Saturday, February 14, 2009
Israel ready to strike Iran: ex-envoy Jason Koutsoukis in Jerusalem
February 14, 2009
A FORMER senior Israeli diplomat has warned that Israel is ready to launch a military offensive against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons.In an exclusive interview, Dan Gillerman, Israel's permanent United Nations representative from 2003 until last September, said the time for diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability might already have expired.The world cannot afford to live with a nuclear Iran, he said. I hope diplomacy will work, but I'm not sure we have the time for [it] to work.Israel has made it very clear that it will not live with a nuclear Iran, and I believe that Israel has the ability and the capacity to make sure that it will not happen.Mr Gillerman, who is to visit Australia this month and is one of Israel's most senior diplomatic voices, said two clocks were running with respect to Iran. There is the technological clock of Iran, and there is the diplomatic clock, and I think the Iranian clock is running much faster.Israel has both the responsibility to defend itself and the capacity to defend itself, and I am sure that when the time comes and all other options have been exhausted, Israel will act in the only way it must to protect its people.
Detailed military plans to bomb Iran's nuclear enrichment facilities have long been on the table of Israel's senior military commanders.Israel's Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, was believed to have requested support from the US for a military strike on Iran last May, but the plans were aborted after president George Bush declined to endorse them.Last June Israel carried out a military exercise over the Mediterranean involving more than 100 F-16 and F-15 fighters in what was interpreted as a rehearsal for a bombing attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.On Tuesday the man most likely to lead Israel's next government, the Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, made a direct reference to Iran in his speech claiming victory in general elections.
Israel is facing an Iranian threat, from afar and from near. The nuclear threat and the terror threat … it will be up to us to deal with this, and we will be able to deal with these two challenges successfully.Shaul Mofaz, the former Israel Defence Forces chief-of-staff, who is in line to become defence minister, also warned last June that Israel might have no choice but to attack Iran.Israel has carried out two air strikes against suspected nuclear sites in the past 30 years.In 1981 its jets conducted a raid against Iraq's nuclear plant at Osirak, and in September 2007 it bombed a structure in Syria that was believed to have housed a nuclear reactor.
However, any attack against Iran would be a much more complicated military exercise, with Iran's uranium enrichment facilities spread across numerous sites.Iran's comparatively sophisticated military, and its distance from Israel could present further complications for Israeli military planners, and risk setting off a full-scale war.Mr Gillerman warned that the world could not afford to underestimate the seriousness of the Iranian threat.We have a very extreme, radical fundamentalist regime there with a President who denies the Holocaust while preparing the next one, and has vowed to wipe Israel off the face of the map, he said.My advice to the rest of the world is to listen to him very carefully and take him at face value and take him seriously.We all paid a huge price for not taking seriously the ranting of another small, moustached leader who some people considered as crazy, and I don't think we have the luxury to show the same indifference and apathy as we did before.
U.S. links Moscow help on Iran to missile shield
Fri Feb 13, 5:41 PM By James Kilner and Ross Colvin
MOSCOW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States signaled a willingness on Friday to slow plans for a missile defense shield in eastern Europe if Russia agreed to help stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.Plans for the shield have contributed to a deterioration in U.S.-Russian ties over the past few years, but the new administration of President Barack Obama has said it wants to press the reset button and build good relations with Moscow.If we are able to work together to dissuade Iran from pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, we would be able to moderate the pace of development of missile defenses in Europe, a senior U.S. administration official told Reuters.It was the most explicit statement yet by an administration official linking the missile shield to Russia's willingness to help resolve the international stand-off over Iran's nuclear program.He spoke as Undersecretary of State William Burns held talks in Moscow, the most senior U.S. official to do so since U.S. President Barack Obama took office last month.Burns signaled the United States was ready to look at remodeling its missile defense plans to include Moscow.
(Washington is) open to the possibility of cooperation, both with Russia and NATO partners, in relation to a new configuration for missile defense which would use the resources that each of us have, Interfax news agency quoted him as saying. Burns gave no details.In another sign that strained relations may be thawing, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would meet Russia's foreign minister in Geneva next month.The more flexible U.S. position on its missile shield addressed one of Russia's chief complaints against Washington. Moscow viewed the plan to site missiles in Poland and a radar tracking station in the Czech Republic as a threat to its security in its traditional backyard.U.S. Vice President Joe Biden told a security conference in Munich, Germany, last week that the United States would press ahead with the missile defense shield, but only if it was proven to work and was cost-effective.
The Kremlin has been pressing Washington to give ground on the missile shield in exchange for Russia helping supply the U.S.-led military campaign in Afghanistan.But the U.S. official in Washington focused on Iran.The impetus for the deployment of the missile defense systems is the threat from Iran. If it is possible to address that, then that needs to be taken into consideration as you look at the deployment of the system, the U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.The United States has led a drive to isolate Iran over its nuclear program, which the West fears is a cover to develop atomic weapons and Tehran insists is for the peaceful generation of electricity.Russia and the United States agree that world security would be threatened if Iran acquired nuclear weapons but they disagree over whether Tehran is actively pursuing a weapons program.Moscow, which plans to start up a nuclear reactor at Iran's Bushehr plant by the end of the year, has used its veto in the United Nations Security Council on a number of occasions to water down or defeat U.S.-led efforts to impose tougher sanctions on Iran.Obama has said he is prepared to talk to Iran's leaders and offered economic incentives if Tehran unclenches its fist. But he has also warned of tougher economic sanctions if Tehran does not halt its nuclear program.(Writing by Alan Elsner and Ross Colvin; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)
EU DICTATOR (WORLD LEADER)
12 And the ten horns (NATIONS) which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
2 And I saw, and behold a white horse:(PEACE) and he that sat on him had a bow;(EU DICTATOR) and a crown was given unto him:(PRESIDENT OF THE EU) and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.(MILITARY GENIUS)
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.(THE EU AND ITS DICTATOR IS GODLESS)
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.(DICTATOR COMES FROM NEW AGE OR OCCULT)
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death;(MURDERERD) and his deadly wound was healed:(COMES BACK TO LIFE) and all the world wondered after the beast.(THE WORLD THINKS ITS GOD IN THE FLESH, MESSIAH TO ISRAEL)
4 And they worshipped the dragon (SATAN) which gave power unto the beast:(JEWISH EU DICTATOR) and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?(FALSE RESURRECTION,SATAN BRINGS HIM TO LIFE)
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.(GIVEN WORLD CONTROL FOR 3 1/2YRS)
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God,(HES A GOD HATER) to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.(HES A LIBERAL OR DEMOCRAT,WILL PUT ANYTHING ABOUT GOD DOWN)
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints,(BEHEAD THEM) and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.(WORLD DOMINATION)
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.(WORLD DICTATOR)
9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.
10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.(SAVED CHRISTIANS AND JEWS DIE FOR THEIR FAITH AT THIS TIME,NOW WE ARE SAVED BY GRACE BUT DURING THE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH, PEOPLE WILL BE PUT TO DEATH (BEHEADINGS) FOR THEIR BELIEF IN GOD (JESUS) OR THE BIBLE.
THE WEEK OF DANIEL 9:27 WE KNOW ITS 7 YRS
Heres the scripture 1 week = 7 yrs Genesis 29:27-29
27 Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
28 And Jacob did so, and fulfilled her week: and he gave him Rachel his daughter to wife also.
29 And Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his handmaid to be her maid.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come (ROMANS IN AD 70) shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMANS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he( EU ROMAN, JEWISH DICTATOR) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:( 7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,( 3 1/2 YRS) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Ezekiel 44:1-31 King James Bible (4TH TEMPLE CONTINUED)
1 Then he brought me back the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary which looketh toward the east; and it was shut.
2 Then said the LORD unto me; This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter in by it; because the LORD, the God of Israel, hath entered in by it, therefore it shall be shut.
3 It is for the prince; the prince, he shall sit in it to eat bread before the LORD; he shall enter by the way of the porch of that gate, and shall go out by the way of the same.
NOTICE IN EZEKIEL 44:3 PRINCE,IN HEBREW THIS MEANS PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL AND SINCE THIS 4TH TEMPLE IS REBUILT AFTER JESUS RETURNS TO EARTH THIS VERSE IS CLEARLY SAYING JESUS WILL BE THE PRESIDENT OF ISRAEL AND RULER FROM THIS 4TH TEMPLE AFTER HE RETURNS TO EARTH LITERALLY IN THE FUTURE.
AND IF PRINCE HERE MEANS PRESIDENT,I WONDER IF PRESIDENT IS USED FOR PRINCE IN DANIEL 9:26-27. IF SO DANIEL 9:26 SAYS IT WILL BE THE REVIVED ROMAN PRESIDENT THATS SETS HIMSELF UP IN THE 3RD TEMPLE CALLING HIMSELF GOD. AND THE EU (REVIVED ROMAN LEADER OF TODAY)PRESIDENT WILL SIGN THE 7 YEAR PEACE TREATY WITH ISRAEL AND MANY IN THE NEXT VERSE DANIEL 9:27. AND HERE WE HAVE THE EUROPEAN UNION GOING TO HAVE A PERMANANT PRESIDENT WHEN THE LISBON TREATY IS SIGNED SHORTLY. JESUS IS SO AWESOME REVEALING LAST DAYS EVENTS TO US,PRAISE THE GOD OF ISRAEL AND THE WORLD (KING JESUS).
WELL IT LOOKS LIKE TONY BLAIR WILL BECOME THE FIRST PERMANANT PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ONCE THE LISBON TREATY GETS SIGNED BY ALL 27 EU COUNTRIES,CURRENTLY 24COUNTRIES HAVE SIGNED IT,3 MORE TO GO IN THE NEXT 8 MONTHS OR LESS.
President Blair: Former PM set to become EU chief as Sarkozy battles to win him the post By Simon Walters and Peter Allen 12:21 PM on 08th February 2009
Tony Blair is poised to become the first President of Europe after it was confirmed that French leader Nicolas Sarkozy is determined to help him win the post.
A senior aide to President Sarkozy told a private gathering of senior British and French politicians that he is to tell fellow EU leaders that Mr Blair is the only man who can help Europe stand up to the rest of the world.The remark by Alain Minc, a key member of Mr Sarkozy’s inner circle, is the second French blow to Gordon Brown’s standing in two days, coming after Mr Sarkozy said Mr Brown’s decision to combat the recession by cutting VAT was a mistake.Helpful friend: Nicolas Sarkozy wants Tony Blair to become the first EU President.
Mr Minc, a political wheeler-dealer, entrepreneur and TV show host, was attending a meeting last month of the Franco British Colloque, a high-powered discussion group of British and French politicians, civil servants and opinion-formers.Members are under orders not to reveal the confidential discussions, but The Mail on Sunday has established that Mr Minc used the meeting to win support for Mr Sarkozy’s campaign to ensure Mr Blair becomes the President of Europe.
The role is due to be created next year – but only if the EU’s controversial Lisbon Treaty is ratified in the autumn by Ireland and the Czech Republic, the two EU countries which have so far refused to do so.More...Now Tony Blair finally has the private jet he's always wanted (even if it is rented) MARY ELLEN SYNON: Why Sarkozy may have sabotaged the Lisbon Treaty by backing Blair Mr Minc told the gathering, which was also attended by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon: When the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, Europe will move into a new phase. Europe will need a strong leader and Nicolas Sarkozy will nominate Tony Blair for the position.Mr Minc explained why Mr Sarkozy was determined to overcome opposition to Mr Blair from a handful of EU leaders, notably German chancellor Angela Merkel.
He said: We have to unite and say to Mrs Merkel that we cannot afford not to have Tony Blair, who will be a strong figurehead, is entirely respected around the world and will be a commanding leader at the helm of Europe.Mr Minc has been described by one commentator as France’s Peter Mandelson. Indeed, his AM Conseil consultancy has employed Lord Mandelson as an adviser in the past and the two are members of the Policy Network think-tank. Respected: Barack Obama watches Mr Blair speak in Washington last week.The conference took place in Versailles, days after Mr Blair visited Paris to chair a conference for Mr Sarkozy on the economic crisis, in what was seen as the latest part of a charm offensive to boost his chances of winning the EU presidency.Mr Blair paid glowing tribute to Mr Sarkozy’s recent performance in the rotating EU presidency, saying: Under his leadership, Europe looked as if it were acting in concert.Mr Blair was referred to as Prime Minister Blair throughout – Mr Brown was not even invited.The post of President of the EU’s Council of Ministers will replace the current system under which the EU nations on a six-monthly basis. Supporters say it is the only way to give the presidency rotates among EU a strong voice. Critics claim it is another step on the road to a European superstate.
Publicly, Mr Blair says he is not campaigning for a job which does not even exist.
Privately, friends say he would relish it. Likewise, in public Mr Brown’s advisers say he is relaxed about the prospect.Privately, they admit it is a nightmare which would further diminish his status.Overshadowed: Mr Brown's aides say Mr Blair's appointment would be a nightmare.
Mr Minc was not the only person at the conference to make provocative remarks about President Blair.Work and Pensions Secretary James Purnell, tipped to succeed Mr Brown as Labour leader, is in hot water after apparently backing the idea.
Asked if Mr Blair was the right man for the job, Mr Purnell said: We need someone who is a world-respected statesman, has experience of being involved in intractable international issues like the Irish peace process, and, while being on the Centre Left, understands how the markets work and sparkles with charisma...As Mr Purnell, a close ally of Mr Blair, paused for effect, there were gasps from some in the audience who realised they were meant to think he was referring to Mr Brown’s predecessor. He then added: ...which is why I nominate Bill Clinton.The joke was not lost on fellow guests, who knew that, as an American, Mr Clinton is not eligible.
A spokesman for Mr Purnell said: It was an after-dinner gag. He did not endorse Mr Blair.
Why the Czechs must ratify the Lisbon Treaty
By Ulrike Guérot - 13 Jan 09
The Czech Republic began its EU Presidency term two weeks ago, and already it has had to engage in a complex and crucial diplomatic situation - the gas crisis. Now the Czech Republic must pass the base test to prove it is serious about the EU and gain the respect of Members States. Ireland and the Czech Republic are the only countries that have not yet ratified the Lisbon Treaty (in Germany and Poland the respective President still has to formally sign off). This is the Treaty that defines tomorrow's EU and lays down its fundamental institutional arrangements. It is through the Lisbon Treaty that most of the goals that the Czechs have fixed as priorities for their EU-presidency can be dealt with more efficiently - enlargement policies, a bolder neighborhood policy, climate strategies with a meatier role for the EU Commission, and the reshaping and strengthening of transatlantic relations after Obama's election through enhancing Europe's military capabilities (something the US is in favour of). To put it bluntly: With the Lisbon Treaty, the Czech Presidency comes closer to its own success. There is no point in Europe pushing the Irish if the Presidency itself lags behind.
Unfortunately, Prague has defaulted on genuine discussion concerning ratification of the Treaty. The Czech government announced in late December, after the Constitutional Court ruled the compatibility of the Lisbon Treaty with the Czech Constitution, that Parliament would approve ratification. But there has been no noise since. The reason for this is internal politics. October regional elections returned a difficult outcome for the running conservative ODS-party. Rumors say that Prague may engage in new elections once the EU-Presidency is over. President Vaclav Klaus is a difficult political hurdle to overcome for any serious discussions about the Lisbon Treaty in Prague as he campaigns so openly against Europe. This is more than a shame. There will be no solid and convincing the Czech Presidency if it does not succeed in getting its ambitions for Europe right. After Slovenia, the Czech Republic is the second country from the East running an EU Presidency. This is important for the political culture of the EU after enlargement. Success is vital. Here is the chance for the Czech Republic to show-case itself as a highly efficient compromise-producer and solution-finder for Europe - but only if it can overcome its own Lisbon crisis and to bring Ireland back to the European path.
A solution to the ratification crisis in Spring 2009 is necessary as Europe is to undergo EP elections in June. It will be very difficult to organize the administration of these elections if it not clear which treaty - Nice or Lisbon - these elections should take place under. More importantly, it is impossible to expect interest and participation from European citizens if politicians in all countries and on all levels are not decided on which Treaty path Europe is to take.
The world is turmoil - the financial crisis, Iran, Afghanistan, the Israeli-Palestine-conflict. Europe must speak with one bold, strong and influential voice on the world's international scene when shaping global economic and political solutions to these and any other emerging problems. To do this the EU needs the Lisbon Treaty. For this reason the Czech Presidency will be judged on how it promotes the Lisbon Treaty - so at the very least the Czech Republic must ratify it. The Czechs will have no moral authority to run the EU if they are only half-hearted committed to it.
EUROPEAN UNION ARMY
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them;(#11 SPAIN) and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.( BE HEAD OF 3 NATIONS)
25 And he (EU PRESIDENT) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.(3 1/2 YRS)
23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king (EU DICTATOR) of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences,(FROM THE OCCULT) shall stand up.
24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power:(SATANS POWER) and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes;(JESUS) but he shall be broken without hand.
36 And the king (EU DICTATOR) shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.
37 Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers,(THIS EU DICTATOR IS JEWISH) nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.(CLAIM TO BE GOD)
38 But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces:(WAR) and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.
39 Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god,(DESTROY TERROR GROUPS) whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory: and he shall cause them to rule over many,(HIS ARMY LEADERS) and shall divide the land for gain.
19 And I saw the beast,(EU LEADER) and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse,(JESUS) and against his army.(THE RAPTURED CHRISTIANS)
Europe retreats By Richard Gowan - 09 Feb 09 This article was published in European Voice on 9 February 2009.
Europe's military is beating the retreat just as the world's emerging powers are expanding their presence - an early sign perhaps of a new international order.
Whenever European governments need extra troops for Africa or Afghanistan, it's rarely long before they're on the phone to Warsaw. Poland may not match the deployment levels of the UK, France, Spain and Italy - but it has a reputation for sending soldiers pretty much anywhere, and with fewer quibbles than many of its more cautious NATO allies. But the commitments stack up: 1,130 personnel in Afghanistan, 400 more in Chad, 200 in Bosnia... At some point something was going to have to give. Last week it did. Poland declared that it would pull 800 troops out of UN missions in Lebanon and the Golan Heights, and not participate in a planned UN follow-on mission to the EU force in Chad. This was down to money and politics. The defense minister admitted the prime cause was budget cuts - and with hard choices looming, NATO and EU missions are Poland's priority. This was bad news for UN officials, always short on high-quality forces and concerned that the financial crisis will drive other governments to follow the Polish lead. Most European analysts (with some Nordic exceptions) would respond to those concerns with a mix of sympathy and condescension. NATO is short on forces. The EU needs to build up its military identity. The UN just has to look elsewhere for soldiers - bad luck!
But there are signs that Europe's military reach is contracting as the global downturn bites - with implications reaching far beyond the UN. In January, France declared that it was reducing its forces in Africa and the Mediterranean. British politicians look forward to the departure of the last of their combat units from Iraq with barely disguised relief. Paris and London have increased their commitments in Afghanistan in the past year. But the European contribution there will be overshadowed by up to 30,000 new US troops promised by President Barack Obama. Outside the Balkans, there may soon no longer be any significant theatre where European ground forces are the primary source of stability. There are still a few exceptions left. In spite of Poland's withdrawal, the most obvious case remains Lebanon. Roughly two-thirds of the 12,000-odd troops guarding the border with Israel are from EU member states. But even before the financial crisis, it seemed unlikely that the European contingent would remain at such high levels indefinitely.
An emerging world order?
Non-European contributors stand ready to plug the gap. In 2006, Spain was one of the first countries to deploy peacekeepers after Israel's war with Hezbollah - it still has 1,136 there, according to the UN. Yet Indonesia now has marginally more troops in Lebanon. While France and Italy still provide the backbone of the force, most other EU states are represented by fewer than 300 personnel each. India, China, South Korea, Turkey and Ghana all have more sizeable presences. In military matters, size is less important than quality, of course. But it is worth thinking through what these numbers tell us about the future. The non-European troops in Lebanon are not a rag-tag collection of low-grade militaries, the stereotype Western analysts usually apply to UN forces. They represent a cross-section of emerging major powers (China and India) and potentially significant middle powers (Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey). The Chinese and Indian armies may not meet NATO standards yet, but they are modernising themselves and are increasingly capable. These are evolving militaries poised to expand - just as European countries are going into retreat. This challenges deep-seated European assumptions about the maintenance of international order.
Since the calamities of the Balkan wars, the average European planner has assumed that there are two worlds of military operations: NATO and EU missions on the one hand, with every hi-tech gadget one might desire, and under-resourced UN forces on the other. This is, in the phrase of the British UN expert Michael Pugh, peacekeeping apartheid. But this division of labour no longer works. European forces are unable to keep up with US technology yet lack the growing sense of purpose of the emerging powers. After the prolonged political pain of Afghanistan, NATO is unlikely to sign up for new long-range operations any time soon (as India and China note from their ring-side seats). The EU's refusal to intervene in the Democratic Republic of Congo during last year's crisis suggests that it is having second thoughts about even limited power projection. The UN had a far, far worse year in the Congo, failing to stop a huge humanitarian disaster - French and UK diplomats have launched a process in the Security Council to address the peacekeepers' failings. They have no shortage of problems to tackle. But as they sit down to talk these through with their Chinese and Indian counterparts, they should look to the long term. In one or two decades, these emerging powers will be essential to keeping order worldwide. It is far from certain that Europe will be. The great challenge is not to fix the UN's military structures, but to decide if the EU and NATO have a strategically significant future worth investing in. If not, beat the retreat.
Richard Gowan is an associate director at the NYU Center on International Cooperation, and UN Policy Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
NATO: Multilateralism key to global security says top official
Brussels, 13 Feb. (AKI) - NATO is among a vast network of institutions and countries working for multilateralism, which is now more crucial than ever to future global security, chairman of the alliance's military committee, Giampaolo Di Paola, told Adnkronos International (AKI).Di Paola (photo) stressed the importance of greater cooperation between the European Union and NATO. Referring to the three-day security conference held last week in the southern German city of Munich which he attended, Di Paola told AKI: Reviewing strategic concepts was taken up again.That essentially means there is a need to alter the direction of long-term strategy to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, he said.These challenges are terrorism, arms proliferation, climate change, energy, globalisation and the gap between the rich and poor, and cyber threats, Di Paola continued.
NATO needs to look at its role in tackling these challenges, he added.
The Munich conference discussed foreign policy issues , including Iran's nuclear programme, the future of NATO and Russian-U.S. relations. International defence experts, ministers and over a dozen heads of state or government attended the conference.There needs to be general agreement on any revision of strategy, Di Paola argued. Individual opinions do not have much value in isolation, he said. Most probably, NATO heads of state and government at the alliance's (forthcoming) summit in April will agree to a strategic review and debate which will feed into a document to be approved at a later summit.Top officials from key NATO states, such as Germany chancellor Angela Merkel and US vice-president Joe Biden, have already signalled support for a multilateral approach by institutions and countries, he noted.This shows the need for a new form of world governance in which NATO, the EU, and other major international organisations have a part to play, he said.French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Turkish foreign minister Ali Babacan and Biden have in speeches all stressed the relationship between the EU and NATO, said Di Paola. These ties will be strengthened,he predicted.Military defence remains the cornerstone of NATO. But the new challenges of the 21st century require a broader approach to collective security that will involve important non-NATO countries such as Russia, China, Japan and India, he said.Military defence remains extremely important and essential, but in a multilateral context, it will complement diplomatic, economic, political and cultural tools, said Di Paola.
Turning to Afghanistan, Di Paola predicted 2009 would be a crucial year for democracy in the war-wracked country because legislative and presidential elections are due to be held there.Di Paola called for a bigger commitment from the international community to Afghanistan, to ensure security for Afghans and enable the key elections to take place. The US promise to deploy more troops in Afghanistan and expectations that other allied countries will also do so, will give Afghans greater security, Di Paola said.It is essential for the Afghan army and police force to be strengthened to increase the density of security forces in the country, Di Paola said. Di Paola called for more international assistance for police training, as well as investment in the country's governance and civilians. But he urged an approach to the conflict in Afghanistan that took in the wider regional context and neighbouring Pakistan's role in the Taliban's resurgence.Di Paola is a former head of the Italian armed forces. During his tenure from 2004 to 2008, he had overall responsibility for the policy and planning of Italian armed forces.He also held planning and command responsibility for Italian troops taking part in NATO, EU and and coalition operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans, the Mediterranean, Pakistan and in the United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon.
Blame the policy, not the army
By Nick Witney - 05 Feb 09
This week's edition of The Economist (a magazine) dilates on the sorry state of the British Army. Embarrassed in Iraq, it is now under unacceptable strain in Afghanistan. What has gone wrong? The Economist notes the mismatch between the politicians' ambitions, and the resources they provide for their armed forces. It notes, too, the cost of past complacency (the British disease). But perhaps most debilitating of all is the lack of clear policy or strategy. This is obvious in Afghanistan. It is bad enough that the Western allies do not know how to achieve their aims there (the new recognition that military means alone are not enough is little help unless translated into a viable action plan); much worse is the disarray over what those aims should be. There is consensus that a key purpose is to deny the use of Afghan territory for Al Qaeda training camps (their displacement into Pakistan counts in this context as an unintended consequence). But after seven years - longer than the Second World War - there is still no real agreement about where, if at all, the heroin issue sits amongst the campaign's objectives. And as for what is achievable, or even desirable, under the heads of democracy or human rights or stabilisation-- what sort of end-state in the country would permit Western forces eventually to withdraw with honour satisfied - such questions it seems have not even been asked by Western leaders, let alone answered. (President Obama's recent musing over the unlikely achievability of Jeffersonian democracy in Afghanistan may finally herald a readiness to confront the issue.)
So the British are absolutely not alone in having pursued their Afghan involvement with eyes tight shut (though they are readier than most to press on regardless, and to castigate their more circumspect allies for lack of enthusiasm). Where they are uniquely undone is in their continuing inability to reconcile themselves to the loss of Great Power status. How many more times will British leaders refer to the need to maintain the country's position at the top table, before they realise that globalisation, not to mention the worldwide economic crisis, has dismantled the old table and taken it away? In the days when Prime Minister Thatcher had real influence with President Reagan, British officials were under orders never to refer to the special relationship; today the phrase is back, and on the Prime Minister's lips, redolent with plaintive hope. Ever since Harold Macmillan dreamed of Britain playing Athens to America's Rome, the British have hoped to use the US to amplify their own declining influence. This hope is at the heart of the UK's defence policy, which in its most recent full restatement makes explicitly clear that the overall national defence effort should be sized and shaped so as to allow Britain to make a significant contribution to a major US-led operation - significant meaning on a scale which could be expected to buy influence over the campaign, including during the post-conflict period. Not a noble aim - less Athens to Rome than Robin to Batman - but arguably a pragmatic one when it was formulated, in 2003. Unfortunately, Iraq provided a simultaneous opportunity to test the theory - as it turned out, to destruction. Yet the policy remains unaltered, and the British continue to strive for the role of first lieutenant in Afghanistan.
The armed forces are not blameless, either. For the British military, the US is the Premier League - and every opportunity to train or play with them is to be seized. It is American good opinion which counts above all - and a sense of losing it that has precipitated the latest round of self-doubt. Military leaders have readily connived at the disastrous over-loading of the Ministry of Defence's forward equipment plans; First Division powers must aspire to aircraft carriers and scores of combat aircraft, even if they are unaffordable and block the purchase of more immediately useful equipments. The Army runs around in armoured vehicles dating from the 1960s in large part because, like Aesop's dog, it has never been content with the replacement it has currently got its jaws around; the most recent attempt to buy new vehicles (American, predictably) collapsed last November. What is sad about this failure of policy is not just the uncertainty over whether the human cost currently being incurred in Afghanistan is ultimately going to be justified, but the way in which an extraordinary national asset is being wasted. The British have a penchant for disciplined violence; and regardless of whether recent engagements have or have not shown them at their finest, anyone who has seen anything of the British armed forces in operation will know that the young men and women in the field are exceptionally committed, and exceptionally good at what they do. For their part, the British public are always ready to get behind our boys, and to fund a bigger-than-average defence budget. These are powerful levers of leadership and influence - as Tony Blair recognised when, in those early happy days before Iraq, he co-sponsored with the French the development of European defence. This initiative combined with a positive British attitude towards bringing the Central and Eastern Europeans into the EU to establish Britain for a few short years in a position of real influence in Europe. Then came the Iraq crisis, and two long wars which have exhausted not only the Army but also the bureaucracy. Leading in Europe is now just too much effort - and the Old Adam of striving for America's favourable regard has reasserted itself.
Britain's current defence policy is not just grinding down its army - it is moving the country towards strategic irrelevance. Meanwhile, President Sarkozy has been giving master-classes in how to advance the national interest through the medium of Europe. It is past time for the British to take a realistic view of their interests in the world, what sort of an international actor we can afford to be, and which partners we should work with. Like it or not, the route to real influence in Washington (or Moscow, or Beijing) now increasingly lies through leadership in Europe.
Who wants what in the coalition
By Ted Belman FEB 12,09
Netanyahu has met with Kadima and offered it an equal number of ministries with him being the Prime Minister. These ministries will include the foreign Ministry and Defence for Livni and Mofaz respectively. Kadima is mulling the offer. It is possible that Livni will reject it and Mofaz will accept it leading to a split of Kadima.Livni has met with Lieberman and suggested that Kadima could work with Lieberman in promoting civil marriages and parliamentary reform.NU met with Netanyahu and demanded a commitment to no Palestinian state. Netanyahu may be able to satisfy them because this coalition will only survive for about two years and it is not much of a commitment to agree not to create a Palestinian state in that time. Also they may find common ground in giving autonomy to Arabs (ie limited sovereignty). Bibi also wants defensible borders and an undivided Jerusalem which will also mitigate against a Palestinian state.Although Shas and Lieberman were at each other’s throats during the campaign, they have both indicated that they can both be in the coalition. But they are at loggerheads on the question of civil marriages.Labour has said it will stay in opposition and maybe merge with Meretz.
I am expecting a coalition of Likud, Kadima and Israel Beiteinu totalling 71 seats which will be quite stable. Other right wing parties will be added. The Coalition lines will be an undivided Jerusalem and defensible borders. I think these three parties can live with that. For that matter so can NU and Shas.We’ll see.
The coalition calculus of saying no to America
By HERB KEINON, JPOST FEB 11,09
It was the spring of 2002, Palestinian terrorism was at its peak, and Israel was on the verge of embarking on Operation Defensive Shield.As Ra’anan Gissin, prime minister Ariel Sharon’s spokesman at the time, remembers the story, Sharon came under all kinds of pressure from Washington to hold back on the military operation and give Yasser Arafat another chance to curb the terrorism.The pressure, Gissin said, was coming from then-secretary of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, President George W. Bush’s national security adviser.But despite the pressure, Sharon said no to America, and that Israel would not tolerate any further delay.
On this issue, Mr. President, I’m with my back to the wall with my people, Sharon told Bush.He brought the issue down from the strategic heights to the political trenches - a place which Bush, who fought often in similar trenches, could understand.Sharon then gave the go-ahead for the operation. Gissin said one of the reasons Sharon was able to say no to the US at that point was because he had a wide and strong government behind him.Indeed, Sharon, who clobbered Ehud Barak in the 2001 prime ministerial elections, put together a coalition that included Labor-Meimad, the Likud, Shas, the Center Party, United Torah Judaism, the National Religious Party, Yisrael B’aliya and the National Union-Israel Beiteinu - all told, a coalition of 95 MKs.With that wide support the government was able to carry out two key actions that were extremely controversial abroad: the military operation - Defensive Shield - that emerged as the turning point in the fight against the suicide bombers of the second intifada, and the beginning of the construction of the West Bank security barrier.Both moves evoked significant opposition abroad, but in both cases one of the arguments Israel used was that the moves reflected the will of the people - and with Sharon’s grand coalition, that was indeed the case.
Gissin’s anecdote should be on the minds of both Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu and Kadima chairman Tzipi Livni as they make their decisions on what kind of coalition to build, and whether they should instead form a unity government.With a new administration in the US already pursuing a new Middle East agenda, there is bound to be a degree of friction between the US and Israel.The two countries do not see eye to eye on all issues, and it is likely - even natural - that Israel will not feel able to do everything that the Obama Administration may ask of it.These disagreements could emerge on everything from a complete freeze on settlement construction to making compromises on Jerusalem. Israel under either Livni or, what looks much more likely, under Netanyahu, may - like Sharon - feel the need to say no to the US.But, going on the assumption that Netanyahu will form the next government, it will be easier to politely turn down the Americans if the coalition is not a narrow, right-wing one with a shaky five-seat majority, but rather a wide government of 93 MKs (Likud, Kadima, Israel Beiteinu, Shas, United Torah Judaism, the National Union and Habayit Hayehudi).For instance, a message coming from Israel that it will not be willing to cede any part of Jerusalem to a foreign government would pack a more convincing punch were it to come from the head of a government of 93, than were it to come from the head of a wobbly government of 65.
A smaller, weaker government, obviously, would also be more susceptible to pressure. There are enough people in Washington who know the Israeli political situation inside-out, and who could use the weakness of an Israeli government, and the knowledge that it could easily fall, as leverage in promoting US policies; policies that might not be identical with how Israel views its own interests.There is a paradox in this as well. For just as a wider government would put Israel in a stronger position vis-à-vis the US, it would also obviously - at least at this time -be America’s preference.While the Obama Administration was careful to stay completely out of the recent Israeli election campaign, thereby not repeating Bill Clinton’s mistake in 1996 of not too subtly and unsuccessfully working for a Shimon Peres victory over Netanyahu, The Washington Post reported Wednesday that It is no secret that US officials would prefer to deal with Livni.Considering the coalition math, the only way it seems the US will be able to deal with Livni in any capacity is if she joins a Netanyahu government.And by joining Netanyahu, she could be helping put together a government that could be less susceptible to US pressure, less pliable, than if she were to opt for the opposition.
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
1 TIMOTHY 4:1-2
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
2 TIMOTHY 3:13
13 But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue (VOMIT) thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
United Methodist group observes catastrophe of Israel
Here we have the apostate United Methodist Church headquartered in Washington, D.C. observing Israel's foundation as a catastrophe and inferring with the title word of their theme Dispossession that the Israelis kicked the made-up palestinians out, and the Israelis do not belong in Israel, when nothing is further from the truth as Israel's war history with the arabs clearly shows; and are now hosting a month-long exhibit that portrays the founding of Israel as a catastrophe.The display, which is titled 60 Years of Dispossession, chronicles what Palestinians call the Nakba the Palestinian word for catastrophe. Palestinians use the word to describe Israel's founding, an event that is reviled in the Arab world. The photo exhibit trumps what it describes as the 1948 mass deportation of Palestinians, massacres of civilians, and the razing to the ground of hundreds of Palestinian villages following Israel's creation.
Although the Bible, God's infallible and inerent word is full of prophecies for the last days that speak of the Jews being returned by God to the land of their forefathers and their homeland Israel, and that Israel would be reborn in a day, and where God will be sanctified through them, there are many people and church groups that do not believe this, and teach otherwise. Nonetheless, it is true, for God cannot lie, and His Word is truth.The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess, says the Lord. — Jeremiah 30:3
According to a Faith in Action report, the exhibit is an awareness building resource that is being used in several countries to educate and inspire advocacy. But Mark Tooley, director of UM Action with the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD), says the exhibit is proof that activists with the religious left have a deep dislike of Israel.Even though they claim they support Israel's existence, they continuously host or support events and programs like this that not only portray Israel very negatively, but ultimately call into question the very existence and validity of Israel.The IRD spokesman points out in a column for The Weekly Standard that this is not the first the UM headquarters building has hosted a controversial event. He cites past events for groups supportive of Marxist guerillas in El Salvador, the North Korean regime, Fidel Castro's rule in Cuba, and the Soviet empire.By portraying Israel's founding as a catastrophe that can only be redeemed through the gradual eradication of the Middle East's only longstanding democracy, the Methodist lobbyists are at least faithful to a decades-long anti-Israel tradition.
A return to indulgences for Catholics
The announcement in church bulletins and on Web sites has been greeted with enthusiasm by some and wariness by others. But mainly, it has gone over the heads of a vast generation of Roman Catholics who have no idea what it means: Bishop Announces Plenary Indulgences.In recent months, dioceses around the world have been offering Catholics a spiritual benefit that fell out of favor decades ago — the indulgence, a sort of amnesty from punishment in the afterlife — and reminding them of the church’s clout in mitigating the wages of sin.The fact that many Catholics under 50 have never sought one, and never heard of indulgences except in high school European history (Martin Luther denounced the selling of them in 1517 while igniting the Protestant Reformation), simply makes their reintroduction more urgent among church leaders bent on restoring fading traditions of penance in what they see as a self-satisfied world.Why are we bringing it back? asked Bishop Nicholas A. DiMarzio of Brooklyn, who has embraced the move. Because there is sin in the world.Like the Latin Mass and meatless Fridays, the indulgence was one of the traditions decoupled from mainstream Catholic practice in the 1960s by the Second Vatican Council, the gathering of bishops that set a new tone of simplicity and informality for the church. Its revival has been viewed as part of a conservative resurgence that has brought some quiet changes and some highly controversial ones, like Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision to lift the excommunications of four schismatic bishops who reject the council’s reforms.The indulgence is among the less noticed and less disputed traditions to be restored. But with a thousand-year history and volumes of church law devoted to its intricacies, it is one of the most complicated to explain.
According to church teaching, even after sinners are absolved in the confessional and say their Our Fathers or Hail Marys as penance, they still face punishment after death, in Purgatory, before they can enter heaven. In exchange for certain prayers, devotions or pilgrimages in special years, a Catholic can receive an indulgence, which reduces or erases that punishment instantly, with no formal ceremony or sacrament.There are partial indulgences, which reduce purgatorial time by a certain number of days or years, and plenary indulgences, which eliminate all of it, until another sin is committed. You can get one for yourself, or for someone who is dead. You cannot buy one — the church outlawed the sale of indulgences in 1567 — but charitable contributions, combined with other acts, can help you earn one. There is a limit of one plenary indulgence per sinner per day.
It has no currency in the bad place.
It’s what? asked Marta de Alvarado, 34, when told that indulgences were available this year at several churches in New York City. I just don’t know anything about it, she said, leaving St. Patrick’s Cathedral at lunchtime. I’m going to look into it, though.The return of indulgences began with Pope John Paul II, who authorized bishops to offer them in 2000 as part of the celebration of the church’s third millennium. But the offers have increased markedly under his successor, Pope Benedict, who has made plenary indulgences part of church anniversary celebrations nine times in the last three years. The current offer is tied to the yearlong celebration of St. Paul, which continues through June.Dioceses in the United States have responded with varying degrees of enthusiasm. This year’s offer has been energetically promoted in places like Washington, Pittsburgh, Portland, Ore., and Tulsa, Okla. It appeared prominently on the Web site of the Diocese of Brooklyn, which announced that any Catholic could receive an indulgence at any of six churches on any day, or at dozens more on specific days, by fulfilling the basic requirements: going to confession, receiving holy communion, saying a prayer for the pope and achieving complete detachment from any inclination to sin.But in the adjacent Archdiocese of New York, indulgences are available at only one church, and the archdiocesan Web site makes no mention of them. (Cardinal Edward M. Egan encourages all people to receive the blessings of indulgences, said his spokesman, Joseph Zwilling, who said he was unaware that the offer was not on the Web site, but would soon have it posted.)
The indulgences, experts said, tend to be advertised more openly in dioceses where the bishop is more traditionalist, or in places with fewer tensions between liberal and conservative Catholics. In our diocese, folks are just glad for any opportunity to do something Catholic, said Mary Woodward, director of evangelization for the Diocese of Jackson, Miss., where only 3 percent of the population is Catholic.
Even some priests admit that the rules are hard to grasp.
It’s not that easy to explain to people who have never heard of it, said the Rev. Gilbert Martinez, pastor of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan, the designated site in the New York Archdiocese for obtaining indulgences. But it was interesting: I had a number of people come in and say, Father, I haven’t been to confession in 20 years, but this — the availability of an indulgence — made me think maybe it wasn’t too late.Getting Catholics back into confession, in fact, was one of the motivations for reintroducing the indulgence. In a 2001 speech, Pope John Paul described the newly reborn tradition as a happy incentive for confession. Confessions have been down for years and the church is very worried about it said the Rev. Tom Reese, a Jesuit and former editor of the Catholic magazine America. In a secularized culture of pop psychology and self-help, he said, the church wants the idea of personal sin back in the equation. Indulgences are a way of reminding people of the importance of penance.The good news is we’re not selling them anymore, he added.To remain in good standing, Catholics are required to confess their sins at least once a year. But in a survey last year by a research group at Georgetown University, three-quarters of Catholics said they went to confession less often or not at all.Under the rules in the Manual of Indulgences, published by the Vatican, confession is a prerequisite for getting an indulgence.
Among liberal Catholic theologians, the return of the indulgence seems to be more of a curiosity than a cause for alarm. Personally, I think we’re beyond the time when indulgences mean very much, said the Rev. Richard P. McBrien, a professor of theology at Notre Dame who supports the ordination of women and the right of priests to marry. It’s like trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube of original thought. Most Catholics in this country, if you tell them they can get a plenary indulgence, will shrug their shoulders.One recent afternoon outside Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Forest Hills, Queens, two church volunteers disagreed on the relevance of indulgences for modern Catholics.Octavia Andrade, 64, laughed as she recalled a time when children would race through the rosary repeatedly to get as many indulgences as they could — usually in increments of 5 or 10 years — as if we needed them, then.Still, she supports their reintroduction. Anything old coming back, I’m in favor of it, she said. More fervor is a good thing.Karen Nassauer, 61, said she was baffled by the return to a practice she never quite understood to begin with.I mean, I’m not saying it is necessarily wrong, she said. What does it mean to get time off in Purgatory? What is five years in terms of eternity?The latest offers de-emphasize the years-in-Purgatory formulations of old in favor of a less specific accounting, with more focus on ways in which people can help themselves — and one another — come to terms with sin.It’s more about praying for the benefit of others, doing good deeds, acts of charity, said the Rev. Kieran Harrington, spokesman for the Brooklyn diocese.
After Catholics, the people most expert on the topic are probably Lutherans, whose church was born from the schism over indulgences and whose leaders have met regularly with Vatican officials since the 1960s in an effort to mend their differences.It has been something of a mystery to us as to why now, said the Rev. Dr. Michael Root, dean of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C., who has participated in those meetings. The renewal of indulgences, he said, has not advanced the dialogue.Our main problem has always been the question of quantifying God’s blessing, Dr. Root said. Lutherans believe that divine forgiveness is a given, but not something people can influence.But for Catholic leaders, most prominently the pope, the focus in recent years has been less on what Catholics have in common with other religious groups than on what sets them apart — including the half-forgotten mystery of the indulgence.It faded away with a lot of things in the church, said Bishop DiMarzio. But it was never given up. It was always there. We just want to people to return to the ideas they used to know.
9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain(BEHEADED) for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
11 And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Sharia Inspired Laws Spreading across Indonesia
By Ethan Cole Christian Post Reporter Fri, Feb. 06 2009 08:51 AM EST
Sharia-based laws have been passed in more than half of Indonesia’s provinces with support for such Islamic laws expected to grow as the country heads towards its presidential election in July. Three Teenage Christian Schoolgirls Beheaded in Indonesia ,Islamic Militants Attack One of Indonesia's Largest Evangelical Schools
Indonesia: Over 100 Churches Closed in 3 Years ,More than 50 regencies in 16 of the 32 provinces in Indonesia have passed laws linked to sharia, or Islamic religious law, according to persecution watchdog group Compass Direct News. A regency in Indonesia is one step lower in terms of administrative division than the provincial government. These sharia inspired laws vary vastly across the regencies and include requiring both Muslim and non-Muslim women to wear headscarves; arresting and then charging women found loitering alone on the street after 10 p.m. with prostitution; providing conditions for Quran literacy among schoolchildren; as well as severe punishment for adultery, alcoholism and gambling. In Padang - the capital and largest city of West Sumatra, Indonesia – all schoolgirls, including non-Muslims, are required to wear a headscarf. This is unacceptable because it is not in line with the pluralism that the constitution recognizes, said Syafi’I Anwar, executive director of the International Center for Islam and Pluralism, according to the International Herald Tribune. Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, is a democracy that promises religious freedom to its citizens. For the most part, non-Muslims can worship freely in Indonesia and live peacefully amongst Muslims.
Even the city of Aceh, located on the northwestern island of Sumatra, has churches despite being the only province completely governed by Sharia laws. But groups such as the Committee for the Implementation and Maintenance of Islamic Law (KPPSI) are encouraging its members to vote for politicians who share their goal of passing sharia-inspired laws. Although there have been protests against the sharia-based laws, the Home Affairs Minister had stated last February that the government saw no need to nullify the some 600 sharia-based laws passed by local governments. Critics of the laws say if Indonesia allows sharia-based laws then other areas with a large population of other religions can pass Hindu or Christian laws. With the next presidential election months away, political analysts predict President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to partner with several Islamic parties, according to Compass Direct. Analysts say the only way Yudhoyono can gain a majority vote is by forming a coalition with most if not all of the Indonesia’s Islamic party.
JESUS RETURNS TO EARTH BODILY LIKE HE LEFT
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Whose Promised Land? Psalm 78:54-55 (ISRAELS)
54 And He brought them to His holy border, This mountain which His right hand had acquired.
55 He also drove out the nations before them,Allotted them an inheritance by survey, And made the tribes of Israel dwell in their tents.
JESUS RETURNS TO EARTH BODILY TO RULE AND REIGN FROM DAVIDS THRONE FOREVER AND WE COME BACK WITH HIM ON WHITE HORSES.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
Billy Graham Association Makes 'End Times' a Focus in 2009
By Eric Young Christian Post Reporter Thu, Feb. 05 2009 10:05 AM EST
This year, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association will focus on the return of Jesus Christ and help prepare believers for life in the last days, according to a recent announcement. Billy Graham, Over 250 Celebrate 100th Birthday of America's Beloved Gospel Singer,People ask me, Do you really believe that Jesus Christ is going to come back to this earth again? writes the Rev. Billy Graham in one of the several resources that the ministry is providing on the End Times. Yes, I do, he continues. The Bible teaches that Jesus is coming again. And I don’t see any other hope, because we’re heading toward a catastrophe in our world.As part of its effort, the ministry has compiled a number of End Times resources including a message delivered by Graham in 1998, a 2008 message from BGEA president and CEO Franklin Graham, an article adapted from a message delivered by Anne Graham Lotz in 1996, an End Times article on the basics of the Second Coming, and a couple of Q&As with Billy Graham that includes a question on whether the world will end in 2009.
The most important question, however, is this: Are you ready for Christ's return? Graham writes after offering his response. The BGEA is hoping that through its compilation of resources on the Second Coming of Christ, believers will learn how they can fulfill God's plan for their life, increase their love for the Savior and grow their faith during these times — as if it were their last days.
If that happens today, are you ready? Graham poses.
The world renowned evangelist also reminds believers that regardless of when Christ returns, the end of the world does come for each and every single person – the moment that they die. [A]nd that could be at any time for any of us. We never know, Graham states. What have you done to prepare for that moment when your heart stops beating? The latest effort by the BGEA comes just a few months after Graham celebrated his 90th birthday and ahead of the 100th birthday celebration of George Beverly Shea, who for decades was the musical mainstay at Graham's evangelistic crusades. It also comes one year before the ministry marks its 60th anniversary.
On the Web:A compilation of resources on the Second Coming of Christ at billygraham.org
2 TIMOTHY 4:2-4
1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH TO HEAVEN. MEETING CHRIST IN THE CLOUDS!
1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.
2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.
1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:51-55
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
TUESDAY NIGHT LIVE IN JERUSALEM SHOWS
TORAH TALK ARCHIVES
TORAH FOR ALL NATIONS
TORAH TALK ARCHIVES COULD BE RAY PETERSON FROM ISRAEL NATIONAL RADIO EVEN THOUGH THIS GUY SAYS HES PAUL SHERBOW HERE. IF IT IS RAY PETERSON HE DOES NOT BELIEVE JESUS IS GOD SO LISTEN VERY CLOSELY TO HIS WORDS HE SAYS,I LISTENED TO THE LASTEST ARCHIVE AND JESUS WAS NOT MENTIONED 1 TIME IN THE HOUR. IF I'M WRONG AND ITS NOT RAY PETERSON I APPOLOGISE TO ANYONE I OFFENDED AND TO PAUL.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
18 And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009 Emerging global elite to use new global media to educate global citizens
The following is based on a report by Cliff Kincaid, Accuracy in Media.
Elite members of the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Davos, Switzerland, recently considered a proposal for a new global television network to usher in a state of global governance. The concept strikes some as authoritarian, even totalitarian. But the parent company of Fox News was one of the sponsors of this year's gathering.The media proposal, which was included in The Global Agenda 2009 report, is to create a new global network with the capacity to connect the world, bridging cultures and peoples, and telling us who we are and what we mean to each other. Several prominent U.S. media figures signed on to the alarming and controversial proposal. Isn’t it nice that we might have a TV network telling us who we are? And what we mean to each other? Perhaps we will learn that we are global citizens. Perhaps a global leader of some sort will tell us that. Who might that be?
This proposal doesn’t come from a fringe organization. The WEF is an exclusive club of very rich and powerful people from around the world. It describes itself as an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging leaders in partnerships to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
This year’s conference featured speeches by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Chinese Premier We Jiabao. Many U.S. corporations, including some getting Wall Street bailout money, were sponsors. News Corporation, the parent of Fox News, was a strategic partner of the event. Valerie Jarrett, Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Relations and Public Liaison, represented the Obama Administration at this year’s event and called leaders from all nations to seize gladly the duties of collaborating and boldly embrace a new era of global financial responsibility.
But the WEF also envisions cooperation and collaboration in global media ventures. It asks, How can we save journalism to help it save the world? Clearly, this is advocacy journalism on a global scale. Indeed, the list of Recommendations says it is imperative to start Communicating a global agenda, and motivating and mobilizing people to support it…
Is this journalism? Or is it brainwashing and propaganda?
It says that a genuine, global voice is needed that shares a fundamental commitment to being an international media voice, and makes mention of the media voices we think of as international coming from London (the BBC), Qatar (Al-Jazeera) or Atlanta (CNN). BBC is known for its anti-American programming, Al-Jazeera for its pro-terrorist slant, and CNN for its left-wing and pro-Democratic bias. It will take innovative public-private funding to bring this new network into being, apparently meaning that the taxpayers in the U.S. will have to be soaked in order to help bring this about. But no price tag is put on the venture and no objection was apparently raised to government funding of such a network on a global basis. An overview statement does, however, decry censorship and self-censorship.Elsewhere in the report (page 31) the idea of international taxation is proposed for global action of various kinds. Perhaps this is a vehicle for raising revenue for the new global voice.The media proposal was developed by one of several Global Agenda Councils under the auspices of the WEF. The new TV network proposal was issued under the supervision of Pat Mitchell, the president of the Paley Center for Media and former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Service. She was the chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Future of Media. Other members of the Council on the Future of Media were Betsy Morgan of the left-wing Huffington Post (former general manager of CBSNews.com); Rui Chenggang of China Central Television, an official political propaganda arm of the communist regime; and Zafar Siddiqi of CNBC Arabiya, a subsidiary of General Electric which is described as a 24-hour Arabic language financial and business information channel.
There is no indication in the published report that the Huffington Post executive raised any objection to working hand-in-glove with the communist propaganda channel. Is the Chinese media model a precedent for the new global network? The conference was covered by media organizations such as CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, Forbes and Fox, but no coverage that we could find was devoted to the proposal for a government-financed global media network. Talk about self-censorship! John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University and the Rapporteur of the Global Agenda Councils focusing on Society and Values, summarized the work of Mitchell’s panel. He says (page 46) that, We believe that this new moment also calls for a new media platform, across all media channels, a global non-profit CNN providing a new form of independent journalism to inform, illuminate and deepen knowledge about issues that improve the state of the world.According to DeGioia’s biography, he walks the walk and is dedicated to helping prepare young people for leadership roles in the global community. His bio adds, He is a member of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO and Chair of its Education Committee and he represents Georgetown at the World Economic Forum and on the Council on Foreign Relations.The media council took advantage of what a description of its work said was an enormous opportunity to redefine the media and its roles in a global, interconnected society.
Under the title of Recommendations (page 182), the Council on the Future of Media declares that The Council is championing a new global, independent news and information service whose role is to inform, educate and improve the state of the world?one that would take advantage of all platforms of content delivery from mobile to satellite and online to create a new global network.It goes on, In a world where there are calls for global governance as a response to a global financial crisis, where scientific research, capital flows and production chains are globalized, the media and the communities in which we imagine ourselves remain fiercely localized. Hence, a global network will work against localized or national-based systems and convince people to go global with their outlook and solutions. In other words, the new network will help undermine old-fashioned notions of national sovereignty and patriotism. There are 22 members (page 183) of the Council on the Future of Media. In addition to Mitchell and Morgan, American members include: Alex S. Jones, former media reporter for the New York Times and now Director, Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.Susan King, former Washington correspondent for ABC News and now Director, Journalism Initiative, Special Initiatives and Strategy, Carnegie Corporation of New York.John Lavine, Dean, Medill School of Journalism Northwestern University.Nicholas Lemann, former Washington Post reporter and now Dean, School of Journalism, Columbia University. David Nordfors, Director, Innovation Journalism and Senior Research Scholar, Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning, Stanford University.Monroe Price, Director, Centre for Global Communications Studies, Annenberg School for Communication, the University of Pennsylvania. Orville H. Schell, Director, Center on US-China Relations, Asia Society.There doesn’t appear to be one identifiable conservative member on the list. Of course, everyone on the list is a certified objective media proessional, neither liberal nor conservative. Just ask them.
Pope meets Jewish leaders; visiting Israel in May By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer – Thu Feb 12, 11:43 am ET
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican said Thursday Pope Benedict XVI would make his first visit to Israel in May and the pontiff told Jewish leaders denying the Holocaust is not acceptable in a message aimed at easing rancor over a bishop's claim that the Nazis did not kill 6 million Jews.The pope met with about 60 American Jewish leaders on Thursday and assured them the Catholic Church was profoundly and irrevocably committed to reject all anti-Semitism, issuing his strongest condemnation yet of Holocaust denial.The furor blew up after Benedict lifted the excommunication of a traditionalist bishop who denied the Holocaust, sparking outrage among Jews and Catholics alike. The Vatican said Benedict did not know about the views of Bishop Richard Williamson when he agreed to lift the excommunication.The hatred and contempt for men, women and children that was manifested in the Shoah was a crime against God and against humanity, Benedict told the visiting leaders, using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust. This should be clear to everyone, especially to those standing in the tradition of the Holy Scriptures.It is beyond question that any denial or minimization of this terrible crime is intolerable and altogether unacceptable, he said during the meeting in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace.Jewish leaders applauded his comments, saying the crisis with the church that had been sparked by Williamson's comments was over.The Vatican also said that the pope's visit to Israel — the second official visit by a pope would take place in May. Its date had not previously been announced, and as the outrage over Williamson increased, some had questioned whether the trip would take place.We never had an issue with the pope but with the bishop who belittled the Holocaust, said Oded Weiner, director general of Israel's chief rabbinate.
He said theological talks between Israel's chief rabbinate and the Vatican, which had been suspended in the wake of the Williamson affair, are now planned for March 12.Abraham Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the Vatican should excommunicate Williamson again because of his remarks.Every moment that he stays in the church gives him credibility, he told reporters after the meeting.Today's statement was important but it did not bring closure, he said. You cannot condemn Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism and reinstate somone who to this day continues to be an anti-Semite and deny the Holocaust.In an interview with Swedish state TV broadcast Jan. 21, Williamson denied that any Jews were gassed during World War II. He said only about 200,000 to 300,000 Jews were killed, but none of them gassed.The Vatican stressed that it did not in any way share Williamson's views. But confronted with mounting Jewish outrage, the Vatican demanded Williamson recant before he would be fully admitted as a bishop into the church.Williamson has apologized for causing distress to the pope, but has not recanted. He said he would correct himself if he is satisfied by the evidence, but insisted in an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel that examining it will take time.Benedict lifted the excommunication of Williamson and three other bishops who were consecrated by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre without papal consent in 1988. Lefebvre founded the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X in 1969, opposed to the liberalizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council, particularly its outreach to Jews.Benedict's trip in May, which had been planned before the Williamson affair surfaced, would be the second official visit by a pope to Israel.
Pope John Paul II made the first official visit in 2000.
The only other visit by a pope, in 1964, reflected the strained nature of the relationship in those years. Pope Paul VI spent only part of one day in Israel, and never ventured into Jewish west Jerusalem. He never uttered the word Israel in public.
HOARDING OF GOLD AND SILVER
DOCTOR DOCTORIAN FROM ANGEL OF GOD
then the angel said, Financial crisis will come to Asia. I will shake the world.
1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.
3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.
10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.
17 For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
19 They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed: their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the LORD: they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels: because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity.
16 And he(FALSE POPE) causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:(CHIP IMPLANT)
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.(6-6-6) A NUMBER SYSTEM
EU carbon holds onto gains, oil prices help
Yesterday, 04:52 pm
Benchmark European Union carbon emissions permits held onto gains on Thursday, boosted by increased buying and firmer oil prices, traders said. Skip related content
EU Allowances traded up 50 cents or 6.1 percent at 8.57 euros a ton on volumes of 4,534 lots traded at 1455 GMT.The Dec-09 futures jumped 95 cents or 11.6 percent to 9.15 euros earlier in the session, but quickly retraced its steps to around 8.30.
From what I saw, that the work of one institution, both on the way up and on the way down, one emissions trader said.Liquidity is pretty thin and volumes are not that great.Benchmark U.S. oil futures were 1.20 higher at $35.18, snapping a five-day losing streak following a rally in U.S. equities on news the government was working on a mortgage plan.On Thursday, 2009 EUAs hit an all-time low of 8.05 euros a ton, some 50 percent below December prices.It's difficult to tell if that was the bottom, as people are still cautious about going long, the trader said. I wouldn't be surprised if we go sideways for the next week.The supply of EU allowances (EUAs) will increase over coming weeks, as EU countries issue industry's 2009 quota before a February 28 deadline, and when Britain auctions permits in mid-March.After that prices could recover from their record lows, traders say. Benchmark Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) traded up 56 cents at 7.95 euros.The carbon price follows expected long-term demand for emissions permits, which has sagged on expected falling industrial output. In addition, prices are influenced by short-term changes in supply and by energy and power prices.For additional news and analysis on the global carbon markets, go to http://www.communities.thomsonreuters.com(Reporting by Michael Szabo and Gerard Wynn, Editing by Sue Thomas)
OECD/IMF: Urgent Need To Restore Market Faith In Financial Sector FEB 13,09
ROME -(Dow Jones)- Governments must act more aggressively to spur economic growth and restore the health of the financial system as the global economic crisis deepens, according to a statement released Friday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
There is an urgent need to restore market confidence in the financial sector and stimulate the real economy, experts from the three multilateral institutions said in the statement, released as Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers were meeting in Rome.Efforts on these two fronts must be pursued simultaneously and in a mutually reinforcing way in order to increase their impact on the real economy, they said.The experts made the recommendations following a Feb. 4 meeting in Paris, during which they found that large government infusions into financial sectors hadn't helped restore market confidence, with the global economy continuing to decelerate.Thus, the OECD, IMF and World Bank urged greater coordination on both fronts, with a need to avoid negative spillover effects. Protectionism must also be avoided, the statement said.Efforts to remove or isolate toxic assets must be stepped up in order to enable a sustainable recapitalization of banks and a timely end to the credit crunch, the statement said.Regarding stimulus measures, the group called for additional high-impact fiscal expenditures in the first half of 2009, with further support in the following quarters, by countries in a position to prudently undertake such spending.By Tom Barkley, Dow Jones Newswires, 202-862-9275, email@example.com
World Bank to give $3 bn to India for bank recap
Press Trust of India / New Delhi January 16, 2009, 16:58 IST
The World Bank may most probably give the first phase of the loan by June this year, a senior finance ministry official said here.He said 17-18 public sector banks as well as National Housing Bank and Exim Bank require more capital.In total, Rs 20,000 crore is needed to recapitalise these entities. However, some of them may not need government help as they may raise money through public issues after the capital markets recover and raise other kinds of funds.Earlier, the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had said the government will inject fresh capital in seven public sector banks to improve their financial health and help them achieve a capital adequacy ratio of over 12%.Today, I announce with the Prime Minister's permission that banks which have a capital adequacy ratio of below 12%, well above (the) 8% Basel norm, well above (the) 9% RBI stipulated norm...We will help them recapitalise and bring (the ratio) above 12%, Chidambaram had said in the Rajya Sabha.He, however, had pointed out that the capital adequacy ratio of Indian banks was well above the Basel norm of 8% and RBI-stipulated norm of 9%.However, it is still not clear which banks may get Government help.The ratio measures the proportion of a bank's risk-weighted assets against its equity. It reflects the financial strength of a bank and its ability to take risk and remain solvent in times of a credit crunch.
World Bank gives China $710 million for Sichuan FEB 13,09
(AP:BEIJING) The World Bank said Friday it will provide a $710 million loan to China to help rebuild areas hit by last year's devastating earthquake.The magnitude 7.9 quake centered on Sichuan province was China's worst in a generation, leaving almost 90,000 people dead or missing and another 5 million homeless. China suffered $123 billion in direct economic losses.The money will finance infrastructure, health and education projects in western Gansu and Sichuan provinces, the bank said in a statement.This project will assist many communities affected by the devastating earthquake to rebuild their lives by restoring essential services, project manager Mara Warwick said in the statement.The money will supplement the government's reconstruction efforts, the bank said. The quake devastated thousands of roads and other infrastructure in the region.Last year, China allocated 70 billion yuan ($10.2 billion) for reconstruction in the quake zone, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.The Sichuan provincial government has estimated post-quake rebuilding will cost about 1.6 trillion yuan ($234 billion).
IFC and AUC Launch First Graduate Diploma incorporating Corporate Governance FEB 12,09
12 February 2009
Cairo, IFCIFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the American University in Cairo (AUC)American University in Cairo (AUC) have finalized plans to include a course on Corporate Governance within their Executive Management Diploma as part of the initiative to improve corporate governance practices within the region.The program provides the necessary knowledge and skills that will enable Executive Managers to contribute to the success of their business. The Corporate Governance curriculum, split into consecutive courses to be taken over three semesters, was developed by the IFC Advisory Services in the Middle East and North Africa. The diploma would be the first in the region to include courses specifically on corporate governance.Yehia El Husseiny, Project Officer at IFCIFC's Corporate Governance Program, said This is a significant step to ensure that students understand corporate governance issues in the region, he added: we are teaching the future business leaders of tomorrow how to incorporate good governance practices within corporations.
Aly Ismail, the Director of the Institute of Management Development in AUCAUCThe American University in Cairo, said; The introduction of the corporate governance program, matches our quality standard offering, will add an edge to our Executive Management Diploma, which targets University graduates from different disciplines who have the potential of future corporate executives.Part of IFCIFC's Corporate Governance initiative in the MENA region is to offer educational institutions with curriculums that provide students with the tools for implementing good corporate governance.- Ends -
IFCIFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunities for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $16.2 billion in fiscal 2008, a 34 percent increase over the previous year. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
About the AUCAUCThe American University in Cairo
The Management Center (MC) (www.aucegypt.edu/mcenter) was established in 1977 as center of excellence to serve Egypt and the region, introducing professional development programs using a modern perspective of delivery, incorporating the latest management concepts and techniques. The professional development programs presented by the MC cover a wide variety of offerings including; professional postgraduate diplomas, professional certificates, executive seminars, short courses and workshops in addition to tailor-made programs totaling over 350 different topics and titles.Press Release 2009 from International Finance Corporation.
Friday February 13, 2009 Japan should set mid-term emissions targets - envoy
By Isabel Reynolds
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan should show leadership by setting mid-term targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the European Commission's top climate change negotiator said on Friday.Smoke is seen coming out from a factory at Keihin industrial zone in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo, in this October 22, 2008 file photo. Japan should show leadership by setting mid-term targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the European Commission's top climate change negotiator said on Friday. (REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files) Artur Runge-Metzger was speaking in Tokyo, after attending an informal dialogue among senior climate change negotiators.It is now up to the political leadership in Japan to take the next step and come up with an ambitious target and put it on the table, he told reporters.That certainly will create a lot of confidence around the table, among developed countries, but also on the side of developing countries so that we can move the negotiations forward, he added.Prime Minister Taro Aso has said Japan will unveil its mid-term targets, which indicate goals for the year 2020, by June.The government has already pledged to cut greenhouse emissions 60-80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050 but has come under increasing pressure to commit to a mid-term target as a sign of Japan's willingness to do its part to fight climate change.
Developing nations, which blame industrialised countries for emitting most of mankind's greenhouse gas pollution, also want pledges for a massive jump in funding to pay for adaptation to climate change impacts as well transfering clean-energy technology.About 190 nations are meeting at the end of the year in the Danish capital Copenhagen to try to agree on a broader successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the U.N.'s main weapon in the fight against climate change.Japan's top climate advisory panel is considering a wide range of options, the least ambitious of which would allow a 6 percent rise in emissions compared with 1990 levels.That compares with Japan's existing commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to cut emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels during the pact's 2008-2012 first commitment phase.Japan is already way above that target and is buying U.N.-backed carbon offsets to try to meet its obligations under Kyoto.Among the toughest mid-term options would be to cut emissions by 25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, by introducing a range of policies including a massive increase in the use of solar power.The U.N.'s climate chief, Yvo de Boer, speaking after the closed-door meeting in Tokyo, said it was important not to be fixated by the size of the mid-term target.A small number does not necessarily mean a small effort and a big number does not necessarily mean a big effort. Japan already made huge efforts including under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions, de Boer told reporters.Runge-Metzger said he wanted to take a closer look at Japan's scenarios before commenting on them.But he emphasised there were many issues to be settled ahead of the U.N. conference in Copenhagen in December.Time is short, he said.There is an enormous amount of work to be done in the coming months.
US Congress passes stimulus plan FEB 14,09
President Obama said the plan will save or create millions of jobs.The US Senate has voted in favour of Barack Obama's $787bn (£548bn) economic stimulus plan - clearing the way for it to be signed into law. The vote came hours after the House of Representatives passed the measure without Republican backing. Mr Obama has said the plan - a package of tax cuts and spending - will save or create more than 3.5 million jobs. Republicans argue the tax cuts are insufficient, and that the economy will be saddled with debt for years to come. Members of both houses of Congress reached a deal over the content of the stimulus package on Wednesday. This isn't Monopoly money. It's real. It adds up Mitch McConnell Republican Senate minority leader.
Battle exposes partisan rifts
The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Washington says the first set-piece drama of the Obama era ended in a comfortable but not entirely unqualified victory for the president, who had hoped for more bipartisan support. All 176 Republicans and seven Democrats voted against the revised package in the House. It was backed by 246 House Democrats. In the Senate just three Republicans voted for the package. The rebel votes were however enough under Congress rules to stop the Republican Party using blocking tactics to delay the stimulus plan, and it passed 60-38.
Shot in the arm
The approved version of the plan is split into 36% for tax cuts and 64% percent in spending and money for social programmes. Running to more than 1,000 pages, it includes new road building, cash to pay police in hard-up cities, and tax breaks for consumers buying houses and cars. The colossal package is all to be funded with borrowed money. Republicans had insisted on larger tax cuts instead of big spending programmes. We have a once-in-a-generation chance to act boldly
US President Barack Obama
Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said: This isn't Monopoly money. It's real. It adds up, and it has to be paid back, by our children and by their children.The Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, praised the three Republicans who had voted for the bill and said it was the most important piece of legislation he had worked on. The country is in trouble and we're so fortunate we were able to get it passed,he said. It's going to give this country a shot in the arm.Earlier, Mr Obama had said that in the longer term the government needed to rein in spending, and that we are going to have to once again live within our means. The president told members of the Business Council in Washington that the package was only the beginning of what I think all of you understand is going to be a long and difficult process of turning our economy around.
We have a once-in-a-generation chance to act boldly, and turn adversity into opportunity, and to use this crisis as a chance to transform our economy for the twenty-first century, Mr Obama said. Among the measures in the approved package is a Buy American clause that had caused alarm among US trading partners. The EU and Canada said that provisions favouring American-produced materials for government projects risked provoking retaliatory protectionist measures. In the face of this reaction, the clause was softened to a version requiring the government not to violate trade agreements. Last week, the House had approved an earlier $825bn version of the package without any Republican support. The Senate voted to approve a different $838bn version on Tuesday, with few Republicans opting to back it. The two versions had to be reconciled in a joint House-Senate committee before facing final votes in the two chambers.President Obama increased the pressure on Congress this week, saying he wanted the bill on his desk ready to sign by the weekend.
Canadian trade talks aim to reduce dependence on U.S.
Alia McMullen, Financial Post Friday, February 06, 2009
The Hon. Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, who says the Government of Canada is trying to open doors for Canadian businesses worldwide .Canada is in the midst of a wave of free trade negotiations that could soon include the European Union, hopefully India and possibly Japan in a high-speed effort to wean exporters off their entrenched dependence on the United States. But even as the government opens doors, exporters appear reluctant to carry the expense of establishing themselves in distant markets.
As a result, Canadian exporters are feeling the consequences of a narrowly focussed trade portfolio through a decline in U.S. trade as the recession deepens. The lingering financial crisis has also dented trade relationships, with many U.S. buyers unable to access credit to make payments on bought goods.To make matters worse, Canadian businesses have become concerned by a potential upheaval in North American trade amid the emergence of a Buy American mentality and the likelihod that the North American Free Trade Agreement, which encompases Canada, the United States and Mexico, will be placed back on the negotiation table.It is an uncomfortable position to be in for a country whose export sector relyies heavily on the U.S. In November, Canada shipped 73% of its merchandise exports to the U.S., a figure that has fallen over the course of 2008 as U.S. demand, especially for cars, has declined.
Stockwell Day, Canada's federal trade minister said in an interview with the Financial Post the government aimed to open as many doors around the world as possible for Canadian business, a goal that included a move toward free trade negotiations with the European Union.
Global food production could drop on bad weather, civil war Updated: Feb 14, 2009 at 0049 hrs IST
We have ample stock of food grains: FM
New York: Bad weather, violent conflict and volatile market prices could force a drop in global production of cereal crops this year, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) has said. Drought and high food prices in much of the developing world coupled with a diversion to bio-fuels and high planting costs in the West might reduce grain production in most of the world’s major producers. The latest issue of FAO’s report, Crop Prospects and Food Situation, which was released on Thursday, warns that acute food shortages persist in 32 countries worldwide and points to the situation in the Gaza Strip as cause for concern. In eastern Africa, more than 18 million people face serious food insecurity either due to conflict, unrest, adverse weather or a combination of factors, while in Southern Africa the total number of people fighting food scarcity is estimated at 8.7 million. The report stresses that in Kenya, Somalia and Zimbabwe, the situation is very serious due to various factors such as drought, civil unrest and economic crises. The outlook for cereal crop production in low-income countries with food shortages is gloomy, with a likely reduction in maize crops in southern Africa, and prolonged dry spells affecting wheat farmers in Asia. Almost half of China’s winter wheat harvest is already suffering from severe drought and India is experiencing a lack of rainfall.
In South America, wheat production in 2008 was halved by drought in Argentina, and persistent dry weather is damaging prospects for the region’s coarse grains in 2009. The report notes that despite the decline in international food prices in the second half of 2008, domestic prices remain very high in several developing countries, making food unaffordable for low-income groups. In southern Africa and Central America, prices of main food commodities have risen or have not decreased in recent months, and in western and eastern Africa, January prices were significantly higher than at the same time in 2008. Imported rice and wheat prices, staples in these sub-regions, are also on the increase, and remain high in several poor Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.—PTI
Intercessors for the Restoration of Israel/Out of Zion Ministries
Deuteronomy 32:2 - Let my teaching fall like the rain, and my words descend like dew, like showers on the new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants for
I will proclaim the name of the Lord.
David will be travelling to England for a weekend of meetings leaving Israel Thursday am 12th February and returning Monday am 16th.He will be ministering at the ICEJ - U.K conference in Wigan on Friday and Saturday - also on Thursday night he will be ministering with Pastor Mike Fryer in Mold, North Wales at an evening meeting in connection with the recent Gaza war. Sunday he will be ministering
in churches in London Sunday morning and Sunday night. David will make a connecting flight en route to Manchester via Zurich - the weather in both the UK and Europe as most of you have probably seen on the main UK tv news channels, is very extreme at the moment. Please would you especially pray that there would be no weather hindrances, especially in Zurich, to impede his arrival time in Manchester and for his being in time for the evening meeting on Thursday evening (12th February)
Will you join with me to cover him with prayer for this trip.
1) For travelling mercies, air, road, train
2) For perfect health, (from viruses, infections, colds etc)
3) For angelic protection, night and day.............
4) For a strong anointing on the new message that the Lord has give him to deliver
5) For protection for myself, and Jordan as we remain in Israel
6) For protection over his voicebox and vocal cords from infection
7) For a wall of fire to surround him from all demonic forces, spiritual and natural
With gratitude and love to each of you
ICEJ CONFERENCE WIGAN MANCHESTER
Thursday Feb 12th Flight to Manchester
7.00 pm Israel Solidarity Meeting Mold Pastor Mike Fryer
Friday Feb 13th 2.00 pm ICEJ Conference Billinge Family Church 1 Crank Rd Billinge Wigan WN5 7DT
Saturday Feb 14th 9.30 pm ICEJ Conference Billinge Family Church 1 Crank Rd Billinge Wigan WN5 7DT
3.00 pm Train to London
Sunday Feb 15th 10.00 am Magnificent Minstries Turners Function Centre, 47-49 Dorset Road, Vauxhall, London SW8 1 EX
6.00 pm Shalom International Community 124 Uxbridge Road - Hanwell - W7 3SL - Ealing
Monday Feb 16th 17.10 pm Flight to Tel Aviv via Zurich
Tuesday Feb 17th 4.00 am Arrive Tel Aviv
David & Josie Silver Out of Zion Ministries
Mt Carmel Israel www.out-of-zion.com
The CARMEL ALERT Feb 13th 2009 A compilation of news reports from the past week for the information of those committed to praying for Israel and the salvation of the Jewish people.
Guest Comment: Whose God is Winning? - Dena Gewanter
Ezek 20:5-6 On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of the house of Jacob and revealed Myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, I am the Lord your God. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands Jer 23:8 As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them. Then they will live in their own land.After the cease fire of the defensive Cast Lead military operation in Gaza, there has been an outpouring of anti-Semitic demonstrations throughout the world that is so unprecedented in modern history, it actually takes ones breath away. Tens of thousands of people mobilized with placards, flags with swastikas imposed on Israeli flags marching in countries from New Zealand to Sweden, England to Argentina, even the United States: hate filled demonstrations calling for the Jews to go to the ovens, and other such murderous slurs. It is all horrifically visible in the news, on YouTube and other news sources. The contrast with the opinions and attitudes of the outside world with those in Israel is becoming more and more obvious. Israel as a nation, and Jews as a people are seeing with sober clarity who are our friends and who are our enemies. Unfortunately, many who probably cared little about the situation in the Middle East, and certainly didn't care that Israel had 8 long years of bombs sent into their sovereign land by terrorists have now been galvanized to action by the movies and photos of wounded children and the slanted news reports from a media that never seemed to have anything good to say about Israel. Now there are thousands of well meaning people who feel the need to call out for war tribunals in order to prosecute Israel and the Israeli Defense Force for excessive reactions to terrorists who hid behind schools, mosques and women and children.
The extreme emotionalism one sees in these demonstrations is remarkable, since there were, if one inflates the figures, less than 1,200 people killed. Hamas unfortunately wants it both ways. In their posturing as having stood up to Israel and 'won' the conflict, they want to minimize their casualties. Somehow, the Hamas army (who was supposed to defend their populace), was hiding somewhere so only women, children and non-combatants were in the range of the firepower of the IDF. On the other hand, they want to maximize the evidence of carnage in order to make Israeli soldiers look like heartless war criminals. The solid evidence of Hamas using non-combatants as human shields and forcing families to stay in houses where they were firing from is well documented, but the world doesn't want to see it. While Hamas lost the actual battle, it won the media war, and the reporters from the West took the lies and ran with it.Where does all the energy and will-power to denigrate Jews and Israel come from? I have been glued to the internet, reading and watching various commentators either defending or decrying these demonstrations of hate and violence towards Israel. The real truth of the matter is, there is no logical reason for it. If logic and heartfelt concern for human suffering was behind these demonstrations, people would have been out raging against the genocide in Rwanda, Sudan, Darfur, and many other African countries, but they did not. When thousands of innocent Chechniyans were killed by the Soviets, no one demonstrated. When NATO killed civilians during the conflict in the Balkans, or when the US killed innocents in Afghanistan, no one was out on the street calling for war crime tribunals. Why do people seem to selectively hate Israel and by extension the Jewish race?
Those of us who know and have seen the hand of God operating here in Israel can only understand that He is here, and is watching over this land. There is simply no other explanation how we have survived ten wars in 60 years, survived each one against all odds, massively outnumbered, and continued on as a nation to become one of the top technological powers in the world. Israel has produced more start up companies and created more inventions that have benefitted society than any other country besides the United States. We have a thriving stable economy despite all the resources spent on military defense. How does Israel not only survive but prosper against all these odds? There is only one answer, and that is the God of Israel has chosen to bless and protect this land. It is because He said He would in the Holy Scriptures and He is not afraid of world opinion that the Jews don't deserve it. It is for His Holy Name, not according to the choices made by society at large. He told Moses to tell the Pharoah to release the Jews so that they might be able to worship Him in their own land. This is what we are now seeing, that the God of Israel is blessing us, sustaining us and was present with the IDF soldiers during the incursion into Gaza. I have spoken to and read reports from the soldiers who went into Gaza. They were told ahead of time that there would be many casualties. They all went into combat facing death, serious injury or possible kidnapping, like Gilad Shalit, who has not been allowed any visits from the Red Cross or diplomats, completely against the Geneva Convention. These wonderful young men, ranging in age from 18 to early 20's, carrying 40 kilo packs on their backs crawled on the ground into enemy territory, through mine fields and booby trapped houses with unbelievable courage and valor. They are the kind of heroes that the world wants to see, but cannot because of the brainwashing of the media. These young men knew that they were protecting their homes and their loved ones, and that this was worth sacrificing life and limb. Amazingly, they arrived in Gaza to find Hamas militants terrified and running for their lives. It was as though a Divine Hand was guiding them, many report feeling God with them, protecting them. Bombs and grenades shot at groups of soldiers didn't go off. Soldiers weren't hit by flying bullets. They would make decisions to enter houses through windows, only to find that the doors had been booby-trapped. They were amazed and gave thanks to God who saved them from death and injury over and over.
It is sad to hear that there are many non-Muslims (i.e. professing Christians) are demonstrating against Israel and showing obvious signs of anti-semitism. A friend wrote that a professor of New Testament theology at Wheaton College is saying that the group Christians United for Israel is supporting terrorists (Israel, not Hamas!!) and is calling to have them banned from the College, but wants to invite Palestinians to speak on campus. I myself received a very angry letter from a Christian volunteer in Jerusalem that I shouldn't write such triumphant articles about Israel when there were still bodies being found in the rubble of Gaza. Many of my community who live in Israel are being rejected by friends of many years, receiving angry letters and requests to be taken off of mailing lists because of the Gaza conflict. We are finding out who is for us and who is against us, painfully.
What is obvious to us who are witnessing the Hand of God on this land, and seeing the fulfillment of Biblical prophecies, is that there is no turning back. The opinions of the world will continue to turn against us. The generation of heroic young people who faced death and the rancor of the world to defend their homeland are the future leaders of Israel. We are being pulled together as a nation by an Unseen Hand. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is helping us fight for our very existence against millions and millions who want to destroy this country. Those who seem to despise us as a people have an irrational hatred that can only be inspired by an evil spiritual power, there is no other explanation. It is very reminiscent of the stories in the Bible, the irrational hatred of Amelek, the ancient enemy of Israel that also desired to destroy us. It is understandable to have Muslims demonstrate against Israel; what is most painful is to see Christians, who say they believe in the Bible, turning against us. Don't they realize that if Hamas, Fatah, Iran, Syria or any other Muslim nation prevails over Israel, that all the glory for the victory will go to Allah and Mohammed? Don't they realize that it is not because Israel deserves to be the victor, but the Holy Name of God that will be defiled if Israel is defeated? It is written clearly in the prophets: It is not for your sake O House of Israel that I do these things, but for the sake of My Holy Name….Then the nations will know that I am the Lord when I show Myself holy through you before their very eyes Ezek 36:22,23
Christians and other well meaning humanists who feel compassion for the people of Gaza, who were victimized by their terrorist leaders causing many to lose their lives, need to realize that their opinions of what is right and wrong may not be the same as the opinion of the Creator of the Universe. Thankfully, the god of Islam, who is called upon as suicide terrorists blow themselves up, killing hundreds of innocent people, did not prevail in this conflict. All those who are hoping for a Palestinian state, one that divides and destroys the fabric of the Jewish State of Israel will have to realize that they are coming between two diametrically opposed spiritual forces. Both cannot succeed, it will be one or the other. If the Islamic agenda succeeds, then the god of Islam will be proved to be more true and powerful than the God of the Jews and the Christians. The Koran and all that it stands for will be validated, and all the promises of the Holy Bible will be discredited and negated.
I for one will stand for the promises of the God of Israel, and have nothing but sorrow for those who think they can put themselves in the judgment seat, in opposition to the Word of God, against the Land of Israel. They not only are missing an amazing triumph of good over evil, but are standing in opposition to the God of Israel Himself.The Lord bless you as you bless Israel by standing in defense of her right to exist on the land given to the Jewish people by the God of Israel. Lets pray that Israel will turn back to their God. Do not be silent, but share this with your fellow Christians, share it with your pastors, and with anyone you have a chance to speak to. Lets also pray for that breakthrough to the Muslims, and please remember to pray for our son Jordan, and all of his fellow soldiers in the IDF.
Shabbat Shalom .... David & Josie.
* * * * FLASH TRAFFIC: WASHINGTON UPDATE * * * * AND ISRAEL'S NEXT PRIME MINISTER WILL BE.... Also: What President Obama needs to know about Iran's leaders
By Joel C. Rosenberg
(Washington, D.C., February 11, 2009) -- One thing is now clear after Tuesday's national elections in Israel: the center-right coalition made dramatic gains and how can have an operating majority with 64 seats in the 120 seat Knesset (parliament), if they choose to work together in unity. The center-left parties, by contrast, were trounced and now have only 56 seats, eight of which are held by Arab parties who so deeply resent the left-wing's participation in the recent Gaza war against Hamas that they cannot be counted upon to help the left form a stable governing coalition.
The big surprise last night was that the leading center-right party - Likud, headed by former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - did not win a plurality. The left-wing Kadima party, headed by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, did. So things get really interesting from here. At this hour, with 99.8% of the vote counted, Kadima appears to have squeaked out a narrow lead over Likud Party, 28 seats to 27 seats. If these results hold, they will mean Kadima will have one less seat in the next Knesset than the 29 they currently have. They also meant Likud will have 15 seats more than the 12they currently have. But two weeks ago, Likud was widely expected to win a total of between 31 to 34 seats, and a decisive victory over Kadima. So who will emerge as the next Prime Minister of Israel? This remains to be determined, but based on everything I'm seeing at the moment it would appear that Netanyahu has the edge, given the size and strength of the overall center-right coalition.
Here's what to watch for:
* Final election results won't be known until February 18th, when all of the absentee and military ballots have been counted.
* After the final results are in, Israel's President - Shimon Peres - is legally mandated to invite the party leader with the best chance at forming a stable government to try to put together his or her coalition within a short time frame.
* If the current results hold, Livni and her team will argue to Peres that they should be given this opportunity because they have won a plurality. However, Peres gave Livni the opportunity to form a government last fall, and she couldn't do it. Even when she asked for and was granted more time by Peres to form a government, she still couldn't accomplish it, even though the Left had far more seats that they do now. Livni's failure to succeed is what prompted these new elections in the first place.
* What's more, Livni's ability to form a center-left coalition has just been dramatically complicated by the fact that Defense Minister Ehud Barak's badly decimated Labor Party has just announced that it will sit in the opposition in the next government, not help one side or the other form a coalition or a unity government.
* Keep your eye on former Avigdor Lieberman and his right-wing Israel Beiteinu party. Theyjust won an impressive 15 seats, though they were expecting to win 20. Still, Lieberman suddenly has quite a bit of leverage, and I expect him to milk his perceived kingmaker status for all it is worth. Keep in mind that Lieberman once served as chief of staff (director general) when Netanyahu was Prime Minister in the late 1990s. Thus, he is certainly inclined to help Netanyahu create a strong center-right coalition government. But Lieberman is also an opportunist. He once broke away from Likud and created his own party, critizing Likud for not being tough enough against Palestinian and Iranian extremists. Then he joined the government of Ehud Olmert, and was rewarded by Olmert with the title of Deputy Prime Minister for Strategic Affairs. True, he quit when Olmert's stock was plunging like a rock. Now he is playing footsie with Livni, suggesting he's not opposed to helping her form a government. Personally, I don't buy it. Anything's possible, of course, and we could see a lot of twists and turns on the road ahead. But I think Lieberman is creating leverage to get as much power from Netanyahu as possible. In the end, I suspect Netanyahu and Lieberman will cut a deal together, if for no other reason than for the sake of toppling Hamas and defending Israel from the increasingly imminent threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.
WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT IRAN'S LEADERS
President Obama on Monday night, in his first White House press conference, said his administration is reviewing U.S. policy towards Iran, but made it crystal clear it will be sharply different than that of the Bush administration. I think there's the possibility, at least, of a relationship of mutual respect and progress, said the President, but added that it's time now for Iran to send some signals that it wants to act differently.It is certainly prudent to review U.S. policy, but it is wishful thinking to expect signals of a desire from Iran's leadership that they will act differently. It is critical that the new administration carefully analyzes the eschatology -- or End Times theology -- of Iranian Supreme Leader Khameini and President Ahmadinejad. It is impossible to develop an effective strategy to deal with Iran until one truly understands this eschatology. In my forthcoming non-fiction book, INSIDE THE REVOLUTION (March 10th, Tyndale), I explain their eschatology in great detail and quote both of them at length. In the meantime, here are some quick points to keep in mind about what Khameini and Ahmadinejad believe:
1. The end of the world is near and the Islamic Messiah known as the Mahdi or the 12th Imam is coming soon.
2. The Islamic Messiah will only come when the world is engulfed in chaos and carnage.
3. Islamic leaders can hasten the arrival of the Islamic Messiah by annihilating two countries -- Israel, the Little Satan, and the United States, the Great Satan.
4. It is not just possible, it is the God-given mission of Iran's leaders to destroy Jews and Christians or force them to convert to Shia Islam.
5. Iran must rapidly acquire the technology necessary to accomplish genocide -- namely nuclear weapons and intercontinental ballistic missiles.
6. Israel's defeat by Hezbollah and Hamas and Israel's divided election results indicate the Jewish states is increasingly weak and prepared for destruction. The severe economic crisis in the U.S. shows America is about to collapse as well.
7. With the U.S. and Israel so weakened and their collapse imminent, there is no incentive to truly negotiate with Satan and give up Iran's pursuit of advanced nuclear technology.
8. However, there is an incentive to buy time until Iran builds, buys or steals the weapons it needs to accomplish its genocidal, apocalyptic objectives.
One thing is clear after the press conference: President Obama does not currently understand what is driving Iran's leaders. What's more, he has no intention of even seriously considering military action to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons and the intercontinental ballistic missiles to deliver them to Israel, Europe and the United States. This means Israel's next Prime Minister will be the last leader on the planet in position to stop Iran.
We absolutely must be praying, therefore, for great mercy on the U.S. and Israel and great wisdom for her leaders. To visit Joel's website -- www.joelrosenberg.com
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity;(MASS CONFUSION) the sea and the waves roaring;(FIERCE WINDS)
26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
ICEY ROAD IN UK
Icy roads warning amid big freeze FEB 13,09
Drivers are being advised to check road conditions before travelling
The Met Office has issued a severe weather warning as drivers in Scotland and north-east England face dangerously icy conditions on the roads. Forecasters say sub-zero temperatures will affect eastern Britain overnight as heavy snow sweeping southwards is causing further trouble for motorists. On Thursday, hundreds of schools in England and Scotland closed. Flights from Newcastle airport were also affected and Durham and Tees Valley airport was forced to close.
Severe weather warnings for widespread icy roads have been issued by the Met Office for the Highlands, Grampian, Central, Tayside and Fife, south-west Scotland, Lothian and Borders, north-east England and Yorkshire and Humber regions. In East Yorkshire, scores of cars have been abandoned after snow made roads hazardous. Humberside Police warned conditions could worsen as snow and slush freeze overnight. A police spokesman said officers would work through the night to remove abandoned vehicles in time for the morning rush hour. The Highways Agency has advised drivers in north-east England, Yorkshire and Humber to check the weather forecast and road conditions before travelling. Forecasters say many parts of England could see up to 5cm of snowfall, while on higher ground in the North it could reach depths of 8cm.
Fortnight of chaos
On Thursday, drivers in Cheshire faced morning rush-hour disruption after part of a motorway was closed when pools of water from a burst water main froze in the plummeting overnight temperatures. The M53 was shut in both directions between junctions five and seven after police said the conditions were too dangerous.
Visibility on the A1 around Tyneside was poor, police said. Berwick, Bellingham and Carter Bar areas were badly affected. Over the last fortnight, Britain has been battered by winter snow storms, fierce winds and heavy rain. During the worst of this week's rain, the Environment Agency issued about 300 flood alerts. By Thursday night, 22 flood warnings remained in place.
Missile warning technology lofted By Jonathan Amos Science reporter, BBC News FEB 13,09
The two Spirale spacecraft weigh about 120kg each.Europe's Ariane 5 has kicked off its 2009 campaign by launching two commercial telecoms satellites and two experimental French defence spacecraft. The rocket lifted away from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana at 1909 local time (2209 GMT). The Hot Bird 10 and NSS-9 platforms were injected into their orbits after about half an hour; the Spirale pair were released very soon after. The demonstrators will pave the way for a missile early warning system.France is keen to develop a technology that only the US and Russia possess at the moment. The aim is to try to detect and identify a ballistic missile launch at the earliest possible moment after firing. It is based on the principle of detection of the heat, or infrared, signal given off by a missile's motor during its propulsion phase.
The 120kg Spirale micro-satellites will take up an elliptical orbit around the Earth and map the planet's infrared sources. Their widely separated positions will achieve stereo vision.Together, the pair will build a reference database against which future missile flights can be checked for possible false alarms. Spirale is not an operational system. It will prove the technology and it will prove the ground technology as well because we need to be able to process the images captured by the satellites, explained Pierre Faucoup at EADS Astrium which has led the project. We want to characterise all phenomena that could be confused with a missile firing. For example, we wouldn't want the Sun reflecting off a lake or a mountain to be confused with a missile,the company's head of military satellite programmes (France) told BBC News. Spirale's mission will last some 14 months. If France decides to go ahead with an operational service, it could be in place in about 10 years. A global missile early warning system would require at least three satellites.
The Spirale spacecraft piggy-backed on the main Ariane mission.The Herschel telescope will ride into orbit on an Ariane 5 .This saw the two primary passengers - Eutelsat's Hot Bird 10 and SES New Skies' NSS-9 - placed in orbit to provide a range of TV and other telecoms services to customers in Europe and the Pacific region. Next up for Ariane is a major institutional launch. The rocket will loft the European Space Agency's Herschel and Planck telescopes in April. The launch will represent one of the most valuable missions in the history of European spaceflight.
The combined cost of the telescope programmes is 1.7 billion euros. Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk
IDF on high alert for fear of Hizbullah revenge attack
http://www.ynetnews.com/ FEB 12,09
The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday continued its heightened state of alert declared several days ago, particularly on the northern border, in a bid to thwart any attempt by Hizbullah to launch a revenge attack against Israel in response to the assassination of its senior commander exactly one year ago. According to estimates in the defense establishment, however, the organization may also act on a later date. Israel officially denied any involvement in the assassination of Imad Mugniyah, who was killed in a blast in his car in the Syrian capital of Damascus on February 2008. As Israel prepares for a possible terror attack on its northern border, the heightened state of alert continues worldwide for fear of an attempt to attack Israeli targets abroad, according to security sources. Several moves have been taken in recent weeks in a bid to thwart and disrupt attempts by terror attacks to carry out such an attack against a European target. Hizbullah views Israel as responsible for Mugniyah's assassination and has vowed to avenge his death, a security source said. All the relevant elements have been prepared accordingly for a long time now. This alertness will continue in the future as well according to evaluations of the situation.The Israeli security forces recently completed a comprehensive preparation for the possibility of a revenge attack by Hizbullah. Alongside the severe travel advisory issued ahead of the anniversary of Mugniyah's assassination, the security around senior Israeli officials has been tightened.
As reported by Ynet, the Ministerial Committee on Shin Bet Affairs recently decided to step up the security abroad of four Knesset members with security-related background. The MKs in question include former Defense Minister Amir Peretz (Labor), former Minister for Strategic Affairs Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), Chairman of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Tzachi Hanegbi (Kadima), and MK Isaac Ben-Israel (Kadima).Despite the preparations, the security sources noted that Hizbullah feared an Israeli response to any development, particularly on the northern border, and that would cause the organization leaders to think twice before acting against Israel.