Saturday, September 05, 2009
Northeast Intelligence Network PICTURE - TRUE PATRIOTS AND FALSE PATRIOTS.HOW CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE?
FIRES AND EXPLOSIONS
7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
Deadly LA wildfire creeps deeper into forest By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON, Associated Press Writer – SEP 5,09
LOS ANGELES – The ferocious wildfire burning north of Los Angeles has turned into a creeping giant, steadily chewing through thick and dry chaparral on its eastern flank. While crews report good progress, the blaze that claimed the lives of two firefighters was far from being fully contained.Investigators, meanwhile, were working to find the arsonist responsible for the huge wildfire that has burned through 241 square miles, or 154,655 acres, of the Angeles National Forest. It was 42percent contained Friday. More than 76 homes and dozens of other structures have been destroyed.Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger offered a $100,000 reward Friday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprit.In the rugged terrain of the San Gabriel Wilderness, fire officials relied on aerial water drops to slow the flames and the backbreaking work of hand crews to build fire lines. While flames inched down steep canyons, crews defended a cluster of church camps and a bar along the Angeles Crest Highway. The fire was about five miles north of the foothill communities of Monrovia and Sierra Madre late Friday.A hundred-year-old fuel bed has a lot to burn,said Deputy Incident Commander Carlton Joseph.So we really need to button this up.The weekend weather forecast called for cooler temperatures and slightly higher humidity.
At least a dozen investigators are working to analyze clues found at a charred hillside, including incendiary material reported to have been found there. Officials said the fire was arson, but were still trying to find whoever was responsible and understand how it was set.We are in the early stages, just beginning to put things together,said Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Liam Gallagher, who is heading the murder investigation.Firefighters losing their lives in the line of duty is an added incentive, but we work every case to the fullest.Near a large shade tree where crews get their twice daily briefings, firefighters set up a makeshift memorial for Capt. Tedmund Hall and Specialist Arnaldo Quinones. The fallen firefighters helped save about 60 members of an inmate fire crew Sunday as flames approached their camp when they set a backfire that allowed the group to get to safety. The pair died when their truck plunged 800 feet down a steep mountain road.Most wildfires are caused by human activity, and government statistics show that people were faulted for 5,208 wildfires in Southern California in 2008, the highest number since at least 2001. Between 2006 and 2008, Southern California was the only region of the country to see a significant jump in the number of wildfires blamed on people.Still, very few of the forest fires lead to criminal or civil cases. The U.S. Forest Service recorded nearly 400 arson wildfires since 2005, records show.The number of firefighters assigned to the Station fire continued to grow to more than 5,244, and a mini-city sprung up at a park in the Lake View Terrace neighborhood, complete with rows of showers, a mess hall that served firefighters 5,000-plus calorie meals each day and souvenir T-shirt vendors.The cost of fighting the fire was estimated at $37 million so far.
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.
Floods hit 350,000 in West Africa: UN Fri Sep 4, 8:12 am ET
GENEVA (AFP) – Some 350,000 people in West Africa have been affected by serious flooding, the United Nations said Friday, noting that significant rainfall has lashed the region this year.Since June, the rainy season has been more significant, there has been much more rain than usual,said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.Just like in 2007 when serious flooding had affected almost 800,000 people in this region, we have the impression that this year again, torrential rain has affected an enormous number of people, she said.Burkina Faso, Niger, Ghana, Guinea, Senegal and Benin have all been hit by the floods.In Burkina Faso, five people have been killed and 150,000 people affected, while in Ghana, 25 deaths have been linked to to the floods.Some 3,500 homes have been destroyed in Niger and in Guinea, 10,000 people have been affected by the floods.In Benin, 20,000 people have been affected while in Senegal, emergency services had to be called in to drain out water which had swamped 30,000 homes.
Jimena dissipating over Baja; US travel advisory By MARK STEVENSON, Associated Press Writer – Fri Sep 4, 10:30 pm ET
LOS CABOS, Mexico – Jimena weakened to a remnant low Friday after hitting Mexico's Baja California peninsula as a hurricane earlier this week and causing flooding that killed at least one person.Jimena's sustained winds dropped below 30 mph (48 kph), and forecasters predicted the system would dissipate within a day.The U.S. State Department nevertheless issued a notice advising travelers to consider carefully the risks of travel to areas in Mexico that remain affected by Hurricane Jimena and its aftermath.U.S. citizens located in areas impacted by Hurricane Jimena who do not have access to adequate and safe shelter should consider departing as soon as possible,the advisory said.Earlier in the week, tourists evacuated and residents sought shelter as Jimena roared toward the multimillion-dollar resorts of Los Cabos as a Category 4 hurricane, with winds topping 150 mph (240 kph). But the beaches and condominiums where Hollywood stars vacation year-round were mostly spared, and the hurricane moved north ripping off some roofs and toppling power poles in smaller farm towns and fishing villages.A 75-year-old man drowned when his house flooded in the village of Mulege on the west coast of the peninsula, said Jose Gajon de la Toba, director of Civil Protection in Baja California Sur state. Another person was missing in the fishing village of San Buto.Flooding stranded several villages along the eastern coast of the peninsula, according to Joel Villegas, mayor of Comondu municipality.
Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission said it had restored power to thousands of clients, but more than two-thirds in the farming town of Ciudad Constitution remained without power. The commission was sending an emergency generator to the Gulf of California resort town of Loreto.The city of Guyamas in Sonora state, across the Gulf, also suffered flooding. The state government said there were no reports of injuries or deaths, though local media reported one person missing.The U.S. State Department advisory noted that Los Cabos has resumed normal activity, but said that in the northern half of Baja California Sur state,severe to heavy damage has occurred to buildings and infrastructure throughout the area. Most roads remain impassable and the area is without power and water.
Quiet in Atlantic basin after Erika fades AccuWeather Fri Sep 4, 7:43 am ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. National Hurricane Center was monitoring Tropical Storm Erika in the northeastern Caribbean Sea and a tropical wave in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean early Friday, but both systems had low chances of further development into tropical cyclones in the next 48 hours.The NHC said it had issued its last advisory on Erika, but the system would be closely monitored for signs of regeneration. There was a low chance - less than 30 percent - of it becoming a tropical cyclone.The tropical wave, meanwhile, located about 175 miles east-southeast of the Cape Verde Islands, has the potential for slow development over the next couple of days as it moves westward at 10 to 15 miles per hour. There was also a low chance - less than 30 percent - of it too becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours, the NHC said.
Elsewhere, tropical cyclone formation was not expected.
Energy traders keep a close eye on storms that could enter the Gulf of Mexico and disrupt offshore U.S. oil and natural gas production or refinery operations along the coast.Commodities traders likewise watch storms that could damage agriculture crops such as citrus and cotton in Florida and other states along the coast to Texas.
Pricing of insurance-linked securities, which transfer insurance risks associated with natural disasters to capital markets investors and can be used to hedge other weather risk exposures, can also be affected by the path of a storm.(Reporting by Eileen Moustakis; Editing by John Picinich)
LAND FOR PEACE (THE FUTURE 7 YEARS OF HELL ON EARTH)
2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.
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(62X7=434 YEARS+7X7=49 YEARS=TOTAL OF 69 WEEKS OR 483 YRS) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;(ROMAN LEADERS DESTROYED THE 2ND TEMPLE) and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.(THERE HAS TO BE 70 WEEKS OR 490 YRS TO FUFILL THE VISION AND PROPHECY OF DAN 9:24).(THE NEXT VERSE IS THAT 7 YR WEEK OR (70TH FINAL WEEK).
27 And he( THE ROMAN,EU PRESIDENT) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week:(1X7=7 YEARS) and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,(3 1/2 yrs in TEMPLE SACRIFICES STOPPED) and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
ISAIAH 28:14-19 (THIS IS THE 7 YR TREATY COVENANT OF DANIEL 9:27)
14 Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.
17 Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place.
18 And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.
19 From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report.
Peres: Palestinian state first, full peace later By DAN PERRY and ALESSANDRA RIZZO, Associated Press Writers – Fri Sep 4, 12:27 pm ET
CERNOBBIO, Italy – Israeli President Shimon Peres, a longtime advocate of peace with the Palestinians, said Friday that a comprehensive settlement resolving the century-old dispute was not currently achievable.He called instead for a Palestinian state under a provisional arrangement even without a formal peace deal.Israel has decided to make peace on the basis of two states — an Israeli state and a Palestinian state, he told the Ambrosetti Forum, a gathering of political and business leaders on the shores of Italy's Lake Como.I would like that we do it in one step. Apparently we cannot do it in one step.Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa, who squared off against Peres at the meeting, expressed skepticism at the gradual approach and said the time for a deal was now or never.He warned that if Israel didn't move quickly it would find momentum will have shifted away from the two-state idea towards a single state of Israelis and Palestinians in which Jews would not dominate — effectively ending the state of Israel.The testiness of the encounter between two veterans, who each represent relatively moderate forces among their peoples, illustrated starkly how far apart the sides remain even as they brace for an expected initiative by the Obama administration in coming weeks aimed at restarting negotiations for a regional Middle East peace.In the run-up, the U.S. has been trying to nudge Israel toward a total freeze on Jewish settlement construction on occupied land, in exchange for various gestures from some Arab nations toward normalization with Israel. The difficulty has been compounded by the fact that in March a right-leaning government replaced the previous more moderate one in Israel.
Several months ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reluctantly agreed to accept the principle of a Palestinian state — a position his predecessors had already adopted but his Likud party has not — but said it would have to have limits on its rights to have a military or control its airspace.On Friday, aides to Netanyahu told The Associated Press that he would also agree to a temporary settlement freeze — but only after approving hundreds of new housing units and completing 2,500 other still under construction.The aides, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that contrary to the U.S. position the freeze would not include east Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 and has since annexed but which the Palestinians see as the capital of their future state.Moussa bitterly condemned these proposals, saying they would suspend the peace process if enacted, and said that Netanyahu's interpretation of a Palestinian state makes a Palestinian state a farce therefore the offer cannot be accepted.He said the Arab League's 2002 offer to Israel — full regional peace in exchange for a full withdrawal from all areas occupied in 1967 and a solution to the question of Palestinian refugees — remained in effect.We are ready to recognize Israel, to normalize with Israel,if Israel met the Arab conditions, Moussa said.Peres, a Nobel Peace laureate and former Israeli prime minister, countered that peace is not based on ultimatums but on compromises and noted that the issues of Jerusalem and of the refugees — who, together with their descendants, number in the millions — were extremely difficult to resolve.If we have to write it down on paper then we will immediately have an explosion,he said.We can move on two different tracks (and) solve the refugee problem in itself.
Moussa said that if Israel continued building settlements in the West Bank and dragging its feet the sides may pass the point of no return.Time is not on our side and it is certainly not on the side of Israel,he said.The idea of two states is losing in favor of one state. There is a possibility that a Palestinian state would not be viable. In that case the only possibility is one state — not a Jewish state, not an Arab state ... a state of its citizens.Moussa referred to the idea that the West Bank and Gaza may become so demographically entwined with Israel that they would have to form a single entity — and one in which, by current birthrate trends, the Arab population may well soon exceed that of the Jews, who number about 5.5 million in today's Israel.If we do not move in the next few months under the Obama initiative ... we will have to put the whole (Israeli-Palestinian) file before the international community,Moussa said, alluding to the possibility that the Arabs would conclude some two decades of peace efforts had simple gone nowhere. Peres — pushing the boundaries on a role that is meant to be ceremonial and somewhat above the political and diplomatic fray — argued that even the borders initially delineated for the Palestinian state could be considered provisional and ultimately expanded.You want us to believe that? thundered the urbane Moussa.Another one of the tricks!
Can a state be built on a pack of lies? Saturday, 05 September 2009 05:44 News from Jerusalem Younis al-Astal
The so-called spiritual leader of Hamas has ordered that Palestinian children are not to be taught about the Holocaust.Younis al-Astal - who is about as spiritual as Al Capone - has declared that the United Nations' proposal to include Holocaust education in a course on human rights would constitute a war crime.It would be marketing a lie and spreading it, he said. Instead, he would have Palestinian children learn only about the so-called crimes of the Israeli occupation and the self-inflicted wound that Palestinians call the nakba.I am not so sure I would trust the United Nations, and especially its Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to teach anything relating to Jews, Israel or the Holocaust. That agency has been part of the problem, not the solution, by perpetuating the refugee status of Palestinians who could have been integrated into the Palestinian mainstream over the past sixty years.
By making an industry out of their permanent status as refugees, UNRWA has made peace more difficult and hatred more acceptable. The agency has turned a blind eye to Hamas terrorists who routinely used UNRWA facilities as launching sites for rockets. It has protected terrorists.It has sought to legitimate Hamas as a social service agency rather than condemn it as a fascist group of anti-Semites who employ violence in the name of Muhammad. Now, perhaps in an effort to appear balanced, UNRWA has agreed to provide basic information about the Holocaust to eighth grade students.These would be the only Palestinian students who learn about the murder of six million Jews at the hands of Hitler, since the Palestinian Authority has banned the teaching of the Holocaust to students in the West Bank.It is unlikely that the UNRWA educational unit would include factual information about the leader of the Palestinians during the Second World War, Haj al-Husseini (the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem) and his active role in the Holocaust when he lived in Berlin as a guest of Adolph Hitler. But even a sanitized, watered down account of the Holocaust is too much for the Hamas leadership, which does not believe in history, but rather in propaga that serves the goals of the terrorist organization.In the end, UNRWA will buckle under Hamas pressure, as it always does. Even if a compromise were to be reached, it might be worse than the current situation, in which nothing is taught.
There is absolutely no way in which Hamas would ever allow any kind of objective analysis of the Holocaust to be taught to their students. The essence of Hamas education is brainwashing and the shutting down of any marketplace of ideas. What Hamas fears most is truth, science, history and objectivity. A state built on lies cannot long endure, unless it is an entirely totalitarian state such as North Korea, which denies its citizens access to any alternative information or point of view. Even Iran cannot stop ideas from filtering through its network of censors. Nor can China or Venezuela.But Hamas can and does impose total censorship over those it controls. If it were to become the government of a Palestinian state, its control over the minds and actions of its citizens would become even more total.The sad reality is that totalitarian censorship -provided it is completely totalitarian - really does work.The people of Gaza really believe that the Holocaust never occurred. They really believe that firing rockets at schoolchildren is God's will. They really believe that Jews are a combination of the devil, monkeys, pigs and vermin. They really believe that Jews control the world and that US President Barack Obama is a puppet whose strings are pulled by hook-nosed Yids.They really believe that Israel doesn't want peace and seeks to destroy the Islamic world and its holy places.
It is difficult to build an enduring peace on such a structure of lies. That is why the Oslo Accords, and other peace agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, insisted that the Palestinians stop teaching their children to hate, stop instructing their teachers to lie and stop inciting violence against the Jews.In this respect, the Palestinian leadership, both in Gaza and the West Bank, has been an utter failure. Not much can be expected from the Hamas leadership, but even the Palestinian Authority has failed miserably in this regard.Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas received his PhD for a thesis that denied the Holocaust. He claims to have changed his views, but is still unwilling to teach his students the true history of World War II. Israel, on the other hand, has a free and open press in which the Palestinian narrative is presented honestly and fully - indeed sometimes more favorably to the Palestinians than is warranted by the facts.Israeli books present varying accounts of the conflict and teachers may supplement the texts. Some schools and teachers obviously present biased views, but students are free to subject their teacher's biases to the open marketplace of ideas.It should come as no surprise therefore that far more Israelis than Palestinians favor a compromise peace. The two-state solution cannot be built on lies. The truth, it turns out, is good for peace. The reality of the Holocaust is an important aspect of truth, regardless of what Hamas may say.jpost
U.S. Congress members to EU: Condemn IDF organ harvesting article Saturday, 05 September 2009 06:17 News from Jerusalem The article in Swedish Daily
Members of the U.S. Congress on Friday urged European foreign ministers to denounce an article published in the Swedish daily Aftonbladet alleging that Israel Defense Forces soldiers kill Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.We at the U.S. Helsinki Commission are dedicated to upholding human rights, particularly freedom of the press,said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, who is chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe.But with freedom of the press comes responsibility. And when major press outlets fail to meet their responsibility, and instead raise the specter of racism or anti-Semitism, then public officials are duty bound to speak out and condemn such blatant falsehoods. I commend Sweden's Ambassador to Israel for fulfilling this duty.Meanwhile, on Thursday, additional U.S. officials wrote a letter to Sweden's prime minister, urging him to condemn the article.Given the far-reaching implications for this article, which raises the unfortunate specter of similar blood libels and spurious charges that have been directed at Jews throughout the centuries, it is critical that your government unequivocally repudiate and reject the heinous allegations expressed in this article, wrote Congressmen Robert Wexler (D-FL) and Elton Gallegly (R-CA), members on the Subcommittee on Europe, in a letter to the Swedish prime minister.The congressmen added that it is essential for Sweden, which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union, to set an example for the EU and condemn the article as blatant anti-Semitism.It is essential that this vitriolic article not be used by anti-Semites, anti-Israel advocates, and extremists as an excuse to commit acts of violence and terrorism against the Jewish community in Sweden or internationally,?the letter stated.The Congressmen also responded to the Swedish foreign minister's claim that the article could not be condemned because it was protected under freedom of the press.We believe this freedom also comes with the obligation to report the news in a truthful manner,the representatives said.haaretz
THE GOD OF THE MOUNTAIN,08/27/09 (IS THIS DISCOVERY REALLY MOUNT SINAI)
Evangelicals join March of the Living for first time Saturday, 05 September 2009 05:26 Auschwitz Nazi death camp
Amid a push to bolster pro-Israel activism on campus, an Evangelical Christian group has partnered with March of the Living to bring Christian students to Poland's Nazi death camps.During the first two weeks of August, Christians United for Israel brought 34 students to Poland and Israel to take part in a rite favored by thousands of Jewish students in recent years: to witness and remember the Holocaust firsthand.
We agreed with their premise,said David Brog, CUFI's executive director, who participated in the inaugural March of Remembrance.Once you've been to Poland and you've seen the death camps, and you've seen the greatest tragedies in history, then you see the miracle of Israel and the importance of Israel.In Poland, the group visited Auschwitz, the Warsaw Ghetto and Oscar Schindler's factory in Krakow, among other places. In Israel, stops included Sderot, Masada and the Western Wall, as well as sites important to Christians, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Via Dolorosa.On top of the solidarity many Evangelicals feel toward Jews, he said, The fact that this could happen to any group of people on the basis of their faith is something that all people of faith need to take very, very seriously.Such a trip was not the first by non-Jewish students. Over the years, organizations including March of the Living and March of Remembrance and Hope have facilitated trips for more than 10,000 non-Jewish participants, compared to some 150,000 March of the Living alumni.The Holocaust is not just a Jewish issue, it is a universal issue, said Dr. David Machlis, vice chairman of the International March of the Living. The group served as a tour operator for CUFI's trip.We must learn from the past so that a more tolerant and just society evolves for humankind.Irving Roth, a survivor who has accompanied several trips of Jewish and non-Jewish students to the camps, said he agreed to accompany the CUFI group after about 20 seconds of deliberation. It's very important for them to understand and feel what this thing called the Shoah or the Holocaust is all about,said Roth, who is director of the Holocaust Resource Center at Temple Judea in Long Island, New York.Still, he noted a poignant difference between Jewish and non-Jewish groups.The Jewish students who come, this is their history, this is their pain and their joy as they come to Israel,he said.
He observed that the Christian students shared in my pain,adding that the trip offered an opportunity to highlight the evil nature of demonizing Jews.I want people to know what I call the signposts along the way to Auschwitz - Auschwitz did not happen in a vacuum,he said. So when they see evil taking place, even in very small ways, even in a joke sometimes, they will see the significance of it.Further, they will be able to contradict anti-Israel activists on campus who suggest Israel is perpetrating genocide. They will say, No, no, no. You don't understand what genocide is. Israel is just trying to survive,Roth said.To me, that's very critical.Roth's message resonated for Scott Mason, a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, who described how, as an Evangelical Christian, he believes in a biblical mandate to support the Jewish people and the state of Israel. I'm not Jewish but I tried to place my family in those positions, and you can't adequately describe it,he said.
Mason, who traveled to Israel two years ago, described his visit to the camps in bleak terms, recalling feelings of darkness and the smell of death at Majdanek.You felt like you saw evil firsthand, even though going today doesn't compare at all with what happened so many years before.Seeing the camps reaffirmed his commitment to supporting Israel and preventing future genocides, he said.From a personal aspect, I had emotions of sickness and sadness and anger.He described his arrival in Israel in few words: Israel lives,he said.While the Jewish people and the state of Israel may not be threatened with a concentration camp today, they are very much threatened by other things.
This is our wake-up call to never allow this to happen again.
During the trip, CUFI'S Brog said organizers stressed that Israel exists not because of the Holocaust, but despite the Holocaust.Israel's right to exist is based on thousands of years of history and a Jewish connection with the land that goes back millennia,he said.Brog called the trip a great success from the perspective of trying to encourage a broad base of support for Israel in the Christian community.The [participants] made connections that made it clear to me that they were going to be full, enthusiastic partners in Jewish survival through the state of Israel,he said.jpost
Separating patriots from punks
PostBy Randy Taylor, Independent Analyst & Contributor SAT SEPT 5,09
There is undoubtedly a patriot movement underway in the US right now - several, in fact - many striving in the same direction, while others are so far off course that they simply should not be considered as patriotic in any way. The latter are jeopardizing true patriotism and real patriots should distance themselves from these people and realize that they are the ones that give the federal government the ability to label them as extremists and a detriment to our country.This is because some of these so called patriots are not true American patriots.
Definition of a PATRIOT:
1. a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion.
2. a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government.
The Patriot Movement becomes visible
The election of Barack Hussein Obama brought about a huge surge of people who have grown openly concerned with the state of our country and the trampling of Constitutional rights. Most Americans are naturally patriotic as we are a proud people and we relish and enjoy our freedoms and liberties. When someone threatens these, we call them out.This premise is what our country was established upon, our Constitution was designed around and our laws are supposed to protect.Unfortunately, a few years back we started trading liberties and freedoms for a false sense of security and this was in progress long before Barack Hussein Obama came into power, actually long before Bush was President.Barack Hussein Obama is accountable because he spent two years lying to the American people and has yet to deliver on a campaign promise. Bush is most noted because in his reactions to terrorism he conducted himself like a bull in a china shop and stripped rights away under the guise of providing security with his infamous mindset of the US Constitution just being a g-ddamned piece of paper as he stated in a meeting in November 2005, in the Oval Office when negotiating the renewal of the Patriot Act. This should have been more appropriately named the Police State Act as it went far past being a written instrument of protection of the American people, and well into an infringement on the rights of Americans. Only as rights and liberties were becoming trampled in huge blanket legislation under Bush, did the patriots start to compare notes, congregate and become somewhat verbal.Then, the one that many Americans thought would reverse the Bush policies and doctrines, Barack Hussein Obama, showed up. Problem with Obama is, not only did he not change anything, he complicated matters with his Socialist agenda, reckless spending with no accountability, his desire to negotiate with those that would kill us and his lack of ability, limiting him to run anything more than a lemonade stand. Barack Hussein Obama was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Many of his voters have turned on him since November. Obama actually helped create patriotic dissention in massive numbers across the US, much to his fear and dismay, his November voters being noticed as dissenters too.
Patriots versus Non-Patriots posing as Patriots
Patriots, by accurate description are admirable people. They are the backbone of this country, they support our freedoms, they are willing to die to protect this country and they are of the same fiber as our founding fathers.They understand the fine line of safety and security against aggression without trampling and disregarding our rights and freedoms. They support our freedoms and sovereignty as a people, as a nation and want no part of a one world governing body. They understand that our enemies are both foreign and domestic in origin. They support our men and women in uniform, even if they disagree with the politicians that send them to war or the premise of the war. They look for the wolf in sheep’s clothing and are wary of them. They agree that the military should not be enforcing any domestic policies in the role of law enforcement, as we are not a Nazi or Stalin police state. They believe in our right to bear arms and question anyone who would strip us of this right. They may disagree with other Americans but they will also defend those Americans and protect their right to disagree. They seek to defend and uphold the Constitution in its purest form. They are true to the flag. They would rather fight to correct our problems and keep our republic intact than to abandon America and turn against it by siding with our enemies. That is a true patriot.Then there are the so-called patriots that are turncoats and traitors. There are several very visible movements and websites made up of this type of false patriotism. They are not patriots and should be shunned. They are so anti-government that they actually wish harm on our soldiers, on our country and openly have sided with the enemies of the United States. They are promoters of anarchy, are very racist in their opinions and are not based in reality. They cheer on any regime that wants to destroy Israel, kill Jews or attack the United States and her allies, condone and defend terrorists and terrorist states and refuse to recognize that some military actions are indeed justified. They blame the US government for every problem in the world, make up wild conspiracy theories with no proof or basis and seek the total destruction of our government and our way of life.These are the people that cause problems for true patriots and patriot movements. Most noticeable is that they are in it for the money, not for love of country. They take any small issue, often irrelevant and twist the wording to fit their propaganda agenda. They create panic and create fear and seem to appeal to the people that are just shy of logic and reasoning. These same people are the ones that draw fire from government agencies as right wing extremists and unfortunately the true patriots get swept up into this category as it is the government’s job under Obama to quell dissention and they do so by lumping anyone with an opposing viewpoint into this category.
No one, as a true American would question the motives of a true American patriot whereas many would [rightfully] question people posing as patriots that are calling for the overthrow and destruction of the United States. The government has a tendency to paint political groups of people with a very large brush and these non-patriots are affording government agencies the ability to do just that, to lump true patriots in with anarchists and traitors. That is where the separation line needs to be. Unfortunately the only two sides recognized in this country is right and left, Republican or Democrat. Independents and variations of either side are not really recognized anymore in our political spectrum. That is where the true patriots need to denounce the non-patriot anarchist types, the people that are so against the government that they have actually openly sided with the enemies of the United States. These people think that because there has been questionable behavior by the United States in the past that every single thing we do as a country is evil. They believe any authority is evil.Rather than being a true patriot and change it, they think that we should abandon the concept of the United States as a whole and submit to our enemies. They speak out against our troops, they openly cheer when our soldiers get killed and these same people also openly promote the advance of Islam within our country and government. They seem to blame the Jewish people for any and all problems in the Middle East by calling all Jewish people Zionists. The racism that you read see on these particular websites and forums sound like Nazi gathering places and certainly have drawn the attention of the US government. Why? It is because these non-patriots posing as and calling themselves patriots are indeed a detriment to this great nation. These websites whip people up into a panicked frenzy with propaganda and racial overtones and the ant-American and anti-Jewish venom on these sites is alarming. They openly speak about shooting law enforcement officers, killing Jews, gloat anytime our soldiers are killed or injured and they openly side with our enemies on every single issue and spread fear and propaganda at an alarming rate. These same people will occasionally cover a Tea Party, Tax Reform or call to Audit the Fed on their websites and claim to support it, although true patriots should not seek support from this fringe element trying to slip under the radar under the guise of calling themselves patriots.Since these anarchist non-patriots claiming to be patriot types are certainly not considered as left in the two-sided political spectrum, they are unfortunately shoved off into the right side and bring shame to normal, sane and rational people on the right side of the political aisle. This mixing of people on the right [Right, Far Right, Extreme Right, and Out-Where-The-Buses-Don't-Run Right] explains how many patriotic Americans get swept up in and categorized in government documents like the infamous MIAC report and are frequently mentioned in DHS Bulletins.
It’s time to separate the patriots from the punks.
It works to this administrations advantage to be able to lump true patriots in with these anarchists posing as patriots. Problem is that we are allowing them lump us together due to our silence and that is where we as patriots lose the support of the American people as we are then seen as anti-American, and not as American Patriots. This lumping together will destroy the chance of true patriotic reform in this country since patriots are being lumped in with traitors. There is a distinct difference yet right now, the line is blurred.As it stands, reform is not on the horizon for true patriots since the company we keep is questionable. One has to wonder if some of these groups and websites are being funded by the government under the fearful current administration to keep true American patriots and non-patriot traitors all lumped together, in order to quell dissention and draw the focus of law enforcement on anyone not towing the leftist, socialist party line.
The trademark of most of the truly non-patriotic anarchists is the abundance of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories they put forward, offering no proof whatsoever and ruthlessly twisting the facts or fabricating evidence to where it fits for their propaganda. In turn, the take any and all things done by the government and make it out to be conspiracy related.Are there conspiracies going on around us? Certainly there are. Yet realistically, we don’t live in a scenario as depicted in a movie such as the Matrix. The favorite conspiracy theory is that 9/11 was an inside job. Is it possible? Yes, of course the possibility exists. There are certainly questionable aspects surrounding 9/11 that should be addressed. Those legitimate questions and irregularities that still linger differ from other, more outrageous conspiracy theories surrounding 9/11 such as:
The claim that there were no commercial planes on 9/11 .There were no planes, they were either remote controlled aircraft or missiles All of the live news coverage was the result of digital manipulation by the media There were no Arab hijackers on these flights Entire lists of passengers either didn’t exist or were offloaded and killed by the government The twin towers were brought down by explosives planted by the government as well as WTC 7 Mossad and the CIA are responsible for all of this
The list goes on and on. Are there elements of truth to some issues deemed conspiratorial? Certainly, although I haven’t seen solid proof to where I’m ready to imprison someone as of yet for it. I think the 9/11 Commission was a sham, a farce and was along the same lines as the Warren Commission findings regarding JFK’s assassination. Killing 3,000 people to further a political agenda is a horrid thought, yet possible. The benefactors of 9/11 appear to be the government and the Industrial Military Complex to date, yet to have a conspiracy of this magnitude would require cooperation of hundreds perhaps thousands of people and one would think that one of them would have had a twinge of conscience and would have stepped forward and provided solid evidence of the conspiracy. So far, all we have heard is speculation and no solid evidence. Once again, there could be rogue elements in the government here and there that would entertain and do such a thing, but to say the US Government as a whole, all offices and agencies going along with it, is a bit of a stretch for me.
What the conspiracy theories have proven to date is that no one knows exactly what happened or what exactly led up to the events of that day. They have also created a seed that has grown into a blanket mistrust of the government and this has fueled the anarchist type movements as they are convinced that America as a whole is evil and bad and have turned on this country altogether. These anarchist types, posing as patriots blame the CIA and Mossad for anything that happens here and abroad. They want to elaborate on America’s failures and mistakes as opposed to seeking positive legislative changes, government reforms, accountability and a better future for our children. They openly side with the enemy as opposed to trying to save the Republic. In their eyes we have already lost.Is the government getting out of hand as to trampling our rights and freedoms? Yes, indeed they are. Yet this will only change once we establish a firm unified front of the people and by the people, operating in facts, carefully organized, well orchestrated, devoid of anarchists and dangerous anti-American entities, fully focused on regaining control of this nation. This will require leadership, devotion and the willingness to make sacrifices. So far, all I hear is talk. We have no leader for a patriot movement as of yet.America has its problems yet I haven’t given up on the old girl. I propose to try to change it, not just burn it to the ground and submit to the enemies of the United States by joining them.We owe her that much.Be safe. Stay vigilant.
Obama May Need Sense of Crisis to Revive Health-Care Overhaul
By Julianna Goldman and Nicholas Johnston
Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama returns to Washington next week in search of one thing that can revive his health-care overhaul: a sense of crisis.
Facing polls showing a drop in his approval, diminished support from independents, factions within his Democratic Party and a united Republican opposition, Obama must recapture the sense of urgency that led to passage of the economic rescue package in February, analysts said. At the moment, except for the people without insurance, we’re not in a health-care crisis,said Stephen Wayne, a professor of government at Georgetown University in Washington.You do need a crisis to generate movement in Congress and to help build a consensus.Obama speaks to labor leaders on Sept. 7 and to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9 as he attempts to rebuild support for his top domestic priority, one that affects 17 percent of the economy. Lawmakers, trying to extend coverage to millions of uninsured Americans and rein in costs, are considering mandates on employers to provide coverage, new rules for insurers, and creating a government program to compete with private insurers such as Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc.Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said the administration made unprecedented health-care progress in eight months.
Not There Yet
We gave Congress a charge, we gave them broad outlines, which is the reason we are farther along than any of the five presidents that have tried,Emanuel said in an interview yesterday.We’re not there yet, and this speech is intended to finish the job.Presidential speeches historically do little to move public opinion significantly, said George Edwards, author of The Strategic President: Persuasion and Opportunity in Presidential Leadership.This is almost like a Hail Mary, because they know that they’re substantially behind and the trajectory is negative for them, Edwards said.Unlike the financial crisis he inherited, the health-care debate is of Obama’s making and places a different burden on him, Edwards said. The best thing in presidential leadership is to recognize and exploit opportunities, said Edwards. The White House overestimated the nature of the opportunity.
Obama’s economic stimulus was debated as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 18 percent from Nov. 4, 2008, to Feb. 13, when Congress approved the legislation. Unemployment had risen to more than 7 percent. On the stimulus, Obama was able to say that unless we do X right now, and X is pretty painful and pretty expensive, there is a serious danger in the next few weeks that the entire financial system will come crashing down, said Bill Galston, a former official in President Bill Clinton’s administration, now a Brookings Institution scholar in Washington. Emanuel remarked at the time that a crisis was a terrible thing to waste, and Obama pushed for health-care overhaul and energy legislation along with financial and auto bailouts.He has framed health-care legislation as part of his long- term strategy to improve the economy. Republicans focused on the potential impact on patients. Throughout the summer and in town halls, Republican opponents said Obama wanted a government takeover of the system and creation of panels to decide end-of- life issues.
Within the Democratic Party, critics say Obama hasn’t pushed universal health care and others say the overhaul would balloon the federal deficit.Obama has said about this issue continually, if it was easy it would have been done by now, said White House Communications Director Anita Dunn.Obama’s difficulty on health care is compounded by broader economic worries. While 36 percent of Americans say the economy is getting better, only 10 percent see improvements in their households, according to a CBS poll at the end of August.People are not convinced the president’s strategy has helped their family during the economic downturn,said Robert Blendon, a health-policy pollster at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. That has forced them to be more skeptical towards the president’s health-care proposals.Less than a fifth of Americans say a health-care overhaul will help them personally, compared to 31 percent who think the government’s efforts will hurt, and 46 percent who say it will have no effect, the CBS poll showed.
Not a Crisis
There is a problem in our health-care system today, and we need reform; it’s not a crisis,said Ed Gillespie, White House counselor to President George W. Bush.It’s just people saying this is way too much, way too fast, we don’t know where this money is going and we don’t know where it’s coming from.The CBS survey of 1,097 Americans Aug. 27-31 found Obama’s approval fell 12 percentage points from a high of 68 percent in April to 56 percent; the error margin is 3 percentage points. A survey of 4,518 likely voters by Zogby International Aug. 28-31 put Obama’s approval rating at a record-low 42 percent; it also showed he’s well liked.He’s got to get control of his presidency,said John Zogby, president of Zogby International.There’s a way out of this. Some of it is going to have to be his personality and his ability to frame messages, which is still good.To contact the reporters on this story: Julianna Goldman in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; Nicholas Johnston in Washington at email@example.com
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
IN THE MONEY ECONOMY
THE SARAH FACTOR
PLAYING THE GOLD BREAKDOWN
G20, IMF moves to hit gold hard Commodity Online
Saturday, April 04, 2009 (Mumbai)
Even as the world goes ga-ga over the G20 decision to pump in $1.1 trillion into the world economy to tide over the recession, there is one sector which is much worried about the development — the bullion market. Following the G20 decision, the International Monetary Fund also will be allowed to sell around 400 tonnes of gold in the open market to raise funds for its projects. Following this, the gold prices will come down in the market. The gold prices have been hovering above $900 per ounce for the past few months due to the increased demand from investors who found gold the safest haven in the time of recession. But, experts feel that the G20 move and the IMF sale will cause around five per cent slump in gold prices before the end of this month. The prices are bound to come down to $855 per ounce as G-20 nations agreed that the IMF should sell gold from its reserve to help stimulate the world economy.
The prices may dip further by June once the supply of the precious metal rises due to sale by the IMF. The IMF can sell up to 403.3 tonnes, which is the equivalent of one-eighth of its holdings.Already, spot prices of gold at the London Metal Exchange fell to $902.5 per ounce, down by 0.17 per cent from the previous close. Gold prices will suffer as there is no consumer demand in India but only investment-side demand. If the supply rises and demand remains low, the prices will slump, said a market analyst.G20 said additional resources from agreed sales of IMF gold will be used, together with the surplus income, to provide $6 billion additional concessional and flexible finance for the poorest countries over the next 2-3 years.Demand for gold in India, the largest importer of the precious metal, has taken a knock and the country turned an exporter in March following the rise in old gold sales.Gold prices in the spot market tumbled by Rs 350 per 10 gm to nearly one-and-a-half month low of Rs 14,900 in the Delhi bullion market on stockist selling triggered by the announcement on Friday.
Brown to G-20: Economy at critical juncture By JANE WARDELL and AOIFE WHITE, AP Business Writers – SEPT 5,09
LONDON – The Group of 20 rich and developing countries are expected to commit to further efforts to boost growth after holding talks here Saturday, despite fledging signs of an economic recovery.The G-20 nations are also likely to pledge restrictions on excessive bankers' pay in a bid to address concerns about the risk-promoting bonus culture blamed for fueling the current crisis — although they are expected to stop short of some of the tougher measures wanted by European governments.We meet at a critical juncture for co-operation in the global economy, Brown told officials from countries representing 80 percent of the world's output at the start of talks on Saturday.The G-20 needs to agree a clear and unambiguous mandate for the G-20 to give priority to the resumption of global growth and to help countries achieve sustainable growth going forward,he added.The International Monetary Fund has said that the global economy is beginning a sluggish recovery from its worst recession since World War II, raising its estimate for global economic growth in 2010 to 2.5 percent, from an April projection of 1.9 percent.But the IMF also downgraded its forecast for this year to a contraction of 1.4 percent, from 1.3 percent. Japan, Germany, France and Australia all recorded growth in the second quarter. Other countries like Britain, which is expected to move back into growth in the third quarter, have been slower to recover.
There has been a strong consensus among the G-20 for the need to continue with the trillions of dollars worth of extraordinary stimulus packages that have been pumped into the ailing world economy in recent months.Withdrawing any time soom from measures such as Britain's multibillion asset purchasing program to expand the money supply and the U.S. capital injection into struggling companies such as General Motors could result in a double-dip recession, they say.Germany and France had previously pushed for more discussion of a so-called exit strategy from the massive stimulus measures, arguing that spending measures have taken government debt to dangerously high levels, but have backed away from the issue.Given the risks we face, this is not the time for economic complacency or overconfidence, the stakes are simply too high to get these judgments wrong,Brown said.To decide now that it is time to start withdrawing and reversing the exceptional measures we have taken would in my judgment be a serious mistake.The G-20 is also discussing reform of the global financial architecture, with the hot topic of bankers' bonuses dominating talks.
European countries, headed by France and Germany, have called for a cap on bonus payments, but that is unlikely to be agreed after open opposition from Britain and a lukewarm reception from the United States.The group's communique, due later Saturday, is instead expected to be restricted to measures linking bonuses to base compensation, while also allowing them to be clawed back if performance does not match pay. The G-20 are also likely to require banks to disclose the pay of their top earners.A final deal on bank bonuses is not expected until the G-20 leaders summit in Pittsburgh on Sept. 24-25.The United States has tried to put the focus of the London meeting, which is a preparatory gathering for the leaders summit, on boosting bank reserves.The U.S. proposal for a new international accord to increase banks' capital reserves would establish stronger international standards for the reserves banks are required to hold to cover potential loan losses.U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner wants to reach agreement on an accord by the end of 2010, with countries agreeing to implement the plan by the end of 2012.Brown also called on G-20 nations to toughen action against tax havens and commit to what sanctions we are going to take and implement by March next year.Britain, France and Germany have vowed to clamp down countries that help tax evasion by refusing to share information. The sanctions they want would include cutting investment, taxes on funds held in tax havens and withdrawing development aid, Brown said in July.
Several countries — including Switzerland and Liechtenstein — have moved swiftly to swap more tax information with other authorities after the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development put them on a gray list of tax havens that don't meet information exchange standards.The G-20 includes 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain and the United States. The European Union, represented by its rotating presidency and the European Central Bank, is the 20th member.
G20 seek to bridge splits over bankers' bonuses by Katherine Haddon – Fri Sep 4, 4:54 pm ET
LONDON (AFP) – European finance chiefs called Friday for an end to the bonus culture among bankers, highlighting a split with the US at G20 talks also debating the winding down of emergency support to the world economy.Finance ministers from the world's richest countries and top emerging powers are using the two-day meeting in London to lay foundations for a Group of 20 leaders' summit in the US city of Pittsburgh on September 24-25.Bankers are again in the crosshairs of European countries led by France and Germany who argue their lucrative compensation schemes fuelled a short-term pursuit of profit that helped destabilise the financial system.
Arriving at the meeting, France's finance minister Christine Lagarde pledged to launch an onslaught against bonuses.She indicated she would ratchet up the pressure on the US and Britain, telling reporters governments should be responsible to voters, not financiers.The bonus culture must come to an end and it must end at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh,Lagarde and colleagues from six European countries including Germany wrote in the Financial Times Friday.We must be very clear: these practices are not only dangerous, they are improper, cynical and unacceptable.The strongly-worded letter -- which raised capping and taxing bonuses -- indicated splits on the issue.Britain and the United States, keen to protect major financial centres in the City of London and Wall Street, are reluctant to go so far.The US sees bonuses as a non-subject, according to a European official who spoke anonymously.And Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling, host of the London meeting, told the BBC Friday that he did not think mandatory capping was a practical proposition" although Britain has backed more moderate action.Sweden, which holds the rotating European Union presidency, has called an extraordinary summit of EU leaders on September 17 ahead of the Pittsburgh summit which will seek a common position on curbing bonuses.A year after the worst financial crisis since the 1930s erupted and with countries like Japan, France and Germany now out of recession, the G20 has shifted from firefighting to ensuring recovery is sustained and deep-rooted.
But politicians warn there is no room for complacency and are also debating when and how to reverse the massive fiscal stimulus which states pumped into their economies after the credit crunch.Most agree it is important to start preparing exit strategies now, but emphases differ on when they should be implemented.US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, while downplaying hopes for concrete results from Friday and Saturday's meet, has reportedly said exit strategies are very important to confidence on the financial markets.Swedish finance minister Anders Borg said Friday that world economies were still standing in the ashes of economic catastrophe.When you've just come out of the ashes, it's not time to call off the fire department,he added.I think it's very reasonable that during 2010, we will keep both monetary and fiscal policy expansionary but having said that, it is also very, very important that we start to talk and plan our exit strategies. Meanwhile, major emerging economies Brazil, Russia, India and China said it was too early to talk of an end to the crisis. Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega added that the exit should be gradual.Also at the meeting, the US will press for stronger capital and liquidity standards for banks so they can absorb any future losses without needing state help.
(The) regulatory framework failed last year,Geithner wrote in Friday's FT. Strengthening capital requirements is an essential part of a broader effort to modernise our regulatory framework so that the financial system is strong enough to withstand the failure of large, complex institutions.
IMF chief welcomes EU boost ahead of G20 meeting
Fri Sep 4, 10:28 pm ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn welcomed the European Union's announcement this week on raising the bloc's contribution to the International Monetary Fund to 125 billion euros (178 billion dollars).This is a vital contribution to the goal set by the G20 and IMFC (International Monetary and Financial Committee) earlier this year of increasing the Fund's resources by up to 500 billion dollars,said Strauss-Kahn in a statement here.The European Union, alongside other members who have made funding available, has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to maintaining market and macroeconomic stability through a multilateral approach,he added.The move is helping to ensure the Fund will have sufficient resources to carry out its mandate and meet the requirements of its member countries.G20 leaders agreed at a summit in April in London to hike the IMF's New Arrangements to Borrow (NAB) by up to 500 billion dollars.We have to put our money where our mouths are, said Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, whose country holds the EU presidency, on Wednesday.He said the 27 EU nations had also reached a strong common position on French-led efforts to curb banking's bonus culture.
Zimbabwe receives $400 in IMF support Sat Sep 5, 4:38 am ET
HARARE (AFP) – Zimbabwe has received about 400 million dollars in support from the International Monetary Fund, the lender said Saturday, part of its broader effort to cushion the blows of the global economic crisis.The support for Zimbabwe is a small part of the IMF's offering last month of so-called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) equivalent to about 250 billion dollars provided to all of its 186 members.There is no conditionality on the use of this allocation,the IMF office in Pretoria said in a statement.But the SDRs are not part of normal loan programmes, which put cash directly into state coffers, tied to strict conditions on its use.To convert the SDRs into hard currency, Zimbabwe would have to find another country to buy them. Otherwise the money serves to bolster Harare's meagre foreign reserves.The IMF support has already reignited tensions within the unity government between veteran President Robert Mugabe and his erstwhile rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Controversial central bank governor and Mugabe loyalist Gideon Gono, who presided over the demise of the Zimbabwe dollar, has claimed control over the resources in state media.But the IMF said the resources are actually controlled by the finance ministry, headed by Tsvangirai's top aide Tendai Biti, who declined to comment on the scheme.An SDR is an interest-bearing IMF asset based on a basket of international currencies -- the dollar, yen, euro and pound -- that is calculated daily and which members can convert into other currencies.Harare will not be allowed to receive a separate SDR allocation worth about 100 million dollars this month, because Zimbabwe still owes about 141 million dollars in arrears to the global lender, the IMF added.
World trade body ruling reflects pre-crisis time By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer – Sat Sep 5, 4:14 am ET
WASHINGTON – The World Trade Organization's ruling that European loans for Airbus were illegal subsidies is being cheered by U.S. lawmakers loyal to the Boeing Co., even though the preliminary decision may seem quaint in a world where government subsidies, bailouts and takeovers are now commonplace.Friday's ruling reflects the world as it existed five years ago when the United States brought the case against the European Union, arguing that such subsidies were unfair trading practices.But since then, the deep global recession has led to hundreds of billions of dollars in government subsidies and intervention in nearly all the world's major economies, including big government ownership stakes in banks, and auto and insurance companies.
Furthermore, other countries, including China, Japan and Brazil, are busy expanding or developing their domestic airline industries.At issue is a 1,000-page confidential ruling that was given to U.S. and European trade officials. It was not released yet, and officials were under instructions not to speak publicly.Still, lawmakers from Washington state and other U.S. states where Chicago-headquartered Boeing has a major presence were briefed by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Friday.Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who led efforts in 2004 to get the Bush administration to initiate the WTO case, said the ruling confirms that Boeing has been competing on an uneven playing field for decades.Friday's decision confirms that all Airbus aircraft have received illegal subsidies and that these have caused material harm to Boeing,said Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash.Neither Boeing nor Airbus would comment on the ruling publicly, nor would U.S. or E.U. trade officials.
However, European officials who were briefed had a somewhat different take on the ruling than American lawmakers, suggesting that it was more of a mixed bag and that many of the complaints lodged by the U.S. had been dismissed and the government loans to Airbus were in some instances deemed a permissible form of financing.The WTO finding was the first step in a process that could take years to produce a final result.The organization doesn't have the power to impose sanctions itself, but it can allow a nation that has been harmed — in this case the U.S. — to raise tariffs or impose other barriers to imports from an offending country or countries.And that wouldn't be limited to aircraft. It could also include, for instance, purses, sweaters or French wines. The amount of such tariffs could be high enough to offset the damages done by the illegal practices.Friday's ruling was Part One of the process. A ruling on an EU counter-complaint against the U.S. claiming that the Pentagon and NASA are indirectly subsidizing Boeing is being heard by a separate WTO panel and a ruling is expected in about six months.Both disputes in the Boeing-Airbus rivalry are over what is projected to be a $3.2 trillion global aviation market over the next 20 years.Associated Press writers Alexander G. Higgins in Geneva, Mike Obel in New York and Donna Borak and Martin Crutsinger in Washington contributed to this report.
List of US banks closed by feds jumps to 89 By STEPHEN BERNARD, AP Business Writer – Sat Sep 5, 3:43 am ET
NEW YORK – The crippled economy and increasing loan defaults have forced financial regulators to close even more banks, including the only branch of the First Bank of Kansas City, which is reopening under a new name after its deposits are assumed.The number of banks that have failed this year stands at 89 after regulators on Friday shut down banks in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa and Arizona.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., an independent agency whose goal is to maintain stability and public confidence in the financial system, took over First Bank of Kansas City, which was based in Kansas City, Mo., and had $16 million in assets and $15 million in deposits. It shut down Sioux City, Iowa-based Vantus Bank, with $458 million in assets and $368 million in deposits.First Bank of Kansas City's deposits will be assumed by Great American Bank, based in De Soto, Kan., the FDIC said. It was to reopen Saturday as a branch of Great American Bank.The FDIC seized two banks in Illinois: Oak Forest-based InBank, with $212 million in assets and $199 million in deposits, and Platinum Community Bank in Rolling Meadows, which had $346 million in assets and $305 million in deposits.First State Bank in Flagstaff, Ariz., also was shuttered. It had $105 million in assets and deposits totaling $95 million.Vantus Bank's deposits will be assumed by Great Southern Bank in Springfield, Mo. All 15 of Vantus Bank's branches will reopen Saturday as branches of Great Southern Bank.
The FDIC agreed to share with Great Southern Bank losses on about $338 million of Vantus Bank's assets.Nearly all of InBank's deposits will be assumed by MB Financial Bank in Chicago. Some brokered deposits won't be assumed by MB Financial Bank. InBank's three branches were to reopen Saturday as MB Financial Bank branches.The FDIC didn't find another bank to take over Platinum Community Bank's branches or deposits. Instead, it will pay out insured deposits at Platinum Community Bank. Government direct deposits, such as Social Security and veterans' payments, will be handled by MB Financial Bank's Palatine, Ill., branch.The FDIC insures accounts up to $250,000. Depositors with accounts larger than $250,000 will be able to receive details about whether their accounts are fully covered beginning Tuesday by checking the FDIC's Web site.First State Bank's deposits will be acquired by Sunwest Bank in Tustin, Calif. First State Bank's six branches will reopen Tuesday as branches of Sunwest Bank.The failure of First Bank of Kansas City is expected to cost the FDIC's deposit insurance fund an estimated $6 million. InBank's failure will cost the insurance fund $66 million, while Vantus Bank's failure will cost the fund $168 million. Platinum Community Bank's failure will cost the fund about $114 million. First State Bank's collapse will cost the FDIC's insurance fund $47 million.
Hundreds more banks are expected to fail in the next few years largely because of bad loans for commercial real estate. The number of banks on the FDIC's confidential problem list jumped to 416 at the end of June from 305 in the first quarter. That's the highest number since June 1994, during the savings-and-loan crisis.The insurance fund has been so depleted by the epidemic of collapsing financial institutions that some analysts have warned it could sink into the red by the end of this year. The fund fell 20 percent to $10.4 billion at the end of June, the FDIC reported Thursday. That's its lowest point since 1992, at the height of the S&L crisis.The agency estimates bank failures will cost the fund around $70 billion through 2013.
U.S. banks overall lost $3.7 billion in the second quarter, compared with a profit of $7.6 billion in the January-March quarter, the FDIC said. Surging levels of soured loans at banks dragged down profits in the April-June period.FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair has said there were no immediate plans to borrow money from the government to replenish the insurance fund by tapping the agency's $500 billion credit line with the Department of the Treasury. The FDIC may, however, impose an additional fee on U.S. banks this year to bolster the fund, atop the estimated $5.6 billion from a new emergency premium that took effect June 30.
Liberals, Conservatives duel over recovery By Allan Dowd – Fri Sep 4, 3:58 pm ET
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) – Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff and Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty dueled on Friday over the health of Canada's economy and the impact of a possible autumn election.Flaherty accused Ignatieff of fighting the recovery and pushing for an unnecessary election.
Ignatieff, the leader of the main opposition party, dismissed claims the economy was rebounding and rejected the contention that a recovery posed a political dilemma for the Liberals.There is nothing (in an election) that would jeopardize recovery. Our recovery is halting and slow under this government,Ignatieff told reporters in Vancouver, where he was scheduled to hold a campaign-style rally.We think we could accelerate recovery and make it more effective, Ignatieff said.The Liberals this week said they would stop supporting Prime Minister Stephen Harper's minority Conservative government, setting the stage for a possible election this autumn.The Conservatives contend an election would damage the economy, and accused the opposition of trying to force Canadians to the polls now because they are worried about the political fallout of better economic times.We're interested in fighting the recession. We're not like the leader of the opposition,Flaherty said.An election is not a foregone conclusion, because the Conservatives may still be able to reach a deal with either the New Democratic or Bloc Quebecois parties, allowing them to stay in power.Public opinion polls have indicated that neither the Conservatives or Liberals are likely to win a majority government, and many voters oppose the idea of going to the polls no matter which party they support.Flaherty, who is in London for a meeting of G20 finance Ministers, said he expects to outline his plans to bring the federal budget back into surplus in a report to Parliament that he may deliver as early as this month.Flaherty will release the plan in one of the quarterly updates on economic recovery that it agreed to make under the now-scrapped deal with the Liberals that has allowed them to remain in power this year.
Ignatieff dismissed the suggestion the Liberals could suffer if the plan came out before the Liberals have a chance to force an election. He said earlier government claims about the status of the recovery proved untrue.There is a basic fundamental problem of credibility with this government,Ignatieff said.The Conservatives may have gotten a boost on Friday from data showing the country unexpectedly added jobs in August and purchasing by businesses grew at a faster pace than forecast.The question is not whether Canada is going to get out of the recession. ... The question is who can lead Canada into recovery, into the new economy,Ignatieff said when asked about the economic numbers.(With reporting by Louise Egan in London, David Ljunggren in Ottawa)(Editing by Frank McGurty)
Report shows investigators botched Madoff probes By MARCY GORDON, AP Business Writer - SEPT 5,09
WASHINGTON – Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff tried by turns to bully and impress the federal examiners who looked into his business, but the investigators managed by themselves to botch the probes and enable Madoff's multibillion-dollar fraud to continue for nearly two decades, a new report shows.A trove of revelations came to light in the report by the Securities and Exchange Commission inspector general, David Kotz, which was released Friday evening. The 477-page document paints in excruciating detail how the SEC investigations of Madoff were bungled over 16 years —with disputes among agency inspection staffers over the findings, lack of communication among SEC offices in various cities and repeated failures to act on credible complaints from outsiders that formed a sea of red flags.An inspection of Madoff's operation in 2003-04 was put on the back burner even though the exam team still had unresolved questions, the report says.An SEC official who later would marry Madoff's niece told investigators this year that if he had carefully reviewed a complaint about Madoff's business, he would have investigated more extensively, according to the report. Eric Swanson was an SEC attorney and inspections official during the 2003-04 exam.Swanson told a colleague in April 2004 that the inspection of Madoff's business was ongoing, after the exam team had stopped working on it, according to the report. It said Swanson recently explained that an inspection would be considered ongoing even if it were put on hold.Kotz's investigation found no evidence that the relationship between Swanson and Madoff's niece, Shana, who married in 2007, influenced the SEC exams of Madoff.Swanson testified in the inquiry that he wasn't closely involved in the 2003-04 Madoff exam after Mark Donohue became an assistant director of the SEC inspections division in February 2004 and that he never discussed the exam with Shana Madoff.A prominent Wall Street figure, Bernard Madoff attempted to intimidate and impress examiners, and he dropped names of top officials in the SEC, the report says. One of the examiners quoted describes him as charismatic and charming — except when he was angry with us.
Among the disclosures: During an agency investigation in May 2006, Madoff feared that he had been caught.I thought it was the end game, over, Madoff was quoted as saying when SEC investigators queried him about what account he was using to clear certain trades.He said he felt very fortunate when there was no follow-up call to check on the account number he had given the investigators.After all this, I got away lucky,he told Kotz in a prison interview, though he added he thought it was just a matter of time before he would eventually be caught.That narrow escape in 2006, enabled by the SEC enforcement staff neglecting to verify Madoff's account at a securities industry clearinghouse for trades, allowed his fraudulent scheme to flourish for another 2 1/2 years, the report says.Madoff, who pleaded guilty in March, is serving a 150-year sentence in federal prison in North Carolina for a Ponzi scheme that could be the biggest in U.S. history. It destroyed thousands of people's life savings, wrecked charities and gave investors' already shaken confidence in the financial system yet another big jolt.Revelations in December of the SEC's failure to uncover Madoff's massive scheme touched off one of the most painful scandals in the agency's 75-year history.It is a failure that we continue to regret and one that has led us to reform in many ways how we regulate markets and protect investors, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said in a statement Friday.In the coming weeks we will continue to closely review the full report and learn every lesson we can to help build upon the many reforms we have already put into place since January.Schapiro, appointed by President Barack Obama, took over in January. Enforcement efforts have been strengthened, and the agency has started a number of initiatives meant to protect investors in the wake of the financial crisis, officials said.Swanson acknowledged in his testimony to the IG's office this year that if he had carefully examined complaints about Madoff's business, he would have dug more thoroughly, according to the report. Swanson said a complaint from outside the SEC and financial articles on Madoff published in 2001 mean something different to (Swanson) today than they did at the time of the (SEC) examination in 2003-04, the report says. It quotes Swanson as saying,I didn't know anything, very little anyway, about hedge funds and mutual funds and how they operated.
Swanson now is general counsel of BATS, a major securities trading exchange. His spokesman, Eric Starkman, said Friday that the report speaks for itself.The SEC enforcement staff almost immediately caught Madoff in lies and misrepresentations but failed to follow up on inconsistencies and rejected whistleblowers' offers to provide additional evidence, the report says. Kotz's investigation, begun the week before Christmas last year, involved interviews with 122 people and reviews of thousands of documents. Among those interviewed were former SEC chairmen Christopher Cox and William Donaldson, as well as Lori Richards, the former director of the SEC inspections office, who was Swanson's boss, and Linda Thomsen, the former enforcement director.Kotz's probe found no evidence of improper ties between agency officials and Madoff, nor of senior SEC officials trying to influence the agency's investigations of his business.AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.
US, SKorea envoys discuss NKorean nuclear claim By KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press Writer – SEPT 5,09
SEOUL, South Korea – Top nuclear envoys from South Korea and the United States held talks Saturday on a strategy to bring North Korea back to disarmament talks, a day after the North claimed it is in the final stages of enriching uranium.U.S. special envoy on North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, and South Korean envoy Wi Sung-lac made no comments after their meeting. Bosworth later met with South Korea's minister in charge of relations with North Korea, and the Unification Ministry said the two agreed to closely cooperate in resolving the nuclear dispute.Bosworth said in Beijing on Friday that any nuclear development in North Korea was a matter of concern.We confirm the necessity to maintain a coordinated position and the need for a complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula,he said.Bosworth is to leave for Tokyo on Sunday for similar consultations with Japanese officials. Chief U.S. nuclear negotiator, Sung Kim, plans to return to Seoul on Tuesday to meet with Russian nuclear envoy Grigory Logvinov.North Korea also announced it is continuing to weaponize plutonium. Uranium offers an easier way to make nuclear weapons, and uranium-based bombs may work without requiring test explosions.Washington shows no signs of easing pressure on North Korea through new U.N. sanctions, despite a series of conciliatory gestures by the North, including the release of two detained American journalists and a reported invitation to top U.S. envoys, including Bosworth, to visit Pyongyang.
We are prepared for both dialogue and sanctions,the North said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council carried Friday by its official Korean Central News Agency. If some members of the council put sanctions first before dialogue, we would respond with bolstering our nuclear deterrence first before we meet them in a dialogue,it said.The North warned it would be left with no choice but to take yet another strong self-defensive countermeasure if the standoff continues. It did not elaborate.A pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan urged the U.S. to hold talks with the North to make the Korean peninsula nuclear-free. The Choson Sinbo newspaper, widely seen as a mouthpiece for North Korea, said time is not limitless for the U.S. to decide whether to hold talks or continue to pursue sanctions.The U.S. has pressed for North Korea to return to six-nation talks on its nuclear program with the U.S., South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.North Korea has said it will only talk one-on-one with the Obama administration.Bosworth said Friday the U.S. is willing to have direct talks, but only within the framework of the six-nation talks.
Analysts said the North appears to be trying to add urgency to the standoff.
The North is saying that the more delayed U.S.-North Korea talks are, the greater its nuclear capabilities will become,said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at Seoul's University of North Korean Studies.Meanwhile, a report by the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security said there is no sign of reconstruction at the North's main Yongbyon nuclear reactor, which was partially disabled under an agreement reached in the six-nation talks. It cited commercial satellite imagery taken Aug. 10 by DigitalGlobe.Separately, North Korea also said it will continue to seek self-defensive measures in response to an alleged U.S. move to develop a new bunker-buster bomb, KCNA reported. It claimed the U.S. is accelerating production of the bomb to destroy underground nuclear facilities in North Korea and Iran.Associated Press writers Jae-soon Chang and Wanjin Park in Seoul, Chi-Chi Zhang in Beijing and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.
Chavez tells Israelis to disobey genocidal govt By ALBERT AJI, Associated Press Writer – Fri Sep 4, 7:23 pm ET
DAMASCUS, Syria – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez told the Israeli people not to support their government, which he described as genocidal on Friday, the second day of his trip to Syria.Chavez is on an 11-day trip to Libya, Algeria, Syria, Iran, Belarus, Russia and Spain in what he is describing as a bid to build a multi-polar world and decrease U.S. influence in the region.The Venezuelan president has singled out Israel for criticism during his visit to Syria, slamming it for mistreating the Palestinians and being an agent of U.S. imperialism.The state of Israel has become a murderous lackey at the service of imperialism, Chavez said.It's a genocidal government. I condemn that Zionist government that persecutes the heroic Palestinian people.Chavez, whose remarks were broadcast by state television in Venezuela, added that the people of Israel shouldn't support a genocidal government.Chavez spoke in front of about 10,000 people who gathered at a football stadium in the city of Sweida, some 110 kilometers south of Damascus, near the Jordanian border.More than 200,000 people from the Sweida area carry Venezuelan citizenship and most are members of Syria's Druse sect, who immigrated to Venezuela in the past century.
Chavez later inaugurated a public garden in the city, naming it after 19th century Latin American independence leader Simon Bolivar.The firebrand Latin American leader has built close ties with Iran, Syria, Cuba and other countries while his relations have grown tense with Israel.Chavez strongly criticized Israel's war against Gaza in December and January and said the Jewish state should return to Syria the strategic Golan Heights that it captured in 1967 Mideast war.Chavez also called for Israel to take its hands off Latin America also. Because there the U.S. empire is trying to turn Colombia ... into the Israel of Latin America.Venezuela and Colombia have been feuding for weeks over negotiations between the Colombian government and Washington that would allow the U.S. military to increase its presence at seven Colombian bases through a 10-year lease agreement.Chavez calls the pending deal a threat to Venezuela. Colombia says it's necessary to more effectively help fight drug traffickers and leftist rebels.Later Friday, Chavez arrived in Tehran and praised Iran for standing up to he said were western forces attempts to destabilize it after the elections there. The Iranian opposition alleges the country's June 12 election was rigged in Ahmadinejad's favor and that pro-reform challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi was the true winner.After the election, Iranian security forces, including the Revolutionary Guard and pro-government Basij militia, crushed mass street protests against Ahmadinejad's re-election in a heavy crackdown that prompted heavy criticism from the West.Associated Press writers Ian James and Fabiola Sanchez in Caracas contributed to this report.
Top EU official calls for stricter Afghan aid rules SEPT 5,09
STOCKHOLM (AFP) – There must be stricter rules on financial aid to Afghanistan linked to the future government's fight against graft, EU foreign affairs chief Javier Solana said Saturday.There's no doubt that stricter conditions should be imposed, Solana said as he arrived for the second and last day of EU foreign ministers' talks in Stockholm.There are some issues which are obvious, he said, stressing the when it comes to talking with an Afghan government that means a government that is not corrupt.Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini echoed the view during the Stockholm talks focused in part on the need to strengthen the rule of law in Afghanistan.The confidence of the Afghan people must be regained through a contract in which whoever become the next president make commitments to the international community, he said in comments published in La Stampa daily.Up to now we have just given, the time has come for whoever wins (the presidential election) in Kabul to make promises to work for change, Frattini stressed.An EU Commission discussion document given to the foreign ministers proposed a set of political commitments from the Afghan government to the international community.It called for the new Afghan government to focus on good governance, fighting corruption and ensuring human rights.
The text also proposes holding an international conference in Kabul as soon as possible after the next government is in place.The latest results were released September 3, and showed current President Hamid Karzai maintaining a lead with 47.3 percent of the results from 60 percent of the polling stations used in Afghanistan's second only direct presidential election.Throughout the laborious process of gradual announcements, the two main contenders for the presidency, incumbent Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, have each claimed victory.Abdullah, formerly foreign minister, has also alleged widespread vote-rigging by Karzai's camp and has threatened to reject any result he regards as compromised.
Time's up on Iran Friday, 04 September 2009 11:48 News from Jerusalem
With each passing day, Iran moves closer to the bomb
Over the past few weeks evidence has piled up that Iran is not years away from being capable of building nuclear bombs at will. It is months away. As the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency on Iran's nuclear program makes clear, at its present rate of uranium enrichment, Iran will have sufficient quantities of enriched uranium to build two atomic bombs by February.What is most notable about this IAEA finding is that it comes in a report that does everything possible to cover up Iran's progress and intentions. Israel responded angrily to the report alleging that the agency's outgoing director Muhammed el Baradei suppressed information that confirms the military nature of Iran's program. In a statement released last Saturday, the Foreign Ministry alleged that the report does not reflect the entirety of the information the IAEA holds on Iran's efforts to advance their military program, nor their continued efforts to conceal and deceive and their refusal to cooperate with the IAEA and the international community.Two weeks before the IAEA released its report, the US State Department published its assessment that Iran won't have the wherewithal to develop a bomb until 2013. According the Washington Post, this conclusion is based on the State Department's analysis of Iran's technical capability.For all its failures, the latest IAEA report puts the lie to this State Department assessment.
Moreover, as a recent study by Israeli missile expert Uzi Rubin shows, Iran already has several delivery options for its burgeoning nuclear arsenal. In a report published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Rubin, who has been awarded the Israel Defense Prize and oversaw the development of Israel's Arrow missile defense system, concludes that Iran today has the capacity to develop solid-fuel based intermediate range ballistic missiles with a range of 3,600 kilometers. That is, today, Iran has the capacity to attack not only Israel and other states in the Middle East. Since its successful test of its solid-fuel based Sejil missile in May, it has the demonstrated capacity to attack Europe as well.Furthermore, Iran's successful upgrade of its ballistic missiles to satellite launchers has given it the capacity to launch nuclear weapons into the atmosphere. This renders Iran capable of launching an electromagnetic pulse attack from sea against just about any country. An EMP attack can destroy a state's electromagnetic grid and thus take a 21st century economy back to pre-industrial era. Such an attack on the US for instance would cripple the US economy, and render the US government at all levels incapable of restoring order or preventing mass starvation.These latest disclosures should focus the attention of Israel's leaders on a singular question: What can Israel do to prevent Iran from further expanding its nuclear capacity and block it from emerging as a nuclear power? The answer to this question is the same as it has been for the past six years since the scale of Iran's nuclear program was first revealed. Israel can order the Israel Air Force to bomb Iran's nuclear and missile facilities with the aim of denying Iran the ability to attack the Jewish state.
The necessity for Israel to exercise its one option grows daily in light of what the rest of the world is doing in regards to Iran. Following the release of the IAEA report and ahead of the UN General Assembly's opening meeting later this month, this week US, German, British, French, Russian and Chinese diplomats met in Germany to discuss the possibility of ratcheting up UN Security Council sanctions against Iran. Ahead of the meeting French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both announced that they support stronger sanctions.But right on schedule, as the representatives of these countries sat down with one another, the Iranians told the media they are interested in negotiating. Suddenly, after stonewalling for over a year, Iran is willing to think about telling us the terms under which it will discuss the West's offer to provide the mullahs with all manner of rewards in exchange for an Iranian agreement to suspend the expansion of its of uranium enrichment, (which, as the IAEA report notes, is already great enough to produce two nuclear bombs by February).Taking their cue from the mullahs, the Russians and the Chinese are now saying that there is no reason to be hasty. Far wiser, in their view would be a decision to sit down and see what the Iranians would like to do. No doubt, the Russians and Chinese are arguing that it will take some time - perhaps until February - to arrange such a meeting. And then, there is the prospect that such a meeting could end inconclusively but keep the door open for further talks sometime in late-2010 or early 2011. In the meantime, as far as the Russians and the Chinese are concerned, further UN sanctions would be unfair in light of Iran's willingness to engage diplomatically.But then even if the Russians and the Chinese supported stronger sanctions, the measure now being debated will have no impact on either Iran's ability or willingness to become a nuclear power. Today these leading nations are discussing the prospect of banning refined petroleum imports into Iran. Given that Iran with its currently limited capacity to refine petroleum, is a net oil importer, for the past several years, the notion of banning the Iranian imports of refined petroleum products has been raised every time the IAEA submitted a report on Iran's nuclear program and every time more information came out describing Iran's spectacular progress in missile development and uranium enrichment. Inevitably, this talk was dismissed the moment a mullah approached a microphone and hinted that Iran might be interested in cutting a deal.
But while the West has consistently postponed imposing such sanctions, Iran has taken the prospect seriously. Over the past four years, Iran moved to reduce its vulnerability to such a ban. It has required citizens to adapt their cars to run on natural gas which Iran has in abundance. Furthermore, in a joint venture with China, Iran has launched a crash program to expand its domestic oil refining capabilities. With Chinese assistance, Iran is expected to have the refining capacity to meet its domestic needs by 2012.Beyond that, as former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton noted this week in the Wall Street Journal, even if the West were to impose such sanctions on Iran today, they would not impact the Iranian military's ability to operate. The only people who would be impacted by such sanctions are Iranian civilians.Here too, it should be noted that the entire rationale of the ban on refined oil imports to Iran is that oil shortages will turn the public against the regime and the regime in turn will be forced to stand down against the international community in order to placate its gasoline-starved constituents. But if the regime's brutal repression of its opponents in the wake of the stolen June 12 presidential elections tells us anything, it tells us that the regime doesn't care about what the Iranian public thinks of it. Indeed, in the face of rising domestic opposition to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the regime's best bet may be to launch a war against the hated Jews in order to unify the clerical leadership — which is now split between those supporting the regime and those supporting the opposition — behind the regime.
Finally, the discussion of sanctions is irrelevant because every move that Iran is making shows that the regime is determined to go to war. Its massive diversion of resources to its nuclear and ballistic missile program shows that the regime is absolutely committed to becoming a nuclear power. Its move to build an open military alliance with the Lebanese government together with its expansion of its military ties to Syria through the financing of the sale of advanced Russian aircraft to Damascus and the proliferation of nuclear technology shows that it is building up the capabilities of its underlings. Then too, this week's report that the Hizbullah weapons cache in southern Lebanon which exploded in July contained chemical weapons indicates that Iran is already providing its terror proxies with unconventional arsenals to expand its war making capabilities against Israel and the West.All in all, the totality of Iran's moves make clear that Iran is not interested in using its nuclear program as a bargaining chip to gain all manner of goodies from the West. It is planning to use its nuclear program as a means of becoming a nuclear power. And it wishes to become a nuclear power because it wishes to wage war against its enemies.And all in all, the totality of the UN-led international community's responses to Iran's moves make clear that the world will take no effective action to prevent Iran from gaining the capacity to wage nuclear war. The world today will again to nothing to prevent the genocide of Jewry. And that's the thing of it. So long as the mullahs continue to signal that the Jews are their first target, the world will be content to allow to them to build their nuclear weapons and use them. As US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's contention that the US will retaliate against Iran if it launches a nuclear attack against Israel makes clear, Washington will only consider acting against Teheran after the US moves to the top of Teheran's target list.The question then is whether Israel has the ability to effectively attack Iran even if the US opposes such a strike. Based on open source material, the answer to this central question is yes, Israel can launch an effective strike against Iran.Over the past several years, the IAF has demonstrated that it has the power projection capability to reach Iran's nuclear installations, strike and return home. The key Iranian nuclear installations have been visited by IAEA inspectors. They are not hundreds of meters underground. They are not invulnerable to ordnance Israel already possesses. They can be destroyed or at least severely impaired.The route to Iran is also open. Various leaked reports indicate that Saudi Arabia has given Israel a green light to overfly its airspace en route to Iran.
Finally, consistent polling data shows that the Israeli public understands the need for a strike and would be willing to accept whatever consequences flow in its wake. The public will support a government decision to strike even if the strike is not a one-off like the 1981 IAF strike that destroyed Iraq's Osirak reactor. The public will support the government even if the strike precipitates a condemnation by the US and aresumption of hostilities with Lebanon and even with Syria.With each passing day, Iran moves closer to the bomb and closer to initiating war on its terms. The international community will do nothing to preempt this danger. Israel must act. Fighting a war on our terms is eminently preferable to fighting one on Iran's terms.