News for November 18, 2005
Cheney gets his teeth into anti-war brigade (November 18, 2005) - America’s long-muted debate over Iraq has finally burst into the open with Vice-president Dick Cheney launching an excoriating attack on critics of the war. Mr Cheney savaged Democrats for accusing the White House of manipulating pre-war intelligence. Dick Cheney: ‘We are not going to sit by and let them rewrite history’ The allegations were among the “most dishonest and reprehensible charges ever aired in this city”, he said. “The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods day in and day out.” His counter-attack came after a fortnight in which Democrats have finally shattered the remains of the post-September 2001 consensus, even calling for a timetable for a withdrawal of troops. In particular, the Democrats have been encouraged by an opinion poll suggesting that more than half of Americans believe the Bush administration deliberately misled the nation to go to war. Clearly stung by the charge, President George W Bush accused his critics yesterday of irresponsibility, highlighting the fact that most of them backed the conflict. But he had left it to his vice-president, the most aggressive public promoter of the war in the countdown to the March 2003 invasion, to hurl mud back at his critics. “What we are hearing now is some politicians contradicting their own statements and making a play for political advantages in the middle of a war,” Mr Cheney told a Washington dinner on Wednesday. more...
Church of England faces mutiny (November 18, 2005) - The Church of England’s most senior cleric is facing an “unprecedented” attack on his authority after senior clergy condemned his more liberal stance on gay priests, the Guardian said on Thursday. The newspaper said 17 of Anglicanism’s 38 primates had signed a “highly personal” letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, urging him to take action against “unrepented sexual immorality” in the Church. “We wonder whether your personal dissent from this consensus prevents you from taking the necessary steps to confront those churches that have embraced teaching contrary to the communion,” the letter is said to have read. We urge you to rethink your personal view and embrace the church’s consensus. And to act on it as it is clear in the witness of scripture.” The issue of gay clergy is one of the most contentious facing the Anglican Church, which counts about 77 million followers worldwide, particularly between more liberal Western countries and the more conservative African Churches. Divisions have been heightened since Anglicans in the US — the US Episcopal Church — endorsed the election of an openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in the diocese of New Hampshire in 2003. At the same time, the diocese of New Westminster in Canada, became the first in the Anglican communion to introduce a service of blessing for same-sex couples. British bishops rejected calls for a similar service in July this year but allowed clergy to register same-sex relationships under the government’s civil partnership legislation. The Guardian said the latest row raised further the prospect of a split within the Church, particularly as the primates’ letter called for “cutting away dead branches that had failed to bear fruit”.
Iran Now Says Satellite Can Spy on Israel (November 17, 2005) - Iran said the satellite would be purely scientific. But a month after its launch - and only weeks after the president said Israel should be wiped off the map - the head of Tehran’s space program now says the Sina-1 is capable of spying on the Jewish state. The launch of the Russian-made satellite into orbit aboard a Russian rocket last month marked the beginning of Iran’s space program. Officials say a second satellite - this one Iranian-built - will be launched in about two months, heightening Israeli concerns. The Sina-1’s stated purpose is to take pictures of Iran and to monitor natural disasters in the earthquake-prone nation. Sina-1, with a three-year lifetime, has a resolution precision of about 50 yards. But as it orbits the Earth some 14 times a day from an altitude around 600 miles, with controllers able to point its cameras as they wish, Sina-1 gives Iran a limited space reconnaissance capability over the entire Middle East, including Israel. “Sina-1 is a research satellite. It’s not possible to use it for military purposes,” said Deputy Telecom Minister Ahmad Talebzadeh, who heads the space program. But he agreed it could spy on Israel. “Technically speaking, yes. It can monitor Israel,” he told The Associated Press. “But we don't need to do it. You can buy satellite photos of Israeli streets from the market.” more...
EU security teams to region taking shape (November 17, 2005) - An Italian police commander with experience in Albania and Hebron and an Irish police superintendent with experience in Ulster and London will head EU security-related teams dispatched to the Palestinian Authority, the EU announced Wednesday. EU special Middle East envoy Marc Otte told the Associated Press that Italian police Gen. Pietro Pistolese will head the 50-man EU team that will monitor the Rafah border crossing. Pistolese previously headed a European mission to Albania and also served as a TIPH observer in Hebron. Otte said that the team will be comprised of monitors from Italy, Germany and Great Britain, and that the goal was to have the crossing point open - at least on a partial basis - by November 25. An EU technical team has been in the area for a week assessing the team’s logistical needs, but Otte said it had still not been determined whether the monitor force will be armed. Otte met Wednesday morning with Minister Haim Ramon and senior officials in the office of Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres, and a Palestinian delegation led by Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat, to reach an agreement in principle outlining the mechanism for the deployment of what will be known as “EU Border Assistance Mission (EU-BAM) at the Rafah Crossing Point on the Gaza-Egypt border.” Peres, who met Wednesday with visiting Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, said EU-BAM “constitutes an entrance of the EU into the Middle East in a more political sense than ever before.” more...
Suicide Bombing Kill 52 at Shiite Mosque (November 18, 2005) - Suicide bombers killed 52 worshippers at a mosque in western Iraq on Friday while in Baghdad two car bombs destroyed the blast wall protecting a hotel housing foreign journalists and killed eight Iraqis. The suicide attackers targeted the Sheik Murad Shiite mosque in Khanaqin, 87 miles northeast of Baghdad, as dozens of people were attending Friday prayers, police said. Iraqi army Col. Hazim al-Sudani said 52 people were killed and 65 injured in the largely Kurdish town. The blast near the Hamra hotel in Baghdad knocked down the blast walls protecting the hotel and blew out windows, but did no structural damage. “What we have here appears to be two suicide car bombs (that) attempted to breach the security wall in the vicinity of the hotel complex and I think the target was the Hamra Hotel,” U.S. Brig. Gen. Karl Horst told reporters at the scene. The blasts - less than a minute apart - reverberated throughout the city center, sent a mushroom cloud hundreds of feet into the air and was followed by sporadic small arms fire. At first the target appeared to be an Interior Ministry building nearby where U.S. troops found about 170 detainees, some of whom appeared to be tortured. Several residential buildings collapsed from the blast, which gouged a large crater in the road. Firefighters and U.S. troops joined neighbors to dig through the debris and under toppled blast barriers to pull victims from the rubble. The blasts appear to be the second attack against a hotel housing international journalists since the Oct. 24 triple vehicle bomb attack against the Palestine Hotel, where The Associated Press, Fox News and other organizations live and work. “The investigation is under way, but the initial reports indicate so far the first car bomber was trying to pave the way for the second one, not on the main road, but on a secondary road to get in and hit the Hamra hotel, not the interior ministry,” Maj. Gen. Hussein Kamal, the deputy interior minister, said. Saad al-Ezi, an Iraqi journalist with the Boston Globe, said from inside Hamra hotel that it was clearly the target. “They were trying to penetrate by displacing the blast barriers behind the hotel and then get to the hotel,” he said. “I woke up to a huge explosion which broke all the glass and displaced all the window and doors frames.” more...
FEMA Halts Flood Insurance Payments (November 18, 2005) - A government agency has run out of funds to cover flood insurance claims and, in an unprecedented move, has stopped payments to policyholders. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the national flood insurance program, has advised the 96 insurance companies that sell flood policies to stop payments to policyholders until Congress says the agency can borrow more money. It’s the first time since the flood insurance program began in 1968 that FEMA has taken this action. The move likely means that thousands of policyholders, who have waited weeks for funds to rebuild after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma, are seeing further delays. Any delay “is a huge setback for people,” says Bill Newton, executive director of the Florida Consumer Action Network. “If you can’t rebuild your home and put your life back together, what are you supposed to do?” Congress is considering bills to increase the program’s borrowing authority and could act in the next few days. The full House approved one bill Wednesday giving FEMA authority to borrow up to $8.5 billion from the Treasury. It now goes to the Senate, which is working on its own bill. Spokesman Butch Kinerney says FEMA is aware that “a few days can make a difference for some folks. We just hope it’s a small number” of people who are affected. more...
Demons in Alien’s Clothing (November 18, 2005) - As we enter the 21st century and a new millenium, Satan has devised the delusion that mankind is entering into an important evolutionary phase - a New Age. The push for “global enlightenment” has now extended to the vast reaches of the universe, into what could be deemed as a “space” religion. However, once this nebulous veil is lifted, a definite correlation emerges between the UFO/Alien phenomenon and occultic/satanic activity.
The ancient civilizations of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas shared several intriguing characteristics:
Many of these revered and feared entities were described as looking like winged-reptilians or dragons. Similarly, Satan and his minions were depicted in an identical manner, as seen in artwork throughout the centuries. A monograph entitled, Reality of the Serpent Race, by Branton, reveals, “In Genesis 3 we read about the ‘Nachash’; Hebrew word for ‘Serpent’. The original Nachash was not actually a snake as most people believe, but an extremely intelligent, cunning creature, possessed with the ability to speak and reason.” Another significant parallel from the Holy Bible is shown in Jeremiah 8:17, “Behold, I will send serpents, cockatrices among you, which will bite you, saith the Lord.” The definition of a cockatrice is a reptilian bird-like creature or winged-serpent. This could very well represent the Phoenix, described in Egyptian mythology. A theory proposed by Bible scholar I.D.E. Thomas asserts that the race of the “Nephilim” (meaning Giants and/or fallen ones), mentioned in Genesis 6:4 and Numbers 13:33, closely resemble the alien race of the blond Pleiadian Nordics, reported to be eight to nine feet tall. The Nazis attempted to revive this mystical Aryan race in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Mr. Thomas believes that a hybrid offspring culminated from relations between the Nephilim and the “daughters of man” resulting in increased wickedness upon the earth; and thus evoking God’s wrath in the form of the “Great Flood”. more...
Sharon Surprises with Call for February Elections Media Line (November 18, 2005) - The Hebrew daily Yediot Aharonot came up with the scoop when it reported that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon wants elections to be held as early as February. The conventional wisdom had been that a March date would emerge from Sharon’s first meeting with Amir Peretz, the newly-elected head of Israel’s Labor Party. Atop the agenda for the tête-à-tête is Peretz’s formal notice to Sharon that Labor will be leaving the coalition and a demand for new elections. Elections were to have been held in November 2006. One analyst at Media Line pointed out that Sharon’s desire to accelerate the process should not come as a surprise and is consistent with typical Sharon strategy. The prime minister is by all accounts firmly in the lead in both the fight for leadership of his Likud party and head-to-head against Peretz. Sharon apparently believes that less time for opponents to organize and campaign against him works to his advantage.
Israel Buckles on Gaza Border (November 15, 2005) - Visiting United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice strong-armed Israel into prematurely surrendering control of the dangerously porous border between the Gaza Strip and the Egyptian Sinai to the Palestine Liberation Organization on November 15, senior Likud Member of Knesset Yuval Steinitz said. “Israel was pressured into opening up the crossings before we were ready; we gave in to pressure from the Americans,” said Steinitz, who also chairs the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Rice managed to extract, in a matter of days, an Israeli security concession the international community, through Quartet envoy James Wolfensohn, had been pushing for, for months. According to the deal, Israel will be provided a video feed from the Rafah crossing, and any dispute that arises over the passage of an individual into Gaza will be settled by European monitors stationed at the border. Gazan Arabs will also be permitted to travel between the coastal strip and Judea-Samaria in bus convoys. The lack of a physical Israeli presence on the Gaza-Sinai border is an invitation for Palestinian and Egyptian violation of the new agreement and a fresh influx of terrorist arms, many in Israel fear. more...
Saudi Arabia Agrees to end Boycott of Israel Media Line (November 13, 2005) - Saudi Arabia will end its economic boycott of Israel and become the 149th member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Saudi admission to the WTO was assured on November 12 in a special session of the organization’s general council. To gain admission, the Saudi’s agreed to “cancel all economic boycotts and pledged not to resort to any future discriminatory trade measures against Israel.” Bahrain recently ended its participation in the decades-old boycott in order to meet American requirements for a free-trade agreement. Israel’s WTO representative was quoted as saying he hoped the move “opens the door to a better future” in the region.
PA Police: Our Guns are Aimed at Israel (November 10, 2005) - In an ominous letter to Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Chief Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), a large number of Palestinian Authority (PA) security officers confirmed Israeli's worst fears regarding the Oslo peace process–the guns Israel allowed them to obtain are to be used against Jews and their allies only, not terrorists. The Arabs “know very well that if they use these guns against us once, at that moment the Oslo Accords will be annulled and the Israel Defense Forces will return to all the places that have been given to them,” late-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin warned after signing that agreement with Yasser Arafat in 1993. Rabin’s words were neither heeded, nor backed up. Despite Palestinian police officers having turned their weapons on Israelis numerous times over the past decade, the “peace” process has rolled on. In fact, many members of recognized terrorist organizations actually double as PA policemen. Abbas is trying to add more by bringing his Fatah faction’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades into the fold. But, if the man Washington insists is a “moderate” thinks such a move will lessen, at least temporarily, the violence between those he governs and Israel, this letter sought to set him straight. According to The Jerusalem Post, the officers who attached their names to the document stressed, “that their weapons would be used only against Israel and suspected collaborators”–those Palestinian Arabs that, in the spirit of Oslo, cooperate with Israel in the war against Islamic terror. Cracking down on terror groups, such as Hamas, in compliance with United States and Israeli demands is out of the question, the officers wrote. “We are the soldiers of the homeland, not [U.S. security Coordinator] General William Ward. Neither are we a branch of the Israeli Shin Bet [internal security organization], nor members of a hired gang serving certain centers of power.” more...
“Be not overcome
of evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
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