Muslims because then fewer Muslims will hate us (and therefore fewer will bomb us). But these naive people do not appreciate that America will not change the attitude of a single American-hating Muslim by allowing Ellison to substitute the Koran for the Bible. In fact, the opposite is more likely: Ellison's doing so will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones, as Islamists, rightly or wrongly, see the first sign of the realization of their greatest goal, the Islamicization of America. When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization. If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11. It is hard to believe that this is the legacy most Muslim Americans want to bequeath to America.

FOJ Note: The oath of allegiance to office is a solemn pledge. It is a vow that was created deliberately to enforce the principle that America was a Christian nation. To swear on the Holy Bible is to acknowledge the fact that the American government was founded on the principles of the Holy Bible, and that in office the officeholder will adhere to the Christian precepts of honor and duty beholden to accountability to the God of scripture. For this reason, and many others, the first Supreme Court Justice stated it is the duty of Americans to prefer and to elect honorable Christians to office! By tolerating the oath on the Koran, or any other book, America is blaspheming its God, and giving credence to the book (Koran) and the pretender-wanna-be god (Allah) that calls for the destruction of any Christian nation! Fundamentalist Muslims around the world are waving the Koran in the face of Christians and Jews as a method of intimidation. It is through the foolishness of political-correctness and the new religion of secular humanism that America is being intimidated by false gods.



Jordan Will Not Accept A Palestinian Influx

imageNov. 28….(AP) Jordan's King Abdullah II called for renewed efforts to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a speech Tuesday, a day before he meets President Bush, but he warned that his country would not accept a deal that causes an influx of Palestinians. In a speech to parliament, the King indicated that in his talks with Bush in Amman, he would underline the need for the United States to push for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, describing their dispute as the "core" issue of the Middle East. "Jordan will not accept an unjust settlement of the issue, nor will Jordan accept any settlement that comes at its expense," Abdullah told lawmakers, who applauded loudly. The king did not elaborate, but he was referring to Jordanian fears of a settlement that would cause thousands of Palestinians to settle in the kingdom, upsetting the country's delicate demographic balance. Roughly half of Jordan's 5.5 million population consists of Palestinian families who fled or were driven out of their homes in the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israeli wars. "My government commits itself to offering all possible support to the Palestinians, so they can regain their rights and establish their independent state on Palestinian soil," the king said, outlining his domestic and foreign policies. He said the solution to the Palestinian conflict must be based on UN Security Council resolutions and existing peace agreements. President Bush arrives in Jordan on Wednesday for two days of talks with Abdullah and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. His talks are expected to focus on proposals to curb the sectarian strife in Iraq, but the King wants the United States to apply an equal amount of diplomatic energy to reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which has been stalemated since 2000. The king has repeatedly warned that the Palestinian conflict is fueling anti-American and anti-Israeli sentiments among Muslims everywhere. It is also fueling Islamic militancy, such as that seen in Iraq, which lies across Jordan's eastern border. King Abdullah warned that the Middle East was on the threshold of three civil wars. "We could possibly imagine going into 2007 and having three civil wars on our hands," referring to the conflicts in Iraq, Lebanon and between the Palestinians and Israelis.

FOJ Note: Jordan occupied the now so-called “occupied territory” prior to the 1967 war on Israel that Jordan participated in with 4 other Arab countries. In fact, Jordan is a Palestinian State, and like other its neighbors, Syria, Egypt, and Lebanon refuses to accept Palestinian refugees from the West Bank. In fact, the Arabs insist upon Israel absorbing all the Palestinians. (Arafat’s infamous right-of-return clause that would in effect make Israel an Islamic nation) Jordan never face the UN agenda of creating a second Palestinian State on the West Bank, as is now the case being pressed against Israel.



Christian Leaders Press Warren to Keep Obama From Pulpit

(Argue Democrat senator's support for abortion incompatible with Bible)

Sen. Barack Obama

Nov. 28….(WND) Christian leaders from across a wide spectrum of theologies and missions are rising up together to urge Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren to rescind an invitation to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama (and Presidential candidate) to speak from Warren's pulpit. The Illinois Democrat, an enthusiastic supporter of abortion, is scheduled to speak at a seminar Dec. 1 called, "We Must Work Together" at Warren's 30,000-member California church. The seminar is about coordinating efforts to address the AIDS crisis worldwide. "You cannot fight one evil while justifying another," a joint statement from dozens of leaders of Christian groups said in condemning Obama's support for abortion and Warren's support for Obama. "The evangelical church can provide no genuine help for those who suffer from AIDS if those involved do not first have their ethic of life firmly rooted in the Word of God," the group said. "Accordingly, we call on Pastor Rick Warren to rescind his invitation to Sen. Obama immediately. "The millions of silent victims who have died because of the policies of leaders like Sen. Obama demand a response from those who believe that life is a gift from God." It's the second round of criticism for Warren in just days. Warren has been under scrutiny because of his recent trip to Syria, where he described the government and its policies as "moderate" even though the US government describes Syria as "a terrorism-sponsoring state," and Mideast experts confirm it has punitive policies discriminating against Christians and Jews. The name of the Saddleback seminar at which Senator Obama will be appearing is entitled, 'We Must Work Together.' No, Mr. Warren, Mr. Obama, we will never work with those can support the murder of babies in the womb."



Bush Says US Won't Pull Out of Iraq

Nov. 28…(My Way) President Bush, although under immense pressure to change direction in Iraq, said today that he will not be persuaded by any calls to withdraw American troops before the country is stabilized. "There's one thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete," he said in a speech setting the stage for high-stakes meetings with the Iraqi prime minister later this week. A bipartisan panel on Iraq is finalizing recommendations on Iraq. The group led by former Secretary of State James Baker III and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, D-Ind., plan to present ideas to Bush next month. The commissioners are expected to debate the feasibility of withdrawal timetables. Recent US elections added fuel to the argument from Democrats that US soldiers need to come home. But Bush has resisted that, even while projecting the need for a different approach. "We'll continue to be flexible and we'll make the changes necessary to succeed," the president said. Bush pushed back against skeptics of his goal of spreading freedom across the Middle East. "I understand these doubts but I do not share them," the president said. Earlier Tuesday, Bush blamed the escalating bloodshed in Iraq on an al-Qaida plot to stoke cycles of sectarian revenge, and refused to debate whether the country has fallen into civil war. Bush, dodging a direct answer of whether a civil war existed in Iraq, tied the three conflicts together in a different way. He said recent strife in Lebanon and the heated up Israeli-Palestinian dispute are, like Iraq, the result of extremists trying to choke off democratic progress. "There's a lot of sectarian violence taking place, fomented in my opinion because of these attacks by al-Qaida, causing people to seek reprisal."

(AP) President Bush waves as he boards Air Force One

President Bush said he will ask al-Maliki to explain his plan for quelling the violence. "The Maliki government is going to have to deal with that violence and we want to help them do so," the president said. "It's in our interest that Iraq succeed." Bush repeated his administration's reluctance to talk with two nations it regards as pariah states working to destabilize Iraq, and the whole Middle East. Iran, the top US rival in the region, has reached out to Iraq and Syria in recent days, an attempt viewed as a bid to assert its role as a powerbroker in Iraq. The president said Iraq is a sovereign nation, free to meet with its neighbors. "If that's what they think they ought to do, that's fine," he said. "One thing Iraq would like to see is for the Iranians to leave them alone." Iran's state-run television, however, quoted Iraqi President Jalal Talabani as saying "we are in dire need of Iran's help in establishing security and stability in Iraq." The comments came after Talabani met Monday with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran. Far from reaching out to Iran and Syria, Bush also denounced them for trying to destabilize the fragile, Western-backed government in Lebanon. "That government is being undermined, in my opinion, by extremist forces encouraged out of Syria and Iran," Bush said. "Why? Because a democracy there will be a major defeat for those who articulate extremist points of view."



Ahmadinejad: US, U.K., Israel Will 'Collapse'

Nov. 28….(AP) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted that the United States, Britain and Israel will "collapse" in disgrace because of the war on terrorism in various Middle Eastern nations. Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly called for Israel's destruction, told a rally of supporters in Tehran that "the Zionist regime is on a steep downhill" decline. In a reference to the United States and Britain, the Iranian president said "the collapse and crumbling of your devilish rule has started." Iran, which is feverishly trying to develop nuclear power against US opposition, funds terrorist organizations throughout the region, including Hezbollah, which recently attacked Israel despite an apparent cease-fire agreement. Ahmadinejad called on Iran's neighboring nations to drive out "foreign occupiers" in Iraq and Afghanistan, telling his supporters that "the presence of foreigners is the source of discord and conflict" in the Middle East.



Israel, and Only Israel, Slammed by UN Human Rights Council

Nov. 28….(JNEWSWIRE) Israel, and only Israel, came under the gun of the United Nations Human Rights Council Monday, which voted for two resolutions criticizing the Jewish state. In the six months since its formation, this organ of the UN has voted exclusively against Israel. As far as it is concerned, no other nation on the planet is currently murdering, torturing or otherwise abusing the human rights of others. In Monday's votes Israel's 1981 annexation of the Golan Heights was ruled illegal. The fact that:

1. the Heights were part of the land promised to the Jews under the Balfour Declaration and by the League of Nations in San Remo

2. Syria used the Golan as a platform from which to murder Jewish farmers and other civilians in the Upper Galilee; and while Syria only occupied them for 19 years, the Heights have been under Israel for more than twice that length of time

All  of this meant nothing to the council. In the second vote, the council decided that Israel should reverse its policy of building and expanding towns and villages for Jews in the heart of that nation's ancient homeland. Canada was the only participating state to vote against the resolutions.



Khamenei Says US is Destabilizing Iraq


Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, right, meets with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, center, as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left looks on during an official meeting in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006. A photo of Iran's late leader Ayatollah Khomeini, hangs on the wall in the background.


Nov. 28….(YNET) Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday accused the United States of destabilizing Iraq through hired "terrorists" and former members of Saddam Hussein's regime. In a meeting with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Khamenei pledged that Iran would do all it can to use its influence among Iraq's Shiite Muslims to quell the violence, according to a state television report. "The main reason for the current situation in Iraq is America's policies," the television quoted Khamenei as telling Talabani, who is on the final day of a two-day visit. "Those (the Americans) who plotted against Iraq, and whose plans have not materialized, are intent on destabilizing the situation. Their agents on the ground are terrorists, the excommunicated and former Baathists," the television quoted Khamenei as saying. By "excommunicated," he appeared to be referring to the civil servants loyal to Saddam's Baath Party. The United States expelled Baathists from the government in the early days of its occupation of Iraq after Saddam was toppled. After his arrival in Tehran on Monday, Talabani said his government was in dire need of Iran's help to quell the escalating violence in Iraq. The United States has accused Iran of supplying money, weapons components and training to Shiite militia in neighboring Iraq. Iran has denied the charge, saying it has only political and religious links with Iraqi Shiites. Both Iran and Iraq are Shiite majority countries.

FOJ Note: This is a perfect example of the twisting of the truth. It is Iran that is destabilizing Iraq through terrorists.



Rick Warren Accused of 'Enabling and Defending' Evil

(Megapastor's appearance in Syrian propaganda triggers criticism)

Syria's Grand Mufti Sheik Badr al-Din Hassoun and Rick Warren

Nov. 28….(WND) Megachurch pastor Rick Warren may have been unprepared for the Syrian media's propaganda using his name during his recent visit and he may have confused religious tolerance with religious freedom, but neither is an excuse for becoming "an enabler and defender of evil," according to experts on the Mideast and its persecution of non-Muslims. "Rick Warren can do us all a favor and keep his remarks and opinions to himself. When you don't stand up against and condemn evil, let alone say misrepresented facts about an evil regime, you become an enabler and defender of evil, plain and simple," Brigitte Gabriel told WND. Gabriel, a Lebanese-American who wrote "Because They Hate," and the founder of the American Congress for Truth, was responding to Warren's recorded statement about Syria that: "It's a moderate country, and the official government rule and position is to not allow any extremism of any kind."

Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church and the author of the best-selling "The Purpose-Driven Life," told WND when the comment first was reported that he had been misquoted, and further, he wasn't a diplomat and probably wasn't fully prepared for a situation in which he was used for propaganda. But a video posted on YouTube showed Warren making the statement, and when WND linked to it, it suddenly disappeared. Larry Ross, who acts as a spokesman for the church, told WND the video showing Warren making the statement was removed because Warren had heard there were "reports" about his Syrian visit, but not necessarily the reports from WND. The Warren YouTube postings had been ongoing as kind of a travelogue to his congregation, Ross said. But when Warren arrived in Rwanda from Damascus and found out there were concerns about his activities in Syria, he suggested that no video from Syria be posted. "Let's not post one for Syria until we see where we're at," Warren had said, according to Ross. But it already had been put up, so it was pulled down, only a few hours after it was put up, Ross said. "It was in the context of reports that they'd heard about, not specifically yours (WND's)," he said. "It was obviously with the understanding or the awareness that there were some reports about the trip to Syria." But before it was removed, Bruce Delay, a talk-show host at KFAQ 1170 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, downloaded the audio portion of Warren's comments, and Warren can be heard making those very statements. Syria is anything but neutral on the international issues involving differences between Muslim, Jew and Christian. The US Congressional Research Service forwarded to the US State Department earlier this year a massive report documenting that many believe it was Syria's decision to resupply Hezbollah with missiles and other materials that allowed Hezbollah to wage war with Israel over the summer. That same report noted that Syria, which has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention, has acquired an arsenal of chemical weapons and surface-to-surface missiles, as well as research centers for conducting work on biological weapons "and may be interested in a nuclear weapons capability." Nerve agents such as sarin already are stockpiled and scientists may be working on the more deadly VX, said the report. Syria also has been listed, since 1979, on the list of nations considered by the US to be sponsoring terrorism, and while its direct credit for individual terrorism acts has been limited in recent years, "Syria has continued to provide political and material support for Palestinian groups that have committed terrorist acts, and allows them to maintain offices in Damascus," the report said. "Rick Warren's comments about Syria are an insult and a slap on the face to every Christian who ever lived under that regime or suffered from Syria's evil dictatorship not only in Syria but also the Christian Lebanese," said Brigitte Gabriel.

Brigitte Gabriel

 "Rick Warren needs to speak to some of the Christians who fled Syria because of the oppression of the Syrian regime and are now here in America. They can tell him about the Syrian troops storming their Christian schools when they were children and burning the schools because they were Christians. They can tell him about fearing for their lives, controlling their tongues, living with humiliation and trying to get out of the country in any way possible." She said it's actually the fortunate and well-to-do who are able to leave Syria; others must stay. "They do not have any weapons to protect themselves with, they are outnumbered by the oppressing Islamic majority and are under the mercy of radical tyrants who will not think twice about killing people for any reason at any time," she said. Further, it was under Syrian control and protection that Muslims in Lebanon went on a killing spree against Christians, said Gabriel, who was 10 and living in Lebanon in 1975 when militant Muslims poured into her country and declared jihad against Lebanese Christians. "To call Syria a moderate peaceful country where Christians and Jews live peacefully protected by the regime is nothing more than a statement of his ignorance, lack of intelligence and lack of grasp and understanding of the Middle East conflict. There are Christians in Syrian prisons now whose families do not know anything about them or if they are still alive or dead. According to SANA, Warren, who met with various religious and political leaders in Syria including President Bashar al-Assad, had "hailed the religious coexistence, tolerance and stability that the Syrian society is enjoying due to the wise leadership of President al-Assad, asserting that he will convey the true image about Syria to the American people." The reports also quoted Warren saying about four in five Americans reject the US policies and actions in Iraq.



Russia Insists on Defending Iranian Nukes

Nov. 28….(Ha'aretz)  Russia is determined to help defend Iran's pursuit of nuclear know-how by continuing its supplying of top-of-the-range anti-aircraft defense systems to the regime in Tehran. Delivery of 29 high-lethality Tor-M1 mobile systems to the regime of Holocaust-threatening Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began this month, as America and the United States continued to explore ways to neutralize the burgeoning Iranian threat. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov at the weekend defended the Putin government's decision to proceed with the weapons' sale. Utilizing Russian double-speak, Ivanov insisted that the eight-missile Tor-M1 units, capable of tracking 48 targets and engaging two of them simultaneously at medium to very low altitudes, is merely a "defensive weapon." What these missiles are being sold to Iran to defend, however, is the construction of weapons of mass destruction whose purpose, as openly expressed by the Iranian leadership, is anything but defensive. Ahmadinejad has repeatedly vowed that Iran will wipe Israel of the face of the map. The Russian-Iranian alliance is growing stronger in the face of the toothless western attempts to stop Tehran. In February the two countries signed a nuclear deal that helped accelerate the Iranian race to acquire atom bombs for Allah.

FOJ Note: Russia is busy doing exactly what the prophet Ezekiel revealed that Russia would do in the Last Days. 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.



Purpose-Driven Warren’s Lack of Good Sense & Consequences of Compromising the Word of God

Nov. 27….(Bill Wilson, KIN)  Saddleback Church pastor and author of The Purpose-Driven Life, Rick Warren, learned a hard lesson about how compromising the Word of God has harsh consequences. Warren went to Syria trying to build bridges for peace as part of his international PEACE Plan ministry. According to the Syrian media, he said that 80 percent of Americans reject the US administration's policies in Iraq and the Middle East; he hailed Syria as an example of how Christians and Muslims live together in tolerance and peace; and he said he would bring the true story of Syria to the American people. Now Warren is saying he was misquoted and used and that he is a pastor, not a diplomat. He is also undiscerning and unwise. There is a group of people out there who believe, bless their hearts, that if they just bring the Word of God to the world, there would be peace on earth, God's kingdom would be established and all will be well with the world. That's why many a deceived Christian is signing on with the "green agenda" to stop the concept of global warming, others want to dedicate all their political muscle to bring world peace, and still others back the United Nations' mission to end global poverty. They are the same Christians who want to show those who hate Christianity that Christians aren't so bad, in the hope of finding common ground. Noble thoughts all, but this naïve neo-Christian belief not only compromises the Word of God, it is unscriptural. Blessed are the peacemakers, yes, but the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness and what communion has light with darkness?" In every case where Christians try to strike common ground with God's enemies to show them they should know God because Christians are good, God's word will be compromised unless those who do not have the Light of God fully accept Him. Accepting the premise of global warming is accepting the agenda of the communists and socialists, who deny God. Bringing world peace is also the mantra of communists and socialists, who deny God. Communists and socialists want to end world poverty. But they want to do it by creating a secular humanist-based utopian world. We know through the prophets and the book of Revelation that Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, is the only one who can bring peace; He is the only one who will create a new heaven and earth (a totally revitalized and clean environment) and end poverty. There is a fine line between evangelizing and compromising, and much of the Church today is compromising. Perspective: Many an unsuspecting Christian can be deceived by the secular humanists into supporting an agenda here and there. But some things are obvious: Terrorists want to destroy Jews and Christians, which is denying God. Hence, giving them publicity, trying to work with them on common ground, allowing them to use a Christian's credibility to advance their cause, is also denying God because, at that point, it is the Christian doing the compromising. We are supposed to evangelize the world, not work shoulder to shoulder with the unsaved in order to show them that Christians are good people. Whenever Christians enter into fellowship with darkness, it will be the light that is compromised. Christians, here's a clear warning: Abandon the agenda of finding common ground. Instead, open your mouths boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel.



Bush To Pursue US Policy Reversal in Iraq

Nov. 27….(DEBKA) Hamas was quick to pick up on the new tune emanating from Washington. Its leaders and Mahmoud Abbas declared a hurried ceasefire Sunday to take advantage of the US president’s willingness to broaden his Amman talks from his planned meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to an effort to convene an international conference on the Palestinian issue. Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert accepted the ceasefire against military advice to capture high ground. King Abdullah chipped in by saying that Palestine “is the core” of all Middle East violence. No seasoned observer expects the truce to last, but it shows that there is a new wind blowing on the diplomatic front, and it involves Iraq and Palestine.

The Twinning in Washington of the Iraq and Palestinian Issues

(How Iraq and Palestinian Issues Came to Be Twinned in Revised Bush Strategy on Iraq)


One of the most pressing pieces of business the US president George W. Bush must tackle in Amman later this week is the demand for an international conference on Iraq which must be dominated by a built-in agenda on the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. Palestinian leaders, picking up the new tones in Washington, decided to cash in by announcing the cessation of Hamas’ Qassam missile attacks on Israeli civilian locations, starting Sunday, Nov. 26. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, loath to relinquish the high diplomatic ground to the Palestinians, promised Monday that after the kidnapped Israeli soldier is released, Israel will free many jailed Palestinians, including long term prisoners, as a confidence-building gesture to prove Israel seeks peace. As soon as a Palestinian unity government is formed, Olmert said, immediate negotiations could start with Mahmoud Abbas on the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state. He allowed the evacuation of some West Bank settlements was possible in return for real peace and Palestinian renunciation of the return of 1948 Palestinian refugees. If such talks are successful, Olmert promised to release frozen Palestinian funds. Earlier, Ehud Olmert quickly accepted the Palestinian ceasefire, against the advice of the Israeli military. He ordered the curtailment of an effective IDF anti-missile operation and a complete troop withdrawal from the northern Gaza Strip. This left non-Hamas armed factions free to continue firing and arming while Israeli troops were ordered not to interfere. Since Sunday, every Palestinian and Israeli verbal pronouncement has been attuned to the wavelengths of Bush and his secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. She will join him in Amman and lead the effort to bring Israeli and Palestinian leaders together. Her mission will be to extract results from these encounters for tempting Arab rulers to lend the United States a helping hand on the Iraq crisis. The brain behind this new strategy belongs to Brent Scowcroft, national security adviser to three Republican presidents, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George Bush Sr. He is emerging as the live wire behind the latest US foreign policy departures and the pivotal figure behind the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group. This panel, which submits its final report to Congress on Dec. 10, recommends an international conference on Iraq attended by leaders from Europe, Russia, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf and the main Muslim nations. According to DEBKA’s Washington sources, such a conference would spend more time on the Palestinian-Israeli issue than on Iraq. The group’s leaders predict that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and other Arab participants will demand “progress on the Israel-Palestinian track” before letting the conference get down to brass tacks on Iraq. To lay the groundwork, therefore, Washington will have to give the international community free rein to squeeze Israel for far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians, and not only the Palestinians, if Syria is to be engaged. This would require a diametric reversal of George Bush’s previous warm attitude towards “our friend and ally” Israel, possibly even a reversion to the iciness directed against the Shamir government in the early 1990s by the elder Bush, whom James Baker served as secretary of state and Scowcroft as national security adviser. Earlier this month, Scowcroft, as chairman of the American-Turkish Friendship League, visited Ankara for an appeal to Turkish leaders to persuade the Syrian ruler Bashar Asad to cooperate on Iraq. His mindset was revealed in an interview he gave the Turkish Daily News of Nov. 9, 2006:  “I think we need to embed Iraq in a larger regional solution, and that to me goes back to the Palestinian issue. I think this would put us back on the offensive psychologically and even make Iraq easier to manage.” Scowcroft then linked this viewpoint to the notion of an international conference, saying: “I believe the Arab states in the region are eager for such a conversation. Israel may not be eager, but Israel is in bad shape right now.” Scowcroft was therefore the first American strategic thinker to say out loud what DEBKAfile has been reporting since early August, that George Bush and his key advisers have diagnosed Israel as coming out of the Lebanon War weakened and with its strategic situation impaired. The cards in Washington are therefore stacked against Israel these days. An unfortunate combination has emerged of a president who regards the Jewish state as strategically weak and a brace of key US advisers on the administration’s new Iraqi policy who are drawn from the most anti-Israeli US administrations of the past.



Olmert Announces: We Are Willing to Give up Land for Real Peace

Nov. 27….(YNET) In a dramatic speech Monday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made an appeal to the Palestinians, urging them to choose a 'new path,' a path of negotiations with Israel. The government met on Sunday at Kibbutz Sde Boker to commemorate the passing away of Israel's founder and first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion 33 years ago. image

 Olmert, who until recently called for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from West Bank territories, or “realignment” as he referred to it, said, "I call on you from here today to choose a new path, a path that gives a chance to a different future for you and for us. Yesterday we went down that path and I hope it will push us forward towards the goal that we want to reach, peace, calm and trust in one another." Olmert said Israel will be ready to evacuate occupied lands and settlements in return for "real peace." "You have to stop violence and terror, to recognize our right to live in peace and security by your side and to give up the right of return. If you show the needed determination and discipline you will find us ready. Please don't face us with another test that would cause destruction and thousands of victims and will lead to crisis and despair," he said, addressing the Palestinians. The prime minister evoked Ben-Gurion who said Israel would have to give up most of the territories occupied during the Six-Day War in return for peace. "Ben-Gurion extended a hand in peace to Arab states the year Israel was born. The hand then returned empty, but like then, the hand remains extended. I extend my hand in peace to our Palestinian neighbors in the hope that it won't return empty," Olmert said that if a new Palestinian Authority government accepts the Quartet's conditions fore legitimacy, implement the road map and release Cpl. Gilad Shalit, he would suggest a meeting with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to conduct a "true, open and serious" dialogue between us. Olmert said that within this framework, and in line with the road map, the Palestinians could establish an independent, viable state with contiguous territory in the West Bank, and have full sovereignty over recognized borders. He said that within this framework Israel's borders would be established that "would be different from the territory which is now under Israel's control." According to Olmert, he understood the importance of the release of Palestinian prisoners to the Palestinians, said that with the release of Shalit "Israel would be willing to release many Palestinian prisoners, including those who were sentenced to long prison terms, in order to increase the confidence between us and prove that our hand is outstretched in true peace." He stressed that if the Palestinians responded, Israel would significantly reduce the roadblocks, increase freedom of movement, open and improve border crossings for goods and merchandise, and release Palestinian tax revenues held in Israel since Hamas's victory in last January's elections.



Pope Ready to Bow to Allah

Nov. 27….(The Daily Telegraph) Vatican officials announced Sunday that Pope Benedict plans to become just the second pope to enter a mosque when he visits Turkey Tuesday. In order to be permitted into an Islamic place of worship the pontiff, who has been trying to placate Muslim rage he triggered last September, will have to remove his shoes in deference to the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish religion and its Allah. Analysts in the Vatican said the purpose of the mosque visit would be to try and build bridges between "Christians" and Muslims. But the announcement did nothing to placate the fury or encourage tolerance from tens of thousands of Muslims who rallied in Istanbul Sunday to protest against the pope's arrival. The mob's message to the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics was vividly spelled out on a large banner above the crowd. It was an attack on the very heart of the Christian faith and read: "Jesus is not the son of God. He is a prophet of Mohammed." In Islamic parlance "God" means "Allah" so the protestors were half right. However, the orthodox Jewish Rabbi from Nazareth Muslims repeatedly delight in defaming lived long before Mohammed and, in fact, warned His followers to be on the alert against false prophets like one who founded Islam. Instead of shunning this religion, Pope Benedict appears poised to embrace its followers in order to "build bridges" between the Vatican and the Muslim world.



Iran & Syria May Help US in Iraq, For A Price

Nov. 26….(Jerusalem Post) As the US debates whether to reach out to Syria for help in calming Iraq, some close to the Syrian regime said Sunday the country would be willing to help, but only if it got something valuable in return. Damascus certainly has been interested in political dialogue with the West and wants talks with Washington, many have said. But the regime of President Bashar Assad wants, in return, help on certain issues, such as a return of the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in the 1967 war. The regime itself has stayed tightlipped, refusing to say what it envisions but expressing willingness to help with Iraq and broader peace deals. Earlier Sunday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed that he would help the United States calm Iraq if Washington changes what he described as its "bullying" policy toward Iran. "We are ready to help you, Ahmadinejad declared while addressing a group of members of the Basij paramilitary group, affiliated to the elite Revolutionary Guard. But Iran's firebrand president took the US to task, questioning its motives for invading Iraq. "You went to Iraq to topple Saddam and find weapons of mass destruction, but it was clear to us that you came in order to dominate the region and its oil." Ahmadinejad said that the US and Britain are paying for the instability and violence in Iraq. "You have been trapped in a quagmire and locked in your place with nowhere to go." "The Iranian nation is ready to help you to get out of the quagmire, on condition that you resume behaving in a just manner and leave Iraq," he added. "Then, nations of the region, headed by the Iranian nation, will be ready to show you the path of salvation," Ahmadinejad said. "It is the time for the leaders of the US and U.K to listen. You have reached a dead end in our region as well as in the world." President George Bush is scheduled to meet Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki when he visits Jordan Wednesday and Thursday. His trip follows Vice President Dick Cheney's brief stop Saturday in Saudi Arabia, another of Iraq's neighbors, to confer with its leader on regional issues. The unusual succession of trips appears to reflect US determination to rally allies at a time when Washington is considering overhauling its Iraq policy. Since the Democratic victory in US midterm elections, the Bush administration has been under increased pressure at home to approach Iran and Syria for help in Iraq. Such a measure is believed to be one of the recommendations by a panel on Iraq led by former Secretary of State James A. Baker. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani was scheduled to visit Teheran on Saturday. But on Friday, he had to postpone his trip until Baghdad's airport, closed in a security clampdown after the violence reopens. Iran is believed to back Iraqi Shi'ite militias blamed in sectarian killings that have killed thousands this year.






Russia Delivers Missiles to Iran

Nov. 24….(Brietbart) Russia has begun delivery of Tor-M1 air defense missile systems to Iran, a Defense Ministry official said Friday, confirming that Moscow would proceed with arms deals with Teheran in spite of US criticism. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the issue, declined to specify when the deliveries had been made and how many systems had been delivered. Ministry officials have previously said Moscow would supply 29 of the sophisticated missile systems to Iran under a $700 million contract signed in December, according to Russian media reports. The United States called on all countries last spring to stop all arms exports to Iran, as well as ending all nuclear cooperation with it to put pressure on Tehran to halt uranium enrichment activities. Israel, too, has severely criticized arms deals with Iran. Tehran insists its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but the United States and its allies suspect Iran is trying to develop weapons. The UN Security Council, where Russia is a veto-wielding permanent member, is currently stalemated on the severity of sanctions on Iran for defying its demand to cease enrichment. The Tor-M1 deal, involving conventional weapons, does not violate any international agreements. Russian officials say the missiles are purely defensive weapons with a limited range. According to the Interfax news agency, the Tor-M1 system can identify up to 48 targets and fire at two targets simultaneously at a height of up to 20,000 feet. Russian media have reported previously that Moscow had conducted talks on selling even more powerful long-range S-300 air defense missiles, but Russian officials have denied that.



America – Still Blessed by God

Nov. 24….(Hal Lindsay) Thanksgiving tradition says that the first day of Thanksgiving was when the Pilgrims came together to give thanks to God for the bountiful harvest of 1621. The colonists, according to tradition, celebrated with a Thanksgiving feast, also attended by 91 Indians who helped them through their first year. Two years later, the colonists gathered during a severe drought to pray for rain. When it rained the very next day, Gov. William Bradford called for another day of Thanksgiving. Thereafter, there were numerous calls for national days of Thanksgiving. Following our miraculous victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington proclaimed the first national day of Thanksgiving in 1789. It wasn't until 1863 that President Lincoln officially designated the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. It took almost a hundred more years before Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by an Act of Congress in 1941. Sixty-five years later, the holiday remains a reminder of America's rich and undeniable Christian heritage, even though the One to whom the holiday is dedicated is now legally persona non grata at the celebration. To most Americans, Thanksgiving Day is "Turkey Day" and Thanksgiving celebrations are more about football, parades and huge family feasts than they are about reflecting on the blessings extended America by the protective Hand of a sovereign God. Sadly, one can almost chart the gradual withdrawal of that protective Hand as America's Thanksgiving celebration revolves more around the turkey dinner than the Creator that spoke it into existence. This year, as I reflect on our remaining blessings, I mourn those blessings that are systematically being withdrawn by a God-hating few in this country. Writing of the declining social morality of the last days, the Apostle Paul wrote what could have been a critique on the United Nations, saying: "Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, He gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless." (Romans 1:28-31 NIV) And Paul could just as easily have been describing the US Congress when he wrote the following warning to Timothy: "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. (The KJV renders it 'perilous times') People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." (2 Timothy 3:1-5) America's domestic tranquility is being severely tested. America's international standing has never been lower. Enemies beset us on all sides. Our continued survival as a nation is in greater doubt than at any time in our country's history. We are facing nuclear threats on several fronts, and our government is divided over whether or not we are truly at war. Even more perilous, we don't even know with whom we are at war. Jesus may not set Foot in the White House, but Allah has an open-door policy. The present false separation of church and state issues keep the only true God at arm's length, even as we ignorantly celebrate the day our forefathers drew aside to give him thanks. It is an outrage that these same "issues" don't present any barriers to Ramadan being celebrated at the White House while the president proclaims Islam a "legitimate global religion based on peace and love." As for me, I give thanks that God has not yet completely closed the window of blessing on America and unleashed His Judgment on it. We remain the most prosperous and healthy nation on earth. We still enjoy greater freedoms than any other nation, and, despite the concerted efforts of the leftists in the media and government, America still has a Christian majority, even though the majority are timidly silent. More than anything else this Thanksgiving, I am thankful that America still has time to claim the promise of God: "If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)



Palestinian Grandmother Becomes Latest Suicide Bomber

imageNov. 24….(YNET) An explosive device strapped to 57-year-old woman suicide bomber activated near IDF soldiers operating in Jabalya area in north Gaza injured three soldiers. Grandmother proclaimed; 'I offer myself as a sacrifice to God and to the homeland,' terrorist says on video prior to attack.” The terrorist was killed, and the three soldiers sustained light injuries in the incident, bringing the number of troops injured in the Strip throughout the day to seven. Palestinian sources said the terrorist was identified as 57-year-old Fatma Najar, and claimed she was sent on the suicide mission by Hamas. Her family said she had nine children and nearly 30 grandchildren. She was the first known Palestinian grandmother to attempt a suicide bombing against Israelis. "I am very proud of what she did. Allahu Akbar (God is greatest)," one of her sons, Fuad, 31 said. On a video released by Hamas, the woman read out a statement saying said she wanted to dedicate her death to Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails and to Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. She wore a black suicide belt and had an M-16 assault rifle slung over her neck. "I offer myself as a sacrifice to God and to the homeland," she said.



War on Terror is WWIII: Israeli General

Nov. 34….(Arutz) former head of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) says the West must wake up and understand it is fighting World War III against a movement of global jihadists. Lieutenant General Moshe Yaalon, who was chief of staff of the IDF from 2002 to 2005, also believes the coalition must take a hard line against Iran and Syria if it is to stabilize Iraq. "We should understand in the West that this is World War III, not less than that," Lt. Gen. Yaalon said in Canberra today. "We are under attack, we are in defense, they are on the offence so far." He said Iran had become the headquarters of a global movement that wanted to impose a strict form of Islam on the rest of the world. The West should confront the threat through diplomatic and even military action if necessary, and Iran and Syria must be held responsible for their support of militants in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Yaalon said. Both countries have been accused of supporting Iraqi terrorist groups through the supply of weapons, training and even fighters. "If we want to stabilize Iraq, to have a unified Iraq, we should confront Iran. Asked if that meant military strikes, he said that should be the last option. "I am talking about confronting, first of all use sticks then let's talk about (other options)," he said. He stopped short of saying whether the US invasion of Iraq was a mistake, saying only that if the US became bogged down in Iraq and failed to prosecute other terrorist regimes such as Iran it would eventually be viewed as a mistake. "I believe that it will be judged historically, as we can't judge it now," he told reporters. "If at the end, because of the US engagement in Iraq, Iran becomes nuclear, it might be seen as a mistake, if we are now in a stage that the West is bogged in Iraq and not going to deal with the rogue regimes, historically it will be judged in one way."

Lt Gen Yaalon said he believed the western military could make effective air strikes on Iranian nuclear sites if the regime pushed ahead with its nuclear program.  He refused to say whether he thought Israel might carry out strikes on its own if the US refused to take party.



President Bush on Thanksgiving Day


(FOJ) Remember America’s service men and women today. They, and the many who preceded them in service have enabled all Americans to enjoy the Liberty and individual freedoms that we have.


Nov. 2….(White House) As Americans gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks for the many ways that our Nation and our people have been blessed. The Thanksgiving tradition dates back to the earliest days of our society, celebrated in decisive moments in our history and in quiet times around family tables. Nearly four centuries have passed since early settlers gave thanks for their safe arrival and pilgrims enjoyed a harvest feast to thank God for allowing them to survive a harsh winter in the New World. General George Washington observed Thanksgiving during the Revolutionary War, and in his first proclamation after becoming President, he declared November 26, 1789, a national day of "thanksgiving and prayer." During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, reminding a divided Nation of its founding ideals. At this time of great promise for America, we are grateful for the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and defended by our Armed Forces throughout the generations. Today, many of these courageous men and women are securing our peace in places far from home, and we pay tribute to them and to their families for their service, sacrifice, and strength. We also honor the families of the fallen and lift them up in our prayers. Our citizens are privileged to live in the world's freest country, where the hope of the American dream is within the reach of every person. Americans share a desire to answer the universal call to serve something greater than ourselves, and we see this spirit every day in the millions of volunteers throughout our country who bring hope and healing to those in need. On this Thanksgiving Day, and throughout the year, let us show our gratitude for the blessings of freedom, family, and faith, and may God continue to bless America.



Syria & Hezbollah Taking Over Lebanon

(Lebanon's Jumblatt warns US against Iraq withdrawal)

Nov. 23….(WND) The Syrian government was responsible for the assassination yesterday of Lebanon's Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel and will likely attempt more killings with the goal of destabilizing Lebanon, the country's Druze leader Walid Jumblatt told WND in an interview today. Jumblatt is head of Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party and is widely considered the most prominent anti-Syrian Lebanese politician. He charged the calls by many in the US government for a withdrawal from Iraq sent a message of American weakness to Syria that may result in "more instability and chaos" in Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East. "The Syrian regime through some of its local allies carried out this assassination," said Jumblatt. "They (the Syrians) are capable of anything. They will probably try more killings. We still have a majority in the parliament unless ministers resign or Syria kills more ministers off." Jumblatt said Syria is "emboldened by the fact that the Americans are searching for an exit strategy from Iraq. This is encouraging all kinds of people to kill and create chaos in the region." Jumblatt connected what he said was Hezbollah's emboldened attitude to calls for a US withdrawal from Iraq and a change in America's Middle East policy, which he warned could create "havoc" in the region. Hezbollah's departing parliament "could not have happened without Syria's backing," Jumblatt said. He said Syria was taking advantage of the "changes in attitude" in the US, where many see the Democrats' victory in midterm elections earlier this month as setting the stage for an eventual withdrawal from Iraq. Jumblatt said President Bush's decision to invade Iraq in 2003 was "the right thing to do," but stressed an early evacuation would send the wrong signals to Syria and Iran, and could result in regional instability. "The Syrians play this game where they have been waiting for the Americans to get weaker in Iraq," said Jumblatt. "Now with the Democrat's win paving the way for an American withdrawal, the Syrians believe they have the upper hand in the region to retake Lebanon."



President Bush Blasts Syria & Iran over Lebanese Assassination

Nov. 22….(MSN) President Bush blasted Syria and Iran yesterday after the assassination of Christian cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel for trying to destabilize Lebanon, reflecting tensions between Washington and its two Middle Eastern rivals that are increasingly playing out in Lebanon as well as Iraq. While the President stopped short of blaming Syria for the killing, he warned that the United States remains "fully committed" to supporting Lebanon's democracy despite attempts by Damascus, Tehran and their allies in Lebanon "to foment instability and violence." During remarks to US troops in Hawaii, he also charged that the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is in violation of two UN resolutions for its ongoing meddling in Lebanon. For the past 21 months, the Bush administration has tried to steer the Mediterranean country toward democracy and away from the grips of long-standing Syrian and Iranian influence. As Iraq imploded, the Bush Administration hoped that Lebanon might prove an alternative model for the flowering of freedom in the Middle East. The massive Lebanese protests during the Cedar Revolution last year, when more than 1 million Lebanese turned out to demand Syria's withdrawal after the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq al-Hariri, eventually brought down a government and forced Syria to end its 29-year occupation. Elections two months later put in place a parliament dominated by anti-Syrian forces. But the assassination yesterday of Gemayel, who was a member of the third generation of Lebanon's most prominent Christian political family, signals that the battle for Lebanon is far from over, said US officials and regional experts. And having the United States as an ally is no protection. "The assassination highlights to what extent the United States is now in a position of weakness in the region. It doesn't matter what statements the US makes about coups and assassinations, it still happens," Emile el-Hokayem, an expert on Lebanon at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a defense think tank, said in an interview from Beirut. Indeed, the bullets that raked Gemayel's car also fired on US policy, analysts say. "The bullets were meant for an outspoken critic of Syria. The Cedar Revolution is seen as an extension of American power, so the assassination of Gemayel was by extension a way of striking the US as well," said Augustus Richard Norton, a former UN peacekeeper in Lebanon and now a professor at Boston University.



Assassinations by Damascus, Tehran Pushing US Out of Mideast

Nov. 22….(Washington Times) The brazen assassination yesterday of Christian Cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel has pushed Lebanon's fragile democracy, heralded by the United States as a model for the region, to the brink of collapse. Coming amid moves by Syria and Iran to improve relations with Iraq, the killing also was seen by analysts as part of a coordinated attempt to push the United States out of the Middle East. "This is part of a broader effort on the part of Syrians and Iranians in their own isolation to prove they have leverage over events in the region and to minimize the role of the US in the region," said former US ambassador to Morocco, Marc Ginsberg. Suspicion immediately focused on Syria, which stands to be deeply embarrassed by a proposed international tribunal that would investigate its suspected role in the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri on Feb. 14, 2005. The UN Security Council approved plans for the tribunal hours after the killing yesterday, but it must still be approved by a weakened Lebanese government. We can add this to the list of Syrian killings of anti-Syrians in Lebanon," said David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Mr. Gemayel was the fifth anti-Syrian figure killed in the past two years. "There is obviously a concern that a UN investigation would be so thorough and comprehensive it will get to the bottom of who killed Hariri and the other murders in Lebanon, and obviously there are some people very nervous about that," Mr. Schenker said. Syrian officials denied any involvement in the latest assassination, which rattled a Lebanese government already battered by a wave of Cabinet resignations and the threat of street demonstrations by Hezbollah. "Syria had nothing to do with this," said Syria's UN Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari. But Amal Mudallali, foreign affairs adviser to the head of Lebanon's largest parliamentary faction, said Mr. Gemayal's killing had been carefully planned. "The assassination is aimed at stopping the international tribunal," she said. "It is the second time they have killed a Lebanese politician when the UN Council was meeting on Hariri, it is not a coincidence. Following the walkout of five Hezbollah and one Christian minister on Nov. 11, the death of Mr. Gemayal leaves the anti-Syrian Cabinet with just one member more than the minimum to maintain a constitutional quorum. In broader terms, analysts saw the killing as part of a concerted effort by Iran and Syria to flex their muscles just as pressure is mounting in Washington for President Bush to seek their help in stabilizing Iraq.



40% of Children Born in US in 2005 Out of Wedlock, an All-Time High

Nov. 22….(Fox News) Out of wedlock births in the United States have climbed to an all-time high, accounting for nearly four in 10 babies born last year, government health officials said Tuesday. While out-of-wedlock births have long been associated with teen mothers, the teen birth rate actually dropped last year to the lowest level on record. Instead, births among unwed mothers rose most dramatically among women in their 20s. The overall rise reflects the burgeoning number of people who are putting off marriage or living together without getting married. The increase in births to unwed mothers was seen in all racial groups, but rose most sharply among Hispanics. About 4.1 million babies were born in the United States last year, up slightly from 2004. More than 1.5 million of those were to unmarried women; that is about 37 percent of the total. In 2004, about 36 percent of births were out of wedlock. Out-of-wedlock births have been rising since the late 1990s. According to census figures, the median age at first marriage was 27 for men and 25 for women last year, up from 23 and 20 in 1950. Meanwhile, the number of unmarried-couple households with children has been climbing, hitting more than 1.7 million last year, up from under 200,000 in 1970. The US teen birth rate is still the highest among industrialized countries.



Al Qaeda Welcomes Democratic Victory

Nov. 22….(By Walid Phares) The latest audio by al Qaeda's Iraq commander, posted 48 hours after the midterm elections, sends a clear signal to the readers of the jihadi strategic mind: Al Qaeda and its advisers around the world want to provoke an "American Madrid." Portraying the United States as a bleeding bull in disarray, the war room projects its wish to see America's will crippled. The video attempts to do the following:

1.      Convince the jihadists that the United States is now defeated in Iraq and beyond. While no reversal of the balance of power has taken place on the ground, the jihadi propaganda machine is linking the shift in domestic politics to a withdrawal from Iraq. It projects the change in Washington as a crumbling of the political process in Baghdad and America's foreign policy. Interestingly, others in the region are also "announcing" the upcoming defeat of America in the war on terror. Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah declared: "The Americans are leaving, and their allies will pay the price."

2.      Spread political chaos at home. Jihadists portray the Democratic takeover of Congress and the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as signs of American weakening in the resolve to fight jihadism. Americans may end up believing that the situation in the Middle East is a result of a faulty US policy.

Al Qaeda's audio tells citizens in the United States that they were wise for having responded positively to the previous messages by Osama bin Laden. Al Masri's words aim at convincing the American public to pressure their newly elected legislators to pull US forces hastily from Iraq. In short, al Qaeda wants an American Madrid: it wishes that a change of power in January would be accompanied by a change of national determination, not just a change of course within Iraq. In the terrorist’s minds, the Democratic Party victory in Congress means that America is now divided and that with more killings in Iraq, they will break the will of Americans at home; and that the new Congress, seeking to fulfill one of its electoral promises will force the Bush administration to pack up and leave the Middle East.



Iran, Syria, Iraqi Insurgents, and al Qaeda Outflanking Washington

Nov. 22….(DEBKA) Our Middle East sources report that all these elements are using the hiatus in Washington to snatch the initiative on Iraq and other regional issues. In Jakarta, President George W. Bush said Monday, Nov. 20, “I haven’t made any decisions about troop increases or troop decreases.” Before day’s end, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad summoned the Iraqi and Syrian presidents to a weekend summit, a gesture to demonstrate that Tehran rather than Washington is now making the rules for progress in the Iraq crisis. Bush’s let-everyone-wait stance was reflected in the way high Pentagon officials speaking to the Washington Post talked about Gen. Peter Pace, head of the joint chiefs of staff, and the commission of 16 high US officers who served in Iraq or the Persian Gulf he appointed to examine three options: injecting more troops into Iraq, shrinking the force but staying longer or pulling out. The panel was asked to say what is going right or wrong with the war and elaborate on options for progress. Gen. Pace plans to draw on these ideas for his thoughts and recommendations to the secretary of defense and the president, a process which is still immature. For their part, generals on the spot, Maj.Gen William B. Caldwell, spokesman for the US military in Iraq who usually speaks for the war commander Gen. John Abizaid and general George Casey, US commander in Iraq, have said that adding more U.S. forces would ''achieve a short-term solution, but it's not going to achieve a long-term effect. The key to this thing is we have got to get the Iraqi security forces able to operate in an independent manner, on their own.'' There have been indications that the special Iraq Study Group, led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, will recommend a broader role in the region for Syria and Iran. The Iraq Study Group is likewise in no hurry to issue its report. Reporting from the Middle East, DEBKAfile notes that none of Iraq’s neighbors are hanging about waiting for a US decision. They are making waves as though American and British troop withdrawals from Iraq are already in sight. By the time the Bush administration picks an option, the Middle East will have moved on, rendering the recommendations from the various US panels irrelevant.

Some steps already in motion are:

1. Ahead of the Tehran summit this coming weekend, Syria and Iraq have agreed to restore diplomatic relations.

2. The Sunnis and Shiites are locked in battle over the domination of Baghdad, both camps gathering in all their manpower and resources from inside and outside Iraq.

3. The US military and Iraqi army are playing no part in this battle royal. They are operating on the fringes of the main combat sectors and stepping in only when their own security zones are threatened. In other words, large sections of the Iraqi capital have slipped out of the control of the Americans and the al Maliki government. This situation prevails also in other main cities.

4. It means in a nutshell that time has run out for building and training a competent Iraqi army capable of operating on its own to bolster central government, defend it and fight Sunni insurgents and al Qaeda.

5. The faint hope of driving a wedge between Tehran and Damascus, on the basis of the former’s backing for Iraq’s Shiites and the latter’s for its Sunnis, has likewise gone up in smoke. The Syrian and Iranian governments are now fully synchronized and equally determined to keep the US-British alliance from attaining any sort of success in Iraq.

6. Their collaboration against the US extends to other parts of the Middle East. In Lebanon, they have activated their pawn, Hizballah, to topple the pro-US anti-Syrian government headed by Fouad Siniora. In the Palestinian areas, Iran and Syria are pumping in hundreds of military instructors and tens of tons of explosives, missiles and cash to dethrone Mahmoud Abbas and demolish his Palestinian Authority. By escalating their missile attacks, Hamas and its radical partners are bent on forcing Israel to launch a full-blown war on the Lebanon War model to crush their strengthened terrorist infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Iran and Syria are therefore in full flight keeping the different Middle East pots on the boil and the pro-Western governments in jeopardy.



Lebanon’s Anti-Syrian Christian Leader is Assassinated

(Anti-Syria politician Pierre Gemayel shot, killed driving in Christian suburb)


(FOJ) Pierre Gemayel, the Lebanese Minister of Industry and the son of former President Amin Gemayel, was a supporter of the anti-Syrian parliamentary majority, which is locked in a power struggle with pro-Syrian factions led by Hezbollah. Hezbollah leader Nasrallah has threatened to topple the Lebanese unity government and has called upon Muslims to march in the streets as a show of support for Hezbollah. Hezbollah is a terrorist arm that is an extension of Iran’s Shiiite extremism.

Nov. 21….(Fox News) A prominent Lebanese anti-Syrian Christian politician named Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in a suburb of Beirut today as he drove through the Christian sector of Beirut. The slaying heightens political tensions in Lebanon, where the leading Muslim Shiite party Hezbollah has threatened to topple the government if it does not get a bigger say in Cabinet decision-making. Gemayel was shot point-blank in his car in Jdeideh, a Christian neighborhood, his constituency on the northern edge of Beirut, witnesses said. A car rammed his vehicle from behind and then a gunman stepped out and shot him at point-blank range, they said. In Washington, the State Department denounced the assassination as terrorism and an attempt to intimidate the US-backed governing coalition in Beirut. "This is a very sad day for Lebanon. We view it as an act of terrorism and we also view it as an act of intimidation," Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns said. Gemayel was staunchly anti-Syrian, and worked incessantly to dissect Syrian influence over Lebanon. Predictably, Syrian condemned the assassination, and disavowing any connection to the assassination. Gemayel was Lebanon’s minister of industry and the on of former President Amin Gemayel. Gemayel is the third prominent figure in Lebanon to be assassinated in the past two years. Former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Saad Hariri’s father, was killed in a car bombing in February 2005, and lawmaker and newspaper manager Gibran Tueni was killed in a car bombing in December 2005. Gemayel hailed from a prominent family of politicians. His father, Amin, served as president between 1982 and 1988. His grandfather, the late Pierre Gemayel, led the right-wing Christian Phalange Party that fielded the largest Christian militia during the 1975-90 civil war between Christians and Muslims. Amin Gemayel was elected by parliament after the assassination of his brother, Bashir, who was chosen president but was killed a few days before he was to take office. The Phalange Party dominated Christian politics for decades after Lebanon’s independence from France in 1943, and Amin Gemayel is its current leader. Pierre was a rising star in the party and expected to carry the mantle of the political family. During the civil war, the Phalange had the largest Christian militia that fought Muslim forces and Palestinian guerrillas. The death of the senior Pierre Gemayel in 1983, the shrinking Christian community, and the rise of Hezbollah have seriously weakened the party, which could not get its own leader elected to parliament in 2000.



Bolton: Syria Linked to Lebanon Killing


US Ambassador Bolton accused Syria of being implicated in this, and other assassinations in Lebanon. While Syria denies any involvement, it is ironic that all anti-Syrian leaders in Lebanon are falling victim to assassination. The killings only serve Syria and or Hezbollah’s interests.

Lebanese officials and Assistant US Secretary of Defense Peter Rodman, second right, with Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr, second left, sign documents at the Ministry of Defense. Lebanon signed US$10.5 million military agreements with the United States as part of a US assistance program designed to strengthen the Lebanese army as it takes on additional duties following its deployment near the border with Israel for the first time in more than three decades.


Nov. 21….(Newsmax) US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton said Tuesday the assassination of a Lebanese Cabinet minister and vocal critic of Syria showed the need for quick agreement on creation of an international court for Lebanon. Bolton also hinted at Syrian involvement in the killing of Industry Minister Pierre Gemayel by gunmen who opened fire on his convoy near Beirut. He pointed to a string of recent assassinations of anti-Syrian political figures in Lebanon following the February 2005 murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri after Hariri spoke out against Syria's domination of Lebanon. "I think the facts need to be developed, but if you look at the evidence that links the Hariri assassination to the other political assassinations, I think people can draw their own practical conclusions," he said. Bolton strongly disagreed when asked by a reporter whether council approval of the tribunal plan might feed instability in Lebanon, as some council members had argued. Instability? They are killing people in Lebanon, they are assassinating political leaders." During a closed-door UN Security Council meeting Monday, Russia and Qatar had suggested it might be prudent to delay action on the tribunal due to Lebanon's political crisis. Gemayel's assassination came as Hezbollah and its allies prepared to take to the streets to try to topple the government and the UN Security Council's consideration of the plan for an international tribunal to try suspects in the murder of Hariri and the other recent assassinations, which UN investigators believe are related to Hariri's death. Gemayel was among the members of the Lebanese Cabinet to have voted last week to approving the UN plan for the tribunal.



The Root of Gaza-Palestinian Misery

Nov. 21….(FOJ) On Sunday Palestinians in Gaza were celebrating the victory of their “human shields” in thwarting an air strike against the home of wanted terrorist Wail Barud. But the tactic may have backfired from a propaganda perspective.  It is clear the Palestinians themselves do not believe their own propaganda about Israel’s alleged thirst for blood. Otherwise, they never would have been able to recruit all those human shields. And if Israel really were sadistic as its critics claim, it wouldn’t have called off Sunday’s bombing run. Just imagine if the shoe was on the other foot, and hundreds of Israeli “human shields” positioned themselves in an unguarded café in the West bank.  Palestinian suicide bombers would be stepping over each other in an effort to attack the target. “Human shields” work only when your enemy fights like a human. A second irony is that it is men like Barud who are at the root of Palestinian misery, for if they were not firing rockets into Israel from Gaza, and smuggling in weapons from Egypt, there would be no need for Israeli counterterrorist operations in Gaza. If Palestinians were more rational about where their society’s interests lie, they would go to Barud’s house not to offer protection, but to arrest him so that others in the area could live in peace. The number of rocket attacks on Israel so far this month is more than double the number recorded immediately after the disengagement from the Gaza region and the withdrawal of the IDF. Statistics reported by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center for Special Studies reveal that there were 119 rocket attacks in the first 10 days of November 2006, compared to 63 in all of September 2005. The number of terrorist attacks, including roadside bombs and shootings as well as Kassam firing, has reached 174 in the first third of November, compared with the same number for the entire month of September last year.



Hamas “Satisfied Jews Fleeing Rocket Attacks

Nov. 21….(FOI) Hamas is “very satisfied with reports in Jerusalem that some Israelis in communities near the Gaza Strip are ready to flee their rocket-plagued towns while students reportedly have been skipping school for fear of being caught in the daily Palestinian attacks, a senior leader of Hamas’ so-called “military wing” told WND in an interview on Monday. “The importance of what is happening to Sderot proves to the Palestinians, that rocket attacks do bring big benefits,” said Abu Abdullah, who is considered one of the most important operational members of Hamas’ Izzedine al-Qassam Martyrs Brigades, Hamas’ declared military wing. “We promise we will keep hitting them by launching rockets because it is starting to bring results.  We are working to improve our rockets to hit further and cause more Jews to evacuate,” said the terror leader, speaking from Gaza.



Iran Invites Iraqi, Syrian Presidents to Teheran

Nov. 21….(AP) In an apparent bid to counter US influence in the region, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad invited his Iraqi and Syrian counterparts to a weekend summit in Tehran to tackle the chaos in Iraq, Iraqi lawmakers said Monday. The diplomatic gambit coincided with a groundbreaking visit to Baghdad by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, who was challenged over Damascus' role in supporting the Sunni insurgency. The Iraqi government said diplomatic relations between the two countries, severed nearly a quarter-century ago, would be restored by Tuesday. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the Syrian envoy that Damascus should not let its disputes with the United States be played out in Iraq, where the chaos and bloodshed has become "a danger that threatens all, not Iraq only." Although a spokesman for the Iraqi president said Syrian President Bashar Assad would not be attending the summit, the Iranian move appeared designed to upstage possible American efforts to reach out to Tehran and Damascus in a wider effort to subdue runaway violence in Iraq. The invitation was also a display of Iran's increasingly muscular role in the Middle East, where it already has established deep influence over Syria and Lebanon. Teheran is thought to benefit from a low level of chaos in Iraq to keep the US bogged down, but is wary that too much bloodshed could cause trouble across its own border, where Kurds could become restive. A close parliamentary associate of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said the summit represents an attempt by Tehran to strengthen its position in the region and prevent the US from dividing Syria, a predominantly Sunni Arab country, from its ally of convenience, Shiite Iran. Talabani has accepted the invitation and will fly to the Iranian capital Saturday. Tehran meeting would only include Talabani and Ahmadinejad. He said, however, that Talabani had accepted an invitation to meet with Assad in Damascus. The US State Department reacted with skepticism about Iran's intentions in Iraq, but said it was up to Iraq to decide. "It's their call; it's their decision," deputy spokesman Tom Casey said in Washington. "We have seen statements like this many times in the past," and there have been several high-level contacts between Iran and Iraq, Casey said. But Iran's statements of a desire to reduce violence in Iraq "have not been backed up by facts," the US spokesman said. Syria is widely believed to have done very little to stop foreign fighters and al-Qaida recruits from crossing its border to join Sunni insurgents in Iraq. It also has provided refuge for many top members of Saddam Hussein's former leadership and political corps, which is thought to have organized arms and funding for the insurgents. The Sunni insurgency, since it sprang to life in the late summer of 2003, has been responsible for the vast majority of US deaths in Iraq. Iran is deeply involved in training, funding and arming the two major Shiite militias in Iraq, where Tehran has deep historic ties to the current Shiite political leadership. Many Iraqi Shiites spent years in Iranian exile during Saddam's decades in power in Baghdad. One militia, the Badr Brigade, was trained in Iran by the Revolutionary Guard. Assad's foreign minister, Moallem, was the highest-level Syrian official to visit Iraqi since Saddam's ouster in 2003. Syria broke diplomatic ties with Iraq in 1982, accusing Iraq of inciting riots by the banned Muslim Brotherhood in Syria. Damascus also sided with Iran in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. The invitation extended by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seen as an Iranian move to grab influence from the United States in Iraq.



Iran and Syria Making Overtures to Iraq

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (left) and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad have aided the insurgency in Iraq. The 2 leaders are virulently anti-American and anti-Israel.

Nov. 21….(FOJ) The Bush administration is casting a wary eye on signs that Iran and Syria are taking a more active diplomatic role in Iraq, even as debate in the US centered on how many American troops to keep in the war. Just days after reports that US officials were discussing a broader role for Iran and Syria, Iraqi lawmakers said Ahmadinejad had invited the Iraqi and Syrian presidents for a weekend summit. At the same time, there have been indications that a special US advisory commission is considering recommendations that could include a broader role in the region by Syria and Iran. The Iraq Study Group, led by Bush family friend and former Secretary of State James Baker and former Rep. Lee Hamilton, is expected to issue its report soon. One military official close to the group's discussions said that one option could combine encouraging talks with Iran and Syria with shifting the US military focus away from combat and toward training the Iraqi forces. But members of the commission have expressed concern that working with Iran and Syria could require America "to enter into a de facto partnership with them," with possible trade-offs, said the official, who requested anonymity because the group's discussions have not been made public.



Duncan Hunter to Iraqis: 'Saddle Up' and Fight

Nov. 21….AP) The United States should push for available and trained Iraqi security forces to be sent to the front lines of the fight to stabilize the war-torn country, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter said Monday. "We need to saddle those up and deploy them to the fight" in dangerous areas, primarily in Baghdad, Hunter, a California Republican who is interested in his party's 2008 presidential nomination, told The Associated Press in an interview. He took a different tack from Sen. John McCain, a front-running 2008 hopeful who has urged that additional US troops be sent there. Hunter said in the AP interview that he wants to "Go Iraqi." He also said the Pentagon has told him that some 114 Iraqi battalions are trained and equipped, and 27 of those units are operating in areas that see less than one attack a day. Monday's statements continued an Iraq war policy debate that has been intensifying before and since midterm elections that saw Democrats grab back control of the House and Senate from the GOP.



Syria and Iraq Restore Relations

Nov. 21….(Jerusalem Post) Diplomatic relations between Syria and Iraq, severed 24 years ago, were restored today, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said. "The latest talks between the Syrian and Iraqi side have been crowned by declaring a new era with the participation of the Syrian brothers in working on the security and stability with Iraq and restoring full diplomatic relations," al-Dabbagh told The Associated Press. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem arrived in Iraq on Sunday in the first such visit by a senior Syrian official since the 2003 fall of Saddam Hussein's regime. He was expected to return to Damascus later Tuesday. After the signing ceremony, Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told reporters that the names of ambassadors would be announced soon. "Iraq's flag will fly in the sky of Damascus and Syria's flag will fly in the sky of Baghdad," Zebari said. On arrival, Moallem had called for a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces, saying that would reduce violence. Syria broke diplomatic ties with Iraq in 1982, accusing it of inciting riots in Syria by the banned Muslim Brotherhood. Damascus also sided with Iran in the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.



Gaza Missile Menace Growing

Nov. 21….(Jnewswire) The threat to Israel from the south is increasing, and Israelis are now beginning to talk about the need to retake the Gaza Strip. Gaza’s Arabs appear to have improved their rocket aim and are scoring damage and casualties in southern Israel on an almost daily basis with their crude but deadly Kassams. According to Mideast Newsline, Israeli intelligence officials report that the terrorist rocket teams have set up a number of command and control centers from which to coordinate the missile attacks on Jewish targets. At least three rockets were fired in the first wave of shooting as Sderot residents made their way to work Tuesday morning. If the trend established over the past weeks and months holds, more Palestinian missiles will fall later in the day, and more will fall every day this week. Whereas the majority of the Kassams have hitherto landed in open fields, terrorizing thousands of Israelis but causing relatively few injuries and damage, recent days have seen a marked upswing in actual hits. A woman was killed and a man had his legs destroyed in a rocket attack on Sderot last Thursday morning. That afternoon saw a young Israel man critically injured in a separate strike. Altogether 12 Kassams rained down on southern Israel on that day; four hitting the city of Ashkelon. Last Sunday evening saw a couple and two of their teenage children wounded in an attack. At least nine rockets hit Sderot Monday morning; one landing in a private yard, a second hitting a gas pipeline, according to Israel National News. Likud Party leader and former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held his party’s weekly meeting in Sderot Sunday to show solidarity with the battered residents of the town. Noting that the security situation in the area was deteriorating, Netanyahu slammed the government for not providing security for the town. “Sderot is not external. It is part of the State of Israel,” he said. At the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem Sunday, Internal Security Minister and former head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Avi Dichter angered Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when he criticized the government for not dealing effectively with the rocket threat, and called for an intensified military campaign in Gaza. "It's time to tell ourselves the truth: we need to stop the Kassams today, because I don't suggest waiting for a time when the Palestinians have better rockets. An angry cabinet member reportedly asked Dichter directly whether Israel should retake the Gaza Strip. He did not reply. Before Israel began pulling out of the Strip under the Oslo Agreement, no rocket threat existed and terrorism from Gaza was extremely limited. Since Israel completed its abandonment of the area 16 months ago, tens of tons of weaponry and explosives have been brought into Gaza, and the rocket attacks have intensified. Despite the incessant rocket attacks, the UN over the weekend condemned Israel for attacking suspected rocket launching havens. Moreover, Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip have begun to willingly volunteer themselves as human shields to protecting known terrorists and rocket bases from Israeli strikes.



Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and Being an American in 1907


Nov. 20….(FOJ) In 1907, President Roosevelt gave a speech on immigrants coming to American. The picture shown below shows the former President at a train stop delivering a speech on the topic, and why assimilation was important. President Roosevelt is recorded as saying; "In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language, and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." Today, through the so-called philosophies of tolerance and political-correctness, we tolerate people being anything other than solely American, and wholly devoted to the flag, the language, and the Republic of the United States.



US Slams UN Over Anti-Israel Resolution

Nov. 20….(JNEWSWIRE) US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton issued a scathing attack against the UN world body today over its resolution against Israel's war on "Palestinian" terror, and the continued Gaza rocket attacks. Bolton said the resolution passed by the UN General Assembly had cynically equated terrorist rocket attacks with Israel's military response. He went on to note that anti-Israel bias is "endemic to the culture of the United Nations," and said the whole episode again called into question the "relevance and utility" of the world body "in confronting the challenges of the 21st century."



Saudis: US can Buy Arab Favor by Forcing Israeli Surrender

Nov. 20….(AP) Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Turki al-Faisal told a gathering in Washington Monday that America's standing in the Middle East is an all-time low, and can only be elevated by forcing Israel to surrender all lands being demanded by the Palestinian Arabs. And that includes the city of Jerusalem, the ancient Jewish capital the so-called "Palestinians" claim solely as their own. The Prince said that Riyadh has no problem with the US remaining close friends with Israel, but that that friendship must be used to "push Israel" to make "peace" on the Arabs' terms.



Syria Wants Golan in Return for Helping US

Nov. 19….(Times On Line) Syria is ready to demand American help in securing the return of the Golan Heights from Israel as the price of co-operation over Iraq. With the White House under pressure to talk to its adversary, President Bashar al-Assad has resolved that his assistance will not be cheap. Assad has been considering how to respond to an American overture following reports that the Iraq Study Group will recommend that the United States engage Syria and Iran in talks on Iraq, a position backed by Tony Blair last week. The Syrian president wants America and Britain to use their influence with Israel to raise the return of the Golan Heights, seized by the Israelis in the 1967 war. “It will be the top demand,” said Ayman Abdel Nour, a leading reformer in the ruling Ba’ath party. Assad has ruled out co-operating with the Americans in return for the promise of unspecified benefits. “The Syrian leadership is fed up with the Americans and does not trust their word when it comes to future aid for Syria,” Abdel Nour said. “Syria will not do anything unless it has secured guarantees from Washington and London that every action Damascus takes to help them will be reciprocated. It will be a step by step scenario: these actions for those actions,” he added. Assad also insists that any help must be dependent on a timetable for US troop withdrawals, a move resisted by President George W Bush. Shaul Bakhash, an expert on the Middle East at George Mason University, Washington, said: “Neither Iran nor Syria will do a favor for the US without wanting something back, and what both countries want are things that the US is not willing to give them.” The Syrians believe they are in a position of strength. “Already there is talk that Syria is the winner and will set the new rules of the game in the region,” Abdel Nour said



Syria on the Move in Lebanon and Iraq

(Syrian-backed Hizbullah may be poised to stage a revolution in Lebanon as back-room negotiations between the US and Syria may result in Israel being pressured to give up the Golan Heights)

Nov. 19….(Arutz) Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem began a visit to Iraq on Sunday. The visit will include meetings with US officials in Iraq at which Moallem will relay Syria’s demand that Israel retreat from the Golan Heights in return for Syrian cooperation in Iraq. The insurgents that have plagued US troops in Iraq have for the most part entered the country from Syria. According to preliminary reports, former American Secretary of State James Bakar’s soon-to-be delivered recommendations on Iraq policy include engaging Syria and Iran in negotiations in order to enable the US formulate an exit strategy. London’s Sunday Times, which has in the past proven the veracity of its Syrian sources, quotes Syrian Baath Party official Ayman Abdel Nour saying that Bashar al-Assad’s “top demand” from the US and Britain is that Israel be pressured to withdraw from the Golan. "Syria will not do anything unless it has secured guarantees from Washington and London that every action Damascus takes to help them will be reciprocated. It will be a step by step scenario: these actions for those actions,” he said. The Syrian demands also include a staged withdrawal of US troops from the region. Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt warned Sunday that Lebanon is on the verge of a coup de tat staged by Hizbullah and other pro-Syrian elements. "The opposition groups are on the verge of announcing a coup in the country and we should take the brave decision to confront all options," Jumblatt said in a briefing to his ruling parliamentary faction. Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah attacked the Lebanese government publicly Saturday, saying it lacked credibility. "The Lebanese government is in a state of weakness and is still feeling a huge defeat as the result of the last Israeli war in Lebanon," Nasrallah said in a taped address aired on Hizbullah’s Al-Manar satellite station Sunday.  Nasrallah urged Lebanese citizens to be prepared “psychologically” to take to the streets in support of Hizbollah's demand for a national unity government, though he insisted he was not calling for any violence. Analysts think Nasrallah’s statements may serve as instructions for pro-Syrian elements in Lebanon to prepare to take control. Hizbullah’s unity government bid consists of a demand that the group, which answers to Syria and Iran, be given veto power on all major government decisions.


Blair Set to Open Washington’s Road to Damascus. Next Stop Tehran

Nov. 19….(DEBKA) The primary object of the new Spanish-Italian-French Middle East “peace plan” is to insert European military forces into the Gaza Strip after establishing themselves in the expanded UNIFIL in South Lebanon. In furtherance of their goal, the European Union endorsed the UN resolution’s call Friday, Nov. 17, for Israel to pull out of Gaza, although its withdrawal to the UN-approved line was completed in September 2005. European assertiveness is coming at the expense of the Bush administration’s post-election weakness. Its tenaciously-held premise that the roads to all the region’s woes lead back to the Israel-Palestinian issue is already reflected in these two European steps, the first of a systematic campaign of crushing pressure on Israel to fall into line. The campaign will peak in the third week of December, when British premier Tony Blair is due to visit Damascus to open the road for Washington. As a down-payment for buying Syrian president Bashar Asad’s cooperation on Iraq, Blair will try and coerce Israel to accept talks with Syria for the return of the Golan captured in the 1967 war. Last Monday, Nov. 13, prime minister Ehud Olmert rather naively claimed he and President George W. Bush were of one mind that Israel must not sit down and talk to Syria until the Assad regime had abandoned its sponsorship of terror. As he spoke, three high-ranking US officials, David Satterfield, the state department’s coordinator for Iraq, J.D. Crouch, deputy national security adviser, and Condoleezza Rice’s assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, David Welch, were deep in arrangements for the Blair visit to Damascus, which they see as the key for opening the door to direct US-Tehran talks. The fresh US-European Middle East momentum on the Palestinian issue is being crafted as a positive counterweight to the negative effect of the impending American-British withdrawal from Iraq. The groundwork for this ploy was laid by Blair’s senior political adviser Nigel Sheinwald, when he met Asad in Damascus in late October. He brought back welcome tidings from his meeting: Damascus and Tehran did not see eye to eye on Iraq; Asad said he felt no compulsion to stick to the Iranian line in the embattled country. The Damascus visits are meant to be the conduit to the start of Washington’s dialogue with Tehran. Blair’s most recent foreign policy statements are at odds with the positions he and Bush have shared, unless seen in the context of these behind-the-scenes diplomatic feelers. Through this prism, they sound like an effort to prepare American and British public opinion for the extreme policy reversal embodied in his impending visit to Damascus in the role of appeaser. The pacifier he means to offer for Syria’s cooperation on Iraq: massive Israeli concessions. In an interview to the Washington Post Thursday, Nov. 16, Prime Minister Tony Blair was suddenly optimistic about progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying that "sensible Arab and Muslim countries" now see "strategic reasons" for finding a solution and new initiatives could come within weeks. In a closed-door video conference Tuesday with the US Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan panel in Washington reviewing Iraq policy, Blair said that any solution to Iraq must begin with progress on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is the one issue, he insisted, that unresolved allows extremists to gain purchase on the more moderate elements of the Muslim and Arab world. Then, talking to David Frost on al Jazeera’s new English language program Saturday, Blair again stressed the importance of progress in the Middle East peace process in winning the "war on terror". But he admitted for the first time that Western intervention in Iraq had "so far been pretty much of a disaster.” Middle East sources note that very few people in Washington, London or Damascus understood why President Bush’s leading ally in the Iraq war had suddenly turned against him. But Blair’s eye, say those sources, was very much on the Damascus ball; he was signaling the Syrian leader that he and Assad were now on the same side: the two leaders should together take a lead role in solving the burning issues of Iraq, the Middle East dispute and Iran. He implied that the US president, whose party had lost control of Congress, like Olmert, who had lost the Lebanon war, no longer held controlling stakes in the must urgent regional issues, whereas Blair and Assad were now in a position to seize the high ground. The Sheinwald mission in late October tactfully avoided mention of Damascus’ role as headquarters for radical Palestinian terrorist groups. Assad was only warned off schemes to topple the Fouad Siniora government in Beirut. Informed that such machinations would bring the new rapprochement to an abrupt halt, Asad is quoted as saying he understands perfectly the fragility of Lebanon’s situation. Assad was thus given to understand that for London, the rancor over the Iraq war was water under the bridge and the way forward out of what he later admitted was a “disaster” was the paramount consideration. All this radical shifting around of US and British positions for the sake of an exit from Iraq, coupled with Europe’s maneuvering to make hay on the Palestinian-Israeli front, leave the Jewish state prey to crippling pressures as well as dangerously exposed to Iran, whose nuclear weapons aspirations remain unsolved in the stampede to leave Iraq. Tehran’s proxy Hizballah, Syria and the Palestinian Hamas will be left in peace to advance on their agenda for rapid armament and preparations for the next war. There is still a month to go before the British prime minister’s projected mission to Damascus, time enough for the notoriously fickle Syrian ruler to change his mind or for the Iranians to derail the plan, unless the ayatollahs are assured they playing a winner’s game.






President Bush Visits Hanoi for APEC Summit

Nov. 17….(FOJ) For American young men of the 1960’s, the sight of an American President sitting under a bust of Ho Chi Minh in North Viet Nam is a picture that is still hard to stomach, even after all these years. Over 50,000 American servicemen died in Viet Nam for some reason. It was a war that was supposedly about stopping the spread of Communism, but apparently, as the passing decades and the emerging Global World Order demonstrate, the Iron and Clay nations have found a way to  work together. US President George W. Bush is pictured here during a meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi. President Bush is in Hanoi for the APEC Summit, and a state visit to communist Vietnam and talks on Iraq, ahead of a weekend Asia Pacific summit focused on the drive for Global free trade.

Daniel 2:42-43 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.



Former Iran Leader Tells Bush to Drop; 'Axis of Evil'

Nov. 17….(AP) Iran's former president urged President Bush today to remove the Islamic republic from his so-called "axis of evil" and warned Washington not to consider military intervention in his country. Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Iranian president between 1989 and 1997 and now the head of the Expediency Council that mediates between the parliament and ruling clerics, said Bush "made a strategic mistake. He should exclude Iran from the circle (axis of evil) that he has made." President Bush used the term in his 2002 State of the Union address to describe Saddam Hussein's Iraq, Iran and North Korea, states he said sponsor terrorism and seek weapons of mass destruction. Saddam was toppled the next year following a US-led invasion, but autocratic governments remain in place in the other two countries, and both have nuclear programs that alarm the West. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said late last month that recent events in Iran and North Korea support Bush's claim that they were part of an "axis of evil." "It was a pretty good analysis, wasn't it?" She said Iranians deserve a better leader, referring to the current hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran said recently that it would be willing to talk to the United States about Iraq and other regional issues if the US requested it, as is purported to be the case wit the new Iraq Survey Group. But the White House has said it will only talk to Iran if Tehran agrees to suspend its suspect uranium enrichment activities. "In the nuclear case, a difficult encounter is ahead of us," Rafsanjani said during Friday prayers in Tehran. "It will be difficult for the US, too. The United States should not pin hope on its veto right in the UN Security Council. It is not an angel for them; it is only a temporary solution." Rafsanjani also warned the US not to consider military intervention in Iran, saying Washington's "iron fist policy" has failed. "It will be dangerous if the US thinks that it can behave toward Iran in the same way that it has treated Afghanistan and Iraq," he said. Today, negotiations, prudence and wisdom are the solution for the problems in the entire world. The former Iranian leader played down the effect on Iran of the US midterm elections that gave Democrats control of Congress. "Democrats are a little bit softer, but they are not angels. Do not interpret the win of either parties as very significant," he said. During his speech, Rafsanjani did not mention an Argentine judge's request for his arrest and the detention of eight other officials for the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires. The blast killed 85 people and wounded more than 200.



Arafat's Widow Lives Well in New York & Paris on Arafat’s Billions

imageNov. 17….(Jewish Journal) November marks two years since the death of PLO chief Yasser Arafat, but don't count on most Palestinians to mourn his memory. On a good day in Gaza City, only 40 percent of the previous night's sewage gets dumped into public beaches along the Mediterranean coast, where gaunt Palestinian kids build sand castles out of thick brown sludge. One and a half million Gazans, mostly children, live overwhelmingly in poverty amid a gutted infrastructure and a dysfunctional democracy. Meanwhile, the first lady of Palestine, Arafat's widow, Suha, has been living large in Paris, among other places, at the palatial Hotel Le Bristol. She and her baby daughter left Gaza for France in 2000, during the second Intifada, and reportedly occupied an entire floor of the five-star hotel, at approximately $16,000 per night. "Our economy has been deteriorating ever since Arafat came on the scene in '94," Ramallah-based Bir Zeit University professor Mudar Kassis said. "People had been waiting for something to happen that would improve the daily life of the Palestinians. Instead, the suffering mounted, and the highest GNP per capita in our history still dates back to 1991." Israeli and American intelligence officials say Suha Arafat's Paris hotel bill would be little more than chump change for the glitzy heiress, whose late husband might just have been the most flagrant embezzler of public funds since Louis XVI. During Arafat's rule, the United States, World Bank, European Union and Arab governments poured $7 billion into the Palestinian Authority to try and help forge a viable Arab-Israeli peace. As much as half that sum is reported to have gone AWOL, with only a small fraction recovered to date. And Suha has proved to be only one of several big-time beneficiaries. "There was never a complete public reckoning of corruption during the Arafat years," said Kassis. Two years after Arafat's funeral, an international scavenger hunt continues for the revolutionary leader's far-flung riches. A motley assortment of investigators ranging from Israel's security establishment to Hamas, which now rules in Ramallah, maintain an ongoing interest in every lost stash. "The only man who knows the whole story is dead," said a senior Israeli military intelligence official who agreed to answer questions on condition of anonymity. "But the deeper you go into it, the more it stinks." Arafat's money trail leads far beyond the smelly sands of Gaza Beach, to a rainbow coalition of shady figures, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. But several all-stars of Arafat's money-laundering network have come to light-and the legacy of their greed still has grave repercussions across the Middle East. Arafat's lifetime of grubbing for cash on behalf of the Palestinians dates back to his young adulthood in Cairo, where he was born shortly before the American stock market crash of 1929. Nobody had even heard of the Palestinian cause back then. But longtime PLO stalwart Nabil Shaath remembers watching, as a 13-year-old, the young Arafat hit up his father for a cash donation. Shaath told Atlantic Monthly correspondent David Samuels he immediately recognized the future president of Palestinians. Arafat's sister, Inam, moreover, recalls the cash-flush teen's leadership style during the same period: "He formed the neighborhood kids into groups and made them march and drill," she told Arafat's biographer. "He carried a stick to beat those who did not obey his commands. He also liked making camps in the garden of our house." These two remembrances pretty much say it all about Arafat's lifelong financial strategy and management approach: He leveraged his relationship with authority figures to bankroll his movement, then took that leverage and beat Palestinians over the head with it. Follow the guerrilla leader's 50-year career through civil war in Jordan, civil war in Lebanon, R&R in Tunis and total war in the Palestinian areas, and most eyewitness accounts of the PLO chief at bedtime indicate he went to sleep on a creaky cot. The same may not be said of his close aides and confidantes, many of whom enjoyed opulent lifestyles as a reward for their loyalty to Arafat. "He was a connoisseur of power who used the money that he stole to buy influence, to provoke or defuse conspiracies, to pay gunmen, and to collect hangers-on the way other men collect stamps or butterflies," David Samuels writes. Over a year after Arafat's death, when the Islamist terror group Hamas swept the Palestinian Authority elections on an anti-corruption platform, some of these "butterflies" tried to fly the coop, with wads of cash tucked under their clothes. According to the pro-Palestinian London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Hamas intercepted a former PA finance ministry chief, Ali al-Ramlawi, attempting to smuggle millions of dollars in greenbacks into Jordan. More than 30 other PLO seniors were subsequently caught fleeing town and jailed, according to Hamas sources. Their confiscated moneybags, the senior Israeli intelligence official said, proved an early boon to the nascent Hamas-controlled treasury. But these local cronies were just small potatoes. Incessant infighting among Palestinian elites, so common in patriarchal societies, meant that Arafat would often prefer to pick outsiders, even sworn enemies of the Palestinian people, to handle his most sensitive, high-stakes finance jobs. Consider Pierre Rizk, Arafat's long-time Lebanese Christian aide and confidante. Given the 1982 massacre of several thousand Palestinian refugees by Maronite Christians in south Lebanon, it might seem odd to picture Arafat relying for help on a Maronite leader. But in fact Rizk, the former intelligence chief for the Christian "Phalangist" paramilitary during the infamous Sabra and Chatila massacres, served Arafat for a decade and a half as a confidante and bag man, allegedly pocketing millions. As Arafat lay dying at Percy Hospital in Paris, Rizk reportedly negotiated with the PLO on behalf of Arafat's widow Suha for a $20 million cash payment and an ongoing monthly allowance. He helped Suha shrewdly leverage her power of attorney and next-of-kin access to the ailing leader's hospital bedside. The rumor has also been widely reported that Rizk and Suha became lovers. "It wouldn't surprise me," said fellow Maronite Ziad Abdel Nour, who heads the US Committee for a Free Lebanon. Suha, for her part, has relocated to Tunis, where she enjoys the protection of head of state Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. "She stays out of politics," said Muhammad Abdullah Amireh, a family friend and confidante based in Nablus, reached by phone. She sparked controversy in 2002 for asserting that if she had a son, there would be "no greater honor" than his martyrdom for the Palestinian cause. But the outspoken first lady has not returned to the Palestinian territories since her departure in 2000. Amireh added that the Arafat widow periodically returns to Paris to see family and friends and go shopping. Arafat embezzled from Western nations while he moved to obstruct the peace process, and thus tanked well over 400 million-4 billion dollars. As the Oslo Peace Process collapsed, a US Congress-mandated Standard & Poor's audit of the PA's investment arm exposed only part of the wacky dealings of Arafat’s blackmail scheme of peace for land.



Jerusalem Declared One of Worlds Wonders

Nov. 17….(Jerusalem Post) Jerusalem, particularly its Old City, has been declared one of the "Seven New Wonders of the World" by ABC's Good Morning, America program and USA Today. The Israeli capital was the second choice for the list, coming in after Potala Palace in Tibet. The team of experts who chose the second "wonders" said the presence of sites central to all three monotheistic faiths is what set Jerusalem apart. They ignored the fact that Islam's obsession with the Temple Mount (Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque) is a relatively new phenomenon that dates back less than 100 years. Prior to the regathering of the Jews to their land, Islam did not universally regard Jerusalem's Temple Mount as its third holiest site. Jerusalem, and especially the Temple Mount, is absolutely central to all true Bible-believing Jews and Christians, however.



Iran in 'Final Step' of Nuke Program

(Ahmadinejad makes declaration as UN struggles to find response)

imageNov. 17….(WND) Iran is taking the "final step" in its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today. While Ahmadinejad did not elaborate, Iran has said it will continue its program despite a UN effort to stop uranium enrichment, which Western nations believe is aimed at building nuclear weapons. "The Iranian nation is about to take its final step in the nuclear issue," the official IRNA news agency quoted Ahmadinejad as saying, according to Reuters. The UN security council, with challenges from Russia and China, is still trying to come to an agreement on sanctions against Iran. Iran has two experimental chains of 164 centrifuges that could be used to make a bomb or make fuel for power plants. But Ahmadinejad said earlier this week the goal is to have 60,000 centrifuges. Tehran plans to have 3,000 installed by March. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN watchdog, accused Iran of stonewalling attempts to determine whether its plans are peaceful. Ahmadinejad has called repeatedly for the destruction of Israel, or for moving the Jewish state to Europe. His address to the UN in September revealed his steadfast and driving conviction that a messianic figure, known as the "Mahdi" to Muslims, is poised to reveal himself after an apocalyptic holocaust on Earth that leaves most of the world's population dead. "I emphatically declare that today's world, more than ever before, longs for just and righteous people with love for all humanity; and above all longs for the perfect righteous human being and the real savior who has been promised to all peoples and who will establish justice, peace and brotherhood on the planet," Ahmadinejad said. "Oh, Almighty God, all men and women are your creatures and you have ordained their guidance and salvation. Bestow upon humanity that thirsts for justice, the perfect human being promised to all by you, and make us among his followers and among those who strive for his return and his cause."



Lebanese Confirm Arms Flow to Hizbullah

imageNov. 17….(Jerusalem Post) Lebanese civilians close to the border with Syria told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday that weapons for Hizbullah were being brought in by the truckload at night. Lebanese Army troops on duty at the border refused to confirm the claims. This correspondent watched as a line of trucks and lorries several kilometers long built up at one crossing on the road from Lebanon into Syria. The trucks, en route from Beirut to Damascus, were laden with a mixture of goods: everything from construction materials to fruits and vegetables. But in the late afternoon wintry chill they were stationary; their drivers had disappeared and only the occasional soldier kept guard every few hundred meters. "They don't move in the day," said Yusuf Saad, a taxi driver waiting at the border crossing. Saad, who had watched this correspondent from the other side of the road for some time before signaling for me to come over, added that "It's much easier for them to drive at night." He nodded toward the distant Syrian mountain range. "There's not so much traffic on the road. And I can tell you," his voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper, "they might be going in with produce, but they're coming out with weapons. They hide the rockets under the goods and that's how they're able to bring them into the country." A 40-minute drive southwards from the border and the Lebanese town of Baalbeck welcomes one with signs in English and Arabic. The narrow streets are a labyrinth of hooting cars and busy alleyways, built alongside ancient Roman temple ruins. Observant Muslim women, covered in long-flowing hijabs, walk alongside pretty girls dressed in the latest fashion. The incongruity, however, exists only on the outside; as one soon finds from talking to the people, if there's one thing everyone here agrees on it's support for Syria, and condemnation of Israel. In apparent confirmation, posters of Hizbullah's leader Hassan Nasrallah cover just about every available outdoor space, from the food and clothing stores to the trees that line the central street. "Syria helps us," this official said, while avoiding answering whether that help includes the supply of weapons. Fifty-three year old electrician Hassan Taha, a strident Hizbullah supporter who lives opposite one of the areas the Israeli Air Force bombed last summer, a crater marks where a school, supermarket and hotel once stood, was emphatic, however. "Of course weapons are coming from the border," he said. "Everybody here knows that. They're coming from both Iran and Syria and also China and Russia. We need the weapons. We are ready now if Israel strikes us. "If Hizbullah did not exist," Taha went on, "Israel would annihilate us. We are very happy with the results of the war. Hizbullah was always the most popular here, but now we're even more popular."



Rick Warren Denies Praising Syria

(‘I said nothing of the sort’)

Nov. 16….(WND) Megachurch Pastor Rich Warren is adamantly denying he praised Syria on his recent trip, which he describes as a favor to his Muslim next-door neighbor. Warren, author of the best-selling "The Purpose-Driven Life," visited Syria this week and was quoted by official Syrian news agencies as saying the US should have been holding dialogues with Damascus, that Syrian Muslims and Christians co-exist peacefully and the Syrian leadership is responsible for the nation's tolerance and stability. He added that the State Department had warned him "to expect exactly what Syria did – a PR blast. I don't pretend to be a diplomat. I'm a pastor who just gets invited places." The reports from the official Syrian news agency included statements that: "Pastor Warren hailed the religious coexistence, tolerance and stability that the Syrian society is enjoying due to the wise leadership of President al-Assad, asserting that he will convey the true image about Syria to the American people." "Syria wants peace, and Muslims and Christians live in this country jointly and peacefully since more than a thousand years, and this is not new for Syria." Warren told Syria's Islamic grand mufti there could be no peace in the region without Syria and 80 percent of Americans reject the US administration's policies and actions in Iraq. The comments attributed to Warren contradict documentation by the International Counter terrorism Organization and US State Department of Syria's extensive use of terrorism for its political goals. The ICT said "frequent use of the 'terror weapon' has been made by Syria against Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinians" in an attempt "to impose Syrian hegemony over them and bring them into line with Syrian policy." "The main Lebanese leaders killed by Syrian proxies were: Bashir Gemayel (who was accused by Syrian propaganda of being a 'Zionist proxy'); and Kamal Jumblatt (accused of being a 'traitor' and an 'American agent.')," the ICT said. Saddleback Church, with 30,000 members, was begun by Rick and Kay Warren in 1979 and now has more than 200 ministries in the Orange County area. His popular book, which has sold about 12 million copies, focuses on worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and evangelism. It tells readers the life is "not about you," and shows how God can enable each one to live for His purposes. Warren is scheduled to preach in North Korea next year. In a letter to his congregation, Warren explained in more detail why he went to Syria. "Our team is on a three nation PEACE plan tour," he wrote. "After leading a PEACE plan briefing for 44 major Christian missions organizations that we'd gathered in Atlanta, our team traveled to Germany where we taught the PD Preaching seminar to pastors and shared the PEACE plan with about 5,000 church leaders. Warren concluded: "Regrettably, because I praised Syria's welcoming of Christian refugees from Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon into their country, some bloggers concluded that I approved of everything Syria does. That's nonsense! Syria needs many reforms, but in terms of religious freedom, they are ahead of places like Burma, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, and many others."

FOJ Note: Perhaps Rick Warren was misquoted by the Syrian news agency. But then, that is what you should expect when you consort with a terrorist state.



Bush, Putin Discuss Iran in Quick Stopover

Nov. 16….(AP) President Bush, eager for Russian help in ongoing nuclear disputes with North Korea and Iran, utilized a quick refueling stopover in Moscow to make a quick call on President Vladimir Putin. Bush paused to visit the Russian leader at an airport stopover on his way to Asia for an eight-day trip that includes stays in Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia. Bush has meetings scheduled with several important allies, including Putin, on the sidelines of a summit of Pacific Rim leaders in Hanoi, Vietnam, later this week. But only Putin rated a social call as well. Russian news agencies quoted Kremlin spokesman Alexei Gromov as saying the two presidents discussed the Iranian nuclear program, the situation in the Middle East and nuclear nonproliferation. Gromov also confirmed that a bilateral agreement on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization was being readied for signing in Hanoi. But the rarity of a US President flying east to Asia, rather than west, no doubt reflected that the Washington-Moscow relationship needs a little extra care lately. Russian officials described the meeting as cordial. As Bush was boarding his plane to resume his journey, he got a hug from Putin. Russia voted for US-backed United Nations sanctions on North Korea after it conducted a nuclear weapons test. Now Washington is seeking to overcome Russian reluctance toward an upcoming vote on UN sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear program. At the United Nations in New York, US Ambassador John Bolton said, "We've been trying to get sanctions in the Security Council against Iran's nuclear weapons program and we've been having a lot of difficulty with Russia in particular, so I hope they had a chance to talk about that issue." "The key thing is for Russia to internalize that the fight against nuclear proliferation is more important than commercial contracts and that we're all safer when we don't enable countries like Iran and North Korea in their pursuit of nuclear weapons," he said.

FOJ Note: Undoubtedly, President Bush also conferred with President Putin on the new direction the US is considering undertaking with regards to direct talks with Iran, as proposed by the Baker Iraq Survey Team, which is now spearheading the policy in Iraq.



Coming Soon: 'Great War to Exterminate Israel'

Nov. 16….(YNET) One day after Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu warned that the Iranian threat facing Israel was similar to the 1938 looming Nazi danger to European Jewry, the Israeli media reported that an Iranian newspaper had called on Muslims around the world to get ready: A "great war" to destroy the State of Israel was on the way, an October 29 editorial in Kehyan had exulted. Translated by MEMRI, the paper said half of Israel had been taken care of by the Lebanese Hizb'allah last July. "Now only half the path to Israel's destruction remains." The war would be waged by "millions" of Jihadists along Israel's extended border with Jordan, along Israel's southern border with Egypt, and on the Golan Heights, where Israel and Syria meet. "That day is not far off." "The great war is ahead of us, (and will break out) perhaps tomorrow, or in another few days, or in a few months, or even in a few Years... Israel must collapse," the newspaper said. It added: "For the first time in the 60 years of its disgraceful life, the Zionist regime, the West's beloved in the Middle East, tasted the taste of defeat, and the citizens of this regime trembled at the menace of Hizbullah's missiles. The nation of Muslims must prepare for the great war, so as to completely wipe out the Zionist regime, and remove this cancerous growth. Like the Imam (Ayatollah) Khomeini said: 'Israel must collapse.'"



Iran Complains to UN of Israeli Bomb Threats

Nov. 16….(YNET) In what America's ambassador to the United Nations called an act of "chutzpah," Iran has complained to the international body that Israel is threatening to bomb the Islamic republic. The official complaint, contained in a letter sent to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on November 10, comes after Iran's leaders have repeatedly vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. As they work to equip themselves for the implementation of this genocidal act, the Iranians have defied international calls to halt their nuclearization program.



Israel Vows to Respond to Rocket Attacks

Nov. 16….(Ha Aretz) Israel promised a punishing response to a deadly Palestinian rocket attack Wednesday near the home of the country's defense minister. The rocket, one of at least eight that struck Israel during the day, killed a 57-year-old woman walking to the grocery store in the Israeli town of Sderot near the Gaza border and raised the specter of a large-scale offensive against militant rocket squads. Militants affiliated with the Palestinians' ruling Hamas group and Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility for the fatal Sderot attack, calling it retaliation for 19 civilians killed by Israeli shelling last week in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. Sederot, a town of 20,000 is a favorite target of the militants because it is less than a mile from the Gaza fence. Israel's latest military offensive against rocket squads in Beit Hanoun ended last week without major achievements. For more than a week, troops backed by attack helicopters and tanks went after the squads, killing about 50 militants and at least seven civilians. One Israeli soldier died. The offensive left badly damaged buildings, uprooted trees and streets chewed up by tank treads. The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, which has censured only one country — Israel — during its six-month existence, voted Wednesday to send a fact-finding mission to Beit Hanoun and to condemn the Israeli artillery barrage and other "human rights violations" in the Palestinian territories. Israeli Ambassador Itzhak Levanon said the special session was another example of the council's lack of objectivity. The United States is an observer of the council, without voting rights. Rocket attacks resumed from Beit Hanoun immediately after Israeli troops pulled out. On Wednesday, militants fired 13 rockets, eight of which landed in Israel, the military said. Four hit the coastal city of Ashkelon, the northernmost point that Palestinian rockets have reached. The homemade projectiles have killed eight people since 2001. Despite the deaths in Beit Hanoun, which Israel said were unintended, Palestinian talks aimed at forming a more moderate government and ending crippling Western aid sanctions continued. A coalition agreement would be closely linked to a Hamas-Israel prisoner swap and a promise by Gaza militants to halt rocket attacks on Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Wednesday to discuss the talks and the potential for peacemaking. Envoys of the "Quartet" of Mideast mediators, the US, the UN, the European Union and Russia, also met Wednesday in Cairo to discuss peace prospects. It was their first gathering since Hamas took power in March. The Islamic militant group insists it will never recognize Israel even after a new government takes power.



Rick Warren Meets With Syrian Grand Mufti
imageNov. 16….(Lighthouse) According to SANA, a Syrian-Arab News Agency, Rick Warren visited this week with political and religious officials in Syria. The article stated: American Protestant Pastor Rick Warren on Monday said there was no peace in the region without Syria, noting that 80 percent of the American people rejected what the US Administration is doing in Iraq and considered the US policy in the Mideast as wrong. Syria's Grand Mufti Sheikh Badr al-Din Hassoun received the American Pastor in Damascus in which he referred to the importance of spreading a culture of amity, peace and coexistence instead of the "clash of civilizations." The article said that the Grand Mufti asked Warren to convey to the American people Syria's desire for peace. Warren, according to the article, told the Grand Mufti he admired Syria and Islam.



Robert Schuller, the Grand Mufti and Interspirituality

imageNov. 16….(Lighthouse) In light of the recent reports that Rick Warren is in Syria visiting with political and religious leaders, including Syria's Grand Mufti, it is worth noting that Robert Schuller (of Crystal Cathedral) also visited with the Grand Mufti of Syria (in 1999), with the hope of being instrumental in bringing peace to the world. In Schuller's biography, My Journey: From an Iowa Farm to a Cathedral of Dreams, Schuller says: "I was astounded to see how much my perspective had shifted. In my early years my world was Sioux County, Iowa, and the Dutch Reformed Church, but now I had a global awareness. I was moving further and further into a mindset of religious inclusively." Schuller refers to a letter (and an invitation) he received from the Grand Mufti of Syria, who stated to Schuller: "I am grateful to have this opportunity to meet with you under the banner of faith and peace for humanity. My desire is to begin the new millennium with new bridges of love and fraternity between all Muslims and Christians for the benefit of all mankind." In the book, Schuller says: "Standing before a crowd of devout Muslims with the Grand Mufti, I know that we're all doing God's work together. Standing on the edge of a new millennium, we're laboring hand in hand to repair the breach" (p. 501). He adds: I met once more with the Grand Mufti, truly one of the great Christ-honoring leaders of faith. I'm dreaming a bold impossible dream: that positive-thinking believers in God will rise above the illusions that our sectarian religions have imposed on the world, and that leaders of the major faiths will rise above doctrinal idiosyncrasies, choosing not to focus on disagreements, but rather to transcend divisive dogmas to work together to bring peace and prosperity and hope to the world. (p. 502) Rick Warren shares Schuller's spiritual proclivities and has stated that he believes peace can come to the world (in fact a "second reformation") through a unification of the different faiths. Warren Smith discusses Schuller's reformation in his book, Deceived on Purpose: "In his 1982 book Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, Schuller wrote: 'Our very survival as a species depends on hope. And without hope we will lose the faith that we can cope.'" Smith connects some dots when he shows how New Ager Neale Donald Walsch (in his book Conversations with God) ties this "new reformation" to a world wide peace plan: Prior to directly suggesting that Robert Schuller's theology of self-esteem could be the kind of "bridge" that could help humanity transition into the New Spirituality, Walsch's "God" formally presented his 5-Step PEACE Plan. The PEACE Plan is the proposed spiritual process that will help everyone move past "outmoded" beliefs and prepare the way for the New Spirituality.



Olmert: The Time Has Come to Act Against Iran

Nov. 15….(Arutz) In his White House meeting this week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert focused on the threat resulting from Iran’s continued nuclear enrichment towards constructing an atom bomb. While America is sensitive to Israel’s concerns, the European community and Russia are not as anxious to act against Tehran, preferring to take a more diplomatic approach, opposing proposed stiff American sanctions. Speaking to a Los Angeles Jewish forum on Tuesday, the prime minister called upon moderate Arab nations, too, to act against Iran, warning that the point of no return has arrived. Earlier in the week, Vice Premier Shimon Peres stated that a nuclear Iran is a threat to everyone, including Russia. He warned of the instability that will result if Tehran is permitted to achieve nuclear independence.  Addressing the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities of North America, known as the GA, Mr. Olmert stated that a nuclear Iran will result in a level of instability that has never been known before. Calling for a coalition of moderate Arab nations, Olmert stated such a coalition can and must act to prevent such a level of instability in the region by directing efforts against radical Islamic elements. On the heels of his White House meeting with US President George W. Bush, Olmert praised him as a true friend of Israel who shares Jerusalem’s concerns and is committed to preventing Iran from moving ahead with its nuclear agenda. The Prime Minister stated Israel and America see eye-to-eye on the Iranian issue. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to use every platform available to him to call for the eradication of Israel. At the same time, he insists his nuclear program is for peaceful medical purposes. (Yet yesterday the UN nuclear inspectors found material that can only be used for making nuclear bombs) Ahmadinejad continues to defend Tehran’s right to develop a nuclear weapon, largely supported by Russia, which continues to counter American efforts to impose stiff sanctions on Iran. Ahmadinejad has often threatened that any thought of a military attack by western countries would be met with a swift and painful retaliation. Vice Premier Peres recently pointed out that in Iran’s case, even stiff economic sanctions will have little impact, as national poverty is a way of life and most citizens would never realize a difference following sanctions. Peres hinted that a more aggressive approach must be taken.



Bush Doesn't Fear Attack on Iran: Israeli Envoy

Nov. 15….(Reuters) President Bush will not hesitate to use military force against Iran if other options fail, Israel's outgoing ambassador to the United States said in an interview published on Wednesday. "I know President Bush well, and from his standpoint, a nuclear Iran, ayatollahs with a bomb, is unacceptable," Danny Ayalon told Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper. "I have been privileged to know him well, and he will not hesitate to go all the way to a military option if there is no choice." Concern over Iran's atomic ambitions figured prominently in talks in Washington this week between Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Ayalon, who has spent the past 4-1/2 years in Washington, said Bush would continue to pursue diplomatic efforts for now, and failing that would choose to try to isolate Iran via sanctions. But if that tactic also failed to stem Iran's nuclear plans, Ayalon said President Bush would likely use air power combined with limited ground forces to attack Iran. "Anyone who knows President Bush knows that he is very determined. He is convinced of the moral supremacy of democracies over dictatorships. If the sanctions succeed, all the better. Otherwise, he will act by all means possible, including military action," he said. In public, Bush has said he backs a diplomatic solution with Iran but has refused to rule out a military strike. The Islamic republic has said it is willing to talk to the US, but that Washington must first "change its attitude." Asked if the United States would be capable of taking military action against Iran, given that it is already engaged in a debilitating conflict in Iraq, Ayalon said: "This is not an operation on the same scale. There is no intention of employing large ground forces in Iran. That is not the model. It is more a case of employing air power combined with limited ground forces.



Ahmadinejad: Iran Will Reach Full Nuclearization This Year

imageNov. 14….(Arutz) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday said Iran would soon celebrate completion of its controversial nuclear fuel program. "With the wisdom and resistance of the nation, today our position has stabilized. I'm very hopeful that we will be able to hold the big celebration of Iran's full nuclearization in the current year," the hard-line president told reporters during a press conference. Initially, they (the US and its allies) were very angry. The reason was clear: They basically wanted to monopolize nuclear power in order to rule the world and impose their will on nations," Ahmadinejad said. "Today, they have finally agreed to live with a nuclear Iran, with an Iran possessing nuclear fuel cycle," he said, without elaborating. Iran's current calendar year ends on March 20. The hard-line president also claimed that international community was caving it to Tehran's demand for a nuclear program. He further declared that the end of Israel was near. Iranian President Mahoud Ahmadinejad declared that Israel was destined to ‘disappearance and destruction’ at a council meeting with Iranian ministers. “The western powers created the Zionist regime in order to expand their control of the area. This regime massacres Palestinians everyday, but since this regime is against nature, we will soon witness its disappearance and destruction,” Ahmadinejad said



Report: Iran Seeking al-Qaida Alliance

Nov. 14….(Jerusalem Post) Iran is trying to form an unholy alliance with al-Qaida by grooming a new generation of leaders to take over for Osama bin Laden, The Daily Telegraph revealed on Tuesday, as Western intelligence officials say the Iranians are determined to take advantage of bin Laden's declining health to promote senior officials who are known to be friendly to Teheran. The revelation will deal a major blow to Tony Blair's hopes of establishing a "new partnership" with Teheran. According to the Telegraph British intelligence officials have been most alarmed by reports from Iran that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is trying to persuade al-Qaida to promote a pro-Iranian activist to a senior position within its leadership. The Iranians want Saif al-Adel, a 46-year-old former colonel in Egypt's special forces, to be the organization's number three. Al-Adel was formerly bin Laden's head of security, and was named on the FBI's 22 most wanted list after September 11 for his alleged involvement in terror attacks against US targets in Somalia and Africa in the 1990s. He has been living in a Revolutionary Guard guesthouse in Teheran since fleeing from Afghanistan in late 2001.


Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah during a rally in Beirut, September 22, 2006. The Western-backed government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora will soon be ousted and replaced by a 'clean' cabinet, Nasrallah was quoted on Tuesday as saying.


Assad Meets With American Mega Pastor Rick Warren

Nov. 14….(AFP) The meeting between President Bashar al-Assad and Pastor Rick Warren, a famous Protestant clergyman in the USA and an accompanying delegation on Sunday focused on the Syrian-American relations. The American delegation led by Pastor Rick Warren stressed that the American administration is mistaken not to hold dialogue with Syria.  The importance of dialogue among religions and achieving the just and comprehensive peace in the region which leads for stability and prosperity were emphasized during the meeting. Pastor Warren hailed the religious coexistence, tolerance and stability that the Syrian society is enjoying due to the wise leadership of President al-Assad, asserting that he will convey the true image about Syria to the American people. He offered to President al-Assad a memorial drawing as a gift to the Syrian people for their generosity and hospitality, thanking their efforts exerted for maintaining peace and harmony.

FOJ Note: Pastor Rick Warren has apparently lost his mind. Syria is one of the worst terrorist-affiliated states in the world, and is actively engaged in killing Americans in Iraq, and is hell-bent on the destruction of Israel.



Shock Announcement: Olmert Still Determined to 'Realign'

Nov. 13….(JNEWSWIRE) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, en route this week for a meeting with US President George W. Bush in Washington DC, announced Friday his intention to, after all, implement the "re-alignment plan" that will facilitate the creation of a State of Palestine on ancient Jewish lands. News outlets in Israel all carried the story Sunday: Although he had earlier let it be known that he was no longer able to implement the platform on which he was elected to the premiership at the head of his Kadima Party last March, Olmert has now revealed that he is in fact still determined to try and carry it out. "Realignment" calls for the uprooting of as many as 100,000 Jews from their homes in Samaria and Judea, the biblical heart of the Jewish homeland, and the surrender for all time of that territory to the rabidly anti-Semitic Palestinian Arabs. It is not known whether the reason for Olmert’s return to his plan is at least partially because of the hammering the Republicans received at the hands of the American electorate last week. The results of those mid-term elections have, according to many pundits, signaled Israel that the USA will from now on expect more concessions from Israel, and a greater willingness for the Jewish state to take "risks for peace." Whatever the motivation, Olmert’s announced intention to move ahead with his plan comes despite the painful facts:

That Israel’s withdrawals from southern Lebanon led directly to the painful war Israel fought in July, when the Lebanese Hizb’allah kidnapped Israeli soldiers and poured rocket fire down on northern Israel for weeks on end.

  • That Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in August 2005 led directly to the establishment of the un-police-able terrorist mini-state whose killers kidnapped an Israeli soldier and from which multiple rockets are launched daily at Jewish civilian targets in the south of the country.

  • That popular support has swung strongly away from the realignment plan and from the Kadima Party, with polls showing consistently that by far most Israelis have woken up to the folly of pursuing disengagements from the Arabs.

  • That relinquishing Samaria and Judea would cede to the Arabs the high-ground overlooking Israel’s densely-populated coastal plain, in easy rocket-range from the Palestinian state that would be established

  • That Iran is a mushrooming threat with its Hitler-like leadership which is already sponsoring proxy forces north and south of Israel, and whose regional Islamic interests will be further served by Palestine

And, most significantly:

That the land Olmert believes he has the right to barter away is Israel’s national cradle. It was the hope of return to these very areas, Shechem, Shiloh, Bethel, Bethlehem, Hebron, and the Old City in Jerusalem with its Temple Mount, the holiest site for the Jews, that kept Jewish identity, hope and faith alive during their centuries in exile. Olmert’s plan imperils Israel on every front. It will play straight into the hands of the Arabs, multiplying and accelerating the militarily threat against the Jews. It will tear even more deeply at the national pide, driving those Jews who can see the existential threat it poses to acts of desperation to resist it. It will sever Israel from its national roots. For Israel, realignment spells national suicide. This is the offering Olmert is preparing to present at the White House Monday morning.



Blair to Call for Syria, Iran to Join Mideast Peace Process

imageNov. 13….(London Telegraph) British Prime Minister Tony Blair will call for the greater involvement of Syria and Iran in efforts to secure peace in Iraq and the Middle East during a keynote address in central London. According to his office, he will restate his conviction that engaging Damascus and Tehran is crucial to ending the mounting sectarian conflict in Iraq and get the deadlocked peace process in the wider region back on track. He will "make clear to Syria and Iran the basis on which they can help the peaceful development of the Middle East rather than hinder it; and the consequences of not doing so", an aide said.

On Iraq, newspapers Monday reported that he will concede that Britain's approach must "evolve" to meet the changing nature of the conflict, amid mounting violence, including against US and British troops. Blair’s speech at the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet in the City financial district of central London will see him defend Britain's controversial close alignment to the United States on foreign policy issues. Critics have long accused London of slavishly pursuing Washington's agenda, particularly in Iraq and more recently by refusing to call for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon. But Blair, who has previously described anti-Americanism as "madness," will say it would be folly to abandon the so-called "special relationship" between Britain and the United States. The only workable "British" foreign policy was one based on "strong alliances", including with the European Union, which Britain is often accused of sidelining in favor of close ties with the United States. Blair's speech comes as the Iraq Study Group, led by former US secretary of state James Baker, is looking at current coalition policy in Iraq with President Bush.

FOJ Note: Blair’s call for including Syria and Iran in Middle East Peace talks falls in line with the Baker group’s counsel. Prime Minister Blair has always insisted that implementation of a peace process in the Middle East was essential to world stability, even in light of the terrorists war on America and Britain. Now, both Great Britain and the US are conforming more and more to the European Union model of a New World Order. And by engaging Syria and Iran diplomatically, first on Iraq, and then on Israel, both countries stand to lose influence in the Middle East, and Israel stands to lose support, and to see its security lessened. Iran stands to be the Big Winner, in Iraq, and strategically in the region, so no wonder Ahmadinejad says the time is nearing for the death of Israel.



President Bush Meets With Iraq Survey Group


(President Bush met with the Iraq Study Group last June. Today he met with the bipartisan panel again. Seen from left are former Attorney General Edwin Meese, former Secretary of State James Baker, former Rep. Lee Hamilton, former CIA Director Robert Gates, (and new Defense Secretary) former Clinton adviser Vernon Jordan, and former Senator Alan Simpson- (You will note that James Baker is front and center opposite the President.)

Nov. 13….(My Way) President Bush met this morning with the bipartisan group seeking consensus on a new approach for the war in Iraq amid widespread agreement that the administration’s current efforts have not worked well enough or fast enough. White House press secretary Tony Snow described the meeting as a conversation in which both sides shared views. “This is not a deposition,” Snow said. Further, he said there was not a presentation of alternatives but rather an assessment of the situation on the ground now. The president talked in the Oval Office with members of the Iraq Study Group, headed by former Secretary of State James A. Baker III. The study group was spending the day at the White House speaking with members of Bush’s national security team, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, National Intelligence Director John Negroponte, CIA Director Michael Hayden, US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalizad and Gen. George Casey, the top US commander in Iraq. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair planned to speak to the commission via video link on Tuesday. Cheney, Hadley and chief of staff John Bolten took part in the meeting with Bush. Meanwhile, Gen. John Abizaid, head of the US Central Command, met Monday with the Iraqi prime minister to “reaffirm President Bush’s commitment” to success in Iraq, the government said. Nouri al-Maliki and Abizaid, who commands all US forces in the Middle East, discussed “the effect neighboring countries are having on the security situation in Iraq,” the government statement said in a clear reference to Iran and Syria.

Baker hints at middle ground

Even before it is finished, the study group’s report is seen by many as having huge stakes. It could give the Democratic and Republican parties a chance at consensus, or at least a tenable framework for agreement, after an election that gave Democrats congressional control and reshaped Bush’s final two years in office. “The president looks forward to sharing his thoughts with the Iraq Study Group, as do other administration officials,” said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the National Security Council, on Sunday. “He is open to any ideas and suggestions on the way forward.” Baker has indicated the recommendations will fall somewhere between the troop withdrawal strategy that Republicans like to say Democrats favor and the stay the course policy until recently used by Bush and widely ridiculed by Democrats. On Sunday, Bush’s advisers adopted a new tone, days after a dissatisfied public handed the White House a divided government. “Full speed ahead” in Iraq, as Cheney put it in the final days of the campaign, was replaced by repeated calls for a “fresh perspective” and an acknowledgment that “nobody can be happy” with the situation in Iraq. “We clearly need a fresh approach,” said Josh Bolten, Bush’s chief of staff, making the rounds of morning talk shows.



Photo Shows Iran Leader as '79 US Hostage Taker

(Ahmadinejad has denied role in seizure of embassy seizure)

Russian newspaper published photo left, bearing striking resemblance to Iranian president

Nov. 13….(WND) The Russian publication Kommersant has published a newly located photograph of a US hostage-taker in Iran circa 1979 bearing a striking resemblance to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Iranian leader has steadfastly denied he was involved in the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran and the holding of 52 Americans for 444 days despite assertions to the contrary of some of those hostages and former Iranian President Abholhassan Bani-Sadr, who says he was a ringleader and the liaison with Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Charges by the ex-hostages were made shortly after Ahmadinejad came to power June 24, 2005. But from the beginning, the White House and State Department made it clear they would rather not know the truth about Ahmadinejad because it would place the US in a position of refusing to permit a head of government into the country to attend UN meetings. One official said such a finding would "enormously complicate" matters. US "investigators" never bothered to interview any of the former hostages who made the charges against the Iranian leader. Perhaps the most damning evidence against Ahmadinejad with regard to the hostage-taking came from Bani-Sadr, Iran's President during the early days of the Khomeini revolution. He has adamantly affirmed Ahmadinejad was one of the kidnappers who held 52 Americans for 444 days. He said the former student leader was in the embassy throughout the hostage crisis. "Ayatollah Khomeini's deputy, Ayatollah Khamenei, demanded of him a constant report on what is happening in the embassy," he said. When told Ahmadinejad denied the accusation, Bani-Sadr laughed. "What do you want?" he said. "That he should not deny it? I was president, and I know the details, and I am telling you for sure that he was there, though his role was not organizational. He was the chief reporter to Khamenei." Sadr added that Ahmadinejad initially opposed the hostage-taking but changed his mind once Khomeini gave his support. At least six former American hostages agree the president of Iran played a key role in interrogating and abusing them. Chuck Scott characterized his tormentor as "cold, hard-nosed" and said his memory is solid, "as sure as I'm sitting here." "If you went through a traumatic experience like that and you were around people who made it possible, you're never going to forget them," said Scott, a 73-year-old retired US Army colonel. Scott said he recognized him almost instantly during the publicity surrounding his election in June, when he shocked the world by winning in an upset. Former hostage Don Sharer identified Ahmadinejad as a student leader who called Americans "pigs and dogs." Ahmadinejad acknowledges membership in the radical student organization that stormed the embassy when he was 23. "He was in the background, like an adviser," recalled Sharer, a former US Navy officer. "He called us pigs and dogs and said we deserved to be locked up forever." Scott called him "a leader, what I would call a hard-a--. Even the other guards said he was very strict." "The new president of Iran is a terrorist," said Scott. Sharer said Ahmadinejad was an interrogator and remembers being personally grilled by him. "He was involved in interrogating me the day we were taken captive," said former Marine security guard Kevin Hermening. "There is absolutely no reason the United States should be trying to normalize relations with a man who seems intent on trying to force-feed the world with state-sponsored terrorism." William Daugherty, another former hostage, concurs that Ahmadinejad was there. He claims he saw him eight to 10 times in the first 19 days of captivity before the hostages were separated into smaller groups. "As soon as I saw the face, it rang a lot of bells to me, and it was a recent picture, but he still looks like a man, take 20 years off of him, he was there. He was there in the background." David Roeder, the embassy's former deputy Air Force attache, also said Ahmadinejad was present during one of his interrogations. "It was almost like he was checking on the interrogation techniques they were using in a sort of adviser capacity," Roeder said. Sharer added: "He was extremely cruel. He is one of the hardliners, so that tells you what their government is going to stand for in the next four to five years."



Terrorists Announce Plans to Attack US

(Terrorists declare they're preparing to 'hit Americans without mercy')

Nov. 13….(WND) Four terror groups, including militants from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, which the US considers moderate, warned today America is now officially a target for attacks both in the region and abroad. The terror groups blamed the US for "attacking Muslim land" in Israel, Iraq and Afghanistan, and for providing support to the Israeli Defense Forces, which last week accidentally hit a residential area with artillery fire while trying to stop rockets from being launched from the northern Gaza Strip into nearby Jewish communities. Several Palestinian terror leaders in Gaza told WND their organizations will soon lead attacks against US interests. We call upon all Mujahedeen in Palestine and around the world to start hitting Americans without mercy. The Americans are destroying Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and are bombarding our Muslim land," read a statement signed by Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Popular Resistance Committees, the Fatah-affiliated Abu Rish Brigades, and a new group calling itself the Brigades of the Believers. "The Americans seem not to understand any language but that of blood and violence. We say the Americans have an artificial culture. It is a country that doesn't respect the blood of innocents. Americans only take into consideration the blood of the Jews," read the statement obtained by WND.

The statement went on to blast the US for vetoing a draft UN resolution yesterday condemning an ongoing Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip. The resolution demanded Israeli troops pull out of the territory. The IDF stepped up operations in Gaza last month following reports hundreds of tons of weapons, including advanced missiles were smuggled into the territory. Since Israel withdrew from Gaza last summers, Palestinian groups there have been regularly firing rockets into neighboring Jewish communities. The Israeli army last week used artillery shells to target a site in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip from which Qassam rockets were fired at a nearby, populated Jewish city. Meanwhile Palestinian terror groups said their organizations will lead attacks against the US. Abu Ahmed, a senior leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades in Gaza, told WND, "We asked the Palestinian people and the mujahedeen to target Americans. American targets will very soon be subjected to our military plans inside Israel and the territories. We are still deciding whether to only target US interests in Palestine or also abroad." The Al Aqsa Brigades is the declared "military wing" of Abbas' Fatah party. The US has provided large sums of aid, weaponry and advanced military training to Fatah militants. Abu Abir, spokesman for the Popular Resistance Committees, an umbrella of major Palestinian terror groups, told WND his group would target Americans anywhere, including abroad. "We will reach Americans either inside or outside. We will not hesitate to target the US," Abu Abir said. The Committees spokesman claimed the US was using Israel to test weapons on Palestinian civilians. "We have proof of American involvement in Beit Hanoun last week. Every weapon the Americans create, they first give to the Israelis to examine on innocent Palestinian civilians. The US will pay a price for this," Abu Abir said. The statement warned of upcoming Hamas attacks against the US and urged Arabs and Muslims to "teach the American enemy merciless lessons they will not forget."



Bush Prepares Switch on Iraq and Downgrading of US Ties with Israel

Nov. 13….(DEBKA) Former US secretary of state James Baker and ex-Congressman Lee Hamilton will present their recommendations on Iraq to President Bush in the Oval Office. Their audience will include an array of top administration officials: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Stephen Hadley, secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and CIA Director Gen. Mike Hayden, as well as US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace. Incoming defense secretary Robert Gates will attend as a member of the bipartisan committee. Absentees will include outgoing defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who stepped down after the Republican’s lost the Nov. 7 midterm to the Democrats over the Iraq war, and the commanders directly running that conflict, Generals John Abizaid and George Casey. The timing and composition of the conference indicate that the larger decisions are already in the bag with regard to the new US policy on Iraq and a fresh approach to the radical side of the Middle East led by Iran and Syria, mainly at the expense of Jordan and Israel. Monday’s White House conference will be concerned mostly with tying up the last ends and deciding who performs which part of the revised strategy. DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, who is due Monday will be one of the first foreign White House visitors to hear an update on the new policy. He will find he is required to listen rather than speak. Bush will use the occasion to inform him where America’s Iraq policy leaves Israel and the Palestinian dispute. Most of all, the US president will be looking ahead to Wednesday, Nov, 15, when he stops over in Moscow for unscheduled talks with Vladimir Putin. Air Force One was originally supposed to refuel in Moscow and continue without delay to Hanoi for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit later this week. And the Russian president would not normally have come to the airport to greet him. But the US president has decided to seize on the chance of persuading Putin to jump aboard the new American format on Iraq, Iran and the Middle East, on none of which the two leaders saw eye to eye before. The first sign of Bush-Putin collaboration is in the air. DEBKAfile’s Moscow sources report that Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator, national security adviser Ali Larijani spent two days of talks in Moscow on Nov. 10 and 11, during which Putin asked him if Tehran was willing to adapt its nuclear program after Washington agrees to direct negotiations. Once President Bush decided, after his election defeat, to subsume his Middle East policy to the bipartisan model, he lost no time in realigning its elements. No senior Israeli official was abreast of the seismic changes in Washington’s attitude before the prime minister embarked for the United States. After the White House talks, Olmert will follow the best diplomatic traditions of US-Israeli relations, declaring that Israel has no better friend who is more committed to its security that the President of the United States and affirming full assent between the two governments on the issues of Iran and the Palestinians. He will gloss over the reality: the New US Middle East Policy will add another negative layer to Israel’s situation and further aggravate the fallout of its Lebanon War reverses. Israel will find itself high and dry in the Middle East. After being downgraded by the Lebanon War’s outcome, the Olmert government will be obliged to accept the crack of the American whip, at least until it can build a new security option that is not dependent on Washington’s new Middle East strategy. A clear-eyed evaluation of this prospect was ventured Friday, Nov. 10, by the new deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh, who urged Israel in a Jerusalem Post interview to prepare to thwart Iran’s drive for a nuclear capability “at all costs”. The chances of the international community instituting effective sanctions against Iran are not very high, said Sneh. “



Democrats to Propose Iraq Pullout

Nov. 13….(AP) The two top Senate Democrats on foreign policy yesterday said they will introduce a resolution in January calling for troops to start being withdrawn from Iraq by this summer, a move that Sen. John McCain said would put the US in the worst of both worlds. Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat in line to lead the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his party's election victory last week vindicates calls for a change of strategy in Iraq and said withdrawals would need to start this year, despite White House opposition to any timetables, a stance it also reiterated on yesterday's political shows. "The people spoke dramatically, overwhelmingly, resoundingly, to change the course in Iraq," he said during an appearance on ABC's "This Week." The Senate's "first order of business is to change the direction of Iraq policy." "We need to begin a phased redeployment of forces from Iraq in four to six months, to begin that redeployment," he said. "We have to tell Iraqis that the open-ended commitment is over." On the other hand, Mr. McCain said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the US troop presence in Iraq would need to be increased to achieve victory and said he would favor a total withdrawal if that didn't happen. "I believe that there are a lot of things that we can do to salvage this, but they all require the presence of additional troops," he said. Moderator Tim Russert said: "It sounds as if McCain is saying, 'Either send more troops in, secure the country and win, or make the decision and get out.' " I think that that's pretty much my position," said the Arizona Republican, who is considering a run for the White House in 2008. "Maybe it's more nuanced than that." Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., who appeared on the same ABC segment as Mr. Levin, said he backed Levin’s proposal. Besides Mr. Levin and Mr. Biden, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, the incoming majority leader, also called for a redeployment of troops from Iraq, which he said "should start within the next few months," although he said the withdrawal should be phased. White House officials said yesterday that President Bush opposes a specific timetable for withdrawal and partitioning of Iraq, but that he is willing to reconsider proposals on conducting the war.



UN: Mideast Key to Bridging Civilizations

(Panel set up by UN submits report on causes for growing gap between West and Muslims)

Nov. 13….(YNET) Researchers, politicians, and religious figures met in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday in order to discuss ways to improve the shaky relations between cultures, and in particular between Muslims and the Western world. At the center of the summit was a report  submitted by a UN panel, made up of researchers and leaders for various cultures, set up to examine the issue in-depth. A message on behalf of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that the problem was not found in the Koran, Torah, or New Testament. The message added that faith was not the problem, but rather believers and the way they behave to one another. According to the 39-page report composed by the panel, a copy of which has appeared on the BBC website, one of the clearest symbols of the increasing gap between cultures is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the report's authors called for a renewal of the Middle East peace process. Among the recommendations in the report, the authors said the world must recognize the reality shaping the stances of millions of Muslims, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. The authors said they wished to emphasize the "urgency" of the Palestinian issue, which forms a significant factor to the growing tear between Muslim society and Western society, the report said. The authors said that without a "fair, respectable, democratic" solution to the problem, based on the good intentions of all involved to end the conflict, all efforts to bridge the cultural gap would fail. The authors added, the Israeli-Palestinian issue carries a symbolic value, and is the one influence that could bind the cultural and political relations between the followers of the three monotheistic religions. The panel members included former Iranian president Muhammad Khatami, and Nobel Prize Winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu.



Arab-Israeli Peace Key to Easing Muslim-West Tensions

Nov. 13….(Jerusalem Post) UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Monday that any effort to stop growing violence between Islamic and Western societies must include an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Annan spoke after receiving a report from a high-level group of experts on ways to alleviate Muslim-Western clashes and misunderstandings. "We may wish to think of the Arab-Israeli conflict as just one regional conflict amongst many," said Annan, who leaves his post at the end of the year. "It is not. No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge among people far removed from the battlefield." (God has proclaimed that this conflict would involve all nations / Joel 3:2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.) Annan said he would work along with his successor, Ban Ki-moon, to help implement the recommendations of the report, which called for renewed efforts toward the goal of establishing "two fully sovereign and independent states co-existing side by side in peace and security." "As long as the Palestinians live under occupation, exposed to daily frustration and humiliation, and as long as Israelis are blown up in buses and in dance halls, so long will passions everywhere be inflamed," Annan said. The report called for an urgent international conference "to reinvigorate the Middle East peace process." The group making the recommendations was formed in 2005 as part of the UN-backed "Alliance of Civilizations" initiative.






Valuing the Invaluable: Tips for Observing Veterans Day

imageNov. 11….(By Stacie Ruth Stoelting/Bright Light Ministry) While frail veterans shuffle down gray hallways of nursing homes, Veterans Day gets lost in the shuffle of fluorescent, fast-paced modernity. Following the trend, Election Day snatches attention from the already neglected Veterans Day (November 11). A personal story illustrates this fact: With passion, I sang the National Anthem for President George W. Bush. Near Election Day, the event attracted over 11,000 people – including the internationally famous. Thousands of people fused into a flowing mass and roared like a turbulent tidal wave. (It reminded me of the coliseum scene from Ben Hur.) Before I sang my heart out, I verbalized my heart to the audience and dedicated my singing of the National Anthem to my family, friends, and my Lord Jesus Christ. I also dedicated it to our President, servicemen, and servicewomen. For whom did the crowd cheer the loudest? For Jesus Christ? No. For our veterans? No. For the President? Yes. The President received the most deafening, passionate praises. Recently, another Presidential occasion eclipsed an event of vast significance: the homecoming celebration for the return of local missionaries, who have spent years of toil in Albania. The missionaries’ homecoming occurred on the very evening and in the very town of the President’s arrival. Who received more attention? The President did, of course. Sadly, such responses echo the imperfect message of the world: Riches, connections, offices and fame seem to win and dominate this world’s game. But our Heavenly Father rights all wrong! His eyes tenderly, lovingly view all of His children with equality. In fact, our Heavenly Father loves the President just as much as He loves the resident of a nursing home. He wants us to express His love to all -including veterans. Most of us consider ourselves appreciative of veterans. We have them stand up in church. We pray for them. Yet do we think that we cannot locate blank squares on our daily planners to honor them with our time? Well, if so, we must expeditiously adjust our attitude about this issue: We need to focus on the fact that many veterans’ hourglasses hold little sand on top. It is urgent: Droves (especially veterans of World War II) die each day. Indeed, we must serve our servicemen soon. It is Biblical. For further proof of my point’s validity, consider God’s command: “Render to all men their dues. Pay taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due.” (Romans 13:7, AMP) Let’s obey on Veterans Day.



Al-Qaida: We'll blow up the White House

Nov. 11….(Ireland On Line) Al Qaida’s leader in Iraq today vowed his fighters will never rest until they have blown up the White House and reached Jerusalem. In an audio tape made available on militant websites, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir claimed to be winning the war in Iraq and said the US President was “stupid”. He praised the Republican defeat in the US midterm elections as “reasonable”, and claimed the al Qaida army has 12,000 fighters in Iraq, ready to die for their cause. Also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, al-Muhajir became the leader of al Qaida in Iraq after Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed by the US military in June. The al-Qaida leader reached out to the Muslim world and said his group was winning faster than expected in Iraq. The US president’s policy had enabled the militant group to achieve their goal of fighting more Americans, said the al Qaida leader. We haven’t had enough of your blood yet,” he told the US. He called on President Bush to remain “steadfast in the battlefield” so al Qaida would have more opportunities to fight his soldiers. "We haven't had enough of your blood yet," he boasted. “We call on the lame duck (Bush) not to hurry up in escaping the same way the defense minister did,” he said, referring to the removal of Donald Rumsfeld as US Defense Secretary following the Democrats’ victory in Midterm elections. “They are getting ready to leave, because they are no longer capable of staying,” the al Qaida leader said.



Iran Complains Against Israel at UN

Nov. 11….(Jerusalem Post) Iran has complained to the United Nations over a "series of threats" after Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh told the The Jerusalem Post on Friday that Israel refused to rule out a military strike against the Islamic republic. Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations submitted the complaint to Secretary General Kofi Annan and the Security Council on Friday following Sneh's comments. "The letter, underlining threats from Sneh and other Israeli officials, regards these statements as illegal, ridiculous and a sign of the Zionist regime's criminal policies and terrorist intentions," the state agency said. Sanctions against Iran are unlikely to work, so Israel must be prepared to thwart Teheran's drive for a nuclear capability "at all costs," Sneh has told the Post. "I am not advocating an Israeli preemptive military action against Iran, and I am aware of all of its possible repercussions," Sneh stressed. "I consider it a last resort. But even the last resort is sometimes the only resort." In the most dramatic comments to date by a senior government member on the threat posed by the Iranian nuclear program, the former IDF brigadier-general described an untenable scenario of Israel "living under a dark cloud of fear from a leader committed to its destruction." He said he was afraid that, under such a threat, "most Israelis would prefer not to live here; most Jews would prefer not to come here with their families; and Israelis who can live abroad will. People are not enthusiastic about being scorched." Thus the danger, Sneh elaborated, was that Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would "be able to kill the Zionist dream without pushing a button. That's why we must prevent this regime from obtaining nuclear capability at all costs." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Thursday night that Iran posed a serious threat that needed to be addressed with a cool head. "There is no issue that I deal with more intensively than the Iranian problem," he told a Kadima meeting in Petah Tikva. But he cautioned against creating panic among the public. "We have to handle the issue with coolheadedness and wisdom," he said. "Even the Russians don't want a nuclear Iran. (Want to bet?) We have to talk to everyone and remind them of the danger of a Muslim extremist nation using a nuclear weapon to harm another nation. The big countries have to lead and we have to push them." Sneh said he still hoped the international community would institute effective sanctions against Iran, but that "the chances are not high. My working assumption is that they won't succeed." Interviewed in his Knesset office, Sneh said his priority was to define Israel's national goals, including "preparing the IDF for victory in the next round with Iran and its proxies."


Ayatollah: Thank Allah for Democrats' Victory

(Iran's supreme leader calls election 'defeat of Bush's hawkish policies'. Now, the state sponsors of some of those groups have called the Republican defeat a victory for Iran.)

imageNov. 11….(WND) The American election issue is not a purely domestic issue for America, but it is the defeat of Bush's hawkish policies in the world," said Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in remarks reported by Iran's student news agency today. "Since Washington's hostile and hawkish policies have always been against the Iranian nation, this defeat is actually an obvious victory for the Iranian nation." Khamenei is the senior cleric in power since 1989 and has the last word on matters of state in Iran's system of Islamic rule. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in charge of day-to-day decision making. "The result of this election indicates that the majority of American people are dissatisfied and are fed up with the policies of the American administration," Khamenei was quoted as saying. "With the scandalous defeat of America's policies in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon and Afghanistan, America's threats are empty threats on an international scale." Khamenei condemned Israel for its artillery attack on Wednesday in Gaza which killed 18 civilians, and also the "silence" of Western nations over "this great oppression." "The daily crimes by the savage Zionists in Gaza once more prove that holding talks with this occupying regime is of no use."



Palestinian State Television: Suicide is Most Glorious Death of All

Nov. 11….(WND) Death by carrying out a suicide operation is one of the most glorious ways to die and is rewarded with eternal paradise and 72 dark-eyed virgins, according to a religious instruction broadcast last week on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' state-run television. The lesson, delivered by a PA religious cleric, instructed Palestinians to strive for a violent death in which the martyred corpse has "no head, no legs, his body completely burned, intestines outside, fingers gone.” "Oh God, bring us back to earth to be killed by the Apache. Bring us back so that the planes will blow us up, that our heads will be cut off from the body,'' proclaimed Sheik Imad Hamato on official PA television run by Abbas' Fatah party. According to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch Hamato urged Palestinians to die in jihad. "There is one thing that causes Allah…to elevate his worshipper 100 levels in Paradise, and each level is like the space between heaven and earth. And what is this thing, Allah’s prophet [Muhammad]? It's the Jihad for Allah. Jihad for Allah." The Palestinian Sheikh uses Islamic doctrine to justify suicide terrorism. Citing the Hadith, or Islamic oral tradition, Hamoto compares a friend of Muhammad who was killed accidentally using his own sword to the perpetrator of a suicide bombing. "According to the Hadith: One of the Prophet Muhammad's good friends was preparing a bow and arrow when his own sword struck him and killed him. Is he considered a Shahid or not? Did he commit suicide? It's like the conflict today! One who exploded with a bomb. People talk about whether or not he’s a Shahid." "They said: 'The man died from his own weapon, and not from the weapon of the enemy.' Answered Prophet Muhammad: 'He died in an attempt to be a holy warrior… And his reward for that was doubled…'" Homato explains Allah blesses the "first blood" of the suicide bomber, who "sees his place in paradise, is shielded from the great shock and marries 72 dark-eyed maidens." He says proper suicide bombers understand disfiguring their bodies as a result of an attack is the "most wished for" fate of all. "A man, when he sees one of his brothers being killed for Allah, those we consider Shahids for Allah, he sees [for example] a person with no head, no legs, his body completely burned. Yes? Intestines outside, fingers are gone, it's a difficult image. The most difficult thing which we fear is what the Shahids wish for most of all." Homato's speech in which religious status and the reward of 72 virgins is granted to the suicide bomber is commonplace on Palestinian television and among terror organization in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Hamas' official charter uses interpretations of the Quran to justify suicide operations and calls for the murder of Jews to "hasten the day of judgment." In a recent interview with the senior leadership of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared "military wing" of Abbas' Fatah party, overall Brigades leader Ala Senakreh called suicide terrorism "not violence. It is jihad for Allah." "There is no greater way of leaving this earth than to martyr yourself while killing Jews," Senakreh said. "Allah elevates this martyr in paradise for his special suicide operation."



The Baker Iraq Study Panel Reports to President Bush Monday

Nov. 11….(DEBKA) Their White House conference signals the post-election review of US strategy in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. It will be broadly attended by the top Bush policy-makers. Among them, according to White House spokesman Tony Snow, Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Stephen Hadley, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, resigned defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and CIA Director Gen. Mike Hayden, as well as US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace. Incoming defense secretary Robert Gates will attend as a member of the bipartisan committee. His seat will pass to Lawrence Eagleburger, SScretary of state under the first President Bush.



Arafat Commemorated in Ramallah

(On second anniversary of his death, thousands flock to Muqata for memorial ceremony of late PA Chairman Yasser Arafat. Abbas: Israel kills women, children, elderly and we have chosen peace)

Nov. 11….(YNET) The Palestinian Authority is commemorating the second anniversary of Former Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat Saturday. Longings for the late leader in the Palestinian street have only intensified. Thousands of people flocked to the central memorial ceremony taking place in the Muqata compound in Ramallah where PA President Mahmoud Abbas will speak. Abbas: Jerusalem will be our capital. "Israel kills women, children, and elderly. Not a day passes that the Israeli occupation doesn't commit a crime," said PA President Mahmoud Abbas in his speech at the ceremony in Ramallah. Abbas added: "Israel is taking steps against us of siege and collective punishment. In addition to the settlements and the separation fence, they have turned out cities into large prisons and detainment camps. The settlements are illegal, and ultimately Jerusalem will be our capital." "The fence is an artificial reality that has been forced on us. It and the occupation will, God willing, disappear in the end. There won't be security in the shadow of the fence and the settlements," Abbas continued. The Palestinian president continued on in his speech to say that the Palestinian people want peace, but under certain conditions on which they won't concede: "Israel must withdraw to the '67 borders if it wants peace. It must recognize our rights. "The time has come for the Israeli government to understand that the continuation of the occupation and military force, strong as it may be, won't subdue our people. And the price won't be in Israel's favor," he said. "There won't be peace as long as thousand of Palestinians, including ministers, members of parliament, and mayors, are imprisoned in Israeli jails. I say to our prisoners: You are the top issue keeping us busy every day, and we won't sit still until you are free. You're freedom is the freedom of our people and our homeland. "We, the Palestinians, have chosen the path of peace, the path of negotiation. We have adopted the outlook of President Bush for two states and we have adopted the Arab Peace Initiative and have initiated unilateral quiet. However, the Israeli government is missing this opportunity for peace and is running from sitting around the negotiating table. Instead, Israel continues its policy of settlements, siege, and invading our land, like what happened in Beit Hanoun," he continued. According to him, "The era of occupation and of one nation oppressing another in the world is over. We will continue to hold onto our land until we achieve our independence. Arafat's oath is our oath, and his fate is our fate. The torch of liberation carried by Arafat since '65 will continue to be held up by us despite the crimes of the occupation."



Amidst Bush Administration Reshuffle, Iran Renews Talks Offer to US

Nov. 9….(FOJ) Amidst the fallout of the Bush Administration’s reshuffle over the election, Iran has renewed its offer to talk about Iraq with the United States. Americans need to remember that the nation of Iran declared war on the US 1979, and is still engaged in a plan to push the US out of the Middle East. Iran’s original offer of direct talks circulated earlier this year, as Iran smelled an opportunity to use the Iraqi quagmire to blindside US resolve against the Iranian nuclear program. Tehran may still be seeking to slow Washington's push for UN sanctions over its nuclear program, but the replacement of US Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is causing Iran to sniff for a change in Bush’s Middle East Doctrine. The summer Israeli-Hezbollah no-victory war further complicated the Bush Doctrine in the Middle East, and left the US vulnerable to world pressure. US foreign policy plans, now under the watchful scrutiny of former US Secretary of State James A. Baker III will center on the likelihood that Washington will now talk to Iran about the conflict in Iraq, which many believe is fast approaching a sectarian civil war. Iran has long called America "the Great Satan," and has used its considerable influence inside of Iraq to cause America enough problems that the American electorate became disenchanted with the prospect of a long war in the Iraqi theatre. Tehran is reviving the carrot to the Baker Team because it believes talking could "cause hesitation in the United States" over its campaign to get the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Iran. And the Baker Team realizes that Russia and China will snuff them out anyway. Added to that prospect is the fact that the Baker Group and the EU three in reality want to ring in a new world order that does not overly alienate Russia. If talks in fact do ensue, it probably means that the Bush Administration has accepted the fact that it cannot stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Indeed, Iran has already boasted that it has nuclear capability. Iran, as a Shiite-majority nation, as stated above, has enormous influence with the clerical leaders of Iraq's Shiite majority, elements of which are increasingly engaged in the fighting. Iran is the only country with any influence over the Shiite militias that are responsible for most of the killing in Iraq today.  Iran will likely make an offer to the Baker Team to recess the insurgency in Iraq, and allow the drawdown of American troops in return for something. Once the US owes Iran something on Iraq, Iran would be in a strong position to call in that IOU, which would no doubt be a retreat on the US position against Iranian nukes. (Note: President Bush pledged to Israel that Iran would not be allowed nukes on his watch) Some analysts speculate about how much Iran can actually reduce the conflict, but it is surely considerable, as Iran also has influence in Syria, and with many of the terrorists. The big loser in all of this reshuffling is, once again, as it always is, Israel. And FOJ has suggested all along to its readers that Iran and its nuclear program would probably escape American measures intact. Bible prophecy plainly reveals that Russia will “prepare its allies, and also be a guard” unto them in the days preceding the great Magog invasion against Israel. The Bush Middle East Doctrine has failed, and now the Baker switcheroo in policy will likely leave Iran “prepared for Russia’s timing.” Furthermore, the reshuffle will likely lead to a phase-down of the American presence in the upper Middle East region, and leave Israel vulnerable to the devices that are already being employed in Damascus via Teheran.



Americans Trade Moral Failing For Immorality

Nov. 9….(Bill Wilson/KIN) Republican Party corruption and the handling of the Iraq war appeared to motivate Americans to vote for a nationwide change in leadership of Congress, governors and even statehouses. The national sweep, however, may very well have been trading one type of moral failing for another, even stronger one, of advancing embryonic stem cell research, accelerating the forced acceptance of homosexuality, and solidifying the killing of the unborn, these are the basic tenets of the Democratic Party platform. Moreover, Democrats ran on an anti-Iraq war message, which means a pull out of Iraq will be accelerated and the war on terror may well be coming to American soil. The American public stood in a classic “catch 22” at the voting booth. The Republican Party had abandoned the high ground with rampant corruption within the ranks, not that the Democrats were squeaky clean, but Republicans were the ones getting caught. Americans rightly refuse to allow corrupt leaders to govern for any length of time after they are exposed. Yet, those waiting in the wings to govern support as a political party incredibly immoral positions as defined by the Bible. It would seem that early analysis of exit polls indicates that the Christian evangelicals responsible for 2004 Republican victories, voted to punish those who were perceived to betray the very ideals that got them elected. If Americans agreed with the positions of those who were just voted into office, then statewide constitutional amendments to ban homosexual marriage also would have been voted down. Seven out of eight states voted to ban same sex marriage. In Arizona, the only state where the amendment did not pass, the issue centered around benefits rights for homosexuals and it will likely be reworded and put up for a vote another time. The crossover vote from those who wanted to ban homosexual marriage to those politicians who also support banning same sex marriages did not occur. This means Americans made a distinct choice to swap one type of immorality for another. The consequences of such a nationwide action could be very severe. Judgments in the Bible are generally self-imposed when a stiff-necked people reject outright the commandments of God. The Lord said in Ezekiel 22:29-31, “The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery, and have vexed the poor and needy: yes, they have oppressed the stranger wrongfully. And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Therefore, have I poured out my indignation upon them.” In the election, America actually elected its first Muslim into Congress, a Democrat from Detroit.



World Gloats Over Bush Election Humiliation

Nov. 9….(YNET) It seems as though everywhere around the world politicians, commentators and regular people are celebrating the political blow dealt to President George W. Bush in the midterm elections. Not to mention the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. It also seems, however, that amidst the very vocal merriment there is a growing concern over the perceived polarity on the Hill between Republicans and Democrats, is the chasm deep enough to bring Washington foreign policy to a standstill when there are so many global issues on the agenda? Iraq was the main issue for most voters this election and analysts believe that American are simply exacting their revenge on the administration and president for the continued bloodshed and failed policy. Now the world fears that Democrats will force the president to withdraw from Iraq prematurely, leaving the country and region in ruins. On the other side some say that the change of landlords won't bring about a dramatic change in America's Iraq policy because Democrats themselves are at a loss for a better way to handle the situation. Conservative Australian Prime Minister John Howard reaffirmed his support for the war in Iraq on Thursday, saying that he doesn't believe that the US will withdraw its troops from Iraq despite the election results.  Iranian newspapers took particular joy in Bush's loss, but warned of the good relations between Democrats and Israel. One paper said that most Americans had joined the opinion of the rest of the world and turned their backs on the militant, irresponsible and arrogance of the Bush administration which undercuts regional stability. Italian Premier Romano Prodi said Rumsfeld's surprise resignation underscored the depth of what has happened in America. Much more blatant in their glee were more than 200 Socialist members of the European Parliament who issued a joint statement, hailing the midterm election results as "the beginning of the end of a six-year nightmare for the world." Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who has consistently railed against the Bush administration, called the election "a reprisal vote." In Nicaragua, president-elect Daniel Ortega told thousands of cheering supporters during his victory speech that the GOP lost because "Republicans always want to be at war, and that has been rejected." Danish political analyst Jehan Perera said that "The Americans have made it clear that current American policy should change in dealing with the world from a confrontational approach, to a more consensus-based and bridge-building approach." He says that the Democratic win will mean "more control and restraint" over US foreign policy. In Russia the media provided extensive coverage of the elections and the potential change in relations between Washington and Moscow. The general opinion is that the Democrats will mean a tougher line toward Russia on human rights, this compared to Republicans who only kept admonishment to a minimum due to Russia's global and regional significance.



White House Intimates Changes For Israel Also

imageNov. 9….(DEBKA) The Democratic midterm election victory and the defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld coming replacement by Robert Gates will usher in radical Middle East policy changes that will apply also to Israel. For now, policy-making is in a state of flux, and as long as President Bush has not got together with Democratic leaders to forge a bipartisan position, there is no point in the Olmert’s visit, it was indicated. A senior US official told DEBKAfile sources Wednesday night: Olmert would be wise not to insist on the visit going ahead on time,” but rather take note of the president’s stress in his first speech after the election that he is waiting for the bipartisan Iraq commission headed by ex-secretary of state James Baker and former Democratic congressman Lee Hamilton to submit their report. Bush means to base his work with the Democrats on these findings. Since the report is not just about Iraq but encompasses the full range of US policies for the Middle East and the Arab and Muslim world which will require time to air, the Olmert visit next week would be premature. According to this official, the Baker-Hamilton panel is charting drastic changes in administration policy on Israel, whose speedy implementation is recommended as the key to extricating the US from its imbroglio in Iraq. Hinging the solution of Middle East problems as a whole on the Palestinian-Israeli issue has always been the Democratic way. It is favored in particular by Nancy Pelosi of California who, as her party’s candidate for next Speaker of the House of Representatives, will become one of Washington’s most influential politicians. This was also Baker’s line under George Bush senior in the 1980s, when he dragged Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to the Madrid Peace Conference against his will.



Israel Haters Celebrate Democratic Win

Nov. 9….(Jerusalem Post) Arab citizens of Israel and their “Palestinian” cousins expressed pleasure at the blow America’s voters delivered to President Bush November 8, when Democrats became the majority party in both houses of the US Congress. Arab Knesset member Ahmed Tibi, a senior advisor to the late terror chieftain, Yasser Arafat, and an avowed enemy of the Jewish state in which he enjoys all the privileges of citizen and lawmaker, made no bones about his feelings. “Bush's policies are anti-Arab, anti-Islamic and anti-Palestinian and encourage terror around the world and the way the neo-conservatives related to the Arab world was outrageous and humiliating, so I am happy to see the Republicans lose the election,” Tibi told The Jerusalem Post. His sentiments are fully shared by his compatriots on the other side of the “Green Line.” Earlier this month terrorist leaders voiced their hope that the Democrats would be swept into power. On November 2, WND quoted a senior member of PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades as saying that “of course Americans should vote Democrat.” Jihad Jaara, one of the terrorists who laid siege to Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity said American Muslims would support the Democrats “because there is an atmosphere in America with the Democrats 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.” WND’s Jerusalem bureau chief, Aaron Klein, said that the Palestinian killers he interviewed “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 told Klein a Democrat electoral win would prove to them that Americans are “tired” of fighting the war on terror. The Islamic world, and particularly that part of it that surrounds Israel in the Middle East, is far from tired. On the contrary, Arab US watchers lapped up the expressions of ecstasy shown by Democrats at Wednesday’s resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senator Hillary Clinton were among the many liberals who hailed Rumsfeld’s departure as opening the way for a “change of course in Iraq.” For Muslims, such a change in the prosecution of the post-war situation in Iraq promises progress towards self-inflicted defeat for the United States, and offers encouragement in the Jihad against Israel.



Does Gates Appointment Mean Accepting a Nuclear Iran?

Nov. 9….(By Jerome R. Corsi) President Bush's decision to replace Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with Robert M. Gates signals to experienced Iran observers that the Bush White House is about to shift direction once again in Iranian foreign policy, moving back to the type of "constructive engagement" strategy that typified the failed Clinton administration policy toward Iran as originated by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. The nomination also suggests stronger Council on Foreign Relations influence on White House thinking than previously recognized. What is the evidence for these conclusions? In 2004, Gates co-chaired, along with Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Council on Foreign Relations task force report entitled, “Iran: Time For a New Approach.” Brzezinski was best known for his role as national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981. The main point of the Gates- Brzezinski task force was to advocate a policy of "limited or selective engagement with the current Iranian government." The language of the Gates- Brzezinski task force could easily have been drawn directly from the foreign policy of Carter as advised by Brzezinski, Clinton under Madame Albright's tutelage, or even Richard Nixon as counseled by Henry Kissinger. Consider the following: A political dialogue with Iran should not be deferred until such a time as the deep differences over Iranian nuclear ambitions and its invidious involvement with regional conflicts have been resolved. Rather, the process of selective political engagement itself represents a potentially effective path for addressing those differences. Just as the United States maintains a constructive relationship with China (and earlier did so with the Soviet Union) while strongly opposing certain aspects of its internal and international policies, Washington should approach Iran with a readiness to explore areas of common interests, while continuing to contest objectionable policies. The expected result of the constructive engagement would be to bring Iran into a constructive international dialogue designed to resolve differences. Again, here is the language from the task force report:  Ultimately, any real rapprochement with Tehran can only occur in the context of meaningful progress on the most urgent US concerns surrounding nuclear weapons, terrorism and regional stability. Instead of arriving at the type of "grand bargain" with Iran that John Kerry pressed during his failed 2004 presidential campaign, the Gates-Brzezinski CFR task force called for "selectively engaging Iran on issues where US and Iranian interests converge." The growing CFR influence on the Bush foreign policy is consistent with the growing influence of Kissinger on the Bush White House. Kissinger is a CFR luminary who the administration now acknowledges has been a recent frequent guest at the White House for private talks with the president. Another CFR notable, James Baker III, is now heading Bush's Iraq Study Team. With the appointment of Condoleezza Rice, a James Baker protégé, to be secretary of state at the start of Bush's second term, the administration changed policy to support negotiations with Iran to be led by the EU-3 of France, Germany and the UK, together with the International Atomic Energy Agency. Two years later, those negotiations have predictably stalled in the UN Security Council where permanent members Russia and China, both allies of Iran, have blocked any meaningful sanctions. That Iran under President Ahmadinejad has resumed uranium enrichment in open defiance of the EU-3, the IAEA and the U.N. Security Council should be abundant evidence that negotiations with Tehran will not succeed, unless the negotiations are premised on accepting Iran's asserted right "to pursue the full fuel cycle," which translates to accepting continued uranium enrichment by Iran on Iranian soil. Despite the failure of these negotiations, the Bush administration appears to be preparing for direct talks with Iran, designed to implement the strategy of constructive engagement. Notable on the Gates-Brzezinski CFR task force was Frank Carlucci, the former secretary of defense in the Reagan administration who went on to be a founding principal of the Carlyle Group. Financial ties between the Carlyle Group and both George H. W. Bush and Kissinger Associates serve as further backdrop for the interlacing relationships about to play out in the anticipated foreign policy shift the Bush administration is contemplating with regards to Iran. The appointment of Gates signals an end to any possibility of utilizing a strategy of engineering regime change within Iran, following the path President Reagan utilized to bring down the Soviet Union. Despite President Bush signing the Iran Freedom Support Act in September 2006, the State Department still has refused to make regime change the official US policy toward Iran. The State Department also continues to sit upon the millions of dollars Senator. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., have inserted into legislation for the State Department to disburse to non-governmental organizations dedicated to supporting democracy movements within Iran. Experienced Iran observers such as Amir Taheri have long counseled that negotiating with the Ahmadinejad regime is unlikely to produce anticipated favorable results. Rejecting a central tenet of the Gates-Brzezinski CFR task force report, Taheri argues that Ahmadinejad's presidency reflects a second phase of the Iranian revolution in which the Shiite regime anticipates regional dominance. Taheri notes that Iran under Ahmadinejad has continued to finance and re-arm both Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza. While the Bush administration is likely to resist the conclusion, a shift of policy to engage in direct talks with Iran probably signals a Bush administration acceptance of Iran's continued progress toward nuclear weapons. Iran is unlikely to accept talks with the United States on any other basis than a "no conditions" acceptance of Tehran's current uranium enrichment program at Natanz.



Bush Announces Rumsfeld Will be Replaced

(President taps ex-CIA chief Gates to replace embattled defense secretary)

imageNov. 8….(FOJ) US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has stepped down as defense secretary, on the day after midterm elections in which opposition to the war in Iraq contributed to heavy Republican losses. President Bush said he would nominate Robert Gates, a former CIA director, to replace Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. President Bush lavished praise on Rumsfeld, who has spent six stormy years at his post. The president disclosed that he met with Robert Gates last Sunday, two days before the elections in which Democrats swept control of the House and possibly the Senate. Military officials and politicians dissatisfied with the course of the war had called for Rumsfeld’s resignation in the months leading up to the election. Last week, as Bush campaigned to save the Republican majority, he declared that Rumsfeld would remain at the Pentagon through the end of his term. Apparently, Vice President Dick Cheney argued with other politicians over whether Rumsfeld should stay, and the fact is that Cheney lost, as the President began the move to the Baker Group. White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and others said Rumsfeld should be removed, the source said. Both sides agreed the decision would be made after the election, when Bush would make the final call based on how Republicans did in the election. According to the source, President Bush agreed Rumsfeld should be removed after seeing election results favoring Democrats, who are in favor of leaving Iraq altogether. Cheney then lost another argument, protesting Gates’ nomination as Rumsfeld’s replacement. Rumsfeld, 74, was in his second tour of duty as defense chief. He first held the job a generation ago, when he was appointed by President Ford. Whatever confidence Bush retained in Rumsfeld, the Cabinet officer’s support in Congress had eroded significantly. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the House speaker-in-waiting, said at her first post-election news conference that Bush should replace the top civilian leadership at the Pentagon. Thus, Rumsfeld, President Bush's sole defense secretary in six years of leadership, is the first administration casualty after a midterm congressional election that sent at least 28 House Republicans packing and left the future of the Senate in limbo. Rumsfeld's departure was a surprise to many supporters after his office gave no indication earlier in the day that the congressional outcome would impact his fate. Just last week, Bush said he had full faith in Rumsfeld. President noted that Robert Gates is a member of the iraq Study Group, a congressionally commissioned panel co-chaired by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Indiana Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton. The ISG is soon to deliver a set of recommendations about the direction that needs to be taken in Iraq. Baker is likely to propose to the President that for the sake of international stability, the appeasement of Middle Eastern dictators and oil-rich Arab kingdoms are the way to wage the larger battle to determine the course of American foreign policy, and the war-on-terror. Baker and the ISG with Gates taking over in the place of Rumsfeld signals the failure of the aim of the Bush Doctrine, spreading democracies in terror-laden state, and shows that there is a new policy that seeks diplomatic overtures with Tehran and Damascus, whose systematic oppression is one cause of the anti-American attitudes exploited to such murderous effect by the preachers of fanatical Islam, and has led to America’s political debacle in Iraq. The Baker-Carlyle Group will likely assume leadership over the new Bush Administration’s Middle East agenda, and will soon announce a new strategy to implement the Middle East Peace Process. It was James Baker that organized the conference on the Arab-Israeli conflict in July of 1991, citing the participation of Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia as evidence that the Arab world truly desired peace, this even as the Palestinians, with the vocal approval of neighboring Arab states, escalated their intifada to unprecedented levels of violence. As criticism of President Bush and the war in Iraq increased over the last 2 years, James Baker and Robert Gates lobbied the President for a "new approach" toward Iran consisting of engagement. The problem is that this "new approach" isn't been good for US national security, nor does it bode well for Israel. If the Iranian’s gain more inroads in Iraq via Bush’s new strategy, then Israel will face the long-feared three front war that Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas and Damascus has been developing during the Roadmap Process. By replacing Don Rumsfeld, President Bush is moving to placate the Democratic powers, and the Globalists elitists that are working to fabricate a New World Order. Regardless of the outcome yesterdays, and even the 2008, elections, the legacy of Iraq is going to impact US policy and security for years to come. The choices being made through this “change in strategy” may in fact serve to embolden the terrorist entities and America could eventually find out that the two oceans that we have long relied upon to insulate the United States from the world, coupled with a failed immigration policy can no longer save us from those who would destroy us.



19 Palestinians Killed in Beit Hanoun Attack

Nov. 8….(JNEWSWIRE) The indiscriminate Kassam-firing “Palestinian” terrorists caused one Palestinian family to pay in blood for their fellow Arabs for their unrelenting missile fire at Jewish targets in the south of Israel. Nineteen Arabs, most members of an extended family, and among them seven children and four women, were killed in the early morning hours in the northern Gaza town of Bet Hanoun, apparently by off-course IDF shelling. The artillery response came a day after Kassam rockets fired from the Bet Hanoun area hit a school in Ashkelon and slammed into the center of the Negev town of S’derot. Israel’s forces were targeting Kassam launching sites from Beit Hanoun. Meanwhile, eight more Kassam rockets were shot out of the Gaza Strip immediately following the shelling. Israel’s military leadership responded quickly to news of the mis-directed firing, ordering an immediate cessation of artillery responses to rocket attacks and launching an investigation into whether the cause of the deaths was human or technical error on the part of an Israeli artillery crew and weapon. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni expressed Israel’s regret at the Arab deaths, and stressed that, unlike the Arabs in areas under supposed Palestinian Authority control, Israel never sought to harm civilians. But PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has done absolutely nothing to try and stop the Kassam rocket attacks on Jews, screamed that Israel was guilty of massacring innocents. From his haven in Damascus, Syria, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal vowed that Israelis would soon feel the fury of the "Palestinians." Their accusations resonated with European officials too, as Italy’s pro-Palestinian foreign minister, Massimo D’Alema, agreed that Israel had carried out a “massacre,” and called for urgent international intervention to end the violence. EU external relations chief Benita Ferrero-Waldner said Israel had killed “innocents” in a “profoundly shocking” way. By contrast to its reactions Wednesday, the EU has failed to call for an end to the daily rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, and has not insisted that the PA use its forces to clamp down on Kassam firing. Turkey inferred that the accidental killings had been intentional, accusing Israel of carrying out “devastating and disproportionate” attacks on the “Palestinian” terrorists.



Hamas Chief in Syria: Truce with Israel is Over

Nov. 8….(AP) Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal says that a truce with Israel is finished and is appealing to all Palestinian factions to resume attacks on Israel. (as if they had weren’t already attacking) Israeli tank shells ripped through a residential neighborhood in the northern Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks, killing at least 18 members of an extended family, including eight children, and wounding dozens of others, Palestinian health officials said. "There must be a roaring reaction so that we avenge all those vicitms," Mashaal said. The military wing of the Palestinians' ruling group called on Muslims around the world to attack US targets, a call disavowed by the Hamas-led Palestinian government. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed regret over the deaths and, along with Defense Minister Amir Peretz, offered "urgent humanitarian aid" to the Palestinian Authority and immediate medical treatment to the wounded. Israel halted artillery attacks in Gaza while it investigated the incident, but said it would press forward with operations meant to halt Palestinian rocket fire on Israeli communities. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh suspended talks on forming a more moderate government with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and both men declared a three-day mourning period. Abbas said the negotiations must continue. Russia and the European Union condemned Israel for the attack. Abbas warned that Israel would have to "shoulder all the consequences for their crimes," and Haniyeh said the Palestinians reserved the right to "self-defense." Khaleed Mashaal said that his group's militants will answer the deaths with "deeds, not words." "The truce with Israel is over," Mashaal told a news conference in the Syrian capital. "The armed struggle is free to resume, and the resistance is dictated by local circumstances." Hamas called on Muslims around the world to target "the American enemy." "America is offering political, financial and logistic cover for the Zionist occupation crimes, and it is responsible for the Beit Hanoun massacre. Therefore, the people and the nation all over the globe are required to teach the American enemy tough lessons," Hamas said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. In the town of Beit Lahiya, thousands called for revenge and chanted, "Death to Israel! Death to America!" Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Israel "has no intention of harming innocent people," but "to our great regret, in the course of the fighting, regrettable things sometimes happen, such as the incident this morning." The bloodshed in Beit Hanoun followed a weeklong Israeli takeover of the town in pursuit of militants who launch rockets at southern Israel. More than 50 Palestinians, most of them militants, were killed in that operation and in clashes after the Israeli troops withdrew early Tuesday.



The Next War is ‘Imminent’

Nov. 7….(JNEWSWIRE) Israeli news media reported this week that the next war between Israel and the Arabs is expected to break out in summer 2007, and that the IDF is doing everything to ensure it will be ready when the time comes. But foreign journalists, also this past week, have estimated that Israel could clash with the Syrian army and Lebanon's Hizb'allah before the end of 2006. In that event, given that this time-window closes in less than eight weeks time, it is unclear how "ready" Israel's defense forces will be. Ha'aretz said Monday that Syria and Hizb'allah, the former an Iranian ally, the latter an Iranian proxy force, "are likely to start a war against Israel next summer." This is the assessment of Israel’s senior military echelon that, according to that paper is making "all preparations, to ensure maximum preparedness in advance of summer 2007." Reporting for London’s The Daily Telegraph on November 3, John Keegan said Israel would soon have to strike Hizb’allah hard. The Lebanese terrorist organization had reconstructed its fortified zone in southern Lebanon and was racing to replenish its depleted missile supplies. Hiz’ballah is “also creating a fortified zone in the Gaza Strip and building up its stocks of missiles there.” The outcome of all this arms buildup would soon see Israel once more facing a missile attack on two fronts. Keegan’s deduction: “The conflict is inevitable and unavoidable.” “What is certain is that, probably before the year is out, Israel will have struck at Hizb’allah” in southern Lebanon,” he wrote.’ One reason the IDF believes in an inevitable attack is the Arab sense that Hizb'allah came out on top of the war last July. The IDF's inability to stop the Katyusha and other missile fire from Lebanon into the north of Israel, and its ongoing powerlessness to put an end to Kassam rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, have badly eroded its deterrence. Following the July war, in which Israel failed to achieve any of the goals it announced when it decided to attack southern Lebanon, Jordan's King Abd'allah told Time Magazine that, in the Arab mind, Israel was no longer considered an "invincible force."



Wolfensohn: US May Lose Interest in Israel

Nov. 7….(YNET) Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn told the Jewish Federation of Chicago that the Lebanon war was an unprecedented test to Israel's military and withing a year or two the Jewish State will no longer be Washington's center of attention. Wolfensohn said although the West recognizes Israel's historical legitimacy and cherish strategic ties with Jerusalem, recent changes in the Middle East leave the Jewish State in a problematic position. Ongoing clashes between Fatah and Hamas, and the influx of arms into the Gaza Strip from Sinai, obliterated understandings reached between Israel and the Palestinians during the August 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Wolfensohn said while Israel's military capabilities were put to the test, Iran's influence in the region is on the rise. Washington, he said, is not in a good position to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat because of its military entanglement in Iraq and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism across the globe. He urged Diaspora Jews to support Israel over the next two years as energy shortages, Muslim demographic ascension and the rise of China as an economic power could weaken Israel's strategic allegiance with Washington.



The Truth About Palestine

Nov. 7….(Frontpage) Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently gave a speech in which she said something to the effect that there would be no greater cause than the birth of Palestine. Horsefeathers...

While my own limited Arabic, Turkish, and so forth from my own doctoral studies' days has grown all too rusty over the decades, Condi better stick to her Russian expertise for sure. And relying on the Arabists who too often run the show at Foggy Bottom doesn't change this for the better either. Together, on this topic at least, they all behave as if they are deaf, dumb, and blind to what is happening on the real Planet Earth. The sad reality is that they do know better...yet don't hesitate to stick it to the Jews anyway. Recall that Condi's crew fought President Truman over the very rebirth of Israel in the first place. But as Truman himself also said, "the buck stops here." So President Bush must agree with what's going on. Now think about Dr. Rice's statement long and hard. Nothing could be more deserving or noble than the Arabs gaining their 22nd state, and second one in "Palestine" (Jordan having already emerged in 1922 on some 80% of the original April 25, 1920 Mandate)? Really? How about this for starters? If the Arabs hadn't constantly demanded that only they be granted political rights in the region with the break up of the Ottoman Turkish Empire after World War I (which controlled much of the area for about five centuries)--at the expense of scores of millions of native non-Arabs, including one-half of Israel's Jews who were refugees from what Arabs claim as "purely Arab patrimony," they could have had that additional state they demand over a half century ago...and many other times ever since. They rejected the '47 partition which would have given them roughly one half of the 20% of the territory left after Arabs had already been granted the lion's share with the creation of what would later be renamed Jordan. And they repeatedly rejected similar plans...including one under a liberal Democratic President Clinton's watch at Camp David and Taba not long ago which would have given them some 95% of the disputed territories and a $ 33 billion virtual slush fund to sweeten the pot. Ambassador Dennis Ross, another liberal Democrat, was on the spot and put to the lie current Arab excuses for why they rejected this. The sad fact is that the reason that Condi's "most noble cause" has not yet materialized is that the Arabs still demand that their additional state be born to take the place of--not live peacefully side-by-side with--the sole, miniscule, resurrected State of the Jews



The Koran, An AK-47, and a Pawn

Nov. 6….(FOJ) image The Islamic terrorists of the Middle East have a modus operandi. It always involves the Koran, an AK-47, and a misguided and brainwashed human pawn. We have come to know them as the poor mans H-bomb. Satan in his zeal to destroy the nation (Israel) that God called into existence, and has pledged to return Jesus to, is using his fanatical “preachers of hatred and indoctrination” to kill Jews and Christians. The demonic venom espoused by the clerics of fundamentalist Islam is one of the greatest evils and schemes of Hell that has ever befallen upon modern civilization. The attached picture clearly shows the difference between the Biblical God of Mercy and Grace, and the bloodthirsty god of the Koran!

This undated frame grab of a footage released by the Islamic Jihad shows yesterday’s Palestinian suicide woman bomber, Merfat Masoud holding an AK-47 rifle, and having her last picture taken seated by the prominently placed Koran



Acknowledging God in law

(Former Alabama Judge Roy Moore addresses congregation on religion, government)

Nov. 6….(Knox News) Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore offered his own interpretation of the First Amendment to a packed church Sunday in Grainger County. Moore, who was ousted in 2003 after defying a federal court order to remove a 5,300-pound Ten Commandments monument that he installed in the state courthouse, told the crowd of more than 230 people at Barnard's Grove Baptist Church that some judges are creating laws rather than interpreting them. He also told his audience that, while American soldiers are fighting overseas, there is also a war going on in the United States. "There's a battle going on here for the heart and soul of America," he said. "You are the soldiers. We all must be engaged." Moore said his battle to display the Ten Commandments pitted a secular reading of the US Constitution against his interpretation, which relies heavily upon the legal documents that frame the nation's government, including the Declaration of Independence's description of rights as being derived from God. Knox County Commission passed a resolution in 2001 calling for posting of the Ten Commandments in public buildings but didn't follow through. Several other Tennessee counties, however, did post the documents in public buildings. In 2005, a divided US Supreme Court ruled that copies of the Ten Commandments could not be displayed in two rural Kentucky courthouses. But a narrow majority said it was constitutional to display a monument to the Ten Commandments in a historical context on the grounds of the Texas Capitol in Austin. Moore said Sunday that a government's legitimacy was understood by the nation's founders as being dependent on whether it secured the rights granted by God. "If it's necessary to start a new country, what gives us the right (to do so)?" he said. Moore repeatedly cited passages from early American thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson to bolster his assertion that Judeo-Christian principles formed the basis of American law. "They started with a Christian concept," he said. "The First Amendment is all about God. It does not mean separating God and government." Moore said his actions while chief justice were motivated by a desire to "acknowledge God" and asked the crowd: "Put yourself in my shoes, are you going to acknowledge God over the state?" He also attacked the logic of various legal decisions that have placed restrictions on how and when religious documents like the Ten Commandments can be displayed on public property. Federal courts have ruled several times that the context in which such displays are presented can determine whether they are lawful or not. For instance, displays that are presented as part of a historical display are allowed, while those that clearly are meant as an endorsement of Judeo-Christian beliefs aren't permitted, he said. Moore satirized the position by saying: "You're not allowed to mean it. The courts are ruling upon what we think." Moore also said the US Supreme Court opens its sessions with a reference to God and pointed out that the nation's currency bears the phrase "In God We Trust," leading him to describe the legal battle that unseated him as hypocritical. The crowd welcomed Moore with a standing ovation and later thronged the front lobby of the church, where they could purchase autographed copies of his book, "So Help Me God." Moore is now chairman of the nonprofit Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Ala., a group that focuses on litigating religious liberty issues and education, according to its Web site at



Saddam Hussein Sentenced to Hang

imageNov. 6….(AP) Iraq's High Tribunal on Sunday found Saddam Hussein guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced him to hang for the 1982 killing of 148 Shiites in the city of Dujail. The visibly shaken former leader shouted "Allah is great!" The death sentences automatically go to a nine-judge appeals panel which has unlimited time to review the case. If the verdicts and sentences are upheld, the executions must be carried out within 30 days. A court official told The Associated Press that the appeals process was likely to take three to four weeks once the formal paperwork was submitted. During Sunday's hearing, Saddam initially refused the chief judge's order to rise; two bailiffs pulled the ousted ruler to his feet and he remained standing through the sentencing, sometimes wagging his finger at the judge.

The trial brought Saddam and his co-defendants before their accusers in what was one of the most highly publicized and heavily reported trials of its kind since the Nuremberg tribunals for members of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime and its slaughter of 6 million Jews in the World War II Holocaust.



Iran Commander: Troops Trained for Suicide Missions

Launching of Shihab missiles in Iran last week

Nov. 6….(YNET) Iran is ready to share its missile systems with friends and neighbors, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards said, after he showed off missiles including some he said had cluster warheads. Revolutionary Guards commander-in-chief Yahya Rahim Safavi also told Iran's Arabic-language Al-Alam TV late on Sunday the Guards had thousands of troops trained for suicide missions in case Iran was threatened although he said any US attack was unlikely. Washington believes Tehran is seeking to make atomic bombs, despite Iranian denials.

"We are also able to give our missile systems to friendly and neighboring countries," Safavi told Al-Alam. A text of his comments in Farsi were obtained by Reuters on Monday. Iran's ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Reza Sheibani, was quoted by Iran's semi-official Mehr News Agency on Sunday as saying the Islamic Republic was ready to supply air defense systems, without giving specifics, to the Lebanese military. "Tehran also considers this as its duty to help friendly countries which are exposed to invasion of the Zionist regime (Israel)," Sheibani was quoted saying, in response to what he said was a request by Lebanon's army commander, General Michel Suleiman, for help from friendly states. Iran funded and supplied Lebanon's Hizbullah militia in the 1980s, but now says its support is political and moral. The group used Iranian-made missiles fighting Israel this summer. On Thursday, at the start of 10 days of military exercises, Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they fired Shihab missiles with cluster warheads. Experts say the Shahab 3 has a maximum range of 2,000 km, able to hit Israel and US bases in the Gulf. 'They are ready for martyrdom-seeking operations.' Military experts said the exercises were to show off Iranian technology, although they say many systems are based on modified versions of equipment from other countries, such as North Korea. Washington dismissed the maneuvers as "saber-rattling." "Under the current circumstances, Americans are involved in Afghanistan and the quagmire of Iraq so we do not anticipate any military attack from America," Safavi said.



Israeli Sheikh: Temple Mount is Entirely Islamic

imageNov. 6….(Arutz) Sheikh Raad Salah, head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, a Hamas supporter, and an outspoken enemy of Israel, warns that Israeli plans to build a synagogue on the Temple Mount could lead to violence and bloodshed. "The day will never come when a Moslem or an Arab will have the right to cede even one foot of the Al-Aqsa Mosque or of Jerusalem," the Sheikh's Al-Aqsa movement announced. The Temple Mount in Jerusalem was the site of the two Jewish Holy Temples, the first of which was built by King Solomon in the year 832 BCE, close to 1,500 years before Islam was founded. For most of the next 1,000 years, Holy Temples stood on the site, until the Romans conquered the entire land and destroyed the Second Temple. Though the area came under the control of the Romans, Byzantines, Moslems, Christians, Turks, British and others over the coming centuries, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount were always the focus of Jewish religious and national yearnings and continued to be the Jews' "capital in exile." In the Six Day War of 1967, the modern state of Israel liberated the Temple Mount area, placing all of Jerusalem under Jewish control once again after a hiatus of 1,900 years. Israel, however, has never actualized its sovereignty over the holy Temple Mount site, but rather granted the Moslem Waqf nearly total control. Jews, in fact, have not been allowed to pray there ever since then-Chief IDF Rabbi Shlomo Goren led a prayer service there on the first Tisha B'Av after the liberation. As Arutz-7 reported nearly two months ago, MK Uri Ariel (National Union) is preparing a plan for the construction of a synagogue on the southeastern corner of the Temple Mount. The plan must be approved by the Jerusalem municipality's planning committee, an unlikely eventuality, and Ariel is set to meet with rabbis and public figures on the issue later this week. MK Ariel notes that such a building would "rectify a historic injustice," and that every Supreme Court ruling on the issue has recognized the right of every Jew to pray on the Temple Mount. "The synagogue will not interfere with believing Moslems who wish to pray at the Al-Aksa Mosque," Ariel said. "On the contrary, this is an opportunity for the Moslem world to demonstrate and prove that it is tolerant enough." The "Moslem world" is not jumping at said opportunity. The announcement by Sheikh Salah's organization states, "We hereby warn aloud about the existence of a Jewish national consensus that is trying to build the Holy Temple at the expense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. We warn that similar plans were submitted to Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak and their publication led to violence, the ramifications of which have not ended to this day." "The timing of the publication of this plan is not coincidental," the Islamic Movement states, "and it jibes with the increased calls for expulsion [of Arabs], the implementation of the policy of religious persecution and national discrimination, and the giving of a green light to the construction of the Third Temple." "We remind, for the 1,000th time, that the entire Al-Aqsa mosque, including all of its area and alleys above the ground and under it, is exclusive and absolute Moslem property, and no one else has any rights to even one grain of earth in it." "We remind the Israeli establishment, which stands behind these plans, that the problem of Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem is not just a Palestinian problem, but a Palestinian, Arab and Islamic problem. The day the Al-Aqsa Mosque is harmed, Heaven forbid, all the Arab and Islamic nations will call to prevent this damage. Watch out! Beware of merely the thought of hurting or desecrating the mosque."



Syria Threatens War with Israel

Nov. 6….(JNEWSWIRE) Syria's information minister on Sunday said his nation could resort to armed conflict if Israel does not agree to negotiate its surrender of the Golan Heights. Mohsen Bilal claimed at the opening of a three-day media event that Syria wants peace with Israel, but only on its own terms. Damascus sees Hizb'allah's summer war with Israel as a success for the terror group, and is said to be considering a similar conflagration with the Jewish state in order to drum up international support for its claims to the Golan. Israeli military leaders said they were taking the threat seriously, and that the IDF is preparing for a war with Syria and Hizb'allah as early as next summer. Syria could resort to armed resistance if peace negotiations fail to make Israel give back the Golan Heights, the Syrian Information Minister said Sunday. Mohsen Bilal said international negotiations should lead to Israel restituting the occupied Golan Heights territory it took from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed. He warned that Syria could otherwise resolve to "other means, which struggling people have used at various points in history, beginning with legitimate resistance." But Bilal stated that Syrians were nonetheless eager to resume talks. "The road for peace and stability in the region and the world goes through ending occupation" of the Golan Heights, he said, opening a three-day media forum geared at highlighting Syria's right to the Golan. On Sunday, Syrian President Bashar Assad, who was meeting with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, called for a comprehensive peace in the Middle East. Assad and Moussa stressed the need to "establish security and stability in the region by reaching a comprehensive and just peace," Syria's official news agency SANA reported. Israel has brushed off Assad's previous calls to restart peace talks, saying Syria must first clamp down on the radical Palestinian groups it hosts. The three-day Syrian forum on the Golan was being held in the war-wrecked town of Kuneitra, just across the border from the territory controlled by Israel. Some 300 media people and human rights activists from 30 Arab and foreign countries were participating, organizers said. Kuneitra, which lies 65 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of Damascus, was destroyed in 1967 and returned by Israel to Syria as part of a negotiated disengagement after the 1973 war. Syria keeps the town in the state it found it as a testimony to the occupation of the Golan.





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