News for August 22, 2008

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We'll soon avenge Mughniyeh's death The Jerusalem Post (August 22, 2008) - Hizbullah warned Friday that revenge for the death of the group's terror chief Imad Mughniyeh was not far off. "Hizbullah will soon avenge the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh," said Sheikh Ahmad Morad, a member of the Hizbullah leadership in southern Lebanon. "The revenge will be shocking and huge surprises are in store," he added. "We will not allow Israel and its generals to enjoy stability." Morad was speaking at a Hizbullah rally in southern Lebanon. Mughniyeh was killed in February in a car bomb in the heart of Damascus. Israel has denied involvement. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister's Office issued a renewed warning to Israelis abroad regarding Hizbullah's intent to attack and possibly abduct Israeli citizens around the world. As part of its recommendations for Israelis, the PMO urged them to be wary of "unusual events," to turn down any tempting offers relating to business or pleasure, to avoid letting suspicious people or unknown visitors into their hotel rooms or apartments, to avoid staying in remote locations - especially after dark, to be accompanied by reliable companions during business meetings and recreational activities, and to avoid a regular pattern of activity during lengthy stays. Nevertheless, Sheikh Na'im Kassem, Hizbullah's deputy secretary-general, gave a speech in Beirut at the start of August during a conference attended by Lebanese emigrants, in which he called on Hizbullah supporters living abroad to respect the laws of their host countries and not to fight Israel on their soil.
| Israel | Islam |

NATO Says Russia Has Cut All Military Ties With Western Alliance Fox News (August 21, 2008) - Russia has halted all military cooperation with NATO, the Western alliance said Thursday, in the latest sign of East-West tension over the invasion of Georgia. NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said the alliance had received notification through military channels that Russia's Defense Ministry had taken a decision "to halt international military cooperation events between Russia and NATO countries until further instructions." She said NATO "takes note" of the decision, but had no further reaction. On Tuesday, NATO foreign ministers said they would make further ties with Russia dependent on Moscow making good on a pledge to pull its troops back to pre-conflict positions in Georgia. However, they stopped short of calling an immediate halt to all cooperation. Under a 2002 agreement that set up the NATO-Russia Council, the former Cold War foes began several cooperation projects. They include sharing expertise to combat heroin trafficking out of Afghanistan, developing battlefield anti-missile technology, joint exercises and help with rescue at sea. Romero said she was unaware of any specific events under the cooperation agreement scheduled before early September. NATO itself decided last week to suspend plans for a Russian warship to join NATO counterterrorism patrols in the Mediterranean Sea, deciding it was inappropriate in the wake of the eruption of fighting in Georgia.
| Gog/Magog | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America |

Hamas leader: We'll retrieve Jerusalem only by way of jihad YNet News (August 21, 2008) - 'Jerusalem will be returned to the Palestinians not by way of negotiations or hugging and kissing the enemy, but through blood, shahids and resistance,' Haniyeh says, adding 'Muslims must protect Al-Aqsa Mosque.' Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Wednesday that the Islamist group will not accept any future peace agreement that does not include the return of Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley to Palestinians hands and the return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in Israel. Speaking at a ceremony marking 39 years since the fire at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, Haniyeh said "no one can cede Jerusalem, the city from which the Prophet Muhammad ascended to the heavens. "Jerusalem will be retrieved to the Palestinians not through negotiations or by hugging and kissing the enemy, but by way of jihad, blood, shahids and resistance. With Allah's help, Jerusalem will be returned," he said. The Hamas leader added that "the Israeli-Arabs are safeguarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque; it is as if they are inside the belly of a whale. They represent the Islamic nation. We send them our regards, especially to Sheikh Raed Salah (founder of Islamic Movement in Israel)." Haniyeh said that "according to most all reports on secret peace talks or agreements, Israel is refusing to relinquish Jerusalem and the West Bank, refuses to accept the right of return of Palestinian refugees, refuses to dismantle the settlements and deems the Jordan Valley vital to its security." On behalf of the Palestinian nation and Muslims everywhere, I say that we will not accept any such agreements," he said. The Hamas chief continued to say that Israel is looking to damage Al-Aqsa and called on all Muslims to "protect Jerusalem".
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

Fear of new Mid East 'Cold War' as Syria strengthens military alliance with Russia Times Online (August 21, 2008) - Syria raised the prospect yesterday of having Russian missiles on its soil, sparking fears of a new Cold War in the Middle East. President Assad said as he arrived in Moscow to clinch a series of military agreements: “We are ready to co-operate with Russia in any project that can strengthen its security.” The Syrian leader told Russian newspapers: “I think Russia really has to think of the response it will make when it finds itself closed in a circle.” Mr Assad said that he would be discussing the deployment of Russian missiles on his territory. The Syrians are also interested in buying Russian weapons. In return Moscow is expected to propose a revival of its Cold War era naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus, which would give the Russian Navy its first foothold in the Mediterranean for two decades. Damascus and Moscow were close allies during the Cold War but the Kremlin’s influence in the region waned after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yesterday’s rapprochement raised the possibility that Moscow intends to re-create a global anti-Western alliance with former Soviet bloc allies. Many in Israel fear that the Middle East could once again become a theatre for the two great powers to exert their spheres of influence, militarily and politically. And with Israel and the US providing military backing to Georgia, Russia appears set to respond in kind by supporting Syria. Already, Israeli observers worry that the chaos in the Caucasus may disrupt gas supplies to Europe and Turkey from the Caspian Sea region, creating a greater energy reliance on Iran and its vast reserves. The crisis could in turn allow Tehran to exploit splits in the international community and use Russia as a backer to advance its nuclear programme. Russia has wooed Syria in recent years, as it has tried to increase its influence in the Middle East and increase arms sales. Syria and Israel recently confirmed they had been holding indirect talks to reach a peace deal after decades of hostility. Part of Syria’s motivation was to break the international isolation it has suffered for its strategic alliance with Tehran. A closer alliance with a resurgent Russia could afford Mr Assad a way out of any binding commitment. Some Israeli analysts even fear that it could encourage Syria to try to take back the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in 1967, by force. The Georgia conflict sparked a mocking speech with Cold War rhetoric by Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the Hezbollah leader, over the performance of Israeli-trained Georgian troops. One of the Israeli military advisers there was reserve Brigadier-General Gal Hirsch, who commanded a division in Israel’s inconclusive war with Hezbollah in 2006, and who resigned his commission afterwards. “Gal Hirsch, who was defeated in Lebanon, went to Georgia and they too lost because of him,” the Shia leader taunted. “Relying on Israeli experts and weapons, Georgia learnt why the Israeli generals failed. “What happened in Georgia is a message to all those the Americans are seeking to entangle in dangerous adventures.”
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

What are the chances of this Syrian-Russian alliance and fear in Israel that the growing instability for their nation because of the energy crisis and threats against her could lead to a pre-emptive attack on Damascus? And what are the chances that Russia and Iran would retaliate? Considering Turkey's recent attempts to reconcile Syria and Israel, would they consider Israel's action against Damascus worth declaring war against her with Russia and Turkey as prophesied? Keep watching.

Satellites track Mexico kidnap victims with chips Reuters (August 21, 2008) - Affluent Mexicans, terrified of soaring kidnapping rates, are spending thousands of dollars to implant tiny transmitters under their skin so satellites can help find them tied up in a safe house or stuffed in the trunk of a car. Kidnapping jumped almost 40 percent between 2004 and 2007 in Mexico, according to official statistics. Mexico ranks with conflict zones like Iraq and Colombia as among the worst countries for abductions. The recent kidnapping and murder of Fernando Marti, 14, the son of a well-known businessman, sparked an outcry in a country already hardened to crime. More people, including a growing number of middle-class Mexicans, are seeking out the tiny chip designed by Xega, a Mexican security firm whose sales jumped 13 percent this year. The company said it had more than 2,000 clients. Detractors say the chip is little more than a gadget that serves no real security purpose. The company injects the crystal-encased chip, the size and shape of a grain of rice, into clients' bodies with a syringe. A transmitter in the chip then sends radio signals to a larger device carried by the client with a global positioning system in it, Xega says. A satellite can then pinpoint the location of a person in distress. Cristina, 28, who did not want to give her last name, was implanted along with seven other members of her family last year as a "preventive measure." "It's not like we are wealthy people, but they'll kidnap you for a watch. ... Everyone is living in fear," she said. The chips cost $4,000 plus an annual fee of $2,200. Most kidnappings in Mexico go unreported, many of them cases of "express kidnapping" where the victim is grabbed and forced to withdraw money from automatic cash machines. more...
| Technology |

While I don't believe these chips are the mark of the beast, I do believe they work like conditioners by offering a feeling of security.

Russia sends aircraft carrier to Syria Barents Observer (August 20, 2008) - The Russian aircraft carrier “Admiral Kuznetsov” is ready to head from Murmansk towards the Mediterranean and the Syrian port of Tartus. The mission comes after Syrian President Bashar Assad said he is open for a Russian base in the area. The “Admiral Kuznetsov”, part of the Northern Fleet and Russia’s only aircraft carrier, will head a Navy mission to the area. The mission will also include the missile cruiser “Moskva” and several submarines, reports. President Assad in meetings in Moscow this week expressed support to Russia’s intervention in South Ossetia and Georgia. He also expressed interest in the establishment of Russian missile air defence facilities on his land. The “Admiral Kuznetsov” also last year headed a navy mission to the Mediterranean. Then, on the way from the Kola Peninsula and south, it stopped in the North Sea where it conducted a navy training exercise in the immediate vicinity of Norwegian offshore installations.
| Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Monitor: UN peacekeepers in Lebanon co-opted by Hizbullah World Tribune (August 20, 2008) - A consultant to the United Nations said its peace-keeping force in Lebanon has been effectively paralyzed. An independent monitoring group, registered as a consultant to the UN, said UNIFIL could not act without permission of Hizbullah and the Lebanese government it now controls. "They [UNIFIL] mustn't accept Hizbullah blackmailing," Toni Nissi, general coordinator of the Lebanese Committee for UN Security Council Resolution 1559 said. [On Aug. 19, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel would lift any limitations on military operations should Lebanon turn into what he termed a Hizbullah state. Olmert said Israel had restrained itself during the 2006 war with Hizbullah to avoid damage to Lebanon.] In a briefing on Aug. 16, Nissi said UNIFIL has become a hostage of Hizbullah. He said the government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora has refused to grant permission to UN peace-keepers to halt Hizbullah weapons smuggling or deployment south of the Litani River, a key element of Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the Israeli-Hizbullah war in 2006. "1701 also calls for the implementation of [Security Council resolution] 1559, especially the disarmament of the militias, and calls for sealing the border between Lebanon and Syria and forbidding the entering of arms and weapons via the border, especially to Hizbullah," Nissi said. "So Hizbullah is violating 1701 big time, and not only by hiding its weapons in warehouses in the south. Also, we haven't seen any weapons coming out of the south after the war of 2006. So did Hizbullah throw its weapons used in the 2006 war into the sea?" The monitoring group, with representatives in Lebanon and other countries, disputed an assertion by UNIFIL commander Maj. Gen. Claudio Graziano that Hizbullah was honoring resolution 1701. Graziano also said UNIFIL maintained excellent relations with the militia. "Is the UNIFIL mandate to coordinate with Hizbullah or to kick Hizbullah out south of the Litani?" Nissi responded. Former UNIFIL adviser Timor Goksel said the 13,500 international peace-keeping force has sought to avoid friction with Hizbullah. Goksel told a briefing in Beirut that Hizbullah has established a major presence in southern Lebanon. "I know they are careful not to challenge UNIFIL and there is practically no visible Hizbullah fighter to be seen," Goksel said. "As far as UNIFIL is concerned, this is compliance."
| Iran | Islam | Isaiah 17 | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Norway: Russia to cut all military ties with NATO Associated Press (August 20, 2008) - Russia has informed Norway that it plans to suspend all military ties with NATO, Norway's Defense Ministry said Wednesday, a day after the military alliance urged Moscow to withdraw its forces from Georgia. NATO foreign ministers said Tuesday they would make further ties with Russia dependent on Moscow making good on a pledge to pull its troops back to pre-conflict positions in Georgia. However, they stopped short of calling an immediate halt to all cooperation. The Nordic country's embassy in Moscow received a telephone call from "a well-placed official in the Russian Ministry of Defense," who said Moscow plans "to freeze all military cooperation with NATO and allied countries," Espen Barth Eide, state secretary with the Norwegian ministry said. Eide told The Associated Press that the Russian official notified Norway it will receive a written note about this soon. He said Norwegian diplomats in Moscow would meet Russian officials on Thursday morning to clarify the implications of the freeze. "It is our understanding that other NATO countries will receive similar notes," Eide said. The ministry said the Russian official is known to the embassy, but Norway declined to provide a name or any further identifying information. A Kremlin official declined to comment on the report, and the Russian ambassador to NATO did not reply to messages left on his cell phone. But the Interfax news agency, citing what it called a military-diplomatic source in Moscow whom it did not identify, reported that Russia is reviewing its 2008 military cooperation plans with NATO. Officials at NATO headquarters in Brussels said Moscow had not informed the alliance it was taking such a step. Washington described the reported move as unfortunate. more...
| Gog/Magog | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America |

As US Looks to Improve Ties, Libya Positions Itself in Russia’s Corner CNS News (August 19, 2008) - At a time when the U.S. is moving towards full normalization of relations with Libya, Muammar Gaddafi’s son has made it clear that the North African nation is looking to Russia as its strategic partner. In a little-noticed interview with Russia’s Kommersant business daily, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi said Moscow’s resurgence, demonstrated by this month’s military incursion into Georgia, was a positive development for the Arab world. “What happened in Georgia is a good sign, which means America is no longer the sole world power setting the rules of the game,” Gaddafi said. “Now there is balance in the world. Russia is being reborn, and we value that. It is very good for us, for all of the Middle East,” he said. Gaddafi, who runs a charity called the Gaddafi Foundation, has frequently undertaken diplomatic missions on behalf of his father. The second oldest of seven sons, the 35-year-old is sometimes named as a possible successor to the unpredictable Libyan leader but has denied ambitions to rule the north African country – a position he reiterated in the Kommersant interview. The published interview appeared on the same day that the U.S. government announced a breakthrough agreement with Libya on compensation for terror victims, paving the way for the full normalization of bilateral ties. Asked whether his strong statements were not risking Libya’s newly-improved ties with the U.S., Gaddafi told the Russian paper that although his country has good relations with both the West and Russia, “Libya chose Russia as its strategic partner.” “Of course, Russia is our strategic partner, and we cannot compare it with any other country for closeness. That’s obvious.” Gaddafi said Libya backed Moscow’s position that Georgia had initiated the recent conflict – by mounting an offensive against separatists in a Russian-backed breakaway province – and forced a Russian military response. Libya would back Russia in the U.N. Security Council, he said. Libya, which has been improving relations with the West since pledging to stop supporting terrorism and shutting down its non-conventional weapons programs, in January began a two-year stint on the council. Its conduct there has at times drawn strong criticism. more...
| Gog/Magog | America |

Israeli missile defense system detects Syrian tests World Tribune (August 19, 2008) - Israeli officials said the Syrian military conducted tests of both ballistic missiles and tactical rockets in the spring and summer of 2008. "It was the kind of test that Iran conducted earlier this year and meant to show that Syria could fire missiles simultaneously from a range of batteries in the southern and central parts of the country," an official said. The Syrian tests were detected by Israel's Arrow-2 missile defense system. The Arrow's Green Pine early-warning radar was said to have a range of more than 800 kilometers, which covers most of Syria, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the Syrian tests included that of the Scud D ballistic missile, with a range of 700 kilometers and which can contain a chemical warhead. They said North Korea has helped Syria develop a two-stage Scud D meant to frustrate Israel's missile defense system. They said the launches appeared to test Syria's command and control network required to sustain a missile attack on Israel. Syria was also said to have fired the Soviet-origin SS-21 rocket during the exercise. The single-stage SS-21 has a range of more than 70 kilometers and was said to be capable of striking Israeli strategic facilities. Officials said Syria has about 1,000 short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, including the Scud B and Scud C. They said Iran and North Korea have been helping Syria integrate a range of missile and rocket batteries into a nationwide network. Israel responded to the Syrian missile launches with a missile defense exercise in August. Officials acknowledged that neither Israel's Arrow-2 nor the U.S.-origin Patriot systems could intercept most of Syria's missiles and rockets. Israel's Channel 2 television disclosed the Syrian missile and rocket exercise on Aug. 18, the eve of a visit by President Bashar Assad to Russia. Assad was expected to discuss with his Russian hosts the prospect of purchasing the Iskander-E rocket, with a range of 280 kilometers.
| Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Need I add anything concerning a pre-emptive attack on Damascus?

Report warns of global fallout from invasion of Georgia, faults U.S. intelligence World Tribune (August 19, 2008) - Russia's invasion of Georgia demonstrated Moscow's growing power and is making waves in the Middle East, a report by a leading U.S. analyst said. The report by the Institute for Contemporary Affairs asserted that Iran would be emboldened by Moscow's successful military campaign. "The long-term outcomes of the current Russian-Georgian war will be felt far and wide, from Afghanistan to Iran, and from the Caspian to the Mediterranean," the report, titled "The Russian-Georgian War: Implications for the Middle East," said. "The war is a mid-sized earthquake which indicates that the geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting, and nations in the Middle East, including Israel, need to take notice." Authored by Ariel Cohen, the report said Russia's strategic goals included increasing control of energy pipelines to Turkey. Cohen also warned Israel not to provoke Moscow or rely on U.S. support against Iran, Middle East Newsline reported. "U.S. expressions of support of the kind provided to Georgia — short of an explicit mutual defense pact — may or may not result in military assistance if/when Israel is under attack, especially when the attacker has an effective deterrent, such as nuclear arms deliverable against U.S. targets," the report said. "In the future, such an attacker could be Iran or an Arab country armed with atomic weapons. Israel can and should rely on its own deterrent — a massive survivable second-strike capability." The report criticized the U.S. intelligence community, which failed to detect Russian efforts to annex Georgia's Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Cohen, who warned that Ukraine was Moscow's next target, said the Bush administration did not prepare the Georgian military for a Russian attack. "This is something to remember when looking at recent American intelligence assessments of the Iranian nuclear threat or the unsuccessful training of Palestinian Authority security forces against Hamas," Cohen said. Cohen said a pro-Russian regime in Georgia would result in Moscow's full control of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-Erzurum natural gas pipeline, both of which reach Turkey. Israel has been receiving some of its oil from Ceyhan and has a "stake in the smooth flow of oil from the Caspian." The report said Russia financed and armed the Russian ethnic community in Georgia to foment unrest. Cohen compared this to Iran's use of proxies to attack Israel from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. "This use of small, ethnically-based proxies is similar to Iran's use of Hizbullah and Hamas to continuously attack Israel," the report said. "Tbilisi tried for years to deal with these militias by offering a negotiated solution, including full autonomy within Georgia." Cohen, a senior researcher at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation, said Russia plans to extend its influence throughout the Middle East. He cited Russian Navy bases in the Syrian ports of Latakia and Tartous and plans to establish a presence in Libya. "Clearly, with the renewal of East-West tensions as a result of Russia's moves against Georgia, it will be much more difficult to obtain Moscow's agreement to enhance sanctions and international pressures on Iran," the report said. "The struggle to diplomatically halt its [Iran's] nuclear program will become far more difficult."
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

This article really touches on several of the aspects of the sequence of events I believe will unfold according to Bible prophecy. The intelligence community failed to detect Russia's intentions/actions until they were unfolding and the "global community" didn't do anything but condemn the use of force, which sends a signal that Russia and others can get away with actions like this. Furthermore, Israel is told they would pretty much be on their own. Then it also says Israel should rely on its own deterrent, a massive second-strike capability. Is it too far-fetched to believe that Israel could make a pre-emptive strike given the very vocal intentions to run Israel into the sea?

Top Russian general names Israel as Georgian arms supplier The Jerusalem Post (August 19, 2008) - Russia's deputy army chief, Col.-Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, accused Israel on Tuesday of arming the Georgian military with mines, explosive charges, special explosives for clearing minefields and eight kinds of unmanned aerial vehicles. "In 2007, Israeli experts trained Georgian commandos in Georgia and there were plans to supply heavy weaponry, electronic weapons, tanks and other arms at a later date, but the deal didn't work out," Nogovitsyn told a Moscow press conference. Nogovitsyn also said that the Russian soldiers had detained 20 mercenaries near the Georgian city of Poti, including three Arabs, all wearing Georgian army uniforms. Nogovitsyn also said that Israeli troops in 2007 had trained Georgian commando troops. He added that Russia had begun pulling its troops out of Georgia on Monday, in accordance with the French-brokered ceasefire. Georgia's Deputy Defense Minister Batu Kutelia said that Georgian corporals and sergeants train with German alpine units, the navy work with French instructors and special operations and urban warfare troops are taught by Israelis. An Israeli defense official told The Jerusalem Post recently that Israel had rejected frequent requests for arms from Georgia in the months leading up to the outbreak of hostilities with Russia. "Several months ago, we carried out an evaluation of the situation in Georgia and realized that Georgia and Russia were on a collision course. We have good relations with both, and don't want to back either in this conflict," the official said. "We therefore made a decision to drastically minimize sales of weapons to Georgia." Some of the Israeli sales with Georgia in the past included night-vision equipment, rifles and unmanned drones for gathering intelligence. Israel did not agree, however, to upgrade the drones to those that possess high intelligence-gathering capabilities, the defense officials said. Georgia's defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in Hebrew, and is said to have contributed to military cooperation.
| Israel | Gog/Magog |

30 dead in worst weekend of Mexico violence this year Breitbart (August 18, 2008) - More than 30 people died in the worst weekend of violence this year in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua, the scene of daily drug gang turf wars, police said Monday. Heavily-armed assassins killed nine people in separate incidents late Sunday in the border town of Ciudad Juarez, local police said, following the slaying of 21 people the previous night -- including a baby and a four-year-old boy -- at a village dance in the town of Creel. Drug-related violence in Mexico has killed 2,682 people since the start of the year -- nine more than in all of 2007 -- with nearly half in Chihuahua state, daily El Universal reported Saturday. Ciudad Juarez -- across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, where local drug gangs are battling the powerful Sinaloa cartel -- has the highest murder toll, with some 800 so far this year, according to an AFP count. Federal authorities have deployed more than 36,000 soldiers across the country since early 2007, including 2,500 in Ciudad Juarez, in an effort to combat drug trafficking and related violence. But the murder rate has climbed dramatically in two years, from 1,410 in 2006.
| 2nd Seal |

Israelis: War With Hezbollah Inevitable Newsmax (August 18, 2008) - The Israeli army says Hezbollah has re-armed with 40,000 rockets — triple the number it had at the start of the Lebanon War two years ago. Therefore, many Israelis believe another war with Hezbollah is inevitable. "The war set the stage for a more comprehensive Middle East conflict," said Israeli analyst Michael Oren. "It set into motion a dynamic in the Arab world, where much of the Arab street believes that Hezbollah won that war, and there is tremendous expectation on Hezbollah to continue the struggle." Hezbollah fired 4,000 rockets into Israel during the 34-day conflict. But a massive Israeli air and ground assault failed to deal a knockout blow to 5,000 Hezbollah guerrillas in South Lebanon, prompting an official Israeli inquiry to describe the government's and army's handling of the war as a failure. Oren says there were failures, but also achievements. "Israel wreaked tremendous havoc in Lebanon in 2006," Oren said. "We destroyed all of Hezbollah's infrastructure, much of its civilian headquarters, we killed about a quarter of their fighters, that is a prohibitive number of casualties for any modern fighting force, and yet perception is everything in the Middle East and the perception was, in the Arab world at least, that Israel was bested in that conflict." Under the U.N. ceasefire resolution that ended the war, about 13,000 international peacekeepers have deployed in South Lebanon. But Israel charges that they have failed to fulfill their mandate of preventing weapons smuggling to Hezbollah from Syria and Iran. With a bristling new arsenal of rockets, Oren believes a Hezbollah attack on Israel is just a matter of time. "Israel would then have to reply into Lebanon, possibly drawing in the Syrians and ultimately the Iranians," Oren said. And with the possible involvement of regional superpowers, the next war could be much worse than the last one.
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |

Remember the news story regarding Israel's warning that they would hold Damascus responsible for Hezbollah's actions? Report: Israel threatened to target Syria if Hezbollah attacks

Lisbon treaty would have helped in Georgia crisis, says France EU Observer (August 18, 2008) - French president Nicolas Sarkozy has used the ongoing crisis between Russia and Georgia to put the case for the EU's new treaty, currently facing ratification difficulties. In an opinion piece in Monday's edition of French daily Le Figaro, Mr. Sarkozy, who currently holds the EU's six month presidency, wrote that the Lisbon Treaty would have given the bloc the tools it needed to handle the Moscow-Tbilisi war. "It is notable that had the Lisbon Treaty, which is in the process of being ratified, already been in force, the European Union would have had the institutions it needs to cope with international crises." He named the most important innovations as being the "stable" European Council President - instead of the current half-yearly system - " a High Representative endowed with a real European diplomatic service and considerable financial means in order to put decisions into force in coordination with member states. " The short pitch for the Lisbon Treaty also revealed a little how the French president views the role of the EU's first long-term president of the EU - a post that can be held for up to five years. The treaty itself is ambiguous about the president's exact role with the potential for conflict rife with member states and EU officials divided about whether the position should be ceremonial or have real teeth. Entwined in this question is how much the president should represent the EU in external policy, a policy area that is foreseen for the EU's foreign policy chief. In the Figaro article, Mr. Sarkozy suggests that the president's position in such crises as the Russia-Georgia one would be one of "acting in close consultation with the heads of state and government most affected." This would very much put the President in the foreign policy field. It would also foresee a formal hierarchy among member states as it would give priority to those considered most affected. This kind of scenario has been predicted by some smaller member states who fear that the president would have an all-powerful role, reducing the say of certain governments, although the working principle of the bloc is that member states are equal. But Mr. Sarkozy's words of support for the Lisbon Treaty come amid doubt that it will ever come into force. Although ratified by the vast majority of national parliaments, it was rejected by Irish voters in a referendum in June. All member states need to ratify the document for it to go into place. At the moment, Dublin is considering its options. It could either put the treaty to another referendum or try and figure out a legal contortion allowing it to use parliamentary ratification only. But the January 2009 deadline by which governments had hoped to have the treaty in place is certain to be missed.
| Gog/Magog | EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

I wonder if the unfolding of the Magog invasion will be what spurs the acceptance of the Lisbon Treaty in Europe out of fear of being unable to deal with situations such as this. It certainly seems that it could end up working in favor of the Lisbon Treaty and ultimately the center of power being designed to run from Europe. Keep watching!

Russia: Poland risks attack due to U.S. missiles MSNBC (August 15, 2008) - A top Russian general said Friday that Poland's agreement to accept a U.S. missile interceptor base exposed the ex-communist nation to attack, possibly by nuclear weapons, the Interfax news agency reported. The statement by Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn was the strongest threat that Russia issued against the plans to put missile defense elements in former Soviet satellite nations. Poland and the United States on Thursday signed a deal for Poland to accept a missile interceptor base as part of a system the United States said was aimed at blocking attacks by rogue nations. Moscow, however, felt it was aimed at Russia's missile force. "Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike — 100 percent," Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff, was quoted as saying. He added, in clear reference to the agreement, that Russia's military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons "against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them." Nogovitsyn that would include elements of strategic deterrence systems, he said, according to Interfax. At a news conference earlier Friday, Nogovitsyn had reiterated Russia's frequently stated warning that placing missile-defense elements in Poland and the Czech Republic would bring an unspecified military response. But his subsequent reported statement substantially stepped up a war of words. more...
| Gog/Magog | America |

Lebanon, Syria open diplomatic relations The Jordanian Times (August 15, 2008) - Syrian President Bashar Assad and Lebanese President Michel Sleiman agreed on Wednesday to establish diplomatic relations between their countries at ambassadorial level, a Syrian official said. Damascus has been under pressure from the United States and other governments including France to treat its smaller neighbour more as a sovereign state by taking steps including opening a Beirut embassy and demarcating borders with Lebanon. "The two presidents... have instructed their foreign ministers to take the necessary steps in this regard, starting from today," Buthaina Shaaban, an adviser to President Assad said. Syria had dominated Lebanon until the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri triggered pressure for it to end a 29-year military presence in the country. Sleiman, who had been army chief before his election, was received at a hilltop palace overlooking Damascus. He was appointed head of Lebanon's military when Syria still controlled the country and describes his ties with Damascus as excellent. The two countries announced last month in Paris that they intended to open diplomatic relations for the first time since they gained independence in 1943. Wednesday's agreement formally set those ties on the highest level. It was Sleiman's first visit to Syria since his election in May as part of a Qatari-mediated deal that defused a bitter political conflict between an anti-Syrian majority coalition and an alliance of groups backed by Damascus. Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mouallem told Lebanon's As-Safir newspaper that Sleiman's visit was "a starting point and a true foundation for future relations". Syria's opponents in Lebanon, including Saudi-backed politician Saad Hariri, have accused Damascus of assassinating Rafiq Hariri and other anti-Syrian figures and fomenting instability since its withdrawal. Syria denies the allegations. more...
| Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Iran, Turkey fail to reach deal on new pipeline Associated Press (August 14, 2008) - Iran and Turkey signed several cooperation agreements Thursday but failed to complete a deal for building a new natural gas pipeline — a project the United States has opposed. Washington argues an energy deal by NATO ally Turkey with Iran would send the wrong message while the West threatens Tehran with new economic sanctions over its refusal to halt uranium enrichment. The West believe Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, which Tehran denies. On Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Turkish President Abdullah Gul witnessed the public signing of a series of agreements for cooperation in anti-drug efforts, environmental matters, transportation, tourism and culture. The two nations also issued a joint statement stressing their determination for further cooperation in energy but they couldn't come to agreement on construction of the proposed gas pipeline. "There are some snags," Turkey's interior minister, Besir Atalay, said without providing any details. Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said that "the negotiations will continue" on the pipeline project, which is aimed at ensuring reliable supply of Iranian natural gas to Turkey. Turkey already receives gas through an existing pipeline from Iran, but its flow often is sporadic during the winter. Relations between Turkey and Iran improved since Turkey's Islamic-rooted governing party took power in 2002. Previous Turkish governments had accused Iran of trying to export radical Islam to secular Turkey, which hopes to join the European Union. The United States also opposes plans for Turkish investment in Iran's South Pars gas fields and the possibility of the Islamic Republic selling its gas to European markets via an existing pipeline that carries gas to Europe through Turkey.
| Iran | Islam | Gog/Magog |

Is Temple Mount God's time bomb? WorldNet Daily (August 14, 2008) - Was the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem more than a place of worship? Was it, indeed, a roadmap to future events – a kind of prophetic landmark whose significance is only now revealed through the development of satellite imagery? That is the contention of an explosive new book, "Temple at the Center of Time: Newton's Bible Codex Deciphered and the Year 2012," by David Flynn, a book that has risen dramatically to No. 1 among unexplained mysteries, No. 1 in world history and 73 overall on The book asserts it has "deciphered Isaac Newton’s greatest paradox: None other than 'the unified field theory' of Bible prophecy." Sir Isaac Newton was not only a great thinker in physics, the book explains, but had extensive knowledge of the Scriptures with a special interest in prophecy. Newton believed there was a hidden code, a type of time-encrypted language. He believed the key to deciphering this code was the Temple of Solomon. He wrote extensively on the length measurements of the Temple and suggested it intersected time and dimension, serving as a prophetic and supernatural structure. According to Flynn, although Newton never cracked this code, he was on the right track and was limited only by the lack of sophisticated satellite technology. "The description of Jerusalem as a terrestrial center point, situated in the center of the world, is found in Philo's Legatio and Gaium," Flynn notes. "The world is like a human eyeball. The white of the eye is the ocean surrounding the world, the iris is this continent, the pupil is Jerusalem, and the image in the pupil is the Holy Temple." To make his case, Flynn starts by illustrating what the reader soon learns is the first of numerous extraordinary time-distance anomalies. The prisca sapentia framework of Newton suggests that the distance between the temple of Jerusalem and the capital city of any nation historically effecting the chronicles of Jerusalem would be supernaturally connected. This relationship would be significant with respect to units of time, expressing meaning in line with God's divine plan as recorded in the word of his prophets. For instance, if a measurement is made from the point of the temple of Jerusalem's foundation stone to the palace of Balthazar – the political center of Babylon and the exact location where the writing on the wall occurred – the distance should relate to the period in which Babylon most influenced Jerusalem. Such a relationship exists and is the important distance of 539.86 statute miles. What makes this measurement unusual is that Babylon, which played such a significant role in Hebrew antiquity, was measured and numbered in its relationship to Jewish history in Daniel chapter five during the famous handwriting on the wall. When the prophet interpreted the manifestation, he proclaimed in verses 25-28:

Daniel 5:25-28
And this is the writing that was written: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN. This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE, God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it; TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting; PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.

That very night King Belshazzar was slain, and Darius the Mede became king. Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians on the 16th day of Tishri of the Jewish calendar, which correlates to Oct. 12, 539 B.C. Curiously, the number 539 is also the distance in statute miles between the temple of Jerusalem's foundation stone to the palace of Balthazar, as confirmed by modern satellite measurement. more...
| Israel | Temple Mount |

I haven't had the opportunity to read this book yet, but I'm interested to see what kinds of time frames he presents regarding the seeming correlation between the Temple Mount and various cities and their historical connection to Israel as well as prophetic in some cases. There are aspects of this book that could be misinterpretations, for instance the idea of the next temple being that of Ezekiel 40 (I believe Ezekiel 40-48 are speaking of the millennial temple, the fourth temple), but I'm still curious about the data itself.

Ocean dead zones become a worldwide problem Associated Press (August 14, 2008) - Like a chronic disease spreading through the body, "dead zones" with too little oxygen for life are expanding in the world's oceans. "We have to realize that hypoxia is not a local problem," said Robert J. Diaz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. "It is a global problem and it has severe consequences for ecosystems." "It's getting to be a problem of such a magnitude that it is starting to affect the resources that we pull out of the sea to feed ourselves," he added. Diaz and co-author Rutger Rosenberg report in Friday's edition of the journal Science that there are now more than 400 dead zones around the world, double what the United Nations reported just two years ago. "If we screw up the energy flow within our systems we could end up with no crabs, no shrimp, no fish. That is where these dead zones are heading unless we stop their growth," Diaz said in a telephone interview. The newest dead areas are being found in the Southern Hemisphere — South America, Africa, parts of Asia — Diaz said. Some of the increase is due to the discovery of low-oxygen areas that may have existed for years and are just being found, he said, but others are actually newly developed. Pollution-fed algae, which deprive other living marine life of oxygen, is the cause of most of the world's dead zones. Scientists mainly blame fertilizer and other farm run-off, sewage and fossil-fuel burning. Diaz and Rosenberg, of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, conclude that it would be unrealistic to try to go back to preindustrial levels of runoff. "Farmers aren't doing this on purpose," Diaz said. "The farmers would certainly prefer to have their (fertilizer) on the land rather than floating down the river." He said he hopes that as fertilizers become more and more expensive farmers will begin seriously looking at ways to retain them on the land. New low-oxygen areas have been reported in Samish Bay of Puget Sound, Yaquina Bay in Oregon, prawn culture ponds in Taiwan, the San Martin River in northern Spain and some fjords in Norway, Diaz said. A portion of Big Glory Bay in New Zealand became hypoxic after salmon farming cages were set up, but began recovering when the cages were moved, he said. A dead zone has been newly reported off the mouth of the Yangtze River in China, Diaz said, but the area has probably been hypoxic since the 1950s. "We just didn't know about it," he said. Some of the reports are being published for the first time in journals accessible to Western scientists, he said. Nancy N. Rabalais, executive director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, said she was not surprised at the increase in dead zones. "There have been many more reported, but there truly are many more. What has happened in the industrialized nations with agribusiness as well that led to increased flux of nutrients from the land to the estuaries and the seas is now happening in developing countries," said Rabalais, who was not part of Diaz' research team. She said she was told during a 1989 visit to South America that rivers there were too large to have the same problems as the Mississippi River. "Now many of their estuaries and coastal seas are suffering the same malady." "The increase is a troubling sign for estuarine and coastal waters, which are among some of the most productive waters on the globe," she said.
| Earth Changes |

Europe's major economies contract BBC News (August 14, 2008) - The 15 economies of the eurozone contracted by 0.2% between April and June, heightening fears that the euro area is sliding towards recession. The eurozone's first decline since it was created in 1999 was driven by a slowdown in exports and consumer spending. The German economy, Europe's largest, shrank by 0.5% in the second quarter compared with the previous quarter. And in both France and Italy GDP shrank by 0.3% in the second quarter. The slowdown was less pronounced in the wider European community of 27 nations including the UK, which contracted by 0.1%. However Estonia, where the economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter, is now considered to be in recession. Ireland, whose economy contracted in the first quarter of the year, has not yet released its second quarter growth figures. Compared to the second quarter of 2007, the eurozone economies grew by 1.5% and the 27 European Union countries grew by 1.7%. The news weakened the euro, which was already well down from its recent highs against the dollar. But high eurozone inflation, which was unchanged on the month, made it unlikely that the European Central Bank, which raised interest rates last month, will reverse its stance. Spain was the only one of the major eurozone economies to see its economy expand between April and June. It grew by 0.1% compared with the previous quarter. Figures also released on Thursday showed that prices across the euro area rose by 4% in July compared to a year earlier. The European Central Bank increased interest rates in July by 025% to 4.25% in a bid to combat rising prices. The July figure is the same as June's inflation rate, but although the rate of increase is not quickening, economists said rising prices were still a concern. "Although inflation has been stable at 4.0 % in July, it is still way above target," said Jörg Radeke from the Centre for Economics and Business Research. "Hence, the possibility that the European Central Bank is cutting interest rates in 2008 to support the sickening economy is remote." more...
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom | America | Economic Crisis |

America isn't the only economy that will be need to be replaced by a global cashless economy if it is truly global. The question is if this is the time of collapse just before the introduction. I don't know, but I'm still watching.

Russian Tanks Head for Tbilisi, Georgia, Despite Ceasefire Pledge Bridges for Peace (August 13, 2008) - Hours after a European Union ceasefire between Georgia and Russia appeared to be taking shape, Russian tanks rolled into the Georgian city of Gori on August 13, later pressing deeper as they headed towards the capital Tbilisi. To the west, Abkhazian separatist forces backed by Russian forces pushed out Georgian troops and even moved into Georgian territory itself, defiantly planting a flag and laughing that retreating Georgians had received American training in running away. The developments came less than 12 hours after Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvilli said he accepted in principle a cease-fire plan brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy who arrived in the region and met with both Georgian and Russian leaders in an effort to restore calm. On Tuesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev declared that Russia would halt all of its military activities in Georgia. About 50 Russian tanks entered Gori on Wednesday morning, according to a top Georgian official, Alexander Lomaia. The city of 50,000 sits on Georgia's only significant east-west road near the South Ossetia border, a region where fierce fighting has taken place. Russia's deputy chief of General Staff Col.-Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn insisted Wednesday that no tanks were in Gori, adding that Russians went into the city to try to implement the truce with local Georgian officials but could not find any. The EU peace plan's concept of having both sides retreat to their original positions was running into the stark reality of Russian dominance on the battlefield.
| Gog/Magog |

Japan on brink of recession as economy shrinks AFP (August 13, 2008) - Japan said Wednesday its economy contracted in the second quarter as falling exports and weak consumer spending sent Asia's largest economy hurtling toward its first recession in six years. The slump reflects the rapidly deteriorating global economic climate, with fears of a recession in the eurozone also mounting as the fallout from the US financial crisis ripples around the world. Japan's gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.6 percent in the three months to June from the previous quarter, the Cabinet Office said, marking the first time in a year that the world's second-biggest economy has contracted. The economy shrank by 2.4 percent on an annualised basis, matching market expectations. The slump put Japan on the cusp of outright recession, which is usually defined as two or more straight quarters of economic contraction. The last time that happened in Japan was in 2001, when the recession lasted for three quarters. Tokyo share prices slumped 2.1 percent as the weak growth figures added to jitters about problems in the US banking sector. GDP growth for the first quarter of 2008 was also revised down to 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter from 1.0 percent previously. Economic growth "will remain very weak throughout this fiscal year," said Mamoru Yamazaki, chief economist for Japan at RBS Securities. "The increase in oil and commodity prices is damaging corporate profits," while rising inflation is hurting households, he said. more...
| Economic Crisis |

Report: Judge Says University Can Deny Course Credit to Christian Graduates Taught With Creationism Texts Fox News (August 13, 2008) - A federal judge has ruled the University of California can deny course credit to Christian high school graduates who have been taught with textbooks that reject evolution and declare the Bible infallible, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. U.S. District Judge James Otero of Los Angeles ruled Friday that the school's review committees did not discriminate against Christians because of religious viewpoints when it denied credit to those taught with certain religious textbooks, but instead made a legitimate claim that the texts failed to teach critical thinking and omitted important science and history topics. Charles Robinson, the university's vice president for legal affairs, told the Chronicle that the ruling "confirms that UC may apply the same admissions standards to all students and to all high schools without regard to their religious affiliations." But a lawyer for the Association of Christian Schools International, two Southern California high schools and several students who brought about the initial lawsuit in 2005 told the Chronicle that the ruling would be appealed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. "It appears the UC is attempting to secularize private religious schools," attorney Jennifer Monk told the Chronicle. The paper said rejected texts include a book for the course Christianity's Influence on America, published by Bob Jones University, which "instructs the Bible is the unerring source for analysis of historical events" and "Biology for Christian Schools," whose first page says "if [scientific] conclusions contradict the Word of God, the conclusions are wrong," Otero wrote in his ruling.
| Signs of the Times | America |

Won't these people who deny the Bible feel and be seen as fools when the Truth is made evident to all. In reality, the Truth is clearly seen by what is made, yet there are still those who prefer to deny the Truth and consider themselves to be wise, becoming fools. The things of God are considered foolishness by the world, but for all eternity the Truth will remain as God declared it in His Word and those who reject it will be rejected by their own choice. More on Creation vs. Evolution
Romans 1:20-25
For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:3-9
Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

U.S. green lights anything into oil WorldNet Daily (August 13, 2008) - A Georgia company looking to solve America's energy problem has finally teamed up with the federal government, hoping to make millions of barrels of oil every day from virtually anything that grows out of the Earth. Bell Bio-Energy, Inc. says it has reached an agreement with the U.S. Defense Department to build seven test production plants, mostly on military bases, to quickly turn naturally grown material into fuel. "What this means is that with the seven pilot plants – the military likes to refer to them as demonstrations – with those being built … it gives us the real-time engineering data that we need to finish the designs for a full-scale production facility," J.C. Bell, the man behind the project, told WND today. "In 18 months or so, we will start manufacturing oil directly from waste and we will build up to about 500,000 barrels a day within two years. In another six months, we'll reach a million barrels a day." As the United States now imports about 13 million barrels of oil a day, the only obstacle then to total energy independence from foreign sources will be the money needed to develop the processing plants, he said. "Working with the USDA we've identified enough waste material around the country, we truly believe we can make the United States totally energy independent of foreign countries in about five years," he said. WND originally reported on the project in March as Bell, an agricultural researcher, confirmed he'd isolated and modified specific bacteria that will, on a very large scale, naturally and rapidly convert plant material – including the leftovers from food – into hydrocarbons to fuel cars and trucks. That means trash like corn stalks and corn cobs – even the grass clippings from suburban lawns – can be turned into oil and gasoline to run trucks, buses and cars. He said he made the discovery standing downwind from his cows at his food-production company, Bell Plantation, in Tifton, Ga. "Cows are like people that eat lots of beans. They're really, really good at making natural gas," he said. "It dawned on me that that natural gas was methane." WND also reported how the national news media more or less ignored his announcement of a potential solution to America's dependence on Middle East nations for its oil. But the U.S. military was listening. And Bell now confirms his agreement with the Department of Defense, the Defense Energy Support Center and the Army will have seven demonstration facilities built at Fort Benning and Fort Stewart in Georgia, Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Fort AP Hill in Virginia, Fort Drum in New York and Fort Lewis in Washington, as well as one more installation in San Pedro, Calif. "We should have all of the plants running within 60 days," he said. "This is a big step in our growth, from the engineering that we develop with these plants, we will be able to build our full-scale production facilities and be in full production in the next 12 to 18 months. "Everyone now accepts the fact that we can make oil through bacterial action and now it is just a matter of time and money until we are turning out one million to two million barrels per day," he said. more...
| Technology | America |

Ahmadinejad in new Israel tirade before Turkey trip Reuters (August 13, 2008) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad launched a fresh verbal attack on Israel on Wednesday on the eve of a visit to Israel's close ally Turkey, saying Western countries should not support the Jewish state. The comments highlight the difficult path which Turkey, a member of NATO, must follow during the two-day visit which reflects its desire to remain on good terms with its neighbor and secure future energy needs. "Western countries should not support them (Israel) so much. The life of this regime has come to an end," Ahmadinejad said in comments translated into Turkish in a live interview broadcast by Turkey's NTV and CNN Turk channels. "Our position is clear on this issue. A referendum should take place in Palestine. If they withdraw from invaded lands it would be a good step," he said. Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan have come under criticism at home and abroad for inviting Ahmadinejad. Ankara has said his visit was necessary given a standoff between Iran and the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear enrichment program, but analysts said the visit was more about ensuring centuries-old ties during a period of global tensions. Ahmadinejad said the talks on Iran's nuclear program were on a "good path".
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Gog/Magog |

I wonder just how close of an ally Turkey is with Israel, outside of the mainstream's presentation of their relationship. Considering what the Bible says, Turkey will be part of the attack on Israel. The implication is that they are brought with hooks in their jaws to the mountains of Israel. If my understanding of the sequence of events from Bible prophecy is accurate, could it be that Israel's attack of Damascus will be seen by Turkey as a betrayal considering Turkey's public image of trying to mediate a relationship between Israel and Syria? Would that be enough to draw the primarily Muslim nation of Turkey against Israel with Iran and Russia from the North through Lebanon? Keep watching.

PA: Reported peace offer unacceptable The Jerusalem Post (August 12, 2008) - The Palestinian Authority said on Tuesday it would reject an Israeli peace proposal published in the Hebrew press a day earlier which included withdrawal from most of the West Bank. They said such a plan, which they did not confirm receiving, would be unacceptable because it did not call for the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. Under the proposal, which was published in Haaretz, Israel would withdraw from 93 percent of the West Bank, in addition to all of the Gaza Strip, after the PA regains control over the Gaza Strip. Olmert had presented PA President Mahmoud Abbas with the proposal as part of an agreement in principle on borders, refugees and security arrangements between Israel and a future Palestinian state, the report claimed. In exchange for West Bank land that Israel would keep, Olmert proposed a 5.5% land swap giving the Palestinians a desert territory adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinians were unaware of the existence of such a proposal. "At no time were the Palestinians presented with a detailed set of proposals by [Prime Minister] Ehud Olmert or any Israeli official," he said. "All the details mentioned in this report are either completely untrue or are not linked to reality." The Prime Minister's Office neither confirmed nor denied the Haaretz report. Its spokesman Mark Regev said that progress had been made in the negotiations, including with respect to borders, but that in other areas there was still important work that had to be done. Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for Abbas said "the Israeli proposal [in Haaretz] is not acceptable" and called it a "waste of time." He added that "the Palestinian side will only accept a Palestinian state with territorial continuity, with Jerusalem as its capital, without settlements, and on the June 4, 1967 boundaries." Abu Rudaineh said the proposal showed that Israel was "not serious" about reaching peace with the Palestinians on the basis of a two-state solution. Erekat said the Palestinians would not accept any solution that excludes the issues of Jerusalem and the "right of return" for the Palestinian refugees. "The era of partial agreements and phased tactics has gone," Erekat added. "The talks [with Israel] are continuing despite the wide gap between the two sides." more...
| Israel | Islam | Dividing the Land |

After the events of the Magog invasion depicted in Ezekiel 38,39 - I wonder if the attitude will change bringing about an agreement that will divide Israel, but also allow the rebuilding of the temple by the Jews? From what I understand of Bible prophecy, this is exactly what will happen. Is that time fast approaching? Keep watching...

Fed holds first auction for 84-day loans Yahoo Finance News (August 12, 2008) - The Federal Reserve has auctioned another $25 billion in loans to the nation's banks and given them more time to pay the money back in an effort to combat a serious credit squeeze. The Fed announced Tuesday that the money would be loaned at a rate of 2.754 percent. In the latest auction, the Fed offered the loans for an extended period of 84 days, rather than the 28-day period for the previous loans. It marked the Fed's latest attempt to be innovative in providing the nation's banking system with the cash it needs to combat a serious credit crisis stemming from mounting mortgage loan losses. The credit squeeze hit with force a year ago and the central bank has shoveled out billions of dollars in loans. From September through April it also was aggressively cutting interest rates to keep the financial turmoil from pushing the country into a deep recession. The Fed's interest-rate setting panel met again last week and for the second meeting held interest rates unchanged amid concerns that lowering rates further could stoke inflation pressures. Fed policymakers instead indicated that they are likely to hold rates steady for an extended period. That signal bolstered financial markets that had been worried higher inflation pressures might prompt the Fed to start raising rates even though the economy remains weak. The latest Fed auction was held on Monday with the results announced Tuesday. It saw 64 bidders seeking a total of $54.8 billion in funds. The Fed had announced that it would auction off $25 billion for 84 days. In two weeks the Fed will auction $75 billion in loans for 28 days. The Fed began the auction process last December in an effort to increase use of its discount window borrowing facility, believing that the auctions would help remove the stigma that banks feared was attached to their petitioning for direct loans from the Fed's discount window.
| America | Economic Crisis |

You can learn some more about the Fed's history and the magic that is our financial system here, here, here and here.

'Syria and Hizbullah gaining strength' The Jerusalem Post (August 12, 2008) - Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Tuesday that "it is not a coincidence that the IDF is holding intensive drills in the Golan Heights," adding that UNSC Resolution 1701 was not accomplishing what it set out to do. "Hizbullah has gained significant strength in the last couple of years," said Barak during an IDF Armored Corps drill in the North. "We are closely following a possible violation [of the resolution] caused by the transfer of advanced weapons systems from Syria to Hizbullah. The necessary preparations have been made, and regarding all the rest - I always prefer not to talk, rather to take action when the time comes." Barak expressed optimism with regards to the IDF's capabilities. "The army is regaining its strength, and coming back to the right morals, carrying out the right exercises and it is our obligation as the government to ensure that the proper means are available to carry out such drills in a correct and intensive manner." Referring to a proposed budget cut to the Defense Ministry, Barak said: "We live in a country where security and defense consist not just of tanks and planes, but also of fostering excellence and caring for the population through education and social welfare." Nonetheless, Barak emphasized that "security and defense take precedence over quality of life and in a country such as ours, we do not have the luxury of cutting the defense budget." The defense minister also addressed the Gaza ceasefire and the strengthening of the group. "So far, the ceasefire has proved promising," he said. "There have been ten instances where rockets were launched in the past 6 weeks, compared to the hundreds of attacks that occurred in the past. Every week that passes with the ceasefire in place enables us to gain strength and to maximize the possibility or the probability of bringing about the right conditions for the release of [captured IDF soldier] Gilad Schalit. Barak added that "in the meantime, the government must care for the social and economic infrastructure as well as the preparation of the home front in the Gaza periphery and the surrounding areas. more...
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 | Gog/Magog |

Ex-communist states' backing for Georgia rooted in Soviet trauma (August 12, 2008) - A traumatic history at the hands of the Kremlin and enduring fears of Russia are the root of the staunch backing for Georgia offered by Poland, the Baltic states and Ukraine, analysts say. In an unusual step Tuesday the leaders of ex-communist Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Ukraine went to Georgia for what they called a called a show of support for the former Soviet republic after Russia's assault. "Our visit is a sign of the solidarity of our five countries with the Georgian nation, which has been a victim of aggression," Poland's President Lech Kaczynski told reporters. "Once again, Russia has shown its true face," he said. On Saturday, Poland and the Baltic states had as "former captive nations" of the Soviet Union issued a joint statement calling on the EU and NATO to oppose Russia's "imperialist" policy towards Georgia. Fear of Russia cuts deep, said Bartosz Cichocki, an expert at the Polish Institute for International Affairs. "These nations still remember how in 1939 the Soviet army crossed into their territory to purportedly defend the rights of ethnic minorities," he said, referring to the invasion at the start of World War II, when Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sealed a pact to carve up Poland and the Baltic states. "And they still remember their dependence on Moscow," which lasted five decades, he told AFP. Poland, which broke free from Moscow's orbit in 1989, and the Baltic states, which like Georgia and Ukraine were part of the Soviet Union until it collapsed 1991, are all firm supporters of Tbilisi. "In the Baltic states and Ukraine, independence is still seen as something fragile and not necessarily built to last. So if it's not defended actively, it can't last," Cichocki explained. Poland and the Baltic states are solidly anchored in the West. Warsaw joined NATO in 1999 and the EU in 2004, while the Baltic trio entered both in 2004. They back Georgia and Ukraine's efforts to obtain what they see as those crucial shields. "People are certainly afraid that Russia could attack Lithuania just like Georgia. And you see that kind of view among politicians," said Lithuanian political scientist Kestutis Girnius. While arguments rage between Moscow and Tbilisi about who started fighting, Poland and the Baltic states see Georgians as the victims. "We're Georgia's closest friend in the region. We've suffered the same kind of violence," senior Lithuanian foreign ministry official Zygimantas Pavilionis told AFP. The Baltic states were scarred by Soviet rule. On June 14, 1941, tens of thousands of their people were herded onto cattle trains and shipped out to the far eastern reaches of the Soviet Union, where many died. Moscow's deportation drive was cut short when the Nazis turned on their erstwhile allies on June 22, 1941, pushing the Red Army out of the Baltic states as they invaded the Soviet Union. In 1944, however, the Soviets ended the Nazis' own bloody occupation, and began a new wave of deportations lasting into the 1950s. Poles, meanwhile, remember the Soviet killing of some 22,000 Polish POWs in 1940 in what became known as the Katyn massacre, as well as the brutality of communist rule after the war. more...
| Gog/Magog |

Several decades ago, Latvian filmmaker Albert Jekste produced a grim, gripping documentary entitled "My Latvia" depicting the Soviet conquest and occupation of the Baltic States. This documentary features of the illegal Soviet military occupation of the Baltic states in 1940. This unusual film, which illuminates communist methods of internal subversion and conquest, includes rare scenes of Stalin and other Soviet leaders attending closed Kremlin meetings, and examines the criminal background of the Latvian nationals who "invited" the Soviets into that country and subsequently assumed high communist government posts. YouTube

My Latvia (Part 1 of 2)

My Latvia (Part 2 of 2)

Is the U.N. advocating homosexuality and pedophilia? One News Now (August 11, 2008) - The United Nations has granted consultative status to two homosexual activist groups. For at least a decade now, activist groups have hammered away at the United Nations for recognition and they have finally won. Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel finds that unacceptable. "They are associated with pedophile groups like NAMBLA and others, and have advocated lowering the age of consent to levels that would essentially foster pedophilia," he explains. Barber believes it is wrong to equate homosexual behavior with the color of one's skin, or their gender, and give them special status. "For the U.N. to side with radical homosexual activists, in this case, has only served to further discredit the U.N., and I think it's problematic in further damaging their reputation," he contends. Activists, according to Barber, will be trying to use the United Nations and the International Court to force their agenda on an international level, including imposing it on Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin.
| EU/UN / 4th Kingdom |

Son of Hamas leader declares his faith in Christ One News Now (August 11, 2008) - Israel can never be at peace with the "wicked and cruel" men who lead Hamas -- that's the warning issued by Masab Yousef, a Muslim man who converted to Christianity four years ago and has just made a public declaration of his faith. Yousef, who now prefers to be known as "Joseph," is the oldest son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a political leader of the Hamas organization. Baptist Press reported on Friday that the younger Yousef gave his life to Christ in 2004, four years after a friend invited him to a Bible study and he began to read the scriptures for himself. He explains that he remained a Muslim at that time and thought he would remain on. "But every day I saw the terrible things done in the name of religion by those who considered themselves 'great believers,'" he states. "I studied Islam more thoroughly and found no answers there. I re-examined the Koran and the principles of the faith and found how it is mistaken and misleading." He cautions Israelis and their friends that they should not be deceived into thinking that peace with Hamas is possible. "You will never, but never have peace with Islam," he says. "Islam...will not allow them to achieve a peace agreement with the Jews." In addition he says the culture of Islam "sanctifies death and the suicide terrorists..." and that supporters of Hamas "don't understand that they are led by a wicked and cruel group that brainwashes the children and gets them to believe that if they carry out a suicide attack they'll get to Paradise." But there is only one way to Paradise, says Yousef -- "the way of Jesus who sacrificed himself on the cross for all of us."

Exclusive: Hizbollah 'stronger than before' and ready to strike Israel Telegraph UK (August 2, 2008) - Hezbollah has significantly built up its military arsenal on the Israeli border and is ready to respond with force to any provocation, its senior commander has told the Telegraph. The political and military group's senior commander in southern Lebanon said in a rare interview that Hezbollah was far stronger now than when it fought the Israeli army in a conflict in 2006. Sheikh Nabil Kaouk, who leads Hezbollah's forces on Lebanon's border with Israel - the crucial battlefront of any future war, was speaking in the port city of Tyre. "The resistance is now stronger than before and this keeps the option of war awake. If we were weak, Israel would not hesitate to start another war," he said. "We are stronger than before and when Hezbollah is strong, our strength stops Israel from starting a new war... We don't seek war, but we must be ready." Hezbollah, whose missiles killed 43 Israeli civilians during the war of 2006, is considered a terrorist organisation by the US and Britain. Other sources say Hezbollah has trebled its arsenal in the last two years – from 10,000 missiles to about 30,000. These new weapons have longer ranges and heavier warheads. They include the Zelzal missile, which could strike as far south as Tel Aviv, and the C802 anti-shipping missile, capable of sinking Israeli warships. Any American strike on Iran, for example, could be the trigger for a Hezbollah attack on Israel. Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's overall leader, started the 2006 conflict with the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers whose corpses were recently returned to Israel. Mr Kaouk did not deny that Hezbollah was reliant on Iran for military hardware and support. "We are proud of our friendship with Iran and with Syria and every country which helps us to gain our rights," he said. His remarks will be examined closely in Washington as Iran presses ahead with its nuclear programme. Iran is currently weighing its response to the West’s latest offer of incentives to suspend the enrichment of uranium but has signaled that for now it is not about to change its stance. Asked where Hezbollah's weapons came from, Mr Kaouk said: "All parties in Lebanon are getting weapons. No one asks from where." Iran is Hezbollah's supplier and paymaster. Tehran's regime and Hezbollah are fellow Shias and their alliance is a crucial power factor in the Middle East. Iran delivers the missiles to southern Lebanon through Syria. Meanwhile, Hezbollah fighters travel to Iran for military training. If the US attacked Iran's nuclear facilities, Hezbollah could retaliate by firing its missiles into Israel. Hence Iran possesses a vital interest in building this arsenal. Asked how Hezbollah would respond to an attack on Iran, Mr Kaouk replied: "I doubt that Israel will attack Iran because they know the consequences." Mr Kaouk said the 2006 war, which claimed 1,100 Lebanese lives, had been a success. "Israel didn't achieve any of its goals. The known goal of Israel is 'death to Hezbollah'. Hezbollah is still here."
| Iran | Israel | Islam | Isaiah 17 |